welcome, summer!

"there's a wild, wild whisper blowing in the wind,
calling out my name like a long lost friend.
oh, i miss those days as the years go by,
oh, nothing's sweeter than summertime; and american honey."

- lady antebellum

image via these ocean eyes


happy (memorial day) weekend!

happy friday and happy memorial day weekend! i know for those of us here, it's an enjoyable three-day weekend to spend grilling out and celebrating the unofficial arrival of summer time (ew, summer).

but i also love what memorial day represents - a day to honor the men and women who sacrifice themselves for our safety. while there are about ten million reasons why i would not make a good member of any branch of the military, the primary fact remains that i can't comprehend putting myself in potential danger for the sake of millions of people i don't even know.  regardless of your political leanings concerning our country's defense agenda, our service men and women remain some of our bravest, most unselfish citizens and i am thankful for them.

want to do something to make a difference? become a soldier's angel and care for a deployed soldier who doesn't have a great support system on american soil. i can't say that i've made the commitment (yet), but my friend lacey has, and she says it's awesome.

happy weekend!

image via militaryboots


i'm a little bit country...

while reviewing and reorganizing quite a few files on my computer tonight (it was hard to see my desktop image anymore) i came across a website i'd bookmarked a while back. to be honest, i can't remember where in the world i found it, but i'm glad i took the time to click through.

spool no. 72 clothing company is like anthropologie but cheaper, more original, and with a cool little mix of vintage merchandise. it's run by a mother and daughter team in washington state and seeks to capture the beauty of rural life. now, let's be clear, i'm not really into rural living. i feel that it's important to have a target and acceptable happy hour venue options within 15-20 minutes. i love high heels and the bustle of uptown charlotte at 5:00 each evening. i prefer a man in a suit to one in carhartts. i do, however, get very excited about farmers markets, cows and goats, driving in the country, cowboy boots, general stores and barns full of chippy antiques, so i can appreciate the lifestyle. i like a little mix of both urban and rural in my life.

so whether you're a country mouse or a city mouse, i think you can get excited about spool's fun selection. here are a few of my current favorites...

mixing bowl ring $18
i am ridiculously head over heels in love with this. if i currently had a job, i would have already ordered it.

sewing basket blouse $38
oh my goodness, this is so unique and feminine. and i think it would look cool layered up during cooler weather, too.

vintage clutch $34
sadly, this little baby just sold, but i love it so much

farrier dress $52
so cute. and machine washable. my kind of dress.

mason earrings $22
pretty pretty pretty

windowpane blouse $36
love this color

milk glass bowls $48
a little pricey, but also a little awesome

spruce sweater bracelet $22.95 (on sale!)
seriously how cool is this? i love the colors and the combo of hardware and soft knits.

all shots of spool's lovely merchandise are taken onsite by creative leader and co-owner tara ehlis. (what a pretty name.) and - bonus! - they have a blog.
and want an even bigger bonus? hop on over to the blog for a $10 off coupon, good through may 30th. get shopping. i'll take any of the items above, thanks.

images via tara ehlis for spool no. 72 clothing company


couch potato

my most recent favorite dinner obsession. it requires minimal effort, includes no white flour/sugar (which i've been working extremely hard to avoid lately) and is full of good-for-youness. i'd also like to point out that something about the angle of this shot makes both my salad and potato look abnormally giant, which they weren't.

- baked potato (bake on high in the microwave for 6-7 minutes - so easy!) with a sprinkle of cheeese and a dollop of sour cream
- sliced mushrooms sauteed with 2-3 tablespoons of butter, 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic and 1/3 cup soy sauce (although i don't actually measure anything here, i'm assuming those are reasonably accurate proportions.) these are amazing on/with the potato.
- spinach salad with strawberries, goat cheese, sliced almonds and homemade balsamic vinaigrette
- lime la croix, of course. i'm addicted to these.

i'm one of those people that gets in a food rut, eats the same thing for a couple of weeks, and then gets distracted by something else delicious. so far, this meal is keeping me happy. cooking for one isn't quite as simple as i thought it would be, but this is a fairly inexpensive and easy thing to keep around. oh, and eating it on the couch while watching sexy brian williams on the evening news makes it even more delicious. just saying.


make a wish

my big twenty-sixth (geez) birthday is quickly approaching in july and i'm pretty excited about it. last year, my birthday was seriously awesome and i continue to feel that i deserve awesome birthdays as the two prior positively sucked. i spent 24 at work where no one remembered it was my day, and then my family was out of town so i spent the evening alone eating takeout. true story. 23 was equally terrible, spent with salmonella poisoning. not fun. i deserve at least two to three years of greatness after those. so, friends, i'm planning ahead this year and here's the short list:

banana republic tall classic trench. if you're tall, banana's tall collection is a lifesaver. every woman should have a great trench, and i don't. it's time and i can't wait. oh, and also, banana regularly emails 40% off coupons. that's big savings on this baby.

seychelles disguise over-the-knee boots. my super-stylish friend lacey has these and honestly, i haven't been able to stop thinking about them since i saw them for the first time in march. lace, since we live in different cities, i'm hoping i can copy you. i know i could show these boots a good time. i currently can't find them anywhere in my size, but i'm hoping that will change as fall approaches.

camelbak no-spill water bottle. i think the front seat in my car is likely growing mold from how many times my cheap-imitation water bottle has tipped over and spilled. it's too fat to fit in the cup holder and i kind of hate it. this bottle is one of the best on the market - bpa free and completely spill-proof.

tokyo milk kiss-me-kit in butterfly kisses. i think we all know how much i love tokyo milk and this lipstick. i'm almost out and that can't happen.

a new job. i miss suits and meetings and pencil skirts and microsoft outlook. mostly i miss paychecks and feeling like i'm contributing my skills to something. fabulous job offer, please get here quicker. i'll glady spend my birthday at my new office.

images: 1.browneyedbellejulie 2.bananarepublic 3.revolveclothing 4.target 5.anthropologie 6.manrepeller


i broke a record this weekend. i'm not sure this is information i need to be sharing with the general public or not (you're intrigued now, no?) but i'm actually strangely proud of my lazy accomplishment. until this evening (monday) after the gym, i hadn't washed my hair since thursday. thursday. that's like four solid days of not having to wash/dry/straighten my hair. i doubt that's happened since ever. i'd like to thank the two things that helped make it possible:

tresemme fresh start dry shampoo. this is my first can of dry shampoo ever and while i'm not so crazy about this particular brand's smell (like really strong hairspray. ew.), i'm thrilled at the possibilities that this little $3.89 aerosol can has given me. i'll probably be trying a different brand next time, but it still works well enough to finish the can.

teasing. i've always been afraid teasing my hair would damage it, but i asked a girl (with a fantastic non-bump-it bump) from the amazing escape hair and skin studio in charlotte a few months back, and she informed me when done carefully, it's not horrible. besides, washing your hair every day is damaging, too, so i'm assuming if it can save me from that, it's okay. it works wonders when creating the aforementioned bun, but also helps make my flat, dirty hair look fuller and lovelier.

in all honesty, my hair when i woke up today was a bit questionable. i did spend all of friday night outside, saturday morning with it stuffed in a baseball cap, and sunday cleaning like a crazy woman, but nonetheless, with a little shampoo spray and a lot of teasing i managed to produce a messy bun with which i was actually pretty happy. plus, my hair was so textured even an hour of zumba class tonight didn't knock it out of place. that's pretty exceptional. unfortunately, any time i decide to exercise (or spend more than an hour in 90-degree temps) i'll be forced to shampoo. (if you're one of those people that can avoid it after a workout, i hate you.) i usually don't workout too much on the weekends, though, so i'm hoping i can keep this up. don't worry, i'll wash my hair for the important things like job interviews or dates (not that i've had either of those lately...), but i'm pretty psyched that i can save myself some valuable hours from the blow dryer. what's the longest you've ever gone without washing your hair?

**p.s. i feel compelled to emphasize that i did shower between thursday and monday, just sans shampoo.**

images: 1.weheartit 2.google 3.thebeanandthebear


wisdom for friday

"you're a human being, you live once and life is wonderful, so eat the damn red velvet cupcake."
- actress emma stone

i couldn't agree more. happy happy friday!

image via kgv photography on flickr


i. like. big (buns) and i can not lie

last night i took a shower and was too lazy to dry my hair, so i pulled it up wet and went to bed. bad idea. this morning, despite a valiant attempt with a blow dryer and straightener, my hair looked quite awful. running short on time, i decided to go for a high bun, and i have to say i'm pretty happy with the result. aside from the inevitable scalp-ache i'll have this evening, it looks pulled together and like i put forth more effort than i actually did. i generally prefer to wear my hair down, but i'm pretty happy buns are trendy right now so i can use them as my fall-back plan for those mornings when styling just seems like far too much work.

while high-buns are new for me (minus all those ballet performances, that is), i'm no stranger to the low side-bun. it's a lifesaver.

the messy bun is going to take a little practice. i love the look, i just seem to come off looking disheveled. 

images: 1.yourbellaperla.tumblr 2.prettystuff.tumblr 3.highipgingin.com 4.wehearthair.com


thumper's words of wisdom

when i was a little girl, i was a very big fan of every disney movie ever made. (well, minus sleeping beauty, because i was quite terrified of the witch.) my favorites were cinderella and beauty and the beast and i did my best to act like belle and cindy every chance i had. also, after crying and making my mom fast-forward through the point where bambi's mother dies, i was a pretty big fan of bambi as well. mainly because i loved thumper. and one of his little tidbits of wisdom has stuck with me all these years...

"if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

i can actually still see/hear thumper saying it. it was my very favorite line in the movie and my parents can probably tell you i quoted it precociously quite often, likely when i wanted my little brother to be punished for something brother-like that he'd said. anyway, over the past two days, i have encountered two separate situations of insensitivity and rudeness. yes, we are all entitled to our opinions, but i don't understand why we can't just keep unsolicited negativity to ourselves. i don't intend for this post to be dramatic or passive aggressive - both incidents to which i refer were completely unrelated to me -  i just get frustrated when we don't objectively analyze conflicting opinions. we're all wired so differently it's inevitable that we're going to disagree. there's absolutely no way around it. but no one is right all the time. i'm a very big proponent of candor and intentional communication, but i think these things can be accomplished while still maintaining respect for others. i think we can all say "i disagree with you" without saying "you're an idiot for thinking this way". either that, or remember thumper's wisdom and refrain from saying anything. you have to pick your battles, after all.

thanks for reading. :o)

image via fanpop

i'm bossy

"i just love bossy women - i don't think bossy is pejorative. for me it means you're passionate and ambitious and a leader."      - amy poehler 

read this quote in last month's glamour magazine and boy, do i love it.

(oh, and p.s., if you don't know what pejorative means, neither did i.
"pejorative: having a disparaging, derogatory or belittling effect or force")

image via vogue


i've got a dollar

shopping at mighty dollar (probably the greatest dollar store on the planet) is one of my favorite activities. everything is a dollar. meaning if i like/want something, it's mine. i don't have to wonder whether or not it's affordable or practical. and the other day i stopped in for one thing and hit the crafting jackpot.

pictured above:
3 amy butler designer mat pads (perfect for matting photographs, making everything, etc.)
2 alphabet pads (which include four sets each of super fun, flourishy punch-out letters)
1 martha stewart crafts metallic pen
1 three-banner craft set (which includes cute items and glitter letters to make "kiss", "sweet", and "love" banners. perfect for future bachelorette parties or v-day.)
1 "just married" banner craft set
2 birdcage hooks (which came in a 2 for $1 set. and the tiny little cage doors even open and close.)

not pictured, i picked up a giant package of three colors of bakers twine (best creation ever) and a few other knick knacks. i spent a grand total of $12 and walked away one happy girl.

for the record, amy butler designer mat pads cost about $6 each at michael's. just saying.


yard sale madness

saturday's community yard sale in baxter village was so. much. fun. i love yard sales because you find tons of treasures you never knew you absolutely, positively needed. and, nine times out of ten, they're actually affordable. saturday was no different. we spent most of the morning braving the raindrops (which, besides a light sprinkle, held off until we were finished) and scoring all kinds of good deals. we then refueled with burgers and fried pickles at big daddy's burger bar for lunch (which, if you live in charlotte and haven't been, you need to visit stat). enjoy a few pictures and a recap of our finds from the day...

fueling up!

sarah's fabulous yellow table with drawer. $5

my new boyfriend. $25. except i'm pretty sure i shouldn't have to pay for a boyfriend. he's kind of scrawny anyway. and it might be nice to date a guy with a head. 

mom and libby showing off their goods.

  next year we're going to need a bigger car, i think.

and since i'm sure you're dying to know, here are my fabulous finds:

washington, dc photography book $0.25
3 5x7 craft/paint canvases $1
coral bead necklace $0.50
mother of pearl bracelet $0.50
banana republic 100% silk scarf (tags still attached!) $1

my favorite find: my new summer reading list. i scored all of these for $1. total. at one of the houses, this lady had a ton of books and let us fill a copy paper box for $2. libby and i split it and i am so excited about all of these babies, especially the entire chronicles of narnia collection in one volume. reading that series was going to be on my summer "to-read" list anyway, and it just got way simpler. 

fabric remnants for crafts? totally free. that's right.

jcrew tunic blouse $3. i'm so psyched about this one. i'll be wearing it to death. starting today, actually.

cute swimsuit cover-up $1

liam was also very excited about my treasures.
my total? $8.25. knowing that i scored all of this for less than $10 makes me so happy i can't even tell you. 
mom did well, too. here are her goodies:

banana republic cardigan with crystal buttons $3
talbots black and white dress $2
sailor front wide-leg stretch jeans $1
ann taylor silk blouse $1
ann taylor loft white cotton blouse $1
merona kelly green blouse $2

antique pink decanter and matching glass $0.75

white wooden lamp and shade $1

 very vintage full size quilt $1
(unfortunately this kind of fell apart when mom washed it, but i think it will still be cute on the front porch. definitely still worth $1.)

mom's total? $12.75. i'm pretty sure each article of clothing she purchased would have costs at least three times that new. and this is why i love yard sales.

our next big yard sale outing will be in pinehurst in august for the giant fair barn extravaganza where we will join some of my other favorite saturday morning companions, laurie and dale. until then, i'll be saving my pennies and making extra room in my house for these new treasures and most likely the many more to come!


true story

when he was little, my brother used to have a dorky pair of plastic glasses frames that he called his "focus glasses". he wore them when stuck with the task of cleaning his room to keep from being distracted by matchbox cars and legos. i don't really remember how they came about, but i need those focus glasses right about now. my bed is covered in clean clothes that need to be hung up and i am so unmotivated and distracted by other things. if my couch weren't so uncomfortable, maybe i'd just sleep there and clean tomorrow. alas, back to work...

image via pinterest

ballerina project

violeta - tribeca 

i recently discovered the ballerina project, when north carolina dance theatre dancer anna gerberich starred in the project's first-ever short film. anna and kate ann behrendt (who was just recently promoted to ncdt first company) have both participated in the project, which features dancers from various companies photographed primarily in new york city and boston. and the photos are some of the most beautiful i've seen. i love the grace and beauty of the dancers against the urban landscapes. you can purchase any of these prints from the ballerina project and i'd encourage you to do so - each purchase further supports the project and artist dane shitagi. if you want to buy me one, i'll take the one above, my very favorite. below, enjoy a few more lovely images in the project. here's to hoping there will be a nice book of the collection in the future. you can see much more on the project's facebook page.

*all photographs copyright dane shitagi for the ballerina project.*

 andie - riverside park

 violeta - riverside park

andrea - central park

 anna - washington square

 kate - east village

 elina - east river

 christie - queens

 kate - east village

 mara - east river

 rachel - boston

 rachel - public garden (boston)

 violeta - central park

violeta - west side highway

"i tried to take pictures of the ballerinas – not of their dancing. i tried to stay focused on the dancers – not on their poses. i tried to portray their souls – not their steps. ballerina project is more about the dancer than the dancing. as photographers we often try to capture momentums of the dancing without really acknowledging the obvious: the camera is not exactly the best instrument to do it. the camera can only take stills of something that is in its essence a flow."  
- dane shitagi

*shitagi quote via my modern met. all images copyright dane shitagi for the ballerina project*