Thursday, July 28, 2011

Amazing People

Amazing{via pinterest}

I came across this print a few days ago on Pinterest, and it has been on my mind ever since.  "Amazing people do not just happen." Its simple really, yet its something I think we tend to forget all too quickly.  We live in a world where a lot of things come in an instant.  With a click or simple command, its ours.  But when it comes to truly amazing people and amazing things, the picture isn't quite so simple.  Amazing things take work, insane devotion, and relentless effort.  That girl you see with the amazing job?  It didn't just happen.  She likely worked her butt off for it, putting in years of prep work, doing tasks she wasn't crazy about, knowing there would be a payoff in the end.  That relationship you see that seems so effortless?  It probably isn't.  It probably takes a ton of work, communication, and commitment to one another.  That mom you see that grocery store who has two kids and looks unbelievably fit?  I'm gonna guess she didn't get that body by sitting around eating Twinkies.  She probably gets up at some insane hour, while most of us are sleeping, to hit the pavement and sweat it out.  These people, these things, take an insane amount of dedication and passion; they don't just happen.

All too often I think we sit by, thinking, "I wish I could do that, I wish I could be that, I wish I could have that."  And in lots of those situations, I bet we could.  If we really worked, if we really pushed, if we really made it a top priority.  I'm not saying we need to become these accomplishment obsessed people, never satisfied with our lives.  But we all have those amazing things we want to accomplish, those amazing people we want to become.  And guess what?  It's possible.  But it doesn't just happen.  So today, I'm asking you (and myself) what amazing things do you want for your life and what are you going to do to make them happen?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Did It Again

IMG 0081

After last week's brave turban trial, I've been hooked.  I've been wearing scarves wrapped 'round my head so often Matt has taken to calling me "Rambo."  A nice change from "Indiana Jones" when I wear this hat.  Men...they don't get it do they?  Anyway, several of you commented on my look (thanks!) and asked for a turban tutorial.  That left me with three options.

1.  Stalk the adorable salesperson from Nordstrom on Michigan Avenue and beg her to come visit each and every one of your houses.  (Could seem a bit creepy.)

2. Subject you all to my Minnie Mouse video voice with a Youtube tutorial.  (My video voice is pretty mousey, and I'm sure if I was focused on turban tying, it would go up a few          octaves.  And no one needs to hear Minnie Mouse this early in the week.)

3. Find an already existing Youtube tutorial that covers the same turban tying technique used by the Nordie girl and yours truly.

Because stalking and subjecting you all to the slow painful torture that would be me on a video tutorial both sounded like bad ideas, I skipped the first two options and found an existing video tutorial.  You can find the super easy to follow tutorial HERE.  However, before you run off to practice, I thought I'd add my two cents to the tutorial.  (PS: apparently this look is referred to as a turband not a turban.  Potato, pototto.)

1. I've had the best luck using silk scarves, as opposed to typical knit scarves.  They were a bit too bulky for me.

2. You really do need a fairly long scarf/piece of fabric.  I have pretty big collection of silk scarves, and I was certain they'd all be the perfect turban tying length.  Wrong.  Most              were just a few inches too short leaving ends poking out or a turban that was tied so tight, I could feel my brain squishing.  Not good options, so go long.

3. I place my turband farther down on my forehead than she does, though either look works.  If you like the look a little farther down, use her same process, but wrap closer to                your hairline.

4. You're going to get makeup on your turband (assuming you wear it lower on your hairline like me.)  The first turband I wore was darker, so it wasn't as noticable, but the one          in this picture now has a bit of MAC Studiofix on it.  No biggie to me, but this fact has kept me from trying the turband with my vintage DVF scarf.  No way I'm risking that.

Alright, so for all those that commented and asked for a tutorial, there you go.  A tutorial and my 2 cents, whoa.  It's clearly gonna be a crazy Tuesday :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Next Step

Journey{we heart it}

Back in February, I rejoiced over my internship match news and spent an entire weekend celebrating the good news.  The entire process of getting a Ph.D has been exhausting, but my internship has kind of been the light at the end of the tunnel, the signal that I'm almost done with this six year marathon.  (Yes, you read that right, six years.)  Since celebrating back in February, I've been kind of quiet around these parts about internship.  Not because I haven't been excited, not because it isn't a big step, but mostly just because August 1st felt so far away.  Well, summer has come and almost gone, and suddenly August 1st is almost here.

Lots of people have asked me how I'm feeling about the whole thing, particularly the moving two hours away from Matt thing.  And my answer has consistently been, it'll be a challenge, but more than anything, I'm just excited.  Excited to get back to what I love doing, excited to be surrounded by people who are passionate about the field, and excited to resume what I truly believe God intended me do with my life.  (Ok, and I won't lie, I've also been excited about being able to decorate a girly space again!)  Even yesterday as we had dinner with our friend Norma, both Matt and I downplayed the big move, focusing instead on the excitement and the significance of starting and finishing this internship (and this degree.)  But last night, after Matt went to bed, I began to feel a little differently.  As I made lists of what needed to go and what could stay in Chicago, it hit me that I'm moving.  Away from Matt.  As I ordered pictures online, I was reminded that I'm ordering pictures because I won't have Matt there in person and I'll need reminders of the memories we've made together.

When I finally crawled into bed last night, I snuggled up next to Matt and cried.  I cried because I'm going to miss him terribly and because change is hard.  This year, we've established more of a routine and built such a fun little life together.  It will be weird not having that on a daily basis.  And even though I'll be home most weekends, its going to be weird not being with Matt Monday through Friday.  But just as I start to feel completely overwhelmed, I remember my excitement about going back to what I love.  I remember how good it will feel to immerse myself in a job I am truly passionate about.  And I remember that all of this, every tiny piece, is a part of God's plan.  He has carefully crafted this picture for both Matt and I, and with that, I know we'll be just fine.

A week from today, my new adventure begins.  I'm excited, I'm sad, I'm happy, I'm nervous.  But most of all, more than anything, I'm eager to see what God has in store for me on this next little part of my journey...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yesterday I Wore a Turban


As the title of this post so eloquently states, yesterday I wore a turban.  Groundbreaking news around these parts, as I had 99% made up my mind that I'd never be able to pull off the turban trend.  I've seen girls sprinkled throughout Chicago and the blogosphere that pull off the turban beautifully, but I was certain if I even attempted the trend, I'd look like a complete and total doofus.  (Yes, I just used the word "doofus" which you probably haven't heard since fourth grade.  I'm vintage like that.)  So anyway, back to my "yesterday I wore a turban" title.  Sunday, while I was purchasing a few goodies at the Anniversary Sale, the adorable associate complimented me on my hat.  (FYI I was wearing my beloved panama hat, seen here.)  After a very delighted "thanks," I complimented her on her super cute and trendy turban.  She swore it was super simple to do, to which I replied, "Umm pretty sure I'd look like an idiot if I tried to pull that off."  Before I knew it, she "no no no-ed" me and shooed me towards a mirror and a shelf full of scarves.  She proceeded to tie a scarf on my head turban style.  She had me repeat her tie job, and I had to give it the girl, it was pretty simple.

So yesterday, I woke up a few minutes early (which pretty much never happens) and thought I'd practice my turban tying skills.  The Nordie girl was right, it was foolproof.  And I actually kinda liked the way it looked.  But then I started talking myself out of wearing it, thinking "What if I look stupid, I'm probably too old for this, what if I look like I'm trying too hard" blah blah blah.  But then I decided... to hell with the "rules."  I tell clients at AT all the time that there aren't rules in fashion.  I tell people to wear white year round, I adore mixing prints, and I'm adamant that leopard is a neutral.  So why should I let a few silly rules and some self doubt keep me from trying a trend?


Turban: made from one of my mom's vintage scarves
Blazer: The Limited
Tee: J.Crew
Necklace: Ann Taylor (one of my fashion show swag goodies)
Bracelets: vintage, Loft, Ann Taylor
Jeans: Ann Taylor

With that, I twisted, knotted, and turbanned, and decided I'd keep the look all day long.  No wimping out, no taking if off halfway to work.  I had to go for it.  At first, the reviews were mixed.  I got a few odd looks and a few non-comments from people who almost always comment on what I wear.  I interpreted those to mean, I did in fact look like an idiot.  But slowly, throughout the day, several clients at Ann Taylor approached me, loving the look.  And each time I caught a glimpse of my turban wearing self in the mirror, I got more used to what I saw.  And by the end of yesterday, I really liked it!

So let my turban wearing Thursday be a reminder for all of us that there are no rules in fashion, no age limits, and no trend that we can't try!

PS: Is there a trend or look you've been wanting to try but have hesisted on for fear of looking like a fourth grade doofus? :)  Do share and maybe we can all motivate each other to just go for it!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Snapshots From My Week as a Model

DSCN5120After an early morning and insanely delayed flight out of O'Hare, I finally made it to New York, delighted to find a driver holding a sign with my name on it.  Official notification that I've made it in life :)

DSCN5121The view from Ann Taylor Corporate at 7 Times Square.  This is where all the models were fitted and styled for the show.  How could you not love coming to work everyday when you're surrounded by fabulous clothes and this view?  And if you're wondering, yes, Ann Taylor has their own version of "the Vogue Closet."  And it was every bit as fabulous as you'd expect :)

DSCN5146My fabulous boss Mandy and I before dinner.  It was so funny to see so many women in one place totally decked out in Ann Taylor.  Mandy and I were almost twinsies in our orange.  (For a better view, I'm wearing the same sweater from this OOTD post.)

DSCN5132Getting my hair done before the show.  The theme of hair and makeup was big, loose curls with a bold red lip.  Love!

DSCN5128I couldn't stop drooling over the racks and racks of gorgeous clothes.  It was fun to see not just what people were wearing for the show, but also what is coming to stores over the next few months.  Now that I live in a place where the temperatures actually drop below 60 degrees, I am obsessed with fall and holiday collections.  PS: The guy on the left in the orange is Paul, and he was one of the primary stylists for the show.  He was fabulous and helped me with everything from putting on my shoes to sprucing up my runway walk.  Thank you Paul!

DSCN5129Looking at the trays and trays of new fall and holiday bling was like watching my paychecks go out the window.  I'm a huge sucker for AT's jewelry.

IMG 0075We ended up being kind of rushed before the show, so I didn't get a ton of pictures, but I managed to have one of the other models snap a quick pic of my look with my iPhone.  I wore a dress from Ann Taylor's upcoming holiday collection, which features a black and cobalt blue color story.  The dress was black lace with cobalt blue undertones, and I loved it so much I almost cried when I had to take it off after the show.  (And if you're wondering, no we didn't keep the clothes.  Most everything in the show was a sample, so they needed them for upcoming press stuff, features, etc.)

DSCN5140Here I am with Elizabeth, one of the other models, who works in one of the Phoenix stores.  I loved her big faux fur collar!

IMG 0077So I don't have any pictures of me walking in the show (I was a little preoccupied with walking and not pulling a Carrie Bradshaw), but Thursday morning, in the closing meeting, they flashed up pictures from the show on the big screen.  My boss snapped this picture with her phone and texted it to me as I was flying out.  That's me walking on the right, trying to give my best little Heidi runway wave :)  It was a fun surprise to receive as I was headed back home!

All in all, the trip was a success!  I had a fabulous time, and I was beyond honored to be able to walk the runway for a company I love so much!  And for those of you still sad about me not getting to keep the dress, don't worry, I scored some fabulous swag that will be making an appearance on the blog very soon :)  Thanks again for all yalls support and good luck wishes as I went on this fun little adventure, it means more than you know! Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Weekend Happenings

I'm back!  New York was a whirlwind, and since I got back late Thursday afternoon, I've furiously been playing catch up, which has left this little blog feeling quite neglected.  So I thought I'd post a few of my favorite things going on around these parts since I've been back...


Reading the last page of Harry Potter as my plane touched down at O'Hare on Thursday.  Perfect timing for the midnight premiere...
Grabbing dinner and drinks with friends at our favorite Asian fusion spot...
Catching a quick Saturday afternoon cat nap...
Scoring this fabulous beauty at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I don't plan to take it off all fall...
Catching my first episode of Extreme Couponing and debating whether I'm obscenely horrified or intensely inspired...
Trying a new gelato flavor (pistachio) and realizing odd can be good...
Getting to spend Sunday afternoon with Melissa, my dear friend from high school...
Replaying every moment from the HP midnight premiere and wishing it wasn't over...
Eating a delicious brunch at Yolk, including an entire half pineapple, cored and stuffed with fruit, yogurt, nuts, and granola.  Yum is the word...
Looking through my pictures from New York and wondering how on Earth I, the picture queen, didn't get more photos...
Soaking up time with Matt before my big move in two weeks...
Taking a walk to the corner ice cream store.  Nothing cures a sore throat like a chocolate malt...


This week, I'm playing more catch up and trying to get things in order for my big move, which is less than two weeks away.  Time has kind of snuck up on me, but I'm determined to sneak in a few more summer treats before I start my new job on August 1st.  And since I've been gone from blogland for a while, fill me on whats new with you and what you were up to this weekend!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fashion Roadkill

Thank yall so much for your sweet enthusiasm over last week's good news.  I am so lucky to have such a great group of blog friends to share life's little adventures with :)  I'm nervous, jittery, and excited about tomorrow's trip to New York, and for the past week, I've been having nonstop flashbacks to my all time favorite episode of Sex and the City.  I'm just praying that Tuesday I don't pull a Carrie Bradshaw in her jeweled Dolce and Gabbana panties :)  For a wonderful laugh and a peek at my favorite 1 minute and 53 seconds of TV's best girlie show, watch below.  PS: As this is Sex and the City, there is some iffy language in this video.  If you're at work or around little ones, use headphones.

It's unreal how much I love this show :)  Have a fabulous week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Just Call Me Gisele

Model{via Pinterest}

So last week I alluded to some good news round these parts, and today, I am so excited to finally share my news!

As many of you know, I have been working retail part time over the past year as I've been trying to finish up my dissertation.  Overall, I have had a really positive experience; I've been so blessed to work at a store I believe in, with people I adore, and clients that now know my name and keep coming back to see me.  Next week, our store is hosting its national conference, where all the store managers from across the country, along with the folks at corporate, gather together to talk about the brand, connecting with clients, and continuing to make an imprint on the world of fashion.  In addition to talking business, they reveal the new fall line in all its glory.

This year, the company selected 12 associates from across the country to model in the fashion show, walking in this fall's latest and greatest.  And to my total surprise and delight, I was one of the 12 associates selected!  So next Monday, I am flying to New York to model in the Ann Taylor fashion show!  I am so excited, its unreal.  Monday is full of fittings, while Tuesday is about hair, makeup, rehearsal, and then, the big show.  I feel so blessed to have this opportunity, and I can't wait to see what next week brings.  Eeek!

PS: Wouldn't it be great if the show's makeup artists could make me look as pretty as the model above?  I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

An Ohio Filled 4th...


This weekend Matt and I celebrated the fourth in Ohio with my grandparents.  (Both my dad's parents and my mom's mom live there.)  Though grandparents aren't typically known for celebrating holidays with rowdy parties or poolside barbeques, I must say that this weekend was one of the loveliest 4th of July weekends I've had in a long time.  Something about just sitting and talking with the ones you love is so delightfully simple.  Here are a few of my favorite things from this weekend...

Finally taking Matt to experience Foy's, an old five-and-dime store, in my dad's hometown.
(We went there every time I visited my grandparents as a kid, and I have so many happy memories in that place)...
Sitting on my grandma's patio talking about nothing but talking about everything...
Hearing more stories about my grandparents' 1945 honeymoon to Chicago...
(You can read more about sweet Dorothy and Flash here)...
Enjoying an oversized slice of apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream...
(You can't pass up apple pie on the 4th of July, its a crime!)...
Watching my grandma wave her new American flag, courtesy of Foy's...
(My grandparents are celebrities at that place)...
Sneaking off to do some dollar store shopping for our Harry Potter party this weekend...
Watching Matt clean my grandma's window screens with a toothbrush...
(and realizing how lucky I am to have a husband with such a good heart...)
Sneaking glances at small moments between my grandparents...
Loving us some 99 cent rock candy...
(We went patriotic with our flavors; Matt got red strawberry, I got blue cotton candy)...
Doting on my grandma and enjoying the shift in roles...
Wondering what Matt and I's love will be like after 66 years of marriage...
Hearing all three of my grandparents laugh.  No holding back, no half chuckles, just full and joy filled laughter...

But the best moment of the whole weekend, was catching the big fireworks show from the comfort of my grandma's driveway.  For twenty minutes, the three of stood in her driveway, leaning against her car, gazing up at the sky.  My grandma had her arm around my waist, my arm was around her shoulder, and I kept squeezing my eyes tight, thinking, "don't ever forget this moment."  It was beyond lovely, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share such a special day with such special people.


Hope your 4th was lovely!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ryan


19 years ago today, I became a big sister.  Peering at this little guy through the hospital window in my pink puff paint "I'm a big sister" shirt was one of the best days of my life.  Happy birthday, Ryan.  Being your big sister is such a joy, and I love you more than you'll ever know.

PS: Please don't be jealous of what a gorgeous eight year old I was lol :)