Archive for October, 2010

Leather, Sequins and Fur, oh my!

Zara Italia Shopper Combinata

Urban Outfitters Cooperative Spectator bag

Topshop Faux Fur Lock clutch

J.Crew Mongolian lamb tote bag


Zara Italia Citybag Manico Risvolto

J.Crew Galaxy purse

Here are a few of my favorite bags that capture the classic, simplicity of the season.

These clean-cut, structured totes are great because of their versatility. Pair the satchel bag with a pair of jeans and a sweater during the day, and transition it to a nighttime look by pairing it with a solid colored dress. These business-chic bags are trendy, but also practical. They are durable, timeless and not to mention spacious – elements of a worthy purchase.






I’ve also included a couple examples of a crucial trend this fall: fur. Unlike previous years, this season, fur is meant to make a big statement. I’m not talking about modesty here, fur is meant to be worn as outlandishly as one desires. See Chanel fall 2010 ready-to-wear below.  Chewbacca, anyone?


Ok, so maybe don’t go to this extreme, but I do love the absurdity of the J.Crew Mongolian lamb tote bag, a mere $795 splurge. Its over-the-top nature makes it a quick fix to any boring outfit. J.Crew really has beautiful bags this season; definitely check them out. The sequined black Galaxy purse is another of my favorites. Although less versatile than the others, this one truly makes a statement. Very Serena van der Woodsen, don’t you think? It’s glitzy, but just enough to be trendy and not tacky. The multiple gold chains give it the edginess that this season calls for. I find that mixing textures such as sequins, metal, fur or leather makes any outfit more sophisticated.

To conclude, look out for satchel, over-the-shoulder and multi-textured bags to zip up your wardrobe this season. Go back the basics and pair these items with whatever you want during the day and with neutral-colored looks at night. Don’t be afraid to go over the top with fur (according to the experts), but in Chapel Hill, I might just stick to modest fur accessories.


Veggie Gratin

Finding an abundance of cheap veggies at the market?  London’s markets are overflowing with zucchini and squash, and filling my basket with brightly colored produce only gets better when the register rings in at a manageable amount.  Fill up and start slicing because this delicious gratin is so simple that it doesn’t deserve its fancy French name.

1 zucchini
1 summer squash
2 tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 slices of bread
½ c. grated parmesan cheese
1 t. herbes de Provence
2 t. olive oil

Add 1 t. of olive oil to large skillet.

Sautee onions, garlic and herbes de Provence until soft, about 5 minutes.

Slice the zucchini, squash and tomatoes about ¼ inch thick.

Add 1 t. of olive oil to the bottom of a casserole dish and coat to prevent sticking.  Add about half of the sautéed garlic and onions to the bottom of the pan.  Layer the sliced veggies, alternating.  Half way through, add the remaining onions and garlic.

Place bread slices into a food processor and pulse to create fresh bread crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, simple pop into the toaster and crumble the slices.  Add breadcrumbs and cheese to the top of the layered vegetables.

Bake in a 350° oven for about 45 minutes with foil over the top.  Bake for another 15 minutes to brown and crisp breadcrumbs.

– Anne Kreuser


Fall into Fashion

Welcome back Fashion’s Finest! Hope everyone had a wonderful summer. If you’re like me, you’re ready to toss out the summer wear and bring in the crisp, cool clothes of fall. Whether you’re mourning the loss of your favorite white jeans, or getting out your sweaters for the first sign of cool weather, you’re in for a real treat this season.

It’s back to the basics. Look out for warm, neutral colors mixed with edgy pieces that contrast textures and mix sophistication with the classics. Nothing too over-the-top though – this season calls for simplicity. I can’t deny it, I love this style. Think skinny jeans, gladiator heels, a simple sweater, an oversized watch and a chunky necklace. Classic. Or, try a military jacket paired with rolled up khaki pants, a brown belt, and a leather satchel. A third option for the trendsetters out there: pair a sequined skirt with a studded belt and a cargo-style tunic (tucked in, of course) complete with a pair of clogs… yes, you heard me, clogs. What’s one word to describe all of these looks? Iconic.

Over the next couple of months, I hope to use this blog to share with you my passion.  The world of fashion is my escape, my fantasy. I am by no means an expert at fashion, or blogging, for that matter. But this is something I really enjoy, and I hope the information I share might be beneficial to you in some way!

Send me pictures, links, ideas…whatever catches your eye. I’d love your feedback!

I’ll try to incorporate a designer of the week for each post as well.

Until next time,

– Eloise Hamilton (

Get ‘Er Done… Today

You log into Facebook and read friends’ wall posts, when you know you should be reading Lolita for class. You start organizing the clothes in your closet by color, and even start folding your delicate unmentionables, placing them inside your top drawer in careful squares. You’re so desperate for anything else to do, instead of diligently working on the seven-page English paper that is due in three days. Now you’re watching reruns on Hulu, and then you may pause Hulu, respond to your Facebook updates, replay the youtube clip of “Marcel the Shell with Shoes on” for the umpteenth time, laughing hysterically with your roommate and quote the shell as if the words he utters express your new religion. You begin to unravel a tangled necklace, and wonder when motivation will find you; maybe you will have an epiphany while peeling apart your split ends. More likely, you will have to face the facts: you’ve boarded a one way train to Procrastinationopolis, located in the heart of Distractionville. Feeling hopeless and stranded? Don’t worry: that’s only more wasted time. Be proactive, take simple actions and you will be striding down Productive Street with effortless swag.

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid:
Prioritize your life by using the K.I.S.S. Method. When you Keep It Simple, Stupid, the main benefit is that you will be finished with whatever basic task or goal your extravagant ideas were inhibiting you from completing on time. We should never give up on our dreams to expand upon lavish projects we long to accomplish, but for the purposes of excelling in school, we must prioritize. Get simple projects out of the way first, and leave a block of time to work on a bigger project, little by little everyday. This means, if I have simple homework assignment due on the computer by 11pm, and a difficult essay due in 2 weeks, I should do my computer homework first, and then work on a little bit of the essay every single day for 2 weeks. Do not leave all of your assigned textbook reading until the day before and the morning of the test. To do so would be breaking the K.I.S.S method.

Change your study environment
… to a place with minimal distractions. Since I associate my bedroom as my sanctuary to get away from the daily grind, I am psychologically incapable of studying in that particular space. My sheets call for me to get under them, and all of a sudden every electronic I own is spread out on my bed (laptop, mp3 player, kindle, cell phone, sometimes even my camera) all turned on; my mind turned off to studying altogether! An intelligent way to fix this scenario is to leave the bedroom and go to a quiet place where other students are studying. If like me, you are a lazy-bone to the core, so do not sit in a big, comfy chair; this will only remind you of your bed, it may be even cozier than your bed (depending if you have a residence hall mattress, ouch.) and you will be dreaming in no time. Instead sit at a desk, with other people sitting next to you. They are intently focused and studying, and suddenly your competitive edge comes out and you want to excel along with your peers in the library. Wilson, Undergraduate, and Davis libraries are all great places to buckle down, with no distractions.

Put away your communicative electronics
…in small increments each day.
It may be challenging to wean yourself from engaging in facebook, texts, BBM, skype, Windows Live Messenger, emails, and phone calls, but if you can manage to go just one hour one day, and two hours the next, you will eventually be able to focus on the present moment. This may even make you a better friend, because you will become a better listener to your friends without having to respond to a half-dozen forms of social media. You will definitely become a better student because you will not have distractions to take you away from your interesting studies. Let the words in your textbook talk to you.

If you must listen to music
…listen to calming music with a slow beat. So save your fist pumping Tiesto mega mix for the club, and instead download songs with a serene, laid-back beat. The I-tunes store has a whole list of music to listen to while studying. A few of my personal favorite tracks to study to include, Desree—You Gotta Be, Mellowdrone—Orange Marmalade, The Wallflowers—One Headlight, Cutting Crew—I just Died in Your Arms, Sade— And I Miss You (Okay, pretty much all alternative music from the 90s is going to make your time studying the most relaxing task you accomplish within your day!)

Get a planner, and use it.
If you already have one, take it out of your junk drawer. Most smart phones come with applications for taking down notes, and to do lists. These come in handy for short term goals, but make sure to write down long term obligations in your planner, and refer to the dates ahead of time so you don’t have to waste memory space thinking of everything that has to be done. Some successful individuals even keep post it notes everywhere throughout the house, so that if an idea pops in mind, you never forget and the constant visual reminders will help you “get er’ done.” I have a digital post it note on my desktop, which reads: Stop Procrastinating! It serves as a great reminder for every time I sit down with my laptop. Post-Its reinforce making a decision to waste time or use it to your advantage.

These tips will enable you to stop avoiding hitting the books, and make a productive student out of even the worst procrastinator, me. (Hey, did anyone catch that writing this blog is a form of procrastination from schoolwork on my part!) It would be wise if I start taking my own advice.

– Kristen Cubero

The Time-Killing Challenge

Project 365 is a year-long blog series about being a senior at Carolina, going through the senior bucket list, job search, applying to graduate school and just life in general, told in countdown form.

Hello Seniors… I’d like to talk to you about Time Management.

My English teacher in high school was famous for a lot of things… most notably his little axioms that he would pull out of his sleeve. I doubt there’s a Watauga High School graduate who had this man who doesn’t still cringe at the phrase “In your copious spare time…” or “Procrastination – the most populated nation in the world.” But perhaps “Wild Bill” Waterson wasn’t just trying to taunt us as he assigned an endless string of books that we as, sixteen-year-olds, would rather not read.

We often talk about how busy we are.  I know I think I am a very busy person and if you look at my planner, you will indeed see that I have every hour filled with something, be it work or school or some other activity.  I don’t seem to have any copious spare time.  But in reality, if you looked at how much time I waste each day doing things that are not necessary. I check my e-mail obsessively.  I look at Facebook for a while.  I laugh at some of the texts from last night… I will even struggle for an hour to accomplish one of the DTH’s crossword puzzles even though I know I don’t know the name of the Lone Ranger’s Nephew’s Horse (okay actually, I do… it’s Victor). I seem to have time for all of these things, and yet that Emily Bronte book has been sitting on my shelf unread for a week now, despite the fact that I have an exam coming up on it soon.

Now, before we get too far into my own personal failings as a student, let’s remember that we’re seniors… shouldn’t we be good at this whole time management thing already?  These seem like problems that (no offense) freshmen and sophomores should have to deal with, but they aren’t.  And I’m not the only one who procrastinates.  You do it too.  We all do.  We don’t all procrastinate the same way, but we all do it.  So I propose a challenge.

Let’s pick one day in the next week where we embrace our copious spare time and use it for productivity. Turn off the playstation. Sign out of Facebook.  Check your e-mail in moderation. Instead?  Study! Read!  Do something productive! It can be as simple as doing your laundry or cleaning out your desk, organizing your midterm study schedule or finishing that short story you’ve been tossing about in your head. I promise if you take ONE day out of the next week and dedicate it to productivity, you will be extremely happy with yourself.  As for me, I’m choosing Tuesday for my Productivity Day, and in my copious spare time, I will be catching up on my ENGL 338 readings.

Until next time, happy studying, seniors!

206 days to graduation!

– Samantha Ryan

– – –

Check out these helpful links for time management:

Essential for Success

Basics of Time and Stress Management

Time Management Resources

The Med School Time Management point of view

Anne Kreuser is blogging while studying abroad in London this semester.

I’m living with 13 other people this semester.  13!  This means there’s a fair representation of vegetarians in the bunch.  I’ve read enough Michael Pollan to know that simply reducing your meat intake is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint, so this veg-influence has got my culinary mind whirring. I found a recipe for eggless double chocolate cookies that are called World Peace Cookies for a reason.  I’ve successfully completed the majority of my shopping at the farmers market on Saturday mornings.  But as the weather turns chillier, I want to feel warm and full and satisfied.  And I’ve found the perfect ingredient.

Quinoa is a grain that is actually related to spinach.  It’s packed with protein, magnesium and iron, making it the perfect addition to anyone’s diet, especially a vegetarian’s. Taking only minutes to cook, it’s a snap to make, and its mild, nutty flavor pairs extremely well with savory and sweet dishes.  Pick some up next time you’re grocery shopping, and try out these vegetarian recipe ideas.

Quinoa with mushrooms and onions

1 yellow onion, diced

1 package shitake mushrooms, sliced

1 t. fresh thyme

1 c. white wine (can substitute vegetable stock)

1 c. quinoa

2 c. water

1 t. olive oil

Bring water to a boil, add quinoa and cook until slightly underdone.  Quinoa should still have a bite, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, sautee onion in large skillet in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and thyme.  Cook until mushrooms are browned and tender.  Add cooked quinoa and white wine.  Cook and stir until quinoa has absorbed most of the white wine and the pan becomes dry, about 5 minutes.

Quinoa parfait

1 c. Greek yogurt

2 T. honey

½ c. cooked and cooled quinoa

Hand full of fresh berries

Layer ingredients in a wine glass for a beautiful presentation, or pack away in a reusable plastic container for a morning pick-me-up between classes.

– Anne Kreuser