The Perfect Party Dress

By Monday, December 22, 2014 4 No tags Permalink 0

Almost vacation! Before we get into today’s dazzling party outfits, a couple of notes: this is my last workday before Christmas (and really, I’m going to bounce early and head back to the pop-up vintage store with my friend) and until Monday, January 5th, posting will be kind of light. I’ll have a general holiday update between Christmas and New Year’s, and you should also keep an eyeball out for my annual goals wrap-up. And I’ve ALSO been meaning to share a couple of Friendsgiving recipes with you, so I’m not totally leaving the internet after all.

Anyhoodle, all of that is coming later. While we relax before Christmas, let’s look ahead to the sparkliest of holidays: New Year’s Eve! I, personally, don’t wear a ton of glitter on this particular day because we tend to do low-key celebrations at home with a small group of people, but in my fantasy life, I bling it out. (In this imaginary world I’m also friends with Kate Middleton and we share clothes. And I can teleport.) This year I’ll probably end up doing my usual blouse-and-statement-necklace combination, which can be a lot of fun, but for those of you who are dressing up a little more and need to buy some things, I have outfit inspiration.

New Year's Eve Dress

dress  //  shoes  //  clutch  //  necklace  //  earrings  //  lipstick  //  nail polish

I’m going to cheat this time and say that my favorite item is the whole outfit. Ha ha. The dress was the first thing I found, and while it might not be the most interesting thing on its own, it’s the perfect blank slate. You can pair it with dark colors (black and blue are so chic together) and red lips for a glamorous look, as above, or you can subconsciously be inspired by Gryffindor and go a little brighter:

New Year's Eve Dress

dress  //  shoes  //  clutch  //  necklace  //  earrings  //  bracelet  //  nail polish

My second favorite thing today is the shoes. They’re totally impractical and I bet if I ever owned them I’d only wear them a few times, but they’re like a party on your feet. And I actually can’t remember the last time I had red shoes in my closet, so that needs to change. Honorable mentions to both of the statement necklaces, because I think they make the biggest difference in the styling. I wouldn’t mind either of them showing up in my stocking on Thursday, JUST SAYING.

What are your New Year’s plans? Are you hitting the down or staying in? What’s your favorite thing here? Also, I hope you have a delightful holiday break! Is your shopping done? Wrapping? Have you peeked under the tree? Safe travels, have fun celebrating, and I’ll chat with you again after Christmas!

A Last-Minute Gift

By Friday, December 19, 2014 7 No tags Permalink 0

Color-Block Coasters

Happy Friday! We’re back from New York and now I’m doing the post-vacation scramble we all know and love. It’s amazing how much work gets backlogged when you’re only gone for three days. While I’m catching up on all of that AND wrapping a pile of presents, you can click over to Mod Podge Rocks and see how I made these cute color-block coasters. They make a great last-minute gift, since no matter how organized I think I am somebody always surprises me with an Unexpected Gift-Giving Situation (capitalization necessary) and then I run around in a panic. Let’s not panic this year. Coasters will make it all better.

I’ll see you back here on Monday for business as usual!

Wrap It Up!

By Monday, December 15, 2014 13 No tags Permalink 0

New week, new Handmade Holidays post! To see the rest of the series from this year, clickity-click yourself over here.

Gift Wrap Ideas

Here’s a fun fact: when I was in high school, my mom would pay me 25 cents per gift to do all of her Christmas wrapping for her. She thought it was a horror on par with getting a tooth pulled while I treated each present like a mini DIY project, so it was a good deal for both of us. (Plus I would clear, like, $10 for playing with ribbon. Score.) If we lived in the same city, I’m pretty sure this would still be our arrangement.

Even now that I’m an adult who only gets to wrap her own presents, the shine hasn’t worn off and I still have a great time doing it. For the last few years I’ve been using regular ol’ kraft paper as a background and finding assorted bits and bobs in my office to make things pretty. I like the kraft because it’s a little thicker than traditional wrapping paper and therefore less likely to rip when you’re trying to force it around a weirdly-shaped action figure box. It’s also a blank slate for whatever cool theme pops into your head. Here are a handful of ideas I came up with using supplies I already had; below each one is a little breakdown of the goodies involved.

Gift Wrap Ideas

grossgrain ribbon + two retro tags

Gift Wrap Ideas

strip of wrapping paper + glitter washi tape + bow

Gift Wrap Ideas

metallic ribbon + bow + blue tag


Gift Wrap Ideas


washi tape + bow

Gift Wrap Ideas

strip of wrapping paper + metallic ribbon + snowflake tag

Gift Wrap Ideas

scrapbook sticker

That last one was a total lightbulb moment when I thought of it. I realized several years ago and I’m pretty terrible at scrapbooking (my brain doesn’t work that way, apparently) so now I have this box of leftover stuff that I never use. UNTIL NOW. I like this idea for little kids who might want to stick a bow in their mouth or think a pointy ribbon end would be cool right next to their eyeball, but the sticker stays with the paper. Easy.

Who else loves to wrap presents? Do you purposely use kraft paper every year, too? Which of these themes is your favorite? As excited as I am about the sticker revelation, I have to go with the black/white/gold combination. The sparkles, I love them. How many things do you have left to wrap?

handmade holidays 2014

Pinterest Picks – Happy 10,000 Day!

By Friday, December 12, 2014 7 No tags Permalink 0

Ladies and gentlemen, you’re tuning in to a very special edition of Pinterest Picks. This is a day I’ve been waiting for, clicking away diligently, pinning lots of excellent things. This might prove that I spend too much time on the computer, but I’m going to worry about that later because this week I reached 10,000 pins! Happy 10,000 Day! And right before my birthday, too. Great timing, self!

This kitchen here was actually pin 10,000, which I scrolled around for a few minutes to find because I didn’t want to waste a special pin on, like, the 90th side chair I’m considering for the family room. Getting into the nitty gritty here, I love it for the marble counters, the white-on-white wall/trim/cabinets, and the styling of the open shelves. And the gold silverware. (Goldware? King forks? That’s probably it.)

open shelving


While we’re looking at kitchen shelves, I also can’t deny myself teensy, narrow versions for books and artwork, so here’s another set of those. (I need to just build some already and get them out of my system. Perhaps above MEGA DESK?)

narrow shelf


Mmmmmm, lentil patties with olives and fresh herbs. I bet these would also be great if you made them with sweet potatoes.

lentil patties


I recently bought a sweater cape (I broke the No Shopping Challenge, which I owe you guys an update about–I fell off the wagon for a second) and it’s the bombdiggity. As soon as I’m free to shop for real again on January 1st, I might try to track down a second one in another color. Look at how cute an ivory one would be, provided I learn how not to drop salsa on myself between now and then:

sweater poncho


One more white-on-white room, with bonus Christmas tree! I like the green industrial light a lot, too, and I think I would cut somebody for that Windsor-ish chair at the end of the table.

pastel color christmas


So what are you up to this weekend? We’re heading into the city tomorrow for some Christmas fun with one of my BFFs, and then Sunday we’re packing for a quick little jaunt to New York! Woooo! My birthday is next week and we had a zillion Southwest points just sitting there (our flights were literally $0), so we thought we’d use a few. I’ll still have a Handmade Holidays post for you on Monday as usual, and I’ll give you a full rundown of the trip when I get back. Have a great weekend! And Happy 10,000 Day!

Gift Guide: For Men

By Wednesday, December 10, 2014 9 No tags Permalink 1

We all know the old saying “the only certain things are death and taxes.” I would amend it to be “death, taxes, AND the fact that men never have any gift ideas when you ask them for one.” They either don’t want anything, or they already went to the store and bought it because that’s how they roll. I’ve had conversations with Hubsey about, HYPOTHETICALLY, the Batman video game that was released 48 hours earlier and how he should tell my mom he wants that for Christmas, and he goes, “Oh. I got it from Amazon today.”


Let’s discuss some gift ideas for the fellas before we lose our collective minds. As is tradition, everything today is from Etsy.

gift guide for men

coffee  //  stationary  //  grill scraper  //  bottle openers  //  docking station  //  calendar  //  speaker

First of all, who doesn’t love coffee? (I’m drinking some right now. Cheers!) This sampler features blends from around the world, which is nice for somebody who wants to branch out. Along the same culinary-related lines are the choose-your-color bottle openers–FUN!– and the wood grill scraper. If you wanted to go with a natural theme, you could add the wood cell phone speaker or the wood docking station, too. That beer calendar is cool for obvious reasons (I love you, beer), but it actually tells you what kinds of food are good with certain brews. Lastly, there’s the personalized letterhead that would be great for thank you notes, professional letters, making a list of tasty bourbons, whatever.

So what are you getting the dudes in your life this year? Who really wants a colorful bottle opener? I dig that stationary, too, both for the menfolk and for myself. Who’s the hardest to shop for on your list? Any other dudely gift ideas to share?