Thursday, June 30, 2011

Therapy and Glitter

Loving. this. manicure.

I got the idea of using glitter on just one nail from Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere. You can check out that specific post here. I varied her instructions by buying actual glittery nail polish (rather than a jar of glitter) and by painting the glitter on my thumb on one hand, and ring finger on the other. Mix it up in your own way and experiment with different colors! I am totally in love with this idea, and I'm thrilled with the nail polish I purchased for just this purpose. It was perfect. Here's what I used:

Fingers: One or two coats of Rimmel London 60 Seconds in "Stop Traffic", with Pure ICE in "Spit Fire" on the tips of two nails.

Toes: One coat of Pure ICE in "Feeling Hot", and when dry, one coat of Rimmel London French Manicure Pro in "French Lingerie".

I like topping one color with another for a totally custom shade. Just make sure your bottom coat is fully dry before adding anything on top.
A mani-pedi is awesome therapy for a stressful day, and you know me, I'm a DIY gal! This fun little manicure really perked up my spirits, and sometimes forgetting it's there, I get just a little smile on my face whenever I catch a glimpse of glitter.

Let me know if you try this, how you like it, and if you came up with any variations!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Red, White, and Blue

4th of July weekend is coming up, and summer seems to be in full gear here in Texas. I really love throwing on this bright blue jumpsuit, which I found at Forever 21 last Fall when they were getting rid of their Summer clothing. I think I bought it for about $5! I couldn't wait to wear it, so I layered it a lot with leggings and a cardigan, which totally worked! It's great to now to wear on its own to keep cool and look pretty badass, if I do say so myself. I think it has kind of a 1970s feel. I paired it this week with some bright red lipstick and my newly touched up blonde hair, which I kept tousled and parted far to one side.

 I wore my suede boots, which I also got from Forever 21 last Fall. I love combining them with something for Summery for a contrast. I always feel cool tromping around in these, and it's even more fun with my legs on display. The boots also protected me from all the ants crawling around at my boyfriend's soccer game!

I felt a bit "old Hollywood" with my red lips, super blonde hair, and big, dark sunglasses.

I highly recommend saving some cash and buying summer items as they are being phased out for Fall. You can get some great bargains that way, and if you're able to layer them during the colder months anyway, it's a win/win! If not, they'll be a welcomed surprise when you begin unpacking your summer clothing the following year. I like trying to find versatile clothing that works all year around. An item such as this jumpsuit can force you out of your comfort zone a bit, and get you to try combinations you might not normally think of.

What items are you loving this Summer? Are there any that can take you into Fall when it rolls around? Do share!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Work It

I try not to take for granted the fact that I work from home and can usually make my own schedule. The flexibility is amazing, but it can be hard to keep self-motivated and feel like I'm really "at work", when I'm not getting up and going out to an office everyday. I'll admit, I do most of my work from the couch, but it's nice to have a little work area set up for those times when I have something I really need to concentrate on. I've recently added a few, fun touches to the table/desk I use right now. Eventually, I hope to move everything into the guest room and really have an "official" home-office set up.

 I got this mini "Keep Calm" poster for free when I ordered my large one for the living room. I bought a little frame and decided my desk would be the perfect place for it. When do these words come in handy more than at work?

 I love using shopping bags for decoration. They make you happy when you first carry them out of the store and bring them home, don't they? Might as well keep them around!

I have magazines strewn in just about every corner of my apartment. Blog inspiration. ;) Ok, let's face it, I just love reading them at any opportunity. My trusty hand written to-do list is also always nearby.

Even if you don't work from home, if you have a desk or work space you're allowed to decorate, try to add some things to make the space as inviting as possible. Use whatever you feel that you really respond to.
Make it as great work day as you can this Tuesday, come home, and enjoy your evening! xx

Monday, June 27, 2011

Totally down

I fully enjoyed the downtime with my boyfriend this weekend. I think we really needed it. No where specific to go, no one to see, no set-in-stone plans we needed to show up for. 
On Friday night, I prepared a sort of "hors d'oeuvres" type dinner to greet Steve when he got home. We had red wine, a cheese plate, shrimp cocktail, and my homemade version of bruschetta, I guess? - butter, garlic salt, and parsley flakes, spread on ciabatta bread (love. this. bread.), topped with a tomato slice, and baked in the oven for about 15 minutes (or until a just little brown and crispy). We ate in front of the TV with some candles lit, and caught up on some of our DVR shows. Then, we took dessert (vanilla frozen yogurt with fresh raspberries) to the bedroom and watched "Much Ado About Nothing" (one of my favorite films, and my favorite Shakespeare play) in bed. Such a lovely night and so relaxing. 

Saturday morning, I went to the gym while Steve ran a few errands. It felt great to have a run on the treadmill, especially after the indulgent meal the night before. I was even able to squeeze in a mini "Sex and the City" marathon (always on TV at the perfect times!) with a cup of coffee, before Steve got home. Then, I cooked us some breakfast - fried eggs on top of buttered toast (I used the leftover ciabatta. A-MA-ZING.), a few strips of bacon, and the rest of the raspberries. Delish! 
The rest of Saturday was pure lounging. A few friends, who happened to be in the area, stopped by for a little chat, but other than that, I kept to my t-shirt and boy shorts ensemble and enjoyed doing absolutely nothing, but watching random weekend TV on my big, comfy armchair. 
Come about 6:00pm, I decided to finish off the red wine, and Steve and I put on "Closer", which I just bought on DVD. I love it when a film we're watching will spark a dialogue, and we'll end up pausing the movie, and getting into some long, intimate conversation about anything or everything. All of a sudden, we'll realize like half an hour has gone by. 
After the movie (with one or two "pausing-breaks"), we ventured out to get some sushi. I jokingly wore my short pink wig, in honor of Natalie Portman's character in the film (if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about).

For a little change, we spent most of Sunday out and about. We woke up on the early side to see a matinee of "Thor" (Steve had been wanting to see it for a while now), stopping for breakfast as Einstein's Bagels on the way. Then, we tackled a much-needed grocery shopping trip, which will hopefully last us until we leave for New Orleans in 2 weeks! Our kitchen is finally stocked with healthy foods again!

I am so thankful to feel completely rejuvenated today. I'm not dragging in the way I usually am on a Monday morning, and I'm not even dreading getting to work after posting this blog. It just makes me realize how much Steve and I had been running around lately and how much stress I'd been under.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend yourself!! Maybe I've passed along a few relaxing ideas for next week, if you've been craving some down time, but still want to feel like you really experienced the break. 
Have a great week! xx

Friday, June 24, 2011

Romance & Relaxation

This is how I'd like my evening to go.

My boyfriend and I have the place to ourselves again (house guest gone) and no specific plans for the entire weekend. I can't even tell you how wonderful that sounds.

Hope you're able to have some "R&R" this weekend. xx

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tidying the Bookshelf

Getting my living room in better shape and adding new things, only made it painfully obvious how much help my little built-in bookshelf needed! I hadn't really done anything with it since my roommate moved out and took her books and DVDs out of the shelves (which left some shelves empty), but I wont claim it was particularly organized or neat before that. You can actually notice it here, before I did anything with it, in the final living room photo. Not so cute!
It was fun getting everything set up. I took some advice from different blogs and decor web sites I've seen, and added some little nick-nacks into the shelves, which I didn't really have any other use for. It's also nice to stack some books and lean others, so the whole thing looks a little more interesting. You can also divide up different categories of books this way, too. Here's my finished product:

 Acting books stacked in the center.

Guilty-pleasure Spice Girls' biographies and books on one side. ;) I stuck my checker board in the back of the shelf above for a fun little touch, and some added color.

I think it really completes the room.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Currents (Summer edition)...

Yay! Blogger finally decided to let me post something.

My current...

...Fashion obsession: Sheer tops

 I especially love using lace. On the left is me in one of my favorite tops right now (you can also see it here in the second outfit shown). The entire back of it is black lace, and I love wearing my hot pink bra with it. On the right, Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere pairs a gorgeous white lace top with a super-cute yellow skirt. I really love this look, and lately I've been wearing white probably more than I ever have my whole life. I've been searching for a top similar to hers.
I also have an over sized, plain white t-shirt (not pictured) that is very sheer, which is fun for a super casual look (it's also great to throw on over a bikini). I'll usually wear a black or pink bra with it. I think the key is to be obvious that you're going sheer, and wear a fun bra or bright camisole underneath. Do you like this look? How are you rocking the sheer trend? make up: retro liquid liner

I've always liked the "cat eye" look for certain occasions, but lately, it's become something I use for my everyday make-up! It's so easy to throw on (if you've mastered the art of applying it, that is. Practice makes perfect), and because I'm using waterproof, liquid liner, it's perfect for these hot, humid days! I start with a thin line at the middle of my eyelid and extend it (a bit diagonally upwards) out, making the line gradually thicker as I go. I like to keep my line pretty straight to create the "cat eye", rather than doing a little "wing" at the end. But, remember to experiment with what exactly looks best for you.
The thicker and longer the line, the more dramatic. For an everyday look (such as, if I know I'm going to just be running around doing my errands in 100 degree weather!), I don't even bother with eyeshadow or any pencil liner that could smudge. I just line the top lid as described and put on some thick mascara (use waterproof, if you wanna be really hardcore weather-proof) on the top and bottom lashes.
I like to throw on some icy pink lipstick to complete the look! In the photo above, I also penciled in my eyebrows for an even more stark and retro look (I start with a brown pencil, coloring everything in, and then use a black pencil to darken and accentuate the shape. I find this makes them look more natural. I am NOT going for the tattooed look! But, I like the contrast between the dark brows and my blonde hair) and added a bit of white shadow on my brow bone to highlight.

..."I want!": Harem pants

Photo credit: (click for tips on how to wear harem pants!)

These are definitely on my "to-buy" list. They would be super comfy for me to wear while around the house working, etc. during the day, but could take me right out to a dinner with friends in the evening. I'm just trying to decide if I like the cropped ones (on the left) or the longer, more sweatpants-like kind (on the right). Normally anything reminiscent of sweatpants would make me run the other direction, but I actually think I am actually leaning more towards the long ones. I'd love to find some that would allow me to scrunch them up if I want them shorter sometimes. I tried on a fabulous pair at Sears the other day, but unfortunately, they were too big and they didn't have a smaller size in stock! I am probably going to go check Forever 21 sometime next week. 
I'm thinking these would be a comfortable, cute idea for my road trip to New Orleans in two weeks! What do you think? Is this a fashion turn-on or turn-off?

...hairstyle: what I like to call, the "cheerleader pouf"

Ok, so I was never a cheerleader (big surprise, I'm sure), but that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy the fun, perky style that so many of them possess. Maybe, I'm just overly excited about the fact that my hair is now long enough to achieve styles like this, but I was happy to accidentally discover this super easy way of styling my hair. Once again, this is just ideal for those hot summer days. Here's how I do it: 
-Start by putting your hair in a ponytail at the top of your head. Try not to brush your hair first, if possible. You want the roots a little mangled. You want this to look sloppy.
- Don't pull the final loop of your ponytail all the way through. Leave it as a "bun", sticking up on the top of your head. Literally. You should look like a Sumo wrestler at this point.
- Pull the sides of the bun forward and down to tighten your hairband (consequently, this will loosen the bun. This is what you want). I use the thin handle of my fine toothed comb to loosen the roots (they will become more and more tight the more you pull the bun, but you want them to stay messy and have some lift).
- The above step forces the bun back, so continue pulling the sides of the bun until it's falling forward and a small amount of hair has pulled all the way through in the front. Loosen your roots in front of the bun, as needed.
I think this creates a really cool look!

What are some of your current favorite things??

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Lovin'

We've officially made it to Summer!

To commemorate the day, I woke up, threw on some gym shorts, a baggy and light-weight top, and flip flops, threw my hair into a messy ponytail on the top of my head, put on a pair of sunglasses appropriately large for morning, and headed out for a bagel and iced latte at Einstein's (they are currently running their Free Bagel Tuesdays, with coupon, if you get there before 11am). It's actually a cloudy day here today (that's ok...Texas desperately needs rain, and those quick summer showers are part of the season, too), and because it's not too terribly hot yet, I sat out on their patio for a little bit before heading back home to blog.

The local Oldies station (I grew up listening to Oldies radio, and to this day, still always have a station programmed in my car) is running a "Best songs of Summer" countdown. Between cranking up The Monkees and the Beach Boys, it was a nice little outing, and a great way to start the day.

Ok, so I want to know your summer "wish list"; things you'd like to accomplish this summer, things you have planned (or want to plan), fun things to buy for the season, upcoming vacations, whatever!

I'm hoping for a lot of time spent on patios (either my own, which I hope to decorate very soon with furniture, hanging lights, and maybe even some cactus, or a pretty patio at some fun little restaurants or cafes).
I am going to New Orleans in just over two weeks for a vacation, which is going to be amazing! My boyfriend and I were invited to join my mom and her husband, and my brother and sister down there for a weekend. I can't wait!

Where will this Summer take you?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday, is that you?

I realize I don't have a usual 9-5 job, and I don't even necessarily have to wake up super early most days, but it's still hard for me to like Mondays. My boyfriend goes back to his 9-5, so I miss having him there when I open my eyes in the morning, and we don't get to enjoy just waking up slowly together. Then there's the fact, that I do have to get back to my regular routine of work, submitting for auditions, and working out, etc. There are worse things, and even by Tuesday I feel much more into the swing of things, but it's hard to get started on Mondays.  I'm sure you can relate.

This weekend was great, but the busy ones tend to pass by extra quickly, and I'm left wondering where the two days went! On Saturday, we wrapped the short film I've been working on. It was another excruciatingly hot outdoor shoot, but it'll all be worth it in the end. I can't wait to see the finished product.

On Sunday, I slept a bit late, but jumped out of bed and headed to the gym for a run on the treadmill. It felt great. Then, I met up with a friend for lunch. We tried a nearby Greek place called Tino's, which I'd been curious about. It was fantastic food, and quite reasonably priced! I enjoyed their Gyro salad and a slice of spanakopita (a spinach and cheese pastry - my favorite food since I was about 5 years old).
After browsing around a store and grabbing some iced coffee, we headed back to hang out at my place for a while, with my boyfriend and his friend (who is our current house guest). That evening, we met up with some more people and went bowling. All in all, it was a great time, except I definitely pigged out on way too much bowling alley junk food. It's so hard to resist!

I have bags under my eyes this morning that I could probably use for carry-on luggage at the airport. I have a film audition this afternoon (thankfully, it wasn't a morning audition today), so hopefully I'll be awake and refreshed by then. Coffee, a work out, and a shower should definitely help with that.

Hope you're having a nice morning and your weekend was a fun one! xx

Friday, June 17, 2011

Little things that make me smile...

Take some smiles and appreciation for the little things into the weekend.
Here's my current list...

 Dark chocolate covered espresso beans, which we got at the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory in Las Vegas. Amazingly delicious!

Motivational messages with a sense of humor. ;)

 I love mini versions of things!! These wine bottles, which we had leftover from our Vegas hotel suite, are so adorable!

 A fun take on a French manicure.

My authentic silk kimono, which I got from Chinatown in San Francisco
when I was about 9 years old. Back then, it was big, comfy, and past my knees. Now, it makes a romantic, short robe for those warm summer mornings. It's gotten a little tattered over the years, but it still feels glamorous to me.

I wanna know what's on your list!
Have a lovely weekend! xx

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Laugh today

This made me laugh this morning:

Hope you're getting through the work week with a positive outlook! Any plans for this weekend?
I woke up this morning and went for a run first thing (go me). I'm now enjoying some post-workout coffee and browsing a few blogs before getting some work done. It's an addiction, I tell you.
 Tonight, I'm going out with some people for a friend's birthday party (is it just me, or is it Birthday season?).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tray Chic

I made my first purchase from a few weeks ago, after excitedly getting into sort of a vintage-obsession, especially when it comes to home decor. The Etsy shop, "School of Vintage" had a mid-century tray in a bright kelly green, which I just couldn't stop thinking about. I thought it'd be perfect to put my spices on in the kitchen, rather than having them messily taking up the counter space next to the stove. I  never return any of them to the cabinet, because it's nice to have them so accessible. I thought the tray would be a fun way to add some color into the space as well, rather than opting for a typical wooden or neutral "spice rack".

I also figured that the tray would be adorable on my bedroom dresser to keep perfumes and lotion bottles, etc., if I ever decided I didn't want it in the kitchen.

It finally arrived in the mail a couple days ago...

This is the box it came in - how cute! I think the people at my apartment office assumed it was my birthday when I came to pick it up. Nope - just a fun purchase from me, to me!

I love the handles.

As long as I'm showing the kitchen, here are photos of some artwork I put up just the other day, over the stove. I found these pieces at Walmart for just $4 each:

I love the little female chef with her glass of wine. She looks like me, when I'm attempting to cook. Ha. ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday Blues

When I bought this high-waisted, royal blue skirt by Abercrombie and Fitch at Plato's Closet for just $12, I never dreamed how versatile it would be and how often I would wear it!

On a cool night, attending my boyfriend's flag football game, I paired it with a colorful short-sleeved sweater, gray leggings, and suede boots (Forever 21). Fun!

I found that the skirt will even pair with one of my absolute favorite shirts right now, my baggy "New York" top with a sheer, black lace back (also from Forever 21). I've decided that I like pairing black and blue together occasionally. I think the contrast really can work. I also wore some sleek, black and white striped sandals, so the blue skirt really became the accent piece of the outfit.. I took these pics before going out to a low key dinner with some of my boyfriend's work friends the other night. We sat on the patio, so I was able to stay cool and still look put together. Kinda love it!

What have become your favorite staple items for Summer??

p.s. I hope you are liking the slightly new look for the blog! I finally figured out how to adjust the margains, so my really large photos won't go into the other sections, and I decided to try putting all the info about me, etc. on the left side of the blog. There are also previous entries showcased at the bottom of each post now, so you can easily access other stuff you might want to look at. Browse away! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Home, Sweet Home

How was your weekend?
Mine was non-stop, but super fun; a LOT of time spent outside (I have the sunburn to prove it, even though I tried to be diligent about applying sunscreen!). Saturday my boyfriend and I spent the day at the pool with some friends, and plenty of frozen drinks. Sunday I had a film shoot all day (yes, also 106 degree heat). My boyfriend tagged along to help with equipment, etc., and also decided to play personal assistant to me. Can't complain! It was a fun shoot, despite the less-than-ideal weather. But, I suppose 106 degrees is still better than 26, which I encountered during a few overnight film shoots last year!
We returned home pretty drained, and it felt amazing to just cuddle together and chill out in front of the TV until crashing at only 11:00pm! It especially feels nice to come home to a newly decorated apartment (it's really starting to feel like a real home!), and I am finally getting around to posting the photos of our latest decorating endeavors. Be sure to check out some "before" photos, which I posted a couple months ago: here!

 (My dog decided to be a model for this photo shoot. He loves his new room.)
So, as you'll notice from my last post with photos of my apartment, we've added quite a bit! Most of it was added gradually, but I wanted to wait until I had a decent amount done before blogging about it...otherwise I'd be posting about every little, new pillow, and it'd get a bit boring after a while. So anyway, here are the basic additions from the above two photos:

- New entertainment center from IKEA (It happened to be a discontinued item, so we got it for only $99!) and flatscreen TV (Steve's favorite addition. Honestly, it's the nicest piece of technology I've ever had, so I'm pretty thrilled myself). The TV is mounted onto the backing of the entertainment center - looks pretty sleek!

- Other things to mention are: the new couch cover and pillows for the sofa, and an area rug from IKEA ($20, folks! Amazing deal!)

- We already have a plan to buy a huge canvas of the New York City skyline  for over the sofa, we're just saving up a little extra cash first. I'll be sure to put photos up when we get it. I know it will really be a finishing touch on the room. While we've gone ahead and added some artwork on other walls, it'll make a huge difference when that big, empty wall is filled.

I'd been wanting to get an armchair for forever! A friend of mine sold me this chair and ottomon at his moving sale for...get ready...$35! I added the furry, white throw and a black pillow. I was so happy to be adding this piece into the room, but I did not anticipate how incredibly comfy the chair would be! It's my new throne. :)
You can't see it too well in this photo, but next to the chair, we added a small side table (from IKEA, once again). It's an adorable, colonial looking piece in sort of a dusty blue color:

 The inside is so cute with it's yellow stripes, and I loving having a little extra storage. I added some random things to the top. I love saving pretty bottles to use for decoration.

Here's some of the new artwork. We picked up the local music posters from a little store downtown, which I thought was a nice "Austin" touch. I ordered the posters over the TV online. I really wanted some sort of vintage movie poster (The Philadelphia Story had a great look, and you can't really beat Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Katharine Hepburn all in one film!). I've been seeing the "Keep Calm Carry On" posters a lot lately (British posters that were put up during World War II), and I really love the idea. The message still relates today - even if it's just to help me get through the work day. ;)

I also wanted to show our little "makeshift" guest room, which we put together super quick when we found out we were going to be having a house guest for a couple weeks. We bought the bed and the tall, shaded lamp in the corner (love it) from IKEA. I actually found this little dresser left out by the dumpster a couple months ago (Hey, I'm not ashamed! It's amazing the great stuff you can find for free). It was in great shape, so we took it in. It used to be in the living room as a side table by the sofa, but with the new chair, we just didn't have room for something so big. It was perfect to move into this room for a nightstand/dresser. The horse painting used to be over the fireplace in the living room. I was happy to move it somewhere different, and it provides a little color in this otherwise undecorated room. It also happened to match well with the comforter we decided to use on the bed. 
At some point, we'll probably be doing a makeover on this room. We haven't really decided what we want it to look like yet. It will also become a home office for me, as well as a guest room. But for a quick set up, I think we did pretty well and it looks quite cozy! It's nice to have it be a real room now, rather than my former-roommate's still-empty bedroom.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my place! Any ideas for me? I'd also love to hear what sort of decorating you've done with your place!
Have a great week!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekend to-do list

My goals for this weekend:

- Rum + Grapefruit juice (I've been missing it since Vegas!)

- Lounging at the pool (hopefully with friends stopping by)

Need I say more?
What's your weekend list? Post it below...maybe it will give me some ideas to add to mine, in case I get bored with that whole fresh, fruit drinks and relaxing in the sun thing.

Have a great day! xx

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Green Envy

I think some people are a little intimidated by using brightly colored eye shadows. Now, I'm not suggesting you start wearing blue shadow all the way up to your eyebrows (whoa, 80s), but a little accent color can be nice sometimes, especially if you keep it tied to a simple, neutral-colored outfit and add an accent piece of the same color, like I did here with a green bracelet. My favorite eyeshadow colors (and, I think, the easiest to use) are green or purple (not at the same time! Unless you're going to a Mardi Gras event, of course). Some people can pull off blue (I use it occasionally, but not often), but you have to be careful and make sure you have the right coloring. I think it works best on pale blondes or redheads, and usually I'll use it more like liner around the lashlines, not over the whole eyelid. I think Green and purple kind of works for anyone.


I extended the green eyeshadow out at the corners for a little "cat eye" look, put a little mineral, light gray shadow in my lid creases, tracing the green out at the corners. (Make sure everything is blended together lightly) and finished up with black mascara. You could make this look more dramatic by adding black liner on your inner rims and/or your lash lines. This look was for day time, so I kept it relatively low key.

Thoughts? Any eye make up tips? Share them below!