I'm in love with...

image: minthome 
...a piece of furniture. It's true. One look, and I knew that this mid century dress in mint green was destined to be my soul mate. An expensive price tag and shipping costs might keep us apart, but if it's meant to be we will find a way to be together. Right next to my bed; as the perfect nightstand/extra storage facility.

Falling in love with this dresser has re energized me to get my decorating butt in gear, and get to work on decorating my house again. Remember when I was only thinking in mood boards? Remember the dresser I planned to refurbish? Gracious where does the time go? I'm going to blame daylight savings time, and I the fact I've been watching too many old episodes of Secrets from a Stylist, and feeling intimidated by Emily's awesome skills.

So dresser, love of my life, thank you for getting me inspired.

Cozy Holidays

top: Jcrew, scarf: Ann Taylor, jeans: AG, socks: Payless, boots: DSW shoes

Layers, fuzzy sweaters, and chunky knits helped keep me warm and cozy while I celebrated the holidays this weekend. It was so nice to have a lazy day with my family, watching A Christmas Story about 10 times, and staying in our PJ's all day. I hope all of you had a nice Christmas with your family and friends too. I guess it's time to start putting away the tree and lights and think about the new year that's right around the corner!

Merry Merry!

Merry Christmas my little apples! Just a few instagram photos from my present wrapping frenzy last night. I am officially done shopping and wrapping, so now I can relax, enjoy a plate of cookies, and spend time with my loved ones. I hope everyone gets the time to take in a long weekend with your family and friends, and if you've been good; that present you've been wishing for under the tree! Happy Holidays. xo

Happy Pins

Thoughts of bows, Christmas trees, and clothing perfect for staying warm are dancing in my head as we near closer to Christmas!

Leslie Knope

Leslie Knope is my motivator. If you want to see someone who lets nothing stand in her way, a creative solution for every problem, full of energy, and a monumental passion for doing what she loves, then you need to be watching Parks and Recreation on Thursday nights. I watched this past Thursday's episode Sunday night and I can't stop thinking about it.

If you've seen the show at least once, you know the one thing Leslie is most passionate about is the city she lives in: Pawnee. Although, a close second is her friends and her dream of becoming the President. From petition signings to planning a Harvest Festival no task is too small for her to get excited about. If it gets her one step closer to her goal then she is on board 110%. Nothing gets in her way.

I guess that's why I can't stop thinking about Leslie Knope. I am in awe of her determination. I need her drive to inspire and motivate me right now. I seem to be stuck in this constant thought process of, "what am I doing with my life, where am I going, what is my focus?" After replaying more recent episodes of the show in my head, I'm trying to push the overwhelming feeling of whining and depression down, and realize results don't come from that. They come from pushing forward and not letting anything get you down. If Leslie can overcome the odds and find a way to run for City Council then I can keep my head high and find what works for me too. The solution is out there. If I take the time to brainstorm, talk with others, and follow what's in my heart I'll come out on top.

I still don't know what I want to do or where I'm going, but I have a better glimmer of hope right now; thanks to Leslie Knope.

"It's gotten a lot harder to work in government. D'you think Winston Churchill ever had to pull his pants down and show his butt? No. But would he have? Yes. Now could he have? Maybe not towards the end of his life, but, he would have....because he loved his job." --Leslie Knope

Friday Flick Picks

This has been a good movie watching week for me! And honestly, I think I may be underselling myself because I think I managed to squeeze in a fifth movie somewhere too but I can't remember! Oh wait it just came to me!

So take that weeks with only one movie; I am on fire! Again, lots of variety this week and mostly giving our Netflix's account a workout with 3 out of the 5 coming from our queue. My pick this week is The Devil's Double. Dominic Cooper needs some serious Oscar buzz for his performances in this movie. The movie plot didn't blow me away, but he really made the movie watchable. Usually an actor playing two different roles in a movie comes off as laughable and too obvious but he really made it seem like two different people in a very subtle way.

The rest of the movies this week were either just okay or a total pass (National Lampoon excluded). With SAG and Globe nominations out, and Oscars just around the corner I feel a stream of "obligated" movie watching in my future to be fully prepared for my ballots.

At Home for Christmas

I love my sparkly red deer with his sweet little face and Christmas bell

You'll never find a Christmas tree with white lights in my house, colored lights are a must in my opinion

I love growing my collection of vintage oranaments every year

Don't even try to test my memorization of "Twas the Night Before Christmas." I have almost 30 copies in my collection. Some are the traditional version, others with a funny twist; like my Zombie Night Before Christmas I got last year.

Mine and Aaron's stocking, surprisngly, from Pottery Barn Kids. I love the mix of the gingham and velvet

This year I added the paper chain garland around the tree and really like how it turned out. Every year I think I'll do a sophisticated and styled "theme" tree, but the thought of not putting my Hallmark or handmade ornaments on the tree is like not seeing old friends for the holidays.

Happy Pins

left to right (clockwise): love a mix of stripes and sparkles. simplistic Christmas displays, totally into matching wrapping paper, and I could seriously rock this look every single day


This sweet little song and video have been on my mind lately, so I thought I'd share it with you guys. If you haven't heard this song, then you're in for a treat this morning. Just try and watch this video without smiling or getting a lump in your throat!
"My love a beacon in the night, my words will be your light, to carry you to me."

Friday Flick Picks

If I could wish you guys to have one thought about my Friday Flick Picks posts it would be, "Sarah will watch anything, won't she?"

New, old, stupid, obscure. Just a few words to summarize this week's movies. The Descendants was just good, not great. The acting held together well; I think Clooney and Shailene Woodley will get nominations out of it. But for me, the highs and lows were too all over the place. I couldn't justify where the characters were coming from. And side note: Matthew Lillard is still alive and has a bit part in this movie!

Dinner for Schmucks was totally ridiculous, and not in a good way. How can two actors I find super funny in tons of other stuff fail so horribly in this movie? The best parts for me was the opening credits and all the parts with the taxidermy mice. (I know that sounds weird, but you'll know what I mean if you watch the movie).

If you're in the mood for a holiday flick than queue up Home Alone. If you're looking for something a little bit different I say check out Attack the Block. It's a small indie sci-fi flick from the UK that came out earlier this year. A gang of South London kids fight off an alien attack on their block. It sounds totally campy and silly but it comes off pretty well. I was entertained by it 10 times more than any of the other movies I saw this week (Home Alone excluded).

Have a fabulous weekend guys! See you back on Monday! xo

Shellac Nails

I have to tell you guys about the most amazing manicure that is happening on my nails right now. Over Thanksgiving I got to catch up with one of my dearest friends; and after we got all the giggling and catching up out of our system I started raving about how amazing her nails looked. They were super shiny and not a chip in sight. A shellac nail manicure was her secret!

Seriously this process is amazing. The top most picture was taken the day I got them done and the lower picture was taken today, 7 days after the first. Now I realize most regular manicures will last you a good week, but in my case it doesn't. I must be too rough on them. But I also know if I get one little chip or scratch one one, there's no hope in the rest of them lasting. With shellac nails I've done everything I normally do with my hands and I there's not a scratch or chip in sight. And I should be able to get another week out of this manicure too! Hello miracle!

Do you need this miracle in your life too? Go to CND's website and use their locate link to find a salon in your city. If a small city like Lexington can have at least 8 salons in my zip code, I know your city should have at least one too. CND is the only company supplying colors for the shellac nail process (but I hear OPI is coming out with a line too) so you can check out their selection of colors here. I'm wearing Dark Ruby. This process is much healthier, cheaper, and quicker than a gel manicure. And in my opinion they have better color selection for shellac nails. For the holidays with baking, wrapping, and parties in your future you can't beat the low upkeep.

Melissa Q, thank you for intruding me to my new favorite thing!

layout via pugly pixel

Happy Pins

(clockwise) I could live in cozy cuddly cardigans like these ones (in these colors) every single day of winter...I have a weakness for vintage ornaments...the cutest night light I ever saw...no party is complete without stripey straws

See more of my pins here!

layout via pugly pixle

Top 10 Christmas Albums, cont.

As promised here is the second half of my top 10 Christmas albums. I hope I've introduced you to something new or sparked a memory of your favorite Christmas song or album. Keep those tunes going as you shop, decorate, wrap presents, or battle holiday traffic. I promise the songs will make things just a little bit better!

#6 Zooey Deschanel's voice can do no wrong. I adore her and M. Ward's folksie take on Christmas songs. They're so catchy and sweet. And I love her outfit on the cover!

#4 I love Brian Setzer's rockabilly take on some holiday classics. You've got to listen to Cactus Christmas and the The Nutcracker Suite medley

#3 Who doesn't own this album? I had this on cassette tape when I was a kid and  loved it so much had to have the CD version of it later. This is an ultimate classic

#2 My all time favorite Christmas song is Nat's version of  "The Christmas Song." Oh how I love this tune. The rest of this album is just as wonderful
#1 Picking my favorite for this countdown was easy. I could listen to these tracks over and over again and never tire or get annoyed by Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo's voices. There is something so sweet, childlike, and wholesome about this album. I guess because I grew up with The Muppets and it holds a special place in my heart. It just doesn't seem like Christmas without hearing the whole gang sing The Twelve Days of Christmas. (Beaker's day 9 gets me every time!)

Knee Sock Love

shirt: Urban Outfitter, scarf: American Eagle, belt: Lacoste, skirt H&M, socks: Payless, boots: Old Navy

If I had to pick a trend that I loved the most right now, I would have to say knee socks. I realize for the past two or three seasons girls have been rocking the socks peaking out of boots and over the knees. I can't get enough of them! Ever since I was a little girl and my mother would put me in those thick white wool ones for church (that always found their way bunched up around my ankles) I have been dying for them to come back in style. And wouldn't you know the first pair I bought were a pair of cream cable ones! I guess some things never change. For this weekend our weather was mildly warm and sunny so I could get away with just my knee socks to help keep me warm. That's the thing about Kentucky weather one minute sunny and warm the next rain and cold.

'Tis the Season

Woo hoo for Friday! My weekend includes getting out all my Christmas decorations, putting up the tree, some holiday craft projects, and attending a sweet little baby shower of one of my closest friends. I hope there's some Christmas magic in your weekends too. See you back here on Monday little apples! xo

Friday Flick Picks

Sigh, my multiple movie streak could only last for a little bit I guess.

I gave Gangs of New York a second viewing this past Monday. For some reason I always think this movie is The Departed. Every time I see it coming on TV or on Netflix instant I think, "ooo The Departed is on!" And then my heart sinks when I realize that it's really Gangs of NY. Even though I can clearly read the title of the movie. And, when this movie was queuing up I thought Departed! My brain works in crazy ways sometimes. To put it simply my review of this movie is: it's no Departed. But in seriousness I remembered liking this movie a lot more in the theater 3 years ago and after a second viewing I wasn't feeling it. If you're just in the mood for a Scorsese/DiCaprio combo might I suggest something better? Such as The Departed or Shutter Island; you'll be much happier.

Fresh Fabric

Do you guys know about Heather Bailey? If you don't, she is this super creative Jane of all trades and crafter extraordinaire. She designs fabrics, paper supplies, stationary, and picnic-ware. And not only does she create and design all these supplies, she comes up with amazing sewing tutorials to use her projects as well. Her shop recently sent out a newsletter introducing her newest line of fabrics: Garden District. What I love most about Heather's products is the color! They're somehow vibrant and soft at the same time. She taps into the ultimate "girl" colors and patterns of florals in bubblegum pinks, fuchsias, and raspberries, really well. If I had my way, it would pastels everywhere. But for something less frou frou she has an equal variety of cool blues, greens, browns and reds in stripes, dots, and geometric shapes, too.

Check out her blog and shop and you'll instantly want to make a quilt, reupholster a chair, or make one of her famous pincushions!

Heather's newest fabric: St. Charles Bouquet. Tell me you wouldn't kill to have a chair like this in your house.

Swatches from Garden District, Nicey Jane, and Fresh Cut fabric lines
(all images via Heather Bailey)

Happy Pins

1. Love the colorful little bunting on this tree. A good way to bring a pop of color into a space
2. Warm cider and cookies look like they could be on the other side of this orangey-red door
3. Could totally use a suede tote like this
4. I'm a total sucker for a fairy tales, and silhouettes

You can see more of my pinnings over on Pinterest!

(template from pugley pixel)

Top 10 Christmas Albums

My mother has enforced a strict no listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving rule in our household. Usually I'm a good daughter and abide by her rules but this year I just couldn't wait. One of our local radio stations started playing 24/7 Christmas music two weeks before Thanksgiving and I couldn't help but listen in from time to time. So now that it's acceptable to listen to the holiday tunes without shame I'm breaking out my Christmas CD collection and listening to them all the time. So to give you a break from hearing Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree for the 100th time here's a peek at my top 10 favorite Christmas albums for something different.

#10 I had this album as a tape when I was a little kid and wore. it. out! Listening to their high pitched little voices makes me think about Christmas as a little kid

#9 A Charlie Brown Christmas is probably one of my favorite holiday special, and when I hear Christmas Time is Here I can't help thinking of snowflakes falling. 

#8 I'm totally in love Kristin Chenoweth's voice. She's got a lot of non-traditional Christmas songs on this album which is a nice change

#7 Michael Buble, his voice is was made to sing  Christmas carols. 

#6 I love the jazzy feel of HCJ's Christmas album. My mom would listen to this CD constantly when she first bought it. Listening to it makes me think of her and how she always makes our Christmases special
Okay so there's half to get you in the Christmas mood. Check back in next week and I reveal the rest! 

Friday Flick Picks

I hope everyone reading this blog post are at home, happily surrounded by friends or family, with leftovers in your fridge, and thoughts of Christmas on your mind. I was totally on my game this week as far as movies go this week too! And not just old movies either; I got out to the theatre once and conveniently ordered one on OnDemand.

Let me talk a little bit about the new movies I saw: Melancholia and Martha Marcy May Marlene. Both were let downs for me. Perhaps I'm asking too much out of artsy films but this movie viewer needs a little meat to her stories! For me, you can't just throw me into the middle of the plot and not provide any explanation of how the characters got there, where they're going, or why they are the way they are. It feels too unfulfilling for me. I feel so detached from the characters and the story I just spent 2 hours involved in. Both of these movies gave me that feeling this week. A little mystery goes a long way in my book, like Up in the Air. They movie does a great job of setting up George Clooney's character, and in the end the viewer gets to make the decision of where his character is going in the last scene. Even though I didn't like Martha Marcy May Marlene as much as I wanted to, I still say you should give it a watch. Elizabeth Olsen is really amazing, and John Hawkes KILLS it! That man needs an award soon. You may not feel any warm fuzzy feeling afterwards, but if this movie starts collecting awards next year you'll be happy to know the actors at least earned them.

And I know I didn't touch on Moonstruck at all, but do I really need to? Cher and Nicholas Cage? It's a masterpiece!