November 2012 | Chantilly

Customized DIY Calendar

I've literally been meaning to do this post for at least six months. I got started on it before I left for camp, and am sort of just meandering around to finishing it.

My obsession with planners and calendars has been well documented. This is one of the first calendars that really helped get me going in the last year. It felt really nice to have a place to write down exactly what I was doing every day, and simultaneously have somewhere to document ideas for blog posts, and keep track of little details like who I'm sponsoring that month, etc.

I found this post with a free printable calendar and idea section some time ago. I put them all in a boring black binder from staples, but I started thinking that I wanted to jazz things up a bit. So I decided to cover it with fabric :)

Materials needed:
- vintage fabric (or any kind of fabric, really)
- scissors
- mod podge
- if you're feeling fancy, some acrylic paint
- paint brush and/ or stamp set

binder 2 binder 4

I think a covered binder is a neato idea in general, not just for making a calendar. If you have a business and need various binders for things, wouldn't it be so much prettier to adorn them in vintage fabric? I used a vintage apron that my parents gave me. It pained me to cut into that gorgeous apron, but alas, I wasn't using it. And i have another one in better condition. So this one's life had to be served for a higher purpose :)

I started out by tracing an outline of the binder on the back of the apron. I ended up cutting slightly longer sections on the ends to fold over and cover them seamlessly. I then just mod-podged the binder section by section, smoothed the fabric over it, and let it dry! So easy. I also cut squares to cover the insides of the folder as well, so that there was no trace of the boring black peeking out.

binder 3 binder 5 binder 6 binder 7

I topped it off by turning over a rectangle of leftover fabric, and stamping it with acrylic paint. I tried to hand-paint the letters at first, but I am no artist. It looked terrible. I ended up using the rubber stamp set that I use to make my journals. I further adorned it by taking some of the ric-rac from the apron and gluing it on.

binder 8

Yay! New binder full of awesome!!


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New Spectacles

derek cardigan coastal glasses

I've been dying to write about these for at least a few weeks now, but I just haven't gotten around to it. Luckily, today feels like a mighty good day to show off my new glasses :)

I got these from Coastal through their "first pair of frames free" promotion. I'd been hearing a lot about it, and it had been a year since I got a new pair of glasses. So after looking over the site for a few days and doing some research, I picked out the Derek Cardigan brown/ pink fades. Love!!

My experience is that it's indeed true that your frames are free. However, there were coatings and shipping and handling charges. And because I have such a high prescription, I required the thinnest lenses possible. So my "free" glasses still ended up being about $100. Which I still think is a sweet deal, considering my sucky eyes.

Even so. I love them. LOVE THEM.

derek cardigan coastal glasses derek cardigan coastal glasses

I should also probably mention one drawback. I notice that when I wear them for an extended amount of time- like a full day- I've been getting optical migraines. It's usually when I'm on the computer for too long.

However, I think this might be because my official written prescription for glasses was -6.75. Last year, when I ordered glasses online I used these numbers, and they were just slightly out of focus. So I rounded up to -7 for this pair. I can see perfectly out of them, but looking at tiny letters on a computer all day are probably a bit much for my eyes to take. That's what I'm hoping, anyway. Does this sound like a reasonable explanation, or does anyone else know why this might be happening?

I'll just try not to wear them for too long/ work on a computer from now on. Until then, I'm in luvvv.


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!


Get off the guilt train

guilt 2

Wow, I feel like it's been so long since I've come here to write, even though it's only been three days. How was everyone's weekend? Due to traveling, I really couldn't fit anything but basics in my suitcase. So that means no style photos this week :( I suppose I could''ve just taken photos anyway, in my jeans and t-shirt, but I guess I was just too lazy :P

Anyway, I've been thinking about the subject of this post for a long time, and how I wanted to present it. I once read the exact title line in snippet of magazine text years ago. You know how magazines always have those random little insets with what's in a celebrity's makeup bag, or what's the "it" color eyeshadow this season. Well if you can believe it, they had one about letting go of guilt, which I always thought was pretty cool.

It randomly popped in my head recently, and prompted me to think about what I've been guilty about lately. I found that this happens way too much, and is the root of a lot of dissatisfaction. Especially as women, I think we're more conditioned to feel this way.

So I wanted to make a declaration.

I hereby release these unnecessary sources of guilt into the wind once I name them. They are as follows:

Not being inspiring/ inspired enough
It's tough to keep up with a blog, and other creative activities when you've got a life to live. And it's even tougher when you compare yourself to the people who seem to be able to do it all- people baking the perfect cupcakes in their perfect kitchens, frolicing in fields in whimsical outfits. It's easy to believe that those people don't have their own problems, but it's just not true.

I run into trouble when I strive to portray myself this way. Sadly, it's just not me. I know that posts like the one you're reading might not bring in the pageviews, but they are real, and they are how I feel.

It's not that I don't love to feel girly and magical. I do. I just need some reality thrown in for good measure.

Not being creative enough
When we worry about things in general, we block our creativity. And I tend to be a huge worrywort. I've always needed some guidance to get me back on track whenever I fall into the doldrums. Luckily, I just picked up the book "The Artist's Way," which is turning out to be pretty great so far. It helps to clear your mind of blocks, and get you in a more creative mindset.

Still. You don't need to beat yourself up every time you do fall into a lull. Actually, I think it's part of the process sometimes. You can't be brilliant every second. And you can always remind yourself... the inspiration will come. You have not lost anything.

I love getting comments, and I love all the lovely people who leave them to me! But I get this nagging feeling that I need to answer every single one, and I feel bad if I don't live up to that expectation. It can take hours sometimes to go through and respond- and I usually try to do so here AND at your website. I'm just one human. I'm going to stop putting so much pressure on myself.

Not Booking Enough Shows
There's a voice inside that tells me that I need to play more shows. Then, there's another voice that tells me to remember all the times I've played shows before, and have been disappointed. A lot of performing experiences have been great for me. But doing the club circuit in NYC (and beyond) is a grind. It's a lot of pressure to promote and bring enough people. If I fall short, I usually feel more horrible than I need to. Also, as a musician, I have this feeling that I'm "supposed" to want to perform. It's okay that I don't sometimes.

Not being "successful" enough
I've been through this with myself way too many times. The comparing game gets no one nowhere. Yet we still do it. It's a drain on your spirit, your heart, and your creativity. I often think "if I had just done this different." Of "if I just had this one thing" things would turn out differently.

But you are you. You have the things you have. The skills, tools, talent you have all belong to you. The universe gave those things to you, and just because they are not fitting into your definition of "success," it does not mean you aren't.

There! I feel so much more free after acknowledging these energy suckers, and setting them free.

Do you have anything that holds you back?
Guilt or otherwise?
Set them free in the comments. xx


♥ listen to my new record on bandcamp

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I certainly hope everyone out there is having a wonderful time with their family and friends right now. Or if not, then maybe you're having a wonderful time with your Chinese food. (Hey, it happens.) I still remember the time our family couldn't get it together enough to plan a proper Thanksgiving meal, and we ended up eating in a diner. I cried. Looking back, I think of what a spoiled little brat I was. Because the important thing isn't the meal, it's the people you share it with, right? Hopefully everyone out there has someone nice to share today with.

On that note, I'll be taking a hiatus from the blog for the rest of the week in order to spend some quality time with myself/ loved ones. It's really tempting to say to yourself "Hey, some extra free time... just think of all the work that I can get done!!" However, I'm going to try my best to avoid this trap. I've been noticing lately, my tendency to put pressure on myself, as well as put myself down for perceived "failures." I want to take some time to... not think about anything, really. Just be happy (maybe.)

Thanks a lot for being awesome readers :) xx

PS, don't forget to enter the Blowfish giveaway!!


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!


New Brunch Spot

brunch 2 brunch 4 brunch 1 brunch 3

We came upon this new little bar/ restaurant while were walking around last weekend, scouting some locations for shoots. The sign said $2 mimosas... I can't really resist a sign like that, so we had to hurry in and try it out :P While not very alcoholic (as is the case with probably any $2 drink), they sure were tasty. Certainly a change from our usual brunch spot, and we'll be trying it out more frequently!

Right now, I see a lot of Facebook updates about people traveling to get home for Thanksgiving. I've been in my own little online world so far this week... scouting blogs for possible reviews of my EP and drafting emails... something I neglected to do when the EP came out. Better late than never, right? Anyway, I almost forgot Thanksgiving was this week, but I'm glad. The holidays are coming. They make me feel cozy :) I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travel!

But hey, if you don't happen to be traveling today, don't forget to enter my Blowfish Shoes giveaway! Seriously, their shoes are always amazing. Don't hesitate to enter this thing! xoxo


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!


*CLOSED* Win a pair of shoes from Blowfish!!

Blowfish Shoes Giveaway Blowfish Shoes Giveaway Blowfish Shoes Giveaway)

Oh man, I have a sweet Thanksgiving treat for you guys today. One of you will win a pair of Blowfish Shoes!! I've adored this company for so long, and they make wonderful products. I have several pairs of their amazing shoes, and love every one.

Which pair would you choose? Maybe the excellent Tartas I wore yesterday? Or perhaps a classic cutie like Travel featured above?


♥ Be a follower of ChantillySongs blog (GFC, Bloglovin, RSS)
♥ Check out Blowfish's site, and leave a comment telling me which pair of shoes you like best!

make sure to leave your email address so that I can contact the winner.
(you will be added to my totally non-annoying email list, from which you can unsubscribe at any time.)


♥ Like Blowfish on Facebook
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♥ Tweet about the giveaway, utilizing @chantillysongs and @BlowfishShoes handles, as well as the link to the giveaway.
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One comment per entry!

The giveaway is open worldwide and ends on Tuesday, November 27th at midnight EST. The winner will be picked at random and announced a few days later.

Thank you and good luck!!


♥ listen to my new record on bandcamp

Poncho and skinnies

outfit 2 Blowfish Tarta Orla Kiely

You might remember a few weeks back, where I said we were going to try shooting outfits inside more often due to the onset of winter, and the related complications (cold, less light, etc.) Well, daylight slipped slowly away from us yesterday. And after a day of sleeping in and horsing around, there was no more time to take photos. So this was our first attempt at doing so inside... we set up a white sheet, and a few directional lights Matt got at Home Depot. I think they came out swell!

This outfit totally makes me feel like a grownup... perhaps it's all the neutral colors.

The outfit contains some of the awesomest scores. The poncho was thrifted, and the jeans were procured from Urban Outfitter's mega-sale for $10!! There were, however, some drawbacks... such as the fact that they're low-rise. Not my preferred fit, but I can't lie... they look great on me :) So I grabbed them.

It's crazy. Because of their 50% off sale merchandise sale in NYC stores, I've literally bought three pairs of pants from them in the last few weeks, all in the $10-$20 range. Stocked up, fo sho.

Blowfish Tarta Orla Kiely

Also, Blowfish was kind enough to send me their wonderful Tarta booties, and I love them. I'm constantly on the lookout for shoes like this- the heel just high enough to give me some height, but still manageable enough for city-walking. Plus the style is so cute, with the rounded toe and buckle strap. They're basically perfect for this winter.

Blowfish Tarta Orla Kiely Scarf- Orla Kiely for Uniqlo/ Poncho- thrifted/ Jeans- UO/ Tarta booties c/o Blowfish


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!


life moments

Hello there, and happy Friday :) Haven't had a "life moments" post in awhile, and I know you guys enjoy them. So I'm excited to share some new photos with you. Maybe it was the storm, maybe it was Tinderbox... either way, I just haven't felt up to taking a lot of pictures lately. These are a smattering of things I've done/ seen from the past few weeks. Enjoy!

sweet apples in the sunshine.

these two spreads taste like my dreams. and actually, this picture isn't even really an honest one. my most preferable method of eating both of these is by the spoonful.

it's getting to be cozy sock weather! these ones are from forever ago, and i got them at wal-mart. they have little doggies on the side. i also have a cat pair, but they're developing a hole in them :(

this is a wonderful bath bar that santana from curly girl beauty sent me!! i chose the pumpkin spice bath bar, and it is just divine. it lathers well, leaves your skin soft, and you smell like pumpkin spice afterwards!

in fact, if you want to place your own order, santana has generously offered a discount to chantillysongs readers. just enter the code "tilly10" at checkout for 10% off your order of $2.00 or more!! in light of this, i might be stocking up... bath bar


we dug out these candle sticks for the storm, even though we never needed them. i'm not sure i'm fond of stick candles because of the way they melt. even though it does look pretty in a gothic sort of way. also, this is one of the newest pictures that can be found in my video.

drinking some yerba mate from my maine mug to get my days started!

when at the bank the other day, the teller gave me these lollipops. it instantly made me nostalgic. i can't remember the last time i've received a lollipop at the bank.

super guilty pleasure! mcdonald's chocolate shake.

and finally, my guitar! we had spent a lot of time together in the past few weeks, practicing for the tinderbox show. i hope to keep it going :)

have a lovely weekend, everyone. <3<3



ChantillySongs Confessions! >>>


I've come across a few posts lately, and I decided I wanted to do one here for you guys. Here's the deal- anonymously leave your deep dark secrets in the comments of this blog, and no one will ever know. With similar posts like this I've seen, the resulting comments can be funny, crazy, and sad... but at least you'll have had a forum for whatever your grievances are.

So how about it? Do you have anything you're dying to get off your chest? Leave it here in the comments! Just remember to post anonymously, otherwise we'll all know about that time you farted in front of your whole class :P My only request is that ya'll please refrain from anything too mean-spirited or hateful... specifically related to things like race, socio-economics, sexual orientation, etc.

Can't wait to read!! xoxo


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!



Hello all!! How are you today? As promised, I have a bunch of photos from last Sunday to show you. My experience at Tinderbox was so special, I wanted to give you all a quick rundown, so here we go!

I started off the day by having a quick rehearsal with Owen... which was hectic, since I had to run back to the apartment afterwards to get ready and get some things sorted. I sadly had to miss some of the acts I was looking forward to seeing, but the rehearsal was much needed.

Once I got there, I spent a lot of time hanging out in the "artists lounge" upstairs. A part of it overlooked the main stage, and you could see performances from the balcony. This place was a dimly lit bar area where everyone stayed with their own entourages, and no one really talked to one another. Ordinarily I'd be put off by the snobbiness, but on this day, I wasn't really much for talking. I preferred to be in my litte corner, sipping my free coconut water.

Since I couldn't find another place to do it, I ended up having to put on my fake eyelashes in the artist's lounge, which was really not ideal. I got glue in one eye, and almost glued the other eye shut. But somehow I didn't go blind :P I'm sure it was a fun spectacle for at least some of the people there.

A few of the acts that I did catch were really awesome... a girl named Emily Wryn knocked my socks off! And Mal Blum, who I've been acquainted with for a few years, was equally great. The ending headliner, CocoRosie was interesting. Their style is very performance art-y. It actually reminded me a lot of art school. But in a good way :P

In the end, none of the stressful things mattered, and everything rocked. Here are some pictures from my jamz at the show!

This was my merch table, and some of the items on it. I've had those tote bags for a looong time. I'm probably looking to get some new stuff made pretty soon... t-shirts and stuff. If you're an artist and want to help me design something, give me a holla :) tinderbox 1 tinderbox 2

My lovely friend Jessica volunteered to help me man the table! tinderbox 3

Me & Owen (aka the best bass player in the world) soundchecking. tinderbox 5 tinderbox 4 tinderbox 9 tinderbox 6 tinderbox 7 tinderbox 8

And last but not least- here is me, Jess, and my friend Michelle who came out. I love these ladies so much! This event was so special, and I'm so lucky to have been a part of it. Props to everyone from Tinderbox for putting on such an amazing event. tinderbox 11 tinderbox 10photos by matthew panton


♥ watch my new video for "just the way you are" on youtube!!

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