Sense Appeal V

9.30.2012

for the eyes:
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{double rainbow captured right outside my apartment complex on saturday; best believe I insta'd that}
Weather has a very direct effect on my mood. This weekend's was unusually bipolar--sudden heavy showers followed by outbreaks of sunshine, thus creating a perfect recipe for a rainbow (or two!). It also provided a perfect setting for my weekend's itinerary which included babysitting, cheering on Jenna at her cross country meet, afternoon shopping with Meghan, and movie night (Titanic & Katy Perry: Part of Me) in 313 with Chinese take-out and a pint of Phish food.

for the mind:

{if you don't have seven minutes to spare, skip to the 5:50 mark for an unaired Apple ad from 1997}
I'm completely enthralled by my psychology of advertising class; the readings are something I look forward to immersing myself in every Sunday, a statement I've rarely if ever said of another class. Dr. Kahlor frequently shows videos during lecture to demonstrate the concepts we're discussing in class. As someone also intrigued by Apple and its success, I found this video she showed particularly noteworthy. The late Steve Jobs defines Apple's brand image 15 years ago. I think it's worked pretty well for them so far.

for the ears:

It's no secret that I'm a junkie for Top 40 music. I pride myself on semi-discovering Tik Tok by American pop star Ke$ha upon its release in the summer of 2009 (and I have witnesses to prove it!).  Here's her latest poppy tune which proves she's still got a knack for producing a catchy song.

fashion for feel:
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{from left to right: Farrah earring in goldAllison earring in slateDanielle earring in blue goldstone}
As I grow older, I am trying make my belongings a collection of investments rather than a motley assortment of, well, crap for lack of a better word. The teenage routine to spend less and wear once isn't quite as satisfactory as it used to be. With this in mind, I bought three pairs of earrings I hope will last me the better part of my early twenties in three neutral shades: a gold, stormy grey, and midnight navy.

for taste:
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{the magic shroom burger: Angus beef, Texas goat cheese, field mushrooms, mayo & basil pesto}
When asked where to find a good burger in Houston, there's nothing that immediately comes to mind. Such is not true for Austin; in fact, there are multiple places that serve up a pretty decent burger. Austinites all have their personal favorites, but I'm fairly certain Hopdoddy makes most everyone's top three list. My goal is to try every variety by graduation and my tally as of yesterday is three out of twelve.

Happy October Eve--one of my favorite months of the year!
 

Tame My Flesh

9.26.2012

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Now I'll be bold

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As well as strong

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And use my head alongside my heart

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So tame my flesh

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And fix my eyes

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A tethered mind freed from the lies

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And I'll kneel down

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Wait for now

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I'll kneel down

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Know my ground

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Raise my hands

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Paint my spirit gold

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And bow my head

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Keep my heart slow

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Cause I will wait, I will wait for you

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And I will wait, I will wait for you.
-mumford & sons



Sense Appeal IV

9.23.2012

for the eyes:
PhotobucketMy new toy has finally arrived--the iPhone 5. Tragedy struck as my old iPhone was stolen at the Kappa house during rush week, but this little beauty has taken all that former pain away.

for the mind:
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Be intentional.

for the ears:

My home away from home is the room right down the hall from me, another purely KKG abode. I often head over intending to ask a single question, only to find myself leaving hours later. Anyway, one of their favorite pastimes is watching Lana Del Rey music videos, which I can hardly blame them for. They are curiously addicting and mesmerizing. My personal favorite? Summertime Sadness.

fashion for feel:
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If you know me at all, you know I rarely refuse an occasion to dress up. Going to UT, however, doesn't  foster an environment where one will sport their nicest attire for class, something that I'm eternally grateful for after nights with less than six hours of sleep. However, sometimes the t-shirt and shorts uniform grows tiresome. Lately, I've been trying to invest in casual & comfy pieces suitable for everyday wear, like the garments pictured above.

for taste:
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My time at home was well-spent. I went to one of my favorite restaurants on Friday night (Paulie's in Midtown), slept in, went to the Galleria with my mom, saw my niece Quinn take her first steps and ventured to the brand new American Girl Doll store to see Amy and her kiddos! Saturday, Chris, Lin & Quinn came over for a pork taco feast. While Linds and I caught up on the start to my sophomore year, my dad and his oldest son were fixated on their alma mater team, Notre Dame, win their second game. Go Irish! Now that I've had my relaxing stay at home, I feel rejuvenated for my busy week ahead.

The Ever-Present Game

9.20.2012

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read books.

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care about things.

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get excited!

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try not to be too down on yourself.

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enjoy the ever-present game of knowing.
-hank green



Lovely Days

9.19.2012

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My room has been in a perpetual state of modification since move-in. I'm still adding last minute decorative touches, but I will have a full post dedicated to my new crash pad soon enough! For now, here's my latest DIY decoration: three inspirational prints to help me kick-start my morning, hung directly above my desk. Happy hump day!


Alice + Olivialand

9.17.2012

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{backstage at the A+O show}
For Diane Von Furstenburg, it was the wrap dress. For Stacey Bendet, creative genius behind the American fashion house Alice + Olivia, it was pants. Indeed, the frilly frock designer got her start with none other than pants.

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{stacey in her TriBeCa loft; that closet. gimme. that darling little play area to the right is for her two little girls, who you can assume are some of the best dressed five-year-olds on the streets of Manhattan}
Stacey had a creative bug from a young age (likely spawned by her father's involvement in the textile business), but she had trouble pinning where to channel that creativity. While dabbling in apparel flash web sites, she noted a serious void in the pant department. America was going through a major denim deluge at the time; it was the dawn of luxury denim. You know, back in the day when you had to have those Seven jeans?

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She decided to take matters into her own hands by launching a line of 20 trousers built to flatter and stand out. Sooner than she could say Alice + Olivia, Barney's picked up the line. Since then, she's teamed up with Andrew Rosen of Theory and the rest is style success story history.  

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Her spring 2013 ready-to-wear line, released just days ago at New York's Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, was a marvel to look at. Though some would criticize the line for being inconsistent, I found the pieces to be refreshingly cohesive yet each suiting the taste of different individuals. For every bold patterned gown, there was a neutral frock to balance it out. Each look had a quality I loved, whether it be the pattern, the bodice top (a recurring theme), or the handbags, which was a new designing endeavor this year.

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There's an undeniable attraction to Alice + Olivia for all girly-girls out there. But Stacey's not a slave to the sweetheart type. Girl can do edgy. This combination makes for a line of eye-popping pieces that are just shy of being too frilly and fussy and thus just plain fabulous.

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It's always odd to already be peeking at the trends for next spring when sweater season is soon to come, but Texas weather makes this task less of a stretch.

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I think we all know how I feel about a good white-button-down look.

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The line was inspired by the American dream in the 1950s--"you now, that late-1950s optimism that anything is possible," she says.

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Some of the show's attendees described it to be much like attending the most lovely picnic.

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This optimistic collection is ideally timed in an era of much political fuss and our society's overwhelming attention to stress, worry and work. Art is supposed to be an escape and fashion design is certainly no exception to that rule.

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It's safe to say Stacey Bendet Eisner (now married to the son of Disney's former CEO) has come a long way since her original claim to fame, the "Stacey Pants." So here here to the woman who went from pants to peplums, flash sites to fifties glam frocks. You're an inspiration to us all.

D-Town Boogie

9.16.2012

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This weekend, a good majority of my friends took planes, trains and automobiles to Oxford, Mississippi for our first game against Ole Miss in, well, awhile? Honestly I don't know if we've ever played them, but we typically don't, so it was a big deal, etcetera, etcetera. Anyway, going to the Grove, Southern Mississippi's tailgating grounds, is supposedly a "must have" experience. I'm crossing my fingers we're scheduled for another hotty toddy hook 'em battle come my senior year, assuming my schedule will allow for more adventures like this. So while I didn't make the trek to Rebel land this year, I did make my first college visit last weekend to SMU.

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{me, alexa, mollie & analise (mollie's roomie). their apartment puts the block to shame}
Though I had seen Dallas many a time before (my mom is a D-Town native), it was a whole new experience seeing it from the eyes of a college student. The campus is so college-y with its perfectly groomed boulevard cutting through the middle of the brick buildings which I envision to host shelves of leather-bound books and bearded professors. 

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I squeezed in a lot for just a 24-hour visit, most of which consisted of consuming not good but great meals. I already mentioned our tapas fare at Sangria where we snacked on a trio of dips (fava bean hummus, babaganoush, labneh with sumac) served with warm flatbread, spanikopita in country filo with warm spinach, feta and tzatziki sauce, the tuna tartare I mentioned before, and a sweet mediterranean flatbread with mascarpone cheese, black mission figs, serrano jam and local honey (highly recommend). 

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Alexa and I ordered refreshing blackberry mojitos to accompany our tapas. 

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As the UT tailgating was going on in Austin, I had my first boulevard-ing experience. Everyone wore white for the opening game and I got to meet some of my SMU Kappa sistas. We didn't stay for long, knowing we had a big night ahead of us.

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{the chef brought out a display of all the fine cuts of meat they had, giving us an almost ten minute schpeel about each one}
The grand affair to celebrate Mollie's day took place at one of Dallas's finest steak houses, Nick & Sam's. Prior to my trip, all of my Dallas friends told me I was in for a treat and they were most certainly right about that. 

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{analise, alexa, kelly, mollie, me}
We started with a complimentary round of champagne for the birthday girl. 

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Then, we ordered a sampling of appetizers including calamari with tomato basil and lemon garlic aioli, jumbo lump crab cakes with grainy mustard sauce (maybe the best I've ever had), and our second tuna tartare dish for the day (pictured above). 

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{mollie & her mom}
Next course was salads; most everyone ordered a classic wedge (always a good go-to at a steak house) but I opted for the field greens with a raspberry vinaigrette so I could save room for the main course. And for that main couse, I split a filet with Mollie's mom and it was worth every juicy bite.

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We were not modest with our order of sides; we got everything but the kitchen sink: creamed corn, brussel sprouts with spanish chorizo and almonds (obsessed), asparagus, spinach, mashed potatoes and sautéed forest mushrooms. 

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Somehow, we managed to squeeze in a sampling of three different desserts and five hours later, we had finished our meal and shut the place down. In typical girl fashion, we stayed up 'til the wee hours of the morning; it felt like a good old fashioned sleepover in the best way possible. 

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The following morning, we were all still full from dinner the night before, but decided to make a final pitstop before Alexa and I hit the road back to Austin. We went to a cute spot in uptown called Kozy Kitchen that specializes in quality protein with local produce and dairy. I ordered The Star, two eggs served open omelette style tossed with squash, applewood smoked bacon, spinach and raw cheddar. If I went back, I'd get Mollie's buckwheat pancakes with chocolate chips and strawberries and one of their fresh-squeezed juices.

All three meals were fit for a king (or a queen in this case!). I'm slowly but surely falling in love with Dallas and am so glad I have so many besties who call it home. I hate how rarely I get to see Moll, but it always makes these occasions all the more memorable.