Saturday, December 3, 2016

worth reading part two


The other day, one of my friends was trying to explain to me how much someone loved something, and she said "like almost as much as you love books." So basically, if you know me, you know I'm in love with literature, and I'm always reading something. Two summers ago, I published a post about five of my favorite books. Many of those are still at the top of my list, like Lolita and Infinite Jest, but I have some new ones to add as well.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides is the novel my favorite movie is based upon, and it retains all of the aesthetic beauty within its pages. It's about the short lives of the five Lisbon sisters, from the distorted lens of obsessive neighborhood boys. They fixate on the girls, trying to piece together the mystery of their life and overbearing parents.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath chronicles the breakdown of its main character, Esther. She begins at an exciting summer magazine internship in New York City, but she's already losing interest. Once she returns home, Esther learns she's been rejected from an important writing program. This sparks her depressive spiral, and Plath makes Esther so real that all thoughts seem rational and real.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace is the best essay collection I've read. The whole thing, particularly the title essay, is hilarious; I was laughing out loud throughout the narrative of his cruise experience and trip to the Illinois state fair. He also writes about David Lynch and literary theory. Like always, Wallace uses his control of language and brilliance to make anything interesting.
After reading Kate Zambreno's Heroines, I became obsessed with Zelda Fitzgerald. Save Me the Waltz is Zelda's only novel, and she wrote it in a frenzied six weeks. After discovering her husband was vampirizing her and her psychiatric experiences for Tender is the Night, while he was blocking her from publishing, Zelda took it upon herself to claim her own experiences. She depicts young femininity with honest and tragic truth. It's been criticized for being too autobiographical, but I think that is part of its strength.
You've probably seen photos of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur on Instagram, the place where Kaur began sharing her poetry. Her pieces are emotional and moving, with themes of femininity, love, loss,  and survival. It's a journey of her healing from a destructive relationship. Girls are adoring it, which I love because I think it's inspiring a resurgence of poetry appreciation.

Check these out and share your favorites with me also!

much love, 
claire
outfitsandobservations@gmail.com


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Eliza Starting

Last month, I started writing a column for my school newspaper where I spotlight teenagers who use their passion to pursue awesome things and make change in the world. For my first column, I got the chance to interview Eliza Rubin of the Eliza Starting podcast that I've mentioned before. She's the sweetest and the coolest, and I was so lucky to get to chat with her! She's going to continue to do awesome things.


Eliza Rubin is the force behind “Eliza Starting at 16,” a weekly podcast in which she “explains what’s going on in the big, wild world of teenagers these days.” She’s also a high school senior living in New York City.

Rubin publishes 10-15 minute episodes on iTunes each Sunday. She uses this time to candidly discuss her life and interests, the way she navigates the city and what’s going on with her generation. She presents her ideas in an articulate and insightful way that illuminates the matters.

One of Rubin’s frequent topics is the complexity of being a teenager today; she attempts to explain the things that often go unnoticed or misinterpreted by other generations. This can range from social media to selfies to the college application process to celebrities.

Lately it’s been comforting to hear Rubin’s thoughts on the college application process and how that differs at her school. Even though she attends a private high school on the Upper East Side and her life is considerably different than mine, we still face many of the same daily issues. It’s a gentle reminder about the universality of parts of the high school experience.

Gretchen Rubin, the author of The Happiness Project and Rubin’s mother, has her own podcast called “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.” Rubin said she was inspired to start “Eliza Starting at 16” after she was featured on a few of her mom’s episodes and said she loved how easily talking came to her once she was in front of the microphone. As suggested by the title, she posted her first episode when she was 16; Rubin is now 17.

“It’s easier than blogging because you’re able to say what you feel, and it doesn’t feel forced,” Rubin said.

Rubin said all one needs to start a podcast is a microphone and ideas to share. As the market for podcasts grows, there’s a chance for everybody to get out there, and Rubin is encouraging of everybody who wants to give it a try.

much love,
claire
outfitsandobservations@gmail.com

Thursday, October 6, 2016

a poem


Today is National Poetry Day, and I'm celebrating it by reading Sylvia Plath and sharing one of my own poems! This is something I've never done because it seems like such a vulnerable and scary act, but I'm going for it.

This poem is constructed out of various fragments I wrote in the spring, when I was in the process of overcoming mental blocks and taking ownership of myself. I hope you enjoy.

Ownership
I used to revel in the signs you showed me

Now I find solace in Becoming
Cool and Collected
you don’t have a say
in me
you don’t get to hold me
or have a Hold on me

It’s magnificent to Bloom
to stretch out arms and legs
Reaching in the soft lush grass
my fingers out, the sun Drenching me

I think it just rained

I’m becoming a force
Larger than one life, a whole garden
it doesn’t involve you
I won’t wither and die when you forget to water me

It could just be that it never was
but I want to possess it all, to
not forget
the roses of my prolonged Adoration
to not toss them in the dumpster without a
second thought
I gave a lot of second thoughts
to you

To experience evolution is not to erase,
but to Shift and to Grow and to
Kill
what once was, to aid the future’s painful Birth
to focus on Cultivation instead of tending to
dead crops-- planting new seeds and

cooing in Awe!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

a crystal bridges sunday


American Eagle vest, Target tee, Brandy Melville skirt, Steve Madden booties (similar)

I was blessed with a much-needed four-day week, so I started the weekend early road tripping to visit Westminster College and Mizzou on Friday. We also spent time exploring downtown Columbia, a cute town that reminded me of Fayetteville.
Today, my friend Jenna and I made the little trip to Crystal Bridges. Fall has officially started, and I wanted to dress for it, but it's still summer weather! I was definitely sweating when Jenna was taking these pics so we had to take some breaks in the air-conditioning. After pictures, we treated ourselves with brunch at Pressroom-- so good!

Suede is one of my favorite trends for fall, especially in maroon and tan hues, so I wore this button-front skirt. I added my army vest because I would have worn my coat version if the weather was cool enough. I've had these tan booties for forever, but I always forget about them! Whenever I do pull them out, they're the perfect addition to an easy outfit. 


much love,
claire
outfitsandobservations@gmail.com


Monday, September 19, 2016

stripes and sweaters

Brandy Melville dress (similar), Urban Outfitters cardigan, Frye boots



These photos are actually from March or April, but I forgot I had them, and it's an outfit that also works for early fall. As most of you know, Brandy Melville's t-shirt dresses are my go-to item for an easy day. They're so soft and can be styled any way you can imagine. My current favorite cardigan is a grayish-purple that works as an unexpected neutral and pairs well with the navy. To add a little more character, I wore my embellished Frye boots, one of the coolest pieces in my closet! Tights would work really well with this outfit when the temperatures actually start dropping.

Georgia took the photos for this post.




much love,
claire
outfitsandobservations@gmail.com



Sunday, September 11, 2016

it's all happening now

"Remember the moment you realized your life was happening? That actually, your life was the things you were doing every day and the things you were thinking and feeling and all of it wasn't some preamble to your actual life? The moment that hits is like a punch to the gut. It's like ripping the mask off reality."
-How to Live in the Present Without Annoying Yourself by Haley Nahman

I read this in a post on Man Repeller yesterday, and it hit me SO. HARD. All the "live in the present" stuff has never really reached me before, I'm not sure why. I get it when it's a moment like a concert you know you want to remember and be part of because you know the rest of your life doesn't shine as bright as that moment. But when it's all the everyday stuff like going to school and going to cross country practice and taking a shower and eating dinner, it's kind of just, "Eh? This is what I did yesterday, and I'll do it tomorrow and next week and next month." It doesn't feel special. It doesn't feel like something you need to be "in the moment" for because that's when it's so easy to coast on autopilot.

That feeling also has to do with the fact that so many of these things aren't necessarily actions I'm choosing for myself. It all just feels like it's leading up to what's next. I've always been so adamant about what I want to do-- go to Columbia so I can move to New York City and write for a major magazine-- and how I want to get there.

Now I'm at the terrifying and exciting point where I'm actually applying for all of this to happen. And it's not distant; it's next year.

So I'm in this track of mind where it's like everything I do is completely for that. All of the work in school and on the ACT is for colleges, and writing for the newspaper and keeping this blog is so I'll be prepared for the magazine world. It's not like I don't love these things, minus the ACT, but when I examine it, it feels like it's all ultimately to benefit the Future.

I'm not even sure if that's good or bad. But I'm almost never fully present. I'm always looking forward, and it's becoming even more difficult because everything I'm looking forward to is SO CLOSE. I need to acknowledge how real and present all of this is because I only have one more year of high school, one more year in Fayetteville, one more year with my friends, one more year with my life the way it is now because no matter where I go everything is going to change. And honestly I'm so happy with where I am right now. I'm ready to absorb the morning drives to school and the trips to Braums for ice cream and the way I see a friend every time I go to a coffee shop while it's my life.


much love,
claire
outfitsandobservations@gmail.com

Saturday, September 3, 2016

#maudewall



{Brandy Melville topAmerican Eagle Jeans- on sale!, Fringe Fayetteville choker, Sam Edelman boots via MasonsFitbit Alta}

Maude, one of Fayetteville's best boutiques, just painted their building's back wall in multicolored panels, and it's the perfect spot for pictures! All of the Fayetteville girls have been making frequent trips there to get perfect Instagram pictures with their friends.

I wore one of my recent favorite outfits, which luckily contrasted well with the wall colors. I've been obsessed with this black off the shoulder top all summer, and I've been wearing it with denim skirts and high waisted shorts. This weekend the weather has been in the the glorious 70s, so I actually got to pull my favorite jeans back out. If you're looking for some high waisted skinnies, check out American Eagle. They have the perfect amount of stretch and fit like a dream, and this is coming from someone who typically hates pants.






All pictures done by Georgia

 much love,

claire
outfitsandobservations@gmail.com