Thursday, August 26, 2010


I'm in love with hardcover books. Especially the classics. They look beautiful and smell like old libraries. And I love the noise the fabric covers make when you rub your fingernails across them. New-age hardcover books are just not as pretty - glossy photos of the author? No thanks. Someday I would like to have a hardcover copy of all my favorite books (aka the books I've actually read cover to cover). These would start my collection nicely. (Nevermind the fact that these first editions can sell for upwards of $1,500 each!)

all images via google

And although I have never read the vintage cookbooks pictured below, I have GOT to have the one on the left.

The Complete Round the World MEAT Cookbook

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

lakeside adventures.

Sorry friends, no 4x4 this week. I just got back last night after a weekend away with my fella, and I didn't want to throw something together at the last minute. (But you can click here, here or here to catch up on the last few weeks!)

As you may have figured out (or already known), I grew up in a little place we like to call OHIO. So, to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city, Todd and I headed back to my home state for a some classic Ohio summertime activities. That's right, we headed to Sandusky for a few fun-filled days that included trips to Cedar Point and Put-in-Bay! On Saturday, we hung around the historic downtown area - we had lunch, went to a couple resale shops, and even to a carousel museum. Sunday was Cedar Point, where we rode coasters all day - I screamed so much that I lost my voice for two days! Todd had never been to Cedar Point, so I was excited to show him what a REAL roller coaster park is. We had such a fun day, and stayed until they kicked us out. Monday was much more relaxing, with a ferry over to Put-in-Bay and driving a golf cart all over the island - to the winery and lighthouse, past all the lake side homes, to Perry's Monument. We didn't take many pictures this weekend, but we did get this nice one with a view of neighboring Middle Bass Island in the distance.

We caught the ferry back to Sandusky in the early evening and went in search of more adventure that included go-carts in the rain, playing Deal-or-No-Deal at an arcade, and dinner at the Olive Garden. Possibly one of the best dates I've ever been on. We came home yesterday, and took our time driving. It was such a nice, leisurely weekend, and a good way to put a cap on the summer. (Is it really almost September??)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

one year special.

Happy Birthday comeback special!

One year ago today I apprehensively started this little blog o' mine. (I'm gonna let it shine.) While we're still growing and exploring this crazy world of blogging, it's been so-far-so-good, if I do say so myself.

image above via here

Friday, August 20, 2010

habit breakers.

Carrie bravely posted yesterday about her troubles with a bad habit. (Check out her blog - Ruby - when you have a chance!) Well, Carrie, I can relate. "Hi, my name is Stacey, and I'm a nail-biter." I posted once before about my gold-bottled, stop-the-biting weapon of choice - Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle. Though I am not brave enough to post photographic evidence of said bad-habit, I am proud to say that I have been growing my nails for TWO WEEKS! That's right. You heard it here first. I commented to Carrie that I needed to get some polish STAT before my work days got the best of me and my nails, so at lunch I ran out to CVS and found this:

Do not be deceived by its drug-store appearance. This little bottle has a surprise inside!

image from here

The flat-and-wide contoured brush is the key! As someone with very little nail-painting experience (You don't paint 'em when you bite 'em...), I have to admit that I giggled joyfully to myself when I test-painted my thumb nail in the store. (As a side note, I never realized how many people blog about their nail polish. It has made me realize that pictures of peoples nails kind of give me the heebie-jeebies.)

At any rate, I scooped up two colors ("Commander in Chic" and "Pink Slip" - you should know by now how much a love clever, punny names for things.) and have been painting an re-painting my nails for the last 24 hours. It's comparable in price to OPI and Essie, and comes in some lovely colors for fall - like "Fairy Teal", "Plum's the Word" and "Right Said Red". !!!

take me to the lake.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

4x4: Anthropologie at home under $50

This week's 4x4 is all about adding a little boost to your boudoir. Full size rugs too expensive? Find a fun bathmat to wipe off your tired tootsies at the end of the day. Can't afford Anthro's bedding? Pair the pillowcases with a plain pair of sheets for a pretty POP of personality. (How's that for alliteration?) Bedside accents or new hardware for doors/walls/dressers are small changes, but totally effective.

A Little Bird
Clockwise from Top Left: Eye of Time Desk Clock - $34; Sunbird Pillowcase Set - $48; Tea House Doorknob - $38; Carved Starling Doorstop - $48

Plum Passion
Clockwise from Top Left: Capri Blue Mercury Candle - $25; Belina Pillowcase Set - $48; Wire Initial Hook - $18; Gravity's Grasp Treasure Box - $20

Honeycomb Home(r)
Clockwise from Top Left: Melon Knob Hook in green - $18 each; Honeycomb Pillowcase Set - $48; Seagrass Coasters - $16; The Odyssey - $20

Back in Black
Clockwise from Top Left: Hello, Goodbye Knob - $42; Leaf Medallion Pillowcase Set - $48; Castile Rose Bathmat - $38; Magnifying Sconce - $48

I am in no way affiliated with Anthropologie - I just love the style of their housewares. Classic, eclectic, vintage, urban and modern - all at the same time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

i see your point.

I hinted last week at a new hobby I picked up, and I finally have finished projects to share with you! So the story goes like this... two Fridays ago, I was planning on a quiet evening at home and stopped at JoAnn Fabrics on my way home from work. (I thought I'd see if they had anything to help organize my art supplies/photos/life.) While wandering through the aisles, I came across these adorable "Learn-To-Sew" needlepoint kits. (My mom had bought kits like these for my sister and me when we were little.) Well the kitten on the package reminded my of Lester and I though "YES!" and decided to tackle the kit and personalize two of them to look like Lester and Batman. Here is what I started with:

black frames, "Learn-To-Sew" needlepoint kit, kitten colored yarn

And what I ended up with are THESE!

Batman and Lester

I know. I know. Crazy-cat-lady. But how cute?! And just picture them on a gallery wall mixed in with other artwork and photography.

I wasn't able to share the final product until now because I stopped half way through these to start another needlepoint project for Todd's cousin's baby shower that I attended yesterday. I was inspired by how easy good I was at this new hobby of mine that I decided to take it one step further. I bought a sheet of plastic canvas (that's the grid that you work with), a couple additional colors of yarn, and marked off three 5"x5" squares on some graph paper and went to work.

I searched online for needlework patterns, but couldn't come up with anything good. So I looked at a few embroidery images and created my own patterns for a trilogy of sea creatures (with optional bow for the octopus):

There was definitely some trial and error involved, but I was really pleased with them when I was done. And they were a hit at the bridal shower! A couple women actually thought I had bought them at Pottery Barn Kids. (I can feel my head getting big already.)

I already have a couple more projects in mind - I sketched out some woodland creature silhouette patterns last week. Perhaps those will be for Baby Z!

Friday, August 13, 2010

ready teddy.

Just to reiterate, I am not the one who is pregnant. (Thank goodness. Because I am so not ready for that.) What I am ready for is being the best aunt ever to my cousins' LITTLE GIRL! As I mentioned Tuesday, we were anxiously waiting to find out the gender of J&A's wee one. (I knew she was going to be a girl!) Baby Z will be making HER way into the world this December, and I cannot wait to dress her up dote on her. I may or may not already be shopping for the perfect baby-sized teddy bear, like these two from jellycat. (Baby Gap carries some of the "bashful" jellycat animals in their store and they are so incredibly soft and adorable. If they had the bear in stock, he probably would have gone home with me... for Baby Z of course.)

jellycat bashful bear - medium

jellycat edward bear - medium

Kids amass tons of stuffed animals over the years (I know I did), but I feel like every baby should have their special bear. My Teddy, given to me when I was a baby by my aunt, still sits on my bookshelf in my Chicago apartment.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

4x4: J.Crew jewelry under $100

For the neck...
Clockwise from Top Left: Knotty Pearl in gold - $78; Bow-Tie Crystal in dusty blossom - $78; Glisten Grasp in vivid aqua - $95; Twirled Metal and Crystal in brownstone - $49.50

For the wrist...
Clockwise from Top Left: Crystal Steps in black diamond - $65; Stoneset in green tea - $68; Crystal Milano in crystal - $60; Braided Chain and Pearl in antique gold - $78

For the ears...
Clockwise from Top Left: Crystal Parade in metallic silver - $68; Pearl Jewel Box in natural - $68; Crystal Mosaic in metallic blush - $65; Beaming Blossom in gold - $58

For the fingers...
Clockwise from Top Left: Porcupine in dusty blossom - $50; Crystal Trinity in pale buff - $45; Fiver in green tea - $58; Carsisi in baked squash - $55

I am in no way affiliated with J.Crew - I just love their jewelry. And pretty much everything else that they sell.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Where did the weekend go?

Oh yes, I spent it relaxing in my cozy new sheets (which I'll share with you whenever I get my boudoir finished), picking up a new hobby (Oh yes! I'll share this, too, soon enough!), and taking an impromptu day trip with my man to visit our friend Tia in Sullivan IL, where she is currently in a production of HAIR. She's a New Yorker now, but came back to do a few shows at the summer-stock theater there.

I'm excited to share my new hobby, but that will have to wait until I have a finished product to reveal. Let's just say... it borders on crazy-old-lady... according to Todd.

Also exciting - my cousin and his wife find out the gender of their baby today! My money is on a girl, but I seem to be the only one who thinks so. She's due December 22nd, so I have 4 months to complete a few baby-themed projects I've had in mind. Todd's cousin is ALSO pregs - due October 17th (the day before my b-day!) - and her baby shower is this weekend. Thus, my new hobby (are you getting excited?) has taken a turn towards the babes for the week.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting another 4x4 - like this one from last week. Yet another excitement, because this will be my first recurring post theme. Look for more 4x4s - featuring styles, steals and deals from my favorite sites and stores - every Wednesday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

just like old times.

FINALLY. I got Justin back to Chicago. (Cross it off my list!)

Almost four years ago, he deserted me in windy, cold Chicago to move to the hot, dry climate of Phoenix. Since then, he's been back several times. Mostly in the winter snow. He has expressed that from now on, he will only return during the summer months. I can't say that I blame him.

We ate alot, got pedicures, ate some more, did touristy things at Navy Pier, ate again, had a slumber party, looked through pictures from high school (obviously), watched Friends (double obviously), ate even more...

Here we are on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier with Rachie. We look just as sweet as we did in high school... right?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

4x4: ModCloth under $50

Perfectly Pastel
With Bated Breath - $49.99; Green Scout - $47.99; Patoral Hide and Seek - $49.99; Bust A Move - $47.99

In The Navy
Botan-avy - $47.99; Superstripe - $47.99; Mary Queen of Spots - $49.99; Huntington Park - $47.99

POP Of Pattern
Inviting Elegance - $49.99; The Dynamite - $47.99; Seventies Luau - $44.99; A River Runs Blue - $47.99

Chambray Is The New Black
Glam's Labyrinth - $49.99; Lead The Way - $47.99; Tussie-Mussie - $49.99; Riverwalk Landing - $49.99

I am in no way affiliated with ModCloth - I just love pretty dresses and good deals. And the cute, and often hilariously "punny", names they choose for their items.