Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hair: After the Cut, Days 2 & 3.

This is Day 2 hair, after the cut. I just fluffed my roots with my fingers. LOL

Merely More...

Labels: ,

Broccoli Capellini Pasta.

Finally found a recipe to mask the flavor of broccoli (florets)!
It's delicious!!!

Merely More...


Hit the Road Jack!

Ray, Movie

We first saw this in the theatre, but when it came on TV today, I couldn't stop watching...even though I caught it in the middle. Great, great movie!!!

Photo Credit.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Getting Dressed.

Growing up, my mom stressed the importance of being & looking clean, and always presenting yourself in a lady-like fashion. 

Since getting ready to go some place meant "getting dressed", I felt pure excitement in my heart every time!

Getting dressed didn't mean getting "gussied up", or wearing dressy clothes; not all the time. It meant preparation, care...forethought. Whenever we went somewhere, even if it was to the grocery store or to visit family, my siblings & I got "dressed"; smelling good, hair styled, and clothes pressed. We didn't wear "name brands" & all that jazz, but we were some clean-looking kids.
Getting dressed for school often meant laying pieces out the night prior & ironing away any wrinkles.

My mom taught us how to cleanse & take care of our bodies, how to crease pants, and sew buttons & hems.

I enjoyed it all.

My dad (being the clothing yang to mom's ying) used to ask me all the time when I was in high school, "Aren't you overdressed?!" Ha!
Is wearing an all cream pants suit, with olive faux-croc, patent leather, ankle booties in the middle of winter overdressed?! 
Probably, but I never felt like it.

I couldn't comprehend "being overdressed" at the time...Mom said to look nice!
Nevertheless, I'd always consider his question, but my reply was always the same: "No!", with a confused look on my face & a twinge of attitude in my voice.
Didn't he understand?!

It's so, I'm quite conscious of the feeling of being overdressed, and I think it's far worse than being underdressed...then again, I don't like to draw a lot of attention to myself because of what I have on. I'd much rather stand out in a very subtle manner, if that makes sense.
Sometimes a jacket feels too jazzy, or a piece of jewelry feels like too much, so I have to take it off.

It's weird how you carry things with you to adult life, sometimes unknowingly...lightbulb!!! I think my style may have originated from my parents! It did originate from my parents.
...Not too little (mom), but not too much (dad).


I LOVE deciding what to wear, getting dressed & looking nice. Sometimes I do it to go nowhere, but I especially do it when traveling...brings me so much delight!

Which would you rather be: over or underdressed? 
What are the origins of your current style?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Suit Separation.

I used to only wear this blazer to job interviews. In my mind, it could only be worn with the matching pants.

After it hung unworn in my closet a couple years, I got inspiration (from none other than a J.Crew catalog) to pull it out & wear it, sans the matching suit pants.
This jacket quickly became my favorite to throw on, especially with denim/skinny leg pants & infinity scarves.

Merely More...

Labels: ,

All in the Suit that you Wear!

All in the Suit that You Wear, by Stone Temple Pilots

If I had to pick an awesome song just to get dressed to...

Video Credit.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dear Followers & Readers of MM!

Thank you so much for taking the time to follow, read, look at my pictures, subscribe, comment, send me an email message, share my blog with your friends & family, like my photos & posts on Facebook, like my posts on Bloglovin', comment on Facebook, pin my photos on Pinterest, follow me on Twitter (although I don't tweet much), try my recipes & then come back on this space to give me your feedback, compliment me (I really appreciate all the kind words on my recent hair cut post; thanks everybody!), and...and compliment & support my efforts!!!

I am super, super grateful for you being here & interacting with me!

I think with blogs, we often look for the number. If you're a blogger, you know that many followers do I have now? You ask yourself the question...and it's tricky, especially if you aren't blogging merely as a hobby, you sometimes need to know the number & that's okay; but what ever that number is, it somehow doesn't feel like enough.
I don't like the feeling at all.
It's like, many IS enough???

This morning I looked at my number, and a message came to me: that 1 person, outside of my family & besides myself, who reads my blog, is 1 person who doesn't have to care! They don't have to give a crap about MerelyMarie; yet, they do!

That deserves nothing but gratitude & I just want to say that I am truly grateful.

I mean, I'm not posting any "life saving" cures for cancer, or the common cold! If I knew it, I probably would post it, but I don't. This is merely my life. As someone who has always been a "quiet-person", this is me sharing my "voice", what I love, what I've learned & becoming the absolute best version of myself...and sharing these things in the hope that it will inspire/relate to/entertain/move somebody else in some small way...or in the biggest way, it will somehow motivate someone else in becoming the best version of their self.

With so many "personal" blogs out there, I know that you could easily follow/subscribe/comment on any one of them, still, you take time out of your day to stop by MerelyMarie...
...eyes are welling up now...big knot forming in my throat...& I thought I heard a violin playing in the background over that last paragraph...I better end this before...tears...

For your interest, enthusiasm, support & love, thank you!!!

hugs & love,


Fresh Peach Cobbler.


Merely More...


Sleeping Shorts.

Photo Credits 1, 2, 3, 4.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Street Style Feature!

Featured on The New York Times online Street Style today...yippee!!!

Image Credit.

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hair: Chop. Chop. Chop!

Merely More...

Labels: ,

Friday, January 20, 2012


I cut my hair (again), this time whilst it was in twists. I'm loving the results, Photos to come here...

In the meanwhile, does one or two twists make a better 'stache?!

Merely More...

Labels: ,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gray & Cognac Quack.

All I needed was a hint of "precip" (so funny when meteorologists say this) to bust out my new duck boots.

I'd been wanting a pair ever since J.Crew sold out of the super cute shearling lined, gray & brown ones a few years back.

Rarely do I feel like I missed out on buying something (clothes/shoes), but dangit!...I missed out on those beauties!

Low & behold...their distant cousin, Bass, called out to me from the clearance aisle of DSW. Super comfortable & in my size! For 47 bucks, I couldn't just leave them there. They have a thin flannel lining...not as warm as my Sorels, but way, way lighter on my feet. I can easily put on a wooly pair of socks/leg warmers for added warmth. I absolutely LOVE these boots!

When it started to snow, I pulled them on & tried winterizing another summer dress...

Merely More...

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Present Fascination: Short hair.

It seems I'm becoming obsessed with short hair...& vibrant color, well just a little bit of interest in the color.

I miss my wash & go length hair terribly.

Here I mentioned how fascinated with "hair" I used to be, but forgot to mention how careless I've become with my hair.

It's been about a year & a half since my BC, and for the past few months I've been rushing through detangling, pulling (not cutting)...pulling out knots that hang on the ends, not deep conditioning regularly, sleeping with my hair loose, trimming my hair to avoid detangling the ends...
...just bad hair care.
Bad Marie!

I love my hair. I'm just really bored & tired of it right now.

I tried putting my hair away over the holidays in some semi-mini twists, but that lasted about 2 was cute, but I don't really like "protective styling". I very much enjoy wearing my hair out, almost all the time.

It's funny...I think I've lost all cares about having long hair, at least for now.

Tonight's the night.

Photo Credits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Labels: ,

D-I-Y Nail Care: Rid Dry Winter Cuticles.

My hands & nails/cuticles get so dry in the winter time.
I posted before with D-I-Y manicure prepping tips, but thought I'd come back with before & after shots of how cuticle remover works. It really does get rid of that dry, whitish film around & underneath my cuticles.

I used Sally Hansens cuticle remover in these photos, and have been using it for years. Good stuff! The directions to use are simple & it can be found in most drugstores.

How do you clean up your cuticles?


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ratatouille Andouille.

When I first saw Ratatouille, I was super inspired to make the dish!

While the ratatouille had me feeling pretty good about myself for eating several different veggies (and fruit), it was a bit nerve-racking to prepare for the very first time.
Because I had no real recipe.

Merely More...


Anyone Can Cook!

Ratatouille, Movie
Remy is a young rat in the French countryside who arrives in Paris, only to find out that his cooking idol is dead. When he makes an unusual alliance with a restaurant's new garbage boy, the culinary and personal adventures begin despite Remy's family's skepticism and the rat-hating world of humans. -IMDb
One of my favorite animations of all time! The visuals, story, and music are all so dreamy & perfect intertwined...just a beautifully done film. I always feel my eyes welling up near the end.

Photo Credit.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Cool Beans!

We went to this coffee shop while in GA called Cool Beans. They roast their own coffee, which I think is fantastic!

Whenever I travel, I love to lookout for coffee roasters, and coffee farms to take home a bag of fresh beans. This place had a nice array to choose from!

Merely More...

Labels: ,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pencil Prowess.

I'm happy I got to wear these shoes, before the cold & snow came!

Merely More...

Labels: ,

Hair: Dry cut & out of the rut!

Ooh...I LOVE it!!!

Merely More...

Labels: ,

What's in the Works!

I finalized the decision to self host this blog.
First things first: familiarizing myself with Wordpress. I tried years ago, when I was very new to blogging, & gave up. Blogger won me over with the "jump-right-in & lets get it going" user-friendly interface, which is exactly what I needed at the time, as blogging was just for fun. Now, I need a space where I can seriously do some business & have a bit of fun too. The more I research, the more I'm finding that self hosting on Wordpress is where MM needs to be.

I'm cooking up my first ever E-book, my first Recipe E-book!!! I think the focus will be "simple & delicious" main dishes & desserts. Because who wants to slave in the kitchen all day for good food?

We recently ordered a camera remote & tripod! What does that mean? Hopefully more outfit/style posts! Yippee!!! I no longer have to bug Husband to shoot my photos.

No dates in mind for anything yet...I'm just taking steps towards getting there.

What do you have in the works?


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

GA Goodwill Finds: Tops!

My cart was full in Atlanta! I had a good time in the Goodwill.

Dressing rooms...check!
Decent selection of clothes...Mmmhm!

Typically I go into thrift stores just to see what I can find. This time I went in shopping for something I actually needed...more tops.

Merely More...


Poor Bready Ends.

I feel sorry for bread ends. Nobody really wants them. They get reached over...every time for the more coveted, soft inner slices.
...but maybe they're lucky because they escape being eaten.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chicken Lazone with Roasted Purple Green Beans.

Bought these beauties from the farmers market*, mainly, because the color was so pretty! Roasted them, and...

Merely More...


Like It, Love it, Eighteen. . .

I'm Eighteen, Curtis Stiger & The Forest Rangers

SOA really knows how to pick 'em! I love how they end episode's with a fantastic scene & matchless song selection, specifically, Season 1: Episodes 5 & about "mesmerized feelings" long after the show ended.

Video Credit.


Just Do It.

I am the type of person who will mull stuff over, TO DEATH!

In my mind, there's a jump rope being dangled slowly over the ground, 2 me's holding the ends of it, and another in the middle hopping on one foot, from one side to the side to the other...

Weighing the pros & cons, always.

It takes a lot of time for me to plant both feet on one side & make a decision.

This has often worked in my favor, as I rarely have regretful feelings about decisions I've made, but the "back & forth" sometimes drives me nuts. I feel like it's precious time wasted.

You know what you want to do...Just Do It already! It will FREE your mind.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Vog Effect.

My new oxfords!

I pulled the ribbon laces from my ankle boots, and I'm loving the feminine effect. I think I'm going to pick up some black ribbon from Michael's or some place.

Merely More...

Labels: ,

What would You Do if I Sang out of Tune?

With a Little Help from My Friends, Joe Cocker

Funny YT version

Video Credit.


Favorite Drugstore Hair 2-in-1.

Head and Shoulders, Itchy Scalp Care, 2-in-1. I've been using this for several months (1-2 times a week) with good results.

It feels really good(cool & tingly) on my scalp, which is usually dry/itchy within 4-5 days after washing.

The first 2 applications, I run through rather quickly just to cleanse my scalp. After rinsing, I apply it a 3rd time, massaging it onto my scalp, and then I let it sit for minutes. feels so nice!

After rinsing that out, my scalp feels very calm, clean & moisturized. My hair, surprisingly, doesn't feel dried out/stripped either.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hair: Update Jan2012.

It's been awhile since I last talked hair...I think I've become bored with mine.

I know I've become lazy.

4 years ago, I was obsessed with healthy hair: stretching relaxers, roller setting & growing it down my back. I was super gentle & very precautious, regimen strict, and I documented everything. Majority time spent online involved hair in some way: forums, Fotki-stalking, blogs, Youtube...

What happened?! LOL

Somewhere along the way, I think the first year after my big chop, hair seemingly became "no big deal".

I miss that excitement though.

It's so funny...not too long ago, I really wanted BIG hair.
Now that I'm upon it, all I can think about is getting a hair cut: something short, tapered...edgy.

, my goal was to have it long again, to toss around & have the option of wearing it in a gigantic bun...alas, my patience/interest/enthusiasm in getting there seems more & more lacking.

What to do...what to do...

What's happening with your hair?
New do' for the new year?


Potato & Sweet Corn Chowder.

Creamy, flavorful, and filling. This chowder was amazing and easy to make!

Merely More...


Be Cool. . .

Let's Get DownTony Toni Toné, feat. DJ Quik

Video Credit.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Dear John Fluevog,
You know how to craft a delicious shoe! I will definitely be looking out for more styles from your collections.
I'm in L-O-V-E! I spotted these shoes online, and thought they looked absolutely perfect. The clean lines, the leather...the little block heel...the simplicity...they felt seriously vintage, yet classic at the same time.

The only minus was eyeing the pointed-toes. They'd surely hurt my feet, no?

Merely More...


That Girl.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Movie
Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker. - IMDb
This was good! We tried watching the original version awhile back, but couldn't really get into it for the subtitles. There were too many details to follow to have to read too. So glad they did a remake.

The opening sequence is awesome; music & imagery sets a beautiful tone!

Photo Credit.


Cajun Chicken Pasta in Cream Sauce.

I've made this over a dozen times, and I think it will live in my recipe box forever.

This cajun chicken pasta makes for a super quick dinner & is just delicious. I love it!

Merely More...


Monday, January 2, 2012

2012JAN: Reflection & Growth.

I think reflection aids in growth, so I hope to do this annually.

Learning to Ride a BikeDone
Getting off acne Medication • Done
Drinking more Water • Done
Stop drinking Welches • Incomplete
Eating more Vegetables • Done
Exercising • Incomplete
Trying something new with Outfits • Done & Done
Sewing New Sofa Pillow Covers & Hanging a Photo in the living RoomIncomplete
Starting a Blog Design Service • Done
Have a Blog Giveaway(s) • Done
Grow & Monetize this Blog • Done & In Progress
Get a Facebook Page • Done
Retire from being a Perfectionist • Incomplete

Self Evaluation On:
I've recognized jealousy for what it is. Going back & reading that post, I feel like I am way better in dealing with the feeling. It creeps up on me less & less these days, but when it does, I check that mog, real quick, with the belief that there is an abundance of room.
I know that there is space for me, as well as the next person to obtain what we each desire out of life. No one person is "more special". Everyone has their own unique path & time of getting there. For me, "there" is to reach the level of greatness that I inherently feel destined for. I have no clue what it looks like, but I know that what is truly meant for me, I will have; by my actions, love, perseverance, patience, and prayer that I am being divinely lead by a power that is invincible.

Being Quiet
I'm okay with having nothing to say. Every silence doesn't need filling.

Perfectionist Ways
I've made some big strides in just accepting help from others & asking for help when I need it. I'm finding that there is a pleasant relief that comes with surrendering. Handing the reigns over to another capable person doesn't have to be all about losing control...there's a trust that is gained on the other side of the scale, and it feels healthy. I'm also discovering that being a perfectionist isn't all bad.

Getting Paid
My rates are going up to meet my worth. I am worthy.


2011 Top Six.

Here are the top six most popular posts of MerelyMarie 2011, by collection category! My favorites were added as well with a brief description of why I enjoyed the post over all the others.

Popular: The Braid Out: A Photo Tutorial.
Favorite: BerryMint -I love that outfit! It was cool to finally try the shorts with tights look, as well as, wear more color!
Popular: Death of a Book Store
Favorite: It's a TIE between A Peeping Squirrel & Riding along in my Automobile! -That squirrel cracks me glad we caught his butt; and the auto show is one event Husband can't miss! I enjoy being his paparazzi/photographer for the day...Love seeing him have FUN!

Popular & Favorite: Heavenly Sweet Potato. -This was absolute fun all around: preparing, photographing, posting, & eating!

Popular & Favorite: Learning to Ride a Bike as an Adult: The End. -An experience that I'll remember forever...JOY!
Popular: Next Level for MM: Self Hosting!
Favorite: Just because. . . -This ramble felt like it flowed straight from my brain & after posting it, my mind felt clear; which was/is the purpose of the mind category.
Popular: Blog Design: Meet CameraChy
Favorite: The Business Card. -Making these felt both appropriate & necessary; it was exciting to finally see them printed!

I'm curious to know what your favorite MM posts are from 2011...