Tuesday, May 31, 2011

State Pride

Whenever I'm traveling and I tell people where I'm from they either ask, 
"Where's Utah?" or "Are you Mormon?"

I am proud to say I'm from Utah, even if I don't ascribe to the state's predominant faith.
Utah has actually gotten leaps and bounds more diverse from the time I moved here when I was just a little girl.  I have such a love for this beautiful and weird state!

Here are some cute littles that show my crush on Utah!

The seagull and sego lily are our state bird and flower.
This "state on a stick" painting is kinda interesting!
This Utah pillow is cute!
This has to be my favorite!  I have this print in our room!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Link Love and Lovelies

May just seems to be flying by!  I think the gloomy weather has something to do with me not realizing how quickly the spring is passing.  This long weekend I hope to: have lunch with an old friend, spring clean my house, go to a barre class, have a little BBQ with my favorite peeps, and complete a craft project that's been in the works for, oh, a million years!

Here's some lovelies for your long weekend, what are you going to do with your day off?

~ A crazy interview with Courtney Love.  Love or hate, it's pretty interesting!
~ Hilarious dinosaurs!
~ Yes, please.
~ Take the long weekend to check your cosmetics for bad stuff.
~ Crazy interesting concept, but can it work IRL?
~ How to pack light and still look cute.

Also, a ton of people have been asking me where I am going for barre workouts, it's at Xtend Barre and there are locations all around the country!  I've been attending classes for about two weeks now and while I haven't seen any visible results, I feel a lot more energized and that my posture has improved.  I also got this video created by the Xtend Barre founder and it's a pretty great workout when I can't get to class!

Hope you have a nice long weekend!
See you on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Movie to Watch: Blue Valentine

I am lucky enough to live in a place where a lot of small independent movies get their first screening once a year at the Sundance Film Festival.  Over two years ago, a little movie called Blue Valentine made some serious waves after it was shown.  Sadly enough, the buzz surrounding the movie made it impossible for locals to get tickets!  After that, its release was delayed due to a ridiculous rating controversy (after you watch the movie you will LAUGH that it had received an NC-17 rating!)

Finally, I was able to watch this amazing movie.  It documents the beginning and the end of a turbulent relationship in a raw and honest way.  The lead characters are far from perfect, even in the rose-colored-lens-beginning many relationships start with.  Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are heartbreaking as a couple careening towards divorce and beginning a relationship on an incredibly shaky foundation. 

Shug really disliked the movie, because he felt it made relationships look doomed from the get-go, but I disagree.  This portrayed two people fighting and pulling in two totally different directions, even from the beginning!  The credits roll with shots of fireworks superimposed over stills of the lead couple when things were "good," and I feel it was a perfect metaphor for their relationship as a whole.  Theirs was a relationship that burned out bright, hot, and fast, just as volatile as the compounds used to create a breathtaking light show.  And that's what I thought of Blue Valentine: it was beautiful and breathtaking.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oui ou Non? Midi-Length Skirts

While I think these midi-length skirts look smashing on these rail-thin, willowy models, I wonder if these skirts would skew "frumpy librarian" on a regular gal, like me.  I looooove skirts in the summertime, since they are airy and breezy in the warmer temperatures and that chambray skirt with the button-front is a-callin' my name.  What do you think?

All skirts at Madewell.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Natural Beauty: Exercise

Looking and feeling beautiful seem to go hand-in-hand.  When I am feeling tired, stressed, or out of it, it is usually reflected in my skin.  That zit there?  Oh, I was so stressed out a few days ago!  I look kind of pale and sallow?  Well, I've only slept for a total of eight hours in the past three days.  I look tired?  I AM tired!  It seems the older I get the easier it is to read my work or school burdens (or unwise sleeping choices) on my face!

I've found a good foil for these is a regular dose of exercise.  I never feel more connected, centered, and energized than when I'm moving around on a regular basis.  We all know that regular exercise is a great way to shed extra pounds, but I like to exercise because it makes me LESS stressed and fortified to take on my life's daily challenges.  Exercise also increases cellular turnover of the skin, fights free radicals, and increases blood flow to the skin.  All of these help keep your skin looking its best!

The problem with exercise, is that it is the first thing to fall off the list of priorities when stuff gets REAL.  Confession: this past year, I have probably exercised a total of 10 times:*(.  I'm not going to lie, my skin has never looked worse!  I've recently started a new barre workout at a local studio, where I actually have to show up!  It's pretty easy to tell my running shoes I'll "see them tomorrow, promise," but having a class to show up to, a set time of the day I can't make excuses out of, is a little better for me, personally, than a solo exercise program!

I'll let you know how it goes!  My first class was SO CHALLENGING.  I used to dance all through high school, so I thought the class would be a breeze.  *AHEM*  It was the most challenging workout I've had in awhile!  I'm actually still sore from a workout three days ago!

What are some of your favorite ways to move around?  Are you a solo runner or hiker or do you like classes and loud music to exercise to?  I'd love to know!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Music Monday: The Do

This clip is pretty crazy, 
but don't let it deter you from the sweetness of this song!

The Do is from Paris, with their lead singer hailing from Finland.
I love their late nineties sound and sequin eyebrows!

Hope you have a lovely week.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Link Love and Lovelies

Holy-moly it's been raining like crazy for the past few days here!  It doesn't seem like it will be letting up anytime soon, so I will have to find some fun things to do indoors to pass the time over the weekend...I'm not too worried, since I am reading a crazy-good book right now!  Here is some loveliness for your weekend:
  • So.  Adorable.
  • Still getting my head around pleats, too.
  • Lovely gender re-imagining of historic photos.
  • Learn some beautiful-sounding new words.
  • Some cool camera gadgets.  I especially like the camera straps!
  • It pains me to say this, but Kiki wins.
  • My DREAM.  No, my purpose.
Have a lovely and restful weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A movie to watch: La Chamade

If you know me you know I am enamored with French cinema.
Yesterday I had the treat of catching La Chamade while I was playing hooky from work!
(Shhhh, don't tell!  
I had to work until almost midnight last night, anyway, 
so not really feeling too guilty over here;)!)

I love this scene and it really made me laugh at how anti-AMERICAN
it is!

All the talk about relaxing and enjoying and living!  
In a bar full of people at midday, no less!

I was listening to a radio show on NPR the other day with a yoga specialist and he called
stress the "American disease!"  I couldn't agree more with that!

We work, work, work and stress, stress, stress!
We (the lucky folks) get 2 weeks paid vacay a year and Germany, well, they get 6 weeks!
Most of Latin America still takes a 3 hour siesta each day.
Enjoying a break in France means a leisurely cup of coffee with a friend,
not scarfing an energy bar at your desk.

All I can say is,

Solutions, anyone?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Earring Love

Love the bright coral color of these feathers!
These would be so pretty with a pixie cut!
I liked the mismatched beads!
The asymmetry makes these perfect.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Burning House

Have you heard of The Burning House?  It's a site dedicated to what people would grab on their way out of their house if it was on fire!  It's pretty interesting to see what people choose!  I was inspired to do my own burning house post, and this is what I ended up with:

  1. An old woodcut painting from Greece I found at an estate sale.
  2. The wedding portrait of Shug and me.
  3. My yellow silk shoes I wore at my wedding.
  4. My wallet and passport.
  5. My sweet, sweet iPhone.
  6. Two letterpress letters from Paris.
  7. Old cat eye glasses I wore in high school.
  8. The cork from my engagement champagne.
  9. The BEST-fitting pair of worn-in Loomstates.
  10. My favorite yellow sweater.
  11. Mixtapes from when I was little-bitty.
  12. My silly high school yearbook.
  13. A box of old pictures of my family.
  14. Love notes from Shug.
  15. And, of course, Ruby.
  16. Not pictured, Shug!

What would you take?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Music Monday: Secret Mountains

I love the fuzzy, distorted sound under the singer's lovely voice.
It's one part Sonic Youth, one part My Bloody Valentine, and one part Baltimore magic.
(Some of the BEST bands are from B-more!)

Have a good week.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Link Love and Lovelies

Well, Blogger finally started working again!  Boy, was I a grump about it!  Since better late than never, here are some link love and lovelies!

I hope you all have a sunny and warm rest of your weekend!  Try to do something outside!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

To Grey or Not To Grey...

So, it's taken me a year and a half to grow out all of my grey hair.  In the process I had to chop off about ten inches of hair.  I kinda knew this would happen, but I want to start coloring my hair again! 

My grey hair has gotten seriously mixed reviews: from "you look amazing!" to "honey, your roots are really showing!"  It's also gotten mixed reviews from ME!  I love not having to bother with dying my hair every 4-6 weeks and embracing my natural hair color, but I also look really unkempt when I don't style my hair and put a ton of product in it.  One thing I've found out about grey hair is that it can be seriously unruly.  80% of my greys are soft and silky and lie flat with my brown hair, but 20% of the greys are wiry and CRAZY!  You can kind of see the 20% sticking out everywhere in the pic!

Grey hair has also totally aged me (duh.)  While I really appreciate not getting ID'ed everywhere I go, it kinda sucks when I'm told I look really great for a 40 year-old!  There is nothing wrong with being forty, but I'm a decade younger than that!  My sister, S., fought my going grey from the get-go, her argument being I have my 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond to be a chic silver-haired lady!  She was perplexed why I decided to let my natural hair go at just 30 and, honestly, I have been really starting to question that, myself!

What do you think?  Am I just totally bowing to society's standards of beauty?  Or am I over-thinking this?  It is JUST hair, but, while it's easy to go back to coloring my hair, I have a long road of growing it out to get back to my salt and pepper I have right now.  I'd love to hear your opinions!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Natural Beauty: Sunblock

Me and the sun have had a rocky relationship over the years.  I was a lifeguard and taught swimming lessons for close to seven years.  While I always wore sunblock, I still managed to get a deep, dark tan.  I also love to ski and, while in high school, I was logging about five days a week up on the slopes.  The story was the same: I put sunblock on, but still managed to cultivate a pretty mean raccoon-tan by the end of the season!

Now I put sunblock on just to go to the office!  My days of reading in the sun or sitting on the back porch for a quick ray or two are gone.  I'm already starting to see the effects of my years in the sun!  I have started to get some pretty dark sunspots and fine lines are creeping their way into the corners of my eyes.  While we all know the ideal situation is to never have gotten a tan, I have tried to be diligent about my sunblock use, so matter what the season!

One of my favorite sunblocks to use on my face is Josie Maran Protect Daily Sun Protection Argan Oil Infused 40+.  It's free of all the gunk I try to keep off my skin and it only uses physical sunblockers to protect from the harmful UVA and UVB rays.  There is some hotly contested research that eschews chemical sunblocks because they are so readily absorbed into the body.  I've been trying to stick to sun protection that is physical and inert (meaning your body can't absorb it!): the active ingredients are zinc oxide or titanium oxide.
I also really like Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 30.  I dislike how sometimes your sunblock can make you too shiny, this I just use as finishing powder after my makeup!  You also don't have tp wait for 30 minutes before heading outside!

What are some of your favorite sun protectors?  We all know a wide-brimmed hat is brilliant for a sunny day, but what are your tried and true methods for protecting your skin?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Retail Therapy

There is nothing like finding a treasure to perk up your day.  I was having a bit of a pity party for myself yesterday, when I was admonished at work during a meeting in front the entire staff.  I am all for constructive criticism, but taking petty shots at a coworker and her skills in front of an audience is less than unprofessional, it's just plain mean.  I also had worked allllll weekend and have been feeling about as burnt out as a black piece of toast!  Needless to say, I needed a break.

I skipped out of work a little early yesterday to hit up my favorite place to find great labels at a discounted rate: Nordstrom Rack!  After about half an hour I found these lovely Elizabeth and James suede booties...for $60!

  I KNOW!  They are buttery soft suede and I can see myself wearing these with everything from skirts to shorts this summer!  I also can see myself kicking some shins with these on, too;).  *Ahem* No shins in particular...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Music Monday: Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae is talented.
Like way talented.

I also am crushing hard on her sick style!
I appreciate her subtle sexiness.
It goes to show that you don't need to put "it" all out there to be attractive!
Just sayin'.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Link Love and Lovelies

I'm in for a long on-call weekend, but I managed to get my fun in last night!  I went over to some dear friends' house with Supermodel and BBF to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!  It was a wonderful evening filled with some of the BEST guacamole I've ever tasted and hilarious conversation.  I feel so lucky I get to have these people in my life!

Here's some loveliness and laughs for your weekend:
~ I'm going to try this recipe this weekend!
~ David Lynch is insane. And I like it.
~ Easy to make and better to give!
~ This maxi dress looks perfect for short girls like me!
~ Love this tutorial!  SO pretty!
~ Good thing I'm already married, or BHLDN would own my soul!

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Natural Beauty: Vitamins Schmitamins

"Vitamins" used to be a four-letter-word when I was a kid.  After I'd picked all of the red Flinstones out of the vitamin bottle, it would be a battle each day to get down all the other horrible flavors.  I now can't live without my daily dose of vitamins and supplements (or at least it feels that way!)

A part of my natural beauty regimen is making sure my skin and hair are nourished from the inside out.  I had some serious skin problems going on and I found that, no matter what I slathered on my skin, it was something that was out of balance in my system that was making my skin unhappy.

For me, certain foods make my skin (and whole stinking body!) unhappy.  A biggie for me is wheat.  Since I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I've found that when some gluten sneaks its way into my diet, my skin pays the price.  I can bet on loads of sugar to make my skin break out, too!  I may be able to indulge in a gluten-free cupcake here and there, but once I've made lots of sugar a big part of my food choices for the week, my skin looks worse for the wear!

I also figured out what vitamins and supplements work for me to keep my skin in balance.  I was taking supplements geared toward clearing up my adult acne, but now that it is under control, I've switched to a more whole-body approach to keeping my skin in balance and looking its best.   Every day I take:
The multivitamin is pretty self explanatory, but I've found that taking fish oil has really helped with the moisture of my skin.  Now be warned, your skin might go a little nuts when you first start taking the fish oil!  I started out with just 1000mg a day and worked up to 3000mg.  You may break out or see an increase in the oiliness of your face, but trust it WILL settle down!

I also found that taking pro-biotics has really helped the clarity of my skin.  I like PB-8 because it has pro-biotics for both your small and large intestine and it doesn't have to be refrigerated!  Pro-biotics are amazing for your digestion and other body systems.

The Evening Primrose Oil, CoQ10, and Resveratrol complex are all great for keeping my skin happy.  Certain famous dermatologists have been selling their own supplements that include these nutrients, but for $5 a day!  I have seen a difference in the clarity and smoothness of my skin after 4 months of taking these!

Whew!  It seems like a lot of vitamins to take every day, but once you make it a part of your routine (and see how much better you feel and how great your skin looks) you won't dread it like those not-red Flinstones vitamins;)!

**Of course, I am not a doctor, so consult your physician before you start taking any supplements or vitamins, since there may be side effects when taking these supplements with other medications.  Dosages are also a personal decision and should be discussed with your physician, as well!**

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cut Offs

I am ready for cut off weather, what about you?

I'm thinking a big, flowy top with beat up, frayed cut offs 
should do the trick for me!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


 It was brought to my attention, 
that while very good at opining about what I DON'T like,
I am a little quiet when it comes to things that I like.
I'm even quieter about things I LOVE.

I am going to start with a movie that, 
whenever I feel the need for a pickmeup,
watching just 10 minutes will get me dreaming again for the day!
I first saw Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (or just Amelie *winks*)
when I had returned from a summer abroad in Chile.

I was still readjusting to American life and angularity.
I realized the adventure I'd been looking forward to for almost a year
was already complete.
I needed something to get me out of my 
back-to-the-drudgery-of-living-with-seven-roommates funk.

This movie was just the thing I needed!
It's colorful, beautiful, and sweet.
It's romantic and heartbreaking.
It's quirky and unique.

And 10 years later, 
it's still one of my favorites.

Do you have any favorite movies that will ALWAYS be that way?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kinda Music Monday: Zimoun and Hannes Zweifel

Crazy weekend, right?
Here's some serenity.

And also sending peaceful energy out to my fellow human beings.
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