Thursday, November 13, 2014

19 things I've learned in 19 years

  1. I will always strive for princess-hood.
  2. I am, for the most part, conservative.
  3. I am my parents' daughter.
  4. God has a funny way of working.
  5. I am a living contradiction.
  6. The only people I have always been and will always be able to trust are my parents.
  7. Love is on its way.
  8. "I can't" never did anything.
  9. Pearls are a girl's best friend.
  10. Freckles are precious.
  11. It's not about me.
  12. Everyone has their gifts and their losses.
  13. I'll always go back home.
  14. Work ethic is everything.
  15. I'll have plenty of time to sleep when I'm dead.
  16. Substance abuse is inexcusable.
  17. I'll never have all the answers, so I ought to make every question count.
  18. People who are happy have one secret: they choose to be happy.
  19. I am me.
TTFN,
Liv

Monday, November 3, 2014

Inspiration in the most unexpected places

It's Monday.  We have four more days until the weekend--five if you include the rest of today.  Isn't that a daunting thought?  I knew this week would be tough the moment I glanced at my clock last night and realized that after doing homework all weekend, it was 2 a.m. and I still had hours of work left to do.  I finally gave up around 2:30 and headed to bed until 7:30 a.m., oversleeping my alarm for my 8 a.m. class, of course (by some miracle, I wasn't late).  And the day is only beginning.  Needless to say, I could use some inspiration to propel me through the day.  And week.  And month.  And pretty much every day until winter break.

The past several days have yielded inspiration in the most unexpected ways.  Perhaps the fortuitous discovery of such inspirations makes them all the more enlightening: I, too, can make something wonderful of what seems like absolutely nothing.

  1. Raise your hand if you're a Taylor Swift fan.  My hands are staying right where they are, on my laptop's keyboard.  While I look to Taylor as a fashion icon, I am in no way drawn to her music, though there are a few songs with which I have personal connections.  My housemates, however, are die-hard Taylor Swift fans.  With the release of her new album, 1989, and a house roaring with Taylor Swift fandom--you try avoiding 12 girls playing 1989 constantly--Taylor is inescapable (not to mention the fact that my teammates are also obsessed).  Be that as it may, I find it odd that I have not acquired a particular disdain for 1989.  Just the opposite, in fact: I am growing to love the album.  I had been suffering from writer's block for over a week when a full listen-through of 1989 cured me and made the words flow so fast I wasn't sure how I could possibly write them all down.  What changed?  The very things that I could not conceive it the first place, the words.  There is not a single song on the album that does not seem like a narrative of my life at some point, thusly there is not a single song on the album that I do not enjoy listening to.  This cynic had begun a conversion thanks to Taylor Swift's unforeseen inspiration.
  2. Tomorrow is Election Day.  No, I don't have the day off from school.  Yes, my parents do have the day off from work.  In a matter of minutes, this became the best Election Day ever because my mother will be coming to visit me at school.  Last year, I went home a lot--some might say too much.  What can I say?  I'm a homebody, and there's nothing like being with the people I love in the house I grew up in, in a town where there's rarely an unfamiliar face.  What initially seemed like an irrelevant, dismal day to celebrate anything--except democracy, of course--has blossomed into a beam of hope, a ray of sunshine on Marist College.  That is the power of mothers.
  3. I recently received a handwritten letter from one of the most praised journalists in history.  I worked with the gentleman at my internship over the summer and sent him a simple thank-you note when I returned to school in the fall, never expecting a response.  The first day of my internship, I found myself in a heated debate with this gentleman during the Editorial Board meeting--my modern conservatism clashed with his antiquated liberalism.  He later sang my praises for speaking up to contest the widely accepted perspective.  What's more, at the time, I was unaware of his claim to fame--he had always been a name on paper, so I never knew what he looked like in person.  Our debates continued throughout the summer, yielding better stories and more aware readers.  I must have made an impression--though not a fraction of the tremendous impact he made on me--because he took the time to compliment me and offer great words of encouragement in his letter.
Clearly, inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.  Where will you find yours today?

TTFN,
Liv

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Early morning breakfast in under 200 calories

Breakfast is frequently referred to as "the most important meal of the day."  Frankly, all meals are important.  But how you face the morning undoubtedly affects how you'll take on the day.  Experts recommend eating within an hour of waking, but with an 8 am class three times a week and 6:45 am team lift twice a week, it's difficult to consume a filling, balanced breakfast in under 15 minutes.

But not impossible.

Introducing my 195-calorie breakfast for early mornings.  Quick, healthful, and delicious, this meal takes minutes to prepare, enjoy, and clean up after.

I start with some cooking spray and small frying pan.  In goes a half cup of egg substitute (60 calories)--I use ShopRite's Great Eggscape Egg Product--and some Adobo seasoning.  Eggs are a great source of protein, which curbs hunger by making you feel full.  Egg substitute has the health benefits of eggs, but with fewer calories, fat, and cholesterol.

While I wait for the eggs to heat up, I measure out a half cup of nonfat cottage cheese (80 calories).  High in protein and calcium, nonfat cottage cheese may help you achieve or maintain a healthy body weight.  Even if you don't like cottage cheese--most people don't--this breakfast is worth a try.  I yumm-ify mine with dashes of cinnamon, apple pie spice, and vanilla extract.

Check the eggs.  Move them around a bit.  Back to the cottage cheese.

Since an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I chop up a small (2.5" diameter) apple (55 calories) into bite-sized pieces--I'm sure there's a term for that, but I'm no chef, let's be honest.  That gets mixed into the yumm-ified nonfat cottage cheese, just in time for me to finish scrambling the eggs.

Voila!  Including eating and cleanup time, you should be completely finished with this early morning meal in less than 15 minutes.  Talk about an efficient morning…Now what will you accomplish with the rest of your day?

TTFN,
Liv

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Antique shopping OOTD

For my one day off last week, my parents and I went antique shopping in Bouckville, NY.  Before soccer preseason started cutting Jaquith summers short, we used to go to the Madison Bouckville Antique Week for a day or two in August.  This year, I spent the autumn-esque day with Mommy and Daddy, picking up some great finds and consuming more carnival food than I care to reveal.


Sweater: J.Crew; Top: Old Navy; Shorts: Lilly Pulitzer; Shoes: Adidas (similar)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vanity sizing

Earlier this month, J.Crew announced it would introduce a size smaller than XXS and 00: XXXS and 000.  This is great news for those of us with a 30.5" bust and a 23" waist who often find that XXS and 00 still don't fit quite right.  But really, how many people have that problem?  Not many Americans.  According to the 2003 SizeUSA study, the average woman is about 5'4" and 150 pounds, which is 20 pounds heavier than 40 years ago.  A more recent study has shown another increase in average weight--at 165 for the same height.

So what's up?  Are women getting larger?  Are sizes getting larger?

Yes.  And yes.  According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), average adult Americans are about one inch taller, but a nearly whopping 25 pounds heavier than they were in 1960.  Plus, the average BMI (body mass index, a weight-for-height formula used to measure obesity) has increased among adults from approximately 25 in 1960 to 28 in 2002.

Maybe that's why vanity sizing has become such an issue. "According to standard size measurements, that average 155 pound woman should be wearing a size 16, but thanks to vanity-sizing she's probably buying a size 10 or 12," Jim Lovejoy, the industry director for the SizeUSA survey, told Newsweek.  "Most companies aren't using the standard ASTM [American Society for Testing and Materials] sizes any more.  Sizes have been creeping up a half inch at a time so that women can fit into smaller sizes and feel good about it."

I have to admit, being able to fit into a size 0 makes me feel pretty confident, and even more so when I fit into a 00.  But in the end, it's about what fits.  You'll feel your best, regardless of what size you're wearing, when your clothing fits you properly.  Sometimes I wear a 00 and other times a 4 fits better.  That doesn't mean my weight has significantly fluctuated.  Different clothing items fit differently.

Before I sound too proud of my "nothing" size, you should know that about two decades ago, I would have been at least a size 8.  Think I'm exaggerating?  A few years ago, my mother gave me a pleated, striped Ann Taylor skirt she'd worn before she got pregnant with me.  It sat in her closet for years until I grew into it.  The skirt is a size 8.  With current sizing, that skirt would be a little too small for my mother, but, thanks to vanity sizing, it fits my size just right.

With all the wrong mentality surrounding clothing sizes in our culture, it's no wonder J.Crew has been taking heat since it announced its plan to create smaller-sized clothing.  "There are so many zeros and you're making women who can't fit into anything below a 2 feel insecure."  But what if clothing companies shifted the sizes back up to what they're supposed to be?  Don't you think women would feel even more insecure?  What about the slender girls who fit into those XXXS and 000 sizes and are insecure about their thinness?  Isn't that just as bad?

It's not just the average-sized (whatever that means) and heavier women who feel insecure.  It's the slender girls, too.  My below-average-size younger sister has perfect curves and an athletic build, leading everyone to believe that she is actually the older one.  She looks like a woman, and a beautiful and healthy one, at that.  I, on the other hand, look like a nine-year-old boy in a swimsuit--no breasts, no hips, and muscles and bones sticking out in all the wrong places.  So I find it offensive when people get mad about mannequins with their ribs showing, or clothing companies producing smaller sizes.  Women come in all shapes and sizes, but few are represented, on both ends of the spectrum.

My younger sister and me in Puerto Rico

Ultimately, it's about the fit.  No one (not even yourself) is going to applaud you for squeezing into a size 6 when your breasts are popping out.  You will, however, be noticed for all the right reasons when you go up a size and your clothing fits properly.  The size is there as a guideline, but it is not law.

Stay healthy, beautiful, and confident!

TTFN,
Liv

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Coffee pep talk

As I looked away from the computer screen to pick up my coffee and head to a morning meeting, my eyes caught sight of something they usually skim over: the quote on the coffee sleeve.  I assume each coffee sleeve is printed the same way, but I can't be sure because I never pay them any mind.  For whatever reason, today was different.


The quote seemed so appropriate for the setting of my coffee cup.  I didn't rearrange anything on my desk to take this picture.  The uber official reporter's notebook situated in front of the office phone on top of today's paper, to the left of my keyboard and water bottle in the background is a candid work of art for someone who loves writing as much as I do.  Writing is my passion, but I have yet to find my purpose as it relates to that passion.  But that's part of what this internship is for.  I'm learning what it's like to work for an investigative daily newspaper, which could pull me further down that road, open other doors for me within the greater corporation, or steer me toward something entirely different within the journalism field.

Who knows what's up next?  Not even Oprah with all her wisdom on coffee sleeves.  But I'd say it was a pretty good start to my morning; certainly something I ought to keep in mind long after I finish my Grande Skinny Hazelnut Latte (#CommonWhiteGirl).  Thanks, Starbucks.  The perfect timing of your stimulating coffee packaging (as well as the deliciousness inside) was well-worth the $4.48.

TTFN,
Liv

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

If you don't matter...

...then neither does he.  Or she.

We all know the feeling.  Call it love, infatuation, passion, whatever.  How about torment?  It can be hard to separate the two.  It is truly a blessing to find yourself in a relationship where the feelings are mutually positive and relatively equal.

In my case, what once was nothing more than a strong pull toward this person has grown to an overwhelming yearn.  I think my heart was in trouble the moment I started feeling anything more than an intense connection and friendship.  But hey, the heart wants what the heart wants.  Maybe I was led on, or maybe I misread the signs--probably both.  Don't worry, this is no sob story.  I'm not heartbroken.  I am, however, deeply saddened by the fact that the distance that causes me so much pain is the very same distance that makes me irrelevant.

I did something I don't think I have ever done before: I gave up.  I stopped trying to see him or speak with him.  This was not a part of some scheme, mind you.  I was fed up with feeling like I was his world one moment and then feeling like a fly on the wall the next, all because someone prettier walked in the room.  What do I have that she doesn't?  Plenty, and I wouldn't trade any of it to be in her shoes.  What does she have that I don't?  His affection, at the very least.  And quite frankly, that sucks.

Without me trying to pull him closer to me, we've grown apart.  I don't think we're different people now, but we are no longer in communication.  Every day--often multiple times a day--I decide to text him to end the silence.  But then I stop myself.  Why?

Respect.  I have too much respect for myself to try to make someone care about me, especially someone who treats me as though I'm invisible when this other girl is in his presence.  I want to talk to him.  So badly.  But the way I feel about him--not love, by the way--seems to be the way he feels about her.  Why try to force my way into a relationship in which I am clearly not wanted?  If I mattered to him, he would have reached out to me by now--the summer is more than half over.

I know I may not matter to him, but as painful as that is, I can take solace in the fact that I do matter.  We all do.  Each of us has a place, a specific reason for being where we are.  So the problem is not that you or I don't matter.  The problem is that he or she does not realize how important we truly are.  Their loss.

You are a wonderful addition to this world.  Do not let that go to waste because someone else is too blind to see it.  If you don't matter, neither do they.  You have better things ahead of you, including people who see the truth: you make a world of difference.

TTFN,
Liv

Thursday, July 3, 2014

'Merica

As you celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, remember the intellectual and physical battles fought to get to the point of declaring independence, as well as the hard-fought battles that followed.  Here are some little-known facts to help you get your patriotism on:
  1. On June 11, 1776, the Continental Congress selected Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, and Robert R. Livingston of New York to draft a declaration of independence. Citing Jefferson's prowess with a pen, Adams urged him to author the first draft of the document, which was then revised by Adams and Franklin before being given to Congress for review on June 28.
  2. When the document was presented to Congress, both northern and southern slave holding delegates objected to Jefferson's inclusion of a grievance against King George III for creating and sustaining the slave trade, describing it as "a cruel war against human nature."  The Declaration of Independence would only be adopted if the 13 colonies represented in Congress could reach a unanimous decision in its favor, so this part of the document was removed.  The only remaining allusion to the original paragraph on slavery is the phrase, "He has excited domestic Insurrections among us," included in a list of complaints against the king.
  3. Former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on July 4, 1826, on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, within five hours of each other.  Once fellow Patriots and then adversaries, at age 82 and 90 respectively, Jefferson and Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies.  Adams' last words were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives," but he was mistaken, as Jefferson had passed away at his home in Monticello just hours earlier.
  4. While the Declaration of Independence was officially adopted on July 4, 1776, it was not signed until August 2 because of a lengthy revision and reprinting process.  The first delegate to sign the document was John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, who signed his name so large that the British ministry and King George could read it "without spectacles."  Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, Oliver Wolcott of Connecticut, Lewis Morris of New York, Thomas McKean of Delaware, and Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire signed on a later date.  John Dickinson of Pennsylvania and Robert R. Livingston of New York never signed the document, though Dickinson briefly served as a Brigadier-General in the Continental Army.
  5. More than one copy of the Declaration of Independence exists.  After its adoption, the original five members of the Declaration Committee (also known as the Committee of Five) were charged with overseeing the reproduction of the approved text.  This was completed at the shop of Philadelphia printer John Dunlap.  On July 5, Dunlap's copies, known as Dunlap broadsides, were dispatched across the 13 colonies to newspapers, local officials, and the commanders of the Continental troops.  Of the hundreds thought to have been printed on the night of July 4, only 26 copies survive.  Most are held in museum and library collections, but three are privately owned.  Two additional copies have been found in the last 25 years.  In 1989, a Philadelphia man found one in the back of a picture frame he bought at a flea market for $4.  It sold for $8.1 million in 2000.  In 2009, another merged at the British National Archives, hidden for centuries in a box of papers captured from American colonists during the Revolutionary War.
Now that you can celebrate like true Patriots, a joke to kick start your Independence Day weekend:
Why are there no knock-knock jokes about freedom?
Because freedom rings.  'Merica.

TTFN,
Liv

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hope Solo should be "shutout"

United States women’s soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo has made headlines again for reasons other than the sport she dominates. She was arrested this weekend in Kirkland (Seattle), Wash. “and charged with domestic violence for allegedly punching her half-sister and 17-year-old nephew,” reports Jim Caple for ESPNW. “Solo pleaded not guilty Monday and was released on her own recognizance with a trial pending in August. She is not allowed to have contact with her half-sister or nephew, or drink alcohol, before then.”

According to the police report, Solo arrived at her half-sister’s house late Friday night upset that her husband, former Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Jerramy Stevens, had refused to take her to the airport for a flight. Under the influence of a considerable amount of wine, Solo became more upset when she thought her nephew spoke ill of her. Their aggressive conversation escalated, and after the nephew accused Solo’s family and father of being the crazy ones, she allegedly charged and punched him. The report goes on to describe Solo punching her half-sister and nephew several times, which the nephew tried to stop by breaking a broom over Solo’s head.

Solo is a beast on and off the field—imagine being punched by one of the best goalies in the world—because the impact of the broom being broken over her head did not stop her. When the police arrived, an officer reported that he saw no injuries to Solo and that she refused to allow him to inspect her head for injuries.

So what should be done with Solo? Caple argues that “if convicted…Solo should be dropped from the U.S. team. As great a player as she is, a person guilty of domestic violence should not be allowed to represent our country so prominently on the world stage.”

As a soccer player and Hope Solo fan, I wish I could disagree with Caple. But he’s right. It would be one thing if this was Solo’s first controversy in the national spotlight, but her comments after getting benched in the 2007 Women’s World Cup and a Twitter rant directed at former U.S. women’s national team defender and midfielder Brandi Chastain during the 2012 Olympics make it difficult for me to advocate for her to remain on the national team. All I can say is that without Solo in our box, the U.S. women’s national team is going to have a hell of a battle to fight to get anywhere in the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

That is not reason enough to keep Solo on the women’s national team, at least it shouldn’t be. Too often, when male athletes are arrested, “they remain with the team and are cheered as long as they perform well,” Caple points out. Of course, these are not national athletes like Solo, but this applies to her, too, in the case of her pro team, Seattle Reign FC. If convicted, Solo should be removed from the U.S. women’s national team, but allowed to continue playing for her pro team, following whatever punishment she receives from the government and the new eight-team National Women’s Soccer League (founded in 2012) she plays in, should the league choose to take action.

A lack of punishment from the pro league would not be surprising. It happens with male athletes all the time, so why would we expect it to be any different for women? Oh that’s right—because male athletes receive preferential treatment over just about everyone, including female athletes.

Take Solo’s husband, for example: Stevens assaulted another student in 1998 as a senior in high school and still received a scholarship to play at the University of Washington, where he was arrested in 2000 in the investigation of an alleged rape, but never charged. (Several years later, his attorney made an out-of-court civil settlement with the accuser.) Stevens drove his truck into a retirement home in 2001, but stayed on the team and was drafted by the NFL, playing 202 games from 2002 to 2010 despite two DUIs. In 2012, Stevens was arrested once again on suspicion of domestic violence against Solo during a party at a residence. The chargers eventually were dropped because of insufficient evidence, which, naturally, Solo and Stevens celebrated the next day by tying the knot.

Endless arguments could be made about which athlete in this couple has played a more important role in American sports—Stevens was a high-caliber player in the nation’s most popular sport, while Solo is one of the most exceptional goalies in history in the world’s most popular sport. Either way, neither of their crimes should be excused. Obviously Stevens’ punishments (or lack thereof) are in the past, but just because Solo is a female—and an extraordinary one at that—does not mean she should be let down easy, if convicted.

I recognize the need of Solo by her women’s national teammates—not to mention the need of her country—in the upcoming Women’s World Cup, and will be deeply saddened if this crime marks the end of her national soccer career. But I also note the need of running back Ray Rice by the Baltimore Ravens (NFL), Greg Hardy by the Carolina Panthers (NFL), DeShawn Stevenson by the Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Plaxico Burress by the New York Giants (NFL), Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson by the Miami Dolphins (NFL), Julio Machado by the Milwaukee Brewers (MLB), Charles E. Smith by the Boston Celtics (NBA), and Mike Danton by the St. Louis Blues (NHL), to name a few. All of these male athletes continued playing for the team they were on when convicted, left to play for another team, and/or served a pacified version of their original sentence. Regardless of the importance of these athletes to their respective teams, each should have been tried and served their sentence as an average person would have. It’s not the celebrity that blinds us from justice, but the sport—God forbid your favorite football team, though a Super Bowl hopeful last season, comes in last place this season because a star player commits a crime and is convicted as the criminal he is and not the superhuman he magnifies on the field.

Caple sums up the argument perfectly: “This attitude needs to change. Although people deserve second chances, they do not deserve cheers and adoration because of what they do on the field when they make no amends for nor improve their behavior off the field.”

Solo has the right to tell her side of the story, and then it’s up to the court to decide her legal fate. But if she is found guilty, Solo should be punished as an athlete and removed from the women’s national team, in as strict an action as convicted athletes before her should have been.

Here’s hoping Hope Solo is found not guilty (and that she finally learns to behave herself)!

TTFN,
Liv

Monday, June 23, 2014

Washington Redskins trademark revoked

"In what might be the most significant pressure put on Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change his team's name, the United State Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the team's trademarks on the basis that it is 'disparaging to Native Americans,'" writes Darren Rovell for ESPN.  The Redskins have appealed, which puts the cancellation of the trademark on hold while the matter makes its way through the courts in a process that could take years.

Though the Redskins seem confident in their appeal, if the decision stands, the team would be able to continue to use the logo (which remains a trademark legally held by the team and is unaffected at this time) and name, "but it would lose a significant portion of its ability to protect the financial interests connected to it."  The five Native Americans, representing four tribes, who brought this case against the NFL in 2006 really hit the nail on the head with that one: as Simon Moya-Smith writes for CNN, "If the team won't change the name voluntarily then it will be changed by force."  The intent is to force the team to change its name and logo by making the lack of protection of the current name and logo hurt their pocketbooks.  As Moya-Smith notes, "When we [Native Americans] interrupt sports...we always get a response."

While not all Native Americans are represented in this case, if only a few are against the whole Redskins concept, it should be changed.  Native Americans take comparable offense to a professional football team called the Redskins as African Americans would take to a team called the Blackskins.  When asked what she would say to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, Blackhorse, the plaintiff in the previous case against the use of a "racial slur" as Washington's team name, she replied, "I'd ask him, 'Would you dare call me a redskin, right here, to my face?'  And I suspect that, no, he would not do that."  The issue of race and ethnicity are touchy subjects as it is, not to mention the regrettable history of mistreatment by whites toward Native Americans.  Take a look at this interactive time-lapse map, which shows how the United States took more than 1.5 billion acres from Native Americans.  Whatever happened to sharing is caring?

Since we're being careful not to step on anyone's toes, should the Redskins end up changing their name, they must pay mind to what the new name will be.  Social media users have jocularly suggested becoming the Potatoes, in order to keep the name Redskins.  But in all seriousness, it might be taken with some offense when the Native Americans are swapped out for potatoes, even if they were the ones who wanted the degrading representation of Native Americans abolished in the NFL.

That being said, no one on this earth is ever going to get away without offending someone.  Arguments could be made for why the New York Yankees should no longer have rights to that name.  I can hear the castigating cries now: "that's degrading toward the south," "war terms are not appropriate for sports," "that's disrespectful," etc.  (If it were up to me, the Yankees would be dismembered--Go Red Sox!)

It is fitting for the NFL to do its best to appease the Native Americans in this case, but that does not mean we should say goodbye to the Cleveland Indians or the Atlanta Braves.  Proud references to Native Americans, these team names and logos need not be changed until those depicted make a case for such action.  While not offensive, I'll admit that naming a team the Indians is a bit odd--think of naming a team the Asians or the Hispanics.

Will the decision to no longer protect the Washington Redskins' trademark be overturned again as it was in 2003, or will the Redskins change or deal with the financial impacts?  Don't hold your breath--this is a decision we'll be watching and waiting for quite a while.

TTFN,
Liv

Saturday, June 21, 2014

National Wear Your Lilly Day

Happy first day of summer and, more importantly, National Wear Your Lilly Day!  I hope everyone spent the longest day of the year in beautiful prints a bright colors.  I worked all day at the local Lilly store.  Here are some pictures of my fellow employees and family:

Left to right: Camden Dress in In the Beginning, Angela Dress in Pink Lemonade, Little Delia Dress in She She Shells
Left to right: Daddy, Momma J, Cousin Molly

This is only the beginning of what I hope to be a wonderful summer in Lilly!

TTFN,
Liv

Monday, March 24, 2014

When it's finally Easter...

Today is my first day back at Marist after spring break.  There are less than two months until I'm home for the summer, but that time will be jam-packed with an infinite to-do list.  Luckily, Easter breaks it up a bit.  I'll be home in upstate New York for Easter this year, and I might also be running in a track meet.  Despite the fact that I will miss out on warm weather and complete relaxation, I am already looking forward to being home again.

When it's finally Easter, I will have less than a month of school left.  I will be with my family!  And, of course, a few fashion laws will expire.  Where I live, it's likely to still be cold long after Easter.  But this won't stop me from wearing all the seersucker, Lilly, and white that I can!

Here are some pieces I've had tucked away in my closet since around Labor Day:

This seersucker blazer will be perfect for when it's chilly out well into spring.  I always have trouble trying to figure out what to pair this with, but I have some ideas involving navy, white jeans, and/or Lilly…

Speaking of Lilly, I bought these white jeans on super sale from The Pink Paddock last summer, and they are surprisingly practical.  They'd look great with my seersucker blazer, as well as the majority of my summer closet.  Plus, they are perfect for when the calendar says it's spring, but Mother Nature disagrees.

I am almost positive that I will be wearing this Camden Dress in In the Beginning from Lilly Pulitzer to church on Easter Sunday.  My mom bought it for me--majorly discounted--during Lilly's summer sale.  Assuming it will be a bit wintry, I'll most likely pair the dress with my mom's pink cardigan from J.Crew or my American Eagle preppy one-button blazer.

When I was home for spring break, I was so fortunate to spend the day in Saratoga Springs with my mom and younger sister.  We visited The Pink Paddock (the Lilly Pulitzer via shop where I work over the summer), ate lunch at Cantina (one of my favorite restaurants), popped into Silverado (jeweler), and bought ice cream at Kilwins (sweet treats and fresh fudge).  Trying to decide between this dress and the Fryer Shift Dress was so difficult--you would've thought I was trying to chose which college to attend.  But I opted for the dress pictured above, hoping the casual nature of the dress will make it a more practical addition to my closet.  Now I can't wait to break out all my Lilly dresses!

Easter brings so many wonderful things.  Thank God it's (only) 27 days away!  Let the countdown begin…

TTFN,
Liv

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 10 OOTD

At this point, it should not be surprising to anyone when I post an OOTD later than the actual date I wore it. This week is especially chaotic because it's Midterm Week!  That means more exams, projects, and homework than I care to think about.  But I'm looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel: my friend, Dorrie, and I are traveling from Marist to her Cape Cod home together this coming weekend, and then my parents are picking me up on the way home from my younger brother's soccer tournament in Massachusetts to spend the rest of the week in upstate New York.

Better late than never, here is my OOTD from yesterday.  And this one is really special:

I wore my J.Crew tuxedo henley tucked into this exclusive skirt (read more about it below), held up by an elastic bow belt taken off a dress I have from an old Lilly Pulitzer resort collection.  Even though it warmed up to a whole 47 degrees yesterday, it was not that warm when I left my dorm for my 8 am class across campus, so I thought tights would be a good idea.  This particular pair of tights is from J.Crew a few years ago, but Target has comparable and less expensive tights as well--I want them all!  My shoes are simple velvet ballet flats with gem clusters on the front from Ralph Lauren.  I wore my J.Crew Factory pinball stud earrings to match the gold in the skirt.

Speaking of which, this skirt was made by my teammate, friend, and fellow blogger, Bryn Gorberg, the fashionista behind Fashion on the Hudson (please ignore my use of the passive voice in this sentence…oops).  As you may have noticed, I cannot get over the fact that she made something I could incorporate seamlessly (no pun intended) into my wardrobe, as if she was working for J.Crew or Kate Spade.  I expect great things from her and cannot wait to see what she sets out to do.

TTFN,
Liv

Monday, March 10, 2014

Through thick and thin

If "thin is in" and "big is back," what about the so-called average girls in between?  As long as you're healthy, I think all body types are beautiful; underweight, average weight, and overweight alike.  But in an attempt to combat the glorification of thin women, despite the fact that these women may have such a low body weight because of healthy eating, exercise, and/or genetics, the media has presented "plus size" women as just as beautiful as their twiggy counterparts.  In most cases, the media is correct: these women are beautiful.  Nevertheless, this supposed attempt at reality presented by the media leaves out an entire "middle class" of women who, regardless of what statistics say about their weights, are anything but average.

The issue of body image is much broader than just body weight.  In the recent TODAY/AOL Ideal to Real Body Image Survey, researchers found that women spend an average of 55 minutes every day working on their appearance: that's 335 hours, which is the equivalent of a full two weeks, every year.  While this may seem like an exaggeration, think about it; it's probably not as far off as you imagine.  I am undoubtedly guilty of this, if not more time.  Every morning, I get out of bed about an hour (give or take 15 minutes) before class to put on my outfit, do my makeup, brush my teeth, and do my hair.  That doesn't even include the amount of time my friends and I spend talking about how perfect so and so looks, or all the time I spent working out everyday, not only because fitness and athletics are extremely important to me, but also because I want to look a certain way.  And I hate to mention those few minutes every day when I'm wearing nothing but my bra and underwear before getting in the shower and I stare at my entire body in the mirror.  There's also all the time I spend washing my face and examining in closely in the mirror every night before bed.  But hey, we all do it.

 

Images courtesy of Today

According to various BMI and weight calculators, I am at about the ideal weight and BMI for my height.  That matches up with how I've felt playing sports over the years: I always think I am on the small side compared to the girls I play soccer with, and on the large side compared to the girls I dance or run track with.  On the other hand, my family and friends often comment on how skinny I am.

Then what is "average" exactly?  We are human, not some part of a mathematical equation.  I suppose the average is just a mean number of measured dimensions of a sample group randomly selected from the represented population.  In other words, the average is nothing more than a gauge, so no one should think too long on it.  That being said, the average is not always a ruinous thing.  Scientists compiled hundreds of images for each of 41 different ethnicities and used a computer program to lay them over one another and deduce a common look.  As this article describing the experiment says, "If you were described as average-looking, you probably wouldn't see it as a compliment."  But the result of this study shows just how beautiful the average can be.

What's more, full-time artist and researcher Nickolay Lamm recently created a sort of "average Barbie" called Lammily with the slogan "Average is Beautiful."  She naturally has brown hair and is based off the average proportions of a 19-year-old American woman as reported by the Centers for Disease control.  Check out this informative and analytical video about the Lammily movement:



Overall, being happy and healthy is what matters--that's what you can control.  As my mom always says, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."  While appearance should not be your main focus, do not disregard it.  What's on the outside is important too.  You're not shallow for wanting to look beautiful and have people see you that way--you should always strive to look your best, if for no other reason than what you display on the outside is often representative of what you look like on the inside.  But ultimately, through thick and thin, inner beauty is where it's at.

TTFN,
Liv

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Raymond Felton had better hope he is bullet proof

New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was arrested on felony weapon charges for possession of an illegal firearm and loaded ammunition magazine, with a bail posted at $25,000, just hours after the Knicks' loss to the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden two weeks ago.

The Knicks were playing their way toward another brutal loss in a season full of them in a game that came down to a last-second heave by the Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, which ricocheted high off the rim before falling through for the winning shot.  The Knicks did not practice the next day.  To make matters worse, the New York Times reports that their general manager was fired days before the start of training camp.  Superstar Carmelo Anthony announced his intention to pursue free agency before they played their first game.  Coach Mike Woodson has faced questions about his job security for months.

As for Felton, he has been battling a series of lingering injuries, repeatedly underperforming.  Just a week before the Mavs took on the Knicks, New York tried to send him to another team before the NBA trade deadline.  No deal ever went through because of the unattractive combination of Felton's average of 10.4 points and 6 assist per game, and his $14.86 million contract, which runs through 2015-16.

The night of Monday, Feb. 24, around the same time that the Knicks were falling further out of playoff contention, Felton's estranged wife, Ariane, accompanied by her attorney, turned his high-powered FNH 5.7 x 28 mm semi-automatic handgun over to the police, claiming she did not want the weapon in the couple's Upper West Side apartment, a law enforcement official said.  The official also stated that the weapon was loaded with 18 high-velocity bullets.

The Feltons are in the process of divorcing.  Though Felton's wife said he never threatened her with the gun, she told police that he held the gun during arguments in their apartment.  She also told police that he owns other guns in North Carolina.  Felton had purchased this gun legally while living in North Carolina, though it was unlicensed in New York.

Just a few hours after the Knicks-Mavs game, Felton turned himself in to the authorities and remained in police custody for the next 18 hours as he awaited arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.  In the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 25, Felton appeared before Judge Diana Boyar to answer charges.  The top charge carries a maximum of seven years in prison.

Though Felton was not charged with using the weapon in a threatening manner, which would have created other legal complications for him, Boyar issued a six-month order of protection for Felton's wife, sternly warning Felton that "you can have no contact whatsoever."  Felton, who wore black cargo pants and a black hooded sweatshirt with a heart and peace sign design, said nothing during the proceedings.  His lawyer, Jim Walden, said Felton had "no interest in having contact" with his wife.

Despite NBA fans' overwhelming disproval based on a Sports Nation poll, Felton played in the Knicks game against the Miami Heat, less than 48 hours after being charged.  But New York Daily News reports that Woodson spoke "in great detail" with Felton earlier this week regarding the point guard's struggles on and off the court since his arrest last week.  Felton responded with what the coach called his "best game of the season," finishing with 18 points and eight assists in a controlled performance in the Knicks' 118-106 "slump-busting" victory Wednesday, March 5, over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

There are several NBA guidelines and norms that allow Felton to take the court.  Article VI, Section 15 of the league's collective bargaining agreement deals with player arrests, stating that "a team shall not impose discipline on a player solely on the basis of the fact that the player has been arrested."  Unless Felton's arrest directly violated team rules, the Knicks cannot discipline him until the legal process plays out.  Article VI, Section 9 of the CBA spells out guidelines for firearms and other weapons: "Whenever a player is physically present at a facility or venue owned, operate, or being used by a Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, and whenever a player is traveling on any NBA-related business, whether on behalf of the player's Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, such a player shall no posses a firearm of any kind or any other deadly weapon."  In other words, unless Felton carried his weapon onto an NBA facility, he is not in violation of this code.

Given this information, however, the Knicks or the league had the option to immediately discipline Felton before he turned himself in.  The Knicks also could have asked Felton to take some time away from the team.

Felton is due to appear in court on June 2 to face a possible felony indictment.  Because he has no prior felony offenses, Felton could avoid jail time even if convicted of both charges.

TTFN,
Liv

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

11 interview tips from yours truly

We're in primetime for summer internship/job interviews, and since I've gone through the interview process already this year (not to mention a few times in the past), I'm offering you my tips to help you excel in your interviews.
  1. Get to know your prospective employer.  Being knowledgable will convince your interviewer that you really want the job you've inquired about.  It will also show him/her that you are someone who goes the extra mile to be informed and perform a given task to the best of your ability.
  2. Know information about past work experience.  Interviewers often ask about past employment; your reason for working there and why you no longer do, past salaries, job titles and descriptions, expectations, how you solved problems, what you liked and what you didn't, employment dates, etc.
  3. Think about yourself.  No, it's not selfish.  The interviewer wants to know who he/she might be hiring.  You'll often be asked what your greatest strengths and weaknesses are.  Another common request is to describe yourself in three words.  Questions about yourself tend to be the most difficult because you have to be completely honest when evaluating yourself.
  4. Be honest.  Don't lie because you think a made up answer is what the interviewer wants to hear. If you're not being truthful and representing yourself, the job would never work out, even if you got it because you need to find an employer who fits you, just as the employer needs to find employees that fit him/her.  More importantly, lying is wrong!
  5. Look up interview questions.  This is not cheating.  There are certain interview questions that everyone asks: why you want the position, name a time you went "above the call of duty," and where you see yourself in the future, to name a few.  Prepare possible responses, but try not to sound too rehearsed.  After all, a major part of interviewing is thinking on your feet.
  6. Ask questions.  It is a common misconception that the interviewer does all the asking and the interviewee does all the answering.  But you should use your interview as an opportunity to ask questions about the prospective employer from someone who is most likely an expert.  Often the interviewer asks you if you have any questions for him/her at the end of the interview, but even if that is not the case for you, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP.
  7. Use good speaking techniques.  It's okay to be nervous during and interview--it's almost expected.  But interviewers want to see how you can work through your nerves and turn them into something positive.  Do not let your nerves get the best of you.
    • Don't talk too fast
    • Breathe
    • Do not use conversational language (slang, jargon, etc.)
    • Don't fill pauses in speech with "like," "um," or any other so-called filler words
    • Vary the tonality and quality of your voice
  8. Take time to think about your answer.  Interviewers want you to take a few seconds to mentally prepare a response.  They do not want you rambling and making things up on the spot.  There is no explanation needed; just take a deep breath and think about what you want to say.
  9. Dress professionally.  Looks aren't everything, but the way you look is part of the "brand" you are trying to sell to a prospective employer, not to mention the fact that looks are a major contributing factor to the formulation of an interviewer's first impression of you, no matter how shallow you may think that is.  Ladies, wear skirts (no shorter than knee-length).  Gentlemen, wear a tie.  Research the proper attire for the type of employment you are seeking, but don't rely on what other employees are wearing--they are already settled with the employer and do not always feel the need to dress to impress, although they should.
  10. Timing is key.  Do not show up late or right on time.  Get to your interview early, which will give you time to compose yourself.  Don't talk to long in response to each question, either.  If you've been answering one question for over two minutes, it's probably time to wrap it up.
  11. Introduce yourself with confidence.  A solid handshake is everything.  Be polite, but also be a stand out--make sure the interviewer will remember you above other candidates (for the better).
Hopefully these interview tips are helpful!  Best of luck with any interviews you may have coming up.  Let me know how everything works out.

TTFN,
Liv

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Belated OOTDs

Again, I'm a little late with these OOTDs, but there is this thing called homework, which takes precedent over my blog posts and tends to take up a great deal of my time.  But better late than never!  Here are a couple of my OOTDs from last week:

Early last week, I wore my merino tippi baseball sweater with a removable collar from J.Crew with my J.Crew cafĂ© capri in wool.  I wore diamond stud earrings to match the collar of my sweater.  The shoes are from an old Jeffery Campbell collection.

Later in the week, I wore my navy 3/4 sleeve button down from J.Crew under my Old Navy boatneck sweater in imperial jade (check out The College Prepster's comparison of this piece to an almost identical piece at J.Crew, along with several other J.Crew styles which can be found for much less money at Old Navy here).  I tucked the button down and the sweater into my J.Crew shirttail mini in sequins (Note: if you have big quads like I do, go a size up in this skirt so you can actually walk without pulling at the seams).  The weather has still been pretty disgusting at Marist, so I wore Sperry Top-Sider Pelican Too Rain Boot in Black Quilted Rubber.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

TTFN,
Liv

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Missouri defensive lineman is openly gay

Missouri Tigers all-American defensive lineman and the Associated Press' SEC Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam, stated publicly in an interview with ESPN's "Outside the Lines" what his teammates and coaches have known since August 2013: "I am an openly, proud gay man."

This is considered breaking news, but why?  In 1969, when Super Bowl-winning football coach Vince Lombardi found out he had a gay player in his locker room, he reportedly told his assistants, "If I hear one of you people make reference to his manhood, you'll be out of here before your ass hits the ground."  Gay men have been in the NFL for at least that long, including former Super Bowl participants defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo and guard Roy Simmons, vocal allies and Super Bowl champions linebacker Scott Fujita and linebacker and special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo, the previous commissioner's son, and the current commissioner's brother.  While the sexual orientation of these men may have been known during their professional careers, it was never publicly stated.  Yet, as American journalist and commentator for CNN and ESPN LZ Granderson points out, "Some owners, maybe coaches, will shy away from the best defensive player in what is widely considered the best conference in college football simply because he's gay."

It will be particularly interesting to see how events transpire from here.  Sam has undeniable, pro-level talent: the SEC's season leader in sacks (11 1/2) and the first Mizzou player to be a unanimous First Team All-American selection by the Football Writers Association of America in more than 50 years, Sam is eligible for the NFL draft in May.  Assuming that he is drafted, Sam could become the first openly gay player in the history of the NFL.  Most NFL draft projections see him a likely mid-round pick, with some saying Sam could go as high as the third round, with a possible position switch to outside linebacker.  Sam is rated as the 12th-best outside pass rusher in the draft by ESPN Scouts Inc.  The kind of talent he possesses would make the prospect of him not being drafted, not being signed, not having his cleats laced up on Sundays a blatant form of pop culture homophobia.

Sam had already confided in a few friends before his recent decision to speak out in interviews with ESPN and the New York Times.  Sam had also dated a fellow athlete who was not a football player, so while coming out to his Mizzou teammates last year was a "key moment," it came almost as an afterthought, during preseason and training camp.  At the Senior Bowl two weeks ago, he said many already seemed aware of his sexual orientation, which is not surprising because Sam did not ask his confidants to keep his revelation a secret.  Sam gave the following reason as to why he elected to inform the public about his sexual orientation: "I want to own my truth…No one else should tell my story but me."

While Sam was understandably nervous and scared about telling the public he is gay, his upbringing was filled with adversity, which made publicizing his sexual orientation seem like nothing in comparison.  "I endured so much in the past: seeing my older brother killed from a gunshot wound, not knowing that my oldest sister died when she was a baby and I never got the chance to meet her.  My second oldest brother went missing in 1998, and me and my little sister were the last ones to see him…my other two brothers have been in and out of jail since 8th grade, currently both in jail," Sam reveals.

Sam's discipline and drive has enabled him to remain focused on his goal.  "I know what I want to be…I want to be a football player in the NFL," Sam said.  He is hopeful that NFL players will be as mature about his sexual orientation as his college teammates.  While he does not anticipate difficulty gaining acceptance in an NFL locker room, he said "I just want to go to the team who drafts me because that team knows about me, knows that I'm gay, and also knows that I work hard.  That's the team I want to go to."

But the argument has been made that an openly gay player would be too distracting for an NFL team to be successful.  During an appearance on ESPN, where Herm Edwards is an analyst, the former NFL coach compared Sam to a player with "off the field" issues and raised concern about how his teammates might handle the ensuing media firestorm.  "He's bringing baggage into your locker room," he said.  "Can the players handle the media attention they are going to get, when they get the question asked 'are you okay with a gay teammate?'"  Former NFL player/free agent wide receiver Donte' Stallworth shot down Edwards' discourse by tweeting, "If any NFL team can't 'handle the media coverage' of drafting Sam, then your team is already a loser on the field."  Stallworth pointed out that any number of issues can arise during the NFL season--even in the offseason, since the NFL seems to be a popular topic of conversation almost year round--including both on-field and off-field issues.  The entire organization is constantly dealing with media scrutiny and coverage, so while Sam's sexual orientation is considered a media issue, the NFL and everyone involved in it should have no issues with his personal preferences whatsoever.

Even more important than Sam's possible NFL career, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel expressed his contentment with Sam and the greater impact he has made and will continue to make on equality among all people, despite their differences.  "We're really happy for Michael that he's made the decision to announce this, and we're proud of him and how he represents Mizzou," Pinkel said.  "Michael is a great example of just how important it is to be respectful of others, he's taught a lot of people here first-hand that it doesn't matter what your background is, or your personal orientation, we're all on the same team and we all support each other."

TTFN,
Liv

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

UNC exposed for academic fraud as the student athlete debate continues

The University of North Carolina was exposed two years ago for committing academic fraud in a scandal that involved 200 lectures that never met from 1997 to 2011, as well as hundreds of suspect independent studies enrollments and unauthorized grade changes for student athletes.  It was found that more than half of those athletes could not read beyond an eighth-grade level, and some were even illiterate.

According to CNN, so-called preferential treatment came into play when “UNC students, many of them athletes, were given grades for classes they did not attend and for which they did nothing beyond turning in a single paper.  One professor has been indicted on fraud charges for being paid for a class he didn’t teach.”  The university has always maintained it was an isolated case, but Chancellor Carol Folt is now acknowledging a broader problem.

Neither executive vice chancellor and provost James Dean nor Chancellor Folt were in their positions when the fake classes—which originated in African and Afro-American Studies—were run.  The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) investigated, but found none of its rules were broken.

Alumnus Darrell Smith, Class of 1970, regards this scandal as “the saddest, most maddening, most humbling event to stain Carolina’s reputation in memory.  Everyone in the UNC family must accept some responsibility for allowing our desire to win in the Smith Center and Kenan Stadium to exceed our desire to prevail in the classroom.”

While UNC-Chapel Hill junior Gillian Litynski agrees that this has been a shameful course of events, she points out that all of the evidence against the university has been proven false or skewed.  She believes the athletic department is handling the situation well, making sure to provide extra support for those students athletes who may be hurt by the bad press they are receiving as a group.  For example, Litynski is on the fencing team at UNC, which has one of the highest grade point averages of the school.  The university is making sure that any senior or other athlete in search of a job does not have trouble finding employment as a result of the media.

Litynski pointed out a problem that seems to occur far too often: it is easy for the media to make generalizations, regardless of the truth, which can severely tarnish the reputations of the masses.  Not only is the University of North Carolina an athletic powerhouse, but it is also an academically and otherwise highly reputable university.  That is not to say that all of UNC’s athletes are geniuses—sometimes the only way students get in to colleges is with the help of athletics.  But is that so unfair?

Athletes who are accepted to universities such as UNC-Chapel Hill essentially because of their athletic ability undoubtedly receive preferential treatment when their academics are subpar.  But those athletes have worked unimaginably hard and put in inconceivable amounts of effort to achieve the athletic success that oftentimes is their only way to receive a higher education.  Is American not the “land of opportunity?”  Everyone has their gifts, and for some, that is the gift of athletics, which can be the hard-earned ticket to a better life with the opportunities provided by collegiate athletics.

It can be argued that the aforementioned “preferential treatment” is wildly unfair, especially among athletes.  But one must take into account the significance of student athletes to the nation.  Student athletes put on a show every time they step onto the field, court, track, diving board, etc.—people see a successful athletic program and they want to attend that university.  Student athletes promote their colleges and universities by wearing their school’s colors and logos on their chest, and by displaying exemplary behavior in and out of competition.  Further, student athletes put in approximately 40 hours a week of practice and competition in addition to the hours they spend in class, working on homework, doing community service, traveling, etc.  You might be thinking, “Student athletes don’t do all that,” and that is where you have let the media sway you too much.  I am a Division I student athlete majoring in Communications with concentrations in Journalism and Sports Communication.  Not only that, but I dance, sing, participate in community service and various clubs on campus, and I am in the Honors program.  You might be surprised by how many student athletes there are throughout the nation who are like me.  Studies show that students participating in collegiate athletics on average have higher grade point averages than students who do not.

That being said, there have been many cases where coaches, boosters, athletes, and universities as a whole seem to have forgotten that the “student” precedes “athlete” in the word “student athlete.”  Ultimately, student athletes are in college to receive an education.  Some argue that academic constraints on student athletes are too harsh and that they do not receive enough compensation for all that they do, which is the reason an increasing number of student athletes are choosing to graduate early and head to the pros.  The debate over student athletes is one that requires balance; a happy medium, and that is exactly where the NCAA is now.

TTFN,
Liv

Monday, February 3, 2014

January 31 OOTD

I know I'm behind on this OOTD because today is not the 31st of January, but posting about the Super Bowl seemed more important to me.  What should have been a very competitive game looked more like a massacre as the Seattle Seahawks crushed the Denver Broncos in a record-breaking Super Bowl loss.  The Broncos offense turned out to be no match for the Seahawks defense.  So to move on and think more pleasant thoughts, I have my OOTD from late last week...


I tucked my J.Crew tissue turtleneck tee into my J.Crew leather-tipped bell skirt in beige (no longer available, but you can find similar items here) and tied my Anthropologie wishing well belt in a bow just above my natural waist for a belt.  Attending college right on the water means it's almost always windy, which makes it very cold, so I wore tights under my skirt to keep me warm.  My tights are from J.Crew (similar), but are no longer available.  They always have the best tights though!  And of course, duck boots are always a practical addition to an outfit.  My earrings are from the Stone Flower, one of the most unique stores I've ever been to.  The shimmery brown headband that is difficult to see because of lighting and the angle of the photograph is an old accessory from J.Crew.

TTFN,
Liv

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27 OOTD

I only had two classes this morning, and then track practice, but I don't see why that should inhibit me from dressing the way I love!


I paired my J.Crew Peter Pan collar tee with my J.Crew city mini in Dublin tartan (a spinoff of J.Crew's bell skirt, which is THE ABSOLUTE BEST item of clothing a girl could ever own--I have it in eight different colors/patterns), and held the skirt up with a skinny leather belt that came with an old Forever 21 dress.  The weather is gross here, so I wore my Duck boots with glitter knee-high socks from Banana Republic, which I rolled down so only the glitter part was visible.

I hope you all had a decent start to the week!

TTFN,
Liv

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A little inspiration goes a long way

Saying I am frustrated with where I currently stand in terms of athletics is a major understatement.  I'm in a place where I struggle to deal with not living up to the standards I have set for myself everyday.  Needless to say, every little bit of inspiration helps me to keep pushing forward, not just in sports, but in every aspect of my life.

Here are some quotes that are constantly in my mind:


Somewhere behind the athlete you’ve become and the hours of practice and the coaches who have pushed you is a little girl who fell in love with the game and never looked back…play for her.” 
–Mia Hamm

Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.”
–Vince Lombardi

Pain is only temporary but victory is forever.”
–Jeremy H.

Don’t practice until you get it right.  Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
–Unknown

When you put on that jersey, the name on the front is more important than the name on the back.”
–“Miracle”

Love is playing every game as if it’s your last.” 
–Michael Jordan

The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when no one else is watching.”
–Mia Hamm

I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel at just the right moment.  I light the match.” 
–Mia Hamm

Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don’t settle for them.” 
–Mia Hamm

There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” 
–Derek Jeter

God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight.” 
–Reggie White

Lastly, my uncle sent me the link to this video on YouTube yesterday.  Talk about an inspirational commercial.  I was amazed by the story, but didn't let myself sit there in awe for long.  I told myself, "If he can do it, so can I."


TTFN,
Liv