Friday, January 31, 2014

Shades of Pink

February is the sweetest month of the year! It's full of love, sweets, and most importantly… PINK! 

I always wear the most pinks and reds as Valentine's Day approaches. Some say it's a holiday invented by the greeting card industry. I say, "Who cares?".  More sweets and love are in the air and I'm not complaining. 

It's time to bring out all of the brightest, sweetest pieces in your wardrobe! 



I've decided that I'm going to do a whole series leading up to Valentine's Day! From now through the fourteenth, expect fun V-day themed posts scattered throughout the blog :)

Do you absolutely love Valentine's Day (like me) or is it just day 45/365? 

P.S. I know February officially starts tomorrow, but I'm just so excited! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Storm = Wimpy Storm

Winter Storm Leon had me hyped up for some excitement. The cold rain was such a letdown. 

Did I even do anything productive over this unexpected vacation? 

Is reading an entire Gillian Flynn novel in one sitting, watching a broadway musical online, catching up on all of my recorded tv, eating every half hour, and drinking enough English breakfast tea to fill the Boston harbor considered productive? 

No? Well then I guess I did nothing productive. 

I don't even have fun pictures of snow to share because I stayed inside for almost this entire time! 

I did drive back to my house this morning because my mom's potato soup was worth risking my life on icy roads (Sarcasm. There were no icy roads in these parts.)

The potato soup and warmy fire, however, were probably worth risking my life, though. Sooo good. 

So there you have it, such excitement. Not even a picture to prove that I didn't nap for an entire two days. 

But, my Bean boots did keep my toes toasty on the walk through the cold rain to the cafeteria yesterday. And I thought I would get such little use out of snow boots in South Louisiana!

Anyways, my classes start back up again tomorrow and I have my first Tuesday/Thursday class of the semester! Speech 101 and Music 101: Basic Piano! I couldn't be more excited about the piano class! 
As for speech, I'll hold back on words of excitement, but I will still be optimistic. Fingers crossed that I don't do horribly!

P.S. I picked up an application for our campus newspaper and I'm really hoping to get a job as a staff writer! I'd love to write for "in real life" people, so could all of you who might read this say a quick prayer for me? 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow-pocalypse

Y'all, I'm as shocked as you are about that title, but I'm not kidding. I'm currently gearing up for #snowpocalypse2k14 (aka Winter Storm Leon)

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with your geography or Louisiana history, but the last "serious snowfall" was over nine years ago on Christmas Day, 2004. 

The first time baby Sydney had seen snow or had a snowball fight. 

I feel like everyone is preparing for a lot worse than what this storm will throw at us. My mom went to the store and had to buy almond milk, hamburger buns, and gallons of water because our regular skim milk, wheat loaf, and bottled water were wiped out. It's like everyone is expecting a wintery version of a hurricane. 

Now, I'm definitely not complaining about having the next two days off of school to sleep late and get a head start on required reading, however, I'll be very upset if they take away two days of spring break. (This is only the first full week back from a monthlong break!)

I've decided to stay at my dorm room for this adventure (mostly because I was too lazy to pack up and drive ten minutes to my house) and I'm only worried about serious "ice pellets" downing the power lines. No power = no internet. No internet = no Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, or other blogs to read! (it also means no heater, which could be almost as catastrophic) 

I did go to the library last week, and I picked up a new novel to read in case of emergency. And I have my tea and fuzzy socks. I think I'm going to be okay. 

If anything exciting happens (like a campus wide snowball fight or iceskating on the frozen sidewalks), I'll be sure to take pictures and share them! 

How are you preparing for the snow-pocalypse?
Any tips from those of you who are really familiar with snow storms and unexpected vacations?

P.S. I heard this song on the radio today and it instantly made me 100000% ready for summer! What is it about Jack Johnson that just evokes "beachy" vibes?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Matilda Madness

I cannot stop listening to the soundtrack from Matilda the Musical!

I've mentioned my love of musicals before, and I don't know how I hadn't gotten into Matilda before now! It gets bonus points because Matilda was one of my favorite movies and books when I was little! My friends and I would play Matilda (one of us would point at a toy and the other would move it around!)


I haven't seen it, but I know show really has a great message. The songs are Just. So. Catchy.

I'm seriously contemplating voice lessons because I've been singing "Naughty," "Quiet," and "Revolting Children" nonstop!

And how adorable are the original Matildas from the New York show??
It's impossible to pick a favorite! They are all so cute!

This obsession may have started before I watched the Broadway.com video blog Looks Not Books, but now I cannot get enough of Matilda! 



If you don't believe me, go listen to soundtrack previews right now! 

I'm in the process of planning a weekend trip to NYC just to see this show.


I like to listen to soundtracks a lot. Movie soundtracks are always fun because the songs are usually all a little taste of something different!
What are some of your favorite soundtracks right now? Broadway or movie! 

Back to School + Inside My Backpack!

Well, you guys, my first day was a success! The nice thing about starting school on a Friday is that it's already the weekend and you have time to prepare everything for the next, real first week!

I was so excited to do an Inside My Backpack post, that I couldn't even wait until morning when my dorm room has better lighting! 
These are some of my favorite types of posts to read on other blogs because I'm so nosy

So inside my backpack, all styled and ready for the beginning of the new semester, you will find:



Monogrammed binders (one for MWF classes, one for T/Th classes. I'm trying this method out for the first time!) I made the monogrammed papers the with the same method that I used in this video tutorial, but changed the size to 8.5x11 inches. 
Erin Condren Life Planner I just bought this after Christmas and I'm loving it! (It's only the first semester, so I'll give y'all an update in a few weeks). Check out the Erin Condren site for some adorable personalized desktop goodies! 
Vera Bradley pencil case I believe this one is a makeup brush case, but it's lined which is great since my ink pens always seem to leak. It even has a little pocket where I keep my USB drive. 
portable phone charger This one is from J.Crew Factory, but I got it last semester and they will probably be sold out soon. My friend just bought this one from J.Crew and she says it works really well! Plus, it charges the iPhone 5, iPads, tablets, cameras, and pretty much everything else with a USB cable!
umbrella I think you know why you need to keep an umbrella on you. Especially if you live in South Louisiana. 
calculator I have this pink graphing calculator that I use for economics class! The pink makes math just a little bit brighter. 
iClicker I decorated mine with Tiffany blue washi tape! There's so much that you can do with washi tape! It's sticky enough to stay where you put it, but comes off clean and can be reapplied! I used it inside my planner, too, and it doesn't tear the paper when I move it around! 
Vera Bradley little notebook Mostly for making lists of things I need to bring from home to my dorm room. Perks of going to college ten minutes from home. (These notebooks came in a three pack, but are super old and I don't think they sell them anymore.)
student ID card I need to find a wallet that can connect to my keys so that I never forget my Colonel Card! They charge $15 to let you back into the residence hall when you forget it more than once! Outrageous!
keys There's also a $15 charge if you lock yourself out of your room. That's why I had to install the handy dandy hook at the start of last semester! 
headphones For drowning out noise in the library when studying. 
EOS lip balm I just really like these! I have one in my purse, one in my backpack, and one on my desk!
granola bar For those rare days when I'm running late and skip breakfast in the cafeteria. 
peppermints I took a test taking class once and the teacher claimed your brain is more alert and works better when you suck on peppermints. I'm not actually sure if this is true, but I always have some for test days just incase. 

Not pictured:
My iPad and my MacBook Air. 
I'll most likely alternate between these throughout the beginning of the semester until I get into a good groove. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick just one because last semester I brought the wrong piece of technology a few times and it messed up my note-taking patterns.  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Back from DC!

I'm finally all settled into my dorm room and I have my first two classes tomorrow! 

I wish I had prepared a little better. I wanted to do an Inside My Backpack or What's In My Longchamp? post in honor of the beginning of the new semester. Live and learn. I'll try to get one of those posts to y'all by the end of the week! 

In the mean time, please enjoy these snapshots from my trip to Washington, D.C.

Selfies in a "blizzard"

Warm and toasty OOTD

Candles inside the National Basilica

The March for Life

#TeamLife #MarchforLife


P.S. I 100% recommend L.L. Bean's Bean Boots! My feet were toasty warm throughout the entire trip! Absolutely no complaints about the quality; these will probably last a lifetime! 


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Washington D.C.

Well guys, my winter break is over. My classes officially start today, but I won't be in them. I'm currently in our nation's capital! 

Why plan a trip to D.C. so that it overlaps with the first days of class? Why plan a trip to D.C. on the tail-end of a polar vortex? 

 I'm participating in the national March for Life! 

Last year's March for Life

Now I understand that there are a lot of folks who don't agree with the pro-life movement, and I realize that this is a very sensitive subject for many people.
I do understand how some people think that this has nothing to do with the government and that women should do what they want with their bodies, but this isn't just a woman's body -- it's another life. I'm a Catholic, but even if I wasn't, I'm sure I'd still think that babies become babies at the moment of conception. I can see how some women would think abortion is their only choice, but I wish they'd realize that the babies inside of them are little bitty human beings, and they shouldn't be given any less of a chance at life just because they're small and can't speak for themselves.
That being said, I believe that we are all God's children, and I can assure you that despite your opinion, I know that I am called to love those who agree with me as well as those who disagree.

So my friends and I will be voices for the unborn today. We're hoping to change minds and hearts. 

This is a short video that pretty much sums up why I'm doing what I'm doing. 


I sincerely hope that my "Respect for life at all stages of life" opinion doesn't change your opinion of me. I doubt that any of y'all will be unkind, but keep in mind that rude comments will not be published. If you'd like to email me, I'd be open to having a conversation. You can contact me at ToodlebelleBlog(at)gmail(dot)com.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Free (virtual) Wanderlust Cure



It's no secret that I absolutely love to travel. I love flying, driving, or riding to new places, but, being an unemployed college student can sometimes make traveling difficult. Which brings me to my ingenious idea: a free (virtual) wanderlust cure!

 Okay, so it may not actually be a cure, but it definitely helps to dull those travel-pangs for a little while.

It's a simple concept. Whenever you feel the urge to hop on a plane, find your way to the internet or your local library instead. I use Pinterest as my home base for this activity. I search whichever place I'm thinking about and then start a new pinboard.


Just the other day, I was at the library reading travel books about Boston. I found websites for all the restaurants and places in the book and pinned them to my Boston board! 

Sometimes if this isn't enough, I plan out exactly how I want my trip to go -- how many days, which hotel, museums, shows, and tourist attractions I'd like to see -- and then put a price tag on all of it. I even figure in the air and taxi fares! 

There are notes on my iPad dedicated to imaginary trips to New York City. I've got super expensive week-long trips and cheap(er) weekend getaways all planned out.
And if that still doesn't help, there's always Google Maps Streetview! My 12th grade English teacher took us on virtual tours of England when we learned about British literature. 



I'm always planning trips, and if you'd like to, I'd love it if you followed me on Pinterest!

 (Still waiting on the day I can have city sub-boards under one big travel board! Are you listening, Pinterest?)




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dare to Compare: J.Crew & JCPenney

Let me start this post by saying that I absolutely love looking at J.Crew's catalogs, however, I do not own a single item of clothing from there. 

I'm sure that their clothes are of very high quality, and (I hope) that their prices reflect that quality. But even with their student discount, I still can't afford to shop J.Crew yet… one day… It's not so bad, though. There isn't even a store close by. 

Anyways, I decided to write this tonight since I spent most of the day shopping at JCPenney. I absolutely love how they revamped their store to have a "higher end" feel. The main reason I went was to take advantage of their extra 25% off sale items (from now until Jan. 20). 


I realized that some of my items resembled older J.Crew items that I had seen online, but when I went to their website, all of these were sold out. Sorry if you wanted to buy the pricier ones. Maybe you could just send me the money you save? ;) 


I also bought some fun workout clothes, so maybe I'll be motivated to actually exercise this week and work on checking off #7 or #13 from the 20 before 20!

Fan-girling Over College Prepster

I've definitely made it known how much I love Carly Heitlinger's blog, www.TheCollegePrepster.com, but her last post has me in total fan-girl mode.

She is such an inspiration. 

She did a post called My Real Self, where she really put herself out there and I absolutely love it! It's such a classy way to show her haters that she's so above their silliness, yet, in no way does she give off a snobby, "I'm better than you" vibe. 

 I've been reading her blog for so long, that I have these weird "proud best friend" or "proud little sister" feelings that are a little bit out of place. 

No matter what kind of blogger you are, if you don't have a blog, or even if you aren't the tiniest bit of a prep, you should check out her post because it's great advice for everyone. 

Way to go, Carly. You're amazing. 



What do you think about Carly's bold move?


Monday, January 13, 2014

Elle Belle

So I've watched a good bit of Netflix over this winter break, but just last week, I watched two of Elle Fanning's movies: Phoebe in Wonderland and Super 8
I've decided that she's one of my  f a v o r i t e  actresses ever! 


She's only 15, but I feel like I've watched her grow up.

Here she is in Because of Winn-Dixie with AnnaSophia Robb (another one of my favorites!)
And as I was googling these pictures, I found out that she's got another movie coming out soon! She'll be playing Sleeping Beauty opposite Angelina Jolie in Disney's Maleficent! 

So if you're not doing anything for a few hours, I suggest watching either of these since they're available on Netflix instant! 
 
 
They're two very different movies, but she does a great job in both! 

P.S. When I'm having insomnia moments, I sometimes find myself on Youtube watching interviews of her sister Dakota Fanning when she was a little girl. They instantly put a smile on my face. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks is SUPERCALAFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS

circa 1998
Guess who saw Saving Mr. Banks today!

If you haven't seen it yet, you need to quickly get yourself to the nearest movie theater! This was such a great film with wonderful acting, fun costumes, and a sweet story.  I especially loved the vintage vibe! 
Also, make sure you have your tissues handy if you're a cry baby like I am. 


I've been reading online that it isn't exactly a true story, but was Disney-fied to have a happier ending. It doesn't really bother me. I'm a fan of Mary Poppins movie, and now maybe I'll read the book!

The film also did a great job of infecting me with Disney Fever (it's totally a real thing).

As if I hadn't had a bad enough case, my big sister (in my sorority) moved to Disney World earlier this week for the Disney College Program (proud little sister moment)! I'm sure I'll find a way to visit her before she returns next semester!


I also can't seem to get the Mary Poppins tunes out of my head. It's one of my favorite Disney Musicals,  so I don't really mind. 

I stumbled across this post last summer from Tina at Sugar Bean Bakers about a Mary Poppins Party that I thought was adorable and would be so much fun! It's so cute and clever!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

GEAUX Saints!

Truth be told, I'm not even watching the game tonight, but based on the volume of my mom's screams downstairs, the Saints aren't doing very well against those Seahawks. 

I've never actually been to a game in the dome, but I'd definitely wear some of these fun accessories on game day -- especially if our boys could make it to the Super Bowl!






































Clockwise from 12 o'clock:

And if you just can't get enough NOLA love, check out FleurtyGirl.net! The fleurty girl herself, Lauren Thom has all sorts of fun items in her creative shop that scream New Orleans! 


Friday, January 10, 2014

Goodreads + a book review

I've always loved to read. 

Some of my most vivid memories are of my mom reading bedtime stories, and one of my most treasured toys was a tape player and read-along books with tapes. 

In elementary school I would devour books and even had special permission to go to the library during recess. When I switched schools in the fifth grade, my new school's saving grace was its library. I was a mini-librarian and would check out and shelve books at recess. I had only a handful of friends, so I  would read all the time
By the time I got to high school, I didn't have as much time for reading as I would have liked, and by senior year, I'd go months without reading for fun. 

I finally had a chance to read for fun again this summer and did another post about it.

 You can add me as a friend here!

I joined Goodreads in 2011, but hadn't really gotten into it until just recently. It's such a fun social network, and one of my favorite parts is seeing what other people are reading. My friends list is still small, but I'm sure that will change when more people realize how cool the site is and how much fun reading can be!


Now, the book review I mentioned in the title:


I usually attempt to read more prestigious, classic novels and novels that tend to be read in literature classes, however, sometimes I need a break from searching for deeper-meanings and using the dictionary app. More often than not, I'm reading two books at a time...

I really enjoyed reading The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales, and can't wait to see the movie, now! I felt a lot of what she wrote about really needed to be addressed. This is a true story that follows the gang of teens that robbed the homes of Hollywood stars. She touched on the fact that our generation is becoming more and more obsessed with celebrities and fame, and it's a little scary. I know at least a handful of people who's big dream is becoming famous. 

Honestly it makes me a little sad that people dream of becoming twitter-famous or instagram-famous, but I must admit, even I sometimes dream of having a career as a social media representative (I tell myself that there is a difference in these dreams - mine involves work, right?).

I cringe thinking about how much I looked up to Paris Hilton in middle school (I didn't know about the sex-tape or the drugs), or how I can't ever seem to change the channel when Keeping Up with the Kardashions comes on. These people are famous for being famous, and I really think it sends the wrong message to the young girls out there. 

I found myself laughing as I read the book, and at some points, read aloud the dialogue to my mom and asked, "Do you think this is real life?". Aside from the humor, I loved that the whole story is based around a court case. It made me wonder if law school might actually be the right place for me. 

My advice to younger girls would be to read and learn as much as you can. Sometimes it can be hard to take my own advice, but I'm almost certain that the smarter you are, the better off you will be. Education is the key to a bright future, and, in my own opinion, reading is one of the easiest and most fun ways to train your brain. It's a much better use of time than reading tabloids or watching reality TV, that's for sure!

Have you read The Bling Ring or seen the movie? What's your next book?


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Year in Review!

I know, we're already a week into 2014, but a review of last year seemed appropriate. 2013 was a year full of excitement and change! It will definitely go down in my record book as one of the best years of my young life. 

High School Graduation

I finally graduated! High school was definitely a journey, and I couldn't be happier to be starting another chapter in my life. And after spending 14 years (counting pre-k and kindergarden) in Catholic school wearing pressed white shirts and plaid skirts, college has been quite a change!


Theater

I discovered my love of theater in 2013, specifically musicals. 
I had the time of my life in my school play, Annie. I also got to see two spectacular Broadway musicals in New York this summer, Annie and Wicked. I can't say enough good. If you ever have the opportunity to see a broadway show, JUMP AT IT! You won't regret it. 


I also saw the The Book of Mormon when it came to New Orleans! Such a fun time! 



New York City

With my adorable little cousin.
On my trip there this June, I had an absolutely amazing time! I could do a whole post on my love of New York City and another on my trip, so for brevity's sake, I'll make this quick:
I LOVE NEW YORK. I know I need to live there sometime in the future. The city has a sort of pulse that you can feel as you're walking down those crowded streets. It's like it has a beating heart and the scurrying people are like the blood in it's street-veins. 
I've spent most of winter break obsessing over exploring NYU and Columbia Law. Why must they be sooo expensive?


College

Soooo excited on move-in day!
I'm having such a great time in college! I definitely wasn't one of the girls who peaked in middle or high school (still don't think I'm actually peaking yet? That sounds silly...), so being able to have a fresh start with college has been great! I honestly think I'm learning to come out of my shell (I was such a shy and quiet kid) and have made some new friends as a result. Finishing the semester with a 4.0 was icing on the cake of a lovely first semester.


PHI MU


As an only child, the opportunity to gain over a hundred amazing sisters really appealed to me. I knew from the first day of recruitment week that I needed to be a Phi Mu lady, and I love so much about Greek life. My school is small compared to most, but having a family group makes it much cozier and certainly puts me at ease. You're never going to be able to like all of your sisters, but I can really feel the bond between us. Any Phi Mu readers out there? LIOB!

I'm excited to see what 2014 has in store for me! I love January because it's like a new beginning. Life starts over a little bit every time the seasons change. Although I'm absolutely loving this cold weather, before we know it, the snow will have melted (figuratively in Louisiana) and spring will have sprung! 

Will 2014 be your year?