31 October 2013

Work Playlist

I'm certainly the type of person who likes to have music playing while I work. 

If I don't have to read or really concentrate, I usually have Pandora open. But, then I use up all of my skips and I get frustrated, so I've started writing down the songs I really like that come on. I then make my own playlist that is catered exactly to what I like to work to. These are the songs that I'm really loving right now, but my playlist continues to grow and develop.

... the irony in this is that I have unlimited skips for a playlist that is exactly what I want...
oh well. 

what do you listen to while you work?

30 October 2013

Wish List Wednesday

the temperatures have dropped and the warm layers have started adding up...

It feels like I'm wearing sweaters, boots, and scarves every day! Because of this, I've been drawn to outfit inspiration that makes for cute and warm combinations. One thing that I'm missing here at school is a coat.. I know, I'm crazy. I don't know how I somehow ended up without any sort of jacket- besides my Excursion Vest- but it happened. 

Therefore, I'm serious when I say that I've really been layering and accessorizing for warmth. 

here is what I'm coveting on these chilly days:

I really don't need anything bulky right now, but something to put over my sweaters to block the wind and add that extra layer would be great! I love the quilted look of this Barbour Jacket.

Because, sometimes I need to give my feet a break from the boots and heels. 

I've realized how few pairs of "nice" jeans I have. I had one pair of fabulous Lucky Brand jeans, but they were getting worn and I conveniently ripped a hole in them. Even though I hate trying on jeans with a passion, I'd be willing to endure it if I left with a pair or two of jeans that flatter me in all the right places.

Fair Isle sweaters have been making their fair share of appearances on my Instagram and Tumblr timelines. This, of course, has me dying for one! I love the Madewell sweater, since I already have so much navy (and it's cheaper), but I had to throw in the classic Vineyard Vines, too. 


I'm hoping to conquer the hunt for jeans over my winter break: after-Christmas sales and going back to work for a couple of weeks will put me in a perfect position to hunt and save! And, as hard as it is to say, I don't think I'm really needing another sweater at this point... but can you ever really have too many? I'd say, at the moment, those New Balance for J. Crew shoes are top on my list- I adore they way they're styled in the lookbook and have been making up outfits they'd work with in my head (...I wear a size 9 if anyone is feeling generous)...

what's on your wish list?

29 October 2013

RedHead Lovin'

as a redhead, I always get excited when I see a ginger model in a catalogue or ad

I guess it's because my strawberry-blonde hair sometimes makes me feel different. Not in a good or bad way, it's just that I stand out. In a world of brunettes and blondes, my freckles and red hair can really bring me attention. People tend to comment on my hair before anything else... some people even ask to touch it, as if it's going to feel different than their golden locks. And I'll never forget the outright stares that I got while traveling in the Middle East. In their defense, my rosy complexion, hair & freckles, and blue eyes are extremely foreign to their olive-skinned population. 

But, I don't really let the fact that I look different bring me down. I find it funny now, and I enjoy the fact that my small outbursts of energy can be attributed to being a fiery redhead. And the fun part is that being part of this dying population connects me to other redhead girls out there. Recently I've loved seeing redhead girls in ads. J. Crew has a fabulous redhead model, and I love the Vineyard Vines model whose hair color is almost identical to mine! Seeing that rose-tinted skin and those freckles makes me proud to be different.


J. Crew

Vineyard Vines

I can't forget the fabulous
Molly Ringwald

Everyone has a quirk or characteristic that helps them stand out. Mine is certainly my hair. I used to hate that it was so different, and sometimes I still think it's weird that people can be so intrigued by the fact that I have strawberry in my blonde. But I have grown to enjoy the fact that it is truly a part of who I am. It explains where I've come from and gives me a chance to automatically stand out- without saying a word.

and I can really appreciate that.

what sets you apart?

28 October 2013

[Non] Greek Women

going into college, I was looking forward to philanthropic and sisterhood aspects of greek life

Then life took me for a turn (little did I know it was the first of many). I went through the intense recruitment process of no sleep, lots of talking, and uncomfortable shoes. I talked about myself, my interests, and what I wanted out of this "sisterhood". But, when it came down to it, I just didn't feel a connection to any particular house or group of girls. Looking back, I think that I knew I wanted to drop early into the second round, but I just couldn't. So I stuck it out until the end.

It seemed like I'd heard so much about how so many of Fortune 500's top CEOs were greek. Or how most of the powerful women in America were greek. I was scared that I wouldn't be successful if I dropped. I worried that I'd lose jobs over not being greek. And, on a more short-term scale, I was terrified that I'd never find my niche here at Purdue if I didn't join a sorority. 

But none of that matters if I don't have time to get my work done because of functions or if I really feel like I don't belong with these girls who are supposed to be my "sisters"
so I dropped...


I made jokes with one of my friends about how I was a "social reject" and I enjoyed the fact that I didn't have to endure any more 12+ hour days of talking about myself. But inside I honestly felt a little bit lost. As anyone does when their path is stripped from their feet, I needed a chance to figure out where college was going to take me from there. So I did what any bibliophile does, and I picked up a book about the one and only Kate Middleton- she didn't go greek and now she's a princess. Surely it can't be that bad! 

After this realization, I began to make a mental list of successful people- or people who I look up to- that didn't go greek:
Anna Wintour
Hermione Granger
Angela Ahrendts

and there are many more

Of course, I respect all of the girls who found their place and whole-heartedly threw themselves into the sorority world. Having so many good girlfriends to live with and experience life with is something that I sometimes envy. Looking back, I'm glad that I went through recruitment but I'm also happy with my decision to drop. I know that I would have been overwhelmed with school and functions. Plus, here in the Big 10 greek life isn't as...respectable as I'd like to think. I want to be defined by my successes and personality, not some letters. Being a part of a sorority might have given me leadership experience or chances to work with other people and philanthropies, but it's certainly not the only way. 

Plus, throwing yourself into what you're passionate about is going to provide more success than a predetermined path that everyone else has followed. This semester has been such a learning and reflecting time for me, and the lack of direction is driving me crazy. But someday, hopefully I'll get back on track- 

even if I'm paving my own path.

27 October 2013

Warmth of NYC

lately I've been longing for the city

The lights. The late nights. Even the cold. I blame this all on the beautiful pictures that show up on my Instagram feeds daily. Add in my Today Show obsession, the fact that I'm watching SatC from season 1, and all of the awesome videos I've come across, and it's practically like New York is calling my name. 

Earlier this week, my English TA informed us that our next project would be a documentary. I was worried because of my lack of expertise with film or anything like it. But, leave it to the internet and blogosphere to lead me to some of the coolest, shortest documentaries I've ever seen. Not only that, but of course they take place in New York City. Small Empires is a fantastic series that I've run across, but most of the videos take some planning, as they're around 20 minutes long. But then I came across the perfect, 3 minute video of a man making connections in NYC... and not how you'd expect.

These work this man is doing doesn't seem like a big, outrageous idea. He's simply taking pictures... but he's bringing people together, too. He's bringing warmth to the Concrete Jungle and making people think in a way that they normally wouldn't. It's a quick watch- only 3 minutes. But it's 3 minutes that makes you re-think your busy schedules and the people that you walk past every day. Or at least it did for me, since I seem to see a new face each time I step outside. 

Not only did it get me thinking, 
but it got me wanting to go explore NYC

oh, and Humans of New York is definitely on my Christmas Wish List.

26 October 2013

Coach Borough

As someone who really loves the whole idea  of NYC, the Borough bag/ collection by Coach is to die for (but I am well aware that reality is not idealistic). I love a good, structured bag that can work as an over-the-shoulder every-day bag as well as a sophisticated accessory. Unfortunately, the purchase of a bag like this isn't really practical for my life right now... A college girl doesn't really need a bag like this. And if I did, it'd get ruined from wear and tear. 

But in my fantasy world as my own version of Blair Waldorf, aka Queen of NYC, I'd definitely rock this bag.


In all reality, I'm on a search for the perfect clutch that isn't really a clutch... 
and I might have found it in the Coach Legacy collection. 

I also may or may not (read: definitely am) be obsessed with 
all things oxblood this fall

25 October 2013

[Excruciating] Vulnerability

vulnerability is something that I really struggle with

I've known this for a while, but I never really knew. Only recently have I realized how much I close myself off; I have an image of who my "perfect self" would be, and I find it difficult to accept anything less than that. I had always blamed this on my personality or other factors, but it was time that I understand that this is something that could be fixed. My lack of vulnerability constantly weighed me down and I can't understand why it's taken me so long to buckle down and figure out how to fix this... tragic flaw.


Conveniently, three days after I had a little breakdown- in which I realized how little I allow myself to be truly vulnerable with, well, anyone- I found a TED Talk by Brene Brown and felt this connection with her. She spent almost 10 years of her life studying the difference between those who are vulnerable and those who are not. Of course, she found that those who take the plunge, who are open to being imperfect or wrong, and who embrace who they really are were happier. They were loved and they loved whole-heartedly. And from that vulnerable state, these people embraced every aspect of themselves to create in life rather than just live.

But the thought of being vulnerable is painful... Excruciating actually.

So I decided to look at what positives would come from being vulnerable, rather than the uncomfortable negatives. And I realized that when I let people see me (instead of pretending-to-be-perfect me) I was more genuine. People seem more interested in what I have to say and what's on my mind. And while I hate admitting my flaws... or bringing up my hobbies that I may be embarrassed about- like the fact that I'm a college kid but would rather spend a Friday night in with my friends and a chick flick than go out- I'm connecting with people who understand me and who appreciate me even with these quirks. 

And, even though I still don't have the courage to go talk to the cute guy in my chemistry.. and bio.. and pharmacy lecture (same major, how about that?), I can definitely tell a change in my relationships already. Not only that, but there is a change in my mood. Instead of giving off this "I don't care because I don't have feelings" facade, I'm trying to notice and care about others in the way that I've been cared for. I've been able to go out of my way to check on friends. Simple words of encouragement and "thinking of you" texts are so simple, but were so not something I really thought about before. 

Being vulnerable with others has helped me be vulnerable with myself, too. I've found that it's important to accept my flaws and understand why other people care for me. What is it that makes them want to spend time with me? What do they love about me, and how can I love that about myself, too? There is so much self-hate, and striving for some unreachable "perfect" person no-doubt adds to that.  

"[We] are wired for struggle but worthy of love and acceptance"

The thought of being courageous (from the latin root, whole-hearted) instills in me fear. I've always been the reserved, bottle-it-up type of person. I'm never cold or harsh, it just isn't in my nature to be vulnerable and open up. Because, really, everyone has their own problems so who needs mine? Okay I'm joking. But this whole thing is weird, foreign, uncomfortable. But that doesn't mean that it isn't good or that it won't help me to embrace me. 

maybe it isn't all that excruciating, anyways 

24 October 2013

Being Inspired

"the success of one person can very well inspire success in another"

I've found this to be so true in my life. 
The successes of my friends and family members definitely inspire me to try out new hobbies. I was friends with more than half of the cross country team in high school, so I took up running in my free time. My sister danced, so I took up dance classes. My parents are successful in every aspect of their lives, and they inspire me every day, every second. Even though I've been inspired to try new activities before, nothing has really stuck like blogging has. 

A year ago, I came across CollegePrepster, or Carly. For a couple of months I just read her blog every day. I loved the way that she helped me feel empowered. I loved hearing about her life, her college tips, and just everything! One day, I was just feeling inspired, so I started my own blog. Writing was always something that I loved, but it was something I did in private. It was an art that I kept to myself, like most of the things that I enjoy in life. Never once had I thought about sharing my writing with others, because I never thought anyone would care.  But, on that day of inspiration, I bit the bullet and pressed "Publish" on my first blog post. 


Enough of my sob-story though, that's not what I want to convey today. 
I want to help to inspire others, like Carly, and so many other women have done for me. Whether it's on Twitter, Instagram, their Blogs, or Pinterest, I am inspired every day by the thoughts and images sent my way via these girls. If you're looking for another blog to follow, or just some beautiful Instagram pictures, I highly suggest that you hop over to some of my daily favorites:

via College Prepster

What absolutely isn't fair, in any world, is that these women have all become great friends! They're like the Power-Quad of the preppy blog world. Each has their own flair and their own quirks. But, they all have a way of inspiring me (and their multitude of subscribers) to be the best they can be. At a range of ages and career positions, these girls are relatable for almost anyone. I credit to them my ability to confidently uncover one of my most private hobbies- writing. And through their sense of style and daily posts, I've been able to develop myself into a more confident young woman than I would have ever envisioned for myself. 

go check out their blogs and other forms of social networking
I'm positive that you'll get something great from it- 
each & every day.

p.s. they frequently all communicate on Twitter... and I die every time 

23 October 2013

Exploring West Lafayette: Greyhouse

Even though West Lafayette is in the middle of nowhere, 
we have a few areas that grace us college kids with a feeling of being somewhere 
far, far away from the farm that surrounds us.

Greyhouse is one of those places. 
It's the kind of place that you walk into and just feel happy. The staff is so kind, always happy, and generally accommodating. The first time I went, my roommate and I just randomly went in to see what the fuss was about... we left raving about how cute it was! Not only was it a change from the daily Starbucks or our variety of Keurig choices, but there was live music and just genuinely nice people! 

plus, the crepes, pastries, and gelato took me back to France... even if just for a moment

Unfortunately (or maybe it's a good thing) for me, it's not exactly in the most convenient location. It's about as far away from my dorm as I can get. Even if I bought the largest possible drink, it'd surely be gone by the time I walked the mile back to my dorm. Most upperclassmen talk about how it's a great place to go study, and I'd love to make it there at some point... but that walk just doesn't sound very pleasant when I have a huge pile of work to do and I'm really just trying to get motivated to start. 
-mental goal to get myself motivated and outside of my room to work-


I'm really working on taking the time to explore West Lafayette and take in all that it has to offer. Especially since I'm unsure on the exact amount of time I'll be spending here, I want to soak it in- experience it all! Luckily I have a great set of friends to go explore and make memories with! 

I'm not sure what's next on my list, 
but I plan to make good use of my free time while I'm here :)

22 October 2013

Bless the Broken Road

For some reason, society seems to think that at the ripe old age of 18
 I'm supposed to know what it is that I want to do with my life. 

I know that I'm not alone in finding this ridiculous and terrifying. 
But, I have always been the one who "had it all together". I always plan. Whether it's mapping my study schedule down to the minute or take notes for every phone or in-person conversation that I have, I like to be organized and in control. I've recently realized that life doesn't quite work that way- God doesn't quite work that way. And so, not only am I struggling with not having any plan whatsoever of what the next 4-6 years of my life is going to look like, but I am completely out of my comfort zone when it comes to where life is leading me.

My family has been blessed with intelligence and good fortune. 
Lucrative careers. Great vacations. Never really wondering if we're going to have a meal when it comes to be dinner time. I'm surrounded by a supportive, loving family who expects great things from me and who fully understands what I am capable of in life. And I love the feeling of making them- all of them- proud. I like knowing that my aunts and uncles think highly of me as a role model for my younger cousins. I like that my family is willing to help me be successful. And, when it all comes down to it, I want their approval

But then life took me on this journey. 

Lately, everything has flipped. 
My planned out, comfortable life has become me floating in space (But really, I identified with Gravity more than I should have) with no real idea if I'm going to make it out alive... Okay maybe that's a bit dramatic. But my "trail" has definitely taken a divergent path, and I've got to figure out if and how I'm supposed to follow this one or get back to where I'm comfortable. And, at first I was terrified about this possible change of direction. But, the more I think about it, the more I'm loving it.

I don't have much longer to "explore" how I want to spend my life. Once I get a degree, I'm pretty much stuck in that career for the rest of my life. Once again, that terrifying thought that I might mess up creeps into my mind. But this divergent path, this exploration, has given me the chance to check and make sure that I end up where I'm happy. Sure, there are costs and benefits to weigh. The lives I'd be living would be utterly, completely different on almost every level. I don't worry about my success or happiness, because I trust that I will be happy in whatever I chose- and happiness is the root of success. 

So I've come to embrace this time of unplanned chaos.

Because this winding, crazy, unpredictable part of my life is going to be something that I tell my kids about. It's going to be a source of advice, no matter where I end up. It's part of the story of my life. And when I have a family and kids of my own, I am confident that this wobble of mine will something that I'll thank the Good Lord for putting me through.

Because, "life begins at the end of your comfort zone"... right?

21 October 2013

College Study Tips

It's that time: Midterms.

On the plus side, the weather is changing. Football is in full swing and basketball pre-season is quickly approaching. Routines have been established and study groups are formed. And while there are so many other fun things I could be doing, I'm in my room or at the library studying. I'm not alone- Midterms have hit Purdue's campus and are on the horizon for many other schools. 

I managed to get through the first round of exams with flying colors... or at least I think so. I stayed focused, organized, and tried out all the different ways in which I could learn the material. Practice exams, flash cards, the usual. But, exams in higher education are nothing like the ones I took in high school. The require days of preparation instead of an hour the night before. I've found that professors really do want you to succeed, and they make resources available as long as you take advantage of them. 

For each person, studying and learning is all about trial and error. I need repetition and to hear things be explained, whether by a video, professor, or myself. I have friends who can read things once and have it down. I also know people who can go to lecture once and never think about it again, then go ace the test. Not fair. Regardless of how you learn, there are a few resources that I think everyone can benefit from that I credit my good scores to.


1. Re-Watching Lectures
Like I said, I learn from repetition and audible information. But, I've found this to be so beneficial for studying. Firstly, it gives me a chance to hear what my professor has to say again, since most of my exams are lecture-based. More than that, though, I've found that when I go to lecture I'm learning things for the first time and spend most of my energy getting down the notes and trying to wrap my head around big ideas. When it comes to exam time, I get the big ideas. Hearing the details again makes sure that I haven't missed any examples and helps me make connections to the main ideas. I get a much more holistic view of the material when I go over it again.

2. Use Your TAs
At Purdue, we have this thing called Supplemental Instruction. It's like free tutoring that I relate to an optional recitation. It's taught by students who have taken the class before and know what the exams and stress of the class is like. I get more from these sessions than I do recitation or going to office hours, because I often don't know that I need help unless it's brought up to me and I realize that I don't know it at all. The group setting and the fact that we can bounce ideas and questions off one another is extremely helpful and acts as a glorified study group... and we actually stay on-topic since there is an instructor there.

3. Look at the Objectives
All of my classes have a set of learning objectives for each section or exam. Its possible that you were given them all at once in the syllabus or that they're online somewhere. Wherever they are, find them. Professors are basically handing out what they plan to put on the exam. Go over them and make sure you know what's going on. Any blanks you have can be taken to office hours or a TA to be answered.


The most important aspects of studying isn't the actual studying,
 but how the task is handled. 

It's been proven that cramming doesn't work, but I've found that looking at the material anytime after 6 hours before my exam is stressful and harmful to my confidence. I begin preparing for any given exam one week before the date- that gives me a good 6 days to make sure that I have everything covered that needs to be. But it also gives me a manageable time frame that keeps me from stressing or feeling unprepared. The day of the exam I do everything in my power to not look at my material. At that point, I had better know what I need to know. Trying to force more ideas into my head is only good at putting doubts into my head. 

When it comes to my studying schedule, I try not to do more than an hour or two a day. I lay out what I need to get done and stick to that schedule. When it comes to preparing and making sure that I know the material, it's important to me that I don't overdo anything. If I work ahead or do 4 hours one day so I can take a day off, I'll burn myself out and make it harder on myself to actually grasp the material. I take frequent study breaks- paint my nails, take a 30 minute nap, or go for a run- to clear my mind before I get back to it. 

In the end, this relaxed approach has helped me more than anything else and I hope that it can help you, too! As exams approach, be proactive and get things done. You'll thank yourself when you actually get sleep the night before while everyone else is up cramming. 

Bonne Chance! 

20 October 2013

[Fall Trends] Boots & How to Wear Them

Riding Boots. Bean Boots. Rain Boots. Booties.

via Instagram

I love my boots just as much as the next girl, but it can certainly get overwhelming when it comes to styling the boots. Riding Boots aren't too hard- just tuck in some skinnies or leggings and you're ready to go. Rain Boots are, well, for the rain. I find that booties and Bean Boots are the hardest to style. Because of their height, they've got to look just right or they can make your legs look short and stubby. 

But, when done right, they can make any outfit look fashion-forward.

Right now, the style for booties is a low, chunky heel. Designers have gone crazy when it comes to making their boots stand out... but I think that the greatest boots are the ones that are versatile stylish. For once in my life, I was a little ahead of the curve when I bought my first pair last fall. They were $30 at Kohls and I've gotten so many complements on them! Of course, with increased demand, prices have increased. My favorite pair that I've seen are from Anthropologie and mix black and brown Can you say "Goes with anything?" Additionally, so many more styles and looks have been introduced.

The lower heels, buckles, and more masculine looks form a bootie-meets-combat boot look. Since I'm not edgy enough for combats (and I never really wanted a pair anyways...) I like this little twist on cute booties to make them wearable in both formal and causal settings. But then that brings up the question: 
How do I wear these?

Well, they're obviously very stylish and flattering with skinnies or leggings and socks. One line from hip to feet creates and elongated look that is flattering on everyone. But, the trends now are to wear booties with skirts, or cropped boyfriend jeans. Chunky socks or tights finish off the look and keep you warm. But the visible skin can be absolutely detrimental to your appearance when it comes to height. Add into this dilemma the return of longer skirts (which I'm still not sure how I feel about) and it's quite possible to end up looking like a gnome instead of a stylish, confident young woman. 

The fix? Trying on lots and lots of boots. High Heels. Low Heels. Color- Blocking versus Solids. There's no one style that works because boots are going to look different on everyone. Wear skinnies and take a skirt or dress to try them with. Be especially conscious of where the boot is hitting your leg- you've got to find that magic height that lines up with your leg. 
 also, make sure they're comfortable!

While I was a little ahead of the curve on my booties, I am definitely way behind when it comes to my lack of LL Bean Boots, affectionately called just Bean Boots or Duck Boots. I discovered these when Carly from College Prepster and Sarah Vickers featured them on their blogs and other social media outlets. I didn't initially think they were cute, but they've grown on me. And their practicality certainly has! For trekking through the snow on campus or just having good, durable boots for fall activities, these are the way to go! They're available in different colors and styles... including tan/navy. Eeep! I think they're calling my name! 

Fall is the time for boots, socks, and tights. I love the versatility of fall pieces- a skirt with booties can be dressed up or down depending on the top. Riding Boots can make a summery dress more fall appropriate. Without boots, fall just wouldn't be fall. And the best part is that they transition wonderfully into winter, which needs anything (including cute boots) to make more bearable. 

How are you styling your boots this fall?

18 October 2013

Paris Fashion Week

Rounding out my little mini-series, it's only natural to end with the big shabang.

Paris Fashion week is one of the most recognized around the world. It's home to the legends of high fashion: Chanel, Louis V, you get the gist. And this year was no different. With Marc Jacobs leaving Louis Vuitton and Chanel targeting a new, younger audience, this fashion week attracted attention as expected. Overall, the shows seemed to be very black. This theme helped lines like APC, which featured more traditionally spring colors and styles, actually stand out rather than blend in. All of the lines seemed to have one general consensus: spring will be about feminine-meets-masculine. Blazers and loose-fitting styles were prevalent, as were very small low-maintenance accessories... well except for the LV girls and their giant headdresses. 


APC was my favorite line that I saw. The looks were feminine, but wearable. The colors were subdued enough not to seem tacky, but colorful enough to not be drab. I liked the pant-suit/jump-suit looks, although I could never pull them off... curse my long torso. And the small, dainty patterns are exactly what I think of when I think Paris in the Spring.

Louis Vuitton
Of course Louis was going to be a big deal- Marc Jacobs' contract was up and he was rumored to leave the clothing house to focus on his own brand. The show reminisced his past years at LV, featuring a theatrical set showcasing props used in his shows: the elevators, the clock tower, the fountain, and the carousel. The show was mainly black- the only color variation came from the jeans worn on the models. While it was interesting and intriguing, and a bit sad... like a funeral, I didn't like the fashion. Mainly because I didn't really get much from it. I'm sure it was much more impressive in person, but the video feel just gave me black, black, and more black. There was no ooohs or ahhhs from this side of the computer screen.
I may be a bit biased though, considering my favorite color is navy.

Chanel was the epitome of fashion as art. Like, really. The show was set up like an art gallery, with Karl Lagerfeld's own drawings and artistic designs created on a massive scale. Lagerfeld also got a bit artistic with his looks for 2014, too. The big patterns and bright colors demonstrate a stark difference from the usual business-y colors- maybe a change in target consumer? The looks mixed that of schoolgirl and office-woman. Pencil skirt, meet the crop top. Of course, there were the typical Chanel looks. The black and white dresses. The shimmery coats. And a new spin on Coco's LBD: the midriff-cutout LBD. 
The art was taken beyond the clothing, to the makeup of the models. The modern-art look was painted on as eyeshadow and liner. Blocks of color and swooping eyeshadow made for this runway show to demonstrate a walking art showcase.

 Of course, the fashion is always fun to keep up with and the other weeks provided even more inspiration for this coming spring and summer. From what I saw in New York, London, and Paris combined, I'd say this spring is going to continue the boyish-feminine balancing act that is so prevalent this fall. Pastels and prints are definitely in. And, unless you're Louis Vuitton, I'd stray away from black. The accessories are small: clutches, chain-strap bags, or no bag at all. The jewelry is simple yet statement-making. From what I can see, it's all about picking one prevalent piece. This upcoming season isn't welcoming to layered jewelry pieces... but that's been on its way out. In the way of shoes, chunky heels are the way to go, so thank goodness they're more comfortable! 

All in all, I think the trends are going to be more comfortable and very flattering to the average body type (as opposed to the -5 models).And, personal style is always more important than being trendy. To update your wardrobe, pick up a clutch or bag and maybe some heels. I'm sure the skirts, dresses, and statement jewelry you already have can be transitioned to spring beautifully! 

And the best part? 
The big prints make wearing Lillys not only a personal-style statement,
but also trendy! 

17 October 2013

My Daily Cuppa'

it's not shocking to say that my body now runs on caffeine.

My days usually begin, continue, and end with a hot drink. From plain coffee to green tea to fancy Starbuck drinks, as long as it tastes good and keeps me awake, I'm sold! From what I can tell, this habit is one that will carry on for a very, very long time (my grandma still drinks coffee in the mornings) so I've been doing what I can to spice things up. I'm all for trying new things and having variety in my drinks, but I will always love my Caramel Macchiato... which has had to become skinny with the frequency with which it is bought. 

Unfortunately, the Caramel Macchiato isn't an option in this fun Levo League article.
Since the last time I looked at it, I've fallen in love with Chai Tea Lattes and have begun to carry around my "mom bag" with everything under the moon... except for band-aids, which I'll have to add now :) 
add that to my to-do list.


When coffee isn't what I'm wanting, I get my caffeine from tea.
Green, black, sweet, with honey and lemon. You name it! I love Tazo Zen and this Organic Chocolate tea that I found at TJ Maxx... I know, random. And, remember when I said I end my days with a hot drink? 

Honey Chamomile. 
No caffeine and such a soothing drink to enjoy with a good book. 

What's keeps you going?

16 October 2013

Wish List Wednesday

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted a wish list.

I recently had my birthday, so this list isn't extensive. 
In fact, there are only three things that 
I really wish/ need to have in my possession.

I've been loving heels lately... these are cute, would go with almost anything,
and won't add too much to my 5'6" height

this should go to the top of my list: I don't own a 
good curling iron and have really been wanting to curl my hair lately

 an effort to educate women to be graceful and ladylike in a world 
where few role-models exist for that kind of behavior

what's on your wish list?

Inspiring Women: Sandra Bullock

Sandy is my such an inspiration.

She's been a favorite actress of mine since The Proposal. And then the Blind Side. Recently she's been mia, so when I heard about her in Gravity I knew that it was a must-see. Not only because she's such a believable actress, but because I love her as a person, too! 


October 2013, Vogue Magazine
Sandra was recently interviewed for the cover article in Vogue. I already knew that I loved her, but this article solidified my woman-crush. After her shocking divorce (who would cheat on Sandra Bullock?! ) her life became much quieter. She now lives in Texas with her son, Louis, owns a restaurant, and enjoys her freedom from the paparazzi. The fact that such a powerful, well-known woman finds peace in solitude is inspirational in it's own right. Add to that her genuine desire to make sure that she is treated like a normal person and that her son grows up out of the spotlight, she becomes someone who I respect and can learn so much from.

Too often I strive to be noticed.
Hopefully not in an obnoxious way, though. I simply want to be credited for my work and recognized. I've come to realize that this desire to be noticed- to not fade away- for the things I'm passionate about ends up backfiring. Instead, I'm seen for my "entitled" attitude rather than my accomplishments. And, if I'm being honest, this something I really struggle with. I can't seem to strike that balance between graceful acceptance of praise and being completely and utterly... forgotten. 

But then there's Sandra. She has the power to live in the spotlight. She could require people to bow at her feet and they would. But what she chose to do was to move away from the lights and to work more on building relationships with real, good-hearted people. She owns a bistro, she takes her son to birthday parties, she's anything but a big, flashy movie star. And, unlike many high-life movie stars, she won't fade into oblivion. I'm almost certain she'll be remembered, and she'll be remembered as someone more than the face on the screen. Sandra puts an effort into the live of others, and that's exactly why she's such an inspiration.

It only takes reading a few articles about her to get the gist: she knows where she's going and how she wants to live her life. Taking a tip from her, I've got to worry less about praise and more about relationships. I need to care less about what people think. Because, in the end, it's the people and our passions that we invest in that make for a memorable life. 

And, like Sandra, 
I want to be remembered for happily fading into my own happy place.

15 October 2013

Travel [with Kate Spade]

Travel with Kate Spade? Coach? 
I'm in.


I knew that these online City Guides existed, but I never took the time to sit down and look at what they have to offer... until now! Coach has only just introduced their New York Stories series, that focuses more on style for travel. The Kate Spade blog has an incredible section of City Guides from downtown Chicago to Shanghai. 

...as if planning a trip wasn't enough fun
the Kate Spade guides are impossibly cute and easy to use. Unlike the overwhelming travel sites that plague the internet, these guides make it simple to plan based on location. Places to eat, itinerary of the must see places, and a list of 10 facts to get you started. The blog prides itself on making guides for 48 hours, and that's the extent to which they make each of their guides.

No matter the length of time in a city, this fun guide is a perfect way to start your travel search. It provides ideas and attractions that will no-doubt lead to many more options with the use of Google. They help distinguish the "must sees" from the must sees. Especially if you've only got 48 hours in a city, making sure you see the best that there is to offer is key! 

But, what do I wear?
Coach has you covered... for New York, at least. Their New York Stories give a nice 1 minute look at what's relevant. More than that, the videos can be used as inspiration for outfits. Of course, your entire suitcase doesn't need to be packed with Coach products. But the worst thing (in my opinion) is to look like a tourist. To avoid that, videos like this give simple, travel friendly outfits that can usually be pulled together from staples already found in the closet. 
my tip on packing? just remember that there's shopping to be done once you've arrived. you don't have to have everything before... although I may need to begin taking my own advice. oops.


Whether you're planning a getaway, or just need a quick mental getaway, the internet is your friend! I've gotten into the habit of checking out a new city on the Kate Spade blog in between studying. LEM and I are currently planning a little 48 hour trip for our winter break, so 

I bet you can guess where I'll be looking first

14 October 2013

Take It Easy, Pick Up a Book

To me, chilly weather is the perfect weather for a cup of tea and a big stack
of books and magazines.

There's just something about the crisp air and a good story that's so inviting... making it a reasonable excuse for not doing homework helps, too. As always, I have a long list of books to read that grows faster than I can catch up. I currently have 32 books on my "To-Read" list and a growing stack of magazines, too! Being the list-maker that I am, I naturally have narrowed down my Fall Reading to a smaller, more manageable list. Making small goals like this gives me a perfect outside-of-homework activity that I can do between studying or classes and not feel like I'm being neglectful to my studies. Reading is good for you! It's also great motivation to study for however long and reward myself with a chapter... or 5 (it's a problem). If you're looking a for a good study-break read or just a fun book, here's my current narrowed-down list of books to read:

The Devil Wears Prada
Lauren Weisberger
Fun chick-lit that everyone knows or has heard of. I bought the book over the summer and finally have gotten around to reading it. As always, the book is better than the movie: so much more depth and emotion. And the in-book Miranda is much scarier.

Suite Francaise
Irene Nemirovsky
I ran across this book on one of my many hour-long trips to Barnes and Noble. I read the back, carried it around with me all around the store, walked towards the cashier, and realized that I didn't need to buy another book since I'm already reading two. But, the next book I buy will be this book about WWII and Nazi Occupation in Europe.

Malcolm Gladwell
The questions brought up in this book are so intriguing.  I love books that make me think. This one considers stereotypes and how where you come from can determine your levels of success... crazy right? It looks like a relatively quick read, but I'm looking forward to it.

None of these books are really... fall-ish. When I think of fall books, for some reason I think of deep, intellectual reading. For some true fall reading, pick up some of the best Russian Literature of all time. Lolita and Anna Karenena are two that are on my reading list. Goldfinch has been getting rated the "Top Fall Reading Book" on Amazon and Goodreads... I don't really know what it's about but I've added it to my list for future enjoyment.

Whatever you're reading, grab a blanket & your favorite warm drink...
Take is Easy

13 October 2013

Long Weekend Makes for Good Sales

There are multiple reasons to enjoy Columbus Day,
and it's possible that the Sales may be the number one reason! 
Here's what I'm loving:

50% off at J. Crew Factory
The entire store- including new arrivals- is 50% off! 

What I'd Get: this awesome waffle sweater! 
I loved the one at the J. Crew store, so it's perfect that the Factory has a similar style. Even more perfect? It's over half the price. Add this weekend's 50% and it's a steal! 

"Halfsies" at the Loft
Select styles 50% off!

What I'd Get: this jeweled sweater!
It's J. Crew-esque style plus the discount makes this sweater oh so sweet. It's perfect for dressing up or down, with a fun skirt, jeans, or printed pants! Pus, the short sleeves make it perfect for layering under jackets on chilly days! 

J. Crew 25% off every purchase!
need I say more?

Vineyard Vines Additional 30% off
sale items + some! 

Free Shipping at Sperry
check out the boots for this fall and winter! 

If you've got some extra spending money (birthday money, in my case), need something specific, or just want to knock out Christmas Shopping (it's ever too early, right?), this weekend is a great time!

Happy Shopping!