Sunday, August 29, 2010


I'm intrigued by the controversy surrounding Rihanna's latest video (with Eminem) and the outspoken response to the way they portray domestic violence. I've had several conversations this week about the song and the video and the possible meaning behind the lyrics. I watched the video after a fellow blogging friend suggested it to me saying it was 'a little creepy'. The video which features Megan Fox (of transformers) shows the unhealthy, explosive relationship of a couple.

Domestic violence is rampant in our country as we all know. Growing at an alarming rate over the years and knowing that more cases go unreported than not. I supposed I'm in favor of not pretending that it isn't happening in our own neighborhoods and social circles. Something about the video is unsettling though and I wonder if it isn't the idea that people feed off the drama and excitement of these volatile relationships. I have never known that to be true in a real life situation.

A description I read on the LA Time's Blog:

Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan play a couple "whose passion turns violent as their relationship vacillates between ecstasy and agony," according to MTV. The concept of the "Love the Way You Lie" video, Monaghan says, is a look at the relationship between the rapper and Kim Mathers, the woman he divorced twice.

So the question has swept the country, is this glorifying violence? Megan Fox is said to have taken the money she made from the video and donated to a shelter for victims of domestic violence and was quoted as saying the idea was not to make this relationship seem ideal.

I remember in high school being taught to look for warning signs that a guy you may be dating had anger issues or a violent streak. Of course, we were advised to sever ties with such men immediately. I remember thinking back to those lessons in college when a guy I went on a few dates with my freshman year of college grabbed me, hard, by the arm during what to me seemed a silly disagreement. The alarms in my head went off immediately - no one should be that quick to become livid and out of control...and no one should ever grab another person that way over any argument, however big or small..

Needless to say, I didn't see him anymore after that date. He apologized profusely for weeks, but isn't that always the way? What I'd learned about domestic violence had taught me that most people who 'blow up' at their significant other are remorseful at least for a period of time afterwards.

I saw him from time to time on campus for the next several years of my time at Purdue and I could always only imagine that moment in the parking lot of my apartment complex when he grabbed me by my arm.

I'm a firm believer in forgiveness. I struggle though, with peoples need to include 'forgetting' in forgiving. Not that it's fair to constantly drag old arguments into new ones but maybe we shouldn't be so quick to forget either. Patterns in behavior are revealing of ones true character, something I learned while studying social work but have found to be true in my own life.

So, does showing a violent relationship in a music video glorify it or raise awareness that not all passion is good passion?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quote of the Week.

Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. - Oscar Wilde

Thought provoking.

Review: Vanishing Act.

I 'met' Liz Johnson while she was working for the WaterBrook Multnomah 'Blogging for Books' program. She was my main contact and we e-mailed once or twice a month as she invited me to review books and I either confirmed or denied my desire to be involved in that particular book tour.

I was sad when she e-mailed to say she was moving on from the program but rejoiced with her when I later received an invite to review her second novel, Vanishing Act. As a future writer hopeful myself, I couldn't be more excited for Liz to be continuing a career as a writer and since I hadn't read any of her writing other than e-mails yet, I was thrilled to be chosen as one of the 40 bloggers to receive a signed review copy of her book.

I finished Vanishing Acts tonight, my 38th book of 2010! Liz's genre is one I've never read before, which is cleverly referred to as 'love inspired suspense'. Catchy.

The story of Danielle and Nate has a few of my favorite things. Love. Suspense. Drama. And even a little crime! Wonderfully written so that it captivated me without leaving me sleepless. There are twists and turns as the mystery unfolds, that kept my eyes moving quickly as I sought the happy ending. A sucker for a love story and of course a 'happily ever after' I was glad to see that there were rays of light in Vanishing Act.

Suspense is not a genre you often see taken on in Christian fiction but I was pleased to see Liz take it on with such grace. An easy read that packed a punch of a message about our fears and God's ability to handle anything for us, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It didn't read as though it were preaching, but regardless I took away a challenge to deal with fears within my own life and spiritual walk.

I hope to see more literature from Liz soon and certainly wish her the best. A talented writer with a great heart. I know God has big things in store for her and I look forward to reading more from her in the future. I hope this review has sparked your interest and that you'll show Liz your support by reading Vanishing Act as well.


Early Morning Thoughts.

I’m feeling fresh with a new profile picture and a good night’s sleep. Finished book 37 of this year last night, which always gives me a great sense of accomplishment. I’ve been encouraged recently my several of you all’s interest in my readings. I am currently reading Bridget Jones’s Diary (started last night) and expect to be done with it before I leave for my weekend trip to Nashville, during which I hope to finish an additional book while on the road (we shall see). You can also look forward to a book review tonight or tomorrow that will tell you about book 38 for this year, which I read for a review – written by an author I worked with while ‘blogging for books’.

I’m always taking book reading recommendations and if you ever review books on your own blog, please comment me and let me know so I can read them. I’m fascinated by literature and though I have a unique and sometimes odd opinion – I do like to know what other people are reading. I feel a special bond with other readers.

It’s amazing how getting your house organized can be motivating! Since finishing my organization projects with my Mom over the weekend I have kept my house immaculate, stayed on top of my laundry AND dishes, finished a book, packed for my trip 3 days in advance, etc. And can I just share the smartest idea I’ve had in a while (don’t laugh) – a trash can in the garage! This is the first week in ages that no trash has accumulated in my car because …ta da in a flash of brilliance I asked my mom to buy me a large kitchen sized trash can for my garage. Not only have I quit collecting dryer lent all over the top of the dryer but my car doesn’t have one single half-drunk water bottle or Sonic cup (diet cherry limeades are my crack). Perhaps it is the simple things that make the most profound differences.

Ok last note for the morning… anyone have an interest in doing a guest blog post? I haven’t ever had one but I’d like to someday. : ] Food for thought. If you’re a reader who doesn’t blog yourself, that’s ok too. E-mail me with ideas if you’ve got something you’d like to say you think my readers would benefit from.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review: The Glass Castle.

Ever complained to your parents that life just isn’t fair? Jeanette Walls story will make your childhood look like a walk in Central Park. From running from authorities, to bad parenting, to alcoholic parents, to constantly being uprooted her life is one nightmare after another. For a woman on Park Avenue who still sees her homeless parents digging through dumpsters as she drives through town – this story will grip you from page 1 to the end. You will laugh with her, cry with her, and ultimately will her into success by the end of this gripping novel.

Prepare for a rollercoaster of emotions as her story pulls at your heart strings and like me, may make you angry. Life may not be fair but it certainly isn’t supposed to be like her childhood. As a social worker by education, it bothered me on a professional level that no one got involved and took note and action to help these children seek a better life.

Walls story is a great example that you do not have to be content to be a product of your environment. She went on to receive and Ivy League education, and later became a successful writer. She and her siblings each found their way to New York and established lives in society there, even while their parents continued to choose homelessness.

A beautiful picture of the powerful bond between siblings and the love of a family, despite all odds. Inspiring, heart-breaking, and utterly fascinating you won't be able to tear yourself. A worthwhile read for all audiences. A life-altering view of the pursuit of the American dream from various angles.

As described on the back of the book it truly is ‘ a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption’. I highly recommend each of you read it as you have time. I will caution you that the language is rough at times but if you can see past it, the story is one that must be heard.



Sunday, August 22, 2010


I've had to say more goodbyes in my 24 years of life than most will say in their entire lives. A childhood of being uprooted made sure of that. The first few felt like an adventure. Oh, another move. A new house. New neighborhoods and neighbors. New friends. New new new. Buy 10 moves later it felt exhausting, sad, lonely, and mostly - old old old.

I realized when I reached college that two themes always appeared in my art work (I was a photography major for 3 years) - the concept of home and the feeling of saying goodbye. A teacher challenged me to explore why I had such strong feelings about both. I spent a year or so after that conversation with him processing...

Years later, here's what I know. I'm worse today at saying goodbye than ever before. I cry every time a friends leaves from a visit. Every time I see my parents. When I leave my parents. Whenever I say bye to my sisters. It's not that I don't want to return to Tampa, because I do. It's just hard for me to say goodbye to the people I love, no matter how short the time between.

I recognize that I'm fortunate. I see my family a LOT for someone who lives 17 hours from her parents and almost as far from both sisters and bro (in law). In fact, after saying a tearful goodbye to my Mom at the Tampa airport today, I kept trying to cheer myself up with the thought that I will be home in 3 weeks.

I moved to Tampa because it's the only city that's ever felt like home. Now I own a home of my own. My friends here are like family. I couldn't be happier...but goodbyes still get me down.

Ok, enough about's a few positives:

-I had an incredible weekend with my Mom and a productive one at that
-I will be home with both my parents in 3 weeks
-I have an absolutely precious Daddy that despite being in the middle of a busy season at work, is counting down til my arrival (presh)
- I talked to both of my beautiful sisters this weekend
- I have all of you. : ]

Nashville trip in 5 days.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Mom's Trip - Day 4.

I finally let her have a little fun. : ] Lunch with the Huhtas @ Lee Roy Selmons. Love all these little ladies!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Favor...

I'm going to need a big favor from you all come Sunday night. I will need your texts, calls, e-mails, comments, and tweets to cheer me up when my precious Mom has to go back up north. I am having somuchfun with her this week I'm afraid I'm going to hit a major depression when I have to put her on a plane Sunday. But of course, Dad's going to need her back up there for the start of football season, so I can't be too selfish.

Last night after I got off work we hit the Bayshore for a walk by the water. It's nice having a workout buddy so that A. I'll go even while I have company and B. for someone to talk to and distract myself from the blistering heat. After Bayshore we ate frozen yogurt (for dinner) and finally decided to get to work.

Mom had spent all day while I was working (it's event season - the show must go on) buying the supplies for all our house projects (see previous entry). We got to work immediately after our return from walk/yogurt - planning to tackle only a project or two before bed. We ended up fixing the garage door (really just the opener was broken, but we had to buy a new one and reprogram it). She fixed the exhaust fan in my guest bathroom. Together we changed out the blinds in the dining room (the biggest, most complicated blinds in the house). We FINALLY took down the ugly hanging blind-wanna-bes over my huge sliding doors to my balcony and hung a rod for the curtains (which we also picked out and purchased yesterday). Oh and we changed out the shower head in the master bath.

A productive night if I do say so myself.

When I have to drive myself to work and it doesn't involve being treated to a daily cafe mocha with soy milk from Starbucks, I will be sad. The last 2 mornings have been much more pleasant as I'm chauffeured to work with my mocha in hand.

We still have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to finish our projects, take walks, drink starbucks, and eat frozen yogurt. So I'll be happy as a lark until then. But come Sunday night ladies and gents, I will need your full support. :]


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Projects at the Batch Pad.

Being a homeowner is a lot of work. Good thing my Mom is 10 times handier than I and willing to slave away in my condo with me this week to tackle the top few of my ‘must do’ list. She is an incredibly talented woman, I could never do half of what she can! Well, who knows – I’ve learned more in the past 8 months of homeownership than I ever thought possible and do-it-yourself has finally joined my vocabulary!

So this week we are going to attempt to tackle all of the baseboards/trim in my condo. That’s right all three stories. Heaven help us! Mom picked up the supplies this morning while I was at work and we’re going to get started tonight. They desperately need it and as Nance says, it’ll change the whole look of the place! So that was high up on the priority list and were going to get after it this week.

Feel free to wear black this week as the mourn the death of my cheap and mostly destroyed blinds which will be replaced this week by new, non-cheapy blinds! Yay! The former owners of my pad apparently had a bird they frequently forgot to feed who felt the need to eat away at the blinds. So, I’ve been itching to ditch those and as of today, can!

My small group girls will be happy to know there will finally be a rug coming to casa de Becca! No sitting on the hardwoods in the living room for group or football watching when I run out of seats. Thanks to the home depot you can sit on my plush new rug in the weeks to come. : ]

Also on the upcoming home improvement lists:
- My garage and front door are getting a fresh coat of paint
- My master bedroom shower head is getting changed out – woot woot.
- Ceiling fan WITH a light is going up in the guest bedroom
- Ugly handy blind things over the balcony doors are getting replaced – by what, we aren’t quite sure (stay tuned)

My little dream home is really coming along. I’ll try’n post pictures along the way.


Quote of the Week.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Review: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything - Janelle Brown

I mentioned before that the title of this book grabbed my attention from the beginning. After discovering it on Oprah’s summer reading list I was intrigued by the concept that we do essentially want everything, though ‘everything’ is defined a bit differently per individual. I put myself on the waiting list for it at the library and picked it up a week later.

A dark look into the inner workings of the demise of a family structure. Slightly overdone with drama this novel deals with infidelity, divorce, post-nuptual agreements, teen pregnancy, credit card debt, and drug abuse. All of that in one book, within one family. Perhaps overdone but somehow still gripping. I found myself sympathize with each family member as they battled their own demons and wanting each to come out on top.

The bright spot in an otherwise dark novel was the way tragity and heartache brings a family together. Eventual honesty lead to the members eventually finding the love and support they needed to move forward with their lives. Who doesn’t love a happy-ish ending?

I found it a worthwhile read that kept been intrigued. Better than the average first novel frorm a new author. If she wrote another, I wouldn’t hesitate to read her writing again.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Had to Share...

So I found this adorible trench from London Fog at of all places - Sam's Club! It was $29 and with no tax weekend, that was it! Not even 30 bucks for a coat? Done and done. The pic below is of a similar London Fog coat that's on sale at Nordstrom right now (for double what I paid). It's ALMOST identical. I got red because I kept picturing it with jeans and boots. Can we say overly excited to travel up north all through the fall? Had to share.

I also found Nine West jeans there for 11 bucks. Nine West is not my favorite go-to brand for jeans (that would be Sevens) but for 11 bucks, they'll do.
Had to share in case some of you were in the market for a trench.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I blog often about friendships and relationships but what I haven’t touched on before are the day to day interactions you may not put much thought into. Each of you has a different job and certainly no two are alike but in some way most of us interact with with people on the day-to-day. Have you ever thought about how important those seemingly fleeting moments are? Throughout the course of your life you will have thousands if not millions of opportunities to make a small impact on someone.

In my current role I frequently have the moments I’m describing. As I interact with vendors, fathers, mothers, registerants, teams relations, spokesmen, etc. Some are as breif as a phone call one or twice per years. Some require many more interactions for longer periods of time. Each is a small window of opportunity to influence.

An example of what I mean is that as we all know, navigating the internet is harder for some than others. I know, because my precious Mom called me everytime she had to attach a file to an e-mail for 2 years before she could do it on her own without my step-by-step instructions. So, when I receive a phone call from a parent that wants to register for our events but can’t for the life of figure out the online system I get the opportunity to make their day a little easier. I can do for them in 5 minutes or less what for some of them would be a long and frustration process. It’s a chance to remind them that they are why we do what we do. Making someone feel important and valued doesn’t require any huge effort, it’s found in the small things.

I supposed this blog is brought on my some recent customer service experiences I have had. Some that were surprisingly pleasant and some that were not. I don’t know about you all, but I feel this fierce since of loyalty to a company when I’ve been treated well by them in a time of ‘crisis’ or ‘dilema’. A great example of this done right is Southwest Airlines. If remotely possible they are THE only airline I will fly. Why? Because whenever I have an issues with a flight they trip over themselves to help me get it right. I book a LOT of travel for myself, personally, and for work. So I’m constantly navigating the airline websites and customer service for both and a good experience means a tremedous amount to me. They have made a fan of me and that’s not something I take lightly. I give them as much of my and my company’s business as possible.

That is the effect I wish to have on people I interact with. However big or small that impact – I wish to be the type of person who builds fierce loyalty in those the interact with by making them feel valued.


Sunday, August 8, 2010


I'm feeling sentimental tonight. Could be the overwhelming amount of emotions I'm experiencing because football season is FINALLY here! I'm watching the Hall of Fame game while I write to you all tonight and basking in the football season glow. I'm still about 5 weeks out from the first game I will get to see this weekend which will be the Colts v. Giants on Sunday Night Football in Indianapolis in Sept. Peyton v. Eli - who's excited?!

I've been writing here on the blog for a little over a year and a half now. My mom asked me after my first sponsored event how I earned it. I said, 'well, my blogs turned out to be more popular than I expected'. She asked how popular to which I responded over 10K views my first year writing. She said, 'why do so many people want to read what you have to say?' - gee, thanks Mom! But as I approach 18K views I'm curious myself...

My theory is that I have awesome friends who genuinely enjoy keeping up with my life. For each of you, I'm grateful! As for those of you who don't know me in real life (yet) - I figure it's refreshing to find someone else whose experiencing many of the same things you are and trying to figure out life along the way. I've met some incredible people through blogging and while I hope someday to meet many of you in 'real life' I'm already grateful for your contributions to my life.

I started this blog in January of '09 because I felt like I had something to say. I never expected that anyone was really paying attention. Over the past year and a half my writing and I have grown with you all, and I can't imagine how I ever survived without blogging as an outlet to voice what's on my mind. So thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of my readers. I hope that the best is yet to come, for each of us!

As my 25th birthday is just over a month away, I'm also feeling a bit sentimental about milestones. I'll save the reflections about those for another day...perhaps a birthday post is in order. Maybe I can convince my mom to contribute some funny childhood pictures at some point. Can I just say that I was one hilarious kid? I was short, chubby, and practically bald til I was 5. With really dark tan skin (of course) and white blond hair. I was a total ham. My Dad would make my sing and dance - it's terrible. Apparently since my older sister, Rachel, was shy my Dad used my for his own personal entertainment and of course this is all documented on videos (VHS - ha!).

Since I'm being all mushy tonight anyway - I was really sad to see our fabulous group of interns go. Why do I get so attached to interns? Daniel, if you're reading this - I'm so stoked for you to come back! Ah! But anyway - we had an incredible group of interns this summer and I loved getting to know them. With all the craziness you hear about college kids these days it's refreshing to see that there are some promising youngsters (I can say that now that I'm almost old). So here's a little photo tribute to the interns I managed to get a pic with...

Love ya!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Review: The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

By popular request, a book review!

I came across this book a list of great summer reads. It's been years since I read Louisa May Alcott's Little Women but it has a special place in my heart as I associate it with some of the greatest years of my childhood. Exploring life with sisters, a fit theme for a girl who grew up in a house of girls.

McNees does an extraordinary job of telling an intimate story of Louisa herself, in her formidable years. One of the most believable 'historical fiction' novels I've come across. An intricate weave of love, tragedy, curiosity, headstrong youth, and failure. You can't help but think of your first time feeling 'in love', your first efforts at striking out on your own, and even the moments in your childhood where you realized your parents weren't perfect (sorry Mom & Dad).

Most famous fictionial stories such as Little Women make you wonder about their authors lives and Lousia May Alcott is no exception. It's no stretch to believe that Alcott spend a summer similar to the one McNees writes for us here, especially if Little Women was somewhat autobiographical - which it may in fact have been.

A cutesy summer read I'd recommend for a day at the beach.

On the Road, Again.

It’s almost time to get back on the road again! 21 days until the beginning of my fall travels. I have 7 flights planned before the end of the year right now, and at least 2 more too nail down. You know I like to be on the go and stay busy but traveling also means I have to be that much more on top of my home life, so I don’t fall too far behind. I need to get myself organized! Ack.

Here’s what I’ve been trying to think through during this month off from travels – how to best keep up my diet and exercise routine when I have to take it on the road! I love what I do but it’s also exhausting flying into a city, setting up, and then waking at 4am to work all day and fly back. To keep up my the healthy pace I’ve been in the past few months I have to be able to find a balance and keep up my exercise on my whirlwind work trips.

Lucky for me, I have a Kacy Dule workout book on the way! I’m hoping she’s going to be the answer to my workout in my hotel room blues! She might be just the kick in the pants I’ll need to workout after set up and still crawl into bed early before the big event day.

So that leaves the eating…

I know several of my readers are also travelers so I’m open to any and all suggestions of good things to bring in case the team dinner is a little out of league (or caloric allowance). So I’m taking all suggestions!

So my Diane Von Furstenberg luggage is about to bite the dust after only a few shorts years. It’s time to invest in some new luggage. I’m leaning towards trying the hardcase suitcases this time to see if I can make them last a little longer. I honestly don’t understand what they do to my bags while they’re transporting them that causes them to come back each trip a little more battered. Help! Anyone bought the hardcase suitcases recently and want to give me some insight?

Also time to start thinking of some cute airport outfits (since I keep meeting the nicest people when I travel) and I did a bit of googling. This photo-montag done found here features 4 outfits, all of which I would wear.

I really want a pair of 'riding boots' this fall. Is that insane considering I live in Florida? I hate cold weather but I love fall/winter clothes and layering. Guess it's a good thing I have 7-10 trips up north to take this year. May even be able to justify a new coat! Ah.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Social Networking Accountability.

Well I'm joining several over bloggers in making August Awesome with a fitness challenge! We have commited to excercise 24 of the next 30 days (well 24 days in august, but ya know) and I'm already 4 strong! Who knows, maybe I'll rambo this month and workout everyday instead of just 24.

What this reminded me of is how many great benefits there are to social networking. Don't get me wrong, I understand that there are some drawbacks to social networking, including putting too much of yourself 'out there' in cyber space. BUT it's also a great (and easy) way to connect with people you share a common interest or bond with.

I found out from Cece at The Big Girl Blog via Twitter about the Awesome August challenge and quickly joined in. As most of you probably know I've been on a healthy kick this year, slimming down and making my health a priority before I turn (gasp) 25 later this year (read: next month).

I've lost 39 lbs competing with coworkers in 'biggest loser' competitions. But what I'm even more thrilled about than dropping 3 pant sizes, is that I'm really starting to love working out! I feel 100 times better. I'm almost never tired or run down (other than my legs after a good run). The truth is I more than likely would always have enjoyed these same activities if I'd ever take the time to get in a groove.

So if any of you want to have a healthy August with us, feel free to join the challenge. You can even tweet with us about it: Me - @thequeenbc Cece - @thebiggirlblog and @healthylosergal who's the intiator of the whole challenge.

Happy healthiness this month loves.


All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

I was struck by the title (and cover) of this book a while back and finally checked it out at the library after finding it on one of my 'lists'. Both addictive and a bit depressing I haven't been able to sort through all my feelings about the book. I'm over halfway through it now, a mere 3 days later.

Crumbling family structures are nothing new in 'the land of opportunity' so reading as a family goes through a tough divorce, infidelity, debt, drugs, lies, and sex. I mean, hasn't this in some ways become the new foundation of our country? I don't mean that to be flippant. It just seems that our culture has adopted all of the above as the new 'norm'.

This isn't a book review. In fact, it's the title of said book that inspired this entry. Isn't it true that at some point we really did want everything? I grew up playing Barbies and imagining myself as this perfect, beautiful woman who was going to dominate the work force and then skip out of the office in my too high heels to come home to my perfect little family (in a pink jeep, naturally).

Don't get my wrong...not everything about my dream life has changed. I still desire to be successful in my current career path and any I may come to next. I still want to prance around a top Christian Louboutins, preferably with a killer handbag slung over my tan and toned arm (hey, it's my fantasy - let me write it). I no longer see myself as the housewife type and I don't picture my dream life as involving kids of my own anymore, just my future nieces and nephews I can't wait to spoil rotten.

Do you ever feel like it's easy to lose sight of your dreams as we're bombarded with phrases like 'worst job market since the depression' or 'masters are the next batchelors degree'? It's tough being anyone in this economy (except maybe Chad Ocho Cinco and his 38 million dollar hands he keeps braggin about) but it's even harder to be trying to get your footing. What is the new dream for 20-somethings? Not having to live with your parents and eating something more exciting than Ramen noodles?

I think my Louboutins are still a few years off. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I'd rather have a Navy Audi than a pink jeep these days. Just for the record - in case you were thinking of buying me one.

Here's to chasing your 'everything', whatever that may look like.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Congrats to Nicole at Casa De Nicole who just won a $100 giftcard for Lucy Sportswear, Dove deotorant, AND Kacy Duke's Show It Love Workout book! So exited for you friend! Please e-mail me your info @ and the lovely ladies at Dove will get you your prizes asap!
Thanks to everyone who participated and a special thanks to Dove for sponsoring this giveaway!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunshine and Summertime

If you haven't already signed up for my current giveaway you need to do so NOW.

I love summer time! I'm a bit of a self-diagnosed tanorexic. I love the beach, the pool, achieving a bronze glow, the whole shabang. So since I haven't indulged in a fashion related post in a while I'm going to allow myself to do so now. I keep seeing such cute outfits on blog posts and Shop It To Me is about to bring out my supressed shopoholic with all the cute pieces they've been sending me. So here goes my summer much haves....

A great canvas bag. I, naturally, prefer designers but that's just because I'm a bit of a label snob. To let you in on my secret, you can usually find these at TJMaxx and Marshalls. My personal favorite is a red, white, and black Michael Kors tote I found for $30 bucks at a TJMaxx here in Tampa. You can also find them for reasonable on Ebay...I found about 50 under $50. A worthwhile investment for summer fun.

Ok this one's not for everyone but I love the clear bag trend! I actually have the Michael Kors bag pictured above and I love it! Obviously, you can't be self concious about what you're carrying - but after Chanel got this trend fired up I couldn't help but buy in. It's different and a little unexpected, which I love in a bag after being a fairly traditional designer, leather bag girl for so many years. Fun to branch out.

We all know that I love nude heels with a slightly weird passion. I also love the budget babe blog and this look in particular. I don't have a navy blazer, but I did snag a really cute (and comfy) blazer at the J Crew outlet recently (in black) for all of 9.99 (a steal, I know). I was thinking I may have to put this outfit idea to good use soon. This made the list because for me nude heels AND white jeans make the must-have for summer list.

Aviators. Well, stunna shades in general. I collect sunglasses by all sorts of designers (when I find good deals, of course). But I recently invested in a pair of Marc Jacobs aviators that are to die for! I found mine at an 'Off 5th' the outlet for Saks. Which by the way have a great variety of designer shades including: Chloe, Chanel, Prada, Marc, Kors, etc. So if you have one near you hit that up. Most of them were around 50-75 bucks.

For the summer makeup blues - this has been the only product I've found to keep me from sweating off my makeup in this sweltering Florida heat! I swear by it, and use it everyday!

Sandals!! Need I say more? I bought these MK sandals on sale for ...are you ready? 17 bucks. I bought them in white and black. Love love. They're plastic so easy to keep clean. Not something you can normally say about white.

Good books. As you all know I'm avid reader, but honestly I think a few good books every summer should be a staple for everyone. I recently finished, 'The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott' and really enjoyed it. I found that on a list put out by the British Broadcasting Company. A good place to find book suggestions. I also reference Oprah's book club list occasionally (although Love in the Time of Cholera got chucked after 25 pages - zzzzz).

Most importantly for summer...a great group of friends. : ] That is my number one summer time must have!