Underneath the Cap & Gown

4.28.2011

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{Dolce Vita shirt dress in khaki - I'm more familiar with their shoe line but their apparel features wardrobe staples like this one / camilla and marc hillside striped dress in nautical stripes - effortlessly elegant dress from this Austrialian designer, perfect for a seaside summer}
'Tis the season for graduation parties, end-of-year ceremonies, banquets, and ladies luncheons. In honor of these upcoming occasions, my mom and I went on a mad hunt for some new frocks. My wardrobe is overcrowded with items that are either too casual, too fancy, or just too frivolous with ruffles, lace, bold patterns, poofs, and the like. I needed to balance out all the items with bells and whistles with pieces that are more subtle and classic. Though these are none of the items I came home with, here are a few I found at shopbop that fit the bill of what I had in mind.

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{Opening Ceremony Mesh Dress with Gathering Detail - yes, the undergarments could be problematic but this dress is so unique; it's almost a piece of modern art that'll be sure to catch other's attention / Alice + Olivia One Shoulder Drape Dress - another one-shoulder silhouette and another indication of how much of a sucker for neutrals I've become (not to mention an always and forever fan of A+O}

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And what would a girl be to do without a pair of new heels to wear with her day dresses? TopShop saves the day with these LANEY Stripey patent sandals in camel and black. A pair nude patent leather pumps were probably the best investment I made this year. After already much wear and I'm sure more to come, I would undoubtedly get much use out of these. The color palette of black, white and camel makes for an easy transition from outfit to outfit.

Graduation is the time that the question arises of what you're going to do with the rest of your life. But, more importantly, we have to ask ourselves what to wear during this crucial time. Talk about stress!
*sidenote: the models featured are taller than the average gal and would never be as short on us normal folk like you or me

Get A Grip

4.26.2011

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Never did I ever think I would be celebrating Earth Day. I'm not a big proponent of going green, and oddly enough, my environmental science has only made me less sympathetic for environmental causes as it goes a little too extreme (but I won't go on my soap box...for now). However, incentives like free kolaches, a Thursday morning spent with my friends, and an excuse to get some use out of my neon spandex convinced me to bike to school last Thursday in honor of Memorial's celebration of Earth Day. Not to mention, gas is 'spensy these days!

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Most of us drove to Caroline's house (yeah, kind of defeats the purpose but half the pollution is better than nothing). Lexi had to provide a bike for me seeing that I haven't owned one since..well uh...I can't even remember! It's a popular mode of transportation for many Austinites, so I may have to consider investing in a bicycle of my own in the next year or two. But, as many of you know from my bucket list, my real dream is a yellow vespa.

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MC and Caroline rode the tandem together. Though it may look super cute, apparently it's not as cute when you're a passenger. I'm glad I stuck to the good ole fashioned kind.

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Here's the whole gang--Lexi, Mary Caroline, Kirby, me, Ellie and Caroline. I purchased my shirt from the FACE club (Fellow Advocated of Conserving the Environment) that week, mostly because it featured one of my (& Lana's!) favorite quotes on the back: "The person you love is 72.8% water." They played a joke on it by adding "Conserve water. Conserve loved ones." We were greeted by our APES teacher at the bike rack (who I think was rather shocked when we arrived on two wheels knowing us). The APES students got environmental points for our efforts, though I wish those points could be translated into points on my AP in less than a week! Yikes.

Dad's Day

4.25.2011



Happy birthday, dad!
Much love from your youngest daughter,

An Easter Earful

4.23.2011

Though it's just a single extra day, this extended Easter weekend has been a much needed break from school. I was physically and mentally drained after having near panic attacks during my two practice AP exams this week when it suddenly hit me that I might need to actually start studying and actually start caring. Novel idea, really, don't you think? Luckily, I had a few days off to clear my head before I get down to the books these next few weeks for one last hurrah before we say our final farewells. Here's what's been up since then...

Last Saturday, I paid a visit to a spot I hadn't been to in years--Mad Potter. My sister, Erin, used to work there and it used to be a popular spot for birthday parties in my lower school years. So a few of us Longhorn ladies decided to get our craftiness on and paint some pottery for our dorms! Mary Caroline painted a cross; Lexi painted an adorable mug for her morning tea that featured her very own Longhorn drawing which I will admit was very good; Caroline and Becca painted burnt orange frames; Sarah painted a spoon holder for her Rockport house, and I opted for a simple cup to hold my pens and pencils that had my trademark blog signature on it.
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We topped the night off with a dip in the hot tub and watching Megamind.

The guys had come over to Lexi's briefly the night before and had mentioned going to Galveston the following day. Even though I scoffed at the thought of tagging along, somehow at two o'clock I ended up in Lexi's car with Caroline on my way to G-town only hours before a grad party that night. We live life spur of the moment these days. Junior year I wouldn't have been caught dead driving to Galveston in the middle of my homework filled Sundays. The trip was perfect though--ice cream by the water and a football game in the sand and most of all good company.

We managed to make it to the grad party that night just in time after driving straight from Galvy and doing some quick outfit switches and car mirror makeovers. It's a Memorial tradition for several boys to throw a party at Blanco's called "True Grit" after the movie. Here's a little taste of that night:
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Taylor (I'm gonna miss you!!) with me and Caro

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Nartalee

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Sterett!

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Sometimes I wonder if we were separated at birth. Not planned!

The beginning of my school week started off with back-to-back baseball games. Though I loved football season, there's something about baseball season that I've always liked. Back in the days when the Astros won more games than they lost, I used to like going out to Minute Maid Park a few times a year. Now I stick to my teams where I know the players (and the ones that actually win!) A lot of boys at school joined the local colt league for fun and Monday night two of the teams from my grade went head-to-head, so a bunch of us girls went to support. The tricky part was picking which side to sit on.

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{Sophomore Kacy Clemens pitching for the stangs. His dad was a former pro baseball player. You may have heard of him--Roger Clemens? No big deal. He's also dating Josephine for those of you interested in Memorial teen love.}
The following evening the cheerleaders had their first mandatory cheer event in months. It was nice to be reunited with my fellow squad members who I've missed so dearly. And it was even more nice to watch a victory over Katy 12 to 4! I'm hoping and praying for another long playoff run that'll last us into the summer like last year. With the way Carter, Wayne, Beau and Boomer have been looking lately, I think things are looking up.

I finally notified NYU that I would not be coming there next year after they sent me just about 35 mailouts. And no, they have yet to stop. If you're from NYU and you're reading this, I'M NOT COMING. Spend your money elsewhere than on those 'spensy mailings!

I saw Water for Elephants on its opening night and overall, I give it a thumbs up. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting--not as heavy on the romance and I had to cover my eyes more than I would have liked. I can't handle the animal abuse. I know, I'm a softie. Must come from my animal lover sister Carolyn. But Reese is beauty and adorable as always! And I'm being 100% honest when I say I never was and never will be a Twilight-crazed teen, but Robert Pattinson was pretty dang cute. The other male lead kinda freaked me out. And the movie depicted women somewhat negatively as Reese's character is rather helpless and not very independent, but perhaps that's merely an accurate depiction of the time seeing that its set in the thirties during the depression. My favorite part, though, was how visually appealing it was. The colors were beautiful on the screen and the score was very well done. The gorgeous, ornate circus costumes (Reese's outfits were incredible!) paired with the festive circus backdrop were definitely a highlight of the film. So, even if you're not a Rob or Reese fan, there's eye candy for all audiences.

Today, I spent most of my day with family. I started off with breakfast with Lana (she's practically family and I know she'll laugh at that for many a reason). I had what I thought was the most brilliant idea of getting crepes from a stand in Montrose I had heard about--Melange Creperie. Sounds so quaint and French chic, right? NOT RIGHT. It only took, oh, 45 minutes to make the darn thing. And it was out of a stand in the broiling heat, with no seating, so as we roasted on the dirty cement, chilling with the cigarette butts as the Metro bus came by every 10 minutes blaring in our ears, we got the lovely view of the cart owners tats. Sooo, after what seemed like an eternity she finally gives me my egg ham and cheese crepe that was loaded with unrequested ingredients like sour cream and tomatillo sauce! UGH. And it was oozing all over the place that I couldn't even eat it. I threw it away right in front of her and made it clear I wouldn't be returning. Sorry, Lana, you were a good sport. I had major hungries and did not leave happy.

So, after a minimal breakfast, I went to lunch with my dad at The Ashland House since he'd been gone all week on business. And then my mom and I spent the remainder of the afternoon shopping for graduation dresses and some other additions to my wardrobe for my entrance into the workforce this summer! It was so fun and very successful. It's interesting to see how my mom has really picked up on my taste; I think this blog has been a big part of that. So I did things with each of my parents that I inherited loves for from them. My dad: eating and all things food related. And mom: shopping and clothes.

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And tonight I got to spend my evening with my two little princess nieces. Ceci is such a smart cookie. She's always surprising me with new phrases like "I must have been mistaken" and "That's really troubling me." How old are you, Cecilia? My eighteen-year-old friends don't even say things like that. You're well beyond your years! And Ana told me she loved me umpteen times and I love her for it. Even better when she's dressed in her Disney Princess floor-length nightgown.

OK. Yes, I'm done. Did you get this far? Congratulations! You've just read a little novella! A happy Easter to all of you! I hope you spend it celebrating with your families reveling in the joy that is the Easter season.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!" 1 Peter 1:3


This is Love in America

4.20.2011

Music and moods go hand in hand. And as a teenage girl, it's typically easy for me to divide my music into three categories. So I'll do the same for you as I gather a list of what's taking over my iTunes.

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We'll start with classic girl power songs. Us girls would like to think that we grow out of these, but let's face the facts ladies--we just don't. We all need our weekly (or dare I say daily) dose of Brit, Christina, or Jessica. And while the oldies are always goodies, Brit's got some new stuff surfacing that proves she may have lost her mind, but her music still lives on. I'll admit the tracks on Femme Fatale all kind of sound the same, but, in my case, this means you like one song you like 'em all. And you buy 'em all. Oops! I did it again.
A few of the other tracks came straight from the runway show last Thursday including Kat Graham's "Sassy." Look at the music video on YouTube for a real laugh. Selena always reigns supreme. Sky is on the rise and its clear why. I read in Nylon last week that she thinks her music catches on because she's not trying to be anything but mainstream--she want to be straight up pop because that's what she likes and what the people like. And thank you, Lexi Fink, for showing me Hanson's truly amazing comeback track "Give A Little."
"Lovesick" Emily Osment
"Sick of You" Selena Gomez & The Scene
"Sassy" Kat Graham
"Who Says" Selena Gomez & The Scene
"One" Sky Perreira
"Give A Little" Hanson
"Harold Song" Ke$ha
"I Wanna Go" Britney Spears
"Gasoline" Britney Spears
"Inside Out" Britney Spears

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Here are the tracks that you put on full volume whether your earphones are in or your on your way to work or school in the morning. Several of these remix songs come straight from one of my guy friend's blog--The Beats Machine. Always having a knack for finding the latest and greatest remixes, he finally decided to upload his music online for easy access to his fans instead of burning CD after CD. They're ideal for going out with friends. Lupe Fiasco keeps shelling out favorites of mine ever since he released "The Show Goes On" earlier this school year.
"E.T. (Remix)" Katy Perry feat. Kanye West
"No Sleep" Wiz Khalifa
"Bomb" Chris Brown feat. Wiz Khalifa
"Best Love Song" T-Pain feat. Chris Brown
"Don't Wanna Care Right Now" Lupe Fiasco feat. MDMA
"Out Of My Head" Lupe Fiasco feat. Trey Songz
"Give Me Everything (Tonight)" Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer
"Top Of The World" The Cataracs feat. Dev
"All Of The Lights (Remix)" Kanye West feat. Lil Wayne, Drake & Big Sean
"Illmerican Blow" Kap Slap
"Young, Wild & Free" Wiz Khalifa feat. Snoop Dogg

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And last but not least (in fact probably my favorite), the chill stuff. Lenka just released a new album--Two--and it features several great tracks, my favorite for now being "Heart Skips a Beat." Her music is refreshingly sweet and the melodies are equally as enchanting as the lyrics. Imogen Heap will always and forever be dear to my heart. Lately I've been listening to her older stuff as we near graduation and I can't help but play The OC graduation scene in my head with "Speeding Cars" in the background. "The Sun" was featured on Monday's Gossip Girl. And Rosi Golan (still love "Come Around") nails it again with "Been A Long Day". And yes, that track is good for exactly what you'd think.
"Heart Skips a Beat" Lenka
"The Sun" The Naked and Famous
"Lifelife" Imogen Heap
"Knock Knock" Mac Miller
"Love in America" JTX
"Hang With Me (Acoustic)" Robyn
"I'm Not Calling You a Liar" Florence + the Machine
"Been A Long Day" Rosi Golan
"Crazy For You" Best Coast
"Your Man" Down With Webster

Listen up & enjoy!

Please

4.19.2011

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I insist.

Mirror Mirror On the Wall

4.17.2011

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School used to be such a big part of my life. I got a lot of joy out of my academic achievements and reveled in the thrill of having a goal and accomplishing it. Now that that's been said and done, sometimes I get lost in all this free time. Don't get me wrong--I love all this time of relaxation and zero stress. It's just that I find myself longing for that feeling of productivity, that feeling of actually doing something worthwhile. But, now there's nothing to work towards and the disease of senioritis is severely contagious. Thankfully, I was able to reunite with that side of myself this week when I attended a reception for all the Houston admits to the Plan II program. I grew even more excited about the broad curriculum, passionate professors and even more passionate students.


The following night I was reminded yet again that I have not completely lost my fire. I got to attend a local fashion show thanks to an internship I'll be taking this summer with Dancie Perugini Ware Public Relations. I remembered how in love I am with two things: fashion and my friends. Combine them both into one Thursday night (and free Chinese food!) and I'm the happiest girl on earth!


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The invite said "Dress to Turn Heads" so we did our best to obey the strict orders. Here's Mary Caroline, me, Caroline, Lexi, Josephine, and Natalie. We invited Mary Caroline despite her brunette (gasp!) hair.


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We got our photo snapped a few times by the photographers there, but I have yet to see our photo featured on the cover of Houston's Gloss magazine. I'm sure they're just waiting to publish it in tomorrow's Sunday paper since we're kinda hot shot seniors...


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After picking at the yummy Gigi's hors h'oeuvres, sipping cocktails and doing lots of people watching, we headed to our seats.


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We each had goodie bags with gifts from each of the sponsors. It included gift certificates (which earned us a dinner at Gigi's on the house following the show), perfume from Saks along with other odds and ends.


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Each label did a brief show of about ten ensembles from their spring collection which are available now. Most shows at this time of year would be featuring fall fashions, but this show was more for consumers unlike the one I went to in the fall. Kate Spade was adorable as always with her preppy sweaters and bright colors. And Neimans finished the show an all sparkly collection which was a total crowd pleaser.


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My favorite outfit of the night. It's a little hard to make out but it was a little beige pocket sundress with the most adorable fit and bows tying it at the top. Paired with her wrap up gladiators, the outfit was styled to a tee. Sadly, those wrap-up glads would only make my calves look like sausage links, but they looked dang cute on the model. Hate her for that.


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So, a successful night indeed! Not so successful test-taking day the next morning, but it was all worth it for feeling totally chic with all my besties. And finally an occasion to wear that camel leather dress I've had tucked in my wardrobe ever since my most recent trip to NYC! Thank you Ashley for a fabulous evening!


In other news, my sister Amy has a baby on the way! This will be number three for her and all of us couldn't be more thrilled. Ana said she wants a girl, but Ceci is praying for a little baby brother. She's due in November right at Thanksgiving. Thanks for the convenient timing of when I'll be home from school, Ames. Much appreciated :)


That Was Fun

4.13.2011

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Prom brings thoughts of tacky up-dos, poof bomb sparkle dresses, and for many a hopeful high school senior, the dream that it'll be "the best night of your life." Here at Memorial, our expectations aren't quite as high seeing that for many of us, we've been to a double-digit amount of formals in our lifetime. Nevertheless, there is something unique about going to your senior prom. It's celebrating the past four years with your grade solely; it's celebrating the end. And while this fact sunk in with some more than others, it remains true that everyone remembers their high school prom, the friends they spent it with, what dress they wore and most importantly--how late they stayed up. This is a long one. Brace yourselves.

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My mom--being the flower connoisseur she is--usually appreciates the flowers from my dates more than I do. But even I recognized how gorgeous this bouquet was. William said his mom gave him permission to go all out for prom.

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A few months back, the senior class voted on our prom theme. The options included Mardi Gras, Masquerade, Hollywood, and Las Vegas. I was pullin' for masquerade big time. And no, it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Gossip Girl has had two episodes featuring a masquerade ball and it looked totally chic to me. Not at all.

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Us four girls got ready at Lexi's and had our dates pick us up here for a brief photo shoot before we entered the madness of our groups (more on that later). I picked up masks for all of us earlier that day in honor of the theme.

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The boys--Tyler, Brad and William

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Me and my daddy!

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Here's the madness I was talking about. Nothing has changed since freshman homecoming. The parents make us get in a huge line of boys and girls with our dates as they snap away. Flash frenzy we call it. It really feels like you're a celebrity. Your jaw is about to break in half. And the whole time you know that you will be the size of a chocolate chip (if you're lucky) when this is printed and that the picture will be entirely useless. Alas, we obey our parents wishes and line up like little sergeants and slap that smile across our faces like we like it. Until one of us (usually me) breaks out of the cluster. Or else...they. never. stop.

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Our friend Kyle hosted our picture and dinner affair. His house is in a neighborhood that has a small lake, and he conveniently lives right on it. So, he and Alan decided it was the perfect occasion for a little canoeing trip in their tuxedos.

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The three besties with their handsome dates

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Some of the 2010-2011 MHS cheer squad reunited. Stangs out. Party time. That's become the class of 2011 motto.

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Kyle's family hosted a dinner in their basketball gym with catered Italian food and cake balls for dessert (they're totally the cupcakes of 2011, sups trendy...and delicious to boot)

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There were framed pictures of all the guys as little boys as the table centerpieces. We had to play a little guessing game of who's who. Marshall here was a toughie since we would've never guessed he'd be that cute as a youngin'...and a blondie!

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As a generous party favor, the girls got to take home these frames. The parents weren't messin' around for this dance. I think they were more excited than we were.

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Me and my bestie. Can you tell who's who under those masks? We get confused often, so don't be too hard on yourself. You can get a glimpse of the sunburn on my back in this picture. No, I wasn't aiming for my skin color to match my fire-engine red dress. Here's the back story (no pun intended)...

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My good friend, Hayley, hosted a graduation luncheon that afternoon at the Houston Racquet Club. We got our nails done by the pool and I happened to put my back right in the sun with my exposed back romper (or Lexi's rather). But I guess too much Memorial pride never hurt anyone?

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Yes, believe it or not, we did eventually go to a dance. It was at the Hotel Sorella in City Centre this year.

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After we danced the night away until the clock struck midnight, we went back to Kyle's to change into our comfies and the night continued at Dave and Busters until 5 AM! It's a Memorial tradition. They have games, munchies (my personal favorite part, "lol i'm always hungry"--that's for you Lex), and even bowling as you see MC, Caro, and Lex watching here.

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And if prom wasn't already a big enough celebration, Mr. Bradley Strake turned into an adult that night too! His birthday was that Sunday, so we got to ring it in with him at midnight. Caroline brought us all festive gear to wear in honor of him. And look how I sneakily snuck into this pic of them!

My parents were even at the after party until three. They're really young at heart. They worked the money machine--where you stand in a booth while money flies all around you and you catch as much as you can in about 30 seconds. I only got $23 dollars but some pros got up to $140. At 4 they started a raffle giving out everything from GPS systems to lap tops to flat screen TVs to $2011 cash. Unfortunately, I came home empty handed. So finally... it was time to head home. Well, for most people anyway. Leave it to my group to extend the night even further. We went to a 24-hour iHop to eat breakfast (wait are they all 24 hours? whatever) and then went to some local baseball fields to watch the sun come out. It was some people's first true all-nighter.

So even though this wasn't my first time getting all dressed up, getting my hair done, or going to a formal with a date, it was equally as memorable as the typical prom because it was my last high school dance. And I was with all my best friends staying up all night never wanting all this fun to end. We're on the brink of so much change. It seems like someone's pushing the fast-forward button right now as it's all flashing before my eyes, but I'm enjoying every minute. And trying to keep up with it all on here. But it's 1 AM and I have 2 tests that I have yet to study for, so goodnight!