17 December 2010

the remodel

I haven't mentioned much in the way of details regarding our kitchen remodel, mostly because I have been too busy trying to make it all happen + work a full-time "real" job. It has been stressful & hard, given that my boyfriend and I have never owned a home, let alone remodeled one. And most of the time, we are thinking, "what did we get ourselves into?" But we've been trying to really enjoy it, because once it all is finished, it will mean so much that we put so much of our own sweat equity into our new home!

Since we closed on October 30th, we've:

-Demo'd the entire kitchen ourselves
-Removed a wall ourselves (it sounds so easy when typed in 3-words!)
-Removed the bright (!) green (!) carpet that the previous owners had just installed in all of the bedrooms in June 2010 over gorgeous original hardwood- really?
-Been reading A LOT of Young House Love - so many great tips!
-Shopped for & purchased all of our kitchen appliances, washer & dryer, kitchen cabinets, granite, sink + faucet, floor tiles & backsplash tiles, lighting for the entire house, door knobs, light switchplates, window coverings, a new sectional, all of the drywall & lumber for rebuilding parts of the kitchen, paint, plus all of the stuff I never even knew I needed in terms of plumbing & electric
-Visted Home Depot & Lowe's about 20 times, probably totaling more than 24 hours
-Had the hardwood floors in the entire house refinished (they look amazing for being 70 years old!)
-Had the interior painted - just a note, all of the interior doors and trim were an interesting pale pink...they are now white.
-Worked with our contractor to build a bar and re-drywall much of the kitchen & mud room, cut out drywall where the backsplash will go, install cabinets, and lay down the floor base - we'll be tiling soon!

We've been physically working with our contractor on weekends to try to save some money, and it has been a learning experience! I definitely will be much more handy when this is all over.

I can't wait to share the before and after photos (they are shocking!), but until then, I will leave you with this:


Images by Megan Reed

09 December 2010


One of the top 10 best things about the holidays.


03 December 2010

falling into winter

In Northern California it seems like fall swooped in swiftly amidst an Indian summer, had a little Thanksgiving turkey, and Winter has already taken over. Besides the fact that the thermometer on my dashboard read a freezing 26-degrees multiple days this week, the Holiday music and decorations seemed to appear all at once, overnight.

I was lucky enough to snap a few pictures of the falling leaves before they all disappeared, and plan on really soaking in the season - whichever it may be!






22 November 2010

27 October 2010

happy place

As I mentioned here, we have a bit of remodeling to do before we will actually move in to our new house... and by a "bit", I mean the entire kitchen needs to be gutted and rebuilt - no big deal, right? It is a room we'll spend a lot of time in, so we plan on creating a space we love...a happy place.

Ever since Cassandra over at coco + kelley posted this kitchen, I have been dreaming up ways to morph our small space into a version of it. It may not turn out to be it's identical twin, but our new kitchen will have the same soul.



26 October 2010

babes in mobland

There is nothing sexier than retro glam & red lips - and Ellen Von Unwerth proved that in her Vanity Fair shoot featuring the gorgeous ladies of Boardwalk Empire. [Not to mention the show is phenomenal!] Katie over at the neo-traditionalist posted these yesterday and I couldn't help but pass them forward.



25 October 2010

a place to call our own

After months of ups and downs on the crazy roller coaster that is house hunting, my boyfriend and I officially own our own little piece of the world! Although the new house isn't the place I mentioned here, we love it all the same - as does our pup, pictured below comfortable as ever lying by our new fireplace. We have a bit of remodeling to do before we actually move [and a lot of furniture to purchase], but it looks like we will be living there by Christmastime...and we can't wait!


14 October 2010

20 years later

Twenty years ago, my little sister turned five. My family threw her a circus extravaganza, but when it came time for the ponies to arrive...they didn't. [I know, I know - this sounds like some sort of bad Disney movie!] Lucky for her & the rest of the little ones in attendance, my parents were smart enough to not publicize the fact that the ponies were even coming in the first place. As we grew older, my parents told this story and in some way or another, we'd laugh about it every time my sis' birthday rolled around. SO - when she turned 25 just a few weeks ago, we decided what better way to celebrate than with...PONIES! Of course, the ponies were late [almost 2 hours late!], so we almost rehashed the tragedy of 20 years prior. Those darn ponies, always keeping us on our toes!

[circus fun]


01 October 2010

fresh air

Fresh air makes me happy. I feel like with every breath, my mind gets clearer and clearer, sweeping out the clutter that consumes my brain in my daily life. My boyfriend and I dashed up to the mountains for a week recently, and it wasn't nearly long enough. Besides the fact that our time was filled with fun activities & adventures (think kayaking, hiking, swimming, picnicking, playing with puppies, early mornings, warm coffee, and pure happiness), it was just QUIET. And quiet is good.



14 September 2010

when in rome

Okay, so I am not in Rome now, nor have I been to Rome recently...but I am back from a short [and much needed] hiatus from work and life-in-general. I spent my time off in the mountains hiking, kayaking, cooking, & reading, all with little connection to the outside world - and it was dreamy. Part of me never wanted to come home! But, the OCD overachiever in me wanted to get back to work ASAP, so here I am.

More on my mountain adventures later; for now, I have to share this simply-delicious recipe I whipped up while away.

[simple ingredients]


[roman-style chicken]


27 August 2010

sophia loren

I have a slight obsession with Sophia Loren [my cat may, or may not be named after her!]. These photos really need no words. Happy weekend!



24 August 2010

hustle & bustle

I am ecstatic that the shoot I mentioned here was featured on Style Me Pretty today! Can it get any better than that? I love working with Bustle whenever I can, and this shoot was no different.

Check out the inspiration for the shoot and the rest of the images here.

[photos via Christine Taylor]



13 August 2010

blackberry bliss

The last time I spent hours picking blackberries may have been when I was about 8 years old. Every time I visited my aunt's house in the sierra foothills she would recruit all the little ones to pluck berries so that she could bake blackberry pies [and we didn't object because we would eat them!]. I always ended up with stained fingers [and sometimes toes], and I knew that would be a danger when I decided to go blackberry picking this past weekend, but what I seemed to forget is how thorny the bushes can be. Regardless, the stains and pains were absolutely worth the delicious blackberry crisp reward I devoured a few hours later!

This article in 7x7 (which featured this blackberry crisp recipe from Saveur) sparked my desire to bake this simple & sweet crisp. And the fact that I know someone who [thank you Shaw family!] has a multitude of blackberry bushes in their backyard made it easy for me to use fresh berries.

[ready for the picking]

[warmed by the sun]


[berries & sugar]

[Willie's blackberry crisp]

04 August 2010

nikon heaven

It isn't necessarily the perfect time [financially] for my boyfriend and I to have made such a huge investment in a new camera [we picked up the Nikon D3000 last weekend!] + telephoto lens. But after thinking about the major things happening [see here] or about to happen in our lives, we couldn't say no. [In addition to the fact my boyfriend lost our point-and-shoot and I've been dying for a DSLR]. And now, we can't put it down. I suffered a small case of buyer's remorse the night we bought it, but have come to realize it is the absolute best purchase we've ever made.

Below is a small sample from the 421 [!] photos we took within the first 24 hours it was ours!

On another note, it's quite possible my quest for the perfect dress has ended. See me in Rebecca Taylor below.

23 July 2010


Print by MursBlanc - 8x8, $18 on etsy

21 July 2010

fingers crossed

My boyfriend and I are [this] close to being in contract to buy our first house! It was built in 1900 and has all the details I would want to recreate if it was any newer - crown molding, high ceilings, long windows, and the cutest little white picket fence. Although we have a long way to go before it's ours, I am already dreaming up my design schemes [with or without my boyfriend's input!].

coco + kelley blogged about using citron as an accent color today, and I am loving this living room + color palette from elle decor.

Hopefully I'll have some of my own before and after photos very soon!

Photo via coco + kelley & elle decor

14 July 2010

the perfect wedding storm

Last night I was lucky enough to style a photoshoot as a part of Bustle and every detail couldn't have been more divine. An amazing team of vendors gathered and together, created absolute perfection.

The pictures must remain under lock & key for now, but here is a little preview of the floral by Floral Theory...and this is before they were arranged. Heavenly.

07 July 2010

hello, jess!

Jessica Alba opened eyes at Paris Fashion Week; how gorgeous is she? I can't decide which look I love more.

Photos via here and here

28 June 2010


There's absolutely no reason I want this Roberts Revival Radio other than the fact that I think it would be the cutest [and most unnecessary] beach accessory. Move over ipod.

[photo via anthropologie]

24 June 2010

always & forever

After my sister's wedding week, a trip to my boyfriend's lake house for Memorial Day weekend, a wild birthday weekend in Vegas to celebrate my 27th, a quick and blistering hot stop in Charleston, SC for work, a day of bocce ball to celebrate my dad on Father's Day, and much more I am BACK! Life has been insane, so I am looking forward to a weekend of r e l a x a t i o n and a little time to stop and smell the roses the rest of this summer.

Despite everything I've done over the past month, a memory that will last a lifetime is my little sister tying the knot.

She was married at the Monte Verde Inn on May 15, 2010 and the day was absolutely perfect. The girls were able to sleep over the night before the wedding, and spend the entire day getting ready there. These photos are from my camera (with a few taken by the Inn), but I have seen a sneak peek of Christine Taylor's shots (my sis' amazing photographer) and they are stunning! I will be posting my favorites when the time comes.

And YES, I caught the bouquet...