Sunday, February 26, 2012

GFC Shutting Down - Please Stay a Follower

Attention my lovely readers!  If you haven't already heard, Google is doing some spring cleaning and will be shutting down Google Friend Connect for all non-blogger users as of March 1st.  Simply put, this means that if you follow my blog using Google Friend Connect (GFC) and do not have a Blogger blog yourself, you won't see my exciting posts anymore!  From what I understand, if you do have a Blogger blog (Cup of Tea is hosted through Blogger) all of your blog subscriptions should be fine (I hope!).

If you follow Cup of Tea via GFC and do not have a Blogger blog, I strongly encourage you to follow me through either Bloglovin', email, Google Reader, Facebook, or some other blog reader.

Confused?  Here's what to do:
  • To follow through Bloglovin', click on the Bloglovin' button I have in the right side-bar area on my blog.
  • To receive an email when I post a new entry, simple type in your email address in the "Follow By Email" box that I have in the right side-bar navigation on my blog and click "Submit"
  • To follow through Google Reader (this is what I do and LOVE it) you need to have a Gmail account.  After logging in to your Gmail account, in the bar at the top there is a link that says "More." Click that and navigate to the Reader link.  Once on this page, click the "Subscribe" button in the left side-bar area and copy the URL of my blog ( ) into the box that appears.  Easy!
  • To stay updated via Facebook, just click the Facebook button I have in the right side-bar area on my blog.  From there you can "like" Cup of Tea and stay in the loop!
I really value all of my readers and have had so much fun connecting with you through our common interests.  I urge you to be prepared for Thursday's Spring Cleaning! :)

I love my readers!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Belated Valentine's Day

Last week on Valentine's Day I got really really sick.  I spent the majority of the day sleeping on my couch and wishing that the thought of eating conversation hearts wouldn't make me even more sick.  It was pretty much a crappy day.  What made it worse was that I had to cancel my Valentine dinner plans and therefore did not have a Valentine themed outfit to share with you all last week.  But that changed last night when I attended a makeup Valentine dinner!

shirt: LC Lauren Conrad | skirt: The Limited | coat: Alloy ca. 2004 | shoes: Bandolino | necklace: gift | watch: Target

Every year on Valentine's Day I realize all over again that I still don't own any pink or red shirts.  But purple is pretty close!  I used my hair and coat color to complete the Valentine color palette.

How did you spend your Valentine's Day this year?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicago in Instagram

Here's my Instagram recap from my Chicago trip last weekend!  My friends and I took the Megabus into the city.  I highly recommend using the Megabus if it runs in your area... I only paid $37 round trip and I know you can get tickets for even less than that!  Anyway, the photo recap:

top from left:
  • Kristin and I on the bus!  Look at those excited faces...
  • We got into Chicago pretty late at the only place open that we could find was a tasty pizza place with some nice cold beer.  Excellent.
  • Me posing outside of the Shedd Aquarium... I don't remember what this was a statue of though, haha
  • Octopus inside the Shedd Aquarium!  So cool!!
  • Stopped in at the Chicago Cultural Center for the Morbid Curiosity exhibit.  Most of it was pretty strange, I will admit...
  • One of the two Tiffany Domes inside the Cultural Center
  • Paris, Kristin, and me in front of the Millennium Park bean!  Of course we had to get this pic.
  • Out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory!  We met up with our friend June who lives in Chicago.
  • View of the city from the 95th floor of the Hancock building
  • Navy Pier!  Not too much to do in the winter but still fun to see!
  • Paris and me!
  • Shoes at Aldo!  We went shopping while we waited 2 hours to be seated for dinner at the Grand Lux Cafe.  So worth the wait though.
And that's pretty much it!  It was such a fun trip and I would definitely go back... only next time in the summer! Do any of you live in the Chicago area?  Or have you visited?  I've been a handful of times and always enjoy myself.

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Goin' to Chicago!

This is where you can find me this weekend:

Today I'm catching the bus and taking it to Chicago along with two of my best friends Kristin and Paris.  I'm super excited to shop the Magnificent Mile, see the Shedd Aquarium, and ride the elevator to the top of the Willis Tower (Sears Tower).  I'll also be catching up with my friend June and interviewing her for an upcoming Featured Creative post!  I haven't been to Chicago in five years so it's about time, seeing as it's only 5 hours from my house!

I'll be posting Instagram shots on Cup of Tea's Facebook page if you'd like to experience some of the trip with me!  Or follow me on Instagram @juliarenkert

See you all when I get home!  I have some exciting new material to bring to Cup of Tea soon.  BE EXCITED.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday!  Happy 23rd birthday to me!

blazer: H&M | sequin tank: Express | jeans: Levi's | shoes: Bandolino | necklace: Bittersweet Nostalgia | leaf ring: LC Lauren Conrad | heart ring: gift

This is what I wore out a few nights ago to celebrate my birthday with some friends.  I love a night out with yummy drinks and great people!  Some birthday related Instagram shots from this weekend:
Clockwise from top left: treats awaiting! | yummy birthday treats | the envelope of a birthday card from my friend Paris | one of my gifts from my sister... so perfect for me!

I'm off to go continue celebrating!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Instant Nostalgia

The birthday countdown continues! Only 5 days until February 13th! Yay.

top: LC Lauren Conrad | vest: Forever21 | jeans: Levi's | boots: Apt. 9 |
necklace: Bittersweet Nostalgia | watch: Target

What is it about "aging" a photograph that is so satisfying?  With just the application of an action in Photoshop, my photos suddenly look like they could have been taken 40 years ago (aside from the fact that the style of clothes and years of cars can tell the viewer my photos are not actually that old).  As the art of photography advances with technology, a lot of us want to go backwards to create an imperfect image.  Now you don't even have to know how to work Photoshop to create the effect.  With Instagram being at the fingertips of anyone with a smartphone, we're all stuck in the '70s!

I try to refrain from coloring my photos too often because it can look tiring after a while, especially now that everyone knows how to do it.  But once and a while it is fun to create that look of nostalgia for a time period that I wasn't even alive in.  Ahh.

Unrelated: While these photos were being taken I had my first Bella sighting of the year!  My next door neighbor's cat is the cutest thing in the world, and she likes to hangout around my house.  She sits on my front porch and looks in the window a lot.  I've missed her since she's been inside for the winter!  And I managed to snap her pic too!  Apparently she wasn't up for a photo shoot as seen by this action shot of her running away:

Have a great day!
Cup of Tea now has over 100 Google Friend Connect followers!  Thank you to all my readers!  I appreciate you and all of your lovely comments! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

DIY: Doily Valentine

In just over a week is the day that some of us love and some of us hate: Valentine's Day.  Now I've been on both sides of the spectrum (loving and hating it) but I've never labeled it as a "Hallmark Holiday."  The day has a lot of history to it.  Before Hallmark took over the holiday, people would hand make valentines for those they cared about and what's to hate about that?

Today I bring you a simple and easy DIY Doily Valentine!  Make one of these for someone you care about!

What you'll need:
  • doilies
  • colored construction paper
  • markers
  • double-sided tape (permanent works best)
  • scissors
  • ruler

  1. Start folding the sides of the doily in create the shape of an envelope.
  2. Use double-sided tape to hold in the sides.
  3. Measure the width of the doily envelope you just created.
  4. Cut out a piece of colored paper to use for the valentine.  Make sure the width of the colored paper is just a tad bit smaller than the width of the doily envelope so it will fit inside easily.
  5. Fold the colored paper to make a card, and attach a doily to the inside (use double-sided tape and then cut off the sides of the doily if it's too wide to fit)
  6. Write your message inside!  Mine is kinda lame, but you get the idea...
  7. Fold up your message and put it inside your doily envelope!  Depending on what your doilies are like, you should be able to see the colored paper show through.  Pretty!

It's nothing too special or fancy, but sometimes it just feels better to make cards instead of dishing out $4 for a Hallmark card that someone else wrote for you.  Mine kinda looks like a 5-year old did it, but I'm sure you can make yours better :)

Now, what I will call a Hallmark Holiday is Sweetest Day...because it is.  But that is a rant for another day!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Color Block Gradation

Happy February 1st!  Today starts the countdown to my birthday (12 days until February 13th!)  Yay to that!!

Anyway, today's outfit post is not one I actually wore anywhere, but one that I had fun making up because of the color gradation in it!  Yes, I'm a big color nerd and I find this color gradation exciting!

sweater: LOFT | blue dress: Pitaya | tights: Express | shoes: Ann Marino | necklace: gift

Has anyone else noticed that it's staying light longer these days?  Can I hear a yippeeee!?  That means I'll soon be able to start taking outfit pictures during the week again!  Excellent.  Have I mentioned how jealous I am of anyone that has an interior area that get's excellent daylight?  Sooo jealous.  Oh well, I'll just continue to freeze as I get my outfit shots outside!

Have a great day!