Friday, September 30, 2011

friday favorite | My (fake) Vanilla Milkshake

I am always hungry. When I come home from work, when I watch "The Rachel Zoe" project, after I eat dinner - I always want something to snack on. This milkshake is the only thing that satisfies that need to pick. It's very filling, delicious and sooOOoo easy to make. Below is the recipe:

Put it all in a blender and blend until the ice is crushed and/or until it reaches your desired consistency.

Opps! My (fake) Vanilla Milkshake isn't actually vanilla at all, but it DOES taste like it! It's actually pretty healthy and will, thankfully, not leave you wanting more.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

blog of the week | The Selby

If you visit {The Selby}, the website pretty much speaks for itself. It's technically not a "blog", but it is a source I use frequently when I need an interesting and different still-life subject. Taking a glance at the images Todd Selby gathers tells a million stories. The personal spaces of his creative subjects leads his readers on a creative journey of their own. Below are some of the images I've saved and refer to A LOT.

Oliver Clegg, Louis Vuitton, New York City

Il Bucco Bakery, New York City

Alexander Wang, New York City

Elisa Nalin, Paris

Karlee Slater, Melbourne

Kate & Andy Spade, New York City

Natalie Wood, Sydney

(all photos are credited to The Selby)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

art | The Pictured Rocks

("The Pictured Rocks" is for sale! Please click {this} link if you want to see detailed information about this painting. Please leave a comment or email me at if you are interested in purchasing this piece.)

I created this piece after me, my boyfriend and some friends booked a trip to northern Michigan (specifically to the Tahquamenon Falls and the Pictured Rocks). I'm excited to see it in person and hopefully the weather will hold out for us!

This is my best friend, Colleen's favorite spot to escape to. Her and her family visited Silver Lake over the summer, and the beach with the Little Sable lighthouse is a place with which Colleen associates relaxation and peace. She recently moved into a new home and wanted to bring these feelings with her. She brought me a postcard from the Little Sable lighthouse and I gladly obliged to create this piece for her. She is very pleased with the results and I will post a picture once she hangs it :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

inspiration | 03

Books, movies, and the space around you can inspire you to create. Here are the couple of ways I escape my usual surroundings in order to relax and send my mind somewhere else...

"Influence" by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is a coffee-table book that includes a wide range of interviews with creative thinkers. People from Diane Von Furstenberg to Peter Beard to Karl Lagerfeld are all featured. My favorite interview is with Giambattista Valli. I filled up many pages of sketch pad with his quotes.

"East of Eden" by John Steinbeck is a novel I just recently read over this past summer. I somehow managed to graduate with an English degree never having to read his work (or the work of a lot of other classic authors) so now I'm going back and trying to catch up. "East of Eden" is a family drama that centers around three generations and also roughly follows the Bible story of Cain and Able. A friend from work recommended it to me, and with all of it's twists and turns and surprise endings, it made me a huge Steinbeck fan from that day forward.

"A Freewheelin' Time" by Suze Rotolo is my favorite book. It is the story of the relationship between the author and Bob Dylan just as he was coming into the limelight in New York City in the 1960's. I related to so many passages where she talked about relationships and life that I highlighted full pages of the book. It also introduced me to a lot of music in that era.

I know this is a simple one, but I always forget how lighting candles can change a mood in an instant until I actually do it. My family is always lighting scented candles around our house but I actually prefer the unscented ones. The natural light that comes from candles (even in the middle of the day) is romantic and relaxing.

"Factory Girl" with Sienna Miller and Hayden Christensen once again exemplifies my love for the 1960's era of art and music. Sienna Miller plays Edie Sedgwick so naturally that the when I see pictures of one or the other, they are almost interchangeable. It's a heartbreaking story but also gives the viewer a glimpse into Andy Warhol's "factory" and the lives of the people involved. The fashion and makeup are also captivating.

"Marie Antoinette" with Kirsten Dunst gets played in my room at least once every couple weeks. For awhile, it was every night while I was falling asleep. The pastel coloring of the entire film (thanks to Sophia Coppola), the music (thanks to Sophia Coppola), and the grandeur of Versaille definitely are all the components that makes me lose myself in this movie. It's kind of girly, but also kind of great.

"Stranger Than Fiction" with Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal was one of those movies that after I saw it the first time, I kept thinking about it and talking about it. It was like after I saw "The Truman Show" and I kept asking all my friends if they were actors, somewhere in the back of my head I started to that again. This movie is a good reminder that when life is feeling pre-planned or stuffy, to make a change.

Monday, September 26, 2011


Where do you go when you feel you wanna get away from it all?

Well if you're like me, you live on a budget and you have a job with only so many vacation days. With these restrictions, I have found a way to find places that make you feel away from your usual surroundings. My place happens to be anywhere downtown in my hometown of Detroit - architecture, cars whizzing by, narrow streets, bums, trash, fountains, art, culture.

This week is all about finding those places that bring us rejuvenation. Some of these places are close (like the Detroit Institute of Arts), some are distant (like the rich forests of Costa Rica), and others have a special place in our hearts for sentimental reasons.

While sitting at your desk, typing away, it's important to remember that a daydream to somewhere far far away is an important way to maintain your sanity

Friday, September 23, 2011

friday favorite | Missoni for Target scarf

I was one of those crazy people last week when Missoni for Target launched nationwide. Unfortunately, I wasn't THE craziest person because I went to Target with a couple of friends from work on our lunch break. By the time we got there, virtually everything was gone. We walked around like lost puppies. I would be lying if I didn't make some random impulse purchases that day (that are now on ebay hah!) but one of the things that I got and actually love is this scarf!

I've been kinda obsessed with getting a scarf like this for a few months now. When I make a stroll through Urban Outfitters, I always pick up and walk around with 1 or 2 headband/scarf thingys, however I've never actually purchased one. If you are grappling with this mind-numbing debate - I suggest you get one. Believe me, you'll wear it!

And if you don't actually wear it, tie it around a purse... because... what else are you going to do with a random impulse purchase like a scarf!?

Or put it around a lamp if you're feelin' real crazy! (Do I sound sarcastic? I don't mean to! I can't really think of another way of wording these sentences!)

Or give it to a friend like me.. I'll make good use of it :) Happy Friday, you guys!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

blog of the week | The Style Rookie

The reasons I find inspiration from this 15-year-old blogger is because she's not afraid to be different. Her unique, obscure findings and images provide her readers with a deep look into her creative genius.

She often mixes innocent and girly pastels with irreverent art, posters, and figurines which paints a very satirical picture of what it means to be a girl in a "coming of age" stage of life.

Even at her young age, Tavi has become well-respected among heavy hitters in the fashion community. She has started a online publication called {Rookie} which inspires her peers (and her fans) through their own "coming of age" adventure in a tone which is honest and authentic.

I visit Tavi's blog when I have an idea in my head but I am feeling it is too cliche. "The Style Rookie" always makes me look at things from a different angle. It also makes me think about how while children's art should be innocent and playful, it can also inadvertently attract an older audience as well.

That's why I try to keep the idea in my head that someone may buy a painting for their baby's nursery or perhaps (if they're like me) may think of it as more modern piece for a bright colored study space or living room.

All photos are credited to The Style Rookie

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

art | Mad Mad Tea Party

("Mad Mad Tea Party" click {this} link to see detailed information about this painting. Please leave a comment or email me at if you are interested in purchasing this piece.)

A lot of people know about my obsession with "Alice in Wonderland". Well when I began sketching for this painting, I was trying to find inspiration from anywhere besides that book/movie, because I thought about how predictable it would be that I would paint something with this theme.

So I was watching "I'm Not There" (that crazy movie about Bob Dylan) and sketching away, thinking I would start getting influenced by more dark and twisted themes. However, I was sketching hot pink teacups, and orange pieces of cake and finally gave up on trying to be something I'm not - dark.

So since this week is all about embracing the bright colors, I give you this painting. The melon colored background, the dreamlike quality of teacups, cakes, teapots, and saucers floating around in a light pink cloud would be perfect for any girl that lets her imagination run away with her.

P.S. - I was so flattered that an old friend, Andrea, wanted me to create this piece for her nursery! Her son Andrew was born on June 22, 2011 and look so adorbs underneath the "Lion Sleeps Tonight" painting :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

inspiration | 02

I have a fascination with trying to find unique color combinations. Below are a few excellent examples that I happened upon. I am inspired by people that aren't afraid to decorate with color. BRIGHT colors! HAPPY colors! (Like below)

Mixing and (not) matching takes confidence. Confidence is intoxicating in my opionion. Ergo - mixing and (not) matching is intoxicating. Ok - maybe INTOXICATING is a bit strong... but it is eye catching and you just instantly know the girls below have a free spirit and a I-Don't-Care-What-People-Think-I'm-Happy-Being-Me attitude.

This video from Kate Spade is about a girl who definitely is not afraid of being (and wearing things) out of the ordinary.

If she can do it, you can do it!  Get out there and "LIVE COLORFULLY"

all image credits can be found on my pinterest account

Monday, September 19, 2011

dont be afraid of color

Whenever I used to get a coloring assignment when I was in school, I always laid out all of my crayons, markers, colored pencils, or paints with the intention of using every color. I remember looking around the classroom and everyone was methodically picking one color to use at a time, neatly creating a beautiful work of art. I would then look at my coloring page, and it would be a hot mess of fluorescent pink mixed with black and midnight blue.

To this day I still can't resist a good and wide range of colors. Whether it be an outfit I'm wearing, a canvas I am painting, or pop that I am drinking - color is very important to me.

This week is about removing the fear from color. I know the black dress, the blue ink pen, or the white tablecloth is "chic" and "timeless" - but the royal blue coat, the orange highlighter, or the mustard AND ketchup on your french fries adds a little more fun, yes?

Friday, September 16, 2011

friday favorite | Janet's Lunch

Janet's Lunch diner located on Kercheval (north of Alter) in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan

My best friend, Colleen and I happened upon this diner the morning after her sister's wedding about 5 years ago and we were hooked. It is just a classic diner that has been around forever. There is something so nostalgic knowing that I'm sitting at the same counter where my grandmother sat in the 1950's or where my dad sat when he was a kid.

The food is really good, too. Colleen's and my favorite meal is the egg's benedict with no canadian bacon and then we split a slice of THE most DELICIOUS banana cream pie ever.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

blog of the week | Sea of Shoes

This week's blog is Sea of Shoes created and curated by Jane Aldridge.

I stumbled upon her blog a couple years ago and I was amazed at the vibrant colors, creativity, and quirkiness that is infused in every single posting.

Jane has acclaimed notoriety among the fashion world but it is evident that she is not a slave to trends. She has caught the eye of Kanye West and has been featured in both Teen Vogue and Vogue.

I think a huge reason why I'm instinctively drawn to Jane is because she is clearly influenced by childlike illustrations, toys, bright patterns and vintage pieces that are VERY out of the ordinary.

She is obsessed with Japanese culture which is seen through her fantastic travel photography.

"Sea of Shoes" is always a good reminder to not follow trends blindly, to let your freak flag fly, and not ever be ashamed to play with toys. Well done, Jane Aldridge. Well done.

(Photo cred: Sea of Shoes)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

art | A Splatter of Ice Cream

("A Splatter of Ice Cream" click {this}link to see detail information about this painting. Please leave a comment or email me at if you are interested in purchasing this piece.)

I love the idea of having a piece of art in a room that is just completely unexpected. Whether it be the bright colors or the subject matter, a ice cream cone splattered all over the canvas will definitely catch the eye of anyone walking through the room.

My initial inspiration was a children's playroom or eating area. It is messy and fun and could inspire one to make a similar painting with finger paints. Or if you love ice cream, it is a modern piece that would give any room a pop of life and color :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

inspiration | 01

I've always loved the "Easter Sunday" color palette. I love cool greens like I showed yesterday as well as the pale pinks and melon colors found in Neapolitan ice cream cone. However, like a cherry on top of strawberry ice cream, I also like mixing the unexpected bold color along with a muted pallet. It makes the pop of color pop even more and makes the creamy tones of pastels seem even more serene.

Steve Madden created a shoe that is perfect to recreate this idea. A red dress with a muted (but eye-catching) patent leather heel would allow both the dress and the shoe stand alone, as well be a cohesive and colorful ensemble for a night out.

Artist Joanna Goss illustrates this idea perfectly in a lot of her pieces which made me an instant fan. Take a look at her website to see more!

Sweet treats can inspire the perfect palette (HAH! get it! like palette.. of ok!) for a wedding, baby shower, or girly bedroom.

You can't forget about the cool colors. Like delicious peppermint ice cream, these hues can refresh and compliment warmer temperatures (which you will see in my post tomorrow!).

Monday, September 12, 2011

cooling off

My mom used to have a "color card" in her purse from the 1980's. From the time I was about 7, my mom let me know that because of we have light eyes and pale skin, we look better in "cool colors". Which means I need to stay away from "hot (fun) colors" like reds and pinks and browns. Telling a little girl she shouldn't wear pink? Real nice, Mom. (Juust kidding).

Since then, I've embraced this "cool color" family whole-heartedly. I decided to get some mint-chocolate ice cream to celebrate. Which melted REAL fast. But I have to admit, it was stranglely refreshing... HAH!

This week is all about getting inspired by things that will cool you off. So grab a really drippy ice cream cone, sit on the gravel bricks by the water on Lakeshore, and watch the sun go down so that you can relish in a refreshing night out.

Friday, September 9, 2011

friday is my favorite

My favorite drink from Starbucks is a Venti Iced Non-fat Vanilla Latte.

It's no secret that I have an obsession with coffee. Right now in fact, I have a venti iced starbucks leaving watermarks next to my computer, on my wood desk. I also have 2 other empty cups on my bookshelf. It's a tried and true savior on sleepy afternoons, late evenings when I need a lift for a night out, or for the morning-afters when I'm feeling a tad hungover. Hey! It happens.

My favorite drink-before-work is a medium Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with a splash of non-fat milk.

Monday through Friday (except when I'm reeeeally running late), it is a pretty safe bet that you will see me in the morning juggling my purse, my brown-bag lunch, my keys and a giant Dunkin Donuts coffee that is leaving drops on my jeans and/or shirt as I walk into work. 

Have you tried it!? It is delicious!

(Photo credit: 1, 2)