#13 - 500 Days of Deschanel

It's not even 8am yet, but here I am sitting on my couch, wrapped in a blanket, and getting ready for another day of shelving at the library. It's not exactly exciting, but I am just glad that it is the end of the week. To get myself going on a day like today when I'm tired and simply want to do nothing, I try to find a song that get's me there. Today it's Mumm-ra's "She's Got You High". I first heard it on the soundtrack to 500 Days of Summer, which has become one of my favorites. I am just a bit obsessed, not only with the film, but Zooey Deschanel. After I saw the film I went and chopped my bangs into that 60's do that she has. Unfortunately, that look was not for me, so I am now in the awkward stages of growing my bangs out and it just looks funny. Miss Deschanel (who is soon to be Miss no more since she is marrying the frontman of Death Cab for Cutie) is an incomparable style icon who is finding her niche in Hollywood and sitting there quietly showing her talent and keeping out of the wreckage that so many starlets and "it" girls fall into. I have also come to love her as a musician. If you haven't heard the band She & Him, you must take a listen. The music is a strange mix of Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Doris Day, and other lovelies, but it is a combination that is full of surprises and beautiful sounds.
Today's handpicked and handmade items are Zooey-inspired pieces that reflect her (and my own) love of vintage and simplicity.

1. Ballet Pumps

Ballet flats seem to be an in-thing, but my problem with flats is that I am short and flat shoes stunt me. I need some height to get me to stand tall, so these ballet pumps from Avant Anthologue are perfect. A bit of faux-leather with a velvet bow makes these shoes chic and oh-so Zooey.

2. Embroidered Cardigan

It is amusing when someone says that something looks too "old-fashioned" but then sees it on someone who can pull it off and the piece becomes a modern beauty. This is one cardigan that my grandmother likely would wear, but I could also wear in an entirely different way and put a new spin on it. Fashion that can span several age groups is lasting and classic, so you can be sure that it will never go out of style. Old School Cool proves that old school and new school can sometimes merge to become one.

3. Secretary Blouse

Blouses have never been "trendy" because they are so versatile and flattering that they are a staple in any woman's wardrobe. They can be worn with skirts to dress them up or jeans and heels to dress them down and still look classy. This beige button-down from Recovered Vintage has a ruffled collar that ties closed in a bow for extra sophistication and loveliness.

4&5. PomPom Clothing

I found two items from PomPom Vintage that I found simply wonderful, so I could not choose which one to post and decided to offer a glimpse at both. The velvet dress is fantastic for dressy occasions that require you to look lovely while also showing off a bit of youth and maintaining comfort. In the second photo, the retro miniskirt screams "Zooey", so I had no choice but to share that item with you, as well!

6. Vintage Jewelry Stash

Rework and recreate with this jewelry jumble! As if vintage wasn't great enough as is, you can use this bundle to "make it new", as Ezra Pound would say. These goodies are available at Shihtzuwest.

7. 500 Days of Summer Pocket Mirror

Cute, fun, and great for a fanatic, this pocket mirror will allow you to take a quick peak at yourself and at the cutest failed couple in movie history. This item is offered by Nightmare Shadow Box.

8. Messy Bow Headband

Be Something New is so full of pretty hairpieces that I had a hard time choosing what I'd like to post. It is easy to see why I chose these as Zooey-inspired items. She'd wear any one of these beautiful accessories!

I am now in a shopping mood after seeing all of these beautiful items. Maybe I will head out and see what I can salvage from the local thrift.

x's and o's


#12 - Animals are a Girl's Best Friends

Today I got an e-mail from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) that I had to share. Last year New England was slammed with an ice storm that caused mass power outages. I was lucky enough to only temporarily lose power, but many were stuck without it for extended periods of time. The MSPCA was one of the places that did lose electricity, running water, and heat for a time and had no generator to supply temporary power. New England is still facing some fairly cold weather and we have had snow storms in April before, so the MSPCA is concerned that in the next few months a power outage may again become an issue. They are trying to raise $77,000, which is quite a feat, but they do have some help. A generous donor will match donations and give up to $35,000 toward the generator, so every little bit counts. The $15 that I donated turned into $30 thanks to the generosity of this anonymous animal lover. The Nevin's MSPCA has raised about 50% of the money for the generator, and with the help of other kind people, hopefully they will obtain the money soon. If you would like to help, click here for information on donating. Also, $1 from every purchase from my shop goes to the MSPCA or The Pug Rescue of New England, so you can donate that way as well.

Today I have decided to highlight items from Etsy shop owners who also open their hearts and donate a portion of proceeds to help animals.

1. Kitty Card

This stray kitty is the most photogenic little wanderer that I've ever seen. Art by Aquarius will donate 50% of the proceeds from the purchase of this card to the Maui Humane Society, in honor of this little cutie who was dubbed "Hana" by the artist.

2. Rescued Collar Charm

This charm is made from polymer clay and hand stamped with love to adorn your pup's color. This bright accessory will remind you of just how sweet it is to bring a rescue into your home. 10% of the profits from this item go to The Animal House Fund, a non-profit organization that is striving to build a new animal shelter in St. Louis, Missouri. Mod Creations offers many cute charms in their shop, so if green isn't your color, be sure to visit the shop and find a charm that suits you and your pet.

3. Felted Monster Cat Toy

100% of the proceeds from this toy go to Purrfect Partners Cat Rescue. That's right, 100%. A Cat's Dream portrays generosity at its best. This funky catnip-filled toy will give your own cat or kitten a fun new toy while also helping other less fortunate kitties find lovely owners like you.

4. Double Trouble ACEO Print

This print is cute and quaint. It is about the size of a baseball card and the artist has several available that you can collect. This ACEO is a reprint of the artist's original work. All proceeds from these little cards go to Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary in Caledonia, MS. Purchase this dose of double trouble and find other pieces by Sharon Foster in her shop.

5. Yummy for Dogs Cookbook

Scrappy Rat Designs is a member of Etsy for Animals which means that 100% of the profits from these cookbooks go to animal rescues and advocacy groups. The book contains over 100 recipes for your playful pooch and even has information on how to adjust recipes in the event that your pup has allergies or is sensitive to certain foods. I think that I may have to get one of these so that I can concoct some yummy goodies for James Dean!

6. Paw Print Bowl

This handcrafted bowl is imprinted with a print from the paw of an abandoned cat who is now adopted and safe. 20% of the proceeds from this item go to Somebuddies,Inc, a home-based shelter that provides a safe place and care for cats in Virginia. Visit Kristen's Clay for lovely handcrafted pottery.

7. Pretty Pendant

This earth, wind, and water pendant is a gorgeous gift for yourself and an even better gift for the animals that you will be helping through your purchase. 100% of the profits go to The Lakes Area Humane Society in Missouri. The Going to the Dogs Shop donates all profits from every item to this shelter. Shelters have taken in so many animals due to the poor economy that has prevented many people from being able to afford pets. Animals need love, support, and a home. This shop helps to give them that hope.

8. Got Treats? Bandanna

Another shop that donates 100% of the proceeds from items to a shelter! All of these kind people make me smile today. Whiskerkisses is another member of Etsy for Animals. The proceeds from this item go to the Animal Welfare Society of Southeastern Michigan. J.D. is always begging for treats, now he and his furry friends can say exactly what they are thinking with these accessories.

I hope that you'll all spread this blog around and share it so that we can come together to support the rescue and adoption of animals everywhere. James Dean firmly believes in this cause:

Look at that face! Help other cuties like mine find health and a good home today!

x's and o's


11 - Hers is His and His is Hers

Valentine's day is creeping up quickly and is less than two weeks away now. When you first begin dating someone, it is relatively easy to think of a gift - flowers, candy, cologne, concert tickets... those are all lovely. After you have dated someone for 3+ years and you've exhausted all of the traditional gifts between anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays, it can be very difficult to find something unique and meaningful to give to a boyfriend or girlfriend on Valentine's Day.

This is my dilemma. I am the type who gives gifts all the time, even for no reason. "Oh, hello, it's Tuesday and I found this and thought of you. I couldn't wait one month until your birthday because I am ridiculously impatient and I had to see your reaction immediately." That, or something along those lines, is a typical thing that I would say and do. So, here I am, 12 days before Valentine's day thinking "what the hell can I possibly buy for my boyfriend that doesn't resemble a gift I've already given him?" Hmmm.

Lately I've been a fan of "his" and "hers" items. There is something so cheesy and overwhelmingly cute about matching sets of items that couples can share, wear, and pair together. That is why today I am curating these matchy-matchy items that make me smile. Maybe it will inspire a gift idea, if not for my own use, then for yours!

1. Bicycle Towels

Bicycles built for two are too complicated to be romantic. That is why "his" and "hers" bikes are so much more practical. You can exercise, have fun, and actually get somewhere without falling over and making a romantic trip to the ER. The creator of these towels must know what I am talking about. There's one for him and one for her, so now he can stop wiping his shaving cream on her towel and she can keep her mascara off of his. Problem solved thanks to Cyanide Stitches.

2. His and Hers Onesies

Okay, so it may not be a Valentine's day gift for your sweetie, but these were too cute not to include. These adorable onesies from Funky Monkey Threads will be a great little fashion statement for the inseparable siblings, cousins, best buds, etc.

3. All You Need Tees

SCORE! His and Hers Beatles lyrics t-shirts for you and your love. There are no words to describe how amazing these are; they simply describe themselves... they are all you need this Valentine's day! Kudos to PettiBear where the shirts are available.

4. He and She Bowls

Now you can stop fighting over the last cereal bowl in the morning, since these bowls are clearly marked. Using her bowl would be as bad as using the ladies room at the public mall... you wouldn't want to do that, now would you? Keep your hands off hers and she'll keep her hands off yours... and keep in mind that this statement pertains only to clearly marked items, all other territory is open to your touch this February. Oh my! Visit Studiotto for this set.

5. His and Her Bench

Anyone who has seen Notting Hill will know just how romantic a bench can be. For the woman who loves the bench, and the man who always sits beside her, this item is offered by TRUECONNECTION.

6. His and Hers Glasses

Make a toast to each other with these glasses that can be etched with "his" and "hers" or personalized with your names beneath the images. Available from Lizetch.

7. His and Hers Underwear

Now you can be connected to one another through your undergarments thanks to Craftastica. The world may not know it, but secretly throughout the day you will know that your knickers match your sweetie's. This is the ultimate cutesy gift!

Well, I suppose I had better head to work and avoid being late, even though I'd much rather stay here collecting lovely little items.

Until tomorrow -

x's and o's


#10 - The Greatness of Geekery

After a long day sitting through class after class, this blog is somehow comforting. Today I've decided to have a little fun and do a blog inspired by my boyfriend, Jeremy. He skims the blog from time to time, but unfortunately I rarely post about anything of interest to him. If he decides to take a peak today, maybe he'll be pleasantly surprised to find something that amuses him for once. This should also provide a great resource for other girls out there who may be trying to figure out something unique to get a boyfriend for Valentine's Day. So, without further ado...

1. Pinup Mousepad

Truth be told, I wouldn't even mind having this on my desk. I have always loved vintage pin-ups. Vintage Lucy's knows that Victoria's Secret has nothing on the classic beauties of the 40's and 50's. Head over to her shop and take a sneaky peak.

2. Keyboard Keys Pillows

Gaming guys and computer nerds will adore these decorative pillows. These geek-chic items will add some flare to any modern apartment, either in the bed room or on the living room couch. Visit Diffraction Fiber for pillows, cozies, accessories, and other unique items.

3. Heart Attack Tie

Dressy occasions can be a real drag for a casual guy, but if he can add something a little bit obscure to maintain a sense of mysterious coolness, then he will surely survive. Have a little heart with the Heart Attack tie from the Cyberoptix Tie Lab.

4. Fight Club Soap

Fight Club is an amazingly testosterone charged movie about the joys of beating the crap out of one another. It's all about the adrenaline rush, and smooth-talking Tyler Durden keeps his body squeaky clean after a good fight with his brand of soaps. Luxury Lane Soap decided to upscale Durden's formula by removing human fat and harmful chemicals in order to create luxurious Fight Club soaps in sinful scents. Click on the above photo to check out Warm Vanilla Sugar soap, or visit the shop to find your scent. (Extra bonus: The soaps are vegan!)

5. Make Out City Note Cards

Now that's a valentine! Guys love nothing more than a makeout session with their favorite gals, so give your guy a "subtle" reminder that he is the only one you want to make out with. Thanks to Near Modern Disaster, you can leave a little note that he'll be sure to remember.

6. Camera Diagram Screen Printed Poster

Guys' places should not look overdecorated, but they shouldn't be plain and boring either. This modern graphic print has just enough color to make it stand out and become the conversation piece that you can work around a room full of plain black and white furniture. Dela Flamant offers many screen printed designs for your viewing and decorating pleasure.

7. Computer Hard Drive Clock

This is the ultimate piece of awesome geekery. Techies would be proud to tell time via this revamped hard drive. There are many interesting versions of this clock at Teco Art.

8. Circuit Board Tee

Bright neon colored shirts are in style at the moment. Everyone wants to stand out in a crowd and keep from blending in. The best way to do this is to wear a bright lime green shirt that contains a huge circuit board model, and thankfully, Nonfiction Tees makes this possible.

9. Leather iPhone Case

Music lovers will appreciate this item from Beautiful Skin. Protect your assets with these wonderful leather cases. The cases are the perfect size for iPhones and iTouches. A lot of money goes into the electronics that house music, so be kind and give the house a home in this cassette cozy. Several other cases with various designs are also available.

10. Nautical Star Leather Journal

At the end of a long day, a guy can place his deepest thoughts in a handprinted journal from In Blue. There are other designs, including blackbirds and owls, that are fantastic and make great journals for men and women alike. This nautical journal is my favorite, and I know it will be Jer's, too.

I hope that the boyfriend does stop by tonight and check out this one, since it is my little shout out to him. In fact, it's my shout out to all the guys out there who stop in to check out Vamp Up Vintage!

x's and o's