March 31, 2011

Design crush: Melamine platters + trays + dishes

As with most things, what was popular back in the day is making a resurgence. Melamine tableware apparently was the ish during the late 1950s and 1960s. But today those platters, dishes and trays aren't confined to the kitchen anymore.

Used as jewelry holders, catch-alls or art, the multi-purpose plastic gets an update with modern patterns and colors. Be sure to stick to pretty prints, though, because given the cheapy nature of the material, they can go from fab to cheesy in an instant.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

Want more crush-worthy design? Check these out.

March 30, 2011

Goodbye clothes, hello organization

Despite delaying the move for now (I'm not ready to give up the townhouse amenities just yet), I figured it was a good idea to pare down and organize my wardrobe. So when the time to relocate does happen, I won't be lugging around a bunch of shirts, skirts and pants I haven't worn in two years. 

I tend to keep clothes based on emotion (Don't worry ... I won't be appearing on Hoarders anytime soon). But following these guidelines, I was able to fill two garbage bags full of stuff to donate and streamline the look of my closet. I apologize in advance for the not-so-pretty before photo, but we gots to keep it real around these parts.

Probably the most well-known and trusty guideline when it comes to organizing your wardrobe. If you haven't worn it in the past six months, chances are you probably won't anytime soon. This played a huge role in my keeping or relinquishing clothes.
This falls along the same lines as the six-month test. Yeah, you're feeling guilty because it looked hot on in the dressing room, but not so much now that it's at home. Definitely not a reason to take up precious closet space. Learn from your mistake next time, and it will be worth it.
Dressing for the weather in Arizona is definitely not the same as say New York, Kansas, Hawaii or Alaska. Having plenty of tank tops, shorts and sandals readily available in my closet makes sense. Letting bulky jackets and sweaters take up real estate is not. Switching your clothes out for the seasons is also a good way to keep inventory of your wardrobe and eliminate the urge to buy something you don't need.
Color-coding your clothes not only looks pretty, but it saves time. Grouping a wardrobe by style also streamlines the getting-ready process and frees you up for more fun stuff.
Maybe it's just me, but I associate clothing (and music) with certain times in my life. While going through my closet, I realized there were a ton of my college clothes still hanging around. Mind you, I haven't worn many of the outfits since I graduated a few years ago, but they reminded me of one of the best experiences of my life. I had to tell myself that all of those memories will still be with me even if the ensembles I wore then aren't.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. People are in need now more than ever given the economic downturn and slow recovery process. A boom in thrift/vintage stores means inventory is constantly turning over, so your used goodies may help keep a business operational. Just remember because you aren't wearing it anymore doesn't mean someone else won't love it like you did the first time you put it on.

March 29, 2011

A dream come true + gameday gear

It's gameday, friends! In about 12 hours, I'll be at the pregame festivities, celebrating the WSU basketball team's NIT berth with felllow alums at Stout NYC. I can't even properly articulate how excited, grateful and blessed I am to have the opportunity to watch my college play at Madison Square Garden. Hopefully, I'll be just as stoked after the final buzzer sounds.

And just because it's a sporting event, doesn't mean you have to check your style at the door. Pretending cash flow isn't an issue, the goodness below would definitely get rocked in the stands.

March 28, 2011

Bright lights, big city here I come

I really can't believe it, but in a few hours I'll be en route to New York City. I'm looking forward to watching my college's basketball team play at Madison Square Garden, reconnecting with high school and college homies and checking out stuff I've only ever seen on TV and in books. I have a few posts lined up and will be available via e-mail. 

Have a fabulous week!

March 25, 2011

Five for Friday: Packing, baseball and love list

This weekend will be devoted to preparing for NEW YORK (yes, it's all-caps because I'm that stoked). In between packing and shopping, the fiance and I are attending a Mariners' spring training game with the amazing alumni group homies on Sunday.

Before I head out for the weekend, I wanted to share some of the yummy things (lots of pattern) I've been inspired by/love this week.

1. Elizabeth Schuppe's abstract paintings

3. Marco Cibola's iPhone case

4. Upcoming spring movies

Get your Five for Friday fix here.

The It List


Happy Friday folks... I hope you had a great week and an even better weekend planned!  Take some time to dive into these great links, there is so much great inspiration here!
  • mama loves papa is looking cowgirl-chic for sure, what with posing with cows and sporting some adorable cowboy boots.  I just love this look! (find mama loves papa on twitter!)
  • shen dove is rocking one of my favorite looks for spring... a maxi dress with tons of layers. Perfect for when you want to dress for spring, but still be warm! (find shen dove on twitter!)
  • the capital barbie features shimmery metallics to add to your wardrobe for spring. This little skirt is just TOO cute! (find the capital barbie on twitter!)
  • a spoonful of dish rounds up her favorite pieces from the recently launched (or re-launched) Target GO Collection.  There are SO many good pieces to choose from!
  • daily crushes brings the sunshine to you with this gorgeous dress... and a gorgeous room. Both are sure to put a smile on your face!
  • turn up the rad finds an amazing rug style that I have never seen before called the Boucherouite.  They are so lovely and unique! (find turn up the rad on twitter!)
  • good tots features one simple maternity top in three great maternity outfits. If you have pregnant friends, or are expecting yourself - check out these great looks!
  • a spot of whimsy is internet-stalking (in the friendliest way possible, of course!) the first family of fashion - The Hilfigers.   How can you not love these classic preppy looks? (find a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
  • thought and musing goes all out with a vintage leopard print jacket.  This is such a fabulous piece and she carries it off so well - very fun!
  • rosy + tart has my mouth watering with this simple tomato soup recipe. I can never turn tomato soup down! Yum! (find rosy + tart on twitter!)
  • undeniable style is rocking these long wide leg jeans so well. I am smitten with this outfit... I just love a pop of red this season! (find undeniable style on twitter!)
  • rose a la mode snagged this ultra hip straw fedora hat for spring and summer - it will look so fab on her, I just know! How would you style it? (find rose a la mode on twitter!)
  • walking around {where the sidewalk begins} has me drooling over these sherbet-esque dining room chairs. Mmmmm, who doesn't love an ice cold bowl of sherbet? (find walking around on twitter)
  • good life for less released her spring + summer 2011 looks:book - get your copy now for all of your spring shopping needs.  It's like having a personal shopper for the season! (find good life for less on twitter!)

the IT list is organized by jill of good life for less, for information on participating, click here!

March 24, 2011

50 states: New York state of mind

So the post I had planned for today will have to wait because I'M GOING TO NEW YORK on Monday. My college's basketball team advanced to the National Invitation Tournament semifinals at Madison Square Garden with their win over Northwestern last night. As soon as my blood pressure returned to normal (the game went into overtime), the fiance booked my ticket (God bless airline miles) and my whirlwind adventure was set into motion.

It will be my first trip to the Big Apple and I would love, love, love and appreciate any tips on yummy restaurants, good record stores, can't-miss vintage shops and quintessential New York must-sees.

One stop will definitely be the Brooklyn Bridge. I'm not sure what draws me to the incredible structure, but it's so romantic and majestic.

March 23, 2011

In rotation: The Weeknd + The Kills + The Sounds

The's precede all of the band's names in my latest acquisition of new music. But that's where the similarities end. We're running the gammet this week with everything from electronic-twinged R&B to gritty rock to dancey Swedish new wave.

Toronto indie electronic act The Weeknd is definitely good any day of the week. The synthed-out slow jams are a perfect rainy-day soundtrack and full of emotion and perfectly-placed samples, making this mixtape a leading contender as one of the top albums of 2011. And because everyone loves a fabulous freebie, download of the mixtape courtesy of The Weeknd here.

Singer Alison Mosshart and guitarist Jamie Hince, better known as the duo who comprise The Kills, have refined their hard-hitting, grimy garage rock sound on their latest release, "Blood Pressures." It's not better than 2008's "Midnight Boom," which I still listen to non-stop, but it's different in a really good way.

Sometimes you outgrow a band. And after partially (I couldn't make it to the end) listening to The Sounds' latest offering, "Something To Die For," that's the case with my ears and the Swedish group. Their once-fun, cohesive rock/pop tunes now just sound like a bad Ace Of Base rip-off.

The Weeknd: House Of Balloons

"The Morning"

"The Knowing"

The Kills: Blood Pressures


"It's So Easy"

Need some new music? Add these to your iPod.

March 22, 2011

Design crush: Boucherouite rug

File these lust-worthy rugs under "really amazing ish that I'll never be able to afford." But a girl can dream, right? Originating in Morocco, Boucherouite or "rag rugs" are made with leftover scraps of fabric and inexpensive materials. The abstract and colorful creations are perfect on the floor or hanging on the wall.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

More crush-worthy design found here.

March 21, 2011

12 Months of Neon Love

You won't find these neon signs adorning the walls of your local dive bar.

Victoria Lucas and Richard William Wheater are taking their love of song lyrics and immortalizing them in pretty red tube lights via 12 Months of Neon Love

The project, which began on Valentine's Day, will feature a new sign erected on the roof of a studio in Wakefield, West Yorkshire each month for a year. The previous installation will then be auctioned on eBay on the 14th of that month.

I can't wait to see what lyrics they use in the rest of the series. Do you think this falls under the satellite category, therefore allowing the landlord to let me attach one to the roof of the townhouse? 

March 19, 2011

Color crush: The Weekly Spade

Prepare to be inspired, friends. The creative folks at Kate Spade continue to blow my design-loving mind, this time with a color blog called The Weekly Spade.

Go behind the scenes of the fall ad campaign shoot, keep up with Pantone's fall color forecast, gain insight from hue mavens and visit must-sees around Kate Spade stores in places such as Washington DC, Chicago and Nashville

Don't forget to check out the revamped Web site and be on the lookout for an expanded home collection this spring (I'll take one of each, please).

March 18, 2011

Five for Friday: To move or not to move + fun stuff

This weekend will be split between monitoring my bracket/watching basketball and deciding on a house we found last week. I'm completely on the fence about the potential new casa, and my horrible indecisiveness is getting the best of me.

The charming house was built in 1945, would give the fiance and I much-needed privacy (eff paper-thin walls) and is definitely our style. The wonderful amenities (pool, gym, garage, security) of the townhouse would be sacrificed, though. And if you've ever visited Phoenix in the summer, you know a swimming pool is necessary to avoid melting.

I'm thinking it's time for an intervention or a pro/con list ...

2. Rachel Berger's 100 Colors, 100 Writings, 100 Days project

4. Antique Suzani textiles's pillows

5. Amber Interiors' DIY cork wall

Love Fridays? Me, too.

The It List


Where is the month of March going? Another Friday is already upon us... take some time to be inspired by the great blogs I have rounded up today!  Happy weekend!

  • one hundred inspirations pulls together this Rachel Bilson look for less (less than $100 even!) - this is a perfectly simple look for spring and summer!
  • thought and musing takes a gloomy day and brightens it up with a bold blue top - I love how this color adds instant punch to any outfit!
  • a spot of whimsy features 'it' girl Amanda Seyfriend... it such a beautiful spotlight on such a uniquely gorgeous gal! (find a spot of whimsy on twitter!)
  • rosy + tart gives a quick tutorial (it's so easy, it's hardly a recipe) on how to roast tomatoes and it has my mouth watering for farmer's market season! (find rosy + tart on twitter!)
  • second street east shows off some great home goods she found at The Foundary - I am loving this unique little side table! Decor blogs always have such a great inside track! (find second street east on twitter!)
  • the capital barbie scopes out sweet pleats for spring and summer - and shares her ideas on how to make pleats work for you! (find the capital barbie on twitter!)
  • daily crush is loving the look of several stacked bracelets and I am too, what a fun and creative trend. She features inspiration and tips on how to get the look for yourself! (find daily crush on twitter!)
  • a spoonful of dish is inspired by Inslee Hayne's girly and chic illustrations. So cute!
  • undeniable style bought a very pretty small desk and gains inspiration on how to style it... if you are tight on space but still need a small work area, this is perfect! (find undeniable style on twitter!)
  • sweetie pie style is crushing on mini-bags... they are perfect with a sundress or shorts for spring and summer. I am loving them too! (find sweetie pie style on twitter!)
  • mama loves papa takes a vintage thrift store find and refashions it into something more current.  I 'sneaked' the before picture above... click through for the after! (find mama loves papa on twitter!)
  • keep collected is rocking the most perfect spring look in my opinion. The hair, the necklace, the jeans... I love the simple appeal.
  • shen dove style is spring-ready with a great cropped trench.  I just love trenches in any form lately and this look is amazing! (find shen dove style on twitter!)
  • walking around {where the sidewalk begins} has this pretty summer tunic on her wish list... I think it's on mine now as well. I love this for the beach or pool! (find walking around on twitter!)
  • rose a la mode sneak peeks some of her fashionable duds from the Texas Style Conference last weekend. I can't wait to hear more! (find rose a la mode on twitter!)
  • turn up the rad takes $4 Anthropologie cloth napkins (four dollars!) and turns them into throw pillows. Ta-da! I love these kinds of DIY's! (find turn up the rad on twitter!)
the it list is organized by jill of good life for less... for information on how you can be involved, click here!

March 17, 2011

Said it best: Happy St. Patrick's Day

As I mentioned yesterday, St. Patrick's Day is special. To mark the occasion, I wanted to share an excerpt of an Irish blessing close to my heart. I read these lovely words at my Dad's funeral five and a half years ago, and I always find joy in the passage. 

St. Patrick's Day was one of his favorite times of the year. So even though today is green beer, pinching and other shenanigans to most, it goes beyond that for me. It's not only a time for the above mentioned fun, but to take pride in my roots and honor my father.

Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

March 16, 2011

Color crush: St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day holds a special place in my heart. Being Irish, it's a time to reflect on my heritage, take pride in my roots (I plan to visit one day) and obviously partake in green beer and shepherd's pie. The fiance and I are going to celebrate at our go-to spot Sun Up. Do you have anything fun planned?

Green isn't a color I gravitate to much these days, but the goodies below have me thinking twice.
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

March 15, 2011

In rotation: Uh Huh Her + Hooray For Earth + The Strokes + Cults + Fitz And The Tantrums

This batch of new-to-me tunes includes The Strokes' latest, which, at first listen, is hit and miss. You'd think after five years they could deliver a stellar record, but this is a case where things don't get better with age. I hope the album will grow on me, but if not, thank goodness we'll always have "Room On Fire." 

Other beats on blast are courtesy of the new EP from Uh Huh Her, the dream pop twosome who have remained a constant on my playlists the past few years and Brooklyn/Boston collective Hooray For Earth, who are quickly becoming a favorite. I've worn out the EP and anxiously await the May release of their first full length, "True Loves." 

NYC pop duo Cults (who also have a new album dropping in May) and neo-soulsters Fitz And The Tantrums round out the latest selections for my stereo. Ready, set, headphones.

Uh Huh Her: Black And Blue EP

"Never The Same"

Hooray For Earth: Momo


The Strokes: Angles

"Taken For A Fool"

Cults: 7''

"Go Outside"

Fitz And The Tantrums: Pickin' Up The Pieces


Want more recommendations? Check out these tasty tunes.

March 14, 2011

From the dinner table to the couch

Sometimes a project comes out of nowhere. And such was the case with my napkins-turned-throw pillow DIY (remember the sneak peek?).

It started with a trip to Fashion Square for skincare products. And how convenient the path to my face ish goes through Anthro. I made a beeline for the clearance section and to my surprise, found a pair of beautiful ikat-pattern cloth napkins. Since there were only two left, I couldn't use them for place settings. But they were so pretty, thus I needed them in my life somehow.

The wheels started turning. And then the DIY light bulb went off ... A throw pillow (which isn't a stretch considering pillows are my decor obsession). And I've been on the hunt for something to break up the geometric-heavy pillows on the couch. So with a little help from my all-around fab friend Correne, I now have a beautiful 20x20 pillow that only cost $14.58 (including tax).

1. Choose napkins and pillow insert

The 20x20 pillow insert was $10.99 at Michaels, but I used a 50% off coupon. I recommend signing up for their rewards program if it's offered in your state or their online coupons.

2. Iron napkins

3. Line up napkin edges and sew three sides

This is where my homie Correne came in. She is a master sewer. I am not. It was my first time using a sewing machine and she was so patient with me and came to the rescue when I messed up. :)

4. Stuff pillow insert into open pocket

5. Sew open pocket end closed and enjoy the fact you now own a beautiful custom pillow for less than $15.

And just to prove bargains really do exist out there ...

Also my big "eff you" to over-priced decor stores charging $853 for cute pillows I'll never be able to afford. 

 And if you're inspired, these pretties might be coming to a sale bin near you. 

If you like what you see, check out my other DIY projects.
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