feeling the love


Being relatively new to the blogging world, it came as a complete surprise when people began mentioning my little foray into the World Wide Web on their blogs and, get this, giving me sweet little tokens of recognition! It's a virtual passing-on of the love and it's now my duty to return the favor!

Recently, my sweet friend and Theta sister Erin gave me a Bloggy award on her site Vivi La Vida, which is dedicated to her daughter Vivienne, a supermodel in training (seriously though, check out this child...gorgeous!) Thank you for thinking of me Erin!

Other blogs and people that I think are great and completely deserve a shout-out are:
My sweet Madre: Madre Minutes. Always inspirational and insightful and full of motherly wisdom!
Elizabeth Ann: And Then It's Perfect, I'm In No Rush.... EA always has the wittiest things to say or little anecdotes that remind me how silly and funny life can be.
Jessican Cermak: In the Sky With Diamonds. Another Theta sister with stunning children and the most hilarious take on day-to-day life with two little munchkins.

I also received a second dose of kind thoughts (now I just feel greedy) from the adorable Sarah Tucker on her blog Fairy Tales are True.. Sarah and I met while she was a graduate student at Ole Miss, where two of my TCU girlfriends were also grad students. They all became friends and when I had to evacuate New Orleans for Hurricane Gustav, I stayed in Oxford for a week and got to meet the lovely Sarah. The girl has serious style, impeccable taste and is currently living in Switzerland with her new hubby. Go ahead, be jealous. Thank you for the Happy 101 award sweet girl!

Blogs that make me ridiculously happy and you need to know about:
Lauren's new blog The Semi-Designed Life. Lauren is a friend of mine from TCU and has one of the funniest outlooks on life. Her blog is all about an obsession with design and trying not to craft herself to death. Also, she has the most adorable dog on the planet, Watson. Love him!
Sheridan French: The Southern Eclectic. I can't remember exactly how I stumbled upon this particular blog, but I reach the pinnacle of envy when I read it. She has wonderful taste, a cute little baby, and interesting things to say about fashion, life, decorating, cooking, etc. etc. (the list really could go on forever...)
Jolie: Relentless. I recently featured two of Jolie's designs from her new line Jolie and Elizabeth, and was thrilled when she commented on the post (who would have thought that a designer I featured would actually read my blog!) I discovered that she has a blog of her own, dedicated solely to the city of New Orleans and it's unique spirit and atmosphere.

Thank you to Erin and Sarah for thinking of me, and if I passed along some love to you....go on ahead and spread it around!


mission: stay cool


It may not officially be summer (June 21st? Are you kidding me?) but here in New Orleans the heat and humidity has descended upon us and the city has assumed a collective state of sweatiness. Soon the air will become so thick you will literally feel it upon your skin like a big fat hand, patting you on the arms and back as if to say "Keep on walking, there's a cold air conditioning unit waiting for you somewhere." While air conditioning offers reprieve from the rising temperatures, many of us are faced with a harsh reality: old houses with more cracks than the sidewalks running in front of them. Despite turning the thermostat down to 65 (what I have mine set to as we speak) temperatures inside many old shotguns, like mine built in the 1880s, hover somewhere around 80 degrees. So what's a girl to do during these few months when even the slightest breeze brings a celebrated, albeit short, feeling of relief and we linger in restaurants for longer than we should, paying no mind to the air conditioning-induced goosebumps on our arms? (Don't get me started on the bars...cold beer but measly A/C. The price you pay, I suppose.) There is one solution: SUNDRESSES!

I'm not much of a shorts girl myself, since I can never find the proper length for my short little legs and I just love the look of a bright sundress with sandals or wedges. Never mind that you've just lost half your body weight to sweat, my goodness do you look put together and chic! So, I've rounded up some of my current favorites for those of you already swimming through the hot, sticky air and thinking to yourself, "We have THREE more months of this?!?!"

Jolie and Elizabeth "Adelaide" dress. This new line was started by two NOLA girls, and their first collection is full of breezy little dresses perfect for braving the New Orleans heat. Conveniently, this dress also has the same name as my dear little sister, Adelaide.

Cooperative "Drawstring" dress from Urban Outfitters. Adorable. I'm going to ignore the model's hat and scowl.

"Everywhere" dress from Anthropologie. Such an appropriate name. Perfect for day with flats or sandals, then dress it up at night with a chunky necklace and fun wedges.

"Floral Empire Tank" dress from the Gap. So simple and sweet, perfect for summer. Would transition well into fall with a jean jacket or cardigan.

"Africa" dress from ASOS. Made from unique African fabric, this dress also has a cut-out in the back for even more ventilation.

Another Jolie and Elizabeth creation, the "Upperline Shirtdress." Perfect for sipping a cold drink on the Columns porch or a day of browsing Magazine Street.

J.Crew "Knotted Starfish" dress. A few years back, my friend Olivia and I predicted starfish would be a huge hit. Try as we did to make them trendy, the little guys never caught on. Until now. Looks like we were ahead of the curve! Take that Jenna Lyons. (If any of you are wondering who J.Lyons is, since I mention her from time-to-time, she is the creative director of J.Crew and I basically worship anything and everything she does. The woman really can do no wrong.)

J.Crew "Poplin Bridget" dress. Grecian goddess perfection.

Marc by Marc Jacobs "Pearl Eyelet" dress. White cotton, little sleeves, eyelet, Marc J....a deadly and winning combo.

Modcloth "All Across the Carnation" dress. Sweet, simple and perfect as a swimsuit cover-up or a casual lunch.

Fred Flare "Pleated Patterned Ada" dress. The most delicious shade of spearmint with teeny tiny white dots that makes it ever-so-slightly and perfectly retro.

Anthropologie "Sunwashed Shirtdress." Polished but still unique thanks to the almost acid-colored sash. Love the contrast of a bright neon pastel against cool gray.

Rachel Pally "Santa Monica" dress. If you know me, you know how much I love anything striped, especially in blue and white. This inspires me to be more brave when it comes to the long dress trend!

it's always there


Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world,
I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport.
General opinion makes out that we live in a world of
hatred and greed
I don't see that.
Seems to me that love is everywhere.
Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy but it's always there.
Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives,
boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends.
When the planes hit the Twin Towers,
none of the phone calls from people on board were messages of hate or revenge,
they were all messages of love.
If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.

Hugh Grant - Love Actually

(photos, my own. quote, courtesy of le love.)

be brave


I know I've been skimping on the writing lately and relying heavily on pictures and images to do the talking for me, but it's only because I'm waist-deep in the thick mud of change, responsibility and this thing they call "being a grown up." Between trying to get my thesis ready for defense, moving into a new house, trying to find a job and making sure I'm crossing my t's and dotting my i's in all other areas of my life...I'm feeling a little harried and spread a little thin. Optimism has been my constant companion these past few weeks and I've worn out the phrase "Everything will work itself out." I've realized that it takes a lot of courage to move from the quasi-grown up phase (still in grad school, relying a bit on M&D-thanks guys-no 9 to 5 job, etc.) to the full-fledged status of adulthood. I think what makes it all the more frightening is that I still feel 18 years old at times and I can't believe that I'm at this point in my life, making all these decisions and big changes. Despite all of the uncertainty and anxiety, I truly do believe that these are some of the best years of my life. I'm healthy, happy, in love, have a wonderful family, great friends, and live in an incredible city. A little bit of fear about the future seems a small price to pay when I am blessed with so many fantastic things.

audrey hepburn binge


I recently came across these fantastic graphics with quotes by the epitome of class, confidence, and style--Audrey Hepburn. I love that they are simple, powerfully direct, and somewhat whimsical. Little reminders to keep in the back of your mind as the days spin on.

cause for celebration

One of my dearest friends, Olivia, got married this weekend in one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. I had the honor of being one of her bridesmaids and couldn't have been more thrilled to share in such a special day with her. The weekend was by far one of the most fun I have ever had, thanks to a wonderful collection of fellow bridesmaids and friends who traveled in for the occasion. Throw in lots of Greek dancing, homemade baklava, and copious amounts of champagne and this wedding was one that will be hard to top (Olivia is Greek and, Lordy, do they know how to celebrate). I love the image above because it reflects Olivia's demeanor throughout the days leading up to the wedding. Always calm and collected, she embodied the perfect bride: gracious, patient, and happy--the anti-bridezilla. She seemed to wholly understand that weddings are beautiful things--two people pledging their hearts to each other--rather than a frenzied circus of flowers, dresses, and h'ors d'oeuvres. A great celebration for a beautiful new husband and wife! Congratulations Olivia and Bob!

Here are some photos of the gorgeous reception hall, Five Oaks Lodge, a few minutes outside of Tulsa, OK. It struck the perfect balance of rustic and elegant and was the ideal backdrop for a fantastic night. The decorations were to die for, the food was incredible and the bride looked amazing. In one word, it was PERFECTION.

cheat sheet


Confession: I was once an organic skeptic.
Let me premise this by saying, I LOVE fresh fruit and vegetables. Really, is there anything better than snacking on giant bowl of pineapple or a plate full of apples and honey? Ok, probably a lot of things...but none that I can think of right now (I'm suffering from study-induced hunger pains, can you blame me?) But when the organic movement started gaining steam I didn't really buy it. All I could think was, "So you're telling me that these tiny little apples and miniature strawberries are better than the massive Fuji apples beckoning to me from their shiny pyramid and the monstrous strawberries the size of my fist? Get out of here." I mean, really. Was I supposed to believe that I'd want to spend more money on something that I could finish in 3 bites? What did they grow this with anyway? Love and rainbows and smiles? No thanks, I'll stick to the juiced-up variety that takes me at least half an hour to finish.
Well it didn't take long before I ate my own words (and eventually the teeny-tiny fruit) because of what I'd learned about pesticides and chemicals I was voluntarily ingesting (YUM!) After brushing up on all the toxins hiding in those giant apples, I started making a conscious effort to buy organic. But, here's another shocking confession: it's harder than you think. You buy one bag of organic fruit and all of a sudden you find yourself asking, "Do I now have to become a total organic convert?" The grocery receipt alone will provide you with a frightening reality of going full-on organic. Thankfully, those much more creative and proactive than me created a sweet little tool to help organic newbies navigate the aisles of the organic world. By way of one of my favorite blogs, The Southern Eclectic, I bring you the "Dirty Dozen Cheat Sheet."

It's pretty simple. One side lists the "dirty dozen," or the foods with the highest pesticide residue which was measured after washing and peeling. The other side lists the "clean fifteen," or foods with lowest or no pesticide residue. I'm thinking of printing this out to keep in my wallet so that next time I go to the grocery I can cruise through the produce section like a pro. Useful AND cute...a winning combination!

cinco baby

Happy Cinco de Mayo, and more importantly Happy 3rd Birthday to the cutest littles in the world...Mr. Benny Wiggles (yes, I'm wishing my dog a happy birthday on a blog he'll never be capable of reading...so what?)

i ♥ nola


Drooling, swooning and obsessing over this New Orleans inspired photo shoot from my favorite all-things-wedding blog, Style Me Pretty. Click HERE for more Nola photographic magic.

52 weeks

As I near the finish line of my twenty-year educational journey (let's not even start with the PhD conversation...the thought of at least five more years of school makes me feel like I'm going to faint) I'm suddenly facing all the questions my friends had to ask themselves at the end of college. The one that looms overhead like a little black cartoon raincloud (you know, the kind that appears from nowhere and unleashes a monsoon on you when you are sans raincoat or umbrella) is: "What should I do with my life?"

Enter Sean Aiken, the recent college grad who embarked on a year-long journey to find his passion and chronicled his adventures in a new book, pictured above. The goal: work one job a week for 52 weeks, survive off of $1,000/month from a sponsor, and donate all wages earned to charity. I recently read an article about Sean (read it for yourself HERE) and while I don't think I'll be taking part in this kind of endeavor (although it does sound very novel and exciting, I'm not much of a hitchhiker and I prefer a bed to a couch) I am still fascinated by his choice to dip his toe into as many professions as possible...creating almost a career in and of itself: a "professional professional."