Monday, February 17, 2014

Of North is here!

This is such a surreal feeling to be writing my last ever post as Urban Tease. I've been journaling my life on here for more than five and a half years, and now it comes to a close. I knew that this day would come, and in fact, I've been pretty anxious about it for some time now. Thank you to all my beautiful readers who have made Urban Tease what it is! Whether you've been reading for one month or two, two years or five, it's meant the world to me that there are people out there reading and responding with such heart and compassion. I hope that you will continue to follow my life and share yours with me at my new blog, Of North. I am currently working at fixing out any kinks and perfecting the design. Lots of content will be added soon and I'm so excited for us to begin this next chapter together! Thank you all for making Urban Tease so special - I'm grateful beyond words - and I hope we can continue to make Of North something special and unique as well.

I will keep Urban Tease and all its original content up and archived, however no new content will be added, so please change your bookmarks, links, Bloglovin' following, etc. to Of North xx

Monday, January 27, 2014


I called out of work today because it's a "feels like" temp of 40 below outside. Well, I didn't really "call out" - I worked from home and am going in tomorrow instead. I thought about it all night and finally agreed with my parents and boyfriend that it was best that I didn't go outside today. I'm so small and get chilled to the bone so easily - plus, with my commute, I'm standing outside waiting for the bus for 15 - 30 minutes! So, instead, I woke up and decided to attempt victory rolls again! I was inspired when I saw a pin on Pinterest for a tutorial that that girl from Sea of Shoes did a while back (although I'm not going to link directly to it because her blog is impossible to navigate/I don't want to search thousands of posts back trying to find it). It'd been a couple of years since I'd so much as even attempted doing victory rolls because they never turned out well and just made me all frustrated & angry at how uncooperative my hair is. After an hour of struggling, teasing, and brushing out my curls, I finally got two little victory rolls accomplished and looking relatively tidy! And after about 30 Youtube tutorials, I think I've finally got the motion & direction of the curl down and am already eager to try victory rolls again.

Because of this new hair accomplishment, I decided to take some photos so that I will always be able to remember the glory of my first victory rolls. Maybe I'll use these photos for my Christmas card next year - "Happy Holidays from Chloe & Victory Rolls! From my family to yours..." Seriously though, I'm ecstatic!

In addition to some photos of my victory rolls, my mind is also overflowing with thoughts. Thoughts on blogging, thoughts on February, thoughts on things I want to accomplish.... So read along to those thoughts or just look at the photos - or leave the blog entirely if neither option appeals to you.

The other day I booked my flight to go visit my sister in Arizona near the end of February. Arizona hadn't really appealed to me until I saw the weather report - 70 degrees & sunny! Jeez. That, and my sister has been texting me constantly asking me to come down. My sister and I are not close by any measure of the word and we have little sisterly bond between us. Most of our relationship over the past 20 years has been cattiness and criticism, and I regret to say that some of that is on me. My sister has rarely said anything nice to me, but the other day she sent me a long text which was somewhat nice (somewhat a crack at my boyfriend), to tell me that I'm a smart, beautiful, independent woman (!!!!) with a good head on my shoulders. Yeah, she then went on to say that I tend to date down and my boyfriend doesn't deserve me but whatever. My boyfriend just said, "Yeah, I have to agree with your sister on this one" so that's that. And so, after she seemed to like me all of a sudden, I booked a flight and she's been texting me all excited & such with what we're going to do for the 4 days I'm down there. I'm already excited - plus, 70 degrees & sunny!

My boyfriend and I are also planning a trip to visit his parents in Reno, where it's reportedly been in the 60s, and I'm already excited to get back to the mountains. I never grew up anywhere near mountains and didn't see my first until I visit Taos, New Mexico when I was 11. But ever since then, I've been in love and my soul yearns to be among the majestic creatures.

It will nice to get out of town for a little while. I haven't had a break since the middle of June when I got a week to visit some friends & family in Geneva and London. That little trip was sandwiched between May term and summer term, and then I launched into fall term and graduated, and have since been putting my all into my internship. Add onto that my boyfriend being in ill health since August, and I'm just wiped. I'm fully ready to get out of Minnesota for a few days and be able to focus, breathe deeply, and take things one little bit at a time.

In addition to those couple little trips, I've also been thinking a lot about launching a new blog. I'm so excited for this new page in my blogging life! I would love to get the blog up around the beginning of February and so I have hired my boyfriend to help brainstorm names for the blog. So far, he's been rather unhelpful, with suggestions ranging from "Rural Prude" to "Chloe: The Final Frontier". In my mind, all I keep thinking is "Tackling Adulthood". I keep trying to get out of that box and try brainstorming new names, but for whatever reason, "Tackling Adulthood" just seems to be it. I've gotten a bit of criticism for it and I understand why. It's not nearly as fun and trendy as "Urban Tease" but oh well. I don't want my new blog to be strictly a fashion blog and I don't want an artsy name with a flower or a bird or something French in the title. I want it to be slightly gritty, slightly straightforward, not too trendy or generic. I don't want it to just be another fashion blog where you can't even remember who writes it because the name sounds exactly like 5000 other blogs. 

I've spent a lot of time thinking about possible names and I always come back to "Tackling Adulthood". Maybe this means that I should go with my gut. Or maybe it means that I'm uninspired. This is a big leap! I don't want to be that girl who starts a new blog every few years simply because the title no longer applies to her life. (Though I think I'll still be tackling adulthood well into my thirties.)

With my life in balance now that my boyfriend is back home and showing so much improvement, and now that the big special event at work is nearly here and over with, I'm starting to think about what I can do for myself. I've been so focused on work and catching up with my boyfriend, I haven't given much though to what I want. It's easy for me to forget about myself and put the needs of others first. I find it very difficult to breathe and let go of other people's expectations for me, but sometimes I just need to put myself first and do what's best for me. And so, since I take joy in the small things in life, I've decided to begin putting together a small list of things I want to accomplish this spring.

1. Learn to drive. I took driver's ed and got my permit when I was 16, but then my father would never teach me to drive. My mom doesn't have her license and my sister was not 21 (or sober ever, really). After I turned 18 and you no longer have to have a parent sign that they've driven with you or whatever it is they have to do, I started telling myself that I'd save my money and hire a professional to teach me. But then the idea of getting into an empty car with a strange man I don't know didn't really appeal to me. So I put it off. And I've kept putting it off. However, now I'm going to learn. My boyfriend has been offering for a few months now and I'm finally in a place where I feel like this is a possibility. I'm a nervous driver but my boyfriend is so sweet and has never ever once risen his voice at me (or been angry with me, really) so I feel comfortable driving with him - even though I'm terrified to drive!

2. Make pretzels! I've pinned dozens of pretzel recipes on Pinterest and now I finally want to start making them! I started simple last week and tried to make pretzel rolls, but my boyfriend forgot they were in the oven and got them out 20 minutes late. It was more like eating a pretzel breaded with rock, but oh well - first attempt only!

2. Master the victory roll. I want to get victory rolls down to a tee so that I can do them in a few minutes early in the morning and wear them to work and such. They're such a fun look and I'm starting to get bored of my hair which is not a good sign!

I'm so excited for February and feel a boost of creative energy and ambition coming with it! For tonight however, I am going to cuddle down and watch some TV, drinking tea and snacking on cookies. I'm also going to clean the fish tank because my fish Myrna just died a tragic death at the hands of a parasite and I'd really hate for Bubba & Vincent to get sick also. I've already killed 3 fish in 2014, and let's keep it at that!

I think this week I'm going to attempt making pretzel rolls once more and maybe go out for my first driving lesson with my boyfriend - yippee! What type of small goals have you made for yourself this year? Or big ones, too! But, big goals are accomplished in small steps.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Would you hold it near as it were your own?

I feel like I should let you know that this post will have a lot of photos (come on, LOOK AT THAT SKIRT), too many words (because it's me and my mind is always overflowing), and an obnoxious cat named Little Girl (who's making her very first blog appearance). I got this skirt in the mail today from ANTHOM, one of my lovely sponsors this month. It's also the most beautiful skirt that I've probably ever seen in my whole entire life. It's from a Brooklyn based brand called How Very Dare and I already know what I'm going to be living in this summer. It's very sheer (undies alert!) and I'll need to figure out a good way to wear it when I'm in more formal settings (i.e. the outside world) but whatever. What's wrong with seeing some undies anyways? Just pretend it's a swimsuit. See, not risque anymore. Anyways, bottom line: I'm sleeping in this skirt tonight because it is SO BEAUTIFUL.

My shirt is from Topshop, which is worth mentioning, but don't let it detract from the wonder that is this skirt. Unless if you want to consider that I found this shirt on the sale rack for a few pounds (in London), then it might just almost compare.

Little Girl loves the corner where I was taking these photos and she spent most of her time sitting in a cardboard box screeching at me. She has this scratchy old voice like she's been smoking for the past 40 years and her face always looks like she's smelt something foul. She's about the size and shape of a bowling ball and I absolutely cannot stand her. She's my third cat and I took her in this summer after she lived in my yard for a week and I fell in love with her. However, as soon as she got inside she became a bratty little princess and has spent the last 6 months beating up on my two male cats, Gogo and Peter. Gogo always has dried up blood all over his face (he doesn't have claws & can't defend himself from her) and he also got a nasty bladder infection from the stress of being constantly stalked and harassed. Poor little baby. See why I detest Little Girl so? But dammit, she's so soft. Like a fat screeching, squabbling mink coat that you just want to bury your face into.

Every time I see these photos, I'm like OH MY GAWD that skirt! And then I remember it's mine and am filled with glee.

Now that I've obsessed over this skirt (almost) to my heart's content, and explained some things about Little Girl, I can get into what's really on my mind: re-branding.

Over the past couple of years I've grown to hate my blog name. Urban Tease. It's something I came up with at the age of 15 - and it was something that explained my blog well. It was a teenager's blog, a teen who was exploring her style which was somewhere between being very "urban" and also very much a "tease". (It's less on the tease side these days though this skirt if obvs not a good example.) The past couple of years, I've found myself wanting to write about more than my clothes. And I have. I've given long feminist rants (I made an entire tag for my "soapbox" posts), I've reviewed books, I've interviewed my friends, I've discussed jobs, convictions, religion, family, quarter-life-crises (okay not yet, but it's coming, I swear). As I get closer to "adulthood", I find myself wanting to blog about even more: recipes, home decor, DIYs, professional clothes, working out, etc. but I feel like Urban Tease is no longer the right venue. I feel like I have outgrown Urban Tease in the 5 years that I've been writing it.

And I'm not ashamed of that or anything. In fact, this all feels very healthy. I've loved writing this blog and it's such a stress reliever to be able to get so much off my chest and have people read and respond in very genuine, caring ways. My last post, on religion, was scary to write. I was so nervous about receiving harsh backlash and losing followers, sponsors. But none of that happened. The responses I received were all full of grace and full of love. It made me feel so blessed, and gave me motivation to keep going and exploring new topics.

And so, I have a...I'm not sure...a suggestion...I almost feel like I'm asking permission for this. Maybe I am. Yes, I am. I'm asking permission. I would like to retire Urban Tease and begin writing about this new chapter of my life on a new blog. It would still have a lot of the same Urban Tease-y goodness (outfit posts, my outspoken, opinionated, foolish self) but I'd also like to expand it to so much more. I want to post about what's inspiring me. I want to write about new recipes I'm trying, my workout routine, finding a job. I want to detail moving into my future apartment (when I get a real job, fingers crossed), and talk about buying my first car and taking my subsequent first road trip in that car. There are all of these new topics that I want to take on as I tackle adulthood, but I feel like Urban Tease is no longer the place for it. I look at this blog as a token of my teen years - of high school, of college - and I look at it with great happiness and much humility (and a bit of humiliation), but I feel like I've grown out of Urban Tease. It's bittersweet, but fills me with pride.

In the next few months, with your permission of course, I would like to launch a new blog about tackling adulthood. I don't have a name for it yet as I feel like it's not quite time to make that transition. Maybe I'll title it "Chloe Tackles Adulthood", as that seems most fitting to where I am in life right now. However, there would be no point in beginning a new blog if no one would read it, and so that's part of why I feel like I have to ask permission: Would you, as an individual and beloved, appreciated reader, transition with me to that new blog? And, furthermore, would you be interested in more posts, and more diverse posts? I'm not going to do it without the support of the readers that make my blog much of what it is.

I cannot believe that January is almost over. Tomorrow, my boyfriend gets home. He's been sick lately and spent the past month away, getting better. I've missed him loads - talking to him, seeing him, hanging out with him, doing everything with him. I've been talking to him a little bit in the past couple of weeks and he's already doing much better. I know that there'll be some time before he'll be in the same health as he was, but it will be good to have him back. I'm so lonesome without him - and all of my other friends. So many of them are studying abroad right now, or live too far away for me to visit. Minnesota is really miserable like that in the winter. You have no motivation to go out places to see friends. I'd so much rather stay in and watch movies with my cats, even if it doesn't quite fill that loneliness in me.

With January ending, I'm getting a little anxious about finding a job. My original goal was to have one set up by the second week in February. But, I'm reminding myself that everything will work out in the end. And now that I've gotten the idea of starting a new blog off of my chest, I can feel out the reception of that idea and hopefully start fresh on that project - a bigger, better blog depicting my foray into the endless joys of adulthood.

For now, that's all Little Girl and I have. PBS is airing Some Like It Hot so I'm off to cuddle down with some good snacks and watch the timeless humor of Billy Wilder. Keep warm and please give me feedback about my big new idea xx