Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New York City, you're so pretty.

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."

In all honesty, I though that quote was a little cheesy, until I saw that William Cullen Bryant said it. Then I was all in. Bryant Park, anyone? Yeah, that's him.

Anyway, I got a brand new, fancy camera, and Steve and I went on a walk down the Lakeshore Path here in Madison to test it out. Here's the result:


The final installment of me showing off my apartment is on pause. It is going to be my room, but I haven't been able to get any decent photographs of it because:

1. One of my clothing racks in the living room broke, so I'm hanging clothes all over the place until the replacement arrives.
2. I had things everywhere in preparation for NYC.
3. I now have things everywhere because I haven't had a chance to unpack from NYC.

So there. I'm moving on now.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apartment Decor! Part 3

My kitchen and bathroom are nothing spectacular, but still look cute; it's all in the details, people.

In the kitchen, I have cute, blue cafe (how do you do an accent mark on Blogger?!) curtains against the window which perfectly frame my wonderful little frog.

He carries tootsie rolls.

Lady Gaga also resides in my kitchen. I found this awesome poster of her at Target for $5. I cut off the obnoxious bottom part that was all, "LADY GAGA: TELEPHONE" so it just looks like I have this great, professional photo of her instead of an annoying teenager poster. I hung it on my wall, and put this old gold frame around it that was in my basement at home.

In my bathroom, I have a continuation of my favorite colors- green, orange, and light blue. Everything is from Target, obvi.

Can I tell you how excited I STILL am about this towel? It pulls together all the colors of my apartment PERFECTLY. My mom found this beauty at Wal-Mart. WAL-MART!! Can you believe that one?!

I painted this stool at the end of summer. My brother gave me this stool that he made in high school when I was like, three or four. Blue leopard print freshened it right up.

Outside of my kitchen and bathroom, there are a couple of details that need to be mentioned.

These hooks are from Ikea and were $2 apiece. They are right by my door and hold keys. I think I'm the only one that likes them, and I don't care.

This air-conditioner is leftover from summer. It caused a number of problems that I absolutely don't have the energy to ever discuss again, but doesn't it look cute surrounded by leopard-print duct tape?!

To be continued...

P.S.- Let's ignore that month gap between posts. Kapeesh?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Apartment Decor! Part 2

Because my bedroom is literally the size of my parents' closet at home, I keep my clothes and shoes on the left side of my living room in my apartment. Seriously, it is impossible to fit anything in my bedroom besides my lofted bed, my desk, and my Spintastic (more information to come on that little beauty, dear readers), so this is completely necessary.

Here is my "closet" area:

To the left of my couch is the little blue table, as mentioned in my last post. On the wall behind it hangs a new addition of a piece of artwork that I received from Steve as a gift (but I know that it's from Ikea and was $10! Steal!). Then I have two racks where I keep my clothes. I always keep them neat and organized so they look like a fun additional accessory to the room instead of a corner to shove my clothes in. There are a few empty rungs for my roommate who had not moved in yet when I took this photo!

Beside my clothing racks is my dresser:

It's a cute pink one that I bought when I moved into my apartment last year. On top of it I keep three metal containers that I got when I first went to college from Ikea (where else?!), and on top of those a plastic giraffe thing you get at the zoo (I adore this giraffe sculpture; you cannot make me throw it away). On the left side is a cute candy dish I got at Goodwill for 50 cents; it's always stocked with tootsie rolls. On the right side is a fun pin cushion I got at Art vs. Craft in Milwaukee a few years ago. In front of everything is my ring collection that I store on a weird pair of hands my parents had in the living room as a remote control holder in the early 90s (?); I painted the base a light yellow. I hung a mirror above the dresser that my mom had in our basement and let me paint light blue.

Alright, this is my shoecase:

That's right, my shoecase. I, admittedly, have a lot of shoes, but I love and wear each and every pair. When I saw this awesome bookcase on sale at Ikea last year (I think it was $80), I had to have it; it contains cute little sketches and Shakespeare quotes that appear in doodle-form. Excuse me for displaying my shoes on these marvelous shelves.

Here's a close-up of the shoecase with one of the glass doors open:

To be continued...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Apartment Decor!

For some reason, college apartment decor has become associated with old, nasty, disgusting couches, alcohol related posters, and crusty surfaces due to the fact that nobody cleans. I'm not really sure why this is the norm, because in order to survive the trauma of college (yes, I do find college to be traumatic--sorry), I need to keep my apartment as homey, cozy, and clean as possible, otherwise I will go crazy and fail out of school.

I do not have the funds to furnish my apartment with only the finest things (plus, there is no fun or creativity in that), so it's a total mish-mosh of found, rumaged, and a few bought things that come together in perfect harmony (of an OKGo song).

Here is my living room:

The couch, curtains, and pillows were new for my apartment a year ago. The faboosh orange, leather couch is from Ikea, the curtains are from JCPenney (????!!!!??? I know! But they totally work! True style doesn't discriminate.), and the pillows are from Target. The blue side table to the left of the couch was my great-grandmother's sewing table that resided in my basement at home. My mom let me paint it, and voila! It's perfect. Had the lamp and leopard shade--duh. The square double-decker table in front of the couch was one of three tables my mom found at an antique store for $35 (as in, all three were $35 TOGETHER) and gave to me for Christmas one year. The fancy glass thing was actually an anniversary present I gave to Steve one year, but since he lives with a bunch of (BOY) roommates now, we both thought it was a good idea if I hang onto it for now; it's an antique. Phyllis is my fabulous philodendron. Love her, or else...

To the right of the couch is this little seating area:

I found the giant, groovy flower artwork at Goodwill for $4 years and years ago. I knew it would be perfect somewhere, someday, and I was right! The table that so fabulously resembles a cake was one of the three antique ones from my mom. I made the yarn pompom "flowers" and threw them into a vase I got at Goodwill for 50 cents (I recently saw the same vase in an antique store for $30!) The chair is an antique that was in our basement at home.

Facing the couch is this little "media center":

The white ottoman (which opens up for extra storage) was something I've had all throughout college; I bought it before freshman year started from Ikea. I bought the fun pillow at the same time! The green blanket was bought out of pure necessity from Target last winter, but now I don't know how I ever survived without it. My little TV may not be the most gorgeous home accessory, but I love it to pieces. It sits on top of a little, retro shelf system my mom picked up at a rummage sale a few years ago for $5. I keep some books and DVDs on it. The artwork above this area was actually a step in a silk-screening project I had to do for a class last year. The clear, plastic material has my design printed on it! My dad made a frame to fit it for me, and we painted it a pale purple.

To be continued...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

To: Steve

Steven Walsh and I have been dating for three years. I don't know how or why this happened, but it did, so I got him a present to recognize the occasion.

A bright blue wallet from Jazzman seemed like the perfect addition to Steven's everyday life in which money, receipts, and other miscellaneous objects fly about in and out of his pockets in no particular order. Alas, I did not get it to him soon enough, as he lost his ticket for the parking ramp and had to pay an outrageous fee.

Inside the wallet, I started him off with some special cash.

Steve really liked the pictures we took for the CollegeFashionista and Teen Vogue Fashion U contest, so I framed two of them in a frame that flips to reveal both (Ikea! 99 cents!).

Wrapping this present was probably the most fun I've had in awhile (I am well aware of how lame this sounds, but I can't help who I am or what I like, so I roll with it and think you should too). I started with an old box I found in my closet and some cut up and crumpled pieces of old grocery bags inside for some filling.

Look at the fun pouch I was given to put the wallet inside of!

I then printed out repeated images of some photo booth pictures Steve and I took a little while ago on some cut up pieces of grocery bags.

I covered the box and picture frame with these printed pieces of grocery bags as if they were wrapping paper, used some fun blue ribbon for some excitement, and slid the Pantone color postcard that I used as a card on top.

Three years a charm!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


So now that I've rambled on and on about being a loser, Sammy Second Place Luterbach, covered in red ribbons, "Third Party Effect" prom queen, etc., I've got some big news, people:


And it's a big something too!

This October, I will be jet-setting off to New York City for a weekend because I won a scholarship to Teen Vogue Fashion U. The best part? The fabulous Amy Levin, founder and creative director of CollegeFashionista, is speaking there! I don't think life could get much better than a weekend packed full of New York City, Teen Vogue, and CollegeFashionista seeing as how these are my three main obsessions in life.

To enter the scholarship competition that was offered through CollegeFashionista and Teen Vogue themselves, I had to say in 100 words or less why I am a College Fashionista, plus I had to send in a street style photograph of myself.

Here is the photograph I entered:

But I still think I should have sent in this one:

Or this one:

Are you ready for this, NYC?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Well, it's official...

...I'm a big loser. I'm sure all of you are nodding your heads in agreement wondering where the news is in this statement, but before you fools get ahead of yourselves, I have an announcement to make: I did not win the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and Teen Vogue contest.

I did create an awesome video with a lot of help from the ever-fabulous Steven Walsh, and I did become a top-5 finalist in this incredible nationwide contest, and I did win 18 lipsticks from the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine collection, but simply put, it felt like an enormous punch in the gut to receive an e-mail that said I did not win an entirely free dream vacation to Paris to see the Chanel spring 2012 collection, visit Coco's apartment, meet very important people, and get featured in Teen Vogue for the whole thing. Let's just say I got my hopes up a little too high; I may have even counted my chickens before they hatched. Sigh.

I pouted like a little baby brat for an afternoon, but decided that I just needed to get over it later that night (while I was in an excellent mood from seeing one of my favorite bands, Locksley, on the Terrace for FREE while sitting at a comfortable table with my boyfriend, totally capable of seeing the whole concert without some horrid person stepping on me and pushing me the entire night. Also, lots of stars were visible in the usually black Madison sky, and, no joke, I saw a shooting star. It felt like a hug from God himself).

My mom, ever the great comforter, knew just how to take care of me when I saw her the weekend after I found out I lost the greatest contest ever by calling me "Sammy Second Place Luterbach." I actually did laugh at this because it is entirely true; I always get second place. Second place is AWESOME because it is so close to first, but after receiving second place so many times, you start to wish you would get absolute last place instead just so you couldn't even come close to tasting the grandness of whatever contest/competition you're in. Call me a brat all you want, but just wait until you feel second place someday; give me a call when this happens. You will need someone who understands, and I will be there for you, no doubt covered in red ribbons.

Anyway, when I agreed with my mom about my second place status in life, she quickly added, "Except for that prom queen fluke," alluding to the fact that I was indeed prom queen my senior year of high school and that it really was rather odd seeing as how I was not in the "popular crowd." How could I be when I wore sequins and high heels to school instead of Abercrombie and Hollister? "Prom queen fluke" statment accepted. Steven (who I previously referred to as "the ever-fabulous." I take it back.) chimed in without missing a beat, "Third party effect." He further explained that he thought the only reason I won prom queen was because the other girls I was up against were all from the previously mentioned "popular crowd" and that split their vote. I got all the other votes, I guess. Thanks, Steve.

Ok, but now it's out there that I lost. I wish the winner all the luck in the world, and hope that nothing interferes with her trip of a lifetime, but just in case it does, I will be checking my inbox and Spam folder everyday if the lovely people at Teen Vogue have to inform me that I have been picked to take her place.

Just kidding.

But seriously...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mermaid Nails, Shermaid Shails.

Have you experienced the pure joy of reading Cupcakes and Cashmere yet? Read it once and then try to wake up every morning thereafter and have the first thought that pops into your head not be, "I wonder what the fabulous Emily Schuman wrote about today." I dare you.

Anyway, when I saw her post on "Mermaid Nails," I freaked out for several reasons. Here they are:
1. Mint colored nail polish was involved.
2. Glitter was involved.
3. I own the exact same glitter as Emily Schuman.
4. I love painting my nails and love when other people love painting their nails.

So, I attempted the Mermaid Nails. I did it exactly the same way Emily told me to with my favorite blue nail polish and my blue Martha glitter.

As you can tell from the picture (or not- talk about a great quality photo...), my nails turned out FABULOUSLY. If I were to do this again, I would change my glitter color by a shade because I thought it matched the nail polish too well. But no matter! I was a mermaid; I was a fashionista; I was just like Emily!
(Have you noticed my pajamas in the background yet? I swear, these are the ugliest pajamas I could have ever worn. I have much cuter jammies that I wear more regularly. I swear.)

The next morning when I woke up, I excitedly packed up my things and prepared for the epic Britney and Nicki concert that night, only to discover that almost all of the glitter had disappeared from my nails. Throughout the day, more and more fell off. Sigh. Mermaid nails, shermaid shails.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I love me some shoes.

When I was little, I would refuse to take my shoes off even as I slept. My mom would have to sneak in and silently take them off. Today, I can happily report that I no longer sleep with my shoes on, but I did buy a fancy bookcase to display all of my shoes in my apartment. I can't help it.

Does it come as any surprise then that when I had to create an object out of wire for a (miserable) 3D Design class that I chose a shoe?

I loved the final product of this project, despite my T.A. not being too fond of it.

Haters to the left.

Monday, July 11, 2011

To: Ariel

My friend, Ariel, graduated from school in the spring and just landed a job at her dream company (and obsession)-- Anthropologie's bridal boutique, BHLDN. They're opening up their very first shop in Houston, so she is moving in just a couple of weeks.

It all happened very suddenly, and when Ariel called when she first came back from Houston for her interview, she was only going to be in Madison for one last night before she was going home to gather her life and ship it down to Texas.

We went to a sweet and delicious restaurant called Brasserie V (get. the. fries.) with our respective boyfriends for a goodbye-for-now dinner, and I got Ariel a little gift that I thought was just too cute, if I do say so myself. It was simple and easy to throw together at the last minute.

A cupcake from Gigi's Cupcakes inside of a "A for Ariel" mug from, where else, Anthropologie

Inside of the cute box from Anthropologie- even their tissue paper is chic

The box closure is even more chic...

All tied together with a light pink bow, of course

Good luck, Ariel!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I am a Chef.

This summer I have been cooking delicious meals. Tonight, I believe I have made my most impressive one yet. I can say things like this because I had no idea I had it in me to make anything but Sammy Specials (spread salsa and shredded cheese on a tortilla shell- put in microwave for twenty seconds- fold up and enjoy) or Lean Cuisines. I love to bake, but cooking is a whole different game.

This delicious meal contains orzo, chicken, feta cheese, cucumber, and a delicious lemon juice and olive oil mixture/dressing thing. The lemon balancing on top of everything is just there to prove how fancy I am.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Happy Summer Solstice!

Did you watch Gold Diggers today?!


I DIDN'T!!!!!!!

Gold Diggers is seriously one of the best movies ever, and it all revolves around the summer solstice. Every year ever since I was five, I watched Gold Diggers with my mom on June 21st. Every year that is up until last.

We only owned a copy of this cinematic genius of a movie on VHS*, and when we stuck it in our VCR (yes, we still own one, but if it helps, it's a VCR/DVD combo) last year on this date, everything went horribly. The devil VCR ate my precious Gold Diggers and destroyed it. Now I can't watch my movie anymore. And I'm pretty convinced it just wouldn't be the same on DVD. There's just something magical about a good tape.

Happy Summer Solstice? I THINK NOT.

*Side story: Last Thursday, my boyfriend, Wolfman Steve, and I went to see Midnight in Paris at the Sundance theater (it was weird and wonderful- and then there's always that moment when you're thinking about how much of a genius Woody Allen is, but then you remember that he ended up marrying his daughter). They had a poster hanging up in the theater for Bill Cunningham New York, probably one of the greatest movies ever made. When I saw it, I pointed and exclaimed, "When do you think that's coming out on tape?!"Steve pretended to not know me, and when I told my mom this story, she told me I was old. I can't help it if I love me some VHS.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mary-Kate and Ashley

Yesterday, June 13th, was Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's birthday. I made a cake to celebrate.

It was a white cake with homemade chocolate frosting and fun little candies for decoration!

MK and A were my OBSESSION when I was young. Not much has changed, hence the cake.

I always had an interest in fashion, but they really inspired me and propelled my intense love for the sartorial world. Passport to Paris and Billboard Dad literally were life-changing.

Please tell me you remember their bra-strap dresses, fun barrettes, and beaded necklaces that spelled out their names.

Don't even get me started on their crossbody backpacks with sunglass holders on the front strap. I had an identical silver one from Gap. It was the greatest fashion find of my life.

Their layering techniques in this movie are still genius. And this was the start of their elaborate updos that were piecey, full of barrettes, and impossible to re-create. These updos were perfected in their cancelled-way-too-early show Two of a Kind.

Mary-Kate and Ashley are still my fashion icons, and my slight obsession hasn't quite faded yet. I think I would still be willing to sit on the floor of the Mall of America for eight hours waiting for them, only to burst into tears the moment they took the stage for an appearance.

Yes, this happened. It was the greatest day of my life.