Sunday, August 30, 2009

Emerald City

I finally finished this emerald blouse on Friday afternoon. It ended up being a lot more time consuming to make than I originally thought because it required quite a bit of handwork. There were a few moments when I thought it might end in disaster, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

{top made by me; Banana Republic skirt; Nine West shoes; Michael Kors watch; vintage jewelry}

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Looking for beauty

Well I am finally back! I missed you lovelies and reading about what has been going on in your lives. I must confess I am terribly behind on your blogs and emails, but I promise to get back on track this week! It was so nice to get away for a few days and head home to see my family. Louisiana was even having a "cold" front while I was there! The temps were in the 80's and low 90's, which was just heavenly. I was able to run as late as 9:00 in the morning, which I have not been able to do since March.

I typically share with you pictures of the fabulous foods I enjoyed while in Louisiana, but I thought I would do something a little different this time. I was outside one afternoon watering the plants when several beautiful butterflies came up and started drinking water off one of the rocks. I ran inside and got my camera and started noticing all of the beautiful little things in our backyard. I used to take for granted the beauty and serenity of traditional Southern life. Now that I live in a major city (that is pretty void of Southern influence), I desperately miss the small things, like sitting on the back porch with a glass of sweet tea.

Where do you look for beauty?

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I'm loving this little headband that I whipped up yesterday while watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I found this beaded edging on clearance at JoAnn's. I simply stitched it to a piece of doubled elastic and voila!

{Please excuse the not so lovely backdrop...I was in my home office because it had the best lighting.}

I just love when little projects turn out just right, don't you?

I'm leaving tomorrow to go home to Louisiana for a few days to see my family. My Internet access will be limited to my iPhone, so I will be away from Blogger until next Friday. I hope you all have an absolutely fabulous week and I can't wait to catch up with you all when I get back!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Make It Work

It's finally here! The new season of Project Runway starts in just a few short hours! Is anyone else excited? Oh how I have missed Tim Gunn and the fabulously bizarre challenges. I've been feeling a bit creative myself lately. Unfortunately, I've been so busy that all of the projects I wanted to do over the summer have been neglected. I have a half finished dress laying on my sewing table. My sewing cabinet is overflowing with gorgeous fabrics and unopened patterns, which totally makes me want to blow off all of my responsibilities and stay home and sew! I'm hoping to squeeze in some sewing this weekend before I leave for Louisiana on Sunday morning.

Here's what I'm hoping to tackle before fall semester starts:

{No, I'm not already planning my Mardi Gras outfit ;) This fabric is for two separate projects I am itching to start on. The dark purple shantung and black lining are for a tailored classic shift dress. The emerald silk is for a lovely sleeveless blouse. I can't wait to see how these turn out!}

{These notions are for a bib necklace. I will probably stick these materials in my suitcase and work on it while I'm at my parents' house next week. It's going to be fierce!}

{A completed project! I was inspired by Megan's DIY tutorial and recreated her design for a floral bib necklace. I love how it turned out and can't wait to wear it with a simple shirt and high waisted bubble skirt.}

And this is totally off topic, but yesterday I had one of those rare days where I was able to wander around in Target without needing to buy anything. I just love those days! So I just have to share with you some of my pretty little finds that made me very happy.

{Pink polka dot planner for scheduling my patients' appointments; deep purple jersey infinity scarf; black and creme square scarf; soft orchid pashmina-style scarf}

I'm noticing lately that I want EVERYTHING purple. Do you ever do this with certain colors? Purple was my FAVORITE color from birth until the age of 18. Then I joined a sorority who's colors were rose and white, so PINK became my new favorite color for everything. Let's just say that Elle Woods and I had a lot in common during undergrad! But now I'm starting to fall back in love with purple. I'm sure as soon as I acquire loads of purple again I'll feel the need to go back to pink. Story of my life.

Has anything gotten your creative juices flowing lately? I'd love to know what you've been working on!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not quite Laduree

Well, I decided to give it a go...I made my first attempt at making French macaroons. I now have a profound respect for anyone who can master this art! There are so many factors to the batter overbeaten? has the batter rested long enough? is the oven temperature just right? *le sigh* No wonder it is so difficult to find them in the U.S.! Quite a few of my shells cracked (supposedly a sign of overbeating the batter). I utilized this recipe from Martha. I'm definitely going to need more practice! Hopefully I will have the technique mastered by the holidays so that I can give pretty little packages of macaroons as gifts.

{French macaroons require almond flour. I'm sure you can find almond flour at specialty baking shops and online, but I just made my own.}

{Shells fresh from the oven. Some cracked and some looked perfect. The non-stick baking mats worked perfectly with the delicate texture of the shells.}

{Spreading Swiss meringue buttercream on the shells.}

{Rows of macaroons in the fridge}

{The finished product}

{Pretty decent for the first try, no?}

The next time I try these, I'm going to color the batter and use a different filling recipe. I was not a fan of the Swiss meringue buttercream at all (the taste was off...maybe because I didn't use real butter). I think next time I will use a traditional buttercream recipes or try one of the fruit cream recipes. Fortunately, hubby liked the buttercream filling and has almost devoured the entire batch.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hubby's Birthday Celebration

To celebrate hubby's birthday this year, we thought it would be fun to do some things we don't usually do. So he picked Indian food for dinner (which I have never tried) and Cosmic Bowling. I have not gone bowling since undergrad, and hubby and I have never gone bowling together. For us, bowling is one of those things that we never think to go do, but always ends up being super fun with a group of friends. So we gathered up a group of our besties and had a fabulous night!

For dinner, we went to Cilantro, a fantastic authentic Indian restaurant in Tampa. Since it was my first time trying Indian food, I thought I would be safe and order a dish that sounded like a chicken enchilada (chicken tikki dosa). So you can image my surprise when this huge thing is delivered to the table:

I was still imagining that this thing was similar to an enchilada, so I was horrified! Then the waitress proceeded to bring me MORE dishes!

Well, it turns out the huge thing was a hollow thin crepe, and the little dishes contained the chicken curry, a spicy soup, and coconut chutney. The dish turned out to be AMAZING, and I can't wait to have it again. I also ordered naan stuffed with a spiced Indian cheese...yum!

After we stuffed ourselves with Indian food, it was off to the bowling alley for Cosmic Bowling!

My outfit suddenly looked ridiculous with bowling shoes! Bowling in heels should definitely be allowed!

I caught the guys doing a little dance.

Hubby is the type of person who excels at every sport. He had not bowled in years and yet made a strike on his very first try!

Our friend J. had the most hilarious style of chunking the ball. He would literally heave the ball halfway down the lane...resulting in lots and lots of strikes! It was amazing!

This was the first time hubby and I have worn matching shoes, complete with sassy Velcro tabs.

Overall, the night was a blast and hubby had a wonderful birthday. It was really fun to do something different, especially in the company of great friends. I highly recommend it :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Weekend Cravings

This week has been rather hectic. Only one more week of summer classes, and I'm finishing up at my summer training site. I'm finding it hard to stay motivated at this point. My brain is just *blah*. However, I did manage to squeeze in a salon day and a bit of shopping for hubby's birthday...which is TODAY!! We will be celebrating tonight, so I will be sure to take pictures to share. While birthday shopping for hubby, I fell in love with a (faux) fur vest at Zara. My voice of reason whispered, "Um, you live in Florida. What use could you possibly have for a fur vest?" But I quickly had visions of wearing the vest with dresses and boots or over tanks and leggings. It reminded me of a piece the Olsens would wear. There was only one size Small left, which I took as a sign that I was meant to have it. So now I am eagerly awaiting the slightest drop in temperature to break out my beautiful fur vest.

Meanwhile, I am having a serious craving for these little beauties...

{image from}

There is nowhere (that I know of) in this part of Florida to get them. So I'm considering attempting to make some myself. Have any of you ever tried making French macaroons? From what I've been reading, it seems like a rather delicate process.

I'm also seriously craving this scent, which I stumbled across the other day...

{Tocca Brigitte perfume}

I was initially attracted to the pretty bottle, so I spritzed some on while wandering the isles at Sephora. I didn't pay too much attention to it until I got home and the scent really started to develop. Even Heaven was drawn to the delicious smell on my wrist (although she probably thought it may be some kind of food smell...I think that's all she cares about). This perfume is definitely going on my list of Fall Must Haves.

What are you currently craving?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Are we ever too old for back to school shopping?

I certainly hope not. I feel like this time of year will always be perfect for stocking up on the essentials needed for the season ahead. Even though my doctorate program is year-round, I still get rather excited when I get to buy new clothes and school supplies during the month of August. I will let you in on a little confession...

I usually start planning my Fall wish list around June or July. I meticulously keep a running list of additions I want to make to my wardrobe, including accessories, and other things I might need to make the transition into the fall semester as enjoyable as possible. I know that this may sound a little crazy, but I've found that it works a lot better (for me) than just aimlessly going to the mall one Saturday in August and hoping to find success. I absolutely love finding the items on my list and checking them off (although for some reason, my list just keeps growing!). It's also fun to think of other items I might crave for the fall semester, such as a beautiful planner, elegant stationary, a luxurious lotion, pretty lingerie, or a gourmet coffee or tea. After placing a rather substantial online order at JCrew today, I feel like most of my back-to-school shopping is officially done. Can I just say that the August JCrew catalog made me want to sell one of my kidneys on the black market so that I could get everything in it? Sigh. Last week I found some lovely items at BCBG, French Connection, Banana Republic, Zara, and Dillards. So now my closet has a fresh stock of pencil skirts, ruffled blouses, crisp collared shirts, high-waisted skirts, flowy dresses, trousers, and tailored sheath dresses. There are just a few items still on my list waiting to be scooped up:

{Blue Dog note cards}

{Stunning coral necklace from Cloverbelle}

{My French has gotten rusty, so since I will be spending 10 hours a week commuting to my new training site, I might as well utilize Learn French in Your Car.}

{And since I will be at this new training site for a year, I might as well move on to Learn Italian In Your Car after I've brushed up on my French.}

{Isn't the new OPI collection gorgeous? It just hit stores today!}

{A tell-tale sign that you are in doctor school? When you have your own espresso maker. These Kate Spade demitasse cups and saucers will be the perfect accompaniment to all those afternoon and late night espressos.}
{I've been lusting after a pair of cute red flats for several months now. Sadly, I cannot order flats without having tried them on first, so these Kate Spades will remain just out of my reach. But I have not lost hope that the perfect red flat is waiting for me out there somewhere!}

What's on your wish list for fall?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

totally amused...

Don't you just love amusement parks? Even if you aren't a fan of the rides, something about the atmosphere is just pure bliss. My favorite amusement park growing up was Six Flags Over Texas. I always went there several times a year to ride the roller coasters, including my favorite: The Texas Giant. Unfortunately, I was in a car accident which permanently screwed up my back and neck, so I can't ride most roller coasters anymore. But I still adore amusement parks and love feeling like I'm a teenager again!

On Friday, we headed over to Orlando for a fun-filled day at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

{Jessica and I}

{Islands of Adventure}

{At 8:00 AM the sun was already blinding, and leave it to me to forget my sunglasses.}

{Hubby and I}

{This ride almost made the three of us sick...after getting off we immediately found a shop that sold Dramamine!}

{If the rides aren't enough to make you lose your lunch, you can always pick up some Bacon & Cheese flavored crickets to do the trick.}

{My favorite ride! Definitely worth the wait, especially since there are plenty of Itchy and Scratchy cartoons showing along the way to help pass the time.}

{Me and Jess on the Spiderman ride}

{The fabulous candy shops make Universal an amazing experience even if you never set one foot on a roller coaster.}

What is your favorite amusement park?