what to wear during your holiday break vol. 2.

One of my favorite posts to put together last year was “what to wear during your holiday break” and now I’m back for more.

As you may know this year was a completely different year from last year and we all spent a ton of time sitting around our houses on our asses. We’ve been wearing lazy clothes while hiding in our houses this entire year and we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

Overall I’m not really a proponent of lazy clothes. I like to “look cute” and “get dressed up.” I really, REALLY miss wearing black tights and dresses and makeup and real shoes. This is really, really hard for me.

But I thought it would still be fun to celebrate some lazy clothes because I got quite a few new lazy clothes this year and they’re kinda fun!

So here we go.

what to wear during your holiday break while you’re reading a book.

Yes I’m reading Home Body. Every single one of a certain kind of gal is currently reading it as we speak. I guess I’m just that kind of gal.

The kind of gal that likes amazing poetry without really knowing that much about poetry. But it’s amazing.

My outfit is from ACTA and it’s my favorite new lazy outfit. It’s really soft but not TOO soft. I love the material. I have a code for ACTA if you have any interest. Click here to go to their site and use code SHANIMAL15 for 15% off.

If not, move along.

what to wear during your holiday break when you want to fret over the impeding apocalypse but in a onesie.

This is a leopard onesie.

I guess it’s kind of intense and I think it’s a size too small because it’s not as comfy as I hoped.

It’s from Old Navy. The small size isn’t their fault, it’s just my assumption that I can still wear the same size I could wear back in March.

Which is an untrue assumption.

what to wear during your holiday break while protecting your bird from certain death.

Here’s a sports bra option for when you have to turn up the heat all the way for your bird and it’s too hot to live with a shirt on.

My tropical budgie pal Elvis needs to be protected from a draft at all costs. If he feels the slightest chill you can see in his face that he is terrified of his swift imminent death.

He needs to stay warm so we keep him warm. That’s what we do in this family. Even if human family members have to take our shirts off in the middle of winter. Bra top is from Free People.

what to wear during your holiday break to look out the window and feel sad because you miss your friends and family.

When it’s cold and I don’t want to deal with being outside but it’s still sunny and I need sunlight, I love to sit by the window.

I love to sit by the window and stare at the street and think about all the fun I’ve missed, Santa baby.

This year has been shitty. We all know it. A lot of us won’t see our families. I’ve been quarantining to see my parents and sister for Xmas but I won’t be able to see my brother and his family. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m choking on it. So is my mom.

So I’ll just sulk here by the window in my cropped “Jersey City” sweatshirt from JaneDO and tie dyed pants from Old Navy because like what else to I have to do?

what to wear during your holiday break while you adult color and/or reenact a preschool school photo.

I need to get back into adult coloring. It is fun, soothing, passes the time…all good things.

Adult coloring really relaxes the mind. For a long time I thought it was a hoax and a trap but my sister got me this adult coloring book a couple of years ago and it just feels good to do.

This also looks like a photo of me that I have from preschool that I’m going to try to find when I go home this week. STAY TUNED.

Oh PS the whole outfit is from Old Navy. I love the thermal top because it has moons and stars on it. A VIBE.

what to wear during your holiday break while wrapping presents but only a couple at a time because it really hurts your back.

I got this sweatsuit in the fall and I do love that it’s a like a MATCHING SUIT.

It’s also nice that it’s red so it’s festive and if I put on a green headband it’s red AND green and THAT is a beautiful thing.

Sweatsuit is Old Navy again. 85% of this stuff is Old Navy. As I said, I’m not usually a fan of lazy clothes but now that I pretty much wear them every day I like to have a lot of options and Old Navy has cheap but quality options. It may be cheap but it’s also soft and comfortable and I AM INSIDE OF MY HOUSE.

Also, wrapping presents really, REALLY makes my back hurt and I’m not sure why but if you have any tips plz share.

what to wear during your holiday break while you get in bed and wait for santa.

Oh shit did that sound sexual? It’s not, I just meant wait until it’s time to open your presents.

The time goes slow when you’re stuck inside, so it’s nice to be comfortable while you wait.

This is another full matching sweatsuit but it’s not very flattering so I’ll just reveal the top half. Some things remain sacred.

Best wishes for cozy holiday outfits for every single one of you, my friends.

shirts that are bras.

Soon it’s going to be warm outside, and like it or not we will be able to go outside and dress naked. There’s nothing I love more than dressing naked. I can’t wait to wear shirts that are bras.

I have a ton of shirts that are actually bras. To the naked eye, yes they are bras. But all of them were sold in the “shirts” section and I have worn them as shirts more than once.

It’s all about perception. And perception is reality.

Are these shirts or bras? You decide.

Actually, I decide. I’ve already decided. They’re shirts. Thx.

shirt that’s a bra with a kimono.

New favorite outfit. Never put this together before today and pretty pumped about it.

shirt that’s a bra that’s def a bra.

shirt that’s a bra with buttons.

Snake necklace from Kanibal & Co, my boyfriend got it for me 🙂

shirt that’s a bra with shorts that match it.

If you think it looks like pajamas you thought WRONG.

shirt that’s a bra and also denim.

This shirt is also wrinkled because my steamer is broken.

shirt that’s a bra and i like the back.

I took these pics in my closet that I’ve recently cleaned! It’s the size of a small room so I can now use it as a room to take photos in. Very exciting stuff.

Most of these tops are from Free People. They specialize in shirts that are actually bras. The skirt in the last section is from Express and I’ve had it since my freshman year of high school…WHICH WAS 1999.

i found a lamp on my street lewk.

Today I walked outside to take some photos and I found a lamp on my street.

Possibly more importantly, here is a link to $100 off Rent the Runway Unlimited. That’s where most of the “I found a lamp on my street lewk” is from!

I took pics next to this lamp and was pretty pumped about it.

Afterwards I went inside to put my tripod away and decided I wanted the lamp.

But when I went back outside, it was gone.


Dress and jacket, Rent the Runway. Lace shirt, Free People. Necklace, Stone Cooper. Eyeliner, Urban Decay.

last saturday night in dry january lewk.

This was my last Saturday night in Dry January lewk.

Dino earrings, Bobo Global, I got them at the All About Downtown festival. Rhinestone sweatshirt, Free People. Skirt, Forever21. Blue eyeliner,  Urban Decay.

Get up to 50% off must-have beauty—like, now!

Dry January is coming to an end and this was probably my last dry night out, unless I go out this coming Friday.

Dino earrings, Bobo Global, I got them at the All About Downtown festival. Rhinestone sweatshirt, Free People. Skirt, Forever21. Blue eyeliner,  Urban Decay.

Initially I planned not to drink until my pal’s bday celebraish on the 8th. But I’ve been sick with a lingering cold for more than half of the month so I don’t feel the Dry January super powers I felt last year that I desperately wanted to feel again. So I may drink my sorrows away this coming Saturday.

Dino earrings, Bobo Global, I got them at the All About Downtown festival. Rhinestone sweatshirt, Free People. Skirt, Forever21. Blue eyeliner,  Urban Decay.

Wait now that I wrote that down it seems counterproductive. Hmmm.

Dino earrings, Bobo Global, I got them at the All About Downtown festival. Rhinestone sweatshirt, Free People. Skirt, Forever21. Blue eyeliner,  Urban Decay.

Most pics are from the waist up because these stretchy clingy skirts hug bellies in a weird way that make them look like baby bumps, if you’re into that sort of thing. Which I am NOT. HARD PASS ON THE BABY BUMP THX. (I mean like, for me. You can have one, it’s fine. I’ll allow it.)

Dino earrings, Bobo Global, I got them at the All About Downtown festival. Rhinestone sweatshirt, Free People. Skirt, Forever21. Blue eyeliner,  Urban Decay.

Also this is a sweatshirt that needs to be dry cleaned. Do you know how that feels, needing to dry clean a sweatshirt?! It feels ridiculous. But also, luxurious.

Dino earrings, Bobo Global, I got them at the All About Downtown festival. Rhinestone sweatshirt, Free People. Skirt, Forever21. Blue eyeliner,  Urban Decay.

As always, completely and totally pumped on blue eyeliner. I really love this kind I’m wearing, 24/7 Glide on Eyeliner in Chaos from Urban Decay.

Dino earrings, Bobo Global, I got them at the All About Downtown festival. Rhinestone sweatshirt, Free People. Skirt, Forever21. Blue eyeliner, Urban Decay.

Get up to 50% off must-have beauty—like, now!

fire escape on a freezing cold day lewk.

I left my tripod remote at my parents’ house and had to order some new ones on Amazon, so as soon as the remotes came I jumped out of my bathroom window and did a fire escape on a freezing cold day lewk on my fire escape.

Jacket, Kanibal & Co. Acorn necklace, Kanibal & Co. Top, Revolve. Skirt, Free People. Boots, Dr. Martens.

I enjoy having a fire escape a great deal and it was one of the selling (renting) points of this particular apartment.

It’s a great place to put some bird seed and get bird visitors. Squirrels also come to visit and make a huge mess. Less desirably, and I don’t even understand how, there are ants around on the fire escape that crawl in and hang out on the windowsill.

Yesterday was very cold and windy but it was nice to get outside for a little. I miss hanging out on the fire escape and I can’t wait til it’s warm. I may try and plant some plants but they’d prob die so I’ll just hang out there and read books I guess.

Since it was so windy my tripod almost fell a bunch of times so here’s a special bonus behind the scenes pic of me rescuing my tripod.

mlk light rail shuttle bus.

The MLK to LSP light rail shuttle bus is a disgraceful garbage fire. This is the MLK light rail shuttle bus specifically. The Garfield Ave and West Side Ave shuttle buses appear to operate efficiently and without issues.

You may or may not know that these 3 light rail stops are closed until AT LEAST March 2020 so the city can perform sewer repairs.

This is a Jersey City-specific problem but I do believe the broader themes of this problem are far reaching and dare I say…systemic.

The other day I was waiting for a connecting train at Liberty State Park for THIRTY MINUTES because the MLK light rail shuttle bus that is ALLEGEDLY SCHEDULED to coincide with the departure of the light rail train from LSP WAS LATE GETTING TO LSP. This isn’t a one time thing. Or even a sometimes thing. This is an always and every time thing.

During this wait, I had enough time to set up my tripod and position my phone, re-apply lip gloss, smooth my hair with Amika Velveteen Dream Smoothing Balm ( I don’t work for them but details are important in personal essays so there ya go) and then take a number of photos of myself in various poses. When I was done I had time to break down the tripod and get everything put away and I still had five more minutes to wait for the train.

I will now show you some lewks from that day interspersed among MLK light rail shuttle bus related rage. Come for the lewks, stay for the rage. Come for the rage, stay for the lewks? Either way.

Miraculously somehow the Garfield Ave and West Side Ave shuttle buses are more often than not on time and also timed with the arrivals and departures of the HBLR trains. The MLK shuttle bus has never once achieved this feat in the last 5 or so months that I have been forced to endure its particular brand of bullshit.

The two other shuttle buses also have competent and capable drivers that don’t sometimes take naps or disappear to smoke cigarettes and cause the bus to leave 10 minutes late, they have a set place of stopping and loading the bus, and they have passengers that respect the structure of a line and the system of queueing to wait to get onto a vehicle, and also wait for the passengers on said vehicle to get off before they storm onto said vehicle with complete disregard for humanity.

Our MLK shuttle bus is dirty, old, smells bad, and is often littered with cigarette butts, empty liquor bottles, and discarded beer cans wrapped in ripped paper bags. Passengers scream into their cell phones or play music out loud without headphones or somehow do both of those things at the same time even though I don’t know how that’s even physically or electronically possible.

It is a lawless land and it must be policed by someone. I don’t mean like, “The Police” but I do mean the NJTransit workers/representatives that are 100% more helpful at any other stop than they are at the intersection of MLK Dr. and Virginia Ave. Where they stand and zone out and smoke cigarettes.

Because the bus and therefore the passengers are held to a much lower standard than the other two buses and groups of passengers, in turn the people that ride the bus feel free and even empowered to act shitty because why wouldn’t they? No one makes an effort to do better or to lead by example because why bother? We already have the shitty bus so let’s just act shitty because at this point we honestly have been made to feel like we don’t deserve better and it’s every person watching out for themselves to simply survive another 15 minute jaunt on this hell machine.

The MLK shuttle bus is broken windows theory in action (disorder propagates more disorder) (just had to Shansplain that real quick). No one cares about the people on the MLK light rail shuttle bus so in turn the people that are forced to use this bus don’t care about themselves or their neighbors and pretty much just give up on social niceties. But I care about us and I’m here to say we won’t stand for it.

NJ Transit gives the MLK stop a shitty bus because the MLK stop is in a shitty area. We get it. But that does NOT make it okay. Just because our stop is in a shitty area doesn’t mean we don’t deserve the same exact shuttle bus as the other stops. Because we do. It takes years of work to make an entire area less shitty, OR oceans of money to make an actual built into the ground light rail stop less shitty.

But do you know what takes the same amount of work and requires no additional level of effort or urban planning skills? GIVING THE SAME STANDARD OF SHUTTLE BUS TO EACH AND EVERY STOP THAT YOU ARE INCONVENIENCING WITH YOUR SEWER MAKEOVER. You’re already ordering and staffing and coordinating and paying for the shuttle buses. Don’t shit all over our neighborhood by giving us shuttle buses that are clearly deficient and clearly held to an immensely lower standard than the shuttle buses of the other two stops. It’s ridiculous and it’s wrong.

NJTransit will say it’s the city that is doing this work. Okay fine, it is. But someone is coordinating this bus bullshit and someone is blowing it big time for the folks that live at the MLK stop.

Every time I get off the train at LSP on my way home there are Westside Ave and Garfield Ave shuttle buses waiting, warm and welcoming. Again, timed with the arrival of the train. Never once has there been an MLK bus waiting. Often the Garfield and Westside buses leave, ANOTHER bus of each arrives, and the MLK bus doesn’t come chugging down the road until after these additional two.

The MLK light rail shuttle bus is consumed by such an erratic and unpredictable existence that it doesn’t even know where to stop to load and unload passengers and no one offers any guidance, even those with the power or insight to do so, because they don’t care. Passengers waiting for this bus, my neighbors and I, are left to scramble back and forth and bob and weave around each other on the sidewalk to try to figure out where the bus is going to stop and where we should be gathering and standing in line to get on.

Once the bus finds a place to rest, no one waits in line and it’s a huge mob to get on to the bus. And the people getting off of the bus are visibly outraged. But then somehow those same people also crowd the entrance of the bus when they’re getting on. I don’t understand this absolute aversion to lines because I personally thrive on some level of social order and respect for personal space but I can only assume it becomes a lawless land because no one cares enough to stop it or to lead by example and it just crumbles into anarchy.

The whole point of this is…let’s do better. We need to. We have to deal with this piece of shit shuttle bus until at least March. NJTransit, Jersey City, whoever the heck is in charge of this fiasco, pay attention to us! Care about the MLK light rail shuttle bus! We are suffering! We are struggling! Help us be better! Seriously though, give us the same level of shuttle bus as the other stops. That doesn’t really seem that hard to do.

Passengers of the MLK light rail shuttle bus, my neighbors, we also have to do better. Set an example! At the very least clean up your garbage. It’s disgusting. Why are you doing this to yourselves and the rest of us? I don’t get it.

I’ll end by saying that I have investigated the rides on the other stops’ shuttle buses and I’m not making this up. Their buses are cleaner, newer, and quieter. Their passengers feel obligated to wait in line and show consideration for their neighbors. Again I implore you to think of broken windows theory when thinking about the MLK light rail shuttle bus. Because the disorder will only increase exponentially if we don’t stop it.

Ugh. The end.

Lewk notes.

Rabbit Fur Coat, Retrospect Vintage, similar here. Dress, Free People, similar here. Hair clips, H&M, similar here. Leggings, Target, similar here. Necklace, Alex and Ani, similar here (maybe not SO similar but I searched “Tree Necklace” and found this and it’s adorable). Green purse, ZAC Zac Posen, similar here. Boots, my friend Alli got me these in Nashville like 10 years ago so there really is nothing similar because they are irreplaceable sorry byeeee.

your birthday is one day – a rebuttal.

If you read stuff on the Internet you may have seen Katie Heaney’s piece for The Cut “Your Birthday is One Day,” asking for adults to not make such a big deal out of their birthdays.

This is my rebuttal.

I’d like everyone to know this is the friendliest of rebuttals. I am not trying to start a birthday war, I just want to say something for the other side. For the world to hear. Many from my side went NUTS in the Instagram comments so I feel no need to get too serious. They’ve defended our birthday honor boldly and angrily already, so I’ll keep it casual.

My scathing contribution to the Instagram backlash – rude!

Birthdays ARE a big deal. “Your birthday is one day” is NOT something I want to hear.

Our days of birth are fun and fantastical and they should be treated with respect, even reverence.

It is currently my own personal birthday week and month so I feel in the perfect position to defend the “BIRTHDAYS ARE VERY IMPORTANT” perspective until someone punches me in the face.

Will share some images I took on my birthday. Literally flying.

To those that oppose making a big deal about birthdays I ask you this – what brings you joy? What fosters an environment of fun for you? It may not be your birthday but it’s probably SOMETHING. And about this “something” you may say “THIS IS ALL I HAVE. IT MAKES ME HAPPY. LET ME HAVE IT.” And that’s how I feel about birthdays.


All I have.

I want to throw myself a party and I want to choose the decorations and I want sweet treats of my choosing made and presented to me. I will also provide sweet treats. I would like thoughtful presents, but they’re not necessary if you can just take the time to draw me a card if you’re artistic or even fold a piece of paper in half and write me a nice message you thought about for a moment. I would like to eat some kind of special meal but it doesn’t even have to be THAT SPECIAL or expensive but just like a meal that’s like “this is a birthday meal!” I want companies to send me emails with special discount codes so I can go shopping and I want Sephora to give me a birthday gift. And all of these things usually happen. And they happen over the span of a week. THEY NEED A FULL WEEK TO HAPPEN BECAUSE EVERYONE IS BUSY.

Because I’m fab.

A birthday celebration does not need to be a big expensive elaborate deal. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an adult and having a party at a bar for your birthday and literally the only thing that makes it a “party” is that you got confetti and party hats from 99 Cent Dream and you and your friends are simply drinking while standing in the same geographic location.

It is not that serious or demanding to ask friends/family/co-workers to have birthday drinks with you in the week around your birthday. Especially in NYC and the surrounding lands where everyone is usually drinking EVERY SINGLE DAY anyway so why not PRETEND YOU HAVE A GOOD REASON. Show up, check in, high 5, take a pic, leave. Congrats, you’ve celebrated your friend during their “birthday week” and you weren’t feeding into some kind of completely delusional diva behavior.

Would a diva laugh so joyfully?

We NEED reasons to celebrate! Life is hard! Life is short but life is long if you’re lucky and why should you not celebrate a longer life every chance you get as much as you can?!

Part of the argument is that those that make a big deal out of birthdays are setting themselves up for disappointment. I will submit that I HAVE been disappointed when my hopes and expectations for birthdays are not met by those around me. The siren song of hope and expectation surrounding an event will push you closer and closer to the rocks until hopes and expectations are NOT met and you come crashing down and your ship splinters apart. I call this “falling off the other side” and will explore the full scientific theory I’ve developed separately some day. But getting pumped about birthdays is a fertile breeding ground for falling off the other side I WILL ADMIT.

Fell off the other side.

In the past few years I had a disappointing birthday incident during which I was so upset that I had to go to Target to feel better because it was the only thing I could think of that would help me and then I was sobbing in Target and had to walk around for at least 30mins for the naturally occurring environmental Target endorphins to take effect. I didn’t even buy anything except rocky road Haagen Daz which I then went home and ate the whole thing of in addition to 4 slices of pepperoni pizza.

This sweater is from Target and came with the endorphins.

But I guess even within this disappointment, was celebration. I have a big problem with emotional binge eating but I was like it’s my birthday so I’m just going to give in and approach it like it’s not a problem. And that felt celebratory. I guess. Until my stomach really hurt.

To make it worse the day that was selected as the “day of celebration” during the birthday week (not my actual birthday but the party day) was going great until it was ruined by ridiculous unnecessary nonsense. That’s all I’ll say about that but just know that it was ridiculous and unnecessary.

And it ruined my birthday.

Ridiculous but NOT unnecessary.

And birthdays are very important to me.

But I continued to celebrate and be happy and eat cookies and try to have fun because this time comes once a year and it celebrates me and also life overall and I think that is a beautiful thing that must be honored. It is your personal benchmark and individual perspective on the passage of time. And it is highly valuable. And if you want others to give you a little bit of recognition for that I don’t think that is a problem.

Celebration of self.

And I will gladly return the recognition! I also take the birthdays of others very, very seriously. I’ve met people once or barely know people and I will remember their birthday and I will text them. I texted the first guy I went on a date with freshman year at Rutgers every year on his birthday until like 3 years ago (August 24, Virgo).

As far as my actual close friends I love to attend any and all of their celebrations and I will clear my schedule to celebrate them. I still feel bad about a friend’s birthday dinner I missed in September because I had a “work event.” Work event sounds so dumb so that’s why it’s in quotes. But that’s what it was. Maybe I’ll feel bad until next September.

Hey…I recognize you.

I was really disappointed that time I had the bad birthday though. Maybe I still am. And I guess that’s my fault for hoping too high, but I accept responsibility and I’m still going to be a birthday adult and have a full and robust birthday week until the end of time.

I’m watching you.

Are you a birthday adult? Do you love birthdays? Do you hate birthdays? Do you hate me for loving birthdays? Just wondering.

tripod tuesday.

I had a very long and tiring day today with all the voting and some other fun stuff I’ll tell you about tomorrow.

But for now I’m just going to reflect on the awesomeness that is my tripod. WITH BLUETOOTH REMOTE. If you want to know what pure happiness is, it is when you want a photo of you taken and you do not have to ask ANYONE to take it. You do not have to associate with a SINGLE HUMAN. It’s just you and your tripod. And that’s beautiful.

I’m going to go ahead and create a new category called “blatant narcissism” to file this one under.

I’ll also include some outfit notes/links/whatever in case either of these lewks inspire you and you’d like to poke around the Internet.

Other than that it will just be the Shan Show. Omg that’s my fav show!

Lewk 1 – Dress, Free People. Necklace, Old Navy. Bracelets, Alex and Ani, ban.do, and Stone Cooper. Boots, H&M.

Feeling okay about a braless, lawless life.
I’m just proud of my posture here.

Lewk 2 – Dress, Urban Outfitters (similar one here). Fur, Another Man’s Treasure. Necklace and Earrings, JCrew. Bracelets, Alex and Ani, ban.do, and Stone Cooper.

Okay so this is the “sexy one.” Just play along.
Wait ummm…excuse me? Hi? I have a quesh?
Just like, in a chicken yard.

I know my photography skills and my face skills and my posing skills and my living life skills need to be improved – and that’s okay! Practice makes perfect and the practicing part is fun as hell. I could do this with every piece of clothing in my closet every single day and it would not bore me. Be glad you have that to look forward to. I am.

Do you like to take pics of yourself? Where do you take them? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?! I’m all ears. Well I’m all one ear because I’m deaf in the other one.

K that’s all I got bye.