4.30.2009

the sweet smell of coffee success - a post by lacey

so last week i told you guys that i would be starting my first day at swank coffee shop, and the results of my performance are in-i passed! wipe the sweat from your brow. i trained this past saturday and had about an hour of "ohmygoshicannnotdothis!" and then after that it was pretty smooth. i really had a fun time learning how to measure the ground espresso and make shots, add flavors, steam milk, make blended drinks, and most importantly, make the perfect whipped cream mountain on top of the drinks. who knew that over a year ago when i walked into swank for the first time, i'd end up working behind the counter?

the owners obviously think i can do it because they asked if i could work this coming saturday all day by myself! it's kind of flattering and kind of scary that they have that much confidence in me! i know there are still many things i will have to learn, but i'm excited for this new opportunity. 

have a great week/weekend! go drink some coffee! 

lacey

image via swindon.gov.uk

4.28.2009

thrifty treasures

so lately i've been frequenting all the local goodwills/thrift stores to find fun, inexpensive, unique things with which to fill the cottage. besides being a little embarrassed that the staff people practically know me by name, i've found some really great things that i just had to brag about. starting with the globe above. i love globes and always have - and this one is pre 1950 (there are random countries that don't even exist anymore), in excellent condition, and only cost me $12! 

this mirror is going in my bathroom. it's not old but its french and i love love it!

laundry by shelli segal skirt. i'm obsessed with it. it will be coming with me in my suitcase on the cruise!

this envelope bag was $1. it's bigger than it looks in the picture and doubles as a clutch with the chain tucked in. love it.

over-the-knee suede colin stuart boots in near-perfect condition. i'm counting down the days until i can wear these babies.

this doesn't photograph so well, but it's marc jacobs and will also be coming with me on the cruise. i nearly freaked when i pulled this shirt out and saw the label!

this is actually a mirror that i turned into a little tray on my nightstand. it was like $2 and i love it.

annnddd i've saved the best for last! i am completely obsessed with these suitcases! they're perfect and cost $7 for both!! they are also excellent storage in my tiny tiny cottage with only one closet!

so for all those times you go to the thrift store and there's nothing but crap, don't be discouraged! there are tons of great things out there, you just have to be persistent! i don't plan on stopping any time soon, so i'm sure there'll be more to come!

4.27.2009

french kiss


since it's spring and love is in the air (or so they say), here's a little french word you should add to your vocabulary...

bisou - pronounced "bee sue" refers to a kiss

instead of the usual monday parlez vous fran├žais usage examples (because it's always better to be kissing than to talk about kissing) here is msn's list of top ten places to kiss:

1. on a roller coaster
2. on your desk (after hours, of course!)
3. at a museum (art is sexy, after all)
4. in the middle of a crowded street (like the above photo, "kiss by the hotel de ville" by robert doisneau
5. in a dressing room
6. on a pile of coats (apparently kissing a random stranger at a party is a rite of passage that everyone should experience once)
7. upside down (spidey style)
8. in the back seat
9. in a downpour
10. in bed, while one of you is asleep (there's simply no lovelier way to wake up!)

how many can you check off your list?

image "kiss by the hotel de ville" by robert doisneau via thinkinpictures.wordpress.com

4.24.2009

happy weekend!

good grief! is it really only april? its going to be mid-eighties all weekend here! i think that calls for the sundresses to be pulled out of the closet!
i'll be celebrating the beautiful weekend visiting lacey and her lovely town.

until monday...enjoy this gorgeous weekend!
image via designismine

4.23.2009

my name is lacey, and i'll be your barista today - a post by lacey


happy thursday! i hope this week has been treating you well. i've been having a great week. i think the reason the past few days have been so good is the fact that i got to visit my close girlfriends this past weekend (one of them being the fabulous chelsea.) we had such a good time hanging out, wining and dining, yard saling, coffee drinking, and kitty shopping. (isn't liam the sweetest?! geez. and i'm not even a big cat person.) you know how life sometimes gives you bundles of little happy moments to encourage you and tell you that you're awesome? well, that happened to me this past weekend, and i am so grateful for that. the gorgeous weather hasn't hurt my mood either.

anyways, on to my other exciting news. as some of you may know, i sell my handmade cards and stationary at a sweet coffee shop in my downtown called SWANK. about a month ago, the owners asked me if i would be interested in working a few saturdays here and there to cover for them when they'd be out of town. ummmm, lemme think about this long and hard...YES YES YES! i've always wanted to work in a coffee shop and be one of those cool baristas who can make an americano one minute and an iced mocha the next and not give it a second thought. now's my chance! this saturday is my first training day and, of course, it also happens to be our town's big spring fling called springfest. the entire downtown is blocked off for a big bike race, food vendors, arts and crafts tables, kids events, etc. while i am a bit nervous about starting on such a busy day, i think it may be the best thing for me. i'll just have to jump in and swim frantically to keep afloat! keep me in your thoughts on saturday, and if you treat yourself to a cappuccino at your local coffee house, remember to be extra kind to the barista (and leaving a hefty tip wouldn't hurt either!) have a great rest of your week!

until next thursday,

lacey

image via etsy.com

4.22.2009

i'm living with a boy

meet liam. when i moved in to my new place i swore i didn't want a roommate, and especially not a boy one, but this little man just won me over. he doesn't take up much space and except for the fact that i haven't gotten a good night's sleep since he came to live with me, he's been a great addition to the cottage!
whenever i get home it's playtime, but when i come back from the gym, we play really hard. the laces on my running shoes are one of his favorite toys. in fact, nearly everything in my house is a toy. including me and my hair.

eventually wild man calms down and snuggles. it's rare that he sits in my arms, though. usually he sits on my chest, head, or shoulders. i'm a human jungle gym.

then he wakes up and it's playtime again. that's my cell phone on the floor. he's that small. i keep worrying i'm going to step on him.

hungry man. so far, he hasn't been too upset that my mom bought him pink food bowls.

he falls off the couch a lot. it's not a surprise the way he teeters on the edge like this.

hello.
little man plays so hard that he literally just falls asleep all of a sudden. it's practically impossible to wake him up.

okay, so i think that's enough pictures of liam. i promise i won't become one of those annoying people that post 195357 of their pets and tell a million boring stories. but i couldn't resist at least one post about my sweet little guy. here are a few of my favorite things about him:

- he falls in the trash can in the bathroom almost every morning while i'm getting ready for work
- he cries the entire time i'm in the shower
- he is always waiting at the door when i get home
- he snuggles with me under the covers at night (after about an hour of pouncing on my face, that is)
- he likes to lick my eyelids

so it's official. i live by myself, i'm single and i have a cat that i love a little too much. does that make me a cat lady? if so, i think that's okay with me.

4.17.2009

happy earth day weekend!

hello lovelies! earth day is saturday so be sure to do something tree-hugger-ish this weekend. there are lots of ways to do this that don't involve wearing dreads, organic clothing, and not showering for long periods of time. my favorites are:

- plant some flowers or a tree
- turn off the water when you brush your teeth
- recycle everything you can - check your city's websites for approved materials
- use re-usable shopping bags
- use re-usable water bottles
- visit the thrift store - recycling an old item is much better than buying new!

this weekend, i'll be popping a cork in my new cottage and celebrating with my beautiful friends. i actually have a three day weekend - aren't you jealous!? see you next week!

4.16.2009

a taste of spring - a post by lacey

Happy Thursday! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend with your families and friends. My parents and little brother left early Sunday morning to make the five hour drive to visit my older brother in Georgia. Pretty rotten thing to do, don't you think? Leave your daughter at home alone on Easter Sunday?! I made a fuss about it, but their minds were made up. I ended up having a pretty good time with the house to myself-free reign over the television, long hot showers, coming and going as I pleased. I was even inspired to make some cuppycakes!
After attending the Easter Sunday service at my church, I decided that the best way to continue celebrating was to bake something. I had received a cupcake cookbook as a gift some time ago, and after looking through all of the recipes and drool worthy pictures, I finally decided on lemon cupcakes. The recipe was very easy, very straightforward. I had the batter mixed, poured, and in the oven in about 15 minutes. While the cupcakes baked, I whipped up (literally) the lemon frosting.
I couldn’t believe the baking luck I was having-no forgotten ingredients, no spills, no shattering glass bowls. As much as I love trying out new recipes, something always seems to go wrong when I attempt to cook or bake. I once made mac and cheese from scratch (Martha Stewart recipe, thank you), and it literally took me 3 ½ hours to make from beginning to end. And it did not taste like it took me 3 ½ hours (not in a good way.) When I tried to make apple crumble, I left the butter for the flour and butter crust half melted in the microwave until the next day. My apple crumble was more like apples, rolled in flour, baked in the oven until shriveled and chewy. You can only imagine the utter joy I was experiencing this past Sunday. When I took my cupcakes out of the oven, they were perfectly golden brown just like the recipe called for. Golden brown! Not blackened! Since my first batch came out so well I decided to take advantage of my good Easter fortune and make another batch! I frosted both batches once they cooled and packaged up two boxes to bring to my co-workers the next day. My success with these cuppycakes has inspired me to take on another cupcake recipe. Chocolate cherry? Strawberry swirl with cream cheese frosting? I’m willing to try anything-unless it’s an apple crumble cupcake.


I'm feeling generous. Go make yourself some cupcakes.
Lemon Cuppycakes:

3/4 cup self-rising white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
8 tbsp soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp milk
Lemon Frosting:
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

*Preheat the oven to 375 F. Put 12 paper baking cups in a muffin pan.
*Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, lemon rind, and milk, and using an electric beater, beat together until smooth.
*Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
*To make the frosting, put the butter in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Sift in the powdered sugar, add the lemon juice, and beat together until smooth and creamy.
*When the cupcakes have cooled, frost generously and enjoy!

(recipe from Cupcakes by Susanna Tee)

P.S. Ok, so I didn't want to say anything, but I have to confess that I did have one slight mishap while making the cupcakes. After I finished baking, cooling, and frosting the cupcakes, I was leaning inside the fridge with a plateful to store overnight. The edge of the plate hit the fridge door and three cupcakes, one right after the other, fell and landed face-down on the floor. I freaked. But then I gathered myself and calmly reached down to pick them up expecting a terrible sticky mess. Instead I picked them up fully intact with frosting! The frosting had hardened just enough to keep from smearing all over the floor! I used a knife to fluff the frosting up a bit and placed them back on the plate. (The five second rule totally exists.) I think my little accident proves just how awesome this recipe is. Or maybe I revealed a little too much information about how I treat food that I serve to other people.

4.15.2009

moving day!

happy wednesday! i apologize for the lack of posting this week, but this week has been busy getting shelves hung, walls painted, and cupboards organized in the new place! tonight i'm officially moving the rest of my furniture and plan to be all settled by friday afternoon when my first houseguest arrives! pictures to come soon!

image via weheartit.com

4.09.2009

kings of spring - a post by lacey

my all-time favorite etsy shop, royalbuffet, inspired me to make these bird kings. i love royal buffet's paper bird kings with the wire feet. actually, i love ALL their paper crafts; their banners look so elegant and pretty, i want to string them everywhere!





mollie is the lady behind the scenes of royalbuffet, and she's based in greenville, sc. a local! (sort of.) a carolinian! you can find out more about her and royalbuffet at www.molliegreene.com. if you try to google "royalbuffet.com" you'll find yourself directed to a site advertising a chinese buffet restaurant that serves "over 100 items daily". not exactly the royal buffet you're wanting unless you're into red teriyaki beef on a stick and sweet puffy rolls. which sometimes i am very much into.

until next week,
lacey

4.07.2009

beautiful branches

as i've mentioned before, i love trees/branches in design. here are a few things i've been loving lately...
i'm crazy about this wallpaper!
cherry trees are my favorite part of spring...i love forcing them to bloom inside. i wish they lasted longer!
this is amazing. i think it would look super cool in a nursery.
this room is out of control. in fact, i'm really afraid of whatever is going on on the floor and i never, ever want to sleep under a cow skull. it reminds me of texas and dead things...both of which i don't like to think about in my bedroom. or ever. the bed, however, is so hot. it would need to balanced out with a very minimal room, though... 
...like this! it's like sleeping in a forest. i also think this would be really cool in a kids room.

1.domino 2.all things bright and beautiful 3.brushdance.blogspot.com 4.tumblr.com 5.seanlovellmetalworks

4.06.2009

parlez-vous...basketball?

tarheels - refers to the unc-chapel hill men's basketball team, led by coach roy williams and high scoring senior tyler hansbrough. the team plays in the atlantic coast conference and is known by its mascot, ramsees, and its colors, light blue and white. the tarheels have produced many strong players over the years including billy cunningham, michael jordan, julius peppers, and raymond felton. the tarheels have won the ncaa division I men's basketball tournament four times, and will hopefully add another title to their belt this evening.

usage examples:
1. the tarheels are such a strong team, they deserve a national championship this year.
2. did you see the tarheels beat michigan state last night? what a great game!
3. today i'm wearing tarheel blue to work.

image by jim hawkins for insidecarolina.com, via photobucket.com

4.03.2009

le week-end!


bonjour mes amies!
have a wonderful spring weekend...
see you monday!

image via tatielle.com

4.01.2009

the cottage!

i have finally managed to upload some pictures of the cottage! unfortunately, my own computer has broken and so uploading photos is a little more of a hassle than usual. sorry for the delay!
anyways, i am so excited to move in to this sweet little place! i've been working hard on it since monday spackling holes (there were like a million), sanding walls (they were horrible), and cleaning the place from top to bottom. which included scrubbing down almost everything with my favorite cleaning product in the world - soft scrub. tomorrow i will start painting (with my dad, who is much better at it than i) and i can't wait to see the difference a little color will make! so without further ado...

welcome to my living room! i'm wishing now that i had taken a better photo of this room. it's actually a nice size with two very lovely windows. this picture was taken from the front door. there is another window on the left wall (next to the door) and the kitchen doorway is to the right, just out of the picture. straight ahead after walking through the front door (to the right of the kitchen entrance) is a great open wall that will be filled with this huge gorgeous solid wood bookshelf that i bought from the habitat restore today. (habitat employees get 10% off!) i'm painting this room a warm ivory color called baked brie

you may have noticed this in the above picture, but this is a built-in telephone shelf. i love it! ...but i need a creative idea for it! 

this is the bathroom, which is located off my bedroom. i have since removed the ugly purple shower curtain and stick-on yellow flowers in the floor of the shower. (ew) the hot water heater is behind the cute door (boo for no closet) and the toilet is to the left of the sink. there is enough room on the opposite right wall for a cool dresser, which will make up for the lack of closet space. i plan on skirting the sink so i don't have to look at ugly pipes (and for even more storage). 

this is the only closet in the entire place. thankfully, it is deep (but narrow). while it is super ugly right now, i have big plans for it that will maximize space and make it a little more acceptable. i bought a nice sauder bookshelf off craig's list for $25 (it's really big) which will go in the back left corner and will build more shelves on the opposite right side. a shoe organizer will go on the right as well, and i will have two levels on which to hang clothes.

this is my bedroom! the closet and bathroom doors are on the back wall in this photo and the door to the living room is on the right. 

and seriously, how cool are these built in pegs behind the front door? this tiny little house was actually used as part of a private school in town (that is still in existence!) back in the day and the pegs behind the door and in my bedroom (see above) were used during that time. isn't that a fun story? little quirks like this are why i love old houses. 

heeey kitchen! this will need some work... the floors are really nice, but there's not too much storage space. the countertops and backsplash are really lovely, but as you can tell the cupboard doors need another coat or two of polyurethane. i plan on painting the kitchen a super-light shade of peachy pink called la minaret. the wall on the far right here juts out a little and i'm going to put open shelving on it for my pretty dishes and glassware. i also plan on painting just the face of that wall a darker shade of peachy pink. the space under the counter on the left will be the appliance garage, and i'll put a skirt there on a spring rod. the door to the backyard is on the left, and to the left of that (across from the jutty wall), there is a cute little window which will get a cafe curtain and a free standing butchers cart or something of that nature to give me more counter space. 

the other end of the kitchen. bright and cheery!

another pic of the other end of the kitchen. the window in this pic is the one you see on the left in the above one. the fridge has now been moved to that left wall. my favorite thing about the kitchen is its bright-ness, which was somehow lost in this photograph. 

annnd presenting the best best part of the cottage - the backyard! it's so pretty (better in person than in this picture) and I even have a my own bench and swing. More pictures to come once I get everything raked and cleared!

this is my little garden. it's full of weeds at the moment, but will be full of herbs or lavender once i'm through with it!

don't you wish you could live here? i feel so lucky! i just can't wait to get moved in and settled! more to come as i get things in and organized!