Sunday, October 30, 2011

How Inspiring: Carey Mulligan

Hello Readers!

In this edition of "How Inspiring," our source of inspiration is the very talented and uber stylish Carey Mulligan. You may recognize her face from a few movies... my favorites include: An Education, Never Let Me Go, The Greatest, Pride & Prejudice, and Bleak House. Her talent as an actress is inspirational, as well as her style!

Carey seems to have an appreciation for texture and manages to find textures that flatter her style, figure, and personality (she seems like a creative and confident person, based on what I've seen of her styling choices). Below are a few of my favorites, enjoy!

2010 Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC- May 3rd 2010- picture from
The LA premiere of An Education- October 1, 2009- image from Similar dress here from j.crew
At the 2010 Golden Globes in Nina Ricci- image from granitz/WireImage
Prada Cocktail Dress- image from Images
She knows how to wear animal print with class!- image from

Love those Blue Suede Shoes!

So elegant!
A screenshot from An Education

What do you think?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Delicious Results! Messy Processes...

Hello again Readers!

Lately, I've been in the mood to cook. This is odd, you see, because usually I do not like to cook. Baking, in my experience, has been more of an exact science. Measuring amounts, mixing and mashing just so, carefully watching everything cook until it is exactly done- oh yes, and eating something sweet after the whole experience is over. Yes, readers, baking I understand- but cooking, while still a science in and of itself is a completely different experience.

Cooking is messy. Cooking can be unpredictable. Cooking involves guesswork. Because of these factors, I have, for the most part, avoided cooking.

But you see, I've slowly begun to realize that cooking is a part of growing up- unless a life of lean cuisines, frozen pizzas, salads, and soups is what you desire. Tonight I broadened my horizons by trying my hand (free-hand- no recipe, btw) at parsnip and carrot patties.

The result: I learned that guessing, messing, and testing isn't always such a bad thing. Sometimes, these processes involved with cooking can result in delicious finishings!

My finished product was not as beautiful as Whole Foods' version (wherefrom this recipe is inspired). Here it is!


And here are pictures that narrate how I ended at this result:

Ingredients: 1 peeled parsnip, 4 baby carrots, 1/2 of an onion (I recommend 1/4), 1 egg, 2 seconds of olive oil spray,  Kashi Pita Chips (approximately 1 cup of crumbs), dash of salt, pinch of pepper.
I grated 1 parsnip, 4 baby carrots, and 1/4 of an onion and chopped 1/4 of an onion, added 1/4 cup (approximately) of pita bread crumbs, a dash of salt and a pinch of pepper
Then I mixed these ingredients with my hands (messy!) and created 5 patties
Then, I prepared 3 bowls for dipping- 1 of whole grain flour (1st station), 1 of 1 whisked egg (station 2), and 1 of 3/4 cup of pita bread crumbs (approximately) 
The aftermath- not too bad!
Whoops! Evidence of the scorching... I think it will come out!
They look delicious, don't they? A bit different in appearance than their Whole Foods counterparts, but almost as delicious!
I used too much heat and scorched a few patties... Next time I will use a lower heat
Have you ever made these before? Do you have any recommendations?

'Neath Fair Skies of Blue: Homecoming

Hello Readers!

 Last week was my alma mater's homecoming. The great thing about homecoming this year was that I work at my alma mater now! So I didn't need to go anywhere to see anyone- everyone came to see me (and the school, of course!)

I only participated in the homecoming events on Friday, which included the college's first homecoming parade (or so I hear), reunions with friends from "back in the day," and a pep rally. I felt very school-spirited! Here are a few highlights of the festivities, enjoy!

The parade:
Emily (a new friend and fellow college employee), Annie (my friend and former RA,), me, and Pam (a friend and fellow alum)

The start of the parade

The president of the college

The President seems also very school-spirited

One of the student floats

The cheerleaders (a few of my students are there!)

Children running into the street for candy. . .  maybe not the safest idea?

A friendly farmer?

Another friendly farmer

Part of the baseball team 
Miss Bond County- I know her! :)

A parade float featuring JFK

There were quite a few comments in the peanut gallery about JFK and parades....
 The pep rally:

Hooray Volleyball Team! I believe they won the float competition.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Make New Friends and Keep the Old. . .

Dear Readers,

Me with "old" friends Maura and Corinne
I'm not sure how many of you were involved in Brownies or Girl Scouts. . . but if you were you may recognize the title of this post from a song often sung in those clubs. I was only a Brownie for a few short years, but the song rings as true and as clear in my memory as it did during my years in Troop 1148.

Another set of memories that still ring true and clear to me today are my memories of being a student at my alma mater. In a way, I recently was able to relive those memories in front of the freshman girls residence hall with two friends from college (Maura and Corinne) AND a new friend (Lorna) after drinking coffee and eating cinnamon rolls at the campus coffee shop with another new friend (Amanda)!

"Make new friends and keep the old"- check!

Here are a few photos that celebrate the old and the new

Me with Lorna, one of my "new" friends

I think I was losing my balance in this one. . . 
There we go!
Hair in face! 
(My) Retail Details:
Pearl Trio Bobby Pin: Anthropologie
Beneath the Surface Shell: Moulinette Soeurs from ANthropologie
Pink Cardigan: Anthropologie
Olive Green Stevie Cords: AG from Anthropologie
Hot Pink Metallic Shoes: Jessica Simpson from Bergner's
Green Jeweled Belt: Talbots (via my Mom)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How Inspiring: Taylor Swift (She Rocks Frocks)

Hello Readers!

It's been a while since I've written a "how inspiring" post, but here's a new one! This summer I attended a Taylor Swift concert in St. Louis with my cousins, and since that concert I've been inspired by her style. Before this concert I never really noticed her style, but after sitting through an awe-inspiring concert with 7 or 8 costume changes, her style (and showwomanship!) became evident.

Not only is Taylor super talented, she wears dresses with such flair and confidence- the way dresses should be worn! I tried to find pictures from the concert I attended, but could only find two dresses- a gold flapper-style dress (which wasn't my favorite), and the purple dress she wore when a breezy dress met a strong gust of wind from a stage fan in an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction (an incident, though, she handled quite well).  I did find, however, a few photos of Taylor that showcase her stylish ability to rock frocks.  Here are a few of my favorite dresses. Enjoy!:

Spinning Lace Dress by Tracy Reese (I have this dress too!)

Girls from Savoy dress from Anthropologie with adorable heels!
A very sparkly and very sweet Naem Khan dress worn at the 2009 Hannah Montana movie premiere-

Very mermaid-esque dress by Badgley Mischka, worn at the 2008 Costume Institute Gala-

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lingering Rays of Wednesday

Hello Readers!

Wednesdays can be difficult. Especially in the middle of a semester or quarter when there is still so much work ahead before the weekend. Wednesdays can also be wonderful, but this past Wednesday was less of the latter and more of the first type of Wednesday.

Even when I awoke this Wednesday, with my usual optimistic outlook, I had a feeling that the day ahead of me would be a long one. So. . . I decided to wear an outfit that would help to maintain or at least encourage my usual demeanor as a glass-half full sort of person. Hence, the reason for wearing my favorite top and one of my favorite skirts.

The day was rough, but I made it through and later that evening enjoyed a hilarious episode of Modern Family. Whew!
Here I am in the hallway that leads to my office.
Well- we've made it to Friday Readers! Enjoy the rest of your day and have a most splendid weekend!

Retail Details:
Pearl-Trio Bobby-Pin- Anthropologie (I haven't seen these online yet, but I bought them at my local store)
White and Gold Necklace- Vintage (Trifari)
Off-White Craft and Creation Tee- by Deletta from Anthropologie
Brown Cardigan: Abercrombie & Fitch
Burgundy and Gold Leather Belt- Vintage
Khaki Lingering Rays Skirt- Yoana Baraschi from Anthropologie
Greyish Brown Boots: Anne Klein

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Without Your Relationships Who Are You?" (reframe!)

Hello Readers,

Recently I saw a commercial that ended with a very disturbing line: "without your stuff who are you?"

Wait a minute- what?

The point of the commercial was to convince us to buy their product (maybe an anti-virus software? I can't remember), but the commercial sends a frightening message: that we are our possessions.

I would have to disagree with this message. Yes, our collection of things like our photos, files, clothing and even furniture can in many ways be a reflection of how we perceive ourselves or how we would like to be perceived. But we are so much more than our things!

My blog is not who I am. My clothing is not who I am. These are reflections of my interests- but not who I am. Without these things/stuff I am still me. Things like clothing and blogs are not who we are.

If we really want to know who a person is, a more accurate question would be: without your relationships who are you?

Relationships are more accurate indicators of who we are. Our interactions with each other inform and influence our understanding of self--who we are. Our relationships, and all of the learning, connection, tears, laughter, security, and memories are who we are.

So. . . who am I? This is not an all-encompasing personal network analysis. . . but here are a few examples of the relationships that help constitute who I am (or at least my understanding of who I am):

A Christian: my relationship with God constitutes who I am. This relationship, and what I learn from being in this relationship, shapes how I view and understand the world and my place in the world. This frames my career, my actions, my thoughts, my understanding of self, and the way I treat other selves.

A daughter and a sister: my relationship with my parents and my brothers also shapes my understanding of self. They are the most honest with me about my strengths as well as my weaknesses, and they are the ones I turn to when I feel lost or overwhelmed (and God too, of course!)

A friend: Friends are also major influencers in my understanding of self. My interests, what I read, the music I listen to, even the words I use are influenced by my friends. But even more than these habits, my friends help me understand who I am. Isn't it interesting how a friend's description of you can impact the way that we see ourselves?

Just a few thoughts for a cloudy Thursday. . .

*also. . . here is that commercial. It isn't totally terrible until the last 5 seconds:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fitting Room Reviews: October

Hello Readers,

Nowadays I live further away from the city than I once did- a change that also increases my distance from the closest mall and perhaps an increase in the amount of money I save each month. This also means that I've been trying on less clothing than usual. . . but I finally have a few items to review! The first is from Banana Republic and the next four are from Anthropologie. Enjoy!

Black Wool Sheath Dress from Banana Republic from the Mad Men Collection
When I first heard about Banana Republic's Mad Men collection, I was elated- but when I finally saw the collection in person, I was disappointed with most of the collection with the exception of a couple of items, including this dress. It is a wool-linen blend with a fabric and fit that is true to clothing from the Mad Men era. This dress reminded me of something Joan, from Mad Men, would wear.

The fit was a bit too snug in my usual 4 at BR, but the 6 fit like a charm. What I love most about this dress is the lace that peeks out from the hem and neckline of the dress- very delightful and oh-so-feminine! This dress is hard to find- but worth the search if you are looking for the perfect Little Black Dress.

Dog Rose Pullover by Knitted & Knotted in Ivory
This sweater is adorable- the crocheted neckline and puffy sleeves are so sweet! Unfortunately, this sweater has a shorter torso than I expected and it looked absolutely ridiculous on this long-torso wearer. Otherwise, the sweater was lovely- but even a larger size wasn't long enough for me.

Trifecta Tee by Postmark in Navy
The Trifecta Tee was even more stunning in person than it was online! I tried on a small and a medium and found the small to be the best fit in length and width. This is a top, in my opinion, that you need to try on before buying (or order two sizes). If it is too small or too large the lace yolk/runner that runs down the center of the blouse looks very awkward- but if you are able to find the right fit it is divine! This is currently on my wishlist for fall.

Ruffled Shell by Lil in Red
This little lacey shell was lovely but unfortunately it was a bit too short for me. I wish Anthro carried tall sizes! This top would be really cute with a cardigan or a blazer- but not a contender for me because of its length (or lack thereof).
Renewed Folds Pullover in Brown by Odonate Epiprocta
I actually purchased this top, I was so in love with it, but a few hours after I put the shirt on I noticed a small hole in the front. The top I tried on had a loose string so I grabbed another one from the rack without inspecting it- I didn't see the hole. When I am near an Anthro store again I hope to exchange my shirt for a new one- sans the hole.