Midnight Mischief

by Valerie on Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It’s not breaking and entering if there are no doors.

polar opposites dress – selfmade
evenstar necklace – eBay
studded bangle – selfmade
silver rings – gifts from Loraine
beaded clutch – vintage
platforms – Pierre Hardy for Gap

My Precious

by Valerie on Friday, May 21, 2010

Three awesome new additions to my jewelry box:
1. The leaves of Lorien
2. Arwen’s evenstar necklace
3. Gandolf’s brooch

These are so fun! I can see the brooches as a quirky touch to my everyday twee outfits on colorful cardigan sweaters. Arwen’s delicate necklace would pair well with soft chiffon maxi dresses with low necklines or even a sheer Edwardian blouse with long, billowy sleeves.

This Slytherin locket was originally what I was searching for when I discovered the LOTR costume jewelry—keyword spamming is not such a terrible thing after all. Since forever ago, I’ve been wanting a long antique gold necklace with a gigantic pendant to top my simple sundresses with. And because everyday is a summer day on Guam, I wear A LOT of sundresses. Which is to say, I’d wear the necklace a lot. So I wanted it to be special and kind of esoteric and a Slytherin locket seemed like the best bet. Problem is, it’s nowhere to be found! Well, at least not the version pictured above. I’ve searched the ends of the internet—every crevice in eBay, etsy and google—and the only thing that comes close is this locket from The Noble Collection:

Bummer it’s in metal :/ I have to admit how much I love that they included Regulus Black’s letter to Voldemort though. Even if it does seem a little gimmicky.

Since we’re on horcruxes though, how’s this for Marvolo Gaunt’s ring?

Except I imagine it to be encased in tarnished gold. I like how a gem, something that’s normally meant to be elegant and polished, can also be as raw and imperfect as this one.

On a side note, my big brother is a bona fide Harry Potter haterader. I can already hear him snickering under his breath all the way from Gainesville at the idea of a post even remotely relating to HP. So as a preemptive move against his backhanded remarks, I just wanna say—go do some calculus, or physics, or how about reverse engineering YOUR SKINNY BUTT, smarty pants!

Ahem, now where were we? Right, so while I’m still on the hunt for a horcrux (get it? get it? ha ha. I can be so lame), these *hunches forward and taps fingers together in an all-conspiring gesture* preciouses will suit me just dandy.

mustard cardigan – vintage
Leaves of Lorien brooch – eBay
ascot top – Zara
polka dot skirt – thrifted (no label)
mary janes – Nine West

All Aboard

by Valerie on Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I kept my outfit neutral, wanting the make-up to emphasize all the color. But it wasn’t applied dramatically enough to show through the camera and instead ended up looking like I was crying all night. Oh well.

I like the way red and green look together; they are complementary. But for some people, it looks too much like Christmas. What do you think—hit or miss?

I made this basic striped shift dress for me, but ended up liking the fit so much that it’s now a new addition to the shop.

I ordered these shoes for two reasons: 1. because Keds never go out of style, and 2. to enter the Chictopia/Keds contest. But they arrived one day shy of deadline. Damn it.

I bent down and yelled Hello! into one of those hollow poles behind me. But it didn’t say anything back.

military jacket – Ralph Lauren (borrowed from my boyfriend’s closet)
silver rings – gifts from Loraine
studded bangle – self-made
striped mini – Neneee (self-made)
shoes – Keds

Weekend Recipe: Fresh Lumpia

by Valerie on Sunday, May 16, 2010

Today I’ll show you how to make one of my favorite staple foods. Fresh lumpia comes in different varieties. There’s the minty Thai version, the light Filipino version, but my absolute favorite is the delicious Vietnamese version. I like to have this right after a good run because it’s heavy in refined carbs, but also has some lean protein and healthy fats thrown in for good measure. It’s just what your body needs to replenish those glycogen stores.

(makes 4 servings)

for lumpia:
8 large dry rice papers (or 16 small ones)
2 cups rice noodles (boiled and strained)
4 pieces romaine lettuce
1 cup bean sprouts
2 pork chops (vegetarians can substitute with tofu [I’m looking at you, TOOTS!])
12 pieces cocktail shrimp
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup hot water

for dipping sauce:
peanut butter
club soda

To prepare the ingredients first rinse your veggies. Cook rice noodles to the recommended time on its package and strain. Slice and salt pork to taste and steam; trim the fat. Then butterfly your shrimp all the way in half.

Add hot water and sesame oil in a deep-ish plate. Dip rice paper for about 5 seconds on each side making sure all ends are covered in the mixture; try not to soak the wrapper for too long ’cause it’ll soften as you add the filling. Lay it out on a flat surface like a cutting board or in this case, a sushi roller. *Note: I’m using 2 small overlapping pieces of rice paper. You can also use 1 large piece instead—it’s actually easier—but our grocery store was sold out.

Now, about 2 inches from the end of your wrapper, layer your lettuce, rice noodles, bean sprouts, pork, and more rice noodles in that order. Try not to overload on ingredients because it might make the wrapping part a toughie. Fold the 2 inch excess wrapper tautly over ingredients, then do the same for each side. Roll once.

Then lay 2-3 pieces of shrimp orange side up just above the wrapped portion and roll ’til the end. Done. You can repeat the same process for as many pieces of lumpia you like.

For the sauce, I didn’t make any precise measurements, but instead mixed just about equal parts hoisin and peanut butter (maybe a little more peanut butter, I love peanut butter!). With club soda, I diluted the mixture until it reached the consistency of a creamy salad dressing like Ranch. I’m pretty sure restaurants use 7-up, but didn’t want to add any unnecessary sugar to an already sweet mixture.

Serve immediately and enjoy ^_^ om nom nom!

Puzzle Pieces

by Valerie on Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How cool is it to find the ultimate present for your mom in the toy department? She can spend months on end assembling her 10,000 count jigsaw puzzle, admire its completion for five minutes, then take it all apart and toss every piece back in their box like it isn’t anything. WTH. If you want to know where I inherit my OCD tendencies from… Thanks, Mom!

One time, Francis and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle together. This was a very long time ago—when our metabolism was more forgiving and we were still easily upset by things beyond our control. When he would wait for me to clock out at the corner of the bar, meanwhile slipping little haiku’s written on the back of beer labels or prose on paper towels into my jacket pocket whenever I served him his next round. Still very restless after hours, I’d hijack borrow a bottle of Black Label from inventory and a liter of Coke and with that, we’d plop down on my back yard and talk about absolutely nothing.

What I remember him saying was, “Did you know Courtney Love used to be a stripper on Guam?” and I said, “Ah, you read Spin, too?” And there was something familiar in somebody whom I didn’t have much in common with. Like feeling at home in a foreign country; that’s how I wanted to get people, how I wanted to be gotten. Even if we both felt a little smug in our knowledge of the most random useless information. Blame it on adolescent arrogance if you will.

Another time brought us well into sunrise. We took a drive to 7-11 in my beat down piece-of-crap ’92 Jeep Grand Cherokee for the largest cup of butter toffee coffee ’cause it was too late (or technically, early) to fall asleep and the chemical that tells your brain to wake up when sunlight dilates your pupils had already kicked in. We found ourselves crashed out on my bed by afternoon only to wake up still dressed in the previous night’s attire with bloody bad breath and boogers in our eyes and no weird feelings about sleeping together without ever actually, you know, sleeping together.

“Sorry I left without saying bye. You were still asleep and I needed to take a dump. I’ve been thinking about you all day though; I even thought about you in the crapper,” he said. A regular Casanova.

The things I come away with from those days—a dozen crinkled Bounty sheets, a magazine subscription circa 2004, a completed jigsaw puzzle—sentimental reminders of a time during courtship and carelessness. At first glance they don’t amount to much, but there’s something to be said about that. Something The Sunday Best said well, best when he quoted so-and-so (I forget who) in defense of fashion, “‘You can’t have depth without a surface.'”

straw boater hat – eBay
pink jabot top – reconstructed Kamiseta
denim shortalls – thrifted Calvin Klein
bag – Jill Stuart
mint sandals – Ecote

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