Monday, September 23, 2013


image via

Hi, everyone! Long time, no see. 

Time spent away gave us the time to move into our new apartment and start anew. It also gave me the time to do a restart on the blog and took the jump over to wordpress. Old posts will remain up here on blogger for nostalgia's sake, and new posts will now be over on the new space.

Thank you so much for following along and reading here on blogger, and I would love to have you come visit me at my new place.

I hope to see you around. :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

a room of one's own

Hi, everyone. Apologies for the radio silence. After moving and unpacking and dealing with my grandmother's illness, it was all I could do just to go day by day. In the time that's passed, we've moved and unpacked 95% of our items. There's one box left in our bedroom that's waiting to be unpacked for when my shelving unit arrives (it was sold out at IKEA when we went). I finally got my vanity, and it's not quite set up exactly how I want yet, but it's a solid start. It sits to the left of James' dressing rack, which I think is a nice play on his & hers. Waking up in the morning and seeing this makes me incredibly happy, with everything in its place in our room.

Happy Monday!

Monday, August 12, 2013

the present state

We're in the home stretch, you guys. It may not look like it by this picture of our living room, but I swear, we are ::thisclose:: to being packed and ready to move. And I. cannot. wait. Living in boxes has led to way too many occasions where I stub my toe/bang my knee/hit my elbow simply because we're running out of room as we try to pack our lives in convenient, portable boxes. Moving is expensive, so we've been trying to watch how often we eat out and have resorted to just making quick (cheap) meals in our kitchen while simultaneously packing said kitchen. We left out two mismatched plates to serve us for the next three days, and every time we make something, we have to wash it out so it's ready to be used by the other. It kind of reminds me of college.

And to continue the theme of chaos and randomness in our lives in this blog, I wanted to mention a review of sorts on two things I recently purchased:

This tote is made of vegan leather, and while I usually prefer real leather, this bag is so soft and so light, and I have no fear of scratching the "leather" since the polyurethane can handle some beating. I've been eyeing the Pashli from 3.1 Philip Lim for awhile, and the zippers of this tote are definitely a nod to that. AT was having a friends & family sale where everything was 40% off, and in addition I had a $40 gift card, so this tote cost me $18.80 + tax. At that price, it came home with me to be my low-maintenance work tote. It retails for $98, which I think is a little high, but with a promo like 30% off, I think it's a worthy piece. The straps are long enough to fit on the shoulder, yet not too long to be ridiculous as a hand-held tote or on the crook of the elbow.

There are four functioning zippers in total - two in the front and two in the back. When they're unzipped, they reveal a tan/dark brown/white polka dot pattern, which I thought was a fun touch. The inside only has one zippered pocket in the back in the same polka dot fabric as the zipper insert. I don't mind not having more separation too much - more pockets would have been great, but not a deal breaker for me.

And the second thing: 

I purchased this wallet with a gift card I had been saving. After endlessly muttering to myself about how great it would be if I had a wallet that would hold my phone and my credit cards, I finally went out there and bought said magic wallet. There are plenty of these phone wallets out there, but I went for this one because I liked the slim profile, the button closure, and the detachable wrist strap. I also liked the fact that this was in saffiano leather, a hardier leather that would stand up to constant use (and some drops!).

The inside is also leather and comes with 5 credit card slots (1 being the ID slot with a plastic covering). I like that this limits the amount of cards I can carry, but the slots can easily store 2 or 3 cards each if you want to carry more. The left side of the wallet has a pocket for the iPhone. It's built for the iPhone 5, but my iPhone 4s fits securely in it, too, and I've heard other people tell me that their Samsung Galary can fit in it as well. The back has a zippered pocket for coins. There's no explicit "cash" pocket, but I just use the little slip pocket behind the credit card slots as the place for the random bill or receipt. I've only had this for a week or so, and I already don't know how I managed without it. It's so convenient for on the go and for those out the door runs.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 9, 2013

there'd be days like this

Apologies all around for being MIA. I received news from home that my grandmother had suffered a stroke earlier this week, and everything's just kind of stopped as I try to process it all. She's the best person I know, bar none, and the thought of her going through this right now while I'm so far away and can't be there is heartbreaking. I feel like there are too many emotions churning inside me, and I'm just trying to keep them all contained until we get more news about future plans for therapy and recuperation. On the plus side, she's going home today, and I know my aunts and uncles and cousins will take such good care of her. 

I hope I haven't made you too sad; it is Friday after all. This weekend, hug your family members a little harder; make them feel your love a little bit more. It matters.

Have a love-filled weekend.

image via

Monday, August 5, 2013

vanity on a budget



While being up to my eyeballs in packing boxes this past weekend, I kept reminding myself of the fact that I would end up with a little "vanity corner" in our new place just to keep myself sane. I've made do over the years without a proper vanity, but since I'll now be living with two guys with only one bathroom to share between the three of us, I decided it was high time to invest in one. Moving expenses add up quickly, though, so I wanted to keep things as cost-effective as possible. Thank God for IKEA

I wanted a vanity that had built in storage, could double as a laptop desk when not in use as a vanity, and could fit in a small space to keep our room from feeling cluttered. This dressing table ticks all those boxes - sleek lines and a long drawer for lots of storage. All of my makeup can easily fit in the drawer, but to add some more storage options and counter space, I'm set on getting this storage unit. Just the thought of 9 streamlined drawers to hold both my jewelry and beauty supplies, as well as some office supplies at the bottom is making me smile right now. Everything will be tucked away and out of sight, yet easily at hand. I already have this chair, but I wanted to showcase it for those who are in need of budget friendly chair options (this stool is under $50 and this one is $5.99!). I intend on hanging a giant mirror above the dressing table, but for touch ups, I'm getting this mirror. Lastly, containers are a must. I have four of these stackable trays from The Container Store (1 large, 1 medium, 2 small) and love them, so I'm planning on adding 2 more medium and 2 more small ones to keep everything in the drawer organized. This candle dish would be perfect to display my perfume bottles.

For my dressing table, storage unit, some organizing trays, the mirror, the dish, and reusing my chair, I'm on track for just over $300 after tax. 

How do you organize your makeup?

Friday, August 2, 2013

this weekend

It's Friday once again, and I'm totally ready for it. This weekend will be full of cleaning, dumping, and packing. We're moving in less than two weeks, and we are nowhere near packed. We keep saying we'll do it every night after work little by little...yeah, that didn't work. We'll probably actually stick to our guns and buckle down all next week after getting a much needed jump start this weekend.

When I'm not packing, I'll also be putting on the last touches on the move of this blog to WordPress. I've been wanting a more streamlined look for awhile and finally took the plunge to see what I could find over at WordPress. I've settled on a theme that I think is perfect, and I'm working on finishing up some posts. Sometime around the new year, I hope to customize the new theme fully and make it more my own, but for now, it's quite lovely as it is. I'm so excited, and I hope you'll come over and see the new digs.

I've also gotten back into the swing of wedding planning. It was kind of overwhelming at the beginning thinking about everything that comes with planning a wedding, to the point where it stressed me out and I stopped thinking about it for awhile. But then James and I had a talk, and we decided that we wanted our wedding to be a fun affair, with great friends and family, great food, and beverages aplenty. We want it to be a party where everyone was happy along with us. So we've decided on an indoor backyard wedding of sorts. I want a simple dress and great shoes, with my hair down and flowing, like it would be at a summer backyard BBQ, just a little more elegant and romantic. Last night, we stayed up late and picked songs for the wedding, including curating a list that will make up the mixed "tape" that will be our favor for our guests. We sat there on the couch side by side and listened to our relationship in song. Definitely one of those moments I'll remember forever. 

I hope you have a fantastic weekend.

image via

Thursday, August 1, 2013

h&m home



 You've probably heard by now that US customers can finally shop H&M online. I'm thrilled at the sheer convenience of it all, but I'm really most excited about finally being able to shop their home line. The aesthetics are right up my alley - lots of clean lines, grey, glass, and rustic touches. If you do decide to shop online, there are some good things to know: shipping is a flat rate of $5.95 (but use code 0549 for free shipping on your first order, valid until Aug. 15), there's a 30-day return policy on most things, return shipping is $5.95 unless you're returning because the item is faulty, and online returns cannot be done in stores. That last bit has me meticulously thinning out my cart to only the pieces I know I have a high chance of keeping. Happy online shopping! 

metal box || bath rug || storage baskets
  tablecloth || glass jar || candle || apron (how adorable is this?) 
stout glass vase || slim glass vase || table runner || wooden box

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

recent purchases

recent purchases


I was up late with James trying to whittle down the massive episodes I have on my DVR while also listlessly browsing through websites. I had these sweaters in my virtual cart from the day before since they were on sale for 50% off, but I hadn't pulled the trigger because I couldn't decide which to buy. I could see myself wearing all three colors equally, but I didn't want to spend more than $100, so I had to whittle 3 down to 2. I offhandedly typed in the new promo code J.Crew had for an extra 40% off final sale items (still going on, promo code is style40 + free shipping on anything today only), not really believing that J.Crew would let me stack coupons like that, when lo and behold, it did work and my sweaters were now $26.50 apiece. Considering that they retail for $88 and I had been ::thisclose:: to buying them at the earlier reduced price point, I quickly checked out. I was half thinking they wouldn't ship at that price, but they arrived yesterday. I had bought a fourth one, but I didn't like the color and returned it. True to its name, the sweater fits loosely and is oversized. I bought them in a size smaller than I usually wear, and it was just loose enough without being sloppy. I love that the back is slightly longer than the front for a casual look. The merino feels great, and I like that it's a lighter weight sweater since most of my other sweaters are thicker. 

While returning the unwanted fourth sweater, I did a quick breeze-through the sale section. I happened to fall upon these two striped shirts (short sleeve; three-quarter sleeve is sold out). I remember making a mental note when they were newly released but with their original price, I shoved them way back in my mind. With an extra 40% off their sale price, they came to $15 apiece. They are so soft and have a shrunken fit that's super flattering but not too tight. And so, my love for stripes continues.

 I had been meaning to check out Drew Barrymore's Flower makeup line long before now, but it's exclusively sold at Walmart and the nearest one to me in the city is about 30 minutes away.  When I went dorm shopping with my sister on Saturday and found myself at a Walmart in search of a mini ironing board for her, I took the chance to pick up some pieces. A lot of the nail polish colors were right up my alley, but I limited myself to the inky blue shade called April showers. I bought one high-shine lipstick in Petunia petals, one lipgloss in Pretty-in-Petunia, and one lip crayon in Airy orchid. I heard great things about the cream eyeshadow, so I picked up two, one in Awesome Blossom, a lovely muted brown that would be a great neutral, and one in Wild Geranium, a soft peachy pink that would work great as a highlight color. I really like the white/black/rose gold packaging. The lipgloss is not too tacky, and the lipstick felt like butter and had intense color payoff. The lip crayon was just okay - I liked the color well enough, it felt lightweight and smooth on, but I just didn't get as excited about it as the other two. The nail polish is glossy and on me, doesn't cheap easily which is always a plus. I found the eyeshadows easy to blend and the colors beautiful. The one tiny problem with it is it's definitely shimmery. It's not glittery, so no glitterbomb look to be afraid of, but a little goes a long way and might be best suited for nighttime wear. If you're looking for good to great drugstore makeup, I think it's a good line to try. 

And lastly, you've already seen this bag, but in the interest of full disclosure and because I love it, I've included it in this list. I used my proceeds from consigning a lot of things that didn't make the cut in our pre-move clean out to make the purchase, so the hit was a little easier to absorb. Still, no regrets. :).

What are your recent purchases?

Monday, July 29, 2013




While I try to mentally plan out what I'm wearing a day or two in advance, there are days when I fall behind and I don't have the time or the wherewithal to do anything more than to put some clothes on with the sole purpose of avoiding indecent exposure. On those days, I reach for my uniform - dark skinny jeans, a basic tee with an interesting detail (i.e. stripes!), a go-to pair of shoes (pumps if I need to dress up, ankle boots if I need to be mobile), sunglasses, and a structured, semi-large bag (it needs to be large because I carry a lot with me, but the structure is crucial if I ever want to find anything). I almost always wear a watch (I hate to be late, and I've never gotten in the habit of checking my phone for the time), and if I can eke out the time, I throw on simple studs and a delicate necklace to look a little bit more put together. 

What's your uniform?

Friday, July 26, 2013

this weekend

Happy Friday, everybody! What are you up to this weekend?

On Saturday, I'm helping my sister finish shopping for college, and then James and I will be heading out to a friend's surprise birthday party on the North Side. More packing is to be done on Sunday, but we're taking a little break on Saturday for some fun with family and friends. In addition to artwork, I'm in search of a vanity with a fold-down mirror that can double as a little laptop table in our bedroom, as well as a little bookshelf and a slipper chair. For the living room, we're also trying to find a set of four chairs for the dining room. I have some things in mind, and I'll share when I've narrowed them down to a more manageable two or three options (as opposed to the 578 options I'm currently considering). 

Have a great weekend!

P.S. The inner nerd and biologist in me cheered when I saw this doodle. Rosalind Franklin was a pioneer in her field, both for her amazing contributions and the fact that she was a woman in a field that was overwhelmingly dominated by men. She died too young, but her contributions are timeless and far-reaching.