favorite things

I haven’t posted in what seems a really long time. Sometimes I find that life moves so quickly that before I know it, a couple weeks have passed and I can’t remember what kept me so busy. It’s been like that. We’ve been running this way and that and haven’t had much of a chance to slow down. Most memorably over the last week or so, I got my 40th birthday present (albeit a little early)- a new bike. I have a major race in a few weeks, and my husband was sweet enough to not only buy me my dream bike, but also to get it for me early enough so I could race on it. I also had a beyond fun road trip with some dear college friends to Baltimore, where we met up with a group of our friends from college. It was incredibly fun. So fun, in fact, that I’m still tired from it. This girl is getting old. Another great thing that happened is that my last post was featured on West Elm’s design blog, Front and Main! I was so incredibly honored and excited to see that. It really and truly made my day when I saw that yesterday. It was (and still is) a fantastic feeling to have someone share your work. You can see the post here: http://blog.westelm.com/2013/08/18/lets-get-moving-brooklyn-plates-more/

Today, I felt like sharing a few more favorite things of mine. Most of these things are newly placed on my radar, and for good reason. Here they are:

Could this possibly be the coolest candle ever? I think so. It’s the Muse D’Or by Jonathan Adler- a floral candle in a beautiful porcelain gold vessel. At $78, it might be more than you would normally spend on a candle, but personally, I think the best part is using the vessel after the candle is gone. It wold look great with flowers, pencils, keys…just about anything. I love it. It’s from Waiting on Martha, which has become one of my favorite shops and blogs. Great place for all things home/entertaining related. http://www.shopwaitingonmartha.com/

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This is Anastasia brow gel, and I don’t leave home without it. Brows can really change a face. They can make you look like a mess-or they can make you look amazing. One little swipe of this stuff will tame and shape you brows, and it will stay all day. I’ve tried a few different gels, and this one is by far my favorite. It’s $30 and you can buy it here: http://www.sephora.com/

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I literally ordered these candle holders today; I got the CB2 catalog in the mail and as soon as I saw them, I knew they had to be mine. CB2 is a place that I love to go to for really affordable home decor. The prices are definitely husband-approved;  the set of three is $19.99. (whaaaaaat?) I bought gray taper candles to go in them, which gave them a kind of moody feel. Great for fall. I found them here: http://www.cb2.com/

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Today, I was turned onto a site called Wunway, and I found the sweetest little hair clips and accessories for little girls that I have ever seen. When my daughter saw this one, her face lit up. If you have a little girl, you really must take a look; everything is so charming and whimsical. This particular one is their crown clip and it’s $22. http://www.wunway.com/

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Ok, so I’m not a fan of taxidermy. It freaks the hell out of me. (Dead animals as decor? I don’t get it.)  But this (faux) deer head, for some reason, I’m obsessed with. I’ve had it as one of my “favorite items” on Etsy for the longest time, and if I had enough wall space for it, I would order it. I visit the shop from time to time to make sure they’re still being made, because when we move to a bigger place, this will be one of the first things I buy. It’s so cool, and it’s a great conversation piece.  And don’t get me stared on the glitter antlers. It’s $119.99 and can be found here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/107367343/gift-ideas-for-him-her-couples-white?ref=col_view

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I definitely have a thing for skulls. Especially when they’re on a pretty little box like this. You can never have enough little trinket boxes. I want this one for my coffee table. For $29.99 it can be on yours, too. Find here: http://www.zgallerie.com/

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This beauty is from Zara’s fall line. I’m head over heels for the gold hardware on this bag. This would be such a great everyday bag, and it’s big enough for juice boxes and extra Spiderman underwear. Bonus. Available at http://www.zara.com/us/

I am in a full-on macaron obsessed mode. It’s funny, because there’s so much hype about these tiny little pastries, and for the longest time, I didn’t get it. The first time I had one, I was baffled. It was fine, but didn’t blow my hair back. I thought they were just for snobby rich people. (Think Blair Waldorf.)  Then I tried another one a little while back. And then I got it. It was heavenly. Since then, I pick them up whenever I can. They haven’t all been divine, as like everything, some places make better ones, but they haven’t exactly sucked, either. And I can always count on Trader Joe’s for a fix. They are cheap and surprisingly good. But there is one place that I have yet to go to-and that’s Laduree. These dessert shops are all over the world, mostly in France, and I am lucky enough to have one close by on the upper east side of NYC. They are a bit pricey here, but I am hoping to receive one of these lovely little pink boxes for my birthday in a couple months. (Ok, honey? PINK box, please. Love you.) http://www.laduree.com

Now that the season is winding down and my husband and I are caught up on Breaking Bad, I plan on writing more. Not just here, but I’ve had some things swirling in my head for years that I’ve got to get on paper. (Or computer.) I’ll share if it becomes anything.

Enjoy the week.

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favorite things

I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July!! I find that the Fourth has a way of unifying people like not many other things do. It’s like everyone forgets their differences and remembers what they have in common: being an American. For one day, people remember all the wonderful things they share-all the freedoms, luxuries and opportunities. Even my douchey neighbors manage to smile and say hello. (Tomorrow it will be business as usual, I’m sure, and they’ll be back to complaining about everyone.) It’s a great day filled with family, friends and patriotism. I wish I could say that my kids enjoyed the fireworks, but they spent the entire time on my lap (not a pleasant thing when it’s 90 degrees and muggy as all get out) and crying about wanting to go home. Sigh. Maybe next year. I said that last year, too.

Besides having a wonderful Fourth of July, there were just a few little special things going on that I wanted to share. Just a few favorite things that have made me smile. And here they are:

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A new candle always makes me happy. And this is one of my favorites-Voluspa Crisp Champagne. It smells like luxury. That’s the best way I can explain it. I dare you not to want to drink champagne while burning this.

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Paper chevron straws. I love little details like this. These little straws make a glass of water seem just a little more special. And my kids love picking one out. So fun. I got mine at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/InTheClear.

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My monogrammed clutch. It came in the most beautifully wrapped box. So beautiful, in fact, that my daughter was convinced it had to be for her. Who else could get such a pretty box? I don’t have a middle name, so the monogram is a little smaller than I’d like, but I’m still so happy with it. And a white leather clutch goes with everything. I got it here: http://www.markandgraham.com

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On Friday night, I told the kids we could have a picnic/movie night in the living room. So we ordered a pizza, put down a blanket, watched The Incredibles and ate. It was so much fun and the kids loved it. We’ll be doing that again, for sure.

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Working out with Zoe. As I mentioned previously, our sitter moved away. We are still in the process of finding another one (had to fire one before she even started; long story), so I can’t get to the gym. So I’ve been working out at at home. It’s not always possible, but when it is, my daughter likes to join me. It’s hard to focus, because it’s so cute and funny. She has so much fun-until we get to the planks. She says, “this is too hard, mommy.” We’ll have to work on that. (Did you notice what Zoe is using for weights? Barbie dolls. Atta girl.)

That’s a wrap. Have a wonderful weekend!

Little masterpieces

A couple weeks ago I did a post about some of my favorite pieces of art, but I left out the kids. Today I want to share with you some of my favorite art pieces for the little ones. I think it’s really important to expose kids to art as early and as much as possible to encourage their creativity and inspire them. It’s also for you, too; you spend a ton of time in your kid’s room when they’re little so it should be aesthetically pleasing to you as well. And while I love the idea of framing the art that children themselves create, my kids’ art looks like crayon vomit right now, so for the time being I’ll leave the art to the pros. (And how many of you have had the above scene in your house? It’s a fun one.)

I’m such a sucker for French phrases. I took 5 years of French in school, and I remember squat. But even though I can’t speak it for crap, I still think it is so beautiful. My daughter is becoming a bit of a francophile due to one of her favorite books and is anxiously awaiting her first trip to Paris. This might hold her over until then.

They may be smearing poo on the walls, licking the public bathroom floor and throwing their scrambled eggs at your head, but at the end of the day aren’t your little guys your best works of art?

Every night at bedtime I say to my daughter “do you know how much I love you?” And she replies, “to the moon and back.” And then I say “and so, so , so much more.” And then I take a shower to get the scrambled eggs out of my hair. That have been there since breakfast. Don’t judge.

How sweet is this “Mademoiselle under the rain” print? The answer is really freaking sweet.

Isn’t this photography dreamy? What kid doesn’t want to dream about going to the carnival?

These are my absolute favorites; they’re from kiki and polly. I have 3 prints of theirs in my son and daughter’s room and I love them more now then when I first got them. When I was pregnant with my first child, we didn’t know the sex of the baby so decorated the nursery in a neutral palette, and these little gems fit in just right. They’re just precious.

Great prints from Super Rural. I have an odd love of ampersands, and the heart just makes this one awesome. It’s becoming obvious to me I also have a thing for typography for kids. Interesting.

Ok, I’m a little obsessed with these fairy tale prints from Land of Nod. My daughter is just starting to get into fairy tales, and my trigger finger is all ready to purchase one of these. Just waiting for the signal….

I love maps used as art, both in adult spaces and ones for children. They’re especially great for kids because they can also learn from it. Maps are cool. Who knew?

For all you chemistry nerds out there, I give you the periodic table banner! You go on and pass that awesome nerdiness down to your kids. You know who you are. They’ll thank you some day when they have 5 people arguing over who gets their coffee.

So go clean the poo off those walls and put something pretty up.

Art is my homeboy.

Wild Herringbone – Colorful Abstract Geometric Art.

I truly love art.  Being around it makes me happy. I’ve started a collection in my home and every time I look at the pieces I smile. Isn’t that what art should do, after all? And I didn’t spend a lot of money on the pieces, either. It’s not like I was bidding on Picassos at Christie’s. I have found some great sites that offer amazing pieces and are totally affordable. Here are my favorites:

1. Cozamia. This site contains the works of artist Nancy Ramirez, who combines abstract art with manipulated digital photography. Her art is bright, colorful with just the right amount of edge. And with pieces that start around $45, it’s reasonable.  I have 2 of Nancy’s pieces and they literally make me smile when I look at them. The above ‘Wild Herringbone’ is in my dining room. http://cozamia.com/

2. 20×200. This site is like a huge art warehouse; there is something for everyone.  It’s mostly comprised of new up and coming artists. And with prints starting at $20, there’s no excuse to not start your collection Like now. Go.  http://www.20×200.com (At the time of this post this site was under construction.)

3. Etsy. What doesn’t Etsy have? The answer is nothing. (Looking for a troll doll from the 70s? Some weirdo on etsy probably has one.) This site is made up of vendors who sell all handmade or vintage wares. And it’s an amazing source for art. But it you’re new to it, it can seem overwhelming. It can also seem like walking into T.J. Maxx;  you gotta wade through a lot of crap to get to the good stuff. But it’s there. Here are my favorite pieces from my favorite etsy artists: (prices range from $25-$200) http://www.etsy.com/

Paris photography Hot air balloons over by EyePoetryPhotography.

Print of Watercolor Painting fashion by silverridgestudio on Etsy.

Draw the Line Fashion Illustration Art Print by LeighViner.

4. Alyson Fox. I came across this artist in Domino magazine (when it was regularly published). In it I saw one of her pieces that I fell so instantly in love with, I immediately contacted the artist and requested it. Thankfully, back then she was relatively new on the scene, so it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. I’ve since purchased more art from her for both for myself and as a gift for a family member.  She remains one of my favorites. Starting at around $40, you can buy her work here: http://alysonfox.com/site/category/keep-calm-gallery/

Ill Seen, Ill Said: February 2009.

5. Yellow Korner. With a location in NJ and NYC and an online store, Yellow Korner is very accessible. It’s like a photography superstore. The photographs are beautiful and of high quality and prices start around $100.  http://www.yellowkorner.com/

Yellow Korner : Photograph : No Refunds – Formento – Formento.

See? Even if you’re a broke student living on ramen noodles and Tang (that totally dated me), or living at home, there’s no reason you can’t pretty up those walls. But you don’t have to buy art-you can always make it. Take your favorite piece of fabric and frame it. Bam. Art. You could also frame a pretty piece of wallpaper, a napkin with a great print. Quite literally anything can be art. Whatever makes you happy. Because isn’t that what art should do, after all?