All That Matters is my Alma Matter

Labor Day weekend is finally upon us. Somehow, summer managed to fly by yet again, dragging me closer to another cold birthday and reminding me that I didn’t spend nearly enough time at the pool.

This weekend has been an important part of my life, not only for its gloomy back-to-school aura but also for the great memories that have always accompanied the end of August:

That day 11 years ago when I met my best friend Jackie. We moved into Reynolds 17 as fourteen-year-olds, and she immediately shrunk her designer jeans in the wash.

Us on Martha’s Vineyard in 2006

The day after at my first Fox/Hound Choosings as a Foxcroft girl. The officers called my name last and I sat nervously waiting for the attention to be over, despite knowing that I would be a Fox.

Senior year Battle of the Dorms rehearsals. Dillon won the entire competition, beating out Court’s Chicago routine. Or was it Applegate?

A year later and I was leaving boarding school behind, leaving my friends and my housemother (and her brownies) and the traditions that will always be near and dear. Moving in at Elon was fun. My roommate had early move-in privileges, so I took advantage. Making trip after trip to the newly-opened Target, a true luxury for the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina. (Now they have Coach and J. Crew factory stores. So spoiled.) Going to my first fraternity party and to my first State Fair in Raleigh.

Embracing my big sister Alana when we moved into our sorority house together the next fall was so reassuring. Somehow I managed to find two best friends who are nothing like me, and our friendships are more perfect for it.

Us on my wedding day in 2011

Moving into my first apartment. 223 was perfect. From the double closet to having my own bathroom, it was the culmination of six years of messiness, snoring, and mismatched quilts. If only Lighthouse hadn’t shut down that fall. Being two blocks from my classes was still a big bonus.

Then the year came where I didn’t move. I didn’t start classes. I didn’t buy books or stock up on Funfetti cake mix. Instead I bought a backpack and took the first–and only–flight on which I got a full night of sleep. I traded in Fall and September for a beach in New Zealand, urban camping in a tiny apartment with two other girls, and talking boat captains into taking me sailing.

I’ve moved five times since graduating from Elon. New Zealand to Washington, D.C. to China to Colorado and finally to Pennsylvania. But none of those moves have been as exciting as those eight Augusts.

Summer Birthdays

Birthdays are an interesting creature. Mine is in November, which means it’s cold, probably raining, but not cold enough to snow – when fun can be had outside. I used to envy all those late spring/summer birthdays because they had nice weather, could have poolside birthday parties, and always got the day off from school. Unfortunately, Veteran’s Day is not celebrated as a holiday in all states.

Then I found this: A Raspberry and Lemon-Lime Birthday: Raspberry Lemon Lime Sparkling Punch and Layer Cake

from Desserts for Breakfast. And it made me wonder, could I turn my cold, drizzly birthday into a summer flashback? Here is Steph’s recipe for the Raspberry Lemon Lime Punch that inspired this scrumptious cake:

Raspberry and Lemon-Lime Sparkling Punch

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup thawed frozen raspberries (or fresh)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2-4 cups sparkling water
lime slices, for garnish
lemon slices, for garnish
fresh raspberries, for garnish

1. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, cook the sugar and water together until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
2. In a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries.
3. Combine in a pitcher the cooked sugar syrup, raspberry puree, and lemon and lime juices. Mix together.
4. Add the sparkling water, adding less for a stronger mix and more for a lighter mix. Garnish with ice, lime slices, lemon slices, and fresh raspberries.

So now the question is, aside from decorating my apartment in lemon yellow and fuscia, are there any summer-themed board games I can pull out at my next birthday party?


Jenna Kate

‘Take Ivy’ Makes a Preppy Comeback

With  just over 30 days to the re-release of 1960s fashion icon book Take Ivy, out August 30,  there has been quite a bit of buzz around the revival of American preppy style. I’m sorry, I didn’t know preppy was out?

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Luckily, stars like Blake Lively (I want her hair!) are staying true to preppy summer style: check out InStyle’s summer top trends.

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You can also get a get some great accessories ideas from Vogue’s ‘New Prep’ article, like these fabulous Linda Farrow tortoise sunnies:

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and these ultra-prep pink chino pants (of course from J. Crew, which is synonymous with modern, prep chic):

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Defined as “Witty and intellectual, you prefer to be covered up in houndstooth, argyle, and other nerdy-chic styles,” Vogue also has some fabulous purple YSL strappy heels I’d love to say I wore, but that would never happen. Like a true Prep, I care too much about comfort.

This fall, you can also get your copy of the new Preppy Handbook: True Prep

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available September 7th! And in honor of my fellow Eloners, I’ve also added this coffee table classic to my Amazon order: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP

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If you can’t wait for your books to come in the mail, check out these NYT pieces on the preppy comeback:

Fashion Diary: Prep, Forward and Back by Guy Treebay July 23, 2010 (How do I get your job??)

Dress Codes: The All-American Back From Japan by David Colman June 17, 2009

Happy Preppy Reading!


Jenna Kate

If I Was a Signature Drink I’d be Strawberry Lemonade…With a Twist

Last night I met up with some Dukies and a few UVA Cavaliers (Don’t judge, VTech is my Virginia school) in Dupont Circle. We ended up wandering down to U Street where we found a great little bar with no line and an amazing air conditioning system. With the heat wave in DC at the moment, it was a critical decision to get out of the heat. While one of the boys was ordering Yucca fries with a tangy mayonnaise sauce, I caught a glimpse of the cocktail menu. They had this delicious glass on their list:

a Strawberry Lemonade. The ingredients were listed as Vodka, fresh strawberry purée, and fresh lemon juice which they squeezed out of a lemon wedge in front of me. I’d definitely call that fresh.

Because the girls and I became immediately obsessed with this drink, I searched for a recipe. This one adds seltzer water, but it suggests using Absolut Citron or another lemon-infused vodka, which is exactly what I will do for my next roof-top party. I’ll probably skip the seltzer water in favor of a fresh, traditional lemonade flavor without the added bubbles. Thanks for your user-submitted recipe section where I found these instructions:

  • 2 ounces vodka (ideally lemon-infused or citron)
  • 2 ounce freshly squeezed lemonade
  • 1 ounce strawberry puree (doesn’t need to be strained)
  • 1/2 ounce club soda or seltzer water
  • Half strawberry or mint sprig for garnish
  1. In a separate container, purée strawberries using a blender or hand-held immersion blender. Extra puree can be frozen for future use.
  2. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  3. Pour vodka, lemonade, strawberry puree, and seltzer water in glass and stir to combine puree with other ingredients.
  4. Garnish with half or whole strawberry or mint sprig.

Again, I would skip the seltzer water, and the recipe suggested using any type of berry to make the purée. I’ll definitely try raspberries, but I’d be curious how blueberries might taste as well. Definitely an experiment for August! Share your favorite summer cocktail and I’d love  other recipes to try! Try and stay cool!


Jenna Kate

CityView Magazine’s Fancy Flying in Knoxville, TN

On the online copy of the July/August issue of CityView Magazine, two great products were featured in their “Flight of Fancy” travel apparel spread on page 40: the Lilly Pulitzer ‘Lilly Ballet Flats‘ in Gold Metallic, and the Jane Marvel Rolling Duffel Bag. I have been looking for this type of bag everywhere! Show in the fabulous Sunshine pattern, this duffel is perfect for carrying on a flight. It has the mobility of a traditional miniature suitcase, but you don’t have to open the entire bag just to grab something off the top. I will definitely be adding this to my birthday list to bring to China in November! (Photo source.)

This issue also had a couple other great finds. There is a great article on page 36 about how and where to find fresh berries, a staple of any southern, summer meal. (Photo source.) Page 36 also has a simple recipe for a berries and creme dessert, and it looks delicious!

Based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, the magazine also featured a great “Let’s do brunch” article. The restaurants featured include the Downtown Grill and Brewery, awarded the ‘Best Entertainment Brunch’ spot, The Bistro at the Bijou, described as the ‘Best Saturday Brunch,’ and S&W Grand, as the ‘Best Hangover Brunch’ location. I can only imagine what a magical place that must be.

Have you eaten at any of these restaurants? Do they live up to their high-expectation awards? Share your experiences at these notable places!

Cheers, Kate

Lola Summer Survival Kit Giveaway:

I love finding giveaways I can repost for you all. I’d love for one of you to win!

The guys over at NVPerricone are offering one reader of Her Name Was Lola their Summer Survival Kit complete with Citrus Facial Wash, High Potency Amine Complex Face Lift, and the truly remarkable Perricone MD No Foundation

HOW do you enter? Become a follower of the blog and leave a comment on the giveaway post sharing why you want/need/must-have your very own Summer Survival Kit ($180 value) by Friday, July 16th @ noon EST (U.S. and Canada only). A winner will be chosen at random.

This is also a great blog to keep tabs on, I love her spread on vintage Diane von Furstenburg. Including this chic blue floral dress:

It’s photos like this that make me wish I was A. a brunette, and B. living pre-1970. See more photos of the great DVF here.

Keep me posted on your giveaway entries! Cheers, Kate.

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Hot Colors, Cool Nails

InStyle Magazine  posted up a gallery of the top 15 nail colors this summer. I took a browse through them, and while I’m always astonished that nail polish can get so expensive, I did find a couple new shades I’d love to try. Here are my top four. Click on the picture to go get more information about that polish.

American Apparel in Summer Peach $6

Nails Inc. in Eden Grove $19

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Blow $14

TopShop in Parma Violet $10