Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Just One of Those Days...

My new Motto!!

It's only Tuesday, and already this work-week is fairly torturous.  Demanding clients, looming deadlines, and everyone pretty much woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

I am making this my new motto.  Nothing a stiff drink and a little lipstick can't cure, right??

Fashion Obsession to Reality: Leopard Print Scarf

So it's been a while since this series, since I've been so consumed with our apartment, but don't think I fogot about my Spring fashion obsessions.  This was the first look that really consumed me since it's the most practical for the cool San Francisco weather. Now if only I could look so effortlessly chic in 20 minutes...



Here it is - an ultra glam shot taken by my iPhone on my friend's bed post shopping bonanza.

Zara Leopard Scarf Photograph
And here it is on the model... adorable! (and can I say, I am in LOVE with her studded gloves).  It's only $20 from Zara!  It's made of really thin cotton, which is perfect since It's a very large scarf - it drapes beautifully so its over-sized without the bulk!  Tres affordable!

Monday, January 30, 2012

San Francisco Bucket List: Boating on Stow Lake

I've decided to try out a new series - creating a bucket list for the amazing city I live in!!

Both my parents were born and raised in San Francisco, and having grown up in the Bay Area, and having lived IN the city for the past 4 years, I've decided to make a bucket list of all the cool things I want to do in this city, so I can take full advantage of everything that is right at my fingertips!

At the top of this list is renting a row boat out on Stow Lake.  

I recently was wandering through Golden Gate Park with my best friend Kira, and we stumbled upon Stow Lake!!  It was breathtaking!  I had no idea, that this lake even existed in the middle of the city!!   How romantic!  

Rentals were relatively inexpensive, and I couldn't imagine a better way to enjoy a warm day in San Francisco than packing a picnic, renting a boat, and paddling around all afternoon.

Winter in San Francisco is Lovely

This winter has been one of the mildest winters I can remember - the weather has been so incredibly beautiful, its hard to remember what bad weather is like (ask me in June, I will be singing a different tune).

This weekend was no exception to the gorgeous weather!  I spent most of my time outside, lunching with friends, and hanging out at the park.  Sunday, Kris and I headed to the beach, and I sunned myself in the sunny 70 degree weather, while he and some buddies surfed.  I snagged his fancy-pants camera, and was able to get some amazing pictures of him surfing.  Unfortunately, I have not yet uploaded them - professional shots to come, but just look at how lucky we are to live in California.

To my friends on the east coast, be jealous... be very very jealous!

Kris, very seriously prepping his gear (he would NOT smile for a picture! Too cool for school)

How cute is he?!

Me... snuggled in Kris' hoodie once the afternoon wind kicked up

The three stooges... prepared to shred, ha!

Macaroons make Monday's Better

A fun treat arrived to my office this morning!  Gorgeous French Macaroons from L'Artisan Macaroon.  They are very hard to find, and these one's in particular actually came from one of my favorite bakeries in the world - Bouchon, a Thomas Keller bakery in Yountville California.

If you ask me, Yountville is the most adorable town in the world, located between Napa and St. Helena - its a foodie haven set against the most stunning wine country backdrop.  If you've never been, please go, rent bikes, get lost on windy vinyard roads, go wine tasting, eat a Michael Chiarello's restaurant or if you are feeling splurg-y, French Laundry (another Thomas Keller hot-spot that is on my bucket list for sure), and soak in everything lovely about the wine country.

Anyways, I digress.  These perfect french macaroons are such a treat - SO colorful, and as delicious as they are beautiful.

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Happy Weekend!

It's 3:30 on a Friday afternoon, and the weekend is so close I can taste it!  It's supposed to be gorgeous in San Francisco this weekend.  After the debauchery at Sundance, Kris and I are keeping things mellow.  Tonight we are headed down to my parents house for dinner.  My sister will be down for the night, so it will be fun to get together, and have some good food, good wine, and good laughs.

Saturday will be relaxing - perhaps go to the beach with Kris, and have dinner on the coast, and then I am going to dedicate Sunday to getting started on refinishing that furniture.

Wish me luck, and have a very happy weekend!


Wedding Love: Black and White Weddings

Black and white brings such an air of elegance to a wedding - it's romantic without being girlish, it dresses up the most rustic venue, and can be fun and playful while making a dramatic impact!  Whether it's black and white stripes (which I adore), or white anemone's with their dramatic black center, silhouettes for the bride and groom, or a black sash to accent the wedding dress, black is no longer a wedding taboo!  I am absolutely LOVING this look (and I think Kris would too!)

I put together an inspiration board strictly from years of wedding's I've bookmarked on Style me Pretty, so take a look, and get lost in the classic elegance of it all!

Sweet Wedding Phototography

Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty

Today I am in a day-dreamy sort of place, where all I want to do is think about weddings.  Isn't this just the sweetest wedding photo?  My parents got married on a rainy day in April, and have been married for 37 years.  The Chinese believe that rain is a sign of luck on your wedding.  And I personally think that a photo of a couple under an umbrella is so sweet - a quiet moment snuggled close, with the quiet rain falling around you.


Who says rain on your wedding day is a bad thing?!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: NEED, not want


One of my more recent obsessions revolves around getting a puppy.  Not yet any puppy, a Cavelier King Charles Spaniel.  The conversation goes something like this:

Me: "Oh my god, honey, look at that dog!!  Soo cute!!"
Kris: "Yeah, it's cute"
Me: "Oh my gosh, I NEED that dog in my life - can you imagine how much fun we'd have taking it on long walks, teaching it tricks, and snuggling with it on the couch?"
Kris: "Pretty cute. I'm hungry, where do you want to eat?"
Me: "No but really, I feel like our lives would be so complete with a dog.  And my office is dog friendly - I could bring it to work so it wouldn't be home alone!"
Kris: "A dog is a huge responsibility outside of the obvious fact that our building doesn't allow dogs"
Me: "That is such a minor detail - our landlord loves me"

And so on... and so on...

I mean, LOOK that that little face!  What a muffin!!  I will slowly but surely wear Kris down... if only I can get our names on a few waiting lists, he will cave!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bedroom Makeover - Inspiration Board

Yesterday, I posted about how I was tired of living in a half decorated home.  Taking action, I created an inspiration board that reflects the overall look and feel of how I want our room to look.  Last night, I showed Kris my inspiration board, and much to my surprise, he actually really liked it! (Yay!!)

Alright, here it is - my first attempt at putting together an interior design inspiration board -  don't judge me!

Kris kind of hates my current comforter and side table lamps.  They are admittedly girly with a sort of 'French Boudoir' feel, so I get where he is coming from 100%.  With his opinions in mind, I wanted to create a room with a more toned down version of French elegance.  I'm looking to incorporate modern details with more classic pieces, so our bedroom feels more like a posh Parisian hotel than a chateau near Versailles.

Let me take you through each piece.

This duvet set from Restoration Hardware is so gorgeous!  Its simple, elegant, and will make us feel like we are checking into a swanky hotel when we stay it.  It is definitely a splurge, but nice linens will make our bed somewhere we want to stay all day long.

This mirror is a STEAL!  In person, you'd never guess it was the Ung Drill mirror from Ikea (those swedes come up with the oddest names for the furniture)!  Anyways, for $39, its a good size to go over a small dresser, or vanity.  It comes in black, but I plan on painting a second coat of black on top of it.  You are probably thinking "what is she talking about?!" but, don't forget it's Ikea.  The frame is not wrought iron - its plastic.  Smooth plastic. To add some texture and trick everyone who sees it, I plan to paint it, so that from first glance it will look much more $$$ than it really is.  Sneaky, sneaky.
Next up, these fabulous lamps.  I am IN LOVE WITH the Stinson Glass Base Table Lamp, and the Amelie Table Lamp. Matching lamps create symmetry and balance in a room, but for visual interest, I am looking for two different lamps that are the same height.  I'll also use the same shade for each to unify the look, but I love the idea that you can the more modern blown glass lamp will live on Kris' side of the bed, and the more antique, whimsical lamp will be on mine.  It will serve as a visual indicator of whose side of the bed it is!

(also kind of cool, Pottery Barn carries VERY similar lamps to the blown glass, for $349.  I am snagging mine for $35.  That's right, 10x savings for the savvy decorator, and NO ONE will know the difference!)

The photos - oh the photos!  I have a new favorite photographer, EyePoetry, from Etsy, who is slowly taking over my life, paycheck by paycheck.  I recently posted about her romantic french series of photos, which I promptly ordered for my office.  They are now hanging up, and everyone at work always compliments them. Since this room is so black and white, I've decided it needs a pop of color to prevent it from feeling boring, and these are perfect!  The Moulin Rouge and the Coffee Shop are the must haves here - I'm thinking square frames with large white mattes.  I might have to do a bit of hunting to avoid the $$$ associated with custom framing (oy vey), but Aaron Brothers is always having a sale - buy one frame, get one for a penny, so this project could end up being pretty economical!

I think the thing I am most looking forward to for this room is the new headboard.  I have been completely obsessed with upholstered headboards since Sex and the City aired, and Charlotte redecorated the apartment  she and Tray lived in?  Remember all of Bunny's tartan prints and mallards - still so obsessed with SATC actually.  My love of SATC must be saved for another day.  Back to the point... I'm on the hunt for a neutral, upholstered headboard - preferably with nail-head trim.  

The question is.... where do I get one?!  Do we go with a headboard, or commit to the full bed?  I found the Camden Brass Nailhead Headboard at Ballard Designs, and they also have a tufted version which I will love, but I KNOW Kris will hate. So many decisions to make - I am headed down to Home Goods this weekend - that place is a treasure trove for discounts.  Maybe I will hit the jackpot and find something similar for half as much!!

Because the room is very monochromatic with black and white, and not a lot of patterns, I have looked once more to Etsy, where I found many shops who specialize in gorgeous patterned throw pillows.  On Nenavon I found some extremely reasonably priced pillow covers, and I especially loved the Imperial Trellis and the lumbar Creme and Black with Fret Work.  I may look around a bit more before committing, but these would really do well to make the bed more interesting and inviting.

And, that's pretty much it - I have some gorgeous furniture that I inherited from my grandmother.  It started out avocado green (very 70's) when I was in elementary school.  My mom and I later painted it a pale yellow which took me through high school and college.  Since then, I have painted them black, but because these pieces have gorgeous lines, and I plan on keeping them for a lifetime, I am in the process of refinishing the dresser and nightstands.  When I was 21, I had no idea that water based paint chips easily on furniture.  I now have the pleasure of going back to sand, prime, and re-paint everything with oil based paint.  I'm also plugging some holes from the original handle pulls, and selecting new pulls - I am thinking round nobs in a brushed nickel.  It's been an on going project that has been drawn out since November.  It's high time I finish, so I am diving into it headfirst this weekend.  I'll have to document the process along the way so we can see before and after shots.

Happy Wednesday!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blog Redesign

For quite some time I have become annoyed that my blog looked sort of sad.  I hated the logo even though I had originally spent hours experimenting during the first round of design.  It just looked grainy, and really boring.  I have this huge monitor so there was just a lot of white space that I didn't particularly like, and after a few weeks of playing around with graphics on my computer, came up with a new fresh design!

What do you think??  I'm by no means a designer, but I am pretty proud of how it turned out!

Lately, I've been really into graphic prints, from throw pillows, to wallpaper, to fun dresses... I am sure in another few months I'll be tired of the Greek Key print, or want to re-work the shading (wouldn't it be fun to have the logo fade out?!) but for now, it's a vast improvement from the previous scroll design.

Project Design: Apartment Makeover

It's official, I am tired of living in a half decorated home, where I love some parts, and hate others.  The living room is coming together so slowly, I have resolved to take the first step into completing this room once and for all.  One of the biggest hurdles I have found in terms of getting things done, is getting the approval from my honey-bunny.  I love him to pieces, but the man cannot make a decision and stick with it!

Two weekends ago, I dragged him around town to look at various sofas - from Pottery Barn in the Marina, to the Macy's Home Store in Union Square.  The look on his face said it all - I'd pay good money to be anywhere but here.

This is why I have taken things into my own hands.  I have a very clear vision of the things I like - I spend many hours scouring other design blogs, reading my Home Beautiful magazines, and browsing through all the new products at my favorite stores.  That said, I have spent some time putting together Inspiration Boards for each room that still needs help.  So far, I've come up with one for the living room, and I hope that Kris likes it, because with the green light, I am moving full speed ahead into this project.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Back to the Bay

It's a rainy Monday morning in San Francisco, and while it's good to be home, I am so sad that my my escapades in Park City for Sundance are over!  What a whirlwind weekend!!  Despite many many hours of waiting in the airport due to multiple flight delays, it was so fun, and so worth it.

The weekend started sunny and relaxing, I arrived in the early afternoon, and after some lunch and gossip girl talk with my good friend Rebecca, I treated myself to some much needed relaxation at the spa at the Westgate Canyons resort. Not only was it one of the best massages I've ever had, but the facilities are absolutely gorgeous - very rustic with stone work and wooden beams, and dark and peaceful - many of the rooms were lit only by candles.

That night was really laid back, since a storm had started brewing, and many of our friends flights were delayed and cancelled.  We had clients coming from Seattle, and since the pacific northwest had been hit all week with a huge storm the Sea-Tac airport was completely shut down.  Bless their hearts, they DROVE five hours to Eugene and caught flights from there.

That night, we ordered Pizza, drank a lot of  a bit of wine, and it was fabulous!  The next morning, we woke up pretty hungover, and had a leisurely breakfast before gearing up and hitting the slopes.  It had snowed all night, and there were several feet of fresh powder waiting for us on the mountain.  The snow was still falling, and it was so pretty.  The gondola ride from the Canyons Resort to the top of the mountain is breathtaking, and so quiet.  The trees were blanketed in soft white snow, and it was so peaceful.  We came back to the room early afternoon because the snow had REALLY started to come down and we were ready for some Après Ski - this pic I quickly snapped from the window.  You can hardly see the buildings across the way!!!

After coming back, the spa was calling to me (again), and so I indulged in some more pampering.  Once cleaned up, the group had met up at the larger condo (the party condo, so it was called all weekend), where a private chef had come to make dinner.  WOW - the food was amazing, and somehow the hotel had brought in several more long tables to accommodate our huge group - there were close to 30 of us!  After dinner and a few drinking games, we headed out into the snow, down into Park City proper, to see and be seen (so to say).  The bars were packed, "being on the list" clearly meant nothing, but through a little sweet talking and a few threats and bribes, we made it into the Bing Lounge on Main Street, where we saw hung out with the entire cast of True Blood, Bruce Willis, Chris Katan (SNL), and Liv Tyler.  Kind of awesome.

The drinks were good (a little too good actually) and the music was pumping.  Drake performed downstairs, and we stayed out until around 4am.  I was quite impressed with myself!  The next morning, no one felt up to hitting the slopes again, so we decided to go tubing.  I'd never done it before, but it was so much fun.  There was a park built with different runs where you essentially use heavy duty inner tubes to fly down the hills - so fun.  I felt like a kid again playing in the snow, wind in my face - the sun was out, and it was the perfect end to a fabulous weekend!

I'll have to upload the rest of my pictures from my actual camera, but needless to say, its sad to be back at work!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Weekend

I am off to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival on a VERY early morning flight tomorrow.  I am so looking forward to a break from work, an escape from rainy San Francisco, and some exciting celebrity sightings!

Have a very happy Weekend!

Fashion Inspiration II: Full Skirts

Happy Thursday!  I've decided to continue on with my Fashion Inspiration Series to recreate some of the looks I am currently obsessed with from my earlier post this week.

A storm is brewing here in San Francisco, and as a mid-morning escape, I have found myself dreaming of flouncy, twirly, fun, feminine, full skirts.  The forecast says rain for the foreseeable future (next 10 days at least - eek!), however, on the plus side, this gives me some time to pull together some of my spring fashion inspirations and make them a reality.

Getting straight to it...



1.  Dress: Susannah, $700
2.  Earrings: Kate Spade Putting on the Ritz Stud Earrings, $98
3.  Handbag: Kate Spade, Emma Book Clutch $325.00
4.  Bangle: Kate Spade Spade Hinge Bangle, $88
5.  Ring: Kate Spade Year of Color December Ring, $78
6.  Shoes: Kate Spade Charm Bow Pump, $325

With wedding season coming up, I always wonder, what to wear.  While "they" say, you should never wear black to a wedding, I say, go for it!  Black is elegant, timeless, and in the right setting, it's perfect for a wedding!  Also, splurging on a little black dress that is flattering, and fun will serve you time and time again.  Clearly, a little black dress is NOT something for a summertime beach or garden wedding, but it's perfectly acceptable for a black tie, or elegant evening wedding.  Add some sparkle, some lady-like accessories, and you are set to party the night away in style.

Ok, is everyone ready for round two of this inspired full skirted look?!  Here we go!


1.  Dress: Kate Spade Striped Adette, $700
2.  Necklace: All Aboard Necklace, $248
3.  Bangles: Kate Spade
•  Hand in Hand Bangle, $58
•  Draw the Line Idiom Bangle, $38
•  Crème de la Crème Idiom Bangle, $48
4.  Handbag: Kate Spade Bow Valley Rosa, $425
5.  Shoes: Kate Spade Vanessa Wedge, $325

Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a sucker for everything nautical.  If it has stripes, comes in navy and white, or involves an anchor of any kind, I am there!  Kris always laughs at me, becuase in my closet I keep my stripes together - wide stripes, thin stripes, 3/4 sleeves, sweaters, blouses, you name it.  I think a good nautical look is pulled together, timeless, and effortlessly chic.

The queen of the classic prep look is Kate Spade - she is kind of my personal idol, whose pieces I've always admired.  My real obsession with her started with the handbags, and quickly ballooned from there.  A pet peeve of mine is spending money for a piece you hope to own and wear for years, only to have it fall apart from poor craftsmanship.  From my experience, everything from Kate Spade is worth the cost - it's all amazing quality that lasts and lasts.  

Because of my love for everything Kate Spade, this look was taken completely from her Spring line.  Those shoes!  The pop of color on the sole, the bright pink bag with the bow, and of course, that dress - amazing.  I can see myself brunching and lunching the spring and summer away in this dress.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fashion Obsession to Reality: Coral Shorts

Ok - so after posting about my 2012 Fashion Obsessions last week, I have decided to start a series of posts where I recreate some of the looks I adore - aka, hunt down these outfits so I can make my obsession a reality.

With that said, let's get on with it!


1.  Top: 1.Trouve, $88
2.  Clutch: Michael Kors, $495
3.  Necklace: Amara, $2500
4.  Watch: Michael Kors, $250
5.  Shoes: Brian Atwood, $800
6.  Shorts: Jcrew, $45

I have been literally obsessed with this cute spring / summer outfit - it's laid-back, but still dressy, colorful, unique, and uses classic pieces that can be mixed up and used time and time again (white button down and shorts anyone?)

Of course, not all of these pieces will be a reality to my wardrobe, but it gets the creative juices flowing when going to the stores to find clothing that has the same look and feel.  Trust me, I'd love the Brian Atwood shoes, but maybe with a little patience spent in the stores, I might find something close to the amazing periwinkle and gold strappy platforms in the Inspiration!  The necklace - probably not in a million years, but Forever 21 is always a great bet for affordable accessories!

The cruel irony?  Winter has finally hit San Francisco, and the low tonight is somewhere in the low 40's.  Brrrr.  Well, a girl can dream - one day, not TOO far in the distant future, I'll be sashaying around town in my new coral shorts and relaxed silk shirt.  

Interior Design - my new love

A Well Dressed Home is one of my favorite blogs, mainly because I happen to LOVE this interior designer's taste, but also because I am a lot like her.  I instantly fall in love with things - patterns, artwork, accents to a room - and just as quickly, fall out of love.

Having learned from expensive redecorating adventures, her blog is based around finding affordable alternatives to expensive designer pieces, which in turn grants more flexibility to altering rooms, and changing the look frequently.

Through this blog, I've also been introduced to several graphic patterns that I am now OBSESSED with - everything and anything Chevron has been catching my eye - from pillows to rugs, to bedding.  I love the wider Chevron prints, as opposed to the tighter "zig zag" stripes, as a refreshed take on "retro graphic preppy" (Is that a term?  If not... it is now!).  


How cute are these iPhone cases?!

Chevron Print iPhone Case
Photo courtesy of  Geek Sugar
And can I just say, anything by Jonathan Adler is an A+ in my book!

Photo and tutorial courtesy of  Design Sponge
A fabulous DIY Chevron fabric for the more crafty types

Digital Camera Bag  Dslr..... with messenger strap SLR camera purse,Yellow and Gray Chevron Print by Darby Mack
From the DarbyMack shop on Etsy
This is actually supposed to be a digital camera bag, but I'd use it as a purse for everyday - so cute for spring, and perfect for travel with roomy pockets, and a detachable body strap!


Also, I cannot stop dreaming about trellis and lattice patterns.  There are so many variations however, I especially adore them because they are not to feminine.  They are modern and classic without being too hard or too soft.  I keep envisioning gorgeous wallpaper, rugs, and throw pillows in these graphic prints to bring the room alive!

Moroccan Stencil Zagora - reusable stencils for walls instead of wallpaper
From the Cutting Edge Stencils on Etsy
Amazingly enough, the above wall is not wallpapered!!  The look was created using stencils - which is such a fun fresh way to update a room without the hassle of cutting the paper, matching the pattern, making a mess with the glue.  Way less labor intensive than wallpaper AND a huge impact for very little cost!

BOTH SIDES trellis geometric 20 x 20 pillow cover
From PlayPurdys on Etsy
Throw pillows wake up a couch or sofa, and say, come sit here!  They are also one of my favorite ways to change a color palate in a room, depending on my mood, trends, or the season.  My sofa is the color of parchment paper - not white, but not tan.  Having neutral furnature allows me to change the look and feel of the room easily, and so busy patterns and bright colors isn't overwhelming in our little apartment.  I LOOOVVEEE this pillow with the intricate trellis pattern

BOTH SIDES 20 X 20 Gray geometric pillow cover

BOTH SIDES 20 X 20 Duralee Cherry Red Geometric pillow cover

BOTH SIDES 20 x 14 Geometric lumbar pillow citron
AND THIS ONE TOO!!  Ok, I think I just love them all!