Friday, October 25, 2013

Thai food (and parents?)

It's parents weekend here at Emory, and you know what that means?


My dad ordered this "rama seafood" curry dish with steamed mussels, squid, and shrimp. SO yummy.

And parents, of course.

But let's get back to the Thai food. 
Last night, to celebrate my parent's arrival in ATL, my parents took me, Nate, and my functional roommate Brian out to a Thai restaurant called Top Spice

I don't mean this to be a post about how bad the food at the DUC (Emory's dining hall) is, because it's not. The food they serve at Emory is REALLY good, and I would wager it is better than what they serve in most college dining halls, but the joy of getting to go out and have a nice, thoughtful meal is so special to me, and I was beyond excited for some good Thai food last night, and a great evening with my favorite people.

Tom Yum Goong (Hot and spicy lemongrass soup with shrimp). AKA: my favorite food

While I'm a sucker for ALL Thai food, the food at Top Spice was particularly good without being unreasonably priced. I ordered a bowl of tom yum (my favorite food pretty much ever), and was not disappointed. It was delicious, perfectly balanced, and intensely spicy without being overwhelming. I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes food with a bit of kick.

I also had a squid salad to go along with my tom yum. I'd never had squid salad before, but it was SUPERB. This salad was just steamed squid on top of a bed of romaine lettuce dressed with a mixture of lime juice and ground red chili peppers. That's it. So effortless, so simple, and so unbelievably good. 

My parents are here until Sunday so there will surely be more culinary adventures to come, but for now I'm just SO happy they're here, and can't wait for the rest of this weekend. 

Much ruv, 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Thoughts: October 20

Who knows what the best part about Sunday is? 

Brunch? Tea? Just relaxing (which I WON'T be doing today. I procrastinated way too many projects)? 

All guesses are wrong. 


Whether you take shameless pictures of yourself (tips on the perfect selfie coming soon), or whether you just treat yourself to a coffee with a little bit of chocolate in it, do something for yourself. 

Selfie Sunday is YOUR day - enjoy it. 

Much ruv, 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 19: Girlfriends

I hate to be one of those girls who just "can't be friends with girls," but almost all of my friends are boys. I'm not sure why I don't have many girlfriends, and it's not that I don't love my male friends to pieces (I really do), but since starting college I have spent very little time in the presence of other women, and sometimes it makes me wish that I was a "girls' girl" - the type of girl that other girls want to be friends with.

Maybe it's me, maybe it's them, but for one reason or another, I just have trouble making girlfriends. Sigh.

So how do you say Cianan's name? KEE-nan. Cute, right? 
Enter Cianan. 

Cianan is the perfect girlfriend. She's fun, vibrant, brutally candid, wicked smart, and not to mention sexy as hell. She's the girl you want there helping you write a resume, but also the girl you want to go out with on a Friday night. She's a shoulder to cry on, a constant pleasure to be around, and a loyal, compassionate, just downright awesome friend. And a girlfriend nonetheless!

After not seeing her for some time, yesterday I got to catch up with Cianan, and was reminded of the value of having just one good girlfriend who you know will always be there. Someone who understands you, listens to you, and answers the phone no matter why you're calling. 

Cianan and I had oodles of fun, but after our day together (and a fun night together too! Stay tuned for pictures below), I realized that friendship isn't about having girls in your life or guys in your life. Friendship is about having people in your life who will share the good, the bad, and all of the in between with you. Cianan is the perfect friend not because she's my girlfriend, but because she cares about me and makes me feel happy to be myself. At the end of the day, that's all anyone really wants in a friend.

And I have that.  

Much ruv,

Pre-Friday night frat party. Such a fun night!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fashion Friday: Statement Jewelry (and a rant about how much I love my family)

I hate jewelry. 
I also hate shoes, but that's another story. This post is about jewelry. 

I know that for a young woman aspiring to some day be "fashionable," my hatred for jewelry might seem a little misplaced, but I just can't bring myself to like jewelry. It's obnoxious, uncomfortable, and it gets in the way of everything good. Necklaces, bracelets, rings.... they're all the same to me. They all get stuck on clothing and hair, they make unnecessary noise when they encounter hard surfaces, and they drastically hinder your ability to run and climb trees to your heart's desire. 

Who would sacrifice the ability to run and climb trees in the name of some shiny pieces of metal or plastic? Not me. 

So naturally, statement jewelry is not exactly a staple in my wardrobe. I don't like necklaces at all, let alone ones that are bigger than my hands. Any piece of metal that calls itself a "bib," or ring that sets off metal detectors in airports can stay far away from me please, and thank you.

But today I caved. I wore a necklace, and not just a necklace, a statement necklace (gasp!).

The thing is, I honest-to-god love this necklace. My sister and mother got it for me on a philanthropy trip to Nicaragua, and not only does it remind me of them, it reminds me of how grateful I am for the little blessings in my life. 

The point of statement jewelry is to make a statement, and I love the statement this necklace makes. It's the story of a Nicaraguan person's beautiful craftsmanship  it's the story of my family's passion for philanthropy, and the story of how I'm lucky enough to have family members who were thinking of me while we were apart. 

God, I miss my family. 

Sweater, H&M; camisole, Target; Skirt, Brandy Melville
If fashion is a form of expression, I can't think of a better way to express myself than with a statement necklace that represents my relationship with the women in my family. Today I wore statement jewelry because damn the trees and the running. Sometimes  you can only express yourself through your clothing. 

I paired my necklace with some of my favorite neutral basics. If you're going to be bold with your accessories, keep your clothing simple, right? Today I wore my favorite Nicaraguan rosebud necklace with a nude cardigan with black detailing, a light pink camisole, a black maxi-skirt, nude booties, and my-face-but-better makeup. 

I really love the effect this outfit has. It looks put together and trendy with pieces like the necklace and the skirt, but it still looks laid back and comfy. Today was cloudy and dreary, and this outfit was the perfect compromise between style and comfort on a day when I really just wanted to be warm and snuggly. Paired with a light smoky eye and berry lips for fall, this outfit came together just how I wanted it to: cool, classy, and a little bit fun. 

Just like my mother and sister. 

I'm LOVING berry lips for the fall. This color is so bold yet neutral at the same time -- perfect!
PS: Parents weekend here at Emory is NEXT weekend. Maybe my mom can join me next week for a weekend fashion post so you can see where I get my inspiration? Fingers crossed! 

Much ruv, 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Breakfast by Nathaniel

Nathaniel spent the weekend at a lake house with friends, but before he left he got me a bagel with lox, grapefruit, onion, cucumber, and dill from a nearby Jewish deli called Genreal Muir's. Yum! 

I'll be enjoying my breakfast treat this morning with gunpowder green tea and a giant pile of Chinese and memoir writing homework. Thank god for wonderful boyfriends who know how to make studying a little less unbearable.

Thanks, Nate!

Welcome, Fall

Emory University in the Quad

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Thoughts: October 13

Baked goods and I have a complicated relationship. 

There's a little bit of love, a little bit of hate, and a one-sided concern on my part regarding my baked counterpart's caloric contents. Poor baked goods. It's not their fault they're so darn bad for you. 

But we all love things that are bad for us. Some of us love men and women who don't treat us the way we deserve to be treated (certainly not a problem I have, luckily!), some of us love going out and getting wasted on weekends (again, another problem I actually have no experience with), and some of us just loved scones. 

All things considered, scones seem like a pretty safe bet in comparison to emotional trauma and alcohol poisoning. 

Espresso scones made with semi-sweet chocolate chips and an espresso sugar glaze -- YUM!
So, this Sunday the some of the women of the Barkley Forum (Emory University's debate society/my favorite group of people in the whole world) got together and we made scones. 

SO many scones!

We made cranberry hazelnut scones, toasted coconut mango scones, and my personal favorite, espresso chocolate chip scones with an espresso glaze. 


All the scones were awesome. While I'm not a fan of nuts, and didn't love the nut scones as much as some of the other ladies did, the tropical ones and these coffee flavored scones were out of this world. So I may have eaten a few of them...

By a few  mean 5. That doesn't include collateral damage (a.k.a stray chocolate chips or chunks of dried mango).

Freshman 15 here I come? 
Ha. Jokes. More like freshman 25.

But it's Sunday, and Sunday is for loving yourself, and your live, and for doing the things that make you smile. And ohhhhh boyyyyy was I smiling when I ate these scones. 

So 10 calories or 1,000 calories (... probably closer to 1500 if we're being honest. I ate A LOT of scone), sometimes you just can't help but love the things that are bad for you. 

And paired with a nice cup of English breakfast tea, good friends, and a beautiful fall day, I assure you that today I love these scones and my life to the fullest. I don't think there's anything unhealthy about that. 

Happy Sunday! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fashion Friday: Breaking Rules

It seems like every time I hang out with one of my more fashion-forward friends, I learn about new rules. 
You can't wear brown and black at the same time
Your shoes must match your belt (bonus points if your bag matches too!)
No mixing metals. Silver jewelry or gold, but never both

And of course, the infamous, daunting rule of all rules: no white after Labor Day

Admittedly I'm not the most fashionable, and I'm not known to be a rule-follower either, but no white after Labor Day? Ever? Reaallllyyyy??? Ever? 

To all you stylish readers, I hate to break your hearts, but this rule is garbage. Absolute garbage. 

So today -- October 11th -- I am wearing white. LOTS of white. 
Today's outfit consists of some pretty Kristen-esque pieces: a white lacy maxi dress from Forever 21, a black cardigan from Costco (affordable is my favorite trend), and my go-to accessory, a statement J.Crew feather headband. 

This dress cost $20 (TWENTY!) and brings in the compliments like you wouldn't believe. I can't walk ten feet in this dress without someone telling me how much they love it. But let's be honest... what's not to love? 

The dress is a sheer white slip (and when I say sheer, I mean sheer. As in, anything short of nude underwear that's your exact skin tone will show through this baby like a neon sign) with a long lace overlay that's loosely gathered at the waist. The lace is patterned with small white dots and a floral panel where the shift ends, and beautiful crocheted detailing at the bottom. 

For those of you who find yourselves intimidated by maxi-dresses, this is the perfect piece to ease your way into longer dresses and skirts. It's long and trendy, but simultaneously girly, soft, and universally stylish. The short dress with a longer overlay style also also helps counteract the "drowning in fabric" look that can make maxi dresses so tricky. Whether you're preppy, boho, or even a little grungy, you could find a way to style this dress and still look comfy, fashion-forward, and easy-breezy-beautiful. 

Because of my fear of anything even remotely daring, I paired this simple dress with a long, solid, crew neck cardigan, a feather detailed headband, and simple, natural makeup. It's a little bit preppy, a little bit indie, a little bit monochromatic, and a whole lot of comfy, simple, and I-look-like-I-tried-way-harder-than-I-did. 
But that's the point of maxi dresses, right? 

Paired with a classic but eye-catching piece like this headband, this outfit is simple and bold at the same time. That's all I can ask for. 
This headband is so easy and classic. It doesn't obnoxiously stick out of your head, but makes such a statement.
Plus... monochromatic feathers? The J. Crew accessories section can do no wrong.
I may have broken the labor-day rule, but as far as I'm concerned, come fall, summer, or even the middle of winter, with classic, simple, black and white pieces, you can never go wrong!

Much ruv, 

PS: Can we acknowledge how great of a job Nate has been doing as my personal fashion photographer? Once he realized that pictures look better in focus he's been rocking it!

It just took him a few tries to get the hang of things.... 

Fall Break Kick-off at... Panera!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. 

Admittedly, that's not nearly as exciting as it sounds. Fall break is actually just code for the DUC (Dobbs University Center a.ka. dining hall here at Emory) being closed for the weekend, and Monday/Tuesday classes being canceled. I know, underwhelming. But I'll take what I get. 

Since it's Fall Break though, Nate and I had to kick off the weekend in the most ceremonious way possible: going to Panera. 

Let's just talk Panera for a minute. Nate and I love Panera. LOVE. The atmosphere, the food, the infinite tea refills,the free wi-fi... it's perfect. Nate and I both can be pretty unproductive sometimes, but nothing can distract or derail us at Panera. It is our sanctuary of good food and lots of work. Panera is Nirvana. 

How cute are these cupcakes?
More importantly.. How cute is he? 

So this evening, Nate and I wandered on down to Panera to get in some good work, and some good food. Mission accomplished!

After a great work session on my most recent debate assignment, I mixed it up and forwent my typical chicken noodle soup in favor of a classic salad with maple balsamic dressing. If you have not had this dressing then get in your car, drive however far you must, go to Panera, and get some. Let lots. Ask for a whole gallon. They probably won't give you that much.
Ask for it anyways. 
Another reason to go to Panera? MANGO BLACK TEA. So good.
Nate got chicken noodle soup and his favorite sandwich. It's a turkey bacon bravo something or other? It's on a tomato basil bread that he loves. I love him. 

We're happy campers, with happy tummies. A great way to start the long weekend if I do say so myself. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hello World (You look Nice Today)

This is me. Kristen.
Let's get to know each other, shall we? Wonderful. 
I'm 18 and generally enthused about food (healthy and other, but mostly healthy), fashion, elephants, all types of tea, photography, babies, weddings, debate, and physical activity. I really like my boyfriend (his name is Nathaniel), my creative writing class, and food. Did I mention I like food?

This is my blog. It's pretty stereotypical-narcissistic-white-girl of me. 
That's okay. I am all of those things. 

But this is my story, and I'll tell it anyways. Thanks for listening!

Much ruv,