Tuesday, November 25, 2014


On Saturday, I turned 20. I celebrated my birthday with my parents, my brother, his girlfriend, and both sets of my grandparents, eating cake and opening gifts. Later at night, I was reunited with my best friend, Joanna, who left for Auburn University in August. I hadn't seen her in nearly four months, and it was wonderful to catch up with her and Catherine, another of my closest friends who I don't hang out with nearly enough.

Two of my best friends from high school, Joanna (middle) and Cat
Being twenty years old feels so much different than being 19! Last year, I was struggling to adjust to college life and was showing the early symptoms of what would turn out to be mono, so turning 19 years old wasn't the most pressing matter on my mind. This year, though, I'm hyperaware of the fact that I'm not a teenager anymore, that I am a real-life adult. But even though it scares me a little to lose that safety net, I'm extremely comfortable about where I am in life and eager to accept whatever challenges come my way this year!

I've comprised a list entitled "20 Before 21," which includes 20 different things I'd like to accomplish before I turn 21. I'm so excited to start crossing things off the list! Some of my goals are just for fun or things I wouldn't do if I didn't give myself a deadline (for instance, I've been meaning to read Paradise Lost for years and just haven't gotten around to it), but some of them involve finding a job or internship, things that will prepare me for the "real world" that will inevitably arrive after college.

Excitingly, I'll be able to cross something off my list - write for CollegeFashion.net! I've read the articles on this website religiously since I was a freshman in high school, and I was honored that they accepted my application and offered me a position as a contributing writer next semester! So far my 20 Before 21 is off to a good start, I'm still enjoying my birthday chocolate-covered strawberries, and 20 in general seems like it's going to be a good year.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wish List

It is autumn, the excitement of the holidays is in the air, and my twentieth birthday is fast approaching. Fast approaching. As in, before I even know it I’ll be heading home for the weekend to reunite with my hometown friends and celebrate with my family. Unfortunately I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t even had time to think of what I want for my birthday! That being said, below I’ve comprised the ultimate wish list of birthday gift ideas – even if some items on the list are a little unrealistic. Hey, a girl can dream.

photo source; minneonkamoccasin.com
Elizabeth from my favorite blog, Delightfully Tacky, rocks her Minnetonka moccasins in all seasons and can make them work with virtually every outfit. She's got me craving my own pair of Minnetonka Thunderbirds. Moccasins seem to be that perfect transition shoe, because I don't think I own anything between sandals and boots.
photo source; alexandani.com
I'm very in love with my Alex and Ani compass bangle, which I bought on a sort of impulse over the summer but has definitely inspired me to start focusing on my direction in life. Not surprisingly, now that I have one of these bangles, I want more! I'm a little superstitious, so I like jewelry that feels like it has a meaning behind it. While there are lots of beautiful bangles to choose from, I think the Alex and Ani Nautical Charm bangle will remind me of my recently-found love of the beach and also remind me to stay grounded.
photo source; nordstrom.com

Just for the record, I own way too many (3) pairs of brown/tan boots. Cognac is sort of my signature shoe color, and it's taking over my closet. That said, I've never met a Steve Madden creation I didn't like, and these stacked-heel suede booties caught my eye immediately. Aren't they adorable?
photo source, amazon.com
As an English major and a lover of literature, I'm particularly fascinated in the Lost Generation, the American expatriates who made their home in Paris and lamented the disillusionment felt by the era's youth. As you can imagine, when I found this book, I was thrilled. Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology contains the writings of not just my favorite writers, but Americans from Thomas Jefferson to Jack Kerouac and countless others in between as they describe their Parisian adventures. 
photo source, amazon.com 
Okay, no, I don't yet have the courage to use a camera tripod in public. I still get pretty embarrassed when people see my friend taking pictures of me for my "fashion" posts. But it would be pretty great to be able to take outfit pictures whenever I want, without needing to drag my roommate outside with me. Plus I'd get more use out of the great Nikon camera I got for Christmas last year. 
photo source; Nordstrom.com
Every girl needs a little black dress, and this one from Nordstrom seems to be ideal. It's not too short, tight, or low-cut, but it has a flattering v-neck and cinched waist. Plus, the sleeves are a fun length, and this looks like it can easily be dressed up or down for any occasion.
photo source; tiffany.com
Has anyone seen the beautiful holiday advertisement on the Tiffany website? It's adorable. I've been a Tiffany girl ever since I first caught a glimpse of the brand's iconic blue box, and while I'm personally holding out for a Tiffany engagement ring, these initial necklaces are gorgeous. It's my fantasy wish list, so I can throw a piece of Tiffany jewelry on here, can't I? If you're buying into the materialistic, commercial side of the holiday season, nothing shines as brightly as Tiffany & Co. in New York City during Christmastime. 

My birthday will be here (November 22!) before I know it, but Christmas won't be far behind! What's on your wishlist as the holiday season approaches? 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Book Club: The God of Small Things

"Never again will a single story be told
as though it's the only one."
- John Berger

My Cultures and Canons class has been one of my favorite literature classes so far in college, partially because its purpose is to stray away from the typical Eurocentric literary canon (which includes Shakespeare, Dickens, authors we’ve all read before) and focus on mostly postcolonial novels. I just finished reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy for this class, and it was one of the most unique, captivating, and emotional books I’ve read in a long time.

The story is complex, mostly because the book’s events do not unfold chronologically. Within the first few chapters, readers know the outcome of the novel without knowing how exactly these situations arise. We’re introduced to Rahel and Estha, twins, at the age of 31 in 1993, but know they have been separated (and Estha has been silent) since 1969, when the main events of the novel occur. 

The novel is beautifully crafted linguistically and allows readers to see the world mainly through the eyes of a child, whose innocence casts a heartbreaking shadow over the tragedies that unfold. My professor also mentioned that this novel could be categorized as a piece of “ecocriticism,” meaning it focuses widely on the environment’s role in the storyline and, specifically in The God of Small Things, India’s environment  and its role in a post-British Imperialist setting. The story that unravels in the village of Ayemenem is one of loss and despair, and there are definitely some parts that are difficult, emotionally, to read. Still, I highly recommend this novel. It’s the first book I’ve read for a college class that has actually brought me to tears and, if you don’t mind taking a ride on an emotional roller coaster, I suggest you pick up The God of Small Things today. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Oh Deer! What a Halloween

Remember my post about how I wasn't much a fan of Halloween anymore? I take it back! I had a blast on Halloween. I didn't spend a penny on my costume, but I loved the way the makeup turned out. Usually I struggle with even my daily eyeliner routine but on Friday night, I managed to pull off the deer makeup look I found on Pinterest pretty well. I think I even perfected the deer-in-headlights look! 
My roommate went as a friendly space alien. Isn't she adorable? Like my costume, hers was made of pieces she already had in her closet and some cool makeup ideas found on Pinterest. 

We had fun posing in our room for pictures before the party we went to. Even the party was more fun than I anticipated; we sipped apple cider and danced to fun music and, on a night with more parties on campus than I could keep track of, saw a lot more friends in one place than we expected! Did your Halloween live up to (or surpass) your expectations? Did you dress up or at least eat some candy in honor of the holiday? I know I did.

And, of course, what's the fun in dressing up as a deer without one picture of road kill?