Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lounging and Snacking. Does a weekend get any better?


Oh man. Don't worry about the paint! I think it is best to focus on how great it looks now and chuck it up a very understandable mistake for a lady who simply loves the color green. The ideas for the office look fantastic.

I do completely understand the frustration of finally getting something started and then actually feeling accomplished, only to have it be a big ol' waste of time.  Too often blogs only show the awesomeness of DIY.  Kudos to you for sharing the more bummer moments, too!

Well, my dearest Brinie (and husband Rob) joined me this weekend and we had a very relaxing, hilarious weekend. After we caught up over the longest, most relaxing morning at home that I have had in ages (homemade brunch included!), we decided to make it a bit of food-centric weekend that included a trip to Shake Shack, a late afternoon cookie snack that almost spoiled dinner (pizza) and a good ol' fashioned NYC brunch.

A note on Levain: Seriously awesome. They are the size and shape of a hockey puck... but for some reason that alludes burnt and/or dried out connotations. These are niether. They are seriously so, so, so gooey and delicious. I actually have to stop writing about it because it is making me want another.  YUM.

Here are some pics from the weekend:

Sorry to keep this post kinda short. I am fighting a nasty cold and am signing out to return to my Puffs, Earl Gray tea and sweatpants.


Monday, January 30, 2012

First World Problems: A Painting Tragedy


Hope you had a terrific weekend! Jeff and I had a great time hanging out with our west coast besties, Natalie and Wes, and the weather was amazing!

Also this weekend Jeff and I corrected the most tragic of painting mistakes that I made last week.

Let me catch you up to speed...

Because we live on the top floor of an 80-year-old building, we had some water damage to our office post August earthquake and major rainstorm. The building came by to repair the damage in the Fall, but the patches needed to be repainted. And as of last week, I had yet to make this happen. You can read about our office here and here

Here's what it looked like post-repair:

Just a little paint touch-up. No big deal! But I was sick of painting after our charcoal adventure and then the holidays came, so it wasn't until last week that I cleared out the room to make way for my trusty step ladder and paint brush. Plus I had already pulled the left-over office paint from our storage locker, so it was easy breezy.

I was so proud of myself for starting this annoying task. One more coat and I would be done. UNTIL later that night when I realized the horrible truth... I had used the wrong paint!!!!

OMG. I could have died.

I had pulled the paint we used for our bedroom when we first moved in (dark olive green), instead of the 'Jalepeno' we used for the office. Below you can see pictures of the contrast. But also see how similar they are, so that when I was painting, the wet paint totally looked like it could have been the wall color... just not after it dried.

I tell ya, if I were a crier, I would have been sobbing. Instead I just sat in the middle of the room and silently stared up at the dark green streaks. Jeff finally removed me from the room out of concern for the walls and me.

SO... yesterday, Jeff and I found the REAL Jalepeno and covered up my mistakes, which fortunately didn't take too long. Now we're back to the pre-water damage look. Whew!

It's so amazing how this color reacts to light. The two above photos were taken at the same time. Don't they look entirely different? Sometimes I think it's ridiculously ugly, and sometimes I think it's lovely.

In an effort to duplicate your Living Room to-do list... here's my office list:

1. Re-paint water damaged walls
2. Re-hang roman shade
3. Make roman shades for two remaining windows
4. Buy a desk
5. Buy a storage unit/bookcase
6. Buy red cover for chair

You can check out my ideas for the above purchases here. We're really trying to keep a low-budget on this project. It's the room we use least (maybe because it's usually full of junk) and I'd rather spend money on other parts of the apartment. But I want to make it nice and functional and more than just the room where Atty's litter box is.

Your friend covered in two shades of green paint,

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Candy

Thank you everyone who emailed us about Miami! We are excited to read through and devour your every word -- we trust you, readers!

Today I thought I'd share some easy breezy Friday Candy. Here's what's on my mind lately:

  • This weekend my dear Brinie is coming into town to visit me.  We're gonna go try these and see if they live up to the reputation!

  • I've been listening to this song. I like her makeup and the song itself is pretty fun! Tune in and rock out in your office!

  • I would really love this book. Don't you just love  "36 hours" in the NY times? I always try to catch them!


  •  For all you Pinners out there, do you all follow the "Eat" board of "I'm Revolting"? If not, you should. It's a LOT of pins, I mean a LOT. But everything is gorgeous and looks super tasty. Like these, which I would love, I just know it: 

  •  I just ordered a hostess gift from a friend of mine's Etsy Shop. You should check it out and buy your next hostess gift, there, too! Yay independent crafter support!

  • And last, but certainly not least, a dear friend sent me a really incredible quote last night.  Thought I'd share:

    "I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do." - Georgia O'Keeffe


You said it sister.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Phone-A-Friend: Miami Travel Guide

That's right! We're going to the beach! This March, we're headed with Dukester to Miami to celebrate our 30th birthdays! Ahhhh!

We thought planning a fun trip to celebrate the big 3-0 would be a good way to look forward to leaving our 20s behind, instead of freaking out about it (as we want to do).

We're thinking the trip will be kinda like this... but if Kim was there and they were a leeeeetle paler.

BUT... we need your help! That's right, we're Phone-A-Friending our readers for suggestions on what to see, where to eat and where to play.

We've already booked our flights and found a rad hotel (thanks, Laura E!) but we gotta know your favorite hot spots for sun, shopping, dancing, drinking and eating! Oh, and where we can pick up some emergency aloe. You know, just in case.

Comment below with your suggestions!


PS... this is our hotel. Ha!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pendant Lamps on a Post-Holidays Budget

Hey D,

I know, I can't get into these shows, but ever since we were roomies it's made me smile to see you curled up on the sofa tuned in.  I did, however, watch The Notebook for the FIRST time this weekend. I'm serious. I borrowed the DVD from my neighbor. I think I was the last girl on the planet to see that movie. Um, it was kinda good and yes, I bawled.

So continuing with my budget-conscious post from Monday, I thought I'd share what Nick and I have been focusing on apartment-wise the past couple of weeks... lighting. We want pendant lamps for three different areas in our apartment and are having a hard time ranking those areas.  For this reason, we have to find some at very low price points.  Of course, as you know, lighting can be some of the most expensive things you can buy for your house. Case in point.  If Nick and I won the lottery, these beauties would be on display in our home:

Blythe's Lamp Source
Nick's Lamp Source. (WOW!)

Does any one recognize Nick's favorite? If so, gold star! 

For the time being, though, we're looking for stuff under $100. And believe it or not, we have some options to share (some that are even way under $100)!

Top to Bottom:
  • Natural Drum Shade. This is a steal compared to some other big box stores. 
  • Neon Cord. These are so inexpensive that we could cluster three together for a cool look and still be right around $100. 
  • Glass Shade. Melissa's baby boy has this cool lamp in his nursery, and Nick and I love it so much! 
  • Brass Tiered Lamp. Really cool.  I sort of love it but think it might make me want to redo my entire apartment. 
  • The Honeycomb orb. Also great. I think could cast really cool shadows! 

Does anyone else have any good resources for lighting? I'd love to hear about them!

Shine on,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Put on the Lipstick


Diggin' the clouds! They really do complete that room and I love that they are your clouds... that Nick photographed them.  And you know I love how huge they are! My king/queen poster came in the mail yesterday and it looks terrific. Now I just have to save up some money to get it framed! I think it's gonna look sick!!!

So you know that aside from Jeff and Atty, I basically live for TV. I'm being serious. Little I love more than sitting down to my favorite tv show on a week night. I like to think it's charming, like how my Grandmother Julie used to watch her "stories" every afternoon when she retired. It's probably just lame, but I don't care. It's my thing. Oh... and the TV has to be trashy. Not like Mob Wives trashy, but close.

Last night however, I watched the season finale of both Real Housewives: Beverly Hills AND Kourtney and Kim Take New York. Ahhhhh! What's a girl to do before RH: Orange County and Bethenney Ever After start in February?

Aha! I was trolling Hulu for something unrelated the other day and realized that Hulu has ALL 20 episodes of the ill-fated Lipstick Jungle. It wasn't on long and I was clearly the only viewer (Lori?), but I really enjoyed the show and have been slowing re-watching both seasons on my computer (while Jeff plays xbox live with my brother). I can't tell you why I like it, the pretty ladies, New York, Robert Buckley. But even if you're not a fan of my usual shows (above), you might want to check out Lipstick Jungle. I'm finding that it takes a bit of the edge of of January (my least favorite month)! Watch it here.

And here's a terrible quality clip of the promo...


Monday, January 23, 2012

Living Room Update: Artwork Over The Sofa

Hey D,

Hope you had a great weekend. Go Pats! I mean, someone told me they won!

Ok, so it's time for Living Room Update #2,768. This one, shockingly, does not involve a single thrift store!

So, as I've mentioned before, we wanted to hang something over the sofa.  It is pushed up against this very long wall that is totally intimidating. The first idea was to do a gallery wall, since we've had that above our sofas in the past and loved it.  But since the wall is so big and the ceilings are so tall (not complaining!), I thought that the little collected look of a gallery wall might feel kinda underwhelming. 

So we thought the look of something BIG would be better and came up with the idea of three big vertical prints. Here was one of our photos of inspiration in terms of size/concept:


Since the overall idea for our apartment is all about being calm but not boring, we moved on to the idea of clouds (our inspiration here) and even took some pictures of clouds in Florida to use. Nick had the brilliant idea to photoshop empty frames into a photo of the room to see how they would look. Once we got into photoshop and started playing around with different prints, we realized we could use a little more color in the room. Here are some of those files:

Nick is into repetitious design lately, so he actually came up with our final choice.  Check it out:

For all three prints, we used a photograph of a sunset that Nick took at my brother's wedding.  The photo on the far left is the original, and for the other two Nick altered the exposure in Photoshop.  What's cool to us is that there is a gradient vertically on each photograph, but also a gradient across all three.

The other thing that's cool to us is that this project was cheap! We love large scale stuff on the walls in here and that can get pricey fast. Try an etsy search of extra large prints and you'll see what I mean!  Here is the breakdown of cost and our sources:
  • Ribba Frames from IKEA: $24.99 each x 3 = $74.97
  • Prints from posterburner.com: $39.00 (10% off deal that Nick got online) x 3 (and free shipping!) = $117.00

Total: $191.97

I wish the Ribba frames had less glare, but overall we are really happy with the result. It seems to round things out in the room. 

So here is my updated list, it feels really good to be almost (though never really) "done"!

  • Purchase bookshelf for next to the "Eames" Lounger (something low and not too big...). UPDATE: We got one and we'll let you know more about it soon!
  • Hang art around the desk area.
  • Hang art over the couch (we're thinking huge Ribba frames framing blown up photography, like this). We've got some great shots for this from our Florida trip!
  • Purchase rug for under the "Eames" lounger (I gotta figure out proportion on this one, but overall  thinking patterned, like this) .
  • Plants. The room is beggin' for them. I need help, though! How do I keep house plants alive?!
  • Curtains. I just ordered these. Now that my friend, is a good deal on curtains. Still working on the curtain rod, though.
  • Blinds. I want to switch out those lovely apartment standards for something warmer and more polished.
  • Artwork hung on either side of window (at least). I need the aforementioned curtains hung first to see what kind of wall space I'm workin' with.
  • Purchase a new coffee table (we reeeeally don't like the clunky chunky trunk anymore, but aren't sure what's next).
  • Purchase small end table next to the couch.  If we have end tables on either side of the couch, maybe we don't need a coffee table at all!*Decided to veto this -- furniture overload.

PS: Check out my Living Room Updates throughout the past year here, here and here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Phone-A-Friend: Sarah's Side Tables

Guess what?! It's FRIDAY and we're Phone-A-Friend-ing!

This one comes from Sarah, Blythe's friend for over 7 years (can you believe that, Sarah?) and NYC neighbor. Here's a pic of Sarah and her husband Chase from our New Year's Eve party:

Don't you just want to open up a bottle of wine and chit chat with these two?

Here's her note:

Hello Ladies,
I'm a big fan! Long time reader, first time emailer.
Here's my problem -- side tables.

Right now we have a living area which we have divided into a sitting area and dining area. The sitting area has two couches that face each other. The purplish couch is next to the "dining room" table and it is flanked by matching tables. Neither of us are thrilled about the tables, they were cheap and I think they are too matchy-matchy. I've thought about putting a mirror on top of one, or trying to dress them up. But honestly, there might be not way to save them both; I think we've lived with them for too long. We tend to favor function and we just need these tables to be a place to rest a cup and small plate. It would be a plus if they could store take-out menus and coasters.

Alternatively, while aesthetics has never been our main concern (is it OK to admit that? Did I even have to admit it - what is up with those pillows and blanket all on the same couch?!) the white couch needs a proper side table too. Anyone else still using an Ikea plant stand to rest a cocktail?

I can't wait to see your suggestions!

P.S... I will not be offended if you want to suggest some pillows for the couches...

Check out the pics of her space:

Note: Blythe has always admired Sarah's ability to create a very warm and inviting home that has interesting conversation pieces and great taste all rolled into one. And then, well, she got exposed brick and it took it to a whole new level!

Ok, ok, to Sarah we say: We totally agree that the side tables could use a more collected vibe vs. the matchy-matchy look. Not just because we love the "collected" look, but also because it would work well will the other pieces in your space.

Enter moodboard o' suggestions: 

And links and explanations!

We chose several different styles for you because we think they would all gel with your sofas. We love that you have different styles of furniture co-existing and like the sofas, think the side tables definitely don't need to match any specific style. Think of them as their own 'piece' that you can move from room-to-room, apartment-to-apartment. We're especially in love with the idea of putting something super modern next to the victorian sofa.

You'll also notice that these tables are all really leggy and light. Since the white sofa has a skirt and the purple sofa has wood trim, we thought it would be nice to lighten the visual air so to speak with tables that don't have heavy bases. And you can see that we chose tables with lots of metal for an added element/material to the room.

Hope you like them and keep us posted!

Hairpin legs (Ciao nightstand)
Iron nesting
Gold base
Saarinen (or a knock-off)


PS... we love the eclected look of your current sofa pillows. We say run with it. Pick out some of your faves from Etsy and mix them all together!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blythe + Yoga: Take One


Love the idea! Ya gotta do it. Decor via stamps. Awesome. And I had no idea about vectoring!

Oh and, well, there are no words for how I feel about that new color! As you know, my bedroom in my old apartment in Dupont Circle was something very similar and I still love it!

So I wanted to update everyone on my first yoga class. That's right, I am really doing this! As you know, I purchased a month of unlimited yoga at a local studio.  The studio itself offered tons of different types of beginners classes, so it seemed perfect to me.

I am a bit of a gym rat, so one question I have been asked is: why not just take yoga classes at the gym? I thought about that, and hope to do so after the month is over.  However, I think it is important for me to learn the basic poses from an actual yoga studio to avoid injury. After the month is over, perhaps I'll have enough skillz to try out my gym's offerings.

Since I first posted about yoga, a lot of friends have sent me this article. I think its fascinating, and also can be applied to almost all sorts of physical activity these days when thought about broadly (definitely my preferred form, running). A friend from high school who is now a yoga instructor also linked this response on Facebook. I am going to try yoga nonetheless and just check in with my body and see how its going.

Yoga in Central Park. Source

Ok, so fast forward to my first class. I was really nervous. Not about doing yoga, I am not that competitive and knew I wouldn't be great at it to start, but more about walking into the culture of a  "yoga studio" by myself and walking up to the desk to tell them I have no idea what I am doing.  Luckily they were super nice and told me where to put my shoes so I didn't just copy everyone and feel like I was on candid camera.

Overall verdict: it was great. My class was "Gentle Yoga - 1" and recommended for first timers.  The class was very slow--we just did some basic modified poses in a very deliberate and mindful way.  And then laid on the ground in the dark for a while and listened to new age music. The instructor was great and walked around the entire time giving individual pointers. I took this as a great sign and listened to everything she had to say, especially when she was talking to me! Not to get yoga on you, but she talked about how one way to look at it is to try to find the balance between effort/trying and allowing for peace/relaxation. Good metaphor for life, don't you think?

Yoga in Tulum, Mexico, a popular yoga retreat destination and where I honeymooned. Source.

The biggest take away I've had is how nice it is to give your mind a break from the craziness and also get a work out at the same time! Let's just say the gym environment isn't very calming. I felt like I was getting a two for one deal on therapy and a workout!

So it continues! "Yoga Basic" is tonight.  I'll keep you posted. So far so great.


PS: Check out Deweese's post on yoga, here!
PPS: Also check out the yoga adventures of our friends over at the Kathmandou! Great reads!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Their majesties


I'm so so so so so so happy that Ernie is finding NYC so suitable. I feel content that Nicky finally has a feline in his life (and a second red head to boot!). It's true that I'm actually a cat lady, and Jeff is just my beard, I'm glad to be in good company with Nicky and Ernie! Can't wait to meet him!

BIG News around here too. Ok, well, it's little news about something big...

For years I've been talking about the art I want to put above our bed, and we're finally getting around to making it happen. This is an old photo, but basically what the room looks like now (minus the orimono pillow which is now in the living room).

When we got married in 2010 we used these fab stamps on our invitations. I fell in love with the design and that's what I want to hang above our bed. I love the colors, love that if hung above our bed, the King would be on Jeff's side, and the Queen on mine and love the symbolism from our wedding. I'm not huge on having tons of wedding stuff out and around our apartment (idk why), but I think this is a subtle touch. Oh, and I want it to be HUGE.

But the stamps are tiny, how do we get them to the large size that will make me happy? Jeff said: "Oh, we just have to vector it, too easy".


Here's the Deweese translation: if you want to increase the size of a graphic image without it getting too pixelated, the vectoring process helps smooth out the lines to make them clear at almost any size.

We used a free online service appropriately called Vector Magic to do the dirty work. You simply upload the image (this doesn't really work for photos, just graphics), the website vectors your image (takes a couple minutes) and the result is a pdf file that you can then upload to any online printing service. We're going with Poster Burner per your suggestion and then I want to add a huge white mat and frame.

What do you think?


PS... I'm actually thinking about re-painting our bedroom, again. It started out dark green and now is a grey/blue. Since the living room is soooo grey now, I've been craving something different in the bedroom. What do you think about this? Picture it with the stamps!

PPS... Yes I realize this would be the third color in our bedroom since we moved in 4.5 years ago. But it's not like I'm switching husbands!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Additon.


Blythe here and I've got some big news for the blog! BIG NEWS! Over the weekend Nick and I welcomed a new addition to our family...

A kitty!!! We named him Ernie. He is seven years old, a redhead like me, and real charmer. Did I mention he weighs 14 pounds? And that it took him all of 5 seconds to feel completely at home in our place?! Nick is the real the cat lover in our house (and has wanted one for years), but I am quickly learning how much an additional heartbeat can make a place feel even more like home.

Can Atticus give Ernie any advice on how to be a kitty on a blog? 


PS: We named Ernie after Ernie of course (absolutely love that laugh track). Here is my favorite Sesame clip of all time. And it is my first memory of my life. I think. Enjoy: