Wednesday, August 31, 2011

tribal inspired.

my sister is away at college in jackson, mississippi. and i miss her.

here, for your viewing pleasure, is a charming video of us from the end of july. we were on the road to frisco, texas, to visit my dear friends jordan & jim.

there's no real story behind the birth of this 'tribal dance,' other than, well, the song sounds like we should be standing around an enormous bonfire, doing a tribal dance.

we are a couple of treats, i tell you.

and now, watching this video for the hundreth time, i feel extremely nostalgic for this summer. how can i be nostalgic for a season that is still happening, you ask?

well, for me, the summer ended when kara packed back up & headed east.

Monday, August 29, 2011

miscellany monday #1.

today i'm linking up with lowercase letters for the first time & taking part in miscellany monday!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. one of my 'night owl nights' last week (you know, the 'school night' that i stayed up til almost 4 a.m.) yielded a list of things i want that are owl city-related. it's no secret (since i tweeted it) that adam young is, by far, my favorite person to follow on twitter. he's funny, he's witty, he's relevant... he likes taylor swift. what's not to love, right? oh, & i really like his songs. here are the things that i want:

i reallllyyyyyy want that hoodie.

2. this weekend was one that i really liked. friday, justin & i headed out on the town with some of our friends for one of their birthdays. it was a lot of fun until luke wilson made me cry (yep, it's going to be a while before i let that one go, guys). anyways, after the fun of friday night, we met back up with everyone for lunch at imperial cathay, one of those places i never think to go, but love. i am all over some chinese food.

3. after chowing down, the group headed over to pretty much the oldest movie theater in shreveport bossier to view friends with benefits. i had already seen this when kara & i visited jordan & jim in frisco this july, but i was happy to go again, because seriously... this is one of the best movies i've seen in a long time. justin timberlake is dorky & lovable. mila kunis is hot & charming. one of the best rom-coms i've seen since the just friends/how to lose a guy in 10 days era. and that's saying something.

4. it's GRE studying time. i really hunkered down in barnes & noble last night, after putting it off all weekend. today after work, i will be there til closing time, taking practice tests & reading about how to analyze passages. i've got to pump up that verbal score, especially if i decide to go in the creative writing direction.

5. i have been loving pinterest lately. it's been my source of inspiration, ranging from creative home decor, to food that makes my mouth water before 10 a.m., to cozy fall fashion, & everything in between. and in light of this pinterest obsession, my love affair with grey + yellow is pretty hard to deny. 

not to mention, i now have roughly 800 arts & crafts/diy projects to accomplish. the list continues to grow. so, if you're in search of inspiration, don't hesitate to check out my much-loved pinterest.

i hope everyone is having a lovely monday. this little link-up has definitely brightened mine!

(photos: 1, 2, 3).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

starbucks sunday: remember the time luke wilson made me cry?

this is me, enjoying starbucks sunday at barnes & noble, while studying for the GRE updating my blog. thank you, mr. barista man, for spelling my name wrong. one would think 'lauren' is one of the most common of names for a girl, but with my track record (which includes being called 'juan' while ordering takeout over the phone), i have learned that this is most certainly not the case.

this is me, showing off my new book, which was purchased only moments before this photo was taken. i am also sipping on my tall iced nonfat caramel macchiato. this also happens to be a photograph of me being a huge dork in public, and not really caring about it (even though there are people on literally every side of me studying. or taking pictures of themselves. who can really say?).

this is me, laughing because i'm taking photo booth pictures of myself in barnes & noble. i'm also laughing at myself for crying when luke wilson wouldn't take a picture with me when i spotted him in a bar this weekend.

nope, i'm not kidding. oh, how i wish i were.

at least it wasn't owen. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

friday's fancies #1. wedding style.

friday's fancies # 1

Print dress
$98 -

Yves Saint Laurent slip on shoes
$1,495 -

Quilted handbag
$2,080 -

Dara Ettinger long earrings
$105 -

Essie Nail Polish Sew Psyched One Size
$8 -

i have been admiring friday's fancies on {long distance loving} for weeks upon weeks now.

so this week i am thrilled to link up with {av} & take part in the wedding-themed festivities!
 i chose this topshop dress because i think it'd be perfect for a late summer gathering - the yellow is reminiscent of warm summer days, but the willowy floral pattern lends itself to impending autumn. i opted for these fabulous ysl slip-on black cutout wedges because they are edgy & modern without being over-the-top gaudy. not to mention, i'm kind of in love with them. the red lipstick & blingy earrings glam the whole thing up, which is (of course) complemented by the timeless & chic quilted chanel. a quick coat of this glossy natural shade on my fingers & toes, & i'd be out the door!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

what the water gave me.

after a drought that had left us with hot, humid air & brown, crunchy grass for seemingly endless summer weeks, i am happy to say that we have had a stormy shreveport day.

and it's true: i love thunderstorms. although they offer up ideas of big fluffy, beds & beloved, well-worn books... which makes being at work extra difficult.

and then there's this little gem that popped up as a new release on my spotify today (& has been on repeat since):

thank you, florence, for providing the perfect soundtrack for my rain-soaked louisiana day.

(video: youtube)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

birthday snapshot.

after experiencing my 25th birthday yesterday, i have found that new earrings & perfume are the recipe for a perfect birthday. but being with family, friends, & loved ones doesn't hurt, either.

birthday dinner's restaurant of choice was bistro byronz, a favorite of mine, as well as among practically everyone i know.

we have a ritual in our family: on birthday mornings, the person of honor is woken up to find cards & gifts in front of them, as well as the whole family to wish them happy birthday & watch as they unwrap their pressies. & thanks to my sweet parents, my 25th birthday kept to that tradition. the rest of my day was spent receiving thoughtful messages from friends & family, reminding me how lucky & blessed i am to have such great people in my life. if that weren't enough, justin picked me up & treated me to a birthday lunch at tokyo - another of my favorites! 

and then, on friday of last week i walked into the front office, & this is what followed:

i write this as a huge thank you to everyone who made me feel special as i turned 25 this year. y'all made something that could have been a bit scary & depressing (i mean, come on - i am now a quarter-century old!) into a birthday i will never forget. i only wish that kara could have been there!

(photos: top two, my point & shoot; bottom two, lindsey's iphone)

* let's not forget that turning 25 comes with new responsibilities - check out my list here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

projects for the next few months.

after an exciting visit to the dallas museum of art, i walked away with three 'art project ideas.' these ideas were actually decided upon frantically, as i paced the hallways of the freezing dma, excited about the seemingly limitless collection of art lining the walls. i kept telling kara, ok, so i have to create a work of art like that, or ok, i'm going to learn how to make a painting glow.

thus, this little list was mentally jotted down:

1. pointillism painting/drawing.
2. glowing painting.
3. pollock painting.
4. create my own font.

the fourth item on this list came to be after a conversation i had with jessica about creative outlets. we think it would be of utmost creative brilliance & productivity to create our own fonts. i'll keep you updated on this, though, because i've been told it's a tedious - albeit rewarding - process.

it's so exciting to have a list of ready-made artistic endeavors, for raining days or instances when the creative juices are flowing. i cannot wait to begin, and i also cannot wait for my next trip to the dma, where i'm sure i'll once again be inspired, and once again walk away with a new list of projects.

(photo: my dear iphone)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

starbucks sunday: tomorrow is my 25th birthday.

in honor of the fact that i am joining the quarter-century club tomorrow, i give you:

25 things i vow to do 
in my 25th year.

1. choose my career path & pursue it.
2. write a children's book & get it published.
3. take the GRE.
4. see taylor swift in concert.
5. clean out my closet & donate my clothes.
6. construct a budget & stick to it.
7. visit kara at millsaps.
8. become a morning person.
9. send a postsecret.
10. go to a movie by myself.
11. knit a scarf.
12. run a 10k.
13. lose the weight & keep it off.
14. read at least 20 books.
15. visit a place i've never been to before.
16. make this bracelet.

(justin: tall caramel frapuccino
lauren: tall nonfat caramel macchiato)

17. sew something all by myself.
18. watch breakfast at tiffany's in its entirety.
19. go out of the country.
20. create a workout routine & stick to it.
21. learn to play a song on the guitar so kara & i can sing a duet.
22. never go to bed without brushing my teeth.
23. pick a laundry day & stick to it.
24. complete my four art projects.
25. live for the moment.

(photo: iphone)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

carolina summer, day six: the drive home.

on tuesday morning, justin was back to the clinic for further interviews. i ever-so-grudingly rolled out of bed at this early hour (i'm not much of a morning person, to say the least) & dropped him off. as i headed back to the hotel, i decided a nice little trip to starbucks was in order, & then i curled up with the book i was currently reading, heart of the matter, for the better part of the morning.

i planned to do a bit of shopping & get to know columbus better, but before i knew it, the phone was ringing, & it was time to pick justin up. before we got on the road home though, we stopped in to cracker barrel where i could get another nice helping of (what else?) chicken strips.

the drive home consisted of alabama backroads, stormy weather, & of course, more junk food. when we finally arrived at the junction for i-20, i'm not gonna lie, i was pretty ecstatic. not only did this mean we were that much closer to home sweet shreveport, but we also could refrain from vigilantly checking our gps for where the next turn-off was going to be.

as it turns out, we had to go through an entire three states to get home. but, the juncture of the trip that was the true turning point, happened when we finally reached the mississippi state line. because then, it was jackson, vicksburg, monroe, ruston, &... shreveport (a trip i've made quite a few times, & its familiarity seemed to make it seem easier & caused it to fly by).

and, naturally, as we passed through the quaint town of ruston, louisiana, i was compelled  to photograph some semblance of a skyline.  this was the best i could come up with, & just looking at it makes me wistful for the days of volleyball, rabbs, & waffle house (and let's not forget, wilmart).

as we continued on toward shreveport, we talked of the future, played 'hanging with friends' while sitting right next to each other, & wished for home as the road stretched ahead, feeling endless in that last hour of travel.

and then, as if by roadtrip magic, we arrived home. as we jumped out of the tahoe, abilene & mollie jean (the puppies) raced each other to greet us, and mom was there to see us in as well.

as i walked into the living room, where dad, kara, & ellen were already sitting & talking, i felt happy to be home. and pizza was fresh out of the oven, calling our names.

we sat for an hour at least, recounting our lovely, much-too-quick vacation, while showing off pictures of the beautiful mountains & waterfalls we had seen.

there was laughter. there was pizza. there was family & friends. what more do you need, really?

as if the simple act of returning to a welcoming home wasn't enough, my sister surprised me with an early birthday present 'from across the pond.' she knows of my obsession with all things british, as well as my love affair with beauty products. put all of that together - et voila! - i was holding in my hands my very own ciate' paint pots nail enamel (in cocktail dress). there may have also been an 'awkward family photos' birthday card involved, as well. thank you, kara!

(photos: my sweet iphone)

Friday, August 19, 2011

carolina summer, day five: columbus, georgia.

day five of my carolina summer didn't have much to do with the carolinas at all.

justin & i woke early that monday morning, & after scooping up some coffee & chicken biscuits from dunkin' donuts, we were on our way to columbus, georgia.

i snapped this quick photo while we were on the winding downtown roads of atlanta.

those who know me will tell you - i am a terrible city driver and passenger. my palms get sweaty, i get jumpy, & i am quick to lay on criticism, consisting of any combination of the following:

you're driving too fast.
you're driving too slow.
you're driving too close to the car in front of us.
stop weaving in & out of traffic.

add the crazy curves of the atlanta interstate, & you've got the perfect recipe for a riled-up lauren.

but i do like to think that on this particular drive, i was rather calm & collected. on this particular drive, i was zoned in on capturing a sufficient photo of the skyline, as it morphed & grew larger as we wound our way through the city. and, unfortunately, this is the best photo i managed to get (and you can see the reflection of a door hanger that was lying on justin's dash... oh well).

after our arrival in columbus, the afternoon was filled with tours & interviews. we were so busy, in fact, that, around four o'clock, we had a hotel feast of candy & diet coke (i know... healthy...) - but we had to save room for the delicious dinner we attended later on at ben's chophouse. cheesy seafood risotto, tangy-seasoned seared tuna, and fried mushrooms were among our favorites of the cuisine we sampled that night, alongside a delicious red wine.

as we were chauffeured home that evening,  a georgia thunderstorm raged outside, alleviating us of the sweltering heat & humidity. in addition, i was simply happy, as i love a good thunderstorm!

and as i fell peacefully asleep, i felt thankful for the vibrant, exciting trip we had had so far.

(photo: my dear iphone)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

carolina summer, day four: lazy time.

here is what happened on day four of my getaway to greenville:

lots of sleep
more sleep
logan's roadhouse (for more chicken fingers)
dessert at rita's (italian ice & frozen custard)
movie night at the apartment with alex & ashley

it was a lovely, lazy kind of day.

('artwork' by yours truly)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

carolina summer, day three: downtown greenville.

we woke on saturday morning to brunch at the green room on main street, which had caught my eye the first day i arrived in greenville. after my delicious salad - which coincidentally spawned my chicken-strips-and-honey-mustard binge for the rest of the trip - justin showed me around downtown, stopping first at coffee underground. need i say more? while the baristas whipped up our mint mochas, i dreamt of reading in the cozy nooks, which had that trademark coffeeshop vibe with air cold & caffeinated. we visited the falls at reddy park next, as i dreamt of doing yoga on the crisp, green grass. and how cool is it that greenville has a waterfall right in their downtown? i think it is really cool, myself.

after some shopping at the greenville mall, we decided mexican food & a movie were in order. so we stopped into don pablos for some buffalo & chipotle chicken tacos, which were delicious. the flick of the night was the change up, which had us laughing out loud almost the entire time. i have to say, this was another great night, just adding to the great time we were having on our vacation. just thinking about it makes me miss it!

(photos: my point & shoot)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

carolina summer, day two: places & faces.

the second day of my little carolina adventure was one of endless activity. the day began early, as we were headed to transylvania county to do some hiking & waterfall-visiting. we drove about an hour north, crossing the state line into north carolina. being avid bbq-lovers, we stopped along the road at hawg wild bar-b-que in brevard (a really cute little town). after our feast, we began the ascent of a winding road (our ears were popping the whole time) up to caesar's head, where we found breathtaking views & beautiful greenery, although it was a bit foggy.

then, it was on to looking glass falls. i should mention that, by now, we were cruising around in a cool 76 degrees, a welcome change from the humidity-laden 100+ i had been enduring in scorching louisiana. when we got to the falls, we walked down a pathway & some stone steps to reach  the base of the waterfall, where countless people were swimming and exploring. the sight of huge cliffs above and cool water below was both refreshing & soothing. 

we then made our way over to sliding rock, which was quite a sight to see! as we watched people careen down the slick rockface & splash into the waiting water, i wished desperately that we had thought to bring towels along with us. we decided that we would leave a reason to come back (and i hope we will)! then, as we jumped back into the tahoe, we decided to drive by lakes jocassee & keowee, where many inhabitants of north & south carolina set up their lake house residences. the views were beautiful, as seen in the photo above (i love that i captured the little sail boat)!

after the excitement of  the day, we checked into our downtown greenville hotel & took a much-needed nap before heading out on the town for some italian cuisine at trio with alex & ashley. then, it was on to the community tap, where we picked up a few growlers to take over to john & lisa's. after a few drinks & some intriguing conversation, we headed back into downtown for a few more drinks & a game of darts, before we retired for the night.

it was so nice to meet & hang out with everyone justin had been spending time with while on his preceptorship, & if i needed any more reason to fall in love with greenville, this day definitely did the job.

(photo: my iphone)

Monday, August 15, 2011

carolina summer, day one: the beginning.

as with many trips, this one began on an airplane.

thursday of the first week of august, i jetted out of shreveport, bound for charlotte, north carolina. it was there that i would - after two months - be reunited with justin, my boyfriend of six years. these last two months had been the longest we had ever gone without seeing each other, even counting the time in these last six years that we have been separated.

and after many, many minutes of holding my breath & saying prayers, a look of panic spreading across my worried face every time the planes made an unfamiliar sound, i was finally on solid ground again.

as i made my way toward the baggage claim, i knew that this was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. justin's preceptorship was coming to a close, we were once again - finally - in the same location, & an east coast vacation of mountain climbing, fresh, new restaurants, & exciting adventures, was about to begin.

that first day brought rain storms (which we had to drive through to arrive in greenville, south carolina), firehouse subs, a trip to the local movie theater to see crazy stupid love, & a lunchables (yes, lunchables) apartment floor picnic.

and it was in those first moments that i made a promise to myself. a promise that i would savor every single moment of this carolina summer. and i like to think that i did.

(photo: my beloved iphone)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

starbucks sunday: weekend snapshot.

it's true: i have been diligently contemplating when to write & post my first entry on this little ole blog. as i thought, i tried to determine which of the features or subjects of my last blog, pickle's progress, were my favorite. and the more i contemplated, the more the answer became clear.

so without further explanation, let the new-blog blogging begin with an old familiar favorite:

starbucks sunday.

tall non-fat caramel macchiato. 

there are many drinks that i like to rotate through when ordering at my very favorite coffee shop, starbucks. i'm aware that proclaiming starbucks as my favorite coffee shop makes me seem like a bit of a sell-out, but i have to tell you the truth. and the truth is, i love it.

lately, even though it's been positively sweltering outside due to the louisiana summer heat & humidity, i've been reaching for the benchmark staple in my starbucks routine. yes, it's hot. yes, it's heavy. yes, it's summer & i should probably be ordering a frapuccino or a tazo tea or something like that (an iced coffee, at least)... but my beloved caramel macchiato has definitely been winning the 'what should i order' battle, for the past month or so.

anyway, moving on.

this weekend has been one of turning points, & not only due to the events i'll discuss below, either. friday also marked the 30th birthday of one of our dear friends. we were so happy to be able to rush over to his surprise party after the event we attended friday night. we are blessed & lucky to have such a wonderful & true friend in our lives. happy birthday!

friday. white coat ceremony.

this day began like any other: working 8:30 to 5:30. looking forward to the weekend for a much-needed break.

but this friday was different. this friday marked the beginning of a turning point in justin's career. this friday was his white coat ceremony.

as we sat - front & center - in the banquet room of the officer's club on barksdale air force base, i felt extremely excited, having waited for this day for what feels like forever.

we had drinks, ate dinner, heard speeches, & saw awards given. i looked on (& snapped photos) as justin & his classmates took off their short white coats & were given long ones. but the whole time, in the back of my head, i was secretly looking forward to what was to come on saturday morning.

saturday. graduation.

need i say more? look at the joy on our faces.

as most anyone who has been through it will tell you, physician assistant school is extremely hard. it is fast-paced, intensive, & unforgiving. it is taxing on the student emotionally, which can lead to a lot of excess stress. and this stress can lead to rifts in relationships, no matter what stage those relationships may be in at the time.

i still remember vividly when justin started pa school. it was the summer of 2009, roughly 27 months ago.

and when i think of the journey he has been through, the journey i've been though, and the journey we've been through together, they are all different.

but i think the underlying theme is consistent: we are positively ecstatic that he has finished. that he has graduated. that he will go on to take his boards & become certified. that he will now be able to carry out his dream as a health care provider.

and the fact that we were able to make it to this point together, through all the sleepless nights, stress, seemingly endless study sessions, stents of being in a long-distance relationship, and all the other interesting occurrences & challenges that his program brought - well, i think that feat is truly extraordinary.

no matter how many times i repeat this simple sentence, it will never communicate the enormity of this accomplishment: i am so proud.

(photos: my sweet iphone & my point & shoot)