Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A quick update + a fun vlog :)

Helllooo, my lovelies! Sorry I've been a bit sporadic lately, but if you're curious as to why I've been gone, I put together a quick vlog to explain all of the exciting & busy things I've been up to lately. And if that wasn't enough, I finally succumbed to the super-fun accent vlog that has been floating around the internet for a few months. If you're curious as to what my upper Midwestern accent sounds like in real life, here's your chance to hear it :)

Thanks for reading/watching, and I promise I won't disappear like that on you again!

Also! How could I forget? If you do the accent vlog, I'd LOVE to hear about it! Here are the questions: 

The Words:
Aunt, Roof, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught, Naturally, Aluminium, Envelope

The Questions:
1. What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
2. What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
3. What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
4. What do you call gym shoes?
5. What do you say to address a group of people?
6. What do you call the kind of spider (or spider-like creature) that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
7. What do you call your grandparents?
8. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
9. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
10. What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

 And I have to ask-- do you say pop, or soda?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Morning Poetry

Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon 
shine through chinks in the barn, moving 
up the bales as the sun moves down. 

Let the cricket take up chafing 
as a woman takes up her needles 
and her yarn. Let evening come. 

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned 
in long grass. Let the stars appear 
and the moon disclose her silver horn. 

Let the fox go back to its sandy den. 
Let the wind die down. Let the shed 
go black inside. Let evening come. 

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop 
in the oats, to the air in the lung 
let evening come. 

Let it come, as it will, and don’t 
be afraid. God does not leave us 
comfortless, so let evening come. 

Jane Kenyon

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Morning Poetry

For What Binds Us

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

Jane Hirschfield

Thursday, August 18, 2011

maxi lovin'.

Well hello, lovely blogger friends! Slacker blogger Mary here with quite possibly my new favorite summer staple. Why have I not posted an outfit in a week or two, you ask? Probably because I've been wearing this dress every. single. day. (kidding. sort of.)

Dress: Kohls, Summer 11; Flats: Target, Summer 10; How's that for simple?

But let's be real for a sec: I am a relatively short girl. I've always been under the impression that a maxi dress like this one would simply eat me up and look awkward on my frame. I will say that I purchased a super clearance maxi at Target earlier in the year and did NOT love it on me-- but it just goes to show that one garment can't speak for all others like it.  Because this one makes me feel like I look even taller! And more summery! And like I've finally attained the 'oh-yes-I-am-so-chic-&-just-threw-this-on-pass-me-my-mojito' vibe I've been longing for all summer! Score.

  Long story short: it's super cute, feels like I'm wearing PJs, and I want to wear it every day of my life. The end. 

But not really the end, because when have you ever known me to be short-winded? I wore this to work (I'm a nanny) the other day, and this conversation ensued between myself & my boys (we'll call them N. & C.)
N: Mary, why are you wearing a pioneer woman's dress?
Me: ... um?
C: God, N, it's a summer dress. Like, everyone wears them. *over-dramatic sigh*

I should note that N. & C. are 10 & 12. Yep, I love them. 

How many of you thought the maxi dress wasn't for you because of your height? I can't be the only one! I am a complete and total convert now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A weekend in the woods.

Every year in the middle of August, my family packs up and heads north to our little cabin in the woods. My grandpa built it maaaany years ago, and up until recently, it was a --ahem-- rustic cabin in the woods complete with no bathroom facilities and an abundance of mice sharing our abode. A few years ago, though, my uncle began rebuilding it and stocked it with not only a fully-functioning shower but a gorgeous fireplace and ample mouse-free living space. Ever since then, it's been the perfect getaway for a quick weekend here and there-- lucky for you, I'm addicted to instagram and happened to snap a few shots of our weekend while we were there :)

We hit the road-- but not without stopping at a favorite roadside cheese shop first, of course. And no north-woodsy Wisconsin town would be complete without an abundance of cheeseheads... obviously.

Sunset. Gor-geous.

Make no mistake about it-- there is nothing cuter than a small town downtown. 

There's also nothing cuter than a dog waiting for an ice cream cone to drop. Exhibit A:

We topped off the evening with a trip to the chapel in the woods, aka mass in the middle of a field. Aka, the Catholic garage. #onlyinwisconsin. Yup. 

Yum-o corn cooking on the grill-- later to become an epic s'mores fire. Mmm :) 

I woke up Sunday morning at the crack of dawn (also known as before 8 AM on a vacation/weekend) with my Mom to do some yoga on the porch. I managed to snap the sunrise on the side of the house, but I couldn't grab my phone quickly enough to document the giant bald eagle flying overhead-- trust me, it was awesome!

Aaand then my mom tested out the tire swing. Yep. 

I managed to sneak in as much enjoyment reading as I could. September is around the bend, and I only have a few more weeks of endless time for fluff reading before I have to be all academic again. Sniff, sniff.

Before I had to head out on Sunday, we managed to sneak in a quick hike in my Grandpa's pine forest. I wish I could have taken a picture just to show how massive and endless it is, but I don't think that's possible. 

Nothing like a long weekend in the north woods to clear my mind :)

Have you taken a vacation this summer? Tell me all about it! Figures as soon as I got back from mine, I'm ready for another one :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Morning Poetry


More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs--all this resinous, unretractable earth.

Jane Hirschfield

Monday, August 8, 2011

3/23: Wine Tasting

Friends! Oh-so-many things to catch you up on. First, I must be getting old, because when I started Undergrad Fab, I was posting outfit pictures every single day without batting an eyelash, and now I can't do it for more than a week without needing to take six days off from blogging after. Oops. Sorry about that. But while I haven't been posting, I have been tinkering a bit with some things on b+b to make it 110% more fun + fabulous. 

Exhibit A: my swap/trade page! It's still a work in progress, and I promise to update you all when I actually have things posted to trade, but I was so inspired by My Trick, Your Trick (as well as my recent clothing swap with Kinsey) and her trade page that I thought it would be an excellent way to clean out my own closet and gain some new pieces in the process without spending big bucks. Check it out to see what's to come, and I promise I'll make a big deal about it once it's up & running for real :)

Exhibit B: my life list (aka 23 things before I turn 23) has its own page that you can access without a bunch of searching to find it! The ever-so-fabulous Erin of Minx Design who designed my layout for me (who you MUST check out if you want an amazing blog re-do for a super-great deal. And even now, months after she finished my design, she still answers my incessant blog-y questions without so much as batting an eyelash. Clearly, the woman is a miracle worker.) put together an awesome photo tutorial for me on her blog so that I can finally do some html tweaks of my own-- meaning, I can now add + subtract pages as I see fit. Thus, my 23 Things has its own permanent home, and you can track my progress as often as your little heart desires!

Exhibit C: I've had a few people contact me letting me know that they weren't able to comment on my blog. The lovely Leah recommended I give disqus a try and while I've held out this far, I always, always, always, want to hear from you and don't want to make it more difficult than it need be-- so I went ahead and installed it. I'd so appreciate it if you (especially those of you having difficulties!) would let me know if it's working any better for you.

Okay-- now onto the good stuff. I've checked another thing off my life list! 
Go to a for-real wine tasting (something that should have happened long ago.)
(disclaimer: I'm not claiming to know anything about wine. My knowledge is limited to pretty labels & a vague idea of what I think is mildly icky. That said, here's what went down!)

A few weeks ago, I went to visit some family in Madison (WI, of course.) and we took a trip to the lovely Wollersheim Winery just a short trip outside of the city. I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't the rolling-hills/verdant-green-forests & Napa-esque-setting that was waiting for me when I got there! GOR-geous. 
Um, hello, pretty. 

Now, when I started drinking wine, I thought I was a white-wine only type of girl, because, hello-- fruity alcohol is the way to go. But my tastes quickly changed & I became a one-trick pony with my beloved reds. I wasn't a fan of the super-sweet or the incredibly dry whites that I'd tried, so I assumed I only enjoyed reds. But a big glass of red wine was the last thing I wanted on this 100 degree-plus day, so we went for the flight of ice-cold white wines offered at Wollersheim. 

Not only did I like them-- I LOVED them. I couldn't get enough of the dry-but-fruity Prairie Fumé (and a-herm.. may have gone back for another taste) and some others that were delicious but frankly, I was operating under heat delirium & couldn't be bothered to note-take about. Whoops. What I loved most though, was how, when stacked one against another, I actually was able to decipher why I liked certain wines above others, as opposed to my previous fall-back response of "uh... it tastes... not great." Growth. 

Turns out I like my white wine ice-cold, fruity, and dry without a hint of sugary-sweetness. Yum-o. 

Like I said-- I still wouldn't put myself in any category near knowledgeable about wine, but the experience turned out to be more than just a good-times family adventure or some silly thing to check off of a list, but an actual learning experience about something pertinent that I enjoy. Woo for big-girl activities! 

After it's all said and done: I would (and will) totally continue to wine-taste. I love that I can look at the wine list in a restaurant and have some semblance of an understand as to what I would & wouldn't enjoy, and have a basis for choosing a glass beyond just which is cheapest :) 

Are you a fan of the vino? What are your favorite wines? I want to know! I'm still a reds girl at heart & fully plan on coordinating my own potluck red wine tasting with friends once the weather cools down. Any recommendations for moi?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Morning Poetry

Speed & Perfection

How quickly the season of apricots is over--
a single night's wind is enough.
I kneel on the ground, lifting one, then the next.
Eating those I can, before the bruises appear.

Jane Hirschfield

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How I wore it vs. how she wore it: Kinsey!

I've had so much fun styling my swapped clothes this week! Check out how I wore Kinsey's clothes vs. how she wore them. I'd love to swap again with another blogger-- are you interested? Email me or comment below with your email address! 

The Little Red Dress
How I wore it:

How Kinsey wore it:

The Neon Yellow Top
How I wore it/ How Kinsey wore it:

The Leopard Flats:
How I wore them/ How Kinsey wore them: 

The Skinny Cargos:
How I wore them/How Kinsey wore them:

The Blue Dress
How I wore it/How Kinsey wore it:

Thanks again for an awesome week of swapping, Kinsey

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blogger Swap: Kinsey's Blue Dress

How is it possible that today is already the last day of my blogger swap with Kinsey? I have loved styling the pieces she has sent me this week, and while I'll be glad to get my clothes back with some renewed inspiration as to how to style them, I'll be a little sad to see Kinsey's clothes go (especially that red dress! Loooove.) 

Dress: Kinsey's; Scarf: Gift; Flats: Target, Winter 11

This may have been the very first thing out of the box when I first opened it, and I couldn't wait to wear it. It's super comfy, incredibly flattering, a beautiful color, and-- get this-- it has pockets. I die. 

Since it's still boilingly hot and humid as all get-out outside, I didn't want to pile on a bunch of layers and give myself heat stroke, but I still wanted to play up that beautiful blue & highlight the gorgeous shape of the dress. A simple scarf-as-a-belt was all I needed and I felt chic all day long ;)

Make sure to come back tomorrow to see the comparison between how Kinsey has worn these pieces vs. how I have, and check out how she's styled my last piece on her blog today!

Have you enjoyed reading about my swap with Kinsey? I would love to do another closet swap with a fellow blogger-- please email me or comment below with your email address if you're interested!