Sunday, June 24, 2012

Style Sunday: Wine Cork Candle Holder

Today I worked on another item on my Summer To Do list...

This one:

13. make a cork candle holder-- collect the corks needed by Labor Day and the end of summer

I need more corks to complete the Wine Cork Candle Holder. Once finished, I promise that I will post a picture of my version.

Want to make one yourself? Follow a fantastic tutorial here.

I purchased the outer clear glass cylindrical vase for $4.99 from HomeGoods. It is 5 inches in diameter and 8 inches tall. I also picked up a clear glass tealight holder to go inside for $3.89 at Target. It measures just over 2 inches in diameter and around 6 inches high.

It's actually clear and not frosted or colored in any way.

Unsatisfied with the amount of light it was giving off, I actually flipped the tealight holder upside down. Now that the flame is positioned much lower, it gives off more light and more closely resembles the finished product featured above. It seems that replacing the tealight with a votive candle would make the flame perfectly centered, but I only possess tealights and two sizes of jar candles. I had 34 corks in various containers around my apartment and dropped every last one in there. A lot of them were kept from my senior year of college. Anyway, I would like to collect about a dozen more to cover the tealight holder's rim and to complete this craft project.

I must drink more wine this summer! Cin cin!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Things To Do: Summer 2012 Edition: Update + The Search For The Perfect Red Nail Polish

I have been enjoying my summer so far and hope you have to! In this post, I listed the things I wanted to do soon that were quintessentially summer to me.

I can cross this one off my list:

6. have a professional pedicure and then show it off in strappy sandals

I have been showing off my pedicure in flat sandals with silver straps, something like these. 
This particular pair could be their replacement when it is time to retire them.

Friday afternoon, I treated myself to a professional pedicure. It was such a nice experience. Plus, a timely one; I like the idea of doing so at the start of summer to get my feet ready for sandals.

I can count the number of pedicures I've had at a salon on one hand and they have all been since my first one last July. I have always been more interested in saving money for Italy or spending it on other things, but I think I am changing my mind... a couple few a year would be fabulous. I would rather spend my funds on experiences, like this, than things in life.

I chose OPI Red for my color. I like it, even though it is not actually red, but reddish pink with a dark pink shimmer instead. When I raved about the color during its application, the nail technician told me it was one of her customers' signature; she never strayed from it. Even though I do like a change, I like that idea. At least I could have a rotation of, say, three or four signature polishes...

This morning, I visited Trade Secret to do some shop research as I am now in search of a shimmery red by the brand I am devoted to, OPI. Their nail lacquer always wins the 'longest-lasting' category of any test. I think the shimmer helps to conceal my very imperfect home paint jobs. Maybe I should improve my skills since there isn't a shimmery red red among the classic shades or even the current collections.

As a resource, I have explained the closest options below:

California Raspberry is my new favorite; it is a dark pink with matching or even silvery shimmer. I already own it.
It's All Greek To Me is my old favorite; it's very close to California Raspberry but has a golden shimmer... Own this one too.
Big Apple Red which is the perfect red, not pinkish or orangey. It is flat, without shimmer. Got it.
OPI Red like I previously stated is a reddish pink with dark pink shimmer. This is what I'm currently wearing.
A Oui Bit of Red whose very reddish pink color falls in between the shades of OPI Red and Big Apple Red has shimmer. You may have noticed that I love a name that references a place or culture. This may be a winner... Honestly, it would probably look red all the way down on my toes...

California Raspberry                              OPI Red

I want to be sure since it is $8.50 a pop! Heck, even if it was 85 cents, I rarely purchase anything unless it is perfect anymore. As I am looking for a signature shade, I would love a classic color over one from a collection soon to be discontinued.

A Oui Bit of Red might be perfect... Even though I've only checked out a single store (with better lighting than the nail salon I just visited) and I am obviously picky about it, that's enough research for something fun.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Style Sunday: White Top

I have shared my love for the tailored white button down shirt on this blog.

In perusing my style board on Pinterest, I find that I have collected many pins of outfits with white tops.

I love it with a tailored blazer, blue jeans, a great handbag and great shoes.

Here, I would change the bracelet, especially the color.

I like to complete an outfit with a white t-shirt using a cardigan and accessories.

(On Pinterest, the original source wasn't used, but I actually recognized it as a Boden USA top. 
I discovered this catalogue company on Pinterest.)

I love this, but would actually like to see the jewelry and scarf in a bright color.

I wish that the white top wasn't so long here. It simply would not work on my hips.
I also do not care for so much distressing on the jeans; let's not highlight my thighs either!
I like the color combination.

I like so much about this outfit, but I love the classic diamond studs most of all.

If I am pairing the white top with blue jeans, my favorite is...

Levi's 515 Misses Mid-Rise Classic Boot Cut Jean in a Darker Wash
I also love jean capris and skirts.

It doesn't have to be paired with jeans though...

Here, with an A-line skirt.

...endlessly versatile...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Job Interview

I had my big job interview today and I think I did alright. I know I was visibly nervous. Since I want the job (and "my big break" into my field of choice) so much, I couldn't seem to relax during the meeting. I know that I conveyed my excitement for the opportunity in a couple of my replies.

In hindsight, I could have added so much more to each answer. However, I do not think I bombed it since I answered all of her questions and actually do qualify for the position. Plus, I dressed appropriately for an interview. I performed much better during the phone interview. I hope that I am still in the running and I suppose we will see. They are taking their time in choosing to fill two positions because the company is growing, so I will have to wait again. It is a relief to know that my in-person interview is over.

I chatted with an employee while waiting for the director. I was impressed with what both of them said. It seems like a good company and work that I would love to do. I also enjoyed the vibe there, open and close-knit for collaboration. Of course, everyone is well-traveled.

I hope I get it! Won't you hope or pray for me? It's what I/we can do at this point...

***edit: I sent a thank you letter via email and snail mail, so now all I can do is to keep my fingers crossed.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Style Sunday: Straw Tote for Summer

About a week ago, I picked up a couple of books that I placed a hold on at my local library and was surprised to see that they had the same image on the cover.

by Karen Wheeler
I enjoyed this! The French people she meets are crazy, ...entertaining though...

by Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons
I thought this was helpful. Its philosophy is to "save money on the things that aren't as important to you so you can afford to spend money on the things that are important to you" (10).
It reminded me of the book French Women Don't Get Fat. Do/ eat the things that truly give you pleasure and save on/ skip the things that do not. Both are all about being conscious instead of simply going through the motions in life.

Anyway, on to the subject of style...

Maybe the universe is telling me that I need this bag! I am surprised that I like the straw bag this woman carries as it's kind of rustic. I usually carry a more sophisticated leather handbag, or at least a large canvas tote with a graphic print. 

I could go with this dressed up one with sequins:

I found this one by browsing 
but did see it on a swimsuit segment on The Today Show yesterday.
It has earned a spot on my wishlist.

Isn't it perfect for summer? 

Monday, June 4, 2012

High Hopes

In this post, I wrote that I had a phone interview ...and... I did very well, so well, in fact, that I scored an in-person interview on Monday, June 11th. When I excitedly told people about the possibility of breaking into my career field of choice, they wondered why it was scheduled so far into the future, about two and a half weeks away. I didn't realize how long it was until I had to wait for it! It is still a week away!

As Monday is my regular day off, my mom and I visited Annapolis, Maryland this morning to see where my potential new workplace and its closest parking garage (just a block away and around the corner!) were located. We discovered that the building is a historic one, over 100 years old. It was a perfect day to explore the area, 72 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. We walked 3/4 mile in this beautiful weather to a nearby apartment community where I toured the teeny bedrooms of a nice, upgraded two bedroom apartment. I hope my queen-size bed, a nightstand and my beautiful jewelry armoire fit! Nonetheless, I could visualize myself living there. Even with an electric stove! If I had to rid myself of some of my Target furniture, then that is fine with me. All pieces were cheap anyway. I actually swim in my 681 square foot one bedroom apartment home now. The smaller space would simply be a quick adjustment for me. I always shake my head at the people on the home hunting TV shows who want lots and lots of space. We also walked and drove around just a bit in search of "For Rent" signs on old townhouses, many with historical markers posted on them.

As most of Annapolis happens to be high end and is known to be expensive, I could not afford to live in a one bedroom apartment there. I plan to share a home with a roommate in order to cut down on my expenses. I just have to find this roommate! I adore my apartment home now and it makes me extremely happy all the time. ...but I do not think it will forever. I cannot afford much other than rent, my bills, and pasta. I do not go out much. Lover of travel that I am, I hardly have a budget for trips at all. So, it is definitely time for a change. I am pleased that I can make this change and in doing so, I will dramatically improve my financial situation. I would pay about what I pay now with an employee discount (a bit less in rent a month but more in fees) and would have a significant raise to devote to actually enjoying life, yes, but mostly to pay down my debt. I can hold myself responsible for it and face my debt on a daily basis in a way I have not in a long while, definitely since I have moved into my current place. I can actively pay it down on top of living the lessons I learned over the past few months- how to budget and to live minimally. This is a good financial move. I just have to land the job first. That statement seems to be my mantra lately!

I love Annapolis and really hope I get this job and have the opportunity to live there. I cannot wait to explore, find a new routine, have money in my wallet, and meet new people. I have already started researching businesses in each area online. I love the websites CraigslistWalk Score and yelp so far. Ditching the suburbs, I could return to a city! I do not tell people where I currently live as it is simply not a good match for me, but I would volunteer the information that I live in this state capital.

As you can tell, my hopes are very high! Wish me luck!

Style Sunday: Bedroom Window Panels

I am sorry that I did not post on Sunday. I tried morning, 'noon and night, but, alas, signing in only produced a blank webpage, so I was unable to draft a new post. First thing this morning, I posted on a Blogger help forum and this guy recommended a download of a new browser, Chrome, to determine if it was my browser or my computer failing. As you can see, I am able to write soon after downloading it this afternoon, so it must be a problem with my Internet Explorer 8. I will have to reply to the guy and look into how to repair the issue...

Anyway, I've been waiting for someone to help me install my curtain rod in my bedroom since March and my dad finally came over while I was working on Saturday afternoon.

The curtain rod is a brushed nickel with a cage-like finial on each end. It is installed about six inches above the window, but also six inches below the ceiling, so that I have the two panels ending just above the carpet. Floor-to-ceiling drapes seem to be a current trend. Arranged much like the picture above, this pair covers two-thirds of the large window width-wise. I need another panel or two to completely cover it. I love them already. They really do help to complete the room. I hope it is a lavish feel because they are red and silky.