Friday, August 31, 2012

Scent-sual Seduction

Simply put, I'm a lover of perfume. I have more than my fair share of fragrances but as of late, I've desired something different. I find myself craving a warm, sensual vanilla-based scent for fall. I'm sure I already have a few on my vanity tray but I'm looking for something pure; not necessarily vanilla extract from the baking aisle at the grocery store but perhaps an all natural oil or a unique concoction from an independent perfumery.

While the term vanilla itself carries a reputation for being bland and uninspiring, researchers say the  calming scent of vanilla is widely pleasing while it also reduces stress and anxiety. Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt reportedly wears vanilla extract on her neck to attract male suitors. I'm not exactly looking for a guy by way of McCormick but I'm not protesting the notion, either.

I'll be sure to mention something if I find a vanilla perfume that I recommend. In the mean time, here are a few quotes on fragrances that I really enjoy:

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting." -Christian Dior
"What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course." -Marilyn Monroe
"I can't over-emphasize how important an exquisite perfume is, to be wrapped and cradled in an enchanting scent upon your skin is a magic all on its own! The notes in that precious liquid will remind you that you love yourself and will tell other people that they ought to love you because you know you're worth it. The love affair created by a good perfume between you and other people, you and nature, you and yourself, you and your memories and anticipations and hopes and dreams; it is all too beautiful a thing!" -C. JoyBell C.
"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." -Coco Chanel
"A good fragrance is really a powerful cocktail of memories and emotion." -Jeffrey Stepakoff 

Now Playing: "Svefn-G-Englar" by Sigur Ros
*From the Vanilla Sky soundtrack, of course.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Julep It Girl Box: Trina Turk September 2012

Every month, I receive the Julep It Girl Box in the mail. The package includes three surprise nail polishes and a small extra gift. It's always a nice little treat. I absolutely love getting anything in the mail- pen pal letters, magazines, catalogs, beauty items. It's one of my favorite things.

For September, Julep collaborated with designer Trina Turk and put together a great box! Look how adorably it came wrapped...

The colors in this month's box were Delaunay (don't ask me how to properly pronounce this), a beautiful creme red that reminds me of a cherry popsicle, Alma, a fun and beautiful shade that is the exact color of mustard and Otte (not sure on the right way to say this one either), a great neutral, tannish-taupe that reminded me of OPI San Tan-tonio. I'll have to do a swatch comparison soon because this might be a close dupe. When I first saw Otte, my heart sank a bit because the color I currently have on (OPI Don't Pretzel My Buttons, pictured above) looked just like it. But I think Otte is darker. I'll do an update post soon!

But the thing that probably excited me most of all was the extra gift in this month's box!

This magnet made me way too happy! I LOVE IT! The girl in the art piece reminds me of myself after I've had one too many. It made me laugh. As a redhead, I appreciate whenever I see anything with ginger representation but this particular drawing felt like it was made for me! I'm going to keep it forever.

*UPDATE: The artist's name is Blair Breitenstein. The name she goes by (written on the sketch) is Blonde Lasagna. Here is a post I did on her work. You can purchase her work here!

Now Playing: "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Political Compass: Points Toward India

I just filled out the policy questions over on I was surprised that Barack Obama was listed so far to the right. I'm not sure how accurate these things are but my nearest neighbor on the political spectrum was Mahatma Gandhi. Maybe I'm living in the wrong country.

Now Playing: "Return to Innocence" by Enigma

Monday, August 27, 2012

Luxe Living: Irresistible Interiors

I'm at that stage in my life where I'm itching to have my own home and decorate it! I really enjoy looking online for design inspiration. I would describe my taste/style as a mixture between traditional, shabby chic and eclectic. I love the idea of incorporating books, art and treasures from various travels to add a sense of personality to a space. I'm the type of person who loathes the thought of being the same as everyone else, so I'm excited to see what my future home will look like. I know when the time comes, I'll definitely be scouring places like flea markets and thrift stores to find unique and affordable pieces. It's fun to imagine!

Now Playing: "Lips Like Sugar" by Echo & the Bunnymen

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pinterest Weekly: 082512

I've spent quite a lot of time pinning everything from beautiful clothing, cars, music and photographs to household items. I thought each week I'd share some of my favorite images and finds with those of you who aren't addicted to the virtual dream board website.

Love Sam Jeweled Bell-Sleeve Top. I found this gorgeous blouse on Saks' online sale. It's still out of my current price range but maybe I'll get lucky and find it in the future. Another site had it for around $60 but not in my size. It flows so beautifully away from the body. The color and design is also amazing.

Free People Glissamo Slip Dress. I came across this beautiful boho-style dress on Even though it was marked down, it's still too expensive for me right now. Free People needs to do a collaboration with Target.
Julep Nail Polish (Melanie, Sienna, Harley). Every month, I get the Julep It Girl box in the mail with three surprise colors. I probably wouldn't have worn all three colors from this month's box at once if it weren't for this picture I found on Pinterest. I was surprised at how well the colors coordinated with each other. The formula was also excellent and didn't chip at all!

I pinned this gorgeous leather capped sweater to my Street Style board. I would love to have one for myself come fall!

I'm loving every detail of this photograph. 

DG Classic Cream Lipstick in Dahlia. I think the color is so bold and needs to belong to me before fall is over.

Once Upon a Secret by Mimi Alford. I've been on a major reading kick lately. I came across this title through my library's website. It's next on my to-read list.

"Top of the Hill" by Conduits. I heard this in the Electrick Children movie trailer. Good tune.

I really do. The sun is overrated.

Nasty Gal Confetti Cork Clutch. The last thing I need is another purse. I've actually been thinking about putting a few of my better ones on eBay to earn some extra cash. But this was on sale for about 1/20 of what similar designs are going for. And I've wanted a cork bag all year. It's more of a Spring/Summer style so the timing isn't perfect but I'll try to work it into my fall rotation. The abstract splash of color makes me happy.

I love animals too much to not have a board devoted to their cuteness. There was a baby zebra recently born at the Pittsburgh Zoo which inspired this post.

I watched this movie on iTunes after seeing Isla Fisher's interview on Chelsea Lately. Think Bridesmaids meets The Hangover. I really liked it. Kirsten Dunst is one of my favorite actresses and the rest of the cast is also excellent.

I also had to create a board for cars this week. I can't believe it took me so long. I wish I had this 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS LS6 sitting in my driveway. How gorgeous are those lines? Vroom vroom!

Now Playing: "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison
*One of the best songs of all time!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wedding Season

So many people I know are engaged or recently married. My friend from college who is currently planning her wedding shared this video on facebook. I thought the cinematography was gorgeous. The videographer really captured the essence of this particular event.

Being the investigative journalist that I am at heart, I found the couple's family blog which I can't believe I never knew about. It's definitely filled with love and some awesome photography- check it out if you haven't already!

Some of the details I admired when watching and reading about the wedding:
  • The bride walked down the aisle to "Beauty" by The Shivers (one of the most gorgeous songs I've ever heard- LOVE it). 
  • The couple's first dance was to "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver (another heartwarming selection). 
  • The thrifted glassware- how perfect is that tablescape?!
  • How authentic and simple everything was but still elegant.

The wedding video was so picture perfect that I thought I'd share! If the video below doesn't work, click here.

Now Playing: "You Are The Ocean" by Phantogram

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Pinterest Q&A: Part One

I saw these questions posted on Pinterest. I thought it would be good to have the list saved for future road trips or get-togethers with friends and family. Warning: It's a bit long-winded. I actually made the questions much shorter but it's still lengthy. I really love asking people questions and getting to know them. I don't expect everyone or anyone at all to be particularly interested in my answers but here they are...

1. List 10 random facts about yourself.

  • I haven't touched my hair- never colored, highlighted, permed, or dyed, etc.
  • I'm close to blind without my contacts. I have the type you can sleep in because I hate waking up and not being able to see what's in front of my face.
  • I'm left-handed but I can use my right hand as well for a lot of things.
  • I was born on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of winter. 2/1/86 4:01 pm.
  • I'm incapable of achieving a tan. Not at all. Not ever. SPF is my best friend.
  • I like my full name and use it as much as possible.
  • I hate milk. It makes me gag.
  • I love water. I'm always drinking ice water.
  • I went to Catholic school for K-12 and spent all those years wearing a uniform and knee socks.
  • I have an INFJ personality type.

2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

  • Bees: They've always scared me because they sting and can fly pretty quickly.
  • Tractor Trailers: I drive a sports car. I watch the news.
  • Losing the people I love: No explanation needed.

3. Describe your relationship with your parents.

I love and respect them tremendously but we don't always see eye to eye on things. I'm not even the black sheep of the family. I'm the ginger goat or something.

4. List 3 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

  • Always wear a condom.
  • Find a different date to prom.
  • Work for the D.A. when you get to WVU

5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?

  • Music
  • Alcohol
  • Writing
  • My dog
  • Travel

6. What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?

Life after college. The past few years have been a confusing and difficult time in my life.

7. What is your dream job, and why?

I want to be a successful author/writer. I love to express myself through thoughts, memories and opinions. I love when other people take something away from the viewpoints that I share- especially laughter. I also would love to be a great wife and mother someday but that's a long ways down the road.

8. What are 5 passions you have?

  • Individuality
  • Writing
  • Learning
  • Experience
  • Expression
9. List 5 people who have influenced you and describe how.

  • My Dad, Ernie: He's the strongest man I know and taught me the importance of taking pride in everything you do, working hard, staying modest, thinking critically and remaining genuine.
  • My Mom, Mary: She taught me the importance of showing appreciation, love, kindness, creativity and patience. She doesn't have an envious bone in her body. Because of her, I enjoy helping others and like to see them succeed.
  • My older sister, Natalie: She's been right next to me since day one. I couldn't imagine this life without her. She's hardworking and cares strongly for her friends and family.
  • My older cousin, Michelle: She's 12 years older than me but one of my best friends. We're traveling this world on the same bizarre wavelength and always understand each other.
  • Pittsburgh: she's my home and I wouldn't be the person I am without having grown up on her beautiful hills. 

10. Describe your most embarrasing moment.

I don't think I really have one moment that truly shines above the others. I can laugh at myself and move on with it.

Now Playing: "Lilac Wine" by Jeff Buckley
*And basically the rest of Grace

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

FOR FREE?! Am I dreaming?!

Who the hell would have guessed that heaven was located near Baltimore?!

I didn't get to see Alabama Shakes at Lollapalooza because it was canceled during the evacuation.

I haven't seen my favorite band, Portugal. The Man, since June 2011. Come back to Pittsburgh already!

I didn't get to enjoy M83 as much as I would have liked in Chicago because it was 205 degrees.

Santigold was amazing earlier this year!

Jack White is not from Earth. Some of my favorite festival memories involve him.

I'm so excited!

Now Playing: SHE'S GOT LEGS!!!! ;) 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quoteworthy: Helen Gurley Brown 1922-2012

Helen Gurley Brown was one of the few women I remember studying in journalism school. She was truly a pioneer in her field and well ahead of her time. She will be remembered for her wit and wisdom.

“The message was: So you're single. You can still have sex. You can have a great life. And if you marry, don't just sponge off a man or be the gold-medal-winning mother. Don't use men to get what you want in life -  get it for yourself.”

Now Playing: "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac
*All-time fav! The Deep Dish remix is also brilliant!

Current Favs!

Movie: Natural Born Killers

Drink: Cheap Merlot

Song: "Open" by Rhye

Album: Fear Fun by Father John Misty
"Nancy From Now On"

Fashion/Beauty Trend: Top Knots/High Buns

Book: What Remains by Carole Radziwill

TV Show: Four Houses, Mad Men and Girls but all of its seasons are over. Looking forward to Real Time coming back this week!

Website: Pinterest

Place to Hang: Industry Public House, Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh

Viral Video: Anything from Pittsburgh Dad!

Now Playing: "Still" by jj (Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg cover)
*jj's "Ecstasy" (Lil Wayne "Lollipop" cover) is one of my favorite songs!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bon Iverotica

Long car trips with close friends tend to produce the best conversations. On our way to Chicago for Lollapalooza, my friend and I were discussing our excitement about seeing Bon Iver in September. She mentioned that Justin Vernon tweeted about an erotic fan fiction tumblr site created in his honor. This was enough to spark some energy into our overnight journey. We put the Blood Bank EP in the CD player and did an impromptu reading along the Indiana turnpike. It was like the Vagina Monologues but with a good soundtrack and better material.

I've never actually read fan fiction before. As you might imagine, I thought it was hilarious but oddly brilliant. We're thinking of putting this magical gem on a t-shirt:

His gifts: tender pistachio macarons, a vintage costume jewelry brooch (frog with garnet eyes), a torrent of kisses.
The occasion: Thursday.

Now Playing: "Beach Baby" by Bon Iver

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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!