Summer Reading List

June 30, 2014

Paula here, home from sunny Florida with some books that are perfect for reading by the sea (or the pool, or a lake, or some other relaxing place)! Since I'm a teacher & have the summers off, I try to read as much as possible before August rolls around again & things get super busy.

Here are three books that I found on vacation, but I'm looking to add more, so let me know what's on your list!

Two of the three stories I picked are about Paris in the 20's, because...I'm obsessed. I decided the other one should be the complete opposite, so I found something about America in the summer of 1776 (perfect for getting in the 4th of July spirit). 

I'm currently reading The Beautiful American, by Jeanne Mackin. Several reviews said that if you liked, The Paris Wife, you would love this too. I read "The Paris Wife" right after reading A Moveable Feast (on the flight home from Paris), & loved them both, so I couldn't resist another similar book. So far, I'm hooked. It's set in the 20's & 40's ( two of my favorite time periods), with references to Man Ray, Picasso, art, photography, & WWII, about two friends (the famous photographer Lee Miller and Nora Tours) from Poughkeepsie who move to Paris & the secrets from their past. 

The second on my list is called, Revolutionary Summer, by Pulitzer Prize winning historian, Joseph Ellis. I'm going to try to start reading it this week to celebrate the birthday of the US of A. :) 

I say "try" because I might not be able to wait to read the third book on my list, Mrs. Hemingway, by Naomi Wood.

"Told in four parts and based on real love letters and telegrams, Mrs. Hemingway reveals the explosive love triangles that wrecked each of Hemingway's marriages. Spanning 1920s bohemian Paris through 1960s Cold War America, populated with members of the fabled "Lost Generation," Mrs. Hemingway is a riveting tale of passion, love, and heartbreak." -GoodReads

Just for fun, here is a picture of me at my favorite bookstore in the world, Shakespeare & Co (the same store Hemingway writes about in A Moveable naturally, I had to pick up a copy from there.) It's my favorite souvenir from Paris (I love it more than my Hermes scarf, but don't tell my husband) & if you haven't read it, it should be on the top of your summer reading list! xoxo

A bientôt!

Local Loves: City Diner

June 27, 2014

It's challenging for me to stick to a routine. I'm always looking for new opportunities, new things to love and new experiences. Randall and I can hardly go to the same restaurant twice, because we're always wondering what else is out there that we've never tried before. Because of that, we're building a wide variety of amazing local restaurants to recommend to people. Today, I'm telling you about one of our all time favorites - City Diner

This gem is tucked on a busy street in the city - and you may almost miss it if you aren't looking closely. It's tiny inside, filled with retro decor and the most fun atmosphere! I loved the feel of this place. It felt like we could become regulars and come here every day for a slice of pie and some coffee.

Isn't it perfect inside? I felt like I was eating lunch with the Brady Bunch. Let's be honest, who didn't dream about being one of the Brady kids. Oh wait, that was just me? Let's move on... 

Each table had its own lava lamp. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was in heaven. This prompted a discussion between Randall and I about the lava lamps that we each had growing up. I was tempted to take this one home with us, but luckily for my husband it wasn't for sale.

Really guys, I can't rave enough about this place. Even their website is beautiful! And I loved reading more about the history of the diner. The location we visited is one of two in the city. Each of the diners have a unique feel, so I'm excited to take a trip over to their other location!

Now, you may be asking yourself - what does a vegetarian eat at a diner? Why would this be appealing if you're not getting a burger? Well, Randall tried the burger and assured me that it was fantastic, for all those who were curious. And I ordered a roasted vegetable sandwich that was so delicious, I couldn't wait to tell you about it.

Although we didn't have a chance to sample it this visit, their breakfast looks amazing. I'll be back to try some pancakes!

- Brooke

#acolorfulchaosgiveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Katie!
To claim your prize, please email with your contact information.

Thanks to all the other readers for entering!

Home Stylin': Curb Appeal

June 26, 2014

Sharon here. As of late, my home projects list has been ever growing, and for some reason I felt the need to accomplish half of them in one weekend! I don't know what came over me, but I was ready for some newness in my home. Since my husband and I had bought our house last spring, I had visions for what kind of curb appeal I could bring to my house. I never hated the way my house looked, but I knew I wanted something that would make it less the previous owner's and more mine. Because I am quite the penny pincher, I knew I didn't want to do any big projects, at least not at this time. So I knew painting would be a quick and easy solution.

This was my house the day we moved in. When we first went out to look at the house with the realtor, I thought it was the cutest thing. I still do, but now I'm ready for a change. I have been looking around for ideas for a while, but I kept coming back to this adorable house from Cottage and Vine. When I started obsessing over it, I knew my mind was made up. So in one night, I decided I'M DOING THIS TODAY! So Friday night, I ran out to get paint and got to work! The door was easy, but let me tell you, removing the shutters with that GIANT bush was not an easy task. It may not look it, but they get up to about six feet tall on the one side of the house. Check me out!

I'm so little, I stood right on top of them!

JK. Shane helped me put a piece of plywood on top of the bush while I climbed out of the window to get onto it! I was surprised this worked actually, but thankfully it did, and I was able to get it done!

After painting, I knew I needed something on the door to add just another welcoming pop of color, and after shopping around for a wreath and giving up QUICKLY, I decided that I could just make my own and was so happy with the results!

Finally, it had all come together, and in no time at all!
What a happy little home. I hope you enjoyed my little home facelift!

Words of wisdom: Life starts at 50...

June 25, 2014

So many American women I know are in a panic about aging...constantly saying, "I'm almost 25- I'm so old!  I'm almost 30, almost 35, almost 40...I'm 50- I'm over the hill!"  Frankly my dears, I don't care about growing older.  You will never hear me say "I'm so old!"  You will never hear me complain about another birthday and another great excuse to eat cake (not that I ever need an excuse)...And you probably won't hear too many French women complaining about aging either.  According to Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Facelifts and the best-selling, French Women Don't Get Fat,  "America and some other countries are youth cultures, so they are obsessed with eternal youth- and the French laugh at that.  Nothing is eternal.  We are an old culture and we have a great sentence in France: La vie commence a cinquate, 'Life starts at 50'."  I love that.

Paris is a captivating city- and an old city...much older than America.  It has a certain sophistication about it...the architecture isn't trying too hard...the buildings aren't sky scrapers and they aren't brand new.  But they're intricate.  And they're works of art.  French women don't try too hard either.  Like their architecture, they embrace their age and celebrate all of the lovely years of their lives, rather than tearing themselves down to build younger (not better) versions of themselves.  Shouldn't we celebrate all of the lovely years in our lives too?  

 *All photos taken by moi (with my iPhone)*

A Colorful Chaos GIVEAWAY! [CLOSED]

June 24, 2014

It's not too late to enter our #acolorfulchaosgiveaway! You can enter to win Fable & Lore's World Traveler necklace. We're thinking about ordering three more for us to wear all summer long!

The contest ends tomorrow at midnight, so be sure to tell your friends and get your entries in!

Trending Tuesdays: #starryeyed

This week's Trending Tuesday is inspired by our Midwest star filled sky...we're crushing on constellations! Take a look at these beautiful items. Which are you dying to have right now?

 (Source: Free People)

(Source: Etsy)

(Source: Shanna Murray)

(Source: Society6)

(Source: Atlantic-Pacific)

(Source: Anthropologie)

(Source: Urban Outfitters)

(Source: Etsy)

(Source: Modcloth)
(Source: Uncommon Goods)

(Source: Youtube)

We love Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine. So beautiful!

Music Monday: Vacationer

June 23, 2014

Happy Monday and sorry for the late post! We have all had busy weekends that we can't wait to share  it with you. This Monday, we are totally loving Vacationer!

Vacationer is a band formed by former Starting Line frontman, Kenny Vasoli. Although Starting Line was more pop punk, Vacationer is exactly what it sounds like it could be. Vacationer's music brings you so much happiness with their addictive beats and mellow tones. Their new album incorporates even more vacation-y elements with caribbean instruments and reggae/soul sounds. It makes you want to be on vacation! Vacationer is the ultimate road trip sound track.

This video is for their song "The Wild Life" from their new album, Relief, which releases tomorrow. We hope it captures you the way it has us. Enjoy!

For more Vacationer music, check out their website here. And don't forget to purchase their new album Relief that drops tomorrow! 

A Week in Pictures

June 21, 2014

This week, we all three went on a triple coffee date with our cute husbands and baby Atticus! We went to one of our favorite local coffee shops, Kaldi's Coffee.
We're Kaldi's regulars, and we all tend to get the same drinks every time we go! Being a creature of habit isn't always a bad thing. 

Here are our current Kaldi's obsessions:
Paula: an iced Mayan Mocha with almond milk+ a giant chocolate cookie
Sharon: a honey latte
Brooke: a pour over of the Papua New Guinea coffee (my husband is a barista - I typically get whatever he tells me looks good!)

Kaldi's is the perfect spot to relax with friends, read outside on their patio or even do some blogging (our favorite!). We love the warm decor and their beautiful chandeliers. 

Paula seriously loves this Mayan Mocha. And we love sweet baby A being so photogenic!

We hope you enjoyed your week! ALSO, don't forget to enter our giveaway with Fable and Lore!

Friday Favorites: Travel Edition + GIVEAWAY! [CLOSED]

June 20, 2014

With summertime finally here and Paula heading out for vacation this weekend, we've all got travel on the brain. Check out these beautiful travel ideas that will help you plan your next summer adventure.

Favorite destination spot: this adorable Dome in the Desert has been featured by Apartment Therapy, Refinery29 and Free People - and we're DYING to visit! Katharin and Brian Smirke own this magical home in Joshua Tree, CA, and you can rent it for your next road trip out west on airbnbThis cheery little dome is colorful and bright - the perfect place to hideaway in the desert for a week (or three).

Favorite road trip dress: Free People's Garden Blooms Dress is the perfect summer staple for a long day on the road. Airy and chic, this dress is effortlessly beautiful. Pair with messy curls and comfortable sandals and you're ready for a day full of adventure.

(Source: Free People)

Favorite luggage: This Kilim Navajo Travel Bag from Salvage Life on Etsy is the perfect size to throw all of your travel necessities in before hitting the road. Durable and stylish, what more can a girl ask for in a bag? We'll take two.

(Source: Etsy)

Favorite statement jewelry: We are crazy in love with Fable and Lore's World Traveler Necklace. This is the perfect piece for the stylish jet-setter ready for their next adventure. Handmade with love from St. Louis!
(Source: Fable & Lore)

You can win one of these lovely pieces today! Enter our A Colorful Chaos giveaway for the chance to win your own World Traveler necklace.

Contest Rules:

This contest is only open to US Residents. (Sorry, international loves. We'll get you next time!) To enter, follow us on Bloglovin' and leave a comment below telling us where in the world you would model your new necklace. That's it!

Want more chances to win? Who doesn't! Here are some ways that you can earn bonus entries.

1. Follow us on Instagram. Post a picture of the World Traveler necklace with the hashtag #acolorfulchaosgiveaway.
2. Follow us on Twitter and mention us in a tweet! Use the hashtag #acolorfulchaosgiveaway just for some extra love.
3. Follow us on Pinterest and pin this giveaway.

Leave a comment below with a link for each additional entry.

Contest ends Wednesday, June 25th at midnight.  We will announce the winner on Friday, June 27th on the blog so keep your eyes open!  

Good luck and bon voyage!! 

DISCLAIMER: we've heard that some of ya'll have been having some trouble commenting! We're working on fixing the problem, but in the mean time - please email us if you are having trouble! Your entry will still be valid.

Love ya'll!

Thoughts worth thinking: Whatever we lose...

June 18, 2014

I'm escaping to the sea this weekend, so I thought I would share this lovely print inspired by one of my favorite poets, e.e. cummings.  Sea la vie!

(Source: Meera Lee)

Local Loves: Fable & Lore

I've always loved the city. There are so many interesting and unique places to be discovered. A few weeks ago, we stopped by Spring Fling in the City - a pop up market featuring vintage clothing, accessories, home decor and beautiful handmade items! I ended up purchasing a lovely succulent that is surprisingly still alive (despite my terrible luck with plants). 

How incredible is that trailer! This beauty greeted us on our way into the market. I'm ready to move in and call it home.

One of my favorite shops that we stopped by was Fable & Lore. This shop features all handmade jewelry and accessories.

The booth itself was so lovely, we couldn't help ourselves from stopping for a closer look. 
I love the minimalistic style of shop owner Chelsie Hellige. Her pieces incorporate an earthy, natural feel. It was hard not to be immediately drawn to her oversized macramé necklaces. They are lovely, one of a kind statement pieces. I can't wait to get my hands on one.

(Check out the Oversize Macramé Breastplate in Fable & Lore's Etsy shop)
Each piece in her collection embodies a bohemian style. I love the use of raw elements in the jewelry. My favorite item was the amethyst pendant necklace. The stone reminds me of a beautiful purple summer sunset. It's at the top of my wishlist. 

Next time you're looking for a lovely new statement piece, skip the mall. Head over to Fable & Lore's shop and grab yourself a unique accessory that is timeless and simplistic. 

Stop by and see Fable & Lore for yourself! All of our friends in the St. Louis area can say hello to Chelsie at Sandrina's Hullabalua! on June 22nd. 

Check back later this week for a special A Colorful Chaos giveaway! We'll have a special prize from Fable & Lore's Etsy shop. More details to come.