Snowy Ireland + Happy New Year

I just wanted to pop in with a few photos of the snow and to wish you all a very happy, healthy, and safe New Year!  I am excited for 2011 to start.  I have a lot of big plans and am nearly bursting at the seams to get them going.

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season and the "5 things" guest post series I put together why I am away in Ireland visiting my husband's family.

We had a fun and snowy three days in Dublin, followed by a train ride to Kerry {we had to cancel the rental car due to the snow}, followed by days of eating, drinking, sleeping, and relaxing.  A great holiday and luckily, we still have 6 more days!  I think I might end up gaining 200 pounds, but hey that's what New Year's diets and resolutions are for.

Guest Post by Kobie of Chic Girl Designs

The final "5 things" post comes from Kobie of Chic Girl Designs

Kobie is another fellow Etsian with an adorable accessories + more shop.  Her blog is a mix of her finds and wants, fashion, and her business.  Kobie started her business around the same time as I did and her journey kind of reminds me of mine - which is why I find her blog so relatable and fun to read.

Thanks so much for taking part in the "5 things series, Kobie!"

5 things I cannot live without by Chic Girl Designs

Hi Acute Designs readers!

I'm Kobie from Chic Girl Designs. Here are the five things I can't live without...

1. My Macbook - When I purchased this laptop last year, I had no idea how addicted to it I would become. I use it all the time! It was a fantastic investment and helps me to keep my business going.

2. Lucas Paw Paw Ointment - This stuff is awesome! It's all natural and I use it several times each day on my lips.

3. My Canon Eos 1000d - This was my Christmas present to myself. I'm seriously in love with this camera! I plan on using it to snap family photos over Christmas and also use it for my business.

4. Napoleon Auto-pilot - I was very skeptical when I first tried this product. The sales assistant sold it to me as part of a package and now I can't live without it. The cream goes on after your moisturiser and helps your make-up to 'stick'. It totally works and I can't live without it!

5. Midori Illusions - At this time of year I love a good cocktail and these come ready mixed in a bottle! Delicious and very refreshing - it's very hot in Australia at the moment!

A big thank you to Gina for the guest post offer and have a great Christmas and New Year everyone!

{See all of the "5 things" posts here.}

Guest post by Mo of Pink Argyle - 5 things I cannot live without

Next up in the "5 things I cannot live without" series is Mo from Pink Argyle.

I first found Mo's blog when she did a guest post about a local jewelry and paper goods store called Noon.  I sell my designs at Noon and Mo photographed some of them for her post.  Even since, I have been a fan of her blog.

At Pink Argyle, Mo blogs about about her little slice of life. This includes fashion, decor, her wants, and her recent wedding.  Thanks for taking part in the "5 things" series, Mo!

5 things I cannot live without by Pink Argyle

1. Green Tea - Anything green tea. Green tea latte. Green tea gelato. Green tea donuts. Green tea cookies. I went crazy during my recent honeymoon to Japan because you can find anything and everything that is green tea flavored! 
2. Lip Balm - I'm a lip balm addict. My favorite brand is Rosebud Salve which gives just enough pink and keeps my super chapped lips moisturized. 
3. Cameras - Taking pictures makes me happy. I love having a camera to capture what happened and what I saw so that I can look back and reminisce. I currently have five: a DSLR, a small digital point and shoot, a polaroid camera, a digital zumi, and my iPhone. 
4. Ballet flats - For someone as short as I am (5'1"...and a half!) you'd think that I would be anti-ballet flat, but I just can't get enough them. They're easy to walk in, look cute with skinny jeans, and come in all styles and colors. I wore a pair of silver ballet flats at my wedding in July, which was one of the best decisions I made! I was standing pretty all night long. 
5. Dessert - I love love LOVE sweets. I'm a cupcake fan, a cookie fan, a cake fan, put sugar and some decorative accents on it and I'm in love. I eagerly await the day that Sprinkles opens in La Jolla. I'm also a fan of Azucar in Ocean Beach, and Influx in Little Italy.  

{Image credits for #4 and #5 - Jessamyn Harris and Sheri Tennison Berg for Jessamyn Harris Photography}

Click here for the rest of the "5 things" posts.

Guest Post with Amy of Ponder and Stitch - 5 things I cannot live without

Amy is a fellow Etsian who makes amazing hand-sewn cuffs.  Her blog {Ponder and Stitch} is a mini chronicle of her life...focusing mostly on her amazing thrift store finds, her must haves, and her Etsy shop, which is also called Ponder and Stitch.

If you are a thrift store junkie like myself, or even just a once in a while thrifter, you must check out Amy's blog. She has the most amazing eye {and a bit of luck} when it comes to finding fabulous items for next to nothing.

Thanks for guest posting about your favorite things, Amy!

5 things I cannot live without by Ponder and Stitch

Hi, all! It's Amy from Ponder and Stitch and I'm so happy to be guest blogging today! I'm here to talk about five things I can't live without - all silly things, that's for sure. Let's get started!

1. Mascara - I absolutely cannot live without my mascara. I won't go anywhere without it. I've found the #1 best mascara to be CoverGirl Lash Blast in the bright orange tube. Oh, and just a tip, I haven't used an eyelash curler in at least 15 years. Your own finger is the best eyelash curler you'll ever find, and it's free! ;) Just press the pad of your index finger across your lashes and look down - make sure not to touch your lashes to the skin above your lid or you'll just make a mess. Hold for five or ten seconds.  I'm serious- you'll never find a better curler!

2. Glossy lip balm -  I cannot stand the feel of bare lips. I've been using this one since Christmas 2009 and it is the best! I don't think The Body Shop sells this exact balm anymore, but they have a similar cranberry one for sale this season. Get yourself a tin- it's great stuff! Oh, and this gloss/balm hybrid is to die for.

Obviously, I can't make my whole list consist of makeup, so on to other things!

3. My heating blanket - I am always cold. Always!  The perfect temperature for me is somewhere around 82. Anything below that and I have goose bumps. Unfortunately, my 100-year-old house has chosen my bedroom to be the coldest room in the whole house. My heating blanket is a necessity!

4. Big Train Chocolate Chai - This stuff is amazing- the perfect mixture of chai and hot chocolate. It's great iced in the summer, too. It's the perfect drink!

5. My LightWedge - This is the ultimate book light for those of you who like to read before bed! It illuminates the page and nothing else. I have tried so many book lights and will never ever go back to one of those clip-on lights. I've had mine for a few years now and just love it. At first I had to get used to reading through a piece of clear plastic, but soon enough I didn't even notice it. Get one and you won't regret it!

There you have it. Five silly things I can't live without. Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!!
Click here to read the rest of the "5 things" posts!

Guest post by Alli of Hooray Design - 5 things I cannot live without

Today's "5 things" post is brought to you by Alli of Hooray Design

At Hooray, Alli blogs about design, home decor, her inspiration, fashion, and other beautiful things.  She is also owner of the adorable shop Hooray that specializes in packaging, art prints, and party supplies.

Alli's blogs is one of my favorites for inspiration and for gazing at pretty things.  Her taste is impeccable ad I am so pleased to have her be a part of this series.  Thanks for the guest post, Alli!

5 things I cannot live without by Hooray Design

1. Hand lotion + chapstick (especially during the dry winter). Burt's Bees has my favorite stuff.

2. Notebook - It must go everywhere I am because I'm constantly drawing or jotting down ideas (napkins sometimes serve as stand-ins).

3. Socks -  My feet are always cold so I can't be without them :) I like cute striped ones... and in the winter, thick comfy ones.

4. Water Bottle - As part of my goal to drink more water, I finally recycled my old cheap plastic ones from college and "invested" (aka spent more than $2) on durable, pretty, bpa-free ones. Love them!

5. Handbag/tote - I collect them the way most girls collect shoes (or well, handbags). They're so handy for traveling, trips to the library, and everything in between.
Click here to read more "Click here" posts!

Christmas Wishes

 Wherever in the world you are, I hope that you are having an amazing holiday.

Guest Post with Maxabella Loves - 5 things I cannot live without

Next up in the "5 things" series is Maxabella from Maxabella loves…

I found Maxabella's blog a few months ago and when I first happened upon it, there was a post about her children.  I immediately thought "Oh, a mommy blog.  Not my thing."

I am happy I stuck around.  After reading a few of Maxabella's posts, I knew this was a not a "mommy blog."

Yes, she writes about her children, but not just about children.  She writes with a tremendous amount of wit, sarcasm {one of my favorite things}, and grace.  Her lovely, thought provoking, and funny blog is one of my daily or weekly internet stops.

Thanks for the guest post, Maxabella :).

 5 things I cannot live without by Maxabella loves…

When Gina mentioned that she wanted my ‘top five’ material things I can’t live without versus the usual ‘top five’ of ‘family, friends, kindness, adventure and cold hard cash’, I was a bit stumped. I reckon I can live without most material things. In fact, I’m certain I could. But here are five things that make my life happier.

1. Pencil and notebook - I was going to write 'computer' here, but I think my notebooks and my pencil are more important. I keep a notebook on the go at all times and it’s full of random lists, jottings, quotations, little drawings, reminders... life, really.
2. Gift wrapping supplies - Pretty papers, fabrics, bows, strings, ribbons... and I can’t stop buying gift tags. I just like looking at them. I like my collection so much that I can’t actually give them away on presents and end up having to make my own out of old cardboard boxes and a felt tip.
3. Birdies - Along with the gift tags, I have managed to acquire a serious bird collection around my house. Every room has some kind of bird in it… um, now I sound like some kind of freaky old lady who wears ‘Stays’*. I’m not like that, really I’m not. Before I started accumulated them I don’t think I gave our feathered friends much thought at all. Now, they just make me happy (she says, pulling up her Stays).
4. My garden - I’m a hopeless gardener. Everything I touch turns to compost… but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the pretty flowers that manage to escape the resident bandicoots and possums who eat everything with petals as soon as the sun goes down. It’s peaceful here.
5. Books - So, the house is full of gift tags and birdies and dead plants and… books. Since the birth of my three Tsunamis it takes me about 1 1/2 years to read a novel, but that doesn’t stop me accumulating them. For the first time in my life my ‘to read’ pile is about 5 times the size of my ‘to keep’ pile. Just looking at all those shelves of books I’ve chosen but haven’t yet read makes me want to burst with excitement. I’m easily excited, obviously!

Thanks for having me, dear Gina. I’m sure my ‘top five’ has revolutionised the blogging world and I’m just so happy that you got to share in this momentous occasion. Hmmm… maybe I should have added ‘sarcasm’ to my ‘can’t live without list!?
*It’s a really good thing if you don’t know what Stays are… although my Grandma would have found Spanks oddly familiar!?

{Photos courtesy of Design* Sponge, Living Etc, and Anthropologie}

Click here to read the other "5 things" posts.

Guest Post with Aimee of Chic n' Cheap Living

Today's "5 things" post was done by Aimee of Chic n’ Cheap Living.

Aimee's blog is a fantastic find.  Just like the title says, she keeps it cheap but is able to remain so chic.  She is constantly bringing her readers deals, giveaways, amazing and affordable finds, and beautiful inspiration. 

Earlier this month I took part in her 2010 Blogger Holiday Gift Guide post {if you need a last minute gift, be sure to check it out}.

Thanks so much for taking part in the "5 things" series, Aimee!

5 things I cannot live without by Chic n’ Cheap Living

This is Chic 'n Cheap Living and I wanted to thank Gina for having me on her blog.  I'm honored to guest post on Acute Designs while Gina and her family enjoy the rolling, green landscapes of Ireland.  When I was asked to post about the 5 material things, I couldn't live without, I was at first afraid it would take a while. But it turns out that I really do rely on my top 5 items on a daily basis.

1. Cell/Mobile Phone - I fully embrace living in an age where we're constantly connected to others.  My husband has finally convinced me to get an iPhone 4 so I'm excited about checking e-mail and accessing the web on the go too (at least it makes me more efficient right?)

2. Camera - I never want to miss an opportunity to take a shot, so I always have an automatic camera with me (how else could I get such great food and travel shots?)

3. Shu Uemura eyelash curler - I am a girl of mediocre length, straight lashes.  That is, until I discovered the Shu Uemura eyelash curler.  Suddenly I have lovely, curved lashes and my eyes are instantly brighter.

4. SPF via Perricone or Bare Escentuals - I've always had fair skin.  I just can't help being the palest person in H 'awaii (my guide there really said that to me once). That also means I wear sun protection every day.  I apply Perricone No Foundation Foundation or Bare Escentuals daily.

5. Purse - Call me Bag Lady.  No really my friends have called me bag lady because I always have a purse and sometimes multiple bags.  I am getting better about not carrying the kitchen sink around, but I love my bags - Hayden Harnett, Burberry, Celine, Goldenbleu.  I am a purse aficionado.  I see a Chanel reissue in my future...

Guest Post with Julie of Belle Maison

Today's guest post was done by Julie of Belle Maison.

If home amazing interiors are your thing, you must check out Julie's blog.  She is an interior designer with an amazing and fresh taste on home decor.  She posts about her inspiration, before and afters, and beautiful homes.  Julie also owns the fanulous online home decore shop, Modern Chic Home.

Thanks so much for guest posting, Julie!

5 things I cannot live with out by Belle Maison

1. Sony Cybershot Digital Camera - I carry this camera with me everywhere I go – you never know when inspiration will strike! It takes amazing pictures and has a touch screen, which makes it super easy to use.
2. Design Books – My apartment and home office are filled with stacks of big, beautiful books on interior design, entertaining, flowers, and anything else that I can draw inspiration from. This image is of several of my favorite books, which I keep stacked on a shelf above my desk.
3. Ultra Mentha Lip Shine – I’m constantly applying lip gloss or chapstick because I can’t stand having dry lips. The Mentha Lip Shine is lightweight with a cool minty feel and flavor – I definitely can’t live without it!  
4.  Hudson Jeans – I don’t buy expensive clothes very often, but Hudson Jeans are well worth the splurge! These jeans fit so well and maintain their amazing quality year after year. I’m definitely a jeans kind of girl – they are my wardrobe staple!  
5. Wine – There’s nothing like unwinding from a long day or catching up with your girlfriends over a glass (or two) of vino! My recent favorite is the Chardonnay by Cupcake Vineyards.

Guest Post by Down and Out Chic - 5 things I cannot live without

As mentioned last week, I put together a series of guest posts by some of my favorite bloggers.  Look for the series of posts {mixed in with some that I have scheduled while I am in Ireland} over the next few weeks.

First up is Christina from Down and Out Chic.  D&OC is one of my favorite blogs.  I stumbled upon it about 9 months ago and have been hooked ever since.

Christina blogs daily on her favorite finds, fashion, decor, art, and so much more.  Her style is impeccable and best of all?  Her finds are all affordable and often come from small businesses.  True story.  Don't you hate when you are smitten by a blog post only to learn that you can afford exactly none of the fashion or decor finds?  So frustrating.  At D&OC, Christina specializes in making style accessible.   Thanks for guest blogging, Christina :).

5 things I cannot live without - by Down and Out Chic

1.  Books- Beside the the obvious reason that books are good for the soul, I like having them around.  We have them in every room of our house, including the bathroom and I'm sure our collection will continue to grow and grow.   (image:  Pengiun hardcover classics via design*sponge)

2. Scarves- hands down the easiest accessory to wear and with such a variety in size, shape, pattern and weight, one can never own too many. (image: thief and bandit

3. Facial Scrub- My skin feels the freshest and softest after cleansing with a scrub.  My current favorite is this vodka/sea salt blend from Lush.  (image: lush)

4. MacBook Pro- yes, I'll admit it, I'm a slave to technology.  As much as I'd like to say I don't need my computer or the internet, that would be a BIG FAT LIE.  (image: fácil y sencillo)

5. Art in my home- Being surrounded by art on a daily basis makes bring me comfort and inspires me.  Now, more than ever, art is utterly accessible and can be as serious or as cheeky as you like. (image: rue) 

This week I am grateful for....The blogging community

Tomorrow I am leaving for Ireland {yay!}.  Since I will have limited internet access throughout the 2.5 weeks, I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to write guest posts.

My question to these bloggers was "What 5 Things Can You Not Live Without?"  I prefaced that these 5 Things should be material, not super important things like family, friends, pets, etc.  

The bloggers that I contacted for this guest post favor were so gracious and excited to help me out.  This is a fabulous little community to be part of and I am grateful for it.
Check back next week for these "5 Things" lists and read my 5 things that I posted earlier this week.

Have a lovely weekend everyone...I'm off to pack :).

5 Things I Cannot Live Without

While I am away I have asked some of my favorite bloggers to guest post.  Each blogger will be doing a post on the 5 things they cannot live without.

I am excited to bring this series to you guys.  I hope you find it as fun to read as I did to put together.

To start off the series, I am listing my 5 things.  This was actually a little hard.  I thought of 500 and had to narrow it down just a bit.  It seems that if everything were to go away, I would likely die.

1. Rosebud Salve - The best lip gloss ever.  Period.  It comes in a variety of flavors and is perfect for any time of day.  And, it's a family company with an interesting history.

2. My Blackberry - It is a terrible result if the smart phone era, but I spend more time on my Blackberry than just about anything else.  This might be a bad sign of my personality, but I just feel secure with it in my hand.  Kidding {not really}.

3. Blogs - In the past year+ that I have blogged I have become a blog addict.  I get almost all of my fashion, decor, and food ideas from blogs.  I love this amazing community that is doing it all their own way.

4. L’Occitane en Provence hand lotion - I cannot stand it when my hands are dry.  It is one of my biggest pet peeves.  This hand lotion is affordable, has a nice subtle scent, and feels like silk against my hands.  In the words of Rachel Zoe, I die for L’Occitane en ProvenceI am a huge fan of all their products, but the hand lotion is the best.

5. My Canon Camera - I have had a camera for years and usually just pulled it out for big events {holidays, parties, vacations}.  Ever since I started my blog a year ago and started my business, I was forced to take better pictures and learn a lot about photography.  At first it felt like a side of the biz I didn't like, but as the weeks went on, I became hooked!  I now take pictures of everything and challenge myself to take interesting shots and edit them in an interesting way.

What 5 things can you not imagine living without?

How to pack 2+ weeks of stuff into a carry on

I am a firm believer in not checking baggage.  This has nothing to do with the fees many airlines charge, it has to do with the annoyance of it.

Each time we head away on a trip that lasts longer than a week, I consider checking, then after about 5 minutes realize how much I hate to wait in line {and airports have enough unavoidable lines as it is}.

So, I have become an ole' pro at packing days upon days of clothing into one small carry on suitcase and a backpack.  Both end up nearly bursting at the seams, but the feeling of walking right off the plane and to wherever I am going is so worth it.

We are heading to Ireland on Saturday for 2+ weeks and I need to pack.

It will be cold so items like a heavy coat and gloves are an extra necessity...and the coat takes up a lot of room.

This is my list:
-4 pairs of pants
-a week's worth of underwear {I can do laundry at my in-laws}
-a week's worth of socks
-5 camisoles/tank tops that can be worn under tops and sweaters
-3 long or 3/4 sleeved cotton shirts
-2 evening/nice for going out tops
-3 cardigans {one chunky, one for going out, and one basic black one that will be good for night or day)
-2 pullover sweaters
-1-2 skirts
-1 LBD
-2 pairs of leggings
-1 pairs of thick tights
-one pair of yoga pants {good for travelling and sleeping}
-2 shirts for sleeping {since it's winter, they will be long sleeve}
-2 belts {one thick, one thin}
-tall flat boots
-boots with a heel
-winter coat
-hats, gloves, and scarf

{I guess I only wear black and gray.} 

One way I cut down is by wearing the biggest things.  That means, I will be leaving southern California in Uggs and a heavy winter coat.  As soon as I get on the plane, I will take them off and store them {cozy socks are a must for the 12 hour plane ride}.

In my backpack will be: mini laptop, cord for laptop and blackberry, my 1 quart ziploc baggie full of travel sized liquid bottles {dumbest rule EVER}, small makeup case with non-liquid items, other misc bathroom items, a book or two, wallet, passport, purse, jewelry, hair accessories, blackberry, notebook + pens.

Like I said, it is a lot to put in two small bags and at the end of the travelling day, I am sick of holding all of it.  But, the ease of not checking is worth it.  And, my bags never get lost :).

What do you do? Carry or check?

{Photos courtesy of Urban Outfitters, Old Navy, Gap, Steve Madden, Ugg Australia, and Kohl‘s}

Mod Decor

The house my family and I stayed in while in Palm Springs was decorated in a very mod style. I liked it and found it interesting, but a total mod style isn’t my favorite.

My favorite thing about the "mod" style was the clean lines.  And, I like the idea of mixing mod pieces with more cozy decor.

{Photos courtesy of Design*Sponge, House Beautiful, Decor8, and Elle Decor}

Tiramisu Cheesecake

My husband’s favorite dessert is tiramisu. I usually make my amazing tiramisu for him on holidays and his birthday. This Thanksgiving I wanted to do something different, so I tried a tiramisu cheesecake recipe that I saw in Food Network Magazine. I changed it a tiny bit - I forgot to buy lady fingers for the crust. So I just used graham crackers, which I prefer.  And, I lessened the sugar by a bit.

I am not a huge cheesecake fan, but this one was perfect. The mascarpone mixed with the cream cheese created a light taste that was simply delicious. I think I might use part mascarpone cheese in all cheesecakes from now on - enjoy!

Tiramisu Cheesecake
-7 ounces of graham crackers
-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
-1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
-1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-3 large eggs
-1 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. Wrap a 9 inch springform pan with aluminum foil and spray the inside with non-stick spray.
3. Put the graham crackers in a food processor and grind until they are in fine crumbs.  Add the espresso and slowly add the melted butter while pulsing the food processor.  Once combined, press the graham crackers into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. 
4. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
5. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Next, slowly mix in the sugar until smooth.
6. Add the mascarpone, vanilla, and salt to the cream cheese mixture and mix until combined.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.  Once all is mixed together, stir in the chocolate chips.
7. Put the springform pan in a roasting pan and pour the cheese mixture into the baked crust.
8. Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water in the pan to reach half way up the springform pan.
9. Bake for about an hour, until set yet a little jiggly.  Let cake cool in the water for about 15 minutes.
10. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving.

List Update

You might {or might not} remember the list I wrote after my 30th birthday last month.

30 things I will do this year

Here's an update:

#3 Invite others to write guest posts for my blogs.

Done - I have a few amazing guest bloggers lined up for when I am in Ireland over the holidays.  Super excited about this one.

#20 Try Vietnamese food. {We have a plethora of Vietnamese restaurants in my neighborhood and I have never been. New foods scare me.}

We ate Vietnamese a few weeks ago and I loved it!  My husband - not so much.  He is more of a meat and potatoes guy, but whatevs.  The place is walking distance from my house and super cheap.  I see a lot of takeout from there in the near future...

#27 Start a mailing list and create a newsletter.

Done - Click here to join.

#30 Create a look book for the 2010 Holidays. {I should probably stop internetting and get started on this...}

I am happy to say that this has been accomplished!  Check it out here. {And, if you are interested in purchasing, the shop closes for the year this Friday!}

Not too shabby for just 6 weeks.  I can't wait for 2011 to start so I can tackle some of the bigger projects.

{Note, much to my husband's disappointment, I have yet to stop biting my nails. One day...}

Weekend Wear

You know all those fashion blogs out in blog-land that consist of a beautiful blogger with insanely cute clothes showcasing different outfits? 

I love reading/looking at them.  They give me ideas on what to pair with what and the ones that focus on affordable clothing always make me want to go shopping.

Since I typically wear yoga pants and t-shirts {and this is not due to any actual yoga-ing, it is due to the fact that they are comfortable...and I am lazy} I decided to challenge myself and post a look that I donned over the weekend every Monday

I will also list where I got my clothes + prices {If I can remember}.  Until I win the lottery, or become independently wealthy, it will be a nice montage of inexpensive clothing.

Without further ado, here is my first weekend wear post.  I actually pulled myself away from my laptop, got dressed, and went to watch my husband's band play.  Therefore I had to get dressed. 

Yoga pants would have embarrassed him {and since he is my meal ticket, I try to keep the embarrassment to a minimum}.

{Gordita looks perfect, as usual.}

{That headband is gorgeous!}

{My husband says I never smile, so here I am trying it out.  It's not so bad.}

Clothing deets:
-Shirt - The Gap {bought 2 years ago} - $20
-Sweater - Old Navy - $17 {bought on sale}
-Skirt - Old Navy - $7 {bought on sale}
-Boots - Urban Outfitters - $68
-Necklace - Noon - $64
-Headband - Acute Designs {The Lea} - $32

Much Love Monday - Zara + Dublin

I am getting super excited for our yearly trek to Ireland {we're leaving on Saturday}. 

This year, we are doing something a little different.  We have decided to stay in Dublin for three nights before making the drive to my husband's hometown, which is in County Kerry.

You might be thinking "how is staying in Dublin different?"  Well, this will be my seventh trip to Ireland and, besides airports, I have only spent three days outside County Kerry {or 'The Kingdom' as my husband refers to it}.

Kerry is gorgeous and I understand why people love it.  And, I get that it's his home and he misses it and all that...but I am so excited to spend a little time in another city!

I am excited to go shopping see the sights in Dublin.  And by sights I mean Zara

Since the Irish economy is essentially crashing as I write, I assume everything will be super marked down. 

Happy Christmas to me!

{All photos courtesy of Zara}

What do you love today?  Blog about it and link up at Anna's blog, Much Love.

Jamie Oliver's Pear Pancakes

I found this pancake recipe on Jamie Oliver's website and made them for breakfast.

They were just as he described - so easy, fluffy, and delicious.  I accidentally almost ate the entire batch.  Jamie suggests serving these pancakes with natural yogurt and honey.  Call me old-fashioned, but I just like to eat mine with a little buttery spread and some Aunt Jamima. Yum.

Jamie Oliver's Pear Pancakes
-1 cup of self-raising flour
-1 cup of milk
-1 egg, preferably free-range or organic
-a pinch of sea salt
-1 pear
-a few knobs of butter
-natural yoghurt, to serve
-runny honey, to serve

1. Put the flour, milk, egg and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Once combined, grate in the pear, core and all then stir it through with a spoon.
2. Put a large pan on a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once that melts, add the batter, a spoonful at a time to the hot pan. You’ll need to cook them in batches, cooking them for a few minutes until golden on the bottom then flipping over and cooking for a few minutes more until they’re done.
3. When they are golden and fluffy serve them right away with a dollop of natural yoghurt and some runny honey drizzled all over the top

Final Week

I have spent the entire morning photographing, editing, and listing my final sets of hairpins for 2010.

Due to my pending trip to Ireland, I am closing my online shop this Friday.  If you want to place an order for the holiday, make sure you get it in prior to 5pm on Friday.  And, don't forget to use the 10% off coupon code, DECEMBER2010, which will expire when the shop closes for the year.

{Feel free to spread the coupon code to your family and friends!}

If headbands are more your thing, be sure to check out my Holiday-WinterHeritage Line.  I still have a few styles left for purchase.

Also, a few more headband styles will be added by Monday morning.

To those of you that have made a purchase, thank you all for your support. I wouldn't be able to do this without you.

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend!

This week I am grateful for....Support

I own a small handmade accessories business.  I started it a year ago on a whim and within a month I decided it was going to be my full time job

For the last year, I dragged myself out of bed every morning and went to my dreadful day job.  I needed the paycheck.  I saved and saved and sold as much Acute Designs merch as I could.

Last August I made the decision that October 29th would be my last day.  I chose that day because it was the last Friday before my 30th birthday.  I knew that I could not be 30 years old and stuck in a job I hated.

I would rather be broke and happy than unhappy with a decent paycheck.

The past six weeks I have worked for myself and loved every minute of it. 

My friends and family have been so supportive - doing some of their Christmas shopping in my online shop, getting me into stores, and introducing me to other people that might be able to help my business ventures.

I could not do what I do without support and I thank each and every one of you.  All the way from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

What are you grateful for this week?  Blog about it and link up over at Maxabella’s Blog.
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