Surprise below your feet

Photo by Steven Beckly, as seen on Oh Joy!

How lovely is this little surprise wonderland below the roots of this tree? I would love to come upon these paper cranes while hiking one day.

Modern-day mermaid

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Photos of Gisele Bündchen by Sølve Sundsbø, Harper's Bazaar USA 2003, as seen on {a glamorous little side project}.

I think we're all well aware that Gisele is beautiful, but how gorgeous does she look in these textured, shiny metallic dresses? I think she looks like a mermaid washed up from the sea and parading around on land. Photos 1 and 3 are my absolute faves. Think I could pull off metallic scales for the holidays?

Welcome back!

Photo from Martha Stewart

Hello there! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family, friends, or wherever you were. I'm bafter a whirlwind few days on the Cape and some lovely airport travel time (ha), but I promise I'll have fresh new posts up today. Good to see you again and welcome back!


Off to turkey day...Happy Thanksgiving!

Image from (the now defunct) Domino

I’m heading up to New England to spend Thanksgiving weekend with my family, so I'm officially turning off the laptop this afternoon to clean up the house and pack before I hop on a plane tomorrow.

I'll be back on Monday with regular posts, but in the meantime, I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday with friends and family. I'm thankful for both my family and friends, for B, and for this blog! And thank you - all (six?) of you who continue to come back and read my ramblings. :)

Happy Turkey Day and see you Monday!

xoxo, r.

Travel bright spot: Amy Butler bags

Just as I'm mentally preparing myself for what will inevitably be a nightmarish trek up to Cape Cod for the Thanksgiving holiday, I came across these new travel bags from fabric designer extraordinaire Amy Butler.

She's known for her brilliant use of colors and patterns, and these bags certainly follow suit on both those fronts. The bags are supposedly very hearty and well-constructed - perfect for when the Southwest guys are drop-kicking my bag into stowage. At least I'd have something cheery to look forward to while trudging through security lines. Here are some of my favorites:

Originally seen on decor8.

The Mellow Show

SNL has definitely gotten better since Andy Samberg started contributing his hilarious ditties. Without fail, here's another funny one; this time, he's playing Jack Johnson on The Mellow Show with other fellow "mellow" musicians:

Be sure to watch until at least the 1:40 mark to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jason Mraz (he's really good at doing his voice!), or skip to 3:25 to see Dave Matthews as Ozzy Osbourne. Dave is playing Ozzy, while Bill Hader is sitting next to him playing him.

"Cargo shorts." "Vegan cookies." "Hemp necklace." Hilarious.


Smells like leatha

Photo from All the Pretty Birds

I'm not brave enough to sport knee-high peep-toe boots, but this girl is totally rocking them and the rest of this outfit. I love her cute dress, double-wrap belt, hot (p)leather jacket and relaxed hair. Add on some toe coverage and this is the perfect fall outfit (with thanks to global warming).

Greenberg movie trailer

All of the self-proclaimed intelligentsia, indie flick connoisseurs, and introspective mid-30s hipsters around the country are probably falling all over themselves with excitement for this upcoming movie:

Could be awful. Could be awesome. Focus Features usually does really good stuff. I guess we'll see which way it goes when it comes out...

On a side note, I'm excited to see Ben Stiller do a movie that's more in the direction of Royal Tenenbaums than that of Along Came Polly. Ugh.

A tale of two bedspreads

Imagine that you're coming to stay in our guest room for a night or two. Welcome!

Now, would you rather stay here:

(Photo originally from Domino, RIP)
This sumptuous peacock wall color with white and black accents (and of course the vivid orange and white duvet cover) is so moody and glamorous!

Or here?

(Photo from Apartment Therapy)
This room is a bit more airy than the first, but still dramatic with the bed frame and large black-and-white photography. Recognize a certain orange duvet cover?

I know you probably wouldn't choose room #3 over the first two:

Photo by me.
Hmm, same duvet cover, very different room. That's right, this is our actual guest room, which clearly needs some work (and I know the frame above the bed is hung way too high).

Say it with me now: waah waah waah waaaahh (sounds like a game show let-down sound).

I was bowled over when I saw the top photo, where our funky Ikea bedspread looks so rich, and the second photo, where it looks so refined. I'm inspired to do something with our guest room (slash man cave...Brian is going to kill me).

So readers, which do you like better? Room 1 or room 2? Or neither? Any thoughts on which direction we should go with the guest room / man cave? If you leave me a comment, I'll keep you all posted on the decorative direction...

Until then, happy sleeping under a fun comforter!


"Dennis Quaid is here!"

I think I may be turning into some kind of old biddy because this clip from Ellen that I saw online (not actually on TV) seems absolutely hilarious to me. Ellen rigs up Dennis Quaid with an earpiece to prompt him with lines and then sends him into Starbucks. I seriously laughed out loud while watching this. Check it out:

Come on, that was funny, right? I was impressed that Dennis Quaid was such a good sport. Wouldn't you die if you were standing in that Starbucks?

Ridiculous or not, I hope you enjoyed that bit of humor on a Monday afternoon. And just think to yourself: only 2.5 more days to Thanksgiving!

Puppy love

I have a confession: I do not have baby envy, I have puppy envy. Hardcore. While we are probably not at all ready for a dog - we're out of town most weekends and/or running around all the time - I cannot help but squeal, squirm and pet every passing puppy. Just ask B: I got separated from him and our friends at the Tug of War because I kept stopping to pet dogs. The cuteness kills me!

The biggest question for if we were to get a dog is what kind. I think we're both clear that we want a bigger dog, and a really cool active one that will go on boats with us and catch a frisbee.

Here are some of our favorites:

Golden Retriever (photo by David Dalton). My first ever pet and my first true dog love. So flippin' cute.

Nova Scotian Duck Tolling Retriever. Reminds me of a Golden's slightly smaller cousin (with webbed feet).

Border Collie. Probably way too hyper for us, but so cute it's hard to rule them out!

Australian Shepherd. Again, probably too energetic, but awfully adorable. I can't decided if the two different colored eyes is really awesome or kind of creepy (or both).

Old English Sheepdog (photo from Martha Stewart). Reminds me of Nana from Peter Pan! Are these drooly though?

And finally, our nation's First Dog, the Portuguese Water Dog. I want to have a non-shedding option in there. Kinda cute too.

So, dear readers, what do you all think? Any recommendations? Opinions? All thoughts are welcome - please leave a comment! Keep in mind this wouldn't be for a while, but it's always fun to think about!

I can't believe I just wrote an entire post about dogs and I've written one about my friend's cat in the past. This is so not that kind of blog.... Oy.

Cake love

Poster by Erin Jang, as seen on happy lady eats

Happy Monday morning, everyone! For most of you, there are only two or three days of work this week (hurrah!), and really, who doesn't love a short work-week? .... Kinda like how a fat kid loves cake. (So wrong, I know...but this poster is really cute!)

I'm excited for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, though I'll be part of the dreaded travel rush. Fingers crossed it's not too insane.

I'm off to run some errands, but be back later this morning with some more posts. See you soon!


Chick-fil-A blues on a Sunday

It's Sunday, early afternoon. Just in time for lunch. I'm craving Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets like nobody's business. So why - why, oh why, Chick-fil-A - must you always be closed on Sundays?!?!?!! Grr.

Photo from Talk Like A Gentleman. Intriguing - what's this "Polynesian sauce" shown in the foreground?


Have a great weekend!

Photo by Susan Hochbaum, via dress, design & decor

I love this reimagination of Napoleon's hat avec un croissant. Mmm, now I am thinking about croissants. Maybe I'll eat some pastry this weekend...

What are you all up to this weekend? Do tell! Any pastry eating?

Pastries or no, hope you have a great one and see you on Monday! xoxo, r.

The Cuteness: baby animal prints

All photos by Sharon Montrose.

Seriously. I die. (Woah there, Rachel Zoe, scale it back.)

But how cute are these photos of baby animals? These are real animals.

How do people see something as cute as this little piglet and then eat ham and such? OMG. I can't believe I said that... I love bacon. Crap.

Eating issues aside, aren't these little babes adorable?

Now I want a pet porcupine! (Maybe not such a good idea...)

Prints are available in 7x8 size in Sharon's Etsy store or in a large-scale format here. Fun gift (or just as a happy Friday look-see).


More holiday gift ideas: randoms

Joanna Goddard had some awesome gift guides last year. I've ruthlessly included a few ideas from her 2008 list (though I'm crediting her, I swear!). I do hope she does another one this year. The ones at the bottom are mine all mine. I'll continue to do more gift ideas posts, but so far mine only consist of gifts for cooks and that's just kinda lame. But without further ado, here are some random gift ideas for the various beloved vagrants in your life:

For my friend Val, a magazine editor and the "classiest" girl I know (well, at least by Ron Burgundy's standards):

Stay Classy pencils, $6 for 6

For my boating friends, who could definitely use a bath after a day on the water, or for those who just want to smell like they've been yachting in Sweden:

Swedish Summer soap, $4 for a 1/2-pound bar

For your nesting friend, or for those who like some nautical flair (and have heavy doors):

Rope Knot Door Stop, $42

If I had a door that we could keep open, I'd so want this (but all we've got is the front door and bedroom or bathroom doors...and sometimes we want those closed).

Ideas that are mine all mine (AKA not as good as Joanna's):

For each of my un-sister-and-brother-in-laws' dogs:

Snuggie for Dogs, $14.95 (plus $7.95 P+H of course)

They come in sizes large and small! MP, speak now or forever hold your peace...or the dog gets it. Mwuahahahah. ;) (Kidding, kidding.)

For my friends who "think they can dance" and/or want to Get Fit through dance:

So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit DVD, $11.99

I would choose "Cardio Funk" over "Tone and Groove" simply because I adore Travis. And who wouldn't want to get funky while doing cardio? Ha.

So what do you folks think? Anyone running out to get any of these gifts?

Family (since you're the only people reading this thing): please note that I do not want any of these gifts. They're just fun ideas for others. Seriously. Okay, that door stop is pretty cool, but the aforementioned lack of doors here is a problem. Maybe just the Get Fit DVD then... ;) (I keed. I keed. Really.)

Flavored water

Cucumber water from Martha Stewart

Mint water from Sunday Suppers; photo by Karen Mordechai

I saw a post about making mint water on A Cup of Jo and it reminded me of the time my domestic-diva friend Sarah made refreshing cucumber water for us to drink after our private yoga session. Wow, that last statement sounded so yuppie-ish that I almost had to go throw out all the polo shirts in my closet. Sheesh.

Anyway, Sarah is the fab kind of girl who knows how to throw together hors d'oeuvres and have them seem fancy and classy even if they're nuked, who bakes her own bread and tells you it was "totally simple" and that she'll share the recipe with you (right, as if I'm making my own bread any time soon), and who makes flavored water - I'd have thought I was being super ambitious because I remembered to refill the Brita ahead of time. :)

But she's right that making flavored water is extremely easy, and that it's a nice break from plain water sometimes. It's also very chi-chi spa, no? Sarah made cucumber water, but I like the idea of mint water, and I'm sure you could throw pretty much anything in there and it would taste very fresh. Maybe I'll give it a go for Thanksgiving dinner...


Holiday gift idea: gifts for cooks

After much anticipation for this movie to come out in theaters, I saw it and loved it. And, as of December 8th, it will be out on DVD. I've already put it in my Amazon shopping cart for pre-sale - I'm thinking it will be a great holiday gift for my grandmother. (Side note: Mom, has she seen this yet?)

This DVD, coupled with Julia's memoir, My Life in France (which I haven't read, but I hear it's supposed to be really good), would make a great gift for any chef or food-lover you know, don't you think? With Amazon's usually free shipping, we're talking only 21 bucks ($9.99 for the DVD + $10.80 for the paperback book) - that's super cheap for what I think seems like a really good gift. Heck, at that cost, you could throw in a cute apron and a wooden spoon, and have yourself an awesome cooking-themed gift.

And full disclosure (based on the new FCC rules): I was not paid or bribed by Amazon, the maker of this movie, Julia Child, or anyone else to endorse these items. But, I am happy to take payment or bribes of any type at any time, so leave me a comment or email me if you want in! :)

Song for a sunny day

Last Sunday morning (after a ridiculous night in Philly), I woke up surprisingly fine (I thought B and I would have the worst h-overs ever, but we luckily escaped that for the most part), the temps were in the 60s - don't forget, it's November people! - and my friend Val was playing this. It was such a happy song to listen to in the morning, with the windows open and the sun streaming in.

When we got back to MD, I looked it up on YouTube, and was equally excited to find that the video was pretty cool, too - it's got some nice typographical action for all you design nerds out there.

I thought I'd share this fun song and video with you all. I'm really liking it. So here ya go:

Rock on, Eric Hutchinson (consequently, I also like his song, Rock & Roll).

Put a flower in your hair and a bright smile on your face

Photo by Melanie Acevedo,via Mary Ruffle.

Good morning, everyone! Remember the quick break I took yesterday afternoon? Well, I'm feeling much refreshed, so thanks for bearing with me.

And speaking of refreshing, isn't this girl's bright berry lipstick and giant flower a lovely jolt of sunshine on a Wednesday morning? A bit summery maybe, but I need all the warmth I can get going into what will no doubt be a long fall/winter. Hope this photo makes you smile like it did for me. Now happy hump day to you all and see you back here in just a bit with more posts.



Languishing on a Tuesday

Photo by Rodney Smith

See that lady there? Languishing in black and white? Lounging idly? That's kind of how I feel right now. So ma dears, I need to take a little break from blogging this afternoon to get my arse up and moving. I'll be back tomorrow with some fresh stuff and hopefully out of this slump a bit. Promise I'll see you then? (All four of you?) Wish me luck, loves.

Nadinoo and you

I'm new to Nadinoo, a handmade collection from British designer Nadia Izruna, but I kinda like it. There is a real mix of stuff; some is a bit too kooky for me, but there are also some really lovely pieces. Here are a few of my favorites:

This outfit - tights, brights, headpiece and all - is kinda crazy...

...But this one is muuuch better.

This bell dress with back bow is the cuteness!

Aren't this skirt and blouse (made from J. Crew's fave: Liberty fabric) a flirty but still ladies-who-lunch-ish combo?

As for all the bare, go-on-forever-legs in most of the pictures, they're certainly a reminder that I need to get myself to the gym post haste and buy some self-tanner while I'm at it!

Grammar Nerd Corrective Labels

I think at this point it's pretty obvious that I am a big ol' word nerd (see here and here for examples), but I'm glad to see that someone else is too. These "Grammar Nerd Corrective Labels" are the perfect way to stick it to grammar offenders. (Ooh, sorry for the bad pun.)

Stickers available for purchase on Dylan Meconis's site, as seen on Brown Sugar Design.

Do you think you'd have the cajones to leave one of these stickers for someone? I know of a few bars' bathroom walls that could use more than a few of these labels (and a censor. And some soap.)...


Lulu Frost Plaza jewelry

I just recently came across Lulu Frost's jewelry and loved the unique styles. After seeing the jewelry on its own, I came across this post from Delight by Design where Blair put together pitch-perfect outfits to accompany various Lulu Frost pieces. The casual outfit above is my favorite for its boho-luxe look, but the following three are gorgeous too:

These two outfits are super chic and perfect for the upcoming holidays:

I could see this one working at the office (pared down a bit) and then transitioning for night.

This look is more preppy weekender:

The vintage-y bracelet shown is from the Plaza collection - the number is actually an old room number which came from the famous Plaza Hotel in NY before it was renovated. Lulu repurposed the room numbers and letters for bracelets, pins and necklaces. How cool is that?

Here's the article from the November issue of Real Simple:

I think the new use of the Plaza door numbers is a very cool idea and has such a classic look. And the outfits from Blair are amazing, no?