Month: December 2013

Christmas Traditions

I can’t believe that Christmas is already just around the corner!  Last weekend, when I was home, we decorated my parents house for the season and then I decorated my apartment as soon as I got back home!  We always try to get out decorations out just after Thanksgiving.  My family always goes to get our tree together, it’s one of our biggest traditions!

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Can’t wait to get started with all of our other family traditions!

Do you and your family have Christmas traditions?

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Is it too Cruella?

Growing up, 101 Dalmatians was my favorite Disney movie.  It was my go-to movie every time my parents asked what I wanted to watch.  I was always confused as to why Cruella wanted to wear dalmatian coats, etc.  Now that I’m older I understand the draw of spots – but of the faux variety.

Looking for some great ways to wear your spots?  Look no further!

Shoes

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I’m all about some smoking shoes this season, and the dalmatian-smoking shoe combination has my head spinning!  I’ve paired them with a quilted leather skirt for some contrast, plus some red and cold as accent colors.  I love black, white and red together and gold accessories top off the combo!

Dress

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I love all the shapes going on here!  The round purse compliments the spots in the dress while the pointed-toe shoes add a nice contrast to the otherwise soft lines in the outfit.  I LOVE this dress.  It is sassy and classic.  Did anyone see Kate Middleton wear the dalmatian coat?  This dress reminds me of a more wearable (aka: casual) version of her coat.  The red tights add a little pizazz to the dress.  Don’t like red tights?  Wear black instead!

Blouse

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I love the ruffles of the blouse paired with this feminine cut skirt.  The bow on the shoes and the cape really make this a feminine ensemble.  I’m such a girly girl that this is perfect.  Since only the shoes and belt are red, the red lipstick adds a nice balance to the outfit so the combination is linear and not just on the bottom half!

Coat

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In true Cruella form, we’ve got a dalmatian patterned coat!  Again, we’ve got the black, white and red color combination with gold accents, but really.  Isn’t it a great combo?!

If you like these outfits, check out my Polyvore for more sets I’ve created:)

What About Free Time?

When I was still in college I couldn’t wait to graduate so I could be free and do whatever I wanted with my time.  Now that I’m in the real world and “free” I realize that I have never had less free time.  Most of my 24 hours are spent working or sleeping.  I still try to make it to the gym, when I’m not too tired.  I sometimes work from home because I felt like I didn’t accomplish enough at work that day.  I cook and clean and then by the end of completing all my chores, I’m out of time.  I still want time for friends, crafting, shopping and other hobbies I have but I somehow end up only being able to do those things on the weekend.  The meaning of time management has never been more clear to me.  I’ve been trying to work on prioritizing so that I know when to just rest.  I try to sit back, breath and reflect on the things in my life I enjoy.  It makes me a much happier person.

I make time for the things I enjoy.  It may mean less sleep, or waiting an extra day to finish my laundry but sometimes it’s really worth it.

Sometimes I really feel overwhelmed, like my life is spinning out of control.  When I begin to feel this way I try to just sit back and breathe.  There’s nothing else I can do but find the silver lining in every situation, and breathe.  Life’s a journey and it’s time I start experiencing it, rather than stressing about it.

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This image is from one of my favorite places in Boone: Howard’s Knob.  It had a perfect view of App’s campus and the mountains surrounding it.  It was beautiful during the day or at night and it was where I chose to go every time I needed a break from reality and just needed to wind down and self reflect.

How do you relieve stress?

Starbucks vs. Local

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I love love love Starbucks Coffee.  Sure, sometimes it’s a little burned because they try to keep the temperature so hot, but overall they have some great coffee.  When I lived in Boone, we didn’t get a Starbucks until my senior year.  This meant that my entire college career was fueled by a local coffee company.  My Starbucks passion is only a recent development.

I’ve never been one of those ‘go local’ earthy types, but I can’t help but think that I only buy Starbucks to have the label on my cup.  Sure, they’ve got great flavors and are located on nearly every corner, but they are such a huge corporation that I will probably never get to meet the owner and shake their hand or say thank you.  This is an experience I value when I go to a local coffee shop.  Sure, I may have to go a little bit out of my way to get my fix, but it might just be worth it to get that personal experience and meet someone whose main passion is delivering a high quality coffee.

I guess the verdict of the debate is still up in the air for me.  Which do you prefer?  Corporations or local coffee?

One Tree Hill Soundtrack

I’ve been super wrapped up in watching One Tree Hill lately.  I never really got into it when it first came out, but most of my friends watched it.  Recently, it came up in conversation and I went home to discover that all 9 seasons were on Netflix.  Can I get a HOORAY!?  I’m already on season 4, with no shame.

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One thing about the show that I’ve noticed is how incredible the soundtrack is.  Like, every scene has a perfect song playing in the background.  I have no idea how many hours the producers of the show spent deciding what music would play behind each scene, but they are on point every time.  Each song evokes the exact emotions that should be present based on the situation being portrayed in the scene.

Obviously, I’m not the only person who feels this way.  There is an entire website dedicated to all of the One Tree Hill Music, you should check it out here.

You can choose the music based on the scene, season, episode, etc.  If you’re in search of a song from ANY scene you can pretty much find it at the drop of a hat on the ‘One Tree Hill Music’ Website.

Go ahead, indulge!

#OOTD

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I just recently purchased this pink blazer and I can’t get enough of it.  I’ve worn it 3 times in the past two weeks! (Don’t worry, I was with different groups of people each time!)

I bought it at Ann Taylor on super sale.  I was mostly just window shopping, but it was too good of a deal to pass up so I bought it.  The lady at the counter said she had been planning to buy it at the end of her shift, so I felt a little bad but quickly got over it when I put together this outfit.

I went with our intern to the Durham post office today, and right across the street I saw this awesome alley.  Probably not the brightest idea walking down there all alone, but I think the end result was worth it.  I love how urban and raw the Durham downtown area is, it provides an amazing contrast to the traditional and upscale environment provided by it’s next door neighbor – Raleigh.

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blouse: Ann Taylor blazer: Ann Taylor pants: Lilly Pulitzer belt: j.crew shoes: Target purse: Nine West

The Parlour

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I recently ventured into Downtown Durham for an ice cream outing, only to discover what is probably the most incredible ice cream I have ever experienced.

The Parlour is located just off the main road in Durham.  It just recently opened and it meets all the expectations you have when you choose to go to an “ice cream parlor”.  It has a traditional soda fountain style appearance with a twist, it is classic with a splash of Durham.  The counter area looks like an old fashioned ice cream shop but the customer sitting area is more urban, which is reflective of the Durham area it is located in.

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You can get a punch card and when you get to 10 you get free ice cream – definitely a plus!

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I had the butter salted caramel ice cream, which is a seasonal flavor and it was definitely worth the calories.

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If you’re looking for a great location for an outing with your beau or even for a girls day, the Parlour is a great place to go!  Even if you are a tourist visiting Durham, then you’re well aware of the caliber of food Durham produces, and the Parlour certainly keeps up with that standard!

Do you have a favorite ice cream shop?