Thursday, October 28, 2010

Super style staple--the scarf!

Me rocking a blue scarf...
and by me, I mean  Blake Lively, honest mistake...
How much do I love scarves, let me count the ways...I feel that they are one of the most versatile items that a girl can have in her closet, and in honor of my recent string of fall posts, I felt compelled to give a much deserved shoutout to the scarf. (It probably has something to do with the fact that I'm wearing one today I suppose...) I love wearing scarves in the fall because they're both fashionable and functional, and they make any outfit seem that much more autumnal for whatever reason, plus I'm not a huge jewelry person, so quite often I'll wear a scarf instead of a necklace. I like that they help to keep you warm, whether it's because the weather is chilly or because the aircondition is blasting like it seems to be everyday in my office. And they're fantastic for helping transition summer pieces to fall, it's such a simple addition that can really make your outfit seem seasonally appropriate. In Michigan, I was always a huge fan of warmer, thick, chunky scarves because they're just so cozy in the winter. Often in the depths of winter, it's hard to feel stylish when you have to be bundled up all the time, so I also like the way a brightly colored scarf can punch up an otherwise bland winter coat on a dreary day. Another great thing about scarves is that they are not just limited to the fall and winter, but asheer, lightweight scarf looks uber chic in the spring and summer as well. Whether it's tied around your neck when you're riding in a convertible or using it as a wrap on a summer night, a gauzy summer scarf is the perfect compliment to shorts or a sundress. But I think that my favorite thing about scarves no matter what the season is that they always give off a worldly, well-traveled vibe. I don't know what it is, but put a scarf on and all the sudden you give off sense that you've been/are going places. Scarves are the essential travel item, both as something to pack and to bring home with you. They're great to pack, especially when you don't have a lot of room in your suitcase, because take up next to no space and they're prefect for getting more versatility out of your vacation wardrobe. (They were a life saver on our Europe trip when I only had a backpack for six weeks!) They're also really useful to wear on days you're traveling because they're much easier to take off and throw in your bag if you're going from a cool to a warm climate, and they serve as a great alternative to using the nasty blankets on the airplane should the airconditioning be blasting. (I always wear one when I fly for this reason alone!) I also adore scarves as souvenirs, because it's something unique yet useful to remember a fun trip, and again, they're super easy to pack, and you don't have to worry about them getting broken in your suitcase. I love buying scarves on vacation because then everytime I wear them I'm reminded of the places I've been, and you can usually find more unique scarves when you're traveling than you can at the mall (not to say I haven't found plenty of cute scarves at the mall though!). I have scarves from Italy, France, Israel, and all over the US, and I feel like each has a specific memory attached, and I love wearing them to brighten up my outfit. I have been on a little bit of a scarf buying frenzy recently...ok, I have purchased 2 scarves in the span of one week, so frenzy might be a little overly dramatic, but still, scarves are a wardrobe staple, and I'm always looking to add to my collection!

Ps: If you're in the market for a new scarf, I'd encourage you to check out Global of my coworkers just told me about--it's a website that features fair trade products from women around the world, so it's a socially responsible way to get a cool new scarf! They've got lots of really neat things, and it's a great way to help empower women, so I'd encourage everyone to check it out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our exploration of the South continues...

We've been busy this fall trying to discover the region of the country that we're currently calling home, and over the last two weekends we've visited a few new places that we really enjoyed. Two weekends ago, we went to Savannah with Cam's parents. They've been in town for the past two weeks and have visited us here in Greenville, and have also been driving around to visit other cities in the South. We met them in Savannah on Friday night after work, and had a lovely weekend in a very charming city. Savannah has a very Southern feel, and the giant live oaks dripping in spanish moss make you feel like you've gone back in time.

 Savannah is home to one of my favorite Food Network personalities, Paula Deen! Her restaurant, The Lady and Sons, is right downtown and even though it's really touristy and the food totally blew my system because it was so rich, we had to try it out! They only take reservations day of, so people start lining up at 8 am to get a spot for lunch and dinner, and the line was wrapped around the block by 9 am.

Luckily, Cam and his dad got up early and got in line to get us a spot! The buffet lunch consisted of fried corn bread, cheese biscuits, fried chicken, cheesy meatloaf, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, blacked eyed peas, gooey butter cake, and a whole bunch of other was really good when I was eating it, but by 7 pm I was ready for bed!

 Savannah has a lot of really beautiful old homes and churches, and we got to see a lot of the interesting parts of the historic district on our walking tour.

 Of course I had to get a picture with our tour guide, Savannah Dan, I loved the seersucker suit! I'd highly recommend his tour if you're going to be visiting Savannah! 

 There are so many gorgeous old homes in the historic district, the pictures don't really do it justice, it's a very dreamy place...

On the way back to Greenville from Savannah we stopped in Hilton Head, SC and took a walk along the ocean, it was such a beautiful sunny day!

We also stopped at a nature preserve in Hilton Head where we saw butterflies, birds, an armadillo, and an alligator in the wild...scary stuff...probably because Cam loves watching Swamp People, so I think I've subconsciously developed a fear of gators...

This past weekend, my friend Lisa was in town, so on Saturday we drove up to Asheville, NC. Cam and I actually went to Asheville back in September, but we wanted to come back and see it when some more of the leaves had changed. It's such a beautiful city set in the mountains, and we like it because it's got a little bit more of a liberal hippie vibe that reminds us of Ann Arbor/Portland. We actually didn't spend a ton of time in downtown Asheville this weekend, because went out to see the Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore was built by George Vanderbilt just before the turn of the century, and it's famous for being America's largest home. It was built in a French chateau style, and was so gorgeous inside and out. You weren't allowed to take any photos inside the house, but at 135,000 square ft, it was impressive as a lot of the palaces we saw in Europe, while still feeling distinctly American. Cam and I now have year long passes to visit the Biltmore, so if anyone wants to come down and visit us, we'll take you there because it's only about an hour from our house!

While the Biltmore House is very impressive, the whole estate itself covers 8,000 acres and the setting is so idyllic. The house is set right in the mountains, and we had perfect weather this weekend. These are some views of the mountains from the home's elaborate gardens, it was extremely peaceful...

What's nice about living in Greenville is that you can drive one direction and be at the ocean and then drive the other direction and being in the mountains. We've been pretty busy this fall trying to see as much as we can, but we've still got a few more little adventures planned before the holidays as we continue to discover more of our current corner of the world...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fall Fingertips

As I've mentioned before, I love any and all things relating to fall/autumn, particularly when it comes to fashion. However, yesterday in Greenville, the high was 82 degrees. Not too condusive to boots and chunky knit sweaters. However, just because I'm still rocking flip flops doesn't mean that I can't get in the fall spirit, so one way that I've been trying to do that is with my nails. Last week, I had them a painted with a deep red wine shade, which I liked a lot, but I'm in love with the color I have on this week. It's called "Oh to be 25 again" and it's by OPI (the name is a little ironic considering I'm only 23, but oh well). I borrowed it from my coworker, but I am definitely going to purchase it for myself because it's the perfect fall nail polish. Two coats gives you a rich reddish brown, but an extra coat turns it into a super chic dark chocolate that looks really striking on short nails. I'm obsessed.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Getting crafty...

Something about the fall majorly put me in a mood to bake and do crafts, and since these cool nights and mornings are finally making it feel like fall has come to Greenville, so I wanted to make our apartment look a little more festive. But I didn't want to just buy some super-generic traditional decorations...not that I have anything against them, I just figure I have plenty of time to have those once I have a house and kids. So for now, I wanted to do something a little more young and fun that I could make myself. I saw these super cute pumpkins black and white patterned pumpkins in a botique in downtown Greenville, and I thought they looked really unique. So I checked out some different craft blogs online, and I stumbled across a post about making decoupage pumpkin and thought that would be perfect. I'm a huge fan of Mod Podge, I used to use it all the time when I was a kid to make decoupage crafts, so I was really excited to do this project. The supplies that I used were:
  • Scrapbooking paper (I ended up using 1 sheet for the small pumpkin, and 1 1/2 sheets for the bigger pumpkin--there are so many fun patterns at most craft stores, I went with blue and brown patterns to match our apartment)
  • Mod Podge (I used Matte, but there a bunch of different types, so you could experiment here)
  • Clear spray acrylic
  • Foam brush
  • 2 Decorative Pumpkins (I really wanted just plain brown paper pumpkins, but I couldn't find any that weren't orange, so I just got those and they worked fine)
  • Wired ribbon (optional)
I started by taking the scrapbooking paper and cutting it up in to small squares. Beginning at the top of the pumpkin, I started brushing it with the Mod Podge, and then sticking a square of paper on top and brushing over top of it with Mod Podge. I did this a few squares at a time until the entire pumpkin was covered in paper/Mod Podge. (This is takes quite awhile, so it's a good thing to do while watching a movie or something!) After it was completely covered in squares of paper, I gave it another coat with the Mod Podge just to seal it, then let it dry over night.

The next day, I sprayed the pumpkins with the clear acrylic, and this needs to be done outside if possible, as the acrylic smell is really strong.

 I let the pumpkins dry for another day, then I used the wired ribbon to put bows around the stems of the pumpkins to help give them that little something extra. I'm really happy with how they turned out!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wake up Green Day, September's over!

Happy October! I can't belive that this time of the year is upon us once again, but it's one of my very favorite seasons, so today, I just wanted to take the time to celebrate the all the great things, both big and small, that are coming in the month ahead:

  •  The re-release of Beauty and the Beast on DVD: This Tuesday, Oct. 5th, after years of waiting, my favorite Disney movie is finally being released from the vault! I have seriously been waiting for this for years, and I'm so excited to be able to finally add this classic to my Disney DVD collection. 

  • Crock-pot dinners: A fall chill in the air always makes me want to bring out my crock-pot and start cooking more hearty meals. If you work full time, you need to invest in a crock pot, as it will soon become your new best friend. During the fall and winter months, I use mine at least once a week. There is no bettter feeling then coming in from the cold after a long day of work, and having a warm dinner waiting for you. Lots of people will use their crock-pots to make chili or pot roast, but there are tons of recipes to make all sorts of tasty meals. Earlier this week, I made Black Bean Enchiladas (recipe compliments of one of my favorite food blogs, thekitchn) and they were a huge success. There were super easy, packed with veggies, and so yummy!! 

    • Visiting Michigan: At this time next weekend, I'll be on my way to the airport for my first visit to Michigan since moving to South Carolina, and I couldn't be more excited! I'm really looking forward to see my friends and family, and going back to both Ann Arbor and Lake Orion. I'm also really pumped to be back for a game in the Big House, and to see the Wolverines beat the Spartans next Saturday. Plus, nothing beats Michigan in the fall--changing leaves, cider mills, and sunny weather with a chill in the air, which is perfect...
    This dog knows what time of year it is....
    • Sweater Weather: In the premiere of 30 Rock last week, Liz Lemon mentioned that one of the 3 things that she likes (besides Ina Garten and Muppets presenting at awards shows) is sweater too! There's nothing better then pulling out your chunky knits that make you feel all cozy when the weather starts to cool down, especially when it's the perfect temperature where you just need a sweater and you don't need a jacket. It's finally starting to feel a little more like fall in Greenville, so I'm looking forward to wearing my all my favorite sweaters.

    • Trader Joe's: I am so excited that at the end of this month, Trader Joe's is opening up in Greenville! I love their wide selection of products with natural ingredients, as well as their low prices. I'm really looking forward to having a Trader Joe's so close to my apartment! 

      • Taylor Swift's new CD: I love Tay Swift, and I don't care who knows it. Does she have the world's most amazing voice? No. But she writes her own songs, plays guitar, and plays light, frothy tunes that are just fun. I loved both of her first 2 CDs, and so I'm eagerly anticipating the release of her third album, Speak Now, on Oct. 25th

        • Candy: This one is pretty self-explanatory. I love candy during any time of the year, but October is a particularly good month for the sweet stuff thanks to Halloween. Now normally, I'm not going to go out to the store and buy like a whole regular size candy bar. But give me some chocolate in a bite-size package? Yes please! I'll have one...or six. I also love all the seasonal candy like caramels for caramel apples, and best of all CANDY CORN. I loveee candy corn/mellowcreme pumpkins. I haven't bought my first bag of the season yet, but I'm going to have to break down and do it soon I suppose!


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