My Experience Going to a Casting for The Bachelor/The Bachelorette

Well Bachelor Nation (yes…that is an actual term for groupies of the show), next week Rachel Lindsay chooses her guy, and her journey will end. As for me…well I had my own Bachelor/Bachelorette experience.

Last week, castings for the show were held in Houston (!) at the downtown Aquarium; because nothing says “love” like the smell of fish tanks, mixed with champagne, and hundreds of single people. One of my best friends passed on the message, and honestly it took me less than half a second to decide to go. (It takes me longer to decide whether or not to wear a light gray top, or another shade of a light gray top.)

Now I know what you’re thinking—that show is so awful—like BEYOND awful. Why?! This, I will not deny. For the record, everyone knows I’m a fan, and I also did not go in with the intention of getting casted—it was more of a social experiment. Basically, it came down to, why the hell not? Which was one of my answers to an interview question.

Let me just say, I was super curious to find out what this was all about. I’d never gone to a casting before…clearly. Even in junior high, the drama teacher would have done anything to cast me out of her adaptation of Snow White. (Ultimately, she felt sorry for me, and let me be the smallest dwarf—far far away—I’m talking like off the stage.)

I also wanted to see who would show up, how it worked, and what the whole experience would feel like. So, I grabbed my entourage—it consisted of my best friend and her husband, and went. If you’re wondering if I was nervous, the answer is, “no.” Honestly, I didn’t have any expectations (which could not be said for a lot of people in the room), so I just went through the whole process pretty nonchalantly.

As soon as we walked in, my first impression was, “whoa.” Please note that this is just my observation–but there was hardly any diversity in the room. I’m talking across all boards–girls/boys, various ethnic backgrounds, ages, etc. During the 2 ½ hours that I was there, not a single Indian or Asian girl walked in. Being Indian myself, it would have been nice to see that. Maybe they had come earlier? I can’t really tell because it had been going on for 2 ½ hours before I got there.

Yes, the show is all sorts of bizarre, it has always lacked diversity (until Rachel Lindsay fabulously broke that), and I can’t imagine a weirder way to find love–but there are still people from all backgrounds, who are hopeful, and would like a chance on the show. I really think that after being on-air for 15 (geez!) years, the show really needs to step it up, and learn how to appeal to all people. (Yup…definitely not getting casted now.)

Putting that aside, there were some really sweet people, others who were also there for fun, ones that were 100% completely serious about it, some were checking out the “competition,” and I’m pretty sure there were a few people who ended up going to dinner together (smart move). There was also a “hypemom” buying rounds for her daughter and friends…perhaps…?

The process was long. I had to wait in line for an hour to get my photo taken. I can’t imagine how cute those photos could even be, considering you had to hold a white board with your name and phone number—mug shot style.

While in line, I had to fill out a six-page application. SIX pages. (I’m surprised I didn’t have to fill out a HIPAA form.) It basically asked me to hand over my life, while wondering if I liked dogs, drinking, and dancing—the only 3 D’s you need in life. Kidding. Seriously though, it asked questions about dating, marriage, divorce, the type of guy I wanted (for all of this season’s Bachelorette fans, I took one for the team, and wrote down “Peter Kraus”), what I liked to drink (not kidding here), hobbies, etc. Where it asked why you got a divorce—it gave only two lines…come on now. (Not that I have gone through one, but I can’t imagine two lines is enough!)

After waiting in chairs for another hour, I was called in to meet a casting member. She was incredibly sweet, and I got to wear a mic. Which actually made me feel super cool! The whole interview was video taped and lasted about 5 minutes. She asked me basic questions—what I liked to do, what dating has been like (HA…HA…HA), and why I wanted to be on the show. Nothing too fancy.

That was it—I did it!

I am definitely not getting casted for this thing, but the whole experience of going was kind of cool, and I’m so glad I went—it actually turned out to be a fun time. While so many of us (me included) scroll through online dating apps, in the comfort of our own homes—judging each person we swipe by. This is a completely different ball game.

Here, you are putting yourself out there, in an unfamiliar setting, where you get video taped and judged by casting members and producers—who knows who is going to see you! I really have to give props to every single person who went. (Though, I’m sure there were some sneaky people with not so good intentions that go through.) It takes a little courage to do something like this. It may not be everyone’s favorite show, and it can be ridiculous, but you were hopeful, and you went. That still shows something. Also, you never know…

Oh and here’s me doing the “whoo girl,” as I walk into the interview room…

Current Forecast

It’s July, which means half the year is already done (!) As a mid-year check-in I thought I’d round up a few of my current favorites from the past few months…

Reading: About to finish One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by BJ Novak. These short stories for adults are hilarious—complete with witty twists and “morals” at the end of each story. I highly recommend it as a fun summer read. (Also, I wonder if he’s the father of Mindy’s baby?) Next up is The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah (I’m really asking for a good cry with this one).

Watching: I watched Master of None season 2 (twice), earlier this year. It’s amazing—said every review ever. Right now, I’m in the midst of The Handmaid’s Tale (I have not read the book), and The Bachelorette (of course). Two completely polar opposite shows, but hey…that’s how I do. I also just finished 13 Reasons Why, which I tried to avoid for months but finally caved, and I still haven’t been able to shake off the feelings that show gives you.

Eating: Cottage cheese (weird…I know). Earlier this year, I did a few sessions with a personal trainer who also monitored what I ate. After listening to my weird food habits, he suggested I start my day with cottage cheese because it’s packed with protein, along with a glass of pink Himalayan salt and lime—which is supposed to help you retain the good nutrients. So, I have a few spoons of cottage cheese in the morning. It’s not the most savory breakfast, but I get some of my daily protein-fix.

Styling (my hair): Two twists, and two buns…very Princess Leia/Chung Li. It’s incredibly hot and humid in Houston right now, and I can’t always be bothered with my hair, so this helps to keep it out of the way.

Wine-ing: I don’t really gravitate towards white wines, but I happened to come across this Cabañero JalaPINO (get it?) Wine at HEB. The initial taste is nice and light (not to sweet), but then has a spicy kick to it. I kind of really liked it, plus it makes for a refreshing summer Taco Tuesday wine!

Beautifying: With all the humidity, my waves/curls have been losing a little bit of their oomph, throughout the day. I wanted a hair product that was a bit stronger, but not a hair spray. I follow Kristen Ess on Instagram (celebrity hair stylist), who came out with a line of paraban and sulfate-free products sold at Target, and I scooped up her Beach Wave Spray. It’s a mix of dry shampoo, hair spray, and beach wave spray—all in one. It’s pretty great, and holds the style a lot longer. To keep my face from melting off, I’ve been using the NYX Matte Makeup Setting Spray.

Podcasting: Pod Save America. It’s hosted by Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor—speech writers and spokesmen during the Obama Administration, and who also helped Hilary Clinton. They have a great way of talking politics, but while being serious, they are also hilarious. Honestly, I’m getting most of my political news from them, as I’m trying not to read too much into the complete stupidity that’s going on in the country right now.

Instagramming: Lucy Laucht of These Foreign Lands and Salma Sabdia of The Polka Dotter. Lucy is a travel photographer, while Salma is a baker/food photographer. Both of their feeds are beautifully done, and very inspiring.

Exercising: Another tip I picked up from the personal trainer is to squeeze in at least 50 squats and 40 lunges every day. I do them in increments of 20 or 25. I add resistance via weights or with holding the squat/lunge between 3 – 10 seconds, and sucking in my stomach. I’ve already seen a bit of improvement, and feel a little stronger in my lower body. It’s definitely something I’ll keep up since I can do it anytime.

Wearing: This gray on gray outfit I picked up from GAP. It is made out of the softest, airy fabric, and I love that I can wear each piece separately. I also picked up a black shirt and matching shorts set in the same fabric. They are perfect spring/summer/transition into fall pieces because of the lightweight material. Plus, I can dress up the outfits with heels (like I did here), or down, with flats.

Double Buns

It’s been sweltering here the last few weeks, and honestly I can’t be bothered to let my hair down all that much. For the most part, it’s been a bun, French braid(s), or this double twist/bun do.

To Get the Look
Note: I decided to turn this into a mini-tutorial after taking these images, so hopefully my steps below make sense!

First start by sectioning your hair down the middle (I can never get this exactly right, so I just hold each section to see if they “feel” the same), and then spray a dry shampoo onto each section. (Dry shampoo is optional, but it helps with the styling. I use Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo.)

Starting from the top of the head (right where the middle part starts), take a small chunk of hair and twist it back a couple of times, then continue to grab small sections of hair and add it to the twist, and twist it back again.

Once you have twisted all of your hair in that section, wrap it into a bun, and secure it with bobby pins. I actually have to first pin it down with a couple of pins, then place a small elastic band over the bun, and then continue to pin it down with open and closed bobby pins.

I would say, “That’s it!” but it actually took a little practice before I eventually got the hang of it. It’s definitely worth trying if you want a different updo every now and then.

The belt here is actually a guitar strap my cousin brought me from Chile. Since I barely play the guitar these days, I really wanted to use the strap because I love the colors. I wasn’t sure where to add it into my apartment décor, but found a way to incorporate it into my wardrobe. I’ve worn it like this, and even with a simple gray t-shirt tucked into high-waist blue jeans, and heels.

I hear it someone’s birthday tomorrow…Happy Fourth of July!

Catch Up

Happy first day of summer! It’s been a little quite over here on the blog on talking about this summer’s “most anticipated and shocking season” (insert eye roll) of The Bachelorette, which started in May. One: they took a break after just 3 episodes (beats me), and two: other than a bunch of weird guys (which if you’re like me, and dating in your almost mid-30s, this is considered normal), Rachel is actually a super cool bachelorette (I knew she would be). Since we’re four episodes in, let’s catch up.

I could go on about some of the stupid she’s encountered—the awful “you’re cheating on me” scene with extremely bad acting from a current girlfriend, a “daddy chores” obstacle course with guest judges Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis—like actual actors (!!!), Whaboom (not even going to go here), shirtless mud wrestling (which was made even more creepy by the hollering of random women watching), guys named Diggy, Iggy, and Kenny—and this is all just in the first 3 episodes. Also, basketball with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar…what! Which is not stupid—I just wanted to throw that in there.

Anywho, Rachel’s been pretty straight-up with the guys—kicking out the crazies early—a cheating boyfriend, a guy who slowly eats bananas in bed with other guys who are sleeping, and the one that cried because he had bought a whole bunch of new outfits to wear on the show, and now he can’t. #bummersummer

On the other hand, it seems like she’s having a lot of fun with the other guys, and hollering at some of the goods ones…ahem…PETER (!), and the chiropractor is pretty cool (maybe a little too smooth, though). As of right now though, her fluffy dog with the broken leg, Copper, is winning in my book.

Rachel is also different in her interactions with these guys. She’s very genuine in her encounters, hears thoughts through, wants to feel loyalty and laugh, and she really wants to see the good in each of these guys. It’s kind of refreshing to see 30-something year olds on this show, since Rachel herself is in her early 30s. Note: future bachelors and bachelorettes of this show—this is how you do it.

My only thing (not so much with her because this has to be the producers’ stupid idea) is that they keep forcing her to bring back her “good girl friends”—four girls from the last season of The Bachelor (with Nick)—Raven, Alexis, Jasmine, and Corinne. Puuulease! While they are all cool (kind of), I’m pretty sure Rachel has some REAL super awesome friends, and these girls are not it.

Episode four just aired this week, and I have nothing too crazy to complain about like I did last year with JoJo. All I can say is…don’t let me down Peter. Don’t.let.me.down. (cue Chainsmokers song…)

One last thought…while I am not the hugest Game of Thrones fan (though I’ve seen practically every episode), the end of episode four when a bunch of the guys pretend to do British accents and quote King Joffrey while holding a Spelling Bee winner goblet—this is where it’s at ABC.

My Go-To Makeup Bag

I’m not a makeup artist, beauty blogger, or expert of any kind. I’m just a girl whose trying to make herself look presentable to the world, but who also happens to like makeup. So, I thought I’d share my current favorites. Most of my products were recommended by friends, and my other friends— the experts at Sephora.

From time to time I do indulge in those awesome You Tube makeup tutorials, but it’s more out of fascination vs. actually doing my makeup like them. I mean…am I really ever going to “bake” my makeup? (Yes…that’s a term, and the answer is no.) When I decide to go all glam, my routine is definitely a bit longer (I blame it on the eye shadow), but on an everyday basis, I’m usually done in 8 minutes (it’d be 5 if I didn’t have to do my eyebrows these days…ugh).

My routine has definitely changed, but I think it might be for the better (!) Below are the products and tools that I use almost daily—they range from drugstore to high-end. Most times I skip concealer, setting spray, and/or contour, just because they are unnecessary that day. Short descriptions about each product are below the video.

Products I Reach For

Botanics All Bright Day Cream with SPF15: After using Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizer Lotion with SPF for years now (which I still do love), I recently switched over to this one. While it doesn’t have as high of an SPF, it’s still light, smells amazing, is inexpensive (around $12), and made with all organic ingredients. Plus, it doesn’t make me break out.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in Medium Dark-Neutral (whoa…that name!): Concealer is a new product for me, and I actually use it more for highlighting and spot concealing. I apply it in a “wing” shape about a ½ inch under each of my eyes, on the bridge of my nose, cupid’s bow, and any blemishes. Then blend it all in with a Beauty Blender. It blends so smoothly, and matches perfectly with my tone—it truly feels and looks like naked skin. It is a bit on the high-end ($28), but the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer is also great, and less than $10.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Granite: I actually hate this part of my routine, and really wish I could just skip it. Unfortunately, because some eyebrow threading aunties botched up my eyebrows numerous times, I now have small gaps in my brows, and lost an arch in one of them. I’ve tried various pencils, powders, brushes, etc., but this is by far my favorite one. It stays on longer, exactly matches my hair color, has a very precise point to make fine hair strokes, and the spoolie is pretty legit. (Yes, I just said the spoolie was legit.) At $21 it is a bit expensive, but since it’s something I wear every day, it’s worth it. (I first prep my brows by combing through them with the Sephora PRO Brow Comb #21.)

L’oreal Brow Stylist Plumper in Medium to Dark: I use this to keep my eyebrow hairs in place after I’ve filled them in with the ABH Brow Wiz pencil, and add a bit of color to them to make them seem “plump.”

If you have awesome eyebrows, the eyebrow pencil and plumper are probably not things you’ll need (!)

L’oréal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara: I’ve been a diehard L’oréal Telescopic girl for years. When I experimented with this one, it also quickly became one of my favorites. The product actually works better after a few uses because the ink has had some time to dry a little, which really helps. The formula is the perfect amount of inkiness, and adds volume, length, and fullness. Plus, it doesn’t feel dry, irritate my eyes, nor run. Another favorite is the L’oréal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara in Blackest Black.

NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo in Orgasm/Laguna & NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross: Not going to lie—I do love a subtle contour and highlight! Using the E.L.F. Complexion Brush, I’ll apply Laguna (bronzer) in to the hollows of cheeks, on my jaw line and forehead, and sometimes, my nose. Then I’ll sweep Orgasm (blush) onto my cheekbones, using the Bare Minerals Handy Buki Brush. To add a bit of glow, I’ll apply the Albatross highlighter using an Eco Tools Deluxe Fan Brush on to the high points of my cheekbones, cupid’s bow, and a teeny bit to the tip of my nose. Sometimes I’ll swap NARS Orgasm blush with Dolce Vita (less shimmery with a darker, dusty rose tone).

Smith’s Menthol and Eucalyptus Balm; Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Stepping Out; Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color in Touch of Spice: I don’t always like wearing lipstick—most days it’s just the balm. However, if I’m feeling particularly cool, I’ll apply either the Smashbox or Maybelline lipstick. Stepping Out (Smashbox) is a mauve color, and is great if you want a nude lip that lasts a good amount of the day. Like most liquid lipsticks, it is a bit drying. I suggest scrubbing your lips, applying a thin layer of clear balm, then the lipstick—this will keep it a bit more hydrated. Touch of Spice (Maybelline) is great for everyday wear—it has a more natural pink tone to it. (It’s what I’m wearing in the images in this post.)

NYX Matte or Dewy Finish Setting Spray: I’ll spray a couple spritzes of this just to help keep my makeup set. Especially on days when I know I’d like to have it on for a good portion of the day, or if it’s extra muggy/humid (which is pretty much every day in Texas).

I don’t have plans on doing a full tutorial on makeup looks—just this fun video. However, if you’d like to see an actual tutorial, let me know! Also, if you have any recommendations on your favorite go-to products, I’d love to hear them.

Thirty-fo

It’s been a decade (!) since I was yelling out, “Twenty-fo…FO SHO!” while weirdly walking around Deco (#neverforget).

A few weeks back, I rang in my 34th year. I actually celebrated twice (#rockstar)—a second time with a really, really…(this deserves a third)…really bad attempt at salsa dancing. For the record, we went to an actual salsa club with amazing, professional-like dancers, and we knew Zumba…so yeah.

(Note: I’m just getting around to talking about this because I was so incredibly swamped in April, and had to let one thing go for a bit. But really…how is it May 1 already!)

I’ll take being 34 over being 24 any day. I always say that I feel so much more confident, happy, and proud of myself in my 30s vs. my 20s. I like where I am, but am I where I want to be? Not really, but that’s totally okay. Over the past few years, I feel like I’ve developed the skills to figure out how to get where I want to be, and the understanding that certain things just take time and more dedication.

Like everyone else, I do find myself flailing at times or find it difficult to make decisions; sometimes I’m stuck in a rut, or even burnt out. However, I’ve learned how to pick myself back-up and start again—something that was difficult for me to grasp in my mid-20s.

I’m always learning something new, and things are constantly evolving in exciting and creative ways. Ten years ago, I didn’t think I’d be capable of doing some of the things that I’ve accomplished. At this stage, I feel so much better about reaching for things, pushing my limit, and teaching myself. It’s actually kind of a really cool feeling.

Also is it just me, or has the donut selection gotten way better in the last 10 years!

The day I turned 34, I remember telling a girlfriend that turning 35 may feel a bit weird…I mean it is thirty-FIVE. Then I thought about that episode from Sex and the City when no can make it to celebrate Carrie’s 35th birthday and she goes home alone. Charlotte then drags her from the shower to their restaurant, and all four of them make a pact to be each other’s soulmates. That scene definitely goes down in my top favorites. Yup…based solely on just that—I think 35 won’t be so bad either. Plus, I’ve got like 47 weeks to prep for it.

Red Floral

Happy first day of spring! (Not quite sure why I’m that excited about it, since I’m pretty much choking on pollen over here.) I cannot believe that March is ending next Friday (!) In January, I had great plans to go on a couple of mini-vacations, read more books, and learn how to cook delicious, healthy dishes—all by April—all of those have been shot. Kidding. I never had plans to cook.

Instead of reading recipes, I actually had plans to do recaps of The Bachelor throughout this season. Priorities y’all..priorities. In reality, it turned out to be the most boring and eye-rolling season of them all. After an excruciating three-hour finale, it finally ended last Monday. Nick was just aloof and lacked personality, while the girl he picked—Vanessa—what an insecure, wet blanket. Anyways, I just won’t even go there with them. What I will say is that I’m really excited for Rachel Lindsay to be The Bachelorette. For one, she’s a Texas girl, and two, she’s successful, well spoken, and smart—I find her so relatable. I think she’s going to have a lot of fans!

I had originally intended to wear this outfit to the Houston Rodeo BBQ Cook-off this year, but due to the whack weather we’ve been having, I had to nix it. However, I ended up wearing it another day, and since this is the last week of Rodeo, I thought I’d throw it up here. Also, did you guys hear that Garth Brooks is both opening and closing the 2018 Rodeo? Yes! The deep-fried foods keep getting better every year, and the girls keep whooping the boys butts in the Mutton Bustin’ competition! This really is my favorite Houston event.

So, my hair is a bit different than my last post. About a month ago, I asked my favorite hairdresser to chop off all my split ends, dead hair and especially the old colored hair, and give me layers. (She was also kind enough to cut a few of my white hairs out.) What I thought was going to be a 1-inch trim, turned into 4 – 5 inches—which puts my hair at an awkward length.

Right now, I’m not too thrilled with the way it looks. I really do miss my longer, more blunt cut look. Maybe this is just the weirdo in me, but when I want short hair—I really want it short; when I want long hair—I really want it long. The in-between stage irks me. I also think it looks better waved, rather than straight, but honestly I don’t always have an extra 40 minutes to wave it. I am super glad that the old hair color, which has been lingering for years, is finally gone—it’s like I have a clean slate. I have no intention of dying it, but those white hairs that keep popping up, are really starting to get to me…bleh.

OK, I feel like I’ve talked enough about weird stuff (The Bachelor, my hair, etc.), so I’m going to just leave my thoughts for another week. I have been working on some fun projects the last couple of weeks, including a video of my everyday makeup. So stay tuned, as I’m hoping to share those soon.

5K

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As much as I want to believe that I run like a graceful gazelle, I’m pretty sure it’s more like a flailing flamingo. I apologize to all the visitors on the trail, who for the past few months had to witness me wheezing, gasping for air, and see snot running down my nose, while I trained for a 5K. As you can tell, I am not a runner—I have never been one.

However, I thought it was about time I challenged myself. (Waking up in the morning is a huge challenge for me, but you get what I’m saying.) I was also extremely motivated by my good friend Kristen, who had run the 2015 Houston Half Marathon! (Note: I have no intention of doing a marathon, unless it involves Netflix.)

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Last year, I had every intention of signing up for a 5K. In this excitement to try out my least favorite activity, I fell and scraped my knee…during my first practice run (of course). I ended up having to go to urgent care, where after a horrified look from even the doctor, he managed to scrape my skin together and patch it up with six stitches. It took over three months for the wound to heal. When I tried to start running again, it just wasn’t a good experience, so I stopped.

A couple months back (after the election) I learned about the Houston Area Women’s Center’s Race Against Violence 5K. This was it…I signed up. Even if this meant I would have knee replacement surgery at 35—I really wanted this challenge, and even more, I wanted to help a cause that will definitely need more exposure over the next few years.

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To tons of people, a 5K (3.1 miles) is a fun, leisurely run in the park with unicorns and glitter. To me—it’s daunting and deathly. However, I wanted to prove to myself that maybe I could at least run half of it without stopping. When I started training in December, I could barely do ½ a mile without wanting to fall over and puke. Putting that aside, the runs were really killer on my knees and legs. I felt more worn out, than energized; but I kept pushing myself through the pain, and continued to train week after week into February.

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On the morning of the run, I was nervous—like I was eight again, when no one wanted me on their relay team in P.E. because I sucked. Also, there were some serious runners out there. People were doing practice/warm-up runs (like WTF does that even mean?!). One couple was so in sync in their running and timing—you’d think they were training for some weird Olympic couples running dance sport. Also, to the girl who showed up in nothing but short shorts and a sports bra in 45 degree/super arctic cold winds—go girl. You go.

Putting that all aside, I really was nervous—I had never done anything like this before. I was so convinced I was going to get trampled on, or even worse, one of my legs would give out like it does when I walk sometimes! However, when I started running, I just couldn’t stop. I don’t know if it was the cold, my orchestral epic movie-theme music, or just determination, but I ran all of it, and 2 ½ minutes faster than what I had been running in my training rounds (!) I truly never thought I would, or even could do something like this.

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Not only did I feel accomplished, but was so proud to have run with hundreds of other Houstonians, and taken part in a cause that raises awareness and promotes education. While this run helped me believe in myself a bit more, in the grand scheme of things, I really do hope events like this help others believe that a better life is out there for them.

Now, I’m sure the burning question is, “Is she going to do it again?” The answer is yes—same race next year. I also have my eyes set on the 10K Rodeo Run. So yeah…I also see that knee replacement surgery in two years…eh…

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By the way, this happens to be one of my favorite outfits. I love each one of these pieces especially since I can wear them year-round. A few weeks back, when it was colder, I paired this same outfit with black tights and booties. With it being spring soon, I can see me wearing it just like this, or just simply the dress with a pair of flats or flip-flops for a more casual look. In my last post I mentioned that my next post was going to be a DIY, but I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of the final look. Hopefully this weekend I can get those down, and put up here.

Six Years

Six years ago today, I wrote my very first blog post, Who is Jo? (this is still a mystery in my life). It wasn’t much—just a list of a few things that described who I am. A few days after that, I wrote my first informative post, Chic Essentialslisting my fashion must-haves. Though when I went back and read it, there are definitely things that need to be updated!

I haven’t been as consistent with the blog as I would have liked over the past couple of years. However, I have put up five posts over the past 1 ½ months—that’s more than what I wrote in the entire year of 2016! Small victory.

The other week, I spent a little bit of time rummaging through my posts from 2011. There are tons of “Oh hell no’s!” and “Awww…I miss that piece!” posts, but there were also a few that stood out to me because I still wear them in some way.

As it is Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d recap 11 of my favorite posts from 2011:

Click on image to be taken to page with corresponding link. 

A Floral Engagement
I still love this combination of floral, leopard print, and jeans. I’ve worn this exact same outfit multiple times since 2011, but with different jeans. Those have definitely had to change!

Where Do I Find Nude Flats? 
Six years later, I still believe a good pair of nude flats are essential to any wardrobe. Now, they are available in so many more nude colors and styles. I’m especially loving ones with block heels, ankle straps, and even pointy-toe ones.

Back to the 90s
The straps on this dress are a bit whack, but every year I hem them back, and re-wear the dress on Cinco de Mayo, and during the summer months. I still love the colors and cut of it, and can’t seem to give it up.

Bleeding Orange
I no longer have this navy skirt, but I recently wore that top in my Where Did She Go? post last year. This was one of my favorite summer combinations—it was easy and sophisticated. I’d still sport it, if that skirt didn’t get a hole in it!

A Navy and Black Night
I love this outfit! I hate these images, as it does the outfit no justice, and I really should have ironed this skirt. I actually still have all these pieces and kind of want to re-do these shots to show what a simple and pretty outfit it is.

Leather and Jewels
I remember getting quite a few compliments on this outfit, and it’s my favorite rocker-ish look to date. However, both the skirt and top met their tragic ends in the wash. The heels I still have, but they are barely hanging in there. I have yet to find a good, black leather skirt again.

Laced Stripes
Like the floral blazer, this lace cardigan has been in my closet for at least 10 years now. It’s another piece I can’t give up since it makes for such a great work outfit. The green shoes were actually really uncomfortable so I gave them up for donation. The tan bag pretty much shredded and broke apart, since I carried it for so long!

DIY / Glitter Flowers
This is one of my most pinned DIYs. I haven’t done it in a while, but I think it still makes for a great way to add a bit of flare to an arrangement. Also, it has glitter—who doesn’t like glitter?

Makeup / Twilight at Dusk
I remember the makeup artists at Sephora complimenting me on this look, and I’m not going to lie, it kind of felt awesome. Over the past five years, I’ve strayed significantly away from colored eyeshadows—keeping it really simple with Urban Decay’s Naked palette. However, this look reminded me of how much fun I had dressing up my eyes. I recently started getting back into eyeshadows, but not colored ones, just yet.

My Five Favorite Winter Trends—Four: Sequins
I love me a good sequin top, and this one never falters. All of these pieces are still in my closet, so I can easily throw it on if I need something fun in the holiday season to wear.

Recipe / Buttermilk Cinnamon Pancakes with Pecans
If you know me, I love pancakes. My Dad still makes them every time I’m home, and this is just an adaptation of his recipe that I use.

A Good Flare

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It’s been a few weeks, but I figured I’d accompany this post with a short Bachelor check-in. (I’m sure I just lost all my readers, but I’ll keep talking.)

Last Monday’s episode was a bit painful to watch. This has nothing to do with the fact that Nick ended the episode shedding a few tears, and complaining about not knowing if this is what he truly wanted. (Yet we all know that he does find someone, because they aired that clip. Way to cut your footage ABC…)

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By painful, I mean Jasmine’s fake choke hold on Nick (!), Corinne being the most non-crazy one (for once), the words, “She must be a turnip because she is always turned UP!” (what???), Danielle unnecessarily being booted off, and all the girls incessantly complaining about being frustrated for having to win’s Nick attention.

Okay, I just got exhausted from writing all that.

This show is nothing if not a ridiculously staged competition,with beautiful free vacations for those lucky few. However, for some bizarre reason the girls in this season are constantly complaining about the fact that they have to fight for Nick, and they don’t know what Nick is thinking. I guarantee Nick doesn’t even know what he’s thinking…he’s kind of that clueless. Also if you didn’t want to compete with 20 other girls, on national television, you could have tried online dating. I hear that works…

Anywho, as we get into tonight’s episode, Nick is still confused, Corinne goes back to taking more naps, and all the girls are still upset that Nick is upset because he doesn’t know if he wants any of them, BUT what makes them even more sad is that “he may not find love.” So tragic. However, they will all stay because you know…free trips. Really…how does this show not get nominated for an Emmy?

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As for the outfit, I am still a fan of flare jeans. Now, I’m sure most girls have moved on from 2001, but I clearly have not. (At least I’ve retired my dark, shiny pair.)

I ended up scoring these at American Eagle for $20 a few weeks back. The color and fit are great, and the material is a bit softer, which makes them super comfortable to wear. Most of the time I’ll wear skinny jeans, but it doesn’t hurt to keep a good flared jean around, just to mix it up. Here’s a similar pair from AE.

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I don’t really gravitate towards pink clothing, but the ruffles and mauve color of the sweatshirt kind of got to me. I was actually planning on returning it while I was buying it. (I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one guilty of doing this). Clearly I did not. I’ve worn this so many different ways over the last few weeks, that I may just need to turn that into a post itself.

Next week, I plan on changing it up and showing a DIY that I think can really come in handy when you’re trying to decorate. So bear with me, I promise I do better things than watch The Bachelor week to week!

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