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?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Registries and revisions

As you either know personally or can imagine, a REALLY fun part of getting married is deciding on your registry. Joseph and I had lived together for about two and a half years before we got engaged, so we knew we didn't want or need a ton of stuff. Our list was mostly: nice new pots and pans, china, some crystal, and a few tools for Joseph. Which also meant I got to add on some fun stuff I'd been wanting for the house, like new throw pillows, a duvet cover, a fauxidermy deer head (if you think I'm kidding, you don't know me that well. Give it time.), etc. etc. Joseph was kind enough to allow this; I assume he knows he's stuck with my decorating bug for the rest of our lives by this point. If you're wondering, we used My Registry, which I highly recommend.

The new touches have added so much to our condo that I had to show you! The living room is just new pillows (and I redid the mantle), but I'll be showing you the revised master bedroom and bathroom soon as well (bathroom still needs to be painted). Our living room currently has a teeny Christmas tree in the corner that's taken the place of the second crystal lamp, but you can get the general idea. As an aside- I'm very sad to not have a full-size real Christmas tree this year, but we're going to Jamaica for 8 days (!!) on the 13th for our honeymoon, so it just didn't seem practical. Plus our little fake tree makes me really happy for some reason; I think it maybe reminds me of Bastrop pre-fires.

Pre-registry living room:

The pillows just didn't really fit with the new nice side tables and couch. Plus, you can't tell that much from the picture, but they weren't very good quality.
I think it's amazing what a huge difference pillows can make. These new guys are all big and squishy and made of beautiful material, and they make the space more mature.

Butterfly pillow, Black linen pillow, Gold and white pillows

I so often hear people say that they don't have the money to spruce up their place, but you don't have to go buy an expensive new couch or armchair to do so. A lamp and/or a couple of pillows starts the process really nicely (especially if you're renting and can't paint). 

From the corner where sits the (as-yet-undecorated) tree:

Hm. Wish I'd turned those lamps on. Aerial does, too.

And the mantle, which I glammed up with gold candles but simpled up by taking down the large floral arrangement. Our stockings will go nicely in the middle. Pardon the dirty fireplace; we've gotten a lot of use out of it already!

Mmmm. Sometimes less IS more. And yes, that's my "less".

I really really love the space- it's still young and fun and fresh, but just looks more put together and will age nicely. Kinda like my mom.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dark & Thankful

I'm so predictable: It's cold outside and I immediately blog about cozy spaces. But they make me so happy! If Joseph would let me I'd repaint our whole condo dark every winter (only to want to repaint it light every spring). Since I hate painting, though, and we aren't rolling in dah dollahs (lame), I just drool online instead. Vamos a ver:

A lovely, simple, navy living room with a vintage couch to make you thankful for resale shops:


A grey and green dining room to make you thankful for darker looks that work gorgeously year-round (hint: It's the beige linen):

As you can see, Veranda

A beautifully curated corner that goes with the previous year-round thankfulness:

Apartment Therapy

A hague blue living room to make you thankful for the over-the-top (even if you wouldn't do it in your own home):

House Beautiful (thanks corner of photo!)

And finally, a luxurious living room so you can be thankful for mixes of simplicity and glamour, manly and feminine:


Ta-da! Have an amazing holiday, eat a little too much (or a lot too much, I don't judge), and try to drink some red wine in a cozy space for me, ok? I'm thankful for you, readers!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sparkles for your Wednesday

I wish I had a longer post for you today, but I only have a few free minutes, so I thought we'd do ye olde Sparkle Thursday on Wednesday instead! Because: Wednesday.

I'm going super narcissistic here and making the sparkles about my wedding dress, because I was/am seriously obsessed with it. I don't have any professional photos yet of me in it, but since I wrote the post on my prospective dresses, I thought I'd show you what I ended up with.

Ta-da! Jenny Packham's Eden (on a lovely model):

Lauren, did you guess correctly?

And a couple shots from the big day:

makin' out.



It was super comfortable, even more beautiful in person, not super bridal-y, and I didn't have to diet to fit into it. Now I just need to find a black tie gala to attend so I can re-wear it. Let me know if you hear of one, ok?

Oh, and for fun, The Duchess of Cambridge in Jenny Packham:

Also: warning. You will probably be forced to look at more pictures of me when I get the professional shots in. So...there's that. Apologies in advance.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Man chirps.

We're taking a break from girly pretty to do something a little different: a MAN POST.

Ok, it's not quite as dramatic as all that, but stay with me here. 

Our entry closet, a little nook for hanging coats and such, was quickly turning into a bit of a burial ground for stuff we didn't have another place for. Thus, it wasn't being put to good use, so Joseph decided to do something about it. Previously, all his tools were in random shelves in the guest room, so nothing was easily accessible (or easily put-back-able). But with a little creativity and a couple of trips to Lowe's, Joseph turned our closet o' shame into a man closet o' rawr.


It looked worse than this; I think this was part-way through the cleaning out.

And after! It's hard to get a good picture, but I think you can see that Joseph built and painted a middle shelf for his toolbox.

And on the side walls, peg boards (thanks, cousin Katie, for buying them for us off our registry!):

Ta-da! It's great- Joseph can just pop over to his closet, quickly find whatever tool he needs, and then just as quickly put it back up when he's done. I think it's a really smart use of the space since we don't have access to a garage, and Joseph loves it. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Let's just get this out of the way first: 24 days until I become a wife!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!


Onto today's post- beautiful moody interiors. Every year as fall rolls in I want to paint every room in my house a dark color, turn on the heat, and open a window a bit while I read a billion books. It might not be quite cold enough for that yet in Austin, but it's coming! I thought I'd help fall make up its mind to come in by showing it how it influences interiors. Sure, it's a stretch, but what the heck.

First up, a Miles Redd bedroom that is just epic enough to be awesome, and definitely cozy enough to see you through fall and winter.

Up next, a super-glam living room from I'm not sure whom, but found on Houzz. It's a little too "schmancy hotel lobby" for me, but I still lust it.

One of my faves is this next guy, a Michele Bonan dining room. The hague blue on the walls, the library-esque feel, the contrasting chartreuse curtains, the caramel leather...sigh.

Pardon the arrows; had to do a screenshot.

This next room, a Kelly Wearstler kitchen, pushes all my happy buttons. So much glam (brass cabinets? shut up), although a smidge untouchable.

And since greens are really doing it for me lately, I'll end verdurous, courtesy of Todd Yoggy
Two words: olive velvet.

Allrighty then, time for a drop in temperature! What say you: Is fall your favorite season, too?

Monday, September 23, 2013

A few faves.

Quick study break!

Who made your best-dressed list from the Emmy's last night? If you said "basically no one", then you and I are in similar boats. I just don't think very many people brought it, which makes me sad. But there were a few that I loved, so let's see if you agree:

First up, and I know this is a controversial one: Anna Faris in Lhuillier.

Besides the fact that her hair looks like a really strange wig, I fully support this. I love that shade of yellow, especially as a transition color between summer and fall, and the drapery is killing it.

Next up, young'un Kiernan Shipka in Delpozo:

I absolutely ADORE this. I'm sad that the Fug Girls weren't totally on board, but I am not letting that sway me: I think it's divine. It's so fun and just...lovely. I want it as a painting for my dining room as well, and how many dresses can you say that about?

#3: Tina Fey in the rockstar of classy/sexy- Narcisco Rodriguez.

Maybe I'm biased because I have those same hips, but I think this is stellar. The color is rich and perfect, her hair and makeup look gorgeous, and come on: it's Tina Fey. It's hard for her to do wrong in my book.

Lastly, goddess Michelle Dockery in Prada.

I can't say enough good things about this. The two tone and the cut are über-modern, but the fullness of the skirt is so romantic. It's like the dress is a metaphor for her character on Downton, which I'm all for. Add in those shoes, clutch, and earrings, and I'm sold.

Et tu, reader? Any particular loves or hates of the night?

Friday, September 20, 2013


Oh my bejeezus, you guys. Joseph and I get married in FORTY-THREE DAYS! I can't even tell you how excited I am. I get: a life partner, an amazing party, a life partner, and a bunch of awesome dishes from our registry. Oh, and a life partner! Amazing, amiright?

I have so many people asking me how wedding planning is going, if I'm freaked out about any part of the actual wedding (not marriage) part, etc., and apparently I'm kind of a weirdo since I'm done with planning and very zen about the whole thing. I think in our current situation of being surrounded by pinterest, blogs (guilty), and just so much...stuff...that it's easy to constantly wonder if you need to change anything, worry that someone else has your same idea, and on and on. Obviously I want the wedding to be spectacular and gorgeous and hopefully a little unique, but as long as Joseph and the officiant are there, I'm thrilled.

NOW. That being said, I'm fortunate enough to get to have a big beautiful shindig, and I'm not saying that isn't absolutely awesome. I think part of why I AM so calm about the whole thing is that I have a really good idea of what pushes my happy buttons, so it was surprisingly easy for me to put my ideas into a cohesive whole.

So I don't know if anyone cares, but I thought I'd throw a few glimpses of my inspirations for the wedding into this post, especially since I wanted something trés autumnal, and I feel like the glorious rain we're getting in Austin right now is helping shepherd in the best season ever.

Inspiration #1 is, of course, the venue: my parents' weekend place in Bastrop:

It'll be mostly tented, although we are getting married in front of the pond in the open.

#2, wild and glam florals:

Sullivan Owen


Shut up, protea. You tha coolest.

#3: Dark & romantic & al fresco:

Also SMP

#4: just a hint of my all-time favorite homage to the 20s:


Bella Figura

and #s 5, 6, & 7:

Mr. Whiskey:

Il Signore e La Signora Red & White Wine:

And Señor Beer:

All of this plus some phenomenal musicians, hopefully cool-ish weather, and tons of friends and family? Only one word for it: yessssss.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Purple is the new black.

Lately I've been having strange feelings. Feelings I thought would just go away, but have stuck around. Feelings that seemed so...unlike me. "Maybe it's the summertime," I thought. Then, "maybe it's the juice cleanse." And before I go any further: no Mom, I'm not pregnant.

I am, it turns out, newly enamored with the color purple, however. The color never used to do it for me, and I'm still really picky about when and how it's used, but in the context of good home design it turns out I'm (almost) totally in! Maybe it's because I had a gorgeous lavender room when I was younger that my aforementioned mother had designed to a T, but whatever the reason, I'm now determined to use some purple in my condo somewhere. In case you aren't convinced, don't worry! I found a billion photos to inspire you to come over to the amaranthine side.

I'll ease you in with this simple girl's room, since we were just talking about my room when I was little.

Design Sponge

A little bit Anthropologie and a lotta bit simple chic, the two lovely purples show that you can effectively blend shades to create a more complex look, even in a spare setting.

A more modern take for a girl/tween room showcases a matching polka dot window valance and bed canopy (as well as a distinctly "Z Gallerie" feel, which I'm mostly ok with, as that store does good things for me).

The black lampshade packs a nice little punch.

Moving into slightly more grown-up territory, this Katie Ridder presses all the right buttons for me.

Good Housekeeping

I know, it's shocking that I would love that. Velvet, birds, disco ball. It's completely over the top, but I love that it's simultaneously dated, modern, ridiculous, and above all: has a sense of humor. I mean, those people aren't going to host anything but the most awesome of dinner parties, and you know it.

For those who are thinking that purple is mostly just for "out there" spaces, I'll introduce you to plum: traditional style.

See? There's something in that spectrum for everyone. How luscious is that wall color??

This guy goes (slightly) traditional plus (eclectic and) funky, and reminds me of our condo, which is probably why I adore it:

Apartment Therapy

Plus that mustard chair is the perfect color play off the lavender paint.

And, last but very certainly not least, this Amanda Nisbet dining room goes completely funky, and LIKES IT.

Sorry, Joseph, but we WILL have something similar one day. (insert maniacal cackle here)