2009 12 01 archive

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Well hello 2010, I’d like you to meet my new bathroom.

Dear Readers,
While bloggers around the world are probably posting today about sparkly dresses (been there) and high heels (done that), I present to you my new bathroom.

Now I know this might not seem like much to those people with big houses whose bathrooms have two sinks and jacuzzis for two and blah blah blah blah… but to a gal who shared a bathroom her entire life with siblings, parents, 6 female college roommates, and one nasty grimy bathroom with a boyfriend, this. is. luxury.

It’s not huge. But it’s pretty. Recently refinished with vintage-esque fixtures and tiling, my apartment’s bathroom sports a spanking new toilet and sink (rare in Chicago apartments), pretty soft green walls that conveniently match the towels I bought prior to seeing this color, and get this – a jetted tub! Thus far, it is the only room that is ready to greet guests tonight for my NYE pre-bar cocktail soiree, but the main rooms are not far behind. It’s been a HECTIC and exhausting three days, my back is aching, and I have hours of Swiffering ahead of me. Alas. I will persevere. And tomorrow (granted it will be later than the normal 7am CST posting), you will find pictures of the hopefully finished apartment!

The clover towels are from West Elm in the color blue sage. They’re currently on sale! And I found the white fluffy ones at Costco for $7 a piece – not too shabby for Alaina.

took this one this morning

I love the vintage tiling and fixtures.

Holiday scented Archipelago candle. Heavenly.

Happy New Year’s Eve!

p.s. Bathroom Cabinets at Illuminated Mirrors are a great way to add extra light to your bathroom.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A closet to call home

Shown above is Jenna Lyon’s closet. For those of you who don’t know, Jenna is the creative director of J.Crew and has an entire room in her Brooklyn brownstone allocated for her colorful wardrobe. Amazing, right? Well, I might, MIGHT be getting something similar for my very own. Hard to believe? It’s a complete miracle? I know. I know. This might all be a delusion… the deal is that we have a second bedroom that we’re not sure what to do with. It barely fits a double bed. Right now it’s storing everything that doesn’t yet have a place. So we will see how things go today. But fingers crossed, I might have my very own closet room! Stay tuned…
Where we’re off to today:
2. Best Buy
3. Home Depot
4. grocery store
5. our new home : )
Still busy as a bee, as you can see. Sorry for the short post today.
*photo from Domino mag*

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It’s called Tar-shay for a reason…

It’s the final MOVING DAY! So for now, I will leave you with this.

Kind of loving these two contemporary chairs available at Target. I can picture a sheepskin rug from IKEA thrown over either one. They remind of crazy expensive designer furniture from Design Within Reach. But no. It’s Tar-shay.

price: $349

price: $139

price: $929

Monday, December 28, 2009

Here’s to wishing every day was Christmas

Christmas at home. There’s nothing quite like it. I grew up in a small town that celebrates the tradition of luminaria – not sure if you know what it is, but there’s a picture of it below. It’s really beautiful and one of my favorite things about Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, it rained this past Thursday, so our luminaria didn’t extend past our front porch (pictured above). Still made for a pretty picture.

And here’s a little glance at the holiday decor in my mom’s house…
twinkle lights, fresh greens, and santas adorn the mantle

wreaths on the armoire

The tree.

And some of my favorite ornaments:
Absolutely love this. It’s a real leaf dipped in 24k gold. If you hold it up to the light you can see it is transparent. Really beautiful, unique, and not expensive. I’d definitely recommend getting one!

This extra delicate (I would know – I broke mine many years ago 🙁 ) Christopher Radko ball reminds me of a stained glass window.

Another Christopher Radko – a jolly Santa

I made this at a Christmas party when I was 5, and it’s still hanging in there…

This is a pretty ornate, sparkly crown. I don’t know where it came from, but I love all things sparkly. Ergo I love this ornament. (It’s probably another Radko.)


Christmas morning breakfast
a fancy table doesn’t mean fancy food

Cinnamon rolls and bacon. Mmm delish.

Both the red & green crystal ornaments and the dessert platters they sit atop are by William Yeoward. My mom actually met him a few years ago when he presented his collection at the Neiman Marcus nearby, and she was able to introduce me a few months later when we visited his store in Knightsbridge, London (during my study abroad). Absolutely gorgeous shop – definitely recommend going there if you happen to be in London any time soon. I pretty much wanted the entire store’s inventory.

Great way to start the day.

And just before I sign off on Christmas 2009, I wanted to share this fantastic tree with all of you. Let me preface this by saying the owner and decorator of this nautical tree is one of the best hostesses this side of the Mississippi, learning pretty much everything from her equally talented and creative mother. Both are collectors of antiques and all things beautiful, so this is a real treat that we get to see inside her home (even if the lighting isn’t the best). She is a good family friend who works at Chicago Home + Garden magazine, and this year, she decorated her tree with a nautical theme. I’ll let her explain:
“My husband is an avid sailor and this was a big year for him race-wise. So, I decorated a tree in the sailing spirit! I used nautical rope as garland along with red and blue beads and ornaments. I hung 17 sailboat ornaments along the with a few copper balls to add a little bit of interest. I’m now excited to collect more nautical ornaments as this was the first year I started this!”

I am not sure if this is one of two or more trees she had in her home, but I love it either way! Have any of you ever tried a themed tree? The closest my family ever got to that was a ‘kids’ tree and a ‘fancy’ tree. AKA popsicle stick ornaments and colored lights on one, breakable everything and white lights on the other.

Well, that’s a wrap! I hope you all had a lovely holiday weekend!

I’ll be moving today and tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Frosty the Miniature Snowman

Because I plan on having a Christmas tree of my very own next year, I ventured out into the blizzard this morning to scoop up some ornaments on super sale. I found these darling, miniature snowmen for $0.98 each at Crate & Barrel! I love them!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas! My own answers to the Kindred Spirit survey…

I know, I know.
I have been inundating the LCY homepage with Kindred Spirit posts. But I hope you had as much fun reading them as I had posting them! Here is ONE FINAL post because I know some of you asked what my answers were to these funky holiday questions. Here they are:

1. My home isn’t decorated for the holidays until…
the Christmas tree is up! Many of our ornaments are from school projects my siblings and I did when we were young: glitter, styrofoam, pipe cleaners… but we also have a collection of Christopher Radko’s and Lenox annual ornaments that are just breathtaking. The mix of fancy and chachka, old and new are what make it really special. Isn’t it magical?

2. My holiday spirit soars when I hear the song…
usually it’s Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song,” but since Allison from Matters of Style said that, I am going with two of my favorites by Sarah McLachlan: “The River” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” – a duet with the Barenaked Ladies.

3. If I had to be anywhere but home on Christmas, it would be…
in Richmond, VA with Nathan and his family. Or London. I’d always be happy in London.

4. My favorite Live Creating Yourself holiday blog post was…
other than the series of Kindred Spirits posts (which are my faaavorite), I’d say Call me Crafty is at the top of my list. The post documented my attempt to create miniature snow globes after seeing beautiful snow globes on Anthropologie’s website. Sadly, they did not make it more than 24 hours before the figurines started detaching themselves. I am thinking of filing a lawsuit against Krazy Glue to get my $2.49 back… thoughts?

5. My favorite non-LCY holiday blog post was…
Lauren of Pure Style Home’s Christmas at Our House post. Hands down. Her decorating is amaaaazing. I am inspired by nearly everything she does. If you have some downtime today (say you’re digesting between meals), give yourself a Christmas present by checking it out!

6. The number one gift on my wish list this year is…
for Nathan to move to Chicago. Oh wait. He is!!
So I guess I’d say the rest of the Coralie Bickford-Smith Penguin Classics.

And in the Christmas spirit, I’d like to say
Thank You
  • to my Kindred Spirits for taking the time to participate in a fun, holiday survey
  • to my family for always being there & supporting me for as long as I can remember
  • to my best girlfriends for making me laugh time and time again
  • to my Nathan for loving me so much he’s moving halfway across the country
  • to my puppies who make me smile every day
  • to my readers. Without you, I wouldn’t be here…
Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kindred Spirits Countdown to Christmas: Melissa of Chic Coles

And the LAST day ’til Christmas, we meet Melissa of Chic Coles:
Last but certainly not least, I’d like to introduce you to the Cole gals of Chic Coles, a mother and two daughters located all around the country (CT, CA, and LA). The Coles were the first to make me feel officially part of the blogosphere; they were the first fellow bloggers to comment at LCY, they awarded me two of the blogger awards you see in the left-hand-column, added me to their blog roll, and for all these things, I want to “thank you.” Who knows if I’d still be blogging without the hope they gave me back when I thought my mom and boyfriend were my only readers. They are a thoughtful, talented (check out their interior design portfolio here), and stylish group, and I wish all of them a Merry Christmas! And thank you to Melissa – a Cole gal living in New Orleans – who took the time to fill out the Kindred Spirit survey. Enjoy the fondu! Hopefully we’ll get to see pictures of your tree!

1. My home isn’t decorated for the holidays until…
we are all home together. We have a tradition of eating a fondu dinner while we decorate the Christmas tree.

2. My holiday spirit soars when I hear the song…
in all honesty, I like any of the Taylor Swift/Britney Spears/Mariah Carey Christmas music.
*editor’s note: none of these artists’ Christmas songs were available on Lala. So sorry!

3. If I had to be anywhere but home on Christmas, it would be…
with my very good friends in New Orleans.

4. My favorite Chic Coles holiday blog post was…
the “Holiday Advent Calendar” post. I am obsessed with advent calendars and I love the pictures we found!

5. My favorite non-Chic Coles holiday blog post was…
the House of Turquoise’s “Turquoise Holiday Decor” post where she featured turquoise inspired holiday decorations. It is such a chic look that it is my favorite!

6. The number one gift on my wish list this year is…

Thanks, Melissa!

Kindred Spirits Countdown to Christmas: Allison of Matters of Style

On the LAST day ’til Christmas, we meet Allison of Matters of Style:
Matters of Style was one of the first blogs I began reading after starting LCY this past June. The blogging duo – made up of Allison, located in DC, and Sarah, located in Charlotte – keep things interesting with their wide array of post topics. Store tours, shopping guides, CraigsList finds, inspirational interiors, and my personal favorite, their own DIY projects, always leave me wanting more. They have a great eye for finding beautiful knickknacks and making them beautiful – all at a low cost. One of my favorites is the nailhead nightstand pictured above, but another great project was the fab red desk they made over. And while you’re checking out MoS, make sure to read up on the wonderful nursery Sarah just put together for her new baby boy. Congrats, Sarah! Oh and check out their store for unique vintage finds! I’m telling you – these girls do it all! Buuuut before you go, let’s see what Allison says about the holidays…

1. My home isn’t decorated for the holidays until…
there are enough decorations to sustain the Christmas shenanigans of my two insatiably curious cats. Every year I find ornaments removed from the tree and hidden in unlikely places.

2. My holiday spirit soars when I hear the song…

“The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole. It’s on a CD that my mom has played every Christmas for as long as I can remember and hearing it brings back a lot of happy Christmas memories.
*editor’s note: this is my favorite holiday song also, so you can see which runner-up tune I chose tomorrow

3. If I had to be anywhere but home on the holidays, it would be…

somewhere snowy… maybe Jackson Hole, Wyoming? I’ve spent every single Christmas in Florida and have never once had a white Christmas, so I’d love to experience some winter weather.

4. My favorite Matters of Style holiday blog post was…

a little recap of my own holiday decorating since I’m particularly proud of how the wreath over the mirror and the fireplace garland turned out.
*editor’s note: those beautiful ikat stockings were made by Sarah of MoS Charlotte! I want one! or two… or three…

5. My favorite non-MOS holiday blog post was…

Aesthetic Oiseau’s post about Mary McDonald’s peacock feathers and oranges decorating scheme. The peacock feathers are just so breathtakingly original.

6. The number one gift on my wish list this year is…

A digital SLR camera and some lessons on how to use it so I can finally work on improving my photography skills. Although something tells me I will probably have to give it to myself!

Thanks, Allison!

Our FINAL Kindred Spirit will be posting at NOON EST TODAY!

And believe it or not, I WILL be posting tomorrow with a recap of our holiday decorations and my own answers to the survey.
Merry Christmas, everyone! And for those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, I wish a Happy Holidays to you and yours – whatever holiday that may be!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kindred Spirits Countdown to Christmas: Heather of Habitually Chic

On the 2nd day ’til Christmas, we meet Heather of Habitually Chic:
Ever seen You’ve Got Mail? Well, it’s one of my top two favorite films of all time (along with Pride & Prejudice). In addition to it’s fabulous cheesiness and Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks’ charming chemistry, I love it because it makes me want to live in New York City like nothing else ever has. That is until I found Habitually Chic. Written by Heather Clawson – freelance writer, interior designer, and fellow You’ve Got Mail junkie Habitually Chic is constantly on the up-and-up of stylish happenings around NYC. What makes it even better is that Heather knows most of the people she writes about and attends pretty much all of the events she highlights. Fashion shows at Bergdorfs? Book signings with Kelly Wearstler? Trudging along the snowy sidewalks snapping photos of beautiful West Village brownstones (see photo above)? Yes, please! So here’s a glance at how one habitually chic New Yorker celebrates the holidays…

1. My home isn’t decorated for the holidays until…
I make pomanders and visit the flower district in New York for holiday greenery and flowers. Since I don’t have a fireplace or room for a full-size Christmas tree, I decorate my television armoire as if it were a mantle and add holiday touches elsewhere.

2. My holiday spirit soars when I hear the song…
“Christmas Time is Here” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. A Charlie Brown Christmas contains all my favorite holiday songs!

3. If I had to be anywhere but home on the holidays, it would be…
the beach! I’ve had enough cold and snowy white Christmases. I’m ready for a warm white sand Christmas!

4. My favorite Habitually Chic holiday blog post was…
the Silver and Sage post from last December. I love holiday decorations that aren’t the traditional red and green!

5. My favorite non-HC holiday blog post was…
Maison21’s Faking it is Glamorous post from 2007, I think it was about the time that I found Christian’s blog, and I loved his white fake Christmas tree. It was very glamorous and chic and a great way to decorate for the holidays in LA.

6. The number one gift on my wish list this year is…
a vacation! I am looking forward to having some time off to relax and not work this Christmas. That said, I wouldn’t mind finding a Chanel 2.55 handbag under the tree!

Thanks, Heather!