Between this and the last post, you might think you're seeing a pattern. And though the last couple weeks have definitely made me want to indulge in a little wine more than usual, I'm really not much of a drinker. However, I do love having parties and hanging out in the beautiful outdoors, which is where this little baby comes in. I'm totally into this Party Bucket with Table from Pottery Barn.
It's fun, it's functional (times two), and it's pretty attractive. The bucket is made of galvanized steel and fits into a hand-woven all-weather wicker handled piece. I think you can imagine as easily as I have how great this would be at a party or casual cookout, and ease is what good summer entertaining should be all about.
image via pottery barn
Earth, Fire, Wind, Water, Heart! Sorry, I was thinking of the power of the elements and had a Captain Planet moment. Actually, I saw a video [see below] on Facebook this morning that really interested me. Water can be really calm and serene or it can be angry and scary and strong. And it can kind of be both at the same time.
Hawaiian photographer Clark Little jumps into gigantic waves with his camera and shoots these incredible shore breaks. Some of the breaks are so big, I want to scold him for not wearing a life jacket (such a mom). He captures these amazing shots while he is completely enveloped and surrounded by the powerful water and the images are truly beautiful. Check out the video in which Little talks about his process and you can see more of his work.
images via © clark little photography
How was your weekend? We had a great time in the sunshine and the water (so happy my parents have a pool)! Now that it's basically summer, I'm thinking how much I can actually do on the iPad so I can work outside more often instead of always being cooped up inside at my desk.
If you're going to work outside, you need a comfy place to sit. Now that I've seen these special edition hammocks in Elle Decor, I'm kind of obsessing over a loftier way of lounging.
These hammocks are designed and woven by a young collective of craftspeople based in Masaya, Nicaragua. Each piece they produce (made-to-order) is handmade using cotton and bamboo or sustainable woods. The collective also makes a variety of hammocks, swings, and even a macrame crib!
They further minimize their environmental impact by only purchasing hardwood not in danger of extinction and use recycled paper and small amounts of tape in their packaging. 10% of the price of each item is used for community projects.
Don't these make you just want to set up a hammock outside, grab some lemonade, and sway to the breeze? I mean, look at these amazing settings. I just want to dive into these pictures, especially the last one (see more here):
Are you enjoying all of the sunshine as much as I am? The weather has been beautiful and I couldn't be happier about it.
I am very excited to share that Arhaus Furniture and I had so much fun working together on my guest post for their blog the greenhaus, that together (and via Arhaus' extreme generosity) we are giving away their fantastic tabletop pieces to one lucky winner!
If you win, you'll receive exactly what I used for my family dinner (pictured above):
To enter, use the widget below; there are a few different ways to enter:
Fine print: Total retail value of products is $1,392.12. No purchase required. No likes or follows required, though they're welcome! Sweepstakes is open June 4, 2014 through June 9, 2014 at 11:59pm. Winner must be resident of the U.S.; Void where prohibited. There will be one (1) winner chosen at random within two days of the end of the contest. Please use the widget to enter and submit your entry, there are multiple ways to enter and the more ways you enter the greater your chances of winning. For complete rules, click here.
Well, it seems like a million years since I had a chance to last post, but I can finally share one of the reasons I've been so busy. I was totally caught off-guard and flattered when Arhaus Furniture asked me to be the first guest blogger on their blog, Greenhaus. I've worked with Arhaus for years on editorial stories and it's always been a pleasure and I remember how fun it was to get a preview of their Manhattan flagship store before it opened.
It actually took a long time for me to figure out what I should write about for the post. I was trying to think of some grand theme I should try to create but finally it occurred to me to talk about what I know, dinners with my family, and make it look exactly like it would if I were buying it for myself with no online attention.
I knew I wanted something bright and fun, something that would make me smile, and even though I was stressing out until the very last second, I think it came out well and somehow from my brain translated to the table exactly how I wanted it to.
This was the first "full-scale" shoot I've done since I moved and let me tell you, it was as fun as I remember but so much harder! For a typical magazine shoot, you put your concept together but you can order lots of options to choose what works best together. I couldn't do that so I just had to hope that my idea would come out right and make me look like I know a little about what I'm doing and not criminally insane.
I really love the pieces I chose and I can't wait to keep using them in different ways. I had a great time digging through my own things and finding a few new pieces (can't get enough of these zebra glasses) to pair with them.
If you read the post, let me know what you think!
full disclosure: I was allowed to keep the products that I selected to photograph for my post, but all opinions are my own.
The other day it actually smelled like spring in the air and it was the best thing I've smelled in a long time. I can't wait to spend more time outside. Even when you're busy, everything feels a little lighter in spring, don't you think?
Spring and outdoor products are in stores now and this adorable item comes from IKEA. Developed by design studio Rich Brilliant Willing for the PS 2014 collection, the LED stool/lamp is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and was inspired by the very summery idea of fireflies alight in a jar. The name indicates the obvious double duties of the piece acting as a stool and a light. It is also available with a white top.
The collaboration with RBW started in 2011, when founders Theo Richardson, Charles Brill, and Alexander Williams were invited by IKEA to be part of this year's collection. It's always interesting to me how long in the making collaborations like this are. The goal of the entire PS collection was to create innovative and accessible items.
The stool/lamp is portable and is powered by rechargeable batteries. When fully charged, the batteries will provide full light for approximately five hours and the batteries themselves last for at least two years. The charger and cord are stored conveniently under the lid. The stool/lamp uses LEDs which consume 85% less energy and last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Over the last several years, IKEA has committed to making all of their lighting extremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
I can picture a bunch of these scattered around a pool or on the lawn glowing as the sun goes down, while friends hang out and enjoy each other's company.
image via ikea
As I was perusing gardens, backyard and otherwise, yesterday, I came across TerraTrellis products. I really don't have a green thumb, but I like the idea of adding some geometric shapes to the more freeform flowers and plants. It always interested me how plants adapt to a trellis and take it over, winding their way in and around it. The colors these trellises come in seem to complement the hues of the flowers really well, too (see the image below with the artichoke).
The powder-coated frames are built and painted by hand and come in seven colors. I'm more of a fan of the general trellis pieces but if you're also a bird lover, a selection of the pieces are topped with a birdhouse. A bee nest (for the brave, I think), is also available, which encourages pollination throughout your garden. The pieces are functional art and bring a different, modern, element to a garden in addition to the practical application of adding support and structure.
images via terratrellis/terrasculpture llc
Now that Halloween has passed (barely, and when I was at A.C. Moore yesterday, all the Christmas decor was already out), everyone seems to be going into full holiday mode. The December issues of magazines will be out soon, which means gift guides. Even though I generally don't start shopping this early, I can't wait to see the guides. That being said, I will be sharing a few of my favorite gift ideas over the next several weeks. First up is a recently-released luxe gift for the outdoorsy wine-loving type.
Picture this*: A sunny day, a light breeze, two people biking casually down a path. They choose a place to stop and set up a light picnic—complete with bottle of wine—and have a peaceful, intimate moment to themselves.
If indulging, even briefly, in the wine country life of leisure is your idea of a good time, owning the Clos Cruiser might be the first step. This limited edition bicycle is available through a partnership between home and fashion boutique C. Wonder and Sonoma-based winery Clos du Bois.
The bicycles are a fancy version of C. Wonder's existing City Bike with a few special extras: Exclusive to the Clos Cruiser is a navy and white chevron-lined wicker basket outfitted to hold two GoVino reusable wine glasses, and a corkscrew, which are included, and a bottle of Clos du Bois wine.
If you purchase the Clos Cruiser—available in fuchsia or navy—from Clos du Bois's site, the wine is included automatically. The options are a Chardonnay or a Cabernet Sauvignon. If you choose to purchase through C. Wonder's site or select C. Wonder stores, in addition to the glasses and corkscrew, they'll throw in a monogrammed wine stopper instead and a discount for use at closdubois.com to choose any varietal of your liking.
The limited-edition Clos Cruiser by C. Wonder will be available through the Spring, $350.
I don't know about where you live, but it's been pouring here in CNY (as it pretty much did all weekend), with a tornado advisory thrown in for fun.
Rain can sometimes be a total drag, but I love this creative idea I saw on Brit + Co. It reminds me of the interesting pictures or slogans I'd see spray painted randomly on the sidewalks in New York, but with a sort of Invisible Ink quality. It's a surprise for when you might need an extra smile.
Rust-Oleum has a product called NeverWet, which is a two-step moisture repelling system. Introduced as clever Home Depot contest entries (here, with tutorial and here), the idea is to use NeverWet and a stencil to spray your sidewalk, porch, or anywhere really, with a design that will only appear when the rest of the ground is saturated with water.
The original idea was to create street art, but if you're feeling less public, it could be a great project to do with kids on a driveway or back patio. Rain puns are an obvious choice, but I wonder what I would stencil. Probably something cryptic and silly to make myself laugh—like the first half of a coded phrase from the original Get Smart: The blue sun melts the red snow.
The snail image is adorable. The fun is that it can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be.
It also occurred to me that if your child is into spy stuff as much as I was (am), you could do something like this as part of a spy-themed party or activity. And if you don't want to keep it forever, when the top coat finally wears off and the water no longer beads you can skip reapplication, or according to Rust-Oleum's site, you can wipe the surface with mineral spirits.
What design would you spray on your sidewalk?
Well, it's officially fall now. The boots have been broken out, and I've had my first hot cider and cider donut, so I'm a happy camper. We went apple picking yesterday at Beak & Skiff, one of the many amazing orchards in Central New York, and had a great time even though it was freezing. I felt like a terrible mom for not being prepared with mittens and hats (I did have a thick blanket for the baby), but they both loved the tractor ride to the u-pick section. And Sunshine got to eat some apple herself and Cupcake got a cider donut, so they were both happy.
We picked McIntosh, which are my favorite, and checked out the brand new outdoor kids' area and completely new barn housing a cafe and all their distillery products. If it hadn't been so cold, we might have stayed longer to explore everything, but we still enjoyed ourselves. Some people were picking pumpkins as well, but I like to save that for October. Don't rush me, fall! I do hope the weather warms up again soon and lasts for a few more weeks at least.
I'm not sure what it is about this season in particular, but I feel as though we have so many more family traditions in autumn than we do in any other season, in addition to the girls' birthdays and our wedding/anniversary. I love the fruit picking, but also corn mazes, and soon, everything to do with Halloween, my most favorite of holidays. But again, I don't want to rush it. Yesterday was cold enough; I'm not ready for the S-word most associated with Syracuse.
How about you? Do you go apple picking or have other family traditions during fall? Anything good we should try?
top image via beak & skiff
mom, wife, market editor, crazy person.
© 2014 | mrkt