Thursday, February 28, 2013

Link Love

Society6 is a new (to me) website that I happened upon while searching for iPhone cases. I spent more than an hour browsing the artwork they have available and was (and still am) so impressed by the incredible designs available for purchase as pillowcases, t-shirts, prints, and of course, iPhone cases.  Even if you're not in the market to purchase anything, you might still find the wide variety of artwork inspirational.  I keep going back to browse, not to buy.

These crazy colorized b&w photos have me completely awestruck. I stumbled onto them several weeks ago and am STILL impressed.  Certain photos are so iconic it seems almost unnatural to view them in color, but I can't get enough of this technique.

Here is another set if you're curious. And another one.

And here is a video tutorial of the painstaking process.

Creative Market is one of my favorite websites for design inspo and FREEBIES!  I first found them when they hadn't fully launched and love getting their weekly email newsletter.

And last but not least, these Harlem Shake videos.  I know the Harlem Shake is so last week, but it still makes me giggle.  Kind of.

- UGA Swim Team
- Random ARMY Guys in Norway
- Some huge office

The people writhing on the ground always crack me up.

What are your top picks for the week?


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

DIY iPhone Holder

On Saturday I woke up with the urge to craft.  Naturally I was the first person in Hobby Lobby when they opened that morning, and I walked around idly until I figured out what I wanted to make.

Mod Podge has always been an alluring substance - is it glue? Is it paint? Is it sealant? No idea.  So I did a quick google search on my phone and I'm still not really sure what it is.  But I decided I wanted to make a bedside iPhone holder.

My alarm clock app displays a clock even when my screen times out, so I hate having to pick up my phone to see it when Moose wakes me up in the middle of the night.  I know, my life is hard.

I wasn't quite sure how to go about making it, but I decided on some decorative knobs and a piece of wood.


2 Decorative Knobs
A Piece of Wood (I know that's descriptive, but I'm not entirely sure what they're called)
Spray Paint
Mod Podge
Scrapbook Paper
A helpful cat

First I measured where to drill my holes for the knobs in the wood.  Then I drilled them. 

On to step two.  I spray painted the wood.  It only took two coats, but I didn't need them to be 100% coated because I wanted the grain to show.  Or I'm lazy.

Step three was letting the paint dry.  That is literally always the hardest part of any project.  Waiting for something to dry. 

Next I decided what paper I wanted to use. I originally chose two patterns but later on I decided I only liked one of them. Using the mod podge, I applied the paper to the wood, and then another coat on top after it was dry.  Being a mod podge newbie, I wasn't great at getting the bubbles out from under the paper.  It might have also been that I'm impatient and didn't really try.

Once the paper was on, I poked holes in it with a pencil so I could see where the knobs holes were.

Once everything was dry I was able to screw in the knobs. I made two - once for my dresser and one for my night stand.  It was a decent project for a rainy Saturday.  And now a gratuitous photo of my new iPhone case:


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Battle of Aiken

So turns out I might be more like my Dad than I originally thought.  I went to a Civil War Reenactment on Sunday of my own free will.  And I was there alone for the most part.  Mike met up with me after lunch with his family, but the battle was over and it was right in time to go home.  Part of me thinks he planned it that way.

When I was younger my Dad used to drag me to battle fields and war reenactments all across the East Coast of the US, but mostly in Europe.  Sure, sometimes they were fun.  Like when I got to buy wooden swords or shields or fun hats (I was actually a little boy apparently?), but usually I was apathetic and pouty and would much rather have been watching Viva La Bam back at home. Ugh. Teenagers.

Anyway, the two hours I spent watching the last day of the Battle of Aiken was probably one of the coolest things I've done here.  Now I don't really know the history behind it (I do know the Union lost), and the only real reason I could tell their uniforms apart was because I went to Kappa Alpha's Old South Ball in college.  If you're dying to know more about it, read an outline here.

For whatever reason, I took approximately 134138943 photos of this man.

I was standing stupidly close to these cannons.  And every time they shot one, I would look to the far end of the field, almost expecting to see a cannon ball take out some soldiers or explode into the ground.  This happened 5 or 6 times until I forced myself to acknowledge that they were not in fact launching cannon balls during a reenactment because that would be plain unsafe.

Even though there were no bullets and all the guns were shooting blanks, all battles have casualties, fake or not.  Thank goodness for the great acting skills of these fine men (and women).

There's an out of focus picture of me just for good measure.

Isn't war fun?

On the way home I drove down South Boundary and snapped a picture of the famous Oak canopy.  It's easily the prettiest part of Aiken.


Monday, February 25, 2013

A Saturday

Some Saturdays you just really need to go off the grid.  I mean, stay in your PJs all day and not get anything accomplished.

Last weekend I stayed in my PJs, but I managed to finish most of my laundry. I whittled 10 loads down to just two left.  And I probably won't do them until next month.  Does anyone else wait a ridiculous amount of time before doing laundry?  It's probably sad that I have enough clothes to last me.

I also made some banana bread from scratch.  I had to change the recipe a little bit because we didn't have vanilla.  It came out pretty tasty.

On Saturday evening we went to a dinner party hosted by one of Mike's friends.  There were three other couples there and we all shared a candle-lit belated Valentine's Day celebration.  It was a lot of fun - and different from what we usually do.

It's hard being glamorous 24/7/365.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Letter to me at 23

Dear Me at 23,

I know you're not a huge fan right now, but things change.  They may change slowly, but they change. You never really notice differences on a day to day basis, but when looking back, it's hard to ignore the space between who you are in the present and who you are in the past.  Or I guess who you are in the present and who you are in the future. It's all relative.

I want you to be patient.  And maybe drink a little less wine.  Consider going to bed earlier on those nights you stay up pining over things you see on Pinterest.  I promise, the bed is more comfortable than that place of envy you spend so much of your time.  Stop comparing your life to the lives of others.  They may seem fabulous, and maybe they are, but fabulous wears many hats.  And I think those pink pajama pants you're wearing are pretty darn fabulous.  And didn't you finish all of your laundry this weekend?  That's pretty fabulous.  I don't know if secretly eating a box of chocolate in your car was the most fabulous decision you've ever made, but we can move past that.

I want you to sing to the radio a little bit louder.  Carrie can't hear you butchering her ballads, so let it rip.  You enjoy it.  Do it.  Keep loving animals more than any sane person should.  And keep crying at commercials with soldiers, fathers, dogs, horses, and inanimate objects.  It may not be normal on some levels, but fiery compassion can be hard to come by sometimes, even if it manifests itself in overly emotional outbursts.

Keep running.  Even though you're bad at it.  Poor form doesn't mean you're not burning calories, and if you plan to keep popping M&Ms at such an alarming rate, any movement helps.

Be nice to your parents.  Be nice to everyone.  Try to keep in touch with your friends.  Try to make new friends.  You don't have to be lonely if you don't want to be.  Look out the window more.  You think it's just a flat patch of land out there, but you can find prettiness everywhere you look.  Keep your camera with you at all times.  Take it to the grocery store.  Take pictures of everything.  I know it annoys certain people, but you'll cherish the smallest and most insignificant memories one day.  Just try not to miss the moments that don't translate well through a lens.

Be yourself.  If you're grumpy, be grumpy.  If you're happy, show it.  If you're sorry, say it.  Emotions are not meant to be fought, they're meant to be felt.  Spend money on things you don't need every now and then.  Like boots.  And jewelry.  And chocolate.

Listen to your mom's advice.

Put away your jealousies.

Figure out what "happy" means.


I'll see you in a few years.



Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Happiest

I've been trying to pinpoint what makes me happiest in life and do more of that in 2013.

So far, I've narrowed the list down to friends and travel. Loving and being loved are close seconds.

Next weekend I'll be able to get my share of the first two for a whole weekend when I make a trip up to D.C. for an anniversary party and some QT with my sorority sister, Taylor.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I would love that outfit (top left) for my trip to California.  It's a great concert ensemble. I'm also dying for a "meow" shirt, or really any cat related articles of clothing.  And while we're talking animals, drooling over those animal print heels.

I also wish I had that stunning black gown.  And the body to wear it.

If anyone knows where I can buy those boot socks, lemme know.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

An early spring?

Apparently way back on Groundhog's day, good ol' P-Phil didn't see his shadow.  Which means we're in for an early spring (if you believe in the weather predicting capabilities of a rodent).  I'm sure for many in the Great-Lakes and New England areas, that's fabulous news.  It seems to have been a pretty chilly winter for y'all.

But I don't think Aiken saw it dip below 30 for more than than an hour or two this winter (I might be under-estimating on that one).  It's been mild. A mild winter to complement a sweltering, record-breaking summer.  I guess that makes sense.

I'm giving these last several days of "winter" everything I've got.  I'm talking sweaters, boots, and if I'm feeling brazen, a scarf or two.  At least on the days I wear something other than just jeans and a t-shirt to work. My "casual fridays" tend to last for weeks at a time.

I hope you folks up north enjoy this slow defrosting process.  I'm already counting down to next winter.  308 days until Christmas 2013...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day.

Not to be confused with "Valentimes."  Does it drive you nuts when people say that?

Mike and I shared a pretty low-key V-day this year.  We had a quiet dinner at Augsburg Haus in Evan's, GA, and enjoyed a hefty discount on our dinner because the restaurant owner (aptly named Adolf) is friends with one of Mike's fellow officers.

I didn't wear anything red.  Not because I'm a Valentine's Grinch, but because I don't own much of it and red is really not my color.  I did use my red-ish/coral-ish/pink-ish satchel instead of my usual bottomless pit.

Instead of driving the hour back to Aiken after dinner, we stayed at the Marriott in Augusta.  Someone must have pulled some strings to get us a corner room on the top floor.

We could see the building where we got married (top photo - the big reg brick one in the distance), and once the morning fog cleared I enjoyed a pretty great panorama of the riverfront.  Mike had to leave to be at work so I stayed in bed until 10 and watched National Geographic.

It was a short but sweet mini vacay. How was yours?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Do you?

Sometimes I stumble across old photos and spend the rest of the day feeling oddly nostalgic and emotional.  It's like if I smell something that reminds me of my high school cafeteria.  Or see someone who looks familiar but I can't quite place who they remind me of.

I found this picture Monday night and it has put me in a weird mood for the whole week.

I don't know how to explain it.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life of Late

I don't know what I would do had photography not been invented. I suppose I would be none the wiser. I'd be forced to live in the moment, see things as they exist and not as they might be reproduced through a lens.  I wonder how my definition of beauty may be different. If something else would replace the emotions certain photographs stir.  If the distance I keep between myself and other people might be less vast, or if closeness might seem less terrifying.

This is all very cryptic.  But it's late and I'm writing to avoid the great task of feeling.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My favorite iPhone Apps round-up

1. Rise
This app is SO pretty.  It's an alarm clock built on the swipe vs. tap mentality.  There are some great alarm choices and it tells you how many hours of sleep you'll have (which is great for my fellow math-challenged comrades).

2. Mailbox -
I haven't even used this yet and it's one of my favorites.  Maybe the fact that I got put on a waiting list with 500K other people is what makes me love it so much.  You can sign up here.

3. Letterpress
If you're a word fiend and appreciate a good game of strategy AND smarts, download it.  And then play me. I'm annaricefsu in the Game Center. I'm not ashamed.

4. Fit Brain
This game is SO fun/annoying.  It's supposed to train your brain to be better/faster/stronger by giving you multiple training games - from pattern memorization to quick addition to reflexes and coordination. It's definitely a good way to waste some time at the airport.

5. Nike+ Running -
I'd always been a devout user of RunKeeper - I love everything about it.  But for some reason I've switched to Nike's running app and I think the user interface is great.  It's much more streamlined than Run Keeper and does not offer you the ability to change your activity - this is strictly a running app.

6. Vine
My latest addiction.  Quickly create and post short videos of your lift.  It's like Instagram but without the editing capabilities.  And it's a movie.  Not a photo.  But it's awesome.

7. Uncrate
This is probably one of the manliest apps I have and I'm obsessed with it.  They post the most ridiculous and amazing gadgets and other must-have items for the shopper with several K to spend on a whim.  A tug-boat that's actually a hot tub?  Give it to me.

8. Solar -
This weather app is not without it glitches, but similar to Rise, it's SO nice to look at.  The forecast does not extend beyond 3 days, which can be frustrating.  But the day to night and sun to rain visuals are just too much to miss out on.

9. Pocket
I don't use this app as regularly as I should but when I do, I'm reminded why I like it.  I get sent SO many links and sometimes forget to go back and look at them when I don't have time to browse right away.  I can send them to Pocket and have all my awesome in one location.

What are some of your favorites?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hey Valentine's Day is about to happen

Right? It totally snuck up on me, too.

If any of you are planning on getting me a gift, I put together this helpful wish list.  In no particular order, I present, "Things I Want for Valentine's Day (And Every Other Day of the Year)."

1. Sweeatheart COOKIES. Way better than those stupid sweetheart candies. // 2. An impromptu trip to Patagonia. // 3. That Grumpy Cat cookie.  Although it doesn't quite echo my sentiments on the holiday, I still want it. // 4. A new iPad. // 5. A new tortie iPhone case. // 6. This watch.  Or one of the other three watches I've been eyeballing.  I have a watch & boots problem. 

1. The Scrabble Typography edition. // 2. An outline of the Mountains. Snowshoe is the one pictured but I'd love to get one of of the places I've gone in Germany, Italy, or Switzerland. // 3. Nike Fuelband. Although I'm not 100% sure how they work I want one. // 4. Willie Nelson's new book. // 5.  The Olloclip.  Just another gadget I don't need. // 6. A Google Nexus.  LOL J/K APPLE 'TIL I DIE. 

Saturday, February 09, 2013


My kitty is pretty cute and then she yawns.

Happy Caturday.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Through my iPhone


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

On Losing Weight

So I know I'm late to the game on this one but it's February already.  I'm glad I didn't resolve to lose weight or get healthy this year.  Sunday night I watched the superbowl while eating a personal pan pizza (read: 12" of delicious brick-oven carby heaven) and drinking champagne.  After watching Beyonce sweat it out during half time, I capped the evening off with Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and some popcorn.

You know how sometimes you gain weight and then your favorite boots won't fit over your inflated calves?

That's my life right now.

I've spent some serious time during the second half of December and entire month of January putting on my winter weight.  The weight I was so happy to be rid of last fall.

The picture on the far left was taken in December of last year (2011) while in Knoxville visiting one of my friends.  It was a great trip.  We got to see penguins in Tennessee and ate a lot of good food. A LOT of good food.  And drink booze. A LOT of booze. The second two pictures were taken this December (2012), around the beginning of the month and before my holiday indulgences.  And by indulgences I mean second helpings of baked Macaroni at midnight just because I knew it was in the fridge.

Just to be clear, never at any point in time would I have called myself "fat."  Variations of the word, sure.  I have always had a curvier figure and tended to be dismissive about weight gain because I felt like it was my natural physique.  And I'm lazy. And apparently curvy is making a comeback? Or at least that's what Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign told me in 2005.

When you work in an industry filled with beautiful women and preach on the phone every day about confidence and self-esteem, it's a difficult thing to admit you struggle with.

September was when I really started paying attention and got motivated. I noticed a significant change by the end of October and was able to buy jeans two sizes smaller.  People would compliment me every now and then, and even though it felt good to get recognition, it disheartened me to think I had been so big there was a loss to even notice.  If they think I look good now, what did they think I looked like before, you know?  As autumn settled in to stay, my schedule got busier and I essentially stopped running. It's a great habit and a habit I absolutely loathe, but apparently being fit doesn't fall in the same category as watching Mythbusters re-runs on the couch until 2 AM. I bought new shoes in January and ran 2 miles on Monday and again on Tuesday. It was miserable.

I still don't eat the best. I'm lazy when it comes to cooking and the only time we eat good food at home is if Mike is in charge of the kitchen. I'd much rather swing by McD's and get a 10-piece McNugget meal, or a burrito from Moe's, or a spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's, or mozzarella sticks from Arby's, or an Oreo blast from Sonic, than try to figure out something yummy to cook at home - there aren't that many ways to enjoy grilled chicken breast, y'all. This has definitely been an experiment in will power.

Anyway, I just felt like posting something honest.  I was happiest when I was healthiest (I guess eating a couple handfuls of M&Ms for lunch is not the way to a flat tummy), so I want to find some motivation to maintain what I've accomplished.

I hope you have a happy Wednesday.  Eat a Cinnabon for me.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Life of Late

I wish I could jump inside Pinterest and live there forever.
© Well Taylored Life. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig