28.5.13

What I'm Reading...


I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it or read it but this is yet another example of negativity follows negativity. This article discusses women/girls and ‘fat talk.’ I’m brought back to Mean Girls:

Karen: God. My hips are huge!
Gretchen: Oh please. I hate my calves.
Regina: At least you guys can wear halters. I've got man shoulders.
Cady: [voiceover] I used to think there was just fat and skinny. But apparently there's lots of things that can be wrong on your body.
Gretchen: My hairline is so weird.
Regina: My pores are huge.
Karen: My nail beds suck.
[pause. All look at Cady]
Cady: I have really bad breath in the morning.
Karen: Ew!


In those pesky fittings rooms it is so easy to fall into the ways that this article by focusing on the ways in which your body doesn’t fit the pants versus the pants “not getting you.” It was just disheartening to me that this happens. I know it happens; I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t victim to it or contributed to it. The studies go on to argue that women, when faced with images of skinny and fat women, expected the skinny women to have a more positive body image but that wasn’t true. Why, oh why, continuously put ourselves through the torture of focusing on what’s “wrong” with our bodies?


So what are we supposed to do? Do we all hate how we look? What we CAN do it to actively put a stop to negative self talk. Stop talking crap about yourself to yourself, people!!! The voice in your head must be positive. The next time you’re in the fitting room and things just aren’t going to swell, join me in reciting the new mantra: “This doesn’t get me.”

I just had to include one of my favorite bloggers, Gala Darling's, Self-Love Manifesto:



Read the article for the explanations. They are pretty genius.

1. The Internet is not going to save you.
2. Get outside.
3. If you want to sit, sit.
4. Stop sharing everything.
5. Don’t pay lip service to “following your dreams.” If you want something, work at it.
6. Stop trying to improve your “efficiency” and just work.
7. Work.
8. Don’t kill anybody.
9. Call your moms and pops.
10. Quit all the irony.


11. Stop writing/sharing about all the people you *expletive*.
12. Travel if you can afford it. Otherwise get the hell back to work.
13. Listen to punk music.
14. Listen to any music.
15. Don’t become an addict.
16. Stop overthinking.
17. Love hard.
18. Stop crediting Marilyn Monroe with 50,000 quotes she didn’t say.
19. Not everything is a battle.
20. Empathize.

Ohhhh and I'm participating in the Blogger Book Club being put on by some lovely ladies whose blogs I've been looooooving! Each month I will review/discuss a new book. Up first, The Help, which is perfect because I've been meaning to read this one for, um, a while... I can't wait to get started!! :)



26.5.13

Fashion Friday: May 24, 2013... Summer Shorts Sunday

So, maybe, I missed posting on Friday but, I'd never forget to post completely, y'all. 

Each year when summer rolls on I find myself in a predicament. I do not like shorts. They are either way to booty-popping-rap-video short or adventure-time-with-nature-explorer long. Denim shorts, affectionately referred to as jorts, seem to always look terrible on me, too. My least favorite pictures of myself all happen to be taken when I made the unfortunate fashion decision to wear shorts.

Maybe it is just me that feels this way about shorts (I’m pretty positive I’m the minority on this one). I even pick them up in the stores, pair them with amazing tops and shoes feeling very secure about my choices heading into the dressing rooms and slip those suckers on and nope, not happening. Again, you see my predicament??


When I see people looking all cute in their shorts I’m plagued with envy. Why, oh why, on me do they look ridiculous!! There is always that friend, which is why they are friends who is consistently reassuring me that: No, Haley, those shorts look great on you. Girl, don’t lie to me. It is just not my look. Just not me, nope. But, each season provides all of us with a plethora of fashionable choices.

The not-so-distance cousin of the short, The Capri pant, is not a problem for me. I love them. Colored, denim, khaki. I rock them all the time. I even cheat and cuff up my jeans to make Capris. Capri’s are my summer time short. But want to know my favorite summer look?? Dresses.

Summer is dress season!! They are so convenient. After spending 7-8 months layering the long johns, sweater, scarf, wool coat, hat with long johns, leggings, stretched out jeans (to fit over the long johns and leggings), wool socks and winter boots, the ability to throw on one, count it, ONE article of clothing and have an outfit is a godsend.

via
That’s why for this summer, I will be wearing, and purchasing, dresses on dresses on dresses. Maybe I’ll give the shorts ago one more time... maybe.


17.5.13

Fashion Friday: May 17th, 2013

It seems like a very long time since I've completed a Fashion Friday post and yet, only seven days have passed.

This is a Fashion Friday dedicated to some of my absolute favorite YouTube covers (currently), and The Great Gatsby, which I find to be completely appropriate because I've been bumpin' to the soundtrack, and I was completely in awe of Baz Luhrman's film. Obviously, I went in with a mindset that I always have with book to movie films. The book will always be better because I am allowed to create, mold and interpret the work in a way that is perfect to me, and any interpretation will never compare to the awesomeness in my head. (This post from Wonderly, I think, helps explain this too: Kassie King's "I have a lot of feelings about The Great Gatsby") Baz Luhrman created a movie that was lavish, outlandish and all sorts of awesome. It was his interpretation and it was awesome. I think it encompassed the Jazz Age is an idealistic way. Plus, I loved how the text of the novel was visual incorporated! Super cool!  And come one, Leo was a perfect Gatsby. He was perfect in all his grandeur and spectacle. His introduction? Oh my! I was giddy in the theater, and am 95% sure I squealed,

The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite novels of all time. I enjoyed the movie, and I think, if I'm not mistaken I may be in the minority. Do I care, old sport? Nope, not at all.

Now onto the music... I love each and every one of these covers almost as much as I love the originals. I think they are brilliant, moving, and flat-out cool. Enjoy them as much as I do.


Julia Sheer -- Of Monsters and Men "Little Talks"

via



Tori Kelly -- Justin Timberlake "Suit and Tie"
(PS She is absolutely amazing!)




Becky CJ -- Mashup of One Direction's "Kiss You" and Bastille's "Overjoyed"

via


Anthem Lights -- Mash-up Best of 2012 Pop


via


Candice Glover (Newly crowned American Idol winner) -- The Cure (Adele, too!!) "Lovesong"


And the final line of the Great Gatsby... "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

Yours xx

14.5.13

Every day in May, Part 2





The Blog Everyday in May, with a Twist continues.... See Day 1-7...

Day 8: A piece of advice you have for others. Anything at all.

Say yes to things, whatever “things” may be.

Yes, I’m taking my own advice, too.
                                                                                
Day 9: A moment in your day (this can be just a photo or both a photo and words)

I'm blogging outside in my PJ's because it is summer and that's totally appropriate, and fashionable, right??







Day 10: Most embarrassing moment (s). Spill.

Oh god, my most embarrassing moment... let me think here.... Hmm, I remember being embarrassed but I don’t actually remember why (or one that I can legally share...) Op, I’ve got one...

Preface: Okay, freshman year of college, both semesters, I was in a ridiculously hard Spanish class. I had this class everyday at 8am.

After our final, which I passed, btw, I was skipping, yes, skipping joyously down the stairs, grinning like an absolute idiot. I reach the end of the first set of stairs, did a really attractive twirl to take on the next set and WHAM....hello most attractive male friend. (Dude was a babe!!)

I broke out into the most unattractive giggle, flushed magenta; I can’t even remember what he did but I just scampered down those stairs so fast, I had to get out of there!! And that, is my most embarrassing story...at least that I can think of...

Day 11: Sell yourself in 10 words or less

Empathetic.
Funny.
Competitive.
Curious.
Tenacious.
Imaginative.
Creative.
Feisty.
Driven.
Loyal.

Day 12: What do you miss? (a person, a thing, a place, a time of your life...)

I miss Saturday morning cartoons, not these ridiculous ones they have now but Rollie Pollie Ollie, PB & J Otter, Blues Clues and Bear in the Big Blue House. I miss watching Full House re-runs for the first time. Friends. Period. I miss new episodes of Friends. I miss roller blading around our 3-season porch to Jock Jams and counting my brother’s shots with a stopwatch and calculator like it was the 3-point contest for McDonald’s All-American. I miss playing Knights and Princesses in my backyard with bikes has our horses. I miss recess and all the ridiculous games. I miss my Dad dropping me off, and picking me up, at school every day. I miss when exercise was for fun and it wasn’t called exercise it was called playing. I miss going to the swimming pool everyday during the summer at 12:55pm because it opened at 1:00 and we needed to be there when it opened. I miss the outstanding tan I got during the summer. I miss orange ice cream push-pops. I miss bike rides as my only form of transportation and socializing. I miss the hours we’d spend on ridiculous chat rooms. I miss ICQ. (Uh-oh). I miss MSN Messenger and getting my butt kicked in Tic-Tac-Toe by all my friends. I miss decorating my locker during middle school. I miss my high school teammates, solely for our pre-game dance routines. I miss Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper.

I typing all of these things, and times, that I miss I’ve realized that I really just miss being a kid.

Day 13: Issue a public apology. This can be as funny or as serious or as creative as you want it to be.

Dear Hair,

I’d like to dedicate this public apology to you. The things I have put you through over the years have been harsh, to say the least. I’ve curled you, straightened you (both by tool and by iron...yes, I ironed my hair), daily blow drying you to perfection and without heat protectant. I’ve lathered you with product upon product, and doused you with so much hairspray I’ve contributed to ozone depletion. You’ve been colored, bleached, and highlighted and that’s only in the last year. I have ripped through your tangled mess in anger and I apologize. You’ve been twisted and pulled into ponytails for years, while we can blame high school sports for this it is truly my fault.

You’ve been nothing but good to me and what have I done? Made you conform to what I want. I’m sorry. From now on I will treat you with the love, and respect, you deserve. Thank you for always being there and please, do not go anywhere anytime soon.

With love, and heat protectant,
Haley

Day 14: Ten things that make you really happy

1. Finishing a good book.
2. Making the perfect Spotify/iTunes playlist.
3. Turning to a fresh page of my writing journal.
4. The smell right before it rains.
5. The sound of my friends laughing.
6. Freshly washed, and made, bed; the best feeling in the world is snuggling down into those clean sheets.
7. That one day a week when my hair does exactly what I want it to.
8. A new outfit.
9. A hug.
10. The last line of the Harry Potter series: "All is well."

Yours xx

10.5.13

Fashion Friday: May 10th, 2013

This week was kicked off by the Met Gala.  This year's theme of the costume ball was Punk: Chaos to Couture. Here are some of my favorite looks: (These looks are far from everyday practical.)

Vogue Daily — Tom Sturridge in Burberry Prorsum; Sienna Miller in Burberry Prorsum, Genevieve Jones ear cuff, and Eddie Borgo tiara
Sienna Miller in Burberry via

The hair piece and the studded jacket say modern day punk to me, as a very much non-punk fashionista.

Vogue Daily — Lily Collins in Moschino
Lily Collins in Moschino via
Talk about embracing a theme. Lily Collins nailed it from head to toe. Although she looks absurd for any other event, I love anyone who can take risks and have the confidence to go with it. 

Vogue Daily — Taylor Swift in J. Mendel and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry
Taylor Swift in J. Mendal
Taylor's Red Carpet looks enviable, as always.

Vogue Daily — Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs and Eddie Borgo jewelry
Miley Cyrus in Marc Jacobs
Step aside. Miley is EVERYTHING. 

Vogue Daily — BeyoncĂ© in Givenchy
Beyonce in Givenchy
If anyone dressed for the staircase leading to the party, it was Queen B. Oh and did you know there is a person assigned to make sure her dress is absolutely perfect in each photo?? I volunteer.

Nina Dobrev In Monique Lhuillier - 2013 Met Gala
Nina Dobrev in Monique Lhuillier via
Nina Dobrev, ladies and gentleman. I loooove this look. Love it. This lace black pant suit, with skirt, and heels?! C'mon now. She slayed it.

But, by far, my biggest fashion inspiration from this week comes from my all-time favorite movie: Belle.


Have a great weekend everyone!!

Yours xx

9.5.13

Abercrombie Uproar




Talk about an article that caused uproar?

It wasn’t the comments, however ridiculous, that made me stop and think while reading this article. It was the idea that a man, a wealthy man, has based his income and brand on being “cool”  around the idea that someone, a high school kid, wearing his brand is cool, and boom, his brand is cool. This marketing strategy of “all-american kid” with an increased tone of sexuality is working (they’ve been around for 22 years). So um, way to go, sir?


In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he told the site. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either,” he told Salon


So in turn, does wearing Abercrombie make you cool? What if those “vanilla” kids begin to wearing Abercrombie? How does the cycle of all-american kid work for you then? Oh right, it will work because you are out to sell clothes. Anything contributing to the idea of “Wear Abercrombie-Become Cool” is a winning situation for you. Just another example of how, to quote my mother, the great philosopher: High school never ends.  It wasn’t Abercrombie for me, although it was worn; plus, I did wear a uniform to school every day soooo, again, tough to fully say whether it effected coolness factor or not. The “cool” kids wore white sneakers and light blue puffy jackets. And let me tell ya, the pictures from middle school, regardless of clothing brand, will all be laughed at and mocked come senior year.

“He doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people,” Lewis said. “He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’

I’m very aware this is not the point of the article, nor is it the uproar that is being discussed. The point is to publicly shame a wealthy man speaking about fat chicks wearing his clothes. Um, designer clothes, if I’m not mistaken, are not made for ‘fat’ chicks either. Why harp on a man who has just conformed to the societal standards that the fashion industry has created? And that begs the question: Why limit the idea of self-expression to only those humans who have a waste size of 0-2? If I wanted to express myself as an Abercombie Fitch “cool” kid, I would, but I don’t and didn’t wish to prior to his remarks. Do his remarks change how I feel about Abercombie? No. Not in the least. Am I slightly disgusted by a man taking the time to explain that he hates non-good looking “fat chicks" wearing his clothes? Absolutely, because anytime a man degrades a woman (or to use his term: chick) is disgusting regardless of the woman’s size, shape, or structure. Am I going to use the same ammunition, however unattractive the man is, back at him? No, because we, ladies, are better than that.

Fashion is a way of self expression. Express yourself in a way in which the world will take notice. Not because of the brand you wear or the size the tag says but because it says something about you. No one can take that away.


*steps off soapbox*
Yours xx

7.5.13

Every day in May... + What I Wore: Last week of School

There is a blog challenge for May started by the lovely Jenni, from Story of My Life, challenging bloggers to blog everyday in May. I would love to partake but, um, May's going to be a bit ridiculous for me (MAYbe I will complete all the prompts in July but with a Hemline twist, who knows) so I've decided that instead of doing the prompts everyday, each week I will complete the prompts in one post.

There are no rules for the prompts. They can be interpreted however the blogger feels. So, away we go...

Day 1: The Story of your life in 250 words or less.

I suck at describing myself or my life. So, I'm letting a poem I wrote in Creative Writing do it for me. We had 15 or so questions to answer about ourselves (parents, character traits, favorite word/celebrity/place/phrase), as well as brands we would endorse without being paid, a striking image, a question, annoyance, and something you wish you could have but can't due to unforeseen changes. Damn I miss Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper! I think I had it like everyday during junior high. Without further ado...Table for 1


A pregnant woman sits alone at the bar,
I wonder if she notices me, a bystander in her world.

Silly, fuse toed, daughter of Joe and Tami, once McVay,
lover of London, fan of Jennifer Lawrence, me.
Literally, living the dream & loving it.

I want to skip towards her in my TOMs, like her child will,
plop down on the stool next to her, and ask:
What came first: the bagel or the donut?

Instead, I slyly snap a picture with my phone, share it, tweeting:
“Pregnant woman at a bar—I wonder what she ordered? #water”

Gum-smacking, knuckle cracking Waitress startles me:
I lust for a Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, but settle for a “Diet Coke, please.”

Day 2: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)

Something-Nothing Days

I would like to take this time to educate you all on how to do nothing for an entire day while still doing something. I have spent many a day, wrapped up in a blanket, reading or watching copious amounts of Netflix. I'd say I'm quite the expert. You will need a space that is private (ie bedroom, TV room, living room, etc) where you can spread about 3-5 pillows, creating a sort-of headboard to lean against. Keeping, at least one pillow to the right or left of you to place your computer (portable DVD player, what-have-you) to watch your television selections. I prefer computer do take the occasionally Facebook-Twitter-Pinterest break. Feel free, if not located in your bed, to take the comforter/duvet with you to your location. Comfort is very much important.

Now most would say snacks would be the next important item but I will argue that hydration is key. I like to begin my something-nothing days with a bit of tea, or coffee. Then proceed quickly to lemonade (summer/spring) or hot tea (fall/winter). But, pro-tip number one, always keep water near, especially in a container with a lid and straw. Nobody likes to attempt to drink water out of a bottle and, SPLAT, all over your shirt. Awful. (First world problem? Yeah, I think so). 

Show selection... this is the perfect time to go through that Netflix Instant Queue and starting watching one of the 19 shows you've placed in there. My recommendations vary from Classics (to me) Gilmore Girls (many a Christmas break spent with my favorite Girls); One Tree Hill (remember: there is only one); Gossip Girl (if you have a flair for the dramatic and fashionable); or if you are feeling particularly nerdy: Dr. Who. My current obsession: Mad Men (Don Draper...*swoon*). And books, c'mon now, you can't go wrong with any choice but Harry Potter (shocking...) always keep me comforted on these something-nothing days.

(I'm skipping Day 3: something that makes you uncomfortable)....

Day 4: Favorite quote

I've got two. Both are very self-explanatory as to why they are my favorite. My first is Dumbledore's speech to Harry in King's Cross during the final book. 

Help will always be given at Hogwarts, Harry, to those who ask for it. I've always prized myself on my ability to turn a phrase. Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it. But I would, in this case, amend my original statement to this: Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who deserve it. Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and above all, all those who live without love.

And my second favorite is widely misquoted as being said by Nelson Mandela. It is a (paraphrased) poem by Marianne Williamson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine as children do. It is not just in some of us, its in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Day 5: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your friends/family member.

I really hope that you, yes, you the one reading this, knows that you are loved. I want you to know that I love you. I think you are beautiful, and smart. You bring light into my world. You are cherished. You were born with the ability and purpose to change someone's world. So, I, Haley, publicly profess my love to you, my reader. 

Day 6: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question: "What do you do?"

My goal in life is to inspire and to be inspired. So, that's what I do. 

Day 7: The thing you are most afraid of.

Failure. But aren't we all?

Annnnnd the Hemline twist? "What I Wore: Last week of School"


Oh the last week of actual class during my undergraduate career! What is one to wear! I wore my black skinny jeans from Sears, black tuxedo flats from Target, "leather" jacket also from Target, and a Mint knit sweater from JcPenney. My black bag in from Urban Outfitters and tree necklace from, you guessed it, Target.


I loved this outfit. It was perfectly spring sweater and by adding the jacket, I could wear it during the not-so-spring welcome. I can't wait to wear it more during the summer!!


Again this semester my university held the Jazz Swing Dance. I wore a dress from Karisma. It was on super-sale, like $10 I believe, which it just too good to pass up!! My shoes are from Herberger's about two years ago. They have gotten their wear. I love the colors of this look! And yes, I did dance the night away! Curious what I wore last semester?? Holiday Party + Jazz Swing Dance


Check out my graduation gift to myself?? Oh yea, a reusable Starbucks cup. Best. Purchase. Ever. This was my actual last day of college outfit. Scarf  was a gift but it is from The Buckle and my sunglasses are from Old Navy. 

Yours xx


2.5.13

Graduation Friday: May 3rd, 2013


Dear 18-year-old self,

Welcome to college. It’s quite a big place, ay? Deep breath,here we go.


Can I tell you something? It is not that scary. Cherish it.It’ll go faster than you can even imagine. These four years will teach you moreabout yourself and the world around you. Don’t think that all the learningtakes place in the classroom.

Go out and experience things. Leave your books in your room,go meet some people. When Mariah invites you to that awkward dance because she’sin the organization putting it on...GO! Go to the meeting the following week; go to the meetingalone. When they ask you to be in charge, kick ass at it. The people that comein and out of this meeting room will forever change who you are. This groupmakes college worth it.

Always carry a pencil and notepad. Don’t be afraid to bethat girl who knows the answer or has something to say. It is totally the “cool”thing to be the smart girl. Oh and stop saying the “cool” thing...It’s notcool. Being the smart girl is the greatest thing you will do for yourself.Library Girl is the best nickname you will ever get in your life. Don’t fightit. Embrace it. (Oh and learn your student ID number...You’ll need it all the time.)

Don’t pretend to love things that others do. Don’t be afraidto share who you are with the world. They will love you just as much as you do.This is the place where acceptance happens. Those ridiculous people you met onthe first day of Orientation? Love them. The amazing people you meet in thesefour years are your people.
 For years you’ve dreamed of things: traveling the worldbeing number 1. Start freaking doing it. When Kaitlin walks into Spanish freshman year andtells you in two summer she’s going to England on some Literary Tour with some professor you've never even met. Go with her! It will be the best experienceof your life. No joke. Make sure you pack band-aids and an extra camera battery.(You forget them...it is less than awesome.)

Junior year will suck. It sucks for everyone. You are, by nomeans, alone. Keep studying. I know, I know, it is awful and zero fun but,Haley, you’re In Honoribus graduating self will thank you. When you get anopportunity to take a nap... take one. Okay, and don’t tell anyone this, but,um, you might actually want to read the chapters your professor assigns. Butsometimes, like when you’ve got three tests and a paper that week, SparkNotes istotally appropriate.



When you make it senior year, you've made it; stop  keep going.This year is one of celebration. Stop worrying about not knowing what you aredoing with your life. You’re 21...You have plenty of time to figure it out.Just don’t forget to do what you love. That is all that matters. Oh and keepdrinking tea and keep reading Harry. You’re Harry-Potter-obsession comes inhandy.

Graduation day is tomorrow. The big day. Finally. Your gown is steamed. Yourdress is pressed. Shoes have been selected. (Go with the Mint, girl, please!)The only thing left is to walk across a stage and get that damn diploma and take on the world. 


 This place will change your life; allow it to.

Much love,
Yours xx


 PS If my words of wisdom seem less than to you...listen to these women. I think they know what they are talking about...

(Sheryl Sandberg to an "enthusiastic" group of women on their college graduation)

You are the promise for a more equal world. So my hope for everyone here is that after you walk across this stage, after you get your diploma, after you go out tonight and celebrate hard--you then will lean way in to your career. You will find something you love doing and you will do it with gusto. Find the right career for you and go all the way to the top.

As you walk off this stage today, you start your adult life. Start out by aiming high. Try--and try hard.

Like everyone here, I have great hopes for the members of the graduating class. I hope you find true meaning, contentment, and passion in your life. I hope you navigate the difficult times and come out with greater strength and resolve. I hope you find whatever balance you seek with your eyes wide open. And I hope that you--yes, you--have the ambition to lean in to your career and run the world. Because the world needs you to change it. Women all around the world are counting on you.

So please ask yourself: What would I do if I weren't afraid? And then go do it.

(J.K Rowling's commencement speech at Harvard circa 2008)




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