Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013


I have a confession.  I HATE carving pumpkins.  I may have to ask my mother to confirm this, but I think I hated it as a child too.  I am NOT interested in slaving away with a knife/cutting implement and then scooping out pumpkin guts in the name of making a Halloween creation.  I may be very creative...but this is one activity that does not float my boat.

As a result of my Halloween pumpkin-carving-hatred, I am naturally drawn to other pumpkin decorating options.  Here then is a round-up of some of my favorites for this season.

Option 1 - The Googly Eyes Pumpkin!  This is SUPER easy to achieve; a lot of eyes for a lot of look!  (For more info on this look, please check out this months edition of HGTV Magazine)

Option 2 - The Mummy Pumpkin!  Again, super easy and the result is A LOT of look!  Just take medical gauze and wrap up a pumpkin. Add some giant googly eyes and wham bam thank you m'am you are DONE!
Style House & Homes: Pumpkin Decorating
Option 3 - The Glamorous Pumpkin!  If you are interested in a slightly more upscale look then grab some cans of fall themed metallic spraypaint and have at it.  (Check out this blog for more great pumpkin ideas)

Option 4 - Chevron Pumpkins!  If you have a steady hand, this is a simple pattern to sketch onto your pumpkin and then fill in with paint.  Or spraypaint the whole pumpkin white and THEN add the chevron stripes.  Again, a lot of impact for just a little work.

Halloween: Pumpkin Decorations

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Room Tour: Bathroom Redo!

 (metal letters purchased years ago from Urban Outfitters)

We have an upstairs hall bathroom that services 4 kids.  We inherited the bathroom when we bought the house and haven't done much to it.  The previous owners replaced the builder grade vanity with something a little nicer (though not my taste) and then installed a concrete counter.  They upgraded the toilet and added crown molding.  All in all, it's a fine bathroom...just not what I would have chosen if I had the choice.

When it came to freshening up this bathroom, I decided to go colorful and inexpensive.  I mean, come on - it is for 4 kids ages 4-10.  I was not going to pour money into the venture.  When I want to freshen, I always turn 1) what I've already got by way of decor in my house and 2) Target.

For my shower curtain and bathmat I turned to Target.  I picked up this chevron curtain and LOVE the punch of color it gives this otherwise average bathroom.  I also picked up lots of new towels in both white and yellow and a new garbage can.  We were making progress!

The framed art over the toilet is made by moi and it was VERY simple.  I took a bunch of fabric scraps from my stash and pieced them together, glued them to a board and framed them.  30 minutes tops.  The blue round iron piece was something we had in the garage from decorating long ago; I freshened it up with some turquoise spray paint.  The iron tin holding toilet paper sits on the toilet tank; I picked it up at a favorite Utah haunt called Taipan Trading.

I picked up these little faux plants at Taipan Trading years ago.  They sit on the windowsill in the bathroom.  The rhino toy belongs to my 4 year old boy.  I guess he likes it there :)

More of those awesome chevron print towels from Target.  Wooden giraffes purchased from a random import shop in NYC Union Square a few years ago.

I have no idea where this lovely soap dispenser came from but isn't it nice?

I realize that there is A LOT more I could do to this bathroom but for right now I am satisfied.  It looks nice for the kids, it is a happy colorful place and it is clean.  That fits the bill for a kids bathroom in my book!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Room Tour: Sophisticated Teen Room

My friend Sarah has an extraordinary home.  It is such fun to visit; every room is infused with personality and color and unique trinkets from ALL over the place.  One of my favorite rooms in her home is daughter Lauren's room.  For a 13 year old, this is a decidedly sophisticated and whimsical place.

The beautiful headboard is a Craigslist find that Sarah stained a deep red.  The neutral bedding is from Target.  The lovely old armoire is from a neighbor; Sarah later repainted it white.

I love that this red isn't a typical "red wagon" or "barn red" RED; it is much more sophisticated hue.  Pillow from Target.

Sarah made this amazing message board center by wrapping cork board with a grey linen birdcage print.  Lauren is an avid artist; this zone is perfect for her to tack up her latest drawings and paintings.

This has long been my favorite piece in Lauren's room.  Actually, it is my favorite piece in Sarah's entire house!  Lauren made each of these gorgeous paper origami cranes.  Sarah then attached them with fishing twine to dowels and configured a kind of chandelier.  What an amazing piece of art!

Another of Lauren's paper crane displays hanging in a corner of the bedroom.

Thank you, Lauren for letting us visit your room!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Make it Monday: Scrap Fabric Tassels

DIY: Pretty Scrap Fabric Tassels
As an avid sewer and hoarder of colorful prints, I have ALOT of fabric scraps.  I am always looking for ways to use every SINGLE piece of my scraps and this DIY project is a great way to do that.  This project was originally posted on Decor 8 so please check out the link for all of the instructions.  Trust me, it's really simple.  This is the kind of project that you can do while sitting in front of the TV watching "New Girl" :)

Make Me: Pretty Scrap Fabric Tassels by decor8, via Flickr

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Our Family Car Dilemma!

Folks.  It is nearing that time.

I have had my Nissan Quest for 6 1/2 years.  It has been a wonderful minivan and has served our family of 6 very well.  Alas, I can't wait to move out of the minivan stage and into our next car (most likely in the spring).

But I have encountered a dilemma.  With 4 growing kids (oldest is 10 1/2 and youngest is 4 12) it's not like we are going to need LESS seems we will need MORE.  Hmmmmm...

First, you need to see my favorite car.  Like, if all of the stars aligned and I could drive whatever I wanted without limitations of size or price (bear with me, it is my car fantasy) I would drive a Mercedes G Class SUV.  More specifically the G63 AMG SUV.  Yes...I have given this some thought.

Like this:

I have wanted this car for years.  YEARS.  Whenever I come across one on the road I have been known to do whatever is necessary to pull up alongside it.  It is a beautiful beautiful car.

But starts at $135,700 and that is before I make customizations to it.  Sooooooo...not going to happen anytime soon.

Alright, moving on.  I had always assumed that when we were finished with the minivan stage, our next purchase would be the Nissan Armada SUV.  Like this one:

I love driving my current Nissan and have spent some time in the Armada and LOVE it.  Lots of space, great towing capacity, decent mileage for an SUV, I like the tech and entertainment packages, in budget (basically).  It even fits in the garage.  We have talked about this being our next car for several years now so it was a forgone conclusion...until...

We went to Mexico and spent a day in this passenger van.  That's right. Passenger VAN.  It is the Nissan NV - Mexico version.  It seats 10 or 12 (Mexican version) and is ultra comfortable... and kinda cool looking. 

Then of course our Ragnar race happened (that is a post for another time) and we rented 2 large Ford 15-passenger vans to transport our team 200 miles on the race.  I had never driven a passenger van before and was pretty nervous to take the wheel.  Those nerves lasted about 6 minutes and then it was fine. 

So after the race and after Mexico...we started thinking.  What if...we bought a really cool passenger van instead of a big SUV?  We would never be without space.  We could literally carry anything in it.  Our growing kids would not run out of room AND there would be room to take a friend or two or three when it was necessary.  We love to take road trips (we take 3-4 a year) and it would be very comfortable to travel in.  CONS: It would not fit in our garage.  It would take up lots of space in the driveway.  Most parking garages would be out of the question for us (though that isn't a big factor in our day to day life anyway).

So I started doing some research.  The funky Nissan NV that I fell in love with in Mexico is not here in the US...and getting it from Mexico to California is surprisingly difficult.  So that option is out.  But then I remembered there is a passenger van I like even MORE.  And it is by my old friend, Mercedes:

This is the Mercedes Sprinter Passenger Van.  They have been around for years.  It can seat 10 or 12, very customizable. Comfortable.  Diesel.  Great mileage (see diesel).  It would take about $3000 to do the after market customs to it that I want (DVD screen/package and backup cameras/sensors).  So out the door, roughly $44,000.  And kinda cool looking.  I was so interested that I visited my local Mercedes dealership a week ago to see it up close and personal.  I liked it.  And as a side note, if you ever want to see some truly luxurious Sprinter customizations, play with google - there are some AMAZE-BALLS conversions out there.  WOW.

But going the passenger van route is a very different plan that the one we originally had.  So I was a big torn.  And not having it in the garage is a big con.

Then I did some more research.  It turns out there IS a Nissan NV here in the US...and it looks completely different than the Mexico or European version:

Crazy right?  That is a BIG car.  This is the US version of the Nissan NV and it has only been around for a few years.  In fact, they are hard to find!  Again, I was so intrigued by the 324 different seating configurations in this thing and comforted by the fact that it was a Nissan that I drove to the nearest dealership that carries them.  There are literally endless options with this thing.  But it is BIG.  When I mentioned it to my older kids and showed them pictures they begged to get this in black, "so that when we go to school we look like the Secret Service".  They kind of have that look to them.  The price point is a big more reasonable than the Mercedes, gas mileage isn't nearly as good...and did I mention that it is BIG?

I stewed on it for a few days, reading every review I could find online about both the Nissan NV and the Mercedes Sprinter.  In the course of my research I came across a THIRD option.  Which looks a lot like the Mercedes Sprinter (I prefer that look) and priced closer to the Nissan NV.  It is not available until next spring/summer...

This is the 2015 Ford Transit Passenger van. Kinda cool looking, no?  Apparently this has been in Europe for years but now it is making its way to the US.  I think that I like it.

So I have a dilemma.  Do I stay the course and just get the SUV that I was planning on all along...or do I mix it up and get one of these vehicles listed above?  What say you???

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Color Blind

I received my latest CB2 catalogue last week and found this print:


I LOVE it.  Big fan of the whole color treatment on the piece.  Yours at CB2 for only $179 but hurry because it is a part of their limited edition series (there are only 300 made of this print).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rug Roundup

I have a major weakness for beautiful, unique rugs.  The more colorful and over the top the better.  A few of my favorite rug posts are here and here...

And so without further ado, I feel like it is my civic responsibility to showcase a few of my favorite rugs (of late).

First up, this offering from my ALL TIME favorite store on the planet, ABC Carpet and Home.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: if it were possible to just live inside ABC for the rest of my life, I'd be the happiest girl ever.  But I digress...

This 8x10 "splatter" look is yours for $3999 at ABC.  Handwoven in India.

Contemporary Abstract Wool Rug  - 8'x10'

This one looks like colorful overlapping fingerprints, no?  Or the rings of a tree?
Rugs USA Keno Cirlces Multi Rug. #colorful Rugs
 When I look at this I see this I think of movie theater spotlights!  By Sonya Winner.  Large size for $9,097.
Colorful Rug
 And finally, this crazy crazy explosion of color and print.  The website it is on is written in Hebrew so I am out of luck with translating anything about it.  Except that I LOVE it.  That doesn't need translation.
שטיח צבעוני

What are your favorite rugs?

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Have you noticed all of those blinged-out/mustached/hip-in-the-moment pacifiers popping up at every children's boutique?  Ones that have a rapper grill or maybe funny teeth; you know what I'm talking about.

Well...I have discovered the most brilliant pacifier of them all.  This will be part of every baby gift I give from now on.

 Yours for $10 at Uncommon Goods.  Love it.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Have you seen this yet?!  What a great idea!

push-pop confetti
Great idea for party favors.  I can see this at a wedding reception instead of tossing rice or blowing bubbles?!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Snaps of Color

Last week I had this CRAZY revelation: I decided to stop wearing all color and just wear black.  All the time.  Now, most of you have never seen my closet but rest assured there are about 11 items that are black and 150+ items that are brightly colored/print/floral/chevron/tie dye/you-get-the-picture.  Honestly, I love walking into my closet because it is an explosion of color.  And since high school I have been a girl who LOVES color.


I have 4 kids and a busy life and as I stood in a clothing store last week looking around at ALL of the prints and florals and colors I felt overwhelmed.  I decided that maybe I could simplify one area of my life and start dressing in just black.  Kind of like a uniform.  I would wake up and simply put on one color!  Right?  It would be so easy.

It lasted for 1 1/2 days.

I mentioned my all black plans to a handful of friends; no one was in favor of the idea.  The running theme was "But...that's so NOT you!"

Turns out they were right.  Black is chic.  And I love the color black.  But to wear it every day for every item of clothing just isn't ME.

So I returned to my colorful ways and I doubt many people even noticed the difference :).

In honor of my love of color here are a few favorite color shots this week.  Gosh color makes me so happy...


pom poms!
(all images from my Pinterest "Just Because I Love it" board)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fire Escape!

I saw this and fell in love.

The first apartment Mr. S and I lived in was on 25th Street and 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.  It was a fifth floor walkup.  The only "outdoor" space we had (which is a luxury in NYC) was a little fire escape just like this shelf.  Ahhhhhh memories.  I don't miss the fire escape and 5th floor walkup living but I DO love this planter shelf.

Yours at Uncommon Goods for $100.  New York memories not included.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Make it Monday: Candy Corn Inspired Bottles

Confession:  I really really really REALLY love candy corn.  And it is only available for like 6 weeks of the year.  So when I saw this great DIY project inspired by the in-short-supply-candy-corn I knew I had to feature it.
DIY Candy Corn Bottles. Perfect for Fall decorating on a budget!
There is a great tutorial on this project found here.  You will need glass bottles (different heights and shapes are great) and three colors of spray paint - white, yellow and orange.

Such a fun and inexpensive decorating idea!

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Favorite Vintage Haunt: Napa, CA

I have a confession to make:  I have been keeping a secret.  A BIG secret :)  But now I am prepared to spill the beans about my absolute favorite vintage/antique haunt in Napa.  For those just joining, I live about 20 minutes from downtown Napa and consider the place an extension of my hometown.  I have been visiting the same thrift/vintage/antique stores there for many years now but ONE claimed my heart long ago as my FAVORITE.

It is called...

Antiques on Second.

I know...killer name, right?!  Just kidding.  Hey, they are keeping their location right there in the name of the store.  They are literally located on Second Street in Napa.  Doesn't get easier to find than that.

Treasures abound here.  Prices range from acceptable to a bit out of reach.  Inspiration fills the entire space.  It is a store where I have picked up brilliant vintage dresses that I will keep for the rest of my life, antique tea towels I have refashioned into cafe curtains, enamel earrings, dressers, tables, signs, small children's size chairs for my playroom, dollhouse furniture for my daughter; I could go on and on. 

(I spotted this treasure the other day and the only reason I didn't bring it home was that I have no current need for a dresser.  Which KILLS me.  Check out that amazing French burlap paint treatment.  Swoooooooon)

RUN don't walk to Antiques on Second.  I'll be right over.

Antiques on Second
1370 2nd Street
Napa, CA 94559

(707)  252-6353

P.S. I am not being compensated in any way by Antiques on Second for this glowing post.  I just really love the store and want to see others fall in love with it too.