Monday, June 16, 2014

Rom-Coms Rule the World

If you think about it. They really do. Women grow up with them. We watch them countless times. We quote them and force our significant others to watch them. In doing so we hope to give them not so subtle hints and tips about romance. Most romantic comedies are unrealistic and lead us all to disappointment and heartbreak. (How often do our Mr. Darcy-types turn out to actually be anything like Mr. Darcy? Be honest.)

But there are a select few romantic comedies that are not completely unrealistic and include what we all strive to have most: a love that survives the little moments as well as the big ones, a love that does not walk away after every disagreement and a love that stays with us when things aren't easy. It's not perfect. It's not a fairy tale. It's hard work, but no matter how hard it is it's constant and comforting and completely worth it.

Most of those select few I'm referring to were written by the late Nora Ephron.

You've Got Mail, Julie & Julia, When Harry Met Sally, and Sleepless in Seattle. Sleepless in Seattle may be the least realistic of the mentioned films but it still has it's realistic moments regarding loss and friendship and the relationships that almost work out so I'm including it.

I'm actually watching Julie & Julia right now. Every time I watch this movie I appreciate it more and more. Both romances are so beautiful and prove what I was saying about things being difficult and relationships requiring work. It doesn't come easily and we shouldn't expect it to. Expecting things to be light and breezy is what shortens marriages and increases the percentages of divorce. I'm not saying there is never any cause for divorce because of course there is. Sometimes people change for the worse or neglect to learn from their mistakes or are just too self centered to see life beyond the end of their own nose. Sometimes there are more drastic situations that require it for personal safety, but in most cases I feel people tend to give up much too easily.

My parents have been married for twenty-seven years and they argue at least once a day every day. They say spiteful things and slam doors but in the end they work through it and it's like it never happened. If they'd separated every time they had a knock down drag out fight they never would have made it past five years.

So, in a way, Rom-Coms rule the world. They influence our ideas of love and marriage and how our life should be. If you don't believe me just ask Mindy Kaling. She knows this better than anyone since her hit Fox comedy is based on Dr. Mindy Lahiri's obsession with the genre and regularly makes references various romantic comedies.

We all have expectations and as much as I love romantic comedies maybe next time we watch one we should consider it with a grain of salt. No one can completely live up to the Sam Baldwins or Fitzwilliam Darcys of the world, and most importantly you can't force other men to be like them. You can't fit a square peg in a round hole and it's best you don't try.

If there's one major lesson I learned from the beautiful Nora Ephron it's that the best romances should always begin by accepting each other for who you really are and who you aspire to be.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pride and Pretty

So, Modcloth is doing this contest called Be The Stylist. For this competition you put together an outfit built around your "signature" or favorite handbag. I decided to participate because I knew exactly which bag I wanted to use. My Pride & Prejudice clutch from Kate Spade. It's my favorite clutch that I've ever owned and I wouldn't own it if Kate Spade didn't do these amazing surprise sales at the end of every season. 

I decided to go with soft colors and blacks and whites to match it. I love this cream colored dress from Charlotte Russe. I bought it when I lived in Florida back in 2010 so I've had for a few years now and it still looks as good as it did the day I bought it. The tights are from Modcloth. They're called the "Wild You Were Out Tights" and they're adorable. The leopard print is subtle and really trendy. The shoes are also from Modcloth. They're the "Follow My Lede Flat in Postage" and I adore them. They go with everything and they vintage stamp print on them gives them a beautifully nostalgic feel. They're perfect for work. The cardigan came from Forever21 last year. It's a great addition to my work wardrobe. It's appropriate and cute and allows me to add something a bit trendier to my usual staple of tailored slacks and button down shirts.

Another part of this ensemble that you can't really see that well in these photos is my make up. I am a huge cosmetic junkie. I practically hoard Urban Decay eyeliners and eye shadows like they're going out of style (which they are not and never will). Here is a close up of the make up.

I mean---wait, oh man, this photo looks a lot different here than it did on my camera. 

Okay, so I don't have any great photos of my make up. But I'll tell you what I used anyway. 

I used Clinique Superbalanced foundation with Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer underneath. Hourglass's Veil Mineral Primer amazes me every time I use it. I wore it to an outdoor concert this summer and my foundation didn't budge a bit. And let me tell you I was sweating up a storm (or glistening if I wanted to be a polite lady). On my cheeks I used Urban Decay's Glide On Cheek tint in Bang (which I ordered from their site on sale and it was completely worth it) with Benefit's BeneTint (Rose).

I also used Nars concealer on my blemishes and bumps. It covers really well and I love that it's in a stick form. It comes in a ton of shades too which is great for me because I have extremely fair skin (ivory to the extreme.) However, I don't know if all of those advantages are worth the price you pay for the Nars brand. I then highlighted just above the apples of my cheeks with Benefit's High Beam.

Moving on to my eyes. I used Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden on my lids and Benefit's Erase Paste in medium underneath my eyes. You can't really tell it here but I used 3 Urban Decay eyeshadow shades on my lid: Sin, Zephyr, and Scratch. It created a warm but natural tone on my eye lid. I put Zephyr (iridescent white) on the inside corner of my upper and lower lid, Sin (champagne) on the whole lid, and Scratch (a peachy-pink) in the crease and outer corner. I completed it with El Dorado (Gold) 24/7 liner on the outside of my lower lid and Perversion (dark black) 24/7 liner along the length of my upper lid. I used a combination Eyeko Skinny brush mascara and Lancome's Hypnose Star mascara on my lashes. I highlighted my brows with with Urban Decay's Sin shade as well. I use this eye look a lot. I love how subtle yet eye catching it is. 

On my lips I used a Nars lip pencil. Unlike the concealer, Nars lip pencils are totally worth the money. I love the pigmentation and the texture. For this outfit I wanted to go soft (normally I'm all about the bold lip) so I used Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Roman Holiday and then used Bite Beauty's Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Currant. It tastes really good and it's gloss with staying power, which is rare. Bite Beauty is a new brand for me but so far I really love them. Their products are made from food-grade ingredients and are extremely hydrating. Plus they have some outstanding shades.

Wow, that was a lot. It sounds like a lot of work, but honestly it takes me about 15 minutes to do most of this. I'll admit my eyes take a little longer since I'm very picky about how my eyeliner looks but typically I can get all of this done in 15 minutes.

I hope this was interesting to all of you. I'm not used to talking about myself this much so I feel like this is a bit strange, but if you like fashion and make up and enjoy discovering new products like I do then hopefully this entertained you for a bit. I highly recommend checking out and their super adorable selection of vintage and retro inspired clothes. I'm addicted to that website. Also, the best way to learn how to apply make up is to practice. Set aside some time to just take your brushes and your make up and play. That's how you find out what you like and what you don't. 

Let me know if this was helpful to you! I'd be happy to do a few more posts about fashion and cosmetics! I love both of those things very much! Also, feel free to follow me on tumblr and ask me any questions you'd like! I'll be happy to answer them!  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Entertainment Exchange

So, today at work my friend, Marcus, and I were discussing movies when I discovered he'd never seen Nora Ephron's outstanding When Harry Met Sally. From there we ventured into other remarkable eighties and nineties movies which he'd also never seen.

I quickly offered to give him a Movie-cation and, as everyone I've offered this to tends to do, he brushed it off with a quick, "No, thank you." But, as an avid movie fan, I could not let my good friend go through life without watching at least one Nora Ephron movie. 

We then made a deal. 

I'm going to watch 10 episodes of The Vampire Diaries and he's going to watch 5 movies of my choosing. Now, for anyone else I would dig way back into the movie archives for these five films. However, Marcus doesn't strike me as a Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant kind of guy so my usual movie-cation isn't going to cut it. The furthest back I've gone for these 5 movies is 1984. 

So, if you'd like to broaden your film horizons but you're not quite ready for beautiful black and white films then maybe you should check out this list as well. After all, accepting recommendations has been known to keep your creative juices flowing. You never know what might inspire you. 

Here's the list he's going to receive at work tomorrow:

1. The Breakfast Club, 1985 (find it on Netflix)
2. Ghostbusters, 1984 (Netflix)
3. The Princess Bride, 1987 (Amazon Instant Video)
4. That Thing You Do!, 1996 (Amazon Instant Video)
5. When Harry Met Sally, 1989 (Amazon Instant Video)

I'll let you all know what I think of The Vampire Diaries once I finish my required lot of them. I've never really been a huge fan of vampires but maybe TVD will surprise me. 

Have any of you ever made a similar arrangement with a friend? I'm curious. I'm also curious as to what films you consider to be a must for anyone's movie-cation. Feel free to let me know in a comment, tweet, or tumblr question! I love film recommendations and if you have any for me I'd be willing to try them! 

Thank you for reading! Best wishes to you all!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Keep Moving Forward

Walt Disney is famous for his "keep moving forward" philosophy and the lot of us who look up to his genius have latched onto it. But do we ever really examine his words? Do we acknowledge them for being wise? Or do we take them to heart and let them truly inspire us?

"Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." 
-Walt Disney

We don't look backwards for very long.

I've only recently come to see what this phrase means. It doesn't mean that we don't look backwards at all. It means we acknowledge the past, we learn from it, and then we move on. We don't dwell on the failures or the regrets or wounds that won't heal. We take a moment to face them and to take stock of what we discovered and then we push through it.

We keep moving forward.

We don't hold ourselves back. We don't let ourselves be distracted. We continue to grow and learn and we never let the world pass us by. How do we do that exactly?

We open up new doors and do new things. We let ourselves be curious.

It's okay to have a multitude of interests. It's okay to not know exactly where you're going to end up. If there's anything Walt did best of all then it was play. He experimented with his visions. How big or small they were didn't stop him. The multiplane camera, animatronics, and even the full length animated feature all came from Walt's ideas to make existing conveniences even better. He would play with something, examine how it worked, and then improve upon it (or "plus it" as our heroes, the Imangineers, would say.) No idea was too small. He didn't limit himself to purely original ideas. In fact, adding depth to existing ideas was his specialty. He had a talent for story and art and ideals that couldn't be stopped. He loved the idea of "progress". The concept of people adapting to their ever changing world and never letting themselves fall behind or out of touch.

But in these few lines, he acknowledges that progress can't happen without curiosity, growth, and hard work. You can't allow yourself to give up and take root. Standing still is almost worse than moving backwards because you truly accomplish nothing. You follow everyone else through life instead of exploring your own. Instead of dreaming of the impossible you start to find it impossible to dream.

We cannot let that happen. For the past year and a half, I have been standing still. I've been waiting for adventure to find me. That is never going to happen. I have to go after what I want because no one is going to hand it to me. A college degree is not a free ticket to a fulfilling career no matter what your high school guidance counselor may have told you. You should go to college but not because you want a free pass for life. Go to college because you want to play and learn and explore. Go to college because you want to work your ass off and follow it up by taking pride in what you accomplish. Go to college and discover everything you're passionate about.

Do not take it for granted. Do not let yourself become complacent in your work. Do not stand still. Keep moving forward! So what if you fail a few times on the way? Dust yourself off, learn from it, and let it fuel you! Failure is growth and you can use it on your next project (whatever that might be). Learn all you can! Do internships! Even if you're just fetching coffee and donuts you'll have plenty of time to observe and learn! Every period in your life has educational value. Walt knew it. You know it. The tricky part is forcing yourself to do something with it.

My biggest regret is not taking advantage of my college career like I should have. I waited until my senior year to work hard and really love it. I let perfectly good opportunities pass me by because I felt like earning a degree was enough.

If there's anything my current situation has taught me, it's that a degree is never enough. If you don't have the fire and drive to both fail and succeed then your degree will be useless. Never settle for enough. Always strive for more. You cannot be stagnate and your education can never stop.

I've decided to keep moving. I've had enough of waiting and now I'm ready to make it happen. I want to discover and create and inspire! Anything else is unacceptable.