Memorial Day Selects: Day 3

G, C & T

Ok, so I have to start by saying…I’m sorry, I failed to post every single day, as promised.  Where I would typically feel defeated for not rising to the challenge (a challenge I set for myself) I am seeing this as an opportunity.  This blogging thing, is not easy, that is a fact, but I’m thrilled to be doing it and I am using my “failure as fuel”.  A dear friend and childhood teammate posted a commencement speech given by Abby Wambach this week, it resonated, so much so that it brought me to tears.  It resonated not only with my 16 year old soccer-playing-self but also with the adult-mother of three girls-me, hustling to live my best life and be my best self.  Every failure, set back, moment where you feel judged is an opportunity to conjure the “wolf” (as Abby put it) in us, to overcome our fears and change the story.  This article written by a reporter for the Chicago Tribute did a beautiful job highlighting the speech’s most powerful points.   Ok, with that out of the way…back to the regularly scheduled program;)

let’s party

Let the games begin!!   We kick off with a pool party this afternoon and the festivities continue throughout the weekend.  Whether you are hosting or party hopping you’ll have some level of party prep responsibility.  This post is dedicated to the indoor and outdoor party decor and hostess gifts that will enhance your party experience.

INDOOR DECOR

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My house is filled with blue and white decor, making it easy to nail a patriotic color scheme by adding red with fresh flowers, flags etc.   Blue and white ginger jars are among my favorite accent items for any space, they can be found in every room of my house.  This, this and this from Aerin for William Sonoma would be perfect used as vases for a patriotic party.  I would use these blue and white gingham napkins from Wayfair year round, with these red and white gingham drink napkins and you have your perfectly patriotic napkin pair.   How cute is this vintage Airstream cookie jar from Pier 1.   Back to Aerin for WS, I would literally buy everything in the collection if given the chance but have been eyeing the blue scalloped edge pieces for a while now.   I love these subtle American Flag plates, too.  Finally, you could use these spatulas yourself or bring them to a party as an adorable hostess gift.

 

OUTDOOR DECOR

 

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If you are planning to host outside these retro drink coolers are perfection, it comes in red, white and blue.   I am thinking they would make an awesome Father’s Day gift, filled with the Mr.’s favorite beverages.  Always game for a photo prop, these are adorable.   Red, white and blue paper straws are a great touch for any patriotic party.  Amazon has an abundant selection of Flags, in all sizes.   This flag bunting from etsy on a yard fence or hanging of a deck would be adorable.   No outdoor party is complete without yard games, these red, white and blue Bocce balls from CB@ fit the bill.    We had a balloon garland for my daughter’s First Holy Communion celebration this month, while they look awesome when finished, be prepared for a least an hour of labor and frustration putting it together, snag this patriotic version on Etsy.   Stock your bar with these “Party in the USA” napkins, cover your tables with this or this and supply guest with these cute star plates and cups.

HOSTESS GIFTS

 

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You could say hostess gifts are my “jam”.  I love finding thoughtful gifts that are selected with the host in mind or specifically for the occasion, it always feels like a fun challenge for me.  This book was written by a family friend of ours from our beach club on Long Island.  I’ve given up on the idea that I might ever be able to make a burger as delicious as his, but his book has given me the opportunity to try (another great Father’s Day gift option).  This candle, diffuser set from the Aerin for WS collection would  make a lovely gift and is on sale right now.   We are suckers for big square ice cubes in our house, they make for such a cool looking cocktail.  I love the idea of pairing this ice cube tray with this chic wine and bottle opener set both from Anthro, perhaps add a bottle of red for the perfect “red, white and blue” hostess gift.   Giving a living plant as a hostess gift can bring beauty to  a person’s home for years, this gorgeous Hydrangea in a scalloped stripe pot from Terrain would make any hostess thrilled.   Finally for the parties that go into the later hours, how fun are these star sparklers for a festive hostess gift.

 

Love Thy Lilacs

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A true harbinger of spring in full swing are the sights and scents of lilacs in bloom.  I’ve always been fond of the shade of purple, as I am of most colors in their pastel form.   The color and smell of lilacs conjure a nostalgic feeling transporting me to the springs of my childhood.  Smells often do.  I was a flower girl in my aunt Kit’s wedding when I was 8, her “wedding color” was lilac, I remember the dresses my mother and aunts wore, my cousin Kathryn and I walked down the aisle dropping purple petals in matching Laura Ashley Lilac floral dresses with flutter shoulders and flouncy skirts.  The bride and her maids pictured below, (sorry the picture quality is so terrible you can barely tell that they are wearing Lilac) were so very beautiful in different silhouettes of the same hue.

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Back to present day, it’s been pouring rain in the northeast for the past few days, everything is so green, the bright side of all of this precipitation is that the blooms are producing incredible colors which are popping against the grey sky and deep greens of the leaves and grass.  This morning I looked out my kitchen window and was memorized by the blooms on our lilac tree.   I was inspired to share some lilac items I am loving:

The Wedding Guest 

Lovers and Friends makes my list as always, this neckline is one of my faves because it works well on me.  I’ve been eyeing the off the shoulder ruffled mini from Endless Rose for about a month, I would have pulled the trigger on it this am had it not been sold out…le sigh.   I am loving Julie Engel’s new collection named after her blog “Gal Meets Glam”, the flirty and ultra feminine dresses are sold at Nordstrom.com.  This one reminds me of the bridesmaid dresses from my Aunt’s wedding.  This lace mermaid silhouette would be so pretty and so flattering.  For a casual beach wedding or rehearsal dinner,  I love this tiered midi Jcrew skirt in cotton poplin,  I’d wear it with this one sleeved bodysuit and Jeffery Campbell ankle strap sandals.

 

Accessorize 

As I’ve mentioned, I’ll take anything rattan, how cute is this Urban Expressions crossbody, for under $40 at DSW.  How cool are these Meghan Teardrop Post Earrings from Anthropologie, they can be worn three different ways.  Bows have always been my thing, Ted Baker’s handbags adorned with sweet little bows have always caught my eye, this cute lilac clutch is the look for less, such a bargain at under $30. Kendra Scott’s current collection is so pretty, I just gave my mom a pair of the smaller earrings for mothers day.  These opal-esque lilac slabs will be the perfect statement earring for summer.     For dressier occasions snag this pretty lilac print clutch from ANNA RACHELE, it would pop perfectly off a LWD.   The lilac gradient Le Spec shades from Revolve are super inexpensive and a fun accessory!

Get Comfy

This H&M mohair sweater for cooler nights with, the perfect white t-shirt, white skinny jeans and these Dr. Scholl’s perforated sneaks with memory foam soles my idea of the perfect comfy outfit.   I also happen to love these florescent bow sneakers from H&M, they are fun and very affordable.  I’d say I’ve got 2 weeks to do a years worth of working out to get in shape for bikini season, but if I were in the perfect shape, this metallic lilac Tularosa bikini with asymmetric ruffles would be my go to.  Note the high wasted bottom, a very flattering trend!  And now to my favorite article of clothing stitched into existence…le sweatpants.  Bandier is a hotbed for all things active-wear and fashionable fitness wear.  These Cotton Citizen Milan Joggers with zippers come in six colors and are comfy enough for bed and cool enough for street wear.  You can also snag these and these at Carbon 38 another great site for fashionable active-wear.

Pretty thing for the home

My girls are always asking for a bedroom update. While the color scheme will be up to them, how cute would these lilac home items be in a tween’s room.  One King Lane one of my favorite resources for unique affordable home goods did not disappoint on my hunt for lilac items.  What girl would not love this skirted lilac linen ottoman to sit on in front of a vanity.   This pair of vintage bedside tables are tres chic, I’d place this Anthro Wavery between two beds with these tufted headboards from Ballard Designs.  An bench at the end of a bed often ends up a magnet for discarded clothing, that said, these lavender velvet benches would be so pretty at the end of each bed, I love the brass feet.   Finally I would use this lavender agate cheese board on the vanity for perfumes and other vanity accessories.

 

Honorable mentions

+ this beyond adorable lilac seersucker bathing suit from Rufflebutts

+ Always been a fan of Pucci

Thats all

xo

D

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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When asked numerous times over the last couple of weeks, somehow I had it in my head that I didn’t want any “things” for Mother’s Day this year… that a day spent cuddling would suffice.  While, I would thoroughly enjoy a day cuddling, it didn’t take long for me to come up with an extensive list of “things” I would love to receive, who was I kidding.
Every year on Mother’s day, my mother, without fail, says at least once “Mother’s Day should be everyday”, while I get her point, we wouldn’t have this very good excuse to drink mimosas and not have to do the dishes or laundry.   This brings me to my wish list / gift guide.  This year Mother’s Day happens to land on my Anniversary as well so the Mr. has double duty…pray for him;)
BEAUTY
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As I’ve mentioned, I have the hots for Charlotte Tilbury’s beauty collection, if money grew on trees I’d take one of everything.  I have quite a few products from her line at the top of my Mother’s Day wish list.  Pictured below in order from top right to left clockwise, here are my picks, 1. Hollywood Beauty Light Wand, 2. K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Bitch Perfect 3. Unisex Healthy Glow, Summer Tinted Moisturizer 4. Wonderglow, Instant Soft-focus beauty flash 5. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum 6. Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser 7. and for the completely unnecessary indulgence Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo.

SLEEP

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Every momma needs her beauty sleep and while she’s at it she might as well be sleeping pretty.  I love pajama sets, they are so chic and it makes you look a little less disheveled in the morning, it might even give your children the impression you’ve got things under control.  My sleep wish list consists of the following: 1. Three J NYC, Jackie PJ Set, it’s on sale for under $75, such a steal 2. JCrew Gingham Pajama set at Nordstrom 3. How cute are the Honeydew Intimates, Starlight Terry Sweatshirt and shorts for cooler nights this summer 4. I love a silk pillowcase, I’d love to try this Drybar Slumber Party Silk Pillowcase.  5. I have a Slip Pillowcase but need to get a new one, how pretty is this petal pink color.  6. Yes please to the Kiehl’s Sleep Tight Overnight Kit…their nighttime products are tried and true favorites 7. Rejuvenating overnight Tanning Oil…I’m sold, need to try this product from Tan-Luxe

PRETTY THINGS 

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I love love accessories, my taste is fairly simple and classic, I love to bring an outfit together with accessories.  They are also, always a good choice for a gift as there is very little sizing required when buying accessories.   Here are a few that I currently have my eye on:  1. The Tiffany T collection is so beautiful, I love the Cutout White Ceramic and Gold T Cuff  2.  these Deepa Gurnani Sasha Teardrop earrings are so gorgeous 3. Cult Gaia’s bags are without question the it bag of the season, the Ark Mini Amber Clutch is just plain sick. 4.  The Eugenia Kim, sky blue Courtney Fedora is the only hat I need this summer 5. The Chloe Reese Marble Aviator 6. I love the Dorothea bracelet from Oh Joy,  it’s giving my candy bracelet vibes 7. I’ve been eyeing this Bario Neal linear ring for sometime. would be a perfect Mother’s Day / Anniversary combo gift.

HOME GOODS

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Finally, we’ve been working on our house here and there, we had a break through this past month as we prepped for a party at our house last weekend.  I am forever looking for pretty vignette pieces, home scents and lovely table wear.  Aerin Lauder for William Sonoma so perfectly suits my style, I could literally buy every piece.  1. We’be been in search of a great set of sconces for our eat in kitchen area, these Aerin Penz Sconces would be perfect,  2. I am a sucker for a good diffuser, I was given one from Antica Farmacista as a gift once and I am hooked, I would love to try the Cucumber Lotus Flower, 3. the Aerin basket weaved cachepot is so chic, 4. the scalloped edged dinner plates will be mine 5. back to the diffusers, I think Antica Farmacista this gift set would be amazing for a mother in law or a sister 6. we just installed a new custom table and I would love to have these stylish rattan place-mats

 

xo

D

Feeling Blue

If you know me, you know that I love blue and white, it’s a classic, timeless color combo. So it should come as no surprise that I’m using the blues and whites to inspire my mother’s day brunch table.

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Here is an example of a blue and white table executed perfectly!  The use of lemons and oranges add pops of color while not taking away from the simplicity of the table!!

 

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This dress for summer…swoon.

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 The Aerin Collection at William Sonoma has everything you need to accomplish the perfect blue and white table-scape.
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Mother May I…

I’ll take one of each…  Here is my gift guide for Mother’s Day 2017:
Mothers day 2017

 

Renovations Here and There

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Clean modern neutral powder bathroom renovation. The tiniest bathroom on earth has taken forever to renovate but the finished product is beautiful. Below are the elements that came together perfectly.
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I had so much fun with this project and it really turned out to be just ask I’d hoped.  The Cole and Sons wallpaper is what inspired the whole look of the bathroom.  Erin Gates from Elements of Style used in a hallway, I fell in love the minute I saw it, even better in person, some of the colorways have metallic shadowing.  I wanted to use one of the metallic colorways, but we chose the softer grey version, I am thrilled with it.  We found this amazing tile and decided to use it not only because it is so so pretty, but it is also perfect with the wall-covering.  I would outfit my entire house with Restoration Hardware “hardware”, we used this sconce above the mirror over the sink.  The sink and toilet are both Kholer, they are a great combo of modern and elegant and fit the space perfectly.  I

Saint Valentin

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For the last couple of years inclement weather has pummeled the northeast in the month of February.  This is when north easterners find themselves wondering what they are doing living in a place where the temps reach such awful lows and it is often hard to leave their homes.   And then, we have Valentine’s Day, the day we can all forget about the nasty weather and celebrate love and romance…enter screeching record.  As I recall, in my twenties, there was a fine line between loving February 14th and completely loathing the date along with the rest of February, it all depended on whether you were actually “in love”.  Even if you were “lucky” enough to have a valentine, does he ever really get it right?!?   I’ll leave that question up for pondering.  I’ve learned to love Valentine’s Day for the onslaught of pink, girly gifts and for the idea that we should celebrate love whether it is shared with a significant other, a friend or family.

For fun here are a few things I’m inspired by this Valentine’s Day!

For the love of pink

I would love for Mr. A to bring these home on Valentines Day

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I absolutely love the idea of a friendship brunch for Valentine’s Day, is there anything better than champagne and your girls!

click here to see Brighton Kellor’s gorgeous girl’s brunch

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Ohh, and Mr. A, I’ll take a pair of these, please!

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McQueen Pale Pink Pumps

Valentine’s Day outfit inspiration

Day to Night Valentine

And finally, some ideas for him…

I adore him

xoxo

D-

Red Carpet Muses

So far, this awards season’s red carpet looks have not disappointed.   From the stunning, simple and sophisticated Lupita Nyong to the gorgeously glowing Olivia Wilde the celebrities (stylists) have been nailing it.  There are so many drool worth looks it is hard to choose our favorites. Instead, we’ve decided to choose four and find their interior design counter parts.  Here are the looks we’ve selected for this game:

Starting with Lupita in the gorgeous Ralph Lauren coral / red at the Golden Globes, we almost don’t have words!  The color popped off her velvet skin tone, this girl is everything we love about the red carpet and more.  Reminiscent of the Tom Ford white cape ensemble Gwyneth wore to the 2012 Oscars, the silhouette itself is perfection.  The Ralph Lauren color is mesmerizing in photographs we can only imagine how amazing it was in person.  Somewhere between a perfectly red red and a bright coral red we swoon just imagining a room this color…

red

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coral red

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Next, we have Olivia Wilde in an Emerald Sequined Gucci, it can be argued that there has not been a better more glamorous maternity look on the red carpet.  She is positively glowing and the gown fits impeccably.  The color emerald was particularly popular this past year as it was named the Pantone color of the year.  The use of emerald in interior design is fabulous as well, the jewel tone has such a rich texture that just a touch adds depth to a room.

emerald

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Maria Menounos is radiant in a fabulous pink Max Azria Atelier gown.   Maria is beautiful, her California bronzed skin is perfect against the hot pink dress.  Pink is tough to carry into interior design unless you are decorating a little girl’s room or a feminine home.  We love the images below, each displays beautiful use of this powerful pink hue…

hot pink

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fab fuchsia room

Lupita at the SAG Awards in turquoise Gucci, she nails it yet again. We are loving this bright turquoise, perhaps because, to us, it represents warmer days that seem so far away. Admittedly, the blog “House of Turquoise” never fails to get us salivating at the use of turquoise in interior design. We’ve found some images that represent this color in well styled décor.

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bright turquoise pops

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Carpe Annum

Ahh, resolutions. With good intentions we all make them, unfortunately life often gets in the way of keeping them.  So far, I’ve made a mental note of a few that I’d love to stick to this year.  Coincidentally, one of which is to make more lists, to write down the plethora of thoughts that flood my brain on a daily basis (less mental notes).  Another is continuing to improve this blog’s content, aesthetic, frequency and my own technical ability.   There is quite a bit of work to do here if we are going to achieve the ultimate goal.  There is an obvious intersection between these resolutions, hopefully the success of one will lend to the other.

On another note, they say when you do what you love and you will never work another day in your life, undoubtedly a true sentiment.  Here we’ve applied this adage to the work environment.   I am inspired when I am surrounded by aesthetically pleasing elements.  Consequently, our current home improvement project is creating and styling a “home work environment”.  Using inspiration from pinterest images and some of my favorite style blogger’s home offices, I’m confident we’ll hit the mark.  So, back to the resolution situation… In order to accomplish the objectives I’ve laid out for myself this year, I hoping to create the optimal environment tom make it feel less like work.

Here are some of the images that have inspired me to create this space,  as well as my inspiration board…

This desk from Horchow is gorgeous, combines modern lines and feminine accents.  It’s elegant and functional.  Perfect but comes at a hefty price-tag.
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Another beautifully styled work space
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Mirrored furniture is beautiful and timeless. As part of the John-Richard Collection Horchow’s Lexington Office Furniture & Pagoda Etagere are gorgeous together. The Chinoiserie influence is perfect with the light color palette.
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Mackenzie Horan’s small studio space is so well styled you wouldn’t ever know it is a studio. The Design Darling has an incredible knack for style.
mac desk

Our inspiration board, stay tuned for the end result! Looking forward to revealing:

Designed Desk