Friday, June 12, 2015

This Is Not A Travel Blog

Remember that one time I said I was going to travel-blog my trip to India? Well...this is not that time. I haven't unpacked my suitcase yet, or done my laundry, or even downloaded pictures from my camera to my computer. BUT. I have a few quick thoughts about the trip that I want to get out (now that I've been home approx a week...)

if you ever have the opportunity to visit India, GO. You will not regret it. I've been a lot of places and met a lot of different people, but I've never been anywhere as culturally unique as India. We stayed in Delhi and just driving between the hotel and our destinations was like driving through 4 countries. There was the suburbs, the less-nice parts, the ritzy parts, the slums...all in an hour's drive. I know all cities have these things, but the disparity between the four parts in Delhi was quite shocking. Going from some of the world's nicest places to some of the most poverty-stricken parts was hard on the heart, to say the very least.

I have never met people who were as welcoming, open, friendly and caring as the Indians we met. Were there huge language barriers with a lot of them? Definitely. But they were so happy and excited to share their traditions, culture and knowledge with us in whatever ways possible. They redefined the word hospitality for me.

I think the hardest thing for me to deal with in Delhi was the amount of suffering that was apparent. I am an extremely tender hearted person, so seeing homeless people and dogs and extreme poverty while we were running around in our air-conditioned cars going to fancy dinners or to the mall or to a lavish party was hard for me to reconcile. I felt like I needed to do *something* but was never sure what would have been okay culturally or feasible financially. It's something I struggle with here at home too and I haven't worked out a solution.

Delhi (and all of India probably) is really dusty. If you go, wear shoes you don't mind destroying. RIP white tennies. Also it will be hot and you will sweat so bring things that are flowy or will hide sweat stains. Bring some Xanax for the traffic (I wish I was kidding, I think I lost ten years from my life just sitting in rush hour panic). You will absolutely not need a water bottle but will absolutely need a bigger suitcase to pack all the cool stuff you can buy. Don't look like a tourist and you'll get discounts at monuments (this did not apply to me, unfortunately).

I can't wait to actually recap my trip with pics because it was such an experience...!

Friday, May 29, 2015

So Blessed

Hello! It's been quite a while....I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India (!!!) and wanted to resurrect this little bloggie for a sort of travel diary for myself so I can look back on these experiences.

I was just thinking how absolutely surreal it is that I'm going on this trip. I'm so fortunate to be going to a completely new country, experiencing a completely different culture, celebrating a marriage of two people, being truly welcomed into someone's home and family...I don't even think I can explain or comprehend how blessed I feel.

A bit of background info about my trip: my boss is Indian and has a niece who is getting married next week. She's having a true traditional Indian wedding, complete with multiple days of celebration and parties. Ever since he first mentioned that she had become engaged (through an arranged marriage, no less), I have been fascinated with the whole concept and culture of Indian weddings. We think American weddings are lavish and extravagant, but they're nothing compared to an Indian wedding. The budget for this wedding is $3 million....! I couldn't spend a sixth of that on a wedding if I tried!

Anyway, my boss is legitimately one of the nicest, most generous people in the world and he graciously invited me and one of my coworkers to attend the wedding with his family, at no expense to us. Obviously I couldn't turn this opportunity down and have been frantically preparing since Wednesday to leave tomorrow.

I am so insanely fortunate to work with such great people. We went on a company trip last weekend to the beach and it was really like going on a family trip. I am so thankful to Gaurav and his family for literally treating us as part of their family and allowing us to celebrate such a happy, wonderful time with them. It blows my mind how much things have changed since I first moved to Atlanta--the Lord really does have a much better plan for us than we could ever imagine or plan for ourselves. Everything I have right now just feels like such a gigantic blessing that I don't even think I deserve. I am so excited for all of these new experiences that I know I'll remember forever.

I can't wait to share more!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014


Hi there. It's been quite a while since I last blogged about anything. I wish I could say that it was because of something cool and interesting, but really I've been completely busy with work. How boring and unoriginal, right? Ha.

Anyway. I have exciting, somewhat sad news. Little Oscar and I are moving in a little less than three weeks! We're still staying in Atlanta, but we're moving to a new apartment. It's smaller (studio vs. my current 1br) and more expensive, but quite a bit nicer than my current place. I'm excited to deal with the challenge of arranging my furniture in a single open space and still feel like I have separate "rooms". I'm intrigued by the possibilities for maximizing storage and style in a small space. I'm starting to narrow down my possessions to ones I truly love and use, so I can start fresh.

I will admit, it's a little sad thinking about leaving my current apartment. While there have been many less-than-happy moments in the past couple months, this little one-bedroom has been my home for the past year. It's the first place I've ever lived that's been truly my own. I'll miss a few things about this home: the crisp morning sun in the living room, the big windows with low sills that are constant Oscar hangouts, the open space, the closet that was Oscar's favorite spot to nap when he was a kitten.

It's very bittersweet right now...I'm beyond excited to leave this apartment itself for many, many reasons, but I'm also sad to leave behind the first stop on my journey in post-college, real world life.

And now back to packing boxes! I pinky swear to do a photo tour of the new place'll be good motivation to get everything done in a timely manner ha.

Friday, May 9, 2014

On Purpose

No doubt you've seen and heard about the Spade brands' new endeavour On Purpose around blogs lately. BUT if you haven't, here's a little background.

Kate Spade, Jack Spade and Kate Spade SATURDAY are all partnering with artisans in Rwanda for limited edition collections for each brand. The end goal of the collaboration is for these artisans to have the skills and knowledge to become a supplier in the global industry. The companies will then find new artisans and repeat the training.

As someone who works for a company that employs artisans, this is really interesting to me. I've talked a lot with my boss about the artisans in India who handcraft our products, what production is like, what their lives are like, how they got started and basically everything under the sun related to our artisans. It's fascinating to me how much industry is concentrated in one tiny area. We think of our first world countries being so essential to the global economy, and we're definitely important, but I think that artisans and the people who are doing the small, tedious, under-glorified jobs are the people who are really essential. For example, for the earrings my company produces and wholesales, there's someone whose specific job is to attach ear wires to the earrings. I've had to reattach ear wires a few times and let me tell you, it's hard and not wholly enjoyable. Imagine doing that day in and day out, every single day. I personally could not do it and I commend them. I also am grateful for the engravers who hand-engrave our products, without any sort of guide or template.

I think that helping these people gain the knowledge, skills and empowerment to work on a global scale is really exciting. And, going back to the Kate Spade brands, it doesn't hurt that the products are so cute either. Typically, socially-conscious products are rather hippie and "earthy" for my taste...these products are definitely part of the Kate Spade aesthetic.

Take a look...

Kate Spade "On Purpose" Friendship Bracelet (other adorable colors/patterns available!)

So totally cute and not at all cheesy. I'm kinda in love...and can't wait for more!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Met Gala 2014

Let's talk about the Met Gala for a minute, shall we? This year's theme was Charles James, a designer from the 50s who is known for the exquisite, intricate construction of his gowns. He was famous for structure and 3D fabric sculpting, if you will. His most famous gown design is the Four Leaf Clover gown...and it's one of my favorite gowns ever. So simple, but so stunning in its simplicity.

Four Leaf Clover gown, via The Met (read more about Charles James here)

I was really looking forward to seeing huge, retro-esque structured dresses and dramatic swathes of fabric everywhere...and I was a little bit let down. There was plenty of pretty, but really only a few gowns that channeled Charles James's artistry.

Karolina Kurkova in Marchesa: Really the only gown that I saw that is truly a Charles James-type of creation. All of that structure is amazing and while I don't necessarily love the 3D flowers, the floral fabric is so beautiful. I bet it's hand-painted. THIS is what couture should look like and how much attention to detail should be paid to a custom, haute couture gown.

Hailee Steinfeld in Prabal Gurung: You could probably argue that this is what Charles James would design if he was alive and designing now in 2014. It's sleek and sophisticated, but still structured and elegantly constructed. I wish the lining was a deeper shade of pink for a bit more fun, but I don't hate it as-is.

Sarah Jessica Parker in Oscar de la Renta: Her hair was bizarre, but this dress is soooo pretty! It has that 50s style to it, but it's still modern.

 Sarah Silverman: Of all the people you'd expect to see in a huge, princessy ballgown, Sarah Silverman isn't one of them. I like that she's wearing something unexpected and that color is so good on her! I'm really loving the bodice detailing and the structured pleating of the skirt...can you imagine how many yards of fabric are in that skirt alone?

Other dresses that I liked but didn't necessarily fit the theme:
Emma Stone: I really just love that skirt and want it in my closet ASAP

Karlie Kloss: Borderline obsessed with that makes a basic silhouette into something gorgeous

Blake Lively: So Old Hollywood and glamorous...she looks amazing!

Emmy Rossum: I covet that fabric so springy and cheerful. Printed gowns are my favorite.

I feel like there were so many blah dresses and so many "edgy" dresses on the red carpet...why not go with the theme and do a total ballgown? I'm underwhelmed.

Photos via Huffington Post

Monday, May 5, 2014

H&M Happy

I don't shop at H&M for clothes very often, but I do shop browse their home goods pretty frequently. The other day I just randomly clicked on over to their clothing and found SO many cute things! H&M in real life is completely stressful for me, so I much prefer their streamlined and you don't have to deal with poking through messy piles of clothes to find your size.

Draped top, $24.95: I'd wear this with bright skinny pants and flats to work...I love a good artfully-draped top!

Beach shorts, $12.95: Such a good idea for the beach...I dislike one-piece cover ups and would rather just wear shorts. These would also be cute pj shorts with a little tank!

Yoga tank top, $17.95: I'm trying to start going to yoga classes, so I think new yoga-specific pieces are a good way to motivate myself. This looks much more expensive than it is and comes in pretty pastels. Namaste, y'all.

Tasseled necklace, $17.95: I've said before how statement necklaces are not my thing...but this one is just too cute with the little tassels! It'd be the perfect little accessory to brighten up an all-white outfit.

Printed espadrilles, $17.95: These are definitely a few steps outside my comfort zone, but I just love the print. So cute with a pair of cutoffs and a slouchy white tee. Summery, casual, easy.

Pom-pom Pillow cover, $17.95: SO cute! I know a little cat who would probably destroy the pom-poms in a hot second, but these are the cutest pillows. One of my goals on my apartment decorating list is to buy new bedding...these may have to make their way to my house as they'll match my current bedding and whatever I get in the future. And how perfect would the pink be on my gray couch?!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Girls in White Dresses

Since yesterday was Easter (Happy late Easter, btw!) it's now officially okay to wear white jeans, white dresses and white shoes in the South. I know a lot of people think this rule is antiquated and old fashioned, but I like it. I like having an unofficial date to pull out all my summery makes it exciting :)

Anyway. I love white dresses but I have a hard time finding ones I like that I'd actually wear. In college, I always associated white with sorority initiation and then felt weird wearing a white dress anywhere that wasn't our initiation ceremony. Now that I'm post-college, I think it's time I came back to the white dress fold. There's just nothing as crisp or fresh in the summer and no better way to show off a tan!

(real talk: one of the (many) reasons I'm excited to get engaged is to find the perfect white dresses for engagement parties and showers and all of those fun events. if you're engaged, hopefully this little listie is helpful!)

Little White Lies dress, $170: so cute for a shower or church!

Textured Shift Dress, $68: This is definitely my style--crisp and minimal but still comfortable, easily dressed up or down

The Rope Eyelet Tunic dress, $198: Summer in a dress

Mudslide dress, $174: Perfect for every occasion, a literal blank canvas for accessorizing (or not)

Embellished Eyelet dress, $129: The accessorizing's already done for you! So easy!

Lace Cutwork Dress, $110: Obsessed. Such a delicate fabric in an unfussy, easy shape.

Santa Monica Crochet Dress, $50: As much as I love breezy dresses like this, I'm definitely not boho enough to pull them off. This is just so summery and easy...and the price is perfect.

Hazel Tiered dress, $50: I'd pair this dress with a tiny gold necklace or earrings, a wavy ponytail and flat sandals for a post-beach dinner. So pretty and simple.

Janice Shift dress, $188: If I was a bride-to-be, this would be the dress I'd choose for all of my events. Versatile and flattering with just a touch of sparkle.

There are so many good white dresses out there now...I want them all!