Saturday, January 30, 2010


I just checked my mail and imagine my delight when out I pulled Anthropologie's February catalog! Of course I immediately had to flip through the pages, which are filled with beautiful and whimsical pieces set against a circus backdrop that is just too much fun.

What are my favorites, you ask? Well, let me show you... and do take note of the ruffle theme. I'm a girly girl so these feminine frills speak to me. And they whisper, "spring is coming soon."

If I had $400 to blow, this look would be mine. I just love those sparkly shoulders! My favorite thing to wear is a pretty dress topped with a cardi. And this dress looks particularly cool and comfy-- perfect for the warmer weather to come.

Nothing's better than a sunshiney sweater to brighten your day... or your wardrobe! I love yellow. It is one of my favorite colors (my other is cerulean) and it just makes me happy!

This is just the most adorable wrap. I think it would be perfect for one of those days where you just don't know what to wear and stare endlessly into your closet... searching. Once my eyes land on this, the choice would be easy.

Don't you just want to dive into this bedding and never, ever get up?
I do.

If you like swooning over Anthropologie too, click here for the full catalog.

Happy browsing! (and tell me, what's your favorite?)


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bloggy love, for me and you

Hello out there! I hope you're all having a wonderful week, especially now that we are over the proverbial “hump.”

Last week I received two blog awards from some very lovely ladies. Isn’t that always fun? It definitely brought a smile to my face last week, despite dreary weather and work worries.

One of my awards was even given by new reader (yay!) Katy Mary of TangerineHearts (thank you!).

The rules go like this:

1. To accept the award, you must post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted you the award, and a link to their blog.

2. Pass the award on to approximately 15 other blogs that you recently discovered, and think are great!

3. Contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

And the 15 I’m tagging are:
1. Shannon Eileen of **Happiness Is...**
4. Linda of one fine dae
5. Jenny May of The Swede Records
6. Nicki of The Cherry Blog
7. Molly of my name is yeh
9. Jaeve of Jaeve + Things
10. Helen of Helen Hearts
11. Samantha of Post Grad Hair Cut
14. Meg of *curls and coffee*
15. Celine of bonjour!

Whew! That was a lot, but they all deserve a shout out. I love finding new blogs to love and I have discovered some real gems lately!

My next award came from Erin over at Pughs’ News. She gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thanks, Erin! You’re the sweetest.

For this award, I am commanded to post seven random things about myself that you may or may not already know.

Alrighty, here goes. Oh, and please don’t hold my weirdness against me.

1. I used to be allergic to the sun. After long periods of exposure, I would get terribly, unbearably itchy. I remember my sun allergy flaring up one day when I was a Girl Scout participating in the annual Brownie Olympics. My mom slathered what seemed like an entire bottle of sun block on me before the itch subdued. I look back at that experience as the reason why I so detest putting on sun block—that and the fact that I have to cover every. square. inch. of skin. Luckily, I eventually outgrew my allergy. Unfortunately, I never outgrew my pallor.

See the paleness? This is me in Maui with the boy in 2008. I was literally seeking the shade in this photo! By the way, there is another photo of me on this trip where I am wearing big ol' shades and a giant, old lady hat to protect myself from the sun's rays. So not cute.

2. Speaking of my “porcelain” skin, as one of my friend’s calls it, I am half Danish (on my mother’s side.) For some reason, I have always felt a strong connection to my Danish roots. Perhaps because the other half of me is a bit of random mix—I can’t even keep it all straight! (Thanks, Dad.) I think there’s some Welsh and English and even a bit of Indian…? But whenever I’ve had the chance to learn more about Denmark, I took the opportunity. In sixth grade, when I had to do a country report—for which I wrote journal entries about my fictional travels—I chose Denmark. In my media worldwide college course, I chose to write my final paper on the Danish news media. I’d love to actually visit the small, flat, peninsula country one day, but until then I placate my travel bug by looking at sites like Copenhagen Street Style. Aren't these Danes pretty?

(click image to admire larger)

3. I was a vocal major for my first year of college. I have always loved to sing and when it came time to pick a major, I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do. However, when the pressure of some of my classes began to stifle my passion, I changed my major to journalism, if only because I was good at writing English essays and enjoy reading magazines! Though the switch was hasty and emotional, it ultimately was the best choice for me. I am 100 percent certain that if I had graduated with a degree in music I’d still be wondering what I should be doing (and I graduated almost three years ago! Wow, that’s hard even for me to believe.)

Me singing circa 2007, on a cruise ship no less. It was during a karaoke competition called Princess Pop Star. (You can laugh, it's okay.) I sang Alicia Keys' "Fallin'"

4. Going with the music theme, I played (and can still play, I don’t doubt) the oboe in junior high, high school and college. When all the other girls chose flute or clarinet, I was one of the few who chose oboe (my bestie played oboe as well, though it was not her first choice). I picked the oboe because it sounded strange and maybe even slightly exotic and that sounded good to me. I stood by my choice, even when people made fun of its sound, calling it a “dying duck”— though, if you can play it well, its tone is hauntingly beautiful.

Oboe via here 

5. I’ve mentioned this next one a couple times, but I’ll shock and horrify my new readers: I don’t like cheese (that much). Yes, I eat pizza—with light cheese and lots of toppings. To me, the crust and the sauce are more important than the mozzarella. And yes, I even eat nachos. It would seem I like melted cheese but then again I never eat cheeseburgers or grilled cheese sandwiches. Nor do I eat a hunk of cheese with a glass of wine or a handful of crackers. And whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant I confuse the waiter when I say, “hold the cheese.” Or something to that effect. What’s more confusing is that I couldn’t get enough Kraft singles as a kid. Go figure.

You can keep it. via we heart it 

6. I don’t like people touching my face. This is my rule in general (like an old lady pinching my cheeks or someone wiping away an eyelash) and especially when it is cold outside. And when it is really chilly outside, I don’t like people touching my hair either. Now if that’s not completely and utterly random, I don’t know what is. You know what else I can't stand people touching? My veins! Ick. By the way, while we're talking about it, the veins on my right wrist say "Hi." No joke! (Sorry, no pic. You'll just have to believe me.)

7. Two of my toes on each foot are crossed. The ones right next to the big toe. Now, don’t worry, they are not grotesquely crossed but there is a slight overlap. It is actually more noticeable when you look at my foot straight on from ground level instead of above. But then again, who would get on the floor to see if my toes are crossed? When I was younger, my dad liked to grab my toes and teasingly pull them apart, all while saying, “How are we gonna straighten these out?” While we’re on the topic of feet, I will also mention that my toes “scrunch” when I walk, every time I take a step. Again, I am probably the only person who notices or is irritated by this peculiarity.

I'd say this is quite possibly the cutest my toes have ever looked-- after my luxurious spa pedicure last year! But can you see the criss-cross...?

There you have it. Seven random things about moi that you probably never needed to know but now you do. Hopefully some of you out there are as odd as I seem to be (at least when judged by this list).

As for who has to spill their randomness all over the blogosphere next, I choose: Maggi, Bianca and Miss Lovely Little Things. I think I’m only supposed to tag one person, but I say, the more the merrier.

If you have time, be sure to pop over to the blogs I linked above and say hello! We all know a little blog love can go a long way…

And even if you weren’t tagged, tell me one random thing about you in the comments below. I shared—now it’s your turn!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Accessorize me

I'm an accessories girl. One peak into my closet and you'd see straight away. What would you see? Well, my overflowing jewelry box, for one. It's never closed. Why bother? You'd also see dishes full of rings and things, and recently worn jewels scattered haphazardly about. I even have push pins on the wall holding my necklaces and (usually) successfully keeping them untangled. But judging by the necklaces that have found their way onto my nightstand and the bathroom counter, I think I need more push pins.

And let me not forget what else is in my closet: dozens of purses, belts, shoes and some scarves, too.

An argument could be made though that I don't need any more accessories. Kind of like when I was a kid and my closet was bursting with stuffed animals. Whenever I saw a new cutie that I just had to have, my mother would say, "You need another stuffed animal like you need a hole in your head." Hmm. Well, I almost always got the plushie anyway. I could always find room for more stuffed animals.

Now that I'm older, I think it's safe to say that my habit of collecting adorable toys has turned into a habit of collecting gorgeous accessories. While browsing the internet this week, I spied several pretties that I could make space for.

But don't worry, ma, I didn't buy them.

Oh, how I wish I could but the bank account says it just can't be.

But still, I look and I want. So to appease this insatiable desire to buy things I can't justify a need for-- a problem of mine that goes beyond just accessories, to be sure-- I am going to share them here, with you.

From Ruche's new arrivals: (Have I mentioned my love for Ruche before? Oh, that's right, I have.)

From Etsy:

made by Philadelphia Etsian Katie Henry (shop: Made by Hank)

made by Cuban-born, South Miami Beach-based artist Lorena (shop: Maranon)

There. It's out of my system. (Hopefully.) I hope you enjoyed this fashion fix and have a great rest of your Friday!

Right now, I have to go get ready for a jewelry party. (I hear it's like a tupperware party, but better because, well, it's jewelry.)

Go figure.

Edit: Just got back from the party! Turns out it was a lia sophia party. I went with my bestie and we both weren't sure what to expect since she only knew the host and I didn't know anyone, but it was actually really fun. There was free wine, pizza, snacks and cookies... and jewelry, of course. What's not to love? Unfortunately the jewelry wasn't free but I did end up buying one thing. (I felt obligated! Ok, I wanted to, too. But there was a sense of obligation.) The jewelry was a bit pricey-- there was a colorful, mosaic-style cuff I loved but once I found out it was $198 I had to pass-- but there was a special going on so I got the $68 Elena ring for half off. Marielle, my bestie that is, thinks it looks like fireworks. This pic doesn't do it justice, but it's all I have to show (the real thing will come in the mail soon).

So, what do you think? Worth the price tag? And I really wanted the Robin ring as well, but didn't want to go overboard. Which do you like better?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We've got a winner!

Oh, my! What a long day. Woke up early, worked worked worked, and just got home from a planning commission meeting about a half hour ago at 9:30! And I still have a story to finish and facts to check...

But first, the time has finally come to announce my giveaway winner! I know you guys have been waiting all. day. long. just wondering who it is, right? I sure have!

I did the drawing the old fashioned way-- I wrote each name on a slip of paper, folded them up and put them in a hat, er, plastic sorority cup. Same difference. The boy did the picking.

And the winner is...

Drum roll please...

(Remember Tracy? I recently met her at my first blogger meet up!)

Congrats, Tracy! You will be receiving a lovely calendar, cute jotter and pretty bracelet! Lucky girl!

And because I couldn't just pick one name, I decided to have a runner up. I know, color me generous.

Let's pick again.

Drum roll please... (you know you love it)

(Fun fact: Amber was my very first commenter! Yay!)

Amber, you will be receiving a special little surprise in the mail. Hint: it's from photographer Gabrielle Kai. If you liked the calendar, you'll love what I'm sending you!

Congrats again to the winners! Send me an email (carissanicole {at} with your address so I can send off your prizes post-haste!

And thanks to everyone for playing along and celebrating my one-year blogiversary. I was so glad to see some new commenters join in on the fun-- I love discovering new blogs! (If I haven't popped over to say hello yet, I will be soon.)

Good night,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rainy days

It's been awfully rainy here in "perpetually sunny" Southern California, and Simi is no exception. As I type, I can look out my window and see (and hear) the rain showering down, pitter patter on our balcony. It comes in waves... hard then soft. A drizzle and then a downpour. I'm not much of a rain-loving person and Hazel isn't much of a rain-loving doggie-- she doesn't get her walk when it's dumping buckets! (Plus, she just got groomed yesterday.) While I don't prefer to splash in puddles or walk in the rain-- though, singing could be fun-- I can appreciate the wet storm from where I sit now-- perfectly dry and content indoors. And I must say, the rain hums a lovely lullaby in the evening, offering soothing sounds to sleep to. Only problem? Then, I don't want to wake up!

To celebrate the rainy weather that is expected to last the rest of the week, here's a few pretty images I found on Etsy. Of course.

from Labokoff

Tell me, what's your favorite thing about the rain? Do you love to splash around or would you rather stay inside like me, warm and cozy?

By the way, don't forget to enter my first-ever giveaway if you haven't already! I will announce the winner tomorrow!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Turning One + A Giveaway

Happy Friday! Aren't you glad the weekend is finally here? After the busy work week I've had-- full of late nights and early mornings-- I definitely am!

But let's not rush off into the weekend too fast, my friends. Today is a special day. Today, this blog turns one year old! Yes, it is my blogiversary! (Or is it my blogoversary? I can't decide.)

A year ago today, I started up the lovely dove. I had been reading and commenting on some blogs on Glamour and A Cup of Jo and a few others, so I decided to give it a go myself. As a reporter who primarily covers City Hall and the police department, I thought blogging would provide the perfect outlet to stretch my more creative writing muscles. And it has. But it has done so much more.

Sure, I knew there was a blog community out there, but I didn't know how amazing it is. And never did I imagine how connected I would become to other bloggers and the friends I would make-- some that I've met, but most that I haven't. The funny thing is, it doesn't even matter if we've talked face-to-face. I feel like I know so many of you, and you know me-- sometimes better than the people in my "real life."

I am so grateful for every person who takes the time to read this little corner of the blogosphere. I don't tell you enough, but each comment brightens my day. Each comment makes the world feel like a smaller place.

As someone who was never able to keep a journal or a diary for more than a few consecutive weeks, this blog reaching one year is quite an accomplishment for me. Yes, I am a bit irregular in my posting and will leave unannounced for days at a time but I always come back. I have to come back. Thank you for being here and coming along for the ride.

To celebrate and say thanks to all my fabulous readers, I am having my first-ever giveaway! This really is one exciting day, huh? I've put together a little package of treasures made by some talented Etsians. Since blogging is what introduced me to Etsy (and consequently made me obsessed with the handmade goods site), it only made sense to go to Etsy for this giveaway. All of the items I am giving away are from new-to-me shops that are worth a peek or two... or three.

Here's what you can win:

A 2010 desktop calendar from photographer Gabrielle Kai.
I stumbled upon Gabrielle's work last week and instantly fell in love with her ethereal and inspiring images. The calendar includes four of her whimsical images printed on linen cardstock. And since three months are printed on each card, you get to enjoy each image that much longer!

A cute jotter notebook from Olive Manna.
I love the unique design on this purse-sized notebook, which has 48 pages of blank white paper-- perfect for making to-do lists (you know how I love crossing things off!) or even doodling.

A handwoven navy cotton and gold bracelet from Dores.
I think I've hearted half the stock in Stephanie Renee's lovely handmade jewelry shop. Everything is simple but gorgeous, like this modern twist on the classic friendship bracelet. What better to give to one of my bloggy friends?

All this (and maybe a little surprise) will come to the winner in a pretty package worthy of its contents. So how do you enter? I'm going to make this simple, but first, you have to be a follower of this blog since this giveaway is for my bloggy friends. If you're new, welcome and don't worry! Just go click follow-- easy peasy. Other than that, just leave a comment below and make sure there is a way to contact you if you win! I will announce the winner on Wednesday.

Oh, and this is totally open to my international readers!

Good luck! And thanks again for being here.


balloon image via we heart it 

{Edit: If you follow my blog some other way, say on your blogroll or google reader, that's totally fine. Just let me know :) }

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A fleeting moment

Who will tell whether one happy moment of love
or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning
and smelling the fresh air,
is not worth all the suffering
and effort which life implies.

~Erich Fromm

These photos were snapped late Tuesday afternoon while nuking my Lean Cuisine lunch-- a quick break from unending phone calls for interviews and tirelessly typing away at stories. A look out the window revealed a beautiful show put on by clouds passing by and, though fleeting, the brief moment I spent standing on my balcony, gazing up, simply and surely lifted my spirits.

Monday, January 11, 2010

On a Sunday Brunch

Hello, everyone! I hope you had a good weekend. As usual, mine went by too quickly, or at least it felt that way Sunday night. Other than that, Saturday and Sunday were pretty low key and, well, lazy, if I'm being honest. There is still tons of laundry to be done as well as general housecleaning-uppering to do. (You like that word?) All I managed to accomplish this weekend was sleep in way too late-- though, I like to think of it as much needed rest-- take Hazel to the dog park and see "Daybreakers," which wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be and was actually kind of good . . . until the end. The blood and the plot both got a little too ridiculous at that point, even for a vampire movie.

On an semi-related note, in the last month or so, I have seen "The Blind Side," "It's Complicated," "Sherlock Holmes" and "Up in the Air," which were all good and recommendable, but I still have not seen "Avatar"-- it is sold out every time we try to get tickets-- or "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" And I need my SJP fix until SATC 2 comes out in May!

Anyway, what I want to talk about is not movies but brunch. Last Sunday-- not yesterday, but the Sunday before, I know I'm a little late-- I had my first-ever blogger meet up. The gathering was hosted by Dionne. I'm sure many of you know her; she is the lovely Aussie-turned-Californian-turned-Texan who writes (and draws!) City of Dionne. When she asked back in November if any So Cal bloggers were interested in meeting up, the shy girl in me was a bit hesitant but I decided, what the heck! Put yourself out there! And I'm so glad I did.

I'll admit, I was still a bit nervous the day of. I mean, I really didn't know who I was going to meet other than Dionne. I kind of felt like I was going on a blind date, worrying about what I should wear and what we would talk about. But my nerves all but vanished once I arrived at Aroma, a charming cafe that is situated on a most adorable street in Studio City. The area felt like a quaint little village, with lovely storefronts perfect for window-shopping and locals out and about-- a coffee in one hand and a dog leash in the other! It felt like a neighborhood I'd like to live in.

Standing outside the cafe, I wasn't sure where to go at first, but not seeing anyone out front or at the counter inside, I decided to venture back through the patio. I soon found Dionne, standing behind a beautifully decorated table, of course. I told her this and I'll tell you: I wish I had just an ounce of the craftiness she has! Craftiness in a good way, not the cunning way, mind you. Just check out this table, which was prettified by floral centerpieces from Etsy shop Blackbird Blue and You.

This frilly and fun table was the perfect setting for a girls' brunch.

Sweet blogger booklets made by Dionne to jot down each other's contact info and blog addresses. What a cute idea!

Anyway, I soon met the other lovely ladies: Tracy, Kristy, Ashley and Maggi. Each was sweet, funny, down-to-earth and easy to talk to. And, as I have since discovered, wonderful bloggers, too. Together for an hour or two that Sunday morning, we talked, laughed and ate like old friends. (An Eggs Benedict for me, what else?) I think a great time was had by all, for sure.

All the girls, from left: Kristy, Maggi, me, Tracy, Dionne.

Things were only made even more delightful when Dionne passed out goody bags filled to the brim with treasures generously donated by some super talented Etsians. Some of my favorite items were gorgeous earrings from Kelly is Nice, adorable doily notecards by The Blue Balloon, a whimsical print from Margaret Meyer and a feminine wall hook by Monkey and Squirrel that will be perfect for hanging up some of the pieces in my overflowing necklace collection. (You can see all the loot here.)

A pretty goody bag! (I think this pink one is mine, actually!)

Opening up the goodies and showing off a darling wooden brooch from Crafty Folk.

Still, the best thing I took home that day was a few new blogging friends. Check out some more pics below, all snapped by the very talented Dionne (so jealous of her camera!):

Me and Ashley.

Group shot!

With Maggi and Dionne, before saying good bye...

So, have you ever met a fellow blogger or attended a meet up? Share your experience below! And if you didn't already, you can read Dionne's recap (and see more pics!) of our brunch at Aroma here. And even more importantly, if you would like to win one of your very own goodie bags full of amazingness, Dionne is giving one away, just leave a comment over here.

Aroma shot via The California Bungalow