parlez-vous français?

bouquet - pronounced "boo-kay", refers to the whole perfume of wine, resulting from various aromas.

usage examples:
1. although samantha paid a lot for the highly recommended wine, its bouquet did not impress her.
2. when tasting younger wines, it is common to use the word "aroma" to describe its scents, which refers to the smells derived from the grape variety. the term "bouquet" is reserved for more aged wines, and refers to smells from the fermentation process and chemical reactions among sugars, acids, and alcohols in the wine.
3. traditionally, pinot noir has a bouquet of black cherry, raspberry, or currant. 

image via community.livejournal.com/laceandflora  quoted text via "french for le snob: adding panache to your everyday conversations" by yvette reche, fall river press


cheap and chic...and beachy!

i had to go to super target today to pick up a few things for our big fundraiser we're having for work tomorrow night. (that's right. my job is so cool i get to shop at target on the clock.) and although i was actually shopping for work, it's hard not to look at everything. while wheeling past the women's clothes and accessories section, i spotted the most wonderful display amongst all the ugly clothes and swimsuits that are filling the racks there this spring. (since when are target clothes ugly? i usually love it there.) felix rey bags for target!!!! i love the partnership target has with designers...orla kiely's line is great (although not that in line with my tastes) and i really love the hayden-harnett one as well. but the felix rey one was uber exciting today. rey's bags are carried at places like bergdorf's and saks and usually cost more than i'm willing to spend on any bag. for instance, this one below, retails for $220. which is why i'm so excited about felix rey for target! here are the ones that i really want, all of which would be perfect for the CRUISE TO MEXICO I JUST BOOKED TODAY! more on that later...until then, you can mull over which bag you're going to buy for me:straw clutch: $19.99

large straw tote: $49.99
canvas clutch: $19.99
painted tote with shell: $34.99

straw basket tote: $39.99

images: 1.by camilla akrans for italian elle 2.felixrey.com 3-7.target.com

morning - a post by lacey

This is how I feel about morning time...

Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening,
then night with his notorious perfumes,
his many-pointed stars?
This is the best—
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—
maybe a splash of water on the face,
a palmful of vitamins—
but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,
dictionary and atlas open on the rug,
the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,
a cello on the radio,
and, if necessary, the windows—
trees fifty, a hundred years old
out there,
heavy clouds on the way
and the lawn steaming like a horse
in the early morning.

Billy Collins

I really do love mornings, especially weekend mornings when I have the whole day ahead of me to enjoy. I set my alarm to get up early so I can laze around in my pajamas with my coffee. During the week, however, it is a different story. (Who really wants to get up for work?) For the past two weeks, I have been sleeping through my four alarms (yes, four) and ending up with about 20-30 minutes to rush through my morning routine. It's stressful, and I usually end up wearing some boring "go-to" outfit that I know will get me through the day and not look completely terrible. Yesterday morning, I am proud to say, I got up on time and did not have to run around in a frenzy. I even put together a cute little outfit! (Go me!) It made driving to work at 7 am almost enjoyable.
I was introduced to Billy Collins' poetry by a friend in college, and have since decided that he is my favorite poet. If you're into poetry (or even if you're not, who knows, you may like this guy) his website is: http://www.bigsnap.com/billy.html.
Some of my faves:
"Dancing Toward Bethlehem"
"On Turning Ten"
"The Dead"

Until next week!
image via http://www.threeappleshigh.ca/blog/


wednesday thought

yes. okay. i think i will.
is it the weekend yet?

image via everyday is a holiday on flickr


the search is over!!

guess what!?
i know i've already gushed to several of you about this, but the search is over and i have found the loveliest place to live! i am just so excited about it! i have pictures, but unfortunately my computer is being really uncooperative tonight, so i'll have to share them with you later. in the meantime, here are a few things about which i am particularly excited:
- it's not an apartment, but a carriage house
- the location is seriously awesome
- i have window boxes and a huge backyard area. i also have a tiny space that is already cleared and edged for an herb garden, which i have wanted to have for, like ever.
- unbelievably cheap rent (yay!)
- hardwood and travertine floors
- lots of natural light
- it's a really old home (the main house was built in 1910) and once was part of a private school here in town. there are a couple of really cool accents that have been there since the house was built, and i can't wait to share them with you! (you'll have to wait for the pictures, though!)

there are, of course a few not-so-greats too (like only one closet and an ugly brown furnace in the living room), but the goods are so good, they outweigh the cons. it will take a little paint, spackle, and work to make it perfect, but i can't wait to move in and get started. i'm actually looking forward to the work!
i apologize that the apartment hunters plan didn't work out as well as i'd hoped. i looked at several places; some landlords were weird about taking pics and some places weren't worth taking any pics at all, but you can get excited to join me as i make this little carriage house a home!

image via comebacktothesea.tumblr.com


parlez-vous français?

le gâteau - pronounced "gat-toe", refers to cake. the french term is used often in ritzy bakeries.

instead of usage examples today, here are a few french phrases that use this yummy word:
1. les petits gâteaux secs - cookies. actually translates "small dry cakes."
2. c'est du gâteau - it's a piece of cake, it's really easy.
3. ce n'est pas du gâteau - it's no picnic.
4. c'est son papa gâteau - that's her sugar daddy. (please use this phrase this week. i think it's hilarious.)
are you hungry yet?

images: 1.theenglishmuse.blogspot.com 2.by sunny shokrae via dripbook.com


weekend edition

happy weekend! i have finally managed to take more than one day off of work and i am soaking in the gloriousness of these few days (at the moment by sitting on my couch in my pjs).

so it doesn't really appear that i'll be getting married anytime soon, but just as most girls do, i've been planning my wedding since my favorite barbie received her own couture wedding gown (thanks to my grandma) when i was about five.
one of my favorite blogs to check on weekends is wedding-centered snippet and ink, which features "real wedding saturdays." i am a big supporter of untraditional wedding elements
(i am so over the david's bridal gowns, black tuxes, rose bouquets, and blowing bubbles at receptions) that really showcase a couple's personality and i think kathryn at snippet and ink really captures those type of events.
today's featured wedding wasn't really my favorite overall...in fact, i don't really want to think about farms or cows at all when planning my wedding, but there were two elements i just l-o-v-e-d:
are these not the most gorgeous flowers ever!? i think they're ranunculus, which i have been very into lately, but i'm not exactly sure. my flower knowledge is pretty basic.
what is my biggest wedding pet peeve? ugly, awful unflattering bridesmaid gowns that are shiny, strange shades that will never again see anything but the back of a closet. i will probably never ever again have a need for a strapless floor-length black tafetta gown with a turquoise sash, you know? i want my bridesmaids to love their dresses and wear them often after my wedding. in my opinion, that means selecting a dress that is more dress and less bridesmaid. a great example? this bcbg one above. gorgeous.

stay tuned this week for a more normal amount of blogging! enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

images: 1. tinypic.com 2-3.anna kuperberg via snippet and ink


the wonders of wilmington - a post by lacey

I posted two weeks ago about my then upcoming Wilmington trip, and after my trip, I totally forgot to tell you how it went! My mom was the one who reminded me that I left you guys hanging. Well, then, you're in for a treat. The trip was a much needed time for relaxation (when is relaxation never not needed?) We stayed at a small rental called the Pineapple Inn a few miles from downtown. It was the perfect size for the four of us. There was a huge front deck where we lounged frequently with wine glasses and our feet propped up. We spent most of our time walking around downtown and exploring the surrounding Wilmington area. Here is a rundown of most of the places we went to: 

Southpaw-When we got into town we were ready to eat! We parked right outside this place, and the "Today's Specials!" sign on the sidewalk drew my attention: "Turkey sandwich with cranberry mayo." That's all it took. I love turkey. I love cranberry mayo. I knew it was the place. Since it was around 3 pm at this point, there were no crowds to fight so we walked in and got a table right away. Lunch was out in no time and we scarfed it down, unashamedly. 

Coastal Cupcakes-Jonathan and I stopped here after lunch because I love cupcake bakeries, and this was the only one in town. I looked at their site before our trip, and the place looked cute. I never thought a cupcake bakery could be a sad place, but I was proven me wrong. There were no tables, no chairs. Two workers stared at us from the moment we walked in until we left. They had a small glass counter with about fives plates of different cupcakes (all of them looked a few days old). I HAD to try one just to get the full experience. We bought a chocolate chip PB cupcake and walked over to Port City Java for an iced latte to go along with it. The cake was dry and the frosting wasn't sweet enough, but I did get a cute paper box that they packaged it in! (Think positively!) (http://www.coastalcupcakes.com/ and http://www.portcityjava.com/)

Indochine-A local Thai restaurant recommended by a friend of mine who went to school at UNCW. This was where I chose to go for my birthday dinner. It was PACKED when we got there so we waited around outside and gawked at people through the windows. We checked out what they were eating and watched the bellly dancer who roamed from table to table. The food was amazing and the atmosphere was very festive. I didn't tell anyone it was my birthday because I was afraid I would have gotten a personal performance by the belly dancer. (http://www.indochinewilmington.com/)

Thrill of the Hunt-This place was an awesome shabby chic/furniture/odds and ends store. They had loads of cool painted furniture and house decor. They had some great looking chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, but, of course, since I don't have a place to put those kinds of things yet, they do me no good. I did save a lot of money though...

Fairy Circle Consignment-This was one of the thrift shops that my mom researched before our trip. It was hidden smack in the middle of a small strip mall, and when we walked in, it smelled like incense. My mom and I aren't scared off so easily. We scoured the racks, and among the fairy wings and leotards, we found some pretty cute things. I ended up with a navy mini dress and a handmade magic fairy wand. (Just kidding about the fairy wand. I already own several of those.) (http://www.fairycircleconsignment.com/)

Sawgrass -a cute gift shop in downtown. I was browsing the shelves when I noticed they carried the Lollia fragrance/candle/body lotion line. I have been eyeing their #19 Breathe perfume for several years (seriously. years.), so I and asked Jonathan in the sweetest tone  if this could be one of my birthday pressies. He said yes because he's so sweet, but I think he also noticed the crazed look in my eyes. I probably scared him into it more than anything. (www.sawgrassgifts.com)

Caffe Phoenix-I read about this restaurant in North Carolina Signature magazine about a month before our trip, and I knew I wanted to try it at some point over the weekend. Jonathan and I ended up eating here on Sunday after church. What a treat! We sat outside since it was such a beautiful day and people watched until our food came. On Sundays, they only serve brunch so we ordered a Spanish omelet, a croissant sandwich, fruit, muffins, and homestyle red potatoes. This may have been my favorite restaurant meal of the weekend. (www.thecaffephoenix.com)

So there you have it-our weekend in a blog post. Wilmington is definitely a place I would travel to and explore again. Because it's close, it's easy to plan a weekend trip. With this trip under my belt, I feel like an experience traveler. I think I could take on something a little more risky. Wal*mart on a Saturday? 

Until next week, 

images: 1.planetware.com 2.islandgazette.net 3.thecafephoenix.com


spring cleaning? nah. spring shopping! - a post by lacey

The beautiful, breezy weather we've been having for this past week has got me all fluttery. I've had a little more bounce in my step and my smile has been a bit bigger. I'm definitely a fall/winter person, but I have been getting more and more excited about the upcoming warm season. Maybe it's because I'm excited to trade out all of my cold weather clothes for the skirts and short sleeve tops that I have rolled up in my dresser drawers. I'm hoping that I will look at everything with fresh eyes and will be able to throw some "new" outfits together with no problem. I hope that they turn out looking like these great spring outfits:
I love dark wash denim, especially when it's paired with something peppy like bright yellow.
Navy and white/cream/khaki together is such a classic look. It's a combo that you can't go wrong with.

For this outfit to work properly, I think I need to be wherever this girl is (I'm thinking Greece) with my own basket full of flowers (Peonies, please).
Dresses are a MUST for spring and summer. There's nothing easier than slipping on a sun dress and a pair of flip flops and heading out the door. I just bought this dress in the floral pattern and in navy for two easy summer outfits. (I have some awesome yellow wedges to wear with the navy one. Can't wait!)
One last thing, April showers bring May flowers, so be prepared with some cute rain boots! And when it's not raining...you can plant flowers in them.
Until next week!

images: 1.photobucket.com 2.bglam.com 3.catwalkqueen.tv 4.elseachelsea.typepad.com 5.oldnavy.com 6.onlytheblogknowsbrooklyn.typepad.com


dinner's on me

i like to cook. a lot, actually. in general, i think the work put into a good meal is well worth the effort. 
but sometimes, after a long day, doesn't it just seem like a lot of work to peel, cut and cook everything and then clean it all up, too? while i'm often too tired to cook, i'm never, ever too tired to eat. that's why it's nice to have the cupboard and freezer stocked with cans of soup, kraft mac and cheese (i eat more of this than i care to admit), and some other quick meals that make eating simple.
i'm not much into frozen meals, just because of all the preservatives and sodium in them, however, i love kashi and have heard theirs are pretty delicious. as i mentioned here several months ago, kashi is super great and keeps their ingredients natural and healthy. and here's why i'm telling you all of this: kashi is giving away free frozen entrees! i love free things! i love kashi! get yours at http://www.kashi.com and then let me know which one you picked and what you thought of it! 

image via designspongeonline.com


happy springing ahead birthday weekend!!

i know this weekend post is a little late, but i only get one day off this week and it officially starts tomorrow. enjoy springing ahead (i am so excited for deliciously long evenings but not so excited for losing an hour of sleep...) and the gorgeous gorgeous spring weather that we are having!!

and happy happy happy birthday weekend to my beautiful friend and fellow blogger lacey! love you so much miss!
tablescape created by amy atlas; image via apartmenttherapy.com


tooting my own birthday horn - a post by lacey

Happy Thursday to you!
Happy Thursday to you!
Happy Thursday dear Readers,
Happy Thursday to you!

Although, I don't always get excited about turning another year older (24 already?!), I am always ready to receive the goodies that come with it-pressies, cake, balloons, crepe banners, etc. Tomorrow, March 6th, is a wonderful, wonderful day because it is on that day, 24 years ago in Monterey, California, that your wonderful guest blogger was born! Hurrah! 

I'm not one to be shy about my birthday. I don't try to keep it a secret from people. (Which is why I am blogging about my own birthday. Is that bad blogging etiquette?) Approximately two to three months before my big day, I'm started to advertise. You know, casually dropping into any random conversation that in 58 days (or 41 or 27 or however many it happens to be on that particular day), I'll be eating birthday cake and throwing confetti. It's probably very annoying and after a few weeks, they start tuning me out.

This year for my birthday, my family, my boyfriend and I are going to spend the weekend in Wilmington. My mom and I have been scouring magazines and Web sites to find all of the best coffee shops, thrift stores, restaurants, book stores, and cupcake bakeries. There seem to be some very promising shops. Of course I'm excited to explore the city and shop till I drop, but I am most excited about spending time with some of my favorite people. I can't wait to kick back with a glass of wine and watch the sun set on my first 24 years, looking forward to the many more I will enjoy.

So, with that said...

image via managetochange.typepad.com


dreaming of spring

hello, all!
just checking in - this week and next week we are hosting a large number of college students that are building with us during their spring breaks. between driving all over picking up meals for them, shuttling myself back and forth from the office to the build site, and even hammering a bit myself, i have little energy to do anything but veg in front of the television at the end of the day. hopefully the warm weather we have on the way will energize me a little bit...i am so ready to kiss winter goodbye!
as a result of my schedule, the blog posts are most likely going to suffer in the next week and a half - my apologies!

have a happy rest of the week and let's start getting excited about spring, shall we?
image by eleanor hardwick via lexposure.net