March 31, 2011

Autism Awarenes Month!

What are you doing to Light it up Blue?!
I'm making Blue cupcakes for my co-workers. Look Mom, I'm using the decorating kit you got me during the Junior League Silent Auction!
I am an alumnae of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, who's national philanthropy is Autism Speaks.
“The members of Alpha Xi Delta have embraced our families along with our cause,” said Ann Gibbons, Executive Director, National Capital Area at Autism Speaks.  "Their contribution to research funding is phenomenal.  What strikes parent after parent, however, when they meet the women at our events, is the outpouring of kindness and acceptance towards our children.  Autism can be a very isolating condition, and the Alpha Xis go out of their way to embrace us and our families.  That in itself is priceless." 

If you were in a sorority, what was your philanthropy? What did/do you do to continue that cause?

Derby Style

As previously mentioned, I will be covering details of the preparation for my personal Derby Party as well as the Event itself. Vineyard Vines has just launch their limited edition Derby ties and pocket squares. I know ladies, I'm very disappointed with the lack of Lady apparel... I have already reached out to my sources who said they don't have anything in the works for this year, but that they would pass on the concern for next year.
I just must say that I MUST have a Mint Julep Headband/handbag set! Check out the tie! I can't decide which color I like best!
Which color do you like best? Check out more here!

March 30, 2011

Derby Preparations

Every year, for the last 3 years, I've hosted a Kentucky Derby party. This year will be a bit different as I've changed locals :(. Typically, I create a poster outlining the horses/jerseys, wear my big floppy hat, and make BBQ & Mint Juleps! I still plan to do all this, but here are some of the details that go along with my planning:
I always try to send out not just a Facebook invite (which seems so much more informal), but also a fun evite. Last year the Derby made them available for FREE on their webiste. I have done the same this year, with the below invite cover to be sent to my guests upon completion:
Additionally, I found that Party City carries the exact same Derby Party Supplies as the official Derby Site, but cheaper!
I'm currently debating the need for 'guest towels' printed with "Kentucky Derby" for the bathroom during the party :)
I will be including more entries as my preparations progress, including recipes, attire, and festivity activities! Keep posted, and if you have any ideas or suggestions, please message me! I love changing it up to include new things!

Curl Crazy!

I have a new obsession with hot rollers!
Last month I was at my hair dresser (Jameson; how cool is that name!?), and he told me I was basically frying my hair every morning with my flat iron. He instructed that I could help it with a daily hair care treatment and heat protector, but that I should layoff the flat iron. My hair is very delicate and if I don't do anything, looks a hot mess...

My mom and nana were in town at the time for my Junior League Ride into Spring event. My mom used to hot roll my hair for special events when I was little. However, when I got older I started using foam curlers for Cheerleading (GO PANTERS! check out how they're did this past weekend at US Spirit in Orlando!). So I took advantage of my mom's presence to have to show me how she used to curl my hair. I had just gotten this great travel size set (which in hindsight is great for what it is, but not the best; they're available at Target for roughly $14).
So, basically, she rolled all the larger ones on top, and the smaller ones on the bottom. Let it sit for about 15 mins, and then rushed it out. I decided that really wasn't my look, and like to let them fall naturally. I typically go back with a hot iron for touch ups afterward. Spray with hairspray for good measure.
Seventeen magazine has a great article on it HERE, and you can check out a tutorial here:

One tip I have, get the hot curlers with roughly 16 rollers depending on how thick your hair is, and get the ones with the clips. The pins (like this set have) area always falling out, and I ended up buying some big hair clips to hold them in.
How do you do your hair?

March 29, 2011

The FABULOUS Beekman Boys

I am somewhat obsessed with Josh & Brent of the Fabulous Beekman Boys (on Discovery's PlanetGreen). Brent is a former colleague of Mrs. Martha Stewart herself, a doctor, and now full time CEO of Beekman1802.

Josh is a New York Times best selling author in NYC, who helps out on the farm during the weekends. They own this BEAUTIFUL farm house and surrounding property outside NYC.
I think I drive BF crazy, because the way Brent acts about the farm is exactly how I would act... everything has to be completely aesthetically pleasing and picturesque, and no one knows how to do that better than me.... and Martha Stewart.
Overall they're an extremely amusing couple to watch, and sometimes they even interact during their shows with live webcasts where they answer questions. I really want to order some of their products for Christmas gifts this year: 1.) Because I love supporting up-and-coming entrepreneurs 2.) Because they look like FABULOUS products!
Check out more on their website here and on the Planetgreen website here!

Another Royal Entry

Guess who I heard was going to be on the cover of this month's GQ?!?
And he seems to be continuing his mother's charity work working with wonderful causes such as 'Walking Wounded'; helping to raise funds for injured British soldiers!
Such the Prince Charming! :)

March 28, 2011

Recent acquisition

30 more days! I am so excited! I actually have co-workers who are actually taking this day off. Seriously, they're going for brunch with their girlfriends! How fun is that?! In honor of this 'once in a life time' (or in my parents' case, twice), I have purchase the above mug... AMAZING! I know. Get yours on Amazon now! (PS I refused to get anything on Ebay as PayPal is a crock and we're in a fight).
Are you doing anything to celebrate this momentous occasion?


I had a wonderful surprise in my mail box when I arrived home from work this evening:

One of my good friends Mrs. Katie G. sent me a book that she 'just had lying around'. Little did she know that this was on my list to stalk the aisles of Barnes&Noble for! I'm so excited to read in earnest! I just flipped through the beautiful glossy pages, and already I feel at home. I feel sorry for whomever I end up marrying, as I have so many preppy books, it'll take up to 20 coffee tables or least a bookshelf...

Monday Music Mix!

New Songs on my playlist (on loop)
Do you have any goods ones I should include? Let me know!

March 27, 2011

Adventure weekend with BF: Starved Rock

This past weekend, I had another incredible time with great friends, and amazing adventures with my wonderful BF! Friday after work I made my way into the city for a wonderful evening with BF and a good college friend. BF is Catholic, and with it being Lent he made fish tacos (as he can't have beef/chicken).
We ended up at the Fireplace Inn in Old town watching the two late night March Madness games. PS my bracket is so busted! UGH! I totally had OSU winning... I really REALLY don't like Ohio State, but 1.) it's Big Ten, 2.) I have money on it... It's the only wagering I do...

Saturday, we enjoyed a lazy morning before making our way out towards Naperville. Dan's cousins threw a surprise 60th Birthday party for their dad at one of their BEAUTIFUL homes. They got a phenomenal rock-a-billy/ Buddy Holly band, catered by Portillo's, with wonderful, wonderful people. It was fabulous! We got up early this morning with the intention of making our way to Starved Rock State Park; about 2 hours outside the city. Although the sun was shinning beautifully, it was freezing... so we wanted a good, hardy breakfast to stick to our ribs throughout the day. There are several phenomenal breakfast places that I've experienced, however when I want to experience great southern nostalgia... I head to Wishbone. This was a bit out of the way, but totally worth it. They have great service and AMAZING Shrimp & Grits!

 BF taught me about Mississippi mudslides... of which he promptly ordered. (Sweetened milk and espresso). As he pointed out, he spent summers in Arkansas and although that's not Atlanta, he is well versed in most things 'Southern' or some version of the sense.

He got the crawfish cakes with a bell pepper sauce (not healthy, which we now know for a fact as he asked for the recipe). I got the Shrimp and Grits (DUH).

You can watch a 'Chicago's Best' episode about the other location here. Same menu, just closer to the loop:

Long story short, and roughly 2 hours later, we made it to Starved Rock. The story behind the name is this: The Illinois Indians were fighting another group of Indians because they had killed their leader. The other tribe chased the Illinois tribe to the top of this mountain and surrounded them. They starved there as they were unable to properly defend themselves or successfully defeat the other tribe. Depressing, I know... great way to start our adventure.
 It really is a BEAUTIFUL park. It was a sunny day, not a cloud in the sky, but it was roughly 34 degrees.... very chilly. There were some beautiful cliff structures and waterfalls. The paths were fairly gradual, and we made it 3 1/2 hours (6 or so miles) before I just couldn't go any further... haha Lots of stairs... I know I'm going to hurt tomorrow. I really want to go back and try to do these more regularly. We were ducking in and out of caverns and exploring. It was all pretty neat and reminded me of stuff I used to do when I was little, back in the creek behind the house. Did ya'll do that too? I think I ruined every new pair of shoes I owned! Check out some of our great pictures below:
BF below the LaSalle Waterfall
BF thought it was hilarious that the B was scratched off...
Just another beautiful waterfall
Do you have any adventures that you've gone on lately? Do you have anything you recommend in and around Chicago? Let me know!

March 26, 2011

Samoas = Keebler Coconut Dreams!

Like any good preppy, growing up I was majorly involved in organized play. One such activity was Girl Scouts. Being the true competitor that I am, I always vied for the stellar prizes they offered each year to the top cookie sellers (Which apparently have amped up to Nintendo Wiis!)

My mom, wanting to help me succeed with all my goals, helped provide extra cookie sign up sheets to our neighborhood friends for the work places, resulting in hundreds (maybe thousands) of cookie boxes filling our house in spring. Looking back, it's almost like we were a kin to some sort of illegal trafficking, as the items we were providing were only available in limited quantity for a limited time, and you had to know somebody who knew somebody who had a kid who sold it.... So when they said they wanted to promote an entrepreneurial spirit....

But anywho, I got my cookies the other day! YAY! And of course I got 2 boxes of my favorites: Samoas! Then, I found this:
WHAT THE HECK! Keebler is making a knock-off! I wonder if they're any good!? Has anyone had these? Apparently according to the Keebler website there aren't any stores within a 30 mile radius of me that carries them. Thoughts?

March 25, 2011

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Marketing Empire

As cheesy as it may seem, I was totally a member of a Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen fan club circa 1996. I only remember this because I have a magnet that came in a packet I received. I can't find anything about it anywhere. This could be because it was before massive use of the internet, and the packet I received was probably based on an advertisement I saw in a BOP magazine or the like. Don't deny it, you totally read those teeny bopper magazines at age 11 too!
Anyway, these girls are truly a professional inspiration to any entrepreneur. They created an entire brand around themselves and made sure they got paid handsomely for all their work.
The created Dualstar to produce their entire line of movies (even if they were made for tv or straight to dvd, of which i probably owned them all).

They worked on straight to store brands, first with Walmart, now with J.C. Penny. They had their clothing, footwear, hair care, and cosmetics.

Not to even mention their toy lines through Mattel.

Now they've launched a runway line. All-in-all, they seem to have remained well-rounded, confident and business savvy. That, or they've had amazing people surrounding them from the beginning; I'll split it, and say a little of both. Either way, I'm impressed.

Sunny Disposition: Yellow

This Spring it seems the color to have/wear/be is Yellow. A decision that I am ECSTATIC about!
Yellow is so close to gold and always appears to me as happy and friendly. 
Some meanings of Yellow are:
daffodils are a symbol of unrequited love
Sunday's color is yellow-gold
Yellow Roses mean friendship, joy, & Get Well.

Additionally, since it's Friday, and this song has been stuck in my head ALL week:

March 24, 2011

Smathers & Branson Cont'd

In the words of legendary Cubs Announcer Harry Carry: HOLY COW!

Look what arrived today!!! And they're even better than I could've ever imagined! Stellar craftsmanship! Thanks Smathers & Branson!

Myers-Briggs: What it says about me, and YOU!

Yesterday we were introduced at work to our new VP.One thing he outlined in his professional history was his work with the Myers-Briggs type indicator. If you're in the 'real world' or a psychology major, you may know what I'm talking about. Basically there are a series of question you answer about yourself and your personality to determine what kind of person/worker you are. When I started my first job, I swear we took about 6 of these types of tests; I think they actually gave us like an entire week, because there were literally hundreds of questions. Of course, HR being HR, we never reviewed our 'results'. I say results, because everyone says there's no 'right' or 'wrong' answer, it just 'is'. Which is all fine and dandy, but I swear if I were an employer I would be looking for 1.) types of people that would be the most profitable/commuted/beneficial to the company's future and 2.) cohesive with the rest of the office. Any way, the test results breakout into 4 sections which are represented by 4 letters. Here's a brief overview of what each letter means:

The four pairs of preferences or dichotomies are shown in the table to the right.
Note that the terms used for each dichotomy have specific technical meanings relating to the MBTI which differ from their everyday usage. For example, people who prefer judgment over perception are not necessarily more judgmental or less perceptive. Nor does the MBTI instrument measure aptitude; it simply indicates for one preference over another. Someone reporting a high score for extraversion over introversion cannot be correctly described as more extraverted: they simply have a clear preference.
Point scores on each of the dichotomies can vary considerably from person to person, even among those with the same type. However, Isabel Myers considered the direction of the preference (for example, E vs. I) to be more important than the degree of the preference (for example, very clear vs. slight).The expression of a person's psychological type is more than the sum of the four individual preferences. The preferences interact through type dynamics and type development.

Attitudes: Extraversion (E)/Introversion (I)

Myers-Briggs literature uses the terms extraversion and introversion as Jung first used them. Extraversion means "outward-turning" and introversion means "inward-turning." These specific definitions vary somewhat from the popular usage of the words. Note that extraversion is the spelling used in MBTI publications.
The preferences for extraversion and introversion are often called as attitudes. Briggs and Myers recognized that each of the cognitive functions can operate in the external world of behavior, action, people, and things (extraverted attitude) or the internal world of ideas and reflection (introverted attitude). The MBTI assessment sorts for an overall preference for one or the other.
People who prefer extraversion draw energy from action: they tend to act, then reflect, then act further. If they are inactive, their motivation tends to decline. To rebuild their energy, extraverts need breaks from time spent in reflection. Conversely, those who prefer introversion expend energy through action: they prefer to reflect, then act, then reflect again. To rebuild their energy, introverts need quiet time alone, away from activity.
The extravert's flow is directed outward toward people and objects, and the introvert's is directed inward toward concepts and ideas. Contrasting characteristics between extraverts and introverts include the following:
  • Extraverts are action oriented, while introverts are thought oriented.
  • Extraverts seek breadth of knowledge and influence, while introverts seek depth of knowledge and influence.
  • Extraverts often prefer more frequent interaction, while introverts prefer more substantial interaction.
  • Extraverts recharge and get their energy from spending time with people, while introverts recharge and get their energy from spending time alone.

Functions: Sensing (S)/Intuition (N) and Thinking (T)/Feeling (F)

Jung identified two pairs of psychological functions:
  • The two perceiving functions, sensing and intuition
  • The two judging functions, thinking and feeling
According to the Myers-Briggs typology model, each person uses one of these four functions more dominantly and proficiently than the other three; however, all four functions are used at different times depending on the circumstances.
Sensing and intuition are the information-gathering (perceiving) functions. They describe how new information is understood and interpreted. Individuals who prefer sensing are more likely to trust information that is in the present, tangible and concrete: that is, information that can be understood by the five senses. They tend to distrust hunches, which seem to come "out of nowhere." They prefer to look for details and facts. For them, the meaning is in the data. On the other hand, those who prefer intuition tend to trust information that is more abstract or theoretical, that can be associated with other information (either remembered or discovered by seeking a wider context or pattern). They may be more interested in future possibilities. They tend to trust those flashes of insight that seem to bubble up from the unconscious mind. The meaning is in how the data relates to the pattern or theory.
Thinking and feeling are the decision-making (judging) functions. The thinking and feeling functions are both used to make rational decisions, based on the data received from their information-gathering functions (sensing or intuition). Those who prefer thinking tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, measuring the decision by what seems reasonable, logical, causal, consistent and matching a given set of rules. Those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it 'from the inside' and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony, consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved.
As noted already, people who prefer thinking do not necessarily, in the everyday sense, "think better" than their feeling counterparts; the opposite preference is considered an equally rational way of coming to decisions (and, in any case, the MBTI assessment is a measure of preference, not ability). Similarly, those who prefer feeling do not necessarily have "better" emotional reactions than their thinking counterparts.

Dominant function

According to Myers and Briggs, people use all four cognitive functions. However, one function is generally used in a more conscious and confident way. This dominant function is supported by the secondary (auxiliary) function, and to a lesser degree the tertiary function. The fourth and least conscious function is always the opposite of the dominant function. Myers called this inferior function the shadow.
The four functions operate in conjunction with the attitudes (extraversion and introversion). Each function is used in either an extraverted or introverted way. A person whose dominant function is extraverted intuition, for example, uses intuition very differently from someone whose dominant function is introverted intuition.

Lifestyle: Judgment (J)/Perception (P)

Myers and Briggs added another dimension to Jung's typological model by identifying that people also have a preference for using either the judging function (thinking or feeling) or their perceiving function (sensing or intuition) when relating to the outside world (extraversion).
Myers and Briggs held that types with a preference for judgment show the world their preferred judging function (thinking or feeling). So TJ types tend to appear to the world as logical, and FJ types as empathetic. According to Myers, judging types like to "have matters settled."
Those types who prefer perception show the world their preferred perceiving function (sensing or intuition). So SP types tend to appear to the world as concrete and NP types as abstract. According to Myers, perceptive types prefer to "keep decisions open."
For extraverts, the J or P indicates their dominant function; for introverts, the J or P indicates their auxiliary function. Introverts tend to show their dominant function outwardly only in matters "important to their inner worlds." For example:
Because ENTJ types are extraverts, the J indicates that their dominant function is their preferred judging function (extraverted thinking). ENTJ types introvert their auxiliary perceiving function (introverted intuition). The tertiary function is sensing and the inferior function is introverted feeling.
Because INTJ types are introverts, the J indicates that their auxiliary function is their preferred judging function (extraverted thinking). INTJ types introvert their dominant perceiving function (introverted intuition). The tertiary function is feeling, and the inferior function is extraverted sensing.

You can take a very BRIEF version of the test here.
For comparison purposes, it turns out I'm an ESTJ... which I swear has changed in the last couple months. Either I took the test wrong then/now or I'm bi-polar... who knows.

My VP told us he's ENTJ. Now the question is how to be diabolical enough to change my personality to fit this new driving force. HAHA! :) Enjoy!

March 23, 2011

Good Bye Elizabeth Taylor

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor passed away this morning. She was 79 years old. Probably best known for her role as Cleopatra, or her 9 marriages, she was an icon all her own. Maybe not the traditional prep, she did contain a sense of composure and elegance (albeit with a Marilyn sexuality). She was a lovely actress and she will be missed.
You can read more about her and her accomplishments on her Wikipedia page HERE.

Smathers & Branson

During the Junior League's Ride into Spring Fundraiser that I've previously mentioned (Here and Here) I won the gift certificate donated by Smathers & Branson! So yesterday I decided to use it...

In the hopes that the people receiving these as gifts don't actually read my blog.... I'll still try not to mention who these are for; although it's pretty obvious if you know me.
The gift certificate was for a generous $165, which would buy one of there beautiful hand needle point belts, however I always like to stretch a dollar when I can help it, so I tried to get a few different things:
Something for a Special Sorority Girl

For my future set of beach keys ;)
For someone I just can't convert to a GOOD school :)
For the first recipient, and her next football season

Overall, they look like beautiful products and I can't wait to gift them! Check out Smathers & Branson when you get a chance. They have a ton of different schools as well as fun other designs! Belts, Headbands, Flasks, Wallets, and Key fobs galore!

Additionally, they have free shipping on all orders over $175!