another quick rec for post-holiday-bleh

Yummy and effective.  I picked up this tin of get clean at Nugget last week because it was in a clearance cart for only $3!  If you are familiar with The Republic of Tea, you know these tins usually run about $12, so I scored.  We threw a party for my friend Ana who is in town from London for the holidays, and the next day at work I felt gross from all the party food and beer.  I didn't feel like drinking my daily cup of joe when I got to work, so I brewed a cup of this tea, and OH MAN is it delicious!  I felt better instantly, even if there isn't any caffeine in it.  It smells really good too.

Rooibos is becoming my new favorite tea.  I wrote about it before, and I keep finding new blends that I love. And ladies: it also really helps relieve discomfort associated with that annoying monthly visitor.  If you're like me and prefer to take the natural route to finding relief from pain, discomfort, sickness, etc., then please try this tea.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

What are your plans for New Year's Eve??  I don't have any plans set in stone yet, but I'm sure something will come up last minute.  I hope you all have a fun + safe night! 

See you in


holiday tunes, courtesy of Beck

I Beck!!!

This awesome mix lasts about forty-five minutes, which is plenty of time to 
down some egg nog, kiss under the mistletoe, + open stockings!

Happy Christmas!


it's officially winter!

So says my desk calendar.  "Winter begins" today, Dec. 21, and already I have gorged myself on holiday treats made by our friends and given by my customers.  Cookies have replaced my normal healthful lunches, washed down with Sees candies.  If I eat junk in place of meals rather than in addition to meals, does that make it better?  Probably not.

I've finished wrapping gifts, but I have a couple finishing touches to put on DIY gifts that I hope to share with you after the holidays.  Can't give anything away yet!  ;)  Gabe made homemade Kahlua using my dad's treasured recipe for his Secret Santa gift, and lucky for us, he made extra.  If he went to the store today and got more soymilk, I know what I'm having with my cookies for dinner tonight!  So bad.

Has anyone begun thinking up their New Years Resolutions?  Do you believe in that stuff?  I like to set goals for myself, and ya'll know I LOVE making lists!  One of my resolutions is to get my passport and visit two countries next year.  I can't wait to get my passport stamped!  The only times I have been out of the country are once to Mexico with my family, and once to Canada back in college.  I went with my college's ski + snowboarding club and had a blasty blast!  We stayed in Whistler village, which is nothing short of idyllic in the winter.  I didn't have my passport for either of those trips, because my birth certificate sufficed.  I have about ninety places I really want to visit, so it'll be a matter of prioritizing for 2011.  I will no doubt be asking for your feedback throughout the new year on places I'm planning on visiting. 

Happy Christmas sweet readers!  I hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends, filled with treats + booze.  Live it up, it's the holidays!

{photo source}


if you're in SoCal...

...make sure and attend Dallas Clayton's readings of his awesome books this weekend!  I just received an e-mail from him {or his people?}, announcing they have sold out of both books and are in pre-order status.  He will be hosting a reading on Saturday, Dec 11 in Santa Monica and on Sunday, Dec 12 in Claremont.

Contrary to popular belief, Sacramento and LA are not adjacent, so I will not be in attendance.  Seriously, you would not believe how many times I've heard this assumption from non-Californians.  LA is about a six hour drive...However, if you are in or near the LA area, I wanted to make sure you knew about this event, because it would definitely be super fun to meet him!

I've mentioned how truly awesome these books are before, and it would be such a treat to watch Dallas read them aloud in person, because he is so animated and has a fabulous imagination.  Bring the family, and let me know next week if you were one of the lucky ones that went!

Have an imaginative weekend, friends! :)


gift ideas for the Virgos in your life

Mrs. Lilien put together quite the attractive collection for Virgos back in September, our birth month, but it can be adapted for this holiday season. 

A sophisticated agenda or journal is a must, and you couldn't go wrong with any one of these other items.  I can guarantee that all the Virgos in your life love them some blue, especially the deep blue in that Catherine Malandrino dress; so if you combined, say, that blue + a journal, well you'd be golden my friend!  What? You don't have any Virgo friends or family? Then you need to get yourself a virgo!

Don't just take my word for it.  Mrs. Lilien said it best:

And here in all her splendor is the dashing Mrs. Virgo - she's a decadent and delightful Mrs. I'll have you know! She's meticulous and unabashedly reliable - these traits are imperative to her success, this is undeniable! And while she's practical and diligent - she still loves her necessary indulgences and luxurious fulfillment! She's a natural beauty with a rather refined palette - you'd be crazy to try and pass off an onion to her as a shallot! Analytical, intelligent and sharp as a tack - she'll no doubt school you at a high stakes game of black jack! She can at times work herself ragged so to maintain her highest of standards - but ask her any question and she'll service you with precise answers. She makes for an absolutely perfect friend - she's wildly loyal from her front to her end. From the very moment you say hello - you'll fall head over heels with this Mrs. Virgo!

Thank you, Mrs. Lilien.  And while you're over there, make sure and check out her stylish gift guides--they're amazing.


anthropologie holiday contest

Dazzler Top
$158 - anthropologie.com
3/4 sleeve tops »
Shimmering Streets Shorts
$98 - anthropologie.com
Anthropologie shorts »
Basketweave Tights
$18 - anthropologie.com
Opaque hosiery »
Final Flourish Heels
$178 - anthropologie.com
Anthropologie pumps »
Coin Dusted Clutch
$58 - anthropologie.com
Pouch handbag »
Blake Basin Artifact Bracelet
$48 - anthropologie.com
Bracelets »
Labrador Lode Necklace
$80 - anthropologie.com
Necklaces »

That was fun!!

Anthropologie posted a contest on facebook encouraging fans to use Polyvore to create and enter a day or evening holiday look.  How could I pass that up?  The answer is I couldn't.  In fact, it is so addicting, you may see several more of my creations that I will surely post on my blog.  Be warned. Or be excited! ;)

Has anyone else participated?  Please let me know because I would love to see your masterpieces!

P.S. I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get rid of the excess around each item when arranging the pieces, so that explains the ugly pixelated gray areas. Meh.


VS fashion show!

Every year I look forward to it.  Every year.  Now only a week has passed since the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in NYC aired, and I am already excited to see what the production team and designers cook up for next year's show!

This year, Katy Perry and Akon were the musical performers, and I especially enjoyed Katy Perry's acts.  I am not a huge fan of hers, but I liked her outfits and her voice sounded good live.  I never realized how pretty she is.  She reminds me of a friend I went to high school with in the face quite a bit.  Hi Ash!   And Akon seemed to enjoy the models flocking around him on the stage.  He enjoyed it a little too much, maybe.  Anyone catch what I'm throwin'?  Maybe I am misreading what I saw, but perhaps dude should have buttoned his jacket when he finished singing.  Moving on...

My favorite outfit of the show was Behati Prinsloo's PINK number.

I never really paid much attention to this model, but she's beautiful!  And her South African accent is adorable.  She brought a lot of energy to the stage, and totally rocked this colorful getup.

Other favorites from this show were also from the PINK segment. 
Jessica Stam is tops.  She is one of my favorite models of all time.  Some women know female athletes' names; I know models.  I always notice her, in VS shows, J.Crew catalogs, Anna Sui and DKNY ads, you name it.  So I was giddy when I saw her walk out on to the VS runway this year.
I've been noticing Lily Aldridge since she began modeling for J.Crew.  And now the lucky gal is engaged to hottie Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon.  The model + the rockstar.  Gabriel used to joke that that's what we are.  Well, I no longer model, and he is still a musician, but does not have goals of reaching rockstar status.  'Good thing too!  Because he's ten times hotter than Caleb, and I would have to go barbaric on some swooning broads.  But I digress.

The only times I miss runway modeling are when I watch the VS Fashion Shows, then I am brought back to reality when I think of how much I love carbs.  That's not to say if I suddenly woke up five or six inches taller one morning that I wouldn't run out and get an agent to help me land a spot in next year's show!  A secret dream of mine...

Adriana Lima looked amazing with her fit post-baby bod, but I was underwhelmed by Alessandra Ambrosio's outfits.  It seems she got stiffed this year, and much better getups were reserved for the newbies.  And I missed Miranda Kerr's bubbly personality as she is out prego.  But, hopefully she'll hit up Adriana for some get-fit tips and be back in the show next year. 

The workmanship definitely shows in the clothes, the choreography, and the overall production, and I have such immense respect for everyone involved.  That world is no doubt chaotic, but it is also enthralling!  And now I must go plan my night around hot Bikram yoga and eating only vegetables for dinner, because, well, seeing those models look so good is motivating!

{photo sources: Behati, Jessica, Lily}


i'm :::cough cough::: back

Like so many others can relate this time of year, I was sick all last week.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.  I stayed home from work at the request of my co-worker who really didn't want to catch whatever I had, and I was in no position to argue.  While being home from work seems like a treat, it really isn't when you don't feel like doing anything but resting and begging to feel all better. 

Gabriel and I aren't ones to take meds to cure our colds or headaches, but rather drink gallons of natural hot teas and eat crate after crate of those adorable little Clementine tangerines that are packed with Vitamin C.  Although, when it comes to sinus infections, we are not opposed to taking antibiotics.  Luckily this time my cold didn't lead to that, so I'm still on the hot tea binge.

In other {more upbeat} news, we made a super-fun purchase for our home on Saturday!  In our gradual attempts to have a domino-approved home, we are trying to eliminate our reliance on overhead lighting when we entertain and instead use table lamps to provide flattering ambient lighting.  And so, we scored a pair of awesome table lamps for our great room at Pier1 that bring not only great lighting to the space, but a healthy dose of humor and whimsy!

They're Yoga Frogs!  And they're a lot bigger and more sophisticated looking in person.  We love them.  We even fooled Gabriel's mom yesterday when she came over for brunch and saw them.  She swore they were antiques handed down from a relative, because they don't look like generic run-of-the-mill department store pieces.  When we told her we got them on clearance, including the nice shades and bulbs, from Pier1 for only $19.98, she was stunned.  I was pretty surprised too, when we saw them in the store, by how nice they are.

They work perfectly in our space, but I was also thinking they would be equally charming in a unisex nursery!  Check 'em out, especially if you or parents you know appreciate heirloom pieces that aren't cheap and disposable like most nursery decor.  And, the neutral shade that comes with the lamp can easily be decorated with ribbon, fabric paint, sequence, stencils, etc. to personalize it to your space.  Oh, all these ideas!  I'm seriously considering hunting down another one now to put away for when we have a frog baby of our own...

Happy Monday all!  I'm off to peel + gorge on my hundredth golf ball-sized tangerine this week.  I'm hoping that will please my body enough to spare me the annoying cough attacks for at least the next few hours.

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