Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Great Dress Transformation

If there's anything I've learned about buying clothes over the past 22 years, it's that you should never ever settle! If you don't find something you absolutely love, hold out, the perfect outfit could be just around the corner, or in my case, the sewing machine!

Below is the Bowline Dress from Vineyard Vines 2011 summer collection, that I ordered for the Fourth of July. 
Though I loved this cute red, white and blue halter, and its fun nautical/chevron pattern online, in person, the shape wasn't flattering on me AT ALL.

Here I am wearing the dress the only time it had ever been worn in the past two years!
This picture honestly makes me cringe! My hair, the dress, the shape, the material, everything is going so so wrong.

Something had to be done!

When I rediscovered this dress in my closet in early June, I decided that I either needed to pass it on to it's next home (Goodwill, blog sale, etc.) or do something about it! I chose the latter, and started brainstorming! This dress had a lot of potential, it just needed a little help getting there. My Mom made an appointment with her sweet friend, Kathy, that alters a lot of my dresses, and the magic started!

Pre-transformation
(Excuse the Doodle in the pictures!)

Front:

This dress was way too roomy in the front for my liking!

Back:
The fabric for the bow around your neck was so stiff! I'm not sure what Vineyard Vines was thinking when they designed this dress. Yuck!

Mid-Alterations 
Here I am with about 25 pins holding our changes in place! Yay for going strapless!

Post-Transformation:
The final product! A dress that I can wear, love and enjoy!

Kathy removed the entire top of the dress, making it strapless! She also inserted a set of darts in the front, so that it hugged in all the right places!

This just goes to show you that you're never truly stuck with a bad dress! If you don't like the way something looks, change it! Make it more you! Why not enjoy a great piece of clothing instead of having it sit in your closet?
Thanks so much, Kathy, for all of your hard work and patience on these alterations! You're amazing!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Life as of Late: 5 on Friday!

Since I haven't had the time to blog regularly recently, I wanted to spend today updating you all on some fab things that have been going on in my life! Please bare with me, the list is a bit random!

I'm officially sharing six things, but just because I love 5 on Friday, I'm still linking up with a few beautiful bloggers for the 5 on Friday post!
Have five (or six) things you'd like to share? Link up and let us know!


I ran 10 miles!!!!
My goodness, what an accomplishment! When I started running in November, I couldn't run one mile without stopping! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever run/want to run 10, but I did it, and I'm one step closer to my half-marathon dream!

I met my graduate school advisor!

A tad excited to be visiting the new College of Education building!
On Monday, in an effort to tie up any graduate school loose ends, I decided to contact my new advisor to see if we could get together for a meeting later on in the week. He agreed, and we met yesterday morning for the first time. I immediately had a great feeling about him! Dr. Howe is super nice, knowledgeable and supportive! Our face to face meeting made me so excited to work with him over the next two years!

My hair is growing!

#selfie
I've been trying to grow out my hair since November, and this week, someone even told me it looked long! Thank you, Samantha! It made my day, and made all those "just trim the ends" hair appointments completely worth it! I'm getting some color done tomorrow, and I can't wait.

Registrar's Office Retreat

Office friends: Tara, Bert & Ethel
One of my tasks over the past few months, was to plan a Registrar's Office retreat for my entire office. It was a task trying to accommodate 20+ schedules, but somehow, it happened! The retreat went off without a hitch, and everyone had so much fun!

My NYC trip is booked!
As of about two weeks ago, my NYC trip in November is officially official! We heard back from the Reservations Coordinator, and my friends and I will be visiting NYC November 21st through the 24th.

I get to see Paisley today!

Today after work, I'm headed home for the weekend, and I finally get to see my sweetheart, Paisley! It's been two weeks since I've been home, and I miss her so much. Hopefully we'll have pretty weather the next couple of days, and make it to the park for a little doggie field trip.

What's your life been like as of late?

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Post-Grad Planning

One thing that's been on my mind a lot lately, is my future. 

Hearing about all of my friends growing up, moving to new places, getting engaged, and having children (some of them more than one) has made me start thinking about my own life, and where exactly I want to be in the next few years.

Though so many things are up in the air at this point, I know that whatever happens, God will lead me in the right direction, and to wherever I'm really supposed to be. 

In the meantime, a girl can always dream!

I know for sure that I will finish with graduate school in the summer of 2015. My program is exactly 12 classes, and takes most people two full years to finish. Since I'm working full-time during graduate school, I'll only take two classes each semester, (making me a part-time student) but I'll take classes during the summer semesters as well. It's not a bad deal...getting paid while I'm in school and Appalachian paying for two classes per year sounds pretty good to me!

My degree will be a Master of Arts in Higher Education, (not teaching, but administration on the university level) but I still haven't decided exactly what area I'd like to work in. I know that I want to put together events on the university scale, I'm just not sure in what area. There are so many more opportunities to do this than you would think! Appalachian, and universities in general ALWAYS have things going on, whether it's Freshman Orientation, Greek Week, Commencement (which I've come to know very well), and a multitude of other events across campus. This gives me a lot of possibilities for a job that I'd be interested in. Areas like Commencement, Alumni Affairs, the Chancellor's Office, Student Development are all super appealing to me, so you just never know!

I'm also not sure exactly where I want to be! If my dream job was waiting for me at Appalachian post-graduation, then of course I'd be happy staying here. Boone is a wonderful place to raise a family, but if not, I LOVE the idea of going somewhere completely new! Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Duke, all of which are great universities and in good areas that I'd love to live and make a life for myself, if a position presented itself. There's also the possibility of living somewhere further away, like Charleston, the Outer Banks, New York, or maybe a place that I haven't even heard of yet! 

The idea of moving somewhere completely different and being in a job that I love is beyond exciting to me, and though I don't know the answers right now...

I'm always up for a good adventure.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

My Favorite Link-Up: Five on Friday!

Thank goodness, it's finally the weekend! In honor of my favorite day of the week, I'm linking up with A. Liz Adventures for 5 on Friday! I hope you enjoy reading about my five favorite things from this week!

Make sure to link up with these four lovely ladies and let us know yours!

 via

1. New Wedges from Target! 
When I needed a pair of shoes to match a new outfit I bought, I headed straight to Target. Of course, they had exactly what I wanted! I couldn't resist their beautiful shoes at a great price, and ended up leaving with not one, but TWO new pair of wedges! Can a girl really ever have enough wedges?!

2. My Ava Torties arrived!
I have been admiring these Anthropologie sunnies through the blogosphere for weeks, and I finally got my hands on a pair! There was something about the shape and the gorgeous tortoise shell on these glasses, I knew I had to have them! They came earlier this week, and I've been wearing them every chance I get!

3. A trip to NYC!
Everyone should know by now that I'm obsessed with New York City! I've been hoping to go sometime this year and stay in The Appalachian Loft, and on Monday, our trip was confirmed! My friends Alex and Danielle and I will be leaving for NYC on November 21st! I'm already brainstorming outfits, hairstyles, the works!

4. Cooking Lessons
I'll admit it, I didn't prepare the dish shown above, but hopefully I'll be able to fairly soon! My new co-worker, Frances is a great cook, and is slowly trying to teach me easy recipes that I can cook at my apartment! This has been a big change for someone that uses their oven for storage in true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, but I'm so excited to learn some new things!

5. A New-To-Me Dress!
I had one of my Vineyard Vines dresses reconstructed for the Fourth of July, and absolutely loved the result! I can't wait to share the before and after pictures with you!

Have a fabulous weekend!

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fourth of July Recap!

It's hard for me to believe we're already almost through another week! Hopefully y'all have had enough time to recover from all the Fourth of July festivities! I think I'm just about back into normal work mode. My Fourth of July holiday was extra fabulous this year, but it wouldn't be my life without a few surprises thrown in!

Here's a look into what I was up to!

On Thursday morning, the day of the 4th, Katy and I had plans to grab brunch at a fun place in Boone around 11. This changed a bit when at 9AM, my carbon monoxide alarm started sounding. To tell you the truth, I didn't even know I had a carbon monoxide alarm until this happened. After going off continuously for an hour with no avail, I had no other option but to call the Boone Fire Department.
Thank goodness I had Katy there to help me through such a stressful situation! The fire department decided it was just a low battery in the detector (thank goodness) and left. An hour later, the alarm started sounding again and I had to call 911 for the second time! I have never been so embarrassed, than when the 911 operator already knew the address to my non-emergency detector issue. In the end, they got that alarm fixed, and it was just some bad wiring, but you can never be too careful!

That afternoon, Katy and I finally made it to Melanie's to have a late lunch since our brunch had been delayed. I had only been to Melanie's once, and Katy had never been, so it was a relatively new experience for both of us! They did not disappoint!
Though the July 4th weather in Boone was less than desirable, we still put on our red, white and blue to wear all that day! I didn't buy that cute outfit for nothing!
 
We only had to wait a little while and were able to have a really great lunch!

Katy with her grilled chicken panini!
My Apple-lachian sandwich and Melanie's famous home fries! Very different, but so good!
 That evening I was supposed to go to a Fourth of July celebration outside, but the rain completely changed my plans. I instead went to a cookout at my friend Marcia's house, where we enjoyed a fruit pizza (that Katy and I put together), a wonderful dinner, smores and fireworks!

Katy cutting fruit for the pizza!
 Yummy smores!
Having way too much fun with sparklers!
 Though I hated that our original plans got cancelled, it was so nice to spend the 4th with people that I love, since I didn't have the opportunity to be with my own family.

Friday, the office was open, so I had to be back at work bright and early, but we had a wonderful Fourth of July lunch that made it all worth while. On Saturday morning, I had a wedding that I was helping to direct in Valle Crucis. I arrived at the venue around 9AM and left exhausted a little after 4 that afternoon.
 We worked all day until the ceremony at 1, and it turned out beautifully! It's still hard to believe I've been working weddings for over a year now! I love them so much!
 That evening was The Band Perry concert in the stadium at Appalachian, something I'd been looking forward to all week long! I picked up my friend Danielle and we met up with Marcia and her family just in time for the concert!
 
The rain held off just long enough for us to take pictures in our Fourth of July outfits before the bottom fell out!
When I say fell out, I mean a monsoon, complete with thunder and lightening! We even had to move to the concourse of the stadium for about 45 minutes, along with thousands of other concert goers. Finally when the storm was over, we were able to return to our seats and the concert went on!

Here I am in my poncho post monsoon...still happy as a clam!
The Band Perry put on quite a show, and I would definitely go see them again! It was an awesome concert and an awesome weekend, maybe even my best July 4th yet!

Just in case you missed my July Fourth outfit post, you can see that here!

Was your Fourth just as fabulous?!

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

What I Wore: Stars, Stripes, Polka Dots & Anchors!

Happy Fourth of July!

This is a day that I've been looking forward to for months, and I'm so excited that it's finally here! Not only do I have the day off from work, but I get to spend it with my absolute best friends in our best red, white and blue attire. If you know me, you may guess that I've been planning my outfit for weeks! Right you are! I couldn't help but keep an eye out for the perfect mix of patriotic colors for this special occasion! While shopping at J.CREW on Father's Day, I came across the most beautiful outfit, and I knew it would be perfect for a "What I Wore" post! 
 
I am obsessed with this picture!
Top & Skirt: J.CREW - Shoes: Jack Rogers Inspired - Sunnies: Target - Bangles: Forever21 - Earrings: Kate Spade

My cousin Courtney is amazing with a camera, and was gracious enough to help me make my "What I Wore" photo shoot a reality! Thank you so much, Courtney! I was beyond impressed with the photos she got, and can't wait to use her again!


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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Travel Bug!

Lately, I've had the travel bug in a bad way!

Over the past couple months, I've been ready to pack my bags, jump in the car at a moments notice and travel to the nearest big city or beach paradise! Luckily, I have some amazing friends that are ready and willing occupy my passenger seat!

With all this jet-setting on the brain, I've decided to do something about it, and make these dreams a reality!  Unfortunately, in my 8-5 life, if I want to travel somewhere significant, I have to ask for permission. I was so excited yesterday when I received the response from my boss, letting me know that all of the dates I'd asked off for had been approved!

 So the most important question...Where am I going?

1. My Birthday Weekend in Charleston!
I have always been a BIG birthday person! My 21st and 22nd birthdays were absolutely amazing, so when I started planning my 23rd, I knew it couldn't disappoint! I've always wanted to go on a trip for my birthday, but something else has always come up. Well, this year is my year! A good friend of mine has a condo in Charleston, and let me know that I was welcome to use it anytime. This was the answer to my prayers! After checking the office calendar, and the university's football schedule (as any Southern belle would do,) I knew it was meant to be! I, along with some of my closest gal pals, will be heading to Charleston either the 26th or 27th of September (I haven't decided which yet,) and will come back on Sunday, September 29th. A completely open weekend, perfect for a birthday getaway!

Turning 21!
Turning 22!
Last night, in a matter of minutes, I was able to fine the perfect party invitations! I seriously can't wait for this birthday! I know that 23 is going to be amazing!

2. New York City!
Many of you already know that I am obsessed with New York City! I've been there once, when I was in the 8th grade, but had no appreciation at the time for what the city had to offer. Though I'm still planning on applying for the The Appalachian Loft Directorship that I mentioned here, I really wanted to get in a visit before then, just to make sure it's where I want to be. That's where my friend Danielle comes in!

via
Danielle and I have recently gotten closer, and since then, discovered that we share an extreme interest in New York City. We both had dreams of going, but had no idea how, when, or who could help make that happen! I'm telling you it was fate! Recently, I've been in touch with the Appalachian Loft Coordinator, and we've picked out a weekend in November to go visit! I am beyond excited for this dream of mine to come true, and so is Danielle! We've already decided we'd love to go to the Statue of Liberty, Broadway, and couldn't resist one of the famous Sex and the City tours. There's no way in the world I would pass that up!

3. The Princess Half-Marathon in Disney World!
via
Though this trip is a little farther out, I am so excited to go to Disney World in February! Even though it's just for a race, it's going to be so much fun! We haven't booked a hotel room or anything at this point, but it's definitely in the works. Though I normally prefer the Caribbean Beach Resort on Disney's property, I've heard it's super convenient to be at Disney's Wide World of Sports for this type of visit because it's the central hub for a lot of the race hype. As someone that wants to be in the middle of all the action, this has my name written all over it! I also want maximum shopping time at the Princess Half-Marathon Expo that starts on Thursday of that week!

Hello, Paradise!
via
I can't wait for all the fun memories that my friends, family and I will make on these three trips! I am so thankful for the opportunity to travel and visit such amazing places. This might even call for cute new luggage!

Where are you off to these days?

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