Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Putting on my winter coat

I just have to share this with you.  Last week, I went into Old Navy looking for Halloween costumes and spotted their new winter coats.  I quickly grabbed this cute little peacoat and love it!  I think my favorite part is the little belt on the back - it keeps the coat from looking too boxy.  I'm usually pretty particular about their coats as some seasons have been better than others.  They really have done a great job this season.  For $59, it's a great deal, plus I even had a coupon.  Even better! 

Here's J. Crew's version which I love just as much, but it's also $225. Check out the details... very similiar, down to the belt in the back. 

Here's another adorable one at Old Navy, The Ruffle Collar Jacket.  Cute eh? 

It's really the small things that help to elevate the everyday.  I'll see you around town in my new coat!

Have a good one!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Outdoor Inspiration


This week's WHY IT WORKS inspiration comes from a weekend getaway we had with some good friends.  I'm typically a city girl, but every once in awhile, it does feel good to be out in the fresh air.  We stayed at a charming lodge set right in the middle of a forest, next to a river.  It was beautiful.  As I was clicking away on my camera, I spotted a small match of reindeer moss tucked beside some river rocks.  The bright green of reindeer moss is one of my all time favorite colors.  The following pieces are all inspired by my little patch of moss.  Just goes to show... inspiration is everywhere.  If the color palette and textures work in nature, it will work in your home too!


Friday, September 24, 2010

IKEA Fridays - Meet SNUDA

I recently enjoyed a great girls night out and one of my friends was asking about DIY posts.  What a great idea!  I love reading them, but kind of forgot about passing those ideas along.  So... thank you *friend*, here's our first DIY post mashed with the usual IKEA Friday.

SNUDA... nothing fancy right?  It's IKEA's tried and true lazy susan.  Only $7.99.  I'm thinking about getting one and putting it next to my stove for my salt/pepper and oils.  I love that's it's wood and will easily fit into a traditional or modern decor and anything in between. 

NOW... SNUDA with a makeover!  Pretty cool huh?  I'm sure many of you have seen similiar caddies at Pottery Barn Kids.  So cute, but not exactly cheap at at $49  right?  Well, why not DIY it! 

from The Crafters File Box

Check out the full tutorial over at The Crafters File Box.  Truly inspiring!  This one is definitely on my to do list!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One child's story

I'm typically not a big movie watcher.  My husband will tell you, put me in a quiet dark room, and I'm usually asleep in 10 minutes.  But every once in awhile I come across something that leaves me changed forever.  This movie is one of them.  A friend of mine forwarded this to me and trust me, it's moving.  I've been telling everyone I know to watch it.

It's a documentary that tells the story of an adoption from China.  It's told from the perspective of the child and the adoptive parents.  Life is complicated.  Often, there are no easy answers.  Even if you have no connections to adoption, this story speaks to the universal values of love, loss, family, the parent/child bond, and identity.

It left me feeling more thankful for what I have and more compassionate towards those who have less.  I hope it does the same for you.  I'd love to hear your comments on this.

To watch online, go to:  http://www.pbs.org/pov/woainimommy/

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Gorgeous Kitchen

I came across this kitchen about a year ago and I still come back to it from time to time.  It's one of my all time favorites.


(image from Design Sponge)

  • Color!  I absolutely LOVE the color of these cabinets!  My cabinets are white right now, and if I ever decide to change things up, I'm going for this look. 

  • The rug!  I love that pop of color and how it relates back to the orange in the clock.  Doesn't that rug just make you happy?

  • The glass front cabinets and farm house sink.  In my opinion, these are classic designs and will never go out of style!   

  • Painted cabinetry.  I love the look of painted cabinetry.  If you're looking to update your kitchen cabinets, painting is a great option!  Paint and new hardware can completely tranform a kitchen.  I love grays!
  • A rug in the kitchen.  Most of us spend countless hours standing in the kitchen and we all need a rug to save our feet.  I love a beautiful rug, but in a high traffic area like a kitchen, I have to be practical too, which is why I like FLOR tiles.  They come in a beautiful range of colors and there are so many ways to make your own custom rug!  I have FLOR tiles in my home and I don't feel guilty when I get a stain and need to replace a tile.  I love FLOR so much that I'm sure I'll be doing a separate post just on FLOR in the future.
  • Countertops.  I know it's a battle, but having a clutter free countertop is so good for the soul.  It's not realistic to have our counters look like a magazine picture all the time, but I'm always looking for ways to edit and store.  Take a look at your kitchen and critically look at all the things you have on your counter.  How much of it is necessity and how much of it can be thrown away or stored? 
To see more of this beautiful home, click here.

Friday, September 17, 2010


On Monday's post, I wrote about this room designed by Nate Berkus.  He had this incredible black and white striped rug.  I don't know where this rug is from, but I found one at IKEA that is just as lovely.

image from Elle Decor via Apartment Therapy

Here's IKEA's STOCKHOLM RAND.  It comes in 2 sizes, approx. 8 x 12 ($299) and 5 x 7 ($179).  Again, for this look, it's a steal! It's simple, it's timeless and adds a modern vibe to any decor.  It's sure to wake up any room!  

I've been really loving stripes and zigzags lately.  Some of my favorite designs are by Madeline Weinrib.  She has gorgeous, graphic rugs in some fabulous color combinations.  Her Black Buche rug is VERY similiar to this one and is definitely more than $299.  Her rugs are out of my budget for now, but I can still dream.  :) 
I'll leave you with a few more of her beautiful rugs.

(Photos from Madeline Weinrib Atelier)


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Roses and Hydrangeas

September is a great time to get deals on plants and flowers.  You'll have to be patient as most of them won't be blooming until next year, but you'll get some great deals.  Many of you probably have more experience than me as I'm a newbie gardener having only had a garden for 2 years.  But, I've been able to enjoy the fruits of my garden already!  Gardening is so therapeutic and there's so many life lessons to be learned along the way.  Another reason I love to garden is that I love to have fresh flowers at home.  With my own garden, I can get them for FREE!  One of my simple joys is going out to my garden, cutting flowers and greenery, and thinking of ways to arrange and display them.


Here are 2 of my favorites.  If you have a sunny spot, I recommend roses.  I've planted English Roses mostly from David Austin.  I love roses that have full blooms that almost look like peonies (my most favorite flower).  Roses are great, because they are so generous with their blooms. They just keep blooming and blooming!

If you have a shady spot, go for Hydrangeas.  These are old fashioned, full and have also generous blooming season.  I particularly like varieties with white and lavender flowers.  At first, I was only familliar with the ball, mophead type Hydrangea.  Now, I've learned about lacecaps and oakleaf hydrangeas.  I'm loving the oakleafs and just planted 2 this year.  Hopefully we'll get some blooms next year!   You can click here for more information on hydrangeas.   

Here's another great resource that I stumbled across a couple of years ago.  Like anything else for the home, plants are an investment.  The information here helped me narrow down what I wanted to put in my garden. 
Here are some more photos of bouquets I've been able to make this summer with flowers from my garden.  I hope this inspires you for next year.  :)


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

I was so excited when I was reading through my usual blogs when I spotted a post on ME over at Garnish!   How fun!  Thanks Suzanne!  If you haven't checked out Garnish, you must.  They have fabulous packaging items and inspirational ideas on how to use them.  Hmm... my son's 5 year birthday is coming up and I'm already starting to get ideas.

Coincidentally, one year ago today we were blessed by this little face! 

Happy Birthday Evie!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nate Berkus!

I have always loved watching Nate on the Oprah show!  I was ecstatic when I heard he was getting his own show!  I love his design philosophy and his style.  He's definitely one of my favorite designers!  In honor of his new show, The Nate Berkus Show, starting today, our inspiration room this week is from Nate's Chicago Apartment.


photo from Elle Decor via Apartment Therapy
Wall Color:  Like in most things, balance is key.  Notice how he kept the background of this room neutral so that things in the foreground can pop.  The rug is amazing, I'll be featuring a similiar rug on my blog on Friday.  I love paint and I think color is great, but sometimes, you just can't go wrong with classic white.

Legs:  Tables, chairs and sofas usually have exposed legs or covered legs.  Nate has used exposed legs for all the pieces in this room.  When you see the legs on a piece of furniture, it makes it appear lighter because your eye can travel all around it.

Color Story:  The color story in this room is basically black, white, brown and green.  Neutral, but definitely not boring.  Most importantly, notice how the colors relate to each other.  The black is seen in the rug, bookshelf and art.  The browns are in the sofa chairs, and art.  Lastly, a punch of green is brought in through the chair cushions, pillows and flowers.


Colors:  Take a look around, can you narrow down your colors to 3 or 4?  Do they relate to each other?  Do you see your primary colors in various pieces and throughout the room?  A common mistake is to err on either extreme.  Often we put too much color in a room because we can't decide, or we're so afraid of color that the room is too neutral and boring.

Rug:  I love rugs.  Because they're usually large and in the center of a room, they make a big impact.  Even if you have wall to wall carpet, go ahead and put an area rug on top.  It works!  Rugs are a great place to draw color inspiration too.

Wall Space:  Take another look at Nate's room, notice how well he uses his wall space to display art and collections.  Another common decorating mistake is not using your wall space well.  Many times, artwork or photos are too small and you're left with a blank wall that looks unbalanced.  Look around your space,  how are you using your walls?   

For more photos of Nate's Chicago Apartment, click here.

Friday, September 10, 2010


If you're in the market for a play kitchen... look no further!!  IKEA has finally come out with a children's play kitchen and I love it!  I love how clean, simple, and gender neutral this one is.  It leaves lots of room for personalization and imagination.  Wood kitchen sets can range from $150-$500.  DUKTIG is a steal!  What you see here are 2 pieces.  The bottom piece is $99 and the microwave hutch is $39. 

While you're at it, get these adorable fabric food items!  The DUKTIG breakfast is only $4.99 and the rest of the sets are $7.99. 

DUKTIG breakfast
DUKTIG fruit

DUKTIG veggie
DUKTIG dessert


(all photos from IKEA)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

An Apple a Day

What do you get when you put this: 

 with this?

These adorable cupcakes!

I spotted these cupcakes in this month's issue of Family Fun.  Too cute and too simple not to make! All you need is boxed cake mix, red frosting, tootsie rolls, and fruit roll ups. 

Click here for the full recipe and instructions. 

I know these would make awesome treats for any teacher. 
Trust me, I speak from experience.  :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

An Eclectic LA Living Room


  • Texture. I love the softness of the room. Notice the woven shades, the woven armchairs, and the cozy blanket.
  • Live plants. Plants add so much life to a room. The fern, palm and fresh flowers really add freshness to the space.
  • Furniture placement. Many people have a similiar room to this one, including me. This is a great way to arrange seating to encourage conversation.  All you need is a sofa/loveseat and 2 armchairs.


  • Plants. Even if you don't have a green thumb, adding low maintenance plants to a room really adds life to a room, literally. Go to a nursery and tell them what the light is in your space and they can help you.  There are many low maintenance house plants available.
  • Furniture placement. Is your furniture pushed up against the wall? Bring them into the room to create coziness and conversation areas.
  • Texture. Do you have any natural elements in your room? Baskets are a great way to add texture and they can do double duty as storage.

This room is a prime example of looking at a room and taking inspiration from it, even if it's not your own personal style. Personally, I wouldn't put a stuffed goose on my mantel, BUT... I could copy that same arrangement with a mirror plant and another large focal point. 
image from House Beautiful

Friday, September 3, 2010

IKEA Fridays - Meet DOCKSTA

I love this table and I personally have this at home.  It is inspired by the iconic Saarinen tulip table, but at a fraction of the price. It sells for $179, whereas the original starts at around $600.  It by no means is meant to be a knock off, but simply a piece that took it's inspiration from the clean lines of the original.  Right now, I have it in our office as a work table, but it could easily be used as a dining table or a side table.  Again, it's the versatility that I love.  If you get tired of the modern lines, just add a table cloth and/or a glass top and it could easily fit into a more traditional design.

Here is the original Saarinen tulip table and tulip chairs.  GORGEOUS!

Here is DOCKSTA in a small eating nook.  Equally as gorgeous!

from Canadian House and Home


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Birthday Party Details

Here are the details for the birthday party we had last week for my 1 year old and 3 year old.  It was a great summer evening spent with friends and family!  My inspiration was this simple evite.  I didn't have time to send out formal invitations, which I normally like to do, but I found this cute evite and started there.  We had our party at a neighborhood park and I've always liked red, white and light blue together.  Perfect!

from evite.com

Let's start with the centerpieces.  Since the party was at the park, I thought checker tablecloths would be perfect.  These were easy to find at local party stores, especially since they had plenty of picnic/4th of July themed items for summer.  Next, I got inspired when I stumbled across, Garnish.  They have the best selection of paper goods and containers!  I loved their berry boxes and striped straws and definitely wanted to incorporate them somehow.  I used the straws as sticks and printed out photos from Evie's 1st year.  I filled the berry boxes first with floral styrofoam that I cut to size, stuck in the straws with the photos, and topped it with some moss I found at Michael's.  It was so much fun to see all the photos on the tables.  The best part is, I can reuse all the photos for Evie's baby book and the berry boxes will become handy containers for all sorts of things around the house. 


Next, decorations.  I've been loving all the flag pennants I've been seeing, like here and here.  So, I decided to make some simple ones of my own.  I just got a book of scrapbooking paper from Joann's and made my own "flag" template our of a manila folder.  I cut them out from various red, white and blue papers (trying to get 2 from each page).  We taped them up to some string and voila, a simple pennant banner that I can use again in the boy's room. 


Lastly, the favors!  I was most excited about these.  I got inspired from this great blog, totally dedicated to kids' parties, Hip Hip Hooray.  I especially loved these muslin bags and decided to make my own.  I ordered bags from muslinbag.com, and bought iron transfer paper from Joann's.  The trickiest part was making the graphic show up in reverse so that it would read correctly once it was ironed on.  My mom had the great idea of making these little overnight bags for the kiddos.  So we filled them with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a small washcloth.  Once they get home, these adorable bags can be used for all sorts of treasures. 


I'll leave you with a few more photos from the party.  We made little snack saks for each child and flag shaped rice krispie treats on a stick (using those fabulous striped straws).  Fun!  Fun!

Like I said, the planning and prep was a lot of fun.  Most of the supplies were simple items purchased at either Joann's or Michael's.  Email me if you have any questions!


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