Friday Fancies

Here’s a short and sweet list of things I’m crushing on this Friday. I hope you are having a lovely day!

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1. Beyond the Pencil (Skirt) Interviews from the Levo League. I’m obsessed with seeing into the inspiring lives of working women who are absolutely passionate about what they do, in all kinds of creative fields.  Today’s interview with Samira DeAmdrade was particularly inspiring.

2. These apple cider muffins are happening. I’ve been craving fall flavors, even though the heat won’t seem to cooperate.

3. I’m so excited about attending the state fair! I don’t know why, but I have been determined to go since freshman year and haven’t made it yet. But this year will be different. This year, I will drag my friends if I have to.

4. Date night! The Boyfriend and I will be watching Hot Fuzz while sipping on some brews…not going to lie, it will probably be warm apple cider for me. Or I might go for the Arctic Zero ice cream I’ve been craving for awhile. And speaking of Arctic Zero and healthy options…

5. I’m heading to Whole Foods for my first real shopping adventure tonight! I can’t really afford to get all my food there on a college kid budget, but I have some specialty items to pick up that you just can’t get at the regular store (for the record: spaghetti squash, PB2, and Arctic Zero are on the list. I’m going to try very, very hard not to impulse buy but. We shall see how that goes.) I feel like Whole Foods is a shopping experience in and of itself. I love wandering around and looking at all the delicious healthy options that I could be eating! Someday, someway.

6. I’m living for this article on College Prepster about the Kate Spade Beau bag. Beau, indeed; I want one in every colour! It’s hard for me to imagine spending a lot of money on a purse, but this one might be worth the sacrfice. It’s gorgeous, luxuriant, comes in colors to suit every look, and it has a HUGE BOW. What more do you need? Be still, my little preppy heart.

7. I’m heading to Waffle Champion this weekend, after weeks of lusting after them.  This cute little eatery started out of a food truck, and grew to such heights of popularity that they’ve opened up a sit-down restaurant. Basically, you start with a delicious buttermilk waffle, and add whatever you like to make it the waffle sandwich of your dreams. They have savory options, but I think I’ll be heading more towards the sweet side. Lemon curd, fresh berries and whipped cream, anyone?

Late Summer Afternoons

Final Days

Equipment white eyelet shirt
intermixonline.com

J Crew j crew mini skirt
net-a-porter.com

Pull&Bear heeles shoes
$63 – pullandbear.com

I spend most of my school days wearing the acting uniform of black active wear, so the only time I really get to show my style is the afternoons.  This week, I’ve really been glorifying in these last, super hot dog-days of summer by wearing cute short and tank combos, always with some wedges.  Hey, you only get summer for so long…I’m dreaming of an afternoon spent on the quad with a magazine, wearing one of these cute ensembles while sipping a passion tea lemonade.
Fall will be here before you know it; I’m going to soak up a little more sun while I may.

Things I love…back to school edition!

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1. Pineapple Jellies (and other school snacks) from Undressed Skeleton
Delicious and nutritious…and not super difficult to make! These would be great for afternoons where you just need something sweet, but don’t want to go overboard.

2. Toy Story Alien Bento Box lunch and other cute Disney ideas from Spoonful.com
 Necessary? No.  But adorable? yes.  Why can’t you get a dose of cuteness with your nutrition?

3. Easy slow cooker oatmeal from Shape Magazine
Only thing I love more than slow cooker cooking? Oatmeal.  My absolute jam.

4. Hot pink hunter boots
Every year, I tell myself that I need to buy rain boots. Usually as I’m trucking through the third or fourth monsoon of the season.  This year, I’m gonna try to be proactive.

5. Cosy tribal sweater
I am always freezing, so a sweater that I can throw on top of any outfit is always a plus.  I love all of these tribal styles that are in this fall! Super cute, and super comfy.

6. Classy carry-all
I love bags of all shapes and sizes, but I aspire to carry a classy tote like this one.  Pink and white chevrons? Sign me up!

7. Sparkly mason jar
Mason jars.  So many uses, so little time.  I love the idea of making one super glittery to adorn your bathroom sink! Better than shoving random brushes in a drawer, as I am wont to do.

8. Welcoming door wreath
So sweet and welcoming! I have been trying to decide what to do with my door all summer, but this mixture of burlap and polka dots is adorable!

9. Sweet tulle garland
I have decided that I do not have enough pink in my apartment at this point (why be a grown up till you have to, right?), so I am absolutely going to be making this easy tulle garland.  The directions are super simple, and the outcome looks absolutely perfect for hanging up over a window or a doorway!

What are you excited about this back to school season?

Date Night…from 924 Miles Away

We are obviously extremely serious people.

I love date nights, of all shapes and sizes.  There is something about making plans and having adventures that makes me giddy like no other.  One of the hardest things about being in a long distance relationship (and believe me, there are lots of hard things) is the lack of these fun little bonding moments.  The Boyfriend and I are very good about the every day little things that make relationships work–for example, I know he spends all day admiring and contemplating the obnoxious number of “cute fluffy animals in silly situations” Snapchats I send him. But sometimes, you really do need the little dose of something special to remind you what it is to truly be in love with your best friend. How’s that for romance?

After a rough week, all I wanted was to curl up on the couch with my guy after a lovely dinner out, maybe sip a glass of wine, and watch movies that made us laughed till we choked on our popcorn.  But that’s pretty hard to do when I’m down in the south at school and he’s still his enjoying his summer up north.  So we devised our game plan for a simple but fun date night that you can do cross country!

Step One: Pick your movie
This was the most involved step for us.  It takes some time to figure out what you can get at when one of you is at home with their entire movie collection and video rental places, and one of you basically has Netflix and chick flicks (guess which is which in our situation?) Pick in advance so you have time to get the goods! For our first pick, we did Silver Linings Playbook,one of my favorites. Next time Chris will pick one of his.  It’s fun to work down a list: maybe Favorite Childhood Movies, Movies with George Clooney, Movies About Italy…you get the idea.

Step Two: Pick your time
This one can also be hard if you’re working on different time zones.  The Boyfriend and I are both central, but we’re also both busy.  Be proactive in finding a time that works–and don’t cancel!

Step Three: Theme  it up with dinner/snacks/desserts galore
We didn’t get a chance to do this, but I think it would be super fun to have the same things to munch on as your partner.  For Silver Linings, we both could have had adventures making Homemades or something else featured in the movie (or just vodka). This is almost like a whole other date in itself; gotta add it to the list!

Step Four: Get cuddly
Build your ultimate comfy zone! It was a little sad to not be actually cuddling with my guy, so I made sure my space had all kinds of pillows and blankets to get super comfy.  I also got to send him pictures of me huddled up like an Eskimo in a snow storm, which obviously brings us closer together.
seeing stars through your fort

Step Five: Timing is everything!
Another difficult part of long distance movie watching?  Getting the freaking technology to cooperate.  The Boyfriend and I literally sat on the phone, controllers in hand, and counted down to the second we pressed play.  And it still was a little off.  But getting their reactions is the absolute best part, so I encourage you to go the little extra mile!

Step Six: Watch and Talk
Probably my favorite part. There are many possible ways to communicate how much you’re freaking out about the movie. The Boyfriend and I live texted the whole thing.  You could also talk on the phone, Skype, Google chrome, Snapchat…as many varieties as there are relationships, I’d imagine. Find what works and is fun for you! Anything that makes you feel connected is a positive choice in my book.

Reaction shot! Not really. But too cute to pass up.

Step Eight: Debrief…the ooey gooey stuff
I think this is probably an overlooked part of the long distance date: make sure you call and actually chat about what you just did! Or else it’s a bit of a, “Wellp, that was fun, I to my bed you to yours” kind of experience.  Talk about what was hilarious, how could this be your favorite movie, wasn’t George Clooney cute in the ’80s?  Well, maybe save that last one for your friends.  Sharing the experience is what makes it a date, so share it.  Also a great time for all of the typical relationship I miss you’s and I love you’s that I can never get enough of.

The Worrier’s Guide to Relaxation

I came to a startling realization this summer: I have forgotten how to relax.  At some point in the last three years, I have gone from someone who could sit for hours enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee, to a girl who gets anxious if I sit down for more than half an hour.  I’m conflicted about this personality trait. On the one hand, worriers get stuff done.  Very rarely do I panic about something that’s due tomorrow, because I’ve been working like a crazy person to get it done, and done well, for the past week. But on the other hand, I tend to work myself to the bone for something, and after I’ve accomplished it, thought to myself: “now, why did I freak out about that? That wasn’t bad at all.” Nothing like awesome hindsight skills. This semester has begun in an interesting way, and I’m already feeling a little out of sorts.  My past two years at school, I feel like I’ve known where I’m going and what the next goal is. Now that I’m beginning to steer a little more towards the English minor side of my degree, I’m beginning to feel a little bit out-to-sea.  How important is getting cast/called back? How important is it to be writing at least an hour a day?  How important is it to remain calm, cool and collected during the craziness? And, possibly the most problematic of all, how do I keep myself from sinking under the weight of all these questions? So I am making a commitment to becoming a better relaxer (I think that sentence says a lot about my personality: I can’t just relax. I have to COMMIT to it. Oi vey, y’all).  I’ve been brainstorming some ways to get my mind and body into that comfort zone…but I would love some suggestions! This is going to be a bit of an uphill battle for my little worry-wart self…good thing I love a challenge.

ways to relax

Books to Fall in Love With: August 2013

I am always in search of new soul mates. Usually the hunt takes me to Barnes and Noble, where I can sit for hours with a latte (or, more healthfully, a water bottle) and interview possible candidates, reading the first 20 pages or so of each in a stack of promising participants. The note on my iPhone of “Books I Need to Read” is beginning to get overwhelmingly long. As much as I love wandering onto the next love of my life, sometimes it’s nice to get a little recommendation and guidance!

That’s where this post comes in. Each month, I’ll suggest a couple new books for your reading pleasure.  My literature habits tend to be all over the board, so get ready for plenty of variety.

Note: I would love to hear about your latest great book finds!

1) Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Read if you’re craving…amazing contemporary writing, beautiful character development, and enough plot twists to make your brain explode. This is a great mystery novel for non-mystery readers!

Why I love it…I am a little late to hop onto this train, but I was absolutely engrossed in this book from the start. It’s been hard to put down! While the story line is intriguing, I’m a little more obsessed with the writing. The wordplay and skill with which Flynn crafts her characters is almost breathtaking, and something I find missing in a lot of contemporary work.  I will be rereading this one, I can tell you that!

2) Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell

Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchell

Read if you’re craving…new characters to fall in love with, sunny summer Southern days, luxurious descriptions of a time gone by…and a heroine who deserves her spot in the top spitfires of literature.

Why I love it…for some reason, this has become my go-to for days spent outside laying in the grass. It’s a bit of a tome (kind of hard to drag around with my towel/sunglasses combo), but I have fallen for the charms of Scarlett O’Hara. Sometimes there’s nothing like a classic.  Even if you’ve seen the movie (I haven’t), I’d recommend checking this one out. Gotta love the conflict when your heroine is a total selfish brat.

3) Cooked, by Michael Pollan

Read if you’re craving…an inside look at how food has shaped our culture and the world today.  This book is good for anyone! I would especially recommend it to anyone interested in ANY aspect of food: cooking, nutrition, styling. Or, you know, eating.

Why I love it…Michael Pollan is one of the most arresting food authors of our time, in my opinion. In this book, he goes beyond recommendations for living your life, and into the complex nature of how food and the way we cook it shapes us.  The book is divided into sections of the elements.  My favorite is Air, in which he works with Chad Robertson, the baker of the best bread in America. Come on. A whole section about bakin

 

Fourth of July, Four Outings: Rooftop with a View

Here’s the second part of my four ideas for amazing ways to spend the Fourth! While a homey Fourth of July is nice, it would be fun to have a chic holiday, watching the fireworks from atop a rooftop in the city.  This would assume that you have both a rooftop and a group of friends ready for a sparkly, sophisticated party.

The Place:

Any rooftop should do! Apartment building patio, restaurant garden, or hotel  deck–decorate with some gorgeous string lights and pretty plants, add some sparklers and you’re good to go.  Special note: the particular rooftop should have a view of some local fireworks.  I  would personally choose a spot downtown, overlooking our lake…it wouldn’t matter how high it was.  Fireworks will be lighting up the night sky!

Rooftop party anyone? #livelifecomfortably

How gorgeous is this? Bonus points if you get red, white and blue Adirondacks.

The Menu:

Firecracker grilled salmon, asparagus with parmesan and olive oil, steamed green beans with lemon-mint dressing, and a frozen lemon soufflé.

Firecracker Grilled Salmon | MyRecipes.com

Spicy and sweet–perfect for some sparkly skies.

Asparagus w/olive oil, sea salt & parmesan cheese

Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing Recipe

Frozen Lemon Souffle

Add some blueberries for a lovely red, white and blue tribute.

The Outfit:

Foley Dress - Lilly Pulitzer

This dress is so BLUE! I am usually more of a pink girl…but my gosh, it’s cute.

Xhilaration® Juniors Mesh Detail Lace Fit & Flare Dress - Assorted Colors

If you love Lilly Pulitzer but don’t quite have the Lilly budget, here’s a cute alternative from Target! I own this one and it fits like a dream.

The Decorations

9' Formula One Red Umbrella

Red Harlow Americana Throw Pillow

Turquoise Paper 10 Bulb String Lights

All found at World Market.

Fourth of July: Four Outings, Part the First

I am a planner.  I love thinking of fun things to do, new ways to do them, and how we can make the most of little holidays.  Making tree shaped cookies on Arbor Day? That would not be unheard of.

Since the Fourth of July is coming up in just a few days, I am posting a few of my dream ideas for family outings, or even a date with the girls or the special guy in your life.  I’m not quite sure what we’ll be doing yet, but it probably won’t be as elaborate as these little events.  If I have learned anything as an acting major, it’s that sometimes, you have to fly by the seat of your pants.  Especially when family is involved.

Look forward to a new idea each day leading up to the Fourth!

1) Summer by the Bay

The Place:
Pick any of the gorgeous lakes that seem to be miles apart up north, pack up the car, and get away for a day of rest and relaxation.  Bring some cosy blankets, a sun hat, and some lawn chairs for an afternoon spent reading.  Or, if you’re like me and my brother, pack along a Frisbee or football and challenge each other to a game in the sand.  Whether chilling or running around, you can’t beat a day at the beach!

The menu:
Orchard turkey burgers with caramelized onions, grilled sweet corn salsa, and yogurt freeze with fresh fruit in a waffle cone. Light and easy…and sneakily healthy!Orchard Turkey Burgers

Grilled Sweet Corn Salsa l www.SimplyScratch.com

Summer snack food,  Freeze yogurt in a waffle cone and top with fresh fruit.

This one is as easy as putting vanilla yogurt (or any of your fave flavors!) in a waffle cone, topping with some delicious berries, and putting it in the fridge overnight.

The Outfit:

Oh, I am so in love with this Pink bikini top.

AE Crochet Denim Shortie | American Eagle Outfitters

Perfect with some sweet lacy bottoms from American Eagle.

AE Colorblock Girlfriend Cardigan | American Eagle Outfitters

When not frolicking in the water, add a little cardigan to add some coverage…and  possibly some warmth! It can get a little cold in these Northern lakes.

The Playlist:

I Want Crazy, by Hunter Hayes
Toes, by Zac Brown Band
Cruise, by Florida Georgia Line

Country heaven, right there.

Hope you liked part one…stay tuned for the rest!