Saturday, May 31, 2008
Tomorrow I'll try to get all of my photos in order and post some of the non-shopping related content from my trip. I'm still chuckling about all the great moments I had with Lil'MC, who is now a little over a year old and the best natured person I've ever encountered. He has such a strong personality, and in these months before he finds his words, his expressive face is working overtime.
To my family and friends in Oregon: Thank you so much for spending time with me this week! I had a great time and can't wait to come back to visit again.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
On Sunday, my sister and I decided we would head to just one thrift store while my nephew was being watched by our mom. We decided to hit our favorite Goodwill at a *secret location* just outside Portland city limits. Man, did we score! I think a lot of the times I'm super successful thrifting, it's all about my attitude when I step through the door. This time, I didn't set my expectations too high- it was the weekend, mid-day, and I had all week to find some good stuff. Plus, we were only going to that one store instead of the 2 or 3 that we normally hit in one day, so I didn't feel rushed. Right out of the gate, we found some adorable items in the jewelry case: for me a wooden necklace with elephants, zebras and giraffes on it and a 70s patinaed gold necklace with a pendant of a tiny rose trapped in yellowed resin. My sister sorted throught the brooches and quickly pulled out an adorable old silver pin with a fork and spoon on it and a gold heart and arrow pin. The latter two items we ended up trading each other before checkout. Next we moved on to the women's blouses and pulled some great stuff. We went through the place systematically and were both completely pleased with our finds. Standing at checkout and looking at our distinct piles, our two styles were extremely evident. My sister, who is much more into pastels and charming shabby chic style, had stacks of pretty, faded cotton prints and cute kitchenwares. I think my vintage style is a bit more bold, and this was evident by looking at my stack of red handkerchief prints, lime green and brown striped cotton fabric, and navy blue gingham. I did end up buying some things that may be a bit too hip for me to pull off, but I just couldn't resist. I figure, if I end up not wearing it I can always put it in my etsy shop.
above: thrifted vintage shoes and
What I Wore May 25
First thing in the morning yesterday, my sister and I carried out our plan to shop the Memorial Day Sale at Value Village, when everything is 50% off. Again, we made out like bandits! This time, I had my eye out for items to put in my etsy store, dreams of a super-fabulous vintage shop growing in my head. While my sister headed straight for the ceramicware, I shot off towards the far wall, lined with scarves and fur collars. Among my loot, I found a wonderful wool picnic blanket in mustard and brown buffalo plaid, a mens classic wool tartan Pendelton jacket, and some delicate voile puffy sleeved girls' blouses.
above: What I Wore May 26
So, for two days straight, and not very far into my quest to not buy new clothes for a month, I've succeeded in buying a closetful of clothes! But for the purposes of my SwoC month, I'm still doing well. I supported two local charity shops, bought old clothes that had been worn and discarded by their previous wearer, and everything was neatly tossed into one large plastic bag (not wrapped in layers of elegant tissue paper and bubble wrap and shipped across the world to me).
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Cinder has found himself a new girlfriend- Sunny. She's a pit bull mix who belongs to our neighbor. After a month-long courtship, Cinder and Sunny now happily romp around together. They're a perfect match.
Later today I'll be flying to Portland to visit for a week. I'm looking forward to the slower pace of the northwest for a little while. I'm also really looking forward to hitting some thrift stores with my sis.... I mentioned this in the comments of one of my Wardrobe Remix pictures, but I haven't disclosed it here and I think I ought to before I get called out-- I purposely worded my pledge to exclude thrift shopping because I knew I'd be going to Oregon during my SwoC month. Also, I feel like thrifting doesn't really count towards the kind of clothing consumerism I'm avoiding this month because it is the reusing of old, unwanted clothes as opposed to supporting the "throw away fashion" that H&M, Forever 21, Zara, etc. dish out. Anyway, I'm allowing it- in moderation.
My SwoC project, along with packing for my trip, have brought out some silly fashion creativity in me. Yesterday, as I was carefully paring-down my list of items to pack, I started throwing on random combinations of the clothes edited out of the travel bag. Below is one oddball result. I'm wearing a racer back tank top upside-down as a hood/cowl thing over a knitted babydoll dress and pencil skirt and leggings. I doubt I'd ever wear this combination in public, but I like that I'm starting to look at different ways to use the clothes I have in my closet. (And I am oddly attracted the the upside-down racer tank- expect to see me wearing this some way, some time.)
messing around with clothes-
Rogan for Target organic cotton racer back tank in yellow leopard burnout
?? cotton knit sweater dress in navy
?? fatigue green pencil skirt
H&M sheer black leggings
Friday, May 23, 2008
This morning, instead of opening up my email and clicking on all the sale links sent to me by Gap, Old Navy, Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, Bluefly, Banana Republic, Smart Bargains, eLuxury, etc., I scrolled down to the bottom of the page and clicked the "unsubscribe" link. The first time I did it, it was a bit painful. What will I do without knowing what cute clothes I can get for a deal today? But after a little wince, I was over it. Admittedly, I have not unsubscribed to the Racked newsletter or Daily Candy. I'm justifying by saying that they both provide great information on things other than clothing sales, and anyway, my friends rely on me to tell them what sample sale they need to hit after work. I'm not saying I won't unsubscribe later if the temptation is too much, but I'm not ready to do it yet.
I went to make myself a morning cup of coffee, and was complimented by a coworker on my outfit- primarily made up of my new khaki safari dress from Rogan Gregory's line for Target. I thought for a moment about how much I wanted to go buy the version in black as well. After all, it's made from organic cotton so would I really be breaking the rules...? Yes. I would. I reminded myself of the various black, summer, work-appropriate dresses hanging in my closet and surrendered the fantasy.
Back at my desk, an email from Nylon magazine popped up with a link for one of the SoCal surfer girl labels, mentioning some sort of "design for humanity" launch. I took the bate and clicked the link, but instead of going to shop the products I scanned the blurb about how the line would benefit Surfrider Foundation, and had an idea...! With the money I'll be saving from not buying new clothes, I should make a donation to one of the many good environmentally-focused organizations out there. Now I was feeling empowered. I even got ahead of myself and thought that maybe I should extend SwoC to a 6-month gig. Maybe I will....
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Let's face it: I'm a born shopper. Living in New York City has been a verrrry risky endeavor for me- there's good shopping at every price point here. I'm also an avid online shopper. I've joked about my shopping habits and "shopping therapy" many times, but recently, as my awareness of environmental issues grows, those jokes aren't so funny. I'm obsessively recycling and reusing packaging, buying organic when I can, limiting my use of electricity and water... but I haven't been reducing my fashion consumption. Even before coming to New York my closets bulged at the seams.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
Mool kimchi is a type of kimchi made to be eaten cold in the summer. Unlike the kimchi I was familiar with prior to this class, water kimchi is not fermented for a long period of time before being eaten. After preparing this type in class, it really hit home that using the word "fermented" to describe kimchi is an inaccurate translation of what kimchi is. A better way to describe it, maybe, is to say that kimchi is a vegetable dish that is cooked or marinated in its own juices with the help of salt, kind of like ceviche, and most like pickles.
Water kimchi is a refined dish that layers the delicate essences of vegetables into a cold broth. The result is literally a water essence with some finely sliced fresh red radish and nabak (refers to the regularly square-cut shape & size) Napa cabbage slices. Although water kimchi is a very fine dish, the preparation takes a lot of elbow grease. This kimchi is "royal style" and was made for the king, who was considered too divine to eat foods that weren't first broken down into finer bits and then remade in the image of the food they were (pork chops were boned, finely minced, and then reshaped on the bone before being cooked).
Our version of water kimchi includes Korean pears, white onions, garlic, Korean radish, Korean cucumbers, and ginger. All of these were minced or grated to a fine pulp, then strained through mesh, blended into distilled water and flavored with lots of lemon juice, salt, and fine pepper flake, then garnished with the fresh radish and cabbage. We were told this water kimchi can be served on its own or over cold guksu (thick wheat flour noodles). I ate a small bowl this morning and it was surprisingly savory, delicious, and refreshing!
Update: I demolished the rest of the water kimchi last night, over cold brown rice. It was so scrumptious!
Sunday, May 04, 2008
-Bae-choo kimchi (Napa cabbage kimchi in the peasant style) - this is the kind I've known since childhood, not pictured but found here
-Mool kimchi (Water kimchi in the royal style) pictured here:
-Oh0yi So-Bahk-Yi kimchi (Cucumber kimchi) pictured here:
Aside from learning how to make these (totally different) kinds of kimchis, I learned a little bit about the philosophies of Korean food. Can you tell I'm totally stoked on this class??
Kimchi making is pretty time-consuming. Though there is no actual cooking with heat, there is a ton of preparation involved, which explains why this is usually made with the help of all the women in a village or family. The cabbage, for instance, needs to be washed, divided in quarters, rinsed, salted, then soaked in salt water for hours, then be carefully rinsed several times, then drained thoroughly, the stuffed with So, which is a whole separate process requiring many steps and careful attention. Traditional kimchi recipes don't have precise measurements- instead the recipes are passed down through families, and are committed to taste memory and muscle memory to make. Kimchi making is very much a sensual experience. You must handle the vegetables (carefully) a lot. It is said that two people could make kimchi with exactly the same amount and quality of ingredients, as well as the same fermenting time, and yet their kimchi would come out tasting different because the heat from each maker's hands would leave an imprint on the final product.
Right now, I have samples of each of the 3 kinds of kimchi we made in my fridge. I'll report back on the blog about the results of each when I taste them. Right now, 2 of the 3 can be eaten now, though only 1 has actually reached its prime eating time: the Water kimchi....
Check in on my next blog entry to read more about my adventures in Water kimchi!!