Tuesday, September 30, 2008


contrary to the beach photos i posted last week, it’s a dark, gray day here in good old southwest florida, and the weather isn’t even supposed to make it to the mid-80s (i know that’s summer-warm for a lot of you, but anything below 90 feels fall-like to me). you know what that means, don’t you? it means that i’d like nothing more than to spend the day curled up in bed with a cup of green tea, a good book and my kitty cat—especially since i seem to have developed a little cold (before you feel sorry for me, though, i should tell you that a friend told me she had a sore throat and then offered me a sip of her wine at dinner last week, which i happily—obliviously—took. seriously, who does that?).

anyway, i’m totally ripping a page from rachel at black eiffel’s book with this post, but i saw these photos yesterday and couldn’t not share them with you. i think they’re kind of brilliant, especially in the face of everything that’s going on right now.

i hope that you are all doing well, my loves! happy tuesday, and i’ll see you tomorrow. xo

{ photos from this flickr pool, via black eiffel }

Monday, September 29, 2008

happy monday!

i'm taking a wee blog break today thanks to a crazy weekend that consisted of much activity and reminded me of the fact that i'm officially an old lady and cannot function on four hours of sleep anymore (ha!). see you tomorrow -- until then, enjoy this lovely, fall-y, thought-provoking (for me, anyway) photo, courtesy of the fabulous jen gotch.

Friday, September 26, 2008

beach day.

the weather was incredible yesterday -- the kind of perfect that reminds me that although i complain about living in this state for four months out of the year, late september to april are pretty much bliss.

and i felt autumn in the air all day -- from the morning temperatures that finally hit the 60s to the nonexistent humidity to the cool breeze that followed me wherever i went. so where did i choose to go after a nutty day at work? the beach, of course. here are a few pictures for you (click to enlarge):

{ the sky was incredible -- a mix of blue and white and gold. }

{ the way the light reflects off the water always gets me -- i love it. }

{ some para-sailers (i think -- correct me if i'm wrong) practicing. }

{ i wear flipflops pretty much year-round. i kind of love that about living here. also, yes, those are little arms on my keys -- my friend t. gave me a monster-shaped key cover. so cute! }

{ here i am looking totally goofy in ridiculously large sunglasses, wearing my ipod. i pretty much just plopped down in the sand -- no towel, no nothing. that's how i roll. }

happy, happy weekend, my loves! i hope yours are lovely and fall-like -- what are your plans? xoxox

{ all images in this post by yours truly. }

Thursday, September 25, 2008

cheap 'n' chic.

so, jonathan saunders’ collection for target’s next go:international line hits stores next week, and i couldn’t be happier. i get a bit of joy out of purchasing a piece from each designer’s collection, so i’m really looking forward to picking one from saunders’. below are a few of my favorite pieces (click image to enlarge); to view the entire collection, you can go to the target pressroom and look at the image album—just click here.

thakoon is the next go:international designer, and i’m really looking forward to seeing his stuff, too. so far, though, i have to say the jovovich-hawk collection has been my favorite. how about you? are you as obsessed with the target designer lines as i am? (sigerson morrison for target shoes are coming soon, too—be still, my heart!) what other designer lines for big-box stores do you like? i’m a fan of vera wang’s stuff for kohl’s, as well.

{ images via target; resized by me for this blog. }

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

loving: "ellie" necklace from acts of kindness.

i just love this little gold "ellie" necklace from melissa of acts of kindness. as i mentioned yesterday, i have a fondness for elephants -- they're such wonderful animals -- and i can really use any kind of calmness the wind would like to blow my way right now (work is nutso). if i had 375 bones to spare, i'd be wearing this to the office tomorrow with a cute little black dress and kitten heels. maybe someday -- until then, whoever buys ellie and her calm is lucky indeed.

{ image via acts of kindness, first spotted on the lovely decor8 }

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

just a little peek.

today i thought i'd show you guys a few of my favorite things in my apartment -- some old, some new, some just really special to me. i'm also hoping you'll tell me about your favorite thing in your house. i did a version of this awhile back, but i feel like this is the kind of thing that's fun to repeat because things -- and people -- are always evolving. (please note that i didn't make any effort to clean up before i took these pictures, so i'm sorry if things look a wee bit dusty. please also note that i am probably the world's worst photographer -- i need a new camera! any recommendations, my loves?) anyway, without further ado, here we go!

my desk is an antique that my mom gave me when i moved -- i'd been using it in my bedroom at my parents' house. the little "m" paperweight was a gift from my friend jenn; i love it not only because it's the first letter of my name, so it's tied to my identity, but also because it makes me think of her when i look at it. the glass vase was $.79 from ikea -- i'm going to get some silk flowers to put in it. the blue ceramic piece that's holding my pens and pencils is actually a gravy boat that i thrifted for something like $1, and my computer is an ibook g4 that's on its last legs and is probably going to be replaced pretty soon. it's been really good to me, though.

here's the busig tray from ikea that i was obsessed with -- yes, i finally got my hands on it! i love elephants (the animals, not the political party), and these colors are just wonderful. the coffee table is also from ikea.

my mom thrifted me this lamp and i love it -- it casts a great light and i love the detailing on the base; i've never seen another one like it. the little sugar bowl was $1 at a local thrift shop; it's not holding anything right now, but it's still cute. it's sitting on a stack of about five books, but the ones you can see -- nathaniel hawthorne's tales and thoreau's walden and other writings -- belonged to one of my favorite college professors. he passed away last year, but his family let his students pick a few books from his office and these are the ones i got. i love them; not only are they filled with his notes, but i also wrote my undergrad thesis on nathaniel hawthorne's the artist of the beautiful, so that book in particular is doubly special to me.

i've mentioned this little owl before; he's from anthropologie and he's sitting on a $1 plate from target in my favorite color (as evidenced by this post). behind him are a couple of pens, and to the right is a little metal pebble that has the word "dream" inscribed on it. my aunt linn sent that to me in a birthday card a couple of years ago, and i really love it.

i couldn't write about my favorite things without posting a picture of my stand mixer. need i say more? this thing is glorious. it's changed my life.

this little blue urn thing sits in the bathroom and was also a thrift-store find -- i love the color and i love the little lady on top of it; she makes me laugh. i keep q-tips and cotton swabs in it.

finally, this photograph may be my most favorite thing in my apartment. it's of my grandfather, who passed away in april, and my grandmother, who lives in pennsylvania, circa the late 1940s. i adore it; they are so young and beautiful and happy. not a day goes by that i don't think of my grandfather, so i'm really glad i have this picture. it makes me smile when i look at it.

so there you have it -- a few of my favorites. one day i'll give you guys some broader shots of my apartment; it's definitely a work in progress right now. but please, tell me: what are your most prized possessions? leave a comment or link me!


Monday, September 22, 2008

and now for a little something different...

happy monday, my loves – and happy first day of fall! how were your weekends? mine was kind of random, but overall it was pleasant, and i feel like i spent the perfect amount of time at home and with friends, which is always a nice balance to strike.

anyway, do you all remember this post? well, i’ve been working some of amy weschler’s tips into my daily life and i’m thrilled to tell you that i’ve experienced a really positive response. case in point: i now have one cup of coffee in the morning and then drink green tea (whole foods sells an 80-bag box for $3.99 – heaven!) and water the rest of the day (with the exception of the occasional cocktail on weekends). the result? way more energy, especially in the afternoon. i turn off the tv and the computer an hour before i go to bed, and i’ve been sleeping more soundly than i have in a long while.

but the most profound difference is that all that extra energy has given me a new motivation to work out, whether it’s a brisk walk through my cute neighborhood, 45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym or a hardcore sweat sesh with my friend k. consisting of running up and down stairs and bike-riding like crazy. truth time: i’ve been wanting to drop some weight for awhile now – ever since college, really, when the dreaded freshman 15 made itself comfortable on my mid-section – but i’ve never made the decision to, ahem, just do it. however, thanks to these little lifestyle tweaks, i’m feeling a million times better and the desire to get active seems to come with that territory. it’s great.

so, tell me, what do you guys do to stay healthy? i know that experts say it takes something like 21 days (correct me if i’m wrong – i’m relying on memory with that stat) to really get into a routine, and i’m not anywhere near that milestone yet. what’s your favorite form of exercise? are you gym rats or do you like being outside? please share!

p.s. if you’re looking for a great shape-up blog, i highly recommend this one, by glamour associate editor margarita bertsos. not only has she lost an incredible amount of weight, she’s also so honest about her struggles and triumphs. truly inspiring.

{ images: awesome workout duds by stella mccartney for adidas. }

Friday, September 19, 2008


is it weird that i’m thinking about the holidays already? when the weatherwoman on the morning news announced that this monday is the first official day of fall (yay!), my mind immediately jumped to halloween, then thanksgiving and christmas.

due to a bunch of factors – my ever-growing love for etsy, my appreciation for all things diy, the purchase of lena corwin’s lovely printing by hand and, um, the usual budget constraints – i think many of my gifts are going to be of the handmade variety this year, and possibly come with a side of those amazing chocolate chip cookies i’m currently obsessed with – a good way to give my new stand mixer a workout, right? (as a side note, last year i whipped up a three-layer coconut cake for my office’s holiday party and it was to die. here’s the recipe if you want to try it yourself.)

i also want to do creative gift wrap, a la nicole from making it lovely. her presents are gorgeous, are they not? you better believe i will be referring to the gift-wrap tutorial in last year’s issue of blueprint magazine (r.i.p.) – the one with the sparkly pink tree on the cover (see below). (full disclosure: i came this close to buying a mini version of that tree from urban outfitters last year, when everything was on super-sale, and i’m still kicking myself that i didn’t. it’s a little gaudy, for sure—but with super-simple ornaments i think it could be quite pretty.)

and you know, i have to say, it took awhile for me to realize that a handmade gift has just as much value – if not more – than a store-bought one, not that there's anything wrong with store-bought gifts. i just feel like this year, going handmade sort of fits in with some of my personal goals: simply, make things more personal, let my friends and family know how much i care about them (read: a lot) – and, of course, if i buy from etsy, support independent businesses.

tell me, do you guys buy handmade? are you going to this year? are you as excited about the holidays as i am, or am i nuts for thinking so far ahead?

have a fantastic weekend, my loves, and i'll see you on monday...the first day of fall! xo

{ images via making it lovely and blueprint magazine. }

Thursday, September 18, 2008


i stumbled across these photographs by sharon montrose the other day and couldn't not share. seriously, how cute is her dog (named squeak, which makes me want to squeal) and how pretty is her house? (those little dunces prints are by one of my fave artists/etsy-ers, emily of the black apple.)

(as a side note, my parents' dog, lola, loves stretching out on the dining room table, too. she doesn't do it when mom and dad are around, but if they're not there -- or if i'm home visiting, because she knows i'll let her get away with it -- you're pretty much guaranteed to find her up there. aw, i miss her.)

{ photographs by sharon montrose, first spotted over at beach bungalow8 }

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

let there be light.

joy’s first post today featured gorgeous images by erez sabag, and after sitting in front of my computer with a smile on my face for a good five minutes, i immediately clicked over to erez’s web site and spent the next couple of minutes perusing his image archives. here are two of my favorites – don’t you love that yellow and pink? i look at these and think that they’re representations of how i’d like to feel every morning when i wake up: drenched in gorgeous color and light.

{ all images by erez sabag }

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

loving: chalkboards in the kitchen.

like my love of peonies, my love of chalkboards in kitchens isn't anything novel, but i firmly believe that they -- particularly vintage-looking ones -- add something special to a room. the idea of writing with white chalk on a blackboard is so wonderfully retro to me; it takes me back to my grade-school days and makes me think of leaning over the second-floor balcony of my school, clapping erasers together and laughing at the white chalk cloud that subsequently appeared.

now, in my adult life, i barely even write letters. i mean, sure, i'll send thank-you notes or the occasional card, and i have a real fascination with people's handwriting (more on that another time), but most of my writing is done in outlook or microsoft word. and i guess that's where the root of my chalkboard-love lies: the simplicity of actually writing on one.

this post contains a few of my favorite chalkboard images -- i hope you enjoy them, too! and tell me: do you have chalkboards in your own kitchens or dining rooms? do you love them as much as i do? (i'm totally on the hunt for a cute vintage one now.)

{ images: 1. domino, 2. sfgirlbybay, 3. flickr user posidriv, 4. flickr user vintage pleasure. }

Monday, September 15, 2008

weekend update.

this weekend was:

+ dinners with friends.
+ shopping. (see shoes, below. also, i got the greatest pair of pants ever at old navy, thanks to my trusty coupon.)
+ coffee (fresh-ground whole foods blend).
+ snuggle-time with oscar. (on saturday morning, he woke me up by pressing his little nose to mine...and then patting my cheek with his paw until i got up to feed him. it would have been slightly annoying if it wasn't so cute.)

+ the premiere of this season of saturday night live. did you see this? hilarious!!
grocery store trips and weekly menu planning, which is something i not-so-secretly love to do. (cooking is fun!)
+ a trip to a great new surfer-geared store on st. armands circle called shore, followed by strawberry daiquiris at the lido beach resort pool (which overlooks the sparkling gulf of mexico) with friends. now that is what i call a good sunday afternoon.

how were your weekends? if any of you are in texas -- or in any of the areas affected by hurricane ike -- i hope you are safe, sound and dry. xx

{ all images in this post by moi! }

Friday, September 12, 2008

happy, happy, happy weekend!

friday's here, my loves! after a strange and busy week, i am super-stoked for the weekend. i want to pick up curtis sittenfeld's new book, american wife (loved prep, liked the man of my dreams), hit old navy and use my second 40 percent off coupon before it expires (i'm thinking i might invest in a top this time), and maybe take a walk on the beach at some point. it should be a lovely weekend.

what are your plans? i hope your days are filled with rest and relaxation! xo

{ super-sweet image above via design*sponge. seriously, how cute is that pup? cuddle your puppies and kitties this weekend, too. i know i'll be smooching oscar. }

Thursday, September 11, 2008

thursday thoughts.

so, a couple of weeks ago i mentioned a beauty-cum-lifestyle article in the september issue of marie claire that promised nine days to glowing skin, but in reality was a plan to transition into a healthier lifestyle. i've read it several times since; for your benefit, dear readers, here's a quick summary of the steps that author amy weschler, m.d., suggests.

day one: stop drinking caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime; avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime; turn of all electronics and dim the lights 1 hour before bedtime; do something soothing 30 minutes before bedtime; etc.
day two: relax. weschler specifically suggests sex.
day three: go outside and take a walk -- weschler says it lessens our exposure to pollutants and free radicals.
day four: eat clean (berries, nuts, spinach, asparagus and -- my favorite -- dark chocolate are among the foods mc suggests), and drink only water or green tea throughout the day.
day five: exercise -- weschler suggests 30 minutes, three days a week.
day six: spend time with friends.
day seven: meditate before bed to help cope with stress.
day eight: sleep in. (um, yay!)
day nine: re-evaluate -- weschler insists you'll see results.

the thing is, they're pretty simple tips -- not ground-breaking by any means. but earlier this week, when i wasn't feeling well, i went to bed before midnight for the first time in weeks and had a really good night's sleep. the next night, i decided to implement weschler's day one suggestions -- after coming home from a night of reality tv shows and girly-talk at my friend k.'s house, i made a conscious decision to dim the lights and turn the tv off an hour before i crawled into bed, and guess what? i had an even better night's sleep. today i had one cup of coffee in the morning (i'm sorry, i have to), but drank water and green tea throughout the rest of the day -- in fact, i'm sipping on a cup as i type this -- and i have to say, i feel pretty good. plus, my upset stomach earlier this week has sort of made me think twice before eating something rich or weird, and i have to say, making a conscious decision to eat soup, for example, instead of some macaroni and cheese feels good.

so i'm going to keep working my way through weschler's tips and we'll see what happens. i don't care all that much about the glowing skin aspect of it all; it's the feeling-good thing that matters most to me -- glowing from the inside.

{ 235 (scott), by flickr user heather }

what do you guys do to feel good? how do you relieve stress?

p.s. a couple of other listy links for you: first, ocala, fla.-based organic farmers al and erin rosas' 10 easy steps to eating organic. i met al and erin for a work project last year and they are amazing. (also? al cooked for us and i swear i've never eaten so well.) second, here's a post by glamour editor/shape-up blogger margarita bertsos on getting the motivation to work out, even when you really don't want to. genius, both of them. enjoy!

p.p.s even seven years later, i still feel sad/introspective on this day, and i kind of feel like a post on feeling good on the inside is appropriate. we should all take care of ourselves.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

dress for success.

more fashion week goodies: love these dresses from matthew williamson (top), whose home is featured in the september issue of domino, and lela rose (bottom).

{ all images from style.com; you can click to enlarge, of course! }

passion for fashion.

so it’s fashion week in new york right now, and oh, how i wish i was there. but i’ve been spending my free moments checking style.com and reading the fug girls’ posts on nymag.com’s the cut, so at least that’s tiding me over – and i thought today i’d share a couple of my favorite images with you. a little wednesday-morning eye candy, if you will. (click each image to enlarge.)

first up, tibi. love the colors and the asian-inspired silhouettes.

next, gorgeous gowns at tuleh (plus one skirt-and-top combo):

then malandrino (love the detailing):

and finally, i am really digging the headbands at diane von furstenburg. i’m kind of headband-crazy right now; i’m seriously thinking about purchasing one from ban.do sometime in the near future and wearing it next time i have a fancy party to go to. i’d make a statement, no?

who’s shown your favorite fashion week collection so far?

{ all images via style.com, photoshopped by moi. }

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

blog love.

i just love these snapshots of photographer rachel saldana’s home that were featured on design*sponge yesterday. the colors in the bedroom are so pretty (one day, when i live somewhere i can actually paint, i’m going to do a chocolate brown room or wall), and how cute is that kitchen? love. makes me want to get into my own kitchen and cook – more on that soon.

also, i totally dig this bowl that holly posted earlier today. it's really giving that anthropologie aesthetic, i think. wouldn’t it make a fabulous gift? (click here to visit creator jill rosenwald's etsy shop.)

p.s. i promise to have a meatier post later today or tomorrow; i’m feeling better today (no more nausea, woo!) but am super-busy at work. xx!

{ images one and two via design*sponge; three by jill rosenwald. }

Monday, September 8, 2008

monday, oh, monday.

how were your weekends, dear readers? i hope they were fantastic.

mine was pretty good, all around: friday night was a party at mattison’s forty one – it takes place every year and is sort of the kickoff to our local social season (which really hits its stride around november – sarasota is a very social town). technically, i was there working, but i ended up really enjoying myself. after the party, i headed downtown to ceviche, where i caught up with my friends k., s. and c. at the rooftop bar and managed to hold my own for a little bit in spite of the fact that my heels were killing me.

saturday morning met me with a sinus headache the size of texas, and like an idiot i didn’t take an aspirin until much later in the afternoon, so i spent most of the day running errands in a sort of sinus-y stupor. not fun. luckily, an advil and an hour or two spent laying on my bed watching the food network (seriously, isn’t the fn so calming?) made me feel much better, so by the time my friend k. (not the same k. from friday – i have a lot of friends whose names start with k., apparently) made it over to my apartment and suggested a trip to the bookstore for coffee and catch-up time, i was ready and willing to go, and i'm glad i did – we had a lovely time.

thankfully, i woke up sunday sans headache and spent part of the day cleaning my house, then decided – randomly – that i needed to go put gas in my car just in case hurricane ike decided to turn and i had to evacuate. (yes, this is how my mind works – but i actually was low on gas.) well, true to form, going out to fuel up turned into a trip to old navy, and i picked up this little number (thank you, 40 percent off coupon), which i’m wearing today with bright yellow shoes. yay! (as per usual, the dress is actually much cuter in person, and it’s super comfortable.) i spent the rest of the night cooking (black beans and rice, though with slightly too much garlic – my tummy is feeling the effects this morning), painting my nails (sally hanson’s haute chocolate) and flipping between the hills, the mtv vmas and mad men. a very nice evening, if i do say so myself.

so today i’m back at work, and despite some tummy issues from the aforementioned garlic – um, how much can i complain in this post? – i’m having a pretty good monday. still, when it comes down to it, i’d rather be snuggled up in my apartment with oscar and a cup of tea. these images from heather of skinny laminx make me think of doing just that. i hope you enjoy them, too – her stuff is so great.

see you tomorrow!

{ all images via skinny laminx }