Saturday, March 30, 2013

The 1, 2, 3's of Hosting: Easy Easter Centerpiece

cute and tasty!

image via Pintrest

I saw this cute centerpiece on Pintrest a couple weeks ago and was totally smitten. The weather finally warmed up today which really put me in the spring spirit gave me the inspiration I needed to finally make it!

easy easter centerpiece

You'll need:

1 box of Peeps bunnies
1 bunch of Gerber daisies
1 square vase
2 bags of jelly beans (I used pear Jelly Bellys)

I went to A.C. Moore and got all my supplies for about $15. I think the flowers in the original picture are real, but I wasn't sure how to put water in the vase without ruining the peeps.  I ended up getting artificial Gerber daisies; and even though I'm usually not a fan of fake flowers, these actually look just as good! Back at home, the entire assembly took me less than five minutes.  I just dumped the jelly beans into the bottom of the vase, then added the Peeps which fit perfectly-alternating three and two on each side.  I even had a few left over to snack on.  After that, just clip the flower stems to your desired height, and voila!  This is a great centerpiece if you're having people over tomorrow, or just for spring in general! I have a feeling the Peeps might last just as long as the fake flowers...


My wonderful Aunt Amy made her own arrangement using tulips.  Here's her tip on using live flowers:"I used real tulips, put a small glass inside the vase for the water and flowers, and put the Peeps on the outside. You can get the vases at the dollar store (I got my jelly beans and Peeps there also!)"

Best News of the Week

plus other great things the internet gave us

image via JJ's Jottings

Best News of the Week goes to this interview with Quentin Tarantino where he discusses the power of food in his movies. While he seems to have intentionally focused on the ritual of sharing meals together in his films, he also simultaneously integrated phenomenal demonstrations of power into these sequences. I especially appreciated how all of his actors actually eat the food while they're filming, regardless of the number of takes, to make the scenes more believable. Plus, the thought Tarantino puts into these shots to glorify certain items from a meal (essentially making them iconic by association) to the point where the viewer is craving it by the time they leave the theater is simply brilliant. Watch the full video below-only a brief six minutes that is well worth your time.

In other news...

Scope invented bacon flavored mouth wash- I'm still not sure if it's a joke or not

A new tidbit about Wes Anderson's new movie was revealed

You shouldn't feel bad about yourself. Here's what some great people were doing at 25

JJ the bulldog, Georgetown's new mascot, made his debut

Twin sisters separated at birth launched a Kickstarter to make a movie of their meeting and DNA testing

Ryan Gosling charms those near and afar. Here's what his directors had to say about him

The new documentary about The Shining  looks awesome

Someone in England has a hot-crossed bun baked for Easter in 1807


Here's a great quote from E.B. White (author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little)

Worst News of the Week goes to these ass-hats for suing the Met in New York. Do you research next time! Hopefully, this won't result in the Met instituting an admission fee but rather just making their policies more obvious.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

ModCloth Stylish Surprise

like russian roulette...without the gun

Did you shop ModCloth's Stylish Surprise Sale two weeks ago? I did and so did a few friends! One of the girls at my office had done the sale before and had a good experience, so she convinced us all to give it a try. The way it works is that ModCloth is getting rid of what I assume are samples.  They send you an email about the sale, so you never really know when it's going to happen; and the key is to decide to take the risk before your size runs out. You pay $15 per item, and then about a week later they send you your mystery package in the mail. Items can range in price from $29.99 to $299.99-which means that no matter what, you're saving at least a few dollars on whatever you buy.

While my surprises weren't necessarily things I would have picked out on my own, I ended up loving both of my dresses!  I usually get a sizer larger than I normally wear when I buy from ModCloth, and both of my dresses fit like gloves. Shipping was only $5, which is why I got two; but they gave me a free headband as a gift so I ended up getting three things for only $35. Not a bad deal considering the pink dress I got (see the last two pictures) retails for $150 and is on sale for $90 on Amazon. All in all, it was great way to put something fresh and different in my closet, and I cant wait until next time! Check out what everyone got below:

Sarah got this gorgeous, brocade dress.

Danielle got a plaid blazer with elbow patches (not pictured) and this adorable rosette dress.

Jennifer got a good mix of spring and winter, comfy and casual with her sweater and dresses.

Janine got this cute deer shirt which she says will be great for her student teaching.

Andrea got this retro mini-dress which looks straight out of an episode of Mad Men.

And I got these two pretty numbers! The first is silky purple material with tulle underneath to give it some oopmh, and the second has a checkered sequins bust with the dainty bow closure and low back. 

If you got any good deals or cute pieces from the sale, I'd love to see them!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What to Wear to the Gym

booty booty booty booty rockin everywhere 

I started going to group fitness classes lately, and they're so much fun! And, one thing I've noticed is that there's something magical about yoga pants. As much as people hate on girls wearing leggings instead of pants, I've never once heard someone complain about girls' butts in yoga pants. Men and women alike love it. It's eye candy and comfort all in one snug little package. If you're dying to get your Lululemon on but can't quite squeeze it into your budget, peep the two outfits that I pulled together below:


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Best News of the Week

plus other great things the internet gave us

image via A Cup of Jo

Best News of the Week goes to Sharon Montrose. Joanna Goddard over on A Cup of Jo interviewed the photographer to find out what it's really like going to work every day with such adorably cute clients. Montrose gave some really insightful responses about her creative process and how she got started. Plus, she seemed really down to earth and pointed out that every job has paperwork, no matter how glamorous it seems! Besides the photos, my favorite part of the interview was the things that most people don't know about her. She seems like a kindred soul I'd love to be BFF's with.

In other news,

New York invented coffee that might give energy drinks a run for their heart-stopping money

A London graphic designer made some Quentin Tarantino-Penguin Classic  book covers

Craft brews are starting to give the Big Two a run for their money

The French government is launching an initiative with help from Google to keep French startups in France

Flavorwire did a round up of interviews on what it's like to film a sex scene

The world's most colorful cities will brighten your day

This is what the Chatillon Car Graveyard from WWII in Belgium looks like

Girl Scout Cookie flavored beer exists


College Humor did a hilarious Disney princess Spring Breakers parody.

Worst News of the Week goes to America for refusing to acknowledge what's at the root of Finland's educational reform success.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

French Film Round Up

oh, on adore le cinema

The 21st annual French Film Festival started today in Richmond! Co-sponsored by VCU and the University of Richmond, French films and shorts will be playing all weekend at the Byrd. Plus, many of the actors, actress, and directors will be there to talk about their films and give master classes. If any are still available, you can get passes here; but usually they go pretty fast. If that's a little out of your price range (or driving range), don't worry! Netflix has some great French movies available on Instant Play that you can watch whether you want to brush up on your comprehension or just see some really good films. Check out my picks below:

This is the quintessential study abroad movie-a little cheesy but so good none the less. Xavier is a French student who takes part in the Erasmus program and goes to Barcelona where he lives in an apartment with other kids from all over Europe. If you're not heartsick for your college friends after this movie, your soul might be broken. The vocabulary is good if you're just brushing up on your conversation skills. (P.S. The sequel Russian Dolls is on Instant Play too!)

Justin and I just watched this the other night, and it was absolutely riveting. I'm usually pretty good at figuring out plots half way through the movie, but this one had me guessing til the very end. The plot centers around a pediatrician after the case of his wife's murder is suddenly reopened. The vocabulary was a little advanced; but the film is so intriguing, you won't mind the subtitles.

This is actually on my Watch List, so I haven't seen it yet. But, I'm sure everyone remembers all the buzz surrounding this Oscar darling. It's a silent movie about the death of the silent film industry, so it should be perfect for any film majors out there.

This is also on my Watch List, but the William & Mary Global Film Festival showed it last year as part of their Film and the City theme. The story follows a little girl who learns that her cat is leading a double life at night. The vocabulary should be fairly elementary because its a children's movie, but I've heard the story is still charming for adults. This one was also nominated for an Oscar in 2012.

If you're into police thrillers, you definitely have to check this one out. Though the setting is small, the story packs a hard punch. All the action essentially takes place in one evening and in one place, and it focuses on the relationship between a father and his son. The vocabulary is great if you're trying to pick up some slang.

This documentary has been on my Watch List ever since I saw it on display at the Alliance Francaise in Washington, D.C. It's actually in English and tells the story of several world-class pastry chefs competing for the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the greatest honor in the pastry world. Sounds like a good excuse to curl up with a few eclairs and bottle of champagne this weekend!

Last but not least, I've been dying to see this movie ever since I missed it at the Kimball Theater when I was at William & Mary; so I was stoked to see it on Instant Play. The story centers around an American journalist who looks into the secrets of the Vel d'Hiv Roundup of Jews in occupied Paris during 1942. I think this is the American trailer, so I'm not sure what the vocabulary level is; but, I do know that Kristin Scott Thomas won a Cesar (like the French Oscars) for her performance.

If you have any French movie recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weekend Edition: Richmond

carry me back to virginia

This past weekend, Justin and I took a road trip to Richmond, VA. He went to celebrate his college roommate's birthday (and to see Louis C.K. at the Landmark), and I went to see my mom and dad. I had an awesome time celebrating St. Patrick's Day with them and doing some of my favorite things in Richmond-thrifting, going to the Byrd and eating. Check out my trip below! 

On the way there, we passed the Peachoid in Gaffney, SC. You may recognize this peach-shaped water tower from its guest appearance on House of Cards.

Saturday morning, my mom and I did a little bit of thrifting before lunch. Our first stop was Second Debut in Carytown, which is essentially a curated Goodwill store. It's a little bit more expensive but the selection is also a lot better. (I actually got the trunk I took these pictures on there for $25 new, with the tags still on!) My mom got a cute pair of flats, and I got the belt pictured above for only $5. I can't wait to wear it this summer with a chambray dress.

Next, we went to Ashby which is owned by Clementine and opened up when they decided to shift toward more namebrand and high end labels. They have gently used clothing and new accessories. I got the retro headband for $13 and the earrings for $14. You can't really tell in the picture, but they look sort of gemstone/agate in person.

For lunch, we went to Proper Pie Co. I had been dying to go ever since my parents told me about it. A couple of New Zealanders opened up a meat pie shop in Church Hill, and it's absolutely mind-blowing, as evidenced by the crowd they were packing in the whole time we were there.

When you walk in, this board to explains some of the menu items and colloquial terms.

And this one has the actual menu.

These are the deep dish, sweet pies! Apparently, they sell like hot cakes, and there was a sign saying the limit was 6 whole pies per person at any given time.

Pardon the glare- this was the best shot I could get of the savory pies. If you look closely you can see them!

Drinks and sweets by the slice.

Lamingtons! These little cakes are a true labor of love to make- yellow cake stacked high, dipped in chocolate, and rolled in coconut- but they're so delicious.

My mom and I both got brekkie pies which had a hard boiled egg, cheese, and sausage packed inside a perfectly flaky pie crust, and we got a lamington to split.

Mom-daughter date!

After lunch, I changed into the dress my mom had gotten me for St. Patrick's' Day before we headed down to Shamrock the Block. Coincidentally, she had gotten at the thrift store B-Sides in Carytown. Like mother, like daughter I guess! (The Bean boots were for the downpour later in the afternoon.)

Shamrock the Block was at 17th Street Farmers' Market and was a hot mess to put it lightly. Think lots of beer and lots of bros. It was great for people watching, and I got a new RVA sticker for my car from the RVA Beard League for only $2.

After that, we went to the Byrd to catch a matinee showing of The Life of Pi. This is one of my favorite places in Richmond. You just can't beat the $2 tickets, the gorgeous chandelier, and of course the Mighty Wurlitzer on Saturday nights.

Sunday was St. Patrick's Day which marked 40 years since my parents' first date! They met on a blind date at a St. Patrick's Day party and have been together ever since. So if your friends ever try to set you up, it might be worth a chance!

And last but certainly not least, I got to spend some quality time with Shady Bob who turned 15 on Valentine's Day. His old age has not hindered him in the least; he's just as mischievous as ever.

All in all, it was a great trip. A little shorter than I would have liked, but what can you do? If you ever have any questions on what to do or where to go in Richmond, just let me know-I'd be more than happy to give you a few more suggestions!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Best News of the Week

plus other great things the internet gave us

image via Stereo Gum

Best News of the Week goes to me! And technically it's happened last week, but I never posted about it, so here is: Justin and I got Forecastle tickets! Forecastle is a little festival in Louisville, KY, held at the Waterfront Park. If you, like me, are too poor for Bonnaroo, I feel like this is a very fine substitute. The Black Keys are headlining and will be joined by: The Avett Brothers, The Flaming Lips, Alabama Shakes, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Animal Collective, Old Crow Medicine Show, Young the Giant, Big Boi, Matt and Kim, Purity Ring, The Joy Formidable, Dawes, Toro y Moi, El-P and Killer Mike, and Bauuer (of Harlem Shake fame) just to name a few. I'm really excited about the line-up; plus, I am fulfilling one of my new year's resolutions because I've never been to Kentucky before! Check out their newly renovated site (love the nautical theme) for more details; personally, I can't wait to find out more about this Bourbon Lodge.  

In other news....

First it was gifts, now you can shop for yourself on Facebook too

Even more Mad Men photos are out! Is it April yet?!

Buzzfeed published the philosophy of Karen Walker

This is how you correctly wish people a Happy St. Patrick's Day

Play-Dough got taken to a holy, new level

Design*Sponge came up with the best party idea

Remember when they cured that baby with AIDS? Now 14 adults are better too!

Book covers are different in the UK than the US

Staying warm doesn't mean you can't break out your spring clothes

The trailer for Kick-Ass 2 came out

Worst News of the Week is that we have a new pope.

I'm going to visit my parents this weekend and can't wait to try this place out!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Wanderlust

sunshine daydreams

Lately the weather in South Carolina has been tantalizingly warm.  It's just nice enough to start going outside again, but still a bit too chilly to wear dresses and shorts. Is it possible to have wanderlust for a season?  I can't stop daydreaming about spring- iced coffee, flowers, baby animals- so here's a few pictures we can live vicariously through until things totally thaw out:

image via Baron Wells

image via Supreme

image via Sugar and Charm

Follow me on tumblr for more!