Friday, January 29, 2010

my sequin wedges are packed

nick and i are off to san diego for the weekend! one of my oldest friends from high school, kyle, is celebrating his marriage (he kinda sorta eloped with the coolest girl ever a few months ago) and i'm so excited to be able to join in on the fun. i'm also looking forward to spending some QT with my BFF katie and her hubs, who live in my old home of san francisco.

don't ask me what i'm wearing to the party...all i know is my outfit will involve these sequin leopard wedges from forever21 for $25.80. don't worry, the leopard is WAY more understated in person. another victim of bad website photography.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

saundra's to die for blueberry muffins

saundra is my mother-in-law and her blueberry muffins are to die for. really, that's what the recipe is called: "saundra's to die for blueberry muffins." they are SO.GOOD. here's the how-to:

muffin ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
crumb topping ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

muffin directions:
  • preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  • combine 1.5 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tsp baking powder.
  • place 1/3 cup vegetable oil in a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. mix with the flour mixture.
  • fold in 1 cup blueberries.

crumb topping directions:
  • mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter and 1.5 tsp cinnamon using a fork or pastry cutter.

  • fill muffin cups with muffin batter all the way to the top and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.

  • bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. makes 8 large muffins or 12 small.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

yellow accent pillows in the living room

just picked up these terrazzo silk pillows in yellow from west elm for the living room couch. for some reason they don't have the yellow version on the website but there are tons in store. loving their new "decorate with yellow" stuff. the silk pillow covers are $34 each and $14 for the down inserts. tip: i had a 10% off welcome to the neighborhood coupon that i received after changing our address with the USPS.

ps. can we talk about the long hanging capiz pendant lamp in last photo above? i MUST have one of these i an high-ceilinged foyer one day. MUST. $259. here are more images from the west elm website. *sigh*

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

black and white queen of spades skirt

this queen of spades skirt from lulus fits in perfectly for my love of all things black and white (see my bathroom here). $52 sounds a bit pricey for lulus but it's a pretty classic skirt that i can see myself wearing for ages. as mentioned before, lulus sells out quickly so if you want one you should scoop it up now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

first day of school outfit

eek, so as already mentioned, today is my first day of my new jobby! starting a new gig always makes me so totally much to learn, so many new names to remember, a new routine to figure out. reminds me of the first day of school every year when i spent the entire night before trying on every single article of clothing in my closet for the oh-so-perfect back to school outfit...and yes...i went through the exact same process last night.

i want to wear something that's kinda a "take me [kinda] seriously and i can look casually professional while not looking too cookie cutter" type of thing. i ended up with something just like this (subject to change when it actually comes time to get dressed):

clockwise from top left:
  • ann taylor silk georgette open stitch shirt, ann taylor, $49.99 + an extra 25% off
  • muse bag, yves saint laurent, $1,395
  • spanx swiss dot tights, shopbop, $28
  • follies suede wedge in purple, seychelles via, $61.99 from $80
  • blossom belted skirt, forever21, $17.80
ps. i'm gonna wear the skirt with a black belt instead of the floral but i couldn't find a photo.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

chateau annie and nick

so i thought i'd give a quick update on recent happenings in austin...aside from the usual work, etc. nick and i have had a really fun couple of weeks. the chateau (also known as our guest room) has been booked solid...our BFFs christy and bobby came for their inaugural visit and it was, plus a really great long visit from my mom followed closely behind. we love having visitors! hint hint.

here we are at oasis to watch the sunset over lake travis...but it was cloudy and freezing so we took a photo in front of this sunset billboard instead. love it.

and here's me and nick at salt lick in the perfect 70 degree weather while waiting for our table. mmmm bbq...

...and then enjoying a bottle of wine and the view at driftwood vineyards in hill country.

we don't know who this pink gorilla is but he was the highlight of our night at rebel's honky tonk on W 5th st. pink gorilla, i hope to see you again next time.

i wasn't a great of a photog for my mom's visit but we had a great time. we ate a lot of bbq (i decided i'm obsessed with county line but i'm not into the no-fork-rule at kreuz') and tex mex (free margaritas at el chile while they await their liquor license? yes please!), explored the town, did some shopping, went on some long drives through hill country, tasted some delicious pie, saw avatar at the imax in 3D, and about a billion other things i won't bore you with. i heart moms!

in other news, monday's my first day of work at the new gig and i'm super anxious. i've done a bunch of studying and prepping but i definitely have the scaries already...

Friday, January 22, 2010

flats, wedges, kitten heels or pumps? ok they're non-flats.

as much as i'd love to wear heels every day...i don't. not even close. BUT i wish i did. instead i've decided to look for flats that are non-flats. and these blend shoes by steve madden fit the bill pretty well. they're suede with a little 1/2 inch wedge and a nice amount of toe cleavage. they go for $89.95 on the steve madden website but i got mine at DSW for $69 (plus i used my $10 coupon for signing up for their rewards program!).

ps. they also come in black suede, blush, brown suede and purple suede.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ann taylor ruffles for work

yes, another post about clothes for the new job. sorrrry but it's kinda all i've been shopping for recently. anyway, i really wanted some more refined, grown-up looking tops to pair with jeans and heels and ann taylor had exactly was i was looking for - on the sale rack!

this silk twill ruffle front top is on sale for $49 from $88, plus all sale items are an extra 25% off for a limited time. i picked it up in navy blue and limeade but i kinda wish i got it in the ceramic teal too. all three colors would probably be against the rules, though...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

forever21 twelve by twelve collection = appropriate for grown ups

while shopping for some new work duds last week i decided to spend some time digging through the racks of forever21. it was a nice surprise how refreshing my experience was here compared to my usual experience at the new york city stores. a girl actually came up to me to ask if i needed help finding anything...i looked at her like she had six heads before i came to my senses and realized she was JUST DOING HER JOB. not to mention all of the racks were organized BY SIZE. whoa! good for you, forever21 at barton square mall.

anyway, i spent most of my time in the twelve by twelve section. the twelve by twelve collection is a little bit more refined with more girly fabrics and small details, and in my opinion is way more appropriate for a 30 year old than any of their other lines (yesssss, i'm 30). that's where i found this super cute pleated bubble sleeve top for $29. i can't wait to pair mine with a thick pair of leggings and boots or wedges.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

january jones at the golden globes: the look for less

i've mentioned before that i DIE for january jones. DIE. her look at sunday night's golden globes did not disappoint for one second so i set out to replicate it for a normal person.

below: january jones at the golden globes in a lanvin dress and brian atwood wagner heels ($1,485!).

below: my look for less

clockwise from top left:
  • crepe chiffon bow headband, forever21, $4.80
  • asl ruth zebra jacquard dress, tahari, $168
  • twisted rhinestone bangle set, forever21, $5.80
  • manicurist of seville, opi's spain collection, $7
  • twilitte pumps, steve madden, $99.95
here's a bigger photo of the tahari dress...

by the way, her lip color is "paris" from the new chanel coco rouge collection. it won't be available until march. le sigh.

Friday, January 15, 2010

the perfect slouchy pocket tee

for those of you who haven't heard, i am officially employed. signed the offer letter yesterday. so what did i do to celebrate? that's right, i went shopping. i've been looking for a good slouchy pocket tee to wear with skinny jeans or tucked in to balance a tight skirt and express has the perfect version. available for $24.50, i snagged it in white and i'm considering going back for more. there were some great jewel toned blues, purples and pinks in store in addition to basic black and white (the website only shows the blue). beware, you'll need a cami underneath - it's sheer - and these are my faves.

tip - sign up for express emails to receive 15% off. they also always have fab coupons and promos.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

my fave gift this past christmas - stamped silver ring

i've been dying to write about these rings but held off until after the holiday so i wouldn't ruin the surprise. i gave my sister-in-law two of kathryn riechert's sterling silver rings for christmas - each was stamped with the name and birthday of one of her babies. they came out perfectly and i love the way they look stacked together. priced at $25 each, these rings are a great idea for the mom or love in your life. you can choose from a few fonts and personalize according to kathryn's specs. love!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

diy: book wreath

i found this book wreath idea on a great crafting blog called living with lindsay. i LOVE the way hers came out and set out to make a book wreath of my own. [side note: funnily enough, lindsay is also in austin...note to self: get in touch with lindsay.]

we have a huge empty space on the living room wall above the tv. i thought a wreath or two or three would be perfect there.

i'm going to attempt to recap the step-by-step process to creating your own book wreath but my honest advice? go over to living with lindsay for her how-to. she's definitely more of a pro crafter than i am...obviously...and she has a video tutorial which was super helpful...but here is my lame attempt at it...

step 1: gather your supplies: a small wreath ring (10" i think), a paperback book you don't care about (i used confessions of a shopaholic = appropriate), craft paint in the color of your choosing (i used yellow), hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks, straight pins and ribbon. i got all of them at hobby lobby aside from the stellar piece of literature, which came from my bookshelf.

step 2: apply the craft paint around the edges of the book using a paper towel. let dry, then separate the pages and remove the binding (i just ripped but chunks out very carefully so as not to rip the pages and cut off the binding glue).

step 3: roll the pages one at a time however you like (like a fan, in cigar rolls, figure eights) and use hot glue to adhere the page to the wreath base. be sure not to crease the paper and only glue down the edge that came out of the book binding. work your way from the center of the wreath to the outside and the inside, filling in holes as you go.

step 4: cut a piece of ribbon as short or as long as you'd like, depending on whether or not you want the ribbon to be visible. adhere with a few straight pins and some hot glue here and there. oops...forgot pictures of this step...

step 5: this is an extra step that lindsay didn't suggest...since we rent our apartment and refuse to paint walls, we need to add color in any way we can. so i adhered some cool paper to the back of the wreath to add a little more color and texture to the center circle. i picked up some scrapbooking paper at hobby lobby for a few bucks, traced the wreath circle and cut out the perfect shape then hot glued it to the back of the wreath. voila, a little punch of color.

so here's the finished product. i've finished two of them and even though i plan to hang up three (i just started on my third) i got too impatient and wanted to blog about them NOW so hung up the two i've completed....and i think they look like nipples hanging above the tv...or a smiley face. gotta get that third one finished asap :)