Wednesday, March 31, 2010

do you lilac it?

Spring has sprung. I know this because I am suffering from allergies for the first time in my life. I feel very lucky to have never had allergies before because they suck. Bad. Other than that, the sun is shining, there has been a few beautiful days (even though snow is coming this weekend) and I am exploring my summer vacation options. Needless to say, my last month of school is the last thing on my mind, because shopping for spring/summer clothes, planning vacations, and painting my nails is much more fun. Here are a few things I have been distracting myself with today...

do you lilac it
is my new favorite nail polish color. OPI, obviously, best colors, best names, best product.

Many of my friends are going to coachella in a few weeks, and even though I'm not attending, I will be waiting for photos, stories, and everything in between when they return. This see by chloe cross body bag is so cute, and would be one of my must have accessories for the festival.

After seeing my friend Kristen's good finds from LC by Lauren Conrad at Kohl's, I decided to check it out as well. Not only did I copy Kristen's purchase of this tunic, but i also picked up a skirt, and sweater! I do pride myself on being able to find something to buy at every store I go into, but I didn't think I would find pieces this great at Kohl's!

The Sandra Bullock Trade

This is a very interesting article with a look into what happened to Sandra Bullock, as well as an overall critique of our priorities.


Published: March 29, 2010

Two things happened to Sandra Bullock this month. First, she won an Academy Award for best actress. Then came the news reports claiming that her husband is an adulterous jerk. So the philosophic question of the day is: Would you take that as a deal? Would you exchange a tremendous professional triumph for a severe personal blow?

On the one hand, an Academy Award is nothing to sneeze at. Bullock has earned the admiration of her peers in a way very few experience. She’ll make more money for years to come. She may even live longer. Research by Donald A. Redelmeier and Sheldon M. Singh has found that, on average, Oscar winners live nearly four years longer than nominees that don’t win.

Nonetheless, if you had to take more than three seconds to think about this question, you are absolutely crazy. Marital happiness is far more important than anything else in determining personal well-being. If you have a successful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many professional setbacks you endure, you will be reasonably happy. If you have an unsuccessful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many career triumphs you record, you will remain significantly unfulfilled.

This isn’t just sermonizing. This is the age of research, so there’s data to back this up. Over the past few decades, teams of researchers have been studying happiness. Their work, which seemed flimsy at first, has developed an impressive rigor, and one of the key findings is that, just as the old sages predicted, worldly success has shallow roots while interpersonal bonds permeate through and through.

For example, the relationship between happiness and income is complicated, and after a point, tenuous. It is true that poor nations become happier as they become middle-class nations. But once the basic necessities have been achieved, future income is lightly connected to well-being. Growing countries are slightly less happy than countries with slower growth rates, according to Carol Graham of the Brookings Institution and Eduardo Lora. The United States is much richer than it was 50 years ago, but this has produced no measurable increase in overall happiness. On the other hand, it has become a much more unequal country, but this inequality doesn’t seem to have reduced national happiness.

On a personal scale, winning the lottery doesn’t seem to produce lasting gains in well-being. People aren’t happiest during the years when they are winning the most promotions. Instead, people are happy in their 20’s, dip in middle age and then, on average, hit peak happiness just after retirement at age 65.

People get slightly happier as they climb the income scale, but this depends on how they experience growth. Does wealth inflame unrealistic expectations? Does it destabilize settled relationships? Or does it flow from a virtuous cycle in which an interesting job produces hard work that in turn leads to more interesting opportunities?

If the relationship between money and well-being is complicated, the correspondence between personal relationships and happiness is not. The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others. The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting. According to one study, joining a group that meets even just once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income. According to another, being married produces a psychic gain equivalent to more than $100,000 a year.

If you want to find a good place to live, just ask people if they trust their neighbors. Levels of social trust vary enormously, but countries with high social trust have happier people, better health, more efficient government, more economic growth, and less fear of crime (regardless of whether actual crime rates are increasing or decreasing).

The overall impression from this research is that economic and professional success exists on the surface of life, and that they emerge out of interpersonal relationships, which are much deeper and more important.

The second impression is that most of us pay attention to the wrong things. Most people vastly overestimate the extent to which more money would improve our lives. Most schools and colleges spend too much time preparing students for careers and not enough preparing them to make social decisions. Most governments release a ton of data on economic trends but not enough on trust and other social conditions. In short, modern societies have developed vast institutions oriented around the things that are easy to count, not around the things that matter most. They have an affinity for material concerns and a primordial fear of moral and social ones.

This may be changing. There is a rash of compelling books — including “The Hidden Wealth of Nations” by David Halpern and “The Politics of Happiness” by Derek Bok — that argue that public institutions should pay attention to well-being and not just material growth narrowly conceived.

Governments keep initiating policies they think will produce prosperity, only to get sacked, time and again, from their spiritual blind side.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

l'elegance: Lillian and Caleb

Congratulations to my dear friends Lillian and Caleb. Today I will be in their wedding and I want to dedicate this post to them. They are fabulous, fun, and I know they will be together forever. Couldn't be happier for them to get married and I'm so honored to be a part of it! Love you guys tons!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

l'elegance: home decor

This website is gorgeous. Hopefully one day when I'm rolling around in dollar bills and bathing in only Evian water I can hire this interior decorator for a few of my houses! Thanks to the lovely Shannon for this website. My favorite is the pink chairs over the zebra rug in the San Francisco residence. Unfortunately these days I will be sticking to a different form of home decor.
The ability to decorate on a budget is clutch, and I have been trying to perfect my skills. So far, I think some good guidelines are to splurge on things for your bed. Sleep is one of the most important factors for good health, so spending a little extra on soft sheets, or a down comforter is worth it. In terms of cutting costs, go for cheap brands on curtains, accent rugs, and frames. People will be focusing on the pictures in the frame, not the frame itself. Not to mention Target has some great frames for great prices. My last rule, or piece of advice is to never force something in your room or house. Just because you need a coffee table doesn't mean you should buy one that you don't love. Wait until you find great pieces you love, then you will not only love your home, but you will take better care of the pieces too!
I'm moving in August and already trying to figure out how I want to decorate, so far these are a few things I'm hoping to purchase: this poster, these tiles, and this vase. I might even try to make my own headboard. For more inspiration, ideas, and pictures, check out this website!

Earthquakes: The Evilest

During my recent trip to SF I was having quite the anxiety about earthquakes. Some friends seemed more concerned than others, so regardless your previous concern, take a look at these helpful websites; What to do during an earthquake, after an earthquake, and a few tips on how to be prepared for an earthquake.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yesterday we went to Sam's Cafe for brunch. Beautiful views, and delicious food as well. It is a waterfront restaurant in the town of Tiburon, in Marin County just on the other side of the golden gate bridge. The town was the perfect getaway for Sunday afternoon out of the busy city. We first had oysters, guacamole, and calamari for appetizers. Then I had a spinach salad and a crab salad sandwich. I think this was the first time I've ever had crab salad, so perfect and refreshing when sitting in the sun. I can't wait to try cooking this when I get home!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Evil: Animal Style Fries

Okay, I have been dreaming and craving these fries for over a year now. IN-N-OUT is a delicious burger joint native to California, their burgers and fries are to die for, and they use high quality foods to make it all. They also have a 'not-so-secret menu' online, because their menus at locations are very basic. The last time I was in California I was introduced to animal style fries, from IN-N-OUT and couldn't get enough. I havent been in a state that has IN-N-OUT since January 2009. I have requested that our first stop after being picked up from the airport is to IN-N-OUT so that I can enjoy these utterly delicious evil fries.

Spring Break: Part 1

Today I fly to San Francisco for the beginning of my last spring break. I will be staying with some lovely ladies on Lombard St. I'm so excited to see them, and to have them show me around their city. Hopefully we can keep it both elegant and evil this trip. My blogs the next week or so will probably be sporadic and influenced by my travels, I will definitely be looking for inspiration everywhere, and keep you posted on my findings!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

l'elegance: the color green

Super cute cocktail dress, perfect for spring. I absolutely love the color!

Not my usual style, but elegant all the same,

I wasn't sure about this watch on first glance but now I am positive I like it.

Feeling Evil? Thin Mint Shots

Saint Patrick's Day. Here again already.... I remember last year's celebration and I can't believe it's already been a year! Unfortunately I will not be celebrating too much today, but given my upcoming vacation I can't complain. For those of you that are celebrating, try making this shot. It's so delicious and perfect for today's festivities!

Thin Mint Shot
1/2 oz. Creme de Cacao (white)
1/2 oz. Creme de Menthe (green)
1/4 oz. Baileys Irish Creme
1/4 oz. Stoli Vanilla Vodka

Pour all ingredients on ice. Shake vigorously. Strain and serve!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Remember Me

Oh my gawd. I just got home from Remember Me, with Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Raven. It was AMAZING. Some might call it evil, some elegant, you tell me. Regardless, I will definitely be seeing this again in the theater.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Deliciously Evil

How evil are these cupcakes? They are from the wonderfully delicious Tea&Cakes in Boulder, CO. I have been craving one for about three weeks now. The selection of different flavors is unreal, including Bacon (left), Red Velvet (top), and Chocolate Coconut (right). Not to mention the presentation is absolutely beautiful. They are even making three new flavors especially for St. Patrick's Day! YUMZ!

TOMS Shoes

TOMS shoes was founded on the concept of One For One. Basically for every pair of shoes sold, they will donate a pair to a child in need. Great concept, no doubt about it. However, the shoes are a little questionable. I thought they were heinous... at first. But now, either the humanitarian is taking over the fashionista or I've seen them worn enough to think they might actually be cute. I tried on these ugly little ducking shoes about a week ago and wanted a pair the minute my foot touched the utterly comfortable sole. They are SO comfortable, but everyone knows comfort does not equal fashionable, so over the past week I have been asking almost everyone I know their opinion on these shoes. Overall, I have gotten a very positive response, but the general consensus is that there is a time and a place to wear these shoes; possibly with leggings and a long tunic while running errands around town, or jorts and layered tanks in the summer. Regardless of your opinions on their look, you have to agree they are for a great cause, so hopefully I only wear them when appropriate, and hopefully somewhere a needy child is loving their TOMS as much as I am loving mine! I bought these, and I'm seriously considering buying a pair of the glitters... too much?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

l'elegange: positive attitudes

The weather this weekend in Boulder, Colorado was absolutely fabulous. Not to sound cheesy, but anyone that has ever lived here knows exactly the days I'm talking about. Sunny, 60-70 degrees, rooftop bars are calling your name... My friend Julia and I used to call them sunshine days and we would sit on our friend's front porch soaking up the sun and drinking Sunshine. But today, the sunshine is over. It's cloudy and 36 degrees. So even though I want to lay in bed all day, doing nothing but watching movies and avoiding my long to-do list, I will embrace this quote.
Having a positive attitude is downright annoying sometimes, but I have found that sucking it up, making the best of things, and looking for the positive in every situation has helped me get through some situations I would have rather avoided all together. On that note, let me say Happy Sunday! I wish you all luck in completing the tasks you have avoided all weekend, and setting the stage for a wonderful week!

Evil Luggage for an Evil Task

Packing is such a bitch. I will be packing this week for my 10 day spring break vacation to San Francisco and Austin. Having this beautifully evil Alexander McQueen luggage would make packing so much easier....
What is the best way to pack? When I travel I want to be prepared for every situation or outing I'm going to, and I want to look appropriate for each. A few of my planned outings for this trip include endless happy hours, drinks in the castro, a bachelorette party, rehearsal luncheon, and a wedding that I am a bridesmaid in. Needless to say there are a few key outfits I better remember to put in my suitcase, but what about everything in between? Not to mention the shoes (how many is too many?), make-up, and accessories.
I am such a planner, and OCD freak about my life and house, I keep my hairbrush in the same place, my make-up never leaves the bathroom, my clothes are organized by color hanging in my closet, so trying to pack my organized life into a suitcase for a week is exactly the opposite of fun. Don't get me wrong, I love traveling, and I'm ecstatic about going on this trip, but the process of changing my everyday routine into a travel savvy practice is harder than I want it to be.
So as I begin this week, I will be taking on the evil task of packing, wishing I had beautiful luggage to make it easier, all the while dreaming of my first glass of wine on the plane to San Francisco.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

SAVE THE DATE (not for me)

Weddings and engagements have a variety of themes, elegance being one; all white, lace, over the top flowers, etc. Save the dates are usually a more casual and fun way to let people know you're getting married and save that date for them. This is the most creative and adorable save the date I have ever seen. I don't know these people, I got this in an e-mail from a friend who got it from a friend and so on. After watching this video I can only say these two might be the most creative bride and groom since the whole youtube wedding fiasco (Which was not creative, but more hilarious in an 'omygodimsogladiwasntatthiswedding' kind of way). So here you go, the best save the date I've ever seen!


Evil Avatar

I personally think Avatar was a waste of time and money. I was thrilled when it didn't win Best Picture. I will give them props for the visuals of the movie, but the story line was totez miz. One positive thing that did come from the story line, is this video. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

EVIL: Thank You Chris Brown

Is it too early to make nominations for video/song of the year? I can't get this song of video out of my head. I'm completely obsessed, and for once, I will thank Chris Brown, because all signs point to him being the inspiration behind it.

l'elegance: return policies

Fabulous return policies are not necessarily elegant but they definitely are the opposite of evil. When realizing a high-waisted belt I purchased, was a size too big, I was so relieved to remember I bought it somewhere that it could be easily exchanged. Everyone today is busy, and our lives get hectic, so how are we supposed to keep all of our receipts on file for when we make a mistake shopping? Luckily, there are a few stores, that have wonderful return and exchange policies. Knowing this, and loving this, should encourage you to honor this. So just because a store will accept a return a year after you purchased something, doesn't mean you should return it when you get tired of it. Respect the stores that allow lenient returns, they have these policies in place to promote loyal customers, not borrowers. I say this not to preach a message, but because in the past I have been guilty of abusing these policies, and currently I am making a conscious effort to make smart shopping decisions, and only use the return/exchange policy when it is ethical.
Being the internet addict that I am, I obviously love shopping online. Thus, my new favorite part of a return policy, is the freedom to order online and make returns in store. I once ordered some shoes from Steve Madden, and when they didn't fit, I drove them to the store, only to find out I would have to fill out a return form, print out a label, and pay to ship them back to the warehouse. Here are a list of stores that have great return policies regardless of shopping in-store, or online:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bitches and Bullock

the evil:

Bitch (as defined by webster):

1 : the female of the dog or some other carnivorous mammals

2 a : a lewd or immoral woman b : a

malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman —sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse

3 : something that is extremely difficult, objectionable,
or unpleasant
My personal favorites are numbers 40, 60, 74, and obviously #88.


For my inspiration on elegance and beauty today I turn to Sandra Bullock. An unlikely candidate. Sandy is an Austin native just like myself, however I have never thought of her as oscar-worthy, given I didn't see The Blind Side, so I really can make no assessment on her prize. However, her dress, make-up, and hair were so beautifully put together for the Oscars. If the outfit, and natural beauty weren't enough, her speech was flawless; well prepared, well delivered, humble, and honest. Congrats to Sandra Bullock, something to talk about, both on screen and red carpet.

and so it begins...

In the past months I have become religiously attached and addicted to blogs. It is my favorite distraction on the internet, and I am constantly on the internet, so any website that can steer my attention away from facebook is gladly accepted. Because of these blogs, I have decided to start my own. I am totally starting from scratch with no real direction or purpose, other than having fun. So, as I start this blog, I will leave you with these amazing, helpful, and fun blogs that have inspired this one.