Monthly Archives: July 2012

jump start monday

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mondays can be tough. hopefully this quote can inspire you to get started on a wonderful week!

i had the most amazing weekend with some of my favorite ladies from college. we were celebrating a bachelorette and what better way to do that by a girls only trip to atlantic city to gamble and dance? we had such a great time dancing, eating, drinking, and laughing together, but i think my favorite part of the whole trip was getting ready in the hotel room before we went out for the night–  we just sat around telling each other how much we love and appreciate each other. it feels like i’ve known these girls forever and the bond that we have is so strong and impenetrable; near or far and through thick and thin we have stuck together. i feel so lucky to have such funny, beautiful, inspiring, intelligent women as some of my dearest friends!

have a fantastic week!

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little notes

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i want to share a few little cards i’ve made over the past few months for birthdays and things. my card-making is still a work in progress but these are some of my favorite projects that i’ve done…

this first card i made for a very special friend’s birthday. i bought a book of vintage style papers from michael’s and cut out a few of the flowers from one of the pages to add a little interest. i love how the white lettering really stands out against the navy card.

another birthday card i made for my friend blaire. i was inspired by bunting flags i had seen floating around pinterest and decided to add some lettering in the flags for a whimsical and playful look.

i love leaving little love notes around for jesse to find and this is one of the first ones that i made for him. i used the peony stamp color (my favorite) against this teal card stock (my favorite combination of colors!) and added some silver hearts in gel pen. 

sometimes a simple sentiment like this one is all you need during those tougher times when you’ve lost a loved one. grey card stock, black ink, and a ruby rose stamp make an impression here.

this weekend i’ll be reunited with some of my best friends in the world for our friend’s bachelorette party in atlantic city. i can’t wait to get all dolled up with these girls and have a great time. do you have any fun plans for the weekend? stay cool!

Spotlight on Story People

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i have a habit of collecting cards. i buy them all the time, from stores, stands, flea markets, everywhere!  my sister even got me a card organizing box for my birthday one year (which probably increased my card problem because i started buying them to fit into the specific categories of the card box).

one of the very first cards i ever bought without any intention of sending (i just wanted to keep it because it was so pretty!) was from a little gift shop in stowe, vt, by a small card company called story people. the whimsical artwork by brian andreas is paired with words that speak straight to your heart. i have since picked up their cards wherever i see them and have a whole bookmarks folder of links to their many wonderful prints that i would like to collect for my home. i have gotten them as wedding gifts, christmas gifts, and anniversary gifts and they are always so well received and appreciated. they also range from being wacky and funny to heartfelt and tear-jerking. 

my favorites are their prints and cards but they also have a bunch of other fun gifts — you can get your favorite story on a mug, tote, frame, or even an apron.

here are some of my favorites from their collection.

no words

side by side

one of my all time favorite cards, no more secret

this is the very first card i bought from them about 10 years ago

it now sits on my desk and reminds me to see the beauty all around me

bittersweet

this print hangs right near our door

and it makes me smile every time i walk by

single mind

 

i hope you’ll stop by story people and see what beautiful and inspirational gifts/cards/prints speak to you!

jump start monday

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mondays can be tough. hopefully this quote can inspire you to get started on a wonderful week!

i had such a fantastic weekend spent with new and old friends. i’ve found that once you graduate from college it becomes so much harder to make new friends– you’re no longer all lumped together in one place where everyone has similar interests and is all the same age. it’s harder to make lasting connections with people when you are busy with work, family, and however else we spend our time. the past few weeks i’ve had the chance to meet and make some new friends and it is so lovely and refreshing to be spending time with new people. friday night we had a game night at our apartment and it was a great mix of people, most of whom we had met and became friends with recently. it was so fun to get to know everyone a little better through games. and what better way to show your true sense of humor than playing apples to apples and cranium! 

saturday night i had a nice relaxing dinner with jesse and his grandmother at mon amie gabi. we watched the 30 best olympic moments before we went to dinner and i cried (of course)– i can’t wait for the olympics! my favorite events are definitely the gymnastics. what are yours?

sunday jesse and i went on a treasure hunt at old lucketts antique store in lucketts, virginia. i’m happy to say we found an entry table! once i get it perfectly styled i will share some pictures with you!

last but not least i got to spend some time with my sister’s family sunday evening. my little nephews are growing up so fast! over the past few months they have changed so much. giulio is now a full-fledged little boy, but i still can’t resist picking him up and smothering him with kisses (even though he thinks i’m being silly). and kiran is no longer a perfectly pudgy little baby, but a curious, giggly toddler who lights up a room with his smile. i am going to miss them so much while they’re in italy for the next few weeks! 

i hope everyone had a fantastic weekend filled with friends (old and new!), family and delicious food, and that you’re ready to take on this new week!

the craft that started it all

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i have done a lot of moving over the past four years since graduating from college (gasp! four years?!) — from college to sarasota, sarasota to tampa, tampa to nashville, nashville to dc, and now i’m on my third home in dc. putting it that way makes me sound like i’ve been a very busy girl! in all my apartments and houses, i’ve never felt quite as settled into a home as i do right now, here in cozy little apartment 802!

when we first moved in, i knew i wanted to do something a little more personal than just sending an email off to everyone that i know to inform them of my new locale, so the idea of an address change card was born. of course, i just thought i’d bounce off to paper source (my happy place) and buy a cute pre-made card boasting “our new home” or something in that vein. 

of course, if that happened, this would be a very boring story. they didn’t have anything like that, so the helpful saleswoman helped me pick out some fun paper, envelopes, and a stamp so that i could go home and make my very own address change cards. 

when i got home i was confronted with the problem of design. umm, now what? i had planned on just filling in my address on a few lines and a “love, k-lee and jesse” at the bottom. not the case anymore. after digging out my measly scrapbooking supplies from about 10 years ago under my bed i found my stencil set and some crayons, and set off on a little trial and error.

here’s the end result! 

creating this small project made me feel so accomplished and happy that a little lightbulb went off above my head– hmm! i like working with paper and making little cards and things! so here i am now; i’ve been talked into a heat embosser and all kinds of craft paraphernalia, have started a blog, and have pretty much lost the use of my dining room table due to a constant state of craft explosion.

what can i say? a hobby was born.

entryway inspiration

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jesse and i have cohabitated splendidly now for 7 months and i am still totally enamored with our apartment (and jesse, of course). at least four times a week one of us grins at the other and says “can you believe we live here?” or “can you believe this is our apartment?” it’s pretty cute, i’ll be honest. our bedroom is huge with a walk in closet, our bathroom and kitchen are decently sized, and our living/dining room is cozy and wonderful while still being functional. 

there is one area that is a little bit lacking though… our entryway. now, we don’t have a lot of space to begin with, but we certainly need something to hold the space together a little bit more. we have a small hanging shelf that we picked up from a thrift store in bethesda and that i painted that holds our keys and laundry card, but it just isn’t enough. i’m craving a piece that will be a resting spot for mail, keys, and where we can corral the clutter that we bring in on a daily basis– because let’s face it, right now it’s ending up on our coffee table– and that drives me c r a z y (especially after i styled it so nicely a few months ago!)

so this is what we’re working with. pardon the heinous iphone photo, but it should give you an idea of what kind of space we have, and how little we’ve done with it.

as of right now, our mail/clutter/tennis racquets/sunscreen/overdue library books kind of all pile up around this wall unit (that is not installed into a wall, obviously). i would love to actually use that wall unit somewhere else in our apartment, but for now it has been stuck here to collect dust and debris.

so sunday i have decided to bribe jesse by taking him to brunch at ted’s bulletin in capitol hill so that afterwards we can peruse the eastern market stands (artwork! jewelry! knick knacks!) and the flea market in hopes of finding ourselves a functional, stylish, perfectly rustic and shabby chic entryway table. i’ve been collecting some inspiring images on pinterest (of course) so here are a few that i think would be great in our little space.

this one is probably my fave. even though it’s way bigger

than any space we have, i adore the color and the

giant mirror. imagine all the fun stuff

i could hide away in those drawers!

via

this piece is so me it’s not even funny. until recently, i only

bought white furniture. and again with the drawers– drooling! i

love the little shelf on the bottom for various knick knacks or

a basket that could house jesse’s various soccer gear.

via

this color is so fun don’t you think? i love

all the wonderful details about this piece and 

think it’s a pretty perfect size for the space we have. wouldn’t

mind finding that fabulous mirror as well!

via

so cute and perfect for a tiny space like ours. i love the 

look of refinished/reclaimed wood and love how this

table has been styled with herbs and found objects.

via

do you have a favorite from my inspired pictures above? 

wish me luck in my treasure hunt on sunday! i hope you have a wonderful weekend.

maxed out

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i hate to admit this, because in my head i am very fashion-forward and well dressed, but i am not a trendsetter. there, i said it. i follow trends, i don’t set them. here are some examples of things i thought were the dumbest but now i’ve hopped fully on board…

skinny jeans. um, yep. i thought they were a rework of mom-jeans and i just couldn’t get behind them. except wait a sec, now they’re all that i own. how did i even wear flats or sandals with bootcut or flare jeans? it just doesn’t look right!

toms. i thought they were pretty ugly. like skinny jeans though, how did i wear anything else? i just slip those babies on and my feet are relieved and happy. plus they come in such cute patterns and colors, and the wedges are ADORABLE. i own 3 pairs. not ashamed.

my iphone. ok so i know it’s not really an accessory, but it is probably the most common accessory kept on your person. i scoffed at the iphone when it first came out (same with the ipad to be honest). i have an ipod, i have a phone, i have a computer, what else do i need? i even thought about getting a blackberry (?!?!) when my upgrade came around. but now, oh dear, where would i be without my iphone? probably in the same place, except more bored on the metro, less responsive to emails, and with a lot more things to be plugged into.

i’m sure there are more trends that i have warmed up to over time (please note that rompers and high-waisted pants will probably never make that list) but today i would like to focus on a trend that i am ready to embrace: the maxi dress. when the maxi dress made it’s debut a few years ago i was a little bit perplexed. how do you walk? there’s no way i’m tall enough for that. isn’t it too hot out to wear so much material?

i think i’ll probably always be a short dress/skirt kind of girl, but i think i’m ready to commit to adding a maxi dress to my closet. now i just need to find the perfect one. here are some styles that have inspired me and some options i’m considering.

above is the dress that started it all.

via my pinterest.

the oasis scarf print maxi dress for $91.14 from asos.

  i do love this orange strapless maxi dress

by sky from bloomingdales  for $132 

 the aqua starbright asymmetric maxi dress

from asos for $124.28. sadly sold out.

obviously i’m into orange and florals at the moment…

which is your favorite? any store you always have success when shopping for a maxi dress?

cocktail copycat

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i have a confession to make. i love cocktails. ok, so i also love beer and wine, but cocktails are where my true love lies. that might make me sound like more of a serious drinker than i’d like you to suspect, but my “day job” is in a restaurant, it’s kind of expected, right? since moving in together my boyfriend and i have created a pretty awesome bar cabinet (complete with hijacked glassware) and we love recreating our favorite recipes from work. 

last weekend we were at a really cool event hosted by our friend (who happens to be a Flying Dog Brewery beer rep) and 8407 kitchenbar in silver spring where they were featuring some beer cocktails (ears perking up…) they had made a few really delicious drinks by reducing some of flying dog’s beers into syrups that they then used in creative cocktails. my favorite was called the atlantic shandy, using flying dog’s underdog atlantic lager. a shandy is typically a light beer mixed with lemonade or sprite or something to make it more refreshing. at 8407 they one-upped the typical shandy by adding gin and a homemade rosemary lemon simple syrup (hello, you had me at rosemary… ok, you had me at gin.) it was the most drinkable, refreshing, light beer cocktail i’d ever had! whether or not it was the only beer cocktail i’d ever had is besides the point.  i spent the next morning googling how to make rosemary lemon simple syrup (seemingly simple- pun intended- even to my anti-culinary brain) and yesterday i took the plunge and decided to give it a go.

usually i let jesse handle the mixology in our apartment, but this was my project. i started off making the lemon rosemary syrup which was as simple as i thought it would be. i used a recipe i found and pinned from here.

 1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1 lemon (zested, cut in half, and seeds removed)

1 handful of rosemary (i plucked the leaves off of about 2 long stems)

once you’ve dissolved the sugar, bring it to a boil. remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. rosemary is my favorite herb of all time, so i would probably boil it with lemons on a regular basis just to keep our apartment smelling fresh, but in this case we get to add it to a cocktail- bonus! after it’s steeped, squeeze the lemons (careful, they’re probably still toasty), and then strain it and cool it for awhile (or until you’re so excited about your cocktail you just can’t help yourself. been there. no worries).

since we didn’t actually have a recipe to follow (i’m a sucker for following recipes, i consult them about 100 times throughout making anything, even easy mac) it was a bit of trial and error. we mostly use hendricks gin in our apartment because the bottle is pretty and it tastes yummy with notes of cucumbers and herbs. jesse and i each made our cocktails a bit differently (trial and error!) but we’ve decided that this is probably the most accurate recipe. it didn’t taste exactly like the one we had at 8407 but i think that’s because we used a different gin, and my syrup is very strong on the rosemary flavor (where it was barely noticeable in their shandy) but it will nevertheless be a go-to drink for me because it is incredibly refreshing!

1-1.5 oz hendricks gin (i used 1.5 oz, jesse used 1oz – to each his own!)

½ oz rosemary lemon syrup

1 oz lemon

flying dog underdog atlantic lager

add the first three ingredients into a glass with ice and stir. add 2 lemon wheels for a garnish, and top with flying dog underdog atlantic lager.

then take a seat, a sip, and enjoy!