PATRIOTIC EYESHADOW TO CELEBRATE THE 4TH

by HaleyTwist on July 4, 2013, no comments

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Whether for a party, a family barbecue, a friend’s house, a bar or even for spending the day alone at home, it can be fun to get festive with your Fourth of July look. Since I plan to spend the fourth bathing suit-clad and poolside finishing up an R.L. Stine novel, I figured I would show my enthusiasm for the holiday (and my day off work) by experimenting with patriotic eyeshadow colors.

I picked up both of these Essence eyeshadows for less than a dollar each at my local beauty store and figured that was a steal considering how bright they appeared. While the color intensity was not as vivid as I hoped, even when using a white-based primer, the colors were blendable and definitely worth trying.

I painted the colors on, added a thin line of black eyeliner and a thick coat of mascara and completed the look.

Happy fourth, everybody!

TREE HILL, NORTH CAROLINA

by HaleyTwist on June 29, 2013, no comments

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I’ve been known to be accused of loving every single movie and television show I ever watch. While that’s not (entirely) true, I can’t help but exude pure passion and excitment when it comes to film. I fall in love with the characters and I’m very helplessly drawn into the power of the stories. This was especially true of Mark Schwahn’s series One Tree Hill, which over the years has become my favorite television show.

I started watching the show when I was in my early teens, and for 9 seasons One Tree Hill was my television staple. The characters were utterly engaging, the music was new and inspiring to me and the cliffhangers I blame for my habitual nail-biting, still today. Growing up in North Carolina, the setting hit home as the story was set in the fictional Tree Hill, North Carolina, actually Wilmington, where the entire series was filmed.

My sister moved to Wilmington in August of last year for school, so my other sister and I visit as frequently as we can. All three of us huge One Tree Hill fans, we’ve spent many rainy weekends touring the spots freckled all over Wilmington where the series was filmed. Downtown Wilmington, one of my favorite places in the world, is home to various places the One Tree Hill characters would frequent, so much so that walking the streets of it feels like I’m really walking in Tree Hill.

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The view from the corner of Grace and Front is one frequently seen by the One Tree Hill characters. Karen’s Cafe, which later becomes Brooke Davis’ Clothes Over Bros, is a little to the left.

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Currently vacant, the building used as Karen’s Cafe and Clothes Over Bros still stands on Grace Street overlooking Tree Hill’s typically puddled sidewalks. Peering into the window, it’s easy to visualize the cafe and the clothing store in their full glory.

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Venturing up a block to walk along the river front, it’s easy to view various spots that made it into the series countless times. Where season one’s burning boat ceremony took place, where Quinn and Jamie went treasure-hunting, where Haley James first tutored Nathan Scott and where the cast’s favorite basketball court used to stand.

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Directly across the river, it’s easy to spot the area where the River Court stood. While it’s since been torn down, the low-hanging fence and the bushy trees that used to shade Lucas and Nathan Scott’s therapeutic dribbling sessions are recognizable.

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The Black Cat Shoppe and the Dixie Grill are two signs worth seeking when wandering around downtown Wilmington. While the Black Cat Shoppe is now a quirky magic and gift shop that carries various One Tree Hill apparel and autographed photos of the cast, it used to be home to Tree Hill’s local record store. From convincing Chris Keller to play Tric to searching for the perfect song to confiding in Max, the lovable store owner, the record store was a place where Peyton Sawyer found herself quite often.

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The Dixie Grill did not appear until later in the series, but was a place for meditation and friendly conversation for friends Samantha Walker and Jack Daniels. As they stacked their coffee creamers and talked of finding foster parents, the pair became inseparable in their special booth at the Dixie Grill.

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Perhaps the most nostalgic spot in downtown Wilmington for One Tree Hill fans would be the building used as Tree Hill High. Home to some of the best and worst events in the lives of the core characters, the building and its courtyard is full of memories. Haley and Nathan’s excitement as Haley goes into labor during her Valedictorian speech. Lucas and Peyton’s fateful afternoon in the library during the school shooting. Brooke taking a private moment to celebrate her new life as Student Body President.

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Last but not least, a One Tree Hill staple is the bridge seen in the opening credits of the show. Lucas running across in his beloved Keith Scott Motors sweatshirt dribbling his basketball represents the show in its entirety. Be sure to take a drive over the 6th Street bridge as you’re exiting the area and driving away from Tree Hill, North Carolina.

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MY GO-TO SUMMER DRINK: A (SEMI) LOW-FAT MOJITO

by HaleyTwist on June 19, 2013, no comments

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A mojito was the first drink I ordered when I turned 21, and I instantly fell in love with the refreshing, minty taste. After playing around with ingredients, modifying the portions and taking out some of the unnecesary additives, I’ve come up with my perfect mojito recipe. With crisp mint leaves, tangy lime juice and no added sugars, this recipe makes a semi low-fat, natural-tasting summer drink.

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The most important part of a good mojito, in my opinion, is the mint, so I use plenty of mint leaves in every mojito I make. I have a mint plant in my apartment, courtesy of my boyfriend, so I never have a shortage of it. Owning a mint plant can come in handy for various recipes, and they make your home smell fresh and crisp. For those who have plants of their own, mint leaves for mojitos can be plucked right from the stems. For those without, mint sprigs can be purchased at most grocery stores. Before making your mojito, take a generous amount of mint leaves and wash them in cold water.

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After you’ve washed the mint leaves, take a lime and cut it in half. Then take one of the halves and cut it into various pieces. You’ve now completed your prepping. Now pour one ounce of light rum (for a weak drink) or two ounces (for a strong drink) into a tall glass. Be wary about your alcohol portions; my sisters have been known to call my mojitos lethal!

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Squeeze three or four lime slices into the rum and drop them into the mixture. Then add the mint leaves. Stir it all together in the bottom of the glass, then add ice. At this point, all that’s left to do is add the Sprite Zero. For a less sugary taste, replace the Sprite with club soda. Now, stir and serve. I always add another lime slice or two at the top, as well as a few more mint leaves. This makes for a delightful first sip, and also adds to the presentation.

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MY TOP 3 SUMMER 2013 STAPLES

by HaleyTwist on June 10, 2013, no comments

Two weeks into June and with warm weather in full swing, I’ve been finding myself constantly dressed in ultimate casual summer attire. Living in loose plain tees and high-waisted shorts, my current summer wardrobe is all about the basics, and with that comes my top three summer staples.

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Paired with anything from a dressy put-together work outfit to a thrown-together sweatpants look to go grab coffee in the morning, statement sunglasses are always a good choice. From a summer splurge like these Lauren Conrad sunnies on the left to a head-turning bright pair like these Forever 21 ones on the right (that I found for under $5), big, bold sunglasses are perfect this summer, no matter the color, shape or price.

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My absolute favorite look for lips is a pretty, flushed look. Flushed lips seem to accompany all my go-to beauty looks, especially for summer. When you’re going out for drinks with friends, grabbing a bite to eat on your lunch break or having an evening barbecue with your family, heavy lipstick, while gorgeous, just isn’t quite practical. So I opt for a light lip gloss or lip stain that adds some color to my face by flushing my lips. My current favorite is Tarte’s LipSurgence lip tint in Energy. While somewhat pricy, it’s definitely a worth-it summer splurge that I find myself using every day. If you have mostly lipsticks in your makeup collection, apply it with your finger instead of from the stick or a lip brush to get a fraction of the color intensity. For all you lipstick fiends out there who prefer a full-color lip look, try some pretty pink or peach pastels!

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While most summers I opt for complicated, ankle-high gladiators, this summer I’m drawn to simple sandals and flip flops. It’s very unusual for me to not live in sandals that strap to my ankle in at least one place, but this summer it’s the slip-ons that are catching my attention. Whether I’m bolting out the door to go for a spontaneous walk, running out of my apartment to get the mail (now that I unfortunately have bills to pay) or want to kick off my shoes for a walk on the beach while I’m in Wilmington visiting my sister, it’s so nice to just slide on my shoes instead of having to bend down to buckle (or unbuckle) them in multiple places. From ultra-neutral flippies, like this Lauren Conrad nude pair, to ones with a bit more color, like these three-toned Sam & Libby sandals, simple sandals are both adorable companions to casual daytime outfits and a big convenience.

NEW MAJOR. NEW APARTMENT. NEW LIFE.

by HaleyTwist on May 18, 2013, no comments

Recently I’ve made a lot of changes in my life. Until two weeks ago I was living on campus, working constantly at two jobs and spending my small doses of free time writing papers, studying and ripping my hair out over my small class selection. I have since left my main job, a job I always dreamed of landing one day, and while my time there was priceless, I knew it was time for a change.

I have also moved from a tiny, cramped dorm room to a lovely one-bedroom apartment across from campus. It’s my first time living on my own, and at 21 I feel extremely lucky to get to experience it. My school situation has also changed, as I changed my major from something I had never doubted until a few months ago. After stressing about the classes I was stuck taking and facing the reality that I didn’t seem to be interested in any of them, I have finally found a major that fits my interests perfectly, and that makes me look forward to attending class each day. As someone who tends to shy away from change, the massive changes in my life lately have been welcomed and appreciated.

For the past week I’ve been enjoying my summer by working a low-key job, watching plenty of great movies and having a blast decorating my apartment bit by bit. Below are a few glimpses of what I’ve put together.

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Candles have always been comforting to me, so for my nightstand I chose one that both has a light, fresh summer scent and that’s also pretty to look at with it’s simple, modern design.

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An apartment-warming present from my boyfriend that sits atop my refrigerator.

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In the process of organizing my makeup and other essentials, I bought small gold cups that sit around my bathroom and desk. While one holds my brushes, another holds my toothbrush and toothpaste.

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When decorating, I incorporated a mix of warm-colored vintage pieces with colder modern ones.

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Something about a glass desk is inspiring to me, so that’s where I chose to do my makeup every morning.