Saturday, December 31, 2011

ETC: Happy New Year!


This Will Be Our Year (stereo) by The Zombies on Grooveshark

Friday, December 30, 2011

STYLE: OOTD

Since I finally got around to washing this vintage dress I got from Savers a couple of months ago, I was able to wear it out last night for a movie date. It's got that great permanent pressed accordion texture on top and bottom and a keyhole style neckline that I added (it was originally sewn all the way up which was wayyy too stuffy). It was really swingy and paired perfectly with a simple cat eye and bright red lip.



Dress: Vintage
Cardigan: Kohl's (also worn here)
Tank Top: Dots
Tights: Target
Belt: Dots
Shoes: Personal Identity
Ring: Dots
xoxo,
Michelle

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

OBSESSED: Maps

Maps are not only useful, but also beautiful and I've harbored a not-so-secret cartography crush as long as I can remember. If placed near an actual map I can literally stare at it for hours, noting locations of placed I've only heard in passing or memorizing the capitals of lesser known nations in case I ever need them on a Jeopardy appearance.


The wash of colors, the ocean, the old fashioned symbols and lines, the minimal modern approach - maps can be done in any style and still look timelessly cool. My obsession is partly knowledge-based and partly design-based, but the unique combination of smarts and style that is inherent in a map is truly unmatched. (You have no idea how hard I had to refrain from writing "unmapped" there instead. You're welcome).


Here are some of my favorite map pieces, so you can see they're not only beautiful, they're versatile!


World Map Shower Curtain
World Map Necklace
Road Map Bangles
Vintage Map Bunting
NYC Subway Map Dress
Embroidered US Map Necklace
Road Map Pendant Light
Florida Coffee Table
World Map Vinyl Wall Decal
US States Love Map


xoxo,
Michelle

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ETC: Christmas Essentials Mix

1. Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses  2. Santa Claus is Coming to Town by The Crystals  3. Sleigh Ride by The Ronettes  4. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love  5. A Marshmallow World by Dean Martin  6. Baby It's Cold Outside by Dean Martin  7. Blue Christmas by Elvis  8. All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey  9. Little Saint Nick by The Beach Boys  10. Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney  11. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Frank Sinatra  12. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee  13. Christmas in Killarney by Bing Crosby  14. Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John & Yoko  15. A Holly, Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives  16. Mele Kalikimaka by Bing Crosby  17. Run Rudolph Run by Chuck Berry  18. Up On the House-Top by The Chipmunks

Sunday, December 18, 2011

ROUNDUP: Weekly Links 12/18/11

Here's what I'm rounding up this week:
Kitty Wigs
You can actually buy actual wigs for actual cats. Also - can we talk about that blond wigged cat's come hither stare?!
Lisa Frank Clothing Now Available (!)
If only I could combine my Lisa Frank enthusiasm circa 1993 with my grown-up salary to meet in a magical place (perhaps atop an ice cream sundae in outer space?) where I'm allowed to buy out the store and live my life strictly in fluorescent crew neck sweatshirts and t-shirts featuring kissing dolphins. 
Pugs with Courtney Stodden Tweets
Everyone's (least) favorite teenage bride is now the subject of a hilarious and disturbing Tumblr from some genius who thought to combine her overly sexualized (and overly thesaurus-ed) tweets with adorable pictures of pugs.  
Baby Legs Salt & Pepper Shakers
I'm thisclose to becoming one of those people who collects salt & pepper shakers, and ModernFX on Etsy isn't making it any easier with these cool yet totally creepy baby leg shakers.
Cards & More from Chirply
Chirply offers cards, notebooks and more featuring cool, diverse artwork from independent graphic designers - you can even submit your own!


xoxo,
Michelle

Saturday, December 17, 2011

COOKING: Almond & Pistachio-Cranberry Biscotti

Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven, so what better way to show your love during Christmas time (or anytime) than a batch of freshly baked treats? My indulgence of choice is Biscotti and I bake a batch or two every Christmas to give as gifts. They’re fairly simple to make and you get a lot of recipients thinking you're some kind of kitchen genius because they never even knew that it was possible to make biscotti yourself (because they obviously come from the elusive biscotti tree). In other words, pretty minimal effort with a big ‘I’d-say-thank-you-but-my-mouth-is-full-of-Italian-cookie-goodness’ factor.

I like to make an almond batch and a pistachio-cranberry batch, which is both delicious and Christmas-colored, so win-win. Here’s the basic recipe for the almond biscotti but you can replace the almond with any other nut and/or add dried fruits, various extracts (anise is also popular) or other goodies.

What You Need
2 Cups Flour
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
1 Cup Slivered Almonds
3 Eggs
2 Tsp Almond Extract
2 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Milk
Dash of Salt

How to Make It
1. Mix butter and 1 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl until fully incorporated. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in almond extract.
2. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter-sugar mixture and fold in slivered almonds.
3. Divide dough in half and spread each half into a rectangle (about 3" - 4" wide) onto a cookie sheet lined with greased foil. Brush each with milk and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and lower temperature to 300 degrees.
5. Cool both rectangles for 15-20 minutes on a wire rack or wood cutting board. On cutting board, slice rectangles into 1" thick pieces (the ends will need to be cut off and discarded - into your belly). I use a bread knife for this.
6. Lay down cut pieces on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes to toast. Flip over and toast the other side for 10-15 minutes.
Wrap in festive tissue paper, place in a nice gift bag or box and attach a handmade gift tag to make to perfect heartfelt gift.

Optional: Melt dark chocolate and dip one end of each biscotti into it, allowing it to cool and harden on wax paper.

To make the pistachio-cranberry biscotti, replace almonds with pistachios and add 1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins).

xoxo,
Michelle

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BEAUTY: DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner

Whether you notice it or not, the makeup brushes you use every day are likely riddled with makeup particles, an array of colors and facial oils…at best. These brushes can get pretty grimy and bacteria-laden so giving them the ol’ wash down every once in a while is definitely the way to go. You don’t have to waste money on overpriced brush cleaners or replacements – just follow this super simple DIY makeup brush cleaner recipe below to get your brushes back in tip top shape.

What You Need
1 Cup Distilled Water
2 TBS Rubbing Alcohol
1 TBS Baby shampoo
Clean Spray Bottle
Funnel
Plastic Cup
Bamboo Stick or Spoon

How to Make It
1. Pour water, alcohol and baby shampoo into the plastic cup. Stir well with the bamboo stick or spoon.
2. Funnel the mixture into your clean spray bottle.
3. Spray down each of your brushes, making sure to work the mixture deep into them to get hard to reach areas. Smaller brushes come clean easier, while large ones like face or bronzer brushes take some time and elbow grease. I sprayed mine and massaged into the brush, rinsed under warm water and repeated until water ran clear (this took what seemed like forever for a couple of particularly dirty brushes). It might totally gross you out too, when you think that you were putting all that filth on your face just moments ago.

Let brushes air dry completely before using them. I also used a fine tooth comb to brush out loose hairs and keep the shape of some larger brushes, but that is optional (and kind of makes you look like a lunatic to those who might catch a glimpse, just FYI).

xoxo,
Michelle

Sunday, December 11, 2011

ROUNDUP: DIY Christmas Gifts Edition

For those who prefer a little more homemade goodness in the gifts they give, here's a roundup of some cool projects that would fit a wide range of lucky recipients.


DIY Purse from an Old Book
Turn a vintage tome into a new purse with this tutorial from Earth911. Great for readers or students, this gift would be a hit with any cool looking title or the recipient's fave read.
Tiny Polaroid Magnets
Remember your favorite people and times in miniature form with this fun photo tutorial. Perfect for almost anyone, and also great for photogs or photo lovers.
Homemade Chai Tea Kit
This creative and thoughtful gift from Rookie's Jamie Keiles is perfect for tea lovers, your mom or anyone who appreciates a fine beverage.
DIY Etched Glasses
Spice up inexpensive barware or drinking glasses with this etching tutorial and make your friends and family excited enough to toast!
Yummy Smelling Heating Pad
For the active ones in your crowd, this scented heating pad is just what the doctor ordered to soothe sore muscles and offer a sweet scent.


Happy crafting!


xoxo,
Michelle

Friday, December 9, 2011

DIY: Felt Holiday Lights

I love the look of holiday decorations and putting them up each year is nothing short of a ritual, but I can’t get myself to spend a ton on something that I use only a few weeks a year. Living in a small space creates unique challenges (why are outlets placed so weirdly in old apartments?!) so to keep my decorations simple (and thrifty) I’ve made these fun DIY "lights" that still pack a big Christmas punch. Even better, there’s no untangling lengths of lights every year!

DIY CHRISTMAS “LIGHTS”
What You Need:
Dark Green Felt (1-2 sheets)
Felt in an Assortment of Colors
Hot Glue Gun
Length of Ribbon (as long as you want your lights to be)

How To Make It:
1. Cut 1” x 1” squares from the dark green felt. This will serve as the hub of each light, so cut as many of these as the number of lights you want.

2. Cut Christmas light shapes from all your colored felt (enough to match your rectangles). Make a pattern or go with random colors.

3. Using your hot glue gun, glue one end of a green square to the front top of a light. Then glue the other end of the square to the back side top of the light, creating a loop with the square piece. Repeat with all cutouts.

4. String your ribbon through each light you’ve created and string up wherever you want to add some holiday charm!



Plus, I made a tiny hat and beard for my kinda creepy window sill dog:


xoxo,
Michelle

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

ETC: My Christmas Wish List!

Since I haven't had the pleasure of making a Christmas wish list since elementary school, I put together a collection of some cool things I'd like to see under my bright pink Christmas tree and in my stocking!
1. The Bust DIY Guide to Life [Purchase Here] 2. Community Season 2 DVD [Purchase Here3. Johnson's Lavender & Chamomile Body Wash [Purchase Here] 4. Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips in Leopard [Purchase Here] 5. Finger Paints Nail Polish in Blissfully Blue [Purchase Here] 6. High Heel Tape Dispenser [Purchase Here] 7. St. Ives Green Tea Facial Scrub [Purchase Here] 8. Roller Skating Elk T-Shirt [Purchase Here] 9.Bunny Love T-Shirt [Purchase Here] 10. Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker [Purchase Here] 11. We Love Colors Solid Color Tights in Gold [Purchase Here] 12. We Love Colors Solid Color Tights in Scout Green [Purchase Here] 13. Recycled Mixing Bowls in Confetti [Purchase Here] 14. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling [Purchase Here] 15. Weiner Dog Ashtray [Purchase Here] 16. Bossypants by Tina Fey [Purchase Here] 17. How Sassy Changed My Life [Purchase Here] 18. China Glaze Nail Polish in Four Leaf Clover [Purchase Here] 19. Blank Russian Nesting Dolls [Purchase Here] 20. Saint Perfume by Kat VonD [Purchase Here]


What's on your wish list?


xoxo,
Michelle

Sunday, December 4, 2011

ROUNDUP: Weekly Links 12/4/11

Here's what I'm rounding up this week:
The Worst Album Covers Ever Created
Reading like an Awkward Family Photos post, this list of album covers from mostly unknowns brings us everything from topless ladies with kittens to wig-wearing elephant drummers to a 'come hither' stare from a toilet. 

10 Things 90s Kids Will Have to Explain to Their Children
Kids of the future just won't understand how we managed to wear overalls without a trace of irony, how we got so many tiny elastics in our faux cornrow hairstyles or why we were so obsessed with Will Smith, but this list is a great starting point for how to handle difficult conversations such as these in the future.

37 Ways to Tie a Scarf
You have scarves and you know how to wear them, kinda. Master the art with 37 quick instructional videos.

Celebrity Pancake Portraits
Someone loves breakfast and Ryan Gosling. Check out these pancake portraits for a confused laugh, but watch out for Ellen's maniacal teeth. 

Pig Walks on Its Front Legs
This piggy was born without legs so he figured out how to get around without them.


xoxo,
Michelle

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DIY: From Sweater to Capelet

If you've got a sweater or cardigan sitting unworn in your closet, you can have a cute little capelet instead with just minimal effort. I had a cute mint green cardigan which I never wore (despite my self-admitted mint green obsession) so I decided to cut off the top and make it a shoulder-grazing capelet. Here's a quick tutorial to do it yourself:
I also made a sweater guard from pearl beads and clips to keep it balanced over my shoulders because I like it better open rather than buttoned.
I can also wear it draped farther open because the guard is elastic:

Ta-da! A new DIY capelet from your old unused sweater! 


xoxo,
Michelle

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ROUNDUP: Weekly Links 11/27/11

Here's what I'm rounding up this week:


Kotik Precious Metals
This beautiful and eco-friendly jewelry is made from a colorful array of bottle caps which have been bent, twisted and flattened into too cool rings, necklaces, pins, flowers and more.
The Slutcracker
This burlesque retelling of The Nutcracker tells the tale scene for scene with a decidedly racy twist. Described as "sexy freaky" this show is a holiday must for those in the Boston area.
Easy Removal for Glitter Nail Polish
As much as I love glitter nail polish, taking it off is nothing short of a nightmare. Thanks to Pink Sith for sharing this ingenious method which requires no deep scrubbing efforts - just some polish remover, cotton pads and foil. Plus, you get to make your fingers look like tiny baked potatoes!
Amazing Treehouses
These amazing treehouses prove that living indoors is totally overrated.
Helvetica Monopoly
Keep it simple and sleek with this Helvetica Monoploy - a dream for any designer.


xoxo,
Michelle
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