Category Archives: Things I Want

SUMMER RECAP: Fitspiration

Just like last year, I took a break from blogging for a few months – I mean, summer IS the prime season for social events and outdoor activities. But apart from that, it gave me the opportunity to dabble in a side job, reprioritize my life, set aside some much-needed time for myself, and improve some aspects of my lifestyle that I wasn’t satisfied with. But since I can’t recap my entire summer in a single post, I’ve decided to do a series of entries to get all my followers caught up. Enjoy! :)

I think it’s about time I make a confession – something I haven’t been fully honest about to even some of my closest friends. During my senior year of college I was diagnosed with body dysmorphia, brought on by my already existing generalized anxiety disorder and mild obsessive compulsive disorder. 80% of the time, I look in the mirror and see myself anywhere from 20 to 60 lbs heavier. Some nights, I will still spend hours at a time poring over my facial imperfections in photos uploaded on Facebook. It’s only under very rare and specific conditions that I see myself accurately. And when I do, I end up spending the whole night crying.

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With that said, over the past few summer months a friend introduced me to the concept of fitspiration. It became popular after pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia blogs started getting banned from Tumblr. The idea is to see “fitness” as the goal, not “skinny”. Since then, I’ve been eating a lot cleaner, and focusing more on toning. And although the number on the scale has remained the same, I can definitely see the change in my body. Most importantly, I’ve learned that being fit is not a fad that you do temporarily until you’re happy with yourself; it’s an entire lifestyle change.

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Three things I’ve recently added into my regimen are: oatmeal, biking, and light weight training. Every morning for breakfast, I used to have yogurt with granola. And while it’s a fantastic option, it doesn’t fill me up. And because I can’t take a break for a small snack on busy work days, I would always end up overeating during my lunch break. Oatmeal is plenty filling and contains soluble fiber, of which I otherwise don’t get much of throughout the rest of the day. It’s great for your heart and digestive system, and tastes so good with some fruit, walnuts, and a dash of brown sugar! But personally, I prefer the texture of the old-fashioned rolled oats over the all-too-mushy instant oatmeal.

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As for biking, my boyfriend and I go for about 5 or 6 miles every Sunday morning – usually in a local scenic spot like Alley Pond Park or Bayside Marina near Fort Totten. It’s a great addition to our weekly schedule, and it’s so much easier to get motivated to exercise when you have a workout buddy. Unfortunately, my old bicycle that I used to cruise around my college campus with is now a dilapidated mess. Not fit for riding anymore, I’ve been borrowing my brother’s. I plan to invest in a speedy new one in the near future, though. :)

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And last, but not least, is light weight training. It all started when my regular Zumba instructor was out for the whole month of August. The substitute incorporated dumbbells into our dance moves, and you can really feel the resistance and burn in your arms after a few minutes! I was able to score a weight set on Amazon for an amazing deal, so every other night I do a bunch of reps for a more toned upper body. And in the relatively short time I’ve been doing it, I can already see more defined biceps! I really want to keep this up, since it takes more work to get rid of the dreaded “bra bulge”. Wish me luck!
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Reds Never Stay ;_;

Since my post on the Garnier Nutrisse: R3 Light Intense Auburn had become really popular over the past two years, I figured that I’d become a redhead again. Easier said than done. My first attempt with Garnier Nutrisse: #56 Medium Reddish Brown (Sangria) last month resulted in a very dark burgundy brown that only looked red in strong sunlight, and faded almost immediately within 2 or 3 washes. I’m not even going to provide photos; not worth it.

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Thankfully, my second attempt the other week with L’Oreal Féria: R57 Intense Medium Auburn (Cherry Crush) was a bit more successful. Although not as vibrant as I would like, it came out more of a deep mahogany. Again, the color didn’t stay for very long. Now it’s faded to a very warm dark brown with red undertones, getting lighter towards the ends. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

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My new endeavor is to find out how I can manage the dip-dye hair trend at home. Sure, there are plenty of excellent DIY tutorials on YouTube and several of my favorite blogs. But if done wrong, I can seriously look like a ratchet mess. Which is why I’m considering getting it professionally done at a salon come mid-Spring. Here are some photos of Jamie Chung rocking her beautiful ombre locks. I’m still deciding whether I want my gradient to go from black to brown, or brown to blonde. What do you guys think?

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And while we’re on the topic of red, I was invited to a wedding this May and was perusing around the interwebz for a fancy dress. Although a little too formal for the occasion in question, I came across this high-low gown that is definitely drool-worthy! I’m a sucker for bold, contrasting underlay fabric that tastefully peeks through. I can actually imagine myself wearing this while working some Latin ballroom magic of the dance floor. *sigh* It’s a shame that it costs upwards of $300. x_x So my search continues for something less extravagant, but equally as stunning. Until next time! ^.^

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The Bustle Skirt

After seeing the lovely Emilie Autumn perform at Gramercy Theater last Friday, I was inspired by her dark twist on Victorian fashion. Somewhere between Gothic and Burlesque, she and her backup dancers wore beautiful costumes that made the concert seem more like a Broadway musical. While corsets have always had a special place in my heart, I was more fascinated by their modern-day bustle skirts.

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Condensed from Wikipedia:
Bustles were originally designed to expand the fullness of the back of a woman’s dress during the mid-to-late 19th century. Typically a Victorian fashion, the shape created by the combination of a bustle and corset accentuated the rump, waist, and bosom – resulting in highly idealized representations of female sexual identity, simultaneously exaggerating and concealing the body’s figure.

If I owned a bustle skirt, it would render the illusion of my narrow hips looking fuller and my thick waist appearing more slender – even if just for costuming purposes. I’ve always yearned for an hourglass figure, but genetics have proven it impossible for me. Regardless of how much I work out or diet, the rest of me shrinks while my middle stays the same. ;_; (If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend my fellow blogger Christal’s post about apple-shaped bodies.)

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Over the years, the burlesque industry has adapted the once-conservative fashion trend into something more risqué. Instead of being worn under a dress, modern bustle skirts are typically short and worn alone over lingerie. The fabric can range from sheer organza to dupion silk, depending on the quality. Personally, I’m completely in love with this elegant piece from Lovechild Boudoir, appropriately named Lady Lovecraft.

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But as with most things, excellence comes with a price. And I’m not about to spend $100+ on something I may only wear a handful of times. I can definitely see myself frolicking about in one of these at conventions, raves, Halloween parties, and Renaissance Faires.. but I currently have financial priorities. :< Thankfully, there are some cheaper alternatives! Leg Avenue carries a burlesque line of clothing, which includes these adorable striped bustle skirts which go for as low as $14 on Amazon. Flimsy and thin, yes. But practical for the amateur costume enthusiast? Absolutely. :3

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While we’re on the topic of burlesque, I really wish it hadn’t died out as an art form. It emphasized that curvy women are downright gorgeous, and we really don’t get enough of that in the media nowadays. Rarely am I ever impressed by current society’s standard that “anorexic” is “sexy”. In fact, I am awestruck by the beauty of buxom pin-up models like the legendary Dita Von Teese. So much so that last month I purchased this chemise inspired by her iconic look, courtesy of Wicked Temptations.

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Maybe one day I’ll even muster up the courage and confidence to take one of those burlesque classes in the city so often featured on Living Social. ;D

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Interior Decoration by Urban Outfitters

I’m planning to move out of my parents’ house within the next 12 to 18 months. It’s a terrifying concept. Not because I’ll be living on my own; I did that for four years in college. But because I’m blindly jumping into this new experience alone. Most of my friends don’t plan on making the same kind of step for another several years, for some reason or another. And since I’ve had a terrible history of roommates, I would prefer to share a house with the people I already trust and care about. But no one is ready to commit, even though I feel like I’m already prepared. :(

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My boyfriend and I have discussed moving into a modest apartment together, and although I know that would be a more practical option, neither of us know where we’ll be a year from now.  :X It doesn’t stop me from fantasizing about the new place I’ll call home, though. In particular, I’ve been daydreaming a lot about interior decoration. It goes beyond color schemes, and I end up thinking about the fine details. Truth be told, the majority of it was inspired by all the wonderful goodies in the APARTMENT section on the Urban Outfitters website. I didn’t even realize how much they have in stock until I browsed through its entirety the other week! :o

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To be honest, I’ve always associated the crowd that frequents Urban Outfitters with pretentious hipsters. But a lot of the decor on their website is actually practical, all while being trendy. In fact, a lot of their curtains and bedspreads feature simple and quiet patterns. A lot of floral print, too, which I’m obsessed with. Although a lot of what they carry are a bit expensive compared to large department stores like Target, I feel like every piece would bring its own unique presence into a room.

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For example, I came across a pair of salt-and-pepper shakers on the website in the shape of dinosaurs. Completely unnecessary from a minimalist’s point of view, but would definitely bring life and personality into an otherwise plain dining room or kitchen. Same thing for the birdcage shower curtain and whale bathtub mat (which reminds me of Twitter’s “fail whale”) pictured above!

And admit it, nothing says “geek chic” like a chemistry beaker set for your fresh flowers. :P Their Maria Jewelry Box (which I’ve conveniently added to my wishlist) would make organizing a breeze, as well. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I just can’t wait to decorate! I already have several pieces of furniture in my current bedroom that would settle quite nicely in a new space. Speaking of furniture, my friends at Wholesale Furniture Brokers are offering some pretty sweet deals on section sofas. Just check out their website for more information. ;)

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Oh, if only the rent in New York weren’t so expensive. :< I have so many things to save up for before moving out, the first being a car. So I have a long way to go in terms of budgeting before I should be thinking about interior decoration. But a girl can dream, right?
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Iron Fist Clothing

If you’ve ever stepped into a Hot Topic or other alternative fashion store lately, I’m sure you’ve seen a pair of Iron Fist shoes being displayed for sale. They’re pretty hard to miss, as they often feature punk-inspired print and details. Although a lot of them are too loud for me to wear regularly, many of them have just the right amount of feminine edge for my taste. But what I love most about this brand is how fearless and unique each piece is.

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Iron Fist also carries a lot of clothing and accessories, but to be honest I would never purchase them. Their footwear more than makes up for it, though. I was literally scrolling through dozens of pages on Punk.com trying to make up my mind on which pair to get! >.<; Eventually, I decided on their Santeria peep-toe platform pumps – a wonderful black/green/pink floral print that simultaneously reminds me of Kat Von D tattoos and Dia de los Muertos. The lowest price I could find was being offered on Amazon (yay, free shipping!) by Newbury Comics. Surprisingly, it arrived in only three business days. :D

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And you know what? THEY LOOK SO MUCH BETTER IN REAL LIFE. The photos on the website don’t do them justice – the colors are actually much more vivid, and the print looks sharper. The only detail that I would have preferred was if the straps at the front were made of patent material instead of matte elastic.

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And the fit? Since they don’t come in half sizes, I ordered these in a 5. They’re a bit snug, but comfortable to walk in, given the height of the heels. I’m still in the process of breaking them in, but I can’t wait to flaunt these at parties. ;)

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Like my style? Hype it on Lookbook! ~ What You Want

During a quick photoshoot with my boyfriend outside my local church, I paired these lovely shoes with a casual outfit – we were going to a few bars later that night, so I didn’t want to show up overdressed. :P But I feel like the studs on my purse and collar really complete the whole “bad girl” look. ;D What do you guys think, would you rock a pair of Iron Fist heels?

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I used to find it embarrassing..

..when people I knew in real life stumbled upon my blog. (Hence why I rarely promote any of my posts via Facebook.) But recently, a coworker of mine reassured me that it really takes courage to put yourself out there and turn a hobby into something bigger. Especially on the internet, where people like to criticize every single facet of your digital existence. With over 150 subscribers and 320,000 hits, I’d like to think that all the time and work I’ve put into this website must amount to something that I should be proud of, right? So I just want to thank all of my wonderful, supportive readers for sticking with me. <3

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So what have I been up to? (Apart from having way too many unfinished blog posts drafted in my queue, waiting for the right time to be published.) My new iPhone 5 case finally arrived all the way from Toronto – isn’t it adorable?! :D And for those of you wondering what nail polish I’m wearing in the photo above, I used Merino Cool and Set in Stones. Although Essie is pricier than most drugstore brands, they’re worth the extra few bucks. Because as much as I love cheap varnish from New York Color, they don’t prevent the chipping that inevitably comes with all the paperwork I do throughout the week. :<

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Speaking of work, I took the plunge a few weeks ago and bought two pairs of Columnist Pants from Express, since my wardrobe had been slightly lacking in the business casual department. Yes, they were expensive. And because I’m an infamous penny pincher, I was worried that I had made an unnecessary splurge. But I like that the fabric isn’t thin or flimsy – it’s also wrinkle-free so I don’t have to iron them! The fit is better than most dress pants I’ve had. The legs are slightly tapered for that slim look, while still looking professional. They still run a little long and large, though. I ordered them both in a size 4-short, but the waist is a bit loose and the inseams are too long for me to wear flats. But I don’t mind wearing heels every day. ;)

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In other news, I finally gave in and signed up for a gym membership. It would be cliché of me to say that getting in shape was my New Year’s Resolution, but the winter cold got the best of me, so I couldn’t continue my jogging routine. And after taking photos with my friend Mia, I realized just how much weight I had gained over the holidays. :< This was my favorite shot out of the set, though. Click here to hype it on Lookbook! :D

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Although it’s only been a week, I already enjoy it. Going to the gym is convenient and flexible with my work schedule. Whether I’m driving or walking, it’s a very short distance from where I live. And the best part? It’s only two blocks away from my boyfriend’s house. :P Right now, I’ve been sticking exclusively to cardio. But when I’m ready to get toned, I’ll look into weights. I just had my first Zumba class the other night, too! Although it’s not as intense as I was hoping for it to be, it’s still a lot of fun. Since I already have experience in Latin dance, it was easy for me to pick up right away. :)

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And although it may be too early to be thinking about the beach, I hope that with enough determination I could have a bikini body by summer. I’ve already been drooling over pretty swimsuits on ASOS. >.<; Wish me luck! :X

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Trend Alert: Gold Sequin Dresses

I’ve been so busy trying to get myself situated with my new job at the hospital, that I was neglectful to wish you all a Merry Belated Christmas! I spent the 24th, 25th, and 26th with family and food – what about you? :)

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Although I’m too old to still be receiving gifts from my parents every year, I’m so grateful that they still do. :) Knowing that I’ve always wanted to explore the realm of loose leaf teas, I opened a package on Christmas morning that included: a Sophie Conran teapot, a wire mesh tea strainer, a 4 oz. tin of Genmaicha (my favorite Japanese tea), 20 satchets of Peppermint Herbal, and flavor samples from Harney & Sons. :D

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And to celebrate my new salary, I also bought myself a little gift. ;) Working girls deserve nice purses, so I didn’t hesitate at all when I found this Betsey Johnson satchel at Burlington Coat Factory. Even though the retail price was around $110, I was able to score it for only $50. The color reminds me of plum wine, and the juxtaposition of studs and ruffles was practically screaming my name. :P Since I found it hidden on a shelf under a pile of ugly bags, I can only assume another shopper was going to come back for it. Sorry! >.<;

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I’ve also decided to buy the new iPhone 5, along with this adorable tokidoki case from GelaSkins, in the upcoming week. Because I’m diagnosed with hyperhidrosis of the hands, the responsiveness of my current phone’s touch screen has been getting worse and worse. In comparison, my iPod touch is still in perfect shape. I can only assume the technology behind Apple’s touch screens are more suited to people with a condition like mine. :< I’m excited to finally join the ranks of iPhone users, though.

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Anyway, on to the real content of my post – gold sequin dresses. When done right, they exude glitz and glamour. And with New Year’s Eve being tomorrow night, it’s no wonder that this trend has been a huge hit lately. In this case, spending the extra money for quality counts. You wouldn’t believe how many sequined items of clothing I’ve tried on over the past few months, only to have some of the details fall off in the dressing room. :(  The two dresses pictured above are from PacSun, and the two pictured below are from ASOS.

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If you have a special event coming up, and are willing to splurge on looking like a diva for the night, you will definitely turn heads with a gold sequin dress. Personally, I can think of many more worthwhile things I can spend $100 on, so I’m waiting for one of these to go on sale so I can hopefully have one in my closet by the next time someone invites me to something fancy. ;)

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Speaking of gold, my boyfriend’s mother gave me the most beautiful shade of Clinique Long Last Soft Shine lipstick that contains finely milled gold shimmer. :) Appropriately named All Heart, it’s a warm rose shade. Although my camera shouldn’t capture the tiny gold flecks, it has a subtle sparkle in the sunlight. A perfect match for my New Year’s Eve outfit. ;) The best part? It moisturizes like a tinted lip balm without the sheerness of one! I’ll definitely consider buying another tube in a different shade when I run out. Until next time! ^.^

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