Life Interludes

Slowing Down, Catching Up

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ABOVE: Scenes from the summer, as told by my iPhone

After two months, I’m officially stationary, and back in the states (States-tionary?). These past couple of months have been filled with adventure, to say the least.  Starting with a month in Paris, week in Venice for the Biennale, back to Tampa to move out of one apartment and into another in two days, the jet lag in full effect, then up to Maine for some hiking and general nature enjoyment. I even fit in some time to head up to Indiana for a few days and catch some mini deer, see picture above.

This movement also meant giving up the luxury of a closet and instead relying on what could fit into a sub-50lb suitcase for the better part of the summer. So much of it, in fact, that since being back I’ve been in a state of wardrobe panic. I’ve ended up falling back on the same three outfits or so I’d been wearing, give or take a necklace or ring, and my trusty summer fallback fishtail braid. It has also led to a mass closet exodus, which meant finally weeding out the last bits of Abercrombie and, consequently, my middle school wardrobe, items that were long overdue for a toss anyway.

As I write this, I’m back in Tampa, sitting in the comfort of my [air-conditioned] apartment. It’s my first apartment on my own, which is a big step, but it couldn’t be better suited for what I need right now. Spacious, in a good location, and with just the right ratio of new to culled-from-the-dumpster finds. It’s been less than two weeks but it’s already beginning to feel like home.

I also write this about to start out at a new school for the third year in a row now (third time’s a charm, right?). Bringing it full circle back to my original major, graphic design. You don’t know how much something means to you until it’s gone, I suppose. It’s a lot of big changes, which can be scary, but also exciting. If this year has taught me anything, it’s that the fear of something is almost always greater than the thing itself. And so with that in mind, I’m trying to stay focused on the excitement, take in the new neighborhood, and finally try out some things I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, but due to either a lack of motivation or lack of time haven’t had a chance to. For example:

  • Calligraphy, although it’s more like using calligraphy equipment and making up the style as I go.
  • Trying new things in the kitchen–sprouting, pickling, homemade sriracha (HIGHLY recommended), kimchi, and general baking with the expected failures and successes. Next up, kombucha.
  • Biking, for the first time in a decade.
  • Signing up for a second half marathon, and the subsequent training.
  • Catching up on some reading. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is a new favorite, as is The Drunken Botanist (recommended for anyone looking to impress at the next cocktail party).
  • Exploring the new neighborhood. It’s incredibly refreshing to be back in a place where I can get most places by foot or bike. There have not been scientific studies to back this up, but I’m pretty sure driving in Tampa is more hazardous to your health than consistently eating one of these every day for a year.
  • Finally, and I mean as in this search has been more than a year in the making now, finding a place in Tampa that makes a café au lait just as good as the ones in DC, and now as good as the ones in Paris. Thankfully, and fittingly, this search has come to an end at Piquant.

My New Year’s resolution was to have more adventures, and it’s certainly held true for the first part of the year. Here’s to hoping the rest of the year brings more of the same.
And if your summer hasn’t been filled with enough adventures, there are still a few weeks left. Take a hike. Make booze popsicles. Put a bird on it.

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Life Interludes

Gettin’ Moody

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Pictures from National Geographic, my sister’s Instagram, Pinterest; collages by me.

Moodboard, that is. I don’t think anyone has more swagger than these guys, circa 1960s Chicago.

2013, though almost halfway over (even writing that and realizing we’re that far into the year is crazy), hit the ground running and didn’t stop until just a few weeks ago. The feel of this past semester leaned more toward feeling like a perpetual finals-week-turned-finals-5-months of sorts, life-reassessing events seemingly being thrown at every turn.

I think it’s important to take time to reflect after a period of crazy activity. After a particularly vigorous yoga practice, the teacher said a line that’s stuck with me for times like these:  “Center yourself; see if you can be still enough after all of that movement to feel your heartbeat.”

During these past few months of constant activity, I was focused more on responding and reacting than on reflecting on how these changes and experiences might affect the bigger picture.  After the activity finally dies down, it’s time to take a step back, figure out how the events fit into or even change our course, and most importantly, what we can learn from them.

It took a vacation back to Maine to finally pause and reflect. Removed from my daily life and thrust into the heart of Maine spring (right after winter and right before mud season and the subsequent and oft-overlapping blackfly season, the ideal time to visit), I took time to stop for a moment and appreciate the simple beauty of the apple blossoms on the tree, kayaking around the pond at our lake, spending time with friends and family.

It led to a lot of inner reflection, which in turn led to feeling more centered, less frenzied. That being said, I think it’s important to take the time every few months to write out a personal manifesto. Sometimes it’s something as simple as the physical act of sitting down and putting pen to paper to realize what’s important in your life, and what other things, maybe aren’t so much. Once you have a clear idea of what your heart(beat) is telling you and you center yourself, everything else will align. And trust me, it’s a lot less stressful on the other side.

And on that note, I’m off to Paris for the month. See you on the other end of Europe!

In the meantime, follow me on Instagram for a good time, @becckitt.

One last thing–a good song to start off summer, wherever your adventures may take you:

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Fashion musings, Life Interludes, Outfits

From Palms to Paris

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Faced with the seemingly insurmountable task of fitting a month’s worth of provisions into one suitcase, all within the confines of the indubitable 50lb weight limit, I decided instead to apply the procrastinator’s motto: Why do today what can be done tomorrow?  [Editor’s note: It is now tomorrow, and my suitcase still has yet to see the light of day.] I then redirected my energy into more present efforts, namely, this outfit.

No, I didn’t go to Coachella, but that hasn’t stopped my outfits from slowly morphing into Coachella look-alikes. Never has a music festival been so relevant to personal style, specifically my own, and this year it seemed particularly pertinent. I would have given an arm and a fringed kimono to go and see the style alone. I’ve even started experimenting with putting jewelry on previously uncharted territory, in the form of upper arm cuffs and knuckle rings. Knuckles and biceps are just as deserving of metal- and jewel-encrusted love too, right?

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Recent find during a thrifting adventure. I still hold that Maine has the best thrifting/antique selection of
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These past few weeks have been eventful, to say the least. It’s been a period of old endings, new beginnings, and plenty of adventures, and with any luck, it looks like my next few months will be filled with the same. It’s been time to reconnect with the past, and, equally as important, reconnect with the present. My new year’s resolution this year was to have adventures, and it’s shaping up to be a year filled with them. Change is in the air and I’m not complaining. It’s spring, baby, and I’m alive.

Alt-J has been on repeat for a solid week now, and they’re rapidly becoming the main (well, and only) artist on my pre-summer playlist. Check out their song Taro with a s-s-sick video below:


And with that, I’m off to Paris for the month, though I may pop in for one last post before I leave. Although I foresee a photo diary of sorts upon my return, if you’re looking for more immediate gratification, follow me on Instagram @becckitt. Expect copious pictures of macarons.

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Outfits

Tigers and Cameras

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Me and DvF, #casual

Although this blog was not founded on the basis of stellar photography (cue the images of flash reflections, duck faces, et al conjured by the Google Image search “mirror shot” [sidenote: I’m not hating; many of this blog’s page views owe themselves to that very set of search terms.]), after reviewing a few images of a past outfit and realizing all of them were either a.) out of focus, b.) obscured by the dirt on my mirror, or c.) unusable due to an awkward face on my end (hint: that was all of them), I decided an overhaul to my photographing process was in order. I’ve now graduated to the much more sophisticated model of propping my camera up on the shelf in the bathroom, balancing the lens on a tube of toothpaste, setting the self timer and sprinting to the other side of my room, making it just in time to be captured mid-pose, and ultimately having to repeat the process. After a few series of click-and-repeats, the results were much more viewable than before (see above). I’m still working on the less-awkward face part.

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Detail shot: Both vintage, one conceals a hidden pen (can you guess which one?).

These pictures also serve as evidence that no, I am not over my hat phase yet. The ratio of my outfits worn with hats to outfits sans head ornament are tipping rapidly in favor of the former. I’ve even developed an instinctual hand-to-head reflex every time a gust of breeze blows by, prompting such helpful-after-the-fact comments from strangers as, “Hold onto your hat–don’t let it fly away!”

I haven’t decided yet if wearing a hat at night is on the same level of sketchiness as wearing sunglasses at night, because hats, much like sunglasses, were presumably created to shield one from the sun, and nighttime is noticeably lacking in UV radiation. Thoughts? Sketchy, or just cool enough? And one last question–is it just as much of a douchebag move as wearing glasses without a prescription? OR is that cool too now? I’m so out of the loop.

Later, as the temperature dropped in response to the impending daily Florida afternoon rainstorm, I threw on this bad boy. Or, should I say, bad boys, culled from the museum of my life that is Instagram (@becckitt, follow for a good time). In this shirt, Maison Scotch takes the classic Angel/Devil on your shoulder routine and refreshes it by turning them into angry embroidered tigers.

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They have yet to dispense any advice, adversary or otherwise, but I’ll keep you updated if they do.

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Outfits

Hat Tricks

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After a recent hour-long binge of scrolling endlessly through the Tumblr pictures resulting from a tag search of “Jessa GIRLS”, coupled with a serendipitous encounter with a hat similar to the one worn by the girl in the aforementioned pictures, I bought my first hat.

And I’m glad I did. Despite the loss of my peripheral vision, I’m adjusting to the new requirement of having to turn my entire head and sometimes entire top half instead of simply glancing with my eyes just fine.  The resulting look is part Jessa, part Zorro, but that’s a hybrid I’m willing to live with.

Save for the furry and oft-earmuffed versions reserved for colder weather, I haven’t stuck my head into the world of millinery before, and frankly I’m not sure what took me so long. Given my laziness penchant for letting my hair go au natural for a few days at a time, a hat serves as the perfect cover up. And if you need to take the hat off for any reason, never fear: everyone will be so distracted by the hat head that any less-than-clean roots will likely slick by unnoticed. [pun intended.]

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The second main point of the post is this: I got me some ombré, hombre. Although it is difficult to see considering the progression goes from blonde to slightly blonder, and it requires a prompt something along the lines of, “Hey, did you notice the ends of my hair are lighter since you saw me last?” before anyone notices. I like to think it’s a sign that it looks natural rather than a sign that my hair is exactly the same shade that it was $65 ago.

For the record, let it be stated that my recent foray into the world of headwear does not have any connection whatsoever to my haircut recently being named one of the worst of the century. Can’t win ‘em all.  (But seriously, has no one seen a fully executed mullet? The Google image search alone is the stuff of nightmares.)

Lest you think the title of this post should fail to deliver, my hat goes off to you, see GIF below. Have a great Easter Sunday, or just a great Sunday.
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Life Interludes

Gone VERTICAL

Although blogging has been sparse at best here at The Mirror Shot lately, I’ve been lending my witty wording to weekly posts over at VERTICAL Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay’s fashion and lifestyle magazine. Below, a recap of what you’ve missed thus far because I neglected to tell you:

Adventures in Tarpon Springs

GREEK FOOD, CULTURE, AND SPONGES

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A Pop of Palazzo

CURATING MY PERFECT CLOSET

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Sweet Fantasy

CHOCOLATE AND A YUMWAY

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And while you’re there, don’t forget to experience the homepage (am I the only one who’s a sucker for really good web design?) and other features for beautiful photography and inspiring stories–all local from the Tampa Bay area.  This will be a weekly thing, so if you want to be notified of new posts at VERTICAL, fly over to the butterfly box at the top, enter your e-mail, and press Go.

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Outfits

Can I kick it?

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While it is a universal truth that I’ve never met a shoe I didn’t like, sneakers have always been a particularly difficult genre for me to embrace. Straddling that fine line between too casual and too cool, I typically go the route of avoiding them entirely. When Isabel Marant first released her now-infamous wedge sneaker a few seasons ago, at first I was incredulous–why try to make a casual shoe dressy? If I don’t like sneakers to begin with, why would I want more of them, particularly when that extra sneaker is unequally distributed into the heel area?

Although I swore them off for as long as I could, I knew it was only a matter of time before my initial [intense] hatred subsided and transformed into a full-on obsession. And obsessed I was, until I met similar knock-offs in Target the other day. Left with the exciting prospect of experiencing the thrill of a $640 shoe for the low cost of throwing down $35, throw down I did.

This, of course, set off a wave of sneaker-inspired outfits. Jeans and T combo needing an extra kick? Add some high-top Bensimons. Skirt too dressy? Add some furry leopard print/black patent combo sneakers, complete with a zip closure, because laces are so last season. This provides an explanation for the outfit below, cue photo:

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Despite the lack of leg movement, now’s your chance to answer the question this post is begging to ask: Can I kick it?

***DISCLAIMER: I may or may not have been listening to Wu-Tang Clan during the making of this post.

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