Blog Archives

Benches in the Bedroom

In addition to a tufted headboard, I’d like my redecorated bedroom to feature a bench at the end of the bed. Our bedroom is quite large and there is plenty of space. Plus, I always thought they looked like the perfect cozy spot to sit and put on shoes (or, they can travel into other rooms for additional seating!)

The question is which:

As you can likely see, I’m into the idea of fun accent fabric on this bench. Given the relative size and positioning in the room, I think this is the perfect place to go a little crazy. Plus, crazy hides stains, right?


Happiness Resources: Google Docs

The past few days, I’ve been feeling like this.

Not one to wallow in self-pity – for more than 24 hours, at least – I was determined to do something. Enter, Jenny Blake and her lovely blog. While Jenny doesn’t write specifically about getting over your pity-parties, one post in particular has been quite useful (so, of course, I wanted to share). In this post, Jenny shares various resources on Google Docs. Take a gander.

Two of the eight Google Docs have been just what I needed to clear the mind-fog. The Wheel of Life is a tool that forces you to evaluate how you are feeling in various areas of your life and plot out action steps to correct or modify any pieces that need special attention. I don’t know about y’all, but personally, there’s great therapy to be had in writing things out. Abstract thoughts are scary. Concrete plans are reassuring.

For fun, I’m also working on the Life Checklist. It’s great to document your goals – they are far more likely to happen that way, no? Also, thanks to the loveliness that is Google Docs, you can share any of these documents with friends. Will now has access to my life goals (and is now aware that we will someday be travelling to New Zealand).

I hope you find these resources useful! Let me know if you use them!

Covet: Fresh Flowers

As we know, I’m a shelter blog/magazine enthusiast. While certain interiors are purely aspirational, there’s one thing all shots-of-perfectly-decorated-rooms have in common: fresh flowers. Isn’t it amazing what a vase of peonies can do to a room? The sunny weather has me craving bouquets.

In search of floral inspiration, I came across The Green Dandelion. Sarah, the flower-arranging mastermind, lives in Portland (one of my favorite cities ever). Look at this loveliness:

Up until, oh, five minutes before stumbling upon this blog, I would have told you that I didn’t like white flowers. Sure, they provide texture, but I want color! Clearly, I was completely wrong. Dead wrong.

Sarah’s friend Rachael was also playing with flowers during that photoshoot.  Look at these “living” earings made out of lichen!

(Sidenote: not sure which lovely lady is the model in this photo, but oh my word, those eyes!)

During the Summer, my favorite source for fresh flowers is the local Chicago Farmers Markets. It’s early still, but later in the season there are booths awash in all manner of botanicals. I tend to gravitate towards bouquets comprised all of one kind of flower, but now I’m inspired to be more bold and play around with mixing and matching. I want to try monochromatic arrangements (for texture) and using non-standard materials (twigs, branches).

Results to follow.

I Heart Pinterest

At this point, the internet-cat is out of the internet-bag. However, I still want to join the masses and stand up and shout, “I Heart Pinterest!”

What is Pinterest?

With the help of a wee download, Pinterest allows you to “pin” inspiring bits and bobs you find about the internet to online “boards” and then share these boards with the community. It’s an online inspiration board. I currently have fourteen boards – one for each room of the house (kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom inspiration) and other miscellany. Feel free to follow along.

While organizing your own pins is fun, scrolling through those of online friends and tastemakers can take up the better part of the afternoon. When you see something you like on someone else’s boards, you can “like” it, comment on it, or “re-pin” it to your own board. The name of the original pinner (and, more importantly, a link to the site hosting the original image) are retained.

When I first heard about Pinterest many moons ago, I was quick to jump in. See, I’ve been Pinterest-ing since before Pinterest existed. Here’s how it works, old-school style:

1. Look! Something nifty in a magazine!

2. Quick! Get the sissors!

3. Glue Stick!

4. Now I have it forever!

With Pinterest, I can now do all that with the click of a mouse. Technology, eh? I will likely always be cutting and gluing bits from magazines into notebooks. I’m tactile like that. Pinterest, however, will be my online notebook.

Cork Art (or, I Used to be Crafty)

I’ve never been good at video games. Ever. I have terrible hand-eye coordination. Or something. Something that keeps me from being good at most sports as well. I have, however, always been good at crafts. That’s right, you can keep your insufferably hard MarioKart! As a kid, I was whipping out friendship bracelets en masse, puffy-painting every t-shirt I owned, and turning popsicle sticks into all manner of art.

Lately, however, I’m all supplies and no inspiration. Namely, I have a ton of corks. I think I have the cork from every bottle of wine that was ever uncorked in my presence. It’s a disease. They are so small and easy to pocket. At this point, my haul seems too mighty to merely chuck in the bin (and, since I’ve already started the collection, it doesn’t make sense to stop, does it?). I must do something mighty with them! I must craft!

However… what to do?

I made six of them into little place card holders by cutting a slit in one side. I was so proud of my momentary cleverness that I made one for each of the cats.

So, eight of them were sacrificed to a higher purpose – but what about the rest? Believe me, we will never have more than six people to dinner at one time (and Will won’t let me get more cats).

I was going to hot-glue some of them all jazzy-like to the side of this wooden wine rack thing I had… but then I gave that wine rack away. I should have gotten my hot-glue on before the wine rack passed from my possession, but, well, hindsight and all.

I thought of making trivets… but I don’t need trivets. Ditto, DIY cork-boards.

Then, I was walking past Anthropologie and saw cork-art in the window! The creative minds at Anthro had constructed these little cork balls, like this:


In a fleeting moment of crafy haze I thought, “I CAN MAKE THAT!”

But then… what the hell would I do with it?

I know, right?

Is the problem that I’m less crafty – less creative – than I was as a child? Or is it that my general aesthetic is a little less homespun these days? I’m all for doing it myself (unless it involves plumbing or electricity – know thy limits), but I want whatever I make to have some function. Some purpose.

For now, I will troll the internet looking for cork-spiration. Do share if you have any ideas (or have a need for corks for your own project).

Oh, and P.S. – did you see this? Jessica Quirk is so many shades of amazing.

Don’t Die on That Hill

I learned a new phrase recently and I’ve been wearing it out.

 “Don’t Die on That Hill”

Quick Back-Story: I’ve always been into baby names – I love reading about what goes into that pivotal parental decision. As a kid, I had a well-worn copy of Beyond Jennifer and Jason. Now, I check site such as Name Candy where I’m a regular reader of the Name Lady’s advice column. Recently, a new-grandmother wrote in about how she “disagreed” with the pronunciation of her new granddaughter’s name – she said “Aida” / daughter-in-law said “Ida.” Who was correct?

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