"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
Audrey Hepburn

Friday, December 31, 2010

The best laid plans

Bonsoir beautifuls! I hope you enjoy the last day of 2010. I can't believe how fast this year went. It feels like we were ringing in the new decade just a few weeks ago. 2010 was a wonderful year for me, filled with a lot of exiting changes, but I plan for 2011 to be even better! I've decided to go out with a bang in 2010 and get a semi-radical hair cut tomorrow. Ok, maybe not even close to radical but anything more than a trim always seems radical to me. If it turns out the way I want it to, then I will have plenty of NYE photos to show you. If it goes badly, well then, I guess I will just take headless outfit photos for awhile :)

So pretty much everyone and their mother has been posting year-end wrap ups and plans for the new year. I'm not usually one to just jump on a bandwagon, but I am kind of a fan of this bandwagon so I thought I would hope on board before it was too late! I truly do feel very good about what I accomplished this year and while I usually don't believe in dwelling on the past, I think it is ok to occasionally reflect and be excited at what the future has to offer at the same time. 2010 was a year of self-discovery and learning. Life has thrown me a few curveballs, but I can honestly say I am very happy with how things have worked at and can't wait to see what will happen next!

Highlights of 2010, in order of occurrence:
1. Gaining a pseudo sister
In January my sweet little cousin moved in with us and it was an adjustment for all of us at first, but I  absolutely love this girl! She has become the sister I never had (and always wanted). We have a blast together doing all kinds of girly stuff I could never do with my brother, and I will miss her oodles when I move out! 
2. Watching Matt pitch at LSU
Watching my little brother pitch is one of my all-time favorite things to do! I am his second (mom is definitely first) biggest fan and this February we all got to see him pitch in front of 7,000 people! It was one of the coolest days ever and he did an amazing job. I am incredibly proud of him all the time, but seeing him on a big screen, performing in front of thousands was just unbelievably wonderful. 
3. Getting my camera and finding a new passion
For my birthday in March, my mom gave me the greatest gift ever: my Nikon D5000! I am completely obsessed with it and it has created a burning passion for photography. I still have SO much to learn, but it has been a fun process experimenting, and getting to do some fun shoots for friends! 
4. Falling in love with my college
Yes, I know this should have happened long before my senior year of college but it really didn't. But it doesn't matter  when it happened, because I was totally head-over-heels in love with Elon by the end. And it is a direct result of the incredible bunch of people above. They will forever be my best friends and they made my senior year unmatchably wonderful! 
5. Graduating college
In May, everything I had worked for academically finally came to fruition as I got to walk across the stage, shake President Lambert's hand and receive my diploma! And I got to do it with my wonderfully supportive family in the audience. The only thing that could have made the day better was if little brother was there, but I know he would have been there if he could.
6. BFF getting married
In June I had the pleasure of standing next to my best friend as she made vows to a wonderful guy who could not be more perfect for her. They had been together since we were 16 and their big day was completely beautiful and I was so blessed to be a part of it. 
7. Starting my first real job
Horrible, horrible picture of me, but it was my first-day-of-work picture that mom insisted on. We have photos just like this from pretty much every year of school, so this major step seemed like it needed to be documented. I have absolutely loved every minute of my 6 months of working for USA Today, and I will love my last 6 months as well. We will see what happens after June.  
8. Spending a week at the beach with great friends
In August little brother and I rented a house on the beach for the week and had an AMAZING time with our friends.  It was one of the best vacations of my life and I made wonderful memories that will forever make me smile. 
9. Starting this blog
My first outfit photo :) I never would have thought that I would be brave enough to start a fashion blog, or to show pictures of my outfits to people I don't know, or that anyone would even want to see them! Most importantly, I never would have known how much joy blogging could bring me. It truly is something I look forward to doing every day, and I have all of you lovelies to thank for that. Even though I have never met any of you (although I hope to change that in 2011), I feel as if I have made some great blogging friends and I hope to strengthen those friendships in the coming year! 
10. Beautiful Stella was born
My current love of life is this little bundle of  joy. I hope that I see a loooot of her in 2011, because I love her so, and her parents (my cousins) are pretty awesome, too!  
11. Acceptance of where my life is and, more importantly, where it isn't quite yet: There isn't a photo for this as it is really more a state of mind. I tend to spend a little too much time focusing on what I don't have, and that is something I wanted to stop in 2010. I would say it has been pretty successful, seeing as I am very happy with my life even if I didn't accomplish every one of my goals this year. I am now able to be comfortable with where I am and accept that everything else will come together in due time.

And of course this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning a sampling of things I hope to accomplish this coming year. If it goes according to plan, 2011 will once again be a year of great change and excitement.

Resolutions for 2011:
1. Work out 4 times a week- Ok, this is totally cliche, but i really do intend to make good on this promise. I have missed having a regular routine and schedule for my exercise since I graduated and stopped swimming.
2. Be 10 pounds thinner by June- Goes along with the first one, but I know I will be interviewing again for my next job and it can't hurt to be a tiny bit skinnier, right!
3. Have 200+ followers before 2012- I am 100% thankful for where my blog is right now after 4 months, but also very excited about the improvements I can make over the next year!
4. Blog quality content daily- Currently I tend to blog every other day, or every 3 days when I am super busy, but I am looking forward to getting to a point when I am blogging daily.
5. Land a permanent job that I love- The job I currently have is a one year fellowship, so my time is up in June. My goal is to have something else lined up that I love just as much after June. Cross your fingers for me, please?
6. Move into my own place in DC with Sam- I am officially moving out of my mom's house in the beginning of February, but I'm not moving far. My friend Sam and I are temporarily staying in my grandmother's old condo until we both have stable jobs and can afford a fabulous place in DC. Can't wait for that day!!
7. Cook twice a week- I really love cooking, but don't do nearly enough of it. I am determined to try out many new recipes this year and experiment more in the kitchen.
8. Do a major closet cleanse- I have waaaay too many items hanging in my closet that I don't ever wear anymore and I think it is time for a major clothing overhaul.
9. Find my next great love- Ok, so I know this one can't really be planned but a girl can hope, right! My love life has been absolutely dead for two years and I would really love to not be able to say that next year.
10. I don't have a number 10, but it just seemed weird to end the list on 9 soooo pretend that I have a number 10, please?

Ok, my loves I wish you all a blessedly happy New Years Eve and can't wait to see photos from your festivities! I will be ringing in the New Year with those same awesome people I went to the beach with and I am definitely looking forward to it. What plans do you girls have? Keeping it low key, or going all out for 2011?


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fashion show

Hello divas! I hope you didn't find it too terribly difficult to make your way back to work this morning after such a lovely break. Ok, confession: I definitely did! Isn't waking up early after four luxurious days of sleeping in just the pits? So are any of you lovely ladies snowed in from this snowstorm?? We (unfortunately) only got a fraction of the powder they said we would be hit with, although it was enough to give everything that nice white dusting look that I do adore. And we even got a light flurry on Christmas, so I was granted my wish of a white Christmas! No complaints here :)

For as long as I can remember, one of my favorite things to do on Christmas day after the hullabaloo of present opening is complete is to model all of my new clothes for my family! My mom always insists on it anyways so that she can judge her purchasing skills, but I admit she doesn't have to do any arm-twisting to get me to participate! What can I say- I have always harbored a penchant for showing off my clothes. This year, however, something was slightly different.Yes, beautiful clothes were still unwrapped and my mother rhetorically asked if I would model them for her. But this year the clothes just seemed to be begging to be shown to another audience as well. Can you guess who that audience might have been my smart little lovelies?? Yes, it was you! The whole time I was showing my family (because yes, my mom does drag my poor brother and dad into the mix) my newest acquisitions, I just couldn't stop thinking about outfits I could create to share with you. You're just that important to me :) So I got to work pairing pieces together to share with my favorite fashionistas! And for my first day back at work after the holiday outfit, I just had to go with something sparkly to keep that Christmas spirit alive!
Sequin tank: Simply Vera Vera Wang via Kohl's, Half cardigan: Anne Taylor Loft, Skirt: gifted from mom via White House Black Market, Tights: ?, Booties: Steve Madden, Earrings: gifted, Black ring: Amrita Singh via HauteLook, Bow ring: gifted via Lichen and Lychee
My mom knew that I had been drooling over this high waisted pencil skirt for weeks, and that my wardrobe was lacking in the skirt department so she very graciously granted my wish! I had picked up this sequin tank on Christmas eve (yes I know, bad to shop for myself then) to finally indulge my craving for sequins and as soon as I unwrapped the skirt I knew they just had to be paired together. 
I love when I can multitask with an outfit and fulfill two clothing desires in one. Wearing sequins and stripes all at once was the perfect antidote to the back-to-work post holiday blues. 
I don't know if you can tell, but our poor Christmas tree has passed on. We just aren't quite ready to toss it out and admit that Christmas is over. Between my sparkly outfit and our droopy tree, you might think I am in denial... but that is a LIE!! A lie I tell you!!
This is one of my favorite new pieces that I got for myself several weeks ago, and have been meaning to show you. I love how it is the perfect combination between edgy and girly-almost an angry looking flower, but how angry can a flower really be!  
And a ring that has not left my finger since its eagerly anticipated arrival! I won this delicate bow ring from a Lichen & Lychee Jewelry giveaway on another blog and I just can't bear to take it off. They say you should tie a ribbon bow around your finger to remind you of something. Well, every time I see this ring I am reminded of how much blogging means to me! Can't ask for a nicer reminder :)
So beautifuls, did you do anything special to make heading back to work easier? Or am I just stuck in the mindset of a college student and missing those glorious five week long vacations? Man, weren't those the best!


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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fun in the sun!

Merry Christmas darlings! I hope you got everything your little heart desired and that you will share photos of your treasures soon. Though the festivities of the day may be over, the holiday season is still with us. So get a little more wear out of your sequins and glitter and rock those satiny red pumps with confidence before it is too late.

The Holidays are always a joyful time spent relaxing with family and friends and reflecting on all the blessings in our lives. For many of us, this time off will be spent vacating our every day lives and indulging in a little holiday trip! And what better place to relax than in a tropical locale where you can escape the cold, soak up some rays, get a little color and simply lounge around! Whether you are on a cruise to mix and mingle or enjoying the serenity of your own private island with a sweetie, you will want to look radiant- even when you just throw on your favorite cut off shorts and a tank!
beach day
One of the my favorite activities to engage in during a tropical vaca is a day at the beach! What could be better than laying on the sand, being warmed by the sun and listening to the soothing crash of the waves? Absolutely nothing in my mind! In order to achieve the perfect goddess of the sea look, you will need a slamming suit. Whether you prefer a sexy bikini or the allure of a hip-hugging one piece, accessorize your suit with a darling cover-up, a pair of face flattering sunglasses, simple thongs and your favorite over-sized beach tote and you will be ready for a relaxing day of water-side lounging. Fair warning though, be ready to turn heads all day long!

lounge wear
If you are looking for a little adventure during your sunny stay in paradise, why not opt for casual chic attire that allows for all day exploration! You may not think that jean shorts can be glamorous, but when paired with a flirty tank, understated sandals, dangly earrings, lots of bangles and a fabulous fedora you will be the picture of boho perfection! But if you are a girly-girl through and through who wouldn't consider wearing garments with two leg holes on principle alone, then don't forget to pack your flowiest sundress and elegant gladiator sandals. Go light on the accessories, with bangles and earrings that pick up the colors in your dress. Even if you are traversing through rain forests, you will be the queen of the jungle!

night out
After a long day of water-side lounging, a dinner at the best restaurant in town will be the perfect capstone to your perfect day! For a fancy night out, don your favorite colorful summer frock, your hottest pumps and glam yourself up with your most fun accessories. I am personally head over heels in love with this peacock dress and would love to see you ladies strutting your stuff with this feathered clutch clutched in your hands, and this knot headband perched atop your head. With a wrist full of bangles, sweet rose studs decorating your lobes and an overly shiny bauble resting on your dainty finger, you will surely be the most dazzling woman in any room!

Alright kittens, you are now totally ready to rock the beaches and make waves wherever you go! I can't wait to hear about your fabulous holiday voyages. But if paradise for you comes in the form of snow rather than sand and sun, head over to the delightfully sweet Tasha's blog to check out my guest post on snow bunny attire! Again, Merry Christmas dolls!


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Friday, December 24, 2010

Fashionable Giving part 6: The friend with everything

Hi doll faces! I hope you are all enjoying some relaxing time off! I know I am going to enjoy every minute of my four day weekend. Today was shopping with my dad and tomorrow is baking day!! I went to my first holiday party tonight, which was a wonderful opportunity to bedazzle myself with sparkle! Have I mentioned that I really love this time of year? Do yall have any special holiday traditions? My dad and I always make this special shopping trip to get stocking stuffers for my mom and then my whole family always spends Christmas Eve together (even though my parents are no longer together) which is so special. We usually watch Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation, and my mom hates that movie but she still watches it every year because she knows it makes us happy. What a good mom, right!

Ok loves, we are truly down to the last minute now, and I am embarrassed to tell you that I still need a present for my dad. Yikes! I guess I will be braving the chaos of the stores tomorrow and venturing out to find that perfect something for him. If you are in the same boat, and trying to shop for a tricky someone in your life then you don't want to miss the final installment of Fashionable Giving: the pal who has it all! Do you have that one friend who just truly has everything she could need, and a few things that no one needs? Don't fear shopping for this special someone- just view it as a challenge to your creativity!

Under $25
Why not give your pal a reminder of where they came from and how much they loved it with one of these vintage maps hand-embroidered with a red heart. And if you don't see the city you are looking for on refashioned's etsy shop, just send her an email: she takes custom orders! Price: $14-20 Buy here
You can never go wrong with the gift of time, so this Christmas plan  a whole special day for your favorite impossible to shop for pal! I did this for one of my best friends in high school and we had one of the best days of out entire friendship, and still talk about that day! I promise you will make terrific memories. Price: Free!

Under $50
Your friend will proudly display her one-of-a-kind personalized postcard pillow and she will love to brag about the fabulous friend her gave her such a gem! Price: $34 Buy here
A scrapbook is a wonderful way to chronicle your friendship, and a terrific opportunity to use your creativity to show how much you care about your pal. Price: Will vary depending on which scrapbook you choose and how many materials you purchase.
Under $100
For the gal who has everything, naming a star in her honor is the perfect unique and memorable gift that you can be assured she doesn't already have! Price: $54 Buy here
A donation to a charity in your friend's name is truly the gift that keeps on giving, and makes everyone feel jolly! You and your friend will feel terrific about how much you are helping someone in need, and the recipient will never forget your kindness. Price: You decide. Buy here

Over $100 
Give the gift of entertainment this year and purchase two tickets to an event you know your partner-in-crime will love! If you are really lucky, they might just bring you along! Price: Will depend on the event you choose. Buy here
In the crazy times we live in, finding the time to prepare gourmet meals is rare. Why not help your pal serve her family in style by gifting her with 6 prepared gourmet meals. Price: $149. Buy here
 Darlings, I am so anxious to hear your stories about what gifts you give to those impossible to buy for loved ones on your list, so please regale me with your shopping tales dears. I probably won't get to post again until after Christmas so I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! And if you feel like refreshing yourself on all of Fashionable Giving check out all of the previous posts: part 1part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fashionable Giving part 5: The College Kid

Bonjour babes! I hope you are all enjoying Christmas week and are almost ready for Saturday! Hopefully, you even get some time off from work (or school) this year and can just relax, bake cookies, decorate your house or do whatever else your spirit-filled heart desires! This season is truly my favorite time of year, and I am thrilled to say one of my biggest Christmas wishes just might come true: a white Christmas! I wish for it every year dolls and it never happens, but the lovely weathermen keep telling me my wish will be granted this year! Wouldn't that be lovely? Are any of you expecting a white Christmas this year, or wishing for it?

As we are getting dangerously close to the biggest gift-giving holiday of the year (3 days!) most of you are probably good little shoppers and have presents for your loved ones all lined up. Buuuut if you, like me, are down to the wire here and still frantically searching for a few more perfect presents, Fashionable Giving part 5: The College Rendition is here just in time! If you have a cousin, a younger sibling, or friends still in school, then you know that selecting personal gifts for the college kid can be tricky. But if you try to remember your own time in college and what things you desired most, gift-giving will be easier. Remember to take into account your student's schedule, interests and living situation and you will be sure to select the perfect present!

Under $25
I was first introduced to this genius product when Vivian of Diamonds and Tulle posted about it, and I have been obsessed ever since! It truly is perfect for a college student who doesn't want to carry a purse around when she goes out for a night on the town! She can conveniently keep her ID, credit card and money tucked in with her phone and be set! Currently, they are only available for the iPhone and blackberry, but they do come in 4 colors! Price: $14.99 Buy here
Ok, so this would only be for the 21+ college crowd :) but I just think it is darling! What an adorable way to class up any evening of partying! Price: $12.00 Buy here
Magazines are one of the fabulous little luxuries in life that people don't really need, but they are fun nonetheless! Since college students don't typically have a 'luxury items" budget, why not give them the gift of luxury with a subscription to their favorite magazine? Price: Will vary by magazine, but these days they don't cost much. Elle goes for $8/year and vogue for $15. Just Google the magazine name and subscription to purchase. Elle here, Vogue here.
Under $50
Whether your favorite collegiate lives in a dorm or apartment, cute decorations to make their home-away-from-home more cozy are always appreciated. And what better way to show your love than with this cuddly handmade heart pillow? Price: $26.00 Buy here (I highly recommend Etsy when searching for unique gifts!)
As someone who just graduated from college mere months ago, trust me when I say that one of the most popular forms of activity at college are movie nights! Since, again, college kids don't have large discretionary budgets, they have to get creative on ways to have fun, and movie nights in the dorm/apartment with buddies are a popular choice. Give your college kid everything they need to host a rocking movie night with this gift bucket including popcorn, candy and a movie gift card! Price: $29.99 Buy here
Keep their feetsies warm all year long with these precious sock monkey slippers! Price: $28.00 Buy here
Under $100
I know gift cards aren't considered personal, but if you put together a gift card bundle to your student's favorite restaurants and/or stores, they will definitely appreciate the thought! An aunt did this for me one year, and it was wonderful because I thought of her every time I used the cards and got to have a night off from eating school food! Price: You can customize to fit your budget, but I think 3-4 $20 cards would be a nice bundle. You can typically buy any gift card you need at local grocery stores, but if not check the websites.
How cool is this clock! Not only will it help keep your college kid on time for classes, but it also encourages their creativity as they can decorate the face of the clock however they see fit. Whether they draw decorative numerals or jot down important appointments, this gift will surely provide entertainment! Price: $95.00 Buy here
This decorative 6-piece set of martini glasses would ensure your collegiate's status as the classiest hostess on campus! Price: $95.00 Buy here
 Over $100

This another customizable gift, as you can create a funny or serious college survival kit based on your student's personality. You can add a very personal touch by including your own "college advice" or anecdotes. You can included items such as homemade food, rolls of quarter and laundry products, movie tickets, screwdriver, hammer, gift cards (including for gas!) etc. Get creative! Price: You decide, but I would expect to spend over $100 if you really want to put together a useful kit. 
The GPS my mom gave me was one of the best presents I have ever received, because it has saved me from many potentially scary situations! I feel 10x safer knowing that I am never truly lost. This is a great item for a college student with a car who is far away form home and unfamiliar with his new town! Price: $149.99 Buy here
Many wonderful memories are made at a moment's notice in college. Help your favorite collegiate be ready at a moment's notice to capture them all with this super chic digital camera! Price: $119.99 Buy here
Ok dolls, I can't wait to hear which of these gifts inspires you ! Don't forget to check out part 1part 2, part 3 and part 4 of the fashionable giving series! Tune in tomorrow for the final fashionable giving post on what to give the friend who has everything!I'd love to hear feedback on what you have thought of this gift guide as well and you can always email me: lwainman321@gmail.com. Night ladies!


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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday twinkle and a winner!

Hi lovelies! I hope your weekend was très fabuleux! Mine felt like a scene out of a Christmas movie; Absolute perfection. The brother was home (and with him his new DOG!!), the best friend was visiting from NYC, late night back-to-back showings of Home Alone and Elf, many cups of cocoa and SNOW! And this week is basically a continuation of goodness with a shortened work week, 2 parties and less than a week until Christmas. I love this time of year! 

And before I go much further, I want to give a big winners shout-out to Lacey of mille baisers as she is the winner of my CSN giveaway!! I will send you a detailed email with your code asap! Congrats sweet girl and a big thank you to the wonderful team at CSN for hosting this opportunity. And a million thanks to all my wonderful readers who participated. I appreciate you all so much. Stay tuned for another exciting giveaway coming soon! 
We went to this cute little town to do some Christmas shopping and had to stop at this beautiful tree to take some photos.  
Matt with his ladies :) I really love my family. We had such a nice day spending time together. 
One of my favorite bloggers, Hannah of Mademoiselle Hannah, recently posted about the 5 winter essentials and it got me thinking about what I live in during the winter. I realized that Hannah, as usual, was spot on! Comfy sweaters/tunics, skinny jeans or leggings, boots, a peacoat and scarves basically comprise my winter uniform. Since my outfit posts are usually done during the week after work, I thought I would try and show you some of my more casual winter outfits. I know when Jack Frost comes nipping at your nose, it may be tempting to crawl inside those baggy sweatpants and hoodies and hibernate but don't give in! With the myriad of winter wear options these days you truly don't need to sacrifice style for warmth. Pulling a chic sweater on over your favorite pair of leggings or jeans is just as easy as slipping into those sweatpants. So take the winter wear challenge and stay classy girls!
Coat: Boutique in Paris, Sweater: gift from mom, Belt: Paris boutique, Leggings: Paris boutique, Boots: Steve Madden, Necklace: Forever 21, Ring, Charlotte Russe, Ring: Vintage grandmother's, Watch: Michael Kors, Purse: Coach 
My brother was not thrilled about being my photographer for the day, and he was complaining so much that I just kept laughing. I think he caught me mid laugh here :)
This is pretty much the look I live in on weekends. Nothing fancy, always comfortable. 
My poor boots are not made for snow, and they had to deal with a lot of winter weather this weekend. 
This sweater is one of my favorites because of how many colors mix in and the little details that make it unique. My mom has good taste :)
My leggings look black in all these photos, but i swear they really are brown!
You can't really see the nails here, but I am so happy with them right now!  They are Essie limited addiction with gold glitter on top. Very holiday, very festive, very fun!
So ladies, what winter items make your must-have list? Do you choose comfort over style, or do you try and find ways to achieve both? Let me hear from you darlings and don't forget to check out part 1part 2, part 3 and part 4 of the fashionable giving series! Tune in Tuesday for part 5!


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