Lilly Planner

What a week!  I have been quite the busy bee!  My favorite way to stay organized (especially when life gets crazy) is with my Lilly planner!  It somehow seems to make my many tasks seem a bit less arduous!

I just love the "Blue Surf Checking In" print

It even comes with fun stickers!

Where on earth did March go?  I seemed to have blinked and missed it!

Another fun aspect of this planner is that at the start of every month there is a cute tongue twister!  For tomorrow, April's is:  "The Queen of Green Dreamed of Clean Streams" which is appropriate for Earth Day on April 22!

Be sure to get one for next year when the new ones are out!  They can be found here!

How do you stay organized and manage stress?

Oh, and as a side note, for any of you who may have been wondering, my Wisteria Tunic arrived!  I LOVE it!  In person, it has much more detailing than you can tell on the website.  For example, there are little paisley designs embroidered throughout the body of the tunic.  It also fits true to size (I usually wear a 6, and ordered a Medium, which is for sizes 6-8).  It was a little long, as I thought might be the case, but luckily for me, I'm short enough that it can be worn as a short, flirty (but not too short) dress with a slip underneath!  I also think it would look great paired with skinny jeans and sandals or wedges.  So, if you were considering ordering this, I highly recommend it-- well worth the $14.70 (or less:  WhatMissLoves suggested entering the SPRING15 promo code for an additional 15% off) pricetag!  I will try and post pictures of me wearing it, once the warm weather decides to come back!


Divine Intervention

Over this last week a few little things have happened that, while not life shattering, have been frustrating.  Rather than letting them get me down, however, I like to think of these hiccups as Divine Intervention.

For example...

One day, I woke up at 5:55 AM to attend a morning cycle class at 6:15.  By the time I got there, the class was already full.  Rather than getting really upset by this, I looked at it as Divine Intervention, or the Man Upstairs's way of suggesting I go home and get two more hours of sleep.

I'd like to think I look this cute while sleeping...

Another night, right after pouring some CocaCola I had been craving, I managed to drop my cup and spill it all.  Rather than getting frustrated by the spill (luckily it was outside so required no clean-up) and my lost caffeine, I thought, Divine Intervention-- God must be showing me that I do NOT need that extra sugar and calories.
Don't cry over spilled milk....or Coke, either!

Lastly, when some of my regular babysitting hours for the week were cancelled, rather than being upset by the lack of cash, I thought-- you guessed it Divine Intervention.  I must need that few hours for some "me" time...and so I headed to one of my favorite places Barnes and Noble to curl up with a book.

My guilty pleasure-- reading a fun book at Barnes and Noble when I have countless pages of reading for class!

I've found that looking at life's little challenges in this way, really makes things easier.  Don't sweat the small stuff!  

Do you have any examples of Divine Intervention in your life recently?


Joe's Provocateur

Today, I wanted to share something with all of my petite readers.  I am only 5'3 and always hate that when I buy a brand new pair of jeans I have to get them altered.  They make designer jeans SO long!

Well, back in December, I visited my best friend ARS in Charlotte and was lucky enough to snag a pair of Joe's Provocateurs at the Saks Off Fifth outlet.  I have always loved the comfort of Joe's Jeans, so I was thrilled to find the Provocateur which is designed specifically for petite women.  I was able to wear them the day I bought them, no alterations necessary!  Another thing I really liked about them was that they were still cut to accommodate my curves.  Oftentimes petite pants, though, the right length are cut differently in the body and are not flattering on me.  These, however, fit like a glove and are by far the most comfortable pair of jeans I own!  I definitely recommend these to any of my followers that may be on the shorter side!

Joe's Provocateur

What are your favorite jeans?  Do you know of any other brands that have designed a petite pair?

As a side note, I'd like to thank City Boy at Life Through Preppy Glasses for the Stylish Blogger Award.  When I started blogging just two weeks ago, I had no idea if anyone would even want to read my blog, so being awarded and encouraged by other bloggers has meant so much to me.  I received this award last week, so to see my responses and who I nominated, click here!


Apple Blossom Allie

Happy Monday!!  Thanks to everyone for all their great "A" Costume suggestions!  After emailing back and forth a bit with Bella at Southern Somedays, I decided on "Apple Blossom."

I made the tutu with ribbon and fabric and the crown with flower garland and jewelry wire.  My date was my best guy friend BSB.  These initials do not stand for his name, rather our nicknames.  We became best friends in sixth grade when we shared the same bus stop.  We nicknamed each other "Bus Stop Buddies" or BSB for short!  He was Johnny Appleseed.

Allie and BSB

Alphabet Soup, Apple Blossom, Amazing

It was such a fun and bittersweet night.  It's a weird thought that I won't have any more themed date functions.  Next month is formal, and I'm sure that too will be bittersweet.  The next morning BSB and I grabbed brunch at Bluegrass Grill.  If you are ever anywhere near Charlottesville, you MUST eat there!  It has been voted the Top 5 best breakfasts in Virginia and year after year it wins both Best Breakfast and Best Brunch in "The Best of Cville".  I ordered the Denver Omelet with Home Fries and Toast.

Are you drooling yet?

I wrapped the weekend up by having Sunday brunch with AMF, one of my very best friends here at school.  Brunch has been our tradition since first year and I am wishing and hoping she ends up in Richmond next year.

Allie and AMF

After brunch we headed to "Catwalk for Crohn's," a fashion show put on by the Second Year Council (many of whom are Alpha Phis).  It featured Foxfield Preview fashions from the The Pink Palm (Lilly), The Young Men's Shop (Southern Proper), and Duo (variety of designers including Trina Turk, Shoshanna, and Alice & Trixie).  

my ticket and program

This cause is particularly near and dear to my heart, because my mom was diagnosed with Crohn's disease a little over two years ago.  It was so fun to see the girls and guys strut their stuff down the runway and get outfit ideas, while helping a wonderful cause.  

Lastly, I can't believe I'm already at 100+ followers.  Thank you so much to everyone!  I have really enjoyed this new endeavor and can't wait to get to know you all more through the blogging world.


Firefly Lane

Today, I thought I'd share one of my guilty pleasures with you.  When I need a little "me time", I slip on over to Barnes and Noble.  What makes this pleasure guilty is that it involves avoiding the endless readings I have for my classes and picking up a light, girlie book to read.  I find a comfy arm chair and read....usually for hours!  I rarely, however, will buy the book I pick up.  Sometimes I read a little of it, have a few laughs and move on.  And a few other times, I've even returned to the Barnes and Noble repeatedly until I finish it.  

Back in the fall, however, this pattern changed a bit.  I BOUGHT a book at Barnes and Noble!  This wasn't just any book, however, it was one of the most incredible books I have ever read (and I've read A LOT of books).

The book was Firefly Lane.

Firefly Lane tells the story of Tully and Kate.  Two girls that meet in 1974 at the ripe age of 14.  They are opposites:  Tully is the hot popular girl with an inattentive mother and love for makeup; Kate is the nerdy girl with a doting mother and love for Lord of the Rings.  The two meet, however, and form an inseparable bond.  Kristin Hannah tells the story of this pair's friendship spanning over three decades.  She has a unique ability to articulate human emotion in its rawest form.  You see the characters in their brightest moments and their darkest; you see them grow apart and come back together; and mostly, you see the power of female friendships.  

Kristin Hannah

What I love about this book is that it's not just your ordinary fun, girlie book.  When I initially picked it up, I thought I would read it for a bit, have a few good laughs and move on.  Little did I know what I had in store-- this book is so much more than your average escape book.  It explores themes of friendship, motherhood, and romance.

It will make you reflect on yourself-- your friendships, relationships, and ideas.  

It will make you cry....and cry....and cry.  (This book evoked the "body-shaking sob" in me...I was crying so much at the end I had to sit up and could barely control myself-- AND I don't typically cry in books!).  

I left this book changed.  If you're in need of an inspiring, heartfelt, and thought-provoking read, Firefly Lane is THE book for you.  

Has anyone else read it?  If so, what did you think?

Are there any books you've read that have had this much of an impact on you?

As a side note, thanks to Seersuckered Sailor for the "Stylish Blog Award."  I feel so grateful for the open arms with which the blogging world has welcomed me!  I was awarded this by two other fabulous bloggers this week, so to read my 7 random facts and see who I awarded, click here.


Wisteria Tunic

A few weeks ago, while perusing Barnes and Noble, I noticed House Beautiful's March Issue:  "The Power of Pink".  The issue celebrated pink and its many decorating uses.  Due to my love of pink, I had to have this magazine.

Some of the highlights from the issue are:  a Q & A with Trina Turk, a Spotlight on Lilly's new furniture line, and a new favorite quote of mine:  "I tell husbands not be afraid of pink--there's nothing better than a man in a pink shirt." -Mimi McMakin.

I'm not sure if this issue is still on newsstands (the April issue may be out), but if it is, I highly recommend grabbing it!

Anyways, enough of House Beautiful, and on to my point.  While reading, I noticed a few things I liked from Wisteria, like this Starfish Garland.

I was intrigued enough to check out the website.  While I loved perusing their goods for the home, I don't have my own place yet, nor do I have tons of room to store things for my someday home.  What I do have room for, however, is...TUNICS!  And so now, I am sharing a BIG find with you-- Wisteria has these great white tunics on sale for $14.70!

I lusted after these for a few weeks, trying to decide if I wanted one or not.  They look a little long for me, but, then I realized, heck, for $14.70, I can wear it as a nightgown if it doesn't fit quite right!  

After deciding to get one, I had to decide which one I wanted.  I wasn't a big fan of the Keyhole Neckline Tunic, so I had to decide between the Square Neckline and Mandarin Collar (see above).  I ultimately decided on the Mandarin Collar thinking the neckline would go well with chunky necklaces and that it was a bit more chic.  

I ordered yesterday and will have to let you know how I like it once it arrives.

Do you like tunics?  What are your favorite summer wardrobe staples?


"A" Costume

HELP!  Friday night is my last themed date function as a member of my sorority.  The theme is going to be "A-P-H-I."  Each pledge class is assigned a letter, ours is A.  So basically, I can dress up as ANYTHING beginning with the letter A.  My date and I have been brainstorming a bit.  Do any of y'all have good "A" ideas?

For inspiration, I thought it would be fun to show you some of my favorite costumes over the last 4 years!  Enjoy!

"APHI Vegas" Date Function, 2nd Year
MTG and Allie

Halloween, 3rd Year
Pink Power Ranger
CAE and Allie

"Red, White, and Booze" Date Function, 4th Year
Allie and CPP

"Search the Student Information System" Date Function, 4th Year
Basically you selected a course and dressed up as it:  We were ANTH 2153:  American Indians
CAE and Allie

"Raiders of the Night" Date Function, 4th Year
I was an owl
KLT, Allie, CML

Do you have a favorite?

As you probably noticed, I've gotten a lot more into costumes this year.  I really want to make this last one special, so please comment with any and all "A" ideas!!

Additionally, I'd like to thank What Miss Loves  AND Sweet, Sassy, Southern and Classy for giving me the "Stylish Blogger Award."  I could not be more flattered, especially considering how new I am to this blogging gig!  The directions for the award are to:  1) Link back and thank the person who gave you the award 2) Share 7 random facts about yourself and 3) Award 5 other bloggers.  Read below for my 7 facts and the 5 bloggers I am awarding.

  1. I have grown up in the house my grandparents built when they were first married
  2. I played volleyball all through middle and high school, but sadly don't have the time to commit to a team here at UVA
  3. I have such varied interests that it is often hard for me to make decisions.  For example, I had a few meltdowns over trying to choose a major.  I ultimately decided on psychology, but know I could have been just as happy in many different majors (art history, anthropology, commerce, etc)
  4. I am an only child, however, when I was 11 we took in my 3 younger cousins because my aunt and uncle passed away.  Our family doubled over night.  My dad jokingly calls my cousins our big inheritance.
  5. I hate cats (sorry to any followers or blog friends that own and love cats)
  6. I'm very forgiving, so much so that it sometimes results in my getting hurt.
  7. I want to be a teacher, and maybe a few other things in the career world, but more than anything I want to be a mom.  I want two mischievous boys and a baby girl.
I award:  The Southland LifeShorely ChicLiving Life in LimboSoulshine, and Miss Southern Prep.  I had a really tough time just picking 5-- so many of you have wonderful blogs!  

Whew, this was a long one!  If you've made it this far, please don't forget to share any good "A" costume ideas!


Cycle 101

If you recall from yesterday's post, I got a cute little bikini while shopping in Old Town.  With bikini weather in the near future, I thought it was only appropriate to share my favorite way of getting a bikini bod (or at least attempting to get a bikini bod....).

To work on that bikini bod, I cycle!  In fact, I'm a bit of a cycling addict!  My early days of cycling (or spin classes) were not smooth sailing, though...

For starters, the first time I ever attended a cycle class was my first year of college.  A hallmate I frequently worked out with asked me to join her.  I figured, "Why not?"  Within the first 10 min I was DYING!  I started to calm down at the 45 min mark assuming a cool down was coming soon (most exercise classes at our gym were an hour); when we were still sprinting after an hour I realized-- I, who had never been to a cycle class in my life--was at...EXTREME CYCLE!  I had another half hour!  Needless to say, I did not return to cycle for almost a year.

I felt a little like this girl after that hour and a half

In the fall of my second year, I decided to give this cycle thing another try.  It wasn't easy-- the instructor saw me struggling and politely suggested I lower the resistance.  After an hour, I was worn out, but determined to continue coming back.

Now, two and a half years later, I LOVE cycling and am the weird girl in class with a smile on her face during sprints.  In an hour cycle class you can burn upwards of 600 calories, so why not give it a try!  Here are my tips for beginning cyclers!

1.  Don't give up!  Cycling is one of the hardest, most intense workouts!  You're going to be exhausted, that's normal!

2.  Come prepared! Crucial elements to every cycle class are:  LOTS of water, a towel, and a good hairtie to keep your hair out of your face.  (Cycle shoes are great, but not necessary.  Regular tennis shoes work fine and I suggest making sure you love cycle before buying a cycling pair.)

My cycle bag with its usual contents.

3.  Make sure your bike is set-up correctly.  When you first attend a cycle class, ask the instructor for help setting up your bike.  Typically, the seat should be at about hip level and the handlebars should be at a height that is comfortable for you.  The distance of the seat from the handlebars affects how much your abs will be challenged during the workout.  Beginning cyclers should start with the seat closer to the handlebars and gradually move it back.

4.  Use good form.  Sit up straight while cycling-- hunching over doesn't help!  Keep your back straight and your face up, looking forward.  Keep your feet parallel to the ground, pointing your toes down can put a strain on your knees and calves.  Use the handlebars for balance, not support.  When you put all your weight on the handlebars, you're not allowing the strong muscles in your legs to do the work.

5.  Breathe!  It is important to breathe while cycling, so oxygen can get to the muscles that need it!

6.  Own it!  It's your work out, so own it!  The instructors might say "Give me one turn on the resistance wheel," but keep in mind that all bikes are calibrated a little differently, so 1 turn on the instructor's bike might be a 1/2 turn on your bike and 3 turns on your neighbor's.  Also, pace yourself.  If you're having kind of a blah day, take it easy!

7. Don't be afraid to be a rebel!  What I mean by that, is if something feels weird, change it up.  Just because the instructor says to get out of the saddle and stand, doesn't mean you have to.  If a certain move feels weird to you, be rebellious and do something else that feels better.  And always go to the instructor with questions or concerns.

8. Stretch before and after.  Cycle is hard on your body.  Make sure to take the proper time to reward your muscles with some good stretching!

9. Try Out Different Instructors.  Everyone's preferences are a little different.  My favorite instructors are the ones that have the hardest classes and are loud and in charge.  Other people, prefer the quieter instructors.  If you're not feeling it with one, try someone else!

10. Have fun!  As the fabulous Elle Woods said in Legally Blonde:  "Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy." After a tough cycle class, tons of endorphins are pumping through your body, so be happy!

Happy Elle...I bet she's a cycler!

Does anyone share my passion for cycling or have tips to add?

Good luck to any new cyclers!  Hope this post is helpful!


Old Town, Alexandria

This weekend I went to visit my friend MRB in Arlington, VA.  She and I were Resident Advisors (RAs) together during my second year of college.  That was the toughest year of my life thus far, and MRB, was one of the friends that really helped me through it.  It's always so special to see her!

We headed straight to dinner when I got there!  Knowing my love of barbecue, MRB thought Rocklands would be a good choice.

The atmosphere and decor was incredible!

My meal-- Chopped Pork Sandwich, Mac-N-Cheese, and Fries
The barbecue sauce was mild and sweet

After dinner we got ready for a night out on the town!

MRB and Allie

We spent most of the evening at Black Finn.  As we were closing our tab, I jokingly suggested that the bartender give us one more round for free as a St. Patrick's day present-- I was shocked when he agreed!  Our drink of the night was one of my favorites, a Dirty Shirley Temple.

Saturday we spent the day shopping in Old Town, Alexandria.  This charming area is filled with historic homes, great restaurants, and cute shops!

Our first stop was at Treat.  They had lots of cute clothes at very reasonable prices and I LOVED their jewelry selection.

Some of the jewelry they had to offer

They also had a nice selection of designer jeans.

MRB got this fun top (that is the back-- don't you just love those buttons?)!

We then decided to check out the Gap Outlet.  I don't usually have a lot of luck at Gap, but was pleasantly surprised this time!

I liked the cardigan so much I took the one I had on off, and switched into the new one!

I'm hoping to channel Audrey Hepburn by pairing my Black Patent Revas with the new black Gap skinny jeans.

After that we checked out Diva a really cute consignment shop.

I got a kick out of this pink phone that was on display upstairs.

I ADORED this CK Bradley tunic, but sadly it did not fit.

We headed over to Mint Condition, another upscale consignment shop, next.  MRB bought a beautiful yellow and white dress for an upcoming wedding and I purchased a J. Crew skirt with its original tags still on it!

These Revas were a steal for $48, however they were not my size.

To end the day, MRB treated me to a cupcake at Lavender Moon Cupcakery.

I selected a devil's food cupcake with peanut butter icing dipped in chocolate ganache.

All in all, the day was a great success!

Allie and MRB

Do you have any favorite stops in Old Town?

Before heading back to Cville, I stopped to visit my aunt in Woodbridge, VA.  She always spoils me!  I had a delicious home-cooked meal (baked mac-n-cheese was on the menu, just for me) and also came home with some new cookbooks, a Kristin Hannah book to read, and a bottle of Captain Morgan Lime Bite to try!

The drive back was BEAUTIFUL!  Lots of farmland and rolling hills!

I even stopped at one point to snap a pic--see what I mean?

It was a wonderful weekend filled with people I love!


Fly Fishing

Last spring I took a fly fishing weekend course.  I have grown up fishing and on the water, but had never tried fly fishing.  I really enjoyed it and getting in the water with waders was fantastic!  I, regretfully, however have not had much practice since that weekend.  This warm weather is making me resolve to work on my fly skills!


Any fisherman out there have tips for me??

On a side note.....
In case you were wondering, the green dress mentioned yesterday did make a St. Patrick's Day Appearance
Hope you all had as fun a night as I did!
Allie and one of my favorite new APhis


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

In honor of St. Patty's day I thought I'd share some of my favorite green things...

My bedding!  This beautiful green bedding has made it through 4 years of college!


My raincoat!
AMF and Allie

My green pashmina and flats!
Allie and ARS

This cute glass I keep on my bedside table to hold jewelry and clips I wear frequently

My fav green dress!  This dress is highly likely to make an appearance tonight!
ALG and Allie

Lastly, this "GREEN" (as in eco-friendly) Lilly Market Bag is a new favorite.  I got it last weekend at one of my absolute favorite stores in Richmond, Tweed, and can't wait to use on my next shopping trip!

What are some of your favorite green things?

I'm tagging some friends in this post!

Have a SAFE and FUN St. Patrick's Day