I just returned from a little shopping trip with my mother-in-law. My birthday is Sunday and she took me to a couple stores so I could try on things; she usually chooses a few items to buy for my birthday and Christmas from the selection of what I try on and like, and today I noticed a significant pattern in what I was pulling. See?
I love brights, but I was just drawn to the black and white and gray pieces. I tried on a few other things, but the fit wasn't right. Also there was a really (disturbingly) large amount of lamé pants and crop tops in one store in particular and I just can't go there.
To be honest, I wasn't sure what I felt like posting about today. But when I logged into Pinterest, thanks to the incomparable David Stark, the answer was right in front of me. He must be feeling similarly inspired because he just posted a handful of black & white striped images. So, far be it from me to ignore the signs. Some lovely, classic inspiration to send us off into our holiday. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!
I have this compulsion to buy all kinds of storage bins. I think that each bin is going to be the one that finally gets my kids' toys, papers, or random clutter organized. I've already come to terms with the fact that I'm a piler, not a filer, but I still get self-conscious about people coming over and seeing the disarray.
I love love love this fluorescent pink modern toile storage bin (which comes in three sizes) that I found at ABC Home. I'm a big fan of mixing colors and patterns in unexpected ways, and when designs rooted in tradition are presented in a modern way, I'm generally hooked. I'm fascinated by the idea behind toile, but I usually find the traditional scenes a bit old-fashioned (and sometimes strangely suggestive, as evidenced by a shower curtain my sister had at her old apartment).
In the past I've been really into modern interpretations of toile (see: Timorous Beasties, Historically Inaccurate, and Sheila Bridges) and this pattern is so whimsical with the paper airplanes, wildflowers, animals, cityscape, and fashion-forward (superhero!) figures strutting across the cotton canvas.
If the fluorescent pink is too much for you, these charming bins also come in water green and honey.
images via abc home
One of the traditions I like, which we've only had the chance to do once, is Friendsgiving. We all have friends who are like family to us; some friends are more like family than actual family members. Whether you're celebrating the holiday together with friends in advance of a family Thanksgiving, or because you can't get home to see your relatives for various reasons, it's nearly guaranteed to be a memorable good time.
Maybe you can't get home because your family lives too far away for you to go back for just the weekend (or perhaps you don't have Friday off, or worse, Thursday). If your friends all come from different places, you can throw a little healthy rivalry into the revelry with these West and East Coasters from Paper Trail.
A couple of years ago, I went to a friend's wedding in California. The bride and groom, both of whom I went to high school with, are from the East coast but live in California. The wedding had a contingent of friends and family from each side of the country and there was a hilarious back-and-forth about which coast was better. It bonded us to some of the other friends we hadn't met before and was just a lot of fun. With these amusing coasters, your friends can call out their loyalties and keep glass rings off your table at the same time.
images via paper trail
When I was younger, I was a voracious reader and tore through several books a week. Oh, to have the time for that again. It helps when you are also an insomniac starting from a young age (although, now that my 4 year old is following this pattern, I'm not sure how great it is). I also loved to make up stories about people and what they did and where they went. For better or worse, I have a vivid imagination.
So when I see the Brownstone Bookcase from The Land of Nod, all I can think is: amazing dollhouse. Yes, it looks great with some books and toys, but how fun would it be to style at least some of this piece as a dollhouse? Decorate some of the shelves, grab some dolls and stuffed friends, and you (or, you know, your child…) could entertain yourself for hours creating lives for the dolls and imagining their interactions. I would have a ton of fun making up stories with my daughters about the apartment dwellers within. At least one shelf would be an Auntie Mame-style penthouse with revolving decor.
On the practical side, having the option to close the doors and hide away the toys and books when they're less than neat is a nice plus. The modern design certainly goes with what we have in my house, and I like that it has the natural wood tone as well, so it wouldn't feel overly matchy-matchy with my daughter's white bed and dresser. It is pricier than a simple bookcase, but if your kids are interacting with it on a level beyond organization, it could be worth the additional cost. I love that it could serve more than one function, and of course, I'm partial to anything city-related, so I think it looks super cute.
Brownstone Bookcase, $599, landofnod.com
images via the land of nod
One of the shops I miss most in New York is Michele Varian. She has an incredible mix of product: There are always interesting, quirky and beautiful pieces for home (including pillows by Michele herself) and lovely jewelry; most of the products are made by independent artists.
New in her shop are these stunning porcelain containers handmade in Brooklyn by Beetle & Flor. I love the simplicity of the shape paired with the colors and patterns of the African napkin wrapped around each container with a simple leather tie.
Safe for food like pastas and rice, these cylindrical boxes would also be amazing containers for bathroom accoutrements like cotton balls and swabs, makeup brushes. I would actually love to get one of the smaller sizes to put on my desk to corral pens, scissors, etc.
TONIGHT - trunk show from 6-9pm at Michele Varian, 27 Howard St. NYC
Tonight is the first Process Series Trunk Show at the shop featuring Beetle & Flor and other designers, brought to you by Michele Varian and Etsy. Michele has curated the trunk shows which feature products from emerging designers and will exhibit photos, tools, and moulds, providing insight into the artists' processes. The work shown will illustrate how each designer takes their inspiration from nature and interprets it differently. The trunk show opening tonight (with Prosecco!) will be up through Sunday.
images via michele varian
Today's regular dental checkup (cavity-free, hooray!) reminded me of a product I learned about a few months ago. I think we can all agree, toothbrushes aren't especially attractive. A few years back, one of the major toothbrush manufacturers had a designer line that was fairly cute and they had several write-ups in magazines, and probably online. That fizzled out but there are alternatives.
I love these designer toothbrushes at AlmandersAlley. They're slightly more expensive than the regular type available at the drug store, but there are so many styles available, so you can find a design that matches your personality.
The marble design above, and the animal print, below, are my two favorite styles.
I have a stash of toiletries on hand in my guest bathroom in case visiting friends and family ever forget something. It would be fun to have a handful of these available for those situations, and I like the idea of having something a little different that would make my guests smile.
There are also abstract, floral, plaid, striped, and tropical styles among others.
images via almandersalley
Insert obligatory sentence about how I can't believe Thanksgiving is only a week away. We are still at that age and stage in our lives when our parents host the holidays, so while we host a lot of less-formal gatherings, we have yet to host a big family holiday meal. Right now, I'm okay with that, but I do look forward to hosting sometime, maybe when the girls are just a bit older and can both feed themselves fully!
I have wonderful memories of a Thanksgiving in Hoboken (pre-children) when I had to work during the day at my retail job and some great friends came over for a late dinner. We cooked an excellent meal, I had a special woodsy centerpiece made at the florist, we used our wedding silver and china (Wedgwood Oberon, goes great with a fall palette), and we had a great time. I felt like such a grown-up. It was so much fun.
Until we host again I shall live a bit vicariously. I've pinned a few of my favorite table ideas (and some additional inspiration) for Thanksgiving to a board on Pinterest. Check them out and if you're so inclined, feel free to follow me, too! I haven't been pinning as much as I'd like lately, but hoping to change that soon.
Do you host Thanksgiving? How do you style your table?
image via style within reach
I have a weakness for cute juice glasses. I have some standard workhorse glasses that we use daily, but also a set we received as a bridal shower present from one of my best friends that have a little gas tank at the bottom and say F (for full) at the top. I also have a set from Anthropologie that is about six years old now, with illustrated letters (R is for ring, Q for queen, etc) but unfortunately, we don't have the cupboard space in this house, so they're safely packed away in the basement.
Whenever I'm online or shopping, I always catch myself admiring sets of glasses, though, like these super cute Family glasses by Mary and Shelly Klein, of K Studio, exclusively at UncommonGoods. Apparently these came out last year when I was in my pregnant-and-passed-out-on-the-couch phase, so they're new to me. I've always been a big fan of K Studio's products and their sweet illustrations, and the mother-daughter team is so nice in person.
If you have a large family, this can get a bit pricey, but I find them to be a much cuter alternative to those stickers on minivans (I'm sorry, I said it.) and I think they have a fairly wide appeal, though I do realize they're not very diverse. This is what I'd order for my family:
And they look so cute filled! Of course, then I think, should I buy glasses in the older girl version as well for when my kids grow up? But at the same time, I love the idea of just having these four to show what our family looks like at this point in time. Would you buy these for yourself or for someone as a gift?
Family Glassware, $12 each, uncommongoods.com
images via uncommongoods
Who didn't grow up with those ubiquitous electric candlesticks in the windows of your house during the holidays? I used to think taper candles were extremely old-fashioned and never thought I would be interested in them, but just as with everything else that follows the what's-old-is-new-again pattern, these lovely candleholders have changed my mind.
I love the colors and form of the Pleated candleholders, above, from BoConcept, which I wanted to include even though they're handle-less. And any of the selection below of modern takes on the chamber candlestick would look great as a single piece on a bedside table or console, or as a group on a dining table mixed with other decorative elements.
The porcelain model by Klein Reid (bottom) comes with a removable candle insert, so when not in use with a real taper, you can still enjoy a tromp l'oeil effect of having a candle in place.
Most of these are well under $30, with the Weight Here coming in under $50 and the Klein Reid priced at $98.
In case you're in need: Creative Candles is a great source for taper candles in beautiful colors.
I've always had a bit of a fascination with handwriting. Of course, there are the analyses of the slant and what certain loops and strokes say about your personality. And somehow there are always girls that have that same (it seems) super feminine, rounded, bubbly lettering. My writing, which admittedly has become much less lovely due to all the typing I do, is a full mix of print and cursive. Also, how can they stop teaching cursive in schools?!
But, I digress. Really, handwriting is pretty unique and often seeing an old card or letter written in someone's hand can bring back memories or powerful feelings. That connection is the impetus behind the custom handwriting necklaces by BrittanyLeighJewelry on Etsy. Jewelry designer Brittany Isenberg started fabricating these pieces after creating one as a meaningful gift for her mother following the death of her grandmother.
The 14k gold version is available in polished yellow or white gold, or you can select polished or matte sterling silver (shown above); bracelets and keychains are also options.
At the end of the year and during the holidays people naturally spend a lot of time thinking about loved ones. This is a simple, pretty way of keeping someone you love close, whether that person is truly gone or just lives far away.
images via brittanyleighjewelry
mom, wife, market editor, crazy person.
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