Wednesday, December 31, 2014

~ 2014 ~

Because I'm not in a mushy gushy sentimental mood (and really, when am I), I'll spare you from reading a long blog post detailing all of the highlights of my year, and instead give you a short one detailing my absolutely and utter hatred of New Year's eve with a few of my favorite moments of my year thrown in for fun.

Before I go any further, it should be said that I HATE new year's eve for a few particular reasons that do not change if the year in question has been good, bad, or bat shit crazy.  NYE is simply a combination of many things that I utterly detest (champagne, noise, annoyingly enthusiastic people) and a few that I utterly loath.

  • I HATE endings.  Endings of seasons, endings of vacations, endings of a series, endings of a photoshoot, endings of a cup of tea.  Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
  • I hate looking back on a year's worth of good memories and bad ones.  New Year's Eve is total a memory overload, fueled by dessert and sugary drinks.  It's like going through photos on your phone and the next thing you know, it's been an hour, it's dark outside, and you feel weirdly lonely.  
  • NYE is always the worst introvert's hangover of the year.  Not sure what an introvert's hangover is?  Read this.
  • .Without a doubt, you are missing out on a party somewhere.  And there's nothing you can do about it.
  • But the thing I hate most about New Year's Eve, is that there are no guarantees on what the next day will bring.  Now I know that every night is an eve to the next day and that day could be the worst or the best of your life, but somehow the risk seems heightened on this night.  It's the end of one year and the beginning of another - a clean slate, a blank canvas, an empty journal, ready to be filled with moments, large and small - intimidating, scary, full of unknowns. 

And that's okay.  

There's no reason what so ever why New Year's Eve has to be the best night of the year, just as there's no reason why this blog post has to be the best one all year.  Letting go of all expectations is the best thing one can do.  That, and thinking back on the quiet moments from the past 12 months.  Not the moments of sheer bliss, or ones of heartbreak, but the simple moments of true happiness.  

This morning I had a really strong cup of tea, a fresh egg from our chickens, and a piece of toast.  Yesterday I spent all my time painting and watching James Bond movies on Netflix.  Last week I went for a really nice walk.  I sacrificed the couch, the carpet, and all formerly smooth surfaces in the house to two furry orange kitties.  I spent lots of time with family.  I met some incredible people and had some awesome experiences.  And I learned how to make chocolate covered pretzels.

Yes, there were many scary phone calls, moments of panic, doctors appointments, and disappointments, but overall I'll look back on 2014 as being a year of growth and change.

I learned how to travel by myself.  I learned to let myself evolve.  And I learned that I'm truly terrible at cutting my own hair.

But really, what more could I ask for?

So Happy New Year, friends, and have a happy last day of 2014.  I hope that your 2015 is full of opportunities, adventures, and even more photos of Benedict Cumberbatch in a tux.

Thanks for the memories.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

~ treat yourself ~

Whether you prefer the classical "treat yourself" or the neoclassical "treat yo self," treating yourself to a day at the beach, a new outfit, the absence of a morning alarm, or a glass of wine (for the over-21 and/or european crowd) is never a bad idea.

Since this past semester was particularly grueling (to the point where I found myself falling asleep on stacks of notes and accidentally putting the olive oil in the fridge and the carton of eggs in the pantry) and next semester is going to be just as grueling, if not more, my new year's resolution is to treat myself whenever I can - effective immediately.  So to get things off on the right path, if you care to follow me and make this your new year's resolution as well, here are some quick and easy (and cheap) ways to make your life a little better, even if only for an hour or two.

  • sleep until 11.
  • watch a good movie.  In the past few days I've seen Big Eyes and Into The Woods in the theater, and The Women, The Thin Man, and Paris When it Sizzles while curled up on the couch.  If you haven't seen The Women, then do yourself a favor - watch it all the way through, bask in its glory for ten minutes or so, then watch it again just to pay attention to the AMAZING costumes and complete lack of men.
  • wear pajamas around the house, just for kicks.  I guess it's a sign that you're becoming a fully functioning adult when your first instinct in the morning is to get dressed.  If that's the case, then there's more proof that I am nowhere near being a fully functioning adult.
  • buy yourself shoes that Lauren Bacall would have worn.
  • wear your super comfy pajamas and Lauren Bacall shoes at the same time, just because you can.

  • give yourself a pedicure in light pink (to match the piping on your pajamas).
  • make yourself three pieces of french toast and eat them all while wearing your silk pajamas, your new shoes, and while watching an old movie.

If you have followed all of these steps, then you're sure to be feeling a level of fantastic-ness that Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would be proud of.  If not, then rinse and repeat until you get your desired results.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

~ baby it's cold outside ~

Merry Christmas to all you lovely people!

Today I celebrated with a big breakfast (and my grandfather's famous oven toast recipe), a long walk with my mom, and seeing Into The Woods with one of my best friends.  It was a great day!

Today was all about being thankful for what I have instead of wishing for more and appreciating the little things.  I snuggled with my mom, danced around my room to holiday music, wore high heels for no reason, and talked to my neighbors.  It was a good day.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday and a great rest of 2014.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

~ little miracles ~

This time of year, especially when I have a general lack of ambition and the only pants that grace my body are pajamas, it's a miracle if I get anything done.  Which is precisely why December 23rd will from hence forth be known as the day I got shit done.

  • I vacuumed my entire room - under my bed, in my closet, behind the desk - and did some impressive junk clearing out that would turn the hair of the 8 year old pack-rat in me completely and totally grey.
  • I ran errands that I'd been putting off for weeks and weeks and tackled the to-do list that was longer than the 7th Harry Potter book.
  • I rolled holiday cookies in powdered sugar while wearing black silk pajamas without ruining my jammies or skimping on powered sugar.

Now this spurt of productivity may have been due to three straight days of rainfall and an inability to leave the house without a beach umbrella, but I prefer to think of it as my own personal Festivus Miracle.  Now I have a clean room, some new socks, and powdered sugar cookies.

Happy Festivus/ Last day of Chanukah!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

~ from russia with love ~

Okay, that's it...thanks to From Russia With Love, my James Bond obsession has resurfaced.

Though I could do without the blatant sexism and objectification of every single woman in the film, and I could really do without the opening credits (oh my god, the opening credits), Tatiana Romanova's style has certainly crept into my wardrobe and hair+makeup over the last few days.

{gap pants, gap flats, target sweater, target rain coat}

Since it's been gloomy and rainy for the past three days, I've done nothing but eat cinnamon bread, bake cookies, and go to an insane number of holiday parties.  Now it's not exactly chasing down Russian spies and making out with 007, but I'll take it!

Dressing like a Bond girl?  Absolutely.  Being a Bond girl?  No thanks.  
I'd like to survive past the first half hour of the movie.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

~ smart shopping ~

Last year I started to notice that getting dressed in the morning (or, let's be honest, the afternoon) took way longer than it should.  This, I determined, was not due to a lack of clothing but rather an overwhelming number of options and various styles, none of which matched.  Thus began a personal mission to cut down on the number of garments coming through my door and stop testing the limits of how much my closet walls could hold.

For a new years resolution, I have to say I did pretty damn well!  Usually these types of things fizzle out within the first month or two, but this one has stuck.  (there was a dark period where I bought random things that didn't go together just because they were on sale while I was working in retail, but we won't talk about that.)

After a lot of thinking, I've come to the conclusion that my shopping problems come from just one issue:

  • I don't really have a style.  I've always just bought random things that I like at the time, only to find that I have nothing to wear them with.  So my first goal is to establish a concrete style - somewhere between Mrs. Robinson, Ulyana Sergeenko, and a suave spy from 1964 (with some Annie Hall thrown in for fun).

 Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967).
Ulyana SergeenkoUlyana Sergeenko in Milan.  Check out more fashion pics at
pretty much everything diane keaton wears in annie hall is pure genius and inspiration. and most of her outfits in the movie were hers!

It feels damn good to go through my closet and take out clothes that I've only been hoarding because I a) there's a 2% possibility I'll wear them again, b) I got them MAJORLY on sale at JCrew (even though they're too small), or c) I got them as a hand-me-down or present and worry that the person who gave it to me will ask me if I've worn them and I don't want to lie.

However, since there isn't an Anthropologie or SUPER amazing vintage clothing store in town, shopping trips are mostly online, from either etsy or modcloth - and occasionally I'll hit the local thrift stores and vintage shops.  Even though it's more expensive (and often more difficult and time consuming), I figure I end up saving money because instead of buying poorly made crop tops (seriously, why do I own so many crop tops?) that'll fall apart by next week, I save up until I can buy that one spectacular item that'll last me until my 37th birthday, like these shoes I just got on mega sale from Modcloth...
Finesse is More Heel in Black

The last few times I've gone shopping, things like looking at the hems of dresses (to see how well made they are) and checking that zippers are sewn on straight have crept into my routine - I like to think my meticulous grandfather would be very proud!

So the moral of this story?  Now that I've limited my wardrobe, thrown out crap from Forever21 that I've had since I was 14, and stopped blowing my budget on multiple pairs of $9.99 leggings from Target, I don't only feel lighter, but more confident that if the house begins to sag it won't be entirely my fault.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

~ chanukah ~

As I'm sitting here in my pajamas eating pecan pie and watching an old James Bond movie (which, by the way, is way more racist/sexist than I remember it being), I'm reminded again of how much I hate doing anything productive while I'm on vacation.

Really the only things I've done this week that I consider to be productive are putting up some Chanukah decorations and washing my hair.  And I'm surprised I even got around to doing that.

Later I'll bundle up and go for a walk to work off some latkes before having more for dinner tonight, but until then, I'm perfectly happy with a cat on my lap and cup of tea by my side.

Happy Chanukah!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

~ the good days ~

During the holidays (which I consider to be from thanksgiving to new year's eve) the days may be short, but I try to make them as fun as possible.  On friday I finished the semester with a very, very easy final exam, following three very, very difficult ones, and decided to celebrate with lunch in town and a visit to the Victorian Christmas in Thomasville...

After seeing this Humans of New York photo, I went back inside and put on a hat:

"I'm the lead designer for Stetson hats. I've never met someone as crazy about hats as me. My goal in life is for everyone to understand that there is a hat out there for them. I'm not even selling hats. I'm selling romance."

Next time you go to the Bread and Roses Kitchen, make sure you get the tofu bahn mi.  SO good.

Downtown Thomasville is even prettier at night.

What a great start to the winter holiday!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

~ taking care of business ~

If you're like me (hopefully you're not), then you're just now realizing that it's December and you haven't gone shopping for any of your friends or family yet.  Now you could run to the mall or to Target and get a generic gift, but why not get something unique and support a small business at the same time?

As 1/3 of the 3floridagirls I consider it my duty to support and promote my awesome mom's business wherever I can, but I'm also doing it because everything in the shop is SERIOUSLY AWESOME!  So here are my favorite things in the shop right now - if you're looking for a gift for me, take note!

Florida tea towel linen blue and green dish towel souvenir palm fronds and map 1960s

Vintage Florida souvenir salt and pepper shakers - 1950s carved wood made in Mexico

Vintage Florida alligator souvenir letter mail holder - 1950s Florida souvenir alligator

Vintage Cypress Gardens Florida Aqua-Maids postcard - 6 girls on water skis - 1940s

Vintage Silver Springs Florida felt pennant banner - 1940s Florida souvenir

Vintage Wonder Gardens Florida felt pennant banner - 1940s Bonita Springs Florida souvenir - alligator and palm tree

Vintage Florida souvenir serving tray black with gold graphics - 1950s bathing beauty

I love all of these items so much (hint hint).  

And when you're doing your holiday shopping this year and every year, don't forget the small businesses!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

~ social butterfly ~

Much like how stepfathers use expensive presents to make their stepchildren love them, I am now going to shower you all in pictures and words to make up for a lack of posting.  If I were a better liar I would tell you all that I've been traveling in a remote part of the world that doesn't have wifi.  Or photographing a war zone.  Or that I lost my laptop whilst jumping off a bridge to save a small child from drowning.  But I'm an awful liar.  The truth is, blogging has been high up on my to-do list but things like studying for finals and laundry and cleaning the bathroom have rudely been cutting in line.

So here we go...a brief summary of events from this month and last that haven't made it onto the blog!

1. Capital Calender Girls release party.  Several months ago, a good friend/fairy godmother came to me and asked me to photograph an idea she had.  With lots of hard work from some truly amazing women, the Capital Calender Girls 2015/2016 calender was born!

If you'd like to purchase one, head on over to!  All of the proceeds go to the Tallahassee Refuge House.

2. Last month two of my photos went up in COCA's 2014 Photofest exhibit at the airport - so exciting!

Both photos were part of a 20-photo series I did last year in my photography class, so it was beyond exciting to see them go from an idea, to a class project, to hanging in a gallery!

3. Last night's ugly christmas sweater party!  Pretzels, hot tea, a fireplace, and the best of friends.

I've got two more finals and then I can start looking forward to holiday parties, Chanukah, and spending time with loved ones!  Here's hoping we all make it through this next week with more than an ounce of sanity left!


Friday, December 5, 2014

~ thomasville ~

Whew!  This past week has been a blur.  Classes monday/wednesday/friday, a presentation in oceanography, several reflections and and a few summaries due in art history.  Netflix was replaced by note cards, multitasking was perfected, and I'm more than positive the crazy amount of information I've packed into my head has caused the slew of weird dreams I've had over the past few nights.

Taking all that into account I figured I deserved a day off, so yesterday my mama and I headed to Thomasville!

{sifting through ridiculously expensive sheets of paper that I don't need}

We ate, we shopped, we got stuck for ten minutes when a train was passing through town...

Not a bad way to spend a study break.