Monday, February 28, 2011

Birchbox Update & Free iPhone Case

Oh tragedy of (temporary) tragedies! If you haven't had an opportunity to sign up for Birchbox's fabulous monthly sample program, you may have to wait a bit.

A recent visit to their Facebook site showed lots of people making sad face icons because there is now a wait list. Boo.

Hang in there. I'll try to keep checking in and let you know when the deluxe sample mail ponies are running freely once more.

In the meantime, check this out. :)

Sephora is giving away a free iPhone case (3GS AND 4G) when you download their pretty stellar app for free. The offer is available online here:

I've also heard that you can download the app and show it to someone at the Sephora counter to redeem as well.

You are required to make a purchase (no minimum), but who among us doesn't need some new lipgloss or in my case, mascara? (Now I have a small militia of tiny mascaras en route.)

There are 2 designs (pictured below). You're welcome ;)


eing stuck inside on a gorgeous day, not feeling well leads to craft time...and eating lots of salted caramel ice cream. I can show you no photo of the ice cream, because now there is none.

Brainstorming ideas for little Thank You seals. Here are my rather rough practice endeavors.

I'd like to do some bright greens and purples-maybe red ones also.

I'd also like to go to the park and lounge on a blanket in the sunshine like everyone else, but *sigh* *sniffle* that will have to wait...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Did I Mention I'm Getting Married?

I'm not and never have been someone who likes a spectacle. But I do like architecture. I think I like San Francisco. I've never actually gone, but everyone is always insisting that I would love love love it.

All this is to say that in November, the freckled love of my life and I will (both for the first time) be visiting San Fran. where we will also be having a quasi-elopement at City Hall.

When we've told people this, they seem to have a mix of awe and confusion. The funniest part is the sometimes almost pitying look that sweeps across their faces at the mention of "City Hall".

I'm guessing they have conjured images of bad wood paneling and fake ficus trees.

San Francisco's City Hall is actually modeled after Les Invalides in Paris and seems devoid of paneling, at least in the rotunda.

We're pretty excited about it.

You may have noticed I said, "quasi-elopement". That's because although we will be having a simple (10 minutes or less) civil ceremony, we will be throwing a big send-off party (complete with yet to be determined blues band and a chicken and waffle vendor!) at a local theatre in our hometown. Then a small group of friends and family will join us for a few days of fun and drinks in California.

I can't imagine how involved planning a formal wedding must be, because even with our very minimalist plans, I still sometimes find myself a little overwhelmed with the ever-growing To-Do checklist.

So far, we've chosen a photographer, ordered rings and started looking for an apartment to rent during our stay. Airbnb is a stellar resource for travelers who prefer "the comforts of (a chic, well-furnished, modern) home, btw.

Right now, it's dress obsessing for yours truly.

Ideally, I'm looking for something timeless that suits the venue. I'm thinking Jackie O. mixed with Hitchcock's leading ladies.

It will be white (possibly paired with dazzling emerald green shoes), but this lovely dress from sohomode on Etsy is currently serving as my muse.
I'd love your suggestions.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My First Giveaway!

Yay for free stuff!

In a shameless effort to increase followers, I will be randomly selecting someone to win one of the two necklaces pictured below.

(The winner gets to pick!)

To enter, simply sign up to follow the blog in that little box on the left and leave a comment below with your favorite quote.

Mine = "Blow up your TV. Throw away your paper. Move to the country. Build you a home. Plant a little garden. Eat a lot of peaches. Try and find Jesus...on your own." -John Prine

(It's okay if you forgot who said it. I won't judge you.)
Existing followers, simply leave a quote to enter.


Blech. Yuck. Ick. Blarg. Is That Tree Mocking Me?

Well, I'm sick. Usually, I don't really mind getting sick, because I know I'm guaranteed that drool-on-your pillow-awesome-dreams kinda sleep.
I prepare a fortress of comfort around me on the bed that includes stacks of old Domino magazines, giant navel oranges, thick quilts, some eucalyptus essential oil and more magazines.
I remain snifflingly, blissfully, achily, whiningly immobile for a day or two...and I sleep. And sleep.

Today, though, I went to work.
This tree's face pretty much sums up how I feel about that decision.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Random Calligraphy Samples

Tonight, I had white ink and red wine. This is what happened. :)

Getting Things in Order

I make lists. I make lists of my lists. A few days ago, I wrote, "make lists" on one of those lists. I was serious.

Sometimes I wonder if I might be more excited about the idea of getting "organized" than the actual doing-ery of it.

The lists themselves have no real cohesiveness. I saw one crumpled on the bottom of my purse, written on half a sticky-note last week that read: "laundry, manicure, armadillo, falafel". It probably made total sense to me at the time.

More than anything, I like to feel the inky slippery scratch of the pen writing down all of these hypothetical futures. The meals I plan not to burn, the pulled-together look I'll surely accomplish with those particular Anthropologie earrings, the yummy falafel lunch I'll have with the armadillo.

I begin to think my subconscious was trying to tell me to write "make lists". It wanted me to check something off and feel accomplished.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blood Oranges

I think one of my greatest lessons in life was learning that there is far more beneath the surface than most people would have you know.

Sometimes, I am reminded of this in the form of fruit.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I Had a Million Dollars (in Euros...or Pounds)...

...I'd buy a rug.

*Mandylynn engages in beautiful daydreams.*

Oh, Piero Fornasetti! You're like the M.C. Escher of grown folk! How I adore thee! "What's that you say? I'm stepping on Lina Cavalieri?" Oh, why yes! Yes, I certainly am, and it feels just heavenly." *sips Mariage Freres tea and nibbles delicately on Laduree macaroon.*

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Hate/Hate Relationship with Yellow

Few things make me angrier faster than bright yellow. It's been that way for as long as I can remember. For a long time, it was a secret I tried desperately to keep to myself. I knew it seemed irrational. I was ashamed of my want to kick things and fling the offending bread bag/banana/dish sponge/sports car/cute little goldfinch wildly across my path. I remained quiet. Inside, however, I was miserable. Few people could understand my torment, or so I thought.

It wasn't just that the color itself when placed within 6 feet of my person caused my skin to reflect a pea soup hue, it wasn't that typically only cheap sugary salty frightening deathtrap foods were typically encased in yellow.

It was some intrinsic primal serious thingie.

(Yellow -but only for Halloween. I could never sustain this in real life. The inner rage would be overwhelming.)

A few years ago while reading on a roadtrip to Key West, I found that I was not alone. The main character of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, a fifteen year-old named Christopher forecasts the happiness of his days through colors.
He watches cars.
Four red cars in a row mean it will be a most wonderful day, while four yellow cars mean a bad day, in which case he does not eat lunch and will not speak.

This morning, getting into the car with my fiance, I looked over and he had placed a shiny new package of disposable lemon-scented cleaning wipes on the center console. I am most certain that it is no small coincidence that I forgot my newly poured cup of french vanilla coffee on the way out and accidentally wore the sweater with a hole in it today.

I know I should try to change my open-minded and whatnot. I'm sure there are lots of lovely *gulp* yellow things in the world. Maybe. Are there?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Birchbox - My New Love Affair

Product junkies, lip gloss addicts, people who rub strips of fragrance in magazines on yourselves, take note:

This weekend, I received my first shipment from Birchbox. It made me do a little dance.
If you aren't familiar with Birchbox, please allow me to enlighten you.

For a $10 monthy fee (aka: what I probably spend every other day on superfluous carbs), you will receive a cute (I repeat CUTE) pink box stuffed full of premium samples delivered to your door each month.

Birchbox uses a point system, so when you've played with all your goodies, you can then go to the website to rate them for points. "What can I do with these points?", you ask. Well, I'll tell you.

100 Birchbox points can be redeemed for a $10 voucher toward the purchase of full-sized products. You get 10 points just for signing up and 10 points per item reviewed AND (I know. I know. I sound a little too excited. . . I am :) you also earn points per dollar for items purchased from the site.

After almost ten years of working in the spa industry, I've learned that the spectrum of "samples" ranges from annoying little packets you think you will maybe use on vacation sometime to stellar dazzling nearly full-size containers of happiness.

These are the happiness containers. Oh, and the brands. *swoon*. (See tiny hint below.)

Visit the website to take a peek and sign up and um...maybe mention my name if you wish. (You receive 50 referral points when friends sign up!)

You can also give 3 or 6 month gift subscriptions!

Stay tuned for my personal pics and reviews of this month's shipment later this week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
- Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, February 11, 2011

How Cute (and delightfully free) is that?!?

Too late for snail mail to Grandma and Aunt June? Despair not...

Visit the Kate Spade website to select a free pretty little e-card for your favorite Valentine(s). Brighten someones day by showing a little gorgeous love.

(Find something for your sweetie too, because guys aren't the only ones guilty of procrastinating.)

Yawn...Streeetch...What time is it?

Admittedly, I disappeared for a while. I took long naps. I changed homes. I changed jobs. I got engaged. I got a new freckle or three.

A long long hiatus...a new beginning. Lot's of changes.
It's good to be back. I can't wait to make some tea and catch up.