Monday, January 31, 2011

against the wall

look at this beautiful tiled wall i spotted on house of turquoise, designed my matteo thun. isn't it amazing? i'd love to do a bathroom just like it, probably in a seaside house.

and this image is from absolutely beautiful things, and is a little tighter in its color palette, and is also gorgeous. i could see these in a kitchen or even a neat little mudroom.

i love the patchwork charm of these tiles, and the fact that you could piece tiles together that you've gathered from all different designers, companies, stores, even different countries. it reminds me of a fantasy i used to have about designing a dream home and spending a year traveling the globe hand-picking each piece. i think seeing these walls of tile makes that idea seem more attainable - while you don't have to collect every single piece of a home in your travels, you could certainly do it in the form of tiles for a backsplash or one wall of a bathroom.

do you like?

Friday, January 28, 2011

happy weekend

isn't this the sweetest sentiment? granted, there's not much sun to be had here in the northeast, and certainly no laying anywhere outside, but i love the thought of taking note of all the beauty around us, even in the midst of stress and snow and traffic and illness and fear and doubt and the general difficulties that life sometimes brings.

i hope you have a wonderful weekend.

image via

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

booking down the aisle

isn't this idea for a ring pillow sweet? it's from etsy seller thedaintywoods and i particularly love this set, because it could double as "something blue." i think it's the loveliest idea, especially if the couple is a literary pair, or if the books have special meaning. a pretty stack of old books could even be a different and charming centerpiece idea...maybe with a small floral arrangement on top, or not.

my ring pillow was made by my mother-in-law, out of the same fabric my dress was made from. i'd love to know...what did you use as a ring pillow, or what would you like to use?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

tiny treasures...over the shoulder

sometimes i just feel overwhelmed by the awesomeness of a good find...can you relate? when i was in bath and body works mourning the discontinuation of my beloved vanilla noir, i spotted these nylon totes and i wasn't as sad. i went for the lime chevron and the blue ikat, but the other prints are great too.

i've long loved nylon totes and i use them for little gifts, for carrying stuff in matching style and for keeping one in every nook and cranny of my life. what's special about these is twofold - first, the pouch they roll into is attached, which isn't always the case, so there's no little pouch to keep track of. and secondly, and this is the best part, the straps are long enough that you can comfortably wear them on your shoulder rather than having to hold them.

so these are this week's tiny treasure. if you need an almost-neon pick-me-up, the lime chevron is your answer.


Monday, January 24, 2011

shuffle this

one week from today, i'll be announcing the winner of honey living's first giveaway, a silver 2gb ipod shuffle.

all you have to do is be a honey living follower to be entered. if you already are one, you're good. if you're not, click the "follow" button on the lower right side of the screen and become one. here's what the button looks like.

SO, next monday at 3 PM, i will choose a follower at random from the list (don't worry, it'll be all professional and ballot-like) and the shuffle will have an owner. an owner who is also a honey living follower.

easy enough, right?

keeping our heads on straight...sunday best

do you have any sunday rituals? mitchell and i always try to get home early, if we go out at all, and we each prep our work bags for the week and do whatever else we can to get centered and organized to start the week.

all those routines are good, and they make a huge difference, but i love discovering little things that take a minute or two each that also have a big impact. for example, i have two baskets in my bathroom - one on the back of the toilet and one on the floor, and like any basket does, they can easily become catchalls on busy days. in our bathroom, a weekend that involves a few showers, makeup applications, shaves and hair dryings means catchall, and that just becomes stressful to look at.

last night, i thought to take a couple quick pictures right before i straightened them out because i knew it would be visually satisfying what a big difference a few minutes can make. i timed it - 3 minutes flat for both baskets, and i can't tell you what a big difference it made to see them both looking good and neat. then i lit a candle and turned off the light behind me.

they're not perfect - i'm really not much into perfection - but they're good, and that everything- in-its-place feeling is better than good.

i'd love to hear about the rituals that keep your head on straight.


Friday, January 21, 2011

happy weekend!

i, for one, couldn't be happier to see friday this week - how about you?

we're seeing best friends for dinner at this place, and i'll be wearing this lipstick. mitchell never likes to see the menu before we go somewhere - he likes the element of surprise (very out of character for him, btw) but i took a peek and it looks pretty amazing.

speaking of lipstick, is this not the most gorgeous makeup packaging you've ever seen? i'm also excited about trying this lipstick this weekend even though i'm not much into the whole vampire thing - especially in this form.

i'm feeling pretty happy in the fragrance realm, because i think i found an adequate replacement for the bath and body works vanilla noir that has been discontinued. it's been a crucial part of my fragrance life because i use it to temper my beloved patchouli and the custom blend has become a part of me. so i'm feeling a little more settled now that i have a plan.

while i was at sephora exploring vanillas, i got mitchell a bottle of this for his birthday - amazing. he sprayed it and exclaimed "ooh, so fresh. me likey. i'm going to put it in my mancaddy." sorry mitchell, had to share.

how fun are these richer poorer socks? sure, they're great for guys but i could see enjoying them under winter boots too.

i'm still in the nascent stages of exploring swapstyle, but i'm in deep like so far.

i'm loving one of the nicest bridesmaid dresses ever on BRIDEfinds. and some useful monogram favors!

and forever 21 (always a great source for cheap accessories) is launching a bridal line that involves feathers!

now in the category of gorgeous rustic weddings, check out this malibu affair (outdoor chandelier and leather boots included) and this amazing one with such a cute way for guests to share their own recipes for love. adore the drink sign!

check out this roundup of top 10 wedding posts at wedding chicks, and

this hibiscus tea looks pretty good, even without the vodka if preferred, and would probably be good hot too. how perfect would it be in glass number 8 on this champagne glass roundup? i imagine it would taste like the winterberry tea i get from jittery joe's which seems to be their own creation. and that brings me to tell you about just about the sweetest coffee shop i've ever seen, sweet melissa in park slope. the only way i can describe it is to say it's just darling and i wanted to stay there and never leave.

i'm not sure why, but items like this just melt my heart.

i know wall decals are a little iffy...they can be done well, and then not so well. i most enjoy them in childrens' rooms, and homegoods has a nice selection (of course they do). but sitedesignnyc has cornered the market, in my opinion. here, you can choose any of the designs in any colors you want. you just select "custom" and then give the details in your order. done. category killed.

i also discovered that sitedesign offers customizable lamps starting at $150, while higher end sites seem to offer basically the same stuff for three times the price. kind of loving this company - very custom but on such a nice budget.

if i were at all crafty, i would want to try making these delicate paper cherry blossoms from broke-ass bride. they're so pretty! and even though they're intended for boutennieres, i love them in a simple mug just like has them too. even if you're not crafty (maybe especially if you're not), the post is really funny. and the book she references, playing with books? yes please!

have a great weekend, and as always, thanks for sharing your week with me.


some like it cold

i prefer iced coffee regardless of the weather. there, i said it.

yes, there are exceptions. sometimes i love a good hot cup, especially with the milk frothed. but i'm just more of an iced coffee kind of girl, and i'm okay with that. i'm okay with the strange looks i get from the coffee guy in the morning when it's snowing and i want it cold. i'm okay with the confusion i see on peoples' faces when i sip what is clearly iced coffee, thanks to the sound of the ice, from a hot coffee cup since i can't use straws since my surgery (too much air). clearly, i'm not the only one with this preference, since despite the crazy looks, the coffee guy always has iced coffee in the dead of winter - it can't just be for me.

it reminds me of the great glamour magazine feature "hey, it's okay!" so, it's okay that i like iced coffee even when the very lid i drink it from collects a quarter inch of cold, icy snow. and it's okay -- great, even -- that i just push the icy snow right into the cup.

do you have a somewhat weird thing you're just okay with?


Thursday, January 20, 2011

keeping our heads on straight...good ideas

well, today seems like as good a day as any to talk about getting and staying organized. this morning, i left half my breakfast on my vanity, my blackberry in the bathroom, my glasses on the counter of the coffee shop, the ring guard that keeps my rings on securely somewhere in the house...and that was all before 7:30. needless to say, my day is a little off kilter.

so it's ironic, and quite useful, that i have these tips to share with you - don't worry, they're not from me (clearly), they're from the contributors to this month's better homes and gardens feature on getting organized for the new year, which i strangely can't find a link to on their website. anyway, it's part of their highly useful series of 25 ways you can do ___, or 25 ideas for ___...and the magazine is so cheap that it's a great one to pick up sometimes.

the best tips i picked up, and they are REALLY good ones, were these which i'm paraphrasing:
  • clean out your bag each night , making you ready to start each day fresh. it's so simple, but so good. sometimes i do this on the train, even in the morning, and it serves the same purpose. there's something just so good about knowing you're not carrying around any extra garbage, and everything is in its place.
  • limit your to-do list to a few items you can get accomplished TODAY. this one, to me is genius. i have a running to-do list, some of which is from the summer. clearly, many of those items aren't time sensitive, they just need to be done at some point. but it's true that when i flip to that section of my filo (yes, i'm still all about paper in this regard), i see an endless list and i'm sort of desensitized to it. i've taken this piece of advice to heart and implemented a post-it strategy. each morning (also on the train), i extract three items from the longesttodolistever and write them on the post-it - those are my goals for TODAY. so rather than a TO DO list, it's a TODAY list. i have already found i get more done that way, and enjoy a feeling of accomplishment and control which, really, is the whole point of a to do list in the first place. as i complete each day's tasks, i mark them as done on the bigger list, and choose the next three for tomorrow.
then, a segment on my new favorite the nate berkus show also comes to mind...he had a woman on who is a procrastinator and is, naturally, totally overwhelmed by the monumental tasks before her like going through her mail, checking her voicemail and decorating her daughter's bedroom. although those are sort of pedestrian tasks, it's easy to understand how they could become very daunting when left undone and how you could develop a lot of anxiety about having to do them.

the main suggestion of nate's expert was to break down each task into smaller tasks so they'd be more achievable and less overwhelming. this sounds so obvious, and it is in a way, but it's really quite perfect. rather than stressing about decoratingherdaughtersroom, today's task would be to go to a paint store and pick up some swatches and decide on a color. then tomorrow, look at furniture options online. suddenly, it's not only manageable, but could actually be pleasant! this dovetails nicely with the to do list suggestion from BHG and really has the potential to turn into a way of life.

i love getting good advice, and i love passing it on.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

hello yellow, part 2

obsessed with this color scheme. you know how i've loved yellow, and i seriously adore it mixed with rich brown and some black and white. then there's this mary mcdonald room that swaps out brown for taupe.

it's amazing how much the brown and taupe changes and intensifies the look compared to when it's with gray and white like in deborah needleman's bedroom...

or with black and white alone as in jenna lyons' home below.

why is yellow SO AWESOME?

top image, mary mcdonald image, deborah needleman and jenna lyons images

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

come fly with me

i've been waiting to share the pictures from my sister's engagement party with you and i think these cold, dark days of winter could use a shot of color, so here we go...

when we started planning the party to be held at my parents' house, we decided on a black, white and yellow color story with a 60's mod vibe. with black linens, white serveware and yellow accents, it was a really fun look. we had my favorite cocktail napkins for pre-wedding celebrations...i've used them for showers too and they always get smiles -- they capture that OHMYGOD feeling when a wedding is coming up, but they seem to be unavailable now! these are a cute alternative.

we played standards and lots of cocktail music by gilberto and getz inside and outside, which set the perfect mood. you know that moment when a party becomes a party? it was this song that did it, along with the setting sun and twinkling lights we strung all through the backyard. the yellow lava lamps (sadly not pictured) helped too.

in addition to the standard bar, we served the love potion, a tangy citrus tequila cocktail (otherwise known as a margarita) because we wanted peoples' glasses to act as moving points of color throughout the party. it worked! and of course, we had the servers circulating with fresh-poured glasses throughout the night.

we served classic fare reminiscent of a 60's cocktail party, some passed, some tabled - pigs in a blanket, cocktail meatballs, cheese and crackers, italian meats and deviled eggs which my dad expertly whipped up that afternoon. then we added in my family's favorite wings and a mashed potato bar, replete with crumbled bacon, sour cream, cheese, scallions, gravy, crispy fried onions, jalapenos and some other goodies.

the piece de resistance was definitely the cake and cupcakes, made by the amazingly talented christina barry. people were DYING over them, and with good reason. the adorable cupcake wrappers from etsy sealed the deal and the fact that it was all right in front of a hanging trio of big black and white photos of the happy couple made it even sweeter.

it was almost a shame to cut into the beautiful cake. almost.

even though we had meticulously planned every detail of the party, there were a few things we didn't plan that made the whole thing feel meant to be. look how the wrapped gifts, one partyer's colorful top and some fancy footwear pulled it all together!

love when things like that happen!

most photos courtesy of danielle barbieri

Thursday, January 13, 2011

everything is going to be ok

i believe it, do you?

and i love the cover of this feel-good book enough to pre-order it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

here birdie

how sweet is this little ceramic bird?

and how about his little brother in black?

to me, there's always something charming about little bird figurines...i think because you get the sense of looking up close when he or she is perfectly still which so rarely happens in real life, even for the most avid birdwatchers.

especially on a cold, snowy day like today here in new york, it's nice to be reminded that warm-bodied little birds will soon be back in town to forage and flap their way into spring.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

tiny treasures...a tall glass of water

raise your hand if you don't drink as much water as you should. okay, don't raise your hand, you'll end up looking weird. but let's just say we're all on the same page. so here's what i'm thinking...if we pour it, it will come. feel me? for this week's tiny treasure, let's all treat ourselves (for $5 or less, like the selections pictured here) to a really lovely glass or cup or water bottle to keep at our desks, on our counters or in our cars -- wherever we spend the most time. my theory is if it's there, and it looks pretty, we will use it. yes? worth a try, right?

all images

Monday, January 10, 2011

strike it up

i've long been a proponent of beautiful matches because they elevate the experience of lighting a candle or a fire to a different place. i love when each step of a process is a source of beauty and enjoyment, and lovely matches over mundane ones is just such an easy upgrade. of course there are candle-lighters too, but there's something so timelessly romantic about the sound and smell of a match. so imagine my excitement upon seeing this chestnut, the jonathan adler pipe match strike. the texture of the base ignites light-anywhere matches, so of course the first question that comes to mind is "where do you get light-anywhere matches?" the answer is, you buy them here, or in hardware stores.

i imagine wearing one of these, listening to great music like this and lighting amazingly scented candles like the capri blue aloha all day long.

on a similar note, i love JA's fabulously packaged fireplace matches, which would make a lovely gift for almost anyone, or would perk up a drab bookshelf next to a candle in two seconds flat.

Friday, January 7, 2011

save money, live better (in the words of walmart)

do you know about the norma kamali line at walmart? it's kind of awesome. first, my adorable colleague brandy was rocking a cardi/wrap/infinity scarf situation which she procured for $15. so that led me to this suit for $35, and then the walmart website where brandy's inifinity situation is regrettably not found (though still might be in stores). but check out these other scores, many of which are available in womens' and plus sizes:

the jersey maxi lounge dress, $12 - $14:

the trenchcoat, $24:

the all-in-one jersey dress, $15:

the batwing cardigan, $18 - $20:

the oversized french terry v-neck dress, $6:

the strapless jersey dress, $10:

the jersey wide-leg sleep pants, $10 - $12:

many of the pieces are marked down on clearance from their already scandalously low pricepoints. my favorite is the jersey v-neck dress, marked down to $6 from $7. you could buy one of each item pictured here for under $100 total. which leads me to...

i've always been torn on walmart...on one hand, it contributes so eggregiously to sprawl and puts small businesses under...but on the other hand, it provides over a million jobs and enables many millions of people to shop for their families affordably.

what do you think?
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