Saturday, March 30

february/march in entertainment.

my life in entertainment - february/march 2013

movies i saw

Big Miracle - The fact that it took someone in the movie mentioning "President Reagan" for me to realize it's set in the 80's is proof of that decade's influence on current fashion trends!  I liked the storyline, which featured John Krasinski (Jim from The Office) as Adam, a small-town Alaskan news reporter hoping to make it big when he stumbles into a complex story: two adult whales and their baby are trapped.  Drew Barrymore plays Adam's ex-girlfriend Rachel who works for Greenpeace and Kristen Bell plays a determined news reporter (kind of a more serious version of Veronica Corningstone from Anchorman).  Adam encourages his Inuit friends to think of the bigger picture rather than their tradition of hunting whales while trying to rein in Rachel's over-attachment to the whales.  It was very cool that this movie was based on a true story and the filmmakers combined new film with original news recordings in a really creative way.  The movie was billed as family-friendly but I think younger kids would get bored.

The Kids Are All Right - A family's world is torn upside down when the teen children of lesbian moms track down their biological dad; the moms, Nic and Jules, are threatened when their kids reach out to their dad and it forces them to confront the problems already present in their relationship (Nic is a very type A doctor, Jules is a free spirit).  Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo were all amazing.

Skyfall - My dad loved James Bond movies, and I'm pretty sure I've seen every single one.  Skyfall is my new favorite.  The movie clearly seeks to define what role a modern James Bond can play: crimes now occur on computers and hacking presents a major threat to MI6; is James Bond still relevant?  Heck yes.  I loved the exploration of the mentor relationship between Bond and M, the new Q, and Javier Bardem as a perfectly creepy terrorist.  There were a lot of little hat-tips to the classic Bond films that had me geeking out as a fan.  And Naomie Harris was absolutely badass as Eve.

The Great and Powerful Oz - My mother really wanted to see this one so we made it a family outing.  It was a fun movie, but did not live up to the original Wizard of Oz and left a lot to be desired (the most kid-friendly character, a broken doll, was simply referred to as "little China girl" because no one ever bothered to ask what her name was, the Zach Braff-voiced CGI flying monkey which was supposed to be endearing was creepy, and the Wicked Witch's origin story was lame (James Franco should not be anyone's raison d'etre).

Silver Linings Playbook - I love Bradley Cooper, I love Jennifer Lawrence, and even though movies about mental illness tend to make me squirm when they hit close to home, I really enjoyed this one.  The characters were all really believable and Robert De Niro's performance as Cooper's probably-OCD superstitious father was wonderful.

books i read

A Heart So Broken by Christene Houston - I won a copy of this YA romance in a blog contest.  Jenna is on a dangerously rebellious streak after her father, a soldier, is killed in Iraq.  Her mother sends her to stay with her aunt and uncle in small-town Nevada for the summer, where she starts to lose a little bit of the toughness she's built up.  She befriends a few of the locals - including a handsome boy who helps her get back into her old hobby, running.  He has a secret that keeps him from being completely open about his feelings for her, and she almost spirals back into her rebellious ways because of it.  At first, it felt more like a grown-up version of Jenna telling the story about her teenage self- she was very self-aware of the fact that her rebelliousness was a phase, and lines like "Tonight he'd taken it to a new level, washing down a few pills with a few dozen cups of alcohol" just don't sound like a teenager to me.  When Jenna got to the small town of West Junction, the story picked up and the characters became more dimensional.  Jenna is a narrator I think a lot of teenage girls could relate to, and I loved her aunt and uncle, who offered gentle guidance but weren't pushy.  This book was self-published and probably would have benefited from a good copy editor, but was a solid first effort and I think Houston's book would be well-received by teen fans of Stephenie Meyer, Lurlene McDaniel, and Nicholas Sparks.

Things Not SeenThings Hoped For, and Things That Are by Andrew Clements - this YA trilogy centers around Bobby, who wakes up one morning to find that he is invisible, and Alicia, the blind girl who he reaches out to because she is the only person who isn't completely freaked out by his condition.  Through the three novels, Bobby solves the mystery of his invisibility, finds out he's not the only one to disappear, and becomes a much more mature young man.  The first novel was much stronger than the second two, in my opinion.

Two for the Dough and Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich - Spring break is time for some fluffy reading, right?  I read the first Stephanie Plum mystery novel, One for the Money, last year when the film with Katherine Heigl came out, and I'm really sad that the film flopped because as I read the next two books I could picture the actors having a great time with the story's ups and downs!  Evanovich's books are hilarious and, though this term is usually associated with speculative fiction, her worldbuilding is what impresses me the most about her writing - the Burg, Stephanie's Trenton, New Jersey suburb, feels very much like a real place and its citizens are unique and memorable.

Riffs of Regret by Micah K. Chaplin - Micah has been an online friend of mine for a long time but this is the first of her books I've read.  The main characters, Cori and Luke, are set up- more like pushed together- by their two best friends at the Austin City Limits music festival.  They connect over shared musical interests and feel a mutual attraction, but there's a Pride and Prejudice moment where Cori insults Luke, not realizing he's right behind her and can hear every word, and both of them assume any chance of a relationship is gone.  The characters are extremely well developed, and I really sympathized with them as they dealt with some very serious real-world problems.  This book goes beyond normal chick-lit topics and really looks at how difficult it is to navigate today's world of dating and relationships.

television favorites

New Girl - Now that Nick and Jess have confessed their feelings for each other, the storylines have gotten infinitely more awkward, and that means more hilarious for viewers.  This is the show I most look forward to each week right now.

Saturday Night Live - so on point lately in host and musical guest choices as well as sketch writing (for the most part).  I enjoyed the Justin Bieber episode a lot more than I expected to.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - One word:  Timberweek.

What are you loving this month?

Wednesday, March 27

inspiration: a French lavender wedding

Confession that's not really a confession time?  I love all things French, and spring always brings out my obsession.  Today I'm dreaming of a French wedding with elegant style and lavender everywhere.

"Charlotte" letterpress invitation from Bella Figura

I love the scalloped edges and cursive font on this invitation from Bella Figura!  It would set the tone for a classic wedding with just enough whimsy.


How lovely is the idea of an antique crate filled with lavender buds for an escort card display?

Tuesday, March 26

spring 2013: garden style

1. GAP floral shorts  2. Merona striped sweater from Target  
3. Accessorize straw hat  4. Orla Kiely hand wash for Method  
5. Maybelline Color Show nail polish in Sweet Clementine from 
 6. Ash and Anchor infinity scarf  7. Burpee organic seeds from Lowe's

Let's disregard the fact that there's snow on the ground outside my house and look at spring through nectarine-tinted glasses, shall we?  I'm dreaming of warm weather, shorts, and putting seeds in the dirt.  Now, if only nature would cooperate with my wishes...

“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.” 
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Monday, March 25

clicks of note: it's always all right...

get your week off to a colorful start...



  • BIG thanks to Aimee from Twigg Studios for featuring my decoupage Easter egg wreath!



Tuesday, March 19

spring color: citron

1. H and M sweater  2. Vera Bradley sunglasses  3. GAP printed shorts
4.  Ash and Arrow infinity scarf  5. Vera Bradley tote  6. Coach turnlock bracelet

Inspiration for a citron color palette: the Tory Burch spring 2013 fashion week runway
featured tropical prints and eyelet, two trends that are everywhere this spring!  Cheerful
citron paired with black and white is unexpected and and fun for travel or a staycation :)

Do you have any spring break plans this year?

Monday, March 18

clicks of note: sweet springtime.

get your week off to a colorful start...

Stop blaming yourself for being human. You’re fine. Having a little anxiety is fine. Being scared is fine. Your secrets are fine. You’re well-meaning. You’re intelligent. You’re blowing it out of proportion. You’re fine.

Sunday, March 17

sunday simplicity #112: the ireland i remember

In January 2006, I was able to travel to Ireland for a two-week course with my two favorite English professors.  This image from Daniel Griffiths reminds me of the Ireland I saw and experienced.  I remember riding a bus on the "wrong" side of the road through countryside dotted with cows and old stone fences.  I remember arriving in Galway and feeling welcomed by the brightly colored storefronts and hand-painted signs.  I remember striking out with my classmates to Galway Bay one morning and seeing the golden sunrise on the water and rugged men playing Gaelic football on the rocks.  I remember being mobbed by swans and charmed by peeling paint on the sides of fishing boats, buying flowers and bread and cheese and a Claddaugh ring, and feeling the greatest moment of joy when an Irish woman asked me for directions.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 15

creating home: a 1920's art deco office

1. Graham and Brown wallpaper from Bed Bath & Beyond  2. Fan stencil by OliveLeafStencils on Etsy 
3. Threshold starburst mirror from Target  4. Threshold lamp shade from Target  
5. Threshold lamp base from Target  6. Hayworth bookshelf from Serena and Lily  (Similar for $399)
7. Lladro porcelain Metropolis piece  8. Glass sugar bowl from HappyFortuneVintage on Esty 
9. Russell + Hazel foil stamped binder  10. C. Wonder embroidered wave pillow cover

I can't get enough of 1920's inspiration and Art Deco style.  I blame the trailers for The Great Gatsby...  I loved putting together inspiration for a 1920's style office in shades of beige, teal, and pink.

Wednesday, March 13

introducing the ModCloth Style Gallery!

If you've been reading Beyond the Aisle for a while, particularly my color round-ups, you know I'm a huge fan of the adorable dresses at ModCloth.  I recently became a ModCloth affiliate, and they happen to have a neat new contest going on right now! 

From today through 7 AM PST on March 18th, ModCloth is inviting community members to check out their brand new Style Gallery, upload a photo, love images and share the looks that inspire them throughout the week. The image that gains the highest community-generated loves between 7 a.m. PT 3/11 and 7 a.m. PST 3/18 will win the top prize of a $100 ModCloth gift card! 

The other exciting part? You don't have to upload a photo to have a chance to be a winner - two randomly chosen lovers of that winning image will also each receive a $50 gift card!  What are you waiting for?  Visit ModCloth right now to check out some awesome retro-inspired styles and participate in the Style Gallery.

ModCloth will contact the winners via email by 3/22 and announce the winners on their blog at 7 a.m. PT 3/27.

inspiration for a 1920's-style wedding

Little details that evoke the vivre and opulence of the 1920's are everywhere right now, from runway fashion to the upcoming release of Baz Luhrman's take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, and 20's style is always popular in the world of wedding planning.  A bride can be both trendy and timeless by incorporating 1920's-inspired silhouettes and accessories, and details inspired by the jazz age let guests know that a wedding is going to be elegant and classy, but not too buttoned-up.

The typography used for the couples' names on this wedding invitation from Minted is reminiscent of 1920's newspaper advertising, and the gray-and-white color palette would be the perfect complement for an evening ballroom reception.

1920's style is all about the details, whether it's a delicate lace cap sleeve or an elaborate feather fascinator.

Tuesday, March 12

Spring Craft: Decoupage Easter Egg Wreath

There are a few craft ideas I always come back to.  Making wreaths is one of my favorite crafty activities, and book pages are one of my favorite materials to use in creative projects.  Last Easter, I decoupaged some plastic Easter eggs from the dollar store with pages from a Shakespeare book I picked up at Goodwill.   This year, I got the idea to jazz up those book page eggs with some glitter and turn them into a wreath!

First, let's make some decoupage eggs.  Craft stores sell papier-mâché eggs, which I am sure would make this project a bit more manageable, but you can't beat 24 eggs for a dollar.  Our local Dollar Tree had both regular sized and mini eggs, so I picked up a package of each.  You'll also need gloss Mod Podge, a sponge brush, and a book or other interesting paper (scrapbooking paper, a map, etc.) you don't mind ripping up.

Use your sponge brush to coat the surface of the egg with Mod Podge and start applying your paper scraps.  It's helpful to cover the egg's "seam" first so that it doesn't pop apart while you're working.

Keep going...

Monday, March 11

clicks of note: i only care about you and me.

get your week off to a colorful start...

  • "You and Me" by Elizabeth and the Catapult was stuck in my head this weekend, so here you go.
  • I plan on trying Cathal Armstrong's Irish brown bread recipe this week - there's more St. Patrick's Day goodness on my Pinterest board.

Tuesday, March 5

spring greens: emerald and jade

The color of the year finds its luxe side this spring and 
can go from preppy to glam with a quick change of accessories...
1. C. Wonder colorblocked striped tee  2. C. Wonder bubble earrings in Sour Apple  
3. Nordstrom wool and cashmere wrap in Green Clover 4. Essie nail polish in Trophy Wife  
5. Mossimo jeweled ballet flats from Target 6. Michael Kors clutch from EBay 
7. Anthropologie Gemleaf bracelet in Mint 8. Sephora + Pantone nail lacquer in Emerald

emerald inspiration from the red carpet:

1. Diana Agron in Carolina Herrera at the 2012 Met Costume Gala via StyleBistro
2.  Alexis Bledel in Rena Lange at the 2013 SAG Awards via German Vogue

more emerald and jade inspiration from around the web:

Monday, March 4

clicks of note: weird, witty and wonderful.

get your week off to a colorful start...

  • If the title of RDGLDGRN's song, "I Love Lamp," isn't enough to entice you to listen, maybe the fact that those drums are being played by Mr. Dave Grohl will.  This is straight-up fun Spring Break road trip music.


Sunday, March 3

sunday social: fives

Sunday Social

I couldn't resist this week's Sunday Social because all of the 
questions revolve around my favorite number - 5!

1. 5 songs you’ll listen to the rest of your life:

Most of my favorite songs are already classics - songs like the Beatles' "Hey Jude," Eric Clapton's "Layla," and Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," I will never get tired of. I think that out of all of the singers I love right now Adele is the one whose music will have the most longevity.  I think I'll still be singing "Rolling In the Deep" in the car when I'm fifty.  And I'll always love our wedding song, Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing."

2. 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Own a house with Mr. Q
  • Write a novel
  • See Paul McCartney in concert
  • Visit London
  • Visit Paris
3. 5 celebs you’d love to hang out with for a day:

Liiiiizzzz Lemmmmmon on my former stomping grounds. (Tumblr)
  • Tina Fey (go Wahoos!)
  • Queen Bey, a.k.a. Beyonce
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Mindy Kaling
  • Neil Gaiman
4. 5 things you always carry in your purse:

  • Cell phone (my wallpaper is the Elizabeth Mayville Etsy print I am currently coveting!)
  • Lip balm/gloss (I love Neutrogena products - just enough color)
  • Hairbrush
  • Tide to Go pen
  • My wallet (driver's license, debit card, insurance, and library card at all times!)
5. 5 books on your reading list:
  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (YA Historical Fiction)
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (YA Fiction)
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (YA Fiction)
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed (Memoir)
  • Wonder by R.J Palacio (MG Fiction)
6. Share the last 5 pictures on your phone:

sunday simplicity #110: a joyful color palette...