Friday, May 30, 2008

Sara Groves

Sara Groves is a beautiful and talented Christian singer whose lyrics are meaningful and inspirational. I found out about her back in college while in cardio-boxing class. The instructor played one of her songs during our cool-down and I liked it so much I went up to her afterwards to ask who sang it. Not only did she tell me the song title (Add to the Beauty), but she gave me a copy of the whole CD. I've been a fan of Sara Groves ever since!

I'm most familiar with her Add to the Beauty album, but she has a new album out, Tell Me What You Know, which I'm sure is just as amazing.

What makes her songs stand out to me are the lyrics. They're not just meaningless rhymes, they actually have substance that is applicable to life. I especially like the lyrics for Add to the Beauty:

Add to the Beauty
by Sara Groves and Matt Bronlewee

We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange place, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

It comes in small inspirations
It brings redemption to life and work
To our lives and our work

It comes in loving community
It comes in helping a soul find it's worth

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful
This is grace, an invitation

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out our best

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

lyrics and pic via Sara Groves

back from the beach

The beach was glorious! Beautiful beach, beautiful weather, beautiful people, beautiful stingrays...err (sound of record scratching)...yea...stingrays.

You might not be able to see them too well, but those dark brown spots in the water are stingrays. There were literally hundreds of them in the water, real close to the shoreline. Their presence kept quite a few people out of the water. One seemingly knowledgeable man explained that they were migrating, although they kept swimming up and back down the coast, so I don't exactly know where they were migrating too.

Hunter ended up being out in the water just as a huge cluster swam up and the Stingray Man told him to just stand still and sure enough they just swam right around his legs. They were in the water the last two days we were out at the beach, so needless to stay we didn't go in the water. Who knows if the stingrays were there when we were out playing in the waves our first day...

the dad and my lil sister relaxing on the beach

The stingrays didn't stop of us from having a great, relaxing vacation. The weather was perfect so we spent three full days out on the beach. The fam and Hunter played golf...while I drove the golf cart (being that I was the only one who can't play golf). We had great food, great fun, and now my parents are looking into buying their own beach house there! Woot! More Sunset Beach vacations to come!

Friday, May 23, 2008


I'm off to Sunset Beach, NC for a long Memorial Day weekend vacation with the fam (and boy).


Enjoy the holiday weekend!

pic from flickr

Thursday, May 22, 2008

colorful macarons

Macarons are such fun cookies! So bright and colorful and yummy looking. The French pastry consists of two meringue-type halves filled with flavored ganache. The colors and flavors seem endless!

{ritzy bee blog} posted about these delightful macarons from Paulette bakery in Beverly Hills. They offer fun flavors like Raspberry Rose, Violet Cassis, Sicilian Pistachio, and Madagascar Vanilla. Yummy!

Now I'm on a mission to find the nearest macaron baker in DC!

all photos from Paulette

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

profound thought

Lately, I've had two different friends ask for my opinion on accessories they had just bought. I liked them, but being the often-times opinionated and critical person that I am (which derives from me being very observant and detail-oriented, really) I had additional things to say about them. I didn't consider them bad things...I just considered them to be my honest opinions of the items. But when I thought back on it, I realized that my opinions could have come across as being negative and that "I didn't like them."

I look at it in a sense of what would I want to hear if I asked someone's opinion on something? I would want their honest opinion, be it good or bad. I wouldn't want a false or fake response. So I guess in turn, when someone asks for my opinion, I give them my honest take on it.

When my answer isn't what they were hoping to hear, I see the disappointment on their face or am asked "are you sure?" Like when my sister asked my opinion on which shoes she should wear to a wedding. She had on a white pair in a style that I thought weren't the best fit for the dress she was wearing (I also personally don't really like white dress shoes at all...) so I told her my honest opinion that I didn't think the white shoes matched. But apparently, that response wasn't what she wanted to hear and she got frustrated and kept trying to change it. I asked her "well, why did you ask for my opinion if you don't want to accept what it is?"

So that got me wondering if people really do want an honest opinion, or if they just want some sort of confirmation to justify their decision? Do we really want to know the honest truth or do we just want a positive affirmation to bolster our confidence?

(btw: i feel like I'm having a Carrie Bradshaw moment right now, typing away at the computer while my voice-over asks my perplexing, profound questions a la Sex and the City)

I guess everyone is different. Some people may ask for opinions to gain positive feedback, even if it may be a "fake" opinion. Others just want to hear the honest opinion, and don't feel offended when they get a negative response. They ask because they really do want to know.

There is nothing wrong with either one. Personally, I want people to be honest with me. I will ask for their opinion because I truly want to know what it is. In turn, I want to give my honest opinion, but I also don't want to hurt someone's feelings. I will have to find the balance between the two.

Do you give your true and honest opinion when someone asks you?

okay, my profound, thought-provoking rambling is done now.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

i got tickets!

Who's going to see Coldplay in concert?

I am!!

This past Saturday my sister and I got up early to score ourselves tickets to the upcoming Coldplay concert in DC! As soon as they went on sale, we secured 8 tickets for ourselves and our friends! (Good thing too, since they sold out rather quickly and our tickets we bought on Ticketmaster were already going for double the price on StubHub and other ticket sites).

Coldplay is my most favorite band--I saw them in concert on their last tour and I think it's the best concert I've ever been to. They are awesome live!

Their new album comes out June 17th--they've updated their website to reflect the new "spanish-infused" feel of the album.

I cannot wait!

Monday, May 19, 2008

a world of NO

I have no words except...."horrid."

Thanks to the fellows over at Project Rungay for giving their honest opinion on some of the latest, most hideous designer shoes appearing on the runways.

And this... just ridiculous.

images from Project Rungay


This is just all sorts of wrong:

(and yet it still makes me chuckle)

pic from here

Friday, May 16, 2008

habitually chic

While clicking through the blog-o-sphere, I came across a really cool interior design blog called Habitually Chic. Written by a stylishly chic interior designer in NYC, it's packed with beautiful photos. Anyone with an eye for beautiful design will love it. It's a great blog-check it out!

Even though I don't know much about interior design, it's still fun to browse the photos and get a glimpse of some serious luxury living.

This one's my favorite: the house. the car. everything about this screams "Betsy!"

Aerin Lauder's Hamptons house that belonged to her grandmother Estee Lauder
Vogue Living Fall/Winter 2006

all pics from Habitually Chic

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Jen Lancaster

If you haven't heard about Jen Lancaster or read her books, get thee to a bookstore now! She is the hilarious author of Bitter is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass--her memoirs about changing jobs and how life in the city is not all glamor and glitz (a la Sex and the City). They are so fun to read! Her blog Jennsylvania is also hilarious.

She just came out with a new book, Such a Pretty Fat, and is subsequently on a book tour and what do you know...she came to DC! Seeing as how hers are some of the funniest books I've ever read, I didn't want to miss seeing her in person. So Monday night I went to my first book reading.

It being my first book reading and all, I was expecting to be surrounded by academic-looking, bespectacled book snobs who would ask real thought-provoking, intellectual questions in an effort to probe some deeper meaning from the book that the author really had no intention of conveying. I looked around, and instead found myself among a crowd of thirty- and forty-something chatty-Cathys anxiously awaiting the arrival of their literary heroine. There was one guy, and I'm almost positive he was gay, because he had was flamboyantly gushing to the woman next to him that he had bought like twenty copies of her books (and he had three copies of the newest release in his lap).

As soon as she walked in, all eyes were on Jen. She's beautiful and preppy, beautifully-preppy, in a cute sun dress and her ever-present pearls. She's just as funny in person as she is in her books (which isn't surprising, since her books are her true-life memoirs). She had everyone laughing as she read an excerpt from the new book and gave background to its context. Then she answered the audience's questions and then sat down to do book signings.

I was excited, and a little nervous, to have my copy signed (I felt so nerdy) since Jen is the mother of sharp, witty, smart-ass retorts and I am not. But when I walked up to the table and handed her my copy, she gave me a warm smile and was as sweet as ever. Knowing that she too dreads public transportation, I told her that her books were a source of much-needed comic relief on my daily metro commute. She then gave her condolences for me having to live in the suburbs and commute into the city. Then she was kind enough to pose for a picture with me!

She looks lovely. I look stupid since I'm doing that thing where I try to pose a decent smile while I'm laughing (since she had just said one of her smart, witty, smart-ass comments right before the pic was taken). Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the book reading and meeting Jen Lancaster. She's great! Go read her books or check out her blog now!

more hats!

I finally found all the women who wear fancy hats! On the latest post on her blog, Martha Stewart shares about a recent luncheon she attended in Central Park and all the women are wearing hats. Pretty hats, ugly hats, small hats, big hats, feather hats, straw hats....hats, hats, hats! I love it!

Check out all the hats here.

Two of my favorites:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

a rare approval of SJP

The Sex and the City movie premiered in London and the ladies were out in full force on the red carpet wearing some...interesting...fashions.

Let's critique!
Kristin Davis (Charlotte): her dress is kinda...blah. Boring hair. Boring shoes. She just sorta blends in with the red carpet. She must still be channeling Charlotte's character, cuz she's all sorts of conservative.

Cynthia Nixon (Miranda): Overall, her look is working. She looks great with the hair and makeup but I'm not feeling the uber-low neckline that creates a boxy V-neck. It looks like she just has really really wide suspenders holding up a sparkly skirt. She definitely stands out though and I think she's the best looking one of the bunch.

Kim Cattrall (Samantha):'s Okay, I guess. It kinda ages her. The dress is somewhere between Scottish tartan plaid and old Christmas wrapping paper. I do like that she pulled her hair back, but you'd expect something a little more...oh, I don't the one who played the most outspoken, no-holds-barred character on the show.

and of course, Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie:

Now, I know what you're gonna say: "what's that ugly thing on her head?!"

But...I kinda like it...

First off, I just wanna say that I applaud her for wearing a hat (if that's what you can call the topiary on her head). I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I love fancy hats and I think women should dress up and wear dramatic hats more often--bring back some of that old world glamor. So props to SJP for rocking the headpiece. She's always taking fashion risks and it's part of whats propelled her to such fashion acclaim.

Now, I'm not saying it's the prettiest or most attractive of headgear, but somehow it works and she pulls it off. If she didn't have it, she'd just be wearing a typical cocktail dress that looks like it's a costume from the Swan Lake ballet, since her hair and accessories aren't doing much on their own. But the "hat" makes the outfit. It brings that crazy, avante-garde fashion sense that Carrie rocked on the show, so I see it as only fitting that she wear something that got everyone talking. It's rare that I like Sarah Jessica Parker, but she owned the hat, and the whole look, so for that...I commend her.

I just wouldn't want to be sitting behind her during the movie.

pictures from OMG!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Veer fonts

Since I have a thing for cool fonts and typography, I love Veer.
It's an online mecca of fonts, illustrations and photography for purchase. I was browsing through it the other day and found quite a few fun fonts that (if I had a few extra bucks lying around) I would love to buy and find some use for in a graphic design project.

Affair font

Congrats to the graduate!

Hunter graduated on Saturday!

The proud Virginia Tech alumni!

Friday, May 9, 2008

until next time...

I'm leaving work early today to head to Tech for the weekend's graduation festivities. Hunter is graduating! Hopefully I'll have a decent post up soon, but until then....a little glamor for your weekend:

Fabulously chic!

image from Rodney Smith

Thursday, May 8, 2008

box-office breakdown

Summer is fast approaching and that means the big summer movie season is upon us! I love movies (sometimes I feel like I should be a movie critic) and am really looking forward to seeing some of this summer's releases.

Some movies on my definite "To-See" list:

Made of Honor
already out in theaters

So the ending is totally predictable and it's basically My Best Friend's Wedding in reverse, but it's a lighthearted romantic comedy and it's about weddings, so of course...I wanna see it.

Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
in theaters May 16

This is the one I am most excited about seeing. I LOVED The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (it's soundtrack is amazing and one of my favorites) so I'm hoping Prince Caspian delivers another wonderful cinematic fantasy. I'm re-reading the C.S.Lewis books right now to brush up on the story lines--they are classic.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
in theaters May 22

The title is totally cheesy but it's this year's token action-packed adventure flick which promises to be a big blockbuster. Plus, it's got Harrison Ford, even though he's a whole lot older than when he last portrayed Indy.

Sex and the City
in theaters May 30

All the screencaps I've seen are just dripping in bright, colorful fun and everyone's been talking about it. And true to form, it's got tons of high fashion eye candy--meaning lots of pretty handbags and SHOES!

Get Smart
in theaters June 20

This looks hilarious. I remember watching the original show on TV Land when I was little and when I first saw the funny trailer for this I was instantly hooked on seeing it. Steve Carell is the perfect person to play Maxwell Smart and it's got the lovely Anne Hathaway as Agent 99. I hope it gives big laughs.

The Dark Knight
in theaters July 18

Batman Begins was awesome and this one looks just as good. I'll just be honest: Christian Bale is hott. I think people will also be curious to see Heath Ledger play what became his last role as the controversial Joker.

all images from IMDB

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

bizarre voicemail

I'm getting on the metro this morning so I get out my phone to turn it to silent mode-- because I am considerate, unlike those annoying metro riders who let their phones ring then answer them and proceed to have twenty minute conversations about hair dye that everyone on the metro is then forced to listen to... (can you tell it's a big pet peeve of mine when people talk on their cell phones on the mostly silent metro?)

Anyways...I flip open my phone and notice I have a voicemail, so I dial to listen.

First thing I notice is that obviously this person did not mean to call me, because it's one of those voicemails where all you hear is garbled noise and distant talking because the person has accidentally and unknowingly called you and ends up leaving a long meaningless message on your phone.

I can hear a guy's voice, but I can't recognize it, so I'm sitting there wondering who in the heck has unknowingly left me this message. I'm about to just erase it and hang up since its obviously a bogus message, but then out of all the garbled noise, the guy's voice says clearly "I just broke the fight up."

Of course, at the mention of the word "fight" I instantly become intrigued, because I'm one of those people that hates to be in conflict themselves but loves to observe other people in conflict (especially when it's in public places). So I keep listening, and keep picking up little bits of what the guy is saying. The gist of what I was able to piece together:
  1. The guy is "on the corner of New Dominion and Fountain." (odd, those are two roads in Reston Town Center, which just happens to be where I was last night)
  2. There was a fight because he broke it up.
  3. He got punched in the ear, but he's fine.
  4. It started "over there" then moved "over here."
  5. The "one guy" was wearing a blue striped shirt with little red stripes.
  6. He's standing in front of Clydes (which just happens to be the restaurant I ate at last night)
It sounded like he was talking on a cell phone to the police, but I could also hear a woman's voice in the background asking questions. I assume that there was a fight in front of Clydes and this guy tried to break it up and now he was telling the police about it. Okay, so that explains it.

But, it doesn't explain why this message is on my phone, on my voicemail. The whole time I'm listening, I'm like "who the heck is this? and why is this message on my phone!?" I don't know of any guy who is in Reston who would be accidentally calling me, especially at 1:35 AM (which is when I got the voicemail).

Rewind to back when I had dinner earlier that night. My aunt, mom, sister and I went to Clydes for dinner and we wanted to sit outside, so I went up to the hostess to put our name down for a table. She takes my phone number so that she can call me when the table is ready (which I think is strange, but I reason since it's outdoors, they're not using those little buzzer things). The hostess calls me about ten minutes later and tells me our table is ready, so we go sit down, have a nice dinner, then leave. Simple as that.

So after hearing and evaluating all the evidence and pondering available facts, I have deduced that this is what happened:
  1. There was a fight at Clydes in Reston Town Center at about 1:30 AM.
  2. A guy tried to break up the fight (and got punched in the ear in the process).
  3. Somewhere during the brawl, the phone at the outdoor hostess station gets knocked over and by some random chance my number gets redialed.
  4. The fight is going on as my phone is being called and my voicemail picks up.
  5. By the time the message starts recording the fight has just broken up and the guy is calling the police on his cell phone.
  6. The restaurant phone is still on, unbeknownst to anyone, and is recording everything the guy is saying to the police on my voicemail.
  7. I end up with a 5 minute long message that lets me know this all went down early this morning.
Yea, definitely the most bizarre voicemail I've ever received.

The best part is that right before it cut off, the garbled noise clears up just enough for me to hear the guy yell in frustration, "YEA! I'M COVERED IN BLOOD!"

Must have been one heck of a fight.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

thanks mr. UPS man

I've been ridiculously busy since last Friday, so until I can sit down and actually put together a decent blog post....

Yesterday was not the greatest of coming home to a big brown box from J.Crew was a big pick-me-up! (Thank goodness for fast shipping! I just ordered it a few days ago...)

Nothing cheers me up like more J.Crew goodness for my closet!

Swiss-dot Fontana Dress

Clea Printed-fabric Ballet Flats