Remember way back to the beginning of the summer, back before May was even over yet, when I listed off some goals for the summer? Yeah well, I finally completed the first goal on my list: go to a zumba class. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, this was the ‘cool’ thing to do, like a million years ago, before things like pitch back cycling classes and barre workouts took front stage. Somehow, I never seemed to get around to zumba when it was popular and yet there I was about two hours ago…at my local Y with the strangest mix of people: middle aged moms, beefy soccer player-esque girls, workout fanatic grandmothers, and even a decently obese lady (you go girl).
I lifted weights before, but this was my cardio of the day, so I was determined to make it worth it. When leader lady did a deep squat, I did a deeper squat. When leader lady bounced, I bounced higher. Granted, I was always a sure 3 seconds behind her as I struggled to find my footing and coordinate my feet (when you’re hopping around a lot, it’s actually really easy to forget that you need to have at least one foot holding your body up). I was not gifted with this wonderful thing called coordination that allows your arms, feet, and head to move in different directions at once. As far as I could tell though, the point was to keep moving and get your heart rate up while doing jumping squats, etc. If you had a rough day today, you should have showed up with a cocktail and just watched me…I’m sure it was hilarious.
I’m not going to lie…I was kind of expecting it to be hokey and a so-so workout. Maybe it was just because I pushed myself rather hard, but after the 45 minutes of non stop movement were over, I was sweating more than I do on most runs. The class ended with a round of applause (something I’ve learned that is common after dance classes) and I jogged home, tired but feeling more energetic than when I arrived.
I’m not sure I can fit it into my schedule twice a week (when it’s offered) but I’m definitely going to randomly go to the classes to switch up my cardio routine a bit.
ps. Next up…my new sweet tooth addiction: healthy chocolate pudding
Everyone has buzzwords in their field that make them want to gag and die. I’m pretty sure that registered dietetics are about to kill the next person that says ‘clean eating’ and that investors hate hearing about ‘the next big thing’ pitch after pitch.
Schiaparelli Couture Fall 2014
Couture is one of those words for me. And…in honor of the (actual, real, only) couture shows going on right now in Paris…we’re going to have a little informational chat about what exactly couture means.
Cue: our friends Merriam and Webster
(Side note- Couture is short for haute couture. Here are definitions for both words –>)
: the people and companies that create clothes that are very expensive and fashionable; also : the clothes they create
:the houses or designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions for women; also : the fashions created
noun \kü-ˈtu̇r, -ˈtuer\
:the business of designing, making, or selling women’s clothes; also : women’s clothes in general
:the business of designing, making, and selling fashionable custom-made women’s clothing
:the designers and establishments engaged in couture
:the clothes created by couture
Technically, haute couture clothing is custom made for a client and is only made by specific houses (see below). We aren’t big on exclusivity here in America, so we decided (culturally, over a long period of time) to drop the ‘haute’ part (it is harder to say if you are actually trying to pronounce the H- a very American mistake) and start calling anything couture. Enter one of my biggest pet peeves.
There is actually a society that all real couture designers are a part of. It’s called the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and there only a couple dozen members including: Adeline Andre, Gustavo Lins, Chanel, Christian Dior, Christophe Josse, Franck Sorbier, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maurizio Galante, Stephane Rolland, Eli Saab, Giorgio Armani, Giambattista Valli, Valentino, and Versace, etc. Please note how Juicy did not make the cut.
So, how do you know if an item is really couture or not? Great question! Just look at this nifty diagram I made:
Now that you’re all informed…you can start talking like an intelligent human being. Try it out! Substitute this sentence: ‘My tailor brought this jacket in and now it’s my couture go to’ for this sentence: ‘I had so and so tailor this jacket. They always give a good fit’.
Starting a business in the fashion industry? I recommend avoiding the words haute and couture entirely. Naming your Etsy shop ‘Bucky’s Haute Couture Designs’ will only leave you sounding haughty (yes, full pun intended there) at worst and misinformed at best.
Now go check out the couture shows at Style.com!!
I grew up in the 90’s, which means that I learned to talk on a phone. Like, the real kind. You know, the kind that plugs into the wall. This is back when you knew all your friends telephone numbers by heart and bag phones were considered to be the newest, coolest technology. Now, landlines are a thing of the past and are often reserved for businesses. And my apartment.
The last time I actually had a landline was for a year in college when I lived in a sketchy area of town and cell phone service was unreliable at best. Fast forward a decade or so, and the safety factor of my current neighborhood (not to mention the apartment in general) is vastly better than the poor college student days. I live in a historic building that was beautifully remodeled to make modern apartments. There’s even an intercom down to the main entrance where you can buzz people in (I’m in a small town. Things like that are cool, okay?) But here’s the catch. When someone calls up through the intercom, it directly connects to your telephone line…which is only accessible through one particular jack in the wall. I’ve always had these sorts of things linked up to my cellphone, so you could imagine my (very millennial) looking face when the apartment coordinator told me this.
“So, I have to get a real phone?” was my half shocked reply. I am very picky about everything I buy (ie: I won’t buy something unless I absolutely love it) so going out and just picking up a phone wasn’t an option. If I’m spending money on something, I’m going to think it’s the bee knees. Not buying a phone is also not an option. I get too many packages. Blame it on my online shopping habits or the fact that I run a small business out of the home, but it is what it is. After missing the UPS man 3 times and having to drive 30 minutes across town to pick up a package, I decided it was time to start shopping.
If I was going to have a phone on display in my kitchen it was going to be a conversation piece. None of that boring business. I decided that it had to be fabulously antique or highly entertaining.
Starting with the first: fabulously antique- I hit up the antique store across the street.
The phones I found could be classified two different ways:
1) Old, but not cool.
I could have taken a lot of pictures of this category. It essetially looked like someone bought a cheap phone from walmart, used it for 10 years and then tried to sell it. The ‘LA phone’ shown above was probably the most interesting. (Who decided to call it the L.A. phone anyhow?)
2) A little too old (I told you I was picky, right?)
The phone on the left has a legit crank on it. The one of the right is slightly newer (but is still an old school rotary phone, which is cool). Both weigh about as much as a small vehicle. As cool as a rotary phone would be…I discovered today that most are not ready to plug in the wall. Like, someone has actually take the cords out. And I don’t mean- just pulled the jack out- I mean these things have to be wired into the wall…red and black receptors and all. Call me lazy (I prefer busy), but I do not have time for that.
So…fabulously antique was scratched out. I was hoping to see something in my ‘highly entertaining’ category, but the antique store I was in was a little too ‘nice’ for weird novelty stuff (like the Nickelodeon phone I had as a kid). And that’s when I turned to my old friend, the internet. I went straight over to Ebay and searched for the one novelty item I would ever want in my house: a Garfield phone.
Yes, that may be a little weird. But, I’m a little weird. And I have a slight obsession with Garfield the Cat circa 1980whenever. If I collected anything besides shoes, I would collect Garfield shit. Luckily, other people do the same thing too. When you search for Garfield Phone in Ebay you will see 160 results. The look like this:
and even this:
They are headphones that plug into your iphone…in case you’re wondering.
I think I may have to get one (or all).
Here are some other very entertaining phones I found on Ebay:
The clear phone. I totes had one of these.
The famous aforementioned Nickelodeon phone.
Who wouldn’t want this???
There’s tons out there. This may be a tough decision. I guess I am just going to be doomed to waiting outside the building after the first missed package notice (but for reals, this is what I did today) until I can make a decision.
As Spring wedding season is nearing to an end, fall wedding season will be here before you know it. Yesterday, my husband came home from work with a wedding invite for a November 1st, wedding. This is pretty much exactly what it looked like (except obviously the details are different because this is the Etsy sample):
The only thing missing is the BYOS (bring your own sacrifice) requirement.
In case you don’t spend a lot of time around Ouija boards (I didn’t even know how to really spell Ouija before this post)…this is based on a Ouija board. I’m not going to lie, I’ve never gotten a wedding invite quite like this before, and while I laughed when I saw it- I also applaud their creativity and courage to do what they want (it is their day after all). My couple is not getting married in Disneyland, but in the church down the street. The reception will be at a local events venue.
It may not surprise you that the first question I had was, what do I wear? This usually wouldn’t be a difficult question if the invite had not stated that there was going to be a ‘costume reception’ (the wedding is on Nov. 1, after all). So essentially, I have to have something to wear to the wedding and then change in to my costume before the reception? So…I am actually really super stoked about this.
Here are a couple of ideas I’ve been throwing around in my head the last 24 hours as possible wedding/reception outfit ideas.
Idea 1: Kate Middleton
You’ve made a sizeable effort to look decent for a wedding, so why not let that carry over into your costume? I happen to have hair that (can- when I want it to) look very similar to Kate’s. All you have to add for the reception is a hat and voila- you’re all set.
Idea 2: Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus
I think you know where I’m going here. Look cute to the wedding (although this dress in white may not be the best color choice) and look like a crazy person to the reception. The hair would be difficult, but I think it could work. Significant other would be dressed as a teddy bear.
Idea 3: Last Year’s Costume: aka: A Bob Ross Painting
I would obviously make a little more effort than for the wedding than stretch pants and Toms…maybe something more along the lines of this sharp J.Crew suit. And yes, that is actually what you think it is in the picture on the right. My husband is dressed as Bob Ross and our cat is a paint palette.
Idea 4: The Inanimate Object Route
I’m not big into dressing like a whore promiscuous person on Halloween, so I tend to favor things like inanimate objects (in case you didn’t realize from my last year’s costume above). So…why not be a picnic? Wear a tablecloth looking dress to the wedding (with a smart blazer, chic tights, and heels- bien sur) and then adorn yourself with other things (giant ants for a belt…watermelon hat…anyone??) for the reception.
Idea 5: Something Dead (it is Halloween, after all)
It’s a pretty easy transition, right? Just add a little more black to the eyes, some red lips, frothing blood in your mouth, and some fangs and you’ve basically just walked out of the latest young adult novel.
At any rate, I have no idea what I’m going to wear yet. I promise you, though, It will be something good.
What would you wear if you were me? I’d love to hear!
Every single fashion week, I do exactly what every other person in the fashion industry does: I go to Style.com and pour through the new runway shots. How much time I have on my hands, depends on how many shows I make it through. Super busy? I just hit my top favs (Celine, Jil Sander, Balenciaga- are a few). A little more time? I make it to my second and third tier favorites (along the lines of- Band of Outsiders, Rag and Bone, Reed Krakoff, etc). If I happen to be a) on vacation b) traveling or c) trapped somewhere I cannot work and can access the internet…then I start researching the new brands that I’ve never heard of. Sometimes, I will skip right to the new brands if my top tiers are too boring. This was the case with Resort 2015.
Now, before you go on and get offended that I called some of the best design houses of our time ‘boring’, let me have a word. Yes, fashion is supposed to be marketable and wearable, but it also needs to be exciting and different. If I look through 12 runway shows right after another and can’t remember anything super distinctive (‘Their color story was black and white…maybe?’ –doesn’t count) about them…then they are classified as boring. Or basic. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, it makes it even more exciting when you stumble upon something special…and that’s where Co comes in.
For real. The brand is called Co. It was started by a gal and a guy who produce a collaboration (pretty sure that’s where the co comes in) between film and fashion. For more about their background, you can check out their website. In the meantime, enjoy these easy yet alluring pieces from their resort collection.
All pictures from Style.com
The only thing I’m not really into is the brightness of the pictures, or should I say, lack of brightness. I’m sure they did it on purpose, but not being able to see every single detail in perfect lighting drives me a little crazy. At any rate, I’m still digging their goods. And I’m pretty sure I need that puffer vest.
Forward: This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but I actually wrote this post over a month (or two) ago and just forgot about it. Luckily, cake is never outdated.
It’s Springtime which, at least in my family, means cake time. My husband’s birthday is Friday, my birthday is in a month, and both of our children’s (you know- the cat and the chinchilla) birthdays fall in between those two dates. Now, that’s a lot of cakes. (Side note- even though Pierre and Jacques can’t really eat cake, it gives us a good excuse to engorge again).
For Andrew’s birthday (which we celebrated last weekend) I made an ice cream cake, which is something I have never tried.
See that middle layer?? That’s ice cream. Homemade Rum Chata ice cream.
The cake also happened to be shaped like a banjo:
My inspiration (left). The edible remake (right)
Putting the ice cream in the cheesecake pan.
Assembly. The ice cream stuck a little bit, but overall, it came out pretty good.
Like one huge ice cream sandwich. I really should have filled in some of the gaps with icing in order to get that slant under control.
The only downside of vegan icing is that it doesn’t have the same thick texture. Oh well, I’m going to cover this up in decorations, so you will never see the slant.
Banjofying this cake. I made a stencil and used metallic silver cake spray to create the edges. Instead of writing gold tone on the armrest, I wrote Andrew’s name. The neck of the banjo is made from cardstock and was attached via skewers into the cake.
Tada! It’s hard to see, but there are actually 5 candles on this cake on each string. He’s not really turning 5, but it just looked good that way.
The actual cake part is red velvet from this recipe by the Hungry Dudes. For the ice cream- I made a double batch of rum chata ice cream and put it in a cheesecake pan and then in the freezer. I also froze the cooled cake to make sure everything was nice and firm. The next day I assembled the cake and did the decorating. The ice cream was super easy to take out of the cheesecake pan and fit perfectly as the middle layer. So much sugar…but so good.
The next cake I made (one day later) was for an Easter party that was being held in my building. I’m not going to lie, this was sort of a peace offering/vengeance cake. We have a couple of neighbors that are just old and crumudgeny and they don’t like that we have a cat (that they never see, hear, smell, etc.). In fact, one of them likes to rub (her 80 year old self) all up over my husband and then fuss at him because ‘she is having severe allergic reactions to our cat’. She lives two floors down and we don’t share an HVAC unit…so…maybe you should just stop touching my husband?
At any rate, I’m trying to appease these people with food, but also maybe help incur minor heart attacks because of the sugar content. And I just kind of wanted to make this cake. It was on the cover of the April (I think?) Southern Living.
In case you’re wondering…that’s homemade strawberry jam in the layers.
OMG. So good. I highly recommend for anyone who wants a stunning cake. Although, please don’t judge the picture directly above. This was just me trying to get a good shot before it was completely eaten.
Needless to say, I’m not sure if we can go the cake direction again for my birthday (or the boys). I don’t handle sugar very well and I have very little self control when it comes to indulging in cake. When you put those two together, you end up on the couch saying things like, “I think I’m going to die”, “Sugar is the enemy”, and “I’m never eating cake again”. (For the record- I’ve only said ‘I’m never eating cake again’,like, three times in the past week.)
xoxo and happy caking,
I think I may have mentioned this before, but I am a goal fiend. I didn’t always use to be that way, though. Once upon a time, I used to make goals like everyone else…maybe once a year around New Years and then promptly forgot. Sometime along the way of life, I picked up some very healthy habits from a roommate when it came down to making goals. She would say, “what are our goals for this month?” and I would be like, “uhhh, I don’t know. What are yours?” That’s when she would proceed to spout off the most delightful list of goals that made me realize: You can create goals for fun things. I’m not going to lie, I feel a little stupid writing that out. It seems so obvious. And with the start of Memorial Day (aka: the unofficial first day of summer), I felt like it was time to make some summer goals.
My 10 Great Goals for the Summer (in no particular order)
1) Participate in 1 new sport/exercise. I’m thinking about trying out Zumba at my local Y (yes, I know I’m about twenty years late on the newest exercise fads)
I’m willing to take this chance. Photo from: here.
2) Have a picnic. Complete with gourmet munchies and champagne.
Why does this have to be a ‘special occasions only’ event?
3) Buy a book of stamps. Save half the book for bills, obligatory mailings, etc and use the other half to send ‘Just thinking about you’ cards to friends.
Card from: here.
4) Create one work of art. Actually frame it (or better yet…turn it into cards that you can send out to friends! see #3)
“Work of Art” can mean anything, right? Photo from: here.
5) Watch the sunrise from somewhere you’ve never been before.
6) Read an inspiring book. Manifest that inspiration.
I just got finished reading this book. It’s so incredible. Find it at your local bookstore.
7) You know that place that you say, “I can’t believe it’s so close and we’ve never been there!”? Go there.
8) Go to your local state fair and enter a contest. Winning is optional.
My own Iowa State Fair. I’m thinking about entering the ‘vegan cookoff contest’. We’ll see how that goes. Picture from: here.
9) Drink one glass of cold, cold chardonnay a day and really enjoy it. (If you can swing it, this tastes best right about 3pm)
But, you know, just make sure the box is in the fridge. Card from: Here.
10) Find water and enjoy it. (I personally have a few boating adventures in mind)
Even Max wasn’t afraid of the water.
Last Saturday when I proposed to my husband, “We should make our summer goals!” his reaction (without skipping a beat) was, “Why?” Needless to say, I laughed a lot and then reminded him that these were ‘fun’ goals, not ‘I want to be promoted by August and get a pay raise’ goals. However, several days later the answer to his question, “Why?” just popped in to my head. Why create seemingly nonsensical goals for random months and seasons? Because it’s one of the best ways we have of enjoying the here and now. It’s our best method of combatting the terrible situation where we are old and grey and saying to ourselves (because we’ve miserably outlived everyone else…and we’re crazy), “I wish I had done that” or “Why didn’t I do anything fun?”
Please share what fun goals y’all have for this summer. I’d love to hear.