Monday, November 2, 2009

ps - can't forget this one

One other thing that I've been swooning over - the magical and delectable Amy Atlas designs. Check out her website for a portfolio of past events that's absolutely amazing!

Return from the Land of Busy

The last two months have been a big change from warm, laid-back, outdoorsy summer days to structured weeks of mostly indoor, child-centric activities and obligations. A welcomed change at first, but it left little time for becoming inspired.

Here are a few things that have caught my eye and I actually remembered to post on the blog:

Restoration Hardware's Flatiron Table - I saw it yesterday at our local store and I think that it looks far better in person than in this photo. Loving the use of the recycled door! I'd love to set this rustic tabletop with my Vera Wang china.

Anthropologie's various wallpaper options - especially this one called Avian Apartment. Wallpaper is certainly making a comeback. Perhaps I should jump on this train?!

The decor and architecture of a somewhat new restaurant in my neck of the woods - Bastille and Bar. My first visit there was with the small fry, so obviously a return trip is necessary to sufficiently absorb the ambiance. Much of it inspired from century old train stations in Paris.

Clean and simple design of this lovely home via House of Turquoise

More to come as I embrace this colder, darker, more regimented season of the year.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two favorite things

In the last week, I employed two of my favorite kitchen items:

First, the legendary Cupcake Courier that I purchased just prior to having my first child, knowing that this phase of life would require an easy and efficient way to transport muffins and cupcakes (and cakes for that matter)

Second, the inaugural use of my cupcake stand that my hubby gave me for my birthday. I can't believe that it took me this long to pull it out and fill up the tiers with frosting slathered cakes

*these cupcakes are coconut cake with coconut frosting & yellow cake with chocolate frosting, made for my daughter's first birthday a week ago. Instead of making a full two dozen so that I didn't have many tempting leftovers, I made small pink paper flowers to fill the empty spaces.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dressing Room

Along with the squeaky floors mentioned in an earlier post, one of my other main complaints about my 1919 house happens to be the lack of closet space. They're non-existent. Thus the pile of clothing on the floor of my minuscule "master" bedroom.

I saw the above dressing room in the September 09 issue of Living, Etc and just fell in love with it. Imagine - to have an entire room to organize one's clothing!

Then I ran across another dressing room on Decorpad - what a fun and playful space! I'm dreaming of a day when it could be mine...even on a small scale...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The perfect home fragrance

This morning I found my nose wrinkling in disgust as I was surrounded by the typical, offensive smells that are so common when one has a 1 year old infant and a 3 year old toddler. Blah. Thinking about which smells transport me to my happy place, I thought that it'd be wonderful to somehow create a candle with the following scents:

Shoe leather,

a lovely perfume like my current favorite, Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb,

and add a dash of one of my favorite coffee blends, Kenya from Starbucks.

Serenity Now!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wearing my art instead of framing it

A month or so ago I mentioned that I was eager to frame and hang a new print coming in from England with the motto "Keep Calm and Carry On". Well, as usual, I've procrastinated on the visit to Aaron Brothers, but in the meantime I've thoroughly enjoyed "wearing" the art with my nifty new purse that doubles as a diaper bag:

Now that the busy summer days of trips to the park, BBQs and other such time-consuming diversions are coming to a close, I should get my fall to-do list organized and completed.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Backyard Solution

In our neighborhood, I've noticed that many homes are now in a flurry of remodeling - whether an exterior paint job or raising the entire house to create a basement or garage, people are staying put in this economy (unless they get a steal on a cheap house).

At one time, possibly 1919, our back shed was once a garage...maybe a horse stable (just kidding). We use it for miscellaneous storage, but since it dominates our backyard, I'd love to convert it into something like this:

MetroSheds are amazing pre-fab kits that can be change one's backyard into an urban oasis of leisure and chicness.

The challenge would be whether it'd turn into a retreat for the male species or mine...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fun Find

While sauntering through the shops of a local neighborhood this afternoon, I saw what I hope will be a fun new craft/project -- these terrific iron-on fabric transfers from Sukie:

Immediately I thought of adding them to onesies, tote bags, and possibly curtains. Some of the reviews comment that it's difficult to get them to work well, but I figure that I'm up to the challenge.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Inspiration Realized

The "red balloon" birthday party has come and gone, thank goodness. A great time was had by all, and I was able to translate most of what I wanted into decor and fun. Most importantly, it didn't rain. Clouds threatened, but we enjoyed a semi-balmy lunch outdoors with plenty of room for active toddlers to run.

The all important "red balloons" and homemade banner in the living room:

Gorgeous red dahlias from our local farmer's market:

I started creating pinwheels a few days ago to add to the red balloon decor. After prepping two dozen large and small sheets of paper, I realized that I would never be successful (in this life) in getting the pinwheels put together correctly. So a quick change in plan was required and we ended up hanging the pinwheels (minus stick) from the trellis and picnic table umbrella:

I fondly remember as a child my mom would place a small basket overflowing with M&Ms next to each place setting at our birthday parties. This group gathered today was certainly not in need of more sweets since we dug into a Cold Stone Creamery ice cream cake and already sugared-up children didn't need to miss their afternoon naps from an "excellent sugar rush".

But, I do like favors, so we created magnets out of the photo we took of GT (used on the Evite) and wrapped them up in simple kraft boxes. They were a hit!

Here is a shot of my new, very useful potting bench that we served drinks from - keeping things simple, we provided Pellegrino, Sangria and Pink Lemonade. This is a tad messy as it's near the end of the celebration.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Birthday Inspiration Board

My little man, GT, is turning 3 in a few days. Although we're celebrating with a rather low-key family party consisting of burgers on the grill, presents and ice cream cake, I wanted to incorporate something sweet that reflects this stage of life.

One of his favorite things is to play with balloons and so this year's party theme is based on one of my childhood flicks, "The Red Balloon". I have a copy on hand should we need to subdue the restless youngins in the event of rain.

I absolutely love the following photos used as invitations for this young man's birthday. A link to Armelle's wonderful blog is found here.

We spent this past Sunday afternoon working on our own re-creation of La Ballon Rouge. Here is our big birthday boy posing around our neighborhood:

No party is complete without the right music. Look no further than the music from Amelie

and Putamayo's French Playground:

I'm hoping to get some fun photos of the actual celebration to post and reveal how it all came together. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Project - COMPLETE

Now that the sun has come up and is shining on our back porch, I can reveal the potting bench paint job:

I'm very happy with it and looking forward to using it, in particular, for my son's 3rd birthday party at the end of the week.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New Project

For the last two months, I've been in search of a potting bench for our back porch... not so much for potting plants as for entertaining in the backyard.

Most options have been far too expensive to justify, and just as I began to let hope die, we happened up on a FREE potting bench while walking through the neighborhood this past weekend.

My husband, with baby in backpack, declared that 1/2 a mile wasn't too far to carry it and off we went. I was blissfully content as I pushed the toddler in his stroller the rest of the way home.

Typically I get easily distracted from my fun projects by the mundane, tedious things like laundry, dishes, etc, but Saturday I excitedly went straight to the store to purchase my new paint, some sand paper and primer. 3 hours later we had a fantastic serving/entertainment table. Photo of the makeover to be posted tomorrow.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Keep Calm and Carry On

As a stay-at-home mom to two kids under 3, I find that I my daily mantra tends to be "Serenity Now!" a la Seinfeld. The moment one mess or project gets cleaned up, we're onto the next disaster.

This poster from the site Keep Calm and Carry On seems to sum up that sentiment well enough, and will soon hang on the wall of my bedroom.

I'm rather freaked out about putting holes in my walls lest we decide that we're suddenly moving (moving where, I don't know) and have to hire someone to repaint and fix the blemish(es). Now that it's enroute and I've paid int'l shipping, I suppose that I'll have to quickly get over that fear and start enjoying my house...and art.

Beds for the kiddos

As I look around, keeping my eye out for cheap, chic furniture to fill the cottage, I keep coming back to this lovely room pulled together by Rubyellen of Cakies. What a fantastic space - childish enough for a young one, but with room to grow and mature.

This vintage bed is gorgeous, but I think that I could find something with more flexibility in scale and a tad more polished for a new cottage with the great find below from IKEA -- the "Minnen" bed that extends (or shrinks) as desired.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I'm frequently found cruising the Internet highway looking at clever ideas that other bloggers have spied or created themselves. I usually bookmark the page and then go on my merry way, intending to make time in the future to make the particular craft.

I saw this on a blog a few years ago (I can't remember which one - sorry) and even went to a craft store to purchase the quilting rings. Alas, this winter when we were cleaning up our attic, I happened up on them in a dusty, lonely box. Since I am now blogging about this, perhaps I should follow through and find some terrific vintage fabric to "frame" with the rings.

Squeak, Squeak

My new obsession is flooring. We currently live in a 1919 Craftsman, with updates made in the 70s. Upon moving in, we did our best to bring a splash of youth and modernity to the place, while preserving the good elements from the earlier era.

However, the main thing that drives me crazy are the wood floors that squeak, squeak, squeak all the time when walked upon (squeaks that wake up small children & infants from naps).

I can appreciate hardwoods, but I'd appreciate them more if they didn't make my life so challenging.

Last week we went on a little family vacation to the Washington coast and stayed in an lovely rental home in the Seabrook community. All the houses/cottages have been built in the past few years, but have such a sense of uniqueness and history to them. What I really liked about the place we stayed in were the rustic wood floors with terrific texture and durability.

This photo via a room somewhere via Sweetie Pie's Tumblr gives a good idea of what they looked like (though photo is of a different house altogether):

The Mood

I'm in love. I'm in love with this beach house (slideshow via Architectural Digest):

A few years ago I saw the film "Something's Gotta Give", got a good laugh out of the fun story, but mostly I became enamored with the gorgeous interior (and lovely exterior) of Diane Keaton's Hampton's beach house. It truly was one of the principal characters of the movie and the reason why I continue to occasionally re-watch it.

The calm, soothing colors of cream and blue, the spacious and cleaning feeling kitchen (my favorite room in the house), the large, round dining table (my dream to have a dining space that could accommodate it), and balance between traditional elegance and informality make me happy and want to live in place like this.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Beach House Decor - Inspiration Board

Sometime soon, my folks will be breaking ground on their new beach cottage. It initially will serve as a getaway for the family on weekends, and then eventually into their main residence following my dad's retirement in a few years.

I've been given the exciting task of decorating one of the guest suites on the top floor. I saw "lovely" without sarcasm or rolling of the eyes because this is my dream - decorating something that is a blank slate. Chic & cheap. Let the brainstorming begin!

From what I understand, the guest suite is essentially two rooms - a larger bedroom with a view of the water and a room next to it facing the front of the house, intended for kids/grandkids.

Here are a few things/images that are part of my online inspiration board:

Alicia Bock's gorgeous and dreamy photos:

First Things First

This is my first official entry on this blog of mine. My goal is to post things that inspire me - mainly those that are related to hearth and home, but I'll also occasionally post random items that just delight me and make me happy. I hope they make you happy, too.