Saturday, December 31, 2011

kinston bound.

today i am headed toward my brand new town, for a week-long visit. it will be my first time there ever, & as i have said in previous posts, i am absolutely thrilled to finally put places & faces to descriptions & names. justin has been living & working in our little east-coast town for about a month & a half now. i'm planning to get acquainted with the area, try out exercise routines, find the local coffee shops, take road trips to the surrounding areas, & above all - spend time with justin in what will soon be our home.

Friday, December 30, 2011

friday's fancies #15: new years eve.

friday's fancies #15: new years eve.

truth be told, had i been able to find the royal blue dress that i'm wearing for new years eve dinner out with justin, i would have given you a real life outfit post this week. however, as that was certainly not the case, i am posting quite the dream outfit this week, which i absolutely wouldn't mind wearing on my plane rides east. obviously, the leggings were chosen for comfort. and because friday's fancies is all about dreaming big, i thought i'd figuratively shell out over $300 for this diane von furstenberg pair. when i saw this vest, the first word that came to mind was cozy. the second was chic. you do the math. although not included, i would more that likely pair this vest with a gray, long sleeved shirt beneath, since it's a bit chilly. boots are rather requisite in this scenario, but i do indeed love these steve maddens. and the bag. oh, the bag. the bag has been sitting in the my items  section on my polyvore, begging to be pretend-worn. and well, today is its day. this reed krakoff atlantique bag, while maybe not the most practical choice, is - without a doubt - the most indulgently gorgeous one.

happy new year!

link-up: friday's fancies on {long distance loving}

Thursday, December 29, 2011

love lists: december.

1. dreaming of traveling to north carolina.

2. kara being home from college.

3. finding a wedding planner.

4. changing up my makeup routine.

5. my coffee cup scarf, from diane.

6. getting organized.

7. my new planner, & the anticipation of using it.

8. fitness calendars, & finding healthy weightloss inspiration.

9. johnson's body care melt away stress lavender & chamomile lotion.

10. deciding to quit my bad habits - cold turkey - & be healthy.

photo: iphone

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ben breedlove.

it was two years ago - in 2009 - when i saw my first 'megan video.' my coworker, lindsey, & i were on our lunch break, & we decided to peruse youtube for something interesting to watch. i'll admit it - it was done half-jokingly when we clicked on the video under an account called 'meganheartsmakeup.' i never would have guessed that this particular video viewing would launch me into a new hobby: makeup.

it all sounds very shallow, but really, it isn't. megan has taught me a lot of things that aren't even remotely beauty related. she has spread a positive message about the dangers of bullying, the prevention of suicide, & has uploaded seemingly countless videos about how to deal with the pressures of everyday life. each of these messages has inspired me, encouraged me, & improved me in many different ways.

and, it's true: megan is almost ten years younger than me. 

as megan's youtube channel continued to grow, she introduced her viewers to a friend of hers, ben breedlove, who started an advice channel with megan's then-boyfriend & some of their other friends (ouradvice4you). the channel featured dating advice for teens & the like, which i thought was creative & interesting. though ouradvice4you gained popularity, ben also created his own channel, breedlovetv, which had a news-broadcaster feel, underscored by ben's charm & sense of humor.

my sister & i were watching this very channel one summer night in 2011, commenting on how cute & funny this individual was, when we watched an 'about me' video. in this video we learned that ben had a heart condition - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. he spoke of how it was a serious condition, but that he could still take part in activities that he enjoyed, like wakeboarding. he also mentioned that he may have to have surgeries in the future, but that while serious, the condition did not really hinder him.

sadly, ben died this year on christmas day.

but not before he had a chance to share his story with thousands of viewers around the world. about two weeks after ben had an episode at school the first week of december, during which he stopped breathing for three minutes, he recorded two videos. in these videos, he tells his story. it is haunting, sad, & extremely emotional, but i think it is something everyone should watch.  

ben's touching, genuine message will leave you in tears, but hopefully the good kind - the hopeful kind. ben's message communicates peace & acceptance beyond his years, which i hope comforts those who were close with him. ben has inspired me through this outpouring of faith & emotion -

'do you believe in angels or god? i do.'

i am moved by his message, to live my life the way i always say i want to, but never do. these videos summon countless other emotions, but i feel it would take entirely too long to really explain all of them, & i truly believe anyone who watches the videos will experience similar feelings. 

after watching these videos - after locking my office door because i was crying - i realized it felt as if i had lost a friend. it's true - i've never met ben, i've never met megan - but i feel that they have changed my life for the better. as i drove back to work from my lunch break, i put on the song 'sea of love,' by cat power, & just let myself cry over how unfair it felt that such a young man had to die.

isn't it amazing when people we have never before met can impact us in enormous ways?

  unfortunately, i'll never get to meet ben on this earth. but i'll never forget that afternoon drive back to work, when i felt the sun on my face, missing someone i had never even met.

rest in peace, ben. thank you for sharing your message with the world.

my hearts goes out to the breedlove family,
to all of their family & friends,
& to anyone whose life was touched by his videos.

megan, thank you for changing my life for the better.
and thank you for 'introducing' me to ben.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

christmas snapshot.

although i am exceedingly upset with myself
for lack of pictures taken over this holiday,
i will share with you the few i did manage to capture:

i leave you with promises to better document my forthcoming trip to kinston.

photos: instagram

Saturday, December 24, 2011

merry christmas eve.

today is a happy day, for more reasons than one:

1. it's christmas eve.
2. tomorrow is christmas.

.... AND....

3. justin is coming to town!

the next couple of days will be time spent
with our families & each other.
i am so excited & happy!

photo: point & shoot, christmas 2008

Friday, December 23, 2011

friday's fancies #14: white christmas.

friday's fancies #14: white christmas.

today's friday's fancies theme over on {long distance loving} is white christmas. i had a lot of fun creating this look, because i don't usually reach for white - of any kind - during the winter. so this was a fun little challenge! this see by chloe plisse bow dress is a sweet little choice - i am loving the cream color, plus it would be perfect for christmas morning mass. for a couple pops of berry color, i chose this clarendon foxglove pink tweed herringbone jacket by mulberry (i'm beginning to realize i reach for mulberry over & over - favorite designer?), as well as this ultra-fun light pink sparkle sinemay fascinator. i'm not gonna lie - i was channeling blair waldorf a bit with the headband choice. 

i really just need to go ahead & bite the bullet with a nars turkish delight purchase. i put this particular gloss in lots of my looks, because it's so girly, yet neutral. it needs to become part of my real life collection asap.

i chose gray tights because... well, i just love them. gray is one of my colors, & i think gray tights are such an interesting alternative to the classic black. they also make this look softer & more feminine. and how could i pass up the nude jimmy choo pumps? they are pefectly effortless for this look. to top it all off, i chose this cream lanvin quilted clutch. it's ultra chic & understated.

merry christmas, everyone!

friday's fancies at {long distance loving}

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

wedding polish.

the hunt has begun for the perfect nail color for the big day.

since hearing of kate middleton's classic, chic combo she wore for her nuptials, i've been rather obsessed with the idea of finding the perfect mix for my skin tone. as i already have some possible polishes in my possesion, i thought i'd include them on the wishlist of lacquers to try out.
as i try these different colors out, i'll post photos of what they look like on my hands, up next to my skin tone. and hopefully - hopefully - this will aid me in this momentous decision.

Monday, December 19, 2011

miscellany monday: christmas currents.


reading... well, i just finished imperfect birds, by anne lamott. one day this week, on my lunch break, i'm going to stop in at the library to check out another book from my winter list. i'm thinking i may read the good earth next. i really ended up enjoying my first anne lamott book.   

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letterswriting blog posts for the coming weeks. i'm going to be so busy! i'm also writing a guest post for one of my favorite blogs, which i'm really excited about. i have a lot of writing to do, but i always enjoy it.

listening to my kinston playlist. i'm in love with everything on it.

thinking of everything i need to do this week, & making mental notes. i'm going to make one gigantic schedule, point-by-point, later today. i love christmas shopping, so i'm looking forward to it... i'm just wondering (as i do every year) why i've waited until the last minute.

smelling nothing. the sinuses have been on the fritz lately. i guess it comes with the season.

wishing there were 48 hours in each day. i'd get so much more completed!

hoping justin has safe travels later this week - i absolutely CANNOT wait to see him.

wearing a red christmas scarf! and the coziest sweater i could find in my mom's closet. i'm going to be in big trouble when i move... i wear my mom's clothes to work almost every day. but, i guess this means a justified shopping spree is on the horizon?

loving the christmas season, the prospect of being with family, the fact that justin will be in town this week, & the feeling i know i'll have when i've completed everything this week has in store for me.

wanting to go to the gym. in this holiday whirlwind, it has felt seemingly impossible to get on the treadmill. i'm hoping to change that this week. and i will possibly be going on some outside runs this week as well - i've really missed that.

needing to remember to take time out this week to appreciate the holiday season. we have control over how frazzled & stressed we become - i'm going to make a conscious effort this week to really stop & look around me. there is so much to be thankful for.

link-up: miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Sunday, December 18, 2011

starbucks sunday: it's christmas week.

the week is finally upon us - christmas! as i sip on my tall iced nonfat two splenda latte (& my venti ice water), i am silently making a promise to myself for this week: to take time out from each day to really look around me - to really see all the trees & lights & festivity - to really enjoy & soak up all the holiday cheer i can find. as trite as it may sound, the holiday season only comes around once every year - let's make it count.

as the week approaches, i have so much to look forward to: dinners with friends, a little bit of last-minute christmas shopping, christmas cooking, & then, justin is coming in town!

merry christmas week!

photo: iphone

Friday, December 16, 2011

friday's fancies #13: sparkle & shine.

friday's fancies #13: sparkle & shine

i have a feeling you could see me coming a mile away in this get-up, & i'll tell you what: i don't hate it.

as of late, i've been drawn to more muted, reserved, chic styles, but when {av} over at {long distance loving} chose 'sparkle & shine' as this week's theme, i was admittedly thrilled. it's been too long since i broke out the glitter polish, & this deborah lippmann selection - in do ya think i'm sexy - was irresistable to me. the only other real pop of color in this look would be the lipstick - nars pure matte lipstick in vesuvio. i chose a matte lip because i feel like it would stand out next to all the sparkle going on - & add a really chic element to the all-out glitz-fest going on here.

as you may have guessed, i will be attending a wedding on saturday, & if there were no budgetary limitations in this world, i would absolutely be donning this gorgeous marchesa sequined silk mini dress. i love the 'mixed metal' color scheme, as well as the sassy silhouette. i decided to forego the classic & expected black tights, black shoes look, & went for something a little more exciting: khaki tights with a hint of sheen, as well as some fabulous miu miu gold glitter peep toe pumps. to bring out the darker tones hidden in the dress, i'd happily wear this michael by michael kors large grayson satchel in black (a bag that has always been on my wish list), as well as this understated bayswater black suede bracelet by mulberry. the gold concentric circle drop earrings add one more touch of funky flair, with which this outfit is already brimming. for hair, i'd go with my signature look as of late, hair thrown up into a chic side-bun, with curled pieces framing my face.

all i can say as i view this outfit is, 'if only...'

link-up: friday's fancies at {long distance loving}

Thursday, December 15, 2011

'may the odds be ever in your favor!'

last night, our book club met over at mckenzy's gorgeous house, for our december meeting. the book of interest? the hunger games (which i talked about here). a couple of us dressed up as tributes, we played the santa hat game (one of my favorites!), & we also participated in a cookie exchange. i had a lovely time, & once again, i felt so lucky to have found my way into such a great, intelligent group of girls! book club is definitely something that i'll miss when i move away from shreveport.

my recipe:

my cookies:

after a couple rounds of trial & error, my nutella sugar cookies came out a success!

next up in book club, one of my favorites: to kill a mockingbird.

graphic: nutella image found here; graphic designed by me
photo: iphone

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


i was roaming your street the other day.
the one that housed your residence
however periodic or transient it really was.

i remember it as a time
when the darkness of others was amplified
& their suffering was prevalent, albeit expected & seemingly contrite.
it's like it didn't even matter.
and you were really good at perpetuating that particular notion.

but when you're eighteen, everything is huge, vivid... memorable.
so i remember, even still, today.

when you're eighteen,
people fit into neat, compartmentalized little boxes.
and they're them & you're just... you.
you would never even guess that the plagues & problems that ate at them could ever even touch you.

but as you grow older, you realize that people are just people.
and they don't fit into the neat little compartments that you've built for them.
everyone spills over into everyone else, overlapping & swirling together in one big pool of humanity.

but in that moment, in that year, all we would do was climb up onto that ledge & sit.
we just breathed in & out, seeing things.
the leaves were falling, the wind was howling.
and we just listened.

because when you're eighteen, that's all you have to do.

sometimes i want to climb up there
& retrieve the memories that are trapped on that ledge -
because i know they're there. promising me part of myself -
if i only dare to knock on the door, climb the stairs, & venture out.

but i know i never will.
i never will.

the sunday currently, volume 125.

reading a mish-mash of things right now. I don't usually like to read more than one book at a time, but I am in a reading rut... and I...