Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On the {Must-watch} List

For my second installation of On The List, I thought I'd talk about one of my true loves...television.
I am an unashamedly big fan of TV.  I can see myself being the teacher that knows way too much about all the popular teen shows that my students watch.
Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the new shows I've been enjoying lately. Some of these are Netflix finds, and some are on tv now!

Ok, I hate that I am loving this, mostly because the concept of 25 girls trying to date one guy is just nuts to me.
So, this season is the first time I've ever watched The Bachelor, and I really just watched the first episode to see what it was like. And then I kept watching. And then I started to actually care about who got sent home.
My point is: it's addictive. If you watch, you have to tell me who you're rooting for! AshLee is my favorite right now!

Lipstick Jungle is my most recent Netflix find. If you're a fan of Sex and the City, this show is based off of the book "Lipstick Jungle" by Candace Bushnell, who wrote the book that inspired Sex and the City. So the vibe is very similar--- powerful, beautiful women living and loving in New York City.  It's a fun, sexy show with a lot of heart. I actually find these characters a little more well-rounded than some of the characters on SATC.  Definitely check it out if you enjoy that kind of show. It only has 20 episodes, but it's really entertaining. The book is also really good, I read it a few years back!

Emily Owens MD has been one of my favorite shows this year. I'm so disappointed that it's only going to finish out one season. Anyway, if you haven't been watching I'd catch up on Hulu because it's really good. It's like Grey's Anatomy (my absolute favorite show ever) but lighter and a little more awkward. Also, less doctors die, haha. Mamie Gummer (Meryl Streep's daughter!) is absolutely great as the quirky, dorky, good-hearted Emily Owens. Just check it out! 

Scandal is definitely one of the best shows on TV right now. If you're not watching, get your butt to Netflix and watch the first season, then catch up on the rest on Hulu because it is AMAZING. Created by Shonda Rhimes (the genius behind Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice) Scandal follows professional fixer Olivia Pope and her team of "Gladiators in Suits" as they handle the major scandals in DC. From a pregnant White House intern to the delicious affair between Olivia and The President, this show is wonderfully scandalous. Kerry Washington is incredible as Olivia Pope and my jaw is on the floor at the end of every episode. I am always surprised by this show, and I love it.

What's on your must-watch list? I have a pretty long list (whoops) but I wanted to share 4 shows that have surprised me this year. Share your favorite shows with me!
Also, sorry if things have been a little inconsistent on the blog lately--- I've been dealing with a lot personally.

Hope you're happy and healthy! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Motivation- Kid President

Have you met the President?
No, not that President! The Kid President. He's gone viral giving Pep Talks and is absolutely adorable.
So for today's Monday Motivation, I'm keeping it simple. I'm I'm passing on his videos to you. Two in particular: Kid President Awesome Year Challenge and the Pep Talk from Kid President.
The first challenges you to make the year awesome for you, and the second might just be the best pep talk ever. Oh, and they both end in dancing.
Take the time to watch them, really. It's worth it.

Feeling motivated? I sure am. Now get up and dance.

Happy Monday, y'all.

Stay beautiful,

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Social

I'm enjoying Sunday Social! It's a great way to meet new bloggers and tell a little about yourself to current readers. Join in! 

What is your ideal way to relax: Grey's Anatomy, Hershey kisses, and nail polish. My little Gracie face  or Juno snuggled up next to me is also great, but obviously I can't take the puppies to college. 
Where is your favorite place to be: I am happiest at the ocean. Kiawah. 
Who do you consider your biggest role model: All the beautiful, strong chronic illness fighters I know.

What does your life look like in 3 years? Teaching, living a full life, and hopefully healthy. 
If you could go back and change one decision what would it be? I would have gone to Queens my freshman year instead of going through a tough semester at UNCA. 
What is your biggest accomplishment in life thus far? Being granted a NC Teaching Fellow scholarship despite all that I went through in high school.

Have a great start to your week! 
Stay beautiful,

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Instagram Recap- Week 4

Sorry this is belated! I had to take a few photos today to even have a few to share! I guess Instagram just wasn't on my mind this week!
Anyhow, here we go:
Join us for all the fun with Sara at Pearls and Curls! 

My baby Grace got a bow. Too stinkin' cute, right?  
I always try and get one last photo of my puppies before I head back to campus. This one just melts my heart.
New iPhone backgrounds using Cuptakes and Phonto! 
What I'm Doing Now: Pinterest (for the blog!) and watching a movie on Netflix! 

Promise I'll take better photos this week!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Stay beautiful,

On The {Reading} List

Sorry this post is a bit belated!
I'm a major list-maker. I know a lot of y'all probably are too, so I thought I'd try a new type of post that won't necessarily have a regular, scheduled occurrence, but will pop up when I see fit. I'm calling it On The List. This first edition will be On The {Reading} List!
I thought I'd share some of the books I'm hoping to read soon. I'm trying to keep up free reading during the school year, which is something I've struggled with as an English major.
I'm hoping to get a Nook soon, so maybe that will encourage me a little more!

How Can You NOT Laugh at a Time Like This- by Cara Ulbrich

I'm SO excited to read this. As a Chronic Illness fighter and advocate, I don't see a lot of Chronic Illness related books that pique my interest. However, the sneak preview on Amazon had me nodding and laughing in total agreement. I definitely plan on reviewing this, because I think it looks like a great way to introduce what it's really like to live with Chronic Illness to those who don't have to experience it firsthand. 

Insurgent- Veronica Roth 

I still can't believe I haven't read this yet. This summer in Kiawah I got totally hooked on the first book in this series- Divergent. I read it in 2 days and passed it on immediately to my best friend and my mom. And then for some reason there was a delay in getting the second book and I got busy with my health... and then I felt like I needed to reread Divergent, and I just never got back around to it. 
Now, I need to read it. It's taunting me every time I go home. 

Safe Haven- Nicholas Sparks

It's almost Valentine's Day, so I think it might be the perfect time to curl up with a cheesy, wonderful Nicholas Sparks book. Especially since the movie is coming out soon! It's mindless, but that's the fun in it! 

The Fault in Our Stars- John Green

Ok, I realize that this list is not terribly new or exciting to y'all, but I'm trying to catch up on some of the popular books that have been out recently. I keep hearing that this is just gorgeous, sad, and wonderful. Hopefully I'll enjoy it! 

Ok, so that's the quick list for tonight! What's on your reading list! Please share, I'm always looking for good book recommendations. 

Hope you're happy and healthy! 

Stay beautiful,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cheap & Chic Chapter Dresses

Sorority Chapter is a great place to show off your style as you begin to develop a more professional wardrobe. While the formality of each sorority varies, there are lots of outfits that would hold up to any sorority's standards. If you're not in a sorority, this post can serve as a guide to some great, inexpensive dresses that you can wear to work or church!
I wanted to focus this post just on dresses because building up a wardrobe of dresses helps you to have a comfortable, quick, outfit that doesn't require too much thought. I'll do another post on separates soon, but I thought I'd start with some cheap & chic dresses! EVERY dress featured is under $40!

(One) (Two) (Three

All of these dresses are easy options for chapter. I wanted to point out that the navy dress has little keys on it! Such a cute detail- especially for Kappa Kappa Gammas! I chose the Emerald dress since it's the color of the year, but it also layers well under a cardigan in chillier months. The grey dress is a classic silhouette, but is still super comfy!
(One) (Two) (Three

 My mall doesn't have a Forever 21, but I thought I'd browse online. Let me just say I was happily surprised by the selection! The first dress is my favorite- it's navy and white and just looks so put together. The bright blue dress is toned down and dressed up by a classic neckline, and the last dress puts a more casual white top with a black skirt, it's a great canvas to accessorize. 

(One) (Two) (Three)
Loft has always been my go-to store when I need something a little more polished. While their dresses are regularly priced in the $70-80 range, they are ALWAYS having a sale or special. I pulled these three dresses from the sale section, and as of today they're 60% off of the sale price. So you can get really classic, stylish, quality pieces at a reasonable price. The first dress touches on the peplum trend while staying classic, whereas the second dress is a little louder (but still appropriate!) with lace and fuchsia. I also wanted to include an LBD because so many sororities have occasions that require a pin-attire black dress. This black dress is lace, giving it very subdued but pretty look. I also love that this LBD gives you so much room to accessorize. 

There are lots of great places to shop for chapter attire, but for the purpose of this post, I just wanted to showcase three very accessible, affordable shopping options. I'm currently looking to expand my teaching/chapter wardrobe, so leave any suggestions for places to shop in the comments! 

Before I sign off, I did want to share one last little chapter dress. I've been eyeing this beauty on Vestique! I may have to snap it up, it's on sale and is a gorgeous (ADPi) blue. Perfect for chapter.
Proper Dahling Dress- $18.50

Hope everyone is happy and healthy!

Stay beautiful,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I've become an Etsy browse-a-holic. Is that a thing? Maybe not. Either way, I thought I'd share some of my finds with y'all.
Lately I've been really into prints.  A lot of Etsy shops will customize prints with phrases, colors, or states for you, which is a great way to have personal, cute art. Plus, affordable art is something we can all get behind, right?

I love this idea! Plus it can be color and state customized.
Etsy Shop: Happy Brat
This feels like summer and I might be in love.
Etsy Shop: Happy Brat
Any polishaholic will adore this Essie inspired print!
Etsy Shop: lauratrevey
This gorgeous kitchen print comes framed for only $35. My chef mother would definitely love this!
Etsy Shop: DexMex
Such a pretty verse to keep you inspired! Also color customizable .
Etsy Shop: The Educated Owl
This is a GREAT Dorm room set! You can customize it for your school and your favorite colors, too.
Etsy Shop: The Educated Owl
This is a set of two prints for your favorite long-distance bestie.
Etsy Shop: ArthursPlaidPants 

I could probably write four posts full of cute, fun prints, but I'll stop now so you can really appreciate these beauties.
Hope y'all are doing well!
Let me know if you have any favorite Etsy Shops I need to check out!
Stay beautiful,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Motivation Monday: True Friends

I feel like these two quotes can almost be presented without comment. We've all got true friends who make the everyday struggles less impossible, and bring smiles to our faces even when we're crying.
Take some time to send some extra love to those friends today. 

Happy Monday, hope it's been a good one!
Stay beautiful,

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Social

I'm linking up with Ashley and Neely again for Sunday Social! 

This Week’s Questions: All about 3′s
Top 3 Favorite Kinds of Food: Chocolate, Pasta (gluten free), and I want to say chocolate again... but we'll go with gf baked goods. I might have a sweet tooth. 
First 3 Things you do in the morning: Roll over and check my phone, turn on tv (I have late mornings at school), and check e-mail.
Last 3 Things you do at night: Take meds, get bag ready for the next day, relax
3 TV shows you NEVER miss: Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, PLL 
3 Places you want to visit: Paris, Spain, More of Italy
3 People you can always count on: My family, Jenny, and Danielle 

Have a great Sunday, y'all! 
Stay beautiful,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday Instagram Recap- Week 3

Hosted by Sara at Pearls & Curls

Here's my roundup for this week! Pretty quiet week but there are a few fun photos :)

OPI French Quarter for Your Thoughts- a great grey
I got ambitious and decided to organize all my polish. It took a while!
All finished! This is all 150 ish polishes!
Clean, happy dorm! 
This might sum up my week the best.

Sweet, sleepy Gracie. 
Keeping it short and sweet this Saturday! Have a great weekend!
Stay beautiful,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Monogrammed iPhone Case Rant

As some of y'all may know, I just got my first iPhone (or any smart phone at all) this summer for my 20th birthday. I wanted to find the perfect case, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what to get. However, I knew then (and still believe now) that I'm too clumsy to get something based solely on looks.
So, in July I ordered a monogrammed otterbox for my iPhone. I felt like this was the perfect marriage of style and protection for my phone. I absolutely LOVED it, but it was rather pricey. After tax it was about $75. For that price, I really expected high quality and style. That lasted.
I hate to give a negative review on my blog, but I know enough people who have looked at these cases in my circle of blogging friends that I felt the need to say something.

To quickly and very honestly sum up my experience buying this phone case from In This Very Room: I ordered in mid-July, and the case took more than a month to get to me. Prices were high, but I did get a free shipping coupon from their facebook. Overall, they do price these monogrammed Otterbox cases a bit lower than other places I've seen them, however I can't speak for the quality of other retailers. When I got it my only issue was the absolutely ridiculous wait time. I get that it's personalized, but their site says "Up to TWO weeks" not 4-5.
Here's where my real issue has come in. The actual case is typical Otterbox Commuter quality BUT I paid an extra $30ish to get this case monogrammed. So I do expect that part to hold up!  I thought I'd give you a visual of how much it's chipped in 6 months.

Here's my phone case when I received it in August.
I love the design and monogram. 
Overall, very happy with initial quality despite wait time. 

Ok so here's a close up of my case in early November (so about 3 months after I received the case) when I decided to contact In This Very Room. You can see the beginnings of chips around all the edges where pink is showing through. 

November 2012

Finally, here's my case yesterday. The chips have become really obvious and the case looks much older than 6 months. Also, to be clear I was NEVER contacted after I sent two separate messages to In This Very Room via their website. I mostly wanted to find out if it was a fluke and I could get a refund or if this was just the quality of the product. Since I never heard, I really have to assume it's a product quality problem.

Monogrammed iPhone Otterbox case after about 6 months.
As I said, I really don't like to write negative reviews or posts on this blog, but I do think it's important for people to know that these popular monogrammed Otterbox cases don't hold up at all. The good thing about my case is that (because it's an Otterbox) it really has kept my phone safe!

Overall Experience Recap:

  • Long wait time for phone case to arrive (twice listed wait time on site)
  • Chips began early on and have continued to get worse. I treat my phone well but it chips from everyday use.
  • I contacted the site twice with photos and a question about my issues with the case, and never heard back. 
  • At six months wear is very obvious and I'm looking at replacing it with a new case.

So that leads me to my current dilemma: what should I replace this case with now? I still want the safety and function of the Otterbox, but I would like something cute too!
If you have any recommendations for quality, sturdy iPhone 4S cases at reasonable prices please comment and let me know!
Next Monday I'm planning to do a roundup of cases I'm looking at. Maybe y'all can help me choose?
Any input is appreciated!

Stay beautiful,

PS- Leave your blog link in the comments if you're a recent follower and you haven't commented yet! I want to follow everyone but I'm having some issues with blogger! Thanks y'all! Sorry for the negative post!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Emerald City Beauty- Oz the Great and Powerful Collaborations

It seems like the beauty world is all excited for the new Oz movie: Oz the Great and Powerful. To be honest, I hadn't heard a ton about the movie until I heard about the beauty products associated with it. 
Here's the trailer, though!
It looks like it might be pretty good. The movie comes out March 8th, and has a pretty outstanding cast!

What's even more exciting are some of  the gorgeous beauty products coming out with the movie. Both OPI and Urban Decay are lined up to do collections. We last saw this collaboration combo with Alice in Wonderland, and both of those collections were MAJOR hits.  The news about the OPI collection has been out for a little while (so forgive me if you've seen these photos!) but I wanted to feature both collections.

OPI OZ collection promo pic via StyleFrizz

2013 Softshades collection- Oz the Great and Powerful

While I do think some of the shades look nice (I think there's a gold and black glitter in there!) I'm a little bummed that they picked Oz for the Softshades collection. Yawn. 
There are so many gorgeous options  that could be inspired by this movie. With all the witches (which seem to be the focus) you could do some pretty, moody shades. Also, where's the Emerald?  It's even the color of the year, come on!

Here's the more exciting part- the URBAN DECAY palettes! Featuring all new shades, these palettes are going to be huge.  The buzz about these started yesterday on People Style Watch,  and I'm sure by the time they launch in a few days they'll be very hyped! These seemed to be modelled after their new palette system, which means each shadow can be popped out if you so desire.  The palettes each  feature a look based on one of the witches, and they are going to be launched as soon as January 25th! They're $49 each, and feature 8 full size shadows (2 are duos, so really 10), a travel liner and a full size lip pencil.
I love that they created a dark, moodier palette for Theodora (the darker witch) and a light, pretty palette  for Glinda. Plus this packaging? Nice!
(Photo via A Model Recommends)

These are some of the promotional photos featuring looks from the palettes.
 I love both looks, it's going to be hard to choose! 
(Photos via Musings of a Muse)

Here's the inside of the palettes! Plus, they come with full size lip pencils!
(Photo via A Model Recommends)

Aren't those palettes just gorgeous? The only thing I feel like I'm missing is a true deep emerald. I think it would have worked well with the Theodora (darker) palette, too. Especially a bright emerald liner to pair with some of the neutrals. It would have been stunning! But really,  at the end of the day, I'm super excited about these two palettes,

Are you loving this collaboration? Which products are you dying to get?
Stay beautiful,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bowtie Bracelets: Save or Splurge?

I've been seeing these bowtie bracelets around campus more and more. Kiel James Patrick is a brand known for handmade, northern prep style accessories. In the past, I've never found any of them that really suited me (especially considering the higher prices!) but I will admit that I've fallen for these cute bowtie bracelets.
Kiel James Patrick Vickers' Bow Collection- $58 each

The Twiggy Bracelet is absolutely my favorite. I love the pink and navy! 

However, as much as I think these are beautifully made and adorable, I'm not ready to shell out $58 for a bracelet like this.
So, I did what I always do and searched Etsy for an alternative! I'm a big fan of supporting Etsy shops because you can get great handmade products at a good price while supporting a small business.
Lo and behold, Etsy had a few great options. My favorite of the Etsy shops offering these bracelets is Georgia Brown Designs.

Georgia Brown Designs offers a great selection of handmade bowtie bracelets, and will even do custom bracelets!  The best part? They're only $18!! That's a huge savings!

Here are a few of their gorgeous options:

Georgia Brown Designs Custom bow tie bracelets- can be customized for your favorite sports team or just in a favorite color! 

If I had to pick one, I'm definitely a fan of this navy polka dotted option. Y'all know I'm a total sucker for navy. 
Georgia Brown Designs Navy Dot bracelet- $18 

A few more bracelets! Aren't these darling? 

So what do you think? Save or splurge? I think both KJP and Georgia Brown Designs offer a great selection of these cute bowtie bracelets. There are some differences between the bracelets from the two brands, so it really is a matter of preference.  KJP has a wider selection and may just be more your style, but I think there's definitely something to be said for saving $40!

UPDATE: Katie Brown at Georgia Brown Designs left a coupon for readers! It's POLISH10 :) 

Stay beautiful,