Friday, September 19, 2014

It's finally Friday!

TGIF, right? Amazingly enough, this week was the first one since school started (five weeks ago!) that we've had a full five days of class. Between Labor Day and a few cancellations, we've been living the good life of four day weeks up until this point. After a quick morning session though, we're free for the weekend!

Merial's New Ad: "Do you have the stomach to win?"
Although I'm a semi-has been equestrian who hasn't competed seriously since 2010, I think this strikes a chord with anyone who has ever spent the hours playing a highly competitive sport. Nothing got under my skin more growing up than telling people I rode horses and being met with responses of, "well, I went on a trail ride once." That's nice.

Eight Struggles Only a Grad Student Will Understand
Number Five. Oh, number five. If I had a dollar for every time I've thought or said "Why wasn't one degree enough?!" then number 2 (being broke) would not be an issue. Also number eight, so much. No, I am not in undergrad THANKYOUVERYMUCH and yes, I was excited for Bid Day... four years ago.

And then, just for kicks (and because French Bulldogs, duh)...
Halloween anyone?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Slacker rider

I've been essentially the worst rider ever lately. First it started with a busy week at school where I only got to the barn once. No big deal, but then we went to the beach that weekend, so it was gone. Followed up by a super fun allergy patch test (I am currently battling an awful case of contact dermatitis around my mouth... with no identifiable triggers/causes), which meant I wasn't allowed to sweat or shower for three days. Um, definitely no riding in that case. As soon as that was over, it was off to Auburn, and I've spent the last week playing catch up from that adventure.

Needless to say, I owe the ponies some quality barn and saddle time this weekend. Fingers crossed sweet Lady is no longer off (after a casual month off) and I have two horses to ride. Fingers also crossed that after two weeks off, Mac does not attempt to kill me, since this is a viable option even on good days. His favorite is the 'let's pretend to be a freight train wheeeee!' followed closely by the 'canter along, toss head, toss head, FINE THEN I WILL CANTER NICELY, just kidding! Now I'm going to jump straight in the air.' Let's just say, I thank my lucky stars for gloves and a helmet.
Do not be fooled by this face
A rare moment of calm

What I look like after 45 minutes of this...

But pink breeches, so it's really all okay.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I go back

If you've seen any of my social media, you saw I spent the weekend on a somewhat spontaneous trip to Auburn to see my very best friends. Despite a grand total of sixteen hours spent in the car, it was exactly what the doctor ordered to cure the bit of homesickness that was lingering over me.

Plus, I got to eat all the food in Auburn. Literally. All of it.

We crossed the state line to this beautiful sight and I just knew every part of that stupid drive was going to be worth it.

We went straight (like do-not-pass-go, do-not-collect-$200) to our favorite Auburn bar where I met up with my best friends, because is there anything that screams "COLLEGE" quite like that? Of course, screaming and hugging and girly things of the sort ensued, but I'm not even apologizing because it was the first time I've seen my best friend in the entire world in four months, so there.

Picture attempts with best friend, A, were obviously successful
Saturday was filled with lounging and football cheering until we met up with a small group for G's birthday (the one I drove down with) for drinks at Avondale. Eventually we made our way to Hamilton's, where we proceeded to be the second-loudest table in the restaurant, but definitely the ones having the most fun. There's just not much better than being surrounded by best friends and spending the entire evening crying in laughter. 

The end of the weekend meant an early brunch (late breakfast? I don't know...) at The Hound before G and I hit the road. Our trip home wasn't without a stop by the outlets, where I was mostly unimpressed, but managed to find a few things. It seemed 10x longer to get home, and I ended up staying in Charlotte until Monday morning.

So much brunch happiness
Just being able to go down makes it seem like everyone isn't quite so far away. Suddenly knowing it's actually drivable and do-able (I've managed to stay caught up on all my schoolwork... like, what) is so comforting. Plus, there's just some magic in a hug from your best friend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I Bought: August

Avene XeraCalm A.D. Lipid replenishing cleansing oil: $30 & Avene XeraCalm A.D. Lipid replenishing balm: $32
I've been on the major struggle bus with my skin lately - eczema flare-ups across my cheeks, a nasty patch of dry skin around and on my lips, it was not a pretty sight and all the makeup in the world just left me frustrated. After a trip to the dermatologist, I'm already 150% better, and I'm loving these two products she recommended to me. The oil is less of the classic cleansing oil you think of, and the balm is thicker than a regular face lotion, but if you have dry and sensitive skin, they're a miracle.

NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Heat Wave: $26
Inspired by T. Swift's new music video, I decided I needed red lipstick and I needed it now. After trying half a dozen, I found this one and I am obsessed. It's the perfect modern red with a hint of orange behind it and it goes on seamlessly with superb wear. 

Hourglass Opaque Rogue Liquid Lipstick in Ballet and Muse: $28 x 2
Going on my lipstick binge, I picked these up at Sephora a few weeks ago. They go on like a gloss, but dry matte like a lipstick and they last forever. They can be a little drying, but nothing a little MAC Prep & Prime won't fix. Ballet is a perfect hot pink (I may be new to red lipstick, but I've been a bright pink devotee for a few years) and Muse is a great coral-red. Both perhaps more summer-y, but seeing as it shows no signs of cooling off anytime soon here, I'm not concerned.

Kate Spade 2015 Planner: retail $36, paid $30
I'm an iCal girl, through and through. No ifs, ands or buts. BUT. Grad school has a lot more day to day assignments than undergrad did, and iCal just wasn't cutting it as a homework keeper. So in a back to school splurge, I went for this adorable number, and suddenly doing all of my Policy readings doesn't seem quite so bad… Maybe.

Lilly Pulitzer Murfee in Lulu (exact not available, similar here): retail $118, paid $29
One of my Lilly sale purchases, I knew I wanted another bright Murfee to throw on with t-shirts and this was the lucky winner. It's so happy and cheerful, easy to wear and you can't ever go wrong.

Lilly Pulitzer Houston (on sale online!): retail $129, paid $59 x2 and Elsa tops: retail $148, paid $79
More Lilly sale buys, these were bought specifically for class. They're lightweight enough not to get hot moving around, but the silk is such a nice fabric compared to all of the synthetics out there. The solids are so easy to throw on and go (wore the white one yesterday with the shorts from last month and later again with a pink skirt!) and the pattern adds a little bit of fun to my day.

Everlane Ryan tees in black and charcoal: retail $25 x 2
Consistently my favorite t-shirts I own, I find myself reaching for these at least a few times a week. They're super soft, super comfortable, but look a little more put together than one of my 750 sorority t-shirts.

Joe's Jeans Skinny Ankle: retail $158, paid $72
Last week a few of us hit up Nordstrom Rack and these were the one thing I said I wanted. These are an exact duplicate of my very favorite pair of jeans. I wear them all the time, so I wanted to pick up a second pair before fall to have, just to make life easier. (FYI, if you're a shortie like I am, the skinny ankle jean is the perfect length - no hemming required!)

Lilly Pulitzer Bow Belt: retail $48, paid $19
I have wanted a bow belt for going on two years, but refused to pay full price for one. After I missed out last year, I knew I had to get one this year. They add the perfect cute finishing touch to so many outfits.

Pink Tailored Sportsman schooling breeches: retail $170, paid $10 & navy Treadstone breeches (seen here): retail $73, paid $28
Over the Labor Day weekend, there was a huge consignment tack sale at the NC State Fairgrounds and a friend and I headed over Friday to check it out. It was mainly a mess of tack, but I did manage to score two pairs of breeches. My TS are more lilac than the pink of this picture (my guess is they are actually the desert plum color, but got sunbleached, hence why they were $10), but I love them to death already, because um, PINK, and the Treadstone's are a great dark navy. The Treadstones are a little tight across the knees, which drove me nuts in my lesson last week, but I'm hoping they'll stretch out with time. The best part? Both pairs for under $40, total, new with tags. Um, yeah, I'll take that.

BCBG Maggie Silk Blouse: retail $248, paid $36
Even though I was only planning on actually buying one thing during the Nordstrom Rack adventure, I discovered this blouse on the clearance rack and fell in love. I have to be dressed up for class a lot more than I ever did in undergrad, and even on a day to day basis, I try to look less like I just rolled out of bed. It's super lightweight silk and the lace detail is both feminine and flattering, which is always a win in my book.

Chelsea28 Wrap Front Sleeveless Blouse (on sale online!): retails $58, paid $37
Again, a Nordstrom Rack clearance rack find, I wasn't so sure about this one right away, but it's a great sleeveless top that looks equally good going out at night as it does with a tailored skirt. I hate tucking shirts in because I'm short waisted, so Im constantly looking for shirts with finished hems.

Retail Value: $1,509
Total Spent: $652
Total Saved: $857

More than I would have liked to spend, duh, but I knocked out the breeches item on my wish list, picked up more than a few good solid basics to finish my school wardrobe out until it cools off (at this rate, December? #omgsohot), and got my skin back under control, so I'm okay with it.

Linking up with Fran and Budgeting Bloggers, here!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What's been up

So, I started grad school... two weeks ago. Whoops.
It's hard to believe it's already been two weeks and at the same time, it's also like, "wait, it's only been TWO weeks?!" The workload is intense, classes are hard and sometimes I call my mom and cry. Just keepin' it real here.

It's also been a ton of fun. When you're surrounded by the same 70 people five days a week (...or more), most all of the day, you find friends pretty quickly. It's incredibly social, and I swear I could have a full agenda doing fun things. Except that, you know, that whole school thing.

J. Crew silk cami / Lilly Pulitzer maxi dress in Chic Pink Sway worn as skirt (old, but similar here)

Two weekends ago we ventured out for Fridays on the Front Porch at The Carolina Inn. It's been hot and muggy, but so much fun. We typically have a big group who comes out and we just socialize, drink wine and sometimes pack picnics. Always a win. 

This past weekend we did Music and Movies on the lawn on Friday, which involved more wine and another picnic (are you sensing a theme yet?), as well as gelato from my favorite shop. Saturday morning, I got up for a 7:30am riding lesson in hopes of avoiding the heat (guess what, didn't work), then ventured to a brunch get together and eventually made my way down into Raleigh to watch Auburn beat Arkansas with the Triangle Auburn Club. 

Sunday, I threw (with a lot of help!) my first big girl event, a Labor Day cookout for our cohort. Burgers were grilled, watermelon was consumed and wine slushies were had. I'd call it a success and another checkbox on my 'am I an adult yet?' list.

Loft top (old, but similar here) / not pictured: Lilly Pulitzer Callahan shorts

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