Tuesday, January 31, 2012

eager merchandising student launches website

My fabulous sister, Hannah, is a merchandising major at Radford University. We worked this past weekend to create a website for her dedicated to her design passions, resume and her portfolio of course work. Hannah's goal is to find an interior merchandising internship for this summer, and she's hoping that her digital footprint will help to showcase her talent and skills to potential employers!

GO visit her siteand please pass along the word if you know someone looking for a hard-working, dedicated design student for this summer - Hannah's their girl! She rocks, and I am so very proud of her!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

guest blogger: live simply by annie

Welcome to the week my darlings! You are in for a real treat today, Annie Traurig, from Live Simply by Annie, joins us this fine Monday to share her wisdom on getting our winter wardrobes in shape this season. Annie has a growing organizing business, and a knack for making the overwhelming task of organizing our lives more attainable + she's honest and funny too!  I love it! I am so pleased she has agreed to bestow her organizing wisdom upon us, and hope that you all learn as much from her tips and tricks as I have! Thank you Annie!

Ok kids, its time to talk winter wear.

Lots of people struggle with organizing things like coats, jackets and sweaters because they can be so bulky, finicky, and generally uncooperative. But don’t fret, my little pet, I am here to debunk the issue of winter wardrobe for good.

First things first: sweaters should be folded rather than hung in order to avoid stretching, otherwise you’re bound to end up with a hanger crease that looks like a third nipple popping out of your shoulder.

When you’ve got your goods folded, stack them in piles no higher than 10 inches, making sure that all the bulkiest pieces are on the bottom of the piles (you wouldn’t put the heaviest cheerleader at the top of the pyramid, would you? No, you would not.) Make your warm effects easy to find by sorting your piles into categories; sweaters, cardigans, turtlenecks and so on should all be in their own stack.

image source: lucky magazine

But we’re not through yet, because piles of knits tend to tip. Cubbies are a great way to avoid the leaning Pizza effect. If all you have are shelves, then it might be wise to invest in some shelf dividers. These fit most shelves, and create a cubby-like effect to keep your stacks erect.

image source: martha stewart
image source: real simple

Where coats and jackets are concerned, keep them hung and keep them clean. That clean thing is especially important when it (mercifully) comes time to retire your coats for the season. Always dry clean your snowsuits before storing them. Moths and other insects prefer to pick on clothes that still have the lingering effects of wear like food, drink, sweat, and blood. However, make sure to get rid of the plastic bags and wire hangers from the dry cleaners. Besides being completely unappealing visually, plastic bags also trap moisture, causing mold and mildew to grow. Give your gear the royal treatment by opting instead for a garment bag. 

image source: martha stewart

Finally, shifting between seasonal wardrobes is an apt time to evaluate your closet. When retiring one season’s clothing, or ushering in a new one, ask yourself if you truly wear and adore each and every piece. If the answer isn’t a definitive yes, then, it’s a hardy “adios!”

Friday, January 27, 2012

29th birthday bonanza

It's this handsome devil's 29th birthday on the 29th of January! We're going all out this weekend with a laser tag birthday bash fit for a 9th birthday (haha), and a big brunch with all of our family at Mr. S's favorite french bistro. It's going to be a blast all around, and I couldn't be more happy to celebrate this special man's day of birth - I am so lucky!!

In honor of his special day - here are some celebration favorites of mine.I'll be sure to share birthday pictures after all the fun next week!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

my ikat touches

In yesterday's post, I shared how I have incorporated ikat into our home, however I got caught-up with work last night, and never got to post the pictures I promised I would. So, here they are this morning! I love how there's so many different colors in the center pillow, which is from a random sale box at Crate and Barrel, that I can change up the side pillows!

please excuse his gruff expression,
jack did not appreciate the camera's attention being on the pillows 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

i spy ikat

I'm a sucker for brilliant colors and bold prints. I've noticed ikat is everywhere in design recently. I love how it can add a perfect combination of colors to a neutral space.  I've even added it to our couch recently as the anchor pillow for two bold velvet orange and gray pillows on either end of our couch. (pictures to come - later today!)

Here are some of my favorite places that ikat has popped up recently -

On Dishes - in orange!...

In drapery....

In settees...

In wall design...

In wall decor...

On ottomans...

And of course, on pillows!

Monday, January 23, 2012

photographer's eye

For Christmas, Mr. S gave me an 8-week photography course at a local arts center that begins this Thursday evening. Before Thursday's class, we are to submit three photographs that we have taken ourselves and three that we admire.

Here are a few images that I'm contemplating of submitting as pictures I admire for various reasons. Do you have any favorite photographs or photographers I should explore?

Catherine Whitford - "Smiling Girl"
I want to learn to take perfect motion photographs and this amazing image was a part of National Geographic's Photo of the Day.

Russel Schnitzer -"Nuns Cartagena, Coloumbia"
Color is everything in this image.

Walker Evans - "Charles Burroughs and Floyd Burroughs, Hale County, Alabama"
I spent time in Hale County during college working on a writing project featuring of those living in the Black Belt region of Alabama - this famous image brings me back to that time. Despite the disparity of life, this boy's eyes are so lively and inviting.

Brantley Gutierrez - "NYC"
Brantley is a high school classmate of Mr. S, and a world known fashion and music photographer - this simple image of frolicking in a fountain in NYC is a much more real image than most I've seen of his. No Paul McCartney or U2 band members in this image.

Karim Sahai - "Massai man holding a camera"
There are no better subjects for a photograph than the natives of any land - Africa is my heart's home & I love this image of two worlds colliding.

Annie Leibovitz - Gwyneth Paltrow & Blythe Danner 
Mother - Daughter photos always tug at my heartstrings, and I admire Annie's gusto in her work.

Friday, January 20, 2012

chin-chin to the weekend

Happy Friday! Enjoy this wonderful gift for all of your hard work the last five days, and while you're at it, why not celebrate with some champagne? On Fridays you deserve a glass of bubbly, it's not just for special occasions, you know?! Chin-Chin!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

masterfully minted

I've mentioned briefly that I am crazy about paper, and I am always on the hunt for new paper retailers. I recently found the stationary site, Minted.com, and I am in love. One of their card designs was noted as being Jenna Lyons, J Crew creative director's, favorite holiday card of 2011. They have independent graphic designers submit their designs and then sell them on the site. It's a really wonderful way for an independent designers to sell their work.

People often ask me about my blog and what the website is, and as I was thinking about ways to better spread the word, I thought..."Why not give them something they can reference it to get to the site...Why not give them a business card?!" So, I immediately headed over to Minted's site, and went searching for the perfect card to fit with my blog's brand.

Low and behold, there was a perfectly classic and simple blue chevron design by Laura Condouris  that I immediately ordered. The proof of the design came within 1.5 days of my order, and was as beautiful as I had dreamed it would be. And 4 days earlier than estimated, they arrived at my door. Minted has perfected their packaging, as well as their graphic design.  The design and quality are beyond my expectations for the price - 75 cards for $42 + shipping. The paper is thick and sturdy, and the printing is right on point with what I would expect with cards that cost twice as much.

Bottom-line: Minted.com is worthy of Jenna Lyon's endorsement and mine! Amazing quality, beautiful designs and wonderful customer service!

If you would like $25 toward your Minted.com purchase, check out this link: http://www.minted.com/referral/landing/e20wc1

**I am in no way affiliated with minted.com or paid to endorse their products. I simply am a consumer who values good products. The information in this post are my own thoughts and ideas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

words of wisdom for wednesday

These words really made me stop to think, and reflect on what I want for myself in 2012, and beyond. I wanted to pass them along to share with you as you venture into today. Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

a feathery passion

Yesterday, I received the comment below from a reader - Hooray for readers interacting with me! Thank you! Keep 'em coming, it makes my day!

Peacock feather earrings? Your thoughts? I've seen them at a few boutiques and I have an interest in them, but I have no idea what to wear them with, or if they would look tacky. Curious if it's worth the purchase.
Casey G.

Casey, peacock feather earrings are a must to add to your jewelry boxnot to mention any other type of feather earrings. They are worth the purchase, and can add a subtle pizzaz to an outfit. In my opinion, Gwyneth Paltrow brought them back in a big way when she performed at the Grammy's last year in an all black jumpsuit paired with fuchsia feather earrings.

However, I must make note that while feather earrings are a must, you should be careful they aren't overwhelming and too long on you like these. The last thing you want to do is end-up looking as though there's a bird hiding on your head.


To answer your question about how to wear feather earrings, here a few ways to pair them with an outfit in tasteful and chic fashions. Feathers can add chic texture to an ensemble. Be sure sure the colors of the feathers compliment your outfit if you're going loud with your clothes, or make them your statement piece to a simple outfit, like Gwyneth did.

Peacock Feathers

The Fedora Hat Club

Feathers and Sequins

Don't stop the color!

Thank you again for your note, Casey!!  Please send pictures of your favorite feather earrings and how you are rocking this chic trend!
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