Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Staples and A Fickle Friend

Spring Separates

During springtime in Georgia, there is no telling what kind of day you'll wake up to. Georgia weather is my fickle friend. Some days she's grumpy-grouchy, blowing sharp breezes that whistle down foggy streets and chill your bones. Others she's horribly depressed, crying her eyes out in dramatic rainstorms. Still other days, the times I like her the most, she's sunny and warm and happy to see me. So happy, in fact, she gets a little clumsy and humbly bestows me with an uncomfortably noticeable cowgirl boot tan line.

I do love when the weather starts to get warmer so I can start pulling out all my favorite spring staples. This time around, I've come up with 11 (my lucky number ;) separates you can wear all season and different ways to wear them. The list includes options ranging from what to wear on rainy days (Hunter boots) to really hot days (swingy sundress) to days that will switch on you (those are the days to bring a scarf for your shoulders). Separates are the best way to build any wardrobe as they give endless options for everyday wear.

1. rain boots - pair with dark wash skinny jeans and a navy rain coat like this
2. denim jacket - pair with a breezy sundress, converse, and a square scarf tied in your hair like this
3. linen tee shirt - wear with cutoffs and a baseball cap like this
4. sundress - pair with platform wedges like these and load up on bangles
5. light scarf - pair with skinny jeans and a bright tank top
6. mock neck tank - pair with a bucket bag and gladiator sandals and tie a bright scarf on your purse
7. gladiator sandals - pair with patterned shorts, a simple v-neck, and a pretty necklace like this one
8. bucket bag (similar) - pair with cropped skinny jeans and platform sandals like these
9. patterned shorts - pair with Converse and a crop top like this
10. white sneakers - pair with a swingy sundress and oversize sunglasses
11. bright lipstick - pair with all of the above for a powerful pucker

What are your favorite spring staples?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Midweek Musings: Macarons & Melodores

1. 73 Questions with Iggy Azalea \\ Vogue

I am a huge Iggy fan. It is amazing to see women making waves in music, particularly in hip-hop. Iggy has a sleek style plus she writes many of her own raps, which is pretty sick. These 73 Question videos Vogue puts out are so fun, and a great way to get inside their subjects' heads. (& houses! Iggy has her own recording studio!!!)

2. Lavender Macarons \\ Ike & Jane, Athens, GA

This might have been a twist of fate or just a bout of irony, but the very same day I craved Macarons and Googled where the cheapest place to ship me some would be, my friend Lucy announced that Ike & Jane (the cutest little bakery here in town where she works) started selling them again!!!!!!! HOORAY!!! Another cool bonus? Lucy bakes many of the goodies there and the Macarons are homemade by her!! (Although she says they are a pain to make...oops, sorry Luce) Don't mind me, I am just going to pop over every day after class and get my macaron fix. My favorite flavor is Lavender, though they come in vanilla, strawberry, orange, and pistachio. The Lavender ones are the most gorgeous lilac color and so delicious!

PS: If you are an Ike & Jane fan, or just have an unquenched sweet tooth, follow them on Instagram! Their pictures are so cute and will make your mouth water.

Treated myself yesterday morning to a few. :) Feeling very Parisian.

3. NYC Guide: 10 Ways to Not Look Like a Tourist \\ A Cup of Jo

Now that the fact that I will be spending 10 weeks this summer in the city of my dreams has sunk in (sort of), I've started reading and bookmarking article after article and blog after blog. I particularly like Joanna Goddard's NYC Guide that outlines all kinds of cool tips and off-the-beaten-path spots for those traveling to the City. This post made me laugh but I also took strict notes. My approach to becoming a New Yorker is definitely going to be a "fake-it-till-you-make-it" one. I'm planning on spicing up my wardrobe and walking on the right side of the sidewalk, but it might be difficult to lose the wide-eyed wonderment and leave my camera at home... 

Image from A Cup of Jo

4. Inside Gap's Plan to Get Back Into Your Drawers \\ Fast Company

Fast Company's article sets the stage with a grim statement: "the classic American shopping emporiums that put downtown Main Streets out of business in the 1960s are now themselves on their way to extinction." Detailing Gap's new approach to stay relevant to modern consumers, the article dives into marketing and retail strategies behind brands like Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. After reading the article, I was particularly pleased to see one of the Old Navy commercials on TV featuring designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliot (see image below) who are featured as Old Navy's style ambassadors for the spring. I live in Gap and Old Navy and Banana Republic, so to see them reinventing their style and not giving up is inspiring. My fingers are crossed they will be successful!!!

Image from WWD

5. The Melodores \\ YouTube

Maybe I am just getting a little anxious for Pitch Perfect 2, but my roommate Mathilde recently showed me some of the Vanderbilt Melodores' videos on YouTube and now I am obsessed. I've always loved covers of songs, so the way the Melodores deconstruct the melody and make popular songs their own is so fun and fascinating. Also, on a separate note, Jewel's reaction at 2:48 matches mine exactly. (#SWOON)

ALSO: Note, matching outfits on point. Okay, bye.

That's all kids! Sorry for supporting your procrastination today. What struck your fancy this week?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Classy and Coastal and Ethereal


During my Spring Break, I found myself in a magical fairyland in Savannah, Georgia with two of my best gal pals. Atlanta is so landlocked I constantly forget that parts of Georgia are coastal. There are so many unexplored nooks and crannies of my home state; it makes wanderlust close to home more potent and more exciting. Savannah is classy and coastal and ethereal. There are small town businesses organized in gridlocked streets and city squares illuminated by dappled light. The ancient oak trees lend a kind of cover to the boulevards and backroads, instilling a Gothic Romantic vibe: a perfect setting for daydreams. 

We arrived in Savannah on a rather chilly, rainy afternoon, but that didn't stop us. We started at the SCAD Museum of Art for the Oscar de la Renta exhibit which was curated by Vogue's Andre Leon Talley. The exhibition (and the museum itself) was stunning. There is something quite indescribable about admiring the craftsmanship of an haute couture dress in person, particularly familiar ones like Sarah Jessica Parker's and Taylor Swift's most recent met ball gowns. The exhibit was a lovely tribute to the late designer, and I could definitely see his keen eye for understanding what women want in a gown: what makes them feel beautiful, what is comfortable and functional and timeless and classic and modern. Beading details, classic silhouettes, bright evening coats in striking silks and floaty layers of tulle stand out in my mind. If you have the opportunity to go, making the trip all the way to Savannah just for this exhibit is definitely worth it. (It closes May 3rd, so hurry!)

Taylor Swift's 2014 Met Ball Gown

Details from Taylor Swift's 2014 Met Ball Gown

The Oscar de la Renta exhibit at SCAD Museum of Art

Before I get carried away in a painstakingly detailed description of each gown at the SCAD exhibit, I must mention that I was joined on this trip by two ladies who have influenced my personal style so much over the past few years. Mary and Madeline are two good friends from high school who can definitely be convinced to do cultural things like going to concerts and museums. :) Of the many highlights of our brief trip to Savannah, The Paris Market totally takes the cake. This shoppe (added the "-pe" because that sounds more fancy and also French) is like a little market where your favorite aunt shops for grab bags of old jewelry and vintage sterling silver tumblers and the prettiest little journals and stationary. We spent hours there. There is also a little attached coffee shop where you could buy the prettiest French pastries and frosted sugar cookies shaped like the Eiffel Tower and MACARONS. The salted caramel where to-die-for. At The Paris Market, I bought lavender sachets (my favorite scent I think) and some pretty reclaimed vintage beads for my sister who makes jewelry. Make sure to follow their blog and their Instagram for inspiration.

Fresh Lavender at The Paris Market

Macarons and iced coffee at The Paris Market

Reclaimed vintage beads at The Paris Market

Other highlights include shopping at shopSCAD, the store that sells all kinds of handmade art from SCAD students. There were $400 handmade tops and walls of funky modern art and cute notecards and this fun flamingo wallpaper. The prices were a little out of my range, but it is definitely worth popping in. We also dropped by the Savannah Candy Kitchen on River Street and oogled at all the handmade treats and barrels of every kind of candy imaginable. And of course, just walking around all the Squares and seeing the fountains that had been dyed green for St. Patrick's Day was fun.

Original artwork by SCAD students at shopSCAD

The next day we met up with our friend Emily from school who is from Savannah and she gave us the insider's tour of the city. We started with brunch at Loc's Chicken & Waffles which was local and fun and weirdly delicious. She took us to Wormsloe which is an avenue of old oak trees and the center of the magic of Savannah. My mind immediately drifted off to a long-ago time and a floaty organza gown and a prince and a princess... sorry I'll get back on track now...

me, Mary, and Madeline at Wormsloe

We then drove past Emily's childhood home and the pier where she had her graduation party and some of the beautiful houses right on the water. We continued into downtown and listened to Emily's funny little anecdotes about growing up in such a pretty Southern community. Finally, she took us by the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, the church attached to her all-girls high school (that was founded in 1845!). It was breathtaking, and made me wish we had more cathedrals in America.

It was a quick trip, but so lovely and fun to giggle about old high school flames and our favorite Friends episodes and read excerpts out of Vogue on the car ride home. We also had a rocking road trip playlist courtesy of the Beach Music Pandora station. Until next time, Savannah!

I'm hoping to visit again soon! What are your favorite Savannah, GA spots?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Far Bigger Things

This is the unconventional story of how I got my dream internship in New York City this summer.

In honor of Palm Sunday and the journey we partake during this upcoming Holy Week, I thought it would be appropriate to tell the following story. As I've mentioned numerous times, growing up is weird and wonderful and full of surprises and I have been so blessed in my life that I have had as many opportunities as I have. That being said, there have also been many worries and struggles and times where each step ahead was so treacherous and scary. The future was so foggy, I couldn't see two inches in front of me.

What is the relationship between my internship story and Palm Sunday? I have a really special relationship with Jesus (that I don't talk about often, more or less blog about), but I know he is guiding me in my life, particularly on this winding path to adulthood and career-dom. Through a series of divine interventions (call it what you will, but I refuse to believe this was anything other than that), the biggest dream of my entire whole life is coming true, and it was the Holy Spirit that got me there. 

It all started with a tweet from the American Marketing Association.

I was studying and had Twitter opened up on my computer when this Tweet appeared at the top of my feed. I saw it an hour before the meeting, and promptly got up and drove to North Campus to learn more. I called my mom as I walked back to my car post-meeting, and told her I needed to go on the trip. It felt like fate at the time and I'm getting chills on my arms thinking about the enormity of that Tweet.

So I convinced her to let me go, and I spent the next month preparing and getting excited for my second trip to the city of my dreams. In November, I went on the trip, and met some of the loveliest and hardworking New Yorkers & AMA friends at a variety of businesses and agencies. I particularly loved an agency called J. Walter Thompson for their hardworking nature, creative spirit, and professionalism. Besides the networking practice and amazing learning experience at the agencies, the City wild with ambition and dreams was sensual and dramatic. As much as I loved everything I saw and did on the trip, there was an ache in my stomach that as fabulous and realistic as this New York excitement felt, there was always the possibility that the City just wasn't in the cards for me. No matter how hard I worked or studied or interviewed, it just might not work out or maybe it was too fantasized and I wasn't good enough. God had another plan, which I would accept, but it would be really hard. 

That's when I saw it: the sign on the Subway. (I have a feeling the Subway will be like the shower - an amazing place for inspiration). It was a generic Subway sign that had been graffitied to read "please pray." 

So in that very moment, I closed my eyes and said a little internal grace. Prayer is hard, especially when your heart is in knots and your head is full of imagination, but in this very instant I thought of the clearest phrase that was so poignant I scribbled it into my journal: 

I have far bigger things planned for you than you can ever imagine.

Since I was five years old sitting on the floor listening to Broadway records and dreaming about becoming a Rockette, New York was the end goal, the destination, the setting I would become a kick-ass professional woman in. I'm sure you all have a Big Dream, and if you can take a minute and think of that very big dream, that deepest desire in the pit of your heart, that unadulterated, impossible, mind-blowing, earth-shattering, gut-wrenching dream, that dream that gets you up in the morning and you fall asleep thinking about at night: think about it right now. Don't let it go and don't give up on it, because even though that exact goal might not turn out as you had planned, it is in your heart for a reason. I know I'm still young and there will be many more dreams that come my way, and many more New York Cities full of adventure, but the message here is don't give up on your dreams. Listen to them. Read the signs on the Subway. Don't let people talk you out of them or try to instill harsh realities. Listen to God. He speaks to you in all different ways, whether you believe in it or listen to it or not. And of course, listening isn't always enough. He calls us to do our part too: seeking out contacts and updating LinkedIn and going to the Career Center and interviewing and being patient and responding to emails. But the point of this Palm Sunday post is that our lives are miraculously designed and meticulously created by someone who knows us better than we know ourselves. New York just very well might have been created for me. 

I once said that New York City feels like when you have a crush on a boy across the room, but maybe also having a crush on a boy feels like New York City. The point is, New York is a feeling. And feelings are so intwined with our psyche, they are so astounding and unexplainable, they must be otherworldly, divinely created. This particular feeling is an innate part of me, and I'm so excited to be released in the City for more than a weekend. J. Walter Thompson, I am going to work so hard this summer and learn everything I can from you. I promise to keep this wide-eyed excitement and confidence. Thank you for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to live in my Big Dream. And God, thank you for the New York Cities of my life: the motivations, the challenges, the feelings sewn into our psyches, the beauties in the unknown. Thank you for having far bigger things planned, and for encouraging hope in the unwritten. Happy Palm Sunday.

{currently listening to}

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

my love is alive / 
way down in my heart /
even though we are miles apart /