wishlist wednesday



1. Auburn brightly coat from Modcloth // $109.99
4. Mustard velvet coat from Topshop // $150.00
5. On the avenue coat from Modcloth // $119.99
7. Twill faux fur collar coat from Topshop // $150.00

cats



dress - modcloth
cardigan - old navy
tights - we love colors
shoes - c/o blowfish
hair bow - honeybean

As thrilled as I am that cats are "in" right now, so I can fill up my wardrobe with cat-themed clothing (like this dress!), I can't help but hope that it's trickling down to real live cats, too. There are so many cats in shelters right now (more so than usual since so many families are giving up their animals because of the economy) and they desperately need loving homes. Me and my brother do a really simple fundraiser every year for our local animal hospital's charity, Animals in Distress... Barnes & Noble allows charitable organizations to gift-wrap for donations!* If you're interested in doing it too, it's so simple to set it up! Call your local B&N and ask if they have any gift-wrapping openings left, and if they do, you just sit in a bookstore and wrap presents for an afternoon, all the while helping our furry little friends!

Sorry this is such a gooey post! I just love cats SO much, and sometimes I look at Chloe & Hypatia and wonder what would have happened to them if our shelter hadn't saved them. I just hope so badly that this little bout of feline mania sweeping through the commercial world will result in more real live cats being rescued and becoming members of loving families :)

Oh, and since I'm already on the topic of cats, here's a new cat lady drawing I did yesterday!

ps. When trying to come up with a title for this post, the ONLY thing that I could think of was "Break me off a piece of that Fancy Feast," from The Office. I'm just titling it cats because I seriously cannot get that out of my brain long enough to come up with a good title, lol...

*You can gift-wrap for other charities, too! The local shelter is my choice, but as long as you have permission from the organization you can do this for any charity! :)

Style Idol - Elizabeth Taylor


//image links back to the source

vegetarian cassoulet fit for a queen



In Disney World we ate at Cinderella's Castle one night, and I had this amazing vegetarian cassoulet. Absolutely mouth-wateringly stupendously fantastic! So this weekend I decided to try to make it at home myself! After searching around a bit, I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and used it as the basis for my own version. I'm a really lazy cook, so you might want to switch out all my canned/dried stuff for fresh instead but I can never tell the difference myself. I also hate the texture of onions but love the taste, so I use onion powder in the recipe. You'll probably want to switch that out for real onions if you don't have a similar pet peeve ;)

You'll need: 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1" pieces, 3 stalks of celery, cut into 1" pieces, 4 cloves (or more if you're like me and really love it!) of garlic, 4 cups of broth, a 15oz can of diced tomatoes, two 15oz cans of small white beans (or cannellini beans), 3 tbsp of tomato paste, dried parsley, dried basil, powdered onion and 1/3 c. olive oil.

Directions: In a large pan, add the oil, zucchini, celery and garlic and then sprinkle with some basil, onion powder & parsley to taste (I personally like a lot!). Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the celery and zucchini are soft. Then add the broth, beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a little boil (I have no idea what the right term for that is?!) and let it cook for about 40 minutes, stirring often. I wanted mine to get a really thick consistency to mimic the meal I had at the castle, so I let mine cook about 10 minutes longer than the Smitten Kitchen recipe said, and I also left mine uncovered so more of the liquid would boil off faster.

While the bean & tomato mush is cooking, cut up a loaf of day old French bread into little cubes. Toss with olive oil, garlic and parsley and then cook in the oven at 350' for about 15 minutes. If the croutons finish before the rest of the meal, try VERY hard not to eat them all before everything else is done cooking. It's hard, but try. They're pretty darn good. Once the veggies and beans and such have cooked down so that there isn't much liquid left in the pot, scoop some out into a bowl and top it with a heaping helping of your fresh-baked croutons! It's so delicious, I swear!!

Now, I obviously have no idea what I'm doing when I cook (are you even supposed to let something boil without a lid on the pot? I have no clue) but it worked for me, and I ended up with a really scrumptious dinner that tasted a heck of a lot like the meal I ate at Disney World! :)

pumpkin spice



dress & sweater - h&m
shoes - MIA
tights - target
belt - old navy

I wore this for Thanksgiving last week. I wanted to be warm and cozy, but I also wanted a belt on to serve as a little reminder for when I'd eaten too much ;) And it worked.. as soon as I felt like the belt might have to come off, I stopped eating, haha!

My Thanksgiving was pretty lovely, but also really bittersweet. My Aunt Annie, who is turning 100 next month, came over for dinner and she was so much less exuberant and spunky than she used to be. When she visited in July she was a ball of energy, laughing and telling stories. I never expected her to have become so frail in only a few short months. It was just so heartbreaking. We tried to discuss details about her birthday party to cheer her up, tell her about relatives she hadn't seen in years that would be attending, all the food and presents, but she would just weakly smile and then stare off into the distance. I kept trying to enjoy her company, but in the back of my mind I kept thinking it's probably the last Thanksgiving we'll get to spend with her. I have been so lucky to have her in my life, I wish she could live to 200.

small business saturday!



Today only, I'm offering 25% off any order of $10 or more in my etsy shop with the code SMALLSAT. This applies to the calendars and Christmas cards, too, so if you liked them when I posted about them a couple months ago now would be a great time to snatch them up (or urgently inform whoever is buying your Christmas presents that they are 25% off today)... just saying ;)

A lot of etsy shops are having pretty tremendous sales this weekend, not just big box stores (and you know we could probably all use the sales a lot more than wal mart!) If you don't know where to even begin, there's of course my own shop (sorry, haha!) and then I also made a little handmade/vintage wishlist yesterday with tons of great gift ideas! And through the very merry indie christmas link-up in that post, you can find hundreds more, to boot!

ps. I recently downsized my inventory in my etsy shop, but if you see something in the sold orders that you want, let me know... if I still have it in stock (or the parts to make it) I can list it as a custom order for you :)

edit: it's about 11pm now and I'm getting ready for bed, and I'm not deactivating the code until I wake up (hint hint!) so if you want to sneak in a saturday sale while I'm sleeping sunday morning, you totally can! ;D

thankful.



I am thankful for friends, for whom I have so much love that I practically need an extra heart just to hold it all. I'm thankful for my amazing little cats, for every night that Hypatia snuggles up on my pillow, for the vet staff that keeps them healthy and for the cat food industry that keeps Chloe plump and satisfied enough to not kill us in our sleep. I'm thankful for the food in my pantry and the roof over my head. I'm thankful for the best parents any girl could ever wish for, and an extended family that includes a feisty 100 year old aunt! I'm thankful for the fact that me and my brother, who fought like crazy as kids, have grown up to be great friends. I'm thankful for everyone who has ever read my blog and liked it enough to stick around. I love you all so much.

What are you thankful for this year?

wishlist wednesday



1. Change of lace dress from modcloth // $77.99
2. Pastel cross tie from ASOS // $10.78
3. Aqua statement floral ring from ASOS // $46.72
4. Faceted floral ring from forever 21 // $5.80
5. Pleather bow belt from forever 21 // $3.80
6. Orange oversize sunglasses from topshop // $45.00
7. Muddled mint dress from modcloth // $69.99

cozy



sweater - old navy
skirt - vintage

Yesterday was so rainy and dark that when I woke up around 11am I thought my clock must have been screwed up... there was no way it was daytime. But it was, and it stayed pretty much that dark all day long. I took advantage of the weather and bundled up in one of my favorite sweaters, a long flowy skirt and warm, cozy sweater tights!

After I got my work out of the way, me and my family put up our Christmas decorations! I know it's a little early, but we just couldn't wait! My mom had already put the stockings on the mantle while me and Kyle were in Disney as a fun "welcome home" surprise, so we've been itching to finish what she started ever since we got back. Christmas music, a cozy outfit, lots of hot cocoa and spending time with my family... it was a pretty swell day. :)

DIY: enamel pins




I really love enamel pins from the 60's, but I have a hard time finding them at my local thrift shops and the prices for vintage ones online, once you factor in shipping, tend to be too much for a little ol' pin. So I came up with this idea for refashioning some of the ugly ones me & my mom have been gifted (or probably re-gifted, lol) over the years.

All you need is a gaudy pin that has a pretty design hiding under the surface, and some *opaque* nail polish. (Any polishes that usually need 2-3 coats to cover your nails will not work here!) Then paint! It's really that simple! For the smaller areas I used a fine paintbrush, but for the rest I just used the brush that comes with the polish. Then seal it with a shiny topcoat, and you're done!

I wish I had had a cute little reindeer or poinsettia pin laying around the house, but this was the best I could come up with. At least now, though, when I see cheap shiny brooches I'll give them another look. If the basic design is really cute, they can be saved! :)

my last day of pink



coat - modcloth
faux fur collar - h&m
tights - we love colors
dress - modcloth
shoes - c/o blowfish

I wore this last Monday for a day-trip to Princeton with my family. It's an annual birthday tradition... we eat lunch at Panera (I am OBSESSED with their tomato soup right now) then me and Kyle go to Princeton Record Exchange and sit on the floor sifting through the $1 records for a couple hours. This year we added a trip to the library to check out the discount book sale, where I got a side-eye from the cashier thanks to my lovely selection of books about plagues, the philosophy of death, and the end of the universe. Real light, happy fare ;)

Then me and my mom ran in a consignment shop. I guess it's typical of me that amongst all the expensive name brand stuff the only thing that struck my fancy was a blazer from Old Navy, haha! It's black velvet with a big bow-tie at the waist. It wasn't even my size but somehow it fit, so I snagged it! :D

After that we went to Olive Garden for dinner. I tried the bruschetta for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS it's amazing! I think I might have eaten the whole appetizer without sharing. In addition to two helpings of salad, some breadsticks, pasta and dessert. Yup. A lot of people knock Olive Garden, but I love it. It's definitely better than a stale peanut butter sandwich at home, that's all I know ;)

cat earmuffs giveaway! [closed]





I was at H&M last week and when I saw these earmuffs I practically fainted. They're so, so adorable! So I picked up a pair for me, and a pair for you! (The pair I'm wearing in the pictures is my pair, yours will be brand new!) If you don't win, hopefully (fingers crossed!) you'll be able to buy them online soon. I heard last year that H&M is supposed to be opening an online store in the US this winter!

To enter: simply leave a comment letting me know that you're entering, and some way to contact you (email, twitter, blog, whatever floats your boat!) You must be a follower to enter (and, please, none of this follow-and-leave as soon as the giveaway is over jazz.. that's super rude!) This giveaway is US-only.. sorry! :)

For additional entries: (
leave a separate comment for each entry)

1. Tweet this "Just entered to win some crazy cat lady earmuffs on @kategabrielle's blog! http://www.scathingly-brilliant.blogspot.com" (Only counts if you use that tweet.)
2. Follow me on
facebook
3. Follow me on
bloglovin
4. Follow me on
tumblr

Giveaway ends on December 5th at 12:01EST
Giveaway is closed!

tidbits



Mandy from Miss Indie just opened up an online shop, Indie Darling! She has hairbows. Incredibly cute hairbows. Be still my heart! And she's offering 25% off with the code SB25!! I want one of each!!



Becca from Nattosoup did this amazing portrait of me! eep! Isn't it lovely!? It's making me miss my pink hair even more :) She does commissions, so you can have your own portrait done, too! Or it would make a really cute gift for the holidays! She has more information about her commission work here!



Kaelah just released an e-book jam-packed with advice for bloggers on marketing, public relations and more. My wallet is a little sore from my Disney trip right now but you can bet your buttons I'm planning on buying a copy as soon as my balance is back to normal. I already know that it'll be informative in a down to earth, fun way! I can't wait to read it :) You can snag a copy on her blog, here!

interview with moi



Kailey from Mermaidens did a little interview with me, if you want to check it out! I blab on way too much about the X-Files (I can't help it! haha!) but it was so much fun! :) Thanks Kailey!!


would you still like me...



dress - forever 21
shoes - h&m
tights - we love colors
hair bow - honeybean

... if I didn't have pink hair? I hope so, because right now it's brown! :)

There must be something wrong with me. Wielding the brown dye in my hand, I was terrified. The pink was my "safety" color.. I thought brown would look hideous! But I just couldn't keep bleaching my roots, it was way too much upkeep (and money!) to do it every 2-3 weeks. I'm sure in a few months I'll get the itch to go back to pink, though, regardless of the time and effort!

Please be kind in the comments, if you don't like the brown please just don't say anything. I'm not 100% thrilled with it yet, so a mean comment certainly wouldn't help any.

EDIT! I am not blonde, lol! I've received so many comments today telling me that I'm blonde, I thought I should clarify here. I guess it's the lighting or something, but seriously I have light brown hair. I can even take a photo of the hair dye box if you guys want me to, haha! It really must be the photo, because in person I can tell you with 100% certainty, I am a brunette. Trust me, I do know the difference between yellow and brown and I definitely have brown hair. I pinky swear!

Disney: part 1



First, the obligatory castle photo. I probably could have sat myself down on a bench and just stared at the castle for my entire trip. It's so magical!


For some reason I burst into giggles *a lot* when we're taking pictures on vacation! So most photos of me end up like this, lol.. We took the picture in front of a fence they have up in front of construction work. In 2012 they're opening a Beauty and the Beast restaurant where you can dine in the Beast's castle!


I was determined to collect pins this time around, and as soon as I saw this Mary Poppins one I knew it had to be my first! But it also ended up being my last, lol... I never ended up finding any others that I really wanted. Despite a fervent quest throughout the whole trip, I couldn't find a single one for 101 Dalmatians, which is probably my favorite Disney cartoon :p


For dinner on the first night we ate in Cinderella's Castle! It was SO magical! And they had an amazing vegetarian meal which, trust me, was rare (I practically lived on a steady diet of so-so veggie burgers and fries for our entire trip). It was a mix of beans, zucchini and tomatoes in a really hearty tomato broth. Absolutely scrumptious!

The firework celebration took place during our meal, so we got to see it right outside our window from within the castle! I can't even describe how amazing that was. I was gaping! Absolutely breathtaking! I didn't get any photos of it, but I did get video so I'll post that later this week.


Kyle took this amazing photo of the castle lit up at night. Isn't it stunning? At the end of the night we were walking backwards out of the Magic Kingdom because we wanted to keep staring at the castle.


It was raining and really cold that night, so (being ill-prepared for the weather) we bought matching brother-sister sweatshirts. We're total dorks.


On Day 2 we went to Epcot. In Japan they have a HUGE selection of Hello Kitty stuff. Look at the giant chococat pillow up in the top right corner! <3


We brought some photos from previous Disney trips, and then took pictures holding the photos in the same locations. This one is a photo of me and Kyle from 2002 standing in England. Also it was raining and really humid so my bangs took on a life of their own ;p


Me taking a picture in a mirror in Morocco with my new Hello Kitty iphone case that I picked up in the Japan pavilion.

I'll post more pictures tomorrow! I also have a trip video if anyone would want to see it? It's like 10 minutes long, but it's set to music and edited so it's not like a normal home video. You could always fast forward to the fireworks parts lol ;D

I'm back, and I'm 25.



I had so much fun in Disney World! If my cats and parents weren't waiting for me at home, I seriously would not have wanted to come back. It was just so magical. On our first night we ate dinner in Cinderella's Castle, and we didn't realize until we were seated that we had scheduled our meal to coincide with the fireworks. We had a window seat and got to watch the fireworks from inside the castle! It was so amazing I can't even find the words to describe it.

The whole trip was just absolutely wonderful. I'm still winding down so this is just a quick post to say "hello, I'm back!" and let you know how the trip went! :) Today I'm spending the day in Princeton with my family celebrating my birthday, and tomorrow I'll share some more of the details and photos!

Turning 25 wasn't as bad as I expected (my birthday was Saturday) ... but we celebrate the exact time in my family (I was born at 5:42PM) and when I saw the number light up on the clock my heart did sink a bit, and I had to bite my lip to keep from crying. It's weird to think I've been around for a quarter century now. I don't feel like it at all! Oh well. We're celebrating my great aunt's 100th birthday next month, so it gives me hope that I still have 3 more quarter centuries to go ... which means a LOT more trips to Disney World ;)

Finally, a HUGE thank you to all of my guest bloggers for DIY-sney week! If you haven't had a chance to look at all of the phenomenal DIY projects yet, you can view them here. Also, I did a guest post for Lauren while she's recovering from surgery (get well soon!!!) which you can check out here!

DIY: peg dollies




hello lovelies! I'm Rosie from over at such stuff as dreams are made on, and I'm so happy to be doing a DIY-sney post for Kate today :-)

I am an avid crafter, and love knitting, sewing, crocheting, painting, and making all kinds of cute things. I thought that today I would share with you a fairly easy diy ~ how to make peg dollies. I find that in my hectic life style, sometimes I want to make something a little less taxing, a little more instantly gratifying, a little easier to enjoy doing without having to clear a good couple of hours to do...enter peg dollies!

There are several different options at each stage of the process; sometimes to acheive a different effect, or sometimes depending on how much time you have to spare ~ feel free to experiment a little!



What you will need:

- Pegs.
-Crayons/colour pencils/felt tips/paint for the faces and shoes
-Glue
-Needle and thread
-Pins
-Trims/ribbons/thick yarn



What to do:

Step 1: First of all decide on your outfit. This is a great use for any of the trims or ribbons you have been collecting or hoarding! You can either do a simple dress, or a top and skirt. (You can also use a thick yarn if you have one). Step 2: Once you know what clothes your doll will be wearing, you can decide on hair colour and shoe colour. I have tried various different ways of drawing these on and have actually found that crayons are the best, or paint if you have the time to let it dry. Colour pencils or felt tips work just as well, as does nail varnish which is what I used here. Step 3: If you're doing a dress go to step 4. If you're doing a top and skirt, here we apply the top. Apply glue thinly to your ribbon of choice, and carefully wrap it around the dolly a couple of times. Step 4: For your skirt or dress, just begin to wrap your ribbon around and layer it up to make it bigger and poofier. When you reach the bottom pin the ribbon in place. Step 5: Now thread your needle with a cotton that matches the ribbon and gently put a few threads few where your pin is.

Et voila!! For one of my peg dollies I even crocheted little flowers for the skirt : )

Hope you have fun with it, and thanks again to Kate for having me today ~ I hope you're having a wonderful time at disney!

Love
Rosie
xx