Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!! (Almost)

2010 was a pretty big year for me.  I started this blog on a whim, got addicted to writing it, and have watched it grow far faster than I thought it would.  I got engaged, planned a wedding and have now been married for three months.  Who knows where I'll be at this time next year?

In the spirit of starting anew in 2011, here are some resolutions that I may or may not uphold this year...

1. Keep my closet organized - so far, so good in 2010
2. Wear makeup to work every day... even if it's just mascara
3. Wear more bracelets
4. Complete my online Photoshop and Illustrator classes
5. More dates with N, less time on the couch with a laptop
6. Push myself more at work and do new things even if I have to stay there longer
7. Read all my books before I buy new ones
8. Lose 15 lbs before being a bridesmaid in multiple weddings - currently 1/5 of the way there

What are you planning to accomplish this year?  Or do you think resolutions are a load of crap?  I personally work better with clearly defined goals so it's a good exercise for me to have this list printed out and tacked to my wall at work.  And I needed something to write about today.

See you in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm in love.

Sometimes I come across an Etsy shop and can't click the "heart" button fast enough.  This just happened when I was catching up on Design Sponge and came across a recycled wood sign from the William Dohman shop

I NEED these.  Holla for my house, Geek for my office. 

And his photos are great too...

If only I could decide and had $42 extra dollars in my pocket.... today's LOFT shopping spree means no new stuff for a while.  Sigh...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To paint or not to paint...

This weekend, aside from generous gifts and good food, I acquired a 1950's era lamp that belonged to my great grandmother.  It's an off white with three bands of zig zag stripes in shades of blue with bronze trim.  It's pretty fabulous already, but it doesn't go with my house... yet.

I want to paint the stripes either a dark silvery gray or dark teal, depending on where I decide to put it, and replace the shade with a more modern one.  However, I hesitate because it's a 60 year old lamp that belonged to Maw Maw Zoe.   She was a pretty chic lady who wore fox fur collars and skirt suits, and I kinda think she would be glad that I was still using the lamp in my home.  On the other hand, she may look down from heaven and go 'what the heck is Haley doing to my stuff?"

What would you do? 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Because you deserve it...

I know I'm not the only one with gift cards and Christmas money burning a hole in my wallet.  I'm going to be responsible and save mine in our vacation account, but I couldn't help but post about some of the fabulous things just waiting for you to take them home (since I cannot).

Alicia Bock print - Crescent Moon Over Paris
I just got my first Alicia Bock print for Christmas (I love the way you say my name) and it is gorgeous.  The printing is top quality and I was able to get it framed at Aaron Brothers for about $40 once all my coupons were applied.  This photo has such a gorgeous color and I'd love to hang it in my bedroom.

House of Harlow Enamel Cuff
I don't care if Nicole Richie designed this - it's awesome.  I'd wear it with basic tops and dresses and be super chic.
Honey Pie Design Chevron Pillow
I want this for my bedroom and love that the stripes are stitched on and not just printed.

J. Crew Jericho Tote
I don't need this at all, especially since I have a large black Cole Haan tote already... but a girl can dream, right?

Monday, December 27, 2010

DIY Sunburst Mirror

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  I enjoyed a much needed break and am back and ready to wrap up 2010.  Now that we're all back from family time and pigging out on leftover snacks (or is that just at my house?) I wanted to share a step by step recap of my DIY sunburst mirror that I completed right before N and I left for Houston on Thursday.

First I gathered my supplies:
  • Several packages of 1/8 in round wooden dowels (I ended up using 2.5 packages of 30 for my mirror and found them at Hobby Lobby)
  • 10" round mirror
  • Silver spray paint (make sure it can adhere to plastic)  
  • 10" round plastic ceiling medallion (I found mine on the fan and light fixture aisle at Home Depot for $7.99)
  • Protractor
  • Cardboard that you can cut into a 10" circle (I used a shirt box from Gap)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Metal picture hanger (mine was 1 inch long)
Now, you'll need to remember some Geometry.  I traced the ceiling medallion onto the cardboard and cut out the circle.  I used the protractor to mark the center and began drawing lines every 45 degrees, and then again to split those areas into 22 degree sections.  Then, trace an 8" and a 6" circle in the center of the original one (I traced bowls, it doesn't have to be exact).   If you want your sunburst to have points like mine, you'll also want to mark each section with diagonal lines to indicate what direction the dowels will go.

That all sounds way more complicated than it was, I promise!

That's the Choctaw Nation newspaper, in case you're wondering...

Next, I began to lay out my wood pieces in the space between the two smaller circles.  I made a dot along the 8" circle at each 22 degree marker and glued the first dowels down with a dot of hot glue.  Then, I glued three dowels in the space between each of the ones I already glued down.  I staggered them in a stair step pattern following the pattern I marked and just eyeballed the spacing (probably not the best decision, but splitting an already small slice into three pieces was going to be tedious). 

Then, I took my wooden sunburst and the plastic ceiling medallion out to the backyard and spray painted it silver.  I only needed one coat, but I let it try for about 3 hours before touching it.  Then, I used TONS of hot glue to attach the ceiling medallion to the wooden dowels.  I let that dry while I watched Big Bang Theory, then used more glue to attach the mirror to the front of the ceiling medallion and put a book on top of everything so it would set overnight.

Finally, I used super glue to attach my picture hanger and then hung the finished product in an empty spot by the window.

Overall, I invested about $11 and I'm really happy with the end product.  Every comparable mirror I saw online was at least $150 and since these probably aren't going to be in style for decades to come I didn't want to invest much.  

What should I make next?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'll be back on Monday, but until then...

I'm off to Houston to spend time with family and not be on my laptop.  I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday and I'm so thankful that you make your way to my little corner of the internet each day.  See you next week!

Customized boutique? Don't mind if I do!

As a frequent shopper, I can say with confidence that it's rare to find a store where you like everything.  I felt that way about Martin & Osa before they were stupidly murdered by American Eagle Outfitters (yes, still pissed about that) and am starting to feel that way about LOFT.  It's so convenient to be able to quickly find what you need and not sort through 45 unfortunate tops before you come across one that suits your taste.  Lucky for me, is in beta phase and it's awesome.

This evening I spent 30 happy minutes creating and browsing my own personal boutique.  You start by looking through a series of photos and picking your favorites from each pair.  This isolates your overall style (mine is Classic - shocking!) and then you specify different silhouettes, color and patterns that you love and hate for dresses, tops, bottoms and shoes.  Then, you can specify designers that you love/hate and eventually end up with a highly edited mix of options in your own "personal" online shop.  You can also browse other people's boutiques and others inspired by celebrities (similar to Polyvore). 

Here's my personal boutique, if you'd like to check it out:

Have fun!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gift Idea #4 - Last Minute, Well Received

As of yesterday, I am officially done shopping save some dog toys for my pups.  I realize that I'm in the minority, and most people are still looking for the right items to buy in time for this weekend.   At this point, it won't do much good to post awesome gifts from online retailers since it's basically too late to get anything by Saturday unless you feel like paying a fortune for shipping.

If I were buying gifts at the last minute, here's what I'd pick up at the mall:

MAC Makeup
I know a lot of women who balk at the idea of spending more than $8 on makeup they'll wear every single day.  This gift looks like you put a lot of thought into it.  Head to the MAC counter and get eyeshadow in Sable (universally flattering and super wearable!) and the 213 Fluff Brush.  Supplement with some tinted lip conditioner (like lipstick and chapstick in one) and put it in a fun makeup bag.

Modern Family Season 1

Heavy, Double Sided Griddle
If you're shopping for a chef, a nice heavy iron griddle will get used a lot and doesn't take up much room in the cabinet.  Pair it with a fun cookbook.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Reader Request: New Year's Eve Party Outfits for Couples

It's crazy how quickly December goes by - it's not even Christmas and it's almost too late to get an outfit for New Year's Eve!  I got a request from my friend Julie that's very timely since New Year's Eve is already 2 weeks away and those going to parties will be looking for outfits when malls are crowded and picked over.  Thank goodness for the internet!  Here's the situation:
I need a New Year’s Eve outfit.  My husband and I are taking a trip to New York City to visit friends for New Year’s, so I need an appropriate party outfit to ring in the new year.  Something dressy, festive and fun.  The “dark jeans and going-out-top” ensemble that is my usual Saturday night uniform just isn’t going to cut it in NYC!  Also, my husband is willing to give up his jeans for the night to dress up and complement my outfit, but we aren’t sure where to start with him beyond black slacks.  Help!
And here are my picks for a night of partying when it's cold outside...

Cheap and Chic Basics
I think a basic drapey dress from Gap paired with a fun gold belt and peacock blue peacoat from Forever 21 will keep you from blending into a sea of black.  A fancy, cross body purse is more practical than a clutch (and can be worn under your coat for safety) and fun chandelier earrings won't get covered up with the coat.   Add black tights if you'd like, and walkable black pumps.  For guys, there's a fine line between being dressed up and looking like you're going to work.  Basic black slacks from Gap and a striped shirt from Express is pretty foolproof, and add a black trench if it's really cold.

Standing out a little
Purple tights are not for the faint of heart, but I think they're really cool paired with a little black dress with jeweled neckline (Banana Republic) and fun shoes (Kohl's).  Add some fun jewelry and a clutch and you're good to go.  You can also wear the whole outfit, sans tights, for weddings and parties the rest of the year.  For the guys, a jewel tone sweater and blazer are a bit less expected than the striped shirt, but not too crazy.

Standing out a lot
A bright yellow skirt and blue velvet blazer is not likely to be worn by anyone else in the bar, but it's not so crazy that you'll be mistaken for Lady Gaga.  Add cobalt pumps and a basic gold clutch and you're ready to party and not freeze.  If your guy is brave enough, he can wear his own velvet blazer with a skinny tie and basic slacks and shirt.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby it's cold outside...

I wish it would stay cold in Dallas for more than two days.  I love wearing coats and boots and wish I had an excuse to have several options.  In the event that you do, here are some options I wish I needed:

The Limited Trench Like Peacoat
It's not just a trench or a peacoat... it's both.  I like the belt and the length and will be stalking it in my local store when winter items begin getting marked down.
Gap Funnel Neck Coat
In real life, it's long sleeved.  (Who rolls up coat sleeves anyway?)  And it's soft and would look great with a bright scarf.

BR Double Faced Wool Coat
How fancy would this look with a cocktail dress?

Michael Kors Hooded Babydoll Jacket (via
I like the hood and deep aubergine color of this jacket... and the $80 price

Michael Kors Faux Fur Trim Hood Coat (via
I like this coat (especially for $39) and it would be great for weekends with jeans and tennis shoes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holy mother of options! Personalized phone covers

I'm kicking myself for having an Android phone and not an iPhone or Blackberry Bold right about now.  I just discovered (via a comment on Tipsy Society) the most fantastic site selling personalized phone covers and the Samsung Epic is not on the list of models.  I may die... I want a clover print cover with my monogram reallllly bad.

Check out the Girly Twirly Company for these covers and other gifts in similar patterns!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fabulously Quirky - Matte Stephens prints

You may recall my rule that every room needs to have something silly to keep it from looking like you're trying too hard.  (Ok, so it's Jonathan Adler's rule too, but I had the same idea)  This week I was checking out the blog Fresh Out of Lemons and came across a post about Matte Stephens - a fantastic Etsy shop selling prints that will add the perfect piece of quirkiness in my house. 

I love the names as much as the retro/childish feel of the paintings!  I can't decide which I like best...

Alfred was obviously underdressed for his induction into the Adventurers Hall of Fame

Although this scene may look dire, Alfred meant Mabel and George no mortal harm. He had been courting her for months and thought marriage was at hand

Everyone thought Leonard was a boy genius but Rupert the imaginary bear actually built the do-nothing

Alfred Finds his Soul Mate

 I think I like the second one the best... but only if the frame feature the title of the picture.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tis the season to be crafty...

I don't know what's gotten into me lately, but every time I see something cute I think "I could do that!"  Sometimes it turns out great (yarn and felt wreath) and sometimes it fails horribly (it's hard to adhere things to an acrylic tray).  Last night I made this little (15 foot) garland with leftover felt and ribbon and it was a good use of an hour.  I like how it dresses up the empty space of wall near the ceiling, especially for $4!

 But now I'm about to get really advance.  This is what I'm going to try and make tonight (but silver):

I have a mirror, skewers, spray paint and a glue gun.  Let's see how this turns out!

Here's an awesome tutorial over at My Little Happy Place that has instilled me with lots of confidence... perhaps too much.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Heart LOFT.

Today I went to LOFT to check out the 40% off sale and was not disappointed.  I'm still smiling about my fantastic new trouser jeans that make me look taller and skinner AND are comfortable.  I'm seriously debating buying another pair to have as backup when these die (because I plan to wear the crap out of them).

Double Waistband Trouser Jean (not on sale online, but in store it rang up 40% off)

I also tried on the Curvy Trouser Jean but they didn't have the size I needed - also very cute and super forgiving.  (Go down a size if you order these - they run big).

And if you're in the market for a suit, you need to place an order now because the Herald pinstripe jackets and pants are 40% off and you can get both pieces for $130.  I love how the jacket is cropped (great for us shorties) and the pants have a very slimming wide leg that looks modern.  I stood in the store trying to think of a reason why I need a suit, but my best excuse was "maybe I'll decide I don't like my job this year" and so I left without out.

Happy shopping!!

P.S. I got an email from the LOFT team a while back and the store is no longer known an Ann Taylor LOFT.  Let's be correct. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

How'd you get that sweet new blog design?

Since I've had a few people ask, I wanted to dedicate a post to my new blog design created by Lindsey at Sweet Simplicity.  I am really happy with my new design and think it better represents me and what I write about.

If you want a new look for your blog, I recommend checking out Lindsey's work and getting on her waiting list for a custom design or pick from her ready made templates.  The process was really easy and affordable and I think I'll use this template for a long time. 

Check out some of her other work:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reader Request: Modern Baby Boy Nursery

Ok so this wasn't actually a request, I offered and she accepted.  But a lovely blog reader is having a baby boy and designing a nursery, so I thought it would be fun to shop the internets and present some modern options that she may like.  Here's the criteria (Some hers, some mine if I ever have a baby boy):
  • No overall theme, just cool modern things with a childish feel
  • No crazy paint scheme that will be inappropriate once Junior reaches preschool
  • No wallpaper borders!! 
  • Practical fabrics that can withstand vomit
  • Affordable furniture that can be used later on
Here are my inspiration rooms (from Ohdeedoh)

And here's what I would pick if I were making room for a little boy this year:

Paint - Pebble Gray by Glidden is very pale and soothing and will play a supporting role to whatever color scheme is introduced through art, bedding and curtains
Crib - The photo is a designer option, but I included it to show what adding some paint or shapes can do.  I think the Dwell 
Studio Silverlake Crib from Target could look almost identical with some wood trim pieces added to the solid sides.
Gerber Gray Crib Sheet - these are cheap and neutral.  No need to get fancy when it will just get dirty...
Crib Bumper and Quilt - I would spring for custom made pieces on elements that will be seen and not spat on (as much).  I love the color palettes Hush Baby Co. offers, but there are obviously thousands more options, like the Dwell Studio fabric collection or designs from Amy Butler.
Ikea Henny Curtains - Fun navy polka dots don't have to match the bedding, just be in the same color family
Elephant Hamper - Totally necessary ;-)
Ikea Poang Rocking Chair
Ikea Rand Rug
CB2 Dresser - Anything long and low could work as a changing table if you put a pad on top of it
Ikea Posters
Recycled Star and Moon Mobile

Vinyl Giraffe growth chart - I would put this on a white piece of 5' shelving and mount it on the wall unless you're sure you won't be moving
Cloud Shelf
Kyle the Raccoon
CB2 Big Dipper Lamp
Custom Wall Art

Update: I just found these prints and LOVE them


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