Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sunny Days Ahead

It's days like today when I'd rather be anywhere than stuck on a college campus inside the library peering out at the gray skies of a rainy February day. But I guess something about a rainy day gives us time to think about the exciting things coming up. Did someone say less than two weeks to Florida?! I think so. So as I'm sitting here trying to keep myself from doing work for a while, I figured why not use my time wisely how I want and do some bathing suit shopping. First stop: Victoria's Secret...

I thought the colors and shades of pink in all three of these made a statement, yet didn't look too overdone. I'm a fan of the hint of excitement in the first two with the jeweled top, ruffled bottoms and touch of sequin, and I love the last one for the fact that its simple solid color doesn't take away from the unique detail in the top. Also, the bottom piece would be great to mix and match with. How cute would that look with a black top and white bottom?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Climb

Lately I've been doing a lot of thinking about myself. Not in a selfish sort of way, but in a deep, inner reflection sort of way. My question to you is this-at which point in our lives do we ever give ourselves satisfaction for who we are, the things we have accomplished and the people who we have touched in our lives? I find that lately myself, and so many other people I know fall down with the inner battles of self destruction and perfection. No, I'm not taking anything away from giving everything your 100% best efforts all the time. I am saying that in mean time, while your out there becoming the best person you can possibly be, enjoy the ride.

I've realized that for the past few months, and especially the past few weeks, I've been trying to change so much about myself and about the way that I go about things, that I've spent more time worrying and beating myself up internally than actually letting myself transform into the person I want to become naturally. Everyone says that the common phrase is to "stop trying and things will come naturally." Well somewhere along the way, everyone stopped letting things fall into place as they should, and started forcing things to happen THAT day, THAT week and THAT minute.

The world just doesn't work that way, and thank God it doesn't. The biggest part of the lesson about learning who you are and who others are is by the journey and time it takes to get to that place. You don't need to have your whole life figured out at 19 years old. If you did, what else would you have to look forward to in life? Focus on what you can do in your life to make the pathway for your future the best that it can be, but realize, (and more importantly), accept, that the future is unknown for a reason.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Retail Confessions: The symptom and the diagnosis

The Symptom: Deep breath in, deep breath out. No, we’re not heading to yoga class ladies, we’re heading into town to the little boutique that lures you in like a bad habit every time you walk by. We all know the one. The catchy name, adorable interior, and that killer lighting in the dressing rooms that seems to make every dress look THAT much better. Ahh, boutique shopping. Since many of us are living in college towns, we’re all too familiar with that one place in town where every girl can’t help but stopping in once a week lifetime to splurge. Let’s face it ladies, this is college, and the budget can’t call for expensive retail shopping whenever we see that “perfect dress.” However, when we aren’t looking for it (or more likely aren’t in the market for it) that “perfect” something always seems to pop up in the store.

The Diagnosis: Sound like a familiar scenario above? The bright side here, I might be slightly worried if you were asking yourself, “what is this girl talking about?!” So I assure you, you’re in good hands. Let’s get down to business. Retail shopping is about willpower. Don’t let the famous four letter killer SALE fool you either. There are a few things to keep in mind before you head into the store if your feeling like temptation is calling your name.

Disclaimer: Now don’t get me wrong, not that I have anything against a killer boutique indulgence, I’m simply helping to control the thrill of going retail wild on a college budget.

Another black cotton dress? Ask yourself, do I already have five versions of this same dress, or is there something special about this one that I MUST have. Honesty within yourself is the best answer to taking control of your spending habits. These can be dangerous lands ladies, and that end of the month credit card bill isn’t worth the premature wrinkles that can add up over years of retail addiction.

Step number two. This part can be scary and you may want to close your eyes, but don’t! If you are cringing at the sight of the price tag, then STEP AWAY FROM THE GOODS girls. Chances are you can find something similar to it someplace else, minus the fancy price tag of course!

The Check-up: If you take one piece of advice out of this, remember to never give up your willpower (or what’s left of it anyway). Retail addiction is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. Just like any guilty pleasure, if you can control it then that’s all that really matters.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dorm Room Bliss

They say that after a long day of work there is nothing like heading home to house you adore and can unwinding in after a day of stressful events. They say that in college, there is nothing like heading back to you over-febrezed dorm room to crash on your tacky futon piled high with the rejected outfits that never made it to the previous nights festivities. Actually, nobody says that. Unfortunately, I find more often than not that students I go to school with loathe the sight of their dorm room. Personally, being away from my room at home that I love so much was hard enough, so I knew my dorm room had to be home away from home.

Whenever anyone walks into our room we always get one of two reactions: "This room is glowing pink" and "Woow, this is a dorm?!" No, we didn't get lucky with some luxurious suite, we simply put our heads together and designed the best room that we could with what we could. The secret to all of this? There is no secret, it's simple! However, there are a few tips I'll share with you that can instantly brighten the mood of your dorm room.

Rule number one-Turn off that awful fluorescent light! Trust me, it isn't doing anything for your (or your complexion). Opt for a floor lamp and table lamps, (one for each person in the room). For example, between our beds, Juliana and I have a large floor lamp and on each of our desks, we have matching desk lamps to balance out each side of the room.

Rule number two-Symmetry! Now this rule is really a toss up because not everyone is lucky enough to live with someone who they can coordinate with. If this is you....skip this rule! Juliana and I have balance in our room-our beds, armoire's, stacking totes and desk lamps are all perfectly symmetrical. It's just an extra touch that really gives it that WOW factor.

Rule number three- Natural lighting and natural odor. I know, your probably laughing at the last one. But seriously, an over-febrezed room is not a happy room. Open the window and let some light and fresh air in once in a while. It can do wonders to rid of that musty dorm room smell!

Rule number four-Clean up the floor and make that bed. Ok, the "I don't have time excuse" is something I laugh at. I manage a full schedule of classes, activities and run 3 miles a day, but somehow I have time to make my bed in the morning. I'm sure you can too! Also, buy yourself a garbage--those Tostitos on the floor aren't too cute.

Rule number five-Accessories, accessories, accessories! A perfect outfit isn't complete without the finishing touch of a necklace, headband, etc. What makes you think a room is any different!? And I'm not saying you have to spend a fortune either. A few posters can do wonders for those jail cell-like walls. Adding that '"WOW" factor to a room can literally be done for pennies. Juliana and I taped ribbons onto our armoires and overhead light (that's the one you NEVER turn on), to give the room extra texture and appeal.

So let's wrap up: lighting, cleanliness, accessories, and symmetry. These easy steps will bring you simple and wallet friendly dorm room happiness. And a wonderful way to spend a lazy Sunday!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Holding On

"When someone you love disappears, it's like the light goes dim, and you're in the shadows. You try to do what people tell you: put one foot in front of the other; keep looking up; give yourself over to the seconds and minutes and hours. But always there's that glimmer of light-- that way of living you once knew-- sort of faded and smoky like the crescent moon on a winter's night when the air is full of ice and clouds, but still there, hanging just over your head"
-Lee Martin, The Bright Forever

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Wonderland? Why?!

Now that we're on the theme of nails, I have to ask--Alice in Wonderland?! I can't wait to see the movie, but what was OPI thinking when they designed a whole line of polish dedicated to the upcoming Burton film?! Please, I know your in such a rush to go buy that silver/gold metallic mixture but honestly, this is an epic OPI FLOP! Spare yourself the humiliation.

Feeling daring? If you want to make a statement with your nails, a sparkling blue is not the way to go. Opt for a bold pink, lilac or coral color this season to make a classy yet bold statement on your hands.

Hong Kong Delights

It's finally here! OPI's spring summer collection has sailed in on an adorable little ship. The Hong Kong collection seems to feature bold "look at me colors" ranging from a rich red, to a plum purple to a zesty orange. I'm truly a "go by the name first, then pick the color" kind of girl. I get such a kick out of OPI's names for their polishes each season and the Hong Kong collection has some of the cutest yet. "Bling Dynasty," "Read My Fortune Cookie," "Pearl of Wisdom" and "Panda-monium Pink" are my favorite names from the collection. I always thought that must be a fun job to have--mixing colors and coming up with names! Have you seen/tried any of the colors in person?! Personally, I can't wait to test out that coral color on the bottom right!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sweet Escape

Is it just me, or is anyone else absolutely taken by Alexis Bittar's spring line? From the moment that I saw the flower pins, I instantly imagined myself in the garden sipping tea and wearing a gigantic hat and a sun dress showing off one of the pins....(My daydreaming ends here-promise!) The iridescent colors she uses in her gorgeous lucite pieces combines the perfect balance of romantic and soft shades of light pink, lilac, cream, pale yellow and light green. Her use of various types of stone and pearl in her pieces add an interesting amount of texture to her jewelry that please both the visual and tactile side of the buyer. Also I noticed that, (especially with her earrings), there is a definite use of geometric shapes (specifically different shaped circles) that seems to be a common theme.

FEELING GIVING? If anyone wants to buy me anything, feel free to e-mail me asking for my address. I'm only kidding of course, but really--I'm on a mission to get that necklace and pin!

Master of the Arts

Over my winter break while I was home I was (of course) spending a wonderful amount of time catching up on all the things I love. One of the most important was spending time with my mom. She and I always complete each other with our similar sense of style and interest in seeing fashion as beauty and art instead of simply as clothing. She has taught me to appreciate the classics--a fine Hermes scarf, a beautiful bottle of Bond Chinatown perfume with Swarovski crystals placed carefully on each cherry blossom, or a timeless cashmere sweater (just to name a few). More often than not, we like the same things. However, it was over break that for the first time ever, we disagreed about a certain jewelry designer who she recently discovered.

Charles Krypell, as some of you may have heard of, was a sculpter before he designed jewelry. Hmm, well that's interesting. Don't worry, it was my first impression as well. But I have to admit, his pieces are absolutely stunning in real life. After much hesitation and failed attempts at trying to change her mind, I got my mom a sterling silver and gold Charles Krypell cuff for Christmas. The first time I saw it I was absolutely stunned. The detail and craftsmanship of the piece was artwork. “I want my clients to enjoy the piece at every single angle,” he explains on his company website. Well, trust me, he gets the job done. Above are a few pictures of some Krypell cuffs. DISCLAIMER: the pictures don't do his work justice-they are so intricate in person!

Moral of the story: mom's always know best!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Shoulder Girl

It's really taken me a while to warm up to Lady Gaga, but I have to say, after watching her interview with Oprah a few weeks back, she really has begun to grow on me. After watching her at the Grammy's last night, it seemed like the spotlight was on her everywhere she went during the show. It's no secret that she isn't a stranger to taking bold risks, but I also noticed something about her that goes beyond the clothes. She isn't afraid to show off and accent certain parts of her body that normally people don't think too much about. In particular, I though about how much attention she puts on her shoulders. Strutting around in her strictly Giorgio Armani Prive outfits last night, I noticed that she really tends to wear dresses that add character to her shoulders. Gaga wasn't the only one to stand tall last night either. Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson both sported dresses that made their shoulders worth noticing. Personally, I've never really thought too much about accenting mine, but I think it's a risk that can be done in a way without having to go too over the top. Don't worry, you don't have to be Gaga to rock this look.

These dresses are perfect examples of a "realistic shoulder risk" (for those of you who aren't ready to release you inner Gaga) for a night out to dinner with the girls...

I certainly think its a classy twist to spice up an otherwise (let's face it), boring dress. Definitely a look I'll be trying out for spring.