Happy Day Songs

8 Mar

Hello Sunshine ūüôā

Finallyyyy a break in the hazy clouds enclosing in on Iowa City. It’s 40 degrees and sunny right now, and it feels like heaven.

Today is one of those days you just want to crack your bedroom window, let some cool air rush in, snuggle under a massive comforter, and bask in the sunlight streaming into your room while listening to the perfect playlist.

Now Playing: Mumford & Sons/I Will Wait Radio on Pandora.
Last 10 songs played:

  • Home by Phillip Phillips
  • It’s Time by Imagine Dragons
  • Blue Eyes by Mika
  • The Boxer by Mumford & Sons
  • Polar Bear by Kyle Andrews
  • You Will Lie by Small Sins
  • The Daze by Backyard Tire Fire
  • Feel the Tide by Mumford & Sons
  • One Day by Jason Reeves
  • We Are Young by Fun

Fun fact: Jason Reeves went to my high school! I was super pumped when his new song popped up!



Mardi Gras: St. Louis Edition, Vol. 2

18 Feb

Wikipedia definition of Mardi Gras: Mardi Gras, french for Fat Tuesday, refers to the practice of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of Lent, which begins the day after on Ash Wednesday. Also known as “Carnival Season”.

Urban Dictionary definition of Mardi Gras: Random hookups, exposures of oneself, and complete and total memory loss and lack of judgement occur on this wonderful day/night. Usually involes beer, floats, music, food, and plastic beads.

A little people watching at a rare clearing in the Soulard district of STL

A little people watching at a rare clearing in the Soulard district of STL

Mardi Gras is one of my favorite “holidays” if you can even call it that. It’s always fun to get away for Mardi Gras–this is the second time I’ll have celebrated in STL. This time of the year is just an excuse for me to reconnect with old friends, drink a bit too much, laugh a lot, and collect beads in the masses.

St. Louis, MO is where I go because it’s a relatively close drive for me (4 hr), and it’s huge down there. St. Louis is the second biggest Mardi Gras celebration in the states, only second to New Orleans. I’m always surprised when people say, “Huh? What? in St. Louis? Why St. Louis?”… The answer is I have no idea why St. Louis, but it’s a friggin’ blast and if you like day-drinking and dancing a little too close with complete strangers, you’ll fit right in. But, this celebration is for all of the ages, there is truly something for everyone. Here was the lineup this year:

  • January 6 – 12th Night
  • January 12- Snowman Softball Tournament
  • January 19- Fifth Third Bank Family Winter Carnival
  • January 25 ‚ÄďWine, Whiskey, & Beer Taste
  • January 26 – Crystal Cajun Cook-Off
  • February 2 ‚Äď 5K Run
  • February 2 & 3 – Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard
  • February 3 – Beggin‚Äô Barkus Pet Parade
  • February 3 – PetSmart Wiener Dog Derby
  • February 9 ‚Äď River City Casino Grand Parade
  • February 9 – Bud Light Party Tent
  • February 9 ‚Äď Bud Light Rockin‚Äô DJ Dance Party
  • February 12 ‚Äď Lumiere Place Fat Tuesday Parade

Hope you make it to St. Louey sometime for Mardi Gras!

Who is Your Sweetheart?

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s day everybody!

No matter who your valentine is; significant other, friend, or mom; I hope you celebrate this day with love and happiness.  Appreciate the love in and around your life!

I celebrated today showin’ some love to my momma by taking her to a movie date (Silver Linings Playbook=a must see). And she returned the favor with an ahmazing gift, perfect in shape, size, fabric, and most of all color on this Feast of Saint Valentine. ūüôā

Who is your V-day sweetie?

Work-friendly Pandora Station

1 Feb

I love listening to music, but I find it difficult to find a good station to jam out to in the workplace.

It’s important to pick something that’s office-friendly, not only because you don’t want your boss coming in while bumping inappropriate beats, but because you need to stay focused on work and not get too caught up in the songs.

I finally found the perfect station on Pandora: Somewhere over the rainbow/What a wonderful world radio. It’s totally office friendly, with soothing songs (think less bump n’ grind, and more slow dance) which allows you to keep on task while enjoying a mix of new and oldies-but-goodies. Hope you like it!

The last 10 songs I listened to:

  • Breakeven by The Script
  • Home by Michael Buble
  • Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
  • Three Little Birds by Bob Marley
  • All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix
  • Put Your Records On by Corinne Bailey Rae
  • The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens
  • Bubbly by Colbie Caillat
  • Look After You by The Fray
  • Everything by Michael Buble

Rihanna for River Island

1 Feb

River Island is a British department store (comparable to TopShop) that has recently partnered with Rihanna to develop her first collection for the company, expected to hit stores Spring 2013.

I love me some River Island! Their items are up to date, but very trendy and funky. I tried clothes, by the bundle, in Liverpool a couple years ago when studying abroad. I purchased some really cool pants that are a cross between skinny jeans and cargo pants that have a draw string waist, and I still adore them to this day! Sadly, no stores in the states yet!

Here’s a video of Rihanna talking about her¬†upcoming¬†line:

Online Shopping: Yay or nay?

1 Feb

I never thought I’d see the day where I’d transition from an in-store shopper to an online shopping enthusiast.

After all, I love the customer-sales clerk interaction, especially at smaller boutiques and specialty stores. Why wouldn’t you? It’s all about you and chances are you’re working with someone who manages or owns the store, who you may already have a relationship with. But. Since I discovered hautelook.com, my life has changed.


All I do is shop online. So, definitely a ‘yay’ for me. ¬†Not that I don’t want to shop in stores anymore, it’s just that I tend to blow all of my hard earned money online before I can set foot in a mall.

Hautelook¬†has the best designer deals for anything and everything you can imagine: women’s clothing, men’s clothing, kids’ clothing, shoes, furniture, jewelry, sun glasses, hats, home decor, makeup and hair products (I’ve even seen guitars for sale). Basically a one stop shop to look ahmazing and accumulate generally cool stuff, too.

Here’s the low down:

  • You have to sign up aka give out your email to use this website, which I’m always skeptical of doing, but hey, it’s a Nordstrom Company so I think you’re good
  • You can invite your friends by email, and after their first purchase, Hautelook gives you $10 credit.. cha-ching!
  • “Events”, or discounted designer brands, only last ¬†few days–so get crackin’
  • You can keep items in your shopping cart for 15 mintues (it has a countdown) until you have to refresh your pick because items are in high demand!
  • They send you emails about new events, which is always a nice pick-me-up during the work day

Let me know if you sign up or if you already have a Hautelook account… tell me how much you love it!

*Tip: don’t allow yourself to feel pressure of the short term events–there are always new ones popping up with bigger and better stuff.

Now don’t go spending all of that money in one place!… oh wait.

Feathers: DIY vs. professional

31 Jan

Is it worth getting feather hair extensions professionally placed over doing it yourself?

In my opinion… no way!

Although salons place the feathers for you and take walk-in appointments, it’s just not worth the money to me. ¬†Depending on where you go, and the individual who places the feathers in your hair, you never know how long the extension will stay put. ¬†It could potentially fall out within a week or two which is not reliable enough for the money. ¬†Most credible salons around the Iowa City area charge around $40 for a three-pack of skinny feathers. ¬†This is why doing it yourself is less risky and more worth it.

                                                                          Photo courtesy of Etsy, Inc.

How to DIY:

First, you will need to purchase feathers. ¬†To shop online for feathers you should visit Artwear Miami. ¬†Here you can find both feather extensions and clips. ¬†Feather clips are great if you don’t want to commit to clamping in a bundle of feathers that may last for a month or two. ¬†So, after you purchase your feathers you will need a hair¬†clamp¬†to keep them secured to your hair. ¬†(Clamps come with feather purchases from Artwear Miami.) ¬†The round, aluminum clamp resembles a bead and is lined with silicone to help it stick in your hair. You’ll want to weave your hair and feathers through the bead and fasten everything together using pliers. ¬†The pliers will squish the bead/clamp flat. ¬†This keeps the hair and feathers tight, and this step alone determines how long they will stay put. (i.e. the tighter you fasten the bead the longer everything will stay secure.)

Where to place your feathers:

When placing your feathers you should consider two things: look and comfort. ¬†In order to come up with the perfect placement you need to have a balance between the two. ¬†If you want it on the outside of your hair, I suggest using a clip that you can take in and out daily. ¬†Otherwise, if you use the semi-permanent clamp extension, I advise you to put it underneath your hair, just behind the ear. ¬†This way you can see the extension when your hair is down or up in a pony tail, and your head won’t ache from the metal bead resting between your head and your pillow.

Here is a great tutorial on youtube that walks you through the steps on how to master the art of putting feather hair extensions in yourself!

Poll: What’s your favorite nail polish brand?

31 Jan

Top 10 Shopping Destinations in Downtown Iowa City

31 Jan

NOTE: These are in alphabetical order and are not rated individually because they all offer something unique!  Click the picture to go to the map and find out where each store is located in relation to each other.

Active Endeavors: located at 138 S Clinton Street. This store is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast, selling winter apparel, hiking boots, sleeping bags, etc. ¬†They carry brands such as Patagonia and The North Face. ¬†(Don’t know which brand one to buy? ¬†Check back in a couple days for my next post comparing Patagonia and TNF jackets.)

InBox: located at 114 S Clinton Street. ¬†The owner buys some of her apparrel from U.K. brands–you know what that means, they are always on top of trends! ¬†Don’t be afraid to try on a fringey shirt or holey leggings, you may surprise yourself and will be ahead of the pack in terms of fashion.

Iowa Book: located at 8 S Clinton Street, right across for the Old Capitol building. Haven’t you heard the commercial? ¬†“Iowa Book… It’s a one of a kind book store.” ¬†Yes, yes it is–tons of Hawkeye gear including the Victoria’s Secret line.

Catherine’s: located at 7 S Dubuque Street. ¬†Catherine’s is a bit more pricey than the rest of these stores so I’d only go here for nice quality designer jean–they carry 7 For All Mankind, J Brand and Hudson Jeans.

Cheap & Chic: located at 105 S Dubuque Street. ¬†This store is actually owned by the same people who run Catherine’s just down the block. ¬†Always check this place before Catherine’s as they sell some of the same things here…FOR LESS! ¬†Definitely a place to go for a reasonably priced cute shirt.

Dulcinea: located at 2 S. Dubuque Street. ¬†This corner store always has a variety of dresses in stock. ¬†If you’re looking for anything from a babydoll dress to a floor length dress check here.

Lorenz 2.0: located at 109 S. Linn Street. Two words: Shoes galore.

Raygun: located in the pedestrian mall at 103 East College Street, this funky shop makes funny T-shirts featuring Iowa. ¬†For example a popular one is: “Iowa City: all of the creativity went into its name. ¬†You can also have them print your own designs.

Silver Spider: located in the Old Capitol Mall at 201 S Clinton Street #154. ¬†JEWELRY JEWELRY JEWELRY! This place has it ALL. ¬†No joke, anything you could want is at this place. ¬†And don’t forget to add an inappropriate magnet to your bag when you go to check out.

Textiles: located in the Pedestrian Mall at 109 S Dubuque Street. This store targets a bit of an older crowed i.e. not college students, more like college students’ moms. ¬†But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pop in to check out their Hobo International handbags and belts, they also always have a huge stock of scarves!

Hi, I’m Laurie!

30 Jan

Thanks for checking out my blog! I decided to create “Laurie and things” to share information I think is useful for others seeking:

  • hair and beauty tips
  • fashion comparisons, tips and advice
  • and anything else that I do or think is interesting

Hope you like it!