Friday, June 29, 2012

Fragrance- A Walk Down Memory Lane

I have a habit for falling in love with perfumes that become discontinued. This could mean I have horrible taste in scents and no one buys what I like- or I  like to think this just means I have rare tastes!

Out of my current selection one is discontinued, one suddenly became too strong for me after I'd already used and finished one bottle and purchased another and the other is just right and the current favorite of my olfactory nerve.
My current selection. The only one I actually wear is the Tocca Giulietta. I love it and use it daily. It was a Christmas gift from my husband last year.
Left to right: L'Occitane Miel et Citron (Honey and Lemon)- this is discontinued. I use it rarely as it is a sweet perfume but once it's disipates it's lovely.  Tocca Giulietta my daily, and  Dolce and Gabbana The One. This just suddenly one day became overpowering for me and I had to leave it for greener pastures. 

 My walk down memory lane begins with the first perfume I wore as an "adult". Isabella Rossellini Manifesto. Okay, so I bought it the first time cuz I was obsessed with Isabella Rossellini and I thought that everything that she touched was gold! (when she married Gary Oldman, it was like heaven... but that's another story..)  I used bottle after bottle because I actually liked the scent. It was peppery and very herby, containing basil but also jasmine. Eventually I got bored of it and moved on thinking I could come back to it if I wanted. (and now of course it's discontinued!!)

And then came my all time favorite, hands down,  LOVE perfume: Marc Jacobs Essence. This was discontinued and a piece of my heart died, just died my friends. I still want to shed a tear when I think about it. 
my dearest perfume. sigh, I miss you.

So when I learned that Essence had been discontinued (cue tears) after a few years of use I had to find an alternative, so I turned to Marc Jacobs Blush.
And then HORROR- that was discontinued!!  So I tried Fresh Sugar Lemon, as people were raving about it, I liked it but didn't love it. I used maybe half a bottle before aimlessly looking for another scent to make my own.
(It was at this time that I purchased the L'Occitane as well. I was going through a lemon phase)

So then I tried Tokyo Milk, cuz gosh darn it, they have the cutest packaging around!
I bought French Kiss #15, cuz I loved the bottle. To be honest the scent was overpowering and after a while I had to admit defeat. I still love Cotton #17. I think perhaps I should buy another bottle?!

And then came a new love!! Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. I thought I'd finally hit the jackpot! After all these years the heavens opened, the clouds parted and angels sang! I had finally found MY perfume- that signature scent!! My husband bought it for me as a gift- I wore it daily, I sniffed my shirt mid day just to catch a whiff. After loving it and going through a whole bottle I was all set to buy bottle no. 2 with glee when my husband announced that the perfume he once loved now reminded him of his mother and I was by no means to buy another bottle!!! Cue shocked face and dropped jaw!!

goodbye dear friend, perhaps we'll meet again.

So that is the story of how Coco Mademoiselle turned into Dolce and Gabbana The One, to now Tocca Giulietta. To be honest I'm pretty darn happy with the Tocca perfume (actually it's truly become my favorite), but it won't stop me from getting a sample of the Coco Mademoiselle from time to time and spraying it nostalgically in my car.


What is your favorite? Do you have a signature scent?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

D.I.Y. Your Heart's Desire

Need an easy weekend project? Simple wall art? Temporary garland for a special event?
Look no further!

I found a tutorial for this through Pinterest back in February and I just fell in love! After some trial and error, mumbled curses and bloodied fingertips I got mine just right!!

First you need to start with the free paint chips/cards that you can get at any home improvement store. What I love about this is that you can't go wrong- every color in the world exists in these chips AND they are all color coordinated like a rainbow of fabulousness- so it's basically mistake proof!

1.Your first purchase will be a craft punch. I chose hearts (which let me tell you, was insanely difficult to find one week before Valentine's Day!) but of course you can do any shape you want!
2. You will also need thread (I chose red) and a thick needle (but not as thick as an embroidery needle), double up the thread, so you have two strands and not one going through your paint chip shape.
3. Clear push pins for mounting on the wall.
4. Tape (double sided is best).

paint chips punched into hearts, ready to be strung

I was a stringing queen! Can't tell you how many times I stabbed myself, but it as worth it. A word to the wise when doing this: I put the needle through the heart twice, so the hearts would lay flat. A little note here- these suckers will spin!!

To mount on wall, use a clear push pin on each end as well as in the middle- to create your swag.  Then I used double sided tape every 5th heart or so to keep them flush against my wall. 

The finished product!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Simple High Bun with Braid

Want to look like you spent a lot of time on your hair? Want something simple but sophisticated that looks just as cute with a t-shirt and jeans as it does with a dress? Your hair only has to be long enough to pull a pony on the top of your head and make a bun- simple as that!

brush hair into a high pony tail and secure with elastic band. I prefer the clear elastic ones myself.

leave out one piece the side that is to be left out of the bun. You will create your wrap around braid with this section.

make a bun and secure with bobby pins

braid the section that was left out and loosely wrap it around the base of the bun. secure with bobby pins and voila!- you're done!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Boom Boom Mama! Zumba time!!

I truly believe that there is a physical activity out there for everyone. Some form of exercise or movement that excites you and gets your blood pumping. For my husband this is cycling, for some this is spin class, CrossFit, swimming or yoga. For me this physical activity is Zumba! I have three ladies to thank for introducing me to Zumba (Carey, Stacy and Tammy) and one outstanding lady to thank for getting me hooked and coming back each week to get down! (Sally Unks, this is you!!)

So this is my own personal ode to the greatness that is Zumba!! (or at least Zumba- Sally style!!)

Now that the dance/movement spirit has been freed in me I can't stop it! I'll Zumba in the kitchen making dinner, while I get ready for work, while my husband is trying to watch Netfix and even at work- it's infectious!! I just love it! It's such a mix of ages, levels and sizes and we're all united by the love of movement and as Sally herself put it,  the "love to get down"! And get down, we do!! I was jogging the other day, huffing and puffing away and all I could think of with each pounding foot to the pavement was how I would rather being doing Zumba!!

Now it's your turn, do you have an exercise that you love?

*if you are interested in taking classes with Sally, all class info can be found here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

House Hunters International- House Envy!

Ronda, Andalusia, Spain

I was having a rather animated discussion with someone the other day about House Hunters International,  a favorite show of mine. We were discussing our love/hate relationship with this television show, well maybe I should say our love/envy of this show!

I frequently have evening marathons watching episode after episode on Hulu, drooling over Parisian apartments, Italian hilltop houses, Swiss chalets, Croatian beach houses and even a Bulgarian townhouse. My mood/attitude varies from envy, bitterness (haha!!, yeah I admit it!), excitement and "skies the limit" dreaming! Sometimes I love the buyers and sometimes I get so annoyed by their attitudes. I've seen wonderful, open and grateful people fulfill their dreams of a home or even a second home in a special place, but on the flip side I've seen buyers who are ungrateful, demanding, unrealistic and just plain embarrassing to watch.

Watching an episode recently they featured a town in the Andalusia region of Spain called Ronda. I fell in love. It was a magical combination: I liked the couple featured, I liked the houses/apartments they looked at, but most of all I loved the town! So now it's got me wondering- can I learn to speak Andalusian Spanish? I'm a French language kind of girl and I've never, ever ventured into Spanish territory- not even a little bit! Living in California, I can't help but be exposed to the language, so I suppose I've got a leg up! Maybe our next vacation destination is sealed?! I think my Swedish clogs would look amazing there! ;)            Now to win the lottery...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Botanical Prints, Scientific Wall Art At It's Best

Oh, I think I've died and gone to heaven!!!! This poster is something I need in my life!!

Marsh Marigold - Caltha palustris poster. found at: The Evolution Store

My fascination with botanical prints comes from my mother. She has always had large coffee table books of botanical prints lying around and beautiful framed prints on our walls growing up. I even toyed with the idea of learning to draw them myself and incorporating them into my artwork (but boy are they hard work! I'll stick with portraits, thanks! although...hmm...)

While traipsing through the Making It Lovely blog I happened upon her post about her botanical poster, found HERE, which then lead me to the above poster and the The Evolution Store- a treasure trove for a nature lover! What I love is that these prints are HUGE, and I've got a lot of wall space to fill!

I also fell in love with these as well: (I had to force myself to stop!)

Alcides agathyrus

Uraniid Moth

Urania ripheus, Underside

Sunset Moth

Batesia hypochlora

Brush-footed Butterfly

Cymothoe sangaris

Blood Red Glider

Look at how they have them framed and displayed!! Heaven!!! 
Isn't nature just lovely?!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Life In A Fishbowl- DIY Terrarium!

from Teeny Tiny Things on Etsy: can be found HERE

Two lovely ladies influenced this post, and really got me off of my derriere to make it happen! I've been wanting to make a terrarium for awhile now but had NO idea how to do it or where to even start!! So, first Coral at SLOmygosh posted this little lovely on her blog, which got me to thinking that I might be able to actually pull this off! Then weeks later I spy this post by my friend Leslie on her blog: Splendid Things... One look at those miniature gnomes and toadstools and I was HOOKED! I mean, I knew that  making a terrarium was now top priority for my Sunday craft project!! It was ON!!!

So here we go. I highly suggest you head over to SLOmygosh for the tutorial, cuz she explains exactly what you need in list form that makes it really EASY!!!!! (plus she links you to websites and information on plants best suited for terrarium life!)

hey there! i'm just chillin' in my terrarium, no biggie!

Here's what I did:

Terrarium no. 1:
All of my supplies. Scottish Moss, Irish Moss, mini Thyme,  mini terra cotta pot, some small indoor house plants, rocks, activated charcoal and of course the containers!! 

with rocks already placed in the bottom, I added a layer of activated charcoal

activated charcoal in place, and now adding a layer of soil

the finished product of the first terrarium 

a close up of the mini terra cotta pot with the miniature thyme. 

 Terrarium no. 2:

I'm lucky enough to have purchased this fancy candle holder that looks like a mini conservatory from Pottery Barn about 8 years ago. It now has a new life!!

detail of my miniature toadstools in terrarium no. 2

Terrarium no. 3:
this one was done in another candle holder (although this is quite large)- this is what I love about terrariums: Any glass container will do!!
detail of terrarium no. 3 with miniature toadstools and close up of the gorgeous colored wee pebbles used in this one.

terrarium no. 3 in it's place. sigh, it makes me feel peaceful just looking at it!!!
 Are you ready to make your own??? Skies the limit with these mini worlds! I'm already planning my next one, I just have to figure out where to put it!!!!  I am REALLY coveting THIS TERRARIUM and am currently on the lookout for a lidded container like the one in the tutorial to make my dreams come true!! I mean, I want it exactly, well... with the exception of an aqua geode instead of the pink one cuz that's how I roll!

Head on over to SLOmygosh and give her a shout out! Let us know if you are inspired and get into the fantastic world of terrarium gardens too!!! I know we'd both love to hear from you!!

next up for me: a lovely lidded garden a la "Making it Lovely".

What goes with toadstool and gnome filled terrariums, you ask? Swedish CLOGS!

What's Better Than Swedish Fish? Swedish Clogs!

Helllllllo Lotta From Stockholm clogs!!! You are my new favorite footwear and I want to work, play and sleep in you!
Lotta from Stockholm Torpatoffeln Steel Blue Peep Toe

Monday, June 18, 2012

An Ode To Nike

Oh Nike, you've gone and done it- you've made a shoe in my favorite color. Now that you've basically lifted them from my dreams, I had to buy them. Thank goodness that I was in need (this is up for debate!) of new running shoes and that they were on sale (most importantly- the sale part!!!)

well hellloooo gorgeous!! come here often?!

me and the pups chilling after a good workout

The new colors from Nike are just fantastic! There really is a color combo for everyone out there!! And the running apparel matches! Now if only I could wear the matching booty shorts! Haha- that is never going to happen in this lifetime and I'm okay with that (I think!). I sure wouldn't mind someday sporting the regular running shorts though- ahhhhh a girl can dream! Guess I'd better stop making cookies!

*for those wondering: the above shoe is the Nike Flex Trainer 2 in tropical twist/ liquid lime.

Let's Coast! D.I.Y. Tile Coasters

Years ago when I thought money grew on trees, I purchased  over a dozen hand painted, hand cut tiles from Mexico. I had the intention of using them for the backsplash of the granny unit my parents were building. I had grand plans- shoot for the stars kind of plans! And then reality set in, one: if I moved then my precious tiles would permanently be in someone else's kitchen :( and two: the economy started to tank and I knew I needed to spend my money more wisely. So, fast forward 4+ years and I've got a box of hand painted tiles all dressed up with nowhere to go.

A little while ago I decided I was going to turn them into coasters or trivets or very possibly a table top (until I thought about how much work that would be- meh!) I sat on that idea for awhile until Saturday. I knew I wanted a Sunday craft project and that box of tiles was just staring at me, I mean- staring! So  off to trusty ol' Miners Hardware I went. First, can I just say how insanely friendly and helpful their staff ALWAYS is! Anyway, I got all of the supplies I needed and boom- Sunday craft day was ready!

What you'll need:

decorative tiles
A roll of grip liner- found with the contact paper
glue- I started off using super glue for ceramics which worked great but ran out. You can also use craft glue made for porous surfaces.
some sort of cover for your work area so you can be messy with glue if that's your thing

Um, my first casualty- whoops! Super glue to the rescue!! I literally dropped this and broke it as the project was starting
take a precut square of the grip liner, that you have cut to just slightly smaller than the tile itself.

apply glue

apply liner to glue and press firmly- I used a small piece of cardboard to smooth it down so I wouldn't get glue all over my fingers. I still managed to glue a few fingers though!

what I call the drying station. Depending on the glue they may dry instantly or take a few hours. 

the finished product!! my pretend inlaid table.

as a coaster for under my plant mister (gotta protect that wood from moisture!)

as a decorative coaster under an egyptian glass vase. I'm also using them for coasters for glasses stacked on my coffee table and ready to go!
 A side project inspired by these tiles all those years ago:

I hand painted this terra-cotta container when I first got the tiles. I had a vision of painting these and selling them as a side business- then the place I wanted to sell them to burnt down- so if that isn't a sign, I don't know what is (oh and this was super time consuming, so that was a factor too!)

close up of my painted pot. :) It's a favorite!
Hopefully you're feeling inspired to make some craftiness happen in your life!!