Golden Globes - restyled

I know I am a little late to the game on the Globes red carpet. So late in fact, that the Critics Choice and SAG awards have also already happened.  (It feels a little rushed this year, or is that just me?) This has led me to do something a little different for this Red Carpet season. I am going to follow some of the A-Listers through the awards season and do a summary post of their looks following the Oscars. Some of the ladies on my list are:

- Cate Blanchett
- Julia Roberts
- Sandra Bullock
- JLaw
- Lupita Nyong'o (she is taking the carpet by storm ya'll)
and the hostesses with the mostest - Kelly O and G. Rancic

I will highlight some of the other "best" looks of the awards shows if there are any that aren't the above ladies. Plus, I will try to do some re-styling of some of the worst looks if I have the time. For the Globes I have re-styled my 2 worst (maybe most disappointing?) looks.

Drumroll please:
Zoe Saldana (I don't know why, but the Fashion Police LOVED this look. I think it looks a little like an art project). I tried to give Zoe a softer look with a similar palette.

And - one of my favorite actresses, Drew Barrymore and her bump. I love the flower-child aspect of her style and tried to give her a more sophisticated, less craft-project look with the same feel.

What do you think? Do you prefer these ladies original looks or my new (and improved!) picks??

Who are YOU watching this Red Carpet season?

Book: The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow

Conceived in love and possibility, Bonaventure Arrow didn’t make a peep when he was born, and the doctor nearly took him for dead. No one knows Bonaventure's silence is filled with resonance - a miraculous gift of rarified hearing that encompasses the Universe of Every Single Sound. Growing up in the big house on Christopher Street in Bayou Cymbaline, Bonaventure can hear flowers grow, a thousand shades of blue, and the miniature tempests that rage inside raindrops. He can also hear the gentle voice of his father, William Arrow, shot dead before Bonaventure was born by a mysterious stranger known only as the Wanderer.

Bonaventure's remarkable gift of listening promises salvation to the souls who love him: his beautiful young mother, Dancy, haunted by the death of her husband; his Grand-mere Letice, plagued by grief and long-buried guilt she locks away in a chapel; and his father, William, whose roaming spirit must fix the wreckage of the past. With the help of Trinidad Prefontaine, a Creole housekeeper endowed with her own special gifts, Bonaventure will find the key to long-buried mysteries and soothe a chorus of family secrets clamoring to be healed

I read this book at the urging (and I use that term lightly, the woman truly got sassy about this recommendation) of my sweet, book-loving mother in law. When she recommends a book, I listen. When she practically throws the book at me to read, I definitely listen! 

I was not disappointed. This book was downright interesting to read - a little special boy with super hearing is such a unique thing to read about. I loved her descriptions of how things sounded, things like earthworms and the color red, which clearly don't have sounds I can hear was truly imaginative. The magical elements dazzled me. 

I also loved the setting of southern Louisiana and New Orleans in the 1950's,  as there is just something bewitching about that time and place for magical stories. The characters are rich and well-developed, ready to walk off the pages (or Kindle screen). The way Leganski weaves together multi-generational stories in this book is very well done and easy to follow. The flashbacks don't muck up the present day story. 

The story, however, is quite bittersweet. More sweet than bitter, but with a sad tone throughout much of it. It is a tale of redemption, forgiveness, and letting go, and tales of these things will usually have a bittersweet tone. I still really enjoyed it though, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to other adults to read. 

4/5 stars. 


Rachel over at Rachel the Hat posed a shopping challenge for the New Year – a 100 day shopping ban. I figure I will retro-activate mine from 1/1/14. So that would be no shopping for clothing, shoes, or accessories until roughly (if I can add correctly)  April 10th. As I feel I am in a similar situation to Rachel – shopping is my hobby, it makes me happy, but I have more clothes than should be legal – I decided I would join her on this shopping ban. Things could get interesting around here folks!

However, my one caveat to this ban is that I want to spend my Christmas money on some new items for my wardrobe. Instead of just running out and shopping willy-nilly like I normally would’ve at the post-holiday sales, I was laid up with an upper respiratory infection. I am still half-dead from this infection, so I have had no desire, energy, or gumption to even attempt shopping. This actually may be a blessing though, because faced with 3 months of no new clothes has made me be more purposeful in thinking about what I would spend my precious gift cards on. 

My shopping list includes:
1. Faux fur scarf – I have really been digging the look of just a touch of faux fur and I dislike vests on my figure, so a scarf seems a natural choice

2. A bright, A-line skirt – This is a piece that can transition from winter to spring and can be mixed up about 1000 different ways – I just have to find the right length and color.

3. Olive skinnies – these have been on my list for awhile and seem like a great alternative to jeans for casual days.

4. Suede or leather (faux of course) detailed leggings – I want to up my legging status and have them be a bit more sophisticated than the stretchy ones I snag at Target for $5 and $8.

5. A unique scarf-meets-hood sweatshirt. I like being comfy and cute and these types of hoodies seem to fit the bill. I have been eyeing this one for a while now, but it is currently out of stock. Bummer.

6. Some new work out gear to inspire me to get my tush back into the gym and hitting the pavement. Sometimes it helps to have fancy new duds to sweat in.

So that is it! My husband is going to be 100% supportive of this exercise in self-control and I hope to push myself to be a bit more creative in my outfit creations! 

What I Wore: Christmas

I know the holidays are long gone and everyone is well into giving up their New Year's Resolutions, but I never got to share how my Christmas outfit worked out!

I got the dress from, keeping in mind that I wanted a dress I can wear again and again, not something so fancy that it is a special occasion only option. I love, love, loved how everything came together.

It is hard to tell, and I didn't get up a detailed photo of the tights, but they had cute little metallic gold polka dot grommet dealies on them and were super cute.

 I was going for a 60's bouffant thing with my hair and I got to break out my little gold bows from last Christmas.

I really embraced the theme and even matched my nails to my dress. That bracelet was a Victoria's Secret freebie! 

I borrowed the gold polka dot scarf from my ever-so-stylish mama-in-law. (which may have been a recent birthday gift from me! ;)) and went with a bold lip, since I don't usually get to be bold with my lip color, that was quite fun.
The whole look with my sweetie, who insisted on wearing the red tie. We called him Captain Christmas for the night. 

I made him change into the black tie for a more coordinated photo, but really, the red suits him better. He is like my own little Christmas elf and loves the holiday immensely.

I hope you didn't mind the reminder of the recent holidays - I really have nothing to show for the past couple weeks. I am only just now recovering from a horrific respiratory infection that had me laid up over my Christmas vacation. Such a bummer, but now I hope to get back in the swing of things!

As always, linking up with the lovely Rachel and Lindsay!

pleated poppy
Lena B, Actually

Writing Work Out - 3

Ok folks, you know the drill by now!

30 minutes on the clock.

Writing Prompt: A man comes home from work one evening to find that his couch is missing. Where did it go? (source)

At promptly 6:02 pm, just as every other night of the past 14 years, Reginald burst open the oversized door of his oversized home and blustered his oversized self inside with the wind and leaves. It was a bitter cold autumn day, he was simply exhausted and could think of nothing better than an evening at home in his study with a good book. He quickly hung up his coat and hat on the brass coat rack in the great stone entryway and lugged himself up the stairs to his dressing room. He bustled about, changing into his favorite flannel jammies (as his mumsy always called them), a great navy velour robe, and stout brown loafers. Once he considered himself to be quite cozy, he made his way to his grand kitchen. Reginald had a particular love of fine cuisine and fancied himself a bit of a chef. His culinary talents were somewhat limited however, to only breakfast foods. He whipped up a batch of homemade Belgium waffles with a light cinnamon sauce (his mumsy's recipe, naturally) and a big pot of hot cocoa, with just a little nip of schnapps. He artfully arranged his feast on a tray and carried it into his most beloved room of his home, the study. 

This study could rival any public library for the content it housed on its great cherry shelves, which naturally line all four walls of the room, interrupted only by the doorway and great fireplace. Reginald was proud of all of the furnishings in this room, as he had hand picked each of them with love and finesse; the great glass-topped cherry wood desk with an overstuffed, oxblood red tufted leather chair, the finely crafted antique globe and stand, the Baroque-period coffee table, and the great elk antlers mounted above his fireplace. However, there was one piece of furniture he prized more highly than all of the others; his couch. Now, this was no ordinary couch and he had paid astronomically for it, but never regretted its purchase for a minute. It was a fine oversized (of course) cherry wood couch with a supple curved back that flowed into curved arms that continued to its dainty curved legs. It was the stuffed to perfection and when Reginald sat on it, it enveloped him like one of his mumsy's hugs in its rich, red velvet cushions. It was rumored that it had once graced the halls of Buckingham Palace and that the Queen thought it to be a monstrosity, antique or not, and had it tossed out with the trash. When he first saw her, Reginald thought whomever would discard this beautiful couch had to be bonkers and he was more than happy to shell out any fee to the antiquities dealer to take her home. Once he got her home, he took to calling her Bianca, and chatting with her about his day as he ate his dinner and smoked his pipe.  
As Reginald used his oversized bottom to open his study door, he did not see that something was amiss in his dearest of rooms. He set his tray down on the coffee table that was always used as his dinner table and made to plop down on Bianca. Much to his shock and dismay, his bottom landed with a thud and the books in the room shifted and settled as his great girth hit the floor. As a dust settled in the room, Reginald was completely still on the floor. Where was his beloved Bianca? He began to look about the room from his spot on the floor to see if anything else had been stolen (for obviously, this was the only explanation) and found not a single thing to be out of place. And then, he was overcome with emotion and sat there, where his beloved Bianca should be holding him, and cried his eyes out. He cried for his mumsy who he missed dearly, cried for his loneliness and the cruelty he faced every day, cried for his Bianca, and cried for the sad fact that his couch was his only true friend and it couldn't even talk. 
After some time he had quite cried himself out and became quiet and sniffly, sitting there on the floor much like a child who has just finished a proper tantrum. He then heard a very delicate sound of a lady clearing her throat. He was immediately alarmed for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which that he thought someone had seen him crying and that it could be the diabolical burglar who stole his precious Bianca. He hoisted himself up off of the floor and peaked his head into the hallway, and what he saw took his breath away. Standing there in front of him was a very oversized, voluptuous woman in a red velvet dress, with cherry red hair. She approached Reginald very slowly and lifted one finger to his cheek and lovingly wiped away a tear. Then she spoke, "Hello dear, I am Bianca." and with that, wrapped him in the sweetest, loving hug Reginald had ever experienced. 

New Years

2013 - Can't say I am sad to see it end.

This year has been incredibly challenging - personally, professionally, academically and any other "-ally" that you can think of. I am saying goodbye to 2013 today with no wistfulness, only relief and a hope that 2014 will be better.

I am moving into the new year looking forward, not behind, and being very, very thankful for all of the blessings in my life.  I may have rang in the new year in a NyQuil-induced-sleep, but I did that in a comfy bed, with a loving husband, and 2 spoiled furballs. My life is full and I am content.

Plus, I am spending the first day of this new year in my favorite place - Middle Earth! I can think of no better way to spend New Year's Day than a Lord of the Rings marathon with some of my most favorite people.

Happy New Year all! Wishing you joy, health, and contentment this year!