1 Cakes & Louie: March 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Little Things

I had big plans to wear my brand new blush pink jeans today for work... and then I woke up to rain and was so exhausted I didn't want to put any effort into looking cute. What is it about rainy days that make it SO much harder to get out of bed? My trusty Hunter boots saved the day.

Dan was home Monday, Tuesday AND Wednesday night this week, which meant dinners at home and lots of hanging out and catching up instead of playing around online. I'm sure I missed some fun things on my favorite sites and blogs, but I would so much rather spend my time with him, and I'm loving his "not as busy" season, which I know only lasts a very short time.

Here's a few little things I did see this week that I loved -

Hipster Branding, spotted by Alaina.

Painted-back bookshelves. Hoping I can tackle this project this weekend!

Minimilist Lego ads. So awesome.

My sister and I laughed for a long time at someecards late last night. I love sleepovers with her.

Anyone have fun plans for the weekend? I'm looking forward to lots of time with friends!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Holy Grail

People. Do you have any idea how exciting today is? Let me tell you why. Today is the day that the one and only Chick-fil-A is opening mere MINUTES from my house, which essentially means that outside of Sundays when they're closed, I can pretty much have it for dinner whenever I want. There is no better chicken sandwich than one from Chick-fil-A with extra pickles and dipped in their signature sauce. Nobody's waffle fries can beat their's out. And if you even dare and compete with their sweet tea you're bound to be disappointed in your outcome.

Obviously, I'm planning on dinner there tonight to celebrate the grand opening. I've experienced one other opening night before and it was BANANAS. I can't wait.

I'll be back tomorrow. Please don't mind the fact that I'll likely still be in a food coma after tonight.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Heaven on Earth

I've mentioned it here enough for everyone to already know that Target is what I consider my heaven on earth. Call me crazy, but the idea of being able to walk into ONE store and walk out with groceries, a new pair of flats, toothpaste, a skirt for an upcoming party, a light for my kindle AND a new throw pillow - all for about $60 total - really just amazes me. Sadly, my favorite Target buddy, Bridget, gave it up for Lent (it was getting bad), so while I have been in a couple of times for actual necessities, there hasn't been a whole lot of fun trolling around the store finding deals on the clearance endcaps in awhile. I genuinely wouldn't be surprised if some junior level data guy has been tasked with finding out why sales have dropped so drastically in the last few weeks thanks to Bridget and I not hitting up our favorite place every 72 hours or so.

I like to think that Target was thinking of Bridget and I when they came up with this FABULOUS commercial, which I have watched no less than 10 times since I saw it yesterday.

So, while both of us need to chill out on the spending overall and not just for 40 days, I'm counting down the days til Easter. I think Target will be happy to have us back.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Roundup: Chevron

While I'm well aware that the chevron trend has been around for awhile, I'm also aware that it doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. As a pattern that's easy to incorporate into almost any style and makes a bold statement whether it's a small accent piece or something larger like a rug or duvet, I'm smitten and it's safe to assume I'm not the only one.

Now anyone that knows me knows that I'm a bit of a cheapskate (and proud of it!), so while some of the chevron collections I've seen include things like a $300 Jonathan Adler throw blanket, that's not what I'm going for with my roundup. These are all low-budget friendly pieces, with the exception of one that's a bit of a splurge -

1. Z Gallerie's Zig Zag Jewelry Box - while this is meant for a dresser, I'm thinking it would look equally classic on a console or coffee table. ($27.95)

2. I've seen a ton of chevron pillows around the web, but this pair from Amazon is by far the best bang for your buck, and available in a few colors. ($32.99)

3. You'll have to search your local Target stores for it, but I couldn't resist posting this gold and white lampshade considering I have it myself and LOVE it. There is no base included with the shade but with Target's prices even if you have to buy both pieces it's still super affordable. I paired mine with an $8 solid white base I found on clearance. ($19.99, in store only)

4. There's a TON of chevron on Etsy, and I love these fabric bins, also available in other colors! ($18.00)

5. The one sorta splurge on here - West Elm's Zigzag Floor Pouf, which I have been wishing would go on sale since the day I saw it. ($249.00)

6. Another Target find, these melamine dishes are unbreakable (perfect), colorful (more perfect), and ridiculously cheap (and on sale - even more perfect). Even if you just grab a couple of the tumbler cups or a tray, these would make a statement. (prices vary - I saw many of these on major clearance in stores last week!)

7. Finally, this rug from Urban Outfitters, available in 7 colors. It looks like several colors/sizes are on back order, but there's still a few available and I loved it too much not to include it. If I had any reason to buy a rug right now, I'd jump on the gray 5x7 in a heartbeat. (5x7 - $74.00)

Do you have any chevron in your home? Are you over this trendy pattern or still on the bandwagon?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Radio Silence

Well geez. I certainly didn't plan for my blog to sit untouched for a week, but it looks like that's where I've ended up. Apologies to all 4 of you that may check in here regularly! :)

The good news is that I have a TON of ideas for stuff I'd love to post on this blog. The bad news is that I have no structure to any of my ideas, and need to get that all figured out. In the meantime, I've realized that there's nothing wrong with just posting the little random things like I was doing for the first few weeks I was writing, so I'll be continuing that - starting with this post about my new love -

Isn't it fun and sunshiny? I grabbed this baby for $35 at H&M yesterday, while on the hunt for "a bright bag for the spring and summer". I think I succeeded. I'll miss my trusty Coach bag, which is the first and only bag I have ever "invested" in, but with neon colors EVERYWHERE this season I felt a little blah carrying black, so it'll be put away for the cooler weather that we hopefully won't see again until September or so. 

Did anyone else go shopping this weekend? 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coming Up

I spent the majority of my weekend with 100+ high school teens at church for a retreat, and loved every single second of it. Yesterday, in an attempt to recover, Dan and I ran a couple of quick errands and took a walk to the dog park with Louie before spending a solid 3 hours on the couch catching up on our DVR and eating cereal and Zoku pops. My only complaint is that I have a sore throat that as of this morning I'm pretty sure is going to turn into more. Rats.

I am excited, though, that I'm just about ready to kick off some of the new blog ideas that I mentioned last week - hopefully as soon as tomorrow! I promise whatever it is I post will involve plenty of pictures, seeing as I've had a bit of a lull with that recently.

Happy Monday friends! I hope you're enjoying the gorgeous weather as much as I'm hoping to.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Thrown Off

I have a conference to attend for work today that got me out of bed a solid hour earlier than usual. Thankfully, there is supposed to be a 75 degree day waiting for me outside, so I'm trying my hardest to get moving.

I'll be spending breaks daydreaming about some new ideas I have for my blog! Can't wait to start posting some different types of content in the coming weeks.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


With warmer weather teasing us into a potential Chicago spring, I'm already looking forward to short sleeves, sandals and maybe a pair of shorts or two. Around our house, I've been trying to bring in a little plant life and plan on buying a bright bunch of fresh flowers in the next couple of days to celebrate the temperature pushing 70. Buddy Louie and I hung out on the front porch on Sunday with the windows open and a breeze coming in - talk about necessary.

We're also rejoicing in the warmer weather by making popsicles with Dan's new favorite toy - the Zoku! This awesome little quick-pop maker freezes pretty much whatever you put in it in 7 minutes flat, for ridiculously simple and quick desserts anytime. So long sugary store-bought popsicles! Goodbye to the days of me getting mad that Dan stole the last cherry one! Bring on healthier dessert with endless possibilities.

I was thrilled yesterday when I found the Zoku blog full of recipes, and obviously excited when I immediately spotted a concoction for mimosa pops. I have a feeling our Zoku is going to become a regularly-used little gadget in our house.

Berry mojito pops

Mimosa pops

Strawberry lime pops

Cantaloupe mint pops
All images from Zoku | The Blog

Does anyone else have a Zoku? Do you love it as much as I think we're going to?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Almost Perfect

Given that we had nearly 40 people coming over bright and early Saturday morning for breakfast, I naturally decided that Friday night would be the perfect time to get a new couch and sort of "makeover" the living room. (Insert Dan - and Bridget - groaning here). Seeing as I have been unhappy with our old couch for quite some time, it's not like this was a brand new idea, but the timing was certainly not ideal. Thankfully, despite me being just a little bit crazy about the entire situation, Dan and Bridget humored me and we took a late night trip out to Ikea where after some debate and sitting on all the showroom couches 10 times we settled on the Kivik Sofa with a Teno light gray cover. It's super comfy, the cover is completely removable for easy cleaning, it passed Dan's "cuddle test" (can we both lay down together without someone falling off?), and the price was great.

I am in love.

As you can see, we also finished up our craigslist coffee table on Friday and between that and the couch I'm downright giddy in our updated living room. Thanks to Dan sanding the heck out of the top, we decided to go ahead and go with the original plan of a white base with a stained top like Centsational Girl, and I'm so glad we did. I genuinely like it so much that I think I may be over my infatuation with the $500 West Elm table I mentioned last week!

The entire room looks 100 times better (in my opinion at least) thanks to the neutral table and the lower-profile couch. Next up is figuring out something else to put in our nonworking fireplace since I'm over the candle thing you can see in the background of the image above, and getting a thin piece of plywood that I can paint an orangey-red and staple-gun to the back of the bookshelf for some easy cord hiding. And then, I can consider the living room "done" and move on to another space in the house ;).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Buns, hun

 all above via Pinterest

I'm sporting the increasingly popular top knot at work today, and considering my hair is a lot shorter than it was when I first tried out this style, I'm hoping it holds up throughout the day. I originally learned how to do this fabulous statement-style from one of my favorite bloggers - Sydney over at The Daybook.

Sydney has an awesome video tutorial on her site that teaches you how to turn sorta gross unwashed hair into this cute kind of "knot" smack on top of your head with a ponytail holder, a brush, and a bunch of bobby pins. Perfection.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Light it up

Does anyone else love the mason jar "chandelier" trend as much as I do?

via, although it looks like it's originally Pottery Barn

Pretty, huh? But, generally pricey. The Pottery Barn option in the first image above retails for $149!! These are MASON JARS attached to CORDS. No reason in my mind that should cost so much. And while I love me some Etsy, even those options are really getting up there in price given what they are.

So, I've always wanted to make my own little mason jar light, but wasn't exactly sure how. Enter Ikea, my second heaven on earth (next to Target, of course). Bridget and I headed out there last night for a quick trip to grab a couch cover, and while perusing the "as-is" section I was giddy with excitement when I found a bin full of individual bulb cords for $1 each. That's right - a dollar!! I grabbed 5 and immediately started gathering the images above for inspiration on how to make my own. Seeing as I have kind of a busy week and weekend, this will not be an immediate project, but I'm looking forward to tackling it sometime soon. We've been kicking around the idea of having some work done in our kitchen, which would then require new lighting... so that's one thought for placement, but we'll see.

Has anyone else been randomly inspired to create something this week?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

For now

While on the hunt for a new coffee table over the weekend, I made the mistake of going into West Elm, where I KNEW I would likely find something I loved, and then not be able to afford it. Well, I was right, and I fell head over heels for a new table that I've decided is the table for us, but at $500 is a little out of reach.

Behold, the new "Rustic Storage Coffee Table" - which combines the style I'm going for plus concealed storage (awesome) AND a lift-top for snacking while watching TV (more awesome). It's also the perfect size for our tiny little living room - bigger than an end table but still not huge and won't take up the entire floor in front of the couch. 

Isn't it gorgeous? 

So, while I wait for the day this baby goes on sale (I assure you I am checking no less than 3 times a day, and it's brand new so I know I've got awhile), I decided to do the smart thing and find a cheap stand-in on craigslist that I can have a little fun with. Luckily, I scored an awesome little table for $20 last night from a couple in the city, and it is also a great size for our space, so I'm happy. It definitely does need a little love though, so I'm currently trying to decide exactly what it is I want to do with it.

My original plan was to paint the base white and stain the top nice and dark a la Centsational Girl...

...but I'm not sure if that would be a good idea since there are some dark marks on the top of the table I got that may or may not sand off. If they don't sand off, I'll have to figure out a color to paint the entire table, and I'm not sure I want it to be white. I've noticed lately that there is an abundance of blue throughout our house, so any shade of that is out of the question. And, I already have a bunch of other fun colors on various craigslist finds throughout the house - such as my yellow dining room cabinet, navy kitchen cart and kelly green console table in the entryway. Clearly, there is no lack of color in my home :). 

We have about 30 people coming to our house for breakfast bright and early Saturday morning, so this project will definitely be a quick one. I'll be sure to post photos of the final product!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Manic Monday

One of the best 80's sing-along songs ever (in my humble opinion) - The Bangles' Manic Monday - came on this morning in the car and while I think Dan was both embarrassed and amused by my rocking out, I found it to be just what I needed for a Monday morning. Paired with a whole wheat english muffin with an egg and avocado, I think the week is off to a good start.

I spent the weekend in a bit of a blur thanks to a headache that has come and gone for about a week now. Besides laying low Friday night, I did a pretty good job of not letting it hold me down, and spent Saturday running errands with the husband. Sunday morning was my first Everygirl photoshoot with Danielle, and it was a blast! It was so awesome to see her in her element, and I was sure to pay close attention to the different angles she was shooting at in an effort to learn a little something.

Bridget and I made use of an open afternoon with some lunch and a little shopping where I proudly picked up a slew of bright colors to add to my spring wardrobe. Everything I bought was on clearance at Old Navy and we had additional 30% off coupons, making my little shopping spree easy on the wallet.

Did you do anything fun this weekend? Have you ever danced and sang along to Manic Monday in the car? I hope nobody else saw me...

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Little Things

It's been a busy week, friends. When I'm not at work, I'm working on The Everygirl, and I am loving every single second of it. I feel bad for anyone I talk to and anyone reading this that I talk about my little gig pretty much constantly these days, but thanks to me having some wonderful supportive people in my life, so far I don't think I'm driving anyone too crazy.

Here's a few random things that caught my eye this week -

- Articles about the legality of Pinterest are making the rounds on the web. I get it, but that doesn't mean I like it.

- It's a little embarrassing to admit, but I find some of these Willy Wonka memes absolutely hysterical, and I don't know why. It probably has something to do with the fact that the original Willy Wonka used to scare the crap out of me, and now teens with too much time on their hands are making him funny.

- This is a super awkward photo, but I love the idea of covering up the TV with art that easily slides out of the way when you want to catch up on the DVR.

- Yet another mention of The Everygirl - I have two more little blog posts up today! "This or that" with fun budget-friendly sequined items, and a "Budget Find" with Hunter Wellies on clearance! I'm sort of glad my size is out of stock already, because we all know I don't need a second pair of Hunters, but I definitely still want them.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I'll be spending mine hanging out with Dan, hopefully seeing our new niece, and helping Danielle with an Everygirl photoshoot. Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


The first piece I worked on for The Everygirl is posted today! It's a "blogwatch" on Siubhan of Simple Village Girl, a site I found my very favorite way - just clicking around from one blog to another and seeing what other girls are reading. Although I didn't have to do a whole lot of actual writing for the blogwatch, I'm excited that something I worked on is live on the site and looks amazing (thanks to Siubhan's gorgeous photography). So, head on over and check it out!

In other news, I bought these adorable super-cheap leopard print flats at Target last night, and I am in love. Look at me go, being all girly and buying cute shoes.

I also bought a 2-pack of wooden Dwell Studio place mats for $3 on clearance that I promptly dropped directly on my foot leaving an instant bruise. Good thing I now have fun new patterned flats to distract from the black and blue mark I'll likely be sporting for a solid week or so.