Lessons Learned

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If you take a look at any of my recent posts, chances are, you will come across at least 3 mentions of 'Back to December' by Taylor Swift. Here is my explanation for why I am so incredibly infatuated with this song:

Have you ever heard a song that you could relate to so well, it gave you chills? Yeah, this song does that for me. It's amazing how music has the ability to take you back to your most cherished memories and cause them to be as lucid as the moment you were living through them. I don't have a desire to re-live the past, but I have a desire to remember the best parts of it. This song gives me an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. I can't help but to be reminded of a particular person and the unforgettable memories they helped me create, every time I listen to it. XO

"The song 'Back to December' is an apology in the form of a song. You know, in life, you learn lessons and sometimes you learn them the hard way. And sometimes you learn them too late. The song 'Back to December' is about a lesson I learned too late, and I think when you do that, and you finally realize that you were wrong, you need to say you're sorry. This was the best way I knew how." -Taylor Swift


images via here.

Dusky Mauve

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There is just something about getting mail that makes me really happy. I'm guessing it's because it doesn't happen to me all that often. Today, I returned from class expecting the usual. To my surprise, I was graced in the presence of a little package from a giveaway I entered a few weeks ago.




I wanted to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to the gorgeous BeautyH2T, who hosted this giveaway. She is a really great blogger friend of mine that has a page worth checking out!

P.s, Did any of you watch the Taylor Swift Thanksgiving special on ABC? The 'Back to December' performance was amazing! You can watch it here.

Checkerboard Cakes and Thanks

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Hey Everyone!
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!


I wanted to share this amazing checkerboard cake my pastry chef friend made! Unfortunately, this was the only picture I was able to get. So, I apologize in advance for the poor cell phone quality!

p.s,
I noticed that last Sunday, I exceeded 100 followers! I remember being ecstatic the day I got one! You can only imagine how I feel now.

The following words are going to sound extremely cliche but I promise you, every part of it is the truth: From the beginning, a majority of my ideas have been inspired by the blogs I came across as well as the comments I shared and received. I see the Blogger community as an overwhelmingly amazing, positive, and diverse place. Even though I have never met any of you, I can easily see that you are an exquisite group of people with a lot to offer.

I would say "thanks" a million times if I could! But instead, I will sign off with some famous words from the Allman Brothers Band: "Keep on keepin' on". :)

XO,
SWEATshirt DRESSshirt

Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Women/Girls

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Need some ideas on what to get your mom, best friend, or sister? Here are my top picks:
  1. For the friend who is an avid coffee drinker, you can never go wrong with a cute mug
  2. ...or a Starbucks gift card.
  3. Gloves are always a good way to go, especially if you live in a place that gets snow.
  4. If you are looking for something a little fancier... roller ball perfumes are a great way to give someone a compact version of an expensive perfume, without having to pay for the full size. A favorite of mine is Marc Jacob's 'Daisy' $20
  5. or Juicy Couture 'Peace Love & Juicy' $18
  6. If you prefer to give a home-made gift, something I do often is the DIY picture frame. Things I like to use: paint, glitter, nail polish, and Sharpie marker. Tip: paint, write, or include on a strip of paper an inside joke/quote you two share on to/in the frame. It will make your gift much more meaningful. Oh, and obviously...include a picture! :)
  7. Taylor Swift 'Speak Now' $14 ...need I say more?
  8. For the fashionista: Lauren Conrad's Style Book $20
  9. Every girl loves jewelry...no matter how much it costs. F21 is a great place to find inexpensive accessories that makes fantastic gifts!
  10. E.L.F. makeup brush set $10
  11. If you know how to knit and crochet, a DIY scarf a personable and meaningful gift. There is nothing like wearing a cute scarf made by a special person in your life!
images via Polyvore

Guacamole Made Easy

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A few weeks ago, I had a three avocados in the fridge that I didn't have any use for. My roommate suggested I make guacamole out of them. The recipe turned out to be really simple. So, if you are like me and aren't the best at cooking, you can take satisfaction in knowing that this recipe is fail proof.

What you will need:
  • one avocado
  • pico de gallo (the store bought kind works the best for this recipe)
  • a pinch of salt
  • at least a 1/4 of a lemon
Steps:
  1. Cut the avocado in half horizontally and scoop out the insides with a spoon, into a bowl.
  2. Begin mashing with a fork until desired texture is achieved.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of pico de gallo, making sure not to scoop in too much liquid.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of lemon juice. It is recommended that you "taste as you go".
  5. Stir ingredients until desired outcome is obtained.



Take $50 Off Juicy Couture

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I have been a long-time fan of Juicy Couture. Although their prices can be a little absurd, I will admit that they are all about quality. You really get what you pay for. For my 20th birthday, my mom bought me a black terry cloth zip-up. It has been almost two years, and the material/shape of the clothing has maintained it's original quality. Amazing, isn't it? I don't want to sound like an advertisement, but their merchandise really holds up through wear and tear. I have probably worn that zip-up a million times.

image via WeHeartIt

My roommate (who despises this brand) gave me a coupon she got in the mail. It reads: "ENJOY $50 OFF YOUR PURCHASE OF $200 ONLINE." I know that $200 is a LOT of money, but just in case any of you were planning to wow yourself, or anyone else this holiday season, you might as well save $50 while doing it! :)

The offer expires 12/19/10 11:59PM EST on the website and any store in the U.S. The offer is not valid in department or outlet stores, and shipping and handling does not go towards the $200. This cannot be used on sale items, Bird by Juicy Couture, fragrance, and Maclaren (I have no idea what this is!).

The code is "HOLIDAY10" in all caps.

Let It Snow

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This morning, I woke up to the first snow of the year. But wait. It gets better. My first class was cancelled! Since going back to bed isn't really an option, I decided to take a moment to share with you all, several websites I am currently loving!

If you're like me and enjoy reading lists of things like "8 Songs to Soothe a Bad Mood", or "7 Tips to Take the Best Care of Your Handbags", you're going to have fun wasting time at All Women Stalk.

This website is similar to the one above, except, instead of lists, there are small articles. Some of which, I have gotten a lot out of. One of my favorite articles is "33 Secrets for Perfect Skin".

If you're a more visual person, you're going to enjoy looking at inspirational pictures from candiedclouds.

For interactive entertainment, visit PhotoFunia. There, you can photoshop a picture of yourself or your friends in to a crazy image with just a few clicks of your mouse. No photoshop skills needed. --and best of all, it is free!

Happy Monday!
XO,
SWEATshirt DRESSshirt


images via WeHeartIt

Light Bright (Guest Model: My Roommate!)

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top: Nicolette (via Nordstrom Rack) $17 //band-aid skirt: H&M $5.95 // leggings: Nordstrom Rack

One of the things I miss most about Summer is brightly colored clothing. There is just something about vibrant neon colors that give bad weather a little more pizazz. My roommate, who often marches to the beat of her own drum, decided to break out of the ordinary and throw on some fun colored pieces to spice up a night out on the town.


She usually hates lace, and laughs at me whenever I rave about how beautiful it is. I made fun of her when she decided to buy this top. I know, we're really nice to each other. Haha :)

Bold Shoulder

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I have recently developed an admiration for embellished shoulders. Some of my favorite accents have consisted of lace, sparkly beads, and rhinestones. As I channel my inner fashion designer, I am almost tempted enough to make a trip to the craft store to see what materials I can gather up for a DIY shoulder embellishment. But we'll have to see about that one, because I can't sew for beans.

Bottom line:  High fashion that can be successfully achieved with a low effort? I'll take it.

Braids and Beauty Tips

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image via WeHeartIt
My favorite childhood hairstyle, without a doubt, was the french braid. I couldn't help but to notice the recent come-back of this hairstyle and the impact it has made on the fashion world. Whether it is the crazy Betsey Johnson or the classy Marc Jacobs, you'll be sure to spot a braid or two on this Fall's runway.



images via here and here

Also, here are some beauty tips I wanted to share with you all:
1. Vaseline makes a great eye and lip makeup remover (don't use this on your face because it will clog your pores)
2. A cheap substitute for dry shampoo is baby powder.
3. Having skin troubles? Try an aspirin and honey mask. I'll make another post about this later. In the meantime, visit this link for details.

One last thing. I think you should all check out this video. It involves a really talented and handsome guy playing my favorite Taylor Swift song on the piano. Need I say more? (Just to clarify, I don't personally know him. Though, I wish I did. haha!)



If This Was A Movie

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image via WeHeartIt

This week's list for MUSIC MONDAY:
  1. 'If This Was A Movie' Taylor Swift (Deluxe edition of Speak Now, only at Target)
  2. 'To Build A Home' non-acoustic version, The Cinematic Orchestra
  3. 'At The End' Statistics
  4. 'Better' Regina Spektor (I love the piano at the beginning of this song!)
  5. 'February Air' Lights

Rings and Things

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shirt: eight sixty (via Nordstorm Rack) //army jacket: Urban Outfitters //legging pants: Jalate (via Nordstrom Rack) //nail polish: Revlon in 'Valentine' //friendship bracelet: Nordstrom B.P. //necklace: Urban Outfitters

I consider this ensemble to be the most accessorized outfit I have worn in months. I typically prefer to keep things to a minimal with the occasional statement necklace and my daily rings. However, after hitting the mall on Wednesday, I couldn't resist piling on my new finds. My roommate and I decided to get matching friendship bracelets, and on top of that, I found the ring of my dreams.





Oh, and just in case you missed Taylor Swift's performance at the CMA Awards, here she is, playing my favorite song off of her new album:



I know I say this often, but I wanted to thank everyone for the kind comments! You guys are the best. Have a great weekend!

The Truth About Forever

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I wish I had more time to read for fun. The other day, while taking a study break, I came across this quote:

I couldn't help but to obsess over how true the meaning behind it was. Wanting to find out more, I Googled  "the truth about forever". Turns out, it is a book by Sarah Dessen, a famous American author who has written a number of fiction novels for young adults. Even better, my roommate has the book stashed away somewhere in our coat closet. I am really tempted to do some treasure hunting this weekend.

image via Good Reads

Here is a description of the book:
Macy's summer stretches before her, carefully planned and outlined. She will spend her days sitting at the library information desk. She will spend her evenings studying for the SATs. Spare time will be used to help her obsessive mother prepare for the big opening of the townhouse section of her luxury development. But Macy's plans don't anticipate a surprising and chaotic job with Wish Catering, a motley crew of new friends, or ... Wes. Tattooed, artistic, anything-but-expected Wes. He doesn't fit Macy's life at all--so why does she feel so comfortable with him? So ... happy? What is it about him that makes her let down her guard and finally talk about how much she misses her father, who died before her eyes the year before? Sarah Dessen delivers a page-turning novel that carries readers on a roller coaster of denial, grief, comfort, and love as we watch a broken but resilient girl pick up the pieces of her life and fit them back together. 

Have any of you read this?

p.s, Sorry for being a horrible blogger lately. My life has gotten really busy once again. I'll update and comment everyone back as soon as possible! Please don't give up on me! :)

Blend It Like Beckham

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This fall, my roommate and I have been obsessed with making smoothies. Over the summer, she bought an Osterizer blender for $15, (cheap, I know!) and we have been using it every day, twice a day. A few of my favorite ingredients include: frozen blueberries, orange juice, and fresh apples. There is nothing like a freshly made, customized smoothie before starting your homework! If you are unsure of what ingredients to get, check out the list below for inspiration. My roommate and I usually mix and match 2-3 items from this list for each smoothie:
  • frozen: mixed berries, strawberries, mango
  • soy milk
  • orange juice
  • bananas
  • apples
  • watermelon
  • cantaloupe
  • yogurt
  • ice cubes

Most grocery stores have an entire section designated for frozen fruit. There, you will find options way beyond what I have listed above.




p.s,
Taylor Swift is currently working on a fragrance! It will hit stores Fall 2011.

Oh, and for the sake of the title of this post, I thought I would include this: ;)

image via WeHeartIt

Love, Robot

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The theme for this week's MUSIC MONDAY list is mellow, acoustic, and pop punk:
  1. 'Beautiful Girl' INXS (from the trailer of 'Love & Other Drugs'!)
  2. Love, Robot: I'm not sure if this group has been officially signed yet, but they are pretty darn good! You can find them on YouTube, under the username 'lovecommarobot' or MySpace. Their videos are mostly covers, but they are all great. I promise! My favorite would have to be the 'Forever and Always' Taylor Swift cover. Love, Robot's music is considered to be alternative, pop punk, and rock.
  3. 'So In Love' The Icarus Account
  4. 'Chocolate' Snow Patrol
  5. 'Humans' The Scene Aesthetic
  6. 'You Told Me Everything' The City View