Wednesday, April 30, 2008

j.crew addict

Hi. I'm Betsy. And I'm a J.Crew addict.

Looked on the J.Crew site this morning and saw this:

J.Crew Polka-Dot Rosette Dress

I love it. I want it. I NEED it!
(okay, so I don't really need it, but I would really like to have it!)
I have a lot of weddings to attend this summer so it would definitely get some use. Maybe it's time to cash out all that change in my piggy-bank....

J.Crew is offering an additional 20% off their Sale items through May 2nd. It's a good bargain. (sadly, the Rosette dress isn't on sale)

Shamefully, I have already taken advantage of it....and I will be eating nothing but bread and water until my next paycheck... (just kidding...but not really)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

the martha effect

For some reason, I've been super domestic lately--cleaning, organizing, buying fresh flowers, planting herbs, actually cooking dinner! I think its from reading all those Martha Stewart Living magazines....

I like it though and I'm actually enjoying cooking a real dinner instead of just going to Chipotle to get a Burrito Bowl (seriously though, cilantro lime rice, steak, black beans, fresh tomato salsa, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese, and lettuce is the BEST!)

I seem to be choosing the most odd-sounding recipes to try, but Martha never disappoints. I made this the other night and it was super easy and pretty tasty:

A while ago, this one peaked my curiosity (probably because it had peaches in it) and I tried it out:

Sounded like a weird pairing of flavors, but it was actually quite good (at least Hunter, my sister and I all thought so).

And, thanks again to Martha, next up is:

A. It's got Mint
2. It's got Shrimp
III. It's got those soft Thai noodles that are so fun to eat!

the perfect spring bag

I'm in need of a new Spring handbag; my boring black tote is getting old. I like the tote/top handle style and it needs to be roomy enough to hold all my things on the metro (book, change of shoes, lunch), but still stylish and bright.

I've been saving up for the COACH Carly bag for forever, but now I wonder if I really want it.

It's the perfect size and would go with anything, but the price tag is a little hefty.

Some other options I like:

COACH Madeline Tote

J.Crew Las Palmas Bag

J.Crew Oslo Bag

J.Crew Uptown Tote

Banana Republic Flatiron Shoulder Satchel

Banana Republic Greenwich Shoulder Satchel

Banana Republic Sutton Giraffe-Print Tote

Dooney & Bourke Chiara Bag

And because you can't have cute handbags without cute shoes...

J.Crew Liza Peep-Toe Flats

J.Crew Kingston Suede Driving Mocs

...which are on both on sale right now at J.Crew and I am desperately wanting!

Monday, April 28, 2008

great grapes wine festival

This past Saturday I went to the Great Grapes Wine Festival in Reston, VA with my sis and some friends. We had a great time, tasted a lot of wines, and enjoyed live music, grape stomping, and one very delicious funnel cake.

(We also got dirt kicked up all over us by a dog as we were sitting on a curb, and the owner looks at us and says "oh...sorry" then walks away with her little devil dog. Thanks lady...we were wiping dirt off of our backsides the rest of the day. Keep your dog in check!)

Nonetheless, it was a fun time and I came away with a few fabulous bottles of wine.

My favorite winery by far was Lake Anna Winery. Their staff was friendly and fun, they had a large variety, and their wines were excellent. I think I'm gonna plan a little daytrip out to Lake Anna in the near future...

Friday, April 25, 2008

a little bit of Italy

picturesque Cinque Terre in Italy shot by amazing photographer Marcus Nilsson:

If I could live there, I would.


Spring is here to stay! It's beautiful outside today, which only makes it harder to sit at my desk and do work when I can look out the window and see sunshine.

A few things that make me excited for the warm weather:

J.Crew Ballerina dress

Crate & Barrel Cold Beverage Jar
(I'd fill mine with peach iced tea!)

Crate & Barrel Valencia Plates

Corn on the Cobb cupcakes from Martha Stewart
(how cute are these!)

Watermelon Limeades from Martha Stewart

spacious front porch via Southern Living

Thursday, April 24, 2008

rananculus in bloom

I bought some pink rananculus the other day and brought a few stems to the office. I've gotten into having fresh flowers at my desk. It really does brighten my day.

They bloomed so fast and were so pretty that I had to take some pics:

A few photoshop effects:

The little vase looks so tiny compared to everything else on my desk:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Handwriting intrigues me. I've always liked calligraphy and unique typography, which goes hand in hand with my love of writing and quotations. I've been told countless times that I have nice handwriting, but to me, it's just how I write.

A little while ago I decided to learn calligraphy and so have been doing some practicing. But I keep finding that the script just turns into my normal handwriting since I usually write in cursive. It's hard to not just write how I normally write. I still have a lot of practice to do.

I started playing around with different variations of my blog title. Interesting how the handwriting gradually changes with each try until I end up just writing in print. That's the beauty of handwritten fonts--each word is unique.

I got tired of practicing formal calligraphy, so I just started writing different quotes in my own handwriting. I used a quill pen and inkwell (which I love!) so it's a little more shaky than my normal cursive.

My handwriting looks different to me every time I look at it. I'll just keep practicing for now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

magazine crazy

I have a bit of an obsession with magazines. Just yesterday, I opened my mailbox to find three huge magazines (AND a new J.Crew catalog!). My dream job was to work for a high profile magazine as layout and design editor, or creative director. In high school I subscribed to 8 magazines at one time and now I still subscribe to 3 or 4 and am constantly buying them off news stands. It's a little ridiculous.

Unfortunately I didn't grow up in NYC and most magazine internships are in manhattan and are unpaid, so doing a summer internship at a magazine never really worked out logistically for me. Sad. I went after a few magazine jobs during the job search in college, but nothing ever seemed to fit. A little while ago I was considering going after a job at Martha Stewart Living magazine in Manhattan. I always liked the magazine, but after researching the job, I became a little obsessed and felt the need to devour every issue I could.

How could I do this? A great little thing called ebay. I went on ebay and bought back issues of Martha Stewart Living...and maybe I got a little carried away, because in about three days I went from having one issue of MS Living to having almost three years worth. Yay for ebay!!

This is just some of the magazines I've recently acquired from ebay. There are stacks and stacks of magazines elsewhere in the apartment. Don't even get me started on my obsession with wedding magazines!

One of the things I love most about magazines is the way the photographs, fonts, and layouts intertwine to create this beautiful aesthetic that conveys the subject and evokes emotion. Or simply put: the pretty perfect pictures grab my attention. I am constantly cutting things out of magazines--be it fonts, words, pictures, quotes, logos--and have an endless collection of snippets and clippings.

The other week I actually did something with some of them. I created my first "inspiration board" although it only really inspires me to daydream about this luxurious european summer that I probably won't have. I love it anyways, and I can switch out the clippings whenever I want to change the mood or feeling of the collage.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Today I return to work after a blissful week in Blacksburg. It doesn't help that it's Monday. And it's raining. Motivation to do any type of work is definitely lacking.

I have 708 unread blog posts in my Google Reader...I have a lot of catching up to do! Although right now, I'd rather be in my warm comfy bed catching up on sleep!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In remembrance...

I remember waking up one Monday morning and as usual, checking my email before I went to class. That morning there was an urgent email saying there had been a shooting in my old dorm, West A.J. 

I remember checking the local news--and being shocked when the news anchor was handed a piece of paper on screen and read that now 8 people had been shot. 

I remember my roomate calling me to ask what was going on. She was on her way to class in Norris Hall, and I told her to "come home right now!"

I remember staring in disbelief at the television as the severity of the shootings unfolded on every news station. It was surreal. All I could think was, "Is this really happening?"

I remember countless phone calls made and received. "Are you ok? What's going on? Where are you? What is happening?" I remember feeling a huge sigh of relief after finding out my roommates and closest friends were all okay for now.

I remember being called by the news station in St. Louis, asking for an interview--anything that would give them a different lead on the biggest news story of the year.

I remember the feeling of utter shock when the news reported the number of victims had risen to 32. The enormity of the situation was incomprehensible. Too surreal to fully process.

I remember gathering together with my friends, speculating and questioning the events of the day. Trying to make sense of this horrific tragedy that was overtaking our school, our home. All that was near and dear to me was being brutally attacked. 

I remember dreading the release of the list of victims' names--scared to think that someone I know might actually be on it.

I remember going to a prayer meeting that night. Watching as people I knew and loved broke down in tears, in anguish, when learning of those that had been lost--people that they knew and loved. I couldn't hold it in and I cried the rest of the night.

I remember sitting on the ledge of the chapel, looking out over the drillfield, watching as hundreds, then thousands of people poured out to the center of campus to hold a candlelight vigil. To come together and grieve as a community. As I tried to join the "Lets go! Hokies!" chant, my voice failed me as I broke into tears.

I remember sitting on the grass of the football field the next morning--looking at President Bush's image on the Jumbotron, a VT flag behind him, as he spoke from inside the basketball arena. I thought "is President Bush really here, at my school? is this really happening?" Still trying to make sense of what had happened the day before.

I remember my graduation from college a few weeks later...proudly beaming as I marched into the stadium. I was overflowing with Hokie pride--I had never been more proud to be part of a community; part of a place that was so united in spirit and strength. A place that had endured the biggest mass shooting in history.

I remember a lot of things from last April. The shock, the pain, the hurt, the uncertainty, the emotion, the dread, and the loss. It was a time that will be etched in my memory forever. And now, a year later, I'm back in Blacksburg, surrounded by Hokies that share the same experience of the whirlwind of emotions and effects caused by the shootings on April 16, 2007. 

I look back and remember not the tragic events themselves, but the love and compassion that resulted. 

I remember the enormous outpouring of support and encouragement from across the globe. 

I remember how the VT community came together in the midst of tragedy--to strengthen the bond of Hokie spirit that has been, and will always be, the defining character of Virginia Tech. 

I remember the accomplished lives of the 32 victims, and the lost promise of what they could have achieved in their lifetimes.  

But mostly, I will remember the unshakeable pride I feel for my school, Virginia Tech, and how we have overcome the tragedy of April 16th. 

As Nikki Giovanni eloquently said at the convocation ceremony, "We Will Prevail..." And in this time of reflection and remembrance, it's comforting to know that we have.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rodney Smith

Things have been busy! So this post is mainly pictures...amazing pictures by world-renowned photographer Rodney Smith.

Simply put, I am in love with his work. His photographs are clean, classic, iconic and yet whimsical, quirky and romantic. To me, some of them convey an "Alice in Wonderland" type of world. Looking at them is pure bliss.

And two of my favorites:

Browse through hundreds of his beautiful photos at