Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Today, I want to have a little heart-to-heart with you. Shall we? So, I have a few things to say about life and social media.

Now, I know you may be thinking how strange it is of me to put social media on a high enough importance level that I am grouping it in with a conversation on life. But, I really feel like we have made it this important as a society.

Personally, the social media app that I keep up with most is Instagram. For me, it’s fun to see what my “real life” friends are cooking, where they are traveling to, and who they’re hanging out with. It’s just something I consider enjoyable. I also follow people I don’t know personally (i.e. fashion bloggers, famous journalists, artists, and companies) because I find their posts to be creative, inspiring, and entertaining.

But, what I have found to be true in many cases through talking to friends is that many people use Instagram as a way to determine the fullness of their lives by comparing themselves to the pictures that other people post. Oh, your friend from high school is always “instagramming” from exotic locations? Her life must definitely be better than yours. (Please note the sarcasm in the previous sentence.)

The truth is, everyone has moments and days that are less than perfect. It doesn’t mean that they are lying by only posting the happy moments. They are just showing the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. I mean, honestly, would you want to see people posting about all the things that go wrong in their lives? I know I wouldn’t. I actually find Instagram to give me the opposite effect in that even if I am having the worst day or am super worried about something, seeing a friend post from a wedding or share something special makes me feel happy…not envious.

So, if you’ve ever found yourself feeling down that someone’s life on social media seems happier, prettier, or easier than yours, just know that everyone goes through low points. And, hypothetically speaking, let’s just imagine for a moment that there is someone out there who has the perfect life. There is still always something to be grateful for.

If you are reading this post right now, you have an internet connection. Now, there’s something to be grateful for! Ok, but all jokes aside, now that we’ve established that you have internet access, chances are you also have a place to live, clothes to wear, and food to eat. With these basic things (that A LOT of people in the world do not have), how silly must it seem to God that we stress out over things like Instagram?!

If you’ve never played the comparison game, congratulations. You’re on the right track. But, if you have, I really hope that what I’ve said above hits some spot for you and resonates with you. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Fully enjoy the life you are given and the special people in it. After all, #YOLO.

xo Aneela

Thursday, November 6, 2014


That salutation up there was me "trying" to say hello while shivering. It is suddenly freezing in our house and the wind has been howling for a bit. Also, I worked out today after a long hiatus and ma knees be achin'! Does anyone else get really achy knees after running? I only get them the first few days, but boy oh boy....they HURT.

So, lately I've been super domestic and cooking every night. Sometimes, I get lazy and make one of my signature dishes that I could make with my eyes closed (ie. butter chicken, lentils and rice, stir fry, basic curries). But, a lot of days I have been trying new recipes because of my close relationship with pinterest. I have been pinning and cooking everything under the sun! Today, I made tandoori chicken and zucchinis with naan. I know, weird combination, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. I made the chicken in a wok-type pot and I wanted to combine bell peppers into the curry mixture, but we were out and the aforementioned windy weather/knee situation forced me to improvise with zucchinis. I got good reviews all around, if I might add!

I will finish off this little post with this ADORABLE wittle guppoo!! Did your day just get a little brighter? Mine sure did!

xo A

image via

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fall Food Realness

I have been trying to write a blog post declaring my love for the fall season for quite a few days now. The one I have saved in my drafts highlights the fall-time activities I believe everyone should try. You know, the typical pumpkin farm, hot apple cider, baking with loved ones shenanigans. Groundbreaking. It didn't sound like something I had written or like something I would personally enjoy reading (even though it was embellished with some pretty spiffy photographs I took). So, using my disappointment in that post to my advantage, I am going to write in my usual style...typing whatever comes to mind. Can you tell I don't do well with structured writing? I don't know, it just sounds a bit insincere when I do it on the blog.

In place of reciting off all the reasons I love fall, I'm just going to share some things I find exciting as they come to me. Let the journey through Aneela's scattered thoughts commence...

Lately, I have been enjoying cooking/baking dishes that taste a gajillion times better during the colder months. Last week, we hosted a tea party and I took a short cut with some Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies. They totally tasted like they were made from scratch. I truly believe that with a few tweaks here and there in terms of ingredients you can make packaged desserts taste like you've been slaving away for hours. Case in point: I was just in NYC over the weekend and the lovely person I was staying with baked the most delicious brownies. They were so rich and had a generous amount of almonds and walnuts in them. When she told me she just used a brownie mix and added lots of nuts, I couldn't believe it! They tasted sooo good! Now, before you accuse me of trying to turn people to the dark side, give boxed baking a try. You might win over a few hearts and never look back ;)

Now, I know a lot bloggers are into doing everything from scratch. I enjoy both methods and I think it really depends on how much time I have and what kind of mood I'm in. Personally, I love cooking from scratch on the weekends when I have hours to spend in the kitchen. So, I have been collecting (and using) recipes that I think will be extra delicious as the trees outside become bare and a blanket of white settles in.

First of all, in case you haven't been looped in, sea salt + caramel = the solution to 99% of the world's problems. In honor of this delicious equation, I am going to link some of my favorite fall-time salted caramel recipes. Here is how to make simple salted caramels via Barefoot Contessa. Or, you could opt for a fun salted caramel pudding recipe via Portuguese Girl Cooks. And, of course, no fall gathering is complete without cupcakes, so try your hand at these salted caramel cupcakes via Tidy Mom.

image via Tidy Mom

image via Portuguese Girl Cooks

Now, this next topic, I am hoping to dedicate another post to as well, but in the meantime, I will just give you a quick synopsis here. Can we just take a moment to appreciate the goodness that is...THE CHEESE BOARD?! It's sweet, it's salty, it's fancy, it's casual, it's whatever you want it to be. I personally like one that is actually made on a wooden board...add those cute little chalkboard labels for the cheeses and we're talkin' par-tayyyy. And this is coming from someone who doesn't even particularly like cheese. Which, I know is embarrassing for someone who lives in America's DAIRY LAND, but I can't even remember the last time I craved cheese...UNTIL the cheese board. Here is 'The Perfect Fall Cheese Platter' via Honestly Yum. Get on it, people! More to come on this in a future post ;)

image via Honestly Yum

Well, I wanted to share some fall fashion trends in this post as well, but it is getting insanely long. Honestly, congratulatutions if you're still reading this. So, I'm going to end this post with the "it drink" of the moment. Make it. Try it. Love it. Here is how to make Rosemary Hot White Chocolate via Golubka. You're welcome:) Also, this girl has some mad manicure game (see below).

image via Golubka

Happy Monday!
xo Aneela

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The 20 Questions Tag

So, I was tagged to answer these questions by Lorraine like forever and a half ago. We're talking years, people. Better later than never, eh? Well, I hope this tag is fun for you to read and lets you get to know me a little better. If any of these questions "speak" to you, leave your response in the comment section! I would love to see your answers! I hope you all have a great weekend :)

1. Thing you cannot leave the house without?
Car keys because there is nothing in walking distance of my home. Oh and my phone. We are basically joined at the hip, literally.

2. Favorite brand of makeup?
As much as I love the higher end makeup products in my life, most of the products I reach for EVERY SINGLE DAY are by e.l.f. They are high quality products at the most affordable prices out there. Yeah, they don't come in fancy packaging, but they get the job done and I will always love them. 

3. Favorite flower?

This question is a hard one one because flowers are kind of my "thing". I narrowed them down and it would have to be an (almost) tie between orchids and peonies. The peonies win by a hair. I imagine a peony could cheer me up no matter what. 

(image via Zsa Zsa Bellagio)
4. Favorite clothing store?
Lately, the Nordstrom Rack has been hitting the nail on the head. That said, there's nothing like Pakistani clothes. I will always choose them over going to American shops. I love Gul Ahmed and Generation. They both have high quality materials, are always on trend, and are available online :)

5. Favorite perfume?

Hands down, the Betsey Johnson one that looks like a bottle of kajal (w/ the hot pink top). I know it's quite the teeny bopper choice for a favorite, but I have been through several bottles since high school and I love it even more now! 

6. Heels or flats?

On an everyday basis, always flats. Although, I like to wear heels sometimes and then I feel like a tree. One heel-wearing day gets the bug out of me for a few months lol.

7. Do you make good grades?

Well, I am not currently in school (graduated a few months ago), but when I was, yes, I made VERY good grades. I am a perfectionist when it comes to academics. Ain't nobody tryna be thousands of dollars in debt AND not do well in school, right? #gunner

8. Favorite colors?

I cannot answer this question. It depends on so many things. How can I put limitations on my color preferences? Never understood how anyone can be expected to answer this accurately lol.

9. Do you drink energy drinks?

Nope. Never have, never will. Nobody needs to drink those. Kids need to learn how to better manage their time and go take a nap. 

10. Do you drink juice?

Not really. 

11. Do you like swimming?

Swimming is one of those important skills that I am embarrassed to admit, I never learned. 

12. Do you eat fries with a fork?
Nah, do people actually do that? Unless you're the queen, put that fork down...

13. Favorite moisturizer?

bebe Zartplflege. I stocked up on this when I was in Germany. I got them from the shop, DM if anyone is interested. IT. IS. THE. BEST.

(image via

14. Do you want to get married later on in life?

Can this be the one place where we chill out about this question? K, thanks.

15. Do you get mad easily?

No, unless I am hangry. Hungry, therefore angry, therefore, hangry. 

16. Are you into ghost hunting?


17. Any phobias?

I used to have many, but I conquered every single one. I can't think of anything I am afraid of now other than the obvious things, like murderers.

18. Do you bite your nails?


19. Have you ever had a near death experience?

No, thank God. 

20. Do you drink coffee?

Yes, but for the taste and occasionally. I don't need coffee. Does the fact that I felt the need to make that clarification say anything? Hmm ;)

Well, that was kind of fun! Until next time, toodles!

xoxo Aneela

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mood Board Monday: It Won’t Melt Twice

Happy Monday to everyone and congratulations on the beginning of another September! Let's make it a great month! 'Mood Board Monday' is all about artistic inspiration and adding fresh ideas to the filing cabinet of images in our minds. This week's board entitled, 'It Won't Melt Twice' features inspiration book shots, sketches, samples, and a mood image. Thank you to Rory Longdon for sharing this treat to the eyes! 

xoxo Aneela

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Desi Knot Loves #4: Music Edition

Even though I haven’t written on my blog in way too long, I have been craving an opportunity to post on here forever and a lot of ideas have been brewing in my head. I am hoping that I will be regular enough with my writing in the future that I don’t have to begin each post with an explanation/apology for my absence. So here’s to hoping for a more poppin’ future on The Desi Knot…

As for right now, where shall I begin? I have basically been caught up with life, impromptu travelling, and A NEW JOB! This is actually my first real job of my life. Today, was my fifth day of work and I have to say full-time shifts are so exhausting! I didn’t think it would be such a big adjustment, but when I get home at the end of the day, I am absolutely ready for a nap! It has been getting easier though with each passing day, so I hope this routine will grow on me soon.

Working has also motivated me to look for something to do in my free time that I truly enjoy and can use as an escape from becoming a boring workaholic. So, with that, I return to this lovely corner of the internet. And today, I present to you, another installment of ‘The Desi Knot Loves’. NUMERO CUATRO. You can search my blog for ‘The Desi Knot Loves’ to read my previous posts written in this format. This time around, I will share with you some of my favorite music of the moment. Some of these songs are in Spanish, but I think they can be enjoyed even if you don't understand the lyrics. The beat is just so rich. Don’t forget to comment below on what YOU have been listening to lately and I will be sure to check it out J

xoxo Aneela 

1. El Perdador by Enrique Iglesias ft. Marco Antonio Solis (Bachata Version)
So, I LOVE this song! I can't really decide if I like the Pop or Bachata version better. It's crazy to me that they choreographed the dance to match both versions in the music videos. They are both very well done!

2. Gangsta by Kat Dahlia
"You say you a gangsta, but that don't impress me none. I do it all myself. I ain't gettin' help from no one." What a message... #deep

3. Senorita from Zindagi Ma Milegi Dobara
This is SUCH a fun song/video from an epic film about friendship. It reminds me of Guatemala like no other (even though nothing in this video looks like anything I did there lol). The craziest thing about this song and music video is the story behind it. Google the song and read the wikipedia page about it. It's crazy!!

4. Loca by Shakira ft. El Cata
I heard this one night on the ride home from the clinic in Guatemala. Haven't been able to stop listening to it since.

5. Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg
Because I have to throw in a cute sappy song for good measure. Duh.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hello Again

Oh hello there. Long time no see. I am currently on my way to Chicago and am finally getting around to writing on here because I have absolutely nothing better to be doing. Just kidding, I am supposed to be writing a presentation right now for tomorrow that I should have done last week…if I had any semblance of humanity in me. Guess not, eh?

Anyways, a lot has happened since we last “spoke”. I graduated from university! It still hasn’t really hit me that I won’t be going back to that school when summer is over. It’s actually very bittersweet for me as I really loved my university, my major, and all the students and professors. My entire undergrad experience was amazing and school was my “happy place”. I don’t really know when I will get used to the fact that it’s all over. Obviously, law school is still in the cards for me (God willing), but I have a feeling that nothing will ever compare to the all girls and close knit community of my undergrad yearsL

Also, the morning after graduation, at six in the morning, I left for Guatemala with the non-profit organization, Humanity First for a medical mission in the village of Sumpango. I don’t have it my heart to write about my experience. Hopefully, one day I will do a post on here about it, but my emotions are still very raw and every time I sit down to write about it, I just don’t know quite how to put my thoughts into words. Maybe I will do a post with pictures. I took hundreds of photographs and I think they do a good job of saying what words cannot. I suppose that is why they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Ok ok, onto happier things. To back track a bit, I coordinated a fashion show that took place the Friday before graduation. I won’t bore you to tears with actual process of producing a show, but I will share with you some pictures that I took at the show. We put the show on three times throughout the day and had an attendance of 1,500 people! Unlike last year, this time around, I did not spend a lot of time backstage and was able to photograph all three shows. The photographer we hired even gave me some pointers on my DSLR and went home to get me a monopod and some other supplies. That was very exciting for me because I got to take some amazing shots thanks to him. Yep, no blurry shots were had that fine day ;) Enjoy some favorite shots below!

xoxo Aneela 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Michael Kors: Timeless Legend or Ticking Time Bomb?

Note: Yes, I'm aware. This post is not written in my typical "blog voice". But I urge you to keep reading, so I can school you on MK... #ejooomacation

If asked to list some of the most well-known and impactful names in the world of fashion, many would point out Michael Kors as one of those influential designers who has made major contributions over the past several years in the industry. Some of Michael Kors’ many accomplishments include having one of his designs worn by Michelle Obama in her first term official portrait as First Lady and being referenced in the popular 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada by Meryl Streep’s powerful editor-in-chief character, Miranda Priestly. While it can be argued that Michael Kors is loved by many and that his popularity and success has been increasing over the years, his methods of gaining this success can also be called into question. This piece will bring to light the ethical issues behind Kors’ success such as claims made by fellow designer Roberto Cavalli about Kors’ work being unoriginal, insensitivity exhibited through a magazine advertising campaign, and sharp remarks made on his part during his time as a judge on the popular television show, Project Runway.

First, in an article from the Fashion Times, writer Britteny Dee writes, “Michael Kors is one of the most widely recognized American fashion designers and is set to become the industry's next billionaire, but fellow designer Roberto Cavalli thinks that he is responsible for Kors' success”. The Italian fashion designer believes that Kors steals his designs and claims them as his own. In an interview with Cavalli explains, “He's one of the biggest copy designers in the world….I just want to tell him to stop copying me! Stop! All the time I write those comments on Instagram. He copies everybody!”. He goes on to say, “Americans like Michael Kors! And you love so many other designers who do that - he's not American fashion. He is international fashion made in America. It's not fair…” It must also be mentioned however, that Cavalli has also accused other American fashion designers of stealing his work, but holds a particularly strong opinion against the originality of work by Michael Kors.

Moreover, Michael Kors has been the recipient of much heat from the media over his ‘Afriluxe’ fashion shoot for a magazine advertising campaign. The campaign displayed people with an ebony skin tone as “extras” in the photographs. The author of an article from Daily Mail, Lauren Paxman, point out that a month prior to the release of Kors’ advertising campaign, a similar Haiti-shot campaign by fellow American designer, Donna Karan, had sparked controversy for using two seemingly poverty-stricken black teenagers simply to set the scene. Paxman calls Kors’ judgment into question by making the point that with such a similar campaign by Donna Karan having caused controversy, Michael Kors must have anticipated a similarly negative reaction from the public. Despite being aware of the media stir caused by Donna Karan’s campaign, the firm decided publish the images unaltered. The images that make up the Michael Kors ‘Afriluxe’ campaign include an image that shows two seemingly financially well-off white people on a very luxurious safari while a black tour guide fades into the background (see image below). 

A writer for by the name of Dhani Mau, does make the argument that the fact that the safari guide in Kors' picture “happens to be the only black person in the ad”, he adds that this element of the campaign, “might be a point of contention, or it may simply be seen as realistic”. So, while it may be argued that the campaign is not directly racist and that worse offences have been committed in the name of fashion, it can be concluded that the shoot displays poor judgment and racial insensitivity on the part of the popular American designer. The author concludes the article by pointing out that perhaps the reactions to these photos will persuade the fashion industry as a whole to finally move on from using imperialism as inspiration in their advertising efforts.

Finally, during his time as a judge on the popular television show, Project Runway, Michael Kors quickly became known as an overly harsh judge as his criticisms of contestants’ designs were often downright inappropriate and insulting. According to an episode of 20/20 on the ABC television network, one of Michael Kors’ choice critiques was a description of an aspiring designer’s work in which he exclaims, “It looks like, kind of a bad prom dress”. Keeping up with his harsh critiques, Michael Kors was also quoted in the 20/20 segment saying, “She looks like an Amish cocktail waitress”. Other, more inappropriate comments referencing prostitution and disrespecting women were also mentioned in the segment. When confronted about his offensive word choice during the interview, Kors simply replied, “Well, you know what’s funny? I guess I have an imagination. Hopefully, they are going to get some constructive criticism from me”. Some may argue that his snarky quips were all for good fun and higher ratings as his comments did attract quite a few viewers for Project Runway. However, many would agree that when public figures put themselves out there like this, everything they say represents their image. And negative comments may contribute to a lower perception of figures making such controversial statements. 

To conclude, one can see that it could be said that the empire Michael Kors has created is monumental in shaping the fashion world as we know it today. However, with the ethical issues that have arisen in Michael Kors’ business practices such as accusations of copying designs by Roberto Cavalli, knowingly publishing an insensitive advertising campaign, and offering inappropriate critiques on a television show, some may begin to question if it is his customer’s best interest that Michael Kors has in mind as he manages his brand. Some may even wonder if Kors’ company is strong enough to pull through these issues or if a time will come when these controversies will no longer be tolerated by his loyal fans and force the billion dollar empire to suffer. 

So, what do you think? Do you have an opinion one way or the other? Or, can you not be arsed to care? Leave your comments below!

xoxo Aneela

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Leely the Laptop Slayer

So...I should definitely be studying right now for a MONSTER EXAM I have tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM. Yet here we are again crossing paths in the vast blogosphere. Honestly though, I can justify my current lack of drive because this professor's exams are impossible to study for. I go to class. I take good notes. I participate in class when all of the other girls are suddenly in mid-gulp out of their Starbucks cups every time a question is posed. For lack of a better word, I am what they (not really sure who they are) call a gunner. Minus the part of the Urban Dictionary definition about being willing to compromise peer relationships/reputation in order to obtain recognition and praise from superiors. Of course. But, I have yet to earn a perfect score on any of the quizzes or exams in this course. So, I'm just chilling here trying to distract myself from my current academic slump.

Anyways, so today was interesting. I almost murdered my laptop with a knife. Backtrack to this morning at 6:45 AM which is the ungodly hour that I leave for school every morning. I was running late per usual by chance and instead of taking the time to make cuts in my orange (to make it easier to peel) I threw the orange and a trusty knife into a plastic bag and ran out the door. I put the bag and my laptop near each other in my car and unintentionally gave them some valuable mingling time. Anybody can probably guess that the knife was sharp enough to poke through the plastic bag and know the rest. It's almost too painful to write. I now have some pretty SUBSTANTIAL scratches on ma guppy wupps (3 month old) LT :(

Now, I know what you're thinking. Aneela, there's this #amazeballs invention called a LAPTOP BAG. And yes, I'm aware. I have another heartbreaking story about that for a later post.

I swear there was something else I was going to tell you about, but I can't remember what it was so for now I think I'm going to be a big kid, down a cup of coffee, and study for the inevitable and impossible monster exam.

Wish me luck y'all! Happy hump day!

xoxo Aneela

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Consumption Of Cookies Before Purchase Is Stealing

One of the things I miss most about Germany and Europe in general is being able to go to the small local bakeries and eat anything my little heart desired made fresh that same morning. We definitely don't have anything like that where I live! But, sometimes you just have to settle. We recently hosted a pretty large event and my mom found an amazing variety of cookies at one of our local grocery stores. For that event, we served cookies with tea for three days and we bought a whopping 55 POUNDS OF COOKIES.

Today, I went to have a look around and "interview" the baker for my blog. The woman who helped me pack my cookies was very sweet and enjoyed my excited questions about the bakery section. She told me that they actually don't bake the cookies or breads at the store. But, they do get frequent shipments, so the cookies are pretty fresh whenever you make a purchase. The company that makes the cookies is called Voortman and she told me that they are carried by other grocery stores in the United States as well. So, if you like what you see, inquire at your local supermarket! Or if you're European, as many of you are, you may as well skip this post because nothing we bake can ever reach your superior level of deliciousness (of course that's a word...darn spell check).

Now, it's no German bakery, but it's something for those of us who get the short end of the stick ;)

Here are a few shots I took today:

I thought this was funny because hello! Common Sense!

Aren't these photo "stickers" the cutest?!

My favorites are the coconut cremes!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Night Arm Party!

Today, I played around with some new tangerine accessories. I mixed them with my rose gold coloured (Doesn't it just look more sophisticated spelled with a 'u'?! ) watch and a silver bangle with a single rhinestone. All of the accessories are from the department store, Kohl's. My watch always gets mistaken for a Michael Kors until people come closer and see the ginormous Minnie Mouse etching on the face. I love it!

I feel like I should add some clutch advice about creating wrist stacks, but whenever I come up with a good combination, it's the result of coincidence mixed with raiding my mother's jewelry collection. Literally, the majority of the accessories I own are things my mom let me keep because I was OMG OBSESSED. Maybe one day I will also acquire my mom's taste in fashion. Amijan, I know you're reading this and I just want to say I think you should keep letting me call dibs on your pieces because it's all part of my plan towards style nirvana. I am simply thinking to the future;)

So, while I definitely believe that the perfect stack is a chance encounter with the right pieces at the right time, I do think this post by Carly (the college prepster) is a great starting point for the novice stacker!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind

Today was a hugely important day in the history of my home state of Wisconsin since its founding in 1848. Yes folks, April 3rd, 2014 will go down in history as the date that the cheese state finally got its first taste of some sharp fashion. Haha, did you get that attempt at a joke back there?

Well, today marks the grand opening of the Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. And might I add, this place is a literal 30 SECONDS away from campus. I already brag to my family about going to school in the best shopping/restaurant/entertainment area that I know of, but the new Mayfair Collection just adds another destination to my lunch break spots! I predict admission numbers will also be going up in the coming years...I wonder why;)

The shopping area is not fully open for business yet, but the most exciting destinations (Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth, and Ulta) opened for sales today. Now, I have to say that we Wisconsinites are a bit slow to catch onto trends. We don't start wearing styles until a few months after they've been introduced in the bigger cities and major metropolitan areas. I don't think we will be getting an actual Nordstrom or Saks anytime soon (probably not in my lifetime...depressing, I know). I did predict that if the elite designers did ever make their way over to Wisconsin, they would come in the form of discount stores like Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth. I should have documented my prediction because I could not have been more right! I guess I have incredible foresight!

So, onto the experience! I decided to go between classes and meet up with two of my good friends, Colleen and Becky. I went around lunchtime and it was opening day, so it goes without saying that parking was a pain. I think once the initial magic wears off, the parking lot is large enough to let people make it to the shops comfortably. Fox News and a few other T.V. stations were also there to report on the grand opening.

The line to Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth

Once I stepped into the shops, everything was a blur. Like, y'all that live in big cities can't even understand the feeling. My friends and I couldn't get over the fact that we were touching brands we had only ever seen printed on the glossy pages of our favorite magazines. I ACTUALLY HELD MIU MIU LOAFERS IN MY SMALL TOWN HANDS. At one point, I think I saw a mannequin smile at me from the corner of my eye. It was a nice little tribute to 'Confessions of a Shopaholic'. By this point, I'm sure you are convinced that I have completely lost my mind, so I'll stop "talking" and leaving you with the cutest shot of opening day through my eyes!

A very HAPPY Colleen post-Saks!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Current State of Crazy

So, I've been doing this crazy thing lately where having a huge amount of work just makes me want to put things off and write on this blog. So, here I am, typing away when I have a gajillion and one thoughts running through my mind. It's like my creative juices don't flow unless I have so much going on that I actually walk out of the house in the morning without shoes on my feet. Yes, this really happened to me last week.

Also, my room has been super clean lately because I've decided it's a vital stepping stone to feeling like a "grown-up". Well, other than now having an unobstructed traffic flow from my dresser to my bed, my world is pretty much falling apart! I keep feeling like I've misplaced things (but they're just where they should be) and have an overall feeling of paranoia about the superior level of cleanliness being exhibited in my living space.

Lately, I have also been wanting to diversify (ooh big word, fancy) my blog content by branching out into cooking posts. I've been photographing my food as I make it as of late to possibly post it on here, but my food just isn't that photogenic and nothing looks deserving of its fifteen minutes of fame yet. I have done cooking posts before though here and here. Maybe I need to make more extravagant food choices before I can whip out the camera and start snapping away?

Hmm what else? I have a photo shoot today between classes with Diana Yokes. I have to say I am pretty excited because I really like her work. She does a lot of fashion photography for magazines and is known for completely transforming her subjects and creating dreamlike images. I feel like I should be nervous, but I'm just too exhausted for nerves today. Oh and did I mention she will be airbrushing my makeup which has the designer bags under my eyes oh so excited.

To end this unorganized scatter brain of a post, I do appreciate all y'all that have been commenting on my posts lately. Really it's great. But, for the love of God, please don't be rude. Or be rude. I'll just delete anything that is blatantly offensive or a weakly crafted humor-coated insult. Honestly, I don't get why people hate. I mean, I write a BLOG for crying out loud. I don't claim to be sitting behind my computer screen with the cure to cancer (I wish) for you to be sitting behind yours passing judgment. Cool? Cool.

Aight, I'm off to lecture #3 of the day.


xoxo Aneela

Friday, February 28, 2014

Legally Exhausted!

Long time no talk y'all! I say this as if I am usually pretty regular about posting on here. I swear I have been making an effort! I have four almost completed entries sitting in my drafts that just need a little formatting here or word choice editing there. I pinky promise I will make those changes ASAP and get them published in the coming days.

Anyways, I really wanted to write about today while everything is still fresh in my head. If you are a regular reader of my blog you may know that I am currently studying for the LSAT. Well, since we last "spoke", I have become even more obsessed with the law and have committed to immerse myself into the culture by networking and meeting people working in different areas of law. I am finishing up undergrad and have been lucky enough to take two law courses this semester because I had not yet used up my electives. Both of my professors are insanely energetic, inspiring, and supportive even though I didn't discover my passion for law until my last year of undergrad. I expected some judgment based on my "late" realization and current area of study, but everyone has been so supportive through my transition. I have to admit I'm actually a little saddened that I will only get to be with these professors for a few more months.

So...on to the point of this post. My professors having been working in law for a number of years and have a slew of connections in the legal field. When I told them I was interested in getting to know legal professionals working in different sectors, they were very helpful in sharing contacts and encouraging me to reach out to people in the area.

I was able to set up a time for today with The Honorable Magistrate Judge at the U.S. Department of Justice. For some reason, I was extremely nervous about it. Last night, I had a chain of nightmares with different scenarios. I dreamed of everything from not finding parking, my outfit being drenched in dirty rain water, getting trapped in the elevator, and getting lost downtown. After each nightmare, I would wake up relieved to find that reality wasn't nearly as horrific as what I had just seen. At about 4:00 am, I gave up on sleep and tried to do everything I could to prevent any of my nightmares from coming true.

After a nervous morning, I am happy to report that I reached the Federal Magistrate's office at exactly 9:00 am (on time) safe and sound. Funny story: When I finally got to the correct door, I assumed it was an office and the door was closed, so I did what any reasonable person would do. I knocked on the door. Precise, pronounced, knocking. After hearing no reply, I turned the doorknob and walked in only to find that I had just walked into the Magistrate's courtroom! There was a proceeding in progress and it was dead silent. Every head in the room turned around to glance at me (only for a moment and then continued on with the hearing). These people were dressed in a palette of browns, grays, and bored facial expressions. And here I was, wearing rhinestone ballerina flats, a watermelon colored hijab, and an overzealous toothy smile. I have to say, I think it was a total 'Legally Blonde' moment!

I got to sit in on five cases. Each of them were very different from one another and so interesting. I did take thorough notes and could write about them on here because it is all public information, but I don't want to bore those of you who aren't interested. After the hearings, the Assistant United States Attorney who was representing the U.S. government in the cases came over to me and told me about what he does on a day-to-day basis. He was very informative and told me all about his journey to his current position. He also gave me insight into the District Attorney's office and how they differ in the types of cases they represent.

I also met a 2L (second year) student from the law school I am hoping to attend. He was also sitting in on the same cases. It was comforting to know I wasn't the only newbie in the arena and from this point forward, I felt like there was someone else there to answer questions that I couldn't. Let me tell you, the DOJ environment is not for the timid or the weak at heart. There is a constant expectation to keep proving that you know what you're talking about and everyone asks A LOT of questions. I was trying to answer questions intelligently AND "translate" legal terms that I have only had little exposure to AT THE SAME TIME.

Over the course of the work day, I did get a chance to sit down with the judge, a parole officer, warrant officers, and a lawyer working primarily on intellectual property cases. They all told me about their positions and some of them gave me tours of their departments. The building itself definitely makes it onto my list of some of the most beautiful architecture I have ever seen. I would have taken some pictures, but I was afraid the security guards might say something. Besides, I was asked to come back, so I figured by next time the guards will be more familiar with me and I will have a chance to get my photography fix eventually :)

Aight, I wish I could fill you in on every detail, but it's getting late and my fingers be weepin'! Let me know if this type of content interests you and I would be more than happy to post about my future legal adventures as well!

Hope you have a splendid weekend!

xoxo Aneela