Friday, June 29, 2012

Fabulous Friday: On Getting the Girl and Being Named Jeff

Jef Holm from The Bachelorette
I have known some Jeff's in my day. I have known a Jeff with two fs, and I have known a Geoff with two fs, but I have never had the pleasure of knowing a Jef with one f. There are some differences between the three Jeffs of the species as I have gleaned from my extensive anthropological research.

In asking a girl to marry him, Jeff with two fs might: let her propose to him. He's busy and has no problem with a woman who knows what she wants.

Geoff with two fs might make a grand, romantic gesture: cue flowers, candles, soft music, and sweet words. He's a ladies man after all.

But Jef with one f knows how to make a girl feel like a woman. He will tell you the thing you never knew you always wanted to hear. He will lay you down on the floor of an old, dusty library in Prague and say, "I want to date you so hard and marry the f*** out of you." (Quotation courtesy of Jef on The Bachelorette.)

Absolutely stunning. Home run. Emily, marry this guy yesterday.

Emily is ready for the J(G)e(o)f(f) of her dreams!
I am not sure what "marrying the f***" out of someone entails, but it sounds pretty fabulous.

Happy weekend! See you on Monday!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Baby Time

...but not for me! My dear friend asked me to put together some inspiration for her baby girl's room. The baby is due in early fall, and she told me that her ideas for colors were lavender, gray, and white or all white. I collected some images for the colors she liked...and then some of my own! Pottery Barn Kids and Restoration Hardware Baby have a great selection of cribs that convert into toddler beds, so you get more bang for your (kind of hefty) buck.

And now for something completely different via Pinterest...

Just add baby!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You never knew you needed...

Who knew that you could need decorative matches? Apparently it is a real home necessity. Now that i know this, I have a strange hankering to buy some. Look at all these amazing options! Your toilet is calling out for an expensive candle and some radiant (or humorous), decadent, monogrammed, decorative matches.

Find these matches at: dippylulu / design darling the boutique / annechovie / iomoi

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cutout Cuties

A new trend that is cropping up all over is the cutout dress. The look is subtly sexy. Perfect for summer. And it comes with ventilation.

Anthro / Rachel Pally / Anthro / Madewell

I can personally vouch for the mint option, which is amazingly retro, chic, and surprising with its little cutouts all at once. In person, it is more mint than gold. Fits like a glove. 

Or if you want to go a bit more formal...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Musings

Photo by Gemma La Mana – © 2012 Universal Studios.
This weekend I watched the movie Wanderlust. The majority of the movie takes place at Elysium ("Dreams Dispensed Daily"), which is a commune off the grid somewhere where a bunch of crazy vegan hippies practice free love and alternative child birthing techniques and essentially entrance an overworked and overstressed couple (well, mostly her) played by Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. Elysium seems to be the perfect alternative to the intense stress and rat race of New York City from where the couple departs after both losing their respective jobs.

So, you will be amazed that after a week of little to no stress for me, but lots for J., we found ourselves in our very own Elysium this weekend. In many ways, San Francisco bears a striking resemblance to a hippie commune. While wandering through the park after crossing "booze cruise on Stow Lake" off the summer to-do list, we heard music, and it sounded like a concert. We followed the sound and came upon none other than a bike powered touring music festival--obviously. There were lots of volunteers pedaling like crazy on stationary bikes to keep the speakers and all the electrical running while a lovely young woman sang the song "I don't want to get arrested" at the top of her voice. Then some "golden geese" (a.k.a attractive young women in gold lamé hot-pants) pranced around accepting contributions for the free art while happy hippies smoked some bowls and rocked their kids in hammocks they had strung up in the trees. I know, right? So prepared! I came home feeling remarkably zen.

Sunday was definitely a beach day, and it seemed fitting in the spirit of the weekend to cross another to-do off the list, so we hit up Gray Whale Cove, which is probably one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to, and it is a nudist beach. Upon arriving, we scoped out the scene to see if we felt comfortable staying, and it looked okay to us, so we made a day of it. Not too many nudies. Only a few really. One man walking his dogs, one man lying, quietly in the shade of the cliffs, and another man, presumably homeless, who was nudist only from the waist down--as one is, you know? He was really getting his work out, too. He must have marched up and down the beach thirty times while we were sitting there. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we looked freckled and sunkissed as we went to the local Pacifica Farmers Market for fresh veggies which we then cooked with some quinoa for dinner. 

Maybe the peacefulness and serenity of this weekend was the universe aligning to tell us something. Is commune living in our future? (Actually, I think we might have already tried that.) Do we need to throw off the yoke of consumerist culture, the always wanting more, the keeping up with the Joneses? It's nice to play hippie every now and then, but it would take way more than one Elysium weekend to get me to believe that. For now, I'll stick to listening to music powered by electricity whose sources remains unbeknownst to me and wearing pants. At least for now.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fabulous Friday

This was my first week of vacation, and boy was it boring! It is funny how I wait all year for time off, and when I have time off it actually takes me a while to figure out what to do with myself. By Thursday, I started to settle into an embarrassingly low key routine. These are some things that have been fabulously enjoyable this week:

1. Reading The Corrections in bed at three pm and not having to worry about dozing off.
2. Staying up late. It is amazing what not getting up at 5am will do for the energy level of a human being.
3. Smoothies. Mmmmm. I forgot about how much I like making my own smoothies.
4. Call Me Maybe. Could you possibly be in a bad mood when listening to this song? No. No is the correct answer.
5. Meeting some friends at 4pm for happy hour.
6. Mornings. How great are mornings when the whole day stretches out in front of you, and there is nothing on the agenda. Love eating breakfast in my pjs on the couch.
7. Daily walks in Golden Gate Park (see image).
8. Not doing my hair. Only wash and dry in case of an emergency outing that involves seeing people I know. 
9. Getting a text from a colleague that said, "For the record, I think you are cool enough to get friend tattoos with." Priceless.
10. Andy Cohen. He brightens each and every day for people nationwide with nothing to do.

I have not been good about writing, and my book is still sitting, unwritten, in the deep, dark recesses of my brain. Come out, come out wherever you are! I also have not been good about being motivated to do much of anything, but I guess that is was vacation is for. Of course, what I have been good at this week is watching Bravo. And, Thursday night there was an amazing countdown of the top 20 moments in Real Housewives Reunion history. Brilliant. Truly.

Let's sign off with the words of NeNe Leeks (of Atlanta Housewives fame) to her nemesis, Sheree; "I was letting you know what time it was. What time it was, was I'm a very rich bitch." Now let that simmer. Where is Grammar when we need her?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Set Decoration as Inspiration

I am slightly obsessed and want to pay homage to the incredible talents of the writing genius Lena Dunham. So, even though I have already written about Girls, I have plenty more where that came from. Today, Girls is giving me interior inspiration. Embarrassingly enough, I really loved the style of crazy Shosanna's living room. I know, I know. I think that it was almost trying to be a cliche of ridiculous girliness. In looking for images of it, I found a page that showed the set design by Laura Ballinger Gardner from the sketches to the finished product.

Some of the best features of this apartment must be custom. That hot pink chair with the multi-colored back is to-die-for. I would never hang that Sex and The City poster! No. No. No. But, it is a clever homage to the show that Girls is not. I pulled some ideas from the room to put together a version that would be great for an early 20-something in the city!

The couch is the actual couch used in the room. It is from West Elm. While the "Keep Calm" posters are certainly past their prime, it is a cute touch to add some color. The element of the room that I want to take for myself is the double x-benches topped with a tray in place of a coffee table. I think that might be something I try. Love the room. Love the writing. Love the show. Love it. 

chair / throw / ikat pillow / pink trim pillow / glass lamp / couch / poster / rug / x-bench / tray

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Dreaming

Over the weekend, J. and I made a list of things we wanted to do this summer, things that we talk about doing all the time, but never get around to doing when the business of the year sets in. Summer feels slower, and it feels like perhaps there will be time, there will be time. But, if we learned anything from our old friend, Prufrock, we learned that there isn't always time, so best be getting a move on!

1. Go to Cape Cod (see image above).
2. Sit out by the fire at Mark and Peg's.
3. Take in a concert in Stern Grove
4. Finally use our gift certificates to Tartine, Swensen's, and Buena Vista Cafe.
5. Get some food from Off the Grid. (I am a food truck virgin.)
6. Attend a Thursday night happy hour at the California Academy of Sciences.
7. Drink champagne while paddle boating around Stowe Lake.
8. Take in the view at Bar Bocce.
9. Use our newly gifted beach equipment to take in the California beaches.
10. Perhaps go to Outside Lands for the first time!

Ten feels manageable. I think we can definitely accomplish this in the next two months.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fancy Fingers and Toes

How do you choose!?

I love my mani/pedis. If you recall, when I committed myself to a more frugal lifestyle, I refused to stop pampering my fingers and toes. I also happen to live next to the absolutely best nail salon I've ever been to. It is a little hole in the wall, but they have every color of polish and they are beyond precise (and lovely to boot). These are my old standbys:

1. Russian Roulette: A classic red.
2. Cute as a Button: An orangey coral that is perfect for summer pedicures.
3. Status Symbol: The ideal shade of hot pink that is bright, but not neon.
4. Rock Candy: My favorite shade for a clean, neutral manicure. (I prefer it to Mademoiselle.)
5. Absolutely Shore: On trend with a subtle mint.
6. Lilacism: A soft, pale purple.

The photos don't capture the colors perfectly, so go and check them out for yourself!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Musings: Nerd Alert

Photo taken on PCH by my husband.
I interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you some literary inspiration. Last night I was coming down off a terrific, beautiful weekend. And, it seems, that those terrific and beautiful moments lend themselves to a light dose of depression when you return home from the sea, and sand, and feeling of being happy and away from all the world. I was thinking that the apartment seemed lonely and cold, and the stresses of everyday life were lurking around every unvacuumed corner and dusty lamp. I did a very nerdy thing to remedy this feeling. I climbed into bed with a book of poems. Yes, this is why I warned you that the nerd was making an appearance. I was gifted a beautiful book called She Walks in Beauty, and I was flipping through it when I came to a poem that I was already familiar with, but that always moves me because I think the sentiment is perfection. So, I decided to share it with you on the off chance that anyone else is having the kind of day when you just need a poem to soothe your soul. After all, Wallace Stevens said that reason poetry exists is to "help people live their life." I attempt to help you live your life.

The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do, 
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations--
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night, 
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little, 
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds, 
and there was a new voice, 
which you slowly 
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper 
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life that you could save.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fabulous Friday: Four Fantastic Years

Yesterday marked our four year wedding anniversary. Though we've been married for four years, we have been a couple for a little over eleven, and it wasn't always smooth sailing as any of you reading who knew us in college will attest. But, we're here. And we made it. And frankly, I wish I could have known and understood when we were figuring out those rough patches how time ages relationships in a beautiful way that I couldn't anticipate; my love now is so much deeper, and stronger, and more complex than my love was eleven, or six, or even four year ago. I thought that it would be interesting to reflect on where we were two years ago, the most difficult year of our marriage, so if you are intrigued, check out the essay I wrote after the jump.

But, as for where we are now... well, obviously, we live together in San Francisco, and this weekend  we are heading to Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur to bask in our sometimes saccharine, silly, complicated, romantic, frustrating, can't live without it love. And I plan to enjoy every fabulous minute of it.

Ann Taylor, Say What?

I noticed around Christmas time that Ann Taylor had really updated their style. I used to shop at Ann Taylor with my mom when I was in middle school and needed a ladylike dress. In fact, I wore an Ann Taylor dress to my middle school semi-formal and to my middle school graduation. I wore an Ann Taylor dress to the garden party in high school. I bought my first interview suit at Ann Taylor. But, then I stopped shopping there. While they were always good for staples, they were never a fashion forward retailer, in my opinion. But, I stumbled across the website the other day, and I was surprised again, as I had been at Christmas, by their trendier looks. Here are some of my favorite picks.


necklace one / necklace two / gold flats / blue maxi / striped maxi / striped sweater / embellished tank

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Rug Update

After seeing this spread featuring Erin Gates office, I noticed, and wanted to draw to your attention  to the fact, that she is working the animal skin over sisal rug combination. If Erin's rocking it, it must be cool.

I do have to say that the fact that the pelt is not lying flat would probably drive me to drink.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Anniversary Gifts

Friday marks a certain milestone in my married life. In case a certain someone wonders what a certain wife might like for a certain anniversary, I have put together a bit of a guide, organized thematically, of course. Husbands, boyfriends, lovers, partners--take note.

Something gold:

Something mint:

Something turquoise:
Or something sweet:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Musings

Ok. It's happened. My family is in Spain. And they are Kullecting. And it is gorgeous. And I am depressed. It looks beyond dreamy. Beyond the beyond. My brother's girlfriend took this photo. Yes, that is actually the house they rented.  No, I am not kidding.

This weekend gave me all sorts of insecurities. First, I came across a New York Times article about someone J. and I knew in college. Yes, her company is big and successful enough that the New York Times is writing about her (and I don't even think this is the first time!). Then we went out to dinner with someone who offhandedly mentioned that it would be impossible to live in New York City for under a million a year. Um, excuse me, what? Then, the Spain pics started showing up. And I started melting down. Like, what am I doing with my life?! I came off a high from last week in which I literally felt like a rockstar with all the compliments I was getting from people related to my work. I was on cloud nine, prancing around with my maxi dress, shades, and movie star hair (that was a direct quotation from a co-worker--how can you have a bad week when you have movie star hair?), and then I read the damn paper. My work is meaningful, but it sure isn't lucrative. And that is something I am okay with most of the time. Most being the operative work. I was being pissy all morning despite the fact that it was actually sunny, and we had a very successful trip to the farmers market and bought lots of delicious greens. But, was that to be my only consolation on this maudlin Sunday? Bok choy and swiss chard?

I was moping, silently, on the couch under the guise of "working on my computer," when Jeff said, "This is stupid. It's a beautiful day, and we're going to the beach." So we did.

It ain't Spain, but it isn't too bad. And, frankly, neither is my life. Pity party is officially over. I'm sure they'll be another soon if you missed this one.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Fabulous Friday: Online Magazine Faulousness

This morning, I was enjoying the rare treat of sitting in the sun of my kitchen window drinking a hot latte from my Nespresso machine, and telling J., who was also still home (see, this is really rare), that I don't care for online magazines. I did also tell him that I thought my calling was to become a newspaper columnist, and he told me that that was too bad because newspapers would be extinct very soon. So, anyway, I was saying this and reading some of my favorite blogs. I read isuwannee, and Jamie Meares linked to an Australian online magazine in which she had been featured. Wowzah. That thing is terrific. So much to look at. So many rooms I want to live in, and so much inspiration. I may have to rethink my stance. Maybe these magazines are a little bit fabulous. Here are some of my favorites:

I would move into any of these spaces yesterday.

All images from Adore Home Magazine

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Final Living Room Inspiration Board

We took this...

And I created this...
What do you think?

Living Room 2.0 Part Two

I'm continuing to decorate the living room space based on Imperial No. 9.

We have the basics in place. We have a couch, pillows, and paint. Now, let's bling this space out.

Remember that periwinkle and gold are our accent colors.

Gold can come in in the light fixtures. Sconces work well in a small space and can be affixed to the wall on either side of the couch. A gold garden stool is easy to move around the room and use as an accent table for entertaining. Art in the form of a framed silk scarf brings in both the periwinkle and the gold.

A soft throw over a pair of cream chairs offsets the dark couch and walls. The brown and beige rug is soft underfoot and ties the color scheme together.

To finish off the room, I would add a 60s style bar cart (a MUST in any well-dressed home), a basket for throw pillows and blankets, and topiaries to give the room the same greenhouse vibe as the Imperial Number 9. 

The room is earthy in the heart of the city, but the lavender/blue adds real visual interest to an otherwise muted palate.

Later this afternoon, I will have a second post (amazing, yes?) so you can see the movement from inspiration to the final product.