Sunday, November 27, 2011

You're Invited...

Hello my remaining few loyal readers!
I've been on a blogging hiatus to focus on important things like laundry, grocery shopping, surfing the web and reading other people's blogs. But now, I've decided to refocus my commitments and keep them in line with what I like to do. Life is more fun that way.
I'm hosting a tiny get together for my gal pals here in the Bay Area. We're having a holiday craft party. I thought my invite was pretty funny and wanted to share. Enjoy!

Hey gang,

It's me, Kelsey. Just wanted to touch base and make sure we're all "a-go".

The new date is Sunday, December 11 @ 12:13 pm (on the dot) at my house/apt.

The new activity is crafting. Bring a craft with supplies for the three of us to each make our own "what-have-you".

Here are some ideas of things we can make: "stained glass nativity quilt" (might run into some time issues with this one, i've been working on a quilt of my own since 2006) "santa wood carving from any old log" (could be dangerous to carve with a knife while drinking christmas cocktails) "hand blown glass ornaments" (supplies may be a bit costly and cumbersome to transport, also danger with fire and drinking)

Hope my ideas are inspiring!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Shoe Splurge Story

I'd like to start off by apologizing to Shannon Schreiber as she is on a shoe-fast for 2011...dang. you go girl.

I am not a "shoe fanatic" really. I own probably....30 pairs? But when I am out and about, I rarely come home with shoes. Mostly because everything I like is too uncomfortable..  (can anyone recommend a nude patten-leather pump that doesn't feel like wearing an ice-cube tray?)...or expensive.

But, last weekend I was out in Danville with my mom and grandma when I came across a pair of Toms. I'd been jonesin' for some Toms for quite a while but haven't been pushed over edge yet due to the $50 price tag. However, TOMS are pretty cool in that for every pair that is purchased, a pair is donated to a child without shoes in a 3rd world country. Pretty neat and worth the $50 when you think about it.
So on this day, after some time in the sun, my legs were slightly bronzed and after trying on a pair of Toms in "natural".... it was time to take the plunge.

Then, in the same store, I came across a darling pair of shoes. They looked like a boat-shoe/espadrille/ballet-flat. So much cuteness packed into one shoe, it could only be by one man- Michael Kors. I was shocked at the price tag. Not by how expensive, but how IN-expensive, $60!!!
I was torn. Surely I can't buy BOTH pairs. They're practically the same color (while very different styles) I don't NEED both and don't want to be a spoiled rotten American consumer..... (I've been living in San Fran for a year, can you tell?) With some encouragement from mom and grandma "just do it kels" "you deserve it" "you work hard, go for it". I went home with both pairs. The End.

Oh. and I don't feel guilty. Because I do work hard. DAMN hard! America! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Looking the Part

Considering how infrequently I cook, it is funny how I've managed to amass a small collection of aprons. For some reason, I just adore them. A special apron makes cooking just a little more fun. Also, it's like wearing a pretty dress, for less. There is something nostalgic about aprons that I really connect with. And even though I am far from the traditional housewife (working 60-70 hours a week, only cooking a full meal approx 2-3 times a month and on the verge of considering hiring a housekeeper for our tiny apartment) I can still tap into my inner "June Clever" whenever I throw one on, even if I'm just pouring a bowl of cereal for dinner.
Here are a few of my favorite ones :)

I picked this one up last summer in a little antique shop in Danville called "The Polka Dot Attic". This place is packed with vintage aprons and I really must exhibit restraint when in this store. I love the initials stitched onto the top "L. Marques" and the overall folky, Mexican feel of it.

You will probably recognize this apron from Anthropologie. It was a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law, Nicole. I wore this baking Christmas cookies with girlfriends over the holidays and just loved it! Thanks Nicole!
This next one was another antique store find. I picked this up with my mom up in Washington a couple years ago. I love the fork and spoon design at the bottom and the colors are just so sweet and vintage.

This apron is from Crate and Barrel and was part of my wedding registry. I fell in love with the "kitchy" print and bright colors. I also have matching tea-towels in this same pattern. (pardon the wrinkles!)

This one is my newest addition! I picked it up yesterday at a flower shop of all places where I was looking for a wreath (see next week's post). When I saw this beauty hanging up, I just HAD to have it. It is SO pretty and girly and perfect for spring!!

I finally decided it was time to bring all these out of the linen drawer and hang them up!!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Traveling Quilt of Many Colors

In January of 2009 I found a quilt top in an antique store in Washington with my mom. This quilt top was from the 1920's. All the patches were sown together, but it was never completed and turned into a blanket. I purchased this amazing quilt top for $50. Kind of an unusual purchase, but I loved the bright yet antiqued colors, the vintage patterns and the "oldness" of it. Also, I felt like I could relate to this woman. I also had sewn patches of a quilt together (fall 2006) and have yet to complete the quilt by adding a back to it. So, I wanted to help this woman complete the beautiful project she started almost 90 years ago.
I brought it back to Philadelphia with me and decided to send it to my Auntie Kate who lives in Tennessee. I had ZERO idea how to go about completing this thing and I also had a wedding to plan, a full time job and grad school. So, I sent it to my aunt with 4 children between the ages of 10 and 2, you know, since she had so much free time (I'm super considerate). Auntie Kate really is a great quilter (she made Mike and I a beautiful quilt for our wedding)and awesome at all things domestic (crochet, cooking, motherhood, etc) she said she'd be happy to take care of finishing the quilt for me.
When she saw the quilt top, I think she realized how truly old and delicate this thing was and decided it should be taken to a professional. She took it to a few different places but she wasn't quite satisfied with their "work". She knew her mother-in-law, Gail took her quilt projects to a really great quilter up in Washington state. So, the quilt was sent back to Washington. By the time the quilt was completed and sent back to Kate, she and her family had moved to Kansas (good ol' military life!).
I received the quilt in the mail last week here in Danville, California and I was completely and utterly THRILLED at the results. After 2 years, 5 states and sevearl hands, my quilt is back and better than ever! I am sure the lovely woman who sewed the original patches together would be incredibly pleased. Thank you Kate and Gail and the lady who started this quilt. I will love and cherish it forever!!

If Mike and I are ever blessed with a sweet baby girl of our own, I think this quilt will serve the perfect inspiration for her first bedroom :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

"I Want That"

In order for you all to fully understand/interpret my "I Want That" phrase correctly, please watch the following video clip from Napoleon Dynaminte. This is a scene from Uncle Rico's tupperware sales.

While I don't actually want a model pirate ship. I do seriously pine for these items.

Number 1: A white Le Pliage Longchamp purse. I've been wanting this for quite a long while. I mean, if this isn't the perfect spring/summer purse, I dont know what is. You could easily tie a little ribbon/bow to the handles for a splash of color.

Number 2: Michael Kors, Horn Jet-Set Watch. I've never really wanted a watch before. The only thing I wear around my wrists are hair-ties,(even accidentally left one around my wrist for half my wedding day, whoops!) I think bracelets look great, but I find them cold, clanky and bothersome. Plus, I have crazy tiny wrists and forearms and most bracelets bounce around between by elbow and hand, annoying! But this watch is quite stunning. I mean truly, just look at it. And if I could get it small enough to stay-put on my wrist, well that'd be just heavenly.

Number 3: J Crew, Rainy Day Ballet Flats. Yes, I'll have one in ever color please, thanks.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kitchen-Capades with Kelsey

Hey guys! I decided to make cookies today. I've become pretty adept at chocolate chip cookies (if I do say so myself) and Mike is always asking for oatmeal cookies. So, I searched the web for a great oatmeal cookie recipe without raisins (since neither Mike nor I care for raisins much). I stumbled across this Maple Oatmeal Cookies recipe and decided to give it a shot. Note: I added a few ingredients/steps of my own.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2: Put on super cute apron

Step 3: Gather ingredients for charming photo-op

Step 4: Start actually baking

Step 5: Turn on some fun music (ex: Michael Jackson's Number Ones)

Step 6: Continue actually baking

Step 7: Finish actually baking

Step 8: EAT!!!!!!!! (and dance to sweet MJ beats)

Disclaimer: No cookies were burned during dance sequence photo shoot. Please don't try this at home. Or do, and beware of the consequences. Either way, have fun!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Fashion "Do" that I "Don't" (yet!)

I typically don't buy anything that I can't wear the very next day. And in these colder winter months I pretty much dress to be as warm and comfy as possible. But, even in warmer months, I tend to dress as comfortable as possible (whilst looking fabulous of course). I have a lot of cotton tanks, tees and long sleeve crew, v-neck and turtle necks. I also own a TON of cardigans. However, I've been trying to get/wear more "blouses". You know, lady like, grown up "tops" that are silky and breezy and trendy and usually require a special bra. The kind of top that if you take your coat off you know you'll be cold but you take your coat off anyway because it's just too cute to keep hidden. So, I am making a conscious effort to spend my money on tops like this rather than long-sleeve v-neck tee's in grey, black and brown from the Gap. Although I'll probably never be able to resist a good 2 for $25 favorite tee sale.

Two months ago I purchased this top for $24 at H&M per my new resolution to buy more blouses. I fell in love with the print on this top- little blue birds perched on branches, with sprigs of cranberries and yellow and blue flowers. It looked very "Anthropologie" to me.

Isn't it great? The problem is, I haven't worn it yet. Every time I put it on, I feel awkward (not to mention cold). The sleeves are kinda poofy and girly (like the "pirate shirt" on Seinfeld) and it rides up too high on my waist. I think I might have picked up a size too small (2 at H&M). I guess maybe I don't know what size I am in "blouse"? Also, I don't know how to wear it. Do I tuck the cami underneath in? Is white the right color? Grey? Can I wear a long-sleeve under it? The sleeves are too poofy to wear anything over it. It's just cumbersome and I am disappointed. Here are some pics of what it looks like on me. Any suggestions would be great!! Thanks!!

*Note, please disregard the hounds-tooth fold-over yoga pant. Obviously I wouldn't wear those with this top. Obviously. I just picked up these pants today from Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale for $8! Holla!! (I told you I like to wear things right after I buy them, right Ellen?) :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011, in with a bang.....and a kick and a punch.

I hate to whine, but seriously, my first week of 2011 has been no pleasure cruise. And if this past week is any indication of the year to come, then I'm really in for it.
New Year's Day, the hot water heater goes kaput. Ice cold showers for Mike and no showers at all for me for the next two days (I'd rather be dirty than cold, thank you very much). Then, Monday morning I wake up with my first ever UTI and experience a hectic, greasy haired, uncomfortable Monday at work. Monday night the UTI progresses and I am freaking out, crying, alone (Mike was in Phoenix for work) and don't know what to do. I'm google-ing UTI and start worrying about getting a kidney infection.
I end up at the doctor's Tuesday morning and am able to get in without an appointment. After a urine sample, my UTI is confirmed and I'm put on antibiotics. Great. Every time I go on antibiotics I get a yeast infection, always. I'd rather have a UTI than a yeast infection, hands down. So there I was, sitting at home, using my hard earned PTO to recover from a UTI and brace myself for a yeast infection. I commence the yogurt and cranberry juice diet. yum.
Tuesday evening, my dear friend and co-worker stops by to drop off my work lap-top so I can try to catch up. She let's me know that our department has been assigned a project which essentially gives each of us an additional 80 cases to close over the next two days. On average I close about 40 cases a day without taking a lunch break. So essentially, my workload has doubled. Wednesday and Thursday are 12 hour days for me at the office (including the 1 hour each way commute).
Mike returns from Phoenix Thursday night (he beats me home from work) to a messy apartment which I generally make my best effort to avoid. At 2:30am construction begins on highway 680 which runs just about 100 yards from our apartment. I am kept awake several hours by the sound of mack trucks beeping in reverse and crew men yelling. Construction continues on highway 680 Friday night with several jack hammers and more mack trucks and yelling. It literally sounds like a war-zone outside our bedroom window.
This morning, I drag myself to the gym I joined but really haven't been able to go to since I started my new job, and realize how horribly out shape I am. Yet again. Afterwards, I start to cry at how unfair it is. How after two months of regular exercise, I might see a little progress and start to feel good. But, after a few weeks away, I am worse than when I started.

However, as bad as this week has been, I was hit with some perspective while driving my car this afternoon. I am blessed to have the means and access to medication to recover from my UTI. And I am blessed that I didn't actually get a yeast infection. I am blessed to have a husband who loves me and doesn't mind when I call him at midnight crying because I just dont know what else to do. I am blessed to have a job I enjoy and co-workers that are friends at a company that is thriving. I am blessed that I dont actually live in a war-zone, but instead, a construction site which is imporving the road I drive on every day. I am blessed. So do your worst 2011.

On a side note: What decade do I live in? Why is Forever21 selling this outfit right now? Earth to Forever21, it's 2011 not 1992. Blossom called, she and Six are going to a party and she wants her cool outfit back (including the hat of course). The "Peach Pit"is throwing the party and Brandon and Dylan are going to be there. It's going to be epic.