Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Be Inspired By: Matchbook Magazine

A space I recently found inspiring was a house tour from Matchbook Magazine's July issue. I loved looking at colors that complement each other so beautifully in combinations that wouldn't occur to me.

That touch of peach inside the bookcases is amazing. I just love the beautiful blue and white plates over the desk. The parents of my best friend growing up had a similar configuration of beautiful blue plates over their bed, and I always loved the way it looked. In addition, I, too, am the proud owner of a Lucite chair draped with a sheepskin rug, so I noticed that immediately! Here are my picks inspired by this space:
TRINA TURK turquoise pillow - WEST ELM tray - WISTERIA gold lamp - JONATHAN ADLER chair - IKEA rug - DESIGN DARLING serving set - WEST ELM tree side table - DESIGN DARLING tray - CAITLIN WILSON pillow - FURBISH garden stool - DIOR lip gloss - BALLARD ottoman - WAITING ON MARTHA urchin - JONATHAN ADLER blanket - DISTRICT 17 antler jewelry holder - CB2 lucite tables

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Beauty

This is an update on my natural skin care products. Today I want to highlight one in particular and that is the Dr. Hauschka Soothing Mask. I have yet to actually use it as a mask. I keep telling myself that I am going to try that too, but I have been using it as Alison recommended and just putting a very thin layer on at night. It truly is a miracle worker. I tend to be prone to cystic acne, the type that develops large red, hard bumps that last for a long time. Usually when you get a bump like that, it is weeks before it goes away. Over the weekend, I had three such bumps spring up on me at the same time. That night, I used a bit of my clindamycin gel and then put a thin layer of the mask over it (and left it on all night). I realized after my facial that using just acne products all the time really depletes your skin of moisture, which causes it to make more oil to overcompensate, which causes more acne. So, I have tried to be less fearful of moisturizing. Long story short, I woke up in the morning to see all the redness and puffiness significantly diminished. This is my new favorite product. I couldn't recommend it more!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Musings: On Instagramming Your Life

About a month ago I started using Instagram. I had had the app for ages, but I hadn't actually realized how it worked. When I was originally using it, I thought that I was simply filtering pictures to put on a different app that I like (Kullect). I didn't realize that I was creating a feed that was able to be viewed publicly. Oops. So, needless to say, my photos were not terribly inspirational, cohesive, or "representative." They were just random things I was doing and seeing that I wanted to remember. And I kind of thought that was what Instagram was for. But, then I realized that Instagramming was something I should be doing as a blogger to promote the blog. I started following the bloggers I like, and I realized that I needed to delete as many pictures as possible from my previously constructed feed because they were just not...up to snuff. The people I follow take beautiful photos with great light, and lovely effects, and styled backgrounds, and amazing outfits. My pictures always look blah. I love to look at Instagram because it is a window into the lives of people I respect and admire, people who have a lovely aesthetic, and people who know how to style a photo. But, I can't help but feel a little beauty burnout every now and again. Anyone know what I mean?

Lately, I've been feeling oversaturated with images of people's picture perfect lives. I know that that is what the blog world (and by extension the Twitters, Instagrams, etc. of bloggers) is for; it's an escape into another dimension where everyone always wears the right outfit, eats macaroons, and goes to Paris at least once a year. Picnics in the park are a daily occurrences as are glitter and balloon bedazzled festivities with exotic cocktails. Sometimes I want to take a picture of myself sitting on the couch watching my twelfth hour of television in a row wearing boxers I found in my brother's childhood bedroom eating a banana. Because that is what a lot of days actually look like.

As I started paying more attention to Instagram, I starting trying to style my desk, or style myself, or style my family so that they would be photograph worthy. Pictures used to be a way for people to remember beautiful moments in their lives. But, as far as I recall, life didn't always have to actually look so damn beautiful to warrant taking a picture. There are parties that happen without tablescapes and color coordinated cupcakes. There are memorable moments that occur when you are wearing sweatpants and zit cream. There are things worth remembering that don't include chevrons (guilty), and French bulldogs, and ballet flats. I love a beautiful photo as much as the next gal, but I also love memories that are real. The ones that aren't staged, or perfect, or scripted, or styled. The ones that happen when you don't even care about all that stuff.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fabulous Friday

Let's do that, shall we? A lot of fabulousness occurred during the last two weeks. So very much of it. Today, I thought I would touch on a few lovely moments and finds that made my week great.

1. The royal baby was named, and I think he was named after me, so I am very excited. You see, my name is Meredith Alexandra Louise. I was named after my great uncle whose first name was George, but who went by Meredith. So, if I had been a boy, my name would have been George Alexander Louis. Coincidence? I think not. Thanks, Will and Kate. Appreciate the shout out!

2. I was reading Suddenly City yesterday and absolutely fell in love with the word "family-moon" as coined by Clare. She, too, took a trip to London with her family and she described the trip as a "family-moon." I am now going to use this expression every day.

3. I thought I was going to get scurvy in London because of the lack of fruit in my diet. Thankfully, I have been able to pig out on berries, peaches, and cherries since I have been back and have successfully avoided any serious illness, dental problems, and loss of limbs. I think my body is happy to have less scones and "crisps" and more natural substances coursing through its pipes.

4. It's that time again: the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale! I am probably the last blogger on earth to post about this, but, obviously, that is fabulousness that cannot be denied.

5. I found a nude nail color I am in love with. (It's Delicate)

6. And lastly, I own the same earrings seen on last week's episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County! I am not sure if this is fabulous or deeply disturbing. Perhaps I should begin to question my own taste. Nonetheless, it assured me that not everything those gals wear costs a small fortune! (I would be really excited if Heather had been wearing them, but, sadly, it was Gretchen who everyone always makes fun of for her "costumes." Gulp.) Look at my picture on the right to check them out!

This isn't on my official list of fabulous, but did anyone else notice that J.Crew has started making a few maternity items? Wowzah! I bet there are many an excited pregnant lady out there!

Hope you have a fabulous last weekend of July!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Interestings

I wanted to share my latest read with you all: Meg Worlitzer's The Interestings. I finished this one shortly before I left for England. It is quite a long book, but got me through many a lazy summer afternoon. (In case you'd like to read it, here is the NYTimes book review.) This story is epic in its scope, starting when the main characters are just teens at a summer camp called Spirit-in-the-Woods and ending when they are middle aged with established careers and marriages and grown children of their own. While I thought that the book might have been edited down just a touch, a few poignant themes made it an enjoyable read. The book thinks about the nature and expression of talent over a life and a career. It also deals heavily with the combined feelings of envy and love that can happen when friends' lives start to go in wildly different directions, the chronic battle between the "haves" and the "have-nots." How do you maintain an honest friendship under such circumstances without being consumed by envy and resentment? From a eccentric group of high schoolers to a circle of adult friends with deep and lasting bonds, The Interestings explores friendships, relationships, love, marriage, child rearing, disappointment, loss, and longing over the course of the lives of its characters. I will certainly be checking out other books by Meg Wolitzer, and I highly recommend this one.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I'm Back!

I am writing this at about 10pm EST on Tuesday after arriving at my parents' house from London, and I was seriously overestimating my energy to post a blog at this hour! I have a number of posts in the queue, but none are quite ready to go, so I am going to take a little cheat and leave you with a few more highlights from the trip, and then we will move on. I promise! It was a terrific time, and I would have loved to have posted more photos as we went, but unfortunately the internet in the tower where we stayed was very slow, so uploading images took years! It was very exciting to be in the city on the day of the "royal birth." The only thing that would have made the trip better? A sighting of my fashion idol, Kate Middleton, and her beautiful baby! A girl can dream.

These blue trees were part of a public art installation trying to draw attention to the importance of nature in metropolitan areas. They looked really cool, but I had to wonder if the paint was actually harming the trees...  

Punting on the river in Cambridge. So idyllic. 
Hope your week is off to a great start. It's good to be back! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Final Days of England

Today is our last full day in London. This weekend we did some wonderful things both in and out of the city. The highlights included a visit to Borough Market, which we spotted on Anthony Bourdain's The Layover, a trip to Windsor and Eton, and a day visiting my father's alma mater, Cambridge.

Trinity Hall, Cambridge University
Tomorrow we depart for the states, so I won't be posting tomorrow, but expect regularly scheduled blogging to resume on Wednesday! I have had a wonderful trip, but I am also looking forward to being home. Have a terrific Monday!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fabulous Friday in London

Today we visited Greenwich where the Prime Meridian can be found. Then we popped into London again for a visit to Harrods and a lovely Moroccan dinner at Momo. We spotted lots of painted doors and flowered pubs, which I love.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday in London

Today's tour included an afternoon of relaxation in St. James park, a phenomenal tea at The Wolseley, and a ride on The London Eye. All in all, a great day. My feet are aching, but all the walking is worth it!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday in London

Yesterday we explored a part of London I had never really been to: Shoreditch. It is the new hot spot for food and shopping and reminds me of the Mission in San Francisco. While I felt that our J.Crew ensembles might have made us a bit out of place, I loved seeing a new spot. This street pictured below (Brick Lance) is famous for its Indian restaurants.

A fun display of pillows at a British store, Jack Wills, for which my sister used to work. Love that one of the queen.

A sign spotted outside a pub displaying Britain's motto.

This is an absolutely fabulous restaurant. We have had dinner here the last two times we were in London, and I couldn't recommend it more.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday in London

We are just about to set off for the city. (We haven't actually made it there yet.) The water tower is a bit of an experience, but the views from the observatory at the top are beautiful. You can see many of the city's landmarks from the balcony. Unfortunately, it is a bit hazy this morning, so it is hard to see everything, but you can get a sense!

And, I spotted a double decker while taking my photo!          

I plan to be snapping away today, so pop back tomorrow for lots more London fun!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday in England

I am here! But, I will just be posting a picture or two each day this week to give you a taste of what we've been up to. We spent the weekend in the English countryside visiting with family friends. Yesterday we spent a beautiful Sunday in a beautiful garden.

This morning we headed to Greenwich where we are staying in a converted water tower for the rest of our time here! It's quite a place! More pictures to come of our London adventures.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fabulous Friday: Off We Go!

As you read this, I am probably on a plane somewhere! I can't wait to be in London and on vacation with my whole family in this wonderful place. Next week, I'll keep you updated with photos, but expect the content to be a little on the light side as I take a (sort of) blog vacation. See you when I'm back on this side of the pond!