I’m Not Into Astrology

I have certain friends who swear by astrology. The consult their horoscope before making any big decisions and instead of asking people how old they are, they ask for their birthday to figure out whether or not they can be friends or if they would make a great boyfriend. To me, this is silly and I actually had to look up what “Mercury in retrograde” is supposed to mean after a brunch two weeks ago. (And in case you were wondering Mercury’s retrograde periods supposedly cause plans to go awry and it turns retrograde at 10:54 AM EST on January 21st.)

I do know that there are twelve Zodiac signs, from Aries to Virgo, and that based on your birthday you fit under one of them. My September 27th birthday makes me a Libra and from a plethora of sources I have gathered a list of qualities supposedly attributed to me, as a Libra, the seventh sign of the zodiac. These are the typical characteristics of Libra and my feelings on them: 

  • Libras spend more time primping than any other sign. > This seems like a case-by-case basis, not generalizing all people born between September 23rd to October 23rd 
  • In fact, Libras insist that everything and everyone in their world be beautiful, so take it as a compliment if you’re still on their friend list. > ??? 
  • Decorating their own homes is top priority, followed by redecorating yours—or at the very least, watering your grossly neglected plants.  > True, I like decorating but not to this degree 
  • Libras love the world.  > Very vague, but I guess, yes?
  • Libras like to take their time and look at things from all sides (the word “Libra” means balances or scales). > Okay… 
  • The best jobs for Libras are Supreme Court justices, ballroom dancers and tattoo artists. > Haha, noted. 
  • Concerned with music, harmony, balance, romance > What an odd list, sure?
  • Concerned with good manners and personal appearance > Yes. 
  • Their spiritual goal is to learn the meaning of selfless love > umm….. 
  • Good negotiator > I will take it. 
  • Fearful and indecisive > Not usually. 
  • The typical Libra woman has delicately flared nostrils > WHAT? 

Oh and as a fun fact, Julie Andrews, one of my style icons, is also a Libra.  Too bad I don’t care.   In case you do care, or you need a last minute gift for someone this year, here are my favorite Zodiac gifts: 

Sparkles and Shoes Gifts for Zodiac Lovers

Charlotte Olympia Gemini Zodiac Pandora Clutch  / Studio Silver Gemini Pendant Necklace

Charlotte Olympia Sagittarius Suede Loafers  / Leo Personality Character Traits Wall Art

Berry ‘Zodiac – Taurus’ Reversible Pendant Necklace  /  C. Wonder Capricorn Zodiac Candle

Do not get me wrong, thought, it is not that I hate it, I just am indifferent. Sure, I will read what Libra says for that month when I am flipping through U.S. Weekly in the nail salon but for no other reason, then me looking it up for this post, have I have I ever tried to find out more about my sign. 

Are you into astrology? 

Enviable Braids

A few months ago I clicked on a beautiful braid on Pinterest and was so excited when it not only led me to a webpage with a step by step tutorial on that braid but also dozens and dozens of others. Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog is a Utah based 20-something and I just want to transport her every morning to my apartment to create beautiful works of art with my hair.

Granted, I think you need to start with long, healthy, beautiful hair that is all one length to make her creations but there is still a great deal of skill, time, practice, and patience involved in these stunning briads. This girl has serious, serious skill. Here are a few of my favorites: 

Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog - french-braid-into-messy-bun-missysue-blog

French Braid into Messy Bun

Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog - WATERFALL DUTCH HEADBAND BRAID

Waterfall Dutch Headband Braid

Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog - braid-3-double-dutch-braids-and-bun

Braid Three Double Dutch Braids and Bun

Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog - dutch-headband-braid-missy-sue

Dutch Headband Braid

Waterfall Dutch Braid into Braid into Braided Bun

Waterfall Dutch Braid into Braid into Braided Bun

Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog - triple-french-braid-double-waterfall-ponytail-missy-sue-blog

Triple French Braid Double Waterfall Ponytail

Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog - four-strand-headband-braid-missy-sue-blog

Four Strand Headband Braid

Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog - Woven Ponytail Tutorial

Woven Ponytail Tutorial

Melissa Cook of Missy Sue Blog - fishtail-braid-updo

Fishtail Braided Updo

I know when a braid has more than ten steps it is almost unobtainable, but I can still admire its beauty and I appreciate that Melissa lists them all out, if perhaps, on a rainy afternoon, I might try it out.  I would be remiss to do a post on beautiful braids, however, without mentioning Emily of the Freckled Fox. I included  her in my January round up of favorite Instagram accounts and my love of her terrific hair style tutorials has not weaned.  The majority of her styles do not feature braids but I absolutely love this Bohemian festival-style side braid that she published on her site

Emily of Freckled Fox Braided Fishtail

And as a serendipitous fact, both of these beautiful and skilled ladies are expecting little ones, congratulations Melissa and Emily!

Which of these enviable braids is your favorite? 

10 Things I Learned in College

Kelly College Graduation

Last week my cousin, Meredith, graduated from college – her Instagram and Snapchat photos were adorable and she crushed it by graduating in three and a half years. After looking at the photos I realized that all five of the cousins on my mother’s side (including my brother and I) are now college graduates. Yay for us and a big congratulations to our parents.

College was an absolutely terrific time in my life and I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat. In those four years I learned a tremendous amount, both in and out of the classroom. While I might not remember all of the aspects of a tort from Business Law or the details of the most of the things I learned in my 38 classes there are certain life lessons I have clung to. Whether cemented in my mind from a memorable night with friends or something I picked up during the first four years of living on my own here are 10 things I learned in college:

  1. Burnett’s is awful. Even when flavored – yes, the normal flavors; lime, raspberry  or peach and the odd balls; pink lemonade, sweet tea, and whipped cream, they are all awful.  Honestly, any vodka that you can buy for $14 per handle is a BAD idea. 
  2.  Wear a cross body bag . When you head to the bars, you have less chance of loosing it or things falling out. And it is very hard to replace a driver’s license when you are out of state.  
  3. Student discounts are the best.  Go ahead, shamelessly ask if the store, restaurant, or mode of transportation offers one – who doesn’t like saving money?  
  4. Take public transportation.  If you were anything like my friends and I, you were not rolling in it (see number three).  When venturing off campus it was always a good idea to leave an extra 20 minutes to take the bus or the metro and for a night out, to take public transportation there and then cab back,  this is something I still do. 
  5. Go to odd events.  And step outside your comfort zone.  Freshman year I only went to events I was directly a part of – swim team parties as I was on the swim team or tour guide parties as I was part of the Blue & Gray tour guide society.  It was not until my sophomore year a friend invited me to to go Rangila, a South Asian song and dance festival which I ended up loving it, that I learned to say yes to events I would previously not thought of attending.  And case and point, I went to every Rangila performance for the rest of my time at Georgetown.
  6. When in doubt, don’t text him.  I am still working on this one.
  7. Network. I went to a school with a ton of school pride and I knew there was a loyal alumni base when I was in school but my participation of it has only magnified since I graduated. People loved going to Georgetown, love talking about Georgetown, and love helping other Hoyas. From what I have heard from my friends, this is true at most schools. Utilize the alumni network, there are really no negatives to it!   Now if only I could only get fellow alumus Bradley Cooper to network with me! 
  8. Leggings are most definitively pants. This is the point on the list which is definitely going to get the most slack for, but for me, it was true in college. My friends and I created a rule that as long as your shirt / tunic covered the important bits in the front and the back you were good to go.  And this is something I had to unlearn as soon as I graduated 
  9. Tonic has calories, club soda does not.  When I was first introduced to tonic water it was mixed with gin and I swore them both off. It turns out, I actually like tonic water, but hate gin.  Imagine my shock when I realized a can of tonic has 120 calories where soda water / club soda / seltzer has zero.  Since then my hard liquor drink of choice has been vodka soda. And if you find vodka soda too bitter, vodka soda with a splash of cranberry is always a better idea than a vodka cranberry.  On that note it is a generally a good idea, when drinking, to choose mixers without calories. 
  10. Four years sounds like a long time; but it isn’t, cherish it. 

The Plaid Blanket Scarf

Let me start this post by saying I am very proud of myself – there is a fad I have fallen head over heels in love with and instead of jumping on the band wagon and adding an unnecessary charge to my credit card, which has had it’s fair share of swiping these past few weeks with gift buying for others, I am just going to write about it. That beautiful Zara scarf I have been seeing everywhere, and yes, while they were around last year they are now back with a vengeance and with different patterns!

This past week it was in the 30′s every day and all I wanted to do was wear a full sweat suit to work with fuzzy socks but managed to snap out o it. I did think, however, on more than one occasion that this scarf would have been a fun way to dress up a chilly weather outfit. Here are some of my favorite plaid blanket scarf looks: 

Plaid Blanket Scarf 01Plaid Blanket Scarf 02 Plaid Blanket Scarf 03 Plaid Blanket Scarf 04 Plaid Blanket Scarf 05 Plaid Blanket Scarf 06 Plaid Blanket Scarf 07 Plaid Blanket Scarf 08 Blanket Scarf 09 Plaid Blanket Scarf 10 Blanket Scarf 11Plaid Blanket Scarf 12

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 

What do you think of this stylish cold weather accessory? 

My 2015 Red Carpet Predictions

I have to be honest, I was thisclose to making today’s post another gift guide.  Why? Well walking through Times Square and Bryant Park on Tuesday night one of my best guy friends shocked me by letting me know that he read all five of my gift guide posts from last week! Really? I asked quizzically and when he commented that he did not agree with my dad about the Black and Decker batter charger and that nothing on my gift guide for the impossible to buy for would work for his Mom, I knew he was telling the truth.  Thanks, Chris, even if the only time in the past two years you have ready my blog was when you had insomnia. 

I must say, after covering gift ideas your best friend, the foodie, the hostess, the guys, the impossible to buy for, and the Secret Santa there are still a dozen categories I missed. If I had the patience and the will power (and I did not think you all would get bored and leave to me making collages for eternity) I could have done a gift guide post for every day of December, instead of only the first five days.  With almost 100 gift ideas what did I miss? Ideas for the gym buff, the neat freak, and the book nerd to name a few! 

I decided, however, enough with presents and after a few visits to the Yahoo! Style page I found their TrevorLive Red Carpet post I started thinking about one of my favorite things to write about – red carpet fashion.  After Wednesday’s SAG Award nominations I started thinking about the beginning of the new year and all of the glamorous dresses that are sure to appear on the red carpet at my favorite award shows.  If you did not see my post on Facebook last week, Pantone announced that Marsala is their 2015 color of the year, after Radiant Orchid last year and Emerald in 2013:   

Sparkles and Shoes Facebook Post Marsala Pantone Color of the Year Red Carpet Dresses
 
Along with Marsala continuing the complement the red carpet for all of the awards shows this season there are other trends I think will be making an appearance, comeback, or continuing to remain popular:  dainty cutouts, neutral dresses with shimmer, Peter Pan collars, red ball gowns, and all-black suits. 
 
Dainty cutouts will remain a red carpet favorite, I predict, like Helen Mirren’s Elie Saab dress at the Los Angeles “Red 2″ premiere and Jennifer Aniston in Burberry frock at ‘We’re The Millers’ New York premiere. 
 
Red Carpet Predictions - Dainty Cutouts - Helen Mirren in Elie Saab and Jennifer Aniston Burberry We Are The Millers New York premiere
 
One of my favorite trends that I can not wait to see more of is neutral gowns with shimmer like Kacey Musgraves in Armani Prive at the Grammy Awards and Kate Hudson in Gucci at the LACMA Art + Film Gala. 
 
Red Carpet Predictions - Nude Dresses with Shimmer - Kacey Musgraves in Armani Prive 2014 Grammy Awards and  Kate Hudson in Gucci at the LACMA Art and Film GalaRed Carpet Predictions - Nude Dresses with Shimmer - Kacey Musgraves in Armani Prive 2014 Grammy Awards and  Kate Hudson in Gucci at the LACMA Art and Film Gala
 
While I am not the biggest fan, and you will never catch me wearing one, I think you will definitely see a lot more Peter Pan collars this season, especially at the more casual events like the BAFTA Awards, MTV Movie Awards, or People’s Choice Awards. I predict that designers will take options like the Valentino dress Emma Roberts wore to the Valentino U.S. Couture Show and the Miu Miu frock Carey Mulligan wore at the Venice Film Festival and step it up a notch for full on glam. 
 
Red Carpet Predictions - Peter Pan Collar  - Emma Roberts Valentino Couture Show Carey Mulligan Miu Miu Venice Film Festival Fashion
 
I really hope to see more red dramatic ball gowns like the one shown in the Prabal Gurung Resort 2015 collection or the Ellie Saab one worn by the it-girl of the year, Taylor Swift, at the CMA Awards. 
 
Red Carpet Predictions - Red Ball Gowns - Prabal Gurung Resort 2015 Collection and Ellie Saab Taylor Swift CMA Awards
 
And what is a proper fashion round up without a comment about the guys? They have it so easy at these award shows, they can show up clean shaven in a nice crisp penguin suit and sail right through.  However, for the guys who want to stand out I think all black suits are so chic and complement any woman’s gown, like Christian Bale at the Golden Globes or Chris Hemsworth at the London premiere of Thor: The Dark World premiere. 
 
Red Carpet Predictions - All Black Suits  - Christian Bale at the Golden Globes Chris Hemsworth at the London premiere of Thor The Dark World premiere copy Image Sources: Helen / Jennifer /  KaceyKate / EmmaCareyPrabalTaylor / Chris / Christian 

And as long as we are talking about predictions for the Awards – I think Eddie Redmayne will take home all of the pretty statues for his leading role in the Theory of Everything.  I saw the movie a few weeks ago and honestly, he was brilliant.  His portrayal of Stephen Hawking was bar none and he deserves every accolade under the sun for any award with a category like or “Best Actor – Leading Role” or “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role”. 

What do you think the biggest red carpet trend of 2015 will be? 

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.