The Latest from West Elm

New Arrivals from West Elm

I am in a bit of a shopping mood today and flipping through the latest West Elm catalog isn’t exactly helping matters. My husband and I have been on a bit of a bender lately trying to get our townhouse decorated after having put off a lot of the big projects and purchases for several years. It’s amazing how much fresher your kitchen will look with just a simple refrigerator upgrade! Or, how much cozier the living room will look when you finally buy the sectional that fills the space better. It’s always hard to spend the money but so far, I have not regretted any of the big purchases!

Although there are plenty more big projects on the list, I am looking to take advantage of this mood by making some of the smaller purchases to finish out some of my other rooms. This is the chair in my office that I found at Home Goods. I love the colorful paisley pattern but want to add a throw blanket and a pillow or two. My gut is telling me to buy one of the blue ones and to add a green pillow to the mix.

Throw

Some purchases require a lot less thought – like finally adding a few pillar candles to the empty candle holders on the mantle in my living room. I am keeping it nice and simple with some white, unscented pillars in the same 3″ x 6″ size. Since all of the candle holders vary in height, I figured using the same size candle will maintain that variance.

Candles

Luckily, my existing headboard comes from West Elm so it fits within their design scheme for photo-shoots. Hence, they used one with a similar fabric in this bedding shot and I feel confident its going to look great together.

On a side note, it is always amazing to me how different a room can look in a photograph than it does in real life! Clearly, the lamp next to my bed is too small in stature for the height of the headboard and the mirror. Time for another upgrade – I might actually have another couple of lamps in my house that will work here though.

Bedding

And, I can’t resist a couple more finishing touches – a fun accent pillow to throw on the bed for a pop of color and a coordinating shower curtain for my master bedroom’s attached bathroom.

Finishing Touches

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Fall Ad Campaigns: Coach

As much as I love Summer, I always long for Fall with its mild days and crisp evenings. Perhaps it’s the perpetual student within myself but Fall is my season of change and my time for fresh starts. This Fall, I am looking forward to several things – picking apples and drinking apple cider at Carter Mountain Orchard, running half-marathons #11, #12 and #13, visiting Savannah, GA for the first time, and attending the wedding of one of my favorite college girlfriends.

The fashion industry treats Fall in much the same way that I do, as evidenced by the mammoth September magazine issues. This is also the time of year that brands make changes to their ad campaigns. Coach recently confirmed with WWD, as seen here, that Gwyneth Paltrow would be serving as their brand ambassador in select markets. Take a look – I think Gwyneth looks better than ever!

Coach AdImage Credits: Vogue

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Home Envy: Failure to Launch

I routinely watch and re-watch movies purely for the visual stimulation – the Italian countryside in Under the Tuscan Sun, the fashion and art direction of Marie Antoinette, and the home decor in more movies than I can say. Hollywood provides so much inspiration for home design and decor but sometimes it doesn’t quite translate to real life. However, one of my favorite examples of cool home decor comes from the apartment shared by Sarah Jessica Parker and Zooey Deschanel in Failure to Launch. I would gladly take every single item from this set and transition it into my home!

What first grabbed my attention about this apartment was the shade of blue/gray on the wall – every time I watch this movie, I try to decipher whether it is more gray than blue or more blue than gray. For the life of me, I cannot find an on-line reference that will tell me the exact paint color used but I would love to incorporate it into my house! It is such a cool shade to use as a jumping off point for the eclectic home furnishings used.

Failure to Launch

This is a pretty simple shot of the apartment’s foyer but I love the detail on the door. I have seen where some blogs recommend using a wall paper treatment here but I was thinking it might be cool to use chalkboard paint and draw out the pattern – later, if you get sick of it, you can use it for leaving notes or keeping your children busy.

Failure to Launch

This is one of the more traditionally decorated areas of the apartment but it doesn’t read old to me at all. I love the monochromatic use of paint and window treatments + the use of texture on the lampshade and dress form. I think the touches of black in the room keep it from looking too matchy-matchy and add a French flavor that I really like.

Failure to Launch

I decided to mock up a little mood board for my own living room using Failure to Launch as the jumping off point. I played with bold pops of color, the bird theme that permeated the film, and a basic or two. Hope you enjoy!

Mood Board

Image Credits: Paramount Pictures, Company C rug and pillows, Benjamin Moore Paint in Brandon Beige and Santorini Blue, Crate & Barrel Sofa, Stanley Furniture Accent Chest, Greenbox Artwork, Pottery Barn Lamp Shades, Jonathan Adler Bowl

 

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What I Wore: Rose Byrne

Ironically, I read this article in the Fashion & Style section of The New York Times not long after finding out about J’s Everyday Fashion and thought I would post for a second time today since the topics were so similar.

Rose Byrne
Courtesy of Zimbio, WWD, and The New York Times

The article is a fashion diary of sorts covering six days in the life of actress Rose Byrne. I always think its fascinating to read about the day to day decisions that celebrities make – especially since they appear to be just as insecure and self-conscious as the rest of us. Of course, my favorite day’s outfit was what Rose described as “the car crash” – again, this is a reminder that even beautiful actress’s with seemingly perfect bodies have “off” days.

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Blog Lovin': J’s Everyday Fashion

Applause, applause! In this blog happy world we live in, it takes a lot to stand out in the crowd and J’s Everyday Fashion had me at hello. J posts daily outfits, drawing inspiration from high-end, fantasy fashion and translating them into affordable and accessible versions that are appropriate for the average woman’s day. Plus, many of her outfits feature products from local stores like Banana Republic, Gap, Marshall’s and Forever 21.

Inspired by a reader submitted photo from People.com, this happens to be one of my favorite ensembles by J. I cannot get enough of this purple skirt!

Pretty as a Tulip

Inspiration can come from unlikely places – J used an article from Lucky magazine on using artwork to inspire this look.

Art in Translation

How about an exotic locale? This tribal look was inspired by a Lucky magazine photo.

Exotic Locations

J also features fashion tips like how to dress for the office – see her tips here.

Four Easy Office Styles

Thanks to another one of my favorite blogs, Eat Live Run, for introducing J’s Everyday Fashion to me through her post today, seen here.

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Friday Blues

Lake

Well, this was going to be a simple post about me leaving for a fun weekend away at a friend’s lake house but sadly, the thermostat on our car decided to have a meltdown and our mechanic cannot get the needed parts until Tuesday! As they say, sometimes life hands you lemons and its up to you to make the limonata. We have lots of home projects that are in need of attention and we have a friend coming into town to play with his band so it looks like we are going to have a fun weekend after all. Happy weekend to you!

Image courtesy of Loon Lake Realty

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Shop: Rikshaw Design

Blue Paisley

I don’t remember how and when I first discovered Rikshaw Design but I will never forget what grabbed my attention – the baby blankets. How lovely and adorably hippie are they? I spent several years working for a well regarded, upscale on-line baby store and have never been able to switch off the Buyer hat that I wore there. I couldn’t help but think how quickly customers would snap these up!

Baby Blankets

And, look how sweet the baby bedding is! I love the fresh take on the popular jungle motif. Believe me when I say, I have seen them all and this is truly a unique take on it.

Baby Bedding

Ironically, I do not have children of my own and have absolutely no need for these beautiful baby items even though I led with them. What I am really coveting for myself is one of the Twin Quilt sets. I want to use the quilt as a throw in my living room when my new white slip-covered sectional arrives. Imagine snuggling up in one of these!

Quilt

However, the item I am closest to picking up is one of the kurtas but I can’t seem to make up my mind on which one I want. There are so many colors and fabrics to choose from and honestly, they are all just so perfect for summer! Here are my favorites…

Kurtas

I also have a girl crush on the Rikshaw Design blog! As someone new to blogging, I find this blog inspiring. It has the perfect balance of beautiful images and content. Personally, I prefer blogs with a high ratio of images like this one because it’s so nice to wake up with a cup of coffee and something stimulating to look at.  She posts on everything from home decor, travel, and fashion – check it out here.

All images courtesy of Rikshaw Design.

Pink Paisley

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Tuesday’s Obsession: Fashion Documentaries

I am a true lover of fashion. And, not just beautiful clothing, but the business of fashion – magazines, fashion houses, models, photographers, and stylists. In fact, my favorite time of year is early to mid-August when the September issues start arriving in my mailbox. So it’s not surprising that I get sucked into one fashion documentary after another. It all started with The September Issue. This is a documentary that I can watch over and over again – and have. It’s become the soundtrack of my home, as I often leave it on to run in the background as I work. Like any gateway drug, I found I needed more and more fashion to reach the same high I felt the first time I watched it. The Netflix account that I let languish was suddenly like gold to me once I discovered how many other fashion documentaries were available to watch instantly.

Here is a list of my three all time favorite fashion documentaries:

1. The September Issue – A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Vogue’s September issue featuring Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington.

The September Issue

2. Seamless – Follows three designers as they struggle to develop collections to win a competition set up by Vogue magazine and the CFDA to discover and support emerging talent.

Seamless

3. Picture Me – Follows the rise of model Sara Ziff as she also exposes the fashion industry from within.

Picture Me

For even more, check out this list by The Frisky!

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July’s Foodzie Arrival

Oh, the joy of receiving a package of tasty goodies! I am back with my monthly Foodzie Tasting Box update and I couldn’t be happier with it. Inside were six delectable looking samples – including Fleur de Sel Peanut Brittle, Organic Olive Oil, Black Truffle & White Cheddar Popcorn, Dried Cherries, Fennel Pollen Shortbread, and Organic Heirloom Emmer Farro.

Foodzie Tasting Box

I couldn’t help but pretty much open the popcorn immediately to taste it – or rather, scarf it all down without saving even a morsel for my husband. It was that good and I was that hungry. I will be nice and save the rest to share with him though. As usual, the box includes a recipe card that utilizes two of the ingredients to make a Kale Salad and here is the enclosed note –

    The long summer days call for more excuses to kick back on the deck, grill with friends, and entertain poolside. This month we selected seasonal ingredients, plus sweet and savory treats that we think are just the right flavors for your summer entertaining menus. Inside, you’ll find, Fennel Pollen Shortbread Cookies for afternoon tea, fun ice cream toppings like Fleur de Sel Peanut Brittle, and ingredients for a healthy side dish from one of our favorite new cookbooks.
    Happy Tasting!

What a wonderful surprise on a Monday! Hope you have a fabulous week.

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Forecast: Sunny Weekend Ahead

Happy Friday to you! I am heading into another summer weekend full of plans – night out with the girls, a day of shopping at farmer’s markets, and hopefully some book reading. In anticipation of all of this sunny fun, I gave myself a pedicure using my new nail polish from Sephora by OPI in Hi Def, a bright tangerine orange that turns dark poppy with additional coats. It’s the perfect shade to go with my new navy and white nautical inspired sun dress from J.Crew, as seen here. Hope you have a great weekend!

Pedicure in Hi Def

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