Friday, February 26, 2010

Can I Really Justify: $100 Shower Curtain?

Ok, I admit it. I have been stalking this shower curtain on Anthropologie's website for months. It would be perfect in my Santorini inspired bathroom and really would be the focal point of the whole room. However, it is $98. Anthro does put stuff on sale but things sell out quickly- hence my stalking.

I have been looking all over to find a similar one, but I can't find one that is even close. I know I would be really sad if it sold out and didn't get it, but $98! Hence my question, "Can I really justify a $100 shower curtain?"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What I Wore Today : Summer Dress in Winter

Velvet Blazer: Banana Republic, $100 on sale
Dress: Anthropologie, $60 on sale
Tortoise Shell Earrings: Loehmman’s, $10
Bag: Gucci, T.J.Maxx, $100(!)
Leggings: Hue, $25 (@Nordstrom)
Biker Boots: Michael Kors, $70 (@

I love dresses that you can wear all year round. This dress looks awesome with sandals in the summer or with tights and cardigan/jacket. I bought this at Antro’s summer apparel sale and have worn it all fall and winter.

A huge bargain strategy of mine is to buy things at the end of the season. I did the same thing with the blazer and the boots. I saved a fortune on the boots by buying them in February, as retailers are trying to push out the winter stock for sandals. And as tempting as sandals are in right now, hate to break it to everyone, boots will be around for months yet.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Before and After- Bathroom Window



A great way to let light in and maintain privacy: Artscape are available at Home Depot for around $20. Perfect for bathrooms, there are many designs to choose from and are easy to install and remove (no adhesive). My only tip would be to cut them a little larger as they shrink a bit from the moisture and steam.

P.S.- The Crescent Rod also seen in this picture is one of the best inventions ever(I got mine at HomeGoods for $20. It gives a regular sized shower a roomy feel. That and the attack of the plastic shower liner saga is officially over!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Things I Love Today: Black & White Checkered Floors

Brown Button

Rocky Bella

Kate Spade's Kitchen

I have loved black and white checkered floors in kitchens since I was a little girl. They are graphic but playful, vintage but modern. They add ompf to a simple palette, unfortunately for me it would not work in our house. We have an open kitchen, the living room has hardwood and I think the checker would cut the space off too much. Hope to have before and afters sooner rather than later:)

Monday, February 22, 2010

What I Wore Today : 9 to 5 Boho

Earrings: Soho street vendor, $15
Dress: London Times, $29(@ Marshalls)
Belt: Anthropologie, $30 (on sale from $120!)
Bag: T.J. Maxx, $30
Tights: Hue, $10 (@ Loehmann’s)
Boots: Steve Madden, $120(@ last year’s Nordstrom sale)

Looking like a free spirit on the way to your 9 to 5 job just makes the day seem more fun!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lifesaver: Ear Lift

I have wanted to wear earrings since I can remember. I started wearing bobby pins on my ears at the age of four to resemble what I called “dangles” or dangly earrings. I was not allowed to get my ears pierced till I was ten(no hard feelings Daddio), but since then I don’t think there has been a day when I haven’t worn them. To some, my big earrings are my trademark.

Many years of heavy earring wear can cause some issues with your ears. I can’t rock the heavy earrings all day anymore, that is until I discovered Ear Lift at Bed Bath & Beyond. This is the greatest idea, that I should have thought of. They are clear stickers that you put on the back of your ear and then poke your earring through it and it takes the weight off your piercing and doesn’t pull on your ear anymore. Genius! So now when I find a great pair of “dangles”, I don’t have to do the weight test.

P.S. - The picture is of my wedding earrings from Anthropologie, (sigh). With that long day filled of dancing and jumping around, the Ear Lifts were a lifesaver!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Things I Love Today: New Boden Spring Catalogue

I got the new Boden Spring Catalogue the other day and it was a breath of fresh air. It gave me hope that Spring would arrive sooner or later.

I love their stuff for several reasons: they have bright fun colors and prints, great fits, affordable prices, big sales, cool accessories and shoes, and most of all almost all the clothes are machine washable. For me sometimes a dry clean only dress is a dealbreaker, I don’t have the time or cash for that nonsense.

I am loving the yellow dress and periwinkle ruffle clutch combo. Roll on Spring!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What I Wore Today: Comfy & Cool

Necklace: Gap, $20
Tunic: Old Navy, $10
Bag: Barneys New York CO-OP, $40
Leggings: Hue, $25 (@ Nordstrom)
Ankle Boots: Sofft, $60(@ DSW)

I am a bargain shopper from birth, but I don’t mind spending a little more on tights, leggings, and footwear. Cheap tights and leggings are bad news, and cheap shoes will ruin your feet- been there, done that and now I have orthopedic inserts.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Ways to Wear... Vintage Clip-on Earrings

I am lucky enough to have some of my Dad’s mother’s vintage jewelry. I love all of it. Not only are all the pieces so unique, but they remind me of her.

I have two pairs of clip-on jeweled earrings and adore them but I don’t usually wear them as earrings, instead I wear them as a pendant. You can either string the chain through the clip of the clasp or through a section of the earring if it has a hole or loop big enough.

I love wearing these as necklaces. You can use them with any length of chain or ribbon you like.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Finds: Mirrored Chest

This is definitely the find of the year, maybe even of a lifetime!

I spotted this antiqued, mirrored (on all sides) 6 drawer chest at Marshalls on Saturday and immediately went into defensive mode- I knew I had found a steal. It was love at first sight, and that baby was coming home with me.

I have been looking for a mirrored bedside table or chest for about a year and have found several I liked, but they were all extremely expensive. This one looked a lot like the current one at Pottery Barn ($800) and this one was $139!!!

I was trying to flag a sales associate down so that I didn’t leave its’ side and I am glad I didn’t. As soon as I got an associates’ attention, there were two ladies in their fifties eyeing it up. One lady started asking me about it and said how good it would look in her master bedroom then started looking at the price tag. I smiled politely and said, "Thank you, I am very happy I found it.”

So with haste, I helped and the associate put in on a dolly and headed for the checkout. In line, I called my husband for van backup(would not fit in my car). I should preface this story by stating that my sole purpose for going out that day was to get a flat screen TV for the living room. Ha, came back with no TV but a mirrored chest. (and my husband was not even mad, he knows me well!)

I totally love it; it makes me happy every time I look at it. I actually jumped up and down and shrieked when I placed it by the bed, and unlike a lot of things I bring home that I am excited about, my hubby likes it too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Before and After- Bathroom Cabinet

Before: Trying to make my everyday toiletries look pretty and failing.

Our bathroom is small and the mirror over the sink is not a medicine cabinet. So we really needed to use our glass cabinet for everyday essentials.

After: Hiding our not so visually appealing toothpaste, eye drops etc. behind a light layer of burlap in under 10 minutes. All you need are scissors, tape and hot glue(and ice water for hot glue burn management, as previous blog mentioned) At $3 a yard, I bought 5! Look out for some more burlap projects; I already have 2 in the works!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Things I Love Today: Basket Wall Displays
I love straw baskets on a wall. I have my Mom to thank for getting me into that. They can be used so many ways: they can be formal or casual, symmetrical or non-symmetrical, and look good in really any room.

West Elm
In an office, behind a desk to hold notes or pictures

Pottery Barn
In a living room or in a bedroom, as a make-shift headboard

In a hallway (I am collecting now to potentially do my mudroom wall, not to the magnitude above but look out for that post)

I love how every basket is unique as well as the textures, shapes, and ability to use them when you need them. Functional Art!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lifesaver: Ikea 6 Drawer Chest

Before I got this beauty- my closet was a nightmare. I have a nice closet, it is a small walk-in but there were few shelves and I needed drawer space. This chest from Ikea is a perfect size and it is great for jewelry, lingerie, socks and my every expanding tights collection. This also has a flip top with a mirror and the top two drawers are lined so it is perfect for necklaces and bracelets. I also bought these organizers that fit perfectly in the drawers. I am so organized now. I think this is the most important piece I have bought since we bought the house, hence the title lifesaver!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trial and Error: Tricky Taupe

So one of the major things we have learned in the past month is that finding the right taupey/beigey wall color is really hard. In different lights these shades change drastically. We want warm but not peach, tan but not gray. We went through three samples and I change my mind consistently as to which one I like.
I mentioned this issue with a friend and she said “Oh, beiges are really hard!” So then I felt a bit better about my indecision.

Behr “Haze”(above) is really pretty but is a little too light and at times can look grayish.

I think we have made up our mind, Behr “Classic Taupe”(above). You can’t go wrong with classic right? We want it dark enough that the white molding really pops. Now we just need to get these darn walls taped and sanded!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quick Project: Cork Wreath

If you’re anything like me in the winter, wine corks accumulate very quickly. I keep them in a large glass vase and when they are falling out of the top, it is time to do something with them. I have made several things from them, cork bulletin boards, picture frames, trays, so this year I thought of something else fun, a wreath. The best thing about a cork wreath is you can use it year round and just change the ribbon as the seasons change.

All you need are corks (a lot of them- I always think I have more than I need and don’t have enough), hot glue gun, and a straw wreath (about 2 bucks at any craft store), and very importantly a cold glass of water nearby (as you will inevitably burn your fingers and a quick dunk in the water with save you serious pain).

You can arrange the corks in any way you like- I just suggest deciding that before you start and keep the pattern consistent. Have fun!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Before and After- Den

Before: Blue and white floral wallpaper with a bright red, yellow, and blue border as a chair rail, a window with stickers all over it, a ceiling fan with glow-in-the-dark stars and planets on them, and a really rough and uneven base board.

So after the war with the wallpaper (I won, but did not leave unscathed) we cleaned and prepped the walls for this smoky blue, Behr Ultra, Silent Tide. This is really great paint, no priming and only one coat. We added a new baseboard to match the rest of the house and it looks great.

After: A perfect space to write, read, and be creative. I am planning on making a large cork or fabric board over the desk (Markor, from Ikea, doesn’t look like Ikea does it) using an old frame I have. Be on the lookout for that project. Now we just need a new fan, a daybed or sofabed, and a window treatment. Ranch style windows are challenging as they are small and high. I am thinking either a bamboo valance or shade.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quick Project: Linen Closet Makeover

So the shelves in our linen closet had seen better days. The fact that we now have a linen closet and our linens are not meshing with sports equipment and Christmas decorations is quite exciting in itself, but it needed a little pick me up.
I decided to cover them with some really pretty wrapping paper that I had leftover. This will only work with thicker wrapping paper (as thin will probably tear), wallpaper and light fabric would also work great too.
You basically just wrap them like you would a present. It took me less than ten minutes to do the whole closet and it is so cute. Now we just have to finish sanding the hallway walls and paint so I can clean out the closet and put in our pretty linens.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Start Saving Now For...

I am kind of in love with these shoes from J.Crew. I love the retro look of the peep-toe cone heel with a modern & fun pop of neon pink. I think I would wear these to death. Now I just need some bronzed gams and some loot!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dreaming of... Santorini

All this cold weather has me dreaming of exotic lands. Santorini- the most romantic place I have ever been. Can you believe these colors? This is one of my favorite pictures I took from our honeymoon almost 2 years ago. I can almost feel the sun on my face, smell the olive oil, and taste the wine(and feta!).

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back to Art

After a 3 month hiatus from my printmaking, I am ready to dive back in. Our 2 bedroom New York City apartment was filled to the brim and was not conducive to my printmaking process.

Ah, the suburbs- I have an entire studio in the basement- that is perfect for my art making and drying process. One of my favorite things in the world is peeling the paper from the palette and always being surprised by the image left on the paper. I can smell the ink now…

New Home- A Work in Progress!

So here she is- in all her snowy glory!

My husband and I are 1 month into home ownership. We were ripping down walls, wallpaper, and old molding from the get go and I will be sharing our progression with some before and after shots as well as some advice we learned through our journey. I should mention my husband is a very talented carpenter and our projects get completed a lot quicker than the average Joe. But we are on a budget and have found some great ways to cut expenses and time. To be continued...