Yesterday, Darling Buds left a comment sweetly requesting a little recipe for the iced coffee I made while procrastinating my packing. I've done a lot of experimenting with iced coffee. I've tried to make my own coffee, put it in the fridge/freezer, and sweeten it up with creamers, milks, sugars, etc. No success. Then I tried Starbucks VIA packets, which are good but not that good. I wanted something sweet and creamy and delicious.
May 31, 2012
Yesterday, on my day off I decided to take a few things over to my new place. I don't have to be out of my current place for a while, or fully moved into the new place for a while either... so it's nice having a relaxed time period to move stuff in little by little. (Doesn't happen very often!) While I was there, I also decided to do something I always forget to do... snap "before" shots!
May 30, 2012
Welcome to my life right now. I don't technically need to be out of my current apartment for a while. And I don't have to be into my other for a while. But on my days off, I've decided to feign motivation and get stuff done. Like packing. And moving little by little.
Anne Hathaway as Fantine. Hugh Jackman, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crowe... and other top-notch actors in the cast. I cannot wait for this film to hit theaters in December!
It is a scientifically proven fact that we females are prone to falling head-over-heels for on-screen and on-page studs. We all have our film and novel champions. So I'm going to dish about mine. And who's at the top of my fictional to-do list? Well, Count Axel von Fersen. Yup, he is my Number 1. My entire perception of who he is and what he looks like is entirely based on Jamie Dornan's portrayal of Fersen in the film Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola. (And I also crushed on him majorly in Sena Jeter Naslund's Abundance novel.)
Swedish Count. Lieutenant General in the Royal Swedish Army. One of the Lords of a the Realm. Diplomat. Statesment. Alleged lover of Marie Antoinette. How's that for a resume? He looks pretty good on paper.
...And he also looks pretty good in person. Above, you'll see that he is the master of smoldering eyes.
And seriously. The name Axel conveys his 18th Century hotness, too.
Thou shalt not covet queens of centuries past who get to frolic in pastures with studly Swedish lieutenants. *sigh* He is simply irresistible.
Stay tuned for my the second Historical Heart-throb on my list. ;)
May 29, 2012
Just a quick little diy project for your Tuesday afternoon.
1. Start with blank
2. Write a favorite quote in permanent marker.
3. "Frankly, my dear... I don't give a damn."
(Rhett Butler is my homeboy.)
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to set.
This was fun. And easy. I did it while sitting on the couch wrapped up in a fuzzy green blanket and watching Law & Order: SVU. Best of all, this project cost me like $1.50. (The mug was a clearance find at Wal-Mart. And who doesn't have a Sharpie?) I'm definitely going to make more of these with other favorite quotes. :)
I was inspired by the Jane Austen inspired mugs in the Brookish shop on Etsy:
What would you write on your mug?
This decorating dilemma comes from Ani, who wrote:
"I am in need of some inspiration and help for designing a room with a red sofa. Right now I have light blue walls and I have no idea how to pull off light blue walls with a red couch. Is there any way to do this right? I am very inspired from your post about Penny's apartment from the big Bang Theory and I would love to stick with a hobo chic kind of style if possible."
May 28, 2012
So 20 Going on 80 and I rose bright and early to set off for Des Moines. Our mission: to hit up massive antique store The Brass Armadillo. The store was hosting a special Memorial Day weekend sale and today was Name Your Price Day. (Dealers were on hand so that you could actually bargain down on a price of something you wanted!) In order to avoid a stampede, we got there at opening time. Turns out, we more than beat the rush and the place was quiet and uncrowded. We roamed the corridors of antiques upon antiques upon antiques. She ooohed and awwed at kitchen gadgets and cute containers whilst I swooned over dressers and fainting couches.
One thing I'd been really wanted that I found in abundance at The Brass Armadillo: insulators. I've been obsessed insulators and reeeeally wanting some for a while now. It was just my luck that I found some Hemingray insulators in this beautiful peacock blue-green color. At $2 a pop, I broke down and nabbed four. They're perfect as paperweights! (And I've got a few other ideas up my sleeve...)
For a few years, I've also wanted a glass or ceramic hand to hold rings. The store had many! Deep cobalt blue glass, rose-tinted glass, white ceramic, brown, and even of the medically-labeled sort. The jade green really called out to me though. I can't wait to dazzle it up with some of my funky vintage rings. This little blue book also caught my eye. The color is so lovely, the print so charming. I didn't even check to see what it was---all I wanted was to have it on my nightstand for a pop of blue. When I got home, I realized that it is a 1917 edition of The Odd Number: Thirteen Tales by Guy de Maupassant. It had been cast off from the Des Moines Public Library. I'm thrilled because I love Guy de Maupassant, writer of the short story The Necklace. So not only will this little beauty sit pretty on my nightstand, but I'll be picking it up to read what is inside as well!
Okay, so as badly as I wanted to lay down $300 for this gorgeous blue dresser... I showed some self control. But seriously, I was in love. I had to be dragged away. It's vibrant blue (almost turquoise) color! The beautiful hand-painted flowers/branches! I left it behind, but I'll be holding it in my heart as inspiration for a future dresser project. (Yup, I'm going to paint a dresser of my own to look like this!)
All in all, I spent about $20 on my little assortment of blue, green, and turquoise objects. I could have spent tons more. This place was full of furniture, jewelry, toolboxes, signs, dinnerware, teacups, lamps, books, typewriters, fans, and many more insulators that I woulda been happy to take home with me. But there are many more days of antiquing in the future.
We ended our expedition with burgers, a quick Pier One visit (which is slightly disappointing after an ecstasy-inducing antique store, might I mention), and ice cream. What a successful day!
Time for a nap!
Just a lovely little thought (and pretty dress) to enjoy on this day. Happy Memorial Days, lovelies.
What are you doing today?
20 Going on 80 and I are hitting up a huge antique store for a "Name Your Price" Memorial Day celebration sale. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. That's pretty much all I can say. There are just no words for my excitement.
I hope your weekends are as lovely as mine! (I'll post later in the week with today's loot!)
Mention the name Marie Antoinette and you've got my attention. Abundance by Sena Jeter Naslund is one of my all-time favorite novels and Sofia Coppola's film comes second only to Gone with the Wind. For a long time I've been meaning to read a historical fiction novel by much-praised author Michelle Moran. So when I got wind of her Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution... it went straight to the top of my to-read list.
May 27, 2012
You know me---I love a decor challenge. So when Kristine emailed me this:
"I'm moving into a basement room (which means very little natural lighting) in my house soon, and its kinda small, and I was wondering what colors you would use to brighten it up?" She also went on to say that her bedspread is the super adorable Woodland Garden Duvet from Urban Outfitters and that her desk and bed are both white.
May 26, 2012
A while back, I received an email loaded with pictures of a real-life dorm! The dorm belongs to Allysa, who attended Augustana College in South Dakota. The residents of her dorm building were lucky enough to be allowed to paint the room as long as they painted it back to white at the end of the year. (Although residents were technically only allowed to paint one "accent wall" Allysa took the plunge and painted it all!) A lover of aquamarine, anything vintage, and Coach purses (she works at Coach!)... her room reflects all of that and more.
May 25, 2012
A few weeks ago, a lovely reader sent me this request:
"I am about to start college in a few months and my roommate and I definitely want one of those dorm rooms that people want to hang out in. We are trying to come up with a very eclectic style room. We don't want the typical pink and green polka dot girly girl room. We are also really inspired by the Native American/Aztec kind of patterns that are popular right now and would love to incorporate that in some way. We are struggling to find good bedding (at decent prices) and accessories that meet our design goal."
Well, I named this post after my all-time favorite Mexican restaurant El Azteca... and I feel like I should be eating a big plate of rice and tacos and chips'n'salsa as I write this post. Yummmm. But anyways... I got to work on an inspiration board for my Aztec-loving reader. Instead of just sticking to Aztec influence, I decided not to discriminate. I pulled in some Mexican and Native American inspiration as well.
May 23, 2012
I'm prone to falling head-over-heels for furniture. I swoon over wallpaper. And I've been known to lust over a velvet, tufted sofa or two. I've fallen in love again, lovelies. This time with a duvet. And I know throw around the word "love" a lot here on this lovely blog. But this time, I think it's for realz. I mean... look at that duvet! The floral pattern! The pale robin's egg blue hue. The pops of pretty pink and goldenrod. And oh, the woe when I see that this beauty racks up a $290 price tag. (Thanks for breaking my heart with the nitty gritty pricing details, Real Simple.) This'll be one of those duvets that lives in the soft corners of my mind, that I think of from time to time when I long for Versailles, pastels, and cups of tea drank by candlelight. Be still, my heart.
Yea, I know. I'm kinda ridiculous. :)
May 21, 2012
One of my little sisters graduated high school yesterday. So I drove home to join in the festivities. It was a busy but fun day. Helping mom and grams set up the party room, which was done in a pink and maroon theme. Hitting up the McD's drive-thru for 20-piece nuggets and gorging ourselves on them until we felt sick. :S Cuddling with my much-missed dog Adalae and cat Io. Getting all dressed up in my pleated, polka dot, hi low hem dress. Visiting with old teachers. Catching up with family. And eating too many of the amazing cupcakes (see above). I usually don't like frosting and end up scraping it off. But the fluffy strawberry frosting on these strawberry cupcakes was divine. Mmm, mmm, mmm! I ate one just now. :)
May 19, 2012
Pleats. Polka dots. Hi-lo hem. Does a frock really get any better than that? Well, it does when it cost only $15 at TJMaxx. This lovely thing has been tucked inside my closet, begging to born. Tomorrow it gets its wish granted. One of my lil sisters is graduating high school (soon to become lovely undergrad!) and this sheer wonder is going to get its day in the sun. Yay!
It looks seriously adorbs with several pairs of heels I have: navy pumps, red peep-toe pumps, and coral pumps. ...But I don't think I'll wanna be wearing heels all day so I'm going to go with a pretty pair of sandals instead. Maybe I'll get a little crazy and post a pic. ;)
Yea, yea... I know. "It's summer! You should be posting about shorts." Well, I'm one of those wierdos who loves my jeans year round. And I'm really digging the return of my beloved bell bottoms. You see, as a child in the 90s my mother dressed in me in the straight-legged and skinny jeans of the day. When I reached those pre-teen years, flares made a pivotal comeback in the late 90s and also made a defining mark on my fashion ideals. Years ago when skinnies started to make their way back into the circuit, I vowed that I would never ever wear skinny jeans. "Ew," I said, scrunching up my nose as I remembered the purple and red skinny jeans I'd donned between kindergarten and the fourth grade.
May 18, 2012
First off, the maxi skirt in a vibrant hue. I love the look of pairing these with a plain white tank, adorable wedges, huge sunglasses, and sparkling gold jewelry. It's a simple outfit that can be dressed down for day-to-day errands or dressed up for date night. Now I just have to decide between a turquoise skirt and a hot pink one... Decisions, decisions.
Secondly, we have the hi low hem. Hi low. Mullet. Midi. Whatever blows your skirt up. (Hehe!) I'm pretty much in love with this skirt hem, especially when it also involves pleats and sheer fabric. A floral hi low skirt with a gray tank plus contrasting belt and heels is an adorable date night look, right? The skirts and dresses also suit the office, a wedding, brunch with the girls, or any other fabulous event.
Which do you like best? Maxi or midi? I can't decide!
May 17, 2012
As I start writing this post, I'm definitely feeling a little Carrie Bradshaw when she has writers block, thinks her editor is going to fire her, and attempts to write an article comparing men to socks. But while she didn't know where she was going with comparing an argyle sock to a certain type of man, I know exactly where I'm going with comparing a man to a piece of vintage furniture.
May 16, 2012
Since I always love seeing this kind of posts on other blogs and in magazines, I decided to give it a shot myself. I spilled out the contents of my purse onto my bedroom floor and grabbed my camera. I didn't include the purse in the photo because, well... that changes on a daily basis. But the contents pretty much remain the same since I just move them from bag to bag to bag. It's quite astonishing when you realize what your "everyday essentials" are. I remember when I used to carry around a huge hobo bag and stuffed it with even more stuff than this! Anyway, without further ado...
May 15, 2012
Bonjour, lovelies! I've been absent a couple days. No, I haven't been gallivanting around Paris. (I wish!) I had splendid weekend, however. Friday night involved wine, cheese, crackers, and What's Your Number? (Marry me, Chris Evans!) with an old friend that I've missed having in my life. I had a Saturday night movie + pizza night with a cute, green-eyed boy who makes me laugh and has really cuddly cats. Sunday was spent lounging around, reading magazines, and eventually eating delicioso Mexican food with 20Goingon80. (Yep, we're IRL friends!) And whilst the weekend so was absolutely awesome and I dreaded the end of it, Monday turned out to be quite bearable when infused with fro yo, a guy friend, jalepeno poppers, the latest issues of Cosmo and Lucky, and some serious after-midnight pinning. And in the midst of all of this, Lovely Undergrad has been undergoing a little paint chip inspired facelift. Lovely, eh?
Let's just say that I'm quite happy. But enough rambling on about my weekend fun. It's back to the grind this week. And I plan on spending tomorrow whipping up some fabulous posts to inspire your living space, wardrobe, and life! So stay tuned, my darlings!
And drop me a line with the highs and lows of your weekend. Or let me know what you think of the new blog design. Or just ask a random, silly, or heart-to-heart question. xoxo.
May 13, 2012
May 12, 2012
It's been a while since I posted a for the pure pleasure of eye candy. And since the Chris Evans post is still sizzling popular around the blog these days...(Thank you, Avengers.)... I've been pondering who is worthy enough to stack up our stacked up Captain America. And well, in case you haven't heard... somewhere between Charlie St. Cloud and The Lucky One, Zac Efron has grown up to be quite a man. And I mean man in every sense of the word. (Wasn't only yesterday that my little sisters were crushing on him in High School Musical?) *sigh* How the time flies. So now it's my turn (and yours) to swoon!
May 11, 2012
Hey lovely readers! I have a mission for you. So I broke down and bought this green hi-lo maxi dress at Target. I've been obsessing over hi-lo dresses for a while now, and this versatile strapless/halter dress caught my eye. You just don't see dresses in this bright, verdant green color everyday. I reeeeally want to wear it this weekend, but I"m feeling a little lost as to what to wear it with.
I have several pairs of cute sandals. Silver blingy ones. Black sparkly ones. Brown gladiators. And a new pair of pretty turquoise sandals. I have purses galore---but I'm trying to decide between a few slouchy bags: teal, camel, or pretty floral. I'm on a gold jewelry kick, but how much is too much? Should I give the dress a hippie vibe with wooden beads and leather jewelry? Do I glam it up with gold hoops, my gold boyfriend watch, and a fab necklace? Or should I just wear a simple but statement-making, sparkly, girly floral bracelet?
I just don't know! It's a super soft, very comfy, lovely, flowy dress and I can't wait to wear it. But it's got me stumped. I definitely want to lean more on the casual side.
Suggestions please and thank you! :)
With summer, blue skies, and gorgeous weather here... I can't help but fantasize about going on a picnic. I have a lovely little picnic basket that just hasn't gotten the use it deserves. As of today, nobody in my life is safe from the possibility of a picnic. Spreading out a blanket, sitting outside, talking, eating, drinking, and being merry... picnics are perfect for dates, friends, family, or even just yourself. So here are my top ten picnic ideas and what I'd want to wear on them. Let me know which one you'd like most to go on!
Click through to see 10 lovely picnic ideas + outfits!!