Shiny New Year

2013 is almost upon us. With less than 24 hours to go, things like resolutions seem to be at the forefront of my brain. 2012 seemed to be filled with a lot of ups and downs for me. Moving twice, new relationships, new jobs, and a new look (more on that later this week). But besides changing my outward appearance I've really changed my inward appearance as well. And for me that's huge. I've learned it's not a bad thing, just really hard sometimes, to speak your mind. To stand up for yourself and tell the truth. No matter how it may make someone else feel. In the end you and that other person will be better off in the long run.

So that's what I've learned from 2012, I plan on making 2013 a much better year. Here are the resolutions I'm working on:

1. Continue my 30 for 30 goal of saving up money, paying down credit card and stop excess spending
2. Travel more. I want to go to the beach, New York, and someplace I never imagined
3. Spend less time watching TV, and more on reading, working on LYA, and exploring new and creative things on other blogs, shops, an Pinterest
4. Taking more pictures. Getting back to scrapbooking, album making, and doing more freelance photography
5. Keeping up my workout routine, and work towards getting that six-pack!
6. Make an effort to work on styling jobs, decorating, and design work

So those are mine. What about you guys?

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone who reads this blog is surrounded by family, friends, and Christmas morning. Be happy, safe, and drink an extra cup of hot coco for me! See you all next week!

In bed...

This little puppy has the right idea; a day snuggled up in bed. Pure bliss! I plan on doing precisely this, because this little apple has caught herself a cold! With lots of holiday plans coming up this is so the last thing I need. My sheets are cozy and my pillows are I should be up and running at 100 percent in no time. Have a lovely weekend my friends.

PS You've got to check out this Christmas song, it's been stuck in my head all week

bar III

Shopping in department stores isn't usually my thing. There's too many racks, too many options, too many 'percentage off' signs that I don't understand. But during the holidays sometimes you gotta get your hands dirty and just go for it. Yesterday I was in Macy's and discovered a great in house brand of theirs: bar III. Very contemporary with a mix of retro. You can get something trendy like a peplum top or peter pan collared dress at an excellent price point and quality. These are just some of my favorite pieces I spied on the racks as I walked through their section. Perhaps after the holidays I'll get up the nerve to find some deals to try on (baby steps people!).

Shop the whole brand yourself here!

Commercials Can Help

So I've been doing a lot of thinking and evaluating of my life lately. At least 2 or 3 times a week I have this mini panic attack about what I'm doing with my life. Am I working at the right job? Am I doing what I really want to be doing? Shouldn't I be doing more with my life at (almost) 30? I'm not sure if I'm questioning the big parts of my life because society makes me feel like I should have it figured out by now, or I'm an overachiever, or I'm just going crazy. I think it's probably a little bit of all three, but sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball to show me the way. 
Then I had a thought. About an ING commercial. Yes, a strange thing to be thinking of in the middle of a breakdown, but this is my life. I can't even begin to think about retirement or investing, but the overall message of this commercial struck a chord with me. You've got to have a plan. Throwing energy or effort blindly at something won't get you anywhere. How can you get where you're going if you don't know where you're going to? 
I can't answer any of my panic attack questions if I don't know what I really want. So I've been spending some time trying to figure that out. I still don't have an exact plan, but keeping this 30 second clip in my head helps me stay focused. Sure, I could complain and whine about how I don't know if what I'm doing is exactly the right thing right now, but thinking on the solution seems to be a much better way to solve the problem. 
Wish me luck as I try to put together a "game plan" for my life. Perhaps by 2013, only 3 weeks away, I will have a clear start to my year. 
And you thought commercials were just to fast forward through.

A Non Traditional Christmas

You can list all the features on the Red Rider BB gun, the lyrics to White Christmas, every prank Kevin pulls, and why the twinkle lights aren't turning on at the Griswold house. Christmas movies: they're apart of the whole December holiday experience. At least for me anyways. Every year I look forward to when my favorite movies are aired on TV and I watch them like I've never seen them before.

But sometimes I like a little variety. And I'm sure you do too. I'm going to break down some lesser known, not often shown, holiday movie favorites of mine. Add them into your Christmas movie watching rotation and you won't be sorry.

Die Hard. Many people forget that this action packed classic takes place at Christmas. With all the blood, guns, and broken glass I can see how that fact could easily be forgotten. Bruce Willis thinks he's attending a typical Christmas party when lo and behold terrorists take over the building and he has to save everyone. Yippie ki yay Merry Christmas!

Unlikely Angel. Dolly Parton stars in this made for TV movie from the 90's. She was a country singer who unexpectedly dies, and is sent back to earth as an angel to perform one last good deed. She's sent to a recently widowed man, who obviously falls in love with Dolly, and she brings he and his kids together for Christmas. It's been a really long time since I've seen this one, but the memory is clear: Dolly and Christmas go together.

A Diva's Christmas Carol. I love VH1's take on the classic Dickens novel. Vanessa Williams plays Ebony Scrooge, a diva pop star, that has bulldozed everyone to get to the top of the industry. Kathy Griffin is one of the ghosts, if that tells you anything about how awesome this movie is, and the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is an episode of Behind the Music, The Ebony Scrooge story. It's hilarious! Sometimes, this gets aired on TV, so if you're lucky you can catch it.

A Muppets Christmas Carol. Most people remember A Muppet Family Christmas, but never this one. A total underdog in the Muppet movie repertoire. They never show it on TV either which totally baffles me too. They just released it on Bluray this year, so just do yourself a favor, buy it and it will quickly become your favorite too. Nobody plays a better Scrooge than Michael Caine and who could be a more charming and loveable Bob Cratchit than Kermit the Frog?

Challenge Complete

Pinterest makes it so simple to find a how to on just about anything. I have a lifetime of pins saved up on how to refinish a piece of furniture, make at home carpet cleaners, recipes for deserts and dinners, holiday decorations and makeup tutorials. One of my 30 Before 30 goals was to choose a handful of Pinterest ideas to replicate. There are especially a lot of home improvement pins I would have loved to try, but when I have a place of my own it might be a little easier. But I'm pretty please with the ones I set out to tackle.

It started with skinny monkey cookies as part of my 3 course meal I cooked. Next I decoupaged mini gourds and pumpkins with scrapbook paper and decked out a white pumpkin with a trick or treat message. For Thanksgiving my family has a tradition of making pies the night before the big dinner. I had been obsessed with making a sour cream apple pie and found an easy recipe to pin. Last but not least what are the holidays without some Christmas crafts? I duplicated the ever popular no sew Christmas tree skirt. I used burlap instead of linen or cotton to give my tree a more rustic vintage feel.

You can follow me on Pinterest to see what pins I have on my radar to try next!

Sour Cream Apple Pie
Decoupage Pumpkins
No Sew Christmas Tree Skirt
Skinny Monkey Cookies
Painted Trick or Treat Pumpkin
Pumpkin Muffins

December Plaid

jacket: vintage, blouse: The Limited, pants: Anthropologie, boots: Nine West, earrings: Stella and Dot
I've had vintage hunting dreams of finding a coat as unique as this one at a vintage shop. Street Scene came through for me on this colorful find. It's the perfect topper for all my holiday hustling and bustling. There's something so satisfying about having something one of a kind too. Mostly because I love saying "it's vintage" when someone asks me where I got it. I dress to beat of my own drummer! Now all I need is a little drop in the temperature to show it off in style.

Ballet Style

Over the weekend I saw a performance of The Nutcracker ballet. I haven't seen the show since I was a kid, but it was so beautiful to be reminded of the magical world of dancing snowflakes and sugar plum fairies. Afterwards I couldn't stop dreaming of tutus, sequins, pointe shoes. If only I could get away with wearing massive amounts of tulle and pirouetting from one place to another everyday. One day!

links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Friday Flick Picks

Movies twice in one week! The inner movie geek in me can hardly stand it. So in the true time frame of normal LYA movie reporting I saw these two movies within the last 7 days. The long holiday weekend was practically begging for a movie marathon. I saw Skyfall and Life of Pi. Both were wonderfully entertaining in their own way but I have to say Skyfall is my pick this week. Pi is full of beautiful imagery. Ang Lee's movies drip in gorgeous cinematography, but to me, the story lacked true heart. I've read the book, and what makes the book so wonderful is the readers surprise to  the big "reveal." In the movie it was spelled out too literal. It seemed so anti climatic. Skyfall, was so much fun. Daniel Craig really kills it as Bond. He gives the character so much depth, and it is so entertaining to watch. And who plays a better sinister bad guy than Javier Bardem? So creepy and dark, his soft voice makes him the perfect alter ego of Bond. Clever and action packed you will not regret seeing Skyfall.

On my movie radar: Lincoln, Killing Them Softly, Flight

Christmas, Officially

My Dad asked me the other day when did I officially feel like it was Christmas. And while decorating the tree, and listening to Christmas music gives me a healthy dose of holiday cheer, for me, it's watching Charlie Brown Christmas. Every year it gives me the same childlike happiness. I know every "good grief" and every line to Linus' heartfelt meaning of Christmas speech and still I watch intently like I don't know how it all ends. So thank goodness it came on early in the season so I can feel like Christmas has started, officially.

P.S. I'm also a total sucker for tradition, so you know I had to watch this youtube clip immediately after watching the original

Party Time

The prettiest, most colorful, sparkle party dress I've ever seen. Love everything about this image.

Early, Flick Picks

With a post turkey hangover I totally spaced on sharing my Friday flick picks with you guys last week. And, I was so excited to have seen multiple new movies that I had to break the rules a little and share them today. So before Friday (I saw a few over the weekend that I'll share at the end of this week too) I saw HBO's Game Change, rented Friends with Kids, and went to the theatres to see Wreck it Ralph. I have to say my favorite of these three was Game Change. Julianne Moore totally deserved her Emmy for this role. She was spot on Sarah Palin. It was so painful to see the "behind the scenes" breakdown of her train wreck of a campaign. Entertaining from start to finish, I seriously think about re-watching it even though I'm no fan of their politics, it was that good. Wreck it Ralph was of course cute and silly, maybe not the best Disney movie I ever saw, but for die hard fans you should give it a watch. Friends with Kids was all right for a Saturday night, but nothing to right home about. I love Jennifer Westfeldt, the director and writer, but I'd say give it a pass unless you're a fan of hers too.

Thanks for accepting my movie post so early in the week. I'll try to balance it out with some fashion and Christmas the rest of this week. Let the countdown to the big day officially begin!

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my little apples out there, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you your day is filled with family, friends, and lots of good eating!

Holiday Paper Cuts

Being the die hard Anthro fan that I am, you all know I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit the flagship location of Anthropologie in Philadelphia last week! Located at the corner of Walnut and 18th street the store is in a beautiful 4 story mansion. Beautiful staircases, architecture, and dome ceiling bring a certain old world charm to the store now located inside its walls. I also got a peek at the theme for their holiday windows: beautiful white and blue paper cut silhouettes of wintery wood scenes. Deer, foxes, owls, and strings of Christmas lights work their way into windows of mannequins dressed for a winter wonderland. The picture above is an instagram I snapped inside the Philly store showing off their take on the paper cut holiday magic. Below are images from an album on Anthropologie's facebook page. Make sure you get out and view these intricate works of art in person if you're near an Anthro!

Kris Nations

While shopping in one of the biggest malls this past week I stumbled across the sweetest jewelry designer: Kris Nations. There have been so many variations of state love merchandise, but the simplicity and delicate design of these state necklaces are really original. In gold or silver, you can show your state pride on a necklace or bracelet. Their other pieces of jewelry are a really great mix of sophisticated and bohemian style too. Check out their online shop to explore the rest of their collection. I know I wouldn't mind showing a little love for my home state of KY.

(clockwise) angel fire friendship cuff, chevron cuff, socorro tube bracelet 

Friday Flick Picks

Bond. James Bond. It was a 007 week for me; preparing myself for the newest installment of Bond movies: Skyfall. Up until last Friday night I had never seen any of James Bond movies staring Daniel Craig. I started with Casino Royale and was so caught up in Bond fever I went to the video rental store (yes, you read that right, not a Redbox, but a rental store. There is still one that exists around here) to search out Quantum Solace to watch the next night. Growing up I knew two Bonds: Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan. To me, both of them had the suave, debonair way about them. Drinking their martinis and pulling a gun out of their tuxedos. But Daniel Craig is so much more...what's the word...bad-ass about it all. He is rugged, egocentric, provoked, and can run like hell. I love the new twist he brings to this time honored character. He's interesting to watch, can act the hell out of the part, and looks pretty darn good in his wardrobe too. 

I'm off to Philadelphia for work starting today, so I'm not sure how soon I'll get to see Skyfall. But I was able to squeeze a movie in on my last work trip,  maybe I'll get lucky again. I'm sorry to be away for so much of this week, and now this coming week, but I'll get back in  my normal blogging ways soon. The holidays are coming, so there will be much to talk about. 

On my movie radar: Skyfall, and Wreck it Ralph

Iphone Outfit

bear, ferris
mosaic, cheveron
fox, camera
My iphone needs a new outfit. I can almost feel it's disgust every time it leaves the house in the same smoked grey case! And to top it off, there's a crack starting to form on the back and the case practically shows it off rather than hide it. These are some of my favorites from Society 6. The best place I've found that has an amazing variety of cases for all versions of the iphone. Now the hard part is deciding which one to get! 

Friday Flick Picks

Go see this movie! I'm sorry, I had to get that out there first. Wonderfully suspenseful, intense, funny, great screen writing, and impeccably directed! Golden Globes and Oscars buzz will be around this movie. I've tried to not like Ben Affleck but I'll be darned, I am totally in his corner. He has some serious talent when it comes to writing (which he didn't do for this particular movie) and directing. Go see this movie, you'll learn something, you'll laugh, you'll love it, and then you'll wanna go home and watch The Town like I wanted to because you need more Ben in your life.

Next on my movie radar: Wreck it Ralph, and Seven Psychopaths

My October

Happy Halloween everybody! 

Weekend Travels

(clockwise) lighthouse, lift bridge, beach of Lake Superior, and view of the city on the water
The most entertaining, and fun weekend I've had in awhile took place in Duluth, Minnesota the weekend before last. Located North East of Minneapolis, the small city is located right on the coast of Lake Superior. Crisp, sunny days provided great weather for exploring Duluth with my boyfriend; as it is his new home town. We ate in cute little restaurants, walked along the beach, sipped coffee and hot apple cider, carved pumpkins and even went to a haunted ship docked in the harbor. The old city has a lot of charm, and I look forward to my next trip up North!

(clockwise) carved jack-o-lanterns, me and my sweetie, haunted ship, myself looking quite at home in a real Eames chair

Friday Flick Picks

So I finally saw The Master, while working in Indianapolis no less. I saw it at my favorite movie theatre in the city: The Keystone Art Cinema. I wish I can say this movie was my favorite...but I can not. It's definitely interesting, makes you think, and beautifully shot and acted. I can see some Oscar buzz around Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix for their roles in the movie. They had such an amazing dynamic together. But the plot just didn't come together for me. I should have know being a Paul Thomas Anderson movie that it wouldn't be some straight forward idea or something under 2 hours! But I wanted to give it a try. I'm glad I saw it, and it did get me thinking and talking about it to many people, so in a way it was successful, but not a home run. Oh well, this is why I love movies. You never know til you see it.

Next (and still) on the movie radar: Argo

Nailed It!

The Perfect Pour

Who created not one, but TWO, cinemagraphs? This girl! This item on my list has been a tough one to cross off; until now. I watched, and read, many tutorials on how to create a cinemagraph in Photoshop but I could never get it to come out right. Due to the amount of frustration it was causing me, I put completing this project on the back burner until I could find the patience to finish it. But then I read about a new app called Cinemagraph and the world became a shinier, happier place. (I swear my iPhone has changed my life). It took a few attempts to get the right footage, but the app itself is very easy to use. You record a bit of action, isolate the area you want to show motion, and then loop the footage. You can change the speed and direction of the loop, and much like Instagram, Cinemagraph has a variety of filters you can overlay to give it a funky look.

If you're a fan of the ciemagraph trend then you need to download this app and try it out. I'm sure it will be become one of your favorite apps! 

Fall Harvest

Days wearing boots, and no coat, eating apple cider donuts, picking pumpkins, and creating crafts are what make me happiest. I'll be a little light on the blogging this week because I'll be out of town for work again. This time I'm being sent to my old stomping ground of Indianapolis. I looking forward to going there; perhaps seeing some old friends and hitting up a favorite eatery or two. Everyone keep up the fall fun activities while I'm away though, ok? 

Friday Flick Picks

Making sure I see Bruce Willis movies always falls at the top of my "to-do" list. I love an action movie with a a substantial plot, but this one left me wanting a bit more. It was as interesting idea, but whenever you're dealing with time travel I feel like it creates more questions than answers. JGL is becoming a hot name in Hollywood, and I think he's doing a great job living up to his leading male role, but there wasn't enough to like about his character. Bruce, of course, (and I'm a little biased) brought his tough guy-dry humor action "A" game to this film but I wish he was given more dialogue and more to do. Not a great movie, but good. If you're a die hard (haha) Bruce fan get out and see this movie, or even just a good action flick, it won't disappoint.

Next on my movie radar: The Master (still!) and Argo

Circus Ornaments

Of course cute and Jonathan Adler go hand and hand, but just in case your dedication to his colorful cuteness was waning, this will reassure your devotion. Searing for something else of Adler's I stumbled upon this super cute series of ornaments. Not very holiday in my opinion; I could see these in a nursery made into a mobile, or displayed in bookcase or shelf. Of course if you had a bright and colorful Christmas tree these circus acts would fit in just fine! You can buy them individually here at Macy's. 

Bring it On

scarf: American Eagle, cardigan: Anthropologie, tshirt and boots: Old Navy, jeans: AG, socks: Target

It's official; fall has started. And I know this because I'm wearing boots, a scarf, and layers I'm usually a little reluctant to give up summer but I held on as a long as I could. So thought I'd do it up right on this first weekend of October and put on all my favorite fall accouterments  All I need is a pumpkin spice latte in my hand and carved jack-o-lantern on my front porch and I will be set. Here's to dressing for my favorite season. Bring on the changing leaves!

Friday Flick Picks

Sometimes you end up watching movies you don't really want to watch. I'm blaming HBO to Go for this one. When this movie came out last year I thought, "oh Tom Hanks, I love him, lets check out his movie." But then the little boy in the trailers started to annoy the crap out of me. So I never went to see it. But when you've got nothing to do some week nights; I caved. Sorta sweet but mostly annoying. If you like nervous, annoying kids, then this movie is for you. If you don't, stay strong and watch something else on HBO.

This weekend Looper is in my future (pun intended). I can't wait! Have a great October weekend little apples. xo

Fried Egg Pizza

Fried egg on a pizza? Yes, it exists; I've had it; and it's delicious. The other night I had dinner at cute local spot in Lexington: The Grey Goose. Known for it's gourmet pizza menu Grey Goose is located in the up and coming side of main street in downtown Lexington. As you can see from the menu there are all sorts of yummy options. It was a tough choice between the fried egg pizza or, their special for the night, philly cheese steak pizza. Drool! With a great outdoor patio, full of cozy heaters for these crisp fall nights, and a tempting menu, I will definitely be back to try some more. Because you can never have enough pizza.

A Peek My Bedroom

Another goal I had for myself this year was to take styled pictures of where I live. Now to most of you around the blog world that would translate into styled pictures of their entire home. My living situation is too complicated, and personal (I try not to get too deep or sad around here) for the blog so I'm sharing the room I love and spend the most time in: my bedroom. The best part of having a bedroom all to yourself is you can have it as girly and colorful as you want it to be.
Love, love, love my iron trolley nightstand. Not only is it in my favorite color, vintage, on wheels, it can serve as a hundred different things. Right now it's a nightstand, but in my next place it could be bathroom storage or a bar cart. The painting, entitled No Turning Back, is from Urban Outfitters. I fell in love with it online and then waited to long to buy it and it became out of stock. A few months later I was in an Urban in Florida, and to my surprise saw the painting. I snatched it up and had it mailed to my house. I love all the colors in the wave.
My Glasswing Bedding, from Anthropologie, that I adore. Mainly because it has all my favorite colors: navy, teal blue, and yellow. I bought the shams when I was still employed at Anthro and then successfully hunted down the duvet on ebay for a great price. I made the fabric garland to match the duvet and to act as a temporary headboard.
My love of yellow continues around the room. Two of the walls are a light grey and the others are a nice sunshine yellow. I DIY-ed my dresser well before I painted my walls in a similar color, but I think the tone on tone looks nice together.
I love vintage toys, books, and pictures from the past surrounding me in my daily life. The little chevron bowl keeps all my pretty brooches as well as pretty shells I've collected from many trips to the beach.
Meet Giuseppe, my paper mache giraffe. It's a piece of art that I love, and always gives my visitors a smile. 
The Ikea Expedit bookcase is the perfect storage solution for small spaces. Everything that I want access to is all stored in this. Books, crafts, movies, office supplies, and decorative knick knacks can all be shown off and organized in one convenient spot.
No styled room shoot is complete without some coffee table book love. Of course copies of Domino, and Decorate had to be shown off.

I hope you've enjoyed a peak into the four corners of my little hideaway.