Life and Times

First of all, let me say I have missed writing here and I am not intending to fall off the blogging map!

Second of all, let me say my job is cray-zay, my internet connection is non-existent, and my life has gone through a hundred changes in the past 6 months!

2011, it's been good. Truely the best year of my life so far. In fact, I got a little teary this afternoon thinking about all the incredible things I experienced, the places I went, the tasks I accomplished, and most importantly, the friends I made.

I graduated from college with a GPA higher than 3.0 (not much higher, but definitely higher).
...interviewed for and offered positions at 3 different companies
...accepted a job offer from one company, that also happened to be the biggest and best
...found out I would be moving to Savannah, GA with 1 month's notice
...enjoyed a final month of "summer vacation" in my hometown, between graduation and moving
...moved to a city I had never been to
...found an apartment on my own
...broke out of my shell enough to make a dozen new friends in a city where I knew 1 person
...adjusted to living alone, cooking alone, eating alone, and paying bills alone :)
...adjusted to a job in the retail "big leagues" with new responsibilities, challenges, and attitudes
...started running as regularly as possible and signed up for my first post-college race!
...completed said race, over the Savannah Bridge, with 4 fabulous friends who made up for a stinky time
...survived my first holiday season as a retail manager, recieving high praise from my boss
...survived, and even enjoyed, spending both major holidays away from my family
...took a leap of faith with a fragile relationship and learned to enjoy the moments that make me smile without thinking too far ahead

If 2012 is only half as good, it will still be an incredible year.

Happy, happy, happy New Year!!



How many of ya'll are craving fall a little bit early?? As of today, I am joining your club.

The South is a beautiful land full of ocean breezes, beach weekends, and sweet tea, but 95-100 degree temps combined with intense humidity are hard to love. Even for this summer girl!

Today Starbucks was playing classical music and I was instantly flooded with images of red-gold New England landscapes, fireplaces, blanketed couches covered with books, and fitted camel trench coats. What is it about Vivaldi and Bach?

As if that wasn't enough, Forever 21 put up their back-to-school displays featuring collegiate stripes, stacks of sweaters, and long plaid skirts.

I wore an almost-identical plaid skirt back in highschool. Seeing this one gave me a horrible flashback involving frumpy blouses and granny boots. But now I'm curious: how will you style it this fall to bring it into 2011?

Comment away!



Once Upon a Wet Wednesday

Oh look, I did it again! Shocker. I could give all the excuses in the world, but would you really believe me? Probably not, but the pure honest truth is that I. am. busy. No one told me how much work it is to take care of myself on a daily basis: cooking, cleaning, bill-paying, errand-running, shopping (for food, of course), .... and working! All the time.
I love my job, but in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a teensy bit tired. Now, this is partly my own fault since I cannot go to bed before 11pm. Chalk it up to 4 years of all-nighters. College schedule = one hard habit to bust! But working a closing shift and then turning around to work an opening shift can be draining. All my efforts to lay off the coffee have been totally trashed. Sigh.

On the bright side, Savannah is a wonderful place to be if you have a day off. Have I mentioned the beach is only 20 minutes away??

Mmmmmm sandy, sunny bliss pretty much makes everything worth it.
I am still promising to post pictures one day. You will be so surprised when I actually pull through! Thanks for sticking with me. Love you guys!


In The South, We Sloow

Hello blog world! I am ashamed to admit my complete slide into laziness when it comes to actually writing. As soon as my computer boots, I am surfing from blog to blog and putting off doing the "hard" work myself. In my defense, I do not have internet in my apartment yet. Starbucks and Barnes & Noble are my new besties.

I will post sometime in the near future when my camera starts working properly so I can post pictures! Who really visits a blog for the incredibly fascinating text anyways? Don't lie.

While you are waiting, go check out the Cookbook Experiment, the awesome South Carolina-based foodie blog run by: my mom. She has a couple contests going on and trust me, you don't want to miss her recipes. I would know!

Happy scrolling!


Savannah Calling

Bachelor of Science in Fashion: check.
Graduation: check.
Dream job with a well-known fashion name: check.
Move to Savannah: in progress.

Write a new list with the million+ things to do before leaving my hometown and taking on a brand new city all by myself: CHECK!
There are lists written on every scrap of paper unlucky enough to get in my way. Watch out Georgia!

See you on the other side of the Uhaul truck!



That's how many weeks are left before I am launched out of my safe little college bubble and into the big, exciting, scary, fast-paced, dream-driven, opportunity-calling world!
2.5 weeks and I will be done with classes, all-night study sessions, frenzied deadline-pushing, stinky classrooms, granola bar lunches, and 2-minute showers.
2.5 weeks.

Anyways. I wanted to share 3 awesome news bits before I go finish one last massive paper! If this sounds like procrastination, it. is. not. How dare you? Gosh.
In order from least to greatest (save the best for last, yes?).

Big News #3: Reese Witherspoon wore one of the Jason Wu dresses I was obsessing about during Fashion Week! So this is old news to you. But I had to post it because it made me all smiley inside. Also, she wore said dress on the Water for Elephants red carpet!! Remember my book review?? Oh, I guess Rob looks good too...

Big News #2: I found my graduation dress today!! It was on the sale rack at Loft (l-o-v-e), it was the ONLY one left, it was MY size, and it was beautiful. Oh, and the price? $80. My price? $25. Yes please and thankyou with huge cherries on top. I cannot wait to whip off my Harry Potter-esque regalia to reveal this (+ a skinny belt and killer heels):

And finally, Big News #1: Yesterday I was offered my first big time job. And it just happens to be my dream job. Can I just say, God is SO GOOD. I am thrilled, eager, nervous, and incredibly thankful for this opportunity!! I start in June, so I will have a month after graduation to chillax with my family, go on vacation, hit up some of my fav haunts (aka Charleston), and gear up for the next big step in my life.

Keep on keeping on,


Required Reading

An upcoming project requires me to do extensive research with styling how-to books and fashion merchandising articles. This gives me a legitimate excuse to flip through Nina Garcia's books for hours at a time, soaking up Ruben Toledo's gorgeous illustrations! I love my major.

Missing you all! One week till Spring Break 2011! Can you hear the angels singing?


Get Back Up Again

Can you believe March is next week? Swimsuit and shorts season is almost here! Tragically my fitness routine has suffered severe neglect the past few weeks. After missing the gym several nights in a row, I forced myself to pop in a P90X DVD after school. You would think that my young body has pretty decent muscle memory, right?

No such luck. It was like I had been through Navy SEAL training. My ab muscles were so sore I felt sick the next day, and I won't even try to express the thigh/calf pain. Limping through classes taught me a valuable lesson: once you develop a gym habit, slacking off will cost you more than your membership dues.

The good news is that I dragged my agonized butt to the track, ignoring said body part's cries for a nice comfy couch! The bad news is that I am now chowing down on a small (ok.. medium) cup of ice cream after working an 8 hour day. However, I did have fruit for breakfast and a meager lunch of tuna and crackers.
And I will make sure those DVDs never collect dust again!

Stay strong,


Wedding Bliss

One of my girl friends is planning a 100% environmentally-conscious wedding, and I am writing an article about it for a journalism class. I am thrilled (and a little overwhelmed) by her ideas so far! I can't wait to share the finished article with you. You will be amazed by her eco-friendly creativity.

As a little sneak peek, here is a photo of her gown inspiration. She is making a similar style out of recycled linen garments from Goodwill. Are you in awe yet??

Have a beautiful weekend!



Yup, I just coined a new word. "Fashionated" describes a state of extreme fascination with NY Fashion Week. Basically, the entire blogging/photography/magazine world is "fashionated".
I am frantically trying to catch up on Style.com by clicking through designers in alphabetical order. Choosing one favorite from each collection is a fun (read: frustrating) challenge, but I will attempt to edit my selections just for you. The first three:

*Alice + Olivia*

*Barbara Tfank*

*Carlos Miele*


I Heart VD

February is almost half over... can you believe it? What an intense month! I desperately miss the days of sleeping in, eating full meals while sitting down, going to bed before 2:00 am, and blogging regularly. Creativity is a forced effort in most of my classes, since deadlines are the main goal. Sitting in a room for 2 hours, racking your mind for anything remotely unique, is positively exhausting!

But there are bright spots in my uncomfortably choked schedule. Today is Valentine's Day. I LOVE Valentine's Day!
Being single and 20-something, I am naturally supposed to hate this holiday. I learned quickly that being a VDay spokeswoman among a bunch of single, 20-something girls will earn you a wide range of responses: scowls, condecending "she'll grow up someday" attitudes, and sympathy for my childish innocence (don't I know that Valentine's Day is the monster created by men to rub rejection in the faces of their former lovers? Don't I??).

Nonetheless, I refuse to hide my joy. And I am here to give you reasons. I hope you can appreciate them, single or taken... But especially if you are single. Being bitter won't make love come faster.

1. Chocolate. Everywhere. And in such creative packages!

2. Roses. Also everywhere. Even Walmart smells better.

3. Pink clothes, pink food, pink decorations, pink appliances, pink paper, pink hair...

4. Love. It's all around you. If you don't have a special someone right now, watch and learn.

5. Any excuse to wear pastel dresses, flouncy skirts, delicate tops, and lacey lingerie.

Think romantically,
PS: BHLDN launches today, in case you needed one more reason!


Cuff Love

How fabulous are these romantic cuffs and mini-bracelets by Old Money Corp.? If you are not aware of my Valentine's Day fetish, consider yourself informed.

I get so many compliments on my OMC bracelets (someday I will post pictures of them). Leather is unexpected and stylish, adding a splash of personality to any outfit. Did I mention how much I love the vintage coins too?

With hearts and chocolate,



In Now: Texas via OPI

Just when you think the verbose minds behind OPI couldn't possibly produce another insanely creative collection, they do exactly that.
You'll want to be in a "Texas State of Mind" for this:

Texas OPI

Austin Tatious, I Want to be a Lone Star, Suzi Loves Cowboys, Y'all Come Back You Hear?
Houston, We Have Purple, Do You Think I'm Texy?, Don't Mess With OPI, It's Totally Fort Worth It, San Tan-Tonio, Guy Meets Galviston, Big Hair Big Nails, Too Hot Pink To Hold 'Em

I have mixed feelings. OPI is known for over-the-top names, but most of these are downright cheesey (and not a sophisticated French cheese, either).




Virtual Scrapbook

It's going to be a long week at school, starting off with several projects, another job interview, and a head-cold on top of everything. Icky, to say the least!

The thought of not blogging for a week is horrible, so to compromise I will be posting regularly on my Tumblr page:
Welcome to my virtual scrapbook. It is SO addicting! Posting is a snap and sharing inspiration between bloggers provides endless creative ideas and daydreams.

Check it out and have fun picture-watching,


WF: Bag Lunch

At universities, fatty food temptations lie at every corner. No one has time to think about eating healthy, especially when you are rushing out the door for an 8:00 class.
Enter the bag lunch. This is my only tip for today, but I have a few ideas to make healthy lunches easier than your friendly neighborhood vending machine!

The one pictured above was my inspiration - Jenny at Everyday Occasions put it together with a chicken sub, pasta salad, red pear, and a brownie, all wrapped up in a pretty box. Isn't it cute?
Since time is an issue though, your bagged lunch doesn't have to be as fussy as this one. I prefer a good old brown paper bag (with maybe a Sharpie swirl or two..) or my art-deco insulated lunch sack.

A few easy-to-grab lunchables:
1. Banana and peanutbutter (buy a box of the little prepackaged containers used by bagel shops), carrot sticks (great with peanutbutter too.. What?), and a yogurt.

2. Apple and cheese, almonds, and a whole-grain granola bar.

3. Tuna, crackers or a slice of bread, and pineapple chunks. I love mixing dried cranberries with my tuna, but that's for another post.

Anyone else a fan of the bag lunch?

See you Monday!



So Fresh

Behold, le new layout. Love? Hate? Yes? No? Calling all opinions.
Also, I would love the person who can tell me how to center my header image. I am in the process of creating a new one, but this one would look so much better in the mean time if it were centered. Excessive thank you notes in advance!
*Update: Figured it out on my own. Go me!

To celebrate, try this to die for chocolate. A friend introduced Chocolove to me at lunch this week and I am dangerously hooked on the pretty packaging. Just when I thought chocolate could not be more alluring!

The wrapper isn't even the best part. Underneath the silky, dark goodness lies a poem printed on the backside of the paper.

So the whole experience happens like this: 1 -beautiful wrapper, 2 -shiny foil, 3 -chocolate, 4 -romantic poetry.




Newsworthy Bits

Happy almost-Friday! Posting consistently during the school week is 100% harder than I planned. Having a few regular readers definitely keeps me motivated to try though! Although I am itching to write some content-heavy posts, time is allowing only a few snippets here and there.
So. A few thoughts that rambled around my brain today:

*Remember this post?
Supermodel Stella Tennant is coming back on the scene, walking the runways at Chanel, Balenciaga, and Giles. I am excited to see her since reading a little about her background.

*Big job interview tomorrow! My first post-grad-job callback. Kinda nervous, can't lie. After hanging up, my first thought was "What will I wear??". I have a few ideas...

*Cupcakes. I am obsessed with the tiny fat-growers. If someone can explain this illness, please do so. Some great recipes and decorating ideas would be appreciated too.

*Couture shows are the most beautiful artistic expressions that humans are capable of. I am convinced. Style.com is homework's new arch enemy.

*Experimenting with a new blog layout. It's about time, right? Maybe (miraculously) this weekend?

Here's to a successful Friday.


Late Nights and Early Parades

*Perfect reading position*

*Pick a beach. Any beach*

*Dance in the waves*

*Jackie O. goes to the picnic*

*Aerie's delicate new arrivals*

Thoughts of summer filled my head when Aerie and StyleFind filled my inbox.
Dear Time: please fly.

PS: Your lovely comments have made my days so bright. Thank you and welcome, new readers!


Water for Elephants

Checking IMDB for new movie releases is one of my favorite homework-avoiding techniques. But I am definitely more of a reader than a movie watcher, so I get super excited when I find a film based on a book (yes I am aware of my weirdness).
I'm no teenaged vampire lover, but a girl has to be dead not to notice Robert Pattinson. Saying that I was interested in the Water for Elephants trailer strictly because of Reese Witherspoon would be a fantastic lie. And no one would believe me anyways.
The book was available at my library - luckily no one had caught on yet... Now there is a long waiting list.
Think Nicholas Sparks meets the Great Depression, with a little Dan Brown-style guess work thrown in. That’s the fast review anyway.
I am not sure what my expectations were, and I am equally unsure of my final opinion.
Gruen can’t seem to make up her mind about whether the book is a comedy, tragedy, romance, or a mixed drama. The characters therefore are sometimes confused about their own identities.
Jacob (Pattison’s character) alternates between total pessimism and random, sarcastic optimism. His romantic counterpart, Marlena (Witherspoon), changes between helpless femininity and raging spitfire.

Fittingly, the character with the clearest personality is Rosie, the elephant who steals the show. Whether she is intended to be the main character or not, I can’t tell. But she draws your attention, making you laugh and cry through the whole story.

Read this book before you see the film, if only to have an idea of where the story is headed. It will be very interesting to see how the directors translate the characters’ dual personalities onto the big screen.

Anyone else read this? What are your oppinions?

Water for Elephants, Sarah Gruen


Weekend Fitness: Energy Boosters

This week has been deadly for my fitness routine. Add up seven 3-credit classes, piles of homework, a snow delay which the teachers did NOT see as an excuse, a huge library project, and multiply it by sleep deprivation to the fourth degree. The result = no energy!

I was quite proud of myself for working out three times this week, despite school insanity. P90X is my new favorite at-home regime. Those ab-ripper moves are not for the faint of heart.
I also managed to follow my tips from last weekend. Extra water-drinking tip: fill a water bottle the night before so you can toss it into your bag on the way out the door.

This week's tips:
1. Treat yourself to cute workout gear. Having something new, even if only a headband or socks, will motivate you to use it!

2. Follow a few healthy cooking blogs. Some of my favorites are here, here, and here. Beautiful photos and easy instructions can help you ignore the prepackaged junk food.

3. Reload your iPod every few weeks. Listening to the same playlist a hundred million times gets boring fast. Fresh, energetic songs will get your butt off the study lounge couch!

Have a rejuvenating weekend,


In Now: Textiles by Rodarte

The Fashion program at my school includes several textile classes, so I geeked-out when I heard about Rodarte's collaboration with Knoll Luxe (thank you, Zoe Report)! The collection is intended for home projects, like cushions and drapes, but interior design fabric can be used to create AMAZING clothing designs as well.

I am itching to get my hands on a few yards to experiment with my DIY Rodarte fantasies!


The Vanity

A big blogging trend is to make a little list of the items in your bag or wallet. For the next four months my bag(s) will be permanently occupied by textbooks, file folders, pens, and random scraps of grimey paper.
But I do have a pretty fabulous dresser. For your reading interest:

*Pink latch-closure box that used to hold a wrist watch with interchangeable bands. Perfect for earrings and pins.

*Kate Spade Twirl fragrance roller. My favorite 2010 Christmas gift!

*Vintage Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle. A lovely highschool graduation gift from my aunt.

*Piles of necklaces and bracelets that never find their way back to the jewelry box.

*Heirloom birthstone ruby ring. Early college graduation gift from my mom.

*Chanel No. 5 perfume. It's a bit musky for me, so I only use it on glamorous occasions.

*Antique piano music box. A very special 21st birthday gift from another aunt.

*Framed pictures of my best friends and family.

*Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and Emma.

Do something different,



Coco Quoted

Coco Chanel had it all: fashion sense, beauty, brains, creativity, artistic ability, business savvy, and an extremely thought-provoking way with words.
A few of my favorites to top off this busy Tuesday:

"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."

Off to study for my own brightly successful future with the help of green tea and oversized PJs.

Be inspired!



Umbrellas and Buffers

Today was my last first-day-of-school, and the weather celebrated by being absolutely nasty. My feet were damp by the time I finally got home, despite tights and cozy boots.
This final semester is shaping up to be the meanest of them all, so you might notice my posts appearing late at night, at random afternoon hours, or slowing down a bit - I will try to prevent this, but please forgive if a day or two is missed.
Monday was not entirely horrible though (are you surprised?).
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and strange as it is, I am one of the few single girls in the world who does not hate this holiday.
In fact, I kind of like it. All the pink and red and hearts and flowers on display in every store gives me a happy feeling inside. It's pretty! And tons of chocolate goes on sale the day after, which is another reason to love.

Anyway, the reason I'm thinking VDay already is because one of my best friends, Kris, surprised me today with the news that she just started dating. Kris and I have been friends since sophomore year and both of us have been mostly single through college. The way she "broke the news" to me was so cute: as we left our first class this morning, a guy bumped into her in the hall. She greeted him, introduced us, and we kept walking. A few seconds later she said,
"You know that guy I bumped into?"
I was distracted by thoughts of my next class, so I said something uninteresting, like, "uhhuh".
"Um, well, we are kind of doing... relationship things".

How cute is that? "Relationship things". While I love her for being sensitive to my current state of singleness and not wanting to throw her dating status in my face, I was completely ecstatic for her. Her unique choice of words was a sweet attempt at a buffer, no matter how unnecessary.
Have you ever had a dating friend "buffer" her relationship status for you? What are your thoughts on Valentine's Day? My attitude is definitely in the minority among my single girl-friends, so I can sympathize if you have negative feelings.

Happy end-of-Monday,

PS: Romantic Crossword Cake, here. Impressive creativity.


Weekend Fitness

Blogging about health and fitness on the weekend might seem like a strange idea for a college student. Everyone knows that university weekends mean parties, sugar-rich beverages, junk food, and extremely late nights (aka early mornings). I definitely enjoy the occasional wild weekend, but I am serious about my health and fitness at the same time.

Staying in-shape during the college years can be really hard. Especially if you are an over-achiever studying 18-20 credits per semester, taking on the role of Student Representative, sorority involvement, internships, and the list goes on.*

Being healthy is not impossible though, so I decided to start this little series as a way to keep myself on track and (hopefully) to encourage you to have a happy, healthy 2011. Every Friday or Saturday I will post 3 tips that helped me remember to be healthy that week.
Here are the first tips of the year:

1. Add running or jogging to your dayplanner. Write in huge letters so you can't miss it.
2. Stretch as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning. Your shower will feel that much better.
3. Drink a glass of water with breakfast (you better not be skipping).

What makes you feel happy and healthy? I would love to hear your tips!
PS - Welcome to the new readers! Your comments are so encouraging.

*I may or may not be refering to myself... hehe


E-mail Inspiration

Inspiration strikes me at the most random times. Maybe that's normal. Is randomness the nature of inspiration? You never know what will set it off - a magazine article, well-dressed Wal-mart shoppers, library books, cabin fever, advertising e-mails - nothing is too mundane. In fact, the every-day things are often the most inspiring.
For instance: my inbox is daily flooded with e-mails from websites (that I voluntarily signed up for, of course) that often contain exceptionally inspiring images.
This one from the always-adorable Kate Spade inspired this very post.

I am in love with the typewriter laptop case.
Anthropologie's e-mails are a goldmine of inspiration, too. I HAD to click on this one, which naturally led to my last post.
Is it silly to be inspired by e-mails? Does it matter where inspiration comes from?

I think it's ok to be inspired by mud puddles, as long as the end result is something beautiful.
Own up to your sources of inspiration, and if no one else reads this maybe I just needed confirmation for myself. And that's ok too.

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