Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall 2009 Playlist

{photo credit; flickr}

Bonjour, my darlings! Unlike yesterday, today is absolutely gorgeous here in the ATX. Blue sunny skies and a high of 70 degrees - parfait! As is true with fashion, Fall is my favorite time of year to put together a fun annual playlist to rock out in my car (or office now) and to distribute to dear friends. Since I've gotten some questions from Twitter friends to share the playlist, I thought what better place to share than here!

(One more thing - While I have superb taste in music (like REAL music), I'm also one to appreciate the silly pop sensations that come along every now and then. I'm not ashamed to admit this. This Fall's playlist, in particular, has a lot of those poptastic goodies sprinkled throughout. If you are NOT a fan of such songs, I apologize, but this playlist = moi. So deal with it!!


1. Britney Spears - 3 (shake. your. booty!)

2. Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson - Relator (check out the cute video here on Nina's blog) (p.s. the rest of the album rocks, too!)

3. Owl City - Fireflies (this is/was #1 on iTunes, and i totally get why. it's so catchy and so Fall-esque. his voice sorta reminds me of Ben Gibbard.)

4. Lady Gaga - Paparazzi (hands down my favorite Gaga song - never gets old!)

5. Cobra Starship - Good Girls Go Bad (feat. Leighton Meester) (b/c who doesn't love Blair Waldorf?)

6. JoJo - Too Little Too Late (i don't know what it is about this song, but it makes me so so happy)

7. David Archuleta - Crush (total guilty pleasure)

8. Death Cab for Cutie - Meet Me On the Equinox (from the New Moon soundtrack, which is amazing btw)

9. John Mayer - Slow Dancing in a Burning Room (one of my favorite JM songs... so sad, SO good. i always tear up. too bad he sux now.)

10. Arcade Fire - Wake Up (you might recognize this beauty from the Where the Wild Things Are preview - i'm totally seeing this flick Thurs night!)

11. Miley Cyrus - Party in the USA (b/c i had to! it is my ringtone, after all)

12. Lady Gaga - Bad Romance (Gaga's latest - Perez Hilton is obsessed, and i think you should be, too.)


P.S. Damien Rice, if you are reading this, please PLEASE come out with a new album. You are the BEST Fall music... period. Oh and Lisa, I love your duets so feel free to jump in on that action.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Monday!

Bonjour, my darlings! I hope you had a lovely weekend. Mine was superb, albeit tres tres short, and so the need of a Happy Monday list today is VITAL!

1. SHAKE YOUR BOOTIES - After a week of sunny, breezy 70-degree weather, I woke up this morning (at 4 a.m.!) to tres dark skies and a show-stopping Texas thunderstorm. After another few hours of sleep, i woke up to the same. Instead of cursing the erratic TX skies, I happily obliged by pulling out black tights, a yummy blazer, and these fantastic Tory Burch booties I scored at the GILT sale many MANY months ago (aka before le budget!).

2. I HEART LEOPARD - This weekend my dear ami Matty, horrified at the state of my current macbook (circa 2007 with the old school Tiger),upgraded me to the all-new Leopard. That plus the new 2 GB of RAM we installed on Saturday = a brand new laptop for moi! (Also I DL-ed the new Google Chrome which is Ah-mazing and have the Tory Burch theme - how appropo!)

3. RUNNING 101 - SO GOOD! Although I'm debating whether or not to go today seeing as the forecast is 50 degrees and rainy. I don't want to get sick yo!

4. ROAD TRIP - This weekend i'm going to visit my parents - yay! Have not seen Momma Park since our trip to Vancouver, and i'm missing her masses.

5. CRAFTY SURPRISE - I'm participating in the first ever PaPaYarrific Creative Challenge (along with darling Kaileen Elise!), and as such, needed the perfect gift to wrap. I decided to make Ma Soeur a delicious homemade surprise and will reveal after my trip to Cali (in just a few weeks!). Let's just say it involved a trip to Hobby Lobby and lots of cutting/pasting/trimming/chaining/sparkling/etc.

What's making you extra happy this Monday?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Creative Genius

As far as the "creative" blogosphere goes, i tend to vacillate between the creative artist/writer/spiritualist types and the fashion/style/design types. Lately, I find myself leaning on the latter. NY and Paris Fashion Weeks have come and gone, and with the Austin air finally feeling a bit crisper, I can't help but indulge in the serious eye candy around the web.

One gal I can't get enough of is Kelly Framel - the creative goddess behind The Glamourai. Originally an Austinite (how cool is that?), this incredibly stylish gal now calls NYC her home (bien sur). From what i can tell, Kelly is a stylist, jewelry-maker, fashion blogger extraordinaire, and gets to go to all kinds of fun fashion shows/parties/events dressed in her finest garb. What i love most about Kelly is that she mixes one-of-a-kind vintage (with her own twists - ripping out coat linings and replacing them with new ones, chopping lengths and adding heavily bejeweled cuffs - LOVE that b/w striped affair below) with high AND low labels (she frequents Forever21 and H&M). (She also calls her outfits "costumes." Love.) On top of everything, she throws on piles of jewelry (comme moi), most of which she makes herself (pas comme moi). She's inspired me to learn how to sew (stitching apparently comes in handy if you're a fashionista, who knew?) and take a stab (no pun intended) at my own DIY's (like the crazy bib below... i'm obsessed). Hopefully those posts are soon to come, but for now, I leave you with this delectable eye candy...

(Oh yeah - it also doesn't hurt that she's not only talented, but absolutely stunning. Can we say girl crush?)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Heart Running

Running. 101. is. incredible. No seriously. I hate running, abhor everything about it. I got into it once in my life, but it still hurt like hell. BUT, something is magical about running groups in that they make the whole running part not suck as much. Amazing! I left work in a foul mood yesterday b/c I had to deal with some really crappy crap that came up at the end of the day. 1.5 hours later, and i was high on life. Last night we ran to a nearby middle school and then did speed drills on their track. Sounds not fun, right? But it was good! I've never pushed myself so hard! And even when my heart threatened to literally burst out of my chest, it felt good. I don't know what's going on here.

Also? I'm getting a little competitive. I always assumed I'd be the slowest, fattest runner in the group. But actually, I'm one of the most athletic. How did that happen?! I gotta tell ya, it's encouraging and only makes me want to do better. I am also loving the emphasis on correct form - tres important. Now I just need to get some new running shoes + socks + bras. Ce n'est pas cheap... But I'm hoping a certain Mother of mine takes pity on moi (and my budget) and buys them for me. :) (MOM IF YOU'RE READING THIS, I LOVE YOU!!!)

And today I plan on going to yoga for the first time in weeks. Because with all this running comes insanely tight hips. I think yoga is the perfect balance to running. What about you current runners and yogis? Do you think the two complement each other?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Recap

First, MERCI BEAUCOUP for all the wonderful feedback on the last post. I definitely hesitated before hitting "Publish Post," but I'm so glad I did. xoxo

My weekend involved beaucoup sleeping, but here were a few highlights...

*RUNNING 101: I made it to our Saturday meeting! Despite a late Friday night bedtime, I somehow dragged myself out of bed to meet my group, and I'm *SO* glad I did. Saturday mornings are our long runs, and while this one was only about 28 minutes, it was so good to be out and running outside (i normally do treadmill), and it felt so easy doing it with a bunch of other peeps! I also chatted with this fab girl who moved to Austin a year ago from NYC and who writes for ALLURE magazine - so fun!

*COCO AVANT CHANEL: Tried to go see this on Saturday, but slept instead. Oops! Made some time on Sunday before my Pink Heels session, and I even got dressed up for it. Seriously! I put on my black lace Anthro skirt, black top, menswear inspired vest, and strands and strands of pearls. In an ideal world I would've carried my Chanel 2.55 bag, but since I'm still sans Chanel, I made do. ;-) The movie is a delight. It's very much a love story (very moving and sad... I def. cried), and Audrey Tatou is incredible (as always). It's not as fashion-focused as I had hoped, but I still loved it.

*PINK HEELS: Had a wonderful session with Jennifer last night and experienced a very unexpected A-HA! moment. It was incredible! J said she felt like a proud mama. ;) It definitely helped me get up and get to work this morning with a (somewhat) positive attitude - yay! As I mentioned before, Jenn is coming to visit moi in Austin the first wknd in November, and i cannot WAIT! She already has a "project" lined up for us. Apparently I need to get a cheap full-length mirror, several sheets of posterboard, and magazines. Hmm... I'm scared.

What were the highlights of your weekend?

Mental Monday

{Image from here}

Bonjour, mes amies! I'm doing things a little bit differently this Monday. Instead of my Happy Monday list, I am instead writing about something near and dear to my heart: mental health. Just this morning on NPR, I listened to story about a Stanford theater group that just put on a"show" about just that.

Here's an exerpt from the NPR article:

"Some are first hit with the illness in college. Stanford University senior Amanda Gelender found herself battling a deep depression for the first time her freshman year. After weeks of going it alone, exhausted and "crying under the covers for hours" in the dorm, she says, she finally called her doctor. She was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder and found significant relief, she says, with the right medication and other support that enabled her to stay on campus and even keep up her near 4.0 grade average.
Still, for years, she never told friends, professors or dorm-mates of her diagnosis or ongoing struggle. "I felt like the most isolated person in the world," she says of that time. "I didn't feel like anybody would understand what I was going through."

Last January, Gelender broke her silence. She's the co-founder of a student theater group called Stanford Theatre Activist Mobilization Project (STAMP), and for a project last winter, STAMP solicited anonymous true-life letters from classmates living with depression, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health problems. In January, Gelender and the group dramatized the accounts as monologues in their theater production, Out of Sight, Out of Mind."

Interesting concept... Although the monologues I heard this morning were overacted and borderlinecheesy, the message is very, very real. Mental health is a big deal! But it still has a negative stigma associated with it, which prevents people from seeking help. Tres unfortunate.

Although I'm not shouting it from the rooftops, I've never tried to hide my history with depression. I admit that the idea of it can still make me uncomfortable, especially since most people that meet me assume I'm a particularly bubbly and happy girl. But recently I've been overcome with a wave of fatigue and exhaustion that I haven't felt in a long time. And despite my best intentions to ignore it, fear crept into my mind and took over and thus began the downward spiral. What if I'm depressed again? What will I do? I can't DROP OUT of my job!! Omg omg OMG. (You know the drill...) It doesn't help that I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed at work these days and desperately feel the need to hibernate.

Do I think I'm depressed again? No. I think my body is telling me that I'm tired, and that I need more sleep and rest. And that it's okay to spend a couple days in bed on the weekend if that's what I need. (Also? It's OK to be behind on blogs and online book clubs and all that jazz. Fun stuff like that should never become a burden.) Do I think I need to keep an eye on things? Oui, bien sur. I never want to go back to that dark place, but I also don't want to live in fear of it either. I just have to pay attention to my mind and my body. They will tell me when I need to take it easy. I have to trust them. And should I ever find myself in that place again, I'll be ready for it. After all, I have a pretty incredible team on my side. ;)

Mental health is not an easy topic, and the word "depressed" has become so commonplace that it's easily ignored. But if you really, truly feel like you may be suffering from it or another ailment, I highly suggest that you seek some help. Most insurance policies cover it, and if not, many places offer a sliding scale type payment where they will work with you and what you can afford. And, as always, I'm here for anyone who has questions, needs to vent, or simply needs a friend. Please feel free to email me at carolyn.park@gmail.com.

Have a WONDERFUL Monday, my darlings!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Orange Crush

Only she (see #5) could pull off an orange leather shift. Love.

{Photo credit: JAK & JIL}


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Running 101 (and then some!)

{Image: Waitin' On A Sunny Day}

Hi, Friends!! I'm in a particularly perky mood for who knows what reason. Maybe it's because the sun is shining (altho it's a balmy 90+ degrees out - ICK) or because i've had a particularly successful day at work and am reminded of why i chose this firm (such good people). Or maybe it's just because i find myself with a petite pocket of time in which to blog a little note to you dear, sweet readers. Whatever it is, i'm taking full advantage and loving it. These super sparkly moods are rare these days!

Also wanted to let you know all about my Running 101 class. It's with a company called Rogue Running here in Austin, and I signed up for it through UT Informal Classes (also the avenue through which i took Bollywood Bhangra). We meet every Monday evening and Saturday morning for about 6 weeks. My first meeting was this past Monday, and i was tres nervous. Currently i am NOT a runner. I've only been a "runner" once in my life, and that was my senior year of college when i (somehow) got into it and started doing 5k's and then training for a half-marathon. About 7 miles in, i got injured and just gave it up (that kind of pain is miserable). And that was that. Have not seriously run since.

I didn't sign up for Running 101 to train for another race. No, i signed up because: (1) i heard great things about the program; (2) this program will teach you how to run sans injury; and (3) because i need some sort of forced exercise. To be perfectly honest (which, as you know, i tend to be on here), i was terrified that come Monday evening, i would be the fattest, slowest and most unfit person in the class. Nobody likes being last. Luckily i was not, and our group consists of women of all ages, sizes and shapes, and 1 lone dude. Most of Monday was intro: explanation of the class, discussion on right jogging bras and shoes, etc. When we finally went outside to "run," it consisted of a series of 20 second jogs then walks, which i happily did. :) Ended up running next to and chatting with a senior from college. Felt way old. Saturday morning is our "long run" of the week, and i'm nervous. Austin is HILLy, and i have no stamina. But i WILL go and i WILL persevere, my friends!

(Also? When discussing the importance of the right running shoes, the coach kept saying how important it is that we reserve our shoes for running and not brunching/running errands/etc. Um, i was like... wow i wouldn't be caught DEAD in running shoes when out to brunch or at Tarjay or basically doing any task that didn't involve exercise. No offense, y'all but... it just wouldn't happen.)

Ce soir I have a long meeting and then will probably crash. Ma Soeur and I stayed up on the phone last night until 2 A.M. discussing our San Francisco plans (more deets to come!) when i visit in November and... Chanel bags. Yes, we discussed Chanel bags for quite some time. Don't judge!
Must get back 2 work, but i want to hear how your day/week is going! Any fun plans for this evening?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Monday! (sorta...)

(i die for Rachel's coat and Tay's boots)

Bonjour, mes amies! I just died after reading what my twitter friend just tweeted to me: "Lol I am so glad I took French in high school or I would have to translate half your tweets!" HA! Isn't that hilarious? Love that girl. Start a blog!!!

Anyway, i have a confession to make: it's not really a Happy Monday pour moi aujourd'hui. Truthfully it was a really, really rough weekend, and that inevitably leads to not-so-shiny Monday's. Nonetheless i am trying to keep a positive spin on things and as such, am following through on my Happy Monday lists.

Today we're going to do things a little bit differently. I'm in desperate need of light-hearted SILLINESS, and since today is the season finale (gasp, sob, tear) of The Rachel Zoe Project, my Happy Monday is devoted to her craziness.
Voila my "Happy Monday" list of my favorite "zoe-isms" that you have undoubtedly heard me use whether via twitter or in real life... Don't hate me.

1. "I DIE" - Hands down my favorite.

2. "OOC" - Out of control, first used in Didier Ludot vintage store in Paris (i die.)

3. "SO eiffel tired" - I mean... hilarious. Also first used in Paris (le duh) by one of my RZP faves - Joey Malouf.

4. "Shut up right now!" - Actually i've been using the whole "shut up" thing for awhile now, but adding the "right now" just puts a lovely Zoe twist on it!

5. "SO good" - Don't ask me how she coined this everyday phrase, but she did. So good. So so good.

6. "That is BANANAS!" - Admittedly i haven't integrated this one into my everyday vocab. I've never enjoyed bananas in a slang context... i didn't even like the Gwen Stefani song b/c of the use of the word "bananas!" Isn't that whack? Anyway, it's going in. Right after "I DIE."

7. "shut it down" - Also don't use this one... but i will.

8. "OMG" - i say this all the time, even pre-RZP. See? We're totally besties. Watch this video - so funny.

D'accord! C'est tout! I know you want to die (and not in the good RZ way!) But if you adore RZ as much as i do, then you will love this interview . Omg if only i could interview her... I would literally die. LITERALLY!!! That's another one!! Okay okay. Shutting up now. :X
Oh and check out this funny video of "zoeisms." Soooo gooood. ;-)

Ok i'm done. Happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

ACL Mudfest 2009

WARNING: This is going to be a loooong post w/ beaucoup de pics!

Austin is known as the "Live Music Capital of the World, and i'm truly starting to realize why. After 8 years of living in this gorgeous city, i finally went to Austin City Limits, a 3-day outdoor music festival with 8 stages and a crazy number of bands from the newbies to headliners like Bob Dylan and Pearl Jam. Do not ask me why i hadn't gone before as i am a HUGE music person - i honestly can't answer that question. BUT the point is i went this year, and i loved (almost) every second of it...


Friday was PERFECTION. The weather was gorgeous, not too hot and not too humid, and the new grass at Zilker Park felt like a fluffy bathmat under my bare feet. Love.

Here are some of the bands i checked out:

1. School of Seven Bells - I was completely unfamiliar with this fabulous trio, but i'm hooked. Gorgeous twin sisters with stunning harmonies and a cool edgy synthesize-y feel. New favorite.

2. Dr. Dog - Fun set, crazy songs! Probably not something i'd listen to on my ipod, but a fun performance fo sho.

3. Phoenix - We were pretty far away for this one, but i've been a Phoenix fan for awhile. A French pop-y rock-y band with the cutest lead singer ever! (Apparently he's also the father of Sofia Coppola's child!)

4. Thievery Corporation - LOOOOVE!! What a fun performance! This one included some wicked latin beats. So fun.

5. Andrew Bird - Augh SO good. This man is one of the most talented musicians I've ever heard. Have been listening to his goodies for awhile now, and he did not disappoint. Highly recommend.

6. Kings of Leon - Meh. Unfortunately Kings has gotten so big that the crowd was insanity. They were good, of course, but I heard the Yeah yeah Yeahs were better (played at the same time). STILL, i'm thrilled i went to Kings b/c the COOLEST THING EVER happened to me - I was recognized by 2 blog readers!!! I am so unbelievably flattered and humbled. Marcy (sp?) and Cortney, you girls are the sweetest, and i'm SO glad we had a chance to meet. xoxo!

Other highlights from the day included: gorgeous skies, funny sex dolls, dear amies and running into the prettiest little gal ever (used to babysit her!).


Saturday looked tres different from Friday. Cloudy skies and oodles of rain, my friends. Austin did NOT know what to do. Ditching my boho look from the day before, i opted for what my friend described as "rain hooker" chic: black girly trench and hot pink rain boots! Still the music was sooo good...

1. !!! - Pronounced "chck chck chck!', this band was TOO fun. The lead singer was a dancing queen and got super involved with the crowd. If you get a chance to see them live, GO!

2. Grizzly Bear - I wasn't tres familiar with this band before, but i definitely am now. GORGEOUS and haunting harmonies between four talented men. Download asap.

3. Bon Iver - This was the point of the day i was getting a little crabby. I was wet. I lost my friend J. And the rain was coming down harder and harder... Luckily Bon Iver (pronounced & named after the French "bon hiver") is great rain music (the gorgeous depressing type).

4. Eek-A-Mouse - Highly entertaining reggae music and lots of "ganga" talk. Couldn't help but dance and sing along!

5. Devotcha - Incredible performance, insanely talented violinist, and a super fun surprise in the middle - a HOT dancer doing crazy things with 2 strips of fabric... hawwwwt. I mean...

6. Ghostland Observatory - Played at the same time as Dave Matthews Band. I've seen DMB twice in concert and really wasn't interested in seeing them again. Ghostland was SO FUN! Laser show, crazy dancing cowboy lead singer (from Austin!! used to be a paralegal), and so. much. dancing (kinda hard in rainboots, y'all!).

Btw, I am SO glad i didn't listen to my friend J and wear flip flops... My hot pink boots and matching socks did not disappoint!


I didn't go!!! I wax exhausted and honestly wasn't too interested in any of the bands. It didn't rain, but apparently the grounds were not pretty...

Wonderful 1st ACL experience. Will definitely be returning next year! I LOVE AUSTIN!!!