National Food Flags

I saw this on Facebook and had to share. For any foodies, this post is absolutely gorgeous…and mouth watering. Advertising agency WHYBIN/TBWA created flags from 18 different countries formed out of the country’s most recognized foods. The flags were created as a promotion for the Sydney International Food Festival, but I think these prints would hang beautifully in any kitchen.

Italy, with it’s beautiful piles of fresh basil, pasta, and tomatoes, quickly won my heart. I’m also particularly fond of Great Britain’s scones, cream and jam. Not only because I’m an anglophile, but come on: that looks delicious.

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Italy…pasta marinara, anyone?

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Great Britain…of course it’s tea and crumpets. 

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And Brazil! Give me fresh fruit any day.

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Golden Globes Fashion: My Hits and Misses

I had a wonderful time watching the Golden Globes last night with my four best friends! They are all much more in-the-know about television than me (the best I can do is a few episodes on Netflix every month or so; it’s much easier to catch me reading a book), so they helped me know who everyone was.

Mostly, what I took home from this show was I need to go watch some movies. I hadn’t seen ANY of the films nominated for best drama, and few of the comedies! Even though I feel like I’ve been living at the movie theatre this past break, there’s still so much out there! A theatre girl’s job is never done.

While I was happy for all the stars, I have to admit that I found some of their fashion choices a little…questionable. Like, “what were they thinking?!?!” level. Please find below my favorite looks and a few of my “hmmmm….” moments.

Hits…

Lupita Nyong’o: this Twelve Years a Slave star looked radiant in this gown. This is my favorite dress I’ve seen on a red carpet in a very long time. I also think she’s one of the most gorgeous girls EVER.  A little obsessed. 

Michelle Dockery: This Downton Abbey star stunned in Oscar de la Renta. The simple gown would be gorgeous with a plain line, but I think she pulls off that tea length asymmetry with perfection. Bravo, Lady Mary!

Taylor Swift: Okay, I’m admittedly not the hugest fan of this country dive. But I think this dress is stunning! Classic Carolina Herrera lines, with a pop of black to give it a little sexy flavor. Love it, especially when paired with a red lip!

 

And Misses…

Sandra Bullock: Oh man. I really do not like this one. I don’t understand anything about this choice: that colour combination? The weird half-sexy/half-ballgown shape? I think the Gravity star could have done so much better than this frock. Oof.

Amy Adams: This is a better picture of Amy’s Valentino number than others, but I still think the beachy maxi dress plus milk maid hair style looked very strange. Is it formal? Is it a walk around the city? Who knows. I get she was going for a 70’s theme, but I think it could have been much more cohesive.

Sally Hawkins: There seemed to be a distinct “mother of the bride” trend going on this year (see Mila Kunis’ look for further evidence), but I think Sally’s takes the cake. It looks like something from the David’s Bridal mom section. At least she looks stunning and rosy in that colour.

 

One final note: I am certainly not commenting on the beauty or talent of these stars. They are all incredible performers and gorgeous women, and one outfit that I personally think is a little odd has absolutely no effect on my appreciation of them! 

Who did you think were hits and misses?

All photos, Harper’s Bazaar

20 Little Things About Me

I’m totally stealing this little list idea from The College Prepster, because I love lists (see #2 below). Little things might seem inconsequential, but they’re what truly forms you into a unique person. How’s that for a deep thought on Sunday morning?

1// I have a special affinity for twinkly lights and lanterns. They have to be present in any room I’m living in. Something about that soft, romantic glow…

2// I am an avid list maker. I have them for everything: grocery, to-do’s, goals…even lists for lists I need to make. It’s a problem.

3// My favorite season is autumn, especially when enjoyed outside with a good book and a latte.

4// I have a ridiculous inability to relax. I can’t seem to make my mind turn off. I’m trying to get over this with new hobbies like knitting!

5// Speaking of…I just learned how to knit this fall, and it’s my new favorite thing in the world. So soothing. 

6// I like to take long, long walks outside while listening to Pandora. Usually The Civil Wars or Mumford and Sons. It clears my head, and I do some of my best thinking out there.

7// I have the complete cast albums of several musicals memorized–like every note and every word of every character. Top 3: Les Miserables (extra points because it’s the complete symphonic recording), Phantom of the Opera, and Rent. That’s where my middle school years went, obviously.

8// I have recurring dreams about teeth and spiders. Not at the same time, of course. It’s a little weird because I’m not particularly afraid of either thing in every day life but put them in a dream and ugh!

9// Least favorite sound on earth: forks scraping against plates. Even thinking about it makes me shiver.

10// I have a little bit of an owl obsession. My room looks like an owl shrine at the moment because everyone who loves me gets me owl-themed presents. I suppose one can never have enough?

11// My favorite foods include apples and oatmeal. I have at least one of each pretty much every day.

12// I am not exactly a clean freak, and I don’t mind a little mess. But there reaches a certain point of no return in my living spaces where I go crazy if I don’t clean up instantly.

13// I really want to go on Jeopardy, so I can use my vast knowledge of useless things to gain a little profit. Well, more to just use some of that useless knowledge.

14// I have two best friends named Katie. Well, Katie and Katy. 

15// My basset hound Patterson and I like to sing operatic duets together. Her favorite aria is “Mein Herr Marquis,” though she’s more of a bass.

16// I want to own a little adorable puppy (preferably basset or corgi) named Khaleesi and a kitten named Drogo. Get the reference?

17// I love to write things down. I’m an avid journaler of random things.

18// I think I watched one total hour of regular TV over my winter break. I’d much rather read.

19// I can happily while away three hours in a bookstore, reading and sipping coffee or tea. Absolute nirvana.

20// I have no idea what I want to do with my life, besides that it involve writing and being artistic. I’m working on letting that make me more excited than scared.

 

The Twelve Dates of Christmas: Date 2, A Winter Wonderland Drive

I love nothing more than looking at Christmas lights. Seriously, I wish those little sparklies could be up all year round. There is something so magical and beautiful about how they glow on the fresh snow, during the cold northern nights…see, they even make me more poetic than usual. Sigh. But I digress.

My second idea for a winter date night is inexpensive, memorable, and fun!

Date Night 2: Winter Wonderland Drive

Christmas lights always make everywhere look amd feel more special. They are deffinitely the ultimate Christmas decoration that you MUST have!!!

I would start the night with a yummy warm homemade dinner (crockpot soup? Grilled cheese and tomato basil bisque? It’s all good!) After dinner, it’s time to pile in the car and head to Starbucks, or another favorite local coffee shop, and indulge in a sweet and warm drink to ward off the chill inside the car. Even less expensive? Try one of these inexpensive hot cocoa recipes from Refinery29.

Peppermint hot chocolate is the perfect treat for a December morning.

Map out the best-lighted neighborhoods around (usually the ritzier, the better), put some Christmas classics on the radio, and drive around for a few hours. Here are a few must do’s:

  • Pick your favorite house. Special awards can be awarded to Highest Energy Bill, Most Creative, Dream Home, Most Blinding, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to get out of the car! Last year, my friend and I actually went on this “date,” and my favorite moment was jumping out of the car to swing at a park for a few chilly, exhilerating minutes.
  • Take the paths less traveled: it can be fun to get lost and all turned around
  • Bring a camera to document your favorite houses, and any special moments. There could be a great holiday photo for next year’s Christmas cards in there somewhere!

Christmas Tree Lights on our dogwood in the front yard ~ yes please!

 

Adorable Little Ones

I don’t think I have a case of baby fever, at the moment. The same cannot be said for many of my college compatriots, who I see swooning over the little ones running about campus with a hungry look in their eyes. They’re so ready.

I am so not.

I do not want diapers or dirty dishes or throwing up or all my money spent on all of the above.

Logically.

But all of the cute fall and winter pictures of little hipster children? Yep. I’m there. I love them all. And a little bit of my heart cannot wait to dress my own in cute little pom pom hats and owl sweaters and baby slouchy boots and cart them around to parks and farmer’s markets and artisinal stores while we chatter amiably about the latest book that we have read together.

Le sigh. A girl can dream.

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Little Eleanor from Love, Taza. She’s a girl after my own heart.

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Curly haired little guy. My dream.

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What could be sweeter?

 

cosy by the fire

cosy by the fire

Dreaming of a Winter Wonderland

I’ll admit it: for me, we have officially reached the holiday season. I held out for as long as I could. I, too, scoffed at the sinfully arrival of Santas and snowmen to the store shelves. I denied myself the pleasure of Peppermint park and holiday cocoa.

But I simply cannot hold out any longer.

This morning, I decorated my room for the holidays, complete with garlands, snowglobes, and, of course, Christmas lights hung over the window. I listened to my Josh Groban holiday Pandora station as I drove cross town all morning.

And this evening, I will spend some time organizing my Holiday Bucket List.

Yes, the holiday season has officially arrived in Lauren’s heart, Are you all managing to hold out any longer?

Here’s a little piece of gorgeous inspiration for my decorating style. I can’t wait for snow and home!

 

Why I Can’t Shop Online

I am in crisis. A crisis of indecision. And this crisis centers around two pairs: one of ballet flats, and one of sparkling, glimmering earrings. Both contained in the absolutely seductive, sinful, and dangerous collection known as the C. Wonder Flash Sale.

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Ah, the woes of the college fine dresser.

I love fashion. I love dressing well. And I love getting new clothes.

And yet, I can count the number of new items that I have actually bought in the past three months on one hand.

I can have something in my hand, be totally ready to check out, sartorial visions of grandeur dancing through my head; and then, at the last second, my heart freezes up. My hands start to sweat. I begin to counter the thoughts of gorgeous new sweaters/footwear/earrings with the thought that I have to buy groceries in three days. Quicker than you can say “buyer’s remorse,” the offending object has been placed on a random shelf, and I leave the store, empty handed and ashamed, but with a fuller pocket book. This process has continually driven my family and friends crazy. Usually, I only buy something when I’m forced into it by a shopping co-conspirator. At this point, I would say that I spend more time regretting the items I didn’t buy then the few miststeps I’ve made in purchases.

This whirling maelstrom of frugality versus fashion comes to a head whenever I plunge into the world of online fashion. Thanks to shopping sites like RueLaLa and Hautelook, and flash sales from my personal favorites, C. Wonder and Kate Spade, I have a constant influx of preppy fashion splendor rushing into my inbox. 

I almost find something I’d love to have. About once every three days, an item even finds its’ way into my Shopping Cart. But of those chosen few, I think only two items have made their way to my doorstep in the past few months. Both of them were under $10.

The truth is, while I love the convenience of shopping online, I just can’t handle the finality of the numbers that pop up when you hit “sub-total.” Shipping costs kill me. Add to that the agony of waiting for the item to arrive. You don’t have anything in your hand when you trade in your money. I’m basically swiping my Visa on a wing and a prayer, hoping my new ballet flats will arrive and fit, Cinderella-style.

The jury is still out on this one. What do you guys think? How much time do you spend deliberating on purchasing decisions?

 

A Book Lover’s Blog…dreams do come true

I have a love/hate relationship with book recommendations. On the one hand, books are so personal to me that I find it difficult to imagine some online editor could really know what I would like, based off of my passing interest in “The Hunger Games.” So I’m always a little wary of any of those ‘If you loved…’ lists.

And on the other hand…I love books. And I am always on the hunt for new ones.

So I proceeded with trepidation when I heard about the website Go Book Yourself, which proffers “book recommendations by humans, because algorithms are so 1984.” Promising.

The site is beautifully done, with a lovely infographic and short n’ sweet descriptions of the book (too much detail is the death of literary recommendations). I decided to search for a match to one of my favorite reads of the past few months. And a miracle occurred! What should pop up in the first few book suggestions but my new favorite, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I will be laying my little bibliophile hands on these other two soon, have no doubt.

I could spend hours trolling around this site. But now I shall return to homework. Sigh. The life of a busy book fiend.Image

So Much to Be Thankful For…some girl(s) 2013

Wow. I have closed and opened the play I’ve been working on for a month, Neil Labute’s Some Girl(s), in the span of a week.

Time truly flies in the college theatre world.

I don’t think I’ll ever really be able to express how much this show has impacted my life. It did nothing less than remind me why I love this crazy, stressful, often debilitating, but essentially beautiful business. I was blessed with a phenomenal director who listened to me and encouraged me, and a cast of four incredible actors. More important than those artistic accolades is the distinction that they are just really, really incredible people, who have constantly lifted me up during a rather difficult time in my life.

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My entire family came to see this show, all the way from up north. It was my first “main” role at school in a large play, so their presence meant the world to me. The Boyfriend and his family also made the trip…really, could I be more lucky?

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And now, we’re on to the next adventure. It is going to be so strange living outside of the Some Girl(s) world. I’m in the don’t cry because it’s over smile because it happened mode at the moment. The universe has been very, very good to me.

Hope you are all having a great start to your November as well!