Spring Transformations

What do you get when you have several weekends in a row of being away from home, two people who allow clutter to happen fairly easily, and an apartment that's too small to fit all your combined stuff/wedding gifts/things that people randomly give you? A very, very messy place to live. 

Now anyone who has ever lived with me (sorry college roommates) knows that I'm not exactly the most organized or most clean person. I like to describe my messy style as "clutter-messy, not gross-messy". For instance, I think piles of old food is absolutely disgusting. I might not always clean my dishes right away, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll at least rinse the plate off before stacking it in the sink. 

But on the other hand, I see no problem with having piles of clothes take over my room. Or leaving a stack of magazines and mail on the table. Ian and I are both kind of like this by nature, so we knew that when we moved in together it would take some extra effort to make our home not look like our respective college residences. 

So this past Saturday, with absolutely nothing on the schedule, it was time to clean. REALLY clean. What started out as some innocent dusting and putting away clothes turned into a full day of full-blown, cleaning out the cabinets, taking things to Goodwill, SPRING CLEANING. To the tunes of Grooveshark blasting 80s and 90s hits.

There were two major areas that I wanted to revamp, and this seemed like the perfect time to do it. The first was an awkward section of hallway that has the door leading up to Georgia's side of the house. This door is pretty much always locked from both sides, but the end of the hall had turned into a place to throw things that we didn't know what else to do with. When we decided that was unsightly, we threw all the junk into Ian's office and were left with a hallway that just awkwardly ends.

Recipe for success? A microwave stand that was crowding up the kitchen + leftover jars and glasses from wedding decor. Sprinkle in some twinkly lights, a vintage Beatles poster, and suddenly the end of the hall looks kind of nice. Kind of makes me want to buy a chair and sit there with a book!

The second area that had been bugging me lately was a semi-failed DIY project from when we first moved in. I had had this bulletin board since elementary school, and I thought I would use extra tea towels to cover it up and match the kitchen. It looked kind of nice at first, but after several months of wear and tear, it was just starting to look like something a little kid made.

Now, with lots more craft supplies at my disposal, I was able to cover it with pretty fabric and arrange some cards, photos, and signs from our wedding to make it look a little more pulled together. I figured it was time to retire the empty frame look that I got from Cosmo freshman year and proceeded to use in every dorm and apartment throughout my college existence. (However, they did make an appearance at Sunday's party!) Because nothing screams 'more grown up' like wedding pictures, right?

At the end of the day, we were left with a clean and beautiful apartment that suddenly felt brand new again. Don't you love that feeling? We rewarded ourselves by going out and buying a cartful of beer for our party and some all-American cuisine at Old Country Buffet.


A Sunday Night Soiree

First of all, can we all agree that every weekend should be a three-day weekend? 

(Happy Memorial Day, by the way!)

I think the fact that I knew there was one extra day to laze around or do whatever I wanted made me want to be more productive for the first half of the weekend. And let me tell you, after a marathon cleaning spree on Saturday to get ready for a little fiesta we had last night, it sure felt good to spend today playing tennis, reading, and munching on lots of leftover snacks. 

Since we are so lucky to have a patio and a backyard at the Brodie Abode, I had been picturing our first backyard party since the day we moved in. I was blowin' up my Pinterest with decor inspirations, writing ideas down on whatever piece of paper or post-it note I had handy, and mentally planning a menu that would wow our guests without a grill. All we needed were some friends. 

Well, I am happy to announce that nine months later, we have friends (many of which are fellow Penn Staters).  Memorial Day weekend seemed like a fabulous time to inaugurate the patio. 

(And we may or may not have toasted with Jello shots to having friends.)

The great thing about having just had a wedding AND being a packrat=lots of stuff to decorate with. Not to mention getting to use all of those serving plates and platters that we registered for and rarely use!

Planning a party can definitely get expensive, but we kept the costs relatively cheap by shopping at Trader Joe's for wine and beer, providing the main dish and asking people to bring sides and desserts, and, of course, finding ways to use the stuff that we already have laying around. 

Despite a sudden rainstorm which made the party quickly move inside during a heated round of Catchphrase, it was so much fun to finally bring some of our friends together. We even had an appearance from Georgia who came bearing a case of Yuengling. 

I hope you all had fun this weekend whatever you were doing and I can't wait to catch up on everyones blogs this week!

Now if you'll excuse, I'm going to go cry about going back to work tomorrow.


Be Bold

You know you are officially a working woman when, instead of your feet hurting after a night out of wearing heels, your feet have become so accustomed to wearing heels that they hurt when you don't. 

Or maybe that just means you're crazy. I don't know.

It's no secret that I love a good pencil skirt and heels for work. It's gotten to the point when people notice when I'm wearing pants instead of a skirt. Sometimes (especially on rainy days) I miss college when I could roll out of bed and go to class in my PJ's. But really, I love dressing up every day. Who am I kidding?

It has also gotten to the point where I've said bye-bye to my bangs and have started to show my forehead for the first time in months. Oh DC humidity, how I love you.

Remember the flower necklace DIY from a few weeks ago? I know you were all just dying to see what it looks like on a human rather than draped across the windowsill or on a Coke bottle.

Sometimes I play by the rule of thumb that if you have a statement necklace, you wear minimal earrings, and vice versa. But then, sometimes I say screw that and wear a bold necklace AND bold earrings. Life is just so much more fun that way.

On a side note, when I get compliments on this necklace, is it bad to follow up with "Thanks, I MADE IT!" ? I try really hard to be modest about these things, but let's be real....when a craft project actually turns out right, I think the world needs to know.


Monday Movie Night: Room Service

Yesterday was a nasty, cold, wet, misty, mopey day. Not to mention it was a terrible hair day, so instead of posing for outfit photos, Ian and I curled up with another old movie that came with that TCM Lucille Ball Anthology that I got for Easter.

I thought this movie was an interesting pick to have included in a Lucille Ball DVD set because as you can see, this movie stars the Marx Brothers with Lucy as a minor character. Judging by the movie's date (1938) it was obviously one of her first!

This was only the second Marx Brothers movie that I have seen, so it was definitely enjoyable! Basically the movie is about a producer and his staff starring in a Broadway play who have overstayed their welcome at a hotel and as a result owe lots and lots of money. All kinds of shenanigans ensue to find the money they need to pay their debt and allow the play's opening night to go through.

This movie was actually a remake of a Broadway play (a play about a play!) and turns out, after some IMDB-ing, that it was the only movie that the Marx Brothers did that wasn't specifically written for them. As a result, it didn't have quite the same Marx feel that I had seen before and it felt a little slow at times. But all in all it was definitely a nice jaunt into the past and a fun way to spend the evening. 


B.B. Onassis

It's funny how a hairstyle can completely change your whole look. When I had long hair and bangs, people called me Zooey Deschanel. Not because I particularly looked like her, but the bangs combined with the love for vintage just makes for a certain look these days.

Vintage lovers have similar sets of style icons--from Jackie O. to Audrey Hepburn. When I chopped my hair off and I wear my shift dresses and pencil skirts to work, one of my friends started calling me B.B. Onassis. Not a bad alter ego!

I love the retro look of this dress from White House Black Market with, of course, red accessories. 

A shift dress is one of those things that are perfect for just about any occasion. I have worn this dress to work, to weddings, and to 'classy' college parties. Not to mention that it's a timeless sillouhette that looks great on everybody.

Like Jackie. She looks OK, I guess. Photo via.

When I popped on some big sunglasses, there was something in me that felt a little bit First Lady.


We Need a Vacation

...from our daily vocation....OH OH OH!

Anyone else sing that Mary Kate & Ashley song when you think those words? Anyone? No? 

Well, anyway. Remember our traveling nightmare last month where we were compensated with free round trip tickets to anywhere Airtrain goes? Well, we initially had no plans of a summer/anniversary vacation, but when presented with free airplane tickets, the possibilities seemed endless. Should we go back to Jamaica? Try another location in all-inclusive land? 

Well, it turns out using airline vouchers to those popular summer locations is a lot harder than it sounds. Because it sounds too good to be true. Non-paying customers are pretty much given the last priority when it comes to booking a summer trip, meaning that unless you wait until the last minute to snatch one of the reserved voucher seats, it's not happening. Having a real job sure makes a spur of the moment trip difficult (unless you're my lucky husband who works in a school....). 

So an exotic trip might be out, but we are trying to find a fun place in the US for an affordable long weekend getaway. I don't know about you, but this is the first summer in the real world, and having some kind of vacation to look forward to sure would be nice. I love the idea of setting out to a new city that neither if us have been to, even if for a short period of time. I'm already thinking of my summer travel essentials...

A retro suitcase.




Loud and bright sunglasses.



High-waisted shorts. (I have a pair that I snagged on my last thrifting adventure that I'm just waiting for the right moment to wear.)




And cute sneakers. Because I have learned that I'm turning into a grandma and my feet cannot handle walking long distances in flip flops anymore.




So here's my question, friends. Where have you gone or would suggest for an affordable weekend getaway? I have a list of places, including Austin, Seattle, San Antonio, New Orleans, and Boston. I know some of my readers live in some of these locations and I would love to hear some of your favorite spots!

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DIY Flower Bib Necklace

Today is my beautiful momma's birthday, and let me just tell you, she is one crafty lady. I have her to thank for my genes that make me love spending an afternoon surrounded by glue guns, fabric, and scissors. She is incredible with a sewing machine and is a quilting genius--and I'm not talking grandma quilts. Her and her friend, Karen, whip up amazing clutches, bags, and other adorable things, and sell it on their Etsy site. You should really check them out.

So in honor of her birthday, I'm going to share a little craft project that I whipped up for her and because I loved it so much, one for myself. I was persuing the blogosphere this weekend for some new jewelry ideas when I stumbled across the Pom Pom Bib Necklace from Little Miss Momma.

I like to think of them more as 'flowers' than 'pom poms', but either way this was very easy to make. Perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon!

Here's what you need:
A glue gun
Pretty fabric (it's a great way to use leftovers!)
Fabric scissors
Necklace chain (you can find them at Michaels, AC Moore, Joanne's, etc.)

First, cut out five circles of felt the size of how big you want your flowers/pom poms to be. The ones I made for my mom's were about 1 inch, but the ones I made for myself were about 1.5 in.

Using one of the felt circles as a guide, cut out lots and lots of fabrics circles until you have a good stack of them. 
You will need at least 20 for each flower.

Once your hands are hurting from cutting out a million fabric circles, take one and scrunch it up like this:

Dab a spot of hot glue on the bottom and glue it to the middle of one of your felt circles.

Continue to scrunch and glue your fabric circles, gluing them down next to each other on the felt circles

Continue this until you have a pretty flower! For a fuller flower use more fabric circles and glue them tighter and closer to each other.

Continue this with the remaining felt circles. (I told you, you will need lots of fabric.)

Once all five flowers are complete, squeeze a dollop of glue on the back...

...and glue all five down on a larger piece of felt in the shape that you want your necklace.

Wait until it dries completely, then cut out around the flowers so that all the extra felt is hidden and you can only see the flowers from the front. Flip the whole thing over and glue your chain on. I just placed the chain so that it was evenly distributed along each flower, then squeezed the glue directly on top.

Again, wait until it dries completely. 

Then, arrange the finished product on your windowsill to take pictures for your blog. Of course.

I was almost excited to go to work on Monday because I was so excited to wear this! It looks like something you would buy at the store, but if you are willing to be patient and put a few hours into it, it really isn't hard to do at all. 

Happy birthday Mommy! 

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