February 17, 2013

Valentine's Replay

Valentine's consisted of card, candy and love making. Making cards is kinda my thing. And, puppies, PUPPIES are cute and create that fuzzy, warm feeling.
I found the recipe here.  I've been really digging this blog. She has some great pancake recipes and healthy alternatives to your favorite foods.  I had been wanting to try the peanut butter cups and V-Day seemed like the perfect occasion. 
They were delicious. 

February 14, 2013

Thrifting Adventures Lately

I go through phases with thrift stores. Months will go by with barely a thought of thrifting -- it's like I forget they exist. Whatever the reason, I eventually decide to go and am quickly reminded why I love it so much. It's like a treasure hunt. It never gets old to me. It's this ongoing, thrilling infatuation.  And buyer's remorse is never a problem. Over the years, I've struggled to draw the line between those incredible, one-of-a-kind finds, and those others that trick you into believing they're great after 45 fruitless minutes of searching.  I've been fooled so many times because I'm stoked to find something that's semi-wearable.  I know it seems like two extremes, but the lines get blurry when you're in thrift-store shopping mode. I get anxious. 

Lately, I've been stopping in a few different spots, scanning the place and walking out with some sick pieces.   Giving myself a time limit has proved to be very successful. 

Regardless of the store, I always browse the bags.  It's a weakness. Or maybe a strength considering I scored this Dooney and Bourke bag for $7! It's totally legit and in impeccable condition. A little secret in thrifting: shop the suburban thrifts. They are so unaware of their products, which should be fully exploited. I left the Goodwill feeling elated and energized. It's a total rush.  The same feeling I have after a great workout. Strange, I know. 
This is such a classic gone trendy.  The point is it's timeless Coach circa 1970's. My mission was to find some birthday presents.  A recent goal of mine is to minimize purchasing brand new items and buying used whenever possible. It gets tricky with presents, and though it is more work,it is far more gratifying. I snagged not just one, but two of these bags, slightly different, but equally beautiful.  The leather on these bags is buttery, soft and flawless. Coincidentally, I hate modern Coach, but love vintage Coach.  It was PERFECT. I stayed true to my goal and had better luck than imagined.  

The price is so low, I can't tell you(mostly because it's a gift). Let's just say it was cheaper than your daily coffee habit, but only if you're drinking specialty coffee.

These boots are Joan and David and retail for around 200-300 bucks! Now, it's not about the brand or the retail value, but the discovery! -- it feels like you're stealing. I had been searching for simple, black boots and BAM -- I found them for $10!

Patience is key in thrifting. It may take some time, but it is so worth it.

February 1, 2013

It's the Whole Package

From birthdays to Christmas, Valentine's to Mother's Day and various special occasions are exciting for me, and not because I'm receiving something. I won't deny that I love receiving, but the magic is in giving. And it's not just the solitary present. No, it's the entire package. Everything from the envelope to the wrapping is carefully curated and intentional. Obviously, the present is the main course, but the wrapping and cards are like the appetizers. This past Christmas I was dead set on using recycling materials from my house for wrapping. I did buy one roll of this vibrant, textured paper that I couldn't pass up. Mostly, I used brown grocery bags. This took the entire Christmas wrapping experience to another level. I got creative with it. I wrote on the paper, used funky ribbon, cut and pasted. It was not a chore, but a fun project!
Let's rewind a little to the gifting part. Pre-Christmas I was extremely eager to work on some projects and, if all went well, gift them. Body scrub was at the top of my list. I recently bought some locally made scrub and am obsessed with the scent and silky smooth skin it gives you. Perfect gift for any girl and pretty inexpensive. 
I used coffee grinds, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and olive oil. Then I bottled them in some mason jars and VOILA- a gift that's awesome. Something to be proud of and shock people by your crafty ways. Main advantage to body scrub is baby-soft skin. MAKE IT, even if it's for yourself. 

Second project was jewelry making. I am really feeling the industrial vibe/look. So I headed over to Honestly WTF and what a great variety of DIY's there. And here's what I did. This and this
 I raided my uncle's garage and "borrowed" some supplies that I liked more than the suggested ones. Also, the local hardware store didn't have them. I was pretty satisfied with the outcome, but not enough to give as gifts. I just kept them for myself and hope to perfect it a little. But, the steps provided were very thorough and easy to follow. This site will definitely be revisited. 

Valentine's Day is coming soon. Enough said.

January 16, 2013

Really, a resurrection? Yeah.

Maybe some of you wondered what happened to this blog. Or maybe you never saw it in your life. Judging by the recent activity, you probably assumed it was yet another much too ambitious blogger plunging into the growing trend, but couldn't maintain. A fair attempt, but not substantial. We've all stumbled upon some incredible blog just to discover it was abandoned months or years prior. How anti-climacetic. Oh well, just the millionth blog left untouched. This very thought haunted me throughout my entire absence! Every time I wanted to blog, I didn't because I wasn't ready to commit again. It's like going through a break up and realizing you need to make some life changes before continuing the relationship. Taking a step back, as people like to say, and hopefully the relationship is more amazing than imaginable. I knew I needed to make adjustments in my life. I was losing my vision and intention for my blog. And in order to present authentic posts, I had to unplug and refocus.

During this near year hiatus from blogging, I channeled my energy into deeper matters. I decided to make my mind and body; family and friends; spirit and faith the main priority. Some outside events pushed me to the realization of a clean break from the blogosphere. I didn't want to browse hundreds of blogs everyday and waste countless hours on the internet feeling I had nothing new to offer. My creativity and unique spirit felt squashed and lost. There was this deep desire to find inspiration from myself again, but that part of me felt muddled and unclear by all these outside influences. Constant stimulation through blogs, fashion sites, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and emails eventually cramped my style. It was oppressive. I was turning into a social media, fashion-crazed, modern technological junkie. It became this addiction.

These infographics exaggerate and perfectly describe what I felt.
There are entire articles devoted to this new addiction AND say it's more addictive than cigarettes and sex! WHAT!?? I'm not sure I believe that, but the fact it's competing with that speaks a lot about our society. 

It was this constant social interaction with complete strangers. I had become someone who checked her phone constantly and rudely, when hanging out, which is a major pet peeve of mine. What a huge insult! It sends the message- "these people on the internet are way more interesting than you. Even though I'm with you now, I'd rather be in this fake cyber world where people think I'm super cool". LAME. It's embarrassing to admit, but if I woke up in the middle of the night I checked twitter. Having too many influences can create a fake and that's what was transforming, a fake imposter. AH! If there is one thing I despise, it's a fraud. I slammed the brakes on this hard. SCREECHING HALT! I realized it would be better to kill the blog than continue something that wasn't 100% authentic.

Over this time, I've gone on some incredible trips: Charlottesville, Asheville, Deep Creep Lake, Ocean City, NYC and the long haul to California. All road trips, in fact. Which I hated until recently, but a new love for the road has grown. The spontaneity of jumping in the car with access to all these new places within a few hours is so exciting. The options multiply.  Traveling and exploring new places with my husband, family and friends has been a doggone blast! I also completed my very first half-marathon in 2 hours and 49 minutes! Two years ago if someone suggested would have suggested running 13 miles I would have scoffed and laughed. It seemed to unachievable. But I'm learning to set the stakes higher. Afterwards I began reading Born to Run, which impacted my life so much that for months every thought and action was related to this book. It was near religion. Also, I began managing and successfully running an independent coffeeshop, which consumed my life. I drank, dreamed and breathed coffee all spring and summer. Which isn't terrible, right?
St. Michael's Half Marathon, pushing hard at the end. 

Recovered and stoked!

I learned how to do this and became an aspiring coffee snob. 

 Climbed to the top of the Flatirons in Boulder, CO

Driving through Utah and staring at the most gnarly terrain. 

Which brings us to present time. I'm just settling into an awesome new house in Washington DC's neighborhood Petworth and a new job slinging espresso. And now seems like the appropriate time to begin again.  I waited to relaunch until I had a clear focus and purpose.  Blogs can be so personal; this one is a peek into my life, passions and personality. It's a representation of me. It should reflect authenticity. Nobody respects posers and sell outs. They are everywhere: on the corner, the coffee shop, art openings, the hippest social events, the grocery, they are waiting to stare you down and size you up on the Metro.

This is ridiculous, but so true! What people truly want is something raw and genuine. I'm setting the stakes high here, I know. But I have to draw the line and deliver what's real.

February 6, 2012

CapFABB Meet-up at Madewell

Another successful bloggers event set the Georgetown Madewell in a frenzy. The store was packed with the finest DC fashionistas and fine fellows. The question if DC has style has been answered.  Now, if only they could flash a little more swagger and let it permeate to all innocent bystanders. Everyone would benefit from that interaction. 
These high waisted hot pants paired with cropped tops worn by Mila and Fire made heads turn! 
The color blocking happening here is on point. Even the subtle purple frames matched perfectly. 
Franky J was rocking some stellar accessories. 
Co-founder of CapFabb, Lacey and Alina from The Hyperbalist share some love. This loud, floral suit is shouting, "Love me" and I do. Freaking awesome vintage Moschino belt! My heart is beating a little faster. 
A stunning gold-painted basket purse.
This vintage, sparkly, sequenced jacket caught my attention and had me drooling. 

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