Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Into the Woods

Sometimes I dream of living in L.A., Santa Monica, Orange County. Other days I see myself in Maine, New York, New Haven, Providence. Then I look outside my window and see lush grass, large oaks and dozens of woodland creatures just hanging in my backyard. Sure, the bunnies and chipmunks eat my flowers and the deer run down my vegetation. But I can't think of anything better. This beautiful wallpaper is just rustic enough without being overly cheesy. I'd love to see it on a wall with a shimmery glaze over it. The print reminds me a Snow White in a way. 

one / two

Seeing Double

Facing the conundrum of growing out my hair, I fell in love with this photo spread in Elle Korea. This messy pageboy is so chic and cool. I'm just so into this spread. Their makeup is fresh (great lip color) and the styling is great. I really love how they play up the twin element. I'm a twin, so naturally I love seeing twins featured. And how rad are those sunglasses? They remind me of these. Feeling inspired. 

{Splurge or Save}...Wedges

A while back I was wondering what your favorite vacation shoe was. I recently went shopping and found some fantastic wedges. The great thing about them is they can be dressed up or down, are comfortable and make your legs look fab! Every once in a while, I ditch the crazy colors (which I love, like these!) and go for the classic preppy look. When I saw these Tommy Hilfiger wedge espadrilles, I immediately imagined myself at a country club sipping pink lemonade. Then I came across a remarkable look alike at Old Navy! Perfect for my feet and my budget! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Long One

And we're back! After a wonderfully long and relaxing Memorial Day weekend, it's time to start posting again. I snapped some pictures on instagram. Now that it's warmer and warmer, I can't wait to post and chat about some everyday adventures! (They are so many more in summer, than in winter. Don't you agree?) This weekend was filled with family and friends, parades and music, food and laughter. We had a little party on Monday and got lucky with fantastic weather. (Did you hear about our big storm over the weekend?  Yikes!) All in all, it was a smash. Nick came home and will be here all summer! Although he works a ton, I'm just happy we'll be in the same city for three months! Bliss! I started (again) The Duchess, but still can't find the ambition to finish it. We'll see. Any good book suggestions? Now. Back to work! After all, it's only a four day week. Cheers!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Vintage Vogue

 How rad are these Vogue covers from the 1950s? I'm always so fascinated by archived magazine covers. Just think how influential, imaginative, contemporary, and possibly controversial these covers were when published. Today we post half naked, and sometimes nude, women and men on magazines. Dressed androgynously, rail thin, sporting new hair styles, avant-garde make up, or minimalist styles, these covers dictate a culture's look. Although they don't feature the headline news of the day, fashion magazines offer us such a cool perspective of the time. It captures how people lived, because you live in clothes. I love the monochromatic purple, as well as the black and white. How dramatic! And isn't it interesting how often cars are featured?

Photos via

First Position

Speaking of performing and dance, I am dying to see this new ballet documentary. First Position follows the lives of six ballet dancers, documenting their training, sacrifices, commitment leading up to one of the most prestigious youth ballet competitions in the world. Released in May, I sadly haven't gotten to see it yet. But I will soon!

Up On the Stage

The auditions for So You Think You Can Dance aired last night and it got me all sentimental. In high school I dance all the time. The best part about it was performing. I was in show choir, band, marching band, dance. If I could be on a stage, then there I was. Getting to college, I suddenly didn't perform as much as I used to. I started missing dance so much while I watched in awe last night that this morning I did Zumba. That's right. For the first time in a long time I worked out. I discovered that: 1) I'm out of shape big time. 2) You feel ridiculous doing Zumba 3) It's fun! I felt like I was back at dance! I'm definitely going to their recital this year to see my old dance girls, costumes, make-up the works. The glitter, lights, music. It's addictive and thrilling.

Have a wonderful, performance filled weekend!

Were you a big performer in high school? Are you still? 

Photo credit: Katie Konkle

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Backpack Leashes

Have you ever seen back pack leashes? I saw one for the first time a few years ago and was pretty horrified. Today I was even more appalled when I saw a child writhing on the floor screaming bloody mary, wearing a backpack leash. The poor child's guardians (or what I assumed to be guardians) just stood there, holding the leash, barking at him to stand up. There was no sensitivity, no attempt at actually changing the child's behavior. They were satisfied that at least he wouldn't run off anywhere since he was tethered to their wrist. 

I am immediately confused why any parent would subject their son or daughter to this kind of treatment? Do we really live in a world where children are treated like pets? It may be tempting to secure a child into this harness if they are unruly and rambunctious, but there must be better  ways to deal with such issues. 

What are your thoughts on backpack leashes? To me, the look like straight jackets. Do you think they serve a good purpose? Would you try one? Or are you upset that children are forced by their exhausted parents to wear them? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Photo via

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Donald Driver Day

Official proclamation of Donal Driver Day,
signed by Gov. Walker & Secretary of State
Can you believe it? Today, May 23, has been declared as Donald Driver Day by Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Just after winning Dancing With The Stars, Driver will forever be celebrated in WI as a champion of football, children's books, and ballroom dancing. 

Winning DWTS; The Mirror Ball

But let's think about this... 

We know the race for the recall election is tight. The results will be close. Is Gov. Walker using this to rally support and followers? Donald Driver is perhaps one of the most likable citizens in Wisconsin right now. Who could say no to that smile? By celebrating one of the most loved celebrities, Gov. Walker is pulling at the heartstrings of Wisconsin's population. 

Whether Gov. Walker is using this proclamation for political reasons or not, we can say for sure this will definitely not hurt his chances in the recall election. 

Top photo via. Credited to Donald Driver/Twitter
Bottom photo via 

Good Reads

Are you a book worm? Do you love sharing your favorite titles with everyone you meet? I'm definitely that person. After a while, I felt like I was running out of good books to read. After a year at college, I'm dying to read for fun. However, it's been so long, I had no idea what I wanted to try. Enter It's a fantastic site where you can create lists of books you've read, ones you're currently reading, and title or authors you want to try. You can also rate, review and share. A fantastic site for all you readers out there. It's a lazy day today, so I've been browsing for a while. Check out my favorite books! I'd love you know yours!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hello, My Name Is...HUH?

Our 21st century, American culture has hosted great triumphs and acheivements: the first black president was voted into office, gay marriage (in some states) was legalized, the Packers won the Superbowl. Yet this era has also spawned some seriously bizarre fads including, but not limited to: pajama jeans, reality television (aren’t we all fascinated by the Kardashians and Real House Wives?), and the real tragedy - baby names. 

According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, the names Jessica, Emily, Sarah were some of the most popular names for girls and Michael, William, and Jacob triumphed for boys in 1995. By 2005, Madison was a trendy girl's name, while Angel was a number one boy's name in Arizona. 
Thanks to a socially lethal combination of celebrity obsession and supremely individualistic sentiments, naming babies has transformed into a social experiment. Gwyneth Paltrow had Apple, Jason Lee had Pilot Inspektor, and Frank Zappa takes the crown with Moon Unit, Ahmed, Dweezil and Diva Thin Muffin. The list, unfortunately, goes on and on. None of these names elicit a clear understanding of if the baby is a boy or girl. 

This trend quickly spread deep into everyday culture. Normal people named their newborns Sage, Lemon, and Dakota. The trend soon became an individualistic egalitarian movement. Egalia Preschool in Stockholm doesn’t have genders. The children are not “hims” nor “hers”, but rather “friends”. Remember the recent parents of Sasha who refused to reveal if their child was a boy or girl for five years? 
While a noble and important goal, the acheivment of equality should certainly not hing on what we name our children. The acceptance of all genders and the appreciation of individuality should be nurtured through awareness, teaching, and actions. Giving your baby an exclusive (and let's be real, a weird) name doesn’t guarantee a life free from judgement. 
Forget gender neutrality. Jessica Simpson threw a curve ball at us when she named her baby girl Maxwell Drew. Is it just me, or are you confused? 
Furthermore, what about the names you can’t even say? I feel for all the teachers that have to encounter names comprised of all consonants, no vowels on their class roster. We are forever indebted to Ke$ha for her brilliance in using symbols as alphabetic characters. How wonderful that our alphabet has been expanded; our names are no longer pronounceable.
The blatently apparent catalyst in this name fiasco is the parental unit. Are they starved for attention? Are they sadistically trying to give their child a complex? Do they enjoy watching us all squirm uncomfortably as we try to pronounce the kid’s name? 
Here: I’ll throw you a bone. I’ll compromise. If you’re dying to give your baby a “special name” use the middle name. That’s what it’s for! Exploit the opportunity to give your child two names. Instead of calling the new baby Pumpkin, take a deep breath, think, and go with Jennifer Pumpkin. You’ll spare the child awkard school years and you'll spare us confusion. 
So remember: your child will have to live the name you give them for a long, long time. If that doesn’t persuade you, think about this. When faced with two equally qualified applicants, employers tend to hire the applicant with a traditional or “normal” name as oppossed the one with a unique name
Like all good things in life: keep it short, keep it snappy, keep it simple. Happy naming!

Monday, May 21, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Back to Back

Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome back after what I hope was a fantastic weekend. I'll fill you in on some highlights. 
My WAY old stomping ground-DeLong Middle School

We started the weekend off with a bang by having our May/June birthdays! Singing "Happy Birthday" 13 times (different and lovely harmonies every time) whilst delighting in Better Than Sex Cake (which we called "BTS (bits) cake" around the little ones) was good fun! My extended family really knows how to celebrate. Brandon, who is in first grade, was a mini MJ. He danced along to the King of Pop's songs for at least a half hour! What a performer! Without any bias, let me tell you: he's fantastic! 

Caramel + Sweetened Condensed Milk 
Devil's Food Cake. Seriously sinful.


I can't say I didn't snack on the topping...

Nearing completion.

Almost final product!
Saturday proved to be even crazier than the night before! Nick, the great, cool guy that he is, came back to Eau Claire for his good friends' wedding. We had so much fun eating and dancing with friends. For the first time in my life I did line dancing! The reception was in a barn decorated with twinkle lights and candles for a good old hoedown. It was beautiful, simple and down right fun! Congratulations, Dani and Grant! I might have a new hobby! Looks like I'll be investing in some cowboy boots
Necklace (Gap); Dress from a different season (J.Crew-similar style here)

My God-brother, Matt, was performing for The Big Band Bash that evening as well. So, as Nick and I finished up our line dance, we sashayed right out the door and drove to our other event! The BBB featured great performers (Matt's high school jazz band was a finalist at Essentially Ellington!), good food, and a beautiful venue at the Heyde Center for the Arts. The band was tight, strident, cool and sophisticated. Some amazing soloists (vocal and instrumental) were featured and definitely did not disappoint. What a totally neat evening. 

After enjoying the smooth and funky sounds of Eau Claire North's Jazz I, the girls and I finally got around to watching Breaking Dawn Part 1. While I'm still mystified by why Kristen Stewart is famous, let alone a sought after actress, the movie was surprisingly endurable. Snarky remarks, laughing at inappropriate times and the like were at an all time low compared to the other films. The music was also pretty decent. Bravo!

What did you do this weekend? I do hope you had lots of laughs, sunshine and stories!

Pictures from instagram, and fanpop

Friday, May 18, 2012


As a tried and true, die-hard fan of Gilmore Girls, I was thrilled (and also nervous) when hearing the news! Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator and writer for Gilmore Girls strikes again with Bunheads. ABC announced the news on their website recently: 

Authored by:
Exciting news, y'all! We're thrilled to announce that we have picked up another new original series. Bunheads (working title) is a one-hour scripted drama that is from Executive Producer Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of Gilmore Girls, and headlined by Tony Award®-winning actor Sutton Foster. It's the tale of a Las Vegas showgirl who impulsively marries a man, moves to his sleepy coastal town, and takes an uneasy role at her new mother-in-law's dance school. We can't wait for you guys to see it!

Part of me wonders if I will enjoy this show as much as GG, but I'm optimistic. Not to mention, the lovely and talented Kelly Bishop (also from GG) is joining the cast! Will you watch it?

Photos and excerpt via

Thursday, May 17, 2012

{On the Same Wavelength}...Contrasting Colors

Something I've always been attracted to is contrasting colors. I am so fascinated by the way colors cooperate. The color wheel is so much fun to play with. The the experimenting available is endless! A never fail standby is the classic blue and orange combo. (Green and red can look pretty christmasy, and purple and yellow looks like your a MN Vikings football fan.) Blue & orange can be worn any season and adds dimension to your wardrobe or table setting! Next time you throw a dinner party, throw out the standard black dress and china. Go crazy! Use these plates and entertain in this dress. I promise you'll be a colorful knockout!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

{Splurge or Save}...Striped Cashmere Sweater

Right about now is when I start having dream vacations. You know the ones I'm talking about. You fall asleep and you swear you're on a boat. You feel the sway, the rock, the steady pulse of waves. The breeze from your open window is suddenly a salty sea mist. Well. Even if you're not headed to the beach anytime soon, keep feeling those nautical delights in a classic blue and cream striped cashmere sweater. They are definitely sea worthy this season!

If you feel like splurging, this sweater by The Row is basic and beautiful. Not to mention luxurious. If you're on a bit of a tighter budget, look no further. J.Crew has a fantastically affordable alternative. This sweater has more stripes that are fantastically aligned! (my pet peeve is mis aligned pattern on clothes.) These sweaters are so versatile! They could be worn for a full out sailor style, or paired with other funky items for an off beat outfit!

I'd pair it with these

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Bachelorette - Emily

I finally caved and tuned in for The Bachelorette last night. Declared as America's Newest Sweetheart, Emily attracted a wide following of love-sick fans last season after winning Brad's affection. Now, after her second chance at love lost, she returns as the Bachelorette. 25 men flocked to her hometown in effort of stealing her heart. 

The season premiere is always the best; the most fascinating range to people are featured. From wunderkind CEOs to mushroom farmers to single dads, these men represent a sweet (and also bizarre) section of the male population. A quick piece of advice: men, do not dress up as a decrepit, old woman when you first meet a lovely lady. As proven last night, you will not make a good first impression. You will not receive a rose. 

While Emily went for it, I was turned off by Kalon's grand helicopter entrance. Not only did he make enemies with every other dude in the place (not a good idea), he immediately was portrayed as a show off. So there you have it - I don't like Kalon. I do, however, find some of the guys (i.e. Charlie, Arie) relatively sweet and normal.

From the teaser previews, this season looks to be another excitingly dramatic love story for Emily. Will you be watching along as Emily and her daughter Ricki search for a husband and father figure? Who do you think will win? Who should be voted off right now?

Photo via

Monday, May 14, 2012

{Weekend Update}...Mother's Day

I'm finally home! After many months away at college, it feels really good to be back in Eau Claire with my wonderful family. Saturday the whole fam played a massive game of tetris loading our family van with Abby's and my dorm belongings! It felt amazing breathing EC air, sleeping in my own bed, eating lunch with my parents. Sunday, Mother's Day, was spent with my beautiful & brilliant Grandma Esther. She is such an amazing person-seeing her for a day was great fun! Abby & I got this bracelet for my mom from Coatt. It's delicate & understated. Classy & fun as all get out. Just like my mom. Here are some other things that make Mom happy. 

I hope you had a lovely weekend with your mom! Happy Monday!

Morse Code "MOM" Bracelet from Coatt

Friday, May 11, 2012

{Gift Guide}...For Your Best Friend, MOM

If you're lucky like me, you have a mom who is Wonderwoman. My mom always knows when I have something on my mind, and readily knows how to fix it. She makes the best coffee & best treats. Try as I might, I will never achieve the same yummy taste of her cookies. Mom is smart as whip, musical, a fashionista and classic best pal. Without her, my life would be chaos. Here are some gift ideas for your marvelous mums. Make her feel special, loved and totally fantastic! Tell her how much she means to you! Thanks, Mom, for all you do! I love you! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

{Splurge or Save}...Neon Sandals

Neon has been everywhere this season. I've talked about it a ton, because I'm obsessed! I can't get enough of it. It's fun, bold and simple. I asked for your thoughts on vacation kicks, and neon sandals might now be in the running. I adore these rad flats by Loeffler Randall. Nude, black and fluorescent make them versatile. Dress them up or down, you'll be bright & fantastic. If you don't feel like spending the big bucks, check out these amazing sandals by Aldo. They still have an ankle strap so they don't slip off. Instead of black and tan, the white makes them look clean & fresh! Either way, you'll be on trend and comfortable in these neon sandals! My new favorite summer item!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

{This I Must Read}...An Object of Beauty

When I think about my childhood, I immediately hear a soundtrack of wonderful music, chatting friends, books on tape, and Steve Martin. A Wild and Crazy Guy will forever be a favorite of mine. Steve Martin never fails to put me in a cheerful mood, whether it be a comedy sketch CD, Father of the Bride, of a good book. I can't wait to read this! It's been out for a while, but it's still on my "to-read" list

Have you read it yet? New York Times raved... what are your thoughts? I'd love to hear your input!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

{On the Same Wavelength}... Geometric Pink + Gray

Who says your outfit can't match your handbag? Now I'm all for mixing and matching! But... Sometimes, we all need some good ol' fashion coordination in our lives.  What I love about this look is that it has the same great papaya pink with beige and slate in a bold geometric design in both the dress and tote. However, they are so different and complementary because the dress is a pretty busy whimsical pattern of circles and the tote is very minimalistic with a single bright stripe for accenting. The tailoring of the dress makes it appropriate for work, brunch or a graduation party. The tote is roomy enough to hold all your transitional essentials like flats and lipstick. Whatever your schedule dictates, this summery geometric ensemble is perfect. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

{Weekend Update}...White Walls, Grey Sky

 I had my very last day of instruction on Friday, which led me to celebrate in an odd way. I dove right into studying for finals (starting for me tomorrow!) on Friday afternoon, enjoying the lovely smell of blooming floral bushes. There was some dreary weather over the weekend, so to counter it, I decided on one of my favorite neon outfits. This shirt is just perfect for spring and summer! Nick visited with a friend to tour the MIA for a project. I tagged along to show them around and make sure they saw all my favorites! I also started ripping everything off my walls, which are now bare (but weirdly refreshing). My posters, pictures, mementos are all perfectly stuffed into little bags & boxes. In a few days, I'm outa here! 

Also, welcome back (or aloha! to my parents who just came back from Hawaii!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pssst! Look at This...

I love the classic lines and simplicity of Ralph Lauren. I'm so glad to have them advertising on the blog! They have the best summer essentials for an easy tailored look. Here are some of my favorites for this summer. A great shift dress in mint, a gorgeous maxi dress that belt, and a tough-chic leather bracelet cuff.

Check out Ralph Lauren and let me know what your summer essentials would be. 

P.S... There's a sale going on! Use the promo code MAYPS12 to get an extra 15% off your purchase! Happy shopping!

Eye Contact

I had a professor my first semester of college who was very intent, very present in office hours. His eye contact never wavered. I felt as if he never looked away. So then I was always pulling out the darty-eye self consciously. It kind of creeped me out. It was almost too personal. I had never encountered someone who could keep eye contact going for so long, so effortlessly! Eye contact is one of those things that can get really uncomfortable, really quickly.

So I'm wondering, is it just Americans who don't like eye contact? Everywhere you go, we wear sunglasses. Even if it's not that sunny! Don't forget, we love our personal space, all of us living in our personal bubbles. Let's face it, you'd probably be pretty weirded out if you were talking with an acquaintance and their face was less than a foot away from yours. Proxemics is so interesting and plays a huge role in the way our relationships work.

However, I'm curious to know if eye contact is something that transcends the rule of proxemics. Even if you're all the way across the room from someone and eye contact is achieved, there's suddenly an intensely personal, intimate moment. We all know the feeling. It can be unnerving! I swear that's why staring contests are so difficult!

How do you feel about eye contact? Are you really good at keeping it? Is there a trick?

Image via

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I've had so much to do lately, I'm actually considering a mega-desk... Is that sad? I'm not even sure anymore. Regardless, I'm feeling like Dwight these days. Really wanting Mega-Desk. Also, this tumblr is kind of funny. 

photo via

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Experiment with Vince Camuto

All the jewelry from Vince Camuto is sleek, elegant and unique. What's great is the diversity of al the pieces. But they still look great together no matter what. Try a tortoise shell cuff with a neon yellow color block ring. How about an orange cuff, a purple cuff and them natural earrings? So great and versatile!

Bracelets: Red / Orange / Orchid / Lime + Khaki / Tortoise

{Splurge or Save}...Studded Lobes

I posted these babies on Pinterest a few days ago and they were a hit! Wowza, they spread like wildfire! Maybe it's because studded earrings are so awesome! Not only are they edgy, they're also unique. I love that both of these take a twist of the normally hard core studded look to make them refined and preppy, or brightly funky and kind of art-deco-esque! Both would be great additions to any wardrobe.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day!

It's May Day! Hooray! In elementary school, this day was better than any other holiday, because although we had school, we traveled around the neighbor near us and sent spring joy. We'd make our own baskets from construction paper, fill them with paper flowers and candy and hang them on everyone's door knobs. How sweet it would be to do that now. Here are some lovely flowers for your May Day.

Photos via 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

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