Archives for the month of: December, 2012

When I think of New Years, I envision people laughing, drinking champagne and dancing to jazz standards.  This is what I tried to capture with this playlist. Enjoy, and have a happy and safe New Years.

Classically Yours,


Dream JarToward the end of the year, I think it is important to reflect upon the past, but also to look forward to the upcoming year and to set goals to be accomplished. Some people list those things and others make mental notes of it.  I chose, though, to create a visual to be a constant reminder of things that I hope to achieve this next year. I took a mason jar and filled it with these things in which I believe to be objectives for me in 2013.

First and foremost, I placed my blogs logo of Pavlov, my cat, to symbolize my hopes in continuing to gain ground with the blog, in regard to fresh ideas and new readership.

In 2011, I completed my first marathon in Chicago. This was an important run because it showed me that I could commit to something that really took everything my body had. In the new year, I plan to run my second marathon in St. Louis, set for October.  The shoelace inside the jar signifies the anticipation and commitment it will take for me to do this…again.

This past May, I graduated from Drury University with a Bachelors degree in English. The tassel inside the jar symbolizes both my accomplishment of making it through college and furthering my studies to one day become a professor. I intend to start my Master’s program sometime this next year.

Dream Jar 2

Music is a very important part of my life. It serves as both entertainment and creates an emotional connection to aspects of my life. I find it important to both buy the music and to see the talent live. The show ticket in the jar is from my favorite band Beach House, who I saw in July of this year. They were fantastic live and met all of my expectations. The ticket is in the jar, in hopes that this year will be filled with not only great music, but live shows that will never be forgotten.

Recently, I have been reacquainted with my love of drawing. I grew up taking art classes during the summers for this medium. Drawing enhanced my creativity, which led me to experience other great things like writing. As I grew older, my creative outlet changed; the pen turned from drawing into writing. My love of art was transformed into a more literary focus. I now see the pen as suiting both subject. I believe this will only flourish into great things.

This year, I have found myself buying less and creating more. For Christmas, my cousin gave me a wooden sewing box, which had bicycle fabric cleverly placed inside. Her hopes were for me to use it in my future DIY’s. This year I look forward to creating new and interesting projects that are both functional and intriguing.

In 2013, I hope to not only reinvent, but to also keep true to the traditional style for which I always aim. The polka-dotted pocket square, which is at the bottom of the jar, is the base of my style, which is deeply rooted in classic menswear.

There is no question that polka dots have been around for decades and the trend has not diminished. Thus, the placement of my pocket square shows how the objects in this jar hold together the things that are most important to me and how they won’t fall by the wayside.

My wish in 2013 is to be able to accomplish these goals. We don’t know what we’re truly capable of until we actually begin to take charge of what we care about most to focus upon. I challenge to create your own dream jar and hope that you, too, may accomplish the goals you set out for yourself this next year.

Classically Yours,


P.S. Put the dream jar in a place you will see it everyday – it will be a constant reminder of the things that you want to achieve in 2013.

Show me what you’ve created. On Instagram, use #IGdreamjar. I can’t wait to see your hopes and dreams!

It's a Wonderful Life

My friend Chris decided in the month of September and October to watch fifty Christmas movies and only made it to 46.  I became intrigued by the idea and  on November 1, I started watching fifty Christmas movies.  I was really excited about the idea of doing this task at first, but by the end became really tired of holiday movies.  Needless to say, I had fun doing the list and trying to find this many movies.  Enjoy the list.

  1. Bishop’s Wife
  2. The Shop Around the Corner
  3. Arthur Christmas
  4. Christmas Carol (1951)
  5. Home Alone 2
  6. Love Actually
  7. Christmas in Connecticut
  8. It Happened on 5th Avenue
  9. The Santa Clause
  10. Charlie Brown Christmas
  11. Polar Express
  12. Miracle on 34th Street (1994)
  13. Frosty the Snowman
  14. Frosty Returns
  15. The Holiday
  16. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  17. The Snowman
  18. Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  19. Santa Claus in Comin’ to Town
  20. The Little Drummer Boy
  21. The Year Without Santa Claus
  22. Scrooged
  23. Home Alone
  24. The Nutcracker
  25. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  26. Saturday Night Live Best of Christmas
  27. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  28. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
  29. Just Friends
  30. The Family Man
  31. Jack Frost
  32. Die Hard
  33. Elf
  34. Gremlins
  35. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
  36. Christmas with the Kranks
  37. I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  38. Serendipity
  39. Bad Santa
  40. Fred Claus
  41. The Christmas Carol (2010)
  42. Cricket on the Hearth
  43. Rare Exports
  44. Christmas Vacation
  45. White Christmas
  46. Olive the Other Reindeer
  47. The Family Stone
  48. Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales/ Garfield Christmas/ Fat Albert Christmas
  49. Jingle All The Way
  50. It’s a Wonderful Life

Classically Yours,



Christmas has and always will be my favorite holiday. Not only because of the exchanging of gifts, but how it seems like the only holiday out of the year when people come together and truly try to enjoy one another’s company.  Growing up, I remember how excited I was for this day each year… I couldn’t wait to be spend time with my family, enjoy the food, and gifts.  It was much like Thanksgiving, but in a different way now than when I was younger. Even so, I still get excited about some of this memories I have from back then.

Christmas is a time for us to focus on the important things, such as family and the friends we care about the most.  I like to see Christmas as a holiday about giving, but showing it more than just a material gift.  It is a time when we celebrate the relationships we have with others… friends, family, spouse, co-workers etc. The lasting relationships I have with my friends and family is what I cherish the most during this Christmas.  My parents and grandparents always taught me to be appreciative of the things you have rather than what you don’t.

I would also like to point out the most important part of the holiday is the birth of Jesus Christ.  No matter your religious preference, this is a day for the people who believe in Him to rejoice in his birth and to be reminded of how this great figure is representative to them in their lives. I see Him as one that has impacted my thoughts on how a person should treat others and themselves.  His words in red have from the first time reading scripture helped me understand myself and what is expected of me through life in acknowledging both the victories and obstacles.   It is His birth, His life, and the things that He said that remind of the depth and importance of the holiday.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas. Take time to really appreciate the day and what it represents for you.

Classically Yours,



bag 1Two fellow bloggers have inspired me to paint a tote bag I bought from H&M last summer.  Fred Castleberry of Unabashedly Prep painted his chinos, and Dillion Burke of  Thread and Salt sported a bag with splattered paint on it.  Their outstanding projects influenced me to incorporate their ideas into my own creative style.

bag 2

My friend Kendra, who has a impeccable eye for design projects, helped guide me through the process of making the bag a work of art. I chose colors that stand out to me and that are representative of my style – colors that were subdued, but also eye-catching. I chose from a basket full of different colors, such as: brown, mint, green, blue, navy, and orange to name a few.   When I was painting, I attacked the bag with hard paint strokes. By the end, I flicked black and pink paint to add depth to the collage of colors.

bag 3

The process of painting the bag was fun and different than other projects that I have done in the past.  It was like a freeing experience, in the fact that I wasn’t constricted to a right or wrong way of doing it; I was able to express myself through painting like Jackson Pollock, or one of my favorite album cover’s from Wild Nothing’s Nocturne. This project reminded me that art isn’t just what you imagine in your mind; rather, it’s what it becomes through the actual act… the moment… the feeling.

bag 4

If you decide to do this project, I recommend having lots of paint and brushes available. Even though the colors are mixed together as a final product, you don’t want to lose the vibrancy of the original colors chosen.  This is definitely a fun project, but it also takes time to put all the paint on and to dry.   Have fun.

bag 5

P.S. To add a personal touch you can iron on your initials like I did which you can find at Hobby Lobby or any craft store

bag 6

Classically Yours,



I thought Instead of doing my usual way of making playlists by a certain type of sound I chose to make this one based on words that remind me of winter.  I like to not only think about the weather, but the clothing such as sweaters and scarves as words that make up the season.  Hopefully you can relate and enjoy the mix.

Classically yours,




An essential to any holiday decorations is the wreath.  Wreaths can be in all different shapes, sizes and materials, and rather expensive.  I chose not to invest a lot of money and bought a plain one at Wal-Mart for $2.50 and make it “me.” The decorations were from old projects and some odds and ends I found on the Christmas aisle.

I think an important part of the wreath is making it ideally you. I used the letter “H” in that it the letter of my last name and that it represents my family. I chose the tweed because I have always been a fan of this fabric in its timeless quality much like the traditions of the holiday and how it is ideally winter.  The polka dots aren’t ideally a winter design but they add just an extra touch of classiness and remind me of the watch bands I made for my watch this year.  The penguins which are ideally winter, and one of my favorite animals make it stick out as more of a holiday wreath. All of these elements make it stand out out and represent me.

I recommend using a hot glue gun to ensure everything remains intact on the wreath. Otherwise, you may be reattaching things you’ve chosen to adorn your wreath.  There are endless possibilities that you can use to make a Christmas wreath your own.  Have fun with it!

Classically yours,


  1. Beach House- Bloom
  2. Sharon Van Etten- Tramp
  3. Frank Ocean- Channel Orange
  4. Jessie Ware- Devotion
  5. CFCF- Exercises
  6. Wild Nothing- Nocturne
  7. Whirr- Pipe Dreams
  8. Oddisee- People Hear What They See
  9. Frankie Rose- Interstellar
  10. XX- Coexist
  11. Andy Stott- Luxury Problems
  12. Jessica Pratt-Jessica Pratt
  13. Daughter- The Wild Youth
  14. First Aid Kit- The Lion’s Roar
  15. Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid M.A.A.D. City
  16. Hilary Hahn & Hauschka- Silfra
  17. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- The Heist
  18. Echo Lake- Wild Peace
  19. Burial- Kindred
  20. DIIV-Oshin
  21. Norah Jones- Little Broken Hearts
  22. Cat Power- Sun
  23. MS MR- Candy Bar Creep Show
  24. La Sera- Sees the Light
  25. Best Coast- The Only Place
  26. The Lumineers- The Lumineers
  27. Angus Stone- Broken Brights
  28. The Chromatics- Kill for Love
  29. Brandi Carlile- Bear Creek
  30. Bats for Lashes- The Haunted Man
  31. Eternal Summers- Correct Behavior
  32. School of Seven Bells- Ghostory
  33. Tennis- Young and Old
  34. Hospitality- Hospitality
  35. Alabama Shakes- Boys and Girls
  36. Of Monsters and Men- My Head is an Animal
  37. Milo Greene- Milo Greene
  38. Tamaryn- Tender New Signs
  39. The Walkmen- Heaven
  40. The Light House and the Whaler- This is an Adventure
  41. Big K.R.I.T.- Live from the Underground
  42. Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland- Black is Beautiful
  43. High Highs- High Highs
  44. Japandroids- Celebration Rock
  45. Lana Del Rey- Born to Die
  46. Twin Shadow- Confess
  47. Purity Ring- Shrines
  48. Robert Glasper- Black Radio
  49. 2:54- 2:54
  50. Bob Dylan- Tempest

Classically Yours,


dinner 2

It is with the season that people come together to not only hangout, but to have dinner with the ones they care about.  I proposed the idea of a potluck dinner to my friends Elsie and Emma, who run the amazing blog A Beautiful Mess.  Elsie was gracious enough to offer her place as the venue for the event and it was a great time, to say the least. Also joining us for the get-together was Elsie’s husband, Jeremy, and Emma’s boyfriend, Trey.

dinner 3

Elsie’s creativity really shined through when I saw the decor. She chose to keep it very folky and festive. The centerpiece was pinecones and flowers, making the table feel very inviting. The menu was strictly vegetarian – I chose to bring cheesy potatoes and green bean casserole. Elsie and Emma made pizza and salad. My photographer, Wes, made a exquisite dish of vegan Mac n’ Cheese with Cornbread. Desert was divine: Emma made lavender ice cream, something I had never tasted before.

dinner 1

As with all great dinners, the food is usually the focal point. To me, though, it is also vital to mention the conversations and the gathering in itself that makes it the most memorable.  I feel that face-to-face communication is important in understanding the stories or feelings your friends and families share.  I learned this at a young age, and I still hold to the ideals of being able to have this type of relationship with others.  Enjoying the company of others and creating timeless memories that you will laugh about and remember the good times for holidays to come.

dinner 4

I want to thank Elsie, Emma, Trey and Jeremy for allowing this dinner to happen and for the time shared.

Classically Yours,


Ducks in the snow

I always associate the holiday with pictures.  It could be the movies I watch, the colors I see, the weather, or even the food I love.  This year I decided to try and compose a collage of images that really bring together my feelings of this time of year. I uses the photos as the background on my Apple tv to add some more holiday cheer and to enjoy it that much more. Feel free to share the pictures to make your own holiday backgrounds. These is a link to my Flickr on my blog.

Classically Yours,