Thursday, June 30, 2011

Can I Be A Little Girl Again?




Reading Hello Giggles is always entertaining. I ran across this amazing Item of the Day, a My Little Pony! What's not to love about a My Little Pony? They have awesome wavy hair in spectacular colors. The color combinations on these little gals are so awesome. I remember loving the color combo of the one pony that was kind of a light turquoise, seafoam green with pale pink hair. Ah-mazing. I sadly can't remember her name though. Plus, they were tattooed with really cute things as well, like cupcakes and butterflies.
If you have a little girl or know a little girl, I think they would really like a My Little Pony.



Also on Hello Giggles I ran across some adorable headbands for girls, yet another Item of the Day. These are classy and beautiful and could one day be turned into something more as she grows up, like a necklace or a garter for the wedding day. Cozette Couture has taken the little girl's headbands and made it a keepsake and a classy accessory. The blog (and soon to be store) was started by Suzette Davis, Bachelorette Bad News Bentley's ex-wife. Yes, the Bentley devil. Their daughter is absolutely precious in these photos on Suzette's blog, sweet Cozy is a perfect little model! I normally am not a fan of headbands but these have completely changed my mind. So cute. You can purchase these little beauties on Etsy for now.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fourth Festiveness



No holiday party is complete without a beginning, the invitation. It's the first thing that your guests see. If you have a great invitation, they are going to come because that indicates you're probably going to have really really great food and decorations.

4th of July is the ultimate party of the summer. The best food is around because it's so fresh. It's a requirement to be outside on the 4th prancing around with sparklers, lighting bottle rockets, grilling juicy hamburgers and just enjoying friends and family all decked out in their ridiculous stars and stripes (a little obnoxious if you think about it).
The good thing about holiday decor is that if you buy red pieces and just add an accent color to it, you're good to go for the majority of the major holidays. Christmas-RED and green, Valentine's-RED and pink, Halloween-RED and black, Thanksgiving-RED and brown, 4th of July-RED, white and blue. See the pattern here? So you know somewhere lying around the house are remnants of fabrics or wrapping papers that are red. If you don't, remember to start saving scraps now because "waste not want not" applies to these adorable down-home cozy summer ideas to make Independence Day cute and sustainable!



Don't have enough fabric for a tablecloth? Use a runner and remember if you get or make a red one, you can bring it back out for other holidays.



Such a simple way to wrap up utensils! Use a colored napkin and some strips of paper or even fabric to tie it together.



Another way to spruce up an old mason jar, cover the top with paper or fabric, punch a hole in it and sip with a stripey straw. Your lemonade will taste much better then.



It is so easy to make a drink label if you just measure around the bottle. You can customize any occasion and pull together your party theme easily. It can be done simply, again with fabric or paper. Hot dogs get a little classier with some cute fabric and twine holding it together. Almost so cute that you don't want to eat it. ALMOST.

Source: alphamom.com via Laurie on Pinterest


Fireworks that you can keep for next year! These are adorable and also sustainable if you save your toilet paper and paper towel rolls, just make sure they are in a place where they won't get wet from a sudden summer rain.

Tip: Mix and match your fabric/paper patterns as much as you want. Keep the same three-five colors throughout and you're golden.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Popsicles



Have a popsicle party! Nothing says summer like a good fruity popsicle, and it's so cute too!

What once used to be a package of white paper-wrapped frozen treats in various colors rather than flavors has now exploded into gourmet goodness that is a popsicle. Gone are the days of "would you like red or purple?" and trying to determine if the popsicle inside the wrapper was orange or red (I could never tell really) or if you wanted a single one and share with someone or if you were going to be greedy and eat both.
Once I tasted a paleta from Las Paletas in Nashville, I knew my life had changed. I love ice cream and yogurt, but now popsicles are equally important and tasty. It's also a lot easier to be healthy when making your own popsicles. It can be as simple as cutting up your favorite fruits with the fruit juice and pouring it into a mold. The hardest part is being patient enough to let it freeze.



Get creative with your flavors! If you're pregnant and really do like pickles and ice cream, make it into a popsicle!

Source: amazon.com via Laurie on Pinterest


I bought the Pops! book last year with the intention of making my own popsicles but so far I've only made two. There are so many I want to make that I can't decide!



Apparently this is one of the ultimate popsicle makers. I've seen it in person and it's glorious. I just might have to own one someday.

Source: thefancy.com via Laurie on Pinterest


I used ice trays once for popsicle bites and truly believe anything around your house, within reason, can be a popsicle mold. However, these are just so adorable that it makes the drippage that much more fun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wearing a Bud Vase



I have to admit I think this is equal parts odd and amazing. Mostly amazing because it's a beautiful shape from Tiffany designed by Elsa Peretti. However, as much as I love the quality of Tiffany & Co., the price is pretty steep for a sterling silver vase that you have to change the flower out of. Also, where do you get super tiny flowers? In fairy-gnome-land?
Etsy has handmade solutions to a lot of problems, like this one. While this little bud vase necklace isn't sterling silver or designer, it's still adorable if it's the look and not the brand you're going for. It is made out of translucent 3D printed acrylic polymer and can hold little fairy flowers as well since it is water-tight. Seller colleenjordan's Wearable Planters come in different sized and shapes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Summer Essentials

Happy first day of summer! I'm usually a huge fan of fall weather. I don't like extreme heat unless I'm near a body of water. And by "near" I mean about five feet away. However, considering the crazy cold and icy winter and horrific rainy spring, I'm glad for nicer weather even if it is hot.
My makeup regimen changes when I go to the pool, lake or beach. I want something lighter on my face so that if it comes off, I can reapply easily. I can tell the sun has changed significantly over the past few years. While I normally would be satisfied with the SPF 15 in my everyday makeup, I think I'm bumping it up to 50 this year with Physician's Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Tinted Moisturizer. I have not used this particular product before but thus far, Physician's Formula is my go-to brand next to Clinique. The packaging is fun and summery too with the bright pink and orange combo. Good design colors!



The Tone It Up girls brought my attention to the Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer, Blush & Eye Shadow, also from Physician's Formula that I must have overlooked before. If you use each strip individually and apply with a cotton ball, the results are a great beachy glow. I use the medium tones for cheeks, the lightest for all over eyes, and the darkest to highlight my eyelid crease and a little bit under my cheekbone. I love the affect of the shimmer strips. I do not recommend using a makeup brush however, because the colors will blend into one shimmery cube, thus simply creating bronzer rather than individualizing the bronzer, blush, eye shadow trio. I have to buy another one now because I used my brush!



I am in love with this lipstick. It is light enough for the beach if you get it in a natural color because it has SPF 20. It's moisturizing and feels so velvety on your lips. No other lipstick can compare in my opinion so far. I have not been able to locate its whereabouts other than online. I always check at Walgreens or Target when I am there and for some reason the Neutrogena MoistureShine Lipstick has alluded me. It can be found online on Neutrogena's website.



I needed a new beach bag because while my little straw one is cute, it's little and when the straw gets wet, it gets soggy like Cheerios left in milk that you don't want to eat. So I turned to L.L. Bean Custom Boat and Tote Bag to solve my beach bag issue. I wanted a big bag, so I customized mine with yellow and turquoise in the extra-large size. Be warned, extra-large means you can fit a medium sized dog in there comfortably with a lot of wiggle room. I don't know if I could pack my entire wardrobe in this, it's so big. So I was disappointed in the size and decided to use it as a duffel bag since I got my name embroidered on it but I ended up ordering the medium size to go along with it and to use as my beach bag. I'm hoping it is the accurate size this time. Nonetheless, it's a great durable bag and you can customize it to your color specification. Here is mine:



My skin needs nourishment after being in water and I love the smell of coconut in the summer. Coconut Body Butter from The Body Shop is thick enough to get rid of the beginning of peeling (bad!) but not overwhelmingly thick that you feel lathered down in oily lotion. It just smells like a little island.



I've always had cheap sunglasses until last summer when my mom urged me to purchase some nice sunglasses to last a while and be durable and classy. Sunglasses look odd on me sometimes since I'm small, but Coach tends to fit smaller faces very well. My sunglasses style, Devyn, is discontinued but can be found here along with other styles.



I invested in a classy, black one-piece swimsuit that I hope will last me many years to come. Rue La La features sales on designer brands at a very discounted price, so I snatched this one up for much cheaper than the price listed on Zappos. I love the shape and style of the Juicy Couture Miss Softee Bandeau Maillot and you can tell it is a quality-made swimsuit that will last.



Have a delightful summer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Dad Stuff



I ran across probably one of the best and most useful gifts (and a funny story) today. I think my dad would really appreciate this considering he has been hurting himself more lately...like falling face first into the boat, crazy shenanigans, etc. and could probably use some of these items. Actually anyone could, so add this to your mental cool and thoughtful gift list! Note for next year! Hello Giggles writer Sade featured an article about hot dads so read that if you would like. It will make you laugh. However, the best thing in this article is her recap of a readers' best gift from her dad:

Earlier this month, I’d asked my readers to send in their best dad anecdotes. I got a ton of awesome submissions, and I spent an entire night reading through them and laughing until my boyfriend told me to shut up because I looked like a lunatic, kicking my feet in the air and howling at an LCD screen. My absolute favorite, though, comes from Jessica, whose dad reminds me so much of my own that I’m thinking of just referring to her as my sister from now on.

Last January, I went home to visit my family, and my dad had made me a 3-day survival backpack “in case of the zombie apocalypse, or some other disaster”. The backpack weighs almost 30 pounds, and has anything you could dream of. He made a master list of everything in the bag, and the categories include storage, food & water, cooking, light & communications, hygiene & sanitation, first aid, tools, warmth, shelter, and miscellaneous. He even made me a custom repel seat out of parachute cord, and then proceeded to show me how to use it by repelling out of the tree house in our back yard. The only thing he didn’t include is tampons, because, as he put it, “I don’t know anything about feminine products, so you can just add whatever it is you use.” My younger sister is graduating high school this year, and at her graduation party he gave her an emergency backpack of her own.

He took pictures of everything so he could put it on facebook.




PS-WHAT is the zombie apocalypse? I keep hearing about this. I don't understand and it scares me slightly. If anyone would like to inform me that would be superb.

Father's Day Recap

I had a very busy and fun weekend with my parents. Yesterday was Father's Day and I was fortunate to be able to spend it with my dad, who in very father-like fashion, brought my new coffee and end tables, moved them and set them up and also spot cleaned my carpet. That's just how he is, even on Father's Day, always a provider, and for that I am grateful. Happy Father's Day to him and my grandfather who I admire and am crazy about, even though he made fun of my gift wrapping in a voicemail...



Saturday night he was treated to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in Nashville since he loves Jimmy Buffet. This was the perfect precursor to our upcoming cruise in two weeks. Although, the key lime pie was decidedly "good" but not as good as my mom's. Of course. That's because she and I have a secret ingredient. Wink wink. No, I will never tell you.



Following dinner, we made our way up Broadway to see Cirque du Soleil's Alegria which I would recommend to anyone. It's one of the better Cirque shows with a lovely soundtrack and baroque look. If it is in a city near you, it's worth seeing.

Sunday we had my dad's all time favorite (other than key lime pie and rice krispie treats) Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast. We watched the waterfall of glaze coat the fresh, hot donuts on the conveyer belt in satisfaction. It's the little things. I thought about attempting to make similar donuts but wasn't brave enough. I don't know if that should even be attempted! Here it is in case you are braver than me:

Source: food.com via Laurie on Pinterest



I also made rice krispie treats as "cupcakes" with icing. Mine however, turned out much uglier than my inspiration. I made turquoise buttercream icing so it was tropical looking and stuck a cocktail umbrella in it. The icing ran out and leaked the food coloring a bit so it looked like my beachy "cupcakes" were floating in water. I meant to do that (not). So here is the same concept, my inspiration, that looks much better than mine.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We're Going To Eat A Shark.




"We're going to eat a dolphin"
"No, you're going to pet one."
Right. We're going to pet one."

I don't remember much from the movie Multiplicity except for cracking up over this line. I like dolphins, but I wouldn't want to eat one (yes I know mahi mahi is dauphin but that's not the same. Different spelling, different fish. I like to eat dauphin. Not dolphin). I would, however, want to eat this shark cupcake my mom just made. I was just sent a (not very) creepy text that was supposed to be Jaws music spelled out, followed by a photo of these adorable cupcakes. I'm glad I got the follow-up picture not just because they are super cute, but otherwise I would have thought she really lost her mind this time.
She is wanting to learn more about cake and cupcake decorating so this is good practice for her. She made the buttercream icing choppy to look like water and tinted it blue and made the shark "fin" out of chocolate that she melted, froze and cut into the fin shape. The cake part was yellow cake tinted two shades of blue. I love little surprises on the inside of cupcakes, whether it's filling or some sort of surprising color. So cute!
Good job, Mom. I wish I was there to eat a shark.

I Want That Job


Image from OPI.com


Let me say this again, I LOVE hellogiggles.com! The articles are delightfully random and always entertaining. I am guaranteed a laugh when I read these. I am beyond thrilled to read this article below by Annie Stamell, whose other Open Letter to Lisa Frank I also adore.
Let me personally thank you, Annie Stamell, for writing this letter because I too envy those fortunate people who can go to work and pull amazing names for nail polish out of their brains. I also want to extend my envy to those who name pretty much any paint (especially Disney paints!). I want that job. I sometimes pick up nail polish at the store just to see what the name is. I recently bought a light blue that had a bit of a boring name: Blue Away. Not so boring on though! My toes? They are OPI It's All Greek To Me. That name is a lot more fun and a very lovely shade of energetic pink. Please enjoy your day and read this article:

OPEN LETTERS
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE WHO COME UP WITH THE NAMES FOR NAIL POLISH COLORS
by Annie Stamell
To Whom It May Concern,

Now, let me just get something straight right away my good Sir(s) and/or Madam(s) who comes up with the names of nail polish colors. I envy your job. I do. I would include Nail Polish Name-Giver in a list of my dream jobs, probably before World’s Greatest Magician but maybe not quite on par with Surprise Missing Kardashian Child.

I once worked as a trend forecaster (that is a REAL job… I think) so I have some inkling of how this whole naming process works. I am thinking you are presented with the HOT NEW COLORS of the season but they are, sadly, nameless, so you sit in a glass-walled conference room in some nice ergonomic chairs for days on end, during which you read lots of articles in New York Magazine or Wallpaper or High Times or some hipster lady-zine some hipster lady just made up and no one else knows but you because you are so “in the know”. Then you investigate the hottest vacation destinations like Bali or The Bermuda Triangle or Nantucket or Libya and then it is up to you and your team of clever name-givers to then tap into your most creative and more importantly – your most punny.

(Punny is a fun take on the words “pun” and “funny”, but obviously you know that if you are so adept at coming up with names like “Sand Tropez” and “Lapis of Luxury.”)

I think nail polish naming must be sort of like the make-up industry’s version of taking Ayahuasca and meeting your inner spirit animal while sitting in a sweat-lodge with a shaman for three days. Because really, how else could you possibly come up with the names for Essie’s latest collection? It’s Braziliant! Which in this case is both a pronoun, an adjective and definitely a made-up word that I like to say the way taht I imagine Oprah would say it, with lots of extra vowels and a hug. In the Braziliant collection you have reached a new height with your puns, thanks to the especially alluring sea-foam color “Absolutely Shore.” Well let me tell you, I am absolutely SHORE I would like to wear this color on my toes but only when I’m really tan, because otherwise it just looks like I contracted a fungus.

I love the nail polish color names that really say a lot about the person wearing them. Like “Hi Maintenance” which to me says, “I am high maintenance. Also, hi.” Or “Trophy Wife” which says “I am clearly not a trophy wife because no self-respecting trophy wife wears shimmery green nail polish, although I’m not sure if trophy wives really do respect themselves in the first place.” And then there is “E-Nuf Is E-Nuf” which tells me you are either a huge e.e. cummings fan or you are a 16-year-old sending text messages to your mom to totally just leave you alone for once, gosh.

And it’s not just Essie. The Sirs and/or Madams who work at OPI are equally talented in the punny department, if not moreso. Just take a look at “Do You Think I’m Tex-y” (that makes no sense) or “Red My Fortune Cookie” (probably a little racist), or my favorite of the OPI punny selections – “Here Today… Aragon Tomorrow” (which contrary to popular belief is not a special edition Lord of the Rings nail polish line even though I wish it was).

It is my dream to someday inspire a nail polish collection, at which point I hope there are still untapped puns to tap. So if you could just be a little less clever with your punny names until I get my nail polish collection that’s partially inspired by the prints of Lilly Pulitzer and the sound of a baby laughing, it would be really just so very Braziliant.

Regards,
Stamos

Monday, June 13, 2011

DIY Lava Lamp.



I love lava lamps. I don't have one anymore, but if it were classy enough to get away with in my home I would be all over that bubbling light of colored goop. Since I would just look like a silly hippy if I had one, I think this DIY lava lamp (minus the lamp part) will suffice for now until lava lamps are cool again. The tutorial on S.L. Smith Photography seems easy, fun and adorable! All you need is a cool bottle, food coloring of choice, alka-seltzer, vegetable oil and water.
I can't wait to make this.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fun Things For The Weekend!


Image from Boxsal.com

It is the best time of year to take advantage of lovely summer nights. The days here in Tennessee are scorching for June, but that makes for a nice poolside gathering and the opportunity to enjoy the slightly cooler evenings, right when it's twilight and the sun is going down is the best time to be out in a hammock or watching the fireflies start to emerge. It is also the best time to enjoy eating outside with a grill-out, bbq or picnic.
If you are planning a picnic, spruce it up a little bit and enjoy an eco-friendly and stylish Boxsal picnic box. For $25 you get an adorable picnic box and a lot of utensils that are all compostible. All you have to add is the food you want and with Farmers Markets in full swing this time of year with fresh fruits and vegetables, you can do a picnic for cheap and help support local produce as well as keeping things clean and green. For more picnic ideas, see my Picnic Time post.
I love online magazines and one of the most visually unique ones in my book is Sweet Paul. If you are in need of some new summer recipes, this is the place to go for something tasty and out of the ordinary.
If you are looking for something crafty to do this weekend, Sweet Paul has a simple decoupage craft that will take very little time or energy and will result in a lovely vase for those beautiful summertime flowers (I've found roses for $1 at the Nashville Farmer's Market sometimes, go check it out!).





Materials:
Copy of motif from an old book or your choice of artwork
Glass vase
Self Adhesive Spray

Start by cutting out the motif and making sure it fits the vase.
Clean and dry the vase.
Spray the adhesive on the back of the motif and place it on the vase.
Let it dry and voila, you have a very stylish one-of-a-kind vase.
See the full instructions on Sweet Paul

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Never Too Old To Build A Fort



I used to have a game called Tales of the Crystals I would play with friends. It was pretty much a box of plastic "crystal" necklaces, a cassette tape that told a bizarre story laden with giants, fairies, ogres, sprites, you name it. I even remember Old Man Oak, and luckily there was a huge tree in my yard that was deemed Old Man Oak even though I'm sure it wasn't an oak tree. Other than that, it was strictly imagination how you would accomplish the tasks given to you by a talking tree and a fairy.
The best part about that game? You were required to build a fort that was "home base." We would accomplish lots of tasks in that fort and definitely had to have ammunition to keep ogres away. You don't want those in your fort at all! I wish occasions as an adult called for building forts but alas, there are not unless you are in the military. My dad also used to bring refrigerator boxes home from work and would cut out windows and doors and tell me do draw on it to make it a house. Pretty much, if I had a little hideaway like that to always go to, I would be golden.
I'm seriously thinking of turning my balcony into a fort for a lazy weekend.
I've asked my boyfriend to build me a fort but I haven't seen one yet...so I might have to take matters into my own hands and get some clips, sheets and rope and drape away. I might even turn my entire apartment into a massive fort. I would have to buy lots more sheets though!
After seeing these wonderful places of solitude, I'm dying to let out my inner child (it's never that far away really) and get to making a nice fort.



Just fill it with things to occupy you...a laptop, book, games and LOTS of pillows.

Source: re-nest.com via Laurie on Pinterest


A table fort can be easily hidden with rolled fabric, window shades or paper tucked underneath.



Lights are really what makes a mish-mash of sheets and blankets look pretty. Twinkly lights are even better.



This fort takes the cake, it's so elegant and put-together!



Another elegant adult fort that would be perfect for an outdoor evening picnic.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Watercolor beauty



Watercolors are so beautiful and breezy most of the time. It's typically light and airy but at the same time grounded with deep colors that span the spectrum. I have become much more interested in watercolors lately, especially out of their traditional paint and paper context. Watercolors don't have to be limited to a small framed space on a wall. Why not do an entire wall altogether? Or embrace the colors and wear something flowing and watercolor-inspired? Branch out of that frame that your watercolor painting is in and let the paint flow elsewhere!



This is by far my favorite example of embracing watercolor. If I had a dining room, I would do this to the walls in a heartbeat.



As an invitation designer, I love the simplicity of this design paired with the intensity of the watercolor effect.



If you're short on wrapping paper, get creative! This is entirely to pretty to open!



I would tag so many things if I made these! I love the use of a common object brightened up in watercolor paint



Such a beautiful way to display color while being elegant and fun at the same time.



Choosing almost-monochromatic hues are the best way to go when it comes to watercolors.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Color Pop: Cobalt Blue





Artist Jean Verame uses cobalt to alter the landscape.

Blues are everywhere on this planet. Look up and you see varying gradients of pale to bright blue. It's the top color for businesses and marketing. It relaxes us in spas and in most homes. It is probably the most pleasant widespread color out there in all its varying shades, tints and tones. Perhaps one of the most striking hues of blue is cobalt. Its brightness, especially in glass, is breathtaking and this pop of color in homes is pleasant and just overpowering enough to be fun. It is often associated with peace, spirituality and sincerity. Keep your eyes open for cobalt blue this week and you might see the color blue's fun side.

Source: shopbop.com via Laurie on Pinterest


Blues tend to look good on everyone!

Source: flickr.com via Laurie on Pinterest


Blue bottles are the best and have been around for a very long time.



A blue door adds a subtle pop of color to a facade.



Don't be afraid to use cobalt on a wall and pair with a crisp white.



Furniture in cobalt is another way to add color in your home.
 

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