The Ghost of perfectly Priya Christmases Past

Tuesday, December 23

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Hi friends, Merry Christmas week! I hope you all are truly enjoying the season, wherever you are, whatever the weather, and whoever you're with (reporting to you live from Hawaii, with my entire family. It's a bit rainy today, but we are making the most of it. So far I've been in the ocean everyday, and really loving the company!)

Since I felt really out of it this holiday season, I thought it would be fun to revisit some old posts of Christmases past around here, as my humble contribution to the seasonal blogosphere.

Like last Christmas vacation, spent in California.

Bits of the season from life last year.

Our office Holiday party last year (still recovering from this year's btw.)

A Christmas Day outfit, from two years ago.

Christmas at home, two years ago!

My favorite part of Christmas.

Priya's Christmas playlist (I made one for this year too, it's called #palohaChristmas2014)

My Honkytonk pre-Christmas, in Nashville.

This year's holiday outfit!

And of course, my most recent holidaze; that'll give you an idea of what I've been up to lately (with the holiday interspersed.)

Alright guys, I'm headed off to take a swim in the rain, and tonight we're having dinner with an old family friend (that we haven't seen in 20 years!) Thank you for reading, hope you found some cheer, &

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope it's marvelous. Over and out!

If You're Reading This...

Sunday, December 21

Then I probably made it through Holiday party week, packing, and festivity prep, and remembered to schedule this post! Who says you can’t do it all. I was freaking out for most of the time, but I did itttttt. I always feel phony if I don’t give full disclosure on a scheduled post, so while I look like I’m standing in an infinity scarf at a festive roundabout, I’m really en route to Hawaii (or, I’m probably there by now.) And ridiculously giddy, no doubt!
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| scarf: ASOS | top: secondhand H&M from Jamie | belt: from dress | pants: secondhand F21 from Jamie | socks: gift (Madewell) | booties: Target |

How is your holiday season going? When I flew back from California after Thanksgiving, I knew these two weeks would fly by, but holy COW. It’s already time for the next holiday. I have felt completely insane but I really have no complaints. All fun stuff. I sincerely hope you’ve managed to find that perfect gift for everyone, get your d├ęcor up in time, and do those things that make this season so fun.
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Ah, clothing. I finally got some ponte-knit leggings (Old Navy) and that’s really all I’ve been wearing for two weeks [not pictured.] Right before Thanksgiving, my co-worker Jamie, one of the funniest people I’ve ever known, allowed me to tag along as she cleaned out her closet. And she has great taste. I can’t think of a better example symbiotic relationship. Literally bees and flowers have nothing on us.
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This top and these pants are both from her. They jumped out of the bag as a perfect combination. I think wearing pants that aren’t jeans is always an accomplishment. This scarf is a giveaway win from ASOS last season that I was pumped to break out again. It’s one part neck-brace, two parts perfection.
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And if my fun little socks haven’t been on here yet, they changed my life. I mean that in the grossly exaggerated but still acceptable vernacular of a fashion blogger. Katie sent me these Madewell beauts in a belated birthday package and I try to wear them whenever I can! They match the top pretty perfectly and make booties/cropped pants in the Winter bearable.
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How cute is this little square in Hunter’s neighborhood? Got me feelin’ some (festive) type of way. Last weekend (?- I don’t even know anymore) when we celebrated our Christmas (Santa brought Hunter a new white button-up so I can inherit his permanently because he really needed it, and a gift card to The Art of Shaving, because, I’m in a Holidaze, remember?), Hunter drove me around to look at the best lights of Nashville after dinner & gifts. It was perfectttt. For any of you locals- I would recommend checking out Annandale, Sunnyside, and Lipton Court, pretty impressive!

Ok. So I’m officially on Christmas vacation. I’ll plan on stopping by later this week as the “ghost of perfectly Priya Christmases past” to bring you the best of my previous holiday posts. This is because I do NOT have my stuff together and I have no gift guides or Christmas DIYs (ha- do I ever have DIYs?) to share with you. I tell you this because we’re all friends around here.

In the meantime—enjoy your holi days, I hope they are so merry and bright. Thanks for reading my rambley writing (my journal is even worse, promise. But no one gets to read that, not even me, because I can’t decode what I’m saying half the time ;)


Tuesday, December 16

I'm in a holidaze, that's really the best way I can describe it.
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things on my mind right now:

+ making Indian food for Lunch Bunch (checked off- Monday!)
+ volunteer caroling with work (checked off- tonight!)
+ planning, shopping, preparing for our Holiday party (Thursday)
+ hair done, nails done, everything did (I need cool tights) for Holiday party
+ packing for Hawaii (leaving Friday Nashville --> San Jose --> Hawaii!)
+ decor/planning for #palohaChristmas2014
+ getting electricity/moving in to my new apartment
+ oh, I don't know, buying people Christmas presents?
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Christmas and Hawaii come soon before I lose my mind! 

ipsy vs. Birchbox, November

Friday, December 12

This is the second installment of a long-winded series, in which I try to choose between two monthly subscription services (referred to hereafter as "subs"): ipsy & Birchbox. Currently subscribed to both. Trying to keep one and lose the other. But which one is best for me? (You can view October's edition: here.)

I have to say, you all certainly humored me last month in discussing this first world problem. Most of you agreed with me that ipsy won for October (spoiler alert: it's a two-peat.) Several of you said that since it's only $10, why not just keep both of them? I totally see your point, but MY point in allowing myself to get a sub service in the first place was only getting them if I can USE them. So, the money is not really the main thing, it's the principle of the matter folks! 

I also have to say- could it be that little old me is becoming a beauty person?? The subs are certainly helping. Like most, I went through a healthy girlie beauty phase in 6th grade (where everything had glitter in it, I would carry a lipgloss to school in my hoodie pocket every day, and get in trouble in science class for re-applying), this leveled out in high school (when I was pretty much solely wearing mascara and began experimenting with lipstick), plateaued in college (more lipstick), which brings me to now! And that's my beauty story in one sentence. 

One thing I love about these subs is the freedom they give me to try out new products. With such a low barrier of entry (--> speaking of college, there's some good ol' economics kicking in. Who says those two courses were a total waste.) [After consulting The Google, I would like to edit that I believe the term I was thinking of was: tradeoff. Guess the classes were a total waste.] I can easily sample a new lip color, face wash, or hair treatment that I would never otherwise. I would never "try out" an eye base for $20, but when it's included in a GlamBag for $10, I'll give it the old college try! I should stop talking about college. And start talking about my products for this month. 
ipsy (clockwise)
Marc Anthony Oil of Morocco Hairspray- I never use hairspray, but seems like when I need it, (I'm traveling) and I never have it! This will stash perfectly in a gym or make-up bag, I don't even need the full size. Haven't used it yet, but it appears to be pretty luxe. 
clariSEA Glow Powder Exfoliant- The idea behind this product is to make any face or body wash exfoliating, which is all I ever want! The idea works pretty well. Just add a drop to any body or face wash, for an instant salt scrub. 
CK one color Lip Gloss- Don't get me wrong, I love lipgloss, but this is just a dud. This is like the random necklace your sister gets you for Christmas which leaves you thinking "there are approximately 1 billion other things you could have gotten for me, and I love necklaces, but this is just random, and not that cute." Nothing could describe better how I feel about this gloss. 
*GLAM GLOW Powermud DualCleanse Treatment-* My "beauty friend" Emma said "Wow, you got some GlamGlow!" This is a $70 product in sample size, folks. Yes please! This mask feels really luxe and left my face feeling soft and cleansed.
Be A Bombshell Eye Base in Submissive- I will start by saying "submissive" might be the worst name for an eye color ever. Here are my eyeshadow woes- I pretty much exclusively wear some shade of brown. And by the end of the day, it's creased up. Introducing eye base! This stuff grips under your eyeshadow all day, OR use it in place of eyeshadow for a grippy hue. Though the name sucks, the color is perfect. This eye base gives you an awesome shimmery color that looks like celebrity eye-shadow! That's how I felt anyway.

*Favorite of the month! So fun trying out a fancy mask that I would never have bought for myself. 

Love. This. GlamBag. They couldn't have made one I loved more. Currently stashed in my gym bag holding an arsenal of lip color, hairties, etc. etc.
Birchbox (clockwise)
Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Lotion- This was 150% stolen from a hotel bathroom and slipped into my box. I can't help think otherwise. I don't have any real issues with this lotion, I mean, it works like lotion should. But I already have 500 of this exact thing from every hotel I've ever stayed in.  
Cynthia Rowley Lip Stain- Bbox has some weird allegiance (partnership?) with Cynthia Rowley beauty. To which I say, maybe stick to party dresses, Cynthia (TO BE FAIR: this is how I feel about CK lipgloss. Why can't anyone just stick to one thing anymore?) This gloss is nicely pigmented and goes on smooth, but COOL BIRCHBOX, after I wear it twice, this sample size is toast. So..?
Royal Apothic Tea Treatment Mask- So I never wear masks. But this stuff left me feeling uncharacteristically pampered; smelled nice, changed colors, and left my face feeling fresh. I would actually buy this for someone. 
Amika Nourishing Mask- Yet to use this, but I dig the cute packaging and smell. Will this "hair masque" work on my horse hair? We'll see! 
*theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer-* Same beauty friend Emma says "Ooh you got a Cindy-Lou Manizer!" First off: love that name! This stuff is supposed to be a highlighter, but the shade was too light for me, so I just put it on like blush. I actually loved it. This tiny packaging was cute, but, tiny. I would buy this in the darker shade in real life. 

*Favorite of the month! It's already gone, after I used it every day for like a week.

Is it completely obvious or just kinda obvious how biased I am ;) ?

The victor: ipsy. These products were just all-around, more appealing to me. And the bag just can't be topped. Matches my wallet? Yes, thanks! 

Now it's your turn! Vote for the month, and sympathize with me about how hard my life is. Jokes. Do you subscribe to ipsy or Birchbox? Perhaps you have in the past, or even have had the same quandary as me, and one has treated you better long-term? Do tell! 

If you are interested in signing up for ipsy OR Birchbox (or both ;) for $10/month, you can find my referral links here: ipsy //Birchbox.

 Tune in next month for the third and likely final installment of: The Battle of the Subscription Services. You know, Birchbox could slay it this month, for their last-minute redemption. We'll see. 

Girl in a kerchief

Wednesday, December 10

I'm gonna kill a few birds with one blogpost accomplish a few things here today, if you'll let me. Of course, I'm wearing clothes that I'm excited about so it's an outfit post, I was nominated twice for a blog award that I need to acknowledge, and I'm linking up today! And away we go!
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| earrings: Nashville Flea | coat: Old Navy from Carina | top: Gap from Carina | skirt: vintage from Mom | tights: from Amanda? | boots: Report from Carina | 

I have to mention that I got several batches of hand-me-downs recently, and as I've mentioned a few times around here, hand-me-downs are probably one of my favorite things in life. What is better than free clothing from stylish people you know who are practically begging you to take it off their hands?? If there is something, haven't found it yet. 
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Anyway. This skirt falls squarely into the "random things my mom had that she gave to me" category. I think she got it from someone like 20 years ago and it's been sitting at our house. Well, thanks Mom (also, hi Mom, love you!) I also picked up this discarded coat from a closet in our house. I guess Carina upgraded to a new black peacoat, fine by me :)
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a BIG thank you to both Laila of Tape Parade and Ashley of The Nashvillian for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award (both with different requirements, interesting...)

Questions from Laila:
What is your favorite animal?
Probably a panda.

What is your favorite meal to cook?
I'm more of a baker (and I can't really cook) but Indian food, when it turns out!

Do you think the Green Party is underrepresented in current media (UK centric, sorry)?
Ha, oh Laila. I have no idea.

When is the last time you took a day off?
Two weeks ago I was out for a week for Thanksgiving!

What do you know about 3D printing and how excited does it make you?
I know literally nothing. Sounds exciting though!
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*photos edited with VSCOCam*
Seven Random Facts About Me from Ashley:
1. My initials are the first three letters of my last name, Priya Ann Pappu. 
2. Least picky eater of all time, but not a huge fan of watermelon or artichokes.
3. My favorite jokes are typically "Dad humor" or of the "good, clean, fun" variety. 
4. I believe my favorite movie when I was a kid was The Big Rock Candy Mountain
5. I minored in journalism in college. 
6. I wouldn't consider myself an "animal person" (sorry Ashley!) but I do hope to get a dog one day! 
7. Latest obsession- probably my new planner for next year! I love writing/journaling/planners. 

Kinda blanking on "fun facts" here, I hope those weren't super lame.
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Linking up (today, and yesterday's post) with Ashley for Two For Tuesday. You can link up twice too, and she'll pick a couple winners! Thanks for being a blog friend Ashley!! 

I hope you all are finding time to enjoy yourselves in the craziness of this season! Hard to believe I'm already making plans to head back west next week. I am so unprepared. 

Weekend Update: Friends, babes, cupcakes.

Tuesday, December 9

I should note that this title a) makes me feel basic and b) is all I need to be happy. 
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I had a terrific weekend! I loved my time spent at home over Thanksgiving, but it was nice to come back to Nashville and jump head-first into festivities, hanging with my besties, and that holiday party babysitting grind. Which, I thoroughly love, so it's not a grind. I had so much fun that I cut myself waaaayyy too much slack yesterday, and hardly did anything. I can confidently admit that I am a busybody who is always running around trying to get stuff done, so just sitting still on the couch last night only came after some internal coaching.

Friday evening Hunter and I met up with Ethan and Andrea, made a spectacular dinner at Andrea's house (I made the salad so, I won't really take credit for it), and headed to Turtle Anarchy Brewery in Franklin. Since I actually grew up and starting enjoying beer, trying local brews and visiting breweries is one of my favorite things! And for how small Nashville is, there really is a nice selection of local breweries. Sample trays are the girliest part of a brewery (love those tiny glasses) and how cute is our double couple?? Love these guys. By 11pm I was asleep on my feet and I am embarrassed to tell you how much I love going to sleep on Friday night and **sleeping in** Saturday morning!

I went straight to hanging with these little nuggets on Saturday. Since Miles was wearing the cutest oversized jersey, I said to him, "Miles, cool jersey! Are you on a soccer team?" He said "No, I'm scared of the crowds." Heart-melter! I adore them!

Saturday night my roomie (I need to clarify that Amanda was my roommate for three years in college, but will forever be my "roomie" and biffy) invited us over for some impromptu popcorn stringing. I have to confess- I'm just not feeling festive. I don't know what it is, Christmas just seems very overwhelming to me this year. BUT I've been trying to do something small and festive every day, in hopes of getting more in the spirit (like listening to classic Christmas albums, stringing popcorns, baking spice cupcakes,) & I think it's working! Anywayyyy I really enjoyed being in the girl's cozy, decorated thoroughly like adults, apartment; stringing popcorn for the tree which I've never done before but made me feel distinctly salt-of-the-earth American, flipping through terrible Hallmark Christmas movies like Becky's Christmas Pup, and eating a small cup of Bluebell ice cream as a reward for finishing my string.

Sunday included an advent church service, an under 60 min trip to Target, exercise, straightening my hair (this is a big deal) AND- baking cupcakes for Drew's birthday festivities that evening. Mallory hosted a really nice little shindig for her sweet brother, and Hunter and I had a blast. And the cupcakes were cute.

Otherwise notable for this weekend: I started Serial, became obsessed, and blazed right through it. If you haven't already started listening to it, do yourself a favor: Pro-tip: I've been listening as I work out which is a fantastic strategy. If anyone wants to discuss conspiracy theories below--I am SO in!!

Ok- I'm off. A double productive day awaits, since yesterday was basically a wash. I am always down to hear a rambley account of your weekend update (seems only fair, if you read this whole thing :) let me know what you're up to! 

Obvious Auxiliary Exercise Tights

Friday, December 5

My outfit thermostat is all out of sorts; going from premature FREEZING Nashville, to warm CA, back to cold TN, and the high today is 66 (warm enough for bare legs) and rainyyyyy. Anyway, this 'fit is from those unbelievably cold days before Thanksgiving. And, in retrospect, it is completely obvious that I am wearing yoga pants. I'm just trying to stay alive, folks. You do what you have to do, when you're a young California girl that finds yourself in weather with digits less than your age. I maintain: never a good thing! 
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| coat: Old Navy | blouse: Old Navy | skirt: J.Crew | tights: Lululemon | boots: Frye | 

Something about the proportions of this outfit felt just right. I wore the heck out of this coat in Canada, but otherwise, I just don't reach for it when I'm running out the door. Something about the silhouette feels a tad dramatic, and I always wish it were black for some reason. I think I like it best over skirts and dresses though, so this was great. 
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This blouse was my favorite for a while after I bought it (see it also: here) and then I completely forgot about it! I was determined to wear it this day, and the rest of the outfit just fell in place around it. If anyone is considering Frye boots, I will say: I've had mine for about a year and feel like I've already justified the purchase in cost-per-wear. I've been wearing these a few times a week! 
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And if these pictures look like they were taken in a divey restaurant parking lot, it's because they were! A couple weeks ago, Hunter met me for lunch on his way back from a couple days in Knoxville, for an engineering class. This was a big exciting deal because we NEVER meet for lunch! We went to Thai Phoo Ket, which is in a double wide trailer, across from Titan's stadium, and has arguably the best Thai food in town. And if you ever want to give them a call, their number is below! 
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How cute is Huneebear in his little peacoat? He was pleased as punch.

I'm gearing up for a full, fun (although, rainy,  I guess) weekend! It is fun being back in Nashville. Do you guys have anything exciting planned? Have a great one! 

Giving Thanks For Last Week

Wednesday, December 3

I'm back from a wonderful week-ish in California, feeling so thankful for what I have there. I even got a bonus night on Sunday, after getting to the airport and basically being sent home because getting back to Nashville that night was not an option. But I didn't have to spend the night at the airport, for which I am so thankful. Could have been much worse!
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I'll kick this off this some selfies, L-R: 
1. So Jacqui got engaged, first and foremost. These fantastic (& delicious) cookies were at the party.
2. And so was I! I flew in and went straight to Jacqui's grandma's house to be a part of the surprise.
3. Loved seeing Jacqui's sweet and hilarious entire family (including those brothers :)
4. Katie & Carissa did a legendary job coordinating everything, and I loved being with them too! 
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How cute is this newly-engaged couple?? I was so so happy to be there to celebrate them (as I keep saying, I always miss stuff like this being so far away!) Jacqui & Matt I love you guys and hooray!! 
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Another thing I keep saying: weddings I've attended feel like they're on a target, circling closer and closer and now they're really in my inner circle (it sounds less bleh when I'm doing the hand motions instead of actually writing it out. Anyway.) Really excited to watch my dear friend Jacqui get married. And you heard it here first, girl will throw a wedding. Can't wait to see it. 
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Spent a day in Santa Cruz with my mom and Galina. One of my favorite places on earth. 
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Sole picture from Thanksgiving, which included lots of eating (duh), lots of snuggling, lots of games, and lots of long beautiful hair, amiright? Guests of honor included: Marisol, my brother Coren's b-e-a-utiful and so nice I want to cry girlfriend, and Sabina, my Indian cousin who recently started university in Washington. I love you both and am so happy we could hang! 
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I spent a good amount of time in San Francisco, yet to be topped as my favorite city in the world. Sunday night Carina & I saw Sky Ferreira (very talented and even more weird. Can't stop listening to her since. Check out Locked in my Bedroom.) We spent the day there on Friday, and I was back Saturday for more hanging with my little peanut and seeing Vance Joy (he is absolutely precious. You've heard Riptide, check out Winds of Change.) Time spent with peanut also included loads of good food and drinks, lots of walking it off, and her cleaning out her closet :D sisters are dope. 
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Friday we stopped by Fort Point ^. I never go home without seeing something new. And that is why California is awesome.  
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My crew! L-R: Tuppy, me, Mom, Galina, Peanut, Coren, Sabina. Beautiful day in the city.
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L-R: 5. Tuesday night with my best girls, a pomegranate, some champagne, and In-N-Out. Best.
6. I got to see Rachel twice! Love this girl!! Next time I hope to see her on a visit to Denver.
7. That time that Katie and I showed up wearing matching outfits. Girl has good taste.
8. I miss this already! Jenae doing what she does best!

I could've used another week to soak it all up (warm weather, funny friends, family, Mom pampering me, staying up late and feeling good enough to wake up early #jetlag.) Important to note that while I saw all my best, priority friends, I also got to see a few people I hadn't seen in years (Melissa, Hannah, Carissa, Amy...anyone I'm forgetting!) Such a good thing.

And now I'm adjusting back to real life and trying to get into Christmas mode. I really don't know how some people are so on top of things, I'm in awe! I'm busy making plans for our #palohaChristmas2014 (in Hawaii with my fam!) which is only 15 days away! Uh, wut? 

Hope you all are well and enjoyed a great Thanksgiving!