Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 - The Year To Get S**T Done

Everyone is writing their resolutions. But I don't like to do resolutions... I've always written goals. In fact, I write down my goals each year. I then save them in the same place so I can pull forward the long term goals that carry over from year to year. And I believe in the power of intention... of writing things down and watching them happen. I've put what I want out there and time and again I've been surprised by what happens. It's amazing in such a positive way.

And this upcoming year seems as if it is going to be one heck of a year! I'm already so inspired by the level of positivity and energy that is out there for 2009. So inspired that my list of goals is HUGE! But in a good way. I'm trying something new for the year; I'm breaking my list down into sections. I usually do a big long list and then organize it by month so they are more concrete. A lot of this year's are all year long so I will need to put some more structure to them. Oh yeah, they range from huge to terribly mundane.

Here we go!

Home - House interior, exterior, improvements, furnishings

Get our living room fireplace lined so we can snuggle in front of it

Get our gravel drive redone

Build a "secret garden" with a boxwood hedge and chairs under the wisteria

Create a Victory Garden to help eat vegan and share produce with friends and neighbors

Finally clear out or sell some of the stuff I've been hanging on to that doesn't have a place

Financial - Money in, out and the future

Pay off what I owe

Save more money

See if I can incorporate more monitization elements to my sites without compromising the site from a holistic standpoint

Social - Travel, Connections, Friends, Social Media

Meet up with folks from my old city that have moved to NC like me

Have more tea parties

Continue the Backyard Movie Nights (wanna come?)

Plan a trip (???) to Austria/Germany for next Christmas

Try and organize outings with my online friends when I travel

Family - Pets, People, Future

Make sure the pets are getting all the health and dental they need, especially Bailey who is 15

Train Napoleon to do more tricks... is walking on a leash far off?

Catch up with my elderly cousin in Ireland

Definitively answer some lingering open questions

Spirit - Emotional, Service, Donations, Volunteering

Get my "A Gentle Paw" pet therapy group off the ground

Develop a vegetarian/vegan group for my area - it's the South... veggie lovers need all the support we can get and people need a way to be exposed to the idea and learn together.

Budget in money to donate to my favorite causes

Budget in money to surprise and delight people

Become more active in the causes I support

Physical - Health, Food, Exercise

♥ Meditate - it's really hard for me to work this in

♥ Do more yoga

♥ Walk and get back to running - maybe a half-marathon by 2010?

Do a Juice Feast - Starting with 30 days but will keep going up to 92 days if possible

Keeping vegan but focusing more on raw, whole foods fewer processed foods

Try to create more boundaries between work and home

Get more sleep

Take fencing lessons again starting in the summer

Learn archery

Personal Growth - Learning, Languages, Reading, Culture

Learn French - our long, long term goal is to move to Paris so I'm laying the groundwork

Read all the exising books I have

Continue my British history reading plan

Listen to all the book and history podcasts I downloaded from iTunes

Journal more

Take a course in beekeeping so we can have an apiary

Watch more old classic movies that I've never gotten around to

Take a class in cordwaining (???)

Creativity - Outlets, Projects, Expression

Write more

Attempt to do quilling

Get the tattoo I have planned

Plan my outfits in advance so I can incorporate more of the cool stuff I have that I get too rushed to remember

Bake more and work more with my cake decorating skills

Plan out the colors and elements I want for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter

Do more photography (get a macro lense if possible)

Professional - Work, Sites, Teaching, Writing

Find an illustrator for the childrens' book I wrote and self-publish if needed

Grow my Technorati ranking and audience

Transfer my sites to a new platform

Reach 1000 posts by my 2 year anniversary in July

Go to BlogWorld

Teach a class on Social Media

Submit a post to IFB at least twice a month

I have more (if you can beleive it) but these are the main ones.

Have you made your plans? How do you organize them? If you haven't, get on it! Let's get some stuff done!

Photo Credits:
- My House by Me
- Ile St-Louis Stairs by Mohsan
- St. Anton am Arlberg, Tirol, Austria by Kruhme
- For Like Ever poster by Village
- Hand to Paw by Jim Dutcher
- One day's worth of produce by David and Katrina
- Eiffel explosion of stars by Ingiro
- Simple by Messaround
- The Magic is in the Telling by Yulia Brodskaya

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pardon Our Dust

Photo via Flickr by Ruth and Dave

I was testing out font sizes for the site and now it's gone a bit messy on the last post!

Sorry about that.

By the way, do you like the larger size font (here and most of the previous) or the original smaller one?



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shoe Customization: Gold Oxfords

I hate when I can't find (or afford) a pair of shoes that I totally fall in love with. Sometimes they don't have my size or they run out. Not that I usually accept those reasons at first. Typically I will still attempt to hunt them down. I'm very patient and will search all over. But if I've already done my shoe hunt and I still can't find them, I'll still try to find a way to get what I want.

The latest pair that I fell in love (okay obsession!) with were these boyish gold oxfords that Kelly Wearstler was wearing on the Domino October 2008 cover. Ever since then, I've been searching and searching for them or for a pair like them. This is how obsessed I was. First I looked at the magazine's "resources" section. Not there... hmmm... Then I tried a simple online search. Nothing. I then contacted Domino editorial. I mean they were bound to know, right? Nope! They said they were Kelly shoes that she had brought with her and that they were custom made. This gave me hope. All I needed to know was where she got them made. Time and distance are no barrier these days, right? Sadly, the Domino staff didn't know where they came from (and apparently they had received a number of inquiries besides mine).

Okay, now I was determined to find out. This was getting ridiculous. So I called her offices. Yes, yes, I have a problem, I. Know. This.

If you can believe this I actually spoke to someone on her staff (alright, I'll admit it. I made up a pretense of wanting them for a photoshoot or something. I told you, I am obsessed with getting something I want). They told me that she had them custom made somewhere in Italy or they were vintage from Europe or something but they/she didn't remember where so there was no further info they could give me.

Yeah. Sure.

I finally gave that all up as a dead end. I figured I would just need to do a search online and see if I could find a good substitution.

But you would think I was searching for the Holy Grail or something. I mean there is a serious opportunity in the marketplace because I found nothing. Well, I actually did find a lot of gold jazz shoes but not a lot of this style of oxfords.

The closest pair I found were this pair from Toast. They were pretty good but first of all they started at size 37, which is way bigger than my 35, although I did actually consider them. But they are around $300 and not quite the right color. Still, as a back up, not a bad choice, right?

Then I was sifting through the YOOX sale and found these Apepazzas. The style is pretty good, albeit a bit too pointy. They describe the color as gold. I'm not sure if I believe them, though. And still $130 plus shipping. Not that that is a huge amount, but it is a lot for a third choice.

Then I remembered I had a pair of vintage deadstock oxfords that I had bought on eBay a while back when I was looking for a off-white bucks alternative. I wasn't too thrilled with them at the time and considered reselling them. This would be a good option for another shoe customization project!

The shoes cost me about $15 and I bought black and antique gold acrylic paints, varnish and a gold leaf pen from Michaels. Total - $15.

The shape is slightly more elongated and these have holes where Kelly's didn't but I couldn't be too picky at this point.

Pristine vintage!

I love the heels on these.


I started out by testing on an interior spot if I could paint the gold right on them or if I needed to do the basecoat of black. I determined that I did need the black to get the right depth of color I wanted. I used the paint pen on lace holes which are metal.

One shoe done with the base coat.

I ended up doing two coats of the black and then I did the gold as each shoe dried. I was worried that the paint would dry and make the leather too stiff but so far that doesn't seem to be an issue.

Both shoes done...

I then did a coat of satin finish varnish to protect them. I could do a few more coats but I'm impatient. I don't put my shoes through too much abuse so I think they'll be okay.
Once they were all dry I had to lace them up. I had a vision of using ribbon laces but I still need to find the perfect color. After going through my boxes of ribbon I picked a few to use for the time being. But I think I'm going to end up getting a pair of black regular type laces for them. More cord-like.

For now I put the mauve-y wire-edged ribbons in, which I think are cute with the gold.

Bows! I edged the ribbon ends with some Fray-chek to stop them from shredding.

What do you think? Of course, they'll look closer to the "inspiration" pair when I get the black laces, but not bad, huh?

I think they are super cute! Now I just need to plan an outfit around them. And the good thing is I can swap out the laces and touch them up if I get any scuffs.

Now I have what I want (sort of), am recycling by giving a vintage piece a new life and saving myself a good amount of money. I like the customization projects I've done so far. Maybe I need to plan on doing more in 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ensemble du Jour

I'm finally, finally feeling better to the point that I feel it was "safe" to leave the house for more than half an hour. I think I was getting cabin fever. I hadn't left the house since Monday! We decided to go grab some dinner, run to Michaels for supplies for a shoe project (hopefully it will turn out well, I'll be taking pics) and go to the movies.

The movie wasn't great (Four Christmases) but it was nice to be out and put on real clothes for a change. I didn't wear anything fancy but, compared to yoga pants and a 15 year old sweater it was quite a step up. I wore my Gap jeans, a grey wool Mossimo blazer, my Paraphernalia brooch and my black buckle Aerosole heels.

12-27-08 by Princess Poochie

The top was one of the JCrew tissue sequin tees I got on sale over the weekend. I should buy these in more colors because I really like the cut. The v of the neckline dips a bit low and it worked really well under the blazer.

I think these are still on sale on the JCrew site for $9.99. I think I'm going to have to go and get more of the colors. I really like it. Maybe even another of the black, since I know that will get the most wear. Plus, more sequins!

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Flat Bargain

While I was sifting through the online sales (it's getting crazy cheap out there) I did wander into the "new arrivals" section.

Even at full price, Old Navy still has some great bargains, as usual. I found these cute faux-suede flat boots. They grey is pretty and you can see the details.

But I think I like the black ones better. They're kind of a mix of English riding boot and Western cowboy boot styles and I think they would look great with tucked in jeans and an oversized sweater.They look very snuggly to me.

At only $39.95, you can still get a bunch of the sale items too!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Recap

We don't do a lot of presents for each other during Christmas. We've actually convinced the family to cut out the presents. We just feel that we have so much already and don't really need more.

A big part of our "gift" was spending time at our favorite Grove Park Inn in Asheville. My hubby's parents came down from Chicago to join us for the long weekend (even longer for them due to all the crummy service from NorthWest) and we enjoyed the town and dining and the hotel.

This is a perfect time of year to go because you can enjoy cold mountain air, the big fireplaces and see all the entries for the National Gingerbread House competition. And I got to have a pedicure and spend some time in their delicious spa.

I did end up getting some things while we were there. I bought some sale items at JCrew. We got a bunch of jams from Imladris Farms and some Christmas treats for the pets. It's a weird mix of things that I got - from light blue fishnets and black fleur-de-lys lace stockings to...

(does this picture look a bit pervy to you? WeLoveColors are you the next AA?)

... and a really cool polished septarian nodule like this one. So sex-ay tights and geological samples... that's a pretty good example of the range of things I like.

As for actual gifts, I bought the hubby some neat shirts from Threadless, a graphic novel based on Lovecraft stories and, for both of us, a chess set for the library. He also got some absinthe sugars, slippers and a movie in his stocking.

I got an iTunes gift card, some of my favorite chocolates and my big gift was a pair of these Bose over the ear headphones!

I was so happy to get them. I can't wait to wear them at work because they are uber-comfortable. Better than any others I tried on.

Of course, right now I'm just hoping to feel better so I can get up out of this bed and get some stuff done. This feeling crummy sucks.

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday filled with joy. Did you get a great gift or a big surprise? I'd love to hear about it.

Happy Holidays!

UPDATED: In my delirium, I forgot to add this. I was searching through some old photos trying to find a photo of this hideous clown statue that my aunt got from her mother-in-law years ago. It was made of poorly painted shells and weird bulgy pipe cleaners. Her MIL used to give her an amazingly hideous gift every year. So horrible that they had to be on purpose because you could never imagine that someone would actually give them as a gift with good intentions. But after seeing all of the Ugly S**t on Etsy via Twitter and the Craftastrophe site (my new favorite site, I think)... I'm not so sure.

Now if only I had that clown, I could be selling it for big bucks on eBay.

There's Still Time

I thought after all the stress and craziness we had this year, I would be done and safe coasting into 2009.

As always, I did tempt fate to my own detriment. We had a few snags during our trip last weekend but that actually wasn't so bad.

But then yesterday I was betrayed by my favorite soup!

We had a few of these in the house and I eat them all the time at work but I guess a got a bad one. For the last two days I've been sick in bed with food poisoning.

Another one to add to the Bummer Christmas* list. Right now I'm amusing myself by napping watching A Christmas Story and drinking Gatorade. I do plan on being more productive, so bear with me.

Did you all have a wonderful holiday???

*What is Bummer Christmas? It has long been a thing in my family that we have more "bitter Christmas memories" than good ones. Tales of bad vacations, where the name was coined, to childhood jealousies and, now, feeling deathly ill when it's not even for a good reason. Bah!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Near Misses

One of the shoes I really really wanted this past Fall were these Chanel spat ankle boots. I didn't do a lot of searching because I had already bought the two-toned mary janes and the tights. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't want them if I found them.

But then yesterday I thought I was in luck! Haute Macabre featured these adorable booties on Urban Outfitters.

Aren't these great? Wouldn't these be wonderful and a great option since I couldn't find the Chanel ones?

Yeah, too bad... They're sold out.

Now I'm bummed all over again. Maybe they will come back in stock. It would be a very merry Christmas indeed if they did!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Where in the World...

I'm traveling this weekend... Yeah!

So the posts may be sketchy but if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I'll be posting updates fairly often, including TwitPics.

And I'd love to hear back from you too!

Friday, December 19, 2008

IFB Links a la Mode

As we’re wrapping up the last days before the big holidays hit… there are plenty of great posts on how to make things a little easier, shopping, DIY, and there are tons of great interviews and fashion fixes too in this lot.

Links à la Mode : December 18th - What really happens to Project Runway alumni and why we are sick of hearing, “You should go on Project Runway”!

A Few Goody GumDrops - A Few Goody Gumdrops gets Bright for the Holidays with her new Orange Louis Vuitton Tote!

All Chic - Christmas Jewels

AlysiaMarie - This Month’s Celebrity Hair Trend; Ponytails!

Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy - How to wear scarves without looking like an emo kid

Caged Lilies - Pretty and CHEAP gifts for friends. everything under.

Capitola Girl Jewelry Blog - Chasing the winter blues away by shopping handmade…

Clutch 22 - Stylish gift giving on a budget - there’s still time to do your holiday shopping!

Couture Allure Vintage Fashion - Couture Allure shows how to dress up your shoes for a touch of evening glamour.

Debutante Clothing - A Tribute to Bettie Page: 5 Reasons We Loved Bettie Page

Decline Designs - Petticoat tutorial - so your vintage skirts can have the look they deserve!

Dirty Laundry - How-To: Boyfriend Jeans

dramatis personae - Alternative Uses For Fur

Dress Me Up Dollie - A little DIY chases the winter doldrums away.

Fashion Birdcage - Of Cabbages & Kings Spring/Summer 09 Collection

fashion fille - Fashion Fille spreads the cheer around through boosting fashionistas to enter the weardrobe contest.

fashion in my eyes - Beauty&The Beast with Drew Barrymore

Fashion Pulse Daily - Fashion Pulse Daily gives tips on how to get the biker chic look without having to jump on a Harley.

Fashion Therapist - Where to find the perfect ugly sweaters for all your holiday themed parties:

Fasshonaburu - A shopping gift guide for the self-proclaimed “hipster” on your list this holiday season!

Going to Hell in a Handbag - Consumed by Coats

greystrawberrys - whats in your make up box?

Hot Beauty Health - The Smurfs enters beauty world with a Smurfette Collection

In Life and In Fashion - Easy Holiday Dressing Tips

Independent Fashion Bloggers - We Really Like Your Style

Iole in fashion - Red (dress) fashion tree

Iwanttowearit - Manicurist Yuna Park puts fashion in the fingers of the hottest models for the freshest magazines.

Logical Harmony - How To Find Deals at Thrift Stores : Beyond The Basics

Mademoiselle Robot - Interview with fashion photographer and club promoter Pavla Kopecna.

Nico Assatly - Hot Holiday/Silver bells! cute look for the holidays !

noiretro // style deficit disorder - Limi Yamamoto Spring 2009 collection & DIY Martin Margiela Sandal Booties

Or False Glitter - Going grunge with Sonic Youth

PONY RYDER - exclusive interview with TOPMODEL Iris Strubegger!

Retro Chick - Comfy Christmas Glamour

Shopping and Info - Shopping and Info loves what Jennifer Aniston wore to the Marley & Me Premiere.

Style Amor - Alice In Wonderland Fashion + Movie Frenzy for 2010, Johnny Depp and Mad Hatter Fashion. Yes be ready

Style Discovery - Confession of a jewellery addict and brining an order and clarity to a pile of necklaces.

Style Symmetry - Eyeliah finds inspiration in the Wardrobe Remix Pool!

Summershoes - 11 steps to a perfect homemade manicure

Sweety P Style Files - The Wardrobe Recession Diaries: Stalkin Clerks in the Mall and a Houndstooth Dress

The Bare Skinny - The Bare Skinny gives you the scoop on the unmentionables: Undergarments

THE COVETED - Last-Minute Gifts that Pamper and Relax

Ensemble du Jour

I know it has been a while since I've done an outfit post. Between my traveling and then the hubby traveling and then having the last few weeks of rain and work hell, I've either not had anything interesting on or I just haven't had time to capture what I wore.

This week was short and I had meetings on top of meetings, including several with new and potential clients, so I did make more of an effort.

One outfit that I wore was this:

12-15-08 by Princess Poochie

The outfit was a black camisole, pencil skirt and ribbed tights with vintage black 1960s pumps. Over that I wore my boucle/shiny houndstooth blazer from JCrew and a very special necklace.

Yes, I was very excited to recieve my Paraphernalia Menagerie Cpt Poulet Cultural Attache necklace. I had to wear it right away! I love so much of the Paraphernalia pieces but I especially love the chicken related pieces.

Isn't he handsome? He looks just like my Napoleon. I loves him! Oh, and if you love Paraphernalia too, there is usually a code in the ad over there to the right that you can use to get some of her great pieces at a discount. If you don't see one, just drop me a comment or an email!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Perfect Pairing

This may not be news to everyone because it hit a day or two ago, but I'm still catching up!

It seems, to celebrate Barbie's 50th birthday, Mnsr. Louboutin will be creating a pair of special pumps in the Barbie Pantone 219 Pink.

Barbie in one of her many fashionable guises - © Rex Features via I actually have this orginal bathing suit, along with a number of other outfits, handed down from my mom

"Barbie needs to wear great shoes because every girl needs to wear great shoes," Louboutin tells WWD. "I guess I always had a little 'girlie side' who liked Barbie."

Mattel is also planning on hosting a special runway show during New York Fashion week featuring 50 other designers creating Barbie-ispired looks. According to -

Fifty designers will produce life-sized outfits inspired by the doll, setting off a string of celebrations. In 2009 a new range of beauty products - boasting such names as All Doll'd Up - is planned, while collaborations with the likes of Vera Wang (a life-size wedding gown which includes a Barbie wearing its own mini version too) and Jeremy Scott (a capsule collection inspired by her), as well as the opening of an House of Barbie in Shanghai, are among other fun and games.

But the power of Barbie doesn't stop there - Mattel will embark on a three-year partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America from next February (the first toy company to do so) as well as sponsor New York's IMG organised Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

If you've seen some of the Designer Barbie collector dolls, I'm sure the fashions will be fabulous... and not all pink. I just wonder how many will look back to some of the original outfits, which were amazing, and which will come up with more modern designs. Personal I love the old outfits, of which I have many from my mom and aunts - they had the original blonde Barbie and the Barbie with the black hair in the bubble-cut. They were amazing.

They had great accessories too, including quilted metallic gold clutches and white and cork wedge shoes. Not the plastic junk you see now. So, there are a lot of directions Louboutin could go with his Barbie shoes. He could do a frothy sandal, like the ones from the Resort line (which I love!)

Of course these bright bright pink wedge sandals would be perfect for Barbie's California girl lifestyle.

But I like the more modern glam Barbie. Wouldn't these Clichys be perfect? I have these and they are HIGH! So they would work with Barbie's tippy-toes.

But, of course, what could be more iconic or classic than the Louboutin Simple Pumps in super girly pink? I mean, I know I had Barbie in mind when I bought them!

Barbie pink shiny heels and Louboutin red soles. Yummy!

I hope they sell them too!

More Reading:
- - here and here
- WWD - here
- StyleHog - here
- Barbie -
- Barbie for Grown-ups
- Barbie Collectors