Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Real Life Wednesday

1. I'm actually really starting to enjoy/look forward to writing these posts every Wednesday. I like to think in general that my blog is me sharing my heart or fashion/life snippets with y'all...but these posts feel like we're grabbing coffee and talking about life + all the recent craziness.

2. Bastille's song Pompeii is everywhere, but I'm stumbled upon 'Things We Lost in the Fire' and am loving it. Newest wake-up + get-up-for-the-day song.

3. I know, I know I sound like a broken record but how is Easter this week? Um, hello, 2014 just started a few weeks ago. Someone needs to fix the calendar. 

3. Speaking of Easter, I'm ready to go home - we have a lovely long weekend off - and I'm looking forward to hugging my mum, sleeping, having girl time with my sisters, and watching Netflix. Since, you know, I clearly don't watch Netflix at college. Of course not. 

4. Easter is this Sunday which means Lent will be over WHICH MEANS I CAN WEAR MAKEUP AGAIN. And yes, caps were necessary. I'm planning to do a post about giving up makeup for Lent and what a good experience it was overall. I would highly recommend it as a Lenten penance if you even wear makeup a little bit.  I am first and foremost excited to celebrate Jesus's resurrection, of course...but being able to wear makeup is just below it. 

5. The weather is absolutely insane and is worse than a female PMS-ing because it can't decide between cold, rainy days in the 60s or warm, sunny days in the 80s. I just want spring...or consistency. 

6. I'm normally a dark raspberry or red type of girl when it comes to lipstick, but I cannot wait to try a bright, gorgeous, glossy pink lip ala Felicity from Arrow

7. This post about your femininity not being defined by body hair or lack of body hair…give it a read. So powerful and so true. 

8. I'm finally getting new glasses and I'm trying to decide between these from Warby Parker or these from BonLook. Either way, I love the dark tortoise frame color. Decisions, decisions. 

9. Ben Rector got it right - Life sucks sometimes. One of the downsides of blogging is that it can present the appearance of a perfect life or a blogger who is always positive and radiating smiles in pictures. Well, guess what? We all have sucky days where we hate the world, other people, and getting our picture taken. Sometimes I get frustrated with blogs that are like the glossy pages of a magazine: perfect, beautiful, posed. 

That is not this blog. That is not me. I have horrible hair days. I don't shower every day. I have dark under-eye circles. I'm late. I ate a cookie today. I'm grumpy because a project didn't pan out the way I hoped or because I constantly am running into PDA couples. So this is a blog where I occasionally talk about how life sucks or how I'm struggling with something. Because I want this blog to be real + raw + honest, and to show both sides of my life: the pretty, photogenic parts and the not-so-pretty, messy parts.

9. I shot a senior session with one of my dearest friends (one of the first girls I got to know my freshman year) and we went out to dinner afterwards for a very late celebration of our respective birthdays (Feb + March). Drinks included. Since the restaurant we chose didn't have those mango margaritas I'd been craving, I opted for a strawberry mimosa. Which tasted exactly like a strawberry limeade from Sonic. Needless to say, I enjoyed it.

10. The picture above is of a Rocky Road latte on the rocks that I had in Dallas. Must. Remake. Asap.

What's your favorite makeup look to try this spring or latest wake-up morning motivation song? 

Also, I'm extending the blog giveaway through Thursday morning - I won't be posting Friday-Saturday as those are days of penance and prayer, so I'll announce the winner after Easter Sunday! So if you haven't entered, hop on over and leave a comment…if you're a coffee, chocolate + cookies fan. ;)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New York: SoHoing through the Square

 We started off our second day in NYC with some shopping in the Garment District, located in was an absolutely gorgeous day as the weather had cleared up to be sunny + breezy. 
It was perfect walking weather and we took advantage of it to see allllll the shops. 

I highly recommend the Garment District for sight-seeing. We strolled and just enjoyed looking at all the beautiful architecture + huge name brands: Guess, Hugo Boss, Banana Republic, Converse, Steve Madden, Brandy Melville, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada, Marc Jacobs and more.

My fashion-loving heart was in bliss. My younger sister, who shares my knowledge of and excitement for those brands, was equally on cloud nine.

Spotting the Sephora was a highlight, but our real destination was the M.A.C. beauty store. I've been eyeing MAC products for a while now, but due to the price I'd been biding my time before making any purchases - but when in New York...

If you've been reading for a while, then you know I am a sucker for red lipstick. I'm a fan of any color, but red seems to be a favorite. cough. And I'd actually realized a month ago that I'd somehow lost my beloved Rimmel red lipstick (!!) so I was in need of a new tube of red anyways.

The girls at MAC were extremely helpful; although, the poor salesgirl who assisted me almost had a heart attack when I mentioned I never use lip liner when wearing lipstick. After assuring her I did know that it was an absolute must when wearing red lipstick, she recovered. I ended up choosing the classic MAC Red in Satin as well as the liner. I've worn it on Sundays since getting home, and it's absolutely lovely.

Next up was the enormous Scholastic store! As an avid bookworm and writer, I couldn't not go of my dreams would to have a children's/YA book published by them. Who knows? Crazier things have happened. 

The littlest sister immediately wanted a picture with this poster for the Lego Movie...

The inside was a kid's dream...if only every bookstore was like this, right? Including the floating Harry Potter complete with its own mini section of books + paraphernalia. 

Representing Hogwarts Houses with appropriate facial expressions for each respective House. 
Left to right: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin. 

We headed to Little Italy for lunch and stopped at Pomodoro Ristorante Pizza, a little mom + pop place on the corner of Spring St. By then, we were starving, so no food pictures...but it was uh. maz. ing. 

Garlic cheese bread, fresh - and I mean fresh - mozzarella sticks, spaghetti and meatballs, and an out of this world chicken parmigiana. I'm getting hungry just typing this. Mmm. If you are in the Garment District, I highly recommend walking a couple blocks over to Little Italy as they're right next to each other. 

We did some more walking, just soaking in the city...and found the building that puts everyone in an Empire state of mind. 

Then we found ourselves in Times Square!

 I know I said this in the last NY post, but I love, love Times Square at night. The energy + excitement is something special - it feels like the entire city is awake and buzzing around Broadway. 

We finished off the night with drinks at Cafe Bene in Times Square, which is one of my favorite New York spots. Not only do they have an assortment of bakery items, macarons, and chocolate-covered waffles, but they have a fabulous menu of fun drinks. 

We settled on a Red Velvet latte + a Spicy Mayan hot chocolate. Heaven in cups. The red velvet was sweet, warm, and essentially liquid cake while the hot chocolate was rich + frothy with a deep, spicy chocolate taste. The perfect ending to the day. 

Psss, don't forget to enter the blog giveaway here - I'll randomly pick a winner tomorrow morning!

Hope your Holy Week is going well, friends. Easter is almost here! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Five Things {A Giveaway}

1. Things were quiet around here on the blog this weekend because I was in Dallas! We had a school holiday, so the roommate + I road tripped on up to the lovely city of Dallas. There was much coffee, cheese + carbs, and good music. 'Twas glorious. I'll have a post up after I'm done posting the New York pictures.

2. A little while ago, I published my 430th post. Yeow...I've also reached over 83, 000 views (not a lot to some, I know, but I think it's exciting).

4. I've been blogging for eight years. EIGHT YEARS. My first post was summer of 2008, which is truly insane to think about. I feel old. It's amazing how much my blog + writing style has changed over the years...

3. That being said, I believe a giveaway is in order! And because I love you lovely people so much, I want to make it a fun one.

I'll send a box of goodies to the lucky winner, including:
a Raspberry Ghiradelli Chocolate bar,
a Starbucks gift card, 
freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, 
and some fun spring nail polish colors
 (hint: think Essie, Julep, and glitter)!

All you have to do to enter is comment on this post and let me know how you found My Spare Oom +  what you're most excited about for spring! I'll choose a winner on Wednesday morning. 

Have a lovely Sunday and I'll see you tomorrow with part II of the New York trip!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Real Life Wednesday: Crazy Edition

1. This is going to be a sliiiightly more interesting RLW post than usual. I'm running on low sleep + in a "Whoooooooo"  mood. You've been warned.

2. Baby Lips by Maybelline has been on my lips 24/7 the past three days. My mouth decided to randomly and irritatingly become painfully chapped (maybe I'm chugging too much coffee and not enough water?). Anyways, this little blue tube has been a lifesaver.

3. I gave up makeup for Lent after reading Iris's post…and I miss it, y'all. Mostly in the little things like concealer, soft smoky eyeliner or bronzer. On the plus (negative?) side, my skin been surprisingly clear and even...I don't think I've gotten acne once and I even had a girlfriend tell me my skin looked good - after we'd just gone on a power walk. So...not sure how to react to that.

4. The spring food cravings have started: feta cheese in salads, smoothies, fresh crisp greens + vegetables from the farmer's market. And aaaaaall the iced coffee/lattes/anything. I love iced drinks all year round, but they scream 'pretty spring day of sunshine + breeze' to me.

5. I kind of want to dye my hair this color (I know it would work with my skin tone + I'd feel like a mermaid), but I like my current hair color.

Read: I'm terrified of bleach. Maybe in a few years.

6. I wrote a paper on the evolution of feminism, and am writing another on sexism in the workforce that's based on the lyrics of Beyonce's Run the World (Girls). I'm so excited.

7. My itch to create + make art is strong every day, deepening my sense of anticipation for the free time of weekends + summer.

8. I painted my nails at work the other day. At a desk. While wearing a skirt. I felt like there was a neon sign over my head flashing 'Stereotypical secretary.' See #6. How's that for ironic?

9. I created a rap playlist the other night while working in the library. When you're working on a paper past 2 a.m., you start to need music that's a tad more "upbeat" than One Direction or the Katy Perry station. A rap playlist. WHO AM I? 

(Disclaimer: by 'rap' I mean Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Black and Yellow, I Like Big Butts and I Can Not Lie, Starships, etc. Basucally most of the songs from the Evolution of Rap montage performed by the hilarious Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. It's worth watching til the end. Promise.)

10. The roommate and I are taking a spontaneous aka something planned road trip this week (we have a school holiday) and the excitement is REAL. I am a road trip fiend. Driving playlist time!

11. Also, this post about Bali has me craving mango margaritas. Doesn't that sound amazing??

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New York: Museum of Art + Rockefeller Center

Happy Tuesday, friends! I'm finally getting around to posting pictures from spring break in New York - of course, there's so many, I couldn't fit them all in one post. So here are our adventures from day one!
Excited for East Coast schennagins with my mom + little sisters. 

We stayed in New Jersey, an hour commute from New York via bus, so we started the day off in Jersey with some fresh juice + smoothies (my family's been on a juicing kick lately).

Unpictured is my Dunkin Donuts iced mint latte which was gone before I snap a picture. Dunkin Donuts is the main reason I love the East Coast...not gonna lie. They have my heart, forever and ever.

Breakfast with these two cuties! It was so much fun being in New York with my sisters and mom...girls' trip!

This one's a ham, and basically the cutest chica I know. 

New York sky! It was quite grey + rainy, so we headed to the Museum of Modern Art, or the MoMA. 

I was thrilled to see that they had an entire floor dedicated to photography. Camera geek + proud of it. 

We wandered for about two hours through all the floors; I even found an original Andy Warhol.

They even had a special exhibit for the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which was lovely. 

One of my favorite parts of going to a museum in a large, metropolitan city is people-watching...there are always so many stylish people wandering the rooms.

After a few floors, we stumbled upon the Impressionists and the beautiful "Waterlilies" piece by Monet... (!!) My inner art aficionado was dying. DYING. 

My madre and sister in front of a Van Gogh, because they wanted "photographic proof." 

I love, love, love Van Gogh's "Starry Night," so I couldn't not capture it with my camera...although it's certainly nothing compared to the real thing! And all the Doctor Who fans sigh. 

After art-gazing, we hit the streets for some more walking, in search of fresh air + lunch. 

We finally made our way to the gorgeous Rockefeller Plaza! It's probably my favorite "uptown" part of New York out of all the main tourist spots. It's pretty, clean, and surrounded by shops. What's not to love?

Street fashion...I love that New Yorkers dress so fabulously and yet simply. And that blue coat!

 For lunch, we stopped in at Bouchon Bakery, a favorite that my mom + I discovered when we were in NY last year. Not only do they have delicious sandwiches, soups, and a coffee bar, but they make the most delightful macrons.

The most beautiful grilled cheese + tomato soup. Perfect rainy day New York. So, so good. 

 We were starrrrrving by this point + demolished everything in less than 15 minutes. Nothing left but crumbs!

Macarooooooooooooons: raspberry white chocolate, chocolate, and vanilla bean. 

Being modern, 21st century tourists, we needed to charge our iPhones rest our feet, so we ducked into Rockefeller Center and grabbed some Starbucks + free wifi on the bottom level. 

Then we headed back upstairs and across the street to the Lego Store!

The endless tower of every color in the world - and an Olaf!

Words to live by. 

New York is impressive at day, but there's nothing like it at night...there is definitely an excitement and magic in the air. 

Speaking of magic...we quickly headed to the Theater District for another destination. 

We had tickets for Wicked (sadly not the Idina Menzel version), but one that was still amazing, nonetheless. 

 The costumes and the set were absolutely breathtaking and masterful...and the story + songs were perfect.  I am unashamed to say that I cried. Multiple times. It was such a beautiful story, and I related to Elphaba in many, many ways. Any one else feel the same? 

 Also, when she belted Defying Gravity, I was definitely in tears and wanted to cheer and clap and say, "Amen, sister!!" Hello, my name is Grace. I am awkward + proud of it. 

My lovely dates to the theater. 

Of course, after a two and a half hour show, we were ready to eat again (Fact: you are always ready to eat when in New York), and after realizing that the famous Cake Boss Cafe was on our way back to Penn Station, we just had to stop in. 

Both of my little sisters are dedicated fans of Buddy Valastro and have seen every episode of his TLC fact, I've actually spoken to him on the phone! My parents were at my dad's annual business conference and Buddy was one of the celebrity guests. They stood in line for a picture, so my mother called me and put him on the phone!

So there I was standing in the isle of Hobby Lobby, casually chatting with one of America's most famous bakers about how much I enjoyed baking. He was ridiculously nice with a big, booming voice. Just like one of my uncles. So now you know...Buddy and I are actually BFFs. It's totes presh, y'all.

Ahem. Sorry. Stopping now.

We couldn't not order a cannoli and went ahead + tried a few other treats as well. I mean, when it's 11 p.m. and you're in New York, you go big or go home, right? The picture above on the right is of a lobster tail, which was essentially puff pastry filled with thick, sweet custard cream. Mmmmm.

 Every night should end with a peanut butter chocolate cupcake. But really.