Friday Favorites: Not So Patriotic Patriotism

June 29, 2012

The Fourth of July is next week! It’s one of my favorite holidays – family get-togethers, BBQs, fireworks, and summertime – I love it! Unfortunately, I don’t really love all the patriotic attire that goes along with it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country and I love celebrating my freedom, but brandishing myself in stars and stripes just isn’t my thing. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to show off some national pride without wearing a flag across your chest.

Here are five red, white, and/or blue pieces that I’m currently loving.

picture perfect bow dress from ruche 
 Picture Perfect Bow Dress from Ruche 
This would be really cute with a pair of red sandals or ballet flats.

wheel bethere soon dress from modcloth  
Wheel Be There Soon Dress from ModCloth 
Love the sweetheart neckline and the stripes!

docks in a row wedge from modcloth 
 Docks in a Row Wedge from ModCloth 
You could wear these with a simple white sundress or something more casual like a pair of shorts and a blouse for some patriotic flair.

setting sail dress from lace affair  
Setting Sail Dress from Lace Affair 
This could be good for a more formal occasion or just a picnic at the beach.

cupro floral button shorts from shop sosie 
 Cupro Floral Button Shorts from Shop Sosie 
I’m loving the flowy shorts trend right now, and these red ones would be great for any Independence Day activities.

Friday Favorites: Birthday Wishlist Edition

June 22, 2012

My birthday is just one month away now! Some people may think that I’m getting too old to still be making birthday lists and getting excited about the upcoming celebration, but I say poo poo to them. I still like celebrating my birthday, I definitely still like getting presents. Although I don’t expect anything anywhere near what I put on my wishlists, they’re still fun to make. :)

This first group is a true wish list, as in wishing is as close as I’ll come to having anything of these items – at least right now.

Friday Favorites: Birthday Wishlist Edition | allonsykimberly.comphoto sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  1. I currently don’t use a smart phone of any kind, and I really, really, really want to upgrade to one. After much deliberation I’ve decided that I’d like to have an iPhone.
  2. I’m starting to get really serious about starting my own design business, and I think a bamboo tablet would be extremely helpful in that endeavor.
  3. As with the bamboo tablet, PhotoShop would also be extremely helpful in my design work.
  4. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion how much I need really want and would greatly benefit from having a decent DSLR camera – nothing fancy, just an entry level model would be nice…
  5. I’ve been dreaming of having my own treadmill for quite some time now – cause you know, running outside is lame…

This next set is a bit more reasonable.

Friday Favorites: Birthday Wishlist Edition |
photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  1. It’s Harry Potter and Legos – need I say more?
  2. I would love to have any new nail polishes really, but every time I go to Sally’s I find myself drooling more and more over the For Audrey color from China Glaze.
  3. Any of the items off my never ending ModCloth wishlist would make me smile like a fool – or maybe just a gift card.
  4. I want to start actually wearing jewelry, but I don’t really know where to start sooo I’m hoping someone else will get the ball rolling for me. Maybe starting with some of the awesome steampunk inspired pieces from Lucky Vicky? [my favorites can be found here]
  5. My Think Geek wishlist is full of geeky t-shirts and knickknacks I would be extremely thankful to own.
  6. Fabric, fabric, fabric! I’ve been dreaming up a navy, sailboat covered a-line skirt for sometime now – I just need the right fabric.
  7. I would be ecstatic to receive these shoes or any item from my Ruche wishlist [which includes some other pieces of jewelry I’ve been looking at lately]
  8. This is probably really silly, but I love this movie and would love to have my own copy to watch on those long, lonely nights when Andrew’s working late.

I’ll be so grateful for any gifts I might get on birthday, and while it’s been fun thinking up all the little things I’d like to have, all I really want is to see my friends and family and have a slice of Red Velvet cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.

Friday Favorites: Birthday Wishlist Edition |

Aunie Sauce

DIY Scrabble Tiles

June 10, 2012

Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
The husband and I are avid Scrabble players. It’s one of our favorite things to do together, so I really wanted to find a way to incorporate it into our home d├ęcor. Solution: large scrabble tiles to hang on the wall!

  • canvases (you could also use Styrofoam, wood, or corkboard)
  • scrapbook paper
  • mod podge
  • scissors
  • black cardstock

STEP 1: Cover the Canvases
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
I found these “canvases” in the dollar section at Joann’s one day. They’re actually just thin cardboard folded into a box shape, but whatever – they were only a dollar, I wasn’t gonna get picky! I may have bought a Spiderman one for myself to color, too...
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
I started by gluing the front of the canvas to some beige scrapbook paper, leaving a large enough border to wrap around the sides.
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
Then trimmed around the edges.
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
Next, I had to wrap the paper around the edges of the canvas.
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
1. cut vertical slits on the corners of one side // 2. spread a thin layer of glue on the edge of the canvas // 3. fold the paper up and stick it in place // 4. fold the paper up over the back of the canvas and glue in place
Continue on each side of the canvas.
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
1. there should now be a square of paper left on each corner // 2. fold and cut the square off // 3. this should leave a clean edge on the corner of the canvas // 4. finished!
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |

STEP 2: Cut & Glue Letters
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
I printed out my letters and numbers onto black cardstock – the black ink was faint, but still visible enough to be used as a stencil. [I printed the letters and numbers backwards so the ink would be on the back]. Then I cut them all out and glued them onto the canvases.
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |

STEP 3: Hang It!
Make Your Own Giant Scrabble Tiles |
The tiles were light enough that I didn’t have to use any nails to hang them – just a couple pieces of those adhesive strips that come with command hooks and I was good to go! They’re hanging over the doorway that leads from our living room through the hallway to our dining room. :)

Friday Favorites: 80’s Movies

June 08, 2012

Okay, so, maybe I’m not technically an 80’s kid, but I did grow up watching some of the iconic films from that decade and these five are my absolute favorites!

Who doesn’t love this movie? Even if you didn’t grow up with a massive crush on Matthew Broderick [guilty!] there’s still no way you could not enjoy Ferris Bueller.

You can’t go wrong with Jim Henson and David Bowie. Plus, it’s just so much fun to sing along to! “You remind of the babe…”

This is one was kind of a toss up – should I put The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi? ROTJ is the epic conclusion to the Star Wars saga, but on the other hand Empire has Luke running around all sweaty with his muscles showing… In the end I went with ROTJ because it was my favorite when I was a youngin’. Something about Jabba just cracked me up when I was a kid.

Ah, the epitome of teen angst. I have to admit though, I do have a soft spot for the brat pack.

And, last, but certainly not least, one of my favorite movies EVER, The Princess Bride. Not a month goes by where we don’t watch this at least once, and most days don’t go by where we don’t quote it.

Happy Friday everyone! My little sister (in-law) is graduating high school tonight! And my big sister’s bachelorette party is tomorrow! Busy, busy, but super fun! Hope you all have an equally amazing weekend!

Aunie Sauce

Book Review: This Dark Endeavor

June 05, 2012

This Dark Endeavor Book Review | allonsykimberly.comLast month I read This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel. It was on my list of recommended books by GoodReads, and the synopsis instantly grabbed my attention.

As the subtitle implies, this is a prequel to Marie Shelley’s Frankenstein. It takes place when Victor is 16 years old [I seem to have a thing for stories narrated by teenage boys] and his twin brother, Konrad, falls seriously ill. Desperate to save his life, and maybe gain glory for himself, Victor sets out on a quest along with his friend Henry and [distant] cousin Elizabeth to learn the secrets of alchemy and create the Elixir of Life. It’s a dark tale full of mystery, adventure, danger, and a little bit of love. All the makings of a good story – at least in my opinion.

At first, I really wasn’t diggin’ the main character, Victor. He was jealous and arrogant and overwhelmingly brooding. This didn’t necessarily change over the course of the book, but I got to know him and his family and environment and that helped me to accept and tolerate his personality more. I did like that he, as well as the other main characters, were so obviously flawed [well, except for Konrad]. A lot of times, especially in YA Fiction, I find that the characters – most often love interests – are nauseatingly perfect. But that’s not the case here.

Overall, the story was well written – for a YA novel. At times it was a little more simple than what I would have liked, but not so much so that it was painful to read or anything. It was very fast paced – I don’t think there was ever really a dull moment – and it was short – just under 300 pages. Oppel does a good job of giving all the characters very distinct and believable personalities, and even with my initial distaste for Victor, I still found myself liking and routing for him by the end of the book.

The plot was interesting and definitely appealed to me – if you hadn’t already figured out, I sort of have a thing for dark fantasy adventure stories – and I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of alchemy. The story itself, however, was kind of predictable. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good story, it was and I enjoyed reading it immensely, but I guess once you’ve read so many of these kinds of tales you start to figure out the plot twists ahead of time.
Then there’s the whole love triangle, which was actually no where near as annoying as it sounds. There weren’t any irritating “who do I choose” moments – maybe there would have been if it was from Elizabeth’s POV, but thankfully it wasn’t. I have no problems with love stories – they just need to be subtle and not distract from the main point of the book. And this one didn’t, so I liked it, even if it was a little bit awkward at times – it’s from the POV of a 16 year old boy after all.

I did enjoy the book, and it was a very good story, but that’s all it really felt like to me – just a story. A fun read, but nothing remarkable. Nevertheless, I would still recommend it to anyone who likes these types of YA fantasy/adventure stories. And I’m still pretty pumped for the sequel, Such Wicked Intent, that’s set to be published in August. Oh, and they’re making a movie version sometime next year – so that’s pretty cool too.

Monogram Letter Collage DIY

June 03, 2012

Monogram Letter Collage |
I still have my eye on some pretty Etsy art, but at the moment I just can’t fork out the dough to pay for them all. However, I still want cute art/decorations for my house now, so I’ve been hard at work creating my own little pieces to display. And I’m going to share with you how I went about making this monogram letter collage! 

  • chipboard letters
  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • tape
  • spray paint (black)
  • craft paint (blue & orange)
  • paint brush
  • glue
  • frame
  • 8x10 paper

STEP 1: Paint the Letters

Monogram Letter Collage |
I started with some left over chipboard letters I had on hand and set aside the monogram letters. I wanted the background letters to be black, but didn’t want the hassle of painting them all by hand [especially since it would take 2-3 coats of craft paint to cover the print already on the letters]. To get around this issue I taped the letters onto a piece of scrap paper and spray painted them outside. [the tape was to keep the letters from flying away in the wind]
Monogram Letter Collage |
Monogram Letter Collage |
Monogram Letter Collage |
Next, I cut a heart out of a piece of cardboard, roughly the same size as the letters, and painted it with orange craft paint.
Monogram Letter Collage |
Monogram Letter Collage |
Monogram Letter Collage |
Then I painted the A and K light blue.
Monogram Letter Collage |
Now all the letters were painted and ready to be assembled.
Monogram Letter Collage |

STEP 2: Arrange & Glue the Letters
Monogram Letter Collage |
I started by placing the monogram in the lower left corner of an 8x10 piece of white cardstock, then placed the rest of the letters all around them, being careful to not accidentally spell any undesirable words.
Monogram Letter Collage |
Once I had the letters arranged, I glued them in place one by one.

STEP 3: Frame It!
Monogram Letter Collage |
And that’s it! I had pretty much everything already on hand, so all I had to pay specifically for this project was the $1.50 for the blue and orange craft paint. And I think the chipboard letters were like $0.80 and the frame was from the dollar store so… yeah, cheap project! It looks cute and the husband likes it, too. Win-win-win!

Friday Favorites: Yellow

June 01, 2012

It’s a pretty gloomy day here – all rainy and grey – so I’m in need of some sunshine. These pretty yellow finds should do the trick!

arne jacobsen replica egg chair
Replica Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair via
Tommy Swiss

I seem to have a weakness for accent chairs. I love the retro look of this one, and the color, obviously. It’s out of stock, though. If I could actually afford it I might be more sad about that.

modcloth waiting for fall
Waiting for Fall Tee via

Grey and yellow look amazing together and this leafy print is so pretty!

ASOS skinny jeans in lemon
Skinny Jeans in Lemon via

I like the colored jeans trend, but I still haven’t given in and bought myself a pair yet. What do you think - is it worth it or are they just a passing fad?

the carpenters wife bag
The Katie Bag via
The Carpenter’s Wife on Etsy

I’ve been really into hand/shoulder bags lately. I’m digging the chevron and grey rosette on this one.
ruche sunchine afternoon wedges
Sunshine Afternoon Suede Wedges via

Wedges and espadrilles are my favorite style of footwear, and these strappy, mustard ones from Ruche are calling my name!

Hope these added a little does of sunshine to your day! Happy Friday!

Aunie Sauce