Friday, May 30, 2014

Amazing Grace

Grace Georgina McNicholas: 
The woman that looks amazing even when she's mugging for the camera, finds beautiful things in the most unlikely of places, brings joy and energy everywhere she goes, loves God and prays for celebrities, and, most importantly (not really), saves me from ALL KINDS of design and fashion mistakes ahead of time but never says a negative word if the mistake is already made.

Grace, we're so glad you were born. Have the happiest of birthdays, dear friend!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Full Disclosure

Have you read this? Very refreshing, and long overdue. 
And in the spirit of full disclosure here's a pic of what my living room looked like last night and looks like most of the time.

And yes, that's a super heroes sheet draped over the chair because my darn dog sleeps on that chair when we're gone even though it's against the rules! Problem is we can't catch him on the chair to discipline him. Oy!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Cold on a Beach

Cold on a Beach by Lizzy Stewart

This past holiday weekend, pools across America flung open their gates, peeled back their covers, and welcomed pale swimmers to cannonball into their deep ends. We spent a sunny afternoon at my sister-in-law's pool and despite it being the unofficial start of summer, this drawing completely encapsulates how I looked that day: cold and cross-armed. But it was lovely! Still! Especially watching Graham throw a ball into the freezy water, again and again, after Micky had JUST fished it out. 

You can see more of London-based illustrator Lizzy Stewart's work on her website
and purchase her art in her online shop here:

[Image found via Pinterest on Lizzy's]

- Cathleen

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

I am used to posting on the second day of the work week and this holiday through me off.  I didn't have something ready so just wanted to throw out a quick Memorial Day clip.
In my mind, Band of Brothers is the best WWII movie (technically it's a show but it's really one long movie) and it is amazing.  I luckily read the book first and when seeing the shows I was blown away with how little they changed the original story.  The casting is outstanding and if you haven't seen it yet you should watch it immediately.
This very short clip is the beginning of my favorite episode (Crossroads).  It is brief but the beginning got me into it immediately and captured the feel of both fear and complete control. This scene perfectly represents Richard Winters. Captain Winters was a bad ass in the show and great man in real life. Happy Memorial Day


Friday, May 23, 2014

Getting in the Swim

Today is opening day at our pool and although I won't be getting within an Olympic regulation distance of the water, I have been scoping out suits for a while now. First things first, you know.

Grace tipped me off to this beauty that I've been dreaming about for weeks... 
Nanette Lepore

...but then I saw this one at Anthro and I'm torn...

Nanette Lepore

AAAAANNDD... J.Crew's got some winners as usual but this one KILLS me...


...and Johanna posted this one yesterday, so I'm reconsidering...

Mara Hoffman

...and Seafolly has the CUTEST big floral that is just so ironically sweet...


As you can tell, I'm a one-piece kind of girl- no bikinis on this list. My apologies to anyone with a figure that can pull them off. 

Any thoughts? Advise? Suggestions? I'd love some input here because I'm paralyzed by indecision.

Happy Swimmy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

On My Travels....

On my most recent trip scavenging around town I picked up this copy of I Spy, A Picture Book of Objects in a Child's Home Environment by Lucille Oleg and Tina Thoburn, pictures by Joe Kaufman. 

Cool right? I'm a sucker for vintage children's books. They're such a great link to the past. It's in great condition and is a copy from 1970. It's currently for sale in my Etsy shop.... snag it before it's gone! 

Happy Thursday Peeps!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

On a Casser-roll!

Admittedly, this photograph looks unappetizing, but it tastes good! I swear! 

SO I used to think casseroles were the epitome of bad mom food. Tuna Noodle Casserole. Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole. Everything all mashed together, usually smothered in gray cream of mushroom soup, and burnt around the edges. Mushy, bland, and pretty much inedible. But I've been thinking more about cooking one big dish that will feed a small family throughout the week, and casseroles keep popping up in the search. It also helps that my husband loves to mix everything together on his plate into one big heap, so casseroles are perfect for that. This particular recipe comes from the Cooking Light catalog, though I have changed it a bit for ease and included more protein to make it a nice square meal. It's great because it actually has texture (!) with the crunchy walnuts and crispy cheese alongside the mushier rice/vegetable mix. Serve with a light salad if you like, though it does include TWO vegetables, so you're totally covered in that department too. 

  • Sausage Eggplant Zucchini Parmesan Rice Casserole
  • [modified from]

  • 12 oz package of chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated and divided (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • large eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • Cook rice according to package directions, but without oil or salt. If you've got a rice cooker, all the better! [Sidenote: This recipe works great with leftover rice from last night's dinner too. As long as you've got enough.] Preheat oven to 400° then combine eggplant and zucchini on a large baking sheet, spraying liberally with olive oil cooking spray, toss to coat, and bake for 15 minutes. While that's cooking, saute chicken sausage in large skillet over medium high heat until browned. Once both the eggplant/zucchini mixture and the sausage are done, set them aside in a large bowl and reduce oven temperature to 375°. Then, using the same large skillet from the sausage, cook 2 teaspoons olive oil, onion, and garlic over medium heat until softened. When cooked, add onion/garlic mixture to the rest in the big bowl, as well as rice, 3 ounces of the cheese, milk, eggs, and salt/pepper, mixing thoroughly to combine. Spread mixture into a greased 11 x 7" glass or ceramic baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. While that's baking, add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil to the same large skillet from before over medium high heat, swirl to coat, then add breadcrumbs and toast, stirring frequently. When the crumbs achieve a nice golden brown color, remove from heat and allow to cool before stirring in walnuts, remaining 1 ounce of parmesan cheese, and parsley. When your timer goes off, remove foil from casserole and spread breadcrumb mix evenly over top. Put back in the oven uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes, until topping is brown and vegetables are fork tender. Try not to eat it all in one go.

  • - Cathleen

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Short Film of the Month- The History of Typography - Animated Short

The History of Typography - Animated Short from Ben Barrett-Forrest on Vimeo.

This is an interesting educational short about the history of Typography.
I recently was designing a full page ad that was to be in a Hong Kong antique magazine and was having trouble finding the right font.  I am not a graphic designer but when it involves photography I can wing it.  I ended up going with a font called District Thin, which is a Helvetica based font and I sort of felt like it was an easy cop out since Helvetica is always used....everywhere.  But I didn't have time to play around with it too long.  My trouble with the font finding made me think of this animated short I found a year or so ago .  It's very interesting and the animation keeps you involved.
The only real issue I have with the video is the doughy softness and rosy knuckles of the dude's hands.  Not that I have Viking hands but guys with hands like that need to get out and do some hard labor and toughen them up.  If not, every meeting will start with a disappointing hand shake. Just saying.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Jeu de Ficelle

Jeu de Ficelle by Mathilde Aubier 
signed digital print on 21 x 29.7 cm paper

Now it's my turn to get in on the First Communion talk. My sweet niece Rita was communion-ized for the first time this past weekend, and I had the great honor to attend the mass and celebrate her milestone with the rest of the Potash crew. It was a quick trip, but I really enjoyed getting some quality time in with both my niece and nephew. We talked about the best movies they've seen lately (they were completely horrified that I haven't watched Frozen yet) and Rita and I even played a couple rounds of Cat's Cradle. Ok, she did all of the fancy finger work and just told me where to pinch the string, but it was still fun.

You can see more of Mathilde Aubier's work for sale in her Etsy shop: MathildeAubier

- Cathleen 

Friday, May 16, 2014

New/Old Mirror

I've heard a saying, "If you want to get shiz done, throw a party." (I might be paraphrasing here.) Anyway, it's true. Last week was a whirlwind here at Casa de Lively: finding a First Communion dress at the last second, cleaning like a madwoman, and getting ready for a post Communion shindig. But it did force me to complete a couple of languishing projects, which was a win.

The biggest project was an old frame that our friend Anne-Marie had given me. Unfortunately, the only "before" shot is 
one with the frame in the background. But it can double as a "gratuitous cute baby" photo:

You can't really see the dental detailing but it's pretty.
And also, look at that little thumb-sucker! So cute!

Anne-Marie said to paint over the white and gold because it looked trashy... at the same moment I said it was pretty. (Hint: I'm the one bringing the class to this friendship.) A-M counseled me to repeat the grey that I used for the backs of my bookshelves and hang it vertically over my couch. Genius! I got glass cut to fit the frame and did a quick DIY antiqued mirror look which I regret slightly. Not because it's not a cool look, but the execution was poor and now I'm going to have to redo it. 

But it did the trick in a pinch and filled the vast vacuum of space over our sofa:

That crooked lampshade makes me INSANE.

We'll see how long I can live with it before I freak out, scrape off all the paint, and redo the darn thing. 
Probably quite a while: complacency sets in pretty quick around here. 

Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, May 15, 2014


So clearly my First Communion dress dilemma got everyone fired up because I heard from people I didn't even know read the blog! What surprised me the most though was everyone's surprise that I would consider spending $800 on a First Communion dress. This really shouldn't surprise anyone I think about buying super expensive stuff all the time and then scheme up ways to make it happen, I just rarely follow through.

Moving on, in an attempt to pay for my internship this summer I've opened up an Instagram account for all the kids' clothes I need to sell off. Check out my account @secondhandclementine and then hook a sister up! Consider buying something from me. I am short about $500 for my class and the payment deadline is soon.

Lilly Pulitzer
Size 6-12 months

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Heads Up!

We are thinking of cobbling together a headboard for our bed. I attempted this a few years ago, as a first anniversary gift to Micky, to lackluster results (above). Well, he said HE liked it. Basically I bought a square of unfinished wooden lattice from Home Depot that I had them cut down to size. Then I painstakingly sanded and painted every crevice of the thing a high gloss white. It was nice to look at, but very wobbly and a little bit short for the bed. And all of those crevices collected dust like WHAT.

Our new bedroom doesn't have a ton of options for furniture layout, so the head of the bed is unfortunately pressed slightly off center up against a window. I thought hanging curtains wide over the window to frame the bed would work, but come morning time, our pillows and nighttime tossing have pushed them up and pulled them taut. So really, a headboard of some sort is in order. 

But they are surprisingly expensive---even just the headboard, without the side- and footboard action. And since it's going to be in front of a window, we'd like it to be high enough to provide some bedtime reading support, but not so high that it blocks all of the natural light. So I've been looking for a DIY option online and I may have found a few decent contenders. What do you guys think? 

I like the look of these wide boards, but she's got it mounted to the wall. I'd rather attach it directly to bed frame for more stability.  
(DIY $25 Rustic Headboard via

This one screws into the bed frame, but isn't quite aesthetically what I'm looking for. Also, too tall.
(DIY Headboard for Under $40 via

This is one that I'd LOVE to have---no more Graham grabbing my glasses and swiping books off the nightside table! But it seems a bit too complicated for a novice woodworker. Plus, I can't find the original source. (So this one will have to do for now.)

I'll update you guys when we decide!  

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wonderful Whistling

I love to whistle.  A day doesn't go by without some sort of tune being whistled by me.  Could be in the car, at work, or at home---and it has rubbed off on my kids.  They whistle the tune from The Great Escape all the time because it's one that is always in my head.

Finding a song with a whistle always makes me happy.  Here is a compilation of several great whistling songs.  If you can think of any I missed, please post it in the comments.

The Rooster in Disney's Robin Hood is the ultimate whistling song.  He is definitely the coolest rooster to ever appear on the screen and everyone should aspire to be more like him.

I would argue the whistling march from Bridge on the River Kwai is the most memorable whistling tune of all time.

One can't talk about whistling without mentioning "Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide."

I love Mary Poppins and the animatronic robin in "Spoonful of Sugar" is great whistler....he IS a bird after all.

Now onto slightly more modern music and songs that were not necessarily in movies.

Mumford covering one of the Robin Hood Rooster's songs with a fine whistling part.

"Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"

Jack Johnson has a very clean and inviting whistle and I wish he would do it in more songs.

Alexander - Truth.  This is a single by the lead singer of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

Andrew Bird is known for his whistling and this one is a great example

 The Black Keys.  Not a strong whistle, but still appreciate it.

 G & R has one of the most classic whistling tunes in rock n roll history.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Home.  This has a great whistling part and even though the song has been overused in commercials, I still love it.

You can hear this song on the radio occasionally and it has a basic but memorable whistle.

Let me know if there are any others I have missed cause I am always interested in any song with a good matter the genre.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Artwork of the Week: Telmo

An illustration by Patricia Metola from Telmo

I thought I'd post this sweet illustration in honor of Mother's Day yesterday. I had a great time with my two guys; a deliciously greasy breakfast at The Waffle House following by a walk around the neighborhood with surprise gifts from Ash that "fell" out of the stroller canopy when the sun was getting too bright. I also did some solo shopping for new patio chair cushions. That part was sort of thrilling, not having to buckle a kid in and out of the car over and over again. All in all, it was a really wonderful day. 

You can see more drawings from Telmo, a children's book by Carlo Frabetti and Patricia Metola, here.  

And more examples of the illustrator's work on her blog: 

- Cathleen 

Friday, May 9, 2014

First Communion Issues

Tomorrow is Alissa's daughter's First Communion and Alissa and I have spent the last YEAR agonizing over finding the perfect dress for her daughter. This might seem weird since it's Alissa'a daughter making her First Communion and not mine BUT Clementine makes her First Communion next year and I like to be prepared. Anyway let me just put it this way, there are NO good First Communion dress options on the market. They're all either too shiny, or too pedestrian. I brought up my problem to a mom at the school I teach at who has impeccable taste and she recommended looking at Oscar de la Renta's Special Occasion line for girls. HOLY MOLY! Finally a little inspiration on the First Communion dress front. Check out the two I found that Alissa and I both love:

Snowflake Flower Girl Dress
Oscar de la Renta

Yep, that's right, $790. OUCH! I just heard my wallet scream.

Swiss Dot Dress with Lace Trim
Oscar de la Renta

My wallet is still screaming. This picture doesn't do the second dress justice. It's swiss dot and has a delicate lace trim. Check out Oscar de la Renta's website for close ups. 
Hear me out though! When I made my First Communion in 1989 my mom borrowed a dress from a friend that I HATED and I felt ugly. And even though my mom died 20 years ago I am still a little resentful of that dress. I think it would be worth spending the money on a dress this special. Also, I could sell the dress on Ebay right after and make at least half of my money back so say I spent $800, after I sold it I'd really have only spent $400.... are you with me people? 

Great! It's settled then!

And even though I'm not much of a Throwback Thursday kinda gal I had to post them gems from my youth:

Me, May 1989 at home after my First Communion. Thanks mom, still pissed 25 years later. 

And even better! My sister after her First Communion. This wasn't her actual First Communion this was like the weekend after. My mom made us get dressed up again to take photos. My sister had an ear ache and this picture is just too perfect. The rest of the series are actually better because my sister looks even more pissed. And yes, I'm the one with the huge mop of brown hair on the left. 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Happy Birthday, Colonel Tapioca!

My dear ol dad is turning the big 7-0 today (I hope he doesn't mind me outing him on national internet like this) so I wanted to wish him a very happy birthday on the ol blog!

Unfortunately, I won't be able to celebrate with him in person this year, as much as I would have really loved to make that happen. And what do you get the man who could pretty much get anything he wants for himself anyway? Well, after thinking HARD for quite awhile, I decided to have a sentimental photo framed (that was delayed at the framers...GRRR!) and I sent him a card with the promise of an experience: we have pledged to take him to the Lantern, a local multi-award-winning restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC, the next time he gets down to our neck of the woods. We're going to get a babysitter for the occasion and everything! He's mentioned wanting to try it before, and I once read somewhere that experiences are the best gifts because they enrich your life and your memories more than any physical thing usually does. I wanted to make this birthday especially special because of it's nice round number significance, but also because he has always been so generous with me---with everyone I know---and he deserves to be treated for a change. I hope he likes it. And doesn't sneakily try to pay the bill before the end of dinner. And doesn't think that the "gift of spending time with me" is actually really lame. 

Happy Birthday, Colonel Tapioca! 
You are the best father I could have ever asked for, and an even greater man who means so much to so many people. I look forward to reminding you of that fact (because you forget it way too often) and celebrating your life with you for many more years to come. 


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Movie Posters


I have slowly been ripping my dvd collection onto an external hard drive and converting all other movie files into .mp4s so I can assemble everything onto my iTunes.  From there I have been able to home share the computer with my Apple TV then search and watch anything from my collection easily.  Because it is now through my Apple TV, it almost looks like Netflix or the iTunes store.  This means each movie or show has "album artwork" that goes along with it.  Sometimes ripping the DVD would save the original artwork as well and other times I would have to download new images for certain movies.  Through this process I have been finding a lot of cool movie posters...classic ones and newly designed ones for both old and new movies, so I thought I would share some cool ones with you.

It is definitely an art most people don't even think about, but we see it everywhere.  Some movies have iconic shots and that's all it needs, but other times someone has come up with a very creative way to capture the feel of a film and attract the viewer just in this one still image.

Here are some of the ones I have found.

Then, of course, you have all of Wes Anderson's movies.  They are perfect for interesting and unique posters since his films have such bold cinematography and purposeful, unrealistic sets.

And if you want to read about how many movie posters look essentially the same, here is an interesting story:

Oh yeah... And always avoid movies with the Bold Red Uppercase Fonts:

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