Thursday, May 26, 2011

Antiquing... aka looking at used stuff

One of my fav things to do is check out the consignment, thrift, and antique shops for decor and furniture. I guess I get tired of the same ol' big box store items and want to see something different. Old stuff definitely adds character and depth to a room. Here are some finds from a trip around town with the bug last Friday:

At the shop, I couldn't think of where I had seen something like this gold trunk (?I'm not sure if it opened) before but today it occurred to me while watching Secrets From A Stylist; it's just like the cube version Emily Henderson has in her studio on the show.

Gorgeous, no? I love the look of curved metal.

Ugly, right? No! This thing is rad. It was like the perfect size, not bulky and wide like most dressers, and look at all those drawers! Paint that sucker up any color you like, add some interesting pulls, and it would be perfect in any bedroom or entry way. (I'm thinking something dramatic like black or bright like turquoise.)

I know this looks grandma, but I can't resist a great chintz pattern. What can I say, I'm a sucker for the english cottage look.

This is a pretty generic bedside table painted pink but at $24 it'd save you well over a hundred bucks over something similar from PB. And how cute is that stripped basket?! 

There were quite a few other (some better) pieces, but after stopping and going at a few stores Ella had "had it' for the day and begun to fuss when ever I tried to take pic while holding her hand so that she wouldn't run off. Maybe she was seeing something awesome that I wasn't.   

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Sneak Peak

You may have noticed from this post that the front exterior of our home is gray, this is a fairly recent project as for the past 6 years it has been more of a buttery yellow. I wanted to wait until it was complete, but I think I'll give you all a sneak peak at our house. The painting is not done yet,  but I wanted to show you the progress that has happened.
Taping off the front door

The house in the process of being prepped for painting

Being painted: first coat on!

As for the whole front yard and front exterior of the house here is what we have planned at this point:

Within the next few months

-the front door now red, needs another coat, as well as the front and one side of the house 
-the back of the house and the other side of the house will be re-sided 
-the back and remaining side of the house will get 2+ coats of paint

-remove ivy from driveway (We have already attempted to kill it twice! See it in the pic above?)
-pour concrete on front right side of house
-pour concrete walkway from upper driveway parking all the way to backyard
-place 2 potted round boxwoods on either side of front door
-add kickplate to front door

Eventually (sooner than later, we hope)

-do something about the porch wood posts -we haven't decided what yet, I'm liking the idea of rock or stone columns, the mister is thinking concrete, or??
-add stone/ rock to bottom portion of front of house

-replace gravel easement driveway and parking with concrete
-remove current railroad posts and create (concrete?) retaining wall for upper parking

Monday, May 23, 2011

This, I Love

I got the summer issue of the Pottery Barn Bed and Bath catalog in the mail the other day and fell. Hard. There are so many pretty and aspirational things in there that I am already drawing inspiration from. Here are the things that I loved:

The Blue Beach-Glass Bath Accessories Set. They are so pretty and I think they'd pair really well with this shower curtain I got and put up a few months back.

Although these little guys range in price from $14-$25, getting one of each will set you back $74 not including s&h and tax.... yikes! So, here's what I'm thinking, if you follow Young House Love you'll remember the "ugly" glass light fixture Sherrie "fixed" by giving it a spray of frosted blue paint on the underside. My idea is to find a few inexpensive simple clear glass accessories like the ones above and do the same thing. It may not work, since it'd be difficult to get an even spray in the narrow openings of these bath accessories but it couldn't hurt to try. Another idea would be to use a sea-glass colored chalk paint for that same chalky color. If these attempts fail, or if I choose not to try them, I suppose I could always just wait for a sale and buckle down and buy them.

Another thing I'm loving is the Cynthia Storage Bed. All those drawers would be wonderful for Ella someday.

I am also loving these bedside tables in Antique Blue. I'm pretty sure it's the color that got me though. I'm pretty much obcessed with any variation of this shade right now!

I saw a decorative bust used as a necklace holder on a blog somewhere recently, and I thought 'what a neat idea!' Now I see PB has they're own version.

Apparently, me and PB think alike. Look what they decided should be used dually, as both a desk and vanity. I take this as confirmation that my idea to use this vanity as a desk was a-okay.

This wicker storage trunk reminds me of Ella's!

I am in love, love, love with these shams. Unfortunately I don't think they'd fly with my 'no-fuss' mister.

Ticking stripes? Yes, please!

I am thinking this chair may be the answer to the vanity-desk I am adoring.

I know this list felt like it went on forever, but in all fairness I did warn you that I fell hard for this issue, right? : ) 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Maybe I'm Getting Old...

Yesterday the Mister took me shopping for my birthday which was a lot of fun (for me)! The last time that happened was about 4 years ago, that's how much he loves shopping. Now maybe I'm getting old, but the store that appealed to me most? Gap. As a kid, Gap was cool. As a teenager and young adult... gap was boring. As a 25 year old mom of a one year old? Gap is AMAZING! I swear Gap was made for moms. At Gap I am a size 2 again, and everything fits and looks fabulous... umm hello, that happens no where!

I'm a pretty frugal gal, but I was so in awe of everything I selected to take home that I even paid full price for a pair of jeans without even thinking to remember that I could just write down the info on them and wait until Gap had an online sale. (Which seems to happen like every other week!) I did however ask the salesgirl if there were any deals going on, but I was out of luck.

The other place I found some staples at was Gap's cheap cousin, Old Navy. And me being me, I had checked the internet for any coupons I could find to both places before we left and signed up for the Old Navy newsletter which resulted in a coupon for $10 off of $50. Since everything I found there was either on sale or marked down, I ended up with $60 worth of clothes which came to $50 with that handy coupon, and for that $50 I got 5 pieces of clothing... I'm still in shock. I'm happy I went there first because it prevented me from spending wayyyyy more at Gap and trying on way too many pieces at way too many stores. This, I believe, is another sign I'm getting old; I kind of just want to get in, get out, and be done with it!

It was so awesome having the Mister there with me to say yay or nay. As a wife, I try to dress for him, so his opinion is definitely as important as mine, providing I am comfortable in the garment. Anyway, in case you're curious, here's a sampling of what I found and fell in love with:

I got this dress, which online is $34.50 but in store was only $19.99. There was only one left in this color and was an extra small which was a little snug around the bust, but other than that fit perfectly thanks to the a-line silhouette.

These are the full-priced beauties I snagged, which although I am petite, am able to get the ankle length regular jeans from Gap which have the same inseam as their petite jeans. (All of gap's regular jeans come in in ankle, regular, or long in addition to their petite and tall sizes!)

I also got two of this shirt, (which were on special @ 2 for $35) one in Balsalm Tree, and one in Equinox Blue. The collar, sleeve, and bottom hems all have a sprayed painted white effect on them which adds to the casualness of this thin summer tee. The green in a gorgeous color and would be great without the white sprayed on it, but for me the paint is kind of sentimental as it reminds me of the mister's painting tees!

All in all it was a great trip and it was so awesome to get out of town and have some time alone with the Mister while the bug stayed with his parents (Thanks guys!).

Monday, May 16, 2011

(A Little Bit of) Marc Monday

Happy Monday everyone! Usually, I am not fully awake at 5:52 am on a Monday (which is when I got up), but this Monday is special. It's my 25th birthday and I get to go shopping for clothes tonight, just me and the Mister, which is a very big deal around here. To lighten the mood for you M-F peeps heres a little does of MARC by Marc Jacobs to get you going for your week. Enjoy!!!!

"Colette" Flower Dress

"Bella" High-Waisted Striped Skirt

"Josephine" Sparkle Dot Top

"Schooner" Striped Jersey Shirt

Bow Ballet Flats

Mouse Ballet Flats

"Carmen" Silk Jacquard Top

"Isadore"Interlock Dress

"Andersen" Stripped Jersey Tee

Sometimes I see these pretty clothes and I wonder, are these clothes really as pretty as they seem? Or do they only look good because the model wearing them is about as thin as a clothes hanger?? Sigh. Another one of life's questions...

All images found here

Friday, May 13, 2011

Current Read: The Kind Diet

Yesterday, I went to the library and checked out a few reads including some decor books and The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone. Alicia was pretty much the Molly Ringwald of the 90's, at least she was in my heart : ). Alicia starred as Cher in Clueless, as well as Batgirl in Batman & Robin. She very recently (last week) had her first child with her husband Christopher, a baby boy named Bear! Both Alicia and her husband are vegans, and have been for about 15 years now.
Even though this book was published in 2009, I am just now getting around to reading it, and for good reason too. I like cheese and eggs and deserts made with milk and eggs and white flour. (White flour is not an animal product but highly processed which ups your insulin production and tells your body to store the f-word, FAT. See? I'm learning already!)

Recently though, I read a review somewhere that after reading this book the author of the review gave up animal products completely after reading about the cruelty to animals that goes into bringing us said cheese and milk and eggs. This made me hesitant but also interested to read it. I definitely don't want to feel more guilt about what I eat, but if this book can motivate me enough to give up animal products completely and give me more energy and a slimmer silhouette, I'm all for it.

Save for the occasional hamburger, I pretty much eat vegetarian at every meal already. I can't help it. I married a man who was raised vegetarian and only wants to eat vegetarian at home, but oddly enough eats McDonald's hamburgers an average of 5x a week! Now I meant it when I said I only eat an OCCASIONAL hamburger, as my personal meat intake probably averages 2x a month.

Since having Ella, I have tried cutting out fats like cheese and replacing them with more whole grains. This has helped me but not as much as I'd like, I'm pretty much stuck @ 116 (before you freak out and say that's not very high, I agree, it's not, but know that the "medically" ideal weight for my height is about 110) and while I haven't been exercising (shame on me, I know!) I'd still like to find a way to get that number down! If you've seen a pic of Alicia Silverstone lately (pre-pregnancy) you would agree with me that she has definitely slimmed done some and I believe her when she says that doing The Kind Diet gives you this result. I also would like to point out that "The Kind Diet" isn't a "diet", it's changing what and how you eat permanently which is a change in lifestyle, for sure!

I could go on and on and on but I just started reading this book! And if your curious about it, you should too! Check out your local library, and if you're like me you'll probably end up wanting to buy a copy to own.
In the meantime, check out her website: The Kind Life.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ella's Closet

Now that Ella is walking around, dresses and shoes and outfits seem just that much more fun, funny and cute on her! I thought I'd share with you all just how adorable she looks. Take a look at Ella in these gladiator sandals from Gymboree, the irony kills me!! Both the dress and sandals were from a friend.

To me, there's nothing funnier or more fun than seeing babies and toddlers wearing fashionable or trendy clothing. My little fashionista! And she doesn't even know it yet...

Can you tell I'm anxious for summer?  It may be 56 degrees and raining outside our house, but inside, it's 70 and sunny in our hearts.

Here's what Ella is wearing today:
I'm a sucker for smocked sundresses and sandals! You can take the girl out of California but you can't take California out of the girl : ).

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Master Boudoir

So... I was playing around making mood boards, trying to see what our room would look like with this juniper silk I bought mixed in with mirrored (fav!) nightstands and a bed that is very similar to ours.

For reference, here's a shot of the actual fabric I bought about 3 months ago:

It's real dupioni silk and was only $4.50/ yard after markdown to $9/yard and then an additional 50% off. Needless to say I bought it all (7.875 yards), I just hope it's enough. The plans are to create drapes for our windows (maybe french-pleated?) which we will line in blackout fabric, and 3 euro shams to go on the bed.

 This is what I came up with the night before last:
I love those pendant lights! They are from West Elm and are pretty reasonably priced at $189 for a set of 2. They are 11" in diameter, which may be a tad small for our room though.

The bench is just there for wishful thinking as the way our room is situated now, it may be too narrow a walkway if we placed one at the foot of the bed. Ideally, I'd like a storage bench though to stash extra blankets and the throw pillows while we're sleeping. Maybe we'll just suck it up and place the bed angainst the (lone) window so that we can have a better flow and use of our space in there.

Here is what I came up with last night, including a PB bed that is more similiar to ours (which we got at good ol' Costco a few years ago) in that it is only sleighed at the head of the bed, as well as a gray painted background!

In this one, I replaced my side's nightstand with the Pier 1 Hayworth Vanity that I would use double duty as not only an impromptu nightstand, but also my desk. Notice the inspiration board above it? It would be for tacking on all my tears and fabric samples.

I also replaced the pendant globes with this chandelier from Pottery Barn. It is rustic and glam at the same time, and ties in the dark wood of the bed and the glitz of the mirrored furniture nicely.

The patterned chair from both boards would serve as my desk chair. And see that gorg sea glass-colored dresser in the bottom board? I threw that in to serve as a placer for the built in dresser that the Mister built years ago. It is currently a natural wood tone but we have considered painting it and even though I know I'd be a long shot to painting it this color, I think it'd look amazing and would make me love it so much I'd probably pet it daily or at the very least, dust it more often.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My "it" List

It's May... the sun is shinning, though still a tad windy outside it helps to see the light and bright blue sky, May is a good month. This May brings my second Mother's Day as a mother (Ella was less than 3 weeks old last Mother's Day) and my 25th birthday.... ugh. I feel so old, like the oldest 25 year old ever. I know 25 is not old, but I am. I've always felt years, even decades, older than I am.  Anyway, just for giggles here's my wish list as it is present season for me, at least in my head!

1. A canvas for painting. Lately I've had a hankering to create some art for our house. Buying art is usually pretty spendy, and since we have many nude walls in our house I'd love to dress them up with some colorful art. I'm thinking a blue background painting of a lemon or bowl of lemons or maybe even a lemon tree in 24 x 36 for our dinning area and a large fuchsia flower for our bedroom, or bathroom, or I don't know where, but somewhere! And maybe something with this quote on it (this one is by Etsy seller Raw Art Letterpress, just because it makes me feel good :).

2. A subscription to a shelter mag. Maybe House Beautiful? Or Canadian House and Home?

3.Two of these wicker baskets. They are the perfect size to fit a load of laundry in and to slide one into each side of our closet in between the hanging clothes and the carpet. They are only $18 a piece at Walmart but for some reason I can't seem to get the cahoonies to buy them myself.

4. This book. Vuilliard is my favorite. Ever. I've been wanting this book for a good 5 or 6 years now. Unfortunately the price has gone up dramatically since then :(. I remember it being around $60 the first time I looked it up and now a used paperback cover is $89 on Amazon, and a new hardcover cover $475...eek!

6. Simple silver-plated frames like these. To (finally!) put up some wedding photos and favorites of the bug.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

West Elm Dexter Bench Look-A-Like For Under $40!

Look what I spotted at Costco last week:
For all of you West Elm/ Making It Lovely stalkers out there, doesn't this look familiar? It's the same bench that Nicole posted about here and here. Here's the West Elm Dexter Bench for reference:
The best part is, The Costco version as you can see above, is only $39.97, which doesn't include the seat cushion which is only an extra $24.97. The West Elm Dexter Bench is currently on sale for $279, originally $329, the cushion for it is on sale for $67, from $79.

Yes, the Dexter bench is wood and the Costco version is metal but spray paint that baby up any color you please, how could you not resist the savings (Over $239, not including the cushion savings and shipping)! Although the Costco version is not available online (sad, I know!), it would be well worth the trip if you have one relatively nearby.

 Costco has several other cushion colors available including red and a very gorgeous gray! Also, check out the matching chairs similar to this one from the West Elm Dexter Collection:

I'm so in love with the bench that I told the Mister we should get two! One for the front porch and one for the back yard patio (that doesn't yet exist), of course.

Ella's First Birthday Bash

As promised, here are some pics from Ella's party:
Bubble machines and balloons helped create a whimsical and fun welcome for guests

The desert table! (Recognize the banner?)

Smash cake: box confetti cake inside with chocolate fudge frosting, very yummy!

Elephant sugar cookies with pink cookie icing. Cookie cutter is from Etsy seller Kitchen Crafts, sold here.

Cupcakes are confetti cake with confetti frosting Cupcake holders were self-made with pink polka dot scrapbook paper from Jo-Ann's.

Lemon bars

Ribbon detail. Pink polka dot ribbon from Jo-Ann's.

Brownie bites

Pink frosted mini donuts. Mmm, they were good!

Take home treat bags!

The Birthday girl getting ready. Her dress was made (hand sewn!) by my mom.

Checkin' out the loot.

Admiring her Birthday gift from us, the Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair in pink polka dot to match the party!

All partied out!
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