Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Wonderful World of Retail

Justin and I were watching SNL last night, and this skit had us laughing SO HARD!

Don't ya just love those obnoxious commercials promoting "huuuuge sales events!" and "blowout savings!!!"? My friend Marta arrives this Tuesday (Eeee!) and we are pumped and ready to hit the Black Friday sales at 4am.. We'll definitely find some good deals, but more than anything we're anticipating some real psychotic-freak-action with the 'doorbusters' and mass chaos - all just to save a few bucks. I can't wait, it's gonna be pretty entertaining!

Of all my memorable moments in the years I've spent in cosmetics, I will never forget the times I've spent with my good friends (and co-workers at the time) Jade and Misty. Misty and I would bend over backwards for our sweet, yet scatter-brained boss, unloading boxes and boxes of products.. Jade and I would crouch behind the counters and sing LOUD and off-key along with the Christmas music playing over the store on repeat, watching people's reactions.. Pretty sure we wet ourselves laughing! Ohhh, I'll be sure to share more cosmetic department memories later.

It's nice to finally be able to enjoy Christmas now that I don't work in the retail world anymore. No more cheesy/overplayed music, no more redundant tinsel and customers asking for gift receipts after the transaction completes, no more ugly "complimentary gift-wrapping", no more gifts-with-purchase, no more annoying customers asking for "free samples" with no intention of buying. Ohh, so sweet. All this Black Friday anticipation reminds me of when I worked in cosmetics at Herberger's back home.. Not only did I have to be to work by 3:30am, but I had to park and ride a bus, which shuttled all the mall employees from 10 miles away, so all of the parking spaces could be free for the super-shoppers. I will never forget that morning.. Adults screaming and pushing and shoving, fighting over who-got-in-line-first and debating that they can use coupons in cosmetics (what do you think this is people, Wal-Mart?!). Then, of course, all of the registers were overloaded and the entire store slowed down to snail-pace, ticking off the customers even more.

Can't WAIT!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

In 7 Little Days...

One week from today, I will be living it up with my college best friend, Marta. I haven't seen her since Summer '09, and that was only for a few hours. I'm so pumped, I could scream!! She's flying in next Tuesday - on her birthday - and we have lots of fun things planned! It's gonna be nice to spend Thanksgiving with her too. Crazy stories and a blog post, coming up soon!

Florida Spring Break 2004 - Gotta love Nana's sailor hats and throw-away cameras!
Summer 2006 - Visiting good ol' Illinois
My Wedding 2008 - Marta caught my bouquet!
Summer 2009 - Hanging out during our short trip to WI

Can't wait!!!!


[3rd photo from top, by Denny Shortt]

Monday, November 8, 2010

Soundtracks: The OC

It doesn't take a genius to know I love The OC..

Six of my forever-favorite soundtrack albums are Music From The OC: Mixes 1 through 6. Check em' out..

  Music From The OC: Mix 1
Featuring: South, Jem, Joseph Arthur, Spoon, JET, The 88, Doves, Turin Brakes, The Dandy Warhols, Finley Quay & William Orbit, Alexi Murdoch and Phantom Planet

Music From The OC: Mix 2
Featuring: Eels, Super Furry Animals, The Killers, Death Cab For Cutie, Interpol, Patrick Park, Dios Malos, Nada Surf, The Thrills, The Walkmen, The Perishers, Johnathan Rice, Beulah, Keane, Jem 
and The Album Leaf

Music From The OC: Mix 3 - Chrismukkah
Featuring: Peggy Lee, Ron Sexsmith, Eels, The Raveonettes, Tom Petty, Canta Canta Nino, Leona Naess, Firstcom, Bright Eyes, Guster and Unknown

Music From The OC: Mix 4
Featuring:  The Futureheads, Imogen Heap, Pinback, A.C. Newman, Sufjan Stevens, Flunk, Beck, Modest Mouse, Aqueduct, The Reindeer Section, Bell X1 and Matt Pond PA

Music From The OC: Mix 5
Featuring: The Subways, Kasabian, Shout Out Louds, LCD Soundsystem, Rogue Wave, Youth Group, Of Montreal, Gorillaz, Kaiser Chiefs, Stars, Phantom Planet and Imogen Heap

Music From The OC: Mix 6 - Covering Our Tracks
Featuring: Goldspot, Rock Kills Kid, Lady Sovereign, Mates of State, Pinback, John Paul White, Rogue Wave, Syd Matters, Tally Hall, The M's, Band of Horses and Ashtar Command

Other posts I've talked about The OC:
I Miss The OC
What's Summer Without Music
Soundtracks: I'm in the Mood for Fall
Rooney and the Too-Friendly Hippie


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Headband Obsession

If you couldn't tell already, one of my latest obsessions is headbands. I have gone back and forth with them, because half the time, the cuteness of the accessory (usually the stiff ones that end behind your ears) isn't worth the headache it gives me. I guess a couple years ago, the whole bohemian/flapper/native/hippie headband trend started. I was kinda like, "ehhh?" and at the same thing I doubted I could pull it off. This summer, Justin and I took a trip to Charleston and made our usual shopping stop at Urban Outfitters. I found a white leather double-band "flapper headband" in the clearance section for a couple bucks and thought it would be fun to give it a chance. I guess it stuck, cuz even though I'm not sure if I'm exactly "pulling them off", I can't seem to get enough of them.

I've even made a few of my own, including the flapper headband I wore for my Halloween costume (I'd definitely wear it again, minus the feathers..ha!).

Love Love LOVE!!!



Friday, November 5, 2010

Some Exciting Opportunities & Party Love

Just wanted to share some recent exciting moments (plus a few from the past year)!

Until this past year, I have never had opportunities to write for/be featured in magazines. I really have only been "writing" in blogworld for barely over a year now, whereas some people I know have been blogging/writing and have been featured in magazines/websites for years! I truly don't mean this in any way of bragging or boasting, I just find it pretty cool how many fun opportunities I have had in the last year. Although it's not People or Vogue, it's obviously exciting to be recognized or featured in anything - local or not! Something about seeing your name printed.. it's crazy but exciting at the same time.

My first chance to be "featured" was through an opportunity my friend Ali threw my way - Doing makeup for a photoshoot for a spread (about The Traveling Journal) to be featured in Redbook Magazine (in May 2010). The experience was SO much fun.. I haven't really spoken about it much, because the article never ended up getting printed. All the anticipation.. all the work put into the article/shoot.. and then for everything to be cut? I was pretty crushed for myself, as well as for my friend Ali and her friends (who the article was about).

A couple months later, Justin and my Wedding Story was featured in Belle Magazine (another thanks to Ali). It was pretty exciting and official to see it printed. A few months after that, Ali told me about a writing opportunity for Belle - a written article about the "Twilight craze". I wrote my first article ever to be published. Nothing amazing or ground-breaking, but it felt pretty cool since I've never considered myself a "writer".

Alanna Andes | Theme Queen

A month or so ago, my friend Tiffany told me Skirt! Magazine was looking to do a feature on a 'local girl who loves to entertain'. It was so sweet of her to think of me and suggest I submit some of the pictures of parties I've thrown. I thought it was probably a long-shot, but I tried, and they liked me. I found out a couple of days before we went home for my sister's wedding, so I answered some questions for the article and met for a photoshoot the day after we returned. The November issue of Skirt! was just released on the 1st, and also posted in an online feature!

Just within the last couple days, I found out that Ohdeedoh chose to feature the Woodland-Forest Baby Shower my friend Jody and I (and friends) hosted for our friend Erin! We had such a fun time making the shower special and memorable for her. The post just went up today, you can view it here! Our friend, Marco encouraged me to submit the photos to ohdeedoh // apartment therapy - He and Michelle's baby room for Ruby was featured back in August. So cute!

I feel so honored to be recognized for something I love doing so much! Can't WAIT for Thanksgiving and Christmas - Already have some fun party ideas up my sleeve..


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Faith Brings Joy

How often do I wonder what God is trying to teach me? Wondering why or how I could possibly need to learn more patience, when I feel like I'm already being challenged every second of my life.. Why can't things go my way or go smoothly for just once? Why do I have to wait for answers? Why can't relationships and friendships be perfect and problem-free? Why should my friend try and try and try everything to have children, while a 15-year old druggie has no problem? Why couldn't my friend's spouse have been faithful and honest? Why do some men wait so long to propose? Why are some loved ones so unstable and unpredictable? Why can't there be more commitment and consistency and expectations met? Why are others so inconsiderate and self-centered, and get away with such repulsive behavior? Why do a million bad things have to happen all at once? Why do some people have to change for the bad?

It's been easy to come across such "relatable" photos that I seem to have collected over a while. Somehow I know that in all this mess, there's still hope and room to encourage and be encouraged.

It's not like I'm personally facing a crummy situation as I type this, but c'mon. I can't even count how many times I have felt completely hopeless and discouraged. I know God allows everything for a reason. For some things I look back on now, I can see what God was trying to teach me. It's amazing. It always seems to be the hardest to see God's plan while in the middle of the "storm" though. I just want answers now! I don't wanna wait! I really don't know what I would do without faith. I definitely wouldn't be here today.

Even recently, Justin and I have endured a fair amount of struggles and challenges. Jobs, unexpected battles, LIFE. I have felt encouraged and blessed by others, giving me strength to encourage and support my friends and family who have their own personal storms going on.

Obviously, I don't have any straight-up answers to my 'Why's'. I keep coming back to Romans 5 (and even more now, thanks to our discussion in Shepherding Group last night..) and the fact that faith brings joy.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. [Rom. 5:1-5]


[Photos - weheartit]
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