Friday, March 29, 2013

Lurve Loave Luff

Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.
  • Inge Morath's Mask Series: These photos make me happy every time I see them. I get this utter need to walk around in a fabulous coat and paper-bag mask. That sounds normal, right?! Oh, never mind...
  • Paul Lange's Blooms: Get lost in these images. They scream spring! Of course, the bright fuchsia Peony is my favorite! What's yours? I guarantee you leave the website with a smile on your mug.
  • Lime Pantone Sketchbook: My face lit up when I saw this. It's the perfect notebook. Then again, I say that about most notebooks. It's kind of a problem.
  • Kate Spade Saturday: I haven't purchased anything from Kate Spade's new line yet; however, this Striped Satchel is begging for my attention. Patience, my dear.
  • Easter Egg Decorating: This week I stumbled upon a few great DIY decorating ideas—check out Waiting on Martha's Gold Sharpie idea and House of Earnest's Washi Wrap technique. These Fruity French Eggs are darling as well!
  • Easter Dessert: Does anyone have a fabulous recipe they'd like to share? I'm in the process of drafting our Easter menu and I'm bamboozled as to what we'll have when it comes to sweets.
  • Kindness & Mischief: Here's a motto I can live with!
  • Patent Ballet Flats in Papaya: Are you kidding me? That sounds divine.
  • Crossed Lines Scarf: I kind of love this.
  • See the World in Color Print: How amazing is this photo of a beautifully used vintage palette?
  • Smile & Wave: I'm slightly obsessed with Thimble Press and their selection of colorful paper goods. Each design is so whimsical. I can't stand it! They're all just SO SO cute.
  • A Good Read: I can't wait to dive into The Empress of Fashion this weekend. It's sure to be wonderful!
  • Mucho Aloha: We tried this Hawaiian style Pale Ale this past week and it was pretty tasty. Oh, who am I kidding? I really just adored the packaging.
  • Sparkle Dot Dress: This past week, I made her mine! I may have even squealed a tad when I saw it. There's just something about the textured sparkly dots and that vivid shade of blue. Swoon!
  • Washi DIY: After this, I'll quit with the Washi madness (or at least for today). I have every intention of organizing our cords with patterned tape. It will be snazzy and helpful!
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Ode to Iris

As I was flipping through the pages of the latest J.Crew Style Guide—okay, let's be real, it was probably the third time I pored over this past issue—I was reminded that I've never really expressed my true love for style icon, Iris Apfel, on m' blog. She's one of those women who instantly warms my heart whenever I see an image that features her or read an interview with her. She epitomizes what it means to be flamboyant and quirky. I want to BE her. She makes me want to speed up time so I can be just as carefree and fabulous. Wait, why is it that I feel a need to be ninety years old before I can be completely comfortable with my own personal style? Does this mean I'm going to have to wait numerous decades before I actually feel carefree and fabulous? That sounds so silly, but with age comes wisdom and security in oneself. Rare birds like Iris are there to remind us to take risks and be the best version of you. Why wait when you can be YOU today? Take advice from Iris and don't put any thought into what others might think. Wear what makes you happy! I don't consider myself a fashionable person. I know what I like, and I'm learning what works best on me. I'm not trendy; I'll take a Tippi sweater or v-neck tee any day of the week. With that being said, women like Iris have taught me that I can take whatever pieces of clothing I feel most comfortable wearing and express my personality through accessories. This gal brakes for baubles and colorful ballet flats, but you already knew that! What's your jam? Don't be afraid to play around and experiment, but don't force yourself to wear something that doesn't feel like YOU either. I think we all need a little dose of Iris to boost our style confidence.
P.S. Can't get enough of Iris? Read this. Looking for a smile? This picture should do the trick!

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Need Read Greed

  • NeedThis English Bulldog Umbrella not only reminds me of my little fatty Winston, but it also matches my Hunter Boots and it's my favorite color — all the more reason I needed it! Plus, I didn't have an umbrella that doubles as a walking stick. I love it! Bring on the rain this summer, Columbus.
  • ReadThe List by Karin Tanabe. I just finished my Duchess' Book Club book, and I can't wait to open this one up. It not only feeds my political side, but it also lets me escape law school reading for a little bit. I foresee late night reading in my future!
  • GreedThis Lululemon gym bag. Because getting new workout things make me feel really guilty if I skip the gym. I think shelling out $100+ on a gym bag would get my booty to the gym everyday... or at least that's what I keep telling myself when I try to talk myself into clicking purchase for this bag...
Thanks for sharing, Katherine.
I'm slightly obsessed with that precious pooch of yours!

Have a swell Wednesday!
P.S. Interested in sharing your Need Read GreedEmail me.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zara Accessories

It seems I've fallen, and I can't get up! 
That's right, I've fallen hard for Zara's spring accessories. Just take a look at these beauties...

Geometric Silk Print Scarf // It's got all of my favorite colors. It was made with Ashley in mind.
Embroidered Evening Bag // A versatile piece that could be dressed up or kept casual.
Maxi Pearl Necklace // This is a no-brainer. It would be a lovely layering piece at a great price!
Printed Fabric Clutch // Truth: I'm a sucker for Ikat anything.
Polka Dot Ballerina Shoes // It's no secret that I'm absolutely smitten with these flats.
Mini Bowling Bag with Zips // That shade of chartreuse is to die for! Gimme.
Colored Animal Pattern Scarf // Isn't she lovely?!

Which one would you pick? I can't seem to choose a favorite. They're all just so fabulous!
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Monday, March 25, 2013

Life's Little Details

Here's a glimpse of what's been going on around Lil' Puna lately...
An unexpected Saturday off from work calls for striped skimmers and fresh flowers.
Flyboy's been home for almost a month. Pinch me! // A playful pineapple. // Beesly's too cool for props. // Cheerful to-do's.
My trusty spinning sidekick. // Springtime essentials. // This is what GSD looks like. // She's just a little territorial.
Snail mail street art near Kailua. // They call it puppy love. // Blue skies above Puna. // Pom-pom perfection in the form of a clutch.
Sunny Sundays are my fave. // A gift from my mom. // Place a penny in your vase of Tulips. It helps them stand up. // A Puna sunrise.
Discovering an old Diana Vreeland interview. // Be jeweled. // Liquid sunshine AKA Mucho Aloha.
We had a wet and wonderful weekend. Although we didn't make it to the beach, I got to dust off my wellies and raincoat, which made me incredibly excited. On Sunday, we made a quick trip to Starbucks and Whole Foods, and hunkered down around the house for a pizza and Pinterest filled day. It was one of those lazy and relaxing days that feels like perfection. What about you?
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Friday, March 22, 2013

Lurve Loave Luff

Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.
  • Palm Springs Portraits: These images are just divine. Doesn't a girls' getaway sound amazing?
  • Golden Chevron Highball Glasses: My mom said it best, "They're beeeeeautiful with funk!"
  • Pink Dots Notecard Set: I can't wait to sit down this weekend and write in these adorable cards.
  • Crystal Necklace Sweater: Does it get any more perfect than this?!
  • DIY Pie Boxes: Call me greedy, but I never have enough pie to share with others. But if I did, I would definitely recreate these cute party favors.
  • Kick Up Your Heels: Another pair of Kate Spade Keds that I'm completely obsessed with!
  • Bad Taste: The older I get, the gaudier I become. Thankfully, I think DV would approve.
  • Hot Pink Lips: Has anyone discovered a brand or shade they love? I continuously buy hues that don't look good on me or they dry out my lips. Then again, most of the lipstick I've purchased has been solely based on Audrey Hepburn movie titles. Can you really blame a girl?
  • We're going to Texas, y'all!: What a relief to get that off my chest. As always, thanks for your support!
  • Live Color Fully Perfume: I can't wait to try this! Okay, I'm really just excited about the bottle. 
  • Toffee Recipe: Oh Em Gee! This looks like salty and sweet perfection.
  • Easter Egg Painting: This whimsical Quill & Fox illustration makes me want to paint Easter eggs with Flyboy this weekend.
  • Poppin Storage Container: We all know how much I love Poppin, so I was ecstatic when I saw these organizational boxes. It's both fillable and foldable — now say that five times fast!
  • Celebrate Banner Kit: This would be a nifty gift or a great banner to have handy whenever it's time to celebrate.
  • Instagram Love: I'm simply smitten with northwestmommy and her Newfie. I can't stop staring at her photos. Once again, I'm convinced we'll get a Newfoundland next. Of course, Flyboy thinks I'm crazy, but he's supportive at the same time.
  • Dotted Bow Print: I could waste hours just scouring all the goodies on Society6. Social Proper is my latest favorite!
  • App-tastic!: You'll want to make sure you download this Photo-Lettering App and stat. 
  • Coffitivity: It may sound crazy, but I'm hooked on this Website. I guarantee it will boost your creativity and productivity with ambient sounds of a coffee shop. It just feels like we're at Central Perk. 
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts

Things on the blog have been a little quiet lately. Of course, there have been plenty of colorful images and fabulous frivolity that provoke all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings, but there hasn't been much on the writing side. I'll admit that penning posts isn't my favorite part about blogging, but it does add a certain personal touch and creates an intimate bond with all of you. Oh, who am I kidding? It also acts as a cheap form of therapy for me! Here it goes...

Since I started blogging, I've sort of taken this vow to share aspects of my life with you. As I've said before, this military lifestyle is ever-changing, and these past few months have been no exception. While Flyboy was in Oklahoma for training in January, we started to get a glimpse of what might be in our future. There were talks of our next assignment (insert bumbumbum here). Say what?! Didn't we just move to Hawaii? We hit our two-year mark in February, so the idea of moving again was a little hard to digest. I remember getting a phone call from FB one Saturday morning before work and he asked, "How would you feel about going back to Del Rio?" I laughed nervously, but I was on board. I mean, do you ever really have much of a choice? I put on a very can-do Team Fine front, but I immediately called my mom to talk it out. The first few minutes consisted of more nervous laughter and when I started to talk about specifics, the waterworks ensued. I had such mixed feelings. Of course we'd make the most out of any assignment, but Del Rio... again?! It's five miles from the border of Mexico and about 2.5 hours from any form of civilization. In fact, many people refer to it as Hell Rio because it's hotter than Hades. Of course, I tried to put a more positive spin on it —Swell Rio— but that's when I knew there was some sort of end in sight. To return again?

That same day, I must have seen a handful of Texas license plates en route to work. We're in Hawaii. That just doesn't happen very often, even with all of the military bases on island. At one point, I started the Jetta and "God Bless Texas" was playing on the local country radio station. Are you kidding me? It may sound like I'm embellishing, but the signs were all there. It was time to get on board and start prepping for what was ahead, or so I thought...

Over the course of the next three weeks, the prospects of Texas as our next assignment changed off and on, which didn't really help an emotional yo-yo like myself. When you're Type-A, you like to have some sort of control. In this case, you plan to not plan. It's a constant battle for me, but I like to think I'm getting better. At one point, FB and I completely got rid of the notion of Texas being in our future again, but then I got a call—it was all systems go. We'd return to Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, Texas, where FB will be an instructor. Dates are pending, but it's happening.

There's a certain sense of relief that you feel when you find out where you're headed next, but it's really quite bittersweet. You have to work to create this balance between enjoying life in the present and planning for what's in store. I feel like we just got settled in Hawaii and we're in a groove. Lil' Puna has its quirks, but it finally feels like home. For Rain Man over here, I finally feel like I have a routine. I love my job; I feel nested. I think anyone in the military will tell you these feelings are normal. That two-year mark is when things really start to click, and then it's suddenly time to consider the next move. It's a vicious cycle, but it's part of the adventure. There are still so many unknowns, but I like to focus on all the positive things that will come with this next assignment.

To a lot of people, Hawaii might seem like some sort of paradise. Yes, it's gorgeous, and I'll miss the beaches and the view from Lil' Puna, but I know I'll be seeing a lot more of Flyboy and that makes me one happy gal! This first assignment has had its challenges. We've both had to adjust to FB's crazy schedule. We've learned how to live as a couple and function independently. We proved we can do this with flying colors, even though it's not always easy. Truthfully, this might be a nice change of pace. I like to think of it as another unexpected blessing. 

For now, I promise to carpe the heck outta my Hawaii diem. I'm going to enjoy each and every one of my trips to the beach. Oh, and let's not forget about regular outings to Target, Starbucks, and J.Crew! Once we're in Swell Rio, those will all be things of the past, or a special day/weekend trek to San Antonio. I know I can learn to live without all of that, which inevitably means that we'll need to invest in a Keurig, and I'll be on a first-name basis with my UPS man again. I'm okay with that. My Instagram photos of our front yard in Texas probably won't be as snazzy as our current view. In fact, weekends will most likely consist of happening trips to the H-E-B and True Value. I'm okay with that, too. Maybe we'll start a family? Perhaps we'll just get another Bernese Mountain Dog? I'm okay with either of these options, maybe even both. It's fun to think about what lies ahead, but I'm going to try not to get too wrapped up into it. I'm going to be HERE now and delight in the fact that Team Fine is in this adventure together. I still firmly believe that faith and a sense of humor will get us through anything. I can't wait to share the nuances of Swell Rio with you. I think you'll learn to fall in love with this little border town, just as we did about 4.5 years ago.

Image Credits via Rocket Ink and Oliver Jeffers
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Need Read Greed

Today's Need Read Greed courtesy of Caroline from Cardigans & Chai:
  • NeedThese Kate Spade earrings would look perfect with a tan for spring and summer! They may also go with this burn I am currently sporting! Yellow will always be one of my favorite colors for the warmer months, and these earrings remind me of sunny little daisies. They are a definite need!
  • Read: The Rules of Civilty is one of those books that sucks you in almost immediately, and it is perfect reading material for a day at the beach! I couldn’t put it down! Be prepared to be whisked away to 1930s New York!
  • GreedCan I have a Target? Yes, I mean the store!  I keep saying I need to own a Target, but people think I’m joking! I went to Target four times this weekend, it is a serious problem! My own personal Target would have to be at the beach. That my friends, is how you kill two birds with one stone. I’d get to own a Target, AND live at the beach!! That's not too much to ask for, is it?
Thanks for sharing, Caroline.
I love that you chose your very own Target. Go BIG or go home!

Have a swell Wednesday!
P.S. Interested in sharing your Need Read GreedEmail me.
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Big Deal Alert!

Eek, guess what hits newsstands today?! I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on this special issue of Domino magazine dedicated to small spaces. Cough, this would have been helpful about two years ago when we moved to Hawaii, cough. Let's be honest, I'm just hoping I can snag a copy and SOON. Whenever these special editions are released, I'm fairly certain the local Barnes and Noble hates me. I bet it will hit the island next week, because we always seem to get publications about a week late. Until then, I think I'll just sit and stare and this lovely cover...
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Art I Heart: Steve Back

via Steve Back
How amazing is this photography by Steve Back? They're Rothko-esque abstract aerial photographs of the Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia. According to Back, the colors are naturally occurring algae that have been concentrated into manmade lagoons to be farmed for food coloring. Color me smitten! These images are absolutely breathtaking. I think I'll get lost in these dazzling hues. For more of the photographer's work, visit his website here.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Oh, Darling!

As many of you have probably heard, Google will shut down Google Reader by July 1st. Gasp!
Do be a darling and follow me on Bloglovin or Twitter
If you don't fancy either of these options, just look to your right and subscribe via email.
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A Sweet Escape

I absolutely adore each and every illustration created by Meg Gleason. When I stumbled upon this particular doodle, I loved its sense of playfulness. It got me thinking about the ideal Monday—one that's a little less challenging (cough, no alarm, cough)—a playful extension of the glorious weekend. If I had it my way, it would definitely be a three-day weekend and it would look something like this...

I hope your week is off to a swell start!
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weekend Words

How a-mazing is this print from Furbish Studio? It's so Type-A(shley), I can barely take it! 
I think it would be a darling addition to my gallery wall. I knew Maira and I were kindred spirits. 

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Lurve Loave Luff

Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.
  • A Lady of Leisure: I have the entire weekend off from work, and I couldn't be more excited. I can't wait to feel the sun on my shoulders and get lost in a good book or fabby magazine.
  • Leif Shop's New Arrivals: I'm loving these canvas-dipped pouches and this freestroke serving tray.
  • Structured Bow Clip: I'm slightly smitten with this accessory and its cheerful floral print.
  • Neon Paper Heart: I saw this pop up on Pinterest, and my eye went straight for the neon paper heart sprinkled with strips of washi tape. Sometimes, something so simple can make such a huge statement. I guess the changing table was cute, too!
  • Decorating is Fun by Dorothy Draper: I wouldn't mind having a copy of this book.
  • Confetti by Julia Dineen: A playful print that makes me smile.
  • Linen City Mini: This is probably my favorite skirt. Ever. It's a total no-brainer! I'm glad to see J.Crew brought back a few more colors this season. Hello, Venetian Green and Fresh Guava!
  • Fine-One-One by Benefit: I picked this up last week, and I really like it so far. It's one of those products that's perfect to keep in your purse. It doubles as lip and cheek color.
  • Coraline Patent Flats: These bad boys have made an appearance or two on the blog before, but they're on sale now and they have my size. They're so stinking cute, but I'm so hesitant about the patent material. Thoughts?
  • Moody by Emma Dime: This real-life moodboard is perfection. I'm inspired to get out my magazines, notes, photos, etc., and create my very own. As silly as it sounds, it's been awhile since I've done that.
  • Work Hard & Be Kind Pencils: You had me at pink and orange. These would look quite lovely on my desk.
  • Spring Forward: It's no secret that Blair Eadie of Atlantic-Pacific is the blogging queen of chic. This particular ensemble killed me.
  • Blood Orange Brunch Cocktail: As sick and twisted as it sounds, I never really liked breakfast foods such as waffles, pancakes, and French toast—mostly because I thought I didn't like syrup. However, over the past few weeks, I've had some intense cravings for pancakes. Sunday morning rolls around, and I'm like a grizzly bear unless I have a stack. And since Flyboy's been around, he's kindly agreed to visit IHOP and appease me. This past week, I sat down to make our dinner menu for the week and our grocery list, when FB threw out the idea of Brinner or Breakfast for Dinner. Naturally, I loved the idea and ended up buying an electric skillet. I guess after almost five years of marriage, it's about time we add one to our collection of kitchen appliances and tools. This whole scenario made us feel like Cam and Mitchell. "I'm loose. I'm fun. Remember breakfast for dinner last week?"
  • Chin Up Buttercup: What a cheerful pick-me-up!
  • Peanut Butter Drizzled Chewy Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies: I'm fairly certain these cookies were made with me in mind.
  • Nora Ephron's Final Act: If you have some time, you should really read this lovely tribute written by Nora's son.
  • Paper Cut Project: I read about this in the latest issue of Lonny magazine, and I had to do some investigating of my own. 
  • How to Take Blog Photos: This tutorial was extremely helpful. Bookmark it. Pin it.
  • Recipes Worth Trying: Shrimp, Feta, and Herb Mac and Cheese, BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad, and No-Bake Energy Bars 

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Blast from the Past

I'll blame this post on nostalgia and an afternoon of unplanned organization in our office closet. I thought I was going to do a little bit of quick filing; however, with storage and space being at a minimum, moving things around is like a strategic game of Jenga. I've got a few plastic containers that are housed in this particular closet, and I needed to get to the one labeled momentos. I had a handful of miscellaneous cards and pictures that I wanted to add to my collection of keepsakes. Getting to this particular Rubbermaid proved to be a lot more difficult than I'd originally expected. The next thing I know, I've got extra picture frames falling from the top shelf, along with old textbooks, and shredded paper filling. What was intended to be a quick and efficient task turned into a fussy Ashley surrounded by odds and ends strewn across the floor. Why not take advantage of the situation and venture down memory lane?

   Photo Descriptions: 
(Left to Right)
  • My Grandpa built us this miniature red car. We thought it was so cool to actually go on real streets with it. As a true conformist, I remember wondering if it was allowed and worried about the police seeing us.
  • My sister, Aubrey, and me. Once a protective older sister, always a protective older sister. Clearly, I took this job quite seriously. I still do!
  • Our outfits ALWAYS matched or coordinated. People often thought we were twins for this very reason.
  • Posing with Dad and Aub in front of a windmill in the Netherlands. I'm partial to Aub's outfit; I feel like it's an ode to the TV show Blossom. It's fabulous!
  • This photo is tiny for a reason. My sister and I look like uncooperative boobs. How many times can you say your parents took you on a trip to Glacier Bay in Iceland? The least we could have done was smile pretty for the camera. My poor parents.
  • I had to include this photo of my Grandma, sister, cousin, and me, because it's filled with so much perm!
  • I was asked to play the coveted role of flower girl in my aunt's wedding. I should also note that it was the last time I was asked. Somehow, I managed to spill a cup of coffee all over my cream-colored satin dress. Mind you, this all happened BEFORE the actual ceremony.
  • Hanging out with one of my besties in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Apparently, this impromptu photo sesh on the front stoop requires accessories and matching ensembles. Werq!
  • I guess I was thirsty...
  • Throwing Aubrey some shade. I imagine I didn't want to share the tricycle. Thankfully, a cute cardi, matching scrunchie, jean mini skirt, and Keds make the situation bearable. 

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Need Read Greed

Today's Need Read Greed courtesy of Victoria Steible of Leishops:
  • NeedTwo words: hot tea. I grew up having a cup of hot tea first thing in the morning, EVERY morning. I adhere to this ritual to this very day. I know coffee is a more widespread choice for a morning jolt, and don't get me wrong, there is definitely room in my life for coffee. However, it always been tea for me. My current tea of choice is Twinings Almond Chai. The almond flavor is what really draws me to this spice-filled tea.  
  • Read: Hands down, my all-time favorite book of my adult (post-grad) life is The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels — A Love Story, by Ree Drummond. She is THE Pioneer Woman of blog, cookbook, and Food Network fame. This novel chronicles the journey of Ree meeting and falling in love with her rancher husband. It is just about the best love story ever. I am definitely on the look out for a man with her husband's, integrity, kindness, and fun personality.  
  • GreedI am a sandals girl through and through, so I am counting down the days until it gets warm enough to wear sandals and not look silly. As much as I do love a great ballet flat, I long for sandals days. Do I really have to wait until Easter? Would it be appropriate to go ahead and break out the sandals? This specific pair is a little too expensive for my current budget, so they will go to my wish list for now. I love their glitz without being overly glittery. Also, they are a neutral metallic so they will go with all of my crazy colored skinny pants and jeans.
Thanks for sharing, Victoria! 
I'm slightly obsessed with P-Dubb, and glittery metallics are definitely the new neutral.

Have a swell Wednesday!

P.S. Interested in sharing your Need Read GreedEmail me.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Art I Heart

Lately, I've come across various artists whose work has left me feeling rather giddy, i.e., I'm smiling bright-eyed like a lunatic and my excitement is almost childlike. I'm talking about the kind of joy when you want to lean over and share your discoveries with anyone that will listen. And if that nearby stranger is lucky, there may even be jazz hands. Thankfully, I was able to spare myself from such embarrassment and turn this art elation into bloggie inspiration. Since I'm sharing these colorful creations with you, the Bob Fosse fingers are on the house.

The Artists:

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