Monday, April 30, 2012

What I Learned This Weekend

 Happy Monday, lovelies!

Mr. Arotin and I had a great time in *windy* Chicago this weekend while celebrating his sister and her upcoming wedding.

I hadn't been to Chicago in about 15 years (I was 11 back then!), so it was fun to visit and get to experience the more adult (= boozing) parts of the city! Hehe..

So, the first thing I learned this weekend and about Chicago is that the whole "windy city" thing is an understatement.  The wind is blow-your-coat-over-your-head, need-to-hold-your-skirt-down-for-fear-of-looking-like-Marilyn-Monroe gnarly!  And, when its only 40 degrees out (we will get to the temperature in a minute) and the wind is gusting.....holy moly!

Secondly, the sun in Chicago is deceptive!  The first morning I was there, I woke up and saw the gorgeous sunny skies (see above picture taken in The Signature Room in the John Hancock building) and walked outside in shorts and a tank top!  The neighbors starting laughing as they saw me yelp and scurry back inside for pants, an overcoat and scarf!  I mean, it looked 70 and sunny!  Not 38 and sunny!

Next, I learned that Chicago has great beer! The main local beer I noticed in the various restaurants we visited came from Goose Island Beer Company. Their bottled beer labels were BEYOND fancy!!

I love that they have a beer called 312 (the main area code in Chicago)!!  When Mr. Arotin brews his summer beer (which I think will be a strawberry hefeweizen), I am totally calling it the 310 Strawberry Hef!

I also learned that confetti makes every party better!  If you remember our wedding decor, our dance floor was covered in paper confetti.  It was fun to see confetti put to use at Nadine's bridal shower. (Even more fun was attending a shower that I didn't have to plan, host or be stressed out about!)

Last on my list of things I learned is that there is nothing quite like painting a new city red with a group of lovely ladies celebrating love! 

I will be back in Chicago in 5 weeks for Nadine's wedding and plan to do a little more sight seeing and WILL hit up this thrift shop, which is supposed to be unbelievable!

Now, its back to work until Thursday and then heading home to Tulsa for my sister's baby shower....eeeekkkk...on Sunday!

Have a great week!

xoxox,

L.A.

P.S. How is it already May tomorrow?!

P.S.S How fun is it that Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby are happening the same weekend? 

P.S.S.S If I were hitting the Derby this weekend, I would bring one of these three hats!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trend Watch: Dipped

Image Source: Dutch British Love
I have seen this dipped trend all over the place the past few weeks.  Its like ombre only with a clean color break rather than a fade.  I think I like dipped better than ombre (maybe its my crazy virgo perfectionism).  What do you think?!
Image Source: Toast

Image Source: Strange Is Pretty

Image Source: Miss Moss

Image Source: ahalife

Image Source: http://blog.jelanieshop.com/
Happy Thursday!!!

xoxox,

L.A.

P.S. We are off to Chicago today!  Woohooo!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's Friday, I'm In Love...With...




.....Friday mornings in new places!!

Happy Friday, lovelies!! I'm posting from Chicago today using blog press for the first time.

The picture above is my coffee drinking and blogging view (with a coat on!!!)

Don't you just love weekend trips?!



Image Source: With Style and Grace

...Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese!!!

I am so obsessed with the idea of goat cheese in a grilled cheese. Since I found out I'm dairy sensitive, grilled cheeses have been dearly missed in my diet. Goat cheese is okay for me to eat though, so I am super pumped to try this out!



.....our first (and favorite) spring pasta, pea pesto!!

We made pea pesto for the first time this spring a few days back. I love the recipe from Smitten Kitchen, but I always add a handful of fresh basil to the sauce to give it more pesto pop!



...my new band!!!

Eeeeeeekkk! My level of excitement is through the roof about my anniversary gift from Mr. Arotin! I love the soft look of rose gold and pink sapphires, don't you?!! And mixed with my wedding band?!! Double awesome.

Mixes metals and stones take wedding band(s) from classic to sassy chic, don't you think?!!



...airport Bloody Marys!!!!

This one is a given. Y'all know I'm a sucker for the airport Bloody Mary. Always the perfect start to travels.

We have a dinner tonight, a bridal shower tomorrow and fun classes to take at Exhale Chicago while we are here! I also pray to pop by Top Shop and maybe check out some antique shops too!

What are your plans this weekend?!

Xoxoxox,
L.A.

Pops of Gold

Image Source: Pinterest (unknown) :(
I finally have all of my supplies together to upcycle my living room side tables.  They are currently your typical shade of espresso and I am going to make them a brilliant gold!  These rooms all make me super happy because of the color, texture and pattern, but what I am most inspired by are the pops of gold!

My living room is going to be so happy once its infused with some bling!

Don't you love the above gold chair and head statue?!  The statue is sorta random, but AWESOME at the same time!  And how about that ceiling!!

Image Source: Dust Jacket Attic
Loving the golden sun on the wall in the left of this image.  The use of pink and teal aren't bad either!!

Image Source: Sketch 4 2
The gold trim on the settee and gold stripes on the rug add a bit of chic to this otherwise quite girlie-playful room.
Image Source: Adore Cherie
Designer: Sarah Richardson
I LOVE SARAH RICHARDSON.  Okay, now that I have shouted that to the world... the gold legs on the accent table and light fixture paired with yellow?!  Eeeeekkkk, I die.

Image Source: Google Images
Mr. Arotin and I are contemplating painting our front door.  (You know the truth, I am contemplating it and he has no choice...hehehe!!) I love this blue door and gold anchor!

Which room is your favorite?!  Do you embrace pops of random in your home design or stick with a simple scheme?

xoxoxo,

L.A.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pranayama + Meditation = Calm

Image Source: Meditation Temptation
Do you ever have days (okay, maybe weeks or months) where you feel overwhelmed? 

I find that when I feel this way the best thing to do is practice pranayama and meditate.

Pranayama is the practice of controlled breathing, inhaling and exhaling to bring oxygen flow to the blood and brain in order to control vital energy.  Here is a good description / tutorial for my favorite type of pranayama.  I find that this particular method totally calms my nerves and balances my mind when I feel like life is spinning out of control.

Its common to think of meditation as sitting still for hours all ooooommmmmm-y.  I personally don't  meditate well when still, so my preferred method of meditating comes in the form of walking or hiking.  I love being close to nature, hearing birds chip, leaves blow.  I find that when I can just let go of the cell phone, laptop, thoughts of chaos...I find clarity in moving meditation that calms me down.  I try to think only positive thoughts as I move and this generally makes me feel way happier once my walk is over, as well!

Just thought I would share a couple of my anxiety remedies.  Maybe you will find them useful!

xoxox,

L.A.

Monday, April 23, 2012

What I Learned This Weekend


Happy Monday, lovelies!

I hope you had a restful weekend filled with all of your favorite things!

So, the first thing I learned this weekend is that Mr. Arotin makes mean homemade beef jerky! (Thus, the random pic above!) Just when I started to think he couldn't get any better, he did.

This batch has a special infused ingredient, ginger!  It is delicious, fat free and isn't salty at all!  A very yummy, protein-filled snack.

Mr. Arotin's Ginger Jerky (modified from the Nesco version):

4 TB soy sauce
4 TB Worcestershire sauce
1 TB tomato sauce
3 TB grated ginger root
1/2 tsp black pepper (more pepper for hotter jerky)
1 TB curry powder (optional)
2 cloves garlic
Marinate the meat for 4 to 6 hours, then drain. Place on trays to dry. Dry until properly dried and chewy, normally 6-12 hours.




Image Source: Google Images
The second (and must fun) thing I learned this weekend is....how to ride our vino by myself!!!!  Eeeeekkk!  I finally got my motorcycle permit a few Mondays back but have been to afraid to take it out.  I finally faced my fears and drove to Exhale Saturday and it was easy breezy and super fun.  Now, its time to Disco Ball my helmet, so I can by stylin while I ride!

We are headed to Chicago on Thursday for my sister-in-law's bridal shower, so its a short week for me, yay!  I wanted to ask you lovelies if you have any recommendations of must-eat restaurants, must-drink bars, or must see and/or do activities?  The last time I was in Chicago I was about 10, so now that I'm a grown up I am hoping for more adult fun!

Let me know your Chi-town thoughts and have a great week!

xoxoxox,

L.A.

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's Friday, I'm In Love...With...


 ...evening daffodils.
This picture makes me so happy because a) it was taken around 6:30pm and the sun was still out! and b) it includes Daffodils.  Its soooo springy it makes me smile!  Also, those daffodils were given to me by a guest at Exhale last week.  She said I remind her of a daffodil, so she brought them to me!  How sweet, right?! 

Image Source: Kate Spade
...this ADORABLE dish set. 
I stumbled up Kate's fabulous dishware this week and I just LOVE this polka dot plate!  Eeeekkkk.  Just the right about of girly goodness for summer, don't you think?!  I also love these!  Perfect for one of my favorite drinks of the summer (gin and tonic!!).


Image Source: The Hat Box
....this BEAUTIFUL sun hat.
This hat was hand made at an awesome hat store in Laguna Beach.  Mr. Arotin and I stumbled upon it while strolling through the town last week.  I spied the above hat in the window and had to pop in!  I tend to have caviar taste (with a shrimp cocktail budget), so of course my favorite hat was the one above $300. Wah wah. I ended up purchasing a similar hat in plain straw with a leopard sash as my consolation prize. 

With the Kentucky derby coming up next weekend, this hat just made me wonder if any of you lovelies are celebrating?!  Don't you just love an excuse to wear a big, beautiful, (maybe slightly ridiculous) hat?!  I know I do!!

Image Source: This Blog Is For Women
...this quote.
Sometimes you have to fall apart to become a better you, right?  This quote inspires me to fear nothing. 

What are your plans this weekend?  Having fun outdoors?  Starting or tending your garden?  I will be teaching lots this weekend and maybe painting (trying to finally finish our kitchen renovation).

Whatever you do, I hope you make some time for YOU and those you love!

xoxox,
L.A.

P.S. I got the BEST FACIAL EVER yesterday from Sula @ Exhale Spa in Santa Monica.  If you are in Socal and are in need of a facial RUN there ASAP!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baby Showering Gifting

Image Source: Babyzone
Lovelies, I have a confession to make.  Although I am hosting my sister's upcoming baby shower, I have actually never been to a baby shower!

I have quite a few mommy friends, but for one reason or another I have never been to a shower.

I bring this up because I need to purchase a gift for my sis's shower soon and I am totally lost as to what a new mommy truly would love to open on her shower day.  Not one to give wah-wah gifts (in fact, I pride myself of being the show stopper of gift givers), I thought I would ask for help!

I was thinking I would give a gift for the nursery / little girl's room.  Something that the baby won't grow out of too quickly, that is beautiful, and maybe slightly sentimental.  But, I'm wondering, am I over thinking it?  Does she really just need a truck load of diapers, burp rags, and the base to a car seat?

I'm at a loss!  Help!

xoxox,

L.A.

P.S. Why do I know how to plan a baby shower, but I don't know which gift to buy?  Skewed priorities over here...ha!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DIY Invitations

I have a true love for invitations. 

I love to receive them, I love to shop for them, but what I love most is making them.  I handmade our wedding invitations (shown above) and although lots of work went into making them, the resulting beauty and personal touch were worth all the effort.

When I found out my little sister was going to have a baby, the first thing I started to think of (after pondering the sex, possible name, and the awesomeness of being an Aunt, of course) was how I would design her baby shower invitations.

Until we knew she was having a little girl, I was set on sending out invites shaped as bow-ties (baby boy theme).  Upon learning that she was in fact having a sweet baby girl, I decided that the best theme for her invites and shower would be a sweet theme with a sweet bar.

Making her shower invitations didn't take the whooping 30 hours that my wedding invitations took (thank God!).  In fact,  I made all 50 invitations in about 5 hours.  I thought I would share this little invitation tutorial with you because they were easy to make and super cute.

Supplies Needed:

50 A6 flat cards (via Papersource in Luxury White)
50 A6 envelopes (via Papersource in Luxury White)
Lollipop, ice cream cone, cupcake stamps (sourced from Etsy and Papersource)
Ink Pads in shades of pink and coral (via Papersource)
Paper in shades of pink and coral (via Papersource)
Envelope lining template in A6 (via Papersource)
Glue
Scissors
Paper Cutter
Stamps

The first step I took in making these invitations was to trace out the envelope liners in various shades of pink.  Side Note!! If you are into paper, stationary and/or invitations RUN by a pack of envelope liners ASAP because they are fantastic and really dress up the envelope.

The logical next step I took was cutting out the liners.

You will see that I didn't trace the entire liner.  I do this to save paper because I don't see the point in lining the entire envelope when people only see the top 3 inches.

Next came gluing the liners to the envelope.

Isn't it amazing how much pop the envelope liner adds to the feel of the invitation

After I had the envelopes done I started working on the contents of the invitation. 

The first content piece I produced were informational inserts.  I printed these using my home printer in pink ink, then used a paper cutter to make clean lines when I cut them.  I love using inserts as a way to provide registry information, dress code, special requests, etc.  because it doesn't invade on the actual invite and it gives everyone something else to look at!

Next, I printed the actual invitations in pink ink, again using my own computer, and then I stamped them! The stamping was my favorite part. :)

Isn't it crazy how simple stamps add such a personal, sweet touch.  So easy!

Here is a sample of the final invitation (minus the bonsai tree stamps I added to the front)!!

Trace, cut, glue, print, stamp, stuff.  Easy + pretty = awesome!!

xoxox,

L.A.

P.S. If you have any questions or need any help making invitations of your own, feel free to email me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dream Car(s)

Image Source: Flickriver
I've always envisioned "the good life" as having the luxury of a weekend car.  You know, the one you only drive on Sundays that is consistently kept in mint condition. 

As I daydream, I always come back to the Porche 356 Roadster. I think the Roadster pictured above is a late 50s-early-60s model. So dreamy James Dean.  

I see myself driving down the PCH (or maybe a windy road in the South of France...dreaming big here!) with a scarf tied around my hair, brilliantly huge tortoise sunglasses, and fabulous pink lips.


Image Source: Auto Cars Review
I think a closer reality car, however, maybe be this cutey mini roadster that was released just this year.

Do you have a favorite weekend car?  A dream car, perhaps?  What do you think about the new mini?!  I find it to be so dahhhling, dahling. :)

xo,

L.A.

Monday, April 16, 2012

What I Learned This Weekend

Okay, okay, so this is really a what I learned in the past week post because I was a vacation slacker and didn't keep up with the blog!  I think you all will love what I learned during my much needed anniversary vacation and celebration!

First, I learned that its totally cool to fly a Disney princess kite even if you are 26 or 30 years old.  :)  The above picture is of Mr. Arotin flying our princess kite at the beach on Good Friday.

Next, I learned that renewing vows is just as touching and sweet as reciting them the first time.  Maybe even more touching because the moment is so intimate.  Mr. Arotin and I both became teary eyed as our dear friend Colin spoke to us about continuing our love in our marriage as we said our vows to one another again.  (This picture is just a preview of the BEAUTIFUL work Shannon did for us for our vow renewal ceremony.  More pictures and details of the ceremony will get their own blog post or two.)

More on the anniversary stuff, I learned that if you give your wedding cake enough time to defrost, it is still delicious even after being frozen for a year!  We couldn't believe how yummy our year old wedding cake was! (You get a little sneak peak in the above picture of the table scape I created for our anniversary picnic.  It was sooooo cute!!  You will see more in my post dedicated to our vow renewal, promise!)

For you brides to be or newlyweds pondering saving your cake for this tradition, I would totally do it.  All you need to do it seal the cake in tupperware ASAP after the wedding, then plastic wrap the tupperware to ensure no air gets in.  When its time for your anniversary, just take the cake out of the freezer and put it in the fridge 3 days before you plan to eat it.  Easy, yummy and sweet!

I also learned that people will treat you just as sweetly on an anniversary vacation as they do on your honeymoon.  Champagne, chocolate strawberries, free dessert, you name it!  Just speak the word anniversary and you are WINNNNNING.  People love to support love.

This is a given, but I learned that the Montage Hotel in Laguna Beach is ridiculously beautiful.  As is the majority of the California Riviera. 

**Side note to my local SoCalers...if you are ever in Laguna Beach for happy hour RUN to K'ya Bistro Bar.  Holy awesome food and at ridiculously low prices during happy hours.


Another given here, but during our vacation I reaffirmed the fact that there is really NOTHING better than room service breakfast in bed.  Totally worth the inflated price, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Lastly, the only thing I actually learned this weekend is that Mr. Arotin is a true brew master.  I can't wait to taste his impending Chocolate Porter.  My kitchen still smells amazing from his work!

I have a fun DIY invitation post coming up this week and hopefully our vow renewal post!  I'm backkkkkk!

Stay tuned!

xoxoxox,

L.A. for 1 year and counting :)

** All pictures taken by Lindsey or Christopher Arotin unless otherwise noted.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Year One

I love this picture.  It was taken about 1 minute after we were officially declared husband and wife a year ago today!!  You can really see the excitement in our faces (I look especially excited - hahahaha!)

In the first year of marriage, I have learned the following things and I thought I would share them:


Marriage is not what you think it will be.
Even if you have been together for years (we had been together 2 years when we got married), something changes.  There are new expectations, new responsibilities, and oddly, new fears of loss because you are no longer just living for you, but for someone else as well.  (I can only imagine this just grows as time  passes and the family grows.)


The small, day-to-day stuff is the best.
Before I was married, I always thought that the best part of marriage would be parties, events, big deal days where I would finally have a husband to refer too.  I even thought vacations would be more fun because I was married.  In reality, the best parts of marriage are the little nuances you learn about your partner, the laughs you share while making dinner, learning to see the world as a team.  The us vs. them mentality becomes really fun once you embrace it.  Kind words at the end of a long day, encouragement when you are feeling down, all of these little things make marriage beautiful.


You will have epic fights and you can't just break up.
Sorry to break it to everyone who thinks that somehow being married will make you less apt to fight.  Even as newlyweds, you fight.  This kinda goes back to my first point.  I think people have expectations when they get married about what this new life will mean.  When those expectations are let down or changed, it usually leads to some weird fight.  I believe in honesty, so I will admit (and I bet alot of you married people out there feel exactly the same) that this past year at least once I thought "if I weren't married, I would bolt."  Now, in the heat of an argument, the easy way out can seem smart.  The great thing about being married is you begin to live for a bigger purpose.  You realize your petty disagreement, your ego, whatever the issue is, is worth way less than the beautiful life you have created.  Getting through life one disagreement at a time together builds love, trust and a desire to keep going, even when the going gets tough.


(Sorry Mom and Dad if you read this) Sex gets better.
Whoever decided to spread the rumor that once you get married sex goes out the door was seriously mistaken.  The comfort and love found in  marriage leads to epic sex.  Sometimes its tender, sometimes wild, but its always more amazing than the last time because you know each other bodies, desires and you are truly making love to your soul mate.  There is nothing better.

You have to keep making new memories and focus on keeping the spark alive.
I think this is a given, but its true.  NEVER get complacent with your love.  Marital ruts are usually the beginning of infidelity, divorce, depression, you name it.  Book trips, have dates where you meet each other out as though you are dating, try to create exciting memories together as often as possible.  Avoid predictability.

I have learned a ton in this first year of our life together.  (Did I mention this has been the best year of my life?)

I am so looking forward to spending forever with Mr. Arotin.

So, I am going to get back to forever and sign off for today!  I have breakfast being made and a mimosa getting warm!

xoxoxox,

Mrs. Arotin (year one and counting)

P.S. I should have images from our vow renewal (happening today..eeeekkkk) posted next week!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy (Kite-Flying) Weekend!

Image Source: Andrea Images
I am sooooooo going to the beach to do this with Mr. Arotin in t-minus 3 hours!

Enjoy your weekend and all the Easter goodies you may find.  Try to hug someone you love!

xoxoxox,

L.A.

P.S.  For my Friday, I'm In love.....segment.  I am totally in love with the baby shower invites I made for my sister's shower!!! Pics and tutorial as to how I did them to come next week!

P.S.S. If you are in the LA area, 80s pop cardio is what's up tomorrow @ Exhale @ 12:45pm!  Be there!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

3 Years Ago Today...

Image Source: Pinterest
..I had a super red nose (recovering from a cold), was laying on the beach with friends, wondering if I was ever going to meet a guy that could challenge me, when Mr. Arotin asked me to come sit on his beach towel with him.  I said no at first, but in the end, he was irresistible.

Two years ago today, I was on that same beach drinking pineapple champagne when the man of my dreams asked me to marry him.

One year ago today, I was frantically polishing off the last details for our wedding which would come in four days.

Today, I am so grateful for the past three years.  I am grateful for my life now and all that is to come in the future.

I love you, Christopher.  I can't imagine what life would be like had you not had that enormous beach towel. ;)

xoxoxox,

Mrs. Arotin

P.S. Isn't it amazing how much can change in just a year?  This quote inspires me to always look forward, move forward and stay optimistic.