Thursday, May 31

Thirsty Thursday: Champagne Thursday!

Have you seen "Failure to Launch"? While it's not the most sensational acting by any did inspire a great tradition...Champagne Thursday!

My roommate and I try to keep this going as much as possible.  I couldn't find a clip of it, but here's the scene:

Paula: Hey, hey.
Kit: Hey, Paula. Good news. It's Champagne Thursday.
Paula: It's Friday.
Kit: Uh, yeah, Thursday came twice this week.
Paula: For the third straight week.
Kit: There's talk of making it permanent.
Paula: Oh, kind of like Daylight Saving's Time?
Kit: Right, but for booze.

And while we're talking about Zooey Deschanel, here's her best scene, while discussing how to get rid of a pesky mockingbird.

Here are the champagne cocktails I want to try this weekend:

1. The Bellini. Founded by Harry's Bar in Venice (one of my favorite places in the world!!). Use ripe peaches, or creme de peche, with a 1:4 ratio mixed with Prosecco.

2. Kir Royale. Creme de cassis (coconut syrup), topped with champagne.

3. Champagne Cocktail. The ultimate classic; begin by soaking a sugar cube in bitters, drop into flute of champagne, and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Wednesday, May 30

Work Wear Wednesday: Look for Less

Are you like me, where you open the catalog, drop your jaw, and covet an entire look?! Then you look at the prices...and moan.

I thought I'd share my favorite work wear (summer casual) looks, and let's see if we can find a bargain or two.  This week I'll start with my favorite look from Madewell.

Subject one: the turq silk blouse and dotted pants.  Pair with red lips, beachy hair, and brown clutch.

Madewell price: Blouse, $110. Printed denim, $110. Sandals, $59.50. Clutch, $98. Beach Spray, $24
Grand total: $401.50
Look for less:

 Budget price: Top, $29.90. Pants, $36.99. Clutch, $36.99. Sandals, $16.99.  Lipstick, ~$5. Beach Spray, DIY.
Total Price: $125.87

Granted the look isn't 100% the same, but it's a close match! I am still on the hunt for a closer match to the dotted pants (so I can get them for myself :)).
Tuesday, May 29

Top Three Tuesday: 3 Reasons to take one more day off

Are you like me right now? Sitting at your cubicle, wishing for one more day off? Just ONE MORE...and I might feel better about returning today.

So, here's my top three reasons I should have taken one more day off this week. (Keep in mind, I have a half day on Friday ;))

3) You're just getting to a good point in your book.  Whether it's 50 Shades of Grey (I have not embarked on that...journey...and may not) or Story of a Soul, you've probably gotten to the point where you're in deep enough to read more than a page a night before nodding off (ahem, me).

2) You spent most of your time at the pool, and didn't do a bit of cleaning.  Isn't this supposed to be the time of the year where you clean feverishly?  The mop sat there...glaring at me...while I picked up my towel and headed to the pool.  Meanwhile my allergies are going ballistic, and it wouldn't hurt to do some cleaning to try to alleviate the pain.

1) You're just getting that good base layer of tan, and could use another day to commit to more layers. Getting tan takes patience and persistence. I start with SPF 30 and gradually, after I'm confident I won't burn, move on to scary things like SPF 4 with ultra bronzing power.
So there. Maybe I should call it a day and go accomplish some of these...
Friday, May 25

Finally Friday: Doing Your Own Hair

I subscribe to Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP emails. There is a blog, but I usually focus more on the monthly email blast.  Yesterday I received one about doing your own hair, which is so ironic since tomorrow I'm trying out the DryBar for the first time! Ha. Anyways.. George Northwood walks us through a perfect blow dry, beachy waves, and curls, complete with a video, step-by-step guide, and product listing along the way.  Hoooold me back because all I want to do is get ALL of these products!

Here is the link to the GOOP newsletter.

I'm sure you think that blow-drying your hair is easy, and intuitive, but I'm actually not very good at it.  George talks about drying it 90% of the way, then using a round brush.  Does anyone feel like it's hard to look in the mirror and fully function your hands to do your hair? I get so turned around!

I'm also eager to try the beachy waves look.  I don't know how to use a curling iron, so maybe a curling wand would be an easier transition.  I may test some of these products, or less expensive ones that claim to do the same thing, so that I can share the results with you!!

PS is anyone noticing the return of the LONG TIME BANNED product mousse!? Some are calling it "styling whip" but let's call it like it is...mousse. You know, that product you loooooved that made your hair nice and crunchy...yikes.  It's back!  But the goal is more to create adequate hold, but no crunch.  I may get my hands on Pantene's version this weekend.

If you haven't signed up for the GOOP emails, you really should.
Thursday, May 24

Thirsty Thursday: Summer Cocktails

So I completely forgot to blog yesterday.  Literally, in the afternoon I Skyped Julie and said "I completely forgot to blog!" Good story, right?

And I was thinking about this week, and how all I want to do is sit on the patio and have a refreshing cocktail.  I went to Sissy's on Tuesday, a new restaurant to Dallas, and had a delicious cucumber/vodka based drink in a slim mason jar. That experience encouraged me to research some other tasty cocktails to make for the patio.

Here are the three I want to try:

1) Lime Cucumber Fizz.
  • 2 slices of peeled cucumber
  • 4-6 fresh mint leaves
  • 4-6 cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1.5 oz. of Kettle One vodka
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 2 or 4 oz. club soda

2) Pimm's Cup. Must be careful with this one. Julie's husband was drastically over-served with these at our cousin's wedding in South Africa last year ;)
  • 2 oz. Pimm’s Cup Liqueur
  • 5-6 oz. Sparkling Lemonade (or lemon/lime soda in a pinch)
  • 2 Mint leaves
  • 2 Cucumber Slices

3) Dark & Stormy. I've made this before, by boiling ginger instead of using ginger beer already made. It was a process that was well worth the outcome, IMO. The lime wedge hits the spot.
  • 2 oz. Dark Rum
  • 3-5 oz. Ginger Beer
  • 1 Lime Wedge
 Have you tried any others? Share your favorites!!
Tuesday, May 22

Top Three Tuesday: Must Have Jewelry On A Budget

Girls...we love our bling. One of my friends says my roommate and I should follow Coco Chanel's advice and  "Always remove one thing before you leave the house. Less is more."

I'm sorry, Coco, but the style today seems to follow a "more is more" belief.  However, it doesn't have to mean more is more money. 

These are my Top Three favorite jewelry trends right now, and how to do it on the cheap (which I do!)

3) Stacking rings.  I love the mix of gold and rose gold super fine bands that you can stack and wear on multiple fingers, on both hands.  I see them in nicer stores for $50+ a piece, but I found a stack of 3 on Etsy (gold filled) for $38!  Shipping takes a few weeks, but it's worth it. For some other options, try here, here, and here.  My roommate even found a super inexpensive neon ring!

2) Bold watches. I love watches. I have nice watches, and inexpensive ones. I have gold, and stainless. Leather, and ceramic. They can be trendy or timeless, depending on the $ you drop on them.  I love the mint rubber watch from Anthropologie, and what a deal at $58! Other great options here, and here.  If you pick up the Target Timex, stop on over to JCrew for a bold new strap in stripe or solid.  And if you are willing to drop $100, try Fossil for some great deals!

3) Bracelets. I love them braided, beaded, gilded, and chained. I will wear 1, or 4, depending on the weather or my mood.  They're not even hard to find right now.  Anthropologie even jumped on the wagon, and most of theirs are AFFORDABLE! Madewell has a bracelet bar table (that I set up last week!) in the Dallas store. Here, here, here, here, and here are my favorite options. This one from JCrew is a little more than I want to spend, but maybe I can snag it on sale!  Same with this one from Anthropologie.

Hopefully this helped you find some affordable fashion in every day stores for my favorite jewelry trends!
Monday, May 21

Manic Monday: M83

You work hard. You make it till Friday. It takes ages (feels like it). It's finally here. You pack the weekend full of great things...friends...sun...grilling....and maybe an M83 show.  Then you blink and it's Monday morning and you feel like you're back in college again, recovering from an all-nighter.

M83 was worth it.  It was definitely one of the best live performances I've ever been to.

If you haven't heard of them, you should listen to them here, here, or here.  When I reviewed their most recent album, I described the album as "dreamy".  So was their performance. 

And here are some pictures I'm borrowing from my friend Luis in order to share with you here.

I may or may not have a girl crush on the vocalist/keyboardist Morgan Kibby
Thursday, May 17

Thrifty Thursday: White Girl Problem Solved.

So, I have this problem. It's a shoe-love problem. And a designer-shoe-love-problem at that.

Enter: Valentino jelly bow flats.

Look at those! They're adorable. They're simple but complex. They're nude. They're feminine but pool-friendly. Isn't that everything you want in a sandal?!

What? Oh.. the price? Ya.. about that. I just couldn't bring myself to click "add to shopping bag".  I searched on ebay. I searched on craigslist. I searched on Bluefly and all those other sites.  To my dismay, they're $295 across the board.

So I moved on.

Then one morning last week, I was enjoying my coffee and breakfast and perusing the very sophisticated US Weekly and saw a tiny caption under some jelly bow flats...Ivanka Trump. 

So I googled.

And I found that, on Bloomingdale's, they're $50. If you do the math, that is almost 1/6th of the price.

And check THEM out:
I immediately added them into my cart. And guiltlessly add them to my brown bag. And did a happy dance in celebration.

This is definitely an accomplishment in solving a very "White Girl Problem", and I'm pretty satisfied.   Stay tuned for when I receive them, and adore them.
Wednesday, May 16

Hump Day Videos

I have little to say today, because these videos are awesome and speak for themselves.
Tuesday, May 15

Top Three Tuesday: Nail Colors to Try Now

I mentioned one of these here.

3) Mustard.  After work I'm going to get my gel polish soaked off so I can try this color tonight.  I ordered it from Nordstrom, because it's the only one I could find.

2) Periwinkle/pastel blue. It's cute on toes, and I bet on fingers too. The other pastels are a must as well, such as Barbie pink.  I currently have this on my toes.  I am not a lover of pink (as mentioned here), but I can't help but love this shade!

1) Shiny Metallics. I typically steer away from the sparkly polish, but something about pairing metallic with neutral/metallic shoes has me intrigued.

Do you have any favorites to add to the list?
Monday, May 14

Manic Monday Part IV: The Final Patio Post

Well, at least until I do something monumental out there like hang a flat screen TV (don't put it past me...I've already thought about where it would go. I just have to figure out how to protect it from the elements).

So you've seen the patio pics here and here.  We planted some annuals this weekend, purchased various partial-sun flowers and plants for the pots, and the most ridiculously adorable patio furniture, as well as some accents from Ikea, all in one Saturday (notice how I didn't say weekend because we left Sunday for enjoying said finished product).

Here are the results:

We had to assemble the glider...which was difficult but not impossible.  The turquoise chairs came already assembled. The white "wicker" (actually plastic!!) chair came from Ikea.  The coffee table as well, and the two side tables (one white, one turq, which I can't find online but are no more than $4 each).

Impatiens surround the tree (in a coral color, hard to see in these pics!).  I grabbed any colorful partial-sun flowers/plants I liked/could find to create mixed pots between the glider and chairs. 

Sunday morning I found some ants visiting the coffee table, so we went to Lowe's and got some ant/bug fogger and some ant baits.  Do NOT mess with my oasis, people.

Anthropologie has darling outdoor/summer living accessories.  May find a way to make this, or buy this.

...and now back to work :)

ps, if you're already following me on instagram, sorry for the repetitive pictures :)
Friday, May 11

Finally Friday: Nothing too Relevant Here

I tried Starbucks' Seasonal Blend...the Three Region Blend. The description said "...a lush bouquet of flowers and herbs...". Well, IMO it tasted a little too herb-y this morning.  I will give it a second try, but so far, underwhelmed.

A couple Fridays ago I posted a rant reflection about the evils of comparison.  This week, I was sent an article by the same gal about the evils of PMS. And sorry I'm not sorry to any (any?) male readers, but I have to share it.

This was my favorite bullet point.  I think it actually ties into my reflection about comparison, since it talks about Facebook ... that's as far as I'm going with that.  Really, you must read this whole article. It hits home when you feel like the walls are crashing down around you and no one even cares about you/loves you any more.

On that positive and upbeat note...HAPPY FRIDAY!
Thursday, May 10

No Thinking Thursday

Instead of thrifting, I choose to not think today.

Couple of vital things to share.

1) my traffic sources are now increasingly awkward and interesting.
a) I can't think why Matt Bean would be in my blog. Or "matt bean" for that matter. Did anyone watch New Girl this week? Their temporary new roommate introduces himself as Neil and uses air quotes...*

b) Please note the keyword eecard no job college.  This sounds like cave man talk.

c) I love that my friend LE is search-able in my blog.

d) and who knew the flowchart posted here would create such a following.  I received both positive and negative feedback for sharing that.

* I found the mention of Matt Bean.

2) McDonald's has pushed out a new oatmeal.  Blueberry Banana-nut. It's fantastic. You should go try it.  Plus you can custom order you coffee, and you DO get service with a smile.
Wednesday, May 9

Work Wear Wednesday: Where did all the Cardigans Go?

No but seriously. Where are all the cardigans? JCrew and Madewell used to stock them aplenty, and now I am struggling to find one to fit my purpose.

I know I have a lot of cardigans, but I also wear them every damn day and wear a small-sizable hole in the right elbow of almost every damn one.  This morning I really needed (white girl problem) a neutral cardigan. And the one brown-ish one I have has a huge hole in said elbow. So I thought I'd peruse the interweb looking for a replacement, but it seems I'll have to do the fixing myself.

Then comes Pinterest.

I'm going to just patch my elbows instead of searching for a cardigan that doesn't exist, and wait until the stores shape up and make some more.

Images I like:

And here's an easy-to-follow tutorial.
and another.
and this is interesting.
what's with the stuffed animal? but I like the patches. several ideas from her.

has anyone else attempted this?

I bought some felt with adhesive on the back.  I would re-enforce it with extra stitching just to be sure.

Tuesday, May 8

Top Three Tuesday: Bargain Beauty Finds

Look, I know I post a lot about beauty items. But aren't you glad I've tested the name brand and the cheap version and have come to the conclusion that the cheaper works JUST AS WELL?

3. Lipstick: Revlon Fire & Ice. Compare to Nars Heatwave.

Cost Savings? Almost $20!

Confession? I have both. I alternate all the time. Both stay on fairly well, and don't make my lips so crusty and dry.

2. Blush: Elf Studio for Target, Fuchsia Fusion (Isn't fuchsia spelled weird?). Compare to: Nars Bright Candy Pink.

Cost Savings? $23!

Confession? I also have both of these. And more. I have the Nars duo that is absolutely fantastic, and my sister swears that the Elf duo is just as good.

1. Mascara: CoverGirl Lashblast Mascara, in black. Now I will confess. I'm a mascara-holic. And until recently, I was buying my mascara at Sephora.  I went from DiorShow to Buxom to BADgal. And back to the grocery store.

Cost Savings? Anywhere from $15-20!

Confession? I also just bought an eyelash comb, in my obsession to rid my eyelashes of clumps.

I promise to try to maybe blog about something a little more exciting tomorrow, and in a more timely manner than you've been used to this week.
Monday, May 7

Manic Monday Part III

It's manic since I'm posting in the afternoon. Right? Right.

So this weekend my very energetic mother and I painted (and cleaned...vacuumed...discovered what's been under the bed for 3 get the idea) my bedroom! I couldn't be more happy with the color and enjoyed spending time with her.

My roommate took some pretty great pics of it with some app she'll have to show me later. :)
Thursday, May 3

Thrifty Thursday-Making Over a Room

This post is inspired by the activity that will occupy my weekend...a little room revamp!

I am re-painting my room.  When I first bought my condo, I think I used the wrong kind of paint, and use a semi gloss. Ew. It is a pale yellow and pretty much looks like a color used in a retirement center.  I want to liven it up a bit, so I'm getting this fantastic color below:
Spectra Blue. Sounds fun right? Now for the "thrifty" part.

Benjamin Moore makes the best paint colors.  You know what I don't dig? The price.  A can of paint ranges from $36-$68.  I beat the system by going to Home Depot with color swatch in hand, and having them color match and mix the paint. I go with Glidden flat paint at $24.99 a gallon. Much better, right?

Instead of fancy painting trays I just get the plastic ones. Throw them away when you're done!

For trimming, I use these cheap brushes.  I will get 3-4 for this project.  (Tip-if you want to take a break, wrap the brush with saran wrap and stick it in the freezer! You don't need to wash the paint off either!). For rollers, I use something like this.  I like the furry rollers because it gets into the texture on the wall.

Later on, I'm going to make new curtains for my room.  For now, my room is getting a massive makeover, and the total cost is:

2 gallons of paint @ $24.99    =   $49.98
3 trim brushes @ $1.15    =         $3.45
1 package of rollers @ $8.97 =   $8.97
2 plastic trays @ $1.97   =          $3.94
Total Cost    =                            $66.34

I'll take pictures and share the results Monday :)
Wednesday, May 2

Top Three Tuesday-On Wednesday !

I know it's Wednesday. But didn't yesterday feel like a second Monday? I almost didn't believe it was actually Wednesday today. Almost.

But since I went to Florence + the Machines last night, and since it has forever changed me (exaggerate much?), I will post my top three favorite tunes of Flo's.

And she is fabulous, gorgeous, zany, weird, and I want to have a cute British accent like hers now. Great.

3) Hurricane Drunk:

2) Cosmic Love:

3) Shake it Out:

honorable mention: Never Let Me Go

What are your favorites?