November in Photos

Nov in Photos

November started off with a bang!  The first Saturday I attended a book signing for Christina Lauren for their latest book in the Beautiful series – Beautiful Player.  I’ll have a post up soon on the series and the book signing too, but I finished Beautiful Player shortly after getting it at the signing!  And speaking of books, I also got to go see Catching Fire the night it came out in the theatre – loved it!

I spent some time during the month looking at my in progress craft projects, working on some, and planning for some new things.  One of my big projects towards the end of the month was working on finishing some Christmas ornaments I’d stitched.

Of course, one of the things I was excited about was visiting a local camera store and checking out a variety of camera bags in preparation for my trip to Germany/Paris.  I loved the bright yellow of the one in the photo, but I ended up going with something slightly different.  Post to come on that as well and why I chose what I did.

As the holidays approached, I celebrated with a super blingy manicure – I used my new polish, When Monkeys Fly, over a gold I already had on hand and wowza!!  Eric and I made apple pancakes for breakfast, which is our tradition for Thanksgiving morning, and then watched the parade.  We went to my mom’s for our cozy Thanksgiving dinner and it was really a nice, relaxing day.  So much to be thankful for!

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August in Photos

August in Photos

I always feel that my birthday and then Labor Day signal the end of summer – marking the change from longer days and saturated color to cooler weather and wardrobe layering.  Even though I’m sure we’ll have many more 100 degree days in front of us, my thoughts immediately turn to the new season.  And judging by the number of Pumpkin Spice Latte pics I’m seeing on Instagram, I’m not alone in this.

August is, of course, my birthday month and it brought with it a much-needed vacation from work and time to get together with friends.  I’m still enjoying breaking out some statement jewelry pieces, which has been great fun.  I was also treated to some new nail polish, new (much needed) perfume, and a blow out.  I even made it to the gym again.

I finished reading City of Glass and moved right into City of Fallen Angels – both so good.  I’ll have a review of this series up soon.  One of my birthday outings was getting together with a friend to see the Mortal Instruments movie on opening night.  So good.  So much love for Jace.  Go see it if you haven’t yet.  I’m looking forward to reading the fifth book.

I also spent an afternoon with another friend and we met for lunch at Bluebonnet Bakery, which was absolutely delicious.  I had their famous chicken salad sandwich and then we both topped off our lunch with a slice of Italian Cream Cake.  To. Die. For.  I haven’t had Italian Cream Cake that good since last April!

For my birthday, Eric bought me new perfume.  As I’d mentioned on this post, I was in dire need of some new perfume.  I ended up with D&G Light Blue for a lighter, summery scent and Thierry Mugler’s Alien Essence Absolue for my deeper fall/winter scent.  I love them both!  He also took me out to dinner at Ziziki’s, which I just can’t stay away from for my birthday dinner.  Everything there is absolutely delicious.  I had the first glass of wine I’ve had in awhile, I can’t go wrong with a Riesling and this one was fabulous!

We also hit a milestone with Ramses and Thutmose.  We decided that they were finally old enough that our Moroccan pouf would be safe to put out again.  It has been locked away almost since we bought it, so it’s nice to actually have it out in the living room again.  If we can get to a place where the other kitty-proof measures can be done away with I’ll finally be able to share our living room redo.

August was a good month, and I had a wonderful vacation and birthday.  Exciting things are on the horizon for my new year!

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July in Photos

July in Photos

This summer is just zooming by like nobody’s business.  Frankly, July was a rough month.  Started out fine but then it took a nosedive.  My crazy work schedule took over again and a lot of late nights left me feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  Near the end of the month I made some adjustments in my attitude and did my best to start looking at things from a place of gratitude and abundance.  Amazing what a difference that makes.  Two things that have really helped me are the IG posts from @tarotandtea, particularly her daily tarot advice, and Katie O’Keefe’s blog and IG.  I’m loving watching her moving through #intentionalaugust and #mth (making things happen).  Both are two roads to the same destination, a destination of re-engaging with myself and what means most to me.  All a work in progress, but I’m feeling a lot better equipped to deal with the “stuff” that’s going on in my life right now.

So, what adventures did I get up to in July?  It was so nice to have a long weekend for 4th of July, and you can see I celebrated with a fun mani.  I spent a day with some girlfriends over that weekend too – I even baked cookies!  Eric and I opted to not go out to see fireworks, but instead we enjoyed the evening at home and watched some of the specials on tv.

We had lots of rain in July and it actually made for a much cooler summer than we’re used to in Texas.  I love it when it rains, so it’s always a little bonus.

As part of my attitude adjustment, I spent some extra time on myself – nails (of course), some new makeup (eyeliner and powder), dug out my favorite summertime heels (don’t those cherries kill you?), and some summery statement necklaces like my starfish that jingle!  I even went through all the lipstick I have hoarded in my purse.  Amazing what you find in there.

I had a little bit of relaxation time that I spent working on a gift for my Goddaughter (a summery yellow quilt) and catching up on my DVR’d shows, namely the red carpet from the Oscars.  Yes, it was in February.

Eric and I also did something for ourselves, we finally ordered our frame for the photo we printed from our honeymoon so we could hang it over our bed.  The frame is perfect and goes beautifully with the warm tones of the sunset from the top of the Spanish Steps in Rome.  Apologies for the reflection/glare in the photo…but trust me it looks wonderful.  And it allowed us to mark our bedroom as complete on our home improvement list.

So that was July, and we’re already halfway through August so I’d better start thinking about my August in Photos post!

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June in Photos

June in Photos

I really am starting to wonder where the time goes.  It’s nearly the end of July and here I am finally posting about June.  Better late than never though!

After the craziness that was May, June actually seemed to take a turn for the better.  I felt like I was making strides in some of my projects at home and starting to feel a lot more focused.

I started the month off with a Disco Biscuit mani.  I mean, how can I go wrong with that?!  I also tried a couple of untried polishes this month.  I wore Sinful Colors Sugar Rush on my toes and I also decided to give the white mani trend a try.  I was a little leery trying it since the yellow mani was such a fail.  But the white mani I absolutely adored.  It was fresh, it was fun, and it was completely on trend.  I will be doing this again for sure.  I used OPI’s Alpine Snow for this one.  Oh, and I went back to another old favorite – Jade is the New Black.  It went beautifully well with my fabric.

I got to go back to Whiskey Cake in June to get together with some coworkers for Happy Hour.  That Foul Corsair is absolutely delicious.  I kind of wish I’d had the whiskey cake for dessert again though.

I actually spent a fair amount of time sewing in June.  I worked on two mini quilts.  One got completely quilted and finished and I was able to give it to my friend, Ava, for her birthday.  I’m thrilled with how it turned out with the Kaffe Fassett fabrics on the front and on the back.  I also started collecting fabrics for the full version of the Swoon quilt (I made her mini quilt out of one block).  I’m going to use Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study line for my Swoon.  So excited about it!

June unfortunately brought with it a series of car “things” that were probably directly related with Mercury being in Retrograde.  I started off the month buying new tires since two of mine were completely bald in order to pass inspection.  Middle of the month I got my first speeding ticket in like five years or so.  And then at the end of the month I had a car accident on the highway because my brakes went out.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I was in a car accident.  But, luckily very little damage was done to either car and everyone was uninjured.  But I had to get new brakes – my brake lines had apparently completely worn through.

But the biggest and most exciting news is that I am taking a trip in the Spring to see my sweet friend, Sylvia, in Germany.  I will spend a few days in Germany, but the most exciting part is that we are going to Paris!  It is an absolute dream come true.  I can’t wait.  I will be there for a total of 13 days I think.  I can hardly believe it.  But the flights are booked and we are renting a little apartment in Paris for the two of us.  But part of my preparation was to get my passport out and make sure it doesn’t expire any time soon.  I found my old passport though, while I was looking, and it’s one lone stamp.  Of course, the stamp was for our honeymoon to Rome, so I’m ok with it being the only stamp in there.  It’s a special one!

Before you know it, it will be August, so hopefully I can make it back here to blog more frequently in the next weeks.  And I realized it’s been forever since I did a book review…so I need to get on that.  Currently reading City of Glass by Cassandra Clare.  So good!

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Young and Beautiful

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I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of The Great Gatsby for a good while.  I couldn’t ask for a better cast, and Baz Luhrmann has directed some of my favorite films including Mouline Rouge.     I’ve been thrilled to see Gastby parties pop up to celebrate the premiere of the film and people are breaking out their best flapper dresses and coupe champagne glasses.

One of the loveliest things I came across were the Tiffany windows, decked out with diamonds, chandeliers  and coupe glasses.

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Stunning, aren’t they?

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Here is the featured diamond and pearl Savoy headpiece.

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I love the Art Deco feel of these.

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This one may be my favorite.

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I can’t wait to make it to the theatre to see this masterpiece on the big screen.  I know Lurhmann will deliver nothing less than a showpiece, full of all the dazzling glamour and tragedy that the book deserves.

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And one of the things I’m most excited about with this film is the Lana del Rey song, Young and Beautiful.  Such an amazing start to summer.

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First Days of Spring

Oscar Red Carpet
With the first day of Spring this week, my thoughts turn to clear sunny days and soft colors.  Although this morning is full of thunderstorms and chilly winds.  But, I can indulge in my little piece of Spring right here!  Lately I’ve been catching up on my DVR’d shows, which includes several hours of Red Carpet watching.  Seems the days are gone when I can actually watch things live.  But, what surprised me about this year’s Oscar Red Carpet was the overall softness of the colors.  There were very few bright colors, particularly the emerald green I was expecting to see everywhere.   But there was no lack of gorgeous dresses to choose from, as you can see above.  One of my favorites was Jessica Chastain in that amazing coppery beaded Armani Prive gown.  So many subtle shades.

And Chanel has released their lovely Spring collection of nail lacquers, Printemps Precieux.  You know I normally go in for the dark, vampy colors like Accessoire, but I’m really drawn to Emprise, which is a rosy beige.  Perfect almost nude nail that would go perfectly with a brighter wardobe.  And Fracas, who can resist a pretty, bright pink?  This one will most definitely transition into the summer months.

Chanel Spring 2013
Even Starbucks is celebrating Spring in Japan with their new Sakura line. It even includes cherry blossom macarons (which you know I can’t resist).  It’s too bad that this lovely pink deliciousness won’t be available in the States, but from what I hear the taste (not cherry at all) might not translate to the American palate.  But what fun a pink latte would be (as long as it’s not strawberry, since I’m allergic!).

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And I saw a photo on Instagram the other day of the new Coach handbags in Mint.  I can’t resist, such a gorgeous color for Spring.  Too too tempting. Alas, I am on a new handbag hiatus, so no Coach bag for me. But look at those fun tassels too.  Gah!

Coach Bag in Mint
I did have to indulge in my own version of that luxurious mint color though. How do you like my Essie Mint Candy Apple mani this week?  Perfect, huh?  Such a fun color.  I’ve really enjoyed wearing it.

Mint Candy Apple
And how can I resist anything in a bright pretty yellow?  (I can’t) Of course, the J Crew bubble necklaces are almost everywhere these days, but I just love it in yellow.  A fun bright pop of color against a subtle colored top?  Love.  It.

Bubble Necklace

What’s bringing thoughts of Spring to you this week?

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Things I Love Thursday: Bond, James Bond

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It’s possible, and very likely, that I’ve mentioned my love of James Bond before. So much so that Eric and I recreated a tasty cocktail in honor of Casino Royale.  I grew up watching James Bond films.  The first one my parents introduced me to was Thunderball.  Both of my parents loved Bond movies, and I became instantly enamored with them.  My dad even took me to look at Aston Martins one weekend, so that I could appreciate Bond’s (classic) vehicle of choice in person.  Over the years, there have been many Bonds, some better than others, but I am a particular fan of Daniel Craig as 007.  I love his slightly rough around the edges Bond.

Over the holidays I had the great fortune to get to see Skyfall with a dear friend.  There really is nothing better than seeing a Bond film with a fellow fan.  And I can’t get the Adele theme out of my head.  Perfect choice for the film.  And even better, in honor of the film and the 50th anniversary of Bond, OPI released a gorgeous new polish collection.  How could I resist?

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And I especially love the Skyfall polish that appeared in the film.  Gorgeous color.

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Of course you know I couldn’t resist adding some of the Bond polishes (I WANT THEM ALL!) to my collection.  A friend of mine treated me to a set of four of the OPI minis from the collection, and Goldeneye just begged to be first.

I did treat myself to two of the full-size polishes from the collection.  I fell in love with this one, The World is Not Enough.  This is such an interesting color, sometimes grey sometimes pink.  Love it!  (This one was also one of the minis in the four-pack)

It was even a good companion to my red cup!

The next one I tried out was the other full-size polish I purchased, You Only Live Twice.  I did also do a pedicure with this polish, so I got to doubly enjoy it.  This is a gorgeous cherry pink that really was the perfect color for that film’s representation.  I really hated to take this one off.

But, I replaced it with another mini – The Spy Who Loved Me.  Which is a gorgeous red and the perfect polish for our Cocktail and Dessert holiday party.

The only one I have left to try on is Live and Let Die.  It’s the last of the four minis.  Maybe that will have to be my next manicure?  I’d really like to invest in some more of the full size polishes from this collection – they really are all stunning.  I especially want Skyfall, Tomorrow Never Dies, and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.  But I seriously would love to have them all!  Even the Man With the Golden Gun 18k gold flake.

I’d intended to watch Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace back at the beginning of November while on a little trip I took, but that never materialized.  I’d wanted to see them again before seeing Skyfall, so I’ll just have to settle for watching them now and rewatching Skyfall when it is released on DVD.

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A Birthday in Photos

Disco Bicuit mani

An amazing dinner with Eric at Ziziki’s.  I wore a pretty dress.

Pink Pankcakes

A gift of vintage coupe glasses from J.

Starting a new quilt

Afternoon at the movies with Eric seeing Snow White & The Huntsman

Toasting with Rose Regale

Birthday cupcakes from the girls (day of laughter included)

Teal and red earrings made just for me by A.

And also from A. – A Bundt!

It was a fantastic birthday – the best I remember.  I’ll have to remember to take my own advice next year.

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A Birthday Declaration

My birthday is a week away, and I’ve come to some conclusions.  Maybe wisdom comes with age?  Maybe it’s just a result of my TILT posts and thinking about all there is to be grateful for in my life?  But, in the past (as I’ve blogged about here before) my birthday has been a bittersweet occasion for me.  It just sometimes felt overlooked, sometimes felt disappointing, sometimes was filled with tears.  And the past couple of years, I’ve tried to “manage” my birthday in an effort to do some damage control.  But, I’ve realized that the only person who has control over how my birthday turns out is me.  So, after coming to the conclusion that birthdays are meant to be celebrated, I’ve decided to do just that.  So this little post is just a shout out to the universe that I’ve made a little promise to myself that my birthday is a precious thing and should be celebrated as such.

So there should be champagne (in coupe glasses, of course).

There should be a lovely, elegant dress.

There should, naturally, be nail polish.  I’m currently coveting this Chanel Diwali.

There should be delicious food.  I’ve requested pink pancakes from Eric.  Just because I can.

And so, from this point forward, my birthday shall be celebrated in Marie Antoinette style.  Because above all else, birthdays should be fun, shouldn’t they?

Oh and sparklers, I definitely need sparklers!

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Things I Love Thursday: At the Movies

I’ve been working on catching up on my shows on the DVR.  We’re in need of switching out our DVR that’s been acting up, and unfortunately, when we switch out all my recorded shows will be lost.  Sad Panda.  So, I’ve been in a manic show-watching marathon and have finished up Gossip Girl, Grimm, Vampire Diaries, about 80 million hours of Dual Survival and am currently in the process of watching Smash (which I’m loving although I’m only a couple of episodes in).  The problem here is that around about January, when life got complicated, there was very little show watching going on.  So, I had basically an entire season worth of shows plus the Oscars.  Yes, I know they happened in February.  I finally made it through the red carpet shows, but have yet to watch the actual awards (don’t tell me who wins).

So, a couple of nights ago, I started them.  My very very favorite night of the whole year.  And not only am I having to watch them months delayed, but I’m having to watch them in short bursts because I just don’t have three (or four) hours to watch uninterrupted.  But, within the first few moments of the show, I was reminded of why I love them.  Because I love the Movies, with a capital M.  From when I was very young, movies were one of my great loves.  And it’s not just that I love the movies themselves.  I love the movie experience.  I love the trailers, I love the darkened theater, I love the shared experience, I love watching the credits roll and letting it all sink in.  So, the other day when I responded that “I’m always up for seeing a movie”, I wasn’t kidding!

And one of my favorite parts about the award shows (especially the Oscars) is the montage.  Oh I love me a good montage.

Maybe what I love about the montage is that it captures that magic of the movies, those moments that stay with you.

And in watching just the first half hour or so of the Oscars, I was reminded about two enchanting films that I’ve seen over the last several months. The first one, is Hugo (photo at the top of this post). What a fun fun film. And so different from the usual Scorsese fare. Loved this one.

The second film I was recently treated to was Midnight in Paris.

This is another one that is just a delightful film. The kind of movie that makes you smile. If you haven’t seen either of these, you really should!

And there’s a couple of movies I’m looking forward to as well…

The Great Gatsby is being redone. (look at that champagne glass!!!!!!! I’m totally obsessed)  And speaking of champagne, last night a good friend mentioned this new Marie Antoinette film that I simply have to see (since I am also obsessed with all things MA).

So there you have it…my love of the movies.  That I know will be revisited again and again.  And I’m sure I’ll have more to share as I watch the rest of the Oscars.  Maybe this weekend?

And a few things I’m grateful for this week:

  • Making it to book club regardless of a migraine
  • Rain storms on Friday night
  • A last minute invite from a friend and getting together Saturday afternoon
  • Great car insurance and them making it easy for me to file a claim after a car accident
  • Some fun polish showing up in the mail – for free!
  • Getting to see a good friend Tuesday night and giving him a big hug
  • Kitten snuggles
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