The Nordstrom sale, and a last-minute trip to plan

Last year was my first year getting to dive into the #Nsale during early access, and I snagged a few things gleefully. This year, I didn’t think I’d want too much, and I didn’t…I actually bought several things, but not things on sale, ha! It was because I was out of several makup/beauty items & had to replace them, and sadly they weren’t on sale. Le sigh!

But I DID snag one of these during the early access sale…

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…because gold polka dots.

So I recently received some very, very sad news. An old high school friend had passed away. We’d lost touch over the years, but her passing really jolted me – we’re not nearly old enough to start checking out, and even though we’d lost touch, she’s supposed to be off happily living her life. It was just really a shock. She was the first person I’ve lost who I’d been really close to, not counting my mom (I think because I sort of “expected” to lose my mom, since parents are older & you expect them to go first…friends are NOT supposed to go until we’re all old & wrinkly).

But the news really made me start to look at my life, as these things do. While I went through a “I’m so grateful for…” few hours, I also went through a, “WTH are you waiting for, start having more fun!” few hours. And I realized that I’ll never be “ready” or “have time” to have fun or do vacations unless I MAKE THE TIME. I’ve been freelancing for five years & have not taken a vacation in that time.

At all.

Sad, right? I work for myself, so I’m supposed to be able to do anything I want, right? Ha. Hahahahaha.

But anyway, yesterday as I was digesting the news of my friend, I suddenly had an urge to party and to take myself to a really huge freaking party that happens Labor Day weekend (DragonCon), a big convention that I used to go to every year. I’d not been since 2010. Lots of friends still go, and each year I have a list of reasons why I can’t go.

But dammit, this year I’m going.

I looked up airfare prices just to see, and lo & behold…the perfect ticket (days & times) was available for an AMAZING price.

I bought the ticket.

I’m going to have a vacation for the first time in five years!! A REAL vacation…leaving my day-to-day & going to another city & staying with friends & being insanely silly for four days straight. I can’t wait.

Now…let the planning begin! I’ve only got about 7-8 weeks ish. EEK!

I’ve got a bunch of con-ready clothes, but I couldn’t help going back through the Nordstrom sale to find some candidates for new things I could wear at the con. I found three possibles:

Outfit ideas for a convention

1. Hardware Detail Keyhole Neck Cap Sleeve Top
2. High/Low Split Neck Sleeveless Top
3. Double V Colorblock tank

I really, really love all three (for the con & beyond). I tend to dress very monochromatically at cons: I stick to black, and more black, with a bit of gray. But I’m always looking for new things in black or gray or white with interesting cuts & shapes.

The other great thing about all 3 of these? They would look great with nice pants, shorts, skirts…AND with a wilder look like leather pants/skirt & combat boots, if I was going to go that route (which I often do at cons, because cons are exactly where you can get away with the wildest fashion ever imaginable). 😀

More to come on con looks as the time gets closer, and I start freaking out over my first vacation in ages.

Cheers,
Sara

That time my bag was on Covert Affairs.

Well, ok, it wasn’t my personal bag. But it was the same bag. And it was a cheap thrill to see it on one of my favorite shows!

This is my bag, a black Michael Kors Selma. I call her my “command central” because she can hold everything:

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She’s one of my most favorite bags ever. I have a lot of bags I really like (Kate Spade, Coach, the usual suspects), but the MKors Selma is one I’ll carry for a very, very long time.

I was recently watching an episode of one of my favorite shows, Covert Affairs, & I saw Annie carrying a bag that looked really similar to the Selma. I said oooh cool, that bag’s like mine! I mean, they usually dress Annie in Louboutins & clothing that’s out of my budget (typical for TV)…so the fact that she was carrying a bag similar to the Selma was a thrill. You know when you have a bag & know it well, one that has a similar shape is instantly recognizable:

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So I was enjoying myself, mildly wondering what bag it was that was so similar.

Then they showed more shots of her & the bag…

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This time I squealed…I can see the shiny gold Michael Kors logo…it’s the Selma! It’s the Selma!!

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ANNIE HAS MY BAG! Well, she had it for one episode, anyway.

I love my Selma even more now, if that’s possible. Heh. And yes, I realize that it takes very little to thrill me in life…hahaha!

Here’s to fabulous bags we love & having that love validated by our favorite TV shows. :)

Can we talk about how awesome this TV tray is?

I can’t believe I wrote that title. I just called a TV tray “awesome.” A TV tray. Those forever-useful yet forever-ugly home accessories that always seem to come in handy although they’re often so ugly that you have to DIY them into submission.

But not this one! Look!

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It’s from CB2. It’s gold. And modern. And pretty!

I’m beside myself. It’s the chicest TV tray I’ve ever seen. (Ok, full disclosure, I’ve never actually gone looking for chic TV trays. There might be a whole slew of them out there. I’ve always assumed TV trays were a lost cause & have never even thought about looking.)

I might have to cave in & get this beauty. It’s on sale right now, too, which is a bonus.

Here’s another pic from the CB2 site:

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I can already think of ways I can use it. I think I’d make it a permanent part of my decor, forget folding it up!

Heh, I’m so tickled at this find.

Chic TV trays FTW!

Happy chic-TV-tray Thursday,
Sara

Hello Fall: Neutral love & alien inspiration

I’m sure I’ve mentioned somewhere around here that I like to decorate & rearrange my home, often. That includes changing out decor for the various seasons & holidays.

I also love color, and I’ve enjoyed some very colorful palettes in the past years. Recently, I’d had some bright & summer-y colors in my living room, and before that beautiful peacock blue-green accents, and I still love them all…but I’d gotten the idea to go for a more neutral palette for fall & winter.

Then I got looking on the Pier 1 website, with all the Labor Day sales happening….

It was then either “Danger! Danger!” or “Woohoo!,” depending on you point of view.

I snagged two new pillows and a throw blanket (throw blankets are how I artfully hide the scratches Bassie has made on the couch while also keeping her from making more):

The new brown & silver pillows & taupe throw, looking perfect alongside my Caitlin Wilson gold scallop pillow :)

The new brown & silver pillows & taupe throw, looking perfect alongside my Caitlin Wilson gold scallop pillow :)

This silver, silky pillow is so gorgeous in person, and the throw blanket so soft that I just like to stroke them at night while watching tv, hahaha...very soothing!

This silver, silky pillow is so gorgeous in person, and the throw blanket so soft that I just like to stroke them at night while watching tv, hahaha…very soothing!

I really, really love this pillow. Really. It's very soft & squishy. "I will call him Squishy and he will be my Squishy..."

I really, really love this pillow. Really. It’s very soft & squishy. “I will call him Squishy, and he will be my Squishy…”

The whole effect.

The whole effect.

I have to say I’m really, really loving this neutral palette! This apartment has wallpaper & dark wood trim, both relics from when it was built back in the late 70s, but I actually don’t mind. Right now I’m really digging it.

It’s so funny, white walls are all the rage now on various design & style blogs, and years ago when I had white walls I loathed them. Now, white walls are “in” and I’ve got wallpapered ones…heh.

So for my current neutral-color-in-my-home kick, I have to give props to my current source of inspiration…

Aliens!

Well, ok, not aliens per se, but the gorgeous, beautiful, crazy-pretty set styling of the show Extant.

Have you seen the house?! I don’t care how 70s-ish & slightly mid-century it is (and I normally really, really do not like 70s/mid-century stuff)…it works. It’s gorgeous!

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Notice in pic 2 that lovely kettle? I actually found it on Amazon & am tempted to get it, hahaha. It’s stainless with a cork handle…so unique & pretty!

The entire show has beautiful set styling, and the more episodes I watched, the more I was drawn to the colors, and ended up with neutrals on the brain. So I suppose it was only natural for me to neutral-ize (har har) my living room.

(As for the show itself, it’s a bit meh. I wanted to like it: I love all the actors, I love the premise…but the plot seems rushed & therefore development is shallow & too fast. I suppose they wanted to tell the whole story in the limited episodes they have, but I would have loved to have had it all developed over a longer time.)

And a bonus for my new neutrals…adding black & orange for Halloween will go so nicely with these colors, and my plan for all white & gold Christmas decor this year will look even better! Woohoo!

It’s the little things in life, it really is. :)

Hi there, cute rain sandals

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1. Michael Kors Kayden Jelly
2. Kate Spade New York Fab
3. Michael Kors MK Plate Jelly
4. Cole Haan Miley Jelly
5. Rebecca Minkoff Petra

I live in Florida, and in Florida, summer = thunderstorms. Lots of thunderstorms. Almost daily thunderstorms. They usually creep up with lots of dark clouds & ominous thunder, then dump tons of water in a visibility-negating deluge, then blow on past leaving bright sunshine & 110% humidity.

Sometimes I have to be out & about when a storm is either coming or already here, so I learned a long time ago that plastic flip flops are one of my best friends. They might not look that cute, but they sure are awesome in a storm. There is nothing worse than being caught out in the rain with a fav pair of shoes that you really don’t want submerged in water.

Yesterday, I had to go to the store, and I figured it would rain while I was out. So I wore my trusty-yet-not-very-cute black plastic flip flops; these even have a thick sole & traction on them, so you don’t slip around when they’re wet. Good foresight on my part; the rain came, and it was so fierce that even with an umbrella I was mostly drenched by the time I got back to my apartment (hate when it blows sideways!). But at least no shoes were harmed in the grocery jaunt. Plastic shoes FTW!

So then I saw a post on Instagram where someone had a picture of…plastic sandals. As in CUTE plastic sandals! As in, where can I buy those?!

Alas, that particular style was sold out, but it made me go looking. I haven’t deliberately searched for plastic shoes since the jelly craze of the 80s, so I felt a bit silly on Zappos looking for “plastic sandals”…but…lo & behold…

Lots & lots of gorgeous, stylish plastic sandals! That are *not* “jellies.” Woohoo! I wonder how many pairs my budget can stand.

The pic above is of a few of my fav pairs so far.

Now the hard part is deciding which to try. I am slightly worried that their sleek foot bed will translate into a mini slip & slide once I’m sloshing through a storm, but I’m willing to try it out. If I’m going to be soaked & soggy in a storm & wearing plastic footwear, might as well let it be cute footwear, right? 😉

To hauls of cute plastic sandals,
Sara

Memorial Day outfit planning

Ok, it’s time. Time for me to make over my wardrobe. It needs it, seriously…it’s in a bad state. I blame it all on working at home, by myself…I’ve just not cared much in the past three years, hahaha. But now I’m tired of not having a closet full of cute stuff I want to wear when I open its doors (like I had years ago). And shoes? Egad, as a gal who used to have a LOT of shoes, now only having a few old pairs languishing in the back of my sadly-lacking closet is depressing.

I still work at home, but dang it, I’m going to buy new clothes & shoes. And show them off online! Because really, I’ve no other place to show them off. 😉

To start, I’ve just joined & bought shoes from JustFab and ShoeDazzle. I’ll post about my experiences with them & the shoes themselves once they arrive.

And what is it about Target lately and all the cute shoes? Seriously! To whit, I present the outfit I’m currently contemplating for Memorial Day:

ggl_outfitmemday2014

This maxi dress is one I bought a few years ago & absolutely love, and I tend to wear it a lot during the summer (since, you know, I have so few options these days with my Sad Closet). I’m thinking of combining it with a couple of my favorite bracelets (pave one is from Gigglosophy and the white one is T+J Designs), my new favorite necklace ever (T+J, and mentioned in my previous post), these adorable sunnies snagged from Anthropologie…and these so-dang-cute sandals from Target! Confession: I bought them in a size slightly larger than my normal size because it was one of the last pairs and I had to have them. Thankfully the larger size fits. 😉

I bought another pair of cute sandals while I was there. I need to avoid Target for awhile…too much temptation.

Ok, so I think my lack-of-shoes situation is now fixed for the immediate future…well, as long as the JustFab & ShoeDazzle shoes fit. *crosses fingers*

And accessories? I’ve never lacked accessories. It’s just my clothes situation that needs a big boost of updating.

By the way, don’t you love the Lucky Cat Foot included in this pic? No matter what I did, Bast kept creeping into the pics…but she’s just So Darn Cute that I finally just let her into the pic, slightly. 😉 And then I turned away, turned back, and saw this:

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Awwwwww.

So anyway, I think this will be a cute outfit for Memorial Day! But I realized I’m missing red though, hahaha, so I might just paint my nails red, or simply carry a flag as an accessory…which now that I think about it, might be just the thing to do. I actually JUST finally bought a flag…seriously, why have I not bought one before now? Here she is:

ggl_outfitmemday2014_flag

I’d planned to put her outside for the weekend, but perhaps I’ll simply carry her & wave her around all child-like. 😉

Ok, it’s now work time for me. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great Memorial Day!

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Accidental flower whisperer

So several months ago, I bought two celosias. They were slightly scraggly, but I repotted them into one large pot & hoped for the best. They didn’t do very well…and one of them died. So I said well, ok, they didn’t look totally healthy when I bought them, and perhaps I’m not that good at growing celosias. I’ll replace them with something else.

And then…

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Little celosias started growing.

And one of them became…

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Living in harmony with this little creeper…

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I’ve enjoyed how this celosia has exploded in colorful glory & have Instagram’d it a few times…

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I’ve not done one thing other than water it. Well, and perhaps talk to it here & there… 😉

It just keeps growing, and the smaller ones are happily bursting upwards as well.

However, it IS December. Even here in Florida, we’re going to start getting cold snaps. I’ve already covered it for one cold night, and the leaves show some cold damage, so I’m not sure how much longer this trooper will hold on. But I’ll keep snapping pics of it…The Largest Celosia Ever In The History Of Celosias.

In praise of cheesy holiday movies!

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So it’s only the early days of November, but I’m already so much in the Christmas mood this year that I’m happy to see Christmas paper towels at the store, Christmas-scented candle displays, Christmas ads on TV, all the Christmas promos at my favorite stores (not to mention Starbucks holiday flavors!)…and…

Cheesy holiday movies!

Oh yeah. Bring ’em on, baby!

A few years ago a friend talked me into watching a few on the Lifetime channel. As someone who has never self-identified as a woman who’d watch Lifetime—I’ve always been a scifi & spy-movie type and preferred “the good ones” when it came to romantic movies—I was at first utterly resistant. Cheesy Lifetime movies? Heck no! But my friend insisted, I was bored one night with nothing to watch, so I caved.

And ended up loving a few of them so much that they’re now in my regular holiday rotation! Lifetime has the last laugh on me, that’s for sure.

Yeah, some of them are beyond cheesy. But some are so much fun that you forgive them their cheese (or love them in spite of it).

Example: One of my favs that I love watching every year: Sundays at Tiffany’s. Such a great movie with Alyssa Milano, and the guy who plays the male lead, Eric Winter, is now starring on Witches of East End (a wonderfully fun show, too). It’s about what happens when a woman’s childhood invisible friend comes back into her life, and the invisible friend is now grown up too & utterly gorgeous & sexy. It’s really adorable & worth a watch if you can see it.

Then about the time I found Sundays at Tiffanys, I found Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. What can I say, I love Steve Guttenberg! The title of this one is cheesy enough that I almost didn’t watch it…but man, I’m so glad I did. It’s a really a feel-good movie & one that I love to watch each year. Sadly there’s no trailer I can find, but it seems the whole movie is on Youtube, lol.

That year I also watched & enjoyed 12 Men of Christmas starring Kristin Chenoweth. I love her, so I had to give this a try; it’s silly but fun.

So ever since that year, I try out a bunch of cheesy movies each year. It’s a new tradition.

And this year the Hallmark Channel is winning me over…they’ve started the cheesy movies early…a whole two months of them! They’re doing a “Countdown to Christmas” marathon. New movies every weekend…aaaaaah. Perfect!

So far I’ve watched two & loved them. One is Thanksgiving-themed: The Thanksgiving House, starring Emily Rose (of the SyFy show Haven):

And I saw Matchmaker Santa. Ok, with a title like that, you’d be forgiven for staying away from it, hahaha. But it’s really adorable. Cheesy, you bet. But the way Santa plays “matchmaker” is just so cute. It’s perfect for getting into the holiday spirit:

I’m going to try to catch as many of Hallmark’s as I can…I don’t expect to like all of them (sometimes the cheese is just too much, even when I’m in the cheesy-holiday-movie mood), but I expect to find several more new favorites. This weekend’s premieres are Snow Bride and A Very Merry Mix-up. I’m ready!

And oooooh, is it too soon to decorate for Christmas yet?!

Yours in the super-early holiday spirit,
Sara

Wantworthy: Re-styling my bar credenza

 

Restyling my bar credenza, first round

1. Book  2. Highballs  3. Tray  4. Stirrers  5. Lamp  6. Cordial glasses

When I last moved, I luckily “inherited” this gorgeous vintage-ish bar credenza from my old roommate, who’d gotten it from a friend of hers. My roommate had never used it; it had sat out in the garage since there was no room for it in the house. So when I moved, she said I could have it if I wanted it…and I pounced!

It’s a lovely, solid piece of furniture with a top that slides apart to make a wider surface & lots of room inside the bottom area to hold all of my cocktail accoutrements. (I’ll do a little “tour” of the whole thing eventually.) And the best part…it’s got quatrefoils on it! The knobs are quatrefoils & the front panels are quatrefoils. Ah, pattern love!

Ahem. Anyway… 😉

When I moved into my apartment, I had fun styling the credenza with what I had on hand: a lovely framed print of the Paris Opera House (from Bombay Company, many, many years ago), a lamp, a couple of old framed pics, and a round silver tray.

The problem now is that I want to update the styling a bit. Just a few things…

I’d like a new tray, because the silver one isn’t quite flat (annoying when you’re trying to set glasses on it) and the silver makes the glassware disappear; I’ve got gorgeous Waterford rocks glasses that I’d like to be more obvious.

I want to update the lamp, and I’d like to start a collection of drink stirrers. I remember my parents having a collection of fun drink stirrers when I was really small, and I’d like to start my own, starting with a basic set like the one in the pic above, and then getting various whimsical sets for holidays & special occassions.

And the “Yours & Mine” glasses are exactly the thing to have for when friends drop by…no more confusing whose G&T is whose! Heh.

I’ve already got a few fun cocktail recipe books, and I’d like to add them to the styling, and I simply must get a copy of Mrs Lillien’s Cocktail Swatchbook…it’s ingenious & gorgeously designed! I think it could become as ubiquitous to modern home bars as the old Mr Boston bartender’s guide used to be.

As for those cordial glasses…I’ve literally been wanting them for a year and a half! Why have I not bought them yet? No idea. But I am definitely snapping up a couple soon, because I plan to use them on my birthday…just sayin’.

And eventually I want to replace the framed print with a collection of art prints that I’ve been seeing online that I want…but that’ll be round 2 of the restyling. 😉

With all this I’m also trying out a new site called Wantworthy; it actually looks like a Pinterest clone, but it’s meant to be just for items you want to buy. A fancy wishlist, if you will. Hey, I’m all for wishlists, so I figured I’d try the site out & see if I like it. So far, the interface is clean & pretty, so we’ll see how it goes.

Here’s to fun with styling home bars…cheers!

Sara

In an Austen mood

In a Jane Austen kind of mood

First // Second // Third

All it took was seeing one link to a cute Jane Austen-themed item on Etsy, and away I went into Austen-land. I absolutely love these items & must have to add to my collection. Pardon me while I go flip a coin to decide which Austen movie to watch while I work today…