March 31, 2010

I have a thing for fields

Field of Dreams

Sunglasses- F21
Sweater- Vintage
Blouse- Target

Sometimes California really surprises me. Don't get me wrong, I still hate the place, and am still planning on high-tailing it out of here in June, but I have come to a sort of peace about my time here. I am focusing on the positive. As I've said before, the world needs a California, it's just that I don't. But we really do have it all. I mean I spent Sunday in my hometown of San Diego at the beach/harbour, and Tuesday was a gloriously spring like day (despite a random heat spell at like 10:30 in the morning. It was icky hot!), and today is overcast and gloomy, and on Friday I'm heading up to the mountains which are covered and will be recovered in snow. So despite the fact that this is probably the last rain we'll get until December, I am trying to appreciate that I currently live in a place that "has it all." Even if personally, I could do with just the cold half.




That being said, I have been trying to search out "beautiful" places for photo shoots. I don't think Riverside is particularly beautiful (it has it's spots, but mostly it's not), but we do seem to have an abundance of random open fields. Now I have a horrible fear of snakes and bugs and dirt (it's gross guys. Seriously) which usually keep me far from these dry open fields. I'm all for muddy forests, and grassy knolls, but dry fields are not my cup of tea. However I saw one yesterday that enticed me and thus these photos were born. of course I did almost die while doing this, but that was half the fun I guess. I did learn some valuable lessons such as, heels + uneven terrain + no co-ordination = a bad idea and a rather sore ankle, also if you are in the middle of an open field and see a stink bug, no one will hear your blood curling scream. Also it will echo and you will be haunted by your own stupidity. So y'know that was good to learn.




But really I had so much fun doing this. There was this really big amazing tree out in the middle of the field that I really wanted to photograph, but it was a pretty big field and I was in heels and then the whole I'm terrified of snakes thing, so I decided to drive my Volvo station wagon (that luckily has four wheel drive) to the middle of this field not realizing that the grass was so tall it hot my waist, which means it was up to about the windows of my car. So yeah, my car kinda smells like burning grass, and I almost got stuck, and I'm sure I killed one of those endangered kangaroo mice (who cares that we manage to keep around kangaroo mice is beyond me because those suckers are freaking freaky), but I got some great photos, right? Okay I'll shut up now!

Up in the trees





There's a few more on Flickr here. I got carried away I think, but in my defence it was alot of fun!

March 29, 2010

Monday Inspiration #35: Sew, So

Okay guys, anyone who wants the 80 degree weather we're having right now is welcome to it! It is waaaaaay too hot! Today marks the second sunburn of the year. I got it on my arm while driving 2 miles to get lunch. Sigh. The hazards of being pale in So. California...

Anyways this current heat wave has made me step back from my wardrobe and take serious look at it. I own a total of two sundresses. 2. and I live (for the next few months at least) in So. California. I remember owning more at one time last summer, but they seem to have disappeared. Also I noticed my wardrobe is very hap-hazard, higglty-pigglty, a modge-podge, whatever you want to call it, their is no cohesiveness to it. Not that I really think a wardrobe needs to be so very cohesive, but I think you need to have a healthy ratio of skirts ( I own 20 (shhh)) to blouses (I own six). So I think I need to really edit my wardrobe. I have alot of stuff I don't wear for various reasons: too tight, to big, not weather appropriate, not life appropriate, just dang ugly but I can't seem to get rid of it... I have attachment issues when it come to clothes (don't even get me started on shoe).

To top all this off, my spending is still waaaaaay out of control. Granted I don't remember the last time I bought newly manufactured clothing (actually I do. It was December and Anthropologie and the dress was on sale for $30. Totally justifiable right?), and I pretty much only buy my things from thrift or vintage shops, but still I'm spending too much. I've never been good with money. It seems the minute I get any, I've already spent it, which is really bad considering I am moving on my own in a few months and will have to be self supporting. So my wardrobe and pocket book both need a little TLC.

But not all is lost. See, in addition to hoarding clothing, I also hoard fabric. I also know how to sew, and have made a point to stretch my sewing abilities and become a better seamstress. So (and we're coming to the point!) I have been looking at vintage sewing patterns for a little inspiration. I just happened to find a whole army of pretty sun dress patterns that I am dying to get my hands on. So here are some of the pretty things I'm ogling at today. I can't wait to get started on them!

Spring Dress1


Spring Dress 2

Spring Dress 3

Spring Dress 4

Sailor Girl

Spring Dress 5

Spring Dress 6

Spring Dress 7

Spring Dress 8

Spring Dress 9

Spring Dress 10

Spring Dress 11

Spring Dress 12

All images from the Vintage Sewing Pattern Wiki

And be sure to check back tomorrow!
I have an awesome review to tell you all about!
I think you're gonna like it.

March 27, 2010

Hair Tutorial!

I made a video! A video of how to do this hair style! I know! Anyways I hope you guys find it helpful. I tried to be short and quick and as a result ended up sounding like an airhead, so yeah, I'm not an airhead (well mostly). Anyway, Enjoy! I'm off to finish cleaning my room!

March 25, 2010

Bee Keeping, Secret Keeping, House Keeping.


My New Bear Hat!!!
Points of order:

  • You guys are still awesome! Just for the record.
  • To say thanks I'd like to host a giveaway here once I hit the 50 followers marker (we're at 41 today! Holy Krakow!). Is there anything specifically you guys would like to see in the give away?
  • I'm going to be updating my links this weekend, so if you'd like to be added leave a comment with the link you want and I'll be more than happy to oblige.
  • I'm also going to get back to comments today and tomorrow. If I haven't responded to you yet, I will this weekend.
  • On that, just so I have it again, would you rather I respond in the comments section, on your blog, by email, pony express? I know a few people voiced their opinions, so if you didn't please let me know!
  • There *may* be a new header on Monday. I don't know, but there is rumors. This header is being a bit of a diva. I think my header thinks it's Katherine Higel.
  • On the videos: I tried to get some of my live performance last night, but everyone I knew didn't have video recording capable cameras. Sad. But here is one of the songs I performed (sans the mess up in the last ten seconds) last night, which by the way thank you for your good wishes, everything went fantasically! The guy who runs the thing told me I was "phenominal" and I got the best applause I've ever had! I was very happy with the outcome. It made performing less painful (I really hate performing in front of people. If I could perform to empty rooms, I'd be very happy).

So this is my original song called Little Bird. The recording quality is total crap. Remind me to tell you about the time I broke a sound system and a baseball field with my voice. But anyways this should give you a basic idea of the kind of music I write. (Actually most of what I write is silly love songs that make most people gag on the sappiness.) Oh and yeah, that is me playing the guitar. Someone on Facebook asked me if it was really me and I was like, uh, dur, you can kind of see me playing it.... some people.... Oh yeah, and be nice. I'm a sensative artisit. ;-)

Little Bird by Ashley Barrett

Have a lovely weekend!

Baby I'm Blue



Sweater & Blouse- Vintage

Skirt- Thrifted and altered by me

Shoes- Payless

I inadvertantly wore all blue today. I don't know why. Is this indicative of some inner termoil? Actually I think it's because this is all I had clean. I need to do laundry really bad.

I was buying coffee this morning from a coffee shop down the street from my office. This is how the coversation went:
Ashley: I'd like a large caramel machiatto please.
Coffee Shop Lady: Our machiattos are just espresso and foam.
A: Yes I know. I'd like two shots of caramel in the machaitto.
CSL: But we only sell them with foam and espresso in them. They don't have flavours.
A: Well can I order a machiatto with two shots of caramel.
CSL: yeah but we only put espresso and foam in ours. This isn't starbucks.
A: I understand that, I just want a machiatto with two shots of caramel syrup in it.
CSL: oh. So you want me to add two shots of caramel to the machiatto?
A: Yes. That's what I said (five times).
CSL: Okay. what size?
A: A large.
CSL: and you want two shots or caramel?
A: Yes. That's what I said (five times).
CSL: oh. okay.
When they finally called my order I walked up to the counter to find a itty-bitty shot of a coffee basically. Starbuck's talls are bigger than this thing was. But it was really good!

I've got the blues


I'm playing tonight at Coffee Depot. I'm just a little nervous because I haven't played in public since....... December maybe? But I'm also excited because I am debuting two songs that I really like. I don't talk alot about my own music here, but maybe I'll start posting a video or two? Would you guys be interested? I promise I don't totally suck! Anyways the point is I am off tonight and I am excited and I haven't got alot more to say.
If you're local (all three of you) you should come out. It starts at 7pm at the downtown (and now only) Coffee Depot. Be there or I'll hunt you down. Not really.

March 23, 2010

I feel like a Spy

Hat- Vintage, Thrifted

Collar- Vintage, Thrifted
Dress Clip- Vintage, Gift
Blouse- thrifted
Skirt- Thrifted
Bag- Vintage, Thrifted
Shoes- Vinatge, Thrifted
I have the day off. I am doing spring cleaning. I am very happy.

This is my cute face?

I bought this hat this weekend (more about it later) at this totally awesome antique store. It cost me $10. I totally love it. But it's odd wearing a hat out in public. I know most people who wear vintage hats get the same reaction, but it's still annoying. Most people stare at you, there is the occasional giggle, you get the "oh you uncool plebeian" grin, and people act like you've got a monkey on your head. But then there are the select few who rave about your head wear and then knock ten dollars off your purchase in their thrift store, or the old ladies who offer you a %50 discount if you come to their thrift shop and buy one of their way over priced hats (which I will eventually take her up on). or the old ladies who suddenly have found a camaraderie with you in the parking lot and offer you a coupon for a $7 buffet at a catering/karaoke place (which I will not being taking her up on). Or the gay rockabilly guy who thinks you are just fabulous and OMG if only there were more people like us. Or the skinhead in his skinhead truck who rolls his window down to tell you cool hat and girls should wear more of them cuz they're pretty hot. I take whatever compliments I can get guys.

Clip and Collar

Anyways, my verdict on hats: totally worth it. Try it, it's totally awesome and apparently we look hot. Also, I've been really bad about responding to comments lately. I'll try and get back to you today, but do you guys prefer my answering your questions in the comments, or on your blog, or in an email, or by carrier pigeon? I never know if you guys are actually getting my responses! Let me know!

March 19, 2010



Dress- Vintage
Cami- H&M
Earrings- F21
Bracelets- Floral: World market, Rasta: Gift from Bri from Chile, Peace: Disneyland
Sometime last spring I gave up my previous makeup regime. I used to love makeup. Like, really, really love it. I wanted to wear it so bad when I was a kid and couldn't wait until my 14th birthday when I was finally allowed to wear it. So much babysitting money went down the makeup drain. I wore a full face, everyday, without fail. Foundation, concealer, powder, blush, eye-shadow, mascara, liner, lip liner, lipstick, and anything else you can put on your face. I was obsessed. I didn't like that I was obsessed with it, and my skin was horrible, but I couldn't break the cycle. Then last spring, I was running late to work and actually forgot to put any make-up on. It was on that day that I realized that hey, I'm not so bad without this stuff. So I swore it off for a week. By the end of the week my skin had cleared up, and I had come to fully accept my natural appearance. So after that I stuck with just wearing a little powder, mascara and some liner, chapstick and the occasional lipstick.

This is why i never lose that "how much jewelry are you wearing" game

The first pro for this new regime is that my skin is so much better now that I have stopped filling my pores with gunk. The second pro, it only takes me about 3-5 mins. to put on makeup in the morning. the third is that sometimes I forget entirely and I am totally okay with that. yeah I have tiny eyes, and chubby cheeks, and flat lips and a droppy eyeball, but oh well. it's me and I like it. My self confidence has been boosted by this too. Makeup is to enhance natural beauty and not a mask to hide behind.


I've been trying to slowly replace all my old makeup with natural and organic makeup. I use so little that I don't feel guilty for spending a little more than normal on things that are actually good for my skin. I started with Mascara. I use Larenim Mineral Mascara in Jet Black. I love it! My only complaint would be that it doesn't come in a waterproof form, which is annoying because of how sensative my eyes are. If my eyes get watery, the mascara runs and if it gets in my eyes it does burn a bit. But overall I love it. My eyelashes have become stronger and thicker since I switched over (about a month ago) and where I was losing eyelashes before, I am not any longer. Needless to say, I'm a fan.


As for eyeliner I use Honeybee Gardens liner in Jet Set. They have some other colours I'd really like to get as well. Again, my only beef is that this isn't water proof and does smudge a bit, however I'm in love with the liner. It goes on smoothly, stays pretty much all day, and doesn't feel like I'm covering my eyes in goop ( I hate the way other eyeliners feel on my eyes). The liner is very light where as most others I've used tend to be heavier once on. Again I really love this stuff.

Old CA

As for powder I've recently switched from using Revlon's mineral finish to Zia mineral powder in Pink Tourmaline. Finding foundations and powders light enough for my skin is tricky, even with my poor excuse for a Californian tan. However this stuff is perfectly shaded for me. It's not too pink, or too yellow, or too brown, it's just perfect. it goes on smoothly, covers all those little blemishes and has a very natural finish. Most of the time you can't even tell I'm wearing it. It looks great in all types of light too. I've only been using it for about a week, but so far I love it. My skin is noticably clearer. Plus once you buy a compact, they sell refills so you don't have to keep buying the compact. I really like this. Compacts always make me feel like I'm wasting so much money, here I know I'm not.

I was trying to keep my eyes open, but the sun was so bright.

As far as lip care, I usually stick with my Highland Mint. You all know how much I love this stuff. However I do use other lip balms. I really like C.O. Bigelow's Lemon Lip Balm which they sell at Bath and BodyWorks. I love the lemony flavour and also how smooth and soft if makes my lips. I tend to get really chapped lips and this helps alot. I also love Rosbud Perfume Co. Brambleberry Rose Lip Balm mostly because it smells devine. I bought mine at Anthropologie, and boy oh boy do I love it.


As for my lip colour I only use two lipsticks. The first is Rimmel's Just So which is really close to my natural lip colour, but gives me an extra pop. This my everyday lipstick (not that I wear it anywhere close to everyday, more like my casual going out lipstick). I also use Revlon's Really Red Matte Lipstick. I do use a liner, also by Revlon, in Red. While I love both the Rimmel and the Revlon lipsticks I'd rather use a more natural brand. Does anyone know of an Organic and natural brand that makes a nice red? Most the ones I've tried have been too brown.
Anyways, Sorry if this seems long but I wanted to let you guys know what stuff is out there that I've tried that works. What cosmetics are you using?

March 18, 2010

Food of the Irish

I don't cook very often. The reason being that I tend to get carried away when I do. See I really love to cook, and I really love big festive dinners, and if I had my way every dinner would be a festive event.




Guys, cupcakes were a success. Like a serious, I wanted to marry them, success. I know. We ended up making variations on the ones we'd planned. The first set were a brown sugar cake with Creme de Menthe buttercream frosting, and the second batch were Guinness cake and Bailey's Buttercream frosting. Both were out of this world! I think we ended up with about 100 cupcakes (only a slight exaggeration), so this morning I brought half of what was left over to work. They're almost all gone. I guess bringing Guinness and Bailey's cupcakes to an office filled with current and former alcoholics wasn't the best idea. But in all fairness they are pretty freaking amazing.


Cupcake Face

Gracie seemed to really like them. She usually sticks to licking off the frosting, but she actually ate her cake too.

Brown Sugar & Creme de Menthe Cupcakes

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Buttercream Frosting

Of course we did eat other food too. Like Corned Beef. We bought ours at Costco and I can highly reccommend theirs (I don't know if they still have any). It comes pre seasoned, but I did add a bit of parsley, ground mustard, peppercorns, and salt to the pot as it boiled. And yeah we boiled it. You can also slow cook it, but boiling took about 10 hours less. Yeah.

Corned Beef

My pretty much amazing Colcannon. Which happens to be the easiest version of Colcannon ever. Boil your red potatoes, skin on, boil cabbage (I used a whole head), fry bacon. Mash potatoes, add salt, pepper, butter, and half & half. When the cabbage is done chop it up and add it to the potatoes. Chop up the cooked bacon and add as well. Then mix and you're done. Super easy, super yummy. You can do corned beef instead of bacon but since we were having the beef on it's own I went with bacon. I also decided to make this like I was a poor peasant Irish Woman in, like, 1798, and mixed everything with a wooden spoon. My arms are sore today. Not my best idea ever.


And Irish Soda Bread, which was kind of epic to make since Delaney made it and she hasn't really ever made bread before and so the dough was a little runny at first and she was covered in it. After a few handfulls of flour though, we were back in business and it came out super yummy! We ate ours plain with butter, but this would be so good with jam or even cheese. I really loved it.

Irish Soda Bread

We ended up watching Darby O'Gill and the Little People after dinner and my mom and I had Irish Cream Coffees. Overall I'd sya it was a pretty awesome night! How was your St. Patrick's Day?