Wednesday, August 31, 2011


First of all, I have to give credit to my roommate, VBG, for the idea for a post about keychains.

Maybe what annoys JMC the most is the fact that I can never find my keys. Not because they're ever lost, but because they get misplaced in the bottom of my gigantic Longchamp, often seeming never to be found again. His favorite move is the one where I lift my knee to rest my bag on it to get a better view of every corner of my bag (totally guilty). It has gotten infinitely worse since my bright red pepper spray got taken at a concert and I no longer have that contrast that had served as my guiding light towards where my keys might be resting. Now, I need something that will stand out when I'm digging, making it easier for me to locate my keys (and diminish the amount of time JMC has to wait outside my car/apartment for me to unlock the door).

In searching for a good keychain, you have to consider the fact that you're going to be using your keys ALL THE TIME, throwing them around, laying them places, etc. Therefore, they are going to get dirty. Period. I would probably avoid anything white or pastel, as well as anything that might chip easily.

Here are my picks for cute, practical keychains:

This acrylic monogrammed keychain will be sturdy and won't show scratches very easily. It's big enough so that it will stand out in the bottom of your purse, but not overwhelmingly bulky. Plus, anything with a monogram is automatically better.

The needlepoint keychains from Smathers & Branson are classic and adorable. You can choose from a ridiculous number of design options, including patterns and colorfully stitched items like animals, flags, etc. You also have the option of getting a monogram added to the other side! They are smaller, but can be bright and colorful enough to stand out in almost any bag.

There are some Etsy shops and other online places where you can order the supplies to stitch your own needlepoint keychains (and other needlepoint products), which is what VBG is going to do. She is making one with a black lab on it because she just got a new puppy (named Maybelle who is AWESOME)! VBG is also making MB a needlepoint collar that is going to be absolutely adorable (and hopefully she won't chew on this one like she did her Lilly one).

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I'm no graphic designer, nor a fashion expert, but I'm really starting to enjoy playing around on Polyvore.

For those of you who don't know what Polyvore is, it's basically a website where you can search for different products (apparel, accessories, makeup, etc.) and put them all together in a "set." I had never heard of it until I started using Pinterest a lot, where a bunch of people will pin different sets that they make or like on Polyvore. Some people use ti to display trends for different seasons and things like that, but I just like it for putting outfits together. Here are a couple of the sets I have made in anticipation of the fall:

I wish I knew more about graphic design and stuff so that my sets looked better, but I still like to be able to see what items will go well together, even with things that I already own. Also, Polyvore allows me to look at the MOST expensive designer items, so then I can look for similar things that might be less expensive (or if I REALLY like something, I know what I need to save up to buy).

Seen in sets: J Crew, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Ray Ban, Madewell, Tory Burch, Alexis Bittar

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

On the search for a new bag...

I think its about time that I quasi-ditch the large Longchamp as my everyday bag. Don't get me wrong, I love a good Longchamp. I just feel like now that I'm a "real person" I need a grown-up purse to carry around. I'm sure its going to be a little while before I can get one considering the amount of money I just spent on this gorgeous computer that I'm typing on right now, but I figure if I look now, what I actually want will be on sale when I can buy it! Anyway, I am a really big fan of medium-brown leather, pretty basic bags.

Here are a few of my favorites that I've seen lately:
Michael Kors Hamilton Satchel
Tory Burch Amanda Hobo

Tory Burch Robinson Small Tote
Has anyone else seen any similar cute ones? I am anxious to see what the Cole Haan boutique on Rue La La will have to offer tomorrow!

Lilly Pulitzer Endless Summer Sale - Going on NOW!

Lilly is having the annual Endless Summer Sale right now and they have a bunch of cute stuff! Make sure to hit it up before its all sold-out!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Boots. Love them.

Boots are awesome. For some reason, I used to not like boots... and that was about the dumbest thing I could have ever decided. Luckily I got over that really quickly when I bought my first pair of riding boots from Banana Republic when I used to work there. I still have them and still love them just as much... but after 4 years of wear and tear, it might be time for a new pair.

UGGs, to me, don't count. They are solely for comfort purposes. I have a love-hate relationship with UGGs. I used to SWEAR that I would never own them, but now I do. Sure, I think they make my feet look like potatoes, but then again, its TOTALLY worth it for the furry, warm comfort they provide my toesies. For some reason, there are three parts of my body that are always cold: my nose, my hands, and my feet. I get that I probably have circulation problems, but whatever (and my nose isn't particularly long... so why? I may never know). But anyway, my UGGs take care of my toes. But I will tell you right now - I will NEVER be caught dead in UGGs with shorts, a skirt, anytime between the months of April and September, or at a bar (which would ruin them anyway).

If I had all the money in the world, I would definitely buy a pair of these sweet Tory Burch riding boots. But I don't, so I am going to have to shop around for something much less expensive than half a grand.

Still expensive, but a little more do-able are the options that Madewell has this season. I went to the store and they only had the flat ones and I was really sad that I couldn't try the olive green ones on.

J. Crew has some great options, too, that I saw when I was in their SouthPark store in Charlotte with JMC's mom last week. Their fall line is really making it difficult for me to keep from spending lots and lots of money.

In other news, I'm about to go face the ridiculousness that is move-in weekend in Chapel Hill and try to get some lunch. Hopefully JMC and I won't have to wait too long to get something, because I'm starving after cleaning all morning since my roommate, VBG, comes back tomorrow. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HER!!! Living alone all summer has been weird! It will be nice to have some company.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My wait is FINALLY over...

I ordered a new computer!!! I have needed a new computer basically since I graduated from high school. Although I tremendously appreciated the 17-inch widescreen computer that I have been lugging around for the past 4 years, I am long overdue for something more portable.

Thanks to tax-free weekend in NC and being a university employee, I saved like $200 on my brand-spanking-new MacBook Pro that will be arriving to me in the mail very very soon.

UPDATE (read in Unsolved Mysteries voice): My computer is arriving earlier than expected!!! I've been checking the FedEx tracking system religiously, and when I looked yesterday it said it was still in China. But THEN I looked this morning and ITS OUT FOR DELIVERY... and since I have to work, they have this great option for me to have them drop it off at the store and I can pick it up on my way home from work! YIPEE! Looks like I'm not doing anything productive tonight!!

I imagine as I open the box, rays of light will emit from it and I will hear angels singing in the background...

Looking Forward to Fall

Fall is by far my favorite season. Its the best, and I don't know how you can even argue with that statement. Although I could go on for days about why fall is awesome, here are my top reasons:

1. Weather, obviously. As the leaves start to change and the ridiculous humidity goes away (in NC at least), everything just gets better. Its warm enough that you don't have to wear a heavy coat; even at night a light jacket will suffice. I long for those "crisp October nights" of Chapel Hill that Charles Kuralt spoke of so fondly. When you live somewhere that has so many trees that change to an array of reds, oranges, and yellows like Chapel Hill, its hard not to love the fall.

2. Scents. Okay, I don't know about y'all, but walking outside in the fall and getting a faint scent of bonfire gives me this excited feeling that will literally make me stop in my tracks just to breathe for a few minutes. Its not just the natural smells of the air that I love in the fall, but also the burning candles that smell of cinnamon, apple pie, and pumpkin spice. Not that JMC and I don't burn candles that smell like that year-round just to remind us of how great fall is. Obsession? Maybe.

3. My birthday. Who doesn't love the season their birthday is in? (unless your birthday is in any season but fall... just kidding... but really). Although I have come to terms with the fact that 21 was the last birthday that I will ever REALLY look forward to, everybody loves their birthday.

4. Clothes. Boots, jackets, scarves, UGGs... I'm getting excited just thinking about being able to wear a decent amount of clothing and not feel like I'm burning alive.

5. It's acceptable to be pale. Working full-time has really put a damper on my summer tan. I'm already ridiculously pale (which I'm sure my dermatologist will be happy about), so I am anxiously awaiting the fall when everyone else will be pale and I won't look so ghostly in a group.

6. Christmas is coming. Christmas is AWESOME. Just the anticipation of Christmas is awesome. JMC is basically obsessed with Christmas, so we definitely participated in the Christmas in July specials on TV a couple weeks ago (Elf and Christmas Vacation are totally year-round movies, though. Just saying.). His mom starts decorating on November 1st, and you better believe that JMC will have Christmas radio on POSSIBLY starting at the end of October.

While others may not be as obsessed with fall as I am, I think we can all agree that it is about time for this hot weather to be GONE-ZO. 

Lilly Pulitzer on Rue La La Today 11am!!!

I'm so excited that Lilly is going to be on Rue La La again. Last time it was on there, I got an adorable Worth Shift for like $50!! Things go fast, so make sure you get on right at 11! If you don't already have Rue La La, here is a link for an invitation -

Happy Shopping!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Work-Appropriate Staples in the Heat

Since graduation and starting my full-time job, I have definitely had to make some wardrobe adjustments. Luckily, my office is pretty casual and I can wear jeans whenever I want, but in the summer in NC, that does me absolutely no good. I am constantly stuck in a limbo between how hot it is outside (especially with the heat wave of the last week) and how ridiculously cold it is in my office. Just walking to and from my car before and after work makes me break a sweat, but without fail, I will need a sweater at most 30 minutes after I get to my desk. I am the kind of person who likes to be prepared for everything, so getting ready for work in the morning is quite the routine of preparing for the possibilities of the entire day. Here are a few of the staples that I have relied heavily on this summer (and will continue to rely on through the rest of this ridiculous heat... which could run through September).

I love dresses. How can you beat having an entire outfit in one piece (minus accessories, of course)? They are easy and tend to breathe really well in the blistering heat. Add a Cardigan and you can make almost any dress look appropriate for work. Emphasis on almost.

Basic Lightweight Pants
Before I started working full-time, I honestly didn't own a pair of casual pants that weren't jeans. I had dress pants, but nothing that was really summer appropriate (or that I don't have to wear heels with... bleghh). So I was on the hunt for some simple, straight-legged, ankle-length pants and I found the perfect pair at the J.Crew Factory Store. Subsequently I bought them in khaki, white, and navy. I also have a pair of the J.Crew Oxford Scout Chino, but honestly, I like my factory store ones better.

I don't know if it's possible to own too many cardigans. I basically bring a cardigan with me to work every day because I know I'm going to get cold (I'm freezing right now because I made the mistake of thinking the dress I am wearing wouldn't look good with a cardigan over it. Stupid, stupid, stupid.). My favorite are the J.Crew Jackie cardigans that JMC's mom has so generously showered me with over the past couple years. I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Basic Tees
V-necks are my favorite, but that's just because I'm bigger on top and crew-necks tend to make me look like I have a uniboob. You can NEVER have enough t-shirts. I buy new white t-shirts more often than I buy toothpaste.

In other news, I can't wait for fall.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The B-friend's Obsession with Beer.

JMC loves everything about beer. He homebrews, reads about it all the time, tries as many different kinds as he can, and has even started a blog about it ( He and his oldest brother (he has 3 older brothers) have sort of fueled each other in their dream to start their own brewery. So naturally, through his obsession, I have become somewhat beer-obsessed as well. Which means I'm totally okay with being a part of this "opening a brewery" idea so I can drink delicious beer for the rest of my life (with the only downside really being the extra calories).

I'm not talking about plain old Bud Light or anything; it had even gotten to a point before we graduated that we brought our own good beer to parties. Sure, some might consider us "beer snobs," but I'm okay with that. It used to be that when someone asked me what my favorite beer was, I would say "Blue Moon." Don't get me wrong, Blue Moon is delicious, but it was just the gateway beer to the ridiculous amounts of amazing craft beers there are surging through America right now.

Whereas for a long time America was scoffed at for our choice of beer, we are emerging with a craft brewing industry with a creativity that, I think, blows many of the European beers out of the water. JMC and I have the privilege of living in North Carolina, where brewing laws are pretty lenient and craft brewing is booming. Asheville has been named "Beer City USA" for three years in a row now, beating out the usual contenders like Denver and Portland. The Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh area has some great craft breweries as well, including Carolina Brewery, Fullsteam, Roth, and Aviator.

Last weekend, we toured Roth Brewery in Raleigh and it was awesome. The people there were so nice and willing to talk to us about anything we were interested in. They even told JMC that he could come brew with them sometime! We got to taste all of their beers, and my favorite was definitely the Raleigh Red. It was very drinkable, but unique with great flavors.

Besides Roth, we have been to a number of other breweries in NC as well, including Top of the Hill and Carolina Brewery in Chapel Hill, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte, Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, and Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville. If you want more info about our experiences at any of these places, JMC has written posts about most of them on his blog (linked above).

What I'm most looking forward to right now is the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ festival in Cary this weekend that we bought a Groupon for. The Groupon was for a $35 VIP ticket that includes all the beer, bourbon, and BBQ that you could want. Considering JMC and I basically LIVE for beer and barbeque, this event should prove to be right up our alley. I will definitely give the deets after going on Friday!