The Women’s March

Oh, you guys! I still have such warm fuzzies over yesterday that I had to post just one more pic here on the blog. Hope you aren’t sick off looking at a sea of pink fuzzy hats!

Cath marched in Atlanta and I marched it Seattle (pic above). Joining 4 million amazing people around the world in peaceful protest against hate and fear, felt so good.

And this is just the beginning of our peaceful activism. I just signed up to get weekly updates about ways we can remain active on this site: Wall of Us. I know it can feel overwhelming — like nothing you do can make a difference — but after yesterday, we know that’s not true! As this little guy knows, we like naps, but we’re woke!

Political Clothing

Confession: I have been buying more stuff lately. But it’s okay, guys! Not only do I truly love this stuff, I truly love what they stand for. All of these clothing items and buttons support Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and Hillary’s campaign (pre-Novemember).

I know wearing politically-messaged clothing isn’t for everyone, but I love cozying up in my Femme sweatshirt at home or walking down the street and getting high fives from other “nasty” women. It brings me no end of joy and I hope, in some small way, helps keep the world a safer place for us all by supporting causes that help those who feel most vulnerable under the Trump administration.

If you guys feel the same way, here are a few of the sites I’ve been perusing and buying from:

The Pin Cause
The Outrage
Dynasty
Democrats/Hillary Clinton

I’ll be peacefully walking in solidarity at the Women’s March in Seattle (pussy hat at the ready!) and Cath will be marching in Atlanta. Let us know if you guys will be in DC or other cities around the country!

Cleaning White Sneakers

In the eight nine ten? years that Lar and I have been writing Asian Cajuns, I think I’ve written at least three posts about shoe care. I don’t what it is, but my love of shoe polish and shoe cleaning runs deep. I caught the bug early on when I discovered my dad’s shoe polish kit in his closet and watched him buff his work shoes. Newly cleaned shoes are as satisfying as a new coat of paint  and it’s so quick. Instant gratification, my friends.

stan-smiths-before-cleaning

A couple of months ago I was lamenting to Lar about how stained and sad my Stan Smiths were looking. I love having a minimal shoe collection, but it means my shoes start looking worn really, really fast because I wear the same pair almost every day. And because Stan Smiths are white and I live in a state that has mud that is as red as the president-elect’s face while he tweets, my sneakers were looking rough.

In the past, I’ve had some success with baking soda and water when cleaning my white canvas sneakers , but felt like I needed something was less harsh for leather. I think it was one of Lar’s co-workers who recommended this Jason Markk essential kit:

jason-markk-cleaning-kit

It comes with a brush and a cleaning solution that is 93% natural and biodegradable – and has a nice fresh clean laundry-like scent to it. To clean your shoes, you put a few drops of the solution on the brush, dip the brush into a bowl of water, and then start scrub-a-dub-dubbing away on your shoes.

sneaker-cleaning-supplies

I only used a few drops to clean both shoes and then just wiped off the soapy water from the shoes when everything looked clean enough. No need to rinse. The solution is so light, it doesn’t leave any residue on the shoe. And ta da!

stan-smiths-after-cleaning

Brand spanking almost-new shoes! They’re not perfect (there are some stains from the laces that wouldn’t budge), but once I put the laces on, they looked so fresh and so clean clean. See?

clean-stan-smith-sneakers

I cleaned the laces with my whites on laundry day (without bleach) and then did a little happy dance in my new-looking Stans.

Snow, Snow, Snowwww

Just a few snowy pics from my Christmas in Montana. We didn’t exchange very many gifts this year, but getting to take a sleeper train through the snowy Rockies made me feel very Poirot-meets-the Polar Express. So pretty much a dream come true.

Experience over things. Wins every time, doesn’t it?

Feeling fancy, not guilty

A few weeks before Thanksgiving, I found myself roaming around downtown Seattle with a belly full of french fries and wine (the result of an early happy hour with a friend), heading in the direction of Nordstrom’s flagship store.

Fortified by my dutch courage, I confidently sidled up to the glowing beauty counters and demanded serious answers to one of life’s greatest questions: how do you prevent your make-up from sliding off your face and looking like an oil slick by the end of the day? Life-shaking stuff. Truly.

But the nice beauty-counter lady seemed to understand the gravitas of the situation and told me my “shinies” could be blotted away with this wondrous powder by La Prairie.

Brilliant! Hand it over!

My “confidence” didn’t let me blanch when she revealed the price tag. Of course getting rid of my shinies makes any price worth it. But by the time I walked away from the comforting warmth of lipstick tubes and La Mer lotion, my pinot glow had deserted me and I was beginning to feel those tiny needles of guilt just where my french-fry-wine-laissez-faire had been a moment ago.

Readers, I had just spent $100 on a jar of fairy dust powder.

I have never spent anything close to that on one beauty product. I still remember my very first purchase with my own money at the Clinique counter: pastel eyeshadow that cost $20 back in 1998. Twenty dollars! That was big money to this teenager.

But here’s the funny thing with this La Prairie purchase. The guilt didn’t grow, it dwindled.

I use this fabulous fairy powder every day. And not only does it 100% prevent my afternoon shinies, I feel like a goddess when I sprinkle it on my face.

The powder is a lighter, fluffier consistency than any powders I’ve used before — and it has this beautiful light scent that makes me feel like I belong in the pages of a glossy magazine.

I’m now convinced that sometimes a bit of luxury (even if purchased after a glass of wine) is totally necessary.

Talk about “sparks joy,” this powder does the trick. I’ve also noticed that since November, I haven’t once caved when browsing the drugstore make-up aisles when I feel I need a pick-me-up.

Buying better, but less wins again!

Ethical Finery?

Finding ethically sourced, affordable clothes is tricky. And when I say “affordable” I honestly don’t mean cheap. I know clothing companies that actually pay their workers a living wage can’t sell a jacket for $20 and a t-shirt for $3.

london-finery-3

So I was pleased as bees to stumble on this UK brand (that ships to the States!) called London Finery. Their whole raison d’etre is they were uninspired by the fast fashion trends in high street shops and saw a niche for women who want beautiful, quality clothes that last.

And that’s what I want too! As much as I love to take a gander at Zara and H&M offerings, it’s obvious that the quality (and style) isn’t meant to take you past a season or two.

london-finery-5

I haven’t ordered from Finery yet, so I can’t attest to the quality first-hand, but their more sustainable approach intrigues me and I want to save up for a few items. I particularly like their “forever pieces: accessibly priced pieces that can be part of your wardrobe forever.”

Cath and I are always on the look-out for more ethically sourced, beautiful companies. So let us know where else you guys shop. I really hope the ready-to-wear fashion world follows these more sustainable models like Finery and Everlane. Maybe style will prevail over trends in the not-too-distant future!

london-finery-2

 

A tale of three wallets

Apart from the number of face products I use, I’ve also been a maximalist in regards to my purse. And by purse I mean tote bag. And by tote bag I mean my life!

I’m definitely one of those women who like to carry everything with her just in case. And just-in-casers can not carry small bags because where would you put that hand lotion, hand sanitizer, extra pads/tampons, pain killers, hair elastics, bobby pins, stamps, band-aids, lip gloss, lip stick, lip balm, powder, blotting papers, loyalty cards, credit cards, debit card, coins, insurance card, I.D., bus pass, old receipts, lucky cat talisman, single small googly-eye, mustache-shaped paperclip, 2 still-pertinent and positive fortunes from fortune cookies … Okay, maybe those last few aren’t universal. But you get what I mean.

I have tried to down-size before. And I was totally inspired by Cath doing it (read how she down-sized her purse here). But somehow (again, like my face products), the fewer things I tried to have, the more I acquired. Math isn’t my strong point, but when has 2 minus 1 equaled 65?!

So I realized just recently that things have gotten out of hand. Why? Do you see those two wallets to the left of the turquoise mini-wallet in the pic above? I was using both of those simultaneously. That’s how much stuff I was carrying. I mean who uses two full-sized wallets day-to-day?

It seemed sane at first. I bought the Michael Kors wallet because my office building has a number of security doors with card beepers. Forget your card and you’re stuck in the 4th floor cafeteria when you have a meeting in the conference room on the 22nd floor. This wallet has a handy wrist band and holds my phone, so I could always have my card and phone and be kinda hands-free too. There are slots for a few other cards so I thought great! No more bulky wallet, I just need a credit card, debit card and my office pass!

But then I had to go to the doctor’s one day and didn’t have my insurance card. And then I realized I needed to carry two credit cards because one of them offers me cash back on groceries (aren’t you so proud, Dad?!). I couldn’t fit everything into my spiffy Michael Kors wallet so I pulled out my much-loved and seven-year-old Marc wallet and added that to my ever expanding tote-that-wishes-it-were-a-purse.

wallet-2

But enough is enough! I’m sure, I have actually used the band-aids and the hand sanitizer in my stash of seemingly ultra-necessary things I carry — but not that often. Maybe once a year. So, I bought this cute little turquoise wallet and am going to see if I can handle at least a smaller wallet and then see if I can graduate to a smaller bag.

I mean, I don’t even own a small purse. All of my purses think they are purses because they are leather and not canvas, but cavernous totes they are. I figure this is safe though. I don’t get a bag unless I can live the lifestyle of the bag.

Something to work toward, but I’ll let you know if this just turns into me carrying three wallets instead!

 

Fall 2016 Minimalist Wardrobe Inspo

I wanted to keep myself busy this weekend so I wouldn’t get too down about the election and everything that it implies. It really helped to read Lar’s post a couple of times and to spend time away from the news. I busied myself with house stuff like painting an old dresser for my bedroom (follow that riveting saga on my SnapChat: AsianCajunsCath) and cleaning my sneakers (future blog post coming).

I also distracted myself with some fall clothes inspiration. Now that it’s finally getting a little, tiny bit cooler in the south, it’s time to start thinking about long sleeves, cardigans, and boots.

This year, instead of showing you want I want to buy, I’m going to show you what I want to wear. Once I gathered these six images, I realized that I have almost everything in these photos:

fall2016_uniform

I’m a big fan of ankle-showing pants. They might not be practical for other parts of the country during the winter, but there are very few weeks in Atlanta where ankle length pants aren’t warm enough. I need to get some that are work appropriate because right now I just have some cropped jeans, which don’t give off that pantsuit air that I’m going for. #pantsuitnation

fall2016_uniform_casual

I still think white sneakers are the bee’s knees even though white is not traditionally appropriate during the winter. They’re also harder to pull off if you’re not showing a little bit of ankle (see a theme here?), but I think you can pull off that Scandinavian black jeans, black socks, and white sneakers look if you have enough confidence. For the two photos above, I have the slouchy blazer already, t-shirt, and jeans (both boyfriend and skinny styles), but I don’t have a wool 3/4 length coat and that’s definitely at the top of my list. Last year I wrote about how I ended up with this very practical winter coat after Kon Mari-ing all of my clothes. It functions perfectly for the winter, but not for nicer events like going out to a fancy dinner or going to the ballet (both of which I do all the time. . . ahem).

fall2016_fancy_uniform

Now, when I do want to dress up I like simple pieces like color-block dresses (is it still color block when it’s just black and white?!) or black skirts with a statement necklace. I love chunky, big, handcrafted-looking necklaces and am thinking about making one or two for the fall/winter season.

So there you have it. I’m still a sucker for an aesthetically minimalist pieces. If you’re bored with that look, check out Lar’s post, Is Minimalism as a Trend Waning?

In the same vein (and if you’re looking for more post-election distraction), read this article on Racked about how embellishments are back – and minimalism is out.

P.S.: All of the photos in this post are from Cup of Jo. Her blog is another good distraction and I love her Style and Beauty Uniform posts that show what real women wear.

P.P.S.: If you still want to indulge in some retail therapy, purchase one of these shirts or pins that supports Planned Parenthood.

It’s the little things

Literally. Tiniest lucky cat in the world. #Iheartyou

This is just distraction really. Cath and I are still trying to process the heart-breaking election here in the States.

I feel angry and sad and embarrassed — and absolutely devastated that so many people here (and around the world) will be afraid to live in or visit the United States because of fear-mongering and cruelty supported by a racist, sexist and bigoted president.

Yes, Cath and I both believe in continuing to fight the good fight, but I know we both feel like we need time to process this before we pick up the pieces and can move forward through this hostility toward a united humanity.

And hopefully in four years or less, love and inclusion will triumph over divisiveness, racism, and fear.

Much love to you all!

We love you, we love her. Please vote.

In this election I’m not voting for the lesser of two evils. I’m voting for the person that fought for minority and disabled children after leaving law school when she could have gone to a cushy firm and made partner. I’m voting for the person who fought for healthcare for families and children and continues to do so. I’m voting for the person who said “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights” even though she was encouraged not to — and has continued to support women domestically and internationally. I’m voting for the person who worked across party lines as a senator and got money allocated for 9/11 responders (and to think when she was running for that senate seat everyone said she would be too polarizing and wouldn’t get anything done). I’m voting for the person who is the most qualified presidential candidate we have ever had in the history of our democracy.

Does she walk on water? No. Do I think she’s a perfect person? No. Do I agree 100% with all of her policies and choices? No. Has she made mistakes in her long, political career? Yes.

But I don’t expect perfection in the White House (even if you came close, Barack and Michelle!). I want a hard-working, strong and whip-smart, public advocate who embraces equality and can weather the undeniably complex issues of our present and our future.