Last Days Of Summer...


 ^^^that's right, we had some ukulele action down by the water!^^^
 ^^^i was feeling a little retro and also i'm kind of afraid to wear my short hair down by the sea^^^
 ^^^that's her second bathing suit of the day and no, we don't know her^^^
^^^the girlies^^^

Sorry this space has been quite for over a week now... it's just that hubs got back and there was so much cuddling and show watching to catch up on that well, this just wasn't top priority you know? Anyways, this past weekend we tried our hardest to enjoy what's left of the summer, although if I'm being honest, it wasn't quite the summer I was expecting. I don't want to complain or anything (or do I?) but why is it that London has the warmest summer it's had in over two years as soon as I leave and meanwhile L.A. has been having one of the mildest? Mother Earth... why you hate me so much?

Na but I kid... because I'll take these foggy hazy days by the beach any old day! So in effort to spend every waking last minute outdoors before the seasons change, we hit up the beach to get our toes in the sand and even though the fog was thick over the mountains, we weren't the only ones holding out hope that the clouds (or smog) would part and let the sun shine through. Still, it was a good old time because M brought her cute little ukulele and strummed along for our listening pleasure. There was also that poodle up there that kept us entertained by having not one but TWO bathing suit changes during her visit... and she also broke free at one point and jumped on hubs... topless mind you! It was quite the scandal! Hubs decided it was a good idea to jump into the freezing cold water but he is British after all and used to much colder water so I guess it's not that crazy. Rocks were collected, fries were consumed, and friendships were strengthened so sun or not, I'd call this beach outing a success. Hope you're all enjoying the last days of summer too!

***Today I am thankful friends and sandy shores... the perfect combo me thinks!***


Home At Last...


You guys hubs is back!!! He's home and I don't just mean home as in L.A. or even America for that matter, but home with me. You know the saying "home is wherever I'm with you"... that kind of home. Because if I've learned anything throughout our many years together, it's that home can be anywhere as long as we're together. We make the best out of any place or situation when we're together, we really do. And man have I been missing this hubs of mine... more so than I even realized. It was draining and stupid as it may sound, I felt a little lost while he was gone. How quickly I became used to our little routine... just simple things like going to bed side by side and waking up every morning next to that sleepy face I love to shower with kisses. Watching our shows (I was really reluctant to watch them without him so I fell pretty behind on True Blood, Suits, and Falling Skies) became almost a chore because let's face it, hubs is the real driver behind that one. And not to sound like a complete child but man am I looking forward to eating more than milk and cereal for dinner because while it's nice every once and a while and obviously my comfort food, a month of that is plenty! I won't even bore you with my eating of the same meal for days straight saga... it's too pitiful. Of course I missed him for other more meaningful reasons that the petty ones I just listed, but these I find the funniest. I could go on for hours with the list of things I missed but I won't. He's back now and that's all that matters. So if you'll excuse me, I've got a hot cuddle date with my main squeeze and nope, it's not my teddy bear ;)

***Today I am thankful for hubs being home... it's where he belongs***


Dreamy Spaces...


 ^^^be still my heart, a pink couch!^^^
 ^^^the dreamiest of frame walls^^^
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Please excuse me while I switch gears back into house talk... or as I like to call it, nest talk. You see I have a little confession to make. Yes, I have had sofa's on the brain non stop and the vast amount of choices in styles, color, and fabrics is enough to make this girl's head spin! And while I have to admit it's not just the sofa that has me so indecisive, I figure I should nail that first as my focal point and then let the rest of the planing happen around it right? I mean let's face it, this sofa of mine (ours) is going to be an investment so to speak and so I don't want to go jumping the gun with a trendy decision or something that I won't be able to commit to. Enter pinterest, and more importantly my Home Sweet Home board which has allowed me to pin away worry free! Through this I have been able to "test out" different styles and looks. Also it has helped me pin point things I feel strongly about by visually seeing reoccurring trends in color or setups. For example, through the five pictures above I became aware of the fact that I have a thing for fur, neutrals, and frame walls. The fur especially surprised me as I never would have thought I would be one for fur throws or hide rugs (I own one now thanks to this!) and also, when did I become a lover of all things minimalist? Give me black... give me white... give me grey... and maybe a pop of color (optional)... then throw some natural materials in the mix like wood, gold, silver, fur and that about sums me up right now. I like to call it minimalist scandinavian meets rusticy vintage style... a mouthful I know but a dreamy space non the less.

***Today I am thankful for pinterest... it really is one of the best tools for inspiration***


Manic Monday...


Because some days are so stressful all you can really do is come home and put your feet up... literally!

***Today I am thankful that Monday is over... now time for bed!***


A Lovely Week 8.9.12


1. neon for friday 2. looking up at a teeny plane 3. sunny days 4. i love trend researching! 5. trinkets & treasures 6. guilty pleasures of mine 7. just not the same without hubs 8. stragglers on my desk 9. white puffy clouds 10. new glasses, yay or nay? 11. playing with swatches 12. always reflecting 13. i spy a color trend 14. embroidery 15. an original gift from hubs 16. studded 17. sunset view form the office 18. puppets on my morning commute! 19. farmer's markets are my fave 20. weekly flower purchase

>>>follow along all week long here!<<<

So most of you probably already know that in a fit of dire desperation I recently chopped all of my hair off... which may not have surprised many because I've been threatening to do so for the last couple of months... and now it's all gone and the awkward part (the reason you're still reading) is that I'm not quite sure how to style it... I don't know why I thought cutting it short would solve all my hair problems like insane frizziness from the humidity even though it's not humid out here (I think maybe it's the smog?) and especially when my go-to for bad hair days was a top knot... So now it's shorter and curlier than ever... again, not sure when it decided to go so curly! But anyways, it's more maintenance than ever because now I actually have to shape the curls or straighten them... and my bed head look is crazier than ever too! So I feel like I look like a 10 year old girl and like all my sexy womanly powers (the few that I possessed that allowed people to think I was at least in my 20's) are now gone and I feel more awkward than usual. Odd thing is that everyone else seems to LOVE my new do! I've been getting so many... I mean SO MANY compliments and hubs is dying to see it when he gets back (he's been wanting me to go short for a while now) and I honestly just don't get it. But I guess if the people like it, then it can't be too awkward right?! And then there's my new glasses... not sure about them either... They are bigger and bolder than my last pair (sadly those broke) and I fee like now-a-days I'm nothing but big hair and big glasses! Talk about sexy... the man repeller would be proud indeed... but again, the people LOVE them... so maybe there's something I'm not seeing that others are and maybe, just maybe I should trust other people's opinions? I would love to know how you feel on either or both... but please be kind even if you aren't liking the new look... big haired, big glasses wearing people have feelings too you know...

Diving into trend research at work for denim head first... after so much soul searching, I think I may have found what I am truly passionate about... surprise, surprise... I love trend researching and everything it involves! I love discovering new brands, techniques, themes and dissecting them to later present them in a way that's most visually appealing... I mean sure, I do love design and all, but let's be honest... until I have my own thing going, not much creative freedom is out there to be had in the corporate world and I'm ok with that... For the first time ever I accept it and have moved on... enter trend research which I can do on the clock and  making me a very happy girl... Finally tackling that dreaded pile of laundry I've been ignoring since hubs left weeks ago (mind you most of it was his stuff anyways)... and now it's gone and my apartment smells nice again and I don't have that pile of smelly clothes looming down on me and judging me... because yes, dirty laundry judges... Long chats with little k and catching up on each other's gossip... not that our lives have enough drama to create gossip but we like to pretend... A co-worker informing me that I actually have one more season of Glee to watch before the new season premieres (Netflix why are you missing season three?) and that both delights and terrifies me... so if I fall off the face of the earth this weekend, you'll know why... Weekly flower purchases at the farmer's market near work... and sure this is only the second week but still, that counts as weekly right? And with hubs gone, coming home to flowers is the next best thing so don't be surprised if you come over (maybe?) and find the place full of flowers... what can I say, I'm a huge fan of treating yourself to flowers!

***Today I am thankful for the weeks passing... every week that goes by is another week closer to hubs coming back*** 


Top Five Charity Shops In Ringwood...


Another Thursday, another throwback and this week I'm bringing you my favorite five places to vintage shop in Ringwood! Since there weren't really many things to do in the small little town and everyone knows about my obsession with vintage British pottery, I made it my business to frequent the local charity shops for hidden gems. You know the old "one man's trash is another man's treasure" sort of thing, well that was totally the case here. A few of the shop owners even began recognizing me (as if the large rimmed glasses and American accent didn't already do the trick!) because of how often I would drop by... and oh the thrill of the hunt! I can honestly say that some of my favorite and cheapest pieces came from the shops in good ol' little Ringwood... even compared to London where the overpriced and over picked were plentiful. Now that's saying something! If you are ever in the area (though I'm not sure why you would be but just in case) make sure to check out these local spots. In total the town has about ten charity shops (a lot for a town that has not much else) but these by far are my fave.

 RSPCA // 1 High Street, Ringwood Hampshire BH24 1AB

What usually attracts me to this shop is the glassware. It sparkles and glistens at me (or you) through the window, inviting me (or you) in for just a peek. Next thing I (or you) know I (or you) are handing over some money in exchange for some lovely pink stemmed glass goblets and envisioning them in my (or your) future bar cart. Oh and they sell other stuff too but I wouldn't know, I'm easily distracted by shiny things...

 ^^^tiny glass boat in a glass bottle^^^
 Sue Ryder // 20 Meeting House Lane, Ringwood Hampshire BH24 1EY

If you only have time (humor me here) to make a pit stop into one of these charity shops, make sure it's this one. By far the best one out of the five and my lucky spot when it comes to scoring hornsea pottery. They have a pretty good selection of other stuff too including furniture, clothes, and home goods. I think I have never left this store without some sort of purchase... I just need this horsea saffron print egg cup set with rare wooden holder... I'm a geek, I know!

 ^^^gaudy gold mirrors which i love!^^^
 Cancer Research UK // 17 Market Place, Ringwood Hampshire BH24 1AN

Helping a cause that hits really close to home for me, I support anything that supports cancer research of any kind. They mainly stock clothes but really I go for the purses. It can be hit or miss but like most of this stuff, it's really about the hunt now isn't it?! Proud to have scored my fair share of goodies in here.

 ^^^trinket paradise^^^
 Debra Charity Chop // 7-11 Market Place, Ringwood Hampshire BH24 1AN

Fashion forward and the most stylish of the lot when it comes to clothing, shoes, and even some random pieces for the home... somehow making the whole place feel a lot more higher end than the others. It's also the most appealing in terms of layout and being visually appeasing. Keep your eyes peeled for some great vintage pumps or that perfect duck figurine you've been dreaming about...

 ^^^i have a thing for shoes^^^
 Alabare Charity Shop // 55 High Street, Ringwood Hampshire BH24 1AE

Best assortment for men's fashion hands down... and their tie selection is out of control good! Of course they also have a few run of the mill trinkets and some odd pieces of furniture every once in a while... but seriously the ties! Now if I can just get hubs to start wearing ties...

 ^^^i'm also a sucker for vintage pottery^^^

***Today I am thankful for the many charity shops all conveniently located within walking distance of the in-laws... they literally became my second home***


Recipe: Ballpark Beer Mustard


Continuing with my gourmet sauces of the summer, I present to you this spicy(ish) mustard that has beer in it, leaving you with such a delicious beer after taste in your mouth. Of course this only works if you are a beer lover and if you aren't, well we can no loner be friends. I kid! It does have a slight after taste but not too strong that would bug non beer drinkers (I think)... but any who, it's still worth a try. Paired with umami ketchup and wasabi mayonnaise (recipe coming soon) on a warm hot dog being enjoyed at a beach picnic is just the sort of thing you want to pencil in for the remaining weekends left of summer. A plus to this recipe, you only use like a fraction of that beer meaning tons of leftover and well, we can't let it go to waste now can we? Again, only works if you like beer... if you don't, make sure to have someone that does near by to take care of the remains. Enjoy!

Ballpark Beer Mustard Recipe, (which I adjusted slightly) makes about 1 cup

  • 1/4 cup mustard powder (you can also use dry mustard) 
  • 1/2 cup light bodied beer (I used Corona)
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 egg
  • 1  1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Whisk together the mustard powder, beer, water, and turmeric in a medium sized bowl until smooth. Cover and let chill in the fridge overnight.
  • Simmer 1 inch of water in a sauce pan, leave aside.
  • Add egg, salt, cornstarch, lemon juice, and sugar to the mustard mixture, whisking well to blend.
  • Place bowl in the simmering water of the sauce pan to cook and whisk constantly. Whisk until the mustard thickens which should be around 6 minutes.
  • Transfer into plastic squirt bottles (optional but so much fun!) and chill before using... enjoy!
***Today I am thankful beer in my mustard... you can definitely taste it!***


Life Lately...

Let's catch up shall we? Firstly the lovely succulents above are a neighbors of mine that has three large wooden barrels filled with those breath taking beauties you see up there... yes my obsession with the cacti family (I think they are cacti) is ever growing and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. In fact, I recently impulsed bought a few of the following items including but not limited to tiny terra cotta pots, pebbles, succulent soil, and succulent food of course because according to hubs, they need to be fed... dope! I thought water was enough but judging by how they were slightly dying on me, those supposedly ever so easy to care for plants, I'm willing to try just about anything. All that I'm needing now is some white paint and we will be in business and you all lucky folks will have a diy.

So that's my rant for today on succulents. A brief update on the hubs and I saga (two star struck lovers destined to love from afar it seems) goes as following. Good old hubs had his interview last Friday and though he claims it was an extreme pain in the behind, it was a successful one none the less. They have now confiscated his passport (don't worry, that's standard procedure) and will mail it back to him with his work visa stamped in it in roughly... wait for it... ONE WEEK!!! Now I'm no sucker and I've gone through my fair share of visa stuff, so while a part of me wants to jump for joy and dance around while singing "return of the mack..." (a stretch I know, but needed for my second song to make sense) the other sulky side wants to sit in the shadows belting "all by myself..." Dramatic, yes of course... but have you come to expect anything less? So until some plane tickets are bought, this girl ain't believing nothing. So how has it been? Honestly, it's been rough and even though I know he's coming back and this isn't forever and yes I know, we've done this before, it still doesn't make it any easier. The time difference and work schedules has really been a big bust this time around and when he's not falling asleep, I'm rushing out the door to catch my bus. But what can you do except get on with life (keep calm and carry on and what not) which is normally not like me and while I love a good tantrum every now and again, am feeling eerily calm through all this. Hey I know, it must 30 knocking on my door!

In other news and song verses that pop into my head through out my day because that's just the kind of mind I have, Celine's "it's all coming back" has been the song of choice during these first few weeks back at work. Not the whole song, just that little verse on repeat... "it's all coming back, it's all coming back to me now". Don't ask why because I don't know... just is what it is. Aside from all that, I've turned to ice cream (who am I?) for comfort and have come to the end of my Glee marathon which I am both relieved and sad about. I keep threatening hubs that I'm going to buy all kinds of crap for the apartment while he's gone such as sofa's and probably more succulents... and while he knows I'm just teasing, he also knows that sometimes I'm crazy enough to go through with my little threats. Guess he (and you all) will just have to wait to see what happens. Disclaimer, if anything does get purchased while he is away, I blame the internet that makes it was too easy and way too tempting to be good.

***Today I am thankful for succulents... they never fail to make me smile***


Purple Petals...


sunglasses: urban outfitters (similar) | top: madewell | belt: target | jeans: ag jeans via anthropologie | earrings: forever21 | watch: michael kors | rings: beacon's closet | lipstick: revlon (british red) | nails & toes: o.p.i (mo-dern girl) & essie (pink parka

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