Don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can ever go wrong"- Ella Fitzgerald

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I absolutely adore Emerson Made. Emerson and her husband Ryan are so adorable, should be J.Crew models, but are better than J.Crew models because they are real people running their own business and living on gorgeous, eco-friendly farm. Emerson's photos are so cute, and her pieces are stunning. These are my three favorites....

I REALLY want this necklace, a perfect gift for my August birthday maybe??! I'm off to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather that's permeating Connecticuit right now, it makes missing memorial day weekend in RI not so bad!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Hot like Mexico, Rejoice."- Gaga

this dress....

on this back patio....

serving this drink....

Summer work hasn't started for me yet,so I've been enjoying long lazy days on my own schedule. My bed sits right against a huge bay window, so I almost feel like I'm enjoying the outdoors from the comfort of my own white bed. I've been on a television watching marathon, in a duvet burrito nursing my hazlenut coffee all morning. I finished up 24 (the official end) last night with my boyfriend, and today I capped off Gossip Girl. All I could think about was how I wanted to throw all of my gorgeous designer clothes into a suitcase and jet off to Paris with my best friend (fantasy, fantasy). Although, I'm kind of sick of watching Blair and Chuck almost get there, and then have it f*cked up again. I don't know how many more times I can watch that happen. I just want them to be happy!
Since I slept nice and late this morning and didn't have a coffee till 11, I had breakfast for lunch. (once again, in the comfort of my own bed, but I did at least put on jeans and make the bed. I just sat on TOP of the duvet this time) I had quaker instant oats with 2%, Siggis's vanilla icelandic yogurt, raspberries and almond slivers all mixed into one breakfast mess. honestly SO DELICIOUS. And strangely attractive looking, I will definitely post a picture as these yogurt/oatmeal/ fruit & nut concoctions are pretty regular for me. It made me very happy!
Kind of like this picture, but swap the ice cream for creamy (and for a breakfast food, just as good! ) icelandic yogurt. Raspberries have been on sale at the brand new absolutely stunning food mecca that is the new Whole Foods by my house. It has 3 huge salad bars, an espresso bar, a plethora of gourmet prepared foods, and a gelato station. It is absolute heaven.

Thank god it cooled down after a scorching 90 degrees yesterday, I'm off to hit the running trails in Waveny park for some exercise before I see SATC II with my girls tonight! The NY Times didn't give it the best review, but I'm sure it will be visually stunning and I think everything Sex and The City is great so I'm sure I'll love this movie too (even though I'm sure it cannot top the first, which I consider cinematic perfection)

P.S. I absolutely love Rubie Green's advertisements. I think the styling, the models and the products are gorgeous. I can never resist dragging her pictures to my desk top. In fact I aspire to BE the girl in the comforter above, at least in the early morning hours... How cute is this fall ad?!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

AMAZING. I honestly don't think she could have looked any better for a summer premiere. Stunning! In preparation for the movie coming out, I've been stalking all the SATC features on the web and in every magazine. I can't get enough. Then I saw this picture of Carrie.....

So gorgeous! I think the fashion in the Paris episodes is some of the best of the series. Season 6 of SATC makes me want to do study abroad in Paris. Too many options! Anyways, Carrie's rainy day chic is so glamorous. Black rain gear, bright red umbrella and super sleek hair even in the downpour. Since it rains WAY too much in Madison, I need to find a look that will allow me to feel put together and polished. Carrie's classic look is the perfect one to emulate. "Carrie Bradshaw Goes To College"...... Hah! While I edited Carrie's style down to a way more comfortable and practical look than she would probably ever consider, I added some sparkles, deliberate logos, and a classic black trench to retain some of Carrie's panache. 50 % Me, 50% Carrie.

Ok this looks nothing like Carrie's outfit, but whatever. I like it! I can still use her as inspiration to look sleek in the rain, and to go to Paris. Love this picture of the girls, can't wait to see the gorgeous outfits and jaw dropping scenery in the movie this week! (p.s. fingers crossed for the return of Aidan!)

So nice to be home, in my own crisp white linens and soft bed. My food coma of persciutto wrapped shrimp, tomato feta and orzo pasta salad and brownies. Summer time makes me crave fresh fruit and vegetables and colorful meals. There is nothing better than looking down at a rainbow of fresh produce on your plate. The bountiful fresh ingredients of summer time are inspiring me to take explore and create myself. An early summer outdoor dinner with the girls sounds necessary...
Delicious fresh food and getting outside to exercise in the sunshine make me feel happy healthy and alive. There is nothing better than that.

Strawberry Peached Iced Tea...
Grilled Salmon and Roasted Veggies....

Fresh Berry Crisp...
Back to blogging for real now :) I missed it !

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Grace Kelly.... White bandeau bikini (vintage looking, probably not vintage in this picture!) glowing all natural skin (no fake tanner here), poppy red lips and perfect hair. Why don't I look like this on the beach? Looking pulled together after a long afternoon in the salt water is my ultimate, and probably unrealistic goal for next week when I am in Myrtle Beach, SC with all of my high school friends! I've had a lot going on lately so hopefully I can just get on the beach and have a little escape. Escaping isn't really my strong suit, I don't really believe in it. I feel that ultimately it's best to face reality/ what ever is going on in your life head on and that way you can put your head on the pillow that night knowing that you did every you could in that moment in time. BUT the plane ticket is bought so I'm headed for 6 days of sunshine, sand and lots of beach walks and talks with the girls I've missed so much this year.
Below is my ideal Myrtle Beach look. The things I would do for that Zimmermann bikini..... its 220$ price tag can't really be rationalized as much as I want to congratulate myself on finals, but maybe something else from below can take its' place in my suitcase. I LOVE South Carolina, there's something so charming and relaxing about the South. When I visit my boyfriend at college in South Carolina I automatically feel at ease there. Whether it's the weather, the landscape, or slower pace of life, South Carolina is perfect for a vacation. Bright colors, the Palmetto symbol and a healthy dose of Americana are totally SC.
I can't wait to sit on the beach and read. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, but I never read for pleasure at school because I feel like if I'm not reading for class I'm wasting time. I'm going to pick up South Carolina native Katie Crouch's sophomore novel Men And Dogs . I thought her first book Girls In Trucks was the perfect mix of chick lit, sarcasm and bittersweet observations on the way a life can change.

Looking forward to heading home, playing with my puppy Piper, getting a desperately needed pedicure for my beach trip and perhaps adding those summery floral studs and the blue Calypso beach dress to my summer wardrobe. Connecticut here I come!

Friday, May 7, 2010

"We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey, especially the goodness of the people we meet on the way. Appreciation is a wonderful feeling, don't overlook it."

There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't still be at this school or who I am today if it wasn't for you girls. I know that sounds silly, but so much can change in a year. I don't feel that I have lost any part of me , but you have allowed me to become a better version of myself. I can't believe that just 4-5 months ago I wasn't sure if this was the right place for me. Who knows if later on I will have doubts about Madison being the perfect school for me, but I know right now that I am in the right place with the right people. Thank you for being an amazing support system, great listeners, and inspiring me to leave my comfort zone and make a home for myself here. You are all creative, kind, and too much fun. I can't wait to see what next year holds :) So Claire, Luise, Annie, Alex & Emily I love you girls, and can't thank you enough for everything you have done for me. ♥

I'm completely enamored with this movie. Funny babies+ gorgeous sweeping cinematography = movie perfection. I need to see the movie, but I love the idea that four babies from different corners of the globe are still just babies. None better none worse, just equally cherub, smiley and curious. A good reminder that no matter your background the foundations of human emotion and experience are alike, and that diversity in our skin color or belief system doesn't change our ability to find beauty and happiness in the same thing, like a baby's laughter or first steps.

Wishing I could be with my mom today. Happy Mother's Day to the woman who has inspired me and given me so much. Thank you for your constant support and love. Sending lots and lots of "mommy vitamins" your way! See you very soon, <3.

{ photo of the best parents in the world by their # 1 fan }

{ All photos by Dawn Fincane}
Cranberry bliss bars. Buffalo chicken and blue cheese pizza. Raspberry lemon buttermilk scones. Sweet potato quesadillas with fig reduction and spicy corn relish. Levain bakery chocolate chip cookies..... heaven. I've been following Dawn Fincane on her blog Vanilla Sugar for over a year and every one of her creations look delicious and is photographed beautifully. I always drag her recipes and photos to my desk top to remind me just how badly I wanted to make them. I knew Vanilla Sugar would be the best place to look for inspiration for Sunday night's dinner. I quickly realized that buying all of the necessary ingredients like almond extract and more baking soda isn't practical when I am in the midst of packing up my apartment. BUT, I now have a summer to do list. I plan on making all five recipes above. My own little Julie & Julia project, so to speak. While I don't think this plan will be good for my bikini diet, I'm actually pretty sure it won't be, I'm looking forward to creating these treats from scratch and gaining some sense of accomplishment in the kitchen. And I'm sure girlfriends, family, and boyfriend will enjoy it too!
The plan for Sunday night is a chilled summer pasta salad with cherry tomatoes, green and red peppers, mozzarella and grilled chicken. Trader joe's ciabatta rolls that you bake yourself and whatever fruity desert looks good at Saturday's farmers market... my last one of the year! Hopefully dinner in a boxed up apartment will be still be charming and feel like a special occasion. I'm sure that with the end of my chemistry final and the company of my school girlfriends it will be a lovely night no matter what.

check out Dawn's recipes and photography at Vanilla Sugar !

This Andy Warhol Chanel print is AMAZING. Of all of my spaces I will be doing in the few months
( majorly tweaking home bedroom and bathroom, then decorating my new Madison room inside the Delta Gamma house- it's a single!) I can see this print finding a home in every one. I love reds, especially reddish pinks. I usually say my favorite color is the color of raspberries. In fact, I'm toying with painting my bathroom Benjamin Moore's Crushed Berries. Unusual, I know, but it's the color of my cousins room and I fall in love with it every time I step inside. I also love the poster's ombre effect, it's size and the glamour that a Chanel bottle brings to a room, regardless if it is on paper or not. I wan't to frame it in a gilt frame and look at it, sleep under it, take pictures with it etc... My room in the DG house is currently blue, but they are repainting this summer so who knows what color it will be. I think that a well edited and neatly framed (not just taped haphazardly to the wall) selection of 2-3 complimentary posters could really add to the room and make it feel more like me. I am super excited to be living there with 40+ (!) of my friends, but am happy I will have my own space. A little room with not a lot of light will be a decorative challenge, especially on a small budget because who knows what will be permanent. I could only be in that room for one semester. I also need to find something interesting to be at the head of the bed, standard wood dormitory style beds don't have very exciting headboards and I think make that area the focal point of a bed room gives a room a more personal note. I will definitely take before pictures and be working on an inspiration board for it.
In terms of my room at home, I am gravitating towards a cooler and more neutral look. While at first I was completely drawn to the first bedroom below (a stunningly neutral wall, white bedding, and colorful accents), Alaina at Live Creating Yourself 's serene and classic bedroom in her new Chicago apartment changed my mind. I have a beautiful wrought iron bed, but I've always wanted an upholstered head board instead. Because I don't think this is realistic, I need to work with what I have. I think a grey wall will be a good back drop for my dramatic bed.

{ My first bed room inspiration/ lust, followed by some grey bed rooms I like just as much}

Yeah, so I can't really get over my love for a neutral printed wall paper. I will be talking to mom about incorporating something hopefully at least on one wall. Although I love Osborne and Little's Asuka, I think I like the prints in the last two photographs above even better. Those styles should blend really well with other solid walls and be beautiful behind the head of the bed. I will be keeping my lovely white bed linens but switching the curtains, dust ruffle and accent euro shams. They are sort of a red ikat right now, but I am going to shift my accent color to raspberry, ala potential color of my ensuite bathroom ala Rubie Green's East village pattern in dark pink. I think one of these pillows on my neutrally upholstered chaise and repainting the desk chair from red to raspberry pink will be nice shots of color. I also want to incorporate Rubie's Patsy print in grey onto my bed either as a boudoir pillow or euro shams. Lighter curtains and a new rug (which are unbelievably expensive and hard to find!) will complete my makeover, along with a slightly different furniture arrangement.

{see how cute the grey and pink rubie prints go on this neutral chaise- perfection!}
Whew! I totally have my work cut out of me, but I am so excited. I will definitely be doing before and after pictures so I can keep track of all my changes. I'm sure it will be a long project but a perfect one for this summer. Oh!, this all started with the poster. I have to find a place for the poster. Bathroom perhaps? I'll keep you posted.
Okay, just spent way too much time on this, Chemistry exam is on Sunday. Lying in my duvet writing this post has been far more inviting than braving the chilly Midwest rain to trek to the library. Will also be taking a trip to the farmers market to get some stuff for the dinner I am having on Sunday night with a few girlfriends before we go our separate ways for the summer. Still working on an easy but summery menu....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

{ via apartment 34 }

So, so busy. The pressure is definitely on this week. I wish I had time to actually sit down and enjoy the cappuccinos and lattes I've been consuming! Looking forward to the lazy mornings of early summer....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

{roof top shot by sarah gaertner}
What a crazy weekend in Madison! Even though I have so much to do this week ( 3 finals... before finals week?) I didn't let that stop me from celebrating one of Madison's greatest springtime traditions: the Mifflin street block party. Affectionately referred to as sheerly "Mifflin" , it's probably the most anticipated morning of the year. In fact, one of my friend's facebook statuses proclaimed " It's just like Christmas!" , a statement that illustrates the students of Madison's general opinion about this first Saturday in May. Sunshine, 75 degrees and an air of excitement made this the perfect morning to get out of bed at 8 am and start drinking. Hah! But seriously. That's just what happens on Mifflin. Partying aside, it was just such an experience. So many people (close to 20,000) in ridiculous outfits lined the streets wandering from house party to house party and listening to the live music. Honestly the best people watching you could ever imagine. Even though I was ready for a nap by 1:30 the spirit of the day was so exciting and made me so happy to go to school here. The enthusiasm and love for traditions (even if that tradition is just to get up early and drink is infectious and makes me realize how lucky I am to be at UW a little more every day.
With the semester winding down, and the temperatures coming up, it's kind of bittersweet. While I'm so excited to go home and be with my family and friends, I'm finally feeling Madison really click for me. I really love some of the people I've met here, it's a place with a lot of one- of- a- kinds. And the campus which felt grey and isolating during the long winter stretch, has recreated itself in lush greens and spring pastels. The lake is back to its normal non-frozen state and is pretty as a post card. The trees lining State Street have bloomed, combined with the night time lights and glow from the capitol an air of romance has settled over downtown. Lately when I walk around campus I almost always find myself in awe of a beautiful spot I haven't yet noticed. I won't deny that I'm counting down the days till I'm headed home (12!), but I realize now I'm leaving a great place. Good thing I'll be back I guess!
I snapped these pictures on my blackerry when leaving a friend's dance recital at the union around twilight. The building is classic college, stone covered in ivy, and the light radiating from the inside is warm and inviting. The view from the terrace out to the lake is so picturesque and lovely. Such a great place that exists at the heart of the university.

Hopefully I can get through this week and enjoy this place a little more before I leave!
- k.a