Sunday, September 11, 2011

the rest is still unwritten.

I've recently acquired a appetite for The Hills.

Yeah, I know. I'm judging me, too.

But here's the thing. Lauren Conrad is a classy freaking dame. I don't know how this girl managed to go from a shallow little girl on Laguna Beach to a legitimate businesswoman, but this girl has got her act together. She's written a 3 book YA Lit series, has TWO clothing lines, a style book, and runs a really successful online hair and make up tutorial website. And, yeah, she says 'like' a lot and still had two reality shows on MTV, but she's definitely gone above and beyond the call.

Especially when you compare her to her onscreen BFF, Heidi Montag. Now THAT'S a sad story. Heidi started out as a sweet, if a little ditzy, party girl who had a big heart and a spark that lit up any room. That is, until she met the evil Spencer Pratt who not only broke her spirit, he might as well have broken her face. She got one of the most drastic and tragic full body make overs in the history of plastic surgery, and she was still recovering a full year after.

So what lesson can we learn here, children? Be a Lauren, not a Heidi. And how exactly do we go about that?

Even back in Laguna Beach, Lauren was careful about who she represented. A lot of companies approached her to be a spokesperson for their products, but she knew that she would be a role model for a lot of young people, and that she had to be selective. Because of her discretion as a teenager, she's taken much more seriously now than some of her fellow MTV alumni.

Lauren has always had a signature look. Even if you don't know the shows, you know her as that that girl who started the side bang braid trend, or one of the first stars to rock the ombre hair ♥ . Her style has often been called a mix of classic and trendy. But the one thing she isn't is trashy. One of her cardinal rules is to pick one part of your body to show off. For LC it's usually her legs, so she'll pair a mini with a high neckline and long sleeves, or jeans, flip flops, and a tank to show of her arms. Find your best feature and run with it! (Within reason. We are at SVU.)

One of LC's most famous quotes is 'I can't sing or act or dance, all I can do is be myself.' And look where that got her! So what if you don't have 'normal' talents? She's not a big actress, or a musician, but she throws what she knows (which is more than we can say for Heidi, the poor girl has a musical career almost as tragic as her post-op nose). If you've got a passion for cooking, make that your thing! You're secretly awesome at chess, or tying bow ties, or break dancing? Go for it! Show the world what you have to offer, even if you think they won't appreciate it. You'd be surprised how excited a group of college kids can get about someone who can make balloon animals.

Live as if life is a movie and you're the star. Speak as if someone you respect is listening. Always dress sharp, like you wouldn't mind if you did run into a herd of paparazzi. Take a few minutes to yourself every day, even for something as simple as taking a breath and meditating. When you're in college, it's really easy to get caught up in the crazy day to day stuff and forget the bigger picture. In the words of one of my personal heroes, Clinton Kelly, "Your fabulousness makes the world a better place -- unlike Pajama Jeans, which, as we all know, are a sign of the Apocalypse."

So that's what's up, folks. Don't hate on my girl LC, and embrace the awesome. Back to my marathon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

mixtape: the roads are wrapped around your waist

I discovered a song a couple of days ago that put me in one of those moods. You know, the ones where you just want to go on a drive for no reason other than to look at the world and fall in love with the world all over again. This is a mix chock full of those songs! They're especially nice if you have someone in the passenger seat, if ya know what I mean.

I'll try to upload the zip in a bit, bu here's the tracklisting for now. :)

End of The Road, Tyler Burkum. Roll all the windows down. Let the hair fly in the wind. Close your eyes, feel the moonlight kiss your skin. I love you now, and i'll always love you so. Walk with me, til the end of the road.

Be Gentle With Me, The Boy Least Likely To. Staring up into the solar system, all the stars are fixed up in the sky. I just want to sparkle for a moment before I just fizzle out and die. I'm happy because I'm stupid. Scared of spiders, scared of flying. If I wasn't so happy, I wouldn't be so scared of dying.

Two of Us, The Beatles. Two of us riding nowhere, spending someone's hard earned pay. You and me Sunday driving, not arriving, on our way back home. 

I'm Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon To Your Star, The Boy Least Likely To. We quietly slipped across the border into Arkansas, but still we couldn't find what it was we were looking for. So we trucked on down to try our luck along the rio grande, but I couldnt help but notice how the little things that used to make us happy made us sad.

32 Ways to Make You Smile, Backseat Goodbye. You told me 32 ways to make you smile. I did 31 within the first hour. You stood amazed in your delighted shoes, bewildered but willing, didn't know what to do. So i grabbed your cold hand, pressed it to my beating heart and said, "Isn't it neat? How our bodies tick and we can move our feet, whenever and however we please."

Young Folks, The Kooks. Usually when things has gone this far, people tend to disappear. No one will surprise me unless you do. I can tell there's something goin' on, hours seems to disappear. Everyone is leaving, I'm still with you. It doesn't matter what we do, where we are going to, we can stick around and see this night through.

5 Years Time, Noah & The Whale. Oh well I look at you and say, "It's the happiest that I've ever been. And I'll say, I no longer feel I have to be James Dean." And she'll say, "Yeah, well I feel all pretty happy too, and I'm always pretty happy when I'm just kicking back with you."

Eleventeen, Kimya Dawson. You are my pantomime, and you are my moonshine. You are my sunshine you are my shooting star. You are my elbow, you are my buttercup, spoonful of puppycat bellyful of kittypup. 

Heaven, Brandi Carlile. Once in your life, you find someone who will turn your world around. Bring you up when you're feelin' down. Nothing could change what you mean to me. Oh there's lots that I could say, but just hold me now, cause our love will light the way.

Would You Go With Me, Josh Turner. Would you accompany me to the edge of the sea? Let me know if you're really a dream. I love you so, so would you go with me?

Home, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes. Home. Let me come home. Home is wherever I'm with you.

Worlds Apart, The Mostar Diving Club. There's a world in your eyes, I can see it getting brighter. All the hours that we turned into days. We were young, seemed like life would go on, last forever. All I had was you by my side.

Draw Me A Map, Dierks Bentley. You're my destiny and destination. Understand my desperation. The only place I wanna be,  so get us back to you and me. Draw me a map that leads me back to you.

Time, Cute is What We Aim For. The roads are wrapped around your waist. They lead me place to place. I take trips from hip to hip, in fact, I've made a career out of it.  I've always thought the left was your strongest side, but when it comes to you now I can't decide. It's only a matter of time. 

Our Song, Taylor Swift. I was riding shotgun, with my hair undone, in the front seat of his car. I grabbed a pen and an old napkin, and I wrote down our song.

Light A Roman Candle With Me, fun. Just spend an evening with me, just a lazy evening. Then you could be leaving, or we could stay and talk until three. I will think it's magic and I'll hope you'll agree. 

Plastic Stars, Freezepop. Plastic stars, in our private galaxy. Synthpop stars come and play a show for me.

Maps, Rouge Wave. Made off, don't stray. My kind's your kind, I'll stay the same. Wait, they don't love you like I love you. Maps, maps, wait.

Somewhere Only We Know, Keane. Oh simple thing, where have you gone? I'm getting old and I need something to rely on. So tell me when you're gonna let me in? I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin. And if you have a minute why don't we go talk about it somewhere only we know?

The Edge of Glory, Lady Gaga. I'm on the edge of glory, and I'm hanging on a moment with you. I'm on the edge with you.

Hands Down, Dashboard Confessional. Breathe in for luck, breathe in so deep. This air is blessed, you share with me. This night is wild, so calm and dull. These hearts they race, from self control.

Passenger Seat, Stephen Speaks. And I've got all that I need right here in the passenger seat. Oh, and I can't keep my eyes on the road knowing that she's inches from me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try.

A couple of nights ago, a good friend asked me a question. He asked where I would want to be,  if I could be anywhere in the world. Without thinking, I said there, in that exact spot, in that exact moment. I mean, c'mon. How many places in the world have a view like the sun setting over Buena Vista? Between Good View, great food and better company, who could ask for anything more? I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about this moment since then. And, as it turns out, I was more right than I originally thought.

I had a chance to go anywhere in the world. Yeah, at graduation, I could've gone to any city or school. I chose Phoenix. And then, later, when I decided it was time to grow up, I could've picked anywhere. Yeah, going to a church school was highly recommended, but if I didn't want to go that path I would've found another way. As it was, there was only one place in my heart, and that was here. From that first moment that I stepped off the airplane into Roanoke back in May, I knew that this was the place. That's all I could think, this is the place. This is the place that I want to spend the next four years of my life. This is the place that I want to tell my kids about. This is the place that I plan to meet some of the greatest friends I'll ever have, and maybe even someone to spend forever with. This is the place that I'm supposed to be.

It's really hard to remember this, going through the day to day of life. I get caught up in the drama and the stress and the humdrum, or start missing my family and friends and an H&M within driving distance. But I know that it's true. There's something here for me. Maybe someone. It's hard to say at this point. But what is important is that it's here, and that I'm going to find it. And next time I feel frustrated or hurt or upset, I need to remember that life isn't a series of accidents. There's a point, and a purpose, and a reason. I just need to make sure that I do everything I can to make it happen.

Really, the moral of this story is that I have ridiculous l'esprit de l'escalier: when you think of a response when it's too late to deliver it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Put away the All American Rejects album for a minute and listen to what I have to say.

Dear Fifteen Year Old Me,

I get letters from you all the time (via - I don't remember when you started this, so get on it. It's delightful) so I figured it was about time I replied.

So, here's the deal. Life isn't going to turn out like you expected. I know you want to be disappointed, but don't be. It's going to be so much better. There will be some definite dark spots, but you already knew that. Those boys that you're giving your heart to? They're not going to stick around. But I guess you already knew that, too. You're going to lose a lot of people that you love, but you're going to gain more. I wish I could tell you that you need to be careful, that you should hold back and not be so open, but I know that's not your way. And more than that, it's all those stumbles and falls that make me who you're going to be, and let me tell you. Things are pretty awesome from where I'm standing.

That being said, I do have some advice. You probably won't listen to it, because let's face it. I'm an adult, and we all know how you feel about those.

-That best friend you have right now? Hold onto her for dear life. She may not be around forever, but she's going to help you grow up more than anyone in the world. Tell her that you love her every chance you get.
-Mascara is your best friend. Just trust me on this.
-You know how you're so jealous of the popular cheerleaders? Here's the truth - you're just as popular. People love you! Don't forget to appreciate what you have with friends and family.
-Oh, yes, family. You have an awesome one. I know you probably don't believe me, but you're going to get to be so close with them. Your little sister is going to turn into a total babe, and you should be nicer to her. Really, to everyone. The day will come when they're going to be all you have.
-You should study more in school. Acadec was a great choice, but if you spent more time actually studying and less time focusing on all the drama with that crazy boy of yours, you're going to be so much better off. It took me a long time to figure this out, but you get scholarships for placing at state. Get on it, girl.
-Okay, this is a tricky one. Mostly because you don't realize it's a problem yet. But you are special. You are good enough. And you don't need to turn to all these boys for validation, because they're not going to give it to you. It's not that they're using you, it's that they're growing up, too. You expect these kids to know how to fix you when you yourself don't, but here's the big secret: it's okay to not have it all figured out. You are so young. Just let things happen, you know? Let yourself be sad, let yourself be happy, live in the moment. Someone is going to give you the best piece of advice you'll ever hear. I'm going to beat her to it:
Let it come.
Let it stay.
Let it go.
-I love you, but your hair is awful. Stop cutting it.
-Start listening to these bands. You know who may not be good at relationships, but he has fantastic taste in music: The Mountain Goats, John Mayer, The National, Jenny Owen Youngs, Oasis, The Decemberists, Weezer, and Iron & Wine. Kathy has fantastic taste in music too, start getting all your jams from her.
-Watch The OC. Yeah, whatever, it's a stupid high school kid show, but guess what. You're a high school kid. And maybe if I can get you dressing like Rachel Bilson now, you'll have fantastic style by the time you're me. I know you think that wearing a skirt as a shirt, or leggings with shorts is the height of fashion now, but just... Trust me on this, okay?
-Get your butt to rehearsal. I don't remember when along the line you decided you were too cool for your one great passion, but you're talented, and you love it. Get off your high horse, babe. One break up (or a million break ups, as it probably feels) isn't worth giving this up. You're going to regret it, I promise.
-Don't be so hard on yourself. You can succeed if you give yourself a chance. That goes for everything - writing, studying, wearing those shoes with that outfit.
-Boys at your age are dumb. But there is a light on the horizon! I can guarantee this, though it's all I can say: your taste in men WILL increase exponentially with every guy you date. They get cuter, better, nicer, and by the time you're my age, they'll be the cream of the crop. Don't worry so much.

I think that's about it. I don't want you to change too much, because of the whole butterfly effect thing (oh yeah, get into philosophy. I have a feeling you're going to love it) but I know that you could use a little hope right about now, and I'm just gonna say.

When you're twenty, you're going to have lots of friends, be in college, and be so pretty. You're not in love, but you love yourself, and that's going to be worth way more.

Love love love,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thought for the day

“Did you know that Christopher Columbus saw mermaids? In fact, he saw them so often he treated them as nothing out of the ordinary. They don’t teach you that fact in your average public school textbook, but it’s easy enough to find. Just research his captain’s log for the date of January 9th, 1493. On that single day he described sighting three of them. And in 1531 the people of a small village near Germany recorded having captured one. For some reason, they called it a “bishop fish.” It was male and died of starvation after refusing to eat.
My point? The world is full of magick and wonders, most of which are being completely ignored. People like to congratulate themselves for having the world all figured out when nothing is farther from the truth. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how so many people spend their lives in front of televisions, dismissing any phenomenon that doesn’t have its own reality show as “unreal.” Think about how many places you’ve traveled to in your car—like the grocery store. But you’ve never actually gotten out and explored the spaces between your home and the store. Who knows what you could find in those “familiar” places if you were to explore them?

There are all sorts of mysteries in the world, but no one looks for them anymore. No one wants to find them. How is that even possible? Can Twitter and “Jersey Shore” really be that interesting?”
Damien Echols

Saturday, August 6, 2011

i enjoy being a girl

When I was nine, I discovered lipstick. It was this beautiful Clinique Berry something or other, and I was in love with it. But, seeing as how I was in the 4th grade, not many people appreciated my dark red lips. In an effort to make my look a bit more subtle, I smeared thick, glue like lip gloss all over. To be honest, I went from looking like someone with a bad lip biting habit to a night club dancer (in a burgundy poncho and bright green shoes, but that's a sort for another time.)

So, I kinda like make up. And by kinda like, I mean if make up could somehow take me dancing and cuddle with me a night, I wouldn't need a boyfriend OR a mastiff. I've probably spent a good 1/6 of my entire life income on mascara. It's safe to say that I know a thing or two about how to put on a face.

That being said, there are some things that I've only just come to appreciate in the past few weeks. And in order to save some other girl from making it all the way to twenty without experiencing the joys of moisturizer, here goes nothin.

Lip color.
I'll probably blame this one on the terrible teasing of those awful sporty girls in 4th grade, but up until recently I've lived by a strict dark eye/light lip rule. It's tried and true, and let's face it. It looks pretty fabulous. But eyeliner and a ridiculous amount of mascara can only get you so far in the world - sometimes a girl just needs some bright red lipstick. In my film analysis class, we're discussing how make up can affect your interpretation of a character, and I couldn't agree more. And what does a voluptuous girl with a cherry pout usually signify? Bombshell. I'm personally a fan of lipstain, it lasts pretty long and feel like you're writing on yourself with marker, but thanks to C├ęzanne I've recently discovered Covergirl Lip Perfection. Check out her fantastic review here at

Ridiculous, right? You'd think a girl who's as lacking in the color pigmentation as myself would've gotten on this train long ago, but alas. The perfect balance between rosy cheeked lass and outright Jezebel has, until recently, alluded me.
It turns out that the answer usually lies in the brush you use. Weird, right? But not only is there a huge range of quality of brushes, but their shapes and sizes make a huge difference. Turns out a good foundation brush does not a good bronzer brush make, and don't even get me started on fans vs. fluffy. Yes, you can get away with having one brush for bronzer, blush and powder, but it had better be pretty freakin versatile.
On top of that, the location of the blush can completely change your look. A pretty pink on the apples of your cheeks gives more of an innocent look, while color that fans from your apples up to your temple is more dramatic and flushed.

Yet another Hello Giggles gold mine - Sarah Howard recently posted about the best ways to have awesome looking make up, even in awful heat and humidity. This quote particularly stood out to me:
Think of your face like a canvas. You wouldn’t paint without priming, would you? A primer is even more important come summer.
Since I am easily susceptible to suggestion, I headed out to Wal Mart to try this most important beauty product.
And guess what? I LOVE IT. First of all, it makes your skin feel ridiculously silky. Supposedly it also evens out skin tone and gets rid of wrinkles, but I don't even care because IT FEELS SO GOOD, OMG. And make up goes on so smoothly and nice, you wouldn't even believe it. I got my Maybelline Age Rewind for about $6, and I would recommend it to anyone who wears make up ever ever.

And finally,

I feel like a schmutz for admitting this, but I've been pretty negligent with my basic skin care pretty much my entire life. I was one of the few blessed with pretty perfect skin, no zits or oily skin or anything. Really, I consider it a win if I brush my teeth and pick my mascara off at the end of the day. However, I realize that this is probably not a good way to be, so I invested in some face wash and moisturizer.
I wish I could say my freckles instantly disappeared and I lost ten pounds and everyone fell in love with me because I suddenly had a good skincare regime, but that would be a lie. Instead, I broke out with more pimples on my face than I've ever had in my life. That lasted about two weeks, and things finally settled down on my face, but I still haven't seen any drastic improvement. I use Clean & Clear Morning Glow moisturizer, which supposedly will add a little color to my face, but I'm still just as pale as ever. I do, however, feel a lot better knowing that I'm doing right by my skin.

Also, there's nothing like looking at yourself soulfully in the mirror, wiping off your mask for the day, singing along to Jewel's 'You Were Meant For Me' until your roommate pounds on the door and says she needs to shower.

**I would strongly suggest checking out and for more great make up reviews and tips. :) **

Friday, July 29, 2011

fall 2011 wardrobe wish list

I'm obsessed with sites like pinterest and polyvore. Here are some items that have shown up over and over again and I might die if I don't own them come fall.

- tailored black blazer. A favorite of my fashion queen Rachel Bilson, it adds a casual class and elegance to any outfit. I especially like it when paired with skinny jeans, embellished tank and black flats.

- wedges. It's hard to pull off heels in daily college life, but wedges are casual enough that they're acceptable for almost any occasion. The height and style of heels without the glamour. Also, much more stable!

- feather earrings. Okay, maybe I didn't need the feather to fly. But that doesn't mean I don't want it.

- nude pumps. Thank you, Duchess Kate, for single handedly bringing back the nude heel. They're so classy and elegant, I can't even stand it. Not to mention versatile!

- colored skinny jeans. I remember as well as anyone the rise and fall of the electric colored skinny jeans, how quickly the hot pink came and how quickly the electric blue fell. But this season is all about coral, canary yellow, navy blue. It's a very naval color palate and I'm in love with it.

- pink/orange/coral make up kit. Think Sarah Walker in Chuck. She's gorgeous with her flawless fair skin, light blonde hair and eyeshadow and lip gloss in all the colors of frozen yogurt. It's not especially flattering on a brunette, but I'm not a brunette anymore!

- Betsey Johnson perfume. My bottle didn't survive the trip out east. What's a wolf without a pack? What's a girl without her signature scent?
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