Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!  I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited for 2012.  Yesterday in my yoga class we went through very slow yoga postures and while doing so my teacher took us on a reflection through 2011.  With each breath in and each breath out we traveled through last winter, spring, summer, and fall to finally arrive at the present.  Embrace the present for it leads to a better future.  Avoid holding onto the past.

And here we are on New Year's Eve 2011.  This year has seen a lot of changes for me.  Some were very difficult (and continue to be) yet they all should have a positive result in the long run.  I don't have any regrets from this year (which is good since I shouldn't be hanging on to the past anyway... see above).  I have personal resolutions and I also have blog resolutuions.  I will share the blog ones with you:
  1. Redesign blog layout.  The current one seems very stale.  I've been so inspired by different blogs and websites that I'm almost ready to start putting together a new look for Cup of Tea.  Stay tuned for that!
  2. Start writing better on this blog.  I have decent writing skills, yet when it comes to this blog I seem to just type away without really spending time on the correct words to express myself.  I've fallen into a mediocre writing habit here.  It's like if I'm not getting paid or not getting a grade in school for it, why spend time perfecting?  But a well written blog is always more interesting, so that is one of my blog resolutions.
I would also like to give a huge thank you to my readers.  Without you I would not have the motivation to continue on with this.  I read all of your comments and emails with excitement.  I love connecting with all of you and am continually glad that I decided to start a style blog.  Thank you!

I wish you all a happy and safe New Year's Eve tonight.

Happy 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holiday in Pink

Last week my co-workers and I had our holiday lunch at the fancy Detroit Athletic Club.  What a great excuse to dress up!  I was lacking holiday-colored fancy clothes, so I went with this look instead:

sweater: Forever21
skirt: LC Lauren Conrad
tights: unknown
shoes: Mix No. 6

Who says you can't wear pink for the holidays?  Besides, the faceted beads (is that what those are called?) make it a bit more festive.  Anyway, the Detroit Athletic Club building is absolutely gorgeous.  Located in downtown Detroit, it was established way back in 1887!  I wish I had pictures of the inside because any attempt at describing it really would not do it justice.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekends!  I'm off to go enjoy my day off work today.  I'll be catching up with a friend in town from Chicago along with some local friends too.  Ahh I love days of just hanging out with nothing important to do.  :)

Until next time...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Movie Spotlight: Miracle on 34th Street

Merry Christmas Eve!!  I've had this entry all ready to post and time got away from me!  So today I bring you a last-minute Christmas movie spotlight: Miracle on 34th Street, made in 1947.  But don't worry (because I know you are); it's available on Instant Play through Netflix, so you're not too late to watch!

This is one of the Christmas movies I don't own, so I always make it a point of watching at one of my friend's houses every year.  All  of these images are in black & white, but the version I watched yesterday had been colorized.  It's funny when you recognize a movie as being colorized, especially if you've seen a different colorized version of the same movie before.  You recognize some outfits being different colors from one version to the next:

In the version I watched, Natalie Wood was wearing a dark green robe... none of the above!  But anyway, I like seeing all of the snappy suits that Maureen O'Hara wears.  And hats!  I wish the everyday person still wore hats!  Oooh I love fashion history.

Well I hope everyone has a very merry Christmas tomorrow if you celebrate it, and if not I hope you have a fabulous Sunday!  I'll be relaxing at home eating Christmas cookies and drinking Trader Joe's Candy Cane Green Tea.  Yum!

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Autumn Recap

I forgot to post my season recap!  I was supposed to post this at the beginning of December.... and here we are on December 19! Hah.  Anyway, this autumn has had its challenges for Cup of Tea.  With the return of school and the earlier darkening of the days, photographing has been hard!  But somehow I managed to get in more outfit posts than I did over the summer!

My attire was all over the map.  I go from wearing a coat in one post, to not wearing a coat, to wearing bare legs, to wearing jeans with boots, to wearing bare legs and bare arms, to wearing a winter scarf... what is all of this?  Autumn in Michigan, my friend.  Autumn in Michigan.

Another Christmas Movie Spotlight is coming this week, get your Netflix Queues ready!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

DIY: Santa Brownies

A few days ago I made these super cute Santa brownies to take over to my friend's house for a festive treat!  Aren't they cute?

and they taste good too!  Here are directions to make them yourself!  I got these directions from Daisy's World and they worked great!

1 pan of your favorite brownies, cooled and cut into desired size and shape (I used a round cutter)
12-16 small strawberries, cleaned and hulled
vanilla-mascarpone buttercream (recipe below)

Mascarpone Buttercream Directions
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

How It's Done
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment [I just used a hand mixer because I lack a stand mixer], beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and salt.  Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth.  Add more sugar, if needed to reach desired consistency and sweetness.  To assemble, pipe a ring of buttercream on top of each brownie.  Cut off the base of a strawberry so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place.  Top the tip of the strawberry with a dot of buttercream to finish the santa hat.

Hope you enjoy!  I sure did!

And on a different note.... I'M A COLLEGE GRAD!! with a bachelors in graphic design to be specific.

^ That is how I feel, school spirit and everything!  So long Madonna University!  You were good to me :)

Happy brownie-ing!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cup of Tea... Russian Style?

The first snow finally arrived in Michigan last week (that seems kind of late, especially for Michigan) and it only lasted half of the day before melting.  If there's a time when I want snow, it's in December.  I hope it comes back soon!

pea coat: Alloy
jeans: Levi's
turtleneck: Forever 21
boots: vintage c/o mom
hat: American Eagle
gloves: unknown

This is a jacket that I picked up on clearance during the summer.  At the time it was so hard to even imagine cold weather but the discounted price was great!  I saved $80.  Sounds good to me!  For some reason I think of it as being very Russian-looking.  I'm not even sure what Russian-looking is, but in my mind it is this coat.  That is my uninformed Russian fashion talk.  I'm sure if I were to actually wear this coat in Russia I would freeze to death.  It's not very warm as many pea coats aren't.

Anyone else feeling stressed out about now?  With classes ending and Christmas coming, I always have a million things to do.  The list-making is endless.  I have about 20 post-its stuck all around my computer.  It's becoming hard to keep up on all of the blogs that I read!  But just know that I eventually read them all.  You all are too fast for me to keep up!  I am absent from Google Reader for a few days and I come back to a gazillion posts!  And they're all fabulous so I can't not read them.  You can tell I'm kinda stressed since my counting went from a million to a gazillion in one paragraph.  Too many things to do!!!

Okay.  Breathe.  College ends tomorrow.  That should clear up some time.  Hopefully.

^Those are my neighbor's trees during the snow last week.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

All I Want For Christmas Is...

I'm jumping on the blogging bandwagon with my Christmas wish list!  Here are some of the things I'm hoping to get this season:

1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling | 2. BC Footwear Sure Thing Wedge from American Eagle | 3. Mad Men on DVD | 4. Crystal Pleated Skirt from The Limited | 5. Snow & Graham 2012 Wall Calendar | 6. Fold Your Hands Child You Walk Like A Peasant on CD by Belle & Sebastian

Here's hoping!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Movie Spotlight: White Christmas

I'm in the mood... in the mood for the holidays!  I have officially started my Christmas shopping.  And today I bring you photos from one of my favorite Christmas movies, Irving Berlin's White Christmas.  I watch it every year.  I know it so well that I could recite the lines as I watch.  But I don't, because that's annoying.

The two photos I included are of Rosemary Clooney's (George Clooney's mother!) gorgeous dresses in the film.  Why don't people dress like this anymore?  If I went to a nice show these days, I could guarantee you most of the people in attendance would be wearing jeans.  And I know, jeans can definitely be dressed up, but come on...  if you don't dress up for an actual dressing-up worthy occasion, when will you ever?  Anyway, back to Rosemary Clooney... look at the sweetheart neckline of the second dress!  So pretty!  If you have never seen this movie, you're missing out (add to Netflix queue asap!)

In other news, this week is absolutely crazy.  It's only 8pm right now and my eyes are about to slam shut.  I'm frantically trying to get all of my school projects/assignments done by tomorrow.  This weekend is going to be a whirlwind of craziness including Greyhound buses, old friends, another viewing of The Nutcracker, lots of driving, and two back-to-back Christmas parties that are both being hosted at my house.  Whew.  Is it Sunday night yet?  That is the next time I'll have to breathe.  But then next week is my LAST week of college!!!  Come December 14th and I will officially be DONE.  Yippee!!!

Watch that movie^!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Leggings As Pants?

I usually spend large chunks of my weekend catching up on everything that I've put off during the week.  Like laundry.  So when I decided to wash ALL of my jeans, I had nothing to wear for the outfit I was planning on!  Duh.  (does anyone say that anymore?) So I cautiously pulled out... the leggings.  I'm always kinda been afraid of wearing them... they look good on most other people, but I feel awkward with them!  Leggings as pants?  Am I really going to go there?  Well, many people wear them like that and they look fine.... So here is the result.  Not bad.  Looks comfortable, that's for sure.

sweater: Sonoma
leggings: Target
scarf: Target
boots: Civico 10
boot socks: Target
clutch: Deux Lux
ring: Stella & Dot
necklace: American Eagle

And what was inside that clutch?  A book of course!  I felt kind of like Rory Gilmore, stuffing my purse with a book.  But the book I happened to be reading for class fit perfectly.  So why not?

^Good read by the way.

In other news, how is the holiday shopping going for everyone?  I have yet to even start!!  Eeek!  I have taken the first step in writing down ideas for people though.  Now I just have to work up the nerve to tackle Somerset Collection with all of the mad shoppers.  Of course, that will happen after I've done all the online shopping that I possibly can!  Funny, for a girl who LOVES new clothes, I really hate shopping.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I [did not] Wear To The Ballet

First of all, I'm very excited for all the new followers from this past weekend!  Thanks!!  I had a request to post the outfit I wore to see The Nutcracker at the Detroit Opera House last Friday.  Well... for some reason I neglected to take outfit shots!  But I plan on recreating the outfit for some time over the holidays so I'll post it then.  In the meantime, I can pretend that I wore the outfit below to the ballet, when I actually was just testing out outfit ideas.  But I like the story of wearing it to the ballet better.  Shhh!

dress: Pitaya
tights: ?
shoes: DSW
scarf/shall: Target
bracelet: my mom's
green necklace: gift
"pearl" necklace: ?

I absolutely love the shoes I'm wearing for these pictures (and I did actually wear them to the ballet too).  I've been waiting since last winter to wear them again since they're pretty wintery looking with the velvet.  They're surprisingly pretty comfortable to wear since the straps are made from elastic, and also positioned closer up to the ankle.  Minimal hobbling involved!  The only problem is that I've worn them so much that the velvet is wearing in a few spots and I'm not sure how to re-blacken them... anyone have any suggestions?  I'm all ears!

The weather report for metro Detroit calls for snow tonight!!  I'm actually really excited.  The whole day has been constant rain, so I'm hoping it turns to snow!

Until next time...
Also, happy birthday to my dad today!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Apparel: Brown&Comfy

Happy Black Friday!  I hope you all are finding good deals today!  I personally cannot make myself go out into the Black Friday madness.  It's just way too overwhelming and frustrating with so many crazy shoppers.  It would be nice to get some cheap stuff, but I just can't bring myself to do it.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I hope you all had a great one.  This is what I wore to Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt's house yesterday:

sweater: Apt. 9
shirt: H&M
jeans: Levi's
jacket: Target
scarf: Target
shoes: Payless

I don't usually wear fancy make-up (lipstick, eyeliner, and eye shadow are all considered "fancy" in my mind) but I took the time to have some fun with it for a special occasion.  I'm by no means very talented at the whole make-up thing, but it was fun anyway.  Oh, and that brown sweater is SO COMFY I wish it were a blanket.

And what a warm two days it's been!  Yesterday and today have both been in the 50's, and today was even sunny!  I'm soaking it all in before the cloudy, dreary days to come.  Tonight I'm heading down to Detroit to see The Nutcracker at the Detroit Opera House.  I'm excited to dress up and watch a ballet!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo credits to Kate Pruitt of Design Sponge, tfelix on Flickr, & Jessica of Craftily Ever After (yay Pinterest!)

I'm so thankful for so many things, especially my family and friends.  Without them I wouldn't be where I am today.  With graduation from college coming in just a few weeks, I am extremely thankful for my parents who have supported me all of this time, and also that I have a job to step into where I will be doing my passion: graphic design!  And, of course, I'm also very thankful to all who have supported me in this blog, and all of my followers!  Your comments always make my day, so thank you!

This is the best holiday.  Right now I'm watching the America's Thanksgiving Parade on TV, which takes place right nearby in downtown Detroit.  I love watching all of the Detroit marching bands!  Then later this afternoon I'm heading to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving dinner with the family!  How are you spending your Thanksgiving this year?

Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Revisited Dress Is The Best!

Happy birthday to my big sister Emily!! Today she turns 27, and my parents and I are going out to Grand Rapids to celebrate with her.  I'm starting to feel the holiday joy.... it starts with my sister's birthday, then Thanksgiving, and then comes my dad's birthday, and then all of the Christmas celebrations.  I'm allllmost ready for Christmas music... but not yet (gotta wait until after Thanksgiving).

dress: Delia's ca. 2006
sweater: Gap
boots: Alloy
ring: Stella & Dot

I wore this outfit a week or two ago on a day that it was randomly warm-ish (warm as far as November in Michigan standards go).  It's great to rediscover clothing pieces that you haven't worn in years.  This dress is one of those.  I bought it back in high school when I attended a fall wedding and have been looking for opportunities to wear it since.  Now that I'm working in an office, I have the opportunity to wear dresses more often!  So I wore it to work.  I love this dress.  It's really comfy, it's not too short, and the detail at the upper chest/neck area is gorgeous.

This week is a short one!  Only two work days and one school day before Thanksgiving arrives Thursday!  My Women In Literature class is canceled this week, which will give me extra time to finish up the current book for that class, Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.  I saw the movie a long time ago, and now I get the opportunity to read the book!  So far, so good!  And apparently this blog post is all about opportunities, since it seems I'm using that word a lot today...

Happy birthday to my sister!

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Purse Of Old Books

It's been a long day.  I'm ready to just sleep.  But instead I'll post an outfit!  The below photos are of my outfit this past Saturday.  I spent the afternoon at a local craft fair supporting my friend Paris of Bittersweet Nostalgia. I gotta say, there are some strange craft shoppers out there.... interesting people watching.  Anyway, it was fun and I bought a necklace that I'll have to share on here as sooooon as a photograph it (lost the light too early today to photograph... the whole day was one big cloud and thunderstorm!)

sweater: LC Lauren Conrad
jeans: Levi's
shoes: Target
purse: Target
necklace: American Eagle
ring: Stella & Dot

When I decided to use this purse for the photos, I grabbed a couple books to fill it so it would weigh enough to stay on my shoulder... and then I discovered upon taking them out that the colors went well with my outfit!  So they were photographed too.

Plus, who doesn't like an old book?  I know I do.

Happy Monday!