Wednesday, December 10, 2014


I get the most depressed during finals, not because of the actual exams, but because it's a big break from the norm. I'm usually fine if I am overwhelmed with work, like I usually am, but most of the time I get really really bored when I don't have much to study for. I can't hang out with anyone because they're all busy, so then I get really really lonely. There's so much I could do with my free time, but because I'm so used to having work, I often forget what I want to do when I actually have free time. Hence, I've been in a really bad mood the past week, making me aware of some personal problems that I still need to work on, but thankfully Vicky reminded me that this feeling is just temporary and that finals affect everyone whether they have one or six exams (well except for Eugenie because she's not human but that's a different story) "Honestly most people are drowning in shit; try to see the bright side" (Edit: It was Dan who actually reminded me that finals affect everyone, but the rest including the quote was all Vicky).

Today, I took Vicky's advice and got it together or at least took my first steps in trying to get it together ALA Elastigirl style. I went to Belmont BBQ and got a slop bucket to check off one of the 115 things I have to do before I graduate. I hung out with Chanlee (I often forget that my sister will always there for me no matter what). I hugged our stuffed animal, Smudge. I went shopping #retailtherapy (for real though, take a look at Jackson Lears' “From Salvation to Self-Realization”). I went to JCPenney and got a navy cardigan to replace the one I lost. I went to Victoria Secret's because I was inspired once again to shed my good girl image after watching the fashion show, but alas I was too poor to buy anything. BUT 2 bras for $49. 50 is a good deal when you consider that one bra is $ day I will be hot. I then went to DSW in hopes of finally finding the perfect nude pumps, aka ones that will fit me, with the $20 gift card I got from Secret Santa in hand (Thanks again, Katin!).

One of the shoes I tried on to decipher my shoe size were super cute Lulu Townsend shoes (left) that were originally priced in the upper eighties but with a sale price and an additional 70% off, they were down to only $15. I wanted to buy them so bad, but I knew I would never wear them. Plus, they were too high and a little too uncomfortable, so my wallet is forever grateful for that. I also had to save the money for my nude pumps.

As a result of trying on shoes, I now know that size 5 is what I need, and what I needed (size 5 nude pumps) wasn't available in the stores, so I had to go home and buy one from the online store. They weren't the exact height I wanted nor the pair of shoes I really wanted (right), but hopefully these shoes will help me land my dream job so I won't have to worry about using my parents' money for wants rather than needs anymore.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Martinsville: First Friday Art Walk

Whenever one imagines the word “art,” images of swanky people drinking wine and eating cheese while debating the meaning of a piece of abstract art comes to mind. The Uptown Martinsville First Friday Art Walk aimed to dispel this myth by offering everyone in the city the chance to experience art without a price tag attached to it and be inspired to use their own creativity to give back to the community, while simultaneously giving the people a tour of their beautiful city.

My sister was super excited to go to this event to check off items for her internship’s scavenger hunt, but I was a little more ambivalent. While the concept of the event was promising, I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to its’ lofty goals. Nonetheless, my sister convinced me to tag along, promising me that it would be fun or at the least, they would have free food and live music.

There would be no free food or live music as we arrived late. When we arrived, there was no one in the parking lot. This is not a fabrication: there literally was no one on the streets or in the any of the stores we visited. I was right: the event was a huge disappointment turnout wise. In spite of that, I was able to see the art that the event had promised, including three of the then five murals of Martinsville/Henry County.

The first person we actually saw on our tour was the owner of Gallery 22, a glass art studio and antique store that recently opened. No one was in the store at all except the sweet little old lady who owned the place. She gave us a quick tour of her studio in the back of the store. I did most of the talking as I quickly realized that while I may be awkward, my sister is even more awkward. The antique pieces were lovely to look at, but sadly for the old lady, we didn’t purchase anything even though we might have been her only customers for the night.

We ended up walking in a circle two or three times before finding some of the places after over looking them, but it took us less than five minutes to do so. You can hear me in a video saying, “This whole place is smaller than UVA’s campus.”

Other stops on our tour included The Artisan Center, which also served as the Martinsville/Henry County Visitor Center. The Visitor Center has since moved, but once again, the story was the same: There was no one except us in the vicinity, and I did most of the talking.

We visited Uptown Sweets, a new bakery in the city. The girl who was working there knew my sister, but they barely uttered a word to each other.

I promised the owners of a new baby boutique, Sleep, Love, Play that I would take my aunt and uncle and their two kids to their store in the future, but I knew it was a lie, as I was only being polite.

Lastly, we walked through Studio 107, an art studio, and while the artwork was at best mediocre, it gave people hope and a creative outlet.

Martinsville is not the place it once was. Long gone is the tobacco, textile, and furniture industry that gave the place its energy and life. All that remains are remnants of the past like the murals and old buildings uptown. There are murmurs of hope for the future, but right now, it is not enough for the creative young to stay and give back: their motivations lie else where, just like mine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Liberty Fair Mall Adventures

A couple of months pumps that my mom originally bought for herself for only $7 at the now-closed JCPenney Outlet; they're too big for me, so I have to stick padding in them and the hill is a little shorter than I want, but hey, I have to find a job first before I can buy myself better-fitting ones i.e. hooray for finally owning more formal interview shoes

Saturday...a new cross body bag for my sister at Belk; it's made from recycled plastic bottles and was originally $39.99, but with a sale and $10 reward coupon, she got it for only $10.50; hooray for my sister finally owning a purse that looks like someone her age would actually wear

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Where Are All The Black People At?
I was editing my Facebook profile one day by deleting or “unliking” musicians, television shows, etc. that I didn’t actually like in real life anymore. When I got to my “Movies” section, I wanted to delete Will Smith because I hadn’t seen him in anything recent, but then I realized I had to keep him because if I unliked him, then I would have no black people whatsoever under that section. I immediately ran off the list of movies I had recently seen, and none of them featured black actors. I didn’t want to come off as racist, but it wasn’t my fault (Disclaimer: I’ve watched films with black actors in them thanks to my Racial Borders and American Cinema class, but hardly any outside of the class). Shawshank Redemption was on my list, but that movie was made in 1994. Ultimately, this lead to my question, “WHERE ARE ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE AT?” Black people represent 13% of the U.S. population according to the 2010 census. Thirteen percent seems like a small percentage, but 13% of over 300 million people is a lot. Yet, African Americans and the American public and even the world are still seeing representations of life through the lens of the white majority.

Since that unliking spree, I have watched 12 Years a Slave, a movie with a predominately black cast and director. 12 Years was popular with the black and white moviegoers, winning three Academy Awards, but while it is a good thing that these slave narratives are reaching the masses without the so-called “Blaxploitation” and that slavery is finally portrayed accurately on the silver screen as opposed to films like Birth of a Nation (1915), contemporary black films still have to rely on old themes like plantation narratives in order to be wildly successful [1].  

Tyler Perry has become a star with his Madea films in recent decades, yet his predecessors, including Spike Lee, have criticized his portrayals of the title character, Madea. In movies that follow a modern day black family, Perry plays the elderly Madea in drag. These movies have given blacks much screen time and a creative outlet, but it has been done through comedy and cross-dressing, bringing up remnants of overtly racist caricatures of blacks in the past.

These examples of recent contemporary black films, where blacks and whites do not coexist shows that we haven’t gotten “there,” the post-racial state imagined by some after the election of the first black president. While the likes of Will Smith, Morgan Freeman, and Denzel Washington have been successful, these people are getting older. The YZ generation (think Emma Stone) is absent. The only person I can come up with at the top of my head is Michael B. Jordon, who’s latest film, That Awkward Moment with white costars, Zac Efron and Miles Teller garnered negative reviews.

Jordon plays a doctor in the film, which frankly I’ve never seen portrayed by a young black male before. Well, Sidney Poitier in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was a doctor, but he was never explicitly shown as one (Jordon’s first appears in the movie in scrubs). Jordon is playing a successful black male, but in large part to the lack of success of the movie, no one has or will see that image. Birth of a Nation, the birth referring to the birth of the Ku Klux Klan nation, was the first time that many Americans saw an African American, thus providing them their first impression of them, illustrating the power of film to provide knowledge and images of supposed normalcy.

Thankfully, the failure of That Awkward Moment did not disrupt Jordon’s movie career as he is set to star as The Human Torch, replacing Chris Evans, a white actor, in the reboot of The Fantastic Four series. Blacks have come a long way in society, but have not done the same in Hollywood, leaving black and other minority audiences without an influence on the big screen or a feeling of inclusiveness. Hopefully, casting decisions like the one in The Fantastic Four will provide a new normalcy for black Americans and other minorities and provide someone on the big screen for younger African Americans to look up to and emulate, so the lens of the movies won’t always be through that of a white person.

[1] Professor Shilpa Davé

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Should Be A Wet Seal Campus Rep

Right after beach week and my visit to Tanger Outlets, Wet Seal had an "Additional 60% Clearance" special. There were so many cute tops for less than $10 that I couldn't resist. I added the tops to my shopping bag first then added the skirts to complete the outfits/eliminate other tops. My summer wardrobe is complete now i.e. no more shopping for a long time...

Originally 18.90, Purchased at $6.00
Originally $16.90, Purchased at $5.20

More Bathing Suits

Funny how when you can't find things (like cute bathing suits in your size for a good affordable price) for a long time, but once you find them, you can't stop finding them


Tanger Outlets

During my second ever trip to Tanger Outlets, I spent way too much money, meaning I didn't buy clothes at a discounted price like one is supposed to do at an outlet. However, I still got each item for under $20.

The first store I stopped at was American Eagle Factory Store. I wanted to go here first because two years ago, I got half of my current summer wardrobe at this exact location. This year, there was nothing that sparked my interest, and I came out with nothing. 

Next up: Forever21

Purchase #1: $11.80

I needed new white shorts that didn't pouf out on the sides, and these fit the description. The thing I love about these shorts is that they can be worn casually, formally, or on a night out.
Purchase #2: $9.80

After browsing the Forever21 website for a picture of this top, I realized I might've spent a little too much for it given there are cheaper crop tops from the store but #noragrets. I bought this crop top simply because I owned no crop tops. I also bought it to pair with Purchase #1.
Purchase #3: $7.80  

I couldn't pass up a pair of jeans for only $7.80; it can be paired with anything really, but I wore it out with a loose top.
After spending $30 on only three items at Forever, I really didn't want to spend anymore, so I didn't really shop anywhere else except for Rue21. 

While at Forever, I ran into a couple of friends who had gone to Rue21 earlier. They had both bought a pair of white crochet shorts, but one of them tried on the crochet shorts at Forever to see which one had a better fit. Her conclusion: Rue21, so of course I had to venture out to Rue to see for myself after also trying on the one at Forever. The one at Rue did indeed have a better fit. Unfortunately, they ran out of my size in white, so I ended up getting the navy one. The only bad thing about the navy one is you can't see the details from far away like you could on the white or coral ones, which I didn't know they had until later when my friend mentioned it. I really wished I could've seen the coral ones because I also needed better-fitting pink shorts + I already have a pair of navy bermuda shorts, so I'm just going to keep telling myself that they wouldn't have had the coral ones in my size anyways.

Purchase #4: $19.99, one of my priciest purchases in a long time :/ but I couldn't pass up on a pair of nicely-fit shorts, when all of my shorts, including Purchase #1 are a little too loose or tight
Purchase #5: $5.00 

While at Rue21, I also saw a mint Eiffel Tower t-shirt for only $5. I needed a mint item for my wardrobe, and I loved the print. I wore it with a skirt that I had brought to pair with the shirt that I wore with Purchase #3, and the new combination looked a whole lot better. 

Now I really couldn't spend anymore, so I watched as my friends shopped. One friend found a pair of Sperrys for only $25 at Famous Footwear, the best deal of the day (that I witnessed).

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Phofest PR

I don't think this is legal.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Crunk In Love: A Beyonce Themed Party

FIFA - Take a Peek Behind the Prep: Behind-The-Scenes with J.Crew

I stepped outside my comfort zone and joined fellow members, who I did not know, of the Futures in Fashion Association on a trip to J.Crew this past Sunday to hear "Very Personal Stylist" Roberta Zelenko talk about how J. Crew at the store level operates, while also giving tips on what to wear during interviews. Before we heard her speak, we were able to shop around the store for a little while. At first, I felt really uncomfortable because I was around clothes I thought I couldn't afford, while the rest of the group got really excited and started browsing right away. I slowly and quietly started looking around and realized "Hey, with an extra 40% off the sale price and my 15% student discount, this is actually a really good deal." I was in desperate need of dress pants, so I focused my attention on those. I tried on a pair of pants that were too big for me, but I was able to find a smaller size in this style for $20.39 (originally $98). It just so happened that the shirt I casually found for $15.29 (originally $49.50) matched perfectly with these pants. Zelenko told us not to wear brown for an interview, but I think a blazer added to this outfit would make it perfect for a business casual dress code.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

How I Got a Victoria's Secret Bikini for Under $20

In preparation for beach week, I window shopped every website's clearance/sale section for swimsuits every chance I had, but none of them had XS tops or bottoms. I've always been jealous of my friends' Victoria's Secret bikinis because they weren't the typical swimsuit design you could get at a department store, but I was never willing to pay the high costs for one of my own. As a result, I never thought of looking at the VS website, but it ended up being the only store with my size. Not only did it have my size, but it had my size at an affordable price! VS had a special promotion during the time when I bought my mix & match bikini: Buy $40 in swim and get free shipping. I was very tempted by this deal, but I ended up saving $20-$30 even with shipping and tax by purchasing these two items for only $15.98: #smartshoppingdoneright

Bandeu Top: $9.99
Double String Bottom: $5.99

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 7th

After having a cocktail at dinner with my friend on the 30th of January, I let my inhibitions down and said "YOLO" to shipping costs and bought this "V-Neck Pullover Sweater" for $8.10, "Hammered Triangle Short Necklace" for $5.00, and "Extreme Push-Up Bra" for $8.00 on Charlotte Russe's online store. My package arrived on Tuesday, the 4th, and naturally, I spent 1-2 hours playing with clothes in my closet in order to find an outfit that worked for my new items. The sweater was a lot looser, yet fitted in the arms, than I thought it would be. To remedy this situation, I accessorized the sweater with a black cami and belt that I got for free last semester through an ASOS Scavenger Hunt on campus. Before this sweater, I had no use for the belt. When playing with my clothes, I also put on the push-up bra. The push-up bra instantly created cleavage, but unfortunately it is a tad big for me, so I did not wear it this past Friday. I did wear a smaller "regular push-up bra," though. Lastly, because the belt had a hint of gold, I paired the necklace with this outfit. This is the same necklace I had been pining for months, and I finally got it because Charlotte Russe is one smart cookie, who leaves things you looked at months ago in your cart. The sweater was also a v-neck, which made pairing the necklace with it an easy choice to cover up my bare neck. I finished off the color scheme with black jeans and one-inch gold heels in an effort to wear heels more and enhance my height. These heels had been sitting in my mom's closet for years before I decided to add them to my wardrobe. The addition of the heels added a subtle touch of sexiness to complete this going-out outfit.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 1st

This outfit is the antithesis of the saying, "When shopping, buy outfits" because for a long while, I didn't know what to wear with this cardigan (Belk, <$15). My mom and I just bought it because it was pretty and at that point, I didn't have many cardigans in my wardrobe. Flash forward at least five years later, my mom gives me the blouse (Belk, <$15) when she visited me in college. At this stage in my life, I rarely take clothes that my mom picks out for me, but I took this one because it was actually from the junior section and not the kid section. I also took it because I didn't own any lace in my closet. However, I just metaphorically threw it in my closet and didn't bring it out until months later. That's when I realized that the front was entirely see-through, so I had to do something about it. At first, I wore it with a pink blazer without a cami underneath, but then I played with all the clothes in my closet to reach this combination. I added the cami and scarf (Winter Break Purchase #3, $5.50, Wet Seal) to complete the winter look i.e. make myself warmer. I also chose to wear this outfit on this day because we were visiting my grandparents' house to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and I was inspired by the flowers traditionally adorning houses in Vietnam during the new year. Albeit, those flowers are pink and yellow, but you get the point.       

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter Break Purchase #2

What: Floral jeans
When: December
Where: JCPenney Outlet
Price: 5-7 dollars (I forgot the exact price)
How: The local JCPenney Outlet was closing, so my sister and I decided to check out the final sales. I went in looking for sweaters but came out with a new pair of jeans.

Comments I received:
"Are those pajama pants?"
"I like your pants."
"I'm feeling them to see what kind of fabric it is because they don't look like jeans."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Leggings as Pants

Yesterday, I tweeted "#teamtooscaredtorevealmybutttowearleggingsaspants," but today I changed my mind because leggings are probably the perfect winter bottom (The real story is it was so cold yesterday that I wore leggings under my jeans and was too lazy to ever take them off). They're perfect because they're so comfortable, and they cling to your legs to keep you warm. I also realized I have assets, so why not show them off? I mean, I can't be single for the rest of my life, right? Because these leggings are 3/4 lengths, I paired them with my long fuzzy socks to keep the rest of my legs warm. I'll also probably wear boots with this outfit because anything else would look weird. For the top, I added two necklaces to make this plain shirt flashier. This outfit has a very different style from the outfit I wore yesterday because it's more close-fitting and cuter. However, this outfit also gets me closer to looking like the common white girl. All I need is a Northface jacket and Uggs to complete this look. Too bad Northface jackets and Uggs are too expensive and mainstream for this blog (I would not be against owning those items if I had the money; I just wouldn't feature them in this blog).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Break Purchase #1

Snowy weather dawned Charlottesville today, which forced me to wear shoes with traction. This is the first time wearing my new rain boots from The Shoe Dept ($16.97, Clearance section; did not plan to buy them at all; saw kids' rain boots on sale first, but they lit up). Having only slept one and half hours, I threw this outfit on with the intention of just keeping warm. I kept it simple with a navy sweater, but added detail with my coat and rain boots. I even mixed patterns, but kept the color scheme the same.