Wedding Bells

No, no, the bells are not mine. Trust me- the blog post when THAT happens will make its way onto the Today Show and be read aloud by Matt Lauer. And that's just the engagement.

However that day is not today. Today I am dress deciding for a wedding I am attending this month. I've officially reached that point in my life where the human race has turned into a race down the aisle. Every other day on my Facebook there are newly engaged folks, married folks, and pregnant folks.
Bottom line...a lot of busy folks.

Wedding dress shopping when you're not the bride is serious business. You don't want to show up the bride's big day (unless you're not a fan of her and even then you really shouldn't) but you also don't want to be the frumpy one in all your friends' Instagram photos. When you're a guest, wedding wear should be something you'd wear to a trendy country club. Pretend they exist.

If the wedding is during the summer then I'd suggest something brightly colored, but black is always a wedding wear basic. The wedding I'm going to is in Boston during the month of August.  Also, the bride and groom are both military officers. Naturally, my mind went to three different places:
Conservative. Vintage. Pastels.  And this is what I came up with...

"Basically Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O. had a love child, "said my good friend A.J.

I get asked a lot as to why I always vote for dresses as the perfect wedding wear. My thoughts are if the bride is wearing a dress, then maybe you should too. Dresses are ultra feminine and I think femininity and a day celebrating love go hand in hand. Also, dresses allow for excellent dance moves without the constraints of pants or a pencil skirt. Weddings are more than a night of free drinks and food you wish was McDonalds. It's a day where love wins. And for me, I always celebrate a win in a dress.

Currently I'm stuck on which dress to wear and would love some feedback. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 




Love, Brakes, and Anastasia

Death isn't easy. In fact I find it to be the greatest obstacle that mankind dares to stare down. It is final, absolute, and non-negotiable. It goes against my instinctual, "where's the loop hole here" mentality. Problem fixers have a hard time with death. Because if it's one thing I hate-it's a problem I can't fix.

When I got the call last night that my Grandfather had passed on, the overwhelming grief and loss took my breath away. In an attempt to keep a clear head, I took off for a run. My m.o. when things get under my skin is to stay mobile. That's how I stay sane. If you're constantly in motion- then you can't be touched or bothered with the realities you'd rather not see. Driving, running, or just walking with purpose, I need to be active.  My friends who know me well know that it's hard for me to stop. And it is almost impossible to slam on the brakes. But I guess in a way that's what death is...the ultimate stop.
A screeching halt.

My grandfather was a tall and quiet man. He had a dry sense of humor and he could care less if you liked him. What you saw was what you got. It was from him that I learned the value in authenticity. It was also from him that I'd inherit my curly uncontrollable hair.

At the age of seventeen my Grandfather joined the Navy and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime. He traveled the world but crowned the Big Apple as his new home. When he met my Grandmother (who has since passed on), he knew he would never meet someone so vivacious or fast paced. With her, life would be dramatic but it would also never be boring. The two of them balanced each other in a beautiful way where love takes work. They illustrated to me how precious and rare it is to have found someone who takes one look and says, "Don't change a thing."

A favorite memory of him is when my grandparents bought their first makeshift computer. I say makeshift because it exclusively and only made greeting cards. Not having anything of the sort in my house, my eight year old self became captivated. I worked on it all day till I figured out how to maneuver every greeting card available. My Grandfather was not shy with praise. He taught me the belief of having to work for something. Even if that something was just a "Good job."

My Grandfather was a private man, so I won't be sharing much more. He was a great gentleman, who loved a woman with all his heart. This display of undying affection has set the bar pretty high in my personal life. And I owe much of my life's work (past, present and future) to my Grandparents. They helped raise a curly headed blonde who was convinced she was a kidnapped Princess. Clearly I watched too much Anastasia...yet another thing I owe to Grandma and Pa.

This post is for them. 

Have a glass of white wine for me in Heaven you two. 
I miss you both- but not as much as you two have missed one another.

Enjoy and be happy, you've waited long enough.




What's the Bubbly in Brunch?

Brunch is hands down my favorite meal. I could have brunch every day, three times a day, and never tire of its deliciousness or glamour. But what is it about brunch that makes it so elite to any other meal offered throughout the day? What's the sparkle in brunch, aside from my champagne mimosa? Writers before myself have tried unpacking its secret allure and I have to say I think they're on the right track. William Grimes of the New York Times proposes, "...brunch is cheerful, sociable, and enticing." And most importantly, "it is talk-compelling." These points are all valid, but for me, there is something else about brunch that adds a pinch more fun into my Sunday Funday. Brunch is our last claim over the weekend. Our final effort to push back the work week and live like Europeans, or rather, American celebrities. Brunch is the poor man's (or in this case woman's) two hour escape in what life would be like if every meal could cost $55 for two people. Oh the luxury.

After all, you don't show up to brunch wearing sweats. I would send you home. You show up wearing the trendy version of your Sunday best. I mean, it's not Easter, and cardigans should be kept to a minimum. You and your pals order mimosas and suddenly, for the next two to three hours, you may as well be Lauren Conrad brunching with Lo Bosworth at The Ivy. Same thing right?

I don't love brunch because I love breakfast food. I do enjoy eggs, but I can make those for way less than $24.00 at home. I make brunch a weekend must-have because of the conversations shared over sparkling OJ at eleven am. I like having somewhere to be on a Sunday, instead of just parking it on the couch. I brunch for the same reason we all do. To have some laughs over biscuits and bubbly, and to say adieu to the weekend in style. It's fun to get dressed up and relax on a cafe patio. Don't believe me?

Only seven days till Sunday friends- go and try it. 




Get Your Fest On

I have no idea how to be "boho chic" or look like I belong at Coachella. I was raised by New Yorkers, and my expertise is wearing black. But I am trying to broaden my style horizons... what's the next big thing and how can I wear it? We all think this. New trends can be scary, it's like getting braces. You know you look different and even when people pretend they don't notice-you know they do. When you wear an outfit outside of your comfy zone, in your head, you might as well look like this.

...and you think that was my Halloween costume? Nope.

No one wants that. So how does one gather the bravery to get festive with the likes of Vanessa Hudgens? Baby steps my friends. Festivals aren't all about looking like you're homeless. Trust me-there are other avenues. To start, try out some lace accents, free flowing silhouettes, and keeping it either neutral or extremely bold when it comes to your outfit's color palette.  You dress does not have to look like you made it yourself. Play with the some options you already have. I'm a big fan of long feminine maxis, paired with some iridescent jewels. Shoes? Throw on some wedges, bold heels, or rustic inspired booties. Festival wear is inspired by the natural world... so look around you. Inspiration can strike when you least expect it.

dress from Charming Charlie, necklace from Charming Charlie,
 shoes from Target (Prabal Gurung)

In the last precious weeks of summer--let's get festive.




Help Wanted

Life can throw you some curve balls. Trust me, I'm in a kickball league. Over a month ago, I moved to a new city and threw myself into every extra curricular club and activity I could find. I was the trending #royalbaby in every LinkedIn group and in the past month have introduced myself more times than I can count. Being the new girl in town is thrilling and horrific. There is the opportunity in reinventing yourself and the reality that your old friends are now a phone call away. Showing your authentic self to people you've just met is scary, because they're either going to love you, or think you're critically insane.

Like this... secretly... I totally do this...

It's all about timing. For instance, maybe you save a big freakout for when you and your new pals have been friends for around six months. Preferably longer, but hey- life happens. And boy has life happened to me recently. Between moving, having my car broken into, my things stolen, and not being able to drive my car for the past week... I have been left to rely on people I've known for less than a month.  Which when you are raised in a society where relying on anyone (like ever) is outwardly frowned upon, it's a real awkward adjustment to be asking for help. I kind of feel like this...

Only instead of poor...I'm car-less.

But sometimes people will surprise you. Much like the homeless man who jumped out from underneath the highway, people can make you jump back and say, "Ok really?"
Most recently though, the good in people has amazed me. Since I have been reverted to permit stage where I can only get around by way of a responsible adult, my newfound city friends have become my real life heros. Between a couple work friends answering my endless questions with a smile, my friends who have offered up their cars as chariots of long sequestered mobility, and my hometown homeboys who listen to my endless whining about not having a car-- I say to you that I am grateful. My friends near and far have been nothing but a perfect bra. Giving me a lift day in and day out, and a friendly push upward when absolutely necessary.

So, thank you friends. For listening to me, talking with me, and as of late, driving me around.  

To my new friends- thanks for the social life. And to my old friends, thanks for listening about my life.

I am one lucky gal. Broken car window and all.




Color Me Dasani

I love summer. It's a season where you can wear a highlighter dress and still need a neon lining. Bright colors produce bright smiles, and with Dasani's new line of tangy water enhancers (Dasani Drops) it's hard not to take a hint from the creative water family. After all, one must stay hydrated if we're to beat the heat down here in the South.

Fruit is not just a good summer snack these days. Outfit inspiration is everywhere. Ever look at an Instagram photo of chopped strawberries and blueberries and double tapped? Of course you have. Because pink and purple look great together.

Mixed Berry
tank from Zara, pencil skirt from J.Crew, shoes from Prabal Gurung for Target

These days the color yellow is no longer mellow. Yellow has been heightened to make a statement. It's back and better than ever--and will not be ignored. Keep your eyes on the runways this Fall because when life throws you lemons, the fashion gods make dye. 
Move over mint green! Scoot over coral- Yellow is the new IT girl.

Pineapple Coconut
dress from Francesca's, earrings from Houston, head wrap from Anthropologie

So tomorrow morning before slipping into your the LBD you wear every week--do a double take in that walk-in closet. Any bright colors? Anything new you can put together? Everyday is a day you can't get back and life already is already so starkly contrasted in black and white. 

It's our job to give this life some drops of color.




Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a blonde twenty-something who just wanted to make contact with the ball at her first kickball game. She played second base that day and actually got two people out (by accident) and was feeling wonderful about her newfound athleticism. Maybe her lofty dreams of going to the Olympics one day weren't so out of reach. Nonetheless she felt unstoppable.

And now we come back to reality. Walking back to my car, I instinctually hit the unlock button, climbed in and turned to my friend to follow suit. But my friend had spotted the mini devastation that my cloud nine eyes had yet to see.  I turned to see the back of my car only to see shards of broken glass where my bag of clothes and lunchbox used to be. My car windows had vanished. What witchcraft was this? I was the victim of hooligan antics and the police refused to come. Not life threatening? Not worth the ride in their eyes. No prince was rescuing this princess, so there I stood there on the side of the road. My bra and lunch box stolen. It was like I got mugged during recess. And I was not happy.

In the aftermath of having my car broken into, it is not the broken glass sprinkled across my backseats that makes me want to vomit. It is the acknowledgment that at any point in time, a fire breathing dragon can break into your life. Having something of yours destroyed kind of sucks.  It's a harsh reality check to the twenty-something mantra that we are invincible. And also- I really liked that bra. But in talking with my AllState agent, she or he (I'm not too sure) attempted to comfort me with these words:

When something bad happens...something good happens. 
You sound very uplifted.

Last time I checked uplifted and rageful weren't too synonymous. But I appreciate the silver lining that maybe now I am due for something good.  Because I really haven't slept in five days and some moron is probably selling my Dolce Vita sandals on the internet.  Maybe my Amy's frozen meal filled the stomach of the car bully. Maybe there was one less homeless person on the streets of Houston this week because they are using my silk blouse and Cotton On pants for their next job interview. Who knows. All I know is that if they have breasts-- they will be well supported by my Victoria's Secret Bombshell Bra.

Best of luck to you Car Bully. May you use my college coffee mug on your first day of work.

But really...get a job. And lose the sledgehammer, because this Princess isn't going to live in fear of dragons. 




It's a Surprise...

With living in a new city, comes the forming of new friendships. And with new friendships comes the retelling of your story, of how you came to be, and the surprising tidbits that people meeting you for the first time would never have guessed. For me, my new friends find it hard to believe that I once found the sound of drums and smell of cigarette smoke to be the most comforting aroma. I'm shameless. I grew up drooling over boys in rock bands and cutting the sleeves off my knit shirts to copy the latest trend cast by Gwen Stefani.  I once asked a friend of mine to help me look more "edgy" before leaving for my a rock concert. I may have worked at A&F in high school, but after work came the screamo concert on wheels, otherwise known as the drive home. 

Music is the cable for our mental televisions. With one song flips on your ex boyfriend channel. Change it again and you're back in Vegas celebrating your twin sister's birthday.  Song lyrics for me at an early age, became how I saw the world, thru a lens of very raw emotion and harsh drum kicks. When there were times where my words couldn't be shared, or I couldn't find them to record, music would take the wheel and sing me a lullaby that promised the present was temporary. And often that was what I needed. I grew up attending country club dinners, sporting polos and skinny jeans. But my favorite outfit has always started with an old band hoodie. The first one I ever got being one I bought at Warped Tour-- a Kill Hannah black and grey hoodie. I coveted it. I clung to everything it represented. But even after the hoodie gets passed onto Goodwill, the music lives on. The words still exist and can transport my heart back to a time before Lululemon and Skinny Girl Margaritas. When I still wrote in a private book instead of a public platform. I mean check me out... and don't be fooled. My lip ring was 100% fake. 

yeah...this happened.

Want to know the most wonderful thing about music? I mean aside from inspiring people to get fake piercings? It forces the memory to acknowledge what it would rather not (i.e: thinking a fake lip ring looked legit). Music is not for the lying- it's for those who have the courage to face the unrelenting truth. Who knew the act of turning on the radio could demonstrate such bravery. I sure didn't.

When I hear a Paramore song, I'm instantly back in small town basements and garages filled with car parts. Standing with friends, I'm listening to bands who still haven't made it and a few songs that have my name in them.  I remember drinking my first beer and recapping it thinking it was just like opening a bottle of soda. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. & Highly Embarrassing.

I'm brought back to older boys, trips to PacSun, and long drives around town to only end up back at the local 4 am diner. I can smell the black hair dye and the permanent marker used for nail polish.  I can feel the excitement of getting platinum blonde hair and the nerve wrecking 30 minutes I had to wait before I rinsed. I can see my flip flop getting lost in the mosh pit and the bruises I had weeks after seeing A.F.I in concert.  Rock and roll is not lost on me. I can't ever shake the little punk rock princess inside of me. And if I'm honest- I don't ever want to. I like having a part of me that keeps people guessing. I mean, where's the fun in always being the same? 

So don't be fooled friends. Because when I hear Lips Like Morphine, I go back to here...

even when I might be standing here...

Don't ever lose that part of you that surprises people. It's there for a reason.