Spring 2011 Fashion

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As you know, Spring is finally here! If you're curious as to what trends will be hot this season, look no further. Keep in mind, these examples are straight off the runway and are very exaggerated. My advice: if you find a trend you like, make it yours, and flaunt it with confidence.

My favorites: neon lips, and tiny pleats.


The Taylor Files

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Some of you may know about my unhealthy adoration for Taylor Swift. For those who don't, here is a taste of what my obsession is like: If I were to reveal the number of times I've listened to 'Back to December' (let alone all of her other songs), you probably wouldn't believe me/would think I was crazy.

Anyway, earlier today, I wanted to see if there was anything out there of hers that I had not listened to yet. I came across this YouTube video that had a list of over 100 unreleased songs. Can you say, 'jackpot'!?

image via WeHeartIt

I was able to find most of them on YouTube. Most of the sound clips are not of the best quality but are good enough to enjoy.

Here are a few high-quality ones:
Dark Blue Tennessee <--the pitch of her voice is altered in this one, but it's still amazing!
Missing You ft Tyler Hilton <--one of my favorites!

Old School Taylor
One Way Ticket

Oh, and for those who are interested, here is the link to Taylor's performance at Abbey Road. She does an alternate version of Fearless on her ukulele!

Free For All

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So, I guess Urban Outfitters had to top my Music Mondays by offering their readers 5 free tracks every Monday. To access the goods, click on this link. [No, I am not being compensated by anyone to mention UO. I thought the idea was cool, so I decided to share. :)]


image via WeHeartIt

Give and Take

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Yesterday, I was awarded The Versatile Blogger Award by the beautiful Ally of Keep Calm Carry On! I highly recommend you check out her page, because she has some pretty entertaining/inspirational/worth-your-time content. --and I'm not just saying that!


To receive the award, I did the following:
1. Thanked Ally!
2. Listed 7 things about myself (see below).
3. Passed the award onto several other bloggers.

  1. I'm a big time germaphobe.
  2. I have an unhealthy obsession with Taylor Swift.
  3. I'm an only child.
  4. I have a really weird sense of humor, that most people can't relate to.
  5. I am an animal rights advocate.
  6. Laughing is one of my favorite things to do.
  7. Since freshman year of college, I have eaten pasta almost every day.

I would like to pass this award onto the following 
Also, my interview with Smashion is posted today! Check it out here*!

*I was not compensated in any way for this interview. The sole purpose of the interview was for entertainment.

Classic Trends

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While looking through some old photo albums the other day, I came across a picture my mom took of me in our old backyard. I was about 6 years old, and in a floral dress. 'Floral print, huh?'... I thought to myself. It just goes to show, some trends never die. Here is that picture:


Flash forward 15 years to this past weekend. One of my best friends and I were rummaging through the clearance section of Urban Outfitters and found the most adorable FLORAL scarf for a bargain price of $10! --and of course, we don't call ourselves the 'Super Twins' for nothing. We both ended up getting it.

army green shirt-jacket: Staring At Stars via Urban Outfitters //tank: Old Navy $5 SALE //scarf: Pins and Needles via Urban Outfitters $10 SALE //necklace: Nordstrom B.P. //legging pants: Jolt via Nordstrom B.P. $25 SALE //nail polish: China Glaze



I can understand why fashion refuses to break up with floral print. It's feminine, chic, can be worn at any time of year, and at any age. It is a classic and timeless print that is here to stay... I hope. ;)


text and triangle images via Polyvore

That's A First

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Some of you may recall the "act of boldness" I pulled late last week (read about it here). Well, for those who are interested, here is an update! Aside from a little miscommunication about our meeting place (which was totally my fault!), the afternoon couldn't have gone more smoothly! We had hot chocolate and tea in the up-stairs of a cute little cafe and ended up telling each other random things about our lives for over 3 1/2 hours... with no awkward silences! It's true, time flies when you're having a good time on Cloud 9. Oh, and he wants to hang out again! This is the happiest I've been in a long time. OK-- enough of being mushy.


The main point of this post is:

What to Do/What Not to Do On A First Date

If you guys have anything to contribute/alter to the DO and DON'T lists, feel free to leave it as a comment. I'll edit the post and include your blog link next to your contribution! UPDATE: Wow! I am really impressed with all of your guys' tips. Thank you for all of the wisdom. Keep up the great work! :)



-Dress appropriately for the occasion and wear comfortable shoes. (via Justine of Just Better Together)

-Be a good listener as well as contributor.

-Have an actual opinion, and don't just agree with everything he/she says. This helps keep the conversation going. (via Kelsey of Life As We Know It)

-Ask a lot of questions about the other person, but don't appear as being fake-curious. Be genuine about it.

-Bring money (if you can!).

-Be open to suggestions for what you will do on your date.

-Have confidence, but remember that there is a difference between being confident and conceited. (via Makall of Your Daily Dose)

-Be honest, but mysterious. (via Stephanie of Stephanie and Such)

-Play it safe. If you are being set up on a blind date, you may want to opt for meeting the other person at the destination. Tell a friend/family member where you are going, and call them when you get home.

-Be courteous and remember to say thank you at the end of the date.

-Be prepared! I usually bring a purse, and besides the obvious, I like to keep on hand the following: gum/mints, a small mirror, chapstick, an umbrella (only because I live in Seattle), oil-blotting sheets, and hand sanitizer.

-Let him take the lead. It's what guys like to do. (via Stephanie)

-Most importantly: relax and have a good time! Remember to be yourself. If it is meant to be, your date will like you for who you are.

-After the date: be sure to give the other person space. It is OK to send the other person a text telling them how good of a time you had, but keep it short and sweet.

-End a phone call/text/date first. It keeps them wanting more! (via Stephanie)

-Keep living your life (so what if he doesn't call you one day. You were busy anyway, right?) (via Stephanie)



-Talk about your problems.

-Talk about your past, in relation to previous relationships. That is, unless he/she asks. (via Megan + Justin)

-Expect that they are going to pay for what ever you guys are doing.

-Try to be someone you're not.

-Move quickly, and discuss topics like marriage, and moving in together.

-Wear too much makeup and/or perfume.

-Over-analyze every move he/she makes, because they obviously like you enough to be hanging out with you.

-Show too much skin. First dates are always about getting to know each other's PERSONALITY. You want to look cute, of course, but try your best to be conservative.

-Lie about your interests.

-Criticize the other person.

-When it comes to food and drink, DON'T: drink too much alcohol, order anything fried/garlicky/super expensive (if the other person is paying for you), or be afraid to eat.

-Text/call the other person right after you part. If you want to send a little text saying something about how great of a time you had, send it a few hours after the date, or even the next day. However, some people may enjoy receiving texts right after the date. So, use your own judgement for this one. (via Laurita P of Adorably Delicious LP)

-Open up too fast/talk to much. (via Stephanie)

-Give him all the details of your life. (via Stephanie)

-As for this last point, I'm kind of on the fence about it. I find that every time I say the phrase, "we should do this again", the guy never calls me back! I don't know if it's some strange coincidence, or because I'm being too forward, but every time I say this phrase, things never end well. So, if it's a risk you want to take, then great. If it's not, I would wait to arrange a second date later down the not-too-distant road when you guys contact each other again.

image via WeHeartIt

Superman

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image via Tumblr

I seriously cannot stop listening to these songs. Here is this week's list for MUSIC MONDAY:
1. 'Lead Me' Sanctus Real
2. 'American Honey' Lady Antebellum
3. 'Mine' Pop Version Taylor Swift
4. 'Set Fire To The Third Bar' Snow Patrol
5. 'Superman' Taylor Swift

Something else I can't seriously stop doing is... wishing for Summer! Who's with me?

A Spring In Your Step

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Dear Spring,

Just so you know, I anticipate your arrival every year, as it brings warm weather, pretty flowers, and my birthday month. Three things that make me a happier person. 

Thank you for always being a constant in my life.

XO,
SWEATshirt DRESSshirt


Cross body bags (top to bottom)
-Leatherette Cross Body Bag via F21 $15 SALE
-Two Way Cross Body Satchel via Charlotte Russe $25
-Fringe Cross Body via Aldo Shoes $30

Nail Polish
-China Glaze in 'Re-Fresh Mint' via Sally Beauty Supply $5
-China Glaze in 'Peachy Keen' via Sally Beauty Supply $5

-Floral Print Shorts via F21 9.90

Oxfords
-Steve Madden 'Trouser' via Piperlime $40
-Kimchi Blue Suede Teardrop Oxford via Urban Outfitters $20 SALE

-Sweetheart Sunnies via fredflare.com $12

all images via Polyvore

For Japan

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In times of hardship, we must stick together. I will not be making any posts tomorrow to support the "Bloggers Day of Silence" for Japan. See this post by This Free Bird for more information on the day of silence, and how to donate.




Risk Taking

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I have always been a traditionalist when it comes to the world of dating and guys. Up until this very moment, I believed that it was only appropriate for the guy to ask the girl out, rather than the other way around.

The inspiration for this post originated from my adoration for a guy I met at school. We had our last class together this past week. I walked out the door that day, knowing that I had let 6 months pass without even attempting to be his friend. I thought to myself: 'it's time to do something.'

After a great deal of encouragement from my friends, and lyrics from Taylor Swift's 'Speak Now', I decided to write him an email confessing everything I meant to say in person. At the end of my message, I asked him if he wanted to hang out. As I finished typing the last words, I immediately hit the 'send' button before I could change my mind. At this moment, I was feeling so... much... anxiety.

Sending that email went against all of my beliefs about being traditional. It was also one of the most bold things I had ever done. Aside from my friends, another driving force for this courageous act was the fact that I had nothing to lose.

You guys are probably wondering... WELL, WHAT HAPPENED? To answer that question: something great. He ended up writing a lengthy reply telling me how my message made his week (this brought me the most happiness), amongst other things. At the end, he said YES to hanging out. Mission accomplished.

What he will never know is that his reply made my entire year. I hope my story inspired you (even if it's just a little) to go for what you want in life and as Taylor Swift would say, SPEAK NOW. Life is too short to let great opportunities pass you by. When you want something, make an effort to make it yours. Don't expect for things to come to you. Take action, and remember that nothing is ever a mistake; it is a lesson learned.

XO,
SWEATshirt DRESSshirt

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." -Walt Disney

image via WeHeartIt
edited on Picnik

Double Dream Hands

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This video made my day. It is an absolute must-watch, especially if you are feeling down in the dumps.

Here Right Now

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Last night, I was catching up on an episode of My Life As Liz, and in the episode 6 sneak peek, I heard a song I absolutely fell in love with. It took me a while to find an mp3 of it, since the artist isn't that well known. I eventually stumbled across a website called LastFM, and up popped this streaming MP3. I had hit the jackpot of all the best folk/indie songs. Here are a few that stood out to me:

1. 'Here Right Now' Nicole Reynolds
2. 'Juliana' Nicole Reynolds
3. 'Undertow' Lixian Hantover
4. 'Gatekeeper' Meg Hutchinson
5. 'I'm A Creep and I'm Proud' Kelsey Brown

Oh, and I painted my nails again! Kinda sloppy, but it'll do for now.

china glaze for audrey, tribal nails

china glaze for audrey, la colors art deco white

Frasier Torte

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Whenever I'm feeling down, I like to think about all of the things in my life that I am lucky to have. One of those things is my best friend, B. I could go on and on about what makes him so great, but for the sake of space, I'll just share a few things for now: he always makes me laugh, is one of the few straight guys I know of that likes Miley Cyrus and Taylor swift, and is an excellent pastry chef.

When B was here last week for his Spring Break, he made a Frasier Torte for his grandma's birthday. Pretty sweet, huh? To give a little background, 'fraise' is French for strawberry. The middle of this torte is yellow cake filled with mixed berry Bavarian Cream, while the top is a thin layer of Marzipan mixed with green food coloring.

If any of you are interested in knowing how to become a pastry chef, e-mail sweatshirtdressshirt@yahoo.com or comment below with questions. :)



*All pictures by B.

The little thing I am appreciating today is: during an interview/oral presentation, the moment your anxiety resides, and confidence takes over.

EDIT: thank you to Erin of Erin's Lucky Stars for pointing out the spelling mistake. ;)

Share The Love

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I've been writing on this blog for a little over a year now, and could not be more thankful for all the support I have received. I decided that it's time to give back to the blogging community, and make a "share the love" post. If you aren't familiar with what this is, it's basically a list of blogs you enjoy reading. They can range from really popular, well known blogs, to blogs that are just getting started. Anything goes! 


Fashion/Makeup
Laura aka Aki of 7% Solution
Brittany of Itty Bitty Bomb
Sharon and Sherrie of Closet Hound
Kinsey of Kinsey Michaels
Blogger of Pearls and Politics
Chanel of Chanel Craves

Food
Chef Dennis of More Than A Mount Full

Life
Genevieve of Sandbox Romance
Denalee of Silver Strands
Mugdha of A Viligant Muse

I want you guys to know that I love every single one of your blogs, and I truly mean that. I think it's awesome how in this ONE community, there is an infinite amount of creativity. With that comes a great deal of culture. That said, even if you aren't on this list... I think you are amazing, regardless.

image via WeHeartIt

Adventures In Target

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On Saturday night, some friends and I decided to have a night out. We went to one of our favorite restaurants for happy hour, stopped at Target, and ended the night playing with B's Xbox Kinect (if you haven't gotten a chance to play with one of these yet, I highly recommend you try it!). 

Anyway, moving on to the main topic of this post: good deals! While at Target, my friend K and I came across the most adorable cross body bags. Pictured below, is the one she had purchased a few months ago. Though they didn't have K's style anymore, there were a ton of other really cute ones. Most of them were under $20.


We also spotted an exact replica of Steve Madden's 'Saahara' sandal. The Target brand ones were selling for less than a 1/3 of the SM price. What a steal!

Moral of the story: the next time you fall in love with a designer item, but are wanting to purchase it for less (who wouldn't?), be sure to check out Target.

B: "Target is like a time trap. You expect to spend 10 minutes in there, and end up walking out 2 hours later."

images via Target and Polyvore

This week's list for MUSIC MONDAY:
1. 'Sweet Child O Mine' Guns N' Roses
2. 'Semi-Charmed Life' Third Eye Blind
3. 'Marry Me' Train
4. 'Dreams' The Cranberries
5, 'Last Kiss' Pearl Jam

Coconut Macadamia Nut Cupcakes

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Earlier this week, my BFF, B, made the most delicious cupcakes. Though he has a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, and has made dozens of delicious desserts that were Cake-Boss-worthy, you definitely don't need a great amount of expertise to replicate these babies.

To wow your friends, all you need is your favorite boxed cake mix, cream of coconut, macadamia nuts (you're going to want to toast these), and the ingredients to make French buttercream (recipe found here). If you have any questions, feel free to post them as a comment and I will be more than happy to send them to B.






*All picture credit goes to B, a famous pastry chef in the making. :)

Neon Coral and Lavender Nails

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Tonight, I had dinner with a few friends (something I should be doing more often). We laughed about all the stupid stuff we did in high school and the endless drama we endured. My BFF, who is home for his spring break, was able to be there as well. He baked us all the most AMAZING coconut cupcakes. I'll post pictures of them soon.

Aside from having dinner with friends on a more frequent basis, I realized a few other things I should be doing more often: procrastinating, wearing less makeup, having more confidence, being more assertive, and painting my nails like this:

nail art with bright colors, striped nails
This design was inspired by the WAH nails nail salon in London and the Victoria's Secret bandeau bikini top in Neon Coral/Lavender Zebra.

nail art with bright colors, striped nails

nail art with bright colors, striped nails
from left to right: LA Colors Nail Art Lacquer gifted from a friend //Love & Beauty in 'Lavender' via F21 $2.80 //Sinful Colors in 'Thimbleberry' via Walgreens $2.50

The little thing I am appreciating today: the first signs of spring.
Now playing: 'Fearless' Taylor Swift

Frizz Control For Less

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I've never really been one to fuss over the texture of my hair... until I found out about these gems. In the order of their appearance, here is a little tidbit about each product.

1. Last summer, I got my hair deep conditioned at a salon. Sure, it was great to have someone wash, condition, and style my hair... but looking back, it definitely was not worth $20. Loreal's Eversleek deep conditioner gave me the same results the salon products did... for less than half the price. I purchased this at Target for ~$8. Tip: for those greasy-haired beauties, only apply to the "ponytail" part of your hair.

2. Healthy Sexy Hair's Soy Renewal is what I would call the cheaper version of Moroccan Oil. I've never used M.O., but I feel like this product would give you the same results: silky, shiny hair. I apply a very small amount to the bottom half of my hair when it's damp. This product was $24.

3. This last product is actually my roommate's. It's a knock-off of the infamous original CHI brand straightener. A couple of my friends own real CHIs, which I have tested out, and I would say that there is no difference when it comes to the Generic Value Product straightener. My roommate got this product from Sally Beauty Supply for $60. Way cheaper than a CHI!

Whoo hoo for good deals!




The little thing I am appreciating today: keeping in touch with friends you have known since kindergarten.
Now playing: 'Love Story' Taylor Swift