March 30, 2012

High Five for Friday

Well, it's friday again. And I'm linking up with my sister Lauren From My Grey Desk! You should link up too if you do a High Five for Friday post!

she's cute.

1. Had dinner with a friend last night at Panera. We talked for 2 1/2 hours, and then continued in the parking lot. I love that. Oh and we laughed so much our cheeks hurt. 

2. Made great progress with my blog redesign. You'll see some changes here soon! It will be easier to navigate and find information. 

3. Guest-Posted on I {Heart} Nap Time's blog! Check it out here.

4. Planning a sister photo shoot this evening with Jacques, the wireless shutter release. Should be interesting. I'm sure there will be tons of laughter. Hopefully not as much wind as last time

5. Moving! Justin and I are moving, locally, to another town home closer to his job! It's beautiful and clean and the walls aren't beige. And the kitchen is HUGE. Not really, but it is pretty big. But anything is bigger than my corner kitchen now. And I'll have a HUGE laundry room. Not really, but I'll actually be able to stand in it. And the master bathroom is HUGE. Not really, but it's going to be a much, much prettier background for my hair tutorials. 
I'm really excited about moving. It's an upgrade for sure.
My sister is also moving! Have I told you she lives in my neighborhood? Just down the street. ::cue the "awwwww"::
She's moving into a beautiful apartment about 2 minutes from Justin and my new place. I'm so glad we are able to still live close to each other. She's pretty cool.

This week I've also decided to include my LOW five for friday.

1. I am not excited about this. Somehow I have acquired so much crap over the years we have lived here. And although I did my closet makeover and I'm thrilled I'm not moving an extra 7 bags of clothes, there is still a lot of stuff.

2. Figuring out what to donate vs. sell, and what to keep. Justin and I haven't really bought major furniture together yet. We had everything we needed before we were married since we both lived on our own, seperately. My parents gave us their old pine furniture for our bedroom since they were redecorating, and after a few coats of paint, it looked brand new. And I love it. And we're grateful it was free. 
So it has come time that we buy another couch, since our current couches are huge and won't fit in the new living room. 

3. packing. 

4. packing.

5. moving day.

Hope you have a great weekend! 

March 29, 2012

A bit on blogging

Vol25 Print

I've been blogging for over  a year now. I have learned so much through this process and I'm so grateful to be a part of such an incredible community.

But I've also learned that it can become all-consuming. Everything can "be a blog post". My trip to the grocery store. . .maybe I'll post about it. The fly buzzing around my head. . .maybe I'll post about it. And while those sound like riveting blog posts. . .oh wait. . .

It's easy to want to instagram every slightly funny moment of my day. To tweet quotes I hear from strangers when I walk past them. To search for spots for outfit post photo shoots on the side of the road while I'm driving.

But I don't want to miss out on my life right now. When I came back from Blissdom, I was bubbling over with excitement, inspiration, and big dreams about what else I want to do with the blog. My husband and I sat at PF Changs for a while and I spewed all of the details of Blissdom.

And he was, and still is, really excited for me. And absolutely supportive. I couldn't ask for a better husband to be on this blogging journey with.

But he also reminded me to remain present. To not whip my phone out every 5 minutes to check twitter. To not spend hours every evening in the office in front of the computer. To not "check out" from something happening in the moment. I'm naturally inclined to do all of these things because blogging is exciting!  I love connecting with readers and other bloggers! So I'm grateful that my husband is lovingly able to hold me accountable in these aspects.

I enjoy sharing my life on this blog, and will continue, but I think the key to blogging is finding good boundaries with blogging and living.

Thankfully, I've met other great people that feel similarly.

Jon Acuff, a fantastic keynote speaker from Blissdom, wrote an encouraging blog post here.

The Nester wrote a post recently that encouraged us to not compare, but be inspired.

*this may sound like a heavy post, but I promise I don't intend for it to be. Instead, I hope you are encouraged and motivated to set boundaries in your blogging life if you need them. 

Do you blog? Have you found a good balance? 

March 28, 2012

The Rivalry

If you've been following my blog for the past few weeks, you've seen more posts about Duke than usual. Partially because I got excited about Duke Basketball this year, which I think made my husband overjoyed, and Justin was accepted to Duke's Engineering Management Masters program.

So there is a lot of Duke love happening.

My sister-in-law, Kelly, however is not a Duke fan. She's a Carolina fan. I don't know how that happened, but it did.

Now if you aren't from around these parts, you may not know about the Duke vs. Carolina rivalry. It's pretty intense. I had no idea what I was moving into when I moved south. 

So you can imagine there was quite the rivalry in their household while they were growing up.

When Justin was applying to Duke, he and Kelly made a bet. If he got in, she would go to Duke's campus, wear a Duke t-shirt, and take a picture in front of Kryscrunchskiville* sign. This sign represents the plot of land in front of Cameron Indoor Stadium where the students live in the spring(and I mean that literally. . .they live in tents for a few months in order to get tickets for the Duke vs. Carolina game at Duke. It's a big deal).

I can't remember the other side of the bet. . .maybe because I was so confident that Justin would get in. ;)

So last weekend, we made the trek out to Durham. Justin proudly led my sister, myself and Kelly on a beautiful tour around campus. 

Here they are in front of the chapel. I told Kelly to smile. But her real feelings are shown in the second photo.

Then we made her "kiss" the Blue Devil.

And then we made it over to Krsysodhfnfsville*.

Look at how happy she was.

And if this isn't a sign. . .I don't know what is.
Kelly was a great sport. And she looked great in a Duke shirt. :)

I posted about Justin's acceptance into the school & his program, but he was still deciding whether or not to go. Well, he finally decided.

Here is his academic life in a nutshell:

He will graduate from NC State this May with an undergrad in Aerospace Engineering and begin working at an Engineering Corporation in June. The Masters of Engineering Management graduate program at Duke, which he confirmed that he is attending in the fall (yay!), will be a distance education program that he'll do alongside his full time job.

So basically, we are busy people.

Oh, and he's a genius. 

A rocket scientist you might say.

And I'm kind of really proud of him. 


*Okay, here is the explanation of the misspelling of Krzyzewskiville.

My sister, in her infinite humor and wit, told me a few months ago that Coach Krzyzewski just announced to the news that people have been pronouncing his name wrong for years.
People have been pronouncing it "Sha-Chef-Ski", but it was actually supposed to be pronounced "Kre-Zoo-Ski".
I said, "Oh my gosh, REALLY?" and totally believed her because she's my sister and would never ever, EVER lie to me, right?

So for about 20 minutes I sat there, thinking to myself, "What kind of person wouldn't correct the pronunciation of their own last name? Especially since he's a public figure! C'mon Coach K! Get it together! Geez!"

She must have seen my glazed over look while I thought about this "breaking news", and she said, "You know I'm kidding, right? It's definitely supposed to be pronounced "sha-chef-ski" in real life."

Nope. Sure didn't. ::embarrassing::

From that moment on, I call him some version of kre-zew-sker or kre-scissor-ski or kri-crunch-skert.

And I feel better about myself.

March 27, 2012

The Necklace and The Jeans

I happened to swoon over this necklace from J.Crew. . .
Ain't she a beauty?

Well, at $120.00 a pop, I couldn't quite justify that purchase.

So I pinned it to Pinterest instead.

But THANKS to my awesome pinterest followers, I was told to go to ebay and see if I can find a similar version there.

And I did. For $17.98. 

So I bought it, pretty much expecting it to be broken, flimsy, or completely off from the picture since it was so cheap. But I was pleasantly surprised! 

It's pretty darn close.

Top: Banana Republic Outlet, Jeans: Banana Republic Outlet, Shoes: Tj Maxx, Necklace: Ebay, J.Crew look-alike

In other news:

I had been on the hunt for cropped skinny jeans for awhile. But after searching for what seemed like forever, and finding nothing that fit right, I was ready to give up.
In fact, I believe I said to my sister, "I'm going to give up on my search for cropped skinny jeans."
And then I found these an hour later at Banana Republic Outlet for $29.99.

Here is what I learned from shopping for cropped skinny jeans.

1. Skinny jeans are cut narrower than other jeans. Therefore, plan on going up a size or two to find a pair that fits right but still allows your blood to circulate to your legs. My body type is not straight up and down, I'm much more curvy. So, skinny jeans are not exactly made for me, if you know what I'm saying. I wear between a 4 and 6 in jeans/pants, but went up to a size 10 for the skinny jeans. When I couldn't get the size 6's past my knees, I knew there was a problem.
I also hate the look of skin tight jeans. And the feeling. So the size 10's still "fit" and I can breathe--so that's nice.

2. Try on a bunch of different styles. I tried on straight leg jeans and just rolled the cuff up to see what they would look like. I tried on "ankle" length jeans. I tried Boyfriend jeans in a size down so they fit better ( a size down since they are cut looser than other jeans). And even after all of that, I still wasn't finding the look I was going for.

3. Give up on the search and you'll probably find the perfect pair. My mom, sister and I were shopping in Banana Republic Outlet. I have a love/hate relationship with that store. I like some of their clothes, but I hate their prices. And since I used to work there and reap the employee benefits (read: discount!), It's hard to stomach a $60.00 shirt that I could have gotten for waaaay less had I not stopped working there. 
Anyway, I was showing my mom a cute top when I passed this rack of jeans. 
"Hey, aren't you looking for skinny jeans?" she said.
"Oh! Yes! Oh, these might work. . .let me try them on really quick. . ".
And I left with a beautiful new pair of cropped skinnies.

What about you? Is there a certain item of clothing that you have trouble finding? 

March 26, 2012

The Braided Pony

This is a great way to get your hair off your neck on hot summer days.

What I like most about this braid is the subtleness to it. If you want more of an obvious braid, just leave out less hair around your face before you begin AND take smaller sections as you braid.

Refer to this post to see what's in my hair. 

Refer to this post to see how my hair is curled. 

White top: TJ Maxx; Jeans: J.Crew Classic Flare , Shoes: Alfani , Jewelry: Elisabeth Ashlie (sold out)


March 23, 2012

Coral Dress

I have a thing for dresses with sleeves.

So when I saw this dress. . .I knew I had to have it.

It's from ModCloth. Have you shopped there before? I frequently check their New Arrivals but this is the first time I've bought something.

Their return policy is fantastic, so there's no harm in buying it and returning it. And that was the tipping point for me.

OH, and the dress was $51.99.

Oh, AND it reminds me of Mad Men. And I'm kind of a huge fan.

I think I really would have enjoyed the fashion of the 50's.

This dress is sold out, but make sure to check their new arrivals daily for other cute dresses! 

March 22, 2012

Local Blog Meet Up

*This event is full! We hope to host more meet ups so be on the look out this summer for another post about one! 
Do you like coffee?
Do you blog?
Do you live in or near Raleigh?
Come out for a night of coffee and chatting about all things blog related!
Location, TDB (probably a Starbucks or something)
e-mail us at lattesandblogging(at)gmail(d0t)com by April 6th if you are interested!
We'll send out an evite with the location, so we NEED you to e-mail us!
Include a link to your blog in your e-mail!
It's nothing fancy or formal, just a night that we can meet other bloggers! 

Hosted by Me, Lauren, and Carrie


On a similar note, I receive e-mails from new bloggers asking how to get started. Or how to come up with new content. Or how to get followers. Etc, etc, etc.

I've only been at this for a little over a year, so I thought I would list a few links to the blogging tips I read when I started!

The Pioneer Woman :  10 important things about blogging

I hope those help you, wherever you are on your blogging journey!

March 21, 2012

Raspberry Whipped Cream

This is a delectable treat that compliments angel food cake, or can be enjoyed on it's own. Yes, I am most likely to just dip a spoon into it and eat it as is.

What you need:
1 carton heavy whipping cream
powdered sugar

1. Clean raspberries and let dry.
2. Mash with a fork.
 3. Add heavy whipping cream to mixer with whisk attachment and begin mixing on a med/high speed. Add spoonfuls of powdered sugar until you've reached desired sweetness and fluffiness! This process takes a few minutes.
 4. Fold in raspberries.

Top off angel food cake, cupcakes, brownies, etc. with your Raspberry Whipped Cream! 

March 20, 2012

Day Off Wear

Monday's hold a special place in my heart. They are my day off from the salon. And they are always very much needed after a weekend of work! 
Don't get me wrong, I love my job. But a girl can use a day off every once in awhile, right?

My sister and I went to Target the other day. 15 minutes into our trip, and after walking through the clothes, jewelry, shoe and makeup aisles, all we had was a tube of mascara.


So we walked through the clothes again and both picked up the sweater I'm wearing and matching yoga pants. Sometimes we try to push the "twin" factor. 

Then we walked through grocery and found the new Birthday Cake Oreo's. Have you tried them? I do NOT like them. But apparently they are wildly popular.

And finally, we grabbed some Haagen Daz Coffee ice cream.

Now that feels more like it. I don't know what I would have done having only left Target with mascara. 

It would have been weird. . . and uncomfortable. . . 


Lee La La Giveaway

Today's giveaway comes from Lindsay at Lee La La! 

Hi, Im Lindsay, the editor behind the blog Lee La La, where I take on life, mommyhood, fashion, and all things in between. I also have an online accessory shop, that reflects my love for all things girly. Creating and writing are my biggest passions in life, and my gift to you. It's so nice to meet you.

Enter to win a $40 shop credit to Lee La La on Etsy

(in order for your entry to be counted, you must use the giveaway tool below.)

March 19, 2012

Half Up Ballerina Bun

Today's tutorial is a sleek and simple half up style that can be done on nearly any texture of hair. 
Although my hair is curled, don't hesitate to try it on straight hair!

The bobby pins I use in this video are professional quality. The brand is "Diane". Ask your stylist if he/she will sell you any professional quality pins, or you can search for some at Sally Beauty Supply or other beauty supply stores. 

Refer to this post to see what's in my hair. 

Refer to this post to see how my hair is curled. 

Jeans: Favorite J.Crew jeans (Classic Flare); Sparkle top: J.Crew outlet Winter 2010; Sweater: Target Spring 2012; Jewelry: Elisabeth Ashlie


March 16, 2012

It's Friday

Friday is here!

This ended up being a long week for me because I was sick over the weekend! I either got what Justin had, which means he may not have had food poisoning, or I acquired the Norovirus myself. Either way, we were both miserably sick recently BUT it was at separate times so we could really take care of each other. I know, mushy love stuff. But he's really good at taking care of me while I'm sick. 

Here are my top 5 things of the week!

1. Taking a walk with Justin on Monday night.
-I was exhausted from my sickly weekend but had a 9-5p continuing education class in Durham that day. My brain was mush when I got home, but the weather was beautiful so out we went. It was so nice to let the stress of the day melt away.

2. My Real Simple magazine arrived. It has yet to be cracked open, but I am so looking forward to reading it.

3. Got to have dinner with my friend Carrie! I stopped working evenings at the studio and it's really nice to be able to have more normal work hours--so I can do things like grab dinner with a friend on a Wednesday. 

4. I got my new growth touched up by my colorist Kelli. See ya later, dark roots. And I mean that literally.

5. Beautiful, beautiful summer weather with low humidity. It's lovely. 

How was your week? Do you have 5 things that you enjoyed this week? Write a blog post and link up with my sister at From My Grey Desk

March 15, 2012

March Birchbox

It's that time again! The monthly Birchbox reveal!

Several weeks ago I received an e-mail from Birchbox asking if I wanted to choose the Teen Vogue box instead of the traditional Birchbox for the month of March.

I thought, "Sure, why not?". So I clicked "yes" to teen vogue.

Then I thought, "Well that was stupid. I'm not a teen."

And then I thought.. .No, no. I'm kidding. Enough of my thought process already.


I was pretty much planning on the box not being as great as usual since it wouldn't apply to me.

But I was wrong.

It may be one of my favorite boxes. I ripped through it so fast, excited about the items that I had to go through it twice.

The Sugar Rose lip tint smells wonderful and is as smooth as silk.

And yes, that's a Modcloth coupon up there. If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I love Modcloth.

I was so excited to see some glitter polish in there. And Essie! I love Essie.

And I immediately grabbed the blue nylon ribbon and threw my hair in a ponytail. And I smiled. It holds the hair back beautifully without the pull of some hair ties that are too tight. And it's a little bit more interesting than a clear hair tie since it has color!

Plus, I felt extra cool because I saw that anthropologie carries some of these.

Do you subscribe to Birchbox? It's the most exciting thing in my mailbox each month!