Thursday, November 26, 2020


The last year of my life has been very, very difficult for me. I've had something going on offline that made my life a living hell this year. It's not something I'm comfortable sharing (I didn't even tell my closest friends about it until about a month ago) but it was truly horrible, and it made every single thing in my life stressful, even the things I'd normally enjoy. Thankfully, the situation was finally resolved this weekend just in time for me to spend Thanksgiving feeling more grateful for all of life's simple pleasures than I've ever felt in my life.

There were so many times this year that I thought about the quote "be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" because it's so true. We all choose to share tidbits of our lives online, but a lot of us are also fighting secret battles that nobody knows about. There have been a lot of times this year that posting my normal fluffy content on social media has been tough because behind the camera I've really been struggling to be happy. And there have been a lot of times that I just stopped posting things entirely because I couldn't bring myself to try to be positive online. 

Thankfully this chapter is behind me now and I can really enjoy my life again. I'm so excited to share *genuinely* happy content with you here and on social media this holiday season!

If you are also going through a difficult time right now and feel like you're in a tunnel of misery with no end in sight, know that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. You might not believe it now when every day feels like you're living a twisted version of Groundhog's Day, but someday things really will get better. And in the mean time please reach out to friends or talk to a therapist. My doctor helped me find a therapist earlier this year and our weekly video chats are what got me through this.

If you are reading this, I am so thankful for you and I hope you have a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving today ❤️

dress - unique vintage | shoes - bait footwear | belt - collectif

Thursday, October 1, 2020

tonight I'm gonna party like it's 2012

I have no idea why but when I woke up and got dressed this morning I was suddenly overcome with a huge wave of nostalgia for 2012. Those early days of blogging when the first thing I'd do when I woke up was check to see if my favorite style bloggers had shared any new outfits. There are so many girls that I absolutely *idolized* and just could not even begin to wrap my brain around their perfect color combinations, their beautiful vintage collections, their seemingly effortless ability to capture a perfect twirling freeze frame in the middle of a quiet city street. 

I found myself googling a lot of old blogs today and I was heartbroken that a lot of them are either private now or just don't exist at all. I was a huge creeper and looked up some on the wayback machine so I could save my all-time favorite outfit posts to a private pinterest board for my own eternal inspiration. I'm not kidding when I say that some outfits have stuck with me, vivid in my mind, for the last 8 or 9 years. I was particularly mesmerized by the impeccable stylings of lace, pattern, and knife pleats that would usually grace the pages of Fancy Fine and All This Happiness. Yours Truly was my go-to for fun '60's inspired outfits and I am *still* looking for a pair of red mary janes as perfect as the ones she owned. Tick Tock Vintage introduced me to patterned nude tights, a revelation for me as I was always self conscious about going bare-legged in shorts. I still think about her blog whenever I buy a new pair. Every time I put on my mint green gloves in the winter I fondly recall this post from Skunkboy and how the mint gloves paired with black, grey, and rust always struck me as an absolutely genius combination.  

Taking this stroll down memory lane today was so rejuvenating. It made me want to be more adventurous in my sartorial choices (I'm embarrassed to admit to you how often I've been opting for sweatshirts and leggings recently) and revisit some of the older pieces in my wardrobe that I haven't really reached for since 2012 or 2013!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

ten obsessions

Some things I'm incredibly obsessed with right now:

1. Disney's Magic Kingdoms app. I've been checking social media way less often and this has replaced my "first thing I look at in the morning" routine. I love when I wake up and I get to see how much magic my kingdom generated overnight, what characters are ready to level up, what I'll find in my daily chest. It's just pure fun, and it's an adequate replacement for not being able to actually visit the real Magic Kingdom during the pandemic.

2. Seinfeld. I started watching it for the first time earlier this year, and now I'm almost finished with season 6 in my first re-watch. I have no idea why it took me so long to finally give it a try, but it's definitely one of my all time favorite tv shows now. I can completely understand why it's generally considered one of the best sitcoms (if not *the* best) of all time. I also got my brother hooked on it, so my poor parents will always remember our quarantine as a period of non-stop Seinfeld references at the dinner table LOL!

3. Sweatshirts. I'm still trying to get dressed up each day during quarantine, especially when I go out for a daily walk with my dad, but honestly it doesn't take long after I get back in the house for me to change into ASOS legging pajamas and a big comfy sweatshirt. Comfort wise, sweatshirts have always been my favorite thing to wear (obviously aesthetic-wise my favorite is dresses) but I didn't have a huge collection of them. So over the last several months I've been buying some here and there until I reached a point where I needed to empty one of my dresser drawers to make room for more sweatshirts, lol! They're just so comfy!

4. Minnie ears. You'll notice a thread in this post -- Disney. I'm *always* obsessed with Disney, but 2020 has made me wrap myself in a big old comfort blanket of Disney films, nostalgia for the parks, and meticulous planning for my family's post-pandemic trip to the happiest place on earth. I love collecting Minnie ears, and sometimes I just wear them around the house as a little pick-me-up. I've added a few to my collection recently that are just SO cute, including a couple Halloween ears that I'm going to put on my Twiggy mannequin head as a seasonal decoration! I thought it would be fun to have her model my ear collection so one pair can be on display all the time, and I'll switch them out based on holidays/seasons.

5. Bubbie's pickles. My mom was joking that when I'm old and people asked if I hoarded toilet paper during the covid pandemic I can reply "no, but I hoarded pickles!" These pickles are SO good. I've been having a lot of gut health issues the last several months so I wanted to increase the amount of fermented foods in my diet. But I don't like yogurt, kombucha, or sauerkraut so I was... in a bit of a pickle. ;D Then I found Bubbie's - they're fermented pickles, and they are the crunchiest most delectable deli-style pickles I've ever tasted. They've been really hard to find so every time I place an instacart order I try to get them, hence my burgeoning collection of pickles in the refrigerator! My current motto is "a pickle a day keeps the GI doctor away" so as long as I have a healthy supply to get me through this pandemic, I'm good! ;D

6. Five Bedrooms. I got suckered into signing up for Peacock Premium because I watched the first episode of this delightful Australian tv show and that was the only way to watch the rest of the season. I especially like Ainsley (and I'm determined to find a button-down pinafore like the one she wears in most of the episodes!) I know everything is up in the air right now with the world the way it is, but I really hope this gets another season. It ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and I'm dying to see how it pans out!!

7. on youtube. Specifically Molly's videos. I am so obsessed. Molly visits the Disney parks (and Universal, occasionally) almost every day and films videos for the youtube channel. Some of them are challenges, like trying to do every single ride in one park in one day, attempting to get as many fast passes as possible (#fiddlefaddle) or letting instagram decide her whole day. Some are more like ratings - what are the best foods, the best rides, the best things to do outside the parks, the best eats at the resorts, etc. And some are trivia videos like the secrets behind The Haunted Mansion or fun facts about Liberty Square. Every single video is SO MUCH FUN and it feels like you're actually there at the park hanging out with a really cool and funny friend. I'm pretty sure if I ever see her in a park I'm going to fangirl, like horribly embarrassingly fangirl.

8. The new Killers album! Specifically the song "My God." This album has been a shining light in quarantine. Having singles released sporadically throughout the shutdown was such a gift, and then once they announced the release date of August 21st I immediately set up countdown clocks on my computer & phone - it gave me something to look forward to in this endless groundhog's day situation we're living in. The morning the album was released I listened to it nonstop on repeat, and then started repeating "My God" until I realized I knew all the lyrics and could sing along at the top of my lungs

The last thing that I did before my grandmom got sick and moved in with us was attend a Killers concert in Bethlehem, PA last September. Within a week of the concert my grandmom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and signed up for hospice care. Since I was her full time caregiver until quarantine started, I hadn't really left the house at all since last October. That concert meant a lot to me then, and it means even more to me now - a symbol of normalcy that is lost forever. I'm closing in on a full year of not really leaving my house, but listening to this album and closing my eyes is a beautiful escape. To quote 'My God' again, "it's like a weight has been lifted."

9. "I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline. I've listened to this song on repeat so many times lately. I'm not sad and I'm not in love, so I can't relate to the lyrics, but the artistry is just so achingly beautiful. A lot of the time I choose music based on a specific mood - happy music for happy days, sadder music for sad days, energetic music when I need some pep in my step, etc. But sometimes you just need to listen to a work of art for arts sake alone. And that's what I Fall to Pieces is to me.

10. Procreate & Bardot Brushes. I made the switch from Adobe Draw to Procreate as my primary app for illustration earlier this year, but I didn't fully get the hang of it until a few months ago when I discovered Bardot Brush. Lisa Bardot makes custom brush sets for Procreate that really mimic physical drawing tools like gouache, pencil, and markers. I get so much more texture and depth and character with her brushes than anything I've ever been able to achieve with digital art before. Plus her Procreate tutorials are AMAZING. I have learned so much about this app that's made it infinitely more easy to use. I had been planning on making a little Procreate tutorial myself once I mastered the app but honestly, if anyone out there wants to know how it works, just look up Lisa's tutorials! 

dress - c/o collectif | shoes - amazon 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

ten years

This past July was my 10th anniversary of taking outfit pictures! It's incredibly surreal that I've spent a full decade now propping up a tripod and taking self portraits to document whatever I was wearing that day. I originally started because I wanted to increase my self confidence, and I think I definitely succeeded. When I go back and look at photos from 2010, and then look at photos from the past year, I can see a huge difference. I look at the camera more often, I smile more, and I don't cover my face up with an opaque red oval in photoshop like I did in my first outfit post. I definitely built up confidence in myself, my own weird sense of style, and my body image.⁠ ⁠

If you've ever considered posting outfit photos or starting a style blog, I highly recommend it. Not only did it help me find my style and feel much more comfortable in my own skin, but now I have this collection of 10 years worth of photos that I never would have had otherwise. It's fun to go back and look at old outfits. They trigger memories like you wouldn't expect - a dress will immediately remind me of one of my cats, or a family trip, or meeting up with a friend. Some outfits remind me of my old apartment, or an art show, or a big life decision. ⁠ ⁠⁠

And if anyone out there has been around since 2010 - thank you so much for your encouragement that inspired me to keep with it all these years, and thank you, thank you, thank you for sticking around! Now that I have 10 years of photos under my big purple bow belt, I think maybe I'll try for another 10! ;)⁠ ⁠⁠

dress c/o collectif | shoes - amazon | belt - amazon

Saturday, May 30, 2020

posh frock friday

During quarantine I've seen so many people say that they are wearing sweatpants or pajamas because they have nowhere to go and it's weird because "having nowhere to go" has kind of been my whole life for the last 15 years. I've been working from home since I was 17, and I don't really have much of a social life. (Okay I don't have ANY social life. I might as well be honest here lol!)

Taking outfit pictures has been a fun way to document my outfits even when the only person seeing them in person is my cat. I definitely could have spent most of my life in pajamas, but I haven't for a few reasons. First of all, I feel way way way less productive in pajamas. When I get dressed in the morning I feel like it's "time to work" and I get way more done. If I stay in pajamas it's just way too easy to crawl back into bed - especially easy when my office is just about fifteen paces away from my bedroom. I also just really enjoy clothes. I haven't wasted away my income on dresses so they can sit in my closet. I love wearing them, so I wear them! And lastly, this might be crazy but I feel like I don't appreciate how comfortable pajamas are unless I've been wearing real clothes all day. I love that moment before bedtime when I put on fresh jammies, and I don't think I'd enjoy it as much if I was just changing from one pair of pajamas into another lol!

Also honestly getting dressed has helped me feel like I have *some* control over something during Everything That's Going On. When I got really sick in 2017-2018 I lived in pajamas for a few months until I started to recover, and one of the things I was most looking forward to was wearing my pretty clothes again. It made me feel like my life was kind of normal again when I was finally able to ditch the elastic waistbands for fancy frocks. Every day that I get dressed and glide a thick black line across my eyelid, I've done something normal and executed a little bit of control over my life. It's such a small thing but honestly it makes a huge difference to me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

oh hi

March was the tenth anniversary of this blog, and the tenth anniversary of my first outfit post is rapidly approaching, on July 25th. And I've been thinking about Scathingly Brilliant an awful lot because of those two anniversaries.

Since my last post in December I cannot count how many times I thought "what was that recipe?" or "when did I go on that vacation?" or "what was Arrietty like when I first brought her home?" or "what did my bedroom look like in 2011?" and I hopped over to this blog, typed a keyword in the search bar, and boom! My own little search engine for the last ten years of my life.

During all this reminiscing I also happened upon this David Bowie video on youtube, and this quote has been ringing in my mind ever since, "Always remember that the reason you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt that if you could manifest it in some way you would understand more about yourself and how you coexist with the rest of society."

When I stopped blogging in December it was admittedly because I felt like nobody really read my blog anymore. If you know me, you know that my ego is as fragile as a broken eggshell and I avoid seeing things like follower counts, page views, likes, retweets, etc. like my life depends on it. I have somehow managed to totally avoid seeing how many instagram followers I have since 2018. Is there something pathologically wrong with the fact that I bought an ipod in order to login to my second instagram account so that I don't have to switch accounts within the app and see my follower counts? Definitely. I'm seeing a therapist, okay, lol. But the ignorance keeps me going. I hate this about myself so much, and I'm working on it, but that's just how I am.

Anyway so this is where the David Bowie quote comes in. In December I accidentally clicked on a page that showed me my dwindling blog stats, something I had managed to evade for a very long time, and I stopped blogging here. But that's not why I started! I'm such a dummy! 

In my second blog post here, on March 22, 2010, I wrote about my favorite songs. I was 23 years old and my favorite song was Lara's Theme from Doctor Zhivago. I was also obsessed with the Frank Sinatra song "Take Me" which I don't think I've listened to in at least 9 years. I'm listening to it right now and it's like a time machine to being 23 again.

How will I feel if ten years from now I want to know what my favorite song was (Dustland Fairytale by The Killers) or see what my room looked like in 2020? If I want to know my go-to recipe for smoothie bowls or to know what crazy new career I was interested in, but would predictably never follow through on. How would I remember what year I was obsessed with Seinfeld (2020) or what year I trademarked my own name (also 2020!) How would I know what month I learned to do my own acrylic nails (March 2020) and what month I completely gave up and took them off (May 2020.) Ten years from now how will I know how well I coped when my actual worst nightmare of a global outbreak came true (spoiler: not well.) I like having this record of my life - the ups and the downs, the pixies and the pink dos, the anxiety and jubilation and everything in between - and I don't want to totally abandon this little search engine.

So anyway.. I'm going to blog here now and then, mostly for me, but if anyone out there happens to be tagging along, it's for you too 💕