Archive by Author

Accessorize for the 4th of July with an Americana Gun Necklace

3 Jul

I was enamored with this necklace the moment I saw it at  LeThrift the boutique I work at.  This necklace resembles an American flag and it’s in the shape of a gun.  What represents Americana more than that?  It’s a culmination of our over inflated pride of the U.S. and our violent history.  It is the perfect necklace to wear along with a smirk on the 4th of July.

Americans love their guns.  I love Michael Moore.

Feminist Vogue Summer 2012

28 Jun

To introduce our new vintage online clothing store- Outside the Box Vintage- Maria and I decided to explore the vast urban jungle of my backyard.  Using found objects as props we decided to play dress up on one of the hottest days of the year so far this summer.  We were melting, sweating, and oh so shiny.  Why didn’t we wait another day?  We had finally shaken our procrastinating ways and were in determined work mode.  This is our feminist take on Vogue fashion shoots.

PLAY-A Fashion Show Fundraiser & Rooftop Party

23 Jun

Today is the day.  Fashion Food Feminism is producing a fashion show in Chicago and it’s happening tonight.  In January Maria and I brainstormed up the idea to put on a fashion show with vintage clothes and have it be a fundraiser for a new local theatre company, Sankofa, that we are both involved in.  The show evolved and now the runway will feature not only vintage, but also clothing from local designers.

It has been a fun, but sometimes stressful production.  There is so much work that goes into a fashion show, but at least I was aware going in.  I’ve volunteered at many fashion shows, but this is my first time putting one together myself.  The hardest task was finding a venue on a very limited budget of zero dollars.  However, by reaching out to a few friends I was able to secure an awesome location in downtown Chicago on the roof of the building courtesy of friend and designer Gabrielle Zwick.  The location is perfect for enjoying a Chicago summer night and looking out at the lake or the sparkling city.

Being a feminist produced fashion show we want to do things differently.  We will be debuting  our new vintage collection- Outside the Box Vintage.  It is a reminder to ourselves and to others to remember to think outside the box, to challenge traditional thought, and to be free to express yourself.  All the designers and vendors are women.  The theme for the night is playful and not sexy.  I kept hearing the word sexy so many times during the planning of this event and I constantly had to say no we are not selling sex, I want it to be fun and playful.  It is important to us to use fashion as a tool to empower women and not cater to the idea of what is sexy.

Another challenge I encountered was finding a local plus size designer.  There was only one in the area I was able to find and she was unavailable for the event.  It just made it blatantly obvious to me the lack of options available to women who are plus size and want to dress their best.

There is going to be desserts and sangria.  I’m excited to try the desserts and the sangria is delicious.  It is not going to be the typical runway experience and there isn’t going to be your typical runway.  I’m not going to reveal all the details, you’ll have to come and find out!

So I’m inviting you to come join us for a playful summer’s night mingling amongst Chicago’s skyline. Your exclusive view will include a fashion show with the best vintage and local designs Chicago has! Celebrate supporting local Chicago culture and promote diversity. In addition, since it’s Chicago’s Pride Weekend we will be celebrating supporting equality and gay rights.  You know you wanna come.  You can purchase tickets here.

Uh, I Work Out? What Really Happened At Chicago’s SELF Workout In The Park

18 Jun

I have a confession to make…I don’t own any tennis shoes.  Not a single pair.  So how did I find myself at Self’s Workout in the Park?  I volunteered to go and write about it.  I was swayed by the thought of exercising outdoors downtown surrounded by Chicago’s beautiful skyscrapers.  So, I headed to the event in cut off jean shorts, a casual shirt, and flats.  I was going to document other people working out, be an observer of this phenomenon of working out.  I could immediately identify who was also going to event as soon as I got off the train.  These women were decked out in their lycra and sports bras and power walking as though they were on a mission.  They were ready to work out and I was ready to photograph them.

It’s not as if I’m opposed to working out.  It just comes in phases or cycles for me.  The last time I owned a pair of tennis shoes was in 2009 when I was a coach for Girls on the Run.  Twice a week I would  meet up with my group of girls at their school and try to get them to run, to move.  It was a challenge and I’m worried for kids.  Before that college was the prime of my gym time.  When a gym membership is included with your tuition and it’s within walking distance it seems more reasonable to go work out.  When you live in Chicago and the nearest gym within walking distance is a mile and you have to pay for the gym membership it’s not exactly convenient to go work out.

Instead I just make physical activity part of my routine.  I walk to the grocery store and ride my bike as much as I can.  I don’t think women should feel  pressured to work out so they can achieve a certain look.  Working out should be about moving your body for health, because it’s not healthy to be too sedentary.  The women at Self’s Workout were there because they wanted to be.  They were super excited to be working out.  Everything was fun and upbeat.  The Laughing  Cow and I started a friendship.

Ladies could indulge in facials.

I signed up for a facial dermascan so I could see how much the sun has damaged my skin.

The left side shows blood vessels and growths.  The right side show all the sun spots that could pop up.  I was advised to protect my eyelids and lips more.  I do generally avoid putting sunblock on my eyelids because if I sweat, which I do cause I bike, it burns my eyes.

And I found the lone male that was working out at the park with the ladies.

Maybe next year I’ll own a pair of sneakers and attempt to work out.

Join Me At Chicago’s SELF Workout In The Park June 2

30 May

This is the 19th year SELF magazine has been putting on their workout in the park.  It is suppose to be a fun filled day of building community with other ladies.  A ton of activities will be on hand such as the newest workouts.  Ahh, that’s the key word in this activity WORKOUT.  I’m not exactly a consistent workout person.  I don’t have a daily fitness routine.  My workout is made up of walking or riding my bike.  I’ve always wanted to find an enjoyable fitness class that I would be able to attend consistently.  A class where I could make new friends and look forward to going to.  A workout that would help to feel good mentally and physically.  I’m sure it exists maybe I’ll find it at the workout in the park.

I’m not a person that likes fast exercise so cardio is out for me.  I once attended a ballet boot camp class and almost died. Of course that’s an exaggeration, but that is how I felt during that class.  It was the arm and ab exercises that really killed me.  I was just not capable of doing half of them so I would just take a break when I needed to.  I think that it’s really important to listen to your body and stop when it tells you to instead of feeling pressure to continue because other people may be watching you.

The classes I will definitely not be taking part in at this event are the Rock Bottom, Ab Attack, and Tabura.  What is Tabura?    The description actually completely terrifies  me and assures that it is an exercise I will never take part in. “Inspired by Swahili military endurance and strength training, this class uses kickboxing combos and basic West African dance moves.”  Excuse me, but no even though I am curious about the dancing part.  I think I will make sure to be an observer, but gladly not a particpator in Tabura.

Dance to me is the perfect workout though!  There will be plenty of dancing going on at the park.  I want to check out Fly Girls inspired by those girls from In Living Color, it will be bumping to 90s pop music.

There will also be Masala Bhangra inspired by Bollywood and La Blast created by Louis Van Amstel of “Dancing With The Stars”.

Since a balance is necessary to working out there is the Quiet Zone.  These classes focus on yoga and pilates.  There will be stretching and sculpting.  I will be taking the path of least resistance and that means more relaxing and stretching for me.  I plan on taking part in Sunrise Salutations since I want to maintain flexibility and increase my strength.  Hippie Yoga will be going on, but not that kind of hippie yoga.  This is yoga designed to open up your hip area.

What I’m most looking forward to is the pampering and the food samples.  Working out is nice and all, but after I like to treat myself.  There will be beauty consultations and style workshops.  Spa services will be provided-perhaps a mini facial?!  And of course there will be give aways and who doesn’t like free things.

If you’re in Chicago this Saturday you should come check it out.  It will be held downtown at Grant Park from 11-3.  All the details can be found here.  What could be more fabulous than working out downtown outside in a park making friends with other fabulous ladies?

Ladies, What You Need To Know About Vaginal Ultrasounds And Abortion

24 May

So there’s a hot debate going on about vaginal ultrasounds being mandated by the government for any woman seeking an abortion.  Here’s the thing that no one has bothered to tell you: vaginal ultrasounds are a routine part of the abortion procedure.  Yes, this type of ultrasound is performed at most abortion clinics already.  It’s just that Republican politicians are trying to be even bigger jerks by making it seem like they are forcing you to get a “medically unneccessary procedure”.

In reality, an ultrasound before an abortion is a medically necessary procedure.  The doctor needs to have the most accurate reading of how far along the pregnancy is.  And most doctors get this reading with a vaginal ultrasound.  This is standard practice at Planned Parenthood of Illinois.  All medication and surgical abortion patients will receive a vaginal ultrasound before their abortion procedure.  The pregnancy has to be visible on the ultrasound machine for an abortion to be performed.

Here’s another thing no one has bothered to tell you: ultrasounds are really just guesstimates and approximations on how far along the pregnancy is.  They cannot 100% determine how pregnant a woman actually is.

And one more thing you should know.  If you choose to do a medication abortion you are required to return for a follow up appointment where another vaginal ultrasound will be performed to make sure the pregnancy has passed.  This is the most accurate way to determine that.

I want to share this excerpt from lifenews.com, yes those pro-life people that would call me a pro-abortionist(?).  What they have to say here is valid and I always admire intelligence:

“Yet, while abortion backers say having an ultrasound is like getting raped, a 2003 study shows 99% of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities do them beforehand.

Published in the medical journal Contraception in 2003, researchers with the pro-abortion group IPAS, the University of North Carolina, a consortium of Planned Parenthood clinics and the National Abortion Federation surveyed staff at 113 Planned Parenthood affiliates and independent abortion businesses between February and April 2000.

The study specifically concerned the use of the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 (mifepristone) and the survey indicated the drug could be given to women at Planned Parenthood centers and abortion clinics because of vaginal ultrasounds.

Surveying 72 of the abortion businesses that sold the abortion pill to women, the researchers found abortion facilities frequently use vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion to determine the gestational age of the baby or afterwards to determine if the abortion was complete. In fact 99 percent of the abortion facilities surveyed always or sometimes performed an ultrasound in association with the surgical abortion — while just one percent did not.”

So the real question is what are they trying to take our attention away from?  The government is trying to pass a law on a medical procedure that almost all doctors already follow…

Celebrate Warm Weather With Colorful Dresses

15 May
My internship with Le Thrift is going great.  I have the opportunity to style outfits and then go outside in lovely weather to take pics.  I love not having to do paperwork!  I feel like I’ve been neglecting Fashion Food Feminism because of this though.  I have a plan to get it together though.
Friday was a beautiful day in Chicago so it was perfect for outdoor outfit pics.  My friend Gabrielle was kind enough to be my model.  She is also the designer of Gabrielle Zwick Designs which is the jewelry featured in the pics.  I am in love with her Barbie jewelry!  As soon as I saw it I thought it was the best thing.  The Barbie shoes necklace and bracelet are a sweet combination of nostalgia and playfulness.
Shoshanna Dress-$54.99
 Black Bauble Bracelet-$9.99
Ann Taylor Dress- $38.99
Gabrielle Zwick Designs Earrings-$20
Escada Heels-$54.99 (benefits Bridge to Success)
Soprano Dress-$28.99
Barbie Shoe Necklace by Gabrielle Zwick Designs-$28
Vintage Calvin Klein Sunglasses-$64.99
Barbie Shoe Bracelet by Gabrielle Zwick Designs-$30
Vintage Sewing Machine Feet Neklace by Gabrielle Zwick Designs-$38
Prada Heels 6.5-$64.99
Come visit me at Le Thrift if you are in Chicago or check out their online selection.  There are so many great dresses and that Barbie jewelry!

Le Thrift A Chicago Consignment Boutique

9 May

I’m super excited about a new internship I’ve started.  I’m interning with Le Thrift  which is a Chicago consignment boutique that resells designer, designer vintage, and local clothing.  If you’re in Chicago you should come check out the store, but even if you’re not you can shop online!   I’m mainly going to be working on the blog so my responsibilities will include writing, styling, and sometimes photographing.  They have amazing clothes and really why would you ever pay retail price?

Playful Accessories

When we were little girls we all loved to play.  We would play dress up, we would play house, and we would play on the playground.  Somewhere along the way of growing up we lose some of our playfullness, but why?  Reclaim your old days of dress up.  Have a little fun. Use accessories to inject a sense of play into your wardrobe.  And go visit a playground-it’s the best free fun you can find.

Feather Necklace-$24.99
Shell & Pearl Necklace-$54
Owl Necklace-$59.99
Vintage Ladybug Necklace-$34.99
Crystal Teardrop Necklace-$18.99
Silver Rose Necklace-$29.99
Deer Necklace-$78.99
Gold & Black Lariat-$19.99
Spinning Gun Necklace-$42.99
Lock & Key Necklace-$68.99
Jungle Gym of Shoes
J. Crew 7.5-$34.99
Franco Sarto 7.5-$24.99
Linea Paolo 6-$32.99
Karen Millen 7.5-$68.99
Aldo 9.5-$28.99
Nine West 6-$39.99
Charles David 6.5-$84.99
Christian Louboutin 7.5-$349.99
Come in to Le Thrift to see these wonderful items.  This Saturday in celebration of our 1 year anniversary everything is 25% off!
~Phaydra Babinchok~

 

Where Can You Get A Happy Abortion Card and A Happy Mother’s Day Card?

8 May

Snarky Cards! “Brutally Honest Greeting Cards that will crack you the fuck up”.   They are hand painted postcards with typewritten sayings.  I discovered these awesome cards about a year ago when I was searching Etsy for feminist art work.  I was sending out interviews and sadly did not do one with Alisa the creator of Snarky Cards.

What other company makes an abortion card?  She’s on to something.  I mean what do you really say to a friend?  Why not have a little laugh courtesy of snarky card.  After your girlfriend’s abortion and at the after party you can present you friend with this.  High fives all around-it’ll be a hit.

There are 22 different mother’s day cards.  You’re sure to find the right one for your mom.  She’s got one for the crazy mom, the bitchy mom, the overprotective mom, the woman who is like a mom to you, the baby mama, and the deceased mom.  And I’m sure I missed  a few.  Check them out they are delightful.

This is definitely the card I would give my mom.  This card speaks the truth.  I was a lunatic as a child, wild and stubborn.  I’m so grateful for my mother and so sorry about what I put her through.  I wonder if she would appreciate this card…

This card cracks me up.  It seems so sweet with the rose and then bam.

I would not want to be the mom to get this card.

The name of the card is “I love my Dead Gay Son“-so good, adore Heathers.  If you’re a gay who has something they want to get off their chest this card may help you achieve that.  Put the blame where it rightly belongs.

A touch of whimsy for the enjoyable and delightful mom.

And as an added bonus she’s got a card for marijuana lovers!  This is the best card company ever.

Sorelle In Style-The Bare Wrist Fix

6 May

Sorelle In Style is a lovely personal style blog created by two sisters, Jilly and Sally.  This Sunday I was featured as their bare wrist fix.  I wore a vintage turquoise statement bracelet paired with a vintage suede orange skirt.  Check out the awesome turquoise bracelets Jilly and Sally picked out.  It’s hard for me to decide on a favorite, but #9 wins!

the bare wrist fix: phaydra

This week our Bare Wrist Fix tour takes us to Chicago! Phaydra certainly knows how to make a statement – her bold vintage turquoise cuff is the perfect Summer accessory, and has no problem flying solo! Her bright orange skirt and purple glitter polish really make the bracelet pop, and make for a beautiful, colorful mix.

Here are some more turquoise pieces that would make for an instant Bare Wrist Fix on their own!

1. Bauble Bar Sky Rope Cuff, 2. a.v. max Turquoise and Gold Cuff, 3. Lucky Turquoise Cuff, 4. House of Harlow Tribal Cuff, 5. Kenneth Jay Lane White and Gold Turquoise Cuff, 6. CC Skye Turquoise Cuff, 7. RAIN Bead Bracelet, 8. nOir Crystal Cord Cuff, 9. Rachel Leigh Cuff, 10. R.J. Graziano Bangle, 11. AK Anne Klein Stretch Bracelet, 12. Lisa Stewart Modern Myth Bracelet, 13. Ben-Amun Turquoise Bracelet), 14. 2028 Bracelet


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