Sweetheart Dance

About a month ago, Lori, Kendra and I sat down to talk fundraising for RSVP.  We lost a big chunk of money for this year so we have been scrounging to make some fast cash in whatever way we can.  We came up with the idea to have a Father Daughter Sweetheart Dance because it is something that has never been done (to our knowledge) in Manhattan before.  In about five hours’ time, we pulled together a major sponsor, location, DJ and photographer and I even whipped up a flyer.

Ever since our initial meeting, Kendra and I have been posting flyers, spreading the word about the dance through Twitter and Facebook, selling tickets, finding volunteers to make desserts, brainstorming decoration ideas and being incredibly thrifty at the same time.  We had a tight budget and I can proudly saw that we pulled off a pretty amazing event.

It was priceless to see all of the adorable daughters and their dads or grandpas dancing together at the dance.  I didn’t think it would make me emotional, but it was just so darn sweet to see how happy not only the little girls were, but their dads, too.  Everyone seemed to have a great time at the dance and it was very rewarding to be part of the team that made this event happen.  We had a lot of yummy desserts for the guests to enjoy, a photo booth set up to take silly pictures, great music, (their favorite song was “Party Rock Anthem”– so funny) and prizes to give away!

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and last but not least…..

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You’re The One That I Want

I really like this cover of the Grease classic “You’re The One That I Want,” performed by Angus & Julia Stone.  When I was in third grade I was ob-sessed with the movie “Grease” and wanted so badly to be just like “edgy Sandy” at the end of the movie.  You know the look: tight black pants, blonde curly hair, off the shoulder top, red heels. I think I know what my Halloween costume this year will be. : ) Even though I totally loved the movie and even performed “Grease Lightning” in the talent show with my sister and friend, most everything in the movie went completely over my head. Looking back, that is probably for the best.

Modern Day Audrey

One of my favorite Audrey Hepburn movies, aside from “Sabrina” of course, is the 1953 film “Roman Holiday.”  This film follows Audrey Hepburn’s character, Ann, who just so happens to be a princess.  When Ann and her royal family arrive in Rome, she is immediately filled with boredom and yearns to see Rome for herself, unaccompanied. Escaping her strict regimen, Ann sneaks out to explore the Eternal City. She hitches a ride in the back of a delivery truck and later falls asleep on a park bench when the after effects of a sedative she took earlier in the night finally set in. Gregory Peck’s character, Joe Bradley, who is an American journalist, finds the sleeping princess and takes her back to his apartment so she can rest peacefully.  (This sounds like a legitimate kidnapping, but I promise Joe’s intentions are harmless : )

The next morning Joe rushes off to cover the Princess Ann press conference, but doesn’t realize she is actually asleep on his couch. The film continues to show the growing relationship between Joe and Ann and how the secrets of their identities unfold as they traipse around Rome. It’s a pretty sweet little love story.

Above you will see my take on the “Modern Day Audrey” in Roman Holiday.  A beautiful minty green top with a bow tie front compliments this caramel, pleated chiffon midi skirt perfectly. (It sounds like I am writing about food, not fashion!) I think this ensemble has  just the right amount of “flowiness” for a ride around Rome on the back of a Vespa, a la Audrey & Joe  in Roman Holiday. Nothing says a vacation in a romantic city like your skirt blowing in the wind, right??  And of course when traveling by foot, a sturdy pair of gladiator sandals are appropriate, such as this braided pair.  In true Audrey fashion, one must wear a stylish scarf, but perhaps instead of tying this pretty paisley one around your neck, try it tied around the handles of your handbag.

P.S in the latest issue of Matchbook Magazine, a feature story about Ryan Gosling reveals that his dream project is to work alongside Natalie Portman in a remake of Roman Holiday. Swoooon. I really, really hope this happens.

<3

I’ve managed to track down several different photo sets that are incredibly cute and festive for the upcoming holiday that some of us love and hate….Valentine’s Day.  I might not have such animosity towards this “day for lovers” if I actually had someone to spend it with but, that’s neither here nor there.  Nevertheless, I heart these photos below!

How fun are all of these Valentine’s Day inspired accessories from Ban.do?? I especially like the heart headband and the big poofy flower pin.

These huge heart balloons from Giranomo Balloons are absolutely adorable!! Wouldn’t it be so fun to walk around town holding one of those?! Of course you would have to wear a super chic outfit like the girl above.  Check out this cute video showing more of the balloons!

Geronimo Balloons Valentine’s Day from hak lonh on Vimeo.

These little lovebirds shot a “Cupid” inspired engagement photo shoot via Green Wedding Shoes .  It’s adorable and I’m jealous. There I said it.

xoxo and not bitter at all,

Shannon

Happy Birthday, Lauren Conrad!

America’s favorite Girl Next Door turns 26 today!! Lauren Conrad has been one of my favorite reality stars turned overnight celebrity since her role on Laguna Beach.  I’m actually currently re-watching all of the episodes of The Hills right now and it is interesting to see how much she has changed over the course of the series.  Since ditching her role on television, Lauren has dipped her hand in many other pots. First of all, LC was a spokesperson for mark makeup for a number of years and helped mark launch the “m.powerment”campaign to fight abuse back in 2008.  She started  her first fashion line, Lauren Conrad Collection, which unfortunately didn’t last long, but then redeemed herself by launching a line for Kohls called LC by Lauren Conrad and also a higher-end line entitled Paper Crown.

Conrad has also written three  novels as part of the “LA Candy” series. And yes, I admit I have all of them and even went to her book signing. Guilty as charged. Alongside her tween fiction writing, Lauren wrote and appeared in a “Style” book which gives readers tips on fashion and makeup.  She is currently working on another book for the L.A. Candy series and a “Beauty” book.  In the last year LC launched a website with her make-up artist and hair stylist called “The Beauty Department” which showcases all different kinds of beauty and hair tips. I’ve caught myself referencing the site on multiple occasions to help master a winged eyeliner look or to get pointers on retro curls. Lastly, she always stays on top of her personal website laurenconrad.com with fun content including recipes, her favorite pins from Pinterest.com and she even started a live-chat book club!

I would go out on a limb and say that any doubt surrounding this starlet’s contribution to followers and her claim to fame can be summed up by the list of accomplishments above. (I’m sure I accidentally forgot a few things, too).  Sure, she started off as a rich teen living in Orange County who then landed a dream internship at Teen Vogue, but I think she has come a long way and earned her spot in the lime light. I think Lauren Conrad is a great role model for young girls and women and I am excited to see what she has up her sleeve for the future!! Happy Birthday, Lauren!

And just for the heck of it, here is a photo of when Tana, Taylor and I went to Kansas City a couple of years ago  to meet Lauren Conrad at her book signing.  I said something really dorky along the lines of, ” Is this your first time in Kansas?? Oh wait, I guess we are in Missouri now…” (coming from a girl who did not grow up in the KC area).  She responded by A. saying she had never been to Missouri or Kansas and B. That it was like a “Winter Wonderland” How precious. P.S. She’s very skinny and taller than I thought and has obvious extensions that she constantly played with, just like on her “Hills” days. : )

Ingrid Michaelson “End of the World”

I have been a huge fan of Ingrid Michaelson, ever since her first album came out in 2006.  She has so much character and spunk and delivers song lyrics that in my opinion, are very easy to relate to. I just bought her new album, “Human Again” and am still in the initial stages of listening to it in its entirety. It has a much different tone than “Boys and Girls” and “Be OK,”  her first two full-length albums, which for the most part, are very poppy and upbeat.

“Everybody,” her third album, has a more personal tone, delving deeper into past relationships which translate into her song lyrics.  However, the most recent album, “Human Again,” is by far the most intimate album to date.  It boasts many ballads and Ingrid really opens up in her songs. Perhaps this is so much different than her previous albums because she is now married to fellow singer, Greg Laswell? I just found that out.  Anyway, here is one of my favorite tracks on Human Again called “End of the World.”  Apparently it was written after she watched a slew of zombie movies. Inspiration comes from all sorts of places, I suppose!

Happy Friday!

I am so pleased that today is Friday.  After I hit up the gym tonight, I have a date with  my jammies, a movie and the couch. Ultimate relaxation will be in full force. Tomorrow Jess is coming to hang out with me in Manhattan and I can’t wait for the fun adventures we have planned! Later, Haley will be joining us for a night out at the bars. Get ready, Aggieville. I’m so excited for a fun weekend ahead! Yay! Happy Friday, everyone!

I guess I’m “Feeling Frenchy” again…

Whatchu got in that bag?

Make up. You can’t live it, you can’t live without it right? Eh, something like that.  I just know that my uneven complexion, acne scars and just overall lack of sleep can all combine to make a pretty scary sight.  That’s where cosmetics swoop in and basically save my life.  I would like to say I’m one of those girls who can pull off the au naturel look, but let’s face it, I am not.  I can’t just roll out of bed and work with what I’ve got–oh how much time that would save.

Above are items that I wear on a pretty regular basis–my “go to” products if you will.  However, my makeup bag houses many more products than seen above, ie. additional eye shadows, eye liners, and lip glosses to name a few.  This compilation is a fairly good representation of what I put on my face on a normal day.

From left to right (row one)

1. Kate Spade Twirl rollerball– It smells like macarons and watermelon and blackberries. It is very girly, but I can still get away with using it during the daytime.  For clarification,  it goes on my wrists, not my face.

2. Covergirl classic color blush in “rose silk”–I feel like I first started using this blush back in middle school because my Mom had it and I knew nothing about makeup.  I’ve tried other blushes over the years but I am currently using this throwback. It has a nice subtle shimmer and a pigmented shade of pink.

3. MAC eyeshadow in Naked Lunch– I use this shade as an all over the lid color.  It’s a pretty champagne color with a touch of sheen.

4. MAC eyeshadow in Satin Taupe– This is my favorite eyeshadow ever. I use it in the creases of my eyes and the outer corners for a daytime look.  The color is hard to explain but it’s great for green eyes.

(row two)

5. Clinique lipgloss in Fireberry– I got this shade of gloss as a free gift from Clinique and absolutely love it.  It’s a really pretty reddish raspberry color with some gold sparkle and makes my lips ever so shiny and glossy.  It even stays on through lunch, which I just realized today!

6. NYC bronzer–I am not actually using this bronzer right now but I have in the past. For a cheapo brand it works fairly well! I don’t wear bronzer every day, but when I do I always notice it gives my skin some extra pizzazz.

7. Burts Bees lip balm– It’s the perfect lip balm for anyone. It tingles and is peppermint flavored.

8. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie– I just got this last week and I really like it.  It’s the stuff Emma Stone wears in the new Revlon commercial. It’s super buttery smooth and is a nice subtle color.

(row three)

9. Maybelline Fit foundation– According to the commercials and advertisements, this foundation is supposed to be “perfect for everyone.” I am not convinced yet.

10. Bath and Body Works “Dark Kiss” body cream– I don’t usually like B&BW stuff because it smells like a sorority house’s bathroom in there, but this is a scent I cannot live without.  It’s kind of dark (go figure) and sultry…?

11. Covergirl pressed powder– I have this in the “oil control” variety because my skin gets a little shiny throughout the day.  This powder is lightweight, covers well and doesn’t feel cakey or geisha-ish.

12. Maybelline Master Precise liquid eyeliner–I bought this eyeliner as a stand in for my usual Line Stilletto liquid eyeliner because it was out of stock. I am glad about it too because this stuff is awesome!! It’s more like a marker/pen than a little brush and it makes the pointy edge of the winged eyeliner look come together very easily! My only complaint is that this eyeliner is definitely not waterproof.

13. Maybelline Grat Lash BIG mascara–The pink and green bottle is a classic. The word BIG attached is even better!! This is a pretty basic mascara, as my lashes do not demand a whole lot of attention.  I’ve been fortunate enough to acquire some fairly long, curled lashes so one orsometimes two coats of this mascara usually does the trick for a daytime look.

What’s up, Wednesday?

I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday, or hump day as some lovingly like to refer to this mid-week day.  I am having trouble believing that Christmas was exactly a month ago and we’re already moving toward Valentine’s Day.  I haven’t been able to part with my Christmas tree quite yet.  It is still shining brightly in the living room, along with my other Christmas decorations. Goal for the weekend: take it down.  I might leave some Christmas lights up on the mantel just for some extra sparkle.  Because really, who doesn’t love a little twinkly sparkle? : )

I first heard this song on the trailer for the movie “Another Earth” and have really been loving it ever since.  It’s so emotional and beautiful…take a listen.

Oh, and think about this.

National Peanut Butter Day

Yes. It is true.  Today, January 24th, marks a wonderful day in the culinary world.  It’s National Peanut Butter Day.  I think that it is safe to say that PB deserves its own food group and should be devoured at least once a day.  Creamy, crunchy, whipped, extra crunchy, it’s all great.  Eaten by the spoonful?? Even better. Here are some of my favorite peanut butter treats along with some others that just look absolutely delicious.

1. Creamy Peter Pan Peanut Butter –A classic.  I grew up on this creamy concoction and I always find myself going back to it.  Maybe I’m not giving other peanut butter varieties a fair chance, but I’ve found one I love, so why would I change now?? PS.  I once betrayed Peter Pan  and tried PB2 which is a powdered peanut butter, people.  It just doesn’t compare to the good stuff.

2. Peanut Butter Cheese Ball— I’ve never been fortunate to try this delicious looking dessert (I don’t think those are actually dog treats pictured above, but hey, I could be wrong. Arf), but how delicious does it look?!? Cream cheese, peanut butter and chocolate? Sounds good to me.  The recipe can be found here

3. Peanut Butter Truffles— Oh boy. These look scrumptious.  I think I could find myself popping one too many of those into my mouth in one sitting. Want to make them?? Find the recipe here!

4. Edy’s Slow Churned Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream— This is my hands down, my favorite ice cream that I can get my hands on easily. Here is the lineup:  peanut butter flavored ice cream with peanut butter ribbons and peanut butter cups. There might be some other chocolate in there too, but we’re talking peanut butter today.  Added bonus: it’s 1/2 the fat of regular ice cram and I can absolutely not tell at all when eating it.  Other delicious peanut butter flavored ice creams?? Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic and Braum’s PB Cup.

5. Jumbo Honey-Roasted Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies— If you’re in a hurry and want to curb your peanut butter craving, this recipe is an easy solution.  If you want the easy directions you can find the recipe here.

6. Reese’s Egg–(or any other seasonal Reese’s peanut butter cup).  These little guys are better than the normal Reese’s variety.  For some reason the peanut butter to chocolate ratio is different and it truly makes a difference.  I love them. Especially when they are eaten cold. Yes, put them in the refrigerator before you snarf them down–you won’t regret it.  I know the eggs are already in stock in my local Dillons grocery store, so maybe V-Day hearts will be out soon, too?!  Last night I just finished my last Christmas tree…I savor these little morsels of heaven.

So yes, to answer your question, I will indeed be eating some peanut butter at some point in the day. Maybe once, maybe twice….maybe even thrice.