Friday, May 27, 2011

Orange You Glad It's The Weekend?




I bought these orange pants from JCrew a few years back before this whole color explosion thing occurred.
It was swoon at first sight for me.
I remember wearing them and one of my girlfriends saying "Wow. Those are some pretty bright pants you have there."
You know they're bright when your friends say stuff like that.

But I love them anyway and I couldn't wait to bust them out again.
 This time around I paired them with an old boy's button up I may or may not have stolen from my son's closet.

I could complain and tell you all how I have to work every single day of this holiday weekend.
But since I write my own schedule, complaining wouldn't make any sense would it?
I must have just had a momentary lapse of reason.

Happy Memorial Day Everyone!
Someone somewhere have at least one drink for me!

pants: jcrew
shirt: polo ralph lauren
necklace: express
glasses: catherine deneuve



Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Deets





Full disclosure.
If you told me a few summers back that I would be rocking a maxi dress in the future I never would have believed you.
I am so vertically challenged that I have always shunned clothing I deemed inappropriate for someone of such small stature.
But something has changed my mind about some of my self professed fashion rules...I have been living more "outside my box" in the past year than ever before.
I know this sounds strange for someone who's hair has been every color under the sun and has been styled in everything from liberty spikes to dreadlocks to say she is dressing "outside the box".
For goodness sake, I used to put my clothes together with safety pins when I was in high school!
I guess I am just a complete contradiction of myself?

Aside from that, the lovely Amy from Kelinda Kelinda tagged my with a blog award and the request that I share 7 other facts about myself with you.
A little while back, my new IRL friend and fellow blogger Carly had tagged me too with the same request, so I have no choice now but to play by the rules and share these juicy little tidbits with you.
Ready?

1. Having my son at 21 was a surprise. Even more surprising was that I had a really bad bum kidney and wouldn't have known if I hadn't gotten pregnant.
Especially since it would have killed me had it not been discovered.
In other words...everything happens for a reason.
When my son was 6 months old I had my left kidney removed and in it's place got a scar that pretty much wraps around my whole left side.
Yeah, it's hot.
I tell people it's a shark bite.

2. I could eat the same exact foods every.single.day.
And I pretty much do.
My breakfast alternates between 6 almond/cranberry/blueberry clusters or I have a brown rice cake with a tbsp of peanut butter and a handful of apple slices.
I could also eat tuna on a bed of lettuce with tomato and green olives every day for the rest of my life and I would never mind.

3. I am addicted to watching Hoarders and River Monsters.
 I will never stop loving House Hunters.
And I really wish Ina Garten would adopt me so we can cook together and I could live a glorious life in the Hamptons.

4. My husband and children hate to shop.
They all refuse to even buy their own clothing.
I am always amazed at men who stand by a fitting room waiting for their significant other to come out or trail around behind them carrying clothing and purses for them.
If I can even get my husband to the mall he would abandon me and be in the Apple store faster than you can say Jimmy Choo!

5. I am a baby person.
I have infinite patience for babies.
Bigger kids?
Not so much.
My patience is definitely more limited.
This poses a problem as my baby making days are long gone and my kids ARE bigger.
I find I just have less patience for grown humans in general....they should just know better.

6. I refuse to do Facebook.
I did MySpace about 6 years ago and had to delete myself when a guy I dated for 2 weeks in High School contacted me wanting to know why I broke up with him.
Yeah.
I graduated in 1992.
It was weird.

7. I was always the one who was going to live the glamorous life far away from home and after many years of traveling to various places around the globe ended up buying a house up the street from the one I grew up in.
So much for living in far off exotic places. 

dress: limited
necklace & denim jacket: old closet dive
sunglasses & sandals: banana republic
bracelets: here, there & everywhere

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Moody Blues









While there are few colors I actually abhor, if pressed to name my favorite I think it would have to be blue.
Royals, navy, denim, chambray, electric, baby....I love them all.
I can't get enough color this season.
This week alone I have been exploding with colorful outfits with no break from it anywhere close on the horizon.

I fall in love with most items at first sight.
When the garment catches my eye, I quickly snatch it in my size then clutch it to my chest and refrain from shouting:
Mine Mine Mine!
Such was the case with this skirt.
I already have the citron one (as worn here) and when I spied this color it was in my grubby paws within seconds.

And this new color JCrew made for the classic denim shirt?
Swoon.
Goodness knows I wear my darker version incessantly so it only made sense to buy this version as well.
Justification?
Perhaps.
Intervention needed?
Absolutely.

shirt & skirt: jcrew
heels: coach
necklace & sunglasses: express
ring: jcrew
bracelets: here, there and everywhere

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Purple People Eater






Once upon a time, long, long ago (in the early 90's!) there was a young mother of an adorable baby boy.
This young woman used to shun convention and march to her own drum.
On occasion, people would lean in to oogle at her sweet baby and they were oft surprised to see him wearing little buttons on his little jackets and coats that said things like "Die Barney Die".
Not everyone likes purple dinosaurs you know.

When I purchased my red pants, I picked up this divine little pair as well.
I admit that wearing them made me think of good ole Barney the dinosaur, Grape Ape and other purple creatures that once graced our television screens.

While I am truly dying to pair it with camel, I settled for this swingy Vera Wang number in lavender instead.
I seem to be lacking in the warm weather camel tops department.
Could that even be possible?
I love how these pants just skim my ankle...a perfect length for this time of year!
Or perhaps I am just so perfectly short that they hit me in just the right spot.
Either way, I felt like a perfectly purple panted people eater.
People eater only when cranky though.

pants: limited
top: vera wang, thrifted
jacket: ny&co
heels: coach
necklace: limited
bracelets: mix and match bangles from here there and everywhere!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Flow







Once the warmer weather hits I find myself immediately grabbing the same essentials over and over again.
Skinny bottons, oversized hoops and lightweight and flowy blouses.
I bought this top at Express last week the moment I laid eyes on it.
The soft, delicate fabric is meant for comfort as the mercury climbs but the structured cut makes it the perfect white summer button up.

sunglasses & blouse: express
ankle jeans: ny&co
hoops: ?
peep~toes: coach

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Little Things Count

No matter what your budget, you can give your home personalized flair in such little ways.
 Writing this series made me look around and take notice of the small scale things that give my home personality.

Bottles of Pellegrino lined up like soldiers in my barware cabinet behind the glass doors add a chic and tasteful touch!

Use your liquor as a decorative element!
As you can see by the almost empty bottles we use ours as more than just a decorative element...

This gorgeous blue shell from Homegoods cost me only $9.99 last weekend...

I print pictures I take of our family in black and white and add then to my hallway gallery...there is something about black and white photos that I adore.
Each one seems to tell it's own story...

I have had this bedding in our master bedroom for almost 6 years and I still love it as much today as I did the day I ordered it.
This season I added the navy floral pillows for an easy little update.

Two new pillow covers are a minimal cost to add such a new vibe to my room!

I am certainly no professional interior designer.
But I know what I like...
And I know what works for me.
And after many, many years out in this world on my own I know this:
There is no place like home.




Thursday, May 19, 2011

Go With Your Gut

From the instant I walked into my home to view it the very first time, I knew the front door had.to.go.
I hated it.
To me, it did not suit a 60's era cape cod style house at all.

fall 2009

After replacing our steps and walkway last spring, it only made sense to seize the moment and rid myself of the door.
Since our entry is a long narrow hallway and the staircase is right at the front door (typical cape) a storm door was a must.
I need loads of natural light, and to be able to open the door all day and let the sunlight stream in is a dream come true.
I selected a black Pella storm door and special ordered a solid 4 panel door.
I always lean towards more traditional and classic, and the 4 panel was so much more appealing to me than the stock doors at our local home improvement store.

When I shared with people how we were changing out the door and was asked what color I was going to paint it, I confidently exclaimed:
"Black!"
More than one family member and friend started to question me why since my shutters are white and my house is red.
"Are you painting the shutters black too?" they asked.
"Nope."
"Well, don't you think it will look weird?"
"Not really."
"Hmmm." was the general response I received.

I am 100% a visual person.
I see the finished product in my head before I even begin it.
Same thing with outfits.
Same thing with decor.
I see the result right away.

I confess, with clothing it doesn't always work out.
Something might be ill~fitting, or not lay properly with another item.
But if pressed to give a percentage of the time that what I envisioned is a fail, I would have to say less than 25% of the time.
Same with decor.
I will place something, then pick it up and move it somewhere else.
Step back and move it again to yet another location.
But if pressed again, the fails are minimal compared to my personal satisfaction of assembling my "vision".

But I completely freaked out about the door.
Maybe it was because to paint over black is easier said than done.
Maybe because the door ended up delayed for a few weeks and I had too much time to think about it.
I always make up my mind and just do.
Instant gratification 100% of the way!
Fly by the seat of my pants!
Instead, I second guessed myself and selected a soft grey to balance the other colors involved.
Hubby painted it while I was away on business in September.
And I was never happy with it.
It was boring with a capital B.

I decided that on my staycation, I was going with my gut...no matter how many months later and painting it black.
And friends, I am in lovvvvvveeeeeeee!

looks fab with my black accessories and furnishings in the foyer!


now my window boxes just need to be planted...

i bought a nickel door knocker that just needs to be installed!

It is just the "pop" I have been looking for!
Dare I even say chic?
We know every girl needs a LBD...and all this girl needed was a Little Black Door to make her heart swoon!

And Honey?
Ummm...looks like the lawn needs a mowing.
Could you get on that please?
It makes my door not so hot.
Thanks Babe, you're the best.




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Seasonal

Have I ever told you guys that I left apparel retail once upon a time for a brief stint in the furniture/interior design industry?
No?
Well, long story short, I was physically and mentally exhausted from years of running a store for a big box retailer.
Fearing an early death from the stress, I jumped at the chance to work for a home design and furniture company.
I literally went from a staff of almost 100 sales associates to having 6.
I went from having thousands of customers cross my lease line a week to only maybe a few hundred.
In short, it was the most boring thing I have ever done in my life.

The plus side was all the experience and knowledge I gained about furniture design, construction and the fact that I got 40% off.
And pretty much refurnished my entire home.
When an apparel retailer came calling trying to woo me back, I was sorely missing the pace and ever changing world of fashion and bid adeiu to my showroom which only changed seasonally instead of every.single.day.

My home is set up much like a showroom and always has been.
Tabletop surfaces house little "vignettes" if you will, that I have always changed with the passing seasons.
Having owned my own home for the past 16 years, I have amassed quite a collection of "accessories" and am fortunate enough to have a walk in attic that is lined with metal shelving units on which to store my stuff.
In short, my attic is literally a prop closet.
You could shop in there.
If my stuff was for sale, but it's not.
I like it all too much.

The downside of being back in fast paced high volume retail is that it can be physically and mentally exhausting.
The past few years I have been a bit lazy about swapping things out with the changing seasons and have items I love but have not touched in quite some time.

This year is different.
I was determined to shake things up and really make my home exude that "summertime" feel this year.
Objects were moved from room to room to freshen it up and things that have been waiting patiently on those attic shelves for some love have been put to good use once again.

Here are some of my rules of thumb for decorating seasonally without looking kitzschy:

Use the unexpected.
These glass cloches I have been collecting house gorgeous shells I have collected while vacationing in the Outerbanks.

Mix high and low
These .99 tin lanterns I purchased while on line in the grocery store a few years back sit on a hand creweled runner from Williams Sonoma.
We don't eat in our dining room every day, so the tabletop is the perfect surface for a pretty vignette.

Anything can be seasonal.
Hubs and I both love to cook and entertain.
And yes, you guessed it ~ I create table settings for dinner parties much like my little vignettes.
The buffet in my dining room was filled with my fall and winter dinnerware.

Then swapped out for my spring/summer dinnerware.
Freshened and lightened up the look and keeps everything close at hand to be used.

Stick with what you like.
It is no coincidence that these dessert plates almost match my runner.
I am a big fan of navy and white in the summer.
It is a timeless classic and these plates reminded me of Oscar de la Renta ones from a few years back!

Go big or go home!
Statement pieces are like statement jewelry.
These oversized shells make my formal living room coffee table pop!
I am always drawn to the big, bold and obvious.
Just be cautious how you use them!


Use your collections.
I am an avid book collector.
Cookbooks are my main weakness, but I have amassed more than a few design books which I rotate to tabletops seasonally as well.
This iron seahorse is such a whimsical little piece that fits perfectly on top.
Use some greenery.
But be careful!
I am very finicky about faux florals and generally purchase mine from places like Pottery Barn (I am a Pottery Barn addict) because the fabrication doesn't look fake.
Some fake florals look just that ~ fake.
Splurge a little here...with regular dusting and care they will last you forever!
No green thumb required!

Decorating is much like a well edited wardrobe.
Invest in timeless pieces that will do just that ~ stand the test of time.
Opt for less expensive trendy pieces to freshen up and keep things current.
Use your imagination and you will find things to decorate with that you can reinvent again and again.
No prop closet required!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bye Bye Baby ~ Hello, Big Girl!

The first order of business for Staycation 2011 was to wrap up the odds and ends of my daughter's bedroom redo.
She will be 9 in September and has been after us to get rid of the color palette she has had since her nursery.
Since she was also willing to purge her room of the majority of toys, how could I say no?
(You mean I can throw the damned stuffed animals away? Hallelujah!)

My daughter is exactly like I was at the same age.
She says, and I quote:
"I'm not a girly girl!"
No Sweetheart, you are not.
It was just last week you came home crying after trying to arm wrestle and outrun the boy down the street who is.in.middle.school.
You are constantly trying to kick your big brother's ass.
(no offense to him, but it's not that unfair of a match up ~ she's pretty tough!)
And I know if we had climbable trees in our yard, you would be hanging upside down from the branches of them.
Just like I did when I was your age.

So bye, bye to my baby girl:

the hummel was from my grandparents home.

my mom gave my daughter this angel and she keeps it right by her bed ~ always

the rocker was a 1st birthday gift ~ for me! it is going to live with my sweet niece instead of storage since i cannot get rid of this "family heirloom". my father in law also hand makes these rocking horses. this is going into storage until i have grandchildren to love it!

there is a mini closet in her room that i painted as a little playhouse for her complete with curtains and a mirror inside. she kept her dolls there and i hand painted this just outside the door. you know, because it's "outside"...

god bless my husband. i did not help him paint. yes, that makes him a saint.
 damn, i'm a poet and didn't even know it!

After poring over paint swatches for one we ladies could agree on (it's all about the compromise between us strong willed women.) We settled on Tantalizing Teal by Sherwin Williams.
After spending a fortune last go round on Pottery Barn bedding, I didn't argue when she insisted on this bedding from Target.
Now when the duvet is torn and missing buttons I won't get so cranky about it.

We fought over the window treatments.
She wants naked windows.
I enforced a valance.
No compromising on that one, I just pull rank.

Bedding might be from Target, but I squeezed in a Cynthia Rowley pillow!
She found it acceptable since it has a peace sign on it.

New frames and a bulletin board replaced the old.
Baby photos have been packed away and pictures of friends and the brother she loves to hate are proudly displayed.

She is a warm weather girl and adores the beach.
It is hard to get her out of a bathing suit all summer long, so it only made sense to give her room that same kind of vibe. 

Do you not swoon for those chairs?
Her clever mother snatched them before they were discarded at work.
Mannequins once sat on these!

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little sad to see this transition.
Yet the new color palette is so fresh and clean and the room was in desparate need of a purge and clean out.
I absolutely love the way it came out!
Now, on occasion you can find me lying on the floor on that big flower pillow watching her tv.
Until she kicks me out.