August 30, 2009

bedroom overhaul.

I loathe our bedroom. Loathe it. It is a hodge podge of mismatched furniture, bland decor, and no overall decorating scheme whatsoever. I painted the room five years ago with Benjamin Moore's Silver Lake, and it is now looking dingy and dull. All of the furniture is still the same from when I lived here alone five years ago. We have three bulky dressers (that I inherited from my mom when she upgraded) that don't make very good use of the space, two mismatched bedside tables, a stuffed chair, a closet that barely holds anything, artwork that I hate, and an Ikea wardrobe that I bought off of my best friend/former roommate when we moved out of our old apartment.

Sounds awesome, right?

Lately I have been getting more and more fed up with our bedroom, but we don't have the cash to do a complete overhaul. However, we are still newlyweds, and I think it's important for newlyweds to have a nice, relaxing space to slumber. Nick has seen how cranky the room has been making me lately, so we're now on a mission to spruce it up on the cheap.

The one thing I actually like about our bedroom is the bedding, which was from our wedding registry:

Italian Percale by Hudson Park. We have the Lagoon color, which is a teal that seems to no longer available; it is shown here in Marine.

It is crisp, simple, and will work with a range of decor. I am really glad that we went with something more classic instead of some of the trendier prints that would dictate the rest of the decor.

I hate to repaint the room when we may only be here for another year, but it might be necessary in order to really be happy with it and feel like it's a new room; painting is such an inexpensive way to make a big change. It makes the most sense to just paint a fresh coat of Silver Lake, but I think I'd be much happier with a new, more bold color.

I like the contrast of this light teal bedroom with the dark headboard and furniture and simple white linens

this blue is darker, but so pretty against the crisp white woodwork, via Young House Love

Nick probably wouldn't be a big fan of this, but I think an accent wall in a vibrant orange would be so striking against the white bedding with subtle teal details

The furniture is certainly our biggest hurdle (and expense), and due to a lack of built-in storage in our apartment, it's definitely a necessity. I am always inspired by the before & afters on Design*Sponge, but we don't have a backyard or any outdoor space in which we could sand down any furniture in order to repaint it, so that may not be our best option. My brother and sister-in-law recently had these Hemnes dressers from Ikea that I think would work perfectly. (They recently sold them when they moved into a new place, but we didn't really have the foresight to think of buying them off of them until it was too late!)

Two of these would probably provide the same amount of storage that our three bulky dressers do currently. I've been scouring Craigslist with the hopes of finding them a little cheaper than they're sold for at Ikea.

The Ikea wardrobe that we have is not the most attractive, but it really serves its purpose and has been a lifesaver compared to the awkward and incredibly small built-in closet in the room. I'm thinking I could at least make it blend in a bit more by covering it with some dark woodgrain contact paper to coordinate with the dark dressers, and maybe covering the transparent window portions with a fun pattern.

In terms of art, I most definitely want to grace our walls with some more personal pieces. I love the idea of silhouettes (which I have posted about before).

Or a fun presentation of various patterns would also add some interest, but not be as personal.

Over the next few months, if I actually keep up with this little project, I'll be sure keep you posted on the progress!

What are your best tips for redecorating without breaking the bank?

August 24, 2009

Austin pics

It has been nearly two months since I took a trip to Austin, Texas, for the HOW Design Conference, but I never really blogged about the trip!

While the majority of my visit was spent inside the convention center, I was able to see just a tiny bit of the city before heading back to Philly. Overall, it was a cool place (and by cool I mean "neat") yet it was extremely, stiflingly hot (and by hot I mean "unbearable") for a northern girl like me. 106 degrees in June is just a bit of overkill, Austin.

Alas, I had a great time — I ate a LOT of Tex Mex, shopped on South Congress, and managed to capture a few cool pictures thanks to my little Panasonic Lumix TZ5 (and some sprucing up with a few fun Photoshop actions). Here are a few of my faves, all taken on my last day while shopping along SoCo (as the cool kids say).

August 15, 2009

my birthday presents to myself

Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes on Wednesday :-) My day was perfectly wonderful and wonderfully relaxing. I bought myself a few goodies with some birthday cash, including this adorable top from my favorite store, Fossil:

... and this cute Franco Sarto tote bag on sale from Macy's, which included a little wristlet and a matching umbrella (I'm a sucker for coordinating freebies):

I was obviously in a very purple mood!

My mom also picked up a bottle of Clinique Happy, my favorite scent, for me — my last bottle that I've had for almost two years is just about empty. I wear this every day!

Clinique Happy

Do you buy yourself birthday presents when your special day rolls around?

August 13, 2009

'tini tables

I am head over heels in love with these 'Tini tables from oomph.

Found via Design*Sponge

The shapes, the colors, the style — oh my! They would, indeed, add the perfect bit of "oomph" to any room. (Sorry... I had to.)

August 12, 2009


Today I am twenty-nine. For the first time ;-)

I don't feel twenty-nine at all. And people tell me I look like I'm about twenty-three, which I have learned to take as a compliment (though when I worked at a University a few years ago, it got really annoying to continually be mistaken for a student). But I digress.

I still have so much I want to do before I'm thirty — so I guess it's time to get cracking!

I'm taking the day off from work to relax, get a mani-pedi with my mom, perhaps buy myself a present or two, and have dinner out with Nick. I'm looking forward to a low-key day to celebrate entering the last year of my twenties.

Bye bye, twenty-eight!

August 11, 2009

Julie & Julia... the movie

I told you several months ago about the book Julie & Julia that I was smitten over. I was delightfully surprised to find out after picking the book up that a movie based on the story was due out this summer. And not just any movie with any stars — a Nora Ephron movie, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. Really, what could possibly make this movie NOT spectacular?!

Nick and I checked it out on Saturday, and we were not disappointed — it was SO good! There were even a few lines that I missed because the laughter in the packed theatre was so loud.

I don't know that I would have loved it quite as much if I hadn't already known a bit about Julia Child — Meryl Streep was absolutely awesome and hysterical as Julia — but hopefully it will teach some youngins about her legacy :-)

Amy Adams really can't be bad in a movie, if you asked me, so it came as no surprise that she was wonderful, too.

A few details were modified for the film, but I was pleasantly surprised that a lot of the experiences that Julie Powell relayed in her book were pretty accurately portrayed. Overall, it was just delightful and I highly recommend you check it out :-)

The real Julie Powell

August 7, 2009

America's favorite dancer

You KNOW I am beyond thrilled with the winner of last night's So You Think You Can Dance finale....

Jeanine Mason!

I clapped like a little child when she won.

It was SUCH a great finale show with encore performances of some of our favorite pieces throughout the season, and of course my favorite, Jeanine, was named "America's favorite dancer." I loved her "acceptance speech" and the fact that they left enough time to actually talk to her after the win (as opposed to past years where they just bring on the confetti and chaos and head right to the 10:00 news). I can't wait to see her and the rest of the top 10 on tour!

And in case you need a refresher, this is why Jeanine is awesome.

August 5, 2009

SYTYCD | top 4 | finals!!!

I love the excitement of the finals! The fact that tonight's show is at the Kodak Theatre speaks to how much this show has grown over five seasons. Let's see what the dancers have in store...

Top 4 | "Boys Boys Boys"
I was not expecting a cheerleader-themed routine from Wade Robson. Not my favorite Wade number... I guess it was cute and had some good moves, but it felt very bubblegummy and un-Wade-like. Come on, choreographers... don't screw this up!

Jeanine and Evan | Jazz | "Heartbreaker"
If you don't know by now, I am 100% Team Jeanine. I think Sonya's choreography is perfect for her so I was really excited to see this number. I have to agree with Mary (I know, I don't believe it either) that Jeanine definitely outshone Evan, but they both did a great job.

Kayla and Brandon | Broadway | "Bye Bye Love"
THIS is what Broadway routines should look like! More dancing, less theatrics. I like the theatrics and all, but this is a dance show!!! Sometime Tyce forgets that. Their turns got really out of sync at one point and a jump after that wasn't together, but otherwise it was pretty incredible. Certainly a force to be reckoned with.

Evan and Brandon | Hip Hop | "Nasty"
Laurieann Gibson choreography for the finale? Okaaaaaay. Anyway.... We've already established that Evan looks ridiculous in leather. And I just thought this choreography was not up to par for the finale. I think I saw a grapevine in there. And this whole "dueling boys" thing was done so much better in the last two seasons. This did nothing for either of their chances. Ick.

Kayla and Jeanine | Contemporary | I have no idea what the song was because...
MY FREAKING CABLE WAS ALL MESSED UP AND LOST 90% OF THIS NUMBER! Just gone. Went from commercial right into the last 15 seconds of the dance. I am PISSED. GRRRRRR. According to the judges reviews, it was amazing. This better show up on YouTube ASAP!
UPDATE: fellow-Philly peeps, I found a video here!

Kayla and Evan | Jive | "T.R.O.U.B.L.E."
I thought Kalya looked extremely desperate in this number. Not sure what it was but I think she kind of overdid it to the point of being obnoxious, despite how much Nigel loved it. Evan did a nice job and he did great with the lifts, but overall it was "meh." The damn lighting was also so bright that half the time they were both glowing (but they're also both extremely pale?).

Jeanine and Brandon | Paso Doblé | "Tetsujin"
Kind of telling that they saved this number for last... but maybe that's me just being biased! The Paso Doblé can be a kiss of death for some couples, but I think they totally killed it. The two of them with their intensity and their sex appeal and their outright awesomeness... just stunning!


Brandon | "Dies Irae"
His body is made of steel! And his solos make more use out of 30 seconds than I have ever seen before. There is no question that he is an incredible dancer, and an equally convincing performer.

Jeanine | "Por Una Cabeza"
Her control is unbelievable. I think that is what always impresses me about her solos... she just has complete control over every movement. I love that she got so emotional after her solo and that the judges never saw her coming a few months ago. TEAM JEANINE!

Evan | "The Best is Yet to Come"
Let's face it: Evan is not going to win this competition. But the boy is SO likable — and talented, to boot — and I still love watching him. He is nowhere near Brandon's level, but he's exceptionally good at what he does. I'm glad he has made it this far.

Kayla | "Sweet Dreams"
I've said it before and I'll say it again — her solos are not that strong. She does well with the choreography that is given to her but I did not think this was her best and she didn't make great use of those 30 seconds. We all know she's a phenomenal dancer. But her solos don't give me chills like Jeanine's and Brandon's.

- - - - - - - -

Who I'm voting for:
Starts with a "J" and ends with a "neen." :-)


My friend Maggie showed me this today... at first, I was like, gee, thanks, Maggie — a picture of some crumpled up squares of paper. How very "abstract." Then, I looked a little closer....

Do ya see it? Do ya? Do ya??

Freakin' awesome!

August 3, 2009

wedding blog fibbers

Words that should be used more carefully when describing weddings:




Even though our wedding was almost a year ago (srsly??) I still read a lot of wedding blogs because I work in the wedding industry. I can't tell you how often I read that a wedding has "effortless charm" or is so "simple and sweet" or has such "casual elegance," when in reality, more often than not, a team of creative professionals were hired to make things look so "effortless" and "simple" and "casual." Either that, or you know that the bride and groom had to put a lot of thought and time into the look and style they were going for, and in my book, thought+time=effort. Can we stop making other brides feel like crap for spending months on end refining all of their details? Can we stop pretending that all of these gorgeous weddings just fell into place?

I am all for making things look effortless; but wedding blogs, please stop telling us that the details were effortless to put together. We are onto you, and you're not fooling us anymore!

Tangent over. Just had to get that out of my system :-)