Lattes with Liv

Lattes with Liv: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

For the Love of Tea!

{Photo Source}
It is no secret that I LOVE tea.  I don't drink coffee (I actually can't even stand the smell).  Neither of my parents drink coffee, but the funny thing is both of their parents drink coffee!  I got my love of tea from my mom, she can't start her day without a cup of tea.  I love hot, iced, black, chai, green, sweet.

There's nothing quite like a hot cup of black tea with milk & sugar to warm up on a cold Michigan winter day.  And there's nothing like a tall glass of sweet tea on a hot summer day in Tennessee.

What better way to share my love of tea than with an info graphic!
{Photo Source}
If I had to guess, I would think more Americans would drink coffee over tea.  5 out of 6 Americans are tea drinkers?  Who knew!

I'm loving all of these fun facts about tea!

What about you?  Coffee or tea? Or both?

Monday, July 30, 2012

National Dance Day

{Image courtesy of}

Happy {belated} National Dance Day!  Yes, I know it was yesterday, but that doesn't mean that the celebrations have to stop!

I've been dancing since I was 2 and I never give up an opportunity to bust a move!

If you missed the official dance day routines, here they are!  So go find your dancing shoes & kick up your feet.

There's two routines this year, a zumba & a hip hop.  Not really a dancer?  Try the zumba!  Just get moving and have some fun.

A little more experienced?  Try the hip hop master class with Lauren Gottlieb from So You Think You Can Dance!

How did you celebrate National Dance Day yesterday?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Red, White & Blue


The opening ceremonies of the olympics are tomorrow!  London 2012 will officially begin.  For the next 17 days the olympics will most likely cover your TV, internet & social media.  Don't let the fun stop there!  Here are some patriotic ways to show support for the US in all of your daily activities.


This would be a great look for shopping with friends!  Tone down the red pants with neutral shoes & bag.  I love pairing colored denim with chambray.

Blue for Brunch

Headed out to brunch on Sunday morning?  Try a maxi dress for effortless chic! Aim for gold with a long necklace and accents on an envelope clutch.

Red & Gold

Errand day?  Pair a neutral white skirt with a black tank to stay cool in the summer heat.  Pair them with a red statement necklace and gold accessories.  Don't forget a watch so you don't miss your favorite sport!

Red, White & Blue

Headed to an olympic viewing party and/or barbecue?  I love these painted shorts, they would be a great DIY project!  Paired with a white blouse contrasts the model off duty look of converse.

Check out all of the shopping details on my Polyvore!

What is your favorite Olympic sport?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Little kids are infamous for being daredevils.  When you're young you don't always understand what could be so dangerous.  I feel like everyone knows someone that tried to fly as a kid, right?

Ever heard of Nik Wallenda?  He definitely falls in this category.  Except, he's still a daredevil!  He successfully tightroped across Niagra Falls June 15, 2012.  He completed this walk in just over 25 minutes.

However, for those of us who are not professional tightrope walkers, there's still a way to enjoy some thrill!  Here's a video called I Believe I Can Fly {Flight of the Frenchies}.  This took my breath away the first time I saw it!

I Believe I can Fly ( flight of the frenchies). Trailer from sebastien montaz-rosset on Vimeo.

How cool?  I want to go to France just to try this!  I would be scared to death, but it would be an experience for the story books!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Southern Summer {Weekend Recap}

This weekend, I had the pleasure of one of my sisters coming to visit!  I was super excited to see Sperry Queen (if you know her, you know this is completely appropriate! She owns 17 pairs of Sperry Top-Siders!!).

She got in on Friday afternoon & the first thing we did was head down to AOII HQ!  She got a tour by yours truly & then we snapped some pics outside.

After a Starbucks stop, we headed over to the Shops at Green Hills for some shopping!  We started at the Vineyard Vines Whale of Sale (50% off!) and then headed over to Bink's Outfitters for some Lilly shopping.  Bink's had just marked down lots and lots of patterns, there were dresses for 65% off!  Then we headed over to the Green Hills mall & checked out J. Crew (suprisingly enough, no purchases here!), Sephora (where I rocked a new nail trend) & Charming Charlie's.

I started a new nail trend!  I was trying out nail polish colors at Sephora trying to find a good neutral color & walked around all weekend with three different colors on my nails. I ended up with the color on my thumb Julep in Jennifer.

This was at Charming Charlie's trying to find some fun summer accessories for recruitment! (Do you spy the Sperry's?)

We ended Friday night with dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen! Yum!

Saturday morning we started with breakfast at none other than the Pancake Pantry!  I blogged about this in my first Tennessee post, and I knew I just had to take SQ there.  We got in line around 9:30 and waiting about an hour, but it was completely worth it!  I think the pancakes I had this time were even better, if that's even possible!  I ordered the Swedish pancakes & SQ ordered the Sugar & Spice ones.  The Sugar and Spice pancakes tasted like Christmas. I actually said that they tasted like joy when I tried them!

After our delicious breakfast we walked around Hillsboro village and then down to Belle Meade Plantation.  Belle Meade is gorgeous!

We went on the historical tour & learned all about the family and how they started the horse racing circuit in the United States.  It was beyond impressive.  It was really interesting to hear how the property was passed down through three generations in drastically different times.  {Sidenote: if you are 21, there's also a winery on the property & there's a free wine tasting included with your tour!}

We then drove down Broadway and then headed to Opry Mills to see the Grand Ole Opry & more shopping!  We ended up doing at least a lap and a half around the mall.  For anyone who claims that shopping cannot be a workout, you have never shopped with SQ & I!  We were utterly exhausted at the end of the day.

This morning (Sunday) we got up and had doughnuts from Fox's Doughnut Den for breakfast.

From the outside, you aren't quite sure what to think of this place.  It seemed a little questionable to me, but after a recommendation, I opted to try it out.  The doughnuts were really good, but if you go, you absolutely MUST try the blueberry doughnut holes.  SO GOOD.  (I ordered extras so I could have some for breakfast tomorrow!)

I was so glad I got to spend the weekend with SQ & was sad to see her go!  But I got one thing crossed off my Nashville bucket list & I will be headed back to the mitten in about a week and a half!  I can't believe that my time here is almost over.  It has just flown by!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

London [2012]

Have you seen the opening ceremony outfits for the summer olympics?

They were revealed on the Today Show on July 10th.  There are some pretty interesting components to these outfits and some differences between the sketch and the result!

First off, I want to start by saying I like these outfits.  Like, not love.  I really don't like the barrets.  I don't think they work in this situation.  They seem a little too over the top to me.

I love the color choices.  I think it was very smart to go with navy and white as the main colors (how great are the white pants and skirts?) with pops of red through the tie and scarves.  I love these white skirts & want to know where I can find one!  They look a little shorter in the sketch than they do on the model, I think they would be perfect hitting just above the knee so they don't make any athletes shorter.

The blazers with the double breasted buttons are immaculate.  I could live without the polo logo, but I think the size is perfect for this situation; large enough to be seen but small enough that it doesn't take over the jacket.

The shoes.  Can we talk about the fact that the model is wearing heels in the sketch? Heels!  No athlete in their right mind would wear stilettos to walk around at the opening ceremony!  That would be foot suicide!  I'm glad this was fixed between sketch and execution.  However, crew socks with these shoes?  No thank you.  I would prefer a shorter, no show sock to elongate the legs.

Overall, I think Ralph Lauren did a great job with our outfits for the opening ceremony.  The US will certainly look very snazzy!

What do you think of the outfits?

Photo Credit

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Craftherapy: Marble Magnets

Introducing a brand new segment... craftherapy!  Crafting is a great stress reliever for me, so it seemed simply fitting to combine craft & therapy!

Today's project is marble magnets!

I made these AOII themed, but you can use any images you want!  They would be super cute personalized with a monogram, for a school/university, sports team, or just with cute patterns.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Marbles (the ones I used were 1 1/8in in diameter)
  • Mod Podge (this is a crafters dream! If you don't already have a bottle of this, I highly recommend getting a bottle of it, it's super versatile!)
  • Sponge brush (to apply your mod podge)
  • Magnets (I used a roll of magnetic strip)
  • Craft Glue 
  • Images you want to use
I created the images in Photoshop.  You can use powerpoint or word if you don't have Photoshop.  If you are creating your own, play around with colors and patterns in the background.  Try dots, stripes, or even a Lilly print!

When you have the image you want to use, make sure it is the size of your marble!  I had to use a ruler to measure mine.  Print your images (plain printer paper works just fine) & cut them out.  Don't worry about creating absolutely perfect circles, the imperfections will be hidden behind the marble.

Then, apply mod podge to the flat side of the marble.  Don't worry about the color, it will dry clear!  After a coat of mod podge, line up your image and apply another coat of mod podge to seal it.

This is after my first layer of modge podge (I used a very thin coat)

I suggest going marble by marble so the mod podge doesn't dry.  After you have your images applied, use craft glue (I used Tacky Glue) to apply your magnets.  The magnets I used came in a big roll & had adhesive backing, but I noticed that the backing didn't stay particularly well.  If you use magnets that come in a roll, cut small sections of magnet off, one for each marble.

The white is the adhesive backing.

Then wait for your marbles to dry!  Since I used a small amount of mod podge, I just had to wait for the glue to dry (only about 10 minutes).

Here's the final product!

Did you try this project?  How did it turn out?  I would love to see your pictures! Email me at!

PS If there are any AOIIs that want to use these images, let me know! I'd be more than happy to send you the PDF!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shop It To Me

Do you love to online shop?  What about finding great deals? Yeah, me too!  So today I have a great introduction for you.  The one, the only, Shop It To Me!

"Shop It To Me is an effortless way to find sales on more than 700 brands."  I couldn't have said this better myself.  Shop It To Me works like an email newsletter.  You tell it what brands you love (they'll even provide suggestions for you based off what you've chosen & give you a list of some up & coming designers!) and what you're shopping for.  You can shop for women, men, kids, accessories and sort it by size! Then you set your email preferences; I love getting mine on Tuesdays and Fridays.  That's it!  You'll get your first 'salemail' shortly.

I've been using Shop It To Me since January of 2011.  I love it!  To me it's like a deal seeking online shopper's paradise, all wrapped in a pretty package! The emails are really easy to read, the item and price are right there for you.  

Here's one of my recent salemails: 

I subscribe to 59 brands! Here are some of them:

  • Alice + Olivia
  • Ann Taylor
  • Anthropologie
  • Calvin Klein
  • Fossil
  • Hunter
  • J. Crew
  • Kate Spade
  • Lilly Pulitzer
  • LOFT
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Michael Kors
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Steve Madden
  • Sperry Top-Sider
  • Top Shop
  • Vera Bradley
  • Vera Wang
  • Vineyard Vines

Shop It To Me has a great selection of brands and options so you can always find what you're looking for!

Interested in signing up?  You can do so here.

Check out this interview on Levo League Office Hours with the CEO & founder, Charlie Graham.
You can find it on the Levo League Office Hours website here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


My least favorite thing about summer is the drastic temperature changes between outside and inside!  Retail places often have the AC cranked super high while it's hot out.  Cardigans are usually my staple to solve this problem, but I have a new favorite... the chambray shirt!  The chambray shirt is perfect for summer.  It has the versatility of a jean jacket matched with the weight of a cardigan!

Here are my favorite chambray looks for summer:

Chambray in the Office
If you're working this summer & the dress code is a little bit loose, try switching out a typical button down with a chambray!  Paired with a pencil skirt, heels and structured bag makes sure this look is still office appropriate. 

Untitled #4
Who doesn't love a summer full of sunday morning brunch?  This look would be perfect for brunch or even a lunch with friends!  I go back and forth with the high-low trend, but I really like this skirt.  If you're hesitant about trying it, try to find something with the smallest difference in length from the front to the back.

Untitled #3
Summer is the perfect time for a picnic in the park!  Whether you go on a date, or a friend date, this outfit would be perfect.  I used a band t-shirt that could be used as a go to conversation topic if you run out of things to talk about!  The chambray shirt would be a great extra layer if you're sitting in the shade.  Since I imagined this as an outside outfit, I kept the accessories simple.

Chambray for Class
This is a great transitioning into fall look!  If you are of the mindset that leggings are not pants, look for a chambray shirt in the tall section of stores.  They make them longer so it turns into a tunic.  This is put together enough to wear to class, but comfortable enough to lounge around your room.

I wore my chambray shirt for the Style Me July challenge!  I paired it with a simple black dress and sandals.

How do you wear the chambray shirt?

Friday, July 13, 2012


it's raining, it's pouring
and somewhere an old man is snoring
rain, rain, please do stay
and be sure to come back another day

When I lived in El Paso, I used to sing this modified nursery rhyme to myself when it would rain. I love when it rains (or at least when I'm dressed appropriately and have an umbrella!).  It never rained quite enough for me in El Paso. Rather, it hardly rained at all.

One of the major reasons I wanted to return to Michigan was to have four seasons again.  El Paso didn't really have a proper fall or winter (it was mostly just summer and fake winter) and we barely got rain.  If we were lucky enough to have rain it either a) stopped after 10 minutes or b) flooded the entire city.  Because it rained so scarcely, no one ever knew how to deal with it.

Today's Style Me July challenge {my post | original} was 'Sunglasses'. Here's the weather for Nashville:

There wasn't much sunglass wearing from me today!  It has been raining all day.  I've certainly been enjoying the rain, but today I was not prepared for it at all!  I went out wearing sandals... At least I had an umbrella?  It was a perfect rainy day to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book; if I didn't have to work. It looks like I will be getting plenty of opportunities the next couple of days to have rainy days!   

What are your favorite rainy day activities?

PS follow me during the Style Me July instagram challenge! @classycollegiate

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Inviting Interiors: Perkins+Will Part 2

I loved the work done at Perkins+Will so much, I decided to do a second installment highlighting their projects.  Todays project is Cobalt Engineering.  The project was completed in 2011 & one of it's main goals was to evoke a creative image.

This is the main entry way.  I love the use of the yellows and greens mixed with neutrals to let the color pop. This goes hand in hand with the creative image goal and they really let the color speak!  The one downside I might have with this space is the glass walls in the conference center. I think it could get really distracting with people coming in and out of the office.

 I love the simplicity of this conference room.  They kept everything really simple so employees could focus on the task at hand.  They bring in color through the chairs just outside the door.  They would be perfect for visitors waiting on a meeting!

 This individual office is very simple (notice a theme?).  I love that they brought in color through the chairs!  It was a perfect way to tie in the color scheme.  I also really like the unexpectedness of the sliding door.  It's not something you would typically see in an office.

 This looks like a great break room!  The motivational image words on the wall help to remind employees of the company's vision.  The simple sleekness of the design is calm and soothing.

Who wouldn't love to work at a place with a view like that? I'm jealous! The designers took that into consideration and gave them large windows to admire it through.  I love the variance in workspace here, the drafting tables, the table & chairs, and the traditional desk.  They bring in color through the dividing panels so it isn't overpowering.

I think this is another successful design from Perkins+Will.  What do you think about the space?

PS All of the images are from the Perkins+Will website, found here.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Inviting Interiors: Design Firm Spotlight

For this segment of inviting interiors I've decided to spotlight one of the industry giants when it comes to interior design.  They ranked #3 on Interior Design Magazine's list of 100 giants two years in a row.  They were established in 1935 in Chicago, IL.  They employ over 1,500 people.  The firm I am describing is none other than Perkins + Will.

I discovered this firm working on a project for my interior design class & fell in love! (Yes, I am writing this post instead of working on said project... ooops!)  They have so many innovative designs that are still very simple and classic.  The first project I want to spotlight is L'Oréal. This project included workplace guidelines, office design & executive offices. 

 I love the wooden paneling here.  Wood paneling can be very 70s if it's not done right, but this is definitely right.  The glass with the railings helps to open up the entire space.  I also really like the contrast between the dark wall on the right and the white wall on the left.  They stand out just enough to balance each other out.

How great are these green chairs? I love the pop of color!  This would be a great collaborative space.  The whiteboard walls are perfect for sharing ideas, along with the pin-board wall adjacent to it.  The large windows allow in lots of natural light to combat all of the computer light people are usually confronted with all day long.

 This space is so crisp, clean cut and simple!  But it still makes a great statement.  I love the single statue, the dark metal really draws your eye to the statue to make it the focal point of the room.  It is accented by the small amount of black in the rugs and the photo frames.

 This is another great lobby area. The colors are kept really simple and the lines are all clean.  I like that the flowers are a very neutral color, but they serve as a focal point.  Focal points don't always have to be big and drastic!

These little "cubicals" are a great upgrade!  I love the pop of orange and how low the walls are.  You can tell this is an office designed with collaborating in mind.  There is still enough work space and storage space to keep everything neat, but they are small enough you can still work with the person next to you. 

This storage & product highlighting is great.  The products are there without being super overpowering and they are integrated into the design flawlessly.  I would also like to point out the light fixtures in this room. They are made of simple shapes, but put together they add another dimension to this room full of color!

What do you think of these spaces?

All photos from here.