plop monster

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cupcake bunny pin-- buy here
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outfit deets
1:: ruff hewn oversized cardigan
2:: lace collar from ebay
3:: forever 21 necklace
4:: thrifted fuchsia top
5:: express knot mini
6:: urban outfitters saddle shoes

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. Operative word: slowly. I have been having a blast just chilling at home with my husband and kitties. We made a massive Christmas feast, met with some lovely friends, and have been doing nothing but watching movies, playing boardgames, reading, and stuffing ourselves silly with custard pies, Chinese dumplings, and the like. 

Today, we finally left the house and went out in search of more books, comics, and zines to read and then treated ourselves to a nice little burger lunch. Now that I'm home, though, I'm back being a plop monster-- as in, doing nothing but plopping like a piece of putty. 

tidings and joy


happy holidays from me to you. I hope your holiday is brimming with lots of love and cheer. Blogging will be sporadic for a few days since I plan on hanging out with friends and loved ones and stuffing myself silly with yummy noms, books, comics, and video games.

I may be away from the blog, but you can follow my shenanigans on Instagram!

Cheers and hugs and lots of love,

 your friendly neighborhood Laura

huzzahs all around

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1:: Forever 21 striped top
2:: necklaces from ebay & Forever 21
3:: thrifted floral shirt
4:: Forever 21 bodycon skirt
5:: urban outfitters gold flats

EEEEEEEEEE. It's been such a long time since I've blogged. No time, no time, and too many things that need doing. The holidays seem to make time almost non-existent. But it's also a time to be with the ones you love. So, yesterday, despite the strong gales and the snow, I took an impromptu trip to Chicago to visit my bestie and watch The Hobbit a second time. I had a lovely time, albeit short, catching up, shopping, and eating too much. It was a great friend celebration. 

Speaking of celebrations, can you believe that's it's only days before Christmas? and we survived the Mayan apocalypse? Huzzahs all around! huzzahs!


a very expected journey to see an unexpected one

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Yup, it finally happened.

I am pretty sure all other bona fide Tolkien/Peter Jackson fans will say that I am truly not one of them because I waited until after opening weekend to watch the much anticipated Hobbit movie. But I suppose I've outgrown the thrill of waiting in line at midnight, plus, most of the time, I'm already sleeping at that time, the old lady that I'm shaping up to be. But that's for another blog post.

Last night, I skipped my merry butt to the theater, eager, anxious, curious to see how Jackson would make a trilogy out of such a skimpy children's book. I've decided that book-wise, The Hobbit isn't my favorite Tolkien. It's charming and cute, but ultimately not for me. Give me Elvish poems! Give me history! Give me appendices! The movie, likewise, is not my favorite Tolkien/Jackson. Don't get me wrong-- I enjoyed it IMMENSELY, but the parts I enjoyed the most were the orc battles, the chase scenes, and being able to recognize bits of music from the previous symphonies.

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I was pleasantly surprised at how the dwarves ended up looking, and how varied they all were from each other. And though I've been religiously following Jackson's podcasts of the film, it was still a nice surprise to see how it all looked in the end in the movie. There was a lot of crochet going on with their costumes, as well as hair. But there are a couple of young hot dwarves in the mix, too. Yes, I said it-- hot dwarves.

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Speaking of hot, Cate Blanchett looked immaculate as Galadriel. Her costumes were just plain gorgeous, and the shots taken of her were stunning. I swear, the woman doesn't age! Also, I thought they did a great job in making Elrond/ Hugo Weaving look more youthful by doing away with the robes that he wore in the LotR trilogy, and adorning him with some sleek, fitted trousers.

Jackon makes a point of connecting The Hobbit  to the Lord of the Rings perhaps to pander to fans or to hook those who aren't familiar with the books. For me, some of those scenes dragged on way too long. The beginning was an especially slow part, and I was relieved when the company all finally left the Shire.

For those who watched the LotR movies, there are a lot of familiar faces in The Hobbit, and it was interesting analysing how they'd changed in perspective and behavior between these two story lines.  Hours of conversation, people. Hours.

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I don't want to spoil the movie for those of you who plan on seeing it in the future, so I'll stop here. Even though it wasn't my favorite, I am sure I'll end up watching it multiple times until the next part comes out and even after that. What can I say? I'm weak for anything Middle Earth.

Have you seen The Hobbit? What are your thoughts? 

eco hipster chic-- a Firmoo review

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get these radtacular specs here

It's no secret that I adore glasses. In the short time of my journey into Prescription Glasses Land, I've amassed quite the collection. Glasses aren't for geeks anymore, dear friends. Glasses are for chic geeks. For awesome geeks. For geeks who would like to see the world (literally).

I was jumping with glee when Firmoo contacted me to review their glasses. They have quite a selection of men's and women's glasses as well as designer frames and prescription sunglasses. After perusing their site, I picked out these lovely wooden frames. The site was extremely easy to browse, and you could even upload your picture to see how the frames look on your face. What I love about Firmoo is that they have large detail photos for each of their glasses AND photos of bloggers who have also worn and reviewed them! It's like getting free style inspiration with your order. Also, the exact measurements for the temple lengths,, bridge distances, etc, as well as recommendations for pupilary distance compatibility  are supplied, so there's no more guessing if the glasses will fit your face or not. 

Service-wise, Firmoo delivered my prescription specs right to my door in just a little over a week. Insanely fast, I know. My frames came in a hard glasses case, and there were a lot of freebies included in the package: a soft case, cleaning cloths, a couple of mini screws, and a mini screwdriver with a keyring attachment. The glasses themselves were well-made and fit my head perfectly. For those of you who purchase Rx glasses, you'd know that getting the right angle and the right fit can be difficult, but my Firmoo glasses fit exactly right. 

I absolutely recommend checking out Firmoo if you or a friend are in need of a new pair of glasses, prescription or not. They have an absolutely awesome Free First Pair Program so you can try their products on to see if they work for you! Let me know if you try them out! I'd love to see your specs and hear your thoughts!

*These glasses were provided to my for review by Firmoo. All opinions about the product are my own.

variegated taffy

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1: black rivet faux leather jacket :: 2:skull scarf from ebay:: 3: skull tank from TJMaxx::
4:chinese laundry plush knee highs: 5:urban outfitters saddle shoes
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We took a small trip to this small garden to check out how the blooms were faring with the season change. Amid the brown wasteland and bowed giant sunflowers were stunted sprouts of greenery holding on to dear life. But just barely. A forecast for snow, perhaps?

My hair is looking a bit raggedy these days. Ahhh the joys of having unnatural hair color. I don't like retouching more than once a month, so at the end of each cycle, my tresses look like stretched out pieces of variegated blue green taffy. But I don't mind.

a golden cat eye- easy holiday makeup

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I've been wanting to try this look ever since Larie and Cassy posted it on their blogs. Gold and black is such a gorgeous combo, and it's perfect for holiday parties or just dressing up an edgy look.In my take, I didn't line the bottoms of my eyes with black liner. Instead, I opted for a softer look. I drew on a thicker line with the brown gel liner and then set it with a LOT of loose gold eyeshadow. 
Essential: use a good primer to keep the shadow and liner in place. 
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HOW TO:
1. Prime your lids and the under eye area. 
2. Using an angled brush and black gel liner draw a cat eye with an exaggerated wing. 
3. With the brown gel liner, line the bottoms of your eyes. Make the line somewhat thick but not heavy with product, and connect it with the wing of the black liner. 
4. Set the brown liner with the loose gold eyeshadow. 
5. Add mascara. 
6. Top the look off with a nude lippie.  

can't take these saddles off

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Check out les saddle shoes, aka my current favorite pair of shoes. These pups were one of the two pairs of kicks I scored from Urban Outfitters' Black Friday sale, and I haven't been able to peel them off my feet since then, which is probably a good thing since these bad boys have no traction to speak of, and I'm pretty sure they'll be the cause of all the slipping and sliding that is bound to happen if worn whilst walking in the snow. 
In other news, only two more weeks until CHRISTMAS! Though my house is still barely decorated, I am ready for holiday baking! Please share your favorite holiday dessert or cookie recipes with me. I'd love to give them a shot! 

diy mini christmas trees!

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I'm being a slight overachiever this year with my holiday decorating. Remember when I told you that my basement was flooded and a ton of our belongings were wrecked? Yeah well, that included all ours ornaments and christmas decor. I didn't actually realize this until after Thanksgiving when I went to look for some lights to string around the house. Totes bummer.

But instead of being mopey and buying stuff, I decided to take this opportunity to use what I have at home to make some cute decor! Check out these adorable pastel paper trees that I have displaying on one of my end tables. They cost me a grand total of $0. I have the super easy DIY project complete with pictures in this month's issue of The Fox Magazine!

little handmade goodies-- a giveaway!

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This year, it's my goal to give handmade presents and support small or local businesses. While shopping around, I picked up a couple of goodies to share with one lucky reader of my wee blog. 
I've been buying these locally-made mini pouches as presents for a few years now, and this darling fox pouch reminds me of my own foxy creations! These earrings are adorable and made with these awesome beads that catch the light. I threw in a couple of my own handicrafts: a cute pistachio owl pin and two hair bows! The giveaway ends in a week, so enter now!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spicy

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1:: forever 21 cardigan
2:: thrifted leopard print tank
3:: christopher banks purse
4:: target ruffle skirt
5:: chinese laundry plush knee highs
6:: urban outfitters bow wedges
Does it seem like I post a ton of food photos? I can't help it. If it's pretty and/or delicious, I have to take a photo of it or else I never really ate it. Here are some foodporn shots of our recent American-Thai fusion excursion.

Whenever I order Asian food, I always ask for it spicier than the spiciest option since it never seems to be spicy enough for me. This time though, the extra spicy pad see ewe was a bit too much, and I subsequently consumed a huge bowl of rice and a bucket of water to tame the flame in my mouth. Well worth it though. Totes well worth it.

Do you like spicy food?

super easy spaghetti bolognese

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Growing up, in my household, whenever birthdays were celebrated, it was MANDATORY to serve noodles as they symbolized long life. My choice of noodle was pasta. And up until I could cook for myself, I (and only I) asked for spaghetti for each and every one of my birthdays. 
There's something magical about well-made pasta noodles and a good hearty sauce. When I was a kid, I was fine with thin, plain tomato sauce with bits of sliced up hotdogs mixed in it because I didn't know any better. Now, I'm a lot pickier and prefer a thicker, more flavorful sauce with a hint of spice. The secret to a flavor-filled sauce is time. There really is no other way around it. The longer you let the sauce cook, the more developed the flavors get. 
I played around with this recipe, which is already extremely easy by itself, but I made some modifications based on my tastes. I hope you try it! 
Spaghetti Bolognese: (serves 4)
Ingredients: 
4.5 cups chopped tomatoes
1 lb ground beef. 
2 medium onions, sliced
5 Tablespoons tomato paste
3. Tablespoons honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 c red wine. I used a malbec. 
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 box of spaghetti noodles (I like using wheat pasta)
2 Tablespoons butter
parmesan cheese, grated
Directions:
1. Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add in onions and saute until translucent. Add the beef and cook until browned. 
2. Add in the garlic, spices, honey, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, wine and Worcestershire sauce. Mix until well combined, and let simmer on medium/ medium-low for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. 
3. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, cook your spaghetti noodles as indicated in the box. Drain, rinse in cold water, and toss in butter.  
4. Spoon sauce over each serving of pasta and top with a generous helping of freshly grated parmesan cheese.