Hope you have a wonderful day with your families and a Happy New Year! I am headed to Sun Valley tomorrow for 10 days (!) of skiing and fun in the sun! So I will be back in 2014 with new outfit ideas, home decor, beauty tips and lifestyle posts! In the meantime, thanks to my loyal followers for sticking with me through my inconsistent posting and random thoughts – you guys are the best!
Hi friends! As you know, I have always loved interior design and often fantasize about what it would be like to actually do it as a career. Recently, I got an amazing opportunity to design a one bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side as a little side project. The requirements are: low budget (it’s a “guest” apartment), modern, with neutrals and clean colors. I started off by checking out the apartment and putting together a presentation with room ideas. Take a peek below at my initial thoughts…
My “client” liked what I had put together but asked that we make it a little more modern and had a few Ikea pieces in mind that she wanted me to incorporate. So here is phase two of the look book (that lovely free standing TV has an Ikea custom cabinet that couldn’t be copied into the presentation).
Most of the pieces above were found on Ikea, Target, One Kings Lane (one of my all time favorites), and West Elm. You can totally decorate an apartment and make it look nice without breaking the bank!
As you can tell, we are still early on in the design process but have established the basics, which I can’t wait to share with you. It has been so fun to try to incorporate my own taste but also challenge myself to work with a different style than my own. If you’re interested, check out my “Project” Pinterest board to see more inspiration for the apartment!
PS – Unfortunately, the boys didn’t take a liking to my track-what-you-eat project, so we will have to revisit that post at a later date (Maybe after I bribe them with food.).
S: Apple, handful of almonds, gluten-free pretzels.
L: Panera salad.
D: Out to Italian dinner with many different courses.
B: Smoothie – vanilla whey protein, strawberries, mango, pineapple, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, a coffee with splash of fat-free half and half, 2 Truvias. dried apricots.
L: 2 wedges of spanikopita, garlic hummus, 1/2 green pepper, baby spinach and cherry tomatoes.
S: 2 brown rice lightly salted rice cakes with almond butter.
D: Lentils (simmered with vermouth and a chopped spanish onion), 1/2 roasted winter squash.
S: Mini square of pumpkin cake, cream cheese frosting.
B: 1 tbs agave syrup (pre-run), smoothie (post-run) with banana, 2 tbs peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, water.
L: 1/2 cup wild rice, 2 tbs of all natural garlic hummus, 1/2 green pepper, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes.
S: MacIntosh apple with bag of Skinny Pop.
D: Lentils (simmered with vermouth and a chopped spanish onion), 1/2 roasted winter squash, 2 brown rice lightly salted rice cakes with almond butter.
B: 1 tbs agave syrup (pre-run), smoothie (post-run) with strawberries, mango, pineapple, vanilla whey protein powder, unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a coffee with a splash of fat-free half anf half, 2 Splenda and dried apricots.
L: Garlic hummus, 1/2 green pepper, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and 1/2 oatmeal, chocolate chip cookie.
S: 2 brown rice lightly salted rice cakes with almond butter.
D: Bowl of lentils (simmered with vermouth and a chopped spanish onion) and an apple.
B: Smoothie – vanilla soy protein powder, strawberries, mango, pineapple, unsweetened vanilla almond milk
and a coffee w/ a splash of fat-free half and half, 2 Splenda and dried apricots.
L: Baby spinach, sprouts and a 1/2 c. multi colored quinoa with a handful of walnuts.
D: Bowl of lentils, fig burrata, Carr’s whole wheat crackers, Macoun apple, Giredelli peppermint bark, a few glasses of Pinot Noir.
B: Vanilla soy protein powder, strawberries, mango, pineapple, unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a coffee w/ a splash of fat-free half and half, 2 Splenda with dried apricots.
D: Steamed veggies with brown rice, teriyaki and a few pieces of avocado roll.
Interesting right? Here are my observations:
1. People tend to be pretty routine when it comes to breakfast.
2. If you don’t eat a lot in the morning you end up eating more later in the day. As they say, eat your breakfast!
3. Girls are HEALTHY.
4. Those who are veggie lovers… eat a lot of veggies. Those who are not… lack veggies in their diets. This may sound obvious, but there doesn’t seem to be an in between.
5. Monday is the healthiest day.
6. Everyone has one “cheat day” whether they plan to or not.
7. Girls like sweets. Thank GOODNESS I’m not the only one who needs icecream.
8. You’re one of two things: a snacker or a mealer. (Go Team Mealer!)
9. People hit the bottle on Thursdays. (They don’t call it Thirsty Thursdays for nothin’!)
10. Red meat is not high on the priority list for us gals.
What patterns do you see? Aren’t you impressed with all of their healthy choices! Go GFs! I need to get on the barley salad train! Doesn’t it just sound yummy? It’s amazing how different everyone’s days are! Not one person has even a remotely similar day to the next. If we were looking at their outfits I guarantee you could find some (many) parallels. But (!) how interesting that not one person has the same tastes or eating habits as another. Have you ever thought about that? How do your eating habits compare? It might be a fun project to track your meals/snacks for the week. When talking to my friends a lot of them said they even found it interesting to see their own habits written out.
This weekend Bry and I had our first big housewarming party. Given we are in the holiday season, we kept it festive and went with a fondue and Christmas sweater theme. It was a major hit and hilarious to see people’s get ups as they walked into our apartment. Bry has always had a vision of having a fondue party (His family has a unique affinity to fondue… which I don’t hate.) and it was great to see it in action. Three fondue pots, 2 buckets of hotty toddies and a keg later… well I would say it was a success. Here are some highlights from the night (apologies for the terrible photos)!
We served chips, guacamole and salsa, red and green M&Ms, homemade chocolate chip cookies and of course, fondue with baguette pieces, apples and pepperoni for dipping. For drinks we made a bucket of hot toddy which was cider and whiskey (something Bry is becoming infamous for…) and a keg of PBR (keepin’ is classy). Everyone was so generous and brought bottle upon bottle of wine, which we didn’t really get around to drinking… probably for the better. One friend even brought homemade egg nog, which I don’t think I have ever had and wow, is it good! I must say, much better than that bottled nonsense!
As the soiree concluded and people started dispersing, the rest of us (only the strong survive!) headed to a local karaoke bar which ended the evening on quite an entertaining note. I have videos to prove it (sorry guys)…
We couldn’t have asked for a better night or group of people to break bread, eat fondue, drink cider, celebrate a BFFs birthday, admire our Christmas tree, get chatty and embrace our new home with! Hope everyone is having a merry holiday season and I would highly recommend the fondue party idea! There’s nothing like cheese and good friends!
As I mentioned, putting things on the wall has been a bit intimidating this early on in the process. But! I did make one minor (huge) change in our kitchen. What was once a blank wall with a random map thrown on it, is now a wall of… well, two of our favorite things: food and beer. Remember this little gift guide? I ended up using it for my own boyf last year and purchased thisRed Cruiser calendar, which ended up being quite a hit. However, once a year is over, what’s the use? Basically calendars are good for nothing upon expiration. Except… a gallery wall! Watch and learn my friends…
Here is what the calendar looked like before…
Too cute to get rid of right?
So trim the numbers and days off (I actually kept the month and descriptions)…
throw those babies in a frame and…
ta dah! All you need is an old calendar, scissors, tape, and some Ikea frames. Cheap and easy!
Are you like me and peep into other people’s Whole Foods baskets during checkout? Come on, just come clean with it. (And if not, don’t judge me please.) Call me crazy, but there’s something interesting about learning what other people eat. I am definitely a food lover myself, but I think foodie or not, people are curious when it comes to others eating habits. I love talking to people about what they’re having for dinner, and I notice it tends to come up a lot when conversing with family and friends. One of my best friends always jokes that her fiance texts her detailed messages about what he’s eating for lunch, expecting the “favor” be reciprocated. Which cracks me up, but also makes me love them even more – isn’t that hilarious!? So, as a little experiment I asked some friends to log what they eat for a week (Mon. – Fri.), myself included. I’ve always assumed I eat somewhat healthy and often more than most, but I can’t wait to sneak a peek inside others “baskets” and hopefully get some new dinner ideas (wink, wink).
I am keeping everyone anonymous, because it can be a bit personal for some, and I will share what I’ve found in the next few weeks! Next week, we will take a look at the girls and the following week, we will look at the boys! Are you as excited as I am?!
Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! And an even better leftover Turkey sandy day(s)…
My family and I went down to the Cape to visit my aunt, uncle and two cousins and the newest member of the clan, baby Demi.
Are you in love yet? Obsessed with her!
My cousins, Kerry and Justin, had a very unique upbringing as they were born in Johannesburg, South Africa and resided in Kenya, until they were five and seven years old, when their family relocated back to New England. One of the many perks (apart from their Kenyan accents) that their family brought back from Africa, was their art collection from John Meyer, one of South Africa’s most renowned artists. John is a personal friend of my aunt and uncle from living in Kenya and they have even come to the Big Apple to see his exhibits. One of the most memorable pieces from my childhood is the amazing, almost life-size family portrait that he painted for them below, at their home in Kenya. You know when certain, typically random, things will bring you right back to childhood? This portrait transports me to the living room in their old house in Massachusetts and to this day has a somewhat regal aura about it.
Just look at the detail! And those sweet little shoes…
And two more beauties…
Aren’t they amazing? My iPhone certainly doesn’t do these paintings justice, but you can imagine what they’re like in real life!
Bry and I certainly won’t be buying any John Meyer‘s soon but it does get the wheels turning on the future of our blank walls…
Heading back to the big city soon! Wish Thanksgiving would never end!