The Best Movies Ever To Watch During a Hurricane

Dear North-easterners, including P,

You all are about to experience a long period of coop-uppedness owing to the arrival of THE FRANKENSTORM.

To help you deal with this coming catastrophe, I have compiled a list of movies to add a bit of brightness to the dreary hours you are about to endure.

P, you may want to just skip to the end, since you have completely different taste in movies from me. Loyal readers, P likes fun action and superhero movies, while I am more of a historical/literature/weird-British-movie person. Though we both like a good rom-com. Let’s be real, though, who doesn’t love a good rom-com?

  1. Pride and Prejudice (2005)
This is my favorite movie. I love Keira Knightley. The soundtrack is spectacular. I am obsessed with Chatsworth, the house that played Pemberley in the movie, and I am absolutely infatuated with Matthew Macfadyen, who is beautiful even when he plays a bald monk in “Pillars of the Earth.”
If you haven’t seen this movie, you are seriously missing out.
  1. Bridget Jone’s Diary

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I spent my sophomore year of high school at a boarding school in the UK. Sometimes I get nostalgic about the sharp, self-deprecating British sense of humor. “Bridget Jone’s Diary” instantly assuages that nostalgia.

BJD is loosely based on “Pride and Prejudice”, so I guess I have a pattern going here.

3. Dirty Dancing

I am so honored I introduced you to this movie, P.

4. The Princess Bride

5. Grease

I included this, even though everyone ever knows it’s an awesome movie, because it ties into your hurricane, since the hurricane’s name is Sandy, too!

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A love story that explores what would happen if we could forgot when we wanted to.

7. The Boat that Rocked

A story about a ship that broadcasted rock music in the sixties and it’s fight with the BBC.

8. Little Miss Sunshine

An iconic story about a family that road-tripped across America. Loosely based on “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that book, P?

(JK- readers, P and I were forced to read this book for academic decathlon before we started this blog. It was painfully arduous at the time, but I’m glad, in hindsight, that I was able to read it with a class).

9. My Week With Marilyn

I know you fell asleep during this movie, P, but I thought it was golden. Michelle Williams is a brilliant Marilyn.

10. The Iron Lady

If you’re looking for an inspiring biography about a forceful personality, this would be the movie to watch.

If these selections fail to fill up all of your hurricane time, a Harry Potter or Disney movie marathon is always in order.

In all seriousness, P and all the rest of you up there, stay safe!



ACL and Birthday Fun In Pictures!



Day 1: My Birthday

Tegan & Sara:




Florence + the Machine




And the one and only










At the Black Keys, S and I were in the very front. It was the best end to a birthday ever.

October 13th:

Saturday was much more relaxed with:

Rufus Wainwright

Andrew Bird




The Shins




Jack White




And lastly, October 14th:





Freelance Whales




Gary Clark Jr.





The Civil Wars




They were so cute.

The Lumineers

The Avett Brothers




Red Hot Chili Peppers




Thank you for the fashion site you forwarded:

It was helpful during my more indecisive fashion moments.

I hope you’re not getting tired of my constant snap-chatting because it is SO FUN. Also, I miss you every day. The only time I feel the least bit homesick is when I think of your giant car with it’s amazing speakers. And our Tuesday lunches in which we ate Wendy’s salads, spilled our guts out and came up with solutions to all the world’s problems.

Hugs and kisses,


P.S.- Shout-out to S for letting me use her pictures! My camera was sadly out of action.

My Own Humble Review of “The Casual Vacancy” (Spoiler Alert)

Dear P,

“Honesty was Fats’ currency, his weapon and defense. It frightened people when you were honest; it shocked them. Other people, Fats had discovered, were mired in embarrassment and pretense, terrified that their truths might leak out, but Fats was attracted by rawness, by everything that was ugly but honest, by the dirty things about which the like of his father felt humiliated and disgusted. Fats thought a lot about messiahs and pariahs: about men labeled mad or criminal; noble misfits shunned by the sleepy masses.”

“He wanted to toughen up inside, to become invulnerable, to be free of the fear of consequences: to rid himself of the spurious notions of goodness and badness.”

“What Fats wanted to recover was a kind of innocence, and the route he had chosen back to it was through all the things that were supposed to be bad for you, but which, paradoxically, seemed to Fats to be the one true way to authenticity; to a kind of purity…He wanted to journey through dark labyrinths and wrestle with the strangeness that lurked within; he wanted to crack open piety and expose hypocrisy; he wanted to break taboos and squeeze wisdom from their bloody hearts; he wanted to achieve a state of amoral grace, and be baptized backwards into ignorance and simplicity.”

“He was slumped in the back, gazing out of the window, as though his parents were two people who had picked him up hitchhiking, connected to him merely by chance and proximity.”

“…Samantha was sliding gently toward contented drunkenness, but something in her was making forlorn protests, like a man swept out to sea. She attempted to drown it in more wine.”

“How awful it was, thought Tessa, remembering Fats the toddler, the way tiny ghosts of your living children haunted your heart; they could never know, and would hate it if they did, how their growing was a constant bereavement.”

“He fought back with every weapon in his arsenal, being alternatively obtuse, evasive, and pedantic, for it was wonderful how you could obscure an emotional issue by appearing to seek precision.”

“It was so good to be held. If only their relationship could be distilled into simple, wordless gestures of comfort. Why had humans ever learned to talk?”

“It started with a yearning for nicotine and beauty.”

“He could not even take comfort in knowing that he had spent most of his adult life in dread of calamities that had not materialized, because, by the law of averages, one of them was bound to come true one day.”

“Both could feel the relationship crumbling to pieces beneath the weight of everything that [he] refused to say.”

“It was strange how your brain could know what your heart refused to accept.”

“It often took a little bit of drink, these days.”

“Was is love when somebody filled a space in your life that yawned inside you, once they had gone?”

But who could bear to know which stars were already dead, she thought, blinking up at the night sky, could anybody stand to know they all were?”

“The Casual Vacancy”, by the great Ms. Rowling, has received many negative reviews in the few weeks since it’s release. On amazon, it has received more “1 star” reviews than “5 star”  reviews. NYTimes online calls it banal, cliche, and dull.

I, however, liked it. If I had to sum the book up in a sentence, it would be, “A bunch of British people searching for truth.” While the HP series revolved around love (if you disagree, feel free to say so in the comments), this novel revolves around truth. And, as Dumbledore said, “The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, Harry, and must therefore be treated with great caution.”

Oh yeah. That quote was from memory and I got it exactly.

This novel is often ugly and sad, because it reflects the character’s perception of truth, and because the characters in the story are often petty and small-minded. It was if Aunt Petunia and all her friends had their own novel. It lacks the vastness of the Harry Potter series because the plot happens on a much smaller scale. Instead of good-versus-evil we have sad-British-person-versus-other-sad-British-person.

Thus, “The Casual Vacancy” was not Harry Potter. However, I appreciated Rowling’s usual piercing knowledge of human nature, as evidenced by the quotes above. Also, it was comforting to feel the cadence of her sentences, which brought me through so many light childhood afternoons and dark adolescent storms.

So, since you are also a Harry Potter fan, you will probably like the book. If you weren’t, it’s pretty average and I probably wouldn’t recommend it.

Hugs and kisses,


Flashin’ Fashion: Stop in the Name of Love

Hey lovelies!

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful week!

I love this dress because of all of the crazy stuff it has going on. Theres a plunging neckline, a deep V in the back, an asymmetrical hemline, and it’s layers of sheer material. On top of that it’s polka dots. Who DOESN’T love polka dots?!? I edged up the cuteness a bit with zippered booties. I made sure to wear spandex too, otherwise it would’ve been risque when I started to get twirly.

Dress: F21

Shoes: Vera Wang

Photos taken by E

Hugs and Kisses,


Flashin’ Fashion

Hey guys! So the next few fashion posts are going to be flashbacks from over the summer when E and I were running wild and being all fashionable. E took all the pictures. I have initiation for my sorority tonight and we’re supposed to be wearing white dresses. Makes me wish I had this cute little lace number.

I paired the white dress with plain cream open-toed pumps and gave the outfit a little character with the accessories. I wore big turquoise and gold earrings and a turquoise and gold slave bracelet.

Dress: Free People (old)

Shoes: Steve Madden

Earrings: World Market

Slave Bracelet: random market in India

Peace and Love,


Happy Birthday Love


I don’t know if you remember when we took these pictures–it was that rando orchestra trip we took junior year or something. All I remember is running around that hotel with no inhibitions and multiple people laughing/staring at us. Oh and those phallic balloons and sprinting through the rain. Good times.

Anyway, you should be getting a package from me sometime, with a few little things and a letter I have yet to write you….I’m sorry I’m such a slacker. BUT IT’S COMING. SERIOUSLY. I’m debating whether I should call you tonight at midnight (1 am my time), but I think that might disturb your ridiculously normal sleep habits. I think I’ll just call you anyway and if you don’t pick up then I’ll leave you a voicemail.

I love you so freaking much and I miss you like crazy. I hope this next whole year of you being 19 is filled with wonderful memories and people who care about you more than anything and cute boys and magical adventures and good books. I hope you get to wish on a ton of shooting stars and achieve all of your dreams and become a better person in every single way. (If that’s even possible. You’re so awesome already that it’s kind of a lofty goal.) I hope the first year of college is treating you well. Know that I miss you so incredibly much over here in Cambridge and I’ll be thinking about you all day today. EAT CAKE AND LOADS OF CHOCOLATE! Happy 19th Birthday Ellen! I hope it’s the best (:

Your bestest friend/sister/soulmate/future mother of 12 children of different races/fellow adventurer and lover of life/traveling-mate/confidante/blogging-mate/(insert our relationship here),



Brighter and More Brilliant

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”

— Bob Marley

Dear E,

I read this quote and I thought about you. It’s totally us. I feel so lucky that when I read this there are a few people who pop into my mind. Hopefully in the next four years here I can find a few more. Hope you’re having a lovely day.


Confidence Through Body Language

Dear P,

Today I watched this TED talk:

And it confirmed what I have already read in dozens of articles: body language is important. How you conduct yourself does not only have an effect on how others see you- it has on effect on how you see yourself, and your corresponding behavior.

I typed “Confidence” into google images and here is one of the first images that came up:




He’s pumping himself up, making himself bigger! Look at this compared to the image that came up for “Low Self-Esteem”:




She is making herself smaller and touching her head/neck area, a self-reassuring action that is a sure sign of lack of confidence.

Are you likely to be happier with yourself if you act like Wonder Woman or Anne Hathaway before she gets a makeover in the “The Princess Diaries”?




Here are some tips about how to carry yourself like the fairy-princess-superhero-cowgirl you are:

  • When first meeting someone, shake hands with strong eye contact and give them at least three seconds to look you over uninterrupted. 
  • When you smile, get your eyes involved. Crinkles on the sides of your eyes are the only true sign of a genuine smile.image
  • For strong rapport, look at someone 60-70% of the time you are together.
  • Blink less. Blinking is a sign of nervousness.
  • Don’t bite or suck your lip. Also a sign of self-consciousness.
  • Nod slowly in groups of threes to show comprehension and to encourage the speaker to continue. If you’re trying to give off the sense that you’re listening, also tilt your head slightly to the side.
  • Remember what your mom always said and put your shoulders back. If your mother never said this, you can borrow from the three times every day mine did.
  • Stand with your legs slightly apart. Again, the idea is to make yourself as large as possible without being obnoxious.image
  • Lean towards people you want to seem interested in. Also, mirror their body language. 
  • That said, don’t keep shifting your weight around. This gives off a lack of confidence.
  • Avoid touching yourself. Masturbation jokes aside, if you are touching your ears, neck, arms or hugging your legs to yourself it shows vulnerability and self-consciousness.
  • Open your hands and use them to gesture. This shows that you are expressive, honest and open to new ideas.image
  • The first person to look away at an introduction is the most submissive.
  • Equal handshakes generate the most rapport.
  • Raising your eyebrows is submissive but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Raising your eyebrows at someone will almost always bring a smile.
  • If you want to indicate that you admire someone, place your head on your open hands as if one a platter.
  • Instead of pointing with your index finger, which comes off as rude,point with your index finger touching your thumb:image
  • Standing with your hands behind your back shows confidence. 
  • Don’t fold your arms. 
  • Walk quickly while swinging your arms. 

For more fun body language info, watch this clear and informative video:!

I hope you had fun on your ate-day!  Loads of love and hugs!


E’s October Playlist

Dear P,

October is my favorite month of the year. October is a month of blue jeans fresh out of summer storage, pumpkins, sunshine with a slight nip (at least here in Texas, sucker), dressing up and eating candy, bright leaves, and my birthday. This particular October, to celebrate my birthday, Austin is hosting a music festival and loads of great artists are coming to serenade me. Not only that, our friends T (of and H ( are coming to Austin, too. Basically the entire universe is convening to ensure I have the best birthday ever.

So this month’s playlist has a bunch of music from ACL (so you can kind of be with me in spirit) in addition to some songs from the Mumford & Sons new album.

1. Nineteen by Tegan and Sara

2. Jump Into the Fog by The Wombats

3. Walt Whitman by Trampled by Turtles

4. Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine

5. Lonely Boy by the Black Keys

6. I Know I Know I Know by Tegan and Sara

7. Backwards with Time by the Avett Brothers

8. Buddy Holly by Weezer

9. Oh Girlfriend by Weezer

10. The Zephyr Song by Red Hot Chili Peppers

11. Otherside by Red Hot Chili Peppers

12. The Boxer by Mumford and Sons

13. Babel by Mumford and Sons

14. Barton Hollow by the Civil Wars

15. Hannah by Freelance Whales

16. Eyes Wide Open by Gotye

17. Dead Hearts by Stars

18. Ho Hey by the Lumineers

19. Cameo Lover by Kimbra

20. Between Two Lungs by Florence and the Machine



P.S.- I enjoyed snap chatting with you today