laura wants 005

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My favorite Avenger, hands down, is Thor. He's blonde, blue-eyed, uber buff, and speaks in his own font* (for everyone not familiar with comics, Asgardians speak in "YE OLDE FONT" to match their antiquated manner of speaking). Thor also carries a hammer that bashes, smashes and teleports. He flies, and can summon lightning. Should I keep on going? 

good time thanksgiving

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salmon & cream cheese dip, assorted olives
spice marinated goat cheese, brie and cranberry pastry
lots of wine glasses, spinach & roasted red bellpepper dip
plate #1, cranberry muffins
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mini stove decor, pecan pie
pumpkin pie, Union Jack
a roaring fire, pecan cream cheese pie
caramelized apple pie
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outfit deets:
1:: Forever 21 cardigan
2:: eShakti Flying Birds tee
3:: bodycon skirt?
4:: Urban Outfitters bow wedges
5:: vintage panther cuff
Here's a little glimpse at my Thanksgiving. It was pretty chilly, but I decided on going bare-legged anyway, since I knew we would be indoors the whole time, and honestly, this outfit is pretty darn comfortable. I am obsessed with bodycon skirts because they are just as comfy as yoga pants or leggings, but look so much better. I found this top hiding in my closet, and I cannot believe I forgot I had this little gem. It totally hid my food belly! That's a big PLUS in my book.
My husband and I spent the holiday with lots of friends in the home of a gracious couple who offered to cook for us. They laid out a magnificent and scrumptious feast, and I had a blast catching up with friends and meeting new ones. Some of the conversations from that evening included: Jurassic Park, Indian burial grounds, stained glass windows, and oyster genitalia. Good times, ya'll. Good Times.

homemade poptarts

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I'm not much of a baker. Cookies and pastries weren't a huge part of my childhood (biscuits were, the English kind, that is, and those came conveniently in tins), so I only learned how to bake fairly recently. I'm also not much of a Poptart eater. The last one I must have had was years ago back in undergrad. I impulsively picked up a box of meowberry-flavored poptarts because it had Hello Kitty all over the packaging. Never again. Unless they're filled with homemade strawberry jam or Nutella. 

I followed the recipe for these Homemade Poptarts from Smitten Kitchen. Serve these yummy delights warm and with a cup of tea or a glass of milk. Delish.

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HOMEMADE POPTARTS: From Smitten Kitchen (makes 9 tarts)
Pastry
2 c all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten + tablespoon of water for egg wash
Filling Choices
9 tablespoons of Nutella (for 9 tarts) OR
3/4 cup jam mixed with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water (for 9 tarts)

Make and Bake:
1. In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. With a pastry cutter or your hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the pastry has the consistency of crumbs. 
2. Add in the egg and milk and knead until combined. 
3. Divide the dough in half. You can roll the dough immediately or keep in the fridge until needed. If you do chill the dough, allow it to soften up a bit before rolling. Roll each half until they're 1/8 inch thick. You should be able to form a total of 18- 3" by 4" rectangles.
4. Preheat your oven to 350 F.  
5. Lay 9 of your pastry rectangles on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush them with the egg wash before you spoon in your fillings into the center of each tart, spreading them around the tart. Make sure to leave 1/2 inch bare from the edges. 
6. Top these tarts with the other 9 pastry rectangles, and seal the edges of each tart using a fork. Prick the tops of each of the tarts with the fork to ensure steam can escape. 
7. Brush the tarts with the egg wash before baking them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. 

lego for the long weekend

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1:: gold collar necklace- DIY
2:: swan jumper- Urban Outfitters
3:: floral shirt- thrifted
4:: black twist skirt- Express
5:: Hello Kitty purse- Hot Topic
6:: knee high plush socks- Chinese Laundry
7:: boots- Target

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend celebrating Thanksgiving. I sure did. I also took a loooooooooong and much needed weekend break from the interwebs. It's great to unplug every once in a while. I'll confess, though, that I didn't really fully unplug. And I had my nose stuck on my DS playing the new LEGO Lord of the Rings game that came out a couple weeks ago. I have a weakness for LEGO video games since I don't feel the pressure to button mash all that much. Plus, the LEGO games I've played are cooperative, so if I mess up, whoever is playing with me can fix it all up.

horsing around

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1:: Gap hat
2::Blue Rivet jacket
3:: Dorothy Perkins horse pullover
4:: H&M dress
5:: purple tights from TJ Maxx
6:: Target wedges
7:: Hello Kitty purse from Hot Topic

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One more day before PIE and then after that... Christmas! I'm not particularly religious, but I do love presents and how everyone seems so much nicer during the holiday season. Also, did I mention presents? 
I wore this outfit to go present shopping on a particularly warm day. We live very close to a wonderful art co-op where local artists are able to sell their wares, and I picked up a few stocking stuffers for people on my list. After a few hours of shopping, my husband and I rewarded ourselves with treats from our neighborhood bakery. I got the scrumptious spinach and feta croissant, and he got a super moist and delish chocolate cupcake, which he eats like a whoopie pie. 
To my fellow 'mericans, have a beautiful Thanksgiving! I'm giving myself the rest of the week off blogging so I can concentrate on celebrating with loved ones and also stocking up the shop. Don't forget to check out my store for stocking stuffers and cute, 100% handmade pressies! AND don't forget to use the code HAPPYDAYS2012 to get 10% off your total order!* 
*Not valid on shipping, custom orders, or previous orders 

small town weekend

In an attempt to get my "handmade/support local businesses" Christmas shopping done early, my husband and I headed about 20 miles out of town to peruse what small town Illinois had to offer. It was a Sunday when we decided to go on our adventure, and it's a fact that next to NOTHING is open on a Sunday here. But we still found a few interesting places. The largest store we found was Winterberry, and it was filled to the brim with knickknacks, soaps, and antiques. It also smelled like a Christmas cookie factory.
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This well-used bicycle greeted us as we walked into the large, brick building. As we walked in, the scent of cinnamon, maple, and cloves blasted our nostrils, and we assaulted them back with violent sneezes, calling the attention of the shopkeeper. She greeted us gingerly and eyed us up and down, the look of "ugh, young uns" apparent in her face.

The whole front part of the shop was full of Christmas paraphernalia. These Santa ornaments are all made of wax. Even those tiny candy canes are meant to be burned.
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The holiday area of the store was divided into color-coded sections, and I managed to snap photos of the traditional red section, since after that the shopkeeper decided she would keep her eye on me and my shutter-happy fingers. 
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Towards the back of the store, loads of furniture and antique decor were housed. If I were a few hundred dollars richer, that union jack pillow would have come home with me. 
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Even though the store had so many items in stock, from lotions to candles, to purses and every single table napkin design known to man, I came out with only two teeny purchases, which I cannot reveal since the recipients may read this post. Two pressies down, more to go. 

Have you started Christmas shopping yet? 

concepts that slip my mind

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1:: green jacket- thrifted
2:: cupcake bunny pin: my shop :)
3:: teal scarf: aeropostale
4:: grey tank: GAP
5:: pink denim: thrifted and modified
6:: bow wedges: Urban Outfitters
7:: Hello Kitty purse: Hot Topic

I can't believe it's already the week of Thanksgiving. Where did November go? In fact, where did this whole year go? I thought that if I just relaxed a bit here and there, time would ease up a little and I could catch up on what needs to be done later. That (flawed) mentality explains why I'm only getting my day started right now. At noon. Obviously, I'm having a hard time grasping the concept of time.

I'm also having a hard time getting into the "holiday spirit" when there isn't any snow in the ground. And it's not even that cold yet. Looking at the forecast for the next few days, all I see is clear skies and moderate temps. WHERE ARE YOU, WINTER?

practice is for dweebs, ergo...

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1:: leopard scarf: DIY, similar here
2:: cardigan: my husband's, Urban Outfitters
3:: hello kitty purse: Hot Topic
4:: hello kitty pullover: Forever 21
5:: skirt: Forever 21
6:: plush knee highs: Chinese Laundry
7:: chunky booties: Urban Outfitters

Here it is-- my shorter, more manageable hair. After half an hour in the salon, my stylist managed to chop off 6 or so inches in length, and the floor was littered with gobs of fluffy green hairballs. My hair feels so much lighter now, but I'm at a loss at how to style it properly. Practice, I suppose.

You know what else needs practice? taking photos in low light. These photos were taken at 5:00 pm, and I was frantically searching for an area with as much lighting as I could find. I guess that means I'll have to make an effort to get out of the house earlier in the day or learn how to use my tripod. But for now, I'm gonna take a little trip to the mall and check out the Hello Kitty Forever collection. EXCITEMENT!

Happy weekend!

i'm a little bit too excited

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I'm feeling a little under the weather today. It may be that I've finally succumbed to this cold weather, or it could be that my stubbornness in not keeping my glasses constantly on is the cause of all the headaches and such. See, I told you, it's a problem. Nonetheless, it's my goal to not whine all throughout the day, so I'm gonna blog about happy things. Things that have kept me going on despite it all. Gosh, my life is soooo hard.

Ya'll, Forever 21 has done it again. And my consumerist heart has been jump started with this Hello Kitty collaboration. I know I have a lot of items from F21, but all of them were purchased months ago, before I decided to curb my spending and start shopping a bit more ethically. But I'm only human. A human obsessed with Hello Kitty. And at least I can admit my weakness.

I hate going to the mall, and I was planning on just ordering online. But I may just take a peek tomorrow, when the collection is scheduled to be available. That is what Hello Kitty makes me do, people. 

winter roses look so put together

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1: rose cardigan- Christopher and Banks
2: skull scarf- Ebay
3: black skinnies: Target
4: wedges: Target
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I am sure I'm not the first one to admit to laziness in getting dressed up because of the weather. While it's true that I'm very much fond of the cold, the lack of sunlight and natural warmth makes it hard for me to care about getting up to actually pick out an outfit. Instead, I usually nab the closest sweater and wear it over monochromatic layers. I'm trying to get out of this rut, ya'llz. Trying.

My hair is also being blah this season, and so I've been putting it up in a bun a lot to prevent me from obsessing over it. I don't get it. Right after I bleached it and dyed it green, my hair was amazing. It was soft and smooth, despite the bleaching and stuff, so I went on about my business and deep conditioned every week or so. Now, it feels so heavy and oily even though I barely put any product on it. I did just purchase new stuff, so I hope it works. We'll see. 

Another thing I don't get are the roses growing outside my driveway and on the street. Despite the cold and grey, they look faboo.