Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! And the bathroom remodel is finally DONE.


Happy Halloween, friends! As a kid, Halloween was my absolute favorite holiday. The costumes, the candy, and the fact that it falls near my birthday made it unbeatable. Eventually I discovered the joys of hot spiced wine before noon and Christmas took its place, but I still get a twinge of excitement every year at this time.

On Friday we are throwing an "After Halloween Halloween party," and starting this afternoon I'll be in a 50% off decorating frenzy.  I'm pretty pumped about our DIY costumes - we're going as characters from a movie not to be revealed until Friday, but I can say mine entails spray painting a thrift store, 80's wedding dress bright red.  The back yard looks like a crime scene right now.

But most exciting of all, is that we've finally finished that damn bathroom!  So without further ado ...

Before: 



After:


In total, the remodel consisted of:

  • Replacing vanity top
  • Installing a new sink and faucet 
  • Replacing the primary light fixture 
  • Tiling the wall opposite the toilet 
  • Colorwashing the walls 
  • Re-finishing the other existing fixtures/hardwear 
Where we splurged: 
The goal was to keep the total cost around $1,000 - the elements that were most important to me were the granite, the vessel sink and the chandelier, which are the focal point of the room. So budget aside I picked the two that I absolutely fell in love with.  The chandelier was $250, and the we were able to find the sink marked down from a couple hundred dollars to $90 on Amazon.  While granite is always expensive, we were able to find a remnant just about the size we needed, which saved us a bundle - the remnant plus installation was $400. 





Where we saved: 
Replacing the entire vanity just wasn't in the budget, so we painted the white wainscoting an espresso, semi-gloss brown. We found the faucet on ebay for $35, and instead of replacing the silver towel hooks, toilet paper holder, soap dispenser, trash can, etc., we painted them with a high quality brushed bronze aerosol paint.





We were also able to find tile on clearance as it had been discontinued, and Watson installed it himself - total cost around $300.


We ended up over budget by about a hundred dollars, mostly due to the learning curve (paint looks totally different on the wall than it does on those chips!), but I'm absolutely thrilled with the final result and that we were able to pull this off without outside help.

So what do you think?

Have a wonderful, spooky Halloween and I'll see you soon!


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy birthday to me!


Once upon a time (10/26/noneofyourbusiness) in a land far, far away (Germany), I was born.  I quit celebrating and started lying about my specific age a while back, and now am just happy to have survived another year. After all, you are as young as you feel and age is just a number. A scary, scary number.

Watson won't let this one slip by, though, so tonight we're attending the World Margarita Championship, which is held locally, and is supposed to be an absolute blast.  After all, nothing says I'm in denial about my age and I'm going to act like it then overdoing it on the tequila.  We're holding off on a bigger celebration as our house to-do list is ridiculously long in preparation for out-of-town guests next weekend (for example, finishing the bathroom. Remember how it was only supposed to take a "couple weekends"? ), but a bigger birthday trip to France is in the works for later this year.

I wore this little number to get a new driver's license made because my current one expires tomorrow and I don't like to rush these things.   In AZ, your license doesn't expire until you turn 65 in order to reduce the workload for the 2 people who apparently work for the DOT.  So whatever you wear for your photo, that shit better be timeless.  Also, someone (me) flew into Japan the same day the horrific tsunami hit in 2011, then proceeded to lose her passport resulting in a trip into the radioactive rain to get an emergency one made, which has also since expired. So a couple photos later and I'll also be rocking these pearls all over the world for the next 10 years.





Top: H&M
Necklace: J.Crew via ebay
Skirt: Gianni Bini (thrifted) 
Polka Dot tights: To February
Shoes: Cole Haan (ebay)

Linking up with Two Thirty-Five Designs for her casual Friday linkup. This isn't exactly casual, but did I mention it's my birthday. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Are you crazy kids celebrating Halloween this weekend or next? And what are you wearing? 

Thank you all for reading - I know I'm super behind on responding to all your sweet comments/emails that have come in the last week, and I'm going to try to get caught up this weekend! 

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Academically Inclined: Franziska from Franishh


Good morning, everyone! I'm excited to introduce Franziska from Franishh for this week's edition of Academically Inclined. Fran is a recent college grad and grad school applicant who shares with us how she stays stylish in the lab while mixing prints, accessories and price points.

Hello everyone,

I'm Franziska and I blog over at Franishh about my daily outfits, manicures and DIY experiments. I graduated from college last year and currently work for a pharmaceutical development company as I'm applying for more school. I technically sit inside of the lab, so I have to follow certain safety guidelines, including having to wear closed toed flat shoes, pants, and a lab coat. I started blogging because I felt I would start going into a clothing slump since I had to be so covered up at work. Over the months I've found several ways to have fun with my outfits and not wear the same 3 comfortable outfits all the time:

- Accessories: I'm a huge fun of scarves because they are an easy way to layer and add interest to an outfit. Forever 21 and H&M have great inexpensive options! I also love wearing watches and bracelets (that I make!). Target and Forever 21 have pieces that I've worn for years and always look more expensive than they are.





- Shoes: I used to only wear black ballet flats, but I am slowly expanding my flats collection. I have red ballet flats,leopard smoking loafersleather penny loaferscapped ballet flats, and yellow loafers. Colored flats allow me to play around with the colors in my outfits while adhering to those dang safety guidelines.

- Mixing higher end with lower end pieces: I recently purchased a J. Crew school blazer, which is the most expensive piece of clothing I own. I'm tempted to war it every day, but hold myself back. I am not in the financial position to purchase $80+ shirts to go along with my blazer, so I look for inexpensive alternatives. I recently made the best purchase at Forever 21 - a gold dotted sheer blouse. Every once in a while you'll find pieces that are worth the hundreds of overlooked pieces :)




Thanks to Bonnie for having me - isn't she just the cutest? I would love for you to stop by and say hi!

Thank you for sharing, Fran, and make sure you check out her great blog, everyone! 


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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Green & teal


Happy Wednesday, everyone! Keeping this short this morning, but I hope you're having a wonderful week and I'll see you again soon.





Cardigan: The Limited
Top: ASOS
Necklace: JCrew via ebay
Jeans: A&E (thrifted)

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy!
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Is it Monday already? Also, an outfit and a Shabby Apple winner!


Oh - and I mixed up the hair color a bit. It's growing on me. Literally and figuratively.



Sweater: Old Navy
Button up: thrifted
Skinnies: Old Navy 
Shoes: Cole Haan via ebay 

Congratulations to LeeAnne, from Style N Season, for winning the Shabby Apple giveaway! Shoot me an email to claim your prize. :) Thank you for everyone who entered - I wish I had 56 more of these to give away, but remember that the coupon code delusionsofgrandeur10off is good for 10% off on any order through the end of the month.


Have a wonderful week, everyone, and I'll see you again soon!
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Gratitude


Thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments and messages after the loss of our pup - I can't begin to tell you how much it meant to me (and Watson) that you took the time to reach out, and what a comfort it is to know that so many people understand that despite being "just a dog", that they really are part of the family and their loss is incredibly painful.

I am so grateful for each and every one of you - you've helped make the awful sadness a little more bearable.  I wish I could reach through the computer screen and give you all a big hug, except ... well ... that would probably just be creepy.

So instead I leave you with this video that has been making the rounds. Because despite the fact that this probably hurt like heck, it's just about impossible to watch without smiling.



 Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll be back on Monday with the Shabby Apple giveaway winner, and hopefully shots of something other than the faded, stretched out sweatpants I've been living in the last couple days.

Love to you all.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saying goodbye


One of our beloved pups passed away yesterday.  It was unexpected and the past 18 hours have been really hard. We are trying to remember the good and reminisce about all the love, laughs and happiness she gave us, but  the pain and grief are very real and her absence feels overwhelming right now.

Today was the day that I was supposed to have announced the Shabby Apple giveaway winner and I promise I haven't forgotten about you - I just need an extra day or two to get through this. Thank you for hanging in there with me.

Rest in peace, sweet girl.




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Friday, October 12, 2012

Cozy

I know the entire point of this blog was that it force me to peel off the gym clothes, but sometimes a girl has a relapse. The temperatures are finally dropping here (highs in the 70's today!), and I've been sitting in front of a computer screen and grading for so long that I actually had to ice my aching eyeballs with frozen peas a few hours ago. So I'm cutting myself some slack in the clothes (also, hair/showering/etc.) department today and this is what it looks like. You have been warned.

Yoga Pants: Gap
Hoodie: North Face Tadasana wrap. LOVE.

I know a lot of us love the fall, but I feel like my need to be cozy and bundled up is way more primal than pumpkin spice lattes and falling leaves. See, I was born over three weeks late; I simply would not come and would not come, and when my mother's exhausted body finally decided to forcefully expel me, I put up such a fight - literally bracing with my arms and throwing my head back so far that it stretched my vocal cords and I couldn't cry for days, that the doctors had to pluck me out via cesarian. So in some slightly disturbing, possibly Freudian way, I think I just never got over my birth and being forced cold and naked and angry into the world. This just got weird, didn't it?  Hence my addiction to cozy yoga wear.

So on another note, here is a recipe for a spiced, chai (coffee) latte that I've been loving recently.


Chai spice coffee latte: 
Brew a shot of espresso in your espresso machine or stovetop Bialette and add heated/steamed milk and sugar to taste.

Then add in a teaspoon of the following chai spice mix:

1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

I found this spice mixture as part of this vanilla chai cupcake recipe, and it is perfect in both the cupcakes and in hot drinks! The mixture gives me enough for about 4 lattes. 

Hoping you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend, and thank you for reading! If you haven't, make sure to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway here. The winner will be drawn next Tuesday! 


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Petite Fashion Blogger: Tara from Mix & Match Fashion

Good morning! I'm excited to introduce Tara from Mix and Match Fashion, pattern mixer extraordinaire, for this installment of the Petite Fashion Bloggers series!  

Hi everyone, I'm Tara, and I blog over at Mix and Match Fashion.  I was thrilled when Bonnie asked me to guest post as part of her petite series.  One of her suggested topics was pattern mixing, so I'll be sharing some of my favorite recent outfits that fit that requirement :)  For reference, I am 5'2".

I know that some petite ladies are a bit nervous about pattern mixing for fear that it might overwhelm them. If this is the case, I would recommend starting small.  In this outfit, I layered a polka dot top over a striped blouse.  There is just a hint of stripes peeking out, so the pattern mixing here is subtle.

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One thing that I have been loving lately is treating my leopard print pumps almost as if they are a neutral.  This is another great option if you don't want to go too bold with mixing prints.

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One of my favorite pattern combinations to mix is stripes with polka dots.  Here, my pairing is a bit more bold.
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Ladies, what are your favorite prints to mix?

Thank you for sharing, Tara, and thank everyone for reading! Happy one-day-til-Friday, and don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway here

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Shabby Apple Giveaway! {CLOSED}


Good morning, everyone! In honor of it no longer being Monday or Tuesday, I have some free stuff for you. Shabby Apple is offering one, $50 gift certificate to a Delusions of Grandeur reader which is good towards anything in their online boutique! If you aren't familiar with this brand (see exhibit A), Shabby Apple is an online, independent clothing line specializing in retro and vintage wear.  Scroll down for the rules for entering.

Exhibit A:





Dress: Shabby Apple (El Capitan). I stuck with neutral accessories with this dress, although would like to add some color to it. How would you wear it? 

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy and The Transatlantic Blonde for WIWW! 

Two easy steps to enter: 
1. Be a public follower of Delusions of Grandeur via Google Friend Connect
2. Visit Shabby Apple and leave one comment below stating what you'd use the gift certificate to purchase. 

The winner will be randomly chosen on Tuesday, October 16th at midnight mountain time, and announced the morning of the 17th. 

In the meantime, all Delusions of Grandeur readers can get 10% off by using the code: delusionsofgrandeur10off, which is good for a month.  Definitely take advantage of Shabby Apple's great customer service features such as live chat, a fit guide, style advice and free returns.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week!

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