30 November 2011

Shop-to-the-Bop Winner


Thanks again to all you great gals who participated in the Shopbop giveaway! Without delay, the winner was drawn randomly from 97 entries ...


And the lucky number is 12, which means that the winner of the $100 gift card to Shopbop is:


Congrats, Pamela! I'll be shooting you over an e-mail shortly!

Thanks to all who participated - and please remember, the Shabby Apple andes skirt giveaway is still open!

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Also, I invited to do a guest post at Kristina J's blog - most of you already know Kristina for her classic-meets-romantic-with-a-dash-of-tomboy style aesthetic, as well as her talent with the sewing machine. She creates fantastic pieces from scratch, plus has a hugely original feature where she "Anthropologizes" more inexpensive items and creates something truly beautiful and unique. Please check out my guest post here! 

29 November 2011

Free to Be You and Me

I think it is pretty plain to note that the vast majority of us in the style blogging community – or heck, bloggers across the board – dislike less-than-complimentary comments showing up on a blog, whether it be to one of our own posts or to a blog we frequent.

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Sometimes the comment is meant to be constructive and is there to correct a point. Sometimes it is there to offer a different opinion about a topic. Sometimes it can be pointlessly hurtful. But everyone has the right to their own opinion and it is totally acceptable that we don’t all think or feel the same way about everything. Right?

For each blogger – and let’s take sponsors and advertisers out of this scenario – it is really their own place to decide on the content of their blog and how things are represented. But does (or should) that level of control also pertain to post comments? (i.e., the place where readers are invited to voice their opinions and thoughts?)

I think we’ve all seen bloggers react in a wide variance of ways over negative feedback – some don’t seem to mind anything and leave every single comment (good, bad, other) up on their blog; others choose to call out their nay-sayers in future posts and potential turn them into blog fodder; others pretty much delete everything that sounds even remotely non-complimentary.

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My personal take (solely based off my (in)experience as a part-time style blogger who likes to keep things light) is that I should leave comments as open as I can for each post. Sure someone may not like my shoes or think Christian Bale is stupid though who would think like that … but that’s their opinion and that is perfectly fine to me. Does it sting a bit when someone mentions that something I adore isn't the most flattering on me? Well, sure. Would I (or have I) deleted any comments before? Yes … random advertisers mostly, and the odd pointlessly hurtful hateful comment (because there are a load more reasons to dislike me in this world that for me simply being born asian - let's be more creative here, and let's get back to my sale haul).

So yes, for me personally, I don't like the idea of comment-sensoring so much that it is all unicorns and rainbows every single day. I also don't like the idea of calling out a comment, because I think it draws unnecessary attention to the negative - but if someone really decided to incite me one day, then who knows ...

Do you think post comments should be a "free" place? For you bloggers, do you determine if specific feedback isn’t “constructive” to your blog? And as a reader, what do you consider before deciding to comment?

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Jacket: Boden fringed tweed (worn here - sim here, here, pricy here)
Top: J.Crew sequin boatneck (worn here - sim here, here, sim-ish but heart-y here)
Jeans: J.Crew bootcut (worn here - sim here, here)
Shoes: Boutique 9 via Anthropologie botanist heeled (worn here - same on sale here, sim suede here)
Necklace: Anthropologie gold finger (worn here - sim-ish here, delicate pricy here)
Brooch: Blinkeye via Etsy

28 November 2011

Pink Flamingo

I can't seem to control myself recently. I've been wearing collared shirts under pretty much everything this season. Other than the pure I-get-cold-so-I-like-to-be-cozy aspect, there is something preppy to it that speaks to my inner tomboy (I refuse to call it "borrowed from the boys," you hear me, J.Crew?) aesthetic. Plus, I quite like to pop my collar now and again.

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Now there's nothing wrong to having a formula for a great go-to outfit at the ready, but I feel like I am doing it every day now. Plus, I threw on a plaid button-down under a sweatshirt with jeans this weekend to grab a casual bite with the BF and we ended up staring at each other, as he was wearing a plaid button-down under a pullover ... with jeans. Sigh - does this mean that I am dressing up like my other half now, or does it just mean I am dressing like a dude?

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So even though I grabbed myself three new collared shirts this past week thank you too much super sales - I wore this outfit last week so it doesn't count anymore, right - I will try to refrain from button-down layering this week to get myself out of a big collared style rut.

Have you all found a trend or two that you can't get enough of? When do you think an go-to outfit formula can become a style rut?

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Sweater: F21 cable knit (sim here, here, tunic-length here)
Top: J. Crew quincy boy (worn here - sim here, here, same plaid in kids' sizing here)
Skirt: H&M drop pocket (worn here - sim here, ivory here)
Shoes: Kimchi Blue via Urban Outfitters wingtips (worn here - sim here, here, oxford here)
Necklace: Crewcuts ribbon pearl (worn here - sim herehere)

+++

Sorry , I messed up on my giveaway end date - I wrote "Sunday, November 29" which doesn't exist this year. So my Shopbop giveaway will end on the correct Tuesday, November 29 - which means you still have time to enter here!

25 November 2011

I've Been Collared

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Happy after turkey day shopping, ladies! I hope you've had your share of food and cheer with your families and are indulging yourselves today. BF and I are actually doing zero Black Friday shopping this year (though I did snag a few things online from J.Crew and Endless on Wednesday - does that count?)

This removable collar trend has spoken to me this season since I've been addicted to wearing collared shirts under sweaters. I ended up getting this sequined one because it was fun, easy (cheap) and I thought I could wear it more as jewelry than as a faked collared shirt. I wasn't really going to brave this for work but thought it'd be OK for some non-shopping-related drinks and nosh with the friends today. What do you think? Trend-worthy or pure silliness?

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Mini-mouse update - we purchased some non-kill traps and within a week have captured (then released into the wilderness) five mice! Shudder shudder ... As cute as those little nubbins are, if we catch anymore this weekend, I'm afraid that we'll need to call in Peter Piper pro. Now what to do about those ladybugs that keep sneaking into the house!

Lash update - thanks for all your mascara tips, ladies! I ended up purchasing this cheapie brand but have followed your advice: go for a lengthening formula instead of volumizing for fewer clumps, don't pump the wand into the tube and don't put any on the lower lashes. I still haven't dug out my lash curler and I don't have Kim K-worthy lashes yet, but this is a definite improvement. Brow brushing next!

Lastly, don't forget about my giveaways! Enter here for a chance to win a $100 gift card to Shopbop, or enter here for an opp to win the Andes pencil skirt from Shabby Apple!

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Sweater: Old Navy 3/4-sleeve (worn here - sim here, cas here)
Skirt: F21 pleated leopard chiffon (worn here - sim here, here)
Collar: Asos gold sequin (grander here)
Bracelets: F21 / J.Crew (sim here, here, here)
Shoes: Aerosoles (sim platform here, here)

23 November 2011

I'm Thankful

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I'm thankful for ...
  • My loving and healthy parents
  • The loyalty of my pup
  • The luxury of being able to choose my food and eat as much of it as I want
  • Every day
  • My blog
  • Sunshine through the windows
  • My health
  • My fellow bloggers and readers
  • Being able to travel
  • The love of my BF

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  • Being able to be upset about imperfect nail polish technique
  • My big sis and her guidance
  • Jillian Michaels virtually busting my ass
  • Having a home big enough for me to complain about not being able to decorate
  • My nephew and his innocence
  • Disposable income
  • Being gainfully employed
  • Seeing my family for the holidays
  • The drama on the Real Housewives being a hundred times worse than anything I could think up
  • Warmth when it is cold
  • Braver people than I who fight so I don't have to

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, ladies. What are you thankful for today?

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Sweater: Moth via Anthropologie jeweler's choice (worn here - sim in pink here, navy here, luxe here)
Skirt: Limited high-waist (worn here - sim here, wool here)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction swim n fool (worn here - sim here, here)

22 November 2011

My Mother's Daughter

I am afraid to admit it, but as I get older, I am realizing things about myself that I don't like but can't avoid. I've tried hiding it, denying it, fighting it, but it keeps coming back like some unstoppable invisible force of nature - I'm starting to take after my parents.

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As much as I love my parents and spending time with them, there are some aspects to each of their behaviors that I've never been very fond of. I caught myself in mid-stupid-question-that-I-already-know-the-answer-to last week and did a virtual head smack - wasn't this exactly the same kind of thing that I've been chiding my mom for doing? Just the other day while BF was talking to me, I drifted off into deep-ish thought and didn't respond to his questions which obviously ticked BF off - the same thing that my dad is known to do that drives everyone else crazy! I've been known to throw around my opinion to an issue that I have nothing to do with. I can be reserved to the point of being considered stuffy.

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Sure I can sit here and point fingers all night but we're not playing the blame game here. And some of my more endearing traits - foot-in-mouth syndrome, anyone? - well, I believe I came up with that one all by myself. And with the not-so-awesome also come the traits that I am proud to claim from my parental units: My dad's untiring work ethic. My mom's unselfish desire to please others. My dad's even-keeled demeanor. My mom's penchant for breaking out into a big teethy smile.

So what are some of your more "favorite" unavoidable parental traits that you find yourself taking after?

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Top: Gap safari (worn here - sim here, here, lighter here)
Cardigan: LE performance (sim here)
Skirt: Forever 21 bold striped (sim here in wider stripes)
Necklace: Loft mesh chain (sim here)
Bracelet: Forever 21 faceted cube (sim here)
Shoes: Libby Edelman andie (worn here - sim here)

21 November 2011

Five Minutes With {Moments of Whimsy}

Happy Monday, ladies! Are you guys as excited as I am about Thanksgiving being later this week, my all-time favorite holiday of stretchy-pant-needing delicious gluttonous over-indulgence?

For this edition of Five Minutes With ... I am featuring one of favorite fearless working moms with an extreme eye for mixing bold color and brights pattern. Courtnee's blog has always been on my radar because she loves the same brands as I do, but she has a very adventurous way of pairing her pieces to create something totally unexpected, uniquely Courtnee, and yet still utterly wearable. So in her own words, here's Courtnee from Moments of Whimsy!


1. Seeing my husband interact with my kids makes me smile.

2. I would love to learn to speak another language.

3. Most people don’t know that I was a high school cheerleader.

4. My least favorite thing about blogging is taking pictures of myself! I am the least photogenic person on the planet and trying to post pictures that aren’t nightmare inducing (for me) is sooo hard.

5. Being loved and accepted for who I am was the moment that changed my life.

6. I can’t live without my television! I wish I could be one those people that doesn’t watch TV, but I’m addicted! Crappy reality TV, why can’t I quit you?!

7. If I had a theme song, it would be the theme from “Shaft”! Coolest theme song. EVER!

8. Having all of my kids home is what I am most looking forward to about the holidays.

9. My first attempt at making gumbo was the worst thing I ever ate.

10. You can tell I am angry when I get quiet! It’s like the calm before the storm, no good can come of it!


11. Getting old scares the heck out of me (but, as my 81 yr old Dad says “it beats the hell out of the alternative!”).

12. Saying something inappropriate but funny is what I am most likely to be found doing during a party.

13. Chasing down a purse snatcher in Spain is the craziest thing I’ve ever done. And he took one look at the crazy American chasing him and dropped the purse, but seriously, what the heck was I thinking!?

14. I love being asked to be a guest blogger!(Thanks Lisa!!!)

15. I hate being asked to speak in front of crowds.

16. Those e*trade talking baby commercials crack me up.

17. The first thing I do when I go home is put on my pajamas and pray I don’t have to leave the house for the rest of the night. Trust me people, it ain’t pretty!

18. One thing I’d like to do before the year is out is plan a vacation!

19. My wedding dress is the favorite item in my closet.

20. A cup of tea in front of the fireplace is my favorite way to stay warm in the winter.


Thanks for playing along, Courtnee!

It's Shabby Apple Giveaway Time!

It's our lucky November, ladies, because I don't have just one, but now two, fantastic giveaways for you! (You can check out the first one from Shopbop here).


The couturiers of lady-like chic over at Shabby Apple have generously offered up one of their wares for the readers of my blog, so one of you has the opportunity to win the gorgeous Andes Skirt from Shabby Apple's Inca Trail collection!

Here's the skirt description from Shabby Apple: Explore the far reaches of the world (or maybe just your home town) in the chic, retro-inspired Andes Skirt. In designer cotton poplin by Tina Givens, this classic pencil silhouette takes it up a notch from office staple to gal-about-town chic. With perfect tailoring from the natural waist to the knee, the Andes Skirt can conquer the conundrum of office-to-outing dressing any day of the week.


I know many of you are already familiar with Shabby Apple as an online boutique of feminine women's dresses, but recently they have added figure-flattering skirts and accessories to their lineup as well. Some of my recent style favorites include the A+ shirt dress, the Boutone de Rose #35 dress, the Going Steady dress and the Gondola dress. If you sign up for their newsletter, you also receive 10% off your order!


Entering is easy:

  • Be a follower of respect the shoes on Google Friend Connect
  • "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook
  • After doing both, leave a comment with your e-mail address (if it is not easily accessible from your Profile or own blog)
The giveaway is open until 11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 1. A winner will be selected at random shortly after that. This giveaway is sponsored by the folks at Shabby Apple.

Thanks and good luck!

18 November 2011

A Zig and a Zag

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I've lamented before about my lack of ability to apply makeup like a regular gal as well as my fear of getting - OK, looking - older, so it came as an incredibly flattering surprise for me when one of my dear readers (hi, Julie!) asked me to share what my makeup routine was. Alright, I use the term "routine" rather loosely.

I have always been a bit of a tomboy through my youth, and unlike my big sis, never really bothered to learn the finer points of makeup application. Which has really been fine through most of my life as that meant I could spend additional minutes snoozing in the morning as opposed to puffing or curling. However, in more business-y events, I feel like I lack the polish that some of my cohorts have. So I need to improve a bit. I'm taking baby steps.

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My current makeup routine is pretty basic. After I finish washing my face and smearing some moisture onto my face, I use a mineral powder concealer under my eyes (and believe me, with my bags and dark circles, I've tried it all and found that the powder works the best for me for coverage and longevity), then a bit of powder foundation on my lids and chin - can you tell that I have an oily complexion yet? I sweep on some blush then apply one of my ten million shades of nude lipsticks (the Sephora in G17 has been my go-to, but I like the sparkly Givenchy in beige shine too). Lately I've been braving the red lipstick, but I really just smudge it on a bit and not really heavily apply.

What I totally lack is any sort of eye makeup routine - that whole area that already been the cause of way too many morning makeup meltdowns, so yes, shadows and liner are too varsity for me. I admittedly am prone to jab myself in the eye if I try liner, apply shadow like a first-grader, and mascara - I really try, and you can't mess up mascara, but I can't seem to find that formula that doesn't end up in terrible clumps on my lashes or smeared under my eye.

Do you gals have any recommendations for mascaras that don't clump or smudge? And is there a type of makeup that you are intimidated by?

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Dress: Asos knitted shift
Tights: Anne Klein (sim here)
Shoes: Vince Camuto bronco (worn here - sim here, here)
Necklace: c/o Simply Livly via Etsy
Bracelet: F21 faceted cube (sim here, here)

17 November 2011

Win a $100 Gift Card to Shopbop!

It's giveaway time again, ladies! And what better timing then when the holidays are sneaking right around the corner and we could all use a few extra wallet helpers to aid in our gift giving or to splurge on ourselves?


The fashionably generous folks at Shopbop contacted me and asked if I was interested in hosting another giveaway for my readers - well, of course I am! Here's an opp for one of you lucky gals to win a $100 gift card to spend at Shopbop.

Shopbop is one of my favorite online designer retailers. They carry pretty much everything you need to fulfill your sartorial heart's desire, with a huge sale section that gets frequently updated. I have literally spent hours on the site going through pretty much everything, but my fave section has to be their accessories, especially their designer hobos and women's wallets. And with free expedited shipping and returns, what have you got to lose?

   

Entering is easy peasy:

  • Be a followe of respect the shoes on Google Friend Connect
  • Leave a comment on this post with your e-mail address (if there's not already a way to reach you via your profile or blog)
* For an extra entry, you can blog about this giveaway and leave an additional comment with the link.

Contest concludes at 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 29 and a winner will be selected at random shortly after that. International entries are welcome, but unfortunately PA bloggers are not eligible, sorry! This giveaway is sponsored by the folks from Shopbop.

Thanks and good luck!

15 November 2011

Work to Not Work

Remember in Sex and the City 2, where Carrie tells Big that "I think that we are going to have to work on the sparkle for the rest of our lives." Do you think that's true? Do you feel that when two people are together for a long period of time, that they have to make more of an effort to keep the excitement of first dating alive? Is that necessary to a successful relationship?

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I ponder this because I am realizing that this is becoming a typical Friday night for me nowadays - BF and I return home from our respective jobs and immediately change into something more comfy, usually involving jeans. BF stares with mild feigned interest at the contents of the frig before calling out, "hey, you wanna go grab a bite?" We'll head somewhere casual and convenient, maybe include an errand of two along the way, and come back home to watch a Netflix movie or shout-chat at each other as he surfs the Internet from his office and me from the couch. When it is time for bed, I may have Clearasil smeared on my face, my hair in a clearly attractive top knot. BF's clothes from the day are strewn all over the armchair. Pup will usually jump in the bed and start worming her way to sleeping horizontally right between us.

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Please forgive me if I can't help but to sometimes Carrie Bradshaw-wonder whether in our contentment as a couple, that the romance, or "sparkle," has fallen to the wayside of routine and comfort? We've traded love letters for scribbled notes on Post-Its, dressing up after work for jeans and sweats, fun surprise gifts for things we actually need. I kind of miss the excitement of waiting for BF to ring in and wondering if we'll be going out this weekend, of always wanting to impress each other.

But then I don't know if I am just being lured by the "hype" of hearing my girlfriends' dating endeavors or the endless glossy magazine covers warning about relationship ruts (or just watching too plain many reruns of SATC). I really appreciate that BF and I can be completely comfortable with each other. There are no pretenses, no confusion, no games, no trust issues. We don't have to work for it. I believe that we both are truly happy together and make each other better people. Isn't it a good thing that he loves and accepts me, top knot and all? Am I just misconstruing reliability for routine?

What do you ladies think? Do you sometimes feel like you've gotten too chummy with your significant other? How you do work on the "sparkle?" Or do you think that's just a bunch of hoke?

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Sweater: J. Crew tippy (worn here - sim here, fur collared here)
Skirt: Left of Center via Anthropologie diagonal divide (worn here - sim green-ish here, blue here, solid here)
Belt: Asos metal keeper
Necklace: Anthro-faux-logie via Ebay (sim here)
Bracelet: F21 stud stretch (sim here)
Shoes: Kenneth Cole Reaction swim n fool (worn here - sim here, luxe here)

14 November 2011

Flock of Seagulls

Thanks for your patience with me, ladies - after about a week and a half of work and travel, I'm back in bloggie action again, though I think I have loads of catching up to do!

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Can you believe that for those of us stateside, it is less than two weeks from Thanksgiving (is it that time of year already)? Which also means - I love how most stores just bypass turkey day and jump straight into twinkly lights and garlands - that the great big holiday of giving is also near. Which also means that is almost another year done! OK, one anxiety attack at a time, Lisa ...

Typically, BF and I would go to one of our families' to celebrate, or we would do an orphan's day, where a bunch of us not going home would get together and "commiserate." Honestly, as much as we love our families, sometimes it is nice to have a drama-free holiday with a bunch of friends, where we would gather at someone's house with football on in the background, imbibe too many beverages, watch the guys in the backyard try not to burn the neighborhood down frying a turkey and then stuff ourselves stupid. Most importantly, we usually divvied up the cooking responsibility so everyone bought a different dish and not one person was saddled with the responsibility to cook for a small army.

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This year, with BF's work schedule, we decided to buck our normal traditions and instead do Thanksgiving at home - meaning on our own, no families, no friends. Surprisingly the most difficult part has not been telling our families we're "abandoning" them - we each have siblings whose families will be with our respective parents, so cooking/swearing/good-natured arguing/consuming will be done regardless - but trying to figure out a traditional menu consumable for just two people.

At this point we're looking to order the smallest deep-fried turkey we can find (once you go deep-fried, you'll never go back, seriously) and then making our own sides. I know that is almost plain lazy for this cook-til-you-drop holiday, but I ain't slaving in the kitchen all day for just two people!

What are your turkey day traditions? Are there any you wish you could avoid, or ones that it wouldn't feel like Thanksgiving if you did without?

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Top: Forever 21 dolman birds (check stores, sim here, here, here, solid here)
Skirt: J.Crew No. 2 double-serge (cas version here)
Belt: UO Deena & Ozzy stretch (sim here, like snakebite in ivory)
Shoes: Boutique 9 via Anthropologie botanist heeled (worn here - same here, sim suede here)
Earrings: T+J Designs stone dangle

09 November 2011

Five Minutes With {Effortless Anthropologie}

Greetings from abroad, ladies! I am over the moon excited about this edition of Five Minutes ... not only because it features one of my favorite daily reads and go-to resources for to one of my delighted-upon retailers, but also because I know that many of you lovely ladies share the same sentiments for this do-it-all blogger.

I think we all know that blogging takes a lot of work and as an unofficial second job it is sometimes difficult to find time away from "your regular life" to be able to post regularly. So I give big props to those ladies who post almost daily, and especially this gal who makes the time to also find interesting related news, locate deals, sacrifices sleep on a regular basis just so we can get an upper hand on sales, and opens her blog up to her readership so everyone can share tips and form a sense of community. All with humor, grace, tech-savvy and a flair for the fabulous accessory.

So I don't think this fantastic blogger needs any further introduction - here's one of my favorite Anthrophiles, and yours, Roxy from Effortless Anthropologie!


1. The NYC skyline makes me smile.

2. I hate having to decide on my favorite anything.

3. The best thing I like about blogging is having a creative outlet that’s all mine.

4. My least favorite thing about blogging is hand cramps.

5. I would love to learn to drive race cars.

6. Most people don’t know that I started going grey at the ripe old age of 21.

7. Going to college was the moment that changed my life.

8. I’ve always wondered why it always rains the day I forget my umbrella.

9. Tuna tartare with a raw egg was the worst thing I ever ate.

10. To be brave is to do the right thing even when there are personal costs.


11. You can tell I am angry when my entire face turns beet red.

12. Flying scares the heck out of me.

13. Phantom Planet’s “Big Brat” is my favorite song of the moment.

14. My favorite useless skill is remembering cheat codes to Sega Genesis games.

15. Back-country snowboarding is the craziest thing I’ve ever done.

16. Mitch Hedbergcracks me up.

17. Whatever I wore yesterday is the favorite item in my closet.

18. Playing beer pong is what I am most likely to be found doing during a party.

19. It wouldn’t be the holidays without a glass of spiked eggnog with my buds.


Thanks so much for participating, Roxy! And ladies, if you have not yet visited her site, do so immediately! If you're not already an Anthropologie fan, she will make you one!
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