Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sensible Style

Currently, I'm in a search for a desk chair.  Of course, I can't be happy with one of those ergonomically sound chairs found at Office Max (no offense to those who like them, I do too, but the style just isn't cutting it for me!).  I found this chair below.  Perhaps it's the simplicity of the chair - I immediately thought of matching the chair (and who does this??) with a coat and bag I've been eyeing for some time...

1. Amish Chair; 2. Coat; 3. Satchel

To me, this collage simply screams "sensible" to me.  No nonsense, frills,or gimmicks.  Just simply sensible.  And of course, totally to die for.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Terrain, West Chester, PA

As mentioned here last Friday,Randy and I went to Terrain, in Wester Chester, Pennsylvania.  Terrain has a beautiful shop that sells the most desirable goods for your home - lots of plants, terrariums, wreaths, soaps, dishes, candles, etc.  Terrain also has a cafe/restaurant with a brunch and dinner seasonal menu.  You must try their tea lattes drizzled with whatever seasonal honey on rotation.  Below are some of the many instagrams I took during our outing~

photos from clockwise:  view of the entryway to the shop and the shop itself; framed terrarium(?);the other half, aka Husband/Randy; mushroom soup w/ truffle oil (YUM); scallops with barley like grain (can't remember the name!!); and crazy good tea latte and a huge popover in a plant pot (totally genius!) with lots of maple honey butter. 

p.s. This was our 2nd wedding anniversary celebration.  We opted for a brunch instead of dinner, just so that we I could check out the shop!!  As you can see from one picture above, Husband approves Terrain! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bootie Call - Not That Kind!

a.Process/Steven Maddenb.Dazze/Rachel Comey; c.Regina Heel/Frye; d. Java/DV by Dolce Vita

Yup, that's right.  It's bootie call time~  I love fashion but I LOVE practical fashion.  Unlike high heels, booties give you that nice height but comfort too.  At least, the ones I've worn tend to be a lot more comfortable than high heels.  You can also dress up or down booties, wear them with skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans, or even skirts. Put on a nice blazer on top and bam,  you are lookin' pretty hot! And you can wear most of them throughout the year.  So much versatility and practicality, right?  That's the best kind of fashion for me :)  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday E-Design: Rustic Charm

a. mirror; b. mason jar; c. faux antler chandelier; d. chair; and e. table  

I love rustic charm.  And I don't mean anything too country-ish, but just a couple of pieces here and there to make a room feel more cozy, relaxed, and warm. Above are my picks - you can imagine these pieces mixed with modern items like an Eames chair, faux sheep rug, framed black and white prints, West Elm throw pillows, etc.  It's all about mix and match, if you ask me :) 

2 years ago...

1.28.11. I married my husband on a snowy Friday evening before 62 or so of our closest friends and family members. I can honestly say that it was the happiest day of my life. I still get a bit emotional when I think about that day. I never felt so loved by so many people, and of course, mostly by my husband. 

As we reminisced a bit about our wedding day over a lovely brunch during this past weekend, my husband reached over and held my hand. It's small gestures like that from my husband that make me love and appreciate him more and more each day.  

I leave you with a poem I read to my husband two years ago as part of my wedding vow.  Since then, I read it every so often and I am always reminded of how blessed I am to have found my other half. 

i carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me
(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go, my dear; 
and whatever is done by only me
is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; 
which grows higher than the soul can hope 
or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the 
stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it my heart)

Friday, January 25, 2013

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

TGIF!!! We've been experiencing a serious "cold snap" here in PA. If it's going to be this cold (13 degrees right now), I need to see some snow!!  

This weekend, Husband and I are going to check out this place:

These photos look like something you'd see out of Kinfolk, right? These are photos of Terrain Glen Mills Garden Cafe - the photos are from their website. The food's supposed to be very delicious too. We are going for brunch :)   AND a little shopping at Terrain Shop.  I hope they have this bird mirror I've been pining for like forevah! 

Happy weekend, friends~ 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Be Hold My Heart

a.Paper Heart Garland from Etsy; b.Heart Bowls from West Elm;  c.Tippi cashmere sweater from J.Crew; d.Lady Marmalade Single Ball Earrings from Kate' taime card from Anthro; f.French macaroons via unknown 

Yup, it's coming - Valentine's Day.  I have some of the fondest and not so fondest memories when it comes to this day.  My fondest being getting my first Tiffany's from my husband (then my boyfriend of 1 month) on our first Valentine's Day together.  My not so fondest being getting dragged to a smoke-filled casino by an ex, with whom an intelligent conversation could never be had. Yeah, that was really lovely. Going right back to happier moments, one year, I hung out with a group of girlfriends and we had a blast. So, if you are in the mood, consider celebrating this day and gifting your significant other,your girlfriends, or yourself something sweet on Valentine's Day. The above are my picks :) (Ok, obviously, these are all for me, not for my husband.  Maybe I'll share the macaroons.)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Counting My Blessings

image via here

Hi guys!  Sorry about the radio silence~ 
I had a pretty busy start off to this week but I'm finally coming up for air. 

Yesterday morning, as I was driving to work, I had this general sense of contentment and happiness.  At first, I didn't really know why, especially considering that I had a busy day ahead of me. To my surprise, it didn't take long for me to come up with what makes me happy in any given morning. 

1.  I've slept more than 8 hours (Monday night, I conked out around 9:30 p.m. and woke up at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday); 
2.  There's coffee (nothing worse when you run out of coffee in the morning);
3.  There's goat milk (so tasty); 
4.  Husband brings me a perfect cup of coffee (always); 
5.  Husband takes the puppies out (always);
6.  I have a new outfit to wear (awesome!); 
7.  I have a new pair of shoes to wear (double awesome!); 
8.  I have enough gas in my car to take me to work and back home; 
9.  I treat myself to another cup of coffee at Starbucks; and 
10. It's payday (woot woot!!).  

When I told my husband about this little ah-ha moment, he laughed and applauded me for counting my blessings in life.  I didn't think of it that way but I think he's 100% right. I'm going to do this more often, that is, count my little blessings every day because that makes me happy :) 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Blog Crush - Wendy's Lookbook

I have many many blog crushes (see my daily reads on the side here).  Yesterday, I found another one! I came across Wendy's Lookbook last night - OMG, she's BEAUTIFUL and has an amazing sense of style and styling.  If you get a chance, check it out and make sure to also check out her bio.  Once you read her bio, I think you will like her even more. She's a woman of resilience. Also, you should check out her youtube videos.  E! should invest their pretty pennies in this lady instead of Joan Rivers. Here's one of her many adorable AND helpful videos:

She's wearing the Stuart Weitzman 50/50!!! Yes, I'm obsessed - both with Wendy's Lookbook and SW's 50/50~  (Btw, her signature/tag line when she gets that big TV show should be "YAY" - you'll see what I mean). 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What's On My Bedside Table

I've been getting a little behind on my reading.  I started reading 'The Round House' by Louise Erdrich on Christmas Day and haven't gotten back to it since New Year's.  Yeah, that's what happens when I fall behind on running. I read while running on treadmill.  So, obviously, I need to go back to running and reading will naturally follow!  Btw, I'm really liking the book so far (warning - it's a bit dark).  Other than the book, I have a whole bunch of magazines to read, some are mine, some are from friends.   Also, have you noticed how cool the recent Crate & Barrel "Inspiration Books" are?  LOVE'em!  I think the photos are really relatable, youthful, and show practical furnishing arrangements.  I so need to go to Crate and Barrel and check out their latest.  

How about you?  What's on your bedside table for some night reading? 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weather Inspiration

i; ii; iii; iv; v.

I woke up this morning without a post ready for today. As a blogger, that's like a really sucky feeling...  I laid in bed wondering what to write about and my husband told me it's raining outside.  All of a sudden, I was annoyed that I didn't have a rain coat...and then I was instantly inspired by the rain to come up with this outfit. Thus the title - "Weather Inspiration".  I'm sure this happens to all of us more often than not.  We do different things depending on the weather, right? I also want to just stay home and stay in bed.  Preferably listening to this...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

J. Mendel - That's All

(J. Mendel dresses from here)

I've been a long time and huge admirer of designer J. Mendel. If I were ever invited to a black/white tie event of my life time (like to the White House or the Met Gala), I'd cash out my 401k to purchase a J. Mendel dress. (Ok, maybe not my 401k but perhaps use up a couple of credit cards!)  A girl can dream, right?!  (Btw, I love the play on words, "Meet PRINTS Charming"). 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Monday E-Design - Wish List for My Living Room

Good Monday, friends! Hope you all had a great weekend. I had a lot of fun celebrating my friend Nancy's birthday in NYC and Bedford, NY.

Some of you may have noticed that I've changed my "Monday Wake-Up Call" to "Monday E-Design".  I made the change because I started to feel limited in coming up with bedroom designs on a weekly basis. So, I decided to switch it up a bit - hope ya'll don't mind :)

Ever since we purchased our grey sectional, I've been dying to spruce up our living room.  These are on my wish list right now (although I don't really have room for the bookshelves...). 

a.   Aravali Mineral Curtain Panels from Crate and Barrel (close up of the pattern shows you how pretty the curtain is)
b.   Hand Blocked Silk Stone Trellis Pillow Cover from West Elm
c.   Aston Grid Pillow from Crate and Barrel
d.   Augustus Library Shelf from World Market
e.   Arion Table Lamp from Dwell Studio
f.   Diptyque Paris Candles

Friday, January 11, 2013

TGIF Whatcha Up To - NYC Bound

image via here

TGIF!!!  Since the holidays, Fridays feel so precious to me!  Perhaps it's knowing that we don't have all those days off from work lined up for several months... or perhaps it's waking up to darkness day in and day out... (but winter is my favorite season next to fall).    

I'm really excited about this weekend. On Sunday, I will be in NYC with my friend Nancy for her birthday. I hear the weather is going to be really warm, so that will make it easier for us to pain the town red! (haha - far from!) After a bit of cruising around the city, we'll be driving out to Bedford, NY for Nancy's birthday dinner at the Farm House of Bedford Post Inn. This is Richard Gere's Inn and restaurant~  I've always wanted to visit not just for that reason but I've passed by Bedford in the past driving and the little that I saw while driving appeared so quaint and beautiful.  It also has a well visited yoga studio (pretty zen, huh?).  Yeah, we won't be doing any yoga pre or post dinner :) Hopefully, I'll come back with some decent pictures to share with you guys (maybe with Mr. RG in the picture? :))  

Have a great weekend~~

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Busy Bee

I will be a busy bee today with a full day at work (court, phone calls, meetings, etc.) while thinking about being a "busy bee", I recalled seeing this on Design Sponge.

At first, I thought it was some fancy schmancy wall paper.  But upon reading the post, I found out that the home owners had just used a stamp. So, I went on a little search and found this perfect little bee stamp from an an Etsy Shop called 'Blossom Stamps'.  The stamp costs a whopping $5.50 (yes, I'm being sarcastic).  

Wouldn't it be really fun to decorate a small section of your place with this stamp?  And so easy and cost friendly?!  I can't wait to get all busy bee'd! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Project No. 1 of 2013 - Declutter Entryway

*Clarification:  Project no. 1 of 2013 does NOT meant project no. 1 out of 2013 projects.  It just means my first home project of this year, 2013.  Man, grammar is so tricky sometimes!

I love my loft but I have a HUGE problem with the entryway.  This is where we keep our shoes somewhat organized on a shoe rack similar to this.  While it does the job, I can't stand looking at all the shoes just sittin' out there.  The type A in me wants everything put away in neat rows of baskets, tucked away in drawers, or under the bed.  I've been complaining about this for some time now and am searching for a way to organize the entry way.  I'd LOVE to have my entryway look like these two homes. 

Via 'I Heart Organizing' - I love this but this is slightly too big to fit into our entryway....

Via 'Bungalow at Home' - Ikea's Expedit at one of its finest moments! 

This is also nice and at a reasonable price from Target.

I think I'll end up with something involving baskets (again, the hiding factor) with a labeling system so as to keep his and her shoes separate...  I can't wait.  This is my project number 1 of 2013 - just planning makes me feel good!! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fashionably Cold

It's been pret-ty cold out here in Philly.  I took the puppies out last night and felt so cold, even in my trusty down comforter-like puffer coat.  I thought, hmm, if I'm going to be cold, I'd love to be fashionably cold, like this (ok, maybe minus the shoes and the clutch when taking the puppies out). 

a. Citizens of Humanity Ava (jeans)
b. Maiyet Stripe Trim Scarf
c. Sandro Malice Puffer Coat
d. √Čtoile Isabel Marant
e. Proenza Schouler PS11 Wristlet Clutch Bag Saddle

The prices on these are not so friendly BUT I know we've all seen comparable items at lower prices else where.  It's all about inspiration, right?!  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday E-Design: Yellow & Grey

I have this crazy obsession with wanting to constantly update and change things around my place. For example, it wasn't too long ago when I bought a new shower curtain(see here).  I really thought I was done with my search for that perfect shower curtain...until I saw the this one from West Elm (see below). Now, I want to brighten up my bathroom with everything yellow and grey.  Here's what I'm thinking of (but probably will not act on so as to comply with a self-sworn promise not to purchase anything in January).   
a, c, and d from here.
b from this Etsy shop.

FYI, everything except "Keep Calm & Carry On" is from West Elm, which will make the shopping spree much easier, especially with the current 20% all bedding & bath sale. (Ugh... so tempting!!)

Sunday Cuddles - My Sweet Babies

No words can describe the sweetness of my puppies sleeping head to spending lazy Sunday afternoons with my babies. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

One More Show & Tell - Chemex Coffee Maker (w/ UPDATE)

**UPDATE:  Guys, I tried Chemex and it's a success!!  It does not take that long to brew.  And the taste - it's clean and light, like a really well brewed espresso.  I am in LOVE.  Definitely worth the investment (and it's a modest one compared to some of those fancy schmancy coffee makers that cost more than $100+).  Big THANKS to my pollyanna, AMIE :) 

Remember me talking about how I made out like a bandit this Christmas?  Well, I have one more gift to show off.  We have a pollyanna gift exchange every year at work and we always do it after the holidays so as to take off some of that holiday shopping stress (plus more stuff on sale after the holidays).  Here's what I received from my pollyanna - a Chemex coffee maker!    

Isn't this a beauty?   I've been told by a coffee afficionado that Chemex is the way to go. I cannot wait to try this out over the weekend.  If you are wondering where to get one, you can purchase a Chemex at Williams Sonoma (where my pollyanna got mine), Sur La Table, or any other reputable kitchenware store. 
(p.s. I'll update this post after I try my first cup of Chemex brewed coffee :))

TGIF - Whatcha Up To?

TGIF!! I couldn't sleep well last night because I was so excited that it's Friday.  I always get so excited about Fridays (almost as extreme as the way I hate Mondays).  It's not like I have anything grand planned. Just love the idea of being able to be on my own schedule. 

I do want to try making this salt-baked sea bass using a recipe from Goop.  

It always surprises me how much salt you see on the dish - yet the fish always comes out tasting so moist and not overly salted.  

Over the weekend, I also want to get rid of some clutter. I always have this strong desire to keep things decluttered around the house, in case I have to move.  I think it also has to do with getting older too.  I just feel like I need less clutter around me - I mean, I can't remember where things are anymore!!  

Hope you guys too have a wonderful, at-my-own-schedule kinda weekend~~

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Latest Obsession - Antlers

Faux ones, of course.  I've always loved faux antlers.  Not the ones with the actual head and all, but just the antlers on a plaque. I found these Suzanne Kasler atelier antlers from  Ballard Designs and really like them. 

I live in a loft with very high ceilings everywhere.  One place that really needs help is the space around our big t.v.  (ugh, t.v.'s are such problems when it comes to designing and decorating!).  I've come to realize that we need something 3D behind and around the flat t.v.screen and I think these faux antlers may just be perfect. Any suggestions for faux antlers?  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Holiday Gifts I Received (w/ Update)

**Update:  The Reiss dress is beautiful in person BUT it's way too snug.  I mean, you have to be pretty thin emaciate to fit into this dress and you will NOT be able to consume anything more than 2 sips of cocktail.  For me, the chest was too big (nothing new) and the hips were very snug (like if it were any tighter, I'd get a muffin top).  While it looked sexy, I found it way too unpractical for me to keep, even at its more than 50% off price. If I were to go up a size, the chest and shoulders will be too big. So, it's going back.  I really really wanted to love this dress but it's just not happening :(  

Here's a little show and tell of some of the gifts I received this year during the most recent Christmas.

a & b:  Like many women all over the world, I have been totally crushing on Kate Middleton's style.  When KM wore this Reiss dress meeting our First Lady, I was totally in love with the dress and completely jealous of KM's body.  My friend Nancy has the same dress in royal blue and she too looks amazing in the dress.  So, I've been dreaming of getting a Reiss dress for some time and two days ago, I just randomly went on the Reiss website and saw that there was a major sale going on. My husband has been asking me since November what I want for Christmas.  And truly, I had nothing specific in mind. And bam! I saw the above dress on sale and I knew immediately that was going to be my present from Randy.  The pink sweater was also on my wish list for some time ever since I saw it on Naomi from Love Taza. That too was on sale! Combined together, the dress and sweater ended up being more than 50% off the original price! 

c:  We received this gift set of NEST votives from a dear family friend.  We instantly felt so posh just looking at the box they came in.  And yes, they smell AMAZING.

d:  I gifted this pair of Freye Veronica Short Boot to myself with the promise that I will not purchase anything for myself in January!!

e:  This is a set of 6 Jo Malone fragrances I received from a family friend as well.  I've so wanted anything Jo Malone for so long but could never justify the purchase.  So, this was definitely a surprise and a perfect gift!  

There you have it - some of the gifs I received this past Christmas.  Yup - I made out like a bandit!!  

GOODBYE 2012 & HELLO 2013

I hope you all had a wonderful and fun-filled New Year's Eve and Day.  I can't complain about how I spent my last day of 2012 and first day of 2013.  I successfully cooked two live lobsters despite not having a ginormous boiling pot and went onto finish the dinner off with ice cream with fresh strawberries and chocolate mousse cake. Randy named the dessert "Chocolate Moonrise".  I like it! It was truly a simple yet completely satisfying last meal of 2012.  The first day of 2013 was spent catching up with some friends via Facebook and emails, while downing 2 cups of coffee.  I love those kind of leisurely mornings when I am not on a specific schedule.  Later, we went to the movies and saw 'Les Mis'. I can't say I loved it.  BUT it was indeed impressive and I did enjoy all the songs I haven't listened to or played in a very long time. 

I assume some of you guys are wondering if I made any new  year's resolutions.  Not really. For me, it's just too much pressure on myself to set a specific list of resolutions.  If anything different from the past, I want to continue blogging and stay creative because that was one of the best things I decided to start in 2012.  

So, goodbye 2012 and here we come 2013 - ready for another roller coaster of whatever life gives us! 

Image via here
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