Wednesday, March 30, 2011

color me neon

hello cherry amours! apologies for my absence - i spent the last week exploring cape town, south africa with my dear friend, julie goodness (1/2 of the megafauna t-shirt team). i was hoping to pick up some style and design things to share with you guys while abroad. to my great surprise and excitement, i found a british style magazine touting just the fashions that i had previously planned to write about anyway. hooray!

so let's talk about color. this conversation could go in many directions - color combinations, color palettes, shades, etc. specifically, i want to talk about neon colors, for two reasons: 1) neons are my favorite color group, and 2) they are the new colors for spring/summer 2011, by my research.

i feel like a lot of people shy away from neon colors because they feel like neons don't compliment their skin tone. it's absolutely true that neons should be approached with caution, lest you look like a madonna-ripoff. if you are neon-shy, i would suggest starting with some neon nail polish, like these from milani cosmetics (found at target, CVS, etc):
NEON specialty nail lacquer
Photo from
currently, i have neon yellow and neon pink. i've found that many of the neon colors, for some reason, chip easily, so you might consider pairing them with a no-chip top coat. neon nails are a safe starter, and they look GREAT with a healthy summer tan.

if you're a bit more bold, you might consider this neon sports bra from target - i have it in pink, and i'm highly considering the orange as well.

while not exactly for the under-funded, american apparel has a fair amount of neon colored stuff - awhile back i got my first piece of neon clothing from them, the jersey bandeau tie-it-a-million-ways dress in "coral" (though i like to think of it more as "radical red"). when it comes to neon clothes, i like to think of it as a treasure hunt, trying to find the best and brightest pieces wherever i go. let me know if you find anything you love in neon!

and lastly, my double dog dare to you (and myself!) is neon colored lipstick. i haven't tried it yet, so i don't have a ton of suggestions, but the best place to start would probably be with corals (if you have light brown hair, fairer complexion), fuschias (if you're darker, like me), or pinks (which pretty much look good on everyone). start at your drugstore, that way if you don't like it, you only spent $5. with neon lipsticks, downplay everything else (make-up and outfit). i'm going to start with something like this...

Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick Fuchsia 3847-30 or this...CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick, Spellbound 325, .12 oz

and work my way up from there....

good luck! have a bright and colorful day!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

anywhere but here monday

it's absolutely freezing in dc on this sad, sad monday morning (unlike other places, like, say south africa!!!), and i'm feeling some serious wanderlust. although i have a rotating mental list a mile long of places i'd like to go, um, now, iceland is always in the top three. i'm either one-eighth or one-sixteenth icelandic (i forget), a heritage i'm super proud of (one time in undergrad i had an assignment that involved heritage, and when i told my professor that i was icelandic he said "of course you are!" it was awesome). iceland seems breathtakingly beautiful, don't you think? and if that isn't enough, it also has a 99% literacy rate. so it's mysterious, wild, and well-read. sold.
inspired by iceland video from here

fun fact: this song by emiliana torrini is my very. favorite. song. ever.

cheers, loves

Monday, March 21, 2011

spring chicken

whoa - with kathayoon gone to africa (lucky lucky duck!) i guess the blogging responsibilities have fallen to me. sorry i've been gone so much... grad school will get ya, it turns out. but today i have a new idea to run by you. did you ever play with barbies growing up? i was never much of a barbie girl myself. most of my barbie memories involve our rabbit, sadie joyce, ripping their hair out to make nests. i also vaguely remembering assembling them into a small community before stopping all over them a la godzilla. in fact, does anyone have barbie memories that aren't gruesome? or that might just be me. anyway, i digress. the point is, one of the few things i remember actually liking about barbie were all of the different jobs she did. pet doctor barbie!* doctor barbie! research scientist barbie! i admired her ability to try on so many different hats. actually, maybe that's not a good metaphor. i admired... her ability to explore so many different career options. i also admired her ability to walk, given her proportions and all.

so. here is my idea. remember my post about artist supplies? i had a really good time putting that together, and i think the reason was because it allowed me to be a little bit - deep breath - like artist barbie. so i think i'll make this a regular thing. and today being the first day of spring and all, i've decided to take the plunge. behold... chicken farmer barbie.**

keeping chickens by ashley english; barnheart shirt by jenna woginrich of cold antler farm (the original barnheart!); swedish flower hens from greenfire farms; beater jeans from your bottom drawer; heirloom seeds from terrain; tall hunter boots in merlot. oh hunter boots: when oh when will you be mine?

what are your fantasy careers?***

*veterinarian barbie was a little much, i guess.
**i need to come up with a better name for this feature. thoughts?
***that sounds a little racy... but you know what? bring it on.

Friday, March 18, 2011

let the good times roll

in a few hours, i'll be south africa-bound, on a journey to the other side of the earth. but before i leave, i wanted to leave you with a little something i love.

a lot of my friends don't think a lot about perfume, and that's totally logical. it's expensive, it can be a bit frivolous, and there's a high risk you might end up reeking of chanel no. 5 like your grandmother. but i am here to propose a solution, and a rationale. first, the rationale.

a few years ago, i found a sweatshirt in the back of my car. it could have belonged to any one of my friends, it was cute and small. so it sat and sat and no one claimed it. one day when i was cleaning out my trunk, i took it out. after examining it and failing to determine the owner, i gave it a quick sniff. i knew instantly who it belonged to - it smelled like her perfume. from that point on, i because obsessed with having a signature scent. something lovely that people smell and say, "that smells like kat!"

but finding a signature scent is not a job to be taken lightly. i had a lot of perfume - one of my best friends had a stint working at the perfume counter at macy's - but none of them seemed signature-worthy. then, i went to sephora and happened upon these:
Juicy Couture Eau de Parfum Roll-On
Photo courtesy of Sephora
rollerball perfume! at less than $20 a pop, these are amazing. i bought this juicy couture one to try out the scent and voila! fell in love. i now own the Real Thing, but i keep this rollerball in my purse at all times, for travel or touch-ups (though i'm not really enough of a grown-up to remember to touch up my perfume yet. some day...).

so if you're keen on smelling like lovely things, but don't want to commit to a $100 bottle of perfume, try these little buddies. just roll them over the insides of your wrist and neck, and you're set to go! highly recommend.

adieu, my cherry amours! i'll be back in a week with some cape town styles...bisoux!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

honey, we have guests

i would like to present to you our very first guest post from san diego native katie hawkes, author of the world is delicious. after reading our charismatic megafauna post, she decided to write up some of her favorite things for our blog. according to katie, "some of [these things] are super cheap, some less so, but when i think about spending money i always ask myself: how many times will i use this, and if i paid a penny/a dime/some other reasonably tiny sum every time i used it, would it be worth it?  and all of these things TOTALLY are."

thanks, katie! and without further adieu, here is her list...

coconut milk. 

it's kind of weird and a lot of people don't use it because they don't know what to do with it, but here are some high points: 
1. it's vegan, if you're into that; 
2. it's freakin delicious; 
3. it can swing either sweet or savory, a rare and phenomenal bi-gustatory quality. and 4. if you're trying to impress people (and even when you're not), it makes ordinary things extraordinary. here is a list of ordinary things that are incredible with coconut milk in them:
rice (substitute for some of the water when you cook it)
oatmeal (also substitute for some of the water)
pancakes (substitute for some of the water, and then for even MORE awesomeness add chopped fruit, like apple or banana or pretty much anything)
mashed sweet potatoes (add while mashing, toss in some cinnamon/ginger and honey/brown sugar and butter - HELL YES)
any kind of sweet squash (butternut, pumpkin, etc)
soup (especially chicken broth-based ones, and ones that involve citrus ingredients)
substitute for the liquid in anything you bake (eg. banana bread)
curry (just add ready-made curry paste)
any kind of smoothie or shake (+ rum = pina colada time!)
cook/marinade chicken or any kind of seafood in it, +lime = awesome.
guava paste.  

i don't know if this is available in all grocery stores, but since i found it in a generic connecticut grocery store where you ask for quinoa and get nothing but quizzical looks, you might be surprised. it's probably in the hispanic foods section. it is mad cheap usually, like less than a dollar. AND IT IS DELICIOUS. It's kind of like solid guava jam. you slice it. it's good with cheese and crackers, melted with any kind of dessert, with cream cheese in puff pastry, and it can also add an interesting sweet/tropical note to savory things, like chicken or pork recipes. it's another one of those things that is not actually that special if you think about it (or if you're from a tropical country), but no one's ever heard of it here in the US and pretty much any use of it (even sliced and slapped onto some random hors d'oeuvre) will immediately impress people with your worldliness and culinary savoir faire. WIN.

powdered buttermilk.  

it can be found in the baking aisle usually - you may (like me) have never actually noticed it, but it's not uncommon. originally i got this from [my friend] julie, who changed my life with the pancake recipe on the side of the canister, and whose mom gave me some as a present, but then i realized that you can add it to pretty much everything you bake, and it makes things at least 70% moister/more awesome. things i've added it to include not only pancakes but also cornbread, banana bread, and various cakes and cupcakes. the internets have great ideas for stuff to do with it. just get some and see where fate leads you. your life will be better. seriously.
pure beech jersey knit sheets 
Pure Beech® Jersey Knit Sheet Set
image from bed bath & beyond
according to BB&B, "these unique sheets are made from a modal™ blend, which is a high-strength fiber regenerated from the beechwood tree of europe. the result is a fabric that is extremely soft and light as silk."   although they're a little on the pricey side, at least for me ($50 for a set of full sheets/pillowcases), they are SO WORTH IT.  and if you're super poor, like me, you really only need one set, haha. they're even softer than flannel, and much lighter.  basically if you like going to sleep at night embraced by fluffy clouds and rainbows and happiness, these are for you. CAUTION: purchase with care. if you acquire these, you may never want to get out of bed again. ever. it can be problematic.

so, REI is basically one of my favorite things in life. although known by many as the Really Expensive Item store (which, okay, it is), it gets a bad rap, and i want to clear things up. if you are at all into stuff that might even tangentially be called "outdoors-y," it is THE place to get things. here is why: 
(1). if you need a general class of thing (like hiking boots, or a backpack, or a flashlight, or a coffee mug) but are kind of clueless about what precisely will most enrich your life, the salespeople know EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING and will hang out with you for a like a million years and listen to all your needs and concerns and existential quandaries, and then recommend exactly what you need, and then (if necessary) fit you for it and make sure it's exactly right. they have no incentive to send you home with something that's not right for you because 
(2) you can return EVERYTHING. ANYTIME. after ANY AMOUNT OF TIME. and if you're a member ($20 for a lifetime membership), you don't even have to keep receipts to get a full refund or exchange. so basically once you buy something there, you have it FOREVER. oh, and i've never tried it, but i've heard that if you buy something there and lose it (and you're either a member or have the receipt), they'll give you a mad discount on a new one.  
(3) you can rent some things for really reasonable rates, like rock-climbing gear, or bike stuff, or a whole slew of things. you know, if you're just trying something out and don't want to invest in the equipment quite yet.  And lastly, 
(4) stuff is expensive, but the key is being an expert stalker (which, come on, you probably already are. right now you're reading a style blog and you probably checked facebook within the last ten minutes. who are we kidding). things go on sale all the time. there is an outlet ( which periodically has coupons (eg. extra 20% off one item), and members not only get a 10% dividend on anything they buy full-price, but there is usually a once- or twice-yearly member coupon for some percent off a full-price item.  in sum, there is rarely a reason to buy anything full-price. in the last year i have worked at a zoo and a national park, and on any given day at either of these jobs i was wearing at least 90% REI stuff. 

and that's katie's list! if you have a list you would like to submit, or even just an idea, or one single thing, send us a comment!

happy tuesday!

Monday, March 14, 2011


i find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. i do not judge the universe. 
-dalai lama

dearest cherry amours, i hope you and everyone you love are safe. it's a small world, after all. cheers, loves. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

charismatic megafauna

today i would like to write about something very near and dear to my heart:

other people giving me presents.

a few months ago, i opened my mailbox to find a package full of the most amazing shirts i have ever seen. these shirts were made by my dear roommate julie goodness, and our former next door neighbor andy melien. andy had been talking about making these shirts for awhile, but i never imagined they'd end up so glorious. i wear my shirts with pride and get envious looks every time i do. let's look at some pictures of pretty people modeling these shirts...

here are some pictures of the shirt-making process...

one of those is probably mine! as you can probably tell, they've gone global. in my neck of the woods, i've been sporting these four designs:

the neon pink color of this one is absolutely my favorite, plus it has an elephant (ancestor) on it.

i also really like that one because the silver is kind of sparkling against the navy blue.

but that one is probably my favorite, for the awesomeness factor. (did you know that spell checker will get you for sparkly, but not for awesomeness?).

anyway, these shirts are great. mine are super comfortable and perfectly fitted, even with a tank top on underneath (for added length). andy screens them himself, which makes them roughly 10,000 times better than anything you could get in stores. if you are desiring some of these for your own, andy says he is going to post them on etsy in the coming months. rest assured that i will forward that etsy shop onto you when he does.

happy tuesday!

Monday, March 7, 2011

a little tide over

i'm waiting on a couple things before i make my next post, which will be very cool and special because it's about something you're never seen before (unless you're one of the three people that owns this mysterious thing)!

in the meantime, i stumbled across this jacket on modcloth (when procrastinating) tonight:
Yellow-So-Cute Coat
Photo courtesy of ModCloth

one of my least favorite things about spring fashion is all the pastels that suddenly show up. vintage, dusty pastels are pretty. easter pastels are not. at least, not on me. they look good on people with fairer complexions, which again, is not me. so i've been on the hunt for bright spring pieces. i recently purchased this cardigan in green thumb, and love it. 

i'm back and forth on this one though - worth it? what do you think? must-have, or skippable?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

ebert says you can draw, and so do i

many of you probably already know how admiring i am of roger ebert. he's part of the reason i'm at grad school - i fell in love with criticism through watching his show as a kid (how that translated to literature is a different question for a different day). i read all of his reviews as well as his blog, and i was recently touched and inspired by a post called you can draw, and probably better than i can. "everyone can draw until we are told or convince ourselves that we cannot," he writes. we start out drawing everything we can see until the day comes when it is pointed out that our drawing of a dog, for instance, looks nothing like a dog. Then we begin to believe we cannot draw." his point isn't that we can all draw realistically and accurately, but that that needn't be the goal. instead, here is what he suggests:

begin with a proper sketch book. finish each drawing you begin, and keep every drawing you finish. no erasing, no ripping out a page, no covering a page with angry scribbles. what you draw is an invaluable and unique representation of how you saw at that moment in that place according to your abilities. that's all we want. we already know what a dog looks like.

i find this incredibly inspiring and have been thinking about it a lot over the past few days. i love to draw (although i lack any and all representational abilities), and i should do it more. on the hunch that maybe you do, too, i've gathered us some supplies.

1. artist's scarf. because cold necks stifle creativity
2. derwent graphic pencils
3. pencil pouch
4. moleskine sketchbook
5. (french) seagull tote for carting your supplies to all of the lovely and interesting places you want to draw
6. Inspiration by the immortal quentin blake (plus klutz books!)
7. watercolor sketchbook kit for when you're feeling especially inspired

go forth and create (and leave the eraser at home). cheers, loves.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

a totally non-academic reading list

whoa, folks. it's gotten busy around here (i can't speak for kat, of course, but i bet it's busy in palo alto, too). between papers, presentations, an unfortunately timed cold, and two upcoming conferences, i'm barely managing to do the reading for my classes. i certainly haven't been diving into any of the following, all of which have been on my list for a long time. le sigh. read them for me and tell me how they are, ok?

*packing for mars by the insanely wonderful mary roach.
*the botany of desire by the also crazily wonderful michael pollan
*i know i am, but what are you? by samantha bee (of the daily show)
*the bucolic plague by john kilmer purcell.

*note: all links provided by powells. support independently owned businesses!
*second note: for mary roach's daily show interview, go here. and be advised: this is probably my favorite thing ever.

cheers, loves.