My Week in Instagram: February 20, 2012

 

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1. I listened to Gabrielle Aplin at Panera and worked on my portfolio!

2. Sometimes you just need a night in with Valentino.

3. Stolen moments before work to read some Vogue.

4. Outfit photos are cliché but fun — here I wore Jbrand (on sale for $50), Banana Republic, and Frye.

Instagram Week Feb 20 2013

5. I tried out a new face mask from Birchbox.

6. Mom and the Merediths sent me lovely Valentine’s Day gifts!

7. On Shrove Tuesday I went on a walk through the UNC Arboretum.

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My Week in Instagram: February 4, 2013

My Week in Instagram Feb 41. You know you’re addicted to instagram when a simple breakfast of greek yogurt and berries warrants a picture!

2. Starbucks was just the thing for a break between classes!

3. Caught up on the latest YALSA newsletter with some french toast at Cafe Carolina.

4. Tried a new hairstyle from pinterest — check out my inspirations here.

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5. I made chocolate chip pancakes on a lazy Sunday morning.

6. Panera has the best salads — BBQ Chopped Chicken shown here.

7. Sometimes you just need hot tea, new music, and a view of the great outdoors.

8. ER modeling is hard! Who knew all those mind maps my high school teachers made me do would come in handy?

Don’t forget to follow me on instagram and twitter (@alexandrap529) to see these in real time!

My Week in Instagram: January 23

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1. Couponed with wine on a weekend.
2. Bought a new iPhone case from J.Crew.
3. Caught up on Youtube with a little Earl Grey.
4. TastyKakes are available in NC — finally.
5. January Birchbox arrived in the mail!
6. Quality BSF time at Barnes & Noble
7. Keurig K-Cups were on sale at Harris Teeter!
8. Watching PLL and wondering if Aria got dressed with her eyes closed?
9. North Carolina finally got a little snow and everyone panicked.

Over the river and through the woods…

To my mother’s house I go! Okay, so it’s not grandmother’s but she’ll be down for Christmas tomorrow so it’s going to be a true family holiday season!

Since I’m sure you’re just as exhausted as I am with all of the gift guides finals, I thought I’d share a little Christmas cheer and showcase my mother’s AMAZING cooking and decorating. Though she politely declined to be photographed for this post, I can assure you she’s every bit as beautiful as the confections and decorations she creates!

Every year we put up two trees – crazy, yes but my mom does enjoy the holidays. Until this year I always saw it as a bit of a chore but now that I’m on my own There’s something about starting off the season the day after thanksgiving with my dad and I bringing down the Christmas trees and rearranging the living room furniture.

 

Downstairs Christmas Tree 1
Family Room Christmas Tree

Next up is the dining room where my mother hosts elaborate dinners fit for a Queen (No really, just ask any of her friends who have been invited for a birthday ‘lunch’ and were treated to a 5-star meal!) The tree in here is only for Santa and Snowman ornaments and since my mom and I find them so cute we have more than enough ornaments to fill the tree.

Downstairs Christmas Tree 2
Dining Room Christmas Tree

The tree affectionately known as “the Charlie brown tree” usually goes wherever we have room and this year that’s the dining room sideboard. We put the teeny-tiny ornaments that would otherwise get lost on a normal tree on this tiny one!

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree
Charlie Brown Christmas Tree 

This year we decided to go a little crazy, since the aforementioned grandmother is visiting (with an aunt, an uncle and two cousins in tow). There’s a THIRD tree upstairs! This tree is really special to me because it has all of my storybook ornaments on it: the whole crew from Oz and the Nutcracker are there.

The Upstairs tree
Bonus Room Christmas Tree

There are also a few really cute displays that didn’t involve ornaments:

 

Nutcracker Mantle
Nutcracker Mantle
Hummel Nativity Display
Hummel Nativity Display

 

Apartment Tour: Part Two

Just like I promised, here’s part two of the tour of my new apartment.

Just off of the living room is my little dining room.

Table and chairs: estate sale with DIY seat cushions


Sideboard: Ethan Allen Sale (similar)
Silverplate tea set: estate sale (similar)
Wine rack: Pottery Barn (similar)

I’m in love with my great kitchen, so clean!

Next up is my bedroom. I wanted to be able to use the grey color scheme from my old room but with a more sophisticated flair. I think it turned out pretty great!
Prints: Etsy (1, 2)

Since I’m here to attend graduate school, a desk was a necessity. Unfortunately one bedroom apartments don’t offer too much in terms of office space! Here’s my little office nook for homework and such.

Here’s a view of my porch from the sidewalk.

…And another view so you can actually see the furniture!

So what do you think?

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Apartment Tour: Part One

Apartment Tour: Part One

Even though this blog primarily follows my literary adventures, I wanted to share what I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. When I returned from the NYU Publishing Institute in NYC I packed up a UHaul and moved to Chapel Hill, NC. Though it was a whirlwind of packing and unpacking, I’m a bit more settled now and I can’t wait to show of my new digs!

Alexandra’s apartment 1

I’ll start the tour with my front door. I love that it is all mine!
Door mat: Homegoods

My entryway is not very grand but I love my pew (similar), map of Paris (similar) and Kings & Queens of England print (similar).

My living room is the first thing you seen inside the front door.
Chairs and bench: Target (1, 2)
Coffee Table: Ethan Allen (1)
Candles: various (similar)

The Big Comfy Couch!
Couch: Ethan Allen* (1)
Throw: Pottery Barn (1)
Tray: Pottery Barn Outlet (similar)

This is just one of the bookshelves but my mom did such a great job arranging the books I had to show it off!

Alexandra's living room table

This is another one of our DIY projects — would you guess that the table is actually plywood?

Shopping Bag Art

Here’s the best part of the living room! I found a great DIY on pinterest and made it happen.

*Bought during closeout sale at very steep discount

Next up: the dining room, porch and bedroom!

Stress in the City: Week 3

Last week the NYU Summer Publishing Institute was really intense! Because it was the final week for the magazine section, we had to put together our launch plans and presentations. This meant more than our fair share of late nights and working lunches but it turned out amazingly well! I’ll show you my group’s work in a later post but here’s a recap of how it all happened:

We were in strategy workshops all week which of course sounds far easier than it actually was. Rather than just working within our groups or with professors, every day we had to present our ideas to industry professionals such as Lavinel Savu (Managing Editor at InStyle), Tom O’Quinn (Art Director at Men’s Health) and others. Not only was this intimidating but in many cases it meant we needed to revise large sections of our project mere days before presenting!


In the midst of all of the preparation I managed to snag tickets to Shakespeare in the Park, quite a feat just ask any New Yorker! I was worried to loose a whole night of work but couldn’t pass up the amazing opportunity, plus this year they are performing As You Like It! I spent more than an hour wandering the park looking for the theatre in my work clothes! It was all worth it though. The players were sensational, but what can you expect from a cast that includes Lily Rabe and Oliver Platt? (If you don’t believe me listen to the NYT).

Our incredible judging panel

When Thursday finally came I felt ready. Our fashion/beauty magazine was gonna rock their socks. We were up against a tough panel: Brandon Holley (Editor in Chief, Lucky), Matt Sullivan (Web Director, Esquire), Christine Guilfoyle (Publisher, Every Day with Rachael Ray). Though I know we worked our hardest, we didn’t win the competition. However, we did get an award for best app concept!

This weekend was the quintessential NYC experience. Saturday morning I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to take in the exhibits. Though the layout is very confusing I managed to explore three exhibits that I found particularly thrilling: Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations, The Dawn of Egyptian Art, and the Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts. Vastly different in time and space, the three caught my eye because of their beauty, intelligence and complexity. Schiaparelli & Prada was the perfect balance of beautiful clothes and intelligent dissection. The Dawn of Egyptian Art was a new way to look at my love of Egyptian burial rites. The French Decorative Arts were like Versailles only far less crowded  and,  to a certain extent, more interesting.

A bracelet that fits my impossibly tiny wrist!

While there I purchased a unique bracelet based on a Tibetan dragon.Three hours later I emerged with a notebook full of observations and a growling stomach.

 My impossibly large brunch.

Alice’s Tea Cup (on 81st) was just the ticket. I was lucky enough to be seated immediately and to get a table right in the window!(People watching in NYC is my not-so-secret hobby.) After pouring over the menu for ages I finally decided on the Breakfast Tea with Anna’s Earl Grey. The food was more than I could eat but I tried my darndest because it was so delicious!

There’s nothing quite like relaxing with a cup of tea and a great book.

Once I tore myself away from my current read, I met up with my roommates for gossip and mimosas at Tonic East. Wonderfully relaxing and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, Tonic was the motivation I needed to dig in to the job hunt.

So much food!

Sunday began in much the same way with brunch at the Sunflower Diner. The food was mediocre but the atmosphere was adorable and I saw the most amazing array of New Yorkers! Next up was the mundane task of grocery shopping, jazzed up with the help of my roommate and Trader Joes. There’s nothing like a great grocery to perk you up! Continuing with the adventure, we headed to Central Park for a little reading and a lot of sun.

Everyone enjoying the nice weather. 

The perfect weekend ended with a trip to Atlantic Grill. Though we found it while wandering to the subway, I’m glad we stumbled across this gem! The food was divine, better than anything I have had in NYC thus far. I had the salmon and spinach; Lauren had sushi. Afterwards we split chocolate fondue — yum!

I’m only sorry I didn’t get a picture of the fondue!

Check out my other NYC posts: