April 22, 2016

The List: March 2016

I stole this survey from In Style's March 2016 magazine and likely will lift more in the coming months. I was the kind of person who reposted a survey in a bulletin every day back when MySpace was a thing. This is a kind of 2016 version of that.

Obviously, I'm in no way sponsored by In Style or anyone else for that matter. Sponsorships I would like though: Kraft Singles (I will promote THE FUCK out of you as the sole cheese that should ever be used in a grilled cheese, period), my second home TJ Maxx/Nordstrom Rack or the entire state of New Jersey. HMU.

West Elm book shelf bookcase nook styled
Major Splurge
West Elm's Nook Bookcases

Favorite Flowers
Peonies and hydragenas

YSL Rouge Volupte Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick in #3
Always in my Bag
YSL Rouge Volupte Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick in #3

Palazzo Vechietti Florence Italy hotel room memorable
Most Memorable Hotel
Palazzo Vechietti in Florence, Italy
This was not even a question that took any thought for me because I wanted to put down roots right in the hotel room. I could have become the Eloise of the Palazzo Vechietti.
My needs are few: Food (McDonald's chicken nuggets), Shelter (Palazzo Vechietti), Clothing (...Dior)
I took pictures of the ENTIRE HOTEL ROOM, like every god damn corner, because I wanted to remember the exact layout and structure. I feel pretty certain that I could live in that hotel room for the rest of my natural life. It was my dream studio apartment space.
Palazzo Vechietti Florence Italy hotel room memorable
Lavish, enormous bathroom with a roomy shower and an indulgent bathtub - check.
Palazzo Vechietti Florence Italy hotel room memorable
 Lots of enclosed, hidden storage space - check.
Palazzo Vechietti Florence Italy hotel room memorable
Walk in closet with built ins - check.
Palazzo Vechietti Florence Italy hotel room memorable
Itsy bitsy kitchen with just enough space to perform basic, non cooking tasks like warming up microwaveable meals and making cups of tea - check.
Palazzo Vechietti Florence Italy hotel room memorable
There's a huge bed, a couch, a table... what else do you need? Not to mention the bones of the place are a 16th century noble residence and the halls filled with things like wrought iron staircases and skylights and just a general You Are In A Movie aesthetic.

I live there in one of my Ideal Life Fantasies and just flit in and out all day, carrying in fresh flowers for the table from the market and new bags from the Dolce and Gabbana next door (THERE'S A DOLCE AND GABBANA. NEXT DOOR.) and walking <50 steps to the Piazza della Repubblica to meet up with an endless stream of Italian suitors for carb-y dinners. In this fantasy, as with all good fantasies, I have a very large income that comes from doing very little and a really great body even though I eat bread and cheese for every meal. I can also probably speak fluent Italian and have a very chic collection of Italian leather shoes but those details aren't totally hammered out yet.


DIY Makeup Hack
Put your eyelash curler inside your bra to warm it up before use for a more dramatic looking curl

Favorite Museum
Neue Galerie on 86th and 5th in New York 
It's located on the city's Museum Mile and is almost entirely filled with German and Austrian Expressionism which (if a gun was held to my head for an answer) is my favorite kind of art. It's usually a relatively quiet museum but had a line out the door during my most recent visit. I'm not sure if that had to do with this summer's Munch exhibit (fantastic) or the recent movie 'Woman in Gold' re: their collection's gem 'Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I' (above).

Even the museum itself is gorgeous - it's all inside this Louis XVIII style town home (read as: lavish, shiny black and white checkered floor, opulence abound) and most of the rooms have less of a gallery feel and more of a "I'm inside someone's actual house" feel - if it were a really, really rich someone's house.


I got these Klimt notebooks from the gift shop during my last visit which are almost too beautiful to sully up with any writing. Almost.

Steve Madden slip on sparkle sneakers
Always Pack
Slip on sneakers
Have you ever been through airport security in slip on sneakers? You probably have, you get it. I would say they make the whole process grotesquely easy but they don't whisper reminders to me about keeping liquids in <3oz containers out of my carry on luggage so I'm still always taking the time to get my bag inspected and my lotions thrown away by TSA agents. I'm obsessed with these Steve Madden slip ons, though. They're very well traveled because I wear them whenever I fly.
Steve Madden slip on sparkle sneakers

They've even been in the Pacific Ocean because I thought I could "forget" sneakers and prevent M from forcing me to go hiking when I visited her in San Diego - guess who ended up hiking in sparkly, rhinestone slip ons.
Steve Madden slip on sparkle sneakers

Michael Kors Camilla watch
Jewelry I Take Everywhere
Michael Kors' Camilla watch

Book I Never Tire Of
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Signature Scent 
Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb
I tried out Tom Ford's Black Orchid for a full three days back in 2012 and forgot who I was, what I looked like, where I came from. I've been wearing this perfume since I was 20 and it's just a part of me now. You could put it as an identifying feature on my drivers license. 

Most Loved App
Snapchat
Have you guys heard of this cool new app yet?? Probably not!! I'm going to die if they ever get rid of that vinok filter.


Latest Discovery
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
I went to a heinous party the other month (direct quote from a girl after S put Britney’s Piece of Me on: “Oh my god, I just HAVE to change this, someone has terrible taste!” Like, what is it like to live in a world where you can never have fun?) and the only saving grace was that I asked a girl with AMAZING, ginormo, long and full eyelashes what kind of mascara she used. Too Faced Better Than Sex. It’s always Too Faced Better Than Sex when you ask someone that question. I bought Too Faced Better Than Sex so I could become the person who gets asked that question.

Style Icon
Aidriana La Cerva


Go To Lingerie Brand
Panache
I have just decided this very second that I fucking love Panache because I checked the labels of all my fave bras and they are literally all Panache. This survey is already revealing things that I didn't even know about myself.

You know that bra shopping is hell if you're bigger than a D cup because 97% of stores just straight up do not stock anything bigger than DD and even those bras looking like they're TRYING to be ugly. I don't have to tell you, you already know. Bra shopping is Mortal Enemy #1, even before button up shirts and cross body purses. Panache must have been founded by someone busty who Gets It and realizes that we have enough problems, what with trying to massage out all of our constant back knots and figuring out how to desexualize basic outfits for work, without worrying about bra shopping. Panache doesn't sell sizes smaller than a D cup on most of their retail sites and on top of that excels in making bras that don't look fugly or dowdy. They have lace and cute detailing and come in fun colors that aren't just sad muted tones + black/white/nude.


Their above line, Cleo by Panache, is especially cute. I own that red one but in a neon-y green which, as a color, is just unheard of for a G cup bra. They also make a sports bra that's universally recommended by people with fuller chests which is like the magnum opus of the bra world. Like, it has an underwire and adjustable straps and comes in actual sizes rather than XS-XL.
Panache 32g bras best lingerie brand
Their prices are kind of scary at ~$70 a pop per bra but that's life when you're rolling with a bigger size. Pro tip: Buy your bras from Nordstrom Rack if you're busty. I talk about my sick obsession with Nordstrom Rack all the time but it's amazing for bras outside the "NORMAL SIZES" range. I picked up two Panache bras last week for $18 each, marked down from the <$60 range, lacy and things that I'd absolutely buy full price. Like, not, "UGH, guess this will have to do" desperation buys. Nordstrom in general is a great place to find bigger bras and I generally just pick up a few during sales and never end up paying more than $45.

And if I can just toss this in? Size yourself. 

I wore a 34DD from the time my body finished creating my boobs until I was 24. The mind REELS over why bra sizes are marketed as a 32A-40DD only kind of deal and even more so over how we all just buy into it. WHAT THE FUCK? I always kind of knew deep down that my 34DD bras did not really fit but I felt powerless to do anything about it. Like, "Oh, this is definitely barely supporting me but also feels weirdly loose at the same time but guess this is just how the world works!" I don't even look back and feel bad about being that clueless because 80% of women aren't wearing the right size anyway. 

I don't even remember what made me so fed up that I measured myself accurately but I did one night using this calculator and came out with 32G after plugging all my measurements in. I told my boyfriend at the time and he literally laughed because that's not a size that sounds real. Any size outside of 32A - 40DD is either for pregnant women or made up for adult movies. I felt kind of like some kind of conspiracy theorist when I decided to go try on that size anyway. I distinctly remember feeling insanely self conscious when I walked into a Nordstrom and approached a salesgirl, thinking I was going to get laughed at for claiming to be that size. And she did - because she was like, "Uh, yeah, I can tell just looking at you in clothes as you stand before me that you are not a DD cup. At. All." She rounded up a bunch of 32G bras for me to try on and I left with three of them and almost in tears from happiness. I can't even tell you what a difference in feeling it is to go from wearing a bra that doesn't fit you to one that does. Your boobs are actually supported is the main thing and it's visible, even through clothes. Your posture looks better. You look thinner. Your back hurts a little less. It is magic. I urge you, if you have boobs, to use that calculator at the first possible opportunity and trust it. Even if you've always been a B cup and it's telling you you're a DD. Even if it's telling you your band size is a 28 and you have never heard of that band size outside of training bras. Just humor it and try on a few bras in that size. I'm an accurate bra size Truther at this point because it's so life changing. 

February 15, 2016

Current Closet Tour and Plans for Dream Closet 2k16 ft. IKEA

IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
I'm moving next month, as is tradition per every year or two years for me. It's probably (knock on wood) going to be one of the easier moves anyone has ever made in the history of ever since I'm staying in my current building. New Apartment is pretty much exactly Current Apartment, albeit a little bit bigger, especially where it counts - my closet.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
My current closet is still very GOALS for me. I've had shitty closets that were trying to prevent me from greatness my entire life. Growing up, and in most of my apartments, I just had a standard small closet with sliding doors which really clashes with my need to display all of my shit. I want everything out and in the open rather than tucked into a drawer or behind a sliding door. And those were the peak of my closet life before I reached my current walk in closet era. I've had a closet that literally had a refrigerator in it because the apartment was so small and the fridge wouldn't have fit anywhere else. Closets that I had to SHARE with a BOY. Closets which were no longer closets because my building was in Boston's Beacon Hill and from the 1800's so they clearly had taken the hinges off of where the closet was and installed a shitty kitchen because they were like "whoops, electricity, who knew, right? Gotta have one of these instead of cooking over the hearth."
Photographic evidence of some of my suffering, imagine these images are playing in a slideshow with some kind of misty filter over them and fill in your favorite Canadian songstress singing something sad in the background. I'm picking Celine Dion but you do you.
Needless to say, a walk in closet was a big fantasy of mine for 24 years. Yes, 24 years because I'm sure I was dreaming of a glamorous closet ever since I was an infant. So, it's not to say that I'm unhappy with my closet as of right now. I love it. Allow me to show off:
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
Behold
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection

All of my clothes, minus my skirts.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
Whenever I'm in a store shopping for clothes I'm apparently thinking, "Hmm, but does it come in gray? How about black? White? Well then no, I don't want it."

By the way, you're not living your life to the fullest potential if you don't have felt hangers. I'm sorry, but it's true. You need to optimize your life and stop selling yourself short if you still have plastic or wire hangers. I say this without even knowing if you're a serial killer or if you're the kind of monster who walks into a subway car before letting people off. You still deserve to have felt hangers. They save so much space, they look so uniform and they keep your fucking clothes hung up.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
My scarves are all hanging on hooks in that corner. No, as I believe I've mentioned here before, the Louis Vuitton pashima is not real, I bought it while drunk in Italy from a street vendor. The Moschino belt was a Valentine's Day gift and something I had been coveting since about 2010. Still cannot believe it's mine.

IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
This board has kind of become a 'women in art history' inspiration board of sorts, which is suchhhh a broad theme to play around with, quite possibly allowing the most variation in a single subject matter in all of art history. There's the Academic (and super pervy) perspective from Ingres, a more confrontational, feminist photo from Cindy Sherman, a blocky abstract form from Duchamp (one of my favorite paintings EVER - Nude Descending a Staircase - which I found so, so serendipitously at Miss Pixie's. Like, they have a bin of THOUSANDS of postcards and I flipped right to that one on the first try). I have all of my vintage brooches, passed down from my grandma's and great aunt on here, too, as well as a good amount of museum buttons. The sick, brass wing tray is from Target who are really stepping up their decor departments lately.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
The white IKEA Alex is entirely filled with nail polish because I'm a disgusting hoarder with little to no self control. I plan on framing that little postcard triptych of women in profile for New Apartment. My butterfly bathroom is from Target because obviously you're wondering where I acquired such an Old Hollywood reminiscent piece of loungewear.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
I desperately need a new storage solution for my sunglasses because I've been fancying myself as a eccentric billionaire or rapper, lately, where I don't want to allow people to see my eyes and want to keep them hidden behind giant sunglasses.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
My flats and another memento board, some of which I plan to frame for my next apartment - especially the pink Paris map wrapping paper sheet. The handkerchieves draped over the left corner are my great grandma's from Ukraine and that little marker Ukrainian flag was part of my costume for a 4th grade heritage performance. I dropped the microphone on accident during my speaking part and the entire school laughed at me and it was the most embarrassing moment of my life until middle school where you have a new most humiliating moment of your entire life about once every three hours. 
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
The money shot. I pinky promise to do a post soon that reviews all of my bags. I feel like it would be too gratuitous to just throw in this one.

So, now that I'm drunk with power and the elation of just plain possessing a walk in has faded a little, there are areas I want to improve. Which are as follows:
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
Woe is me, I have too many bags AND too many shoes. All my Bentleys won't fit in my garage and my hair keeps getting snagged in my diamond Rolex! I honestly don't even have THAT many shoes, I feel, but they're still cluttering up the floor. I need some extra shelving to get the off the ground. Excuse the prominence of my Uggs but I'm a human being, I can't look effortless and glam for you people at all times, okay?
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
Also, this wire shelving just WILL NOT DO. I am DONE with wire shelving. DONE. It looks awful and things slip through the cracks and I have just plain HAD ENOUGH WITH THE WIRE SHELVING.
Me always.
My solution to both of these problems is faux built ins. You want to know how you do faux built ins? You unscrew all the wire shelving and then head to the promised land of cheap, Swedish, do it yourself furniture. IKEA.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
via Fashion Hippie Loves
IKEA makes these so called bookshelves which are actually shoe and bag shelves. They're just clearly mislabeled on the website. There are many, many images out there on blogs and Pinterest of these things being used to house pretty stellar shoe collections and they do the job perfectly. Behold, the IKEA Billy Bookcase.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
via A Fabulous Challenge's Apartment Therapy tour
The 31 1/2 inch version is only $70 which makes it a pretty cheap way to mimic built ins for a closet. I've even seen images of people using Billys for their entire closet by taking out the shelves and installing a rod to hang clothes. I have zero faith in my ability to do anything like that. It would be like that episode of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon is fighting with the Matt Damon iteration of her love interest about how he built a bookshelf wrong and he screams back, "I didn't, I wanted the books to slide off!" The closet rod would end up at a Six Flags Kingada Ka level incline and I would be powerless to fix it. I'll let the Billys handle my accessories and go with IKEA's intended closet system, the Pax, for my clothes.
IKEA has a Pax building stimulation tool on their site which I've spent hours fucking around with to get to the most ideal set up for my clothes. It's honestly the most math that I've done since whatever math class it was that I failed last. I measured the depth of my hangers, the width of my entire entire wardrobe, the width of the dress section, the length of my longest dresses, the height of my biggest storage boxes.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
You're looking at an artist with her masterpiece here, does this not draw to mind an image of Picasso in front of Guernica?
I was like Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind playing with this tool on the site. Bring me a marker, I have to start scribbling up these plans on the window pane! It took me HOURS, I shit you not. It was like an entire Sunday. I'm pretty sure I went to work on Monday and the family I worked for was like, "What did you do this weekend?" and I had to struggle to think of something to say beyond, "Uh, well I sat on my couch and planned out a closet."
Annnnnd I've come out with this:
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
I'll have a big section for most of my clothes - my sweaters, my pants, my tops, the activewear that you're supposed to wear to the gym but that I really just wear instead of all the aforementioned items - and double up that space to maximize it. Then, I'll have a smaller section for my dresses with some drawers in the extra space at the bottom for things like bathing suits or purse dustbags. There will be a little shelf at the top where I can put baskets for other small items like tights or winter gloves and hats. This should all cover up an entire wall with the Billy bookcases holding all of my shoes, bags and other accessories on the opposite wall.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
Like so.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
This will leave a space of blank wall right the middle where I'll put my small IKEA Malm dresser that stores my underwear, socks, band t shirts from 9th grade that I'm too sentimental to part with, leggings that have holes worn in them from overuse and other unmentionables that shouldn't be displayed. And what my cat feels is a prime hiding spot.
IKEA Closet Billy Bookshelves Bookcases Pax DIY Built Ins Closet Tour Handbag Collection Purse Collection
I'm hoping it doesn't jut out too much because I'd really prefer to keep it inside my closet rather than in my actual bedroom but... we'll see. It frustrates me immensely to have to deal with things like a necessary piece of furniture that I need to store my underwear when I just want to be thinking about pretty purse shelves.

Since the aforementioned wall will be the first thing you see when you look into my closet (and since I tend to leave my closet doors open so the world can gaze upon its majesty all the time) I'm going to go the extra mile and wallpaper it with some really girly, decadent wallpaper.
This butterfly wallpaper is from Anthropologie and I don't want to talk about how much it costs. I've seen cheaper options everywhere else, literally everywhere else including every other Anthropologie wallpaper, but it's metallic fucking butterfly wallpaper. I think I've blogged before about my literal lifelong love with butterflies. My name, Vanessa, is a genus of butterfly so I've just always owned butterfly themed things and been obsessed with butterfly imagery. This closet project is the most self indulgent, masturbatory thing I've ever done for myself and I'm going to add a butterfly wall to just top it off.

I'm having a hard time deciding between the above silvery paper and this green, gold and black version.
I definitely way prefer the black and feels it fits the overall aesthetic of my bedroom better since almost everything is gold and green and the most prominent piece of furniture is my black and gold vanity. I like the idea of a gold mirror hung against that wallpaper and how it would look with all of the gold accents on my accessories. However, I'm not sure how it would look surrounded by stark white shelving on all sides and if the black itself would make my already small closet space look even smaller. The silver paper is definitely brighter and would match the white shelves, as well as the silver frame where I have my Moschino McDonald's ad. It would kind of make the closet look like it's own space, separate from the bedroom, too, which is something I prefer doing with decorating. But I just don't like it quite as much as I do the black and gold. What do I do?

There are a few other things I have left to figure out. I don't quite know where things like hooks for scarves or a place to put my giant suitcases will factor into this. All in good time, though.

Hopefully this will all come together as planned within the next month or two. I should probably add a sleeping bag to my shopping list because I may just want to sleep inside my planned dream closet like I'm a glamorous, materialistic Harry Potter.