Tuesday, January 31, 2012


"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young."

-Henry Ford, 1863-1947.

Now Playing: "Born to Die" by Lana Del Rey

Nail Polish of the Moment: OPI Spark de Triomphe, OPI Shorts Story, Zoya Izzy, Zoya Jem

OPI Spark de Triomphe (Image via Google)

This is the polish I currently have on. In some lighting it appears to be a champagne gold with an almost hint of green to it but in darker lighting, it looks silver. I will probably keep this on for my birthday tomorrow. On my own nails (not pictured above), I used OPI's Natural Nail Base Coat with 3 coats of Spark de Triomphe and Seche Vite Top Coat.

OPI Shorts Story (Image via Google)

The month of January in Pittsburgh can be quite dreary. I last wore OPI Shorts Story because I was in the mood for something bright and summery. It's the quintessential Barbie pink and very uplifting.

Zoya Izzy (Image via Google)

I recently gave myself a pedicure and opted for this bright pink. I'll probably use it for a manicure around Valentine's Day. It's a very flattering color for fair skin.

Zoya Jem (Image via Google).

Before wearing OPI Shorts Story, I had my nails painted with Zoya Jem. I really love Zoya's formula and will likely be adding more of its polishes to my collection. Jem is a beautiful deep purple with a slight amount of shimmer. Essie's Shine of the Times top coat effects looked nicely over the "bling finger."

Now Playing: "Breaking Hearts" by James Vincent McMorrow
*Love his voice!

25 Years

Today is my last full day of being 25-years-old. This has been a personal growth year for me. I hope that 26 will bring many memories, fun travels and career achievements. It's an odd time in my life. I still feel young but at the same time, it feels like an internal clock is ticking for me to make my life something I can truly be proud of. I don't want to settle down just yet. I have a lot of living, learning and loving yet to do. In the coming year, I hope to gain more insight about the world and myself.

Now Playing: "You Belong to Me" by The 88

Monday, January 30, 2012

Music Monday

Every Friday, I post a song from the past (be it a few years or several decades old). In an effort to explore new music and discover emerging talent, I thought it would be nice to do a Music Monday segment.

This week's selection is "Seven Stars" by Air (ft. Victoria Legrand).

Air is an ambient music duo from Versailles, France. The band's name is the acronym for Amour, Imagination, RĂªve which translates to Love, Imagination, Dream. I think that is so beautiful. For cinema fans, you might be familiar with one of their most popular hits, "Playground Love", which was featured in the movie The Virgin Suicides. It's definitely one of my favorites. Their new album, Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon) is scheduled for release on February 6th, 2012.

Victoria Legrand is a singer-songwriter for the Baltimore native indie-pop band, Beach House. I really love their sound as well. Favorite track: "Walk In the Park".

Word of the Week: Redolent

The word of the week (my birthday week!) for January 30th through February 5th is...


1. Serving to bring to mind; evocative
2. Exuding fragrance; aromatic.

When she smelled the redolent bottle of perfume, she was instantly taken back to the time in her life when she wore the fragrance most frequently.

Now Playing: "Pigeons" by The Hundred in the Hands

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Best Dressed: 2012 SAG Awards

Rose Byrne looked unbelievable in a chic Elie Saab jumpsuit. I thought she resembled a young Anna Wintour/Julianne Moore. This is one of my favorite red carpet looks in recent memory. She took a risk and totally nailed it!

Elizabeth Chambers looked effortlessly elegant in a cream gown by Gucci.

Also in white, a newly engaged Katrina Bowden looked beautiful in Amsale.

Now Playing: "Sway" by The Kooks

Chic & Thrifty: Chanel Spring 2012 Nail Polish for Less!

TOP ROW: Chanel Spring 2012 Collection. April, May, June ($25).
BOTTOM ROW: Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Wonder, Sinful Colors Pink Forever, Revlon Peach Nectar (< $5).

It has been so long since I posted a Chic & Thrifty blog that I forgot what I called the series. I was inspired to share some affordable alternatives to Chanel's Spring nail polish collection. I found these options within my own stash. I think it's important to know what you have before investing in something that is practically identical. These colors aren't exactly "dupes" (albeit April looks close enough to me) but they are amazing alternatives. I love Chanel just as much if not more than the next girl but I can attest that its formula is not superior to the products I have mentioned. Chanel polishes are $25 USD whereas my alternatives were all under $5. I picked up both the Sally Hansen and Revlon polishes at Big Lots for a buck or two. At the drug store they would run around $4-5. Sinful Colors can also be found at the drug store for $1.99. It's a great option if you're looking to have a large collection and various options without having to spend a lot of money. I really encourage every girl to know what she has and to research the market before investing in something that could be duped for less. There are plenty of resources online and great websites to familiarize yourself with. Two of my favorite nail polish sites that include a wide variety of information on collection releases, swatches and more:

Now Playing: "Sunday Morning" by Maroon 5

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Turning Page

I heard this song for the first time this evening. I haven't seen the newest Twilight movie, so if there are any Twihards out there, this song is so 2011 for you. But I thought it was a beautiful piece of music and wanted to share. The lyrics read like poetry. You know, there's something to be said for a good love song. Every girl wants one written for her. Take note, gentleman: I've had a few guys write me poems and it's something I'll never forget.

"Turning Page" by Sleeping At Last

I’ve waited a hundred years.
But I’d wait a million more for you.
Nothing prepared me for
What the privilege of being yours would do.

If I had only felt the warmth within your touch,
If I had only seen how you smile when you blush,
Or how you curl your lip when you concentrate enough,
I would have known what I was living for all along.
What I’ve been living for.

Your love is my turning page,
Where only the sweetest words remain.
Every kiss is a cursive line,
Every touch is a redefining phrase.

I surrender who I’ve been for who you are,
For nothing makes me stronger than your fragile heart.
If I had only felt how it feels to be yours,
Well, I would have known what I’ve been living for all along.
What I’ve been living for.

Though we’re tethered to the story we must tell,
When I saw you, well, I knew we’d tell it well.
With a whisper, we will tame the vicious seas.
Like a feather bringing kingdoms to their knees.

Luxe Living: California's Villa Montana

Pittsburgh-area native, Joe Montana's California Wine Country estate has recently dropped $14 million-dollars in its asking price. Hurry now (dare to dream)! The gorgeous property boasts over 500 acres of land in Sonoma County, contains nearly 10,000 sq. ft. of living space, an equestrian stable, guest house, wine cellar, basketball court, spa and so much more. I guess it wouldn't suck to live there, right?

I think Villa Montana is absolutely spectacular. I love its architectural style and breathtaking locale. It's definitely one of the most beautiful homes I've seen.

Now Playing: "Policy of Truth" by Depeche Mode

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flashback Friday

When it came to choosing a song for this week's flashback Friday, I was feeling a bit uninspired. Nothing seemed to fit my mood. Rather than select a random song that doesn't hold much meaning to me, I thought I would shake things up and post a classical piece. In high school and college, I would often play classical music while I studied or took a bath. I also had the classical station set on my car's radio to help me relax if I was ever in heavy traffic or got really lost. When I was first learning to drive, I was a nervous wreck behind the wheel. Another reason I appreciate the genre is because of what it has done for films. Movies wouldn't be the same without it. Classical music holds a special place in my heart and deserves more love from young people today.

"L'inverno" (Winter) by Antonio Vivaldi, 1725.

Like me, Vivaldi was a redhead :)

Fill In the Blank Friday!

The last dream you vividly remember?
A few days ago, a story idea came to me in a dream. I enjoy nonfiction writing but at some point, I would like to write a book for children, young adults or those who are young at heart. I don't want to give it away for free! ;)

Favorite sports teams?
My Pittsburgh Steelers of course! I also really like hockey. I've been a Pens fan since I was very young. I'm a WVU alum, so I cheer on the Mountaineers as well. I love sports!

Last thing you ordered online?
Chloe perfume for my upcoming 26th birthday. I've been wanting to wear it for some time. It's going to be my new signature scent for my mid-late 20s.

Last song you played?
Currently playing "Fade Into You" by Mazzy Star. It's an extremely dreary day. Mazzy Star sets the tone perfectly. I love this song.

The next movie you want to see?
I've been dying to see Like Crazy but it wasn't released in my city. I'll probably watch something I've never heard of before on Netflix when I'm done filling out this questionnaire.

Favorite time of day?
Midnight and beyond. I'm fully nocturnal and love the energy that the night carries with it. I get all my creativity at the most bizarre hours. Just call me Nyx.

Describe your best friend?
One of my best friends is named Valerie. She's absolutely hilarious and has a sick, twisted mind in the same way that I do. She works in finance but I still don't quite get that. She's a music lover like me and enjoys having a good time. We love to frequent the same dive bar, Jack's! She's a true friend and is always there for me when I need her. We've been friends since high school. When we first met, she was unlike anyone else I had ever been friends with but I'm so glad I looked past our apparent differences. We're actually very much alike.

Do you wear jewelry?
I love a good pair of stud earrings and maybe an interesting cocktail ring but I'm not into wearing a lot of jewelry. Necklaces and braclets get in the way and tend to look cluttered on me. I prefer simplicity. But I'm a girlie girl and certainly have a large enough collection.

Do you wear contacts or glasses?
I'm legally blind. I have the type of contacts that you never have to take out for up to a month. I usually change them out every few weeks. I'll occasionally wear my glasses to give my eyes a break. Without corrective lenses, I can see virtually nothing. It's all a blur.

Favorite age so far?
19 was pretty amazing. My first/second year of college. I went to the number 1 party school in the country, had a fantastic fake ID, lots of really memorable times.

Now Playing: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by  The Righteous Brothers

Thursday, January 26, 2012


"In truth, I never wanted to be a dancer. My whole ambition was to play shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, I did become 14 and I did discover girls. And I did discover that the girls like the fellas who were good dancers... You dance love and you dance joy and you dance dreams. And I know if I can make you smile by jumping over a couple of couches or running through a rain storm, then I'll be very glad to be a song and dance man. And I won't worry that the Pittsburgh Pirates lost a hell of a shortstop."
-Gene Kelly, 1912-1996.

*It's a rainy day in Pittsburgh which made me think of Gene Kelly. I think he was so handsome! He would have been 100-years-old this August.

Now Playing: "Re: Stacks" by Bon Iver

My Palmistry

My Dominant Hand.

  • Downward branches early in the Heart Line may indicate heartache.
  • Long, curved Heart Line shows warmth and emotional depth; romantic in nature.
  • Heart Line extending toward middle finger shows ability to love; sexual, idealistic.
  • Fork at the end of the Heart Line shows loyalty and desire for harmony.
  • Curved Head Line displays creative and artistic ability.
  • Upward branch in the Life Line indicates achievement, glory, success.
  • Wide sweeping Life Line into the Plain of Mars shows independence and travel.

Now Playing: "Wake Up" by Arcade Fire

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"That's Me."

Note: This is from 2011.

via Dlisted.com

Kathy Proctor, the lady at last night's Snooze of the Union address who let the two people around her know that there was a STAR among them.

As the hairs on the back of Obama's head singed from being so close to two human tanning beds in suits, he talked about a mother of two and furniture industry employee who is getting her degree in biotechnology and earned her PhD in thatsmeology last night. When Obama started talking about her, Kathy subtly and repeatedly dropped a quiet "that's me" into the ears of her seat neighbors and the lady seat neighbor next to her subtly threw an "I know she's not about to tell me that's her... Oh yeah, she is" side-eye.

If the president was talking about my ass on live TV, fuck yeah I'd do what Kathy did. But I'd be a little more discreet about it. I'd wear a spandex bodysuit with THAT'S ME written in Christmas lights on my chest and as soon as he started talking about me, I'd make it light up with the touch of a button. But obviously, I'm a little more demure than Kathy.

And we can make fun of Kathy all we want, but we all know who she is now, right? So whenever somebody is talking about a furniture industry employee who is getting her degree in biotechnology, we will all shout out: THAT'S KATHY!

Nail Polish of the Moment: Revlon Peach Nectar

5-6 Coats of Revlon Peach Nectar.

This polish is completely a spring/summer shade but I was just in the mood for something peachy and nude. I forgot I had this color in my collection. It took about 6 coats to achieve opacity (far more than I usually put up with) but I didn’t mind. With lighter colors, sheerness is understandable. Usually when I have to apply four or more coats, it doesn't dry properly and dents but I didn't have much of an issue this time. Revlon's formula is pretty thin. I think Peach Nectar is very unexpected for this time of year and contrasts nicely with black clothing. I'm happy with it.

*I love this version. Cat's voice is so ethereal.

The Times New Tarot: Queen of Wands

via Facade.com
The essence of fire behaving as water, such as a rainbow: The natural embodiment of passion and sensuality, who is always the center of attention. One who reflects the desires and ambitions of others, and ignites them. A radiantly vital person, cocky and charismatic, who sees what she wants and goes after it.

via LearnTarot.com


is appealing and popular

creates a powerful first impression

makes friends easily

has great sex appeal

is warm and outgoing


is loaded with enthusiasm

tackles a task with total dedication

gives the utmost in any situation

is open and sincere

doesn't hold anything back


leads a busy and active life

is vigorous and strong

radiates health and vitality

has an inner vibrancy

is a natural athlete


is optimistic and upbeat

has an encouraging word for all

brightens whatever room he or she is in

has a warm and sunny disposition

can shake off the blues easily


quietly demonstrates self-confidence

handles any situation with aplomb

can't be easily rattled or provoked

is spontaneous and gracious in defeat

has faith in his or her abilities
Now Playing: "Between the Sheets" by The Isley Brothers

Red Hot Chili Peppers!

When my concert buddy, Patricia, notified me that one of our favorite bands Red Hot Chili Peppers would be playing Pittsburgh in May, I was beyond thrilled! I've been a fan of RHCP since grade school but have yet to see them live. We had a feeling this would be the year they'd come to the 'Burgh. We were right! I also have a feeling they might be at Bonnaroo this year as well but I'm waiting for the full lineup before I decide to go or not.

Here's a little compilation playlist that I threw together of some of my favorite songs from the band:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Cryptic Artwork of Don Kenn

I stumbled upon one of Don Kenn's pieces on tumblr and proceeded to do a bit of research. He's a 30-something children's television writer/director from Denmark. He's also known as John Kenn. What's most interesting about his work is that he creates most of it on Post-It notes. I really like the vibe of his drawings. To me, they're very narrative. His blog.

Now Playing: "Ocean Breathes Salty" by Modest Mouse


“And so the question is whether all of us – as citizens, and as parents – are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed. That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.”
-President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, 2011.

Now Playing: "Stars" by The xx

Monday, January 23, 2012

Missed Connections: Time Traveling Snow Bunny Edition

This one was too good not to share. I'm open-minded and naive to a fault. I actually want to believe this person is some sort of interdimensional being.

Now Playing: "Warning Sign" by Coldplay

Word of the Week: Taciturn

The word of the week for Janary 23rd through the 29th is...


1. tempermentally disinclined to talk
2. habitually untalkative; silent

Her blind date was with an awkwardly taciturn man.

Now Playing: "Read My Mind" by The Killers

Friday, January 20, 2012

RIP Etta James, 1938-2012.

"What happens is, when I perform, I'm somewhere else. I go back in time and get in touch with who I really am. I forget my troubles, my worries."

"A Sunday Kind of Love", 1961.

"At Last!", 1961.

"I'd Rather Go Blind", 1968.

Nail Polish of the Moment: Butter London Blagger

2 Coats of Butter London Blagger with Seche Vite Top Coat

Blagger n. a smooth talker; a persuasive person.

Since I equate the month of January with the color blue (no, I'm not a savant), I wanted to go with something vibrant. I purchased my first stash of Butter London polishes with a gift card I received for Christmas. Blagger was one of the polishes I selected. It's reminiscent of OPI Dating a Royal. So far, I'm impressed with the Butter London formula. Blagger only required one coat to achieve opacity but I did two coats for safe measure. I really love this particular shade of blue and definitely recommend checking it out.

Side Note: I previously had my nails painted with Sinful Colors Stormy but neglected to post about it. It's a gorgeous darkened teal shade with sapphire blue microshimmer. In certain lighting it appears teal green/blue but in others, nearly black. The formula and application is a bit tricky to work with but I suggest checking it out if you're looking for an affordable polish in this shade ($2 at most drug stores).

*One of the few country songs that I really love! "Settle For a Slowdown" is also a favorite!

Fill In the Blank Friday

For this week's edition of Fill In the Blank Friday, I pulled some questions from the infamous Proust Questionnaire.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Loneliness; not necessarily being by yourself which I actually quite like but the kind in which you could be surrounded by others but still feel empty.

Where would you like to live?
I love where I was born and raised (Pittsburgh) but in an ideal world, I would own homes all over the world and travel quite often. Pittsburgh is beautiful, though. I love its rolling hills, four seasons, culture, people, architecture, livability... it's home sweet home for sure.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Love, freedom, creative expression, generosity, friendship, knowledge, something to look forward to, experience...

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
I tend to gravitate toward nonfiction books and my own imagination but Ja'mie King from Chris Lilley's Summer Heights High has given me enough laughs to last a lifetime. I wish I had a more philosophical response but I'd rather keep it real. I also really enjoyed Daria growing up. I always felt I was a mixture between Daria and her sister Quinn.

Ja'mie King

Quinn Morgendorffer

Your favorite painter?
I love just about all of John William Waterhouse's work but one of my favorite paintings is Midsummer Eve by Edward Robert Hughes.

Echo and Narcissus. Waterhouse, 1903.

Midsummer Eve. Edward Robert Hughes, 1908.

Your favorite musician?
I have quite a few but one would be Paolo Nutini. He sings with such an incredible amount of emotion and depth. The boy's got soul.

"No Other Way" by Paolo Nutini
*This is one of the most beautiful songs/performances I've ever heard.

The quality you most admire in a man?
Generally speaking, a gentleman.

The quality you most admire in a woman?

Your favorite virtue?
Of the four traditional Cardinal virtues, prudence.

Your favorite occupation?

Flashback Friday

"St. Elsewhere" by Gnarls Barkley, 2006.

"Necromancer" by Gnarls Barkley, 2006.

These are two songs from the last decade that I've listened to quite a bit. I often included these songs on my MySpace page when I was in college. Ahh, MySpace. Memories. I think they are both such quality pieces of music but don't get nearly enough love since "Crazy" was the big single off the record. I just think these are fantastically sexy songs and quite unusual. Favorites for sure.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


“Inevitably anyone with an independent mind must become 'one who resists or opposes authority or established conventions': a rebel. If enough people come to agree with, and follow, the Rebel, we now have a Devil. Until, of course, still more people agree. And then, finally, we have --- Greatness.”

-Aleister Crowley, 1875-1947

Now Playing: "Mind Games" by Leagues
*Check it out if you haven't heard it. Love this one!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Crop Circle Reported in the UK, 2009.

Now Playing: "Still the One" by Orleans

Maybe She's Born With It...

How to Marry a Millionaire


Now Playing: "Video Games" by Lana Del Rey
*I don't even care about the whole manufactured/phony ordeal. Plain and simple, I love this song and think it's beautiful.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
I'm living life in beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I hold a journalism degree from West Virginia University. I have worked in television news, fashion marketing, PR, and cosmetic sales. My love for writing and sharing with the world my various passions is strong. One of my many ambitions is to be published and continue creating in the fields of digital and print media, literature and film. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going to concerts, reading, following Pittsburgh sports and traveling as often as possible. Some of my favorite things include beauty, style, architecture, books, tarot and astrology, thrifting and my shih-tzu, Ireland. I’m engaged to the love of my lifetimes and we look forward to starting our next chapter together. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!