fancy sparkle shorts

Thursday, November 29, 2012

That's what this photo is saved as on my computer.  Google reverse image search didn't turn up a source, so I have no idea where it came from, but I luuurve it.
I don't know if I could pull off an outfit like this, but I could definitely live in this room.  Duh, I am totally this glamourous.
The Deep Dream Velvet Sofa from Graham & Green is sleek and feminine, but still looks comfortable (difficult combination to find!) and is available in a million gorgeous colors.

These Waterfall Ruffle Curtains from Urban Outfitters also come in a blush pink that would be even prettier/girly-er in the room, but I wanted to stay with the photo's color scheme.  For a little girls room?  Totally...

My favorite sequined pillow from a random internet bedding store... Looked good here too.  (Funny story: at least 5 people a day come to this blog by searching "denim couch" and finding that post.)  This is a smaller touch of sparkle than the photo's shirt, but a big, glittering chandelier would have the same effect.

This Classic Glass Top Coffee Table from ABC Home (awesome online store that I can't afford anything from, but... whatev) is a little pricey, but Nate Berkus makes a similar one for a few less bucks.

Search "hanging lotus lamp" or "tulip lamp" on ebay or etsy and you'll find lots of gorgeous lamps like this brass one. The lamp and the table echo the brass buttons from the jacket and add some of the shine from that killer top.

Some deep red garden and cabbage roses give a little nod to the maroon lining of the jacket (and of course, every room needs flowers!)  Maybe an arrangement in a pretty cut glass bowl?  I love the color combination between the white, navy, gold and pinky-red.

it's so genetic

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The whole "we make good faces" thing?  It's not just limited to my brother or the old roomie, this is a family-wide trait.  See?
I love this.  I love Evane being a model while the rest of us are being as ridiculous as possible.  I love that we're all squished in together as only family can be.  I love Hannah's face and how Larisa and Campbell have the same raised eyebrows.  I love us.
How could you not love these people?  This is late night self-portrait taking at its finest.

As I sit here in class, refusing to listen to my South African music professor (who is objectively the worst educator I have ever encountered), I'm starting to get a little teary...  I have the best family in the world.  The kids in these pictures are not only amazing people, but they love me in a way I can never deserve.  It's the best feeling in the world.
I can't wait to see what husbands and wives join this classy, classy group of individuals.  Wouldn't you want to be a part of this? Hannah, Evane, Campbell and Larisa... You'd better pick well, because I'm not letting just anybody steal you away from me.

It got even better when, at 20 years old, I gained more siblings to bother, laugh with, and blame for starting fights.  (I mean... to love).  When I was about 9 and I really wanted a big brother (I don't know exactly how I thought I was going to do that) I didn't realize that I'd have 2.  Terry and Danny, thanks for being as obnoxious as every older brother on tv was. :) Thanks for marrying beautiful, amazing women like Tiffany and Esme - they make our family so much better.  Grace, you're hot (you know that, though) and funny and such a great addition to these sisters of mine.

Of course, I love all of you new sibs, but I'd pick Justin over every one of you.  (You know you'd do the same!)  Having a nephew is so much fun, but I never knew there could be a little boy as loving and affectionate and sweet as this one.  Everyone else needs to start having kids so I can do this more often. You and your kids should live in the same city as me too.  I'd like that.

So, all that to say, I love you guys.  Thanks for making my life better.  Thanks for setting the gold standard in good face-making.  Nobody contorts their facial features quite like you kids.

Also, thanks for overwhelming my ASL professor when he asked me to name all of my siblings when we were learning the signs for family members...  It was really funny and he never picked on me again while practicing that lesson.


Monday, November 26, 2012

how my iphone saw the day...

Thanksgiving was fantastic.  I went all Julia Childs with Larisa and made a delicious dinner on Wednesday.  (My mother's Thanksgiving plans for Thursday were cancelled, but we went ahead with Thanksgiving a day early)  I refused to do anything on Thursday but lay around and take naps.  It was glorious!  Mama and I played Rummikub while Larisa made fancy hot chocolate.  We played old standards and sang "Someone to Watch Over Me."  (She has the best voice...)

It was all I wanted in a vacation.  For future reference, if anyone wants to impress anyone with their culinary skills, feel free to use this menu: slow-cooker turkey (I was super happy to have one less thing to schedule the oven for), HEB's pecan praline spiral-cut ham (the best decision I made), macaroni and cheese (from scratch!), roasted garlic mashed potatoes, cranberry-pomegranate sauce (A: why would you ever use the canned stuff when this is so easy? B: mine turned out a cranberry-orange-apple sauce 'cause I forgot the pomegranate juice), green bean casserole (nothing fancy, just the recipe on the can of fried onions... don't judge, it's my favorite!), and those magical canned crescent rolls with some rosemary-garlic butter.  

My favorite dishes (beside that fantastic ham) were the whipped sweet potatoes with coconut milk from The Kitchn and cornbread stuffing with sausage and apples from The Pioneer Woman.
this is what it would all look like if I was a professional food photographer...

The last two years I made Bobby Flay's pumpkin bread pudding with spicy caramel apple sauce and my brother said it was the best thing he'd ever eaten... So there's that.

I found it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I lost the link to the tutorial I used to make all my skirts.  I haven't needed to look at the tutorial in so long that it got lost on the internet... (or I deleted the bookmark, whatever!)  This is the one I used to make skirts for Jen and Adriane.

This blog, Freshly Picked, actually has the best tutorials around.  Pockets!  Pockets, I tell you!

Freshly Picked's elastic waist skirt tutorial... Go!  Read!  Make!

who needs a sub-zero?

photo via Design Sponge

Who needs a fancy new refrigerator when you can make your heinous old one look so charming.  (Ok, maybe a Smeg would still be worth it.)

The "I love pretty things!" part of me likes the composition and colors of the photo, but what I really love about this is the ingenuity.  Think about it.  You move into a new home, but you can't always (never can) afford to fix everthing you don't like about it.  You can stress about the janky 15 year old fridge, and save every penny to buy a fancy stainless steel one or you can put a little thought and creativity in it. (Save your money for something important and practical like a vacation to NYC to come and see me next year!)

This is genius, obviously.

dude, I'm so helpful (the not-so-helpful t-shirt pillow edition)

Monday, November 19, 2012

When my future-interior-design-business-partner sister Evane left for college a few years ago, she was concerned (and rightly so) about how to make her dorm look less dorm-like.  We found comfy gray bedding and ruffly white blankets at Target and IKEA, but went lazy diy on the pillows.

I call this a not-so-helpful "dude, I'm so helpful" because I've got no pictures of the process.  We did this years ago, but there are a million different tutorials online how to make a pillow (ruffled or not) out of a t-shirt.  (This one is great.)  However, you don't need any (badly-lit) photos from me to do it yourself; it's so easy.  Now, if you need to make a bunch of pillows, you could go to the regular fabric store, but the thrift store is full of shirts (which are inherently shaped perfectly for pillow-making.)  You can find funky old designs/prints and if you go on a sale day, you can go super cheap-o.  I love the soft jersey of a washed-a-million-times t-shirt.  (So many dashes!)

Evane and I started out with neutrals (duvet, blankets and sheets), so we walked into the thrift store with a pretty open color palette. She loved a floral t-shirt that ended up as that pillow in the back, so we started there, finding different t-shirts and a few button ups in great bright colors.  We used IKEA pillow inserts for $3 a pop, but if you go to a thrift store, they have dozens of cheap (and ugly!) throw pillows if you need a different/larger size.  Don't worry about the heinous print on the fabric, just choose one that's smooth (something super bumpy will show through a thin cotton or jersey cover) and that doesn't have piping (makes your edges weird).  You don't have to only look at the x-large shirts, but if you're doing ruffles, the bigger (more fabric) the better.  Look at a couple of tutorials or pinterest for inspiration; get a little creative and go!
Thanks Evi, for the (much better than usual) photos

another little one

Thursday, November 15, 2012

You know how I said I'd only have kids if they turned out like this? Well, I decided I'll take one of these too.
Max costume via The Radical Thread Co.

dude, I'm so helpful (small town antique store edition)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I've accepted the fact that I'll be moving to NYC pretty soon and can only take a few suitcases with me.  This really hinders my random accessories buying habit...  I always say that you can easily and cheaply find the little tchotchekes you need to style your home well; you just have to look.  I know that so well because I'm always buying little random cheap things and it's been really hard the last few months to not indulge in a little thrifting.  Instead of going cold turkey, I've decided to use a patch and just take pictures of all the things I could be buying.  My frustration is your information.  Dude, I'm so helpful...
(alternate post title: get stuff to make your shelves look like this)  

I constantly have a wish list of things I'm looking for at a great price.  For me, this usually includes big pieces of furniture or pieces that are usually expensive.  So, when I'm shopping for accessories for a new bookshelf, I'll still keep a look out for a good condition, well-shaped, overstuffed chair or an awesome vintage rug.  I usually don't buy the big stuff unless it's at a ridiculous price, but I always seem to find the killer rug or dining room table when I'm just looking for some vintage books or a non-heinous floor lamp.
I found this rug at Goodwill when I was looking for cut-glass tumblers.

Despite all that I just said about keeping an open mind and ABLFBS (always be looking for big stuff), I know that a thrift store can be overwhelming... If your budget is small, it can feel especially chaotic.  So, divide what you're looking up for into groups.  You should go in there with that open mind, but if you're having a hard time finding the good stuff, it can help to get specific.  These are the things I look for (especially if it has to be a quick trip): dishes/glasses/serving ware; small accessories (like the little dog or elephant on the bookshelf above); wall art; and collections.  You can also say, "can I use this as it was intended or can I display it decoratively?"  

With this in mind, I took a bunch of pictures at Witherspoon's Antique Mall during our yaya weekend.  I didn't buy any of this stuff (though I did get a few Christmas presents, for which I am so proud of myself!)  Let's break it all down into my categories...

Dishes/glassware/serving pieces:
I didn't find (or photograph) a million pieces, but I did get a shot of these adorable little saucers.  You don't have to just use dishes in the kitchen; this would be adorable on your dresser to corral your bobby pins or by your door to hold your keys.

Small accessories: when I said inexpensive, I meant it!  These are the little things you collect so that the tops of your dressers, shelves and tables don't look so bare.
a vintage scale ($14), an old medicine bottle ($3.50) and a metal scottie dog ($5)
vintage cleaner can ($1.50), ginger canister ($?), oil cans ($14 and lower)

Wall art:  what you put on your walls definitely doesn't have to have been created for decorating your walls.  I'm a big fan of non-traditional wall art.
(coffee filters! I miss my cute little living room)
gas station thermometer ($?), porthole window ($?), and old high school diploma ($45)

I freakin' love this diploma; this is definitely going to be a new item to search for on etsy/ebay.  The thermometer looks cool on the old wooden wall, but would be even better in a sleek and modern room (Maybe a nursery?  Such a bright pop of color!)  Hang that porthole on the wall if you're going for a bit of nautical style...

Collections: I had this idea that I was going to have a giant trophy collection (which wouldn't included any I actually earned) and it would be funny/adorable.  See, I'm not the most athletic person in the world, so having a shelf full of soccer and track prizes would be pretty funny.  However, I got derailed from my original goal when I found these three vintage trophies.  I realized it couldn't get any better than this.
They're some of my most beloved possessions, and though any of them would look good on its own, they're a million times better in a group.  I've got a collection of vintage tennis rackets; none of them would make any sense displayed by themselves, but as a group they're striking.  (Get it?)  If you're always seeing cool old board games or vintage paint-by-number landscapes, start buying them when they're priced well.  Get three or four and voila!  Display them together and you're set.
I'm well aware that these are ridiculous, but I'm really liking the idea of a vintage wedding cake topper collection.  These are kind of cheesy, but they've got some really cool old ones out there.  Ok, ok... you're right; it's pretty insane.
I know I already showed the middle photo, but this is a perfect example.  I was looking at these oil cans as small accessories to use in styling a table top or shelf, but as I looked through my pictures, I realized how many I'd seen that day.  Instant collection!

Using something as it's mean to be used: well, duh.  This is a no-brainer and probably the easiest way to look for things.  I kept all of my grains, beans, flour, sugar, etc. in these glass containers from IKEA, but these vintage ones are way cuter.

"Stuff" as art: personally, this is my favorite way to go at thrifting.  Stuff.  Cool (usually old) stuff that can be styled interestingly.
Horribly lit/taken photos, I know... but great ideas!  Set that trumpet alongside a little vignette of books and a candle; set one of those old hats over a big rock and use it as a bookend.  (The rock would be hidden inside, of course...)

Find a meat grinder at a garage sale?  You know what to do with it now...

this is everything I ever wanted in anything - via funkytime

Longest post in the world, I know.  At least if I couldn't buy any of these things, I can share them with you.  Then maybe you can go to Granbury and buy them and give them a loving home...

just for thought...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My dad and I had a great conversation about this very idea the other day...  I was pretty proud of my burglary metaphor, but this one is even better.  

cabin in the woods (part 2)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I spent the last weekend with some of my favorite people in the world in a pretty little cabin outside of an adorable little town out in the beautiful countryside...  It was perfect.
We drank wine, cooked way too much food, and sat on the porch swing with our coffee, and talked, talked, talked... Heaven.
(go-to yaya snacks: fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil; brie, fruit and crackers... wine and coffee, duh)

Those are pretty much the only pictures I have of the weekend and that's awesome.  We put away phones, computers and TV for the weekend (except for cuddling up to watch the entire BBC miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice - I love you, Colin-Firth-as-Mr-Darcy!) and talked, talked, talked.  We are Olympic-level talkers.  We played a card game fraught with competition and still loved each other when it was over (very important!)  We stayed in our pjs all day and kept the thermostat down low so we could cuddle up with blankets and sweaters.  Texas first world problems.

I shall leave you with the best picture anyone has ever taken.  Do I really need to explain why I took the decorative flag off the wall to wear as a cape on our sojourn down to the property's pond?  I didn't think so.
thanks, Loryn, you're the best instagrammer ever.

paint it black

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Last week I saw this gorgeous room from an Austin stylist's home and I couldn't stop thinking about the  dramatic black window casings, soft mix of neutrals and that oh-my-god-why-didn't-I-think-of-it awesome coffee table.
photo via Design Sponge

It's beautiful, isn't it?  I found a big bunch of National Geographics on Craigslist in about two seconds flat, so this is do-able.  I think you could get enough to make a coffee table for $50-$100, plus a big piece of glass (just steal one off an ugly cheap coffee table!).  Oh my goodness...  I'm obsessed with this idea.  She says it's a bunch of W magazines, but I love the bright yellow the National Geographics would bring to a room.

I thought I'd make a little mood board version because I don't actually have time to do any rooms for anyone else until I graduate (though, I'm sure I could make the time if someone wanted to hire me.)  Since I'm paring down my possessions to what can fit in suitcases, I can't really do my own house.  These little mood boards satisfy the craving (if you will) to make a pretty room.
Windows - this is the chicest way to deal with big, gorgeous windows.  Paint the casings black and you'll never regret it.

Crate and Barrel's Petrie sofa - clean lines, soft tufts for interest... It's a great couch!

The Zia shag rug (also from Crate and Barrel) and Anthropologie's Linen Corrigan Chair  both bring texture and different neutrals.  A room full of neutrals is super calming, but also can veer into boring territory easily.  You can combat that with keeping things richly textured and with really interesting accessories.  (Bonus, your art and other furniture will easily stand out with such a calm background!)

A smoky blue pillow from Amazon and Pottery Barn's Antler pillow (a little nod to the original room's antlers!) add a few cool tones to keep things from getting too warm.

An awesome gold rock lamp from Land of Nod (though I'd like it with a drum shade, not a conical one) and Urban Outfitter's L'Anatomie poster round it out.  (I'd add an round iron table by the chair with a leafy green plant beside the lamp - my mood boarding skills aren't that great without photoshop...)
See!  It looks good everywhere. and Feldman Architecture

christmas time is here...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

This weekend on my yaya trip, we sang that song a thousand times...  I don't know why it was stuck in my head (I blame Melissa) but even though I have a strict rule against decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving, I'm kind of in the holiday spirit already.  I bought four whole Christmas presents this weekend.  (This is seriously a record.  I've never started shopping this early.)  And I already bought the supplies for my amazing homemade Christmas presents this year.  I'm on fire!

With all of that in mind, last night I got caught up in Anthropologie decorations.  They've got some great stuff up (of course) and I think it would be really easy to translate it to your own house.

Rustic wood, greenery, and crystal.  That's what I'm loving right now.  I think this would be easy to set up.  Call a tree trimming place, tell them you want inch-ish thick slices of a 15 inch-ish diameter trunk/branch - perfect chargers.  What are they gonna charge you? $20?  I think it could work!  Someone try it out and tell me.  Now, barring that, go to the Christmas tree section of your hardware store and ask them for the little slices littering the floor.  They always cut off the bottom part of a tree when you buy it (like I told you to do with flowers!) so a mini version will be free... Use it as a coaster, centerpiece, or candle base.  Pair this with some more greenery you stole off the floor at the Christmas tree place (I'm serious, I do this every year) and clean white plates, add some cut glassware or pretty candle sticks (actually, do both).  Boom.  Swanky table.

Same idea, but with hammered gold/silver instead of cut glass.  I think this would be a great addition to the table we talked about before.  Gold/crystal/rustic wood/greenery.  I vote yes.

Now, while this is pretty, I'm think I could make it even better.  What about you keep the rest of the frames rustic wood, halve the amount of frames so it's more open, hang some sprigs of holly or a bell (something sufficiently Christmas-y), and just keep the gold stripe of paint?  Then, when Christmas is over, you can replace the greenery with something else and you're golden.  (Literally, ha.)

I'm feeling it.  I would line an entire mantel with them.  It makes me want kids.  We'd spend a whole day making snow globes out of mason jars.  We'd stick dinosaurs and robots in there.  Hey, I see an idea coming along...

I like this.  Robot Christmas.  Dinosaur Christmas.  This is the wave of the future - no more doves and reindeer.

my fine china

Monday, November 5, 2012

For my sisters late birthday dinner, I decided to make the table feel more special and pull out some of my "vintage" plates. (Read: some of them might be vintage, but the rest are random old thrift store finds.)  I keep an eye out for plates/saucers/bowls at thrift stores whenever I'm there.  (Just like I told you to do with knick-knacks!)  I find that it's easier to get pretty and interesting saucers and bowls, which works perfectly if you have clean, white china.  That's exactly what I did with this dinner; I used white Ikea plates and made the rest interesting with serving pieces and salad bowls.
None of these plates match, and except for the adorable octagonal one on the bottom right, they wouldn't be that exciting by themselves.  (I'm totally aware the big white one with the teal print is kind of ugly, but the color was gorgeous in person and fit perfectly into the group)  None of these cost more than a dollar apiece (and most were probably 2 or 3 for 99 cents!).  Don't worry about having a matching set, just get a color story going and you're good.


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