Make It Good's Parachute Dress & Cats

When I received this Make It Good dress, I was a little disappointed. They called it the "parachute dress" and I thought they would be like the Make It Good dresses I already own -- this great "parachute" material that was thin but airy and kinda consistently-wrinkled. But this was a totally different material, way more see-through and it felt less breathable. It would be impossible to wear it without a slip or - my jam - miniskirt-length pettipants. (Hate if you're gonna hate but they're perfect and kind of Little House on the Prairie. I don't know why anyone wears traditional slips. Now, those are stupid.) The fabric - and dress - has grown on me though. It's light and airy and while it wrinkles a little, it doesn't hold wrinkles for long. 

This is not an intentional modeling pose, just adjusting the omnipresent sunglasses on my head while the iPhone timer went off.

^ Make It Good dress, Stitch Prism necklace, 
sweatshop Vans slip-ons, old tote DIY dyed ^

This tote is one of the regular ol' white totes I dyed with iDye way back when, and then I forgot to post a review. Basically everything I dyed came out this dark blue with some faded-white splotches. I thought it would be a lot lighter, or I wouldn't have dyed screen-printed totes (especially one with cat faces) but hindsight is 20/20. I know some people might care about the splotches but I'm more of a wabi-sabi gal myself, which can be translated into many less f's given about that kind of thing for the less woo woo among us. 

This year I finally discovered the beauty of ankle-length socks and they've been ever-present. I used to just wear my canvas shoes sans socks before -- kind of gross and maybe a little undignified? Hello, Civilization, I'm finally here.

Speaking of Civilization, I've just been quietly grieving the state of humanity along with the rest of you (Orlando, Trump, Brexit, weak gun control efforts, tourists beating and standing on a sea turtle they dragged out of the water to take selfies with, etc). I vacillate between anger, depression and incredulity. It's hard to know whether to keep diving in to the news cycle so you're informed in opinion or dialogue and when to give your circuits-bursting mind a break. 

But you know, when in doubt -- CATS:


The GOOD (dresses), the BAD (fit) and the UGLY (Tevas)

Dudes. It is officially summer. And do you know what I realized? Tevas don't really look good with anything. Wear them if you want. I do. But know that they are ugly and no amount of "IN but ugly" helps them not actually be ugly. All this to say, you will not see my feet in this photo, because they are shod in Tevas black Universals. 

^ Threads for Thought black scoop neck ^ 
^ vintage skirt from Vice Versa vintage/thrift ^
^ over-dyed formerly-white tote bag ^
^ Tevas you will never see on my feet online ^

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen these already but who knows since Instagram recently messed up its linear feed view. But Po-em's day dresses are my new favorite dress. Nubby, comfortable cotton, with pockets, roomy. Also, pockets. Did you hear about the pockets?

^ PO-EM's day dresses are the jam ^

And now, for sad news. I bought this Make It Good tank a while ago - it was when they had a table at a Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair or something like that. I thought I tried it on in person but it ended up being not a great fit. So, this dude got down-graded to gym clothes. (Or upgraded, depending on how much you like exercise.) I know this one one of those things Marie Kondo hates (re-purposing clothes) but I do it a lot for gym stuff and PJs and it works out pretty well. So, if something's a cotton-blend, I always ask myself before getting rid of stuff  -- would this make good PJs or gym clothes?

^ Yes, this Make It Good tank makes a good gym shirt ^ 


Rock Fish!

Last year I bought this dress from Twitch Vintage via Etsy. She had a second one at the time in a black/white print but I passed on buying two. It took me forever to actually wear the dress and now that I have, I've discovered that it's comfortable and looks decent when paired with a necklace and can almost pass as a dress even though it really feels like "Hey, I'm wearing beach cover-up!" I have a pretty low bar for that kind of stuff so, your mileage may vary. Most of my favorite dresses are sack dresses. 

The brand is M. Mac and I figured I'd see if anyone has one for sale on Etsy or eBay, just curious. You know, not at all compulsively trying to buy other colors or prints of the things I like. And I found an overstock page that noted the apparel was all USA-made, which prompted me to look for their main site -- which is here -- and followed up with their Client Services to confirm their stuff is indeed US-made. It is! Made in Southern California!

^ M.Mac dress, necklace I had to fix, sweatshop slip ons ^

I totally get that at face value, it's not a brand that has me as a demographic buuuut I do like the black, roomy, boxy dresses with geometric prints. Those are totally in my wheelhouse. (I'm wearing model #3024.) They also offer sleeved versions, a maxi and a short babydoll dress (#4033), all fairly affordable for US-construction. 

I figured I'd share in case anyone else was interested in them. I am always supportive of good ol' mom and pop businesses that are USA-made. And you might wear more color than I do? 


But they're not Pringles

Today I was of two minds. I told myself how awesome I was for walking around totally content in a few-years-old leggings and babydoll dress (both American Apparel), with my trusty old equine-themed tote bag (swag from an animal welfare group) and neon sunglasses (also swag from an animal welfare group, weirdly). But then I kept thinking about my shoes and how much I love these Insecta shoes and how bummed I am that they don't come in more patterns that I like so I still haven't purchased a second pair.

Why can't I just have one pair? Why is one pair not good enough? Come on, brain. 

I catch myself doing this all the time. I balance being grateful and appreciative for what I have, and then just wanting more of something else in the same breath. I am all Marie Kondo-style thanking my stuff for being around and still likable and functional but then there's always this holy grail of want want want. 

I don't know what to do but to be aware of it and talk about it and just notice that it happens. 

^ I already told you what all of this is above ^ 

^ I tried this DIY mani, just to keep the all-black a little interesting ^ 


One very old dress and even older Avon glace pin

One day this dress is going to fail on me and it's going to be the worst day of my life. It's a super old Built By Wendy dress I got second-hand from Beacon's Closet and it's perfect. It's a fit-and-flare that's not overly juvenile and it's a nubby black cotton that's really comfortable. And it pairs nicely with my vintage Avon skunk pin - a pin that was part of their glace collection. The pins in this collection open and contain a light solid perfume for kids. True story: I never cleaned mine out. I forget about it and every time I wear it (once a year). I only remember once I'm out of the house.

I made my boyfriend take this photo of me to commemorate the longevity of this dress, right before we picked up drinks for a vegan BBQ (ginger beer!) and also right before I shoved a lot of food into my face. Like brownie bites with German chocolate cake topping and... Everything else has been wiped from my memory. Eternal Sunshine of the Brownie Bite Mind. Brownies bites uber alles. 

^ old Built by Wendy dress, old Avon pin, new & prob sweatshop Vans ^

On the Avon vintage glace pin front: I also have the apple/worm pin and a little girl one as well. (None of them are cleansed of their disgusting and petrified 40 year-old solid perfume of yore.) Once upon a time I thought I'd start collecting them but I realized that I would never wear anything too cutesy and/or too colorful so my collection came to a sad end at those three. That just means there's more vintage Avon perfume pins and dehydrated decades-old perfume to go around. You're truly welcome, collectors! Have at 'em!

P.S. - If you want a very sad and disgusting podcast to listen to, Stuff You Should Know recently did one on cannibalism. I can handle this one podcast but that's probably because they didn't talk about any of the recent cases - or attempted recent cases, anyway. That's where I go from curiosity to holy hell no thanks. 


Visual Packing

I'm not sure why traveling throws such a wrench in how I dress myself, but it does. I like to wear cozy stuff for the plane, be able to pack work- and weather-appropriate stuff and also have shoes that are comfortable enough to walk around in for longer distances in case we have a "that vegan restaurant is farther away than we thought" kind of field trip. Add in the weather variables of both the heavily air-conditioned meeting space and, well, any other climate, and it's a challenge for me to pack efficiently. 

Thankfully I tend to wear something to death if I like it so I managed to wear the same necklace, jacket and shoes (mostly) for my last work trip. (I wore some fake vegan silver Birks in off hours sometimes.) When packing, I like to lay out what I can wear together day by day (so I don't forget to pack something, like, oh, pants when I have all shirts). But when you have so many dupes that you'll wear most days, you can't just lay them out flat as an outfit to make sure you didn't forget anything so I take photos of each day's clothes grouped together. Also, I never remember what I planned to wear on which day by the time I get to the destination and this makes it a brain cell-free endeavor. 

Packing for personal trips is slightly better as I don't mind re-wearing the crap out of most things as long as the weather is decent.

^ the 3-day trip layout ^
top left - leggings & babydoll dress on plane
top right - first day of meetings
bottom left - first day of conference plus a change of logo gear
bottom middle - last day of conference and travel home w/leggings
bottom right - contingency dress

^ I thought I could swing a hotel outfit photo but... ^
the lighting was way too dark

I also have a standard packing list in my iphone Notes and copy it over to a new Note to customize it (legwarmers, bathing suits, sunhats, gloves, thermals, rice heat packs because I'm a baby in cold airbnbs) for each trip. Then I go through it, deleting what I've already packed. I think that's pretty standard -- we all have that, right? Before I started doing that, I would forget to pack contact solution (very bad) and pajamas...while I was staying at people's houses (very very bad). 

I also roll my clothes for packing but not individually! Sorry Marie Kondo! I lay them out on top of each other and put the most wrinkle resistant thing at the "inside" and then roll the whole thing up like a burrito. I think this keeps most of my stuff wrinkle-free since it's not too sharply creased anywhere. Also, it takes like half a minute to do.

Oh, and my liquids and personal care items always always come with me in my carry-on. I am not getting stuck without moisturizer, contact solution, glasses or deodorant, ever. 

I'm not sure how this ended up being a packing tips post - all I really wanted to share was the outfit-photograph-a-day thing, since I found it helpful, but found myself getting really self-righteous about my packing practices the more I thought about it. This is really more of a response to correcting the billion packing mistakes I've made prior than being an actual expert on packing -- but you got yet another packing advice blog post anyway! 


Nail polish, facial serum & moisturizer with SPF (all the hard topics)

Embarrassingly, after my last post lamenting that there's no such thing as "spring black", I passed a number of store windows that were almost entirely spring/summer black. I stand corrected, World. 

Last week was the Spring Bust Craftacular and I was excited to see that Floss Gloss would be there, as I only find a few of their polishes at local shops vs the whole inventory so I was happy to see them on the docket. I was also excited to see Armour lip gloss on the list but they haven't expanded any of their vegan glosses and I already have all 3 of the vegan ones so I give up there until something changes. (I would link it for you but when I tried to visit their site I just got a warning that I "might see naked people I know" spam so, good luck to you if you embark on your own.)

Floss Gloss is a vegan brand of 5-free nail polish. Their brushes are shorter than most polish brushes so it's easier (for me) to handle. I totally recommend the polish brand -- the colors are great, the manis last a while, the brush makes application easier and I love that they advertise that they're a vegan brand. (I have about 6 of their colors and I'm sure they've all made appearances on my IG in my wildly unpopular Instagram mani posts.) At this point when I buy new polish, it's almost all Floss Gloss. My only other go-to is the LVX gel top coat (it forgives many sins).

^ Floss Gloss's El Capitan ^

Also this isn't an endorsement of that lip balm 
- it was a beauty box item that I've been trying to use up 

In DIY news, I tried to make another round of carrot seed oil facial serum that didn't smell like...well, carrot seed oil. The smell goes away almost immediately after application but still, who needs to smell like a damp forest log even temporarily? 

What do you do with this serum? Add it to your daily moisturize to help moisturize -- carrot seed oil is supposed to be a good "anti-aging" oil, which basically means it's moisturizing and can maybe temporarily help with fine lines but let's be honest. If something is truly "anti-aging" it's some dark magic shit. 

This serum is basically jojoba as a carrier oil with carrot seed oil and then lavender to cut the carrot seed smell. (Basic 3-ingredient serum recipe I used.) It worked only minimally better than the carrot seed oil on it's own. This is what I get for trying to recreate a really expensive brand's serum! I suspect the carrot seed oil needs to be cold-pressed to have less of an odor but until I'm done with this bottle and try a cold-pressed carrot seed oil, I guess I'll never know. There is suspiciously little about carrot seed oil and masking its disgusting smell online so if you have some insider knowledge, please lay it on me. 

^   the whole thing is like 2oz of jojoba oil, 
maybe 4 drops of the offending carrot seed oil 
and 6 drops of lavender oil  ^

In final skincare news, I've been trying to find a non-thick, non-greasy SPF 30+ daily moisturizer that's vegan (and thusly also not tested on animals). You'd think someone would have this on lockdown by now and product choice would be pretty obvious but, nope. I bought an Andalou BB oil control cream thinking the "oil control" part of it would mean it wasn't thick. This could not have been a more incorrect assumption, but I am trying to use it anyway. Then -- insult to injury and making me wonder exactly how old my brain is -- in cleaning out my makeup and skincare stuff, I found not one but two SPF 30 Andalou creams I was using earlier in the year, so I don't know how I'm going to get through all of them. I have to add a serum because they're so thick and once summer proper hits, these will be a no-go. Then, to really just layer on the buyer's remorse, I learned that there's an SPF 30 serum you can mix with your regular moisturizer made by Andalou. The For the Love of Vegan Makeup FB group is great...but just a moment too late on that one, damn it.

^ the day I found 2 more of the same product I just bought already in my house ^

I think that's all I have in makeup and skincare news. 

In non-makeup and skincare news, I:
  • Have started watching Orphan Black like 20 years too late (OMG! I love her)
  • Am hugging my not-so-healthy cat Ollie a lot, and just staring at her a lot, too
  • Rewarded myself with a new Sonny Angel (not eco) for doing my laundry the first time in like 2 months (super eco) because I'm an adult and I can do what I want
  • Am learning how to use my new Instant Pot (minimally eco re energy usage but not in buying a new thing)