and for me.

write this down.
these are my sizes:
ring 5.5 // shoe 6.5 or 37 // dress xs or 0

i 1. wear the grossest sweat pants to bed everynight (but i love them and to adam's unfortunate eyes, i can't seem to part with them) so i could use a cute comfy pj set/romper
2. silver rings fo my fingas // 3. the best version of this popular bootie
4. i need practice tap tap tap // 5. make me a huxley that i can carry everywhere // 6. purrfect tank
7. a rain jacket // 8. hybrid grunge + scottish skirt // 9. continuuing my obsession with onesies
10. for the pair that huxly ruined, simple black sandals // 11. classic black satchel // 12. i hope your wifi dies
13. cat purrse // 14. fur collar coat // 15. more meowtal!
16. perfect pump // 17. what's a list without chevron? // 18. scottie tic tac toe


gift guide for your bes frann (who is also a girl)

i would also like any of these items on this list. so really, a gift guide for me, although i'll probably make one of those later...

polka dotted shoulder bag // a string of pony lights
set of tiny wishbone earrings // set of Jane Austen books
pow! pow! mittens // holographic nail set
andy warhol case // dry highlighter pencils
quirky glasses shaped hair clips //
gift of sweets
delivered to their doorstep every month

check out more holiday gift guides, bc they are so amazing...


gift guide for the coffee lovas

Coffee people are smug. Make them more smug with these gifts.

coffee lover and world traveler // cup of java for the optimists!
best single cup of coffee ever // play scrabble and drink at the same time

gift guide for ya pops

He's gonna want these.

stretch insulated north face gloves // nomad travel gift set
 ipod/iphone alarm clock // high-tech water bottle
grooming and shaving kit // bi-fold slim leather wallet


See more tubular gift guides here.


gift guide for yo momma

Yeah, your mom wants this.

pearl bracelet //garden maker kit // awesome decorating book
deluxe hand cream set // picture of your child's artwork or your artwork, duh
screen-printed berry tea towel // all natural peppermint pumice soap (yum pumice)
and a super soft casmere scarf

also, follow my pinterest for more ideas.


one stop shop gift guide: etsy

so, during the holidays i like to do 80% of my gift shopping online.  and i especially prefer when i can get most of my items from one store or shopping portal.  i will be doing a series of gift guides this holiday season that will showcase a range of items for different family members from one store. i'll try to keep the prices of each item below $100.  i'm starting with etsy because they have so many unique and inexpensive products you can buy for others. 

// triangle necklace // silly calendar // driftwood docking station // cognac leather tote // herbal soaps //

here are some ideas for each type of person:

- calendar
- holder for supplies like pencils, pens, etc
- mouse pad
- iphone/ipad case
- cool paperweight
- coffee mugs

- organic all-natural soaps
- all-natural linens
- cute garden markers
- natural jewelry
- paraben and toxic free cosmetics

- handmade aprons
- pretty coasters
- delicate necklace
- handmade cutting board
- pretty red clutch

- leather travel pouch
- vintage silver travel bar
- leather iphone case and wallet
- gourmet popcorn seasoning set
- manly hand lotion and knuckle wax

- funny spoon
- kitty mousepad coaster set
- custom monogrammed guitar pick
- mini planter for your bike
- polka dotted circle scarf
- funny wine tote
- floral stationary set


christmas decor part one

thanksgiving, check. christmas decorating, check.  we went to michael's and target this past weekend (bad choice) it was incredibly hectic, BUT we did manage to snag some great deals on holiday decorations and crafts for up to 50% off.

at michael's i bought wreath making items, garlands galore, and scented pinecones.  but i thought i would try my own diy with a foam cone and some string and wire straw.  i saw some colorful trees at target, but they were about $20 a pop, so i thought i would try to create my own natural-themed trees.  it's pretty easy, all it involved was some sort of straw coil, glue gun, and tree-shaped foam. 

i also added some bits and pieces of our holiday decor, not quite done yet, so i'll update on our progress in a week or so.


PBB or the Perfect Black Bag

hello. welcome the perfect black bag. and no it's not a celine or a mulberry or a balenciaga.


november outfit for the ones with low bank accounts

i like to spend my free time perusing the online shopping world, pretending to add things to my virtual shopping cart and then sadly realizing that the $300 pair of shoes in my barney's cart won't ever make it to my doorstep. so, i compiled a list of nicely priced items that will add some pizazz (what a gross word) to your closet and allow the banking gods to smile kindly upon you.  


delicate statement

this week has been rough, i think it might be the combination of hurricane weather, stress, work, and my daunting list of "things to do" that keeps popping up on my phone. i thought i would add some sparkle to your mid-week...

catbird bangles // sharktooth rings // of a kind bronze sugar ring // pocket necklace


google it?

i thought i would end my week and start my weekend with a post about questions. what do you do when you have a question or you're wondering about something? yeah, that's right, you google it. and no i'm not going to put parenthesis around it because we all do it. (but you can imagine me doing air quotes if you wish)

also, when i look through my google history it's pretty reflective of what's been going on in my life...i'll even provide the answers i found in my search, but don't judge me based on my questions, judge me by what an amazing google-r i am..

- Are sulfates really bad for your hair? Yes and no. Sulfates are apparently used to break down the exterior of your hair follicle so water can penetrate your hair (making it wetter) and produce a lather with your shampoo soap. Some good explanations I found are here and here and my favorite explanation from blacknap.org if only i could relate to all the articles on that site...

- How can I clean my dog without giving it a bath?
Pretty much I'm SOL. And the reason why I googled this was...


black & white fall

below are some of my top picks for fall.  i love the idea of mixing textures and creating balance...and what a better way to do that with than black and white?  voila! a pencil + a sweater...duh.

1. acne wool leather sleeves biker jacket
2. yellow pencil skirt
3. polka dots!
4. chunky booties
5. tassel satchel
6. leather shorts



i like the idea of sheer. but dirty sheer with touches of color created by beads or embroidery.  especially nipple coverage sheer. man that takes dirty sheer to a whole 'nother level! (take note that many of these are from the 90s, elegant grunge.)

images from middle:  prada, spring 1997, exposed black bra, neon beaded, lace valentino s/s '12, beaded 1924 via the met)

now to satisfy your sheer craving--pleated white strapless tunic, tights--a given, holy cute blue stripe skirt, black sheer duh..and if need by go to your local craft store and dance through the aisles wrapped in tulle.


italian old style

indicative of how my september is fairing. also so eloquently put by my les lover bee, but paired with an equally elegant and eloquent typeface.



the title has nothing to do with this post. it just so happens to be the word of the day on dictionary.com.

a couple nights ago adam and i were hunkering down like we normally do before bed--fluffing pillows, grabbing books, finding the remote, and shoving huxley out of our way (he likes to sleep on the pillows aka my head) we turned on the tv to channel 42 which is the only channel that plays family guy reruns around 10 or 11 pm. it was that episode where peter does that news segment called, "you know what really grinds my gears?"

(side note: i just found a day old raisinet under my keyboard...sad? maybe. delightful? yes.)

anyway, so i started thinking about what really grinds my gears while i was falling asleep. i couldn't fall asleep because i was thinking about all the things that really irritate me so i thought i would write a grievances/pessimistic post. in bullet point form, naturally:

- political campaigning on facebook: this may be a little overdone, i think most people find it annoying when others post their political opinions on social media. but it's not just posting your opinions, it's making broad general careless statements accompanied by an equally dumb "funny" photo that really irks me. do your research and post less about boring politics and post more pictures of your cute baby niece or a labradoodle puppy or you and your sun-baked friends at the club.

- the mall: since when did going to the mall become a chore in which i dread? i want a pair of sneakers, but i must go park in the outskirts of the parking lot, travel through a crowd of shrieking children, maneuver an obstacle of teenagers wearing too much cologne or perfume, weave my way around a nordstrom trying to find an escalator, find a shoe store that doesn't have my size, back track and leave the lairs of satan empty-handed. once i had a panic attack in the mall so i made adam sit down with me at a max and erma's while i ate a cheeseburger.

- train the band: i thought they died along with the early 2000's? and if they could take the rest of the billboard's top100 with them that would be great too. thanks. 

- bums: i can't walk down two blocks in norfolk without being heckled or sniffed at by a guy pushing a shopping cart. come ON. i'm just trying to walk my dog and he doesn't know that all you want are 50 cents or a cigarette. actually, he would probably find great enjoyment in licking the nasty grime off your fingers and face. gross.

- conspiracy theories: shut-up. just stop. i felt ill after reading this article that my friend seth posted on his twitter today. the fact that they're under 16 says one thing, but of course your 140 character opinion posted on a transient form of media outweighs the years of research of several departments in the government (not to mention hundreds of years in history). 

- bad attitudes: it doesn't make things easier. in fact, you're just making it worse for the rest of us.

- chris brown: if you can't agree with me here then you should probably stop reading.

- social networking etiquette: or really, lack thereof. example: on instagram, don't post 5 pictures in a row of you in traffic. i can tell. it started with the coffee you drank this morning, to the bagel in your hand, to the view outside your window, to the snapshot of the song you're listening to, and the self-portrait of you without a seat belt tagged #fashion #curls #instababe.  eyes on the road please.

also, please keep your intimate relationships private. i think it's great that you're in love and have possibly found your soul mate, but after the third picture of your hands interlocked and your kissy-fish face next to his "funny" face or the thoughtful thing he did...it makes me want to punch a fat baby. don't you want to share those moments between the two of you? instead of statuses and tweets that you think validate your relationship, it just makes me wonder what you're trying to hide.

- reduced fat oreos: are you insane? these taste nothing remotely close to an oreo. get out of here nabisco.

- unnecessary curse words: in work and especially on public forums (i.e. facebook, twitter, etc). it's not classy.

- professional sport seasons: for christ's sake, does your bathroom need to be painted maroon and gold? your allegiance to the redskins doesn't mean anything to me while i take a crap in your bathroom; what i really want to know is where you keep the reader's digests. you don't need to post scores either, or yell across the work parking lot about how much the other guy's team sucks...we all know...it's been trampling my newsfeed since monday night football, and it's thursday.

i'm sure this list could go on. and after re-reading my post i realized more than half of them had to do with social media, so...good thing my job is handling and coordinating social media accounts for my company :) feel free to spew more hate in the comments. xx


two hundred

Music was streaming out the speakers, "we're just killing time all over this place," and I ran my finger across the dashboard picking up dust and memories on to my finger. If I took a closer look I could probably see a flashback to five years ago; someone else would be in the passenger seat with her legs propped up, windows open, hair blowing, and suntan lotion fingerprints smudged on the window. He would glance over with a wistful smile wondering what happens after this and watches while she pulls her hair up into a ponytail.
Everything in morning seems so innocent.  The group of men shuffling down the sidewalk, weathered by the summer sun, laughing and joking about adventures long forgotten, or the kid on the skateboard whizzing past with his headphone speakers blaring and a binder tucked under his arm thinking about his first week at school. I make eye contact with a lady holding a shopping bag, her eyes quickly look away, but I can tell she was amused by Huxley nipping at my ankles and chasing after the beetle that scurries across the pavement.

Fast forward nine hours and the street lamp lights are flickering over the U-haul parking lot casting shadows that imitate monsters I remember under my bed. It just stopped raining, but the air is so thick I can feel it wrap around my body like a heavy blanket.  I hear a shout from the distance and I tighten the leash around my wrist and a breeze picks up catching the little hairs on my arms. I smell trash and oil, and I can see a dark figure hustling down the street carrying a box or garbage bag.  He drops something metal and it clatters on the cement, his head turns to my direction and I quickly duck my head and walk the other way.  The night is not so innocent.  

It reminds me of the changing seasons or the shift in someone's character. It is so black and white, but blends unnoticeable in the shades of grey.  I miss the mornings where I had faith in humanity and no one scoffed at the notion of a person being good.  Now I must place my head in the darkness waiting for the worst, and when it doesn't happen and everything is fine, people move on.  But me, I hold on to that light, cupping it in my hands watching it glow until it slowly burns out.

photos by lucie & simon


and with money to spare and with nights at the end

i thought i would update you on how my summer has been. on a scale from 1 - 10 (10 being awesome) it's at a 8.75, that's pretty fair.  i did several things that happened on the regular and some that were the only events documented on my phone:

i had many puppy kisses and heard a lot of adam giggles.  i think i was in bed for at least 65% of the summer, basically doing nothing but rolling around in my bleach-stained sweatpants eating nutella out of the jar. i think we can also add that to my "favorite activities list" if i ever make one of those lists.

we went to the beach. a lot. we slathered on that spf 30, grabbed our chairs, 6-pack of budweiser, and a trashy magazine and headed out the door every weekend.  i think someone said we were "beach bums"? sure, if relaxing for 3+ hours while listening to ryan adams on your music bullet, sipping a frosty beverage and inspecting the creatures that walk up and down the shore is being a "beach bum," then add that to my google+ profile. i will flaunt my beach bum-ness all day long!

uh, we hung out in bed a lot. pretty sure this was after a marathon of "friday night lights" where we continued to speak like tim riggins and lyla garrity for at least 3 solid weeks post season.  my stomach still drops every time i think i won't get to see coach taylor give another locker room lecture in dillon texas. (side note: we also browsed a lot of internet memes whilst in bed--top 10 favorite activities list as well.)

frands visited! and every time a friend visits we have a "fat-kid-tour-of-norfolk."
this consists of hitting up our favorite places to eat:
- cogans
- no frill
- twest
- skinny dip
- ten top
(when britt and adam visited we added kelly's tavern, might i add that kelly's has spectacular fried potatoes AND they give you ranch without even asking. wtf!)

i went to the norfolk zoo and it was awesome. i will compare it to the san antonio zoo, which if you have not been to and you live there, go, it's fab. i got to frolic in my natural environment, as seen in the below picture. and don't confuse it with a rabies outbreak, that is just me in a state of pure excitement.

july 4th was cool because i could find a reason to wear/buy these sunglasses. that is all.

i went to new york! twice, and i will going again in september. this most recent adventure was filled with outdoor concerts, sketchy encounters, polish feasts, and smelly bus rides. we went to an after party where my skirt became the floor mop and several doughy hipsters gave us the evil eye. me no care! my budweiser was $4 and i got to dance to swedish band little dragon at this asbestos covered bar.

and don't forget the star of this blog, huxley bear. he turned one year old and he's not even showing any wrinkles. what a honey boo boo child.

(source: my instagram (follow me @helensta), anders sexcellent photo skills (@larssonanders), and seth's long arm (@seff86).



My head lowered to the cement ground, and my newly cut bangs fell in front of my face.  I brushed them away and allowed my eyes to dart back and forth catching glimpses of metallic rocks embedded in the pavement.  I let them go from the end of the parking space all the way to the handicap sign painted in front of my feet.  For some reason I thought I could decode a message the shapes in the ground were making--the oil splatter to the left, leading to the cigarette butts on the right.  They were saying, "Let your mind race, but your body move slow."

My body answered back with the slowest moving limbs.  I could feel a lazy mass creep from my fingertips to my shoulders.  It traveled up the bones in my neck to the base of my skull. I let it slide over my brain, sending signals to my eyelids and I could feel each one of them shut over my eyes. 

I thought about how lucky I am and how sad I felt sometimes. I could feel my legs sensing the confusion, and I could hear my heart warning me about what may lie ahead.  And I felt pure happiness yesterday afternoon sitting in my car, but I couldn't tell if it was from the warmth of the seat belt that fit snug across my lap or the anticipation of holding hands with my best friend.  I let myself believe it was both.  It all felt so right that I kept double-looking both ways when I crossed the street; it was in fear that it could be easily taken away from me.

No one ever tells you about the anxiety that follows the feeling of happiness.


we'll float around and hang out on clouds

I ruffled through my purse trying to find that little leather pouch with a landscape of Maccu Piccu engraved on the front; the damn zipper is broken so I have a safety pin holding it all together. It's in such shoddy shape, it might as well be a creeping analogy of my life. I dump all the pills out, take an extra just to be sure, and force myself outside.

"I smelled your clothes, there were flakes of skin beside your hoodie, I put them up my nose." Over and over again, this song always plays in my head at the most uncomfortable moments. My teeth are jittery and my arms show goosebumps even though it's probably 95 degrees outside. I try to focus on the street signs, "Okay, so if this is 4th, then this way must be going south." Wrong. Maybe the south will be good for me. All this grit and grime; sometimes I would try to find the tallest building and take the elevator to the highest floor, just to get my head out from the basement clouds. I would use the building's public lobby bathroom, stare at myself in the the reflective cool marble, seeing it mock the sweat that was dribbling down my back and around my hairline.

I didn't get enough sleep last night, I stayed up too late hanging out on someone's rooftop talking about shit that magnifies any life experience into something you might call jaded. It's kind of funny how a city does that to a person. Everyone sneaks in and out of bedrooms, and they all come out all blurry-eyed and talkative, whatever, no amount will permanently enchant your life. We're all just sad unoriginal versions of someone else.


you were always weird, but I never had to hold you by the edges like I do now.

hi there. it's been awhile, and i have about an hour to kill (it's not 4 pm on a thursday or anything...) so i thought i would share a post on authenticity and being honest. the truth is (ha ha) i'm really bad at being honest and straightforward. i admire those individuals who say what they feel, when they feel them, whether or not it is popular opinion. and it takes a certain amount of bravery to speak up; it doesn't count when you're nodding your head in agreement at the computer. so to take a baby step forward, here are some honest things about me:

- i could never be a vegetarian (and if i wanted to be one, it's because i want to lose weight)
- based on the above statement, i will admit that i am incredibly vain
- i care about your opinion of me
- i easily forgive (my mom says it's because i have a "pure heart," and i think it's because i easily forget)
- i don't know any of the lyrics to any of those dumb bar songs aka anything by journey, billy joel, U2 etc
- i actually had to google "popular songs that people play at bars" because i seriously don't even know the artists who play them
- i use thesaurus.com almost every day so i can sound smarter
- i won't remember your name
- i'm a christian
- i hate my teeth
- i didn't notice or think about race or stereotypes until i moved to norfolk
- people who talk really loud makes me really grumpy (was reminded of this from cupofjo's post)
- i am sensitive to criticism, but i can be mean too
- i'm conservative (politically)
- i get homesick
- certain people's faces annoy me (i don't really understand it, but they just do.)
- i don't like bacon (or mangoes, or doughnuts, or the flavor of butter...actually paula deen and i would not be friends)
- i get sad a lot
- i think i'm funny
- i wear the same socks for 2 days in a row (tmi?)

and i'll end there...xx


twenty five and counting

hi. i'm twenty-five and a day old today. not sure what this signifies, but i'll try to break it down as i eat my overly acidic fruit-in-a-cup.  as i get older, there are moments when i definitely feel wiser, more reasonable, and even more attractive, but then life slaps me across the face and makes me feel like i'm 10 years old again.

this is what being twenty-five means to me:

- when you get a physical and you receive negative feedback from the doctor; i guess eating all those icecream sandwiches are detrimental to my health. do those cheerios actually lower your cholesterol like they say they do in the commercials??

- that wrinkle of my face IS NOT GOING AWAY. wtf.

- yet i still get carded...everywhere

- people are talking to me about their children like i should relate...please stop. i don't.

- you switch your guilty pleasure reading from cosmo to reader's digest or shape...cosmo scares me now.

- who the fuck is One Direction and Victoria Justice (i had to google those names btw...my search terms were "new popular singers disney boy band"--that makes me feel old)

- the contestants on american idol didn't know who billy joel was or which ones were his songs AND apparently people didn't realize that titanic actually happened. OMG.

- you spend the first 18 years of your life trying to be everything your parents are not, and the universe CANNOT stop it from happening. when you're 25, you realize how much you look, act, and behave like your makers. i mean, they molded and formed you into the pole-bearer-clone-of-their-life...it's kind of creepy if you think about it. get out of my head mom.

- two words: cyber bullying (that's an "issue.")

- i love and appreciate my family more and more as i get older.

- i realize and understand the importance of God and religion in my life, how much it can help me to be a better person, and how it shapes my decisions. i'm still in awe with what it means to have something bigger, greater and infinite beyond your comprehension molding your life, and i still have years to understand it.

- i have less friends.

- i wish i was older. weird i know, but 25 is that awkward age where you're still too young to be respected in the workplace, but too old to go back to homecoming and relate to the keg stands and dramatics of a social life and school work.  half of your friends are married with kids on the way, and the other half are still living at home with their parents.

- 11 PM is borderline past my bed time.

- you have a good understanding of what you want in a partner, and you've, at least, made enough bad mistakes to know what you don't want.

- but you're still unsure of what you want in life. (dun dun DUN...do you ever know?)

- you're still young enough that it's okay to be excited about the hunger games! right??!!?!

- forever 21 is getting a little "limited too" for me...it's not okay when i start seeing a 12 year old wearing the exact same romper as me in the line to the movies. not. okay.

- this should be the age where you stop taking photos of yourself in mirrors in your bikini/skanky outfit people. and maybe you should have stopped 5 years ago. the guys that are validating your behavior by leaving comments on those pictures are NOT the kind of people you want to attract. trust me.

- when you get older, the quality of music seems to get worse. i'm sure there's some sort of mathematical correlation to this.

- you've got a saving account.

- even if it means you only have $78 in it..

- 401K?! sure.

- i still had to google it to make sure i knew exactly what that meant..

- i combat my drinking with vitamins. (gummy vitamins) i also have a pill box. shut up.

- i appreciate the value of a good friendship. maybe we've grown apart because we're not in the same chapters in our lives and we may never be as close again, but that doesn't mean i don't miss you.

- the news still puts me to sleep.

- you're still not over that dreadful feeling that you'll never get another 3-month summer break or see a light at the end of the tunnel. and you're still trying to figure out how to look forward to something other than the weekend...is retirement really 40 years away?

- it's time to stop complaining already, by the time your twenty-five it's going to become an inherit of your personality, and no one wants to hang around a whiny whitney all day. we get it, being in your twenties is hard...but if you are healthy and loved, it's not that bad. so zip it.

- you might feel more maternal. and this totally freaks you out so you get a dog. :)

- britney spears has been around for two decades. TWO DECADES.

- i have a permanent home, i bought expensive furniture. but i'm still scared to hang things on walls? commitment issues?

- i may give a lot of chances, but my expectations are lower (that doesn't mean my standards aren't high). friendship means a lot to me and if you've brushed me off or let me down, i've already dismissed you. i'm not 13 years old; if we only talk about hair, make-up and clothes, then you're probably in the acquaintance group in my google + of life. (<--ooOo)

- and as vague as this might sound, if you don't know how to be alone without a boyfriend or new best friend, make your own grown-up decisions, come up with your own likes and dislikes, if you look for validation in all the wrong places (aka social networks, boyfriends, etc) then i can't respect you enough to be a close friend.

- julia roberts looks old. like old old.

- i own at least one thing from ann taylor. (still have my nose ring ya'll!)

- i miss being worry free, weak responsibilities, butterfly crushes, slumber parties, wearing banana clips in my hair, getting my hands sticky from eating popsicles on my front porch, asking my friends if they "want to play," dialing home phones, being excused from the dinner table, my imaginary horses, and reading under my covers with a flashlight.

- but then...i remember how hard it was back then, always unsure of myself, wishing i was prettier, more popular, scared to be who i was, wanting to be accepted...roller coaster of hormones and emotions and not having the freedom to make my own decisions.

- i like twenty-five but i can't wait to be thirty.

i look like dora the explora. denim jacket and backpack.


spring pickings

hello 90s. welcome back.
crop tops are KEY for this summer. pin-dotted grey skinnies, matched with rosegold spikes, and a glow.
i think you're ready for the summer. seriously though, that st. tropez is amazing. amazing amazing.

grey polka dotted skinnies || peter pan collar crop top || spike necklace || leather satchel ||
perfect tan || tortoise karen walkers