Friday, January 29, 2010

Stay Tuned

So I'm not quite sure where exactly this day has gone, and I truly need to go be more productive, because quite honestly the only "real" things I've accomplished thus far have been: showering, moving my car to a new space and back again for street cleaning, and successfully securing a temporary babysitting job for Monday-Thursday of next week. However, I wanted to quickly introduce you all to a fun new project that's brewing out in blog land. The lovely Victoria over at sfgirlbybay is organizing this whole BIG event, and she'll be kicking off the project on her blog sometime in February. It will be a way for ANY and ALL bloggers to come together and really embrace each other, and the blogging community (so my fellow blogger friends, if the fancy strikes you once you hear the details, be sure to sign up)! I am SUPER EXCITED about this project, so be sure to check back next week when I'll reveal to you all the real details! In the meantime I will leave you with this AMAZING mashup by DJ Earworm (which may or may not be a small clue to the new blog project)!

United State of Pop 2009 Mashup - "Blame it on the Pop," and be sure to check out the original from 2007, it's my personal fave! 

I Changed My Mind

Okay, so I've changed my mind, and hopefully you all won't mind. I've decided that the original lineup for Swoonette, the one that I so carefully thought out, just isn't working for me. I'm sure this probably comes as no shock since the only day I actually ever hold myself to is Wednesdays. However, even the past few roundups haven't exactly fit into the mold of my original description, and thoughts on what The Wonderful Wednesday Roundup would be. So anyway, from now on things will be a little different, but hopefully still just as lovely and enjoyable. I much prefer blogging "on the fly," and when the whimsy strikes me. Holding myself to a schedule for blogging is clearly NOT working! From now on I'll simply post whatever and whenever. It will still be the same stuff, just hopefully more of it, and more often... and hopefully a bit better! So even though I'm scratching that original lineup off the list, I'm still thinking more design inspirations, more of my swoonettes, and more of The Apartment (obviously!) are in store for you all! In addition I'm also thinking of adding in a few "extra" things, but we'll see! I still plan on doing roundups, because I really enjoy that aspect of the original lineup (maybe they just won't be on Wednesdays, and maybe they just won't be about design related things). And also, once I eventually find my way back to Photoshop (it's gone missing in all my computer drama) I'll be bringing back my favorite color combos, mood boards included. Soooo that is all my friends, I'm not going anywhere, but I am hoping to be a bit of a better blogger for my own personal sake! Thank you to everyone for reading, and always being so supportive and kind with your blog love and comments, I appreciate it always!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Under The Milky Way

I've been swooning over Sia's cover of "Under the Milky Way" (originally by The Church) for MONTHS, thanks to this car commercial below, AND now it is finally available to buy on iTunes (hooray)!

The car does nothing for me, but I do think that the way the music shows it off in the commercial is sort of amazing. Personally I think commercials are one of the best ways to discover new music... in addition to such guilty pleasures such as "The Hills" and "Laguna Beach" (not like I know that from personal experience or anything though... hehehe, yeah right). 

Kiddo Art

Coffee, coffee, coffee. I am one of those people that needs to have at least one cup of coffee a day or it's not a pretty sight, okay so it is usually more like two (one in the morning, and one in the afternoon), but that's beside the point. I never used to be like this, but over the years coffee just sort of snowballed into this necessity of life for me... I blame college. Anyway, where I was going with this was that today I had to go out for my coffee, as I was out of cream AND milk (I don't like black coffee). On my way back from the coffee shop I strolled past a group of kiddos waiting to be picked up from school, and it made me miss my kiddos, and our little school pick-up routine (for those of you who don't actually know me, I used to be a nanny, I don't actually have any kids of my own!). Then I remembered that I had this wonderful piece of kiddo art tucked away, and bringing it out was just the little pick me up that I needed to put a smile back on my face. There is just something so sweet and simple about kid's artwork, it sort of melts my heart. I love the way they come up to you, grinning from ear to ear and holding this piece of paper in their tiny little clenched hands (so as not to let it drop and get ruined), and then they excitedly utter those special words "I drew this for you." Yeah, I pretty much turn to mush right there, and for an instant I always feel like THE most important person in the world. It's really instant happiness!

My portrait drawn by my favorite 4 year old (looks just like me, right?!?)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clever Animal Valentines

I'm a huge animal lover, so here are a few more (very clever) valentines to finish up the roundup!

Etsy Valentines

So in case you hadn't guessed it, this week's roundup is valentines! And of course there is no better place to go when hunting down the cute and handmade than Etsy! Needless to say there were oodles and oodles of adorable valentines to chose from, but I picked a sampling of my personal faves, and then I broke them down into two groups to share with you all!

First up is the not so girly (i.e. not smothered in pink and red, and oozing with hearts) group. Because quite honestly I sometimes think that "typical" valentines are a little vomit inducing (if you know what I mean), all that mush and gush, and lace, and blah blah blah. I much prefer things that are a little quirky and different, because it's about the sentiment, and letting someone know that you care, and that doesn't need to be said with red and pink and all things tacky! 

Top to Bottom, and Left to Right: PaperMichelle, perfect dressipe, imeondesign, Storeyshop (I of course being the Facebook junkie that I am was drawn to this valentine, but she tons of other great "I love you more than..." cards in her shop), Alf, Persimmons

The second group is indeed the girly group, because let's face it I'm a girl, and I like the romantic sentiment behind Valentine's Day. However, these valentine's are far from tacky, and even though they are littered with shades of pink, they are sweet and classy.

Clockwise from Top Left: Flapper Doodle, sarah jane, Mew, Pinecone and Lola

Handmade Valentines

Last week I went home for a dentist appointment (yuck...), it was a short but sweet visit. When I left I made sure to bring back to Brooklyn with me some of my crafting supplies... because, Valentine's Day is right around the corner, and I was itching to craft up some cards! 

I really enjoy handmade goodies of any kind, but for me there is something a little extra special about a handmade valentine. I think it has something to do with the fact that from 3rd-8th grade this is how my Valentine's Days rolled. At my school the typical kiddo friendly boxed valentines were forbidden, and in their place a rather lovely tradition was implemented instead. The concept was simple, but yet so sweet and so kind. Much like a "Secret Santa" names were picked at random, and kept secret until the revealing ceremony on Valentine's Day. In order to stretch our creative minds, we had to craft our own valentines. Buying cards, candy, or other trinkets was out of the question, it was all about what you could make with some paper and a glue stick! Every single child got ONE valentine. Of course some cards were far more DIY fabulous than others, but the point was that everyone felt loved, and no one felt left out or more popular than the others. We all felt proud of the cards we created, and we all felt special knowing that the cards we received were just for us. I love knowing that this tradition still lives on there, since sadly many of the other important ones have been let go of. 

My mom actually works at my old school, and although she moans and groans about how much she dislikes being "stuck" in this tradition, I always looked forward to our nights of valentine card crafting together. It was a really nice time for us to share together, letting our minds wander, me offering up color combination and cut out heart placement advice, my mom struggling with the hot glue gun, but all the while the two of us laughing and smiling. So while unfortunately this year I will not be at home to share in a night of crafting with my mom, I did make sure to craft up a storm here in Brooklyn by myself. And so now that I have talked your ear off, and traveled back in time to a gawky middle schooler ready to unveil her most recent valentine creation (can we say braces, bangs, a bad perm, and glasses!), I'll give you a glimpse at some of the valentines I crafted up this year, and that will be making their way to some special mailboxes very soon! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Owen Maxwell

Last night I discovered my upstairs neighbors have a cat (in addition to their two dogs). My downstairs neighbors also have a cat. I am in a kitty sandwich, with currently no kitty of my own here in Brooklyn (insert my sad face here). I do have two kitty boys (Owen Maxwell and Sullivan), but they live at home with my mom... and I was by no means being allowed to move them to Brooklyn with me (once again insert my sad face here). It's okay though, they are very good company for my mom, and I get to see them on my frequent visits home (I'm still not quite ready to part with my car... we'll just call it a mild case of separation anxiety... I mean I have been driving since I was 16, that's over a decade!). I'm hoping I can convince my roomie that we need a cat, and by that I mean I NEED a cat... and soon! She's allergic, but I'm hoping to work some magic on her at some point, thus allowing me to bring a fur baby into The Apartment. In the meantime I dream of this cutie below... he's just one of my many swoonettes.

Isn't he ridiculously photogenic?!? I'm convinced if Tyra Banks had an "America's Next Top Animal Model" he would win (he would of course be the plus sized model of the group, but I'm pretty sure he could stomp out the competition with his fierceness!).  

Monday, January 25, 2010

Organized Chaos

I kind of love organizing! For me the whole process is like a form of stress relief. I enjoy taking on a giant crazy pile of stuff and cleaning it all up into one very neat and tidy little package. A mess is like a big puzzle, and I must use my logic and creativity to make everything fit together. When I finish not only do I get a lovely organized end result, but I also get the biggest rush of happiness, and sense of accomplishment. 

I'm really good at making a BIG mess!

But I'm actually quite a bit better at cleaning it all up! Tah dah! An hour or so later and back to normal!

P.S. Consider this a sneak peak into my bedroom! However, once I get a few more things finished up in there I promise there will be a full post/tour dedicated to it. So stay tuned... slowly but surely...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Beer Barn

So I've been attempting to clean up the chaos of The Apartment all day, in order to have things slightly neat and tidy, before I have to head to the airport to pick up my friend Sarah, who is coming to visit for the weekend (YAY!). However, I'm finding putting things back together in an orderly fashion, after my week of DIY projects, is a bit harder than I had anticipated... mainly due to the fact that I keep getting sidetracked by all things cute and funny in the world today! For instance I've watched Ben's stint on "Parks and Recreation" about a dozen times so far (and I still can't stop laughing). I've contemplated what bacon cupcakes might taste like (thanks Rebecca, I'm totally intrigued now). And I've spruced up the amaryllis plant my aunt gave me for Christmas (see picture below).

Presto chango! Bye bye ugly plastic container and hello totally Swoonette worthy replacement! It's actually just some painter's paper I happened to have hiding out in the closet, and a cute ribbon bow! I think it looks SO much better now though... and actually sort of chic!

However, my main distraction of the day comes from the adorableness that is my friend Elizabeth's daughter Emma! I kindly convinced my lovely friend that she NEEDED to guest blog here on Swoonette today, and she agreed! Hooray! My first guest blogger! So without further ado here is what I just can't take my eyes off of... because, I love beer, and I love kids!

The Beer Barn: By Elizabeth 

Emma and I found a make-shift barn for her animals today.
Perhaps I should actually make it look like a barn instead of a weird animal brewery.

OK back to cleaning! Thanks Elizabeth for sharing your swoon worthy family, and your clever six pack idea!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Sorry I have been a little MIA lately. I haven't quite been able to get myself back into blogging mode since the holidays ended. It was so nice to be home for all those weeks, and now that I am back in Brooklyn I'm staring down a HUGE pile of projects that need to get finished (and some that need to get started too for that matter). I am notorious for starting a project, getting about half way done, and then calling it quits. Because of this, one of my New Year's resolutions is that I am not allowed to start a new DIY project until I have completed ALL the unfinished ones I currently have going. So instead of blogging these last few weeks I've been hopping about The Apartment, trying to finish many of my unsolved projects.

I finished painting the storage buckets that sit on top of our kitchen cabinets. Now you can't see what we're hiding in them (wink, wink). However, in all actuality, they are currently empty (except for a few paper napkins)!

I also jazzed up our front door with some chalkboard paint. Originally the door was a hideous shade of forest green, and for some time we actually thought we would just leave it like that. However, the more we stared at it the more we grew to hate it. A few coats of chalkboard paint later though, and we've gone from drab to fab (and we now have an awesome, and totally handy, place to leave notes)!

I'm now working on the windows in my bedroom (stay tuned for a future post on that one), but I also managed to finish painting the kitchen, fix a few other odds and ends, and have a fabulous day out with a few of my good friends (I totally regret though that I didn't bring my camera along, because some of the places we went were TOTALLY Swoonette worthy!). There is still so much to do, but one little step at a time!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Etsy Calendars

The other day my friend Molly sent out a Twitter plea for help. Her request seemed easy enough, she simply needed help finding a wall calendar. However, the catch was that it had to have plenty of space for her to write down her appointments, because Molly is one busy lady between school, work, family, and friends! So in honor of Molly's request, I put together a little roundup, featuring some oh so cute calendars from Etsy.


Top to Bottom, and Left to Right: Letter C* design, emilie boudet, leah duncan, PaperVeil, p.s. Paper Goods, tummy mountain (since both Molly and I used to be nannies, I just had to throw that last calendar into the mix!)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 Goals

In a way January 1st is like a get out of jail free card. It offers us the opportunity to put behind us anything that we were unhappy with in the past year, and start over with a clean slate, and a fresh outlook. So even though I enjoy the idea of making New Year's resolutions, I am absolutely AWFUL at keeping them. But I am determined to make this year a great one, and so I decided to try something a little different. I made lists... and lots of them! I am hoping that by putting my goals down in writing that I can make a better effort at holding myself to them. I also figure that these lists can serve as nagging reminders in a couple of months when I decide to conveniently "forget" my resolutions. I won't bore you all with every single one of my resolutions (surprisingly there were A LOT!), but I have really been enjoying all of the picture resolution lists that so many wonderful bloggers have been posting over the last few days, that I thought I would make one too!

List number one is a list of goals I hope I can accomplish for this blog. While I blog purely for my own enjoyment, I do tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to the creative endeavors that I take on, and there are just some things about this blog that are irking me! Plus I would really like to attempt to switch over to Wordpress at some point (not that you have been anything but kind to me Blogger, but I need a change!). 

List number two is a life list, or a bucket list. I toyed around with this idea last year but never actually went through with it. I guess I felt like people would laugh at me for making this type of list, and that they would laugh at my ideas when I attempted to accomplish them. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is a list for ME, and it doesn't matter what other people think. These are MY dreams, no matter how small or ridiculous! 

My third list is my New Year's resolution list and it contains lifestyle changes and goals that I hope to accomplish in 2010. Some of the goals are insanely small and easily doable (like make a chicken soup), while others are going to require a LOT of effort on my part, and be a bit trickier to accomplish. But, I am going to think positive and really try to push myself to do these things, because in the end it will be worth it! 

Living in a new city means I know NOTHING. Add to this fact that this new city is New York City and I really know NOTHING! So this year I hope to really enjoy my new home, and explore the marvelous city around me. However, since I am a driver by nature, and not a bona fide subway taker, I am hoping to throw in a healthy dose of road-tripping (long or short, I'm not particular). Basically it would be wonderful if this year could just be one fabulous never ending adventure!

Oh music how I have missed you! For me music is like a comforting blanket. It has the capability to envelop me and keep me in the moment, or help me move past it if the case may be. Whatever my mood is I can always find a song to help me, either by putting me at ease or by setting me free. This past year I fell off the music scene, and I actually think my spirit sort of suffered a little bit because of this. I've missed going to concerts, making mix CD's, and finding new music to enjoy, so this year I hope to get back in the groove (hehehe... no pun intended). 

Yup, I AM that girl... the annoying one who hits the snooze button ten times before actually attempting to get out of bed. What can I say though, I like to sleep, and dreaming is one of my favorite pastimes. However, I seriously need to work on going to bed and getting up at more reasonable hours, in addition I need to get my snooze button habit under control.

All photos from Veer

I am an expert at lounging. I always have been, and I probably always will be, but I think I really need to tone it down just a smidge this year. My life is not exactly made any better by hanging out in my sweats (or pj's) and being a huge waste of space all day. 

For all of you out in blog land I wish you a very happy new year, and the best of luck in following through with any resolutions you may have made. Hopefully 2010 can be a year filled with enormous amounts of wonderful things!