Monday, January 31, 2011

4/50 - Mistress of Rome

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn was my pick for the "read a historical fiction book with a woman as the main character" category in The Nest's Winter Book Challenge.

This was definitely a heavier read than Hex Hall and The Undomestic Goddess... to the point where I had to put the book down for a little while because some parts were very graphic. It's funny how I'm ok with the dramatic gore in movies like 300 and the TV series Spartacus, but reading it made me uncomfortable. I guess my imagination is more vivid... Maybe I shouldn't read Stephen King's IT next, lol.

Sayonara Closet!

Last day of freely pulling stuff from my closet! I had an in-service with K-5 teachers this afternoon so I decided on this little dress I haven't worn in over a year. I also wanted to test Serg's picture-taking skills before the 30 for 30 actually begins. Eh... needs a little work, lol. I also need to work on not squinting at the blinding sun reflecting off the snow. And fixing my windblown hair, lol.

 Dress: Old Navy, Cardigan: August Silk, Tights: Express, Shoes: Colin Stuart, Belt: NY & Co

Fifi was too busy eating snow to sit quietly for the picture :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My 30 for 30 Line Up

It only took me about two and a half hours to figure out what I was going to pull from my closet for the 30 for 30 challenge, lol. And can you tell I have a pretty monochromatic wardrobe?

top to bottom: Target, Loft, Loft, Express
left to right: F21, F21, August Silk, Loft
 left to right: F21, NY&Co, NY&Co
 left to right: F21, Loft, Loft, Loft
 Old Navy
 left to right: F21, Ann Taylor
 left to right: Loft, Loft, Ann Taylor, F21
 Ann Taylor
 left to right: Loft, Gap
left to right: Target, Target, UrbanOg, All Star

There you have it. My 30 pieces for the next 30 days. I'm a little nervous but very excited. I'm looking forward to see what I end up putting together & what all the other awesome bloggers remix. Check back on Tuesday for my 1st remixed outfit!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Just Cuz Notecards

When my sweet friend Ruth from Chic Thrills offered to take pictures of me & Serg in December, I thanked her with a set of personalized notecards.
 She blogged about them, then tweeted, & one of her friends mentioned how much she liked them so I made her a set too. Just cuz. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

I did it, I signed up for a 30 for 30!

Ever since I started my new job as a consultant, I've been trying to be a little more creative with my outfits. I didn't feel like I had that option when I was teaching because I always ended up with paste, snot, markers, or a combination of all three on my clothes... and I gave up on wearing skirts because I constantly had a little boy trying to peek up from the rug (augh). Once I got hired for the consulting position with the publisher, I went out and got all these fabulous new clothes but couldn't figure out how to put them together. So I turned to the interwebz for some inspiration and I came across this gem: Kendi Everyday.

Kendi is one of those girls who look amazing in combinations you've never thought of. She's SO good at it, that she heads a "30 for 30 - A Closet Remix" (read about it here). I've been following her blog for some time & I always wonder if I could remix my own closet. Well. I signed up for the winter version that starts February 1st (yes, next Tuesday). I haven't decided which pieces I'm going to include in the remix but since it's my first time, I'm really glad my occupation doesn't require me to see the same people everyday, lol.

Stay tuned people... this could get very interesting...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sewing Project 1 - Baby Blankets

No, I'm not pregnant (whew!!). My mom is donating a bunch of baby stuff to a young woman in Brazil who is having a baby but doesn't have everything she needs. Since the baby will be born during wintertime in Brazil (which consists of weather that doesn't go below 45 degrees), I decided to sew two baby blankets.

I followed the tutorial from Prudent Baby for the DIY Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket. I think the hardest part of this project was choosing the fabrics I wanted to use at JoAnns. Look at this adorable lime green houndstooth! I decided my future (WAY IN THE FUTURE) baby's room will have a houndstooth motif.

I guess I also really like the whole zoo animal thing:

Ok, so maybe the hardest part of this project was sewing a straight line... but Serg thought the blankets looked so snuggly, he wanted to try them out himself!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Product Rave: Urban Decay Naked Palette

I'm a big fan of make-up even though I only really wear it when I'm going out (which I haven't been doing much of lately, lol). I've been reading about Urban Decay's Naked Palette on The Nest's Fashion & Beauty board for over a month & after dozens of posts about how awesome it is, I decided to splurge. I never thought I'd have the guts to spend $44 on a eyeshadow palette but the Naked palette has 12 neutrals & one Urban Decay eyeshadow runs for $18. I read that the palette is sold out almost everywhere so when I found the LAST one at ULTA yesterday, I had to have it.

I'm SO glad I did! It truly is as AMAZING as the ladies on the Fashion & Beauty boards have mentioned. The colors are hyper-pigmented so it doesn't take much to get the colors to pop. Not only is there a mix of neutrals but they vary from matte to shimmer to glitter AND it comes with a duo eyeliner pencil AND Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion to keep the shadows from smudging or creasing. A-MA-ZING.

So far, I've tried two different looks from YouTube tutorials (YouTube has changed my life when it comes to make up!)
I used this one last night when I went out for drinks with some girlfriends:

And then this one today for brunch. I've NEVER worn this much make up during the day but Serg assured me it looked fine:

Not going to lie, the options with this palette are motivating me to go out more often in this freezing cold weather! Where do you get your make up inspiration?

Dino-Mite Card

My awesome friend Ruth from Chic Thrills had her birthday last weekend at a super fun karaoke bar in the lower East Side. The thought of singing in front of a large group of people always made me nervous, but after 6 glasses of wine (eek!) I got up there & belted out No Doubt's Sunday Morning. We had a great time & I hope Ruth enjoyed her birthday!

You know I love the opportunity to make a card so here's what I put together for Ruth. I cut out the T-Rex from my Create A Critter cartridge.

Monday, January 17, 2011

3/50: The Undomestic Goddess

I know I said I needed to read something "meatier" after Hex Hall but work has been kind of stressful with my boss observing me & having to learn a new program so I needed mindless again.

Since I'm participating The Nest's Winter Book Challenge, I read The Undomestic Goddess for the "book about starting over" category.


I'm not a chick-lit fan and I never really liked the Shopaholic series so this was probably a bad choice. The characters were lame, the plot was sooooo predictable... everything about it bored me! And it was more mindless than Hex Hall which is a young adult book!

Ok, now I REALLY need some good reads. It's a good thing I have Of Mice & Men, The Great Gatsby, & IT all cued up on my NOOK. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

HOME: Where the heart is: Natalia's Going-Away Gift

My little sister is driving across the country to move to Santa Monica, California with her boyfriend today. I'm sad to see her go so far away but excited for her to begin this new chapter in her life. I know we'll stay close but the thought of not being able to call her for a last minute lunch & manicure is very difficult for me. I'm going to miss her so much.

Last night I put together a 6X6 accordion book as her "going away" present. I wanted her to have something small that would remind her of home. I followed the instructions from this tutorial at Katie's Nesting Spot: Accordion Fold Pocket Book with Tabs. It was really easy to follow & I was done in a little less than 2 hours.

Here are some pictures. I apologize for the quality & lighting, I was rushing out to our good-bye dinner.
Front cover
Back cover
Front pictures
Back pictures
Tab Pull Outs
Top & Side View

There you have it. A snapshot of home for Nat to bring to Cali with her.
I love you Natalia. I miss you already.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

An Engagement Card for a Sweet Friend

My good friend Candice got engaged to her boyfriend Dom about a month after Serg proposed to me. We are so excited we're going to be brides together and she even asked me to be her maid of honor for her September 4th wedding! I made this card to congratulate them a while back, but better to post late than never.
I used the Sweethearts Cricut cartridge that has some great shapes for weddings. I can't wait until I start to scrapbook ours...

Congrats again Candice & Dom!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Closet Organization Update

Remember that guest room closest I was ashamed of? Well here it is:
We had a snow day so I decided to use my time wisely and organize a bit. This closet is now the home of my party dresses, some of Sergio's shoes, & linens. I found that the sweater organizer that's hanging is the easiest way for me to keep our towels & bedclothes in order. Not too bad for a closet that was a mess this morning!

And I also worked on one corner of our basement:
Serg had bought this wire shelving months ago and just kept tossing his tools & random things he bought at Lowes & Home Depot on it. I took some time to go through all the Home Depot bags & boxes & crap and you would be shocked to know how many things he bought twice because he didn't know he already had it! To solve his problem, I used some plastic bins I had from my classroom and organized all the pieces. Then I labeled them:
So now when he asks me where his screwdriver is... you know, the one that was in his sock drawer (I kid you not), he'll know the exact bin to find it in AND return it to. Maybe I'm a little anal retentive, but hopefully this will help with his compulsion for buying caulk. Uh, do you see that giant bin labeled "Caulk, Grout, & Plaster"?... *sigh*