Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Music Is My Boyfriend

I have a routine when it comes to music. It's not intentional, but every time I fall into a similar pattern with my song preferences.

this is how excited i am about awesome new songs.

Ever since I discovered the awesomeness that is Spotify, I do this:

1. Hear a song on the radio, TV, someone humming it, whatever. Obsess over what song it is.
2. Use every method of research possible to determine said song. Otherwise known as Google.
3. Find song. Feel the glory of victory.
4. Add song to "new" list on Spotify. Wonder why, after however many months on this thing, I still have only two playlists.
5. Stop thinking about #4. Song is so amazing, forget everything that exists.
6. Listen to whatever the three newest songs are on over and over again. Take longer doing everything because I keep clicking back on the first song.
7. Get sick of an occasional song here and there. Instead of removing it from the playlist, move it to spot further back as to not contaminate cool new songs with old boring song. BOO BORING SONG.
8. Repeat 1-7 a few thousand times.
9. Scroll through mile long playlist and discover omg all those songs I used to be obsessed with! Play them again for nostalgia.
10. Feel bad for songs I discarded. Immediately pay for them on iTunes so I can redeem myself and listen to them forever.

I mean, that is just not normal. I can see what other people are doing on Spotify (it's one of those amazing Internet tools that allows you to stalk mercilessly without punishment by law) and it doesn't appear anyone else has listened to the same songs forty seven times in a twenty four hour period. I can't explain it, but it's what I do.

I listen to music constantly. In the morning when I wake up and I'm getting ready, driving in my car, working out once every three months. I barely ever listen to the radio anymore because people I hate morning talk and commercials are the bane of my existence. I've used some form of iTunes/Pandora/Spotify/Sattelite radio for the past four years or so, and as you can see by my previously mapped out erratic behavior, it's an obsession.

These are the current tracks that have my brain (and my playlist) spinning:

"Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton
I don't know if I can even count how many times I have played this song since I first heard it when the guys were guests on SNL. Like I am so obsessed with this song I don't know if I can even put it into words. Like so many others, I was lured in by the catchiness of "Thrift Shop," but I have secretly wondered whether or not I actually like it. I really hope that things work out for them, because after seeing them perform and then downloading half of their album, I can see they are so much more than a one-hit wonder. I just heard this song in a new Windows commercial the other day too, so hopefully it'll catch on. If you're not a bigot, you should download "Same Love" and revel in the fact that this could be a refreshing change in hip hop that will hopefully catch on. 

"Carry On" by fun.
I may have mentioned before that I caught this video on TV one day and started sobbing. I enjoy fun., but even their best songs have become a little repetitive once you've heard them 27,000 times. I thought "Some Nights" would be my jam 4-eva and then Kiss 108 murdered it into the ground. I am not yet sick of "Carry On," so for now, this one has a pretty secure spot on my list. Plus I live on an island now that only gets about four radio stations, so I am totally in control of my musical future.

"Anything Could Happen" by Ellie Goulding
So probably the only good thing that came out of The X Factor (besides this) was that I discovered this song because that girl group called 5th Harmony that ironically, could not harmonize, sang this every chance they got. Once I got around to hearing the real version, I was like, this song is super annoying. But I kept it on my list and the more I heard it, the more it started to grow on me. I will admit, some of the lyrics I just don't understand, but Ellie Goulding is just like a cute little water nymph and this song perfectly compliments her unique sounding voice, that I can only describe as one of the pre-pubescent kids from Oliver! that smokes a pack a day. 

"Hold On" by Alabama Shakes
Okay, I'm not going to lie. The first time I saw this band was at the Grammys, and all I could think is, "why is that girl dressed so bad?" She looked like an extra from O Brother, Where Art Thou? Then I saw them on SNL, and thought the exact same thing. But I also had a much better opportunity to listen to the band and I realized how well this chick can sing. I don't even know if I would call it singing, perhaps it's more like growling. Whatever it is, she has amazing stage presence and totally reminds me of Janis Joplin, but in a way that I actually like her. 

"My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up)" by Fallout Boy
I am super excited FOB is coming out with new material. I don't care what people say about them, I will always have a soft spot for them since From Under the Cork Tree was basically the soundtrack to my junior year of college. This is kind of a different sound for them (but with a hint of 80's metal flair?), but the lyrics seem very true to how I remember them. It took me a little while to get into, as it's definitely a little more rock than I normally listen to, but it's a good "kick in doors song," as Steve would say. Unfortunately, they started using this track in the ads for Revolution, which is totally appropriate but no less irritating. 

"Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons
I admit, a lot of the songs that come on my radar are from really short snippets that I'll hear in an ad or in the background of a really sad scene on Grey's Anatomy. This one was totally off the trailer for that new movie The Host, which I have absolutely no interest in but I was like holy crap what is that song I love it what is it called how do I find it?! After searching to no avail, I started clicking on random songs in the Top Lists section of Spotify, and there it was- at the number two spot! Anyway, it's really good, but also maybe another one you have to be in the right mindset to listen to. 

"Next to Me" by Emeli Sande
The only thing I know about this chick is that she's British and I love this song. I mean, that's enough, right? As much as I love a good bitter revenge song, I like that this song is about a guy that is just a good guy.It's kind of refreshing. Plus this song and her voice is so soulful, you kind of get chills because you can just tell how awesome she is. I hope she has other songs that make it out there because I have a feeling she is kind of amazing. 

"With Ur Love" by Cher Lloyd
Cher Lloyd is like a Spice Girl mated with a Jack Russell terrier. She's like sort of annoying but also okay in small doses. I don't know why I like this song but I do. I don't have anything else to say about it. It's just fun. 

So that's it, momentarily. Well, that and about ninety five Glee tracks. 

~L   

Monday, March 25, 2013

You Are the Dancing Queen

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing Christine and Joe's tenth anniversary party. But this wasn't just any party, as they chose to celebrate with a prom-themed bash- a promiversary!

There are many many many more images beyond this, which I'm still working through a bit. However I wanted to showcase a few shots at a time, starting with a little getting ready session before the party. 

I met up with Christine and her sister for some pampering at Firefly Salon in Derry, NH (my hometown!). It almost felt like we were getting ready for a wedding!

perfect prom 'do + wedding day tiara

what did we do before pinterest?

for extra fancies, falsies are necessary

a very detailed replica of christine's wedding day style

Stay tuned for more photos from the party this week!

~L

Friday, March 22, 2013

Don't Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

So since I've started working a normal job and I'm essentially living alone with no access to DVR, I have been forced to try to remember my very heavy TV schedule manually. Like with my brain. I don't even know what days my shows are on anymore.

Except Glee. How could I ever forget my favorite show about high school kids that periodically break into song in the hallways and then continue that behavior well past the age where it's adorable?

Well while I was watching Glee in real time WITH commercials, my laptop died. Like just gave up living, right there in my lap, like it was a big budget wartime drama. We still have not determined a diagnosis. Your prayers are appreciated.

Anyway, I started my traditional live FB statuses and ended up doing a full on recap- or Gleecap, rather- in the Notes app on my iPhone. So here we are.

The theme of this episode (because apparently a regular story line just isn't enough for a show anymore) was Guilty Pleasures. The brainchild of a sort of uncomfortable bond between Sam and Blaine, it started with what I can only describe as the gayest thing I've ever seen on this show, and that's saying something. Dancing around in their sherbet colored short shorts singing "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" was not not my favorite number. I don't mind a little cheese but this excuse of a guilty pleasure for Blaine won't be making an appearance on my Spotify player anytime soon.

Despite being thousands of miles away, our NYC Gleeks were also discovering some deep dark little secrets about each other as well. When they zoomed in on Kurt pulling a box out from under his bed, I thought of a million things that could be in there other than... a man shaped body pillow. Really, Kurt? Is this how low we've sunk? You achieved your dream of getting into NYADA and living in a place where ascots and oversized brooches are completely acceptable for men and this is what you need to feel complete?

Rachel and Santana, in a fit of schoolgirl mischief, busted in and discovered Kurt's super creepy bedtime accessory. All I can say is that these girls dress way sexier than I would If I lived with any of my gay friends.

We then segued to Sam continuing his what I had hoped was a joke proclamation of his love for Barry Manilow with a ruffled sleeve rendition of "Cope Cabana." I know Glee has never been particularly accurate but the fact that they're trying to convince me that a 15 year old in 2013 not only knows who he is but has many friends who are also fans is just ridiculous. The saving grace of this episode was the rumblings of a Spice Girl number, which these kids also shouldn't be familiar with but I was so freaking excited I didn't care. Jake threatened to derail this amazingness by performing a Chris Brown song, which is apparently THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN IN GLEE EVER according to the girl's reactions. (My favorite line was when Brittany brought up the undeserving window that found itself targeted by Brown's anger.)

The girls then got their scary on as they lectured Jake about he whose music shall not be named, where he actually made some good points that I ignored because I really do want Chris Brown to walk off the earth, and he could take Riri with him for all I care. Props to Brittany for defending Brit Brit til the end.

Kurt decided to spread the creepiness and rewarded Rachel and Santana for their invasion of privacy with their own politically correct body pillows. Santana then continued her tour of awfulness by going against Kurt's wishes and telling Rachel the truth about Brody, which was weird and unprovoked.

Blaine then gave a stunning unautotuned rendition of "Take A Look At Me Now," which like his piano bar "Teenage Dream" number earlier this season I really enjoyed. I wish they would do more unplugged performances where you can actually feel the emotions behind the barrage of musical numbers.

Finally, it was time for the Spice Girls number. All I can say is, Marley- you and that flat iron need to be BFF's for life. Ugh, and could Kitty's voice be any more annoying? She almost ruined the number for me especially since she was elected Ginger Spice, who was always my favorite. These girls obviously have never actually caught up on any real Spiceworld footage, and this was one of the most lackluster performances all season. I mean, Tina was basically asleep the entire time. And Jake turned the Gleeks around with a performance by... a song by a different but equally morally questionable Brown. In his signature Kermit voice, he warbled his way through "My Prerogative," which only brought me back to Britney all over again.

And the hits just kept on coming. Small Wonder?! Another reference none of these kids would understand. I was alive then and I barely remember the premise of that show. Then Jake and Marley made out and everyone was over it.

The episode picked up for me when Rachel confronted Broday with her proclamation that he was "a MALE HOOKER" and she shoved money at him. She finally stopped blubbering around and grew a pair. She just admitted being in love with someone else and it's over! But first, one last slow mo duet! A confusing, weird duet featuring running, evening wear, and Rachel and Brody taking turns scream singing while the other one was in bed. Huh?

Back at McKinley, Sam was surprisingly okay with Blaine's crush on him and they decided that they stay best buddies. It was another lovefest back in NYC too, as Rachel forgave all of Santana's highly inappropriate behavior just because she happen to expose that whole gigilo thing. She moved on quickly and pronounced she would nurse her broken heart by dating older guys. Right, because that worked out SO well. As if my nightmares hadn't become real enough, they broke into a chorus of "Mama Mia"... WITH THE BOYFRIEND PILLOWS. If Steve was here he would say the shark just got jumped. Not my favorite episode.

But who am I kidding, I'll be back next week. See you then!

~L

Monday, March 18, 2013

What a Way to Make a Living

First days are tough. Especially if you haven't had a first day experience in four and a half years. And when you know your husband has to leave you on an island in twelve hours.

Okay, so I'm just being dramatic. All in all, it was a pretty good day!

After arriving last night and unpacking every suitcase that has ever existed between mine and Steve's families, I sat there staring at my rolling rack (oh yes, there's a rolling rack. And a small closet. And three dressers. But I digress). I was completely overwhelmed with figuring out what I was going to wear the next day. For those of you who are new around here, in my former job, I was under a strict dress code of:

A.) Black bottoms or a black dress
B.) A solid colored top
C.) A black outer layer (cardigan, blazer, vest, etc.)
D.) Black closed toed shoes

Are we seeing a theme here? 

Even as I went to bed, I had no idea what I was going to show up at my new job in on my first day. I figured that better I get some sleep, and I would just wake up the following day and a gang of singing cartoon birds would select something fabulous for me. 

via

When that didn't happen, I had to figure something out on my own. Thanks again for the unrealistic expectations, Disney. 

I finally had the chance to dress like myself. And they say you only have one chance to make a good first impression. But who was I without the constraints of funeral wear? What outfit represented me and my personality, but was also professional? How does one say, "I'm super fun and you probably want to be friends with me, but I'm also way smart, reliable and completely and utterly perfect for this job that you took kind of a chance on hiring me for?"

I'm sure J.Crew has fourteen pages in an upcoming catalogue devoted to just that. But me? I was on my own. After much deliberation and continuously suppressing my desire to just wear everything I own like Joey did to Chandler that time on Friends, I settled on what I thought was the right amount of details to rock on a first day. Polka dots + Pink + Unique Jewelry + Interesting Details + Resoled Comfortable Heels = First Day on the Job Lindsay. 

working girl... minus the tennis shoes, perm & horrible plastic surgery.

I purchased this skirt at Boutique last July when I visited Stowe, VT for the first time with Steve's family. I bought it with the hope that someday I would have a job where I could actually wear it. As of this morning, it still had the tags on it. However, due to the black polka dots, I figured I would have to work in at least a solid black top to balance out the whimsy of the skirt. Because I couldn't stand the thought of wearing anything boring, I chose this button down from New York & Company with an asymmetrical origami detail on the front and layered a hot pink blazer over it (also from NY&Co, but not intentional). Being that I was headed to a new work environment, I had no clue what to expect on the temperature front, so layering seemed necessary. 

Because it's still March and not almost spring as the calendar is trying to convince me, tights were a must, as were comfortable shoes, because get this people- I am walking to work. I know. The concept boggles my mind. This is something I never imagined I would do in my life. I have never lived somewhere where this was even a hint of a possibility. I bought these Sofft brand shoes from The Walking Company a few years ago during a pretty sweet sale (they're no longer available but I would also wear these). I wore them until they fell apart because I could actually handle standing in a retail environment for eight hours in them. I brought them to a cobbler, who to my horror, told me that they were unfixable. I brought them to another cobbler- a real one, like an old Russian man whose hands were permanently stained with black shoe polish and cried until he told me they could be fixed. He resoled them, and all was right again. They don't photograph great, but they have a fun little cutout design on the top and they remind me of character shoes from my days in musical theatre in my recurring role of Second Girl from the Left. I finished it off with my necklace made from an old typewriter key and a bag from, where else? NY&Co (gimme a break, they had a lot of sales there on "work things"). 

I packed everything necessary to get me through life in a matter of a day, so needless to say, there were some things I forgot. Like an actual lunch bag (which I own three of). Steve got up before I was even awake and bought a pack of brown paper bags. If that weren't bad enough, I made him take my picture when I got to work. I know, I can't help it. 

this photo op was voluntary. for me, not steve. duh.

It gets worse. They gave me a key to the office and I accidentally put it on my keychain. Which I gave to Steve so he could drive my car around. So there I was, standing outside on my first day, locked out, with a brown paper bag lunch. Luckily, I was quickly let in by one of my new coworkers and saved the embarrassment of having to call inside to ask them to come get me, or to run screaming down the street as Steve pulled away. 

Upon entering, I was shown to my new desk. My OWN desk! I've been sharing a desk with 1-2 people my entire professional life. 

they like me! they really like me! ...hopefully.

Everyone was super nice, and aside from a few technical errors (like needing an entirely new monitor), it was a great first day. Definitely a huge adjustment from my last position, where I was basically told what to wear, when to eat, when to sit, where not to stand, etc. I didn't even know what to do when I started to feel hungry. Do I ask if I can go to lunch? It wasn't on my schedule. Does that mean it doesn't exist? No, that's impossible and probably illegal. Do I just say I'm going? How long to I know to go for? And most importantly, who can I ask all these questions of and still convince them to be my friend?!

Luckily, I found this in my brown paper bag and it helped me to calm down a bit:

nautical stationary & mini eggs? now that's a keeper.

I know, I'm sorry. The cuteness is almost nauseating. But I cannot stress to you enough what an amazing support my husband has been through this whole thing. From encouraging me to accept a job that was something I really wanted to do but kind of required rearranging our entire lives, to listening to me cry when I didn't know if I made the right decision, from forcing me to pack no matter how much I resisted, to going to the grocery store FOUR TIMES today just to make sure I would have everything I needed while he was gone, including a delicious dinner of cod and homemade french fries that was ready when I got home at 5:30. 5:30!!! I don't remember the last time I got home from work before 7:00. I mean what do people even do with the rest of their evening before they go to bed?! For me, the answer was hang up more clothes and give myself a mani. But even that only took like an hour. I need some new hobbies.

Taking him back to the boat was crushing, and realizing I would be on my own for over a week (and possibly longer after that, as he is still looking for jobs on the island/packing up our apartment) was scary for me. I held back tears as I drove back from the ferry drop off, telling myself that I was going to be strong and independent, and what's a week and half in the grand scheme of things? We have to spend the rest of our lives together, anyway. NBD, right? 

Until I got back to my room and found this:

heart.stab.

He said he was proud of me, that he loved me, and that he would find a way to make sure we were together again soon. I mean, it was like Nicholas Sparks-worthy. And for me? The girl who doesn't cook, cannot dance, leaves her clothes in piles on the floor and watches hours of bad reality TV. If that's not motivation to succeed, I don't know what is. 

So here's to what is hopefully a successful day #2, which hopefully turns into more days, then months, and so on. And a job for Steve. And an apartment on the island. And world peace, since we're asking. 

~L

PS- I am in no way getting anything from any of these companies that I have mentioned or linked in this post. I just like to share things I like. However, if they want to dress me I wouldn't be offended. I just wanted to share where I scored some of my pieces. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

There Once Was a Girl Who Went to Nantucket

I guess it's finally time to divulge the worst kept secret ever. And no, I'm not pregnant, so please stop asking. 

I start a new job on Monday. After over a year of searching, trying to decide what the next step would be, going on interviews for positions that never came to fruition, and having multiple quarter life crisis moments, I am now going to be working a job that is actually in the field in which I studied in college and GASP- are actually passionate about.

I should probably also mention that I'm moving to an island. Yep, so there's that too. 

It wasn't so much a secret, it was more that I was trying to tell everyone in my life my news before broadcasting it on the Internet, which I know is weird, because I basically live my life via various social media outlets. And even now, I know I still haven't individually spoken to everyone that I wanted to. Since finishing up my last day at my previous job yesterday, the outpouring of well wishes on Facebook finally gave way to the fact that a change was a coming for me. Also I have been told by multiple people that I never made an official statement via blog, so I figured this would be as good a time as any.

I have spent the last four and a half years working in a high end children's retail store. When I started, it was my first "real" job out of college. While I always had dreams of writing, after almost a year of searching and not getting anywhere (this was 2007-2008, so it wasn't like any newspapers or magazines were beating down my door or anything), I was discouraged, living at home, working another season at my summer job and felt the strain of looming college loan bills approaching. I had never thought about working in retail after doing some part time stints in high school and college, and certainly didn't consider that as one of my aspirations (as I discovered that most people that end up working in retail never did either) until a friend had told me about a new store opening that as a child I had been a fan of myself. I let myself be excited for any opportunity to in which someone wanted to hire me, with benefits, and I justified taking the position, assuring myself that I was working the events side of it, and not just straight retail. 

Cut to four and a half years later, and I'm still there. In my first few years there, everything was an adventure. Opening a store of that magnitude was really exciting to me, and practically everyone working there was nice and friendly and some of us became very close, people that I consider great friends of mine now, people that I would want to hang out with socially as well. But when I started, I was twenty two. At the time it didn't seem like a big deal to work every weekend, every holiday, to stand all day and serve people, some who were pleasant and many who weren't. As far as retail goes, it was a great gig and definitely not your average "mall" job. I found that as I got older, I felt more tired at the end of the day, more frustrated that I couldn't spend time with my friends and family that didn't understand why I couldn't do something on a Saturday without at least six weeks notice, and just overall burnt out on dealing with consumers and their rainbow of emotions on any given day. I had worked in service based industries my entire life- from photographing weddings with my dad starting at age ten, to babysitting, to hostessing at a restaurant, to working at an ice cream shop to event planning. I  understood that the customer was always right. But after a while, I was exhausted, and I found myself no longer being excited to come to work everyday, and I just started to wonder if it was worth it at age twenty seven to already have that chip on your shoulder, to be unhappy in the place where you spent the majority of your time.

The only thing that got me through some of the times where I felt awful (besides the fact that I always felt I should be happy I even had a job) were the amazing people that I had come to know as my friends, but who were actually my coworkers. It's certain people that probably made me want to stay there as long as I did, and it's those same people that made it so hard to leave. Upon being offered my new job, I grappled for days with my husband about whether or not it would be the right decision to take it. There were some days where I was totally gun ho and others where I cried to him in our kitchen, not knowing if I was going to ruin our lives or not. In the end, we both decided that I would regret it if I didn't take the chance on doing a job that I could actually love just because I was afraid to change, to step outside my comfort zone, to move out of the first home we had together, to live thirty miles away from the continental U.S. 

By nature, I am not so much a risk taker. I was not a rebellious child. I never felt tempted by doing anything that I wasn't supposed to. I've always internalized every decision, going over things a million times in my head and listening to my conscience of whether or not I should do something. The last time I ever felt torn between two decisions was when I decided to transfer out of the first college I went to to attend a bigger school closer to home. I remember being unhappy with the direction my education was taking, but not wanting to leave all the friends I had made. I remember the panic of having to tell them that I was leaving, and then feeling such relief when it was over and they all supported my decision. I was always afraid that I would make the wrong decision and somehow derail what could have been the life plan that I was supposed to take. At nineteen, deciding to leave Cazenovia and go to Plymouth State was the hardest thing I had ever had to consider, and it ended up being the best. Had it not been for me following my gut, I would have never met Steve on my first day on campus at PSU. I never would have become an editor for The Clock, which led to my writing celebrity gossip column, which led me to blogging, which led me to meeting other amazing Internet friends, and has now led me to a new career combining many of my interests into one position. 

I've never been much for religion. I don't really believe that there is one plan that is set for you for your entire life, being controlled by God, baby Jesus, Allah or whoever else you pray to. You are in control of what happens to you, and only you can decide what you think the right path is for yourself. And sure, sometimes you're going to make the wrong decisions. I feel like that's just part of it. But if you don't even try, then what's the point?

So that's what I'm doing. I am trying. I am making multiple decisions in a very short time span. I ended my job yesterday. I start my new job as a Communications Coordinator on Monday. I am packing up only my necessities to move to the island on Sunday. That leaves me today to pack everything. And of course, I'm blogging right now instead of packing because it's the first moment I've had in weeks to be able to collect my thoughts about what is going on in my life right now. 

Saying goodbye yesterday was really hard. I intentionally wore no eye makeup because I knew it wouldn't make it through the day still in tact. The outpouring of cake and gifts and cards and well wishes from all my coworkers was astonishing. When you're unhappy, it's so easy to focus on the negative and doubt your abilities and think that what you do doesn't matter. If I ever had any doubts, those people assured me that I had made a difference being there- what better compliment is there than that? I cried not because I was sad to be leaving- I had been trying for a very long time to enter a new career field, and am grateful to have a new job and excited to start- but because it was so hard to imagine not seeing the people that I had come to really like. I cried half the car ride home. Then I felt relieved that it was over, because I had been dreading saying goodbye ever since I thought about leaving someday. Then I woke up today and cried again after seeing this music video on TV:


Because sometimes, a song will perfectly describe the way you are feeling in a way that you just can't.

So that's where we're at. I'm sorry I can't think of anything humorous to say, and there's no appropriate way to work in a Kardashian reference. Hopefully now that I'll have a more regular work schedule (and will be spending a little bit more time alone before Steve is able to join me on the island) I will finally be able to focus the attention that I've always wanted to on this blog. Thank you to everyone for your support, and hopefully there are many more good things to come for us in the future. 

Until then, carry on, carry on.

~L 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

One Oscar Day More

My love/hate relationship with Oscar fashion runs deep. It's the biggest night in the entertainment industry, and I'm a firm believer that one should pull out all the stops, whether you're nominated, presenting, or even if you're just one of those people with the head sets that have been doomed to attend to starlet's trains all evening. You just have to work it, and there is no excuse for looking like a hot mess. 

But that didn't stop some people for making a mockery of the holy grail that is the red carpet. A few others managed to respect the sanctimony of such an event. Let's jump right in, shall we?

charlize theron, sally field, jane fonda, reese witherspoon

These four women were some of my favorites of the evening- and notice that not one of them is a young "up and coming" starlet. These ladies have been around the block and know not only what works for them, but what is appropriate for an event of this level. I find it ironic that Charlize Theron showed up in almost a carbon copy of what Anne Hathaway wore to the Golden Globes and rocked it ten times harder than she ever could (and with shorter hair!). I thought she looked like a svelte beautiful robot. Like she's gorgeous but I'm also a little afraid of her, and I like that juxtaposition. And Sally Field- who knew it was possible to get cuter with age? I loved the color of her gown, and the fact that it had sleeves but it wasn't matronly. This was the perfect dress for her in every way. Which brings me to Jane Fonda. This dress looked like it is straight out of the Dynasty collection from Big Bird. But I effin love it. I think on anyone else it would have looked like a Liberache cast off, but she carries herself so well that it just worked for her. And last but not least, my girl Reese Witherspoon can almost do no wrong in my book. I always think back to that vintage Christian Dior bejeweled gown she wore when she won her Oscar as like the epitome of how a Best Actress winner is supposed to look. I don't normally love black and blue together, but I'm glad that she worked a new color. Plus her hair was so good she could have worn a 90's prom gown with super unflattering darts (side eye... we'll get to that later) and she still would have looked like a million bucks. Congrats, ladies. You are all winners to me.

naomi watts, halle berry, jennifer hudson

It's no secret that I love sparkles at award shows. I think when in doubt, just throw some glitter on and call it a day. And I'm not talking a few rhinestones- all over bejeweled-ness is the way to go. It took a little while to grow on me, but I thought Naomi Watts dress was gorgeous. Like a sexy female Terminator. It was different but not ridiculous. Halle Berry is another one that I didn't have an immediate positive reaction to. I get why people were comparing her to the likes of Beetlejuice. But upon closer look, I realized how ridiculously well made this dress is and what it did for her body (not that she needs that much assistance there). Plus the girl is taking a risk- rocking those beaded stripes and some serious shoulder pads? I'd rather see that than some of the bores that show up in the same thing year after year. Jennifer Hudson is definitely not boring in this Avatar inspired number, but I think it looked really cool and fun on her. It's almost like liquid glitter was coating her entire body. It can be difficult to make sleeves look sexy, but she owned that extra fabric. Plus she's got bonus points for her awesome performance look too. 

jennifer aniston, helen hunt, jennifer garner

Do you think Jennifer Aniston even has a hairdresser anymore? I swear I cannot tell you the last time I saw her wearing even so much as a bobby pin. I've always thought that she played it too safe, consistently only donning the colors black, navy and white. I should have been excited by this red flouncy ball gown, but let's just call it like it is. She may have been America's sweetheart, but she's forty four. This dress was not appropriate for her. Helen Hunt is another actress that seems to be getting better with age, and as a crazy bargain hunter I was of course excited to hear that her navy dress was from H&M (you know, with thousands of dollars in jewels adorning it). But it's no matter how much your dress costs if it's a wrinkled mess when you get out of the limo. I was also a little underwhelmed with Jennifer Garner's dress. I get that she's just a plus one in this situation, but the front of her gown was so plain and then just EXPLODED in the back. I wish that some of the ruffle detailing could have been more visible in the front. I think the color was fabulous and the necklace too. But her hair is so limp looking, and she always has those curly pieces just hanging in her face, which is very 90's to me (tendril curls and an updo were all the rage at 8th grade graduation).

zoe saldana, quvenzhané wallis, kerry washington

You know that expression that before you leave the house, you should take off one thing? Clearly Zoe Saldana has never heard that. She could have definitely done without a few of the details adorning her gown. Between the choppy crumbcatcher, the belt, the thingy on the belt, and the ombre layers of fabric, there's just a few too many things happening here. And is this purple? Or is it gray? Purpley gray? Like, what color is that? Well there's no denying what Quvenzhan√© Wallis was wearing, and that was an effin dog purse. I'm sorry, I can't. I don't care if she is nine years old- some adult in her life should have told her that this it was not an appropriate accessory for a nominee at the Academy Awards. I mean, I wanted to wear a tiara to my middle school graduation ceremony and my mother put the kabosh on that one but quick. I was crushed- until many years later when I realized that there should be a legal ban on wearing tiaras in public unless you are in fact, a member of the royal family or winning a pageant. Parents just don't understand, but unfortunately, they're usually right. Kerry Washington got major props from me for working this kind of cherry colored sheath, but I'm still a bit conflicted about the top. I'm not a huge fan of paillettes, or the poor man's sequin as I know them, and I just don't understand why they didn't come all the way down to the belt. What was the purpose of that extra half a square of embellishment in the front? 

octavia spencer, jennifer lawrence, kristen stewart

This is where things started to get a little iffy for me. Octavia Spencer was fresh off a win from last year, so as far as I am concerned, she should still have enough pull in the industry to get a good dress. I thought she was the only one that this beigy peach color kind of looked good on, but that thing around her shoulders was so, so stupid. It took it to a Disney princess dress up costume in five seconds flat. Loved the bangs, though. It seems that the true princess of the evening was Jennifer Lawrence. She's like the hottest young thing in Hollywood, a two time nominee (and now winner) at age 22, and already starring in one the industry's biggest franchises. I know that she's a spokesperson for Dior, so it was no surprise for her to show up in another haute couture creation. But I'm sorry, I did not love this. I thought she looked like she belonged on top of a wedding cake. The fabric I'm sure is exquisite, but to me it reminded me of a rental table cloth at a function hall. The backwards necklace thing has to be my most hated trend of the year. And I hate hate hate the explosion of fabric. I'm all for a good mermaid, but this drop waist/trumpet skirt combo just hit in all the wrong places. There's too much of it- it looked like she was sitting atop the fabric as it carried her across the carpet. Someone who could have used some carrying was the always lovely Kristen Stewart. Did I say lovely? I meant miserable. For anyone else you could be like, "oh she cut her foot, she doesn't feel well..." NO. She always looks like this, so therefore, no sympathy from me. This girl just cannot wear a dress, and she definitely cannot wear a girly dress. But would it have killed her to brush her hair

adele, salma hayek, samantha barks

Have I ever mentioned that I'm kinda bored over black dresses at award shows? Yawn. Poor Adele. I think we scared her with all the talk about her couch dress at the Grammys, and girl reverted right back to her old ways. She's so powerful and beautiful and she always shows up looking like such a marm. I thought she looked much better when she let her hair down a little while performing. Salma Hayek couldn't have let anything down, as she was literally being strangled by her dress. Also, did velvet come back and I missed it?! Whatever, I don't even care. I have no desire to revisit the many dresses of childhood Christmas' past. The last of our ladies in black is newcomer Samantha Barks, who made the stage to screen jump in Les Mis. Too bad I was more intrigued by her performance as Eponine than I was of her gown choice. I didn't like it when Katharine McPhee wore it at the Globes, and I'm still bored with it now. Deep cleavage does not an interesting dress make. 

amy adams, jessica chastain, amanda seyfried

I want to start off by saying that I am in full support of owning your paleness and embracing it. I think it's awesome and we should all wear sunscreen everyday, like that weird talking song that came out in 1999 said we should. But wearing a dress that is equally unsaturated with color doesn't seem like it would do you any favors. The first thing I thought when I saw Amy Adams was that she looked drained, and I'm referring to both her hair and the dress. I liked her hair when it was a more red red, and this dress to me looks like it was supposed to be more of an ocean blue and it got run through the wash too many times. Same thing for Jessica Chastain. If there was a paint chip called "Drainwater," this is what color it would be. I cannot believe the glowing reviews she is getting for this. I do think the cut and style looked beautiful on her, especially compared to that loosey goosey number from the Golden Globes, but I think she looked like something that got left out overnight to rust. The nondescript color trend continues with Amanda Seyfried's high necked number. I swear, this had to be one of my least favorite trends. Also, I'm pretty sure she wore a completely similar dress at the Golden Globes- same drab color, same restricted airway passage.  

catherine zeta-jones, norah jones, renee zellweger, nicole kidman

So metallic is being touted as one of the major trends of the evening. As much as I love a little sparkle, I think there's a difference between good bead work and a Vegas-style suit of armor. Catherine Zeta-Jones looked like she was preparing for a role in a highly stylized epic about the Trojan war. Norah Jones... oh God, I don't even know. I was so distracted by her ridiculous bouffant to even notice what she was wearing. When I held my hand over her head, the dress turned out to be just as bad. Renee Zellweger showed up in a dress that I swear had been hidden in her closet since Jerry Maguire- serious, where did all these high-necked halters come from all of a sudden?! And as for Nicole Kidman... well I guess she didn't look terrible, but I think the dress would have looked much better with silver accents as opposed to copper. Also, if you look closely enough, the design on the bottom is a bunch of little spirals just like dumped all over her. It looks like she dropped a bowl of SpaghettiO's on herself. 

melissa mccarthy, anne hathaway, brandi glanville

And at long last, we've arrived. My worst of the worst. I don't want to hate what Melissa McCarthy was wearing, but I just did. Her hair was terrible and her dress looked like it was made out of a jersey knit sweatshirt material. It's just so, so unfortunate. You want to see someone like her look amazing, and she always makes me like, frightened when I see her. Speaking of being frightened, {insert Anne Hathaway nipple joke here}. I mean, what a clown. I can't believe she knew (say what you will- when you looked at her face all night, you could just tell, she knew) she was going to win an Oscar and she showed up in this. It's just like... ah... I have no words. Like I'm literally angry inside looking at this dress. The halter! The color! THE DARTS! And then to throw on that necklace on top of all of it?! What an insult to Valentino. And fashion. AND OUR EYES. I don't care what her other dress looked like. She should have worn ANYTHING other than this. And last but not least, Brandi Glanville. I didn't even want to acknowledge her presence with commentary, but she was just one of the worst. Right off the bat, this dress is inappropriate. But for some reason, I'm wasn't so much offended by her breasts as I was by the fact that she attended the Oscars. It's not just that she's a member of the Housewives franchise. I mean I wouldn't have been so shocked to see Camille or Nene or even Bethenny in attendance (after all, Skinnygirl was sponsoring the E! after party). But her, ugh. The most classless and famewhorey member of any of the casts. Oh yeah, and her dress is disgusting. 

Well people, we did it. We made it through another season. Personally, I enjoyed the few surprises every now and then, but overall I was underwhelmed with most of the fashion. Next year I call for more color, less 90's trends, and to never hear the phrase "old Hollywood glamour" uttered again. Thanks for following along with all the updates. What do you say- same time, next year? Until then...

~L

(Just kidding. Please check in again before next year. I promise we'll have other things to talk about.)