Thursday, March 31, 2011

to the max(field)

you know how i feel about things having a collected-over-time feeling (in a nutshell, i adore it). so the maxfield flatware from pottery barn has always made my heart sing. too bad i made its acquaintance after i received every kitchen item under the sun from my wedding registry. if i were to register now, these would be at the very top of my list. the set is comprised of five different place setting styles, and is perfectly mismatched in that timeless, vintage way so many of us strive for in our homes. what i also love about it is that if you eventually inherit flatware pieces or serving pieces from your parents or grandparents, they can mix right in and they make it all that much more authentic.

well since my registry ship has sailed (several years ago at this point), i'm going for the next best thing by collecting mismatched flatware whenever i can find it super cheap. last time i was up in woodstock, i scored an entire basket of old flatware for $1. can't beat that. i recently started polishing it...not easy. i get the whole elbow grease thing now. so i'll do it over time, and one day maybe i'll have a set as lovely as the maxfield.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

for the birds

there's something utterly charming about birds, isn't there? a few weeks ago, the arrival of the sounds of birds - with their curious chirping and foraging - was a real pick-me-up. i'm starting to form my birdfeeding plan (remember my last attempt?)...definitely included is an abundant supply of birdseed in my standing feeder, or maybe this one which i still think about.

oh, and a hummingbird feeder. i had the pleasure of seeing real hummingbirds for the first time last summer at my parents' house and they are truly amazing looking, aren't they? my mom put red food coloring in the water which seemed to attract them like crazy, moreso than just the red tip of the feeder.

i love all these bird figures for little spots inside and outside the home, don't you? of course as easter approaches we see everything adorned with birds and their nests - cake plates, pillows, serving bowls - but to me, the ones that are most appealing are like those pictured here, made of natural, organic looking materials, because it's in these cases that they actually look like real, live birds. i don't need bird salt and pepper shakers or candle holders, birds pretending to be something else. to me, that erodes at their natural charm. they're perfect, and enough, just as they are - simply as flying, walking, chirping little creatures.

i love their still, quiet serenity here and the sense of privilege i feel looking at's a frozen close-up look at the likeness of birds which never stay still long enough to admire.

i'm also obsessing about the idea of framed bird print like this one or these to lean on a nightable like this one or this one, perhaps on a low stack of books.

yet another reason to be happy spring is on the horizon.

top image, image 2, images 3,4, images 5,6, image 7, images 8,9, image 10, image 11

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

nailing it for spring

what nail colors are you loving right now? the above combination is what i've been doing myself in an effort to skip manis for a few weeks to save some money. i do one coat of ladies choir from sinful colors ($1.99) and then a top coat of starry silver glitter from NYC color (.99 cents)which is high impact silver with little blue flecks. i might be easing into blue nail polish. p.s. there are coupons for NYC color for $1 off (which i can't find online right now), and if you use them at cvs and get the older bottle style seen above, they're free with the coupon. don't tell NYC i'm spreadin' the news.

some of my recent mani faves are from opi's texas collection, specifically suzi loves cowboys, a true dark brown, though i'm a little out of the dark mood now. are you?

then there's essie's spring collection, which is rather lovely across the board. i'm having that how-will-i-decide anxiety...they're all so pretty. have you tried any yet?

Monday, March 28, 2011

tea time

did you read the article in the times a few weeks ago about tea service and all the places that have it? it's quite lovely, really, the thought of it all, and it's easing me into the idea of reducing my coffee intake. mitchell and i have started to drink tea in the evenings - with a touch of milk. we get the sleepytime extra and i have to tell you, it knocks me the F&*K out. didn't expect that outburst in a post about ladylike tea, did you? this particular variety of tea is so hard to find, that i imagine the delivery driver had a sip and is still sleeping halfway through his route.

when i was in toronto a couple months ago, i was utterly charmed by the collected and mismatched tea service and dishes my cousin daccia had. see all the different pieces, no two alike?

and it inspired me to have my very own. so off to toronto's chinatown we went, and i got these little teacups and teapot which i've been having my nightly tea in. i already love the way they mix and match with each other and some of the other dishes i have. yes, i already have vintage teacups, but i wanted something looser and more casual, like daccia's.

then when i got home i picked up the perfectly worn, perfectly sweet teapot stand above at a soon-to-close antique store in town.

my new thing is that i want to start off the day with an antioxidant iced tea, sweetened only with lemon (must get off sweet and low). any suggestions for a decaf tea that's good iced and works well with lemon? should i come up with a few more requirements while i'm at it?

Friday, March 25, 2011

rolling along

how adorbs are these bikes from cb2? i love their punchy yellow color and the way this couple looks so sporty and fun. mitchell has been riding as a replacement for his beloved running since his knee needs some relief. he's trying to convince me that this summer we can dust off the english riding bike i had when i was 12 so i can join him (i can remember how excited i was for a 10-speed!!)

the look of these bikes are a mark in the "yes" column. we'll see...hope you have a free-wheeling kind of weekend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

measure up

wouldn't these be fun to have in your bag? i love when something so utilitarian takes the effort to be a little glam too. most of all, it makes me smile that there are enough people in the world (like me) that would get a thrill from owning a gold faux-leather measuring tape. so many, it seems, that they're sold out! but pier 1 has these crystal and animal print ones to fill in.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

wednesday thoughts and links

isn't this set of outdoor furniture beautiful? i love it, especially with the cushions in this intoxicating color. i SO want to go to there. there was a time where this style would have felt stuffy and old-fashioned to me, but now it feels perfectly lovely.

all the discussion of espadrilles makes me smile, because i remember clearly when they were very popular when i was a kid. i DIED for espadrilles for some reason.

urban outfitters never stops having fun things, like this doormat or this vintage pop shop shelf.

people are over imperial trellis. are you? i'm on the fence.

look at these images of designer meg braff's west palm beach home. so colorful and fresh. it embodies why i love florida.

and on weddings...

have you seen glimpses of kate spade's new bridal collection at nordtsrom? BRIDEfinds has a first look, and although the aim of the dresses ($355-$525) is for the shower, sendoff brunch, etc., i could see a very glam city hall situation for a certain kind of wedding, can't you?and i die for this necklace.

check out this great invitation suite template on the wedding chicks that allows you to customize in all kinds of color and see a digital proof that instant. it's so fun playing around with the favorite combo of today is grass green and tiffany blue. loving that preppy color combo this minute.

are you SO ready for spring? i can't help but smile every time i see a little green poking through the dirt, and bwed brings us a guide to march flowers.

lauren from every last detail discusses myths about wedding costs. i always like her pointers.

and take a few minutes to read the broke-ass bride's wedding week thoughts...mainly about the difference between a marriage and a wedding -- how the wedding is the frosting. the wisdom can be applied to so many aspects of life.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

a mismatch made in heaven

i love the use of mismatching woods in this little vignette -- the pale gray stained chair is totally unpurposeful looking with the walnut hutch, isn't it? and the white wainscotting and picture frames add even another layer of that collected feeling. i find images like this inspiring because it lets us see how much possibility there is in the things we already own...hand-me-downs, heirlooms, tag sale finds and the occasional new purchase can all live together in a kind of harmony that you just can't buy out of a catalog. well, i guess in this case you actually could. well done pottery barn.

you like?


Monday, March 21, 2011

sights and sounds of the weekend

even though it was definitely brisk yesterday, it was a pleasure to take my neighborhood walk and see some signs of spring. i especially loved all the boats getting ready to set sail.

such a cute boat name, isn't it?

i love this little house...complete with a front porch across from the water.

very specific sign, no?

Friday, March 18, 2011

in the bedroom

isn't the the charlotte bedside table sweet? i love the way they're distressed, but not so distressed that it looks intentional. and i love the simple, clean look of it and think it would be perfectly lovely to rest a book or two on, and the tiniest of lamps. i don't even know how i'd decide which color to choose...they're each so nice in their own way. i could picture the blue one in an otherwise white and cream room, but then the white would be so nice in that room as well...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

the things she carried

we've talked about the question of what to do with your wedding gown post-wedding and as alternatives to the whole preservation thing, i've written about memorializing your dress in beautiful artistic form, or just dying it black and rewearing it like i did.

here's another idea of ways to preserve wedding memories that i really, really love. it comes from maura, a bride who knew very well that she needed to find a way to honor the important traditions of her wedding day...the lace that wrapped her flowers came from her mother's wedding gown, and she carried her grandmother's handkerchief (with their shared initial) since her grandmother had passed away before she got married. also pictured is the bible maura's mother-in-law gave her to carry down the aisle - the same bible that she and every woman in her family had carried.

maura had so many sweet and important traditions wrapped into her wedding ceremony that it's no surprise she wanted to see reminders of them regularly. so she had them all framed together with a custom mat that picks up on the color scheme of her stationery suite, and it's something i think is so worth the investment - even moreso than an expensive album or traditional framed invitation. (tip: buy a standard size frame that is larger than what you need and have a custom mat cut at michael's to accomodate all the pieces - way cheaper than a full custom framing job).

in some ways, this idea reminds me of a very well-done, classed-up version of the memory glass tradition, made famous at every bat mitzvah you've ever been to. this basically involves a glass filled with matchbooks (do they still have matchbooks on the tables? i'm thinking not), cocktail napkins, centerpiece flowers, a placecard here or there and maybe a piece of candy from a goody bag all sealed over with a candle melted to create a wax seal. how stupid and dangerous this all sounds now...

anyway, i like maura's idea better. i love the idea of being able to look at the most precious parts of your wedding day every day while living in your home. this way, you don't have to pull out the album or your keepsake box (possibly in your parent's basement with your china service for fifty) every time you feel like remembering.

this would also be a great idea for baby mementos like footprints, a lock of hair, the first picture, the baby hat or hospital bracelet...i love the idea of using the original pieces of our history to anchor us visually to where it all started or ended up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

keeping our heads on straight....condense

you know those little things that have the ability to ever-so-slightly annoy you on a daily basis? like this eyeshadow, for example. the three that i (clearly) use have become difficult to use because they're all smushed up against the edges. this means every time i try to use it, i get more shadow under my nails than i do on my fingertips, and therefore on my eyes.

so the other day in an inspired moment, i swiped a q-tip around the perimeter of each of the three colors that were causing the problem, and what a difference. whenever i do little things like this, it's always amazing to me what a big difference tiny things like that make to your daily routine. it's an instant way of feeling calmer and more together, like things are in order.

i'm going to try and do one little condensing thing like that every day for the next few days. next up? combine the two bags of cotton balls into one. and tomorrow, i'm totally condensing my two metrocard balances onto one card. take THAT mental clutter.

want to join me in doing things like that? what's first on your list?

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