Friday, March 30, 2012

Inspiration Friday: Mamma Mia!

I have a confession.

I'm totally obsessed with Mamma Mia.

Yes, that Mamma Mia.


The one with Meryl Streep & Colin Firth & Amanda Seyfreid & Greece & um...Pierce Brosnan. 

All singing ABBA songs. 

I just can't help myself guys. I love it.

Here are a few reasons....

1.  Decor. 

I read somewhere that you should watch this movie on mute and then you'll love it. It's just so pretty! And kind of makes you want to move to a Greek island. 
  • blue & white
  • plants
  • water- fountains, the sea
  • candles & twinkle lights


  • patterns - on towels, bedding, curtains, etc. 
  • light
  • I even love all the sparkly scenes & suddenly feel that I really need a little more glitter in my life. 
2. Female relationships. 

I love how totally open the women in this movie are- with themselves & others. Yes, I know this movie is based on songs by ABBA, so they are obviously portraying extremes. But I love the idea. 

These women scream when they're excited, cry & run away when they're sad, & tell each other exactly how they're feeling, even when it's not always nice. They are super close and supportive and they know how to have fun together, which brings me to point #3...

3. Fun. 

Seriously. Meryl Streep does a toe touch in this film. They dance, sing, laugh, and wear sometimes insane clothes. 
Because as Dr. Suess would say, "These things are fun, and fun is good." 

Seriously though, this movie always makes me think, I really need to lighten up and just have fun (plus, you never know when a feather boa might come in handy!)

3. Style

Don't even get me started. Oh wait...

  • deceptively simple outfits
  • lots of blue & white plus the occasional 70s bellbottom pantsuit. 
  • wavy hair & barrettes.
  • dresses & skirts.


  • fun jewelry (necklaces, rings, anklets)
  • That cowboy hat!
  • I've noticed they actually wear fairly not-simple outfits (lots of jewelry, patterns, etc.) but in a very simple- just walk out of the house- way. I love it. 
  • They don't always wear things that look perfect on them (see above picture of Amanda Seyfreid: no offense, but the swimsuit/white skirt combination is weird. But I still love it). This works because of the next point: 
  • Confidence. Amanda Seyfreid spends an entire montage wandering around the island in a one-piece swimsuit. When was the last time you even felt comfortable wearing a swimsuit by the pool? Confidence goes pretty far. 

So you've got the simple "I grew up on this Greek Island" clothes and then the "my mom was a hippie/ABBA singer" clothes. 

  • bellbottoms
  • sequins
  • sparkly shoes 
  • blue eyeshadow
  • feather boas
  • platform shoes
  • going all out. 
Come on, guys, those scenes are awesome. 

4. Lightening Up. 

When I found out a good friend of mine also liked this movie, I said "No way! I love it! But everyone I talk to hates it cause it's so crazy." 

She said, "Anyone who says that is just taking themselves too seriously." 

I concur. Let's lighten up. 


5. Meryl Streep

Yes, I know that Pierce Brosnan sings in this movie, and I agree: it's a travesty. It shouldn't have happened. 

But can we just all contemplate for a moment how awesome Meryl Streep is? She can basically play anyone, and I love that she chose this film. 

She dances, sings, and wears overalls and a cowboy hat. 

The woman can do no wrong.


6. That scene with the scarf.

Ok. If you still hate this movie, you have to at least give me this one: the scene where Meryl Streep sings The Winner Takes It All is Just. So. Amazing.


7. Dancing Queen. 

Who doesn't love some ABBA? And 2+ hours of ABBA songs + Meryl on a Greek Island sounds like a good time to me. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's It

The Chicago river is dyed (bright!) green every year on St. Patrick's Day, and I wanted to take Ian & Adrianne to see it, but we wanted to avoid all the people (who started drinking at 6am) so we braved driving by the river and crowds instead. It was crazy, but so fun! 

Then we headed back to my place to make It's It ice cream sandwiches! 

The cookies are apparently a San Francisco classic and the recipe is from the second Babycakes cookbook (i.e. Yum).  

Seriously guys, these are gluten- and sugar-free, and vegan.
And so delicious.

They are chocolate chip cookies, with mint ice cream (mint=green=st.patrick's day=festive!)
 between them then they're dipped in chocolate.

And frozen.

We were pretty excited to eat them. :) 

Friday, March 23, 2012


Last week was awesome. That's because my best friend from high school, Adrianne, and her awesome husband Ian, came into town! 

Seriously, every time we see each other I consider either:
 a)kidnapping them & keeping them in Chicago or 
b)moving back to MN so we can live closer! 

 I'm so grateful for these amazing friends!

They got to see the city, we hung out & laughed, ate lots of good food, & basically had an epicly great time. 
Can't wait till the next visit! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Dorm Room Rules

*Updated version of Dorm Room Decorating at Everyday Planet*

College is awesome, isn't it? Yes, it can be one of the most stressful times of your life :), but there are also so many things about it that are fun. I went to a community college for two years (living at home) then transferred to a Bible college and was there for three years (my school pretty much required you to live on campus, so: dorm room for three years. I was on the same floor all three years, but lived in two different rooms and had four awesome roommates (all at different times).

The dorm rooms were tiny, with two small closets, lots of regulation furniture and about 2 inches of floor space. Decorating each year required some creativity but was so fun.

Now that I am gainfully employed, I am shocked to remember how poor we were as college students (my roommate and I once turned down going to an event because it cost $2.00. Two dollars.) So here are a few things that are helpful for decorating your dorm room (or other small space) on a college student budget:

1. Creativity

If your dorm is like mine was, there are about a thousand rules for what you can't do to decorate (no nails, candles, paint, etc). So you have to get around those rules with some creativity. Case in point: Note the mirror in the picture below:

yup, that's me studying in college.
One of the few pictures I could actually find of my room. 

We couldn't put nails in the wall, so we painted 3M hooks, stapled two pieces of ribbon to the back of a ($5 Target) mirror, and hung it sideways. Voila! Something on your wall, and bonus: it made the tiny room look bigger.

2. 3M hooks

I realize now, I should have bought stock in 3M hooks as a freshman. Some ways we used them:

*the tiny clear ones lined the wall next to the ceiling to hold twinkle lights
*for holding back curtains
*painted different colours and hung vertically, to hold mugs
*hanging pictures, obviously.
*the larger ones can hold bathrobes or a pretty dress on a hanger.
*small hooks hung horizontally over a dresser to display pretty necklaces.
*just the tape is also great for hanging maps, posters, and pictures.


3. Paper.

I was lucky enough to have both an art supply store and a Paper Source two blocks from my dorm room. We would buy sheets of decorative paper and maps each semester (I now have some of those cheap maps framed in my apartment!). Girls on my floor got pretty creative with this stuff.

*Use large pieces to cover almost an entire wall.
*Hang them diagonally and write a favorite quote across them.
*Origami! My friend Kate has a star on her wall in her apartment now, and it's awesome.
*As a background for favorite pictures.
*Use to cover anything ugly. We covered light fixtures (don't start a fire though!), and a myriad of other ugly things in our dorm room.
*leftovers can go in the front of your class notebook or to a poorer dorm room neighbor.

4. Comfort 

Dorm rooms are often filled with wooden furniture. Soften it up! Make sure to have lots of cozy blankets and pillows for studying, chatting with friends, and the all-important nap. Put down some throw rugs, have framed photos of far away friends and family, and a few favourite things from home.

5. A beverage corner.

Tell me you don't drink more coffee then ever in college! Make sure it's out of a cute mug. My roommate and I had a whole set up on top of our small fridge: coffee pot, electric tea kettle, spoons, etc. Fun coloured hanging mugs on the wall. It was always fun to have girls in for a cup of tea or coffee and a study break.



6. Pretty storage

This goes for both your school supplies/ notebooks (that could be a whole separate post as I spent 4+ years refining my school organization system :) as well as all your stuff. You probably have to pack a lot into a small amount of space. This requires some ingenuity. Some ideas:

*one of my roommates and I put one of the two regulation-dressers into the closet: we had less closet space, but it made for a lot more space in the room.
*Under-the-bed rubbermaid bins. Lifesavers. Label them so you can easily see what's inside.
*Fabric/Paper-covered boxes. For computer cords, extra school supplies, snacks, you name it. Hide the stuff that's not cute!
*Use baskets to hold bigger items: blow dryers, dishes, etc.
*Stacking rubbermaid drawers. These can go in your closet or you can use the top of one for your beverage corner!

7. Light 

As if all that homework isn't already giving you a headache.I don't know if it still exists, but in college, we were all in a Facebook group called "People Against The Use of Flourescent Lighting." Open your blinds, turn off the overhead lights and bring in some ambience!

If you can't light candles in your dorm, Target has some great battery operated candles (some are even scented!). Paper lanterns from IKEA are fun, and get some cheap standing lamps for lots of light. Plus clip on desk lamps and fun beaded lamp shades. Make it cozy!


Twinkle lights: everywhere. These are great for getting ready on those early mornings after a really late night of studying. No one needs to see you looking that tired.

All of the above ideas can be done using things you already have + a shopping trip to IKEA, Walmart, or Target. Have fun!

College friends!

Monday, March 19, 2012


I recently saw the first flowers of spring...

That's always a good day.
Now it's like summer has come to March! I'm not complaining. :)
I'm loving being outside, opening my windows, and wearing sandals. 
I'm not sure it will last, but I'm enjoying it while I can. 
Happy Spring!

Monday, March 12, 2012

entertain us.*

Here's a look at what's been on my ipod, nightstand and tv lately....

On the ipod: The Head & The Heart

Do you know this band? Last summer I went to see Iron & Wine (for free!) in Millenium Park. I'd never heard of the opening band, but as I was talking with my friends and they were playing, we all kept pausing and saying "wow, they're really good." "Oh, I kind of like them." "Who is this band?" Turns out it was The Head & the Heart. I may be behind the times, but if you are too, you should check them out. They're from Seattle & are awesome.


On the nightstand: The Gift of Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

This one is way overdue (not at the library: I mean I should have read it a long time ago). I've been carrying this around and found that a surprising number of people have not heard of Chaim Potok. This book is about an Hasidic Jew who becomes an artist and how it affects him and his community. Such a great book about the creative life. If you've never read Potok, I suggest starting with The Chosen. 


On the TV: Revenge of the Bridesmaids

On a lighter note, I can't get enough of this movie. Awhile ago, my sister and I were having one of those watch a really cheesy movie on Netflix nights, and stumbled on this gem. I bought it recently at Target and have already watched it three times. It is still cheesy, but surprisingly funny. It has all the things I love about a made for TV movie, good one liners, Raven Symone (Olivia from Cosby! all grown up and still funny), the girl from Better with You, plus some surprisingly apt observations about Girl World.


What are you reading/watching/listening to? 

*Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

Monday, March 5, 2012

Playing Dress Up, Step #5: Putting Together Outfits

 I have to tell you, it took me awhile to figure out what I was going to say for this one! I'm pretty hesitant to tell you how to put an outfit together. Part of me wants to just say: be creative! wear what you like! But that's probably not super helpful. So, here are just a few ideas on putting together outfits you like. I promise I won't tell you that a black blazer goes with everything (unless you want it to!)

#1 Wear a uniform. 

The idea here is to find the idea of an outfit you like and then just stick with it. Do you love jeans and t-shirts? You could have a white v-neck, patterned long sleeve shirts, black crew neck t-shirts and wear them with different kinds of jeans. Or if you love wearing printed skirts and cardigans, get some in different colours and just mix them up. Easy, right? Here are a few people who do the uniform thing really well:

Charlotte Gainsbourg i.e. French woman extraordinaire (hi, look at her hair).

She basically wears straight leg jeans, cowboy boots, and a t-shirt/blazer all the time. And she always looks great.
Charlotte Gainsbourg

Charlotte Gainsbourg

Anna Wintour i.e. Editor of Vogue/ The Devil Who Wears Prada

I'm definitely not telling you to be like her, but if you look at pictures of her, you'll see she knows what she likes. Always the same haircut and she often wears printed dresses and open-toe heels.
Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour
Moment of honesty: I don't really do this idea at all. But I love the idea of finding what you are comfortable and look good in and sticking with it. I'll try this and get back to you!

#2 Copy an outfit

This is a fun way to use what you have. Take an outfit from Pinterest, a catalogue or a magazine and try to recreate it with items you already have in your closet. Example: I saved lots of pictures of girls in shorter skirts and big sweaters, so I went to my closet and came up with this (I'm the one on the right, ha ha):
Dasha Zhukova
Yours truly

#3 Wear one piece multiple ways

Fashion bloggers in general are so great at this. Take one item from your closet and try to come up with at least 5 different ways to wear it. No more wearing the same sweater with the same jeans every day. Try wearing the sweater with a skirt, buttoned over a dress, under a jacket, or with a long shirt and leggings. 

What Would A Nerd Wear is a great example of this (surprise!). The picture below shows how something odd (a bright orange skirt) can be really versatile. 
What Would a Nerd Wear

#4 Simple/ Complicated

Another thing I like to do when putting together an outfit is to either go really simple or really complicated (I usually land on complicated). 

Simple: black pants, striped shirt, one necklace. Walk out the door. 

La Mariniere

Complicated: Multiple patterns and colours, layers, a scarf, sunglasses, stacks of bracelets on both arms. 

Toast UK

I would love to hear your ideas on putting together outfits! 

It's been lots of fun writing this series; I hope you've enjoyed it as well. Thanks for all your awesome comments! 

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