Thursday, February 28, 2013

My latest creation


I'm finally home! I have off until Sunday, so I'm super excited to relax. To unwind I decided to bake. I've been wanting to give an almond tart a try, so I did, and I think it's been my best yet!! It was really easy to make and my family loved it :)


I added my own touch: I swapped the initial call for Grand Marnier with honey whiskey. The crust was crumbly, similar to shortbread, and the almond part had a similar consistency to pecan pie.


Soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside.




So. Good.

To top it all off I made fresh whipped cream and added berries. Delish!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Feeling meh?

It was so cold and rainy and generally meh today. I had to endure the elements on multiple train platforms, while simultaneously hauling around overpacked bags. Yeah, yeah, I know, boo hoo, so tragic. 
So, I figured I would make lemonade and talk about how to feel fabulous even on a meh day.

Here is a 10 step Rebecca approved method to feeling fabulous:

  1. Wear your fiercest fur vest. Then strut.
  2.  Neutrals to match your mood. (I feel green, like moldy bread. *sigh*) 
  3. I also suggest doing the chic comfy sweater/scarf combo thing to profoundly convey "I don't care but I'm still hot". 
  4. Pile your unwashed, unbrushed hair into a messy bun. This never fails to look effortlessly chic, while simultaneously perpetuating the above message. Yes.
  5. Jeans. Comfy and also have the magic power of making your behind look amazing.
  6. Ridiculously oversized sunglasses. When people ask you if you are aware that it's pitch black and torrentially pouring, calmly turn to them and say that the sunglasses keep the majestic sparkle in your eyes from horrifically blinding everyone. Or just say yes.
  7. Something warm to drink
  8. Soothing indie music (I love Iron & Wine for these types of days)
  9. Sparkles (I chose sparkly jewelry)
  10. Do one thing that will make you smile, regardless of where you are. I cracked open my bag of makeup and went ham in front of everyone on the train. Even if I looked like a fool, it made me feel good, which is what matters.
And, if all else fails: Attack of the Cute

Working the fur vest and green scarf like it's nobody's business. Moldy bread is my muse ... *sigh*
Smile! Things will perk up :)
Here's to feeling our best!

xx,
R

Monday, February 25, 2013

Weekend baking

If you didn't know, this weekend I went home to bake. I've made this into a habit since recently discovering my passion for baking. I've been mostly doing simple stuff like cookies or brownies, but this time I decided that I would challenge myself with something new. I decided to try making a tart!

Mmmm...

Ok, so I'm really happy with the outcome! It's called a Swiss Apple Tart, which is basically an apple tart with rich custard over a sweet crust. It's a relatively simple recipe, though it can be tricky to bake evenly depending on how your oven runs. But totally worth it because it's delicious. The only issue I had with it was that we had to leave for school right after the tart was done baking. I had to remove it from the pan straight out of the oven, and without any cooling time it was difficult to keep its form. Since it was still hot and not completely solid it leaked on me during the car ride... However, I definitely want to try it again!

xx
R

Friday, February 22, 2013

Prettify your dorm room

Hi again! 

Soo, I live in a single in a college dormitory. Now, I do love my room, but I'll say that it's not really the largest or most glamorous living space. I'm kind of obsessed with interior decorating, and to make the most of what I have, I went ham. Seriously. I decided that for college I wanted to go hard because as a little girl I never got to decorate my own super girly bedroom. 

Anyyway, I meticulously put my room together and I've gotten a lot of compliments so I decided that I would do a post with some easy (and budget friendly!) tips and tricks for sprucing up the ole dorm room. 

Enjoy!


Ok. So... My first piece of advice is to pick a color scheme. This can be based off of a print on a piece of furniture, pillow, comforter, or even just a color combination that you like. I would personally limit it to three or four colors--maybe have two main colors and two accent colors. Ten different colors in a color scheme can be tricky to pull off without looking crazy.

As you can see in the above photo, my color scheme is pink, blue, yellow, and orange. How did I, the most indecisive gal ever, come by this? I based the color scheme around my comforter, which is the focal point of the room. Tips for those like me: Find a statement piece that you absolutely adore and then go from there. I LOVE my comforter, which I found at Wake Up Frankie (best dorm decor site EVER, you should check it out), and so I went from there.

Before I explain the rest of my tips, I want to say that I did all of my decor shopping at either Wake Up Frankie, Home Goods, Marshalls, Walmart, or TJMaxx. Everything in my room is budget friendly! When I went shopping I found that I was most successful when I brought along my pillow sham (matching my comforter). With the sham I was able to decide on the spot if something went or not. I personally recommend bringing along a piece of your focal point, for reference.

Step 1.

Chances are, if you live in a dorm, your walls are whitewashed. This can be a blessing and a curse. White walls are good because they are incredibly versatile and make a room feel open, however if you don't decorate them sufficiently you can end up with a room that looks like a sanitarium. Yeah. If you plan on studying in your room I can almost guarantee that you don't want to feel like a crazy person locked in a little white cell. Almost.

The good news is that It's super cheap and easy to decorate your walls! Above you can see that I have a poster of Marilyn to inspire my inner sex kitten, and a pretty mirror that exudes late 18th century france (Marie Antoinette is my spirit animal). 

A note on mirrors: 
Mirrors will make any small space feel bigger. It has something to do with their magical reflect-y powers. To keep it from getting gaudy, find mirrors with cute frames or use them to add a pop of color or texture. No big hunks of glass allowed. 

Everything on my walls is either a decal or hung up with command strips or tape. At my school we can't do damage to the walls so I had to primarily use command strips. Now, I am not making a disclaimer about command strips, but, I will tell you that I currently have them holding up some heavy things (i.e. my mirror, a decorative plank of wood, and a canvas painting) and they haven't budged all year. You need to be careful to follow the directions and always make sure you have enough to support the weight of your decorations! 


Step 2.


Add some cute furniture! Here I created a little "french" section to my room. The little coffee table is super cute, it adds a pop of orange (without being too much), and doesn't overpower the space. I don't have too much on the table because I used such vibrant colors--I didn't want it to look overwhelming. 

You should stick to the color scheme, but not everything has to mach. The idea is that colors should go, not match. The pinks are all different shades here, they don't match, but they go together because they look like they are from the same time period.


Do you want to know a secret? I got this adorable little chair in the children's section of Home Goods! Lol. The kiddie department is awesome for shopping for your dorm because you can buy cute furniture that's small enough to fit into a teeny room. Plus the patterns and colors are always super girly and fun! This chair is really comfortable and it actually reclines. 

Another tip: storage ottomans. I cannot stress this tip enough. They are super stylish, come in a variety of colors, textures, shapes, patterns, and you can use them however you want (hello extra seating). You can also stack them, and they are obviously, great for conserving space. 

You can see that I have two square pink suede ones in the photo, I also have two cylindrical ones (in the same color and finish). Their lids actually flip over and on the underside is a hard waterproof surface that is meant for eating on. I do breakfast in bed with them! Talk about stylish and functional. It gets even better though. They're from Walmart. 

Speaking of Walmart, I also purchased my carpet (also pink, the same color as the ottomans) there. Carpets will warm up the room and cover the ugly dorm floors. A very subtle, but important aspect to your room!

Step 3.

The bed. Basically where I exist during my free time. And where I study. I devoted an entire step to my bed and the surrounding area because I personally find it to be the most important (and comfiest) part of my room. It has two gel foam mattress toppers, five pillows, three blankets, a duvet, and I happen to sleep in it. It's also my focal point. Bed, I love you. 


I have an assortment of pillows in my color scheme in different shapes and textures. I'm also continuing the whole french thing by mixing my focal print with a baroque sheet set. Around my bed I have some more wall decals and a cute wooden plaque conveying a message that rings home for me. I also have a painting... 


Again, a fabulous find in the children's department at Home Goods. The painting is so full of texture and vibrant colors (and glitter!!!). It matches my color scheme and my style. C'├ętait parfait. The birdcage decals are from Wake Up Frankie.

Now, you probably noticed that I have some shelves around my bed. Don't worry, I didn't skimp! 


I love putting the little things on display! You really don't need anything fancy. It can be a book, a piece of art, or a picture of the ones you love. I especially love displaying my perfumes (you can't really see but they're on the lower shelf). It's functional storage, and who doesn't love looking at the pretty glass bottles? I just wanted to cozy up the space around my bed. Above you see my fashion books, a Terramundi Vase, an hourglass, a Tiffany's box, and some faux flowers. See how I have mostly pink with pops of blue and yellow?

Step 4.

Two words: Tension rod. Tension rods are very handy in dorm rooms. Above, you see  a picture of my closet. The closet doesn't actually have a door, so I took this as an opportunity to add color, with a curtain (hung on a tension rod). The curtain also gives me privacy so people who visit aren't always seeing my disheveled closet. I trimmed the top doors with pink glitter tape, and I looooove the way it looks :) Everything here is from Walmart.

I also want to note the storage attached to the side of my closet. It's pretty and held up completely by heavy duty velcro! 



Now, I must stress the importance of curtains. They give your room a much more "homey" feel. Mine are held up with another tension rod from Walmart. I used a really pretty buttercream color because the curtains have a satin finish and I wanted to keep it looking light and airy. Another easy touch: I draped a silk scarf over the tension rod to add color and interest. 

Step 5.

Remember to rest. You have to understand that you can't do this all in one day. It takes a lot of time and creative energy to organize and then search for exactly what you want. Remember that every little baby step counts towards your goal. Have fun with it and feel good about creating your own style! You're uniquely you :)

Glitter nightlight is from Marshalls.

Phew, that was a long post. I hope this was helpful for anyone looking to decorate or spiff up their dorm room. Feel free to comment or ask me any questions. 

All for now,

xx

R