Saturday, June 16, 2018

R.I.P. Kate Spade

I treated myself to this Kate Spade bag about a year ago (see this post). Kate's entire peacock collection featured several clothing items including a dress and a blouse with this same peacock print. While I loved everything, I had to narrow down my purchase and this tote bag made the most sense for my lifestyle. When I noticed this peacock tee at Talbots, I knew it would match my bag pretty darn good! On sale for $39.99 with an extra 40% off, the price was much more affordable too! Trust me though, my purse rarely matches my outfit like this on a daily basis!
This sequin tee joins up with some old favorites - jeans, sandals and sunglasses that I've had for years and get a lot of wear!
I was very sad to hear of Kate Spade's suicide a few weeks ago. I wonder what will happen with her brand....... other designers who have passed have had their brand carried on so I hope that happens for Kate. I'm also interested to see what happens on the secondhand market for her pieces. I have already seen some insane prices on eBay.
Kate Spade Peacock Tote - Macy's
Mossimo High Rise Jeans / Sunglasses - Target
Sandals - Payless

Friday, June 15, 2018

Book & Show Reviews : Dystopian Themes

One genre of books (and shows) I've been enjoying have dystopian themes, so I thought I would group them all together. I recently did a post about the book VOX, which fits into this category. And along those same lines, where the focus is women in society, I've been binge watching The Handmaids Tale on Hulu which is based on Margaret Atwood's book of the same name. I have not read the book yet, but WOW is all I can say about the show.
In another book to TV relationship, I read the Wayward Pines Trilogy upon my friend Sarah's recommendation. Man, it did not disappoint! A scientist predicts a fault in the human gene, so he decides to carefully select a group of people (unbeknownst to them) to freeze and reawaken in the future when he thinks the gene will have run it's course. When the time comes to rebuild Wayward Pines, human-like creatures are still overrunning the earth. The last of mankind is protected by an electric fence and brainwashed to think that Wayward Pines is all they know. But of course, others remember their past and begin to question why they can't leave this place. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so that is all I will say. Since the TV adaptation was a few years ago, I was able to binge watch its 2 season run. The first season followed the books pretty well. The second season was entirely different characters but I still enjoyed it and did not want it to end!
 Parched is a book that was written by an individual who used to work at the same company as me. Since I read this one a few years ago, I am going to rely on the on the stock description:
The sun has become a 'red giant' and the world is hot and parched. In California, James and Lexie Deforio have three goals: to find food and water, to survive another day, and to protect their two children. When their home is abruptly robbed and burned to the ground, the family is forced to embark on a cross-country journey in search of safety and water. Facing ruthless bandits, murderers, and some of the most extreme conditions they have ever encountered, they struggle to survive. When James is shot trying to help another family, Lexie and her children set out on a harrowing journey to save him. Finding temporary safety in the abandoned Ohio salt mines deep under Lake Erie, they appear to have found a new home. But, like everything on their journey, not all is as it seems.
Andrew put a teaser at the end for a possible sequel. I haven't seen anything yet, but I'd definitely be interested in reading more!
 Bird Box, another recommendation from Sarah, is by another Michigan author Josh Malerman:
Something is out there . . .
Something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remain, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now, that the boy and girl are four, it is time to go. But the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat—blindfolded—with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. And something is following them. But is it man, animal, or monster?
Engulfed in darkness, surrounded by sounds both familiar and frightening, Malorie embarks on a harrowing odyssey—a trip that takes her into an unseen world and back into the past, to the companions who once saved her. Under the guidance of the stalwart Tom, a motely group of strangers banded together against the unseen terror, creating order from the chaos. But when supplies ran low, they were forced to venture outside—and confront the ultimate question: in a world gone mad, who can really be trusted?
In researching this post, I am thrilled to find out that Bird Box will be adapted into a movie to be released in December! Also, if any of these books or shows are appealing to you I would highly recommend the movie A Quiet Place which was recently released. So, so good!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Guest Bedroom Update

 We recently refreshed our guest bedroom, so I thought I would show what we did (especially the DIY projects). I don't have a before picture of the room, but we painted the ceiling/trim (white) and walls (greenish grey). Cleaned the carpet. And moved the ceiling fan/light fixture from our room to replace the dated one. Back in February, I had the honor of helping my Mom and Aunt clean out my Grandparents home. I was able to select many items that are near and dear to me that I was able to use when decorating this room.
 I wanted a cleaner look (a.k.a. didn't want to match bedding to the wall color) so I got a new bedskirt and comforter from Kohl's. You can see one of the kids was just sitting on the bed so excuse the wrinkles!
 The throw and pillows I already had, but check out this amazing embroidered pillow I found in my Grandparents basement! In the 40 years I'd known them, I had never seen this so I don't know the story behind it.
 We had this crate, and my Dad gave us this green canister a while ago. The scale is my Great-Grandmothers, which I put some old books on. The dried hydrangeas I cut from my Grandma's bush when I was there.
 My Grandparents had a set of 3 suitcases from the Wheary Luggage Company (which was made in our hometown of Racine, WI). Grandma even stored them in the original boxes (which I have too). I remember her pulling these out to pack for our annual Summer vacations in Hayward!
 Topping this display is a stack of Golden Books (from when Grandpa worked at Western Publishing) and a really cool feather hat my Dad got me at a garage sale. I found the vintage head stand for it at a flea market last year.
 I just love the aged leather, and having a piece of Grandpa's handwriting.
 Okay, onto the DIY! One of the coolest features in this room is the ledge shelf that spans almost the entire length of this wall. There's a "dump site" by Jon's office where we get a lot of our "reclaimed" wood. We think this was a utility pole. Jon measured the studs in the wall so that he could drill holes into the back (I think there were 5). We used some heavy duty hardware to drill into the studs and then fit the shelf holes onto them. The railroad spikes on the front were placed by Jon into existing holes the pole had. I knew this shelf was going to be a photo gallery, and I affixed some ribbon onto some of the frames to hang them from the spikes. The family sign is from Kohl's. Most of these pictures I already had, as well as the established frame color scheme of silver, pewter, black.
 Lastly, these wall sconces are on both sides of the window. These were my Grandma's on my Dad's side. They were gold ceramic and meant to hold taper candles. Some of my friends know the funny story behind this project and can relate to the priorities of men vs. women. Our weeknights are pretty hectic. We all get home from work/school and there are backpacks to unpack and get ready for the next day, dinner to make and kitchen to clean, baths to be had, etc..... In the midst of all of this one evening, Jon starts setting up a painting station on the kitchen island. I was thinking "WTF is he doing!!?!?! There are a million other more important things to be doing right now!" After a brief exchange, he told me he thought these would look better in distressed white and then we could put a test tube vase in them with a flower (all of which we already had) for the room. I have to admit I stood there with my jaw hanging wide open. You see, this man can drive me insane on a daily basis, but he still has the ability to surprise me after 16 years of marriage. I have to say his idea was brilliant and I think they turned out wonderful!
So besides the paint, bedskirt/comforter, and family sign we did not buy anything else for this room. It is so gratifying to "use what you have", especially when the items mean something to you!

Crochet is here to stay!

 It's no secret that I am a bit obsessed with crochet pieces, as shown in the sampling above. But, I'm at the point where I probably have enough of these crazy sweaters unless I strike a super good deal. So lately, I've just been enjoying the "eye candy" at a few of my favorite sites. It seems that crochet is here to stay (in the mainstream fashion world), at least for a while! I've included links to all of pieces below.
 Striped Long Kimono - Anthropologie
 Crochet Bell Sleeved Sweater - Urban Outfitters
 Festival Knit Tank - Anthropologie
 Roches Crocheted Tank - Anthropologie
Kearney Crocheted Cardigan - Anthropologie

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Book Review & Thoughts : Vox

My blog has evolved so much since I started it. In the beginning, I was promoting my handmade jewelry with some scrapbooking thrown in. It has now morphed into fashion with a little bit of home d├ęcor projects. As my life and priorities continue to change, I'd like to now incorporate a hobby I have picked up again : reading! I have always been an avid reader, and I started devouring books in grade school (hello, Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew!). As I became an adult, I read less, and tended to only seek out a book if I was going on vacation or saw something I really wanted to read. I am so glad I am focusing more on reading now and I just love it! It feels like more purposeful downtime instead of zoning out to some random TV show or looking at my phone. I am averaging about 1 book a week and have joined many sites and groups that share a love of reading. I am obsessed with requesting ARCs (advance reader copies) because who doesn't love being surprised at their mailbox with a free book! Plus, being able to read it before it is officially available is fun. So, you may already see what I am reading if you are on Goodreads which also shares my statuses on Facebook. I've been posting pictures when I start books as well on Facebook and Instagram, especially when I am helping to promote an ARC. I usually write a review on Goodreads but I thought I could expand the review a bit more on the blog here. If you're still with me, read on. If you've already seen enough of my posts about this book, no worries.
Vox is about the United States under a new President who has changed society to his standards. Women are required to wear a wristband that will "shock" them if they speak over 100 words a day and they cannot try to communicate in other way like sign language. The main character, Jean, was once a celebrated scientist who was working on cures for those who could no longer communicate. Of course, in this new world, women are not allowed to work. Jean struggles with many relationships: her husband, who she thinks is on her side but is one of the Presidential advisors and is too cowardly to stand up for what is right...... her teenage son, who is unfortunately being brainwashed into this new way of thinking...... and her infant daughter, who only knows this world and hasn't even had a chance to learn how to communicate. Suddenly, the Presidents brother is in an accident that has left him with brain damage. Jean is approached to rejoin her old team - without her wristband - to help find a cure. She uses this opportunity to frantically think of ways to buy time and find a way to escape and save her daughter from this life. But then she stumbles upon something even more sinister...... is the President really looking for a cure, or the opposite of a cure so that he can further proceed with his evil plans?
This book was very intriguing, especially with some of the issues we are STILL seeing in our current society. The one thing I kept thinking about, is how many words do I speak in a day? What would be important to say if this became a reality? And on a lighter note, when discussing this book with a friend I joked that the ONLY benefit to this would be not having to repeat things to your kids multiple times.
"Get your shoes on."
"Can you please get your shoes on?"
"What are you supposed to be doing?"
"Didn't I just ask you to put your shoes on?"
"Put your shoes on."
That's 32 words right there.
32 words.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Skipping Spring

With a Winter that overstayed its welcome, and temps in the 90's this past weekend, I feel like we did not have Spring this year! Good thing I got to wear this dress at least once because with its sweater top I don't think I'll be wearing it again anytime soon. I am a sucker for "twofer" dresses, which are dresses that look like separates but are really not. It makes for super effortless mornings. I really love pattern mixing, especially black & white with a floral. I waited for this to go on sale with an extra 40% off. I believe Anthro has an extra 25% off sale right now but it is always changing.
Osceola Sweater Dress by Maeve : Anthropologie
Lenora Dame Necklace : Anthropologie via TJ Maxx
Ankle Strap Wedges : Rockport

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Peacock Peasant + Statement Necklace

Hey, it's been a while again! I had a really good streak in March of posting, but now here we are in the middle of May. Honestly, our Winter just kept coming back which wasn't the greatest on my mood..... on getting dressed...... and of course taking any pictures. Also, we were busy refreshing our Living Room and Spare Bedroom (which I'll post about) so that left little time for anything else. But, I am excited to share a couple of new pieces with you! This cute peasant top covers all the trends of embroidery and statement sleeves this season - and for me the peacock design was different than anything I'd ever had. It's $39.99 and I had a 30% off coupon from World Market a few weeks ago. It just so happened this necklace I got at Anthropologie matched it pretty well with it's blue/white ceramic beads. This baby was marked down to $39.95 plus an additional 25% off. Links for the top and necklace are below.
Macerata Necklace : Anthropologie
Everything else I am wearing is old (Target jeans and sunglasses, Minnetonka moccasins). Blue and white is just so classic and I love pairing my olive field jacket with it as well. Alright, I am going to try my best to get posting on the regular again!