Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Living Room

The living room has been a work in progress for some time (see here).  Here are some shots of one side of the room.  The couch is really comfortable and I keep seeing couches in similar styles pop up all over the place - so I think I made the right choice.  I'm still searching for the perfect curtains but I had these sheer pink polka dot curtains that I picked up on sale a few years ago that will do fine for now.
Z Gallerie Couch and CB2 coffee table

Bar cart from Society Social with new and vintage glassware

I have flipped around the rest of the living area and I'm going to revamp  my work area at the start of next year to allow for more storage and keep the work area clear. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Etsy Find: Nest Pretty Things

I was poking around on Etsy the other day and found Nest Pretty Things - and instantly fell in love with a few of the necklaces and the earrings weren't far behind.

Double Chunky Beaded Necklace Pink
Double Chunky Beaded Necklace Pink

Pastel and Gold Beaded Gold Filled Hoops- choose one
Pastel and Gold Beaded Hoops

Colorful Chunky Bead Necklace-Choose One- NOW in SIlver too
Colorful Chunky Necklace

Colorful Beaded Gold Filled Hoops
Colorful Beaded Earring
 I love the faceted beads and the colors and the gold!  I could go on and on.  The shope has items ranging from $10 to $160 (only a few at that higher price point though). The single strand necklaces are only $28.  I like getting pieces with lots of colors as they work with more outfits and most of these fit the bill.  I can't wait to snatch one up!

Monday, October 15, 2012

More Gold!

A few of my favorites from Zara Home and ban.do to brighten your Monday afternoon! And who doesn't need the promise of something shiny on a Monday to get you through the week.  I worked all weekend so I'm even more off than usual for a Monday.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rainbow Brites at Zara Home

Rainbow Brites

Zara Home launched its U.S. website earlier this month and it looks promising. While there were a ton of options (in fact it seemed almost impossible to see everything based in part on the fact the website organization could use some reorganization). My favorites on a first review were the items that embraced all the colors of the spectrum. My favorite is probably the throw.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pee-Chee Portfolios

I have always been a sucker for a good school office supply - gold paper clips, fancy clipboards.  A few years ago I was talking with some friends and mentioned Pee-Chee folders.  They had no idea what I was talking about.  I couldn't believe it. 
These were the folders that, at the time, were the cheapest ones at the store but sturdy - so you mom made you get them.  We were usually allowed one extravagant folder (i.e., Lisa Frank with unicorns and/or pandas and/or rainbows, etc.) but as more and more folders were required we were sent to the Pee Chees.  Once the other colors were introduced it was like a whole new world opened up - now I could color code my folders and always know what color I needed for a class. 
Fast forward to present time - I was looking for a bottle opener and came across the online store Schoolhouse Electric Supply & Co.  I was perusing some of the categories and lo and behold they had Pee Chee Pocket Portfolios - I almost fell out of my seat. 


For $7.00 you can get a whole set of five Pee Chee folders!  There are my old friends the football players and the track stars and inside there are still conversion and multiplication charts inside.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sweet 16

So I have been obsessed with this photo since I saw it some time ago.

Cute Rooms For Young Girls
Via Shelterness

Why you ask?  The large pink Abraham Lincoln print.  I grew up going to Disneyland and watching Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and even have had the chance to visit Ford's Theater a few years ago.  Anyway I think most people can agree Abe Lincoln was a cool guy and I thought a pink Abraham Lincoln would be a welcome addition to my home.

But then I couldn't find it.  I pride myself on being able to locate items I want to purchase - I will waste spend a whole night searching for some insignificant item that has caught my eye (e.g., unicorn cocktail picks). Sure I found other portraits and even some in pink but none were quite right.  Then the other day I was perusing Pinterest and saw an Abe Lincoln print that I thought I could love just as much: Neapolitan Abe.

Neapolitan Abe -Archival Fine Art Print 8x10
Via JustinRichel
It was still classic Abe (no zombie references) and pink.  But the added bonus was the ice-cream reference.  I'm sure we can add some other meaning to it as well - he's chocolate, vanilla and strawberry in the middle - but I'm not that deep when it comes to these things - I just know what I like and I liked this.
When I found the seller on Etsy I discovered - as though this couldn't get any better - that there was another Abe Lincoln print - again likely imbued with some social commentary - but again I just liked it: Rainbow Abe.

Rainbow Abe-Archival Fine Art Print 8x10
Via JustinRichel

Unfortunately Neapolitan Abe was not listed and there was only a small Rainbow Abe - I just contacted the seller and he relisted and now they are coming home to live with me!!

I have been limiting my art purchases lately as I have tons of art that isn't even hung up right now so it seems silly to get more but I was able to justify these because I had been looking for something for so long.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Favorite Dog Beds

The day I adopted my dog in 2007 I bought a neutral beige dog bed with a tiny white flower pattern on it at the local big box pet store. Since then we have been through so many dog beds and, through trial and error, I have identified a few important criteria for dog beds. 
First, the covers must be able to be washed.  This seems kind of obvious and we've never bought a dog bed that didn't start out that way but when someone was a puppy he kept eating through dog beds and eventually they were so sewed up that the covers could no longer be removed. 
Second, the covers need to be replaceable.  This way if the dog eats the cover, you spill paint on it or you change your mind you can get a new cover without forking over the price for a whole new bed.  We had a bed for a number of years and while the insides were still fine the cover was wearing out and the last time I washed it the zipper broke.  Sheesh.  So now we go with companies that sell covers separately.
Third, they have to have fun, stylish patterns.  While I tended to go with neutral colors when I first got the dog they were super boring.   But it was either that or have some obnoxious pattern or color that didn't match anything else.  
The first company that meets my criteria is Molly Mutt.  They have a number of dog bed duvet options and add a few more every few months.  The fun thing about this company is that you don't buy a bed but a "stuff sack" which you can fill with your old clothes or old dog bed stuffing.  If you use old clothes you can wash the inside of the bed too.  I have an extra cover so when one is in the laundry we can put a fresh one on. 

mr. postman duvet
Via Molly Mutt

The other company I like is Jax and Bones.  There beds are bit pricier but you can order new covers and even customize any of the beds with any of the fabrics on the website.  They have different styles, sizes, fabric options, and patterns which you can get in one of the premade options or have one customized to your liking. 

Everyday Cotton Lounge
Via Jax and Bones

Do you have any good sources for stylish dog beds?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blog with Love

Today marks the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  It's a nice thought - to raise awareness and funds for research.  But there are lots of people who don't get to just think about breast cancer just for a month every year.  They are living with breast cancer every day.  They are fighting every day. It is a fight.  A fight to survive, to love, to get affordable treatment, and to get through each day with a smile.

Back when I was in college I lived in the dorms.  I met some of my best friends when I was living in the dorms.  And I met Jennie Grimes.  Jennie and I were not close friends in college - we said hello and talked sometimes.  But we lived on the same floor one year and seeing people in their pajamas at 3 a.m. when there's an earthquake  helps you remember a person. I graduated, went to law school, and moved on with my life.  A few years ago I reconnected with Jennie through facebook.  And that's when I found out that Jennie was battling breast cancer.  For some reason this struck a chord in me.  I remember reading her blog and the details of her original diagnosis and just crying in my office.  This was someone my age, someone that I knew, someone who was really nice.  It wasn't fair.

I had to do something - I couldn't just sit around.  So I got involved.  I participated in a walk to raise funds. I got my friends to donate money.  I sponsored others in their attempts to raise funds.  And I started to feel better.  Because I knew I was taking some action - no matter how small it was it was better than doing nothing.  It was better than crying in my office.  That certainly wasn't going to help anyone.  That wasn't going to help Jennie.

And Jennie is the example of taking action.  After many years working with AIDS foundations she now works with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.  They do great work and a huge percentage of their money goes right to research.

So what can you do?

1) Donate money.  Jennie's goal is to raise $15,000 this month - help her reach that goal. There is no amount too small - every penny helps!!!  So do what you can.

2) Sign up for the Health of Women Study with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.  The HOW Study is a first-of-its-kind international online study for women and men with and without a history of breast cancer.  It will collect information about your health, your job, your diet, and your family history, among other topics that can help researchers get a better understanding of breast cancer and its potential causes.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Confetti System for West Elm

Given my slight obsession with all things Halloween I was taking a look at West Elm's offerings earlier and found that they already have their Christmas items on their website.  I know, I know - Christmas already???  It is still over 80 degrees here in LA everyday and while I occasionally sneak a Christmas song in before Halloween I can't really think about Christmas decorations until November.  But I'm going to make a slight exception this once.
It appears as though they have collaborated with Confetti System to come up with a mini collection of holiday decorations. The items range in price from $8 -$29 so there is something for everyone's price point.  The collection consists of five items and they are all pretty fun - though I think the paper ornaments are my favorite.  The red and pink one would match the decorations I already have so I might pick up one of those.  I think they would make cute favors at a holiday party.

ConfettiSystem Tree Topper
Confetti System for West Elm Tree Topper $19.00. 
Detailed View
Confetti System for West Elm Paper Ornaments $12.00 each

ConfettiSystem Garland
Confetti System for West Elm Garland $19.00

ConfettiSystem Geo Glass Ornaments
Confetti System for West Elm Glass Ornaments $8.00 each

ConfettiSystem Twist Open Trees
Confetti System for West Elm Twist Open Trees $19.00 - $29.00

But these twist open trees might be the most fun.  As the name implies they twist open allowing you to stuff with presents, candy or anything else you want to surprise someone with.  It's like a pinata and a center piece all in one.  So what's your favorite?

P.S.  I promise to at least try and not mention Christmas decorations again until November.

 All images via West Elm.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Halloween Garlands

Halloween Garlands

I've become quite accustomed to having garlands or bunting up year round as there is a perfect spot in my apartment to hang such things.  I usually change it out a few times a year and definitely for different holidays.  These are a few of my favorite Halloween garlands.  Most are available to purchase or can be made at home with just a few supplies. My favorite might be the creepy doll head one. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Halloween Care Package

I love Halloween.* I decorate my porch and inside. I'm always finding something else that I think I need for Halloween but I think that we don't have room for any new decorations this year. But I would love to spread the love and send out some Halloween care packages with items like the ones below.

*This is likely only the first of many posts about Halloween decorations, goodies and general scariness between now and October 31st!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Now that the delivery date is set for the new couch and the old couches are all set to be picked up by a charity I am starting to regret my decision.  Not about the new couch but about letting the old ones go. 

I know that is super silly but every time I look over and see Chopper laying down next to the couch I get a little sad.  Technically Chopper is not supposed to get on the couch but over the last few months he's been really sneaky about it and he always manages to put himself in a cute position and I just have to snap a picture.

So in tribute to the green couch (and Chopper's cuteness) here are some of my favorites.

Caught tan-pawed!

Getting some sun.

He rides inside.

He was already laying like that I just added the empty wine bottle.

I found him like this.

I found him like this too.

And if he gets on the new couch I can use these pictures on the ad putting him up for adoption.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teeny Tiny Beach

Somehow the summer got away from me without a vacation.  I took a Friday off and spent the day at a hotel pool which was nice but other than that I spent the summer working (and the end of it melting as it heats up around here). I came across some photos of beaches taken from high above (maybe from helicopters?) and thought they would make nice little watercolors. 

Getting the paper ready

Adding water, sand and foam

Some umbrellas

Some stripes and swirls


A few more and I felt like I had actually gone to the beach (well almost). 


Monday, September 17, 2012


A few years ago I upgraded to an Expedit bookcase from Ikea. I only got the 4x4 as it seemed to be "big enough" at the time to replace my two tiny bookcases. HA!  I don't remember what it looked like when it got here but it has slowly but surely filled up.  It holds books, sparkly, glittery goodies, old textbooks, beach reads, my Julia Child cookbooks, and two vintage cork lamps with Liberty of London lampshades to name a few.

This is what the bookcase looked like a few days ago.

The problem with the giant bookcase is that it needs to be moved so that old couches can be moved out and the new couch moved in not to mention where the new cable hook up needs to go so that all the furniture can be moved around.  So everything needed to come off the bookcase so that it could be moved.  So this past weekend (on what I'm sure was the hottest day of the year) I moved all the books, dog toys, frames, and tchotkes on to an the dining table (with the extra leaf).  After about forty minutes (almost) everything was off.

Dining table with bookcase contents (and the desk chair and dog bowls lingering around as well)
Oh my goodness!  The books that were hiding in that thing!  I think a book donation is going to happen before I move everything back. 

I can't wait to have everything back to normal - living in chaos for the next week and a half is not something I'm looking forward to.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Couch!!!

I finally bit the bullet and bought the couch.  I had said I would get it by the end of the summer but I only half believed that - then ZGallerie had a sale over Labor Day weekend and with only 30 minutes left to spare (and after measuring the door, the old couches and figuring out the diagonal height of the new couch using a formula that required square roots no less) I bought it. 

Royce Sofa from ZGallerie
Now to just get rid of my comfy green couch and love seat.  If those couches had been uncomfortable or in bad shape I would have done this a long time ago but I got a good eight years out of them and now I will try and find them a new home.

I am uncertain how the dog will react to this news although technically he is not supposed to be on the couch I have been letting that rule slip in recent months if it means he will settle down and not beg for treats all night. I pretend I don't see him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crafternoon Tea Party

After seeing a clipboard I embellished my friend EE has been begging me to do a craft party for about three years so she could make her own. Then after the purchase of the gold tea set there was a request for a tea party - so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and last weekend had a Crafternoon Tea Party!

I did a mix of store bought food (scones because while I make a mean scone there is always too much buttermilk left over) and homemade (sugar free brownies, cheese "cookies" and tea sandwiches).  I also made a sugar free peach/tea bellinis, which were delicious.  Oh and tea - but it was about 80 degrees outside so the tea was not that popular (but the teapot had it's moment in the spotlight).

Tea party food!

The gold tea set and a little friend hiding in there.

The cheese "cookies" and scones.
For the crafts I bought some clipboards at the office supply store.  Then I found some great images for sale on Etsy of Marie Antoinette, Victorian style fruit, rose and birds and just printed out a bunch of copies.  I took out my supply of Martha Stewart glitter and glitter paint, washi tape, glue, markers, Modge Podge and we went to town.

I kind of ran out of time to decorate so I just put up a garland I had bought a few months ago.

The girls seemed to really like the crafting and eating (and the bellinis). 

The down side of such a party is that there is not only food clean up but also craft clean up. 

The aftermath!
And my clean up crew was less than helpful. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Muse

I've been thinking about getting a painting of Chopper done for some time but they are so expensive so a few nights ago I took a shot at it.  A sharpie and some watercolors and voila - Chopper surrounded by pink flowers. 

When I showed it to him he gave me the sniff of approval. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lemon Balm Peach Pasta

I don't cook a lot.  I can cook and not half bad actually.  I bake as well.  I can follow a recipe with the best of them.  But by the time I get home from work, walk the dog, feed the dog and have a moment to sit down I'm over it. I usually won't eat dinner, will get take out or eat a bag of freeze dried fruit/veggies (which I will inevitably have to share with the dog).  I've started being better about this recently though and have been making brussel sprouts, steamed broccoli and fish or some other quick meal. 

Recently I have discovered that I LOVE grilled/broiled peaches.  Also I have an insane amount of lemon balm growing in my little container garden and I made a pesto-type of sauce with it one night.  Both were inspiration for this recipe.

1 lb of pasta - your choice but something tubular is better for this than spaghetti.  I made it once with whole wheat and once with regular - either works fine.
1 lemon - we're going to use the juice and some zest
1 cup of finely chopped lemon balm.  I have no idea if you can buy this anywhere.  I bought a plant and it grows like a weed/mint in a container.
3 peaches
Olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
Creamy Goat Cheese

This took be about 40 minutes from start to the finish but I was doing some stuff at the same time.

First you want to put the water on to boil.  I have a big pot so it takes some time.

Next cut up the peaches.  I just sliced mine into wedges (there are only two here but I felt it wasn't enough and one or even two more was needed).  Then brush them with some olive oil. Put the peaches on the broiler (I don't have a grill but that would work fine too).  I set my broiler to a low setting and checked on them every few minutes. 

Next I started chopping up my lemon balm.  This takes some time.  I divided it into thirds and just went to town.

Also dice three cloves of garlic.

Put some olive oil in a pan and heat it up.  Then you add the pancetta.  I didn't measure this I just put a small handful in.  If you don't like meat you can leave this out.  I like the little bit of crunch it gave the pasta.  I then put in the garlic and let it get a little brown and stirring it up.  Remove from heat when done.

Pour the garlic/oil/pancetta combo in a big bowl.

Your peaches should be done by now - I let mine get a little brown on the outside.  Throw those in the bowl too.


Now put in your lemon balm and three to four tablespoons of olive oil.


Add the juice or one lemon and the lemon zest of one lemon.

Your pasta should almost be done too.  Drain and add to the bowl.  I like to add half and then mix and then add the second half so that everything gets coated in the sauce.


I served into my bowl and put the creamy goat cheese on top.  I used creamy goat cheese because that's what I had.  You could use burrata mozzarella, crumbly goat cheese, feta or even plain old parmesan.  Or no cheese at all (which is how I ate the left overs).


This was yummy hot and the next day as a pasta salad.  If you want to be fancy I would put some peaches to the side and arrange on top of the bowl or each serving.  I found that my kitchen smelled very nutty after making this despite the fact that there were no nuts in the recipe!
P.S.  Grilled peaches are also delicious with some prosciutto, arugula, and burata mozzarella on bread!