January 31, 2013

Sponsor Feature & Giveaway! ~ By the Porchlight

Today's feature and giveaway has been brought to you by the lovely and talented Lesley, who runs the awesome blog By the Porchlight. And by the way, I'm totally jealous of whoever is the winner of this giveaway. That cowl scarf looks super sweet! xx ~chantilly

Well, hello there! I'm Lesley, the blogger behind By the Porchlight! I've been blogging for almost a year and am finally getting the hang of it. I love chatting about creativity and diy, good reads, good deeds and all sorts of adventures.


Thanks so much, Chantilly, for letting me hang out here today!

I've recently discovered Polyvore. I friggen love this tool! And since I, clearly, look for any excuse to use it, I've put together for you a few of my favourite things.

Fav things


Pastimes - Knitting, reading and being a cat lady
Accessory - Scarves
Books - Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum & The Birth House by Ami McKay (two of many)
Mode of transportation - My little Yaris
Style of travel - Low budget backpacking or on a volunteer trip
Favourite musical artist - Kathleen Edwards (one of many)
Movie - A League of Their Own
Summer activity - Camping
Winter activity - Hibernating
Food - Pizza
Piece of makeup - Mascara

And since I've had a lot of time to devote to my hobbies lately, I'm going to be giving away a cat. Oh wait, sorry. That's another giveaway I'm running somewhere else. I've got this cozy little cowl to give away to one of Chantilly's readers! It's handmade by yours truly, is super cozy and will look great on all your beautiful selves!


♥ Be a follower of By the Porchlight blog.
♥ Comment saying you did.

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


♥ Be a follower Chantillysongs blog.
♥ Like By the Porchlight on Facebook.
♥ Follow By the Porchlight on Twitter
♥ Tweet about the giveaway, utilizing my username, By the Porchlight's username, and the link. Example: "Win a gorgeous cowl neck scarf from @bytheporchlight on @chantillysongs! (then the link)"
♥ Follow Chantillysongs on Twitter

One comment per entry!

The giveaway is open only to the US and Canada (international okay if you pay the shipping) and ends on Thursday, February 7th at Midnight EST. The winner will be picked at random and announced a few days later.

Good luck! I hope you'll pop by By the Porchlight and say hi! 


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


January 30, 2013

Floral park

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

A few days late with posting these, but better late than never...

Blowfish Blowfish

Do you know how some certain pieces of clothing can remind you of specific times in your life? Well, me and this dress have some history together. I thrifted it back when my parents were living in Maine. Even though I think it's a cute, 90's inspired print, I used to wear it a lot during some of my more depressed days, so it has that association for me. Also, I've since lost some weight and it's a little too roomy. Honestly, this dress was in my "get rid of" pile recently... but I decided to rescue it for one last hurrah.

Blowfish Blowfish

To be quite honest, one of my favorite things about this outfit is the socks :P I ordered a few colors from Show Your Legs on Ebay, and I must say, I dig them. The material unfortunately doesn't feel like cotton (even though supposedly, it is.) But they are sturdy, comfortable, and I feel like colored socks (much like colored tights) are an easy way to jazz up an outfit. If you order a few pairs and save on shipping, they're a pretty excellent deal!

IMG_2148 Blowfish dress- thrifted/ cardi- thrifted/ necklace- etsy/ leggings- uniqlo/ socks- ebay/ tarta booties c/o blowfish


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


January 28, 2013

Good tea & good company

Hello friends! How was your weekend?

This weekend Matt's brother, Chris came into town. They went to movies, drank whiskey, and did other boy things, while I was teaching some lessons and did my girl things. I did get to hang with them at a bar on Saturday night... even though it was against my better judgement, the hot toddys helped to soothe my sore and sick throat :)

On Sunday morning, I was still feeling gross. My poor throat ached from being overtaxed, talking all night long. I opted for tea at brunch, rather than my normal screwdriver :) It did the trick. I usually drink it plain, but the honey and lemon made all the difference.

tea tea2

Ahh, brothers...

tea3 tea4

hope you had a great weekend! xx


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


January 27, 2013

Sponsor feature ~ Charlie Foxtrot

First of all, I just want to say this girl rocks! I fell in love with her blog when I first came across it in one of my blog hops. Check her out, she's awesome!!


Hey gang! I'm Erin and I hail from the prairie city that is Edmonton, Canada. I work at a TV station by day and I blog by night. I'm a video editor by trade with a penchant for photography. As much as I love digital my heart lies with film photography, and now I'm seen most weekends carrying my Canon AE-1 around. (Any film buffs out there? Come say hi!)

I'm mama to a toddler and an axolotl, although I certainly don't consider myself a mom blogger. You'll see the two pop by on my blog periodically, but I don't plan on writing about potty training or daycare anytime soon. Axolotl care maybe. ;)

I love exploring abandoned houses with my boyfriend Raimund, and I love documenting our finds on the blog. This summer we're hoping to travel around the prairies and find some ghost towns in and around southern Alberta, so wish us luck!

EA 24

My list of things I love can go on and on...road trips, guitar, snail mail, collecting Soviet propaganda, being addicted to David's Teas, Mr Show with Bob and David marathons...but I won't bore you here with the entire list.

If I've sparked your interest, come on down and say hello on my blog!


Charlie Foxtrot


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


January 25, 2013

Feeling under the weather

sick day

Friends, you're looking at a Tastycake red velvet cupcake. It's similar to Hostess or Drakes. I discovered this brand over the summer at camp. The big to-do on your nights off was usually a trip to the local bar, or Wawa a run (a local convenience store chain in NJ.) Everyone went nuts over Wawa, and I could never figure out why. Then I discovered these little cakes they sold in the stores. Then they started selling the cakes at the grocery store down the street. Now I'm done for :)

Anyway, that story really has nothing to do with anything, other that I'm holed up in my apartment with little more than cupcakes to keep me company. I co-organized this music-networking event on Wednesday night with some friends/ contacts, and it turned out awesome!! ...except that talking in a loud bar for five hours really isn't the ideal way to treat your vocal cords :( I woke up with a sore throat and feeling sick.

I'm hoping to take it easy on myself in the next couple of days, with lots of tea and rest! In the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy a sponsor feature I've got planned for this weekend, and mayybe even an edition of Sunday Songs.

By the way... just finished up season 4 of the Wire. Really sad, but equally great.



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


January 23, 2013

Blogging tips ~ Photo Backgrounds

Blogging tips

One day I found myself at Michael's, knee-deep in the scrapbooking section. I had the idea for this video for one of my songs... it would be still-motion, and I would use scrapbooking paper to make little cutouts that move around. But once I got home, it dawned on me that I'd need probably 1,000 stills for that video, and maybe five times that many individual cutouts. It seemed overwhelming and impossible. So I forgot about it, and abandoned the paper I had bought.

But my trip and the money spent was not in vain. For it turned out the scrapbooking paper was useful for something else- photo backgrounds.

Blogging tips

Having any kind of background for your photos is always a good idea. If you have an extra few seconds, it can produce a variety of of looks, depending on what you want. Want vintagey? Use vintage fabric. Wanna go clean? A white sheet of paper will do. I've used a lot of different things as backgrounds... even my own clothing in a pinch! But the scrapbooking paper has been very useful to me.

I love some of the more cutsey patterns, not to mention different colors and textures. They can convey a different feel. Does today feel like a green day....

Blogging tips

Or a purple one?

Blogging tips

Here's another interesting question- how do these different colors and designs convey different messages about what I'm shooting? What do we think of when looking at green, as opposed to purple? It's interesting to think about.

Blogging tips

Perhaps I should've used the green background for the above photo, as the purple dots makes the girliness way too overt. Then again, I favored the purple with the espresso over the green... I thought the dots gave the photo subject some depth, and the color was more vibrant.

What do you think?


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


January 21, 2013

Little red cap

Buggin' out over the fact that I actually have a new style post up this week! Feels good.

Sometimes I feel weird about posting photos of myself on the internet every week. Like... I must be really narcissistic. But then I remember that some girls post daily photos of themselves. And furthermore, who cares if I'm a narcissist. It's the internet. Everyone is!

Gabalmania wig Gabalmania wig

Anywayy. Say hello to the new best hat ever! I've been a longtime fangirl for slouchy beanies, as my veteran blog followers can attest. So I came across these ones on ebay going for a whopping $3 (including shipping!!) Couldn't resist the temptation. Even Matt tried it on, and he wants me to buy him one! Which I'm going to, because my love of slouchy hats totally extends to guys wearing them :)

I've been finding that if you search for very specific little things on ebay, there are usually really cheap deals to be had. Another example would be the pair of cutsey heart-shaped sunglasses I just ordered for around $3!

Also- you guys haven't seen it yet, but this here sweater I'm wearing has been my winter warhorse for some months. I got it in the Tulle sale back in November. It's really cozy and warm, plus I love the quirkiness of it. Sometimes chunky, bulky winter sweaters make me feel matronly. Not this one!

Gabalmania wig Blowfish tarta booties Blowfish tarta booties Gabalmania wig Blowfish tarta booties

Blowfish tarta booties
hat- ebay/ sweater- tulle/ shirt- thrifted/ pants- urban outfitters/ tarta booties c/o blowfish

So, as I'm writing this post, I probably should be in bed. I have to wake up really early tomorrow to go in for more training at a new job - teacher for this toddler's music program! I'm actually really excited about it. But I've only sat in on one class so far... it's a lot harder than it looks! I'm hoping I can hack it. We'll see :)

Gabalmania wig Gabalmania wig


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


January 20, 2013

Sunday songs ~ The Wire

Ever seen The Wire?? If you like gritty police dramas, you should totally be on that. It's one of my favorites, and is widely considered one of the greatest TV shows ever made. It's a little hard to get into at first, as the plot and characters are very complex, and the language is dense. But it's well worth the time if you stick with it! I've been re-watching it over the past few weeks.

Anyway, this is Sunday Songs. Since I've been so inspired by this show lately, I wanted to do something different and share the theme song with you :P The original is by Tom Waits, but they get different artists to record alternate versions for every season. (Tom's version is in the opening credits to the second season.)

In my book, the best cover of the song is the one they use in season 1... a jaunty blues version by the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Also, just because I couldn't resist, here's a handy video- 100 of The Wire's best quotes... and there are some great quotes on that show.
(And uh... just a warning. There's swearing, racial slurs, and violence in this video. Please don't watch if you'll be offended by these things ;)



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


January 18, 2013

A Bushwick Community Garden

It's pretty impossible to imagine a community garden, complete with chicken coops and actual chickens, in the midst of a noisy and garbage-strewn main drag in Brooklyn. Yet that's exactly what I pass by every time I walk down Broadway. Perhaps I'm on my way to Mr. Kiwi's organic store, or Little Skips Cafe (or just mayyybe somewhere less hipsterrific... like Family Dollar, or KFC :P)

Either way- a rad group of people took the time to try and better their community by installing this little oasis in the middle of all the chaos. Pretty beautiful, right?

I remember seeing people working in there when I first glimpsed it. I passed by it very slowly, trying to sink in every detail. It looked like such a little utopia that the grimy City could never touch (although you'll see remnants of the City in the pictures- like the graffiti, or the fact that I had to take the pictures through a chain link fence.) I wanted to find out more, but at the time, was too shy to go in and ask how to get involved.

On this day when I happened by, there was no one in the garden. It was locked up, so I did have to take my pictures through the fence. Still. I'm glad it's there. That people care enough to make something like this a reality. It's kind of incredible.

Bushwick Community Garden Bushwick Community Garden Bushwick Community Garden Bushwick Community Garden Bushwick Community Garden


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


January 16, 2013

New nails

coffee cup

A few days ago, a lady on the train with mint green nails caught my eye. It reminded me that that's my favorite color, so I copied random-train-lady, and painted my nails the same. It's Mint Candy Apple by Essie. I know it's not a "winter" color. And I know it's not the best paint job. It never is. I'm a pretty sloppy nail painter, if I do say so. But looking at my hands now makes me happy.

I sat on my windowsill and did my nails while looking out at my street, and it was the frigging best feeling. For no particular reason. It just was. I have chronic anxiety and stress... So moments like these are unexpected, beautiful, and such a relief.

I wish I could explain it... and I guess capturing these moments is what this blog is supposed to be all about. But no matter how many inspiring images I post, it doesn't come close to those quiet few minutes I experienced with myself and the Universe. Real life. And maybe real life is un-captureable. Something simple as sitting on a windowsill is all the healing I'll ever need. And the joy it brings is something I'll never be able to fully express.

I guess even if I tried to explain, only I'll ever know what my sloppy painted nails meant to me. Maybe it's better that way. That way, the moment will always be mine. Maybe it's not meant to be shared.

coffee mug 2


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


January 15, 2013

Easy Recipe for Croutons

Recipe for croutons

I love bread.

Or rather, I love good bread. Yes yes, I'm a tea snob, I'm a music snob, and evidently I'm a bread snob too. But that love is a difficult one sometimes. Because no matter how awesome the bread, it usually goes stale way too quickly, or at least quicker than I can eat it. And wasting half a loaf is sad :(

So once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, I had a beautiful Italian loaf in my cupboard. And as bread is wont to do, it went stale. But instead of getting all sad and passive about it like normal, I decided to be proactive about the situation... by making croutons.

I just diced up my stale leftovers into little squares. Then used about 1/2 to a Tsp of butter in a frying pan, to fry those bad boys up.

Recipe for croutons

That's it! Easiest recipe ever. Also, they are easy to store... I used a big plastic baggie. What a lucky day for this loaf of bread... it will never be stale ever again! I could also see trying different varieties. Like pumpernickel... OR ROSEMARY. Omg, the possibilities are endless.

Fresh off the frying pan. Not wasting food is pretty rad :P

Recipe for croutons


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

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