Looking ahead at 2011

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This time of year is always interesting. You get to look ahead and make fun plans about things you'll do or change in the new year, but you also get to look back and reflect on the past year. I don't hold to resolutions much, but I do like making a guideline of things I'd like to accomplish in the next year. Looking back to my plans for 2010,
  • Get organized, both my stuff and my life [eh, sort of happened I guess]
  • Moving into an apartment that has room for an office (or at least space for a decent desk)[done!]
  • Create an office full of creativity that inspires me when I sit down and work[done, only I don't actually use it much]
  • Expand the variety of food that I cook. (I started doing that this year and I definitely want to continue) [definitely, and I'm going to do it next year too]
  • Start dancing again[I started Zumba, which isn't exactly dance but still fun]
  • Take yoga classes on a regular basis[this started well, and petered out because it got too expensive]
  • Take a photography class to actually learn how to work my camera[nope]

Plans for 2011:
  • continue a weekly workout routine
  • learn to create a budget and actually stick to it
  • eat a raw food diet for a week, just to see if I can do it
  • keep exploring new and healthy meals to cook
  • stop buying things just because they're on sale, and only buy stuff I need
  • stop making excuses and start taking a ballet class
  • travel more than I did last year
  • post more frequently on here (I'm a lot better than I was at the beginning of this year though!)
  • sew more things
What are some of your resolutions?

Goodbye 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

With the new year just around the corner I thought it would be fun to look back and see what I did in 2010. After 2 years of living out in California, graduating school, and getting a job this year seemed sort of slow. However, the closer I look, the more I realized that I did quite a bit this year too.
  • Moved back to Wisconsin and am surrounded by friends, family, and my boyfriend
  • Started Neroli Blossoms Boutique!
  • Went to several trade shows to purchase merchandise for the store
  • Went to approximately 6 million weddings and was maid of honor for one of my best friends
  • Got a job back in the fashion industry for a huge company
  • Met some great friends at said job
  • Ended the 2+ year cross-state long distance part of the relationship with my boyfriend when he moved to Wisconsin and we now live within 30 minutes of each other (YAY!!!!)
  • Set up the boutique at my first festival, and rocked it!
  • Started doing some freelance product photo editing work

Literary Inspirations - Heidi

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's been a while since we've done one of these, and keeping with the snow and winter theme, this set is inspired by Heidi by Johanna Spyri. 


The hills are aliiiiive....oh wait, wrong story. The snowy alps are a wonderful place for a young girl to grow up, with plenty of goat cheese, bread, and milk drunk out of a bowl. Pack a lunch and put on your red shawl to go with Peter up the mountain with the goats. Don't forget a straw hat for those sunny days!

Advent Calendar - Day 25 Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Google Images

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord."

Holiday Break

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Just a heads up that I'll be taking the next few days off to enjoy my birthday and Christmas. A somewhat normal posting schedule should be back next week.

Merry Christmas!

Advent Calendar - Day 21

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

West Elm via digsdigs

Advent Calendar - Day 20

Monday, December 20, 2010

Also, I really want this table. Just saying.  

Easy Chocolate Bark

Friday, December 17, 2010

Continuing on my holiday baking spree, I decided the next item on the list was chocolate bark. I used this recipe as a base, but then pretty much changed everything.

I used 16 oz of semisweet chocolate instead of 8 oz semisweet and 8 oz of bittersweet chocolate, because that's what I had on hand. I also used the chocolate tempering method to make sure that the chocolate actually hardened (I've had trouble with this in the past). For this, I melted about 3/4 of the chocolate over the stove, then removed it from the heat and dumped the rest of the chocolate in, stirring until it was all melted together.

And then of course instead of healthy toppings, I had to go and crush up candy canes, peanuts, and pretzels to use instead.  It's worth it though for an easy, delicious chocolaty snack!

Advent Calendar - Day 17

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday Recipes

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

With the holiday season well under way, I've already started cooking and trying some new recipes to take to various parties. Two that I've tried to great success, are homemade Onion-Herb Focaccia Bread and Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Both were fairly easy to make, and considering I had never attempted either before, I thought they turned out pretty well. My family certainly thought so when I brought them to Thanksgiving dinner! (Yeah, I know it's way past that, I've been meaning to post this for a while.) Both are recipes that I will definitely make again. 

Advent Calendar - Day 15

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sewing Update

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Remember way back when where I posted about starting to sew a skirt? Well I've actually had the mock up sitting on my dress form for a while and I finally decided to get on with it and make the actual skirt.

After a night spent wrapping presents, a glass or two of wine, and watching The Holiday (love that movie), I took the muslin skirt apart and used it as a pattern for the actual fabric.

I'm hoping to finish it tomorrow so I can wear it to the Nutcracker on Thursday. Pictures of the finished product to come!

Advent Calendar - Day 14

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How a Christmas Tree Ate My Living Room

Monday, December 13, 2010

All I wanted was to buy a small, real tree to make my apartment smell like Christmas. After double checking my lease to make sure I was allowed to have a live tree, I happily dragged my boyfriend to the local tree farm to pick out the perfect tree. Last year I bought a tree that was about 5 ft tall, and it was the perfect manageable size for both my apartment and for a short person to deal with. I decided that I wanted one a teeny bit bigger this year, maybe six feet tall, but still small enough that I could deal with it on my own.
Trying to find the perfect tree
When we got to the tree farm I gleefully started looking at all the shorter trees, trying to find the one. After a bit of searching I saw it. It was about 2 feet shorter than the trees around it, but it was still fuller than most of the other short trees on the lot which were looking a bit sparse. We tracked down an employee, helped him tie the tree onto my boyfriend's truck and went to pay. I noticed that the price was a little steep for a mini tree, but I chalked it up to the price of supporting small local businesses instead of getting it at the local Home Depot like I did last year. (Because nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit like picking out your tree at a local big box retail store's parking lot.) I shrugged it off and we drove home.

I should have been tipped off when it took both of us to carry the tree into the apartment. Last year I was able to carry my tree with one hand. I figured it was because we hadn't had the tree netted, so it was just unruly, if we had netted it then surely I would have been able to carry it in alone. So we hauled it upstairs and wrestled it into the stand. The top of the tree hit the ceiling. We realized that once the branches unthawed and straightened out, it was going take up half my living room. And then it promptly fell over. And almost hit my tv.

My "little" tree is gigantic.

From Twitter, @neroliblossoms: I accidentally brought home a gigantic Christmas tree. I think it's trying to eat me. It's already devoured half of the living room...


However, Kacey and I were able to wrangle the thing into submission, and now it is lit and decorated.

Advent Calendar - Day 13

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Fashion Inspiration

Friday, December 10, 2010

I have a confession. I've always loved the fair isle pattern and anything remotely Scottish, Icelandic, or Scandinavian folklore-inspired when it comes to clothing. (The history major in me is currently pointing out that those areas and cultures are very different and have vastly different styles. The product development major in me is telling the history major to shut up and stop being such a know it all.) Anyway, I am so excited that fair isle is trending right now and if I had my way, my entire winter wardrobe would consist of patterned sweaters, giant parkas, cashmere, and crazy embroidery. But since I don't have the money to pull that off, I will continue to hoard images of these and just pretend that I live in a fairy tale where it's totally acceptable to go running around the woods in a red cape and fur or some such thing. Like this (although I would totally wear this entire outfit minus the boots and the dead animal looking fur thing tied to her back...):

In all seriousness though, these are definitely winter style inspiration for me, although let's be honest, I'd freeze if I wore any of these right now:

Russian Vogue
I love the western and turquoise jewelry with the camel coat. I could take or leave the fur.

Ok, so this look is a little too hobo chic for my taste, but the sleeve, LOOK AT THE SLEEVE! THE EMBROIDERY!!! The costumer in me is freaking out just a little right now. LOVE!!!

Advent Calendar - Day 10

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hair Envy

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I guess I'm a bit late in finding this, but I just discovered the blog Sea of Shoes.  While I'm enthralled with the fashion photography that this 17 year old and her mom do, it's this picture that I'm in love with:

Can I have her hair please?!?! I would love to go that color - I think it's absolutely gorgeous - but I'm not sure I could pull it off.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go read her old posts and drool over the fantastic, bright, colorful photos.

Proudly designed by | mlekoshiPlayground |