Category Archives: Friday Five

Friday Five

It’s Friday the 13th! Are any of you superstitious? I’ve never subscribed to any of the usual black cat/broken mirror/don’t walk under a ladder stuff, but in general this day is so hyped up for whatever reason that it’s hard to not point out the date whenever it comes around. I’m also not trying to make a big deal out of it because this morning I have my annual performance review at work. This reminds me of that episode of The Office after Jan and Michael drunkenly hooked up and then he has to complete the performance reviews for everyone but all he can talk about is why Jan won’t talk to him, and Angela says, “I really enjoy being judged. I believe I hold up very well to even severe scrutiny.” Not exactly my life’s motto, but I’m oddly excited to hear how I’m doing. Oh, and for a big fat raise if I’m lucky.

Because obviously, even with my best budgeting and my strict savings-plan, I could use more money to buy things. Not lots of things, but maybe these five:

1. Parisian Chic / 2. Glass tumblers / 3. Pillow / 4. Kiwi face scrub / 5. Sea Salt Soap

After brunch with Lyndsey last weekend (smoked salmon tartine for her, brioche french toast for moi, which is particularly funny because she was the one who taught me how to make french toast when we lived together. Just ask her. “Erin. The bread is white and the eggs are yellow, so YES, it’s supposed to be yellow when you put it in the pan.”), we went to Anthropologie and browsed for a while. I’d seen Ines de la Fressange’s (French beauty, ex Lagerfeld muse and current fashion designer/socialite) book “Parisian Chic” before but stopped to thumb through it anyway. Lyndsey gave me one of her famous eye-rolls and said, “Haven’t you been to Paris before? You don’t need that book. You either get it or you don’t, and you get it. Put it down.” Let me just say it is reasons like that why my heart breaks every time she goes back to Portland. I still might sneak back and buy that book, though. It’s filled with a million different life and style tips for perfect that quintessentially French je ne sais quoi. 

After collecting my round-up for Wednesday’s post, I spent a good amount of time on Gilt browsing (just browsing) and came across these sets of tumblers. The last thing I need is more glassware as I need to maintain a ratio of clean-to-dirty to even close my cabinets as it is, but come on. Look at those colors! I’m particularly smitten with that sea foam blue one. Oh! And if anyone wants or needs (like/want/need!) an invite for Gilt just let me know! I’m happy to enable your own shopping addiction.

A while back Annie wrote a post on Porta Romana lamps, and in the process of picking my favorite of the ones she included, I stupidly forgot what the hell a flamingo was. The lamp in question was a pair of flamingo legs with a shade on top, totally adorable and whimsical. And in my most shining moment of intellect, I said it reminded me of  “stork/ostrich animals.” You guys. Stork/ostrich animals! Who forgets what flamingos are?! To her credit, Annie was graceful in her response to me (“Do you mean flamingos by any chance?”) but I will forever see a flamingo and not have to giggle at my own idiocy. So yes, that pillow is just adorable. Flamingos!

I like to think I have my skin care regimen down to a science, but there is always room for improvement. A few months ago I ordered some samples of Mario Badescu skin products, and one of them was a strawberry face scrub. I liked that it used natural strawberry seeds as sloughing agents, and it smelled delicious. I was looking around the other day for a new face scrub to use a few times a week, and remembered how much I liked what I’d gotten from MB. Apparently tons of celebrities swear by his stuff. After work today I’m heading over to Blue Mercury to pick up a jar of kiwi face scrub. I’ll let you know how it goes! The upside is that if I don’t like it I can return it for a store credit, and Blue Mercury also sells Diptyque and Tocca candles. Win-win.

And while we’re on the subject of beauty products, I’m super curious about this sea salt soap. The packaging alone kills me, it’s so perfect and would make adorable party favors for some nautical themed gathering or something, don’t you think? I wonder what the soap smells like, feels like. Too bad I’ll never find out because shipping for it is $2 more than the cost of the soap itself, no thank you. I hate stores that don’t offer cheap or free shipping. It’s 2012, get with it. I’m not paying $9.70 to ship a $7.50 bar of soap to my house. Even if its got an adorable anchor on it and maybe smells like pretzels.

Okay kiddos, what are you up to this weekend? I’m participating in a charity walk tomorrow morning through the Navy Yard with some of my girls from work, and on Sunday I’m having brunch at a friend’s house to meet their new baby. I’ve warned everyone in advance that they’re going to have to pat me down when we leave so I don’t try to smuggle the baby out with me. I love babies. See you all on Monday!

April 13, 2012 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

Friday Five

Happy Passover to all those celebrating! I don’t have much connection to my Jewish heritage, unless you count eating matzoh on the regular; I never went to Hebrew school, never got a Bat Mitzvah. I took ballet classes for 11 years instead (though you couldn’t tell from my posture these days). Sure, we celebrated Hanukkah (along with Christmas) and lit a menorah every night and I know the whole prayer, but I was really just in it for the presents. Funny and unrelated Hanukkah story: one year my mom bought me this awesome pair of black velvet overalls (I’ll let you soak that all in. I was 10, so this is some time ago, and yes they were fashionable) and as she was heading downstairs she tossed them over the railing aiming for the pile of laundry she was collecting to take to the basement, only her aim is a lot like mine in that she doesn’t have any. She missed the pile of laundry by about 4 feet, and the overalls landed on the dining room table on top of the lit menorah. All we saw were bright blue flames. Thankfully no one was injured and we put it out rather quickly, but being that the overalls were made of velvet, there was a sizable and smelly hole in them. Because my mother is the original Bargain Shopper Extraordinaire, she returned them for a full refund to the Gap the next day and got me a new pair. L’chaim!

But anyway. Passover is technically less fun because you don’t get 8 nights of presents and there aren’t impromptu pyrotechnics, but this is the one holiday a year I look forward to with an overzealous fervor. THE FOOD, oh my god. Passover dinner is what I would ask for if I had to pick a last meal. It will be Boyfriend’s first official full seder, complete with reading the Haggadah and wearing a yarmulke. He is stoked, let me tell you.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m having brunch and probably one too many cocktails with one of my favorite people in the whole world, and since Boyfriend is going to be stationed in front of the tv all weekend following The Masters (snooze), I was trying to organize an outing to see Titanic in 3D. Somehow, all of my girlfriends were “busy.” I’m suspicious to say the least. But let’s get right into this week’s Friday Five, shall we?

1. Salted Caramel Ice Cream bars / 2. Booties / 3. Clutch / 4. Adele “21″ / 5. Chair

In a moment at the grocery store on Wednesday when I felt like I possessed magical powers, I made a rare turn down the ice cream aisle (being lactose intolerant does not lend itself to frequently eating ice cream) thinking, “I wonder if they make salted caramel ice cream bars,” and then they appeared on the shelf. Never one to turn down salted caramel anything, I picked up a box and you know what? The crazy stomach pain is totally worth it. These are delicious.

Speaking of delicious, can we just pause to drool over those Sam Edelman suede booties? I wish they weren’t $160 and I also wish I wasn’t on a spending-freeze for all non-Europe related items. My friend Aisling asked me if I would keep my eye out for a nice pair of blank ankle boots for her, and in my search I found these. Lucky for me, she wasn’t as instantly smitten with them as I was, so I can eventually buy these without worrying I stole her dream shoes out from under her. They just look heavenly. Maybe they’ll go on sale over the summer since they’ll be out of season? Fingers crossed!

I wish that clutch would go on sale, because while I’d happily spend a lot of money on a purse that looks like my favorite book of all time, I think $1500 is just a wee bit expensive for something that could barely hold a cell phone and a chapstick, but hey. What do I know. This clutch reminds me that I should re-read “The Great Gatsby” for the 30th time (I tuck into it once a year, and still find new things I love about it each time).

I know I’m like a million years late to the party with this, but oh my god Adele’s album is so good. And because I am way less cool than my mom, she’s the one who lent me her copy of it. Everything that could be said about Adele’s amazing voice has already been said (and reaffirmed with the 400 Grammy’s she won this year) but wow. If you don’t already have this CD because you live under the same rock I do, go get a copy.

We made some living room changes last weekend, most notably swapping out the leather sofa for my IKEA sofa that’s been hanging in the den downstairs. Neither of us had the forethought to understand how much dog hair a fabric sofa would attract, but it’s been well worth the multiple lint-roller sheets I have to use daily: that thing is comfy. But now we’re left with a leather chair and ottoman that matched the other sofa, and that will likely be moving to the den, too. So now I’m on the hunt for an arm chair for the living room, and while this one doesn’t look like the kind of chair you can curl up in, it is really, really pretty. I’m trying to find an excuse to buy it.

Alright, kiddos! How was everyone’s week now that we’re at the end? Any Passover or Easter plans this weekend? Take care and a lot of naps!

April 6, 2012 / eat / drink / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 6

Friday Five

Remember the Pia Wallen Crux blanket I bought and was super excited about? It’s been living comfortably on the back a chair in our living room ever since, and has come in handy when I feel like lounging (read: always). Last night, after a great dinner at my mom’s house visiting with my aunt who had flown in from Australia, I came home to discover that Fitz, in his infinite jerkdom, had eaten a perfect hole in it. A HOLE. THE DUDE ATE MY BLANKET. I’m going to level with you, I was inconsolable. Boyfriend kept saying he’d buy me a new one, and while that is extra sweet and totally unnecessary, it isn’t the point. The point is my dog is a jerk and I now have one entire cross missing out of the blanket. Thankfully it’s near the bottom seam so by folding the blanket in half and tucking the back of it behind the chair cushion, the damage is completely invisible. But the moment someone tries to use it they’re going to see his handy work. UGH, FITZ.

(I don’t plan on calling my kids jerks when they do stuff like this later in life, I swear. Maybe just on my blog. Never to their faces.)

Aside from that, dinner was wonderful and my mom sent me home with far too many leftovers, including an entire cake I picked up on the way over since she went all domestic-goddess-y and made homemade ice cream and chocolate lava cakes. I’m honestly still full this morning, but luckily the increased sugar intake didn’t have any affect on my teeth; I had a dentist appointment this morning to kick off the weekend, and passed with flying colors (no cavities!). Tomorrow morning Boyfriend’s parents are coming in to visit their (jerk) grandpuppy and spending the weekend with us. In the meantime, here are five things tickling my fancy this week:

1. Duvet set / 2. Shampoo & Conditioner / 3. Tank top / 4. Macaron Soap / 5. Plates

I am perversely excited for the new IKEA PS 2012 line. This duvet set will be making an appearance in my home as soon as I can get my hands on it. The collection launches in Europe in May, and then in the states in August, but I’m already mapping out where the closest Belgian IKEA is. What? Going to IKEA on vacation is lame? Don’t judge me. If you’re going to pass judgment for anything, let it be that I spent $60 on the Kevin Murphy plum shampoo & conditioner at the hair salon on Tuesday after my haircut. It was more than the haircut itself! I got talked into it without knowing the price of either, and was too wrapped up in how shiny and delicious my hair looked and smelled (respectively) to put them back. I don’t know, I was high on endorphines or something. To be fair, the packaging is amazing and my hair really does feel way better, but that’s probably because this is the first non-drugstore hair product I’ve ever used. Yikes! Admitting that made it sound worse.

It’s no secret I’m a stripe-aholic, and this tank from H&M meets more than one nautical requirement, and comes in at under $13. What’s not to love? I have to run some errands in town today anyway, so it wouldn’t hurt to check the store to see if they have it in stock, right? Right. And while we’re on the subject of cute strips, can we take a look at the Daschund in the striped bathing suit? Or maybe the jaunty hat and drink with a straw? Or maybe the Daschund surfing? Come on. West Elm hits it out of the park yet again with these adorable plates. Their only downfall is that they might just be too cute to eat off of.

And I know, I know, macarons, again. God, I’m so predictable. But these aren’t just any macarons, no no. They’re bars of soap! You guys, I have at one time in my life asserted my love of macarons runs so deep that I’d rub them all over myself if I could. And now I get to without it being creepy and unhygienic! In fact, now it’s the exact opposite. Etsy has a million different kinds of macaron soap, which just goes to show you I’m not the only one obsessed with the French delicacies. It’s oddly comforting.

Alright lovelies, what are you up to this weekend? I said I’d make curtains last weekend but then I had really important naps to take and never got around to it. It likely won’t happen this weekend either, but I’ll keep you posted! So, tell me your plans. Anything fun going on? Have a good one, kiddos!

March 30, 2012 / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

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.”


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!

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