Weekend Success Story

This morning, I had one of the most successful Sunday mornings I’ve had in months.

No, I did not cure cancer. Nor did I finish all my homework for the next two weeks. I didn’t get the interview done that I need to do for the student paper. I did not go to brunch at a fancy place with fancy friends and order fancy (and expensive) eggs Benedict (how does anyone like eggs Benedict anyway? One of life’s great mysteries).

This morning was a success only in the fact that I did nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

I went to bed fairly late last night, after a wonderful evening rushing about town with friends. I ended up taking some benadryl to counteract my evening of petting and cuddling with cats–adorable, but allergy bombs for me–and the medicine knocked me out. 

morning in bed

Most weekends, I cannot sleep in past 8 or 8:30. The thought of all the things I have to accomplish in the day jolts me up and out of the bed and sends me stumbling to my Keurig. But this morning, I woke up at 8:30…and was completely unperturbed. I rolled over, and went back to sleep.

Amazing. At 9, I got up and ate a little breakfast, checked my email, but I was still feeling really groggy and tired. So what did I do?

I got back in bed for another hour.

I can see how this might not seem like a big deal. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose it isn’t. But I live most of my life in a constant state of hurrying about, trying to stay on top of a million and one things, and hardly taking a moment to sit and just be. Every second of the day has to be spent accomplishing something.  This high anxiety personality of mine usually leads to some wonderful successes, but also to quick burnouts where I feel like getting out of bed is a chore. 

So this morning, I changed it. I ignored the pangs of rising anxiety (what about homework? Shouldn’t I be working on a blog post? Or reading! I could be improving my mind!) and simply gave my body what it needed: sleep. And lots of it.

Now I feel happy, rested, and ready to take on this next crazy week. It’s amazing what a tiny bit of change in perspective can do!

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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

16 Books for a Creatively Healthy New Year

Books_thatll_Change_your_life

I’m heading back to school this week, after a lovely month of relaxing, hanging out with friends, and enjoying quiet time spent with my family. It’s difficult to believe that in a week I will be back in the swing of a new semester, running from theatre classes to my editor position at the newspaper to rehearsal and back again! I’m looking forward to an extremely challenging semester, creatively; but I also know that I have a tendency to go a little bit crazy when things get overwhelming.

This year, I want to focus on living the creative life I love without all of the stress that tends to come with it. Refinery29, one of my favorite websites, seems to be thinking along my lines: they published an article featuring 16 books that will change your life in a creative way. I’ve added these titles to my (somewhat staggering) reading list, and hope they launch me off into the new year in an artistically positive way!

 

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?

 

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!

 

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!

Cooking Basics from Refinery29

Have you heard of Refinery29? If not, I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter. It’s full of little tips and tricks edited in fun, modern style. Exactly the kind of publication I’d love to work for! 

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The post that caught my eye today was on the most basic principles of cooking: boiling an egg, how to make French toast, the appropriate way to bake a potato…all the little things you feel like you should know, until you step up to the counter to cook. This came at the perfect time; just last night, I found myself craving deviled eggs…and wondering what the process for boiling was. It’s fun little things like this that remind you you’re still a child, after all 🙂

Hope everyone is having a lovely start to the week!

 

Fall Back…

It’s most definitely November. The wind has grown chillier and more insistent; evening comes on sooner. I find myself reaching for an extra scarf or heavier jacket most mornings, because I can’t believe how quickly this month has arrived!

I absolutely love the fall. The period between my birthday and New Year’s is my absolute favorite: a whirlwind of coziness, family and friends, decorations, Christmas music, and (best of all?) delicious food!

In my quest for a happy mind and healthy body, I’ve wracked up quite a few dessert recipes I’d love to try. Here are the ones currently at the top of my wish list.

White Chocolate Espresso Cake by pastryaffair

White Chocolate Frosted Espresso Cake from Pastry Affair…all of my favorites in one beautiful, pastry package.

White Chocolate-Topped Cinnamon Chip Cinnamon Bars

White chocolate topped cinnamon chip bars from Averie Cooks…the only thing better than cinnamon? Cinnamon paired with chocolate.

Apple-Gingerbread Cobbler | MyRecipes.com

Apple gingerbread cobbler from My Recipes. Everything that is good and right about the holiday season.

I probably won’t have time to make any of these delicacies for a couple of weeks, since my show opens this coming weekend. Cue excitement. Cue panic. Cue growing to-do list. But just putting them up here motivates me to get back in the kitchen and enjoy delicious food! There is much truth to the saying that desserts like these are good for your soul.