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.


I Dream of Spring

Anthropologie Blouse Love

Today I fell completely in love with these feminine blouses from Anthropologie. I think the cloudy grey skies and unfriendly temperatures are making me crave warm sun and sand more than ever. These blouses would be beautifully sophisticated tucked into flared jeans, preppy white shorts, or (if you want to wear them now, like me) with leggings, boots, and a pea coat.

Broke college girls cannot afford Anthro prices, but these are perfect inspiration for my spring shopping. If I had to pick one.... well, I couldn't so I picked 6!

Which are your favorites?



Snow Sweets

The old South is clearly not used to piles of snow collecting in the road, on the roof, and between the porch railings. As you can see, Snowmageddon 2011 has made me go a little crazy with alliterations.
Only one thing can keep a house-bound college girl from completely losing it: baking.
Doughnuts and hot coco have become our snow-day traditions. Thankfully snow-days happen only twice per year (once in January, once in December), or my waist measurement would be unflatteringly larger.

*Glass-cut circles*

*Strategic placement for optimal baking coverage*

*Sugar and spice coating*

*Sorority mug + hot coco + powered sugar for variety*

Recipe here.


Style History: WWD 100

I was lucky enough to grab the last copy of WWD's 100th Anniversary special edition at B&N the other day. It's already selling for double the cover price on Amazon, so I felt extra proud of my bargain-finding skills.
You can still buy it for the regular price on WWD.com, but hurry. Packed from cover to cover with historical articles, vintage photos, and fashion trivia, this is something you will want for posterity. At least, that's how I justified spending the extra few dollars.
Who says fashion is not educational?


In Now: Never Gonna Survive Unless...

...we get a little crazy. These flats are currently on-sale in the boutique where I work. Nothing leopard-printed has made it's way into my wardrobe yet, but I think this is the right time, yes? As if the sale price and adorable style (buckles + leather) were not enough, they have a padded sole that equals serious comfort.
SOLD to the broke college girl behind the desk.


The Importance of Being Real

Nonfiction is generally not accepted by my flighty, 20-something brain. Give me Jane Austen, Lauren Weisberger, Dan Brown, or a stack of more New York Times bestsellers and I will be happy for hours. Christmas vacation coincided, unfortunately, with a rare lack of work so the County Library System has been brought back into my social circle (I de-friended it in 2007 when college became more popular).

The “New Books” section is conveniently placed near the door so I don’t have to venture too far into the sea of 60-and-ups (no joke, I am routinely the youngest person present). I decided to break out of my comfort zone and see if anything on the nonfic side caught my attention. This book instantly sprang out at me. Let’s be honest.. The bright pink binding probably was the main attractor.

Big HUGE fabulous luck.

The Duchess of Devonshire (Dowager, now) is 90 years old and has the writing style of a sarcastic, fresh-out-of-college journalist. “Wait for Me!” is her most recent book and tells the first-person story of her life, with lots of commentary on English happenings and on her family. Sounds boring, right?

Good thing I kept reading!

Deborah Mitford Cavendish (aka Debo) led, and is still leading, a fascinating life of social obligations that regularly include ridiculously famous people, remodeling massive castles and estates, and heading up dozens of committees, not to mention mothering 3 children and grand-mothering countless others (including supermodel Stella Tennant). She paints her family with beautiful humor that only the English can correctly pull-off, refers to dinners with Adolf Hitler and JFK as though it were perfectly normal, and gives herself absolutely no credit except when necessary.

Reading this book makes you realize the importance of the important things and the unimportance of the silly things. Personality quirks in others (that we are so quick to hate on) are accepted by her as what makes people interesting. Designer dresses, jewels, fabulous parties, regular trips around Europe, and unreal friendships with the Kennedy family and Givenchy himself fade into the background. Her parents, sisters, and husband are clearly much more dear to her than anything her status can provide.

Read this book for pleasure, since the extremely dry humor will make you laugh out loud, but also for personal benefit. I mean, really, how important is the latest Chanel nail polish in light of refurbishing one of England’s most picturesque estates to be enjoyed by the entire world?

Good question.

Now read,

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