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My shave lasts about six hours...

...but it was too hot to wear pants, so I said, "Screw the world they will deal with my stubble I am wearing a dress suckers." Good thing, because it became a conversation point when I was meeting people in my theater class. (Well, it was for Benjamin, anyway, who was dressed like a leprechaun because of the heat. (He only had one pair of shorts, which happened to match his neon green t-shirt.) I felt his pain.)

Above, floral dress: Goodwill + DIY bubble hem. Striped socks: dollar store. White canvas shoes: Payless.

I did the bubble hem on this dress the only way I know how (with two layers) to achieve the look I want. But because I'm not a very good seamstress, the left side of the dress is shorter than the right (in the picture). I try to compensate by wearing the elastic crooked on my waist, but it doesn't quite work.

Usually I just hope people are too preoccupied with the bright blue floral print to notice. See me making myself look as large as possible to scare away mountain lions people who might notice the crookedness?

Wearing tennis shoes with a dress always brings to mind the 1950s and saddle shoes and poodle skirts. Anyway.

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exchange student

I had to exchange my Near Eastern Studies reader at a copy center on the other side of campus because they gave me two of the same thing, which, most unfortunately, required getting dressed. On the bright side, I have mentally resolved that being a Cal student doesn't mean I have to embody Cal. Hence, shots of Stanford red.

Above, sweatshirt: Cal Student Store. Lips: MAC Slimshine in Swelter. I (Heart) NY t-shirt: Chinatown, New York. Shorts: mother's, Old Navy + scissors. Tacky red socks: don't know. White canvas shoes: Payless.

Anyway, as someone extremely uncomfortable in my skin (and I mean skin, not body), it was a bit of an accomplishment for me to step out bare-legged in front of people who aren't family. In fact, going bare-legged was one of my short-term goals for this year, and it's another step in this year's resolution to get more comfortable in my skin, however I have to do it.

Go me.
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fat (house)cat

This is how you start a school year. Not freaking the shit out. Chilling the freak out.

I'd like you to note Tony's shorts (far right), which are gingham! Way to mix black and white patterns, EECS boy.

Above, Neville Longbottom t-shirt: Hot Topic, gift. Jeans: Levi's 518. Socks: Cal Student Store.

That's me massaging my arm after carrying floor lamps with Kim back to our apartment about six (long) blocks away from the pickup place.

Things are well.
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no air

It's so hot that when my mama picked me up, she said that it's like there's

In other news, I got into my theater class! Granted, it is an intro course, but getting through auditions is always stressful, so I'm glad it's over. In even more shocking news, this week has been really good, and Cal is not making me want to throw up or cry yet.

Here's what I wore to my audition to look clean and serious but very much young and female.

And here's the expression I had on my face for a large part of my monologue as Mirandolina.

Actually, I feel like the Mirandolina monologue doesn't require much emotional investment; the challenge is being Mirandolina rather than playing her, because everyone has some Mirandolina in him or her. It's just hard to tap into that part on command. Which is what rehearsing is for.

Above, white puff-sleeve blouse: United Colors of Benetton. Satin shorts: Nordstrom Rack. Light gray argyle tights: H&M. Ballet flats: Palladium.
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This was what I wore for my first day and night at school. I am lucky to know people who like to cook, or else dinner would have consisted of Nutella sandwiches instead of vegetable stew and pasta. Also the background for my outfits may change a few times before I settle on a place to put my camera for self-timed pictures. It's a detail of moving in that I forgot to anticipate because it's not one of those things that shows up on packing lists. (Unlike my toothbrush, which was just dumb to forget.)

Above, t-shirt: Wicked tour, Los Angeles. Brown corduroys: delia's. Shoes: plaid Keds.

As you can see, I am sporting a Wicked t-shirt from the Los Angeles tour stop. If I were to channel my inner Galinda (and she's definitely there), I would look like this:

Above, Evening Stripe Organza Teen Vogue Dress in blue, $350 from the Betsey Johnson Official Store

Above, Tiffany Majestic diamond necklace, $1,650,000 from Tiffany & Co.

Above, 60s Silver Sling-Back Heel - Size 8 1/2 from thecrumpetcloset, $34.99 on etsy
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into the wild

My mom keeps these oversized Chinese magazines that I can't read (being unable to read Chinese fluently) lying around the house. So I can't read my horoscope or any of the recipes or celebrity profiles, but images are their own language, right? The one I picked up most recently had wild-animal-themed editorial in its fashion section that I really like for reasons I do not understand. Here are a few photos of photos:

By the way, for anyone wondering, first day of classes' ass: kicked. I don't know how the audition went, but we'll see. It's okay; either way, I still met the CUTEST, BLONDEST guy with a BRITISH ACCENT taking CHEM1A (I need a brain to keep me warm at night!) while waiting for my audition time.
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Today I am happy from wallowing in the luxury of spending time with people I genuinely like and who know me and for whom the walls go down.

I cannot say much about tomorrow except that I am almost ready to kick its ass. I am going to kick four hours of classes' ass and I am going to kick the audition's ass and I am going to kick meeting new people's ass.

Self, you will do this. I don't care if you don't feel like it or if you're scared or if it would be easier to pull another freshmen year. Fake it 'til you make it.

Voldemort Fazed-Girl out, beezies.
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sock it to me

My brother was here this weekend for his first birthday at home in five years, which called for a clam chowder and caramel apple run to the pier, which requires lots of loose change for street parking. Enter my sock.

Above, sweater: mother's. T-shirt: BFF, Threadless. Necklace: keychain + DIY, gift. Sock: Old Navy. Shoes: Harajuku Lovers.

We were going to use a white cotton sock to carry our parking meter money, but I actually don't own any, so I had to go with this pair, which needed to be stretched out anyway.

And here's the redic necklace I was sporting, made from a blingy keychain my friend got me when I was about twelve. You might assume that the S is my first initial, standing for my first name, but no. S stands for SuperMegaFoxyAwesomeHot, just like Cho Chang, the girl that Harry's been totally in love with since freshmen year. (She has a Southern accent.)

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Hello, 2.5 readers. I am officially back in Berk. Filled with total and utter DREAD. And with no posts planned. Will work on this.
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sweater vest of woe

Snippets of joy, via Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, retold by Sarah Rees Brennan:
HARRY: Here I am, randomly in a train station, reading the paper, scamming on the hottest waitress in the world.
HOTTEST WAITRESS IN THE WORLD: It's your lucky day, Harry Potter. I've always had a weakness for pasty younger men.
DUMBLEDORE: And now I arrive in a swirl of magic!
HARRY: I miss the days when magic arrived to rescue me from my abusive childhood, rather than to rescue me from hot waitresses.

DUMBLEDORE: So I'm taking you to visit a friend of mine I want something from. He enjoys underage celebrities. You're like a fruit basket.
HARRY: Cool.
DUMBLEDORE: Ah, my boy. Never have I been more grateful that you were raised so messed up.

FILCH: I have to go through all the student's trunks. Including Mr Malfoy, who has brought approximately seven trunks of clothing. And a walking stick.
DRACO: Don't touch my daddy's pimp cane! It is a sacred heirloom of the Malfoy line. And don't criticise my packing: this year I'm scheduled to have a dark night of the soul, and I have to be appropriately dressed!

HARRY: Ah Quidditch try-outs. Good to be young and single and fit, surveying my options on the stands. Quiet everyone-
CORMAC MCLAGGEN: Hey, I thought I'd introduce myself. My name's Cormac, and you've never seen me before because I just transferred into Gryffindor. I heard this was the go-to house if you're interested in getting some play this year .
HARRY: Yeah, I don't know how those rumours got started, dude, or well, I do, but the thing you have to understand is that I was young! Impressionable! And Cedric Diggory was all, 'Do I dazzle you?' and-

LAVENDER BROWN: The way to love a man is to radiate support and encouragement!
HERMIONE: The way to love a man is to use trickery and inflict brain damage on innocent bystanders.
SCENE: I think we're all clear on which romance is the real one here.

HARRY: You rang, headmaster?
DUMBLEDORE: Just wondering if you're single!
HARRY: ... Oh my God, what?
DUMBLEDORE: That a yes? Not tapping Hermione Granger on the sly?
HARRY: No! Oh my God, could this be any more inappropriate?
DUMBLEDORE: Excellent. Glad to know you're single. In a totally unrelated subject, I'd like you to cosy up to Professor Slughorn. Get some information out of him. Aaaany way you can think of.
HARRY: ... I see I asked a silly question.

HERMIONE: Look, here's Ginny! She looks eligible for marriage tonight, doesn't she?
HARRY: She is looking pretty foxy, actually, I'd like to-
HERMIONE: Sit your ass down, Harry Potter. If you like it then you'd better put a ring on it.

KATIE'S FRIEND: Katie, maybe taking packages from dudes in bathrooms isn't a good idea.
HARRY: I blame Draco Malfoy, on account of how I saw him plotting evil, and then he told me he was plotting evil, and then I saw him at the scene of the crime looking shifty and wearing his hat of plotting evil!
MCGONAGALL: That's ridiculous, Mr Potter.
HARRY: It is not! You know how he likes to dress for the occasion!

RON: Oh my God, the big game. Oh my God, all eyes on me.
HARRY: As the Quidditch prodigy here there'll probably be a few eyes on-
SCENE: Pretty much all eyes on Ron, yep.
HARRY: No fair!
SCENE: You and your broom got enough play in Equus, my friend.

HARRY: Are you... doing okay, Hermione?
HERMIONE: Are you exhibiting interest in my feelings and my life apart from you, Harry?
HARRY: Yeah.
HERMIONE: ... Are you sure you're feeling quite well?

HERMIONE: Why oh why did I ask Cormac 'Busy Hands' McLaggen to the Christmas party?
HARRY: Is he disrespecting you, Hermione? I will kick his ass!
HERMIONE: You're not really the kind of man friend who beats up guys for me, Harry. More the kind of man friend who stands behind curtains with me and gossips about boys.

SNAPE: I want to protect you, Draco!
DRACO: You're not my father! YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE A PIMP CANE.

MOVIE: Remember, ladies, Draco Malfoy is not your boyfriend!
AUDIENCE: Good thing that ladies are never attracted to dudes who lean artistically about the place and suffer eternal torment.

RON: Omigod Harry, I love Romilda Vane so much.
HARRY: Slughorn, Ron accidentally got into some chocolates for me that were filled with Love Potions, so-
SLUGHORN: How could you accuse me of such a thing, Harry?
HARRY: I was wondering if you could cure him, possibly?
SLUGHORN: Oh right. Totally.

SNAPE: I don't want to carry out your plans anymore! And I find your interest in the students' love lives truly inappropriate!
DUMBLEDORE: Severus! Don't you know this is a critical period in their lives - if you don't find mutual true love by the time you're seventeen, you'll end up bitter and alone, weeping over your shattered dreams, only washing your hair on the anniversary of their deaths...
SNAPE: ...
DUMBLEDORE: Oh, right.

SCENE: Even Draco's hair has now entered a spiral of depression.
DRACO'S HAIR: Tiny Ruffled Bangs of Misery.

HARRY: Guys, do you think if I drugged myself I could get Slughorn to talk to me?
HERMIONE: Don't you mean, if you drugged him-

HARRY: Heyyyy Slughorn.
SLUGHORN: Uh, have the ladies been dosing you again?
HARRY: NAH. I just feel REALLY AWESOME. Hey, let's take a WALK. Just you and a young celebrity and NATURE, what do you say?
SLUGHORN: That sounds inappropriate. I'm in!
HARRY: Just you and a young celebrity and a giant man and a giant spider and a copious amount of alcohol, how about it?
SLUGHORN: Wow, when you go for inappropriate, you really go all out!
HARRY: I AM the Chosen One.

HARRY: Remember the inappropriate gift my mom gave you? You should tell me all about that incriminating talk you had with Voldemort, or the fish bowl - which is like your heart - will remain always empty. Because a fish that was a petal that was symbolically my mom won't be there. Because the fish that was a petal that was my mother is also your courage. In the fishbowl. That is your heart.
HARRY: SYMBOLISM. If you'd been paying attention to the Draco Malfoy scenes, you'd know it was important.

HARRY: So Katie, I'm glad you're alive, and all-
KATIE: Draco Malfoy.
KATIE: Is right behind you. You know, it's funny.
HARRY: The way he totally almost killed you?
KATIE: No, the way all the other students are wearing jumpers...
DRACO: *is wearing the Sweater Vest of Woe*

HARRY: I know you're in this bathroom, Malfoy! I've seen the Tiny Ruffled Bangs of Misery! I've seen the Sweater Vest of Woe! I know EVERYTHING-
DRACO: I am so wretched I have even wrenched off the Sweater Vest of Woe, further disarranging the Ruffled Bangs of Misery! Nothing can make my life worse!
HARRY: Oh, wow. Awkward.
DRACO: Seems I was mistaken.
HARRY: Gosh, I'm taken aback.
HARRY: No, that I had pretty much figured out, I just thought you'd be dealing with your evil in a more manly way.
DRACO: What about my generally ineffectual drama queen routine of the last six years gave you that idea?
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So I was talking to Connie a while ago and realized independently of the conversation that I never really knew what this meant until recently.

"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit."

- Peter Ustinov

And now I do, and it is sort of breaking me and filling me up. It is also terrifying because who will forgive me everything? (Who Will Love Me As I Am?)

(I Believe, I Believe, I Believe) All Will Be Forgiven.

I should stop living in my head?
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blue steel

I was not trying to look like Zoolander. I was just gazing vacantly. With no intent. Whatsoever. I promise.

Above, blazer: City Triangles, thrifted. T-shirt: United Colors of Benetton. Misunderstood pants: somewhere in Vancouver + DIY destruction. Shoes: Fafi for Adidas.

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you're the tigger to my winnie

I am such a huge nerd, it is not even funny, except when it is.

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I wish I could talk to animals.

Despite associating anything leopard print with old ladies wearing stirrup leggings and fanny packs gambling in Vegas, I really do try to understand. Really. For example, I understand these leopard print shorts and this leopard print cardigan.

But why, why, in the name of all that is good in this world, would you ever think of mixing leopard print with a repeating butterfly motif? I suppose mixing leopard spots with butterfly wings could be thematically appropriate, and that this picture just happens to make this dress look like a huge pair of pants, and that the colors could be nice together, but for $396, just say no. I can't do it. Maybe you can. I'm not strong enough.

Also, if I want a leopard print top that costs $84, I want one that satisfies both of these requirements:
A) does not give the impression of recently being mauled by a leopard
B) does not give the impression that there was not enough mauled leopard for two sleeves
...This top does not satisfy the above requirements:

*Disclaimer: I am sorry if any of you own the leopard print I do not understand. I repeat, I am just not strong enough.
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progress report

The scarf, in all its reversible cable glory, with a ring for size comparison. I have a long way to go.

And the sequined shirt, which also has a long way to go. I had to stop here, though, because my bag of 600 loose sequins ran out and I had to run out and get another (three).

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Going (going) back (back) to Cal(i), Cal(i)

In preparation for returning to school, I prepared a Letter-Writing Kit for myself consisting of envelopes, postcards, postcard stamps, Forever stamps, stickers, and mini stationery sheets. I figure that if I have the postage and paper ready (except binder paper, which is what I usually use for long letters, but which I also usually have lying around), I’ll be more likely to actually mail things out this year. We’ll see how it goes.

If, unlike me, you weren’t an avid letter-writer as a child and don’t have a drawer full of stationery and stickers emblazoned with sparkly Hello Kitties and Tare Pandas, here are some Etsy picks for you, starting with stationery:

Above, Icypole Letter Writing Set - Printable PDF by KennyPow, $5 on etsy

Above, Kokeshi Doll Mini Letterhead Set by StephanieFizer, $10 on etsy

Above, R a i n y D a y L o u i s e printable stationery by hollydoodle, $3 on etsy

Above, Cupcakes Vanilla and Chocolate - 5 note cards by ilovedielines, $3 on etsy

Envelop those letters of love with the most exciting envelopes you will ever find:

Above, Fall ENVYlope envelope set by travelinmama, $5.50 on etsy

And seal with a kiss. Or skeleton keys, or pictures of men, or scary deer, or crowns, or map-hearts. The usual.

Above, Skeleton Key Stickers and Envelope Seals by seasonaldelights, $4.75 on etsy

Above, your new boyfriend handmade sticker set - special sailor edition by nowvember, $7 on etsy

Above, Vintage Deer and Fawn Handcut Stickers by shop66, $5.50 on etsy

Above, CROWN THAT by BrambleberryLane, $2.95 on etsy

Above, set of 20 map heart stickers by picklehead, $5.50 on etsy

There's nothing like receiving something physical in the mail that isn't a catalog or a message from your bank of a friendly reminder that "It's time for your checkup!" Seeing an envelope, a letter, with your address and your name and a message that someone wrote just for you in handwriting familiar enough to recall a voice with all its inflections is stupidly satisfying. It's like, someone took a writing utensil and formed letters on a piece of paper just for me.
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hanging out

Pockets visibly hanging out of denim shorts? DO NOT WANT.

However, men's shorts seem to have extra deep pockets anyway, so I will forgive myself for this pocket mishap:

Above, green t-shirt: Old Navy, mother's. Jacket: gift. Shorts: secondhand Old Navy, brother's + DIY. Tights: H&M. Plaid shoes: Keds.

Wore to thrift and walk around shady parts of the city on a sunny day. Went home with an embroidery hoop. (I'm getting very good at this "willpower" thing and find that I kind of like self-denial. I enjoy being tragic and not buying clothes, you know?) Most exciting part of the day was undoubtedly the fabric store which was basically a warehouse full of Costco-esque shelves stacked with rolls of every fabric you could possibly need.
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