Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dollhouse: My New Coffee Table!

My coffee table has finally arrived! It took ages to ship, but it got to me in the end. I put her together today (with the help from a friend) and she is gorgeous! The cardboard box coffee table is no more! Thank you for all of your suggestions on my Coffee Table Hullabaloo post; many of you suggested this one and I really love it! It's from West Elm, if you're wondering - Link!

Now I just need to get the right decor combination for the top of the table. I put the flower vase and book there just to have something there for the picture, but those won't be staying permanently (well, maybe. But it needs more). Also, ignore the sofa pillows... I am in the middle of trying out a few different combinations, but that chevron pillow is actually for my patio, not the living room. I do really love those white fluffy pillows though - they look much nicer in person than its showing in this picture against the cream sofa.

I'm planning on getting two Moroccan poufs for the living room, and would love suggestions on which color(s) to get. I'm thinking either GoldSilverWhite, or maybe this Blush Pink. Which one do you think would look the best in this living room set-up? And should I get two of the same color, or two different colors? I'm leaning towards two of the same; I don't want it to be too "thrown together" looking.

Let me know what you think in a comment below - I read every one of them!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Ins and Outs #3

In:

Brian and Katrina's wedding. It was honestly the most beautiful and romantic wedding I have ever seen (even in movies), and has raised the standards in my mind of what the perfect wedding should be like. It was small and filled with their closest friends and family, and we were whisked away to a fairytale, complete with zebras and camels. I'm not even joking on that last part. Real ones. 



Here is a picture from the wedding, right as they were about to cut into the cake. (Yes, that's me and my friend Renee in the pink dresses under the umbrella). Katrina and Brian are perfect. (I asked her permission to post this picture :)

Working out: I haven't started working out again regularly yet, but I've decided I need to. And I will. I'm extremely motivated when I want to be. 

Friendship: I made a toast at the wedding with a friend I hadn't seen in ages to make our friendship more of a priority. Friendships can get away from you sometimes, especially when you are both so busy, and it's so important to make time for all of the important people in your life. 

My coffee table finally arrived! I'll do a post this week hopefully on that.

Healthy eating: I have started eating clean again. September will be the month of the health kick - working out and clean eating, here I come! (Plus, I gotta get back in shape for Halloween!!)

Out:

Poor Pinecone. I've been traveling so much lately between our Macy's tour and other work things that Pinecone has been so clingy. I don't blame him, but he doesn't want me out of his sight and it makes me really sad to have to leave him in the morning. Which leads to...

6am car service: Yeah. It's midnight and a car is coming at 6am to pick up Blair and I to take us to the airport. We are going to Cincinnati for 2 days for a work thing. Excited about the event, not excited about the 6am call time. 

The Chinese orange chicken cravings have finally run their course. I'm not craving it anymore, which is a good thing. It was a weird thing to crave constantly. And not having these cravings will make my September health kick even easier.
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Okay, I need to go pack now. More Ins than Outs again makes for a happy Elle!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quick Question: How to Handle a Naughty Pine

Okay. I'm about at my wit's end with my cat. He is the most attention-seeking cat I have ever met, and literally howls and breaks things if I am not actively giving him attention. So my question is... how do you handle a cat like this? I have tried everything; laser toys, scratching posts, fluffy mice to chase around, feather chasers, etc. Plus, I always leave my window shade up so that he can watch the cars on the street when he wants to watch "TV". 

He spends the nights breaking things, getting into everything, and meowing. I play with him constantly... so it has nothing to do with him being left alone with no entertainment. Someone with a cat like this - what do you do?!

P.S. He is REALLY cute... but goodness he is a monster. 




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Blogger Quick Tip: How to Make Your Picture Quality Better!

Ever since starting my new blogs I have been struggling with the picture quality. I take my pictures on a great camera, and when they first import off my SD card and into iPhoto they still look super crisp and great, but then when I export them to pull them into Blogger they go drastically down in quality. I have tried resizing them on all different platforms - through iPhoto, Picasa, PicMonkey, on my actual Macbook desktop, Photobucket, and on Blogger itself, but none of them worked. They all made the picture look blurry and took away from all the time that I took into taking nice pictures in the first place. So... I did what I do best. I googled. 

There's a running joke in my family that I google everything, and it's true. If I hear something somewhere that interests me I will spend hours researching it online - everything from the Plague of Europe to Feug Shui to random famous museums. But even so, it took me ages to finally figure out my picture problem. I followed multiple tutorials on how to fix them with nothing helping until I finally found one webpage that helped. See below:

Before: 


After: More crisp, and much prettier.


And another...
Before: 


After:


So on the off chance that you are also a blogger and having this issue, I'll tell you how I fix mine.
  1. First of all, I take my pictures on my Canon Rebel T3i or T5i, on a SD card.
  2. I then pull my pictures from my SD card into a folder on my desktop, and then from that folder pull them into iPhoto, where I pick and choose which pictures I want to use. I normally take way more than I need, so iPhoto is an easy way to weed through all the options and delete them quickly. 
  3. Next I pull the picture into Blogger through Bloggers built-in "Picture Uploader" while the picture is still in its original size. I haven't done any resizing at this point.
  4. I select "Extra Large" as the picture size.
  5. Then I go into the HTML of the actual blog post, and look for this bit of code:

See the bit that says /s1600/ at the end of the first link and then says /s640/ at the end of the second link? That's the problem. Simply delete the second bit that says 640 and replace it with 1600 so you have both links reading /s1600/

Problem Solved. That's it. So simple, and yet it took me ages to figure out. It's a small change, but it makes a huge difference in my eyes. I love pretty photos!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ins and Outs #2

My @iheartyoucoffee twitter account was suspended. Coffee is making me nauseous. What is my life?

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In:

Katrina, my friend (from ToneItUp on YouTube), is getting married this weekend! Which reminds me, I still need to pick up my dress. It's going to be a gorgeous weekend of friends, marriage, and wine. I can't wait!

Scary Movies. Not watching them, mind you, just the idea of them. I have been "craving" watching a horror movie for a few nights but have thoroughly chickened out before actually renting one... probably because I know I will have nightmares for weeks. But there is something in my head that has been saying, "You want an adrenaline rush from a SCARY MOVIE!!" And then I bop around online looking up reviews and find a good one and then I chicken out. Story of the past couple nights. 

Speaking of, last night I completely spooked myself through thinking Pinecone was my old cat Mr. Furball re-encarnated (they were/are both pure white, you see). I decided to call Furball the way I used to in a sing-song voice (Furball was notorious for coming every single time I called him - like a faithful dog) to see if Pinecone would respond (Pinecone is deaf - how on earth was he going to hear my call anyway?!), and I honestly got so scared at my own sing-song "Furball" calling song that I refused to look into mirrors the rest of the night. Just TRY beating that story with your own superstitions. 

Face Masks: I have so many on my "to-try" shelf and so many more on rotation that I feel like the "Face Mask Hoarder". But, I'll admit, my skin has never looked better. In this case less has not been more. 

Chinese Food: I have been craving Chinese food more than is ever acceptable. Orange chicken and fried rice in particular. Not exactly the best recipe for health but mmm it's delicious!

My Alex 9-Drawer thingy from Ikea: I have not figured out how to fit my makeup in this yet but I like it. I had to move my vanity out of my office room and into my bedroom since it was so big and my office a bit small, so this Alex drawer became my new storage idea. Except it's still empty. All with due time... when it's done and pretty I'll do a new video on it.


Out: 

My Twitter being suspended. Now, granted, I had only sent out 10 tweets on that account (1 for each post on here) but still. It's the principle. I've appealed it, but who knows what's going to happen to it. Let's just say if that happened to my @ellefowler account my life would be in shambles until it was fixed. 

Coffee. What?! I know. Just today, mind you. Not everyday. I just had it yesterday morning and it was very nice. But sometimes, like 1% of the time, I will wake up and the thought of coffee will literally make me nauseous  And then I get sad because I LOVE coffee, and I love the ritual of it, so I will sit there being grumpy while eating my breakfast minus coffee. 

My guest bathroom. I don't like it. It doesn't have a vent like the rest of the apartment so it's always hot and weird in there. Ugh. I feel like carving a hole in the ceiling and DIY-ing my own "vent" but something tells me that would be a very bad idea. 

My coffee table. It's still not here! When I ordered it, it said "shipping August 3rd" and when it didn't show I called them and they said, "Oh, now it won't be available until the 24th". What? Why? Where is it? It is normal to tack on an additional TWENTY ONE DAYS to an order? Everything else has arrived already, BTW. 


Ahh, good. I have more Ins than Outs this time. That's nice. Feel free to write me yours below in a comment; I like reading these :)

P.S. Click here to read my last set of Ins and Outs. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Morning's Ponderings on Diet Coke

As I sit here, typing out this post, coffee in hand, I am craving Diet Coke something fierce. If you read my post back on June 27th then you will know that I gave up diet coke, and all other sodas, for the sake of both physical and mental health. And I haven't slipped - not once. Not once has a piece of diet coke goodness slipped passed my lips with an uncaring "that didn't count". Nope! No Sir-y Bob! It has been 70 days exactly, according to the app on my phone. 

Funny side note - the background picture on my "Days Diet Coke Free!" countdown app is a picture of me drinking a non-soda (cough pina-colada cough) as my "inspiration". Go do you girl, do you. 

But, a full 70 days later, there are still times when the craving will hit hard, and I will think, "God I could use a Diet Coke right now. Then life would be complete." And I wander over to the fridge and pour a glass of... milk. (Total let-down). 

I haven't had any miraculous things happen since giving it up - I haven't lost weight or felt healthier or stopped craving bad things, although I have to stay strong and assume that it's only good for me to have given this up.

A couple things I have learned since quitting DC:

1) Energy Drinks are not soda. Before giving up Diet Coke I NEVER had energy drinks because I didn't need to - I would always pick Diet Coke. But now that I don't drink sodas when I need a "pep in my step" a regular (not sugar-free) Red Bull does the trick. I gave up sodas and aspartame, not carbonation, remember. 

2) Alcohol is used much more frequently when I can't have a Diet Coke. Need a little something while I speed clean my house? *Baileys* Need something to help me chill out after a long day? *Red Wine* Need something when I'm having one of those "days"? *Erm... orange juice, cranberry juice, and vodka :)*

My advice to alcoholics AND diet coke addicts? Pick your vice - don't attempt to give up both of them. Seriously. 

P.S. I'm not an alcoholic. I jest. But I am 25 and allowed an occasional drink :) 

And for your Hump Day viewing pleasure... my "inspiration" picture on my countdown app:



Please tell me that some of you have also given up a vice recently and can relate? I need inspiration!