30's the New 20
Sweater: Mossimo/Target, Shirt: Banana Republic, Skirt: Forever 21, Belt: Banana Republic, Shoes: Off Broadway, Bag: Michael Kors, Bracelets: Ivy&Leo, Target, Watch: Michael Kors (photos: Carrie Hawkins Foust)
I am sorry that I have been M.I.A for a few days. The day after Christmas my 19 year old cousin and her best friend flew in from NY to visit me. We have been sightseeing, shopping, getting our nails done, and eating our way around Charlotte. It has been so much fun. I am pretty bummed that tomorrow is their last day here. My cousin and I only get to see each other about once a year normally, so it has been extremely interesting to see how much we are alike. We laugh at the same ridiculous things, wear our hair the same way, sing obnoxiously loud to the same songs in the car (and even screw up the same parts). We have overlapping neurotic habits, speak way too fast, over use the word "cute", and giggle uncontrollably when we are exhausted. It has been an absolute trip hanging out with these young ladies and kind of like looking back in time when I observe my cousin. She is self-deprecating, insecure, and unsure of herself at times. She is also sweet, kind, full of hope for her future, and looking forward to finishing college so she can leap (with perfectly pointed dancer toes) into the big unknown world outside of our hometown. Also like me at 19, she lives in flip flops, jeans, t-shirts, and her idea of shopping involves purchasing new sweatpants and ribbed tank tops. She dresses for her environment, a small college town and extremely cold weather. I was ecstatic to find out however that there is an inner fabulous, fashionista buried deep down under all of that fleece. When I asked the girls if they had any desire to go shopping while they were here they jumped (literally in my cousin's case) at the chance and admitted that after they look at this blog they get inspired to go to the mall and search for accessories, but discouraged when they decided that there is no point because they have "nowhere to wear them". That statement naturally sparked a conversation about dressing for yourself, confidence, and not muting yourself in order to blend in (especially when you were BORN to stand out)! Our trip to the mall was borderline painful at times. Doing a headstand, while changing a tire, all while singing the ABC's backwards would have been easier to do than getting these girls to make a decision. I must have heard..."I doooon't knoooow" 199 times in 3 hours. At the end of it all though, the girls got their first pairs of trendy flat knee-high boots, leggings, skinny jeans, no-purpose belts, scarves, shirts, and accessories. When they got dressed in their new duds yesterday afternoon they commented on how great they felt. My cousin even said (with an ear to ear bashful grin) when reviewing a picture that I took of her..."Wow, I look, diiiifferent"! It was awesome to see. I'm hoping this trip not only fills their suitcases home to the brim, but also their proverbial "cups". Mine...runneth over.