Monday, March 31, 2014

sweatshirts and dresses

I just got this cropped hooded mint green sweatshirt and it's my new favorite thing ever. It's exactly the right length to wear with my fit-and-flare dresses and it'll be perfect for spring when it's (finally!) warm enough to leave the house without a coat but not quite hot enough to go sleeveless. And it's just so darn cozy. I love cardigans as much as the next girl (obviously) but if I can wear a cute little sweatshirt instead, I'm doing it. I love this so much I might have bought it in two other colors too.... eek!

This dress probably comes in a close second in the "new favorite things" category -- it fits like a dream and I'll take any opportunity to add more light purple into my wardrobe :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Scathingly Brilliant blogaversary giveaway! [closed]

This week was my 4 year blogaversary!! So that means it's time for my 4th annual blog anniversary giveaway! Each year for my blogaversary & my birthday I give away a pack of my favorite goodies. I have so much fun collecting cute little things to put in the packages! :) This year if you win you'll get everything pictured here:

What you'll win: One person will win an assortment of some of my favorite things, all packaged neatly in a cute pink polka dotted satchel:

A pizza tote bag, purple sunglasses, chocolate chip cookie lip balm, astronaut ice cream, a mermaid salt and pepper shaker set, a little pink bow ring, coconut candy, a mint green hair bow, heart shaped plastic straws, daisy ear bud headphones, hello kitty pens, a pink cat-shaped coin purse, a pink bowtie with cats on it (so cute!) and a pink polkta dotted satchel bag.

How to enter: I'm trying out rafflecopter this time! You don't have to do anything special for the first entry. You can get extra entries by tweeting about the giveaway, liking my page on Facebook, pinning a post from my blog (you can actually do this 1x per day for extra entries!) and following me on Bloglovin. 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 open to everyone on planet earth.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway ends on April 5th at 12:01AM EST. 
Winner:  Lyn Brantley Vicknair

Friday, March 28, 2014

starry night

I feel like the worst science nerd on the planet right now -- I haven't watched the new Cosmos yet. I KNOW. It's mostly because the premiere was at the same time as The Walking Dead and after that I thought I might as well just wait and binge watch the whole thing when it's over. But I have to admit that the rabid Carl Sagan fan side of me is a little hesitant to watch it, just because it isn't Carl Sagan. I love Neil deGrasse Tyson and I know Carl Sagan would approve but the original Cosmos means so much to me. It's kind of like if your all time favorite movie was being remade with your all time favorite movie stars. You'd want to see it because you already know you love the story & all your favorite people would be there. But the original was just SO GOOD, part of you wants that to be the only version that ever flickers before your eyes.

dress- c/o miss patina | lady tie - flapper girl | tights - urban outfitters
shoes & polka dot blouse - c/o oasap | wig - minty mix

Thursday, March 27, 2014

lilac and lemon

I think this might be my favorite outfit so far this year.. I just love how lilac & yellow look together and the bow at the top of this dress is to die for! Unfortunately I picked one of the worst days to take pictures (it was snowing. at the end of March. UGH!) so the picture came out really grainy when I lightened it and I was moving my arm when the photo was captured so it's kind of blurry. Somebody once told me that I shouldn't point out the imperfections in my pictures because I'm usually the only one who would notice, but for some reason I always end up talking about them anyway.

My dad sent me this neat link yesterday to a site that documented every single cultural reference on The Office and grouped them by year. You can literally type in ANY year (it even a drop down menu for BC/AD!) and there is a reference. It's pretty awesome, you can check it out here.

dress - vintage, c/o sunday millie | cardigan - forever 21 | shoes - bait footwear
hat - c/o paige lavoie | belt - asos | wig - minty mix

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

my kind of workout

Mother Nature may not have completely gotten the message that it's spring yet (they're predicting snow for tonight! ahhhh!) but we have had a couple days where going outside for more than a few minutes wasn't lethal. On one of those days a few weeks ago, I ventured over to the park for a good old fashioned workout.

By old fashioned I mean the kind of workout I did as a kid. No treadmills, sit-ups or aerobic videos, just simple play. As a grown up I hate any kind of activity that could be classified under the term "working out." It's not that I hate being active, because I actually love it. I just hate how adults have made staying active so darn boring. I don't want to run on a machine indoors watching a cooking show -- I want to be outside jumping rope. You'd be amazed what a good workout you can get from pumping your legs on a swing set, and I guarantee it's 100x more fun than sitting on an elliptical machine in your basement.

I've been thinking a lot lately about childhood vs. grown up things, and how society expects you to stop doing or liking things when you reach a certain age (what age I'm not exactly sure, but I'm assuming sometime between 10 and whatever age you are now) I just think that's sad. I bet a lot of adults pass by swing sets *wishing* they could hop on and experience some of the weightless joy they knew as a child but don't because they think they're too old.

My grandmom has been an avid swing-set fan since I was a kid and at 76 she still loves it. My mom still plays with legos even though me and my brother have long outgrown our interest in them. And my dad, who came with me to the park to take these pictures, had just as much fun at the playground as I did. Basically what I'm saying is -- you're never too old for anything that you enjoy.

gola sneakers - c/o modcloth | hat - gift from casey
sweater - modcloth | skip it - amazon | jeans & coat - old navy

Monday, March 24, 2014

sealed with a kiss

I was watching The Walking Dead last night (no spoilers, promise!) and there were just so many things that crossed my mind while watching it:

- I really love tv. A lot. I just get SO much joy from my favorite tv shows, I wish they were physical objects that I could hug.

- Mad Men is coming back next month!! yay!!

- It's the final season of Mad Men!!! :( :( :(

- I'm SO good at suspension of disbelief. Last night I literally thought to myself that watching this show will come in handy if there ever actually IS a zombie apocalypse because I'll know that stabbing the zombies in the head will kill them. Like as if The Walking Dead has scientifically accurate zombie information or something.

- As much as I love The Walking Dead (and I really, really do) I think I like Talking Dead better. Do you watch it? I am obsessed with Chris Hardwick, for starters. *swoon* And it's just SO fun to hear different theories about the plot, see peeks behind the scenes and (depending on the guests) hear insight from the show-runners and actors.

- I think my dream job would be to do props on a tv set. I'm not going to pursue it because I don't want to live in New York or California and I think that would probably be necessary for that career but it just looks like the best job ever. In Talking Dead last night they showed this tunnel that they created out of wood and it looked exactly like an old deserted concrete train tunnel. I want to be the person who makes wood look like concrete and styrofoam look like rocks.

- Not a spoiler but if you're not super caught up maybe don't keep reading. Chris Hardwick said that the main guest next week after the season finale is going to be Andrew Lincoln. He's never been on the show before... do you think they might kill off Rick? I think it's possible. But I don't want it to happen. 

So those are my tv thoughts. Is anyone watching anything good? Right now the currently-on-air shows that I'm watching are The Walking Dead, Supernatural, Parks & Recreation and Hannibal (And then The Mindy Project and Mad Men when they come back.)

cardigan- c/o oasap | skirt - urban outfitters | shirt - asos | bag - c/o oasap

Friday, March 21, 2014

apartment tour part 1: my kitchen!

FINALLY! :) I decided to start with my kitchen since it's my favorite room in my apartment. A lot of the other rooms feel very "meh" -- I had great plans but their execution just didn't match the awesomeness that I was envisioning in my head. My kitchen, though, came out exactly the way I wanted. I love it so much!! :)

I threw caution to the wind and decided to paint my cabinets (gasp!) and remove the doors. Me and my mom have already figured out how to change everything back (we figured it out before I ever painted in the first place) so if you're a renter, you can stop having heart palpitations now, lol! I have a plan. I promise ;)

The scalloped border at the top is actually craft foam that I cut out in a scalloped pattern and then attached with command strips. Since it has a little texture to it, it actually passes for painted wood if you don't look super close. I wanted a scalloped border desperately. I searched tirelessly for scalloped wood trim locally and kept coming up empty so I came up with this diy version instead. It was much, much cheaper and I think it looks just as great as wood would have :)

I'm not a big candy eater but I like having a lot on hand for guests. And these sweet little jars from Michaels were absolutely perfect for storing it! They remind me of an old time candy shop!

I didn't want to paint the bottom cabinets so we just covered them with curtains, velcro and command strips again. Sidenote -- if you're a renter, command strips should be your new best friend. You can use them to hang basically *anything* and they come off clean. They have them for all different weights, so I've used them for everything from lightweight craft foam to a heavy metal sign.

Also I should probably add that I don't use my stove so the fabric isn't an issue (read: fire hazard) If it was, you could just pull the velcro off and hang the curtains to the side while you cook. But I basically just use my toaster oven for breakfast and lunch and eat dinner at home with my family pretty much every night.

I'm kind of a little obsessed with my microwave. It's MINT GREEN for crying out loud! eeeep! I got it on amazon but it looks like they don't have this color in stock anymore, just black and red (although they look awesome too!) And, bonus, it cooks well too! haha!

I have a loose "ice cream and sweets" theme going on in the kitchen and by far my favorite part of the theme is this jumbo ice cream wood die cut from Everyday is a Holiday. I love everything Jenny and Aaron make and honestly I wish I could just plaster my whole apartment in their artwork - I love it!

I also got those little fake donuts from Home Goods and the melted ice cream is from amazon. The ice cream scoops sitting on the itty bitty scalloped display stand are actually play food from when I was a kid. They still have a bit of the artificial ice cream scent that they had 20 years ago, *sigh*.

Above the stove I have a little cabinet that's perfect for things I don't need to reach very often, like my cookbooks. lol! I'm joking, I do like to cook... I just tend to do it at home and make up my own recipes with whatever is laying around..

The ice cream cone is a nightlight that I got on amazon. My little cat teapot on the right is Lefton. They're usually annoyingly pricey on etsy and ebay but I snagged this one pretty cheap last year in an ebay auction. If I could afford it I'd get the whole cat set (you can see the set here, isn't it cute?!)

The aforementioned toaster oven :) It's actually a toaster and a toaster oven, which I find pretty spiffy! Also I have these beautiful scalloped canisters from Bombay Duck. They don't ship to America so Laura from Cardboard Cities graciously shipped them to me from England. (Thank you Laura!!)

You can't really see them well but I also have scalloped unicorn glasses (yes, SCALLOPS AND UNICORNS) from urban outfitters. I got three last year and then they sold out.. I e-mailed them to ask if they'd be restocking them (I was kind of obsessed with having a whole set) and they said they were discontinued. Sadface!! I was randomly searching for unicorn stuff last week, as you do, and found they had been restocked after all! yay! My mom got me more as an early Christmas gift so now I have a complete set (although they arrived after this picture was taken, so there are only three here.) Sorry, unnecessarily long story alert! :)

One of the first things I decided to do when I had to start buying things to fill up a kitchen was that all of my mugs would be tv show tie-ins. From the left I have LOST, Parks and Recreation, Fringe, Supernatural, Mad Men, The Office, Twin Peaks, Breaking Bad and The Office again. I also have a 30 Rock one on pre-order (it says TGS with Tracy Jordan. I die!) It's probably my favorite thing I've done since I got my own place. I just really like tv...

When I decided on the ice cream theme I knew I had to have a print of Diana's ice cream photo hanging up! Way back when, I got a set of postcards of this photo as one of my first ever etsy purchases. The lamp is from the sadly-no-longer-in-business Fred Flare (although Perpetual Kid has it here!)

On top of my stove I have my little collection of salt and pepper shakers and my (of course) ice cream kitchen timer. The backsplash is magnetic so I used it to display some of my instagram magnets from sticky9. It's mostly my cats, surprise surprise! :)

And that wraps up my kitchen tour! Phew! Next up: my workspace. Coming soon, I promise ;)

ps. Here's the before and after!!! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

pink lemonade

Can you believe tomorrow is spring?! It sure doesn't feel like it yet but it's nice to know that affordably priced fruit (my favorite part of spring and summer, ha!) and higher temperatures are just around the corner. I did actually venture outside yesterday without a heavy winter coat and didn't die from frostbite, which is progress.

Isn't this dress the absolute cutest? I'm a little obsessed with yellow this year and I'm *always* obsessed with polka dots and peter pan collars. Le Bomb Shop is offering 10% off on this dress now through March 26th with code K8ISGR8, so now would be a good time to snatch it up! I think a sweet cotton dress is the perfect way to celebrate the end of winter ;)

ps. I took pictures for the first part of my apartment tour (my kitchen) and I'm posting it this week! Finally! yay!! :)

dress- c/o le bomb shop | cardigan - old navy | shoes - bait footwear
wig- minty mix | hat and belt - forever 21

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm spending the day in NYC with my friend Nicole, who's visiting for a couple days! Last night my mom made her signature St. Patrick's Day dinner for us (colcannon, Irish stew and Irish soda bread) and it was ah-mazing. I wish she'd make it more than once a year, especially the colcannon (it's basically just potatoes and kale but it's SO good!!)

I'll be mailing out all of the shop my closet orders after I get back from New York. I meant to mail them last week but Aunt Annie passed away the day I listed everything and the week ended up going in a different (much sadder) direction than I had planned, so I didn't get to pack the items yet. I promise I'll do it tomorrow though, in fact I pinky swear :) Thanks for your patience if you ordered anything!

dress- vintage from The Paraders | cardigan - forever 21 | wig - minty mix
shoes - bait footwear | brooch - c/o blue window vintage

Friday, March 14, 2014

happy pi day!

Happy Pi Day! I've been saving this pie dress for today, it's just too perfect! Probably could have used a good ironing, but oh well! I also wore my new cutie pi brooch! I don't usually wear too many of my own products but with this one I'm too smitten not to! I think it'll probably be a wardrobe staple, Pi Day or not :)

If you're feeling festive, here's a Pi Day playlist that I made a couple years ago! :)

pie dress- modcloth | cardigan - h&m | cutie pi brooch - sweet and lovely
shoes - bait footwear | wig - minty mix

Thursday, March 13, 2014

my last four books

In February I surpassed my goal of reading 2 books a month and read 4! yay!

First I read The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, like everyone else on the planet. I heard about it on a "must read" list somewhere and bought it, then while it was in transit I started seeing it all over the place and was like "uh, do I really want to read the most popular book on the internet right now?" I also found out it was actually a young-adult book and started having second (triple?) thoughts. But... then it came in the mail and I read the first page and I was hooked. There are going to be people who review this book and put it down because the main characters are teenagers or because you have to go to the YA section of the bookstore to find it, but just don't listen to them. It's beautifully written, incredibly deep and philosophical (not just for a YA book, but for a book, period) and very touching. Yes, it did make me cry (I'm human!) but not in a sappy, deliberately-tugging-at-your-heartstrings, soaring music kind of way. It doesn't jerk your tears, it coerces them. Even if you don't usually like books that make you cry, give it a try.

The second book I read was BJ Novak's One More Thing. I pre-ordered this baby the day that it went up on amazon and lived off of the little teasers that were released online in the weeks before... the epic book trailer, Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak reading excerpts on NPR, sneak peeks on instagram. And when it finally came in the mail I was not disappointed. There were a few stories that I didn't particularly love but the ones that I did like I really, really liked. I absolutely loved his writing style (my favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut and I think some of the stories had the same stark, dry wit) but my favorite thing about the book was how so many of the stories were crafted around the notion of questioning a mundane thing that we all take for granted. My favorite story was The Man Who Invented the Calendar (the full story is available on The New Yorker, here) Either you've wondered these things before (Who exactly invented the calendar? And why the heck would anyone call a month February??) and BJ Novak is finally shining light on a lifelong pet peeve or you haven't wondered these things before and you're grateful to him for finally bringing them to your attention. Either way, he does a brilliant job of it and I wish I was a good enough writer myself to fully express how wonderful I thought his book was.

The third book that I read was The Great Mortality by John Kelly. The subtitle is "an intimate history of the black death" but it took quite a while to get intimate. The first two chapters or so trace the route of the plague across Asia and Europe in the mid 1300's, going into painstaking detail about which merchants entered which ports at what time and how many miles per week the disease trekked across the continent. It's interesting stuff, but I was expecting much more about the actual people who were affected and the way that medieval life was changed by the black death. The author got into that a little more once I was about 3-4 chapters in, but it was still surprisingly dry for a book about what is quite possibly the most devastating event in human history. My main qualm with the book, though, was how often the author would say something in the main body of text -- for instance, his incredibly interesting story about the first recorded incident of biological warfare -- and then when you consult the footnote you find a disclaimer letting you know that most historians believe the above statement to be inaccurate. Um, well why did you include it then? argh! All in all, I did end up liking the book but I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for a different book on this topic.

My last book for February was Tina Fey's Bossypants. I've read it once and then last month I listened to the audio book ... actually re-listened, so I've read this three times now I guess? I just really like Tina Fey, ok? Her book is absolutely hilarious and I highly recommend listening to the audio version if you have the chance. Her words are fantastic but hearing them in her voice with her various intonations is perfection. I was having a particularly rough couple of days when I listened to this and it cheered me up considerably, plus it gave me a little boost of determination and go-get-em' spirit. If laughter is the best medicine, you should definitely keep a copy of Bossypants in your medicine cabinet.