You GUYS. I am really excited right now. And we all know what happens when I get too excited. So I’m trying to keep calm. Trying.

What has got me all twitterpated? I’ll explain.

So as you know (if you’ve been a loyal follower of this blog as I pretend everyone reading this is), my bedroom is one of the last portions of my apartment to be beautificated.

(Those of you who don’t care about my apartment are realizing that this a decor-centered post, aren’t you? I fully understand if you want to walk away now. I don’t like it, but I understand.)

Anyway. Now that the more dedicated/decor-interested of us are alone, without those other people, let’s begin.

So as I was saying, the bedroom. It’s in pretty sorry shape.

I mean, we got a pretty bedspread on our wedding registry, but then we got a bigger bed. And then we started using the bedspread as a blanket. And then it got all kinds of warped. And…well…it just doesn’t look as crisp as I’d like it.

And aside from the bedspread, the room really is not even masquerading as a thoughtfully decorated room. There are literally no other pretty bits. AND remember how I really wanted a room where I could display Joey’s guitars? Well, my friends, I have a solution that solves all of my life’s problem. (Well, almost.)

So, without further ado, my plan for our bedroom/THE FIRST MOOD BOARD I’VE EVER MADE EVER:

Not bad, right? I’m ridiculously proud of it, so if you have anything negative to say, SAVE IT FOR SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO HEAR ANY KIND OF CRITICISM. Because that’s not me right now, ok? Let me revel.

Here’s a breakdown of that bit of gloriousness you see above:

1. RUG: We’ll work our way up, starting with this pretty little rug from Crate & Barrel. I’ve been getting more and more into bold, graphic prints lately, and I love how this rug grounds the whole look. Unfortunately, this version is a wee bit out of my price range, so I’ll either have to save my pennies or search for a cheaper alternative. Anyone have any ideas?

2. BEDSPREAD: We already have a pretty impressive bed, but as I mentioned, the covers are a little worse for the wear. I really like how simple this grey bedspread from Target is. Simple, solid basics are good for people who are as fickle about their decor as I am.

3. LAMP: I’ve sort of been on this kick lately to incorporate more color into our apartment (even fickle girls get tired of neutrals eventually), and I think a bright, glossy lamp or two would be just the ticket. (Double bonus because this room has ZERO overhead light and we need lamps anyway.) I’m sort of hoping to DIY this bit of loveliness, so I’ll be scouring the Salvation Army for lamps with good lines. (I’m not sure where that particular lamp is from, but I found the image on Pinterest.

4. WALL ART: This is a DIY project I’ve been wanting to do ever since I first saw it on Pinterest months and months ago, I just didn’t have any place to display the finished product. WELL NOT ANYMORE. I want to make three of them to display on the far wall of our bedroom. I just can’t decide if I should stick with our honeymoon destinations and do Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid, or if I should incorporate Iceland and just do France, Spain, and Iceland. Any opinions?

5. VANITY: Remember the time I sort of tried to create a little dressing table area for myself? Well, I want to make one for real this time. I still have that gold mirror pictured in the linked post, but what I really need is a desk/vanity to go under it. I die for the Parsons Desk from West Elm, but again, my dreams don’t quite match up with my budget. I’ve been scoping out Craigslist for a while, but does anyone know of a sleek desk/vanity out there that I’ve been missing?

6. VANITY STOOL: This is another detail I’m hoping to DIY. I’d love to find a cute little stool from Goodwill or something that I could paint and — gasp! — even reupholster. I know. I. Know. But I honestly think I could do it if it was as simple as the one pictured. I’d love to do one of the bold patterns you see in the pillows. Speaking of which…

7. PILLOWS: Yay, patterns! I have links for all of these beauties, but honestly, I’d prefer to just make them myself to save on cash. (And to make myself feel awesomely crafty.) For those of you who would rather have them RIGHT NOW, here are the links: Black and white Greek Key pillow, seafoam green pillow, grey Ikat pillow, Scrabble pillow (I would get a J, obvi), orange trellis pillow.

8. GUITARS: And finally, the detail I’m especially excited about, Joey’s guitars. We have this giant, blank wall facing the bed that has nothing on it. (Well…there’s a Japanese fan taped to the wall…but that’s a longer story and is really a joke between Joey and me…err…moving on.) I realized the other day it would be the PERFECT place to display the guitars. So that’s the plan. He has like four or five, so it should make for a nice display.

I’d also like to swap out the curtains for something like these:

I couldn’t find any good source info in that pin, but I found this place online that can make a similar version. Who knows, maybe I’ll get really crazy and attempt making my own. But they’re dreamy, right? (Speaking of which, if you’re interested in other bedroom decor that tickles my fancy, be sure to follow my bedroom board on Pinterest!)

So anyway, that’s what I have so far. Obviously, I still have a ways to go to put all that into practice, but I feel better even having some mild direction. Now I just have to keep myself from getting too excited and spending a million dollars on accident. As I am wont to do.

If you have answers to any of the questions in my breakdown, I’d love to hear your input!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Gloria Art & Design giveaway announced yesterday for a chance to win a CUSTOM painting of your choice to add to your own dreamy decor!

The title of this post should surprise no one who has read this blog for at least the last six months. (And if you’re newer than that, my name is Justine, and I’m incredibly Type A. Welcome.)

So as you know, I embark for Iceland in less than 48 hours. (Pause for girlish squeal…squeeee! Moving on.) Naturally, I still have a few things I need to accomplish before then. And to help keep my own brain straight, I’m going to document them here.

Welcome to my brain.

List of Everything I Will Accomplish Before Thursday Afternoon:

1. Go to the drug store for allergy medicine, batteries, face lotion, and a few other essentials. (Doing this over my lunch break today.)
2. Go to the gym. (After work.)
3. Pack. (Doing this tonight).
4. Go to the gym again. (Tomorrow morning.)
5. Get my nails did. (Yes, again. My nails grow really fast. DON’T JUDGE ME.)
6. Clean the entire apartment. Including putting away the laundry Joey is picking up tonight, straightening the living room and dining room, cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, and giving every surface a once over for that ever-multiplying dust. (After the nails.)

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I hate coming home from a trip to a messy apartment. I mean, you’re already bummed to be coming home (and in the case of international travel, it may have not been the smoothest trip). The last thing you (I) want is to do is stumble through the door to be met with a stressful, cluttered space. (Hmm? I’m the only one stressed out by clutter? What?)

So anyway. Six things. That’s not so bad. Plus I’ll have half a day after I pack to think of things I may have forgotten.

Hmm…I should probably make a list of things I need to pack, too, huh?

Note: I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review, but all opinions expressed are my own.

If you’re not a girl with a sister, you might not understand the relationships in The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.

There are a lot of books about brothers. Brothers solving mysteries together. Brothers soldiering through wars. Brothers rescuing brothers. There are fewer literary examples of sisters.

You might say, “Little Women!” And I say, “Please.” Because little women was a family of girls. I’m talking about the relationships between sisters. And yes, there is a difference.

Rosalind (Rose), Bianca (Bean), and Cordelia (Cordy) are three sisters who live in what, at times, appears to be the kind of world you can only find in a novel. Small-town bred by a dreamy mother and a Shakespeare-obsessed father (thus the names), they each spiraled away from each other in an attempt to find their place in the world, only to be thrown back together by their own failures. At first, I admit, the whimsical way they seem to speak and see each other was a bit grating — does anyone actually talk/live like this? But as the book goes on, the characters become sharper, more real. And you learn that given their upbringing, it’s really more of a fantasy to think they could have turned out any differently.

In the end, though, it was the ties between the sisters that resonated with me (which was the point). As one half of a rather dynamic sisterhood myself, I share the sisters’ complaint early in the novel:

We see stories in magazines or newspapers sometimes, or read novels, about the deep and loving relationships between sisters. Sisters are supposed to be tight and connected, sharing family history and lore, laughing over misadventures. But we are not that way. We never have been, really, because even our partnering was more for spite than for love. Who are these sisters who act like this, who treat each other as their best friends? We have never met them. We know plenty of sisters who get along well, certainly, but wherefore the myth?

What I liked about this book — really liked about it — was the honest assessment of the competitiveness that comes with being sisters. I’m not sure brothers have this emotion. Whereas brothers tend to band together, sisters learn to define themselves by whatever their sisters are not. In the case of our weird sisters, Rose is the practical, responsible, achieving one; Bean is the pretty, boy-drawing one; Cordy is the rambling, undependable-but-loveable one. The sisters start to lose themselves in these identities to the point where they feel there can’t possibly be two smart ones. Two attractive ones. Two capable ones. Let alone three brave ones.

Sometimes, they are cruel to each other. At others, they are unbelievably gentle. But to be perfectly honest, I’ve never met sisters who didn’t behave that way.

Over all, I recommend the book. It has a sort of lilting cadence to it (which I have to imagine was inspired by the idea of iambic pentameter) that’s soothing to read, and though things manage to tie themselves up into an almost too-perfect bow in the end (heck, according to Shakespeare the only other option would be tragedy, in which everyone would have to die), it doesn’t discredit the rest of the story.

Has anyone else read this one? I’m sure I’m forgetting some other book about sisters (ahem)…anyone care to remind me? And if you want to read more reviews, check out these other responses from the BlogHer Book Club and join the conversation!

I’m beginning to think it’s impossible for me to be late.

(Side note: I have an eerie feeling I’ve started a post like that before…ugh, after three years, it’s so hard to be original.)(I searched in my blog and couldn’t find that sentence. So maybe not?)(Still feeling uneasy…)

Anyway. Earlier this week, I made the decision to stop getting to work so early. Not that I planned on being late by any means, but I don’t really have to get there 45 minutes early. I’m not going to go into my reasons for doing that because I’ve already explained it, but the fact is, it’s not a crucial part of my life.

So this week, my goal was to get to work…exactly on time.

All together now: GASP!!!

I know, you guys. I. Know.

So I set my alarm a full twenty minutes later than I normally do. And guess what?

I got to work only about fifteen minutes later than I usually do. And that’s after stopping for coffee.

It makes NO sense. I’m 90% sure I’m jumping through a wormhole on my way to work.

(Side note, numero deux: Does anyone else watch the Cash Cab? Don’t lie, you know you do. Last night, Joey and I watched, like, three episodes in a row, and one of the questions was describing a wormhole, and I got it right. …that’s the whole story. Yikes.)

But on the upside, apparently really successful people tend to be early risers. I feel like that has to bode well for me.

Lesson learned: I may be a freak, but so is the CEO of Apple.

In other news, the longest week ever is finally coming to a close. (What, no one else felt like this week just dragged? I’m dying over here.) Hope you folks have a great weekend!

Quick business note (NOT a side note…too many of those already): I’m busy scheduling all of my upcoming blog giveaways for 2012. I already have the next two months booked, but if you run an Etsy shop or any other business that you would like to promote here through a giveaway, email me at justine.lorelle [at] for more information. I’d love to work with you! This now ends this business note.

Remember all those fun facts you helped me gather by filling out this survey? (And if you didn’t fill it out, I’m still accepting responses!) Well, I didn’t really have anything particular to post about today, and rather than just rambling nonsensically, I decided to whip up a little infographic about the results. Neat, huh?

In other news, I’m using my crock pot for the first time AS I’M TYPING THIS. Yup, I plan to return home today to an apartment rich with the wafting scent of chicken taco soup. Or the smell of bitter disappointment if I somehow managed to screw it up. (But crock pots seem nearly fool-proof, so my money is on something at least resembling chicken taco soup.)

Check back tomorrow for the results!

Ok, listen, I know what I’m about to say might seem like cheap pandering for support and comments, but you’ll just have to trust me that it’s 100% sincere and true and a big part of what’s on my mind lately.

I am SO excited for The Hunger Games movie.

I know at least 60% of you out there just went, “OMG ROIGHT???!??!?” And those of you that didn’t…well…you can just move along.

The thing is, I read a lot of books. But I don’t get invested in a lot of books. I was invested in the Hunger Games. I was invested in Katniss and whether she would end up with Peeta or Gale. I was invested in the evilness of President Snow. I was invested in the answer to whether or not there should be a line in what you are allowed to do to other human beings. I was invested in whether or not Finnick (or anyone else, for the matter) would ever find happiness.

There was a moment in pretty much every book that I started crying.

I mean, I read the first one in less than four hours. I’m not exaggerating. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. I took the longest lunch hour of my life because I just couldn’t tear myself away.

The reason why this is in the forefront of my brain is because I just finished re-reading the third book to my husband. We do this on roadtrips – he’ll drive, I’ll read out loud. Like our own books on tape. I even do voices. I know, I commit.

We started the series when we went to Ohio months ago. And we finished it on our way home from Boston.

I’ve always been the type of person who enjoys re-reading books, and these are no exception. For one, I pick up on things I may have missed the first time (when I was tearing through the pages because I needed to know what happened next. For another, I really like when we’re done reading and we talk about the book. I mean, I was a writing major – I LOVE sitting around talking about characters and plot and motivations. LOVE it. I’m the person who would join a book club to actually talk about the book.

And the third book in this series requires a lot of conversation, for me at least. I’ll put it this way: It was really, really hard to get through the first time I read it. Not because the writing is bad (though I would argue a lot of parts feel rushed because there’s basically an entire war crammed in there), but because there is a lot of heavy stuff going down. People you love die. (Yes, I said love. Welcome to my brain.) And there’s really no time to recover from it before the plot is forced to go on.

Total disclosure (without spoiling anything for those who haven’t read it yet): There is one point in the third book where I literally lose it. I bawled the first time I read it, and I cried AGAIN when I read it to Joey. For some reason, it just hits me in the heart place. Like, even now, I’m thinking about it, and I’m just like, “Ugh…dude. I need a minute.”

I would feel like a total weirdo getting so emotional about something that didn’t actually happen, except for one thing. Literally every person I’ve discussed this “scene” with has looked at me and been like, “Yes. That was the moment that broke me too.”

You have to admit it’s pretty amazing when a book can make a bunch of different people have the exact same emotion in the exact same moment. (Ok, maybe not everyone bawled…like I said, I get invested.)

So anyway. I’m really glad they’re making the books into movies, because apparently I’m not ready to let this one go yet. And the first book is my favorite anyway, so I’m excited to see it played out. (Although I have to admit, I will be pissed if they mess it up. (Looking at you, Lionsgate.)


Anyone else?

Also, in case you missed it yesterday, please click on this link to answer a BRIEF anonymous survey. (Seriously, it takes about 30 seconds.) I will be forever grateful!