Lilly Pulitzer for Target Has A One Day Pop-Up Shop in NYC

This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn (5:30 AM) to get my hands on the special line that Lilly Pulitzer is doing for Target. I found out about this through a friend- and I am thankful that she told me about this occasion. So why would I go before the line comes out officially on Sunday? I ask, well, why not? The doors were set to open at 8:00 AM this morning, but it turns out people got there as early as before 5:00 AM. As much as I was really pumped about this, there’s no way you could get me out of bed that early. It turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal in the end. I got there at 7:00 and a long line had already started to form.

When I first got off at Bryant Park (where the pop-up shop was being held), I was somewhat confused. I didn’t see a line of people- just a group of people setting up some Lilly lawn chairs. It turns out that the actual line to the pop-up shop was at the other end of the park. Great. As I was walking to get in line, I see every woman dressed in a typical “preppy” uniform: Burberry/ Vineyard Vines jackets, riding boots, Longchamp bags, pearls, and of course, a pair of Ray Bans. I guess I shouldn’t have been too shocked. Then came the time where I had one hour to kill just standing in line and waiting to get into the shop. We were told from a Target rep that we were only allowed to get 5 items. A girl next in line to me yelled, “Only five items?? That stresses me out!!” Me too girl, me too. 

The time finally came when 8:00 rolled around and girls were squealing to get in. Men walking by were very confused and the press ate this up. This was the moment I had been waiting for- will the clothes and other items be of actual good quality? Target is known for not having the “best” of clothes, so I was a little apprehensive. The verdict: YES! It was everything a Lilly Pulitzer fan was wanting and more. Once you got into the shop, it was an absolute madhouse and it was every man for themselves. Unfortunately, there was a dress that I wanted so bad, but they ran out of stock before I could even get into the shop. Another small let down was that they didn’t have everything that will be offered on Sunday. Not a lot of accessories, no shoes, and few glassware.

But everything turned out great! I got some amazing items and was able to get a complimentary manicure. I have to admit that this was great P.R. for Lilly Pulitzer. I’m here blogging this to show that the line turned out to be better than what people expected- and that’s what they needed to hear.

The line officially arrives at Target this Sunday, April 19th.

15 Things

A little over a year ago I posted about a few things you probably didn’t know about me, so I’m back with a few more!

1// Even though I stated it already in my last post, I’m so impatient. NYC seems to fuel that fire.

2// I love Shakespeare. I can feel people cringing as they read this, but I sincerely love his writings. Except “Julius Caesar”.

3// Speaking of Shakespeare, I would love, love, love to play Rosalind in “As You Like It”.

4// I share my birthday with Lady Gaga. Weird.

5//  Autumn is my favorite season. The crispness just feels so refreshing.

6// I eat a lot of strange foods, but I hate grapefruit. Blech.

7// As girly as I may be, I spent 12 summers at a camp in Texas. There was no AC, no electricity, nothing fancy at all. Cabins had screens instead of windows and there were plenty of daddy longlegs to go around. Also, there was a summer where I jumped in a mud pit as part of our Marines/Marinas year. It was AWESOME. Don’t believe me? Ask my room mate. We met at camp!

Summer Camp 2009

Summer Camp 2009

8// I HATE MATH.

9// During my Anatomy and Physiology class in high school, we dissected a cat that we named (we had to) Jinxy. Most people know I hate cats, so this was really awesome.

10// I didn’t really like country music growing up, despite being raised in Texas. I began to like it in Alabama, thanks to my friend Margaret who introduced me to Miranda Lambert. (And I guess my freshman roommate Molly who played “Indian Outlaw” on repeat.)

11//  I got to meet Blake Lively and Leighton Meester on the set of Gossip Girl many years ago. Let me just say, Leighton Meester is such a doll.

12// One of the first musicals that I was in, Cinderella, I got to play one of the ugly stepsisters despite being more of an ingenue.

13// I do improv. I love it. I’m a part of an amazing indie team who happens to have an amazing/fantastic/awesome coach. I love all of the people I’ve met at UCB. It just makes me happy.

14// There was this one time where I played guitar because Avril Lavigne did. I haven’t really played since high school.

15// I love the tv show, Pretty Little Liars, and I come up with theories who Big A is. Yup.

So, there’s some random 15 facts about me. Have a good weekend!

-R

The End of Michael Kors?

Yesterday as I was browsing around Facebook, I found an article from Business Insider (albeit it was written on February 5th) about the perhaps “fall” of the brand Michael Kors. To be honest, it’s something I’ve been thinking about recently. Why you ask? Everyone is wearing Michael Kors these days. A lot of designer brands will come out with a line of bags, clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. that aren’t at the ridiculous prices that you’d see for their couture line. And you know, that’s great. I’d kill to own a pair of Jimmy Choo heels, but I’m guessing that there will never be a line that will cater to the general masses. There are two other brands known for their accessories because of their name, but IMO, fell when they became really popular. Those two are Dooney & Bourke and Coach. I remember the rise of Coach purses. In high school I wanted every bag that came from their line. They were the it bag to carry. But then, everyone started to have those purses. And then Coach had shoes with the same “C C” print that you would see all over their bags. It started to become just too much. It’s almost like the mindset hipsters have: liking something that’s really cool before it gets too mainstream and then dropping it like a hot cake once everyone else starts to enjoy it, too. Perhaps it’s what people call “sell outs”. I now believe that the same thing is happening with Michael Kors. Now you can even buy their accessories at outlet stores like Saks Off 5th and Nordstrom Rack. Something about the brand just loses their individuality. Not to mention they start to copy other designs that higher end designers use and then you start to feel like you’re wearing a knock off. I actually somewhat cover this topic in another post that I wrote a while back, if you’re interested in taking a look.

But do I honestly see this brand closing shop? Nah. The brand has just become less appealing. People will still buy it- but not in the masses that we used to see.

-R

Je vais t’attendre là

Me with my three other close friends in Arles, France.

Me with my three other close friends in Arles, France.

Three years ago today I was packing up to go on the adventure of a lifetime. I never imagined myself spending 4 months in Cannes, France. I also never imagined getting to walk on the red carpet for a movie premiere- that was epic. Along the way I met some amazing friends, and one so happens to live in NYC. Every once in a while I get emails from other students still in college that are interested in studying abroad with the same program that I did- AIFS. A while back I told AIFS that anyone could get into contact with me to ask questions about the program, which happens frequently. I usually send them over to the blog that I kept, Do the Cannes, Cannes, Cannes, to hopefully answer any questions they have. Unfortunately though, I’ve never posted a pros/cons list of studying abroad since they usually ask me about those things. Wanna know the pros and cons of studying abroad? Well, here they are:

The Pros and Cons of Study Abroad

There’s this cliché that’s said, “studying abroad will change your life”- well, it will. I almost decided not to study abroad to follow other endeavors. But realizing I had a French minor and not the best at speaking, I needed to actually go to France. With anything you do in life, there will be the pros and cons. This isn’t to discourage anyone, but these are just the facts. I can only speak for myself and a few others with these pros and cons.

Living Arrangements

Pros: There are usually three types of living arrangements: student apartment, host family, and a dorm at the college. With a student apartment you have the place to yourself and possibly another roommate and a place to cook your own food. Host families can be awesome because hey, you get home cooked meals every day. With the dorms you get to easily meet people in your program and typically the college will provide breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner.

Cons: In an apartment it makes it harder to get to meet people in your program. Sure, you have your classes but at the end of the day your apartments can be at opposite ends of the city. With a host family you could end up having a really crappy family (although, I haven’t met anyone who didn’t like their family). Dorms. Oh dorms. You remember freshman year of college. The potential to not get along with your roommate and the gross shared bathrooms. Also, there is the potential that the dorms have bad food.

The Oh So Delicious Food

Pros: Being in a foreign country means that you can try a multitude of different foods. Being in France and near the Italian boarder, I literally had stuffed myself with Italian inspired French dishes. Considering also most students are in a big city there are many more options. Why not try them all? We all know you want the life of Anthony Bourdain…

Cons: Sadly, you aren’t Anthony Bourdain. Tony just happens to be quite famous and gets to try anything his heart desires, no matter the price. Currently the dollar to euro exchange rate is bad, so food can get pricey. Heard of donner kebabs? You sure will once you study abroad! But every once in a while you have to treat yourself to a good meal.

Getting to Travel ANYWHERE!

Pros: Thanks to Easy Jet and Ryan Air you can get cheap tickets to almost any city in Europe. Want to go to Paris for the weekend? No prob! Just around 60 euro total (on a good day) can get you there and back. Chances are wherever you are in Europe it will only be an hour to an hour and a half to your destination. Euro Rail? Sure! It’s cheap and pretty easy to get around on.

Cons: Tickets can be pricey. You just have to get them far in advance. Airports can can be lousy if you hate doing that, but so do trains. There are the few that don’t mind being on a train for 9 hours from Cannes to Venice- but that just doesn’t float my boat. Also the Euro Rail can get to be pretty expensive. Might as well pay the same price and fly.

The People You Meet at Your College/University

Pros: Hopefully you get the opportunity to study at an international school. Just being with Americans can get tiring and having other friends from other countries means you get to learn about their culture. Also it means you have friends in many different countries. Spring break in Barcelona? Why not! And I’m not saying don’t hang around the other Americans- I’ve met so many fantastic friends through my program. Having the international friends is just an extra bonus.

Cons: The people you don’t get along with. This happens no matter where you go. Every thing starts out all hunky dory but then you really get to know people. You just have to get to know other people and figure out where you fit in. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Learning the Language

Pros:  There is nothing wrong with learning a new language if you’ve never learned it before. It’s such a resume booster! Also you feel pretty intelligent whenever you head back to the states and realize some of your friends don’t even know the language you’ve learned.

Cons: Any new language can be tough. I’ve had a lot of struggles with my French and sometimes you get so fed up you wish you had studied in the UK. Even when the tough gets going, you have to keep trucking.

 

I hope this has inspired someone to go out and think about studying abroad. I hate using the whole “I’m so blessed” phrase because it’s so overused but once you do study abroad you think, “I’m seriously so blessed!” The fact that your parents let you stay in another country for a semester or even a year makes you one special person. Not everyone has the opportunity to do this and if the stars align perfectly, then you have to jump on it. Just do it, and I promise you it will be the opportunity of a lifetime.

-R

 

Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair

photo credit: License to Boot via photopin cc

photo credit: License to Boot via photopin cc

You know, I’ve always wanted to go to those music festivals. Austin City Limits, South By Southwest, Bonnaroo- but it has never crossed my mind to go to Coachella. Perhaps it has to do with the whole “middle of nowhere” location and the apparent dust storms that come along. (Although, Bonnaroo is on a 700-acre farm 60 miles southeast of Nashville, TN.) I also only have about one outfit that would be “appropriate”, if you will, for any of these music festivals. But wait! I may be in luck: This just in- H&M is doing a line of clothes for festivals, specifically Coachella (and aptly named H&M Loves Coachella). Also, H&M is brilliant enough that they are even selling the clothes at the festival, in case you didn’t show up without enough Boho chic outfits. Sorry Forever 21, Free People, and Urban Outfitters, looks like H&M will be outselling you this festival season. Plus, the line comes out March 19th to stores in North America and then worldwide March 26th. The prices of the clothes will range in between $4.95 and $49.95. The best part about the line being cheap is that if you happen to ruin your “nicer” clothes from dust storms/mud/food/whatever, just run to the setup where H&M is selling the line, and voila! New clothes. I’m sure there will be plenty of fringe, high waisted shorts, crop tops, and rompers to go around.

And that notion that guys really aren’t into the high waisted shorts due to the fact that they are “mom jeans”? Whatever. I’ll wear what I want.

P.S. Don’t forget your oversized hat and a flower headband.

-R

Juno

Hey y’all!

No, this post is NOT about the film Juno. This is about the “potentially historic” blizzard in NYC. Now y’all know, I’m not from the south. I don’t like the snow. Well, it’s pretty to look at out the window. So, I figured I’d just write about this, doing updates every once in a while, starting tonight.

6:05 PM 1/26/2015: Today and yesterday I went to the store to get food, wine (duh), flashlights, candles, water, and more food. I feel like every time I thought I got all of my shopping done I’d forgotten to buy something. The first time I went to Whole Foods, the line to check out was at the door to where you walk in, and it’s very far away from the checkout lanes. I didn’t go to Whole Foods the first time I walked in. I just decided to go to Duane Reade. I got everything unhealthy you could think of. And then of course flashlights. I went out and got everything else I needed this morning and I was surprised to still see it so busy out. Well… that’s all for now. More updates later. Probably around 10ish.

6:42 PM 1/26/2015: Right now seems like the calm before the storm. Eerie outside right now.

10:07 PM 1/26/2015: Look! Some flurries! And I just watched 22 Jump Street. It’s actually not that bad.

10:21 PM 1/26/2015: Apparently we won’t be getting as much snow. I got so excited for nothing. Thanks.

11:26 AM 1/27/2015: This was such a let down. Thanks for reading this regardless. Enjoy your snow day!

Fear and Saturday Night

Who’s up for a little review on one of my favorite artists, Ryan Bingham, with this new album, Fear and Saturday Night? I know you are.

Ryan Bingham in Birmingham

Ryan Bingham in Birmingham, AL

A little background first on Ryan Bingham and how I became to know this very talented artist. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in the great state of Texas and growing up, I did not like country music, folk, Americana, etc. at all. I just felt it would be super cliché to like a music genre that’s so closely related to my home state. Well, that all changed when I went to school in Alabama. All things changed when I first heard Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel”. And then it was Miranda Lambert’s “Gunpowder and Lead”. I started to think to myself, this isn’t so bad. Fast forward to sometime in 2009 when the outstanding movie Crazy Heart was released- and I fell in love with the theme song to the movie, “The Weary Kind”. And who might have sung that song? Ryan Bingham, my friends. I have to thank a good friend of mine from high school for introducing me to Mr. Bingham. I love the sound of his raspy voice; it’s almost Bob Dylan-esque. After hearing “The Weary Kind”, I downloaded his other albums that were out, Mescalito (2007) and Roadhouse Sun (2009). The albums always make me want to go on a road trip, with no place in mind, and the wind blowing in my hair. In 2010 he released an album entitled Junky Star. I thought it was just okay (no road tripping with this album). There was almost this new sound that was just far from the Ryan Bingham that I knew from his first two albums. Then in 2012, he released the album Tomorrowland, which I never ended up buying after listening to it on just the iTunes preview. Tomorrowland was so far from Mescalito you may have not even said that Ryan Bingham was the one to release that album. Something just went wrong there. It was like he just wanted to hop on to the hipster scene and then sold his soul to L.A. I just said, forget it. You’ll never get the original Bingham that you once knew.

Today I opened up my iTunes to see that he had just released a new album. My first thought: Is he for real? Releasing another album? But, I then decided to just check out the reviews and hear the previews of the songs. Most of the reviews said that he was, “not entirely back to his old roots, but he’s getting close!” or, “this reminds me of Mescalito!!” Be still, my heart! And off I went to download this new album.

I was not disappointed at all. For those who are nostalgic for anything off of Mescalito, listen to “Island in the Sky”. If you were one of those strange people who really liked Tomorrowland, then you’ll enjoy the rock n’ roll sounds of “Top Shelf Drug”. A personal favorite of mine is “Adventures of You and Me” because of it reminds me a lot of a favorite from Mescalito, “Bread and Water”.

What grade do I give it? I’ll go with an A- since he bounced back pretty well from his previous super hipster album.

-R

I Want To Be A Part of It- New York, New York

Two years ago today I moved to NYC- 3 bucks, two bags, one me. Just kidding on the 3 bucks. But I definitely had two very heavy bags. Last year I wrote a post about the things I had learned from being in NYC for one year, so why not do another one this year? Most of the list stands the same, but there’s a few to add.

  • Everyone is obsessed with brunch and you DO need to make reservations (at most places). But I’ve come to find out that there are still great places for brunch that don’t break the bank.
  • I still hate Times Square with a passion. I have now added on to that list Harold Square and walking anywhere down 5th Ave. in midtown.
  • New Yorkers celebrate Texas Independence Day! Reason being? Not sure. But obviously, Texas is the best. At Terminal 5 (a music venue), they have a huge lineup of famous bands from Texas- Pat Green included.
  • You can still find a little bit of home. Hill Country BBQ and my favorite bar, Doublewide help fulfill that little bit of Texas you need every once in a while.
  • I walk a million miles an hour! So when I go home, I look crazy walking so fast. I’m also really impatient now. Sorry!
  • The majority of the people here still aren’t very friendly.
  • YOU WANT ME TO GO TO BROOKLYN? That’s a whole lot of nope. Trying to get me to go to the East Village is hard enough.
  • It’s nice to get out of the city for a quick road trip. The 4th of July in Boston was amazing and a short weekend in the Hudson Valley.
  • I’ve learned that you should walk in flats until you have to put on your pair of heels. Your feet will thank you later.
  • Dating here is almost pointless. Just when you think you’ve met a really nice guy, they blow you off. It’s great. Just real great. Sorry yanks, I can’t date you.

That completes the list of things of things I already learned from the past 2 years + a few new lessons. Thanks New York for another great year. Here’s to the next one.

-R

American Sniper

American Sniper

American Sniper

Today the Academy announced this year’s nominees, and American Sniper walked away with 6 nominations; this includes Best Actor In A Leading Role (Bradley Cooper), Best Motion Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound Mixing, Film Editing, and Sound Editing. All of the nominations justify how great the movie is (although sadly Clint Eastwood didn’t get a Best Director nod- we all know why). This is by far Bradley Cooper’s best performance to date.

I ended up seeing the American Sniper after Christmas, but before the New Year. It had an early release in a few select theatres on Christmas day, and the wide release is set for tomorrow, January 16th. I will say that I was incredibly shocked to find that the day I went to see the film, it was sold out (but I was smart enough to buy a ticket beforehand). In case you’re a little fuzzy on what the film is about, it follows Navy SEAL Chris Kyle from his time in the rodeo in Texas, four tours in Iraq, and his wife and family back home. Oh, and did I mention he is the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history with 160 confirmed kills? That is something impressive. It’s almost hard to write about what this move is exactly about. It’s not an “Iraqi war movie”, per se. It follows how a man struggles with his intense job of being a Navy SEAL, while trying to balance out his life back home. I think maybe the best way to describe this film is a quote from Bradley Cooper, taken from The Daily Beast: 

“My hope is that if someone is having a political conversation about whether we should or should not have been in Iraq, whether the war is worth fighting, whether we won, whether we didn’t, why are we still there, all those [issues], that really—I hope—is not one that they would use this movie as a tool for,” Cooper told The Daily Beast, when asked about those targeting Kyle’s temperament. “And for me, and for Clint, this movie was always a character study about what the plight is for a soldier. The guy that I got to know, through all the source material that I read and watched, and home videos—hours and hours—I never saw anything like that. But I can’t control how people are gonna use this movie as a tool, or what they pick and choose whatever they want. But it would be short-changing, I think. If it’s not this movie, I hope to god another movie will come out where it will shed light on the fact of what servicemen and women have to go through, and that we need to pay attention to our vets. It doesn’t go any farther than that. It’s not a political discussion about war, even…It’s a discussion about the reality. And the reality is that people are coming home, and we have to take care of them.”

It is unfortunate though that Chris Kyle’s life ended too short- and it wasn’t even on the battle field.

My takeaway is to give respect to the men and women in uniform. The things they do for our country isn’t something we should take for granted. I learned that I would never be able to do the training that they do- specifically BUD/S, which is the training for a Navy SEAL. Oh, and that I should never, ever complain about a small “hardship” that I had to go through. Anything would pale in comparison.

Yeah, I cried. But I’m also a female who has deep respect for her country and those who fight for us.

-R

I’d also like to dedicate this post to everyone in uniform, including my friends that serve. Thank You.

P.S. Bradley Cooper nails a Texas accent and gained an impressive 40 lbs. for the role. And here’s the trailer:

Thoughts on Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Lilly Pulitzer has recently announced that they will be collaborating with Target to release a line that isn’t as pricy as those in their stores. Let me preface with this: I had no idea what or who Lilly Pulitzer was before I went through sorority recruitment in college. Through all of the different rounds, I kept seeing girls with brightly colored printed dresses that looked relatively alike. I came to find out that it was the iconic line of Lilly Pulitzer dresses. At first I was skeptical (too bright! too much going on!). Then I came around to really liking Lilly. I also came to find out it that it’s a staple in many women’s closets around the South.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Lilly Pulitzer, her iconic printed shift dresses became popular in the 1950s and 60s. Legend has it the reason for the brightly colored prints was to cover up stains from her orange juice stand in Palm Beach, Florida. It seems that her customers became bigger fans of her dresses than her orange juice. Et voila! She had her own line of clothing. I should also note that Jackie O. was a huge fan, too.

With the news of Lilly Pulitzer collaborating with Target, there are mixed reactions- more positive than negative. It’s very exciting to see the preppy brand pair up with Target, because a lot of the clothes come at a hefty price. That seems to be a small drawback when wanting to purchase a cute shift dress. But with the collaboration, women can afford the clothing at a lower cost. It also turns out that not everyone is happy. Many people are saying that Target is not “classy”, it “cheapens the brand”, and that Lilly should only be reserved for those who can actually afford it. Other classic tweets are saying that, “Lilly is probably rolling over in her grave.” I’d say that she would be thrilled with this, as this is a perk of capitalism and will continue to showcase the brand to people who have never heard of the line (which was me pre-sorority recruitment).

I see both sides on this. While it’s exciting that now we won’t have to shell out $200-300 for a sundress, I realize that some people have seen that saving up for those expensive dresses, and they are a special treat for them.

Rocking a cute Lilly dress with my little on Bid Day.

Rocking a cute Lilly dress with my little on Bid Day.

As for me, I cross my fingers that these dresses (and other items that will be sold- like glass wear, throw pillows, scarves, etc.) won’t be of poor quality. Unfortunately, in the past when I’ve been excited for an exclusive brand for Target, the clothes didn’t seem to fit me right. Either they looked like a sack of potatoes on me, or it looked like it was made for a doll. Pictures so far seem that the quality is on point. I’m just about 100% sure though, that I will be walking away with some Lilly.

Lilly Pulitzer for Target is set to launch in April.

-R