it’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween

It occurred to me that I haven’t posted since my race, which was 3 weeks ago. I’ve wanted to, but quite honestly, I have just been tired. Like down to the bones tired. By the time I’m finished with everything I need to do during the day, the couch has been calling me….and I’ve been answering. Things have been busy around here, and nothing has been making me happier in the evenings than cracking open a window so the fall night air comes in, burning a pumpkin spice candle (has a more heavenly scent ever existed?), cozying up under a blanket with my honey, and the occasional beer. (pumpkin ale, duh.) So that’s what I’ve been doing. But now that all our new routines are firmly set in place, the kids are happy with their new schools (a process that took a little bit of time and a lot of wine) and all seems right in the world, I thought I’d start up this little thing again. So here I am. I think that there’s something about fall that kind of rejuvenates me. While most people are complaining about the end of summer and the start of colder weather, I’m doing a little happy dance. Fall is and always has been my favorite time of year; I love everything about it. I love that the weather is cool enough that it’s refreshing, yet warm enough that you can spend hours outside. I love that everything under the sun comes in a yummy pumpkin flavor. (seriously, everything) I love putting on a sweater for the first time in what seems like forever; it always feels like the most cozy sweater ever. I love going on hayrides and going apple/pumpkin/pretty much anything-picking. And one of the best things about fall: apple cider donuts. Droooooool………. At the beginning of September, I started doing inventory of all our Halloween decorations, and every day would ask my husband “Is it too early to put this stuff out?” Well, this weekend I stopped asking and started decorating. In my opinion, we need a TON more stuff, but my husband thinks it’s enough. (shocker.) Well, I think we all know who will win that battle. Here’s just a few little snapshots of what I’ve been doing around the house:

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And that’s just the beginning. That creepy guy bust on my entryway table is my favorite Halloween thing ever. It was a Home Goods find and I’m slightly obsessed with him. Last year, he stayed out until almost December; it breaks my heart when it’s time for him to be stored away. One of my new finds this year was the caged crow-he’s motion-sensitive and makes noise/flaps his wings/eyes light up when you walk by him. I can pretty much guarantee that we’ll be quite sick of that thing pretty soon. In the meantime, I’m pretty sure I need to pick up some more (faux) bloody gauze and skulls, and I’m in the process of spider-webbing a few things. Ahh, I just love this time of year. Now please excuse me while I go have something pumpkin-flavored.

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.

How a navy blue sofa turned into a whole house.

I’m so over my sofa. Like really over it. I want a re-do. It’s a chocolate brown sectional, and while it’s not butt-ugly, I’m just ready to move on. It didn’t wear very nice and the middle cushion has become quite thin-so when you sit on it and you expect to sit down on pillowy softness, you actually sink into this uncomfortable pit. It sucks. We’re not actually in the market for a new one right this minute, but I’ve definitely started thinking about it. And what I want-what I’m a little bit obsessed with-is navy blue. I think I just might trade my dog for the perfect one. (Ok, not really, but he’s still having accidents so I have moments of weakness when I just might…) I’ve been searching the internet/blogs/Pinterest for awhile looking for the right one, and hadn’t quite found it. Then today, I was checking out West Elm, and voila!! There it was. Navy Blue. Velvet. Chesterfield. Have lovelier words ever been put together? It’s perfection. And here it is:

Isn’t it lovely? I’ve been building rooms around it so much that my head is spinning. And the price point, just like everything at West Elm, is great. It’s Chesterfield (which can be very formal), yet it’s casual, and the color just gives it so much character. I gotta have it and I can’t wait to give my lumpy ol’ P.O.S. the heave ho.

While I was online, I found a bunch of other great stuff (as I usually do), and I thought how I could really build an entire room right from the same place. And then it went on like that. I pretty much planned out almost an entire house from West Elm (so much fun), and then collected it all and put it here. And no, my kids were not being neglected while this was going on. They watched a 30 minute show about some bear detective (totally educational, though, I’m sure), and mommy got a little inspirational break. Here’s what I do in my (very sparse) spare time: (Don’t judge.)

West Elm living room

Sloan Upholstered Chair / Souk Wool Rug / West Elm Mongolian Lamb Pillow Cover– Pebble (24″ Sq.) / West Elm Stackable Chair / West Elm Diamond Dot Crewel Pillow Cover – Slate / Andalusia Dhurrie Pouf / West Elm Parsons End Table – Natural Grass Cloth / West Elm Origami Coffee Table / West Elm Agate Bookend / Chester Tufted Upholstered Sofa / Abacus Table Lamp Mercury

So here’s where it started. The navy blue sofa was the jumping off point for the room. The rug is something I’ve been lusting after for as long as the sofa, and it must be mine at some point. I love the cool lines of the coffee table and also love that the upholstered chairs bring such a great pattern to the room. I also threw in another wooden chair, because I love having an odd chair in the room. I just do. Throw in a pouf for extra seating, a couple of Parsons side tables and lamps, some textured pillows and some agate (love natural elements in every room) and you’ve got yourself a pretty fine living room.

Moving on…

West Elm dining room

West Elm Mobile Chandelier / West Elm Sculptural Spheres / West Elm Dumont Buffet – White / Cast Metal Table w/ Patched Metal Top / Kasbah Wool Rug Steel / Scoop-Back Chair White

Here’s the dining room. The table top is hard to see, but it’s metal. Love the wood/metal combination. And that chandelier is beyond.

West Elm bar cart/gallery wall

West Elm Woven Wall Art / West Elm Framed Bird Wall Art – Flamingo / West Elm Mirror Trays / West Elm Papier-Mâché Animal Sculptures / Gallery Frames White / West Elm Framed Print – When Crystals Form

To me, a house wouldn’t be a home without art. And booze. So here’s both-the bar cart/gallery wall area. You’re welcome.

West Elm office

Industrial Task Table Lamps / West Elm Zigzag Wool Rug – Iron / Swivel Desk Chair / West Elm Framed Print – Polyglot II / West Elm Parsons Desk with Drawers – White

Step into my office. I didn’t really plan on it being all black and white, but I like it. I have seen that exact Parsons desk in a gazillion spaces, and it looks good in every single one.

West Elm entryway

West Elm Scribble Wallpaper / West Elm Umbrella Stand – Umbrella / West Elm Sculptural Spheres / West Elm Multi-Panel Foxed Mirror / West Elm Sculpted Geo Console – Parchment / West Elm Martini Side Table – Antique Brass / West Elm Indigo Geo Cotton Dhurrie / Spindle Back Armchair | west elm

Here’s the entryway, which I probably should have started with, but whatevs.  Can we take a moment and discuss the console table? Oh. My. And I would totally wallpaper my next entry-and I would go for something bold and graphic, like the gray one here. A few accessories, a runner and chair and boom. Cool, modern entryway.

Every interior designer alive would probably lose their lunch at the thought of decorating an entire house from a catalog, (gasp!) but I happen to think it can come out great. And if West Elm would like to send me any of the above items, I would graciously accept.

All items be found here: http://www.westelm.com