Sense Appeal XI

11.30.2012

for the eyes:
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Today marks my handsome nephew Evan's very first birthday! HBD, E!

for the mind:
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So many things we hope and pray for don't have a fixed definition--joy, success, love, peace, wisdom. As I quickly approach finals week, I'm (obviously) seeking success--success that will later translate into a prosperous career in my future. I found Maya Angelou's definition of success to make me feel a little more optimistic rather than dwelling on the impending probability of getting that coveted A.
"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." 
for the ears: 

With the help of my fellow music muse (and future KKG roomie!) Meghan, I have discovered another favorite female artist: Yuna. I have yet to find a song of hers I don't like, but I especially loved the cover she performed of Frank Ocean's "Think' 'Bout You." Also check out "Tourist" and "Lullabies."

fashion for feel:
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Leather has come a long way from just Harley-Davison jackets and designer bags. This fall especially, leather had become acquainted with shirt pockets, blouse trims, and sweater sleeves. It effortlessly provides that contrast we often strive for in our ensembles: sweet yet serious, romantic yet rough. See my most recently added leather detailed piece of clothing in my closet here.

for taste:
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To avert any overwhelming holiday guilt, I'm going to declare that from Thanksgiving to Christmas, calories don't count. It's very likely I'll regret this ideology come the new year, but I simply can't resist the peppermint latt├ęs, Christmas bark and other tempting treats. I helped my mom make our rendition of the classic cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. She also whipped me up a batch of my favorite family recipe--Christmas candy crackers. It took only 72 hours for my apartment to get through not one but two bags of crackers. One of the many reasons I love my roommates.

Happy weekend! Cannot wait to see what's in store for the 12th and final chapter of 2012.

STAR OF WONDER, STAR OF NIGHT

11.26.2012

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"Women who love clothes tend to feel a shivery little FRISSON of excitement as December approaches because--unless they happen to be getting married, or perhaps inaugurated, in the months to follow--the holidays offer the single best excuse of the year for DRESSING UP.

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{Bergdorf Goodman's claim to fame is their intricate and ornate window displays, especially at this time of year.}
 Come, say the shop windows, LET US ADORN YOU in shimmery, gilded, taffeta-wrapped splendor.

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This urge to get into glad rags and raise high the glass often expresses itself in nostalgia: OPULENT WINKS toward velvety Victorianism or bustled Edwardian ball skirts.

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But not this winter.

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PARTY GIRLS will be gleaming now, not in winsome tinsel-metallics but in SLICK AND SLEEK silvers and golds as futuristic as the Curiosity rover; they won't be ornamenting themselves with loads of finicky embellishment but will let the boldly hued fabric itself be the BEACON AT NIGHT.

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Fashion is pushing us not wistfully backward but forward into an AMAZING New Year."

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I pulled this blurb from my December issue of Vogue. Cyber Monday instigated a day of heavy online browsing. In its honor, I decided to give an ode to the style of the season. I think I'm going to take Anna and Team Vogue's stance on this one; there does seem to be a transition from Baroque to bare, from maximalist to minimalist, from gaudy to golden this year. Whatever you choose to don during the holidays, make sure to celebrate in style!

Joy to the Ears

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Some people, my own mom included, are just not music people. They're just not. Those of us who are find this to be a hard concept to grasp: a drive in the car sans musical company? a jog without a motivational beat? a night out without music drowning your conversations? All crazy notions, indeed. The Christmas season, however, seems to unify the musically naive and crazed alike under one common front.

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As it is a celebration of many other things--like family, good food, and of course, our Savior's birth--the holidays are also a celebration of music. Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is emerging as just as much of a Christmas staple as stockings dressing the mantle and milk & cookies for Santa.

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Amidst all the poppy tunes thanks to Mariah and the like (Taylor, J. Biebs, Hil Duff--your holiday album was epic back in the day), we mustn't forget the church choirs that remind us of the First Noel and bringing Joy to the World. Now, on that note, during the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, I was reminded of a group of singers who do just that: bring joy to the world, or rather the ear.

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I know they're old news, but y'all, I love the PS 22 chorus. They legitimately bring tears to my eyes. Although they've dabbled in Christmas music, they specialize in covers of today's popular music--everything from Katy Perry to Eminem and Michael Jackson, making these secular sounds the most harmonious, angelic melodies you have ever come across.

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The director of the bunch, Gregg Brienberg, is one of the people I'd answer in reply to that question: "dead or alive, who'd you like to have dinner with?"

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What started as an innocent attempt to make a half-decent chorus at the Island's largest elementary school, turned into a wild success after mentioning their covers of Tori Amos's songs on her website's message board.

PhotobucketAfter that, in just about as much time as it takes to read a Perez Hilton post (another supporter/attributor to their fame), Brienberg was getting calls from Passion Pit for his kids to be featured as background vocals on their new album and the Academy Awards requesting a special performance from the group at the award show.

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This, along with their total of 50 million YouTube views, are just a few testaments to their success.

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Each video is worth watching, but I'll make my best attempt at narrowing down my top three.


3. Viva La Vida - already epic in it of itself, but made all the more so by Public School 22 Chorus


2. Ho Hey - this song by The Lumineers has made a more recent statement in the mainstream music world and the kids absolutely nail it


1. Lisztomania - one of my favorite songs, but I think after umpteen listens, the PS22 version tops the original Phoenix version


And my favorite Christmas one just for fun - O Holy Night

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But, seriously, watch them all. I dare you to not cry and/or smile.

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My next task is to watch the documentary on the group, Once in a Lullaby, which was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.

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The New York Times declared it "the best-known elementary school choir on the planet." As it rightfully deserves to be.

Say What Ya Need To Say

11.22.2012

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I'm fairly confident you all know what I'm thankful for--friends, family, education, the means to fulfill my dreams, the proper equipment and talents to maintain this blog, all of you. Most of our lists end up looking like carbon copies of one another, and there's nothing wrong with that.

But, rather than doing what seems natural and just list out all of these things accompanied with fitting pictures, I'm gonna take a different and more simple route. After all, I don't want BOD to become too predictable. What a shame that would be, to have BOD succumb to the standards of a bad romantic comedy!

Anyway, I wanted to take this day as a chance to remind us all to give thanks; in other words, actually telling those we love, those that make our lives richer and better, thank you.

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Tell mom thanks for all the loads of laundry.

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Tell your professor thanks for devoting his/her life to making your own better.

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Tell Taylor Swift thanks for not making you feel like you're not the only one.

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Tell dad thanks for teaching you how to swing a golf club, even if that's the farthest you ever got.

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Tell your best friend thanks for always being in sync with ya.

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Tell your boss thanks for helping pay the bills.

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Tell your grandparents thanks for raising the best mom and dad you ever had.

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Tell your favorite blogger/pinner/Instagramer thanks for the inspiration.

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Tell your co-worker thanks for sharing conversations over the coffee maker.

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Tell the mail man thanks for delivering the goods.

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Tell your brother(s) thanks for the tidbits of sports knowledge, the tickle tortures, and always being up on the hippest lingo (these may be unique to my own bros, but you get the idea).

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Tell your sister(s) thanks for all the hand-me-downs.

And tell God thanks for His Peace and His Presence.

In taking my own advice, I'll end this Thanksgiving by thanking all of you for following, reading, loving, and going on this journey with me. So, yeah, THANKS!





one final note: Wishing the happiest of birthdays to two of my besties--Julianne & Meghan! Especially very thankful for both of you. 

Sense Appeal X

11.19.2012

for the eyes:
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When it comes to hair ties, my mantra is the more the merrier.

for the mind:
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I finally got around to seeing the best-selling novel and newly released film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as a Sunday night weekend cap. The casting was spot on, with the three actors pictured above all delivering spectacular performances. The story was a perfect mix of sad and sweet, making you do all things a good movie should: laugh, cry, sympathize, relate and think. My favorite thought-provoking line of all: "we accept the love we think we deserve." Main character Charlie reminds us that more often than not, we deserve more than that.

for the ears:

Yet again, I'm drawn to a song with heavy use of piano. This one is called "We Don't Eat" by James Vincent McMorrow and it has a melody and lyrics that can only be described as soothing.

fashion for feel:
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I'm a big proponent of the deep hues making their way onto sweaters, cords and jewels this fall/winter, but I've developed an even deeper attraction to all things ballet pink. When done the right way, it makes for an unexpected neutral, say paired with one of these darker shades like eggplant or forest green. It adds a feminine touch (what's more feminine than ballerinas?) to a season that's typically taken over by blacks and an element of innocence that's commonly pegged as achievable only with white.

for taste:
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I'll officially be making 2001 University, otherwise knows as Kappa Kappa Gamma, my home next year! There's a multitude of exciting things that come with that--just a walk downstairs for Monday meetings, having a bed on campus for naps between classes and all my favorite people under one roof. The best perk of all just might be gourmet breakfasts, lunches and dinner (and an entire refrigerator devoted to ice cream!). Cooking for one at The Block is no easy task, especially after a long day of classes. My roommate, Olivia, cooks almost every night and the other night I got to accompany her. She made us roasted brussels sprouts, veggie burgers with barbecue sauce, and a cucumber red onion salad. It was both delicious and nutritious; much love and thanks, Liv!

Only three classes to go before I get to go home and give thanks for my family, friends and the big pile of turkey and stuffing on my plate!


Life Through the Lens

11.18.2012

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{Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg, Austria}
As I refine my blogging one skill at a time, I've decided to make 2013 the year of the photograph. They say a picture's worth a thousand words, so I want my pictures to be made up of a thousand rich, vibrant, crisp, beautiful words. Whatever this requires--may it be Pinterest tutorials or possibly a a series of courses as Christmas gift--I think after four years, BOD deserves a white balance, ISO, shutter speed knowledgable author, don't you? In celebration of this mission, I'm sharing twenty of my favorite photographs I've taken to date, complete with cheesy titles as if I'm some gallery owner. Play along with me, please!

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{Hotel Napoleon - Paris}
pops's parisian wave

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{Prater Amusement Park -- Vienna}
round & round she goes

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waitin & wishin

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trusting gravity

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dock & dog

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{Sant Ambroeus - Southhampton}
hamptons hideaway

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{The Standard Hotel - NYC}
cookies & cosmos 

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{Grimaldi's Pizzeria - Brooklyn}
my kinda pie

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bottom to top

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fall felicity

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{Monmouth 2012}
life in technicolor

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cozy corner 

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{National Aviary - Pittsburgh}
bird, meet bird.

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catch me if you can

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solid, liquid, or gas?

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spectrum

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welcome home

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preparation

I think this goal is something we will all benefit from. And it's suitably timed, as I hope to be equipped with proper photog skills before I venture to study in Europe!