January in Photos

January 2014 in Photos

January was mostly full of preparing for my Paris trip.  Eric gave me a gorgeous Kelly Moore camera bag (my first camera bag!) for Christmas.  I had a few shopping trips to pick up shoes, PJs, etc.  I even bought a gorgeous tangerine trench to wear!  I made sure to keep up with my cardio at the gym to prep for all that walking we’d be doing.  I even picked the perfect polish to wear.

I finished reading the last of the Stieg Larsson books (so good) and started a new to me series.

Eric made a fabulous King cake to enjoy for Epiphany.

I’m absolutely enamored with the Dracula tv series, and the sets are stunning.  I look forward to this show every week and it never disappoints.

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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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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?

Fame

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.

macarons2

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.

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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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March in Photos

March in Photos

Something crazy has been going on with my blog and/or WordPress over the past week.  I keep trying to come in and do a new blog post and haven’t been able to!  So, finally here is March in photos.

March was kind of a month of indulgences.  Between the Mozartkugeln from Germany, the yummy homemade pizza, a good book and some nail polish, I was kind of on a roll!  Really, I think a good part of it was a bit of escapism from some stuff that hasn’t been so fun to deal with this month.

One of the best things this month was going to the Dallas Quilt Show with a friend.  I haven’t been to the quilt show in years, and it was such a fabulous day full of inspiration and even a little shopping.  And the inspiration hasn’t left yet.  I’ve been itching to sew!!  Once I finished my Kate Spain quilt in February, I was dying to get back to my Kiss Kiss quilt.  In March, I managed to get all of the cutting finished and also got all of my pieced blocks sewn together.  Next up is starting to assemble the rows.  I can’t wait to see this beauty come together!  And I finished up a hexy pincushion for a friend’s birthday and sent it on its way.  And a beautiful little thank you card came in the mail for the birthday gift I’d sent to another friend last month.  Isn’t that little bird with the blue and white bowls adorable?

Some days it really started to feel like Spring, and the trees were blooming with glorious color.  But we keep getting days of temps dipping back into the 30s and 40s, so I indulged in a little Mexican hot chocolate in the evening.

In family life, my boys are getting so big!  They are a year old and we are feeling so fortunate to have them in our lives.  Their daily shenanigans really keep us on our toes!!  In June it will mark one year that we’ve had them, which I find hard to believe!!

As always, I appreciate you stopping by!  I’m really enjoying sharing some of what’s going on in my world here.

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February in Pictures

February Mosiac

I can hardly believe another month has come and gone.  February was a rough month for me.  It marked the one-year mark of losing my dad.  It still feels fresh, and he was on my mind a lot this month.  Work was also very intense this month, but I did manage to take a couple of days off in order to have a long weekend at the beginning of the month.  And while January is always very peaceful and quiet, full of new potential…February for me is the first burst of color and seeing progress on new projects.

This February I found myself drawn to pretty spring colors, visually feasting on dreams of Paris and macarons.  I found time on my days off to finish some crafty projects – one a gift for a friend and one a quilt I’d started two Thanksgivings ago.  It feels so good to be able to focus on some fun things I wanted to do.  And it seemed that Lana Del Rey’s music was my personal soundtrack throughout the month (still is – I can’t get enough of it).

Eric and I celebrated Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras with a King Cake and dinner out.  It’s been several years since I made a King Cake (this one was bought)…maybe next year?  I managed to spend an afternoon with a good friend (much-needed girl time) and wrapped up the month with a very delicious work dinner.

Despite the memories February brought with it, and despite the craziness at work, it was a good month and I’m so pleased to have been so productive and even steal a little time for myself!

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Things I Love Thursday: Bond, James Bond

james-bond-skyfall
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?

opi-skyfall shades
And I especially love the Skyfall polish that appeared in the film.  Gorgeous color.

opi-skyfall
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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Things I Love Thursday: The Little Things

I’ve been remiss in my TILT posts, and of course, this one is late too – but better late than never!  I’ve been focusing lately on the little things that make me happy, and finding joy in the small stuff.  So this week, I thought I’d just share a little bit of what’s making me happy.

★  The book I’m reading

★  A three-day weekend (and the following four-day work week!)

★  Starting to put the finishing touches on our living room

★  Fashion Week

★  My Blue Moon Mani in honor of the blue moon last Friday

★  Watching Jurassic Park on tv

★  Rediscovering some things from my old apartment and looking through them

★  New collars for the kittens (who are now quite big!)

★  Thutmose standing on his hind legs in the kitchen window watching the birds

★  A harvest moon Saturday night

★  Refreshing my hair color

★  Friends that give me Day of the Dead skulls for my birthday

★  Setting up the DVR for the new fall shows

★  Learning how to make star bullets!

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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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