Thursday, March 28, 2013

Patio Gardening Hopefulness

  I have lofty dreams. The one we'll discuss today involves my balcony patio, growing a culinary herb garden, and my obsession with outdoor living spaces. 

I'll be the first to admit to having a rather dismal outdoor area. There's no reason for this. I live in a charming old apartment that is fabulous and wonderful in every way besides that I've neglected my patio space big time! Which is a shame because it's the main entry point when I come and go, and the first impression my home makes on guests! My early childhood was spent in southern California and my memories of this time involve my mother's sun-baked patio garden, my uncle's tidy rose garden, my aunt's deck covered with twisting grape vines, and of course, my grandmother's tiny, magical apricot orchard. A few years back I visited a friend of a friend's patio garden and fell in love with the space. And I've had the best of intentions ever since. 

Last year's attempt at an herb garden was a good one. I planted seeds early, cultivated the tiny growths, transplanted them into pots, watered, and made sure there was plenty of sun. There might have been too much sun. Last summer was one of the hottest on records (think 115 degrees...for a week...die) and my plants just withered up in what seemed like an

This year, I've got a plan. The seedlings have sprouted! I've got nasturtium, marigold, basil, mint, chives, thyme, dill, lavender, and lots and lots of catnip in the works. Cause I know a lot of cats. I'm going to harden them off them before replanting in larger pots. Brainstorming has begun on a "catio" solution...I might even be looking at decorative pillows in the near future! I've pinned inspiration here and here and here and here.  Also on my side: a new neighbor whose simple patio table and mat is much more in line with my aesthetic than the previous tenant's cluttered decor that I had to literally climb over to reach my door. They took the cow skull with them, but left behind the groovy concrete painted mushroom statue. The boyfriend feels really connected to the concrete mushroom so maybe I'll work it in somehow. ;)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Off

I work an irregular schedule so I often find myself tooling around on a weekday off. Normally I'd be spending my time grocery shopping, getting the oil changed in my car, doing laundry, catching up on bills, or doing other sundry adult-ish things but today I decided to take it easy and well, be lazy! It's supposed to get into the upper 60's this afternoon so I might be taking a walk or lounging in the park later (ink doodling? magazine reading? It's almost like...a day off!). Here are the things that have made my morning off so relaxing and cozy:

Enjoying coffee in this new-to-me fox mug. I found the sweetest little set of mugs at an estate sale last week and have just now used the fox mug for the first time!

 This sweater-cardigan thing. I got this on sale at anthropologie a few winters ago, and it is really perfect for snuggling on the couch. I thought it was kind of awful when I first saw it and that says something about either how things grow on you when you look at them all the time, how much my style has evolved, or how enticing sales can be. I love it now, at any rate. I'll probably still be wearing this as an old lady.

 And of course, my sweet Tigerlily. She seems content to lounge on anything I've cast off throughout the day, from coats and bags to blankets to dresses and so on. My sweet little little! 

Hoping your Tuesday is fair and sunny. xo

Thursday, March 14, 2013


<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I was one of those wahhh-ing over Google's decision to close up shop on Google Reader. Long ago I used it as an alternate, more interesting way to keep up with "sharebros": friends and associates from university days and so on. It provided hours of entertainment and dinner-talk but sadly Google stopped supporting the capacity to "share" articles, photos, and whatnot on Reader (Google+ blah blah) and the share-o-sphere became quiet and lonely. I moved on and started simply using it as an RSS. Annnnd now it's time to move on again! Luckily for all of us, there's Bloglovin' and away I go!

In other news, I am in the process of devising a structure to allow my indoor-only kitty to enjoy the great outdoors my patio without running away. My mister calls it a "Catio." Stay tuned for important updates on this...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pinterest DIY...Dry Shampoo!

What do you think of dry shampoos? Have you ever tried one? When I'm around the lady friends this topic seems to come up with some regularity, usually by a lady friend chagrined by the fact that she can't go a single day without washing her hair. I've used a variety of dry shampoos ever since reading a magazine article outlining a brave American journalist's attempt to beautify like a French woman for a month. (This involved not bathing daily, using copious amounts of kohl eyeliner, and probably wearing a lot of black. I am sure it was written in the early aughts). I'd heard of using baby powder or cornstarch to help extend hair freshness but with my dark hair I am convinced this is a bad idea and haven't tried it! But I was surprised to find I LOVE the extra texture and volume I get by using a dry shampoo spray every other day. And with my long tresses every blow dry skipped is a good thing. 

I was gearing up for a great afternoon of grocery and drugstore shopping today (I tend to get unusually excited about sundry shopping, I can't help it!) and needed a quick spritz of dry shampoo to, well, you know. I reached for my trusty can and nooooo it was empty! Luckily (?) I spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest this morning and happened to have found a recipe for DIY dry I gave it a whirl.

my little friend

 Here is the pin I came across this morning with the simple recipe in the click-through. It involves a tablespoon of cornstarch, a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and four tablespoons of water shaken up in a spray bottle. The tiny spray bottle above was originally used to encourage Tigerlily the cat to stop scratching my sofa! While effective in that use, Tigerlily responds more to my penny noisemaker than a squirt of water. Tiny spray bottle is also awesome for plant-misting, if you're into that sort of thing!

While I wanted to spare my vanity a "before" photo, here is how my roots looked after being dampened with the aforementioned mixture and quickly blow-dried:

The best thing about the DIY version is it's super inexpensive. (I literally had everything I needed right on hand). It took care of the oily root situation and was very fast. The not-so-great part is while it's hard to see in the darkness of the photo, the DIY dry shampoo left the lightest dusting of cornstarch behind even after the hairdryer. It's definitely not a deal breaker but was far more noticeable than the drugstore options I've tried. Because of this I would really only recommend it in a pinch for brunettes, but fair-haired ladies can spray away! Another thing to be aware of is the scent of the rubbing alcohol was off-putting for me but happily didn't linger after the blow-dry. Lastly, this will get cornstarch all over the place. It got all over my bathroom surfaces and clothing, so definitely only use while still in your bathrobe! For now, I'm going to be sticking with my Psssssst!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It's no secret that I've been editing my wardrobe lately ("lately" loosely encompassing the past year and a half...or more) and I am excited to announce: mission completed! Interestingly, purging and organizing has only opened up a new challenge to me, which would be defining my personal style. (This is #10 on my list of resolutions this year, ahem). At first, I thought this would be relatively simple. Look at my wardrobe champions, describe them, and voila! Then I realized, not so much.

Here are a few words that describe the clothing in my closet:
-floral prints
-lace details
-dresses, dresses, dresses
-understated, I'm-in-the-background pants

Okay......that is not making much of a statement. Those words are not making my heart (and style) SIIING! (Sing a pretty, high note whilst reading that). So I am going to approach this from a different angle and ask myself, "How would I like others to describe my personal style?" This starts with a list of elements that goes more like....
-feminine (first and foremost! I am not a girly-girl necessarily (as I type this with a Barbie-pink manicure, wearing a skirt at 9pm, describing my closet of lacy floral print dresses) but I DEFINITELY am super feminine)
-sheer layers
-conversational prints
-a few whimsical details
-bright jewel tones
-dark slim bootcut pants
-A-line/ fit and flare
-statement necklaces
-a slight hint of new-age-y-ness (yes that's a word...think quartz pendants and crystal stud earrings)

I do not know where this basic, basic mish-mashy list of elements will take me but I think it somehow gets me a little closer to curating a more succinct style. I feel like this process will help highlight the things I'm doing right and the areas where I can honestly assess my daily look and see if I'm projecting what I want to visually project into the world. If that makes sense. I've not done it before, but perhaps a goal is to start photographing my outfits and using those to sort out what's working REALLY WELL and what's...not. I feel like defining my style will always be a process for me but hopefully it will get easier with time.

One last note, I totally picked up a pair of tan suede booties with fringe on them today. Calm down, no not these, but THESE. Fringe is completely unlike me, in any form or fashion, so this is exceedingly unusual. I am, however, planning to wear them tomorrow as part of a (lovely! elevated! sophisticated!) ensemble I put together for a work event. For extra incentive and as proof I can make these work, I promise to post a photo of said outfit be on the lookout...eeep.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A little something

Just a little "hello!" to announce that I have not fallen off the face of the earth, as much as it may seem so. I've been incredibly busy lately, but still have a goal of writing more/ updating more frequently, so hang in there with me, please?

This weekend has been fairly typical of a working weekend for me. I had Friday off and used the time to clean my apartment, run random errands, and grocery shop. I made a gigantic vat of vegetable soup. I also nursed my baby kitten who went in Thursday for The Big Snip-Snip. When I brought her home she acted as though she'd been in a cage for 24 hours (which she had, essentially), which means she tore around the house incessantly for oh, four hours. At least she didn't make pity-me eyes.

My sweet boyfriend came to visit me yesterday. I worked from 7am to 4pm, and ran out the door as soon as I could to go meet him at my place. The plan was to hit a local Halloween festival but in the end I was just too tired so we ate Indian food, cozied up on the couch, and ate pumpkin ice cream whilst watching "An American Werewolf in London," one of his favorite movies. I will admit, it was pretty good. Tonight I'm going to attempt to finish "Don't Look Now" while crafting a bazillion tissue paper tassels for a little something I have up my sleeve. Have I mentioned my new passion for garlands of every make and sort? I could make a million garlands, hang them all, and be very pleased for quite some time.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I like to think of myself as a go-with-the-flow, let-the-day-take-you-where-it-may kind of gal. I realize that there are many people who would not describe me in this way at all, so please don't laugh if you are one of these people! I kinda like to have an agenda when entertaining out-of-town guests, I want to know all the options of a movie's start times, and I feel better knowing what's on the dinner menu. I am a Planner.

Before I moved for grad school, my week was very structured and unchanging. I was always off on Sundays and Thursdays, and I spent Sundays relaxing and Thursdays Getting Stuff Done. I loved this arrangement, but I hated not having weekends to spend with my friends and family. I missed so many cookouts, brunches, camping trips, and community events and it was such a bummer. I vowed when I started grad school I'd be done with wonky schedules (well, and retail, but that's a story for another day). Little did I know how wonky a schedule could get!

Moving, starting a new job, and beginning a graduate program all together created a Defining Moment of my twenties. It was lucky I was so energized by the prospect of meeting new people, trying my hand at a different work pace, and taking supercool classes because...I never slept. A few months of this and I was officially best friends with my tidy moleskin planner. (This is the time in my life when I started sprouting gray hairs). I am very proud of myself for pushing through this awful adjustment and keeping most of my wits about me!

Last semester I was taking more classes than before (and still working full time with haphazard scheduling) and went a little nuts organizing my schedule. I basically began planning every minute of every day in an attempt to control the chaos around me, and ultimately would be left feeling low about myself for not sticking to the plan. I would even schedule in "breaks" and meals and showers, and list suggestion times for going to bed at night depending on what time I was to be at work! Before you start thinking I am some sort of control freak, you have to understand some days I go to work at 7am, some days at 9am, some days at noon, and some days at 6am. All in one week! Add to that a full-time class load with all the reading, writing, and physical in-class time. So!

I decided to take this semester off and focus on my actual work, my personal goals, cultivating my relationships, and...not being so busy! Best decision ever. But I'm still over here a-planning!

I like structure. I love checking things off my list. And I LOVE reaching a goal! A month or so ago I realized I am at my best and can achieve my goals faster with a little forethought. So far, so good! More on this later!

One of the things I now do is create a chalkboard calendar at the beginning of every month, and the first thing I put down is my work schedule. After that, I have a clear picture of where my free time is and then plan from there how to spend that time, which is so much more fun when I don't have to account for classes or studying! Whee! It's also helpful in showing where I have time to plan for visits with the boyfriend, who lives out of town. I cannot even begin to describe how huge it is for me to be able to visually see when we're next going to be able to spend time together!

This was intended to be a short, generalized post about planning. Someone else can quote  "To a Mouse" and finish this out for me.