Friday, September 28, 2012

HOME PORTRAITS

Blythe,

What a weekend you had! Sounds delicious and I love the over-sized (or right-sized?) furniture. So fun!

Yesterday my parents moved out of the house they've lived in for the last 20 years. WHAT! I know, that's a long time. They've bought a house in the next neighborhood over... you may remember me plotting their new decor here, and sourcing wallpaper for the powder room here.

I've known the move was coming for some time, and I feel pretty good about it. Sure I'm nostalgic, we moved there when I was 9 and had glasses and braces and a mean cat named Cadet Raleigh. 

This is the house where we've celebrated dozens of holidays and Derbys.


Where we brought lil' Macaroni home...


... and where this flag has been hanging for my brother since 2003 (too long).


I'll definitely miss the old house, but I'm really thrilled about the new house too! I think it's a great move for my parents and has loads of decor opportunities. DUH!

So to keep a little piece of the house for my own, for my birthday this past year, I asked my parents for a gift certificate to have a portrait made of the ole' homestead. I think it's a fun way to keep this house, where we made so many wonderful memories, a little in the present, not just the past.

I got the idea because my Great Aunt Ruth (who turns 100 in April!) has a giant oil painting of the farm house in rural Kentucky she and my Grandmother grew up in hanging in her living room. The house no longer exists, but what a special piece of art to pass through the generations.

Here are some examples of home portraiture I found that I love. They come in all mediums: water color, pastel, oil and even fabric appliqué in case that tickles your fancy.



Via Picket Fence Portraits

Via Paul Young Studio

Via Couture Maps by Stephannie Barba

Via Carol Skinger

Via Miss Black Eyes

Via Lynn Lukas Designs


And this is the artist I've chosen. I haven't ordered it yet, of course. 
Via Rebekka Seale Illustration



Here's the photo of the old house I think I'd like the portrait made from. The house is in one of hundreds of suburbs in Louisville, but after living in DC for 12 years (!), it seems practically bucolic!


And here's a video I ran across of an artist drawing a home portrait. It's bonkers.


So what do you think? Would you have a portrait of your childhood home hanging in your home? Is it old-fashioned?

Happy Friday!



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WEEKEND IN NYC

Deweese,

Why didn't you send me a cookie??? Those look amazing. Thank you giving us the insider tips! I would have also shortened the fridge time. Too impatient.

So, over the weekend the E's were in town and it was a blast! I thought I'd share some of the highlights with you...

First of all, we ate well. One night we dined at Rosemary's, a restaurant with a rooftop herb garden that I would definitely recommend. For dinner I had pasta with lemon and pickled chillies. Sounds weird, but it was delicious! Check out the beautiful atmosphere: 

Black, White, and Green Entrance that I loved.
Photo by Travellers T on Yelp.
Photo: Brian Park via nycgo.com
Stairs Leading to Rooftop Herb Garden
Photo by Travellers T on Yelp

Rooftop Herb Garden
Photo by Lauren G. on Yelp

I think I enjoyed the white, black and green color scheme so much because it reminded me of some changes I made to my own kitchen recently. Update coming soon!

Then on Saturday we went to the famous Peter Luger's. All this vegetarian can say is: GREAT Cesar salad! Actually...I did have a few bites of steak and it was really good. Seriously.

Other than eating, on Saturday we had a nice morning walking around a surprisingly uncrowded MoMA. Among other wanderings, we checked out an exhibition I really liked called Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000.  Here's the NYTimes review.

The exhibition explores the "modernist preoccupation with children and childhood as a paradigm for progressive design thinking." (from the exhibition website).


The exhibition had me thinking about childhood as a concept rather than a fact of life... and more interestingly, how it was once an unrecognized concept. Whoa. In lighter news, the exhibition featured many of the props from Pee-wee's Playhouse. So that was awesome.  I forgot how much I watched that show!

At the entrance of the exhibition there is a table, chair, and high chair that were made large enough to give adults the child-like experience of moving in and out of furniture:

That's me and DH demonstrating said chairs. We also both wore striped shirts and cuffed jeans, so a photo op was a must!

The exhibition ended with a quote that I found so interesting I typed it down in my phone so I could remember it:


Play will be to the 21st century what work was to the industrial age--our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value. 

Pay Kane, The Play Ethic, 2004. 

Gotta say, I love living the era of play.

Love,




Monday, September 24, 2012

Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blythe,

I'm totally diggin' your fall wish list. I miss sharing a closet with you! We didn't know how good we had it!

I gotta fill you in on this recipe I just tried. Last week I got a wild hair to bake. Perhaps it was the lovely autumnal weather, or perhaps it was this insanely gorgeous photo. Last Thursday night I acted on an annual urge to bake and I walked to the grocery store to stock up on all the fixings for Nutella-Stuffed Brown Butter + Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies via Monique at Ambitious Kitchen.

Let me break that down for you again...

Nutella-stuffed
Brown Butter
Sea Salt
Chocolate Chip
Cookie

Aside from the obvious, why is this blog worthy? Well, as you know I bake approximately never. I don't know why I don't like to bake. My Mom isn't a huge baker... I guess we're more of a savory people. So when a recipe involving flour, vanilla extract and brown sugar catches my eye, it's kind of a big deal. And Jeff certainly thinks so!

So I made them, with some 4th quarter help from Jeff, and they were DELISH! Totally as good as I expected them to be, if not as beautiful as the aforementioned photos.


Here's where I strayed from the instructions and I shouldn't have... DUH.

**I didn't use all three types of chocolate chips and I should have. The nutella is so milk-chocolatey, I think the mixture of chocolate flavors is key. I also bought kinda big chips, which made it harder to fold the dough over the nutella.

** I freezed the dough for 30 minutes instead of the suggested 2 hour route in the fridge. This made it so much harder (literally and figuratively) to make the dough balls.

** I'm not an experienced baker, so perhaps it was me, but I think these cookies are easy to over-cook. I wish mine had been a little more gooey.

This recipe has been all over the internet lately, so you may run across it again. I really recommend it and the Ambitious Kitchen blog in general. I'm planning on making this Nutty Strawberry Banana Breakfast Quinoa tomorrow.

In other recipe news.... Jeff and I tried this Lamb Kebabs with Lima Bean Salad last week and loved it. And this week we're trying this Heirloom Tomato Sandwich recipe, but substituting the tofu for goat cheese, my fave. We'll let you know how it goes!

You can check out more of my favorite recipes and ones I'd like to try here!

Cookin' with gas,




Friday, September 21, 2012

BLYTHE'S FALL FASHION WISH LIST

Hi Everyone,

So following up with Deweese and her awesome fall fashion finds, today I'm sharing my fall fashion wish list!

While I would love an entirely new wardrobe, what I'm really focused on are shoes and accessories. Those are the things that tend to last several seasons for me, but it is time for me to update! Of course, I could use some new jeans and tops and so I've included a few of my favorites in those departments, too.

In terms of style, this season I am going for:

  • Super saturated jewel tones
  • Black and/or gold 
  • A little bit of nostalgia! 

I have no idea if any of those things are actually "in", but it is what I'm loving. Check it out:



I'm just now realizing that there is not a single print in that mood board! That was not intentional. Here are my sources and explanations:

SUPER SATURATED JEWEL TONES:
  • I'm jumping on the crazy sneaker bandwagon. Big time. 
  • My cousin chose that nail polish last time we got manicures and I can't stop thinking about it!
  • Those blue flats are from H&M! 
  • How cozy does that sweater look?
BLACK AND/OR GOLD:
  • I wonder: Is that jacket kind of "out"? Whatever, I still like it. 
  • It's a little more proper than the rest, but that is one simple, classic top that I think I'd wear every week at work.
  • Is there really anything I have to explain about those Rag & Bone boots
  • I would wear that ring everyday. 
  • Hoops! These are a constant wardrobe staple for me.
NOSTALGIA (Is that a style? Isn't that just "outdated?):
  • Obviously first on my list are those amazing Docs (I owned the same ones from 1996-2000 and wore them to the ground). Contrary to Deweese, middle school is BACK in my book! Well, some parts. Not this part.
  • Next are those oh-so 90s hunter green cords (truthfully I already bought some H&M ones I'm in love). I think the colors of the 90s are actually really good for my skin tone. :) 
  • I lost my Warby Parkers and so even though they were only 3 years old, I loved them so much I long for them in a nostalgic way. So it is time to get a new (but very similar) pair
Hope you like it! Also, check out more of my wish list items on Pinterest!

Happy weekend!

Love,






PS: There was another video this week, watch it here. Yes, I'm still talking about Kendall Charcoal. I'd like to promise that I'll stop someday...but we both know that's a lie!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

DEWEESE'S FALL FASHION WISH LIST

Blythe,

LOVE your post from Monday. So proud of you and so amped to paint some doors. No door is safe in our apartment, now! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

I've been doing a little digging' online to see what's in for Fall and to create a wish list. While my current closet does not feel on-trend, I've been keeping up a little bit online to see what's hot this season. I'm not sure polka dot pants are it for me, but I do love a lot of what I'm seeing, especially all the color (unless you look at Rachel Zoe's page on Piper Lime).

Here are a few things I try to keep in mind...

1. I'd like to buy things that are compatible for work and weekend, one wardrobe instead of two. For work I need to look nice for client meetings, but also need to maintain some functionality. I've decided that heels are out. I can't walk around a construction site in a sassy heel and I also hate clacking around people's homes in them. So I'm trying to stick to flats and wedges.

2. I sometimes get overwhelmed by how many options we have for shopping. I tend to stick to stores that I really love and that have stores in DC where I can try things on. J.Crew, Anthropologie, Madewell and Zara are my go to sources. That being said, I always walk straight to the sale section in the back of the store. Paying full-price for clothes gives me hives.

3. While I like a lot of the big glasses and plaid trends... been there done that, and I just don't think I can go back. For instance.... this is exactly how I looked in the 7th grade. And middle school is not to be repeated. Oye.


My favorite fall look remains a giant sweater and jeans. It's so comfy and warm and there's something sexy about it too. Right?


Here's my full wish list.  I'm going for polished, comfortable and of course, colorful!


And if I really had my druthers, I would buy this lovely yellow and fur coat. And always wear pink lipstick.


You can find sourcing and see more fall fashion inspiration on my pinterest board.

xo,


Monday, September 17, 2012

AND THEN I QUIT MY JOB (PART TWO).

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Hope you had a great weekend! So, today I thought I'd catch you up on some updates in my life. Much like Deweese did almost exactly a year ago.

So here goes...this past winter I left my job at an art museum in Chelsea and took a brand new job as the Office Manager at Apartment Therapy! My transition was not quite the 180 that Deweese took (her bravery still inspires me everyday!), but it was a big change for me nonetheless. Up until I made this recent switch, I had been working in the world of fine art exhibitions for about 8 years. Even though it was a big change in my life, for whatever reason I didn't announce this change on the blog right away. Not sure why, but I do know that part of the reason is because it all happened really fast and I wasn't sure exactly what to think/say:

"Some crazy life altering career change?"
"Did this have something to do with turning 30?"
"Insert something really deep about taking what I do in my free time and making it my career?"

It was definitely a combination of all of these things, but most of all it is a new and exciting job.  So needless to say I didn't announce it here on the blog and now here we are.

And then this happened.




And it showed up in AT's Facebook feed! So it was revealed and at first I was embarrassed and wanted to hide but then it was really exciting and fun. Yes, exactly like that.

The bottom line is: I love my new job. It's incredibly fun and there have already been so many creative opportunities like the video above, which has been the most pleasant surprise! Aaaand I get to read Apartment Therapy at work now. What could be better than that?

This little video brought a lot of new readers to our site, which is such a great feeling. If you are new and reading this: WELCOME! We are incredibly glad you're here and hoping you stick around and hang out with us for a while.  Here's some helpful links to quickly bring you up to speed.
Thanks for indulging me and time to get back to business! This week Deweese and I will be sharing our fall fashion wish lists. So basically I will be pinterest-ing over the next few nights!!

Love,
Blythe

PS: Don't forget, Readers! You heard about my painted door way before it appeared on AT! Read that little post, here!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hip Hop REinvented EVERYTHING

Blythe,

I'm diggin' your photos from Fashion Night Out. The shot of the woman with purple hair is killer. And those shoes! Need more deets on Rachel Zoe in real life. Does she need to eat a pizza?

I had a different note to you all planned, but Jeff and I just finished watching a sneak peek of The Art of Rap on VH1 and I couldn't help but put it on hold to make sure you've seen this movie and/or are planning to watch it this weekend.

I saw the trailer for The Art of Rap earlier this Spring, but Jeff and I never made it to the movie theater to see it. Randomly last night we caught a two-hour sneak peek on tv and got sucked in. You're gonna LOVE it. It's a documentary directed by Ice-T and is a one-stop Rap Appreciation class. It's not profound or earth-shattering by any means, it's Ice-T interviewing artists whom he considers the architects of hip hop. What it is, is really entertaining. The art, the talent the RHYMES! I'm in awe. And I'm sure you'll be able to catch it 20 times over on VH1 this weekend.


I loved this clip of Doug E Fresh


Just a heads up, some of your favorite hip hop artists may not be featured (there were some scheduling conflicts like Jay-Z's wife was having a baby, you may be familiar with her work), but Ice promises that your favorite artists' favorite artist IS in the movie.

Hope you like it, let me know what you think!

xo,




PS... Ice-T on Nicki Minaj

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

#FNO

Deweese,

It's so true about restaurant design! There are a bunch of places here in NYC with the same exact look.  So glad you had a delicious meal out. There are few things better than that!

Nick and I also recently had a night out on the town. Last week we had dinner reservations for a date night at 8:45pm (at Empellon Tacqueria if you are wondering. YUM).) and therefore had some time to kill after work and before dinner. Well it just so happened it was the globally celebrated Fashion's Night Out! Nick and I both work in SoHo, and so I was intrigued having never really experienced the event in one of it's epicenters.  BUT I was also nervous about what I heard were crazy slash "get me outta here" inducing crowds.

Verdict: it was fun! We stayed on the side streets and it was a liiiittle less crowded. It was also wild to watch women in some of the highest heels I've ever seen navigate the cobblestones. Check out some of our pics...

We literally stepped outside and saw this:

 And this...

But mostly the crowd was made up of small packs of women dressed in great day-to-night get ups:





To create a destination/goal, we decided to wait in line to check out the first ever Piperlime store and see Ms. Rachel Zoe.



I want her jewelry. That is all.

Love,

Monday, September 10, 2012

THE GREEN PIG

Blythe,

Your photos are once again incredible. Im envious of your talent! Maine is at the top of my list of places to visit (the only state in New England I've missed!). Thanks for sharing your family vacation!

After three weeks in a row with guests visiting or on the road, Jeff and I had a nice weekend in DC. Saturday night we hit up a seafood place in Bethesda called Freddy's Lobster & Clams which wasn't great. No one in our party was particularly impressed unfortunately. But Saturday night we went to a new-ish place in Arlington, VA with our cousins and it was delish!


The Green Pig opened in April and though the Post didn't rave, perhaps they've edited the recipes since July, because all four of us loved the food.

Like every other restaurant opening lately, at first glance I thought the Pig was a bit generic. Restoration Hardware decor with pork belly and fennel on the menu. Oh, how rare!

BUT... I was pleasantly surprised by all of the food we ordered which was fantastic. I even loved the fried pimiento cheese (and you know how I feel about that!). Check out the menu here.



Below is a picture of Yardbird, where we ate with Dukester in Miami earlier this year. See what I mean about the decor!? Do you think there is only one interior designer in all of restaurant design? Are they getting kick backs on all that industrial lighting?


What I do love is how much influence southern food is having on menus these days. I mean, pimiento cheese! 

Hope you had a great weekend!

xo,



Friday, September 7, 2012

SUMMER VACATION: MAINE


Hi Everyone,

Boy, does it feel good to be back (and a little bittersweet). Deweese, that paint by number is awesome! I really love the colors.

So, I'd like to share some pics of my summer vacation, which was a pretty epic trip to Maine. Nick and I headed out on what I was calling a vacation/political campaign. You see, being from New Hampshire, I have a lot of friends and family up in New England and we planned to meet-and-greet with a lot of them!

We spent the first half of our week in York, Maine.  We stayed at the exact same house where my brother got married last fall! It was great to go back. The weather was amazing and the scenery was just as breathtaking as I remembered.
View to the right of our house!
My nephew growing up so fast.

My favorite photo of my cousins... taken by my sister-in-law!
We had a lot of people around the table at dinner. I love a simple table setting on vacation. 




View to the left of the house at sunset. When I got to work I set this as my desktop background!




While in York, Nick and I took a day trip just the two of us. We had absolutely no plan of where to go. We just borrowed my parents' car and drove up the coast in search of lunch. That's a rare thing for us to do (not have a plan). We ended up in Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine. It could not have been more perfect. Note to self: live by the seat of your pants more often, ok?




The second half of the week involved stopping in to see some friends in Biddeford Pool, Maine, and then finally to Lori's camp on a lake in Liberty, Maine.  Lori's family has owned the camp since the early 1900s!  I visited back in 8th grade, so it was a little walk down memory lane for me. While there we swam in the lake (the cleanest I've ever been in), boated, cooked, and read books in hammocks. Once I got over the pure silence and darkness (I'm a scared city rat), relaxation really set in.


Approaching Lori's camp on a moving boat, hence the blurriness. It's the only way to get there (or to swim, I suppose!)





With no running water to wash my hair for 4 days, this was my hairstyle of choice.  Notice: no time spent at the mirror to get the part straight. Too much swimming to be done!


We also had Hamlin the dog with us, aka hair twin!
Every night we took a sunset cruise with snacks and white wine.





Lori was the most gracious host! 

The end.

Love,
Blythe

PS: My brother's wedding in Maine.
PS: My summer vacation last year.

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