Reel Women: Barefoot in the Park

barefoot in the park

drop earrings | delia fur circle scarf | hammered bangles | vintage snakeskin clutch | wool bow coat | velvet pillow | lasso pillow | charlotte sofa

Happy Friday to everyone and happy birthday to my wonderful, adorable mother, I love you so much! Thanks for introducing me to Barefoot in the Park and pretty much every other movie that is worth watching.

I love this movie and Jane Fonda’s character Corrie Bratter had to be my November reel woman because you love her but she simultaneously drives you crazy. Her and her uptight, newlywed husband Paul (Robert Redford) move to this insanely small apartment after they’re married that’s about 10 flights of stairs up from the street, leaks snow in from the roof, has a bedroom the size of a closet, and an eccentric neighbor who tries to flirt with Jane Fonda’s mother. Jane is terrified every fight she and her husband have spells divorce, so she’s constantly trying to make the best of their ridiculous apartment, crying inconsolably about their fights, and ending up realizing that perfect isn’t going to happen but that doesn’t mean imperfect means the end of her marriage, and she and her husband figure out sometimes it’s best to just go barefoot in the park and accept that life is what it is and whoever is in it with you, if they belong, is going to figure it out right along with you.

The holidays are coming up and sometimes it kinda feels like perfect has to happen. As if, if you don’t paint a picture with your life that resembles the inn in White Christmas or the Thanksgiving dinner in Holiday Inn that everything is going to crumble and every tradition ever created has been failed…doesn’t it sometimes feel like that? This season I’m going to try and enjoy though instead of survive. I’m not going to care if certain things do or don’t happen, if everything looks right, feels right, is right. I’m just going to go with it and if I have to, run barefoot in the park to let off a little stress. 

– <3 A. 

Vintage Muse Modern Views: Easter Parade

vintage easter outfit ideas

1. Leona Tunic dress by Darling | 2. Brookmont Structured Purse | 3. Contessa Snakeskin bow pumps | 4. Every Day Memory Book | 5. Mini Diana and Flash set in Blue

I don’t know what holidays would be without Irving Berlin. From White Christmas to Easter Parade, the man single-handedly composed (pun intended) the aura of  nostalgia surrounding the the 1940-1960 American holiday that we moderns still pine away for. It really is quite astonishing. Of course every generation has its trend-setters, but to be a 70 year and counting tradition-setter, now there’s something. His 1948 film Easter Parade and associated lyrics are quite the perfect vintage muse for a modern Easter, a lace dress with all the frills upon it, a clover colored handbag, shoes worthy of fifth avenue, something to let you be this year’s photographer, and of course a place to write a sonnet just in case the spring air has got you feeling rather eloquent. Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

– <3 A. 

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DIY “Twelve Days of Christmas” Advent Tree

Soooooo, it’s a little late for an advent calendar. To be exact, it’s twelve days late, and instead of getting upset at myself for letting yet another year trundle by without a little more pre-planning, I decided to make a Twelve Days of Christmas Tree instead.

DIY Advent Tree

This is such a fun DIY, so, so cheap (about $5 not including the gift-wrap), and makes a big impact for about ten minutes of work! I’d say that’s the perfect do-it-yourself project for me.

DIY Twelve Days of Christmas Tree

twelve days of christmas

  1.  Find a strong branch: probably the most important part of this DIY, don’t just shove flimsy sticks into a jar, for a big impact you’ll need a fairly substantial limb with lots of thin branches. This guy came from a grapefruit tree in my backyard but pretty much any sort of tree would work. I think if you could find a birch tree,  those branches would be absolutely beautiful and very season-appropriate with it’s white bark. And of course, nature is free!
  2.  Fill a vase full of miniature Christmas balls. I used plastic balls for this project, they’re much cheaper (about $2.00 for a case of 25) and also won’t break very easily. The vase was a $3.00 find, I’ve actually seen some smaller versions at the Dollar Store, but Wal-mart and Big Lots have them too.
  3.  Wrap your gifts, add numbered labels from 1 to 12, and hang the little presents on the tree with a hook, just like decorating a Christmas tree. And that’s it!

Wrapping the gifts is probably the most fun. Pick small, light things so you don’t weigh down your tree too much: candies, small toys, lip-gloss, nail-polish, or even gift-cards would be perfect. I couldn’t find gift-wrap I liked that matched so instead, I just picked out some scrapbook papers that looked cute together:

vintage wrapping paper

These papers were actually way cheaper than gift-wrap, and they’re the perfect size for small gifts. Then, I hand-printed numbers on some card-stock, punched a hole in them, and tied them on with assorted, left-over ribbons and twine from last Christmas:

diy advent tree diy advent tree DIY wrapping paperEvery year, four of my favorite ladies and I get together for our annual Christmas party. This year, we’re cutting back a bit and only giving each other small things. No matter if you all agree on it or not though, little boxes are always a little disappointing. Hanging all the gifts on this tree though is a perfect way to make little gifts look absolutely fabulous. I’m planning on giving each of them three little gifts, but this would be fun to do just for one person and have them open one gift for the last twelve days leading up to Christmas.

advent tree twelve days of christmas tree diy christmas craft

twelve days of christmas advent tree diy

Isn’t it adorable? Even though I got inspired to do this tree because I was lazy and didn’t pre-plan for a real advent tree, when I finished it I decided this might be a new tradition. Besides, it’s soooo much easier to find twelve gifts than it is to find twenty-four! Hope you’re inspired-

– <3 A. 

Stylin’ it “White Christmas”

white christmas irving berlin

December isn’t December, and Christmas isn’t Christmas without watching “White Christmas.” I’m always envious of how absolutely picture-perfect their holiday is: an adorable inn set in the woods of Vermont, snow, some Irving Berlin tunes, and hot milk and sandwiches eaten by an open fire.

Probably my favorite part of the movie though isn’t really Christmas-ey at all, it’s the Haynes sisters’ chic wardrobe: perfectly tailored and unfailingly classy, their sweater sets, pumps, gowns, and even robes just scream “feminine.”

white christmas haynes sisters

white christmas haynes sisters

Regardless of where you’re spending your Christmas, even if it’s not the ideal, snowy woods of the East Coast, you probably (or, rather, hopefully) have a few holiday parties on your calendar: perhaps a coffee date, a meet the parents night (eek!), the looming office-Christmas-bash, or an evening at the Nutcracker. If you’re fretting about what to wear, channel a little Haynes sisters this year and go for a modern view on some classic, feminine chic:

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1. J. Crew “Sara” dress | 2. Modcloth Tracy Reese Orchestral Arrangement Dress | 3. J. Crew “Heidi” gown

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4. Modcloth A Lady and a Collar Top | 5. Etched Stretch Bracelet | 6. Scalloped Teardrop Princess Earrings

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7. Rosemary Pumps in Wine | 8. Modcloth Back to classic Skirt | 9. Modcloth Lace Your Love Grosgrain Cardigan

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10. Modcloth Just Teal a Story Dress | 11. Over the Moon Heels | 12. Modcloth My own Rendition earrings in Mint

Shopping isn’t really one of my favorite things, but with a little vintage musing, it’s so much easier to brave the stores in search of a modern version of the picture-perfect image in my head. I think with a little help from the Haynes sisters, this year’s round of holiday meet-and-greets will be such a breeze, hope you’re inspired!

– <3 A. 

Plain Jane

Jane Austen illustrationsPlain Jane: “I must endeavor to subdue my mind to my fortune. I must learn to brook being happier than I deserve.”

-Jane Austen in Persuasion 

I had the absolute best weekend celebrating Thanksgiving, my birthday, and the beginning of the Christmas season. It’s rather difficult to find myself back at a typical Monday after so much fun but Jane says “I must learn to brook being happier than I deserve,” and so I shall, very happily.

Between Seasons


I’ve been posting a lot about food lately, I know. But I simply can’t help it with all the beautiful bounty from Thanksgiving yesterday. Hope everyone had as lovely and as tasty a day as I did. Black Friday doesn’t … Continue reading

Autumn Aspirations

October is swiftly coming to a close, can you believe it? I always want to hold on to these last few months at the year’s end. Call it nostalgia or call it just the January-blues, but regardless of what the previous year held for me, I’m never ready to see it drift away and watch the new one come into view. October is like a security blanket. It’s as if everyone does a collective sigh from the year’s ups and downs and finally remembers to look around and enjoy each other.

Maybe you have a different experience. Maybe the end of the year festivities fill you with dread and give you a sense of being overwhelmed by trying to get everything just right. It doesn’t have to be just right though. It doesn’t even really have to be close. In honor of making some easy memories without too much time to plan, and with a weekend staring us straight in the face full of moments to make memorable, here are a few musts for your October-end:

Drink far, far too much coffee:

coffee Decorate at least ONE table in your house:

fall decorating ideasok, maybe two:
fall decorating ideas Read a novel:

reading Indulge in Pumpkin-Spice-everything: Come December I am so over Pumpkin-Spice, but for October and November I enjoy it without even a splash of guilt:

fall recipes Find an excellent pumpkin-patch…
pumpkin patch
pumpkin patch …and someone special to carry the pumpkins for you:

Happy weekend everyone! Hope you can make some memories and enjoy the beauty that is October.

– <3 A.