Thursday, August 30, 2012

i'm weird...

i feel like i have never really shared much about myself and who I am on here. i am always busy posting my creative projects, family photos, outfits and rather hesitant when it comes to letting you guys know a little bit more about me as a person. mostly because i always talk myself out of it anticipating no one really wants to know what toothpaste I use etc...

but, today i'm doing it. i'm gonna share some very random and maybe quite strange things about myself, so enjoy ;)

  • i hate using drive-throughs. any kind really but mostly the bank's. i just don't like dealing with a voice when it comes to my money i guess. i do use the starbucks drive-through quite frequently but even then i don't like not seeing the person i am talking to. weird right?

  • i always run up the stairs in my house. a lot less now that i usually carry logan but if i'm not carrying something or someone i have to run up. no idea why but it's been like that ever since i can remember.

  • i really like to be alone. i don't need to have a ton of people around me at all times - it actually drives me nuts! i'm alone quite a lot too during the season when the husband works all the time and i enjoy it. plus i get a lot more done ;) 

  • i love organization but my personal spaces around the house are usually the messiest. the container store would be my financial meltdown. good thing there isn't one close. 

  • i don't like to shower in the morning so i usually do it before bed.

  • i can barely keep a plant alive, inside the house and out. my vegetable garden looks like such a failure :(

  • i don't fully trust doctors. i won't go to a doctor unless i am seriously, seriously sick which luckily never really happens. 

  • the previews are the thing i look forward to most when going to see a movie. i sometimes sit down and watch a bunch of movie previews on itunes through the apple tv... yeah, i know! 

  • i'm afraid of heights. i did stand on that glass floor on top of the cn tower in toronto as a kid though! must have been out of my mind.

that's it for now. i'm sure there will be more to share in the future.
what are some things you find "weird" about yourself? 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a blue pencil skirt, giveaways and a discount

skirt: thrifted, t-shirt: tresics, jacket: lc lauren conrad, shoes: tamaris, watch: michael kors, earrings: love stitched 

just an outfit post today including my new favorite skirt. don't you just love that cobalt blue? 

lately, next to being mama, i've been busy exploring ideas, designing and creating. i feel so much happier and balanced when i have a creative outlet. some ideas have worked out great and i'll be sharing them here soon, others not so much but that's ok too. 

i am also excited to say that i have a great giveaway coming up very soon :) there are just so many amazing, talented women out there and I am so happy to be able to share some of this talent with you guys. i'll also be part of the big 1000 follower giveaway over at modern modest beauty, where you'll be able to win a month of ad space on my blog and I'm sure a ton of other great stuff. 

and lastly, i am taking new and hopefully some returning sponsors for september so make sure to check out the sponsor page for more information! 

you can save 20% on all ad space sizes with code september20off right now :) 

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Monday, August 27, 2012

a real life picnic, not a fairy tale one

we had a picnic at the park on saturday and looking at these pictures you'd think we had the most fantastic day. granted it wasn't the worst day. however, looking at these pictures and knowing how we struggled with happiness all day, made me think about how deceiving pictures can really be. especially on blogs. you could look at these pictures and believe we were the picture perfect family without a care in the whole world. i know i look at other blogs that way. 

i admire these women i don't even know for their creativity, their looks, their style, their beautiful family and the way they seem to so effortlessly keep it all together.
and then i remind myself that their lives aren't perfect either. it's not real. that all we see are moments frozen in time and a glimpse of what they want us to see. and i understand that no one likes to share the ugliness of their day or the pictures of their messy kitchens and projects gone wrong. no one wants to be that person and no one wants to constantly look at that. we demand to see pretty and perfect and happy. 

so today i wanted to let you know that behind these perfect pictures up there are some not so perfect people.
the reality of our day was not quite as pretty. you know when you're trying so hard to have fun? because you made these wonderful plans but you wake up and that feeling you can't quite define creeps up inside of you that maybe this day won't be so great after all? and despite all your best efforts you can't quite shake it?

i guess what i'm trying to say is that even though these pictures look perfect - we are not! 
we try to do our best but not every day can be like a fairy tale picnic and that's ok too. 
i think sometimes we get so caught up in the pursuit of this perfect life that we forget to actually live in the present. i know that for me this is something i am constantly working on - to enjoy the moment, relax and let things go. to be happy with the many things I have and not constantly pursue the latest trend. 

i don't want to be envious of anyone else's life because even though my life isn't perfect it is the only one i have and i am spending it with some pretty amazing people :) i don't ever want to miss out on that! 

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Friday, August 24, 2012

a couple of videos

yup, he sure is a funny one, that one! must get it from his mama ;)

15 months have come and gone in what seems like the blink of an eye. just yesterday he was this tiny little newborn and all he wanted to do was eat and sleep. now he has turned into this funny, independent and oh so smart little man who pushes his play yard through the room to get where he wants to go.

15 months is pretty awesome.
15 months means...

waking up between 7.30 and 8 am 
only nursing once a day, in the morning
2 big meals a day
drinking only water and milk
learning to use a fork and spoon
napping for 3 hours every afternoon
going to bed at 8 pm
walking on tippy toes
saying "uh oh" when he drops things or they end up out of reach
saying "nein, nein, nein" when upset (he is being raised bilingual, german and english, more on that soon)
saying "num num" when he knows food is coming
saying "dada" but refusing to say "mama" (one day, right?) 
getting excited and yelling "dada!" when ichat starts up or the phone rings
pretending to talk on the phone using play phones, real phones or old iphone cases 
making car sounds when playing
loving his puppy friends
climbing on everything
opening and closing doors
pointing at lights and fans or pretty much just about anything while continuously saying "da!" (there in German)
books are his favorite
mischievous looks and grins
kisses only rarely but more and more hugs
12 teeth 
puzzles and balls
pushing carts or his stroller
cuddling stuffed animals and dolls
still taste testing lots of things
being very musical and dancing all the time
loving bath time

being absolutely adorable most of the time!

i am honestly having the time of my life and i am so grateful to be able to stay at home with him every day. i know how blessed i am to have the opportunity to experience every little milestone and so thankful to that wonderful, hard working husband of mine who makes it all possible.

wishing you a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

love stitched

i am blogging over at love stitched today but i am also sharing a similar post here because you should really be introduced to brittany, her blog and most of all her fabulous etsy shop.

i've been a contributer for brittany's blog since the spring and love the wide range of topics on her blog. you are likely to find something interesting there every time you return. not only is she a successful blogger but she also runs her etsy shop love stitched. each item is handmade with great care and love. a few weeks ago we came up with a little collaboration in order to showcase some of brittany's shop items in a different way, so that customers could get a better idea of how versatile her line of accessories truly is.

since we are sure you will fall in love with her items by the time you've read this post and looked at her shop (go, look now!) ;) there is also a generous 20% discount code at the bottom of this post you may use on your entire order!

after brittany sent me a lovely package i came up with a few transitional outfits that will help me adjust to the cooler temperatures of fall, my favorite season.
i'd been eying up this wonderful sophia shabby rose trio headband for a while so I was happy to incorporate it into a few different outfits.

isn't the headband gorgeous? i love the muted gray color because i can pair it with just about anything and the black elastic is super comfortable to wear. i am always worried when headband elastic is very tight because it ends up giving me a headache. not with this one. it is nice and soft and has just the right amount of stretch. i like to wear headbands across my forehead so that's another reason i can't stand when they're too tight. who likes to walk around with an indentation on their forehead all day long?

brittany also sent me the gold branch dangle earrings which i love and wear almost every day. you can see me wearing them here. to top it all off i got one of the limited edition anthropologie inspired ruffle flower rings. isn't it so cute?

check out her packaging too. it's so pretty and perfect for gifting.
so thank you so much brittany, i love it all :)

and this is how i'll be wearing my shabby rose headband this fall...

... with my favorite pleated skirt, a light sweater and a jean jacket. 

... with muted pastels and rain boots.

... with a little bohemian inspired outfit because headbands somehow make me feel like a flower child ;)

... with one of my most favorite combos: plaid shirts and boyfriend jeans. 

which outfit is your favorite? and what are your must-have items for fall? 

brittany is graciously offering a 20% discount on all orders from her store with code: CREATIVE

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headband, ring and earrings c/o love stitched

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

diy: t-shirt make-over part II - printed geo shirt

for part II of the t-shirt make-over series (find part I here) i decided to do a geometrical design using the potato stamping method and some fabric paint.
you may have potato stamped before - probably in kindergarten but hey, that counts ;)
the method is really super easy, cheap and you can stamp any kind of design you're able to cut into a large potato.  

to create this design or something similar this is what you'll need:

a white t-shirt (i used fruit of the loom men's v-neck shirts in size s)
fabric paint (i experimented with 3 kinds, two were martha stewart's all purpose acrylic paints and one was actual fabric paint) 
a sponge brush
several large potatoes
a sharp knife
pieces of cardboard
craft paper to protect your work surface

first you'll need to cut your shapes into the potatoes. 
i used a marker and then simply cut away the area i didn't want to print with. simple shapes will turn out best so don't do any intricate designs unless you majored in potato sculpting. 
make sure to cut at least 1/2 - 3/4 inch deep into the potato which will help keep your designs nice and clean when you print. 

i recommend you try out your stamps on a scrap piece of muslin fabric or an old t-shirt. 
i was looking for a muted black color and ended up going with the actual fabric paint instead of the martha stewart gray (left)  and gloss black (top). 

slide the cardboard into your shirt where you will start stamping. this will keep the paint from leaking through and onto the back side of the shirt. make sure to move it around as you print your design.
i applied the paint with the small sponge brush because i had more control over the cleanliness of the shapes while printing. any excess paint may drip from the stamp onto unwanted places on your shirt.
i wanted the design to be slightly "imperfect" so i didn't mind it if some shapes didn't print as evenly as others. let the paint dry as per directions before you turn it over to print the back.

i also rolled up the sleeves and lightly stitched them in place.


find more tutorials here.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

style files: oh my pleather!

pants: hallhuber (similar), sweater: only (similar), shoes: aerosoles (similar), bag:

have you jumped onto the pleather/leather/liquid leggings train yet? 
i'd been wanting to try a pair for a while and then when my mom came to visit in may she brought these with her without even knowing I even wanted them. thanks mom! 
so i've had these for a few months but it's simply been way too warm to wear them. another reason to wish for fall? i think so.

i'll be wearing them a lot since they are just as versatile as regular black leggings but add a little bit of an edge to an outfit. looking at the pictures I feel like I should maybe hem them just a tad so that they truly end right above the ankle. what do you think? 
will you be wearing any leather this fall? 

hope you had a fabulous weekend :) 

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Friday, August 17, 2012

$15 designer t-shirts anyone?

let me introduce you to my newest obsession everlane  
say $15 luxury t-shirts and i'm likely to be intrigued. i'm always on the lookout for a great t-shirt so I definitely had to check these out. 

but go read what they say about their company first:

It's an industry fact: Your typical designer shirt sells for 8 times what it cost to make. But it doesn't have to be this way. We've set out to challenge conventions and build a new retail model.
We have no physical stores, no middlemen taking their cut and no crazy brand markups. Instead, we create our own luxury basics and sell them exclusively at New designs each month, never over $100.

Online only.

By operating entirely online we save on all the costs associated with physical stores and gain tremendous flexibility in production.

Smart manufacturing.

We seek out the best factories in the business—the very same ones that produce your favorite designer labels—to create the shortest path from our hands to yours.

Edited design.

We never compromise on quality. Our collections are intentionally pared down so that we can design with the closest attention to detail.

i think it's a really interesting concept and what they're offering looks absolutely fabulous. i couldn't resist ;) go check them out right here and have a happy weekend :) 

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

lasagna soup

sorry for the bad picture. i hadn't really planned on blogging this recipe until a bunch of you instagram followers asked me to. so here it is and believe me it is delicious and tastes a lot better than it looks. this is a great recipe to add a bunch of vegetables into so feel free to adjust as you please. just make sure to maybe add some more liquid if you add a lot of extra vegetables. my toddler loved this and even ate all of the vegetables in it, which has been a struggle lately.

lasagna soup


for the soup:

1 tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs of sweet italian sausage (for any locals: i use giant eagle's sweet italian sausage because it is deliecious)
1 cup of chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tbs. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1-2 large carrots, peeled and chopped or sliced
a handful of mushrooms, sliced (really however many you like)
1 zucchini peeled and cubed
1 container of chicken stock (about 4-6 cups)
8 oz. lasagna pasta broken into smaller pieces
some fresh basil if you have
salt and pepper, to taste

cheese mixture:

10 oz. ricotta
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper, to taste

mozzarella cheese to sprinkle over top


heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. break up the sausage into bite sized pieces and brown it for a few minutes. add in the onions and cook until soft. add tomato paste and stil well. cook for another 3 minutes or until paste has turned a rusty brown color. now add garlic, italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. stir again.

add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves and the chicken stock. stir to combine. bring to a boil and add the carrots, let simmer for 20 minutes. now add the zucchini and mushrooms and simmer until both are soft. (about 10 minutes). add the basil, salt and pepper to taste, right before serving.

also cook your pasta separately when your soup is getting close to being done.
cooking the pasta separately will allow better storage for left-overs.

while pasta is cooking prepare the cheese mixture. in a small bowl simply combine all ingredients and mix well.

to serve, place about a generous tablespoon of the cheese mixture in a bowl and top with soup and pasta. sprinkle some mozzarella on top and dig in!

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Source:  adapted from 300 Sensational Soups by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds, as seen in the February-April 2011 edition of At Home with Kowalski’s magazine

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

diy: t-shirt make-over part I - sequin collar t-shirt

over the next few weeks I will feature a series of t-shirt make-over tutorials using basic white t-shirts. each week I will show you a different way to add a little something special to a plain white tee.

this week's make-over is a super easy one using some stretchy sequin trim to embellish the collar of a t-shirt. no sewing skills needed! 

you'll need:

a white v-neck shirt (i used fruit of the loom men's shirts in size S) 
1 yard of gold sequin trim (the stretchy kind) mine is from wal-mart
thread in the same color as your trim 
white thread
a needle

place the end of the trim where the collar makes the v-shape. start carefully hand stitching it in place starting from the back and leaving some extra to tie it off with. go around stitching the trim to the collar until you come back to the v. i mostly just went through the holes in the sequins and it's not noticeable at all. overlap the ends slightly and cut your excess trim. make sure to stitch the end well so that the elastic part won't unravel. 

i also folded up the sleeves and stitched them in place with some white thread. that's of course optional.
to wash i would recommend turning the shirt inside out and air drying or drying on a low temperature setting in your dryer. 

now wear it! best of all: no necklace needed. 

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

style files: chambray, cords and boots

skinny cords: jcrew, white tank: zara, chambray shirt: jcrew (similar), boots: thrifted (similar), watch: michael kors (similar), bracelet: gift, branch earrings: c/o love stitched

the weather here in pa has momentarily cooled down just a little bit. we are back in the 80's now but had a pretty cool day on saturday. it was honestly fine by me since i'd been dreading the outfit posts a little bit lately... i am mostly a shorts and t-shirt kind of girl when it's super hot outside and that's not necessarily anything to brag about on here. wink wink...

so instead of the heat we got a nice little glimpse at what fall is going to be like and i started outfit planning in my head. can't wait to get my scarf collection out again!

the chambray shirt that has seen lots of wear through spring and summer is also going to be a go-to piece in my fall wardrobe and so are jcrew's toothpick cords. here i paired them with some nicely worn-in boots and a simple white tank. i stayed comfy and warm all day but was able to shed a layer when the sun peeked through in the afternoon.

i will definitely be wearing lots of different variations of this outfit in the fall.

what items from your summer wardrobe will help you transition into fall?

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