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Arm Candy

Arm Candy 54

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Have I ever told you about my friend Carina?

You know…the one I met at a Sex and the City themed meet-up in Seattle that was tragically cross-posted with a (cringe) singles mixer? Carina was wearing a fabulously large fascinator, which clearly meant she wasn’t there to snag a man. I walked right over to introduce myself, and the rest is history.

friends

Carina and I have been dear friends ever since, and continue to meet up regularly, despite the fact that we’re half way across the country from each other. What can I say? When you find a good friend, you don’t let a little distance get in the way.

This year, Carina started a business creating handmade, stackable bangles that are incredibly lovely and chic. She gifted me a set of three this Christmas–each time I wear them, I’m literally showered with compliments. It’s no surprise Coat of Arms has exploded over the past few months!

The best part? Carina has been generous enough to give away a beautiful stack of jewels to one lucky ‘Sota reader! There are two gorgeous options to choose from.

bangles2

Stack #1:
Gray Agate Faceted Gemstone Beads and Light Blue Crystal Oval Beads. A very Luxe stack.
Measures 8.5 inches around (standard bangle size)
Gold brass wire

 

bangles1
Stack #2:
Handmade beads from women in Uganda, made from recycled glass. Purchased from a program that is working to create fair small business commerce to support their families.
Ocean blue and blue and white striped beads. Each are unique and one of a kind.
Gold Brass wire

 

Are you drooling yet? There’s nothing I love more than a statement piece around my wrist!

 

The giveaway ends on Sunday, and there are three chances to win. Ready, set, enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Let’s take a nap

Let’s take a nap 3

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This morning’s plan was to write a charming little post about the latest and greatest in my television arsenal. (Cut me some slack…there’s nothing else to do when it’s bitterly cold out.)

And then I woke up with a splitting headache. Also? Scott took my favorite cereal with him to work. All in all, a terrible start to the morning.

I’ve tried coffee. I’ve tried Tylenol. I’ve tried a heaping bowl of my second favorite cereal. Yet the throbbing in my head still remains.

So, I’ve decided forgo a “real” post, and instead am stealing an idea from an interior design blog I follow. Each week, Sarah creates a free printable to share with her readers. You simply download the PDF, print it out on some nice paper, and throw it in an 8×10 picture frame. Voila! Instant semi-art.

Today, I’ll be sharing my very first free printable with all y’all. It’s simple and graphic, inspired by the black and white gallery wall in my dining room.

I struggled with what I actually wanted the printable to say. Most of the ones I’ve seen have something positive and inspirational, like “Do what you love”, “Home is wherever I’m with you” or “Believe you can and you will”.

While these are lovely sentiments, they seemed a little too “fourth grade classroom kitty cat inspirational poster” for me. Creating a printable that said “Shine on, you crazy diamond” felt disingenuous to who I am as a person. So, I just went with the first thing that popped into my head.

printable

 

I kind of love it.

Want to hang this beauty up in your bathroom? You can download your copy here.

That’s all I got. Happy napping, friends!

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Meme the Taylors

Meme the Taylors 6

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I’m feeling a bit uninspired today, which is why I’m turning the tables and letting you come up with the dry humor, sarcastic reality TV references, and snarky photo captions.

In other words, it’s time to “meme” the Taylors.

(Oh…and for the one person reading this who doesn’t know what a meme is, it’s one of these….)

grumpy-catGod bless you, Grumpy Cat.

Below, you’ll find random photos from my iPhone of each Taylor family member. Leave your suggested meme captions in the comments section, and cross your fingers for good luck. I’ll be picking my favorite meme, and sending the winner a super-aweseome-yet-to-be-determined prize all the way from Maui next week.

(Unless you are allergic to macadamia nuts, in which case,  ”super awesome” may  be the wrong term.)

I think that covers it. Ready, set….meme!

Katrina

(Scott secretly snapped this photo while I was passed out on a flight to Phoenix.)

katrina

 

Scott

Going back for seconds at In-n-Out.

scott

Jolie

Hiding from our nieces and nephew in my overnight bag

jolie

Penny

Being lazy, but at least she’s not pooping in the guest room.

penny

Random Jellyfish

While not technically a member of our family, I couldn’t help but include the gelatinous zooplankton I discovered this morning on the photo stream Scott and I share. I’m assuming he took this photo while we were visiting my Uncle’s beach house over the holidays…?

(Also assuming that this is in fact, a jellyfish. I’m about ninety-nine percent certain I’ve identified him correctly…but there’s definitely a small chance this could also be someone’s placenta.)

jellyfish

(Sorry, that was gross.)

*******

The caption competition runs until Thursday at midnight, CST. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

(And please…no placenta captions. I think we can all agree that one is more than enough.)

 

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Giveaway! Giveaway! Give-A-WAAAAY!

Giveaway! Giveaway! Give-A-WAAAAY! 26

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In case you couldn’t tell, the title of today’s post is a reference to Steven Spielberg’s 1991 fantasy adventure, Hook. (“Rufio! Rufio! RU-FI-OOOOOO!!)

Anyone?

Alright…moving on.

So…uh…how about this apocalypse? Pretty crazy, right? While I don’t believe that today is actually the end of the world (The Mayans may not have been the nicest people in the world …but even they wouldn’t be cruel enough to end our existence before the Top Chef Seattle finale episode!) it certainly has caused me to push aside pressing matters like online shopping and reality TV so that I might engage in some important reflection. Most of my time spend in deep thought has been in regards to all of the cool stuff I want to do before the world (or my existence in it) actually ends.

You know…things like starting a family, buying a home, traveling to Africa and finally finishing my book.

Yet one accomplishment seems to rise above all the rest.

Finally completing my freaking wedding album.

I know, I know…it’s been nearly six years and I still haven’t gotten my ‘ish together and compiled all of our photographs into some sort of keepsake. This partly because I’m lazy, partly because I design websites all day and get too burnt out to design my own stuff, and partly because I don’t actually care for my wedding photos all that much.

Unfortunately, the wedding snapshots have been hanging out on a very old laptop. So old, I fear it may decombust before this alleged apocalypse, taking all of my beloved wedding memories with it. It seems the time has come to finally get serious about making the album.

So, when the people at Moleskine gave me the opportunity to try out their MILK Bespoke Books, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been working on my Milk book all week, and am kind of obsessed with it. (Alright…maybe more than kind of. Let’s just say I totally skipped last night’s new episode of Project Runway All-stars as I was totally engrossed in the creation of the book. Yeah. It’s that serious.)

I’m planning on finishing the album over the Christmas holiday, but wanted to share some in-progress previews so you can see why I’m so gosh darn excited.

How do I love this book? Let me count the ways.

1. It’s quick. All day long I work as a designer. While I love my job, I never feel like doing anything design-ey once I’m off the clock. While this book looks very designed, it was actually incredibly simple. I literally just picked a theme and then dragged my photos in. There are tons of options for customization if you want, but if you’re simple in need of a wham-bam-thank you-ma’am photo book (which I was) they can do that, too.

2. The program is extremely easy to use. Even my mom could do it — and that’s saying something as she can’t even properly use eBay. (Example: She accidentally ordered my sister 6 of the same birthday gifts last month thinking she had only ordered one. After not figuring out how to fix it, she simply gave them all to her.)

3. It makes your ‘ish look good. Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of how my wedding photos turned out. But in this book? They look amazing! It’s astonishing what a simple layout and elegant details can do to jazz up some lacklustre images.

4. The quotes.  Oh you know I love me a good quote. Being that the book is sixty pages, I appreciate being able to add some visual “rest areas” with cool sentiments on them. The best part? They have all the quote options built into the program. That means you don’t have to troll those annoyingly cheesy quote websites for the perfect passage…Milk has already done the grunt work for you.

5. It’s collaborative. When creating a photo book, you can share the book with friends via Facebook, Twitter or email. You can also invite up to nine friends to add and edit the book–how cool is that? It would be a perfect way to collect and document photos from a family vacation or group event. I invited Scott to contribute to our book, but he simply replied. “Sorry…I don’t like fairy tale stuff.”

Naturally, I immediately added this page.

Take that, Mr. Cynical!

6. It didn’t crash my computer. I’ve been doing this entire project via my ancient MacBook Pro that is essentially on life support. I assumed the process of uploading photos would take forever, but Milk has somehow magically programmed the photo book tool to be quick and crash-free…even if you’re on a dinosaur computer.

7. It looks fancy. This one’s pretty self-explanatory.

I am beyond thrilled to finish the book and finally have an actual wedding album. I’ve literally started this project four times with four different websites, and this is the only one I’ll finish. The books are stunning, the process was simple, and I didn’t have to rip my hair out sorting through a bunch of obnoxious photo filtering options. All in all, the process has been far less painful than I expected. Dare I say it, I’ve actually had fun working on this!

I have big plans for the finished project — namely, Scott Valentine’s Day gift. Sure, it’s gift that’s more for me than him, but I’m considering payback for V-Day 2004 — the year he presented me with an extremely unromantic jogging suit and tennis shoes. (On the bright side, he had the sense to select ones that were hot pink.)

The best part is that Scott isn’t the only one who will be receiving the gift of a Milk Bespoke photo book — I’m gifting a book to one of you! Here’s how to enter:

1. Pin the image below on Pinterest, and tell me about it in the comments section! (1 entry)

2. Tweet about the giveaway, and post a link to your tweet in the comments section (1 entry)

3. Post bout the giveaway on Facebook, and tell me about it in the comments section (1 entry)

4. Leave a comment sharing what type of book you would create. (1 entry)

That’s four chances to win! And remember, you must leave a comment for each way that you enter. I’ll randomly select a winner from the comments section on December 28, 2012 at midnight EST.

(That is if the world doesn’t end before then. But seriously…I don’t think the Mayan’s would want me to leave this world without getting to see a hard copy of my wedding album…right?)

*******

Psst! If you’re looking for the perfect last-minute Christmas gift, Milk is currently offering 25% off all gift vouchers!

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