Mardi Gras, Carnival: NOLA Speak

Once again it’s Carnival time! That’s right, the widely misunderstood time that tourists refer to as Mardi Gras.

Let me just clear up a few facts:

1. The season is Carnival season, the actual day, Mardi Gras falls on a Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday.

2. The groups that ride are called Krewes, yes that’s how it’s spelled.

3. Most of the Krewes hold balls. They are formal or black tie. Some of the older Krewes have white tie and tails.

4. The ranking on a float is as such: King, Queen, Captain, Duke, Duchess, maids, junior maids and pages. The women are usually/almost always debutantes.

5. Carnival season begins on January 6, or Twelfth Night. Parades usually begin mid-January and go until early to mid-February.

Those are the 5 basic historical facts you need to know about Carnival. I will be back to update for NYFW and parade info.

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How to: Have the Best Semester Ever

Well, I’m back from my winter hiatus aka Winter Break. I spent my break working, partying and sleeping in. So basically nothing changed except going back to my home city of New Orleans.

It’s that wonderful time of year known as back to school for the Spring semester. It’s still cold but the good news is that spring and summer bring warm weather.

Until the sun shines and it’s a balmy 75 degrees again, here are some tips for staying sane, smart and chic during the weird almost Spring-but-not period of time known as winter:

1. Get organized now. No, I’m not kidding or tripping on too much espresso. I’m serious. The first week is crucial to learn about expectations and deadlines. Get organized and start preparing now because once May comes, you’ll need all the backup you can get.

2. Dress smart. Yes, as vain as it may sound, I religiously believe in the hypothesis that if you dress well, you will succeed. Don’t show up to class in sweatpants, teachers won’t take you seriously. I’m not saying to put on a suit or anything but some nice jeans and a pretty top with good shoes always works.

3. Stick to a sleep schedule. Thanks to winter break your sleep schedule probably got thrown off. Use the first few days to get back into a pattern. For example: I go to bed early and wake up early. Everyday. If you develop a steady sleep schedule, your body will thank you and you will do well in class because you’ve had enough sleep.

So set those alarm clocks/iPhones, update your wardrobe and get serious this semester.

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Stress Free Finals Week

It’s officially finals week and dead week. This is usually when rational disappears and is replaced by stress, late nights, unhealthy eating and sheer panic.

But fear not collegians, as a veteran finals taker I am here to help and make finals less stressful.

DO: sleep. I know, you really want to ace that geology test or whatever you need to ace to pass. You also need sleep to succeed. It’s simple: if you get enough sleep, your brain remembers more; if you don’t, you may blank
during the exam. Go to sleep at a reasonable time(think by midnight) and wake up early enough. For all my vain kids out there: sleep makes you pretty and diminishes the chance of wrinkles. Lastly: you’re grumpy when you don’t sleep and no one wants to talk to a Mean Mindy.

DON’T: eat unhealthy foods. Food is fuel, if you put junk in your tank, your car (brain and body) won’t function and will break down. Eat healthy and you will do well. Your brain and body will thank you.

DO: study. This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many students wait until the last minute and then panic. Study with your roommates, friends or alone. Some tips for studying:
1. Make sure you’re organized. There is nothing worse than not being able to find that one page of notes.

2. If you need quiet or music, create it. Go to the quiet floor of the library. Personally I like the listen to classical music.

3. Snack on brain foods: pistachios, peanut butter and apples, Greek yogurt and berries. Basically anything with protein, popcorn works too.

DON’T: panic. Everything will be fine. Just do as well as possible. Remember, Christmas comes after finals, and with the winter break comes sleep and the thought of catching up on Netflix.

If none of this helps, here’s some puppies exercising: http://www.dailybunny.com/.a/6a00d8341bfd0953ef0148c793026c970c-800wi

Good luck

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24 Hour Cold: Fight It

Ahh the changing of the leaves, Christmas music being played way too early and of course temperature changes, all of these are things I love about the week after Halloween. However, in Louisiana the weather seems to be ever changing (one day it’s 90 degrees, the next it’s 60). A cold, therefore is inevitable.

Here are just a few ways to combat a cold in 24 hours (if you are busy, and have a test and two papers, getting sick is not exactly on the schedule).

1. Buy the drugstore brand DayQuil and NyQuil. It costs about half as much and works just as well. Take the NyQuil only if you want to fall asleep. This may seem like common knowledge but honestly that stuff is strong and it will knock you out.

2. Make sure you have soup. My favorite is chicken noodle with goldfish. Eat it and you will feel better. On that note, seriously eat what you want because you don’t feel like cooking anything. Just take the medicine and you’ll be fine.

3. Drink a lot of water, as in a whole Brita pitcher. You need to stay hydrated. No, I don’t know why. I just asked my friend in nursing school and she recommended water.

4. Do make sure you have your priorities in line. I rescheduled my biology test so I could recover. Make sure any thing that you would miss, you tell your teacher you feel like death. They will (maybe) understand. On that note, be responsible. If you can’t go to class make sure you get everything you missed. Once you feel fine, the sympathy goes away and the work you missed is excepted.

5. SLEEP. I know, I know, before you got sick you stayed up late working on that paper. Well guess what? Your body needs sleep because your immune system is battling something. Do you think King Arthur went into battle without sleep? Maybe, I don’t know. But probably not. The same principle goes for your body. In order to recover/fight you need rest. Also, just think about all the glorious sleep.

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This is Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner and here are a few ways to stay classy and have a fun rememberable, spook-tastic Halloween.

Throw a Halloween themes party with these few simple tips (Pinterest and marthastewart.com  have great ideas such as these yummy Halloween treats:

1. Chocolate Bat brownies

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/19/Chocolate-Bat-Brownies

2. Pumpkin Cake

http://www.sprinklesandgrins.com/Recipes/99/The-Great-Pumpkin-Cake

3. A pumpkin Cooler

http://www.marthastewart.com/268772/pumpkin-party-cooler?backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/pumpkins

Add orange christmas tree lights, turn off the lights and get a dry ice machine to make the atmosphere theatrically frightening.

If you just want to throw a small movie party, these are some of my favorites:

The Shining

Carrie

Rocky Horror Picture Show (Most theaters do a midnight showing of this, it’s fun but make sure you can bring rice and other props. Check the movie theater website.

The Exorcist

Hocus Pocus. (This is one of my favorites, the costume inspiration is phenomenal.)

Make sure you get plenty of candy and some blankets (to cover your eyes during the extra scary parts)

Lastly, if you’re going out:

Check the weather. You don’t want to be the loofah freezing her tush off because you forgot tights.

Be careful. Go with a group of friends, you always need a friend to drag you away from the creepy but charming prince. Don’t let his fairy-tale eyes fool you.

Have fun but be safe, Halloween is one of the highest risk nights for injuries and hospitalizations. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the hospital dressed as a sexy nurse for alcohol poisoning, talk about awkward.

I will be spending Halloween working. Have a safe and fun Halloween y’all.

P.S. this would have been my costume, Just a bit longer and probably a tutu:

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Mean Girls was WRONG

“In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

Cady Heron was wrong. SO WRONG.

Photo courtesy of Bing

 

Here are a few tips for not dressing trashy but also having a cute costume:

1. DON’T go with the stereotypical sexy nurse/librarian/firefighter/Disney princess/misc. occupation. It’s not cute and it’s monotonous.

2. DO be creative. Sure a political costume could be good, but I don’t think it would be comfortable to wear a Big Bird costume all night long. Try something creative such as Disney characters for a couples costume or a distressed Miss America.

3. DO wear something comfortable, not sloppy, not slutty. This is very easy to do if you think about the taste level. If I can see every inch of you, even if you are scantily-clad, it’s too much. Leave something to the imagination, plus straight from a guy friend: they’re much more interested in you if you’re creative, dress cute, not slutty. Also don’t wear a sheet and call yourself a ghost, you are not five. There are always classy ways to dress no matter what the occasion.

4. Don’t get so drunk that you loose a part of your costume. If you drink (legally, of course) stay in control. Most likely you spent something on your costume, if not money then time. Don’t waste it by getting smashed. It’s not cute being the train wreck dressed as Audrey Hepburn.

5. Make sure you have a back up plan in the costume aspect. If you’re not going home and hooking up with some rando (not advised). Bring a change of clothes (in a cross body bag, easy to carry, not costume ruining). Or, have him drive you home like a gentleman.

Stay tuned on actual Halloween for more tips.

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NYFW Week 1

It’s the best time of the year (after Christmas of course).  New York Fashion Week is here! The clothing for Spring/Summer ’13 is gorgeous and makes me want to go the beach.  Here’s a breakdown of the first week:

All videos are provided via YouTube, Live From the Runway.

Tasdashi Shoji: A romantics dream.  His girls walked, or actually glided down the runway in lace dresses (black, blues, pinks, reds and ethereal green), gorgeous nude, white and black evening gowns (with tulle and tiers) and some fun flowing water colored sleek dresses. The beauty look was low ponies and metallic eyes with fresh faces.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFVqhFFgPi4&feature=share&list=PLY9u6YykLk-CxAS2n9DpmUYoOvc0UzTCe

Nicholas K: Well, talk about a high energy show! Layering, Layering and more Layering.  Think capes in muted and dark colors.  Add neon belts and no-lens 60s style glasses.  The models had heavily lined lids, nude eyes and looked travel chic.  It was desert couture meets vogue.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNTdQTBvXiE&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

Rebecca Minkoff: The band Tennis played live music at Minkoff’s show.  White is very in for the Spring.  Floral accents, metallics and flowing dresses marched down the runway.  The accessories were chain bags, blue nails, bright shoes, pastel accessories and studded clutches.  The dewy skinned models had rosy cheeks, pink lips, long straight (not to mention incredibly frizz free and silky) hair and strong brows. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjtERXcmoyQ&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

Nicole Miller: Fun, poppy and rocker meets girly.  Miller’s show consisted of exposed zippers, leather, deep floral prints, biker jackets and printed tops.  The girls strutted down the runway in peplums (yay!), flowing textured dresses, and clothing with a mixture of hard and soft with sheer panels. Oh and mullet skirts are still very in.  The girls had dewy, fresh looks.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3CHiFlYiIY&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

Richard Chai: Light colors, sparkly patterned clothing, color blocking and sleek.  The collection was sports-wear chic with navy and white paneling, peplum, sheer and striped. The looks also included deep yellow minis.  Very cool and muted and chic.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lJgL6MbcIQ&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

BCBG MAX AZRIA: The show played Blondie, which I loved: a very pretty version of “Heart of Glass” opened the show. The girls wore their hair sleek, straight and down.  The pocket dresses, bright patterned dresses, flowing dresses, leather skirts, pants and jackets and sheer dresses were accented by chunky heels and big clutch bags.  The models had bright pink lips and black (lightly applied) eyeliner.  Oh, and leather harnesses are also a thing, by the way.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I43YIPR7QXQ&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

Charlotte Ronson: The ultimate rock and roll girl went into the ocean for her S/S ’13 collection.  Ronson showed midriff-baring tops, blue and white stripes, polka dots, mesh accents, sheer panels, skinny belts, leather, white floral bellbottoms, and pattern mixing.  Her rocker-chic sportswear was accented by big cross-body bags, sky high heels and wedges and a sexy, but not over-the-top attitude.  The fresh makeup added a sweetness to the edge.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jYpDHpyy9g&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

Lacoste: Lacoste opened with all white sports wear, and showed sleek anoraks, cream trenches, see-through coats and ponchos as outerwear.  The sleek-haired, barley there makeup models walked down in pattered shifts (the patterns were tennis rackets and white folded shirts), black and white color blocked shifts, red dresses, patterned peter pan color tops and dresses.  Props to those Lacoste boys.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wkLyijOIBM&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

Jill Stuart: Super girly chic. Stuart opened with a black lace dress with sleeves.  She also showed sequin peplums, exposed zippers, sky-high ribbon wrapped shoes, crop tops, satin bow heels, pleated skirts, nude dresses, full skirts with pockets (love), sheer, printed maxis, a gorgeous sequin glitter dress, a lone mint dress, trench coats and a white onesie.  The girls had bronze shadow and long straight back hair.  The runway was lavender.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCRKFFNotcE&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

Mara Hoffman: The girls walked down the runway with feathers in their hair.  That was the cool vibe at Mara Hoffman.  Hoffman showed sheer mullet skirts, bright prints, flowing maxi dresses, tropical prints, cute dresses with cutouts and gorgeous red and pink two-toned dresses.  The Hawaiian-themed show featured girls with bright orange lips, blue eyeshadow and fluffy, but straight hair.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y1Y4CHTADk&feature=share&list=PLj57uJBedZRnGgvaCsUbtaVQskWASoRT2

Prabal Gurung: Drama, drama and more drama.  The enrapturing show started out pitch black in a warehouse.  The first look was all white, silky and sheer with a beaded blazer.  The genius that is Prabal Gurung showed silky layers, leathers, red, bold patterns, full skirts, tiered looks and amazingly worked girly dresses (a few were feathered)! The girls stomped down the runway and worked it with clean fresh faces.  http://bcove.me/4diz7k5o. (The video is from WWD).

Herve Lerger: Sexy, bandage and cool.  The geometric dresses were accented with leather harnesses.  The dresses also had pleats, exposed zippers and baroque patterns.  Herve Lerger showed textured one pieces as well.  The outfits were accessorized with envelope bags.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4FoGfOx-AY&feature=share&list=PLY9u6YykLk-CxAS2n9DpmUYoOvc0UzTCe

Monique Lhuillier: The ultimate wedding dress designer went with an ocean vibe this year.  The models glided down in peplums, full skirts (with pockets) leather, water color a-lines, rhinestones, gold with leather accents and sheer and lacy.  The color for Spring seems to be this beautiful blue color everyone keeps showing.  The models had slicked back way hair and blue eyeshadow. http://youtu.be/Vq5LZlyGlis

Lela Rose: Spring is certainly in the air with Lela Rose.  The designer showed peter pan colors, muted greens and purples, pastels, color blocking, bright draped dresses, exposed zippers, flowing silky dresses, water colors, peplums, one shouldered dresses and my favorite: a bright yellow coat.  The models had sleek ponies with yellow eyeshadow and walked in ankle-strap wedges. http://youtu.be/W59mDMsmNhY

DKNY: Donna Karen New York, otherwise known as the coolest, most New York ever.  The show opened up with an all white look.  DKNY presented jean shirts mixed with dressy skirts The sporty chic look had a mixture of tweed, mesh, sheer, color blocking, sneaker pumps (awesome), brights, white and black leather with leather detailing, the original DKNY shirts and baseball caps. (The photos are from the NY Times Fashion section) http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/style/fashionweek/runway.html#spring_2013_dkny, (the video is WWD) http://bcove.me/soxzgnty .

Tracy Reese: The recently famed Tracy Reese (designer of Michelle Obama’s dress at DNC) presented stellar graphics of contrasting city and nature shots as her background for the S/S ’13 show. She showed brights oranges and yellows, neutrals, nude, mesh, colored blazers, pleats, scallop trim (yay!), sheer, neons, leather, metallics and white. The models had curly hair and the no-makeup look.  They stomped down the runway in t-strap shoes (metallic and fringed) with fringe bags.  http://youtu.be/LRHU0KDjws4

DVF: Diane Von Furstenburg may just be the most innovative designer of the year.  Her models wore Google glasses and there were floating glass mirrors shaped like lips.  The smiling girls (love a smiling model) strutted fiercely down the runway in printed jumpsuits, tunics, cut out dresses, bejeweled and studded tops, color blocked and sequins, draping and an amazingly luxurious lime green maxi backless halter dress.  The accessories were to die for and were adorned jewels and beads.  http://youtu.be/o5Rne67m4z4

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