Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: The Bag

Marc by Marc Jacobs Percy Crossbody

To say I had some fun with the Nordstrom Anniversary sale might be an understatement. I managed to only buy three things, all of which are good investment pieces I wanted to add to my closet. The first is the Marc by Marc Jacobs Percy Crossbody bag in Cement.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Percy Crossbody

My last crossbody survived four years of college, only to have one of the clasps give out the week of graduation. I can't really complain since I pretty much beat the thing to death between trips downtown and football games, not to mention it's still perfectly functional as a clutch. What it did mean is that I was now crossbody-less. Not a big deal for summertime where I'm home and either my LV Speedy or Longchamp will suffice, but back at school (aka where I have friends to go out with), a crossbody is a necessity.

I wasn't seriously looking for a bag when I dropped into the sale this weekend, but when I picked up this one, it was pretty much game over. I've had my eye on a Marc Jacobs Percy since I started undergrad and it met all of my expectations. The leather is butter soft and everything on the bag feels very high quality. The adjustable strap is so nice to have since I like it at a different length depending if I'm wearing it straight down or across my body, plus who doesn't love a little buckle detail? Size-wise, it easily fits my J.Crew magic wallet, phone, keys and a sunglasses case, and still has room for more if I needed it.

Marc by Marc Jacobs Percy Crossbody

With an Anniversary sale price of $158, it's well worth it in my opinion. I know it's a bag I'll get quite a bit of use out of, since I'm actually using it as my everyday bag right now. It's so much more convenient than dealing with my Speedy when I'm out running errands.

My other two purchases were a pair of the Zella 'Live In' Reversible Capris and then this Barbour vest (not anniversary, but still on sale), but nobody needs to see me modeling leggings and I can't fathom the idea of putting on a vest in the miserable heat/humidity that descended on North Carolina today.

... And I'm still on a hunt for European shams that don't cost as much as a pair of shoes. Growing up is rough.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I'm Holly and I live in North Carolina

Home sweet apartment A is moved into (somewhat) and life has settled into something resembling extreme boredom. My parents left on Friday morning after spending two days here in Chapel Hill moving me in, and since then I've been on my own in the (bigger than Auburn) city. So far, I've done fun things like getting lost no less than 147 times because guess what? One road here is actually four and then they peel off and one interstate is a circle, but it's east and west, at the SAME TIME. Intersections are bizarre and they like flashing arrows to turn, not real arrows. It's like learning to drive in England. I hung out at the DMV for two hours to get my new license and panicked I was going to fail the road sign test they make you take (I passed it, thank goodness). I've unpacked my entire apartment, which I was planning on taking me a couple weeks, which leads to where we are now - extreme boredom.

Here's the thing about moving somewhere new. It's fun. New people, new places to explore, things to do. Here's the thing about moving somewhere new when you don't know a soul - extreme boredom sets in. I'm sure in a month or two when classes are nuts I'm going to hate mid-July me, but right now? I spend approximately 18 hours a day at home. When you don't know anyone, it's hard to go do things.

I have however found Nordstrom, so life can't be all that bad. I've been three times. Whoops.
Other trips have included: Home Depot, Lowes (twice), Bed Bath & Beyond, Lilly Pulitzer, Belk, Whole Foods, Harris Teter, the farmer's market, Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo. Really fun stuff.

Can you spot the Nordstrom Anniversary sale purchase? (Also, this is an awful picture)
The apartment is unpacked, but needs some finishing touches - namely I had a euro sham go missing (????) in the move, so I'm short one and the pattern is discontinued which means I spent two hours online today looking for one, but HI NOT PAYING $70 for a glorified pillowcase. So, it looks like I may need to buy two new European shams, which will become this week's next adventure. Other things to do include flowers and a wreath for the front door and something to hang over my bed. Our living room is horribly incomplete, but I'm waiting for my roommate to come to get started there. I can't wait for it to all be finished.

In the mean time, I've been going on walks around the neighborhood, I'm trying to cook some things to freeze for later in the semester, and hopefully (!) later this week, I'll be driving out to look at some barns to ride at for the semester/year.

Life is super interesting, obviously (this is the part where you roll your eyes).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mid-move adventure

The Gorge - Saluda, NC

I'm knee-deep in the Big Move of 2014 out here, and by knee deep I mean we loaded up all of my belongings into a moving truck on Monday, hit the road... and stopped in Spartanburg, South Carolina two hours up the road for a mini-vacation to visit friends. This is my kinda moving (hah, remind me of that tomorrow when I get to move furniture in the rain).

Zip lining at The Gorge

This afternoon we drove up to Saluda, NC to go zip lining at The Gorge. I like to think I've had the opportunity to do some really fun things in life, especially over the last four or five years, but this was definitely up there. The course is eleven zip lines, three rappels and a sky-bridge, and you descend 1100 feet over and through these giant and amazing trees. You're flying along the Green River, you look out and the world just seems to go on forever. Not to mention, having been in New Mexico all summer, it just so green and lush. The adrenaline rush is huge - it's easy to remember why people essentially get addicted. Then again, I don't think you can really be a competitive equestrian without being a little bit of an adrenaline junkie, so maybe I always have been and just hid it underneath cowboy hats and western pleasure jogs. 

Rappelling at The Gorge

I'm not a fearful person by nature - I pretty much have a 'try anything once' mentality, but it's definitely nerve wracking stepping off the platform for the first time. All of a sudden you're just out there and the ground is not, and you are absolutely flying along. You're back on a platform, and any nervousness that was lingering? Yup, gone because that is so much fun when do I get to go again. At one point on the course, the weather rolled in, I took a nice branch to the face and we paused to wait out the storm before everyone else came on down. From there on out, we had these incredible views of the fog settling over the river and on the mountain, but this totally clear and sunny sky. Not bad to fly around in at 30mph! 

Four hours later, it was a relief to be back on solid ground, but I'm already plotting the next adventure. Which will happen... after I move everything I own to Chapel Hill. Tomorrow! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer makeup routine

I'm what you could call a beauty product hoarder. I may or may not own two large very full makeup bags and an undersink cabinet full of hair products. It's a problem. Over the last month I haven't been wearing too much though since it's just been so hot here. The straight heat isn't the issue - I can do 95 degrees with 90% humidity as well as any SEC girl (well, I might complain about it... a little). It's the combination of the heat just making everything feel heavy with the dryness leaving my feeling less than desirable. I've seen deserts with more moisture than my skin right now.

I've whittled down my summer makeup to just a few key items - and it's a rare morning I even use all of it, because when you're a nomadic student temporarily living at home, looking good just isn't at the top of the priority list.

The Perricone MD Deep Moisture Therapy is my night cream for the time being. It's not super heavy, which I like, but definitely helps my skin overnight. Most importantly, it doesn't irritate my skin at all, which can be a major issue for me. I usually layer a few drops of the Josie Maran Light Argan Oil over  at night, and then again over my moisturizer in the morning. Sometimes I even add a sheer layer on top of my makeup before I leave if I feel too matte (can I tell I live in a desert now? Try telling a girl living in Atlanta to add oil on top of her makeup in July and see how that goes). My morning moisturizer is the Philosophy Hope in a Jar with SPF. I picked this up in May because I needed a new daily with SPF in it, and so far I like it. It kept me from burning at the beach and hasn't caused any bad reactions. It is much more sunscreen-y than moisturizer though, and I'm still undecided on how to feel about that. I'm also currently using the Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion with 10% Glycolic AHA three nights a week, but I'll save my skincare routine for another day, in the interest of this remaining under novel-length.

I keep swapping back and forth between the Cover FX CC Cream and the Benefit Oxygen foundation - and that's only for the days I wear foundation (read: never). I'm not sold on either - the Cover FX seems to accentuate the dryness of my skin, and it gets patchy and weird, although the coverage and color is great. The Benefit color is just off and it sometimes seems to slide off my skin. Verdict: still looking, sitting, waiting, wishing... The Bobbi Brown concealer is a newer purchase as well, and I haven't used it much. So far it's encouraging enough that my next purchase may be to try their foundation.

NARS is a cult classic and for a reason - the beloved Orgasm is on repeat this summer, just about every day. It's a color I can only wear when I have some color to my skin, which pretty much limits it to May-September usage, but do I ever love it during that time period. The Dior blush in Sunkissed Cinnamon is a much more muted and brown-pulling blush, but equally as pretty and works pretty much year round. It's much less pigmented, but gives that really pretty sheer glow.

I am not a Bare Minerals fan. Dry skin and powers just aren't friends, but I do love this product. It's the All Over Face Color in Warmth. I use it mainly for shading and contouring (when I actually made the effort to do so), and I love it because it's matte and buildable. The Hourglass powder in Dim Light is my newest favorite addition to my bag. After hearing everyone rave about it and the phenomenal reviews online, I broke down and picked it up. Yeah, not blown out of proportion at all. I swear this is not actually powder, but magical dancing skin-perfecting fairies who love you and want you to be happy. The end.

Do I own all three Naked palettes? Guilty. Is three my favorite? Guilty again. I love rose gold and this is no exception. Technically, some of the colors in the first and second palettes may look better on me, but I just love how pretty these colors are so I choose not to care. Favorites? Burnout and Liar.

Lastly, are the new Marc Jacobs eyeliner pen, Lorac 3D Lashes mascara and Benefit's They're Real! I thought the eyeliner was ridiculous the first two times I saw it... and then I gave in. Can you do the exact same thing for less? Totally. Will it look as sleek and cool as this pen? Never. It goes on wonderfully, it's easy to hold and I feel way cooler than I actually am when I use it. I alternate between the Lorac and Benefit mascaras. If I'm feeling fancy I'll use the Benefit and layer the Lorac over it. I'm sure you've heard all about the They're Real mascara, and people seem to either love it or hate it. I'm not totally in the love it crowd, but I'm definitely on the fringes, hanging out in 'really-really like in a more-than-a-friend' way. Because I'm still in middle school.

... And this is just my chosen summer group. My bathroom may or may not look like a Sephora store, but I'm going to go ahead and plead the fifth here.

Shop them all here!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The part nobody warns you about

It seems only appropriate to toss some thoughts into the ring on the eve of my departure for Chapel Hill (via a four day trip through Atlanta and Spartanburg, SC), seeing as the night-before-school post seems to have found its way into being some kind of tradition around here (read them all here - freshman year, sophomore year, junior year and senior year).

Here it goes - the Next Big Adventure, as I've taken to referring to the ensuing move to North Carolina and beginning of grad school. The moving part? Yay, decorating. The school part? Actually, seriously can't wait. The moving-on-from-Auburn, starting the next chapter part? NOPE NO.

Maybe it's because I miss my best friends so much - from Santa Fe to Houston, Auburn, and Boston, they're all over the place, and for the first time in forever, none of them are with me. Over the last few months, most everyone I know has spread their wings out and taken their steps into the real world, and now it's my turn, and even though I've spend four years 'training' for it, so to speak, I'm having that moment where you stand on the edge and question if you even know how to fly.

I want to cry tonight, but I'm strangely comforted and disoriented at the same time knowing that, for the first time, those night-before tears aren't coming from a sad-to-leave home place, but a sad-to-be-growing-up one. I've been living in the hallway between undergrad and grad school, and this next step closes that door behind me and open up the shiny new one in front of me. And it's totally scary because closing that door feels a lot like closing the door on myself and life as I know it. Like leaving my friends behind (even though I know it's not true, it's a lot harder to convince your heart than your head), and facing the idea of losing my confidante, my partner in crime and the girls who know me better than I know myself. That right there is enough to send me to tears. I don't want to make new friends, I want mine to come with me or time out or something, anything, but make it stop. Stop moving on with your life without me, I want to yell at them. Include me, need me, call me, but please don't forget about me, because I need you. Stop going out together, stop posting cute pictures, because I'm not there and I'm so, so afraid I'm going to become the one who 'used to be', not on purpose, but because why do you need a best friend 800 miles away when you have one five minutes away?

This is the part about growing up nobody warns you about. How alone you're going to feel, while it seems the entire world around you just keeps going.

I have no idea what I'm going to find in the next month behind that door. What can you do though? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and jump, I guess, because I don't have any other idea (because running backwards and hiding out in your childhood bedroom is only fun until mom asks you to vacuum the living room).
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