Archive for February, 2009

fashion: adorable booties

February 28, 2009

Pre-Graycen I was obsessed with baby booties. I never managed to purchase more then two pairs. Perhaps that’s because I hadn’t come across either of these Etsy Sellers.

Gracious May

Gracious May

Gracious May, If Pigs Could Dance

Gracious May, If Pigs Could Dance

Gracious May, Wiener Dogs

Gracious May, Wiener Dogs

Dog Gone Knitting

Dog Gone Knitting

 

Click on image to be taken to sellers home page on Etsy.
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fashion: pretty heals

February 26, 2009

I love high heals. I don’t wear them very often but I love them. Before moving to New York you couldn’t get them off my feet. Now, I know that doesn’t entirely make sense. So I move to the land of fashion, designer everything, Carrie Bradshaw, Manolo and that’s when I decide to stop wearing heals? Huh!

Ok, ok.. I should explain. For me, wearing heals was much more enjoyable when I owned a car. You know, when I could drive myself within a few feet of my college campus, or my boyfriends dorm room or heck – the church steps. When I didn’t have to trek 10 blocks in the snow… or the rain. When I wasn’t skipping over dog poop or when “getting out” didn’t require me walking up flights and flights of stairs… and then down flights and flights of stairs. When I didn’t have to take a train during rush hour while occasionally being jolted forward and backwards into strangers. Sometimes yucky strangers.

Instead, comfort won out and I rarely wear heals these days. I see ladies all around me doing it and I applaud them. And the truth is, I want to be that girl with blistered up feet, in pain, sporting band-aids along with a pair of fabulous heals. I mean, I’d rather have the fabulous shoes on my feet without the blisters and the pain but you get what I’m saying, right? I see others who wear the comfy shoes and then do a switch up when they arrive to their destination. Sometimes I do that, too. But not often. It seems that in my early 30’s Beautiful Living has come to mean comfortable feet covered in a simple black flat.

Well these shoes *almost* make me want to be that other woman. The one who sucks it for the sake of looking good and throws on her heals while hitting the streets. With dark wash jeans these would be gorgeous.

from Elizabeth Messina, photographer

via Elizabeth Messina, photographer

I can’t tell who makes them. Any ideas?

And I will add, in an effort to add more beauty to my life I am searching for the perfect black kitten heals. Something in a peep toe would be ideal. And if I’m not already asking for too much I’d prefer wide for more comfy. If you’ve seen this perfect shoe please direct me to them.

Image from photographer Elizabeth Messina. Source of shoes unknown.

home decor: entryway

February 24, 2009
When my mother and I get together for some girl time, inevitably we find ourselves misbehaving. A few years back I convinced my mom that we had to purchase last minute tickets on a flight to Spain. The price was too good to pass up. During negotiations between “will we go.. won’t we go” I did a bad thing. I lied to my mother and swore I could find us a cheap hotel. That lie caught up with me and in the end we found ourselves exploring hostels. We’re not the sort of girls that normally stay at such establishments. Yet, we did. Our last two nights in glorious Spain were spent in Madrid, in a hostel, with two twin beds. I know it’s very European (and I love things that are European) but to me an adult in a twin bed is just silly. But please, allow me to recap this wonderful mother daughter trip.

Go on shopping frenzy that results in an overload of goodies. In your state of madness purchase heavy pots that seem like a brilliant idea but later realize the brilliance of such a purchase was only momentary. Purchase new luggage to contain all your new marvels. Travel cross-country by train with said new items. Sweat, pant and wonder what the hell you were thinking when you purchased so-much-stuff. Arrive at hostel with new heavy luggage that seems even heavier as the minutes pass. Look for check-in counter. Realize the check-in counter is on the second floor of an old walkup building. Huff and puff up two flights of stairs. Sputter a mouth full of colorful language. Reach the damn check-in counter (out of breath). Begin sulking when you hear that your room is one flight up. Elevator? Still not an option!! Huff, puff and curse up a third flight of stairs with new, bigger luggage that now weighs a ton. Dream of smacking someone (perhaps yourself) with that pot you insisted on purchasing. Reach room and collapse on bed from exhaustion. Hear loud pop and allow the look of horror to settle in. You just broke the bed.

Oh, the thought (and laughter)! An adult in a twin bed is just silly but two adult women in ONE twin bed is bad comedy. That’s how we slept for two nights because the only thing worse then a cheap hostel is having to pay the hostel for their crappy bed that you broke. 

I feel like my life is a comedy of errors. One could see that as a bad thing but the silver lining is that I get to laugh a lot and laughter does make things better. I have a fun filled life and that’s something I want visible in my home. Recently my mother and I painted the interior side of our entryway door with chalkboard paint. It’s fun and unexpected yet it still flows well with my modern home. I absolutely love it!

Beautiful Living - Entryway

Beautiful Living - Entryway

 

 

Beautiful Living: Entryway Door in Benjamin Moore Studio Finishes Chalkboard Paint

Beautiful Living: Entryway Door in Benjamin Moore Studio Finishes Chalkboard Paint

 

 

I have these visions of my son drawing me a masterpiece one day. We don’t own any chalk as of yet and in truth my son is still a bit too young to get it. Needless, I am totally smitten with the end result. And to boot, the door is metal so it doubles as a magnetic board. As you can see, I’ve added a small selection of photos to display; each one is dear to me in some way.

I thought it also might be helpful to share a floor plan of our space. Hopefully things will make better sense as I begin to talk about all the things I want to do. You can see that our entryway door is visible from the kitchen/living room/and dinning room.

Floor Plan

Beautiful Living: Floor Plan

employment: set design

February 22, 2009

Set design for photo shoots is something that has much intrigued me as of recently. Does is not seem like a great way to make a living? I was just rummaging around Mary Howard Studio’s website and found some smokey hot images.

Here are more photos of Madonna for Louis Vuitton.

 

Mary Howard Studio: Madonna for LV

Mary Howard Studio: Madonna for LV

 

 

Mary Howard Studio: Madonna for LV, Image Two

Mary Howard Studio: Madonna for LV, Image Two

The always feisty, Naomi Campbell. That is her, right?
Mary Howard Studio: Naomi Campbell

Mary Howard Studio: Naomi Campbell

And if you’ve been wondering where Toccara went (from America’s Next Top Model) she is apparently held up in the trunk of a car. I almost didn’t recognize her.
Mary Howard Studio: Toccara

Mary Howard Studio: Toccara

the long weekend

February 20, 2009

Before this week escapes me I need to recap the long weekend that just past.

This month I was a bit lost on what recipe I would test out. I was open to anything and being that open provided far too many options. This simple task turned into a bit of a chore then one afternoon I found myself searching the pages of Ree Drummond’s blog, wonderfully titled – Pioneer Woman. I only discovered her site recently and I love all her photos. Then, the very next day a friend mentions that they had tested one of her recipes and were very pleased with the end result. To quote them, they actually said “really really really really good.” With four “really’s” I knew I had my recipe and with that I made Ranch Chicken for Valentines Day. I paired it with roasted red potatoes and buttered corn.

My husband who is easy to please and always thankful and equally excited to get a meal gave it a “really good. ” He was originally undecided if he liked it better then January’s recipes but after much thought he declared that this was better. Ultimately he would be happy if I made any of these recipe’s again. I’m going with “it was good.” The meal was lovely, I enjoyed it and would be happy to eat it again. The potatoes were divine though I did not use a recipe per se when making them. They hail from a method I saw the Barefoot Contessa use.

For now I am still on the hunt for that something new that is simply stop-in-your-tracks-delicious.

Image from Pioneer Woman

Image from Pioneer Woman

Ranch chicken, roated potatoes and corn

End Result: Ranch chicken, roated red potatoes and corn

 

While on the topic of recipes, I just came across these two options for cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. It’s something I’ve never had but am very eager to try making (and tasting). I just need to convince my nutritionist that this is somehow good for me.

Barefoot Contessa, Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing, Photo by Quentin Bacon

Barefoot Contessa, Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing, Photo by Quentin Bacon

 

 

Martha Stewart, Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Jelly

Martha Stewart, Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Jelly

Last Sunday we went to Wave Hill which is a public garden and cultural center in the Bronx. We arrived a bit late and missed the paper making class but it was fun nonetheless. I’d like to return in the spring when the flowers are in bloom and the grass is green. I’m sure it’s spectacular that time of year.

Wave Hill

Wave Hill, February 2009

Graycen at Wave Hill
Graycen at Wave Hill

 

Ms. Nat, if you are reading this – in the photo above Graycen is wearing the pants you got him. We do love them.

Happy weekend hunting everyone!

Rebecca

home decor: more pink talk

February 18, 2009

Months ago I came across a photograph of what appears to be fuchsia smoke. I spotted this photograph via Habitually Chic. Since that time I’ve thought a lot about this image. I can’t help but to be drawn into it.

Smoke 14 by Mark Elverson found via Habitually Chic

Smoke 14 by Mark Elverson found via Habitually Chic

 

When you come into my home, and pass through our entryway, you slip past our hallway before entering into our main living space. That hallway leads to our bedrooms and guest bathroom. At the end is our master bedroom. It’s a rather short hallway. As you pass through, if you quickly glimpse to the side, you see into our room. When you do so you see deep colored walls painted charcoal grey and a stark white dresser. I’ve begun to contemplate changing our room around. I haven’t taken measurements but I wonder, and I hope, that with some manipulation I might be able to fit a working desk where my dresser presently stands. It would be my space to craft and wrap and think. I am not particularly found of McMansion homes but the one thing I wish I did have was a gift wrapping room. I don’t foresee myself ever owning a large home but I’d still love an open space to craft and roll out ribbons and papers. And if this were to happen I’d love a beautiful chair draped in custom fabric. Above that chair would hang an equally beautiful piece of art. I have a great fondness for photography and I particularly love the image Smoke 14 because it draws me in and it adds that burst of unexpected color I like. Paired with my grey walls I think it would look lovely. If I did follow through with this new arrangement then a pale pink closet would be a nice touch. Almost as if the fuchsia smoke photography is a foreshadowing of what lies behind my closet door. With that said, the door leading into our walk-in closet is always open and I’m not entirely certain I want to always stare into a pink room.

I don’t want to sound crazy or annoying but I’m just thinking this through on all aspects. I purchased a sketch for my master bathroom about two years back. I really wanted the image and it was only being sold as a set of four sketches. So I bought all four in an effort to get the one I wanted. The sketches came framed and two sit in the back of my closet, stored away. Both are pink and it would be nice to hang them side by side in my closet on pale pink walls. The frames are ornate and bit much for me but I can see them being a burst of sweetness that you walk into every morning.

At this point my husband says he doesn’t care. He’s pretty certain he won’t notice them… or the pink walls.

This weekend while leafing through my Living Etc. magazine I came across the most sumptuous blue paint. I could slather that on my closet walls without batting an eye. I haven’t mentioned it but I’m such a sucker for blue. I have four blue rooms and in a two bedroom home that’s more then half our place. When I put it that way it makes the pink sound more appealing.

Mark Elverson
Habitually Chic
U Gallery

home decor: closet paint

February 16, 2009

Happy Presidents Day to those who celebrate!

My husband and I just finished having cocktails in the kitchen, which is much needed when listening to CD’s of children’s music and rhymes. Why are the songs always so dreadful? Not that it matters since the cocktails managed to make it all bearable and amusing. I am now “paying bills” which translates to popping into my blog. Please don’t tell my husband about this fib. Though I must run soon as we are headed out to a local lounge for more drinks while socializing with our neighbors. Votes for the co-op board are coming up so there is much to discuss.

I wanted to mention that I did some painting this weekend that didn’t come out too well. Today I repainted with much better results. Also, colors for my closet have weighed heavily on my mind this weekend. Don’t shoot me but I’m thinking pink. My friend Parker suggested red and when I think cherry red I’m completely intrigued but on the other hand I don’t want a dark color. I’d love to do a plum but again, too dark. So I’m thinking the palest of pinks. I even tested a swatch this weekend but I’m not sold. I need to think about this one a bit more though I’d like to start on the project mid March.

I found this lovely image while searching pink over the weekend. The fact that there is yellow in the room has me smitten.

via Domino Magazine

via Domino Magazine

 

 

beautiful living

February 13, 2009

Happy Friday folks!!

I have a packed weekend ahead of me but I am looking forward to the extra day off. Not sure when I’ll be back in here but wanted to drop off something beautiful.

I came across this image while looking for some inspiration for my closet. Lovely, no?

House Beautiful - Photograph by Don Freeman, Interior design by Betsy Brown

House Beautiful - Photograph by Don Freeman, Interior design by Betsy Brown

 

 

craft: valentine’s day

February 12, 2009

Happy Valentine’s Day!

As I write this a piece of Graycen’s heart is in the mail to a few very lucky loved ones. Earlier this week we mailed out cards for Valentine’s Day.

I have a bit of a weakness for stationary and paper products. Shortly after Graycen’s birth I purchased some stickers with the saying this belongs to Graycen. Logically my newborn was not in need of stickers proclaiming his ownership but my weakness got the best of me. A year later and I think we’ve used.. oh, none of them. In an effort to finally put them to use these stickers become the center of Graycen’s cards. I attached them to paper and then cut out heart shapes making sure to keep the part that said – this belongs to Graycen. I attached ribbon to each heart so that recipients can hang at their leisure. Each heart was then attached to a hand written note and sent out in lovely pink envelopes. I neglected to take photos of the finished product but these images give you a sense of what we ended up with.

Getting ready to craft.

Getting ready to craft.

 

 

Getting help from Graycen.

Getting help from Graycen.

 

 

Graycen's Heart

Graycen's Heart

pillow talk

February 10, 2009

I tend to avoid pillows on the couch. Well, anywhere other then the bedroom for that matter. It goes back to my self diagnosed OCD (which by the way I have no desire to cure myself of). They physically bother me.

Oh look, one pillow is fluffier then the other! Oh gee, the pillow is tilted! Ew, ew it’s not centered!! And then there is the dreaded… My husband actually wants to lay his head ON the pillow?

See, it’s just easier to skip ‘em. Yet something tells me I could really use these West Elm pillows. They are such a great shade of yellow and as an added bonus, they are made in the USA.

West Elm Envelope Silk Pillow &Harem Stripe Pillow Cover

West Elm Envelope Silk Pillow &Harem Stripe Pillow Cover