Friday, December 31, 2010

::Happy New Year 2011::


Well, it's here again...we're on the cusp of a New Year, with the promise of renewal and a clean start. I've never been one to make a list of resolutions, and I won't start doing that this year. However, I have come up with a "motto" to live by for the next year:

Learn to be satisfied - but don't mistake satisfaction with complacence. Always strive for more. Always strive to be better...and don't blame anyone else but yourself for the way your life is going. Remember to live...somewhat impulsively, to keep things interesting, but not irresponsibly. Do what you need to do for you, but keep in mind that there are other people involved in your life.

It seems I've let "real life" get in the way of living my life, and I've been miserable. This year will be about balance for me...finding the balance between the grown-up "responsible" me, and the impulsive fun-loving me that made the best of any situation.

What that is going to look like and feel like, I haven't the slightest clue, but hopefully I get it right this time.
And if I don't...well, there's always 2012.

Have a safe New Year's Eve, and I wish you prosperity, peace and success in the year to come.

XOXO, Girl in the World

Thursday, December 30, 2010

::Anxiously Awaiting...::

...the release of Jane Eyre...

...and The Tempest.

I also REALLY want to see The King's Speech.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

::Get Your Life - Film::


Kris and I finally went to see Black Swan about a week ago, and I must say, I was thoroughly impressed. The costuming, make-up, choreography, direction and not least of all, the acting were all superb. It definitely inspired me to return to my dance classes!


I won't go into a summary of the plot, but there is much more to this film than what appears on surface level. For me, the most intriguing aspect of the plot is the duality in the characters, which is reflected in the roles of the White Swan and the Black Swan. Duality is a part of human nature, and the roles that Nina [Natalie Portman] is asked to play in the ballet company's production simply place this duality under a microscope. Nina is inherently good, and must learn how to be a "bad girl" from her rival Lily [Mila Kunis] in order to secure her role as the Swan Queen. Nina gets a glimpse of her not-so-rosy future in her foil, Beth [Winona Ryder]. All in all, a very intricate plot which deserves further analysis. :)

The design house Rodarte was responsible for all of the costuming, even the warm-ups worn by the actors and dancers. I am a costume FREAK, and I might be reaching here, but I think the costumes will at least get an Oscar nod. The make-up was great as well, and of course the MUAs used my favorite cosmetic line [ case you didn't know...] to pull off the looks.

Only two theaters in town were showing the film, one of them being the Arbor, which exclusively shows independent / limited release films. They had painted the windows in a wonderful art deco design for the film, and later I realized that they took the design from these wonderful international promo posters, designed by the firm LaBoca.

[I'm especially partial to this one...]




If you visit LaBoca's website, you can buy t-shirts with these designs from their shop. If you want the poster, I found them at They don't match anything in my house, but I'll find way to put it up on a wall somewhere!

Have you been to see Black Swan yet? What are your impressions? Leave a comment below!



Sticker Love - Palette's Sweet Street.
Found at Momoko, Austin, TX.

Monday, December 27, 2010

::Christmas n' Such::

Here are some pictures from our first Christmas at home...just the two of us!
We mostly sat around and watched movies, drank wine, and played around with our new camera.
Kris got me a cute blouse from Anthropologie. I love that store!

He also got me Jonathan Franzen's new book, Freedom. My mom sent me a copy of Waiting for Superman, a companion to the film that came out earlier this year. We've had many, MANY discussions about the state of the public education system.

My mom also sent us a gift certificate, which I used to buy a new down comforter. It's super warm and snuggly...I never want to leave my bed now! The duvet is one I've had since college - I got it from Target, and I love love love it!

After the excitement of the morning, we watched A Christmas Story on TV.

The next day, we went to Urban Outfitters to exchange a gift.
I got a cool new hat, and Kris got a cute messenger bag...that I might steal from him.

I found this super-cute Bert hat in the men's section!

After battling crazy lines at Urban, we had a few slices at Mellow Mushroom before heading home. Yum!

If you haven't guessed, our big Christmas gift was a new Canon EOS Rebel T1i.
I'm really excited about being able to take awesome pictures again!

::Pizza Face, Part 2::

[Sorry about the fuzzy pictures...I had to use my webcam.]

So it's been almost a month since I started using Clinique's Even Better Serum to even out the dark spots on my face, and I am definitely seeing some improvement. It takes about 12 weeks of consistent use to see a significant reduction in the spots, but they are really starting to break up a bit. However, I experienced some problems initially and had to change my regimen.


To recap my inital skin regimen: I was washing my face twice daily with a cake of African Black Soap, toning with Clean and Clear [orange formula], putting on 2 pumps of Even Better [you should put on more if you aren't partnering the Even Better with other Clinique products - if you are, only put on 1 pump.] and moisturizing with Cetaphil 50 SPH moisturizer. After a couple weeks of all this product on my skin, I was getting some HEINOUS blemishes, which of course only created more dark spots.


I decided to start using the Clinique Acne Solutions system...results seem to be better now that all of the product I am using comes from the same line. I use the 7 day exfoliating scrub every morning, followed by the Acne Solutions foaming face wash and medicated toner, Even Better serum and Even Better moisturizer with 20 SPF. In the evenings before bed, I use the Acne Solutions wash, toner and moisturizer, but no Even Better serum. The sales woman I bought the Acne Solutions system told me that Even Better's effectiveness is not decreased if you only use it once a day. If I have a blemish, I also incorporate the Acne Solutions Emergency Spot treatment. I've found that success with this emergency treatment varies, depending on the type of blemish it is. It works best with blemishes that are close to the surface of the skin.

Since I started using the Acne Solutions system, I have been experiencing minor breakouts, but these were to be expected, as the system's primary job is to bring all of the impurities in the pores to the surface of the skin. I was warned that this would happen, and so far I have not experienced any scarring as a result. I have also found that the Acne Solutions moisturizer can be a bit drying, but since I am only using it at night and exfoliating the next morning, it does not seem to be much of a problem.

I also had to stop drinking so much tea and sugary juices and start drinking more water. I HATE drinking water, but putting in a lemon slice makes it a little more tolerable, and it also keeps me hydrated for longer amounts of time.

Have suggestions, comments or concerns? Email me at or leave a comment and I will respond! Until next time...

XOXO, Girl in the World

Friday, December 24, 2010

::Happy Christmas!::

Hello All!

I'll be resuming blog posts after the holidays [including a Pizza Face update...], but I wanted to wish you a Happy Christmas...hope you have a great time where ever you are! Kris and I are staying home, watching Christmas movies, playing with our new toys, calling family members and having a nice little dinner. I'm making pork tenderloin with sweet potato souffle and green beans.

May Santa bring you all you wish for!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

::A Conversation::

So I was up late last night folding laundry and watching Netflix, when I get a call from my old roommate, C-. She explained that her almost-5-year-old daughter had a question for me and handed the phone over to S-. The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Hey S-, whatcha doin'?

S-: We are going home from the water park!
[They had spent the last couple days at an indoor water park.] Can I ask you a question?

Me: Sure! What do you want to know?

S-: How does God make people grow?
[She had to repeat this question a few times, as it is still hard for me to understand her on the phone.]

Me: Well, I heard that God makes people out of dough, like cookies...and he bakes them in His oven!

S-: {after a pause} Mom says to stop playin' and tell me the truth!

Me: {puzzled...I haven't a clue what C- has told her} Well, that's what I heard! Let me speak to Mommy real quick.

...after some more almost-five-year-old small talk...

Me: WHAT did you tell her?! I told her that God makes people out of cookie dough and bakes them in his oven!

C-: I told her the truth...the sperm meets the egg, burrows into the egg and then the cell starts to divide and eventually turns into a fetus. She understood all of that, but she didn't understand HOW people grow from two small cells. I told her God makes it happen....and she said "I'll bet Catherine knows."

{insert raucous laughter here}

At this point I should probably explain that C- has a dual bachelor's degree in Physiology and Psychology, and has worked in multiple genetic research labs. S- spent many days in her baby chair at the lab while C- worked.

Me: Why didn't you TELL me that before you gave her the phone?! Only YOU would give her the most clinical explanation there is. And only SHE would understand you and ask the simple but complex question: HOW? There is no HOW, God just makes it happen...because he's God.

C-: I KNOW! That's what I told her, but she didn't believe me.

Me: She's scary smart.

Like....really? I always said S- had an old soul, that she had been around before, but almost every time me and C- talk, she's got a story about S- that knocks my socks off. It'll be most interesting to see what she uses those brains for. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

::What Shall I Wear?::


I was wondering what kind of ensemble I should be looking for in case we go to some holiday parties, and I thought of this picture of Zooey Deschanel from a 2009 issue of Domino. I love that she paired a vintage dress with a pair of funky tights and a ribbon as a sash. Forget that "no white after Labor Day" rule...because this outfit is too cute!

Friday, December 17, 2010

::Have a Jazzy Christmas::


Sick of the same, tired old songs that the Christmas music station plays? Give Duke Ellington's rendition of the Nutcracker on his Three Suitesalbum a try - I promise you'll love it. I first heard it with my good friend and old roommate Devon at the MSU Jazz Band's Christmas concert...and it was love at first listen! Although Sugar Rum Cherry (Duke's take on the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy) is the most popular track, my special favorite is actually the Overture. Must be the saxophone.

A lot of people don't know that most of the Duke's hits were arranged by Billy Strayhorn, who was a certified music genius. Kris and I randomly caught a documentary about him on PBS (Independent Lens - Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life), and it was quite interesting. I encourage you to check it out!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

:Duty Calls::


Sorry I haven't posted much this week. Things are getting crazy at the job. Back in the next few days with new posts!

xoxo, Grrl in the Wrrld

Sunday, December 12, 2010

::Christmas List!::

Taking a cue from a couple of my favorite blogs (Niotillfem and tuolomee) I decided to post a few of the things I'd like to see under the tree this year.

I have been looking for a sailor dress with a full skirt for several months now. I found this picture on lookbook, but I'm sorry to say I can't remember whose profile this came from. If you know, send me an email so I can credit the photo!

A Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 digital SLR camera!I'm still using my old Nikon that takes film...I love it, but it's time to join to 21st century!

Bose® SoundDock® for our iPods.

An iMac for my husband and I to share.

And a Western Digital 1 TB External Hard Drive so that I can keep all of my music, pictures and data organized in one place!

The ION Portable USB LP Turntable Pro...because Kris and I are still fans of vinyl.

Might as well have a cool recordto play on the ION turntable right? How about this heart-shaped record from our friend, Mayer Hawthorne? If you haven't heard of him, you need to get with the program. For reals.

A KitchenAid 5-Quart Mixer...cookies and cakes galore!

The Little Birch jewelry stand from Urban Outfitters.

The Frye Company's Paige boot.

Marc Jacobs - Classic Q Groovee handbag. I'm not much of a purse carrying girl, but this is the perfect size for me!

Two Hobo clutch / wallets - one in brown, one in black. I use mine as a wallet, but when I'm going out on the town, I slip my lipstick and keys into one of the pockets and voila! A clutch fit for a queen!

Last, but most important on my list, are BOOKS! I have too many that I want to read to list, but I am excited about Jonathan Franzen's new book Freedom: A Novel, and my brother is insisting that I read Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo

(I'm an Amazon Associate, so if you would like to purchase anything I've mentioned, please use the links above.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

::Lady Grey London::

Well, I just adore Marion Cotillard and Sir Ian McKellan, so this was a treat for me. Enjoy! (via @neilhimself)

(btw...LOVE her makeup!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

::A Hard Nut to Crack::


Today, I showed some of my students the 1986 motion picture version of The Nutcracker, which was performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company under the direction of choreographer Kent Stowall and costume/set design by Maurice Sendak (effing AWESOME!). This rendition holds many memories for me, because I used to watch it every year around this time as a child, and it is partially responsible for my love of ballet.


Although most of the boys groaned and complained about my selection, I was surprised to see most of the kids intently watching the film...and asking questions. Some of them made comments about the costuming and set designs looking like something out of Where the Wild Things Are, and were surprised to learn that Maurice Sendak had a huge hand in bringing this production to life. They did have a hard time following the story, but I helped them on the way.

Here are some of my favorite things about this version of The Nutcracker:

[1] It was a Christmas tradition in my house...until they stopped airing it on television. *tear*

[2] The sets, costumes and attention to detail are astonishing! I am a costume freak, and these costumes were very well done.

[3] The music...just beautiful. Maybe I'm partial to this recording because it was my first introduction to The Nutcracker, but this trumps all others in my book. A selection from The Queen of Spades (another Tchaikovsky composition) was also incorporated into the music, and it is the only piece which contains singing.

[4]The choreography was impeccable, and the dancers display great technique. How I still wish for that killer turn-out and the ability to get the perfect pointe!

[5] My favorite part? The peacock's dance. For various reasons I won't get into....other than that costume gives me life!


The best part? I discovered that both the film and the abridged soundtrack are available on iTunes, and Netflix is also making the film available as an Instant Viewing selection. As for me...I still have my VHS copy of the movie, and I kept my VCR for that sole reason. Get into the spirit this Christmas.

(Photo credits:, Angela Sterling via

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

::A Moment::

Dresser Still Life

My nightstand. I'm especially proud of the Rainbow Brite shoelaces Kathy bought for me on Sunday. :)

Bored @ work

Testing proctor. Day 1. Webcam. Bored out of my mind.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010



I'm a restless person, always have been. Lately, the Mr. and I have been discussing a move abroad, most likely to Europe. It's something I always planning on doing later, after I was sure that I could support myself and my family no matter where we ended up, but I never thought about doing it just to DO it. My mother-in-law (who has lived in Africa...) suggested that we just go for it so that we could have the experience - it didn't necessarily have to be a permanent life altering decision for us. We have no kids, we have no mortgage, it's just us and the dog and the whole wide world at our fingertips. But I have a problem.

My problem?

I'm scared.

Scared of failure. Scared of losing everything I've worked so hard to acquire. Yeah, I know material things are unimportant...but it is so hard for me to let go of them. Scared of having to start all over whenever I return to "real life."

I seem to be running into this problem a lot. I am on the verge of accomplishing a huge goal of mine...and yet I find all the reasons in the world to not take the next small step. When did I become such a chicken?

Anyway, I suppose it wouldn't be a bad thing to solicit advice or personal stories from people who have lived abroad, so if you have a story you'd like to share, please email me. It might do a world of good.

In addition, I have a Pizza Face Update: My face has adapted to the new regimen, with minimal protest. I did get a new zit along the jawline from the change in routine (...along with some itching on the first day), but it is responding well to the Clinque Acne Solutions Post-Blemish treatment Eleanor talked me into buying. So far, I'd say it's worth the $13.50 I spent on it! Updates to come soon!

Until then, peace.