Thursday, July 31, 2014

Escape Hatch

Ever wish you could pull an escape hatch cord?




source unknown






I could use a few days surrounded by nature with little to no human contact.

How about you?

À la vie et à l'amour

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Simple Skincare

Up until a few months ago I didn't really have a skin care regimen.

Mainly I would wash my face in the shower using whatever cleansing product happened to be in there at the time.

Sometimes it would be an actual facial cleanser but other times it might be antibacterial hand soap, a bar of soap, bath gel, shampoo (which I don't recommend unless you want your eyeballs to melt) or possibly Comet tub cleaner which is great for exfoliating if you want to remove all the dead skin from your face.

Then my daughter had some issues with acne and visited a dermatologist.

When we walked into the exam room there were beautiful bottles of the main dermatologist guy's own line of extensive (and likely expensive) skin care products and I thought we were about to spend my daughter's entire college tuition on all of his fancy products.

I about fell over when they recommended this:

and this:

They both contain ceramides and have different versions depending on your skin type and also have some with SPF which you should use so you don't look like a raisin when you're 40.

You can buy both of these at just about any grocery store and they are CHEAP!
(Target has had the best prices and greatest varietal selection so far.)

I've been using them for several months now and my skin has never been better 
(and I don't have great facial skin to begin with.)
I have fewer and less severe breakouts, my facial wrinkles are much improved, including the canyon-esque crease between my eyebrows that I get when I concentrate on something too hard, and my skin is softer and smoother in general.

I love that I only have 2 things to use because I am ultra lazy when it comes to skincare and I don't want a 12 step program for my face.

Once a week I do still exfoliate by adding this to my cleansing routine:

It's a washcloth.
Just add a little cleanser to your wet washcloth and gently rub in circles on your face and let the magic happen.

Soooo much better than Comet!

À la vie et à l'amour

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wiener Stuff

Normally I'm not into pushing consumerism but, as you well know, I am completely enchanted with dachshunds and all things wiener dog.

I have been following Bean Goods on Instagram for several months now and pretty much want one of everything they have.

Especially these:

This last one pretty much sums things up.

They have an awesome story and you should go read about it here.

And you should buy some wiener dog stuff because, although it's not super cheap, they donate a portion of their sales to help wiener dogs which makes them awesome.

À la vie et à l'amour

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dorm Art

In less than a month my daughter will be going to college and moving into her new home away from home.

We've had fun this summer amassing a great fortune of dorm essentials and some not-so-essential dorm essentials.
She's planning to use a lot of items we already had on hand, which are my favorite kind.
Plus we've been doing some DIY projects so her space can be really personalized exactly the way she wants it.

Obviously, no dorm room is complete without some sort of art so we've been brainstorming ideas for that.

Back in June my daughter took a trip to California with her best friend.
(Don't worry, they were chaperoned by my dad and stepmom.)

During that trip she took this awesome photo of the Santa Monica Pier with her iPhone:


While working on gathering items for her dorm room, I suggested that she have it enlarged, frame it, and use it as art for her dorm room this August.

Here's the photo with her modifications:

We're thinking 11x14 in this frame from Ikea:

What say you?

À la vie et à l'amour

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Quick and Easy Appetizer

Not only do I love goats but I love the cheese they make, too!

Yes, I realize goats don't actually make the cheese but whatever.

Here is a super easy appetizer that I made last week in about 5 minutes using just a few ingredients.

Slice up some apples, top with goat cheese, then drizzle honey, balsamic vinegar and a little thyme over the top.

It's good and looks fancy so you can impress all your friends even though you made it when you were half drunk already.

À la vie et à l'amour

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Wee Backyard

My mom owns a townhouse about 10 minutes from us.
She bought it after my parents divorced so that she would have minimal maintenance on both the house and yard which is about the size of a postage stamp.

Seriously, her backyard is like 8 feet by 10 feet, and a third of that space is consumed by her ginormous A/C condenser which is an absolute necessity in Texas in the summer.

With the help of her brother, and obviously some sort of black magic voodoo, she made her backyard into a miniature botanical garden-y lavish oasis.

Yes, I'm slightly jealous but not nearly committed enough to do something like this at my own house.

It's fun to hop from one stone to another and pretend the pebbles are lava.

Some viney stuff on the gate around the AC that will eventually cover it so you never have to see it.

Her statue named Isabella that is probably some magical Italian gardening witch.

Potted herbs and a close up of the patio she painted to look like an outdoor rug.

Fleur de lis in the patio corners to ward off evil or something.

Some green things in cute ornamental hanging baskets.

Hose snake.

Normally she has a patio table with 4 chairs and an umbrella but some bad weather in the spring killed the glass so she's on the lookout for a suitable replacement.

Isn't it lovely, though?

Thanks, mom, for letting me photograph your yard while you were out of town and knew nothing about my intent to expose your gardening witchcraft.

À la vie et à l'amour

Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY: Recycled Quilt Bunting

During a recent excursion to a local antiques mall I came across the cutest little bunting made from old quilts.

Having always been fond of vintage quilts (and having rescued several from various garage sales and other quilt bearing venues) I also happened upon a wonderful, partially tattered quilt that day that was perfect for revamping into my own for a mere $14.

I really loved the combination of bright and muted colors but it had some pretty bad damage on about 1/3 of it, as well as some stains, which is probably why it was so cheap.
Since my plan was to cut it up anyway this wasn't a huge issue for me.

I made a triangle template out of some paper and cut out several, keeping the binding intact at the top of each triangle so I could easily thread jute rope through it to hang.

It's best to use pinking shears so the fabric doesn't fray.
Also it looks cuter since I'm not hemming these.

Then I stitched along the side edges to hold each triangle together.

After all my triangles were stitched I threaded some skinny jute rope through the binding that was at the top of each triangle then hung it!


For now it hangs across my bed but, as with a lot of vintage quilts, it's very casual and country-ish so I don't know if it will stay for long.

But for now, I enjoy seeing it and like that I was able to recycle a quilt that someone put a lot of work into.

I also had plenty of quilt leftover to cut out several pillow tops so that project may be coming soon.

À la vie et à l'amour

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jam of the Month: Midlake

Always on the hunt for great songs (old and new) to add to my playlist, I've decided to introduce a new series entitled
Jam of the Month.

I'll share a song/artist that I'm currently listening to, or that someone has shared with me, so that we can all have evolved, eclectic, super-hip taste in music and be delightful at parties and other social gatherings with our vast knowledge of all things melodic...

or you can just have some great songs to jam to in the car or shower.

Up first is a song from a band I have been listening to for several months now called Midlake.

They started in Denton at the University of North Texas which is known for having a great local music scene and a fantastic music department.

There are a couple of songs on their newest album, Antiphon, that I really like but 
The Old and the Young 
is my current favorite.

If you like them, you can check out their site here.

À la vie et à l'amour

Thursday, July 10, 2014

$40 Backyard Mini Makeover

Back in the spring I was shop-wishing at Target in their outdoor area and came upon some great outdoor throw pillows and accessories:

The colors coordinated perfectly with my existing outdoor rug and umbrella and at $15 per pillow, they were actually a pretty good deal.
Except I needed 8.

So I waited...

and waited...

and waited.

And then yesterday I was at Target and all of their outdoor stuff was 

I picked up 8, yes 8, outdoor throw pillows for less than $40 with tax!

Here is what it looked like before:

Sure I could have tidied up a bit and made it look a bit less ugly but that would spoil the fun of a before and after.

And here are my fab new throw pillows in all of their clearance priced glory!

I love that even though all of the pillows coordinate, I was able to find 8 different prints.

Sadly, it will be a little while before we can eat dinner out here since temps in Texas are now eleventy trillion degrees but it's still just cool enough in the morning to sit and drink coffee with my husband and the mosquitoes.

And it's so nice to have great new throw pillows instead of old, faded, bird poop covered ones!

À la vie et à l'amour