Join the Masquerade

7.31.2012

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Do you feel like someone's following you?

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They're just waiting for you to make a wrong move.

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You keep running, but there is nowhere to hide.

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Let me show you a place where you can leave it behind.

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Just wake up, the night is on your side.

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It's on your side, tonight is on your side.

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Welcome to your big debut!

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We're putting on the real you.

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See a side you never knew.

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Dancing with your dream come true.

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Shine tonight, you've got all the time.

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Come on out and join the masquerade!

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Do you feel like someone is screaming inside?

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Like they're hungry for something out of your mind.

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Let the moonlight pull you out of your skin.

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Let it clothe you in diamonds and let you in.

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Just wake up, the night is on your side.


I encounter poetry on a day to day basis in the form of music lyrics. Today's mainstream music speaks of the "Primadonna life", love lost or found, or the way a girl flips her hair. While catchy and relatable, these are less than inspiring. I often fancy the lyrics which cultivate ideas with a little more depth. In this song by MelĂ©e, he raises issues like the pressure to make it through each day without stumbling. "Masquerade" finds an escape in nightfall, a time to leave everything behind. As a night owl myself, I couldn't help but feel in tune with the message behind these lyrics. Ideas for BOD run wild in my head past daylight hours and my greatest memories often take place at night. Thus, like the song says, I find the night to be very much so on our side, a time we should let ourselves shine.


Olympic Obsessed

7.29.2012

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I'm not much of a TV junkie. Despite my annual summer show addiction, I rarely plop myself on the couch thumbing through the TV Guide. I wish I could brag about my non-couch potato self, but I certainly make up for lost time on the couch in my bed staring at this computer. Anyway, this all changes once every four years.

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I think the Olympic Games is hands down the best television program there is. In a sea of shows like The Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, and The Bachelor Pad, it's refreshing to know that people worldwide are tuning in to something with a little more substance. I love the unity it brings as we all gather in our living rooms in celebration of the dedication and talent from our native countries despite whatever political affairs or economic turmoil is plaguing our nation at the time.

{I'm rooting for Gabby Douglas to take over Nastia's current reign. Fair warning: this video is a guaranteed chill-giver} 
As a former competitive gymnast, I'm partial to the summer games, as I think most people are. I'm the ultimate sucker for those intense montages NBC produces featuring the athletes and the families that helped them become the Olympic champions they are today.  It's humbling, heartwarming, and inspiring. 

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{At twelve, my Diane Kruger was fellow Texan gymnast Carly Patterson. My prized possession was my Wheaties box signed by Carly herself.}
I'll never forget being glued to the TV screen every night after my own gymnastics practice hoping my hero, Carly Patterson, would become the next Mary Lou. And when she did, I shed a tear or two. Ever since I can't seem to control the waterworks as Nastia's exit from gymnastics at trials and just tonight, Jordyn Weiber falling short to qualify for all-around both got to me.

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{As much as I admire Michael Phelps for the swimming sensation he is, I am without a doubt a proud member of Lochte Nation. I mean, those blue eyes!}
So, my point is, I'm thrilled to have a couple weeks of leisure left at home to revel in being a temporary couch potato. Go Team USA!

& it was all yellow

7.25.2012

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Growing up, I was always the girl who preferred spending time in the air-conditioned arts & crafts shack at day camp while the other kids played tag or performed an obstacle course on the field. I still love a good craft; it's one of the more rewarding experiences to handcraft something in a day and age when we're embarrassingly hooked on manufactured goods. What made this project even more worthwhile was that I got to give my labor of love to my very deserving sister.

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{these neon neck numbers are taking over pinterest boards and etsy shops alike, each having their own unique design}
During a Sunday afternoon Galleria excursion, my sis was on the hunt for this neon yellow sunburst necklace. We decided the price tag was a little steep for something so terribly trendy. Meanwhile, I made a note on my mental to-do list to create my own neon necklace, with the help of inspiration from the one and only Emily Schuman, who is known to dazzle up a brooch or two with this very technique:

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The most painful part of the practically painless process was venturing to the stores that had the necessary supplies: Sam Moon and Claire's. I was in and out of both as fast as most of the items purchased at these stores break (which is approximately 11 minutes, give or take a few seconds). I snatched these gaudy rhinestone bib necklaces from Sam Moon for a reasonable $9.50 and then found this set of electric nail polish hues at Claire's.

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I was skeptical about how easy it would be to apply the polish to each individual crystal, but to my pleasant surprise, it was a breeze. I completed each necklace in no time, and even got to keep my designated "do-over" necklace for myself.

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The big debate that my mom, sister Erin and I mulled over for quite some time was how to mix and match all the vibrant colors.

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After contemplating accents of hot pink or purple and giving each shade a test run on the (terri) matching earrings, we decided our safest bet was to stick with just yellow.

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And we loved the finished product.

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I was happy to receive positive feedback from a very surprised sister just yesterday! These colorful creations, originated by Tom Binns, are the ideal way to jump on the neon trend bandwagon in a subtle way, without feeling too much like a crossing guard. I've already sported mine with a crisp white blouse and can't wait to lay it over a chambray button down to add that perfect punch.

We Don't Even Have to Try

7.23.2012


"Call Me Maybe" has seen its better days. And just when I think 27-year-old Carly Rae Jepsen's (yes, 27...not okay) one hit wonder glory days are up, she releases the end of the summer hit with Owl City, famous for "Fireflies" from a few summers back. I'll be so daring to declare that "Good Time" is even catchier than her first song sensation. Hate it or love it; regardless, you won't be able to escape this tune for the next several months. One final thought for Carly Rae -- if you dropped your phone in the pool, maybe we shouldn't call you?

Sheer Bliss

7.21.2012

I encourage us all to take the tragic events that ended this week to remind ourselves how precious life is and to cherish moments of bliss. Here were just a few of mine this week:

1. good eats
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{eating out usually leaves me feeling large and in charge, but Zoe's grilled chicken kabob dish was the perfect dinner to start off my week with a crisp greek salad, grilled chicken and veggies, and a dollop of hummus}
A Monday night Zoe's Kitchen date with my mama

2. guilty pleasure
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{Jef & Arie are the final two in this season's The Bachelorette; many are anticipating the finale airing this Sunday}
I consider trash TV equivalent to sweets in the food pyramid; we all deserve a little bit every once in a while. As I've mentioned, this summer I've been sucked into The Bachelorette craze in what's been one of their most popular season's yet with Southern belle Emily Maynard tugging at these 25 guys hearts. Heck, I think even good ol' Chris Harrison has developed a small crush on Miss Maynard. This week I joined several girlfriends (and a pan full of brownies) to watch the Men Tell All episode. Oh, and I (unlike the rest of the American female population) am totally team racecar drivin' Arie.

3. family feasts
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I was greeted by (almost) my entire family upon my arrival home from my 24-hour Austin excursion. Even all six little cousins were in attendance, which made for as much of a treat for us to watch them interact as it was for them to play together.

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Barely any food was left on the plates which were piled high with crab tostadas with mango salsa (courtesy of chef Jimmy), beef tenderloin, waldorf salad, loaded baked potatoes, and a new carrot dish also courtesy of Jim.

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Amy supplied a Pinterest-inspired dessert of strawberry shortcake kabobs with fresh whipping cream.

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There was even a stocked cocktail bar now that we're all of age. Well, almost...

4. giving & receiving
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In the spirit of Mary Elizabeth's birthday, I finally gave her a much deserved gift. Her style is classy and never too showy, so I wanted something she could wear almost every day; I found the perfect thing in this Tai wrap bracelet. The grey reminded me of the color palette of the room we shared for nine months. And after an entire summer of searching for the perfect white wedge, I finally found gold with Tory B. So, I treated myself after some serious "soul searching"; more details on the wedge can be found under the "closet" tab.

5. good company
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Care for a round of "what's wrong with this picture?" Yes, we swapped outfits at Mary Elizabeth's birthday celebration. We pulled a true "freaky Friday" last Friday the 13th. Long story, but certainly a great memory and perfect material for a bridesmaid speech down the road on both ends.

And while we're on the good company note, I must mention that Julianne has returned! We spent most of this week catching up our summer's apart and are about to hit the road for a city hopping adventure in both San Antonio and Austin. Enjoy your weekend!


Office Space

7.18.2012

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{image via Madebygirl}
I try to keep BOD fresh by incorporating my own musings or personal twists so that my fashion, music or cooking post isn't a carbon copy of the next girl's fashion, music or cooking post. These topics are overly popular in the blogosphere; however, the one hot topic I rarely dabble in is interior design.

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{erin is the queen of being crafty, always adding unique details to complete her projects like these wooden Emily blocks and the hand-painted abacus}
I thought that with age I would develop a penchant for paint swatches, shelving systems and drapery, but I think that obsession is going to remain with my sisters and mom until I have a humble abode of my own. In fact, while she was pregnant, my sister Erin pulled together a lovely nursery for baby Emily complete with darling DIY projects, which you can take a look at (and vote for please!) here.

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{image via}
But, with all that said, I still find myself fairly devoted to making my apartment space next year a small sanctuary. Beyond accessories and knick-knacks, however, the only big items I need is a bed and a desk, so it's pertinent that I make these pieces ones I love.

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{image via}
The Parsons Desk originated at West Elm, and with the help of the Every Girl, I found a less expensive version online.

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Half of my desk space at home is taken up by shelving compartments, and while this feature seems ideal, it's more of a nuisance. What appears to be an organized office space is really just disguising a hot mess; those nooks and crannies are home to keys that open who knows what, worn down colored pencils, and a collection of dusty coins.

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{many professional bloggers and other hip young business women use parsons desks in their modern office spaces, as seen above}
So, I hope the clean lines of my new crisp white Parsons impersonator makes me crave my nightly study hour. As alluring as a cozy bed can be to curl up with your philosophy book, we all know the end of that tragic story: it's eight in the morning and suddenly you took a siesta with Socrates.

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{i've been doing some heavy pinning on cute accessories; i'm currently coveting all things gold and fresh or fake florals}
The tricky part will be keeping it uncluttered all year, but I intend on always keeping it stocked with a good collection of writing utensils and perhaps a colorful light fixture living on top. And of course, I imagine quite a few blog posts will be brewed up on the new Parsons!