A Year at a Glance

Saturday, December 31, 2011

As the last day of 2011 has begun and we all anticipate the countdown for 2012, I can't help but reflect on the past year and think of all of the great events that were included in it. Before festivities for the night begin later, I want to take a second and go back through this past years occasions and realize how lucky I am for the things that I've done, the people I've met, and the family that loves and stays with me year after year.

With my first time interning in 2011, my mom and I rung in the new year with an experience that I think everyone should encounter once; watching the ball drop in NYC. This event, though crazy, crowded, and barely visible, was definitely an experience that I'll remember forever and hopefully do again sometime in the future. 

{Left to right: Cori, Dani, Julie, Me, and Sammy}
Every little girl dreams of the day in her senior year where she gets all dolled up and gets to experience the last big soiree with her closest friends before we all part ways for our Freshman years of college. Prom was everything that I hoped it would be: I loved my dress, my friends, and our venue at The Magnolia Hotel downtown was beautiful.

With the year basically over, our senior class celebrated the amazingness known as senior prank day. We drove our cars onto campus, brought our dogs to school (as seen above), and shot water guns at the lower-class men as they arrived at school in the morning. Though done every year with each senior class, each experience is always a bit different and always fun.

{Kazimierz Dolny in Poland}
After an eight hour layover in Germany, our senior class landed in Poland to begin our final experience as a grade before graduation with our month-long trip to Poland and Israel.

Though we were in Poland to experience parts of our heritage that were heavy and saddening, I found that a majority of Poland was actually beautiful, colorful, and full of amazing buildings and people. 

{Elisabeth, Rachel, and I in front of a beautiful government building}

{Me, Michelle, Natalie, and Leanna on our first day in Israel}
When we finally got to Israel it was very surreal. Going to Jewish day school for most of my schooling, it was strange to finally be in the place that we hear about for all of our lives.

{Michelle, Leanna, and I at the Shrine of the Book}

{Natalie and I after the long hike down Masada}

{Leanna and I and our camel, Negev Nancy}

{Me, Michelle, Leanna, Laura, Dani, and Julie}

And then, that day finally came for us to throw the caps, accept our diplomas that we all worked so hard for, and get ready for our last summers at home before college.

{The girls and our diplomas}

{My parents and I during one of the many post-grad celebrations}

{My grandpa, me, my sister Lauren, cousin Liam, and uncle at Lauren's 8th grade graduation}

{An amazing summer working in NYC}

{Me, Anikken, Sarah, and my roommate, Sam}
And with the beginning of my first year at Syracuse University, I met the friends that I know I'll love to be with for the next four years. And, with these girlies, it is sure to be amazing.

{Sam and I watching our Orangemen win one of few football games}

{Halloween: Me, Sarah, Katherine, and Jackie as Zombies and a crayon}

{S/S 2012 New York fashion week}

{And getting home to the family that I missed so much}

So, let's ring in 2012 with many new amazing experiences, stressful work that pays off in the end, keeping up with friends and making new ones, and trying to find time to enjoy the simple things that keep us all sane. As this year ends, I can't wait to see what is in store for not only me, but for those I love and know it's going to be a great one.

Happy (almost) New Year!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Pretty much if you are a blogger, read blogs, or enjoy crafts you are aware of Pinterest. While I have known about it for a while, I had not actually started my own account until this past week, and let me tell you, I'm hooked. For those of you who are not aware of this latest craze, Pinterest is basically like your own "virtual pin-board." You can search through various categories such as "Hair and Beauty" to "Print and Posters" and "re-pin" things that you find inspiring, delicious (to the eye or the belly), or anything. 

You create your own page that you can organize all of your boards by. Within each board, you can arrange your patterns, party ideas, and fashion inspiration in a much better way than on a file on your desktop. The great part also about Pinterest is that a lot of bloggers take part in it as well. This way, followers are able to see what is inspiring them in other things than just what they show on their actual blogs. 

One of my favorite of my boards is my "Pattern Play" board (seen above). I am a huge fan of patterns, and this is a way that I can see and organize the ones I love. Isn't the one with the ballerinas and mustache tutu's amazing? 

Pinterest is a way that not only makes you feel creative (sometimes more creative than you actually are...), but it's a great way to view everything that inspires others as well and see what great ideas are out there in our blogging, baking, fashion, type obsessed community. So get out there, get an actual account, and start organizing all of your inspirational everything.


Mother of Pearl

I apologize for the lack of posts for quite a while now. With the end of finals, first week of work, and getting caught up in seeing friends and family, I slowed down. I realized that as I originally wanted a fashion blog, I hadn't posted much about my own style. Yesterday my dad took me out to lunch at one of our favorites restaurants. Since being home I had been in a sort of fashion lull, not knowing exactly what to wear. For this special outing, I took the time and got dressed up in my new favorite blouse and heels I've been dying to try out.

{forever 21 blouse, h&m skirt, and topshop heels}

{ these shoes are the perfect example of beauty is pain. I slipped into flats for actual lunch}

This outfit was the perfect combination of my style: lady-like with a bit of sparkle, and made me feel put-together and back into my love of getting dressed up for any occasion.

Have a great Friday!

Self Portrait

Monday, December 12, 2011

For our final 2D project, we were assigned a self-portrait. In elementary art class, we would cover a mirror with tracing paper and draw our reflections in paint, oil pastels, and colored pencils. However, now that I am in college and in a class with people who all hope to end up somewhere in the art/design world, my days of drawing my reflection like that were over. Throghout the semester, I would constantly proclaim my love for glitter. When stumped with what to do for this project, I kept resorting back to glitter. My teacher would tell the class that if there was something that we really loved to just do it. So do it I did.

On Saturday, my friend Sarah and I gathered our supplies and headed to the art building to start. Originally planning to cover my face in frosting and then arrange pink and blue sprinkles on the top, we had to adjust when the frosting began to melt from my body temperature. As my teacher constantly promoted, YES paste worked the best as a baste and then on top we painted a fabulous, iridescent, confetti glitter that worked wondrously.

Here are how they turned out:

My whole idea behind it, besides my love for glitter was that I wanted to finally just try and do something because I wanted to do it and test it out, instead of just trying to make something that I thought would award me a grade that I wanted. Instead, I decided to take a risk. The glitter on my face and palm was for just something that I loved, and my finger-tips are covered in pink sprinkles because it looks like glitter, but was a way that I was able to incorporate another activity that I love; baking. When finished, I used Illustrator and wrote down words that describe my anxiousness when it comes to figuring out what I want to do a project on, and how people will react and how the picture is fun and positive and the words show my anxiousness and fears.
Overall, I think that it was a really successful project, and in critique I even got a nod from my classmates and teacher. Turns out you can actually do something you love, take a risk, and get praise for it as well.
Thank you Sarah for the help with the pictures.

The Bloggies

Thursday, December 8, 2011

If you're an avid reader of blogs like I am, then you are well aware of the Annual Weblog Awards (aka: The Bloggies). Here blogs are awarded for their success in whatever their topic is. Here is my list of my current favorite blogs for you to soon enjoy as much as I do.

1. Sea of Shoes

Jane of Sea of Shoes was the first blog that got me hooked on blogging and of thinking of fashion in ways other than how the magazines style and present it. Since her blog's beginning (then shared with her mom, Judy) in 2007 her style has evolved, but her interesting way of combining pieces and her love of vintage has always been present and it was her that introduced me to the world of the Ann Demuelemeester boots.

 Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere seems as if she is the most popular fashion and food blog on the web currently. As my second blog obsession, I have been following her for a while and take inspiration from her daily outfit posts. Each piece that she photographs is something that each of us would love to wear but she manages to pull everything off effortlessly even if it is an origami inspired cocktail dress during the day.

Gaining popularity for her amazing Blogshop classes, graphic designer and art director for Rue Magazine, Bri Emery has an amazing blog that she says is where "type and images totally make out." With her fun personality towards clothes and all things graphic design, her blog is the go-to for any kind of inspiration. She's also the designer for the blog elements of Cupcakes and Cashmere as well as The Beauty Department and many others. 

Designer and stylist Kelley Lilien, creates amazing decorating, design, and style posts that look how you would imagine the love child of J. Crew and Kate Spade to be. With each post that she creates having it's own rhyme, the whimsy of her keen eye for glitter and all things class increases each time. After reading a few of her entries, you'll be hooked and be adding her images to your inspiration book. Check back day after day and your soon creative mind will no longer be delayed.

5. Sterling Style and The Glitter Guide

(Photo from Sterling Style)

From all of the blogs listed above, Taylor Sterling is probably the style that I would love to emulate every day. Her perfect ways she includes pops of color, interesting combinations of masculine and feminine pieces, and her keen eye for mixing upscale and lower cost items make her an enviable style choice. As the founder and editor of The Glitter Guide, as well, greedy style seekers can find her (and her teams) creative and inspirational posts on multiple sites.

For me, I have a list of about two hundred blogs that I am interested in. With that list growing everyday, I no longer have time to check each one. Instead, I resort to a few of about seven or so that I check daily before I leave for class in the morning so that the rest of my day is inspired by what I have seen earlier, and being a lover of all things creative, it never hurts to lack a little extra inspiration for the day.

And, regardless of whether your favorite blog, your own blog, or anything that you put a lot of time and love into, remember to just...

A Thanksgiving with Family and Friends

Though Thanksgiving was almost two weeks ago (whoa!), I hadn't yet shared with all of you how my family's festivities, and the event that I shared about here actually went. The actual break, though still quite busy, was exciting. I was with two of my closest friends, Leanna and Michelle, almost all time I was home, and I couldn't get enough. However, everyone breaks off their connections with their friends for that one third Thursday of every November for Thanksgiving.

{Nellie anxiously hoping some of my mom's brisket will fall onto the floor for her}

{Cousins Denise and Sheldon enjoying some post-feast football}

{My amazing grandfather, Milt}

{Mashed sweet potatoes and marshmallow topping: An obvious choice}

After a late Thursday/ early Friday pre-black Friday excursion that my sister, Lauren begged me to let her experience, the Weisfeld/Shkolnick girls headed to the mall for our annual Black Friday shopping (which usually meant about two hours longer spent in Tory Burch than everywhere else). Rushing home after a long day of crowds of busy shoppers, I began to hurry to set up for my own first hosting of a Thanksgiving party. A few months after planning with Julie and it was here. I hadn't seen most of my friends since we all left for school late August, so, this first Thanksgiving Dinner: Friends Edition proved to have high hopes to be a special one.

{Our festive table and glittered gourds}

{Unfinished Turkey Oreos}

{Successfully made turkey cake pops this year!}

{Even added little heart sprinkles for their beaks}

{Left to Right: Me, Michelle, and Leanna with our turkeys}*
I wore a Lyn Devon Blouse, Michael Kors Watch, Madewell Oxfords, and H&M Skirt

{Leanna and my co-hostess, Julie}

When you've been away from home for almost four months, there are bound to be at least a little jitters when it comes to seeing your friends again (finally). You wonder who has changed, who looks different, what they've all been up to, and so on. However, after a few minutes of realizing that everyone doesn't know the same people that you do now, you're not all in the same classes, and even your weather conditions are different, you resort back to your good old fashioned fun and remember why you were all friends to begin with.

Group Shot (Minus Cori and Ronit)
{Top from Left: Sammy (Tulane), Tori (UT), Dani, and Laura (Emory)}
{Bottom from Left: Leanna (UGA), Julie (Tulane), Michelle (Texas Tech), and Me}

* The head on my turkey is missing

Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Bars

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

While baking is a passion of mine that I have all year round, during the fall and winter months around the holiday season, this passion is piqued even more. The smells in the kitchen, the way a plate of baked goods look on a special plate, and the smiles seen while devouring every morsel makes it quite enjoyable, as well.  Though pecan and pumpkin flavors are quite common during these months, there are many other ways that these popular flavors can be incorporated into our favorite dishes in more innovative ways.

{Photo from Bakerella}

As a lover of Bakerella's baking blog, I came across these bad-boys last year. Anxious to try their creative approach to blending the two holiday loves of pecan and pumpkin together into a delicious dessert bar, I whipped up a batch for a school bakesale and actually ended up winning. Naturally, when I went home for Thanksgiving last week, I made some again to this time share with my family, instead. 

With this recipe, you will need: yellow cake mix, sugar, flower, milk, eggs, butter, cinnamon, and Muirhead's pecan pumpkin butter

This recipe is fairly easy, and will leave you (and your friends and family) feeling like you are the next Betty Crocker.

First, take the cake mix, and remove a cup of the cake mix from the box and mix in a separate bowl with the egg and butter mixture.

Then, press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 by 13 pan.

Now, mix the pumpkin butter with the rest of the eggs and milk, and spread over the ingredients already in the pan.

Finally, for the crumble on the top, mix the rest of the dry ingredients together (including the rest of the cake mix) until it looks like how you would like it and sprinkle on the top of the pumpkin butter layer in the pan.

Bake at 350* for 35 minutes, or until the top crumble is golden brown.

Take out of the oven and let cool. Cut into equal square portions, and enjoy. I hope that this recipe becomes a new favorite holiday staple in your household, as it surely is now in mine.

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