Monday, May 28, 2012

Life Lately: Here's To New Beginnings, Koi Ponds and Doodles.

How your blog sausage is made. My house mate's girlfriend is a real writer (she writes for a newspaper and has a degree and stuff), so her and I like to go and have $6 lattes and try get some writing done. It's kind of a rule, you aren't actually a writer unless you have a MacBook and write in public- it's science. If you are in Newport, you simple MUST grab a Honey Vanilla Latte at Kéan, if you order it in a mug they'll spell your name out in honey if you ask them to. Sidebar: I always ask them to.

Knotted Black "Tip Of The Iceberg" Sandals / Seychelles

After visiting Hayley at work, I had to make a quick stop at one of my favorite places in the whole world, the Koi Pond at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, CA. Since I was a little girl I've loved skipping over the stones and attempting to not fall into the water- are we actually sure that  Koi don't eat people, because I'm still not 100% on that.

At Portola Coffe Lab, Mark enjoys being a giant and drinking from the tiniest cup ever purely for my amusement.

The white Miniature Schnauzer Alarm Clock. Nigel is just so photogenic.

Hippie grocery shopping at Mother's Market.

Henry representing the Snug Life.

Two of my prom girls. So much fun to have a small group over at the house for a prom make-up and hair sesh. Oh! to be 18 again.

Finally got a proper manicure, loving this pale cool pink.
Nail Laquer in “Teddy Girl” / Butter London

Saturday night socializing with Hayley, Julie and Carrie at Wine Lab in Costa Mesa. I highly recommend anything from Henry Ostini Vineyards- the Hitching Post Cork Dancer Pinot Noir is the red wine that made me love red wines. I just can't do the white wine, it cracks me out. I end up unable to sleep, wanting to clean my house and take apart and put back together electronics. Red wine does make me feel sexy and sleepy, so it's a nice way to spend a mellow evening.

DOODLES! I don't know what kind these are (maybe Goldendoodles?), but they looked like Muppets and I wanted to take them home. I'm not usually a fan of big dogs, but when they look like Fraggles and demand tummy rubs, exceptions can be made.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Simple Things Sunday: Feliz Compleaños, Glitter and Star Wars Shirts

This week has been a super busy and eventful one, so I apologize for my lack of presence on my blog. Lots of really great things are happening, so I’ve just been kind of relishing in the joy of it all. I’ve been meaning to post a bit more about Hayley’s birthday extravaganza earlier this month and one of my favorite birthday crafts I’ve done in a while. Now, Hayley claims she doesn’t remember this conversation, but at one point during the talk of planning her birthday she mentioned that she wanted to see more creative phrases than the simple “Happy Birthday”. You just can’t tell a person like me these kinds of things- and I’ll tell you why. Because you will get exactly what you ask for.
Tortoise Horn-Rimmed Glasses / Derek Cardigan
Vintage Style Star Wars T-Shirt / Forever21
Black and Gold Layered Necklace / H&M
Blue Multi-Layer Beaded Necklace / Forever21

 I decided to go with a Spanish twist on the ol’ “Happy Birthday” and go with Feliz Cumpleaños. I already had it worked out in my head how it would look- but I also need to curb myself from going into the poorhouse whenever birthdays and holidays come around because in my grown-up brain, I can somehow justify spending a fortune on party stuff. A couple years ago, for my friend Carrie’s birthday, I made a papier-mâché flying pig piggy bank sculpture thing when I was asked to make a simple donation jar. When my friend, Roman, turned thirty-seven, I concluded that it just wouldn’t be a party without a proper wild-west theme including feathered headbands, cowboy hats and felt mustaches-on-sticks. Not to mention the phase I went through when I was just making cupcakes and desserts for no good reason all of the time. It can get expensive to be crafty.

The glitter I chose was a really pretty nude-gold that I picked up at Micheal's in the scrap booking department.
The typo was an easy fix.

For Hayley’s banner, I wanted to keep myself around a $25 budget and I actually managed to stay well within that. I printed out the letters in the size and font I wanted and made a stencil that was then traced onto metallic poster board. After cutting out the letters I then draped my dining room table with plastic and commenced the glittering. Using an old cheap paintbrush and Elmer’s glue, I went glitter crazy. Thankfully, I was bragging about my sweet banner to my homegirl, Kris, who pointed out a near catastrophic error: it was Feliz Cumpleaños, not Feliz Compleaños. Rookie mistake, I know- but sometimes you just get so caught up in a project that the most simple errors just slip by. I decided to use simple gift wrap twine and mini clothespins to hang up the banner.

Kris saves the day.
Tiny clothespins are not only super cute, but make adjustments and repositioning immensely easier.
 The day of the birthday was like a marathon of maneuvering- Geoff (her boyfriend) and I had been planning this out for weeks and we had some carefully orchestrated stuff to get done, since we both had crazy work schedules that particular week. He managed to leave a key under the mat for me while Hayley was out to lunch and I snuck in climbed on the most scary wobbly-step stool ever and hung the banner. The entire time I as on the stool, I just kept repeating to myself- “this can NOT be how I die”- because it was like three feet off the ground but utterly terrifying.

Yellow Floral Skirt / Anthropologie
Vintage Style Star Wars T-Shirt / Forever21 Men
Tortoise Horn-Rimmed Glasses / Derek Cardigan

 All in all the banner was a great success and stayed hung up at the birthday girl’s house for a couple weeks. So the verdict is in- everybody gets a banner from now on, which is great because, I was super over making cupcakes all the time... I just need to find more sassy ways to say “Happy Birthday!” to all of my loved ones.

Monday, May 21, 2012

So You're Watching L.A. Story...

This far the “So You’re...” series has consisted of all music all the time. I’m a bit of a spaz, so I just go with whatever is inspiring me at the moment. Honestly, I struggled a bit this week coming up with a blog I could really get behind. If Pages was a proverbial mad-men style office, the waste bin would be full to the brim with prospective blogs that were halted at the two sentence mark. Then it happened, inspiration struck. Last night, I just really wanted to eat some Salsa Picante Tia chips and watch one of my favorite films ever: L.A. Story. Steve Martin has been a very inspiring figure to me, I just love his brain and the white hair that sits atop his head. If you want a good read, I high recommend his autobiography “Born Standing Up” is a fantastic read.

Clockwise (L to R):
“Pink Flamingo” Lip of Luxury Lipstick / Too Faced
Blonde Foam One-Night Highlights / Alterna
Flamingo Print Flutter-Sleeved Dress / The Webster for Target
Yellow Band Straw Fedora / Mossimo Supply Co.
Surf Spray Texturizing Mist / Bumble & Bumble
Artistic Pink and White Roller Skates / Chicago Skate Co.
Laguna Body Bronzing Illuminator / Nars

L.A. Story is a romantic comedy written by and starring Steve Martin- and if you do or have lived in Los Angeles you will see that not much has changed since 1991. It’s a bit over the top, but completely sweet and relatable. Truth is, I’ll always root for any film in which the leading women march to the beat of their own drummer. L.A. Story follows the life of “Wacky Weather” meteorologist, Harris K. Telemacher and his relationship with himself, a supernatural freeway sign and two women: SanDeE* (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) and Sara (Victoria Tennant). SanDeE* is the epitome of Venice beach California free-spirit PYT, who enjoys spinning in circles and just living in the moment. Sara is witty, genuine and just seems to “get” Harris- standing out from the crowd with her Tuba playing and lack of pretension. One of my favorite lines in the film, is when we first meet Sara at a typical “California Cuisine” eatery popping in straight off a flight from London and claiming that her jet-lag is nothing that “some sleep or a good f*ck won’t cure.” Oh Steve Martin, your writing- get out of my brain! Guided by a magical freeway sign, we go through the entire adventure between his complicated relationship with each woman and their various obligations.

The magic freeway sign. 

Future spokesmodel and spinning extraordinaire, SanDeE*

Rollerskating through art museums.  
"Ordinarily,  I don't like to be around interesting people because that means I have to be interesting too... All I am saying is that, when I'm around you, I find myself showing off which is the idiots version of being interesting." - Harris

"I'll have a twist of lemon"

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Simple Things Sunday: Decorative Plates

Grandmas have always known about kitschy cool. Cluttered walls with a collage of frames and macrame crocheted hanging houseplants are just a few things that I find to be granny-chic. Don't get it twisted, my Grandma is seriously a cool lady. She's in two different Red Hat Societies and is just a million miles a minute at all times. Her house is packed to the brim with things that make her smile (that's how it should be, right?) She's got a collection of mini perfumes adorning the foyer, Magic Eye books on the coffee table, an Alf puppet on a bookshelf full of microwave cookbooks from the eighties, a curio of broaches and a footstool that actually has shoes on the bottom. My Grandpa has the best garden ever and makes wind chimes out of vintage silverware. I know, right? I don't think I could have come from better stock. While I'm not quite at the grandma level of fantastically displayed clutter (and I don't know that I ever will be), I can't help but agree that there are just some decorating traditions that will never and should never die. Ladies and gentlemen... the wall of decorative plates. I happened upon the majority of these beauties when I was cruising the good will and for less than $20, I had the perfect kitschy kitchen wall decor. If you decide to go on a plate wall journey, do keep in mind that the plate hanger brackets cost about $2-$3 a pop, so work that into your budget. I'm still trying to collect a few more that have personal significance to me (California, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana and Rhode Island just to name a few) and I'll filter them in as I find them.

The glorious wall-o-plates
My favorite plate of the bunch, snagged it at the Goodwill for $3. 
My second favorite plate, admittedly due to my slight anglophilia. Snagged this one from a local estate sale for $4. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

My Friday's Fancies: Summer Lovin'

Clockwise (L to R)
Glow Overnight Resurfacing Serum / Dr. Brandt
Chevron Plus-Sized Bikini / Simply Be
Tinted Beauty Balm / Too Faced
1969 Raw Edged Denim Cut-Off Shorts / Gap
Naturally Emolient Suncreen Lip Care / Alba Botanica
Flamingo Pink “Trout Pout” 3-Free Nail Laquer / Butter London
Geometric Cobalt Blue Gladiator Sandals / Mossimo
Elysian Garden Two-Wick Candle / Voluspa
Oversized Plum Wayfarer Glasses / Glasses USA

I’ve had a really good treasure hunting month thus far. Usually I find one thing and get totally obsessed with it, but lately I’ve been finding a well rounded variety of stuff to throw money at. My favorite purchases have been my first plus-sized bikini that I ran to purchase after seeing on Gabi Fresh's blog and a pair of dark wash denim cut-offs from Gap. I’m not a small girl, I’m very hourglassy (it's a word that I just made up, feel free to use) and I fluctuate between a size 12 and 16 most of the time. Ideally, I’d love to be an 8 or a 10 again- but I’m not going to hate myself in the mean time. This summer I’ve taken an oath to love the skin I’m in. I’m going to take care of my mind, body and soul and just spend my time being grateful for what I’ve got.

Speaking of the perils of trying to be grateful for what I've got... I freaked out a bit when my “thinker wrinkle” in between my brows decided to petition for a more permanent position on my face. I've always blabbed about how gorgeous age is and how much I adore old women. The sassy broads that I one day hope to be like. The ladies that go for a morning walk in Palm Springs with their grey hair glistening under their glamour-turbans. Surprisingly, I was not psyched to have a crack in the center of my face. Julie L., at Sephora South Coast Plaza recommended that I try using a retinol treatment two to three nights a week. I’ve already noticed results and using sunblock during the day, I haven’t noticed much photo-sensitivity.

Trying to get Henry to actually look into the camera without treat bribes.

After accepting that retinol was going to be a part of my regular routine I also had to accept that sun care would (and SHOULD) now become a part of my daily routine. The morning after I’ve done my retinol treatment, I use Murad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30 and days that I’m not planning a lot of sun-intensive activity, I’ll just use Too Faced’s Tinted Beauty Balm either by itself or under my make-up. I’ve also noticed my lips getting dried out fairly quickly and I was super psyched to find a lip balm with SPF that didn’t have a weird chemical kind of aftertaste. I picked up the Alba Botanica lip balm (SPF 25) in the impulse buy shelf at the checkout at Sprouts and it was definitely three bucks well spent.

Okay enough about skin. Can I talk about toes? I like to utilize the summer time to sport some technicolor tootsies and I finally found my perfect shade of flamingo pink by one of my favorite brands, Butter London. It’s called Trout Pout and it’s super perfect! I’ve never had so many compliments on my toenails. I'll take the compliments and completely devour them and hold on to them like little self-affirming nuggets of goodness- although I now have the added reminder to make sure my feet aren’t looking whack. I love to wear the flamingo pink polish with my new cobalt blue gladiator sandals that I just snagged on super sale at Target. The cobalt and pink- it's all so very Miami Rhapsody in the best kind of way.

Nigel and his lobster toy playing the twinsies game. 

I’m super psyched for summer 2012! I’m determined to have a blast and hopefully hit the beach a lot.  I encourage you to do the same. Let's make this the summer of loving the skin we're in and treating our bodies and minds well. So put on an outfit that makes you feel beautiful, find a book that stimulates your mind, have a good laugh, go for a walk and eat your vegetables.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked: Mannequin Hands

I’m all about the mannequin hands, but does it drive anybody else bonkers when nude is thought of as just one solitary beige? Not so! The glory of nudes is that they match your skin... whatever shade it may be. I know it’s spring, so we’re all supposed to be gaga for pastels and come summer it’s going to be all about bold colors and neons. There really isn’t much new under the sun in the world of color trends. I will say, out of all of the recycled trends opaque nudes are my favorite. It’s like foundation for your nails. It allows for rich color and a weirdly subversive doll vibe that my nemesis- the pink and white french manicure- just can’t provide.

L to R:
Vernis Nail Lacquer in Ivory (fair nude) / Dior
Nail Varnish in Purity (peach nude) / Illamasqua
Nail Lacquer in Tea With The Queen (warm medium nude) / Butter London
Nail Lacquer in San Tan-tonio (cool medium nude) / OPI
Nail Varnish in Cadogan Square (golden tan nude) / Nails Inc.
Nail Vernis in Olivia (rich chocolate nude) / Julep

Nude polish is also a great base to experiment new colors and trends as well. As much as I hate hate HATE pink and white frenchies, I love love LOVE a nude nail with a neon tip or a jewel toned half-moon mani. How about glitters (which as I’ve mentioned before, you can pry out of my cold dead glitter polished hands)? Nudes make a great base for glitters as well. The list goes on and it’s worth it to play and experiment for yourself. People are buying more nail laquers, polishes and varnishes than ever before (sorry lipstick, this recession belonged to the phalanges). I’ve gathered a few of my favorite nudes that flatter a wide array color- try them out and see what works for you. I wear Butter London's Tea With The Queen pretty regularly.

Ida Maria: I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life Lately: Wall Gardens

 There’s something about me you guys should know, I get obsessed with things. I’m the fad queen- but in a good way. One year I got obsessed with knee-high ringer socks and wore them everyday. A few months ago I was obsessed with what I call “open top succulent terrariums” which are essentials succulents planted in thrifted fish bowls (honestly, I’m still kind of obsessed with that). Maybe it’s the artist in me, but when I get passionate about something- I just go with it. I’ve never been a huge fan of using eccentricity as an excuse- but I am an artist, so I think it’s just something that comes with the territory. I have to follow my weird passions.

Everything can be a flower pot. I'm a huge fan of old coffee cans and upcycled glassware.

For the past week or so I’ve been dealing with another bout of nesting in the condo. I’m really a person that puts the pictures on the walls first and then worries about where the fridge is going to go later. Thank Kaballah monster that my housemate is a dude who really gives me free reign to do whatever I want with the house so long as it doesn’t interfere with his needs to eat copious amounts of salsa and watch terrible cancelled crime dramas on Hulu. I will argue, it really works out for him because when his parents come to visit, they are greeted by a well decorated, creative and clean home, not a dude house. Let’s just say, I know how most dudes live and there is no room for unframed Pulp Fiction posters and mattresses on floors in this dojo. It’s just my nature. I’m a fan of ambiance and not only do I want to feel welcome and lovely in my own home- I want others to feel that way as well. I want to live in a home that inspires me and others. I’m also a renter, so it somewhat limits what I can and will do.

The damned blank space.

Project starting. Please note the pink Black & Decker electric lady screwdriver. 

 I had this annoying empty space between my living room and kitchen that I’d been struggling to find the right look for. I wanted something that was different from both rooms, but still interesting enough to tie the rooms together. This little 56 inch space was driving me bonkers. Ding! Lightbulb! I had been kind of obsessing over houseplants since I picked up a $4 orchid from the as-is department of Ikea. Something about plants just brings life and freshness to a place- a real sense of renewal and process. First stop was Ikea to pick up a shelf that would just kind of blend into the decor I already had. I settled on the EKBY ÖSTEN shelf (46 inch) and the EKBY LERGBERG brackets. I was meeting my girl, Chris for lunch and the restaurant just happened to be next to Home Depot. We decided to check out the selection and I ended up leaving with some plants to start out with. I wanted to grab some bromeliads but at $8 a pop for 4-inchers, it was just not in the budget. On my way home, eager to start my project I popped by my favorite gardening haven, The Plant Stand in Costa Mesa. I love The Plant Stand (and I’ll hate myself for disclosing this, but...) they have two clearance sections one for plants and one for pottery. If you have a bit of a green thumb and/or ducktape- it’s the best thing ever. There are always loads of houseplants on clearance for a fraction of the full price and with a little TLC they can be made completely functioning and good as new.
Chris was looking for some mighty fine top soil for her new garden.

The project had to be started as soon as I got home, so I got to work grabbing any interesting container I could find and taking a few clippings from my succulent garden and just went to town. My housemate helped me hang the shelf and make sure that it was even and promptly made fun of me for my itty bitty pink Black & Decker electric screwdriver that I’m always taking on projects with. All in all, I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’m still thinking of putting another shelf below it or maybe a picture of some sort, but I’m going to step away and just let it be for a week or so and see where my inspiration takes me.

The finished product. Cluttered to perfection.

Ta-dah! The shelf isn't crooked, the picture is.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

As a single ladybird I can’t always spend every Saturday night watching reruns of Xena: Warrior Princess with the dogs. This Saturday I decided to take myself out for a night on the town in Anaheim. My friend April was throwing a grand opening for her new store Home Eco:Nomics in the Center Street Promenade. I didn’t get off work till 7:30, but I RSVP’d yes and I’m really really weird about flaking on things. I ran home and changed out of my undertaker garb (when I’m at the boutique, it’s all black all the time) and jetted over to the Promenade. I knew that it was coinciding with the extraterrestrial themed Art Crawl Experience- so I figured I’d take myself out on a quick date. There is something about weekends that just makes me feel like I’m invading on couples’ turf but this event wasn’t too bad and since there was live music and lots of stuff going on- it was less v-neck-sweater-match-dot-com-second-date and a bit more varied. So the moral of the story is: cool street fairs are not quite couple-y as the waiting room at Cheesecake Factory at the Irvine Spectrum on a Saturday night.

"Decorate your home, it gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is." - Charles M. Schultz

Cute home stuffs.
Jewelry and bric-a-brac console.

Love the wood walls.

Such a sweet surprise at the bottom of my bag. New mileage log methinks.

How cute are April and her Husband?!? Adorable.
The opening was lovely, the wood-lined boutique is small but it’s got some really great things. It’s owned by the same company that owns The Lab and The Camp in Costa Mesa and my girl April has an amazing buyers’ eye. Essentially, I wanted to buy everything and it was PAINFUL to talk myself out of buying a $28 glass bottle of handcrafted soap. I ended up leaving with two Flea Market Girl charm necklaces- a rhinoceros (which I have dubbed my Rhymenoceros chain after Flight of the Conchords) and a fortune cookie. The event was catered by Home Eco:Nomics’ soon-to-be-neighbors The Gypsey Den, and even though I’ve been to the Costa Mesa location many times for coffee, I didn’t realize that they had such wonderful cuisine.

It’s the mother flippin’ Rhymenoceros
Plated Brass Rhinoceros Charm Necklace / Flea Market Girl

The Art Crawl Experience featured a great many UFO inspired pieces. A sweet Mars Attacks! live painting demo and a super creepy alien autopsy video. There were loads of food trucks (which, thank gawd had vegeterian selections). After much debate, I ended up at the Bratz Berlin truck and had a serious grub-fest with their veggie tomato basil sausage and some belgian fries. So delish.

Tomato basil veggie sausage with yellow peppers and grilled onions.

Exotic sausages? That's what she said.

Hornrimmed Glasses / Derek Cardigan
Leopard Summer Scarf / Old Navy
Desert Party Tank / Obey
Black Casual Blazer / H&M

Dark Denim Skinny Jeans / Old Navy
Cobalt Gladiator Sandals / Target
Flamingo Pink “Trout Pout” Nail Polish / Butter London

So how was your weekend? Do you ever take yourself out for a night on the town? 

bits of splendor monday