dream a little dream of spring

True story: the other day, I thought to myself, "Hey...isn't there a time where you can...just wear skirts and no jackets and not be cold? What is that?" Yup, I forgot what spring was. Anyone who lives in a northern clime can probably relate. So I thought I would look ahead, past the darkness of winter, and share a little bit of springtime.

retro spring

Ahh, can't you just feel that warm breeze? Spring is all about color, of course, but I'm not married to the traditional pastels. Why say "oh, hey, here's a little color" when you can say "WOW, here's a lot of color!"? (I take the same stance on chocolate, cookies, and episodes of the greatest sitcom ever, Frasier.) I was feeling a little retro feminine flair when I made this outfit: pair the bold, fun skirt with a sweet pretty top (love that bow!). Like the rest of the fashion world, I'm obsessed with these metallic toed flats and darling little leather satchels. The earrings call back to both the chevron and geometric trend without being overly trendy and top it off with a chunky bracelet in a contrasting color. Since it's springtime, you'll obviously need an adorable pair of sunglasses too. I would pair this outfit with a classic trench, just in case you end up in some spring showers. Man, I just want to put this on right now. Why is there still snow on my stoop?

I'm also excited for...

DIY! There's a great deck off the back of our apartment that I think will be perfect for any kind of outdoor projects, like spray painting. Secret confession: I have never spray painted anything. Not even once. What have I been doing with my life??? Every DIY blogger I follow has shown me how something s simple as a can of paint can transform a piece from bland to bold. I've had this project over here waiting on my Pinterest for 6 months. 6 whole months, and look what cute stuff I could be doing with a little lace and some paint? I'm definitely hoping (as I previously mentioned) to paint our new bookcase and after that, who knows! I'm still on the hunt for a dresser for my room; if I pick one up at the thrift store, it very well could end up getting a fresh coat of paint (there's a new Habitat Re/Store that just opened up the street AND a brand new Goodwill about to open, I'm going to be second-hand heaven!).

Speaking of the deck, I'm SO excited to finally make use of it! There are already some cafe lights strung through the railings, but there's so much more to be done. The deck might be half covered in snow now, but it could look like this:

Source: shelterness.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

Wow! Upholstered furniture may not be in our future, but I definitely want at least a cute cafe table and chairs. Sitting outside on the weekends, writing blog posts in the sun? Hanging out with the lights on at night, enjoying the breeze with my roommate? Sounds just about perfect.

I can't wait for spring.

things to do: brewcity bruisers

When I was in college, the movie Whip It came out. The local roller derby team sponsored a premiere with free posters and such, so I figured I would check it out. I loved the movie (female friendships! awesome music!), but more than that, I was super intrigued by the sport. I wished I was tough enough to be a roller girl (for reference, I somehow managed to scrape my hand on the couch yesterday. The couch!), but the fact remained that I still hadn't seen a live bout. Well, no longer! Last night I checked off one of my year goals: I attended a roller derby bout! And it was awesome!

Warm-ups! Everybody was already blurry and this was the slowest part of the night!
The Brewcity Bruisers are Milwaukee's rollergirls; the league is made up of four teams, so really, it's two bouts for the price of one. Last night, we saw Crazy 8s vs. Maiden Milwaukee and Rushin' Rollettes vs. Shevil Knevils. Each bout has two periods, so we got plenty of halftime shows too! Halftime for the first bout was a dance performance by the Beerleaders; during the second, there were Racing Beers ala Miller Park's Racing Sausages (if you aren't familiar, well...it's a quintessentially Milwaukee thing, kind of hard to explain. Basically people dressed as anthropomorphic sausages (or in this case, beer bottles) race one another in a humorous fashion). The main halftime between the two bouts featured a bout by the Micro Bruisers, the youth derby league. Man, I wish I was that awesome when I was 8-17 - maybe I would be tougher today if I'd been doing derby instead of whatever it was I was actually doing (reading, probably, or theater. Both worthy hobbies, but not lending to athletic prowess).

For an $18 at the door/$15 in advance (or with a promo - K and I got a discount for bringing nonperishable items for a food drive) ticket price, you get an awful lot of bang for your buck. There was a communist lime cheering on one team, beerleaders slingshotting t-shirts into the cheap seats, and rollergirls going flying into the crowd seated around the track (K and I decided to stay off the ground level in some real seats for our first outing). If you're not familiar with the rules of the sport, don't worry! The announcers give a lot of information in their play-by-plays, and it's really not hard to pick up on the basics. Even if you aren't sure what's going on, it's always exciting to watch!

K and I came home with the urge to make our way to the local roller rink to strap on some skates ourselves (for some much slower, hopefully less hip checking fun), and are definitely planning to hit the next bout on March 9th - if you're in the Milwaukee area, put it on your calendar now and prepare for some high-speed fun!

home improvement: writing nook

This weekend, I added another room to our apartment. It didn't take any construction permits (and trust me, you don't want to see me handling power tools) or even good ol' fashioned magic - just some simple rearranging! I even did it all by myself to surprise my lovely roomie when she came home from work. The cat mostly got in the way.
From the first time we saw our apartment, I was brainstorming how we could set up the slightly odd living room. The illustration below will show you what I mean! The previous tenants had their TV blocking the front nook with the couch against the back wall, leaving the entire nook empty and useless (I think they put a litter box back there? Whatever.)
Man, how long has it been since I did an MS Paint illustration of something? ...not long enough, you say?
Look at all that wasted space in question mark land! I wasn't about to let a perfectly good nook go to waste. My plan was to put the TV on the back wall and stagger the couch in the middle, leaving enough room to access the nook. I put my desk back there as a kind of console table. Which was cute, but not really functional. So the wheels in my head started turning around and around, like they do. I eyed up the desk. And I eyed up the wall. I'm not especially gifted in spatial reasoning, but I was Pretty Darn Sure that the desk would justtttt fit alongside the outside wall.
In a surprise boon, I got some free furniture from my mom's newlywed boss (mazel tov!), and the new bookcase I brought home was just the motivation necessary to do a little switcheroo. Switch switch it went, and suddenly, we had a writing nook/office where naught but "behind the couch" was before!

I have so many plans for this nook; there's a decorative craft project I'll hopefully be undertaking soon, and I'd love to brighten the space up with more art (Belle is lonely!). Once the weather gets warmer, I plan on repainting the bookcase, so I'll have to start pinning ideas for that! (Right now I'm sort of feeling ombre on the inside? Maybe a stencil? Anything goes!) Obviously we have to decide what sort of things we're going to keep on the shelf - leaning towards more decorative, since just out of sight there are three massive bookcases double-shelved with books with more books in the built-ins AND an entirely separate shelf K is keeping in her room. Maybe I can put some of my pretty coffee table books out (they were banished from the proper shelves for being non-regulation size).

Here's a close-up of the bookcase:

It's a cute pale blue in real life, but it has a few dings (probably from when SOMEONE was trying to haul it in and out of the back of a Nissan Versa...oops) so refinishing is on the list. Oh, and up on top is a peek at an easy and quick "project" - I framed a page from my alma mater's calendar. This one is of the old-fashioned mailboxes student receive their mail in. Old-timey, black and white, a secret personal connection, AND free? Sounds like a winner to me!

As always, pics are from Instagram. Follow me there to see it all in real time!


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