Happy Birthday L!

We interrupt our normal Friday Musings series to bring you a very important message:

It's Lauren's 22nd birthday! She is officially entering her second palindrome year.  What a lucky girl.

Actually, we are the lucky ones, since she brings so much joy into the lives of all around her.  She's pretty spectacular: funny (at least I think so...), warm-hearted, energetic, logical, productive, easily distracted by funny sitcoms, easily distracted by anything chocolate, so so successful (submitting and honors thesis in not one, but TWO departments!), and just crazy enough to be fun :)

One thing that continues to amaze me is her ability to drop anything, anytime for people she cares about.  Anytime I need to chat, or cry over gmail vidchat, she is ready with the right things to say.  She never asks you to hold on until she's finished with something, never minds being late if it is so that she can be there when you need her.  There's nothing that can keep her from being the most loyal person.

So, happy birthday L! I hope 22 brings you everything you could hope for!



You guys, we have been totally sucky lately.  Between looming thesis deadlines happening so soon that it sends me into an insta-panic attack whenever I think about it, my last a cappella concert tomorrow, and all-around insanity that happens this time of the year (seriously, can't we just hibernate through the return of almost-spring?) - well, it's pressure time.  And we are both feeling it.

But good news: my new a cappella CD comes out tomorrow!  This has been my biggest project of the week - running around getting this thing ready to go.  It's not easy to release a CD.  I've been finalizing track mixing and order, approving the artwork, and listening to the master over and over to check for any pops or tweaks that need to be fixed.  This is the master! Woooo!!  And tomorrow is my last concert - how sad.  If you're in Ann Arbor tomorrow, you should come to my concert!

This is the Compulsive Lyres' third album.  Check out our website in a few days if you're interested!  

This weekend is going to be super fun though - it's a Sister/Ryan visit weekend!  We will be up to lots of shenanigans (aka lots of food and wine consumption) that we desperately need.  Can't wait :)


NPR Sneak Peak: Of Monsters and Men

So, it's no secret by now that SLR is into indie rock music (among many, many other genres).  One new favorite band is Of Monsters and Men, hailing from Iceland.  Maybe you've heard their song "Little Talks"? It's fantastic!

Anyway, NPR is offering a sneak peak into their new album.  It's great- just the right pick-me-up beats to make your Tuesday stellar.  Listen in here!


Project Apartment: Wall Inspiration

How awesome are these wall decals from Blik?  They've got my head spinning from all the fun options for Project Apartment.  And if none of their fun designs make your heart flutter, you can customize your own!  Oh, the options.  These ones struck me as particularly fun and/or adorable:

Picture perfect happiness: Cafe Light (Blik)

My favorite: Fishwall (Blik)

What do you think?  Includable in my new place??  For more inspiration, check out their lookbook.


Friday Musings 3.23.12.

Five things....

1. My darling sister got me this dress for my birthday! How amazing is it? I tried it on in Zara in Chicago, and it fit like a glove.  I'm so happy L thought it belonged in my life... because it does.

2. Don't these flowers make you smile and think of spring? They are bringing me such happiness right now.

3, Friends gathered this Tuesday for a random Tuesday night party.  There were the most amazing drinks, chicken grilled on the fire, and simple fire-roasted cauliflower (above).  Plus the lovely company of happy people :)

4. I bought nutella twice in one week.  Maybe I should reconsider my snacking habits.

5. The day ahead includes a serious game of basketball, running in the gorgeous weather, wrapping up some thesis editing, class, and an evening with friends.  Couldn't be more excited.

I hope you all have a great weekend planned... get outside and do some playing while this weather lasts!


Thesis Time, Baby

Hi friends.

Both S and L are in the depths of thesis writing, with serious deadlines coming up REALLY fast! We've been up early, working late, and going non-stop in between.  We're dreaming of days where sleep will replace that 4th cup of coffee, and Pinterest will take up more time than PubMed.  So, be ready for some fun cooking, shopping, playing posts to come soon.  Please bear with us as we make it through the next week and a half...

Playing Dress Up

All this strange warm weather just makes me want to wear dresses.  I will always be a little girl at heart - and I have always loved playing dress up. But I am unfortunately too big to fit into the gold mine that is our dress-up closet.  So I raid my mother's closet instead.  Found this adorable yet neglected Anthropologie dress while helping her pack for her trip to Dallas - wouldn't it be really cute with cowgirl boots? 
Dress: Anthropologie  Pumps: Zara

The double wash-out (super sun + cream base of the dress) doesn't do much for my pasty skin, but we Rinksters sure are suckers for pockets and fun details.


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Spring Outfit Inspiration

It's officially spring!  Congratulations, we made it. 

Need a little outfit inspiration for transitioning into spring?  Check out these great styling ideas from Alice + Olivia

You already have jeans - adding a fun spring blouse to them is a great way to lighten them out of those knee-high boots.  Got trouser jeans?  Even better! 

Open-weave knits are in for spring, but I think any neutral sweater stretches the shelf life of your shorts.  The tan open-weave here balances out the summery-ness of the yellow shorts.

These pastel accessories accessories are a bright way to make a vintage-inspired midi skirt shine.  Midi skirts are super awesome and comfortable - my favorites as of late are this polka dot one, this blue one, and green, pleats, AND polka dots! 

My favorite look:  A fun floral blouse plus bright trousers = winner.  Another option is to pair a similar blouse with bright cropped pants for a look that's a little more fresh, a little less 70s.  But I have no problem with the 70s =)

Another gem of a shorts outfit.  Alice + Olivia paired their fun pattered shorts with a crisp button up - and who doesn't have one of those? 

Color block your shorts! I love the combo of a coral cardigan with lighter pink shorts.  This look is very recreatable with any color combo - try a light chambray on denim shorts.  And that hat... ah. 

Which look would you recreate?  Enjoy the exceptionally nice warm weather!


Happy Birthday, Stephanie!

Happy 25th Birthday, Stephanie!  Woo hoo!  A whole day to celebrate you!

25 things that make Stephanie great, in no particular order: 
1. She's really smart and is getting her master's degree in less than 2 months!
2. She has always been the pretty one.
3. She won Biggest Heartbreaker in her high school mock elections.
4. She shared a bathroom with me for lots of years and we still love each other.
5. She comes up with the best pizza topping combinations.
6. She has a passion for nutrition and is pursuing what she really loves.
7. She is the only person I know who drinks enough water every day.
8. She is allergic to pistachios and gives me an excuse to say I'm allergic to nuts, when really I just don't like them.
9. She makes incredible homemade bread! It's so good. Really.
10. She always makes me try new food, even when they look gross.
11. She never judges me for how much coffee I drink.
12. She never judges.
13. She takes a really long time making decisions because she is thorough and thoughtful, and she always makes the right decision.
14. She makes for a great big sister. Best one I've ever had.
15. She gets excited when other people are excited and it makes them feel special.
16. She notices the small stuff.
17. She loves fun holidays (Happy National Chocolate Caramel Day!).
18. She has a strong affinity for dance parties.
19. She loves pretty things.
20. This year at Christmas, she helped me make butterscotch pots de creme when I was failing hard core. She saved my dessert so that I could be happy about it. And it was so good.
21. She is always positive and happy. Always. You know those people who you're like, oh yeah they're always positive no matter what?  Well, Stephanie wrote the manual on that.
22. She makes you feel special.
23. She thinks I'm funny.  She's the only one who thinks I'm funny. She's easy to make laugh.
24. Her hair always [always] looks good. Even when she thinks it doesn't look good, it looks good.
25. She's the best role model I could have.

Happy birthday, Seester.  I'm so glad you were born.


Friday Musings 3.16.12


Do you remember sitting down on Friday nights from 8pm-10pm to watch your favorite shows that came on for those blissful two hours at the end of each week? Where you could forget your own worries, because there were other school bullies, budding romances, and hilarious comedies on TV to distract you? Oh yes, my friends, I'm talking about ABC's friday night series TGIF.

It may have lasted from 1989-2000, but it has made a lasting impression on children of the 90's.  Here are some fun flashbacks for you:

How about the star-crossed lovers, Tapanga and Corey Matthews? (Did Mr. Feeney really know everything? I wonder how often the actor is identified as "Mr. Feeney" rather than his own real person...)

Everything is better with a talking cat and witch portal closet.  Yes, Sabrina, I'm talking about you.

For some reason, I sometimes get the Step By Step title song stuck in my head... but I don't remember much about the show.  That song is just so catchy...

Full House! DJ totally epitomized the coolness of having two letters as a name.  And John Stamos.  So dreamy.  Such great hair.

Let's zoom in on Uncle Jesse:

Like I said, dreamy.

Oh gosh... I totally forgot about Teen Angel- the one where the boy eats a really really old burger and obviously dies from it? Then tags along in another teen boy's life as a guardian angel.  Might I add that although he had to deal with classic guardian angel rules (invisible to most except his "person"), he dressed himself in clothes and makeup to be visible to humans just to make out with some girl? Classic. To get your Friday started out right... why not watch it for yourself? What would life be without the glory of YouTube to bring us back to the great shows of the 90's?

Have fun going on a video rampage of your old favorite 90's shows today.  You're welcome :)

p.s. Check out this fun list of reasons why Uncle Jesse was a hipster!


Thesis Daydreams

Lately, both S and L are stuck in thesis-writing mode for hours upon hours, day after day.  We are thinking of nothing but science, statistics, and abstracts.  Except for the moments when we are about to go crazy with all that thinking.  Then, back to the retail distraction! I've been counting down the days until our Mediterranean cruise to keep my motivation up and spirits high.  Part of that includes daydreaming about the clothes and accessories I want to bring along to look chic and comfortable as we explore Italy, Greece, and Turkey.  Here are a few things I'm loving now from Anthropologie and Dooney & Burke!

The dress above looks so breezy and simple- it is clean and modest, but definitely with a fun and flattering twist.  I'd imagine it for afternoons meandering the ship, or shopping in newly discovered European cities.

I'm dying for this blouse! Doesn't it look awesome for a day of walking around Rome, photographing the sights? I can't help but think about eating a coffee and chocolate gelato in it on the side of the cobblestone roads :)

This dress is called a "Parisian Halter."  Though we won't be visiting Paris on this trip, I think the dress is still perfect! It has me craving walking the seaside in Greece, ogling the deep blue waters.  It definitely is the type of dress that begs for a floppy hat.

My current shoe crush.  Aren't they fun? Nice fun colors, but can manage to be quite neutral if you want.  They are sleek and fashionable, while having a twist.  Flats are a must for traveling.  Walking around European cities in style is pretty mandatory too!

I absolutely adore this Dooney and Burke duffle bag.  The leather looks gorgeous, and I am a huge fan of the color.  It looks big enough to hold quite a few shoes too... just what I need!

We are going to Italy after all... of course a wine bag would be a huge bonus! This fun little number looks like a business-worthy satchel, but fits 2 bottles of your favorite vino.  I'm in love :) I think we might have to bring this along to smuggle some goodies back with us...

Hope your week is going well! It's Thursday... just one more day until the St. Patrick's Day weekend!


How to Celebrate Pi Day.. with Pie, of course!

Happy Pi Day!  It's 3.14, one of my absolute favorite holidays!  In spirit, here are some fun pie recipes to try - it's the only way to celebrate Pi day, after all.

My favorite easy yet guest-worthy dessert to make: Simplest Apple Tart from Smitten Kitchen

Apple Pie Cookies from Smitten Kitchen, which I've been dying to try.

So now that you know how to celebrate the glory of Pi Day... go forth and eat pie!

p.s. Interested in learning how to make pie even better? I hear Ann Arbor's famous Zingerman's has an incredible pie class.  I took the Cinn-ful cinnamon rolls class and absolutely loved it.


Food Sketches

I recently came across the work of Erin Jang, a NYC-based illustrator and graphic designer.  Erin started a project this year entitled "Food Sketches: A Series of Occasional Drawings."  Every so often she posts a digital image based on a food she sees, wants, cooks, or consumes.  They have such bright, fun colors, and great contrasts.  It is so fun to think of dishes as art... like the gum ball depiction above! Check out some of her other brilliant images:

Deviled eggs with Benton's ham

Asian-style eggs with soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, and grape tomatoes

Pretzel croissant

Strawberry-kiwi nougat candy

Chocolate cherry roll

Aren't they great? Check out these and other images at Erin's project site,  What foods would you like to graphically depict? I would love to do a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or grilled cheese with tomato soup!