Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cupcake City

Last Monday was cold and drizzly, so I responded to the gloom like any sane person: by picking up some cupcakes!

Yes, the pink one has sparkle icing, and yes, I did eat them all by myself (over the course of a week).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Car Has Become A Second Closet

This was my backseat the other day, before a thorough cleaning. Much like my room, the majority of my car clutter is clothing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

5 Lessons I Learned From 'Daria'

At 14, the only thing I enjoyed more than staying in and reading was staying in and watching Daria. As I've revealed, I wasn't the most cool, outgoing adolescent. I loved Daria's bookworm loner personality, arsenal of pessimistic quips and scathing social commentaries. I recently bought entire series on DVD, and enjoy it as much now as I did as a teen. However, watching Daria from an adult perspective, I've realized that sarcastic insults weren't the only things I learned from the show. Here's a list of five lessons that Daria taught me:

1. Sometimes crushes don't work out, and that can be for the best.
Daria's first romantic interest is her best friend Jane's brother, Trent. He's a dreamy rocker with tattoos, facial hair and a band, which is the basic description of my first enormous crush. No wonder I rooted so hard for them to work out. But after some time of blushing and pining after Trent, Daria sees that his slacker persona just isn't her thing. They do, however, become close friends, and Trent ends up regularly dishing great advice to her.

2. Moms are more awesome than we give them credit for. At first, Daria's mother, Helen, seems like your stereotypical workaholic. And she is. We see her constantly running to the office, making phone calls in the middle of dinner and obsessing over "big cases." Helen often seems like a distant, oblivious mother, and it's clear Daria initially thinks that's the case. But as the series progresses, we see that she is in fact willing to drop everything to give Daria advice or help, and that she may have more insight to her daughter's personality than Daria herself.

3. Have confidence, play to your strengths and you'll get what you want. Daria's sister Quinn isn't exactly a great role model. Vapid and appearance-obsessed, her main goal in life is to have a date (or five) every weekend. But darn if she doesn't know how to play her cards right. With a wink and a smile she melts boys' hearts and empties their wallets. Quinn knows her assets, has confidence in them and utilizes them well. Now, I'm not saying that Daria taught me to go around using men as free meal tickets, but it definitely showed me that confidence is key in the world of dating.

4. Friendships are complicated, and sometimes everyone just has to apologize. (If you plan on watching Daria you may want to skip this section.) Near the end of the series, there's a love triangle involving Jane, her boyfriend Tom and Daria. The situation is messy and complicated, resulting in Jane and Daria getting angry at each other and both looking like jerks. The redeeming moment comes when the girls step up, apologize to each other and admit that the argument was caused by both sides. No one is entirely wrong or entirely right, but they both take steps and work together to fix the problem.

5. Antisocial bookworms can have it all, too. Daria really only has one good friend for most of the show: Jane. Yet she never tries to put herself out there or slide into a social group, because having one great friend is all Daria (or anyone) really needs. She also finds romance, has adventures and develops her own identity throughout the series, all without being cool or popular. This was an important message to me as a teenager, since for a long time I assumed you had to have at least five best friends in order to become anyone in life.

While a bit nihilistic for my more social, adult self, I still find Daria to be as entertaining as ever. And I'm glad that it gave 14-year-old me an alternative role model for my alternative (read: nerdy) lifestyle.

Originally posted by me on Lovelyish

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do Women And Girls Read "Age-Appropriate" Magazines? Nah.

There's recently been some of hubbub regarding to Dakota Fanning's Cosmo cover. One glance at the 17-year-old hanging out next to headlines screaming "His Best Sex Ever" and "Um, Vagina, Are You Okay Down There?" explains why. However, I wonder if Cosmo isn't so much pushing boundaries as they are appealing to their actual demographic.

My first magazine subscription was to American Girl, and it was the highlight of my month. I painstakingly tried to make its recipes, got advice from the "Heart to Heart" section and wished I could write journals as cool as Amelia's. But around age 10, my friends and I started reading the harder stuff.

It started out innocently enough: a purchased Girl's Life here, a daring peek into the now-defunct YM there. But by the time I turned 11, none of us were buying (supposedly) age-appropriate material. We were now all about publications like Seventeen (which made us feel like hotshots since it had "teen" in the title).

Our parents would have had fits, and that's what made reading these magazines all the more appealing. Granted, they were really only slightly risqué, but the thought of "making out" and even the word "sexy" seemed dangerous and forbidden. I distinctly remember a number of times where we would secretly read Cosmo Girl in someone's basement, taking all the precautions of kids smoking weed.

I started reading Cosmopolitan in early high school, along with every other girl I knew. What had we been thinking, reading Seventeen? That was kid stuff -- this was clearly a magazine for sexy, mature women. And (as almost every outlet pandered to us) that's what we were supposed to become! Wouldn't we become so mature by reading it? So we eagerly devoured every issue, sexy spatula advice and all.

My interest in Cosmo faded during senior year as my identity and interests truly began to develop. A few friends read it for a bit longer, but soon none of us were interested. To this day, the only Cosmo readers I know are in high school. While I'm not here to provide a critique of the magazine, I think that says a lot about its message. Girls around Dakota's age are frantically trying to establish themselves as "real women" for a variety of reasons, and Cosmo waves from magazine racks, promising to deliver just that.

(My own post, originally published on Lovelyish)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Glasses

Well, my holidays were busy (hence the lack of posts), and not always pleasantly so. There's been some changes in my life that are somewhat scary but also potential-laden.

But no serious, cryptic talk now. I want to start off the Bronze Arrow new year by showcasing some amazing sunglasses from Bohemian Bisoux Vintage. Take a look at these beauties:
I was fortunate enough to win a gift card to her shop, and immediately knew these were what I wanted to spend it on.

BB has been the sweetest, most professional seller I've had the privilege to buy from on Etsy. Recently I purchased this breathtaking 1920s goat fur capelet from her. So classy!
I feel like she has an amazing sale every other day, but her prices are also very fair on a daily basis. You should probably follow her on Etsy, though I'm hesitant to say so because I'd hate to miss out on all the good stuff for myself!