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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Airhead or Intellectual?

Since beginning class in the beginning of September, something's been nagging at me and I need to air it out. Forgive me if I veer slightly off topic for a moment, I promise we'll return to regularly-scheduled blogging shortly.

Before my rant, let's get a few things straight. I'm a bright girl. I graduated *early* from a top-tier university with a nearly-perfect grade point average. Sure, my degree is in Pubic Relations and not Physics or Biochemistry. I don't have my CPA and I sure as hell can't understand things like tax brackets. I barely understand my annual NCAA basketball bracket! But I have an uncanny knack for connecting with people and communicating, and I think I'm pretty handy with the spoken and written word. That's why we have chocolate and vanilla.
That's me in my graduation garb. Notice the cold-weather duds on my friends and family. It was December. FIVE MONTHS before my peers earned their own caps and gowns.

I thought I'd long come to terms with the fact that, I'm just a more creative type, and that I'd eventually wind up in a Communication department somewhere churning out clever, readable content and chatting on the phone with clients.

Until I enrolled  -- post-Bachelor's degree -- at BCC.


It turns out, compared to the really creative types (I'm talking about woo-woo wannabe fashion designers whose homemade tote bags are brimming with fabric swatches, sequins and something apparently called "rubber cement,") I'm actually pretty academic.

Take, for example, our recent "history of fashion" assignment, which tasked us to create presentation boards examining silhouettes of decades past, and forecasting which trends we might see again soon. I actually thought it was a fun assignment. I came to class over prepared, poised, and gave one heck of a presentation. As a 25 year old with actual, professional experience speaking to actual, professional people, my (biased) view was that I stood head and shoulders above the 19 year olds who stood, shoulders slumped over, mumbling inaudibly from a crumpled up index card.

I received an A- (MINUS!!!) on the project. According to my professor, my content was spot-on, my knowledge was well-rounded and my speaking abilities were top-notch. But she *had* to give me an A- because there was visible scotch tape on my boards, and I failed to attach my photos with this thing called "rubber cement." I also apparently should have used more color.

I'm fine with my grade, but I'm tripping over the fact that the girl whose project looked like an explosion of feathers and Elmer's glue scored higher than me. Sad face.

I'm realizing that in a super creative course like this one, I'm the least of the creative folks. My classmates think I have a stick wedged permanently up my ass because I stupidly expect them to (gasp!) respect my time and listen to instruction.They'd rather call out, doodle fashion designs or flip through Vogue.

So, here's my issue -- and I'm wondering if anyone else has felt this way: Am I an airhead or an intellectual? I sure feel like the former when I'm with the "in-laws" (who happen to consist of oh-so-very left-brained accountants and union workers.) But I feel like Albert Einstein discovering the Theory of Relativity when I'm in class with my too-far-gone right-brained fellow students.

This little conundrum is making it particularly difficult to choose my next direction. Do I go on to earn a Master's degree in something intellectual like Marketing or Merchandising? Or do I stick with my puny little Bachelor's and continue to pursue creative and freelance writing? I guess that's why I'm "getting my feet wet" with a cost-effective course at community college.

#badmood

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things I'm Loving Right Now

It's officially fall, and in an attempt to procrastinate just a little longer on Monday's schoolwork (as well as a few paying gigs,) I wanted to post a few fashion and beauty-related items I'm currently digging this season.

First up, Slatkin Apple Crumble Candle:
Apple Crumble from bbw.com

OMG this scent is is pure, crisp Granny Smiths, spicy cinnamon and cool, fall air. It's technically a "gourmand" candle, but I don't get a hint of that heavy, sugary, bakery fragrance. It's amazing. If you're a fellow fall-lover like moi, burn it for insta-happiness.

Next, Slatkin Spiced Cider Wallflower Plug-In
Mmmm! Also from bbw.com

I succumbed to my seemingly ever-present "sale goggles" on these, and I'm so happy I did! The Spiced Cider fragrance is another warm, apple-cinnamon scent, and I couldn't resist the oh-so-adorable spider web motif. When you work from home in your pajamas most days, a little fun fragrance coming from the nearest outlet is a surefire pick-me-up.

Last beauty item, Revlon ColorBurst Lipglosses

From revlon.com

I recently snagged five of these for under $14 at CVS. They retail for just under eight dollars a pop. One day soon, I'll share some of my bargain-hunting secrets, so stay tuned! I grabbed shades ranging from whisper light pink to fall-inspired bronzey-berry and love each one equally. Color, shine, moisture and a super unique bendy sponge applicator make this one an affordable winner!

First fashion obsession, Sienna Pumps from JC Penny:

From jcp.com


IMHO, a quality animal print pump is a wardrobe staple. I waited and waited for this $50 pair from JCP to go on sale. Then I waited again for my coupons to mature. Then they were mine for $16!

And these Target Fab Feet to make them wearable:

These, in leopard. Fabfeet.com

I waited so long to bring my Sienna pumps home, that the only pair left in my size in the state of New Jersey was the display pair from a questionable mall in a seedy part of Burlington County. I bought them anyway, and compensated for any previous wear and tear with these amazing $5 toe petals -- in matching leopard, of course!

Lastly, this chunky knit from H&M that I don't yet own:
Love. From hm.com

This amazingly cozy turtleneck/sweater dress hybrid is exactly what I need to keep me warm and fashionable this fall. Available in several chic hues (from basic black to cuddly oatmeal,) it'll look equally great with leggings and slippers as it will with tights and boots. NEED.

Anything you're absolutely loving so far this fall? Fashion, beauty or otherwise? Ahhhh, I feel like my shopping wishlist just keeps growing! xo

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Take on Emmy Night

During yesterday's class, I was surprised (and mucho disappointed) we didn't discuss Emmy Night fashion. And just because I have so much to say about it, I thought I'd sound off on this here blog. Let's get on with the photos, shall we??

KC's Hands-Down Favorite:
Evan Rachel Wood in Elie Saab Fall 2011




It's black. It's sparkly. It has cap sleeves and a belted waist. Essentially, it's my dream gown come to life. ERW would look equally fresh 100 years ago, and 100 years from now. Her Elie Saab (love her, BTW) design is completely flattering, timeless -- and in a word, perfect. Swoon.

The Close Second:

Kate Winslet in Elie Saab Resort 2012


It's no coincidence that my two best-dressed picks both wore Elie Saab. I'm a sucker for classic, feminine shapes in strong, timeless hues. Oh, and those cap sleeves -- I DIE! Besides, with that body, Rose Dawson could don a Hefty bag and probably still make my best-dressed list. :)

The OMG-No-She-Didn't!:

Heidi Klum in Christian Siriano

 It kills me a little bit on the inside to hate on Ms. Klum -- but I'm afraid I have no choice. Major props for promoting your Project Runway protege -- and I'll concede that this particular shade of lavender-laced taupe is gorgeous -- but it ends there. I'm from New Jersey, and this reminds me of the ShopRite Can-Can Girls.

And can we all band together and please, please (!!) declare strapless, sweetheart necklines O-V-E-R?!

There you have it -- my own personal take on Emmy Night 2011 -- I'd love to hear what you thought! Agree? Disagree? Think I'm totally off-the-mark? Do tell! xo


Friday, September 16, 2011

Missoni Mania

Today's post will be quick, since I'm in a hurry to finish up our fashion presentation assignment and scoot out the door to an evening meeting for paying gig. But I couldn't let another day pass before weighing in on the madness that has been Missoni for Target.

On Tuesday, September 13, Target's hotly-anticipated collaboration with the high-end Italian design house officially launched, created mass frenzy (complete with serious fashionistas camping outside local Target stores,) and subsequently crashed the affordable retailer's website. It remained inaccessible until the following afternoon.

I totally get it. I'm guilty of obsessing over a particular piece -- even loosing sleep over it -- especially when it's a bargain. But my fashion obsessions often look like this:

My favorite XOXO little black dress


Nude Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps
The perfect shade of classic red -- OPI Keys to My Karma





And certainly NOT like this:



Missoni for Target scarf

Missoni for Target shoes

Missoni's idea of a chic LBD

Let's be clear. The explosion of chevron stripes in unflattering hues resembles something out of Charlie Brown's bad drug trip. I. Just. Can't.

So my question for today is -- When it comes to fashion, will women trip over themselves for an absolutely hideous dress or scarf, just because inexplicable frenzy surrounds it?

Actually, that theory would explain furry pink Ugg boots.

All I know is that my fashion dollars are remaining firmly in my checking account during my next Target trip. I'd love your thoughts! xo

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Day of Class, and WWD!

As a 25-year-old woman who already holds a Bachelor's degree, I was worried going back to school might leave me feeling like a dinosaur (albeit a fashionable, cute one) in a class of tweety young girls barely out of high school. I was right.

 (That's me, working a fierce and fab turquoise smoky eye)

But I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Class was interesting -- and I already know I'm going to get plenty of great experiences between now and December 19. I just need to learn to roll with the punches and not expect a room of pie-eyed young'ins to behave professionally. Le sigh.

The best news to come out of class today is that I finally have a legitimate reason to splurge on the (exorbitantly priced) retail Bible, Women's Wear Daily! It's required reading! Woo!

A page from the 9/12/11 issue. YUM!

If you're unfamiliar, WWD is *the* source for retail/fashion/beauty industry scoop, but since it's so jam-packed with exclusive fashion eye candy and juicy insider information, a yearly subscription will set you back a Benjamin. 

My professor sourced an amazing student deal for the class -- four months for $30 -- and needless to say, I'm pumped to get my perfectly-manicured hands on my very own subscription!

In my retail days as a Bath & Body Works Beauty Ambassador, I remember sneaking behind my manager's desk and devouring next season's fashion forecast in WWD when I was supposed to be counting shelves of Country Apple and Moonlit Path in the stockroom. Sweet memories.

Old School BBW

Have any other shopaholic students welcomed a school-related excuse to splurge? Next up, details about our first in-class presentation. Hint: I'll be dressing accordingly. xo

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My First "Assignment"

To mark Labor Day, Pete and I celebrated with his family over mass quantities of both food and children. One of the nephews spent the majority of the day in borderline-tears at the thought of beginning 6th grade, while we tried to convince him that "school is so fun and awesome!"


Once we got home from the holiday festivities, I checked my new school e-mail account to discover my own very first assignment. Before reporting for class on Monday, Sept. 12, I'm to have read (and jotted notes on) the first chapter of our course textbook, The Dynamics of Fashion, and bring to class two of my favorite fashion magazines:


Now this is homework I can get behind. I'm proud to report I've already completed my first assignment, and can happily reassure my nervous nephew that school is, in fact, fun and awesome!

Any other "adult learners" out there feeling a little nerdy and overzealous with their homework? xo

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Plight of an "Adult Learner"

Because I'm currently working as a freelance copywriter -- and will soon be going back to school as an "adult learner" -- I'm able to do things like this on a clear, cloudless Wednesday afternoon in August:


Why then, am I so desperate to go back to school, end my freelance career and snag an in-house position some place where I'll likely work in a cubicle and have to log my bathroom time with HR?

That's a good question! Health insurance? Legitimacy in the eyes of a few outlying (and not-so-understanding) family members? I don't think I completely know the answer, myself!

What I do know, is that for now I'm happy to be paying my bills on my own terms -- but equally excited about the prospect of an exciting future career. Maybe one where I'll actually enjoy a little human interaction on occasion.

Oh, and for clarification, I do not have a child. The adorable blonde beach baby pictured is my nephew. And my guy's a teacher, so he's always around in the summer. And just because he's such a lady killer:


xo