Category Archives: Friday Five

Friday Five

I got a phone call from my doctor yesterday, the results from the biopsy had come back. As I suspected (slash googled furiously in between Monday’s endoscopy and yesterday), I’ve been officially diagnosed with a condition called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Don’t worry, I can’t pronounce it either, but from what I’ve been able to find out online, EE is an allergic inflammatory condition in the esophagus that causes food impaction, difficulty swallowing, and heartburn-like symptoms (basically everything I’ve been experiencing). It’s common in children and people with asthma, but can be triggered by a food allergy or environmental allergy (my doctor thinks it is a gluten allergy). It’s often incorrectly diagnosed as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, and is therefore resistant to any sort of heartburn medication. Which explains why the prescription of Nexium he gave me leading up to the procedure didn’t do anything to help. It only gave me one more thing to be neurotic about Fitz finding and eating.

I’m happy it isn’t cancer or something and I’m happy to finally have a name for what I’m dealing with. Part of what was so tough about these episodes is that they made no sense. It was confusing to deal with and not be able to call it something other than “OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP.” So there’s that. The downside is that the first line of treatment is to take an asthma inhaler and pump it twice into my hand and then LICK IT. Asthma inhalers are corticosteroids, and since you can’t apparently get a prescription for a liquid corticosteroid, this is how it has to be done. I had to have the doctor repeat that to me a few times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. “So you want me to take an inhaler, but not inhale it?” “Yes.” “You want me to pump it into my hand, twice, and then lick the liquid out of the palm of my hand?” “Yes. Oh, and you can’t eat or drink anything for an hour afterwards.” “Uh…” “And you have to do it twice a day.” “This sounds awesome.”

Ugh.

But, I’m looking at the positives, and hopefully this will treat my symptoms and I won’t have to spend any more nights arched in pain and unable to breath or swallow or vomiting reflexively. But I mean, come on. Who has ever even heard of Eosinophilic Esophagitis, let alone been diagnosed with it? Seriously.

Obviously I’m consoling myself with material things. But you probably could’ve guessed that. Without further random medical interruption, here are this week’s Friday Five:

1. Scarf / 2. Necklace / 3. Perfume / 4. Duvet / 5. Bag

It’s clear from this collection of things that I’m very happy it’s officially Spring. Lots of bright colors, lots of florals, a straw bag for wandering around farmers markets and carrying home peonies, and a perfume that smells like candy. I first sniffed this Prada scent in this month’s Vanity Fair and instantly fell in love. Usually I find those perfume ads in magazines olfactorily offensive, so this was a rare feat. Unfortunately the smallest size they sell is way more than I’d ever spend on perfume, but that hasn’t stopped me from huffing that one page of the magazine every morning on the subway like some big weirdo.

Between that gorgeous scarf by Ash & Anchor (totally bought it for myself as an “I’m sorry you have a stupid problem with your esophagus” present) and the floral duvet cover by Urban Outfitters, I’m really embracing florals so far this season. I didn’t really peg myself as the type of girl who would pine after a Grandma-style bedspread, but it’s just so pretty and colorful. It reminds me of the type of bouquet you’d carry home in that tote bag from J Crew. I see those straw bags everywhere in the summer, and they seem perfect for the beach or just for a stroll around the city.

I’m so sad that necklace from seller Son of a Sailor on Need Supply (still obsessed!) is sold out. I signed up to be notified if it comes back in stock. I love the color combination on it and I bet it would look great with any outfit. I’m also making an effort to be better with accessorizing, because as it stands I don’t accessorize at all.

Okay, dudettes. What are you up to this weekend? I think I’m making curtains! In between licking medicine out of my hand. IT’S STILL WEIRD. Have a good one, kiddos.

March 23, 2012 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 26

Friday Five

You guys are the best. Thank you so much for your excitement over the past few days for my hotels in Paris and Brussels and Bruges. I don’t know how you guys are going to feign interest for the next two months, let alone when I come back from the trip and then bombard you with millions and millions of pictures.

I’ve been thinking about the week and a half I’ll be gone and how I’m going to manage posting for those days. I think I can commit to keeping up my 365 while we’re over there, since it’s something as simple as posting a single photo per day. But there are a full 7 weekdays when I know I won’t be able to post regularly. If I opened those days up to having guest bloggers, would any of you be interested? It wouldn’t have to be anything fancy or elaborate; I’m thinking maybe you tell us about your favorite vacation and include a few photos. I know it’s a long way away still, so I’m just trying to gauge interest. Let me know if that’s something you’d be up for, but no pressure if you’re not.

I’ll let you lovely ladies stew on that while we take a look at this week’s Friday Five.

1. Nail Polish  / 2. Shirt / 3. Alphabet Trays / 4. Lipstick / 5. Duvet

I went to Sephora after work yesterday with my friend Anna, and we found a giant display of brightly colored nail polishes, all named after streets in London. I went home and researched Nails Inc., and found that they’re a UK based shop, so the street names make sense. For someone that loves the UK as much as I do, this is positively delightful. With color names like “Portobello,” “Jermyn Street,” and “Sloan Square,” I’m itching to head back to Sephora and pick up a few bottles. The same can be said for this orange-poppy shade of NARS matte lipstick. I tried it on with Anna and loved it, even though it is slightly garish. I talked myself out of it since it’s $24 a tube, but I think all of the pictures of me in Belgium and Paris would be made even more chic if I was sporting a bright poppy lip.

We’ve already established that I’m a sucker for anything with French words printed on it, so this Zara t-shirt is just begging me to buy it. Zara finally started offering online shopping for the US, with free shipping both ways. The only thing that’s keeping me from buying it is the size; it’s only available in Medium and Large, and it might be too big. Can’t hurt to try it though, right?

While I was in West Elm last weekend scoring a sweet deal on a new chair, I came across these little monogram glass trays. They’re sort of like oversized coasters, but with enough of a dip that you can toss a necklace or ring on them. They’re only $8 each, too! I don’t even know where I would put them, but since when has toeing the line of hoarding ever stopped me?

In case you hadn’t caught on, these Friday Fives are going to bankrupt me. Especially if I give in and purchase the Draper striped duvet set from Dwell Studio I’ve been coveting for more than a year. But there is no justification I can find for spending almost $300 on a duvet cover, when my dog insists on sleeping sprawled out on his back at the bottom of the bed and sheds everywhere. Do you know how many lint-brush sheets I go through on a daily basis trying to stem the dog hair from overrunning the bed? Despite my best efforts to keep him out of the bedroom and off of the bed, he has weaseled his way in time and time again and hogs the entire thing. This is seriously how he sleeps:

What a weirdo.

And on that note, I wish you all a very lovely weekend. What are your plans for St. Patty’s Day? I’ll be spending the day trying to avoid it, personally. Despite my name actually meaning Ireland I am not even 1% Irish. Have a great one, kiddos!

March 16, 2012 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 18

Friday Five

I know yesterday I said not to believe me if I claimed I was dying, but I am totally dying. My throat went from being sore to just scratchy and tickly, which means I’ve started coughing, and my nose is attempting to be the president of phlegm production. Like it’s going for a gold medal or something. Guess what, nose? You win! Despite this tremendous set-backs, I’m actually in pretty high spirits for someone who is clearly at death’s door. I don’t have a fever or any body aches, thankfully, so I’m planning on muscling through today at work and then spending the whole weekend on the sofa. Except, you know, for when I have to make my weekly trip to IKEA. You totally think I am kidding. It would be daily but I don’t think my boss would appreciate it.

In an effort to distract myself from my impending demise, I poured all my efforts into this week’s Friday Five. Had I gone with my original list of things, you would have seen a collage of tissues, orange juice, sweatpants, tea bags, and Cadbury Dairy Milk pieces (you know, for their healing powers). I’d like to think this one is a little more jolly and a little less “woe is me.” 

1. Pillow / 2. Mango Body Butter / 3. Kate Spade Renwick Street tote / 4. Desk / 5. Paris Calendar

 I came across this pillow in a post over on Emma’s Blog. Danish design brand Louise Roe was previously unknown to me, but now I am obsessed. That feather is so incredible and elegant, and there are tons of other pillows in their shop that are just as amazing. Like this one of an aerial view of Manhattan. They also have a ton of other fantastic and minimalist home goods and a line of clothing, which features tons of neutrals and stripes (!!). If I didn’t have a black dog that sheds like he’s molting and didn’t insist on perching himself on top of all of the other pillows in my house, I’d snap this one up in a heartbeat.

I received a giant tub of this Mango Body Butter for Christmas and have been applying it to my pasty gams every morning since. It’s thick and creamy without being greasy, and you get the satisfaction of walking around and smelling like a delicious bowl of fruit all day. This morning my fingertips touched the bottom of the jar and I had a moment of panic. Yes, panic. Remember what I said about my tendency to be dramatic? Case in point.

Kate Spade is evil. They sent me an email about a sample sale earlier in the week, and I had no intentions whatsoever of buying another bag. After I bought that Marc Jacobs bag a few weeks ago I told myself I was done. I should know myself better by now. I should never have even clicked on the link to the sale, but I did, and I ended up snagging that lovely gray and coral nylon carry-on. For less than half of its original cost, which I’m telling myself justifies it, but it doesn’t really. My thought process was that I needed a good carry-on piece for our trip to Europe in May, and this one was big and sturdy enough to hold my laptop, camera, chargers, and a change of clothes just in case. Plus, it’s gray. It’s currently en route and will be here Monday. I can’t link to the bag on the Kate Spade site because it’s totally sold out now, but trust me when I say it’s for the best. You would have wanted one, too.

Like I need one more piece of IKEA furniture in my house. Shut up, I know. But there is a small nook in the bedroom that is just begging for a small desk, and this happens to be the exact right dimensions. Remember when I half-joked about my weekend trip to IKEA? This is why.

And last but not least, this beautiful, magnificent Paris calendar. Sure, it’s March, meaning 1/4 of the year is almost behind us, making the purchase of a full calendar somewhat insensible, but have you seen it? To better explain myself, go take a look at the Paris photographs for sale on Eye Poetry’s shop. Go on. Check them all out and come back here and tell me if you weren’t moved to tears by how gorgeous they all are. Because you will be. That shop is setting the bar pretty high for my photographs of Paris when I’m there in a few months.

Alright, kiddos. What are you up to this weekend? Any trips to IKEA planned? Have a great one, lovelies.

March 9, 2012 / art / photo / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 13

Friday Five

It’s Friday! Last night I went out to dinner with my mom and her boyfriend to an amazing Italian restaurant. It was our first time there and it turned out to be one of the 10 best meals of my life. If you’re ever in East Falls, you have to go. I’m already planning when I can go back. The food was unbelievable, really excellent rustic Italian, and the service was impeccable. They even brought out birthday cannoli at the end with a little candle!  My mom was too mortified to let anyone sing to her, but we did anyway.

I’m happy to report Boyfriend landed safely last night after a grueling 20-some hour journey from India. He had a layover in London, where he loaded up on fish and chips, chatted with me on Skype, and secretly managed to hit every single store in the terminal to bring me back a bunch of British goodies. You guys. Like I needed another reason to be excited about his return home, imagine my delight when, picking himself up off the floor after I tackled him with hugs, he handed me a giant plastic bag filled with some of my favorite things in the entire world, all of which are unfortunately hard to come by unless you’re actually in England. I think my brain exploded with giddiness. It was an overload of joy. Boyfriend and British surprises? Sure, you can get some of these things in the states, but it’s just not the same and I don’t care how spoiled that makes me sound.

By some stroke of fate, or maybe he planned it that way, there were 5 things in that bag. And when life (or Boyfriend) hands you a perfect Friday Five, you don’t question it. Herewith, my favorite Friday Five to date:

1. Cadbury Dairy Milk minis / 2. PG Tips tea / 3. Elle Decoration / 4. Flake bars / 5. Aero bars

This morning for breakfast I had a large cup of PG Tips and half a Flake bar. Okay, and other breakfast food, but I can have a bagel any day of the week. It was like Christmas morning, which sort of makes up for the sore throat and cough I woke up with. Boyfriend is still on weird India time (I never actually figured out the time difference, either, haha) so at 3:30 this morning he was wide awake and so was Fitz, which meant so was I. If there was ever a morning that called for British chocolate, it was today.

I plan on spending the rest of the weekend drinking cup after cup of tea and finding the bottom of that big bag of Cadbury minis, flipping through the copy of Elle Decoration (!!) Boyfriend bought me. This is just about the most perfect assortment of things you could ever buy for me. Seriously. I’m not touching the Aero bars, even though they’re massive and there are two of them, because those are like gold to me and I am conserving them until absolutely necessary. Which might me tomorrow. Who knows. I’m still partly in shock. And deliriously happy.

The weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow, so I think we’ll take Fitz for a long overdue trip to the dog park so he can run around like the crazy dog he is. He tends to get beat up a lot at the park by other dogs. He doesn’t have any manners. What are you guys up to? Anything fun and exciting? Lots of relaxation? Have a great one, kiddos. I’ll see you Monday.

March 2, 2012 / eat / drink / Friday Five / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 18

Friday Five

Of the many things in this world I do not understand (fractions, math in general, why the word “naked” isn’t pronounced like “raked, baked, faked, caked, etc”, LOST, Republicans) I have to say that Time Zones have moved to the top of the list. I finally got comfortable with England being 5 hours ahead (unless it’s daylight savings time, in which case, your guess is as good as mine) to talk with my family, but no one ever gave me a lesson on how to tell time what it is in India. I have googled “time in Bangalore” like, a million times so far this week. It’s 10 1/2 hours ahead. That’s math I can’t even do! Do you know how I figure it out? I add a half an hour to whatever time it is now and then subtract two hours. Wouldn’t it make sense to just subtract an hour and half, you ask? The string of expletives that just left my mouth is not suitable for dictation on the blog. Leave me alone, I don’t understand numbers.

Bad segue alert: One number I definitely understand is five. As in Friday Five. I know, I know, I can hear you guys groaning at how cheesy that was.

 1. Bowl / 2. Print / 3. Moisturizer / 4. Candle / 5. Bag

 That bowl, that gorgeous, matte black, gold lined bowl is from IKEA. IKEA! I can’t even. I don’t need it. I don’t have anywhere to put it. And my local store doesn’t even have it in stock (but since when has that ever stopped me?). But guess what? Through sheer will power alone, I will have that bowl in my life. Just you watch.

You girls are always saying I have Lisbeth like internet-skills, which is equal parts flattering and crazy, but I’ll take it as a compliment none the less. I stumbled across this print, by artist Alice Zhang, somewhere online. The fact that I don’t remember where or how I got to it sort of furthers your point, doesn’t it? The Lisbeth in the painting is inspired by Rooney Mara’s portrayal of her, rather than Noomi Rapace’s original role, but that’s fine by me. I love Rooney, and I love the vivid colors in this print. Isn’t it striking?

I’ve done a beauty-routine overhaul (exaggeration) in the past week; I’ve changed my toothpaste and added a new moisturizer to my nighttime routine after reading the side of my daily moisturizer and finding “Use only in A.M.” on the side of it. I started using this only a few nights ago, and my skin is dewey soft and glowing in the morning. I’m a Clinique lover, have been since I was 13 and always will be. Their products are all 100% fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and allergy tested. Sure, it’s expensive, but I’ll gladly pay $45 for nighttime moisturizer to have skin that looks great. I realize I’m now spending $90 on moisturizer. At least I won’t get too wrinkly later in life, right?

My sister-in-law and brother got me a gift certificate to a boutique in Philly that happens to sell, among other things, Diptyque candles. After work today I’m heading over and picking up this limited edition scent, Rosa Mundi, which smells like heaven in a pretty glass jar. This will be my first Diptyque candle. Is there some sort of ceremony for that?

This Kate Spade tote doesn’t need any more explanation other than it reminds me of the opening credits of Gossip Girl. And I’m resisting the urge to buy it. Though an open-top tote is probably a really good idea if you’re looking to get pick-pocketed, but impractical otherwise.

Okay, lovelies. What are you up to this weekend? Anything fun and exciting? Friends of mine are expecting their first baby in a few short weeks, so they’re having an open-house style baby shower, and everyone was asked to bring their favorite children’s book. I couldn’t narrow it down to one, so I’m bringing three. Oops. Have a great weekend!

February 24, 2012 / art / photo / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 20

Friday Five

Thank you all so much for you kind words and hopes for recovery for Fitz yesterday. Thankfully things were pretty tame, aside from the fact that I had to take him for like, 8 walks. If he was feeling sick he didn’t show it at all, but preferred to run around and bring me toys in the hopes I would play with him, or sleep pressed up against me, all cuddled into my side. He is very grateful for all the love you guys passed his way. The only person who learned their lesson though was me, and I’m never keeping anything (food or otherwise) anywhere near his reach again. I’m going to have to invest in some sort of hover technology to make this work, as well as a less mischievous puppy-brain.

Anyway, I’m going to hop right into this week’s Friday Five. I had a surprisingly difficult time rounding up this week’s five, and I don’t know if it’s due to the weather or my overall slugishness this week. I could wax poetic and say I’m dying of a broken heart, because Boyfriend is flying to India for 12 days this weekend. Clearly I am so distraught over this I cannot muster my usual rabid internet scouring.

 1. Brussels / 2. French Lessons / 3. Gossip Girl / 4. Strawberry Lip Balm / 5. Smashbox Photo Finish

The more I read about Brussels and Bruges and Belgium in general, the more excited I get about our upcoming trip. This picture is of Brussels’ Grote Markt, one of the oldest squares in the country and surrounded by beautiful, gothic buildings, with flower markets held in the center. I didn’t think it was possible to be more excited about a trip to Europe, but I’m slowly exceeding even my own hyperactive level of joy the more I find out about the country. Bike rentals are encouraged, there are a bunch of old trappist breweries that give tours, and I cannot wait to see the canals in Bruges. Boyfriend and I also dug out our magnetic travel chess set (courtesy of my dad) and are planning on bringing it with us. I said, “I have this travel chess set, we should totally bring it with and–” “Play it in a cafe in Belgium?” And then I swooned really hard.

I received this book, by Peter Mayle, for Christmas from Boyfriend and finally cracked it open earlier this week in preparation for my culinary journey in Paris. Sure, I am beyond excited to go to the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay again and see all the incredible sights around Paris, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also dying to eat quality French food for 3 straight days. And by “quality French food” I am obviously referring to macarons. Duh. Mayle has a really endearing voice, and the book weaves the history of French cuisine through modern day, covering truffle festivals in Richerenches and Michelin-starred establishments on the Champs Elysee. The book is right up my alley.

Deviating from my little “Oh I’m going to Europe, I read books about French food” culture bubble, I’d like to comment on the wondrous drama-circus that is Gossip Girl. I watched religiously for the first 3 seasons and then just stopped cold turkey. My mom bought me a Roku player (a little box that streams Netflix or other similar services wirelessly to your tv) so I’ve been able to start catching up on what I’ve missed (two whole seasons!). I’m only 7 episodes in to season 4, so don’t give me any spoilers (ahem, Theresa!). Chuck Bass remains one of my favorite characters of all time. And my girl crush Clemence Poesy guest-starred as his girlfriend for the first part of the season. Good lord I forgot how good this show is. The only upside to Boyfriend being in India is that I get to watch all the trash-tv I want without fear of judgment.

I stopped into Sephora the other day to pick up a new tub of moisturizer and ended up splurging on a few things. Thanks to Lauren’s “What’s in My Bag?” entry, I was reminded of how much I loved Rosebud salve, specifically the strawberry scent. A quick swipe of it on my lips before I go to bed counteracts all the really sexy mouth-breathing I do during the night that inevitably chaps my lips. Plus it smells delicious, and it’s not gummy or sticky in the least. I also have to give a special nod to this skin primer from Smashbox. A small drop applied after your normal skin routine smooths you out and makes your skin look matte and perfect, and this version has a light reflecting quality that makes your skin glow ever-so-slightly. It’s really magical stuff. And it better be for how much it costs. They do sell smaller, travel sized bottles for half the price in the checkout line. That aisle of impulse-buys as you’re standing in line is so dangerous. It’s where I picked up both of these.

Okay, lovelies. What are you up to this weekend? Reading? Crafting? Partying wildly? I’ll be back on Monday! Did I mention I have off on Monday for President’s Day? Ah, the benefits of working with the government. Three day weekend, you look divine.

February 17, 2012 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / Paris / travel / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

Friday Five, Flowers

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner (what is happening to the time?? I’m still full from Thanksgiving!) you’d have to be blind to miss all of the commercials and talk of flowers. Not just any flowers, but roses. Red, long-stem, overpriced roses. Don’t get me wrong, I love roses, what girl doesn’t? But the fact that they are like twice the price on one specific day is so bothersome. If you ordered a dozen roses a week after Valentine’s Day, they wouldn’t cost anywhere near as much. What a brilliant marketing move, that the flower industry has convinced billions of people that roses are to Valentine’s Day what turkey is to Thanksgiving (ugh. I’m not kidding, the mention still makes me feel like I have a food-baby). It’s a total scam, it’s unfair, but I’m guilty of buying right into it and being one of those girls who still loves Valentine’s Day roses. Sue me! I’m human, and perhaps more materialistic than most other, normal, restrained humans.

But Boyfriend and I just booked a vacation for the middle of May last night (you can see our seat assignments over on 365) and in the interest of not being frivolous with money in the next few months (I’ll pause why you laugh hysterically) , there are several alternatives to the crazy-overpriced bouquet of roses. For this Friday Five I picked my 5 favorite flowers, all of which would be gorgeous for V-Day, or any day of the year.

 

1. Craspedia/Billy Balls / 2. Blue Orchids / 3. Hydrangeas / 4. Peonies / 5. Tulips

Craspedia, the lovely little yellow button flowers, have been popping up all over the design world. They might have even had their peak, but I still love them. They’re adorable. And surprisingly impossible to come by. There are tutorials online to make a felt version, but I’d still love to get my hands on a bunch of the real thing. Same with blue orchids. Impossible to find in real life, readily available online in bunches of 100. These are generally given as a sign of sympathy, but have you ever seen a more gorgeous shade of blue in your life? Let me answer that for you: no, you haven’t.

Hydrangeas…where do I even begin? These were the first flowers I ever really fell in love with. I love the varying shades on each individual leaf, and how they almost look like millinery flowers, pinned in the middle with little round pins. Peonies are decadent and gentle at the same time. So wonderfully French, and these look gorgeous even when they start to die, because the petals fall off as these giant, soft fronds. Plus, peonies are so large that you only need a few in a vase to make a real bouquet.

And then of course, tulips! Beautiful, perky, cheerful tulips. Chi posted a picture of a stunning bouquet of red ones earlier in the week, and it made me want to run out and buy a bunch immediately. I forgot how quickly flowers liven up an entire room.

This weekend I’m doing a little dining room re-design, so hopefully I’ll have tons of pictures to show you next week. What are you up to? It’s supposed to snow here tomorrow, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Fitz is super excited at the prospect, because he thinks snow is a delicious frozen drink made just for him.

Oh, and for where I’m going on vacation? I’ll be doing a reveal this afternoon over on 365. Any guesses? Annie guessed Sweden, and Chi guessed London, and while both of those are very much at the top of my list, they’re not the right answer.  Have a great weekend, lovelies!

February 10, 2012 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / LEAVE A COMMENT / 14

Friday Five

So, it’s official: I think I’ve caught the cold that everyone seems to be getting. I’m crossing my fingers it’s just allergies from letting Fitz cuddle in bed with me, and then somehow getting dog hair up my nose while I was sleeping. I woke up around 2:30 this morning super congested and freaked out that I wasn’t breathing, only to hear a rattling noise coming from my noise every time I tried to breathe in or out. I am the opposite of excited about this. I do not handle being sick very well; my desire to stay in sweatpants skyrockets to a level much higher than average (and honestly, it’s pretty high to begin with).

This weekend I think I’ll be taking it easy, and by taking it easy I mean maybe painting my living room? I’ve been threatening to do that for weeks now, though. Despite sounding stuffy and pitiful, I’m spending tonight with my lovely lady coworkers, which includes drinking wine and eating nachos and sitting around and enjoying a girls night in. I couldn’t be more excited. Actually, I’d try, but my brain keeps yelling “SWEATPAAAAAANTS” whenever I try to think about anything else.

Without further ado, this week’s Friday Five (germ free, I promise!).

1. Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” / 2. Body Shop Rose hand cream / 3. Airmail shopper tote / 4. Arne Jacobsen monogram cups / 5. Voluspa Goji candle 

I’m back on my routine of reading voraciously on my commute each day, and this week I picked up “Dracula”. I know, I know. We’ve covered how terrified I am of, well, everything, so I know it doesn’t make sense that I’d start reading perhaps the most classically scary book of all time. But I’ve made the wise decision to not read it when it’s dark outside. I know that I should be embarrassed by the fact that, at 25 years old, I am spooked so easily that I cannot read an antiquated vampire novel after 5:30 at night, but considering I was once so in love with the boy band O-Town that I made my dad take me to 4 concerts, not even “Dracula” can shame me. It takes a while to get used to the writing style, and I can’t stop picturing Gary Oldman in the role (which is very distracting), but so far I’m really enjoying it.

I mentioned last week that Boyfriend got me a whole bunch of Body Shop products as one of my Christmas gifts, and this Wild Rose hand cream was one of them. I keep it on my desk at work and use it several times a day; between the cold weather and my constant hand-washing (I pee a lot), my hands are like sandpaper. This hand cream smells delicious, like rose macarons (interesting macaron story over on 365 yesterday, in case you missed it!) and isn’t paste-y or sticky. Like most Body Shop products, it’s made with a Fair Trade ingredient: Brazil nut oil. Bonus: the tube is really neat looking and jazzes up my desk. Always a good thing in a cookie-cutter cubicle.

I’ve been in love with this tote bag from British company Paper Plane for a few years, and if I hadn’t just bought the Marc Jacobs nylon Hillier last night (!!!!!) I’d consider buying this bag, too. Eventually, I probably will, let’s be honest. It’s so adorable! The straps are measuring tapes, there is a little handwritten grocery list on the front, along with a pouch for “parking tickets [or] stolen grapes.” Plus, it has an airmail theme, which we already know I love to bits. And it’s reasonably priced at only $15.

Continuing my mid-century theme from yesterday, these Arne Jacobsen mugs are killing me. I first saw them in the same photo from Lotta Agaton’s shop in Stockholm where I saw the LocalGraphics Stockholm poster, and it took me just as long to track them down as the poster. But of course I found them eventually, because I am a Champion of the Internet and part Lisbeth Salandar, according to you crazy ladies.

Pretty soon I’m going to be sourcing the tile on the wall or something. But aren’t those cups sweet? I love the type on them. Unfortunately, the only place I can find that sells them charges more than double the cost of the cup to ship them anywhere. Clearly this won’t do. The only solution is to go to Sweden and buy them at Lotta’s store (obviously, my obsession with this store is reason enough to go to Stockholm). At dinner last night, Boyfriend and I struck up conversation with an older mother-daughter duo at the table next to ours, and we got to hear all about how incredible Stockholm was and that if we go, we should take an overnight ferry ride to Finland and spend some time there. So hopefully travel plans will be solidified in the near future and I can finally live out my life-long dream of traveling to Scandinavia. Fingers crossed.

And since I am definitely a Crazy Candle Lady, I couldn’t leave off this amazing smelling goody from today’s Five. I went to Anthropologie a few weeks ago and picked up this Capri Blue Volcano candle and got in line to check out, impressed with my restraint of going in and only buying one specific item, only to be pulled out of line by the overwhelming desire to sniff out and track down whatever the delicious and sweet scent was wafting over from the next room. It was this candle, by Voluspa, and I think I fell in love. The candle is a mix of goji berry and tarocca blood oranges and you guys, it is unbelievable. The glass jar adds a bit of glamour to it, and would make a great gift for someone who happens to be obsessed with candles.

January 27, 2012 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 13

Friday Five

You guys, it is freezing. I think this is the coldest spell we’ve been hit with all winter, and my body does not know how to cope with it, despite the multiple heavy layers I put on to combat the shivering. I’ve even been subjecting Fitz, the string-bean of a dog, to wearing his new winter coat (a Christmas gift from Boyfriend), which he simultaneously hates and wants to eat. I cranked the heat up extra high last night and then woke up sweating at 2am, which makes no sense at all. I’m pretty sure my body is dumb. It does not understand when I try to help.

This week went impossibly fast. I was off Monday and was running errands (read: at IKEA) and then spent all day Tuesday in court, waiting 6 hours to give testimony in a frivolous lawsuit against my mom by her shady ex-contractor. My part took all of 5 minutes, and the rest of the day was spent sitting in the hallway, dying slowly inside. So between those two days I feel like I missed an enormous chunk of my blogging duties, and I’ve been playing catch-up ever since (The upside is the 3 day workweek. I can really get down with that). So this week’s Friday Five was a little hard to compile since I missed a full two-days of my usual internet browsing and scouring. I gave it my best shot anyway. Herewith, 5 things that I’m into this week:

1. Fig & Rosemary Body Wash / 2. Wanderlust journal / 3. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate / 4. Nokia 7020 / 5. Wire Basket

Did I mention how fabulously spoiled I got for Christmas? Boyfriend really set the bar high this year, unfortunately for him. One of my gifts from him was a big assortment of products from Body Shop, including a giant tub of mango body butter, my god, and, among other things, two shower gels. One of them was this fig & rosemary scented goodness. I love taking showers anyway, but this has seriously made my mornings way more amazing. It’s a light gel that lathers unbelievably, and makes you smell fresh and herbal. Bonus: the bottle is made of 100% recycled plastic and is also 100% biodegradable. So now I get to be all smug that I’m saving the environment from both un-recyclable waste and my stinky b.o. You’re welcome, earth! The other scent he got me is cucumber mint, and once I finish both of those I think I’ll investigate the rest of the line (watermelon & eucalyptus? yes please!).

All of yesterday’s talk about traveling reminded me of this adorable flexi journal, which I bought for a friend in college before she left for Italy for a semester abroad. Somehow that journal has become a collector’s item, and isn’t available for anything less than 10 times what it originally cost. Crazy, right? Thankfully, this airmail version is really similar and not horrendously priced. The pages are all different. Some have lines, some look like train tickets. It’s a great gift idea for someone going on a trip, or something you could bring with you on your own vacation to document everything. Or just carry in your purse and scribble down grocery and to-do lists. Is that just me? Got it.

In other Christmas gift news, my mom bought me a tin of this salted caramel hot chocolate and it is basically crack cocaine in hiding. Unfortunately it isn’t available year round, only during the holiday season, so I have to somehow stretch this mix into lasting me until then. It will be just like the Hanukkah miracle my ancestors experienced, making oil to light one candle last for 8 nights. Only with hot chocolate. And I have to make it last 10 months. I don’t think it is going to happen, considering that after one cup I wanted to pour hot milk into the tin and just drink it out of that.

Okay, so let’s address the elephant in the room: that cell phone. I know, I know, is it 2005 again? Here’s the deal: since deleting facebook and twitter and email from my phone, I basically have a Blackberry that isn’t being used to its full potential. It’s a glorified qwerty keyboard that I sometimes get calls on. And I’m paying (okay, fine, again, my mother is paying) $30 a month just because it’s a Blackberry. If all I’m doing is getting calls and the occasional text message, why not get a phone that can just do that? The only time I really need it anyway is when I’m commuting, in case something happens to me. I’ve gone through a ton of cell phones in the past few years, and I always lament that my Nokia was the best phone I’ve ever owned. So I’m returning to my roots. I bought one for cheap on Amazon and I’m going to try it out for a few days and see if I can handle the transition back down to a basic phone. If I can’t, I can’t, and I’m not going to beat myself up over it. But I’m sticking to my New Years resolution to spend less time connected, and this seems like a step in the right direction. Albeit one I’m probably going to get made fun of for. YES, in the year 2012, I have a flip phone. Sue me. I don’t get all the insane banter about why people can’t live without their smartphones, because we all did for the majority of our lives and if I’m not mistaken, we all survived. Think of it this way, I already carry my camera, a book/magazine, and my iPod with me all day, my cubicle has two computers in it, and my house has two computers in it. My Blackberry is just redundant at this point.

Shifting gears a bit, a week or two ago I saw this picture, from one of my favorite sources of inspiration, Swedish stylist and interior designer Anna Leena:

from here

I know, right? Breathtaking. All that white on the floors and walls, and those dark elements in the furniture. Be still my heart! Focus. See that basket underneath the desk? I never would have though to use a wire basket as a magazine rack, but the minute I saw this picture I knew I had to have one. Thankfully, I found one almost identical on Home Decorators. I picked one up during a 10% off sale and got free shipping, thank you very much. Adventures in shopping domination continue. I guess I wasn’t alone in my love of that basket, though, as it’s backordered until the beginning of February. I’m waiting impatiently for it to ship.

Okay, so tell me, are you judging me for getting a Nokia after all these years? Do you think you could make the switch back?  What are you up to this weekend? I think I’m painting my living room, but we’ll see how much energy I can muster. All I want to do is hibernate in this weather. Have a great weekend, kiddos!

January 20, 2012 / eat / drink / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 24

Friday Five

Happy Friday the 13th! Are you superstitious? Did you even think about the date today? I think it was a way bigger deal when we were in school than it is now. I haven’t walked in to anything yet, nothing has com falling out of the sky to land on my head, and more importantly I didn’t oversleep my alarm despite how exhausted I was (uh, still am).

This week felt like it flew by without time to even process it, despite the fact that things have been slow at work. This was a really difficult Friday Five to compile, for whatever reason. Let’s take a look.

 

1. Parks and Rec Season 3 / 2. Silk dot pillow / 3. IKEA cart / 4. Homeland / 5. Pilot Fine Point pens

 I’ve mentioned my love of “Parks and Rec” before, but after getting the best season on DVD for Christmas, I’ve been watching episodes every night and just can’t stop laughing. The show is so laugh-out-loud funny and all of the characters are amazingly written; I’d go out on a limb and say it’s funnier than ‘The Office’ in its last few seasons.  You don’t need to watch the first two seasons to understand the plot or characters, and the show really didn’t hit its stride until season 3 anyway.

Keeping with tv shows, I recently got into a show called “Homeland,” the CIA drama about a Marine prisoner of war (who is hot and British in real life!), who is found in a bunker in Iraq 8 years after being captured. The whole show focuses on the suspicion of a CIA agent who believes he’s been turned by Al Qaeda and might be a terrorist. You guys, I’ve never seen a show like it. Every episode leaves my jaw on the floor and if I can’t watch multiple episodes a night I get really, really antsy. It’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, and it’s apparently been signed on for two more seasons. If you have nothing else to do this weekend, or even if you do, drop everything and commit to watching this. You’re welcome in advance!

But don’t think that all I do with my unencumbered free time now is watch tv. I do lots of exciting things. Like shop! When I was at West Elm picking up my amazing drum pendant (I still get a little weak in the knees thinking about it), I decided to indulge in more sale items, and picked up this adorable throw pillow. The case is silk, with watercolor dots with labels in handwriting. It’s adorable, and looks great on my dark gray sofa with a bigger, burnt orange pillow behind it. The filling of the pillow insert is down, so sometimes you get little pokey pieces of feathers sticking out, but it’s worth it because it’s so gosh darn cute. I love West Elm sales, seriously.

I’ve been looking around for an industrial chic kitchen cart to serve as a mini bar, and I think I may have found a winner with this IKEA option. It’s reasonably priced, and I love the rail around the bottom shelf; it would be perfect for storing all of the terrible alcohol I drink (Malibu rum and cake flavored vodka, though you’re supposed to keep that in the freezer). I love the idea of having a bar cart, but it would obviously necessitate purchasing respectable alcohol to keep on it. The only thing I’m having problems getting past is that the front drawer on this thing reminds me of something hospital-related. Like it’s where they keep scalpels and needles and stuff. I don’t think I can talk myself out of seeing it like that.

If you’re a nerd like me, you get disproportionately excited over new pens. I love pens. My dad, being an architect, always used these Pilot Razor point flare pens in red and black; I don’t think I have a single memory of him without the little yellow-tipped cap sticking out of his shirt pocket. If I had to endorse one pen, this would be it. They are, as the name suggests, razor fine, and the ink doesn’t skip like it does with ballpoint pens. I get so excited every time I use it to write silly things like grocery lists or draft up post ideas. I’m weird, oh well.

What are you up to this weekend? I have Monday off thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr. and I’m planning on catching up on a lot of sleep, and a lot of Homeland. I only have 3 episodes left until the season finale and I cannot wait to figure this mystery out. Have a great weekend, kiddos! I’ll see you Monday.

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January 13, 2012 / Friday Five / home design / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12