Category Archives: behind the blog

Walking in my first fashion show

I have exciting news to share… I recently had the opportunity to walk in my first fashion show! 😀 😀 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

How did it come about? Local Tacoma designer Annie Moe, of MOE Gallery, invited me to be one of the models for her new line of Indonesian batik styles. Annie Moe is from Indonesia and is doing her bit to both preserve and spread the beauty of batik. (And batik has a fascinating history as a cultural art form. For example, Indonesian batik was designated in 2009 by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.) She recently held her spring fashion show at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center in Tacoma.

And how did Annie come to invite me? I have actually taught her in class a few times, and after the most recent time, she asked me to model in her spring fashion show. It was a very sweet moment, as she started with saying, “I have noticed you love fashion…” Of course, I took no convincing to say YES! 😀

(And by the way, Annie did NOT know about my style blog beforehand — I shared my style blog with her afterwards, before publishing this post, to make sure she was cool with it.)

Behind the scenes

This was a wonderful event with loads of inspiring designs and cultural displays. I was in the back area with the other models, so I didn’t get to enjoy the show itself. But my husband took pics of me during the show, and I took a few pics behind the scenes.

The best part for me about the whole experience was the feeling of positivity and camaraderie of the models. All of us were amateurs — many, like me, walking in a fashion show for the first time — and we cheered and clapped for each other in the hallway after each round. (I haven’t posted any close-up pics of the other models out of respect for their privacy.)

Annie had all the outfits lined up on rolling rods and tagged with each model’s name and outfit number.

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

I had a fitting session in the week before the show, where Annie talked through what she wanted for each round of outfits, including what kind of emotion or vibe she wanted for each walk. Annie also went through the music for each round to help illustrate the vibe she was going for. We were all expected to do our own hair and makeup, and provide our own shoes and accessories, by the way, so I took lots of notes during my fitting session. It was fun to flip roles, for me to become Annie’s student! 🙂

(By the way, a shout-out to my mom:  I showed up for my fitting in my mom’s vintage sunglasses, which Annie loved! So I got to wear my sunglasses during the first two of the three outfit rounds. 😀 )

I was super impressed by how Annie had thought through everything, including the plan for the walk and where to hit our poses (where the stars are marked on the map below).

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery, walk route

As you can see below, now you know why I needed a quick-dry manicure!

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Behind the scenes at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

First outfit

I was the 5th out of the 17-model line-up, which included women, men, and younger girls. The first round of outfits was a cheerful mix of casual prints and styles. My outfit was a beach-ready maxi dress with box pleats, and I carried a teal-and-yellow print tote bag.

Yep, Annie had me pattern-mixing! 😀 The vibe was fun and confident.

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Second outfit

I was one of the taller models, so Annie wanted me in a shorter dress for the second round, to show off my legs. BAM! Mission accomplished. 😉 This dress fit LIKE A GLOVE. I loved the mix of the high neckline with the high-lo hem. All of the outfits in this round had this batik print of pinks and yellow-greens.

Annie wanted a more casual, sassy walking vibe for this round. And Sam managed to capture (and edit) a brief video clip of me walking in this outfit. Enjoy!

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Third outfit

This final round of outfits all featured this beautiful batik print of blues and blacks with subtle bits of orange mixed in. Annie designed all the batik prints as well as the garments. The long jacket I wore is open with no closures, so that’s my own black knit dress underneath, most recently seen here.

Annie wanted a more formal, strong vibe for this walk and round of outfits. I did attempt “smizing” (“smiling with your eyes,” as defined by Tyra via America’s Next Top Model). 😉 I felt great in this look!

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Librarian for Life + Style | Walking in my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Encore

And here we are all lined up for the final encore, clapping for the designer Annie Moe! As you can see, it’s a wonderful mix of diversity, designs and models alike. I was very proud to walk in the show, and to do my bit to support a local designer!

Librarian for Life + Style | Final encore at my first fashion show, MOE Gallery

Final thoughts

After the fashion show, which garnered a lot of local attention, several people asked me if I was nervous to walk in the show. I actually didn’t feel very nervous, mainly because I kept reminding myself that it wasn’t about me. It was about Annie and her designs and her business. My job was to showcase her vision to the best of my ability.

Plus, she articulated her vision so clearly — and gave lots of personal tips! For example, Annie recommended while walking toward the audience, to look just slightly above their heads so as to avoid getting nervous or distracted. It totally worked! (Plus, it helped that I got to wear sunglasses the first two rounds, so in a way, no one could “see” me.) We also had time to rehearse walking before the show began, which I think was very smart in helping calm any nerves the models had).

Like I said, Annie had really thought through everything, and it was such an awesome experience!

MOE Gallery

And finally, yes, MOE Gallery has a Facebook page PLUS an online shop! You can also visit Annie Moe’s personal Facebook page. Check out the batik for yourself! 😀


Note:  This post is NOT sponsored nor compensated by MOE Gallery. I actually debated about whether or not to publish such a personal post, but in the end, I thought my readers would find it interesting! 


Did you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at a local fashion show? Which of the outfits is your fave? Please leave a comment and share!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Flashback Fashion FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Me and my mom | Happy Mother’s Day 2017

Mother’s Day is this weekend in the U.S., so here’s another tribute to my beloved, color-coordinated mom! (Back in December, I also made a collage of outfits in my mom’s favorite colors, to honor my mom’s birthday.)

I’ve shown this picture of me and my mom, seen below, more than once on the blog, including in this fashion flashback post from Mother’s Day 2012. It’s one of the earliest photos of me and my mom together. It’s an oldie but a goodie! I’ve often joked about how others have literally mistaken me for my mom when they come across this photo — asking, “Whose baby is Jennifer holding?” — when the baby in that picture is actually me! 😉

This time, I thought I’d actually do a collage of me and my mom. I’ve always felt proud to resemble the women in my family — inside and out! ♥ (You can also see here in this post about how much I also physically resemble my maternal grandmother. A strong line of women — and genes! 😉 )

Librarian for Life + Style | Me and my mom collage, Mother's Day 2017

left, original post  //  right, original post

And yes, the skirt I’m wearing in this pic is another cotton maxi skirt my mom had around this time period — and then passed on to me years ago! I love wearing clothing and jewelry that my mom used to wear, as it’s like I get to carry a little extra bit of her around with me every day. ♥

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom — and mothers the world over!

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Everyday faves | The cream to my coffee

Everyday faves series

It’s time for a new entry in my now-monthly series about “Everyday faves,” to highlight everyday, or commonplace, things — or practices or habits — that make a difference in my life. For me, these posts are an exercise in self-reflection and appreciation.

Posts in the series have included:

The cream in my coffee

This month, I am highlighting the cream in my coffee. I haven’t always been a coffee drinker; I used to only drink tea. (And I still do drink tea a lot.) My husband, who likes to say he has coffee running through his veins, converted me to coffee a few years ago. (I have always loved the smell of coffee.) While he prefers his coffee black, I prefer mine with cream and sugar, or — the best of both worlds in my opinion — flavored coffee creamer.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, coffee creamer

Instagram pics of my coffee (and books)

If you follow my Instagram feed, then you’ll already know that I’m a coffee drinker. I have posted pics that include coffee cups or mugs, including:

Librarian for Life + Style | Instagram coffee pic

Librarian for Life + Style | Instagram coffee pic

Librarian for Life + Style | Instagram coffee pic

Current coffee creamer

I’ve tried different kinds of flavored creamers throughout the years, but my current favorite is Darigold in the french vanilla flavor.

Note:  This post is NOT sponsored by Darigold or by anyone else. I wanted to share my use of Darigold creamer with my readers via my “Everyday faves” monthly series.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, coffee creamer collage

Morning coffee ritual

My husband sets our programmable coffee machine each night, for whatever time I need coffee in the morning. (My schedule varies throughout the week.) He usually sets it for about a half-hour before I have to head off to work. I get dressed upstairs first, then head down for my morning coffee and then finish getting ready. I really enjoy this simple daily morning ritual:

  • Setting out a coffee cup.
  • Getting the creamer from the fridge and pouring a little creamer into the cup.
  • Pouring the coffee in and seeing it turn a caramel color.
  • Seeing the steam rise off the top and disappear into the morning air.

Bliss.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, coffee creamer collage

And yes, it’s SUPER important to me to put the creamer in FIRST, before pouring the coffee in, not after. Same goes for creamer or milk in tea. That way, the milk or creamer doesn’t curdle — which can happen when a cold substance hits an already hot substance, like if you poured the creamer in after you poured the coffee — plus you don’t have to bother about stirring the creamer around. Pouring in the coffee automatically swirls and stirs the creamer around. No need to dirty up a spoon! Yes, I am very practical, and proudly so. 😉

And now, it seems like a good time to have some coffee…

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, coffee creamer

Do you prefer coffee or tea? Do you have a preference for cream, sugar, etc.? Please leave a comment and share!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

5 more fun facts + 5 outtakes PLUS 5th blogiversary giveaway winners

Last week, I began celebrating my 5th blog anniversary, which culminates today in getting to announce the 5 winners of my 5th blogiversary giveaway. I thought a little extra celebration was in order. 😀 (Are you the winner? Scroll below.)

For a special thank you that ties in with one of my fun facts from last week’s post, I wrote out a thank you message in backwards cursive handwriting! (And provided a mirror image below, so you wouldn’t have to scramble your brain trying to read it or holding your computer or phone up to a mirror.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Giveaway thanks handwriting graphic

It’s funny how my backwards handwriting is basically a window into what my regular handwriting looked like at age 9. My regular handwriting looks very different today, but it’s like time stood still with my backwards handwriting. Weird, huh?

And now for one extra twist, today’s fun facts AND outtakes will all focus on Sam! He’s a huge part of this blog behind the scenes, as he takes almost all of the photos. Plus, he’s quite stylish — and just as goofy as I am in real life! 😀

Fun fact #1 about Sam:

He voluntarily attended a Marine Military camp as a teen and thought seriously during that time about joining the Marines and having a military career. I’ve seen the video of his camp experience, in which they show footage of him getting all his hair buzzed off!

Librarian for Life + Style | An outtake of Sam

Original post:  Sam’s style | Grey fedora + cords

Fun fact #2 about Sam:

And that’s just about the last time he got a major haircut… Sam’s hairstyle — long, curly hair parted in the middle plus a goatee — is essentially the same hairstyle he had when we first met, over 20 years ago. He’s had hair trims, of course, but it’s the same look. I can’t imagine him without a goatee! The beard is relatively recent, only the last couple of years.

Librarian for Life + Style | An outtake of Sam

Oooooooops, I forgot to post about this outfit that Sam wore earlier this spring. I will correct that oversight next week! In the meantime, enjoy this outtake 😀

Fun fact #3 about Sam:

One of his nicknames during high school was “Cheese Man,” because his jokes were so cheesy. (And continue to be!) He even had a little “Cheese Man” drawing because OF COURSE he was proud of this nickname. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | An outtake of Sam

Original post:  Sam’s style | Mixing brown + grey

Fun fact #4 about Sam:

Sam courted me by letter. He wrote his first letter to me the very day we met — on handmade paper, no less! — and continued to write letters to me the next few months. (This was also in the dark ages, before cell phones became commonplace.) I still have all those letters. And he still has all the letters that I wrote him! He is a true romantic!

♥ swoon ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | An outtake of Sam

Original post:  His and hers | Celebrating our anniversary with JORD wood watches + GIVEAWAY

Fun fact #5 about Sam:

This final fun fact is more about us together than just Sam. We got married over 15 years ago in a little one-steeple church in Poetry, Texas. Awwwwwww. ♥

Librarian for Life + Style | Sam jumps for joy over his new JORD wood watch

Original post:  His and hers | Celebrating our anniversary with JORD wood watches + GIVEAWAY

Announcing the giveaway winners

And now, without further ado, the winners of my blog anniversary giveaway, a $25 Out of Print e-gift card each that I will purchase myself. There were 84 actual entries, which I then put on a spreadsheet to keep track of them all. (Putting the entries on a separate spreadsheet also allowed me to respond to all your lovely comments on the post itself!) I then used the random number generator on the Random.org website to select the winning entries, which were entries #20, #83, #23, #8, and #51.

Winner #1

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Winner #2

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Winner #3

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Winner #4

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Winner #5

Librarian for Life + Style | 5th blogiversary winner

Congratulations to all the winners ! I will be in touch shortly so I can send you each the $25 Out of Print e-gift card. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

A huge THANK YOU to all who entered the giveaway to help me celebrate my fifth blog anniversary! I hope you enjoyed all the fun facts, including those from fellow readers, as well as all the outtakes.


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Everyday faves | Native deodorant

To celebrate my 5th blog anniversary, I’m personally hosting a giveaway for 5 lucky winners. This is the final day to enter the giveaway (!), so visit this post for all the details on how to enter. I will announce the 5 winners tomorrow.

Everyday faves series

This is the latest entry in my now-monthly series about “Everyday faves,” to highlight everyday, or commonplace, things — or practices or habits — that make a difference in my life. For me, these posts are an exercise in self-reflection and appreciation.

Posts in the series have included:

Native deodorant

This month, I’m highlighting my love of the all-natural, non-toxic deodorant from the Native brand. And this is probably the most literal entry in my “Everyday faves,” series thus far, since I wear deodorant EVERY DAY. 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, Native deodorant

Going Native

Back in February, I posted on my Facebook page about first trying out the deodorant that I had read good things about. (Of course, now I can’t find the posts and articles I had been reading earlier this year. Murphy’s Law.

Librarian for Life + Style | Facebook post about trying Native deodorant

After trying out the deodorant for a couple of months, I posted a follow-up on my Facebook page:

Librarian for Life + Style | Facebook post about trying Native deodorant

You can read more customer reviews of Native products here on their site.

Switching over to an all-natural deodorant

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, Native deodorant

I chose two scents, because they were doing a special discount at the time if you bought two or more deodorants. I chose the “Lavender & Rose” scent and an Unscented one just in case I didn’t like the “Lavender & Rose” one. I do like the “Lavender & Rose” scent, and it’s not overpowering at all. The sticks came in this cardboard shipping box, seen above, and the box arrived in just a few days. Gotta love free AND fast shipping!

Both deodorants are in my medicine cabinet now, and I use each stick about equally. I just go with the scent — or unscent — depending on my mood each day. (I’ve also noticed they have seasonal scents available at different times.)

There was a card enclosed in the package, seen below, with tips for how to transition to using the Native all-natural deodorant. It does take a bit of time to make the switch, for your body to adjust. It felt like it took me a couple of weeks, but it didn’t feel hard at all to transition. I just felt a little extra sweaty the first week or two.

Librarian for Life + Style | Everyday faves, Native deodorant

Does it work?

In a word, YES. It worked for me, at least. I waited a couple of months to write this review and post, because I wanted to make sure I really could recommend Native deodorant. And I do recommend it. The peace of mind alone is worth it, knowing that it’s non-toxic, aluminum-free and paraben-free. (There’s also a sensitive option, for those sensitive to baking soda.)

I still sweat when I’m wearing the Native deodorant, which is natural, but I don’t stink by the end of the day. (Thank goodness!) I put it on the morning, about three swipes back and forth, and then I can just go about my day. It’s AWESOME. Plus, it doesn’t seem to be leaving any gross residue so far on the underarms of my shirts and dresses. I used to use the “invisible” type of deodorants, like from Secret or Lady Speed Stick, but when it came time for laundry day, I would STILL find a build-up of white residue on the underarms of my dark shirts and dresses. I have not found that kind of residue build-up on my clothes thus far after two months of wearing Native deodorant.

I honestly don’t think I will ever go back to regular deodorants. I am a #GoNative convert. An all-natural deodorant that WORKS. It’s like the magical unicorn of body care products.

Get a free travel-size Native deodorant

If you’re also interested to #GoNative, then you can get a FREE travel-size deodorant with your next purchase by clicking this link. Plus, Native ALWAYS has free shipping and free returns.


Note:  For full transparency, this post is NOT sponsored by the Native brand. I’m writing about Native deodorant because I truly use it every day and love it and want my readers to know about it. However, please know that the link above is a referral link. This means when you get a free travel-size deodorant, then I’m eligible to get one, too. #GoNative!


Have you used an all-natural deodorant? Do you have a favorite brand that you swear by? Have you tried any that didn’t work for you? Please leave a comment and share!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday, #iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning Heads, Style With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy Wednesday, What I Wore Wednesday, I Feel Pretty Wednesdays, Weekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion Files, Thursday ModaCelebrating StyleFashion FridayPassion for Fashion, Fun Fashion FridayCharming FridayFriday Favorites, Fancy Friday, Fine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp