Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lady Elizabeth Duke of Packard

Lately, you may have seen the pages of your facebook friends graced with such fancy moniker's around the excitement of the Royal Wedding. Had I lived closer to the wedding location I would have enjoyed being part of such a historic moment, but like many of you- I have work. So I am relying on good ol' TiVo for the big day.

That's my British Royal Wedding name... and I will be escorted by my husband, Lord Elmer Fluffy of Burlington.  (When I read the directions and compiled mine... I must say I laughed so hard that I had tears running down my face.)

Here is what Lady Elizabeth would have worn to the Royal wedding, had she been on the guest list...

A striking royal blue satin with brilliant Cookie Lee Necklace

Will you be watching the Royal Wedding?

Song of the Day: Duke of Earl


Monday, April 25, 2011

DIY: Bamboo Centerpiece

Need a little greenery in your life? Try a decorative bamboo arangement. I love bamboo! It takes no soil and does well indoors. Forget to water it? No problem, more often than not they bouncy back even when the leaves have begun to yellow or the stalks have started to shrivel- oops! My husband has been throwing these things together for years. It first started as a last minute christmas gift idea- a plant you virtually can't kill. Genius!

I found this was a perfect solution for my sister, who recently moved out of our parents home and into her new apartment. She had been looking for something decorative for her place that took little to no care. Bamboo? You got it!

So here's what you will need...

  • small glass bowl or vase
  • bamboo stalks (an odd # of stalks works best)
  • flat fish marbles or decorative rock or gravel

Luckily I picked up this small round bowl for 50 cents at the thrift store. I had already looked at our local craft store but most of the vases were large and deep. I wanted something a bit smaller and fish bowl-esque for her.

I chose 3 bamboo stalks of varying height to add interest. You can choose more or less, or even use a combination of both spiral stalks and straight. Do keep in mind the spiral stalks typically run a few dollars more. Unfortunately our store was down to just a few stalks and these were the healthiest looking of the few.

Here's what you'll do...
STEP 1: place a small handful of marbles into the bottom of bowl. This not only makes the stalks more secure, but also assures you that bamboo roots as seen in the above picture aren't smashed on the bottom of the vase with nowhere to grow.  **A bag of fish marbles was approximately $1/bag at Dollar Tree vs. approximately $5/bag at the craft store.

STEP 2: Stand the bundle of bamboo stalks in the center of vase. Add another handful of marbles evenly around the stalks. Fill to the top. **Note: I used about 1 and a half bags of black marbles, then added a handful of large clear marbles to the top. These larger flat marbles wedged into the underside of the vase kept everything upright and firmly together. (We had a 45min car ride to see her and it needed to stay put along the way).

STEP 3: Lastly, add water. And enjoy!

Examples of past arrangements:
Store bought arrangement from a co-worker when I got my appendix out. It survives nicely in my dim-lit corner of an office. I've had this for over a year.

Bamboo arrangement made by hubby for my office. Everyone enjoyed this so much we moved it to the front desk. It has been around for 3 or 4 years. The bright green is new little shoots that have sprouted up. It is in the original bowl.

"This little guy? I wouldn't worry about this little guy." ~ Super Troopers
 My coworker has been slipping this one some miracle grow from time to time. This arrangement began in a small square bowl similar to the one I made above, but has since out grown it's home twice. It is approximately 4-5 years old. And the one shoot is now taller than me!

Have you put an arrangement together? Let me know how it went. What did you do differently?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all of you out there. Today my husband and I are celebrating with my family. Sadly it was a rainy day here, but hopefully everyone had a nice day with friends and family.

How I Spent My Easter...

Ha ha. Bunny Ears!

Top (thrifted), Cardi (Old Navy), Belt (thrifted), Jeans (Old Navy), Heart Pendant (Cookie Lee), Yellow Bead Necklace (thrifted $1), Pink Wood Bead Necklace (thrifted, $1)

Mimosa Toast

Fresh Fruit Salad (along with french toast, scrambled eggs, and hashed browns which are in my tummy)


Sisterly Love

I just love the lacy details on her shoulders. (She says this top is from ROSS)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

EBEW- Maxi Dress Challenge

The gals over at Everbody, Everywear are hosting the Maxi Dress challenge today. Because our weather has been VERY unpredictable for spring- (sunny and 70 and then snowy and 30 the next), I dressed my maxi down. The denim jacket gave some structure to the otherwise long and flowy-ness of the dress. Head on over and see how everyone styled their maxi at Everybody Everywear.

I don't wear skirts. I absolutely love the idea wearing a skirt or dress in public. I'd rather wear pants than a dress- even in the middle of summer. To be honest I've never really felt comfortable in dresses, too airy and too exposed. And gals- I have since forgone the v-strings for these days. My mild fears may stem slightly from kindergarten experiences, when boys declared Friday as "Friday Flip Up Day". Parents soon began sending their girls to school with shorts on under their dresses so as to not be targeted for their Barbie, My Little Pony, and Carebears panties... which in hindsight is still a really good idea. Now a days I rely on my nude spanx shorts if I'm feeling a bit over-exposed in the nether-regions.

I mean I've always loved the idea of dresses and skirts I've bought a few here and there, but most of the time they end up hanging in the closet for some special occasion that never comes. And I intend to change that. I bought this lovely maxi dress last summer while shopping with my fashion forward and fresh out of high school sister, Megan. "Mandy, the maxi dresses are all the rage- you should try a few on." With much reluctance, I took an arm load into the dressing room. I'd had it set in my mind for so long that short girls could NOT pull off maxi dresses. And I was wrong. All these things ran through my head.

Trying not to get caught up.

  • Why buy a dress when I'm going to have to hem it before I can wear it?
  • Do I really want to worry about my safety and well being because of the potential safety hazards my dress could cause?
  • Getting caught in the car door as it's driving away.. dragging me behind it
  • I'll get a flat tire on the way from point A to point B and have to fuss with a dress while I change my tire-butt in the air, dress billowing above my head
  • Getting it stuck on the escalator at the mall
Oh the list of the scenarios went on. The reality was- once it was on the dress wasn't entirely THAT long. The material both clung and hung nicely over my curves. No bagging or sagging and no clinging and stretching. I actually appeared and felt much taller than I was, and the dress was confortable. I wore it several times over the summer and every time someone has stopped me to compliment my outfit. This gave me a new confidence in myself. Being noticed and getting positive feedback it made me feel good. I even walked with my head a little taller. I've since reconsidered maxi dresses and can safely say they are a great alternative to pants.

Silver and shell bracelets Cookie Lee, brown bracelets Target

This dress is the absolute longest length that my 5 foot half inch frame has been able wear easily. That means from hanger to out the door without being altered. It would be perfect a few inches shorter, and would allow me to wear flats or flippies come summer, but I feel quite lady-like when I hitch up my skirt a bit whilst wearing heels. Whether it's getting out of my low to the ground car, or walking up stairs.

I can't get over these shoes now. I've been wearing them so much more, now that I have a purse to match. The color is fun- so bright and springy. This outfit would have looked great with some open toed wedge sandals. I'm sure you'll be seeing this dress again once the weather warms up a bit.

Floor Grazing and Pollen Sniffing

Outfit Details:
Dress: L8TER via ROSS, spring 2010
Jean Jacket: ANA Petite,Thrifted
Shoes: XhilerationTarget
Purse: Nine West, Thrifted
Jewelry: Cookie Lee and Target

Maxi Skirt/Dress | Everybody, Everywear

 Some great Maxi's to check out:



 Love this bright floral number above! 

The ladies of Sex and the City rock their Maxi's

What's your take on Maxi dresses? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Dress them up or down? Let me know your thoughts below.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Losing My Head

Look Ma! No Head!

My in-law's dog, Smokey, makes an appearance during my photo sesh. 

For some odd reason the glare of the sun poking through the trees, caused me to lose my head. I promise to you all that I am not vampire, nor ghost, nor fae. I do not have super powers that allow me to disapear when I want.

Note: I am not bruised or battered. I sport a port-wine stain birthmark on my right upper arm.

To see 10+ ways to wear the (multi-strand/multi function beaded) Twilight Fusion necklace, please check out my blog post, Jewelry Tips & Tricks- Twilight Fusion. There's a "how-to" video!

Smokey sneaks into another picture

Try OLD NAVY Keyhole Drop Waist Top

Outfit Details:
Top: Daniel Rainn via ROSS
Tank: Arizona
Skinny Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Markkon, thirfted
Purse: Nine West, thrifted
Belt: Payless
Jewelry: Cookie Lee

Rule Breaker: Black and Brown

Faux Pas? or Acceptable? Eitherway I'm calling this a rule breaker outfit. I never intentionally have worn black with brown. Matter of fact, I once gave the hubby a lecture on wearing brown shoes with navy blue socks, a black belt and black slacks. Faux pas!

Outfit Details:
Top: Black Stripes
Cardi: Old Navy
Belt: Thrifted
Boots: Markkon
Jeans: Old Navy
Jewelry: Cookie Lee
Purse: Nine West

Be Fit

Photo by Mom

Spring has finally sprung here in Northern California. I had the pleasure of doing my 3 miles with my mom today by our local park. It was uplifting to see all the bright spring wildflowers and various daffodils along the running path. On our way back, mom and I took a few pix to share with you for my blog.

And a day like this makes it so much easier to go out and enjoy the sunshine and get some exercise. It's nice to have scenery instead of being stuck on the treadmill in the dark gloomy garage, surrounded by boxes.

"Look it's a Koala Bear! No wait, it's just a Mandy." Photo by Mom

I love this little walkway. It's lined with trees on either side and the canopy of branches above.

Cheery Daffodils

Back in the Game

It's been over a week since my last post sorry guys. There's been a lot going on in my family and work for me to keep up with posts lately but I'm back in the swing of things.

My sister is moving
My aunt was in the hospital
My cousin is under the care of hospice
My other aunt is going into surgery next wk

I have however been taking pictures like mad, so I do have posts to come. Stay tuned. Thanks in advance for your patience :)