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!


Things I Love Thursday: Birthday Crushes

gilded_arrow_bangleMy birthday is coming up next week, so I thought it would be fun to use this week’s TILT post to show you some things I’m crushing on right now.  Plus, what’s more fun than putting together a dream wish list?

Right now I seem to be all about bracelets.  There’s such a fun selection of bangles available right now, probably due largely to the “arm party” trend.  And I’m so happy to see gold making a comeback.  I absolutely adore the arrow bracelet from Stella & Dot.  There’s just something so simple about it.  Makes me think of Katniss, Cupid, and my imagined alter ego who excels at archery.

My wishlists always seem to have something of the practical side to them too.  Lately, I’ve been keeping a running tally of things I need rather than want – shorts, sandals, bras…basic stuff.  So many things that are falling apart or don’t fit.  One of the things that’s become a bit dire of late is that I’ve completely run out of perfume.  I know – #firstworldproblems – but, I’ve even gone rummaging through my bathroom cabinets in the hopes of finding some of those little freebie tester perfumes.  No dice.  So, a bottle of perfume falls more into a necessity than a pure want, but I had to include it anyway. At the top of my list of perfume wants is Lady Gaga’s Fame.  It’s black, which tickles my little Goth heart so much, and it smells delicious.  It’s described as “Enriched with tears of belladonna, a black veil of incense, and pulverized apricot, this fragrance may cause illicit fits of extravagance, unrivaled rushes of adoration, and prolonged moments of ecstasy and rapture.”  How could I not want this?


You may recall last year, when I decided that my birthday really needed to be an extravagant, Marie Antoinette-inspired, and fun?  I’m absolutely going to continue that tradition this year.  So, I’m thinking macarons are a must.  Because, why not?  It appears that there are a few bakeries in Dallas that are now offering macarons, so you know I will be scoping them out.


I have been seriously wanting a maxi dress for- I don’t know -ever.  I’ve yet to own one and lately my interest has been rekindled by some IG photos of some lovely ladies who purchased this maxi from Target.  It’s a steal at $29.99 and I love it.  The kimono-style sleeves, the chevron print.  Gimme.

Maxi dress

And back to the bracelets.  I’ve been really wanting a mint link bracelet, but since Fall seems to be quickly approaching, this tortoiseshell link bracelet from T+J Designs is killing me.  Gorgeous!Tortoise Chain Bracelet

And you know my continued love affair with all things Kate Spade.  This KSNY Twist and Shout bracelet brings a smile to my face.  It reminds me of my sweet German friend, and of course sharing a pretzel with my darling husband.

Twist and Shout Bangle

I’m also thinking forward to my springtime travel and realizing that I still don’t have a good camera bag.  I’ve been looking at these Kelly Moore bags for a while now, and I really like the look of them.  The B-Hobo bag looks roomy enough to carry what I need plus it has both a zipper and the flap to keep everything inside safe.  I’d like to be able to try one out and see what I think in person, just have to see if someone in town carries them.  But I really adore this mustard color.

Kelly Moore B-Hobo Mustard

The best gift I’m giving myself for my birthday this year – a week of vacation.  I have been working so much this year and such crazy hours that I know I need some time to relax and regroup, plus time with my family.  I intend to do some fun things like going to see the first Mortal Instruments movie with a friend, a fabric shopping day with a friend and maybe catching up on some of my reading or DVR’d shows.


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!


Birthday Wishlist

So here it is, just two weeks until my birthday.  Two weeks, and I’m torn.  I’m trying to do a little risk mitigation in order to avoid some of the horrible shenanigans that occurred on my birthday last year.  So, in order to attempt to have the happiest 40th I could possibly have, I’m trying to plan ahead as much as possible.  When I saw the above photo on Pinterest, not only did I immediately pin it, but I loved the description someone else had added to their pin “This is a foretelling of my birthday”.  So, that’s what I want – what this photo conjures up – champagne, decadent chocolate cake and all the luxury and elegance that a 40th birthday celebration deserves.  No meanness, no forgetting, no anxiety – just beautiful sentiment.  (I borrowed the photo from here – oh how I wish I’d taken it.)  And can I just please add champagne glasses like these onto my wishlist? I need them!

So when I got to thinking about the things that would make me really happy for my birthday this year, I found that most of what I’d like is intangible – but, in order to do a birthday wishlist post, I’ll try to stick to stuff you can wrap.

At the top of my wish list, is this Chanel polish.  It’s Peridot.  As soon as I got the email announcing their new limited edition colors, I knew I had to have this.  Peridot is my birthstone – and how gorgeous is this color?  Sometimes green, verging on gold.  This is absinthe on my nails gorgeous.  I just hope I can get my hands on some!


Another Pinterest find (can you tell where I’ve been wasting spending my time?), this is a five-year journal.  I thought it would be a very cool thing to start on my birthday and then look back at in five years.  Plus, I love the color!

That’s about it for my birthday wishlist.  Of course, I’m still in dire need of perfume, which I think I’ve blogged about repeatedly.  At some point I will get myself some new perfume!  But, when I started thinking about my life, and what would make me happy on my birthday – the list got very short.  I want the day to be special.  I want cake.  I want champagne.  I want to enjoy my day.  That’s pretty much it.  All the rest is, well…cake.

Although, my wish list could have looked something like this…

I’m daring to hope, just a little, that my birthday may actually be one that will only result in tears of the happy kind and may be a day I can look back on with only good feelings.


Five Years

On Friday morning I came downstairs to find not one, but two vases of roses from Eric.  We were celebrating our five year wedding anniversary, and I couldn’t believe all the roses!  They were stunning!  He also had a sweet sweet card for me as well.

We decided to celebrate our day by going out to dinner on Saturday night.  He took me to Texas de Brazil, which was fantastic.  We had excellent service and a wonderful meal.  And we indulged in Caipirinhas and the best flan we’ve had in a long time. 

And actually we’d gone out to dinner the Saturday before to an amazing Greek restaurant, Zizikis.  So it was kind of like we had double the celebration!! 

Along with my two vases of roses, he also gave me a single white rose.  Before our anniversary each year, I put out the vase that we used for our rose ceremony during our wedding.  And each year, he places a single white rose in it, as a continued promise of our vows.  That, to me, is the best part of our anniversary.

Since the traditional gift for a fifth anniversary is wood, I decided to gift Eric with some frames.  We always print out one or two photos from our trips and hang them.  I knew we had at least two trips we’d never printed photos from, and I figured I’d give us a promise for more travel too. 

Once the photos are printed, they’ll hang on our gallery wall in the entry of our home.  I love love love having all the photos from our travels hanging here together.  And it greets you as you come in the front door, so they are always a conversation piece.  I can’t wait to get the opportunity to travel again.  It’s something we really love to do together, and I always love exploring new places with Eric.

We had a lovely anniversary, and I can’t believe another year has come along.  (Eric even let me use his nice macro lens to take some photos of my roses – roses and a photography lesson – you can’t beat that!)

And to think that five years ago, we were here…


Week in Photos

12/13/09 – 12/19/09

It was finally time to do a little holiday decorating around the house. Every year I seem to do it a little bit differently.

I loved the look of the cranberries in the vase in the guest bath.

And Eric bought me these three nutcrackers to supplement the one I have from when I was little. These guys have a little bling to them though.

And this year, I decided to pull out some of the Christmas decorations I’ve made myself, like these pillows. I’m very proud of the Believe pillow I cross-stitched and then finished into a pillow.

My little Peace pillow that sits in the holiday card basket.

And of course I had to get out my Dickens Village. These little lighted houses make me so happy.

Another winter cross-stitch.

And it makes me happy to see the gifts for our friends and family under the tree.

I like to put all of my handmade ornaments together on one tree (we’ve been putting up two trees for a couple of years).

And Eric put a train around the smaller tree this year too. Now we have two trees and two trains!

I love love love the lights on the garland going up the banister, and the lights on the tree. Little white lights are all we use.

And somehow I ended up with enough time this year to make some handmade gifts. It was so fun spending an afternoon gift making! I hope to do it again next year. There was something just so relaxing and comforting about it, because I didn’t allow myself to stress about it or put pressure on myself to finish anything.

Last year I had bought the supplies to make little Christmas tree earrings for a few people, but never got around to making them. This seemed like the perfect time. And as you can see, I had a little forest of trees on my desk!

I think they turned out pretty cute!

And every year my friend, Julia, and I pass this friendship ornament back and forth. I’m always at a loss as to what to put in it the year I have it. But, this year I decided to make her a bracelet. I found these photo charms at the craft store, and I printed out some photos of her husband, their three girls, and the ocean (since they take an annual trip there every year) that she had sent to me and put them in the photo frames. I’ve blocked out the photos of them here for her privacy. But it was awfully fun to make, and I love the dark blue crystals I found to make little drops between the photos. You can see the friendship ornament in the shot too – it’s hard to find something that fits in there!

A busy week for me, but a fun one! And there’s more…

Christmas on the Square photos here.

Trains at Northpark photos here.


A Little Something for the Guys

With Father’s Day upon us, I thought perhaps it was timely to do a post on fashion and gifts for men.

Recently, Eric took me to a local menswear store he really likes that is family-owned by a fellow Italian. While we were there, I picked out a new shirt for him.


Of course, he needed cufflinks for the shirt too. Both the shirt and the cufflinks are by Angelino.

My thought on the shirt was that it would look really hot with a pair of jeans for going out. Like this…
Possibly a pair of jeans like these from Rock & Republic.

I can’t wait to take him out and show him off! Of course, while we were at the store, he had his eye on this suit.

We’ll save that for another day. But, in the meantime one of the men’s magazines recommended a few grooming items that every man should have in his Dopp Kit. I thought they might make good gifts, and we all know there are some men that need a little help. Although not mine, he takes great pride in his grooming and being well-dressed….just ask him, he’ll tell you!

So here is what they recommended…

Molton Brown Recharge Black Pepper Body Wash


Get ready for a deeply aromatic adventure. This spicy infusion heightens your senses and reawakens your energy banks when you most need it. Steeped in detoxifying black pepper oil, the re-charge black pepper body wash gel formulation helps to boost circulation and leaves the skin feeling deeply cleansed, warmed up and ready for action.

The black pepper oil used in our re-charge black pepper body wash is an aphrodisiac which warms and relaxes muscles, and dilates blood vessels to help remove toxins. This shower gel has antiseptic and anti-oxidant properties which keep your skin ultra-fresh and in condition. Breathe in the refreshing, natural aroma of vetiver, basil, bergamot, galbanum, amber and vanilla.

Size: 10fl oz; Price: $28.00

Tom’s of Maine Deodorant (not that I am suggesting that deodorant is a good gift.)

Natural Original Deodorant Stick in several fragrances: Calendula, Honeysuckle Rose, Unscented, Woodspice. Tom’s of Maine created the first natural deodorant in 1976. Since then, they’ve continued to pursue innovative new natural ingredients that deliver improved odor protection. They’re introducing their newest natural odor-fighting ingredient—hops (Humulus lupulus)—which they’ve added to our original deodorant formula! Hops inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria.The antimicrobial action of hops inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria while reducing the possibility of skin irritation.

Size: 2.25 oz; Price: $5.49

Kiehl’s Lip Balm

Relieves chapped or cracked lips , no-shine lip balm and temporarily protects lips. With Shea Butter and Squalane (Squalene is a highly refined moisturizing oil derived from the olive; Squalane is very silky and easily absorbed and has been found to be extremely compatible with the natural oils of the skin; they use Squalane in many of their formulations).

Price: $8.50

Kiehl’s Shaving Cream

· For use with a brush
· With Camphor, Menthol, and Lavender
· Provides close, comfortable shave
· Leaves skin sleek, hydrated, and soft
· Not tested on animals

Kiehl’s offers the ultimate experience in traditional shaving with their classic “Lite Flite” shave cream for use with a brush. This unique formulation combines the emollient feel of a brushless shave with the smoothness of a brush shave formula to provide a very close, yet comfortable shave. Their preparation softens the beard while helping to protect skin from cuts, nicks, and irritation…for an extraordinarily close shave. Enriched with moisturizers, and herbal extracts to soothe and calm the skin, this special cream will send you off to an unparalleled height of shaving pleasure, leaving skin sleek, hydrated, and soft.

Size: 4.5 fl oz; Price: $17.50

(As another alternative, and one that Eric recommends, try The Art of Shaving.

Bumble and Bumble Shampoo

Bumble and Bumble Seaweed consists of Marine seaweed, spirulina and kelp which helps keep hair full of shine and soothes the scalp. The Seaweed Shampoo is a mild cleanser that can be used daily. The Seaweed Conditioner is a great daily conditioner that leaves hair soft and manageable.

Size: 8 fl oz; Price: $19.99

Peter Thomas Roth Moisturizer-Sunscreen Combo


Max All Day Moisture Defense Cream, SPF 30
A rich, creamy oil-free, fragrance-free daytime facial moisturizer enriched with hydrators, antioxidants and SPF 30 protection. Dermatologist clinically and allergy tested.
Animal Cruelty Free

Size: 1.7 oz (50 g); Price: $40.00

Texture Pomade 7

A styling tool for achieving dramatic shine, flexible hold and definition. A complete water soluble non-greasy product. a non-tacky flexible hold (about 7/10 hold factor). Developed for wet or dry styling. Helps control dry frizzy hair. It is an excellent styling aid for curly hair. can be used as a styling aid as well as a leave in conditioner. This product will not leave hair weighed down or leave a build-up. The non-Paba sunscreen helps to protect and maintain coloured hair. Texture Pomade 7 is just right for the soft seperated hair styles of today. Formulated to be used daily without build-up, using natural ingredients to revitalize hair and scalp. Strengthens and expands hair follicles for thicker, fuller and more manageable hair. Contains Aqueous Extracts of Kelp acts to add body and shine, as well as strengthen the hair follicle. Nettle stimulates hair growth and shines and softens hair.Rosemary nourishes and conditions the hair to add shine and manageability.Chamomile acts to add body and shine, as well as strengthen the hair follicle.

Size 3 oz/ 90 ml; Price $13.98


Happy Father’s Day!