Monday, February 13, 2012


It's been a while since my last post, so I wanted to do a quick update.  I am trying to do some stealthy blogging while at work today, so this one will be short :)

Update #1
To my great surprise, I woke up this morning to an email from April at A Pretty Wardrobe letting me know I won her giveaway.  How exciting is that!! It was definitely a surprise to see that message in my inbox :)  Now I can't say that I never win anything! 

Update #2
I recently linked up with Carissa over at Vanilla Crush to do a beauty swap and my package came on Saturday!  My sister grabbed the mail before I could get to it and was trying to snoop in my package.  I just about freaked out with excitement.  I sent Carissa a few things that she can't get in the UK, and she sent me some lovely things that we don't have here in the states!  I got a lot of great things from MUA, Collection 2000, and the Body Shop among others.  I haven't been able to try everything, but I will post more about that later since I am at work (blah)

Update #3
One of the things I love to do in my free time is read.  I'm a total nerd, I know, but I love it!  I really like mysteries and thrillers, but I have a soft spot for Harry Potter (obviously) and a few other fantasy-like stories.  I will admit that I read all the Twilight books (and the books are soooooo much better than the movies) but I can't say that I have an obsession with the whole vampire-werewolf schtick.  I did happen to pick up a new book at Target on Sunday called A Discovery of Witches and the storyline is similar (there are witches and vampires and daemons) and I am LOVING it!  I haven't finished it yet, though, so I can't say for sure whether I will continue reading the series (it is the first book in the All Souls Trilogy)

Update #4
Not really an update so much, but a few of the girls whose blogs I read have recently become engaged.  I just wanted to say congratulations to all of them and wish them luck and happiness as they start to plan their weddings!!!  With Valentine's Day being tomorrow I am hoping that everyone has someone special to share it with :)

Much love,


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Lazy Sunday ☀

Sunday is one of my least favorite days of the week because I know I have to go to work the next day, but today was a really nice, relaxing day.  I went to the grocery store with my mom and then did some reading when we got home.

The weather was really nice today, too, so my parents, my sister and I took my niece for her first stroll through the park.  We went to the North Chagrin Reservation which is part of the Cleveland MetroParks system of nature preserves throughout the suburbs of Cleveland.  It's my absolute favorite place in Cleveland. I took some pictures with Instagram. The first one's my favorite :)

The one nature center at the park houses 4 owls and 2 sugar gliders (flying squirrels) that were found injured in the wild.  They rehabilitate the animals which, unfortunately, are not able to be re-released into the wild. They have one barred owl, two screech owls (one has only one eye :( ), and one horned owl.
This is my favorite place to go, especially in the summer.  It's quiet, peaceful, and it makes you feel like you are out in the country.  The Chagrin River runs through parts of the park and there are places where the water is only ankle deep and you can wade all the way across.  There's even an old castle where you can have picnics and go hiking through the woods.  It's not really a castle - it was built by a wealthy businessman as a gatehouse to a larger estate that was never built.  His wife died suddenly and he was too distraught to complete the project :(

I love when I have an easy and relaxing Sunday.  I feel like it always prepares me for the week ahead!  Hopefully everyone else had a nice weekend!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Love: Lana Del Ray ☆

I don't know if anyone has heard of Lana Del Ray, but I just discovered her album today and it is AMAZINGGGGGGG!!! She reminds me a lot of Adele (whom I also adore).
Her voice is ethereal and she is absolutely gorgeous. Check out the song below :)

Happy listening,


Happy Groundhog Day ❄

Happy Groundhog Day!!!  

How adorable :)
Today we celebrated one of the strangest, most bizarre of American holidays - Groundhog Day.  Yep, you heard it right.  There is a whole square on the calendar dedicated to the meteorology skills of a small furry rodent :)

If you're unfamiliar with the Groundhog Day tradition, here are the basics:
  • the most famous groundhog is named Punxsutawney Phil and he lives in the city library of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
  • there are 25 other groundhogs across the US, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta that participate in the tradition
  • around 7:30am on the 2nd of February the groundhogs emerge from their burrows
  • if they see their shadow and are scared back in to their burrow, winter will continue for 6 more weeks
  • if they do not see their shadow, spring will come early ✿
  • there's a movie titled Groundhog Day where Bill Murray keeps reliving the same day over and over again until he gets it right
The tradition is a bit strange, but apparently it's a Pennsylvania German tradition dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.  And according to Wikipedia, it is similar to Imbolc which is the seasonal turning point of the Celtic calendar that occurs February 1 (...?).  I don't know if that's true or not :)  

Unfortunately, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today so there will be 6 more weeks of winter :(  Conveniently, however, the spring solstice occurs in 6 weeks.  So regardless of whether there is a shadow or not, there will always be 6 more weeks of winter!

I hope you enjoyed your bit of American folklore for the day!

Happy Groundhog Day,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Couple of Sick Days ❀


I've been a bit out of sorts lately.  I came down with the flu on Sunday and spend Monday and Tuesday lounging around in my pajamas.  Aside from the whole being sick thing, they were the most wonderful days I have had in a long time.

My favorite thing to do when I am home sick is to watch old movies all day. We have this wonderful tv channel called Turner Classic Movies that plays all sorts of old movies from the 1920s all the way to the 1960s.  Yesterday was a whole day of Mario Lanza films.  I had never heard of him before, but he was apparently a very popular opera singer in the 1940s and 50s.  I may be one of the only people under the age of 55 that actually enjoys opera, so I managed to watch 3 of the movies that were on.  The story lines were cheesy, of course, but I think that is the best part about old movies.  I love the idea of the dapper, dashing guy wooing the beautiful girl by singing to her.  It's just so...classic.  

I started thinking about my favorite movies and realized that most of them came from the 50s and 60s.  I know a lot of younger people aren't really interested in older movies, but the more I watch classic movies, the more I realize that the story lines are the exact same, just the setting has changed.  For example, did you know that the Adam Sandler movie Mr. Deeds is a remake of the 1936 movie Mr. Deeds Goes to Town?  Or that the original Mummy movie came out in 1932 with Boris Karloff playing Imhotep?  The original Mummy movie is a Halloween staple of mine.  Although it's not nearly as exciting as the Brenden Frasier version, I still enjoy watching it with my little brother :)

Here are a couple of my favorite classic movies that I think everyone should watch:
  • Singin' in the Rain - I love Gene Kelly :)
  • An American in Paris - Another Gene Kelly classic.  The colors and clothes in this movie are amazing! Leslie Caron, the female lead, was actually a prima ballerina before she starred in this movie and in Gigi.
  • Gigi - Leslie Caron is in this one.  It's one of my favorites mainly because I find Louis Jourdan to be extremely handsome ;)
  • Some Like it Hot - Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis... need I say more
  • Sabrina - My all-time favorite Audrey Hepburn movie
  • Roman Holiday - Another Audrey movie about a princess who runs away from her handlers and wanders around Rome with a journalist.  It's pretty cute :)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's - Obviously... one of the greats
  • Beach Blanket Bingo - One of the cheesiest, corniest movies I've ever seen, but it's actually really funny.  My mom loves this one too!
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World - If anyone has ever seen the movie Rat Race, this is the original.  They have to scour the globe to find the treasure hidden underneath the giant W.  
  • The Great Race - This one also has Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in it too, racing each other across three continents by car.  It also stars the beautiful Natalie Wood
This is kind of my beginner's list to watching classic movies.  Some of the really old ones are tough to watch (the comedy is blah and the plot lines are really prudent), but these are all really awesome :)

Hopefully someone will take a chance on one of these!

Much love,


Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Mall Kind of Morning ♡

It was snowing (as usual) and generally gross (again, as usual) this morning so I decided to finally make that trip to the mall that I've been planning for the past 2 weeks.  I even managed to get out of bed by 9:30 so I could beat the mid-afternoon rush.

I only picked up a few things - I've been trying to save money lately because I want to get an iPad soon.  I'm also trying to save up enough money so that I can move out on my own.  Chances are I could probably afford to live on my own right now in an apartment, but I really want to live in a house.  I love being able to lounge around my yard in the summer, and I really want to be able to have my own garden :)  For this to happen I really need to bunker down and STOP spending so much money.  I've gotten better at buying fewer clothes that I really don't need, but my habit is still a bit out of control.  

The mall by my house has just about anything you can imagine, so it's hard to not go in every single store.  I made a stop in Forever 21 and picked up a few pretty necklaces.  The long beaded one was $4.80, but the other 3 were only $2.80.  They were definitely a steal!  I know they aren't exactly high quality, and they probably won't last very long, but I couldn't pass them up.  They will look cute with so many different outfits.

I also stopped in the Gap to check out the pink blazer that I had seen on their website.  After trying it on and seeing that it was almost completely polyester (yuck) and not as cute as I was hoping, I decided to pass.  I had a 30% off coupon so I used it on this cute sweater dress.  It's heavy enough that I can wear it now with a pair of tights, and in the spring time as well.

My last stop was at Sephora where I finally picked up some Clean On Me shower gel.  I fell in love with Soap & Glory after using Hand Food and I've been dying to try some of their other products.  Unfortunately the Sephora by my house doesn't carry a large range of their products, but I did manage to find this.  I can't wait to use it!

My camera decided to break this morning, so I was only able to get a half-way decent pic of the Clean On Me using my iPhone camera :(  Oh well...

On to an exciting night of nail painting and cupcake making!  I'll post some pics of the cupcakes if they turn out alright

x Nicole x

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DIY Earring Holders ♡

I love crafting and creating new things from scratch.  I like to fancy myself a mini-Martha Stewart (aside from, you know, the whole insider trading, prison scandal thingy).  My earring collection had gotten a bit out of hand and I could never find a cute jewelry holder or box where I could keep all my earrings sorted, so I decided to make my own! I like to troll through occasionally to get ideas from other arts-and-crafters and I saw a really cute idea for an earring holder made from an old picture frame.  After a few minor adjustments of my own, this was the result:

I just downloaded Instagram, so I was playing around with the different effects :) And I somehow managed to smudge mascara on the fabric, right in the middle, so you can just ignore that :D
 This was actually really simple to make.  You can use any picture frame you want, which is great if you happen to have some extras lying around the house.    These are also a great use for any extra scraps of fabric you might have.

Once you remove the glass from the frame, you are going to want to glue the fabric to the back insert.  I glued it to the backside of the insert so it didn't stain the fabric on the outside facing part.  It might even fit tight enough when you go to close it up that you won't need to glue it.

For the strips that hold the earrings, I used some 1/4 inch thick foam that I found at JoAnn Fabrics.  You'll want to measure it long enough so that it can glue to the inside of the frame.  For the slits, I used an exacto knife.  

Once you have glued the strips in, close up the back of the frame, and voila!  You're all done.  Below is my second attempt, which I think is much cuter :)

I'm in love with Instagram!
Here is another shot of the second frame - a bit easier to see.  

I leave you with a bit of love for my girl Martha and Snoop D - O - Double Gizzle :)

Much love,


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Harvey Prince - Eau Flirt ♡

I was going through my box of old Birchbox samples this morning and came across a sample of Harvey Prince's Eau Flirt perfume.  I love perfume and realized that I never tried this one out, so I decided to give it a go today.  

The scent is described as "top notes of sweet lavender and a cocktail of bright citrus, followed by a mingling of feminine florals freesia, ylang ylang, and jasmine. Delicate spices and warm nighttime amber offer a graceful balanced flourish".  I definitely smell the lavender hints mixed with citrus and jamsine.  It's a really delicate and feminine scent, which I think would be perfect for summertime.  Had I tried this out earlier, I may have asked for it for Christmas.  Unfortunately I did not :(  I did get Miss Dior Cherie, though, which I'm not sure I like as much as I want to like.  A bit of buyer's remorse, I suppose.

Eau Flirt also apparently has notes of pumpkin pie, which I'm not smelling.  I thought that was a strange addition, but their website says that lavender and pumpkin pie are "shown to evoke a more passionate response in men than any other smell" and are believed to be associated with "happy, positive and stimulating memories"...?  I will have to keep my eyes open today for any out-of-the-ordinary responses from men, haha.

All in all, this perfume gets a thumbs up!  It's a light, happy scent that reminds me of warmer weather :)  It's also only $55 for the full sized bottle, which is a good price I think, considering that most other full-sized perfumes can be upwards of $70!!
Much love,


Friday, January 20, 2012

Spring/Summer Wish List ♡

I thought I would do a post about the new Spring/Summer styles I like that are/will be out in stores soon and deserve a look.  All the bright colors and patterns are really getting me excited for warmer weather :)  Good thing I live in Cleveland then, because we have a massive snow storm headed our way, lol.

The Gap
I LOVE blazers and fell in love with this pink one from the Gap.  It also comes in lime green (ew - I can't see that one being flattering on anybody) and red.  I used to be a huge Gap fan, but for the past few years I have felt like all their clothes look the same.  It seems like they pick new colors and re-release them as a new line the next season.  For example, I have a cable knit sweater from them that I have managed to re-buy every year since 2005, just in a different color.  Clearly this is evidence that I was a big fan!  I've also noticed that the prices have skyrocketed but quality has definitely dropped.  You have to be really careful about what you buy from them.  A lot of their lighter-weight products don't wash well and tend to lose their shape within an hour or two of putting it on.
I thought I would toss this pic in too, also from the Gap.  What on earth was their design team thinking??? I have seen better dressed mechanics :)  Did they fall and bump their head, magically transporting them to 1975?  I don't know.  But jumpsuits are unflattering on their own, without being constructed completely out of denim and adding in an elastic waist.  The yellow oxfords are cute, though ;)

J. Crew

Colored denim has really grown on me lately.  I just purchased a fuchsia pair from New York & Company, and they are quite cute on.  This super bright yellow pair is from J. Crew.  I'm a huge fan of their general style, but my financial situation is less than accommodating to $125 ballet flats and $289 trench coats.  They do have some really good deals in the sale section, so I always head straight to the back any time I go in.  Plus all of their clothing is very high quality.  I am always willing to spend a bit more on something if I know it will last me a long time.

Francesca's Collection

I can always count on Francesca's Collection boutique to have the most adorable dresses and fantastic jewelry and purses in stock.  There is one 10 minutes from my house so I tend to stop in there once or twice a month.  Unfortunately for me, the dresses are geared towards shorter girls I guess, because they all tend to hit me right below the crotch (I'm 5'10", so those are pretty short :( ).  Call me modest, but I do enjoy being able to sit down and bend over without my fanny being out for the world to see :)


H&M uses computer generated models on their website.  This one is creepy ☝ The dress is cute, but looks pretty short.  Probably requires a try-on.  My H&M doesn't always carry what other H&M's do, so I hope we get this dress.  Mine carries a lot less women's clothing now that they have a children's section :( boo

This dress looks cute, too.  Much cuter with the belt.
I actually wear legitimate glasses, but I think my frames are a bit too small for my face.  I have an appointment in February, so I think I'm going to look for similar frames to these ones.  Nerdy chic!

I have seen this style of bag at a lot of different stores and have been wanting to pick one up. This H&M bag is $35, which is a bit expensive for this brand, so I'll wait till they mark it down to $5 or $7.

The bust of this dress has a bow on it, which is hard to see in this picture.  I am going to need a dress for my niece's baptism in May and this one might be the winner.  If I start saving for it now, I'll be able to afford it by May...of 2015... Definitely overpriced considering most of Anthro's products are made with as little fabric as possible and look like they might fall apart in the wash.  I do like the style, though, which is why I like browsing around the store.  They always have the stores decorated in such neat ways, too, so I like to get ideas for decorating my bedroom.

I really like the lace detailing on the sleeves.

Cute bobby pins.  I have pretty long hair so I enjoy buying hair accessories.  I could probably make these - these were $28 >:( 
Cute bow necklace, probably available at H&M or Francesca's.  Probably Target, too.

I thought these were cute as well, but I have little patience for bangle bracelets.  They are too loud and annoy me when they bang on my desk and keyboard at work.


I'm a big fan of ASOS.  They have really cute jewelry that is always reasonably priced.  The clothing is cute too, but I am wary of ordering clothing online when I am not familiar with their sizing.  I ordered a shirt from ASOS back when they first started shipping to the US and it got lost in the mail.  Three months later it arrived on my doorstep looking a bit worse for wear.  Customer Service was amazing when I contacted them.  They tried to find the package, but eventually refunded my money because it had gotten lost.  I would be a bit hesitant to order from them again, but it seems like business has picked up here in the states and their delivery is more reliable now.
$8.95 - adorable

I can wear this if I ever get the chance to visit France!

I've always wanted a snake bracelet :)

An idea for a future post would be all of the absolutely horrible looking clothing that I came across when doing my online window shopping.  Some of it was actually laughable.  It's hard to believe what some people will purchase!

Much love,

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