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Oct 24th
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Obsessive Beauty

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Flip Flops

Flip FlopsLove ’em or hate ’em? I’m curious to hear from readers what you think about flip flops, since it’s summer time and everyone’s wearing them. Me? I think they’re awful. Absolutely ugly. Who wants to look at toes?
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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Lemon Liftoff Top

Lemon Liftoff Top

If I had $118 to blow right now, this is where I’d spend it—on Anthropologie’s Lemon Liftoff Top, a blouse with a big, fat bow, and small owl designs on the shirt. It’s remarkably adorable with puffy sleeves and a flattering cut. Pair it with jeans and contrasting bright heels. Or, if you dare, take a look at the image online at Anthropologie.com and tell us new sewers how to do a knock off of this design. Granted, we’d have to give up the yellow owl print, but for $20 we could probably make this shirt. If only we knew how. Fashionistas and seamstresses out there—can you give us the scoop? Say we have a simple button up shirt pattern. What’s the best way to alter it to make this shirt? Weigh in here with your thoughts on Obsessive Beauty.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Cozy Couch

Cozy Couch

If you’ve ever bought a piece of furniture from IKEA, you well know that you get what you pay for. In my case—I bought a $100 white couch. I was so enamored by the price and cute style, that I didn’t ever check to see if there was a slip cover for it that I could replace or even wash for that matter. There wasn’t. And now, a few years later, well, let’s just say the couch isn’t really white anymore. I’ve scrubbed and scrubbed to get dirt off it, and the dirt just won’t budge. It’s time to buy another sofa—another cheap sofa. I’m pretty reluctant to take the IKEA route again, so I found what I think is a great and affordable alternative. MUJI is a Japanese-inspired store that I came across in New York. It features spare, modern designs in furniture, housewares and more. What I’m eyeing right now is the “Compact Sofa Light Grey,” which really looks more like a cream color. And it has a slipcover that you can remove and wash. The size is compact but perfect for two people and it has a sleek aesthetic. Price: $327.50. muji.us/store/furniture.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Bathing Beauty

Bathing Beauty

It’s that time of year. (Unfortunately.) And for curvy girls, this time of year just doesn’t feel fair—waif-like women flaunt their skinny legs and cavort around the beach, while us thick legged, full hipped ladies try to cover everything up. Well, curvy fashionistas, it’s time we change and join in on the fun, and look quite stylish while doing so. I have found the perfect bathing suit. This one covers up your tummy and tucks in your tush, while at the same time serving up a very stylish look. Find this swimsuit on sale now at Anthropologie.com or for full price at Nanettelepore.com.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

In Bloom

In Bloom

During a recent shopping trip just down the street in Santa Cruz, to Wallflower Boutique, I noticed a stunning patch of wallpaper that literally “makes” this store what it is (besides the cute clothes and charming accessories). Wallpaper can do that—absolutely change the visuals of a room, and give it character. Such is the case with this Anthropologie “Paeonia Wallpaper,” which sells for $148 a roll. Sure, it’s expensive, but simply wallpapering your home or workspace is a lot more cost effective than buying all new furniture. Try pairing it with grey curtains (find them cheap at IKEA), or a navy colored rug. Either way, stay in “bloom” with this wallpaper.

Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Serendipity

SerendipityI’ve been trying to perk up my boring Greek yogurt these days. People say it’s fine plain, but I really can’t stand it. The protein count, however, really makes it worth it. But I needed to spice it up a little, so I went over my local health food store and found a jar of Serendipity Saucy Spreads. I chose Boysenberry (without sugar). Agave Nectar is added to sweeten it up, and at 26 calories per tablespoon, neither a calorie or sugar coma awaited me. The result—I turned my bland yogurt into something that tasted like boysenberry pie filling. Fantastic. Sure, the price is a little higher than the average grocery store brand, but those sorts of jams are loaded with gobs of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Serendipity Saucy Spreads, on the other hand, are made by a mother and daughter team here in Santa Cruz, and boast all natural ingredients. Check them out: serendipityspreads.com.
Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

I’ve been obsessing over this 3-D Flower Mesh Jumper top in the color “Blossom” for quite sometime now. It sells for $88 at American Apparel and comes in one size only. It’s sort of like a sweatshirt/blouse combo, in an exquisite hue, with a soft texture. This is really a one-of-a-kind top. You can pair it with pretty much anything, but because it cuts off just at the waist, you need to be comfortable not covering up the junk in your trunk. Can’t afford to fork over the $88 to buy it from American Apparel? Try making your own version. Obsessive Beauty is currently taking sewing classes at Judy’s Sewing Center in Capitola, and in a few months (after we’ve learned quite a few more skills), we’re hoping to re-create this divine frock. You can pick up a similar type of fabric at Harts Fabric in mid-town: http://www.hartsfabric.com/rosettes-fashion-fabric61255.html. Harts has a black version of this rosette fabric currently in stock. The white and pink versions are on back order and are supposed to arrive sometime this summer.

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Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Diamond Days

Diamond DaysScandinavian designer, Lotta Jansdotter, has done it again with her new(ish) line of purses, totes, and small pencil bags. This one is our favorite. With cascading lines of mustard yellow colored diamonds, it’s made out of linen, with an inner pocket and leather straps. Sized 13-inches by 14-inches, it has plenty of room to work as a day bag for your trek around the city. It’s stylish, innovative, and offers a design and color that will genuinely go with anything. If you haven’t discovered Jansdotter yet, now’s the time—her website, Jansdotter.com offers a series of original products created by this writer and artist, who, interestingly enough, years ago attended Cabrillo College. Jansdotter is a sweetheart, and an inspiration. Her books teach crafters how to make their own projects. If you’re ever in Brooklyn, you have to stop by her studio/store to pick up fabric scrap bags, stationary and much more. Each time I’ve been there (three times so far), I have plunked down a nice chunk of cash and came out with a load of fun new things and projects to start working on.
Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Telling Time

Telling TimeWe’ve written about her in the pages of Good Times before, but Terry McInerney is still getting an A+ in our grade book for creating fine leather goods. Take this $45 brown leather cuff watch, for example. Suited for a variety of wrist shapes, these watches come in a slew of leather options, and faces. McInerney can custom order your vision of a cuff watch, or you can order one straight from her Etsy shop (Nualaleather). Timeless, classic, rustic, charming and über stylish, these timepieces are a must-have. I’ve been eyeing them for over a year now and should probably just call her up and custom order one for myself. Also on her Etsy page is another Obsessive Beauty favorite—a cuff with a broach attached to it—whimsical and fashionable, and perfect for the upcoming fall season.
Blogs - Obsessive Beauty

Kaight

Kaight

I had always wanted to meet Kaight—an eco-boutique in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. During a recent trip to the Big Apple, I finally had a chance to visit, and the store is indeed worthy of the press that it has received. With an enormous selection of Melissa Plastic Dreams shoes (my favorite), and environmentally friendly (but still stylish) clothing and accessories, it’s one of those stores where you could easily drop a bunch of money. Even if you don’t have dough to burn, but you’re visiting Manhattan, take a stop at this little boutique. It’s edited beautifully, and even if you leave with nothing, you’ll at least take with you some fashionable inspiration and a new look at the word “green.” Kaightshop.com.

 
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Santa Cruz Restaurant Week

A huge part of Santa Cruz Restaurant Week has always been about offering a great dining experience for an affordable price. For some locals, the $25 flat-rate cost has provided the opportunity (or the excuse!) to try new spots, and indulge in Santa Cruz fine dining in a way they might have thought too pricey before.

 

Scorpio Sun, New Moon Eclipse, Mercury Direct

The Sun enters Scorpio’s mysteries Thursday under a new moon and partial solar eclipse (something essential has come to an end, its purpose completed). In Scorpio we harbor secrets, are devoted to something deep, dark and hidden. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We can bring great suspect to our assessment of others. Scorpio is the scorpion, the serpent and the eagle—three levels of development. As the serpent we take shelter in our beliefs. Sometimes we bite (or sting). The eagle vanquishes old beliefs through its sharp intellect, soaring high in the air, seeking to understand through perspective. Understanding releases us from the bondage of fear. The eagle is like the mother soothing feelings of mistrust, offering protection. Knowledge does this, too.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Light Humor

College comedy questions a post-racial America in ‘Dear White People’

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Back Porch

Austin Kaye on backyard dinners and why it’s his favorite time of year to be a chef

 

What’s the most outrageous situation you ever saw at a restaurant?

Damani Thomas, Santa Cruz, Chef/Owner

 

Wine Lust

The Spanish Godello grape, plus arancinis, tender butter lettuce and pork schnitzel at Soif

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher