Back on Track

8.31.2012

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Ok guys, here's the deal. I had no idea rush was actually going to consume my life before school. Bottom line is that I was practically voiceless, sleepless and timeless, therefore blogging was not even in the realm of possibilities for my to-do list.  However, I have a lot of exciting posts planned for the coming weeks to make up for lost time including rush shenanigans, classes, and apartment life. Here's to my return to BOD, a much-needed three-day weekend, the best pledge class ever, and a great sophomore year!

Sense Appeal

8.09.2012

Most bloggers have some sort of weekly ritual. Cupcakes + Cashmere does her five things every Friday. Jess Graves of The Love List naturally posts love lists of style icons, interior designers, etc. And I, on my continual journey to find my blogging niche, have yet to come up with a worthwhile series. Today was unusually hectic, and I came to bed ready to retire without a post planned. With several random thoughts floating in my head, I decided to merge them all into one post. After compiling a rough draft, I couldn't help but notice that each item seemed to fit nicely into little categories that coordinate with the five senses.

an image for the eyes:
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Somehow, these two love birds just get cuter and cuter and cuter. We've all seen their epic embrace when the Brits won the cycling at the Olympics, but this picture just about did me in as well.

a quote for the mind: 
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I came across this quote I pinned awhile back, and realized it may have subconsciously inspired part of the text I wrote in my "about me" section. I love its punctual statements, its boldness, and its eager voice.

a song for the ears: 

I've always held a soft spot for Dave Matthews Band from hearing it in my siblings' cars all throughout my childhood. "Stay or Leave", "Ants Marching", and "Crash Into Me" never get old. Their newest single "Mercy" affirms they still got it.

a fashion item to feel:
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If anybody knows how to design a practical purse, its Case-Mate. They've named this bag the 'Kayla' and it comes in a variety of popping colors with compartments to secure your iPhone and credit cards in one darling little cross-body. Say goodbye to stolen phones on 6th Street. For under $100, not a bad investment. Find it here.

and a good eat to taste:
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{top left: crispy pan seared duck with butternut squash and spinach; top right: pan seared scallops with grilled corn relish, zucchini, and arugula emulsion, fried squash blossom; bottom: fried green tomatoes with crab salad}
My mom treated me to a delicious dinner at Backstreet Café as our final meal in Houston together. (She's leaving for Dallas tomorrow for her parent's 65th wedding anniversary party!) It was delightful to wine and dine on the terrace patio with her talking family, friends, future, and so forth.

So, I may or may not be onto something here with this series idea. And yes, I'm aware I substituted mind for smell. Work with me here. people! Truth betold, I may have to go on a brief blogging break altogether once work week and rush start next week. But, in the meantime, tell me what you think!


I Could Float

8.08.2012


One of my few complaints about this year's Olympics is how ad-infested the nightly programs are. NBC has made it crystal clear they don't want any of us to miss Matthew Perry's new series, Go On. And I love Nadia Comaneci just as much as the next girl, but the Visa ad featuring the perfect ten gymnast has got to go. I will admit, however, that I turn the volume up a few notches whenever this Fruit of the Loom ad airs just because of its soothing song. I finally did some research today and downloaded the song, "Bring Me Close" by Mindy Gledhill. I thought I'd share in the event that any of you had a similar affection for this ad. Enjoy!

Tag, You're It.

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As I compile my belongings to move into the Block, my indecisiveness gets the best of me when it comes to what should stay and what should go. I have a sentimental attachment to my room at home, and quite frankly, part of me wishes I could just pick it up and transfer it to college. At the same time, I'm looking forward to inventing an entirely new space for a new year.

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With freshman year under my belt, I've somewhat mastered the art of deciding which clothing items are college practical and which are not. The next step is selecting the decorative pieces that are worthy of making their new home in apartment 304. My newest DIY project will not be making the trek in the U-Haul this Sunday, so I figured I'd show if off now.

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My mom got me this vintage dress form at an antique market while I was away at school to incorporate a flavor of my fashion fetish to my  travel-themed bedroom. At first, it displayed a series of my cocktail dresses, but after a few wardrobe changes, I decided that my dresses were better suited in their natural habitat--my wardrobe.

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After a brief nudist phase, I decided Miss Mannequin was the perfect platform to show off the clothing tags I had collected over the years. I keep a shelf full of festive shoe boxes and clothing tags in my wardrobe, but it was starting to collect dust hidden behind closed doors at all times. Now, I have tacked each onto the dress form where they get a little more exposure. Now that I've completed three DIY projects this summer, it's time to shift my attention from tag pinning to box packing as the move-in date nears!

Lovelies

8.06.2012

Here's what's got me grinning lately:
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the newest neon piece in my closet in the form of a fluorescent orange skinny belt


the perfect car jam: No Interruption by Hoodie Allen

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lovely shout out on The Lovely Explorer (see my shout out in return on my inspiration page)

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seeing the best display of good sportsmanship thus far at the Olympics by US gymnast (and total cutie) Sam Mikulak following his epic stuck landing on a triple front vault

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the ultimate guilty carb pleasure: Neiman Marcus monkey rolls with strawberry butter

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this gold giraffe print. I'm suddenly swooning over all things safari.

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catching up with my old gymnastics bestie, Hannah, over late-afternoon coffee

One week from today and I'll have already spent 24 hours in my new West Campus home--a strange but splendid thought! Have a terrific Tuesday.

Signed, Sealed & Delivered

8.05.2012

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{writing thank you notes. i enjoy being on the sender's end just as much as the receiver's end.}
We live in an era where communication is ruled by 180 character tweets, email inboxes are in the palms of our hands, and text messaging is slowly becoming the sixth sense. Alas, the handwritten letter is becoming a thing of the past. I'm typically not one of those people that's startled by change. Sure, spotting empty Blockbusters on street corners was bittersweet, but I've embraced the era of Netflix and iControl. However, the letter is something I'm not quite ready to let go of.

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{a surprise note i received on my bed last year from tatum}
I find handwritten letters to be the most sincere form of expression. Behind the words in a letter, you find a more contemplative author who is able to show a more refined display of emotions, whether they fall in the category of thanksgiving, concern, love, or just general friendliness. The mind slows down; each word is chosen with care.

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{a letter i got in the mail this summer from merl}
It's only expected that this concept is practically foreign to us 21st century technology junkies--why use a stamp, suffer a hand cramp, and waste perfectly good saliva on licking an envelope when an email is just a click away? For me, it captures something Times New Roman just cannot. So the next time you pick up a pen to sign a document or jot a reminder on a Sticky note, consider putting that pen to paper to make someone's day a little bit brighter. Oh, and for all you boys out there, this is an automatic ticket into a girl's heart.

Ceiling Starers

8.02.2012

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{the girls of 2A reunited!}
I spent my fourth and final July weekend in Austin with a jam-packed itinerary scheduled. I had just finished my last day of my summer internship and successfully completed my online government course.  By the week's end, I was more than ready to celebrate with all of my friends.

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I couldn't have asked for better company on the way there; I sat in Kelsey's passenger seat as she told me all about her summer at Pine Cove summer camp. We hadn't seen each other since Hardin move out and had more than enough to catch up on during the car ride! I got in just in time to board the Fiji's afternoon barge on Friday. Many of them were greeting one another with "Merry Christmas" due to one of their  biggest parties of the year, Fiji Island, taking place that weekend. Following a roomie dinner with Kels and Merl (felt like old times!), I saw most of my other friends at the SAE foam party. The next morning, I joined Kels and Merl again for a late morning coffee and pastry date. Then, it was onto the Fiji Island day party. And finally, I traded my tank and tennies for a gown and heels for the Austin Admirals ball for Merl's presentation.

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{willa & tatum}
I rode to the debutante ball in the company of these lovely twins.

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{julie and i}
I got to spend a big portion of the night with my new roomie Julie, who was there for her roommate from last year as well.

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{me & ashley}
Throughout the year, there were often occasions to put on a cocktail dress, but it was fun to see many of the girls in long elegant gowns. Ash and I were matching in purple.

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{me and nelson}
And of course the boys looked dapper in their tuxedos

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{tatum, grace, willa}
Some of my favorite Austinites

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Kels reunited with Jules, our unofficial 4th 2A roomie

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And then out came our pretty pretty princess Merl!

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Merl and her escort, James

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{julianne & merl}
Loveys

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I couldn't help but feel fleeting moments of nostalgia from this night. It was a bit of a tease being with all my friends, knowing I had to wait another two weeks until we all made our permanent residence in Austin again. But, patience is a virtue and I suppose I'm willing to wait for another fantastic fall semester at the University of Texas. Congrats Merl!


The Bracelet Bandwagon

8.01.2012

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{my set of Lily & Laura bracelets}
I try to refrain from conforming to obnoxious trends. I made a futile attempt at boycotting the hair tie trend that surged during this past school year. But, before I knew it, I owned a dozen of these myself and haven't put a Scunchi hair tie on my thick head of hair since. A similar story unfolded with the fringe bathing suit frenzy. Knowing fully that I would inevitably surrender to resisting the next trend, I jumped on the recent bracelet bandwagon without a moment of hesitation.

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I'm drawn to any and all things colorful, so these recently popular Lily and Laura bracelets immediately caught my eye. Particularly in the summer months, I thought they'd be the perfect pairing with a flirty white cotton dress, easy arm candy to wear to the pool, or something to semi-glamorize the all-too typical t-shirt and shorts uniform I often find myself in at school.

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Half the fun is picking your color combination. By now, most of my friends own a set and each combination is a perfect fit for their personality. I purchased mine at Soho, a boutique in Houston, and no sooner did I utter the words "do y'all have those bracelets..." did the sales woman whip out three racks lined with the glass beads.

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{The Nepalese women enjoy their afternoons spent crafting the bracelets on the rooftops of their homes while socializing with friends.}
Laura and daughter Lily launched this line of jewelry to promote fair wages for the women of Nepal while creating a piece of jewelry fit for all ages. The beaded bracelets are handcrafted by women in Nepal, thus each is unique in design.

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With bracelet stacking becoming increasingly popular, these bracelets hit the market at just the right time. It's a fun fashion forward item to have that gives back and when it fades, you'll know you didn't spend a fortune just to fit in.