Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Night

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I took my pup on an outing to Petsmart today, and there was this beautiful large black curly haired dog (labradoodle perhaps...?). Maya was happy to make new friends and get out of the house. Also, can you believe the moon tonight!

Living Room

I am so in love with this living room. It is one of my absolute favorites I have ever seen. It is glamorous, moody, classic, feminine, and masculine all at the same time. The color palette is divine (dove gray walls and a soft red sofa paired with accents of navy, black, and orange). Plus, this doesn't come across as a huge or overdone space, which makes it do-able for anyone. Simply pair together a low and luxurious couch together with tons of pillows, a mid-century statement chair, a patterned rug, lots of moldings on the walls, and an over-sized photograph as art. Voila!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another Red Head

I want to be her:

via Garance Dore

Friday, January 29, 2010

All I Want To Do...

is eat rock shrimp all day every day. Rock shrimp is in the shrimp family but has a hard shell (like a rock) and tastes much more like lobster. My dear friend David took me to lunch at Sunda yesterday, and their rock shrimp appetizer is one of the best thing I have ever eaten. They are battered and fried, tossed in a creamy sauce, and served with walnuts and frisee. So So So yummy.

Old Oak Tap here in Chicago also has an absolutely delicious rock shrimp dish that is a bit spicy. Yum!

Red Heads

I have been pulling a ton of pictures with girls sporting long wavy red hair lately. I just love it. Why is it that vibrant red locks represent a sense a of freedom and unwillingness to conform?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Loves It

I mean...come on so cute.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just What I Needed

It has gotten absolutely FRIGID outside, but seeing this tablescape on Style Me Pretty is just what the doctor ordered to get me up and moving today. I mean, it is UNbelievable! It is quite possibly one of my favorite settings that I have ever seen.

Chandeliers hanging from a trellis of grapevine (!) - are you kidding me! Plus the long wood tables, the cornflower blue runner, and the pop of contrasting color in the petite flower arrangements. Perfection really.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Elegant Centerpiece

I wanted to feature this picture not only because of how sweet the shared look between the bride and her father is, but because of the beautiful centerpieces. They are so simple (tall crisp white gladiolas casually bursting from a glass cylinder vase), yet are unexpectedly impact-ful. Gladiolas are extremely inexpensive - and many time thought of and old fashion funeral flowers. This use of them though shines a whole new light on this summer bloom. They come in a ton of different colors, and they (apparently) allow you to create a tall elevated arrangement without the high price tag! Plus I particularly love them against the gorgeous sky blue ballroom walls!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Weekend

Tonight I am making a pot of soup to keep warm. I hope you all have an enchanting January weekend. Enjoy!

Just Like A Dream

This wedding was just featured on Style Me Pretty today (more details featured on their site). Seeing this setting made my heart skip a beat. I am so so in love with the gorgeous design that Jess Flood Event Design of California put together. It is soft, romantic, elegant, and classic.

Its Official...

I have the winter blues. It happens to many around this time of the year. At first you wonder, 'what is wrong me?' 'Why am I so down?' 'Why can't I get off the couch/out of bed?' Then you think that maybe you need a life change. Then (!) you realize it is just the middle of January. It is snowy, cold, icy, etc. I wish I could escape to somewhere warmer for a while, but for now - I am counting down the days until spring.

{picture via Lovely Clusters}

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Loves Her: Garance Dore

Found the illustration below on Garance Dore's blog. I would love this framed in my house. In addition to her elegant drawings, she also posts a ton of really stylish street fashion photographs from around Paris and beyond.

Here are a few of handsomes she just posted from around Pitti, the menswear trade show. She said she purposely captured the men without them knowing so they appeared more relaxed. Yes please!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Things Are Looking Up

I am not sure where this is from (probably Martha...), but I love love love it - every single one of these.

Vibrant and cheerful fresh citrus dotted with petite and fragrant stephenotis blossoms (plus a few glossy green leaves) has always been one of my favorite combinations for centerpieces - like the top right picture. As for flowers - I am huge into gobs of texture (like the bottom right photo) - this is such a fresh take on an otherwise traditional arrangement.

The bold yet soft orange is so crisp against the clean white backgrounds, vessels, and cakes in these set ups. This is definitely leaves me feeling inspired!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Living in Drama

Gorgeous! This is one of my favorite rooms I have seen in a long time. I found it on the website of photographer Shannon McGrath. I love the dark, luscious, and romantic vibe it embodies. I would die for a place with all those amazing moldings everywhere. By having them painted soft white makes them dramatically pop against the dark walls and floors!

Plus, as always, I love the contrasts between the modern (the hanging lamp shade and the artwork) and the traditional (the curvy moldings, the tufted furniture, and rich fireplace).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Girl Effect

This year for Christmas, I made donations in a couple peoples name as part of their gift. With the economy being what it is, it makes it hard to focus on things rather than just living and being happy. For my mom, I paid for a set of text books for two girls living in poverty. Check out this video called 'The Girl Effect' to learn more about how a small donation can make a big difference:

Visit CARE to make a donation. They are also doing a lot to help the relief efforts in Haiti right now.


Ed and I are headed out to my mother's today. We will be making pasta from scratch for dinner. Then dessert. Ahhh dessert. My mother makes the most delicious pastries, cookies, cakes, etc. I can't wait to hear what she has in store for today - and I can't wait to feel disgustingly full afterward.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I just finished the movie 'The Departed', and while you can't go wrong with a flick featuring both Matt Damon AND Leonardo DiCaprio - I just don't like seeing so much violence (I know, I know - that is so wussy girly of me). I think if I was in this dreamy dining room (found on Coco + Kelly), the bad guys couldn't find me though...I realize the two don't have much to do with each other, but after all that blood splatter I just want to pretend I am surrounded by such beauty as this romantic and eclectic space. Now off to bed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Little Bit of Sunshine

Ugh. The snow is all starting to melt with the slightly warmer temperature today, leaving nasty puddles of dark gray slush everywhere. This gorgeous picture of daffodils and kumquats made me smile, so hopefully it will do the same to those of you trapped in a cold and wet climate today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


There is a new company called Macaron Chicago baking up some delectable sounding varieties of the traditional French merinque cookie - Macarons. Currently, they are only selling them at the Logan Square Farmers Market or through mail order. I can't wait to try them, what with flavors like apple cider, pecan honey, chocolate orange, and caramel fleur de sel - my mouth is watering!

On a similar (but separate) note - apparently Starbucks carried this adorable package of French macarons throughout December. The location nearest me still has a couple boxes on its shelf, but from what I have read they are just so-so. I can't imagine a mass produced and shipped package of this type of cookie would work so well, as they are fairly delicate and stale quickly. Maybe if they go on sale, I will try them...

Check out my previous post about Laduree that made these cookies famous.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Monday

I just went to the market, and got some delicious treats for the week including a beautiful golden apple like this one! For dinner tonight: Black bean and cheese stuffed poblano peppers. After three longs days of work this weekend, I look forward to relaxing at home at getting organized today!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oh My GA(ga)

I just worked the second of three nights that Lady Gaga is performing her in Chicago. She has blown. my. mind. The show is incredible! I am officially a 'Little Monster' as she calls her fans.

She has a way of making the show both one of the biggest bang huge production spectacles you will see while still creating and intimate atmosphere for each one of the thousands of guests. If she is still coming to your city, I recommend you try and get a ticket and enjoy (plus, the people watching aint so bad either).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Loves It: Rug

I have been on the hunt for a new area rug for my living room and recently came across this Ikat patterned one from CB2 while out holiday shopping. I love that it is mostly neutral with touches of bold red and vibrant yellow. It could work...

The Snow Is Coming Down

It is a 'Winter Storm' here in Chicago today. We are expected to get eight to twelve inches of snow! I am not leaving the house. Actually - the only way I would leave the house today would be to sit in a warm cafe to have a big glass of red wine and a bowl of French onion soup. Yum. Maybe that will be my plan for the day.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Book Worm

Since work is slow this season, I have been reading a TON. I just started "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery yesterday. Looking forward to seeing how it unfolds!


Has anyone seen these videos online of a musical pair called Pompamousse? They are from San Fransisco, and do music together. If you watch closely, you see that many of the sounds are created from less than typical 'instruments' (like the clacking of a Polaroid camera, a miniature kids toy piano, etc). Plus I love her sweet voice and get mesmerized watching her face (albeit blank stare) when she sings. My favorite of all is their version of 'Single Ladies'. It is definitely worth a watch!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oh My God Shoes

Apparently Paris Hilton has a line of shoes. The new spring 2010 line was just released, and I am in love with this particular pair. The graceful lines of them and the silky fabric are so gorgeous. Plus all her shoes are extremely reasonably priced. I think January Jones' character would wear them in Mad Men if she were going to a fancy soiree. I might just have to go try these on...

Pink Champagne

I was going to say that I wish this is how my New Years Eve was...but on the other hand - I wish this is how my LIFE was. Cheers.

Dainty Rings

Check out these adorable yet beautifully elegant gold rings from Rare Device in San Fransisco. They have a ton of interesting and artistic items that are local, handmade, and green.

This is what I would want for my wedding and/or engagement ring. They are so understated - I think by stripping away all the bells and whistles (nothing against big bang diamond rings girls) it truly brings attention to what that ring symbolizes rather than the value of the rock. Plus - it won't clash with any of my gaudy cocktail jewelry!

Now - do I like the yellow, the white, or the rose gold...hmmm...I think I would have to go with rose...

Little Bee

I LOVED this book. I finished it in two days which is unheard of for me. If you have ever questioned what is important in life, this will make you think about it 1000 times more. The lives of these two very different women are woven together beautifully. If you are looking for a quick - yet hauntingly impactful novel to read - this is a great choice. I read in one review that they said this is for a reader looking for the next 'Kite Runner'. I am not sure I ever want to relive that book (though an amazing story), this sure comes close to the beautiful heaviness of it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Baby Its Cold

It is ABSOLUTELY fridgid here in Chicago right now. Why do I live here again?...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Color Collage: Teal and Sky

I have majorly been slacking on putting together inspiration boards, but I am going to make an effort to get back into it. It is such a great creative outlet for me (especially in these slow times of work)!

So - I have really been loving this combination of rich deep or vibrant teal with soft robins egg or sky blue. I think it looks stunning and decadent when paired with black and gold, but it can also look bright and cheerful when combined with white.

Today I wore a bold teal tank under a black sweater and draped a light blue pashmina over it. There are great subtle way to incorporate this palate into your home or wardrobe (like I did today), but I really love when I see rooms completely clad in deep hues like this. My whole life I have been attracted to this side of the color wheel and have always hoped to have a completely teal room one day...we will see...

Twenty Ten

It's a new year! Which means a fresh start. Can't wait to get moving this year. I decided that is my resolution - to be more active. Now if only I could get off the couch...