Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry (Late) Christmas

We are all so blessed beyond measures.  Merry Christmas everyone.  I hope you Santa gave you what you wished for, while spending such a special day with loved ones.  I also pray that everyday you remember the most amazing gift of God sending His only son to become a vulnerable human, so we all can have intricate and special relationships with Him. We are so loved.

Promise I will write tomorrow to catch up! Here are a few of my own Christmas pictures. God bless ya'll!


Max our little reindeer, asleep early (waiting for Santa)


Max with his girls :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Life According to Tommy Hilfiger (Spring 2011)

It's Friday night. 11:00PM.  I am a college junior.  What is wrong with this picture?
(My parents would say nothing, but I beg to differ)

After spending 14 hours mainly at my college's library today, I am hoping that my knowledge in Calculus III is that of Reimann or Newton's.  However, because I now am still bursting with energy, I feel I should indulge in something that has made my day spent in captivity a little bit brighter.  

In earlier posts, you can clearly see my love of Tommy Hilfiger.  In his Fall 2010 (Ready To Wear) Collection, we saw Tommy spice up his merry-go-round of what defines a classic wardrobe with the perfect mix of old and new variety.  For example, the traditional Duck Boots, greatly overused in the 90's, are making a huge comeback thanks to Tommy.  He has made these classic and practical shoes legendary by adding a sassy heel to them:
Tommy has once again switched up and mixed up the traditional preppy wardrobe to make his Spring 2011 (Ready To Wear) Collection his best yet.  The heel added to the Duck Boot for fall has now changed into a coveted Sperry Top-sider Wedge.  

We see the men bringing back edgier colors with Madras ties and colorful socks (and pants...but you will soon see, that has been popular for quite a while). Baby blues and pinks are brought back, as well as chunky blazers (SEERSUCKER!) paired with rolling the hems of those chinos.  
 For the ladies we see traditional fabrics such as khaki used in ways that are most unexpected.  We see double breasted blazers paired with bathing suit tops and a skirt.  Classic and sensible meets a tinge of sexy.  This truly is eye opening to the prep world.  What does Tommy call this collection? "Twisted Country Club"

I am in love....  

So, being the Tommy fiend I am, I was browsing through my personal pictures yesterday, and came across a few that had wardrobes similar to that of Tommy's Spring 2011 Collection...let me share!

Tommy Hilfiger himself looking dashingly similar to the two gentlemen whom I love with all my heart, my boyfriend and daddy. (Polo for The Cure 2010~Leukemia)

Spring 2011 collection compared to my simple button down oxford dress.  Differences? The wedged Sperry Top-Siders! 

So as I listen to the sound of my space heater at my feet, and the wind outside, I find great hope in a colorfully unique spring, that screams "bring the classics back" in a twisted new way! 

Tomorrow is Navy v. Army in Football.  BEAT ARMY! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

To Lift a College Girl's Spirit During Finals Week

One thing that I should have been told before I started college: DO NOT MAJOR IN BIOCHEMISTRY!
It is finals week.  The week that looms over you the whole semester, and dreadfully puts a damper on my favorite month of the year.  Five finals to go...woohoo!

Pittsburgh Updates:
The Steelers beat the Ravens...13-10...thanks to my beloved #43.
One week until Pat is home!
Today's high was 21 degrees. 

Have you ever had brief moments in your life, where you look back on decisions you have made and wonder...why? Let me compare North Carolina blue skies to Pennsylvania wind, ice, and clouds.  This week really has made me miss the south.  I don't remember the last time I was warm.  (Please excuse my negativity, I promise it will go away after finals) 

However, for the girls who are also struggling through the final challenges of the semester, I have created something to lighten the mood.  Looking back at when I was a college freshman, there are a few things that I wish I had been told before the school year started. One of those things, is to always be prepared for the elements.  Whether that be, keeping to your schedule, the weather, or keeping track of your student ID card...there are some key items that make every college girl's life a great deal easier.  

This Polyvore Set is a must have list of what has helped me survive college:

The North Face 'Denali' Recycled Fleece Jacket (Big Girls), $99
Sperry Top-Sider Women's Bluefish Boat Shoe, $79
Sperry Top-Sider 'Pelican' Tall Rain Boot (Women), $68
Vera Bradley Laptop Backpack in Night and Day, $98
Coach Madison Leather Wristlet
Juicy Couture "Pedigree Jelly" Watch, 35mm, $195
Silver and synthetic pearl earrings, 35 GBP
Fairisle Winter Fur Trappr Hat - Black/Grey, 20 GBP
Red Micro Frill Umbrella, 10 GBP
Black Club Master Sunglasses by Ray-Ban, 82 GBP
"Lilly Pulitzer" Thermal Mug - Coral Me Crazy at Lilly Pulitzer, $16
Bling > Artisan Square Red Glitter Bling Frame | Making Memories: A..., $1.99
Girl's new arrivals - shoes - Girls' ribbon fleur ballet flats -..., $63
Vera Bradley Zip ID Case in Very Berry Paisley in Clothing &...

The first item on the list is a North Face fleece jacket.  These are great for fall, winter, and early spring.  You will find them popularly worn at late fall college football games usually paired with team colored scarves.  This jacket will be put to good use.

Sperry Top-Sider Boat Shoes can also be worn in any season.  They look great with jeans, shorts, skirts, and certain dresses. Convenient, Classic, Comfortable. 

Rain Boots, are an obsession of mine (if you couldn't tell). They have great traction, and can be worn in the snow just as easily as in the rain.  Once again, convenient fashion statement that gives you a free range of individuality through the colors, heights, and styles of the boots.

Vera Bradley Laptop life saver! It is such a preppy staple, but has enough room to fit a whole days worth of books, flash cards, pens, and has a secret protective compartment designed to help you tote your laptop around insuring it's safety.  

Coach Wristlets are essential for nights out.  I have found in my past that I am very skilled at losing things.  Wristlets allow you to keep your IDs, money, lipstick, cell phone together while fashionably keeping it attached to your wrist.  

Walking into class late is embarrassing.  Professors also tend to frown upon tardiness.  Watches are a cute daily accessory that keep you fashionably on time. 

Umbrellas. Unique and keep you dry.

Lilly Pulitzer thermal mugs are adorable! The definition of preppy! They allow you to stay environmentally friendly by reusing them daily, they come in many different cute Lilly patterns, and most importantly they encourage caffeine intake... necessary for surviving college!

Ballet flats come in all colors, designs, fabrics, patterns...they are comfy and perfect to wear with any outfit.  

A pair of black pumps are great to have in your shoe collection because regardless of the color or event, a pair of basic black heels will be frequently used.  

Finally, the last item I will comment on...the zip ID case by Vera Bradley.  These are life savers! Mine has been used for my school ID, a few important other cards, my dorm keys, and my car keys.  They are easy to attach to bags, have a plastic covering that allow you to see whether your ID is in it or not, and are the greatest thing if you are just walking to the Cafe.  

Good luck with finals to mentally prepare myself for another night of books. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nu Beta Chi...Go Navy...Beat Army!

Colorado. Known for it's skiing, adventurous landscape...oh and for stealing my boyfriend for the past semester while he did an exchange at The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. This gave me a great excuse to explore Colorado upon several visits to see Pat. (Although I was much more eager to see Pat than Colorado, in all honesty). The first visit, Pat and I had the opportunity to explore The Broadmoor Hotel, which was built as one of the last stops before the mountains. We also were able to visit The Garden of the Gods where we did some hiking and took way too many pictures.
Pat and I at Garden of the Gods

However, I also got to meet and spend time with Pat's fellow midshipmen who were also exchanging at Air Force for the semester. From the very beginning the Navy boys have stuck together. They are inseparable in most aspects...sometimes it makes me question... :) However, from being arrested during Navy v. Air Force week, to golfing, and planning weekend excursions, these strapping young men have created their own fraternity that they have named: Nu Beta Chi (NBX).

The men of NBX have even gone to such lengths as to create their own lacrosse reversible pinnies. These pinnies were gifted to their girlfriends on my second trip out to Colorado when we all stayed in a cabin in the middle of the mountains for the weekend.
The Infamous NBX Pinnies
The Cabin
However, like I have said many times before, my boyfriend has quite good taste when picking out his wardrobe. The men of NBX have also proven themselves as upstanding and capable of performing well in the strict approval of the fashion world. So, as I countdown the days until Pat will be home and not across the country, (11) I would like to dedicate this post to the Colorado adventures, and to the style of NBX.

NBX Weekend Golf

Below is a NBX Inspired Polyvore

As this week approaches a big weekend in Navy traditions, I hope ya'll will turn your attention to the Navy v. Army football game next weekend...and one thing...BLUE AND GOLD...Beat Army!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

When Life Gives You Rain...Wear Rain Boots!

Oh there are days I miss the south.

Blue skies. Warmer weather. Dresses all year.

As a college student, the south was prime for walking to class weather, making my wardrobe as easy as a dress and a pair of flats. This past week in Pittsburgh (by the way...another win for the Steelers making us 8 and 3), has been miserable. Rain for the first two days of the week, and now a great welcome to December with a blizzard. I am sick. Frozen to my core...and wondering how I will be able to walk to class in the elements...let alone keep my status as fashionista?

One great thing the south did teach me was: rain boots rain boots rain boots! If it rains, wear rain boots with a dress. If it snows, wear rain boots with jeans. They really are God's gift to a college girl. They can be basic, and worn with everything, or can be a crazy pattern that makes your outfit standout. Yet, rain boots in my opinion, are ALWAYS considered preppy.

For example, I have two sets of rain boots. A pink plaid pair with a slight wedge heel...meant to dress up my outfit, and a pair of navy blue flat rain boots that can be worn with virtually anything (but let's not get carried away...a cardigan and jeans will do). I have a Coach umbrella that is quite colorful and unique and is also a fashion statement.

As a new "Yankee" college student, I have also taken comfort in my Columbia rain jacket that comes with a duck hood :). I have a new appreciation for it, and the way it keeps my hair dry. So, as winter looks like it is here to stay, I encourage you to whip out a new kind of boot to face the trenches that is waterproof, warm, and oh so preppy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

She's Country

It is finally late fall. Thanksgiving is this week, and there is a lot to be thankful for in the fashion world. We start to see an array of vibrant colors taking over wardrobes as we see vivid reds and deep browns coming to life. We also see fabrics such as tweed, corduroy, and velvet taking center stage. Preps thrive during this time of the year, because we can finally take our classic and basic wardrobes and with an introduction to a subtle wow factor, can make a simple outfit stand out in an envious way.

During this time of the year, I find myself retracing my steps to my childhood days of dress-up. However now, I know the ins and outs of the fashion world. For example, Friday, I was feeling girly. This caused me to pair up a tweed grey mini skirt, a red Tommy Hilfiger cardigan, matching red tights, and basic black oxford heels, with the season's fashionable cashmere Burberry scarf. The scarf gave the classic look something that stood out.

Today, I woke up to blue open skies. This inspired me to add a little twang to my outfit, so I paired a navy and red plaid flannel button down with a navy boyfriend blazer, camel colored corduroy pants, and dark brown knee high leather boots. Prep with a Country twist!

As I have mentioned before, I do some part-time modeling to compliment being a college student. This summer a great photographer and friend of mine, did a few girlfriends and I the favor of shooting a country themed photo shoot on a local farm. A few of the pictures from the shoot are below as inspiration:

Photo Credits:
Photographer: David Lloyd
Models: (left to right in horizontal picture) Allison, Amy, Kerry, and Kalyn (me)

Below is a Country Themed Polyvore that I created with the help of Tommy Hilfiger's Fall 2010 Collection.  One of my favorite pieces from it are the Duck Boots.  Growing up they were popular, and I am thrilled that Tommy has brought them back (with heels).  I have a pair of Duck Boot rain skimmers from this collection, and not only are they fashionable, but extremely practical.  They are rainproof and have great traction, and as a college student, those are key ingredients when looking for shoes!

I greatly encourage you to play up your classic looks with a small accessory or fabric alteration. My promise is that you will find an abundance of approval...especially in the college aged fashion world.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Love My Midshipman, Love Everything Nautical

Hey Preps!

Please feel free to omit the first part of this post, for it will be full of mushiness. However, this explanation is vital for my love of everything nautical. (Plus, it is a somewhat humorous tale) As you can see from my 'support our troops' link with the picture below it, you can see I am dating someone within the military.

His name is Patrick, and you bet I will be a hopelessly in love girlfriend and say that he really is the best...ever. Pat attends the United States Naval Academy located in Annapolis, Maryland. (Obsessed with Annapolis, but we will get there) For you to comprehend my full love of this nautical nonsense, we must start at the very humorous beginning of how I became the girlfriend of such dandy fellow. HA.

Once again let me point out that I am a college student. While most colleagues of mine were spending classy spring breaks in Panama City with the rest of the drunken population ranging from 18-25 years of age, I being the sometimes homebody I am, decided I wanted to spend spring break with my Mom. (This had it's many advantages, let me tell you) She excitedly decided we should go on a cruise together...and that is exactly what we did.

So while everyone else was with their friends from college on this cruise, I was with my mom. I slept with my mom, drank with my mom, had some interesting excursions with my mom...and as a college student, there does come a time where there may be too much mom. Did I just say that? (Love her way too much) However, I did manage to meet some girls my own age on the cruise whom decided to have a mommy vacation as well.

As the moms decided to retire for the evenings, the girls and I would go out together. The first night, a nice guy from West Point asked me to dance. Deciding to be polite because of how gentlemanly he was, I agreed. Do you ever remember a time in your life, where you can't help but feel queezy about? To me, this was one of those times. By the end of the song, this boy was dancing alone...all four limbs on the ground, and I was staring at him from above. The girls I was with were aching with laughter. My opinion of the military academy boys? Negative.

The following night, I was at a table in a lounge area with a few of the same girls. Three guys approached us. Here we go again. Who was the ring leader of this clan? None other than Pat himself. Since this is a fashion based blog, I should at least describe his outfit...FASHION INTERMISSION!

Pat was in, a baby pink Lacoste oxford button down, khaki Vineyard Vine shorts, a needlepoint belt, and...coveted Sperrys. (And his glasses that he really doesn't need to wear but does so because it makes him look smarter...He is very high in his class at Navy for Aerospace Engineering...doubt he needs to look smarter) Intermission End.

Pat introduced himself with his two friends, but clearly was rather outspoken compared to them. That is when the introductory questions began. We found out that they went to the Naval Academy. Strike one after the night before. So, when he asked where I was from. I may have lied a teeny bit when I announced I was from Canada. Although I did mention I went to college in the states at a small school I figured he wouldn't remember the name of. I enjoyed talking to was refreshing to have someone with so much in common after being preyed upon by so many guys that week. However, the night ended, and the cruise was stopping in Jamaica the next day.

Jamaica. What an experience. My mom and I decided to climb Dunns Falls. Do not use a tour guide if you go. They are not helpful. We both wore tennis shoes, and by the end of the climb up this waterfall we were both soaked, and solely in tennis shoes and bikinis. Attractive combo I'd say. Who was at the top of the falls? None other than the hunkiest guy I have ever seen. I am talking RIPPED. Guess who? Pat minus the Lacoste polo and glasses. Do you think I melted when he hugged me?

That night, the usual, dinner, then out with the girls. Along comes the Navy Boys. We have a few drinks together, and continue talking. The time finally comes...Pat asks me to dance. Denied. He persists. Denied. (There is more to the story but I would rather not bore you to death) The last night of the cruise, I did not want to deal with another queezy dance. Plus it was assumed I would never see him again. Why exert the effort?

Several days after I got back to school, a Facebook friend request pops up. Navy Boy! I was in my living room with my roommates. I laughed and told them that the creeper Navy guy from the cruise somehow found me on Facebook. I am persuaded to accept. That night, Facebook message from Navy boy. This is what it said: "Canada if I am not mistaken? You owe me a dance..."

A month later, I and two of my roommates made a nine hour trek to Annapolis for the Academy's International Ball. Pat soon was made fun of for his gullible nature in trusting that I was from Canada. To this day, I swear, I fell in love with him then. There is something about Annapolis, The Academy, and most importantly Pat, that just hit me that weekend.

Pat and I just clicked. My whole life I have never met someone compatible like he is to me. We can talk about anything, and it is a good respectful conversation. We have similar backgrounds, and families...the boyfriend list is perfectly matched. But that can be totally disregarded when looking at him and our relationship. Never in my life have I met someone so humble and selfless. When he has absolutely every reason not to be. Never have I met someone who completely amazes me everyday with his knowledge, and his genuine care for me. He is someone I look up to, and respect, and whom I love with all my heart. Our relationship has always been long distance to an extent. The fact we have made it through the distance and lack of communication at times that we have, makes me feel like we can make it through anything.

There are days when I am lonely, and a struggle. However, I have found that person whom I would sacrifice anything for, and even far away, I know I would never want anything else ever. that the mush is over, let us focus on Annapolis.

Annapolis, a town immersed in the regal ways of the Academy, yet quaint, and the perfect example of an east coast town. From the amazing shops to the eateries, all surrounded by the history of heroes, and the Atlantic ocean, Annapolis could not be a better place to fall in love with my own hero. So, as I write to you, I hope you may find some time in the very distant spring to visit this town and fall in love with it like I have. Below are some of my top Annapolis picks, as well as a Polyvore I created in honor of my love of the town, and my creeper Navy boyfriend. Enjoy!

Chick and Ruth's (this is a fun and unique place to eat)

The Big Cheese
Sici's Crepes
Hell Point Seafood
NOSTALGIA Cupcakes (on WE televistion)

Madison Boutique
Madeleine Boutique
Boutique Vineyard
East of Maui
Giant Peach

Also, fully take advantage of visiting the Academy. It is gorgeous and amazing to learn about.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby! It's Cold Outside!

Hey Prepsters!

Pittsburgh is the city of many great things such as The Pittsburgh Steelers and PENS, great eateries, shopping, and nightlife (college student, it is an obligation to say so).  However, there are many reasons why my first two years of college were spent down south...

I LOATHE the cold, wet, icy weather in Pittsburgh.

Never would I have imagined that this year I would be spending my free time trudging from one class to the next through the appalling weather that Pittsburgh is known for.  So, as I sit on my couch with fuzzy socks, sweats, and a immense fleece blanket on; I will find a gleam of hope in the Polyvore I just created.

Tommy Hilfiger's Fall 2010 line is beyond amazing.  I highly recommend you check it out on his website.  However, in the meantime, take a look at my Tommy inspired Polyvore that is completely cold weather approved!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Revenge of The Fashion Rejects

Hey Preps!

As a representative prep of the Steel City of Pittsburgh, I felt it necessary to add this post as a plug-in to an up and coming Pittsburgh designer, Angie Fec. Angie is quite a talent, and after spending five minutes with her, I am sure you would agree. A few years ago, she started her own line of clothing called SewAddicted. Although, not considered "preppy" by definition, she has a huge variety of designs, themes, and I am SEWWWADDICTED!

This past weekend at Altar Bar, in Pittsburgh, she put on a show called Revenge of The Fashion Rejects. She saw some of my modeling portfolio, and asked me to be in it...I couldn't be any more thrilled with the results. Check out Pittsburgh's finest!

(I am on the far left)

The fashion show: Revenge of The Fashion Rejects, had a burlesque theme to it, with great 80's music as well as retro music.  Each scene had it's own theme.  I was in a scene where we walked to "Walking on Broken Glass" and were meant to be dolls.  Can you tell?  SewAddicted.  From Pittsburgh to your home.  Have a preptastic evening :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Behind The Prep

Growing up, I was the nerdy girl with oversized glasses, braces, and boney knees.  I still look back on pictures and look at the disheveled nature of my awkward days, and can only thank my parents for still thinking I was a beauty.  However, I can also thank the preppy primary school I attended that fully accepted my penny loafers, specs, and oversized oxfords.

I can solely thank this school for the start of my prep obsessions, that have turned into an outlet from my college courses, but also a way to creatively express my simplistic and unique style to a world that has rejected the prep for so long.  So... here is a little bit about myself.

I grew up in a small town just outside of Pittsburgh.  The town could be considered a northern Annapolis with it's dainty shops and unique eateries.  There is a shop with the strict uniform of Vineyard Vine ties, Leatherman belts, and Vera Bradley galore.  There is a local country club that is quite historical and has the membership of many known names such as Bill Gates, and Dick Cheney.  Within this club we find extracurriculars such as fox hunting, golfing, shooting, and polo (but not limited to).

The lifestyles of those entwined in this club, carried over into the preppy school I spent most of my childhood within.  There I spend many years playing field hockey and lacrosse.  We had many undefeated seasons, while being coached by the Headmaster's wife whom had played for Vermont.  Our lunches consisted of sitting with a teacher and other classmates and having a family style meal, in which we learned the proper ways to behave in a formal dinner setting ( I learned very early on when I tried to slurp the rest of my soup by tilting the bowl to my mouth and having it pushed in my face by a disgraced teacher).  We wore uniforms with button down polos, plaid skirts, knee socks, and loafers.  As regimented as it sounds, I will always look fondly back on those days.

Present day...I am currently a college Junior.  I am a Biochemistry major whom after spending two years attending college in the deep south, decided to locate closer to home to finish my degree.  (Let me tell you I MISS THE SOUTH)  My love of lacrosse has carried on throughout my life, and I currently am a middy for my college's women's lacrosse team.  Go Cats!

I have an amazing family including my parents, a younger sister, and (quite the prepster himself) a Westy, named Sir Maxwell Smart.

Finally, I would like to brag about my amazing boyfriend, who attends the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and is not only the whole package, prince charming deal, plus....but also tends to give me a pointer or two when it comes to the "Gentleman" and his suave fashions.

But this is yours truly, Kalyn Brook-The Pittsburgh Prep, hoping you enjoy my rants that all involve my love of Prep, and of my hometown Roots.  Enjoy!