Dorm Series // Pause and Rewind!



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My older younger brother (I have two) reached the end of his senior year in such a blink of the eye (I'm prone to cliche sayings).  I absolutely LOVED college and the minute he started making decisions involving his college, I got crazy nostalgic.  I dreamt about college, I went through my college boxes, I drove my bros crazy pointing out every little thing on campus ("that's my window, here's where I would get smoothies, I would sneak into that dorm through this door").  I was a nut case, haha!  More than anything, I was just excited that my bro would get a chance to experience this transition period as well as create new ones to share!  It also doesn't hurt that I have even more reason to make the drive to Austin and one more person to see down there!

I titled this post "Pause and Rewind" because I wanted to take my "style" now, 10 years later, (aka the "pause"), and then infuse it into my freshmen dorm room (aka the "rewind").  I have a tendency to be really literal, M and K know, so please don't be offended if I spell things out very literally.

I lived in the depressing concrete and wood dorm on campus that Kerry so despised.  And she had good reason to hate.  When I went down to orientation last month, I walked in and my heart literally dropped.  The place was downright a piece of *bleep* and more depressing than I ever remembered it.  Words like "It's so small", or "That's the size of the closet?", "This sink is horrible!", "There's no room in here!" and just plain "Whoa" kept flowing out of my mouth.  I. WAS. SHOCKED.  Here...just look!

 This is literally from the door. SO. SMALL.

I don't know what the deal is with these beds.

That's a closet by the fridge.  Good luck.


Luckily, when I was a freshmen, I had a connecting dorm room where two rooms shared a bathroom.  Much better than the community side!  Here are some extremely outdated photos of a similar room from the UT website (they seriously need to update those!) They are like circa 1990's or SOMETHING - TERRIBLE!  Please update your housing pictures, UT!!  UG-GA-LY!



So, I kinda got too excited and intent on changing EVERYTHING that I had freshmen year, that my moodboard kinda threw up and then exploded.  There's absolutely no theme or focus, hahahaha!  I might've gone over the edge and brought in way too much color and pattern, but maybe not!  I wonder if living in this room would give me a headache even though it has some of my favorite items in it!  At some point I had to just stop.  And forget a college budget!  I blew that so fast!

Keep reading though because I figured I would try to save costs by DIYing some things that a senior could easily do their last summer before university.  You can make anything look good with some ingenuity!  My friends and I used to cut out phrases out of black construction paper and stick them on the wall.  Boom, early ancient DECALS.

First up: the rest area!

Parisian dorm


Our beds were basically daybeds with a narrow shelf and upholstered cork board behind it.  The corkboard is a daunting area to try to style.  So much so, that I didn't ever do anything with mine.  So since I never decorated my board, I'm going to make up for it with some art pieces to look refined :D You can add some dimension by pinning small wire shelves to hold lightweight items, layering framed photos or art by hanging them on ribbons or just tearing out catalog pages from Jcrew like we used to do and putting them up as a collage or hung as a garland from string. 

Then, tucked away in the corner where the two beds meet,  I'd use these wire framed bins and tray to set beside my bed.   A fun patterned rug, and some bean bags for friends to chill in would make me so happy!  I would also highly recommend investing in a full sized duvet if a freshmen can afford it and just change out the covers since every dirty body sits on top of your bed - EWW!  I got mine at a closeout store sophomore year for only $86!  It's a Charter Club down comforter and I have NEVER felt anybody's softer than mine.  EVER.  I love that thing!  My friends called my bed "the cloud".

Side story: An old boyfriend once tickled my brother so hard that he peed all over my duvet.  I FLIPPED OUT and fumed for days.

Ok, I had a sad attempt at trying to style my desk area, but here ya go!

Dorm desk


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I would hang the atlas tapestry on the blank cement wall somehow, next to the curtain that I would also somehow hang.  Maybe with command hooks and binder clips?  I'd style with a mixture of books, cameras, art, terrariums, and kitchen bowls and organize with a cable organizer and acrylic cubbies.  A twist lamp would work for desk work or reading in bed without disturbing my roomate, while the floor lamp will add ambient lighting instead of the harsh overhead light they give us. My bffs, Dar and Elaine, would NEVER turn on their light and only use lamps and I loved the feel of their room so much.  I'd also make my own dot print artwork and use this quirky speaker phone for hands free chatting back home.

Next up is the built in dresser that I had in my room with horrible fluorescent lighting and cement blocks.  I thought I could maybe hang up some temporary wallpaper, or fabric, to make that area a bit more fancy.  I'd use letters to spell out a greeting to dorm guests and maybe DIY them with cardboard letters from the craft store.  Using command hooks or maybe push pins (?) I'd try to hang either of these shelves to hold jewelry, or perfumes and lotions.  Other items like curling irons, makeup I would store in the top drawer or in the bathroom.  A lamp is always key to making a crummy place have atmosphere.  I couldn't decide if I would use the top as a TV stand or more of a vignette area so I did both!
Dorm Vanity



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And last up, the connecting bathroom!  We basically had a two sink vanity with the bottom entirely open so whatever storage you had could be seen.  I'm not one for counter clutter - I actually can't stand it in a bathroom.  I just want to feel clean you know?  When you share with four girls any type of clutter control is awesome!  One above the faucet makes good use of that wasted space with another rack to the side to hold lotions, facewash, makeup - whatever!

I LOVE that hippo toothbrush holder - so fun!  While I think this room is a bit juvenile, I still like it all!  18 is still practically a kid anyways!  I'd use the round rug at the toilet, the hippo at the sink (how do you NOT smile looking at him?!) and the clean/dirty for the shower.  Two sets of towels, one fun, and one classic white will tie me over and force me to do my laundry.  I'd probably store them in a basket under the sink.

Dorm bath

Mirrored Metallics {Kerry's Monthly Love}



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I spied the Viv Metallic Flats {seen above} when JCrew unleashed their latest set of new arrivals a week or so ago, and along with falling in deep pitter-patter love, I was instantly in the midst of a flashback. It was my 12th birthday, and there was nothing I wanted for more than a silver skirt, silver/red/black turtleneck, and silver backpack purse from GapKids. I remember opening up those packages which held my birthday heart's greatest desires at the now-no-longer Mountasia Golf and Games, and flipping out. It is seriously one of my most memorable fashion moments. I wore my outfit the following Monday at school, and felt as if I was debuting one of Paris' finest couture ensembles.

As it turns out, mirrored metallic love runs in the family. I'm talking about you, Mom. Even before I was making grabby hands at that silver-perfection GapKids ensemble, my mom was rocking mirrored metallics while cruising the seas with my dad. In cleaning out our guest bedroom closet, I came across a collection of photographs of my then-married parents on several cruises. And guess what my mom was wearing in nearly every formal photograph? Basically an early 90's version of JCrew's Valentina Mirror Metallic Pumps.
Gotta love the matching bag, too!

If you're feeling the mirrored metallic love this month too, then do I have a treat for you! I perused the interwebs far and wide and came up with my favorite mirrored metallic pretties.

:: clockwise from top ::

And because I'm seriously obsessed, here are a few more mirrored metallic must-haves...


My little sis has a mini-me!



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Announcing the birth of my little sister's bebe, Lily {the one with the cute baby bedding}!
Tell me she doesn't look EXACTLY like Mere {and that expression is totally a Meredith face, btw}:
Meredith & Jared {celebrity name: Jaredith}, the proud parents
We are all sooo excited!!  She is the first baby of us three sisters!   

I told Mere that people always say "oh, that baby looks just like her dad/grandmom/sister/etc" and I'm always like, "whatever, that baby looks exactly like an alien."  I never can see a resemblance to anyone until the baby is much older {ie NOT an infant}.  Later that day, Georgia called me and told me the same thing, just about word for word!  {My sisters and I are the same person, for future reference.}    

Meredith, Mom, Georgia & me at G's wedding reception {obviously}, a few years ago {so that's what's going on with my hair...}

Another baby pic {yes, Meredith appears to be on the phone}:
So, her name is Lily... They are still debating a middle name.  I think they are deciding between Lily Madeleine & Lily Drew.

My faves from the original long list: Lily Drew, Lily Chanel {Jared doesn't like this one because we girls grew up with a dog named "Coco Chanel," but that's not going to stop me from naming my daughter Coco someday}, Lily Jacqueline, and Lily Ty.  They just added Madeleine and I think it's pretty charming!

Mere had a difficult pregnancy, but at least half of it she got to spend in situations like this:


Yeah.  In Hawaii.  {And I will be there in January!}

Saturday Matinee!



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This weekend, I have watched three films.  One was okay, and the other two were down right excellent.

The first two, I have had DVRed for a long time, and finally got around to watching {while packing}.  

"Midnight in Paris," starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, and Marion Cotillard.  The cast was good.  The images of Paris made me both nostalgic & melancholy.  I miss Paris and would move there tomorrow, if I had tons of money lying around.

pics from IMDb
I liked the premise of the movie, the cast, and the revival of some of my favorite writers and artists {and the actors they chose to play them were spot-on}. 

I wish I loved it more, though.  It just came across as a little shallow, and just skimming the surface of a really cool concept.  I would recommend it, though.  If for no other reason than to see some great shots of the city of light.

The next DVR special was "It's Kind of a Funny Story."  It's about a depressed teenage boy who commits himself to a mental health facility so that he won't commit suicide.  It's a pretty heavy topic, but the movie isn't too heavy. 

pics from Magic of Ice Cream

It has funny moments, tender moments, and dramatic moments.  I definitely recommend it.  The end {the part with the music} might make you cry {in a good, happy way}.  It's also probably the only film in which I've really liked Zach Galifianakis.  Usually, he just grosses me out.  But in this one, he's a really likable and sympathetic character.  He made me sad.

Finally, I saw a matinee today with my mom when I desperately needed to get out of the house and away from packing for a couple of hours. 
pic from The Bar None
We saw "Moonrise Kingdom," and we both loved it!  {PS, click the <--link, the website is super cool!}  We laughed out loud several times.  I love Wes Anderson, in general.  The cast was, of course, awesome. 
pic from EW
pic from Cathleen Falsani
I had heard it was good from co-workers, friends, even my grandparents.  So, clearly a widely diverse crowd pleaser.  You should see it, for sure.  I want to see it again.  It was too funny.
pic from Collider
Anyway.  I love movies.  And, I picked a few really good ones this weekend. 

What great films have you seen lately?

Iz's July DIY // Wedding and Travel memory books



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A few months ago, I bought a Blurb deal on Gilt.  $20 for $40 worth of product.  Blurb is a bookmaking website where anybody can make, publish, and sell books.  I bought two deals because I wanted to make a wedding book for my cousin and use the other one for something else.  Well, the deal ended Monday and I had been frantically working on getting it done and I AM PICKY.  I didn't want these books to look like typical photo books, or scrapbook type photobooks.  I wanted it to be more like a coffee table accessory and to treat the reader to a visually stimulating experience when flipping through.  


I had to just say "It's good enough" with the impending deadline and accept the fact that I don't have all the skills to design the layouts that I want.  But it's still fun to try!  (although, I did have a nightmare about making photo books last night.)


The first one I made was about the days leading up to and culminating with my big cousin's wedding. I wanted to share it from the family standpoint and give them pictures of the things we did while they were juggling guests, work, and pre-wedding things.  
It's a hardcover dust jacket book with a steamlined cover.  Simply a light grey dust jacket with white text and a charcoal grey linen hardcover.  The only thing I wish Blurb would offer is to print text directly on the linen cover.  

the 29th | Make Your Own Book
100 pages, Standard Landscape, Hardcover Dust Jacket, Premium Paper Matte finish, Standard Mid-Grey End sheets, ProLine Charcoal Linen.  After the coupon, shipping, taxes, it cost me $25.68.  Changing the paper, end sheets, and adding a linen cover will charge you, just fyi.

The second book I decided to use to document the trips we took last year.  Another streamlined cover with no images and just text.  I ended up not saving much money with this deal because I used so many pages, but it's ok - they're special enough to justify :)
166 pages, Standard Portrait, Hardcover Dust Jacket, Premium Paper Matte finish, Standard Mid-Grey End sheets, Standard black Linen. After the coupon, shipping, taxes, this one cost me $35.78.

When I get this one in the mail, I want to add washi tape to some images so that it would feel more like the one I pinned below.  Can't wait to see how they turn out!  I'm sure I'll learn a few things about margins, bleed margins, and what I like when I see them in person.
designlovefest
mixture of magazine cutouts, tape, travel memorabilia

I have a mad design crush on this girl!

The designs that I've been drawn to lately definitely influenced the making of my books.  I like my books to take on a minimalist "fashion", "catalog", or "sketchbook" feel to them since I always pore over and dissect every layout of Anthropologie's catalogs.  I used to think I wanted to scrapbook back in college, and it just completely stresses me out.  I have mad respect for those artistic eyes that can layer like crazy; it just doesn't fit into my lifestyle.  My style has changed too; moving from all that frilly sticker explosion and into a real subtle, graphically minimalist style.

I like the pairing of a text page with a photo page.  And of course, I like my typography!

I liked the b/w theme in this book. It really unified the entire book.  The second thing I loved was the text.  I like the format of a large label,  a line, and a description underneath.  I think this was from a RueLaLa boutique.

scrapbook style but no frilly stickers.  Lots of layers and texture in a very neutral color theme! And handmade!

How unserious and fun to take wedding party photos this way!  Plus, love the design of course!

Hanna Mac
She offers templates and photoshop actions on her website. I like her "Milky", "Ice Cream Shake", "Bluebonnet",  and Pastel" actions.
Some inspiration from the Blurb book ideas page

If the 30/31 are page numbers, I like!  A fresh portfolio take on photo captions, too.

This layout reminds me of a magazine page or an article.  Who doesn't want to be featured in print?!

I want to know how they do that to the title!


What are your clever ways for getting photos and memories out and displayed?  I feel like I waste and bury so many precious moments, and they're SO disorganized, so I always want to hear and see ideas!!  Please share!

Petite Fashion Challenge #18: Impress Your Date



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I'm excited to participate in my second Petite Fashion Challenge! This month's challenge is hosted by the super adorable Amber from Easy Petite Looks.


When it comes to dressing for impressing my own date {that would be husband Dalles - pronounced like the city Dallas}, I tend to wear what I feel best in and what I think I look best in; basically, I pretty much always dress for myself. Selfish, I know.

D + me in my abominable snowman gloves {it was freezing}
But for this challenge I decided to directly ask my beloved D what he wants to see me wear. While I know him well enough to know what he likes, I wanted to know exactly what he preferred. His answer? Perfectly specific: My 7 FAMK Dojos, my black dress pants, my glasses, button-up blouses, my hair in a pony tail, and the color red. 

So after nearly 5 years of togetherness, with almost 4.5 of that in blissful {but you better bet your britches not in the least bit perfect} marriage, Dalles is getting exactly what he wants to see me in for date night two nights in a row. You're welcome, love.

{WARNING: Sorry for the completely subpar photos taken on the fly with a new lens that we're still trying to figure out.}

Look 1 // Casual Date Night // Let's Go to the Movies


Glasses: Warby Parker | Earrings: Kate Spade Cardigan: JCrew {on sale!} | Shirt: Liberty of London for JCrew {super old; currently crushing on this one in indian red} Necklace: JCrew Factory {old} Belt: JCrew {alternative| Denim: 7 For All Mankind Dojos {old; alternative washSandals: Jessica Simpson {not seen & old} Clutch: Banana Republic {old}

Look 2 // Dress-ier Date Night // Nice Dinner



Earrings: Anthro {old; alternativeCardigan: JCrew {no longer available; alternativeTank: Nordstrom {old} Necklace: JCrew {old; alternative - on sale!!} Belt: JCrew {old; Isabel recently scored some on the cheap at F21, so check your stores} Pants: Banana Republic {super old; alternativeHeels: ? {not seen and super old} Bag: LV Speedy 35 {a clutch would be good for this, but I'm a big bag kind of gal pretty much always}

Thanks again to Amber for hosting! I'm excited to see how everyone else dresses to impress their dates so I can steal your outfit ideas! ; )












PS: If you'd like to know about that exact moment in which Dalles and I met nearly 5 years ago, read Maigen's first-hand eye-witness here. And yes, I am totally somewhat embarrassingly clueless.
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