Sunday, April 29, 2012

a trip to the woods--a cabin at Hot Springs, NC

a trip to the cabin

a trip to the cabin by mufficakes featuring cotton drawstring shorts

soooo excited about our trip to Hot Springs, NC.  decided to spend my 30th birthday in a low-key way....renting a lovely cabin in the woods!  it's something matt and i have never done before and have been wanting to try.  Hot Springs, NC is known for their "natural mineral springs" where you can soak and relax in water coming from the earth.  don't worry, i'll take many pictures of our hikes and cabin!  no tv or internet though....we will be bringing board games and candles.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

oh, what a pillow can do

Theodore chilling on the bed.

my pillow arrived today from Mod Diva.  money saving tip:  order printed pillowcases and stuff with a cheap pillow from Ikea.  i love these pillow cases from Mod Diva for the fun prints (she even carries Marimeko--which i adore) and the hidden zipper so you can unzip and wash.

 my other Mod Diva pillow resides in the living room on my favorite
comfy chair.

this new "Mandarin Mango" scent by Capri Blue in a gorgeous citrine jar is my current favorite.  anthropologie $28.

picked up this shaggy rug in a neutral color.  the kitties love snuggling on it!

Theodore:  profile view.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

movie night: Boy (2010)

It's 1984, and Michael Jackson is king - even in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Here we meet Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat called Leaf, his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has super powers) and several cousins. Shortly after Gran leaves for a Tangihanga (funeral) in Wellington for a week, Boy's father, Alamein, appears out of the blue. Having imagined a heroic version of his father during his absence, Boy comes face to face with the real version - an incompetent hoodlum who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years before.

 this coming of age movie, made by a New Zealand-er comedian, was so entertaining.  matt and i decided to head to the movies and grab burgers tonight.  i like movies that take you back to a specific time-period and does it so well without being cheesy.  this takes place in the 80s... obviously when i grew up!  the dad's immature, irresponsible, and goofy behavior is reprehensible yet charming.  this movie reminds me of my childhood with my little to some extent.  reminds us as adults that children are a lot smarter and more aware than we think.  even though it touches on some serious issues, it cuts through with witty dialogue and funny antics.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

regret is lame

time to start making better decisions!  you know there are always those bands that just influence your life deeply for whatever reason, or take you back to a place in time.  Swedish hardcore band is definitely one of those bands for me...never got to see them and they did a reunion tour and i was supposed to see them in NYC with my sister and didn't go...because i didn't want to take the time off work.  NERD ALERT.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

nathalie lete

Nathalie lete was born in 1964. She lives and works in paris. She works in many ways, mixing different techniques and mediums, illustration, ceramics, textile and painting… She is inspired by her travels, but also by the mixing of vintage toys and old engravings of flowers and animals. Her work is colourful, naive and poetic, sometimes strange, to the point of tending towards art brut. Her world is nurtured by popular and folk art. She produces children’s and graphic’s books, knitted and stuffed toys, glass pictures, patterned dishes, but also postcards,ceramic sculptures, silkscreen printed t-shirts, rugs and jewels in limited edition… both for herself and for commissions.

i have adored everything about nathalie lete and her whimsical illustrations since the first time i saw them when i worked at Anthropologie.  i have a good bit of her dinnerware and picked up 2 more pieces to add to my ever-growing collection.  they are nice and heavy and oh-so special!  i just want to have all nathalie lete plates and get rid of everything else *lol*   

owl plate $24

hummingbird dinner plate $24

ways to relax

swansea beach radio $39.99
i have been seeing all of these adorable little carry-around beach radios all over the place lately.  you basically just pop your ipod inside and it is an automatic boombox.  it is a water and sand-proof little radio that is battery operated and can go wherever you need some music.  finally decided to get this one because i thought it could be cute to set on our porch while we drink tea and play a board game or to put on some classical while taking a warm bath.  matt put all of my workout videos onto one drive and now that our studio room is cleaned out i can spread out my yoga mat and go at it.  no excuses now.  matt and i decided we need some new "relaxation" and de-stress activities in our lives and have come up with a list of things we will incorporate into our routine:
**board games--learning to play chess!
**music and bubble baths
**took the tv out of the room and brought in a record player instead
**daily walks around our lovely neighborhood
**reading before bed
**hiking, tennis, kite-flying and other physical activities
**pre-planning healthy meals to take the stress out of figuring out what to make and eat!

Friday, April 20, 2012

a real life bed

our gorgeous tufted headboard and platform bed arrived today.  i put together this damn thing with these two bare hands!  it's the first headboard/ bed i've had....ever!

time to be a big girl, no more boxspring/mattress on the floor.  i got it from Overstock and it was a great deal.  umm did i mention the freaking instructions were missing from one of the boxes?!!!  i had to figure it out like some kind of puzzle detective which was annoying but satisfying once i finished.

so happy that i chose a neutral color--like i said to offset all the crazy colors and prints everywhere.

BEFORE:  lots of clutter....(didn't even clean my room for this pic!)
clothes out in the open on a rack...*ick ick ick*

we also changed the direction of the bed and utilized my small bookshelves
as end tables for extra book storage.  one side with my art and crafty books
and on matt's side all his weirdo books.

i like to bring out my Bella quilt which i've had for years since before i worked
at Anthropologie during the warmer months because it's a lighter quilt.

 ordered a "microfiber" sheet set in the green paisley color.  i am OBSESSED with
printed sheets.  what a surprise!  you will be pleasantly surprised how you can
basically keep layering and layering prints and it just works.  matt is super
picky about sheets and thinks they're all rough and terrible so i'm hoping these
are baby soft like people say.

other upcoming bedroom projects:  painting this vintage vanity.
i'm thinking a glossy seafoam green!  perhaps installing a pretty mirror
so i can do my makeup since it is facing a window now?

  • in search of a vintage dresser to make more space for matt's (mostly mine) clothes.
  • finding a pretty floor rug for the kitties to curl up on at the edge of the bed.
  • new mini-kitty condo by the window for the babies.
  • switching out the yucky plastic hamper for a pretty wicker one.
  • finding a bench or storage trunk to keep at the foot of the bed.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

recipe: healthy meatball sub

probably my favorite decadent treat from a sub shop... tender meatballs and loads of cheese on a soft roll.  hmm, how to make it healthier?  these textured vegetable protein meatballs by "Veggie Patch" were on sale this week so i picked them up to make sandwiches with my leftover bread.  i added tons of veggies to mine and a very small amount of marinara (hello calories!). 

recipe after the jump

etsy: kitschandfancy

kitsch and fancy shop update:

working on making tons of soaps for a couple of large orders.  decided to take some time to work on Etsy again revamping the pics as well as getting some new scents and products in there.  considering splitting my shop into two different shops to keep the plush and beauty items separate.  i want to focus more on party favors and wedding favors and selling in bulk. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

recipe: salmon burger with horsey-caper spread

had to mix up "healthy burger night" by making salmon burgers.  i love horseradish with fish and i love capers with seafood so i figured, make a sauce with both!  sooo super easy, flavorful, and has a good kick.  i used a few tablespoons of lite miracle whip (or veganaise), a couple teaspoons of horseradish (less if you don't want it too spicy), a tablespoon of capers. 

spread caper sauce on both sides of toasted bread--i used leftover hoagies but will use whole wheat sesame seed baguette next time.  top with fresh veggies like romaine, tomatoes, onion and sprouts.

served with a light and crunchy salad

 crunchy romaine, baby spinach, red peppers, shredded carrots, red onion, cucumbers and feta tossed with a light italian vinaigrette

leftovers for tomorrow's lunch:  toss salad with grilled salmon for a heartier lunch.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

recipe: "healthy" philly cheesesteak

as part of our healthy meal plan, i try to incorporate mostly veggies and less of all the other stuff (starches, meats, dairy, etc).  so this healthy philly cheesesteak is mostly green and yellow bell peppers, onions, baby portobellas.  i added a little grilled chicken and some tasty seasonings (garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper).  the secret to a really good cheesesteak is not the cheese or the steak...just make sure you saute the veggies until they are nice and caramelized and soft.  all the delicious natural sweetness will come out of the peppers and onions.  make it lighter by serving it on a toasted wheat baguette (210 calories), one slice of provolone cheese (60 calories), and a couple tablespoons of miracle whip (20-40 calories). 


recipe: grilled arctic char and sauteed zucchini and squash

this is one of my go-to weekly meals.  so easy, delicious, and healthy!  i pick up frozen fillets from Trader Joes and just make a large portion of a veggie side from my local farmer's market.

just grill fish in a grill pan or non-stick pan with some olive oil cooking spray (no calories!) and season generously with salt, pepper, dried herbs.  finish off with a fresh lemon wedge.  eliminating starches from our evening meals when possible and loading up on extra veggies so we can stuff our faces sans the calories.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring redecorating

i've always been a lazy shopper.  such a lazy shopper.  not the type to do any research or care if i'm getting the best deal.  just impulsive and buying the first thing i like and getting it over with. 

i had to get *thrifty* after i left my job at Anthropologie and find ways to scrimp on cash without hindering my lifestyle.  i tried coupon-ing (twice)---it was annoying, i wasn't good at it, and the food was all crap.  i wanted to keep trying new restaurants so i learned about the wonders of Groupon and other half-off sites like it.

you can tell by looking at my closet and apartment that i tend to gravitate to the same things (quirky, colorful) without much thought to where it can go or if i have a use for it.  with our redecorating project i wanted to focus on adding a touch of sophistication but maintaining my style.  i will have to re-"merch" (a retail term, ha!) some of my things and get rid of other things.  i will probably do a lot of re-painting to tone down some of the crazy colors.  lastly i want to add neutral colors to my space as well.  i've never owned a legit bed with a headboard and frame and everything so i had to snatch this one up from overstock when i saw it. 

came home the other day to find that matt had frantically re-arranged everything in all the rooms of the house!  normally, as a control freak, i would freak out--but i actually thought it looked pretty good and i was excited that he was excited to finally jump in and help with decorating and making better use of our space.  got rid of some scary old furniture and making a few purchases...i will post photos of before and after when we're done.  now that i am in the mindset i am ready to re-do everything! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

movie night: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games.  Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she's pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

 saw the highly-hyped Hunger Games today after lunch for irene's birthday.  i've read the plot synopsis which sounds like a toned-down version of the Japanese Battle Royale, which is one of my favorite movies.  

irene's birthday cake

mom ordered this lovely cake from a local bakery.  top half vanilla, bottom half chocolate.  irene is the only person in our family that prefers chocolate!

lunch at saigon palace

saigon palace is an old-school Vietnamese restaurant on South Blvd that's been around forever.  my mom loves it and irene was craving good Vietnamese so we went for her birthday.  she says she has yet to find good vietnamese in Durham.  i always order a taro bubble tea if it's available because it's my favorite.  i love anything taro, ever since i was a little kid.  my mom used to make taro spring rolls for me when i was little as long as i would peel and wash the root vegetable for her first.  and also it is a cool light purple color.  *neato*

Vietnamese iced coffee: irene's beverage of choice.  syrupy sweet, but a delicious treat!  we steep coffee by the glass with a french press.  mix with a good bit of condensed sweeten milk and pour over ice.

fresh summer rolls with jicama and chinese sausage.  a light appetizer served with hoisin peanut sauce.  stuffed with fresh mint and basil traditionally.

i had grilled pork chop served with nuoc mam (fish sauce) over broken rice with fresh cucumber, tomatoes, and pickled carrots/daikon.

Monday, April 9, 2012

d.i.y. fringed lantern tutorial

i always feel more crafty in the spring time when i'm ready to start some redecorating so i've been hoarding projects and now just need some time off to work on some!

this Fringed Lantern Tutorial is adorable for a party but would also be fun to hang from the ceiling in the living room for a festive decoration.  i will probably make mine in softer blues, greens and yellows.

pastels done right

blair of Atlantic-Pacific does pastels.  i love love love the seafoam green and peach combo.  so modern!


dinner at el pulgarcito

irene is visiting from Durham for a few days for her birthday.  she was craving El Pulgarcito, a local Salvadorian restaurant tucked into a sketchy shopping center on Central Ave.  sooo tasty and a ridiculously good deal.  mine and matt's meal came out to $22 which is crazy!  we had the beef tacos with plenty of fresh cilantro, onion and fresh lime on a handmade tortilla.  best tacos i've had in a while.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

vintage owls & birthdays

this vintage owl was a gift from my friend steffie.  it's the simple things i life that make us happy.  haha*  the weather has been beautiful, albeit a bit chilly the past few days.  it's been so nice to not focus constantly on dieting and calorie-counting and just eating healthy and going on walks.  obviously i will probably have to start exercising for real if i want to drop these few pounds *ick*.  the good news is the weather is nice so it will be easier to drag myself outside for a nice jog or game of ping pong.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

a cool day

such a cool day at work today!  woody harrelson and flea came in to eat at Luna's today!  i made them a couple of tasty green juices and a raw banana ice cream.  in my mind...we were on an awesome triple date and nobody else was there.  i asked juli if i could go home and put on some makeup and doll up a little but she said no.  *dangit*

spring: the striped tee

been wanting to order something from Stylemint for a while now because i keep seeing their cute little knits popping up all over the blog-o-sphere.  i got this cute little nautical inspired number today for spring.  the "jackson tee" from stylemint comes in a bright red or softer white with pale blue stripes.  i like the bold red for print mixing or a pop of color under a jacket

here is a fashion love affair wearing the jackson tee paired with florals.  one of my favorite ways to wear stripes: just make sure the florals aren't "too ditsy" or else it can become crazy.  and keep the color scheme close.

blair from atlantic-pacific wearing stylemint 3 different ways.  i love all these stripes!

living notes from nyc has it paired with skinny denim and
a light denim jacket.  such a put-together spring look.

some of my favorite bloggers sporting stylemint.
calivintage in the striped dress.

a beautiful mess in the nautical striped dress from stylemint.

a good travel dress.  toss it in your bag and dress it up or down.