wishlist wednesday

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Style Idol - Ann-Margret

recipe: chocolate covered strawberry smoothie

I've been having a smoothie every morning this year, and this week I was in the mood for something a little extra delectable and decided to forgo my normal fruit-and-ginger concoction for something with chocolate! This literally tasted like a chocolate covered strawberry, it was so yummy! Also, sidenote, I have a really hard time swallowing pills and making a daily smoothie to take them with has helped tremendously. It's thick enough that I can't really tell the pill is in my mouth, which makes it a lot easier to swallow it. I know it might not work for everyone but if you have the same problem I recommend trying this :)

To make the smoothie, just blend together a handful of frozen strawberries, half of a bar of dark chocolate (I used a 78% cacao bar), 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 c. unsweetened coconut milk, 1/4 c. cold water, and 2 ice cubes. Add honey to taste. (I like mine a little on the not-too-sweet side!)

Before/After daisy bookshelf

I just got this vintage wicker bookshelf last week and I'm so happy with how my paint job turned out! I painted the shelf light pink and then I painted the daisies off-white with yellow centers. It was a much more time-intensive job than I anticipated, taking about 4 hours total, but it was so worth it! Here is a before and after shot to show what a difference a little paint can make!

The shelf had originally been painted dark green, and then somebody spray painted it a light cream color on top. But they didn't do a great job, with lots of the dark green seeping through. The cream color was also yellowing from age, and even though I wiped it down it still looked really dirty. I think it would have looked so pretty natural, without any paint at all, but I wouldn't even know where to begin to get it to look like that. I absolutely love how it turned out, though! And I'm so glad that I painted the daisies white and yellow instead of slathering the whole shelf in pink paint. It adds more visual interest and makes the piece look more unique, I think!

I bought this piece used (obviously, haha) but someone on ebay has shorter 3-shelf versions of this shelf brand new, right here. I actually bought one of the little ones and I'm debating whether or not I'll paint it to match. Hmm..

Clarissa Explains It All valentines!

When I was in third grade, my teacher taped all of the valentines she received to the front of her desk. That year, one of her past students gave her a Clarissa Explains it All valentine and when I saw it, I FLIPPED OUT. It was (and still is) one of my absolute favorite tv shows, and ever since that fateful day in 1994 I have wanted to find some Clarissa valentines for myself. I know it sounds like I'm exaggerating and just being dramatic, BUT NO, I have been looking for these ever since my dad signed up for ebay, and I've had a saved search for these ever since I got my own ebay account. It is, in a word, an obsession.

A few years ago I managed to get like 5 valentines that somebody was selling unboxed. It was a dream come true at the time, but little did I know that in the cold, frigid winter of 2019 it would get EVEN BETTER.

First, in January, somebody listed a complete box of cards from 1996. It was an auction-style listing so I had butterflies in my stomach for six days waiting to see if somebody would outbid me, but I ended up snagging it! Many happy dances ensued. And then, magically, last week somebody else listed a complete box of cards from 1993! And it was a buy it now listing! I have never added-to-cart-and-checked-out so fast in my life.

And now here I am, in possession of the treasure I have sought for a quarter century.

But wait, that's not all!

I decided to just keep (and FRAME. I'm insufferable!) one complete set from each box, plus the boxes. The rest of the cards are available in my '90s valentine sets right here (I take requests!)

AND because I think it would be a crying shame to hoard these images, I scanned them all and you can download them for free right here

Whenever I find holy grail stuff like this I hope that maybe somewhere out there there's another girl who missed out on this and has been waiting patiently for somebody to upload the entire collection of Clarissa Explains it All valentines to the world wide web. Maybe I'm the only one (it's honestly more likely, lol!) but I hope that somebody who really wanted to find this finds this.

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!

ps. my t-shirt is from hot topic

can't you hear my heartbeat

This dress is one of the first things I've purchased for my upcoming trip to France this summer! It struck me as such a summery dress that I was actually surprised when I put on this outfit and realized it worked. It's always exciting when I realize a piece is going to be a lot more versatile than I originally imagined!

I hope everyone has fun plans for Valentine's Day! I had a Rainforest Cafe gift card so I went out with my family for a pre-Valentine's Day dinner last night. And today I'm probably just going to watch some movies and hang out with my valentine (my cat, of course!) I might also treat myself to some take-out and chocolate. My favorite candy right now is Theo sea salt dark chocolate. It's so, so good but definitely healthier than eating a Snickers, lol!

dress - asos | tights - amazon | shoes - aldo
purse - forever 21 (old)

wishlist wednesday

1. Beverly Hills sweater
2. Pink sock boots
3. Faux stone pink earrings
4. Cat eye sunglasses
5. Green polka dot headscarf
6. Pink v-neck dress
7. Green strappy sandals
8. Green belt

PS. For all of my fellow vintage fashion enthusiasts, my friend Raquel did a great interview with the fashion designer for the movie The Vast of Night, which features lots of '50s style clothes & vintage! You can check out the interview here!

beauty school dropout

I just watched Grease yesterday and it brought back so many memories of watching this movie with my friends during summer sleepovers when I was little! We had a couple go-to slumber party movies, and Grease was definitely the most popular. We memorized all the songs and learned how to do the hand jive. You guys know I am a total sucker for nostalgia, and if you are too I highly suggest spending a night rewatching movies that take you back to your childhood. It's just so much fun! Bonus points if you're still friends with the people you knew back then and then you can have a reunion slumber party! Don't forget to bring Girl Talk!

shirt - asos | skirt - c/o lularoe | shoes - aldo

my top five: things I don't want to do today

As this week's reigning champion for Laziest Person on Planet Earth, I thought it would be fitting for today's Top Five installment to be five things that I do not want to do today.

1. Cook myself lunch
Last night I made "dinner for two" for one, with the intention of saving half of my meal to eat as leftovers today. But then I got really hungry around midnight and I ate it! I don't feel too guilty about it since it was mostly vegetables with a little beans and rice (maybe that's why I was so hungry at midnight, ha!) so I'm lunchless today. Solution? I'm ordering take out from The Simple Greek (sidenote - this is my absolute favorite food chain and if you have one near you, you need to try it! My favorite meal that I get there is the build-your-own pita with falafel, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, chick peas, olive oil, salt, and oregano. YUM!! They also have the best french fries I've ever tasted in my life. And that includes McDonalds.)

2. Clean my humidifier
As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I got a humidifier this week! This particular winter has been so dry in my house that I decided to cave in and get a nice humidifier. It's only been a couple days but it's SO worth it already. My nose hasn't been stuffy or dry, my skin feels better, my lips even feel less parched, and the air feels soft somehow!?! It's beautiful! The only problem is that you have to clean humidifiers once a week and I decided my Humidifier Cleaning Day would be Saturday which means I have to clean it today. But I don't wanna.

3. Paint a shelf
I got a vintage shelving unit that I have to freshen up with a new coat of paint and I'm VERY excited about how it's going to turn out once it's done. I'm very excited about putting it up in my room and finally getting that pile of "things to put on the shelf" off of my floor. But do I feel like actually putting in the effort to get the shelf from "needs a coat of paint" to "painted and beautiful"? Not quite.

4. Taxes, ugh.
I'll be honest, this has been on my to-do-list for exactly 6 weeks now and it is 100% not getting done today. I actually did very good with record keeping last year, for the first time in my whole life, but it's still my least favorite thing I have to do every year. And the amount of days I have left to "put it off until tomorrow" are dwindling quicker and quicker.

5. Write this blog post
Normally I schedule my posts at least the day before they have to go up, but not today! Normally I keep a blog planner where I map out what "top five" I'll be doing each week. Not today! After I finished my morning work, I frantically looked around my room for something, anything, I could categorize into a list of five items. But more than anything else, I just kept coming back to my to-do list which contains a multitude of must-do tasks that I don't actually feel like completing. At least now I can cross off one of them, though! ;D

archival footage

I'm cheating a bit with my outfit post today and using an outtake from two months ago! It's just such a fitting outfit for the week before Valentine's Day, isn't it?

I just didn't feel like getting dolled up pretty much any day this week. I've had a sinus infection for about a week (although I just got a humidifier yesterday and it helped me to have my first good, full night of sleep since last Friday!) and then on Wednesday I injured myself pretty badly during a picture framing mishap and ended up having to go to the doctor to get bandaged up and get a tetanus shot (WOW does that shot make your arm sore!!) I've just been a walking disaster all week long!

Also, this is totally off subject, but if anyone has this coat from ASOS in a size Petite US6 and wants to sell it please please please drop me an email! It's my favorite coat that I wear almost every time I leave the house, but the size I have is too big on me now and ASOS is sold out of US6 :(

Update: ASOS restocked the coat so I was able to snag one!! Yay!

sweater - lazy oaf | skirt - lazy oaf | shoes - bait footwear

DIY houseplant for your cat

Lately Arrietty has really been enjoying rubbing her face in my houseplants. They're cat safe, so I don't have to worry for her sake, but my plants on the other hand! They're already looking a little the worse for wear because of the lack of sunshine this time of year, and those cat nuzzles are not helping matters any. So I decided to make Arrietty her own plant that she can rub her face in as much as she wants! She's already taken a liking to it so I'd say this DIY was a success!

Materials needed:

A ceramic pot
Plastic grass
Two feather stick cat toys
River rocks
Spray catnip
Styrofoam plant base
Brown kraft paper
Non-toxic glue

When you're shopping for the greenery, make sure you pick something with very substantial leaves that your cat won't be able to ingest. Mine had some small, thin pieces sticking out of it so I plucked them out beforehand.

Add some river rocks to the bottom of your pot for weight, and then put the styrofoam on top of it. Insert your plastic greenery. Using a sharp utility knife, cut off the bulk of the stick on the feather toys and then insert the shorter sticks into the styrofoam.

I forgot to take pictures of the next step, but to cover up the styrofoam just attach small crumpled pieces of brown kraft paper to the foam with non-toxic glue. Once the foam is entirely covered in the brown paper (I did two layers of paper to make sure the foam was totally inaccessible) spritz the ends of the leaves with catnip spray to entice your kitty away from your pretty parlor palms and into their own feline garden!

I can't say how happy I am with this project! Arrietty is content with her plant and has been staying away from the real plants. I just spray the leaves whenever I think it needs a little catnip refresh.

Style Idol - Susan Strasberg

pixie growth progress

It's been just about two years since I chopped off all of my hair and got a pixie cut. I didn't like it. I knew the process of growing it back out would be long and daunting, so I kept getting trims for several months before I started to grow it out again. I've spent the better part of these two years wearing wigs and hats, but I documented the growth almost every month for my one second a day video last year and thought I'd share the progress with you today! Here is where I started, with a super short blonde pixie:

If you're thinking about getting a pixie, be 100% positive that it's what you want to do. I did it on a whim and I regretted it so much. If your hairstylist can tell you if you have any cowlicks that might be hard to style with a pixie, try to find that out first. I had two really bad cowlicks that weren't too noticeable with long hair but stuck straight up once my hair was cut short.

I had this idea that a pixie would make my hair more manageable, that I'd be able to just wake up and be good to go! But my hair took so much more effort when it was short than it did at any other length. I shower at night, and by morning my hair was a mess. I'd have to re-wet it and restyle it. It took more gel and mousse than you'd imagine to tame my stubborn cowlicks. And about 1-2 weeks after each trim it would start to look unkempt around the edges. Sometimes I'd have my mom shave the back for me in between trims just so I felt like the cut looked clean.

I stopped getting it trimmed in September of 2017. Here is a look at the progress that I made over the last year and a half of growing it out:

If you got a pixie and you're trying to grow it out, just be patient. I can't even tell you how many tutorials I watched on youtube about growing out pixies, or how many supplements and shampoos I researched. I met with a stylist about getting tape-in extensions. I took biotin religiously and massaged my scalp like it was a full time job. I only bleached my hair once during the whole growth process (I missed having pink hair!) and avoided heat styling like it was the plague. In the end, your hair is going to grow at the rate it grows. Which is usually 1/2" every month. My hair stylist said that mine grew a little faster than normal, but I think that's just my normal growth cycle (based on how often I've had to touch it up in between dye jobs in the past, I don't think my efforts to speed up the pixie growth actually made any difference.)

And, honestly, if you're like me and you don't like the way your hair looks while it's growing, wear a wig! I had two wigs that I wore constantly, especially during the first 6 months that I was growing it out. I *hated* my hair at the time I went to Paris in 2017, so I wore a wig the whole time. I knew that I'd hate my travel photos if I was sporting a partially grown-out pixie, so I donned a long dark blonde wig and a knitted hat. And obviously I've been wearing a wig in my outfit pictures since 2017. My favorite sources for wigs are ebay (I try to buy from US sellers now since a lot of the ones I've purchased from China don't actually look anything like the photos in the listings) and Keke Wigs on etsy. My pink wig is from her shop and it's so realistic and durable. And I love that it's not super shiny, so it actually looks like hair.

After 17 months of growth, my hair still doesn't touch my shoulders. But it's *almost* there. I have some shorter layers in the back since I kept going in to get the back trimmed during the growth progress to avoid having a mullet. I'd say I'm about 3-4 months away from being able to do my favorite hairstyle, maiden twists. And I think my hair is long enough that if I can find clip-in extensions that match my hair color I can do top knots and high ponytails right now.

I'm not sure if I'll keep wearing my pink wig for outfit pictures. I've reached a point where I hardly ever feel like I have to wear my wig when I go out anymore, but I still feel self conscious about it in photos. It's still way shorter than I'd like, and since I'm still trying to baby it I've been avoiding bleach (so, no pink for a while...) Either way, I just wanted to share my story in case anyone else is contemplating a pixie or is going through the long tedious growth progress along with me. We'll get there... eventually! ;D

my top five: things that are making me happy

This year I've been trying to be more deliberate in how I spend my time (ie. not wasting away hours scrolling through twitter or pinterest.) I've been focusing on things that always make me happy, and trying to do, well, more of that. It's really been brightening my mood considerably -- as long as I am doing one of my happy activities, I'm usually good.

First up is reading. I LOVE reading but in 2017 and 2018 I really didn't devote that much time to it. I always have a deep regret when I look at my goodreads account at the end of a year and see that I barely finished any of the books I started (I have a terrible habit of starting a book, getting halfway through, and then starting another book.) So far this year I've read 10 books and I'll be so disappointed in myself if I end up slipping as the year goes on. I enjoy reading so much, I just need to be deliberate about how I spend my time to make sure I work it into my day.

Arrietty!! She really should have been first but blogger uploaded the photos in this order and I don't feel like changing it (so lazy omg.) Literally nothing in this entire world makes me happier than this cat. She is the absolute sweetest creature, so adorable, so affectionate, and so silly. I have very few humans in my life that love me (or even like me, lol) but this sweet sweet darling loves me *almost* as much as I love her, and I feel so incredibly grateful for her every day.

Third is cooking! Ever since I started eating healthy back in September I've been enjoying cooking so much more than I used to. Most days I stick with a variation on the same meal (zucchini noodles, tomatoes, broccoli or asparagus, and chick peas.) but a few times each week I'll try a brand new recipe. I listen to podcasts or audiobooks while I cook, and just let myself totally enjoy the experience of cooking dinner. And when I'm done, I eat at the table instead of in front of the tv or computer.

A few recipes I've tried recently that I am head-over-heels in love with -- carrot cake baked oatmeal (I am avoiding eggs, so I subbed in 1 tbsp. chia seeds and 1/3 c. water),  kale and wild rice bowl (I used a quinoa/wild rice combo, and skipped the feta cheese), and butternut squash kale salad with chickpeas and cranberries (I made this into more of a hot meal by combining everything in a skillet, and I used frozen butternut squash noodles!)

Movies! I have to admit I did not do great with my movie intake in January, but last week I made it a goal to watch one movie every night. I recently got this floor cushion (it reminds me of a Winnie The Pooh-printed one that me and my brother used to have when we were little!) and I've been laying it on the floor in front of my computer, filling up a bowl of popcorn, and enjoying a nice relaxing end to the day. My favorite new-to-me movie that I watched so far this year was Zodiac. This movie is 157 minutes long (!!!) but it felt like 90. It was so gripping and well-made that the 2+ hour running time zipped right by.

Lastly, Disney World! Me and my mom are going to be there April 10-16 and it's time to start planning! We can book fast passes and restaurant reservations starting next week! It's been two years since I was in Disney World so I'm incredibly excited to be going back. I loved Disneyland and Disneyland Paris but Disney World is my favorite, where I feel the most at home. Whenever my brain starts drifting into unhappy territory, I just start thinking about dole whip and the small world ride, the Paris pavilion at Epcot, my favorite broccoli slaw sandwich in Liberty Square, the smell of popcorn wafting through the air, the song It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow from the carousel of progress. Only two months to go!


I just read this great article from refinery29 about how a lot of times single women put things off for "someday" when they're part of a couple, instead of living the life they want to live right now. The author talks about going to Italy despite always thinking of that trip as something she'd want to do with a partner, which was definitely how I felt when I booked my trip to Paris and Rome in 2016. I think most people, when they think of the Eiffel Tower glittering at night or a twilight cruise along the Seine, they imagine being able to experience that with someone they love, casually slipping your hand in theirs as you take in the magic together. But at 29 I was like "forget that" and I went by myself, and it was the best week of my life.

There are a lot of things I've still "someday"-ed though, and that needs to change. I someday buying my own place (partially because I honestly cannot afford it, but also because I'm a scaredy cat who likes having someone around to check under beds and take care of spiders). I someday trips to the beach. Yes, I can galavant around Montmartre solo but the idea of running into the waves by myself has always felt lacking.

One "someday" that I just decided to "right now" is hosting holidays. I always thought I'd have to wait until I was part of a duo, with a house of my own, before I could host a holiday dinner. But I'm officially doing Easter this year! I am 32 years old, and I've always wanted to do this. Why not NOW. I'm making ham and potato salad for my carnivorous mom & Grandmom and vegetable pot pies for the rest of us. I'm making roasted carrots and chocolate dipped strawberries decorated to look like easter eggs! I already picked up some cute cloth napkins from Pier 1, and started planning a grown up easter egg hunt for the afternoon.

A couple years ago I gave up on "someday" as far as it applies to love. It's not happening for me. But it wasn't until I read that article that I realized I've still, somehow, been clinging to "somedays" when it comes to traditions, big purchases, trips, etc. Not anymore :)

blouse - banned retro | cardigan - forever 21
shoes - bait footwear | skirt - vintage