capitol hill is calling me!

happy sunday! forgive my absence this week - it's been a very busy but wonderful one!
at the end of last year, i was given the opportunity (and a scholarship) to attend the annual "habitat on the hill" conference in washington, dc and this past week i joined about three hundred other habitat staff members from around the country in our nation's capital to advocate for affordable housing policy among our elected leaders.  i assumed i would have fun and have worked often locally on advocacy issues, but i had no idea how much i would:
a.) fall in love with the city of washington, dc
b.) feel completely passionate about the policies for which we were advocating
c.) absolutely love talking with senators, congressmen, and their staff
d.) learn about the political process and the importance of advocacy in our legal system.

i found myself completely in love with the city (and i've always been a little overwhelmed by big cities...fun to visit, but not to live) and what i was able to do there. better yet, i found that advocacy in this realm was a great fit for my professional strengths and was surprised that meeting with my elected officials at their offices on the Hill was not scary, but completely enjoyable and necessary. i was able to meet directly with our congressman larry kissell and with north carolina senator kay hagan and was encouraged that despite corruption and the "politics" of that society, and even despite certain differences among our elected leaders and their constituents, there are still many who care about our country's future and seek to do their jobs well.
while i was there, i began to realize that working in government relations and advocacy may just be where god is calling me in the future. i have never wanted to just pick-up and move to a city, but i must say washington, dc has found a very special place in my heart. i feel that i would fit there in many different ways and have begun praying that god will reveal whether his plans for me include work there in the future.
so, if you're more interested in what i was doing while i was there, head over to habitat cabarrus' facebook page and watch my video blogs, read my accounts of each day on the discussion tab, and check out the photos. and if you realize the importance of advocating for those who need a "hand up" in our society and want to join the effort, go here and sign up to become an advocate with habitat yourself. you'll receive emails every month informing you on easy ways you can help your elected leaders understand the importance of affordable housing for all.

more to come this week on how much i loved dc, including a little blogging about the cute cute neighborhood of georgetown!


snow and ice are nice

during the past week, i've been wondering what exactly i did with my time prior to the opening ceremonies of the vancouver olympics. i just love them. i love the hype, the competition, the stories. in general, i'm a usa fan, but i mostly pull for the cinderella story and can rejoice with any win as they are all products of more hard work, skill, and determination than i'll ever possess.
i've remained glued to the television and am particularly enjoying all skiing and snowboard events (especially the really crazy ones) and figure skating. i cry when people win. i gasp when people fall. television just doesn't get much better. what's your favorite event?


spring fashion fever!

today i finally sat down to flip though my new spring jcrew catalog, which requires a decent allotment of time and good lighting. for those of you that know me, i rarely actually purchase anything from jcrew (unless you count the warehouse sales) because i don't have a money tree in my yard, but i love the styling and generally try to repeat the looks with more affordable pieces. combined with my trip to the mall with blair and lacey this weekend, i’ve decided that I love love love the look this year for spring. overall, the colors (pale pastels and earthtones, yes please) and styles (very feminine and flowy with some cute menswear mixed in) are making me really excited for warmer weather and spring fever. here are my top five favorite trends so far:

1. the cropped pant

so here's the thing: i'm tall and my legs are too long for normal pants. what's more, i'm a super big fan of high heels, so the "long" pants in stores are often not even long enough. and for spring/summer, i don’t like pedal pusher/bermuda shorts (because really, on who are they flattering? anyone?). enter the pixie/minnie/skimmer pant. not only is this length totally flattering and sophisticated on lots of people (jcrew is calling them the pixies the "magic pant" because they look that good on everyone) but it's totally trendy right now. additionally, i’m loving the trouser version of this length. pictured here is the élan trouser. they're supposed to hit an inch or two above your ankle bone and can be dressed up or dressed down. while we’re on the subject, you’d be better off wearing this length with heels or booties. flats aren’t making your legs look any longer.

2. embellished tees/tanks

these were everywhere this weekend and jcrew has quite a few as well. from flowers to appliqués to sequins to ruffles, they’re all kosher. here’s what i like about these: you can make your own with little to no sewing ability. i think i’m going to attempt this at some point and blog about it, but really all it takes is a cheap basic tee or tank (rugged warehouse usually sells gap ones for about $3), some fabric or sequins you like, a bead or two if you prefer, and some good ol’ hand sewing skills. done and done. the one pictured above isn’t even done neatly – the messiness of it makes it cool. and these tees are as cute with jeans/shorts as they are with a pencil skirt under a blazer.
note: i feel like ruffles should maybe have a category of their own, being as how they're seriously everywhere, but that messes up the whole "top five" thing. technically, ruffles are an embellishment, so i'm lumping them here. assume that ruffles in any capacity are cool by me.

3. layers of sweet, girly jewelry

i’m totally down with ribbons/pearls/diamonds/flowers/bows/etc. on my jewelry and jcrew/anthro/banana have been rocking my world lately. (again, most of my jewelry purchases are not made at these places, just inspired by them. try forever 21 – their stuff looks the same and usually costs less than $10.) my style is very girly anyway, so i’m extremely attracted to this look. i’m very glad that this trend is hanging on for one more season and i can keep wearing my flower headbands and clipping flowers and feathers in my hair/on my necklaces.

4. chunky shoes

i may have been unsure at first, but i’ve decided that the whole chunky/architectural booties and shoes are really awesome. they make your legs look crazy long (as long as you choose one that doesn’t hit above your ankle bone. ew.) and they look awesome with the aforementioned cropped pant lengths. i am definitely going to get a neutral and a grey pair for spring and i’m super psyched about wearing them with springy dresses, pants, and maybe even some baggy shorts? this shoe look didn’t make lucky mag’s spring shoe list but i can’t say i always love lucky’s suggestions anyway. (side note: in case you haven't burned your pair from the seventh grade, high-heeled clogs did make lucky's list.) while i can’t afford them, i am completely, 100% in love with the chunky jcrew pair pictured here. like i-can’t-stop-thinking-about-them, can’t-eat, can’t-sleep in-love. it’s a good thing i have moral issues with spending $265 on a pair of shoes, or my savings account would be taking a huge hit.

(p.s. this pair from forever 21? they're going to be my next payday present to myself.)

5. stripes and bitty polka dots

chic, classic, and incredibly french, i feel like i’ve been seeing both of these looks everywhere. blair bought a super cute rufflely (see? they're everywhere.) striped top at ann taylor loft this weekend (for $17, i might add), and i’m thinking i’m going to have to find a similar one. both of these say “hello spring, i look super crisp and pulled-together” without too much work, and i’m endorsing them both, maybe just not together? today i did wear a polka dot silk top with tiny pin-striped pants, and the model in the photo above seems to be pulling it off quite nicely, so maybe it’s possible. but, in the words of my fave mad tv character bon qui qui, " but don't get crazy".

disclaimer: i don’t really pay attention to couture fashion because i find myself getting too overwhelmed by it all, so i have no idea if these are trends that alexander mcqueen and loeffler randall are suggesting for spring (most likely no). i’m sort of of the opinion that most things that fit your style stay in style (minus maybe stirrup pants and spice-girl platform shoes) regardless of the ever-changing trends; and these are just a few updates i’ll be adding to my spring wardrobe. lucky magazine is suggesting loud neons, anorak jackets, and paneled leggings as well, so more power to you if you feel like dressing like an edgy fashionista. i’m going to stick with the ready-to-wear looks and leave the crazy stuff to the pros.

images: 1.dealio.com 2-5:jcrew.com, 6.anntaylorloft.com


make a statement

i don't know about you, but i'm really loving the whole obsession with typography and words in decorating right now. there are so many cool pieces out there whether pillows, wall hangings, linens, etc. that have neat words, phrases, or in some cases single letters/numbers on them. this weekend, i bought two adorable little crocks at anthropologie with 78 (my address) on them.

i am especially a fan of statement signs lately, which are generally larger wall hangings with a certain phrase or saying on them. i think they bring a lot of character to a room and can say a lot about the room's occupants. they are also very versatile - depending on the phrase/color, they can be used in virtually any spot.

here are some fun examples:

apartment therapy recently posted diy instructions on how to make one of these cool signs yourself and it's as easy as a trip to the craft store to buy some vinyl letters and spray paint. they suggested doing it on plywood, i would prefer canvas, but i'm pretty certain you could make it work on anything; even the wall itself. the post's comments also have a ton of suggestions for fun quotes to use. there are so many options: poetry, movie quotes, song lyrics, etc. i'm contemplating doing one for my living room, but i haven't landed on the perfect phrase yet. what would yours say?

**i feel that i should mention it is 1:36 on a monday and i am sitting in my pjs and a big sweater posting this. it's rainy and disgusting outside and i'm loving life/days off. please don't judge me for being so lazy.**

images: 1.domino magazine 2.nothingrelevant.files.wordpress.com 3. and 4.apartment therapy 5.redletterwords on etsy.com


indoor/outdoor wedding ceremony/happy weekend!

i told you i had wedding fever...how cool is this ceremony site? (click on the photo to see the collage a little larger) i love the mix of outdoor/indoor elements and i think the yellow dresser/altar is so incredibly cool. i sometimes think it would be neat to do something this alternative, but then i think i couldn't give up getting married in a church. opinions?

speaking of weddings, i'm headed to shelby this weekend for a fabulous engagement party thrown by blair and a few of our friends for hef and ct. they're so fun and i'm so excited! happy weekend!