Friday, December 19, 2014

{happy friday}

Happy Friday! I took that picture up there two years ago today. Back when I was in college & home for break starting on December 1st. {Okay, it was the 15th. But compared to this year in work world, it seems like it was the 1st. Those were the days.}

This week was an annoying one. Last Sunday I was booted, quite literally, so I'm stuck in this walking cast for at least two weeks. {Based on the pain I'm feeling, I think it's becoming a bigger injury.} I slipped in Penn Station when I was traveling back to SF after Thanksgiving & landed on my ankle wrong. I guess that's what I get for taking the subway to the train take the train to the airport. It was a complicated journey that I will unfortunately need to do, once again, this Monday, but this time I'll be wearing this:

^^try walking up SF hills–in the rain–in this thing!!

Here are some fun links from the week...

15 photographs from the Sony World Photography Awards. 

I've been binge-watching Transparent {watch this trailer} & find everything about it completely fascinating. There is a not one thing about this show that I do not like. The acting is superb.

An amazing bedroom makeover.

I've been following the progress of A Beautiful Mess' Habitat for Humanity project. I can't wait to see the finished product!

These gf cookies are delish. They require tons of patience {the sand dough is hard to roll out} but they eventually turned out great!

Christmas pranks: Jimmy Kimmel vs. John Krasinski & Emily Blunt.

& finally...the cutest video ever. These kids are so sweet & totally un-materialistic.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, December 12, 2014

{happy friday}

Hi all! How was your week?  Mine was filled with rain rain & rain. Yesterday SF was hit with what named a #hellastorm & we all had to work from home! Blackouts spanned the city & the wind was crazy strong. My roommates & I were prepared with water, candles, & flashlights under our tree, but we lucked out & had power all day. 

Here are some fun links from this week...

A gingerbread farm. So cute! {ps. Gluten-free gingerbread houses.}

Easy DIY alert: festive wire place cards.

Lena Dunham's response to her critics. {After reading her book, I can honestly say that I believe her.} 

Totally in denial that The Newsroom is ending this weekend. The show gets a lot of backlash {which, to some degree, I understand}, but it's just too good to end this early.

51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature. "She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together." —J.D. Salinger, A Girl I Knew

Coldplay released a new song! And it's getting my mind off of this article & the rumors it's spreading...

& in case you missed it, three blog posts from this week: book recommendations, photos of the bridge, & a fun, easy wrapping idea.

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

{fun wrapping idea}

One of my goals for December was to come up with a fun, creative wrapping idea... & I think I found it!

I'm a fan of using just plain butcher paper as a wrapping, but since it's so simple, I wanted to add a little somethin' somethin' to them.  This weekend I had to wrap a few gifts for my church's "giving tree", so I knew they'd be transported & shuffled around. Because I didn't want to risk them losing a bow or tag...

...I taped a ribbon!

^^blog photography at it's finest: my roommate's legs, chipped nails, & empty lemonade bottles

All I used was some washi tape, which I bought on Amazon a few weeks ago, & scissors!  Washi tape is colored, thin tape & one of the most versatile materials ever.

I'm already running out of rollsI've been using it that much.

Just a super simple, but festive wrapping idea that I thought I'd share!

Monday, December 8, 2014

{the bridge}

I don't think I've mentioned it on here yet, but my step-sister moved to San Francisco! It's been so much fun having her here in the city.  We were both feeling ready to get out of our cramped quarters for a while, so on Saturday we decided to rent a car & drive to Mt. Tam.  The fresh air felt amazing & just what we needed, although we underestimated how hard the hike would be after all the rain we've had! We were sliding all over the place. 

Saturday was also Madison's first time driving over the GG bridge, so on the way back we stopped at two different lookout points to get some photos. I love any photo with the bridge in the background :) 

^^the skies were perfect for some HDR action

Friday, December 5, 2014

{books, lately}

Ever since I joined the library last month, I've had a book in my hand at all times. It helps pass the time on the bus & gets me away from my computer. Win, win.

Here's what I've read & enjoyed in the past 8 weeks...

The Matchmaker - Elin Hilderbrand 
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty
ps. Big Little Lies is being made into a miniseries & already has an all-star cast.

Room - Emma Donoghue 
Still thinking about this book...I mean, wow.
The Sweet Life in Paris - David Lebovitz
Makes me want to move to Paris right now!!

Yes Please - Amy Poehler
Yes please, Amy.
Not That Kind of Girl - Lena Dunham
I didn't even mind that she didn't write about Girls. Lena is a fantastic writer.

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes
This one tugs at the heartstrings.
Delicious - Ruth Reichl
I loved Ruth's memoir Tender at the Bone, so I was not surprised to
have loved her first venture into fiction.
I'm currently giving my eyes a break & listening to Serial {can you say addicted??}, BUT...anyone have any book recommendations?  I need new ones!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

{happy december}

Happy December everyone!

I took a month off from blogging. Sorry about that!

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? I just got back from a quick trip back home. It was filled with snowy weather, good food, & lots of friends & family time.... just what I needed.

Lots of bloggers have been writing their December goals, so I'm going to follow suite:

- blog more? :)
- read four books
- plan a budget for holiday shopping & stick to it
- create a fun wrapping paper
- try 3 new recipes

Let's see how this goes!

Monday, November 3, 2014

{lively style: bedroom updates}

Today I thought I'd share some updated photos of my bedroom!  Lots has changed since you last saw it...

^^that beautiful blanket was hand-knit by my grandma!

I really love my room, although I wish it looked a little less cluttered! {I've been having a love/hate thing with my gallery wall.} I have a few more things to do -- namely, upholster the desk bench & add some art above the piano -- but other than that it's pretty much complete. It definitely feels like home. 


EQ3 Yellow Mirror | Crate & Barrel Leaning Bookcase | West Elm Curtains (not available) | Crate & Barrel Table Cloth (Bedskirt) | West Elm Bedding | Anthropologie Hanging Mirror (not available) | IKEA Chair | IKEA Dresser | West Elm Rug | CB2 Coat Rack |

Desk was a Craigslist find. Bench was from a vintage flea market. Frames are IKEA & Goodwill (art here). Dresser knobs are from Anthropologie. 

ps. One last note...although it may not seem like it, I designed on a budget! Every single item was bought: 1) with the help of a gift card, 2) from the outlet/factory, 3) on sale, 4) via Craigslist/flea market, 5) a gift. I also DIYed some art & the lamp.

Friday, October 31, 2014

{happy friday}

Happy Halloween!

It seems the entire city of San Francisco is in orange & black. Not because of Halloween, but because of the GIANTS! Hooray Giants!

A few links...

The Giants win, via me.

The Today Show went SNL. So funny. {The Mom Jeans bit was my favorite!}

The Brain on 23. As a 23 year old, I found some of it rang true. A lot of it didn't though. The comments are all over the place, but it's still an interesting read.

"This Love" is my favorite song from 1989.

You can buy this Connecticut town for $800k! It looks adorable.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 27, 2014

{bits + pieces}

...from the weekend.

+ A friend introduced me to this song. Enjoy.

+ Birdman. Go see it. 

+ I chopped about 50 onions on Saturday morning & it was like Niagara Falls up in here. I was with a few others & two minutes in, I decided I couldn't even be embarrassed by it. My eyes were watering so much I was lightheaded. The upside is that it was all for a good cause & I'm stellar at chopping onions now.

+ I spent that afternoon/night down by the Marina & the GG Bridge. It was raining in other parts of the city, but at that spot it was all kinds of gorgeous. The fresh air was so needed.  

+ Within a month of moving to a new city, I always join the public library. {And by new city, I mean Boston & LA.} A year in, I finally joined one here! There's a small branch a few minutes from my house, & it is exactly what I need. I love libraries.

+ Fall temps are here!  The cashmere sweaters & tights have come out!

+ Gluten-free friends, this cookbook is so great. I got it on Saturday & have already successfully made two recipes.

+ I Swiffer WetJet-ed my entire staircase yesterday {it's like 30 stairs} & it made me sooooo happy.

+ I filmed this video two years ago today & I'm still very proud of it. Such a good cause. Check it out! {And check your frozen aisles for Blake's products.}

Happy Monday & go Giants!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

{happy friday}

I am...

Making: business cards for my dad.
Cooking: lots of TBD meals tomorrow! 
Drinking: water.
Reading: The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz. because i love torturing my gluten free, not-going-Paris-anytime-soon self.
Wanting: go to Paris. 
Looking: on google for pumpkin farms in the bay area. i'm so desperate for an east coast autumn tradition that i'm seriously considering being that weird 23 year old with no kids walking around a pumpkin farm. we've gotten to that point.
Playing: piano! at least 1 hour a day. more on that later.
Wasting: opposite game! last time it was "money on ubers." well folks, i'm going on day 11 of not taking ANY ubers!! so if you feel like sending.... i don't know...congratulatory uber gift cards or something of that sort, i wouldn't hate it.
Wishing: i had a kitchen-aid mixer. 
Enjoying: my job.
Waiting: for coldplay to go on tour. it's GOT to happen soon, right?! {even if it won't, lie to me.}
Liking: my new sunday tradition.
Loving: brussels sprouts. {ps. just now realized there's supposed to be an "s" at the end of "brussels".} 
Hoping: that a bunch of red/orange/yellow-leaved trees just pop up in San Francisco. 
Marveling: at this teaser trailer. it totally enthralled me. {i have a fascination/obsession with movie trailers.}
Smelling: like my new shampoo. costco forced me to switch to pantene & i'm not used to it yet. 
Wearing: fitbit.
Following: ifitwags on IG. they are the cutest & cooper needs to meet them pronto.
Noticing: tourists. they're everywhere. 
Knowing: a lot more than last year on this day. i had to write a one year self-review for work & reflecting over everything i've learned was a very enlightening exercise.
Thinking: about a flight home on dec. 23 that i may book & it's chances of being delayed by philly snow. the idea of missing anything on christmas eve... ahh.
Bookmarking: slow-cooker recipes. 
Laughing: at The Comeback's comeback.
Wondering: about a project that will require me to purge some clothes. i'm sooooo tempted to do it.
Needing: to de-clutter my room. see above.
Feeling: happy!

Monday, October 20, 2014

{try this: sculpted pumpkins}

I almost wrote {try this: carved pumpkins} in the title, then realized people would think... no kidding?  Ha. Then I realized "sculpted" was actually a more fitting word.

It's been a few years since I carved a pumpkin for Halloween & I was reminded last Friday about how much I love to do it.  But instead of carving something this time, my friend & I went a different route at our neighbor's pumpkin party. We... stabbed our pumpkin! We took two screwdrivers, each with a different thickness, and poked holes in its alternating creases.

It looked awesome lit up:

Unfortunately that pumpkin's story ends sadly. We kept it inside during what felt like one of hottest weekends this year & I guess it couldn't take the humidity? I noticed it wilting on our counter & when I went over to inspect, it disintegrated at my touch. It literally turned into water; it was bizarre. We were, & still are, equal parts annoyed, amused, & freaked out.

Luckily we have another pumpkin! One I am so love with. If you know me or my family, you know we're obsessed with the Peanuts gang. The comic never fails to crack my mom & I up. We also think our dog is a personified version of Snoopy. So when I found this photo online, I decided to sculpt it out of my pumpkin.

Truth be told, I didn't think it would work, so I don't have any photos of the process!  But this is a great article for reference.

The first thing I did was hollow out the pumpkin, then scraped & smoothed the inside walls. After free-handing the drawing on a piece of paper, I simply taped it to the pumpkin & poked tiny holes around the outline to map it out. Once the paper was removed, I carefully carved around the edges.  I used this tool for the whole thing.

Look how great it turned out...

The idea is to carve deep enough to let light come through, but not deep enough to puncture the skin. I may take a knife to it & thin it a little more, but the light definitely glows enough as is.

It took about three hours {!!!} in total. The more detailed the design, the harder it's going to be. Believe me – I attempted it on a smaller, tougher-skinned pumpkin & gave up in twenty minutes. But although tedious, it was a simple, fun project. 

There are so many designs you can do... you should try it before the big night!

Friday, October 17, 2014

{happy friday}

^^last night; I work on the best hill in the city

Happy Friday! Here are some of my favorites this week...

So cute – B.J. Novak reading his new children's book. Such a genius use of typography!

46 questions every twentysomething still ask their mom. I accurate!

The Fallon Family vs The Roots Family. {ps. I don't know why, but I think Steve Harvey's facial expressions are some of the funniest things everrrrrrr.}

Loving this new EBay spot.

The day has finally arrived. The day that there's a tastes-just-like-Quaker-Oats-but-gluten-free alternative for oatmeal. TRY IT!!

Girls, stop apologizing!!!

Other randoms...
- Gone Girl was equal parts excellent & creepy {but did I expect otherwise??}
- A to Z is my favorite new show this season.
- I'm digging Bleachers. Specifically this song.

Have a superb weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{lively interiors: stools from chairish}

I was so excited when Chairish asked me to design a mood board around one of their pieces! I've been a fan of the company for a while – not to mention some of my favorite designers work with them often – so I was thrilled about the opportunity.  

For those who aren't familiar, Chairish is a website for design lovers to sell and buy pre-loved decor. They have furniture, art, carpets, lighting, vases, & more. There's a great mix of newer & vintage pieces, one-of-a-kind gems, & stunning collections curated by the industry's most respected designers. I could spend days browsing the site.

So what did Chairish ask me to do? They asked me to design a room around a bar stool. This was a challenge for me because 

a) I rarely use them
b) bar stools can make or break a room; they have to serve a purpose
c) when it comes to furniture, they're pretty boring

Bar stools are great in game rooms, kitchens, & back patios, but I wanted to use them in a different way. 

Chairish has so many bar stools in their collection, but here are the pieces I could choose from:

I chose....the Rattan Zebra stool! {bottom left} Surprised? Me too. 98% of the time I hate zebra print. It looks great in small doses, but has the potential to look tacky in .03 seconds. I was determined to make it look good though, since the rattan pulled me in.

Once the bar stool was chosen, I went right to work. The pieces from Chairish's collection gave ample room for a million different possibilities, but one look at the stool & I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I designed an office. Here's my client's story: She's an architect. Early thirties. Married, no kids. Lives in San Francisco. Her style is feminine, comfortable, timeless, daring. The room has original crown molding, tall ceilings, & giant windows.

The design: 

All of the walls are painted black. By the corner window is a large drafting table – with adjustable height – & the Rattan Zebra stool. High chairs work best with drafting tables, since you're constantly sitting & standing while you work, so this stool is perfect.

Brass notes throughout the room juxtapose the noir walls: the light fixture, also with some black hints; the oval mirror with its contrasting, softer shape; & the book shelf to house her drafting instruments & books.

The table has some green hues peeking through the wood, so I chose a gorgeous emerald Turkish rug for the floor. And finally, since emerald green & brassy yellow pair perfectly with pink, I chose some art to brings in some additional gemstone colors. 

Take a look...

It's definitely a darker room than I normally design, but I LOVE it.  The rich colors make it look cozy, but since it needs to be a productive office, the brass & jewel tones add enough pop to keep it from feeling sleepy.

I think the Chairish bar stool is the highlight here; not only does the zebra print pair perfectly with the black walls, but the warm rattan looks amazing against the rug. If only I could execute this in person!

What do you think? Did I make zebra chic?

**Chairish, thank you for reaching out! Check out their newest arrivals here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

{utah, part II}

Since I wrote so much yesterday, here are just some photos of the resort & vistas from Utah. Such a beautiful place!

^^inspiration trail

^^these flowers are rare in October...we lucked out!


^^this is mariah & she didn't like me very much
maybe because I took out the selfie stick like 5 times


^^my mom surprised us all with cowboy hats!

^^dylan & I