Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I Want That Room! {2.29}

As a musician, this living room/conservatory is a dream come true. I would LOVE to have something like this in my house. The music room is so light and airy, with all the windows and that amazing ceiling. The grand piano is the focal point of this room, as it should be. I love the great contrast between the high shine of the piano and the worn-in, well-used look of the wood floor. In this room, the wood is laid in a chevron pattern, and that makes it perfect to me.

But I also love the adjacent living room. The color palette is fantastic: calm and soothing but still colorful. Again, I love the ceiling and the floors of this room. There's a great comfortable, lived-in feel to both these rooms. On a lot of home tours, while the homes are gorgeous, they aren't that practical. That's not the case here. I can totally imagine living here, using the rooms every day.

See the rest of this home on House of Turquoise. It's all just gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First Outfit Post

This may seem like just another outfit post, but for me, it's conquering a fear. See, when I was 14, my grandmother told me that I am much uglier in pictures than in person. Ouch! What she actually meant is that I'm not that photogenic, which is true. She just said it in a way that pretty much scarred me for life. It took me about 10 years to figure out that I in fact am not ugly, but still, I shy away from the camera whenever possible.

So you see, posting outfit pictures takes a lot of courage for me, so please be kind =)


Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell (old) | Clutch: Marc Jacobs (Similar) | Necklace: Similar

Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Fun

This was the best weekend I'd had in a long time! Mostly because I have a new project, and nothing excites me like a new project.

Like I mentioned on Friday, I randomly decided that I really needed to spruce up my closet. It's a nice sized closet and it has a lot of great built-ins and drawers and things, but it just looks really boring. I'm not quite done yet, so I'm not going to post any pictures, but I'll give you a hint. It involved paint in this beautiful shade of blue:

Harmony Interior Paint in Spa

So I spent most of Saturday afternoon and evening doing some painting. I've never used paint from Sherwin-Williams before, but I happened to pass one as I was running errands. I ended up paying $50 for a gallon of their Harmony paint, which is undoubtedly the best paint I have ever used. It's Zero-VOC, almost odorless, dries quickly, and is made from acrylic latex. Which means I didn't have to use turpentine or paint thinner for clean-up. I'm really sensitive to smell, though, and most paint gives me a headache that lasts for days. It was definitely worth the extra money to me. (By the way, that wasn't sponsored or anything; I just really loved this paint.)

I also did a little DIY project converting some old CD towers (remember those?) into a jewelry holder/organizer.

I'll probably post a tutorial later this week, just because it was an incredibly fast and easy project and I think it looks pretty good!

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Need a Pretty Closet

Yesterday, I was inspired to do some major spring cleaning on my closet. While my closet is already organized by garment type, sleeve/hem length, and color, I really needed to get rid of some things. I can't bear to give something away if I paid a lot of money for it, even though I never wear it and probably never will. It seems less of a waste of money if I keep it in my closet unworn rather than donate it. When I had a rare afternoon off yesterday, I went through my closet and took out a bunch of pieces to donate.

Only now I'm not satisfied because I know my closet could look a lot better than it does. It's a pretty large walk-in closet, and there's no reason why I should have so little room. So over the weekend, I'm going to attempt to do something so that my closet looks more like this:

All images via Pinterest

Any ideas or advice? They'd be welcome!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Want That Room! {2.22}


There are so many things I love about this room. The beautiful turquoise blue paint on the walls, and the contrast of that glossy black mirror against it. The shocking pink velvet armchairs with the zebra striped pillows. And speaking of black and white, that striped sofa has me practically drooling. Not only is it black-and-white-striped, but it also has an amazing shape. I like the splash of traditional furniture in this contemporary room in the form of that tufted bench. It looks like it's made out of inlaid wood, and it looks particularly awesome against that shaggy white rug. There's just the right combination of black, white, chrome, and glass accents to make everything cohesive, but it doesn't go overboard. I couldn't find much information on where this room is, or who designed it, but it is fantastic and SO my style.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rose Gold Jewelry

One trend that I really love is rose gold jewelry. I don't know if trend is the right word, since rose gold has been used in jewelry for a long time. It just seems that it's become a lot more popular in the last few years than in years past. While I love rose gold, I don't think I look very good in it, so usually I just ooh and aah over jewelry I find. That's okay. Saves me money! Which  of these do you like? Do you partake in this trend or do you stick to more traditional metals?

1 | Jules Smith Boho Necklace | Pink Mascara | $130
2 | Frank Gehry Orchid Drop Pendant | Tiffany & Co. | $325
3 | House of Harlow 1960 Arrow Drop Necklace | The Trend Boutique | $129
4 | OliveYewJewels Rose Gold Bar Necklace | Etsy | $31
5 | KelkaJewelry Rose Gold Plated Cuff Central Circles | Etsy | $135
6 | Gorjana Ava Bracelet | Gorjana | $65
7 | Elizabeth and James Rose Gold Geodesic Band Ring | Bloomingdale's | $145
8 | TinyArmour Pyramid Stud Earrings | Etsy | $45
9 | Dogeared Always Beautiful Swing Rose Gold Dipped Earrings | Dogeared | $68

Monday, February 20, 2012

I've Always Wanted To Go To...


I know, it's weird, right? Honestly, I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated by this country. I guess I think visiting there would be kind of like going back in time. Liechtenstein is a very small country in between Switzerland and Austria. It is one of the few countries in the world to still uphold a monarchy, and quality of life there is extremely high. They have a high literacy rate, a long life expectancy, a low crime rate, and a low unemployment rate. But most of all, it is supposed to be perfectly beautiful.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Friday, February 17, 2012

Design Your Own...From Jonathan Adler

I just love Jonathan Adler and stop by his website periodically to check out what's new. The other day, I discovered a feature that I hadn't seen before. The website now allows you to design your own pillow, throw, tote, or rug! There are a ton of patterns and colors to choose from. Even though some of the items are kind of expensive, it doesn't cost anything to play around with the feature! Here are some of the things I created, but I'm sure you design-type people could do much better!
Click here to begin the fun.

Have a great weekend and see you Monday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What I Read Last Week...{2.16}

In honor of Valentine's Day, I originally wanted to read Love In the Time of Cholera, one of my all-time favorite books. But because I was completely unmotivated to do much reading, I settled on reading Leaf Storm, also by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, instead. This small collection of novellas has been sitting on my book shelf for a very long time, and I'm glad I finally got around to it.

Leaf Storm by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 Note: I couldn't find a publisher summary, so I had to use this summary.
In a South American town during the early years of this century, a retired doctor long known as an eccentric flatly refuses treatment to victims of a riot. Years later, the doctor hangs himself. For the vengeful town, the issue becomes whether he will receive a proper burial or be allowed to rot in the house where he had lately secluded himself.
This issue becomes the focal point of recollections, from many points of view, of fragments of the doctor's bizarre history. An old military man, who was originally the doctor's sponsor and host, braves the town's anger and forces his family members to help him carry out the burial. As it turns out, no one remembers the outrage apart from a few town officials, and the burial takes place without incident. 

My Take: I've read almost everything Gabriel Garcia Marquez has written, and I've loved practically all of it. I did not, however, particularly enjoy this book. It has all the essential elements of a Marquez story. It has the magical realism that Marquez is known for. Something just didn't click for me, though. It was just kind of boring and the magical realism was a little too strange. I found out later that this was actually one of Marquez's first books, so maybe it's just that he was still starting out as an author.

My Recommendation: Unless you have a burning desire to read every single thing Marquez has written, I wouldn't bother with this book. Especially when there are so many other fantastic Marquez novels to choose from.

Your Recommendation: I'm always looking for book recommendations. Are there any books that you've read and loved recently? Or if you've actually read Leaf Storm, I'd love to hear your opinion!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Want That Room! {2.15}

I hope you all had a very nice Valentine's Day. I know I did!

This week's I Want That Room! is a perfectly gorgeous kitchen that was featured in Veranda Magazine last year.

Where do I start? I just love the blueish-gray color of the cabinets, and how it is the main pop of color in the room. Everything else is very neutral, either dove gray, white, or glass. The glossy black of that amazing stove and the breakfast table stand out against all the neutrals, and is a striking combination with the blue. The chandelier above the breakfast table is pretty awesome, too.

It's all so peaceful! I can imagine making myself breakfast in that bright airy kitchen and then eating it in the breakfast nook while enjoying a good book. That's my idea of a perfect morning. 

Interestingly, this kitchen is Jennifer Lopez's home in California. I don't know why, but I didn't expect something quite so subdued from her. I rather expected something more colorful. Is it just me? Whatever.  The rest of her home is beautiful, too, and is worth a view.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing

Via Pinterest

See? It truly is!

Even though a lot of these images are wedding inspiration photos, they're pink, and pink symbolizes Valentine's Day to me. I hope you have a great Valentine's Day and can spend some time with someone you love, whether that person is a friend, boyfriend, husband, sister, or heck, even your dog!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Baking

This weekend, I had planned to continue my ongoing cake-making attempts (see the whole story here and here) but then I realized I needed to do some Valentine's Day themed baking. I let my husband choose what he wanted me to make and not surprisingly, he chose brownies. My husband doesn't like fancy desserts...give him a good old brownie over mille-feuilles any day.

In order to make the brownies somewhat Valentine's Day appropriate, I cut them out into heart shapes and sprinkled them with powdered sugar. I'm pretty pleased with the effect! It kind of works with the low-key, simple night we have planned. And I have to admit, I like me some brownies, too.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Paint Chip Art

I've been collecting paint chips since I was a child. I'd take a bunch every time my parents went to Home Depot or Sherwin Williams or any place that sold paint. I literally have thousands of them...and I have finally found some uses for them. I love all of these, but the first one is my favorite!

I could make an adorable mobile for my as-of-yet-nonexistent baby (I doubt my 11-year-old stepson would be that thrilled)

Via Say Yes to Hoboken

Or I could use them to "paint" an entire wall

Via Design*Sponge

Or to make some abstract wall art

Via The 3 R's Blog

Or maybe I could turn them into skylines like these.

Via The Ambitious Procrastinator

This bunting would be perfect for a Valentine's Day party

Via Grace and Light

Or this banner could be made to work anytime.

Via A Bit of Sunshine

I could even make over a clock.

Via Crafts By Amanda

I can't believe how creative and talented some people are!

If you want to give one a try, click on the picture or link to go to the tutorial.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What I Read Last Week...{2.09}

You've probably already heard, but Tuesday was the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth. In anticipation of the day, I decided to read something Dickens-related last week. I've had The Girl In a Blue Dress on my bookshelf for months now, and last week was the perfect time to read it.

The Girl In a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold

In Alfred Gibson the fierce energy and brilliance of the most famous of the Victorian novelists is recreated, in a heart-warming story of first love—of a cocky young writer smitten by a pretty girl in a blue dress.

Alfred Gibson's funeral has taken place at Westminster Abbey, and his wife of twenty years, Dorothea, has not been invited. Her younger daughter Kitty comforts her, until an invitation for a private audience with Queen Victoria arrives, and she begins to examine her own life more closely. Uncovering the true deviousness and hypnotic power of her celebrity author husband, she'll now need to face her grown-up children—and worse—her redoubtable younger sister, Sissy and the charming actress, Miss Ricketts.

My Take: This novel is loosely based on the life of Charles Dickens, focusing on his often estranged relationship with his wife Catherine. While the character of Alfred (Charles) is prominent in the novel, it is written from the point of view of Dorothea (Catherine.) This book had a funny effect on me. I disliked the characters, and yet, I liked the book very much. Alfred is portrayed as an egotistical and domineering father who cares more about fame than his family. Dorothea is content to play the martyr for most of the book, which usually drives me crazy. In spite of that, I liked the book! Go figure.

My Recommendation: If you are interested in Charles Dickens, I think you should at least consider reading the book. There are quite a few references to his novels and writing, so that would be interesting. There is a great deal of accurate historical detail, both about the relationship between Dickens and his wife, but also about the daily lives of Victorian women. It was a solid read. I didn't love it, but then again, I don't expect to love every book I read.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Want That Room! {2.08}

I just love the home office of designer Emily Ruddo. Last summer, High Gloss magazine did a spread on her beautiful home, and this was my favorite room in the house. I love the vibrant blue color on the walls, although I'm sure it might be too bright for some tastes. The contrast between the blue and the fuscia/pink chevron rug is wonderful. Everything else is comparatively understated. A couple of colorful throw pillows on the couch, a desk chair that coordinates with the rug, a plain white desk, and a collection of framed prints on the wall.

Personally, I love a couple of brightly colored rooms in a house. In my house, most of the rooms are neutrals, except for one turquoise blue room and one painted cranberry red. The thing I love most about this office is that it would be fairly easy to emulate the look. Sometimes, designer rooms look amazing and beautiful, but they are extremely hard to do in your own home. Not so with this office. I'm off to look for some colorful rugs now.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chair Art (for lack of a better description)

Going through the furniture section of Anthropologie's website the other day, I noticed an interesting trend. I don't even know what to call it. It's art...on seating. Like literally, paintings and other works of art produced on a "canvas" of sofas and chairs. It sounds a little strange, but it looks beautiful. Just look at the examples below.
The prices, however, are not so pretty. Thousands of dollars for a novelty settee? Not for me. In any case, I'm not sure I'd purchase something like that for my house. As gorgeous as they are, they're not exactly my style. No, I'm content just looking at pretty pictures on the internet. What do you think? Would you spring for seating like this?

Monday, February 6, 2012

If At First You Don't Succeed...

What great advice (she said sarcastically.) I've been trying for ages to recreate this cake that my dad ate in his childhood. My grandfather used to make it, and it's one of the happiest memories my dad has of his father. I originally wanted to figure out for a Christmas present, but after a while, I got too busy with Christmas busyness.

This weekend, I wanted to resume my efforts. I made 3 cakes, and none of them turned out quite right. Actually, 2 out of 3 tasted pretty good, but they just weren't like the cake my grandfather made. I'm beginning to think this cake is some sort of myth! I'll admit that I got pretty frustrated, especially after Attempt #2, which failed miserably.  I might or might not have thrown the cake into the backyard. Which is better than throwing it at on the floor of my kitchen.

The good news is that I'm getting closer. I'm systematically changing one variable at a time, and that seems to be working. I'll be at it next weekend again.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Etsy Find: Aeropagita Prints

I was trolling Etsy the other day (practically a daily event) when I stumbled across AeropagitaPrints. Normally, while I enjoy abstract art, I don't usually want to put it up in my home. These are different to me. The artist, Mishel Valenton, seeks to encourage introspection and positivity through her work. Looking at these beautiful prints certainly gives me good dose of cheerfulness and optimism! I love how most of her pieces start from the center of the print and project outward. It makes me want to pass on the good energy!

The Change. This one is my favorite!