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

Monday, October 13, 2014

{utah, part I}

I have so much to share about my trip to Utah I had to split it into two posts! Today I'll tell you about where we stayed & what we did. Tomorrow's post will be ALL photos.


My mom, sisters & I decided to meet up in Ivans, UT for a girls weekend, & quite possibly had one of our favorite vacations ever. We stayed at the Red Mountain Resort, which I lovingly nicknamed "healthy girls fat camp" because that's...what it was?  I kid, I kid. It's not that. 

The website sums it up best: Red Mountain offers a "unique diversity of health, fitness, nutrition, cooking, stress management, anti-aging, and wellness classes and programs designed for life-enhancing changes".

My suitcase was 95% workout clothes, 3% photography gear, & 2% shoes {sneakers & hiking boots}. My mom gifted us all Camelback backpacks for the hikes, which the resort requires, & that's about all you need.

Here's what we did:

4pm - Cardio Strength Circuit
5pm - MELT® Hand & Foot Treatment
6pm - Photography Workshop (me) /  Restorative Yoga (them)

7am - Breakfast
7:50-10:50am - Challenger Hike 
Noon - Lunch
12:30-3pm - Horseback Riding
4pm - Hydro Challenge 
5pm - Intense Stretching

7am - Breakfast
7:50-10:50am - Challenger Hike 
11am - Active Yoga
Noon - Lunch 
4pm - Bootyque 47 {focused on glutes, abs, & legs}
5pm - Sports Training
6pm - Intense Stretching

6:30am - Breakfast
7:10-10:10am - Endurance Hike {a hike just short of a run}
11am - Full Body MELT® 
Noon - Lunch
5pm - Spa time
6pm - Massage 

Flew home

As you can see, it wasn't a sleep in, hang by the pool, lounge-all-day type of vacation. {I think we all started limping somewhere between Bootyque & Sports Training.} But we felt amazing. We didn't go there to lose weight or come back ripped; it was really just a weekend to inspire a healthier lifestyle, to get us outside, & to spend time doing something fun together.

The resort was a gem. The rooms were amazing, the staff were knowledgable & supportive. This was also the first vacation where Dylan & I didn't need to worry about having celiac because everything was labeled & everything was separately prepared. Even at the buffet! It was heaven. All of the meals were balanced & delicious & they did this fun thing where they served everything on side-dish-sized plates so you tricked your mind into thinking you didn't need as much food. 

The weather was perfect - the morning hikes started in the 50s and then climbed up to high 70s during the day. There was no humidity & the sky was completely cloudless. It was dreamy.

So was it "life enhancing"? Yes. 

Here's what I learned:
Hiking is my workout of choice.
Having a four day break from my laptop makes a huge difference.
That side-dish-sized plate trick is genius & works.
I can run! {*proof below}
My body needs to be challenged.
Drinking tons of water is the most important thing, followed closely by stretching.
I am stronger than I think.
My mom & sisters are the best.

We hiked every day with this woman who goes twice a year for two weeks. While that's crazy expensive & impossible for most people to commit to, I totally get why she does it: It's addicting. I can't wait to go back. It's an easy place to go on your own, with a few people, or with a large group.  I want to make it a annual trip with my mom & sisters. It was perfect.

Here are some photos from the hikes...

^^my mom & madison

^^so breathtaking!

*taken during my run - my longest distance in years without stopping;
putting this here so I can refer back to it for inspiration

I'll post more photos tomorrow!

**Red Mountain is not affiliated with Lively Liv, but I'd be down!