Short Story

I think we’re at that point of the season where New York “spring” catapults to sweaty summer overnight.  I realized this while walking to work this morning in my spring coat, when 5 short steps in, I became extremely uncomfortable.  NEWS FLASH NEW YORK: Spring ended yesterday, say goodbye to layers until Fall.  And say hello to SHORTS!  Personally, I have always been a fan of shorts.  Oddly enough I think they flatter me more than skirts.  Last weekend, while perusing Chelsea Market with my mamma, I spotted these gems at one of those confusing Sample Sales, with a smorgasbord of items you have to sift through for days.  But everryyyy once in a while, you find a rose among thorns (i.e. the Walter Baker Aztec diamond beauties below).  As we continued on with our day I soon realized the plethora of adorable patterned options out there this season!  Thank you Anna Wintour (or whoever ignited this trend)!

The fun thing about shorts is that you can style them different ways to create many different summer looks!  Dress them down with sandals and a simple tee or dress them up at night with wedges and some fun gems (sidenote: tread lightly with the heels & shorts look…it can be challenging and often times disastrous).  Here are a few options for styling your patterned shorts this season!

Patterned Shorts - 1

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Patterned Shorts - 2

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Patterned Shorts - 3

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Enjoy this beautius day!  And take those pants off – it’s short season ladies!

XOXO

Romping Around

Rompers, rompers everywhere!  I’m curious, would you try the look?  I have to admit I bought a romper a couple of years ago at French Connection and was surprised at just how much use I got out of it.  While it’s just a simple short, long-sleeved, navy number, it’s still a one piece suit, which can be terrifyingly daring to pull off!  But what I have found is that they are shockingly flattering on many different body types!  And there are several different styles of romp to fit to your liking.  Hell, I am going out on a limb here – I am a fan of the romper, trendy or not (there, I said it).

Anthropologie

Forever21

Shopbop

What do you think?  Would you hop on the romper train?  Next time you see one in a storefront go in and try it on!  Your mom pulled it off in the 70s so who’s to say you can’t pull it off in ’13!  Shake what your momma gave ya!

Is it Friday yet?

XOXO

Dream Apartment

Seven weeks later and my interior design course is complete!  Like all fun things, it went by too quickly and I am so sad it’s over!  As I told you, over the course of the past two months, we have been working on a project to design our own one bedroom.  We were given a floor plan, which we had to stick to, but could play around with the walls and design everything else ourselves.  There was “no budget” so we could include anything and everything we wanted (Fireplace in the bedroom? Walk-in closet?  Yes, please!).  Each week everyone would show their floor plan and explain what they had worked on, then the professor and students would all critique each others work, which was very helpful.  My floor plan went through SEVERAL stages (which I mistakenly didn’t document), going from two couches, a coffee table, ottoman and a chair in the living room, to two couches, two coffee tables and two chairs.  I had my bedroom against one side of the room, then was asked, “Why don’t you want the bed facing the beautiful windows to take in the view?”.  Well that’s a good question…all things you think would be intuitive, but weren’t.  It was so interesting to see everyone’s take on the same floor plan and not one apartment was the same.  In fact, they were all very different.  Here are a few pictures from the process…

proj 6

the original plan

proj 5

stage one

proj 4

beginning the final steps of my project

proj

little did I know 8 hours later I would still be here…

proj 3

finally done!

proj 2

final product

While it may not look like a lot of work, I spent HOURS, looking through magazines, going through fabric swatches, picking out paint colors, and the list goes on.  Designing an apartment is no small task!  I can’t imagine what an entire house would entail.  For my one bedroom I chose to make it a TriBeCa loft which included a large living room with a built-in bookcase wall and fireplace which was open to the kitchen.  The kitchen included Viking appliances and a white carerra marble island, with white subway tile and brass fixtures.  The flooring was wide board wood and the round natural wood dining table had two natural wicker chairs with fun navy and white geometric cushions and a built-in banquette in the same pattern.  The bedroom had a large closet along one wall, with a built-in bookcase/shelving and corner fireplace on the other, a king bed and a door through to the vanity/laundry room and then through to the master bath.  The master bath had a double sink, a marble steam shower (why not?), herringbone tile floors and the walls had white subway tile and tan-colored paint.  The apartment also included a powder room for guests and a built-in desk between the kitchen and living room.  My color scheme throughout the house was brass, neutrals (white and tan), navy blue and an orangey red.   I incorporated fun patterns and classic neutrals to keep it interesting without being too over-the-top.  Overall, it had a very beachy/boho vibe, which I love.

It was really interesting to see not only how different everyone’s floor plans were, but also how they presented their projects and designed their rooms.  Each person’s apartment was almost predictable based on their personality and style, it was pretty funny to observe.  The lawyer, who is a quirky-dorky-Anthropologie type, designed her apartment with just that style – it looked as if it was straight out of an Anthropologie storefront with mustard yellow, polka dots and funky light fixtures.  Then, the model-esque fashion chick who has a very simple-boho-earthy style, designed her apartment with large leather sofas, massive dark wood tables, and a large picture of horses hanging as the focal point of the living room.  I loved both designs even though they were extremely different from my style!  It was so interesting to see everyone’s ideas and it made me realize how your personality and fashion sense is just an extension of your taste in design.

A few things I learned from this course that I think are worth sharing are:

#1: Think about practicality and the purpose of a room before designing it.  Don’t put a glass ottoman in a living room as extra seating.  No one is going to sit on it.

#2: Keep rooms as open and inviting as possible; don’t put up a wall for the sake of putting up a wall.

#3: Sofas/chairs and coffee tables should be 18″ apart.  Just enough to sit down and reach your glass of wine.

#4: People by nature like symmetry.

#5: Color schemes are typically made up of 3 or more colors and must be repeated at least 3 times in a room/apartment.

#6: When developing your color scheme stay within the same hue or it will not work well together.

#7: Blue is a very difficult color to work with because it has so many variations and hues.

#8: Pinks are the most flattering color to have on a bathroom wall.

#9: Stay away from bright colors in the bedroom, it will not facilitate a good sleep.

#10: A door should always open to a wall.

#11: Every room should have a focal line; having pictures hung at different heights is not aesthetically pleasing, there has to be a focal line along the wall which is repeated at least twice (whether it be with lighting or pictures).

It’s fascinating to dive into the details that go into designing a space and all of the regulations behind how large a bathroom has to be, how many inches apart furniture needs to be to sit comfortably, etc.   The amount of time that goes into the research on colors, furniture, fabrics and what have you, is much longer than I anticipated, but I had an absolute blast doing it!  If you have any questions about your own living space, feel free to contact me!  I am happy to share my tidbits of knowledge that I accumulated over the past several weeks!  I may even have to sign up for another one…

Happy Thursday!  This week has flown by!

XOXO

Living Room Revamp

We officially moved apartments this week!  As much as we LOVED our old apartment, it is so exciting to have a change of scenery and a fresh start!  Our new abode is a smaller version of our former unit and couldn’t have been a more convenient move for us, so we are really grateful.  With that said, Hurricane Sandy had a bit of a negative impact, not surprisingly, in the fact that we will not have our beloved wall until next week.  YIKES!  So I am basically sleeping in the living room.  But, with everything unpacked and organized (for the most part), the roomie and I have decided our living room needs a little makeover!

We currently have a very floral theme, not by choice, but by default.  Our new vision is more of an updated/boho chic feel and I can’t wait to show you the before and after (eventually)!  For some inspiration I put together a few idea boards below:

Numba one…

Living Room

Numba two…

Living Room 2

Numba three…

Living Room 3

And a few clips from around the world wide web…

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What do you think?  Which number is your favorite?  Do you have any special tactics for making a small space feel big?  We had to throw out/donate A LOT of great things, but I think less is more when you’re working with a tighter living area.  Given everything that has been going on lately with Sandy and now the nor’easter, this is a perfect time to donate!  It’s not only rewarding but refreshing!  Here are a couple links if you’re interested in donating: Red Cross, Salvation Army (you can also schedule a pick-up for clothes, etc.), volunteering/donation links

Hope you are having a good week.  There’s snow on the ground here in NYC!  What is going on in the world?!

XOXO

(photos via Pinterest)

( 1: couch, chair, throw, coffee table, NYC pillow , flowers, chest, lamp, candle, ikat pillowHermes tray, rug, grey ikat pillows, basket; 2: rug, couch, chair, coffee table, wallpaper, throw, matches,  mirrored table, sunburst mirror, pink pillows, yellow pillow, copper vase,  tray, navy pillow, candle, skull jar, silver jars; 3: rug, couch, coffee table, side table, gold table, lamp, orange pillow, tortoise hurricane, orange box, gold bowl, throw, deer, brass urchin, lotus, chair, chevron pillows)

A Day in the Life: Emilie

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for………

Juuust kidding.  But like I promised, today I am introducing a weekly feature called “A Day in the Life” which I will publish every Monday going forward.  The feature will illustrate a typical day in the life of a select person.  This person may be another blogger, a close friend, the President – who knows!  The main purpose is to get a glimpse into another’s life and hopefully, you will be unexpectedly entertained (and perhaps inspired).

The idea spurred from a conversation with friends on the differences in people’s daily routines – all the way from what you eat for breakfast down to how you get into bed at night (you’d be surprised how many ways people climb into the sack).  I have always found it interesting to learn about other people, which is probably why I love documentaries and the articles in US Weekly on a celeb’s daily regimen (dare I admit it).  While it’s a fairly simple concept, people’s differences are interesting.  So, with that said, here I give you my first ever “A Day in the Life” post.

Emilie

(pronounced Emily)

Background: my childhood friend of 25 years
Age: 27
Current City:  New York, NY
Hometown:  South Shore of MA
Job:  Finance
Nickname: “EmSull”
Beauty secret:  5-6 bottles of water daily
Favorite food:  anything salty, but mostly chips with hummus and pizza
Ideal date: drinking beer and eating bar food at a local pub then going home to watch a movie (think: Taken) – get in line fellas!
 (Wearing: AG Jeans, Anthropologie vest, Frye boots, Ann Taylor sweater, Michele watch, Ray Ban sunglasses)

 

A DAY IN EMILIE’S LIFE

6:45am – get up and shower

6:55am – splash face with cold water (a morning de-puffer!), brush teeth, get back into bed and check work emails on phone

7:05am – get up, towel dry hair, apply Ole Henriksen serum, Lancome pearl eye cream and Origins tinted moisturizer (on my recommendation!)

7:10am – blow dry & flat iron hair

7:25am – apply makeup (here’s what’s in Em’s makeup bag: Sarra cover up, NARS bronzer in Laguna, Dior shimmer powder in amber diamond, NARS black eye liner, Dior Show mascara, Chanel rouge allure extrait de gloss shade #51)

7:35am – get dressed, grab snack for afternoon (typically: string cheese or cottage cheese)

7:40am – out the door to walk to the subway

8:00am – arrive at work, get a bottle of water and a bowl of cereal from kitchen (Special K, Life or Honey Bunches of Oats), check email

9:00am – get a coffee from the kitchen (Green Mountain hazelnut, black), more work (whatever that entails)

10:30am – handful of almonds or unsalted peanuts (which are kept at her desk)

12:00pm – grab a half-sandwich from Pret-A-Manger: chicken and bacon or chicken mozzarella baguette (because she has a fast metabolism, Emilie prefers to eat several small meals throughout the day – girlfriend, it’s working!)

12:30pm – eat lunch, back to work, consume 3-4 bottles of water

3:00pm – grab a small snack: cottage cheese, string cheese or 100-calorie pack of pretzels

5:00/5:30pm – subway home

5:45pm – arrive home, change into gym clothes and toast a half a whole wheat Arnold sandwich thin with crunchy peanut butter

6:00pm – go to SoulCycle or the gym: use weight machines (leg press, bicep curls, tricep extensions, seated rows) and because Emilie doesn’t like to run, she alternates 2 minutes of walking/3 minutes of running on treadmill for 30 mins

7:00pm – arrive home, hop in the shower

7:30pm – pour a glass of wine (Cabernet in the winter, chardonnay in the summer) and make dinner; dinner typically consists of whole wheat pasta and grilled asparagus (grill asparagus in EVOO until almost brown, once pasta is done, throw the asparagus in the pot and add a little more EVOO, a spoonful of goat cheese and a spoonful of pesto and mix until melted)

8:00pm – hang with the roomies, watch tv (Friends, Modern Family or Nashville) [sidenote #1: EmSull is the biggest Friends fanatic you will ever meet]

9:30pm – have 2 pieces of dark chocolate and clean up kitchen

10:00pm – brush teeth and wash face with Aveeno or Neutrogena microbead cleanser (exfoliate twice a week with Clarins exfoliator), apply Ole Henriksen serum, and Nuskin eye cream

10:15/10:30pm – climb into bed (I wonder how she does it?), check email and apply L’occitane hand cream [sidenote #2: she has the softest hands I’ve ever felt (creepy?), I may have to pick up some of this stuff]

So what did you think?  Even having known Em for 25 years, I find this so interesting!  I love the fact that she has a glass of wine every night to unwind -girl after my own heart.  I’m more of a three square meals a day kind of gal, but I’m thinking maybe I should look into the small meals throughout the day thing.  I have heard it’s a good way to jumpstart your metabolism.  How do your days compare?  Do you tend to be a creature of habit or do you try to mix it up?

Hope you all had nice weekends and a great start to the week!

XOXO

Hello Lovaaah!

The chill in the air has me daydreaming about my fall fashion wants and how I will manage to fit at least one of them into my budget this season (Sex and the City has had way too much of an influence on my life).  Anyhowww, with all of this talk of “oxblood”, leather pants, white as the new black and so on and so forth, it’s got me thinking and lusting for quite a few items.  Here are the things on my fall wish list…

#1: Black leather biker jacket

#2: Slippers (the fancy kind)

or……

#3: Kenneth Jay Lane earrings

#4: White chunky sweater

#5: Colorful gems

#6: Peplum

#7: Oxblood

#8: Poncho/cape

#9: Emerald green

#10: Ankle boots

#11: (P)leather pantalonessss

Ok, I’m going to stop.  I could keep going but I am starting to feel gluttonous.  Being the bargain shopper that I am (most of the time), I will likely wait for something to go on sale before making the purchase, but it’s still fun to think about!  I also seem to run into issues with fit and quality when I buy online, so I tend to go store to store, which elongates the process even more.  Do you shop online or in store?  What will your big purchase be this season?

Fall fashion is always so much fun and as much as I love wearing flip-flops and sundresses, it’s always nice to be able to layer and add more depth to an outfit in the chillier months.  I usually have a tall boot on my list for fall, but I had a late purchase last year (on sale obvi) so I am good to go this year!  But for anyone thinking about buying boots, I really think Frye offers the largest selection of high quality and timeless options.   My dad claims he had custom-made Frye’s “back in the day” that he wore for 20 years!  Although he tends to exaggerate… regardless, check out the website to see all of the styles here!

Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend!!!!!!

XOXO