Tag Archives: Women

Bag Envy

1 Jun

While perusing through a local department store last weekend, I suddenly found myself in the handbag section gawking at all the amazing bags on the shelves. I quickly convinced myself that I absolutely need a new purse, since I haven’t had a new one in almost a year now. Plus, a lot of them were on sale so this helped in my convincing tremendously. However, the ones that I liked the most were not on sale, so after nearly stroking out at some of the price tags on the bags I left the store without a purchase, telling myself that I’ll shop around and find the perfect new purse at the perfect price somewhere else.

I’m looking for an everyday bag, which for me means giant big enough to hold all of the crap that I carry around everyday (because one never knows when they’ll need a mini flashlight, dental floss, or wet wipes, do they?). In my search efforts I have come across many bags that I am totally in love with, possibly borderline obsessed with in some cases. Most of them are way above my budget but a girl can dream, right? Here are some of the latest bags that I am currently in awe of.

Available here for $1,471

Balenciaga Lambskin Large “Giant Work Bag” available here for only $1,471

Kate Spade Cobble Hill Small Leslie, available here for $348.

Kate Spade Cobble Hill Small Leslie, available here for $348

Hobo Kinley, available here for $328.

Hobo Kinley, available here for $328

Fossil Explorer Tote, available here for $238

Fossil Explorer Tote, available here for $238

Frye Vintage Stud Tote, available here for $348

Frye Vintage Stud Tote, available here for $348

Rebecca Minkoff Cupid Satchel, available here for $495

Rebecca Minkoff Cupid Satchel, available here for $495

I would take any of these bags in a heartbeat!

Which one would you choose? 

Quick Chick Flick: “Confessions Of A Shopaholic”

21 May

I recently read Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella and really, really liked it. I had seen the movie years ago not knowing it was a series of books. But when my best friend suggested I add it to my to-read list on Goodreads, naturally I took her advice. After finishing the book obviously I wanted to watch the movie again to compare. This won’t be a “Book Vs. Movie” post since the two were SO different, but rather just a review of the movie (definitely read the book, though!).

Confessions of a Shopaholic Poster

Isla Fisher stars as Rebecca Bloomwood, a girl with a serious problem. And I mean serious. She has a shopping addiction so severe that she comes up with the most outrageous (and hilarious) stories in her head to justify her spending problem. She’ll do anything to make it to a designer sale, and her problem has gotten her over $9,000 in debt. Living with her rich best friend, Suze, (played by the adorably quirky Krysten Ritter) Becky finds herself out of work as a journalist and constantly dodging pesky debt collector Derek Smeath.

Rebecca Bloomwood at a designer sale

Rebecca Bloomwood at a designer sale

Rebecca Bloomwood: Shopaholic

Desperate for money, she creates a very elaborate if not completely false resume and goes for an interview at her dream job – a top fashion magazine – only to find that the position has been filled. However, she finds out there is an opening at another magazine within the publication family – a financial advice digest. Thinking she can work her way to an “in” with the fashion mag, she goes on the interview at the financial digest and meets handsome editor Luke Brandon, played by charmer Hugh Dancy.

Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon

Hugh Dancy as Luke Brandon

Following a very entertaining interview, Becky lands the job after Luke reads an article she writes for the fashion magazine that accidentally ended up in his hands instead. Seeing journalistic potential in Becky, he takes her to press conference where she shines with her tough, relevant questions about corporate raises after customer fund cuts. She writes a piece on it and becomes an overnight sensation in the financial advice world. The public love her. But what they don’t know is that Becky Bloomwood is the last person anyone should be taking financial advice from. Several hilarious plot twists later – including Becky telling Luke the debt collector is her ex-boyfriend turned stalker; getting into a pickle by being forced to speak Finnish (which she said she was fluent in on her resume); and her misadventures at a Shopaholic’s Anonymous group – Becky and Luke find themselves attracted to each other after spending more time together.

Becky and Luke Confessions of a Shopaholic

That is where things start to get interesting. Can Becky continue lying to Luke about her financial troubles and shopping addiction? Will her problem come between her and her best friend? The truth comes out in the end in a very shocking and embarrassing way for Becky, and she must finally confront her problem head on instead of running away from it. I won’t ruin the ending for you if you haven’t seen it, but I will say that everything works out in a way that none of the characters could have ever imagined.

Confessions of a Shopaholic is such a fun, absurdly amusing chick flick that I think anyone would enjoy. Be sure to check out the books, too! Sophie Kinsella created a character with Becky Bloomwood that girls everywhere will adore. She makes us laugh out loud, gasp at her ridiculousness, and find ourselves routing fiercely for her in the end, so proud to see her succeed that we may even shed a few tears (sniff). I’m currently reading Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, the second book in the series, and so far Becky still has a knack for getting herself into hilarious sticky situations.

What did you think of the movie and/or book? 

Audrey Hepburn’s Beauty Tips

8 May

Audrey Hepburn

I received an email from a family member a few weeks ago with a poem that was said to be written by Audrey Hepburn. The poem was so beautiful and captivating that I wanted to share it with you all on my blog. To do so, I did a little digging and found out that it was actually not written by Audrey Hepburn but by writer Sam Levenson. Titled “Time Tested Beauty Tips”, Levenson wrote it for his grandchild, and it just so happened to be one of Audrey’s favorite poems. It is said she read it to her children on her very last Christmas Eve.

Hepburn submitted this poem to a member of the media when asked to share her beauty secrets. Known for her beauty and charm, I think this poem gives us a clear picture of the type of person Audrey Hepburn really was. Please take a few minutes to read it and take to heart what it conveys – that the true beauty and grace of a woman is not seen with the eye, but felt with the heart. It is measured by the good deeds she does for others and by  random acts of kindness. Let’s all strive to be better!

Time Tested Beauty Tips

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived,  reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody.

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the  figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

Sam Levenson 

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Book vs. Movie – “Beautiful Creatures”

1 May

Beautiful Creatures Book Cover

Since I love to both read and watch movies, I’m going to do another book vs. movie review! This time I chose a Young Adult novel that my best friend and I recently read, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Let’s begin with the book…

Our narrator is 16-year-old Ethan Wate, who lives in the small Southern town of Gatlin, South Carolina. Ethan is haunted by a recurring dream where he is desperately trying to save a girl, whose face he can not see. He doesn’t know who she is or why he’s dreaming this but he is so drawn to her and feels he would do anything for this beautiful stranger. Ethan’s mother died last year and his father has been cooped up in his study “writing” ever since, leaving Ethan to be looked after by their superstitious, grandmotherly housemaid, Amma.

The people of Gatlin’s favorite pastimes include attending church and participating in the annual re-enactment of the town’s historic Civil War battle, complete with Confederate soldier costumes and big antebellum dresses. (The authors goes on to paint the perfect picture of small-minded, Bible beating hypocrites for us.) At Jackson High School, where Ethan attends as a Junior, you are either on the inside or the outside with the popular group, and Ethan has recently broken up with his cheerleader girlfriend, thus leaving him dangerously close to being on the outside. But he doesn’t mind much as he longs for something more than a close-minded life in Gatlin. Ethan immerses himself in books that take him far away and applies to colleges anywhere and everywhere outside of Gatlin, which he sees as his ticket out of there.

But the peace in Gatlin is disturbed when Macon Ravenwood’s (the town’s alleged “Boo Radley”) niece, Lena, comes to live with him. As all of the town’s people consider Macon and his kin to be Satanists (told you these people are small-minded), when Lena Duchannes shows up at Jackson High…it ain’t pretty, y’all. She is quickly outcast and everyone’s fears are fueled by a strange incident that occurs at school – suddenly all of the windows are blown out in the classroom while Lena is being publicly ridiculed by the other students – causing mass chaos in their quiet little town.

On his way home from school that day in a severe thunderstorm, Ethan almost runs someone over in the road only to find out it is Lena Duchannes. He offers her a ride home and quickly learns she isn’t as bad as everyone thinks. The two begin to spend more and more time together and Ethan soon finds out that Lena and her family are more different than he could have ever imagined. They are “Casters” and all have special powers – kind of like witches. Ethan and Lena fall in love and he realizes Lena is the girl from his strange, recurring dream. This is when it starts to get real good.

Her 16 th birthday is rapidly approaching, and we find out Lena is in grave danger as she nears her “claiming”, where every Caster female is claimed as either a Light or a Dark Caster on her 16 th birthday, regardless of what they wish to choose. (Obvs a Light Caster is good and a Dark one is evil.) Since all of the females in Lena’s family have been claimed Dark, she fears she will follow in their footsteps and become a monster who will no longer recognize or care for Ethan, and could possibly even hurt him.

There are so many other little interesting elements to this story that I will briefly summarize: there is an underground Caster Library where Ethan finds out his mother worked as a “Keeper” of Caster records; Ethan’s maid and grandmotherly figure Amma turns out to have supernatural powers of her own and can communicate with spirits; Ethan and Lena find a locket that when they touch transports them to the Civil War where they observe Lena’s ancestor bring her dead lover back to life (whose name also happens to be Ethan Wate…mmm hmmm) with a powerful Dark cast, thus cursing all future females in her family to be claimed as Dark Casters. And then there’s Lena’s evil, estranged mother, Sarafine, who is so desperate to have Lena join her on the Dark side that she is willing to harm Ethan in the process.

All in all the book was very intriguing and had a climactic, exciting ending that left me eager to read the second book, which I am currently reading. There are four books in the “Caster Chronicles” and I am looking forward to reading each one.

Beautiful Creatures book review – 7/10

Beautiful-Creatures

When I heard there was a movie based on the book I was excited to see it as I obviously love reading a book and then watching it’s characters come to life before me on the big screen. As we all know though, not every movie adaptation turns out as well as fans of the book would hope. Unfortunately, this was the case for me with the movie Beautiful Creatures. Here’s my review of the movie…

The movie starts out with Ethan’s dream so I’m thinking, “ok this is good, they’re following the book already!” but I soon realized that was one of the few things that would be exactly like the book in this film. Ethan, played by Alden Ehrenreich, definitely lets the audience know the film is set in the South with an overwhelmingly Southern accent. (Side-note –  It makes me absolutely sick how the media portrays ALL Southerners as having this insanely twangy country accent in any movie set in the Southeast. Hello! We’re not all rednecks! Ok I’m done now.) Amma is introduced, played by Viola Davis, a much younger version of the grandmotherly figure we get from the book, and Lena is played by Alice Englert, who perfectly captures what I imagined Lena would be like in my mind while reading Beautiful Creatures (I love it when that happens). Uncle Macon is also spot on and played by the great Jeremy Irons, and I honestly can’t picture anyone else in the role.

Ethan & Lena

Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert as Ethan & Lena

Things in the movie get tricky as we jump around from scene to scene, and plot twists from the book are revealed to us in a somewhat distorted way. I found myself confused and saying “that’s not what happens in the book!” a lot throughout the film. For example, Lena’s family in the movie are not at all what we have come to know in the book. In the film they are almost comical and do not come across at all as they do in the book – like supernatural beings who you do not want to mess with. Take the character of Ridley (Lena’s cousin who is a Dark Caster) for example. She is supposed to have a hot pink streak in her hair, wear extremely short school-girl skirts and is constantly sucking on a lollipop (which drives all of the men wild) but she’s quite the opposite in the movie. Yes she is seductive, but played by Emmy Rossum, Ridley in the movie is dark, regal and sophisticated – nowhere near Valley-Girl-evil enough! And then there’s Larkin, Lena’s other cousin, who plays a very big role in the book with a huge twist at the ending. In the movie he is just an afterthought with only two scenes and plays no significant role to the plot.

Beautiful Creatures Ridley

Emmy Rossum as Ridley. Where is your lollipop, Rid?!

There were other disappointments as far as plot changes including a character being completely left out of the movie, the lack of Kelting – a special and very rare ability Lena and Ethan share that enables them to communicate with each other without speaking (I felt that leaving this out made it harder for the audience to understand just how close their relationship is), and the ending was totally different than the book ending.

beautiful-creatures-still-amma-ethan

Alden Ehrenreich and Viola Davis as Ethan & Amma

beautiful-creatures-stills-macon-lena-ethan

Jeremy Irons as Macon Ravenwood

beautiful-creatures-stills-lena-larkin

Alice Englert and Kyle Gallner as Lena & Larkin

Overall, the movie was entertaining and did feature some pretty cool special effects, but if they hadn’t read the book I don’t think the viewer would fully appreciate this bewitching and intriguing Caster world. I do not think they will be making a sequel or carrying on with four movies to match the books, as the estimated overall budget of the movie was $60 million and it only brought in $19 million in theaters (source). It will be released on DVD May 21, and may have more success as a rental.

Beautiful Creatures movie review – 5/10

If you have read Beautiful Creatures and/or seen the movie, leave me a comment with your thoughts! I would love to hear how others thought the movie compared to the book, or just what you thought of either one in general!

Dove Shows Women We Are More Beautiful Than We Think

24 Apr

Dove Ad

Alright, ladies. I’ve got a bone to pick with y’all. A new advertising campaign from Dove called “Real Beauty Sketches” demonstrates how we often think less of ourselves in terms of natural beauty and self-image than what complete strangers think of us when they first meet us. Have you seen this commercial yet? If not, please take a few minutes to watch it below.

Pretty powerful, right? The sad thing is, I think that all of us can sympathize with the women in this ad because we all feel this way about ourselves in one way or another. Who doesn’t wish there was something they could change about their features, their face or body? And what woman doesn’t have a makeup bag full of synthetic material that will easily cover up any trace of her natural beauty? Whether big or small, we all suffer small self consciousnesses.  I think that just as the women in the commercial were taken aback to find out that complete strangers thought more highly of them then they did of their own selves, this Dove campaign will catch female viewers by surprise in the same way when they realize they are guilty of this, too!

So why do we do this to ourselves? Sure we can take the easy way out and blame it on the media and fashion magazines who have conditioned us to think we all need to look like supermodels to lead happy lives. But that doesn’t fix the problem. I think what we need to do is take a step back from all of our criticism and negativity, and focus on the positive things about ourselves. Make a list of things that you like about your face and body, and once a day when you look in the mirror pick one to focus on. Be thankful for your natural beauty.

And since we are all in this together we should make it a point to tell other women in our lives that they are beautiful.  Compliment them on something specific that they may take for granted about themselves – you never know when someone may need it.  I think you’ll find many women will be surprised and grateful to hear someone compliment them on a specific feature, and it will definitely boost their confidence. And who doesn’t need a confidence boost every now and then?!

All in all, I think Dove was right on with this advertising campaign, and I’d like to thank them for reminding me (and countless other women) of our natural beauty.

Easy DIY Spring Wreath

12 Apr

Since my obsession with Pinterest began sometime last year, I have become a bit of a junkie for DIY home decor and such. This includes wreaths for my front door. In the Fall I made one (that didn’t turn out quite as well as I would have liked) and since Spring is in full effect here in the Gulf Coast, I decided I’d better do another one to brighten up the front of my house. In addition to some potted flowers, a garden flag and a few luscious palms, I like to keep a wreath on my door to add a little color and curb appeal to my humble abode.

Naturally the first place I turned for Spring wreath inspiration was Pinterest! I’m a hydrangea lover, so when I came across the one below, I was sold!

Spring Wreath

I also really loved the fact that it looked very simple to create myself. So, I set off to my local Hobby Lobby with my Pinterest app ready to roll on my phone for reference. It wasn’t hard to find the materials for my creation and I only spent around $35. (Have you seen how much already-made wreaths are at the crafts stores?? Like $80. That’s ridonk.) My husband and I are big fans of the color blue so I decided to use blue flowers instead of purple.

Here’s what you’ll need to create this beautiful Spring wreath:

Spring Wreath Supplies

Wicker Wreath – $6
Cream Hydrangea Silk Flowers – $8 each
Blue Hydrangea Flower bundle – $7
Wooden Craft Letter – $2
Floral Wire – $2.50
Roll of Burlap – $8 (optional – I wrapped some around the top of mine to hang it)
Paint (not pictured – I used some leftover sample paint from Lowe’s that cost $5)

As far as tools, you’ll need wire cutters, scissors and a glue gun.

Spring Wreath Tools

First, cut the stems off of your flowers, but be sure to leave a little bit of the stem so you can stick it in the wicker wreath.  Arrange them on the wreath how you like them.  Next, cut off  some floral wire and use it to secure the flower to the wreath.  Do this by wrapping the wire around the wreath and through the flower several times.

Spring Wreath Flower

Attaching flower to wreath

Once your flowers are in place it’s time to paint your letter and attach it. Yay, you’re halfway done already! Told you this was easy. In a well ventilated area and on a paint-proof surface paint your letter and allow it to completely dry.

Painted Letter for Spring Wreath

When your letter is dry, attach it to the wreath using your glue gun.  Position the letter and spread glue on some of the larger twigs that touch the letter.  Let it dry for a few hours.

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Finally, wrap the burlap around the top of the wreath twice and then tie it in a knot, leaving some length on the ends to dangle.

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All done!! Now go hang it on your front door and get ready for your neighbors to come ask you where you got your lovely wreath!

Spring Wreath

What Spring crafts will you be making this year? 

Wedding Anniversary Traditions To Try

3 Apr

Wedding Bands

This past weekend my husband and I celebrated our six-year wedding anniversary. 6 years! You hear people say “time flies” all the time and don’t really take it to heart, but I can honestly say the past 6 years have flown by in a blur. It’s so easy to fall in to a routine with work and home life that when an anniversary sneaks up on you there isn’t much time (or money) to plan some big extravagant way to celebrate. My hubby and I celebrated this year by just spending the day together, starting with breakfast at our favorite cafe and a romantic dinner at a special place for the two of us. And it was perfect.

However you celebrate your wedding anniversary, below are some very simple, inexpensive things you can do to make the day a little extra special. I love all of these and aside from our tradition of always buying each other something off the traditional or modern wedding gift lists each year, my husband and I have done several of these in the past and plan on doing others in coming years. Hope these ideas inspire you to do something memorable on your big day!

  • Dance to your wedding “first dance” song. Most likely, the song you and your significant other danced to at your wedding is a pretty romantic, meaningful song for the two of you. And every time you hear that song, you think of your wedding. What better way to remember a special wedding moment than to relive that first dance at home, to that exact song?!
  • Toast each other with your wedding champagne flutes.  Chances are you still have those champagne flutes you used on your big day when you shared your first toast as husband and wife. Why not break them out and pop some bubbly? Toast the number of years you two have been happily married, toast to your future, or just toast to the fact that you two haven’t strangled each other yet.
  • Go back to the place where you got engaged. Whether it’s a vacation destination, your special spot, or a romantic restaurant, it’s fun to take a stroll down memory lane on or around your anniversary and reminisce on a very important day for you and your spouse. Especially at the place where it all started. If it’s too hard to go back where you got engaged (like in my case – we can’t just sporadically take a trip to Las Vegas every few years, unfortunately) try going to the place you shared your first date, or recreate the date. Either one would be a romantic way to spend time together.
  • Take a photo holding your framed wedding picture. My best friend told me about this idea (probably something she saw on Pinterest!) and a few years ago when I went to visit them around their anniversary, I took the picture below of them. You probably have a framed wedding photo hanging somewhere in your house, so just grab it and have someone take a picture of the two of you holding it. It’s a great way to capture a “now and then” moment of your love story.

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What are some of your wedding anniversary traditions? 

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