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
Happy Halloween! This morning I had my older daughter's preschool parade and party. It's raining here, so the parade moved indoors but it was still adorable and rambunctious. They were extremely excited about all the treats they were getting. Speaking of treats, today I'm excited about candy, too, and not just the kind I not-so-secretly hope there will be leftovers of: Some fun artwork inspired by candy and literally made out of gum, candy, and chocolate. Look at that crazy gum logo I made (above) using yournameingum.com! So fun!
Now I'm doing some last minute decorating and handing out candy. I am going to try to add a few more images to this tonight if I can!
I have this great coat that I wear faithfully each fall. It's well over a decade old now, though I can't quite remember when I bought it. I love the colors of the coat, and it receives a lot of compliments. However, buttons are missing and the lining is torn. I continue to wear it, but it definitely needs some TLC. I'm not ready to replace it completely, but while it worked well in New York, I'm finding it's sometimes a little thin for Syracuse.
I like a coat that stands out in the crowd, and these coats are just the type that would keep me warm and dry in style.
I'm not sure why this week has felt so long, but I'm glad it's Friday! I've decided to publish the Under $50 Friday posts once a month, instead of weekly, and see how that goes, though I will always try to have a balance between inexpensive items and splurges/investment pieces in my everyday posts.
I don't put a lot of stock in horoscopes, but I do like zodiac imagery. Thomas Paul's iteration: traditional zodiac motifs on dishwasher-safe melamine coasters, shown here alphabetically ($48, Home Remedy). I'm a Sag, all the way, in case you were wondering.
As hard as I try, I'm more of a piler than a filer, so I need to make sure my papers are well-organized within those towering stacks. Large (2-inch) glasses-frame-shaped Specs paper clips ($7 for 10, Umbra) will get the job done in a noticeable, funny way.
My cramped 1950s kitchen was able to fit very few of the things from our old house. Anything from medium-sized small appliances to all the decorative items are still packed away. But we have two empty walls (literally, no cabinets or anything) next to which my grandparents used to have their kitchen table. We have a table there for extra counter space, but eat in the dining room.
As they're some of the only walls in the house not wood-paneled, I'd love to hang art like Australian artist Belinda Marshall's Possibility print ($44, Leif) to bring some life into the room. This is supposed to represent a calm meditative space. My kitchen and I both could benefit from that!
I just felt like sharing my favorite clear lip balm, which is Mor Cosmetics' Lip Macaron in passion flower ($10, beauty.com). I wear it all the time, especially now that the weather is getting chilly. It's light (not sticky), I love the fruity scent, and the little tin feels more special than a regular stick of balm.
This quirky plastic Kipik hedgehog toothpick holder made me smile; it can either perch on the edge of a bowl or be used freestanding. The little guy comes with 22 picks ($25, MoMA Store).
One of the things I miss most about working in New York is getting to meet and spend time with interior designers and visit their decorated spaces in person. Viewing an image of a beautiful room is wonderful, and still inspiring of course, but when you're actually in the space, talking with the designer about their choices, seeing the way objects work together, and noticing details that otherwise might be missed—well, it makes a difference.
The products they create are also a window into their aesthetic perspective and a chance to own a piece of their style in lieu of hiring them, though working with any of these designers would be amazing: Interiors experts Amanda Nisbet, Katie Ridder, Carrier and Company, and Tilton Fenwick all partnered with Studio Four to design and produce a line of rugs which has just launched.
Each designer/design team contributed two designs and with the variety of beautiful colorways, the collection offers a total of 24 luxe options made of New Zealand wool. Some of the offerings are ready to ship and others require a lead time (production times vary). A highlight of the exciting patterns available:
images via studio four
Pumpkins seem to be anything but orange these days. This weekend we're going picking with the girls and my parents, and I've been getting inspired by the pumpkin decorating projects I've seen online. Here are my favorite looks for pumpkins right now:
The marbled pumpkins (above) from Say Yes to Hoboken are so sophisticated-looking and grown up, but easy enough to do with kids and a bit of supervision. And options are endless since nail polish colors are more than plentiful.
I love the patterns and colors on these decoupaged botanical gourds created by Country Living, especially the one on the top left with the small orange leaves.
Inspired by this string art pumpkin from Lines Across, I think I'd actually be a little more traditional and use the nails and string to create a large spider web, then glue a plastic spider onto it. I was surprised to find no pictures online of this idea. You could even paint the pumpkin black, apply the white web (or spray it silver before tying), and get a glow-in-the-dark spider.
Maybe it's the school nerd in me, but I've always loved dioramas. So it's no surprise that I love the idea of a diorama set up in a hollowed out pumpkin. This scene from The Art of Doing Stuff, definitely captures the spirit of Halloween without being too scary or gory. This is obviously the most time-intensive, but how fun would it be to pick out and arrange all the tiny accessories inside? I like the little skeleton hand creeping out at the bottom!
I didn't intend to let a week go by before sharing some pictures from last Friday's party, but last weekend was so hectic (in mostly good ways; we also baptized our youngest), that I guess I took a little mental break from it. Everything came together well, and I was really happy with how the decor ended up, particularly because it actually came out close to how I saw it in my head. I wanted to share what I did because it was relatively inexpensive, easy to do, has a pretty fall palette, and was very personal. I was able to include several elements from our wedding. You know I love when people make things and spaces their own!
Halloween is my favorite holiday. I don't get crazy yet with the decorations (no fake bodies hanging from the roof or anything, at least not while my kids are young), though I did get some 3D bats to stick to the front door. When we buy a house again, I'll probably go more all-out.
But it's time to think of costumes. I love dressing up; my husband not so much—the man's idea of a costume is a pin that says "This is my costume." Cupcake says she wants to be a butterfly, which she was already two years ago. An easy costume, though I'd love to see her as something else. I wanted to dress up Sunshine as Eddie Munster because the front of her hair can easily be made to look like a widow's peak, but no one else is on board. I can't understand why. So, I might do a homemade candy corn costume for her; it will be so cheap and simple.
Are you someone who likes easy costumes? Then here's your easy costume. A turkey head mask from Fred Flare. I think by putting the model in a chef uniform, they missed a golden opportunity to tie into this year's 90s nostalgia:
For him and for her! All you need to be Joey are jeans, a black t-shirt, and black vest. To be Monica: put on black pants and a green shirt, though really, you could wear anything because the crux of the costume are the giant sunglasses and red fez. Just watch out for that reduced peripheral vision and breathing.
I need to figure out my costume still. Do you know what you're going as?
If challenged to choose a handful of only neutral colors and design a room around them, most people would probably not end up with something as moody and glamorous as this. I think we'd see a much lighter room, a lot more creams, browns, tans, greige, maybe some grey, or black, or white—but not this mix and not in this way. This image is actually from ZGallerie's fall look book (which can easily be accessed from their home page or clicking the above photo).
I was immediately drawn to it, not simply because I'm obsessed with moody rooms, but because the concept seems like it shouldn't be too difficult to pull together using an image such as this for inspiration.
Essentially, the designers used black, an off-white, green, and a metallic—all of which are neutrals. But the genius is in the pairing. Using more black than white, particularly on the walls, carpeting and mantle creates a very different feeling than if the proportion were the other way around. The sofas balance the darkness and give your eyes a place to rest. The vibrant malachite green acts as an accent color and all of the gold provides additional light and reflection to keep the room from being too heavy and dull. The use of pattern is also fairly restrained, so the mix of shapes and materials is what provides the depth here.
Bringing in glass objects, some chrome, and other accessories in these same shades adds interest to the room, and I love the large format framed canvas on the mantle which ties it all together seamlessly.
This is also a good example of using a trendy color (emerald) but in a way that's easy to move around if you're someone who likes to switch out accents each season or as trends come and go. Another nice point of balance is the use of a round coffee table and curved sofas in front of the symmetrical very square/rectangular built-ins.
I think it all came together brilliantly. What do you think of this room? Does it work for you?
image via zgallerie
Over the weekend, I finally started working on the decorations for our 10th anniversary vow renewal taking place this Friday. I'm kind of freaking out at how soon all this is happening. I don't feel ready, though a lot of it is falling into place. The weather even looks like it might be nice enough to do the brief ceremony outside. We would really like that since ten years ago it rained until right around when our ceremony ended. We didn't get to have any of the cocktail hour outside, though we did get some great photos because of the overcast sky. Bonus: no squinting!
None of the DIY decorations I'm doing are revolutionary, by any means. I'm sure it will look a lot like what you've seen on Pinterest, but I'm limited by time and budget, and it's a small intimate gathering. I know I make it sound like I never do anything DIY, which actually isn't entirely true. It's just that most of what I have done has been stationery related.
I did every bit of stationery for our wedding, and spent hours and hours cutting out japanese wrapping paper into small squares to make pockets onto larger squares of card stock. Into these pockets went another square with the name of the table people were sitting at, and the guests' names were written at the top. Also all the names of the tables were named after squares in Manhattan: Madison Square, Washington Square, etc. I was really into the theme...
At any rate, we started the table decor and the dipped tealight holder came out pretty well, so taping and spraying the rest is on the agenda today after I work on captions for an article.
Speaking of dipped and DIY, I'm glad I'm not the only one still into this trend. Here are three DIY dipped projects that anyone can do. Click the images for the tutorials.
These dipped bottles are similar to what I'm doing, but mine are all in gold. I love the palette Liz from Say Yes to Hoboken chose on these.
Carving pumpkins is fun, but this idea from Brit + Co. would really stand out on a stoop or front porch!
This project is a little more involved because Emily, of The Sweet Beast, had to remove pre-existing supports for a lower shelf. It's still a really doable project and inexpensive. I love how glossy the finish looks with the Polycrylic coat she applied at the end.
#checkout this blog with shop-themed puns
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