Tuesday, November 30, 2010

drink up, buttercup

Have I mentioned that it's cold outside? Last night, the temperatures in the desert dropped to a bitter 30 degrees and I feel the need to drink something warm. My usual winter favorite is peppermint hot chocolate, but this year, I'm obsessed with the French caramel latte from Seattle Espresso.

{For those of you who don't know, I've been ardently opposed to coffee beverages for the whole of my 30 years, until about a month ago.}

I found some fun ways to enjoy your morning {or afternoon, or evening} hot beverage - or soup, if you're so inclined.

~via mxyplyzyk.com~

~via west elm~

~via target~

Monday, November 29, 2010

a warm farewell and a chilly reception

How was your Thanksgiving, lovelies? Enjoy spending time with friends and family?

Our vacation was indulgent and relaxing. I wished for a couple extra days soaking up the sun and 80-degree weather, but was out of luck. A little treat from Pinkberry at the Maui airport helped to soften the surrender back to reality.

~my fave - the orginal with strawberries and pineapple~

Back home, we were greeted with chilly temperatures and a full Thanksgiving feast on Sunday {thanks, Mom!} since we spent Thanksgiving Day driving the Road to Hana, exploring a lava tube and hiking around Haleakala National Park's Kipahulu area.

~a peek overtop of the jeep~

I'm still digging through the photos and video and will post a complete recap soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

sand in my shoes

I'm so ready to dig my toes into the sand and work on a beachside glow.

Mark and I are off to spend the week in Maui. I plan to post a few times while we're away - but no promises!

Happy weekend, lovelies!

charmed, i'm sure

I came across this cute necklace on Etsy and immediately fell in love with it. And not just because it has my and Mark's initials.

It's so simple and delicate, perfect for everyday wear. Elemental Workshop will even include little pearls or Swarovski crystals at no charge.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

outfitted | ...and scene

Stephanie's second style request comes from an upcoming lecture she'll be giving about the anatomy of a scene. Won't she look stylish and smart in this outfit?

Click for shopping info on Stephanie's Lecture outfit.

Do you have an event you're going to and you need a little fashion inspiration? Let me know about the event, time and location and I'll find some fabulousness to help get you going! Message me at modernlovely@hotmail.com or leave me a comment.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

smitten kitten | beautifully bound books

Have you noticed the trend of publishers releasing classic stories featuring gussied up covers? I'm absolutely in love with the colorful, clothbound editions of classics like Emma, Great Expectations and Alice in Wonderland.

Other beautifully dressed books come from Ruben Toledo. His work has been featured in some of the most prominent publications in media and he's also done some work for Nordstrom.

Now, Penguin has released children's classics stories, including my favorite, Peter Pan. Add them to your wish list and pick them up at Anthropologie.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

thirty and flirty and thriving

Today, I'm officially 30! And to celebrate, I thought I'd let you know some more of the great stuff you can get on your birthday. 

Joe's Farm Grill in Gilbert will give you a free meal {up to $10}

Harkins Theatres will give you a free bag of popcorn.

If you're a Beauty Insider {Sephora's free beauty club}, you'll get a free birthday gift - no purchase necessary!

Monday, November 15, 2010


This weekend, Mark did the museum circuit in D.C. - a welcomed break from the 12+ hours a day he's been working regularly. One of his stops included the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. And since I couldn't be there, he sent photos - and my favorites, of course, come from the Harry Winston Gallery, where the Hope Diamond is housed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

holed up

My mom and I planned for a girls' weekend starting tonight, so right after work, I'm heading up to my parents' house in the mountains. The house is cozy and perfectly decorated for its location, nestled in the pines near Christopher Creek, just outside of Payson {a two-hour drive from Phoenix}.

I plan on doing nothing but visiting with my mother, snuggling under a fluffy down blanket and sleeping my way through the weekend. Oh, and watching some of my favorite chick flicks.

Happy weekend, lovelies!

distinguished gentlemen 2.0

A created a list of my favorite older men here, but I was remiss in not including two of the originals. How could I have forgetten these two handsome men?

~jeffrey dean morgan~

~gerard butler~

Did you know you can see both of them in P.S. I Love You? The movie was so-so {the book was so much better} but it was worth the price of admission, thanks to these two.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

a sweet shower

I love baby showers. My colleague and friend is having her second child {due on Thanksgiving day!}, a baby girl, and earlier this week, we threw her a surprise baby shower at work.

I enlisted my mom's help in creating a diaper cake and thanks to Trader Joe's, I was able to recreate the salt water taffy skewers that were such a hit at Christine's baby shower.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

smitten kitten | zombies

This week's obsession is neither modern nor lovely. It's a little gross, a little weird, but I can't help it - I like zombies. In my book, zombies trump werewolves and lead vampires by a slight margin.

The newest incarnation of my obsession is AMC's "The Walking Dead." An interpretation of a graphic novel, "The Walking Dead" is touted to be one of the best new shows, and based on the first two episodes, I wholeheartedly agree. It's more of a story about how people act and react in a dire situation than an all-out gorefest.

But as much as I like this new show, my all-time favorite zombie story is "Shaun of the Dead."

Simon Pegg + British humor + zombies? Yes, please!

a little something extra : "The Walking Dead" is giving away a chance for a stagger-on role. Yes, you could be made up to look like a zombie. Watch the show to get the secret code for a chance to win!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

outfitted | residency reading

My friend, Stephanie, is working toward her master's degree. She's an author and is in a residency program at a university in the Midwest and was looking for a outfit to wear to a reading she's giving of her thesis project.

She asked me to incorporate a pair of heels she already owns, so I used them as the basis for a fresh, sophisticated and unpretentious look.

Click for shopping info for Stephanie's Residency Reading.

Steph has a few other events she wants to be outfitted for, so keep your eyes open for some more dazzling looks inspired by her requests.

If you have an upcoming event and are looking for some style inspiration, drop me a line at modernlovely@hotmail.com or leave me a comment with your event, location and time of year.

Monday, November 8, 2010

christmas comes early

The holidays are officially upon us. Just go in to any retail shop - Christmas decorations, music and sparkly wrapping paper assault the senses. I say "assault" because it's just too early. And I love the holidays, but, really? Too. Early.

And then my future sister-in-law introduced me to this

I usually prefer to make my baked goods from scratch, but this easy mix from World Market is perfect for rolling out of bed and baking up a treat on a Sunday morning.

I love chocolate peppermint, and with this new baked good in my arsenal, I don't mind the holidays coming a little early. Now, if only the weather would cooperate.

Friday, November 5, 2010

happy friday!

Let the weekend begin! I have very few plans for my Saturday and Sunday, and I couldn't be happier. 

In anticipation, I'm keeping this post short and sweet - have a wonderful weekend, lovelies!

~doesn't this look peaceful? lanikai beach~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

pure bliss

I'm a big fan of folky singer/songwriters; mellow artists whose music helps me to relax. I'm usually always on the go, so I'm grateful for a moment to take a breath. I can close my eyes and just concentrate on the guitar, a voice or a melody, and everything else just fades away.

Here are a few of my favorites. 

re: Stacks by Bon Iver

An amazing artist to experience live. I saw him at Mesa Arts Center {awesome venue and I highly recommend seeing a show there}, in the 4th or 5th row and it was pure perfection.

Did you catch my favorite line? Your love will be safe with me...

I'd Rather Be With You by Joshua Radin

I also saw Joshua Radin live - for free at an outdoor concert - and he, too, was amazing. And dreamy. I mean, look at his hair! And he plays the guitar and sings? Swoon.

Falling Slowly by Swell Season

I love the Swell Season. If they sound familiar, they won an Academy Award for their movie "Once." One part Dublin's The Frames and one part Czech pianist/vocalist, Swell Season has some truly epic, haunting songs. I had a hard time choosing just one to share with you, but I suggest you also check out Leave - it's raw, emotional and heart-wrenching, but absolutely gorgeous.

I had the chance to see them in concert, too - another great show at Mesa Arts Center - earlier this year. Sadly, they've since stopped performing together.

P.S. KEXP in Seattle is awesome. You should check it out.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

smitten kitten | cupcakes

My sweet tooth will one day, I'm sure, be the death of me. But until then, I have to indulge every once in a while.

One of my favorite baked treats are cupcakes. Aren't they just perfect? A little bit of cake. A little bit of frosting. Maybe an embellishment or two. Some of them are even big enough to share {if you want}.

~surprise! they're homemade, vegan and delicious~

While I was creating the perfect cupcakes for Christine's baby shower, I went to bakery supply heaven and found this edible glitter. Oh. My. Gosh. Talk about taking your sweet creations to the next level!

~check out the luster dust on a homemade red velvet~

And I have a real soft spot for mini cupcakes, like the ones above. They're even more perfect than a regular-sized cupcake. All of the flavor, less of the guilt.

Last year for my birthday, Mark brought me a big box of Sprinkles cupcakes, my all-time favorites. Red velvet, peanut butter chip and milk chocolate. Mmmm.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

outfitted | west side story

Remember when I told you of my insane jealousy of my friend's upcoming trip to New York City? Well, to add insult to serious injury, she told me she was going to see West Side Story. On Broadway.

On the bright side, she did ask me to create a look for her enchanted evening. She's so darn stylish she doesn't really need my help, but I'm happy to oblige her request {or rather, I'm happy she's indulging me}.

Click for shopping info on Sarah's Evening on Broadway.  

If you have an upcoming event and are looking for some style inspiration, drop me a line at modernlovely@hotmail.com or leave me a comment with your event, location and time of year. I'd love to put something together for you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

birthday month

It's November and it's officially my birthday month.

I like a month rather than a day or a week. Silly, perhaps, but this year, my birthday falls on a Tuesday. How completely uneventful. And since I'll be turning 30, an uneventful birthday just won't do {plus, Mark won't be back from Virginia in time to celebrate on the actual day}.

Nordstrom kicks off the month-long celebration by giving me {and anyone else who shops there} the gift of the Half Yearly Sale, which starts November 3. That also means, if you have the Nordstrom MOD or credit card, you earn double points during the first few days!

Oh, and remember last week when I mentioned Anthropologie sends birthday love? It came! I think I get as much enjoyment from the packaging as I do the present.

But this year's biggest factor for celebrating all month long is the fact that Mark and I will be relaxing here over Thanksgiving


*maui image courtesy of here

a full halloween weekend

Saturday was pretty eventful. I spent the afternoon at Queen Creek Olive Mill with some friends, drinking wine, listening to jazz and tasting a variety of local olive oils. We couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous fall day.

Later that night, we celebrated my dear Diana's birthday. She loves Halloween. So we dressed to the nines, met up with friends and celebrated well into the night.

On Sunday, I spent the evening trick-or-treating with my two adorable nephews - both of whom dressed as Batman.  I wish I had photos, but I was having too much fun to remember to pull out the camera.

Hope you had a great Halloween!


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