March 2013 | Chantilly

(Don't) Sponsor me in April :P

takin a break It's the end of the month, and here is where the usual "Sponsor me!" post would appear... late, of course :) And I know it can be annoying when people talk endlessly about how busy they are. "Omg, I've just been so busy! Busy, busy, busy bee!!!" .......

But the fact is I really have had a lot going on in the past few months. Since I've taken on a new job at a (really awesome) digital PR company, I've had a lot less time to think about blog posts. Along with doing that, I've been co-founding a monthly music event called the Noise Collective, teaching lessons, and practicing/ writing some new songs. I've also been having lots of new ideas for projects- such as a new EP, wanting to play more shows, and dreaming of developing new products and Ecourses. I've actually found myself exhausted by the sheer output of ideas coming out of me, while not having the time to fulfill almost anything!

So, in order to cut down on some stress in my life, I've decided to suspend sponsorships for (at least) the month of April, maybe May. I plan on taking down my whole sponsor sidebar, so swaps will be suspended as well.

I'm hoping that this month will give me a little breathing room. Sometimes I feel pressure to blog a certain amount of times per week, or only blog about certain things. Without sponsors, you don't have to consider that as much. I just want one month of deciding if it feels any different.

I might be booking spots in May again, but I'm also thinking of switching over to the Passionfruit platform. To be honest, I've never been keen on the idea of Passionfruit. Mainly because when I'm sponsoring a blog/ having one sponsor me, I like the emails exchanged. I like getting to know that blogger a little better. What I don't like is coding the sidebar myself, downloading/ uploading pictures, and remembering to post everything on time. I used to not mind doing this, but after a few years, it's starting to tucker me out. Despite my issues with it, I think it will save me work in the longrun, and anyone thinking about a sponsorship can always, always email me :)

Anyway, I hope you're having a nice Sunday. I played an awesome show yesterday at Rockwood Music Hall. Best sounding stage I've ever been on!! xx


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Travelin' Gal

Orla Kiely scarf

I have no idea why, but the extreme drapey-ness outfit makes me feel like I should join up with a van full of hippies and become a nomadic traveler. Maybe a manic-pixie nomad with an Orla Kiely scarf... but a nomad nonetheless.

Orla Kiely scarf Orla Kiely scarf Orla Kiely scarf

Also, you're not just seeing things... my hair is actually two different colors. It's a wig, of course :) It's so much fun to experiment. I would never do this to my hair, but it's pretty awesome to get to experience this style.

Orla Kiely scarf Orla Kiely scarf Orla Kiely scarf


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Honey Almond Scrub Recipe

Honey Almond Scrub Recipe

Sooo... what's up?? I've totally been sick for the past couple of days. I was laid up in my bed almost all of yesterday feeling terrible, which is why I haven't really been posting for the last few days :( I did, however, manage to make this honey almond scrub that I've been meaning to do for ages!

You see, I've been looking for a good face scrub for awhile. I used to use Dark Angels by Lush, but I didn't like that it always left little bits of charcoal all over my face. I'm also a huge fan of Angels on Bare Skin... and I read somewhere that a main ingredient was ground almonds. I also used ground almonds in my body butters last spring.

What you need:

8 Tsp of ground almonds (just grind some almonds in a coffee grinder, food processor, etc.)
4 Tsp of honey
1 Tsp of lemon juice


Honey Almond Scrub Recipe

This will make about 2oz of scrub, and I ordered a few 2oz jars from to keep the mixture in.

Now, some more about why I chose these particular ingredients- The almonds are really gentle. They exfoliate your skin while not scratching/ tearing at it. This is really important. They also leave a small trace of almond oil behind, which is very good for skin :) The honey is a wonderful addition, because it is a humectant- it keeps moisture inside your skin. And the lemon has a brightening effect :)

I personally found this recipe to be very moisturizing, while not leaving my skin oily. The scrubbing aspect was perfect- not too harsh, but did its job. Also, this is another skin recipe in which you could probably find the items right in your cupboard already.

The best part about this recipe- if you get bored of it/ don't like it, you can just eat it (It's delicious.)

Honey Almond Scrub Recipe


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How to Follow ChantillySongs


This is old news to everyone by now, but as most of you know, Google Reader is donezo. Or it will be. Officially, the service is over in July. But I noticed that I can't access my feed through my Gmail dashboard anymore. Looks like Google wants to ditch this thing, asap... the world keeps spinning, and the Internet must move on.

So in case you're still connecting with me through via your reader, I just wanted to highlight a few other options, so that you can to continue to get my updates.

Follow me on Bloglovin'

Bloglovin' is the platform that I've noticed a lot of people flocking to. In fact, when they announced the demise of GR, I was immediately flooded with a hundred new follows within the day! There was a mass exodus, and I feel like most of these readers were migrating their entire Google feeds over... which you can do too!

In my opinion, their reader is much cuter looking, and I like that they have a feature that helps you to discover similar blogs with a mouse click!

Follow me on Google Friend Connect

Google Friend Connect has been the default way for those who have "Blogger" blogs to follow each other, and automatically connects your follows with the doomed Google Reader. Now that the reader is going away, you need to have a Blogger account in order to utilize this method.

There are rumors that GFC may also get the axe, considering that they did away with the service last year for all non-Blogger blogs. But for now, it stays, and is still a legitimate way to keep up with the Blog-land Joneses. (I just said the word "blog" way too many times in one paragraph. The post is almost over, I swear...)

Follow me via Feedly

I've seen Feedly touted in several places as the greatest new way to follow blogs. I imported my entire GR feed into Feedly the other day, and I also notice all Feedburner links are redirecting here as well. The interface is pleasing, and I love how simple it is to follow/ unfollow.

The only thing I'm not in love with is, when I was checking the feed for my blog, the picture width differed when the orientation of the picture changed. This sucks because it's a pet peeve of mine when blogs can't get it together with making sure their pictures are all the same width, and I make sure that mine are. All my images are set to 640 pixels... eh, whatevs.

Follow me on Twitter

I try to update my Twitter at least once per day... sometimes I get obsessed and tweet 10x per day. I don't tend to link every single blog post there though, because I hate when I have phases of not keeping up with it, and then my Twitter feed is full of nothing but links. Still... it's a platform I'm pretty active on, if you'd like to join me there :)

Follow me on other social media platforms

Pinterest, Youtube, Chictopia. Or subscribe to my mailing list.

Alright... we've got all our bases covered. I think we're good to survive the Google-pocalypse!


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The Best Pina Colada Recipe Ever

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When I first started drinking alcohol, I was apt to drink pretty much any kind of libation that anyone put in front of me- whiskey, beer, wine, vodka... whatevs. It was all good- especially if it was cheap. 

But over time, I started to realize that I don't really like the taste of straight Jim Beam, nor do I relish sipping a warm PBR. I much prefer something that tastes good, and I can actually enjoy. And if that makes me an uncool, fruity-girly-drink lover, so be it.

So when we were in Puerto Rico a few weeks ago, the first thing I did was go for that old tropical vacation standard- the Pina Colada. However, I was very disappointed to find out that the hotel bar made them with a store-bought mix! Blech!!

Ever since then, I've been dreaming of a real pina colada. So I decided to dust this old recipe off- I've been making these for years. I don't know about you, but once you've made a good drink from scratch, you can never go back.

 We picked up some Bacardi 8 on the way back from our trip at the duty free shop, and I couldn't think of a better way to use it :) Here's what you need:

2oz pineapple juice
1oz coconut cream
1oz light cream (you can also use heavy cream or half n half.)
1-1.5oz rum
Splash of maraschino cherry juice or grenadine

Combine ingredients with ice. Shake in a tumbler & pour into a glass. Serve :)

I love that they almost look like strawberry milk in these pictures! The splash of cherry juice makes them extra delicious and extra fun. Also, just so you know, this recipe has been known to knock most of my friends socks off.



Interview with Acute Designs

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Meet Regina from Acute Designs! She is a wonderfully inspiring lady who quit her dayjob in order to follow her passion and start her own business. I was lucky enough to ask her a few questions, and learn a little bit more about her awesome journey to self-sufficiency (as well as a few silly things!)
Also be on the lookout for a giveaway later today to Regina's shop!

What do you blog about?

My life, my handmade business, {Acute Designs}, crafts/diy, my adorable dogs, and food. Lots and lots of food.

How do you stay inspired?

I just do. Not a very good answer, huh? I guess when I feel uninspired, I like to stop trying and just walk away for a day or two. I usually get a crazy idea or an inspiration hits me when I am doing something else, like walking my dogs. I randomly come up with a lot of inspiration when walking my dogs.

Tell us more about your journey of quitting your job and running your own business.

I spent eight years in cubicle jobs, babysitting, etc trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. For two years I worked in a government job for the military and was literally bored into action. I started my business while at my day job and was constantly scheming and dreaming while I was supposed to be working. That is your tax money hard at work my friends :).

My business and blog started slow and I grew them as much as I could in a year and then quit my day job. I quit a week before my 30th birthday because I knew I could not be 30 years old and in a soul sucking job without having a mental breakdown. The first year as a self-employed person was really hard. I had no money and felt like a failure half the time. The second year was much better. I felt like a switch turned on and I started to get things I had not been able to grasp before.

I am now in my third year and all is going well. It is amazing how fast time goes when you do what you love.

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What's your favorite fruit, and why?

Bananas, they are like a whole meal. And nothing beats a good melon. I can eat an entire cantaloupe or honeydew while watching TV - all I need is a melon baller.

If you could be any mythical creature, what would you be?

I actually had to google mythical creatures because I couldn't think of any off the top of my head and you know what? They kind of creep me out. I should have known - fantasy and all of that stuff is SO not my cup of tea.

Follow Regina at these links!
Blog ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter


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Wellies from Joules

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to try out a pair of women's wellies from Joules- a super cute online clothing boutique based in Britain. (Also check out these fluffy socks- a perfect compliment for those cozy, rainy-day feet!)

Is it just me, or is the term 'wellies' completely adorable? So much better than plain old 'rain boots.' Anyway, I was in fact, very interested to try these out! I've had some encounters in the past with a different brand that didn't leave me optimistic. I was hoping to have my skepticism challenged, and it was :)

American Apparel Circle Skirt Joules Wellies American Apparel Circle Skirt Joules Wellies

The experience I'm thinking about started with one particular day when I first moved to the City. It was raining and I happened to find myself near Beacon's Closet consignment store, taking shelter inside. I remember it was kind of a sad day. At the time, I was having a hard time finding a job. I would often feel cooped up and depressed in my apartment, so I would take walks around the neighborhood to cheer myself up.

On this day, I found myself caught in a nasty rainstorm. There's really nowhere to hide in New York (and Brooklyn) when this happens. If it's raining hard, you can be soaked through in mere minutes, which is what happened. Beacon's was nearby, and I decided to take shelter. The shoes I was wearing were so flimsy and waterlogged, that even though I had basically no money at time, I decided to buy a pair of rain boots from the store and wear them home.

Let me tell you, I hated those rain boots.

American Apparel Circle Skirt Joules Wellies American Apparel Circle Skirt Joules Wellies

They served their purpose at the time, but every single time I'd wear them after that, they were terrible. Sweaty, hot, heavy, uncomfortable. If it was raining, I would try to spare some of the other shoes in my closet and revive them. But by the time I'd get out of work, or whatever I was doing, the rain would be gone. Then I'd have on these crazy boots that looked ridiculous because they weren't weather-appropriate anymore, that made my feet sweat and itch.

I just had to tell you that story in order to highlight how awesome these ones are in comparison.

American Apparel Circle Skirt American Apparel Circle Skirt

I took a test drive with them when it was raining recently. And I have to say, I was mightily impressed! They kept my feet dry and comfy, so that is number one, which they succeeded at.

Secondly, I think this design is really adorable... I love polka dots! I do like fun designs, so could see myself wearing them, even if it wasn't raining, believe it or not! And lastly- COMFORT. Such an important one when you're dealing with NYC streets. I'm glad to report that they are not heavy at all, and seem to be very breathable, even though they are made of rubber. Also, they have a good padding on the inside, which provides a nice support :)

I'm super happy with my wellies :) Thank you Joules, for helping me see the beauty of them!

American Apparel Circle Skirt shirt- u.o./ belt- thrifted/ skirt- american apparel/ socks- sock dreams/ wellies- c/o joules

How about you? Do you wear wellies when it rains? xx

PS, winner of the Piper Riley Giveaway is Stacy of The Other Pocket. Congrats & you'll be getting an email soon :)
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Horseback Riding in Puerto Rico

Last batch of vacation photos here! We decided to go horseback riding on the final day of our trip. I'd never done this before, and it seemed like a fun way to round out the time spent.

Horseback Riding Puerto Rico Horseback Riding Puerto Rico

We met instructor with all her horses in a parking lot, and there was already a group of about five or six other people there. Almost everyone in our group had had some experience riding before... everyone except me. And while the idea of horseback riding seemed fun and whimsical in our hotel room, I was a little intimidated once I realized that I actually had to get up and sit on a big, huge animal. It was an odd feeling at first. But after the first ten minutes, I got the hang of it. It helped that my my horse, Palomo, was also very sweet, so that helped.

Horseback Riding Puerto Rico Horseback Riding Puerto Rico Horseback Riding Puerto Rico

I have to say, riding on the beach with these horses was one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced.

One slightly unhappy note, though- I lost my camera lens cap while riding! Whenever some of the other horses in front of us would get excited, Palomo would follow suit. At one point when the whole group was trotting along in the sand, the camera (which was strapped around me) hit against my saddle, and the cap bounced right off. I ordered another one though... but still, I'll be capless for a few weeks.

Horseback Riding Puerto Rico Horseback Riding Puerto Rico Horseback Riding Puerto Rico Horseback Riding Puerto Rico Horseback Riding Puerto Rico

Overall, it was an absolutely wonderful time. Thanks again everyone, for sharing my experience this week :)


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Puerto Rico moments

Thanks for hanging in there with me, folks :) I meant to put up these photos yesterday. But it turns out that instead, I just started typing and couldn't stop! I'm proud of that post, though. It's the truth. And I think the truth should be told sometimes... even on the Internet. Thank you guys for being so wonderful and supportive, and for your kind comments.

Well. As I recall, I did promise you more pictures... and darn-it, I intend to deliver on that. So here is a set of little moments and things that happened during our trip. I debated saving these pictures for last, but decided I'm going to post the horseback riding photos last instead. I'll let you know more about it tomorrow :)

Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico Rincon Puerto Rico

1. Matt wearing my sunglasses :)
2. We found this guy when taking a walk on the beach!
3. I love the smell of this suntan lotion.
4. Lilly pads in a nearby hotel that we snuck into.
5. Feet. Sand.
6. There were so many roadside stands... this one was selling hammocks.
7. Water sports!
8. Corona in the sand.
9. They had these amazing and very alcoholic drinks served in a coconut. They were called the "Pirate Special."
10. Sign on the beach.
11. Heart.
12. Drinks. I had mudslides the entire time :)



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