Thursday, June 30, 2011

What to Wear...Thursday.

Okay, so I was supposed to do this yesterday, yeah, yeah, yeah. However, all you Smith & Emmie's out there should be super excited I waited.

A friend of mine got a box today full of delightful little bras from Urban Outfitters that are fun, pretty and functional. Yes, functional.

With so many sheer tops, side-less tops, backless tops, and whatever the heck they think of next, these beauties are the perfect solution to the 'Uh, what do I wear under that?' problem.

You can still feel comfortable and not worry about nipple covers falling off (i.e. My high school prom....but that's another blog post.) Or trying to hide your bra straps, or those god-awful strapless bras that never stop falling down (for those of us who are less endowed), or worse yet, opting to not wear those oh-so-adorable tops.

Here ya go ladies, show those brassieres off.

I mean, how hot is the back?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

the bad & the ugly...

via pinterest
A week ago or so I had hit a rough patch. I was questioning my involvement in a few things, feeling tension with a good friend and having family issues. I sat down at my computer and thought what the heck is wrong with me? Am I an asshole?

I thought of my favorite author, Miss Gilbert, and her book Committed.  In it, her and her lover Felipe, write a list of their worst traits. Of course we can take the good that comes with someone. The fact they are funny or smart or good-looking. But what about the bad? We all come with not-so-great traits.

I started making a list and trying to really think about it. Being neurotic like I can tend to be, I started questioning my list. Am I really this way? What about this... That one time I did this, does that make me? You get the idea...

So, as I continue to slave over my list, last night I realized one thing that is for sure under my bad traits: I can be a freaking slob.

Exhibit 1: Last weekend I washed my sheets for the second time since April. I still have not made my bed with those sheets. Instead, the pillowcases and fitted sheet sit crumpled in ball at the bottom of my bed. The other sheet lays on top of my mattress, and that my friends, is what I sleep on top of. Exhibit 2: Last night I came home from a 3 hour meeting, ate a piece of cornbread for dinner. And a cookie. Or maybe it was two cookies. I had a glass of wine with my roomies, and at about 11:30, ate a chocolate ice cream bar. At midnight, I made my way up stairs. Sleeping in the shirt I had worn that day. I didn't brush my teeth or take off my make up. I was completely sober.

Now, most nights I brush my teeth. And some nights I take off my make up. But my bedroom floor is usually covered in clothes and the sheet thing... I have been guilty of since college.

I don't know why I am this way, but I am. I get my bouts where I pick up every day, and I swear to you, when things start to get "dirty" versus "messy" I will spend the day cleaning. But the mess has never bothered me or given me an ounce of anxiety. I'd rather spend the night visiting with my friends, or cuddled up with that man I can't seem to stop liking. I like to look at this way: I have a life to live people. The tidying thing is a waste of life. And I am sticking to that. Now, the falling asleep without brushing my teeth and taking my make up off...that is just bad hygiene. Whoops.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a leap in the dark

Last night I had a revelation in the shower—where all my great thinking gets done, obviously. I decided that I needed to become more spontaneous.

I’m not sure how others would describe me, but spontaneous is definitely not a word I would use to describe myself. Although I’m always up for trying new things {usually}, I’m rarely the first to suggest it. I love adventure and new experiences, but I usually need a little prompting from others to get me to go out and do it.

But lately, I’ve been feeling like I need something more in my life. I’m pretty stuck in my routine of work, hanging out with friends, going to church, etc. Obviously that’s not bad per se, but it just feels a little stagnant. I get bored easily and right now I feel bored of my own life—never a good thing. Thus, I need spontaneity to encourage me to do new things on a whim to see where it takes me.
From spontaneity comes growth in new experiences. You learn new things about yourself by pushing yourself to do things that you would not ordinarily do. I’m ready to feel free and excited about the prospect of new things again. I don’t think I’ve truly felt “carefree” since college—I was living in Chicago, getting to do new and exciting things every day. I want that back, without having to run off somewhere else to find it.

The plan* is to start small. Be positive. And embrace the unknown. (*planning to be spontaneous… quite the oxymoron)

Inspired to be spontaneous with me? Here are some ideas to get us started…
  • Start by saying “yes” more
  • Color your hair a shade you’ve always wanted to try but never dared to do
  • Take a last minute trip someplace you’ve always wanted to go—near or far
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
  • Stop a stranger and compliment them on their outfit
  • Go skinny dipping ;)
  • Go to a movie in the middle of the day
  • Try a new food
  • Get in your car and just drive
“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous, unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.” Henry Miller

Monday, June 27, 2011

Passion Play

I've always envied those people who KNOW what their passion is. I have a friend who is a DJ. He loves what he does. He is great at it. He used to pretend to DJ when he was a kid. He just knew.

Those people who know from the get-go what they want to be when they grow up and then still actually want to be that amaze me. When I was little I wanted to be a marine biologist. In high school, I thought I wanted to be an English teacher. Then I switched it to journalist because it sounded more exciting. (And, as a journalist I figured I'd get to "live in the shoes" of another person constantly, and maybe that is how I would find out what I loved to do.) In college, I stuck with the journalism thing. I was pretty good at it, and as a straight-laced geek at that age I didn't dare change my major and get behind.

Now as a 20-something I still have an "I want to be..." list that is forever changing. I still want to do journalism. I want to win a Pulitzer and write something that changes society's view on an important issue. I want to expose a problem or bring light to a situation that needs the attention of people. I also want to own a small business, be a mother, start an animal shelter, write a book, invent something, be a counselor and an art teacher. Or maybe second grade teacher. I have a lot of careers on my to-do list and I better get cracking.

Today though, these last few weeks in fact, I've gotten to dive back into something I once really loved. Something that I never wished to make any money off of. Something I liked to do just for the sake of doing it. Something that although not necessarily my passion, felt pretty dang close. IF I can guess what living one's passion feels like.

That, my bloggies, is photography. Now, I know, I know, everyone nowadays is a photographer. But I do get to mention the following street cred: high school photography and a photography course in college (which I got an A in, duh). Okay, that makes me pretty low on the totem poll. But, I do know how to shoot in manual and I feel I can frame a picture pretty well. I also don't always give a crap about the rules, which I think helps when it comes to being behind the lens. I also get to put my creative ideas into action and not hope that the photographer I'm trying to explain my vision too can one, understand what the hell I am talking about, and two, do it the way I would do it. (Control freak, anyone?)

So the point of this post is mainly to ramble and come true on my promise to blog every day (Hey, it's 11:20 people, it is still Monday.) But to also encourage the readers of Smith & Emma to always keep trying to figure out your passion and find things you love. To have an "I want to be..." list that still exists at 70.

I've settled on the fact that my passion may just be trying to find it. It means my tombstone will get to say something like "Mediocre at a lot of things." Which is fine by me. To me, it means I lived a life worth living. Who says you have to be the best at something? What does that even mean anyway...

Here are some shots I have taken for Maude Boutique...All you can really judge me. ;)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Confession: I'm a Bad Blogger...

Real Simple Magazine.

Okay, so if you can't tell, Annye has been carrying the wait in Smith & Emma land. I, on the other hand, have been majorly slacking.

While I could tell you all of my excuses, I'll just cut to this part...I was told by my favorite college professor that the biggest thing I needed to overcome was starting a project and finishing it. I tend to get busy, or something get's more difficult and I bail. Procrastination becomes my best friend. Then, the need for perfection, and then I have a new idea. Perhaps that is why this is my third blog? ;)

I will say this though. The reason behind Smith & Emma is something I believe in. So, you have my word, I'll get back to the grind and even sacrifice that extra 30 minutes of sleep to get up and have my morning cup of coffee seated at my computer. Now that, people, is love.

Have any projects that are hard for you to stick with? Come on people, make me feel a little better!

Friday, June 24, 2011

road trip essentials

I’m heading off for a weekend away! Going to Lawrence, Kansas to see my brother with some friends. Lawrence is a fun little town, home to the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks!). I love visiting for weekends because it's only about a four hour drive, and there's always fun stuff going on. Mass Street is lined with great shopping and fun bars--my favorite things to do incidentally. I'm looking forward to some days away and hanging out with my sweet big brother. Should be fun!

Before I leave for a road trip, I always set out to compile the perfect mix of songs to listen to in the car on the way. Songs must be upbeat and fun, and preferably easy to sing along to--pretty easy to find if you ask me. Lately I've been literally listening to and loving everything... and yes, you may even see me jamming to a Justin Bieber or a Lady Gaga song--not ashamed! What songs/artists are you loving right now?

Here are some of my favorite songs to listen to in the car…

(click the picture, and you can listen to the songs!)

Have a great weekend lovelies!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

cheers to twenty-three years

check out those chevron stripes!

On Friday, I turned the big 2-3. Another year older, another year wiser, all that jazz. The big day was lovely and as always, I felt like a queen for the day. I’m a big believer in celebrating things to the max—so typically my birthdays involve a week-long celebration of little old me. I’m pretty humble like that.

People usually roll their eyes when I talk about my birthday week. Too cheesy, to much attention, etc.

But here’s what I think…. Life is something to celebrate. I have another year under my belt. I’m not afraid of being older. I look forward to another year of growth and happiness and trials and tribulations and learning coming my way. That ain’t so bad right? Deserving of seven full days, I do believe.

I know 23 isn’t really anything to write home about age-wise, but I do think it feels more established than say 22. I’m looking forward to 365 days as a 23 year old, and can’t wait to see what the year brings.

What's your advice for my 23rd year? What's your philosophy on birthdays?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

travel buddy

I am by no means a travel expert, but it my short years of "traversing the globe, I have perfected a list of things that I think are must-have on any flight, especially trans-Atlantic. With summer in full swing, I hope you guys are getting away on a trip or two. So, in preparation for your big vacay, here’s a list of things I take in my carry on bag to make sure my trips to and fro are smooth as can be.
*Pre-flight I always charge up my phone and make sure I’ve located all my stuff the night before. Nothing is worse than rushing around the morning of a big trip still searching for things. I hate packing, but it’s always a lot easier than I expect it to be. Especially if you have already made a list. To get you started, this is a great resource to help you think of things you’ll need on a trip.

Eye mask. To catch some z’s on a flight I need an eye mask to block out all light. Also a great notification tool for the flight attendants to leave you alone. ;)
A warm pair of socks. Nothing is more miserable then being cold on a flight, and keeping your feet warm is the easiest way to ensure you won’t be chilly. Plus, socks are much easier to carry on then, say, a sweater.
Toothbrush/toothpaste. Nobody likes bad breathe. Period. Bonus points if they’re travel size. (Also, Colgate wisps are great travel companions. Check ‘em out.)
Reading material. Splurge on a couple last minute magazines at the airport or bring along your favorite book. You’ll want something to read during the inevitable downtime while traveling, or especially if there are no in-flight movies.
Gum. I still chew gum at take-off and landing to help with ear popping issues. Also, I’m a slightly nervous flyer, so it gives me something to do during those two times I absolutely hate.
Phone charger. I always pack my phone charger in my carry on, just in case my phone needs a little power on a layover. Especially handy if you’re using your phone as a music device in-flight.
Small makeup bag. Bring only the essentials, but you’ll want it for touch ups. Remember to pack the liquids in a clear zip-lock bag. Things I include in mine are: foundation, blush, mascara, concealer, and lip gloss. I pack away all the other stuff.
Things I avoid:
I never travel with my computer unless I really have to. Lugging around a laptop is a pain and in this day and age of smartphones, you should have all you need right at your fingertips.
Food. If the flight is going to be short, I know I’ll survive on the tiny bag of peanuts given during the drink service. And if it’s longer, you’ll most likely be getting meals in there somewhere. But if you know you’ll need a snack, think small, not messy and odorless— there is nothing worse than bringing a tuna sandwich on a plane.
Neck pillows, unless it’s a flight where I switching time zones and I have to sleep. In which case, my family and I love this one. We passed it between us during our flights to Thailand and it really helped us all sleep in those rigid plane seats. Pain to carry, but worth it in the end.
What about you? What’s on your list of must-have carry on items? Anything I’m missing?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

what to wear wednesday - royal blue

I tend to stick to neutral colors, but have been trying to brighten things up a bit. Royal blue is a color that looks gorgeous on any hair color or skin tone, and is not an over-the-top bright hue. Here are some of my favorite royal blue picks. Feel a little blue, baby!

Motel sweater, (For all you Razorback fans, we will have this same sweater in RED at Maude Boutique!)
Maude Boutique,

Monday, June 13, 2011

battle of the sexes

Ladies and gentlemen (but probably mostly ladies),
In a landslide voting record {8 votes total-ha!} it seems that most of you think it’s the man’s job to make the first moves. Well you aren’t alone… I too think that it’s still his job to take charge and lead the way for us ladies.
Call me old fashioned, but I like a man who is decisive and takes initiative. I think both of those traits are qualities that carry over into other aspects of his life (career, school, family, etc.). It’s just not attractive to see someone who isn’t ambitious—and yes I believe both attributes are linked. It is always nice to be pursued. Now, is that a bad thing?
However, I will say this—if you’re a gal and you want to go after a man, more power to ya! I’ve got no discrimination, just props. I am only that ballsy after a few drinks, but yes I have been known to make the first moves from time to time. If he’s cute and I’m feeling it, I’ll go for it. But more than likely I’ll leave it at a comfortable point, and it’s up to him to take it any further.
Boys who don’t work for it=aren’t that attractive in the end.
Boys who go out on a limb and take initiative=hot hot hot!
Simple as that.

Friday, June 10, 2011

trend to try - jumpsuits

My friend Chloe (check out her awesome fashion blog here!) showed up at work today rocking a jumpsuit. She looks stylish and adorable, but she's also comfortable. Jumpsuits really work on all sorts of body types. Find one that cinches you in the right place--whether at your waist or under your chest, and make sure the length is right for you as well--calf, above the ankle, or a full pant leg. (Jumpsuits with wide legs are also in style if those tend to flatter you.) Pair with a heel for a dressy look or a flat sandal for something casual. It's such a fun alternative to have in your closet! 

Chloe's jumpsuit is from Maude Boutique. 
I recently nabbed one at Maude after another co-worker told me I should just try it on. I loved it. As a short person, it really lengthened my legs and made my body look very proportional. Just a reminder to step out of your fashion comfort zone... you will often be pleasantly surprised. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

dating do or don't: who takes the lead?

Alright, ladies. Today I want to take a little poll. As a single lady in my twenties, I think there can be a lot of confusion as to who is supposed to make the moves in the beginning of a relationship.

Who do you think should put the work in at the beginning of a relationship? Are you of the old school belief that it’s the guy’s job to make the first moves? Or are you more progressive and believe that women can work it these days too?

I’m genuinely curious as to what y’all think. I won’t tell you what my thoughts are—don’t want to sway your opinions ;) but I will say that I think this is a pretty hot topic for our generation. Some men like to take charge, but I think a lot of guys these days expect us ladies to put in just as much effort in the beginning. And girls who take charge can sometimes come on too strong, while girls who wait for the guy to make all the moves can seem uninterested. Talk about mixed signals!

So what say you? Should we take a backseat to let the dudes do all the work? Or is it a balance of power these days?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

what to wear wednesday - short love

The hot temperatures are here! If you are like me and you aren't a huge sundress girl, dressing cute and appropriate for the weather can at times be challenging. My suggestion? Invest in a good pair of shorts that you can wear with anything. I found a pair I love at Maude and I feel are age appropriate. They are a little loose (more of a boyfriend fit) and hit me right above the mid-thigh. Even us 20-something's should not be wearing shorts that let our rear ends hang out. (Sorry, I don't care how skinny you are or how cute your butt is.)

A good short gives you the freedom the fall does in the fashion world. You can put anything on top and express any style you are feeling that day. Feeling carefree? A loose tee will do the job. Girly? Try a cute floral tank. Both? Layer a vest over the floral top.

Jean shorts available at Maude Boutique in Fayetteville!

I love this striped knit top from urban outfitters. Paired with the fun aztec-inspired cuff and small-wedge Seychelle shoe, its comfy, cute and fun.

Seychelle shoe available at Maude Boutique in Fayetteville.

Also, since I skipped out on the trend to try last Friday, I will slip in one here. Substitue the cuff for this silk scarf for a girly touch. Tie it in a bow on the end of your braid. Super cute! I tried it last week at a baseball game.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 we'll ever be

Annye & I at Wakarusa!

I hate to steal that song title for my blog post title, but it is truly appropriate. This past weekend reminded me how fun it is to be in your 20s.

Saturday night, Annye and two of our friends headed to see Mumford and Sons at Wakarusa. I almost skipped out--having been at Wakarusa Friday night, nabbing just an hour of sleep, and then working all day on my feet.

My co-worker convinced me I needed to go. I had been so excited about seeing Mumford and she knew it. I needed to stop acting old. "You're only in your 20s once," she told me. Ah, a wise one she is. I manned up and headed back to Wakarusa to have what is sure to be one of my all-time favorite summer memories.

I have always enjoyed music. But I've never been "into" it. I never know the names of songs or the artists. I am the opposite of a music snob, too. Pop, country, rap, alternative, folk, classical...I like them all. My only dislike is really, really hard rock. The screaming stuff. (You can see by that description that my knowledge of music is quite minimal.)

But Mumford. Oh, Mumford. I could listen to their album on repeat for days. I know every word to every song. It makes me want to dance, it makes me relax, it makes me happy,  it makes me wonder, it gives me comfort. It's the first time I've understood how music can move you. How you can feel it in your soul.

Beyond putting on an AMAZING concert, the evening was filled with good beer and great company. Annye and I danced and sang our hearts out to one of our favorite bands, enjoying a summer night without a care in the world--truly being as free as we will ever be.

Miss Meagan!

Annye is very excited. 
The 'Jena' smile. Sexy, right? :)