Ten Ways to Fix a Bad Day

Hello friends; this is Amber from Laughing With Broken Eyes. There's been a death in Kate's family, so I'm stepping in with today's post.

In the midst of this, I thought that a post of ways to improve a bad day would make for some simple and hopefully helpful entertainment.

Ten Ways to Fix a Bad Day

for those of you who are having one of those days.

1) Ice cream! I know it’s so cliché, but licking up a scoop of mint chocolate chip under the sun makes me feel like a little kid again, back when life seemed so simple..

2) Call a friend and complain. We let things build and build, and sometimes, just saying what’s upsetting you can help you feel so much better. I know I’ve had days where the world seemed to have a personal vendetta against me. I called one of my best friends and just complained about everything I was upset about. By saying it outloud, I realized how silly most of it was. What didn’t seem silly, my friend was able to provide insight on. (This goes both ways—be there for your friends as well).

3) Watch ‘Heathers’. That movie is gold.

4) Go online to your favorite retail store and spend some time going through everything on the site. Add everything you want to your cart.. and then close out! You’ll feel no guilt since you didn’t actually buy anything, but you still get the adrenaline of ooh-la-la shopping.

5) Take some time to yourself. Take your favorite book to the local coffee shop, bring your sketchpad to your favorite park, take a brisk walk off the beaten path. Being alone with your thoughts is the ultimate way to recharge.

6) Have a glam night. I wrote about channeling your inner bombshell a while ago—but take some time to make yourself feel beautiful, physically, emotionally, mentally.

7) Dance! I’m serious! Crank up some obnoxious music and just dance! Your mood will instantly improve.

8) Watch one of your favorite TV shows. Most classic shows are on Netflix, hulu, youtube, etc.

9) Do something you’ve never done before. I think it’s great to have a list of random things you want to try. By doing something you’ve never done before, you’re changing the way that particular day will be remembered. Instead of Tuesday being the day you failed your English exam and lost your favorite jacket, it’ll be the day that you went rock-climbing for the first time, etc. (You get my point)

10) Remember that tomorrow is a new day.

I know that none of these tips are revolutionary, but on rotten days, a smile really goes a long way. Just remember that everyone has bad days—the bad days just make the good days even sweeter. The sun will rise again. What seems insurmountable by evening will lighten up by morning-- I promise.

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(image via weheartit)

Please be sure to keep Kate and her family in your thoughts.
<3

what's in my bag







I love this bag SO much! I missed out when it first went up on Modcloth, but then I was able to snatch one up about a month ago when someone returned theirs (seriously though, who would return this??) It came back in stock again earlier this week and I decided I'd buy another one as a back up in case this one ever fell apart (honest to goodness, I want to use THIS bag for the rest of my life. I just love it so much!) but before I had a chance to purchase, it was discontinued :( I actually e-mailed the designer to ask if it's in stock anywhere else online, so if anyone is interested I'll let you know if I get a reply!

Ok, so now I'll get to what's IN the bag! Of course there's my phone (iphone 4s with a Hello Kitty case I bought in Epcot Japan) and my wallet (pink glitter shell wallet from Five and Below.) Even though my phone can technically serve as an ipod, I also keep my shuffle with me at all times along with my minty green headphones (gift from my brother.) I have a little beaded coin purse (gift from Aunt Annie) that I use to hold my gum. I have apple scented hand sanitizer (Bath & Body Works) and Burt's bees grapefruit lip balm. The sunglasses change constantly but right now I'm wearing my red hearts (from Fred Flare.) Last but not least, a notebook (h&m) and pen to jot down ideas, sketches and grocery lists. It all fits so neatly in my perfect little bag! And I keep all of the paper junk I collect throughout the day (receipts, gum wrappers, etc.) in the zipper compartment so it doesn't mess up the organizational flow ;)

posh frock friday



dress - swap with Amber
cardigan - c/o modcloth
belt - old navy
shoes - urbanog

I wore this last Friday to go visit my Aunt Annie in the nursing home. I still can't get over how feisty she is for being 100 years old! She started telling us how many people had died since she moved in there and how she even saw one lady die right in front of her. It seemed so sad, and then she smiled, said "ah, well.. less people!" and starting laughing! She has her blue moments, but I love that (for the most part) she has such a flippant attitude and a light way of dealing with dark things.

I'm starting to keep a little journal of some of the things she's said or done lately. Until recently she had a sign on her door that said "Stay the hell out of my room. And I mean it! -Ann" I think the fact that she signed her name on the note was my favorite part. She was also telling us that she needs some new girdles and bras. 100 years old and wheelchair-bound, but she needs a new girdle. How can you not love that?!?

star stuff // wishlist edition



I've been bookmarking a lot of things that could easily be included in wishlist wednesday or star stuff, but I kept putting off posting them because I couldn't decide where to include them (overthink much?) Anyway, I obviously ended up choosing to post them for Star Stuff because here they are! :)

1. Gold dipped constellation necklace from One Eyed Dog // $28.00
2. Cat watercolor print from Water in My Paint // $15.00
3. Cosmic chill out top from Modcloth // $33.99
4. Nebula iphone case and skin kit from Skunk Wraps // $24.95
5. Blue cotton wristlet from Cosmic Totes // $25.00
6. Astronaut ice cream balls from Think Geek // $3.99
7. Pugs in space necklace from Modcloth // $36.99
8. Galaxy printed hair bow from Little Shop of Binks // $7.00
9. Starburst cluster galaxy skirt from Shadowplay NYC // $138.00
10. Planets charm necklace from ASOS // $14.54
11. Meow-ter space necklace from Modcloth // $33.99

ps. After I saved the wishlist I realized I didn't like the galaxy image in the background but because I was stupid (I didn't save the psd file) and lazy (I didn't feel like re-doing the whole thing) I'm posting it as-is lol...

citrus punch



cardigan - old navy
belt - from another dress
dress - c/o romwe
shoes - urbanog

Lime, lemon and orange! yum!! So many things about summer frustrate me (bugs, the heat, noisy lawnmowers, not being able to wear tights...) but one thing that I loooove is fresh fruit! There is nothing I enjoy more than a nice juicy nectarine or a carton of bright red strawberries! Ooh and grapes. And of course grapefruit!! ;D

wishlist wednesday



1. Purple canvas laceups from Urban Outfitters // $18.00
2. Oversized bow clip from Topshop // $20.00
3. Lilac spot midi dress from Dorothy Perkins // $57.00
4. Spot print shopper from Topshop // $32.00
5. Opaque beaded necklace from Forever21 // $12.80
6. Lilac lace earrings from Branchbound // $20.00
7. Dreams of you dress in sage from Modcloth // $52.99
8. Play date purple nail polish from Essie // $5.70
9. April Showers original collage by Vivienne Strauss // $40.00
10. Style hotline phone in violet from Modcloth // $48.99

my first thrifting find!



skirt - thrifted!
shirt - h&m
shrug - forever 21
belt - from my grandmom
shoes - kling

So many bloggers I love always find the most amazing things at thrift stores, so I've been going more often to try to find some of my own treasures, too. And I always fail miserably. I don't know if I'm just missing the "amazing thrift find" radar, or if all of the stores in my area have a consistently hideous selection, but I've always come up dry on all of my trips. Until now! I went to Goodwill with my dad a couple weeks ago and found this fantastic 70's skirt. I love the thin, soft denim fabric and the pretty white embroidery at the bottom. But what I love even more? The $2 price tag! woo hoo! I think it was worth all the unsuccessful trips to find something unique and wonderful at such a stupendously low price :)

tardy to the science party



dress - modcloth
sunglasses - fred flare
glasses chain - asos
shoes - asos
bag - modcloth

On Saturday my family and I went to the Philadelphia Science Festival outdoor carnival. Unfortunately my "let's leave the house at 11am!" plan didn't work out so well, and we ended up arriving about 30 minutes before it was over. (My family is notoriously tardy... in elementary school kids used to chant "Kate is Late, Kate is Late" since my dad usually dropped me off after everyone else was already seated.) Anyway, the little bit we got to see was still very fun! One booth even had a cardboard stand-up of Nikola Tesla, which is probably THE single most awesome cardboard stand-up to ever exist.

I've been trying to plan a lot more day trips lately. Extended trips are tough since I don't have anyone to watch my cats and refuse to board them. Although, (!!!) I just booked a 9 day trip for me and my mom in November. We're going to Disney World! yay! My brother and my dad are going to stay home to look after the kitties, so me and my mom can enjoy the vacation with peace of mind :) I'm so ridiculously excited... I even put a countdown on my iphone already, even though it's over six months away lol! :D

ps. I must have spent at least 20 minutes staring at my screen trying to come up with a title for this post! gah!

emerging thoughts



dress - c/o emerging thoughts
tights - urban outfitters
shoes - forever 21

Lauren from Emerging Thoughts recently started using bloggers for her models, and kindly asked me to model the Kling pieces along with this beautiful Dainty June dress. Of course I said yes! It's such a cute idea, and I was so flattered to be asked. And having a blog that's rather on the small side, I am incredibly humbled to be included alongside bloggers that I look up to and admire so much!

You can take a peek at the other items here! My favorite of the Kling pieces is definitely the turquoise blouse. The fabric is heavenly and it fits like a dream!

Introducing: The Book Fair!!!



I've been working on this for weeks and I am SO excited to finally share it!!

Remember the book fairs from elementary school? I looked forward to them so much! To a little bookworm like me, they were magical! I loved getting new books and fun school supplies that you could never find anywhere else but the book fair -- pop-a-point pencils that smelled like strawberry, bright rainbow erasers and silly bookmarks! And remember Book-It, the button program where you'd get free Pizza Hut after you filled up your button with stickers??

Okay, well recently I was getting really nostalgic and decided to recreate that magic for myself. While I was at it, I thought maybe I'm not the only one with a hankering for a good old fashioned book fair. So I decided to open a new etsy shop dedicated to the books that fueled our love of reading as kids and the book fairs that brought them to us!

It's stocked with vintage young adult books, some PDF printables and art prints (well, one print so far but I'm going to add more soon) but the thing I'm most excited about is the book fair kit! It includes a 80's-90's paperback, 3 corny but fantastic bookmarks, a pop-a-point scented pencil, a rainbow eraser, a booklet to keep track of the books you've read, and a button with 10 stickers to mark off each book you've read! And it all comes neatly packed in a canvas drawstring bag hand-stamped with The Book Fair logo I designed :D

Okay, I'm done gushing now! :D You can check out The Book Fair shop here if you're interested! :)

the awkward call for sponsors



I can't believe it's already time for an awkward call for May sponsors!! If you're interested in sponsoring my blog next month, first of all, thank you! Second of all, you can check out the traffic, statistics and all that jazz over on my sponsor page. Third of all, you can buy a spot in my handy dandy super easy storenvy shop!

Oh, and two more things! If you purchase before April 26th you can use coupon code MAY10 at checkout to get 10% off. And if you have a chance, please stop by later today... I'm sharing a new project that I'm REALLY excited about! :D I'm so anxious to finally share it, I've had butterflies all morning!! :)

And now to make up for awkward-city here is a pretty crazy-cool cat gif! (via I heart cat gifs)



ps. I woke up this morning to new blogger. argh! I wish there was a way to switch back because so far I reallllllly don't like it :p I know I'll get used to it eventually (and when I finally do, they'll change it again) but right now I just want my old layout back.

Update: thank you so much for the super helpful comments! If you got switched to new blogger too, you can switch back by clicking on the gear in the upper right and reverting back to the old layout. Yay!!

social networking hiatus update


letterpress print by La Farme

It's been a little over a month since I cut out twitter, tumblr and instagram, so I thought I'd give a little update on how it's going. I don't miss tumblr. at. all. I haven't had the slightest twitch to log on. I even removed it from my bookmarks, because I have no intention of ever going back.

I'm slowly starting to use instagram again, simply because I realized I was taking a lot less photos since I stopped. Still a lot of random cat photos, but not so many daily snippets of my life and I miss that. I think as long as I limit the amount of time I spend perusing my feed, and restrict myself from posting photos when I'm supposed to be enjoying time with my family, it won't disrupt my life or eat up as much time as it did before.

And twitter. Oh, twitter. I'm so torn. It's been so refreshing this past month to finally have a break from 3 years of oversharing. I dyed my hair, my cats did funny things, I watched good movies, I had a terrible sales slump, my brother passed his driving test and they're installing a drive-thru at my local Panera -- but I didn't feel the urge to tweet about any of it. I just enjoyed (or in the case of the sales slump, hated) things as they were happening and that was it.

But I really miss my twitter-only friends. It wasn't until I quit that I realized how many people I only talked to on twitter! (Although part of me is nervous to log back on because I'm pretty sure nobody will have even noticed my absence lol) I'm considering checking in once a week, chatting a bit with friends, retweeting some awesome Mental Floss facts and catching up on Neil DeGrasse Tyson's awesome twitter feed. I'm really not sure if I'll go back, but after this month I'm positive that if I do, it will be much more limited. I won't keep a twitter app on my desktop, and I doubt I'll check the feed more than once a day. I've really enjoyed being a little detached. Life has felt slower, and it's been really nice :)

posh frock friday



dress - asos
sweater - h&m
shoes - c/o bait

My hair is just long enough now that I can twist it into sort-of-milkmaid-braids with the help of an army of bobby pins. I can't wait for it to get longer so I can finally start doing buns again! I got tired of teasing it into a beehive but I might do it one more time since I had promised to post a tutorial here and completely forgot!

I changed my workspace up a little bit this week! I found these adorable felt tulips at the craft store this week and HAD to find a use for them. Also I had two new pieces of art that I was dying to hang up and finally did -- an apple pie painting from Everyday is a Holiday and a portrait of a girl with a pink beehive that is actually a cat (!!) from Carol Roque. I moved around some of my desktop clutter too to make things more functional. I love it, and I'm pretty sure Hubble does too...

purrfect shoes



dress - modcloth
cardigan - old navy
tights - target
shoes - c/o pony chops

Is anyone else having a problem with scheduled posts not being published on blogger? I usually blog at night, then schedule my posts to go up at 9am and 6pm the next day but none of them have gone up this week. I've had to manually do it, either hours later when I realized my post never published or frantically on my iphone while I was out :p Anyway, that explains why this is going up at 1pm instead of 9am today. I haven't been switched over to the new blogger interface yet so honestly part of me is just happy that this is the only blogger-related problem I have to deal with at the moment...

On a happier note, how amazing are these shoes?! My all time favorite colors (mint + pink) with little kitty cats (that totally remind me of Hypatia) painted all over!! Cuteness!!!



And check out the back! A kitty cat with my pink bun and hair bow! *dies* Is this not the most adorable thing ever?!?! They have a bunch of super cute designs in their etsy shop, and they also take custom orders! Honestly I wouldn't have cared if they were the most uncomfortable shoes on the planet since they're so darn cute, but they're ridiculously comfy to walk in, too!



wishlist wednesday



1. Shirley's heron cardigan from Modcloth // $89.99
2. Cat eye sunglasses from Forever 21// $5.80
3. Enamel butterfly ring from Dorothy Perkins // $15.00
4. Giraffe necklace from Modcloth // $24.99
5. Shark duffle bag from Urban Outfitters // $39.00
6. Dinosaur earrings from Black Ribbon Accessories // $8.00
7. Lace up brogues from Topshop // $60.00
8. Animal print dress from Topshop // $72.00
9. Woven contrast belt from Forever 21 // $7.80
10. Special Species necklace from Modcloth // $14.99
11. Instant dinosaur collection from Nanometer Vintage // $12.00
12. Smart retro satchel from ASOS // $45.45

summer wind



dress - modcloth
shoes - urbanog
belt - forever 21

It's supposed to cool down by the weekend but right now it feels so much like summer! Part of me loves being able to just throw on a dress and walk out the door, but honestly I love picking out matching cardigans and tights too much to really enjoy the simplicity of getting dressed for warm weather.

I spent the afternoon yesterday helping Kyle brush-up on his parallel parking skills for his license test today. It's so weird that my little brother is going to be able to go off driving on his own! I'm so proud of him, but it's freaking me out a little. He's 8 years younger than me so I have that whole sort-of-a-sibling/sort-of-a-third-parent age difference which makes me torn between "awesome job bro!" and "our little baby is all grown up!"

My top five favorite: Twin Peaks actors in other tv shows



1. Dennis (Denise) Bryson // Fox Mulder on The X-Files



2. Laura Palmer // Ellie Harp on One Tree Hill



3. Shelly Johnson // Andrea Rhodes on Mad Men



4. Dale Cooper // The Captain on How I Met Your Mother



5. Audrey Horne // Ginger on Friends

It seems like Twin Peaks people pop up in every single show I watch, so I thought I'd round up my favorites! Number one is obviously Fox Mulder, since The X-Files is my favorite tv show (technically Twin Peaks came first, so he was a Twin Peaks actor in another series, but to me, since I watched TXF first he was an X-Files actor in Twin Peaks. Tohmayto-Tomahto) but I think my favorite of the batch is probably Kyle MacLachlan playing The Captain. His episodes crack me up so much (I love the whole "mouth is smiling, eyes want to kill you" thing) that he was definitely my favorite HIMYM guest star.

Soo these are my top five, what are yours? :)

dots and dots



dress worn as a top - elizabeth coletta
skirt and belt - h&m
red shoes - asos

Geez louise, did anyone else have a major heatwave yesterday? (Is it technically a heatwave if it lasts one day?) It was over 90 degrees here, which is absurd for April... luckily I didn't have to go out much so I got to stay inside with the a/c cranked up to cardigan levels. I don't think I'd mind hot weather so much if it wasn't so sticky and the air wasn't quite so thick!

By the way, if someone forced me at cheese-point* to pick my favorite outfit so far this year, this would be it. You know, in case you were wondering.

*I really don't like cheese.

Style Idol - Marilyn Monroe


//image links back to where I found it

BAIT shoes giveaway! [closed]



Bait Footwear is offering one super duper lucky winner a pair of their Ida shoes in either coral or seafoam (your choice!) I wish I could enter my own giveaway, because these are literally the prettiest shoes I've seen in my life. Ever. And they're my favorite colors!

To enter simply leave a comment with a link to your favorite item from BAIT Footwear, and some way to contact you (email, twitter, blog, whatever floats your boat!) Also, you must be a follower to enter! This is mandatory! (And, please, none of this follow-and-leave as soon as the giveaway is over jazz.. that's super rude!)

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

1. Tweet this "I just entered to win a pair of the prettiest shoes in the universe on @kategabrielle's blog http://www.scathingly-brilliant.blogspot.com" (Only counts if you use that exact tweet.)
2. Follow Bait Footwear on twitter
3. Like Bait Footwear on Facebook

This giveaway ends on April 23rd at 12:01AM EST. Giveaway ended.

Winner: Comment #212

DIY 3D embellished dress



I love the way 3D floral embellishments look on dresses, but they're always a little too pricey, so I decided to DIY it! This project is really, really easy but a little time intensive. I worked on it over 5 days and went through about 9 episodes of The Office while I worked. It's a great project to relax and pass some time :)



You'll need: A lace dress (I picked one that I didn't mind tinkering with, but the flowers are actually removable so if you don't like the way it turns out you can always take them off), fake flowers, beads that are larger than the holes at the center of the flowers, embroidery floss and a needle.

1. Gather your materials. Pop the flowers off of their stems and remove the little plastic connector piece, so all you should have left is the fabric piece. 2. Thread a piece of embroidery floss and knot the end. Bring the needle from the back of the dress through to the front, and through the hole in the center of the flowers. Then thread the bead onto the needle and stick the needle back through the hole to the back of the dress. 3. Knot the thread and continue until you've covered the dress with flowers. I decided to totally cover the bodice and then have some trickle down onto the skirt, but I think it would look really cool with the whole dress covered, too!

I know I'm not super great at writing out instructions so here's a quick little video that should help! :)