Saturday, March 30, 2013

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?!

I have been traveling for work and completely MIA recently - I was down in sunny LA last week to meet with clients, and sync up with my team down there.

By the way, how FABULOUS was the view from my room of Santa Monica and the ocean beyond??

And the rooms at the Huntley Hotel??  Amazing.

I was loving the tufted headboards and simple decor.  Don't even get me started on the sheets - they were like a million thread-count, and absolutely heavenly.  I could have lived there forever and ever.

This week, I'll probably be completely absent from my little blog again - I am flying out to New York VERY early tomorrow morning...  getting up at 4am to catch my 6am flight!  Eeek!!  When I found out I was flying on Easter, I was admittedly bummed, but since I've NEVER been to New York, I got over that real fast.

I'm sure most of you are like, she's never been to New York??????????  That's the reaction I usually get... Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be heading into some cold weather for the next week - the weather forecast says that the high in NY this week will be around 45, so this California girl is in for a SHOCK!  I was hoping for mild spring weather, so I could trot about town in some cute full skirted numbers, a la Sex and the City.  No dice!

Despite the cold, I have a lonnnggggg list of things to check off my NYC list (when I'm not busy working).  Here are my top 5 must do/see things while I'm there...

1. Take a run through Central Park
I was hoping for a sunny scene like this one while I was there, but I suspect, it will be another month until the city is warm and blooming.  I've also been battling a pretty god awful cold this last week, so my little central park "run" may be more of a brisk walk.  The bonus is that our office is on Park Avenue, so being just two blocks from the park couldn't be more convenient for checking this off my list!!

2. Go to the Top of the Empire State Building
Totally touristy, but I'm a tourist, I couldn't care less.  I want to have my Sleepless in Seattle moment, even though I'm sure it will be elbow to elbow crowded, and I'm not meeting my secret pen pal up there... the empire state building is just so "New York"... I have to cross this off my list.  I've also learned that buying your tickets online (here), and paying the extra for the express ticket allows you to skip the lines, and head straight to the front!  Ka-ching!

3. Eat Pizza
People swear New York has the best pizza... I'll be the judge of that.  I'll be using Time Magazine's List of Top Pizzerias as my guide.  And wearing stretchy pants.

4. Swanky Drinks
I want a cosmo or a dirty martini somewhere swanky, dark, and oh-so New York.  I've heard good things about Little Branch, but I'll likely go where the wind takes me...

5. Bergdorf Goodman
For any fashion lover, it's a must.  I probably can hardly afford a key chain from there, but I will report back on the Jimmy Choo's that I oogle over.

On my ultimate New York City to-do list... I would want to see a Broadway Show, eat at all the fabulous New York City haunts (Aquavit, Le Cirque, Pastis, and Jean Gorge), pop into Tiffany's, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, rent bikes for the day in Brooklyn, find Carrie's  brownstone from SATC, and of course become BFF's with Sarah Jessica Parker.

I cannot wait!!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Style - The Wedge

Spring is here meaning one day it's pouring rain, and the next it's sunny and 70 degrees.  My allergies are in full swing, the tulips in the park are OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing, and the sun is staying out longer.  Overall, I'm totally stoked it's spring (minus the allergy part) because that means it's time for warmer weather clothing options.  I'll be spending less days wearing my riding boots, and more days showing off my freshly manicured toes.

The wedge is the perfect shoe for spring, and it will carry you straight through to summer.  With cropped trousers (another favorite spring closet staple) wedges look smart and polished, and with a flippy skirt and jean jacket, they are perfect for warmer weather, and weekend wear.

A few of my favorites

If Money were No Option...
Spring Wedges

Christian Louboutin clear wedge heels / Givenchy strappy platform sandals / Rupert Sanderson high wedge / Missoni platform wedge heels, $705 / Burberry ankle wrap heels / Valentino platform wedge heels / Marc Jacobs canvas wedge / Marc by Marc Jacobs platform wedge heels / Kate Spade platform wedge heels

So yes, I realize that I cannot afford a single one of these shoes, but this is my little blog, and I can dream if I want to.  Trying to organized about it, I've grouped each row by wedge category for all other "type-a" people out there... for the classic, preppy wedge wearer, the first row will be right up your alley.

Delicate straps, brown leather, and nautical navy and white stripe details are perfection.  The second row is for the more adventurous, and after the dark colors of winter, who doesn't want a little coral, tangerine or aqua happening on their feet.  Finally the classic espadrille - a little more casual, with natural fiber woven wedges and an earthy quality.

You won't Max Out your Credit Cards...
Wedges - take II

Tory Burch platform sandals / Tory Burch shoes / 7 For All Mankind wedge sandals / J.Crew platform sandals / Steve Madden high heel shoes / Zara leather strappy sandals / INC International Concepts high heel shoes / Kelly & Katie sandals / RMK Tamique Turquoise Patent, $78

Welcome back to the world of reality... these are shoes we can all afford.  Each row is categorized the same as the first looks... classic, colorful, and espadrille.

Are you as obsessed with the ombre platform on the orange strappy wedge in the center?? And those stripes on the wedge to the far right, center row.  If only online shopping were a little less accessible!

Friday, March 22, 2013

To Fret or not to Fret

I'm not talking about worrying - I'm talking about fretwork, which I am completely in love with. Obviously.  Perhaps its my love of the trellis pattern that admittedly I overuse (on rugs, pillows, window treatments, and anywhere else I can put it).  I love how fretwork takes the intricate trellis pattern and turns it 3D, creating yet another awesome way to incorporate trellis into design.

I may be a bit biased, but I think it works in so many different spaces...

In an outdoor patio...

White on white... in a super modern bath

Behind a contemporary vanity... don't get me started on ALL. THAT. STORAGE.  Dah!

Running down a whimsical stairwell - wouldn't that be the most magical staircase to a child's playroom - in the dream house of my dreams' dreams...

Behind matching twin beds...

Could these Chinese Chippendales be any more gorgeous??  Ugh!  I want!

Fretwork makes the entrance to this dining room so dramatic, and frames the room beautifully...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I've mentioned wanting to get rid of quite a bit of the black furniture in our living room, and painting the wine hutch a few weeks ago was the first step in that direction.  While I love the look of the hutch, the black framed mirror above it has been looking very "heavy" to me lately.

Here's an incredibly blurry picture I found on my phone so you could see how dark everything was on that wall...  what I'd really like to do is get rid of that TV stand, but that's another story for another day...

While the TV stand stays (for now), I think changing up the mirror will greatly improve things...  also, looking at this photo makes me really aware of how linear everything on this wall is.  There is not a single curved line going on, which has to change immediately!

I think a circular mirror could look pretty cool here...

Or an elongated mirror with scalloped edges would be awesome too... 

Or something old and ornate...

I think I'll move our rectangular mirror that is currently there, elsewhere, and start hunting for a pretty replacement for this wall...

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Statement Jewelery - Charles Emerson

Now THAT is some bling!!

No... I didn't pull the trigger on the $125 Classic Pave Link Bracelet from Jcrew... despite the fact that I'd been lusting over it for the last year.  This pave chain bracelet is a recent discovery from Charles Emerson Designs - a Virginia based jewelry designer that specializes in "flashy baubles" (their words, not mine).


Not only is this bracelet a dead ringer for the Jcrew piece, but it was less than half the cost!  Including shipping!  They were running a promotion at the time, but even without the discount, this bracelet is under $50.  They have other fabulous pieces, but just had to brag a bit about my find :-)

Some of my other favorites...


I'm a huge fan of the statement necklace - throw on a button down, skinny jeans, and one of these guys, and you're ready for anything! I have some REALLY cheap ones from Forever 21 and H&M - they tend to break after a few wears, so keep that in mind...

I have a few pricier ones from Banana Republic, Jcrew, and Etsy - all of which I love - and based on all the compliments I've gotten on my bracelet so far, I have a feeling that I may own a few from Charles Emerson in the near future...

Check out the rest of the collection here!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Surprise Source for Bedding

When I think of Lands End, I think of monogrammed totes and my dad's fleece lined jackets.  I do NOT think of bedding... until now.

When we originally were planning on getting a new bed, I wanted to get hotel style bedding, but with Restoration Hardware's costs through the roof, we scrapped that idea, and went with a solid white duvet.  

Fast forward several months until today... I was checking email, and randomly got a message from Lands End.  Quickly browsing through the site, I discovered that they not only carry bedding, but that 
    a) it looks nice
    b) it's affordable
    c) it looks incredibly similar to the hotel bedding that cost thousands (yes, THOUSANDS).

And you can Monogram them!  

For $179, you get the King Size duvet, and two king shams... it's a STEAL if you ask me!  I also liked some other other options - the light blue duvet below was really pretty, and the navy and white trellis pattern is very "zGallerie"...

Lands End - who knew!

Friday, March 15, 2013


Happy Friday everyone!!  After work, I'm going to treat myself to a little shopping downtown, so I've decided to dedicate this post to my favorite new look... the cropped trouser.  I'm all about it right now.

I swear to you, this is the most universally flattering pant - regardless of your height, it just works.

We're not talking about capri pants people.  We're talking about a straight leg, ankle length pant.  Form fitting, and tailored, but not tight.  It almost has to flare out just slightly from the calf, and then it's perfection.  I love wearing these pants on weekends, as well as to work.  I feel pulled together, and stylish, but it takes no effort, or thought in the morning!  My favorite pair is actually from  Banana Republic, but Vince Camuto has another super cute pair that I love.

Want to test this look?  Here's a little inspiration to take you into the weekend!


Preppy Polka Dots:
Style it Yourself:
Retro Spring Fashion

H&M , $30 / Coast cropped jacket, $225 / Polka dot pants / Steve Madden sparkly heels / Kate Spade / Norma Kamali cateye sunglasses / NARS Cosmetics

Uptown Chic:
Style it Yourself:
Olivia Palermo

Majestic top, $67 / Band of Outsiders / J.Crew j crew / Manolo Blahnik high heels / By Malene Birger , $415 / Cuff bracelet / Topshop brown eye shadow, $18

Earthtone and Edgy:
Style it Yourself:
brown crop

Tiger top, $8.14 / Leather jacket, $255 / Witchery stretch pants, $52 / Platform high heels, $33 / Python handbag, $19 / Kate Spade charm bracelet / CC SKYE gold bangle / Gold jewelry, $18 / Cartier gold bangle / Rick Owens cotton scarve

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cherry Blossom Branches

Spring has sprung in San Francisco, and the freakishly warm days here have forced the cherry blossom trees in our neighborhood to bloom early.  The city now has big clouds of pink blossoms everywhere which makes me want some pretty blossoming branches to put in a big vase in our living room.  

How gorgeous and natural are these arrangements?!  Don't tell me you aren't wanting a big bundle of flowering branches now!

In a pitcher next to a big soaking tub... so very french provincial, no?

 This photo looks like it was taking in San Francisco (although I have no proof of that).  My dream home - lots of white, lots of light, and that beautiful crown molding   The branches get to take center stage with the simple decor.

Branches of cherry blossoms and tulips (from a tulip tree)  I'll take it.  I actually saw a flowering tulip tree just a few blocks over, and had serious thoughts of tip-toeing over there in the middle of the night to cut a few down.  So wrong. I'm embarrassed to admit it!

Ahh, a big bushel of branches in my future home.  Well the future home of my dreams that is.  Wah!
Was the matching pink pillow planted here just to pick up the color in the blossoms?  Genius.  Feminine and masculine (with that black leather) all at the same time!

And, here is the cutest little Easter tablescape in the history of the world.  Those little ceramic bunnies hopping about... the happy Easter egg ornaments hanging from the branches??  I love LOVE LOOVEEE it all!

Does this have you dreaming of cherry blossoms too now?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Another year Wiser...

My friends, I am alive!  I swear to it!

I've just been so incredibly busy in the last week, between travel for work, birthday celebrations, and my obsession with Downton Abbey (I'm almost fully caught up on the current season). I have hardly had two seconds to think about my little CupHalfFull.

Anyway, today is my birthday, and I don't know what it is about birthdays, but I love them.  Getting to indulge a little - treating myself to a donut and a full-fat latte (none of that "skinny vanilla latte" nonsense this morning) and wearing bright red lipstick to work.  Just makes the day feel a little more special when you put a little effort into getting ready :-)

I had a hard time turning 28 last year - don't ask me why.  Perhaps it was the idea of finally entering my "late twenties" but I was in a serious funk.  This year, I am excited for 29.  It is my last year as a twenty-something, and I feel really content at where I am in my life.  I live in a beautiful city, with the love of my life.  We have a fabulous apartment in the most gorgeous neighborhood I can imagine.  I have a wonderful new job that fulfills me, dear friends who are always there, and the most loving, encouraging family a girl could ask for.

28 ended up being a good year, but 29 is going to be the best year yet - I can just feel it.

Here's hoping I blow all my birthday candles out tonight!

I promise, I'll be back in action very soon, and my little blog will not go neglected :-)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gold and Glass

As we work on our home, and make changes to existing furniture, I've learned a lot about what I thought I liked, what I actually like, and what I really REALLLLY want.

I've mentioned before that the coffee table and side tables in our living room were a Craigslist purchase. A few years ago, I bought them from some guy selling the set at wholesale prices out of a storage unit somewhere in the East Bay.  It sounds more shady than it was - I brought a friend, and he had his 7 year old daughter with him, so it all felt fine.  No creepy killer lurking in the shadowy storage facility.  

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure how he was able to sell brand new furniture at wholesale costs, but at 24 years old, I was stoked to get a coffee table and two side tables for ~$100.

Here they are in all their glory... a little matching trio.

Don't get me wrong, they've definitely served their purpose, and I don't hate them, but I'm completely over the matching look, and all the dark wood (well, faux wood) is a little overwhelming.  I don't have immediate plans to get rid of them, but I've definitely started thinking about what I want to eventually replace them with.

What I'm really loving right now, is the look of clear glass, clean lines, and a gold metal frame.  Visually, the clear glass doesn't take up a lot of space, and I am into gold in a big way!

This gold end table is perhaps one of my favorites - not only does it have a little shelf underneath to hold a few things, but detail around the shelf is amazing, yet still really clean and simple.

I am also loving this side table - against the landscape wallpaper (which is fabulous in it's own right) the metal-work on the side is detailed without being overbearing.

What I love most about these two side by side glass tables is that they are simply styled, and allow you to see the great graphic rug underneath!  A big complaint I have about our coffee table now, is that it hides a big part of our rug... which I love!

Moving onto gold and glass etageres... this is an Ikea hack! I couldn't believe it myself, but this shelf was less than $100, and all it took was a little gold spray paint to look like a million bucks.

This one is NOT an Ikea hack, but a pretty good inspiration for one, eh?  I love the symmetry, muted colors in the styling, and how the gold really pops against the concrete wall.

Everything about this photo is love - the Thibaut Thibaut Tanzania Wallpaper is TO DIE FOR, and while this gold and glass etagere will set you back about $4K, it's so pretty to look at.  Isn't the greek key scrollwork amazing?  I think there is something about a bit of gold and a bit of animal print that says fabulous all the way!!

What a surprise, more animal print and gold... love this coffee table - especially with the orange Hermes tray, and orchid.  Not exactly functional, but oh so pretty...

Small space living all the way - love that this living space also serves as the dining room (and office).  This really just brings home my point about having a glass top table to maximize space visually.  And those striped curtains?  LOVE!