Friday, December 31, 2010

Artist Profile: Carrie Willingham

Etsy Artist, Carrie Willingham, is a dallas-based artist that specializes in watercolor. Here is some of her beautiful work. You can purchase her work from her etsy shop.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Chocolate Espresso Snowcap Cookies

Over the holidays, I go overboard with baking.  It's out of control. I always try out a couple of recipes each year in hopes of finding new, favorite cookies. This year, I tried a recipe from Martha Stewart. I absolutely loved how these cookies turned out and they were a huge hit at the holiday party.

Here are the cookies all bundled up...

Get the recipe after the jump.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An Obsession

So I'm sure it's not surprising that I suffer from an addiction that many struggle with... It's like a drug for me and I can't seem to get enough. There are so many different brands, styles, colors, hardware. It's just too much for me to take. Hopefully, posting some of these on my blog will help me quench my insatiable appetite.

Singer 22: House of Harlow Lace Pump $198
Blue Fly: Fendi Sued and Lace Platform $565
DSW: Zigi Soho Lace Pump $59.95 Olsen Haus Charm Oxford $125 Stuart Weitzman Fausto Oxford $236
Barneys: Givenchy Tassel Oxford $989

Net-a-porter: Alexander Wang Noemi Leather Boots $685 Burberry Suede Platform Boot $995 Matisse Legion Ankle Boot $136

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Opposite Day

My boyfriend will be the first to admit that I'm a complex being full of contradictions. I'll drive in the car listening to NPR, but then snuggle on the couch watching Housewives. What can I say?

 I find that this contradictory nature extends into my personal style as well.

Gorgeous southwestern ikat bowls versus a stunning Ulrica Hydman-Valien bowl 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Start with a bang

At the start of each year, I think it's of the upmost importance to begin the year with a great outift, a bottle of champagne and a list of goals that you'd like to achieve in the coming year.

1. Modcloth: Confetti Celebration Dress $90
2. White House Black Market: Champagne Crystal Earring $24
3.  Bluefly: Yves Saint Laurent Violet Pump $736
4. Nordstrom: Nars Lipstick Shrinigar $24

Friday, December 24, 2010

Don't Forget!

Don't forget to leave some cookies and milk for Santa tonight. He has tons of work to do tonight and will need some sustenance. Wishing you an amazing Christmas with lots of love and happiness...

xx Ms Callback

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sweet Bundles

During the holidays, I always try to show love to the people most important to me. In order to avoid spending my entire life savings, I try to make special treats for those people that I want to send a little love.

Espresso Cookies for co-workers and friends

Chocolate Chip Cookie Mug for family
Cookie Bags for my dance students

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas through the ages...

I love collecting new and meaningful ornaments each year to decorate my tree, but these ornaments can't hold a candle to my grandmother's antique ornaments. A couple of years ago, my grandma told all of the grandkids that we could go into her basement and take anything we want. One of my favorite "basement pics" was an antique ballerina ornament. It holds much significance to me because my grandma and my mom were both dancers as well.  Here's my favorite ornament next to one of my new ballerina ornaments...I don't think the new one holds a candle.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Style Profile: Natalie Portman

In honor of Black Swan, I figured I should do a style profile of Natalie Portman. Natalie always looks impeccable on the red carpet. She embodies femininity and class. Recently, Natalie has been sporting soft hues and strapless cuts that only further accentuate her femininity.

1. Shop Planet Blue: Rebecca Taylor Strapless Dress $495
2. Neiman Marcus: Round Toe Mary Jane Pump $645
3. Bottega Veneta: Lagoon Intrecciato Ayers Knot $1,220
4. Merino Wool $8

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Card

I feel like the idea of sending Christmas cards is becoming more and more obsolete. While there are various online companies that allow you to send digital cards, it just feels so impersonal to me. I love these companies for party invites, etc., but I'm sticking to my guns with mailing Christmas cards. There's just something special about getting a letter in the mail. Here's the Christmas card that I designed for this year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

William Rast coming to Target

On December 19th, Target will be premiering a line from William Rast. Justin Timberlake and Trace Ayala, owners of William Rast, describe their clothing as tomboy meets sexy.  Target just released the look book for the line and I must say that I'm really loving the tan leather jacket.  It's priced at $200, which seems high for anything at Target, but I guess we'll have to see how that baby fits. Overall, I like most of the individual pieces, but the styling of the models is definitely not appealing to my aesthetic.

What do you think of these looks?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Solar Christmas

So, I'm always eager to jump on any "green" trends. It makes me feel good to know I'm making a choice that helps the planet. As much as I'd like to make my entire home solar powered, it's not a possibility at this point, as we are just wee-little renters. In the meantime, I figured why not at the very least buy solar paneled Christmas lights. So, I talked to my bf and we decided I should order 8 boxes so that we could adequately cover the house. I ordered these lights from Home Depot.

The lights arrived a couple of days ago and now it seems that my boyfriend has all together lost interest in decorating the outside of the house. I am crossing my fingers that he'll change his mind because I know I would do a dismal job. I'll keep you all posted and in the meantime, here's a couple of inspiration photos.

Lit House on the Water from

Twinkle Lights from

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Black Swan

Ok, so on Sunday I finally was able to convince my boyfriend to go with me to see the movie Black Swan.  I don't really have words for this movie. It was dark, visually stunning and full of complexity...all the things that I love in a movie.

On top of it, I respect Natalie Portman to the 10th degree for putting so much time and energy into training for this role. There is nothing more annoying than watching a dance movie and seeing an actress play the role of a dancer when she clearly has little to no dance experience. Natalie Portman was incredibly believable and felt completely authentic. I read that she trained for over a year for this role, dancing six days a week for five or more hours a day.

So, amongst all of the many positive things I can say about Black Swan, I was completely blown away by the costuming. From streetwear to dancewear, her fashions were out of this world perfection. In an article by Sandra Colton, Black Swan costume designer, Amy Westcott describes her challenge in creating the fashions in this film. “You have these people who watch the film that know their stuff. They know the intricacies and they know what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s a very strict following in that way. I knew that ballerinas would watch it. So for that kind of thing, you have to really walk the line of making sure it looks great on film but that it stays realistic. That’s always a challenge to make it look really interesting but to stay true to the world. You have to get the details right.”

I love how throughout the film, they dressed Natalie in soft, pale hues and angelic whites. This color palette beautifully contrasted the blacks and reds in her final Black Swan piece. 

Isn't this final costume just stunning? I would die to wear a tutu like this. As a dancer, this movie appealed to me on so many levels. If you haven't seen it yet, this is a MUST SEE.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giving and Giving

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could give to a charity and buy a loved one a special gift at the same time?

So many charities need our help this year. Our current economic state is undoubtedly inhibiting their ability to raise money. This year, I encourage everyone to explore buying just one gift that is associated with a charity.  There are so many fabulous finds out there that are perfect gifts, while still supporting charities in need.

1. Alex Woo: Net proceeds of the tree of life necklace benefit the Right Action for Women charity founded by Christina Applegate
2. Macys: Heart for Haiti was developed to allow Haitians to produce and sell homemade crafts through
3.  Tom's Shoes: For every pair purchased, Tom's donates a pair to a child in need with the One for One program.
4.  Project Red: This organization partners up with some of the most well known companies including apple, gap, etc. to create (RED) products. These companies then contribute up to 50% of their profits back to the Global Fund, supporting HIV and AIDS programs in Africa.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Birthday

So, today is my bf's birthday. It is a long held tradition in my family to go all out on birthdays. For this reason, to commence the day of festivities, I woke up at the crack of dawn to make the boy from-scratch cinnamon rolls. I took great care to exit the bedroom without making a noise and made my way into the kitchen. 

I combined together flour, sugar, egg, butter and yeast. I then covered the dough with a bowl for five minutes. I rolled out the dough and covered it with a layer of butter and then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top of the butter. Finally, starting with the 10" side, I rolled the dough tightly. 

 Next, I cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and placed them on a greased pan. I covered the rolls with a towel and placed them on top of my oven to allow them to rise. It took about one hour for the dough to rise fully.

 I then placed the rolls in the oven at 375 and cooked them for approximately 25 minutes.

I went out and cut a couple of roses from our garden and placed them in a mason jar. Somehow, some way, I managed to finish the rolls at exactly the time that he needed to wake up for work....phew! Here's what he woke up to.

Check out the recipe after the jump

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Irish Coffee with a Twist

Every time the holidays approach, I find myself lusting for warm drinks. Last night, as we were putting up our Christmas tree (which, by the way, is larger that our entire living room thanks to the bf), the bf and I decided to reinvent a classic. 

We began by brewing a pot of Trader Joe's Gingerbread Coffee. This coffee is delicious and is filled with spices like cinnamon and cloves. After filling the cup about 3/4 with coffee, we added one ounce of Bailey's Irish Cream. We topped it off with Whipped Cream, sprinkled some cinnamon over it and garnished it with a delicious cinnamon stick. Talk about hitting the spot.

...and now, the fruits of our labor. Here is our GRANDE sized Christmas tree. I always like to decorate our tree with meaningful ornaments and colorful lights.  I just can't seem to embrace the more sophisticated trend of tree decorating where all of the ornaments match and everything falls into one color scheme. It just seems boring. No thank you...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All Wrapped Up

This year, there seems to be an inundation of creative and diy wrapping solutions.  I can't wait to finish my Christmas shopping, so that I can jump to tackling some of these amazing gift wrap ideas. 

1. Underworld Magazine
3. Compai Creative

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pet Presents

Here is a photo of one of the most important loves of my life.

Being that he captures such an important place in my heart, I absolutely spoil him rotten for Christmas. Here is a list of all things I hope to buy for my little man.  

1. Petsmart- Petholiday Collars $8
2. Petco- Holiday Squeaky Reindeer $14
3. B Johnson- Custom Pet Painting
4. Etsy- Christmas Peanut Butter Dog Snacks $15
5. Petco- Candy Cane Dog Bone $5
6. Etsy- Pet ID Tag $13
7. Etsy- Christmas Fleece Tug Toy $6
8. Etsy- Personalized Etched Glass Dog Bowl $22
9. Amazon- Petmate Burrow Bed $32

Monday, December 6, 2010


As a dancer/choreographer, I am endlessly inspired by music. It is my therapy and I can't imagine my life without it. I relished the days when MTV used to play music videos all day long. Now, it's filled with reality tv programming that only serves to depress me.  It worries me that young kids today are bombarded with shows like Jersey Shore or Sixteen and Pregnant. Really? This is what we want our kids to model? Anyways, enough ranting for today.

 Currently, I am obsessed with this video of "Get Some" by Lykke Li. I love the raw sexuality of the video. What do you think?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Style Profile: Rachel McAdams

I've always had a mini crush on Rachel McAdams. Not only is she one of my favorite actresses, she also possesses an impeccably sophisticated and effortless sense of style. I love how she wears classic dresses, but adds a hint of edge with a daring shoe.

1. Net-a-porter- Thread Social $495
2. Shop Bop- DVF Knot Clutch $265
3. White House Black Market- Crystal Cluster Button Earring $54
4. Ruthie Davis Pump $869

Thursday, December 2, 2010

All that glitters is gold

Here's another Etsy gift guide. Hope this helps some with the shopping!

1. Etsy- Twinkle Pendant $185
2. Etsy- Origami Christmas Stars $24
3. Etsy- Sparkly Gold Post Earrings $47
4. Etsy- Golden Tulip Tights $25
5. Etsy- Large Gold Paper Bowl $68
6. Etsy- Sparkle Vinyl Notepad $17.50

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Artist Feature: Jean Francois Debongnie

I was looking at Elle and came across this gorgeous dining room. The colors are beautiful and I love the clean and minimalistic quality to the design.  The element of this room that really caught my eye was the painting. Isn't it stunning?

After a little detective work, I found that the painting was by Jean Francois Debongnie. I found more of his work on his website.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Most Popular Cookie

Do you ever have certain recipes that are just guaranteed a home run? No matter who you make it for, you're always guaranteed to be the hero of the party. Well, that's how it goes with these pumpkin iced cookies. I joke about how these cookies make me friends, but seriously, they are THAT good.

How insane do these look?
I wish I could take credit for creating this heavenly recipe, but I can't. Get this recipe by Gina from All Recipes after the jump!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Table

As all of you know, I was incredibly excited for Thanksgiving this year. My entire family joined my boyfriend and I at our house and it was amazing. We don't have a proper dining area in our home, so I decided to rent a table and chairs for the day. I was shocked to find that renting a table and six chairs only cost $23! Why didn't I think of this before?

Here are some shots of my table.

Find the tutorial for the pinecone place cards here

The entire table design cost less than $100 including the rentals and received rave reviews from my entire family...well, they are a little biased.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The day after

Yesterday was filled with tons of laughter, conversation and good food. A couple of days before Thanksgiving, I purchased different bouquets of flowers from Trader Joe's. I also stopped by Michaels and grabbed two round vases for $2 a piece. I knew that I wanted to do an arrangement that was smaller, as I hate not being able to see people across the table. There's nothing worse than staring between petals and stems as you try to make dinner conversation.

I cut down all of the flowers and arranged them in to two vases. I left a couple of the flowers longer to bring a little height into the arrangement. The whole project cost $20 and brought wonderful color to my Thanksgiving table.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all of you a wonderful thanksgiving! Eat lots of food and take a moment to appreciate all of the little things that make your life spectacular. I feel sooo lucky to have my family in town and I know that this will be a holiday for the books. Enjoy this day and I'll be blogging details from the day starting tomorrow. I can't wait to share all of it with you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A personal touch during the holidays

Along with all of the grocery shopping, I also have put together a couple of personal touches for our Thanksgiving table. Today, I wanted to share my pinecone nametags. These are incredibly easy to make. I went to Michaels and purchased their glitter paper (which is a heavier cardstock that is covered in glitter on one side and white on the other).

I then took a pair of curvy edged scissors and cut out rectangles. After cutting the rectangles, I flipped over the glitter and wrote each guest's name.

I then folded over each side and cut small slits so that I could fold over the top and bottom of the rectangle.

After getting all of the sides folded inward, I took my nifty glue gun and secured all of the edges. 

I took the finished nametag and inserted each card into little pine cones. This whole project cost under $5!  Quite the bang for your buck if you ask me.