Friday, July 29, 2011

Page-ing all book nerds!

So I was planning on posting about sparkly goodness, but I couldn't resist posting on these fabulous book-inspired pieces I've been drooling over!

After buying the rhino head from Anthro,


You guys. I am SO excited to get this in and hang it up. Joseph loves it, too! Yay.

I started searching out other items that used book pages as their main elements. Obviously I went straight to Etsy, and I was not disappointed.

This Artichoke Pendant is wonderful:

From seller Zipper8Lighting

Maybe I love it so much because I love artichokes (by which I mean that I love anything I can dip into lemon butter). Or maybe it's because it looks so much like paillettes (please to refer to the following Valentino):

Not for sale anymore. Sorry my loves.

Aha, accidental shiny! Yay!

Also, you know I love me some chandeliers, and a pendant is basically a pre-pubescent chandelier, so there's that, too.

I've seen these wreaths at small boutiques, and for some crazy reason still don't own one:

Etsy by MySparrowsNest

That one is made of antique hymnal pages, which is super-cool, in my personal opinion.

I also love the "poof" version of the page wreath:

Etsy by themillersground

So fun! And great for us English major geeks.

Aaaaand I'm now obsessed with these prints by Collage-O-Rama. There are a ton of them, but a few favorites include:

The Guv'nor:


The WellDressed Deer:


Victorian Doctor Stork:


And the phenomenal-est to me, Eye Heart Ewe:


Eye Heart Ewe holds a special place in my heart, and I will tell you why. The bathroom that my sister and I shared growing up had two sinks with a big mirror over them, and Ann Marie and I would sometimes write notes to each other in dry erase marker. One time I drew her a mural that looked like this:

Do you know what is not a ewe? An emu. So that says "I heart emu". And it's not like I don't heart emus, because they are birds and therefore I do heart them, but I was trying to make a sisterly declaration of love and failed. But also won, because we got a huge kick out of it. And now I always remember which is a ewe and which is an emu.

Happy weekend, all! I heart ewe!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sparkle Thursday being pushed to tomorrow...

Because today I'm a guest blogger on my phenomenal friend/coworker's blog! I aspire to her blog prowess.

Her blog is wonderful; spend time and look around while you're there.

Here's a picture of my bird, Aerial:

Tune in tomorrow for sparkletude; it'll be life-changing (maybe).

Also, if you happen to be first-time visitor, welcome to ladychirpsalot! I'm pretty new to this blogging bizness, but I'm enjoying the heck out of it and learning as I go.



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wild Wednesday!

Let's admit it: yesterday's post was a good one. And I'm still hung up on exotic decor, so I've been seeking out smaller elements that could be easily implemented into any room to bring the Moroccan in.

First up, a glamorous shiny pouf!

At the appropriately named Casbah Decor

The silver will match anything, and it can triple-duty as an ottoman, side table, and piece of functional art.

The deep brown and white version is equally delightful:

Also at Casbah Decor

I mean not equally delightful, as it isn't shiny, but it's certainly a close second!

On an even smaller scale is a quick and easy touch that adds bright pops of color: lanterns.

On Amazon

And a green one!

Also on Amazon

I'd get about five of them and hang them staggered over a table or in a corner; preferably near a window that gets sunlight to imitate how they are meant to look with tea lights in them.

They'd also be beautiful used as table centerpieces, methinks.

Anthropologie's blue Alhambra quilt would echo the theme nicely:

And obviously you'd need this papier mache gazelle as the final touch.

You know you want it! I ordered the rhino.

Now who's up for a safari?? Or at least emulating one in a similarly bedecked apartment?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mo-rockin' out on a Tuesday!

And we're back to design love! As much as I adore and appreciate the interwebz, I still get so excited when I get a catalog in the mail. West Elm to me can be very hit or miss (and I have quite a few of what I like to think are hits in mine and Joseph's apartment), and their recent catalog had a LOT of hits. They are hawking some limited edition Indian-inspired wares, which got my exotic bug all a-flutter.

Prime example of the collection: this gorgeous hand-carved-in-Jaipur coffee table for which I yearn:


If only I had literally anywhere to put in our apartment! Isn't it beautiful?

So then my brain travelled west from India and over to Morocco, and I went on a scavenger hunt for exotically-themed rooms. Look what I found for us to ogle!

This nook of a powder room was designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard and showcased on Architectural Digest.

The gold tones throughout it are lovely with the blue of the wallpaper stripes and the Moroccan covering on the stool. Plus who doesn't love a sturdy, marble-topped vanity?

Communists, that's who.

This dining room, designed by Gene Meyer and Frank De Biasi, is a funky rainbow of tropical and Morrocan.

On House Beautiful

Which is fitting, since it's in Miami and all. The pagoda-y valance and scalloped moulding are a fresh take on an old-world style, and the traditional dining chairs keep the room grounded.

In the words of Jay-Z, on to the next one! Designed by Antonello Radi is this gloriously European-eclectic living room.

From the ever-inspiring Elle Decor

I can't even imagine living in a place like that. I picture it as an endless paradise of Tempranillo, early 20th century literature, and nearly-sheer sundresses. Which means I'm moving there immediately.

And because it's what I do, I've saved my favorite for last!

I don't actually know where this image is from, I just stumbled upon it on Google and had to use it. Sorry :(

As far as which I'd rather live in, the one before this is my favorite, but this one trumps it for just looking at value.

It's definitely an only-for-show room, but the deeper than pastel colors and exotic accents are hands-down beautiful. Who thinks to pair light raspberry tufted wingbacks with Moroccan tables? Seriously, though, if you know who thinks to do that and designed this room, please ping me and let me know.

Ya salam! Baraka allahu feek!

Monday, July 25, 2011

PTO on Friday...

Joseph and I went to D.C. this weekend to visit some of his family.

That is not a family member of his. That is a baby duck.

And that is an adorable baby deer.

You know why?


Because when you take even one day of PTO,

work can be insane from the moment you step foot back in the office.

Which means you don't have time to do a witty designy blog post, and instead just want to admire some cute to keep your brain from essploding.

Happy Monday! I hope a good squee brings delight to the start of your work week :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Glitter + Drama

Listen up. I have some heartbreaking news.

I'm going to be out of town tomorrow, and will not be able to post. I'm sorry! But I'll try to make Monday's post extra-awesome to make up for it. For right now, though, SPARKLES!

My friend Katelynn (shes's phenomenal; read her blog! Tease Me Beauty) introduced me to Katy Perry's line of nail polish for OPI, and I am now obsessed with the "Teenage Dream" polish.

Amazon haz it.

You have to put on about 4 coats to get that look, but it's so worth it. Nail polish remover basically doesn't do anything to get it off of your nails, so you end up peeling it off, but again: worth it. I paint my nails and then love watching myself type at work, which I'm sure doesn't sound weird at all.

Imagine it paired with this glorious Nicole Miller:

Can you say "wow factor"? I think you can. Although if you can't...I mean...that's cool,

The end! Have a sparkly weekend, ok? I'll do the same in Virginia, and see you glitter babes Monday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


"But Natalie," you're surely asking yourselves, "how am I supposed to carry all these wonderful new sun-themed items??"

Aha! I have thought of this for you, my loves! With a lovely beach tote (or pool tote, or picnic tote, or insert other summery activity here tote), of course!

I always avoid spending the money on a tote especially for summer, and then summer rolls around and I'm stuck using one of the green reusable H-E-B bags and feeling like an unfashionable goober. So I have vowed to buy a new bag and leave the H-E-B one to its original purpose: sitting in my trunk and being forgotten every time I go grocery shopping (oops).

Without further ado- bags!

We'll start with a Marc by Marc Jacobs. I mean, who doesn't like stripes?

Available at Saks

It also comes in yellow and navy, for the non-red fans among us. It's technically sold as a shopping bag, but I think it's the perfect beach tote: the nylon is easy to clean if you spill some sangria on it, and the nautical stripes will pair with just about any swimsuit print.

A pricier but more versatile option is this twig-tastic tote from Diane von Furstenberg:

I love love love the print and the delicious teal. You probably wouldn't want to take this guy to, say, the Corpus beach (no offense, but I grew up there and know the beaches can get a leetle dirty), but it's a great go-to for the pool or an exotic beach trip. Plus since it's a little nicer you don't have to transfer your stuff when you go out to dinner later. Think of the time savings! That's at least another minute and a half right there.

Other lovely colors/prints:

Available at my go-to site, Piperlime, is this beauty from Roberta Roller Rabbit:

Plus it has a pink interior, and it makes me so happy when a designer goes the tiny extra step to put in a special lining. There you are, chilling on the beach, when all of a sudden you realize you need some sunscreen. You open the bag and BAM- LINING SURPRISE! It makes reapplying so much more fun.

Don't you just love summer??

A special thanks to Ranjana for the bag post idea :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And I found your sunnies!

I know you've been frantically searching for the perfect glasses to pair with your floppy hat.


because I have found them for you.

You're welcome.


I would really like to say I'm kidding here, but I'm not. I mean, I can see that they are crazy, but they still make me squee with delight. I legitimately think those rock, and ask you to please not be surprised if you see me wearing them in the future.

End transmission!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sassy Sun Shieldage

This weekend was full of amazing. I am constantly overwhelmed by how many incredibly wonderful friends I somehow lucked into knowing and tricked into liking me, and being in a lake house with a number of them for two days solidified the love.

A sampling of us before the concert.

That being said, it was hot outside. Saturday was actually a bit overcast which was welcome since we were in/on the lake for a big part of the day, but I was oh-so-thankful for my giant sun hat, as were my lake compatriots that were similarly be-hatted. I bought this silly Kate Spade a couple of months ago as a promotion present to myself, and it's been an integral part of my summer:

It's not on her website anymore, so I don't have a link to it :( But every time I wear it I feel just a little bit more whimsical, and it's nice and lightweight so it blocks the sun without adding heat.

KS also came out with this hat (now on sale!), which has almost the same whimsy factor and a whole lotta character:

Doesn't it just make you smile?

On the other end of the color spectrum is the black straw hat. I'm sure it would be a little bit hotter than the natural-hued ones, but this wide-brim number is just endlessly chic!

at Amazon

It's so old-school movie star (but at a normal-people price point)! I want to buy it, put on red lipstick, wear it everywhere, and be known as the Mysterious Lady in the Big Black Hat. I suppose I'd have to remove it when I take author calls, but otherwise I'd be set.

My friend Jaime had a straw hat with a sash this weekend, similar to this one from Asos.

In fact I think it may have been that exact hat. Dashing!

The fact that I was outside as much as I was this weekend and am miraculously not sunburned proves that the big floppy sun hat is a must-have. Especially for fellow vampire-skinned humans such as little ole meself.

So go! Embrace the floppy! Bonus points if you add Jackie O sunglasses.

Friday, July 15, 2011


The girls in our group that are going to see Ghostland tomorrow decided it would be sweet to wear neon to the concert. At first I balked (namely because my closet is replete with black), but then I did some soul searching (read: internet searching) and decided maybe I do love neon! Not in a sorority girl/cheap wayfarers kind of way, because oh my god why does that happen?? But done correctly turns out neon can full-on rock.

Blake Lively certainly thinks so!

or at least she did in 2009...

Admittedly that girl could wear jorts and still look spectacular, but this highlighter pink is stellar on her. Blinding but in a way that makes you not want to look away, although I'll be the first to admit that it could be her face/body/hair that keeps you ogling.

Also, I take the jorts thing back. Please don't ever wear jorts, Blake Lively.

I do, however, encourage Blake (and others) to wear this snazzy orange bikini:

Yay for ShopBop!

It's hard in Austin to be an orange clothing fan, because no matter what you end up looking like your body is shouting "I LOVE U.T.!!!!!!" Which is fine and all, but I'm a Rice nerd. While I certainly don't not love U.T., I just have a hard time wearing their iconic hue.

This next dress isn't exactly neon, but yellow to me is still in that spectrum, so voila!

It may not be super neon, but it is super cute. A variation on what is (in my mind) the really overplayed one-shouldered look. I think I'd especially love it with navy patent heels.

Speaking of heels, our good friend Brian Atwood brings us the Rene sandal over which to drool and lust.

Begin thinking sinful thoughts about shoes now:

Amirite or amirite?? I'm totally right.

It's like candy! Not even eye candy, real candy.

Please to meet its cousin Felini:

I plan on inviting myself to their next family reunion. I'll be that random person at the reunion that you aren't sure if you are related to, so you end up cornering them near the ice chest after your fourth machine-margarita and talking about Crazy Uncle Lime Shoe who you heard was cheating on his wife with some skank-face named Madame Chartreuse. Then I'll reveal that I am, in fact, Madame Chartreuse, come to take out Aunt Lamey McLilac behind the potato salad bar. And you'll give me free expensive pumps to shut me up and make me leave.

Wow. Thank the lord it's Friday and I have a half-day at work.

After that ridulousness, it's time for a drink, don't you agree?

from Drinks Mixer

I scaled it to 2 servings, because...well..duh.

Have an absolutely fantastic weekend, beautiful readers of mine! Remember, ain't no party in the sad, sad, city, so keep the world joyful!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ridiculous glitter Thursday!

We're going to see Ghostland play on Saturday, so glitter is all sortsa on my mind.

I wish I could dress up as this for the concert:

In my mind that is awesome, but I have a distinct feeling Sebastian would say, You are hopeless, child. You know that? Completely hopeless.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ain't no trip to Cleveland...

I know you've all been just dying to hear about mine and Joseph's Bottle Rocket weekend extravaganza, so I will tell you- it was AMAZING. Hands down phenomenal, every thing I wanted it to be, yadda yadda yadda.

I'll give you the very short and non-eloquent version (complete with photos courtesy of Jen Flores).

Our good friends from high school (who are now married) drove up from San Antonio to collect us, and we were basically the first people at the motel. There was epic squee-ing upon seeing the Day's Inn! I'd also never stayed in a motel before, so I was very excited about this. (well the squeeing was technically after we stopped at Wal-Mart and got me some Claritin. I may be allergic to Hillsborough, Texas, you guys. This will probably in no way affect my future, however, as Hillsborough has about as much in the way of tourist attractions as my right foot. Um, minus the fat toes. ANYHOW)


That's class is what that is.

Joseph and I made out, ahem, posed in the pool where Anthony and Inez first kiss:

You can't see it, but that's my favorite J.Crew bikini. You'd like it.

John and Jen then went all out and dressed up like Anthony and Inez:

Later they got to be interviewed for a documentary about the event, too!

Then Joseph and I gazed into a field:

Whilst gazing, the Alamo Roadshow guys were setting up the huge inflatable screen about 20 feet from us. We offered to help but must not have sounded that convincing, so instead we drank Guinness and grilled steaks and corn. Nom.

And then Bob Maplethorpe showed up! In case you need memory refreshing, clip of him here.

I got his autograph for my friend and my seester. He told me a story but I couldn't really concentrate on it, given that the whole time I was thinking, "oh my god your voice sounds the exact same as it did in the movie! PLEASE SAY SOMETHING ICONIC FROM THE MOVIE."

Before the movie I also won a Criterion Collection edition for standing at a microphone and saying a line from the film. Sweet. 

After the movie the motel exploded into major party mode. An EXTREMELY large dude dressed up as Bob from the movie decided I was Inez, so every time he saw me throughout the night he'd yell "INEZ!" and give me beer. I was not upset by these events. We also met and hung out with (for like 3.5 minutes) the owner of the Alamo Drafthouse, who is pretty much a very nice dude-bro named Tim in quasi-hipster gear.

The next day before leaving we had a confused mother of three at the gas station across from the motel take an iconic Wes Anderson photo of us:

It's a medley of a few different scenes/movies.

Then we drove home, and I found out that John's uncle-type person is an author we work with that writes erotic thrillers. 

So, all in all: success! Full success!