Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all of my American readers a Happy Thanksgiving. I wish for you a belly full of good food, a warm home, and most of all, that you are in arm's reach of the ones you love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Keeping it real: finding my voice in blogging

Throughout most of college and in some of my work experiences, I've spent a lot of time writing news and pr-related pieces. It worked well for my analytical, observer personality -- I'm not shy, but a wallflower often by choice. Some of my past writing was based in unbiased, dispassionate stone-cold facts; some of it, on the public relations side, was based on other people's quotes and events. But with the clamor of all these voices wanting to be heard through ink and online, the hardest voice to find in it all was my own.

Writing this blog has been one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences I've ever had. I started it shortly after my undergraduate years so that I could still have a place to experiment with my personal writing and style. I had done opinion writing before, at school and at internships, but never really focused on what I, singular little me, thought.

It has not been easy. As much as I have written about photography advice, perhaps the hardest part of blogging for me is how to do reflective, personal writing. I have struggled with what I've wanted this blog to become, and I oscillate on what features to keep doing, what parts of my personality I want to funnel through. Can I be funny? Serious? Is this too weird/awkward/vain/morose to talk about? Should I consider using this as a career-building vehicle? How much of my life do I share and how much of it should be kept under wraps? These are things I think about every day when I write.

I know this is primarily a style blog, but I find personal writing inextricably linked to it. For me, it's impossible to write about my clothes without examining the life lived in them. As much as I sometimes would rather have the photos speak for themselves, I know that doing so, on a personal level, is allowing my fear of public speaking to come through.

Why am I writing this? I guess this is meant to be a thank you to all of you, for continuing to read this blog through the changes I've put it through over the last several months, through tone and aesthetics.

Sometimes it is easier for me to go back into observer mode and clam up whenever I blog. I still daily struggle with what my writing voice is, but I know that the practice of continued writing is further chipping away the banalities and trepidations and getting closer to me being more genuine. I don't really plan on anything new and shiny to add yet to this blog, except for the promise of trying to be more comfortable with sharing my voice here in this space.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lately: ... Must come down

If last week was all about looking up, this week's photography is more grounded, keeping in mind the little details that are often underfoot and overlooked. What stories are left behind in the ground, the road, the park bench?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Featured: IFB's Links a la Mode


Friday, November 18, 2011


It's been a while since I've done some outtake photos on the blog, partly because sometimes I can't bear looking at the photos for too long without howling in laughter. But I suppose this is all a part of the photography learning process, and knowing that every shot can't be perfect every time. 

 But I have found some themes in my photography, and realized that I have become quite good at some things. Like reacting whenever Jeremiah calls me a name featured prominently on a street sign behind me: 

And I've perfected the People-are-coming-down-the-path-now-I'm-pretending-none-of-this-is-happening pose; 

As well as the I-just-ruined-the-photo-with-my-eyes maneuver;

And sometimes I lose my head in the midst of it all. I lose my head a lot in photography;  

And I don't even know where to start with this one. 

Have a good weekend!

My own little Walden Pond

 Dress: Spense; Shoes Minnetonka; Blouse: Chaps;
 Scarf: H&M; Bracelet: from Destin, gift.

In the last couple days, I've spent more time in front of statistical software and spreadsheets than I have ever done in my life. Any chance outside and away from a computer is a welcome reprieve.

I'll be heading out of town soon for the holidays, and I'll be missing my dock. I've come to this spot so many times in the last year, it's hard to believe that I don't own this part of the park -- I suppose I've had such a sentimental attachment to the place that I've claimed ownership in my mind. I know that when I come back, most of the leaves will be gone, and winter's hush will soon take over...

Hope you all have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Down by the water, down by the old main drag

how do i make a gif

This little gif was made from some leftover photos from my trip to Destin this past summer. I reveled being so close to the surf every single day, and cannot wait until my travels bring me close to the ocean again really soon ...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time change woes: How to take outfit photos in the wintertime

(Photo from this outfit post)

If you are anything like me, last week's time change to rewind the clocks back an hour has been a disorienting, lagging experience as the sun sets quickly in the early evenings. If you're a style blogger (and one who does outdoor photography, especially), then this can be problematic issue in the wintertime, as it messes up the amount of time in the after-work hours to take photos. 

As I've been gearing up for doing photography during chilly temperatures, I've been revisiting some old tips on how to do outfit photos in the wintertime:

- Early to bed, early to rise. For those of you who live in regions that are affected by the time change, you may have noticed that there is now more daylight time in the mornings. Make the most of that daylight time by setting your alarm and taking your photos before work or school. You may surprise yourself in realizing how efficient it is to take photos before the day wears you and your outfit out, and who knows, you might like going to locations early in the morning too.  

- Crank up your ISO settings: If you decide to take photos in the evening, you may want to tinker with your ISO settings. ISO allows you to measure how sensitive your camera is to light, and many cameras will allow you to adjust your settings manually. A higher ISO number is better for situations where there isn't much light -- like around dusk. 

- Be flexible with your schedule: Maybe you're an extremely busy person and there just isn't time to take photos with the way your schedule is now. If there's any chance you can adjust your schedule for photography, perhaps you push around your work hours to get in some good photography time. Or perhaps you can find a few quick minutes -- be it lunch time or  a break -- to snap a few photos. It's all about finding opportunities of free moments that work well for you.

- If all else fails, go indoors: Sometimes photos just aren't going to happen outside, because of time or inclement weather. If that happens, you can always find a little spot in your home where you'd like to photograph your outfits. 

If you are a style blogger or photographer, how do you deal with time change in your photography? 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lately: What goes up ...

In keeping up with trying to find new perspectives in my photography, I've pointed my lens skyward. From revisiting the design of lampposts to chapel bells, as well as to old and new architecture, the freshness of new vantage points has me constantly looking up and ever hopeful for the next shot.

Hey there, Little Red Riding Hood

 Dress, belt, boots: Loft; Tights: Vera Wang; Sweater: American Eagle. 

I've had this dress for years, but I haven't put it into constant rotation until now. Something about the dark colors and flouncy skirt just epitomizes romanticism and autumn for me. I got a little haircut trim this past weekend, and so now the bangs are back.

Sort of related to my title: Have you all caught the shows "Grimm" and "Once Upon a Time"? I've always been into revisionist fairytales and so these shows seem to fit the bill creatively. It took me a couple episodes to get into "Once Upon a Time," but I'm really enjoying the plot details (and reading the show's forum on Television Without Pity), and I like all the hidden easter egg details within the scenery (like the apples at the mayor's house). Not so sure about "Grimm" yet, as I feel the character development fell a little flat in the pilot, but I thought the use of the Eurhythmics' "Sweet Dreams" during the woods sequence was genius.

What television or movies are you enjoying this fall? (I'm also quickly getting into "Hell on Wheels" -- I love American railroad history). 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remixed: Black striped sweater

It's been awhile since I've done a "remixed" post, but because I am committed to not shopping for new clothing since school has started, I'm trying to juice up my creativity with items already in the closet. Breton stripes and striped sweaters have become ubiquitous in the fashion blogging world, perhaps because of those associations with being so French (as if an entire culture could be summated in one article of clothing).  Despite the stripes' oversaturation, I do love pairing my sweater with dresses made of lighter fabrics, so that it helps transition them for colder temperatures.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Reader discount code: eShakti

eShakti has kindly extended its coupon code for Sidewalk Chic readers. From now until 12/31/11, use "SIDEWALK0811" and receive $20 off on your next purchase -- just in time for those holiday parties coming up!

Read my original review of the dress above here.

Come, you creatures of comfort

Dress: J. Crew; Moccasins: Minnetonka, gift; 
T-shirt: from the Grand Canyon, originally from my dad; 
Jacket: Aeropostale, thrifted; Necklace: Forever 21.

Back when I did the 30x30 remix challenge a while ago, I included almost all of these clothing items but never came up with this combination. I am glad that a year later, I've still held onto them: my Grand Canyon tee, a worn but beloved shirt that once belonged to my late father; my Minnetonka moccasins, which came as a gift from my grandmother; and my paisley dress, which started out as a difficult item to wear but has since become a style mainstay in my closet (the links include the back stories to each piece). Clothing is never simple -- what we wear can go beyond the mere aesthetics and be an indicator of everything from class to personal creativity. For me, though, it can be purely about the sentimental: clothes don't merely remind me of home; they are home.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The red and the black

Sweater: Target; Dress: Loft; Shoes: Clarks; Bracelet: Thrifted, vintage.

I'm not exactly sure why I've never paired these two black/white items together before, considering I'm such a black/red/white lover, but I'll be sure to do it again. I'm trying to find more ways to wear my floral dresses into winter, and bringing in knits and tights may be just the way to do it.

So I may be slammed with school for the next few days -- if I don't respond to emails right away, it's because my pile of homework found a way to swallow me whole...

On the bright side, roughly eight more days until Thanksgiving break starts!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How quickly the glamour fades

Dress: Sangria; Sweater, boots: Loft; Necklace: BR, gift from ML.

Taking photos in the mornings is one my favorite pleasures in life. This morning the lake was clear, the birds (egrets and owls and ducks) were out, and everything just felt so peaceful -- something I've been needing for a while in the midst of school and work.
Maybe it's the changing season and spending too many hours watching the leaves fall, but I'm thinking I need to lose a few layers as well -- of my hair, that is. I'm debating how short to go, but I think bangs are definitely in my future ...
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