Tuesday, April 30, 2013

happy birthday daddie

Today is my dad's 60th birthday! I don't want to get too mushy*, but my dad really means the world to me and not a day goes by that I don't think to myself how lucky I am to have hit the parent jackpot. We talk constantly and conversations with my dad are never boring. I usually drop by his office to complain about how much I have to do and how I'm never going to get it all done, and then end up hanging around for two hours talking about hypothetical solutions to world issues or the possible consequences of traveling back in time.

This is a man who sat me down in front of the tv when I was barely three years old to watch Nelson Mandela's release from prison, and explained to me the significance of the event. In the car on the way home from elementary school he would use stop lights as an opportunity to demonstrate, with pieces of fruit, the way the solar system worked. Growing up he constantly encouraged me to be intellectually curious, aware of current events, and conscious of history, and to this day I think our conversations are what keep me on my toes. He challenges my opinions even when he agrees with them, not just to play devils advocate but to spark more debate about the topic at hand.

He is thoughtful, kind, generous, big-hearted, incredibly smart, and he has fantastic taste in music, movies and books. He's dealt with some hardship and failures over the years but he remains remarkably optimistic and idealistic. He is a hard worker and, despite major bumps along the road, has managed to own his own business for over 30 years. He never fails to cheer me up when I'm blue, and -- possibly aware of my fragile ego or maybe just blinded by fatherly pride -- I can't remember one instance in which he ever did anything less than gush over anything I painted or drew. And when my world shattered in February when Hypatia passed away, he sat with me night after night helping me to work through my grief. He's the most patient, level-headed and decent person I know, and no matter what happens in my life, one constant will always be having an incredibly amazing father.

Obviously -- if you couldn't tell-- I think my dad is pretty awesome. I am SO thankful that we are such good friends and that he's given me so many amazing memories over the years. Here's to many more :)

*well, that worked well. oops ;p

Monday, April 29, 2013

grey garden

I can't believe this is the first time I managed to take outfit pictures in this dress because I've been wearing it constantly ever since it arrived on my doorstep in March. It's one of those dresses that works perfectly by itself (the stripes changing direction at the waist means I haven't even felt like I needed a belt to define the waist--and I always feel like I need a belt) but is also simple enough that it can serve as a wardrobe staple ripe for mixing and matching with all my various cardigans and shoes ;) Oh and it's super comfy, so 100 bonus points right there.

This dress -- as well as everything else at Emerging Thoughts -- is 20% off if you use the code KATE at checkout. And as a special bonus for supporting this awesome shop run by an awesome lady (hi Lauren!) if you buy anything from Emerging Thoughts today or tomorrow, leave a comment on this post with your email address and I'll send you a secret 25% off coupon code to Sweet and Lovely or Flapper Doodle (your choice!)

sweater - forever 21 | tulip brooch - sweet and lovely

Friday, April 26, 2013

friday favorites

This might just be the best embroidery ever.

Emerging Thoughts is offering 20% off storewide with code "KATE" They have so many adorable dresses (like these two by Dear Creatures!) and I'm super excited to say they're also the first Sweet and Lovely stockist! You can find my handmade lip earrings here :)

Buzzfeed has a list of the top 100 forgotten heartthrobs of the 80's and 90s, and if you grew up during that time it's definitely worth taking a peek. I had totally forgotten about #16 even though I was obsessed with First Kid for a while in Elementary School. Can I petition to have Rider Strong and Erik Von Detten removed from the list, though? Heartthrobs of the 80's or 90's? yes... but forgotten? heck no! ;)

I'm a sucker for a novelty print dress, and I don't think I've ever seen one with giraffes before! How cool is that?! Available here.

I tried rose lemonade while I was in Disney World and it was surprisingly quite good! The only other flavor I ever had before was strawberry (which I love!) so now I'm really interested in trying all kinds of lemonade flavors. This recipe for rosemary lemonade sounds especially delicious!

I love the colors on these dresses from modcloth so much! The left one has me thinking about adding contrasting buttons to some otherwise plain dresses. I always seem to forget that there are some really simple ways (like changing buttons) to make old clothes look more snazzy. The dress on the right is already in my possession (no matter how hard I try to save my money, a dress that looks like this will make my willpower fold in a heartbeat!) and it's just as pretty in person. It's definitely going to be a springtime staple :)

I love love love this bedroom that Julie featured on her blog. My favorite part is how the carpet looks like grass! How neat would it be to make a whole room that looks like it's outdoors?!

Urban Outfitters has Lisa Frank shirts. Life = made.

I love *everything* in this etsy shop so much! They have a series of limited edition silkscreened drawings that come in sets with names like "Hoodlums," "Drifters," "Hooligans" and "Outcasts." I want every set!

Another buzzfeed find.. (I just discovered this site recently -- I know, I'm not the best internet person -- and I'm so hooked!) This article includes 25 optical illusions and I swear some of them are mind-blowing! My favorites are #11 (it really works!) and #7 (pictured). I actually traced the circles with my finger on the monitor because I was positive it had to be a spiral!

These DIY yarn ball ice cream cones are so adorable! I'd love to make some to hang around my bedroom!

I love absolutely everything that Kerry posts on Yours Truly (fangirl alert!) but the pictures from this post are just knock-your-socks-off amazing. They remind me of the British new wave movies from the 60's that I love so much.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

spaghetti à la lady and the tramp

In Disney World we ate at the Lady and the Tramp-themed Tony's Town Square Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. Most of the items on the menu included meat or cheese (which I don't eat) so I asked our server if I could have a spaghetti dish that combined ingredients used in some of the meat dishes. He had the chef visit our table (Disney is super accommodating, by the way, if you have any kind of special diet. I was very impressed!) and he put together one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had! I made a humble recreation this week and thought I'd share the recipe!

First snap the asparagus (you bend the asparagus so it snaps in the middle and only keep the tops) and then chop those up into bite-sized pieces. Spread them on a greased cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then roast at 350' for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil water for spaghetti. In a frying pan, combine some extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 can of drained and rinsed chick peas (in Disney I had pine nuts instead, but now that I'm home with access to my beloved garbanzo beans I had to include them!) chopped garlic (to taste -- I'm a little heavy-handed with the garlic myself) and 1/4 c. chopped sundried tomatoes. Let those simmer on low heat until the spaghetti and asparagus are done, and then combine. Then eat it all quickly before any family members notice that you cooked...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

clever girl

On Saturday I went to see Jurassic Park in 3D for the second time (I also went with my brother on the day it opened) and it was just as fun! I really think if I had the money I would go see it a hundred times before it leaves theaters.

I've been feeling a little under the weather since I got back from vacation (I swear it seems like I can't go away anymore without coming back with a bug!) Luckily it just seems to be draining my energy and nothing more, but considering my trip already set me back a week on tackling my to-do list, spending all my waking hours in a sleepy haze isn't helping much. I'm so behind on my e-mails it's actually embarrassing. Like I'm actually ashamed to even be replying at this point because I'm pretty sure everyone will be mad that I took so long to reply. I'll probably tackle them today or tomorrow anyway though!

I have another busy couple of weeks coming up.. I can't believe I haven't mentioned this yet but I bought VIP tickets to The Office wrap party in Scranton next weekend! I'll be going to a party with some of the cast and crew (!!!!) and then the tickets also include the best seats to a Q&A with the writers the next day and a huge farewell event at PNC field with the cast. I'm so excited it's ridiculous! I'll definitely take lots of pictures and blog about it!

ps. I couldn't get a better picture of my shirt (after this one was snapped the wind started gusting like crazy and I gave up) but it's a brontosaurus with "vegetarian" written underneath! I got it at the Animal Kingdom in Disney on my trip last year but I found it online here :)

shirt - disney world | cardigan and jean jacket - forever 21 | skirt - h&m
shoes - asos (similar) | t-rex brooch - sweet and lovely | bag - asos

Saturday, April 20, 2013

let the rain pitter patter

This super awesome rain coat came in the mail while I was on vacation, and once I got home I just couldn't wait for a rainy day to take outfit pictures.  It was a teeny bit overcast but there wasn't a drop of rain in sight, so I illustrated my own rain shower ;D I also couldn't find my umbrella so I drew that in too. I seriously love drawing on photos... I need to do it more often!

I felt like a bit of an idiot doing this in my front yard (I'm so used to taking pictures in the privacy of my own room, plus of all the poses to choose for my first venture outdoors I chose the one where I'm holding an imaginary umbrella!) and it doesn't help matters that the neighbors who face our house are ALWAYS outside at the same time we are. We don't really talk to them, so it's hilariously awkward. But seriously, every time we leave to get in the car, get the mail, take out the garbage, etc.. they're out there. It's so funny! Even at like 5am or 11pm, if we're outside then you better believe one of them will be pulling in the driveway or mowing the lawn or something. We're always like "oh my gosh they are out there AGAIN!!" ...of course they probably think the same thing about us! haha!

dress - h&m | coat - c/o oasap | shoes - bait footwear | tights - we love colors

Friday, April 19, 2013

a new chapter

Well, as of today I am no longer a full-time etsy seller. My flapper doodle sales have been on a steady decline for the last several months, and no amount of frantic title tweaking, advertising budget increases or new product releases seem to have made any difference. I'm still trying to keep things afloat, but I also faced the inevitable and decided to apply for a real job.

And yesterday I got the call that I was hired, by my favorite local ice cream parlor! I think it's a perfect fit for me, and I'm really excited about working there. It's a part time job so I can still maintain my (albeit floundering) shop. It'll be so nice not to have to worry about my loss of income and I really think it's a job that I'll enjoy. Flapper Doodle will remain open (as long as my sales are still trickling in, I suppose!) as will Sweet and Lovely. The only obvious change will be that I'll probably have more interesting things to blog about than the weather and my tv viewing habits ;)

I was really lucky to have had a successful etsy shop for as long as I did -- I can't even express how thankful I am that I was able to work from home the entire time that I had Hypatia, since it enabled me to spend so much time with her. She was a special needs cat and needed a guardian who could care for her constantly, and I'm so grateful that I was able to do that. I treasure every single second I had with her, and thanks to Flapper Doodle I had so many more seconds than I would have had if I had to leave for work each day.

I'm incredibly sad that Flapper Doodle is losing steam and that reviving it seems to be out of my control, but I'm also very excited about this new chapter in my life! I've been self employed (before etsy I sold my art at outdoor street fairs full time) for ten years so this is going to be quite an adventure! But I'm really looking forward to hopefully making some new friends and having some wonderful new experiences! I'm also a teeny bit scared since my decade of self-employment has turned me into a bit of a reclusive hermit but maybe this was just what I needed to come out of my shell :)

cardigan - forever 21 | shoes -asos (similar) | belt - h&m

Thursday, April 18, 2013

home again

Well, I'm home now! It's so nice to see the cats, sleep in my own bed (and, to be frank, use my own bathroom. Seriously, best part of coming home) but I wish I was still on vacation. There's really something to be said for taking a break from your day to day life and forgetting all of the little (and big) problems for a while. I want to try taking a lot of weekend trips this summer now! I just bought this travel book (my hometown is included so I had to get it!) and I'm looking forward to using it to plan some fun excursions in the next few months!

Like I said before I left, I have a little backlog of outfit posts, and this is one of them.  This is one of my favorite dresses *ever* and it's now available in mint -- so basically the best dress on the planet somehow got even better. I got the mint one in the mail right before I left for Florida so I didn't get to take pictures yet, but I will soon!

dress - le bomb shop | cardigan - f21 | shoes - vintage | tights - old navy

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

tale as old as time

I saved my number one Disney princess for last -- Belle! It's actually one of my least favorite outfits that I put together, but maybe I just felt too much pressure trying to recreate my favorite and my brain couldn't handle it (at least that's the excuse I'm going to use.)

I can't believe tomorrow I'll be back home, back to the regular grind. This vacation was over much too quickly, but I'm looking forward to seeing my kitties again. I'm still having a really rough time missing Hypatia like crazy but my trip definitely helped lift my spirits a bit and reminded me that there are some things in life I can still enjoy and look forward to when everything else seems bleak. I love that Disney has that effect on me... I know some people outgrow its magic but I'm glad that it still cheers me up and comforts me so much when I'm blue :)

shirt - vintage | skirt - forever 21 | shoes - modcloth | belt - vintage

Monday, April 15, 2013

tranquil as a forest, but on fire within

This is my favorite of all my Disney outfits! It's not exactly like what Mulan really wore, but I think it reflects the shapes and simplicity and general color palette. I was eleven when the movie came out (dating myself a bit here..) and Belle and Ariel were already set in stone as my top two favorite Disney girls ever, but Mulan has always been really close to tying with them. Honestly if I wasn't so sentimental about The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast being such a huge part of my childhood, she'd probably be number one. I just love her character and the movie so much!

dress - h&m | pinafore - c/o dahlia | belt - modcloth | shoes - c/o oasap

Sunday, April 14, 2013

when there's a smile in your heart

I know this pretty much looks like a regular outfit I'd wear normally but I swear it was inspired by Tinkerbell lol. The white bow and the lace jacket reminded me a little of her wings, and this green was the closest I could get to her dress color (I always thought I had too many green dresses but once you take out all the mint ones there isn't much left, ha!)

I'm typing this post from my hotel room in Disney World! I was able to schedule Wendesday-Saturday from the plane but then we landed and I didn't get to finish up the rest of the posts until this morning :) I'm having such a nice time. We're really taking it easy and not rushing around the parks like we're usually inclined to do when vacationing here. And I'm eating so much food. SO much. When I get back I might need to write a post just about the food :)

Oh and yesterday I sat down near the pool and wrote out all of my postcards for my sweet and lovely orders, and then dropped them in the mailbox at the Magic Kingdom! So they're on their way!! I think there are still 9 coupon code uses left if anyone wants a postcard :) Details are in this post.

dress- h&m | lace jacket - vintage | shoes - c/o bait footwear