ornithological raconteuse. lover of aesthetically pleasing shananagans.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dreaming of fall...

If I could find a place that had 8 months of fall, 2 months of winter, 1 month of spring, and 1 month of summer every year, I would probably move there immediately (I'd also love a little socialism and a great oyster restaurant). Despite the fact that I own 10 bathing suits (thanks for fueling an unnecessary obsession, J.Crew), I'm just not a hot-weather kind of gal. Anyhow, this usually means that I'm completely on top of the fall/winter runways when they start popping up around February, but there's that whole "nursing school" thing happening in my life until December, which means I'm woefully behind on EVERYTHING ALSO I MISS MY FRIENDS.

So apologies if you've all already seen these, but I literally just discovered Vera Wang's fall ready-to-wear, and it's gorgeous. I've been unimpressed with her wedding gowns lately (she used to be known for beautiful structure, but there's been so much ripped tulle lately it's messing with my brain), so I was shocked that I loved her RTW as much as I did.

Quick bridal review. A beautiful Vera Wang from the mid-2000s, modeled in 2009 by my lovely seester (she also got married at our Bastrop cabin). Note the flowy structure and glamorous simplicity:

and the back:

She would like me to share with my readers that she scored big time and got this for half-off on Ebay! She had fallen in love with it at Vera Wang and then on a whim googled and found it in her size about 100 miles away. A girl had WORN IT TO HER PROM. A Vera Wang. TO PROM. But it worked out great for Ann Marie, so thanks, that girl's crazy parents!

Compare seester's dress to this 2015 design:

Can you see the difference? Maybe just a little? Mmmhm.

Moving on, you can see why a perfect fall RTW was pleasantly surprisingly. There's no other way to put it, this collection is cool. And I want it all.

Goth shimmer!

Punk brocade!

Black and grey plaid EVERYWHERE:

Rose metallic!

Rose metallic PLUS PLAID:

Everyday plaid!

And the best look of all- florals, olive, gloves, swingy sleeveless coat, rocker jewelry!

I can't even deal with the fact that I have to wear scrubs tomorrow and Thursday.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

black and white all over

For as much as I love color, I've also always been really drawn to the simplicity of black and white, particularly when used in an otherwise bursting-with-color house. A couple of girlfriends and I went to Midnight Cowboy last night for drinks, and seeing their gorgeous b&w restroom was a nice little bonus. I can't find a picture of it online, but go, drink delicious cocktails, and ogle for yourself; you won't regret it.

When I'm not reading, I spend a lot of time designing my dream house, and it always has a black and white kitchen and at least one black and white bathroom. Kitchen inspiration pics:

I LOVE the contrast of the vintage chandelier with the bamboo shades.

A more traditional b&w that's wonderful (if a little too traditional for my own house). Those barstools, though! Love!


A pretty pretty blend of traditional and eclectic (shut up, perfect range. Just shut up with your fancy self). That backsplash, too, amirite?

Courtney Blanton

And another nice blend of tastes. Just plain cool:

Stephane Charmard

 And powder room/bathroom muses:

Rita Konig. drool.

This Mark Sikes is perfect. The caramel shower curtain and bamboo side table really soften up the look:


And I have literally dreamed about this Nina Campbell "perroquet" wallpaper. If I stick to solids in the kitchen and bathrooms, how killer would this be in a dining room? 

Here's a shot of it in a foyer, which is also a perfect place for it. It's such a great combination of traditional, fun, and a little unexpected.

Heck, even my favorite Cannes dresses so far are black and white!

Zhang Ziyi, beyond stunning as always, in Stéphane Rolland:

no words.

And (surprising me most of all), Kendall Jenner in Chanel:

And thus concludes our study in contrasts and first blog post in many moons! I'm on break from nursing school until the 27th, so I may even post again before the month is up...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An ode to paint.

I know I've written a couple of times before about my love for dark paint colors, but I've been thinking a lot about them recently after helping a friend pick some out for his new house. I promise this will be my last post along these lines for a while!

Joseph and I are at least a couple years out from moving, but I've (shockingly, I know) already started compiling my color ideas for when we are in a more permanent house. They just instantly change a room from the expected to a more dramatic and, let's be honest, cool, space. I don't know when the rumor got started that dark colors make a room look tiny, but as the following pictures show, as long as you keep your accessories bright and your furniture mostly contrasting, you end up with a gorgeous look. Plus, whereas you should usually paint your ceiling the same color as your walls, with a dark color leaving the ceiling white will counteract any possible claustrophobia. Again, though, there are wonderful exceptions to that rule!

Onto the ogling portion of the post.

This grey isn't very dark, but combined with the sloped ceiling and darker hardwoods, it approximates an overall "darker" feel. Notice how beautifully the gold chandelier (that's the same one in my dining room!) and white/grey rug contrast.

Brian Alan Kirkland Designs

This next guy is one of my absolute favorites. I'm obsessed with this color, and love the matching etageres, as well as the just-funky-enough animal print rug. The dainty chandelier is surprisingly perfect, too.

Erin Williamson

Staying on the teal + animal theme, you can't help but be wow'd by this library:

Hillary Thomas Designs

A large gilt edged mirror will do wonders for any space, especially a tiny powder room that could use some added dimension:

JL Interior Design, LLC

This bedroom speaks for itself. Small, eclectic, traditional mixed with the unexpected:

Marjorie Skouras

Mmmmmm: navy.

Philpotts Interiors

This moss pushes all my happy buttons. Notice that in almost all of the other rooms they left the ceilings white, but with this slightly lighter shade they went ahead and did the whole thing. Definitely a wise choice, especially given the leeway you have with super tall ceilings.

Plural Design, Inc.

And lastly, a beautiful chocolate bedroom. *swoon*

Tom Stringer Design Partners

And now, back to the nursing school grind! If only I had a deep emerald library to hole up in...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This is all you need.

Video courtesy of my sister on a recent trip to Scotland.

Set to music by my cousin Daniel.

You're welcome.


Sunday, March 2, 2014


Quick! Look at my favorite Oscar duds!

First, and not just because she and my mom are doppelgängers, Sally Field killing it in Randi Rahm:

Kate Hudson looking drop. dead. gorgeous. in Atelier Versace:

Karen O. in Camilla Staerk and Brandy St. John:

Emma Watson, goddess, in Vera Wang:

Cate Blanchett, aka "she-who-can-do-no-wrong", in Giorgio Armani:

Lupita Nyong'o in the prettiest Prada you'll ever see:

Catherine Martin in I don't know who but I love love love it (does she design her own dresses?):


JGL, in Calvin Klein Collection:

Because duh.

And now, back to the black hole that is nursing school (love you, nursing school!).

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I started nursing school a month ago, and I have to confess: it's been a tough transition. It's an accelerated 2nd degree program, so it's only 11 months long, and this first semester is all about learning the actual "hands" part of nursing: foley catheter insertion, IVs, med administration, percussing abdomens, etc and so forth. Learning this stuff hasn't been the tough part; the hard part has been having to shift my brain away from soaking up physiological processes to getting the rote muscle memory in place. I will freely admit that I have to work harder at practicing skills than I do at sitting down and memorizing textbook material. When it comes to pathophysiology and anatomy (and more recently: pharmacology), things very luckily just click for me, and I get a thrill out of putting the puzzle pieces together. So when I went in for my first day of clinical this week, I had a difficult time. Everything seemed so rote: give meds, take catheter out, give more meds, chart. I went home discouraged, and did what I always do when I've had a bad day: I called my mom (who happens to be an R.N.). 

Unsurprisingly, she had excellent advice:

1) There will always be days like that.
2) but not every day will be like that.
3) You will come to wish for days that are that boring.
4) You have to crawl before you run. (author side note: I'm not used to doing that)
4) You always get out of nursing what you put into it.

So. I'm tattooing those words o' wisdom on my brain (author medical advice side note: brain tattooing not recommended), and I have to say that my second day of clinical was already worlds better than my first. Rather than just dispensing medications, I started refreshing my brain on their pharmacodynamics (thanks, expensive and handy phone app!). And when I performed a simple and routine procedure on a patient, I researched her condition since I didn't know much about it. I know that once I have several patients under my watch I won't have time to do all of that, but by then maybe I'll be applying to graduate programs where I can whip my books back out and start the process all over again.

You know, not to mention the whole "being useful and alleviating several people's pain and brightening their days" thing.


Oh yeah, and here's a beautiful dress I'm obsessed with by Kaufmanfranco for Fall 2014. I mean, it IS almost Valentine's Day; I couldn't leave you with nothing but words:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Quick! Dresses!

Thirty minutes until I have to go back to class means just enough time to find my favorite Grammys outfits and share on ye olde neglected blog.

Numero cuatro (and I usually don't really care for her choices) is Taylor Swift in Gucci. She's so svelte that the shape is perfect on her, and although it's her usual neutral sparkle, I still think it's way more special than what she normally goes with. I would've gone with a berry lip, but c'est la Swift.

All photos from all over the internet.

Next, and I know this will be a contentious one, Zendaya Coleman in Ungaro. Maybe it's my penchant for button-ups, but I just love this look. It's funky but formal, sexy but not skanky.

Teeny tiny Sarah Hyland is #3 for me. I want this dress more than I can say. Pucci (although definitely looks like a loose Narcisco Rodriguez to my untrained eyes):

And the apex of my love sits (obviously), with Yoko Ono.

Ok, back to IVs! Sorry to be AWOL; hopefully I can check in more often from here on out.