Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Down In The Dumps

As some of you readers might have noticed, I've been quiet on the blog lately.

Early this month I found out that my best girl, best friend, and sweetest little love Murkurie has heart disease. In particular she has what is called restrictive cardiomyopathy. It was a huge shock and hard to take in. It still is very hard to comprehend and cope with. She is my best friend and has been with me for over half my life. At the moment, day to day, just looking at her you wouldn't be able to tell anything is wrong at all. She still acts the same and does her same daily activities. Sometimes, because of this, it's easy to forget that she's sick. The doctor tells me that she probably doesn't even realize that she's sick which I am so thankful for. We don't know how long she will be with us. I'm hoping she will be with us for a long while more. The doctor says though, with her condition, it's hard to say so I am just taking every extra day with her as a blessing and as a gift. I'm treasuring every day I have with her and am thankful that she's in my life and that she's my girl.

During this time of year I know there are a lot of people out there that get sad and down in the dumps. No matter how sad or bad things may be I hope you all have something you can be thankful for and something you can think of that brings happiness to your life and love to your heart.

So Thankful To Have These Sweet Little Loves In My Life, Wolfgang, Murkurie, and C.C. Cookie

Murkurie and the Big Yawn!

Wolfgang Yawning Too

Homemade Cookie Ornaments of Murkurie and C.C. Cookie Made 2009. I'll Have To Make One For Wolfgang!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Matching Your Dresses To Your Teaware Part 11: Golden Fleur De Lis

 It's a fleur de lis and holly pairing today! 

Well there's no actual holly anywhere on the blog post today but I wanted to feature this pairing just before the Christmas holiday because to me gold is a classic if not a staple elegant addition to anyone's Christmas color scheme.

Heart of Haute's Monique dress in gold Fleur de Lis found at Cats Like Us blows my mind! I love the metallic all over fleur de lis pattern in this print. Together with the classic boatneck and a-line styling of the Monique dress, this dress makes for a beautiful and elegant dress that I think would be perfect for Christmas morning!  This dress comes with a matching self fabric tie belt which can be tied into a dainty bow in either the front or back of the dress.

Heart of Haute Monique dress in Fleur de Lis print, photo: http://shop.catslikeus.com/products/heart-of-haute-fleur-de-lis-monique-dress


This elegant dress pairs perfectly with the Spode Fleur de Lys teapot.

Spode Fleur de Lys Teapot, photo: http://www.bowlcompany.com/ViewMoreInfo.aspx?ProductId=129961

Spode is a longtime standing company that dates back to 1770. The name is synonymous with quality teaware and dinnerware products. While they have many pieces in their collection that exude class and elegance, their Fleur de Lys teapot really stands out as a tour de force piece! This teapot found at the Bowl Company features a distinctively fluted Chelsea shape, the term which defines all the numerous embossed ridges along the body of the teapot and lid. The details on this teapot do not stop there! The fluted Chelsea shape extend all the way to the knob of the tea lid throughout the body of the spout, and can also be seen along the handle of the teapot. While this is an indisputably elegant teapot, what I personally love most about this teapot is the all over gold fleur de lys pattern accompanied by the filigree detail at the edges of the lid and top of teapot.

The all over fleur de lys print in the teapot coordinates perfectly with the all over gold fleur de lis print in Heart of Haute's Monique dress. And that they are both in metallic gold make this a quintessential pairing perfect for your most bedecked Christmas holiday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Matching Your Dress To Your Teaware Part 10: Red Tartan Plaid for December!

Hello Kittens!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday as well as some good Black Friday purchases ;)

Now that we are officially in December I wanted to kick start a little bit of Christmas on the blog! Let me do so with a Red Tartan perfect pairing!

I found this festive red tartan cup and saucer set on the Etsy shop MarguerietesWoodShed. Looking at this set I can easily imagine sitting by a fire with the Christmas tree aglow enjoying a warm cup of tea or even hot cocoa out of these cups. The tartan pattern and red and green coloring are so perfect for the Christmas holidays. I love the vertical edging of the cups which gives this set a modest yet classic shape.

Set Of Four Tartan Red Plaid Teacups, photo: https://www.etsy.com/listing/202697895/set-of-4-tartan-red-plaid-teacups-tea?ref=market

Set Of Four Tartan Red Plaid Teacups, photo: https://www.etsy.com/listing/202697895/set-of-4-tartan-red-plaid-teacups-tea?ref=market

How perfectly do these cups and saucers go with the Bernie Dexter Lori Pin Up Girl dress in Red Tartan Plaid? This lovely dress, like the teacups, have a modest (read also classic) design. This dress features front buttons down the bodice with a pleated skirt and boatneck neckline. Slightly puffed sleeves gives this dress just a hint of playfulness and the shiny black patent leather-like belt adds a ring of sophisticated chicness. While I usually shy away from the cold, if this pairing were waiting for me under the Christmas tree, I'd be dreaming of a white Christmas for sure!

Bernie Dexter Lori Pin Up Girl Dress in Red Tartan Plaid, photo: http://berniedexter.com/products/lori-pin-up-girl-dress-in-red-tartan-plaid

Bernie Dexter Lori Pin Up Girl Dress in Red Tartan Plaid, photo: http://berniedexter.com/products/lori-pin-up-girl-dress-in-red-tartan-plaid

Let's put on a pot of tea, start up Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows, and get cozy by the fire!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Vacation Slideshow: Florida, The Sunshine State, Part 2

Hello Kittens!

And so today I will continue and conclude the Vacation Slideshow from Florida post. :) If you missed it, don't forget to check out part 1 of Vacation Slideshow: Florida, the Sunshine State here.

Day 4 (Saturday, November 22)

Saturday was the long awaited day of my cousin's wedding. The wedding wasn't until 5 pm and wasn't too far away from where we were staying so Tim and I had some time to play around with. And play around we did! My aunt took us, two cousins, and their neighbor friend Boomers, a big family entertainment center that has arcades, rides, go-carts, laser tag, and mini golf. We went for the laser tag and arcades. It was my first time playing laser tag.. (I must have fallen into a hole sometime in the 90's). It was tons of fun and for our session we had the laser tag room all to ourselves! The arcades was also lots of fun. They had a crazy air hockey Pac Man table that would release tons of pucks all at once and would keep doing it throughout the game. Then we finished up the day at Boomers with rainbow Dippin Dots.

After Boomers it was time to get ready and go to the wedding. My cousin's wedding was at a country club in Boca Raton. It was a very lovely location and the ceremony and reception were beautiful. At the reception Tim and I got to sit at the "cousin" table. Almost all the cousins got to fit at the same table. It was so much fun seeing all the cousins, all the family, meeting my new cousin, and meeting some new second cousins! It was especially nice seeing how well all the cousins grew up! It's been a while since I've seen some of these cousins and it was surprising and nice to see how much all the cousins grew and how they are all such sophisticated and fun adults now. Tim and I are not usually wedding people and are usually the ones sneaking out after the cake is cut but for this wedding we ended up being the last to go! It was hard to say goodbye since there's no telling when we'll all get together again.

Outfit of the Day:

Trashy Diva Candice Gwinn Honey dress in Turquoise Ribbed Rayon- Front View

Trashy Diva Candice Gwinn Honey dress in Turquoise Ribbed Rayon- Front View

Day 5 (Sunday, November 23)

Sunday was the first day we had the opportunity to go to the beach so we took full advantage of it! We filled up the car with boogie boards, intertubes, young cousins, and their friend, and headed to nearby Dania beach. Dania beach is a small family-oriented beach nearby neighboring larger Hollywood beach. This was the first time I've ever been to this beach. It was nice though a little unnerving seeing so many washed up jelly fish and man o wars on the beach! Still, I didn't let that get me down. The were lots of waves (fun for bobbing in the intertubes) and lots of kitesurfers out on the other side of the beach from us. I watched the lifeguard go out and try to catch some waves but they were way too frequent and choppy so he didn't have much luck. The water was cold since it was nearly wintertime but once you get it you get acclimated to it. My aunt was a good sport and came in with me even though I know she hates the cold water. Tim came in too but in hindsight, since he was just starting to get a cold, he should have stayed out of the water. It was lots of fun playing in the water and playing in the waves. If there was only one beach day I'm glad this was the one!

After our day at the beach we out to dinner with my two aunts, an uncle, and three cousins for crab. Basically, a stop at the Rustic Inn is a mandatory stop whenever Tim and I go to Florida!

Outfit of the Day:

Max Studio blue cotton dress from Nordstrom Rack

Day 6 (Monday, November 24)

On Monday Tim and I woke up early and started the 3 1/2 hour drive to Orlando. For this I was sure to get Tim up early! Since the start of planning our Florida vacation I knew I wanted to go to Universal Studios. One definite perk of going to Universal is that they now have Harry Potter in not just one but two of their parks... and if that wasn't reason enough to go to Universal, they just opened a new 60's style resort hotel, Cabana Bay! When we travel we usually don't go for the big hotels but for a chance to stay in such a swanky 60's style hotel I had to make an exception!! And after reading Junebugs and Georgia Peaches' blog post about June's bachelorette party at Universal as well as their stay at the hotel I was really excited to check it out!

We got there at about 11 am and just driving up to the hotel was a treat! The whole place is painted in bright happy candy colors with stark sharp geometric 1960's styling. To say it is a beautiful hotel doesn't do it justice so I will just post tons of pictures! There are so many amazing details they added throughout the hotel to keep it period and keep it fun! I wish I lived in a house that looked like this though of course a much smaller version! Also, all the staff was so friendly and accommodating! Even though check in isn't until 4pm the people at the front desk were able to get us into a room right away. We had to go check out our room first thing even before checking out the park! Before doing anything else I had to unpack my things for our stay and do a little nesting. Once we were settled in, we headed down to the hotel restaurant. Even though it was organized cafeteria style I really liked that they kept to the 60's theme, that they had lots of options for food, that the prices weren't bad, and that the food was pretty good.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Orlando, FL
The front lobby at Cabana Bay Beach Resort

View from our room

Our room... Loving all the details!

Bathroom at Cabana Bay

Bathroom at Cabana Bay
In front of the Bayliner Diner at Cabana Bay

Cabana Bay's shuttle to Universal Studios and Universal Islands of Adventure

After lunch we finally got to jump on the shuttle that would take us from the hotel to the theme parks. For the first day we decided to go to Universal's Islands of Adventure. I went there once before with my cousin the summer we graduated high school and it was just as fun as I remember it being... and even more so now with Harry Potter's Hogsmeade at the park!

View crossing the bridge to Universal's Island Of Adventure
Highlights of the park, the Hulk ride, the Spider-man ride, the Marvel area, seeing superheros walking around, Seuss Landing, Hogsmeade, the Train from Hogsmeade that goes from Islands of Adventure to Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, and of course butterbeer! Tim would probably say his highlights were seeing the Delorean from Back To The Future as well as the Back To The Future train in Universal Studios on the way out of the park. Things that were not highlights.... the lockers they make you put your stuff in when you want to ride the most intense rides (I seriously thought our stuff got stolen when trying to figure out how to retrieve our stuff!), and such sore sore feet from walking too far in non-walking shoes. Next time I'm packing better shoes!

Cold Butterbeer at Hogsmeade, Universal's Islands of Adventure!

It was a fun full day at the park and I was so surprised we got to do almost everything at the park that we wanted to check out. The only thing we left out was the ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. But since we had a 3 day park hopper ticket I figured we'd just save that for another day.

More photos of the hotel, Swizzle Lounge by the front lobby

Swizzle Lounge, Cabana Bay

Outfit of the Day:

Pinup Girl Clothing Netti dress in Squirrel Sateen

Day 7 (Tuesday, November 25)

And, as if the awesomeness of Cabana Bay wasn't reason enough to stay in the hotel... one of the many other perks of the hotel is that you get early access to the world of Harry Potter an hour before the park opens. I was sure to set the alarm and wake Tim up to get the day started! It was still dark when we got on the shuttle that took us to the park! When we got to the park though, I was a little disappointed to see that there was already a line waiting to get into Diagon Alley. :( While it was a lot less crowded than it is usually during the day, Diagon Alley was still a lot busier than I was hoping it would be. In any case, Tim and I had lots of fun seeing Diagon Alley! It was so detailed and elaborate and a lot bigger than I was expecting especially after visiting Hogsmeade the day before. Also, the giant fire-breathing dragon on top of Gringott's bank was super awesome.

Diagon Alley, Universal Studios

More Diagon Alley, Universal Studios

Dragon on top of Gringotts Bank

Fire breathing dragon!!
My first business of the day was to have butterbeer ice cream! I decided I wanted to try all the butterbeer options before leaving the park... cold butterbeer, frozen butterbeer, butterbeer ice cream, and hot butterbeer!

With Butterbeer ice cream in front of Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor, Diagon Alley

We hopped on the train and visited Hogsmeade before it got too crowded over there, then came back to Diagon Alley where I had a warm butterbeer before we left the park.

Train at Hogsmeade, Universal's Islands of Adventure

Another favorite, Honeydukes! At Universal's Islands of Adventure
Back at Diagon Alley... Enter for more butterbeer!
Warm butterbeer, my favorite butterbeer!

When I saw these door steps by the King's Cross station at Universal Studios I had to stop and take a picture. These reminded me of Roisin's steps from her blog, Dolly Clackett. 

Trying to pose like Roisin from Dolly Clackett

Knight Bus just outside King's Cross station

  We were supposed to pick up my cousin to join us for the day, hence the early departure, but as we were leaving it started to rain. And not just a little rain, but pouring rain! And there was lightning. By the time we got back to the hotel I wasn't sure how things were going to play out. We dried off a little in the room and I text my cousin to see if she still wanted to come out with us but with the rain and Tim having a cold we weren't sure if we were going to last the whole day so she decided to play it safe and stay in that day. From our hotel room we could see the rain falling almost horizontally. It was crazy. We hung out for a while and when the rain didn't get any better I told Tim we might as well get some breakfast then head on back out. I figured we'd just come back whenever he felt like needing a break from the rain or if he started to feel too bad. Luckily for us it didn't stay pouring all day. It did rain... for most of the day, but it also stayed pretty warm so it wasn't too bad.

Highlights of this day were Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade again, butterbeer ice cream, warm butterbeer which was my favorite out of all the butterbeers I tried, short lines because low crowds (people probably stayed in because of the rain), clam chowder in San Francisco, The Mummy ride, and avoiding the pesky lockers. Things that were not highlights: the rain, and not being able to meet up with my cousin.

We went back to the hotel pretty early (early for us at a theme park)... about 6pm and I was hoping we'd be able to go and check out the bowling alley (yes, there was a bowling alley at the hotel!) and maybe even get a round or two in. Unfortunately as soon as Tim took a shower and sat down on the bed to relax he was out like a light! Oh well... early to bed early to rise I'd figured! ;) Besides, I know he'd been really pushing himself in the park so I let him have his sleep.

Outfit of the Day:

Bernie Dexter Sugar Doll dress in Pink Elephants

Day 8 (Wednesday, November 26)

On our third and last day in the park I woke Tim up early but not super early since I saw the crowds started early in the park even with the early park admission. That and also I was trying to let him sleep in as much as I could take it. I know he was not feeling well. We got into the park just before opening and bee-lined right to Diagon Alley and the Gringotts bank. The goal of the day was to go on the last two Harry Potter rides and the Despicable Me ride that we previously missed. We didn't get far though in our bee-line. As we were walking past the Despicable Me ride we saw that the wait time was only 5 minutes. The night before it was 45 minutes! So we figured we'd might as well jump on it now. After Despicable Me we bee-lined (for real this time) to Diagon Alley and got in to ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. The wait wasn't too bad but during the ride, while we were seated and in the ride, it broke down! There was some major glitches in the video for the ride and at first I wasn't sure if it was part of the ride. After a while and after seeing the glitches weren't getting any better and that the ride kept going, and seeing that there was another cart full of people touching distance, I started to really get scared. I thought we were going to collide! When we finally made it out of the ride it was quite a relief. And yet, when they told us we can re-ride the ride I was ready to try again. We had to get out of the ride carts and wait in a back area until they could clear up the glitches but after waiting 20-30 minutes they told us they didn't know how long it would be and gave us all a fast pass to come back and ride that ride again once it was up and running.

Since we were in Diagon Alley and since the Leaky Cauldron was right there, we decided to have some breakfast. We enjoyed a traditional English breakfast and warm butterbeer for me and pumpkin juice for Tim while we waited for the Gringotts ride to be fixed.

Another warm butterbeer before it's time to go- at the Leaky Cauldron

After breakfast the ride was still down so we took the train to Hogsmeade and rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the other ride we missed. This ride made Tim feel sick though so instead of taking the train back to Diagon Alley Tim opted to walk through Islands of Adventure to get some air. It was nice to walk back through the park before we left and along the way I even picked myself up a Betty Boop Teapot I'd been eying on the first day in the comic area of the park. We were going to see if we could jump on the Spider-man ride one last time but the wait was 45 minutes so we decided to skip it.

Disappearing through the wall at platform Nine and Three-Quarters!

When we got back to Gringotts bank in Universal Studios we zipped right through the line which was great because now the line was super long due to the delay in its earlier closure. The ride was so much better this second time and made so much more sense. Also, now that the ride was working properly I saw that there really were two carts together for the ride so when it had previously broke down there probably wasn't any real danger of colliding with the other cart at all.

Overall it a great last day in the park and while we spent much longer in the park than we expected because of the Gringotts ride breaking and Tim getting sick on Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey it all worked out in the end. We were planning on making a stop at our friend's house again, hoping to see her one last time before we left Florida but since Tim was sick he didn't want go make the stop in case he would get her or her daughter sick with his cold.

After we left the park we took the shuttle back to the hotel where the car was and decided to get lunch while we were there. Also, before we left I wanted to go around the hotel and get all the pictures of things I missed getting pictures of. :)

Highlights of this day were the two Harry Potter worlds, breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron, and our final farewell to the park and the hotel. Things that were not highlights, the cold wet weather, getting stuck on the Gringotts ride, not being able to see our friend on the way back to Fort Lauderdale, and our final farewell to the park and the hotel.

Cabana Bay Beach Resort, Orlando, FL

So many details at Cabana Bay

Phone booths at Cabana Bay

Another sitting area at Cabana Bay

Bowling alley at Cabana Bay

Inside Galaxy Bowl at Cabana Bay

Galaxy Bowl at Cabana Bay

Outfit of the Day:

Bernie Dexter Rocketship dress

 I can't wait until we get to go back but until then I will have fair memories that will last a lifetime!

Day 9 (Thursday, November 27)

After leaving Orlando we drove straight to my grandparent's house and got to stay the night at their house. When we woke up the next morning it was Thanksgiving morning! My grandparents went to early mass but when they got back I tried to help my grandmother as best I could with preparing Thanksgiving dinner while my grandfather worked on the yard. It was nice getting to spend some time with my grandmother especially since I don't often get to see her and when I do it's usually just for a quick visit for dinners or lunch.

A few hours before the turkey was ready my uncle and two of my cousins arrived. We hung out for a while all talking together and watching TV. Eventually it was decided that my uncle, one of my cousins, and Tim were going to go to the nearby skate park. I went with them wanting to see what my cousin could do! :D It was a fun adventure and we got to drive past my cousin's school. Both Tim and my cousin had a lot of fun skating and my uncle and I had fun watching them and hanging out.

Tim at the skatepark

When we got back to my grandparent's house my other uncle and two other cousins were there soon followed by an aunt and another cousin.

Dinner was delicious and it was so nice to get to spend the holiday with my relatives whom we usually don't get to see for Thanksgiving. After dinner, when everyone was disbanding Tim and I also headed out to go to my other aunt's and uncle's house for a second dinner and to spend time with a second set of relatives we usually don't get to see for Thanksgiving.

At my aunt and uncle's house there were two aunts, two uncles, three cousins and one second cousin. Once again the food was delicious though I was only able to eat very small helpings! Mainly, we just wanted to go and hang out. I was sorry I didn't save any room for dessert though. The pie and cake my aunt made looked so delicious but we really couldn't stay any longer since we still had to go back to my grandparents house to pick up our stuff then head to another aunt's house where we were staying for the night.

Overall, it was an excellent Thanksgiving and I am so thankful we got to spend so much time surrounded by so much family and got to enjoy each others company as well as got to enjoy a great dinner or two ;)

Outfit of the Day:

Tatyana Micky dress- Front View

Tatyana Micky dress- Side View

Day 10 (Friday, November 28)

Friday was our last day in Florida. Our plane didn't leave until 6 pm so luckily we had some time to hangout before we had to go. After mulling about what we wanted to do with the last day... go to K1 Speedway, go back to Boomers, go to the mall, go to the beach... we finally decided on going to the beach. We didn't go swimming, just walked around the boardwalk at Hollywood Beach and got lunch while we were there. It was a nice sunny day though it did get cold while we were out there. After  we got back to the house we had just enough time to grab our bags and head to the airport. It was sad saying goodbye to everyone but we had such a great time during our vacation in Florida so we were very happy for such a good stay!

Hollywood Beach, FL

The boardwalk at Hollywood Beach, FL

Quieter part of Hollywood Beach, FL


Tim and I at Hollywood Beach, FL

Outfit of the Day:

Beatrice Holloway Doo Wop Band dress
Beatrice Holloway Doo Wop Band dress with black cardigan and black cardigan... I'm ready to come back to California!

 After being gone from home for a while I was anxious to get back home to our cats even though I was sad to leave all the family in Florida. Hopefully it will not be so long before the next time we make it back out there again! Tim and I are already planning our next trip back to Florida.... visiting my cousin near Tampa, going to Busch Gardens, going to Legoland and seeing the newly reopened and iconic Cypress Gardens at the park, maybe going to St. Augustine, staying with my grandparents more, visiting longer with our friend, and seeing as much family as possible while we're out there! I'm so thankful for such a great trip out to Florida and for getting to see so much family. We had so much fun this trip!