philadelphia freedom

14 Feb

i had a nice little break the past few days as i was in philadelphia meeting my boyfriend’s brand new niece (yay!).

philly is surprisingly one of my favorite cities.  i didn’t think i would like it too much when i first visited, but it feels like a home away from home, now.  we’ve been quite a few times this past year (and by few, i mean 10), and there are certain things that i love doing when we go.  so, i thought i would share my favorites with you:

#1. capogiro gelato  i love this place so much i don’t even know what to say about it.  i can’t imagine a trip to philly without a stop to capogiro.  hands down, best gelato that will ever land in your mouth.  flavors change daily (and include such gems as blueberry campari, avocado, persimmon and sea salt.  my personal favorite this trip was pears and spiced wine.) and they let you have as many samples as you’d like!  side note: it’s also where i found philly bandz (yes, the LOVE statue is the most amazing silly band you will see in your lifetime).

 #2. anthropologie/urban outfitters.  i know, i know.  it’s sad that, with all the culture, this is listed as numero dos on my list, but these are both philadelphia born & bred stores, so we get to visit the flagships.  three words: four. stories. tall. 

 

#3. philadelphia magic gardens.  surprisingly, my boyfriend had never been here before we went last winter and he’s lived in philly all of his life.  it’s only $4 and it’s IN-CRED-IBLE.  made up of found objects and mosaics and right in the middle of south street (home of the coolest bike shops and #4 on my list).

 #4.  cheesesteaktees.  this t-shirt store is an honors lesson in being a philly phanatic.  every philadelphia sports team is represented and all with the right amount of trash talk  that you would expect out of a philadelphian.  my boyfriend picked out his valentine’s day presents here and i made sure that he got sizes i could wear as well (especially the one shown below as you pretty much just have to be human to agree with it – sorry dallas fans).
these are just a few of many things on my list and i know we’ll go up there again soon, so i’ll leave the rest for the next time.  i’ve got some grammy performances to watch (how about mumford & sons earlier??  good lord.  i’m expecting arcade fire will be just as insane.).

let the good times roll

8 Feb

i must be on a super bowl kick, cause now i’d like to post a little rambling about bowling.  i also must be on a ready made kick (go figure), cause this article is what spurred my interest.

i got dibs on yellow!

in middle school, we had the option to take “bowling” for 4 weeks during gym.  we would hop on a bus and make a field trip to the lanes down the street and bowl as many games as we could for an hour and a half.  i think that was my first time playing without bumpers and, by the end of the session, i had scored an 80 on one game (woop! woop!).  since then, i’ve always enjoyed bowling.  and, we all must admit that wii sports pretty much brought the bowling trend back around.  one of the best things about bowling is the whole setting – tunes pumping through the air, friendly (or not-so-friendly) rivalry, greasy food and cheap beers.  now, i love the midnight black-light variety of bowling and the opportunity to create inappropriate names on the score board, but i am also really digging the idea of old-school bowling.  i have never been the brightest student in math class, so this version may not be the best for me, but i’ve always tried to understand just how scoring works in bowling and i’m up for anything retro.  after reading the ready made article, i immediately did as instructed and googled “old school bowling alley” and then added “nc” after to see if there was anything remotely nearby.  i thought hardly anything would come up, but, to my delight, the first result was the alley in my college town of raleigh (leave it to raleigh to have something this awesome).  i LOVE having excuses to visit my old stomping grounds and i am so excited to plan the 2 1/2 hour trip to try this place out.  their menu looks awesome (chili on top of fritos with all the works for only $4??  i also admire that they’re not hiding that they use velveeta), their prices are even awesomer and it’s right across from the ncsu campus (go wolfpack!). 

look at these fun colors!

so… start googling, grab some friends and a freshly-sharpened pencil and get ready to get your big lebowski on!

cola fix

8 Feb

speaking of super bowl and commercials, let’s talk about coke!  coca-cola, that is.  i happened upon this article on ready made (the absolute end all be all of craftiness, in my opinion).  at-home beauty?  DIY solutions for your hair?  carbonated beverages?  check, check, and check.  my favorite shampoo in the history of shampoos is fresh’s soda shampoo (sadly no longer available, but you can bet that anything else from fresh will make you happy.  especially their packaging).  yes, it was $22 for a bottle of shampoo that lasted a couple of weeks.  and, yes, i spent all of my hard-earned cash on it in college when i should’ve been purchasing 79-cent V05.  but, the glorious soda shampoo!  it made my hair feel amazing and, best of all, smelled just like ginger ale. 

totally worth $22

so, i was hoping that the whole coke-in-your-hair thing would take me back to those days when i tried turning a dorm room shower into my own personal salon.  i have to say up-front that my results were not as great as the ready made’s tester.  i’m not sure that it really did anything, but i will say that it was pretty fun rinsing my hair in something i could get for $1 at burger king.  and i got to smell my soda in the shower!  my major disappoinment was that the fizzy, syrupy smell didn’t stay in my hair once my shower was over.  verdict: not as life-changing for my hair as i wanted it to be; but a fun, easy, hands-on (and we’re all about hands-on here) approach to making your hair last between washes.

super bowl(s of food)

6 Feb

so… i’m back!  my fall/winter was much busier than anticipated (or maybe that was wishful thinking); perhaps october wasn’t the best time to start this venture.  but things are starting to calm down and i do miss posting, so here i am.  hopefully things will be back on a more regular schedule (new year and all!).

yes, it’s the super bowl today.  and i love me some super bowl.  i will admit i am a “typical girl” and i really do not care too much about the game (and this is probably because i am not a die-hard fan of any team in particular); however, i am also a typical communications major and i thoroughly enjoy the commercials.  but, what really gets my gears going about the super bowl is the food.  i. love. snack. food.  if all of my dinners for the rest of my life consisted entirely of appetizers, that would be perfectly fine with me.  and the super bowl is the best time to bring out the big guns.  nachos, pizza rolls, potato skins… heaven.  it’s always too hard for me to choose just one thing to make/bring, but i’m telling myself to limit it to 3 today.  i’m watching the game with some of my girlfriends, so to make it a little more classy than doritos and easy cheese (besides my favorite mexican dip from harris teeter – a MUST), i am making puppy chow (chocolatey chex mix – no girl can resist!) and one of my favorites – shrimp cocktail dip.  so so simple and so so tasty.  and anything with cream cheese in it is good in my book.

i want to shove my face in this
i hope everyone enjoys their super bowl afternoon!  go team!
p.s.: how awesome is this super bowl/football round-up from ready made?!  those corn nuts are definitely in my future (and a reason to post again!).

glass half-full

11 Oct

so… i’ve been quite busy lately (as you may have noticed by my lack of posting) and nothing cures a crazy workload better than a glass of wine.  or, in my case, a mug of wine.  as much as i love my small collection of random-colored wine glasses, i find it much more statisfying to drink (red) wine out of a coffee mug.  so, last wednesday, when my long workday ended with my car battery dying, i was more than happy to come home to a bottle of my favorite malbec (thanks, best boyfriend ever!) and a brand new coffee mug in the cupboard.  i recently purchased a mug from urban outfitters (they have the best finds on their clearance table) that has kittens all over it, pawing towards the air as if you were waving a can of tuna.  or in my cat’s case, a crumpled piece of paper. at any rate, as i took the last sip of my wine, i realized that there were some red stains toward the lip of the mug.  and it looked too cute not to take a picture:

  1.     

   

i am amused way too easily.  but seriously, how cute is this fluffy little guy?:

  

       and this got me thinking, i have quite a few mugs that i love from the good ‘ol UO.

       and one of the nice things about design-y blogs is the lovely eye candy.

       so, enjoy.

(lola wanted to say “hi”)

urban knitting

1 Oct

i saw something today on farthing collective (lots of charlotte contributors for all you local people!) about a project nearby for urban knitting.  i had heard about urban knitting a while ago and have always loved the idea of going out in the middle of the night with a ski mask on, banksy-style, and making a telephone pole a little more attractive.  i actually got to see some urban knitting on a parking meter while walking down south st. in philadelphia this past winter.  such a nice little spot of color in the middle of a dreary day.  anyhow… i feel that if i tried to do this myself, i’d end up freaking out for no warranted reason because i get paranoid that the cops will take me to jail if i’m caught doing anything remotely out-of-the-ordinary.  and i’m too fragile for that kind of experience.  but!… i can now knit from the comfort of my own home and just let someone else do the dirty work thanks to this project at gallery up.  funny enough, i just knitted for the first time in months last night, so i’m taking it as a sign to participate.  submissions can be sent from anywhere and this is the perfect project for someone who’s not so intermediate with their knitting/crocheting skills (read: me). 

photo: carol hummel

for inspiration, check out the urban knitting flicker page.  here a just a few of my favorites:

this makes me wish pay phones still existed.

ahoy matey!

– i’d love to find my bike waiting for me like this.

whoa.

the un-classic white tee

30 Sep

it’s safe to say that nothing is as easy to alter as a plain white t (and i’m not talking about the band).  i can’t count the number of halloween costumes i’ve had that were made in my college dorm room with white t-shirts and some sort of puff-paint design on the front.  so, i am super excited to hang out with my favorite crowd of charlotte crafting inspiration, crown town handmade, for their make-out session tonight!

crown town handmade is a group of etsy sellers and DIY-ers in the charlotte area and they put out some fantastic work.  i can promise that you’ll be seeing some of their wares on this blog from time to time.  this wonderful collective hosts a monthly craft night lovingly known as make-out sessions.  tonight is the make-out session for october and the craft on the schedule is t-shirt revamping.   i am so ready to get my hands dirty as i have a few shirts that have already decided to do the same and need a little love.  if you’re in the charlotte area, make sure you stop by and support these lovely crafters! 

details: 7:30 pm at patchwerk playhaus, in the back room of century vintage, 1508 central ave., charlotte, 28205.  enter in the alley past soul gastrolounge and snug harbor. optional BYOB, $5 corking fee per container/6 pack. sodas for sale.  friendly faces and comfy couches to park your toosh.

and while we’re taking about t-shirts, i’ve seen this project at p.s. i made this (a great DIY project site that also just launched a book) a while ago and i’ve been dying to try it out.  it sounds easy enough for the non-sewing novice such as myself, but i have a feeling that as soon as i’d start to thread my needle, i’d just throw my hands up in the air and walk away (very beyonce-like).  maybe tonight’s make-out session will give me some motivation to actually try this out.  results (most likely hilarious) will be posted!

hello, internets!

29 Sep

so, it looks like you’ve stumbled upon my attempt at a blog.  verdict’s out on whether a “congrats” or an “i’m sorry” is in order, but welcome nonetheless! 

this is really just a space for me to share the things i find on other people’s blogs, gab about what i’m obsessed with design/craft/living/all of the above-wise and attempt to get my caboose in gear to start making things with my hands more.

i feel like i should introduce myself.  my name is april, i live in charlotte, nc and i like hanging out with friends and swapping ideas.  i like showing off my domestic tendencies and hosting themed parties.  i like trying new things (within my comfort zone) and spoiling my cat.  yes, i love crafts, but i also have never re-upholsted a thing in my life.  yes, i love food and own many cookbooks, but i also end up eating mcdonald’s most days.  yes, i love discovering new music, but i also love singing along to ke$ha.  basically, i love everything that your run-of-the-mill design blogster writes about, but i’m too lazy to make it a daily habit and stay ahead of the trends (and i also have a day job that doesn’t allow me to stay at home, make jam from scratch and paint all of my furniture 5 shades of green while i research design tips on the computer all day).  so… this space is a place where i can gather all of the things i’m inspired by at the moment (and i hope that, in doing so, i’ll actually make jam from scratch at least one time).  no promises that it’s nothing you’ve seen before, but hopefully you’ll be inspired by it, too. 

enough with the formalities… it’s nice to meet you and i hope you come back soon!