Dresses of the 2010 Emmys

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 | | 1 comments
Top 10 Dresses of the 2010 Emmy's
(in no particular order)

1. Tina Fey, in Oscar de la Renta, with a VBH clutch and Lorraine Schwartz jewels.
Oh Tina, you do choose some odd ones. But I'm strangely attracted to the unique pattern on this dress. I also love the fit and silhouette, they suit you gorgeously.

2. January Jones, in Atelier Versace, with Miu Miu shoes and Cartier jewels.
I really wanted to hate this dress. I'm not fond of the cone bra, but I adore the shape of this dress and how it drapes on Ms. Jones. I think the hemline is really flattering and the shoes are perfect.

3. Mariska Hargitay, in Vera Wang, with Fred Leighton jewels.
I'm a big fan of Mariska Hargitay and Vera Wang, so this dress was a no-brainer. I love the fit, the beautiful neckline, and the neutral color. A truly lovely dress for a lovely woman.

4. Sofia Vergara, in Carolina Herrera.
I loved watching Sofia Vergara's interviews on the red carpet. She is so charming and witty. This dress suited her wonderfully. Despite it's simple design, the sparkle of the gown complimented her beautiful flowing hair and gorgeous earrings creating this breathtaking image.

5. Kelly Osbourne, in Tony Ward.
Kelly Osbourne, you've grown up! You look so amazing in this dress! I love the neckline, the unique sleeves and what appears to be cinching in a fantastic diamond pattern. Well done! I hardly recognized you!

6. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, in Alexander McQueen.
Anna Paquin's personality really shined through in this warrior gown by Alexander McQueen. Her stoic demeanor made her overall image quite intriguing, even if the gown is really not my style.

7. Lauren Graham, in Yigal Azrouƫl.
Lauren Graham is the most likable actress, but she took a bit of a risk with this dress. I happen to adore how it looks on her. With the high slit, the contrasting black and white, and the really unique neckline and draping I can't take my eyes off of her. 

8. Cheryl Hines, in Zac Posen.
Again, I love the neutral color, but the shoulder detail is what sold me on this dress. I can't remember if she was presenting or accepting an award, but the waist-up image on my television screen made her look really lovely.

9. Jane Krakowski, in Escada, with a Salvatore Ferragamo clutch and Lorraine Schwartz jewels.
This picture doesn't do this gown justice. I love the fabric, the shoulder detail, and the hip detail. She looked comfortable despite the highly stylized design.

10. Eva Longoria Parker, in Robert Rodriguez, with Loren jewels.
I debated about this gown, do I love it or is it boring? In the end, I decided I loved the simplicity. Everything looks wonderful on Eva Longoria Parker, but she looked quite special this evening.

I invited a small, but lovely, group of friends over to my home to watch the Emmys, eat good food, and critique the dresses. My fellow critics: Regan Hayden, Emily Stoll, (me), and Laura McAndrews. Although there was more talking than actually watching of the awards show, we managed to discuss the dresses. These are my picks for this year, several of us disagreed on which dresses we liked (the best part about getting a group of fashion-lovers together.)

One week down

Monday, August 30, 2010 | | 2 comments
The first week of school was a success. Will this group of TAM graduate students survive the semester? Of course! Most of us will be graduating in May so we have a lot to live for. ;) I'm looking forward to another fabulous year with you all!

A Project is Formed

Friday, August 27, 2010 | | 4 comments

Ever since reading Julie and Julia by Julie Powell and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and after discovering the blog A New Dress A Day by Marisa I’ve been searching for an inspirational project of my own to keep me motivated and passionate about life during my last year of my doctoral program. Between comprehensive exams, proposals, oral defenses, interviews, dissertations, and homework a girl can get lost in the pursuit of her dreams.

Three years after finishing Eat, Pray, Love; one year after finishing Julie and Julia; and a handful of days after discovering A New Dress A Day I’ve finally come up with my own project. Funny, it is a project I’ve been assigning my students for two years as a TA under my advisor. Have you ever read the book Love, Loss, and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman? It hasn’t gotten quite the hype as the other two books but is worth reading nonetheless. It is a short and sweet book you could read it cover to cover in about 15 minutes. Also, I’m a huge fan of Nora Ephron (who is also tied to Julie and Julia the movie) and she has recently created a version of Love, Loss and What I Wore for the Broadway stage. Of course, I’m dying to see it. I’ve gotta get my butt to New York ASAP.

Anyway, the premise of the book is that Ilene Beckerman discusses a variety of outfits she’s worn throughout her life and reflects on the role those outfits played in her life. Her blurbs about each outfit are accompanied by a rough sketch of the outfit as she remembers it. I’m not an artist. I’ve never claimed to be. But I do love photography. Therefore, instead of posting a drawing of my outfit, you’ll actually get to see a photograph of the outfit I’ve chosen, and the photograph will be accompanied by my reflections on that outfit. Some outfits may be dated (they could date back to 1985) or they may be current. I’m not sure where this project might take me, but I’m looking forward to sorting through all of my old photographs and finding some great pictures to share.

Also, I’m not keen on the idea of limiting this project to a set number (i.e. 365 days, 365 outfits.) I have neither the dedication nor time to put that kind of pressure on myself. I’ll start out posting every Friday and see how that goes. If I love the project I may post more a week, if it doesn’t catch on I may not continue it. I have nothing to prove by “completing” this project so why add the pressure of a time limit? This is merely a personal project to explore my passion for fashion in a unique way. I hope you enjoy the ride.

The first outfit I chose is probably from 1986? Mom, am I close? I look about one year old and it is obviously football season at the University of Missouri. I’m pictured here with my Dad in front of what I think was our old Ford station wagon. I hated that car even at one year old. Anyway, I am wearing a hooded Missouri Tigers sweatshirt and matching sweatpants. I love the black stripe around the elbow and the matching stripe down the leg of the sweat pants. I think the sweatshirt looks a bit retro with the gold sleeves and white front. The sketch of the tiger on the front makes me laugh. I don’t think you’ll find anything like that at the store today. My dad is wearing a gold hooded Missouri sweatshirt as well. He would have been attending Mizzou at the time this picture was taken, so even though I think Mom picked out most of my clothing at that age it could have been my Dad that insisted I have this stinkin adorable Missouri Tigers sweat suit. I’m also pretty sure my Dad still has that sweatshirt. He does not have that dark hair, however.

I chose this outfit to kick-off my Love, Loss, and What I Wore Project for several reasons. (1) Despite insisting that I would never attend Mizzou and I would never become a teacher…I am now attending Mizzou to become a teacher. I’m not sure why I would make such rash statements. Teaching is in my blood. Both of my parents were teachers before becoming principals. I admire my parents and I have a ton of respect for them, so why wouldn’t I follow in their footsteps? In addition, my Dad is a Mizzou alum (he got three degrees there) and I’ve been a tiger fan since…well…probably a year before this picture was taken. (2) I’m currently attending Mizzou for what will hopefully be the last year of my doctoral program. The stresses that go along with that are why I need this creative outlet in the first place. (3) I just adore this picture. I love how I’m leaning on my Dad’s leg posing perfectly as I would continue to do through out my life (my Dad dabbled in photography and liked to use me as his subject quite often.) I think I may also be sneaking my hand closer to that bottle of wine my Dad is trying to hide from the camera. I also love that we are sitting on a quilt that I recognize from my parent’s basement and I can only assume was made by one of my Grandmas. My priorities in life are illustrated in this one picture: family, education, and fine dining.

Another Jaunt to the Lou

Thursday, August 26, 2010 | | 1 comments
I adore my family. I'm so lucky to have such an amazing husband and I'm honored to have such incredible parents. They set us up, yet again, with a fabulous weekend in St. Louis. This time we stayed at the Hotel Indigo, which is this really chic boutique hotel in the Central West End. Aren't the rooms fabulous? I love the bright colors, they're so happy you can't help but smile.
We also went to the Cardinals game where I consumed this massive hot dog, no I didn't finish it. Who could've guessed that the hot dogs were so enormous, I thought it would be a smaller meal than the burgers. Oh well, it was delicious and my family got a kick out of me trying to eat it. It took two hands. The Cardinals won! We saw a great home run and some fun plays. It was a good game to attend.

Also while we were in St. Louis, between consuming doughnuts and watching the Cards win, we stopped by Faust Historic Village to see St. Louis as it was in the late 1800s. We got to tour several homes, some featuring a beehive oven and a wash house. There were also many gardens typical to the time period. We loved seeing the huge herb plants.
Overall, it was another successful trip. A truly great way to end the summer!

The Best Doughnuts EVER

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 | | 2 comments
I've discovered the best doughnuts to ever be made in the history of doughnuts. I mean, these things are amazing. They put Krispy Kreme to shame. In fact, I'm embarrassed that I ever thought Krispy Kremes were good after trying these. The Donut Man Company's Mini Donuts are only sold on Saturdays at the Soulard Market in St. Louis. My parents, Eric and I drove up early Saturday morning for the sole purpose of getting these doughnuts.
I was really excited as we waited in line. Between the four of us, we ordered two dozen (they are mini doughnuts) and then took them outside by the park to eat.

The best part is, they make them right in front of you. They are still warm when you get them. We had one dozen chocolate glaze and one dozen powdered. The chocolate glaze are my favorite. Don't they just look amazing?

They are perfectly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and they melt in your mouth. The chocolate to doughnut ratio is spot on. Also, they are just the right shape and size to fit perfectly in your mouth in one bite. I mean these suckers are good.
After enjoying our first two dozen, we went back to get another two dozen. Yes, we ate one dozen each. I can't explain to you how good they are. They aren't too sweet; perfectly moist, warm, soft perfection. You really must try them. But soon all four dozen were gone and we had to admit we couldn't stuff any more into our stomachs (though we thought about trying.)
All in all, it was well worth the early rise to make it to St. Louis in time for the doughnuts. We left Jefferson City around 7am and didn't really need to be to StL until late that evening for the Cardinals game, but given the chance we would do it all again. These doughnuts are truly a culinary dream. I'm salivating just writing about them.

Blog Addiction

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | | 3 comments
My friend Andrea introduced me to a new blog via facebook and I'm totally, 100%, with out fail addicted after just one day of following. This girl is inspired by Julie and Julia (love!) and Eat, Pray, Love (adore!) two of my favorite books. This girl is creating a new outfit for 365 days from vintage or thrift store finds for only $365. Yes, she is creating a year's worth of outfits for only $365 and the outfits are seriously cute!

Check out her blog here.

I stole a few pics from her website to show you a few of my favorites. I hope she doesn't mind. I'm longing to figure out a project like this but nothing is jumping out just yet. I'll keeping dreaming, I suppose.

The before pictures:
And the after pictures:
I'll be thinking about my own creative project....but if you have any ideas to share, do so!

Where are my Crayons?

Monday, August 23, 2010 | | 2 comments
Last Friday I posted about the woes of preparing for graduate school. Where are my crayons, I asked. Well, ask and you shall receive. When I got to my parents' home Friday evening, a brand new 64 box of Crayola Crayons were waiting for me!!
I love the smell of new crayons. I carefully opened my brand new set and they were so perfect I almost didn't want to use them. Almost. What good is a brand new box of 64 perfectly colored Crayola Crayons if you never use them?? I dug out my new notebook which was already packed in my Vera Bradley messenger bag ready for the first day of school and got to work on my first project with my coveted crayons.
I wanted something bright and cheery to make me smile on the first day. So I used red, green, orange, and blue to write Day 1 on the first page of my notebook. Just a little bit of colorful inspiration to get me in the mood for my last first day of school as a student.

I carefully outlined each letter (and number) and then colored within the lines. Just as I was taught in elementary school. As I was coloring, I was reminded of the Harry Chapin song, Flowers are Red. Some people thing it is a sad song, but I choose to believe that the boy returns to coloring freely. If you aren't familiar with the song, here are the lyrics. It really is an inspiring song to remind teachers to be open to new ideas and the creativity of children.

The little boy went first day of school
He got some crayons and started to draw
He put colors all over the paper
For colors was what he saw
And the teacher said.. What you doin' young man
I'm paintin' flowers he said
She said... It's not the time for art young man
And anyway flowers are green and red
There's a time for everything young man
And a way it should be done
You've got to show concern for everyone else
For you're not the only one

And she said...
Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said...
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one

Well the teacher said.. You're sassy
There's ways that things should be
And you'll paint flowers the way they are
So repeat after me.....

And she said...
Flowers are red young man
Green leaves are green
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than they way they always have been seen

But the little boy said...
There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one

The teacher put him in a corner
She said.. It's for your own good..
And you won't come out 'til you get it right
And are responding like you should
Well finally he got lonely
Frightened thoughts filled his head
And he went up to the teacher
And this is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen

Time went by like it always does
And they moved to another town
And the little boy went to another school
And this is what he found
The teacher there was smilin'
She said...Painting should be fun
And there are so many colors in a flower
So let's use every one

But that little boy painted flowers
In neat rows of green and red
And when the teacher asked him why
This is what he said.. and he said

Flowers are red, green leaves are green
There's no need to see flowers any other way
Than the way they always have been seen.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for making my last first day of school as a student a special one.

Back to school, back to school

Friday, August 20, 2010 | | 1 comments
Remember when going back to school was filled with the excitement of meeting your teachers, finding your locker, seeing how the classrooms were decorated and what the bulletin boards said, finding out what "team" you were on, seeing your name written perfectly on a card picturing a worm holding a book poking its head out of an apple taped cleanly to your desk, purchasing crayons and Kleenex, and getting your school picture taken?

What happened to those days? Monday is my last first day of grad school. What have I done to prepare? I've used half of my printing quota for the year to print off articles, I've read a book to be completed by the first day of school, I've sought out the class syllabus and hunted down textbooks, I've forked over an arm and a leg and sold a kidney to be able to afford those textbooks, I've had several meetings with my advisor to work and rework my plan of study, I've enrolled in classes, I've dropped classes, and I've re-enrolled in classes.

Where are my crayons? Where is the birthday bulletin board?

Even preparing for undergrad offered the excitement of decorating your dorm room, floor bulletin boards, overly cheery but super welcoming RAs, Mom and Dad taking you on a shopping spree to help ease the pain of your leaving the house again, mapping out how to get from class to class, checking your schedule with your friends to see when you can get lunch together and what classes you're all taking, preparing for sorority rush. Maybe even some cheesy "getting to know your neighbors" activities.

I miss Billy Madison's excitement about returning to school. I need to think of a way to make "back to school" inspiring again. Maybe a new outfit? Colorful folders? A new lunch box? Hmmm...the possibilities.

I love food

Thursday, August 19, 2010 | | 2 comments
It was suggested that I focus my blog on food and fashion, my two passions. I pretty much do, I think, with a few parties and weekend trips thrown in. I'm glad my food descriptions translate to a delicious experience for you, too! I have another one to share with you, I think you'll love the concept: a Macaroni and Cheese restaurant. The ultimate comfort food has created its own restaurant. If you haven't tried Cheese-ology on Delmar St. in the Loop of St. Louis, you haven't lived.
I ordered:

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Julia would be proud of our blend of American and Gruyere cheeses, Dijon mustard, Chicken and Canadian Bacon

I ate half and then switched with my dad who ordered:

Bacon, Bacon

for Bacon lovers!! Mozzarella and Gruyere cheeses, and a generous amount of thick cut Bacon

I was so in love with my meal I began to plan my next visit. I have to bring Mom, Dad, and Eric so I can try four meals next time. I think Mom should get the scampi, a mixture of Mozzarella, Provolone and Parmesan cheeses, paired with strong flavors of lemon and garlic with your choice of Chicken or Shrimp. Eric will want to try Black and Bleu, a Cajun nod with American and Bleu cheese, Steak and a little heat from Cajun Spices. Dad should get the Creamy Pesto, a creamy combination of Mozzarella and Provolone cheese with more than enough Basil Pesto. And I....oh, I want to try The Hill, building on the STL favorite, Provel cheese and Salssicia are balanced by a top layer of Marinara.

AND it just so happens we'll be back in STL this weekend. Oh yes, my luck has returned.

I almost forgot to mention that after filling up at Cheese-ology, we walked to Fitz's (like the soda pops) and ordered milkshakes. Dad got a rootbeer milkshake. I had never heard of such a thing but it made my mouth water thinking of it. I got a traditional chocolate malt (yes, I go for the classics). Both were amazing. Fitz's will also be seeing us this weekend.
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