Friday, September 30, 2011

friday's fancies #5: crazy about boots.

friday's fancies #5: crazy about boots.





it's that time again, ladies & gents... it's friday! and that can only mean one thing, right? friday's fancies! and this week, i have a lovely new banner that {av} made for me, which makes this whole thing even more fun (thank you!). this week's theme is centered around one of my very favorite aspects of cooler weather fashion: boots. and after all the posts i've been writing lately about the cozy aspects of fall, i decided to go a bit edgier with this one. i put together a look that i think would work well for a night out on the town with my girl friends. 

i'm envisioning karaoke, martinis, giggling, & endless picture-taking.

i wanted the look to be fresh, fun, playful, & daring (i know - that's a lot for an outfit to live up to), so when i saw these suede side zip boots from topshop, i was completely sold. i am absolutely loving the bright blue color & structured shape. i would pair these with a black dress, like the inexpensive one shown above, with either black tights or bare legs.

to give the look a little bit more edge, i'd throw on this brown vintage leather jacket with button detailing. yep, i always break the cardinal rule of no pairing brown and black (...and blue) all together in the same outfit. i've always liked the look of these colors combined, so oopsies... sorry i'm not sorry.

as for jewels, i was drawn to this lanvin leather & brass multi-chain necklace & these anita ko spike ball 18-karat rose gold diamond stud earrings. i think they're the perfect choice to play up this outfit's fun, carefree vibe, while also adding a bit of rockstar chic (although the price tag on these particular pieces of ear candy is pretty terrifying).

perhaps my favorite piece of this entire outfit is the bold & colorful paul smith clutch - i loved this immediately upon seeing it (and now i am starting to really need it). it would be the perfect size to carry my phone, camera, plastic, & nars wonder lipgloss.

have a lovely, fun, karaoke-filled weekend, everyone!

 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

love lists: september.

september has been a month of slightly cooler louisiana temperatures. it's been a month of road trips, running outside, & quality time with a book. a month of time well-spent with family & justin. it's been a month i've really enjoyed, to tell you the truth... i love the crispness of the beginning of fall - the new beginnings. the thought of people buying school supplies, even if i didn't myself. the thought of boots & blankets & pumpkin spice being right around the corner. and the promise of thanksgiving & christmas & new years on the horizon.

here are a few things i have loved in the month of september.



1. MAC 'satin taupe' eye shadow.
2. 'last night at chateau marmont' by lauren weisberger.
3. carmex lip balm.
4. he's just not that into you, in movie version.
5. benefit 'my place or yours gina' perfume. 
6. tokyo milk 'lotus sake' perfume.
7. trips to st. francisville.
8. new cooking endeavors.
9. rimmel london 'vintage pink' lipstick.
10. walking/jogging outside in the cooler temperatures.


(dorky photos courtesy of: photobooth)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

recipe: asparagus tart.

i know. asparagus tart - it sounds like something i'd end up burning.

BUT i managed to make this between getting off work at 5:30 & making it to our potluck book club meeting at 7 - and on a monday, no less.. without burning it. and the finished product is pretty, edible (some have even said yummy), & different.

i'd venture to say that this recipe is extremely simple.

so, on wednesday night, i decided to make another one with my leftover puff pastry sheet & asparagus.

and yet, somehow i didn't manage to take one single solitary picture of the end result. so, my apologies, martha stewart, i'm going to have to use your photo (i hope she'll forgive me).

 

asparagus tart.

i found this recipe on pinterest. it's from martha stewart.

ingredients:

flour for work surface
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 cups shredded gruyere cheese (i substituted swiss)
1.5 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

directions:

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. roll the puff pastry onto the floured surface & arrange it to your preference. i rolled the edges in.
3. place pastry onto a baking sheet & let brown in oven for 15 minutes.
4. remove pastry from oven & sprinkle with shredded cheese.
5. trim bottoms of asparagus spears to fit crosswise across pastry.
6. arrange asparagus in a single layer on top of cheese, alternating ends & tips.
7. brush with oil & season with salt & pepper.
8. bake 20-25 minutes, until spears are tender.

yum.

and it's healthy, too.


Monday, September 26, 2011

miscellany monday #3: a list of currents.

currently...

reading catching fire, by suzanne collins. i was told i would be addicted to these books, but i had no idea the extent to which my nose would be glued to the pages. i picked this book up from target last night, & began reading around 8 p.m. i am now on page 139. and if i have any free time at work today, i will be reading.

writing this blog post? haha... how about i tell you what i should be writing? the answer to that question would be letters of intent & manuscripts for grad school. in fact, i really need to do some research on that today.

thinking about the future. and how bright it is. and how much i have to look forward to. a welcome change from the omg college is over & now i have nothing to look forward to mantra i've been carrying around on my shoulders lately.

smelling the new favorite perfume i picked up at grandmother's buttons in st. francisville. it's tokyo milk's lotus sake, & it's an obsession of mine at the moment. believe me, you've gotta try it out. delicious.

wishing for opportunities - especially of the north carolina variety - to present themselves.

hoping for a productive week, full of drive & accomplishment. especially as far as my room & laundry are concerned.

wearing winged eye liner. rimmel london's vintage pink lipstick. i've been obsessed for about a week now. also, e.l.f. polish in plum, which is a great, inexpensive dupe for opi's lincoln park after dark.

loving moo weekends, winged eyeliner, taylor swift, sushi, knitting, & going to church.

wanting to fill up the rest of my MAC eye shadow quad (with vanilla, all that glitters, & espresso). to go to the gym. and to do pilates every day this week during lunch. oh yeah, & the justin bieber perfume... i'm not kidding!

needing to stick to my new budget. it's time to save, save, save!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

go link up with lowercase letters & list your currents. it'll be fun.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

fall favorites.

fall favorites.

when joelle proposed that everyone write about their fall favorites, i couldn't resist. this is one of my favorite seasons, & there is so much that i love about it (even in addition to what you see here). everyone go link up - i LOVE seeing what everyone else loves about this crisp, exciting time of year... it's so inspiring. and cozy. and everything else good, really. she is also giving away some of her fall favorites, which is think is amazingly lovely. i don't usually write about giveaways on my blog, but there's no way i could overlook this one! trust me, it's worth checking out & entering.


but now, back to the good stuff.

when the weather starts to turn cool, one of my favorite feelings in the whole world is pulling on some freakishly tall boots over my tights. i firmly believe that one of the very best things about this time of year is how comfy the clothes are allowed to be. the tops i've included above are enough to make me want to run out & scoop up a whole new wardrobe, filled with things just like them.

i'm also a really big fan of dark nail polish. in fact, i have to restrain myself from wearing it year-round. i actually used to wear it year-round, but i decided saving it up for the cooler months made it more special... you know, more like a treat, which i love.

speaking of treats, who can resist a pumpkin spice latte from starbucks? because i can't. nor can i resist any warm drinks, for that matter. they are the pinnacle of coziness & comfort to me. and what better way to enjoy a sweet, coffee confection, than from in front of a football game? whether viewed via television set, with friends & food, or bundled up in a stadium packed with screaming fans, this sport takes me back in time to beloved college days... as well as provides an arena for new - and even better - memories.

and please, don't even get me started on fall decor. i nearly shed a tear of happiness when pumpkins - especially ones such as the gorgeous twinkly pumpkins above - begin popping up on porches & in store fronts. at this point, all there's really left to do is light a warm, spicy candle, & you'll have me ooohing & ahhhing in delight.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

yes, the rumors are true: i am the biggest twenty-five-year-old dork in america (t swift recap).

we stood there, cameras at the ready.

i swayed back & forth in my feather dress & cowboy ankle boots.

we took a million pictures, while we meshed with the anxiously waiting crowd.

and then, it began.

and i barely took any pictures, because i just wanted to focus on enjoying everything & taking it all in - on really being present. i did manage to tear my eyes away from the stage long enough to send a few frantic text messages (for example: taylor grabbed my hand. i'm not kidding.)* but they required repeated effort, being blocked by the massive onslaught of social media crammed into one small place.

i'll be the first to admit, i get star-struck pretty easily (hi, luke wilson). so, of course, the simple fact that i am in the same room with taylor swift, & i am watching her sing songs & talk in real life, really got the best of me.

the music was reverberating all around us, & - in true concert fashion - i could feel the excitement of the music coursing through my body. i couldn't believe the power, energy, & emotion being emitted from & for this tiny person onstage, with blonde, curly hair & perfect red lips.

and as she sang 'enchanted' - with the talented dancers colorfully twirling all around her onstage - i had a moment of clarity: i was reassured that i belong in the artistic world. it was like the moment spoke to me & said, 'you can't not be a part of things like this.'

and i am grateful for that reassurance, because it's something i need pretty much constantly.

another performance that was especially striking was that of 'dear john.' 
it was intense. sarah leaned over to me at the end & said,

'you just  know that's about someone.'

and even though pretty much all of taylor swift's song are about someone,
i knew what she meant. the raw emotion was evident.

there was just a general, overpowering sense of this being genuine for her - something that she really loves. her passion. and when she told us that this passion of hers had only just started out as a hobby - that she had never dreamed that she would be here, putting on a concert for a packed arena of fans - & thanked us for letting it be her career, i was just amazed. i felt like that was a statement many people could relate to.

those words made it impossible for me not to realize & accept what i know i have been yearning for - to make my own hobby into my passion & hopefully - eventually - my career.

so, you can call me dorky, corny, sentimental, etc., all you want - but this concert was an experience for me.

dare i say, an enchanting one.


*yes, that really did happen. and i'm pretty sure i almost fainted.

thoughts to come later.

(photo: iphone)

Monday, September 19, 2011

a little dash of accountability for your monday.

lately, love is home's joelle has been posting about keeping herself accountable
through sharing her weekly goals. it has inspired me to post a weekly to-do on here as well --
hopefully to keep me accountable & make crossing things off even more satisfying.

and in keeping with this entry's 'to-do list' theme,
i thought i'd do an update on my 25 things list.
i'm pleased to say i've made a bit of headway:
and because these lists are quite miscellaneous in nature,
i'm linking up with lowercase letters - go show her some love!

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Sunday, September 18, 2011

starbucks sunday: on accomplishment.

let's talk about one of my favorite feelings.

it's the feeling that happens after you've accomplished something.

something you've been dreading & anticipating at the same time.

something that's been weighing on you mentally. and probably emotionally.

something you've prepared for.

something you've worried over.

something that marks a new beginning in your life.

yes, that feeling is the one.

and today, i am thankful - ever so thankful - for that feeling.

--

but let's be totally honest here: the feeling of sipping on a
tall, nonfat, no whip pumpkin spice latte
is also an amazing feeling.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a list of lovely things.

mollie jean is lovely too.


you know how i love my lists.

you know how i love my lovely things.

joining the two seemed appropriate.

1. justin passed his boards.
after what felt like weeks upon weeks of waiting (in truth it was only 3 days), justin woke to the news that he had officially passed his physician assistant certifying board exam. what does this mean? well - it means that now he can begin looking for a job! in fact, i've been told that is on the agenda for next week: job hunting & applying for state licenses. this is extremely exciting & what we've all been waiting for. i am so proud of him, & i know that he is extremely excited to begin working & putting that education & his skills to use!

2. i think i may have chosen my career path.
more on this to come. by the time you're reading this, i will have taken my GRE, which is, of course, the first step to all of this madness. justin & i have been doing a lot of research on graduate programs, & just last night i found one that i am kind of smitten with, which really has the gears turning in my head. unfortunately, i will not receive my GRE scores until november (basically a century away), but in the meantime, i will be further researching schools as well as preparing all the other documents involved. as my 'decision' is still in the formative stages (why is it so hard for me to commit to things like life goals?), i'm going to wait on posting all the details. but please, say a little prayer for me & my new endeavor! 

3. crafting is on the horizon.
lately i've been sharing my love of pinterest with my mom (and yes, she has most definitely requested an invite). in our perusal of that lovely website, we have happened upon some shared crafting interests that we plan on creating together. now, just to begin the hunt for some lovely vintage frames! i've also been keeping up - and working on daily - an item from my 25 in 25 list. i'm pretty excited about my dedication, seeing as that is something i'm a little bit lacking in sometimes (it's ok - i totally know this about myself... it's no surprise).

4. taylor swift & i are going to be bffs.
that's right, & it all  begins on tuesday, when i go see her in concert. seriously, i have been waiting to see taylor swift live for like, upward of two years (just ask justin - i've been dropping hints about wanting to see her for probably as long as he can remember). it'll be a night of great fun, i'm sure, especially owing to the great group of girls i'll be going with. we've had our tickets for over a month now, & the anticipation is really starting to get to me! i feel like a little kid waiting for christmas.

that's all for now.

i hope there are lovely things happening in your life, too.


(photo: photobooth for macbook)

Friday, September 16, 2011

friday's fancies #3: game day chic.

friday's fanicies # 3 - game day chic.


when i learned the theme of this week's friday's fancies - gameday chic - the wheels started turning in my head over whether i'd feature my alma mater, louisiana tech, or one of my other two favorites - louisiana state university or university of florida. since a trip to ruston sounds just short of fabulous to me at this moment, i decided to go with the bulldogs! our colors are red, white, and blue, but in an effort to seem a little less fourth of july, i decided to go a little more neutral. clearly i'm living in a dream world, because in the real world, my feet would scorn me for the jimmy choo choice. everything else you see here exudes comfort & relaxation to me - something i value in a good football tailgate/viewing session. go bulldogs!

go check everyone else out at {long distance loving}!


Amor Psyche rhinestone top
€169 - jades24.com

Miss Selfridge denim skinny jeans
£38 - missselfridge.com

Jimmy Choo patent leather sandals
$149 - fashionphile.com

Marni embossed handbag
£255 - net-a-porter.com

Jennifer Meyer 18k jewelry
$675 - barneys.com

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

fall reads.


the constant princess (philippa gregory)
last night at chateau marmont (lauren weisberger)
the hunger games (suzanne collins)
catching fire (suzanne collins)
mockingjay (suzanne collins)

after these books have been completed, there are a couple of books* i have - embarrassingly enough - begun yet not finished, which i vow to finish in the remainder of the month of november.

then, it will be on to the winter list!

*the facebook effect, by david kirkpatrick & the girl who kicked the hornet's nest, by stieg larsson.

[photo: toma<3s]

Sunday, September 11, 2011

remembering.

in honor of september 11, i would like to share something i wrote in 2002,
one year after the attacks on our beloved country.

--------

america changing

america is a country that i feel people look up to. the united states is known for being advanced in many areas, and for being a just, peaceful land full of opportunity. this country is known for strength, endurance, bravery, and control. in most cases, other nations look up to us and seek our guidance and assistance in times of need. on september 11, 2001, an act of hate inflicted upon the country that i call home occurred, perhaps shifting this outlook.

it was just an ordinary day: a part of the monotony of a school week. on this tuesday morning in fall, my mom, trey, and i were on our way to cmhs, where trey and i were sophomores. as usual, the radio was on with the news of the morning. we were all fairly quiet, since it was nearing 8:30 a.m., and we were still tired. all of a sudden, my mom turned up the radio. i couldn't believe what i was hearing: "an airplane has just hit one of the world trade center towers in new york!" "what is the world trade center?", i thought to myself. as we continued to listen to the report, mom said, "it couldn't have been an accident. something doesn't sound right about that." i couldn't fully understand what had happened. the reality of what had occurred just then had not yet had time to sink in.

as trey and i walked into school, i remember wondering if anyone else had heard the news. i can't exactly remember talking about it to anyone, but i know that i wondered how many people had heard about it and how they were reacting to it.

i remember that mrs. c, my first hour gymnastics teacher, had on the television as we walked into her room. when i first caught a glimpse of what was on the screen, i couldn't believe my eyes. the image of that insanely tall building --  the first of the twin towers to be hit -- with a gaping hole in the side of it, smoke billowing out of it, will stick with me for the rest of my life. as we watched the replay of the plane crashing into the building, i remember hearing the newscasters mention that this could have been an act of terrorism. it all seemed so surreal at the time. i had heard of terrorism before, but it seemed like it was always happening to "them," but not "us." as i walked into mrs. n's second hour geometry class, it began to sink in that it was happening to us. someone, for some reason, was attacking us.

i don't know how to explain what i was feeling as i took my seat at the front of my second hour classroom. voices echoed around me: "have you heard?", "can you believe it?" as the bell rang, mrs. n turned on the television. she felt that what was going on was important for us to hear. it was then that we found out that a second plane had crashed into the other world trade center building. now, instead of only one building,  there were two... two huge buildings with smoking holes in the sides of them. i simply could not believe it. "what next?", i remember thinking to myself. as we all sat in shock, when we all thought that the abnormal events of the day had come to pass, one of  the towers began to fall. i cannot express the awful, sick feeling that came over me as i witnessed on tv the collapse of the burning buildings. it was horrific... simply horrific.

then, to our astonishment and chagrin, mr. g, one of the vice principals, announced over the intercom that the superintendent of our parish had ordered that all of the televisions in the school be turned off. we couldn't believe it, not even mrs. n, who said that we should be able to be informed of what was going on... that it was history in the making. i left second hour stunned and confused -- what was happening?

i don't recall the normal events of the rest of the day. i remember hearing that the pentagon had been hit by a plane. i wondered if it would ever stop. i don't remember when i heard about the plane that crashed in the field, but it was shocking that all of these events kept happening. it was also big news that the president, george w. bush, was coming to bafb, which was relatively close to cmhs. as we listened to channel one at the end of mrs. t's biology class, which was third hour, we were told that this could be the work of a man in afghanistan, osama bin laden.

for the next month, the events of that "normal" tuesday morning were all over the news. i remember sitting in the tv room with my family, watching fox news channel. everyone watched the news after september 11. everyone was anxious to know what was going on.

i feel that osama bin laden's attack on america directly affected me. it really opened my eyes to what goes on in the real world. it made me realize fully that not everyone loves america -- that we have enemies that pose a large threat to our country. ever since seeing that first tower fall, i have been interested in the welfare of the united states. while before those events i was a patriotic citizen of this country, i now feel that i am part of a family: the american family. 

on september 11, 2001, the world saw that america, the strongest and most advanced country in the world, has weakness. the world watched as one of the most peaceful countries on earth was severely attacked. america was hit hard, no matter how hard it is for us to admit it. while we can fight back, while we are now fully capable of defending ourselves, we cannot change the fact that we were attacked, that we weren't prepared for what afghanistan hit us with.

there have been changes to this country and the world since those hijackers took over our planes. we are working toward prevention of any attack of this kind happening ever again. security and inspections in airports have been increased, and everyone has their guard up. where americans had any naivete in relations with our enemies, there is now a growing knowledge among us all. this nation -- this world -- is watching. we know what to expect, and we are prepared. while september 11 was a tragedy, to say the very least, we are ready now. the world has awakened, and america is ready to fight for justice.

--------

God Bless America.

Friday, September 9, 2011

untitled enlightenment.


the other evening, justin & i were on a walk at betty virginia park,
& these words found their way out of my mouth:

i don't like being mortal.

there are so many things i want to do in my life: so many careers i want to pursue -
so many activities i want to be involved in - so many books i want to read.
and often the sensation creeps up on me that i just don't have enough time on earth to do it all.

our walk was a long, satisfying one, as was our talk.

and as much as i'd love to say it was decided that we'd pursue all of our different dreams,
we were more realistic in that moment.

we knew the best route was to pick one thing & put everything into it.

and i'm happy to say, that is exactly what i'm doing.

(photo: from south carolina; point & shoot)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

cheesecake in the making with lindsey & katie.

on a wednesday night, lindsey, katie, & i gathered in the kitchen to cook up a sweet treat for our coworker's birthday. the requested confection? strawberry cheesecake.


technology mavens that we are, a strawberry cheesecake recipe tutorial was retrieved from youtube, which katie is so arduously consulting in the photo above (please do not let my appearance as a serene housewife who bakes cheesecakes every other day fool you - i'm no expert in the kitchen. i'm still learning).

i thought i'd share this recipe, both to benefit anyone in search of a cheesecake recipe, & to keep it in 'my files' in case i ever get a hankering for the fluffy, creamy goodness that is cheesecake (ha - if? more like when i allow myself to succumb to said craving).

strawberry cheesecake.

ingredients for the crust:

1 cup crushed graham crackers
3 tbsp. sugar
(we used sugar & brown sugar)
3 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
(be sure to let it soften naturally first - we just straight up melted it in the microwave, which caused our crust to crumble, as it didn't have that cohesive, semi-sticky quality that most crusts have)

ingredients for the batter:

5 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs

ingredients for the topping:

box of strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

directions:

1. topping: the night before, slice up your strawberries, add sugar, stir, & place in the fridge over night. this creates that yummy, juicy, strawberry mixture that complements the creaminess of the cheesecake so well.
2. crust: day of, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, & melted butter. mix well. 
3. empty crust contents into your pan & spread it out evenly. we used 13x9-inch baking pan. place in the oven (preheated to 325 degrees), for 10 minutes. then, set aside.
4. batter: soften cream cheese to room tempterature, cut into chunks, & place in a bowl.
5. combine with sugar, flower, & vanilla, & beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until well-blended.
6. add sour cream & beat again until well-blended.
7. add eggs one-at-a-time, beating on low speed to blend.
8. pour over crust.
9. bake for approximately 40 minutes, or when the center is almost set. 
10. refridgerate for at least 4 hours. we refridgerated over night.
11. add topping before serving.

et voila! yummy, creamy, strawberry cheesecake!

and, on the off chance (ha) that my directions were a bit confusing, here is the tutorial:


i should note, this tutorial is for cherry cheesecake. as mentioned above, we used chopped strawberries, with sugar added for sweetness.


p.s. please feel free to send me recipes! i am always looking for something interesting to cook up in the kitchen. leave them in the comments, email me, facebook me, tweet me, etc. thank you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a summer spent with stieg larsson & emily giffin.

in order of enjoyment.

love the one you're with, by emily giffin.

by far the best of all giffin's reads, love the one you're with is introspective & touching. the narrator runs into an old flame exactly one year after her marriage to 'the good guy.' chaos ensues. i was on the edge of my seat in anticipation & suspense for almost the entire novel. by the end, i was itching to see which path ellen would end up taking.

the girl who played with fire, by stieg larsson.

and this was, by far, the best of the larsson trilogy. it was fast-paced throughout almost its entirety; there were only a few slow spots of endless investigational jargon. other than that, i'd say, top notch... & what i was expecting out of the entire series.

heart of the matter, by emily giffin.

i have to admit this one ranks high because it was my travel book when i trekked to the carolinas this summer. don't get me wrong - i love all of the giffin book because, well, i just love them - but, this one could not hold a flame to love the one you're with. it still piqued my curiosity, though, and kept me wanting more by the end.

baby proof, by emily giffin.

possibly my least favorite of all of giffin's works, this one was still heart-warming, true, honest, & real. something i must say about all of emily giffin's books is that, you feel like you really know these characters. i always feel the instinct to reach through the pages & help them out. 

the girl with the dragon tattoo, by stieg larsson.

this is the first of the trilogy, & in all honesty, it took me longer to read that i thought it would have. once i got through the gristly parts, i was in love. and i truthfully could not wait to pick up the girl who played with fire, which definitely stole the show.

the girl who kicked the hornet's nest, by stieg larsson.

sorry stieg, but this one isn't leaving me very impressed, as i have not even finished it. call it laziness on my part, but i just wasn't as intrigued to power through it as i was with all the others. i fully intend to finish this book after the fall reading list has been completed. i hope the remaining pages prove me wrong.

(photo: point & shoot)