Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stuff I Found

Phew! Finally done playing catchup on my Bloglovin' feed, and I'm sad to report I hardly saw anything that excited me. I'm disappointed because I feel like I keep seeing the same things over and over again on design and fashion blogs. Design: how many times are we going to see posts about poufs? Fashion: although I do love the floral and neon trends, I think we get it, bloggers. Let's all stop posting the same floral suit and Equipment blouse. Maybe I'm just not following enough blogs....although 80 seems like a nice round number. Maybe I need to bump it up to a solid 100...

Feeling pretty uninspired today, but, as promised (you can hardly contain your excitement, can you??), here are a few things that caught my eye this past week in the blogosphere:

Click photos for credit.

I mean, come on. Just look at that incredible view! And the interior is no less breathtaking. Light, airy with natural accents make this home an extension of its surrounding nature. So many more photos of the space on Freshome.

On our nice little Kansas City Getaway last weekend, we spent a good amount of time in the West Bottoms. Back in the day, the West Bottoms housed the famous Kansas City Stockyards, which flourished in the 1920s and 30s. We saw a lot of old photographs of the bustling jazz city, which centered around the stockyards, and I became so fascinated with what that area once was. So, it was at that time I decided we are going to somehow acquire a photograph of the stockyards (something like this, but ideally more aerial), blow it up and make it a focal point. This super cheap photo-framing DIY is exactly how I imagine displaying that photo. The pop of color on the sides is such a pleasant contrast with a black and white photograph. Love.

Alright, how have I never heard of Heidi Merrick before? While I can't afford anything from this designer (yet? Okay, probably never.), I can still drool over the simple silhouettes and her brilliant use of color blocking. So refreshing.

Thanks to NRP's favorite new artists of 2011, I came across this little beauty. The Alabama Shakes is modern soul mixed with dirty south. Please click the photo or link and take a listen. I'm already in love and the album isn't even out yet! Definitely marking April 9th on my calendar.

See that bold, modern birdbath back there? How much would you pay for that? $80? $90? How about less than $30?!? It's an Ikea candle plate, 3 dowels and some wood stain. SUPER cheap. SUPER chic. I'm definitely trying this DIY once we make the move. Click the photo for more views of this cool project.

So....I've been slightly obsessed with prefab homes for the past two years. I'm convinced I will live in a custom prefab home one day. It's a steep dream though because modern prefab has a reputation of being pretty darn pricey. However, I stumbled upon LivingHomes this week. And guess what? It's one of, if not the first AFFORDABLE modern prefab home. And what's even better? I's LEED certified. LivingHomes has been around for a while, but their newest home is the C6 - a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1,232 square foot home starting at $179,000. IKNOWRITE? I feel like that is the prefect size for a small, young family like mine, don't you think? Visit the site here to play around with their customization tools to see what your dream C6 would look like.

And finally, just a little gem from Prepfection. Pretty sure this whole outfit (minus the shoes) is from J.Crew. And pretty sure this outfit will be mine...right after I get over this whole "find a job" nonsense. Meh. On that note, I would like to find a job that would let me work from home, at least some of the time. And with that dream on the brain, I began to start creating my "dream desk." Stay tuned for that post, which is inspired by this recent Z Gallerie banner:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. Washington

Ahhh, who doesn't love a good three-day weekend? And what can beat a three-day weekend that's filled with good food, good drinks and good company? Well, nothing. Nothing beats that. And that was exactly what my weekend was filled with. Thanks to our friends Tom and Lexi, our little weekend getaway to Kansas City was one of the most relaxing and most fun times I've had in a long while.

Weekend Recap:
-- Art gallery openings that turned into late night after parties of Boulevard and impromptu "Lean on Me" renditions at the Dolphin Gallery.
-- Brunch at Genessee Royale Bistro in the awesomely historic West Bottoms (I had the Croque Madame).
-- My first trip to H&M! Sadly, I left with nothing, but the BF picked up a few cute sweaters. Still a win.
-- Lunch at Wesport Cafe, which consisted of trying mussels for the first time (delicious), an Ahi tuna salad and a couple of mimosas to top it all off. Perfection.
-- A trip to the grocery store that led to an appetizer dinner. Items on the menu included baguette with garlic olive oil and balsamic dip, meat and cheese plate, shrimp cocktail, blueberries, homemade vichyssoise with soft boiled egg, macaroons made from scratch and of course, two Bota Boxes of red wine.
-- Seeing my old (meaning past, not age) ballet teacher perform the lead role in Romeo and Juliet at the brand new Kauffman Center for Performing Arts (or should I say space ship?) shortly after announcing her retirement.
-- A great night's sleep followed by my first (and certainly not last) experience with Pho. Absolutely the best meal of the trip, which says a lot since we ate like kings.

I wish I would have taken more pictures to document this trip. I did not think about it at the time, and now I regret it. Here are a few photos Tony took that at least that capture some of the highlights (*ahem PHO*):

One: Tom at the Dolphin | Two: Me making a weird face mid appetizer feast
Three: View from the top level of the PAC | Four: PAC - Ready for Lift Off | Five: Pho KC
Six: Pho veggies to put in... | Seven: ...the epic Pho bowl

If you've never tried Pho, I HIGHLY recommend it. Take the lightest, most refreshing meal you've ever had and slop that in with the most filling and comforting meal your mom's ever made you and BAM! You've got yourself some Pho.

Good Food. Good Drinks. Good Friends. That's all I want out of life. Thank you, George Washington, for making this weekend possible. And for doin' all that other America stuff.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Quick Post - Stuff I Found

So, I decided on Fridays (or its surrounding days, if I'm being realistic) I'm going to share a collection of photos/posts from blogs that inspired or impressed me most throughout the week. However, I was keeping this week's said collection in the form of an e-mail. And wouldn't you know. Like magic! It's gone. I only was able to salvage a few links, so I'm giving up, sharing what little I've got and starting fresh next week. Click the photos for post source/credit.

Isn't this the most perfect Valentine's Day outfit ever?? Monochromatic color blocking is so big right now and I am lovin' every minute of it! (Head over to Cupcakes and Cashmere for more views.)

Also blowin' up still are neon colors - for your abode and your apparel. This cute twine DIY gives any little corner an easy pop of color.

WHOA. Now, I've never been a fan of painted floors. Pretty much ever. But I was blown away by the above makeover. It's painted plywood made from a stencil. All done by hand by the homeowner. And she claims it only took her about 20 hours of work! It would take me more like 20 months of work if I ever tried to do a project like that, and it still wouldn't look this good!

And last but not least...did you know you can buy an array of Ikea products on Amazon?? Who cares? Those of us in the Midwest care. A LOT.

When it comes to Ikea shopping, Midwesterners (pretty sure I just made that word up) have only two options:
1) Take off work and plan your whole weekend around the trip to a store, as the closest are in Chicago or least 5 hours away from anywhere.
2) buy online and end up A) spending at least twice the cost of the item on shipping or B) disappointed because, "Sorry, this product is not for sale on our website, *ahem any lamp ever* check if it is available in your local store," which we've already discussed...doesn't exist.

Well, guess what? I just found out there are a TON of third-party vendors that sell pretty much the whole store and are more than willing to ship to you at a reasonable price. Sure, the list price is higher, but when you factor in the gas for the road trip or the poke-your-eyes-out Ikea shipping cost, it more than makes up for it. Check it out!

Are you excited for next week's more beefy "Stuff I Found" post?? Shh....I'll pretend that was a yes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

White Rooms

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been saving up some of my favorite white rooms over the past few weeks to share with you. I don't know what it is, but there is something so inherently soothing about an all white, beautifully styled room. After a long Monday, you deserve this post. Click photos for credits.

Ahhhh.....doesn't that feel better?

Something I noticed while hoarding white room photos is that each room is styled with variations of whites, creams and warm textures such as wood, brick, animal skin, wools, etc. All these elements keep the rooms warm and inviting instead of stark and barren - something to keep in mind when creating a white room. Although these rooms are not very practical for me at the moment (two 100+lb dogs who've ripped up all the grass in the backyard makes dirt/mud/dust our #1 home accessory), I hope that one day I'll be able to hire a cleaning lady (or two, or three...) and create a room just as dreamy as these.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Spring Trends

It's that time of year again! New York Fashion Week is in full swing. So while the lucky few get to drool over this fall's biggest trends in person, I get to sit on my couch, scroll through the NYFW blog updates and pretend I'm front row at Rebecca Minkoff. {Edit! Visit Stripes and Sequins for video of the Rebecca Minkoff show - ah-mazing!} I could write pages on all the trends I'm loving this season (*ahem* pastels anyone?), but I'll spare you and post just two of my favorites:

One: Dolan Tunic Dress | Two: Zara Blouse and Short | Three: Citizens of Humanity Jeans
Four: ASOS Blazer | Five: Forever21 Wingtips | Six: J. Crew Dress (now on sale!)

C' adorable are those shoes? And from F21? Yes, please. It's floral overload and could easily jump off the deep end into the '80s abyss, but it works, and I can't get enough.

One: Ruche Skirt | Two: Willow Dress | Three: Love Maxi | Four: Zara Skirt
Five: Zara Skirt | Six: Nasty Gal Skirt | Seven: ASOS Skirt

I love the visual interest these hemlines provide. Most of the asymmetrical lines you'll see are short in the front, long in the back - mullet style. But that's why I like that Nasty Gal skirt so much. Reverse mullet. (How many times have you accidentally landed on a porn site when trying to find a Nasty Gal shirt? Who named that label? Or maybe that was the idea...)

So, what do you think? Are you going to buy into either of these trends this sesason?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Ahhh, there really is no better feeling than tired muscles and a satisfied stomach with a glass of wine around your lips and fashion blogs across your computer screen.

After a long day at work today, I got my butt kicked in Piyo and tried the chicken taco salad at Qdoba for dinner (highly recommend). I followed that up by sipping on a cheap tasty glass of Pinot Grigio and catching up on my Bloglovin.

Sometimes it takes a frustrating day to create the most relaxing evening. Mumford & Sons playing quietly in the background doesn't hurt either.

Since I've been sharing so much style lately, I feel it's time to share a little design. So, here are my new Harry Bertoia Bar Chairs:

Okay. You got me. They're not real. They're reproductions. Although I dream of a modern home where every piece of furniture is an authentic piece of art, I know I won't be able to afford even one original piece for at least 10 years. Probably more. And in the meantime, I'd really like to get off the Target bus. So recently, we stopped by a local second-hand store that was going out of business and they had these two beauties at a really great price. Sure, we don't have a bar in our house, but they were a great deal. AND they were in perfect condition. What was I supposed to do? Not buy them? Please.

Side note: I've always been really drawn to Harry Bertioa chairs, and I didn't really understand why until a recent visit to my Grandparents' house where I found THIS:

Authentic 1950s Knoll Bertoia Lounge Chair. Turns out they had a whole dining set, a few lounge chairs and even the chaise when I was really little. Now it all makes sense. Unfortunately, they gave them all away for free (can you believe it?!) and all that's left is this little guy.

So until I can be as fortunate as my grandparents, knock-off bar chairs will sit proudly in my bar-less living room. But the good news is, now I have somewhere to put my CB2 Squirrel and West Elm Mongolian Lamb throws (which I got on SUPER sale, by the way).

Instagram again. I know. I'm starting to annoy myself, too. I really need to invest in a camera soon. Promise. But first, I think I'm going to invest in some nude pumps and this chambray. Priorities, people. Priorities.

Miles and Bjorn decided to relax along with me tonight. Hope you all are able to regroup a little this week as well.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Oia Jules Bracelet

I bought a Forever 21 gold chain bracelet about 2 years ago (you can see it in the header photo). It was one of my best F21 buys because it has lasted me so long. But after so much wear, the gold paint is wearing off the plastic and I definitely need a new one. What I really wanted was this bracelet from J. Crew:

However, its hefty price tag of $88 is just not in the budget. I was convinced if I searched Etsy I could find an affordable alternative. And I definitely did.

I came across Oia Jules jewelry and instantly fell in love. Here is a taste of their shop:

Metallic Leather Wrap Bracelet with Gold Chain

Pyrite & Chunky Gold Chain Bracelet

Chunky Gold Chain Link Bracelet with Cyan Agate

All their items are beautifully crafted with interesting and eye-catching details. However, what I was looking for was just a plain chain. I'd looked at other Etsy shops, but really liked the chains Oia Jules used. So I messaged them, asking for a custom chain bracelet. Within minutes I received a willing response and had the bracelet on my wrist 3 days after purchase. Here it is:

(Sorry I use so many Instagram photos. I don't have a real camera, so it's the only decent way to post pictures.)

I've worn this bracelet every day since I received it, and will probably continue to do so. It's gold-plated steel, so it has a nice weight, and I anticipate it to last for years to come. And it was only $20! If you're in the market, I highly recommend visiting the Oia Jules shop.

Have a great week!

Friday, February 3, 2012

BonLook Glasses Giveaway

So....since I ran out of contacts, I've decided to go back to glasses. Only the glasses I have now I've had for the past 5 years. It's definitely time for a switch. And when I was looking for the perfect pair, I found the Square Hooverville glasses in Brown by BonLook.

They are pretty much everything I've been looking for. And the BonLook site is really awesome because you can upload a picture of yourself and virtually "try them on" before you purchase.

However, I've been holding back because I'm having a hard time justifying purchasing a new pair of glasses when I still have a perfectly good pair. (I've secretly been hoping my dog chews them up or someone "accidentally" backs over them with a truck. Shh...don't tell my frames!)

But THEN I was reading one of my fav style blogs, M Loves M, and BonLook is partnering with her to give one lucky reader a pair of frames of their choosing!

So I know my chances of actually winning them are slim-to-none, but hey, a girl can at least try, right??