Thursday, May 30

we love target: my fave accessory

The next theme for the We Love Target Link-Up hosted by Whitney from Along the Lines of Style and Heidi from Literate and Stylish are hosting this week is accessories. I'm going to keep it short and sweet today... I've had this sparrow necklace since college and it is my absolute favorite!

Necklace: Target  Sweater: Old Navy  Dress: Target

Wednesday, May 29

may in entertainment

my life in entertainment - may 2013

movies i saw

Snow White and the Huntsman - I feel kind of bad for making fun of this movie now.  Kind of boring at first, but once Chris Hemsworth came on the scene it was all good.  It had a little bit of everything - Charlize Theron being delightfully crazy, Kristin Stewart showing a wider range of facial expression than I ever noticed in the Twilight series, awesome costume designs, some pretty cool world-building (like a subculture in which the women purposefully scar their faces so the Queen won't want to harm them), and special effects on par with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Hobbit.  I remember thinking, "This is probably what the people who did the CGI for The Great and Powerful Oz were going for."  I hope the rumored sequel ends up happening.

Iron-Man 3 - I've seen all three Iron-Man movies in the theater, and this was my favorite of the series.  I feel like this movie had a really big role to play:  in a post-Avengers world, could a movie with a single superhero be as exciting and intense?  Well, yeah, it happens in comic books all the time.  I thought the filmmakers did a nice job of acknowledging that Avengers Assemble happened and making it clear that in this situation, Tony Stark couldn't just call up Captain America or Thor for help - he was on his own against a mysterious villain and a creepy character from his past.  I think the story also did a nice job of reminding the audience why Tony Stark is such a cool character to begin with - he is basically the MacGuyver of superheroes.

The Great Gatsby - My best girlfriends and I went to see this one together, and we had very high expectations because we all loved the book in high school.  We were not disappointed.  Y'all know I love me some Leo, and he was flawless, but it was Carey Mulligan who truly lit up the screen and embodied Daisy Buchanan.  The crazy modern Jay-Z and Florence and the Machine soundtrack totally worked for me, too - even the Lana Del Rey song was perfect for the moment.  I think having seen (and loved) Baz Luhrman's movies helped me "get" the over-the-top style and in-your-face imagery.

Star Trek: Into Darkness - My favorite movie of the summer so far.  I loved the 2009 reboot, and this movie brought back everything I loved about J.J. Abram's first take on Star Trek - it's all about the characterization.  And this one?  Totally a movie that's very much about strong male friendship, which I don't think we see enough stories about.  Just the right blend of humor, action, and pathos - I felt like I'd gotten my money's worth before the opening credits even rolled.

books i read
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - When the going gets tough, I reach for YA dystopia.  Nothing in real life is ever going to be as bad as having to live in a pod because our very atmosphere has become volatile and dangerous, being double-crossed, attacked, and thrown out of said pod, and having to survive in the wilderness.  That's what's happening to Aria in Under the Never Sky - and along the way, she's discovering who she really is, finding her inner strength, and learning to trust a boy she sees as a savage but who has secret abilities of his own. The details of how the Aether-infected world really works - the lucky people in Pods, living their lives in virtual realities; the poor people, "Outsiders," living in tribes with clear-cut hierarchies; the destitute living in the wilderness - were very well defined.  I couldn't put the book down.

television favorites

Arrested Development - Thank you, Netflix, for making another season of one of the funniest comedies EVER possible.  I'm so excited.

Sherlock - I know I'm late to the game on this one - I've seen rave reviews of the BBC show and Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of the title character online, but wasn't really interested in watching it myself until I saw Cumberbatch in Star Trek: Into Darkness.  Thanks, PBS and Masterpiece Theater for airing the first episode last week - I'm sure that wasn't planned or anything.

So You Think You Can Dance - It's audition time, so I'm not even bothering to remember any of the dancers' names yet, but there have been some really strong tryouts already - the dance people bring to this show is so innovative and full of emotion, and I am loving it.

What have you been loving this month?  And also...

we love target: my fave dress

I decided to break out of my comfort zone some more and keep participating in the We Love Target Link-Up Whitney from Along the Lines of Style and Heidi from Literate and Stylish are hosting this week .    I've already found answers to some of my most burning Target-related questions.  In the comments on Monday's post, Jen from Librarian for Life & Style clued me in to this amazing post on Mai Heart that includes the Target weekly markdown schedule.  I also found this guide to Target brands from a former employee - apparently, Mossimo is more trend-oriented and Merona is focused on work staples.

I have yet to jump on the Target pencil skirt bandwagon, so I'm fudging today's topic (bottoms) a bit with a dress I purchased recently from the Tarjay.

Dress: Target, Cardigan: Target, Necklace: LOFT, Bracelet: Premier Designs, Shoes: Target

Tuesday, May 28

who to follow on instagram: spring edition

I am still, unapologetically, an Instagram addict.  On days when I don't even want to get out of bed, I grab my phone and check out what the people in my feed are doing - it's a guaranteed strategy for motivating myself to get out of the house and go do something colorful, exciting, and fun.  It's also my favorite way to keep up with all of my high school and college friends' cute babies.  Besides following people I know in real life, I also follow a handful of bloggers and other creative professionals.  Here are a few accounts I'd recommend following if you're just getting started on Instagram, or looking to spice up your feed:

  • glitterguide - The editors of the magazine-style blog The Glitter Guide share a good mix of slices of the good life and previews of upcoming blog content.
  • cozystylishchic - Jeanne has studied both fashion and interior design and brings her trained eye to her Instagram as well as her blog.

  • hungryeditor - Ben's images are so much better than everyone else's "look at what I'm eating" shots.
  • ohjoystudio - Joy Cho is one of my favorite lifestyle and DIY bloggers and I love seeing her cute family and upcoming blog projects on her Instagram.

  • snippetandink - The editors of the lovely wedding blog share previews of beautiful, blog-worthy photography as well as shots of their work behind the scenes- really interesting for a small blogger like me!
  • stylishpetite - Fashion blogger Annie shares sneak peaks of her upcoming blog posts and her everyday life, as well as sale alerts for stores like LOFT and Banana Republic.

Are you on Instagram?  I'd love to follow you - leave your username in a comment to this post (you can follow me here).

Monday, May 27

we love target: my fave top

This week, Whitney from Along the Lines of Style and Heidi from Literate and Stylish are hosting a We Love Target Link-Up.  As I say in most of my style posts, I'm not a fashion blogger, just a girl who likes to shop - but I love shopping at Target too much to pass this one up.  I learned that it's SUPER AWKWARD trying to get a good pose using the self-timer on my camera.  I'm also hoping to learn the secrets of Target in this Link-Up, like what day to I need to go to see new items? And what's the difference between Mossimo and Merona, anyway?

Top: Target, Scarf: Simply Vera Vera Wang at Kohl's (similar items), Skirt: Talbot's (thrifted); Shoes: Payless (similar)

Today's theme is Favorite Top, and here's mine.  It's a Merona v-neck, lace-front t-shirt with three-quarter sleeves and a cute keyhole detail in the back that was available this past fall.  If something similar comes out this year, I'm snapping it up in ever color because I wear it so often.  

The first look I put together is a dressy work look.  On that particular day, I was administering a standardized test to a student in another grade who I did not know, so I really wanted to look put-together and "in charge."  I love my Target top because gray is such a great neutral that goes with everything, and the lace looks fancy enough for work in a school.

Click to see my favorite top styled in two more ways!

clicks of note: memorial day.

get your week off to a colorful start...

  • My family has something wonderful to celebrate this Memorial Day:  my cousin Chris is home from Afghanistan!  He served two tours over there and has been on some very dangerous missions, so we are thanking God that he is back with his family and safe.

  • It's my birthday week, so I can be even more "me me me" around here than usual, right?  Here's an amazing jazz version of my favorite song, Eric Clapton's "Layla."  The audience's response when they realize what song it's going to be makes the intro twice as much fun.
Now, get off the computer and go savor the day.

Sunday, May 26

sunday social: summer!

Sunday Social

Best summer memory as a kid?

My years as a teen counselor at 4-H camp were the happiest summers ever.  The memory that will always be "summer" to me is having a "slumber party" in the lobby of our lodge with my fellow counselors one night.  Those girls taught me that it was good to be enthusiastic, crazy, and unique.  I also have really fond memories of going to Myrtle Beach, Pigeon Forge, and Disney World with my parents.

Favorite summer drink?

The mojitos we served at our wedding are still my favorite drink ever.

Favorite summer TV show?

So You Think You Can Dance!  I missed the first two seasons because I was working full time at 4-H camp, but I have watched every season since then and it is pretty much my favorite thing that comes on television.  There's a message board I participate in about the show that makes it even more fun to watch, and I follow a lot of the former contestants on Twitter and Instagram.  The only drawback is that it always makes me REALLY miss being a dancer.  My other favorite summer show is Master Chef - Mr. Q and I got so into it last year that we were trying to make the recipes.

Best outdoor summer activity?

Anything aquatic - swimming, canoeing, kayaking, or going out on a boat (except sailboats - they make me seasick).  Preferably paired with listening to music and grilling out.  I consider myself very lucky to live in the "land between the lakes" and have a few friends with pools.

Summer vacation essentials?

Sunblock with a high SPF, good sandals, a stack of books or a loaded-up Kindle, and motion sickness bracelets- these cute Etsy versions are on my wishlist for this summer's adventures.

sunday simplicity #121

“Hearts are not to be had as a gift, hearts are to be earned.” 
― W.B. Yeats

Friday, May 24

patriotic home decor: for memorial day and beyond...

I was supposed to be a July baby - my due date was Independence Day.  Apparently, I had other plans, and came into the world on May 29th.  Being a May baby definitely has its perks: strawberry birthday cake, "summer blockbuster" options for theater outings, and, obviously, sandal weather.  Sometimes, my birthday falls on Memorial Day - I suppose I traded one patriotic holiday for another.

While this isn't one of those magical years, I look forward to the long weekend, the official beginning of cookout season, and the opportunity to show my gratitude to my family members and friends who have served our county in the Armed Forces.  I also look forward to getting out my red, white, and blue rag wreath and adding patriotic touches to the country townhouse.  As a kid reading my mama's Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living magazines, I imagined grown-up me living in a white farmhouse with a lot of Americana- red, white, and blue look so fresh and happy in home decor.  While that dream hasn't come true quite yet, I love finding ways to add these colors to our living space!

I love this porch featured on My Bunny Go Boom - and the adorable Westie doesn't hurt either :)

Bunting is such a great way to add instant impact to an outdoor space - it's perfectly nostalgic and, paired with a porch swing, you can pretty much be transported to Mayberry.

While a Colonial flag crock is probably too much of a patriotic commitment for our limited front porch space, planting red, white, and blue flowers in our window box is something I am definitely considering as a weekend project...

The stylists at Pottery Barn have been getting patriotic home decor right probably since before I was born - they never overdo it.  This casual space has just enough America without looking like Ted Nugent lives there.

Wednesday, May 22


This is yet again one of those times when it's hard to blog because something so much bigger is going on.  I have been watching television coverage of the destruction from the tornado in the Oklahoma City area.  The two elementary schools being destroyed is particularly painful to my heart - I can't imagine my school not being there anymore and my prayers are with all of the families of the deceased, missing, and injured, as well as those who lost their possessions and sentimental items.

Monday, May 20

clicks of note: feels like I'm falling...

get your week off to a colorful start...

  • I can't stop listening to Hain's "Falling" - serious 80's-era Fleetwood Mac vibes, in the best way.




Sunday, May 19

sunday simplicity #120: loyalty

"Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, 
but loyalty never fades. You can depend so much on 
certain people; you can set your watch by them. 
And that's love, even if it doesn't seem very exciting."

- Catherine Lucas

Monday, May 13

clicks of note: hey, pretty girl...

get your week off to a colorful start...


Sunday, May 12

sunday social: past and future

Sunday Social

This week's Sunday Social questions are all about where I've been and where I'm going.  It's hard to predict where I'll be in the future!

1. 1 year ago I was doing ….

Making Mother's Day dinner for my mom and mother-in-law with Mr. Q and my SIL.

2. 5 years ago I was doing ….

Getting ready to graduate from college with my Master's Degree in Teaching and prepping for job interviews.  And I got this guy...

3. 10 years ago I was doing….

Getting ready to graduate from high school... May meant prom (which was kind of horrible, but I did win a coffee pot at the after prom party), breaking up with my first boyfriend (due to his awful behavior at prom), dance recital (including our Dirty Dancing piece and my senior lyrical solo to "Give Me One Reason" by Tracy Chapman), publishing the literary magazine, Senior Dinner at my magnet school, senior picture and skip day at my home school, traveling to UVa to present my science project at the state level (where I broke out in hives), and Baccalaureate. I can't believe my ten year reunion is this year! 

4. 1 year from now I'll be doing…

Saving up for my 30th birthday trip to London with my bestie Seatlee.

5. 5 years from now I'll be doing….

I would like to be working on an MFA in Creative Writing - I need to start giving myself time to build a portfolio of writing samples.  Hopefully at that time I will be starting a family with Mr. Q in our own house, on our own land.

6. 10 years from now I'll be doing…

Working on a Doctorate to become a Professor of Education at a Virginia college or university.

Wednesday, May 8

spring color: vintage style lemon wedding

"Evelyn" printable invitation from Wedzu

I think that if Mr. Q and I had gotten married in the spring, I would have been very tempted to have a lemon yellow wedding with vintage touches, Southern charm, and a hint of teal.  I love the diagonal stripes on this printable invitation.

Yellow rose bouquet from Encarnacion Photography

Yellow bowtie from Southern Weddings

Bridesmaids via Inspired by This

I love that these paper straws echo the striped pattern from the printable invitations, and personalized drink flags are an adorable touch.

Isn't this the cutest cake table?  Proof that a display doesn't have to be over-the-top to be beautiful.  I love that the paint on the buffet is almost the same shade as the bridesmaids' dresses above, and I would love to get my hands on those cake stands!

What are your favorite colors for spring celebrations?

Tuesday, May 7


I admitted in this week's Sunday Social that I find it difficult to go even a day without checking Facebook.  I love being able to stay connected with friends and family.  This weekend as I browsed my newsfeed, I was just floored by how many blessings the people I love and I have received lately.

at work...
  • A wonderful group of teacher-friends have volunteered to help me with this year's eighth grade talent show.
  • One of our English teachers just published her first children's picture book.
  • My best work friend is joining me on my fitness quest and we're doing a 5K walk this Saturday!

in my family...
  • My cousin's son married his high school sweetheart last weekend; they have an adorable little boy who will be celebrating a birthday this weekend!

with my friends...
  • Breeze's mom kicked breast cancer's booty!
  • Two of my friends recently found out that they are expecting!
  • Several dear friends have earned their Bachelors and Masters degrees this spring!
  • One of my childhood best friends who I drifted away from in high school and college is moving back to the Roanoke area and I look forward to rekindling our friendship.
  • My college RA's twin girls are out of the ICU and doing well.
  • My college roomies were able to take a great post-baby trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
  • My actress friend is meeting with agents in LA!
  • My friends' band has been getting a lot of really cool gigs, like playing at a new brewery that's opening this weekend.

What wonderful things are happening in your world?  Always, regardless of what faith tradition you belong to, I would like to welcome you to submit praises and prayer requests here.

Monday, May 6

clicks of note.






Sunday, May 5

sunday social: all about the 4's

I really liked Neely and Ashley's Sunday Social topics this week!

Sunday Social

1. 4 favorite things to do on a weekend
  • Any kind of home improvement, gardening or craft project (a trip to Lowe's = a good weekend)
  • Go antiquing in search of treasure
  • Go on a long walk or bike ride with Mr. Q
  • Any kind of nerdy TV/movie marathon - Star Wars, Firefly etc.

2. 4 favorite things about your best friend
Breeze and I
  • We've been BFFs since sixth grade and consider each other sisters (and are routinely mistaken for sisters wherever we go)
  • She has a great, blunt sense of humor and is brutally honest when needed
  • She is greatest keeper of secrets
  • We have very similar taste in books, music, and movies and we have both made the purposeful choice to build our lives in the Roanoke area so we have lots of fun outings together to look forward to until we're little old ladies in matching sparkly sweaters!

3. 4 things you would do with $100,000

Okay, there are a lot of responsible things I would actually do if we saved that much money - paying off our student loans and cars, open a 403B, and buying land for a house are our top priorities right now.  But if money was really no object and I had a sudden windfall...

4. 4 favorite books you’ve ever read

5. 4 favorite snack foods

6. 4 things that you must do daily
  • Take a shower (I am NOT someone who can go without)
  • Drink coffee (my students say they can tell a difference if I skip my coffee)
  • Listen to music
  • Check Facebook

sunday simplicity #119: viva sweet love

“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there's nobody else alive