Monday, November 30, 2009

Yes, Yes, Yes ...

Have you ever popped over to Weardrobe for a quick dose of outfit inspiration? If so, then you're probably like me and you just keep looking and looking and looking. You inevitably spend waaay more time than you intended. But, really, how could you not? There are so many great ideas!

Here are a few that caught my eye today:

Photos from here.

Still Thankful

It's the Monday after the long Thanksgiving weekend. In other words, back to reality. No more sleeping in and lounging around. No more eating nonstop and chatting for hours with family.

While we're all getting settled back into our normal routines, I still feel incredibly thankful. Not just for this gloriously relaxing weekend I just had. But for where I'm at right now in my life. I love that on Thanksgiving we pause and reflect on how good we have it. I try to do that throughout the year -- be more conscious more often about how blessed we are. I'm glad that these feelings are lingering after the weekend.

So, in honor of Thanksgiving, here are a few of the things I'm thankful for:
* My husband -- my dream guy, who makes me laugh, whom I'm incredibly attracted to, whom I always crave being connected with
* My parents -- not everyone has a good relationship with their folks but being close to them is one of the greatest blessings in my life
* My sister and her husband -- I love them and really, really like them; my husband and I are lucky to be friends, not just family, with the two of them
* My pup -- we logged in some major cuddle time this weekend and, quite frankly, I'm not ready to give that up
* My family -- I'm grateful for every last one of this crazy, loud, funny and deeply loving bunch
* My girlfriends -- although I don't live near all of them anymore, they're so important to me and I think of them constantly; I can't wait till we're together next
* My faith -- it's my rock and my backbone and my cornerstone
* My home -- the small, just-for-us life we're building in our house makes me so happy
* My job -- not only am I thankful for having a job at all right now, I can't believe it gets to be one that fulfills, challenges and rewards me
* My country -- it gives me advantages and opportunities that I'm not even conscious of on a daily basis
* My body -- being healthy and feeling well is absolutely one of the greatest gifts in life
* My mind -- my brain seems to always be shooting off in one random direction or the other but I am thankful for my creativity and the sharpness I have at least some of the time
* My choices -- being able to live healthfully and as cruelty-free as possible is crucial to me
* My inspirations -- I'm definitely lucky to live in a place where ideas, thoughts and crazy notions are all around

Happy Thanksgiving -- last week, today and every day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tie One On

Yesterday, Splendora mentioned this fun Red Valentino bow tie tee. Isn't it a neat idea? This top could be perfect for a holiday party -- special and festive yet casual and comfy.
Photo from here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Twists on Tradition

I'm so happy it's Thanksgiving week. I love this time of year -- the food, the traditions, the slowing down, the time spent with family. We'll be doing two Thanksgiving celebrations this year: brunch with my husband's parents and friends and then an evening meal with my crazy family. I can't wait!

Now, I realize I'm fortunate not only for getting two great meals on Thursday, but also because I'm not hosting either. Not that it wouldn't be fun. Maybe one day I'll get all brave and ambitious and invite everyone over to our house. And if I did, I would like to decorate with clean lines and harvest-time hues, much like these two tabletops: 

Isn't this Martha Stewart idea of displaying colorful leaves in clear vases great?

White dishes look so crisp when they're paired with a chocolate table and pumpkin runner, a la this Real Simple table.

Photos from here and here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Matter of Perspective

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
- John Lubbock

For me, these past few weeks have been filled with ups and downs, highs and lows. All of which makes me grateful for relaxation and good times this past weekend, which will hopefully continue into this Thanksgiving week.

But I can't help but wonder, as we experience challenges and triumphs, how much does our own perspective contribute to the fluctuations? And if we can impact our situation with our attitude, how much effect can it have? While I don't have the answers to these questions, I do believe in the importance of a positive attitude, in being grateful for the good things, even when some things aren't so great.

I was thinking about this when I snapped these two photos the other day. Both are of the same scene, taken within seconds of each other. But a shift in perspective created two entirely different images. Kinda neat, huh?

Photos by me.

Makes You Wonder

A few weeks ago, I came across a program on television about the word's oldest trees. It boggles my mind that some of the trees living on the earth right now are three- and four-thousand years old. Just think of the events big and small, and changes slow and fast, they must have lived through.

Shortly after catching this program, I saw a post on the splendid blog Bliss that mentioned a stunning work of art by Bryan Nash Gill. Locust is a relief print of a cross-section of a locust tree, and I think it's just beautiful.

The print made me wonder how intricate and beautiful must a cross-section of an old tree with four thousand rings representing four thousand years of stories be. But in a way, I'm glad we don't know just yet.

Photo from here.

Ahhhh ...

I am relaxed, calm, serene even. I feel refreshed. I feel wonderful. This is probably because my husband and I got to spend the weekend at a spa. Whirlpools, saunas, massages, facials and lots of lounging ... two days perfectly spent, in my opinion.

Here's hoping these glorious feelings last.

Photo from here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chic Indeed

Don't you love it when someone busts open a stereotype? When a person makes it just a little less easy to mentally put everything tidily away in boxes? 

Maybe that's why Metropolitan Home's Dixie Chic story appealed to me so much. You'd expect Dixie Chicks musician Emily Robison's San Antonio home to be quite country, for a lack of a better word, right? Or at least you wouldn't anticipate finding an urban loft outfitted with industrial materials, clean-lined furniture and touches of texture and color. Well, I didn't anyway -- and I am delighted to be wrong. 

Here, take a look at some of the amazing rooms: 

Photos from here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Natural Selection

As I've mentioned before, I'm a major fan of color. I like filling my spaces and my outfits with rich hues. Somehow, it makes me happier than muted tones.

That being said, I've developed a thing for gray lately. And other more understated and natural colors may follow. Perhaps that's why I'm digging this organic hemp clutch from inleaf. The natural-colored, textured fabric is lovely and the floral motif on it is absolutely gorgeous. And it's environmentally friendly. Perfect!

Photo from here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Lately, I have felt overwhelmingly thankful for being able to simply move.

I have gotten back into running, something I've tried to do for years. I've been blessed with several good runs and it feels so good to cover distance on my own two feet, to take deep gulps of air, to sweat and exert myself. And the endorphin rush that comes afterward doesn't hurt either. I can't wait to go for my next run!

I am truly blessed to be able to do this and I hope I never take it for granted.

Photo from here.

Z is for Happy

This animal print -- found on this post on the fantastic ish and chi -- totally brightened my mood the other day.

Catherine Ledner creates the most amazing animal portraits combined with gorgeous backdrops. But I have to say the cheery zebra print is my absolute favorite.

Thanks for the beautiful boost!

Photo from here.


Several months ago, I fell for this graphic map of San Francisco by Ork Posters that describes its eclectic neighborhoods through words.

So finally I ordered it -- an it came in the mail today! It's exactly what I need to kick-start my next home-decorating project.

Just inside our front door is a staircase leading to our second floor ... and a huge two-story expanse of wall just begging to become a mini gallery. I have been dreaming of creating a salon look, like those shows in Europe centuries ago where works of art crammed next to each other on walls in academies for people to admire. I want to hang posters like this one alongside photography, drawings and paintings by a range of artists, including myself. I think a black and white color scheme will unify things nicely. We shall see ...

If anything, this poster will serve as a great reminder of a place Iused to live -- and one of my favorite places to visit now.

Photo from here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Perfect Mix

The weekend's winding down but I have a huge smile on my face because this has been a fantastic two days. It brought the ideal mix -- for me, anyway -- of going out, staying in, relaxing and getting stuff done around the house.

And today my husband and I pampered our little pooch with a big walk and a trip to her favorite pet store for treats. So I think she had a good weekend, too.

Photo by me.

Just Add Water

The other day on the very cool blog My Scandinavian Retreat was a post on a Swedish houseboat (via CasaSugar). Now, this home would be amazing if it were on land, with its clean lines, simple white color palette and warm wood. But it sits on water, making it even more incredible.

Ever since I read a Boxcar Children book as a child (P.S. weren't those books the best growing up?) in which the kids solve a mystery on a houseboat, I've been more than a little intrigued by floating homes. And this one is pretty much the best I've ever seen.

Can you even imagine the views it affords -- both inside and out?

Photos from here.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shake it Up

Refinery 29 posted a feature recently called "Six Perfect Outfits to Shake Up Your Fall Dressing." I fell for three of them. Here they are:

This golden scarf elevates an outfit of beautiful basics.

Love the dress, love the shaggy vest.

I am obessed with pairing any-time-of-year dresses with black tights.

Photos from here.


I'm sure a lot of girls have a random, eclectic and ever-growing collection scarves in their closet. I know I do. I love a good scarf and there are so many ways to wear one.

But I never thought about wearing one around my neck and under a belt like the lovely Orchid Grey did the other day. What a great outfit!

Photo from here.

What a Ride

I had the most glorious afternoon today. Two of my girlfriends and I took a twenty-mile bike ride. We wanted to take advantage of the very unseasonably warm weather we had today -- sixty-five degrees in November!

Now, mind you, the last two times I biked where on a trip to Italy two summers ago and in college! But it was so much fun. I had forgotten how exhilarating it is to be on a bike and it's great to see a place that's familiar from a new vantage point and speed.

It felt amazing to take deep breaths of fresh, fresh air and feel the sunshine on my arms. To use my body to take me distances I hadn't attempted for so long. To laugh and connect with two fantastic friends. The experience was truly a blessing.

Photo by me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How Cool is This?

As I've mentioned before, I have a major love of elephants. They are such amazing animals.

So how could this wall decal by Wilson Graphics not be totally cool?

Photo from here.

Perfectly Proper

While visiting the blog Down and Out Chic the other day, I noticed this post about Juliette Hogan.

The designer's winter 2009 collection, called "Mind Your Manners" is so understatedly gorgeous. The beautiful shapes -- a pleat here, a ruffle there -- and prints are offset perfectly by hushed shades of smoky gray, muted navy, dusty pink and creamy ivory.

Here are a few looks I especially love:

Photos from here.