30 January 2013

pinspiration #5: t-shirt necklace

i have taken a looong break from my pinspiration series,  but let's be honest.  i'm not doing too much these days.  and i like it :) 

now, honestly, how hard could this possibly be?

DIY from a little tipsy
supplies needed are scissors, an old tee shirt, and a hot glue gun.  unbelievably, i actually have all of those things.  i have been the proud owner of a glue gun since my first pinspiraiton attempt.  not too shabby of a start for me - i usually need at least one trip to a craft store to get supplies that normal women have around the house.

finished product this morning
so, it's a little heavy for the flowers to hang on the side like i intended.  but by adjusting the knot in the back of the necklace, i got it to hang with the flowers in the middle of my neck. 

not too bad!  i'd make it again in another color - or maybe even use the cloth rosettes to embellish an old tank top or something.  they are pretty cute.  it's just a matter of if i'll actually wear it or not.

well, it's not a total failure!

til next time...

29 January 2013

painted doors.

i love my new building [except for the fire drill we had at 9am on a monday morning - not cool].  our building, being largely an artistic community, allows tenants to paint their doors.  yup - the outside of their loft doors.  whatever they want.

here is a sample of the super cool doors just on our floor:

bright blue, my fave


a little overboard here, but beautiful

keep calm and be british

painted to look like a regular door

first line of fairy tales - soooo creative!
close up of above door

well, there is no doubt by me that i can't really compete with these doors.  however, it's a very fun thing to do in my building and i have absolutely no intention of not painting my door.  so i need to start coming up with fun ideas that i can manage on my own [or with pi's hep].  maybe some sort of decals or collage or something? 

who knows.  but i need to start brainstorming.  ideas are welcome.  so are artists who can be commissioned to paint my door [for free].

til next time...!

27 January 2013

ikea night stand hack

i am loving the loft still.  and i am still totally craving some color.

so, i struck a compromise with my husband.  we picked the cheapy nightstands from ikea that i wasn't totally sure of - but with the promise that i could paint them a new, happy bright hue and of course he reminded me that the money we'd save could go to other fun items, such as:

my new footstool/coffee table from world market! should be here in a week.
which means that my ikea nightstands looked like this when we picked them up:

 my first step was to put them together.

but after getting through step 2 [seriously, has anyone ever tried to put something together from ikea?!], i decided to wait til pi got home so he could put it together for me. that worked much better.

once the nightstand was put together, it was actually pretty simple to paint and revamp the nightstand.  first, i had to pick a color.  i decided to go with my favorite color - blue - so if i get out of this color phase pretty soon at least they will be in my favorite blue color.

supplies: paint, paint brush, sandpaper, and of course a dropcloth.

because the nightstands were originally a fairly pretty grey-ish color, i decided to only do one coat of paint.  they grey base underneath really stuck out with just one coat.  when doing only one coat of paint, brush strokes are key.  after coating each side with the bright blue, i dragged the brush from top to bottom to keep the brush stripes the same and make it look more like i had painted directly over wood.

the finished product!
closeup of the top of the nightstand.

i am pretty happy with the outcome, i gotta say!  the bedroom still needs some pictures hung up over the night stands and a few other decorative accents - and once i have a few of those put together i'll throw some pictures up. 

but so far so good, and it's beginning to feel more like home.

happy sunday!  til next time...

25 January 2013

high high #30

what can i say, it's the little things that make me happy.  and today, it was going out for happy hour with an old friend i haven't caught up with in years, who lives out in boston.  so i walked from my new apartment down to back bay, which was lovely, just taking in the sights of my new city.

i love it.

happy friday all, and goodnight!


24 January 2013

bookcase styling is hard.

so guess what i learned today?

i learned that if you have a functional bookshelf [read: you actually use it for all your books] you can still make it pretty.

our bookshelves in our old house were always so jam-packed, mostly because we used them all the time.  both pi and i are kind of bookworms, so using our bookshelves for decor was always out of the question.  but i always loved the look of bookshelves that i saw in design mags and online - you know, the kind where each shelf has like eight books, an anchor and three picture frames. 

that just isn't practical for people who actually need to use their bookshelves for, you know, BOOKS.

so when pi the other day said he would start unpacking the books, i told him to hit the brakes and give me a day because i wanted them to look nice and not too packed in.

so here are the few rules i found helpful for those of you interested in styling useful but pretty bookshelves.

 1.  first sort your books by color, then by size.
this allows for books to be placed in color groups together, then then can be ordered by size later on the shelf.  sometimes ordering them by size takes a few tries.  line them up on the floor til you are sure you have the right size order. 

bigger books on the inside, getting smaller towards the end of the bookcase.

2.  then play with the the look. 
not all the books should be stacked up on their side neatly.  some of them can lie flat on top of one another [i find this especially useful for ugly books or ones you want to hide]. they can easily be hidden by a picture frame, or one nice book standing our front.

below, i have some smaller and unattractive books stacked up behind the etch of the saint.  

the picture and small book service to hide unattractive books behind.

 3. pick out some accessories in the same color family as the books for each shelf.
it's possible that you might have so many books not every shelf can have something pretty.  that's ok.  if you are like me, you own some pretty books you can stand our front or make the center of attention for that shelf.

a book of poetry, green vase and dark lantern go with the green books.
4.  use that extra space sparingly! 
i had little to no room for fun things like pictures - but by getting creative and turning books on their backs or putting the pictures in front of smaller books, i was able to let my sense of bookcase style stand out.

orange books get a gold frame and a a bright orange flower.

white books get a framed book page [my fave] and a stack of old books on top.
5. use the big bottom shelves for textbooks, coffee table books, and other big [or ugly] books you don't frequently need.
hide those nasty books with accessories out front. 

6. have a glass of wine and enjoy your fancy new functional bookshelf.

all this down time is leaving me with lots of projects - so tomorrow or this weekend i will share another diy. 

happy thursday!  til next time... :)

22 January 2013

here comes color!

i am dying for some color around here.  back in our lovely denver house, i was really into earth tones and neutrals.  now that we are in our funky boston loft, i am really dying for a shot of color.  a few shots of color.  and an open space with old, dark hardwood flooring and lots of exposed brick are just is just the place to do it.  i don't know if it's the fact that we are in the loft for just a year so i don't have to commit to a style forever, or if my taste is just evolving.

i've always really been into colors and prefer a more eclectic look than something super put-together [i'm never 'put-together' a second in my life, so why should my home be?].  so i am hoping that the black and white photography we brought along with us from denver will go well with some new color in the loft! 

we are in the market for new nightstands, a new bookshelf and a new couch [possibly a new chair/loveseat to go with it].  here are a few of my new favorite and colorful finds:

pair of arrow tables, furbish, $479

orange steel night stand, target, $63

marketplace woven table, urban, $98
flourish side table, urban, $49
my fave! brimfield bookcase, urban, $79
aspelund side table, ikea, $40 [would be re-painted]

moroccan side table, one king's lane, $199

vintage orange bamboo side tables, the colonies, £200
right now it's too much fun fantasy online shopping to make any decisions or purchases.  i'll just have to keep looking until i find just the right thing... suggestions are welcome!

til next time...

17 January 2013

where to go, where to go...

a few things have been brought to my attention.

  1. PI + i are  celebrating our five year wedding anniversary this september! 
  2. i have over 100,000 united frequent flier miles
  3. we haven't been on a big trip since morocco in 2010
it's the perfect storm guys.   PI + i try to leave the country at least once a year, and it's time for us get serious about our trip for this year.  last year we needed a trip pronto, and ended up running away for a long weekend in jamaica.  i have a feeling we will be heading to a new continent this year, however.

but here is the problem - WHERE SHOULD WE GO?

quite literally, PI and i want to go everywhere we haven't been before.  and while we have done a lot of traveling, there are still more places that we haven't been than places we have been to.  so we are starting to make lists of where we want to go.  the list is still growing, but here is a short list of the places we are seriously considering and looking in to:




so... who knows.  it could be another 500 places too - but this is what we are thinking so far.  i can't wait to pick a place, a time and start planning.  there's nothing quite like having that anticipation that all builds up to the moment i am sitting with the love of my life on a plane, holding hands as we push back from the gate to go somewhere new.  we fell in love while we were traveling, and for the first year we were together that's all we did. from meeting in prague, to falling in love in italy, to making our relationship official in poland, to getting engaged in barcelona... there's just nothing i love more than being alone with my love in a new country.  can't think of a better way for us to celebrate our anniversary this year.

16 January 2013

a very, very good guide.

wedding day with all natural makeup
if you are anything like me, you care what goes into and onto your body.  not so much during sunday brunch when it's time for bottomless mimosas, but you catch my drift.  we don't eat processed foods and try to eat as much organic and locally-grown food as possible.  i am now doing a lot of cooking and trying new, wholesome recipes for us.

about two years ago, i read an article about how eating healthy is all great - but if you are smearing your face with makeup that can include ingredients like formaldehyde and other nasty chemicals that are banned in other nations - it's not all that great.  i decided then and there that i would start using all natural beauty products. considering my decade-plus addiction to sephora and beauty products of all sorts, it was a big change for me.  but i've come to love it, and two years later my skin has never looked better.  my makeup is so natural you could eat it [but i don't, just to clarify].

so you can imagine how happy i was to find this!  it's a purchase analyzer from good guide, possibly the best website ever.  how it works is like this: you take a product you want to purchase, say your mrs meyers rosemary all-purpose cleaner [which i use religiously] or your favorite smashbox luminizer and type it into the site.  good guide will rate the product - on how healthy or hazardous it is for use, the company's environmental impact, and their societal impact.  the best thing about it is that it links up directly with amazon, so you can get a little thumbs up or thumbs down on products you are looking at purchasing right on amazin.com.  but good guide access means you can find out which of your favorite brands supports water pollution, child labor, and other awful things - as well as which companies rock all around.  it's phenomenal.  lately i've taken to shopping around on sephora, but checking out the brands and products on the guide before i buy.  wonderful.

that made me super happy today - so i thought i'd share with everyone!  enjoy and happy [and healthy!] shopping.

til next time...

15 January 2013

loft update

hey friends! i know it's been a few days since i last updated my blog, but there is only so much you can do before you get your internet hooked up :)

i am LOVING our new loft and life in the south end!  it's slowly coming together [emphasis on the slowly part of that phrase].  the first thing i did was unpack the kitchen, but it wasn't until today that i finally made it to the market to fill our cabinets with food.  side note: hooray, we finally live in trader joe's territory! hellooooooo boxes of red wine!

yesterday i tacked my closet and vanity - and let me just say that consolidating from four closets to just one is not as easy as you'd think it is.  but we are making do so far, with some minor adjustments to come. 

one piece of decor up, looking into the living room

makeshift dining room right now

a few home comforts up in the bathroom

yikes. my closet so far - and that's organized.
more fun than unpacking, however, has been getting to know our new neighborhood.  over the weekend we discovered a great diner as well as estelle's, a sweet southern kithchen with a kick ass brunch menu.  that's just the tip of the iceberg - a list about a mile long of restaurants and bars to try out in our neighborhood has already been started.

i am also trying to adjust to my new routine, which consists of getting up and then finding things to keep myself busy all day.  with all the unpacking to do it hasn't been too hard yet - but i am worried i might end up like ross.

but the best news of all is that my mom has already booked her first trip out to visit, just a few days before my birthday!  i am so psyched and can't wait to show her a great time out here in my new home.

well i have lots to unpack... so hopefully i can share more progress later.

til next time! 

11 January 2013

how to feel like a true bostonian.

man, today is the day for me to feel like a true bostonian [or, at least what i imagine bostonians really do].

step 1: read an oral history of good will hunting from boston magazine on the elliptical and swoon over two of boston's greatest treasures [obviously seen at left].

step 2: move into boston's iconic south end, into a truly amazing loft.

i'm pretty excited today.  more pictures to come of the move - but we have a few more hours til the truck and movers show up.  i am pretty stoked for the rest of my weekend, which will include cleaning up the loft and unpacking millions of boxes.  so far this has felt like an extended vacation, but getting into our own home i'm hoping will finally have us feeling like this is for real.

and i will have a couch for visitors to crash on :)

07 January 2013

high high #29

we got the apartment!

yes, we finally have a place to live here that isn't my dad's spare bedroom/home office.  now i promised a few pictures once it was official so here you go.

to the left of the entrance - amazing fireplace!

lovely kitchen, more counter space than at home!

courtyard-facing loft means nice views, less noise

view from the kitchen into the loft
 and, as with yesterday's high high, today's comes with a low also.  the city of boston is impossible to move into.  all moving trucks have to have permits, and you must apply for these well in advance of your move, and you must have the meter numbers that you will be blocking, and you must PAY for how much those meters would bring in had you not been blocking it all day.  so i'm still working on figuring that out.

but huzzah, we finally have our boston loft!  kind of feels like we are moving backwards in phases... that phase of your 20-something life when you have the nice apartment in a great part of a magnificent city is supposed to come before you buy the house and go back to school.  but that's ok - i'm just happy to finally be home :)

til next time...