Thursday, December 31, 2009

One of my favorite scenes from a recent movie... ever

and the reason I love Katherine Heigl despite how controversial she is (and I don't watch Grey's.) I saw this with a bunch of my friends in the theater and they were all very quick to point out to me the resemblance I share with her in this scene... but I act like this basically all the time, not when I'm doing shots like she is in the scene. Happy NYE and may you have as good of a time as this!

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed."-Elle Woods

Items in this set:
Tory Burch Orange Reva Flats
Steal This Look: Sun Porch by Dale Saylor : Remodelista, $1,125
Bringing Home The Birkin: Bringing Home the Birkin and Barcelona
absolutely beautiful things: The Hermes Blanket
While I don't disagree that orange will never replace pink, I've recently become enchanted with the chicness and versatility of the color. My orange Revas are one of my favorite things to pair with a nautical striped shirt and jeans (blue or white denim) to add a little punch to the outfit.

Orange and blue isn't the only great combo of orange with another color... orange and pink can be a great departure from the traditional preppy pink and green (a la Tory Burch)... and pairing orange with pinks and whites avoids looking like a jack o lantern (I never wear orange with black...not even on Halloween, really!)

Of course, it's the classic Hermes color (how I would love to own one of their cashmere throws... I suggest picking up Michael Tonello's Bringing Home the Birkin for a fashion-obsessed twist on Eat, Pray, Love.) And it's the signature color of Veuve Clicquot (follow them on twitter here.) And of course the very Florida-esque color is a favorite of the one and only Lilly Pulitzer (a go-to for tailgates!)

I'm currently on the hunt for the perfect orange cashmere pashmina... but as a blonde I'm a bit weary of wearing the color in a block so close to my face. 

And who could forget... orange is the color of our trusty friend the blogger icon. I know it lights up my toolbar!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

I finally found time to read this highly-anticipated second offering from the author of The Time Traveler's Wife. I bought it from Target a while ago, but hadn't had the time to read it until this winter break... I sped through it in 2 days!

This book is a Harry Potter-esque ghost story, full of historical accuracy and whimsy. Niffenegger lets the spirit of her British characters and settings shrine through, and she captures the essence of the culture very well... a rare feat for an American author, in my opinion.

She creates magical character with whom we can relate as well as marvel at. Each character is quirky-- a bit weird, a bit off, but this makes them that much more interesting! They are strange in a good way.

Like Lionel Shriver's characters (The Post-Birthday World and the forthcoming So Much For That), their relationships with each other are strained by their abnormal yet all together human complications-- obsessions, aversions and peculiarities govern the lives of these very particular people. Their oddness, however, is somehow entrancing and quite lovely, actually.

The plot is full of surprises and twists, but ultimately this book's characters are what make it a worth while read and accomplish a second success for the author. I can't wait to see the movie of her first!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pat Conroy's South of Broad

Ok, so I read this book a realllyyyy long time ago. But I still remember how I felt when I read it: I'm glad I did, Conroy is a fantastic writer, his descriptions are unrivaled. But, as many of the reviews I read had pointed out, it seemed that it tried to cram too many important historical events of the past 50 years into one story. From Civil Rights, to AIDS, to celebrity-mania, these movements did affect people's lives, but they played such a large role in the book that it became distracting.

I had the opportunity to visit Charleston just before I read this (I actually read a bit of it there), so reading the story about the city was gratifying as I recognized many sites and streets and styles. If you've never read Conroy, I would suggest reading The Prince of Tides or Beach Music before you pick this one up. Would hate for someone to get turned off from such a fabulous author by this... it's not that bad but definitely not his best.

Hope it isn't 14 more years before his next release!

Monday, December 21, 2009

4 days til Christmas...

1. I used to be a newspaper junkie and peruse the news over my coffee every day, but now I read blogs.
2. I love reality tv. Favorites include Real Housewives, The City and The Bachelor/Bachelorette. I also love Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl and Project Runway. Recently I've been getting into Glee... it's great!
3. I love to read but to really relax sometimes I just need to watch a mindless movie or tv shows as mentioned above on my computer in my bed.
4. I could eat chocolate for every meal. I need it at least once a day. It sustains me.
5. I hoard magazines (mostly People) to read on the treadmill/elliptical. The idea is that I'll want to read the magazines and thus be motivated to go to the gym, but I have about 8 back issues right now... gotta get on that treadmill tomorrow!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Over the past year, my new method of procrastination has become to press refresh on my Google Reader until some fun, beautiful or interesting new blog post pops up. For some reason, I have 800+ unread blog posts in the reader at all times... what can I say, sometimes I subscribe to a blog and then lose interest. Oh, so I guess it seems like I have a short attention span?

I don't! (I promise.) I just crave good, pretty and interesting content. After starting my other blog last spring, I was able to tailor its content in such a way that I have almost run out of things to post about... I only read so many books for pleasure at school (read: 1 this entire semester) and I just don't feel that anyone wants to read reviews of what I read for my courses.

So for now, I'm parlaying my random thoughts into this blog. And I'll put pretty things on here too... for those times when the refresh button just isn't doing it for me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WAY behind

on book reviews... stay tuned for my thoughts on Jacqueline Sussan's The Valley of the Dolls and my opinions on its movie counterpart...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

new Candace Bushnell!

Finally, Candace Bushnell, one of my self-proclaimed favorite queens of chic-lit in the good old "about me" section of this blog has announced a new release! I can't say I expected this sort of thing from her, but it will no doubt span both the young adult and the adult women's fiction market, which is only a good thing in today's publishing situation. I certainly plan on picking this up and reading it ASAP as soon as it comes out, followed by a viewing of SATC2!

Off to watch The Time Traveler's Wife with Rachel McAdams, my fave... I bought her new book recently so hopefully I can get into it over Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The lyrics describe my feelings about books quite summarily

I'm still not sure that a Kindle/Nook are for me... too soon my dreams of having an enormous library full of everything I've ever read would be dashed. But this is divine.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Emily Giffin's Got Style

Thank you to Spice and Sass for referring me to this wonderful Access Atlanta piece on my favorite chic-lit author of all time and fellow Demon Deacon, Emily Giffin!

Clearly, not only can the girl write, but has fabulous fashion sense. So, being that this blog is dedicated to books and styles that strike my fancy, I thought I'd share as well.

After looking through this slideshow, I figured that no author/celebrity typically does publicity of this sort unless they're promoting a new project... and I remembered receiving an email a little while back with a preview of Giffin's new book, coming out in Spring 2010, The Heart of the Matter. (Yes, I receive email updates from Borders, B&N, Amazon, etc. that let me know when my favorite authors are coming out with new books... book nerd alert!) Click on the link to read the preview yourself...

Maybe she'll stop by campus again on a book tour like she did my freshman year and this time I won't be stuck in class... and we can meet here before I graduate! Here's to hoping!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Me as Daisy Buchanan

Here's the Gatsby costume I posted about! After scouring a thrift store full of great things from the 60s, 70s and 80s, I was really out of luck for finding anything that matched the 20's era and was still cute enough to go out in. So I bought a pleated skirt, turned it into a strapless dress with a few safety pins and some ribbon in the back, and voila! A Flapper!

I added some long necklaces and rings for baubles, wore silver shoes and turned my hair into a bob. For my hair, I used a curling iron on my entire head (this took at least an hour, I have a lot of hair) and hair sprayed it in place along the way. The I pinned some of the curls underneath my hair (folding it under) and let a few of the shorter pieces hang down (you can tell from the picture.) I also wore a rosette-embellished headband I purchased from Urban Outfitters in Charleston to complete the hairdo.

Silver JCrew heels, my date in a tux, a sparkly shoulder bag and a champagne flute and I was good to go! I've received many compliments on my outfit, even from people who have seen pictures online after the fact... so if you're looking for a creative and not so expensive Halloween costume, I'd recommend this!

Monday, October 19, 2009

So I've blogged about Gatsby before...

And have now decided that the characters are the perfect inspiration for a couples Halloween costume!

Have to attend a function on Wednesday and dress up for it but have so far only purchased an incredibly overprice urban outfitters headband to wear across my forehead in that oh-so twenties way.

Went to Goodwill today to search for a flapper-esque or just plain sparkly dress with no luck. And we have the Goodwill headquarters! It usually fulfills all my costume party needs, but it failed this time.

Tomorrow I'm heading downtown to a special thrift shop, or else I'm resorting to a friend's dress which is basically a forever21 interpretation of Daisy Buchanan, but what's a girl on a budget to do? (probably not buy a $28 dollar headband.)

a meme...

Have you read more than 6 of these books?

The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Instructions: Copy this into your NOTES. Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read. Tag 20 other book nerds. Tag me as well so I can see your responses!

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen - have started it multiple times and can't get into it! I know, I should have read it.
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - (does The Hobbit count?)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte - X LOVE
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling - x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - X
6 The Bible - x (ok, not every page...)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte - X LOVE
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell - X totally thought provoking. I'm strange and constantly relate this book to my every day experience.
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - (my roommate is obsessed. no thank you.0
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens -
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott -X
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy -
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller – x (is it weird that I was jealous when my little brother was assigned this for summer reading?)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare - x (I took this class for my English major requirement... I've read 13 plus some sonnets)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier -
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - x (oh, so I guess the Hobbit counts... here, not above)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk -
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger - X
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger- x (her latest is on deck)
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot -
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell - x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald - X (twice)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens -
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy -
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams -
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky - x (ugh)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck -
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll - x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame- x
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy -
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - x
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis - x
34 Emma-Jane Austen -
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen -
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis - x (I guess I don't know the difference between this and The Chronicles of Narnia, listed above)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini - (mom told me not to)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres -
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden - X
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne- x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - X
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - X
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez-
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving-
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins -
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery - x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy -
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood -
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding - x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan - X
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel - x
52 Dune - Frank Herbert -
53 Cold Comfort Farm -
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen- (no Austen... yes I know a disgrace)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth -
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon -
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens -
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley -
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddon -
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez-
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck - X
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov- X (reading NOW!)
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt -
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - X
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas -
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac - x (this traveled everywhere with me for a few years)
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy -
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding - X
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie –
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville - X (reading next semester)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens-
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker -
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson -
75 Ulysses - James Joyce -
76 The Inferno – Dante -
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome -
78 Germinal - Emile Zola -
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray-
80 Possession - AS Byatt –
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - X
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell -
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker-
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro -
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert -
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry -
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom -
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton -
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - X
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - x (extra credit if read in French?) I did read it in French!!
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks -
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams -
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole -
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute -
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - x
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare - x (three times)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl - x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo X (extra credit if read in French) I've read excerpts of it in French)

I've read roughly 40 give or take a few that I've read partially and adding ones I've read multiple times! How about you?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Falling in Love

Falling in Love is an 80's romantic drama starring Meryl Streep (fave) and Robery DeNiro. It's not up there with When Harry Met Sally for me (fave film of all time... but that's another post) but it's one that I don't mind watching over and over. It takes place at Christmas time in New York, which is just divine in itself, and there is something about the early 80's that I've always loved. The clothes, the customs, the old fashioned ways mixed with the new. Watching this movie now almost feels like a period piece... the ads for Pan Am, the exaggerated teased bangs on Ms. Streep, the pay phones, etc.

The movie deals with a deep moral question. What do two people who are "happy" in their respective committed relationships do when a chance meeting brings them together and circumstances follow in which they fall in love? It's a pretty unrealistic plot set up, but worth considering nonetheless. Recommend, recommend, recommend! Now back to the movie!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm So Happy for You

I think everyone can relate to this sentiment. Part of the mystique of being a "good friend" sometimes involves grinning and bearing it when your friends make decisions that you don't necessarily approve of, but also don't want to seem like their mothers in flaunting your disapproval. I picked up this book out of a certain identification with the opposite of the situation... have you ever felt that you were finally happy in your life and that your friends who had been there along the way all of a sudden couldn't identify with you anymore? I have.

Truthfully, I didn't gain any great insight into the situation, but this book did for me what many of Emily Giffin's do; it reminds you that this happens to everyone, that what you're feeling is universal and manages to spin it with some humor at the same time. I read it in about two days. Recommend!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I know, I know

I seem to have gone missing. My disclaimer in the "about me" section should take care of explaining that.

In the meantime, I've just started rereading The Great Gatsby for the first time since high school and it seems that I'm already enjoying it infinitely more the second time with 1) more life experience 2) having read more about the book itself 3) the timely cultural relevance of it right now and 4)having read more in general as to make this look like even more of a beautifully-crafter masterpiece.

Here's a favorite passage so far. I'm enchanted.

"We walked through a high hallway into a bright rosy-colored spaced, fragilely bound into the house by French windows at either end. The windows were ajar and gleaming white against the fresh grass outside that seemed to grow a little way into the house. A breeze blew through the room, blew curtains in at one end and out the other like pale flags, twisting them up toward the frosted wedding cake of the ceiling-- and then rippled over the wine-colored rug making a shadow on it as wind does on the sea.
The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house."

I've chosen not to include the point at which this passage receives its disenchantment, because we all know this tale of the "wonders" of money and the magic of things really presents them as a facade of yearning for something else. For now, I choose to revel in the delight that is Fitzgerald's description of pretty things :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just finished Sometimes Mine, Martha Moody's latest. I only recently have become a huge fan of this author... I think the medical perspective she brings to her books (she's a doctor) is original and truly sets these apart from other books that deal with medecine and disease a la Jodi Picoult (ps, not a fan of Picoult... liked The Pact but after I read My Sister's Keeper my senior year of high school I haven't gone back to her since... entirely too depressing).

I was tres excited that this new offering from Moody was released so soon after I read her last two books this spring. I went to the BN in Union Square on the day it was released (I had set an alarm in my phone calendar) and went I didn't see it amongst the new releases, went to customer service who was able to track down the book for me. I willed them not to judge me... they had clearly not heard of this book or this author. Their loss.

(I want to first mention that this is an example of when it is NOT a good idea to judge a book by its cover. Because frankly, this cover sucks. It's blurry, the fonts are uninspired, and the scene on the cover never happens in the novel! I don't know what Moody's previous hardcover jackets were like, or if her previous two books were even released in hardcover, but they were way more modern and enticing than this one. Too bad.)

Sometimes Mine is the story of Genie, a petite cardiologist entering middle-age. At the book's opening Genie has been engaging in a somewhat staid affair with a college men's basketball coach, Mick, for over ten years. They meet weekly for two hours in a hotel and talk on the phone. She watches and tapes all of his televised basketball games. Genie has convinced herself that her stressful and time-consuming job as a prominent cardiologist led to her failed marriage and is also the reason she would never have time for a relationship more demanding than hers with Mick.

Beyond the plot, which I don't think I should delve into any deeper, I want to commend Moody on her ability to fearless capture, with barely any hints of cliche, the depths of her characters. Mick is not a particularly likable person, but she manages to convincingly portray the sincerity and passion with which Genie loves him. Genie herself isn't a terribly likable heroine and both she and Mick suffer from the extent to which their high-pressure careers control their lives and complicate their relationships with their families and friends.

While I'll admit that books with this high a dose of realism don't appeal to me, it doesn't bother me with Moody's books. I am a person who cannot watch ER or Grey's Anatomy or General Hospital because I hate blood; I also fear getting blood drawn... hate the sight of it. But somehow reading about the fairly graphic medicaly procedures which Moody describes doesn't bother me. She does such a great job and I think this is due to her real experience as a medical professional. This experience is also what draws me to her books and characters; I respect them for their committment to such a noble profession and admire their hardworking qualities; if only every doctor should be like the earnest physicians who are the spotlight of her work.

The extensive descriptions of the game of basketball, on the other hand, were not always to my liking and I found myself glancing over them. I'm certainly a sports fan, but I've never been able to get into a book that tries to illustrate such physical games with words (Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain is another book that is near to my heart for many reasons and I found myself having a similar reaction to the racecar scenes in that novel). But I wouldn't let the sports-focus stop me from reading!

Anyway, two thumbs up for Ms. Moody and I'll continue to stalk her website until I can find out the release date for her next!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some Book Comparisons

I've been meaning to post about this for a while, but was so busy finishing up work in the city. I'm finally home for a bit now before heading back down to school, so I'm finally able to get around to some more blogging!

About a month ago, I read these two books in a row:

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

I picked up Firefly Lane earlier in the spring on a whim and had been meaning to read it all summer. I am a big Jennifer Weiner fan (she's part of my upper-echelon of chic-lit, natch) and bought her new book the day it came out.

First of all, I did NOT like Firefly Lane. I thought it read like a romance novel; loosely defined characters, cheesey love affairs and relationships, and a soap-opera ending. I guess I should have known by the cover, but the description initially drew me in; I love stories about female relationships overtime. To me it sounded like one of my favorite novels, Martha Moody's Best Friends, which I posted about here, but it came nowhere close. I guess this would be fine if you're looking for something that doesn't make you think, but for me it was too unrealistic and melodramatic.

On to the next.

Best Friends Forever is also about a lifelong friendship between two women. But it involves a Thelma and Louise style trip and a mystery plot. Some of Weiner's other novels have touched on the mystery genre as well, and I think she does a good job keeping you reading while still delivering on the books characters and their interests.

The reason I'm writing about these two novels together is that they contain some uncanny
parallels. I'll list a few off the top of my head.

1. Both are stories about a misfit-type girl whose self-esteem is elevated by a "cool girl" who moves in across the street.
2. Both of the "cool girls" in each story grow up to become famous newscasters.
3. Both have plots involving cancer and the heartache surrounding coping with such a disease.

And those are just what I can remember. Still, I think those are pretty major plot and character points. That being said, Best Friends Forever is by far the superior novel. While its not any harder to read and still wholly delivers on the chick-lit beach book front, its characters are real, nuanced and relatable. Weiner is a terrific writer, one who is recognized for her literary talent beyond chick-lit circles. I recommend all of her books, which you can find here. I've read them all and the only one that disappointed was Certain Girls, her most recent before Best Friends Forever, but I think I just wasn't in the right frame of mind when I picked it up. It's now available in paperback.

The other book comparison that I just want to briefly mention are the similarities between J. Courtney Sullivan's Commencement, which I posted about earlier in the summer here, and Meg Wolizter's The Wife. I picked up The Wife because I'd heard really good things about the author and because I'm a sucker for books about books. The premise of the story involves a young woman at Smith College in the late 1950s who has an affair with her married professor and eventually ends up marrying; the book illustrates vingettes of their life together as he becomes a famous author and she supports him along the way. The book is satirical in many ways, and Wolitzer's commentary is cheeky and humorous; she even throws in
a surprise ending. The similarity between
these two books is pretty obvious, but being that both authors are graduates of Smith College and write about undergraduates having affairs with their professors (both girls are blonde and
relatively naive, trying to impress their professors with their writerly chops before falling in love) while the professors are
young-ish, dashing, and the seductor in
each situation. Perhaps this commonality exists because Smith is a women's college so there are few other choices of men on campus, but I can't help feeling that Sullivan read Wolitzer. I hope she has. Wolitzer is a formidable writer worth paying attention to... just like Joan from The Wife.

Phew, long post from me! Back to more leisurely Saturday reading :)


Monday, July 27, 2009

How many have you read?

I'm at 27... good thing I have one more year of English-majoring to get that number up!

Beach Reads!

Go vote! I had SUCH a hard time deciding... only ten?

I've done it

I've MadMen'ed myself. Thank you to the Lipp sisters at Basket of Kisses for tipping me off to this! Go here to do it to yourself... I'm still not done playing ;0

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Revolutionary Road

I picked up a copy of this earlier in the year when the film first came out in theaters. I'm a big believer in reading the book before seeing the movie... I know I'll want to read the book eventually, and I don't want the plot to be spoiled!

I truly enjoyed the book. I think Richard Yates was a gifted writer with a keen eye for the often tragically beautiful American psychological landscape. The book had overtones of Mad Men, which is one of my favorite shows (this blog, entirely devoted to the AMC golden child, is a daily read). However, it seems that Matt Weiner, Mad Men's creator had never heard of the book.

Unfortuneately, the movie just didn't do it for me. I loved the actors (how could anyone not adore seeing Kate and Leo reunited in a cute white clapboard house in the NYC suburbs?) but it didn't capture the spirit of the book. Also, I think the producers of Mad Men are correct in playing up the glamour of the era as they focus on the serious issues. A lot of that mystique went by the wayside in the film. Not much to say other than that if you didn't enjoy the movie or haven't seen it, I encourage you to turn to the book instead!

Monday, July 13, 2009

(fairly) recent reads

Finished Jen Lancaster's Pretty in Plaid. Did not fail to please... but I think I've read too many Jen books because her humor didn't seem as outrageous to me in this book... maybe because it focused on a younger and less snappy period of her life and temperment, but I fear that I'm becoming used to her attitude. No worries because today she requested to FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER. I think I've arrived ;)

Finished Lydia Peelle's Reasons For and Advantages of
Breathing. This was a pre-release read, but I encourage you all to take a look when it comes out on the 21st. She's a beautiful new writer from Nashville who has a way of capturing both the
spirit of nature and humanity. These are
short stories, which I don't normally turn to, but I promise this are easily-digested and not at all prosaic-- will not dissapoint.

It's not as silly as it sounds, but I also finished Phyllis Reynold's Naylor's Intensely Alice. I've been reading this series since childhood and feel like Alice is part friend, part sister, and part me. I don't expect many of you will pick up this book, just being
honest in my sharing :)

Bon reading :)

Another Lovely Weekend on the Cape

A little sunburned from boat-cruising and the 80 degree temps in Boston on Sunday during the Sail Boston exhibit of "the tall ships," I've returned from quite a nice weekend.

In between changing a tire outside the Vineyard Vines store on Saturday night, glasses of wine in the hottub on Friday and a late lunch at the lovely Miel Brasserie on the water at the Boston Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday, I concentraed on magazine reading this weekend, zipping through New York magazine's Summer issue and the August issues of Vogue and Vanity Fair. My favorite Vanity Fair item in its partial form here... I'll admit to being choosey about my subway reading in fear of the judgmental eyes of other passengers!

Listening to...

Regina Spektor. She's been a favorite of mine since I became obsessed with 2007's Fidelty and Samson, from her debut album. Her new one, Far, is a must-listen. And equally brilliant.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Meditative Post


When I first started my blog, I had very little idea of what I actually wanted it to be. Primarily, I knew I wanted a place from which I would conduct a dialogue with the other blog writers who I began to follow last summer.

I also was ready for my own outlet; I've never been a committed journaler or diarist, but while doing some soul-searching last summer/fall, I kept a beautiful Cath Kidston notebook turned planner turned thougt collector until it was full of notes, quotes, musings and information from my life that I had deemed important enough to write down at some point. Essentially, it was an inspiration notebook; I guess it loosely fits into the "journal" category. Maybe more of the "disorganized scrapbook" one.

I think this notebook was the genesis of this blog. Except that the notebook was private. This endeavor, inherently, is not. However, my blog is anonymous to my readers and a complete secret to my friends and damily, and true to my borderline-perfectionist nature, I believe it will reamin this way until I have it just the way I want it. Now, I realize a blog is an ever-evolving thing, and I don't know if the kind of stasis I desire can be found with this sort of an outlet.

Either way, this blog will continue to evolve and change as I want it to-- because it's my digital version of that gorgeous notebook. So I ask you to bear with me; hang in there as the image and content of this blog change to become what they are meant to be.

I hope to be more candid, straight-forward, and focused (in my own way) with this project in the upcoming months *when I have the time!*

PS The name of my domain and the bloggy-provider I user are subject to change as well. I am not satisfied with either at the moment, but I'm brainstorming.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Happiness Project

Just wanted to take the oppurtunity to turn you on to another extraordinary blog: The Happiness Project. Author Gretchen Rubin set out on a year-long quest to make herself happier. She wasn't depressed, led a full life, but thought it could somehow be more enriched. Follow her blog for inspiration, insight and fantastic quotes from famous great thinkers that only legitimize her quest to be happier.

The thing I like most about Gretchen's approach is that she quickly decided (after laborious research on the subject, the likes of which only a true book-writer could accomplish) that the only way to be happier was to be truer to herself. She doesn't try to become a different person or someone she's not; she just becomes more her.

Also, she's writing a book of the same name due for release later this year! I've had the oppurtunity to take a peak and it provides all that her blog does and more. Not to mention, she's a great writer; straight-up, self-deprecating and well-read, just like I like 'em.

So yay Gretchen Rubin! Go check it out :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The September Issue

I've blogged about Anna Wintour before, and I truly cannot wait for the documentary The September Issue. All info to be found in the trailer below:

Meanwhile, I haven't even had a chance to read the latest Vogue, as I've had my head buried in books and save my magazines for the treadmill... and I tend to gravitate toward the lighter fare of People for that kind of seriously activity (although this being the most reputable and overall most respected celebrity tabloid-type magazine out there, it's the only one I read).

Anyway, movie looks informational, dishy and slightly funny as well. Can't wait to see it this fall!

Summer Reading (so far)

I'm not a big reviewer, I prefer to discuss books in person. But I figured I'd still share with you my summer reading so far.

Firstly, I was able to get my hands on an advance copy of Jane Stanton Hitchcock's newest, Mortal Friends. I promise, it does not disappoint. A Washington native myself, I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Hitchcock's descriptions of politics and power in the nation's capital. Always smartly observed, her writing is humorous and clever. I agree with The Wall Street Journal's review in that the social-comedy aspects of the novel are better-developed than the mystery plot, but that's why we read Jane's books, no? It comes out on Tuesday, go pick it up, it's worth the hardcover price.

Next, Chandler Burr's You or Someone Like You. This books appeals to the English major in me, with its Hollywood intellectual book group and constant Shakespeare and Auden references. If you're not a fan of classic or serious English literature, I can see how the constant epigrams may tire you out, but this is certainly a provocative look at intellectualism in Hollywood which also deals in idenity-searching and contemporary religous issues. I didn't always see how the posturing-book club side of the novel connected to its message about the issues, but it was a delightful read, nonetheless. Anne Rosenbaum (its protagonist) reminded me of myself in the best ways and the worst ways. And, the cover art is to die for.

Finally, I just had the pleasure of speed-reading J. Courtney Sullivan's debut, Commencement. I'd call this chic-lit for the academic crowd. Much like Martha Moody's Best Friends (which I've previously blogged about) this follows a group of friends through college as they grow into adulthood. This plot is typical of many first novels by young female authors, but this managed to be sophisticated in both its characterization and plot; it becomes quite a page-turner. The characters are truly relatable, much in the way that each of the Sex in the City girls were relatable in their own way. With its Tiffany-box blue cover, and red ribbon, this novel is met with equal pleasure as the fabled and beautiful blue box itself.

I'm going to stick to my decision to not share my reads-of-choice until I'm finished. This is mostly due to my habit of reading too many books at once (I'm reading approximately four different novels right now) and sometimes I put them down in the middle not to be returned to until years later. (Such is the case with approximately five books I started last summer, sitting on my shelf this season pleading to be re-examined; we shall see). Either way, I'll certainly continue to share what I finish.

Happy Sunday, I'm off to peruse the Times,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Songs

These are my top rated songs on iTunes... I listen to music mostly to chill out. I have other songs for driving and walking around the city, but these are most often playing when I'm at home unwinding!

ADELE- Make You Feel My Love
Coldplay- Amsterdam
Coldplay- Death and All His Friends
Damien Rice- Dogs
Daphne Loves Derby- Pollen and Salt
Evan Rachel Wood- Black Bird
George Harrison- Something
The City- Joe Purdy
I Know- Jude
Neil Nathan- Do Ya
The Platters- My Prayer
Primitive Radio Gods- Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand
Primitive Radio Gods- Fading Out
R.E.M.- At My Most Beautiful
Regina Spektor- Fidelity
Regina Spektor- Samson
Righteous Brothers- Unchained Melody
Steve Tyrell- On The Sunny Side of the Street

Enjoy! All songs available on iTunes!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Revisiting Part II

Keeping with my revisiting of old favorites from yesterday, I have just redownloaded Songs from Dawson's Creek, Vol. 2. Talk about a throwback. I love Dawson's and Felicity in high school and this particular was always on rotation in my fabulously large five disk-changer stereo. Those were the days. Anyway, if you're in the mood for some Jayhawks, Evan&Jaron or Wheatus, this is your go-to. Here's a favorite song...

Sunday, June 7, 2009


I'm in a retro mood lately. I think it's because of Mr. Button. I've been listening to the Mad Men soundtrack nonstop. So romantic. And lovely.

Not nearly as retro was my visit to my old elementary school on this beautifully warm June afternoon with an old friend... we heard they added on to it so went to explore the new playgound. I was singing this cheesey song the entire time. Whatever... it was dreamy. And boy did I feel old.

While my bloggy friends are not nearly as old of friends as my
IRL ones, I have recently found myself navigating back to blogs I deleted from my reader earlier on either because I didn't have enough time to keep up with detailed posts during the busy school year, or just because I wasn't feeling the vibe. And this process in its own way has been like revisiting old friends. Mrs. Blandings is one of these.
I dream of one day assuming her effortlessly chic style and could only wish to have her immaculate taste. I've just added her to my reader again... for the summer anyway, while my workload is low(er) and I have time to revel in the perfection that is her blog. (Photo courtesy of her blog from PVE designs!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Benjamin Button

Have you seen the masterpiece that is the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? I think it's officially a new favorite. I'll try not to give too much away other than simply advising you to pick up a copy of the relatively-recently released DVD and see it, but it is a tale all at once epic and familiar, inspiring and heartbreaking. Think part The Notebook, part Forrest Gump, part Peter Pan, part Time Traveller's Wife, with elements of everyone's favorite Holly Golightly and Mad Men mixed in. Wonderfully retro and timeless at the same time.

And the female protagonist's name is Daisy. And she's a ballerina. That just about did it for me. It is looslely based on a Fitzgerald short story, after all. (It doesn't hurt that I adore Cate Blanchett almost as much as I love Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep as actresses, or that Brad Pitt plays the title role). All in all it is a beautifully styled and fascinating film.

Clearly, I highly recommend it. I currently have this song from the soundtrack on repeat. Go see it. If you already have, are you as enamored as I am?

All images found through google image search

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Back on the Porch again...

White wine joins me this time. It was a long, hot day, but quite enjoyable nonetheless. I'll share them at a later date. I seem to have exhausted myself for the first time on this extended vacation of mine... tuning in now for RHNJ!

Oh, and this post sums up my feelings on the subject, quite precisely, actually.


I've sadly lost the source of this gorgeous photo...
The screened porch at home, lots of Tuesday morning blog post perusing, a green Pottery Barn Emma mug of coffee, sounds of pancakes being made drifting from the kitchen, a new episode of The Bachelorette to watch on, an event later this afternoon to which I get to wear my new Calypso dress, and the JCrew Dauphine sandals in Champagne en route to my doorstep...

Happy Tuesday:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Anna Wintour

CBS apparently will not let me embed this to my blog, but if you are a Vogue reader and missed the 60 minute special on its ever elusive and extremely glamorous EIC, you must check this out! I find it particularly hilarious when the journalist interviewing her, Morley Safer, comments on the "tailoring" of various interviewed designers' suits. Here it is!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm Back!

I've returned from my mini-vaycay. Well I guess 10 days isn't technically mini, but I was only away from home for 5 of them!

I spent Memorial Day on Cape Cod... I had never been before, but had heard many good things. I was very pleased with the under-developed nature of the Cape... many of my favorite beach locations have become overcrowded due to so much new development and expansion of resort communities, but the Cape still seemed fairly rustic (although of course it has its share of beach clubs and golf courses.)
This is a picture I took from the boat... we weren't sailing, but aren't sail boats lovely?

After a weekend filled with movie-seeing (Angels and Demons... I didn't even check the time once=a good movie), boating, reading, eating and relaxing, I am excited to be home and back on the treadmill as I prepare to start work in a few weeks. Until then, I have to finish Bitter is the New Black... as QueenBee mentioned, I too have an affinity for chronology and I'm dying to read Pretty in Plaid... so I started at the beginning. Let me just say, Jen Lancaster is HILARIOUS. I know many of you are already fans and I'm preaching to the choir, but I have literally laughed out loud. It's been a long time since I've laughed that hard from a book. Movies and TV yes, but not a book. I have lots of other books on my list as well, but I'll tell you about them as I get to them... nothing like a little suspense (sadly my own attempts at humor probably won't land me a book deal from this blog a la Ms. Jen).

Happy Official Summer everyone!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

All of my study abroad adventures...

On overnight trains were just like this. I promise.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just Finished...

Just finished this book yesterday... I recommend it to anyone who likes Wally Lamb... aka it has a lot of drama packed into 500 pages... but it was a page turner, covered a lot of interesting issues (AIDs, women's lib, etc) without being preachy and still managed to maintain a realness to the characters. I can't wait til I have time to read Moody's latest... although she is a doctor by trade she is a terrific writer... I'm hooked.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Can't wait for this movie

This is everything I want in a movie...

Loving this Blog

Please go!

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Great Love

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I have been reading some fun blogs for some time now (since last summer?) but have just recently decided (as in, today) that I am brave enough to start my own, albeit relatively anonymously. I am a big reader and not so much a terrific writer, but I look forward to working on those skills here. :) For now, I just want to share some of my favorites and things that make me happy before I start to bore you with the mundane details of life as a college student.

Today, I went to Target to get some dish soap. Of course, I had to browse through the inexpensive accessory selection and found this scarf that could be from J.Crew for $12.99:
Good stuff. Also, in the check-out line, I spotted the magazine we have all (okay, well maybe just I have) been waiting for...As a young woman, I really do look up to Michelle Obama; her fashion sense and personal style, as well as her achievements and strong sense of the right priorities (i.e. her daughters). I know it is not news that she is one the cover or that she is wearing J.Crew in the editorial spread, but I cannot wait to read the story. Will Anna Wintour approve of her many budget-conscious looks... I certainly do because she always looks fabulous. Sadly, I have to wait to peruse this fashion bible (why I have not subscribed by now I can hardly tell you,) until after I have made some headway on my combined paper/oral presentation due on Thursday. Then I get to head home for Spring Break (why does my back always hurt on this drive... perhaps because I have been hunched over my laptop and then the steering wheel for hours on end? Hmmm...)

Now putting on my headphones to my favorite iTunes study mix...