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!

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