An Instagram Roundup of the Dog Days of Summer

Saturday, August 30, 2014

1. On our way from church to lunch a couple weeks ago, we saw this dog enjoying life and the road while cruising in a pickup truck. He looked like he was enjoying his Sunday very much. :)

2. I picked up these combat boots at an H&M in Florida, of all places. I've never owned a pair of combat boots before, but I really love the floral print on these, and the colors will be great for this coming Fall season. I've worn them with black jeans so far, but I want to try them with other pieces, too.

3. This candle smells amazing! There was another candle sale at Bath & Body Works (seriously, they have sales a lot), and I picked up this and another 3-wick candle (Pink Apple Punch, if you're curious). This particular candle smells like a joyful fruit smoothie and I love it.

4. I love my agenda I'm using this year! It's by Kate Spade, has books all over it, and has generally made my postgrad life a lot more organized. I'm able to keep track of so much, from work to social things to birthdays to everything else, which helps a lot.

5. I. love. this. nail. polish. Sally Hansen has surprised me with how great their Triple Shine nail polishes are. This particular color is called "Make Waves", and it's a fabulous shimmery mermaid teal/blue/green. This will be a great color to transition into Fall because of how fun and unexpected it is. Also, it's opaque in two coats. Opaque shimmery polishes tend to be rare these days, so it was nice that this applied so well.

6. The Loveless Cafe is awesome! If you ever visit Nashville and want good Southern cooking, you have to try this place, just because they have the best biscuits and fried chicken around. Fun fact: this was the place I had my first dinner as a postgrad; we came here right after I graduated from college. I've also been here for my 18th birthday.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

I think I'm a little late to the party on this one, but this song is good. I listened to it for the first time at work this week while I was curating my work playlist/shuffling through songs on Spotify, and I actually nearly teared up listening to it. The message is a great one, and it's a bold one for the world we live in today.

I've told people before that fashion is a hobby of mine, only because I enjoy putting outfits together and expressing myself with clothes and makeup. However, there have been times when I've gotten caught up in the glitz and glamour that's often portrayed in magazines, in movies and TV, on social media, on YouTube, and even on blogs. It can be easy to feel like you don't measure up, but guess don't have to measure up to those standards.

Because those standards are often so lofty that real people can't reach them. They're often created digitally. There's a filter or Photoshop action to cover up any blemish and physical flaw, and it's insane how someone can be "doctored up" to what fashion deems acceptable or "in vogue", when in reality, the model is beautiful just the way she is - flaws and all.

Guess what? God made you. Yes, you. You are the only one out there that's just like you - inside and out - and He loves you more than you could ever imagine. Take joy in that. Thank Him for the body He gave you, and also your mind, your soul, and your heart. Thank Him for how He's blessed you in your life. When you's amazing how much more confident you feel. Be kind to people, and focus outward; your inner beauty will become apparent on the outside.

Everyone has insecurities. Everyone has flaws. We don't need to rely on makeup, perfecting our physical appearance, or even that perfect Instagram filter as a crutch to succeed in life. We - guys and gals alike - can succeed with the talents God gave us to the best of our ability, and in turn, we'll shine for Him.

We don't have to try for the world. We can live and do and be for Christ, because He loves us that much and so much more.

Romans 8:28

Fashion Inspired by Doctor Who

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Here lately, I've been on a Doctor Who kick. I watched the season premiere last Saturday and loved it, but when I discovered that Amazon Prime had all the episodes up until the Season 8 premiere available on Prime Instant Video, I was SO excited. I've been watching a bunch of episodes (including the 50th Anniversary Special, which I can't believe I hadn't seen before now), and it's been really fun catching up on some of the things I've missed from the show and going back to old favorites.

I love "Fashion Inspired By [Insert Fandom Here]" posts, and I love writing them and putting them together, so I thought it'd be really fun to make outfits based on all the modern Doctors (from Nine on).

Not a fan of Doctor Who? That's okay. :) You can adapt any of these outfits to your own style.

The Ninth Doctor

photo credit

The Ninth Doctor - the first doctor in the rebooted series - wears a whole lot of black, with the exception of the occasional dark red or green shirt. I decided to translate the leather jacket he wears into a faux leather dress, but you can replace it with any LBD and it'll work just fine. Just add black and silver/gold accessories and black Toms, so you can, well, "run".

The Tenth Doctor

Doctor Who: Inspired by the Tenth Doctor

The Tenth Doctor - easily my favorite - is actually one of the reasons why I have a pair of brown converse. Pair these fabulous shoes with a brown dress - inspired by his suit - and a blue cardigan. Fun fact: his suit color changes when he goes forward or backward in time in each episode (same with 11's bowtie! More on that in a sec.). Just add bracelets, thick-framed sunglasses, and you're set!

The Eleventh Doctor

Doctor Who: Inspired by the Eleventh Doctor

Two of the main things about the Eleventh Doctor that sets him apart from the rest is his optimism and quirkiness. I thought I'd channel that by pairing a fun skater dress with a cardigan that matched his suit colors - dark red and brown. "Bowties are cool", so I added bow earrings and an optional hair bow. To finish off this look, add some fun round sunglasses, red flats, and glitter nail polish.

The Twelfth Doctor has a more mature vibe going on than his counterparts, but he's still the Doctor with all the quirkiness and epic-problem solving skills to boot. This outfit would be great to transition into Fall. Just pair a navy dress with a deep red cardigan (inspired by the red lining of his jacket) with black tights and smart, lacy black oxford shoes. Add some fabulous jewelry and deep red lipstick finish off the look.

The War Doctor

photo credit 
Doctor Who: Inspired By the War Doctor

Have y'all seen the 50th Anniversary special? It's GOOD. The War Doctor is fantastic and at times hilarious; he's played by the same actor who was Mr. Ollivander in the Harry Potter movies!
I tried to get this particular outfit as close to the wandering War Doctor's outfit as possible, so I found accessories primarily in tan leather. Pair these fabulous boots and jacket with black tights, a wine-colored skater dress, and a camel-colored scarf. Add some edgy gold jewelry and long-lasting deep red liquid lipstick, and you're ready to take on the Time War - or at least a Fall or Winter day.

Doctor Who, Season Eight

Saturday, August 23, 2014

To say I've been excited for the new seasons and episodes of Doctor Who is an understatement.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, pretty close to its inception, you know that I'm kind of a big fan of this show. So much so that I took a class on how it relates to philosophical thought during my senior year of college.

I'm really curious to see how this season pans out, given that the show changes with each new Doctor that comes along, whether those changes are subtle or more obvious - one of those being the new layout of the Tardis (which looks really cool from what I've seen so far!) and another being...well...the new Doctor. There's so much intrigue surrounding him and this season in general, so I'm excited to see how he solves the problems and has adventures through time and space.

As of my writing this post, I'm about to watch the first episode of this new season. After I've watched it, I'll review it for you guys right here. I think it'll be fun to capture my perspective of the season before and after I start it in the same blog post.

Mini Review of Season 8, Episode 1: Deep Breath

(The intro changed! It's amazing!)

First of all, I'm posting no spoilers. I'd love it if you guys watched the episode and experienced how the new Doctor is for yourself. Before you watch it, though, I recommend watching the episode "Girl in the Fireplace" (from Tennant's seasons). Some of the elements from the new episode make sense if you've seen it. You don't have to have watched it to fully enjoy the episode, though.

It's good. There are parts that keep you guessing (how did that gigantic T-rex get into old London?), parts that leave you slightly frustrated (He told you to hold your breath? Where did he go?!), and parts that make you smile (the ending).

I will say that I like the 12th Doctor. He's not overtly dark, but he's got some secrets to keep and things to figure out. A large part of the episode is him figuring out who he is, and him wondering if others will accept him and his new change/getup. That's all I will write about him, but just know that I approve, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he does in the rest of the season.

The ending was my favorite part, because cell phones and coffee. It's really sweet. :) You have to watch it to find out what I mean. ;)

Also, the Tardis looks awesome!

I apologize for being vague, but I really didn't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet. If you have seen it, though, let's discuss in the comments. :)

Music to Work to

Friday, August 22, 2014

Whether I'm working on work-related things, writing, getting ready for the day ahead, or just chilling, I love listening to music. I've always loved specific styles and genres of music, but my taste in music has changed a lot over the past few years - especially during college, when I discovered dubstep by way of art school during my freshman year.

When I work, I tend to gravitate towards certain genres of music. Here's what I've been listening to in order to stay productive and have fun while doing so. :) I also included Spotify links so you can listen along.

Mumford and Sons

I have gotten into Mumford and Sons over the years, and thanks to a good friend of mine and working at the radio station simultaneously, I consider this group one of my favorite Indie/Folk Rock groups. They're a lot of fun to listen to when I get started working on a task or project.

The Lumineers

You're going to see a lot of indie/folk/rock groups in the music I listen to for work, just because of the fact that they mix upbeat tempos with meaningful lyrics that are pleasant in the background. I work in the mornings, so it's nice to have something that's faster paced playing.

I love the Lumineers because they remind me of fun times studying with my friends in college, and they also remind me of CW's Reign. (They did the theme song for the show!)

Imagine Dragons

I've seen them live, and they are as amazing in person as they are on their record. Not only does this music remind me of the amazing time I had at their show with my best friends, but it's also among my top 10 favorite music of all time. "Radioactive" is my jam. :)

Owl City

And this would be part of my top 5...actually, top 2. I've been a fan of Owl City since high school, and I love his poetic lyrics and synth-y beats. I've seen him live, too, and I really hope I get to see him in concert again.

The Avett Brothers

I was introduced to the Avett Brothers early in my college career, and their music makes me smile. I love how witty their lyrics are, too. I haven't listened to all of their newest album yet, but I will be listening to the whole thing at some point in the near future. I like what I've heard so far!

What music do you like to listen to while you're working, doing homework, or getting important things done?

The At-Home Manicure Made Easy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I do my nails at home all the time, mainly for convenience's sake. I also enjoy it because of the ease of being able to change my nail color based on my mood for the day/week, when I have time. Plus, painting my nails is super-relaxing for me.

Over the years, I've practiced painting my nails and perfecting the "at-home" manicure, and I think I've gotten it down pat. Granted, it's taken a lot of practice, trial-and-error, and smudging, but I thought I'd share my nail-painting process with you all. :)

At-Home Manicure Supplies

What You'll Need:
  • Base Coat
  • Color
  • Top Coat
Optional Items:
  • Nail Cleanser (from The System by Formula X for Sephora)
  • Orange Stick (for cuticles - I usually don't do this, but feel free to push your cuticles back if you wish)
Let's get to it! :)

1. Cleanse your nails/apply base coat.
Use your favorite nail polish remover to remove your previous color and residue that may have stuck around. I use a nail cleanser after removing polish, but a good swipe of acetone-based nail polish remover will do the trick. (At this point, you would also file your nails and push back your cuticles if you so desire.)

Once that's done, apply a single layer of your favorite base coat. I've had the best luck with stand-alone base coats over the 2-in-1 base/top coats, but feel free to use whatever works with your nails. I tend to need something stickier because nail polish tends to chip on me easily.

Let dry until it's not tacky if you tap it with your fingertips.

2. Apply color.
Pick your favorite nail polish color and apply two coats. How you apply it is up to you, but I start with a stripe down the center and spread the color out from there with what's on the brush. I do a fairly thin coat to start with, too, to prevent bubbles. Just be careful of the color streaking - the key is to have smooth layers. The second coat works the same way, but I'll make it a tad thicker depending on how sheer the polish is.

Let each coat dry until it's not tacky if you tap it with your fingertips. No rubbing or dragging against your nails - it smudges easier that way.

3. Apply top coat.
Once your color is dry to the touch, apply your top coat. I tend to use ones that are super-glossy. :)
Apply it the same way that you applied your color - start with a stripe down the middle, then work your way out.

Once it's completely dry, you're done!

P.S. Here are the products I personally use to get my fabulous at-home manicure:

  • The System by Formula X - This is amazing. If you go to your local Sephora store (or I'm sure they do this online, too), you can purchase this cleanser, base, and top coat set along with a color of your choice. Since the color is included, there's no extra charge. AWESOME.
  • Tweezerman Nail Files - It's super-easy to find nail files in sets and in a variety of colors. I love the ombré ones featured here.
  • OPI, Essie, Formula X for Sephora, Butter London, ORLY, Maybelline Color Show, Sally Hansen Triple Shine, Ciate, Nails Inc., and TopShop nail polishes - These are all of my favorite nail polish brands and lines. :) I've had the best luck wearing these formulas.