August Rush

7.31.2011

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August! A month equally filled with excitement and dread. But the end of a transition summer like this one is always even more emotion-packed. After spending this weekend in Austin, I've decided I'm 96% excited with just a dash of nerves. I stayed with ME (one of my roommates) and got the pleasure of finally meeting her family. Meeting new friends was a general theme of the weekend, but I also got to spend quality time with some familiar high school faces before we all part ways. And on that note, I've been going through my high school pictures selecting which ones are worthy of framing for my dorm. So, here's a quick trip down memory lane and a sneak peek at some of the for-sure framers.

One of Those Grey Areas

7.28.2011

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{inspiration for the color scheme of our dorm, along with hints of turquoise and coral. i love the cozy tucked-into-a-nook feel of this bed. one of those grey and white striped shams is a part of my bedding.}
College prep is no easy task. There's a lot that goes into uprooting your life from one city to the next, even if the two are only a couple of hours apart. And a home is not a home without the personal touches that make it your own. Luckily, my roommates and I all seemed to be on the same wavelength when it came to dorm décor. Here's a peek at my dorm inspiration pinterest board that is slowly coming to life one purchase at a time.

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Loving chevron stripes, these colors, the wall prints, and variety in the pillow shapes.

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Don't think Hardin provides that adorable headboard, but perhaps I can mimic this look with that ruffled yellow throw pillow?

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I wish I could recreate this space. The horse photo print is so striking.

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A wall print that expresses Longhorn pride without plastering a big old Bevo on the wall.

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I'm hoping my desk will have a little extra room for some fashion coffee table books along with my textbooks.

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We ordered these glitter initials to identify each of our spaces. Okay, let's get real, we got them because every girl needs a little sparkle in her sanctuary.

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I'm still brainstorming creative ways to display all my high school photos and eventually the college photos that are soon to come. I'm thinking black and white; it always seems to make memories more sentimental.

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And curtains is the last order of business we need to work on.

Like I said, no easy task at hand! Can't wait to reveal the finished product.

Easy as ABC

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In the height of my dorm room décor search, I felt like I had entered a wonderland of furnishings and home accessories at New York's ABC Home.

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This 6 story store holds everything from lighting

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to desk necessities

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to silly greeting cards

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to wall art and prints

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to specialty furnishing items like this Union Jack themed model room

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all with eye catching displays.

I think I saw over 100 ghost chairs floating throughout the store. Every bed was made to perfection, making it tempting to jump on them and spoil myself with a good long nap. All the pieces are unique and their price tags will surely remind you that you're buying a one-of-a-kind item. Still, a fun place to explore for the thought of the home I will own one day in the future. Not so much for the 250 square foot dorm room!
*This just in: The mystery television star in the post below is Gail Simmons, a regular judge on Bravo's Top Chef. I have Macygurl Livingston to thank for her keen eye and infinite reality TV knowledge.

City Block Tango

7.27.2011

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This photo was taken hours after Erin and I first started her 36 hours in the city. It was her debut visit, so we had to pack in quite a bit in a small amount of time. Coming in from a business trip in Minneapolis, I was in awe of her Soho shopping stamina on Thursday afternoon. Though I will admit, I was the one doing most of the shopping. I got two things I had been on the hunt for all summer. A darling LBD from Scoop and french red denim pants. Both valuable NYC keepsakes that I know will make my closet their home for many years to come.

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Our cousin Christiana (she's the same age as Erin) and her friend joined us on the rear end of our shopping escapade. Before heading home, we stopped by the Crosby Street Hotel terrace (as seen above) to grab some refreshments and enjoy the late afternoon breeze.

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{photo c/o extravirgin.com}
And now, we finally get to the first photo. With the help of our lovely friend, yelp.com, we decided on one of Christiana's recommendations -- Extra Virgin. This cozy West Village spot hosted probably one of my favorite NYC meals yet. Though their focus is on Mediterranean fare, their menu offers a variety of good American eats. It was hard to concentrate on our tuna, chicken and seabass, however, with the couple next to us who clearly had connected through match.com or something of the like. Let's just say, a second date wasn't likely even if pigs did fly.

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After sleeping in longer than expected from our late night cousin slumbie party, we went to The City Bakery to grab a serve-yourself style lunch.

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Finally! A photo of my cousin...she does exist! The point of this photo was actually to document the woman in the back right booth who I could have sworn I've seen on TV before. Any ideas?

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I never made my way to Levain Bakery (sad day), so Christiana said the cookies here were a little closer and delicious also.

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On our way to shopping at ABC home (an entire post on that next), we spotted this fire department and had to take a photo in Fireman Sam's honor.

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We explored Fifth Avenue and strolled through the edges of Central Park.

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It's quite different than six months ago when these green hills were covered with inches of snow, what used to be an ice skating rink now is filled with Rodeo-type amusement park rides, and instead of kiddie sledders there are girls getting their tan on. I think I prefer the wintertime CP.

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We browsed through Bendel's and Bergdorf's but Erin's choice souvenir came from the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue. Since we were equally retail happy at this point, the next order of business was a quick dinner. This petty cab convinced us his mode of transportation was both the quickest and cheapest way to get anywhere. If you consider $34 for 7 blocks cheap, I suppose he was right...!

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In the mood for comfort food, we both ordered these sliders at Sarabeth's before our show.

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{photo actually taken by me, got a little effect happy though}
We loved Chicago! Simple set, the orchestra was on the stage, and most of the characters wore the same thing from start to finish. But the dancing and humor set it apart from the rest. Even if you know the story, the Broadway stars make it new again.

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{the napkins at The View illustrate a map of the famous skyscrapers you see as you revolve}
And we ended our night with a view of the city atop the Marriott in Times Square, which has a rotating bar and restaurant called The View. It was kind of full circle since this is the first place my mom and I went on my first trip to the Big Apple. So there you have it! I'll speak for the both of us when that though speedy, our trip was very successful.

BOD Goes to Brooklyn

7.25.2011

There's always those overrated touristy things that you feel like you have to do but deep down you'd just rather not. Yet, in fear of returning home and people gasping for air when they hear you didn't do such thing (i.e. take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or take a picture with the Hollywood sign), we do them anyway.

I'm here to tell you that walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is not one of those things.

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Here she is.

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We were lucky enough to have the kind of weather we only see two weeks of the year in Houston. Low seventies, sunshine out, and a perfect breeze.

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It's an easy (and free I might add) way to have access to a beautiful view of the skyline.

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It's a prime location for a vacation photo-op, as you can see we took advantage of.

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And the perfect amount of walking to work up a healthy appetite.

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So it's no wonder that the most well-known pizzeria, Grimaldi's, has their original location right under the bridge in Brooklyn (as their signage so proudly declares). You can see the owner stepping out to summon the next lucky diners inside after waiting in a line for what could be up to an hour. The food gods must have been on Mol and I's side that day because we got in in less than five minutes since we were just a pair.

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I never have been a pizza fanatic (though my partner in crime is!), but I will say this meal may have changed my outlook on the pizza pie forever more. We polished it clean without a mushroom or onion to spare.

We took the minimal amount of time we had to explore Brooklyn while traversing back to the closest subway station, and Mollie and I agreed that though it's not on the mainland, Brooklyn would be a cozy neighborhood to call home (and you may get a few extra square feet for your buck).

Back at the apartment, I had to say my hellos and my goodbyes. My sister, Erin, has just arrived while sadly, Mollie was making her way home. Up next: an episode of Sisters in the City.

It's The Little Things

7.23.2011

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After a week full of fancy restaurants, the absence of my favorite pillow, and days chocked full of activity, I always seem to come home remembering that life at home is full of simple pleasures. So, before I do my finale NY post, here's a few of the little things making me happy this weekend. The first of which is springing for the waffle cone in lieu of the typical styrofoam cup during my ice cream date with Moll.

This catchy tune during my current dry spell of good music finds

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I'll forever love a white house with shutters, a long porch with a swinging bench and a red door, but I could definitely go for this super sassy hot pink one too.

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The satisfying feeling of crossing multiple things off my seemingly never-ending to-do list with my college errand filled Saturday

And getting in touch with my camper friends for the first time in days as Caroline came in town for the night and Julianne got her phone for 24 hours. Miss you both terribly! Wishing you all a relaxing Sunday.

The Three Ladies Inside

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The evening following our trip to the Hamptons was Mollie's last night, so we wanted to make the most of it. No NYC tourist trip is complete without a visit to one of the many Broadway shows, so we selected a classic, Phantom of the Opera. It's the longest running show there, and that is evident in the intricate set and costume details.

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For a very very late dinner, we went to the Meatpacking District, a neighborhood made attractive by its cobblestone roads (the heels were not liking those so much though) and the trendy restaurants and bars that entice younger crowds to these parts.

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We made our 11 o'clock reservation at The Spice Market - a southeastern asian restaurant whose menu was inspired by Vietnamese street food. Rest assured, this is not even close to street food. Unless crab dumplings, fragrant mushroom egg rolls, and pork vindaloo is your typical street fare.

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As you can see by the looks of our faces, we enjoyed our meal thoroughly!

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We weren't ready to call the evening quits just yet, so we went to the bottom of the hip Standard Hotel for dessert. And if you'll read above, you'll see we met some friends who seem to have trouble finding a synonymous term for "the 3 gentlemen outside."

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After an Asian fusion meal, nothing sounded better than the all-American dessert of milk and cookies. I'm pretty sure we cleaned this plate in under a minute.