Project Runway


{my new summer read, magazines for my current project, and a sparkly silver chinese box that will serve as a pencil holder and accent all the shades of grey in our room}

On summer nights when I find myself being a homebody, I like to spend my time on long-term projects. Since I already had a three-quarters packed bag from orientation the week before, I spent the night before I left perusing through Michael's and Barnes and Noble.

After I read my magazines, I like to stack them in different areas of my room for stylish decor and/or later use whenever I'm experiencing a dry spell of inspiration. I decided to compile some of my favorite looks, graphic layouts, and eye candy onto one board for daily inspiration.

My closet was the perfect place for the vibrant board. The location is prime for its perfect fit and usefulness for whenever my clothes racks don't satisfy, I can simply turn around for a quick idea.

If you take a good look, you'll see many reoccurring themes like my ultimate girl crush, Leighton Meester, bold large texts, yummy foods, a Fashion Night Out ad, one of Anna Wintour's letter from the editor, and the elegance and class of Elle and Vogue that balances beautifully with Nylon's more edgy (artsy if you will) aesthetic.

So I'll be keeping inspiration board number one at home and creating a new one for college. That way it's fresh, up to date, and probably shrunken down in size for the sake of limited dorm wall space. I've been promising a bedroom post for quite some time now, so here's your first preview starting with one of my favorite rooms in any house--the closet.

It's good to be home.

The Importance of Having Ernest


{the dining crew: mol, jo and i have been experimenting with new restaurants every friday night and this was our fourth go-around. a fun summer tradition before i have to part ways with these two in the fall. so sad!}

As far as bad weeks go, this one was one for the books. I couldn't be happier to see the clock merely minutes from midnight, hoping that will be the long awaited closure to my bad luck streak of a week. We all heard about the orientation fiasco. I had a similar incident at my eye doctor appointment (I always dread these) in which I was told I was not insured to have the appointment until the first of July. So glad they told me that prior to me waking up at the crack of dawn to have my pupils dilated and to robotically shout random letters and digits the size of ants. Matters only got worse when I was in a car accident Friday with a fellow intern while running errands for work. She was driving, so no guilt or financial consequences here, but the entire incident was frightening and definitely stirred me up. And in my most recent news, I just had to remove myself from my own bedroom because a friendly critter/wasp/junebug/scarylookinginsect seems to think he has found a new residence in my quaint little bedroom. Just splendid. Mi casa es not su casa!

So, though individually my setbacks may be minor, added together it makes for one heck of a long week. But, let's not be depressing here people, BOD is going to see the glass half full and show you one way I've learned to cope with tiresome days and multiple dismays: good food and even greater girlfriends on a Friday night.

Mollie and Molly. My NYC bud and loyal BOD follower. The different spellings of our names prevents most confusion...but not all!

Meredith and our guest of honor, Ashley, who will be at UT next year. She's from Louisiana but just purchased a house in Houston, so we wanted to take her out for some real Tex Mex at Brian Caswell's newest hot spot, El Real, in Montrose. We even got the pleasure of meeting Mr. Caswell!

Me and blondie with her new bangs which are oh so adorable. Wish I was as risky with my hair-dos.

Caroline, Alexandra and Meredith. All future horns!

You can see the screen that projects old movies on the wall, which we had a perfect view of from our upstairs seating. The restaurant used to be an old-timey movie theatre and is now newly renovated into this top-notch Mexican restaurant. Never too much Tex-Mex. Queso will always make a Texan girl smile (no matter how rough her week as been). Remember that boys.

A Family Affair


It's not uncommon in our large family for holidays and birthdays to fall on close dates. April is our busiest month with three birthdays (almost four with my mom's being on the first of May) and my parent's anniversary. But June gets almost as hectic with Father's Day, Amy's birthday and Lindsay's all within a week. To make things simpler, we knock all the celebrating out at once. Here's a little preview of our Father's Day slash dual birthday festivity right before I headed to my false orientation.

We don't skimp when it comes to food. Almost everyone brought a dish. From Jimmy's gourmet bruschetta (pronounced broo-sket-uh as Jim and Chris will remind you), Mom's longtime favorite Green Goddess carrotts and Elsa's delightful Peruvian cookies -- alfajores.

If the many lunch dishes weren't enough to stuff me silly, dessert was plentiful also. Note the girls keeping a careful eye on the sweets as Mimi lights the candles.

You're never to old to blow out your candles. Happy birthday to both my sistas! Much love to you both.

It's A Must


Tiny Tastings


I've always been a sucker for anything mini-sized, whether it be a tube of toothpaste or the furniture for my American girl dolls Molly and Samantha. The same applies to food. Most of these dishes are simple, but when shrunken down to these bite-sized forms, they gain a sort of novelty and a practicality perfect for any and all hors d'oeuvres.

We'll start with the same meal we start our days with -- breakfast. This kabob of french toast bites paired with fresh fruit are perfect for dipping into syrup.

For those kiddos who like their sack lunch with a touch of gourmet to distract themselves from the smelly cafeteria surroundings, here is an adorable tray of pb&j sushi. Wrapped in both white and wheat breads to appease both mom and child.

And for a more grown-up sandwich (a little more grown-up anyway) here's a skewer of grilled cheese sandwiches sitting atop steamy tomato soup.

We've all had slider hamburgers, but these rate even higher on the adorable scale next to the french fry shooters.

I'm not neglecting drinks. These mini-sized glasses hold margaritas to match the equally tiny tacos.

And for dessert--the classic combo of milk and cookies. The cookie is conveniently secured by the clear straw.

Not only are these foods more appealing to the eye, but I think I'd feel a little less guilty if my burger and fries were a fraction of their usual size. A few fry shooters is surely less calories than a medium at McDonalds, right?

Change of Plans


Surprise, surprise. I'm home early. I don't think my orientation experience could have been any more chaotic. After a rushed Father's Day, I grabbed whatever was in plain viewing sight, stuffed it in a suitcase, and hit I-10 without looking back. The drive was smooth and easy and I was greeted by Mary Caroline just in time to make it to Father's Day dinner with her family, which turned out to be one of the best meals I've had in my eighteen years of life at Uchi.

{this short rib dish looks similar to one of our dishes we were served at Chef Tyson Cole's highly acclaimed restaurant Uchi}

MC's food-conoisseur of a cousin ordered on behalf of the table and soon after close to nine dishes were serves to us one at a time, each having their own special twists and unique flavor combinations. Some were cold sashimi while there were also hot meat varieties, like the raw Kobe beef slices served with a hot Japanese river rock to grill at the table. All of it was so tender it melted in your mouth. Mary Caroline was a brave soul and ate a fish eye from the yellowtail we were served whole. If you're hungry for more details, or just simply hungry, I've compiled a list of a few of the dishes I remember having:

hama chili yellow tail sashimi with ponzu, sliced thai chilis and orange supremes

hot rock “sear it your self” wagyu beef with ponzu sauce on a japanese river rock

hamachi nabe baby yellow tail sashimi with crispy koshi hikari rice, ringger farm egg and sweet soy broth
bacon steakie niman ranch pork belly water­melon radish, seasonal citrus, and thai basil
uchiviche salmon, striped bass, vine-ripened toma toes, yellow bell peppers, garlic and cilantro

I met my roommate for the week when we got back and we got along great, but we all decided to call it a night fairly early in preparation for our first long day. Little did I know mine would be cut short.

We headed to campus at about 8 am, got our UT IDs and then went to check in. The line extended for what seemed like miles. We visited with our fellow future classmates to pass the time (nearly two hours) and make waiting in the heat somewhat bearable until finally we made it to the front. My name, however, was not on the master list. Thinking nothing of it, I was sent to the help center where I was told they had me down for next week's orientation. I was surprised and confused, but at the same time thought this was an easily fixable problem seeing that clearly I was here now and ready to go. Not the case. After a solid effort, pleas and near begging, and several phone calls, I was forced to make my way back to Hardin, pack my bags and head home. I said my goodbyes to my friends, new and old, and told Hardin I'd be back in a week. My mom was in town for unrelated reasons so we made use of our time by checking out my room for next year, visiting my sister's office (which was very mod and cool), dilly dallying in Whole Foods, and having a slumbie party at the Modgies house with our favorite fireman Sam.

So, not a totally lost cause. In fact, not at all. After many trips that Erin and Jas make to Houston, it was about time I pay my dues and come see them in Austin. I was lucky enough to see MC during her camp session and now I certainly know exactly what to expect when I prep for next week's session. You live and ya learn. I'm sure I'll be laughing about this soon. Soon being junior year.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold


Y'all. I'm in love. The fresh on the market site, The Glitter Guide, has got me oohing and ahhing all night long. Emily will forever be close to my heart and a surefire source for inspiration, but Blair Eadie aka "Bee", author of Atlantic-Pacific, is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Her endless supply of eye candy is simply mesmerizing. It rejuvenates my love for all things glamorous and reminds me that this really is something I love and want to pursue.

{Bee in one of her effortlessly mix-matched outfits, image courtesy of her blog}

She makes paradoxes out of outfits by combining the most unseemly matches from neutrals with neons to DVF with H&M to pearls with peasant dresses. Can't decide whether I'm totally obsessed or envious. A little of both, I suppose. Happy Father's Day!

Lil Bits of Everything

I just sent off Mary Elizabeth back to Austin after her brief stay at the MB inn last night. We finally met and had a great time sharing stories and high school experiences. She met my mom, sister and nieces at lunch and then several of my friends last night during a wonderful dinner at Shade. We showed her our favorite neighborhood yogurt spot and then went to a late showing of Midnight in Paris (third time's a charm, mol!) and though it was visually appealing, the storyline was somewhat dense. I recommend seeing it when you're fully alert, not at ten o'clock after a long day. Still, worth a see especially if you're a literary buff.

{image courtesy of}
My roommates and I finally landed on a decision about bedding. Thankfully, we were all on the same page with ideas. Our color palette will be a soft grey with whites and then accents of coral, turquoise and yellow. The decorative pillows have yet to be chosen; we saved the best part for last!

Good news in the work world! I extended my stay at DPW PR through July. Now that I'm finally comfortable with my routine there, I hated the thought of leaving so soon, so I asked for an extra month. Ask and you shall receive. I will have to take a little week vacation, however, because...

{image courtesy of}

I'm going to New York (yes, again!) with Mollie! Not only do we share the same name, but we share many common interests and opinions, so I can't imagine a better traveling partner. And we're hoping if all goes as planned MC will join us as well. Mary's never been and there's nothing like seeing the sights and Broadway lights, exploring Fifth Avenue and strolling through Central Park for the first time through someone else's eyes. And as veterans, Mollie and I will get to do those little things that are just as enjoyable like people watching on the subways as each ride reveals a different slice of the population. And with my new camera in hand, I plan to take full advantage of the photo shoots available as I walk along the avenues among the energetic crowds and endless range of street style.

{Makenna on her three week National Geographic photography trip, check out her blog documenting the trip here}

I am not the only jet-setter among my friends. In fact, several of my friends are leaving the states this summer to explore new countries, new continents and even new hemispheres. Caroline will be returning from Africa today (finally!); I'll have to say Ciao to Lexi as she departs for Italia in just a matter of days; Josephine returns to her roots at the end of next month in Norway; Lana will be in the land of croissants and Coco Chanel soon; my third roommate is off to India soon and Makenna is the boldest of them all as she packed a suitcase full of earmuffs and scarves for her photography trip to New Zealand and Fiji.

My next small adventure will take place in Austin for a sneak preview of next year as I join several hundred other freshmen for orientation. After talking to many friends who have already been, I'll be sure to try to stay cool in the heat and calm throughout the stressful class selection process.

{image courtesy of}

And the last minor detail on my to-do list is to hunt down some red jeans. I've spotted a few other bloggers with rosy red denim and I'm ready to jump on board. Wish me luck. Enjoy what's left of your weekend!

Hey Miss America


{Florrie serenades her listeners with lyrics like "If love had a price, I'm sold" in a new favorite of mine "Give Me Your Love"}

I always wonder whether or not these music posts are worthwhile. And then I figure that one day in the far off future, I'll get to waste an entire afternoon laughing that I listened to this nonsense as a young adult, scoffing that that these songs are "so early 21st century." But, in case I needed any reassurance, a couple of younger girls at my friend Shannon's house told me that they always buy the music I post. So, thank you girls! BOD and I greatly appreciate your dedication. So, here I go again, pouring out my iTunes library to all of you. Or at least twenty of my current favorites. Listen and enjoy.

"Mexican Mavis" -Boy & Bear
"Shell Games" -Bright Eyes
"Dust" -Cara Salimando
"Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" -Coldplay
"Cinema (Skrillex Remix)" -Benny Benassi feat. Gary Go
"Your Song" -Ellie Goulding
"The Ballad of Gus and Sam" -Ferraby Lionheart
"Give Me Your Love" -Florrie
"Mirrorage" -Glasser
"Blow (Remix)" -Ke$ha feat. B.o.B
"The Edge of Glory" -Lady Gaga (embarrassing and the epitome of mainstream, but I love the saxophone instrumental parts)
"Never Gonna Leave This Bed" -Maroon 5
"Better With The Lights Off", "I Don't Care", "Start Me Up", "Meet My Mom" -New Boyz
"Merrymake It With Me" -Republic Tigers
"Stars 4-Ever" & "Call Your Girlfriend" -Robyn
"Bang Bang Bang" -Selena Gomez & The Scene
"Open Your Eyes" Snow Patrol

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

So, pop this CD in whenever you're sick of the radio. Though I will admit, Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" has this amazing ability to really never get old.

Shiny Object Syndrome


My main project at work is Houston's annual July 4th Freedom Over Texas festival. With the current drought, fireworks hazards are more prevalent than ever. Austin is so concerned they're canceling their city-wide fireworks show (boo for me who will be in Austin for Independence Day), but here in Houston we believe the show must go on. So, in a safe manner of course, we will continue one of my favorite American traditions. Now, let's segue from the fourth to fashion as all this fireworks talk got me thinking about how fond I am of all things that sparkle, especially in my wardrobe.




I think I'll forever be a sucker for all things sparkly, whether it be in the form of cocktail dresses, a shade of eyeshadow, or personality.

So, today, I'm reminded that dull moments can easily be cured with a sparkly sweater or a vivacious attitude towards life.

A+ Burger Bus


In keeping with the food trend posts, I've decided food trucks should be the next topic of conversation. Childhood memories often include the ice cream man, and now these food-mobiles carry more than ice cream sandwiches, Fudgesicles, Push-Up Pops (a personal favorite), or those patriotic Bomb Pops. And though the concept is creative, the food is unbeatable more often than not, perhaps since most specialize in a certain something. One of our grad parties had a taco truck parked outside, and they were undoubtedly the best tacos I've ever had.

The Chronicle had written up Bernie's Burger Bus, so my mom and I decided to give it a try and my two oldest siblings tagged along. I've found that good burgers are rare (to find, not how they're cooked, no pun intended there). But this was one of the diamonds in the rough.

Bernie keeps it cute with his menu that coordinates with the school bus theme with burger names like "The Principal", "The Bully", or my selection "Homeroom." I cut the fried egg so I could taste the burger on its own but I may have to be a little more adventurous on my next field trip to the school bus.

The burger was perfect in size and cooked just the way I like it. I wouldn't write home about the fries themselves, but the cold homemade ketchup made the potatoes worth my while.

It's kid friendly as well; Ceci and Ana split an order of the slider burgers called the Pre-Kindergartners. And I think I just found their new spokesperson with that adorable grin.

Everybody polished their meal with only scraps...

and smiles remaining.