Liebster Award and Lace Dress

I was thrilled the other day to see my name in the list of blogs that Kristina nominated for a Liebster Award! The "award" isn't so much an award, but a way to share the love between bloggers. There are several variations, but the rules that Kristina posted were to a) share 11 random facts about yourself; b) answer 11 questions; and c) nominate 11 other bloggers to do the same. So, here goes!

11 random facts:

1. I'm totally vain about my hair. A friend once described it as "goddess hair" and I was like, "Yes, yes it is." But strangely, I'm also not super attached to it. I've shaved my head more than once, and wore my hair short through college and a lot of my adult life, so I would never be one of those people on a makeover show who cries when they get their hair hacked off!

2. Another hair fact: When I was little, my hair was a) fairly straight; and b) BLOND. It's always been thick as hell, though.

3. I have double-jointed thumbs and can bend them really far back at the middle joint. Other people in my family have the same thing, so I thought everyone's thumbs could do this until one day when I was pushing up the window on the school bus and some kid yelled out, "Dude, look at her thumbs!"

4. This makes me sound like a total hipster, but pretty much the only music I have listened to for the last several years falls into one of two categories: 1) old-timey country and bluegrass music (Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, etc.) and 2) 90s hip-hop. I passionately love both of them, and I worry sometimes that my daughter is growing up with this super warped idea of what music is ...

5. I went vegetarian earlier this year but I still crave meat ALL the time. Does it get easier? Please tell me it does.

6. I love dancing and will dance any excuse I get. In high school, my friends and I would do international folk dancing twice a week, and I miss it SO much. If I go out, I will totally be that lone person on the dance floor jamming out to "my song" while everyone else is standing around, because dancing brings me joy.

7. I am the author of three books and my husband has written two. Obviously his are more impressive (you should also check out his blog!) but it is still cool having books on our bookshelf with both our names on them.

8. I've driven across the country twice and have set foot in every U.S. state except Alaska, Maine, Florida, North Dakota and Rhode Island.

9. I worked as a temp a lot during summer vacations, so by the time I was 25, I had worked at 25 different jobs. The worst was waiting tables at a retirement home — I had to wear scrubs, orthopedic shoes and a hairnet, report to work at 6:30 a.m. and then wait tables for several hours with, of course, no tips. Plus everyone was always angry and confused. The job I miss the most was working for Xerox. I made copies. It was strangely satisfying.

10. I was raised entirely without religion, and didn't go to a regular church service until I was 20 years old. And then it was in Budapest and the service was in Latin so I didn't understand a thing. Religion feels like a totally foreign concept to me and always has, although I find it very intellectually interesting and spend a lot of time thinking about it.

11. I grew up on a farm, but have never milked a cow or driven a tractor. We didn't have cows and my parents didn't push me to get involved in farm stuff. Now I feel like I was kind of a jerk for never helping out! They would be down in the barn helping lambs be born and I was all, "I'm gonna go watch 'Growing Pains' and eat some ice cream, bye."

11 questions:

1. What inspired you to start a blog?
I've always been hugely into fashion, and I love being creative with what I wear. So I was one of those people who started reading fashion blogs and said, "That looks easy, I could do that!" As it turns out, I SUCK at taking pictures of myself, but I have definitely learned a few things along the way.

2. Who is your favorite style icon?
My sister was my style icon growing up. She's four years older than me, so she always had better, cooler clothes. She introduced me to thrifting, and she was the one who told me, when I was 12, "You know, you don't have to dress like everyone else." She tried out everything before I did — dying her hair black, wearing a leather jacket, shaving her head, getting a tattoo — and there was nothing I looked forward to more than getting her hand-me-downs. Our styles have definitely evolved over the years, but still, every time I see her, I'm like, "Why aren't I wearing that?" She always has the right jeans, the right jacket, the right shoes, etc. Whereas I always feel like ... well, someone who shops exclusively at thrift stores and rummage sales.

3. Can you name two of your favorite bloggers and explain why they are your favorites?
Not just because she nominated me, but I really enjoy reading Kristina's blog at Eccentric Owl. The photography is lovely and her outfits are always to die for — I love the way she balances having a distinctive style that's very "her" while also trying out different things and playing with her look. And Kristina does a great job of letting her personality and the reality of her life come through without oversharing or piling on the mundane details.

I also love The Freelancer's Fashionblog. Ulrike is a burlesque dancer and raw-food enthusiast with an enviable vintage/home-sewn wardrobe. Her son is adorable, her husband is a fox and oh yeah, she lives in Finland so you get those awesome moments of cultural "Whaaa?" as you're reading along. Love it all.

4. What’s one wardrobe essential you can’t live without?
It varies from season to season — with fall coming on, I rely heavily on colorful scarves. Having color next to my face makes a huge difference, and I feel like a good scarf just elevates any outfit to make it look a little more polished.

5. How would you describe your blogging style?
Right now, I'm interested in interspersing outfit photos with issues that are on my mind. I'm doing a lot of thinking these days about feminism and femininity, the politics of the body, fashion as art, what beauty means to me, and so on. Also, I sew, knit and thrift, so that's mixed in here as well.

6. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?
I won an award from the Associated Press for my newspaper column, which was a huge affirmation for me as a writer.

7. What was the last book you read?
Oh, man. I never take time to read anymore! But I did optimistically check out "Women in Clothes" from my local library, and I am LOVING it. It's actually a great book to read in quick snippets, because it's a collection of writings, so you can just jump in and start reading anywhere.

8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Italy and Greece are high on my list (antiquity!). I'd also love to visit Japan and/or China.

9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is super tough. I'd love to say that I'll be making enough money selling on Etsy, combined with freelancing, that I can quit my "day job." And in my fantasy world, my husband, daughter and I would be living in Oregon, which is where I grew up and where my parents still live.

10. What was the first movie or book that made an impact on your life?
This is pretty ridiculous, but I would have to say "Winnie the Pooh." There was something about that book that showed me, as a very young child, both the power of a story (I always cry at the end when Pooh and Christopher Robin are sitting under the tree together), and the power of language — how carefully chosen words can draw you in and influence the entire tenor of the story being told.

11. What advice would you give someone who just started blogging?
I am working on a huge post about this, so I'll just throw out some highlights:
— Try everything and see what sticks.
— Collaborate and reach out to other bloggers (interviews, giveaways, or stuff like this!)
— Find your voice. Think about what makes you "you," and what fires your passion
— Be smart about your stats - look at the trends, not the numbers themselves

Whew, if you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there! Here are some people I would love to see join in the Liebster fun:

Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun
Priya of Perfectly Priya
Jess of Animated Cardigan
Kasmira of What I Wore Today
Jen of Fashionably Employed
Bri of Work Clothes, I Suppose
Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
Roo of Roobeedoo
Kristian of Never Fully Dressed Without a Style


  1. So many interesting things! I loved learning more about you :)
    As for being a vegetarian, I think it does get easier. I have been veg for 3 1/2 years now and it is much easier than in the beginning. I didn't like a lot of meat to begin with, but the first time I smelled bacon after deciding to stop eating meat, I cried. I still sometimes wish I could eat chicken fingers and pepperoni, but most of the time I am fine. The thing I still have the hardest time not eating is chorizo. My mom is full Portuguese, so the majority of our family recipes have chorizo in them. It is a little sad to give up that family connection. But I wouldn't go back to eating meat now. Oh and I also miss marshmallows. In the end, it is all worth it to me.

    1. Whew, that's good to hear! (Your bacon story made me laugh just because I can totally relate.) I am a total meat lover at heart so it's just been really, really tough. If my family could afford ethically raised meat, I would consider that, but since we can't, this is where we wound up. Also, to your point about marshmallows, I only just realized that there is gelatin in gummi candies, and that is BREAKING MY HEART because I am pretty obsessed with it. I still "cheat" a lot but I am trying to just at least be more thoughtful and make better choices when and where I can.

    2. I think being more thoughtful is one of the best things that comes out of becoming a vegetarian (or any drastic food change for that matter). Gummy candies are so hard to give up, but Sour Patch Kids don't have gelatin in them!

  2. I just have to say that I've been a vegetarian for 6 years now, after a carnivorous life before that. I very rarely crave meat anymore - mostly the idea of it seems gross to me now. But I do still miss marshmallows sometimes.

    You have led a fascinating life! Don't we all wish we could support ourselves with our etsy stores...*sigh*

    1. Oh no, I didn't even think of marshmallows!! :( :( I definitely feel like the cravings are shrinking down - at first it was ALL MEAT, ALWAYS and now it is only certain things I miss/crave (burgers is a big one, veggie burgers just do not do it for me).

      It's so funny, I don't think of my life as having been particularly fascinating but sometimes when I tell stories about this or that, people are surprised or find it interesting. I suppose to each of us, what we've done or seen just seems "normal," and other people's experiences are what's interesting, right?

  3. Very Victoriana! Adore!

    Thanks so much for linking up with Fun Fashion Friday & can't wait to see what you have to share this week!


    Dawn Lucy


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