Sunday, November 25, 2012

Style Sunday: Holiday Centerpiece

I would love to recreate this centerpiece...

I've been meaning to buy a white dish like this...
 and will have to add jingle bells to my shopping list.
I may already have white jar candles that would work...
So cheap yet chic!

I know that I haven't been posting much lately... and that my last two updates have been short and sweet, but I have been working a lot lately. I have been having a good time though, having thoroughly enjoyed a Thanksgiving feast with my family and watched my godson practice his Tae Kwon Do in a couple of classes the Friday night before last. Anyway, stay tuned because I plan to write about my capsule wardrobe in an upcoming Style Sunday post. Plus, my day trip to Philadelphia is under a week away now! I am excited! And I will post all about it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

What I'm Reading

I just finished "Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life" by Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project." I highly recommend it. I have a feeling if you loved "The Happiness Project" like I did, then you will adore this book too. It's more of the same. However, it's a more focused project, another one full of resolutions.

Even though we're different people with different interests, I greatly admire this conscientious woman who truly challenges herself to accomplish a lot. I aspire to be productive and happy and actually achieve all those idealist daydreams of mine and, most important of all, appreciate the little things in life. Life is too short not to. (Note to self: show how I appreciate life's beauty more in this blog!) I like that the author actively pursues happiness in small, concrete often imperfect ways. (You mean... it doesn't have to be perfect?? Revolutionary!) I also value that she appreciates everyday life, down to its scent, everyday, now. And that she strives to be true to herself, which is easier said than done.

This book serves as practical motivation. For example, the author "somewhat" conquered her great fear of driving and tackled the immense task of keeping pictures (in photo albums for her, scrapbooks for me). I really should deal with these two particular things in my own life! Heck, I might even employ her techniques, when I'm ready. Additionally, now that I'm thinking about it... I need to become a better penpal to B and a better godmother to J. Perhaps I will create my own resolutions and post progress about each one in the future... I have some thinking to do. Plus, upcoming January 1st would be a perfect time to start my resolutions!

Read it and see if you don't consider a happiness project of your own!

The two books I ordered finally arrived in the mail this past week!

"Lessons from Madame Chic" by Jennifer L. Scott was just re-released by another publisher on November 6th, I believe. I can't wait to read this edited version of one of my favorite books. 

I also can't wait to start planning my trip to Europe to mark my 30th birthday in 2014. Rick Steves' guidebooks are my favorites. I might not be able to afford to backpack through Europe for a month, but I could at least visit a few cities over a week in like March at the minimum, right? Perhaps... Paris and Verona and Venice? This guide will help me make an educated decision. Stay tuned!

Style Sunday: Bedroom Mirror ...and Daytrip Plans

I'm sorry this is late! Mi dispiace! I worked a lot last week, including a 9 hour shift on Sunday. A stressful week at that, we had corporate visits at both my workplaces, including where I showed some corporate people and investors my own apartment on very short notice, which they commented was "pristine." I did manage to have some fun too! Anyway, I'll try to be better and post on time in the future. Luckily, I only work Tuesday night and open to close Sunday at my part-time job this week.

Last Monday, I put up that quatrefoil mirror I recently purchased and featured on my previous post. I decided to hang it over my bedroom chest of drawers as originally intended. Even though I specifically purchased new picture hangers from Home Depot for it, I ended up using ones I already owned, the drywall ones where most of the long wire is on the inside of the wall. I received them as part of a housewarming gift from my friend J. I am very pleased with the result... The unique form adds character.

One of those frames features my personal photo of the LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana in Love Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am excited to announce that I will be taking a day trip to this beloved city of mine in a couple of weeks! I haven't been there in over a year! (Read about my last visit here.) After arriving by train, I plan to hit all of my favorite places... the Reading Terminal Market (where I might have a Philly cheesesteak), the DiBruno Brothers Italian Market, a cute and quirky accessories store called Tselaine,... I might visit the Titanic exhibit at the Franklin Institute (which just opened and extends until April 7th). I also definitely want to linger at the outdoor German-style Christmas market in Love Park. (This Christmas Village will be open from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, you should go!) Many wooden booths and a big tent/structure will offer traditional German holiday food and drinks as well as international gifts and Christmas tree ornaments. The website makes it seem like it'll be bigger this year than what I remember of it, when it occupied a smaller area across the street, beside City Hall. I can hardly wait to explore all that! To eat! And possibly buy some Christmas presents? I've already arranged to have off from and use a vacation day at my full-time job and might even by able to purchase my train tickets today, before Friday's paycheck. It'll be fantastic to return, but also to enjoy the holiday season in my own personal way.

Edit: Click here for a recent article on the Christmas Village from

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Style Sunday: Quatrefoil Mirror

In this previous post, I noted that I'd been obsessed with a round mirror to go over my chest in my bedroom. I usually daydream of something for a week, hence the outlet of weekly Style Sunday posts. Even though I research it, sometimes I don't even actually make the purchase. I don't own a pair of cheetah flats, for example. ...but I actually acquired a mirror.

I did make it to Pier 1 to take a look at that mirror I featured, but they didn't have it in stock. At $179.99, I wouldn't have bought it anyway. It's simply out of my budget. On the way back, I stopped in at my favorite store, HomeGoods and found a mirror. Now, it's not round, but the quatrefoil form I love and that reminds me of Italy. I bought this large quatrefoil mirror for only $29.99! It's about 30 inches across each way.

I actually paid a price like that for one a fourth of its size at Target. It hangs above my jewelry armoire. I remarked to the cashier that it was such an amazing value, and she agreed that all the large mirrors in the store were.

Now, I need to figure out how to hang it! It warns not to hang it on wire, so that's out. It recommends anchors and screws and all. And it's a bit too heavy to hang on a single nail. I am hesitant to ask my dad who hung everything else in my apartment since he recently paid for repairs on my new-to-me car (which turned out to need a thousand dollars worth of repairs) and I owe him that money. Also, it may go in my living room and not in my bedroom as originally intended. I'll figure it out.

I must go to work now, make that money.