Thursday, June 30, 2011

One year ago today...

Since all I have been doing this summer is wearing my red tees and khaki jeans, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at what I wore one year ago today.

Thankfully, I still really like how this outfit came out, just as much as I did the last I wore it a year ago. However, just looking at this outfit brings back so many memories, and makes it very clear to me just how much has changed. For example, my hair has probably grown about six inches since this post. I am SO much closer to my goal of mermaid hair than I was last year! #winning

It's also interesting to think about just how much my routine has changed. I still remember taking this outfit photo after a long day at my internship, eating a quick microwaved dinner in my dorm room, and heading straight over to my boyfriends apartment. Now, because I am back to working part-time in retail, I occasionally have weekdays off (like today)! So, I spent today helping my mom clean out her bedroom, going to the tailor, watching Pearl Harbor, cooking, and congratulating my boyfriend on securing a full-time professional job. All in all, a completely different change of pace and routine, but, one that I am willing to accept.

In just about a month and a half, I will be heading back to school for the last time to finish my senior year of college. It's something that I am little scared of, but have known was coming for a long time. I know there are going to be a lot of changes within the next year (hopefully including a revamp of my blog!) but no matter what happens, I know I will be able to handle anything that comes my way.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Fifth Avenue




Well, my gold and black shatter nails chipped entirely off within a week (courtesy of cashiering and picking the little bits off), so I knew it was time for something new. As much as I loved how they turned out last time, I wanted something a little more summery and bright. So, I chose fifth avenue from Essie. It's perfect for the upcoming 4th of July, and I love the cheery cherry tomato color. It's the perfect mix between red and orange, and I think really complements my fair skin tone very well.

Surprisingly, I chose not to adorn my nails with anything else. No glitter, no black shatter, no nothing. Crazy right? Well I was trying something else new to make up for it - Seche Vite. I've been reading rave reviews about this top coat for awhile, so today I took the plunge and tried it. 

It's perfect. In about two minutes, I had nails that were dry to the touch. In about 30 minutes, if I banged my nails up against something, nothing happen. No nicks or smudges, just glassy looking nails.

Only cons? The odor is pretty noxious, even more so than regular polish, so try not to inhale it. Oh, and the little issue about the warning label (and I'll be careful not to let it get close to my skin). Other than that, wonderful! I think I will be using this for a long time.
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

A week in photos

Oh iPhone, how I love you. I will sing your praises by showing all my lovely photos I have taken this week. Enjoy!

Mmm homemade french fries! Plus, dining al fresco.

The prettiest sunset that my iPhone just couldn't quite capture the glory of. Oh, and the Target parking lot.

Squeezable apple sauce! As it is, I already eat apple sauce with the little foil lid instead of a spoon, so I had to try these. So yummy!

I thought I would look super cute wearing my boyfriends glasses. Yup, not really.

I spent all yesterday sitting poolside and tubing at my good friends house in Annapolis. I love summer (and the fact that I actually had a Saturday off without asking for it)!
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Pinterest

All my boards on Pinterest. Please ignore all the open tabs. 

Let's talk about Pinterest.

If you haven't been on it before, you need to - NOW. I swear, this site it the next big thing, and I was actually apart of it before the bandwagon came around. Go me! (Note that this never ever happens, I am usually very late to these things.)

But anyway, I remember reading about it months ago on some design blogs, and immediately was put on a waiting list. Within a week, I was accepted! And seriously, you would I just got accepted into my first choice university or something.

If you haven't seen this site before, it's a place where you can put together anything you find on the web to be interesting. For someone who is as OCD as I am, this is perfect! I pin pictures for good organization tips, recipes that I want to try, and styles I would like to emulate. All you have to do is click the Pinterest mark on your bookmarks, and BAM! You've pinned something.

I honestly spend countless hours on this website. It's not good. At all. But I love it anyway, so I stick with it. Plus, if you can't find things on the web on your own, you can choose from the millions of pins all over the website. BRILLIANT.

So what are you waiting for? If you choose to join, you can follow me here. Pin It

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

O.P.I Black Shatter



I don't remember the first time I read about the black shatter polish made by O.P.I. All that I remember was whenever that was, I wasn't sure what to make of it. It was definitely different, that was for sure. But was it for me? I didn't know. I usually just stick with my glitter and funky neon colors and keep it at that.

But then when I was shopping at Nordstrom Rack last weekend on sale, I couldn't help but grab a bottle. I wanted to see what all the hype was about for myself! As of recent, shatter polish has been popping up everywhere, with some different companies finally releasing their own version of the trend. In addition, there have been many other shatter colors that have came out since the release of the black. Among these, include red, white, navy, and silver.

So, because I didn't want to stray too far from the norm on my nails, I decided to pair the black shatter with my favorite gold glitter polish, Gift of Gold by O.P.I. Honestly, I love how it came out! It's such a different and unique trend for nails. Plus, I think paired with the gold, it reminds me of a cheetah print almost. Grrr.

I think the only thing I would do differently next time is to apply more of the black shatter. I had read countless times that you should only use one coat, so I did. However, I accidentally put two coats my pinkie nail, and I love the bigger chunks of black.

I'm definitely going to be using the black shatter again...there are just so many different combinations I want to use it with!
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

National Wear Your Lilly Day!



shouldn't this be on a calling card or something?
Shirt: American Eagle
Pants: Lilly Pulitzer
Scarf: Lilly Pulitzer
Shoes: Kate Spade
Today is national wear your Lilly day! As a huge fan of Lilly Pulitzer, of course I had to participate. However, since I was just going to be hanging out around the house all day doing nothing, there was no reason to pull out one of my colorful new sundresses (unfortunately). So I just threw on my new Lilly jeans and scarf that I got at the warehouse sale a couple of weeks ago, and called it a day.

In other related news, happy first real day of summer! Seeing as I have been out of school for well over a month now, it started feeling like summer a long time ago. But, this now means that the pool will be open at noon, so on days off I can attempt to develop a tan while reading some of my favorite trashy romance novels. Yay!
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

A week in photos

So because I have been working all this weekend, here's my week in iPhone photos. Enjoy :)


I found Lilly Pulitzer animal crackers at the Premium Outlets last Friday, and died. My mom was a little sad when I said it was my best find on the trip. However, it definitely was the cheapest! I munched on these during our ride home.



Mmm all the different flavors of gelato at the King of Prussia Mall. I got orange, which was delicious!


Probably one of the best quality photos I have ever taken. But I digress. I went to the Katy Perry concert on Wednesday, and had the best time. Here's a photo to prove it happened (and just how close I was)!


My little baby school was in the USA Today. For giving iPads to the freshman. As a senior, I am so angry about this decision it is not even funny. But, at least we got some attention, I guess? I really can't decide if I am happy we are getting attention for this...


I've been saying I would go through all my clothes since January, and I finally did it! Most of this stuff is just going to be donated, and the rest will be taken to the consignment shop.
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Friday, June 17, 2011

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Buttercream Icing

So Father's Day is coming up on Sunday, and as of yesterday, I still had no idea what I was getting for my dad. He has everything, and if there was something he wanted, he would just go out and buy it himself. So, I decided to make him something. My dad loves chocolate, but I wanted to do something a little different than a chocolate chip cookie, or a plain Jane chocolate cupcake. So, I decided on a mint chocolate cupcake, one of my dads favorite flavor combinations. These came out perfectly, and taste just like a thin min cookie! I will definitely be making them again in the future...maybe with thin mints on the bottom next time?

I copied the recipe I used below. I found it here.

Ingredients
Cupcakes:
8 Tbsp (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Buttercream Icing
8 Tbsp butter, room temperature (1 stick, 4 ounces)
1 Tbsp milk
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract2 cups powdered sugar
Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with cupcake liners. Use a double boiler or add an inch or two of water to a medium sized saucepan and place a metal bowl over it, bringing the water to a simmer. Add butter (cut into chunks), chocolate, cocoa to the bowl. As the butter and chocolate melt, whisk until the ingredients are well combined and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to touch.
2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
3. In a large bowl (can use a mixer), beat the eggs. Add the salt, the sugar, the mint extract and beat until well combined. Slowly add in the chocolate butter mixture and beat until combined.
4. Add in half of the sifted flour mixture, mix to combine. Mix in the sour cream. Mix in the remaining flour mixture.
5. Spoon the batter evenly into the lined muffin cups. Place in oven in middle rack. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
6. Let cool in muffin tin on a rack for 15 minutes. Then gently remove cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely before frosting.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Frosting
1. In an electric mixer, beat the butter (if making buttercream) or butter and cream cheese (if making cream cheese frosting) at medium speed until creamy. Beat in milk (if making buttercream) and mint extract.
2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar on low speed, stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until light and fluffy. Taste and add more mint extract if it isn't minty enough for you, or powdered sugar if it isn't sweet enough for you.

I also added a drop of green food coloring to the icing to get the perfect mint color, I think it looks really pretty! I also chopped up some Andes mints and sprinkled them on top for a fun garnish. Hope you guys enjoy!



Fresh out of the oven!


Fluffy mint icing...yum!


Fully garnished...soo tasty!!
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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Katy Perry Concert



Dress: I.N.C
Shoes: Steve Madden Luxe
Jacket: DKNY
Earrings: stolen from mom
Wristlet: Coach
Last night, I was going to the Katy Perry concert, and after a long day wearing my usual red and khaki, I knew I wanted to wear something fun. This gold sequined dress has only been worn once before, and it was as a skirt! Anyway, so before work when I was picking out something to wear to the concert, I saw this dress hanging sadly all the way in the back of my closet. At first, I was tentative about wearing it to the concert. While I loved it when I wore it as a skirt the first time, I was afraid of attracting to much attention in this eye-catching dress.

That's when I stopped in my tracks. I bought this dress because I loved how it looked on my body, and how the sequins caught the light - not because I liked how it looked hanging on a plastic hanger with the rest of my black clothes. I thought if I ever did wear this dress it would be on News Year Eve, when all over sequins are completely appropriate. But then I thought to myself, how is a Katy Perry concert not perfect occasion? She has a love of all things pink, sparkly, girl, and glittery (as evidenced by her almost overwhelming stage set up at the concert). So, I went with the dress.

Walking through the concert gates, I knew I made the right decision. I saw many girls wearing sequined tops, and over-the-top make-up, but not one other girl wearing an all over sequined dress. I ended up attracting quite a bit of attention; I saw many people looking me up and down, and a couple of strangers came up to me and told me they loved my dress. It was the ultimate confidence booster.

The concert was a blast, and I couldn't stop myself from smiling the entire night. Katy Perry put together a show that required a lot of energy, but you could just tell that she was having so much fun, and loved what she was doing. Overall, it was a great night out, and this one of a kind dress was just the cherry on top.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Haul Video - FINALLY

I was finally able to get my video to upload on Vimeo...I think that took almost 48 hours? Possibly more? I don't know. I'm just happy it's done, and I hope you enjoy!

Side notes
-I make some strange faces in this. Please ignore them.
-Also, my voice sounds super weird on camera. Try not to let that distract you.
-I like to talk. A lot.
-Also, my room is a mess! This is usually never the case, I promise.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale Haul (just kidding).

So I decided to make a video haul of everything I got at the Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale, the King of Prussia Mall, and the Premium Outlets in Limerick, PA. I actually had a lot of fun making this, and I hope you all enjoy.

scratch that. (I wrote that  ^ yesterday).

So I made the video yesterday, right? And it's a minute over the upload length that Youtube allows. I have been trying to upload it on Vimeo, but I have been waiting in line for it to convert for over 9 hours, and I still can't watch the video! I am very very frustrated right now, because I was pretty happy with how it had came out. I guess I will try again sometime on Thursday when I am off, but until then...I will try and talk less?
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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer Warehouse Sale

If you wondering where I have been this weekend, I actually have a good excuse. No, seriously. Usually on the weekends I am slaving away at Target, cashiering to the masses of stay at home moms and people who don't have time to shop on the weekday. However, I asked for this weekend off so I could head to Philadelphia with my mom and aunt for ...  THE LILLY PULITZER WAREHOUSE SALE. I die.

I first heard about this via the Lilly Pulitzer page on Facebook about two months ago, and immediately I was planning the trip. Once I realized I had to ask my mom, I figured there was no way I would be going, since it is really hard for my mom to get time off, and I knew she would want to come. Anyway, when she said we could go, I was so happy! I haven't been shopping with my mom since my birthday, so we decided to make a big shopping trip out of the sale with my aunt. On Friday, we spent our time at the Lilly Pulitzer warehouse sale, the Premium Outlets in Limerick, and Nordstrom Rack. On Saturday, we attempted to conquer some of the King of Prussia mall, which really is impossible to do in a day.

Anyway, I had so much fun! My mom and I spent way too much money, like way more than we ever usually spend. But as I kept saying, we don't really go on big shopping trips like this more than two or three times a year, so it makes the blow a little less harsh. We really aren't the type to go shopping every weekend. Plus, I got a lot of things I have been looking for every time I have gone shopping recently, so I was very happy about that.

In addition, I want to do a haul post, so I am thinking about making a video haul (yea, I really got that much stuff). But I am not sure if I will... we will see.


 lots of colorful Lilly pants. Gratuitous blurry shot courtesy of my shaky hands and iPhone.
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

iPhone


On Tuesday, my 2 year plan with my Versa finally ended. Now, I can almost guarantee this is the first time you are ever seeing this phone. because it's a piece of crap. However, it did last the full two years with me without breaking or falling apart, so I guess it can't be that bad. 

Anyway, I headed over to the Verizon store with my mom on Tuesday with a pretty good idea as to what to get: the white iPhone 4. I have read nothing but good reviews about it, and I love the aesthetics - it's a beautiful phone. And although I looked at other regular cell phones(there were approximately four choices, all of which looked absolutely archaic), the Blackberry, and the Droid, I was already sold on the iPhone. As a result, my oldest brother has been making fun of me ever since I brought it home - saying I have become one of Steve Jobs cult followers. But I have not, and I will not.

Since I have brought it home, I have not stopped playing with it yet! I've been making ringtones, taking pictures, and checking my email. I love it! The only thing I am worried about it my phone being out of date within two months time, but I am going to try not to be bothered by it. This is by far the nicest phone I have ever had, so I don't know what could be much better. 

Now, there is the only thing left to do: find a case! The sales person at the store attempted to sell me one of theirs, but I wouldn't buy one. I think he was afraid that I wasn't going to get a case, but that's not the case (HAHA-unintentional pun). I want my case to be a reflection of me; something stylish, bright and fun. As of right now, I am torn between two choices.



The first, is from Kate Spade, and the second is from Lilly Pulitzer. Although I really want to get both, I know I should just get one from now. What do you guys think? Does anyone else who has an iPhone have recommendations for stylish cases?

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Lazy Summer Daze


Shirt: Ralph Lauren
Shorts: American Eagle
Shoes: BCBG Max Axria
Necklace: Erickson Beamon for Target

A perfect outfit to wear around the house while finishing cleaning my room, running errands, and reading outside. Oh, and did I forget to mention - not working?! There's nothing like a t-shirt and cutoff shorts in the summer.
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Cinnamon



Dress: I.N.C
Cardigan: Calvin Klein
Shoes: BCBG Max Azria
Wow. Two outfit posts in a row! I feel very accomplished.

During the school year, this really isn't a big deal at all, seeing as I have to get dressed in a somewhat presentable manner and go to class every day. However, during the summer it is much harder. Working at Target, I am forced to wear my red and khaki uniform at least five days a week, and I never feel like changing into something cuter later during the day. Last summer, this wasn't a problem at all because of my internship that required me to get a little more dressed up than usual. Anyway, I'll make it through the summer with posts about other stuff, and get back to daily outfit posts in the fall. 

Today I am not off, but I don't go to work until 7 p.m. tonight. Seriously, who's idea was this? We close at 11 p.m, so I'm basically going in for a four hour shift, during the slowest part of the day. I know, I shouldn't complain about how I have a job when so many others don't. But seriously, this is the dumbest idea ever.

Finally, you may have noticed I got my hair did. I should have got it done about three months ago, when my roots were first beginning to badly show. But, being away during spring break (when I usually get my hair done), hearing a rumor that my stylist had left the salon I go to, and not being able to agree on an appointment once I discovered she had never left the salon made it almost impossible. But, I have finally got rid of my gross roots, and dyed my hair. I have been wanting to go back to this shade ever since my hair color choices appeared to be more and more orange, and less auburn. This shade is actually called cinnamon - doesn't that just sound so rich and beautiful?

I really loved how it turned out. It's much darker than what I have had in awhile, but it's perfect. Here's a photo without the windblown hair in face effect.

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hello middle schooler



Shirt: Ralph Lauren
Shorts: Hollister
Shoes: Sperry
Bag: Coach
Belt: Gap
I would have loved this outfit at 13. Loved it! I mean, look at all the brand names - the Hollister short shorts, the signature patterned Coach purse, and the Ralph Lauren polo with the jockey and pony positioned on the shirt where everyone can see.

Twenty year old me isn't the biggest fan (and I almost typed 19...what's my age again?) However, I stayed over in Frederick last night, and couldn't think of anything to wear. I just wanted something that would keep me cool, and wouldn't stick to my hot leather seats on the drive home. So, into my duffel bag this ensemble went. This outfit was good for that, but not much more than that and preventing me from being naked. You win some, you lose some.

In other unrelated news, I went to the mall with my best friend from home today to help her pick out some new dress clothes, and hopefully find some inspiration for cute summer outfits. Unfortunately, there was no such luck. Well, on the second mission. All the stuff I  saw on the mannequins and on the clothes racked just looked the same as every other summer. I didn't even buy anything! That was kind of a miracle too. I don't think it helped that I was exhausted while attempting to shop. I kept sitting down on almost every bench in the store. Usually, I can wander around the store for quite awhile, trying things on, going through sale racks, and touching all the different fabrics. Today was just not that kind of day.

I'm just going to be happy I got an outfit post in. Good enough. Pin It

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Graduation No. 3

The last Castner to graduate from AHS.

The boyfriend came with. Also note that I am wearing Lilly, just like I always do at graduations.

Yesterday, I attended my third (and last!!) graduation of the month for my little brother, Grant. Even though it was a scorching 95 degrees out, I still had a lot of fun being there.

I can't believe that this was me three years ago. I can still remember the day just like it was yesterday. Seeing all the girls taking silly pictures, fixing each others hair, and hugging, brought back so many memories (good and bad). Overall, I'm so glad that high school is over with. Although I wasn't sure that I was going to love college, I did. It was better than I ever thought it could be, and a real difference from the traditional high school work load - which I needed to push me. 

There were a lot of people at graduation who had graduated in my class present yesterday, which was interesting too. A lot of people looked completely different (again, good and bad change), or had a completely different attitude. Which made me wander, how do people see me?
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