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Positive Energy Looks Good On You!

You know that moment when you're driving, or going about your day and you realize today is a good day? Or, you think about how things are finally going your way and you have this feeling of contentment, of satisfaction? When I have those moments, those days, or those self-realizations I take a moment to honor them and smile. Sometimes I wonder why I can't just bottle that feeling up and use it whenever I want to. And then the answer hits me, if I were to be on that constant high all the time I wouldn't be aware that it existed, and it wouldn't be as enjoyable.

Still, I think there are ways that we can ensure that those moments of pure bliss happen to us more often. I know we deserve it. I've compiled a list that has always worked for me:

1. Try new things. It is exciting for me to try new things, or go to new places. The discovery, the experience, it is as if I am a small child again and I am experiencing the world's wonders for the first time.
2. Set achievable goals. If you set achievable goals, then you are more likely to meet them. Whenever I meet a goal I feel good about myself; I feel as if I am moving forward with my life.
3. Know your truth. I watched an interview with Oprah Winfrey by Steve Harvey last week and she said that we should "know our truth" and that among other things is a major key to success. Knowing your truth is knowing what you want to stand for, what you want to represent, and who you are.
4. Laugh everyday. Laugh at yourself; laugh at absurdity; laugh at awkward situations; just laugh.
5. Do something just for yourself. It could be as simple as listening to your favorite song for two minutes, or as extravagant as scheduling a massage on your tropical vacation. Find some part of your day that you can claim as your own.
6. Celebrate the little things. Hey, you did a good thing? Celebrate! You saved up enough money to go to Paris? Celebrate! You got along with your in laws? Celebrate! You helped someone in need? Celebrate!  Have a glass of wine as you relax at night; go out with friends; take a hot yoga class; go for a cleansing hike; the ways in which to celebrate are endless!
7. Get your charity face on. Giving time to whatever cause, whatever charity you choose is so important. Not only are you helping others, but knowing that you have helped someone in need is extremely rewarding. You can do anything from help build a house for Habitat for Humanity, to donating your prom dress to someone who can't afford one. Any small act of charity, is in reality, never small.
8. Spend the day with someone you love. There is nothing better than sharing some time with someone who supports you and whom you support. If it's mom, or your sister, or a girlfriend have a girl's getaway day. I do this all the time!
9. Don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back. Sometimes we focus too much on if others are proud of what we have accomplished, but what would make us all happier people was if we could be proud of ourselves. Make sure you know that you're are proud of yourself everyday.
10. Compliment others. I will never forget the advice my mother gave me when I was in Middle School. She told me to try, everyday, to compliment at least five people. I can't begin to express how that one action changed my life. I began to compliment more than five people; I began to compliment people I didn't know.  People remember compliments. They become more open to you, and they want to spend time with positive energies. If you put positivity out into the universe, you will have positivity returned to you.

And if you still want to bottle up that pure bliss feeling:

Here is an adorable DIY I came up with, so you can see your joy, your pure bliss, your oh so happy day kept in a jar, and reminded of its power. Put the jar on your desk at work, or on your bedside table!
Supplies: Mod Podge for puzzles, Dollar Tree Candle in a scent you prefer, stock paper, and a brush (but I used my fingers).

Step 1: Carefully peel off the sticker in one piece.
Step 2: To make your own label- place sticker on a piece of paper so that you can cut it out, and then use it to trace.

Step 3: Trace the label on a piece of card stock you would like to use.

Step 4: Adhere your handmade label with a healthy amount of Mod Podge on both front and back of label.

Step 5: Voila! My Essence of Joy bottled for any day!

Stay Lovely,


Editor & Curator

Dusk & Rubies
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One thing I love about living on Long Island is that each town is different, and within a half an hour of driving in any direction your surroundings can become completely transformed. There are: the much talked about beaches of the Hamptons (I mean even the cast of Sex & The City made the Hamptons a Summer destination spot), the lush foliage and rolling hills of Stony Brook Village, the port town with nautical views and white washed buildings of Port Jefferson, the spacious fields and wineries of Greenport, and the music hot spot that is Patchogue Village. And, there is so much more to see.

This past Sunday morning the sun was up and shining! The day owned that lazy feeling, like Sunday's usually do-well, for most people anyway. For me, a sunny day meant I was up for an adventure. I had a great idea. One of my favorite things to do is show off new places to friends. This Sunday I was in the mood for some beach, some sun, and a margarita! So I grabbed the beau, and we were off.

If you're ever visiting Long Island, then it is a must that you check out West Hampton. West Hampton has some of the most beautiful beaches. The water is clean, the sand is fresh white and speckled with shells, and the town is lovely with its cute shops and great eats. It is the perfect spot for a little R&R, or a day date with the boyfriend. It also helps me forget the upcoming work week, and pretend like I am on a little vacation of my own.

I suggest trying the Margarita Grille! It is only a few miles from the beach, and the perfect stop after a day of sunning. They serve mostly Mexican style foods, but with a fresh twist. Most meals, if not everything I have ever tried, are prepared healthfully, and there are plenty of healthy options to keep your Summer bod in check. Most Mexican style restaurants use plenty of oil, and there food is served in a puddle of grease. Here, at Margarita Grille the greens, beans, and cheese are of fresh quality, and of porportioned quantity.  

On a warm day sit outside! I like to start by ordering a
Margarita, so I can sit, sip, and people watch.

Every table is served complimentary chips and too-good sweet salsa

My boyfriend opted for the "Bull-dog Margarita"

When given the option, I will always opt for the Skinny Girl Margarita. What is great about theirs is it is only 80 calories!

How Lovely

Brian's healthy burrito with side of guacamole

As you know I am trying to eat healthy so I opted for all the extras on the side. Which our waitress gladly obliged. This is the cobb salad, and it was terrific. I really enjoyed the citrus vinagrette it came with.

After a filling meal we visited the beach to collect shells, and soak in the beautiful views.
Remember it is always fun to try new things, and go to new places. I think creating experiences in our everday lives keep us more content.

As always stay lovely,


Editor and Curator of

Dusk & Rubies Blog
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I was seven years old when I asked my parents for my first camera. It was that same year in school that I volunteered to write for the fashion section of our class newspaper. I remember thinking, "if only I had a camera, then I can take pictures of outfits and write about them".

Well you can imagine my first snapshots using my little plastic pink camera didn't come out that well, but I remember my teachers being surprised that I knew how to frame a shot and click! I never missed a face, or what I was trying to shoot.

As time passed, I began to be interested in much more than photographs. I couldn't help but think about creating fashion photo shoots. I loved it all: from the backdrops to the clothes, from the poses to the make-up. I would be driving around, and then spot it: the perfect location for the photo shoot I had been envisioning in my head for days. I would be inspired by anything and everything. I was inspired while running on the treadmill, while at the beach, while snacking on some almonds. The ideas just kept on coming!

I began to have so many ideas that I had to start creating a list so I wouldn't forget.

Here is a sneak peek from my most recent shoot!

Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek! These items will soon be available to purchase. Don't forget to check out the Dusk & Rubies Shop for one of a kind accessories.

Like always
Stay Lovely,


Editor and Curator

Dusk & Rubies

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Mother's day
is less than a month away,
and what better time
for a little d.i.y?
Dusk & Rubies is here
to share some ideas.
We have two
just for you!
DIY Project #1: Mother's Day 3-Pot Topiary Set
What you will need:
  • 3 clay pots ($1.00 from Dollar Tree)
  • Tape
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic Paint (3 for $1.00 at A.C. Moore)
  • Fake flowers ($1.00 per bunch from Dollar Tree)
  • Accent gems ($1.00 from Dollar Tree)
  • Toothpick

I painted this pot all pink except for the lip

Tip: to create a perfect stripe use tape to section off the portion you want painted.

Peel off tape, and...voila!

To add these cute polka dots use the opposite end of a toothpick.

Once you have finished your design fill your pots with accent gems.

Choose three different types of flowers to fill your pot with. I cut the stems shorter so they could fit in my mini topiary.

How lovely.

This is not necessary, but for the DIY queen these candlesticks are from Dollar Tree, and I thought it would be fun to play with levels. (My three years working/ managing at Pier 1 is showing)

This project is simple and the product you create can be used as: a center piece, decor, and of course as a great Mother's Day gift.
DIY Project #2: Mother's Day  Duel Purpose Crystal Dish
What you will need:
  • Glue gun
  • Sandpaper
  • Candle stick ($1.00 from Dollar Tree)
  • 3 section serving crystal ($1.00 from Dollar Tree)

Before you hot glue you want to rough up the glass as best you can on both the top of the candlestick, and underneath the crystal dish. This allows the hot glue to adhere more properly.

After gluing candlestick to the bottom of the crystal dish. Place something heavy on top for fifteen minutes to set.

Fini! Now you have this beautiful standing crystal dish.
Mom can use this for desserts, or candy!

Or, mom can use for separating her jewels!
 Mom will love these ideas!

Stay Lovely,
Editor and Curator

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Soundswell, does not just sound well, or sound swell; they sound awesome. This band is a good time! Maybe I am biased because I know some of the band members, or maybe I am just a sucker for a band that can play both: laid back jazzy jams with a mixture of trumpet, and upbeat songs that totally shred on guitar and get the crowd jumping and pumping their glow sticks. It didn't hurt that I was completely enchanted and entertained by not only the band Soundswell, but also the venue 89 North located in the town of Patchogue. The space is all brick walled, neon lights, plays classic black and white movies projected onto the walls, and serves Blood Orange Pale Ale by Great South Bay Brewery...need I say more?

 Here is another awesome review that also supports my appreciation of the Long Island band Soundswell:

"This hot band that burst onto the local music scene in late 2011 and has built a loyal following because of their outstanding musicianship and great energy...Their sound infuses elements of rock, folk and jazz that is building a growing fan base of 'SwellFolk'." (The Patchogue Patch 2013)

For more from this article click the link: The Patchogue Patch

To stay up to date with band information and events "like" the band Soundswell on facebook.


Don't forget to check out 89 North's webpage for upcoming events! 
Stay Lovely,
Editor and Curator
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While abroad this semester I have experienced new cultures, people, and friends. I have traveled to Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest, Paris, Venice, and Malta; taken more modes of transportation than I know what to do with and tried so many different kinds of cheeses and foreign meats. I have laid on the floor talking with friends and as of a few days ago I have fallen off of a city wall. On the riskier side, I have experienced, first-hand, what it is like to have friends who are involved in drug culture. Never before have I experienced this—not in high school or college. To each her own, of course, but hard drugs are a whole new thing for my eyes to lay witness to. How do you handle things like this? My friends are my friends no matter what, but seeing them engage in risky behaviors sometimes makes it hard. In times like these, it is important to remember to absolutely stay 100% true to who you are. How to do this?

1.      Don’t worry that people won’t like you if you do your own thing. They will, I promise. Just do you.

2.      No matter what it is, not everyone is doing it…promise.

3.      Keep in touch with friends from home…it will make things a lot easier

4.      Call your parents, sister, brother-family often, or skype/e-mail them when you can

5.      Give yourself a little “me time”

6.      Write about how you feel!

7.      Never try too hard. You are more than enough already.

8.      Stay as positive as you can!

9.      Be yourself.

Do you have any other advice for people living away from home who may have a hard time settling in, or want to figure out how to stay true to who they are while so many other things are going on around you?

Leave a comment!


Until next time,

A.    xxoo
Annie Nicole WS '14
Writer, Office of Communications
Student Worker, Admissions
Football Manager, Hobart Athletics
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It's that time of year again, wedding season.

Picture from

Weddings are similar to the timely tradition of stringing multiple cans from the back bumper of the newlyweds' Rolls-Royce luxury rental. How? Well, when you're invited to a wedding you're also invited to the string of parties that celebrate the couple's love and marriage before the big day. These may or may not include the following: engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties,  rehearsal dinners, and bridal luncheons. So, what does this mean for a lovely guest like yourself? Well it means you're going to need clothes, dresses in particular...and lots of em'.

I just recently attended a fabulous bridal shower thrown for my longtime friend Kait, who is all about practicality, anything Kate Spade, obsessed with Gone With The Wind, lover of anything nautical themed, and fancies wearing red nail polish like from The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (I still remember you telling me that) Oh, and did I mention she is absolutely adorable? (Ladies take note: If it's your bridal party, and you're not sure what to wear, then you'll see pictures of Kait's fashion sense at work and be able to emulate it on your own!) 

Some of her lovely guests were kind enough to pose for the fashion cam, and show off their perfected wedding shower style. Each look is easy to achieve, and the links to the items they are wearing will be listed below the picture. Happy viewing.

1. Look 1: Charming Chic
Model: Griffin
Dress: LC Lauren Conrad Dot Mesh Dress
Shoes: (not exact) Juicy Couture Dakota Cork Wedge Sandals
Accessories: Gold Studs with Blue Gemstones, Michael Kors Square Face Watch, and Gold Cuff
Look 2: Trendy Chic
Model: Nicole
Dress and Cardigan: Old Navy Eyelet Tube Dress
Earrings: Envy
Ring: Modcloth My Pet Octopus Ring
Shoes: Payless Konstellation Strappy Wedge

Look 3: Sophisticated & Playful Chic
Model: Kait (Bride!)
Dress: From Rue La La-Completely playful and fun!
Shoes: Nude pumps- sophisticated and classic they'll go with so many other dresses in your closet.

Other fashionable lovelies:

And some more fashionable lovelies...

As you can see the dress code, was well, dresses! We did see a lot of nude colored: flats,  pumps, and wedges. Remember nude colored shoes are very versatile; they can match every color, and they can replace your black or brown shoes quite easily. I hope you found this "What To Wear" helpful, and when in doubt: scroll back up, and check out the lovely models and their perfected styles.

Thanks to all who participated in posing for the fashion cam!

Stay Lovely,


Editor and Curator
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