Friday, April 29, 2011

Decorating on the brain

Makeovers seem to be a running theme around here lately. I've been making some subtle changes to my apartment to hold me over until I can begin my full (yet somewhat gradual, so not to break the budget!) redecorating job. Once the transition is made from my female-roommate, to my boyfriend officially moving in next month (exciting!), some of the fun can begin! Until now, I've been making the place look as nice as possible, pretty much just using what I've got! It's been a fun challenge.
Here are some photos from those recent endeavors, which will give you an idea of what I'm currently doing with the place. These will also serve as "before" pictures, once I am able to showcase my "after" ones!

Living Room:

I recently added the comfy throw blanket on the sofa, bright colored candles on the coffee table, and a furry, white throw over the temporary extra chair. Honestly, just using the awesome vacuum cleaner I got for Christmas kinda makes this room feel like new!
Goals: I'd like to find a good place to use the furry throw as a rug instead. It's great for adding texture to a room. The couch will soon be replaced (the current one has a comforter over it to cover the unattractive, dark, floral pattern underneath!), a small shelf/side table to replace the large, stacked boxes I have a blanket draped over in the corner (I am oddly resourceful, I'll say that), and an armchair. No more folding chairs so people have somewhere to sit! Eesh! The artwork will also be replaced with something very large over the sofa and something new over the fireplace, because I've had that painting forever and I simply need an update.

 Here's my current mantel, which I look forward to sprucing up a bit. Although, I don't think it's too bad right now. I love using pretty drink bottles as flower vases (like these Arizona Tea bottles here). My degree will most certainly be moved into my work area, and hopefully framed.


I recently moved these two pictures over the bed. They used to be on the side wall to the left, where I moved a photo of Marilyn Monroe into sort of a makeshift frame. Not pictured, I began the de-cluttering process and cleared out a bunch of work stuff (boxes and other materials) that I no longer have any need for. It makes the room look much more open.
Goals: New bedding (hopefully something light for spring, and something with deep colors to switch out for winter), more artwork, and accent pieces with some color. But mainly: get rid of the clutter and move anything work-related to our future guest room/home office!! I really want the bedroom to be a serene, clean place where I can relax and de-stress.

Dining Room:

I kind of like my dining room as-is. It's a little bit bohemian with the rickety purple table and mismatched chairs, but I kinda love it. I also adore my little wicker shelf in the corner, which I bought years ago at a thrift store for $15. It's the one piece of furniture I've kept with me since college.
Goals: To add some more artwork, possibly a mirror to reflect light from the patio doors on the opposite wall, and maybe the addition of a more substantial mini-bar. I've seen some really cute ones done on old fashioned tea carts!

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas! What have you done to make your house (or apartment) a home? What would you like to do?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Miss Scarlet

It's not often that I wear red lipstick. For some reason, I just never felt like it looked right on me. But with trying to change my look a bit recently, I decided to give it a try the other afternoon. I was feeling a bit "blah", and wanted to slap on some bright lipstick and sunglasses to wear on the grocery shopping trip that I was dragging myself to go do. I felt kinda glamorous and even a bit rock star, if I do say so myself! Maybe it's the new darker eyebrows, my extra-blonde hair, or just a more open mind, but I felt like the look worked this time.

Bright lip = brighter mood?

 The red added a nice pop of color with my almost completely black outfit.
 I kept my eye makeup super light (I used only a shimmery beige shadow and black mascara), 
which is something else I rarely do, but have been enjoying lately.

A cute look with no fuss. I added my gold aviators and headed out the door! Muah!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Damsel in distress

Ever have one of those days (or weeks, or months...) where nothing seems to be going right, you feel lost, you feel a mess, and you just can't seem to stop your mind from going haywire?

...Me too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh Make Me Over...

Kate Winslet's recent Vogue photo shoot (see earlier post) inspired me to update my look a bit. I've definitely been in a bit of a rut lately, and sometimes a little makeover is exactly what I need to put a little pep back into things.
While Kate recently opted for a super-short 'do, I wasn't ready to take the plunge back into something that drastic. But, just by re-doing my blonde hair dye and trying out some Kate-inspired make up (including darkening my eyebrows to really make my light hair pop!), I feel great! I always dye my own hair, and this time I used Feria brand Extra Bleach Blonde (#205). They have discontinued my usual Herbal Essences hair dye! However, I was extremely please with the results. This may be the most platinum I've ever gotten my hair, which is exactly what I was going for.

The new look has also inspired me to mix and match some of my clothing in new ways (new hair always does that to me). So, with some very simple changes, I feel like I've achieved a whole new look, as well as a new outlook! Sometimes, you just can't be afraid to pump up the glamor and the drama, even for your everyday style!

As you can see above, I've also experimented with sort of faking a short haircut, for those days when I'm really missing my old asymmetrical, cropped hair! p.s. Here's a glimpse at what my hair looked like a couple years ago (*swoon*):

 Singing with the band I was in before I moved to Austin

Ok, so was my new beauty endeavor a total fail, or do you like it? What makeovers have you done on yourself? What worked and what didn't? Spill!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Holiday Weekend

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend!

Mine was relaxing, yet filled with plenty of activities, including a potluck get together on Saturday afternoon, and a night out at the karaoke bar for my best girl friend's send off to Australia (she's moving there next week!).

I also decided to try my hand at making raspberry-pear martinis, complete with a Marshmallow Peep garnish (like I posted about here). I did a little research for fruity martini recipes, and thought raspberry-pear sounded unique and perfect for a Spring holiday weekend. I took the basic ideas from some recipes I found, but in the end, I kind of did my own thing with it. All this stuff especially came in handy during the impromptu little get together we had at my apartment on Sunday night!
I combined 1 shot of pear liqueur, 1 shot raspberry flavored rum, and 3 shots of 7up into a shaker (filled halfway with ice, shake until a bit frothy), and then strained it into a chilled martini glass. Add your bunny, and you're all set!

They came out quite good, although very sweet (I tend to go for a more tart drink). The challenge is keeping them super cold, because I think that cuts the sweetness a bit. If I make these again soon, I think I'll add pear slices for a garnish, and maybe put a few raspberries in the bottom of the glass. That would be super pretty, right?!

It was a pretty hot and humid weekend, so it was perfect for low key get-togethers and cold drinks.
It was also a great weekend to debut my new white, knit, mini dress, which I had been excited to wear since buying it at Forever 21 last week. Its crochet-like pattern makes it sheer, so it's great to layer over a brightly colored bra and leggings for a little edge, or a white tank top, cut-off denim shorts, and sandals for something more casual. I felt cool and comfortable in the hot weather, from the potluck to the karaoke bar, while still feeling totally put-together. A worthwhile purchase, if I do say so myself!

 Day ---> Night
Why so serious? Remind me to smile more next time!

I'm definitely a bit worn out this Monday!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Love and Kate

Ok, so, I almost had an orgasm in the middle of Barnes and Noble the other day as I flipped through the new issue of British Vogue with Kate Winslet on the cover. I have always thought she was one of the most beautiful women on the planet, and I am also a huge fan of her acting. And, I have a huge thing for short, platinum blonde, edgy hair (I had such a style a couple years ago).

Putting the two together was almost too much for me to handle...view at your own risk:

Oh. My. God.
I am going to try to recreate this look for a little make-over this week by upping my blonde color, darkening my eyebrows, and hopefully faking the hair style. What do you think of Kate's edgy-sophisticated look??

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bunny yEars

How cute is this??

I saw this martini on Kathie Lee and Hoda the other morning (they usually start the show sipping a cocktail) and thought it was such an adorable idea for an Easter themed drink.

Growing up, my family celebrated Easter as the coming of Spring. My mom would do elaborate egg hunts for me and my younger brother and sister, with the final prize being large baskets filled with candy and toys. Even once we grew up, if we were home on Easter, she would still hide the baskets (the very same ones from when we were kids) in hard-to-find spots around the house. I think I found mine in the dryer one year.

We always used to decorate eggs, too, and Steve and I have talked about doing that together this year. What are some of your Easter traditions??

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April Accents

I love the idea of having accents throughout the home that you can switch out according to the seasons (or even just your mood!). While I haven't yet begun the apartment makeover I'm planning, I wanted to go ahead and indulge in a few Spring-like items to spruce up the atmosphere a bit. It's amazing how just a few simple things can really make a change and perk things up!

Real flowers are great, but these fake ones last longer and will even be reusable next Spring! I picked these up from Target and put them in a vase I already owned. I used to have a center piece (it broke recently), that included these small stones, so I recycled them by pouring them into the bottom of the vase. It looks pretty, but also helps keep the flowers in place. This new center piece has proven to be such a bright addition to my dining room table. I really love it.

 All the candles I currently had out were wintery scents and in dark, deep colors. Beautiful, yes, but not very Spring-inspired. These ($6 at Target) are lemon (love!) and green clover scented. I love the cheery pops of color they put into my living room!

 I thought it was time to update my scent as well. I usually wear body sprays in place of actual perfumes, as they feel fresher and lighter. Not to mention, they are much, much cheaper. I keep a heavier, more "legit" fragrance around for special nights out, but for everyday, I love just having a quick spritz of a light scent. This White Gardenia mist from bodycology smells amazing, with just a hint of sweetness (almost like honeysuckle). I feel brand new when I put it on! If you're craving a quick makeover, go pick up a new fragrance; you'll be amazed! I also picked this up at Target. $4!

What do you do to keep your home updated and interesting? Share your ideas; I'd love to get some more inspiration! xx

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So, it's been sort of a long couple of days. Recovering from a vacation (last weekend's camping trip) is always a challenge, but on top of that, there's been some not-so-fun grown up stuff to deal with. Everything is pretty much back on track, but never-the-less, it felt amazing to squeeze in a little "me" time yesterday evening. My favorite staples? Mani/pedi (much needed after two days outdoors!), chilled wine, candles, and Sex and the City episodes (an absolute must!).

 Let's get this party started.

 Perfect name for the wine, don't you think?

 Made a delicious dinner - Swiss and mushroom burger on ciabatta bread with sweet potato fries.

I felt much more relaxed afterwards, sitting in bed blogging last night, with my boyfriend by my side. Slipping on something comfy, taking some time for the simple things you really enjoy, and deep breaths can go a long way.
Tell me about your favorite ways to de-stress!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A bit campy

I'll be camping all weekend! See you Monday!

Kate Moss photo shoot in V Magazine, by Iain McKell

What's happening with you this weekend? Staying in, or going out of the box?? 
Leave me a comment! xx

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Breakfast cheer

A simple, absolutely delicious breakfast I made the other morning:
Buttered toast with avocado slices. Pair with a hot cup of your favorite tea or some coffee.

A lovely way to start the day!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Morning

Good morning!

My apartment complex decided it was a nice idea to start trimming the trees outside my window at about 9am this morning, so I decided to get up a little early. I took the dog for a walk in the sunny, yet still somewhat cool, morning while my coffee brewed. Sometimes I like having an excuse to get up extra early and actually experience the morning.

On a different note, it's such a guilty pleasure of mine to browse endlessly through design and fashion blogs late at night. I wanted to spotlight one I discovered last night, called Design Shimmer. It's by a woman in Norway. She has some fabulous outside-the-box home decor images, as well as the occasional fashioned or "theme" post. Go check it out!

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

p.s. If you enjoy my blog, please send it along to others who you feel might like it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Make it a party!

So, this past week was my boyfriend's birthday. We had a get together with friends out at a sports bar one night, but I also wanted to throw a little one-on-one party for him, too. I wanted to make it special, with lots of fun little kid-like goodies, but mixed with a typical "guy's night" feel. Here are some of the things I came up with. These would be some fun ideas to incorporate into your next birthday party, but also perfect (and easy!) for any occasion that you want to make a bit more exciting:

 I went to the store simply to get a yummy dessert, and ended up buying lots of fun stuff, including a "Yearbook" with fun facts and old advertisements from the year he was born. I had to make fun of him just a little for being old! :P

 A "gourmet" take on a simple dessert: Homemade ice cream sandwiches. Fresh chocolate chip cookies (I used Toll House brand), and for a twist, coffee ice cream! I packaged them individually inside festive bags, fastened with twist ties.

 I picked up take-out buffalo wings.

His favorite beer, and mini cupcakes.

Oh, did I mention I greeted him in some sexy Texans' gear? :)

I really like coming up with fun, yet simple ideas, in order make an occasion just a little more interesting. Do you have any easy tips that you use to spice up your get-togethers or special occasions??

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Style

How was your weekend? I enjoyed a low-key couple of days, with some shopping on Saturday and lounging on Sunday.
I was hoping to find a new sundress (or two!), but had no such luck finding anything that had patterns or colors I really liked and/or a style that looked right on me. I am still keeping my eyes open. Have you come across any good ones lately? Let me know where, so I can check them out!

Old Navy was advertising sundresses for only $15, and while I've never been a huge fan of their clothing (for me personally), I decided to have a look. As I mentioned before, no luck, but I did find a cute (and very soft!) blue and white scarf, which I thought would be really cute worn in my hair (see my inspiration here). It's long enough that the ends hang way down. I also can't wait to use it as a neck scarf to easily dress up a simple summer outfit.

Tell me about your weekend, a have a happy Monday! xx

Friday, April 8, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame...

I went to my first baseball game in years last night. It was a fun time. I played softball when I was younger, and come from a family of baseball fans, so time spent around baseball fields (big or small) was somewhat standard growing up. It was great to get out there and experience that familiar and nostalgic atmosphere again.

 Sporting my Round Rock Express t-shirt

Let's be honest, the food is one of the best parts!

My boyfriend and I autographed a souvenir ball for a little keepsake

Wishing you a fun weekend! xx

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oh, you pretty things...

Some things that make me happy...a short and sweet edition:

 An anklet from my boyfriend

 A soft camisole to slip on at bedtime (I'll admit, I love this one so much, I wore it out as a top recently)

 A comfy throw blanket for the couch

 Party dresses with a ribbon for my hair