Cut Me Out

As the mercury is finally beginning to crawl up the thermometer I am getting so excited about Spring shoes. I am so sick of wearing boots every day, I want my ankles to be free! Lately I've been finding myself drawn to cut-out oxfords and heels. I guess the holes are kind of a "Yeah, so what?" to the elements? That and they just look really cool. I want more statement shoes, I think. Take a look at these beauts from all over the internet (just click on the link and it will take you to the page!):


Written During The Menstrual Period

"That time of the month," while a delightful euphemism, is not always a delightful experience. I, in a weird way, enjoy my period more than more girls I know. It's a relief from the agony of the PMS I experience I usually have, especially since I got off birth control about 2 years ago. Being on my period helps me connect with my body, something I've enjoyed about it since I was in high school, and I take better care to minimize salt and caffeine intake and drink more water (something I should do all the time?).

Yet, like most of us, I really hated the discomfort of disposable pads. They were itchy, I felt like I couldn't breathe, and they felt really bunchy. I decided a few months ago as soon as my disposable pad supply ran out I was going to buy some cloth menstrual pads.

My god, the comfort! I could feel the difference immediately. They were so soft and cozy (not sure if this will be annoying in the warmer months but this winter they've been so nice). They didn't irritate me in anyway. The next day I just rinsed them under cold water and they were pretty much good as new in case I needed to reuse before a proper wash.

I mostly only use pads when I sleep, and liners during the day either on a lighter day or with a tampon, but I really noticed the decrease of waste I produced, too. And it's really nice to not need to buy a bunch of pads every other month. I don't think I will be able to go as far as using the Diva Cup or the Sponge (I get the feeling that with my being "small" and ability to shift oddly these may end up hurting me somehow) but I think that we all use pads, at least when we sleep, so these are a wise investment.

All of the pads in this post, as well as the ones I use for myself, came from Tamarack on Etsy, has some of these same points and more in her shop polices:

Why Cloth?

Cloth is more cost effective. Upfront cost of about $100 for a sizable stash of cloth pads that will last five years vs. $60-75 per year for disposables—more if you have heavy flow or short, more frequent cycles.

Cloth is more responsible. Your cloth pads will be used over and over again—no more adding to the landfills every month.

Cloth is more healthful. Disposable pads and tampons are bleached, and the by-product of bleaching, dioxin, is very unhealthful

Cloth is way more comfortable! Paper and plastic are no match for the cozy comfort of cloth.

Cloth is more pleasant. A breathable pad virtually eliminates the sweaty, smelly aspect of your period, not to mention that all that putrid garbage that needs to be dealt with.

Cloth is more fun! Why wear plain white paper pads when you can wear colorful, unique pads that make you smile.

Her shop is great because she has a variety of patterns and sizes, and has pads with holders so you can just switch them out. I got some for the minipads, and while they bunch a bit more than I like during the day as a liner (since it's twice the cloth) I still wear them at night and these would also be great if you wore thicker pads during the day and could switch them out that way. There are also a lot more shops on Etsy that sell cloth pads, so take a look around!

My advice from experience:

• Before you buy, during your next period see how often you wear pads and what thickness you tend to need more of. This helps you to buy enough of the ones you use the most and keeps you from overbuying ones you might not wear more than one or two times.
• Rinse immediately with cold water and squeeze it through thoroughly. This gets the stains off before they set, and they dry faster this way. I used to try handwashing in warm water with soap and everything before doing this and the stains would set and take much, much longer to dry. If you are squeamish about reusing after just a rinse you could hand wash after the cold rinse. Otherwise you can just toss them in the wash/dry with your towels (no fabric softener!).
• For wear-during-the-day pads, I would recommend lighter colours since you never know when you'd be wearing them, unless you tend to only wear jeans/dark bottoms on your period. Then again, I don't know how many of you would wear a white skirt on your flow!

Good luck, readers! I hope you all try this comfortable, eco-friendly alternative and it works out for you as well as it has for me. Happy menstruating!


A Continuation of Michael's Visit

Thanks for the sweet comments on the last post! Sadly, he left Tuesday evening, but I've been so busy jumping back into work and such (watching Peep Show) that I have yet to post a few more photos. Michael wrote a proper recount on his blog which you can read here, since I doubt I could sum it up better than he. Anyway, some pictures!

Us before the ballet. I'm wearing my new hat I bought in Madison at Lou Rags Vintage & Vogue, a peach blouse from H&M, grey skirt from F21 (both purchased for the occasion), patterned stockings from Target, and silver ruffled t-straps from Payless. (By the way, I look tall but I am not. Michael is slouching and it's cos I have those shoes on. Seriously, I am pocket-sized!)

Before the Ballet

--scene missing--

Sunday, where I left off, we went to Yolk. Michael took this picture of me.


Then we ate way too much food...


Michael's album cover

Look at all that food!

Michael gazes longingly at the Loop from our El car:

Crossing the Bridge

Michael gazing at Chicago

I have some great posts for the next week or so coming up, as well as a shop update whenever I can shoot and some reviews for my Traveling Jerks blog! Busy busy! What are your weekend plans?


Taking A Little Time

Hey, all. I haven't been posting the last few days because my boyfriend Michael is in town. He came in Thursday evening and we have barely been away from each others' sides. Such is being in a long distance relationship, yes? I am typing this as he gets a little more sleep before we go out to brunch and the Art Institute; my kitty Seymour, while the love of my life, is a nuisance and kept waking us up. Friday night he and I went to see Cinderella at the Joffrey Ballet and I have a few cell phone snaps handy:

The whole night was very wonderful and romantic, one of our best dates ever I think. Yesterday we went to see Shutter Island, went to Trader Joe's and got the fixings for a big tasty home made dinner. We watched Remains of the Day on Netflix with our wine and wafers afterwards.

Now I have the little demon perched on my chest as I was about to shower. Dag! Cats.


Riddle Me This, Slubird...

Your questions answered!

Heliopsis asked:

"whats your camera setup like 4 takin pics of items, and how did u arrive at it? (always curious how ppl takin pics)..."

I guess I started with the way I did for eBay...just wearing them myself. The hanger pictures always looked awful and it was hard to find a good background. I just did the same thing with Etsy, but I got annoyed at the cute things that photographed poorly on me/didn't fit me so I got a dress form. I like even natural light, too, and I always bracket even though I shoot with a dslr.

Crystal asked:

"1. Your profile of your blog it says you are an "artist" other then your awesome Branch Wood necklace what other art do you enjoy making?

2. What would be your dream job and location?"

1. Well, I went to Columbia College Chicago and got my BFA in photography. The closest I have done with it after graduating is shooting for Etsy. Also in school I did a lot of book binding/book art, something I miss but is really hard to do without the proper machinery.

2. Lately I've been idolizing Arizona and the desert...I want to be HOT. And it's dry heat, which I'd like. I love being near water but there's something about the same and cacti that's calling me. I think I would really just like to be an Etsy wife/own my own psychical boutique of vintage/handmade accessories/handmade clothing...mostly my own but also from designers I love.

Michael asked:

"Why are you so demmed cute?"

Years of practice.


I am a little surprised I didn't get more questions, but oh well. Maybe I'll try this again in the future.

In other news, yesterday I added two more necklaces to my Branchbound shop (with a few more on the way soon). Just click on each image to go to its Etsy listing.


What You've All Been Waiting For: Madison

Sorry it took me so long! So here is the last day and a half of my trip. Sunday morning Alma, Lisa and I went to have breakfast at the Sun Room, which was decent. Then we parted ways and after Alma and I went to the library where the above photo was taken we wandered up and down the shops on State Street. We went into Urban Outfitters and got BFF necklaces of the astrological persuasion (I got one with Cancer charms and she got one with Sagittarius charms). Then we went to the Botanical Gardens and even though we only had half an hour until close it was really nice to look at some GREEN plants and be warm; it was so humid in there my hair curled right up! I had Alma snap an outfit photo even though it was boring (I like the chartreuse and navy combo a lot though):

Cancer charm necklace - UO
grey cardigan - F21
chartreuse long sleeve tee - Target
navy pencil skirt - thrifted
black wool tights - warmlegwear.com
Steve Madden "Intyce" boots - jildor.com

And I got one of her:

It was so pretty in there with all the giant leaves, koi fish, creaky bridges, soothing waterfalls, and they even had little quails! I was so excited, as a bird-lover I had never seen quails before.

Later that night Alma and I went to the Jade Monkey Cocktail Lounge. We accidentally found it while looking for the Botanical Gardens. It had a 60s-looking sign so I decided to do my hair and makeup a little more retro with the only other outfit I had packed, styling my hair in a mini-beehive and with cat eyeliner.

Cancer charm necklace - UO
floral shirt dress - H&M
black tights - can't remember
Blowfish "Willis" booties - nyciwear.com


Of course when we get there we go inside and it's very sleek on modern, kind of Japanese. There were also two giant fishtanks and a few booths. Sin City was playing and there was a looong cocktail menu. I got a Russian Kiddie Cocktail and some sort of Long Island Iced tea. They had a few different kinds- only $3!

Also that evening Alma and I started a new blog project, the Traveling Jerks! You can check it out here, we'll be writing up Madison spots up in more detail soon. Here is the banner prototype I did on the bathroom chalkboard:

And here is a photo of yours truly working on future entries at a coffee shop the next morning:

After that we just bummed around a bit. I went into a vintage shop on Williamson Street called Lou Rags Vintage & Vogue. It was huge and the owner had tons of things! Mostly mid-century, in great condition, and fairly priced. I got a little white lace hat (it was 30% off!) and a burgundy bow tie. I cannot wait to wear them both.

Then we took a scenic route home, stopping in Milwaukee to eat some pizza and then we finally got to Mars Cheese Castle, what we had all been waiting for:

Only to find out they were just closing! But it was disappointing and a dump in there, so who cares. Then I came home and was tired. Then I put this off for almost a week! The end!

Just A Few Little Links

I am really going to finish my Wisconsin recap I swear. I just haven't had time the past few days to resize all the photos and edit everything (working long hours, trying not to get sick...) so in the mean time here are some links related to me and my blog in case you care to follow me elsewhere...

my tumblr

my twitter

facebook fan page for a blog of no importance

follow this blog on bloglovin

my chictopia page

my weardrobe page

...also don't forget to ask me anything!


Wisconsin Trip Part The First: Mount Horeb and New Glarus

Since I took about 200 pictures this weekend I'm gonna have to do these entries in shifts. Who knew Wisconsin was so photogenic? Ha!

The first day Alma, Ryan, and I headed to Mount Horeb, where the Mustard Museum is. Or so we thought (I sensed it was in Middleton, which it was, but figured I'd leave the driver be as she may know best). Sure enough...

...can you believe someone threw ketchup on it to deface it? Hahaha. So, since we came all that way we wandered around Mount Horeb for a bit. We looked around this one antique store that was like heaven.

This place was amazing. I could spend all day in there. I wish all those cute little dresses fit me, there was a case of lovely old eyeglasses, those player piano rolls (how neat!), kitchenware, typewriters, old books, and best of all was this GORGEOUS 20s flapper collar...handbeaded...pristine...

Only $22! Yet I didn't buy it. I wanted to make it into a necklace but it is so heavy it would require being handsewn onto a dress...and I just don't want to ruin it. So back in the case it went. Le sigh.

After we left we went up and down the main drag. Did you know Mount Horeb is the Troll Capitol of the world? It is! I love going to these weird little small towns, everything is so charming and quirky.

After wandering around a bit we went to New Glarus. It's a small city, pretty much New Switzerland. We went there once as a kid (dad got great local beer, mom and I went antique shopping) over the summer. Of course, early February...in Wisconsin...it's off season. There were a few places open; we wandered around a bit, got some baked goods, and ate in the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant. We had roesti, a Swiss dish that is pretty much cheesy hashbrowns covered in whatever (I got steamed vegetarbles). Yum. The hotel also has polka on Friday and Saturday nights!

Next post...Madison! In the meantime, you can still ask me anything through Sunday night. Please, ask away!