Monday, October 31, 2011

Heidi Klum at Halloween

Heidi Klum has famously worn some of the most amazing Halloween costumes. I love that she does not take herself too seriously and seems to have such a great sense of humor. Heidi shows that Halloween is a time to get creative and simply have fun dressing up. I love how she goes all out for every costume and manages to outdo herself every Halloween. Below are some of her best costumes.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Haunted Houses

Last night, John and I went out with my brother and a couple of our friends, Jason and JR, to Night Terrors, a haunted house in Mandarin. Although I don't like scary movies or rides, for some reason I don't mind haunted houses and actually have fun going to them (as long as I'm surrounded by a bunch of my friends!). I've been to Halloween Horror Nights several times, and I thought Night Terrors was a good alternative if you can't make it out to Orlando or you simply don't want to spend the money for amusement park admission. Night Terrors was $25/person ($35 for the "RIP" entrance), which is far cheaper than what I used to spend going to Halloween Horror Nights (about $50 for park admission PLUS $50 for a fast pack, which lets you get to the head of every line). So like I was saying, this local haunted house was a good alternative. The setup, costumes, makeup, and special effects were quite comparable to Halloween Horror Nights. We waited in line for about an hour, which really wasn't that bad since there were people dressed in costumes trying to scare everyone in line for our entertainment. Right before we walked into the haunted house, we were told that it would take us about 30-40 minutes to get through the whole thing. I thought, "What?! That seems like a long time to be stuck in a haunted house." So at this point I was getting a little nervous (and it didn't help hearing all the people screaming inside). And of course within seconds of walking in, I already had my first scream. There were sections placed throughout the haunted house that had different themes, from an insane asylum to a doctor's office in which the doctor was "sawing" off patients' legs. Some of the more frightening moments occurred when we were in complete darkness. We honestly could not see where we were walking and I was afraid we'd run into a wall (or worse, someone would jump out at me). Then there was one portion of the haunted house where you had to walk between these huge inflatables. The air was pushing so hard on both sides that it created the most horrifying sense of claustrophobia. And it felt like it took FOREVER - I was so happy to finally come out the other end. 

Probably one of the funniest parts of the evening occurred while one of the employees (dressed to look like a scary deranged patient) came up to my brother in one of the hallways in the haunted house and said, "Has anyone ever told you the Jaguars suck?" referring to my brother's Jacksonville Jaguars hoodie he was wearing. Andrew replied, "Yes, everyday." Aww, poor Jaguars fans!

The very last part of the haunted house was this huge skeletal t-rex head with glowing red eyes that chased you out into the exit. Even though this was probably the most unrealistic thing we saw, it terrified me the most. I don't know why! Maybe because it was so huge and scary looking. But you'd think the people running after me with chainsaws would scare me more, but nope. It was the t-rex. Go figure.

Overall, it was a fun evening. And yes, it did take about 30 minutes to get through the whole thing. So just think - it's like paying a dollar a minute to be completely scared. So if you and your friends are still looking for any last-minute Halloween plans, try out Night Terrors! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

John/James Blunt

I've had several people over the years tell me that John looks exactly like James Blunt. I never really saw the resemblance until last night. John and I were watching VH1's Top 100 Songs of the 00's, and James Blunt's You're Beautiful made the list. They played his music video, and that's when I thought, "Huh. They're right!" If James Blunt cut his hair, grew more of a beard, and slipped on some glasses, he and John would look very similar.

James Blunt

Maybe it's the pale skin, the face structure, or the eyes, but I really do see some similarities now. Especially in this picture. John hardly smiles in his pictures (when we took our engagement photos, the photographers literally had to remind him to smile). 

John's mom thinks he looks like Steve Jobs.

Steve Jobs

Hmm. No. Other than their love for Apple products, I don't see any similarities. Facial hair and glasses do not a match make.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pilcro On-Your-Toes Flats

On-Your-Toes Flats by Pilcro

The front of these shoes remind me of the Chanel riding boots I wrote about a few days ago. I love the pop of yellow against the neutral tan.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Subway Tiles

I love these classic subway tiles on the backsplash of this kitchen. Such a simple design, but it ties together the whole kitchen and gives it a crisp, clean feel. Normally I don't like open shelves, but I think they work in this kitchen as a great way to display little knick knacks and oddities. They give the kitchen character and provide a homey feel.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Once Upon a Time


Did anyone else watch last night's premiere of Once Upon a Time? It's basically a modern take on old childhood fairy tales. It begins with Prince Charming, Snow White (played by Ginnifer Goodwin!) and of course the seven dwarfs. Well, you know how that story goes (unless you're John, who was apparently deprived of these stories as a child.) But here's the difference. Out of anger and jealousy, the Evil Queen casts a spell on everyone so that they will be stuck in time, forced to live a miserable life for all eternity. Snow White and Prince Charming seek the help of Rumpelstiltskin (yes, Rumpelstilskin is in this show too, along with Jiminy Cricket!), who can see into the future. He tells them that their daughter (played by Jennifer Morrison, also known as "Zoe" on How I Met Your Mother) will be their only hope, and that she will return on her 28th birthday to save them all. So fast forward to modern times, Snow White is now a teacher and Prince Charming is in the hospital, and according to Emma's son Henry (whom she gave up for adoption when he was born), they don't realize who they are or that they've been cast under this spell.  But Henry does know that Emma is their only hope (and his only hope as well - he was adopted by none other than the Evil Queen herself). So he brings her to Storybrooke to help save Snow White and Prince Charming.

I know. Weird. But it was so good!

John and I watched it together, but I think I enjoyed it far more than he did. The show is a twist on fairy tales with a darker tone, making them more appealing to adults. Well, I'm hooked! I'm so excited for next week's episode. Now I finally have something to watch on Sundays!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games [paperback] $5.39

I kept hearing a lot about The Hunger Games from watching TV or reading Entertainment Weekly online. I thought nothing of this movie because for some reason I thought it was based on a video game, and I do NOT like video games (well, unless they're Super Mario or Just Dance). So when my coworkers suggested that I read the books, I was skeptical. Then they told me what it was about - kids who are forced to fight each other to the death. Hmm. This did not sound like my kind of book. I usually like chick lit and stories that tie up in a pretty bow in the end. But my coworker insisted that I read this book, even sending a copy to my classroom, so I thought, "Oh, what the hell, why not?" Within the first few pages of this book, I was hooked. It's just so different from any other book or even story that I've heard before.

The book takes place at an unspecified time in the future. Even though we don't know what year the events take place, one thing is certain - the future is very bleak. The world as we know it today no longer exists.  The people of Panem (formerly known as North America) are divided into 12 districts. Everyone is poor and lives in such meager conditions - no hot water (unless you boil it yourself), not enough food to feed an entire family. But the worst part of it all are the Hunger Games for which the book is named. The Hunger Games are the Capitol's way of preventing a rebellion against the government. Once each child turns 12, their names are placed in a drawing. Each year, the 12 districts hold what's called a "reaping," where one girl and one boy are randomly selected to participate in the Hunger Games. Therefore, 24 children participate in the games - an event which takes place in an arena and the children must kill one another in any means possible to survive. Meanwhile, their families and all the citizens of Panem watch from their homes, as the games are televised. Of course, this is torture for the families and friends of the victims, but for others, this is their ultimate form of entertainment. The last child standing basically wins money and honor for their district. The way these children are taken from their families and forced to fight each other to the death is the Capitol's way of reminding the people of Panem that they are in charge and they should never dare act out against them.

I don't want to spoil the book for you, but if anything I wrote above sounds intriguing, then I would definitely recommend this book for you. It really is an exciting read and you tend to develop an emotional investment in the characters, even though of course it's all fiction. There are three books in the series by Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. I am currently reading the second book. It took me a while to get my hands on a copy because they are always checked out at the library, but thankfully, one of my coworkers let me borrow theirs. I am feverishly trying to get through these books because I want to read for myself how the series ends before someone accidentally spoils it for me!

The movie adaptation comes out March 23, 2012. I'm still on the fence about whether or not I want to watch this. For one, the books are pretty graphic and with my crazy imagination and paranoia, that's enough for me. I don't know if I'd want to actually see the events of the book play out in a movie. Also, the actors they cast for the main characters were a bit disappointing for me. Maybe that's why books always seem better than the movies - because someone else's interpretation of a book tends to pale in comparison to how you envisioned the characters, places, events, etc. However, the actress Jennifer Lawrence, who is set to play the main character, Katniss Everdeen, is EXACTLY how I pictured she would look in the book, so that's a plus. But regardless of the actors they cast, I'm hoping the movie does this book justice.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chanel Two-Toned Riding Boots

I've been really digging these Chanel Two-Toned Riding boots, as seen on Kourtney Kardashian.

And who says black and brown don't go together?

I love the simple detailing of these boots. And the fact that they're flat riding boots means they are comfy and can be worn during a day of shopping or running errands. Plus, they seem to go with many different ensembles.


I think Kourtney looks great in every picture and, judging by her different outfits, she proves that these boots are very versatile. However, since they are Chanel, they are quite expensive, so I've been on the hunt for a more affordable version. Below are my finds.

Corso Como Richmond Boots $199

Ciao Bella Tori Boots $138

Seychelles Orchestra Boots $113

Juicy Couture Reston Boots $425

Antonio Melani Elena Boots $149

I have yet to find a pair that also has the brown toe front, so if any of you out there find that style, please let me know!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Yearbook Pictures

I thought it would be fun to share with you my yearbook pictures from my past five years of teaching. Even though I am no longer a student, I still find it fun to flip through yearbooks and reminisce.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

(Can you see the lines of stress etched on my face over the years?)

I really can't believe this is already my fifth year teaching. At times it feels like it has gone by so slowly, but when I think about all that has happened in the past five years, time seems to have zoomed right past me. Yearbook pictures are a fun (and sometimes embarrassing) way to reminisce about the past and get those warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Charlotte Taylor Adelie Blouse

Item: Adelie Blouse by Charlotte Taylor
Size: 2
Overall Rating: 5/5

I finally got the chance to try on the Charlotte Taylor Penguin Blouse I wrote about a few days ago. Above is a picture of me in the fitting room. I tried on the size 2 (the size 0 was on a mannequin and I didn't feel like struggling to take it off). The size 2 fit fine, although I think I could have gone a bit smaller. I didn't think the fit was odd at all, contrary to what other online reviewers have said. Maybe they weren't trying on the correct size? The blouse had a side zipper which zipped all the way up to the sleeve (I hate it when the zipper only reaches about one or two inches below the sleeve), which made it very convenient to put on. I also think this blouse lays nicely, and I didn't feel the need to keep pulling it down, unlike some other online reviewers. Anyway, I am now more in love with this top than ever. It was just so cute on! The penguins make me so happy. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pilcro Spectacles Boy Tee

Pilcro Spectacles Boy Tee on sale $19.95 (originally $38)

Continuing with my theme of prints and patterns, I decided to write about a new t-shirt I recently bought. Pictured above is the Spectacles Boy Tee by Pilcro. I love the eyeglasses print on this shirt and the colors are so cute together. It's made of 100% super-soft cotton, which makes it a very comfy and easy shirt to wear. I usually wear a size 0 or xs in tops and blouses because I like my clothes to be fitted (not tight), but when it comes to cotton t-shirts, I like to wear them a little bit looser. That's why I love the boy fit cut of this shirt. I got a size small in this top (the xs was a bit too tight in the arms and shoulder area) and it fits perfectly. A great top to throw over your favorite pair of vintage jeans or some skinny cords.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Charlotte Taylor

In the past couple days, I wrote about clothing items with loud prints (penguins, mice, and fish!) So it seems that I'm drawn to these bold patterns. Charlotte Taylor is a British designer who specializes in these funky prints and patterns. On her blog, she wrote that she was "inspired by grannies, bird ladies, penguins, and much much more." Her designs have inspired me to just have fun with fashion and simply like what you like, regardless of trends or naysayers. Here are some of my favorite designs from her line.

Not all of her designs utilize these silhouettes. Below are some of her more basic pieces. Still bold and unique though.

Taylor's designs remind me of those thermal tops and tanks by clothing brand Primp that were popular with celebrities a few years ago.

Vanessa Hudgens

Lauren Conrad

Rachel Bilson

It's been a few years since I've seen retail stores carry Primp. In fact, the last time I saw a Primp clothing item, it was at a consignment shop. Although this brand has declined in popularity, I still think they are adorable and they are a more affordable alternative to Charlotte Taylor's pieces. That is, if you can even find Primp. When I googled the brand, I could not seem to find any websites that currently stock their clothing line. So it looks like eBay and thrift stores are your best bet if you're interested in purchasing one of these tops.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Banana Republic Fish Scarf

I bought this Banana Republic Fish Scarf last spring. I was immediately charmed by it's fun and quirky print. The fish simply put a smile on my face. It's such a great scarf to add fun-n-flair to a basic tee, cardigan, or blazer.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Odille Tarpan Buttondown

Tarpan Buttondown by Odille

Ok folks, what do we think of this mouse blouse? When I was at Anthropologie the other day, I was immediately drawn to it. At the store, the sleeves were rolled up, which I thought looked better than it does here in the picture. I really like the color combo, and I find the mice so cute and charming. Maybe I have a thing for mice?

If the print is a bit too bold for you, try pairing this top with a blazer or cardigan to help tone it down. Overall, I think it's a really fun and cute shirt. And hey, it would pair nicely with my new Ugg slippers! Although it is a good quality cotton shirt, I think $88 is a bit too much for it, so I will definitely keep my eye on this one and wait for a sale.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ugg Slippers

Today, my Mom bought me these super cute-n-comfy Ugg Slippers (thanks, Mom!)

Ugg Slippers in Baked Clay $100
(Or you can purchase yours at the Navy Exchange for only $79.99 and no tax!)

One of the reasons I really wanted them was because John has the men's Ugg slippers and I wanted to match him (yeah, we're that kind of couple). Even though these are winter shoes, John has been wearing his year round because he loves them so much. They are his go-to shoe for comfort (and of course, to keep his toes warm!) I love this baked clay color because they are so vibrant and fun. They remind me of Tod's loafers, which are quite expensive compared to Uggs (they can set you back at least $500). 

Tod's Gommino Shoe $545

So I think these Ugg slippers are a great alternative - so comfy, so cute, and they come in several great colors!

My husband was kind enough to patiently take these pictures with me. Another reason why I love him so much!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Charlotte Taylor Adelie Blouse

Charlotte Taylor Adelie Blouse

Ok people, I NEED this blouse. How cute is it?! I was shopping online last night at when I came upon this top. At first, I didn't know what the print was, but out of curiosity I clicked on the picture and to my pleasant surprise found that the yellow print was actually PENGUINS! I immediately turned to John and said, "I HAVE to have this top." Period.

The only thing I'm worried about with this blouse is the fit. According to the customer reviews online, the fit is very odd. Supposedly the band in the middle is disproportionately tight compared to the billowy top half. I haven't been to the store yet to try this on for myself, but I'll be sure to report back with a review once I have. The fit was so odd for one customer that they decided to pass on the blouse and wrote, "I was so sad and disappointed as I left the store penguinless," to which John replied, "She doesn't have to be penguinless - we can give her one of our penguins. We have thousands of them." Ok, I do not have "thousands" of penguins (but that's a whole 'nother story best left to a future blog post.)

This blouse is so gosh darn cute! I love the color combo (yellow is one of my favorite colors), and the peter pan collar is simply adorable. This top would look great paired with jeans and ballet flats (and amongst my ever-growing penguin collection!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


"Hitch" is another good movie about relationships and dating. This one's for the guys though. While "He's Just Not That Into You" basically tells women that if a guy doesn't like you, he'll let it be known, "Hitch" shows what guys will do if they are interested, and women LOVE that. So men, take notes!

The "he's just not that into you" remark can go both ways. For men, if she says she's too busy or needs space, then she's just not that into you. Or these excuses can be interpreted (according to Hitch) as, "Try harder, stupid."

But do not be "Chip."

Guys: women love men who are confident (not cocky) and open with something simple such as "Hi, my name is ___. What is yours?" No need to be creepy, no need for cheesy pick-up lines, and no need to be "Chip."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

He's Just Not That Into You

One of my favorite movies is "He's Just Not That Into You." The reason I like it so much is because I think it tells an honest story about love and relationships. I think men and women alike will appreciate the message this movie is trying to send - that yes, some people do plays games, but for the most part, what you see is what you get. There are no mixed messages or body language to analyze or conversations to dissect. If a guy likes you, he will make it known, even if it's through some small gesture - female intuition alone should be able to pick up on it. But if you find yourself wondering why he never accepts your invitation to go out, why he doesn't call when he says, or if he's simply being a jerk, it's because HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU.

There are rules, and yes, there are some rare exceptions. But you are not the exception. You can't even think that maybe you are the exception. It just doesn't work that way.

And now a clip from the show that started it all "Sex and the City" (another one of my favorites). The book (and in turn the movie) were inspired by the episode "Pick-a-Litte, Talk-a-Little" in which Miranda asks Carrie's boyfriend Berger for his opinion on why a guy would not accept her invitation to come up to her apartment after a date. His reply: "He's just not that into you." 

Why some women continue to delude themselves and over analyze men and their behavior is beyond me. Maybe they haven't seen this movie yet. 

If you are an open-minded individual that has not yet seen this movie, then I think you'll appreciate it.  The movie shows dating from both perspectives, which I think is important to be aware of while dating. So if you're single and looking for answers, stop analyzing and just watch this movie!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kate Spade Cut to the Chase Bib Necklace

Cut to the Chase Bib Necklace by Kate Spade
On sale $103 (originally $148)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fur Hats

John and I just came home from Target, where I tried on this really fun and cute fur hat.

Leopard Fur Hat $16.99

As soon as I put it on, John literally walked away from me and said he didn't know me.

I still thought it was completely adorable and fun to wear, not to mention warm. It reminds me of the hats that Khloe Kardashian wears.

Khloe Kardashian

On her blog, Khloe wrote, "My ear hats make me happy! I believe life should be fun so I have to laugh at myself every day in order to be happy." Well said! Why not wear the things that make you happy?! Fashion is meant to have fun with, not to be taken so seriously.

When the Kardashian sisters opened their Dash store in NYC, it seemed they were trying to popularize the furry headwear trend (or simply have fun with the kitsch hats).

Silly? Yes. Fun though? Absolutely!