i’m not fancy

normally, i’m all about indie bands (please check out PHOX from my hometown of baraboo, wi..go, now, oh wait, no, no don’t do that…read this first and then go check out PHOX)…as soon as the band of the day starts to make its way to alternative nation, i’m on a search for the next group of bearded boys in raw denim…but then there are times when i get bored with everything…bands start to blend with the same sound, and i change the channel from sirius xmu to top 20…something completely different…enter iggy azalea’s newest song fancy…my anthem of summer…i hate to admit it, but you can probably find me in my car at least once a day rapping like the dude in office space, stuck in traffic on my way to work…but i’m a mom…and seriously, what mom raps…ok probably a lot of you, and that’s what makes you so awesome, but let’s get to the point of this post…the girls with glasses just recently posted this video, and i swear i’m rolling on the floor giggling…so watch the video below if you want to see a couple adorable mommas with cute top knots and thick rimmed glitter glasses…hopefully it will make your day a little better and you feeling a little happier inside…and if you have any bands you think i should check out…let me know guys!

pretty little things

last week i started a new weekly post call “pretty little things“. this week i think can probably tell i was inspired by summer, camping and nature…something i’ve tried to incorporate in my own interior design. i’m also getting so excited for our visit to camp wandawega…so that was channelled a bit as well.

in the list i’ve gathered below i have to admit, i do have a couple of the items…i just could not resist including them because they are just so good. my favorite item is the ceiling lamp from pieces out of atlanta. this vine pendant was one of my first purchases for the house…a bit spendy, but completely worth it. i was on a mission to replace the brass and glass builder grade hunk-o-ugliness that hung in my foyer. it is so pretty at night…if you use a half chrome bulb, it just makes the entire room twinkle. everyone from the postman to the neighbors comments on it.

i also have the beekeepers club keychain from three potato four. stu and his wife janet have been my go to for many of the antiques in the house. he also helped me when i was designing the dude’s bedroom…i needed something large but not heavy to hang on his wall…stu suggested his rhino wall hanging…it was perfect for the space. at first i was hesitant to email him for help, but he answered back right away and was super helpful…great customer service is so refreshing!

anyhoo, here is my list of pretty little things for the week. i so hope you like them…and don’t worry, the sources are at the bottom!


vine pendant chandelier and half chrome light bulbpink painting, brass legs and souk rugsouk rug, pink clay face mask, heirloom candleseaside painting and canoe paddlecanoe paddle and brass branch side tablehotel keychain and pink dino succulent plantercamo shorts and vintage arrows1 – vine pendant chandelier
2 – half chrome globe light bulb
3 – end of roll print
4 – brass legs
5 – souk rug
6 – artisan canoe paddle
7 – clay pink mask
8 – izola heirloom candle
9 – dark seas print
10 – brass branch side table
11 – motel keychain
12 – pink dinosaur succulents planter
13 – camo shorts
14 – vintage arrows


photobooth nerdery

house of hipsters

ok, so you are really going to see my photobooth nerdery come out in this post…i apologize in advance.

this past weekend i got to to totally geek out at the international photobooth convention hosted by photobooth.net and  a&a studios in chicago, il. it was open to the public to celebrate the wonderment that is the photobooth, and man o man was it cool! i met so many booth nerds like myself! however, i think the proper term is “like-minded booth lovers” but i digress.

hidden face

artists, collectors, photobooth enthusiasts, and other owners flew into chicago to attend this great event…i was so lucky i was local and it only took me 36 minutes to drive into the city…and i found free parking…which is practically unheard of! the entire day was such a great experience…swapping tips and tricks, attending workshops, and just soaking in so much information from experts on the machines.

photobooth art

so first and foremost, where was it held? at a&a studios…owned by anthony vizarri (and his adorable wife andrea), together they have dedicated their lives basically to preserving the vintage beauty of photobooths and analog photography. they are also the guys that built my model 20 booth. anthony had 8 working booths…color, black and white, sepia and digital available to use all day long for free plus admission. each booth is vintage and has been restored by anthony and his crew. his attention to detail is incredible and what a unique experience to see these booths up close and together in one room! seriously, i’ve visited the studio a few times, but nothing like this…truly a once in a lifetime experience that i’m so thankful i was a part of.

classic model 11

rob's digital booth

the boy was ever so sweet to let me attend by myself, sans babies…i was able to spend the day really focused on learning. i sat in on a couple saturday workshops — photobooth art techniques taught by meags fitzgerald and photobooth anatomy & diagnosing problems taught by todd erickson.

Photobooth Convention 2014 - Chicago

the first of the two workshops, photobooth art techniques, was awesome and so creatively inspiring…i was unfamiliar with meags’ work until saturday. she is an artist out of canada (with an adorable top knot btw) and just published a book, “photobooth: a biography” that i purchased before leaving and have not put down since…chocked full of valuable information…her workshop also introduced me to the work of jan wenzel and his book fotofix (for which i’m on a mission to purchase under $200)

meags gave the class ideas and insight on the many ways to experiment with booth photography…how to magnify your image without using a computer and keeping it in focus, creating gradients and tints with gels, filters, photo collage, rearrangement, using masks and backgrounds, and even ideas for creating short stop motion animation.

photobooth love

my big question was how on earth do you create a full body image in four frames…she taught me that by griding out the cabinet with string just outside of the camera’s view and lots of patience and trial and error, it can totally be done. however, to add your feet you really must be ok with a bit of cut and paste. upon my return home and after the babes went to bed that night, i spent some time trying to perfect it…after an hour, came close and called it a night…i think i need a box instead of my stool…and possibly a bit of contortionism…and a tight shirt helps. i was wearing a denim shirt over my tank and when i bent down, the shirt shifted making an uneven transition between the 2nd and 3rd frame

vintage photomatic photobooth

i also met tim garrett who cofounded photobooth.net. the studio had a small gallery showcasing some choice pieces created by tim and other artists. he was kind enough to teach me the magic of how he created the image below, and also invited me to view an amazing mosaic of his wife that still is rocking my brains…it was such an honor to be in the presence of these artists. they were so kind and each one really took the time to listen and answer questions. what they create is pure magic that makes my heart sing.

artist tim garrett

during photobooth anatomy & diagnosing problems, todd erickson taught me so much i couldn’t write fast enough! todd owns photo booth memories out of st paul, mn…and he is a genius! one thing he really emphasized was his booth photos with take your breath away, and if you maintain your machine and follow his tips, you can have the same results. and his wife leslie is a super sweet 2nd grade teacher. they were such wonderful and nice people to meet.

some of his tips were to swap tanks 6A and 6B to make your clearing chemistry last longer…sooooo smart! add more bleach to the tank when you start to have dark streaks instead of changing out the entire tank. check your chemistry first in troubleshooting…developer should be all black, bleach should be orange, clearing should be white and toner should show your image. change the oil in your transmission every year…must ask anthony and rob when they think that needs to be done in my booth that is only used occasionally. use synthetic oil in the tranny…it needs a fresh quart. check the little things first before you diagnose a bigger problem. to remove the metal shavings out of the transmission, place a magnet in the drain hole. to get more contrast, use a booster in the second tank of the developer…sorry folks, i’m typing all this in here because i never want to forget the wealth of knowledge this man gave me.

hipster familyhipster family

hipster vintage camerahipster photography and vintage camera

before i left, anthony gave me a couple a&a t-shirts and sold me a couple batches of chemistry. i left with a new found love for my booth and a desire to rekindle my passion for analog selfies. i can’t wait to try out a few of meats techniques and will be making a trip to paper source soon for a few new backdrops. i can’t wait to share more with you soon!

hawaiian hipsters

feet in a pool

reluctantly, i’ve returned home from a two week holiday in maui and kauai. every year the boy and i try to get away, and maui is usually where we end up, our safe spot so to speak.our easy spot. to plan a trip somewhere new with 2 small children can be a chore, even when going without the babes…we use to be so spontaneous and sadly now, we’re very predictable. so i wrote this post for those of you who might be thinking about visiting and also for me to remember where i’ve been and what i loved

Flying First Class

my parents gifted us a trip to maui last year for our 5 year wedding anniversary sans babies. this year, i counted my blessings when my husband’s company gifted us a weeks long stay in kauai. after somehow conning the grandparents to again watch the kids for 2 weeks and cashing in miles to upgrade to first class lay flats, we were on our way to spoil ourselves with some well deserved r&r!


this was my second visit to the island of kauai, but the boy had never been. with it being a working vacation for him, many of our activities and dinners were planned, but we still had time to venture out on our own. his company blocked out rooms at the grand hyatt in poipu and we were set up with a beautiful ocean view.

they sent us out on an atv tour that was gorgeous…got a bit dirty but we came prepared (we did the atv tour in maui the year before and packed old clothes that we didn’t mind completely ruining…you will come back with dirt in your belly button and every ear crack)

Lumahai Beach Kauai

chicken in kauai

dined at some fabu restaurants (dolphin, beach house, red salt, ), visited a familiar hidden beach…lumahai, practiced yoga, saw some chickens, and drank a few piña coladas…i even discovered a not so fattening version called the skinny piña at the grand hyatt…it’s pure genius. do eat at living foods market and cafe…seriously, go here everyday for breakfast if you can…the service is great, the food is outstanding…farm to table fresh

Hamura Saimin

the quest for the best ramen has always been a thing of ours in hawaii…it started out with star noodle in maui but after talking with the atv guide we were told to visit hamura saimin, a fourth generation noodle stand that was packed. oh, and apparently in kauai, you don’t refer to it as ramen…it’s saimin…and it is good. you can’t go wrong when 3 sweet little old ladies are cookin’ up some damn good noodles and the restaurant is 3/4 filled with locals…try the lilikoi chiffon pie and this amazing warm bun that is filled with pork!

aloha maui

the time soon came to hop on a plane to maui. apparently when you visit the islands more than 2 times you are considered a regular…being our sixth time we knew exactly what we wanted to do and where to eat, but we also had a couple new ideas

before having babies i was a scuba diver but fear has set in a bit…100 feet under water was not, in my mind, the most responsible thing to do…so on mother’s day, the boy treated me to the most luxurious day in my life! a full day at the ritz carlton wailua spa 4,200 miles away from my children…peace and quite…and it was also a way for him to get on a dive boat without me

i chose the cocoalicious body scrub plus a 80 minute massage followed by the nuface facial and a lavender pedicure by this super sweet woman named elle…bliss I tell you! pure bliss! minus missing my babies, i don’t think i could have had a better day! btw, i did FaceTime with them that afternoon…so i’m not a completely horrible mother

young boy fishing in hana

mala restaurant

we ate at our choice favorite restaurants: mama’s fish house in pai’a, mala, lahaina coolers, fleetwood’s on front street (please try the lime in the coconut beverage), lahaina grill and everyday played one of our all time favorite games that can only be played in hawaii, “rich or homeless”. there are so many dudes that walk around that you think are homeless but drive away in a bmw. it’s a very difficult game, and one day i aspire to be one of those dudes…the rich one that is…so laid back and relax. spent the day on a boat, deep sea fishing in super choppy waters, well, the boy fished, i barfed

oh and i can’t forget to tell you about yoga! i had the best vinyasa yoga session with jean marie at island spirit yoga in maui…a tiny little studio in a strip mall behind the ace hardware. she had this wonderfully calming voice and spoke in this cool laid back way, explaining the poses and helping you visualize how to “be” in the pose. she explained how her little white dog had the best downward dog…and i could visiualize that dog and how the pose was suppose to look and reach just a bit more. she taught me to protect my wrists and where to put my weight. she is only there once a week, so check the schedule and read her blog here

jesus coming soon

every year we visit, i take a picture of this sign. although i’m not super religious, something keeps drawing me back…maybe it is just the fact that it is jesus in neon lights, but there ya have it…that is my big trip to hawaii. until we meet again maui, aloha

under the banyon tree in maui, lahaina

shimmy shimmy

urbangirl.com office supplies with kate spade stapler

the other day i realized i didn’t have a stapler in my office…i usually run upstairs to borrow my husband’s swingline, but i suddenly remembered a pretty lucite and gold stapler i’ve been pining away for on the internets for a couple of years now…it made a list, but i never purchased it until last friday. i came home from work yesterday and saw the package, but decided to wait until the morning to open it…i mean, i knew what it was…it was a stapler, a pretty and shiny stapler, but really, just a stapler.

this morning i finally grabbed the package from the kitchen table and began to open the small box. normally, online shipping boxes contain the item you ordered, some bubble wrap (if you’re lucky because bubble wrap can be SUPER fun) or craft paper and an invoice. but this box was different…it contained a personalized note in an envelope with my name on it…and not just a “hope you like your new stapler” note, but a really fun one i’d like to share…so here it is, word for every adorable word:

yoohoo, hey kyla, hey girl in illinois
i lived in champaign/urbana for a short time a long long long time ago! anyway, we are thrilled you have found urbangirl.com and thank you for ordering — i’m the messiest writer! you’ll be stapling pretty!
shimmy shimmy,

it’s true that good things really do come in small packages because they included not 1 but 2 coupons for me to use on my future orders…i mean seriously, how super sweet and cute and personalized is that note? a complete rarity! in fact, i can think of only 2 other online stores that have written me personalized notes…trina turk and imogene + willie

a handwritten note goes a long, long ways with me. it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, i will remember, and i will tell my friends…so friends, visit urbangirl.com the next time you are in the need of office supplies (and who doesn’t get giddy over pretty office supplies anyway). as an added bonus, they are a woman owned company and us girls have to stick together. i’m also thinking of stealing dyan’s sign-off as my closing for every email — “shimmy shimmy”

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