Friday, November 30, 2012

Funeral Potatoes

This post is dedicated to all the men who fell hopelessly in love with me and/or my potatoes this Summer at USF.


1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp salt
1 tbs onion
1/4 c butter, melted
1 c sour cream
1/4 c milk
1/2 c shredded cheese
6-12 potatoes boiled and grated.

9x13 pan topped with more cheese. Bake at 325 until warm in.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


This is an educational post, aka wordy.

A common misconception is that skinny or slender women don't need shape wear. "Need" is a tricky word, but let me say that as a very tall slender woman I still find a place for shape wear in my wardrobe. Yes I am thin, but it doesn't mean I don't have the common softness (my mom calls it the fat apron to keep the baby warm) that is natural to womanhood. I can't speak to super fit women with absolutely no body fat, but I'd say in general most woman can benefit from shape wear, if for no other reason than to make them feel more feminine.

Back in the day women's fashions just didn't work without their foundations, and the case is still true, but today's styles tend to be more "natural". Don't think for a second that celebrities don't use shape wear. Any formal gown has built in foundations. Usually if something looks off on the runway it's bc of the underwear. It all starts with underwear. If nothing else the modern starlet is wearing Spanx. Everything is an illusion, deal with it. Push up bras, bustiers/longlines, waist cinchers, shapers, control top hose, it's all marvelous and finding the combo that works for you and your wardrobe is what it's all about.

FYI: Some of these items might be more expensive than you anticipate, but remember the appropriate foundation makes everything you wear on top look better. Don't go cheap on the innerwear if you want to look your best. And once you have it take care of it.

I've posted links for all the items because it's easier than formatting a lot of pictures and modesty blah blah blah.

Body stockings: Available at most dance stores a body stocking is exactly what it sounds like and kind of just holds everything in and negates the need for other underwear, creating a smooth look over the body with no panty lines. It's not the best for shaping, but like I said, has no panty lines. Other items discussed later will shape more.

Tights: Tights with added support at the top is a very basic way to shape the lower belly and thigh region and can be found in their most common incarnations in the pantyhose section of your local pharmacy. Words like "control top" or "support" are to be looked for. Some just have a heavier knit pattern over the thighs and belly, others have special grids of elastic etc. Spanx is an excellent source for soft and smooth shapewear and makes an array of control top tights. You can get them online or in some department stores. Period hose here.

If you just want shaping in the thigh and belly region without the full tight this example from Va Bien would be great for the midsection and wouldn't have a panty line, or tights the whole way down. Great for slinky knit dresses.  Va Bien is a very great shapewear company that the theatres I've worked in use for long lines. They provide a wide array of belly and thigh shapers.

Shapers: Shapers can include panties, bodysuits, girdles, and cinchers. They are more structured than tights and can include extra boning or elastic bands. They focus on defining the waist and smoothing the torso and can extend over the thighs.
Panties are what they sound like. In this context they are usually high waisted to shape the belly. Here are some Va Bien examples.
Bodysuits are also exactly what they sound like. They can be unitard/leotard like with our without legs, under the bust or with a bra built in. The kind with straps but under the bust can usually boost the girls despite not having a bra, like this Va Bien. Spanx options.
Girdles sound oldtimey because they are oldtimey. A lot of women these days prefer the smoother and softer look of the Va Bien and Spanx options I've linked. Girdles are the original and more heavy duty version with elastic panels and strips, and bones. They don't just pull on like the others, most need a zipper or hook and eye closures. These are for a more period and structured shape. Since I don't have that much to move around I got mine from Wal-Mart fof $20 (basic versions of all that I've mentioned can be found at Walmart). Mine is power mesh with Rigilene bones, a hook and eye closure in the center front and at the crotch.
Cinchers again, do what they say. They are specifically for cinching the waist. Unlike a corset which diminishes the rib cage and waist, cinchers are mostly for the soft waist under the rib cage. Think 1940s and 50s movies where you can see their rib cage then their waist nips in dramatically. They can extend above and below the waist but are focused on the waist.

Longlines: Also known as bustiers or merry widows, longlines are as close to a corset without being a corset as any of these. They tend to have either plastic boning or spiral steel which is more flexible. They are also constructed of much more flexible material. They have an attached bra and can stop at the waist or extend over the tummy. Smooth longlines that hide their bones are available, as are super lacy and pretty ones. Like I said, I've worked a lot with Va Bien longlines and I'm saving for one.

I figure we all wear bras so I'm not addressing them here. If you want a period bra look here. If you do want bra advice I'd say go to a lingerie store and have them measure you. Even though I have a small chest I know the value of a good bra and again, you get what you pay for.

So there you go. Let me know if you have any questions. Start at Walmart or a department store if you want to try some of this on. Like I said, Spanx is a great, soft and smooth place to start. If you're not use to shapewear know that the goal is to smooth not to constrict. Don't let vanity get the better of you. Buy the size that smooths the most, not squeezes. A well fitted shaper doesn't cause bulges and rolls to erupt from it. Also, it's shapewear, it's going to feel a lot different from a tshirt and sweats. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I love fall and winter if for no reason other than I can wear all my pretty layers. One item I consistently have to stop myself from buying is a new coat. I've stopped myself from buying so many raincoats because I already have one...but someday I'll have all the things!

I think it's important to not only have an array of outerwear for climate variations, but also because let's face it: in the fall and winter there can be entire days where your outfit is whatever you picked to wear on the outside. This is how it was when I went to London and walked around all day and when I was in Seoul. What I wore under the warm things was rarely seen. Also an array of gloves, scarves, and hats is important for the same reason.

Green Raincoat: From Stratford-upon-Avon.
Switched green buttons for gold.
Vintage camel cape with real fur collar.
Belonged to a relative. Have yet to wear it out. 
Orange Winter Coat. Replaced black buttons
for bronze ones I got in Seoul.

Eddie Bauer Norfolk meets the 1940s.
I wear this jacket the most. It's 100% wool and spans fall and winter.

Bavarian Eisenhower Jacket, or at least that's what I call it.
Purchased at a wardrobe thrift store in Burbank. Wool with suede details.
All Saints lamb leather jacket purchased in
Santa Monica 8 months after I fell in love with it in London.

it has tails and is the softest animal skin you've ever felt. So supple.
Navy Spring Jacket from Primark in London.
The sleeves are bracelet length and I just LOVE this jacket!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Doctor Who in the nuttiest of nutshells

Ok, here are the BASICS.

(2009 intro music is my favorite: kind of weird, but they PUMPED UP the cellos for this one season and then took them back down when Matt Smith came, so sad.)

Doctor Who is the longest running Sci Fi series ever. It started on the BBC in 1963 and ran through the 80s, had a break with a movie in there somewhere then was revived in 2005, starting the "new" seasons. We're currently in the 7th new season.

William Hartnell as the First Doctor
The Doctor is a Time Lord, a race that polices time throughout the universe. He travels in his TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimensions in Space) which is stuck camouflaged as a blue police box. A Time Lord's greatest tool of self preservation is "regenerating", essentially getting a new body and personality when he is injured enough that he can't heal his current body, yet has enough time to regenerate before he dies. This is how there have been 11 actors (that get progressively younger and more attractive...until Matt Smith) to play The Doctor (pretty ingenious).

The new seasons start with the Ninth Doctor (Season 1). In the first episode he picks up Rose, a 19 year old Londoner who shares his travels with him. He usually travels with human companions to temper the spacey-wacey timey-wimey-ness of it all. Rose is my favorite. Christopher Eccelston plays the Ninth Doctor, Billie Piper (the UK's Brittany Spears) plays Rose.
Christopher Eccelston: The Ninth Doctor
The Tenth Doctor (Seasons 2-4, one non-season of 4 specials) is played by David Tennant which is the reason I started watching. He's with Rose for a season, then there's Martha, then Donna (Catherine Tate, currently on The Office as Nellie), then he travels alone for a season.
David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor with Rose and the TARDIS
The Eleventh (5-7) and current Doctor is Matt Smith who travels with Amy Pond and Rory Williams.
Amy Pond and the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith, literally no eyebrows)
The show is a who's who of British actors and historical figures. We've met Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Richard Nixon, Madame de Pompadour, Van Gough and Shakespeare. We've traveled to Pompeii, New New New New...New York, The end of the universe, and lots of other places.

Villains from the past episodes that are good to know are:
The Daleks: The Doctor's greatest enemy: genetically engineered hate machines in salt and pepper shakers
The Cybermen: upgraded humans
The Master: A Time Lord from the Doctor's growing up days.
(Really since I didn't grow up with these guys, I don't get what the big deal is most of the time)

Something of note: The production value in the first couple of seasons is pretty cheeseballs, but the content is there. If you'll stick it out the production gets loads better and the writing just gets more and more phenomenal. That being said, it's the episodes with the commonest and least fantastic villains that really get you.

Episodes that are absolutely fantastic and if nothing else you should give these a try:
Season 1: The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances
Season 2: Tooth and Claw (Queen Victoria!), The Girl In the Fireplace, Army of Ghosts & Doomsday
Season 3: Human Nature, The Family of Blood, & Blink (You HAVE to watch Blink!!!!)
Season 4: Silence in the Library & Forest of the Dead
Season 5: Vincent and the Doctor & The Lodger
Season 6: The Impossible Planet, & Let's Kill Hitler

But seriously, if you're not sure about this series watch Blink, it actually has very little to do with the Doctor and doesn't give anything away about the rest of the season. It's just a marvel.

To be honest I haven't been the same Doctor Who fan since David Tennant left. I still can cry and cry when I watch some of his Rose episodes and some of his last. Steven Moffat is the current head writer of DW and the creator and writer of Sherlock. He wrote almost all of the episodes I've suggested. He will MESS YOU UP!

So there you go, it's all on Netflix. If you want a personal guide to which season I think is best for you let me know!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Avatar: The Last Air Bender

Apparently everyone and their mom loves this show. Friend Martha has tried to get me into it for years, and I have vague memories of my ex and my brother talking about the final episode back in 2008. So, what got me to watch it? I traded Avatar for Doctor Who with a friend (who has yet to start Doctor Who...), and it's wonderful! Avatar's great because the story's super compelling, the values are wonderful, the characters are charming and the dialogue can't be beat (My first girlfriend turned into the Moon...That's rough buddy).

So, in case you're in the like 3% of people that don't now what this show is:
Katara and Sokka live in a world where the four elements can be bent/controlled by members of the four respective nations. Long ago the nations live in peace, THEN everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. The Avatar can control all four elements, but he disappeared 100 years ago. In the first episode Katara and Sokka find Aang, the last air bender and current Avatar in an iceberg with his flying bison Appa. Later a lemur bat named Momo comes along for the ride.

Katara, Sokka, and Aang travel the world so Aang can master the other elements; water, fire, and earth. Katara is a water bender. Prince Zuko is the banished prince of the Fire Nation and believes capturing the Avatar will restore his honor. He is accompanied by his uncle, Iroh. It's all super great. You should watch it. It's on Netflix. It's funny, it's action-packed, it's heartwarming, and it's twisty and turny. There are 3 seasons, or books, one for each element Aang has to master.

I've watched so much of it lately when I flung my blanket on my bed the other day in my brain I was like "yeah! airbend!!!"

Meanwhile, I might have to do a Doctor Who primer to drum up some interest...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sexy Sunday: navy pencil skirt

If you were following me at all on facebook yesterday you know I spent my Saturday watching Avatar and making a navy pencil skirt. This is the 5th time I've made this pattern which is my sloper from my fitting unit in undergad. It's a basic eight dart skirt with a faced vent in the CB. This one has a lapped CB zipper bc it's what my mom had (I could swear I had a navy zipper somewhere...). I have a bow that I'm debating putting on the waistband at the front or CB or maybe even above the vent in the back, but haven't decided. Photo with the cardigan is what I wore to church for real.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I finally read Bossypants by Tina Fey, who is fantastic. Even though I know in my brain that everyone who reads the book gets the same info, in my heart I feel like Tina was telling me secrets and I now know more than anyone else about SNL, 30 Rock, and her honeymoon. Also, I really want to go to New York now, mostly to be her best friend and/or nanny her children. I'm sure both would work out great.

Also, I recently had a dream that I was in a high fashion runway show where I picked myself to be the finale and a spiderweb crochet mini trapeze dress as the final look. Most uncharacteristic thing about this dream? Despite the dress being completely see through I grabbed it off the rack and congratulated myself for wearing a nude thong. Score one for runway Shelbs!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

video: things I'm shallowly thankful for

bc like I say in the video, feelings legitimately make me uncomfortable...(I'm working on it, ok?)

but for real, I'm thankful for so many unshallow things this year, however I've been told repeatedly that this blog is uber supercilious, hence a video of me talking, like I always do, enjoy!

also, grateful for:
Downton Abbey
hilarious people (both off the cuff and rehearsed)
dolman sleeves
classy suede
the internet and
Colin Firth

also also, Tess, there's plenty of sideways sniffing in this one!

PS I don't know that Feminists really have anything against corsets, I just had a woman object to lacing me into one once bc she felt like she was reinforcing centuries of female oppression.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Relish the Silveriness of these Foxes

THE Silver Fox:
Mr. Anderson Hays Cooper, 45 
CNN reporter and correspondent of my heart
best giggler in the world
It is no secret that I like older men. It's actually the opposite of a secret that I love older men. What does that make it? A headline? I dunno, moral of the story is older men are the cat's PJs and I wuv them. In the very recent past I have been referred to these foxes among men randomly and by unrelated sources. And so, I give you: The Silver Foxes, most likely part one. (forgive any crazy formatting on this one, blogger is not behaving).
Dermot Mulroney, 49
actor, on New Girl (aka the coolest)
crooked smirk shoots straight through my heart
Jon(athan) Stewart(/uart) (Leibowitz), 49 (almost 50!)
Host The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
juuuuuuust how I like 'em: short, hilarious, and Jewish
Lambert Wilson, 54

favorite picture: Marty and Ben stand oh so close

I should probably blog something huh? I was oh so prolific a year ago...hmm...

I went to a Husker game on Saturday and could swear everyone went to my high school, then I realized that Memorial Stadium's student section is a prime example of German and Czechs breeding exclusively with each other for 200 years, thus creating men and women that all look the same. So, to refresh my eyeballs here are two of my favorite faces standing ridiculously close.

Marty and Ben oh so so close. I have no idea what this is from, but I loves it.

Friday, November 16, 2012

too horrible by half: Gevalia Kaffe commercials

Seriously, I hate these dumb Johann commercials, and the wig is SO terrible! Blech! Hey Hulu, STOP KILLING ME A LITTLE EVERY AD BREAK!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

video: I done got my hairs cut.

I get so defensive in my videos....
Also, the stuff Liz puts in my hair makes it smell like a forest floor, mmmmmm....

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seoul Haul

Shopping in Seoul was out of this world! There's a fashion market which is essentially 4 blocks long and 4 stories high of buildings full of fabric, accessory, and hanbok stalls. It's overwhelming and I so wish I had a show to shop for there! Also in Dondaemun are skyscraper department stores that have the same stall set up. I got most of the fashiony things below at Migliore which is the kind of "hip" building. After we looked around Doota which is the super posh and wonderful building.
Collars were everywhere and I kept telling myself that
I could make them real easy, which is true, but this one's from Seoul!
decorations for the jeogori  of a honbok
everything's Korean silk!

got new buttons for my orange coat and long wool gloves for the winter
uber girly is super popular. I could have bought so much more
along this ilk and have been a happy happy girl

2.5 yds of herringbone, of course I had to get some wool.
I think I'll finally make myself a winter dress.
six pieces of leather. I keep thinking of the collars
and lapels and shooting shoulders I can make!
Ah! I forgot, I also got new paint brushes from a man in a traditional market that makes them himself. So beautiful! Can't wait to use them!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Halloween 2012: Half baked attempt at the 4th Doctor

So I drove to Nebraska the day before Halloween and had given up on my Doctor Who costume (for now) when I decided not to cut my hair until after Korea, but at the end of the day it was the only thing I could throw together. It's a bit off, but I'm telling myself it's his last costume with the red scarf, which come to look at isn't that far off. We all know that's his lamest costume though...(also, I made that scarf, it took me nigh on nine years, but I did it!)
Went around the neighborhood with my brother's family, pushing Elsie who was a zebra while playing the Doctor Who theme on my phone. I told myself she was Stormegeddon, even though the Doctors are off. If you get that 5 points for Gryffindor!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

video: facial manipulations

Last time you see my hair, a nod to Robert De Niro, and other facial manipulations.