Monday, September 15

Happy Birthday Galina!

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Today I'm celebrating probably the greatest influence and role model in my life: my older sister Galina.

All my life, people have told me I am just like her. At times, especially when I was younger, this made me feel so special; at times, it also intimidated me, and yet at other times, I thought, I can't be that bad. But it's true; we both share a fiery personality, a love for people, and a strong work ethic. So I suppose I should say, each of these traits I have, I got from her.

I can't remember all of it, but I know Galina had a huge part in raising me. The legend goes that one night, I went into my mom's room and declared, "Mom, you're my other mom!" My mom asked, "Really? Who's your first mom?" And I simply said "Galina." So, clearly we've been thick as thieves since day one.

When I think about her throughout my life, I think of two things: us butting heads, and her spoiling me. Both things, all the time. I think now we realize that we will inevitably butt heads because we share so many qualities, so it doesn't happen as much. But the spoiling still happens, to my delight! Galina took me to get my first manicure, my first blow-out, my first facial, my first professional haircut(s), did my hair and make-up for all my high school formals, and many a shopping trip in between.

She went away to college when I was about nine, but still remained an older sister figure in my life. I got to attend her graduation at Syracuse with my parents, and the nights I spent with her in her dorm made me feel like the absolute coolest. About ten years later, she was at my graduation here in Nashville. Throughout high school, she was there for races, performances, and those special sister nights in whatever apartment or house that she lived in at the time. I miss those! Although they've evolved into wine and cheese night, whenever we can swing it. I would also like to take this moment to say that I have been her right hand LITERALLY every single time she's moved in her whole life.

Like I described with my middle sister, Carina, I am so thankful for the relationship I have with Galina now. She truly is one of my greatest confidants, someone I know I can call with anything! She gives good advice regarding, pretty much anything, and I have the comfort of knowing that the advice is backed with a fierce sisterly love. Now that I'm older, I feel like we have a mutual respect, but still with an air of "protective-older-sister". But it has certainly balanced out, I mean, she's not coming home from college anymore and telling my 7th grade self that I'm not allowed to wear make-up.

So, happy, happy birthday Galina! I love the time we spend together, and I am immensely thankful for a wise, trail-blazing, hilarious, loving older sister like you! We are all celebrating you today!!

And this marks the grand finale of writing birthday posts for each of my immediate family members! Every time I started writing one, I was instantly overwhelmed at how exactly to capture each person, and what they mean to me. I always felt intimidated, and sometimes like I didn't do them justice. Though it was a challenge, I am so happy I did it! Each member of my family has had such an impact on my life; and I wanted to do my very best to let them know that.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed about writing something, I always tell myself that getting started and writing something will be an improvement over writing nothing at all. So, it's definitely an accomplishment as a writer to start chipping away at my family memories, something I have considered really writing about many times before. Thank you for reading these posts, giving me feedback, and sharing your similar memories with me!

You can read the rest of the birthday posts here: Carina // Dad // Mom // Sundar // Amir & Tarif // Coren 

Friday, September 12

You're the balm!

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| dress: secondhand via Jamie | shoes: Old Navy | ring: Forever 21 | earrings: gift from Galina |
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Friday outfit formula for when waking up this week has been THE worst, and you should have left five minutes ago: printed dress + flats. Today marks the second installment of my outfits: in real-time series

I got this dress from a co-worker who was down-sizing her closet soon after I started my job. I have to say, though the print is slightly hippie-r than I would normally choose, the fit and therefore comfort of the dress is perfect. Perfect for, say, bbq nachos and a Friday Beer:30 at 1pm. 

I really don't have a lot to say today. But Kelley, who styled my hair [on Sunday] insisted that I tell you how long I have milked this hairstyle for. Aka, my hair so dirty and I'm not going to tell you how dirty. 
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*Photos edited with VSCOCam*
One exciting thing: I got this Pixi by Petra lip balm in my BirchBox the other day, and I am obsessed. I already want it in every color. The berry shade is perfect for Fall, and I know I'll be wearing it every day. Plus, it's a balm, so it goes on and stays on SO well! There's my once a month plug for a beauty product.

Oh, you want to sign up for a Birchbox? Go right ahead. Also, I need to do a review post soon.

Well, I'm off to finish up this Friday. I have one actual timed commitment this weekend, and otherwise I'll just being going with the flow, and making time to sleep, watch football, read, and hopefully blog! Oh, and keep working on Breaking Bad. I am so looking forward to it because this week has been quite full. I hope you all are well, bloggy friends and otherwise! xo 

Tuesday, September 9

Weekend Update: Live on the Green, etc.

As much as I don't want to say it: this morning, it was 68 degrees and super foggy outside! That's not exactly Summer weather. And I'm just going to leave it at that. Is it possible that the sigh of relief of Autumn might be close by?
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Notable captions: We had a surprise brunch for Kelley on Friday (top left), how close were were to Ingrid (top right), perfect Nashville night in the middle, Amanda & I in front of LP (bottom left), make-up palooza and Kelley's birthday cupcake (bottom right)

I had a stellar weekend. Friday night I fell asleep on the couch at 11pm watching Breaking Bad.

Swan-dived into bed and slept in on Saturday. Met up with my sweet Roomie, Amanda, had a little wedding meeting (relax, hers not mine), where she very casually tried on some dresses. I also printed out a copy of Martha Stewart's Wedding Timeline & Handbook for her to ease some of the initial planning jitters she's having. And I have to say, while so far I am loving getting to think about her wedding, I have some ulterior motives of thinking about my own, IF AND WHEN that should happen.

We ended up getting to hang out all day which was so wonderful and needed. We hardly see each other anymore, when we used to be together on and off all day, everyday. I miss doing crazy fun things with her, but also really normal stuff (talking to her while she's getting ready.)

Saturday was the final installment of Nashville's premiere free music festival, Live on the Green. My pal Trace hooked it up with some backstage/VIP tickets, the likes of which I have never had for a show, ever. We watched Ingrid Michaelson (who I've always loved, but it heightened after her performance at the Ryman in May) and LP back to back from the side/very front of the stage, eating free food and drinking free drinks the whole time! I mean, that's the way to do it. I almost won't ever go back unless I have tickets like that again ;)

I felt so, so happy to be living in Nashville on Saturday. The whole city was out, the sunset and therefore lighting and temperature was just gorgeous, and I was with one of my very best friends since moving to Nashville. Not to mention, Live on the Green has established itself into a pretty stinkin' cool event, the past five years that I've been here.

If you haven't listened to LP yet- my goodness- GO. She is an incredible performer, and the kind of person I think I would love to be best friends with. And the VOICE. I rarely talk about music around here because I really love most of it, and could go on forever; but I've had her album on repeat for the past few days (and I've been waking up with lyrics in my head. So weird. "I've been a little less lonely by the way // something in the air intoxicates // in your town.")

Tracks to listen to: Your Town. Night Like This. Toyko Sunrise. Heavenly Light.

Also if you're not an Ingrid Michaelson fan, you should be. The new album is fantastic, and she's one of the best live performers I've ever seen. And special shout-out to her for not canceling her show in Nashville even though her mother just passed away.

Then Sunday, I went to church, and after headed to a coffee shop and blogged (I miss doing that! That was my jam when I was unemployed.) I spent most of the day doing hair & make-up with my work friends. My girl Kelley has a knack for that kinda stuff, among other things, and is hoping to up her freelance game with a website. Oh, plus it was her birthday. So we celebrated her and let her do what she loves and is good at. Cupcakes and champagne were also involved. Stay tuned because I took pictures of all the gorgeous ladies, so maybe I can share them here, if you like?

Then I finished my Sunday babysitting a melodramatic but also adorable three year old. And that is my idea of a great day. Busy from head to toe, but like, I'm drinking tea and blogging busy, know what I mean?

Once again, I think a weekend well spent brings a week of content. It's Tuesday, but I've already paid two tickets and gotten severely bitten by mosquitoes THROUGH my clothes so...things can only get better! I'm being dramatic. So far, this week's been great.

Last thing- I finished All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner, a fascinating look into prescription drug additction; and started If Only, Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell's autobiography. To be honest I checked it out as a bit of a gag, but it is SO dang interesting and now I have Spice Girls totally on the brain. Viva Forever!

Sunday, September 7

Liebster Outfit #1

New post up on a Sunday? Believe me, no one is as surprised as this girl. 

Howdy-doo with my next set of outfit photos shot by my talented friend Stephanie. I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I no longer believe in color rules of any kind. It's 2014, there's no such thing as color rules! Mo' colors, no rules, that's what I say. 
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| top: secondhand J.Crew (via Shelby) | skirt: thrifted | heels: Target | earrings: Forever 21 |

I've been trying out several color combos like this, usually involving this perfect pink blouse. As much as I love it, that's how much I hate getting it dry-cleaned. I tried it out with red pants here (mortified by how wrinkly my shirt is in this picture. Don't judge.) The pink + red combo makes me feel like a happy little Valentine, so I couldn't wait to try it out with this skirt. I opted for another punch of the same palette with the shoes here; but full-disclosure, when I wore this to work, I wore my orange wedges instead. Much comfier and I loved that color combo too. 
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Ok enough blady blah about my outfit. Two sweet girls nominated me for the Liebster award recently, and while I've already done the whole process before, I can't resist answering fun interview style questions. 

First up is from Gigi at Dolce and Gabriella; such a cute girl, who expertly covers some unique topics on her blog. I love her effortlessly cool style and her DIY tutorials (making your own jorts, which I'm dying to do, here!) Plus she's enjoying my home state right now, and I love viewing it through her eyes! Thanks for the nomination Gigi! 
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1. Fill in the blank: I got 99 problems but _____ ain’t one. 
Thinning hair. On this day, I am dreaming of a pixie cut. Who wants to discuss this with me? 
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2. You get to/have to take a trip around the world with one other person for a year. Who would you most enjoy/tolerate doing it with and why? 
I'm going to say my friend from home,  Rachel. Not only is she a world-class traveler, with the smarts I'd need to survive a trip like this (she just spent three months in South America); she's a terrific friend and I miss spending time with her. Getting to hang out with her for a year around the world would be ultimate! 
3. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? 
We'll go with blogging compliment. Gigi said she loves my "friendly, witty writing style." Not a cop-out answer, ok? It's really nice!
When I did an interview with Emily of Bon Marche Couture, she said, "She is bubbling over with enthusiasm and a sense of fun without being one of those people who makes you feel like a loser because her life is so effortlessly perfect." 
Both things I strive for with my blog. Now that I'm feeling totally self-absorbed...
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4. Name the next Kardashian sister. You can choose to continue the “K” dynasty or derail it forever…the power lies in your hands.
Kharity. L. O. L. 
5. If it were impossible for you to fail at it, what’s one thing you’d do?
Be a stage actress full-time. 
6. If you were to write a coffee table book about something, what would it be about?
First- this question is amazing. Teacups around the world, playlists for everything, theme parties, Beyonce, people in their cars, flower crowns; how could I pick just one? 
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7. What possession does your best friend have that you’d like to steal the most? (FYI: “her boyfriend/girlfriend” is not an acceptable answer.)
Hmm her hair or maybe her engagement ring ;) 
8. What was your favorite Disney Channel Original Movie? I liked Life Size.
Ironic: Cadet Kelly
Serious: All High School Musicals. 
9. If you could change your name, would you? To what?
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10. What’s your most guilty guilty pleasure?
Speaking of, watching the Disney Channel. Also bad pop music and eating dessert for breakfast/lunch/dinner. 

11. Once you’ve made it and you’re filthy rich, what’s one thing you’re never going to do yourself again?
Park my car. Wash & put the sheets on my bed. 

Thanks again for the nomination and the fun questions to answer, Gigi! Be sure and check her out at Dolce & Gabriella.

Ok, I'm off to enjoy the last few hours of the weekend. 

In the meantime, I would love to hear your answers to some of these. Favorite Disney Channel Original Movie? Coffee table book? Kardashian sister? Guilty pleasure? Go go go! 

Thursday, September 4

Blue Suede Boots // My Story on Buying Items You Love

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This is a fashion-related blog, so I can write silly stories about items of apparel and no one will judge right? Surely there are people out there who get me.

A few months ago, in the eternal purge of my closet, I said goodbye to an old friend, these bright blue, Robin Hood style, suede boots. And now that I think about it, these beloved shoes never actually made it on my blog (until now.) The weather was already warm, so I didn't get to give them the farewell voyage wear  I like to grant any items I'm parting with. They weren't in great shape, and I'm really wondering if these type of boots are even in style anymore; but I still wrestled with throwing them out. Why? Because I loved them enough to dare to buy them in the first place. And I still loved them, even in their used to death state.

(Brace yourself for a really ridiculous statement) I threw the boots away, but because I'm weird and sentimental with clothing, I want to remember something they taught me: go ahead and buy items you really, truly love.

The scene opens: I'm a 14 year old girl, who only gets to shop at Delia's when my best friend gives me hand-me-downs (shout-out: Jenae) or my older brother indulges me with my online wishlist on my birthday. Being the over-thinker and tedious decision maker that I am, I must have looked through the entire site trying to pick those special items I would love and wear the most.

Enter the blue suede boots. This was the time where everyone had the black, slouchy pair by Steve Madden. But the blue was so fabulous, a sure-fire statement waiting to happen. Did I dare? I vividly remember a conversation I had with my fashion role model sister Carina, where she said, "I dunno Priya, I wouldn't buy the blue pair if you didn't have a pair in black that would go with everything already." {Editors Note: A couple years after this, her discarded black Steve Madden pair became mine. Thanks sis!}

Her point was valid, and it's one I make almost all the time when I'm shopping. Should you buy something in a crazy, awesome color or style when the black would be more practical and go with everything? Well, I did. And I never regretted it.

I loved those boots, literally, to death, until both the soles were split and one was missing a heel completely. I wore them throughout high school, with black dresses to make them pop, and I wore them with my mustard coat when I first started saying "To hell with color rules!" I always got a few compliments while wearing them. And I always loved them.

Now, while this story may sound a little ridiculous, here's my point: never stop buying items you love. Even if they're a little impractical. Choose the items that you would wear every single day if you could (and if you do, hey, there's your signature piece!) If you love them enough, you will wear them enough. You will always feel good when you're wearing them. You will always get compliments wearing them. It's totally worth it, instead of having items you're just "meh" about.

Farewell blue boots, you have served and taught me well. 

Wednesday, September 3

Secondhand Color-blocked

Well hey there! I hope everyone had a lovely long weekend to kick off September! I spent it house-sitting/hanging/boating, and being mostly unplugged which was quite nice. I almost read an entire book  (All Fall Down- Jennifer Weiner) while I wasn't on my computer or phone! 

Then yesterday I ended up going home around lunchtime because I was feeling awful...I tell you this to say it feels like it's almost the weekend again and I've hardly done anything to earn it. Still, not complaining about that. 
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| sunnies: H&M | dress: secondhand from Galina | heels: H&M | bracelet: F21 | purse: vintage via giveaway | 

But oh yes, the outfit. One lingering benefit of having my sisters in town a few weeks ago- this new to me dress! Galina literally tossed it to me as she was packing up, I think we were discussing "style challenges", and she said, "Here's your new style challenge. I didn't like this dress at all." But all I saw was silky fabric, and not just colors; color-blocked! So in!!
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I figured the best way to style something color-blocked was just to add a few more colors; subtle gray for the heels, and dark green with my purse and sunglasses. And yes, sunglasses were a vital accessory on this day, when I didn't wear any make-up to work. It happens.  After the initial shock, it's quite relaxing. 
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In retrospect, I should have opted for the necklace OR the bracelet, and not both. Which one would you have chosen?
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I think I figured out why my sister didn't like it, the first portion of the skirt (the pink part) lays at a really strange, un-flattering billow. Not enough for me to not wear it though. The way I see it, it hides a post-lunch food baby exceptionally well! 
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That's all for now! Hooray for super short weeks and second-hand dresses that make you feel first-hand wonderful (#terriblejoke #apologeez).

OH- I feel like I should tell someone this, so how about the whole entire internet: Hunter and I started watching Breaking Bad last night. Neither of us are huge TV watchers, but when we debated on the next must-see show we could start together (The O.C has been abandoned, for now), that's what we decided on! I made him say a pledge with me before we started because I jump at any chance for ridiculous theatrics. However, I didn't think to add a "don't watch ahead" clause in the pledge. So far it's not too suspenseful but that definitely could have come in handy. Time to amend the pledge.

Friday, August 29

Four Seasons, One Dress: Summer

Today I'm starting another something new on the blog. A few weeks ago I noticed that Danielle of Goodwillista (which has recently become a favorite read of mine!) and I had the same dress. I love when that happens, it makes me feel like I'm doing something RIGHT!

She came up with the idea for us to both style it throughout the seasons. I am always looking for pieces and inspiration for how to make a piece as versatile as possible, plus who wouldn't want to collaborate with this cutie? Naturally we are kicking off with Summer, which is nearly to the end, though Summery weather in these parts will persist until October. 
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Danielle definitely gave me some new ideas for wearing this dress! I've never thought to wear a belt because the waist is elastic-y, but I love the way it looks! It adds further definition and helps pull together the accessories. Her sandals make the dress look maximum Summer-y, and the "pendant" style of necklace works great with the cut of the dress.

Head over to Goodwillista for the rest of Danielle's outfit details (and to look through her fabulous, affordable, closet & style), and to hear her say really nice things about me!
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| dress: Gap Factory | necklace: from Mexico | clogs: Old Navy | purse: giveaway win |

Simple, knit dresses like this are my absolute jam. Because this one already has some detailing, it needs minimal accessories, making it SO easy to style. I opted for my brown clogs that I've been living in this Summer, and a beaded statement necklace to add some color. Also I've been using this purse for a few weeks now, so it worked out by default. 
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Styling for Summer seems pretty simple and no-brainer, so I'm already brainstorming ways to make this dress a little more interesting, a little more layered, and a little more colorful for Fall. Stay tuned for part two of Four Seasons, One Dress: Fall. 

In the meantime, tell my girl Danielle hey, won't you? 
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Wishing you all a very fun and safe loooong weekend. Make the last memories of Summer count!!