The scent of Maine (hint: it's not lobstah)

All this rain has me thinking of Maine...

Photo by Anne McClain for MCMC Fragrances

There are several specific places in the world that feel magical to me. New Zealand was one of the first places that spoiled me day after day with sheer amazement of the natural beauty that abounded everywhere. The Amalfi Coast of Italy made me squeal at every turn as we Vespa-ed around the gorgeous (and steep!) mountainous seaside. Cape Cod feels like home and nostalgia and happiness wrapped into neat summer packages. And the coast of Maine to me sings of relaxation, fresh air, and the sea.

My aunt owns a house near Boothbay Harbor, Maine, that is all at once beautiful, inspiring and creaky (it is over 100 years old, after all). The cheery blue ceiling of the huge wraparound porch beckons you to relax the moment you walk in. The back looks out onto the water, and the sounds of seagulls and lobstermen conjure up classic American novels and old whaling stories. I love it there.

We don't get up to Maine very often due to work, schedules, etc., but I just read about a possible new lifeline - it's a perfume called "Maine." It's made with sage, seaweed, beach plum and pine. I wonder if they were able to bottle the crisp sea air.

Originally spotted on A Cup of Jo.


Beautiful bike hanger

Say bye-bye to the days of simply leaning your bike up against a wall (ours are jammed into corners), only to have it fall over inconveniently, or hanging your bike on those industrial yellow hooks to get it out of the way. The bike shelf from Knife & Saw is an elegant take on getting your bikes off the floor, but with a stylish and functional touch.

The hanger is plenty sturdy as it's suspended on a solid steel rod mount, the top can act as a shelf, and the gorgeous solid wood finish is an asset, not an eyesore.

The bike shelf is pretty spendy at $270 or $300, depending on the wood (ash or walnut, respectively), but it's quite lovely... B, wanna take on a little construction project? If so, I'll take two, please. ;)

Originally spotted on pretty pretty paper.

B&R go to the baseball park

Let's put this out there now: I am a Red Sox fan. B worships the Phillies. It's okay - they play nicely together (they're in different leagues and very rarely do they play each other). The Phils have already clinched the NL East division championship and no one really cares about the Nats (sorry, it's kind of true), so B was able to score some really good tickets to last night's game for pretty cheap.

Behold, our clutch seats:

Is it wrong that I was most excited about the tailgating and eating a ballpark hot dog? (Which, for the record, I did, along with french fries and beer, capped off with Cracker Jacks. Ouch.)

The game was a quick one - the Nats won, 2-1 - but we had a really good time hanging out and enjoying the amazing early-Fall weather.

Thanks for the tix, babe. I had a blast!

(Please excuse the mediocre iPhone pics and the slight mushiness...)


Home tip: fixing dings in wooden furniture

You're going to thank me for sharing this genius tip from Apartment Therapy. If you have wood furniture - the real kind, not the fake MDMF kind from Ikea - and it's unpainted but has some dings or dents you want to cover up, here's the easiest possible way to do it:

Step 1: Take one walnut (it needs to be out of the shell) and rub it over the dented or scratched area.
The damaged bits will start to darken and match more closely with the rest of the leg/affected area. Obviously the nut will only do so much (probably won't fix giant scrapes here), but that's pretty awesome nonetheless, right?

Step 2: Put five dollars into an envelope and mail it to me for the bright idea. I'll give $2.50 of it back to Apartment Therapy.

Step 3: Enjoy your (almost) free furniture fix.


Dancing doggies

This one's for you, Marcy.

For Marcy and for everyone else, just watch the video below - it's awesome. If you like music, Ikea, or puppies, you'll be into it, trust me. (And if you don't believe me already, kindly reference these other amazing OK Go videos: 1 and 2 - the treadmill video [#2] is a classic at this point.)

Enjoy - OK Go's White Knuckles:

In case you can't see embedded YouTube videos (iPhoners!), here's the link.

Right? Riiight? :)

Originally spotted on Design Dust.


I think I'm turning Japanese: bento box lunches

To all the moms out there (you know, my two friends who have babies), here's one for you: Have you heard of the website called another lunch? It's written by a mother of four who strives to make nutritious and visually appealing lunches for her kids, specifically focusing on using bento boxes to cut down on packaging and waste. The result is a slew of cheery eye candy that made me want to whip up some fun lunches - until I realized that B might not appreciate the colorful boxes and fruit cut-outs as much as a toddler might. Ah well...

If you actually have children (and not just large children in mens' bodies) in your life, here are a few of her delish preschool to elementary school appropriate lunches:

In case you're wondering, the contents of the above lunch include (from top left, clockwise): applesauce with some sprinkles on top and mini Saltines with a slice of cheddar cheese, grapes and cucumber, a PB&J sandwich (the beak is made from cheese), sliced hard-boiled egg, raspberries, organic yogurt-covered raisins. Sounds pretty good to me!

However, I'm pretty sure you're thinking "what effing mom has time for this?" (except since you're a mom you probably didn't insert the "eff" in there like I do. Oops!). Anyway, I don't even have kids and I'm already doubting whether I could muster up the energy/time to cut a duck out of cheese.

But, not all of the bentos shown on another lunch are complicated. In fact, most of them look pretty simple. This one is basically whatever was in the fridge, tossed into a container in a cute way:

Plus, these could work for grown-ups pretty easily too. Here are two workday lunches that made my stomach growl:

Looks pretty healthy to boot...

I'm not running out to buy these BPA-free bento boxes and mini-containers any time soon, but if I have kiddos in the near future, I'll certainly consider it. In the meantime, Cov, I'm looking at you - this is right up your (green, organic) alley and I'm pretty sure little Finn would be super psyched to find a mini shark made out of organic cheese or an Ezekiel bread sandwich cut into a fish shape in his lunchbox. ;) Perhaps I'll give making one of these for Finn a go when I come down to visit in November... Yay for loaner kids! (ha ha)

Perfect farmers market tote

Photo by Leslie and Auda from a room somewhere

This reusable canvas shopping bag by Riley Noehren on Etsy is totally cute and pretty green.

I would totally work it at the farmers market - imagine it filled to the brim with fresh, seasonal local veggies, hanging from my beloved scooter as I zip home - so cute, no? Of course this vision would mean I'd actually have to get out of bed before 11am on a Sunday morning, and I wouldn't hold your breath for that... but the bag is cute nonetheless. ;)

Rain, rain... you're okay for now.

Photo 1 via dress, design & decor; photo 2 via luxe + lillies

Last night we got in bed with the windows flung wide open, listening to the sound of the soft rain. It was cool and breezy but not too cold under our heavy down comforter. This is what fall is supposed to feel like, I thought, as I drifted off to sleep.

It's supposed to rain allll day today and in to tomorrow. It certainly makes getting up for work more difficult, but for right now I don't quite mind (ask me again tomorrow how I feel about it...). Welcome to fall, everyone.


Retroactive have a great weekend!

Photo via Mary Ruffle

Wellll, I'm just a wee bit (*cough*) late in wishing you all a happy weekend (considering the weekend will officially be over in an hour!), but I wanted to do so anyway. Our weekend was a whirlwind of travel, football, and my sweet B's birthday (happy {undisclosed age}, love!), so I'm a little late in getting to it. But I hope your days off were great regardless!

B and I drove up to Penn State on Friday evening to see his sister, her new baby and the fam, and to tailgate for the PSU/Temple game Saturday afternoon. I desperately wanted to bring these fun new Oreos (spotted on Jaimee Rose's fun blog) - they're in the shape of footballs, people! Fun with a capital F! - but after running around town and searching for them in six - count 'em six - stores, I realized they were nowhere to be found around Naptown. B's sis informs me they're sold out throughout Penn State as well. Boo hoo. Aren't they cute though? And the perfect Sunday football snack?

Photos from Jaimee Rose


So my early-Fall dreams of the perfect tailgate are only slightly dashed (we somehow managed to deal without these Oreos and had a lot of fun anyway, in case you were wondering). There are many more weeks of football (ugh, oh so many) ahead and at least a few more beautiful Indian summer-like days in the forecast as well.

As Monday rolls around, here's wishing you a wonderful week (and dreams of Oreos?).

xoxo, r.


Happy first day of Autumn!

Photo via mary ruffle

I can't believe summer is officially over! Gone are the days of bathing suits and flip-flops, in with scarves and boots. I'm sad to see the sunny, warm days go, but hoping for a lovely fall filled with football, parties and friends.

Hellooo, Autumn!


Kills some brain cells (no alcohol required)

Let's take a little stroll down memory pop culture lane today, shall we? I've found a few nuggets from the weboverse that I had to share - any and all of which may place me squarely in the "pop culture whore / likes the same stuff as a 13-year-old girl / slowly rotting my brain away" category. But I don't really care. And neither do you realllly, do ya, Judgy McJudgerson? You know you love it. So let's take a look, eh?

First up: trendy nails.

Soooo, everyone (okay, every 16-year-old) knows Lauren Conrad is, like, the coolest. And everyone knows that all the trends come from Asia before they hit America. Well, LC (Lauren Conrad is known as "LC" for any of those of you who live under a rock...Sara) just got back from Hong Kong and look at the fun mani she brought back with her:

Photo by @LaurenConrad on Twitpic

I already covered matte nail polish and gray nail polish (both of which are going to be huge again this fall - though gray nails are now being usurped by "greige" - gray/beige), but is leopard the next big trend in nails? It is kind of cute, but I'm not sure it's the best for everyday workwear...

Next up: silly shower caps.

Thank you, Urban Outfitters, for always selling the most entertaining slash ridiculous products on the planet. Case in point: shower caps that look like animals (cat, shark, and so on), as well as other objects (no, no, UO is not about to leave out the possibility of putting an ice cream cone, raspberries or devil horns on your head!).

Here are some of my faves from their offerings:
The Happy Hippo would make for a cheery start to your day.
Or how about something furry and gray on your head (and not just hairs that need a dye job?)

The duck bill could serve as a visor to keep water out of your face. Convenient!


All available on Urban Outfitters for $8.

Last: I can't not mention the VMAs in some capacity (and throw in both a Twilight and a SYTYCD reference all at once!).

So last year I commented on some of the performances from the VMAs (which are more fully known as the MTV Video Music Awards...try to keep up with the references here, folks...ahem, Sara) and this year I was really into the performance by Florence Welch from the English group Florence + the Machine. She gave one of the few live performances of the night and sang among a flurry of blue-painted dancers.

She was awesome, as were the dancers...whose movement looked strangely familiar. Turns out they were choreographed by Travis Wall, a So You Think You Can Dance alum.

Oh, and if the Florence song sounds familiar to you, it could be because it's the song from the Eat Pray Love preview (or maybe, if you actually are 13, it's because another Florence song - Cosmic Love - was used in Twilight).

Check out her live performance - and the awesome dancers - here:

And if you can't watch embedded videos, you can see the video here.

Well, I hope this dose of teenager-appropriate pop culture has brightened your Tuesday lunch break. I'm going back to my normal regimen of important and deep topics now (you know, things like Martha Stewart pole dancing, Obama drinking games, beards, and proper TP loading...those sort of deep topics). Cough.


Seventh heaven

Image via pretty. little. world.

I'm not going to turn this blog into my personal diary (at least not planning to), but I couldn't resist putting a little *ding* on here to wish my kind, dear, wonderful, lovely B a happy anniversary. This weekend was our seventh anniversary. Yikes! Time has flown...

Happy anniversary babe! I love you so much (more today than yesterday). xoxo, r.

Okay peeps, smooshiness over. Back to regular posting now. :)


Another Oprah progeny

Has anyone seen The Nate Berkus Show yet? It started this Monday. I adore him (exhibit A, exhibit B), but I can't tell if the show is going to be tragic or awesome...

Though regardless I will probably DVR whatever episode Bethenny is on. I can't help it - she's oddly fascinating to watch - I think it's the extreme oversharing she offers. :)

Have you seen the show? Is Nate great? Or is the show a trainwreck? Do tell!


An afternoon with two pretty ladies

People. I am shirking afternoon posts today. I'm sorry, but I have very important business - I'm hanging with a lovely gal pal and this adorable face:

Can you blame me for skipping out a bit early? :)

So Romantic (and Joey makes a break)

Is this not the best-looking ensemble (and best-dressed, to boot) that you've seen in a while? It's the cast of the upcoming movie, The Romantics, and they're all clothed in allll J. Crew. Yep. Hot and well-dressed. Bitches. (jk)

Best part? It looks like Katie Holmes might have temporarily evaded the "clutches of crazy" (lookin' at you, T-Cruisey). Doesn't she look much more normal here? I almost see a slight sparkle of "Joey Potter" in her again. Case in point - she actually looks like she's having fun in this pic:

Photo via Just Jared

And here she looks just adorable:

This cast could not be more cute. Here are the ladies:

(Though not sure why the other star - Anna Paquin - was missing from this shoot - maybe because she was filming True Blood?)

And here are the boys:

Anyway, back to Joey Potter. I'm glad Tom let her out of her cage. Or that mountain where the aliens are trapped. She looks happy here:

And she appears to be consuming a sugary cupcake here. I'm not sure if that's allowed...

She probably had to get E-metered immediately afterward.

I keed, I keed. :)

I'm sure T.C. has a sense of humor as well. Just check this out for evidence.

Regardless, the movie itself looks cute. I doubt we'll see it in the theater (I pride myself in being a nice girlfriend who does not drag her boyfriend to chick flicks...though I do drag him to break-dancing movies [Step Up 1 & 2, what?]), but I will def be RedBox-ing it eventually.

Welcome back, Kotter Potter!


Fall festivities?

I've been itching to host a party recently, but didn't have a specific occasion. I still don't, but this branch place setting seems kind of pitch-perfect for a fall fete. I need to start digging around in my inspiration folder to come up with some more fall festivities images and maybe we'll host something after all... (Uh, I guess I should have done this first: is that okay with you, B?)

Photo by Gemma Comas, as spotted on Sara's Party Perfect.

Lessons learned: Caroline DeCesare interiors

Goood morning! Today I'm feeling inspired by some interiors I came across on Full House (great blog, by the way) and thought I'd share some of the ones I really loved. The rooms are all designed by Caroline DeCesare and they're not only gorgeous, but also kind of "educational" (take that with a grain of salt since I am in no way a professional). The point is, there is something to learn from these rooms and the way the designer has brought in some quirky and creative ideas.

Like this room:

That barn door on a sliding track is kind of genius. It allows you to close off the living room for some quite or privacy, but doesn't close off the space.

Idea #2:

Don't be afraid to display interesting objects in unusual ways. I lurrrv these framed vintage bathing suits. Paired with the old sewing form but juxtaposed with the very clean furnishings, this room stays somewhat modern and doesn't get into kitschy territory.

I also love how she groups things:

I'm already a huge fan of a big ol' gallery wall (I have one in my own house), but this one seems especially awesome to me. I think it's because she's unified the objects with all black frames and has kept the items displayed to very graphic things.

Another fun idea:

I love that she's brought what look like house numbers inside. You could put up your actually house number, or even just your favorite number or something with significance.

In this room, a mirror is fashioned to look like a porthole window, giving the impression of a ship's cabin. So creative, and super easy to implement.

Another unexpected element is the thick rope covering these lighting cords:

It has a hint of nautical without being too theme-y, and adds some rustic appeal to the otherwise polished room.

So what do you think? Do you like these quirky elements and unexpected inclusions?