Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm Back! (I think...)

Hello long-lost blog friends! I'm back after a very long break. This is my 12th post in 2012, which is a teensy-bit sad. In fact, it has been so long since I blogged that blogger has changed formats on me!

A lot has been going on since I last blogged- it was a busy post-grad summer for me. Where should I begin? I've lost 30 pounds this summer, so a lot of time has been spent working out and grocery shopping. (Time well spent.)  I am also thinking about moving soon, and the possibilities of decorating a new place have inspired me to start blogging again. I hope you'll pick back up with me and read along as I get my blogging mojo back.

Happy fall!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Graduation Day

I finished my master's degree & graduated this past weekend. It was a lovely weekend & I was very blessed to have a few members of my family in town to celebrate.  I am so grateful for their support during the past two years.  

Here are a few snapshots from the weekend.  We were lucky to have incredible seats for the large ceremony on the National Mall.
Our commencement speaker was Brian Williams from NBC.  He charged us to "take us [the country] somewhere."

My family gifted my with this beautiful bracelet. It has amethyst stones. I absolutely love it and know that I will enjoy wearing it each day.

I have lots of things i'd like to do now that I have "free time" again.  More goals & info on that is coming soon... but in the meantime, I am excited about a long-overdue vacation and a chance to catch up on my sleep!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Well Hello Again

Hello again, blogland. Waiting for my nails to fully dry from a fresh paint job seems like the perfect time to catch up on this blog a bit.

So much has been going on in my life this Winter/Spring. Between working full-time and wrapping up my graduate school obligations, "free time" has been a rare opportunity and obviously blogging fell to the wayside.  The great news is, today is graduation! I am hoping that this will leave more time to get to the other priorities in my life- and hopefully blogging again will be part of that.

Thank you to everyone who has said that they "miss the blog" or wish I would post again.  That was some of the encouragement I needed!  I have lots of great ideas about some things I can share with you all and lots of BIG changes to my small studio to share as well.

In the meantime, here are my outfits for graduation this weekend. I think a big occasion is a great reason to sport some new threads and I am loving these fresh spring/summer looks!  Obviously I am very into lace/ crochet right now...

polyvore set here

polyvore set here

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscahs (typo intended) 2012

The Oscahs are still going, so I'm not going to speak to who won or how I felt about the show. But of course, I will dole out my opinions on the fashions.  Here are my favorites of the night in no particular order.

Esperenza Spalding.  She just looks so cool. I could never pull off something like this, but it looks so chic on her. 

Giuliana Rancic.  Love this dress so much! 

Gwyneth Paltrow.  I truly wish she'd done something different with the hair, but I still like the look. 

I absolutely loved this dress on Judy Greer. It is so modern and edgy.  And she looks phenomenal in it. 

Here it is from the front.

Leslie Mann.  This is a great cut on her and she did right by the ponytail.

I thought Livia Giuggioli (Colin Firth's wife) looked beautiful and her dress was very unique. 

Michelle Williams was definitely my favorite of the night, although her yellow Vera Wang Oscars dress will probably always be my all-time favorite. 

Octavia Spencer looked beautiful.  I could definitely see myself in a similar dress.  I thought the sparkle was perfectly executed. 

Finally, how great does Sandra Bullock look? The dress is so modern and fits her like a glove.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Carnival 2012 Recap

So it has been 21 days since my last post... yikes.  Of course I finally get back on with blogging and then I drop off the face of the earth.  Sorry, y'all.  I do sincerely appreciate the encouragement from my friends- blogger friends and real-life ones.  I am so thankful for all of you!

I wanted to post a quick recap of the Mardi Gras season.  I am a Louisiana girl at heart and I think Mardi Gras is officially my favorite holiday.  I had to bring the festive spirit to DC, of course.
My festive MG wreath.  I also added this sweet kitchen towel to my growing collection for the holiday.
Love him!

I baked these great cupcakes for one of my classes & folks at work: plain yellow cake (dyed MG colors) with homemade cinnamon frosting. That frosting is fan-tastic!

I went to New Orleans over the past weekend to celebrate Mardi Gras. The trip was wonderful, I had a great time and I got to spend some long-overdue bonding time with some old friends.  I'm so glad I got to have that break.  I went to a Mardi Gras ball as a guest of my dear friend Kathryn.  It was, indeed, a ball! 
Please note the light-up partycup. Crucial.  Also, the ball was held in the Super Dome. Pardon my French, but it just doesn't get any more badass than that.

Lastly, I had to include this pic of my friend Meghan that she insisted someone take... then insisted on sending to me... of herself.  All while I was standing in the same room. It is Mardi Gras, okay, people? Alcohol and fun are must-haves.
Also, she caught those glasses off a float.  Amazing, amirite?

I am already impatiently awaiting next year's Mardi Gras season!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Twist on What I'm Loving Wednesday

If you read other blogs (which, I'm sure, you probably do) you might have noticed that many other bloggers participate in "What I'm Loving Wednesday."  I don't think I've ever posted a "What I'm Loving Wednesday" post, but I do enjoy reading them on other blogs.  Today I've decided to do a twist on "WILW" and discuss five things that I really love about myself.

I know on blogs, it seems like every blogger has a near-perfect life.  Blogs, to some extent, are like family holiday letters- you tend to only announce or discuss the good things in your life and you leave the bad out most of the time.  That said, one "bad" thing about myself is that I am extremely self-critical.  I don't know how much I buy into astrology, but at least in this case, I am a "typical" Virgo.  Virgos are said to be very hard on themselves and on others.  I fit this description.  I've also noticed that my younger cousin (also a Virgo) is very critical of himself.  I try to work on this with him whenever I see him and point out all the things that make him such a great kid!  His mom is trying to work on it with him, too, because I told her that I saw this characteristic of myself in him.

Anyway, my self-criticism can be a big problem for me.  I even criticize myself for being overly critical. (I only wish I was exaggerating.)  The self-criticism can be especially difficult for me because when others criticize me, I tend to build it up and make it bigger in my mind, and I only add it to the criticism that I put on myself.  Do you see where this is going?

So in an effort to focus more on the positive, I'm going to list five things that I really do like about myself.  Please feel free to join in via the comments section and tell me the things you like about yourself!

1. I'm a really good gift-giver.  People tell me all the time that I am great at picking out gifts for them and friends often ask me for advice on what would be an appropriate gift for someone else they care about.
2. I'm a great friend (most of the time). Sure, I have my faults as a friend (who doesn't?), but in general, I work very hard at being a good friend. For example, I try to always remember & recognize birthdays with a card in the mail.  Even though I may not be in regular communication with all my friends, I always enjoy catching up with them and value them so much.
3. I enjoy volunteering for volunteering's sake. I really enjoy giving back to my community and to others just for the sake of volunteering.  I enjoy meeting new people in the process and learning about the inspiring things going on around me. 
4. I have very discriminating taste. This could go along with number 1, but it is different in some ways. I would say that I have very good taste (other people have said this, too).  I am usually pretty on-point with picking out things that compliment each other and that are appropriate and functional for the intended purpose.  This applies to decor and also to fashion or ettiquette.
5. I obtain & retain facts easily.  I enjoy learning everything possible about the things around me in my job and in my personal life.  I'm usually pretty good about remembering these things as well.  As a result, people often come to me for "institutional memory" questions or ask me to explain things.  Also as a result, I'm a pretty damn good trivia player.

Please share what you love about yourself with me in the comments or with a friend today! Don't forget to love yourself as much as you love all the important people in your lives!

Monday, January 30, 2012

White House Holiday Open House

Now that it is officially the end of January, I suppose it's time to post the pictures I have from visiting the White House over the Christmas holidays (!!!).  Yes, these are LONG overdue.  It's shameful, actually... but I wanted to record & share them anyway.  There's not too much to say about these pictures, but I hope you enjoy the beautiful decor of the People's House.

I love the whimisical colors of this tree, decorated with felt ornaments.

How incredible is this version of Bo, my all-time favorite first family pet?!

The centerpiece of the Christmas decor was the White House Christmas Tree in the Blue Room, which featured framed service and honor medals from the U.S. Military in tribute and thanks to our troops.

Special thanks to my dear friend Catherine for accompanying me on this open house tour and taking these photographs.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

SAG Awards Fashion Recap

Alternate title for this post: I Don't Know Who the Hell That "Actress" is But Her Dress is Really Pretty
This awards season so far has been completely underwhelming in the fashion category, and the SAG Awards were no exception. I have to be honest and say that I didn't watch the pre-awards show nor the actual show, so I've made all these judgements (of the outfits) based on online photos. 
Now on to the people I recognized who looked great...
L to R: Judy Greer, Regina King, Stacy Keibler
I thought Judy Greer was fantastic in The Descendants and she looks beautiful here! And that purple on Regina King is stunning.

L to R: Jane Krakowski, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Diana Agron
I love the uniqueness of Jane Krakowski's dress, Jesse Tyler Ferguson looks so different and handsome and Diana Agron did right by the color pink. (If only Diana Agron would stand up straight!!) 

L to R: Emily Blunt, Julianna Margulies, Julie Bowen
I thought all three of these dresses were really pretty, but I do have to admit they are nothing I haven't seen before. But I would wear Julie Bowen's dress in a heartbeat!

And the people I've never seen/ heard of before but also looked great! 
L to R: Jayma Mays, Aimee Garcia, Naya Rivera
Of all these looks, Aimee Garcia's is my favorite- I just love that fabric.  I think I would wear Jayma Mays' dress before the others, though.  It's so pretty! 

L to R: Ariel Winter and Lauren Potter
Ariel Winter looks very sweet and age-appropriate in her dress.  And how beautiful is Lauren Potter's dress?? I think it looks great on her! 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paula Deen and Personal Choices

Since announcing her diabetic diagnosis last week, Paula Deen has stirred up a great deal of press and public interest in her condition, her choice to conceal the condition for three years, and her choice to publically disclose the diagnosis whilst announcing a new sponsorship for a diabetes-control pharmaceutical drug.  Apparently, many people have strong opinions about this entire situation.  I first thought about writing a post to comment on this issue last week, but pushed the idea to the side.  Then, I saw this article calling for public opinions on whether or not it's appropriate for Ms. Deen to be seen eating a hamburger in public.  And that's what motivated me to action and writing this post.

It was Ms. Deen's choice to disclose her diagnosis, and honestly, I wish she had kept it private, but it was her decision nonetheless. I understand some of the controversy surrounding her announcement, namely that she decided to announce it while also announcing that she would be endorsing a diabetes-control drug.  I can see the point that she is profiting off of her diagnosis at the same time that she profits off of her calorie, fat-laden recipes (which, in an extreme leap, can be connected forward to diabetes and the drug she is peddling to help control it.) I thought that this blog post from Cap Hill Style was well-written and it helped me see clarity in these arguments.

That said, I understand that diabetes is a very serious disease. Being overweight and therefore at higher risk for the disease, I would say I understand this better than most people. It can complicate any other health condition and lead to serious other conditions all on its own.  But in my opinion, the backlash against Ms. Deen for her choices has been absolutely outrageous.  The woman annouces a diagnosis with diabetes and suddenly, every hamburger she eats is a matter of national news.  It is absurd, frankly.  Diabetes is very serious.  So are alcoholism or drug addition.  Yet, we don't see national news headlines each time a celebrity with alcoholism takes a shot, or everytime a chronic smoker lights up. 

Many people deal with psychological illnesses, heart conditions, high blood pressure, chronic headaches, etc. but choose to take their medications inconsistently or avoid seeing doctors regularly, and this is their choice.  We may not agree with it.  It is not rational at all and in many cases, we cannot explain it, but it happens.  We each should make better choices for our own health, but for some reason, we choose not to sometimes.  And that's our choice, too.

In my opinion, people can criticize Paula Deen all they want for profiting off of her own health condition, but they cannot criticize her for not eating a salad every day for the rest of her life or choosing to eat what she wants. Do you eat a salad every day? Probably not. Me either. Ultimately, it is up to her to make good or poor decisions for her own health.

In diet, moderation is the name of the game. It is fine to enjoy a Paula Deen recipe, from time to time. Not every day or even every week. And as much as Ms. Deen may promote herself, she's not standing in consumers' kitchens forcing them to cook or eat her recipes, they are choosing that all on their own. We live in a world where we can make our own decisions, and we must be accountable to ourselves for those choices. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Looking Ahead to Valentine's Day

I know it seems like Valentine's Day is far, far away, but in reality, it is just around the corner.  I typically don't get into Valentine's Day.  I have a few reasons. 1. I don't have a "valentine." 2. I hate red & pink together. 3. I do not care for the heart shape. Just not my thing. I'm very girly but i'm not a girly girl in that way.  I typically like to gloss right over Valentine's Day and skip to Mardi Gras (Mardi Gras > Valentine's Day in more ways than I can count), but this year I think it might be fun to plan something in non-celebration of Valentine's instead.

I think it would be super fun to have a Valentine's Day gathering with friends- single or not- either the weekend before or on Valentine's Day (a Tuesday this year).  I would theme everything in bright candy colors and include balloons, cocktails and sweets!  You could always asks guests to contribute to potluck dishes if you are on a budget. 

Here are some great ideas floating around on pinterest for Valentine's Day.  

Source: via Katelyn on Pinterest

Source: via Katelyn on Pinterest

Source: via Katelyn on Pinterest

Live life to the fullest & enjoy any excuse to celebrate friendships that are dear to you! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

21 & Up

I think everyone should have a good flask.  If you think a flask might be a good addition to your party supplies, check out these chic and funny options.
 Fancy option from Jonathan Adler
 How cute is this for the preppy man in your life? (I know men don't love the word "cute" but I couldn't resist.)  From Smathers & Branson.
 This is the flask I have myself. It is so cute and well-made! The etsy seller also sells flask funnels- so perfect! 
How funny is this cheeky flask from Urban Outfitters
Finally, I love all products MikWright, especially this flask.  It says, "for the record, the only problem I have with alcohol is that i'm running low on vodka."  So perfect for me! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oh Hey

Oh hello everyone! It's been over a month since I last blogged.  Unacceptable, I know.  I'm trying to get the mojo back, so please be patient with me.  

By popular request, I'll be posting a recap of the Golden Globes 2012 fashion.  Okay, okay. So only one person requested it- but each of my constituents is very important to me, so you ask and I provide!  Let's get started.

Overall, I was completely underwhelmed with the fashion choices Sunday evening. I really only had one favorite.
I thought Shailene Woodley looked really beautiful.  She looks age appropriate and her makeup is perfect.  The dress could have been tailored to sit a little higher on her chest, but it fits well overall.

I also thought Claire Danes looked lovely.  This is the perfect combination of modern and glamorous. I don't love that hair color on her, but the style suits the gown very well.

Lastly, I enjoyed Emma Stone's look.  I think she could have gone with a more delicate shoe and I could do without the eagle on the belt, but I really like this color combination and in my opinion, this is the best way to mix two colors that are so close to each other.

My least favorite options abound, but I'll just focus on two.

Natalie Portman and Angelina Jolie committed the same crime in my opinion.  Call me crazy, but I hate the combination of pink and red together.  With the exception of Valentine's Day decor, I cannot think of a single time that I enjoy these colors.  I'm not much of a fan of pink and red to begin with so I'm admittedly completely biased in this case, but I think they look awful together!  By the way, is Angelina's dress pink? Or is it ivory? Either way, I don't like it.

Well, that's all I have for today!  Hopefully I'll be back in under a month (wink, wink)!