Monday, August 3

Happy Birthday, Gina.

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Dear Gina,

Today would've been your 23rd birthday, so first off, Happy Birthday. That's how the summers always went; with my birthday at the very end of the school year, yours just before school would start again, and one million playdates in between. So many things make me think of you, but birthdays might be the biggest one, because it seems like we were always at a birthday party, mine or yours, Roy or the twins. Birthday gifts too, because I always knew what you were going to get me before you did, and by the way, I still have my heart necklace and my Hilary Duff magnet.

I am surprised by how often I think about you. I am surprised by how many of my memories are tied to you. When I think of home, and being on Pomeroy Avenue, my mind always skips next door to your house. I can vividly remember watching your family move in, with Carina, through our living room window, when I was in first grade and you were in Kindergarten. I saw lots of your toys before I saw you (specifically the pink Fisher-Price vanity!), and that was my first clue that I was getting a new friend. And I didn't even know the kind of friend I'd be getting.

No more than a day could have gone by before the twins & I came running over to your backyard, and I'll never forget the first thing you ever said to me: "Do you want to see a dead lizard?" That makes me smile because it should have been a tell for how much you loved animals. I used to get so frustrated with you, because whenever we played house, you wanted to be something crazy like a cheetah, instead of something normal like my sister or daughter. I remember running over (or perhaps climbing through the backyard fence) when you got Angel as a puppy (I maintain that we brainstormed her name together!) and her being the tiniest little fluff ball. She's still there, keeping your mom company.

Then a couple years later you came to Pomeroy Elementary, and I still remember seeing you on the playground on the day you started. It was so, so fun running into you at school, and playing with you at recess, knowing that as soon as I got home, I would run over and we would keep playing. I have a montage of memories of long days just spent playing all day. My mom would always come to the door and tell me it was time to come home, and we would always try and convince her to let me stay longer.

When I first heard the news, I was completely in disbelief, and praying in my head and out loud that it wasn't true. Once I confirmed it was true, I desperately wanted to do something, and apart from talking to my whole family, there was nothing I could do. I opened my journal to try and figure out how to process things, and what came tumbling out was a page full of random, one-liner memories, in just about five minutes (things like: Ghost in the Graveyard, afternoons at Homestead little league, pogo wars, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Playstation games, listening to In The Zone as we carpooled to Peterson.) I'm amazed at how many memories I found, just off the top of my head.

When I talked to my siblings, everyone had something to say. Even Coren & Sundar, who were around but only just, had so many memories of me and you and the twins and Roy running around. The five of us (and the two of us) were such a crew. How many movies do you think we watched on your sectional (after running home to get them approved by my mom?)

I visit your mom every time I go home. I know that's not much, but it's the only thing I can think to do. She misses you so much. She loves talking about you. She was, and is, so proud of you. Not only for being a wonderful daughter and companion to her and your dad, but a sister to Roy. I haven't seen Roy in a while, but I know Tarif is still hanging out with him some.

I'm sorry I didn't stay in better touch with you. I'm sorry I always bossed you around when we played together. I'm sorry I stopped running next door to see you in high school, and when I came home in college. I suppose I thought we had grown apart, and if I came and saw you, we wouldn't have anything to talk about. Honestly, I thought you didn't really want to be friends anymore. But your mom told me that when you would see me through the window over the past few years, you'd say "Mom, Mom look it's Priya!"

That's how I know, you were the same girl I knew, this whole time. That's the most heartbreaking part to me. After seeing you nearly every day for ten years when we were kids, I feel like I still know you so well. I know the kind of girl you were, and who you wanted to grow up to be. No matter what happened, and everything you grew up to be, you're still the same girl to me. The girl that would call me "Priya riya lemon squiya", and choreograph dance routines to the Lizzie McGuire soundtrack in the backyard with me, and give me Sanrio stickers for my sticker book, and use your allowance to buy us Sour Punch straws at baseball games.

There's nothing like a next-door-neighbor friend. I find myself thinking that a lot these days. I hope my daughter can have a friend like you to grow up with one day. Gina, you're the gigantic piece of my childhood that will never be forgotten.

Love, forever,


Friday, July 31

Monthly Goals, July

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and in case I haven't mentioned it this month, I'm obsessed with donuts

While time seems to be flying by, July felt like a looong month. Probably because I did a lot of stuff. I can't stop using the phrase "busy and fun" to anyone who might ask how my Summer is going. That's accurate! I've been spending very little time at home, and when I am home, I'm working on making my little apartment as cozy as it can be (with help from Huntee.) I hope I can share it soon! It, unfortunately has very minimal natural light, and you know how that works for pics.

I mentioned yesterday how I've been feeling a bit stressed with so many little things on my mind. I just don't want anything to slip through the cracks! But, I suppose we all just do the best we can.

As far as goals this past month, I'll give myself a B. I went to Florida for my brother's winging ceremony (this one's a two-fer, also saw my Mom and younger bro), I saw Wiz Khalifa and Fall Out Boy in concert, I tried my best to listen to other people, I just had Amanda & Dustin over for dinner on Wednesday night, I listened to half of The Paying Guests on my way to FL but never finished it, and I have written a BUNCH of cards/letters this month.

My biggest deficit (besides books...but I do have three waiting for me on hold at the library) has to be that one-word-motto. It's just hard to remember, honestly! Anyone have a word or phrase that they've challenged themselves with? What's a good way to get mine to stick next month?

August is going to be loaded: with two bachelorette weekends, a bridal shower I'm helping with, and family in town for one weekend! I'm hoping to spend a little more time doing less during the week, so when the weekend comes around, I'm ready to go, and not exhausted come Monday morning!

I didn't blog nearly as much in July, but I've got some ideas I can't wait to flesh out in August (a product review, some bridesmaid insight, a post on something more personal than normal, a packing post, and plenty of more outfits with some new pieces :x.) Hope you can stick around perfectly Priya! Have a wonderful weekend!

Check out my monthly goal diagnostics, here.

Thursday, July 30

Hippie Chic

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*all photos edited with VSCOCam*
| top: giveaway win via Messages on a Napkin | skirt: Old Navy (SO OLD) | clogs: Old Navy |

If I've never worn this outfit on the blog before, I'll be shocked (here's evidence of the items individually at least: top // skirt // shoes.) I've certainly worn this exact combo no less than four times. Something about the peasant blouse and denim skirt just begs to be paired together, with clogs to complete the hippie vibe. I walked into work the other day wearing this, and Emma (you know her around here as "beauty friend Emma") said "You look straight out of the 70's, Prinut!" (What I haven't mentioned on here is the plethora of work nicknames I have.) 

Well why not? I've only been likened to a hippie before when I used to rock hippie hair on the reg, but things in that department have gotten a lot more tame, not to mentioned straighted (in this post, anyway!) and ombréd. Fashion from the 70's though, I can totally get behind.

This is the part of any post including this skirt where I say I GOT IT IN 7TH GRADE. Old Navy forever! It had an adjustable waist then, and it's high-waisted now. Way to go, little Pri!

Hope you guys are having a good week! I've had, once again, one of those where I haven't spent an evening at home just getting my life in order. Not a bad thing, but I do feel a little crazy. Tonight I'll be working this event for Donut Den again. And if you want a sampling of the million (always) other things on my mind right now: pick up library books on hold, get an oil change, drop clothes off at Plato's project, get gift together for Sam's bridal shower Saturday, starting packing & prepping for Jacqui's bachelorette next weekend, hang remaining pics and lights in my apt., stop at AAA, give Andrea her bday present...just to name a few ;) lots of gifts! Lots of parties! Can't complain! 

Happy Thursday and thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, July 29

Amanda & Dustin, 3.21.15

Throwing it back to my roomie and best friend, Amanda, 's big day back in March! See my selfies from the day here
Please note: I do not own/did not take any of these photos! They were all done by the lovely and talented Caitlin Selle.
Nashvillians, check out Caitlin Selle photography! She is a friend, a doll, and awesome with a camera. 
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all photos by Caitlin Selle photography

Hi everyone, for those of you I don't know, my name's Priya, and I met Amanda probably about an hour after I came to Nashville in 2009. We were both starting at Lipscomb, both running cross-country, and we were living together. I actually met Alyssia first and thought she was Amanda, which we laughed about later. 

Living together, and especially after we had both moved away from home for the first time, we got to know each other very quickly. One thing we learned and I think we're still noticing is that it is very hard to find someone you can live with; and that Amanda and I complimented each other very nicely. I am extremely organized, I like having my entire life planned out; whereas Amanda seemed to always be flying by the seat of her pants, so much so that I remember constantly saying to her "I don't know how you live." 

Dustin, one thing's for sure, you will be set for life because Amanda is the luckiest person of all time.

I have an entire Rolodex of stories to illustrate this, but probably the best example of this is: I used to work at the front desk of our dorm, and early one morning, one of our cleaning ladies came up to me and said 'We just found this under the couch, it looks like a birth certificate, you probably want to hang on to this and get it back to its' owner.' And I'm like- I've never even SEEN my birth certificate, my parents are like "don't even look at it, if someone steals it they will steal your identity" so what kind of irresponsible, careless, idiot (basically) loses their birth certificate under a COUCH?! And I open it up: Amanda Rae Twigg. So I think I marched up the stairs and I had the attitude of "Well thank goodness I found it" and Amanda said something like 'Oh THATS where I left that!"

So Dustin, definitely buy some lottery tickets. 

Our contrasting personalities really kept things interesting, and they ended up being mutually beneficial. I was there to keep Amanda organized and make sure she got on the team bus on time (except for that one time), and Amanda was always there to calm me down, keep things fun, and always made me feel valued. One thing that anyone who knows Amanda knows is being around her instantly makes you feel like the most special, loved person in the world; and that's something I remember appreciating about her right away, in my first semester of college.

So naturally, we're navigating all these things that come with college, and we're both meeting a lot of people. And for most girls, you're chasing after guys trying to get them to date you, I mean, I forced my boyfriend to go out with me, and I still am. But for Amanda, it always seemed like guys were chasing her, and she really couldn't be bothered by it. I remember talking to Amanda after she hung out with one guy and asking her, "ok, how'd it go?" And her saying something like, "Ehh, it was ok. I just don't really like him, I think?" So all of us girls are over here on the side like, you poor thing, that is a terrible problem to have. But also thinking- who is the cowboy that is going to tame this wild stallion?

Enter Dustin. When Amanda and Dustin started talking, we weren't living together anymore, and I remember the very first time she told me about him. She said, "Priya, I met this guy, and I really like him." So already, this is different. I'm thinking, ok, that's really good, that's normal. 

Pretty soon after that they started dating, and she was saying things like "I really like him Priya. I think I love him." So this was completely new. Probably even a better example of how she felt was when things weren't going well, and they would get in these world-ending fights where I had to call Dustin up and say "Hey, you better get over here and fix this!"

And after that, when I would ask her how things were going, she would very casually say "Oh, we're getting married!" Definitely not something I had heard from her before. 

And I think we all know where the story goes from here, soon after, they were engaged! And I want to take this moment to apologize for ruining the proposal, Ms. Dana, I'm sorry. In my defense, I felt like, and I still feel like, I was giving my roomie away. But I think what's important here is that we're at their wedding, so things turned out ok! 

Dustin and Amanda- congratulations. I am so happy for both of you, and I love you both. I promise to be a good friend to you as you start this new life of being married!

Dustin- Amanda is crazy about you, only you, and has always been! I'm sure you already know this, but the Twigg family is the most loving family I have ever met, and I know they will take you in as a son immediately!

Amanda- Roomie! I see the way that Dustin cares for you and I know he's going to be an awesome life partner. I am so happy that you have found the one your soul loves.

Amanda and I used to always say we'd be "Roomies For Life", and move into a duplex when we got married, so I'm not sure if that's the plan now but let me know.

Cheers to Dustin and Amanda, congrats you guys! 

Friday, July 24

Money in the Bank

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| necklace: gift (J.Crew) | t-shirt: Madewell via Carina | skirt: thrifted | shooties: Payless | purse: H&M (super old) | 

IF ONLY this outfit were literal money in the bank. That would sure be helpful for my credit card bill next month, which documents baby showers, birthdays, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and flights to California. And I did a little (" ") online shopping. Do I have regrets? Well, talk to me on the 15th of the month when that bill is due. I DID emerge with my favorite pieces from the Old Navy summer collection, and a new resolve to not buy anything else for the rest of the year (I know, I know, you've heard that one before), AND to wear out my closet. But more on that later.

Life is pretty grand, when I can dress like a Valentine/popsicle and meet Huntee for Thai food for Friday lunch. I had been dreaming of Thai food all week, so when he suggested we meet up on Friday, it was all I could do to not scream YES! And I've been dreaming about lunch since yesterday morning. What does that mean, exactly? Maybe that I don't have a lot going on??

I don't think it's news that color-blocking is my favorite trend of all time. I wore a very similar outfit last summer, this outfit is loosely based on this pin, and here's my very first baby attempt at color-blocking! More than anything this outfit was inspired by Mindy Kaling absolutely killing it at Cannes. MY QUEEN. As soon as I realized this color combo existed, I needed it in my life.

Last thing- you can't really see it, but my co-worker gave me some Matte lip color (her ipsy reject, same as this, basically) and it's so neat! When you first put on matte lip gloss, it goes against the laws of lip color...until you realize it's freaking awesome and you feel like Kylie Jenner or something.
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Said Thai lunch at The Smiling Elephant. Nashvillians that have never been: stop what you're doing. GO. 

Well, we're minutes away from a weekend where I'll be babysitting, celebrating wbfflirl Art's birthday all day tomorrow (and Litton, the intern, going back to college), then baby showering, making taco salad for lunch bunch, and generally getting my life together on Sunday! Mazel!! 

Tuesday, July 21

ipsy vs. Birchbox, June

I'm becoming a beauty person, one subscription box at a time. Happy Birchbox & ipsy day!

*This series originally started as I was trying to pick between two subscription services: ipsy and Birchbox. At this point, I don't plan on canceling either; I really enjoy getting them both, receiving and trying out new products, and challenging myself to use everything I receive! Check out the whole series right here:  
                                                 May // April // March // February // January // December // November

Without further ado, my new products from last month! 
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ipsy (left to right)

BeFine Cucumber Facial Mask- Masks are something I can always use! I want this to become part of my beauty day routine, Hunter even said he'd do one with me, shh! This one smells lovely and left my face feeling clean and fresh. 
SmashBox Foundation Primer- Beauty friend Kelley said this stuff was like liquid gold, and you only need a pinch. Good, because the sample size is tiny! I used this under my make-up for Jenae's wedding. I didn't notice a huge difference. And honestly, I don't wear foundation enough for this to be relevant to me. But, a fun sample I'll keep using. 
*trèStiQue Mini Shadow Crayon-* I was pretty whatever about this at first, until Kelley instructed me to use this as a highlighter. I'm all about brows, and all about a lighter shade under the brow bone to make them pop. This couldn't be easier to use! 
J. Cat Liptitude Lip Stain- Hi I'm Priya, and I'm addicted to lip color. I know this is a safe space. It doesn't even matter how many I have, I am always down to try a new one out. This isn't my favorite color/formula necessarily, but I did enjoy trying a stain, which truly stays on all day (for better or for the gym...) 
Nuxe Exfoliating Gel- This face wash has actual rose petals in it! It smells good and works alright, but I found that those little petals got everywhere, like, I was finding them in my hair later. So, pass.

*Favorite of the month! I've been using this almost every day. Using it is just as easy as rubbing a crayon on your face (*I've never done that before, btw.) Using this crayon as a highlighter makes such a subtle pretty difference in my daily make-up. And this is why I get ipsy, personified; trying out products I never even knew I needed! 

This bag is that scuba neoprene material which is sohotrightnow. As far as ipsy bags go, I would rate this meh. I stashed it at Hunter's for touch-ups on the go! 
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Birchbox (clockwise)

Klorane Conditioning Balm With Mango Butter- This shamps + condish combo smells amazing, but I don't love how they worked with my hair. I expected a product that felt so fresh to work that way on my hair, but it felt like it left build-up.
Klorane Shampoo with Mango Butter- I've mentioned before how I need a very soapy, clarifying shampoo to get my super thick hair actually clean, so this wasn't my fave. Still, they make for nice travel supplies!
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream- This is a moisturizer that's supposed to firm and heal. I generally like moisturizer that has salicylic acid benefits, but this cream felt smooth and not too greasy. 
*Coola SPF 50 Sport*- I love when I receive products that are super relevant when I get them. I'm not the best about wearing sunscreen, but I try to at least use it on my face before sunny activities. This stuff is not super greasy and smells great (like mango!) 
Real Chemistry 3 Minute Peel- This stuff was pretty cool and a little weird. It basically works as an exfoliant that scrubs dead skin off your face. It was a little messy to use, so I think I'll stick to using this as a face wash in the shower. 
Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner- I've been wearing purple eyeliner since highschool (not all the time, just to switch it up occasionally.) This liner is a deep plum, I can't guarantee that it's actually waterproof, but it did stay on during the work day! 
Pura Vida Lace Headband- This was a fun little bonus item that I LOVE! My hair goes up for exercise nearly every day, and it's still barely short enough to have pieces that fall out. I've been using this at the gym, it stays in place AND is cute to boot! Win!

*Favorite of the month! As a general rule, if ever an item is out by the time I write this, it wins favorite of the month. This sample size is actually perfect to stash in a purse as I'm running out the door for outside activity. Especially since I use it on my face (mostly), I appreciate that it is organic. It definitely didn't feel like I was slathering my face with chemicals!

This box wasn't as good as previous, but it is purple, the best color. 

I've gotta give Birchbox the win for this month! My ipsy seemed a little lackluster, and I just can't deny that BB sent me a few little extras (seven items total, which ipsy never does!) This marks two months in a row for Birchbox, which has never happened!

If you find yourself trying to choose between the two, I can offer some definite pros and cons for each: 

Birchbox offers higher quality products, with more of a variety. Their point system is also incomparable- once you rack up points, you can shop their entire store of both items you've sampled in a box, and MORE (basically, anything you would ever want.) BB also provides a little "guide" with instructions for each product, which seems silly, but it's really informative. I love when they throw in bonus items, like a mini conditioner to go with a shampoo, or gummy vitamins. My only downside to BB is that the sample sizes are generally tiny, and I don't enjoy receiving the facial serum etc. stuff as much as cosmetic stuff.

ipsy always has larger sample sizes, and a lot of times, full-sized products. It's more focused on make-up (as opposed to skin or haircare), and you DO get a cute bag every month. ipsy generally has random brands I've never heard of, and you can tell that some of the products just aren't as high quality. 

So there's the side-by-side comparison, in a nutshell!

If you're interested in signing up for ipsy OR Birchbox (or both ;) for $10/month, you can find my referral links here: ipsy //Birchbox.

and view the rest of this series here

Friday, July 17

bright stripes

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| sunnies: H&M | necklace: gift | tee: Old Navy | pants: secondhand F21 (Jamie) | clogs: Old Navy | 

In today's episode of #bloggerproblems, these pants photograph SO WEIRD (see them styled for cold weather, here.) I promise you they don't look this strange in real life. I think the key is to wear them a little bit looser and lower, to avoid joining the mile-long-crotch club. 

This was an outfit that came together when I had two minutes and needed something to wear, NOW. These pants came to me secondhand from a co-worker, and I don't wear them too often. I was deliberating between a couple fancier tops, when I spied this t-shirt, and the rest of the ensemb fell into place around it. I like how this feels very classic menswear-y. 

In hair news (which I very very rarely have, this is a big deal) lately I've been "wanding" my hair with a barrel roller (per Andrea's instruction) and loving it! The barrel curls + dry shampoo + a few days gives my hair this awesome texture that a wand just can't do. And if you should know one thing about my hairstyling- it's that I love a style that I can wear for three, four, five days before another wash. 

These pictures accurately depict that Nashville is sunny, bright, and hot, hot HOT! I am stuck in that state of bliss that is Friday, my favorite holiday, every week. It helps that I shopped online this morning :D and completely destroyed my no shopping goal for the year. Anyway, I come to you in full disclosure of that. I hope you have a happy weekend, and thanks for stopping by!!