December 27, 2009

home for the holidays

Recap of winter break: 3 weeks of doing nothing but sleeping, shopping and celebrating!

Missed this little muffin!
Got this super cute cupcake stand for Chanukah!  This will be much prettier than using paper plates...

LOVE Anthropologie!!  Saw these phones on display at their Santa Monica store, so vintage.

Also was reminded of the things I'm not a fan waiting 15 minutes for the parents to get EVERY SINGLE KIND OF SALSA in mass quantities from La Salsa.  And picking up the wrong order, always fun. :P
That's a lot of salsa.

December 20, 2009

creative therapy on a sunday afternoon

My mom had one of her altered art classes today (check out her blog here) and although I was supposed to be her assistant, I managed to squeeze into an empty chair and work on a project of my own.  Usually I take forever to figure out what I want to make, and then another forever to pick out the perfect combination of paper.  I actually finished a project in one sitting this time--quite remarkable for the amount of time I take to actually start it.  I altered an acrylic picture frame and made it into a notepad for my desk.  It's super cute AND functional...that's why I like altered art because you can actually use what you make, whether it's a clipboard or jumbo sized clothespin (see photos below).  I love being organized (or at least attempting to be) and organizing your papers with pretty things makes it theory :)

The notepad says "Don't bother me...I'm in a creative mood!"

This is just one of my mom's newest creations.  Adorable altered clipboard and clothespin set (shown here holding a gift card).

December 1, 2009

Super sweet giveaway...yum, more cupcakes!

Scrapbook paper, stationery, notecards...I’m a sucker for anything cutesy that I can write on or create with.  I love everything and anything paper related, so it’s no surprise that when I read about this giveaway, I had to enter!  I heard about this super sweet giveaway on The TomKat Studio blog, one of my new fave blogs.  Another amazing site, Ink Spot Workshop, is hosting a giveaway to win adorable cupcake notecards and a $25 gift certificate for your shopping pleasure at its online shop.  So...this is my entry!  Browse around both of these amazing blogs—I could spend hours reading up on all of the creative ideas!

Click here to find out how to enter!

November 21, 2009

Cupcake Frenzy!

The lovely cupcakes we made for the dinner party to celebrate Sam visiting from LA!  Thanks Tier for your savvy sprinkling skills and Sam for your perfect batter piping:)

November 16, 2009

Roomies + Crafting = Love!

What better way to celebrate the end of midterms than with a crafting day!  Tierney and I--being craft nerds--had this awesome idea to decorate wooden letters to hang on our doors.  After a trip to Michaels (we were like kids in a candy store--gotta love Davis, but it's nice to get out sometime...even if it's just to Woodland), froyo and free samples at Costco, and slushies at Target, we were ready to go.  We sat down at our newly refurbished craft corner in the living room, cranked up the iPod, and got to work.  This is the result!

Our lovely masterpieces.  We're very proud of ourselves!:)

November 7, 2009

Whipped Into Shape

Everyone talks about the Freshman Fifteen, but I definitely didn’t get the memo about the additional Sophomore Seven. At the start of sophomore year, I was optimistic that I would lose those extra pounds that I had put on the previous year since I wouldn’t be tempted by the DC, the Junction, or the awesome smoothie place that was in the ARC before Starbucks took over. However, new temptations arose in the form of Chinese take-out, pizza delivery, and 3-for-1 deals on cake frosting at Safeway. Food was definitely the main source of comfort for me whenever life wasn’t playing out as perfectly as I planned. Unrequited feelings? Ben & Jerry’s binge. Stressed about finals? Cupcake baking frenzy. George is leaving Grey’s Anatomy? It’s the end of the world as we know it. After sophomore year, however, I knew that taking care of myself both physically and emotionally needed to be at the top of my to-do list. I needed to turn my lifestyle around, lose the pounds, and gain back my confidence.

                    These girls are totally whipped into shape. Love Legally Blonde!

Sounds easy enough. Isn’t the first step in overcoming a problem admitting that you have one? Awesome, step 1: done. But now what? My dad always insists that I have his running genes, so I began joining him for his morning jogs. But after only a couple minutes, I was exhausted, tired and sore, and the run made me even hungrier! The amount of effort I was putting forth was way more than I was getting out of it. Time for Plan B. Thanks to my younger sister and her fascination with Seventeen Magazine workouts, she assumed the role of my fitness coach and ripped out articles for me titled “Flatter Stomach in 4 Days!” and “Get Your Perfect Bikini Body Now!” While this seemed like a promising solution, looking at the size 2 figures in the pictures made my goal to fit back into my prom dress even more unattainable. I needed another option, a form of exercise that I enjoyed that would actually give me the results I wanted and, more importantly, wouldn’t discourage me. After a couple weeks of running, ab-crunching, and still not seeing the bikini body that I was promised, my mom suggested that I sign up for Jazzercise classes at a nearby sports club. I thought, Jazzercise? You mean those VHS tapes from, like, the ‘80s that moms danced to when poufy hair and neon leotards were considered fashionable? However, I had run out of options, so I gave it a shot.

Believe it or not, it was the best decision I could have ever made for myself. The class was an intense but fun 60-minute workout, incorporating dance moves and contemporary music to get you pumped up and energized. I bought the summer pass and went to class about 4-5 times a week. I was able to exercise in a supportive and comfortable environment, plus every five minutes the instructor told the group how beautiful we all looked! This new routine was great, but I knew that exercise alone wouldn’t perform miracles. I made a conscious effort to moderate my eating habits, cutting down portion sizes and cutting out emotional eating. Instead of diving for a pint of ice cream, I’d turn up the volume on my iPod and dance around the house, busting out the moves I had learned in class. By the end of the summer, I saw a remarkable improvement in myself, both physically and mentally. Since then, I’ve found a Jazzercise class in Davis that meets multiple times a week, and I have already made time for it in my busy schedule. It’s such a fun and invigorating activity and has done wonders to boost my self-esteem.

If you want to tone up your physique in a supportive and comfortable environment, then I definitely recommend checking it out. I still have a ways to go before slipping back into that prom dress, but my progress so far keeps me optimistic that I’m not too far away!

October 26, 2009

Thank You for the Music

My Broadway career ended at age eight when I became a dance class dropout. The reason for this eludes me to this day, as my mom insists that I had both talent and promise. However, I remember trading in my tap shoes for softball cleats; I guess I wanted to throw a ball rather than dance in one. Whatever the reason was, I’ve recently regretted ending my dance career prematurely. Now the closest I’ll ever get to living out my Broadway dream is stalking the actors at the stage door, shoving pens in their hands while simultaneously taking their photo and gushing over their incredible performances.

Despite my lack of dance experience, I’ve tried to live out my Broadway calling in non-dancing roles in school and community theatre productions of Peter Pan, Carousel, Into the Woods, and Little Shop of Horrors (thank goodness human-eating plants don’t dance). You’ll also find me singing “You Belong with Me” at the top of my lungs in the car, living room, or whenever someone mentions Kanye. I love doing karaoke, but it is often difficult to encourage friends to sing with me, let alone be seen with me in public while I sassily perform my rendition of “Summer Nights.” So it makes sense that when one of my sorority sisters expressed interest in going to karaoke night at Woodstock’s in Downtown Davis, I was absolutely ecstatic.

Last Wednesday, eight of us secured a table right in front of the karaoke stage, and we immediately began pouring over the song books. You know when you dance around with your friends, you’re singing your favorite songs together, but when you actually have a chance to sing for an audience other than your closet mirror you have no idea what to choose? I could have picked a crowd pleaser and encouraged everyone to get up and clap and bust a move (hello, Journey), or a favorite of mine, as it’s always been one of my dreams (I have a lot) to sing “Part of Your World” to people who appreciate the amazing talent of Jodi Benson. As this would only have been self-indulgent, I decided to choose something a bit more universal. One of the girls exclaimed “Elysa! Do something by Abba!” Without hesitation, I scribbled down my name and “Mamma Mia” on the sign-up sheet. Panicking for an instant that I only knew the musical version and not the original, I thanked the karaoke gods for implementing the lyrics-on-screen feature.

We all had an absolute blast. It may not have been the Broadway debut that I had envisioned for so many years, but living out my dream in front of a group of supportive friends who cheered and clapped when I took my bow was more than good enough for me.

October 19, 2009

Show Me What I'm Looking For

I like to be prepared for anything and everything.  When going to the beach, I’m always the one to remember sunscreen, towels, an umbrella, water bottles, and even more sunscreen.  When I attend a Broadway show, I make sure to tuck an extra Sharpie in my purse, just in case one runs out right before getting Laura Bell Bundy’s autograph.  I also take home a pound of extra playbills for fear that one will get creased on the ride home.  So it’s safe to say that I like to be ready for any situation, which is why I went into total panic mode on the first day of my English 10B class.  Switching from my Urban Outfitters bag to my backpack, I made sure that my notebooks, water bottle, gum, phone, keys, and wallet were in place.  It wasn’t until I was waiting at the bus stop that I had a nagging feeling I had forgotten the most important back-to-school supply of all--a pen.

I quickly swivel my backpack around and search for a pen in the front pocket, where I normally keep several.  Empty.  I ruffle through my notebooks in the main compartment, even look in my cosmetic bag, just in case I had stuffed one in there for safe keeping.  Nothing!  I slowly put my backpack on and look around.  I think of asking a friendly-looking face if I could borrow one for the day, but what were the odds of me ever finding them again to return it?  That was out of the question. 

As I board the G-line, my mind reels through various solutions to this very embarrassing predicament.  I can strategically sit next to a super cute guy, ask to borrow a pen, and voila! said writing utensil is received and a conversation ensues.  This is a win-win situation, at least for me.  However, I quickly strike this idea, as I don’t want to be deemed a total loser for being unprepared the first day of class.  If I was asked to loan a pen to a classmate, I would, of course, oblige, but would judge them for not being prepared and most likely give them a Seriously? face, followed by an eye roll after they turn away.  I know these kids all too well--the Pen-Forgetters.  They are from the same species as the Homework-Misplacers, Instruction-Interrupters, Attention-Hoarders, and the overall belligerent fools who would keep the class behind an extra ten minutes after the bell rang.  I have never been, and will never be, lumped into that category of these unprepared and directionless students.  I nix the idea of borrowing a pen from a classmate, cute or otherwise.

As the bus pulls up to the MU, I’m struck with sudden inspiration.  Checking my cell, I have thirteen minutes to get to Olson--time for a quick detour.  Hopping off the bus and with fixed determination, I maneuver my way through lost students and inexperienced bike riders to get to the bookstore, aka the Devine Pen Retailer.  I just need one, I think, just one to last me the next 50 minutes.  I skim the racks of pens, not wanting to spend five bucks on a new pack, since I already have a ton at home.  Then I spy it.  An unknown brand, medium point, black ink pen, for a mere 59 cents.  I walk triumphantly up to the electronics counter and complete my purchase, humorously telling the cashier that this might be the smallest purchase she’ll get all day. 

Feeling confident that now I will not have to succumb to peer ridicule, I make my way over to Olson 217, where I sit down and promptly spot an abandoned pen next to my feet.  I almost pick it up, but then reconsider.  I’ll leave it for the next person, notorious Homework-Misplacer or even Star Student, who also has an inkless morning.

October 17, 2009

New Bags!

Finally, new bags!  Here are some pics of the four newest handbags that I've finished since being back in Davis.  I have transformed a corner of our living room into a craft center, stragetically arranged so that I can sew while catching up on Glee.  Now if only I could sew, watch television, AND write my paper that's due on Monday all at the same time...could I have a few more hours in the day please?

I included pictures of both the outside and the inside of the bags; they are reversible, so you can change up the style depending on your mood!  If you are interested in buying one of the bags, let me know :)

August 20, 2009

how we operate

Just wanted to point out how vintage the sewing machine is that I'm using. Love the sage green color and the retro brand logo. It was my grandmother's, and since my sewing machine is up in Davis (and missing the foot lift, not that great), this will have to do. Even if it's a bit rusty, it's still so pretty!!!

August 19, 2009

the early years: a scrapbook

Here are some bags that I've recently sold, such professional images, right? I'm starting to sew a new that there's only a month left of summer. Just want to start posting some pictures of what the bags look like, and I'll work on the photography. All of these bags are lined with corduroy, and are totally reversible. There are 4 pockets on the outside and on the inside (including a pocket to put your pens--I lose them all the time in the bottom of my other purses). The tote ties at the top (gotta love alliteration) and is washable. Just iron it afterward to help it keep its shape. A more detailed description to come later once I have pictures of different angles of the bags.

can't stop now

So I can't get enough of, and this video is absolutely my favorite. I love fonts, typography, and everything having to do with letter design, and this satire is just spot-on. Love it.

August 18, 2009

the beginning

Sweet, my first blog post!...Now I know how Julie felt when she started her blog. I saw Julie & Julia last week (SO adorable, everyone must see it), and it inspired me to start my own. Well, that's not totally true...this has been in the works for a while, actually. I wanted a website to display my handbags at first, but then decided that since I didn't want to learn html all over again (thank you 11th grade web design), a blog would be the next best thing. This is really just a test blog to see how it looks and what I need to modify. Not that you needed to know that. Whoever you are. Okay, enough with the movie references. Enjoy the site!