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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This weather ain't the best thing for my long luscious locks...

For the past 3 days the weather has been unbearable. It was 98 degrees yesterday, and today's temperature didn't fall too far behind! I don't do so well in the heat, and needless to say, neither does my hair. HOWEVER, I've found a few amazing products that really help to tame my thick, wavy hair in this heat and humidity. My hair is also colored and dry from swimming. If you have hair like mine, you should consider trying the following products:

This Bumble and Bumble Quenching Shampoo is exactly what it sounds like... I especially love the little blurb "for the (terribly) thirsty." I'm always in the pool for exercise, but I figured you guys might be interested in trying out this product because a lot of us spend even more time in the pool in the summer time!

I have not tried the quenching conditioner, but I have tried the quenching complex.

I really, really, really like this product. I usually put a bit in my hair when it's wet after I shower even if I'm not going to blow dry it. It helps with hydration and keeping the frizzies down. If I do blow dry my hair, however, I always use this product with it and am so happy with the results. My hair feels smooth and shiny and all of the wonderful adjectives you associate with purdy hair.

I've also been throwing my hair up on top of my head a lot because I feel like there's nothing else to do with it, so it's been getting really knotty! (I also forgot to bring home my straightening iron because, once again, I saved packing for last minute). My mom got me this awesome leave in conditioner:

It's like detangler for big kids... Seriously. I have even tested this stuff out by shampooing my hair, not using conditioner and seeing if this suffices. And, yes. It does! Do yourself a favor and go out and get some, gals. Because not only does this miracle leave-in conditioner work, but it has keratin in it, which is a protein that aids in smoothing and straightening. 

Last, but not least: Philosophy body wash, bath gel, and/or shampoo! My favorite seasonal flavor for this summer is papaya passion punch. I love philosophy products and always have because they're just so much fun! I could spend hours (literally. and have before.) in Sephora smelling all the different scents trying to make a decision. (Even though I don't recommend using this as shampoo over the aforementioned Bumble and Bumble products, you can, which is why I am including it in this post. Use it as a body wash and come out of the shower smelling delish!)

Let me know what you think of these products! 

<3 Madison

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thinking of Blue

I proudly dedicate today's post to my best friend, Jami! I thought of her immediately when picking out this outfit because her favorite color has been blue for as long as I've known her (16 years). I'm excited about this post because I haven't written in a while, and it's my first dedication!! 

...I'm also really excited about it because both outrageously fabulous articles of clothing I'm wearing in this post were recently purchased from H&M!! Yes, ladies. This means you, too, can go out and find my awesome blazer and easy-to-wear t-shirt dress right away if you so desire :)

Jami, D., I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!

blue shades via h&M

shoes via steve madden
toe color: steady as she rose by OPI (Pirates of the Carribean collection)

I polished my nails today later in the day after taking pictures for zee blog... I got the idea for the title of this post from the name of the color (Thinking of Blue) -- it's an awesome navy color, and it's Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure (these work great)! To see my product review, click here. I also highly recommend the color I'm wearing on my toes now, Steady As She Rose. It's so beautiful, and my pictures don't do it justice! It's a great lilacy-pink for summer!

I hope you liked today's outfit!!

<3 Madison

P.S. Today's lesson of the day: Don't wear heels on grass. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 5: Saved by the Belt!

N.B. My 1st remix challenge posts are out of order! This is day 5 of 7, and was published over a week ago.

If you look strictly at my clothing, you'd think this post should be titled something like "Casual Cotton." HOWEVER, today, my accessories really did make my outfit.... consider this post a tribute to belts, bags 'n boots everywhere!

Anywho: back to my day...

When I got up and got dressed the weather called for thunderstorms, and, I must say, it looked pretty gloomy out. As a result, I wound up dressing to match the weather.... plain cottons/linen -- gray, white, bleh. I needed extra motivation today, so I put on my favorite turquoise earrings that can make anything POP! My awesome tank top was a total accident, but when I thought about what I had on, I realized I had awesome medium height heels to go with my other accessories, so I strapped 'em on despite the weather warnings and set off to write Frank Lloyd Wright paper #.... oh? 398 of this year?

Later in the afternoon, the weather looked like this!: 

Sunglasses: credit to the neighbs, who purchased via Target

I normally prefer cold weather (and would go as far to say that I'm not a fan of the heat), but in Madison we only get so many nice days per year unless you're here all summer, and we had absolutely no Spring. March and April were freezing, and May's weather has been as much of a scatter brain as I am. I have to say, though, coming home to the above was great.

Here are most of today's accessories:

Shoes: BCBG Girls via Nordstrom
Belt: via Mom
Earrings: via SMU
Tank: Splendid via SMU

I think they made the outfit!

Do you? Let me know!

<3 Madison

P.S. For those of you who haven't slipped into a maxi skirt yet, I highly recommend it. It's like wearing a soft blanket all day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day&Night 6: Between Night and Day, You're Just Accessories Away...

turquoise leather belt via boutique in barca

bracelet via anthro
ring & bracelet gifts from grandma; clutch via UO; necklace = antique via
portobello rd in london (earrings that match also featured in challenge!)
shoes via steve madden (you've met the daytime shoes before... 1937s via Madewell)
color: giggle via sephora
i hope day 6 inspires you to get creative with accessories..... and that you like my necklace ;)

From day to night, I am wearing the same jeans and top. All I did was change my accessories!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

HI[re me]LIGHTS FROM GRADUATION! (and only pic from day 7)

I got to wear a cap and gown for the 1st time!
In high school we graduated in white dresses.

ONLY PIC FROM DAY 7 - shoes = gold wedges from the day I was
 a "nautical nut" -- this look is super easy and quick! Just throw on jeans
and a patterned top, and you're ready to go!

I also got to spend time with my grandmother, who I'm extremely close to,
for the first time in a while. (This also serves as evidence I'm in my
challenge gear!!)
First pic taken post-grad ceremony!
The freshman year roommie!
My favorite pic of the day
My mom brought me really pretty cupcakes to my grad brunch!
I wound up not wearing the shoes I'd planned to because I was afraid I'd be
"that girl" and trip walking across the stage. I opted for this old pair of awesome blue
Marc Jacobs sandals that just so happened to match my awesome blue dress! (I call them my "Jasmine
 shoes"). However...

...I wore them to grad dinner that night, had no problem walking in them, and managed to
stay within my challenge guidelines with my cream UO blazer! ;)

Friday, May 13, 2011

My thoughts in water color..... TAKE 2!

For some reason, as soon as Blogger started acting up yesterday, I had the foresight to take screen shots of what I'd written, so I could share it with you today. I have ONE MORE final paper due today, so outfit pics from yesterday and today will have to come later. Here is yesterday's post:

I'm feeling really, really happy today, so I hope these colorful paintings add brightness to your day. Also, you get to learn more about me: not only do I study the History of Art, but I take a stab at the practice of it every once in a while. Don't be too critical; water color is an extremely unforgiving medium with which to work. Enjoy!

- April showers bring May flowers -
- There was a torrential downpour last night, but it's beautiful outside today -
- I made this for my mom for Mother's Day in 2007. I am 22 years old, and her favorite gifts I give her are still the ones I make her.... I love that! -
- the Man and I just picked up our caps 'n gowns together... so weird, but so exciting and empowering! -
- I am graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (my name. how suiting?) in 3 days. Having gone to a really small, private, all girls school, I'd never seen what real school spirit was. "Dance by the light of the moon" is a line from my favorite fight song at UW. This painting actually serves as a sketch for a ceramic (terra cotta) slab box I made last summer. Being creative is the best outlet... take a stab at it. You'll be surprised how much you enjoy it if you really let loose. Painting is my primary form of meditation. -
- Cupcakes are not only yummy, but pretty too. -
- I am sitting in the library "working," and all I want to do is eat this sketch. -
- I fostered a puppy from the Humane society while attending Emory University in Atlanta, GA (I transferred there for a bit...). Her name was Cupcake, and no, I didn't name her. I miss her every day, but I know she found a good home (yes, I actually know this for a fact, I'm not just being a blind optimist), which reassures me I did the right thing by giving her up after I nursed her back to health. I'm happy she's happy... and that another family gets to enjoy all the effort I put into training her wild puppy butt ;) -
- I'm going to be a little bit naughty tonight, and that's A-O-K! ;) -
- A young lady with beautiful read hair asked me to design a tattoo for her. She wanted a "badass fairy," and this is what I came up with it. Even though it's not something I'd necessary want on my body permanently, I'm happy to know that my creativity makes others happy! -
- I'll leave you with this: I hope this little sketch inspires you to do something "badass" today. Break free from the shell that's blocking your creativity and express yourself in an artistic way that makes you feel AWESOME! - 

N.B. Painting is especially good if you have any issues with your heart. I highly recommend starting to learn (you can easily teach yourself; I've learned more from trial and error than I have in any of my art classes), and even grinding your own pigments/making your own paint from the very beginning. Go to an art store (or if you're near a university, go to the school store) and ask the person who's helping you to pick out a kit to make your own Sumi-e paint, and make sure you also purchase the right brushes and paper. [MAJOR TIP: The key to all painting? Quality brushes.] Sumi-e painting is an Asian style of painting, and a great place to begin!

<3 Madison

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 4: Nautical Nut

Today's outfit is exactly what it sounds like, and also serves as a tool for describing my personality.

....okay, so that might be pushing it, but you'll see what I mean.

I woke up today from the light and heat of the sun in my room. Under any other circumstances, that'd be an awesome thing, considering I've been "wintering" in Wisco since, oh, you know.... OCTOBER of this year, with the occasional need for a North Face in SEPTEMBER. However, today I had mixed feelings about this 80 degree, "instant summer out of nowhere" weather, because I still have two major research papers to write by Friday, and couldn't go outside and play [ <--- personality giveaway #1: I really do mean play when I say "play"... My mom still has to buy Disney princess paper plates for my birthday cakes at 22 years old - haaaaaaa].

This is me sad I can't play today.
Something I want the world to know about the University of Wisconsin is that BEER is sold at our student union! People sit outside when it's nice out and do work on "the Terrace," one of the campus's most famous spots, overlooking one of the lakes between which the University is situated.

Anyway, I decided to make my own fun inside before leaving to do work:

TOM'S via eBay
glasses via SMU
Bracelets: gifts
Watch: Michele via Radcliffe Jewelers

Something I think is really awesome about this outfit (and project in general) is it makes me realize how versatile my clothing can be. I literally threw this on this morning. The top is so comfy and the writing is in French [ <--- personality giveaway #2: I am almost fluent, and I love the French language more than almost anything in the world - It's beautiful, complicated and romantic].

Anywho, back to the outfit: let's talk accessories, and what they can do for ya. Here I'm wearing TOM'S, what fellow blogger, BiblioMOMia, describes as "the universal grad student shoe" here -- and I'm about to be one (after I take some time off, of course... this girl is fried)! My look is great for day time, and extremely functional (which for me, means comfortable) [ <--- personality giveaway #3 - I always have to be comfortable. I am not the kind of girl that will sacrifice comfort for beauty or fashion].

Wedges: Jessica Simpson via Nordstrom BP 

However, if I change my "hairstyle" (remove the signature sign of a schlepper, THE PONY TAIL), and throw on pearls (mine are fake - don't think looking classy has to require dough) and some form of heels, I completely change my look and feel! I also now have a potential outfit for "the last Tuesday night" of college, though I doubt this is what I'm going to wear ;)

Meet my giant bean bag. It... he?... makes my apartment much cozier, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't spend a lot of my time here when I'm home writing papers, reading, or just watching TV*.

Please excuse the awkward foot shot. I wanted to make sure you got another glimpse of the giant buckle that I love so much on the side of these "easy-to-dress-up-or-down" wedges!
Like I said, the sun woke me up this morning, and it was really, really hot in my apartment. I don't do well with heat [ <--- personality giveaway #4 ], hence the reason I chose to go to school in Wisconsin even though I'm from the East Coast. By the time I ran around my apartment in yoga poses (and just around my apartment in general like a total weirdo), took my pictures for the blog, changed accessories, took pics again, and packed up my books to head out for the day, I saw a sweaty mess in the mirror that kind of resembled me from earlier this morning....

Faux pearls: Ralph Lauren via Macy's

And yes, I left for a coffee shop this way! It's okay, though -- people didn't notice my hair because they were distracted by my first attempt this season to look like a sailor's girlfriend... or at least I'd like to think so!

*TV: I am a huge TV series fanatic. If you, too, would like procrastinations from finals week, or if you are a "real person" like I'm about to be, and need a distraction from the stress of every day life, then take my advice and start watching one of the following series if you haven't already....

Quality drama:
-The Wire (1 hr/episode) -- In my personal opinion, The Wire is the best show that has ever aired on television. Season 4 is, by far, the best, and most people who I've talked to who've seen the show agree. Thisa means you have more and more to look forward to as the seasons progress!
-The Sopranos (1 hr/episode)
-Six Feet Under (1 hr/episode -- extremely creepy but intriguing)

Witty comedy:
-Arrested Development (.5 hr/episode)

Purely for entertainment's sake:
-Prison Break Season 1 (1 hr/episode)-- but then stop there!! It gets really bad. However, the first season reminds me of The Shawshank Redemption in a TV series
-Nip/Tuck Seasons 1, 2 and 3 (1 hr/episode) -- once again, stop watching after Season 3... it goes down hill.


Day 3: Study Chic

I can honestly say that yesterday was the first time in a while that I felt truly productive, and I chalk it all up to my invigoratingly colorful outfit with jeans that were tight-fitting enough to keep me awake, and a top and cardi that were loose-fitting enough to provide comfort all day and night.

You know those days when you are absolutely swamped with work, and you keep chipping away at it, but feel like you're getting nowhere? Well, those days have encompassed my past couple of weeks.

So, without further ado, here is the outfit that kept me going for hours on end yesterday, so I could finish up my FLW architectural theory papers [please ignore the hair, as this is my "study girl" look... not that I don't throw my hair on top of my head all the time anyway...]:

Ta da!
Since I was so productive yesterday, I didn't have time to post, but I did manage to snap some great pictures of my accessories before I headed to a coffee shop to do work with a friend.

Necklace via CUSP in Georgetown
Shoes: 1937 via Madewell in Georgetown
Ring: a NYC boutique via a friend

You might be wondering why I'm wearing pants and a sweater on May 9th -- us UW students got jipped this year... no Spring! It went straight from Winter to Summer here in Madison, Wisconsin, ladies and gentlemen, but yesterday was the one day that felt truly Springy. Sunny, a few sail boats back on the lake, and an awesome breeze. Nevertheless, a "breeze" here isn't a normal one, so I was even a bit chilly in what I had on.  

What do you think of the view from my college apartment?! I feel so lucky to wake up to a pretty view every day.
Lake Mendota, Madison, Wisconsin
My favorite detail of outfit #3 outfit that I didn't even notice until after I'd put it together is....

...all the POCKETS!

I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about this Madison-made remix that I was hoping that, even though this particular project isn't that hard in terms of # of articles of clothing/days to wear them, it would help me be less of a schlepper by forcing me to get dressed every day. So far, it's working, and I love the way I feel!

I hope my little project has inspired you to get out of bed and put yourself together at LEAST one day this week, even if you're swamped or stressed or anything and everything in between!

I also hope you take this little tip into consideration, as it is something I didn't even realize I did until this post!!: whenever you have a test or paper (if you're in school), or if you have to focus for a long time, WEAR JEANS! They'll keep you awake... I promise.

<3 Madison

P.S. Notice the posters on my wall? I graduate this coming Sunday with a degree in ART HISTORY. I love art. Besides the lake, another good thing about being in Madison, Wisconsin is being so close to the Milwaukee Art Museum. It's an architectural gem, and they have an incredible modern and post-modern collection. They have a Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition until Sunday, too! If you can I highly recommend checking it out!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 1; Night 2

I've been a little behind on posting, so I'm kind of playing catch up. Plus, things are about to really busy with graduation lurking around the corner. Here are my first outfits for the first 2/7 days. I know it's kind of pathetic, but I couldn't leave my apartment on the second day 'til night time because of all my school work, hence the reason I'm all dressed up!

Day 1
Accessories: Shoes via BCBG; Sunglasses via Urban; Pendant via House of Harlow

Night 2
Accessories: Earrings are vintage via Portobello Road, London; elaborate fishnets via Selfridges, London; Clutch via Urban; Heels are Steve Madden via Loehmann's

What do you think?

This post makes me realize my goal for the summer: begin learning photography... I wish I could take awesome self-portraits like some of my other fellow bloggers!

My 14 for 7

Black Silence and Noise skirt via Urban, shorts via Urban
Grey Splendid Maxi skirt via; Olive Maxi dress via Massimo Dutto (Barcelona)
Sold Jeans via South Moon Under
Black Hudson Cargo pants via
Item #8 via friend's closet for week; Striped tee via Urban
Lace top via Urban; Purple Michael Stars racer back tank via South Moon Under
Blue cardi via Madewell in Georgetown; Cream blazer via Urban
I love the double pocket detail

[Item #14 not pictured - White BDG button down via Urban]