Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays from South of Main Street!

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!

Love you all!  Cheers to an amazing 2014!

XO

Design Project: UES Apartment

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…

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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).

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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!

XO

Meg

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.).

DIY – Calendar Wall Art

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 this Red 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…

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beer and food

Too cute to get rid of right?

So trim the numbers and days off (I actually kept the month and descriptions)…

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throw those babies in a frame and…

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ta dah!  All you need is an old calendar, scissors, tape, and some Ikea frames.  Cheap and easy!

XO

Meg

(photo cred: Red Cruiser)

Art Envy: John Meyer

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.

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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.

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Just look at the detail!  And those sweet little shoes…

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And two more beauties…

meyer 2 meyer 3Aren’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!

XO

Meg

PS – Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!  Love you.

Apartment Progress

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We did it!  We’re officially unpacked and finally able to enjoy our new little abode.  One thing I have learned to love about our apartment is the amount of space and storage we have.  Especially after our larger than life Costco trip (both jaws dropped at check out), I was a bit concerned about whether we were going to have enough space to fit the lifetime supply of toilet paper, but luckily there was a miniature linen closet that I had never noticed before, which fit those extras in perfectly!  It’s the little things in life!  So now that everything is put away, we have been able to sit down, breathe and bask in the joys of cohabitation!  And also drive myself crazy looking at our bare walls.  Like most everyone has told me, “you have to live in a place” to figure out what you need.  Which is definitely true, but also a challenge for someone like me who wants everything to be done and perfect immediately.  That’s where Bry comes in.  Luckily I have him to tell me to “relax” (quite often) and that we will figure it all out.  But in the meantime, bare walls and all, here are some before and after shots for your viewing “pleasure” (use your imagination here people)…

Living Room

before…

living rm - before

after…

living rm - after

Kitchen

before…

kitchen - before

after…

kitchen - after

Patio

before (with old tenants…)

patio - before

after…

patio - after

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Bathroom

before (that blue tub…)

bathroom - before

after (attempting to hide the blue tub…)

bathroom - after

Hallway

before…

hallway - before

after (opposite angle)…

hallway - after

Bedroom

before…

bedroom - before

after…

bedroom - after

Guest Room

(I realize how obnoxious that sounds but then again we’re in Brooklyn…)

before…

guest room - before

after…

guest room - after

So as you can see there is still a lot of work to be done, but I am trying to approach it in stages.  Right now, is “living with it” stage and pretty soon I will begin the long process of tackling one room at a time… here’s what I am thinking in terms of some upcoming purchases: living room rug, mirrors!, coffee table, patio inspiration, plants, bedroom pillows (or a girl can dream…), art, book shelves, bar cart (Is it necessary? Yes, it is.) and the list goes on…

Like I said… stages…and I am sure my ideas will constantly be evolving, so might as well not jump into anything, right?  One designer who has really caught my eye lately for inspiration is Amber Interiors.  Feast your eyes interior design lovers!

XO
Meg

Livin’ Laguna Vida

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Happy New Year ladies & gents!  Boy do I have a lot to tell you all from my week long Cali hiatus.   Hmm… how do I begin?

Twas’ the night before Christmas…when I found myself sitting on the floor of the Lincoln, Nebraska airport eating pizza by myself.  Yes, I know you’re all jealous and wish that’s how your Christmas eve was spent, but let me tell you, not everyone can be so lucky.  Long story short, my 8:30am direct flight to LAX ended up being a 24 hour journey from hell, most of which was spent in a tiny one gate airport in Lincoln, Nebraska, after our plane made an emergency landing due to smoke in the cockpit.  Thank goodness we were all safe, but I must say, I don’t see myself flying on United anytime soon.  Myself and 219 others all trapped in a tiny airport with zero explanation as to what was going on or if/when we would ever get out of Lincoln, Nebraska in time for Christmas, didn’t leave the most lasting impression.  One positive I did get out of it was how amazing the group as a whole was.  I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been entertaining a 5 year old in an airport for 9 hours or how frustrating it must have been to those who missed connections.  But in general, everyone remained calm and tried to laugh at the situation as best they could.  One of the most memorable experiences of the day was when a local Nebraska native departed one of the two planes flying into the airport that day and saw all 220 of us sitting at the gate and out of the goodness of her heart, had about 40 pizzas sent for all of us.  I mean talk about a stand up citizen!  I guarantee she made headline news in Lincoln on Christmas day.  And I also guarantee she is going straight to heaven.  While I am not looking for a pity party, spending Christmas eve by yourself sitting on the floor in an airport surrounded by strangers eating (much appreciated) donated cardboard pizza was one of the most surreal experiences I have had to date.  And I managed to only have one breakdown… (thank you to those who had to deal with me during that breakdown).

Anyhow… once I finally woke up in Laguna on Christmas morning, I instantly forced myself to erase all memory of the prior 24 hours and here are some of the highlights from my week…

The Montage Hotel

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This is actually what I envision heaven to be like… we spent a few days at the Spa Montage and I kid you not arrived at 8am and left at 8pm.  If anyone plans to go to Laguna, this is a MUST see.  It is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever been in.  Not only are the views spectacular, but the staff and service are unmatched.   If you want to be treated like a king and feel the best you can possibly ever feel…this is your jam.  On our last day, New Years Eve, I started the day with a total body conditioning class, ran a couple of miles, swam 30 laps, ordered a smoothie at the pool, ventured to the hot tub, went back to my chair and read, got back in the pool, ordered lunch, drank a beer, went for a walk on the beach, biked for 20 minutes, hung out in the sauna and steam room for a while, got a facial, read a magazine by the fire, went to 5pm sunset yoga, showered, had a glass of wine at the lobby bar and then went to dinner with my family.  I mean, I honestly can’t think of a better day, can you?

Balboa Island

We stumbled upon this little gem haphazardly and boy were we pleasantly surprised!  I have never heard one word, “Balboa”, used more times in one day, and my dad even ended the day wearing a Balboa t-shirt, just to prove his love.  We were heading on a Griswold-esque road trip to see Newport Beach and decided to take the car ferry to make the trip all the more exciting.  As we crossed the bridge into the town where the ferry departed, Balboa Island, it was as if we had crossed the Sagamore bridge into Cape Cod with palm trees.  The quaint little streets and amazing but unpretentious houses had so much character, it was if they were pulled right out of a story book.  While we still hesitantly managed to get on the ferry across to Newport, it didn’t take us long until we turned right back around and came back to Balboa Island.  While the tiny town could use a few more restaurants and bars, it is definitely worth a pit stop if you’re in the area.  Sidenote: the “famous frozen banana” is not all it’s cracked up to be…and I have intentionally excluded the photos from that experience.

YogaWorks Laguna

As I have mentioned before, I am a total yogi convert and when I heard they had my beloved YogaWorks in Laguna I HAD to try it!  It was the exact same feel as the NYC locations and it made me feel instantly right at home and relaxed.

The Deck Bar

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Coolest bar in Laguna!  Hands down!  This chic little surf bar is literally right on the beach and we stumbled upon it when we were walking the beach one sunny afternoon… go figure.  The decor is more South Beach than rustic, but has that laid back SoCal surfer vibe that you can’t help but love.  The drinks are made with fresh fruit and absolutely delicious.  There are fire heat lamps and cute white lights strung throughout the outdoor space, with surfboard tables and fun music.  I felt like I was in Hawaii for a hot minute!

Sapphire Grill

We spent New Years eve dinner here and the food was absolutely delish!  There was an amazing outdoor seating area with a big firepit and heat lamps that kept us warm on the chilly night.  The food was not Mexican for a change, but more of an upscale American menu.  It was definitely the best meal we had in Laguna and the atmosphere was perfect for a nicer dinner out with the fam!  I would highly recommend this place if you’re in Laguna and want something different!

Zinc Cafe

Zinc Cafe is how I picture a SoCal cafe.  Healthy, al-fresco dining, with beautiful people and a relaxed atmosphere.  I made several coffee pit stops at this place and am dying to go back for lunch next time I’m in the ‘hood.

Shopping

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My mom and I spent a full day checking out the stores in Laguna while the guys golfed.  We walked up and down the main strip and although there were plenty of touristy stores, what stuck out to me most were the home stores.  While I didn’t take pictures of all of my faves, Seaside Interiors was definitely a highlight.  It was totally my aesthetic and I wanted to just pick up and live inside of the store.  The owner explained to me that the shop was started by her and her daughter who have an interior design business and have expanded to do custom furniture as well.  Sounds like a dream to me!  Definitely worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing.  In terms of clothing stores, I was particularly impressed with Isla, they had the cutest stuff at really good prices.  I managed to pickup a few great finds – a pair of black shorts with “leather” detail and an olive green sheer button down with black “leather” shoulders and collar – obsessed!

And there you have it!  A very Cali Christmas.  No sightings of LC, Stephen or Lo, but I will hope for the best next time around…

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HAPPY 2013!  It’s going to be a GREAT year!

XOXO

A Day in the Life: Katie

Katie

Katie

Age: 27
Current City:  NYC
Job:  Retail/Fashion – C.Wonder
Cocktail of choice: Margarita on the rocks with salt
Fave food: “I love bacon… but for a real meal I’ll go with a burger!”
Favorite NYC restaurant: Palma in the West Village
Favorite season: Summer
Favorite vacation: Barcelona
Favorite color: Pink
Obsession: “My black lab Lucy.”
Favorite board game:  Catch phrase & Apples to Apples!

A DAY IN KATIE’S LIFE

6:50am – “Alarm goes off.  Hit snooze 4 times.  Doze in and out of sleep thinking about my day and what I’m going to wear.”

7:15am – Get out of bed, showered and dressed “I always make my bed or my day is off-balance!” – same here sister!; in Katie’s makeup bag: Redken shampoo, Moroccan Oil Conditioner, Laura Mercier one-step cleanser, primer and tinted moisturizer, NARS Laguna bronzer, Laura Mercier Shimmer Bloc, Lancome mascara, Stila eye liner, L’oreal Sublime Bronze, Sugar lip balm, Dior lip gloss, Chanel Chance Perfume

7:40am – Leave apartment and walk to work in the Flatiron “I always take a different route than the day before to change things up, never know what you may see in NYC!

7:50am – Stop at Starbucks on 5th Ave. for a Grande Vanilla Latte or Venti Caramel Iced Coffee

8:00am – Arrive to the office and go through e-mails, sign into Gchat, go over the calendar for the day, check out Womens Wear Daily headlines

8:00am – 11:00am – Meetings, review business, best sellers/worst sellers, trends etc.; Constantly getting previews of apparel and accessories for upcoming seasons (“best part of my job!”)

11:00am – Daily visit to Ruelala and OneKingsLane followed by Gilt Group at noon

12:00pm – Lunch; Favorite spots in Flatiron: Eately, Mangia, Chop’t, Schnipper’s, Melt Shop, Rickshaw dumplings

1:00pm-7:00pm – “My afternoon is filled with meetings, e-mails, and more meetings.  There is usually an afternoon snack which consists of  some form of chocolate & a diet coke.”

7:00pm-8:00pm – “Try to wrap up for the day, walk home, make phone calls, listen to music depending on the day.  Currently loving Rihanna and anything Christmas!”

8:30pm-10:00pm – “Dinner which usually involves something quick, easy and sad to say boring: Lean Cuisine, cereal or salad . Then I catch up on my DVR’d shows (RHOBH, Revenge, 666 Park, Nashville, Bachelor, E news, Keeping up with the Kardashians….).”

10:00pm – Bedtime; “Get into bed, browse through Facbeook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, US Weekly until I fall asleep!”

Thanks Katie!  Katie is a former finance gal herself who was brave enough to make the switch to her real passion – fashion!  Working in the fashion industry sounds like so much fun and I am inspired by your courage!  It’s hard to figure out what it is exactly that you want to do once you enter into the real world and even harder to realize you are not stuck in one profession once you start.  For those of you unfamiliar with C.Wonder, it is a newer brand started by Chris Burch (Tory Burch’s ex-husband) and has a similar feel to the Tory Burch brand, at a better price point.  The first store they came out with is on Spring Street in SoHo and is a really fun place to check out if you’re visiting the city!  They have amazing and fun things for the home and your wardrobe!

Hope everyone’s weeks are off to the right start!  My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Newtown, CT.  Let’s be thankful for all of our families and friends who we love and not lose sight of the bigger picture.

XOXO