Apr 30, 2013

christmas in april

So, I had this J.Crew gift card burning a hole in my pocket since Christmas.  Christmas.  I suppose I was holding out for something special.  When I finally made it to the store, I was feeling pretty lucky because they were having a 25% shorts and tees sale.  So I grabbed a few shorts and shirts in fun colors and headed for the dressing room, and there they were.  The Pants.  I had tried several of J.Crew's pants on before but they never fit me quite right.  I figured I'd just try these on for fun.  Those poor marked down shirts and shorts never stood a chance.  I play it pretty safe when it comes to shopping, preferring the classics over the more trendy pieces.  But these pants were the perfect I'm-so-ready-for-spring-but-I-would-freeze-in-a-skirt solution that finally pried the gift card from my wallet.  Merry Christmas to me!  Let's see how long I can drag out the next holiday.

Do you spend your gift cards right away, or do you hoard them like I do?

Pants/Shirt: J.Crew Jacket: Loft Shoes: Seychelles Necklace: The Bauble Dept.

Apr 29, 2013

at the drive-in

There's nothing better than a mini road trip, Saturday night, double feature, sister date at the drive-in movies.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Apr 26, 2013

picking patterns

I am very picky about patterns. Okay, I’m very picky about a lot of things. As far as my closet goes, it’s solid, striped, polka dotted, and plaid. I hate paisley. I don’t even know why. 
Somehow this floral made the cut. It was actually a dress that I got from forever 21 for my honeymoon, almost 5 years ago. As with most clothing from forever 21, the fabric started disappearing over time. Suddenly it was too short, too low, and too tight. But when I find a good floral I can’t let go. Fortunately, my mother in law is a talented seamstress, and now I have a brand new skirt. 
21 forever, right?
It was really windy.
Did you ever have an article of clothing that you just couldn't part with?

Trench/Shirt: J.Crew Skirt: forever 21 Boots: Hunter Belt: Anthropologie Necklace: The Bauble Dept.

Apr 24, 2013

five things

1. I used to decorate cakes with fondant. I was a big fan of…well, cake, and decorating things in general. I taught myself how and really enjoyed it for awhile. Actually, I enjoyed the decorating part, the baking was just a necessary step. I have since cut back on sugar and dairy, and just don’t bake very often anymore.  Also, it was a ton of work!

2. My husband and I are planning to live on a sailboat for several months at the end of this year. 

3. I already have names picked out for four hypothetical children. We always said we were on the 5 year plan, but our 5th anniversary is coming up in August, and we’re just not quite there yet. 

4. I hate to drive.  On top of that, in the last few years my car has been involved in 3 accidents while parked in a parking lot.  Once when another car backed into it, once when a swing set fell over and pushed a cart into it, and then this past weekend when a tree fell on it.  It is always in the shop.  That's weird, right?  I've also had 2 run ins with deer.
5. It drives me crazy when I'm watching a movie or a tv show and I can't place an actor.  I have to look them up (thank you imdb) right away so that I know everything else I've ever seen them in.  Which drives my husband crazy.

I'd love to hear a random fact about you!  Please share in the comments :)

Apr 22, 2013

polka dot crush

I think my first serious dress crush started when I saw the movie Because I Said So. The character Milly has this adorable red polka dot dress (which she hates... what?).  It was the perfect dress.  Equal parts cute and sophisticated, and even the tiniest bit sexy.  The kind of thing that you could throw on, and always look great.  I searched and searched for something similar, but there was nothing to be found.  Eventually, I came across this dress, and it was love at first sight.  It's certainly not the same as the movie dress, but it's perfect in it's own right.  There's something about polka dots.  You just can't have a bad day in a polka dot dress.

Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character's wardrobe?

Dress, Sweater: J.Crew Shoes: Cole Haan Clutch, Belt: Anthropologie Necklace: The Bauble Dept.

Apr 19, 2013

spring projects

Aside from the usual spring cleaning, I have a whole list of projects that have gone by the wayside.  Half the reason I haven't finished them is that we are planning on leaving for our trip in the fall, and don't know if we'll be moving back into our house afterwards.  Why put anymore effort (and holes) into it if we're leaving, right?  The other half of the reason is just plain procrastination.  I've since decided that while I'm still living here, I might as well finish what I started.

1. The blank walls in our office/studio space are in desperate need of some attention.  Maybe a fun gallery wall?

2. I started a collection of vintage plates, and I only need to find one last perfect piece before I can finish the project I had intended them for.

3. Gardening.  Window boxes, herb garden, and a small raised bed.

4. There are at least a few pieces of my work from college that don't make me cringe.  If I frame and hang them we'll have some free (minus the cost of tuition. and frames.) original art for our walls.  And maybe it will help me cross #1 off the list at the same time.

What projects are on your to do list this spring? 

Apr 17, 2013

peachy keen

These pants are probably the closest I will come to the neon trend.  I love all the pops of neon I've been seeing in home decor and accessories, but I'm finding it harder to work into my everyday wardrobe.  But a pair of peach pants that only borders on neon, that I can do.  Most likely they'll even work a little better in the late summer when they don't resemble my own skin tone quite so closely...

Shirt, pants: Anthropologie Shoes: Clarks Purse: Fossil Necklace: The Bauble Dept.

Apr 15, 2013

foil packet fish

It’s not that I hate cooking, per say.  I just don’t necessarily enjoy it.  I was discussing a few recipes with my sister the other day, trying to steal some inspiration for the week.  Our conversation was pretty typical:

Eva: Well, I made pierogi the other night…
Me: Oh, I’ve made those before!
Eva: You have, really?  Cause they were kind of time consuming, and…
Me: Oh, well… I mean, I bought the pierogi, I guess.  Frozen.  But I made the other stuff that went with it…
Eva: Uh uh. ( I could hear her smirking, lovingly of course, over the phone)

In my defense, I have come a very long way in the almost five years I’ve been married.  And I do well when I have a recipe to follow.  I just prefer simple, quick recipes with a few fresh ingredients.  This foil packet fish recipe has become a fast favorite.  So far, I have only baked it in the oven, but now that the weather has started to warm up I'm looking forward to using it with the grill, too.

8 oz. brown rice
a few handfuls of fresh spinach
¼ large red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2-3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
4 white fish fillets, about 6-8 oz. each (I used tilapia)

For the compound butter:
4 tbsp. butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh dill, minced
½ tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the rice according to the package directions. Combine the spinach, onion, tomatoes, and feta in a large bowl. Gently mix the cooked rice into the bowl with the vegetables. 

Tear 4 large squares of foil, about 12-inches on each side. Spoon the rice mixture onto the lower half of each piece of foil.

Make the compound butter by combining the butter, garlic, dill, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Spread a layer of the compound butter over each of the fish fillets. 

Place the fish over the rice mixture. Seal the foil packets by folding over the edges and crimp together. Bake at 425 degrees. Baking time will vary by size and type of fish used. The fish is done when it is opaque and flakes with a fork.

Recipe adapted from Annie's Eats.

Apr 12, 2013

april showers bring...

spring vegetables
new spring blossoms / cooking with fresh spring vegetables / sandals and pastels

After what felt like possibly the longest winter ever, It seems like spring has finally decided to arrive.  These are a few of my favorite (spring) things.

What are some of the things you look forward to the most in the spring?

Apr 10, 2013

black and white

Black and white seems to be a huge trend for spring (can you really call such a classic combination a trend?).  I'm all over this one, which really doesn't happen very often.  But I've been preparing for this very trend for years... my closet is well stocked with both black and white, I have black and white decor all over the house, and now even my shop has several black and white pieces as well.  I'm ready to ride this trend to the end.

Leather jacket: Fossil Shirt: Loft Skirt: Madewell Shoes: Kate Spade Necklace: The Bauble Dept.

Apr 8, 2013

the anthropologie look for less

I love decorating, but it has taken me a few years to develop a style that works for both my husband and me in our small home.  One of the spaces that I struggled with the most was the big blank wall above the sofa.  I tried several different combinations of pictures, shelves, etc., but nothing seemed quite right.  Then I fell in love with this piece from Anthropologie.  I don't mind splurging on something nice when I can justify it (especially when it comes to Anthropologie), but this piece was one that I felt like I could recreate on my own.  I started collecting mirrors from local antique shops.  The criteria were square edges, an interesting frame, and old glass.  Once I had a collection of varying sizes and colors, I traced each mirror on a piece of paper and created several trial layouts before hanging the final arrangement on the wall.  I had originally planned to connect them, but when it came down to it, I liked the idea of keeping the individual mirrors intact.  This way I can rearrange and repurpose them later on down the road.  I'm already thinking about adding some round mirrors to the mix...

Apr 5, 2013

Etsy stalker to Etsy seller

Even before I had an Etsy shop, I was an avid Etsy stalker. I knew that Etsy was the place to go for unique handmade items. What I didn’t realize was that behind the scenes there is this whole community of Etsy sellers that is actively helping and promoting their “competition.” Between teams, forums, and blog posts, I have found so many sellers that are more than willing to give advice, answer questions, and even help promote others by including their items in gorgeous treasuries. It can be so easy to get lost in the oversaturated Etsy markets (jewelry in particular!), but I am so proud to have even a small shop in a community that promotes handmade work with such a team spirit. 

Check out my work alongside that of other talented Etsy artists in some of these treasuries created by other sellers:

Apr 3, 2013

on wednesdays we wear pink

pink blazer

Last summer when I saw this pink blazer on sale at J.Crew Factory,  I knew I couldn't leave it behind.  However, at the time I had a very short bob, and every time I put the blazer on I felt like I was channeling an 80's news anchor.  Someone other than myself could have pulled it off effortlessly, I'm sure.  Fortunately for me, my hair grows out faster than most trends die out.

Blazer: J.Crew Factory Shirt: J.Crew Jeans: Anthropologie Necklace: The Bauble Dept.

Apr 1, 2013

a little bit of dirt is good for the soul

Riley and I have been working hard on the boat lately.  On paper, we don't really have that much in common.  We share the same beliefs and values, but for the most part, our personalities and interests are vastly different.  We both enjoy working on house and yard projects together, and as it turns out, we can add boat projects to that list, too.  As much as I like dressing up and looking pretty, there is something so rewarding about getting down and dirty with a good project.  To share a goal, like our sailing trip, and actually have the opportunity to work hard together to make that a reality, is such a gratifying experience.  It has been cold, dirty, tiring, and at times, frustrating.  We have ended our days with sore muscles and dust caked to our bodies.  But nothing compares to the satisfaction we feel when we finally sit down and start to check off that long to do list.  In the end, it will all be worth it and will make our trip even more fulfilling.  We are making this boat our own, from the top to the bottom, with our own blood, sweat, and tears.  Literally.  Except for the blood.  So far.

More on our boat projects on The WaterLog.
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