12 Thoughtful Summer Hostess Gifts

Other than the winter holidays, summer is one of the busiest times for entertaining.  It's a celebration of summer flavors or that new grill & patio, as well as a time to relax with friends.  Whatever the occasion, make sure you don't come empty handed.  Your hostess was gracious enough to invite you over, and it takes a lot of time, money, and planning to get it all right.  A gift is a must!

You have a lot of options when selecting hostess gifts.  If you don't know the hostess well enough, that's ok.  Generic gifts like candles and even hand soaps are great gifts that everyone will use/like.  You can also select gifts based on the event.  Say you've been invited over for a clam bake.  Purchase a few pairs of lobster crackers to ensure that everyone invited will get a pair.  Also, another more hands on option would be to make compound herb butter and display it in a pretty butter dish with a tag and ribbon tied around it.  This semi-homemade option shows that you went the extra mile, and after your hostess is done with the butter, they still have a wonderful gift to remind them of your thoughtfulness...Trust me, this will definitely get you an invite to their next get together!  Oh and if all else fails, you can always ask your hostess if they need you to bring anything.  Even if they say no,  an appetizer or dessert are always great additions to the party.  

The following are 12 Summer gift ideas that your hostess would be lucky to receive.  For each category there is one thoughtful purchases and another semi-homemade gift idea.  
New York Clam Bake : Your hostess will probably only have so many lobster crackers, so this is a great way to make sure everyone gets a pair.  The butter is also a wonderful addition to the lobster, as well as to other clam bake fare, such as corn on the cob. (It's also even great on meat and other vegetables too!)
     No. 1 ~ Lobster Crackers ~ Fox Run
     No. 2 ~ Tea And Toast Butter Dish ~ Anthropologie + Compound Herb Butter

Cocktail Hour : Some days all you need is a cold drink, good company, and beautiful outdoor surroundings to unwind.  The grapefruit margaritas will be a refreshing hit at your next get together, and the cocktail rimming sugar kit will be a pretty, colorful addition to your cocktail/mocktail beverages.
     No. 3 ~ Cocktail Rimming Sugar Kit ~ Delicove Spices
     No. 4 ~ Eye Winker Green Opal Pitcher ~ Fishs Eddy + Iced Tea Spoons ~ Anthropologie  + Grapefruit Margarita

After Dinner : As I said before, dessert is always an easy and great idea to bring with you.  With the days growing hotter by the minute, however, skip turning the oven on and pick up your favorite ice cream on your way over to the event.  Jeni's "Artisanal" Splendid Ice Creams is, without a doubt, my favorite kind of ice cream.  It has so many interesting "foodie" flavors, as well as the basics, so that everyone will enjoy it.  (You can purchase it online if there isn't a store near you btw.)  You can also make your own vanilla bean sugar and package it in a beautiful sugar bowl.  Each grain of sugar will be infused with the vanilla flavor and it's a great addition to grilled fruit, beverages, and other desserts.
     No. 5 ~ Ohio Love You Ice Cream Collection ~ Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
     No. 6 ~ Mimi Sugar Bowl with Spoon ~ Kazuyo Komoda + Vanilla Bean Sugar

Grilling Party : It's pretty likely that everyone knows at least one master of the grill, and even more likely that you'll get invited to at least one BBQ this summer.  These gifts are for those people and events...A master of the grill probably has a ton of grilling gadgets, but not many have a pizza stone.  This set also conveniently comes with a large pizza paddle and pizza cutter.  The Giara glass bottle makes a lovely presentation for your homemade BBQ sauce that will be ready to be brushed on and enjoyed that day or weeks later.
     No. 7 ~ Round Pizza Baking/Grilling Stone Kit ~ via Target
     No. 8 ~ Giara Hermetic Glass Bottle - Red ~ Bormioli Rocco + All Purpose BBQ Sauce

Guys Only Night : Invite your friends over for a couple of drinks and brews for the game or a poker tournament.  Both of these gifts are extremely guy friendly and functional.  The whiskey stones will keep any drink cold without diluting it with water, and the chip & dip bowl will be great filled with some blue tortilla chips and the quick & easy salsa recipe below.  The shortcut is that it uses canned tomatoes.  All you need to do is blend all ingredients together, transfer it into the acacia bowl, and put it in front of your friends to munch on all night (though it has potential to be devoured in seconds).  Anyone can do it.
     No. 9 ~ Whiskey Stones (Set of 9) ~ Teroforma
     No. 10 ~ Acacia Chip and Dip ~ Crate & Barrel  + Quick & Easy Shortcut Salsa + tortilla chips

Weekend Guests : As a weekend (or overnight) guest, it is more important to bring a hostess gift than ever.  I usually like to bring things that will be great eats/drinks for the next morning aka less for your host to worry about the next day.  This blueberry batter bowl gift set has all you need to have fresh blueberry pancakes minus the griddle pan.  In addition, this flow carafe has a freezable coaster that will keep drinks cold for up to 4 hours!  Make a batch of mimosa (or bloody mary) mix in this carafe, bring a bottle of champagne, and you'll have mimosa's ready to go for the next morning.
     No. 11 ~ Blueberry Batter Bowl Gift Set ~ Stonewall Kitchen
     No. 12 ~ Flow Carafe w/ Freezable Coaster, 1-Quart  ~ Emsa + Mimosa Mix + Champagne

Gifts not only shows the personality of the receiver, but of the giver as well.  I love to cook and bake, so these "semi-homemade" gifts are perfect for me, but if you're not the homemade type, it's ok.  Do what you do best.  If you're crafty, embroider your hostess' monogram on some pretty cloth napkins.  If you're the music type, develop a rockin' playlist to set the mood for the event.  At the end of the day, it's really the thought that counts, and it doesn't have to empty your bank account.


A Lesson In Tying a Bow-Tie

Have you ever woken up, forgotten what occurred in your dream, but later came across something that day that made you recall the details of it?  It's kind of weird, but this happens to me quite frequently; the most recent time being this morning. 

** Disclaimer beforehand that my dreams can be quite...interesting I guess I'd say...definitely random  
Last night in part of my dream, I was asked by a gentlemen if I knew how to tie a tie, and I was so distraught that I couldn't.  When I woke up, I completely forgot about it until I came across this instructional guide.  Very strange, I know.

Well, now I know.

Tell me, does this phenomenon ever occur with you? 


Backyard Movie

Transport back in time when the drive-through movie reigned supreme.  These days many of these institutions have gone out of business, but you can still get that outdoor cinema experience right in your own backyard (and be a whole lot more comfortable while you're at it).

Inspiration : 
Pottery Barn has created a cozy outdoor viewing experience that I must recreate this summer.  They even give you tips here including on how to create your outdoor screen. 

Lust List :
No. 1 ~ Clear String Lights ~ World Market
No. 2 ~ Carrots Green 23" Pillow ~ CB2
No. 3 ~ Sadie Floral Outdoor Throw Pillow ~ Pottery Barn
No. 4 ~ Paint Palette 20" Pillow ~ CB2
No. 5 ~ Grove Wicker Pendant Lights (Set of 3) ~ Pottery Barn
No. 6 ~ Kneed It Side Table ~ CB2
No. 7 ~ Chesapeake Futon Lounger ~ Pottery Barn 
No. 8 ~ Cordless Decorative Bug Zapper ~ Sunbeam ~ Because bugs are not invited to this showing...
No. 9 ~ Popcorn Spices ~ Delcove Spices via Etsy ~ Spice up your freshly popped kernals with dozens of seasoning choices - Kettle Corn, Sour Cream & Onion, Italian Parmesan, Butt-Kickin' BBQ, Amish Caramel, even Lemon Cheesecake and more.
No. 10 ~ Samba Green Tray ~ Crate & Barrel 
No. 11 ~ Etched Red-Orange Design Mango Wood Bowl ~ Overstock
No. 12 ~ Martini Side Table ~ West Elm
No. 13 ~ Silver Movie Reel ~ Hollywood Megastore ~ Use as decor or stack to use as a clever holder for your beverages and popcorn.
No. 14 ~ Stainless Steel Snack Bowls ~ CB2
No. 15 ~ Knitted Pouf ~ CB2

Invite your friends and loved ones, pop some popcorn, and push play.

Also, if you're looking for a great caramel corn recipe, try this copy-cat Crunch 'N' Munch recipe out.  I made it last week for my boyfriend, and it seriously tasted like the real thing.  Plus you can substitute the nut for your favorite.  I used almonds in mine because it was a bit cheaper and what I had on hand.

Happy Watching,


Dear 16 Yr. Old Me...

I saw this yesterday and it's been nearly the only thing on my mind since. Everyone needs to see this.
Warning* prepare to be at least a little teary-eyed...

I admit that I use to tan during my senior year of high school.  I wanted that glow for prom, and I even worked at the salon for a bit so I could tan for free.  This time haunts me more and more each year.  I'm always wondering if/when something bad will pop up.  If I only knew then what I know now...

Share this with those that you love or even might dislike; this could save a life.


Pins of Interest

After last weeks Pinterest post, I decided to keep it going and perhaps make it a weekly thing.  Yay or Nay?  Let me know and this might be the last or one of many similar posts in the future. 

Some beautiful inspiration for the week:
No. 1 ~ Blue & Gray Living ~ Love this color combo.  It's pretty toned down, but the pop of the sofa, graphic patterned pillows, and other small touches make the room.

No. 2 ~ Vintage Polaroid ~ Some day I'd love to own one of these; working or just for decor purposes, it doesn't matter.  I also love mail air look of the book, and the title reminds me of the Gene Kelly movie (An American in Paris if you didn't know).

No. 3 ~ Vintage Cans Used for Planting ~ For drainage purposes, these would probably need some holes on the bottom, but I love the personality of these cans.

No. 4 ~ Butter and Sauce ~ Mmm yummy! Typography has been more of my recent interests, and I cannot resist this typeface!

No. 5 ~ Paris City Map ~ Great pop of color and graphic print! These also come in other cities around the Europe too.

No. 6 ~ Bokeh Wheel ~ I may or may not have a huge obsession over ferris wheels, other fair rides, and carousels in photography...just maybe.

Until Monday!
Happy Weekend,


Nail Color Worth Purchasing

I'm pretty much a nude or clear/neutral fingernail polish kind of girl, but when it comes to my toes, I love some color.  It has been quite some time until I bought a new shade, however.  For some reason, I always leave the store with a color I already have back it just me?  I swear it looks different in the bottle!  I guess part of the problem is that I won't make a special trip just to get nail polish, so I pick up what is conveniently available in stores I already frequent.  Since most companies stick to the basic pinks and reds every year, it's no wonder I keep picking up the same or strongly similar hues with such very limited shade choices.  Enter essie nail color.
Now I've know about essie for years now, but it's never something I thought would truly worth the near $8 a bottle price-tag.  My experience with higher priced nail color has never been good.  I find that they tend to bubble and are harder to apply than some cheaper brands.  Nevertheless, this past memorial day weekend, I saw my brother's girlfriend with this really interesting shade on, and I had to go pick it up when I found out it was now available at Target stores.  Tart Deco is a coral hue that is the perfect mix of orange and pink and a great Spring/Summer shade.  Plus, the color actually looks very similar as it does in the bottle after a few coats! Finally, rejoice!  I'm eyeing to try a few more essie shades (like the ones below), but sadly they're not currently sold in Target stores.  Perhaps I will finally have to make a special trip for nail polish??

What are your go to polish shades/brands?


Bow Down to Solid Primaries

No. 1 ~ Obi Structured Dress ~ Warehouse
No. 2 ~ Sunny Kolette Skirt ~ Kate Spade
No. 3 ~ BP Valentine Sandal ~ via Nordstrom 
No. 4 ~ Touring London Bow Dress ~ Ruche
No. 5 ~ With A Bow Crops ~ Anthropologie 
No. 6 ~ Menbur Women's Arda Platform Pump ~ via Endless
No. 7 ~ Red Cotton Sateen Dress ~ Miss Selfridge
No. 8 ~ Bow-tie short ~ J. Crew
No. 9 ~ SM Luxe Zesty Pump ~ via DSW


Not Your Average Dog

It's seriously crazy how much I'm craving hot dogs now since my visit to Dan's Dogs this past weekend.  In the past I have never been a huge hot dog fan, so this is interesting to say the least...

I talked yesterday about no more boring ketchup and mustard.  Creativity is a must, and I want to get cracking in my kitchen soon with some great combinations.  Luckily, I found some awesome recipes on the Food Network website that are really inspiring me right now.  They have one hot dog for ever day of the month.  Very serious business.  Here are my top 6 that I'd like to draw inspiration from and/or recreate to a t:

No. 1 ~ Chicago Dog ~ dill pickle, cucumber spears, tomatoes, sweet pickle relish, pickled peppers, onion, yellow mustard, and celery salt with a boiled dog in a poppy-seed bun
No. 2 ~ Boston Terriers ~ baked beans with a hot dog on a toasted bun
No. 3 ~ Surf Dog ~ pineapple salsa with a teriyaki dog on a grilled bun
No. 4 ~ California Dog ~ avocado, cucumber, sprouts, carrot, and green goddess salad dressing with a tofu dog on a whole-wheat bun ~ vegetarians rejoice!
No. 5 ~ Hot Diggity Dog ~ jalapeno jack cheese and pickled jalapenos with a grilled dog on a grilled bun
No. 6 ~ Vidalia Dog ~ vidalia onion rings and barbecue sauce with a boiled hot dog on a soft bun

To view the entire month calendar of hot dogs, you can go here.

Ok, now no more hot dog posts for the rest of the week at least I promise!


Dan's Dogs

Nope, I'm not talking about puppies; this time, it's all about the hot dogs.

Right after boyfriend and I made a visit to the puppy store, we traveled for about an hour to Dan's Dogs in Medina, Ohio.  Let me tell you, it was well worth the travel time.

{Dan's Dogs - pictured in order from Bottom to Top: Nacho Dog, Underdog, basket of fries, Reuben Dog, and another Nacho Dog}

I only got to take one quick photo before my boyfriend begged me to stop so he could eat his already, thus it's not the best shot, sorry.  

Once you walk into Dan's Dogs, you're instantly time ported back to the 1950's when diner food reigned king.  There are formica tabletops, pink booths, 50's mint colored chairs, and other midcentury decor, but the focus at Dan's are its dogs.  All of the regular hot dogs at Dan's are priced at about $2 a piece, and they come piled high with the good stuff.  They have classic combos like chili and cheese and more outlandish combos like peanut butter and jelly.  I ordered the Nacho Dog and the Underdog (a BLT hot dog basically), and my boyfriend also go a Nacho Dog, as well as a Rueben Dog.  Boyfriend said the reuben dog was amazing, and we both agreed that the Nacho Dog was pretty darn tasty too. This isn't to say that the BLT dog wasn't good, but it was not my fav of the two.  I really enjoyed the crunch of the corn chips on the Nacho Dog, and I thought the flavors complemented the dog really well.  The basket of fries that we ordered was way bigger than we imagined too.  For the $2.50 price tag, we thought it would have been smaller.  The priciest thing we ordered was an ice cold pitcher of root beer that really hit the spot on such a hot day.  All in all, it was way too much food for our hungry tummies and a fun place to stop.  If hot dogs aren't your thing btw, Dan's also has fresh salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, and shakes on the menu.  Whatever your order, you won't go hungry and your bank account will take a small hit.  Just know that since Dan's Dogs, I've become spoiled with fancy hot dog combinations.  No more ketchup and mustard for this girl.  I don't think I can go back to that combo after this experience.

Puppy Love

I'm loving this extra long weekend and I hope you are too!  Boyfriend and I went on a bunch of adventures together these past few days, but today's all about family and relaxation.  While I have a little time until family mode, I thought I'd share a little piece of my weekend with you.

 {Min Pin vs. Cavalier Cocker Spaniel}

Like many people, I melt over the cuteness of a soft, cuddly puppy.  You know how they say a dog reflects his/her owner?  My boyfriend and I have discussed the breeds we like several times now, and it's so true.  He likes Miniature Pinschers which are very skinny, active, adventurous dogs, while I prefer the Cavalier King Charles Cocker Spaniel that has lots of shedding coats of hair, is very laid back, affectionate, and will interact with nearly everyone.  We both fit our dog descriptions weirdly enough, plus I still can't get over the ruby coloring that many Cavaliers have.  Sooo pretty!  I dream of one day adding a little Ruby to my family, but I'm afraid that I can not do this yet.  The Cavalier breed has many health problems that I won't be able to care or pay for right now beyond the large initial price-tag.  However, this does not stop me from going to pet stores to go pick her out or frequently visiting this website...

{seriously melts my heart days later}

This past Saturday, my boyfriend took me to the dog store where his parents purchased one of there dogs years prior.  The little puppy above was there and she melted my heart.  She looks kind of scared in the picture, and I don't blame her, but I just had to get a picture of her.  Right after it was taken, I put my camera back in my bag, and she came right up to the glass to try to look inside it.  As you can see from the photo, she has rather droopy, red eyes that I've been trying to research without any luck.  It's not cherry eye I know that.  I wonder if the condition was one of the reasons she went on sale for near $500 less than she was days prior, but the price-tag might also have to do with her age.  She and her brother were the oldest puppies for sale, until he was bought that day leaving her all alone in her cage.  When I requested to take her out and hold her, she looked so sad.  She just laid in my arms until I had to give her back.  Once back in her cage, she came up to the glass and started to lick where I put my hand.  Boyfriend dragged me out of the store against my will, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about her.  A sad lonely puppy just kills my insides, and I hope someone nice with a lot of love, time, and money on their hands took her in.  I can only hope...

Sorry to leave you on a sad note, but I hope you have a lovely Memorial Day!
See you back here tomorrow for some more weekend adventures :)


Pins of Interest

So I've had a Pinterest account for some time now, but I just finally started to use it.  Do you have an account?  If you're thinking about getting one, I would apply for it today (I heard there is a huge line to become apart of the Pinterest group), and if you already have an account, what do you think of it? Here are some of the positives and negatives that I see:

+'s - it keeps all of my past and current inspiration organized & it's great for finding new inspiration as well, plus it keeps down my number of bookmarks (I don't think I want to admit to how many I have, but it's truly out of control)

–'s - I don't find the interface very user friendly for the iPad (my main device for inspiration hunting and blog reading); new pins take forever to load and every time I click to repin a photo, it'll make me scroll to the top of the homepage to do so, and then I'll have to scroll back down to the bottom where I was etc...basically, it's pretty time consuming when I could just copy the photo and save the link real quick (though refer back to why this is a bad idea in the +'s section)
As I've also stated previously on here, products I feel tend to sell out more quickly now that everyone and their brother know about them...makes me not so happy when I finally have the money to buy that pretty little necklace and it's gone, out of my life forever :( OK enough of being so dramatic sorry...

Being as that I'm finally using this website, I decided that I would share some of my fav pins of interest (from past and present) with you.  Perhaps inspire you to get an account as well, that will further inspire me :)  Here they are:
 No. 1 ~ Paint Chip Gift Tags ~ What a cute way to add a burst of color to your gift, and they can be acquired for the lovely cost of $0! I especially love this idea because even at a small age, the painting section was also my favorite part of home improvement stores.  I have never been able to resist picking up a few (or more) to take home with me, and now they all will have a purpose. Perfect!

 No. 2 ~ Outdoor Dining - If you have a backyard like this, expect a visit from me real soon! This would be really great inspiration for a wedding reception setup too.

 No. 3 ~ Colored Spoons ~ If you've seen this flatware set and were crushed when you saw the price-tag, no need to fear! All you need is some spray paint (preferably food safe just to be, well, safe) and some utensils. Great DIY

 No. 4 ~ Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco ~ A beautiful photograph of the City By the Bay. I love the colors, and it's even worthy of a frame in my opinion.

 No. 5 ~ Ginger Wipe Out & Key Lime Cowabunga Ice Cream Sandwiches ~ Oh Joy! (which is a great blog read btw & one of my absolute favorites) featured these ice cream sandwiches on her blog not too long ago.  You can order them online, but I think I'm going to have my go at making my own, and my wallet agrees.  The Key Lime is made with coconut oatmeal cookies, so I'm going to start with this recipe.  These sound and look AMAZING don't they!

Well, I'm off to go spend time with my boyfriend for the weekend, and let's pray the rain can stay away!
Happy Weekend,


A Roman Holiday

Oh man, where have I been that I have not seen this new Roman Holiday poster?!  

Above is the poster compared to one of the originals.  I quite like the new one better I must say.  Beautiful work done by TCM and just the pop of bright color that I needed today.  

Sort of on the same topic, yet not...has anyone seen this movie?  I know I shouldn't be disappointed in the ending, but I always am every time.  I'm just a sucker for a happy ending I guess.  Oh well, perhaps I'll just watch Sabrina instead.  That's my favorite Audrey Hepburn movie anyway.  


Refreshing Flavor Combos for Your Next Picnic

My favorite thing about the warmer months isn't the nicer weather or the fact that there are many more active light hours in the day.  My favorite thing about Spring and Summer, without a doubt, would be that these seasons bring a multitude of fresh foods with them that mean endless and amazing flavor combinations in the kitchen.  There is a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies and herbs to bring out their flavors, including my favorite, mint.  What more could you ask for?

Below are some mouthwatering recipes that can easily be packed up and transported on your next picnic.  These recipes merge flavors together to create combinations you're probably familiar with (lemon and blueberry), and ones you're probably not so familiar (watermelon and feta).   You're definitely going to want to try these!

I made the blueberry lemon cheesecake bars for a gathering with my boyfriend's family, and they were gone in seconds!
Oh, and No. 1 may not be made with ingredients tied to the warmer months, but it's still a flavor combination you're going to want to try, and it's a great alternative to your ordinary picnic sandwich.  Trust me!



Oprah's Final Farewell

Later this year I'll be celebrating my 24th birthday, which pretty much means that Oprah has been in my life since I can remember.  My mom is a big fan, so every day after school, it was always on.  Reflecting on all these years of watching now, I don't think I ever realized how much she has shaped a part of me...the part of me that I strive and want to be.  It's amazing how a woman with her background has risen above all of her hardships to became such a grounded, generous, warm, and caring person, but it doesn't stop there.  Even through her fame, she's always been real with her audience and a truly selfless and giving individual along the way.  She's a person that was not shaped by fame, but who shaped fame into something of purpose...a way to give back and influence generations.  If that's not inspiring, I don't know what is... 

Well, tomorrow marks the last show of Oprah; will you be watching?  I know I will...

On another note, does anyone know who will be taking over the Oprah time slot?  Whoever it is, they have some pretty big shoes to fill.

diy Picnic Basket

Have you ever searched for a picnic basket and found the quality to be poor for the price and the look so uninspiring?  Out of dozens of baskets (or hampers as they say in the UK), I found just that, so I decided to start from scratch to create my own.  I've come up with 3 customized looks that are ready to be used over and over again on all your picnic affairs.  Relish below...
 No. 1 ~ Fiesta Flatware 5 Piece Place Setting - Shamrock ~ Cambridge Silversmiths for Fiesta via Bloomfield's 
 No. 2 ~ Stanley Thermos ~ via Campmor
 No. 3 ~ The Kind Kitchen Cups ~ ModCloth
 No. 4 ~ Cottage Floral Napkins ~ Now Designs via Amazon
 No. 5 ~ Red Hot Checkered Napkin ~ Sur La Table 
 No. 6 ~ bbf dinnerware ~ CB2
 No. 7 ~ Vintage Green Woven Picnic Basket ~ Estatehound seller via Etsy
 No. 8 ~ Vintage Wire Basket ~ via pieces
 No. 9 ~ Tiffin Food Box - Large Round ~ Vivo
 No. 10 ~ Arosse Multi Carafe ~ Nuance via Amazon  - Screw off base allows you to easily fill with ice, fruit, etc.
 No. 11 ~ Portable Dinnerware Set Chopsticks + Fork + Spoon - Golden ~ via eCrater
 No. 12 ~ Mojave Dinner Napkins ~ Proud Mary via Supermarket
 No. 13 ~ Ribbon of Light Tumbler, Clear ~ Anthropologie
 No. 14 ~ Orange Ikat Napkins ~ Neiman Marcus
 No. 15 ~ Carafe with Lid ~ Anchor Hocking via Blain's Farm & Fleet
 No. 16 ~ Exquisitely Handcrafted Wicker Picnic Basket ~ via DinoDirect
 No. 17 ~ Ecofriendly 2 Piece Bamboo Flatware Utensils Set ~ Ecofriendly Bamboo via Amazon
 No. 18 ~ Red & White / Blue & White Checked Napkins ~ Sur La Table
 No. 19 ~ Picnic White Dinner Plate ~ Crate & Barrel
 No. 20 ~ Stevens Red Latte Mug ~ Stevens Home & Giving


Don't Mind If I Rue

So this is going to be a quick post because I don't have much time, but the 5th issue of Rue came out today and I couldn't be more excited!
They have some lovely layouts for the summer months...some of my favs being about picnic and outdoor entertaining.  I actually have a few picnic posts coming up tomorrow and Wednesday here at Lusting After Life, so stay tuned.  Also, until I can find the time to post on this bad boy, here are a few photos and a video clip from the latest issue of Rue.  Sorry the photos are screen shot quality.  The issue just literally hit the internet an hour ago, so there aren't any photos up in the gallery yet.  If you click on the layouts, you'll get larger photos so you can actually see all the details they put into it.

Outdoor Lounging

With the weather getting nicer, I want to get out and enjoy it as much as I can before the really hot weather hits.  Here's my lust list for stylishly lounging around outside from morning to night...
No. 1 ~ Blossom Floral Skirted Dress ~ Topshop
No. 2 ~ Knitted Mustard Crochet Fifties Style Cardigan ~ Topshop
No. 3 ~ Tan mini satchel bag ~ Dorthy Perkins 
No. 4 ~ Leather Toe Post Plait Flat Sandal ~ ASOS
No. 5 ~ Hurricane Lantern ~ via Surgical Shop
No. 6 ~ Tin Picnic Basket for 2 ~ Blyton
No. 7 ~ Giara Hermetic Glass Bottle - Sky Blue ~ Bormioli Rocco
No. 8 ~ Perfect Paper Straws - blue ~ Kikkerland 
No. 9 ~ Porthmeor Garden Deck Chair ~ Gallant & Jones
No. 10 ~ Coussin Coney 1 ~ Bonjour mon coussin
No. 11 ~ Picnic Gift Sparks Fleece Picnic Blanket Tote with Waterproof Backing ~ via Picnic World
No. 12 ~ Numero Pillow ~ Bonjour Mon Coussin
No. 13 ~ Traveler Record Player - tan with latch & carrying handle ~ Crosley
No. 14 ~ Water Hyacinth Floor Cushion ~ Toast
No. 15 ~ Striped Woven Lobsta Throw ~ CB2


Mmmm Macaroons...

I'll take at least one of each (including the poster)! This print from Lucile's Kitchen is almost as good as the real thing.  Buy it and/or see how it's made here.

Oh and boyfriend has tipped me off that he might be with macaroons in hand when I see him next!  I am such a lucky girl, aren't I?  What a great thought to start my weekend off with :)

I hope your life will be macaroon filled soon too!
Happy Weekend,


Your Next Read

{Dreaming in Color - Vivienne Strauss}

Today must be about recommendations because I have another great find to share with you...  

Would you like to read more, but just don't know what to pick up?  Perhaps, you're a big reader and need more recommendations?  Look no further...Your Next Read has you covered.

This site was first recommended to me by my boyfriend's mother and I think more people should know about it.  All you need to do is type in the name of a book, author, or genre, and Your Next Read with do the rest.  

Above is an example of what you'll see when you use the website.  I've typed in a book I've read by Lauren Willig called The Seduction of the Crimson Rose.  I'm a big fan of historical fiction especially pertaining to British monarchy and the colonial period in the US.  It's kind of like learning about a time period and reading a fiction book all in one, but I can't say I know many others that read this genre.  Your Next Read is like having hundreds of friends with the same taste as you to be there to give you recommendations.  The site also shows you reviews and tells you where you can buy a copy.  

Don't fret if you don't know where to start too.  The home page features selections from the top selling books of all time, award winners, and just overall favorites of the masses if you can't think of anything off the top of your head.  

Happy Reading, 

Still Obsessed...

I stumbled upon these two bands months ago, and I'm stilled obsessed over their sound.  Searching for new music is usually always hit or miss.  Every now and again I'll dedicate a day to it, and I'll either come out with very little of worth or I'll hit the jackpot.  Way back when, this was a really good jackpot kind of day.

{Ho Hey - The Lumineers}

{Lost in My Mind - The Head and the Heart}

I like my music a little bit folksy, but I think these are songs that a lot of people can get into.  I'm thinking I'm not the only one since "folk" has been taking over even in the mainstream with bands like Mumford and Sons.  It's great to finally see indie folk groups get some exposure, but a part of me kind of wishes they'd stay small enough to see at small gigs, yet also get big enough to see in my neck of the woods...I'll take my music in an intimate setting over a stadium any day of the week - I mean, who wouldn't?  Both videos have this amazing atmosphere too.  I'd kill to be at a party where they played.  

Oh and lastly, it's important to note that The Head and the Heart have some amazing harmonies.  Lost in My Mind doesn't really showcase everyone's voice, but the rest of the trio definitely have some pipes too.  I'd suggest listening to Winter Song for an example.  I love Charity's crooning voice.  

You can download 2 free songs from The Head and the Heart HERE {including Lost in My Mind}

Happy Listening, 


Film Style Inspiration : Breakfast at Tiffany's

No. 1 ~ Breakfast at Tiffany's Tassel Ear Plugs ~ My Flat in Paris Couture via Etsy
No. 2 ~ Breakfast at Tiffany's Snooze Mask ~ Mary Green via Patricia Field
No. 3 ~ New Wayfarer Tortoise Sunglasses ~ Ray-Ban
No. 4 ~ Super Lustrous Creme Lipstick, Pink in the Afternoon ~ Revlon
No. 5 ~ Joie De Vivre Hat ~ Baron California Hats
No. 6 ~ David Webb Swirl Black Enamel Diamond Vintage Earrings ~ via 1stdibs
No. 7 ~ Classic Detailed Dress ~ Paul Smith
No. 8 ~ Spy Ruffle Coat ~ Diane Von Furstenberg via Matches
No. 9 ~ Black Cat Mask ~ Wild Republic 
No. 10 ~ Tiffany's Box ~ Engraving Service Details Here
No. 11 ~ Cracker Jack in Nostalgic Box ~ via Nationwide Candy

I can't say that Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of my favorite movies, but the film has some redeeming scenes and I always enjoy watching Audrey at work.  I used this website to make the library catalog card above btw.  I thought it was fitting for this post and one of my favorite scenes from the day Paul and Holly spend together.  What are your favorite parts of Breakfast at Tiffany's?  The ending in the rain definitely has to be among them I'm sure...


Tea for Two

What's a tea party without this song?

They just don't make them like that anymore...