Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oh My Hamish

I've lost my sunglasses. They had prescription lenses and I now live in the middle of nowhere. This might be the right time to try Warby Parker; they're like the TOMS of vintage inspired glasses. Rumor has it that they use the same production facility as Chanel eyewear, but every complete pair is only $95! They also offer a virtual try on feature and send you five pairs of frames to try on for FREE. Lucky for me they start selling sunglasses in August!

Hamish pic via awesomepeoplehangingouttogether . 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Made It!

I finally moved in! I'm still unpacking all my junk, but I couldn't let Harry Potter Day pass without sharing this parody video:

Accio me some tissues, indeed. I can't believe it's over!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What To Look At When You Are Not Packing

 . . . which I am not. Which is bad. Look! Pretty things!

Video of 8,000 paper lanterns floating into the night sky:

Project SOS: Send Love. A daughter is helping her mother "travel the world" while she is being treated for colon cancer by asking people to send her postcards! Isn't that sweet? P.S. - That picture is from MY first trip to Italy in 2005! I went again in 2008, but I'm ready to go back right now! I can't believe it's been so long!

I ordered this cookbook from the "quarter-life chefs" at Big Girls, Small Kitchen:
I can't wait to try the Sexy-Ugly Onion Tart!

Can I borrow $64 million real quick? This 9-14th century, 30 bedroom castle is for sale
Or, I suppose this 15th century, 17 bedroom castle will do: 

 Individually and beautifully handwritten note cards at sparrownestscript : 
Only $15 for ten cards, which is not too shabs at all considering she does them by hand! 

Jane, of Sea of Shoes shared her makeup faves : 
Her makeup always looks amazing, so I'll have to test some of them!

I'm LOVING the Art Deco inspired Neubauten Necklace from Mod Cloth:

Hmm. . . I suppose I should  go pack some things now. My friend, Emily, is coming over to help me tonight and promises to reward me with cocoa covered almonds from her co-op for packing excellence! Four days until I'm in my new apartment! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Checking Things Off My List!

I did a lot this weekend - I'm exhausted! That might have a little to do with the fact that I got locked out of my house this morning with my dog and ended up at work two hours late. Oops.

Back to Friday - Remember the inspiration video from my "To Craft" post?  I finished my poured paint table top! My friend, Kelly, came over and we tackled it in about three hours. Here is the plain IKEA tabletop (and Kelly) all ready to go:

We mixed about 60oz. of acrylic paint with lots of water and about 5oz of Liquitex Pouring Medium . You could play around with the levels here if you would like to try this project; but our paint was the consistency of melted chocolate. Then we started to pour! 
It was going pretty well . . . then (probably because of the metallic pigment) the paints started to bleed into each other and stopped flowing in rings: 
We also realized that the ground wasn't exactly level. So, we decided to just roll with it and do a bunch of little circles instead of one big one. We ended up with this: 
It's about 50% dry right now:
Once it's dry I just need to attach the legs and put a piece of glass over it - then I'll have my new makeup table! 

The only tip I would add for someone interested in trying this; use less paint. We mixed a lot more than we needed (and I bought more we didn't open). I would say 40oz would have been ample. It was just really hard to guess how much we really needed since we kept adding more water to the cups as we went. You could do this whole project for about $40!

As for the other crafts on my list . . . I didn't exactly finish any yet. I did iron the duck cloth for my bulletin board for about a HOUR last night - and it still needs a little more work. That stuff looks good, but is a pain. P.S. - it stinks when heat is directly on it. I also sorted about 20 storage tubs full of apartment/college stuff and consolidated them into 8 tubs. See? Productive! All I have to sort now is my closet! 13 days left until I move!

What do you think of my new table?

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Paint is Drying!

I'm actually making progress on my "To Craft" list and can't wait to share all my finished projects with you. Look for a full post on Monday! Here is a little teaser photo from my poured paint project:

Thanks to all my new and old followers for your encouragement! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

To Craft!

Jillian, over at cornflake dreams is hosting a blog link up today all about summer to-do lists! Oh boy, do I have a long one! Because I'm moving in 17 days, I'm trying to jam visits to all my favorite places in before I go, as well as prep for my move. At the top of my list - guava margaritas at Dos Rios.

Before that can happen, I have a serious "to-craft" list that I need to tackle!
This weekend, my mom and I started to paint a bedside table, mirror, chair, bookcase and vintage vanity I'm using in my dining room.
My mom's friend was just going to throw it out! I think storing my wine is a much better alternative. Everything needs another coat or two of paint, but I should be able to finish (and share pics) once it stops raining. 

Also on my list is this nailhead bulletin board project from Live Creating Yourself:
What's sad about this- all the materials are sitting in my house right now. I've been so lazy about the easiest thing on my list! I'm officially setting a goal - this will be done by Saturday. Internet, hold me accountable! 

Next, while I'm working with nail heads, is this great headboard project from Freckles Chick :
I'm pretty sure this one is not going to get done before I leave. It's not because I'm lazy, but because I don't want one more giant thing to move! However, my goal is to at least buy the fabric and nail head trim.

While I'm at the fabric store, I also need to pick up some fabric for my Moroccan style poufs!
My friend, after seeing my post about them a few weeks back, said she could sew some for me. I'm also going to ask her to sew some regular throw pillows as well (surprise!). Thanks, Emily! I bought some great fabric for the pillows:

One last really big thing I need to tackle is my new makeup table. Someone randomly gave me a new IKEA tabletop and legs a few months ago. I was going to paint them anyway, but then I saw this really interesting video: 
I'd like to try this with some classic metallics (less rainbowy!). I've been kind of freaking out about finding the right kind of paint and something to seal it all with; but it has to be done this weekend. I want to give it a full week to dry!

What do you think? Can I get all these things done and pack up my life in two weeks? We'll see!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hammyham and Miscellany

Exciting news! My favorite Hamish has revealed he is working on an auto-biography. So excited!! I'm still waiting impatiently for Grace Coddington's auto-biograpy and Dita Von Teese's beauty book. Come on, ladies! 

Diana, over at exPress-o is hosting a giveaway from Albeit. All you have to do is follow and choose which colors you would like your three bracelets to be! While I was poking around the Albeit site I, of course, found something three times more expensive to fall in love with. 
This gold initial necklace ($310) is so cute! I love how the letter is tilted and there seems to be enough chain to drape it couple times.

Last weekend, I went with a friend (Maria of Urban Cowgirl) to the Better Homes and Gardens charity sale. They publish in my hometown! BHG hosted a once in a lifetime sale of their photo props and furniture to benefit an anti-hunger charity. We got there around 6:45AM, the sale started at 8, and by about 8:30 most of the stuff was gone! It was a bloodbath! There were about 100 people in the line ahead of us and I'm guessing about 300-400 people in line behind us. We were all just grabbing anything! Maria got a really great bench and some cookbooks. I got a Ralph Lauren floor lamp ( I didn't know there was such a thing), two footed bowls, one giant glass bowl, copper ceiling tiles, three big mercury glass style candle holders, one vintage copper mold and three stools for $44! Here is a little teaser photo of our haul:
I'm waiting to share good pictures of all my new stuff until I move into my new apartment! I'm moving, by the way, in 24 days! I didn't expect to move so soon, but something came up at my new office and they wanted me to start a little earlier. Yikes! So much to pack! I also need to squeeze in all my favorite Des Moines things before I go, so look out for those posts!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Missoni for Target

I knew these pictures would leak eventually! Missoni has collaborated with Target for a fashion and home collection that will release in September!

So many zig zags. They will all be MINE, I say!

Loving It : A Discovery of Witches

In my last post, I told you I had ordered the novel A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel
I started reading it on Thursday and finished Friday afternoon. I loved it! It's kind of a combination of Harry Potter plus Twilight plus Da Vinci Code; but is absolutely its own unique novel. Harkness is an accomplished historian, so she includes actual historical and scientific information in the novel in a very interesting way!

Apparently, ADOW is the first in a trilogy - which I'm certainly happy about! The next one comes out sometime in 2012. That seems so far away! I suppose if you consider that ADOW was only released this February . . .  I guess it's cool if Harkness takes some time to write the next one, haha! Also, there are some rumors flying around about a movie version. I think when you read it you will agree that it screams to be made into a movie. In fact, on Harkness' Facebook page it has become a fun game for fans to try to cast it! For the two main characters, I think I would go with Henry Cavill for Matthew and Emily Deschanel for Diana. 
Henry Cavill PictureEmily Deschanel Picture
Don't they look nice together? I think I'll stop before I give anything away, but really - go read this book!  I need someone to gush over it with! 
PS- I tweeted Harkness to tell her that I liked the book and she tweeted back! How nice of her!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just a Few Treats

I've been so busy helping to put on a bridal shower for one of my friends I haven't had time to post! Now that it's over (boo), I can get back to sharing a few things with you (yay)!
First things first - Nutella cupcakes! My new favorite thing!

All I did was swirl some melted Nutella on top of cake batter - done! No frosting required! The super cute cups I baked them in came from Think Garnish! I also bought straws from them, but accidentally left them at home! Oops. The only thing you have to remember if you choose to bake in cups like this is that you can only fill them about 1/3 full with batter, otherwise this happens :
Awww, sad little reject cupcake. The rest of them went over well at the shower, though! Special thanks to Diana of exPress-O; I found the cups through her blog!

I'm expecting a few great things to be delivered to me soon! I got a really great deal on a pair of  Safavieh pillows from Gilt Groupe *, plus an extra 20% off, so I'm pretty pleased! I can't wait to put them with my new bedding!

Through the end of the month, West Elm is offering free shipping on reg. priced bedding, and since it would have cost over $20 to ship the duvet cover and shams I had my eye on (ridiculous, right?), I ordered this set this morning.
Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover + Shams
I can't wait to dive into that! I also ordered a shower curtain from One Kings Lane * : 

Then, after I ordered it, I realized as I was looking through a folder of inspiration images that I had clipped it from Apartment Therapy in August! A couple things to note- it does NOT have that text on it (that was the best pic I could find) and I only paid $12 for it, NOT $30! Not too shabs. 

Though I should be trying to get rid of books before I move  - I had to order a couple more!  A Discovery of Witches and Bossypants should be at my door today!
Bossypants, well, because it's Tina Fey! As for A Discovery of Witches, I read great reviews of it from tons of magazines including Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, O and Allure. When I finally remembered to check it out on Amazon I was surprised to be able to read the first few chapters for free! That hooked me, so now I'm ticking off the hours I have to wait until I can curl up in bed with it tonight!
Did you give yourselves any treats this weekend? Let's hear about it! 

* Disclaimer! The links that have * after them will take you to the site, but give me a small credit the first time you buy something. If you don't want to use those links for whatever reason, that's cool! I think you'll like the sites anyway!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sale Fail

Some of you may have heard of the NYX Cosmetics incident that happened a couple days ago. If not, the short story is that NYX promoted a 12 hour sale in which most of their products would be $1.20. Then their servers crashed during the sale and almost nobody got to buy anything. NYX is pretty cheap to begin with- but the sale was a really great deal at about 70-90% off! 

I quite like a lot of their products. I honestly think their $3 lip liner pencils are on the level of ones that are in the $15-20 range. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn't even get the front page to load! Technology not working is pretty annoying, but I thought at the time that eventually NYX would fix the situation and make it up to the customers somehow.  However, their responses on Facebook and Twitter have been so rude! For example, the latest message says they "are overwhelmed with joy and thrilled with the massive response that this event has received". They also promise an individual 50% off code as a "reward" to those who email them. 

Customers are less than pleased with how the last 48 hours were handled.  Check out the comments and reviews here, if you are interested, and you will see many claims against the company including being able to see other's credit card information, customer service reps hanging up on people and yelling, customers being promised that if they waited their sale priced carts would be honored after the sale, etc. Fair warning- some people are VERY upset and frustrated and their comments get a little, er . . . passionate. 

I used to work in retail, so I know what it feels like to have people tear you apart for something you can't control - but for the company not to offer an apology then make the customer chase them for a coupon is pretty insulting. I did write to NYX:

Dear NYX,
I am one of the thousands of customers that did not get to participate in the 12 Hour Sale this week. I attempted to load the site, did everything you asked after your servers crashed and in the end was not allowed to spend my money with you. Servers crashing is unfortunate; but I'm terribly offended by how the whole accident was handled. It makes you, an established company, look so shady to have the website running perfectly and almost fully stocked very shortly after the sale was over. It makes you seem greedy to make people chase after you for a coupon code that is no where near worth the value that the sale was. It makes you seem rude to hang up on customers and send out cutesy messages on Facebook like "nobody likes when their party is ruined" and " our team was overwhelmed with joy by the massive response". It makes you seem dishonest to not follow through on certain promises like you would honor screen shots of sale priced carts and that you would put a coupon code on Facebook at a certain time. 
What is so shocking is that your brand is built on word-of-mouth recommendations, bloggers like me and the understanding that beauty can be had at a bargain. As someone who has increased your sales by my personal recommendations, I'm really at a loss as to how to respond to this whole mess. I do not think the 50% off coupon is fair to the people that patiently waited for a discount of up to 90% off. You claimed on Twitter that "several hundred" people were able to place orders - you have over 56,500 fans on Facebook. Do you think "several hundred" is proportional to the estimated thousands that wanted to participate in building your brand further? 
If someone actually reads this, can you please explain to me and my readers why the sale can't be re-launched at a later time so all your customers have a fair chance to stock up on your products? Can you also address the claims made on social media sites about credit card mishandling, customer service promises, hang ups, codes not working and why there has been no real apology made that this point? We will be waiting patiently and respectfully for your response.
Miss Fancy Pants DH

We'll see if they actually respond. Meanwhile, I'm not wasting any more time stressing over this hot mess! I am curious though- were any of you looking forward to this sale?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Advanced Snooki Studies

 I read yesterday that there will be an legitimate academic conference on The Jersey Shore. Finally. I always pretend like I'm an animal behavioralist when I watch it, anyway (don't pretend like you don't)! 

The conference will be October 28th, in Chicago and will be free! Potential topics include:

*Gender roles, gender performance, and normativity, or, "Why do the guys cook and the girls fight?".
*Reality TV as documentary/laboratory/fieldwork.
*Celebrity and the illusion of "reality".
*Shore house politics: tribalism, ostracism, and violence.
*Parody, self-referentiality, and intertextuality in the later seasons of Jersey Shore.
*Textual/characterological analysis of Snooki's novel, A Shore Thing.

There should definitely just be a lecture on Sammi and Ron's relationship! Maybe someone can finally explain to me the Jersey meaning of the word "done". The Facebook page for this event, with instructions for submitting papers if you are interested, can be found here. I spoke with David Showalter, the University of Chicago student organizer of the event, and he said that all the lectures would either be live streamed or recorded so anyone with an interest can participate! Thanks, David! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Free Social Media Conference!

If you are looking for something work-related to do today that is not your actual work, check out the 140 Characters or Less Conference that is streaming live from the Des Moines Stoner Theatre . It looks like they cover how social media effects politics, business, marketing and education! Check out the schedule and get more information here.

It looks like the presentations are rather short, so it should be easy to pop in and out through the day! 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Always Be Yourself

Monday, May 2, 2011

Help Me Decide!

I swear, not every post is going to have zig zags in it . . . but this one is totally going to!
Well, it seems that retailers are on to the whole zig zag trend because a whole new crop hit Urban Outfitters! Complicating things even further- they offer bedding and rugs in three of my favorite color combos!

The bedding is really cute, but I think I may be investing in something more lux feeling. So, now I need to choose from the black, grey and turquoise rugs. Also, I'm not sure if the rug I wrote about before is still in the mix. It's probably better wearing, and I do like the boldness of the print - but it's $100 more. Both are about the same size. I could get two UO rugs and still be under the price of the first rug! Something to ponder. It's really hard making a choice since I saw what could be my new apartment for a few minutes and I won't see it again until I move in! I'm excited for July! 

BTW, I also have a fondness for Moroccan poufs. However, they are crazy kinds of expensive. I did manage to find someone who makes them out of fabric on Etsy
                               18" Ottoman Pouf Floor Pillow black white zig zag chevron
Don't worry- if got one of the zig zag rugs, I would get this in a different fabric. I'm trying to restrain myself so I don't create a zig zag mess! 

With that in mind, I should admit that I did pick up some of these towels this weekend:
I got the turquoise ones, of course! I'll be mixing them with some dove grey towels to try to tone my new crazy obsession down a little! 

One more zig zag thing- I promise. During my Etsy search I found this really cute Iowa pillow :
I need something around to show some Iowa pride! I would definitely have her make it in fabrics that I picked out, though!

I hope you didn't get hypnotized with all these zig zags! I would love to hear your thoughts on my potential rug! Right now I'm leaning towards grey - but who knows?!