Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Tabletops: Katiedid Book Club

Today's tabletop was spotted over at Katiedid, one of my favorite daily reads. It's an inspired little tutorial about a table top she did when hosting her book club. My favorite are the dishtowel napkins. Go check it out, I promise you'll want to stay and read everything else.

P.S: This is a remote blog post coming to you from the beautiful Nevada desert with the most stunning sunrise I have ever seen in my life. Stay tuned for more.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Do you ever pass up one of those great finds that seems to haunt you for weeks on end. I usually have pretty spot on shopping intuition. Buy it if you love it, and leave it if you don't, it seems simple. But a few weeks ago I was browsing a little flea market near the beach and I came across a little fur cape (faux, but very chic). I loved it, I thought it would look great traipsing across the city during the fall with some colorful, buttery leather gloves. I didn't buy it...(did I really need it, my remaining cash was already earmarked for sugary breakfast treat, everyone else was 4 booths ahead of me, I had my reasons)...and now I'm kicking myself for leaving it behind. Especially with this Kate Spade 'Chubbie' hitting the scene. Everytime I see it, I kick myself a little harder. Learn from my mistakes. If you really love it, don't leave it behind. Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

You taunt me Kate with this fun fall look, sigh.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Spotted on the world wide web

I loved this nursery done by Shelter's Julie Richard.

Matters of Style included it in this great lineup of nurseries. Stripes, check. Zebra run, love it. Lucite stool, fabulous. I love everything about it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A View from the Top

Slowing down a little this week to spend some time with family who are visiting DC. Sadly, it usually takes out of town guests to get me out into my own city to see the extraordinary sights we have here. Yesterday was a beautiful morning, crisp, not blazing hot and quiet throughout the city. After a walk to the local park with the dogs we jumped in the car and headed over to the Newseum (half price through August, click here for info). This was my first visit, the Pulitzer Photo Gallery is enough to make it worth it alone. As well as the sweeping view of the city from the top balcony. Just a reminder to slow down and notice what's around you. Happy Monday!

National Gallery of Art (a personal favorite of mine)

Distant view of the Castle building; Smithsonian Institute

Federal Trade Commision

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Absolutely Beautiful, Anna

Flipping through Australian Vogue Living at the book store, I was amazed and excited by the beautiful spread of blogger Anna Spiro's home from Absolutely Beautiful Things. Anna was at the forefront of the design blogging world and I know has personally inspired many blogs, including my own. Right there in the magazine aisle I wanted to jump up and down and rush up to strangers and say, "I know her...well, I don't know know her...but I blog know her." I refrained for fear to being banned from my favorite local reading spot.

Absolutely Beautiful Things is a collection of creative daily inspiration and highlights from her Brisbine, Australia shop Black & Spiro, which recently launched its website and online portfolio. Congratulations Anna on the very much well deserved success!

Dinning room with the one and only Harry Chairs from the Aussie Vogue Living spread

Some lovely inspiration from Black & Sprio's online portfolio:

Monday, August 17, 2009

"The Servantless American Cook"

Hi All, wow Monday came fast. A little weekend recap for you: Testing cocktail recipes for not your average kids birthday party next weekend, a little home project that involved entirely too many cans of spray paint (more on that later in the week...oh, I feel your anticipation), a little down time at the neighborhood pub, and finally getting to see the movie I've been waiting for all summer.

I read Julie & Julie last summer and have been on pins and needles to see Meryl Streep play Julia Child. Remember my quest for a vintage copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking? Well, it's still ongoing, but I did get to see the movie last night. I know everyone else saw it last weekend and has already passed their 2 cents around the blogs, but I'm a busy girl and was a little behind. So, better late than never: I love, love, loved it!

There will probably be a run on copper pots all over the country this summer, because I know that's what I was thinking during the movie--how badly I wanted some beautiful copper pots to line along my kitchen wall. Which, consequently made me think of the other piece being passed around the blogs this week: That kitchen shot from the Badgley-Mischka kitchen featured in the latest Elle Decor. I know I say this on a bi-weekly basis, but this may be the kitchen of my dreams. A modern version of Julia's little french cuisine.

The other piece I loved from the movie was the Le Cruset Dutch Oven that Julie and Julia both used. About a year ago, after visiting my grandmother and spending a weekend cooking family reciepies, a box arrived at my door. I opened it to find my very own Le Cruset with a little note that read something akin to 'real cooks need real cookware'. And it's true, I do feel like a real cook when I use it. Maybe beef bourgogne will be next on the menu.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Happy Hour: Classic Caipirinha

If I had a veranda, I would spend my afternoon leisurely watching the world go by sipping a refreshing cocktail like a Caipirinha. I don't have a veranda, sadly, so my small city deck will have to do.

Did you know that August is the worst mosquito month for DC. I've been researching natural remedies. Marigolds are supposed to be a natural barrier. So, I'll be planting an entire field of marigolds in my back yard this weekend. Until then, you'll find me on the deck, cocktail in one hand, bug repellent in the other.

Classic Caipirinha

2 ounces Cachaca rum
2 teaspoons granulated sugar or simple syrup
1 lime, cut into quarters

1. Thoroughly muddle sugar and limes in a shaker.
2. Add rum and cracked ice.
3. Shake vigorously and pour contents of shaker, including ice, into glass.
4. Garnish with a lime wedge.

:: blueprint

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Natural Curiosities Update

Remember my tray from yesterday? Well, I had some people contact me asking about similar pieces. And I love it when things just fall in my lap with no effort because look what was in my One Kings Lane sale yesterday: Natural Curiosities prints!

Their description really sums it up best: The designers at Natural Curiosities gratify their whims by transforming gorgeous documents, like maps and insects and more, into art that's destined to be a natural wherever you hang it. Prepare to become obsessed.

Whose obsessed? Me. No reason to deny it.

Not familiar with One Kings Lane: They offer the best of the best brands at discounted prices. Their motto is that "living well should be an affordable reality." Agreed, so join here and tell them I sent you.

Thursday Tabletop: Roll it on out

Today's tabletop inspiration comes from MS and has been lurking around in my idea folders for quite some time.

Once reserved for kids art projects and outdoor bistros, this makes brown kraft paper look positively rustic chic. I particularly love the place cards made by stamping the bottom of the wine glass and writing the person's name in it. Perfect for family style, or tapas food that people linger over while enjoying good conversation.

Heed this warning though: brown kraft paper and plastic tableware is in fact a kids party. Break out of the real deal (maybe even all that china you have collecting dust somewhere) or you lose the chic-factor.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baubles, etc.

This weekend I picked up some pretty little vintage baubles at an antique store (and a beautiful glass tray for my nightstand from Michael Design Works). I'm making a concerted effort to wear more vintage jewelry. Nothing over the top expensive, just fun little pieces that I love. So far it's gone like this: 1) Ooogle the pictures in the JCrew catalog of the girl dripping in bauble-esque accessories 2) Declare effort to also drip with pretty things, 3) Spend all afternoon pouring through boxes of old jewelry at antique market.

So far I'm considering the project a success.

JCrew pictures that caused all the oogaling

Pieces from JCrew that I would love to have added to the collection.

Oh, and about that tray. I saw it in the little shop and fell in love with it. Very Cabinet of Natural Curiosity to me. I also loved these two, available online called: Tropical Fish and Shells.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bench Lust

Usually I have chair lust, but today I have bench lust. While strolling the boardwalk in Asbury Park this weekend I visited Bodega. Charming in every way, this little shop is a mix of homegoods, vintage books, trinkets, stationary and everything else in between.

I couldn't take my eyes off of this coffee table-as-bench. I love the glossy white legs and the dark colored animal print. An ottoman as coffee table we've seen done often, but I love the idea of this leggy bench instead. A stack of books makes a place to perch your wine glass, and when you need the space, just swoop the books away and you have more seating.

The online shop opens this spring, I will definitely be back to check out the goods. I was able to snap one pic as I was walking out of the store of the owner doing a little product merchandising. That wallpaper, that door...I love it.

One beach weekend + a long walk on the boardwalk = two tired puppies on the way home.

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Foot in the Door

Since the Domino website disappeared into the world-wide oblivion, I've been itchin' for some good inspiration galleries. Not that there isn't plenty of inspiration to go around out there, but I like mine orderly and nicely organized into categories (which is why the Domino galleries were so great, can't we just have them back, please). I mentioned recently that House Beautiful was stepping it up in the photo gallery department. After reading my latest issue cover to cover on the beach this weekend, I checked back this morning to browse some galleries.

They're still adding content to the galleries and I do wish there were a few more categores outside the basic rooms, but what's up there is good, so go take a look. My particular favorite this morning were the foyers. One of my favorite spaces in a house is right when you step inside the door. Half functional, half decorative, and a place where a little bit of drama is usually welcomed heartily.

Some pieces I'm contemplating for my own entryway:
This Malm table from Ikea is actually listed as a dressing table in the bedroom section. I stumbled across one in the 'As-Is' section on my last visit and loved the scale and heft of it for an entryway. It comes with one large drawer that pulls out that already contains a felt divider tray.

To which I would top off with these Montego Mirros from Ballard, and some kind of geometric-inspired lamp that I would probably spend hours scouring flea markets for, and then end up buying at Target (hey, it's the journey not the destination that counts, right).

A fun place to hang the things that get used everyday, dog leashes, market bags, these would also look stunning when empty. $20 for the pair at Urban Outfitters, who can go wrong!

West Elm calls these Braided Storage Planters. I call them a pretty place to stash the daily newpapers and shoes.

Fill it all in with my ever-growing To-Read pile of books, magazine and unsundry catalogs I pick up along the way and a smattering of trickents picked up from travel and there you go. Welcoming, functional, and not a fortune.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beach Getaway

The summer is slipping away from me faster than I can handle today. I just picked up my first hugely-thick September magazine, and had a panicked moment about all work and no play in my life. So this weekend I'm packing a bag, grabbing some friends (and Roxy and Boston, of course), jumping in the car and heading to the beach for a quick getaway.

No elaborate plans, no planning at all really. My bag will contain just the bare essentials. Something to wear on the beach for the day, and something to wear to dinner at night. Nothing else required.

For daytime: Orange polka dot bikini and an oversized straw bag (needed for the massive Sept. fashion issues I'll be toting along)

For evening: Cotton/Silk blend draped dress to show off the beachy glow (my SPF-1000 doesn't really allow for a tan, so I refer to it as a glow), and a gold leaf necklace for a little bit of sparkle.

What kind of cocktails will we be drinking, you ask? Guavaberry-coldas will be the drink of choice this weekend. (Ok, so maybe there was a smidge of planning, but only where it counts!)
Happy Summer Weekend!

Top image found here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday Tabletops

A new little feature starting today here at SGC: Thursday Tabletops! I'm constantly collecting images and ideas to make great table settings, so I thought that it was high time I shared the wealth.

I love this tabletop for it's simple rustic feel and casual attention to detail. We all learned the 'proper' way to set a table as children, carefully folding the napkin and putting all the silverware in it'place. But I find that the easiest way to mix it up when setting the table is to literally, mix it up. Put the napkin under the salad plate, stack the forks up in the middle of the plate. The change in routine is what people will notice, even if it's just your partner or roommate on a random Wednesday evening.

A quick google search for some of the elements of this table turned up everyone's favorite wonderstore-Target.

Nova Tortoise Flatware, Wooden Candlesticks here and here
Bon Appetit!

Image found on Shelter