Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Please, please, please let me get what I want

Good times, for a change...

Lately, as I've been on the job (and, now, car) hunt, I've had this classic by The Smiths on heavy rotation. An angsty soundtrack go-to for several films, from Pretty in Pink to Ferris Bueller's Day Off to, yes, (500) Days of Summer, "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" is the quintessential twenty-something anthem, the perfect theme song for weathering life's ups and downs.

Since I graduated college about 2 1/2 years ago, my job search has been pretty elusive. I've landed a few freelance writing gigs and worked three different part-time jobs (four if you count occasionally substitute teaching and five with a one-day stint at DSW!). And while freelancing affords a lot of flexibility, I'm more than ready for a change... and by change, I mean something full-time. I'm hoping to bring home the (vegan) bacon and still have a chance to work on my writing. Lately I've become quite the hermit, setting up a home office and sending out story after cover letter after resume. It can be disheartening, but I have to remind myself to stay active and keep applying, and most importantly of all, keep writing. Because if you don't believe in your talent and abilities, no one will.

So for now, I'm just trying to keep my energy and my spirits up, and remind myself that the good things in life are worth waiting for... and that the best opportunities take time to find. I'm just not sure, exactly, what I'm looking for yet... but I've got my eyes wide open.

Thank you all so much for your kind comments regarding my poor little car. I know everyone has been there before at some point, and your words are a real encouragement. So if I get a little schizo over the next few weeks or fail to do much blogging, you'll know it's because I'm off searching for something... awesome. :)

So please, please, please, let me, let me, let me get what I want this time...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

We have a winnah!

As promised, I put names in a hat (in a wool fedora, if you must know!) and picked a winner for my clutch contest. I'm happy to announce the lucky recipient: Sophie, beautiful blogger behind Diary of a Young Designer. If you haven't already, go visit her gorgeous blog!

Thank you all for entering! I hope to offer more contests like this in the future.

My plan was to pick a winner before leaving on my NY trip, but once again I've had to cancel. My hope is to, eventually, spend more and more time in the city as I search for jobs, but car trouble has kept me home (this is a regular occurrence for me). My faithful steed (ha), a '94 periwinkle-colored Dodge Spirit affectionately named "Azul Diablo" has finally, finally bit the dust, after many close calls. So I'm now forced to put every penny into a new (used) car... or else really focus on moving to the city, where I wouldn't actually need a vehicle. Yay for public transport! So many decisions... This is going to impact my holiday weekend.

But I hope you're off doing something fun today. Fill me in on your plans in the comments so I can live vicariously through you! ;)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Covert Candy

U.K. fashionistas have a great new way to refresh their wardrobes -- covertly. Tired of items in your closet that you know won't fetch much at a thrift store? Why not just swap it out? Covert Candy allows you to do just that, without any money ever changing hands. With their simplified shop-and-swap system, vintage clothes shopping is easier than ever.

All you have to do is take pictures of and post your items, then come up with an estimated value - say, $10 (in this case, British £), and you will receive 10 credits to use on the site. Then you can use these credits toward an item, order it and have it shipped straight to you. It's a simplified way to thrift, and cheaper than bidding for some overpriced designer stuff on eBay.

I'm a huge fan of vintage and thrift shopping and love the thrill of the hunt. But this way you don't even have to spend any money, and you can clean your closet out at the same time. Bonus! (If I were British, I would trill, "Brilliant!" But alas, I am not...)

English gals are lucky to have the chance to participate in this fabulous clothes swap. And obviously, I'm thrilled to share sites like this when I come across them because they help further the sustainable fashion movement. The U.K. is actually lightyears ahead of the U.S. on this front-- they've been rocking eco-fashion for years. (Stella McCartney, hello!) The green fashion movement is definitely catching on here, but mostly in thanks to fashion innovators from across the pond.

U.S. gals who want to get in on the covert shopping fun can check out sites like Dig 'N' Swap, or simply host a clothes swap of your own! If anybody ever wants to swap with me... I get bored with my wardrobe pretty easily. -_- Sad but true. I'm willing to admit it. But I'm also ready and willing to swap stuff out!

Any U.K. readers ever check out Covert Candy? If yes, please let me know in the comments what you think. And if you haven't tried it yet... now's your chance!

Have a happy Friday, loves!

P.S. I will be choosing my contest winner tonight, so you still have time to enter! Midnight is my official deadline. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh, Deer!

As you can see, Ip & Audrey has a new header! This one is a bit more stylized and, I think, better fits the site. This is, of course, a blog about fashion, but it's also a personal page devoted to the way I see the world as a writer and performer (though I try not to talk about myself too much!). But I do like sharing my opinions with you, and hearing yours in turn. A style blog is a great way to both catalog one's wardrobe and chronicle daily life. Right?

Now, you may remember Ip & Audrey’s original header, featuring my site’s unofficial mascot—Ip the deer!The new header is all about Audrey, but Ip still has a special place in my heart. As I mentioned in my first-ever post, I love the story about Audrey Hepburn and Pippin, her pet deer. That story is what inspired my fashion blog in the first place. I also talked about my special deer pendant from Tiffany’s, a gift from my aunt. The necklace is near and “deer” (ha) to me not only because its sale proceeds funded a wildlife charity, but also because it reminds me of Audrey and her precious friend.

I wear my pendant almost every day, but I recently came upon another deer necklace that may just rival the one I own…

Astley Clarke's reindeer pendant comes in brushed gold or rhodium and would punch up any outfit. I’d love it with a simple neutral sweater or even an LBD.I’m also loving their gold reindeer cuff. f Ip & Audrey had its own accessories shop, I’d want to offer gorgeous pieces like this! They perfectly match my personal aesthetic; they’re classic, edgy and eye-catching, exactly what I’d want to wear every day.Check out the rest of Astley Clarke's "jewellery" (Brit spelling!) shop for even more stunning conversation pieces! Now I’m slipping on my deer pendant for luck and applying for some editor jobs. Yikes!

And don't forget: Tomorrow is the last full day of my designer purse giveaway. Enter here!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I hatched a hairbrained scheme...

... to go back to my natural hair color, a dark, honey blonde. All the dark brown I've been putting in my hair for the last year has mostly grown out, and though I would love to stay on "the dark side," it's just more practical and economic to stay closer to my natural color. After a three-hour transformation (!!!) at my local Aveda salon, I'm not quite back to my original blonde... but I'm getting there. My stylist had to shampoo my hair with bleach to banish the old brown, and then, as she put it, "highlight the crap out of it." These pictures make it hard to tell, but I figured I'd share 'em anyway:

Yippee! I figure one more trip to the salon in the spring, and I'll be good to go; after that, no more dye jobs! And now, just for fun, an outfit post. Sorry the photos are so small... my dopey camera likes to make close-ups really ridiculously huge and my outfit photos itsy-bitsy, even when I enlarge them! Or maybe it's all Blogger's fault. :P Anyway, here's my current style go-to (sweater dress!), worn two ways...
Sixties a-go-go:
Sweater dress: Loft
Beret: H&M
Scarf: Gap
Bag: Paul + Joe for Target
Tights: Target?
Boots: Apt. 9 (Kohl's, gift)

Après-ski chic:
Scarf, bracelet: Apt. 9 (gift)
Tights: Loft
Sunglasses: Simply Vera
Bag: Five Below (in Jersey! Woot!)

I wore the first outfit to church and to a work event on Sunday night. The second is from this morning for a meeting... now I'm slumming it in my favorite striped H&M sweater and distressed skinny jeans. I'm going to pull on my slouchy knee-high boots and run some errands, then do some more work from home. Exciting day, eh? Hopefully my week will become more eventful, as I'm planning a trip to Brooklyn this weekend. Can't wait!

In the meantime, don't forget to enter my purse giveaway! You know you want it!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Calling all you stylin' ladies!

What better way to ring in the new year... than with a new handbag? How about a chic, sleek, silver one? CSNstores.com has kindly donated this gorgeous metallic silver clutch by Elaine Turner:

Still not excited? What if I told you the lining is pink, and the frame is made out of bamboo? (How cool is that?!?)

Okay, now we're talking.

If you haven't yet checked it out, CSNstores.com is a major resource for online shopping. There are so many stores to click on, it really simplifies your search. My favorite is the massive shoe selection over at ShoesGotSole.com; I especially love the Aerosoles ankle booties. Too cute! So once you've won this pretty purse, it's the perfect excuse to scout for some new shoes. ;)

So here are the giveaway deets: Simply leave me a comment below. By the stroke of midnight on Friday, January 15th, I will select a winner at random (I think names in a hat is a good plan!). I will proceed to contact you if you've won, and you will receive your clutch in the mail. Sounds like a pretty good deal, no?

Good luck, ladies!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Favorite things: January

It's been a dreary January day, one spent mostly indoors. I've been trying to make myself clean house (ha!), but that's proved rather... trying. After cooking up some fabulous pasta e fagioli with turnip greens, I've finally got a few loads of laundry going. As the spin cycle does its thing, I'm going to let my fuschia nail polish dry and conjure up a list of things that make me smile, right now.

Anthropologie's Spring 2010 catalog:Sophie Kinsella's latest (hilarious) tome:

Katy Perry in Glamour (she looks unreal; that '40s-inspired pin-up look really works for her!):

Jason Mraz's Beautiful Mess - Live on Earth (especially his cover of "All Night Long"):Watching (and copying) Giada at Home:Finally (finally!) Netflix-ing (500) Days of Summer. Yeesh.

And... getting back to my roots! I've got my salon appointment booked; now I just need to keep my fingers crossed and hope my haircolor doesn't get botched!Also, exciting news! I might have a fun giveaway coming soon, so stay tuned!

What are your favorite things this month?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Global warming be darned

It's still snowing here. Mwuah-ha-ha!

Now if the polar bears want to venture south for the winter, they'd be more than welcome to chill in my backyard...
Beret: H&M
Sunglasses: Simply Vera
Sweatshirt, cords: Loft
Tee, vest: Gap
Scarf: Kohl's
Gloves: gift
Bag: NY & Co.
Boots: Report (Macy's)

They could keep company with this monstrous snow beast...