ornithological raconteuse. lover of aesthetically pleasing shananagans.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An ode to paint.

I know I've written a couple of times before about my love for dark paint colors, but I've been thinking a lot about them recently after helping a friend pick some out for his new house. I promise this will be my last post along these lines for a while!

Joseph and I are at least a couple years out from moving, but I've (shockingly, I know) already started compiling my color ideas for when we are in a more permanent house. They just instantly change a room from the expected to a more dramatic and, let's be honest, cool, space. I don't know when the rumor got started that dark colors make a room look tiny, but as the following pictures show, as long as you keep your accessories bright and your furniture mostly contrasting, you end up with a gorgeous look. Plus, whereas you should usually paint your ceiling the same color as your walls, with a dark color leaving the ceiling white will counteract any possible claustrophobia. Again, though, there are wonderful exceptions to that rule!

Onto the ogling portion of the post.

This grey isn't very dark, but combined with the sloped ceiling and darker hardwoods, it approximates an overall "darker" feel. Notice how beautifully the gold chandelier (that's the same one in my dining room!) and white/grey rug contrast.

Brian Alan Kirkland Designs

This next guy is one of my absolute favorites. I'm obsessed with this color, and love the matching etageres, as well as the just-funky-enough animal print rug. The dainty chandelier is surprisingly perfect, too.

Erin Williamson

Staying on the teal + animal theme, you can't help but be wow'd by this library:

Hillary Thomas Designs

A large gilt edged mirror will do wonders for any space, especially a tiny powder room that could use some added dimension:

JL Interior Design, LLC

This bedroom speaks for itself. Small, eclectic, traditional mixed with the unexpected:

Marjorie Skouras

Mmmmmm: navy.

Philpotts Interiors

This moss pushes all my happy buttons. Notice that in almost all of the other rooms they left the ceilings white, but with this slightly lighter shade they went ahead and did the whole thing. Definitely a wise choice, especially given the leeway you have with super tall ceilings.

Plural Design, Inc.

And lastly, a beautiful chocolate bedroom. *swoon*

Tom Stringer Design Partners

And now, back to the nursing school grind! If only I had a deep emerald library to hole up in...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

This is all you need.

Video courtesy of my sister on a recent trip to Scotland.

Set to music by my cousin Daniel.

You're welcome.


Sunday, March 2, 2014


Quick! Look at my favorite Oscar duds!

First, and not just because she and my mom are doppelgängers, Sally Field killing it in Randi Rahm:

Kate Hudson looking drop. dead. gorgeous. in Atelier Versace:

Karen O. in Camilla Staerk and Brandy St. John:

Emma Watson, goddess, in Vera Wang:

Cate Blanchett, aka "she-who-can-do-no-wrong", in Giorgio Armani:

Lupita Nyong'o in the prettiest Prada you'll ever see:

Catherine Martin in I don't know who but I love love love it (does she design her own dresses?):


JGL, in Calvin Klein Collection:

Because duh.

And now, back to the black hole that is nursing school (love you, nursing school!).

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I started nursing school a month ago, and I have to confess: it's been a tough transition. It's an accelerated 2nd degree program, so it's only 11 months long, and this first semester is all about learning the actual "hands" part of nursing: foley catheter insertion, IVs, med administration, percussing abdomens, etc and so forth. Learning this stuff hasn't been the tough part; the hard part has been having to shift my brain away from soaking up physiological processes to getting the rote muscle memory in place. I will freely admit that I have to work harder at practicing skills than I do at sitting down and memorizing textbook material. When it comes to pathophysiology and anatomy (and more recently: pharmacology), things very luckily just click for me, and I get a thrill out of putting the puzzle pieces together. So when I went in for my first day of clinical this week, I had a difficult time. Everything seemed so rote: give meds, take catheter out, give more meds, chart. I went home discouraged, and did what I always do when I've had a bad day: I called my mom (who happens to be an R.N.). 

Unsurprisingly, she had excellent advice:

1) There will always be days like that.
2) but not every day will be like that.
3) You will come to wish for days that are that boring.
4) You have to crawl before you run. (author side note: I'm not used to doing that)
4) You always get out of nursing what you put into it.

So. I'm tattooing those words o' wisdom on my brain (author medical advice side note: brain tattooing not recommended), and I have to say that my second day of clinical was already worlds better than my first. Rather than just dispensing medications, I started refreshing my brain on their pharmacodynamics (thanks, expensive and handy phone app!). And when I performed a simple and routine procedure on a patient, I researched her condition since I didn't know much about it. I know that once I have several patients under my watch I won't have time to do all of that, but by then maybe I'll be applying to graduate programs where I can whip my books back out and start the process all over again.

You know, not to mention the whole "being useful and alleviating several people's pain and brightening their days" thing.


Oh yeah, and here's a beautiful dress I'm obsessed with by Kaufmanfranco for Fall 2014. I mean, it IS almost Valentine's Day; I couldn't leave you with nothing but words:

Monday, January 27, 2014

Quick! Dresses!

Thirty minutes until I have to go back to class means just enough time to find my favorite Grammys outfits and share on ye olde neglected blog.

Numero cuatro (and I usually don't really care for her choices) is Taylor Swift in Gucci. She's so svelte that the shape is perfect on her, and although it's her usual neutral sparkle, I still think it's way more special than what she normally goes with. I would've gone with a berry lip, but c'est la Swift.

All photos from all over the internet.

Next, and I know this will be a contentious one, Zendaya Coleman in Ungaro. Maybe it's my penchant for button-ups, but I just love this look. It's funky but formal, sexy but not skanky.

Teeny tiny Sarah Hyland is #3 for me. I want this dress more than I can say. Pucci (although definitely looks like a loose Narcisco Rodriguez to my untrained eyes):

And the apex of my love sits (obviously), with Yoko Ono.

Ok, back to IVs! Sorry to be AWOL; hopefully I can check in more often from here on out.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Return to normalcy...for now!

Joseph and I had not one, but THREE Christmases this year! It was really amazing; we were bummed to come back from Jamaica (honeymon), but got to immediately jump into the holiday spirit to help assuage our vacation-missing pangs. For actual Christmas day, we just hung out with each other; we watched 2 Lord of the Rings movies, made delicious cornish hens, and drank champagne. That weekend we went out to Bastrop and spent a few days with most of my nuclear family, and on New Years Day we headed up north to see Joseph's clan. On Sunday night (well, early Monday morning) we flew back into Austin from Virginia, and we're now trying to get back into the grind. For him: work. For me: starting nursing school! I have some online modules and study material to do before I officially start next Monday with in-hospital clinical training. I'm going to insert all the catheters!

Anywhoozits, I recently read an article about how pregnant women go into "nesting" mode as their trimesters progress, and apparently that's also true for women about to start fast-paced school programs. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I might have vacuumed today. Just. Saying. I also spent some holiday cash at The Container Store instead of Nordstrom, which is quite the big deal for me. But look!

Not pictured: boots all up in the corners of the closet.
Now I can actually see my shoes instead of just defaulting to two different pairs over and over again because of the jumble o' heels that used to be there. It's like magic.

I also (single tear) took down our leetle Christmas tree. I miss it already, but do love the clean lines that come from putting everything back in its proper place.

Santa got me that candle. It's the coolest- battery-operated but looks really real. The company's called Luminara.

And I switched some art around as well. My insanely talented brother (Steve) is a fabulous photographer (as a hobby), and Joseph and I asked him for a print of our favorite piece of his as our wedding gift. The picture of it doesn't do it justice at all, so you'll just have to trust me.

It's not the absolute perfect piece for the surrounding decor, but with art I say if you love love love it, put it up where it gets to show itself off.

So R2 and C3 got relegated to the dining room, where they look pretty darn awesome, ifidosaysomyself. It's a lot of gold with the chandelier, but I've decided I don't care. Plus it's hard to put art around that light fixture: besides the fact that it dwarfs everything, the shadows it throws interrupt the flow of most pieces. But the prints don't get messed up by the shadows, which is perfect.


Pardon the mess.

And a better view:

Obviously the chandelier is meant for a bigger room, but like I said about the art: put what you love where you love it! It'll transition really nicely with us when we move to a larger space.

Ahhhhhhh. The joy of decorating! I know you're all sick of my living room by now, so I'll give you this to drool over as well:

by Emerick Architects

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sparkle Thursday: Christmas Edition!

Since I've been vibing on the more masculine spaces lately, it was really fun to jump back into Candyland and decorate for Christmas.


We wish you a merry mantle...

The topiary balls (*insert obligatory giggle here*) will stay, minus the birds.

Best ornament ever.

And our little Charlie Brown tree:

I love the giant star and ornaments on it. If you can't be kitschy during the holidays, when can you?

Second best ornament ever:

Nothing says happy holidays quite like a giant jeweled bug.

Are your halls decked?