New Year Resolutions Check Up

source: imgfave

Well, the first month of the new year has now come and gone. How have you done on your resolutions? Be honest with yourself... this is where you need to realize what you might be doing that is holding you back from fulfilling those dreams and resolutions. I recently came across an article about Things You Should Stop Doing. It really put things into perspective. They said that resolutions should not be about stuff you should START but stuff you should STOP. Most people's resolutions are "to start going to the gym". Well, in this case it should be something like "to stop making excuses". What do you think? 

so. true. Source: imgfave


Goodbye Junk Drawer, Hello Organization

Do you ever find yourself digging helplessly in a junk drawer trying to find a paper clip? Every find yourself cursing at the pile of miss-matched tupperware because you couldn't FOR THE LIFE OF YOU find the top to any bottom? You are not alone. Life is messy and we are not making it any easier on ourselves. I'm not saying junk drawers are worthless because were else would you house items like a lint roller? (Necessary for all pet owners) When it comes to small spaces and items the key is: there's a place for everything and everything is in it's place.

The first order of business for you is tackling those old pens. You and I both know that half of those are on their last leg (or note), if that. I have an entire bin of pens and I can bet you a large amount of money that half of those pens don't even work anymore. Why do we constantly feel that throwing it back into the pile will magically make ink reappear inside? 

If you are like the majority of us unorganized Americans then check out Real Simple's Spall Spaces Storage Ideas. It's okay, you can do it!


Forever 21's Exclusive Design Collection

The Budget Fashionista recently shared with us some looks from Forever 21's new Exclusive Designs Lookbook. I always have mixed feeling about Forever 21. I love how affordable their clothes are and that there is alway plenty of variety in the stores. BUT HOT DAMN, it's so hard to shop in there. It is always a mess, always packed, always a line wrapping around the store for the dressing room. Is it just a Mall of America thing or is it like that every where? I must say, though, that stepping foot into the 3 story Forever 21 on Michigan Avenue in Chicago was an out-of-this-world experience. I could have spent hours in that place if Alvi wasn't with me (poor guy). There were so many lines and collections that I didn't even know existed! I think I spent the majority of money from our Chicago trip (besides all the money spent on taxis) solely in that store. Worth. Every. Penny.

Check out some more looks here
My favorite that I've seen so far? This black & white striped jacket.

shopping, lights, glamour



Tasty Super Bowl Treats

It's weird having a Sunday and not "watching" football. I say "watching" because I'm usually doing something else and just listening to my guy friends scream at the TV. 

I'm going to be completely honest when I say..... I don't care about football. I know, I know, how un-American of me. I just don't! I never really have and I highly doubt I ever really will. I would much rather watch baseball or hockey (I'm from Minnesota it would be a sin not to enjoy hockey more than any other sport). Buuuuut, I do highly enjoy Super Bowl parties, enjoying the company of my friends, and the fantastic food I wouldn't normally indulge in. It's basically a reason to binge drink and eat. Rough life, right?

I came across this post while reading 20 Going On 80 and I had to share. These are some crazy creative treats... and they all look REAL tasty. Go check out her page for more information on recipes and more.

Who are you rooting for this year? Since I'm not very educated when it comes to football I usually don't cheer for one team over another (unless its the Vikings or Packers). So.... GO GIANTS & GO PATS.

Etsy Favorites: Chipmunk Cheeks

Am I the only one who finds themselves browsing through Etsy with tears in their eyes because you're filled with so much envy? There are so many unbelievably talented and creative people in this world. I have like.... 1/60th the creativity that some of these people have. I was browsing through the Paper Goods section of Etsy and happened across this shop called Chipmunk Cheeks. The owner is not only a designer but a florist and you can tell! My jaw was on the floor when I saw these pictures. That elephant? I would have that blown up and hanging in my bedroom in 3 seconds if I could. Keep up the fantastic and imaginative work, Katie!

Go check her out, seriously. Best of all? Most of her prints are only $20. Affordable and adorable, just how I like it. 


Polyvore Set

To Kindle or Not to Kindle?

source: imgfave.com

You may have read by now that I'm obsessed with books and reading. There is nothing better than getting lost in a different world. While reading a book, my life consumes it. I dream about the characters, I relate my life to the plot, I even get sad (and grieve) when the story is over. I know I can't be the only person who is like this. I love the smell and feel of books. Opening that page and diving into a new story full of emotions and memories. Ah, ok I'm sounding crazy.
ANYWAYS - the main reason for this post is that I've been thinking about the pros and cons of an e-reader. My friend, Calli, owns one and so does my dad. I've read one book (the 2nd book of the Hunger Games trilogy, in fact) on one and still have mixed feelings. 
I recently came across an article talking about the 7 reasons why you SHOULD try out an e-reader. Check it out here

What do you guys think? Are you a book or an e-reader fan


Green with Envy

original photos: fabsugar

Leave it to Jessica Alba to make me swoon over an outfit. Blazers have been making their way into people's closets for the past couple of years. It's a timeless piece that works on all body types. Here, Jessica plays into an upcoming spring trend: pops of color! Miss Alba chose a Lisa Ho blazer in this wonderful green color. She pairs it with candy-colored Tibi blouse and 70's inspired flares. Amazing. She finishes the outfit off with gold-colored platforms and bracelets. 
Would you rock this blazer? 

Chalkboard Paint

all photos found on pinterest

I've been obsessed with chalkboard paint. There are so many creative and fun ways that you can use it. In the kitchen, while organizing supplies/materials, as a headboard, etc. One of my favorite ways that I've seen it used is in an empty frame on the wall. This way you can continuously change the quote/saying as often as you want! For me, this is a plus because I'm constantly looking for ways to change things. I get bored very, very easily. Here is an article about some of the best uses for this paint. How would you use it?

Another favorite is this serving tray:
source: pinterest



Elizabeth Olson Makeup

Line & Labelholics Anonymous  recently posted this fantastic picture of Mary Kate and Ashley's little sister, Elizabeth. I don't know too many girls that aren't in love with the Olson daughters and it's nice to see that the littlest one gets some love too. How could she not with a gorgeous face like that? Those girls have some damn good genes. I'm loving her natural look here. The makeup is beautiful and fresh... and very simple!

1: Christian Dior "DiorShow New Look Mascara"
$28.50, www.sephora.com
2: Fresh "Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment"
3: Clinique "Colour Surge Eye Shadow Trio "Come Heather"
4: Clinique "Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion"
5: Tarte Cheek Stain "True Love"

original post: here


Jason Wu for Target

I was beaming from ear to ear when I saw that FabSugar was showing a preview of Jason Wu's upcoming line for Target. Um, obsessed. I'm absolutely loving the pretty blouses (especially that blush polka-dot) as well as those bags. I will most definitely be snatching up that black lace clutch! What do you think? What are items are you most excited for? Jason Wu's collection will be hitting stores February 5th.

A Post a Day: 14 Days of Love

I love Valentine's Day! It's an excuse to go on a date with my bearded-beau and it makes me feel all nostalgic (remember decorating shoe boxes?). I know most people are not fans of cupid and his holiday but it's not just for couples. Who says you can't dress up, go out and celebrate with your girlfriends? Trust me, being single doesn't mean you have to sit at home with take-out chinese. In honor of this heart-filled holiday, I thought I would make a post accordingly starting February 1st leading up to the 14th. 
I would love if you joined in and shared your ideas and inspiration! If you do, comment on this post with your blog so I (and others) can go check out what you're posting!

Happy Love Month :)


Emmy Rossum for Self Magazine

I was so happy to see Emmy Rossum modeling these great outfits in this month's edition of Self Magazine. It was refreshing to see these revamped classic pieces. This spread reminds girls to take risks in fashion, whether it's a scalloped lace long-sleeve paired with bright skinnies or sporting modern pleats. I love that she also nods to the newest spring trend: brights. Below is my favorite:

I'm loving those shorts!
What do you think? Would you rock any of these pieces?

ModCloth's Pinterest Contest

I was so happy when I saw that ModCloth was doing a theme contest on Pinterest! These are so fun to do and I immediately jumped on the opportunity. This contest is up and running until January 27th so head on over here to read more about it. Check out my board: here


Instagram Instants

Just a few photographs that I took on my phone over the past week:

one My beautiful necklace that was gifted to my mom from Italy. two We celebrated Alvi's little brother's 21st birthday and Dave & Busters. three Wristbands for Jack Jablonski, a local high school hockey player who was severely injured during a game. four Nothing better than a relaxing bath. five New hair! six The Cathedral in St. Paul seven pretty little wreath at the Markhams eight Fireplaces are necessary in Minnesota. nine Boyd enjoying his bed ten Minneapolis skyline. eleven St Paul skyline


Prep Once, Eat Healthy All Week Long

 Ever find yourself struggling to make dinner during the week? You might be too tired from a long day at work or maybe you aren't inspired to whip something up. I was happy when reading my Self Magazine last month and they had an article Prep Once, Eat Healthy All Week. I can honestly say that prepping saves my life. I typically go grocery shopping on the weekend and then plan out and prep my meals for the week. This way it's easy to eat on the go and helps me to eat healthy. Self Magazine made it EVEN easier for you - They gave you a grocery list, exactly how to prep everything and then recipes for dinner for the entire week. Smart, simple, healthy.


Mixtape: Ladies

source: imgfave

1. Dessa - Dixon's Girl
2. Tristan Prettyman - Shy That Way
3. Florence + The Machine - Lover to Lover
4. Adele - That's It, I Quit
5. Lissie - Worried About
6. Fiona Apple - Paper Bag
7. Jenny Lewis - Rise Up With Fists
8. Rihanna - You Da One
9. Sia - Paranoid Android
10. Duffy - Syrup & Honey


Shit Girl's Say...

Being the twitter-whore I am, I didn't hesitate to follow Shit Girl's Say's page. They tweet sayings that most women say on a daily basis. They are HILARIOUS and so true. Some favorites of mine are: "Rude.", "Am I hungry?", "He's going to be so hot when he's older", and "First of all, ew". I've heard all of these and more. Seriously, go check them out.
But, so they have made some videos (their first one is posted above) and it has become viral. It has also inspired various people to make their own take on the video. Below are some of those:


Instagram Instants

Nothing too exciting happened this last week, but I still snapped a few pictures on my phone. From right to left, top to bottom: 
picture 1: The long drive to my brother's house has one advantage: city lights.
picture 2: a photo from my #janphotoaday challenge on Instagram. This day was a "close up" of some beads on my mom's lamp.
picture 3: PROF TICKETS!!!! 
picture 4: the planning process of some paintings I'm working on


Golden Globes Fashion Re-cap

I could go on forever about the dresses at the Golden Globes. They are so, so, so fabulous! Can you imagine what it must feel like to be wearing something like that? I would die. I decided to choose only a few dresses that I liked instead of... the thousand that I liked. Luckily, the fantastic blog Fab Sugar had great photos.

1. Rooney Mara stunned in Nina Ricci dress from her Pre-Fall 2012 collection.

2. Reese really wore a lovely red Zac Posen dress paired with perfect bedhead.

3. It took me a minute to really appreciate how beautiful Evan Rachel Wood makes this Gucci dress. Her makeup and hair are perfection.

4. One of my favorite looks: Jessica Biel. She wore an absolutely stunning Elie Saab dress that looked so beautiful on her toned body and her dark hair. Amazing.

5. Emma Stone went a completely different way than her bleach-blonde, peach dress last year. This year she chose a burgundy Lanvin dress.

6. I can see why George Clooney chose Stacy Keibler to be his arm candy. She looked gorgeous in this red form-fitting gown. 

7. I'm in love with Mila always and it was no surprised that she wore a fantastic Christian Dior dress.

8. How effing cute is Michelle Williams? Her hair is basically the reason I chose her to be included in this but she also blew us away in this Jason Wu dress. 

9. Um, Dianna Agron and I need to be best friends. Not only is she the genius behind You, Me and Charlie but she also can pull of those red lips. 

10. Sofia Vergara would make anything look beautiful. She has the perfect body for this Vera Wang gown. The straight hair and simple jewelry are amazing, as well.

11. Um, remember Piper Perabo? Coyote Ugly right a bell? I actually gasped when I saw her. A. because where the hell has she been? and B. That this lavender-gray Theyskens' Theory is too. die. for. 


Red Bull's Crashed Ice

photo by: @bengarvin

If you live in Minnesota then I'm sure you were either at or watching Red Bull's Crashed Ice in downtown St. Paul on Saturday. They built a quarter-mile crash-course where skaters race to the bottom trying not to break any bones. The skaters could reach up to 40 mph! It was ridiculous... and cold. Us true Minnesotans bundled up in many layers and braved the cold weather to watch hockey players hurt themselves. Classic entertainment, right? It was well worth it, though. Not only was it awesome to see the entire set-up, lights, and some celebs like Travis Pastrana but it was held at one of the most beautiful places in St. Paul. The Cathedral is BEYOND gorgeous during the day, but lit up at night was breath-taking. My favorite part is Summit Avenue, which houses some of the most beautiful and historic buildings. I actually enjoyed the mile and a half walk from our car in the freezing cold (wearing moccasins because I wasn't prepared) because of all the pretty things to look at. Below are some pictures I took on my phone:

Here is a video from Red Bull's page. It shows you a little more about the event:

photo: @bengarvin

Craving Travel

I'm craving a vacation. I would accept a place ticket to ANY WHERE. I just need to get out of Minnesota for a few days and experience something else. Get away from all the chaos and hoopla that is my life these days. I've been privileged enough to get away at least once every year, whether a weekend road trip or a week long vacation. 

If you had the opportunity to travel any where in the United States right now, where would you choose? Me? It's a toss-up between a shopping extravaganza in New York or visiting the bay area in California.


Minnesota Gems part 2

I didn't learn about Sibley Park until my junior year of college. A friend of mine had gone their with an ex-girlfriend before and knew that I appreciated both nature and animals. Needless to say, I died. We spent an entire afternoon there the day that he took me. Since then, it's been a place that I love to go to get away and become with with... the world. It's a great place to read, go for walks, or just see all the different farm animals.

The Orpheum Theater is one of my favorite places in Minneapolis. The inside is so unbelievably beautiful. A few years ago I attended the broadway show Wicked there with a friend. It was so much fun. It's located in a populated area in downtown Minneapolis so you can grab dinner and drinks before. After if you're still looking for things to do there are plenty of bars and clubs around. 

Dinkytown is another popular are in Minneapolis. Dinky is crowded with college students since this is where most U of M campus buildings are located. There are a lot of cute shops and fun restaurants in this area. Another fun thing about this area is the history! The picture on the left up above is now a tasty restaurant called Loring Pasta Bar. But, it used to be a drug store with apartment buildings up above. It's most famous tenant is.... drum roll please.... BOB DYLAN. Dinkytown is also just a short drive from the Witch Hat Tower, which was Dylan's inspiration for All Along The Watchtower

I know I've talked about Soundset before, but of course I had to add it the Minnesota gems! It's a musical festival that is put on by Rhymesayers. The festival gets bigger and truthfully, more mainstream as the years go on. In fact, just this last year Big Boi performed here. It's a great place to gather with fellow hip-hop lovers to enjoy local talent and the Minnesota sun. 

Taco Salad Lovin'

I've always had a place in my heart for salads of all kinds, but lately this particular taco salad has been playing a pivotal role in my diet. It's extremely simple, but so beyond tasty. Depends on what I have on me but I either use lean ground beef or ground turkey.

Above I'm using:
2 lbs of lean ground beef,
1/2 c orange bell pepper
1/2 c red bell pepper
1/2 c green bell pepper
1/4 c onion, could use more but I only had this amount on me
1/4 c fat-free cream cheese (you could use more if you want it...creamier)
1 packet of low-sodium taco seasoning

I cook all of the above together and then place it onto of a bed of lettuce. Depending on how well I did eating-wise earlier in the day I will either add 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese or a dollop of plain greek yogurt (a tasty, healthy alternative to sour cream).


As of late

Anyone else hate that dreaded two-week long cold during winter? I know I do! It happens every single year for me. I catch a cold and can't seem to get rid of it. I truly think this is worse than having the bed-ridden flu. At least that lasts a few days of hell and you're over it. This? This is fight through your regular activities with a heavy head, stuffy nose, weak body and scratchy throat. Terrible, I tell you! Just when I thought I was finally getting over this cold it got worse. I'm actually sitting here in bed writing this while unable to breathe out of my nose, missing out on a great get-together with my closest friends! So upsetting but I would never have been able to make it through the night feeling like this.

Bleh. Here's to Kleenex, my latest boyfriend.

Ombre Hair Trend

Who has been loving the two-tone hair trend lately? I know I have! It's a fun take on highlights to me. I would never go completely blonde but sometimes it's nice to have those face-framing pieces of hair to have a nice glow. So cute in the summer when you have bronzed skin and refreshing in the winter when you need something to pick you up out of your hair blues. There are a lot of different interpretations of this trend. I like the blonde to be somewhat subtle to help from looking trashy. What about you? Would you rock this trend?

check out a small sample of my two tone here

post signature


Music Spotlight: Atmosphere

It was my brother who first introduced me to Atmosphere. They're a local hip-hop group consisting of rap artist, Slug and DJ/Producer, Ant. They have been around since 1989 and continue to create amazing music to this day. Slug, 39, has had some reoccurring themes in his music, which all relate to moments in his life. The themes consist of women, sex, drugs, alcohol, and life lessons.
I have numerous reasons why I enjoy Atmosphere's music. A big reason is because it makes me so proud to know that Minnesota can produce such talent! Slug and Ant have a large appreciation for their hometown state and often rap about the area. (Which is also fun, because you can yell "I KNOW WHERE THAT IS!" when they say She lived out in Richfield, right off of Portland.
Another reason that they are continuously being played on my iPod and in my car, is because of the great stories their songs tell. Slug is a lyrical genius! He captivates you with his words and then Ant keeps your entertained with his hot ass beats. It's... unbelievable. These boys deserve all the success in the world. This right here is true talent.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


Home Sweet Home

Boyd and I have enjoyed being home, especially when we had our warm weather last week. We went for walks through the neighborhood and some local parks, which he looooved. He gets to run like wild man while I chase after him (looking equally as crazy). You really take for granted your childhood home and all the luxuries you had until you move away into the real world. It's nice to be back but I need to get back into my adult, busy life. No more post-graduation slump for this gal!
Blogging tips