Wednesday, June 27, 2012

“She was an expert in all the departments of living well.”


Sad to say Hollywood lost one of it's greatest yesterday. Nora Ephron gave us a lot of reasons to love her--her creation of characters with funny, but very real (& perhaps relatable) quirks; movie quotes that can't quite seem to get themselves out of our heads; and romantic pairings whose love might have been delayed, but never lost.

I love her for Sally Albright & Harry Burns' rendition of "Surrey With the Fringe On Top" in The Sharper Image; I love her for Annie Reed's hiding herself in the kitchen closet, where her fiance Walter finds her, exclaiming "Miss Scarlet, in the broom closet, with the radio!" (the tall white socks & nightgown didn't hurt either); and I love her for "Shopgirl" & "NY152" & The Shop Around the Corner.

I didn't discover When Harry Met Sally until later in life (thankfully), but Sleepless in Seattle & You've Got Mail have always been household names. When we visit my family in Ohio every year, we deem one night of our stay as "Girls Night!" Which translated means, "We're-watching-Sleepless-in-Seattle-and-eating-snickerdoodle-cookies-so-do-not-interrupt" Night. You've Got Mail is watched every fall, when my mom & I plop down on the sofa and recite the entire script back & forth to each other. Tis a wonderful thing.

I find myself reading almost every article I can find about Ephron's passing--I want to know just a little bit more about her. And I've found some interesting things, like how she graduated from Wellesley College, but later berated them for turning out a generation of "docile women" (very Mona Lisa Smile, no?) Or how she was an intern for the Kennedy Administration in 1962. 

I have to say I'm partial, however, to the things I'd learned about her before she was gone. Like how Sally Albright's crazy eating habits were put in the movie after Director Rob Reiner saw Ephron ordering her food in the same way. When Reiner brought it up, she responded "I just like it the way I like it," which was put into the movie.

How, years later, Ephron was on a plane & ordered something very precise. The stewardess looked at her & asked, "Have you ever seen the movie, 'When Harry Met Sally'?"

How she never actually liked the title 'When Harry Met Sally'!

How in Sleepless in Seattle, when Annie Reed is listening to the 'best of' radio callers, the Disappointed in Denver caller is voiced by Ephron herself! She keeps getting better, right?

And finally, when Joe Bennett closes the door on the balloons at Kathleen's shop (unscripted, I might add) & ad libs "Good thing it wasn't the fish," Ephron found it so funny that she kept it in the movie.

But I can't do all this talking without having something to show you! My favorite scenes from truly my all-time favorite movies (actually, replace When Harry Met Sally with My Best Friend's Wedding, but for the sake of this post...); and I can almost quote them word-for-word!

My favorite scene from the movie because my dad orders things the same way and, without fail, it is NEVER right. Honestly! It's laughable.

I know it doesn't have Meg Ryan in it but that's okay! My mom can mimic Rita Wilson in this scene PER-FECT-LY. Sometimes I'll yell, "It's like that movie!" and my mom finishes the rest of the scene. Truly my favorite person in the world. Funny how I love these scenes because of my parents. Weird. 
(Tom Hanks & Victor Garber's crying over The Dirty Dozen was completely improvised. I love spontaneity!) 

*BONUS: Did you know that Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan only share approximately 2 minutes of screen time in this movie? Crazy! Less of a movie about love, more about love in the movies.

"I love daisies. They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?" (You have to say it with a stuffy nose or it doesn't count. Another scene my mom is really good at, although sometimes she ends up sounding like Lily Tomlin's Edith Ann from Laugh In.)

If someone were to tell me I could have lunch with any one woman, I might never have said that Nora Ephron would be my choice. Until now. I read in the New York Times article, Nora Ephron, Writer and Filmmaker With a Genius for Humor, that Sally Quinn said “Sitting at a table with Nora was like being in a Nora Ephron movie.” What more could you possibly want?

I was serious when I tweeted last night about how I was going to watch Sleepless in Seattle & You've Got Mail on a loop for the next week. I never get tired of them. Ephron really was responsible for some of the best of the best. And I love her for it.

From the bottom of our now great-romantic-comedy-starved hearts, Nora Ephron, we salute you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Everygirl

Such is the mantra of The Everygirl, "the newest online resource helping shape the creative, career-driven woman to experience her life better lived." I mentioned in my last post an embarrassing confession that (lucky for me) I have yet to regret. I literally had only read, like, two lines of the manifesto above before I had dissolved into a sappy, weepy, teary mess. I'm pretty sure I can't rationalize my fit of tears, but I am fairly certain it's because I felt like the website was completely, totally, one hundred and twelve percent MADE SPECIFICALLY FOR ME. Seriously! I found it right when I needed to and it's like it gave me a little bit of hope--The Everygirl is screaming, "You're not the only one out there who's feeling what you're feeling! There are girls like you! WE WERE GIRLS LIKE YOU!" Sigh. They get me.

The picture above says it all. It IS a life map for everygirls everywhere, & co-founders Alaina Kaczmarski & Danielle Moss are producing something chock full of genius and creativity and inspiration literally leaps off its pages. It's my new best friend.

It's based out of Chicago (as if I needed another reason to love it) and started when the two head everygirls met at a Christmas party, found they shared common goals, and then launched the site a little over a year later. (They both have blogs--Live Creating Yourself & Breakfast at Toast--that are AH-MAZING.) They for real are the embodiment of the life I dream about. Sighing once again. It's divine!

The Everygirl tackles everything an Everygirl needs to know: 

This or That, a few posts here and there dedicated to weighing your options (baking or cookingafternoon picnic or night on the townhigh-rise or walk-up just to name a few). 

Use Fancy Words, a dictionary, per say, of words apparently every Everygirl should know (the latest is innocuous). I love a good wordsmith.

Blogwatch, where they've compiled the best of the blog-o-sphere's lifestyle, fashion, & design blogs. Forbes Magazine just named the site one of the 10 best websites for Millennial women. See? They're kind of a big deal.

They've got Finance Tips (things like Investing 101, Good Debt, Bad know, all the boring, essential stuff I should have learned in my Personal Financial Planning class at ORU. We're not going to go there.) 

Budget Finds, everything from jewelry to home goods, food and drink--and the occasional Target find. (How much are we loving these Kate Spade Match Point Racquet Studs?)

One of the most fun (and helpful) facets of The Everygirl is their Job Postings page. The Everygirl itself was just recently looking for a few interns. And yes, I planned on submitting a resume, but the position required a Chicago residence. Wah wah. 
Event coordinating (for The New York Design Center. Seriously?), graphic design, Sprinkles Cupcakes. Need I say more?

Oooh, the Handbook section is one of my favs. 

Fashion Essentials (21 must-have items for your wardrobe)
How to Style Place Settings (I didn't know that people DIDN'T know how to do this)
You name it, they've got it!

The Everygirl's crowning glory though, I must say, would have to be each week's Feature Stories. The categories range from health, finance, living and travel, but my favorite is the Career section, where they interview an Everygirl just like them. There's usually four or five a week and each one is better than the last. They give you a fun look inside the every day life of the highlighted Everygirl and it gets me pining for more than online classes and a dead pan, post-grad job. 

Some of my most fav features include:

Jenn Lake of Zapwater Communications

Michelle Kohanzo of The Land of Nod

Amber Venz of rewardStyle
(yeah, we're talking about that company later. Too good to pass up.)

I'm sighing for the third and final time. The Everygirl is what I've been waiting for--a compendium of stories about women who (surprisingly) were once in my shoes (at least they make it sound that way); it's the site I open every morning and check multiple times a day (I have over-commitment issues); and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to not be convinced that it's one of the best things I've ever laid my eyes on. 

The Everygirl is my everyday pick-me-up. It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, it makes me wish I would have thought of it first.

Three cheers for The Everygirl!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wall of Fame

"I love a parade!" 

And a good gallery wall.

I mean honestly, is there anything better? Such a great way to fill an empty wall or awkward hallway that needs something but you're just not sure what. I say, overload it! Less is not more in this scenario.

I've gathered quite a collection of art and pictures and fun knick-knacks for my own gallery wall that is starting to appear in my bedroom as we speak. I will, however, admit that I was feeling a little overwhelmed with which picture should go where and trying to figure out measurements and I found that my hand was cramping from crossing my fingers in hopes all the pieces would fit on the designated wall. I was worn out before I'd even started! (Although, what else is new?)

Never fear though; I found the BEST tips-&-tricks-save-the-day-DIY-tutorial that solved all of my problems and I'd like to think I'll head home after work & embark on this great design task.

Sherry & John over at Young House Love washed all my troubles away with their post about using newspaper templates for the frame placement. How have a lived my whole life without figuring this out? Geeze Louise, it's safe to say I've been living in a hole devoid of design simplicity.

Anywayyyyy, there's step by step pics over on their blog & I intend to mimic every last one!

Here's their finished product and I genuinely believe it rests as one of my favorite gallery walls in the history of gallery walls. 

Sigh. Love those crisp white frames!

Here's a few more winners:

Don't even act like your heart's not beating faster after you saw this pic of Andy & Kate Spade's NYC Home

Love both of these walls (above and below) in Jenny Komenda's New York loft. The gallery wall in the dining room is gone now, I think, but I still love! 

Funny how she keeps showing up here, huh? I shall divulge more of her artistry & flair in posts to come.

Stripes! Monogram! Cameo! Heaven. Tori Mellot's Apartment

Gah, talk to me about this images of Ralph Lauren's home in Bedford, NY. Seriously? I didn't know I could love something so much.

Last, but certainly not least, the inspiration behind my own gallery wall: wall in the office of Alaina Kaczmarski, mastermind behind the lifestyle blog Live Creating Yourself & co-founder of the blog that has literally changed my life (I'm being totally serious & not funny & not dramatic), The Everygirl. I actually cried the first time I visited it--what a sap, right? Long story. They're on the calendar for next week's post.

It's maybe not so much that the gallery wall is impressive as it is the woman who sits behind that desk. That lamp's not so bad either.

BONUS! Not a gallery wall but might as well be. 

Morton Street Penthouse in Brooklyn, part of the work of the men of MADE.

I'm feeling happier just knowing you know how I feel about gallery walls. 
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Confetti Art

Is the world coming to an end? Just checking because this is my third post in three days! I'm blowing my own mind.

I knocked out a bunch of homework this morning & my brain was frazzled, so I decided to re-gather my thoughts by doing something creative! I have a list of projects that I want to accomplish before summer ends--a little sewing, a little painting, a little redecorating my bedroom (by little I mean total), and mostly DIY projects I've come to love on Pinterest.

I started out not too overly ambitious & made a canvas a la Kate Spade. I've been wanting to add more metallics to my room decor so I dropped in to Hobby Lobby to peruse, when I remembered a super easy & quick idea I'd seen some time last year on Natalie Xanthakis's Mint Love Social Club. It's a super fun blog with lots of fun ideas for throwing parties, yummy recipes, & a peek every once in a while into a closet I wish was mine.

Here's the inspiration: Kate Spade's Ticker Tape Tidbit Dinnerware (which I secretly desire more than anything in the world):

This pic is Natalie's version. I think her canvas is 24x24? I did 12x12 & I'm pleased with it, but bigger is always better!

Here's what I did!

Seriously, it took me less than 20 minutes & cost $8.73. I'm not kidding, that is actually the exact amount.

If you're feeling inspired, you can follow the DIY tutorial on Mint Love of how to! She has lots of great pics of each step, too.

I've got a few more projects up my sleeve, but they'll show up a little later. I'm currently making throw pillows out of fabric that doesn't match ANYTHING in my room but I loved it so much I had to have it. Not the wisest of decisions. 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Love 'Em or Leave 'Em

Since we last spoke, I've found a few things that can't NOT be shared. They're frilly and fun & totally things you could (but shouldn't) live without. And then there's a few things I'm not so crazed about & thought you might want to know, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

When The Shops at Target debuted back in May, I was literally beside myself. I am the poster child for materialism and it's not a pretty picture. The first moment I could spare, I swooped in & bought (at least) one thing from each of the 5 shops and have yet to regret it. The Webster is a 20,000 square foot luxury boutique and I'm so glad they brought a little bit of Miami Beach to T-town! This silk flamingo robe is currently my favorite piece in my wardrobe, & I actually find myself wishing that I could wear it in public. Yikes! It's vintage-y & old Hollywood & makes me feel like a director somewhere should yell, "Quiet on the set!" & make a movie of my life. Wait, I felt like that before I had the robe.

I think we're all allowed guilty pleasures (regretting saying that as I'm typing this) and this is mine. For the rest of my life. Not that the show will last that long, but there's enough scandal (pun intended!) to last my lifetime. Good thing is I'll never have to fill the void! When I'm 46, someone will ask me "What's your guilty pleasure?" and I'll say "Oh! Don't have one anymore. I got enough of one when I was 21." 

OH. MY. GOSH. It's that good. And wrong & totally morally bankrupt & twisted but I couldn't stop watching. I watched the entire Season 1 Finale standing 3 feet away from the television. Did you get that? I stood the whole time. 

I'm not endorsing it & DEFINITELY not encouraging you to watch it, but confession is good for the soul. 

Don't watch, don't get hooked like me, and don't tell my mom.

I actually can't remember how I stumbled upon Noble House but I'm sure glad I did! It's a fun & even more fab jewelry line out of Houston & designed by the phenomenal Sarah Lowery Ng. Seriously, her etsy shop is amazing & while it might be a tad out of my price range, they are beauties nonetheless.

Here's a few of her pieces you can set your sights on.

Tribal & neon & chunky & everything your closet needs this summer!

Now onto the things that aren't as fab but need to be said anyway.

This book caught my eye one day at my beloved Barnes & Noble & before I knew it, I was plopped down on my couch at home, getting lost in 1938 New York City & all its fanfare.

Really, it's a Fitzgerald sort of novel, & it gives you an incredibly vivid picture of the characters & the lives they live & I was literally gasping at the end of every chapter because I couldn't believe it had been better than the last.

And then I got to chapter 19 and everything went south. 

It dashed even my wildest hopes that it would be the book of my dreams. I wanted to love it (and DID almost all of it), but the story took a turn even I didn't see coming. If I could cut and paste a few chapters I'd be a little happier, and despite a major blow half-way through that I'm trying to complain about here, it will probably sit on my shelf and rest as a fav. I'm feeling torn.

If you can get past a few chapters & undesirable plot twists, I think you'll love it. Like I said, it's like reading about Gatsby & Daisy & Bendel's & The Plaza & that's all well & good. They use phrases like "Zowie!" & "That's the cat's pajamas!" & have names like Tinker Grey & Wally Wolcott & Katey Kontent & gave me a reason to put a whole lot of stock in that era as my fav.

Don't read it! Or do. But don't say I didn't warn you.

There's a few other things I'd love to tell you I loathe, but who wants to dwell on the negative? Not me! Plus, I've run out of time & am shocked I even got two posts up within 24 hours of each other! A festivus miracle. 

T-minus-3 days til the weekend! Every little bit helps. 

**I'm wanting to retract my previous negative comments in regards to Rules of Civility. I've just reread the last three chapters & I think I love it more than life itself. Forgive me!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Papier Crépon, Part Deux! And a few "I'm Sorrys"

Life. Tis a busy little game. I've been gone, but now I'm back, and we've no time to waste!

So, last time we spoke, I said the next post would be within a week, and by week I actually meant a week, but it turned into two months and so here we are! Apologies.

As promised, more crepe paper streamer substitutes!

Isn't this dreamy? It's so whimsical and lovely and the lights behind the tulle make it look like a little slice of magic. Carter & Cook know what they're doing!

This is so cool to me. You might not be able to tell, but these are mirrored tiles! White Christmas lights hung first on the rod and then a strand of mirror garland overlapping it. So modern and nifty for a backdrop! You can find all the deets here at apartment therapy.

Who doesn't love a good tassel? This strand of beauties from a dreamy New York Wedding is one for the books. The wedding dress? Gorgeous. The venue? Fab. The color scheme? Inspired by the New York City skyline at sunset. Wipe your chin (you're drooling) and head on over to Style Me Pretty for a fetching little peek!

One of my fav ideas to turn a simple dinner party into something with pizazz! (Haven't heard pizazz since your 5th grade art teacher used it to describe your project (or lack thereof)? Well, I'm bringing it back!) Got this nifty idea from Jenny Komenda, interior design extraordinaire & author of Little Green Notebook. She's got her own post coming in a few!

They do it again! Might seem boring & plain but I love the rope and fabric strung together to give it a garden party/nautical/woodsy feel. Lot of conflicting descriptives there, and yes, I understand, but it made sense to me. The whole wedding photoshoot is one of the most dreamy things I've ever seen, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Carter & Cook! Their events make you swoon and sway to dreamy music you didn't even know was playing.

I actually have a box under my bed and another in my closet full of glass bottles so one day I can pull this off. Can't even tell you how much I love it! It's from the wedding of Amy Moss of Eat Drink Chic--a fun, rustic, vintage engagement-party-turned-surprise-wedding! A heavenly affair to say the least. 

I mean are you not LOVING IT??? It's like a little bit of Anthro and a little bit of enchantment and a whole lotta work. But worth it.

 I've got to catch you up to speed on a few more things I'm loving (and leaving) so batten down the hatches, it's time to set sail!

Ahaha. I just love cheesey lingo. Stay tuned!