1 Cakes & Louie: October 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

If I had a Million Dollars: Warm Up

I've been swooning over faux fur throws for quite some time now, but decided awhile ago that when I did finally get one, it was going to be AMAZING and huge and super cozy... and therefore probably very expensive. And just as I expected, I've fallen in love with one, and it costs a pretty penny. Or, you know, 19,900 pretty pennies, if you want to be specific about it.

That's right friends. I'm head over heels for a blanket that costs $199 ON SALE. I think I'm almost in a bit of shock at the fact that a measly little piece of material would cost this much, but that doesn't mean I don't still love it.

I've found other faux fur throws that look just as cozy and amazing as the one above, but here's a crucial little tidbit of information I learned recently - a throw rings in at 50x60" on average, which isn't even long enough for a shorty like me to tuck her feet under and still pull up to her chin. A blanket, on the other hand, like the one I'm in love with, is much larger - 96x80" on this one - which not only means I could practically drown in it, but also means that, say, a husband or a puppy would also fit perfectly underneath for some cuddle action when it's chilly out. I'll go ahead and call this one perfection minus the price tag.

Happy Monday! Stay warm.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


It's no secret I'm a super cheapskate (and proud of it), but I've learned over the last year or so that sometimes I just have to suck it up and splurge a little on something that is really really good quality that'll last. So, I've gathered myself a few key investment pieces, including my latest purchase just last night - a Betsey Johnson hooded anorak with a detachable faux fur liner. It is 110% my new favorite thing.

Truth be told, I didn't just say "time to invest in a Fall jacket!" and run out shopping. Instead, I did what you would expect I would do - I spent WEEKS running to every store imaginable, trekking to the outlet mall and searching online to try to find something I loved for a bargain. But, the very specific list of requirements that I had for my new coat left me with very few options, and this Betsey Johnson find was literally exactly what I wanted. For the record, the list included: hood, water resistant, goes past my butt, detachable liner, drawstring waist so it doesn't just hang on me, not a peacoat style, and preferably gray so it would work with my black bag that I carry everyday and/or my navy Hunter boots. (I wasn't being super difficult about this or anything) ;). So even though this coat checked every single requirement off my list, at $139 on sale, it still took quite awhile to convince myself to just go for it.

In the end, my decision was made thanks to a few factors:
- I had literally been to every store I could think of to look for a coat
- I had talked about needing a coat so much that even my boss was on the lookout for one for me
- The amount of time and gas money I was spending looking for something that I liked as much as the Betsey Johnson coat was getting a little ridiculous
- It was chilly and raining almost every day last week and I was VERY crabby about my lack of a hood to keep my glasses dry

So I splurged. $150 after taxes is a major hit on my monthly shopping budget, but I couldn't be happier about it. And if things go as planned, I'll still have several weeks left to sport my new coat before the temperatures really drop, and thanks to the detachable liner this baby will also be perfect in the spring!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

If I had a Million Dollars: Target + Neiman Marcus

Sometimes, I feel like Target just knows me. Given some of the marketing research I've seen, they sort of actually do in a weird way, but I'm talking about personal stuff here. Like I feel like Target is a real life friend that's there when I need them and knows exactly how to make me feel better. And don't bother pointing out that this is somewhat pitiful, I am fully aware, and not ashamed in the slightest.

Last night, I was wandering through my favorite Target location when I spotted a really sadly stocked endcap of Nate Berkus goods. Mind you, the Nate Berkus line isn't supposed to debut until Sunday morning, and I have been hyping this day up in my mind for MONTHS, so having it suddenly in front of me four days early was about as sad as a deflated balloon. What's worse, the endcap looked terrible and the packaging on everything was a disaster. I'm holding out hope that the items I saw were damaged in transit and that's why they put them out early, but that seems like backwards marketing, and either way, I was bummed.

So, I was pretty angry with my favorite store.

Then this afternoon, right as I actually felt like I could take 10 minutes to tool around online after a morning of meetings and craziness at work, I get an email from the beloved retailer announcing the first looks at their upcoming Neiman Marcus holiday collection partnership with some MAJOR big name designers (half of whom I've never heard of, let's be honest).

And there it was. More than 50 insanely gorgeous holiday gifts for me to peruse and pin and swoon over. My love for Target was immediately reignited. See what I mean about them just knowing? It's like they sensed that I was seriously mad, and figured they'd better do something big to make it better.

Obviously plenty of items in the collection would make perfect gifts, but I figured it was more fun initially to put together my personal favorites for the first installment of my newest blog feature - If I had a Million Dollars. You know, to buy whatever I want.

Clockwise from top left:

Proenza Schouler Sweatshirt ($29.99) - Nothing screams my name like a "nice" looking sweatshirt.

Marc Jacobs Pouch ($69.99) - Let's be real for a second here. I LOVE Marc Jacobs stuff. Every time I walk past a store without going in my heart hurts a little. But it's one of those brands I'm just not quite ready or able to invest in just yet because, well, I'm a major cheapskate. And these pouches aren't cheap either, but I can already imagine how pretty and soft they're going to be!

Band of Outsiders Best Friends Hats ($29.99 for two) - Bridget and I are going to be the coolest kids on the block with these. If I were you, I'd be a teensy bit jealous. ;)

Band of Outsiders Cookie Cutters ($29.99) - A slightly obnoxious price for 5 cookie cutters, but I imagine if I were to show up at my sister's door with a box of bow tie cookies she'd never stop telling me I'm the best sister in the world, and the wayfarer style glasses are bananas amazing.

Tory Burch Lunchbox ($19.99) and Thermos ($24.99) - What professional adult woman wouldn't want a trendy lunchbox? Nobody? Just me? Well whatever. I think it's awesome.

Is anyone else looking forward to this collection? See any items you want to get your hands on?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

In the Kitchen

I knew pretty early on that I was going to love our updated kitchen, but it really didn't completely occur to me until this weekend when we finished up a few more pieces of it and I utilized the heck out of my new counter space with lots of baking.

First up was FINALLY getting the doors on the cabinets. I was honestly very very VERY little help in the door-painting, so this chunk of the kitchen work is all thanks to Dan. Thanks cakes! I am loving how clean the whole kitchen looks with the doors on. And look!!! We have drawers!!! In our kitchen!!! You have no idea how exciting this is.

We also grabbed some shelves (finally) at Ikea over the weekend and Dan hung those up for me Sunday. I of course wasted no time at all styling them, and am totally smitten with all my colorful little kitchen goodies being out in the open and brightening up what used to be an unused wall.

(I just realized that the majority of the stuff on my shelves is from West Elm - the pretty little bowls, owl butter dish, and 'L' mug and small plates underneath it. Guess it's pretty clear who's homegoods make my heart skip!)

With lots of the clutter off the kitchen cart and the counter, I started up some baking right off the bat, beginning with homemade breadcrumbs that were toasting in the oven before the shelves were even fully hung.

Considering how insanely simple the breadcrumbs were, I imagine no stale bread will ever go to waste in our house again. I just threw chunks of bread into my food processor, spread the crumbs out on a cookie sheet and toasted them in a 350 oven for 7 minutes, and then mixed in a bit of olive oil and italian seasoning before throwing them all in an airtight container for later use. 

My infatuation of baking with apples continued with a recipe I make every year because it is THAT good - caramel apple cheesecake cookie bars. The hubs and I enjoyed a piece with a movie last night...

...while my caramel apple cinnamon ice cream base steeped in the fridge. After churning, I added in ALL of the below - cooked cinnamon apples, a caramel drizzle and graham cracker chunks. I have no doubts this is going to be decadent.

Overall, a bit of an indulgent weekend mixed with lots of hugs from my adorable nieces, a little bit of sleeping in and some shopping with my mom, sister and aunt. It's back to the grind today, but at least it's already Tuesday!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just in Time

I finally decided to give up on finding the perfect sectional for the front porch and work with what we have. After all, a sectional would have run us at least $500, and spending a chunk of money on a really nice couch for the front porch isn't really top priority for us right now. And, the weather is at that perfect temperature where I just want to put on a hoodie and hang around outside (or on the porch with all the windows open). So, cheap updating it is!

I didn't exactly plan for quite so many matchy pops of my favorite teal, but it happened and I'm sort of loving it. And my sunshiney yellow chair adds in plenty of other color, so it works pretty perfectly.

The chair is from craigslist, the pillow cover is from Target, and the tall vase is from Ikea (and will likely get a happy dose of color in the form of spray paint someday). The amazing little tables were a score at Dan's new church's community garage sale this summer. I grabbed them for $8 each and spray painted the bronzy frames teal. The glass tops keep the small space from looking too crowded, and I love that they have kind of a bamboo look (although they're actually metal and super solid!)

The couch is the one I found in our alley (don't judge) and made Dan lug home with me at the beginning of the summer. I found the two flowery teal pillows on a Target endcap for $5 each just last week and LOVE them - they're heavy duty indoor/outdoor pillows, which makes them perfect for a space that's likely to get dusty and a little dirty. The sequined pillows were another Target clearance find last year on New Year's Eve and have migrated around the house since then.

I shoved a few thumbtacks into the wall to hang leftover pinwheels from the wedding, and a few more tacks in the ceiling were perfect for paper lanterns (also from the wedding)!

There's still a little decluttering to be done on the opposite side of the porch, but for now, I think this little space is perfect and ready for a glass of wine and a board game with friends!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Nautical Nursery

Don't get too excited dear (3) readers. I'm not planning a nursery just yet. But one of my besties is, and she made the mistake of mentioning liking nautical stuff to me, so naturally I have now taken it upon myself to become fully obsessed with anything and everything I see with anchors or whales on it. I was also looking for an excuse to not fold my laundry yesterday afternoon, and for one reason or another I find it thrilling to try and fit images together in a photoshopped square, so this happened -

Really, I'm not that crazy. See that a.maz.ing. ship's wheel mirror in the top right corner there? I found that bad boy on craigslist for a measly $30 yesterday morning during my typical browsing (yes, I like to type in my town regardless of if I need anything just to see what people are getting rid of - it's an addiction). I emailed the mama-to-be and nicely pointed out that I (really - she) could plan an entire nursery around that mirror, and I felt like the fact that it was just minutes from my house was a sign that it was meant to be.

Thankfully, she agreed that the mirror was a must-have, and since I had preemptively emailed the guy just in case, it was basically already ours and all I had to do was pick it up! And then the rest of this little mood board followed.

So, for anyone out there that's looking to plan a nautical nursery that doesn't scream "a baby lives in here!", peruse the links below and let me know what you think. And for anyone that doesn't like the lack of super-childish stuff, just imagine a crib, rocking chair and adorable bouncing bundle of joy in there, and it's instantly perfectly baby!

Clockwise from top left:
Moby Whale Wall Decor ($39)  |  Cast Iron Anchor ($8.50)  |  Ship's Wheel Mirror (craigslist)
Storage Boxes ($7.99)  |  Night Drops Pillow Cover ($39)  |  Ollie the Octopus ($14.99)
Chevron Pillow Cover ($14.99)  |  Sailor's Knot Bookend ($18)  |  Storage Chest ($69.99)
Nautical Art Prints ($30)  |  Anchor Box ($28)  |  Letter Hooks ($14 each)