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Showing posts from May, 2012

Easy Iced Coffee in a Snap

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.

My Attic: "Before" Photos

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!

Packing: Easier Blogged than Done

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.

Les Mis Teaser Trailer

<p><p><A href="http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&vid=aa88f4cc-9d41-43e4-8ad3-186317750e2b&from=shareembed-syndication&src=v5:embed:syndication:&from=shareembed-syndication" target="_new" title="'Les Miserables' movie teaser">Video: 'Les Miserables' movie teaser</A> </p></p>

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!




Axel von Fersen: Historical Heart-throbs, Part 1 | Favorite Fictional Man Candy

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 wh…

DIY Quickie: Quote Mug

Just a quick little diy project for your Tuesday afternoon.

1. Start with blank slate mug.

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?


Red, Blue, + Boho | Reader Request

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."

Insulators, Jade Hands, Guy de Maupassant, and the Prettiest Dresser EVER | Antiquing Loot

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 perf…

Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran | Book Recommendation

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.

Bright Basement | Reader Request

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.

Allysa's Fashion-Forward Augustana Dorm

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.

El Azteca | Reader Request

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…

Unrequited Love... with a Duvet

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.  :)



Pleated, Polka Dot, Hi-Low Hem...

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. ;)



Flare for the Dramatics: The Return of Bell Bottoms

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.

Style Quickie: 2 Sizzling Summer Skirt Trends

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!




DIY: Guys vs. Vintage Furniture

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.

Exclusive Insider: What's in my purse?

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...

Happy Mother's Day!

ManCandy: Zac Efron

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!

Help me style this green dress!

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!…

10 Picnics + What to Wear on Them

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!!

11 Luxuries Every Girl Simply Must Indulge In

[1] Chocolate. I'm not talking your typical Hersey's. I mean chocolate that is as decadent and delicious as its packaging is pretty. Wrapped up so lovely you can hardly bear to undo it. But so yummy you're glad you did.  So seriously. Hit up the nearest chocolaterie or the fancy chocolate aisle at your super market.  And don't your luxurious bar on the go. Set aside time to really savor it.

My New Brick Floor

Check it my new brick floor!  Well, actually...

Birdy - Skinny Love

Sometimes music just reaches out and grabs you by the heart.  Lovely voice.  Lovely girl.  Tragic, beautiful song that really pulls at the heartstrings.

Have a lovely Wednesday!

Minty Fresh Walls

I am so obsessed with idea of mint green walls, that... guess what I did?  I wrote up an entire post about it and then when I scheduled it for a future publishing date, I realized I'd already schedule a post about the exact same thing.  (Sounds like I need some coffee?!)  So I combined all the minty loveliness into this one post.  Seriously.  Mint green walls.  Gorrrrgeous.  I don't know yet if I'll be able to paint my attic walls, but there's no harm in a little wishful thinking.

Decorator's Toolbox

Every once in a while I get a comment or email from one of you lovely readers asking "How'd you do that?!"

Soooo... I've decided to reveal some of the tricks I have up my sleeve.

Here are my true-life, all-time favorite online "tools" for getting decor and diy stuff done:

May Delights

It's early in the month, but I already have a hunch on what I'm going to be delighting in.  It feels like it's going to be a very antique, English, cottagey month.  For one, I'm obsessed with ivory lace right now.  I have a lovely cream lace dress (sorta like this one!) that's just begging to be worn with a pearl necklace and pair of brown, vintage-inspired, t-strap pumps.  I guess you could say I'll be channeling my inner Downton Abbey, which I plan on watching over and over while drinking tea in lovely tea cups.  I'll also be daydreaming about how to decorate the attic bedroom apartment I'll be moving into this summer.  (I'm leaning toward an English cottage type of decor...)  And seeing mint nail polish on my finger nails as I type or...well, do anything...is just one of those simple pleasures that one must indulge in.