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Saturday, July 30, 2011

someday garden

One day when I grow up, I'm going live in a house which has a yard that I can plant flowers in. Living in a townhome definitely has it's perks, but one of the major downsides for me is not having a yard where I can plant pretty things.

Seeing lots of beautiful flowers can sometimes be overwhelming because I want to have them ALL in a garden of mine someday. But because I'd probably have to be gardening from sunrise until sunset for that to happen, I'll just stick with a handful of my favorite garden flowers.

In my "someday garden" I will have:

~a Blue Hydrangea bush

source: fairybellcottage.blogspot.com


~ Double Peonies

source: dutchgarden.com

~ Daffodils


source: sustainablepractice.org


~ Ranunculus


source: tulipworld.com


~ Blue Anemone Poppies

source: motherearthfundraising.com


~ Gladiolus

source: wellpromo.com


~ Fuschia


source: arosyoutlook.typepad.com

What about you? If you could have a garden full of any kind of plant/flower you want, what would it be?

Friday, July 29, 2011

insta-Friday

It's back, bam-a-lam-a-lam-a-lam-a-lam-a-lam, it's back!

I've got some random pics for you and I'm linking up with Jeannett again for this week's Insta-Friday post!! Whoop!


It's Bo-time, y'all!


Some purty little flowers I cut from my "container garden".


My loves. Hewitt actually looks loving here...like he's being sweet. It's a facade though. He's a beast. On second thought, I think he "looks" sweet because he was actually scared of the thunderstorm. HA!


Such a pretty drive. Very forest-y and Twilight-y. :)


Creepiest and best CamWow photo I've EVER taken.


Patty (my car) has a face-front. What's a "face-front"? It's when the front part of a car looks like a face. No, I'm not crazy...that's how the whole movie Cars made inanimate objects actual living things. Don't see Patty's "face"? How about now??


Almost sort of like a whale's face or something like that.


Anywho, thanks for tuning in and make sure you tune in next week for another Insta-Friday post. Same bat time...same bat place!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

inspiration workshop: the beach

I'm linking up with Gussy Sews for the Inspiration Workshop this week. The prompt is THE BEACH.

Here in the Carolinas, we are blessed to have beee-youtiful beaches and no matter where in the states you live, you're never more than 5/6 hours from the coast. Here in Charlotte, I'm about 3 hours from the beach and I use my geographic proximity to warrant visiting the beach at least 3 times a year!

Another wonderful thing about the beach here is that we also have the Intracoastal Waterway. Many of the barrier island beaches have the beachfront part AND the back side of the island (that's towards the mainland) that is on the waterway or a tidal creek/sound and it's just as cool as the beach. It has tides just like the ocean and offers the chance to see sea life (crabs, dolphins, pelicans, etc) up close!! I find so much inspiration when I go to the beach. I could spend hours photographing many of the gorgeous beach front homes, beachgoing families or even just the sunrise over the water. When we stay on the waterway I usually go out at high tide to catch a glimpse (and maybe a photo) of the dolphins that follow the fish in with the tides. My absolute favorite thing is looking for the famous Carolina Blue Crab. I caught one of these one year while fishing on the waterway and I just LOVE the colors of the crab. Isn't it such a beautiful color palette?

source: sciencedaily.com

 
Here are 2 collages from some of my more recent beach trips to Isle of Palms, SC. 


 
Are you inspired by the beach? What is the most inspiring part of the beach in your opinion?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

OOTD: hippie meets housewife

Today's OOTD spans a couple of different decades for inspiration. I went with a hippie/70s vibe meets 50s preppy. Also, on a slightly different note, I really do not have an obsession with purple, I just randomly have lots of purple clothing...and only happen to document those outfits that include them.


Ruffled Top: The Limited
Cardigan: Marshalls
Jeans: New York & Company
Wedges (not visible): Urbanog.com
Belt: Rue 21

Let me comment on the middle picture...I was actually checking my porch light for spiders before the camera snapped but I liked how it turned out. HA! Also, I'm digging the light that is coming through on the bottom of these photos. It makes them look magical.

The 70s vibe comes from the ruffled top and flared jeans. The 50s vibe comes from the cardigan and belted waist. It's hippie meets housewife!

Well, enjoy the rest of your Thursday, folks!

for the gentlemen: a style icon

It was recently brought to my attention (cough...the B....cough) that I don't reach out to my male readers quite enough when I blog about fashion. Most of my fashion posts deal specifically with womens fashions without really talking about the males.

But I don't vork vis de males...becuz I used to bee one. (Anyone? It's from one of the best movies EVER.)

So, in an effort to reach out to both (or all three) of my male readers, I'll be posting about male fashion today and also promising to include more male fashion ideas in the future. After all, "the mens" like to look good too!!

Today's post is about one of my favorite male style icons. I lurve his character on my favorite television show and the clothing he wears on it. When I researched (read: Googled) the actor himself I found that his style is very similar to his characters' and that it is one that I really like on men.

The actor? The wonderfully hilarious Ed Helms.



Ah. I really love Ed's classy and pseudo-preppy style. He's not super trendy...he just goes with classic looks like stripes, sport coats, oxford shirts and layering. Another thing I love about his style is that he's not afraid of color. Most men nowadays are down with wearing pink, but I love it when a guy isn't afraid to wear coral, lime green, pastels or even salmon shades.

I would consider myself to be more of a classic/preppy style so I guess I gravitate towards what I know, however I have seen men become more into fashion lately than in the past. Male celebrities like Usher, Tom Cruise and Peter Facinelli show that you can be fashionable AND masculine.

Alright, men, there you go. :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

top 5 tuesday: personality profile

Hello all!

Today at work we've spent most of the morning reading and discussing the results of a personality profile analysis that we took about a month ago. If you've ever done Myers-Briggs or the DISC test, it was similar to that.

Being an introvert, I love learning about myself and how I operate, so I was excited to see the results of the test. After reading the results I wasn't suprised by most of the information. Now, some of this stuff I could've just told you outright because I already knew it about myself. For other things, it was refreshing to see my "quirks" put into words. It made me realize that I AM normal! :)

For today's Top 5 Tuesday post, I'm listing the top 5 things about myself that this test got correct. Some of this stuff was really dead-on.

1. "She often sees when colors match or blend and may have a highly developed taste for art, music and food."
2. "She is usually neat, tidy and orderly both at work and at home."
3. "She is not a 'party-animal' and often prefers her own company." (Heh. Why do you think I love blogging so much?!?!)
4. As a team member, I provide an anchor to reality.
5. "She is often friendly, although she tends to avoid socializing at a superficial level." (Because I REALLY loathe small talk.)

Ha. All of these traits I expected to see, however there were some that I didn't expect to read. Have any of you every done any of these personality assessments? How accurate did you find that they were?

Monday, July 25, 2011

green thumb

My parents have quite the green thumb, so I've spent all of my life surrounded by tons of plants, both indoors and outdoors. I loved growing up learning the names of plants and living in a house that is populated with many oxygen-producing plants. I've only recently (read: in the last 3 years) become interested in having some in my own house. I started out with 1 a few years ago because I wasn't sure if I'd inherited the green thumb from my parents or not. Thankfully, it stayed alive and I started adding more to the mix. Most of my indoor plants have come from my cuttings off of my parents' plants or from others as gifts. The only plants I've ever actually bought were some annuals (flowers) for my porch this summer.

My dad called me yesterday and told me that he had some plants for me and the B (who is looking to expand his current plant collection from the one that he has). My dad, who while we were there showed me his current cultivation: chocolate mint plant, proceeded to give me some rootings of a jade plant and a succulent and for the B he gave a some pretty li'l philodendron cuttings. After a quick trip to Lowes to get some pots and a bit of re-potting, we have some bonafied house plants.





My collection now includes 2 peace lilies, a croton, a sago palm, a jade plant, and that weird succulent thing. What about you? Are any of you green thumbs? If so, what are some of your favorite indoor plants?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

insta-Friday (a day late)

Well, I do realize that I'm running a day behind on this Insta Friday post, but I just didn't have the time yesterday. My plane got in really late on Thursday and yesterday was catch up day for everything else in life. That's my excuse as to why this is late.

But, I do have some good photos for you this week. (at least, in my opinion they are) Most of these...well, actually all of them are from my trip to Kansas/Kansas City. I'm linking up with Jeanette for this Insta Friday post!


This is the purty li'l chandelier thing that was in the hotel we stayed in while in Kansas. 


I jokingly told my friend that I wanted to take a picture of the "native grasses" and he laughed...until he saw that I was serious and that these people had actually posted a sign documenting them. :)


Though I blogged about the goodness that is Arthur Bryant's Barbecue on Thursday, I wanted to post this picture again. Yum!!


One of the highlights of the conference was seeing Matt Redman live and in concert. Oh man.


I was greeted with this beautiful sunset one evening in Kansas. I just had to snap a pic of it. 

Well, that's all for me for this week. I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend. I'll be back to normal blogging next week, so tune in for some good stuff.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

adventures in bbq

Apparently, Kansas City is known as a barbecue city. (Note: I mean the beef or pork kind of barbecue. Not a cookout on the grill at someone's house, which non-Southerners refer to as a barbecue. Weird.)

So, while in Kansas/Kansas City area a few natives told us we should go to Arthur Bryant's if we wanted real KC style barbecue. Okie dokie. So tonight, we went.

We get there.

It's totally not what I expected. It's basically a dive. It's REALLY old and sort of in a run-down part of town. It was also clear that aesthetics weren't very important in the restaurant because of the um...decor. BUT, it was pretty packed so we figured that was a good sign.



This is what we were greeted to when we came in. Oh, let me apologize for the quality of the photos in this post. They were taken with my phone and on the DL so as not to appear touristy. Which is good because we quickly realized that this was one of those places where the people working there aren't super friendly. It's just part of the atmosphere, you know? It was apparent that you order the food a certain way and relatively fast or you get, well, called out. We get up to order and the cook was like, "What do you want?". Um, okay. Thankfully I was able to passably order well enough and quick enough that I avoided scrutiny.

Another good sign when we walked in? This guy...



Again, sorry for my photo quality here. I didn't want to tick him off right as he sat down to a delicious looking barbecue pork sammy. As we're waiting on our order, I glance to the wall on my right and I'm stunned at the number of celebrities that have eaten at this location. Their pictures are framed (and some even signed) and hung on the wall. MAJOR celebs and public figures have been there. Steven Spielberg, Morgan Freeman, Kate Capshaw, John McCain, Will Smith, Bryant Gumbel, Sarah Palin and John Ritter just to name a few. It made me even more excited to get my sliced pork sammy with fries...


I couldn't quite capture the sheer enormity of this sandwich. I could only eat half. It was as tall as half of my head. (probably literally) It was good and I even got a souvenir cup to bring home.

All in all I'd say Arthur Bryant's food was delicious but the atmosphere (to me) was way cooler. I guess I can now say that I've eaten at a Kansas City legendary restaurant. Has anyone ever been here before? Any of my midwest readers?





 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

what does seafoam rhyme with?

Hiya there!

Well, I had a friend ask me at church on Sunday what she should wear with a pair of seafoam green flats that someone gave her. I told her that I'd blog about it, both as a sneaky way to get her to read it (ha!) and as a way to allow others to benefit from it too.

We all have something in our closet that we don't quite know how to wear or what to wear it with, right?
Well, just in case you're like my friend and have something that is seafoam green (side note: I can't think of any word that rhymes with 'seafoam'. end side note.) this will help you know what colors you can wear.

Of course we know that most neutrals (including my most favorite, navy blue) can be worn with this color, but why not experiment with a few other colors too?!?!

Here you go:





Seafoam green will look fab with anything in that hue family including a darker teal, navy blue, lighter blue or gray. Of course, you could always be gutsy and try it with a dark purple, a berry pink or even a pretty coral color. Any of those would go really well with this color.

Okay! That's all for today, y'all! Sorry for the short post. I'll be back from Kansas on Thursday night so I'll be posting more goodness for you soon.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

OOTD: sergeant boysenberry

Hello lovely readers!

This week is quickly (although un-intentionally) turning into fashion week on A Little of This and That. In place of my normal Top 5 Tuesday post, I'm doing an outfit post. So, I'm swapping one re-curring post for another. Just for today. Enjoy! (click on picture for larger view)



This was the outfit I wore this past Sunday. I was really digging this top that I got on a whim last week from Dress Barn. (of all places!) It inspired yesterday's post on neutrals AND this outfit of the day post. That's a lot of inspiration from one top! Because it's a military-esque top that I paired with my (almost always) pop of purple-y color, I dub thee outfit, "Sergeant Boysenberry". 

Top: Dress Barn (not sure of the brand)
Jeans: Levi's (from the Walmarts)
Shoes: Mossimo Supply Co via Target
Tank: Rue 21

1) No I didn't match the tank and top when I bought them. I was drawn to those colors and it was only when I brought the tank home that I realized it matches those shoes. Perfectly.

2) I might be a bit obsessed with this color palette?? I also had an eerily similar palette in another outfit post. Weird, right?

3) A close 2nd for today's outfit name was something to do with Teddy Ruxpin. Do y'all remember him? I loved Teddy Ruxpin and this shirt made me think of him for some random reason. For those of you who do, here you go. :)

Um...the end.

Monday, July 18, 2011

how to: wear all neutrals

Hello everyone!

Well, I'm in Kansas this week on a work trip, but traveling will not keep me from blogging! (Actually, I'm writing this on Sunday night, but, oh well...)

I recently bought this super-cute new brown top and it has sort of rounded out my more recent obsession with neutrals. Now, let me say that while I am starting to dig neutral colors in fashion CURRENTLY, there will always be a place in my heart for color. Why, as I'm typing this blog right now I have on a hot pink t-shirt.

Anywho, I have this friend who pretty much wears neutrals all the time. And she totally rocks it. (okay, not ALL the time...85% of the time) To me, neutral colors together always conjured up images of zookeepers and african safaris. BUT, neutrals don't have to be boring and neutrals always don't have to be paired with other colors and here are a few outfit ideas to prove it!

A teddy-bear-brown wrap dress is accented with caramel brown and tortoise-shell accessories. I think the warm hue of the shoes, belt, bag and watch help to balance out the cooler hue of the dress.

Navy is, by far, my favorite neutral. It really goes with most everything. A good rule when wearing neutrals is to use different shades/hues of a color. For example if you wore navy EVERYTHING or tan EVERYTHING it wouldn't be good. A pale tan colored shell and shoes goes well with a darker tan cardigan sweater.


Ah, the gray t-shirt. A favorite of my neutral-loving friend, Amie. Gray is most definitely a neutral and can work with tan, brown, black OR navy. Here, I've paired it with different shades of brown and khaki/tan.


Hopefully, you're at least inspired to consider wearing your neutrals together without worrying about being mistakenly asked what time the Giraffes are fed. (zoo joke) They can look pretty AND posh just by themselves!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

photo editing: tips & tricks

Summertime, second only to Christmas, is the most photographed seasonal period of the year. I know many of you were probably snapping pics of your friends or family at barbecues or pool parties this past weekend. I thought I might share a few tips & tricks that I've learned or been taught through my adventures as an amateur photographer.

Note: when I refer to a picture as "raw" it means straight out of the camera, with no editing. I almost NEVER post any raw photos for anything.
Note 2: I usually use either Photoshop or Picnik to edit my photos. Picnik is free (well it has free stuff you can use) and relatively user friendly.

Tip #1: Auto-Exposure is your friend!
Using an auto-exposure correction or simply adjusting the exposure yourself can really bump the quality of your picture up astronomically!

Here's the raw photo of my cute little friend when she was in the pool.


And now, my cute little friend after I've adjusted the exposure down a little bit.


Though the difference is subtle, it really goes a long way into keeping your photo from being over or under exposed.

Trick #1: Cross Processing
Now, this is an effect from Picnik, but I'm sure some of the other photo editing programs have something similar. It's basically an easy version of this really complex double-exposure color enhancing photography technique. I love Cross Processing. I find it gives most of my photos a nice color palette.

Here is me and my friend Jay one Halloween.


Now, here is the same pic with a (little) cross processing.


In case you're trying to guess what I was...I was Swine Flu. (swine flew?) That was back when it was an epidemic. A timely costume, I think. Oh and the marshmallow/powdered sugar on us is from a party game.
Here's one more example of my love of Cross Processing.



Trick #2: All of your powers combined!
Using exposure and sharpening tools with a nice effect like cross processing, orton-ish or a even something more dramatic like a tint or color boost will really take your photos from bleh to awesome! The more editing you do, the more fantastical your result. Want to keep it simple? Go for a few tweaks. Or, you could do this...

I took this of my drink this morning. Booorrrrriiinnngggg.


After some editing (admittedly more than I normally do, but still fun) I got this...


I hope this provides some help and inspiration the next time you pick up a camera.

Friday, July 15, 2011

favorite looks friday

Taking a break from the usual Insta-Friday for a post about some of my favorite outfit looks.

I find inspiration in these pictures and use them to help motivate me when I'm put my own outfits together. (click each one for a larger view)

1. J.Crew Maritime blazer with french blue shorts and tan belt. LOVE. Oh, and the side bun!
2. Seersucker maxi dress with pockets from Thread Design. Also available in other colors.
3. Navy quarter-sleeve dress from Lilly Pulitzer with cutie cutouts.

1. Blue and white striped dress from Kate Spade.
2. Aqua tank and Navy Whitney skirt from Lilly Pulitzer.
3. Blue boatneck top and white shorts from Lilly Pulitzer.


What do you use for outfit inspiration?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

twitter-life infographic

I recently came across this cool website via Beth's blog, Dot in the City. She shares my love for infographics and blogged about this site that interprets your twitter activity and turns it into a customized and cute li'l infographic.

Here's mine:



So, apparently it picked up on my frequent use of smilies. I can't help it! I think it's funny that most of my tweets are also about food. What can I say? Food makes me smile!

If you'd like to be privy to said tweets, you can follow me here.



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