Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home again, home again

This past week has been quite a whirlwind! My boyfriend and I flew to Las Vegas last Wednesday evening, and after some small hiccups (a delayed flight, screaming babies, runway problems once we finally landed, which had us sitting in the plane for another 20 minutes, and a shuttle to our hotel which took much too long to arrive), we made it to our lovely apartment-like, one bedroom suite just off The Strip.

The whole trip was amazing, and it would be difficult to write it all down here. But here are some highlights:


 Our first stop was Mr. Lucky's 24/7 at the Hard Rock Casino. Open 24 hours (perfect, since we got into town on the late side), they offer a steak and shrimp dinner, complete with mashed potatoes and a salad for just $7.77. It's a secret kept off the menu, so be sure to request it if you ever find yourself there. It was absolutely delicious!

Our second night, we enjoyed a romantic dinner at "Mon Ami Gabi" in the Paris hotel. We started with a bottle of their own pinot noir and worked our way to the amazing scallops and asparagus, and sirloin steak and "frites" (thinly sliced strips of fried potatoes). We finished the meal by sharing some creme brulee' for dessert. Afterwards, we headed out to watch the fountains in front of the Bellagio hotel. A beautiful evening all around!


Between the airports and the Vegas Strip, people-watching was like a sport! I saw some really great looks and style ideas, and I was happy to do my part by debuting a few new outfits (see first two photos), as well as bringing out some old favorites that were perfect for Vegas, such as this pinstripe jumpsuit above.


 Rum and grapefruit juice was my drink of choice most of the time. All the bars in Vegas seem to use fresh fruit juice (not easy to find in Texas. If they have it at all, it's some flavored liquid that comes out of the soda gun). So refreshing!

 Spending time at the resort's pool.

Bubble baths with champagne (I love to add cherries!).

 Drinks and cigars at the Baccarat, a sophisticated little bar in the Bellagio.

Playing slots...in moderation. I had to try the Sex and the City one!

Just having a few days to bond with my boyfriend in a totally different setting, and showing him a place he'd never been before was really what it was all about.
We got home late Saturday evening, and I pretty much spent Sunday sleeping off the effects of the vacation (which included a ton of walking! Sore feet - even in flats!). I was thankful that Steve and I had Sunday and Monday off (Memorial Day). It was like we still got a full weekend to enjoy, even after our trip.

Memorial Day was great, but not low key by any means. I spent the day shooting a new film I'm in, where I play the title character. The day was spent in a car in a hot garage (green screen shots) or outside at a park (beautiful, but windy, dusty, and humid), so by the time I got home, I was beat! However, the shoot is going well so far and I'm working with very fun and talented people!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend and are adjusting back to real life on this Tuesday! xx

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vegas Vacation

I'll be in Vegas until Saturday night! Hope everyone has a great week!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Polka dotting

We're to that point in Texas where it's generally hot, but then when the sun goes down it gets suddenly cold and lately, very windy! I go to a lot of my boyfriend's sporting events (soccer, flag football) in the evenings, and it's hard to know how to dress in order to stay comfortable. I figure it's a good opportunity to experiment with layering and unique contrasts, which I love anyway!

The modern oversized beanie is little unexpected with a summery outfit, especially one with a retro touch (I also love throwing this cap on with just a simple ribbed tank top and jeans, and it's definitely my go-to accessory on a bad hair day!) I paired this somewhat "dressy" tank top with ripped jeans (another contrast), threw on a leather jacket at the game, and I was good to go!

 What are some things you use to create some unexpected looks??

Monday, May 23, 2011

Uncommon weekend

 How was your weekend? I would have to say, mine was one of the most fun I've had in a long time, and I've had a string of pretty awesome weekends lately, so that's saying something! We were really able to fill it with some of our favorite Austin staples, including cheesesteaks from Texadelphia on Friday night:

The "South Philly" with chicken instead of steak, red and green peppers, mushrooms, and white cheese sauce. On the side, their amazing creamy spicy mustard. Steve always gives me his, because he doesn't like it. I dip every bite in it. Yum!

Saturday afternoon, my boyfriend and I headed downtown to browse some of the second hand/vintage shops on South Congress Ave., which has a whole strip of adorable little shops, restaurants, and snack trailers. On the weekends, there are also tables and booths set up with vendors selling jewelry and other handmade crafts.

 I wanted to wear something as quirky, yet laid back as S. Congress is! I folded this sundress down to become a long skirt, and tied this top in a knot (in the front) and tucked it under for a little crop-top. I finished it off with flip flops and some "big hair". The outfit also kept me cool in the humid weather that day.

 It was so difficult not to buy everything. I'm still swooning over a cream colored 1960s sofa, a 1950's kelly green arm chair, and a 1940s Hollywood regency style chaise lounge (in rose pink!) that I saw at Uncommon Objects. This shop is stuffed to the corners with anything and everything vintage you could imagine, from photographs, to clothing, to typewriters, to old convenient store signage, to jewelry. I fell in love with a black top hat from the 1800s. It even had a name and address written on the inside of it! I Googled it and tried to get some information on who the man might have been, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to find anything.

 Inside the 1800s top hat.

Another highlight was a clothing store (not second hand, but definitely vintage inspired) called The Impeccable Pig ("the name fits me already", I thought, as we walked up to the door). Their clothing was absolutely gorgeous and very unique. It definitely had a vintage feel, but the items were perfectly modern at the same time. I wish I had tried some stuff on and gotten Steve to take some snapshots of my favorites. My goal is to go back there when I get my job promotion later in the year and have a little shopping spree. This place wasn't exactly cheap, but it'd be worth a splurge in the future.

My real goal for going downtown was to pick up a few trinkets or some wall art for my living room. I am gradually trying to fill my painfully empty walls! The name of the store eludes me now, but we came across some posters for music gigs that had happened in Austin. We found one from a Wallflowers gig in 2002 and The Black Crowes in 1999. 
On the way back, we stopped by Walmart and just got some simple black frames for the posters (just $4 each) and immediately hung them over the fireplace when we got home. I love the new, edgier look for the living room! So much more fun than the old horse painting I had up there forever.

I can't wait to get some more edgy or vintage art up on these walls! I broke down and ordered a couple vintage posters online, too, which should arrive in just a few days. By the end of June, I think we will have all the major areas filled with art. I'm excited! The place is looking great so far, and when it's just a little more put together, I'll be posting plenty of photos. I'm resisting the urge to do a blog post on every tiny thing I add!

 Written on the side of a coffee shop on S. Congress Ave., downtown Austin.

Sunday was a little more low key. We enjoyed the cozy-cloudy weather from indoors, and curled up on the couch to watch a Harry Potter movie marathon on TV. I also indulged my new obsession with Etsy.com and browsed a lot of their vintage furniture, clothing, and housewares. It's an addiction! I'd love to get some elegant little vintage tea cups, and I'm considering some beautiful handmade drink coasters I found, which we need around here anyway!
We stayed lazy for dinner and ordered delivery from a nearby Thai restaurant (I was having a rare craving). It was absolutely delicious, and while my noodles were super spicy with curry sauce, I couldn't stop eating! It's definitely healthy-diet time again until Vegas on Wednesday!

I hope your weekend was as nice as mine was! Any stories to share?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fruit cocktail

I have been coming across some of the most delicious cocktails lately that are just perfect for summer.

"Pink Watermelon Margarita"
I snagged this recipe out of the May issue of Glamour magazine (a fab issue, by the way). Combine 3 cups of watermelon, the juice of 10 limes, 1/3 cup of sugar, and 2 cups of ice cubes in a blender.
Blend until smooth and then add 1 cup of tequila and 1/2 a cup of Grand Marnier or triple sec. Pulse the blender to mix. Pour over ice in a glass, and serve (you can also add salt or sugar around the rim and garnish with a lime (This will make enough for 4-6 people).

Ok, I don't even really like watermelon, but this I have to try. It sounds so good and looks beautiful.

"Summer Beer"
A friend of mine made this for a BBQ she hosted a couple weekends ago, and it was awesome (do sip slowly, however)! I'm not sure of the exact measurements, so make it to taste. The ingredients are lemonade (or limeade, if you choose), vodka, and a domestic beer (we had it with Lone Star). Mix everything together and serve over ice.

It tastes like lemonade with a hint of fizz and a little zing. SO yummy. I can't wait to make this soon.

Do you have any favorite summer cocktails? Do share! I'd love to try them.
Have a great weekend! xx

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pajama Party

So, I've been a little under the weather this week and my cold (or allergies; it's hard to tell) seems to be coming to a head today. This is a good thing, as it probably means it's about to be gone for good, but it's a bad thing in the way of that I am coughing up a storm and running to get a tissue every few minutes for my nose.
Did I mention it's also a dark, dreary day? I got caught in little rain mist as I walked the dog this morning. I figured this is a perfect day to hunker down on the couch and stay comfy. Kathie Lee and Hoda (my morning-time guilty pleasure, as you know) are even doing a "pajama party" episode today, so everyone's in their PJs and robes, and the gals are hosting from a big comfy bed. Fun!

 The sound of rain on your window pane? Get cozy!

I was going to share some summery drink recipes today, but it just didn't feel right. Hopefully the sun will be back tomorrow, but there is something cozy about cloudy days, I must say. I like having them once in a while. 

If you weren't lucky enough to have a day off, or to work from home today, I hope you'll be able to slip into your favorite PJs when you get home this evening. Have a glass of wine and curl up on the sofa. Toast to a work week almost over! xx

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Little things that make me smile...

Fresh seafood wrapped in brown paper:

Steve and I buy these stuffed salmon fillets from our local H.E.B.'s seafood counter (I love the feta and spinach. He usually gets his with their crab stuffing). And there's just something about the paper that makes them feel special. I just love unwrapping them when preparing for dinner, like a delicious little gift!

Summer beauty goodies:

 I'd been looking for a beach bag, and I finally settled on this one from Walmart - only $7. It's big enough to fit all my stuff in, plus a towel, and the plastic-like weaved material will hopefully protect it from any water that might find its way to it!
I also picked up some Vaseline brand Aloe Fresh body lotion (with cucumber extracts), which fit exactly the elements I was looking for: a competent lotion with a fresh and summery, yet super light scent.
I was needing some more body wash and craving a coconut type scent - jackpot again, this Softsoap brand Coconut Scrub has exfoliants, plus its fragrance is deliciously light. I don't like products that smell heavy and overly sweet, especially because then you feel like you can't pair them with your usual body spray or purfume. These two products are just perfect.

The vintage bathing suit trend:

What? You mean we don't have to show off our not-quite-there-yet abs and risk being considered frumpy?!

Girly-with-an-edge fashion:

I've said it before and I'll say it again: fashion is all about contrast. I will be copying these looks in the near future!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Closet

I am kind of in love with my recent purchases from Plato's Closet, a second hand store where you can buy and sell clothing, shoes, and accessories.

 I adore the large pockets!

I debuted this military style shift dress downtown the other night, which I found at Plato's Closet for $14. I dressed it up with a 1960's inspired bun on the top of my head and very dark, smokey "cat eye" liner and eyeshadow.
To do the bun, put your hair in a very high pony tail  (I like to keep the roots loose and messy looking), then simply wrap the pony tail around and tuck the very ends in to the elastic. I kept the bun relatively loose. You can also pull out a few strands to give it a more "bed head" look. I actually thought mine looked even better once the night had worn on, and the bun had gotten a bit messed up.

Notice, I am also wearing my new patent leather purple flats, which I got for $7. Perfect for my Vegas flat-shoe goals? I think yes!

 Another item I bought was this blue Ambercrombie and Fitch skirt ($12). It's a bit high wasted and pencil-style enough to look somewhat chic while still feeling comfortable and casual. I've gotten more use out of this than I ever expected. It's great to pair with a simple white ribbed tank top or an oversized t-shirt (always tucked in). I wore it today for a commercial audition. I thought it looked professional, paired with a black tank top and cropped cardigan, but still provided a little flair, color, and personality.

I highly recommend checking out Plato's Closet, if you have one in your area. You never know what you might find, and sometimes the deals are pretty amazing. It's a great place to even just go pick up a little bag or clutch purse to brighten your day. But beware, you might come out with much more. I just went in for shoes!

Where are your favorite places to find inexpensive, unexpected pieces?

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a rush

What an amazing weekend it was!
My boyfriend and I woke up Saturday morning, and we put on the Manchester United football (soccer) game while I cooked an English inspired breakfast for the two of us. After that, we were off on our first official shopping trip for the new apartment (I feel like I've done SO much browsing and planning at this point, that it felt amazing to actually be buying stuff!). As you can imagine, these things always take longer than you expect, and it's hard not to dawdle and spend too much time browsing things you didn't come there for! But we stayed on budget and got the items we had planned - a couch cover from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, pillows from Target, and an entertainment center from IKEA. I'll be posting some photos in a future post, with more detail on what we got.

 "English inspired" morning fuel: Fried eggs on English muffins, sausages (or "bangers" as the Brits say), bacon, tomato slices, and hot black tea with honey and milk.

I rushed off in the nick of time to a read through for a new film I'm in, while Steve went and picked out our new TV (a 47" flat screen!). We met back at the apartment at about 10:00pm and threw ourselves into setting everything up (which included moving my very large, very heavy former TV and its stand into the guest room, and putting the entire new entertainment center together). By about 3:00am, everything was done and cleaned up, and the place looked awesome. I was so happy; Steve and I had such a blast doing it all together. It really was a fun time and sort of a bonding experience, especially knowing we were putting our place together. At 4:30am I fell finally into bed, completely exhausted.

 I love the little cafe at IKEA, with Swedish foods and cafeteria staples at such a reasonable price. We stopped for a quick dinner during our shopping trip. I love the Lingonberry soda, as well!

It was lovely walking out into the living room Sunday morning (ok, afternoon...we were up all night) and seeing all the new stuff (I shouted, "it wasn't a dream!". Haha). We made some tea (I think we're both liking the switch from our usual coffee!), put on a movie, and enjoyed the "new" room.
Sunday night, we went to a bar downtown for a friend's birthday gathering. It was such a fun night. I'm still on a high from the whole weekend, which will hopefully take me through this Monday and allow me to be productive!

How was your weekend??

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dreaming of bedrooms

Oddly enough, the one area I'm having trouble picturing when I think about my upcoming apartment makeover, is the bedroom. I have a general sense of how I want the room to "feel" - clean, cozy, serene, and probably with light colors. But, I just can't pin down any specific choices, like what colors, what kind of artwork, or what sort of accent pieces. Do I want a rustic quilt or a plush comforter on the bed? Do I want vintage touches or do I want to keep it simple and modern? I've been browsing through a lot of photos to get ideas, but I have yet to find anything that's just right. However, I have been collecting a lot of these photos for inspiration, and some of them, I really do like. I think I'm getting closer. Here are the types of bedrooms that have been catching my eye.

 I like this overall look.

 I adore this comforter. I am really starting to like the idea of a black and white theme, but I think I'd add a an accent color as well, such as a light green or maybe even purple.

 Still clean and relatively simple, but a little more fun and colorful.

 I like this look for our guest room perhaps. Comfy and inviting!

 This might be my favorite overall look I've found so far.

Vintage glamor within a modern setting.

Interesting mismatched use of color, and cute idea for a nightstand! The old suitcase and the roses give it a vintage feel, yet the lamp is very modern. The bedding looks similar to what I have now, so this could be a new way of using it.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts or ideas below!

Sharing some coolness

 Want something a little different this morning?

I love this new take on making iced coffee at home, which I found on an adorable blog called Path to Positive (click for the blog's coffee recipe!). This blog is just getting started, so go show it some love!

I will definitely be using Kelly's idea this week. Sometimes iced coffee really hits the spot on these warm Texas mornings. It's usually that iced craving that drags me out to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and causes me to spend far too much money on just one drink. Maybe this new idea will hold me over some of the time. I suppose you could also put all the ingredients in a blender to create your own "Frappucino". And one tip: I like to brew my coffee extra strong whenever I plan on having it iced at home.

How do you like your coffee on a spring morning??

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


So, I actually had another blog post planned, but it turned it to quite a crazy time around here today (including technical difficulties!), so I think I'll vent about that instead!

I woke up today to the sounds of moving men inside the apartment, taking out my roommate's things. She officially moves out today! It feels like sort of a long time coming, only because the exact move-out date had been up in the air for a while. Then, it was supposed to take place yesterday, but the movers had to bump it until the next day. So, it felt good that everything was finally happening!
However, after actually getting up, I realized I couldn't find my phone. I went to sign onto Facebook to send my boyfriend a message (maybe he'd seen it, or maybe I'd even left it in his car last night?) and...no internet. No phone AND no internet? Ok, not cool. Plus, the apartment looks a little like a small tornado went through it with all the moving/rearranging/etc. going on. A necessary evil on moving day (even when it's not yours), but stressful never-the-less.

After literally half an hour of searching for my phone in the apartment, my car, and wracking my brain trying to figure out if I could have dropped it at Walmart during a 1:00am home decor browsing/pricing spree (and get this: it was actually Steve's idea to get out restless selves off the couch and head over there that late! Coolest boyfriend ever? I think yes.), I finally found the phone under a couch cushion. Whew.

The funny thing is, my phone has been so messed up lately for some unknown reason, that I almost wished for an excuse to buy a new one! But, honestly, I'm glad I found it.

Then, there was the task of fixing the internet. It appeared to have gotten disconnected when my roommate packed up all her computer stuff. No big deal, right? I'll just set it back up like it was (I've done it before). But as us technologically-inept gals know, it's never that simple when you're dealing with computers (which, I am convinced actually do have minds of their own). After 3 hours of attempting to set everything back up myself, calling my internet provider, and begging some friends on Facebook for advice, I came out victorious! Thank you to those smart friends, by the way!

This also explains why there was no blog post until now. I'm glad to be up and running!
I think things may continue to be a little insane around here during this transition phase, but I am excited to begin shopping for items for our "new" place and get everything set up around here.

Here's to a relatively stress free week! Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good and good for you

So, at least until Vegas, I'm doing my best to trade alcohol for hot green tea and junk food for salads. The good thing is that salads can be really yummy with just a little effort. The one I made the other day for lunch practically felt like a guilty splurge!
Maybe this healthy eating thing wont be so hard after all....

Spring mix, tomatoes (I love the kind you can buy still on the vine), avocado, feta cheese, and just a splash of 
Wishbone's Olive Oil Vinaigrette.

What are some of your favorite, easy salads to create at home?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kick-starting the week

 My weekend started in the most perfect way: my boyfriend got off work a few hours early on Friday, and we curled up on the sofa, with a movie on TV, and took a nap. We both needed it after our late Cinco de Mayo festivities on Thursday.

 Cinco de Mayo style. 
I wore my tea length, sea green dress, which I picked up at a thrift store years ago for about $6. It's fun and flowy, and almost makes me feel like I'm wearing a little prom dress from the 1960s. I don't wear it all that often,  but I thought it was perfect for this occasion! 

My boyfriend headed off on Saturday morning to play paintball with some friends, so I had a little "me" time around the apartment. Perfectly enough, I found my Glamour magazine waiting in the mailbox for me, so I got to sip coffee and flip through that (the good 'ol "sip 'n flip"?) for a nice start to the day. That evening, I met up with the paintballers and some other friends for a BBQ. It was a really nice time.

Sunday was disgracefully lazy. Lots of time was spent on the couch with my boyfriend watching movies. I definitely pigged out this weekend too, so today I'm getting back on track with healthy eating. The weather is absolutely gorgeous right now, so I think I am going to go ahead and go for a jog before I start tackling my other tasks for the day. 

How was your weekend? What do you have going on this week?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Low key Friday

I felt pretty good when I woke up this morning, but as the day wore on, I realized I'm definitely a little hungover. However, Cinco de Mayo was fabulous. This post is going to be short and sweet. I'm spending the day curled up on the couch with my Real Housewives of New York and Orange County episodes (guilty pleasures). I'll see you on Monday, fully recovered! Have a great weekend! xx

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

It was a year ago today that I first met my amazing, loving, supportive boyfriend Steve. Yes, on Cinco de Mayo! We're getting some people together to celebrate the day, in the same way we did last year, at the scene of the crime (a Mexican restaurant in Austin), to enjoy margaritas and hopefully some beautiful weather on the patio.

Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth in Vogue in 2008. This reminds me SO much of me and Steve.

 I am ready for some fun with friends, fruity drinks, and flirting with my man as shamelessly as we did a year ago.

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this evening? 
P.S. Since this post ended up being more sappy-romantic than Mexican-festive, check out this amazing photo spread that I almost posted instead: Vogue Australia does Mexico (featured in a blog called "Aquarelle"). This will surely put you in a festive mood and give you some bright style ideas! The photos are gorgeous!

Hope you have a lovely night with your other half, or if you're going out single, may you meet the man of your dreams over a margarita tonight. xx