The Sartorialist: A Book Review

All my life, I've wanted to be a writer.
I know my writing is nothing special to look at,
but it's not for others that I like to write.
It's a selfish thing... I do it for myself.
It's therapeutic--relaxing and mind-clearing.
And although I've never expected to make it big,
I've always thought that even something semi-insignificant,
like a small column in a newspaper, would do...
Well folks, here's my big debut!
I was asked to do a book review for the NYtimes.

But I was, however, asked to do a book review
for my Dress and Humanity class at USU.
So... here it is. My pitiful attempt to give this book
the credit it deserves and to persuade all of
my readers out there to pick it up and add it
to their list of "books I've read."
Or rather, "thumbed through..."

Pick it up... you'll get what I mean.

*Keep in mind, I've never been trained on how to do a book review,
so all you English majors out there don't be too critical, okay? :)

The Sartorialist. Scott Shuman.
London: Penguin Books Ltd, 2009. 512 pp.

The Sartorialist, written by Mr. Scott Schuman,
is an extension of his blog, The Sartorialist, where
Schuman posts photographs depicting dress styles from
all over the world. The pictures contained in his book
speak volumes on the fight for uniqueness, individuality
and self-expression that mark the epitome of human
existence. They say that pictures are worth a thousand
words, but Schuman's point-of-view puts that cliche
to shame, as his book of over 500 pages, contains only a
handful of pictures with narration, yet fills one's mind with
a lifetime supply of adjectives, nouns and verbs.

Readers travel across the globe as they observe dress
practices transpiring in localities including Stockholm,
Italy, New York and LA. One thing to keep in mind as
readers peruse the pages, however, is that the author
deems his photographs as a tool for attaining inspiration,
not merely a "look" to be given a "thumbs up" or "thumbs
down." With that said, this book took quite some time to
consume, because each page was filled with innumerable
ideas for future ensembles--both what to wear and what not.

In reading this book, it was incredible to see the wide variety
of colors, patterns shapes and textures that were adopted as
comrades by those constructing the outfits. Combinations
of clothing that would have never been paired together before 
are now being flaunted around like it's the next big thing.
And perhaps it is, because it is one's guess that The
Sartorialist  is doing exactly what it was intended to do, 
which is to inspire dress practices all around the world.
Through reading this book, one could gain insight on what
to wear when traveling to areas of different clothing zones.
In another sense, they could be advised on how to dress based
on whether or not they were looking for body-dominant or
body-subordinate pieces of clothing.

Through the pictures of The Sartorialist, humans are brought
together in the fight for individuality and expression of self.
This book inspires one to believe that the combinations of
clothing are endless and the rules on how to actually go about
doing so, are obsolete. The message of this book is one that rouses
readers to stand up and fight for their originality and self-worth
while looking good all the while.

If you are looking for a fun time, or even a guide
on what to wear to your next big event,
The Sartorialist is your cup of tea... Or rather your next
small purchase on amazon.com. Whatever the case may be,
give this book a read. It won't disappoint.
And hey... you might even be inspired to start
wearing your father's shirt as a skirt.

The Sartorialist

Ingenious, right?


"Sun" day

Ever since I was little, I remember thinking that I loved Sunday, 
because it was "sun" day, 
and seemed to always be warm and sunny, 
even when the rest of the week was bland.
Yesterday, my analogy held true and did not cease to lift my spirits 
before trudging through our LAST WEEK of classes!
I LOVE seeing the signs of Summer!!

I have a strange obsession with car pics

"Steph... stop taking pictures..." :)

Beautiful, right??
The people at the park must have thought we were so weird... ha ha

 And for the record, it is currently a lovely 82 degrees.


9 miles and a pizza

Ready to be dumbfounded?
('Cause I know I was!)
Yesterday, the husband and I ran our first 9-miler EVER! 
Last weekend I topped my "most mileage ever covered at one time" when we did our 7-miler, 
but 9 miles was quite the feat. 
Especially since now I feel certain that I can complete the half-marathon without keeling over at the 10K point.
What half-marathon you ask?
(Except you're probably not actually asking this, 
since It's all we talk about...)
Jake and I are training for the Bear Lake half-marathon on June 9 
and we're stoked!!

Running a half-marathon is one of those things I've always wanted to do, but never thought I actually could.
Then one day I decided... "why not?" 
went to the computer, 
found a training schedule 
and never looked back. 
(or forward. Because if I think about how long I am actually 
going to be running during those long runs, 
I start to get anxious and psych myself out!)
It's been such a great experience 
getting to spend such quality time with my husband 
during these months 
where we haven't been able to see each other much. 
Not to mention, it has helped me to stay SANE during the busy-ness which has been this entire last school-year. 
Thanks to my honey for always being by my side. 
Even when it's visibly sweaty after a long run. :)

On another note, It was neat to be by my husband's side as we
 went and met up with a bunch of his old mission buds 
last night at The Pie.

It was such a fun time getting to hear all the stories 
I haven't actually heard yet
(seriously... it was refreshing to hear a new take on things..)
and I loved chatting with all the women there! 

After Jake and I left, we were talking to ourselves about how great it was to be with such a righteous bunch of people. 
The kind of people who make you want to be better 
and  really think about how you're living your life.

On this Sabbath, I want to thank all of my friends and family 
for being that inspiration to me.
I love you all for always inspiring me to be a better person 
and I hope that one day
I'll be able to give back to you the way you've given to me.

Love you all!

And with that,
here are some pics...

One of Jake's favorite comps and his wife.
Add 5 spouses and 1 & 1/2 babies and you can see how many people we crammed into that small corner of the restaurant! It was awesome. I love commotion like that!

 Love him.

All that is left after devouring left-overs. Gross.


You named your kid WHAT?!

I found this link via fb and couldn't help but share...
I was by myself and still laughing out loud...

And I'm just going to apologize beforehand to any of you who have named your child/thought of naming your child any of these names.
It's nothing personal, okay?



On completing really important life goals

I wouldn't normally do this, but I couldn't resist.
At the beginning of the semester I was joking with a friend of mine that it is one of my life goals to rank #1 in a class on a quiz or test.
The day has come!
(Don't you be fooled though... 
it was only a reading quiz... nothing too spectacular. 
It's just the thought that counts. ha ha)

Name : Stephanie Kjar              
Test : sw4160-0411md             Date: April 11, 2012
  You scored:  100 out of  100 for   100%
  You ranked:    1 out of   52 who took this test
Average score:  80.0 +/-   15.2 (std.dev)

 Question    Response    Question    Response    Question    Response
   #      Your   Instr |   #      Your   Instr |   #      Your   Instr |
  ---     ----   ----- |  ---     ----   ----- |  ---     ----   ----- |
   1       C           |   5       B           |   9       A           |
   2       E           |   6       B           |  10       B           |
   3       D           |   7       B           |
   4       B           |   8       A           | 
I can die happy now...


One day.

I just read this blog post about post-baby woes 
and now I am literally sitting here laughing out loud.
(Though I should probably be crying or 
wincing at the thought of such pain!)

Why in the world 
would anyone want to have a baby after reading this???

I know why...
because when one sees her husband in a situation like this, 
it's like...how do you oppose the idea of a child of your own??

We had so much fun seeing Baby Camryn.
Thanks again Dana (and Tanner) for letting us stop by!

And because this day was a lucky one, 
I also got to visit with a bestie who never fails to brighten my life. 
I love you, Sades!

Later that night,
the husband and I hit up the new City Creek Center in SL. 
You haven't been? 
What are you waiting for??
Fair warning though...
 if you're not into window shopping, 
this might not exactly be considered "fun."
But I like the idea of fantasizing about the day when I can walk into Tiffany's and lay down some fat stacks to up-size my sparkly gem.

The time when these days will actually ever come
can be answered by a pretty solid "never."
A girl can dream. :)

You know what else this girl dreams about all the time?

Living in a city where
there is a sushi joint open past 9pm.

Thanks to Salt Lake, my dream momentarily came true,
which meant that my Saturday evening turned into
a late night dinner date with the hubby at Happy Sumo.

Sorry about the lighting...
a bright flash was way too tacky 
for me to handle at this moment in time...

P.S. You may or may not have noticed the 'stache on my husband's face. If you, like me, need convincing on the matter, you should check this out.


A confession

Obviously you can tell by the title that I have something to confess.
You ready?
Here it is...
I have fallen in love.
With the television.

This is a painful truth to admit to my soul since I have spent years of my life swearing that the big black box was of the devil and refusing to "waste my time" with such nonsense... 
but ever since the husband and I got hitched,
 I've slowly been converted to the dark side.
(Or is it the bright side? Hmm...)

My current tally of obsessions includes but is not limited to:

  • New Girl (which took a while for me to like, but I now wait for Tuesdays like a child on Christmas Eve)
  • Glee (it's a love/hate relationship with this one)
  • Wipeout (ha ha! Embarrassing? I admit this one loud and proud!)
  • Master Chef (Yes, I am my mother's daughter.)
  • The Biggest Loser (Except I'm getting sick of this season....)
  • Breaking Bad (Though I feel guilty watching too many of these in a row, due to all of the drug content and I would never suggest this to anyone...but you should watch it... just not because of me...)
  • How I Met Your Mother (I never caught on to the "Friends" trend, so I decided to jump on the train this time around)
  • The Office (but they haven't aired a new episode in over a month!)
  • Modern Family (though admittedly, only when I'm really in the mood...I know, it's a sin that I don't LOVE this show, but the Brazilian(?) mom drives me nuts!)

Any suggestions for a new show to add to the line-up?
(We recently joined Hulu Plus. Best decision this year.)

Now to clear things up, though it's true that as of late I have come to love the tele, I still can't just sit in front of it for hours...
I am a multi-tasker through and through.
Which means that thanks to my new-found pastime, I accomplish a lot of cooking and laundry folding while I'm busy getting caught up on all the lastest drama in the televised world.
It's great.

For example, tonight....

Not only did I get my Gleek on,
I also made a tasty meal for the husband and me.

Here's what went down:

For weeks I have been wanting to try these

because the first time I tried to incorporate Kale into our diet,
it was a total bust.

I am happy to report that the chips were dubbed DELICIOUS, 
with a unanimous vote! 
I realize that my picture does not give them justice,
so you're just going to have to trust that even if you're not into health food, these were really good, and you should give them a try.

Next on the menu was this Cheesy Quinoa.

If you like quinoa, here is a new recipe to add to your collection.
If you don't like quinoa (or have never tried it), after trying this, you will!

It was so flavorful and proved to be a healthy alternative to 
the Queen of Comfort--Mac 'n Cheese.

I sort of switched up the original recipe a little, 
and here's how I made it my own:

  • Spinach (any amount will work, I used about 3 big handfuls)
  • 1 small box of pre-sliced white mushrooms
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C. fat-free milk
  • 2 C grated cheddar cheese
  • Crushed red pepper (opt)
  • Panko crumbs (opt)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Seasoning salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°
2.  Rinse and cook quinoa, about 15 min. 
3. While quinoa is cooking, lightly saute spinach and mushrooms until spinach is wilty, 3-5 minutes. (I used a small amount of butter, but it would be perfectly fine without) Drain excess moisture and set aside.
4. Coat 9x13 dish with cooking spray.
5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.
6. Once Quinoa is done cooking, mix in a good dash of salt and pepper, 1-2 tsp of seasoning salt and the minced garlic.
7. Fold the quinoa mixture and cheese into the egg mixture and stir well.
8. Transfer to prepared 9x13 and lightly sprinkle top with crushed red pepper and panko crumbs (bread crumbs would work too if you don't have panko on hand).
9. Bake 30-35 min, until crumbs are browned

Here's what the finished product looked like:

As you can see by the unbrowned crumbs, we got a little impatient...
but it tasted cheesy and flavorful nonetheless.
And for the record, it obviously wasn't quite the same as this baby

but when it comes to straight up mac 'n cheese,
nothing can truly compare...


An old sock, a rusty chain and a tablecloth...

It's April and I couldn't be happier.
The weather is warming 
(though it's supposed to snow here on Friday. Really??)
The birds are chirping
Flowers are blooming
and there are only FOUR weeks left of class!

For those of you who have heard about the fashion show that Jake and I had to participate in, I have pictures (well...A picture...) to share. 
For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, 
here's the run-down.

Once upon a time, I needed a humanities credit, 
so I took humanities 1010. (Seems obvious enough, right?)
Yeah. Apparently "humanities 1010" doesn't count 
towards a humanities credit, but "dress and humanity" does.
So this semester I enrolled in the "fashion class" as we like to call it.
And because I thought that this fashion class was going to be an easy "A," I coaxed my husband into taking it with me. Since then I have had to apologize profusely on a number of occasions, because not only has this class had more assignments than any other general education class I've ever taken, it is at EIGHT-THIRTY in the morning, three days a week.
Sorry, honey. :)

Anyway... One of the assignments was to create an outfit out of reused or recycled materials to sport on the runway at a fashion show. Thank you to those of you who came and supported us (and helped us to get the points we needed to get full-credit by having 10 people attend...ha.). 

Each designer had to create a look based on a certain genre of music. 
Jake and I chose hip-hop.
But when we started trying to come up with an idea, 
we realized we know nothing about how hip-hoppers dress.
All we could think of was MC Hammer, wife-beaters and gold chains.

So... that's what we did. 
And I'd say we did a pretty good job!! ;)

The ensemble is made out of old socks glued to a tank top, 
a rusty swing set chain latched to a gold-sprayed can 
and a tablecloth made into parachute pants.

Watch out, Mr. Hammer, you've got competition!

P.S. Isn't my husband looking sexy after losing 35 lbs??