Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Gatsby, What Gatsby? // Book. Movie. Music. Fashion.

I meant to post about this when the movie came out.... but the DVD came out yesterday.. so let's just pretend that I meant to post about the DVD release. ;) 

Have you seen The Great Gatsby yet?

We went with some dear friends to see it the night it opened in theaters. 

I LOVED the movie. I generally appreciate Baz Luhrmann films, I like the quirky, artsy way that he portrays a story. This movie was no different, filled with loud music, over the top sets, gorgeous costumes and lots of exaggeration of the characters.

I did think that this film was a bit more accessible for those who don't typically appreciate Luhrmann's style.

My favorite part of a Baz Luhrmann film is that he is able to create an entire world of his own based on the written plot. It is so detailed, meticulously crafted and ornate that you become completely immersed in his creation. You forget where you are, who you're with... and just revel in the magic that is a Baz Luhrmann movie.

I find the jazz period very interesting and enjoyed seeing it come to life through Luhrmann's perspective. I love the book and would like to read it again, just to compare the two before and after. I would also love to read other Fitzgerald novels. Recommendations on favorites please!

One thing that always gets me though, is I forget how much I dislike Daisy's character. I get caught up in the romance of the setting, the description, the clothes and the music and forget what a selfish character she is. I know many people love Daisy.. but there are so many other literary heroines I would choose first. That being said.. Carey Mulligan did a FANTASTIC job playing the part! She nailed the character, looked the part and truly made me believe that she was Daisy.

To my surprise my favorite character in the film was Nick Carraway portrayed by Tobey Maguire. What I remember of the book Carraway was not that central of a character, but seeing it on film, seeing it narrated... really brought Carraway and the story to life for me. 

Tobey Maguire is not typically a favorite of mine, but he played such an endearing character so very believably. He was fantastic! It makes me want to keep track of his roles in the future.

The soundtrack is also wonderful. 

I can't help but love Lana Del Rey's "young and beautiful" from there you'll find dance mixes of jazz age music with current pop or hip hop artists like, fergie etc. Along with the party tracks there are also some moody alternative ones to balance it out including artists like the xx, Florence + the Machine, sia and jack white just to name a few. I'd highly recommend this album to add some diversity to your current music library! What is your favorite track?

For the opening night of the movie, I took the chance to dress up a tad (because why not?!). I put on my flapper-y-est top, painted my nails dark, slipped into my peep toes and grabbed some vintage-y gold accessories.

Top:?, old from my mom. 
Skinnies: TJMaxx. 
Handbag: Vintage ($12!). 
Peep Toe Wedges: Ross. 
Not Pictured: Dangly gold earrings: gift. Hair clip: Anthropologie. 

What did you think of the newest Gatsby?

How do you pull off a subtle flapper look?

Are you buying Gatsby on DVD?

What is your favorite song on the soundtrack?

Let me know in the comments below. 

Thanks for reading! :)


*all Gatsby/Luhrmann images via google, all collages combined by me. :) *

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Summer Bucket List Review // 2013

We're back to school (preschool :) )... so it seems like time to review the summer bucket list..
Here's what I did this summer!

1) watch Funny Face  (so good!)

2) open a safety deposit box

3) take a road trip, short or long (Omaha / Ozarks)

4) make a s'mores recipe from my s'mores pinterest board

We made these s'more cookies. YUM! - a lot like a regular chocolate chip cookie, but with a scone-y texture! Try them! Image credit to Crazy for Crust blog.

5) order a rivet and sway try on kit
I ordered two try on kits, please vote! I have one more coming soon! :) Try on 1. Try on 2.

6) read 5 books, 2 must be classics 
- I read 5 books, but only 1 classic.

8) buy new potted herbs and plant them
I bought lavender seeds, and then non-herb plants (viola seeds and a tomato seed plant)

9) play in the rain

10) try a new margarita recipe

11) start my travel scrapbook

12) go to a flea market ( a big one! )

13) Host 3 gatherings
-game night, dinner with each set of parents, several double dates out. :) 

14) have a sleepover with my sisters

15) make a recipe from Rustic Fruit Desserts

16) sketch
-ideas for our new place

17) find an apartment

18) finish reading Curly Girl

19) make plans for global movie nights

20) make inspirational wall art

21) experience somewhere completely new

22) try a new lemonade recipe

23) have a picnic

24) sew something
-Lots and lots of felt flowers :) 

25) see 5 new places in Kansas (glace, back road to new apt.,)

26) watch BBC's Persuasion

27) see Celtic Woman
In Omaha!

28) publish 15 blog posts (on this blog) (15)

29) make fresh angel food or pound cake to eat with strawberries and homemade whipped topping.

30) do something I wouldn't normally do
Went to a Royal's game. And it was actually fun! The experience was nice... not so much the baseball.. :) 

32) see a fireworks show
-at the Royal's game

33) go swimming
In the Ozarks!

34) see the ocean
35) make kebabs! (or just eat them..)
-do fruit kebabs count?? :) 

36) go to Schlitterbahn

37) go to birdies
38) try gelato
39) send mail 

40) meet 3 new people and get to know them!
-The couple we ate with on the cruise and three of Kyle's friends :) 

How did your summer bucket list go? Leave a comment with a link and I'll check out your list! :) 

Looking forward to fall, and making a list of things to do! :)

All for now,


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rivet & Sway's Fall 2013 Line // Try on #2

Remember a few months ago when I was (desperately) trying to get votes on new glasses? (link here) Well, I didn't get many... and I really need to go to the optometrist (still). So in the meantime, when I found out that Rivet and Sway came out with a fantastic fall line.. I had to order another at home try-on kit. (I know, I know.. everyone else gave me a hard time about it too..) But you have to understand, these new frames are Works. Of. Art. 

All of the frames are gorgeous, but I picked three that I thought might flatter my round-ish, heart-ish shaped face better than the last ones. 

The three I ended up ordering (2 from the fall line, one from the original line). 1) Pillow Talk in Tabby Cat, 2) Character Study in Mardi Gras and 3) Checkpoint in Coral Reef.

Photo Credit: Rivet & Sway

1) Pillow Talk in Tabby Cat

Pillow Talk is such a cute bold square shape, really good for my round-ish, heart-ish face. I love the bold frame and the tortoise color. I think it works really well with my coloring! Plus how sassy and adorable are the frame and color names? Pillow Talk & Tabby Cat... oh boy.

2) Character Study in Mardi Gras

Character study is a fun little frame, very delicate and almost costume-y. I feel like a 1950's secretary when I wear these! I think black would be so classic, but the mardi gras color makes them a little more modern, which is fun! I like the subtlety, but I'm not sure if I want a subtle pair this time around....

3) Checkpoint in Coral Reef

Check point is a really cute thinner square shaped pair. I love the shimmery brown color of the frames which is about the same color as my hair, and the coral is a really fun contrast. At first I thought that they were not wide enough for my face, but I kept going back and forth. They come in another color combination that is black on the frames and tortoise on the sides which could also be fun.

Overall I like all three pairs better than the last three pairs. Do you? I think that my favorite so far is Pillow Talk in Tabby Cat. I might order these last three pairs to try on before I choose my final pair... 

I was going to order the Punchline in Neapolitan (1), but they were out of try-on pairs. I would still like to try 2 other new frames: Layer Cake in Saltwater Taffy (2) and Ticker Tape in Confetti Pink (3) too. 

Photo Credit: Rivet & Sway

What do you think? 

How adorable is Rivet and Sway's Fall 2013 line??

All for now,


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vintage Vinyl Wall Art

Do you have bland boring walls? We did! In our first apartment, we weren't allowed to do much in the way of paint, and the walls were concrete... so we never hung up anything that wasn't compatible with a command hook!

Now that we've moved into our new place (and feel like royalty! umm... dishwasher you guys!) We are so much more willing to make it home-y and more "us". We definitely have an eclectic style, and a lot of stuff... so it's a work in progress... but we finally hung some things on our walls, with NAILS!

I have wanted to try this for a very long time, and now I have! Vinyl as wall art!

Step-by-Step: Vinyl as Wall Art

Materials Needed:

Boring, empty wall space
Record Album Frames (At Michael's or Hobby Lobby) - I got 3 for $11 at Michael's on sale!
The same number of Albums as frames- check out below for where to find/theme ideas!
A hammer
A pencil
A tape measure OR a sheet of butcher paper for this method.

1) Acquire necessary materials (above). Narrow down your albums to fit into allotted frames. (hardest part!)

2) Unwrap frames and remove backing. Insert album of choice upside down. Replace backing, make sure the hook is at the top when your cover is right side up!

3) Measure your wall with a tape measure. Find the midpoint widthwise and lengthwise and mark with a pencil. Center your first record on the pencil mark (where the two midpoints meet), have someone hold it and see if it looks good (or just go with it!). If so, mark where your nail should go and hammer it into the wall. Hang your record! Repeat!


Alternative to step 3: After measuring midpoints, trace and cut out pieces of paper the same size as your records and tape to the wall. If you like the spacing, hammer a nail into the wall where the first one should go and proceed from there! For a pictorial example, click on the link above in the materials category.

4) Step back and revel in your awesomeness! (or in my case, KC's :) )

Inspiration & Ideas:

Where to find Vinyl: Search thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, antique malls and Salvation Army stores for records you like. They can be favorite albums, artists or soundtracks, or just albums with covers that you love. I chose a mix for our walls! Most of my albums were just $1-$2 each!

Contrasting Colors:

Dark or colored walls? 
Try hanging neutral records in grays, whites or tans.

White walls? 
Try hanging colorful records. You can pick one color scheme or choose to mix and match!

Isn't it Thematic? - Some Theme Ideas... 

Do you love musicals? 
Why not fill your walls with Eliza, Tevye, Maria and Dolly?

Classic rock your thing? 
Try framing albums by KISS, Queen, Boston and the Rolling Stones.

Are you more of a movie buff? 
Seek out soundtracks to your favorite films!

Still buy vinyl? 
Frame your current musical favorites. Many bands still come out with vinyl albums, you can store the record itself in a white sleeve and display the cover art of all your favorite albums! You can find these at many music stores or large bookstores.

Kids room? 
Why not frame Disney albums? Or vintage children's records?

Die hard fan? 
Collect and frame every (insert band name here) album ever.

Into dance? 
Try ballet scores or how-to (cha cha, mambo, waltz...) LPs.

Just want to display something visually appealing?
Seek out records with cover art that you love. It doesn't have to coordinate, just go with your gut! Once you're done you'll have a eye-catching display that showcases your unique style in your home perfectly.

The possibilities are endless!

What is your favorite way to add personality to your home?

All for now,


Monday, August 19, 2013

Oh yeah... Pictures from the Ship! // Cruise // July 2013

For those of you waiting for pictures from the cruise itself... here you go! (more pictures + cruise observations below)

Boston Skyline

What happens when I try to take a panorama pic... every time.

(almost artsy.. right?)

KC's Perfect Panorama!

Bye Bye Boston!

12 observations about cruises:
(based on my very limited experience)

1) Cruise ships are noisy.. always music. Always. LOUD music.(not necessarily good music..)

2) It's fun to have a reason to dress up! I don't think to get dressed up for dinner or shows here at home, not even on vacation.. but on the ship it was a no-brainer! Super fun, I'll have to start doing it here more too!

3) Fog horns are loud y'all. And repetitive.. only every couple minutes... (safety is important...)

4) Just because you can take WAY more food than you need to, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Don't be wasteful, yeah I'm talking to you chocolate buffet ransackers. 

5)Soft serve ice cream at any time is the most awesome and most dangerous thing!

6)  Tropical ship environments in the middle of the New England-y Atlantic-y region has got a little bit of a disconnect... but the tropical drinks... made it not matter so much! :)

7) Interior state rooms are really great. So dark at night and plenty of room when you're awake. Plus they are the cheapest! :)

8) Towel animals may be expected... but they were always a happy surprise for me! :)

9) People who do Karaoke are really endearing. Like Rudy, the Chinese man from LA who NAILED La Bomba! (no sarcasm folks!) Or the white teen with the afro speak-singing U2's It's a Beautiful Day, with actions. These people make me really, really, really happy.

10) Cruise dinner food is actually really good! I was pleasantly surprised by most of the things that I ordered :)

11) Seeing wildlife from a ship in the middle of the ocean is unexpected and magical. My first whale sighting.

12) Playing mini golf on top of a ship is crazy awesome!

Have you ever taken a cruise? How was your experience? Where did you go? Comment Below!

Missed the location posts? Click on the location for the link. Boston, Halifax & Peggy's Cove, NS, and Saint John, NB

All for now,


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Snapshots of Boston // Cruise // July 2013

Because our cruise departed from Boston, we had time before and after the cruise to explore the city.. or so we thought.

Before we left our house for the airport we got a call that our first flight (from Kansas City to Detroit) was delayed. We left early so we would have a better chance of making a change and catching our connecting flight (to Boston). 

On the drive in, we got another call that it was delayed an additional period of time. It was chaos for a while... we had to cancel things and change things and it was pretty terrible... in the end our flight was delayed 4(!) hours. 

We finally got to Detroit at about 11pm E, with a voucher for a free hotel (thank you, Delta). We took the shuttle to the hotel and finally got up to the counter, only to find out that they were full, and our voucher wasn't worth anything to them. The very nicely helped us contact Delta and got a new place for us to go. Their shuttle got us there and we checked in.. (without a new voucher..) and finally got to sleep at about 1 AM E. 

Luckily our flight to Boston was swapped for one the next morning and there were no delays on this leg of the trip!

So, we really ended up just having free time at the end of our trip.. but that's ok... because it was AMAZING!

We got off the boat and checked into our hotel, the Harborside Inn, which happened to have a pretty cool mermaid painting behind the reception desk... :) We took a nap and then walked over the the New England Aquarium where we saw that they had WHALE WATCHING(!) tours that were associated with the aquarium! 

We decided to go for it and booked a tour for the next day early in the morning, so we could still make our late afternoon flight. The aquarium + whale watching tickets were just $45 each! :) It was such a great deal! (the cruise excursions for whale watching were at least $100 per person!)

We spent the afternoon at the aquarium and saw the right whale skeleton, so huge! and not even a fully grown whale! The size is baffling, the fact that they have a juvenile whale skeleton.. is pretty sad. But, at least it is helping people learn.

We watched the penguins, which was so fun! They couldn't get one to eat, finally we had to walk away because he was kind of sad.

Then we saw the various tanks including one with these two silly yellow fish that kept spitting out dirt toward the people watching. They were very expressive, and it was hilarious. They were probably angry, though no one was tapping on the glass.

The seals were very fun, one in particular was playing with a torpedo pool toy and it was so entertaining to watch! He played for about 5 minutes! There were also other seals in front of the aquarium outside, which swam a lot and were very fun! It was too hard to take a picture because of the glare. I love the seals they are so chubby and have funny little feet. :) 

After the aquarium we sat on the steps by the harbor and watched the boats and had some ice cream. It was so nice by the water, breezy and cool. :)

After that we relaxed a bit before a late dinner at a brewery called the Granary Tavern, one block over from our hotel. It was so nice outside, so we sat on the patio and ordered delicious flat breads (mine: Margherita, his: Hawaiian). 

We also had dessert, Kyle got chocolate torte and I got apple crisp. My crisp seemed like it had been sitting a while before baking, all of the cinnamon was in the bottom... but it was still good. Kyle's was yummy! Location was the most important part! (we were tired!)

The next day we got up and walked to the Starbucks before getting ready to whale watch. It was SO exciting!

We got on the boat and got a spot on the front, I had a jacket and a hat and lots of sunscreen so I wouldn't burn. 

The water was great and the the catamaran was so fast (look at Kyle's hair!)! We sailed for about an hour and a half before we got to Stellwagen Marine Sanctuary, where the whales come to feed in the summer. They spend the winter in the Caribbean with their calves and then come up to Boston in the summer to gorge themselves on lots of fish! 

We got to see the three main whales that live in that area!!! 

First we saw a Humpback named Nile, she was beautiful! Humpback tails are like human finger prints, and our marine biologist was able to identify her! So cool!

Sadly, the boat favored the right side and I was in the middle so I didn't get a ton of great shots, but seeing them was my goal.. and I did and I was AMAZED!

Then we saw a Finback Whale, which is the second largest animal living on earth! 


It was longer than our boat, which was so incredible to see. I got much closer looks and better pictures at/of that one. 

Then we saw a Minke Whale which is the smallest one in that area, about the size of a dolphin. Kyle laughs when I say "the little whale" because it is still 20 feet long. :)

When we were on the cruise, we saw maybe 20 whales in the distance, it was my first sighting and so breathtaking. I asked the marine biologist on the whale watching ship about them based on what we saw etc. and she said that they were probably Humbacks, which is so cool, because they are my favorites! Seeing them was so out of the blue, one of those perfect moments!

When we were done I realized that I was TOTALLY sunburnt.. :( So the way home was not super fun.. but it was very very worth it! I would definitely recommend this trip and hope to go whale watching many more times in many more locations in the future!

As you've seen from my Saint John, NB post, my Halifax, NS post and this post... this was pretty much a trip of a lifetime for me! And I had no idea in advance, so it was so exciting to happen upon so many whales, mermaids, good food and beautiful sights! Click the links to the other posts to explore the Canadian ports!

Up next: some of the Cruise pictures.. since none of these photos were actually from the ship :)

Have you ever been whale watching? If so, please share the details!

All for now,