February 28, 2008

love and friendship captured

Isn't it funny how the internet can lead you to so many different places and people and things that you otherwise never would have heard of? Thank goodness for that or I'd feel like I'm missing out on so much! And I never would have gotten to "know" all the amazing bloggers out there with daily posts that not only entertain and inspire but also offer practical advice and "been there/done that" stories to assure me that I'm not the only one...

So today I was reading my dailies, and it was after I stopped by CookieMag, that I followed a link over to Plover to check out their amazing collection of organic bedding {which I will definitely post about soon!} Then I followed a link to Annie Beedy Photography, and this is where I stopped to check out her stunning portfolio and catch my breath from all that internet surfing.

Annie has captured the spirit of love and companionship in her photographs. The warm embrace between grandmother and granddaughter, a mother and her daughters giggling on what I imagine to be a warm summer afternoon, a pair of wrinkled hands on a woman who I think surely must have many stories to tell. These are the photos that show life in its most simple moments. Photos that remind me of what's important.

The photos above are a few of my favorites from Annie. I hope you like them as much as I do.

February 26, 2008

all that glitters

I came across the delightful antique jewelry collection at Erie Basin, via Oh Joy! today. W-O-W. One look at those dazzling vintage pieces, and I can't help but behave like Veruca Salt at that chocolate factory. I want it NOW, Daddy! I'll be sure to check back often to see what other rare finds are added to the shop, but in the meantime, I'll be dreaming of these.

Gypsy Set Diamond Ring
Mary Preston French Jet Buttons
Crescent Horn Hair Comb
Garnet Mourning Brooch

February 25, 2008

spring fever

I am in the mood for a shopping spree and can say with certainty that I could easily fill my closet with all the pieces from the Built By Wendy Spring Collection. Here are a few of my favorites (plus a couple from the Fall '07 line)...

(Clockwise from top left: Two Tone Dress, Sailor Layered Top, Chambray Day Dress, Chambray Camp Shirt, Monogram Tote Dress, Provence Lattice Dress, Provence Bustier, New Wave Top)

perfect afternoon

All I need is a good book, a warm cup of tea, and a cozy throw. I could curl up here all afternoon.

black + white

With the help of Nigella and Bliss, I'm imagining a pretty kitchen in black and white. The colors create a bold contrast yet the forms are simple, soft and with an organic feel. The line of tableware is modern and thoughtfully designed and will surely catch your attention.

Cappuccino Cup & Saucer; Mixing Bowls; Salad & Vegetable Dishes

February 23, 2008


I keep a quote torn from a magazine taped up at my desk. It's from some ad - I don't remember what. Triscuits maybe. Or Yoplait. Anyway, the quote reads:

I love everything this simple statement stands for. And even after reading it probably hundreds of times now, I still pause each time and think about how I can apply it to my own experiences.

So that's why I wanted to share it with you. I'm hoping you can find as much inspiration in it as I have.

And also, have a nice weekend!

February 21, 2008

this thing about poufs

I love the term and I love the many interpretations on this basic design. The "pouf" is a perfect addition to any family room because it's cozy and kid-friendly. As a piece of furniture, it's versatile and can transform from a footstool to an extra seat in a snap. And it's great to lean against if you want to sit on the floor to play games or watch TV. Here are a few poufs that I am swooning over.

(counterclockwise from top: Bovist Pouf designed by Hella Jongerius at RetroModern.com; Flocks Pouf from Design Within Reach; and Leather Poufs from Tazi Designs.)

And of course, I am still loving the Gum Drop Pillows by Amy Butler that I posted about here.

February 20, 2008

etsy wishlist

Here are a few Etsy goodies that I am totally coveting today...

The Green Garden Bowl by lgbrinkley is a delightful little catch-all for jewelry or keys.
Take a stroll through Paris with this lovely Bit of Paris print from ArtQuirk.

The I Carry Your Heart set of greeting cards by Project 8256 is the perfect way to say how much you care.

The Hardanger Table Runner from Norwegian Needle has a chic,vintage look with out looking too "granny".

The Vintage Flower Brooch from Vintage Treasures 4 You has an old-world look to complement any outfit.

February 19, 2008

for the ladies in your life

Sorry about the missed post yesterday... I was trying really hard to write a new post every week day with a few weekenders peppered in this month, but yesterday was just too crazy to get in front of the computer without any interruptions. What a lousy Monday! And after looking at my calendar, I don't think the rest of the week is going to be much better. {insert sad sigh.}

Thanks for listening... I'll stop whining now ;)

Anyway, I was delighted when I read Ez's Creature Comforts post yesterday about the lovely, inspirational book She from Compendium Inc. "She discovered her real measurements had nothing to do with numbers or statistics." Isn't that such a beautiful, thought-provoking statement? The book promises to be full of them.

Mother's Day is just a few months away, and I think this would be a spectacular gift to share with all of our mothers, who have no doubt taught us many of the same ideas over the years. It's the perfect way to say thank you. There are also cards from the same line that are worth checking out.

February 16, 2008

cold as ever...

... but I do think there is a light at the end of this cold, dark tunnel we call winter. I awoke today to a sound that I haven't heard in months. A sound that is so insignificant any other time of year, but on a cold February morning brings with it so much hope. It was the sound of a bird chirping in the tree outside our window, and when I heard the blissful twitter, I couldn't help but smile. It was enough to make me giddy for the rest of the day. This simple thing, this bird singing its song means so much to me because it reminds me that it won't always be winter. It won't always be cold, and I won't always have to bundle up like Randy from "A Christmas Story" to trudge through the snow. This bird means spring. It will come again. Some day.

February 15, 2008

chicago fave: sweet mandy b's

Kate and I stopped in at Sweet Mandy B's yesterday to take a much-needed break from a day-long site measure. We needed a pick-me-up, and since we were nearby we couldn't resist visiting the sweet-as-can-be bake shop. Any time I get even remotely near the intersection of Racine & Webster, my mouth starts watering as visions of snickerdoodle cookies and frosted cupcakes dance in my head. It is impossible to drive by without a stop.

Awash in cheery yellow and robins-egg blue, Sweet Mandy B's is a happy, cozy bakery serving up old-fashioned treats. Patrons young and old peer into the glass counters picking out scrumptious goodies like whoopie pies, rich brownies, soft and chewy cookies, layer cakes and fresh fruit pies. I tend to stick with the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes topped with {the most amazing!} buttercream frosting and candy sprinkles. Sheer bliss in every bite and so worth cheating on the diet. In fact, this is why I run. I run to eat these cupcakes.

If you've never been to Sweet Mandy B's, I urge you to go now. Run. Run like the wind!

Sweet Mandy B's * 1208 W. Webster Ave. * 773.244.1174

(a dozen dreamy, creamy cupcakes on Valentine's Day)

February 14, 2008


Sending you all kisses and hugs, hugs and kisses.
Happy Valentine's Day!

February 13, 2008

doilie bowls

When Sweet Paul posted this charming photo back in November, I was instantly smitten with it. The delicate {homemade!} doilie bowls are just so lovely and unusual. And that single chrysanthemum bloom is pure beauty. I just had to print it out and now keep it at my desk, where I find myself sneaking peeks at it throughout the day. And how about those fabulous bowls?! Another great example of finding a new use for old things. Well done, Paul! I sure hope to find these in an Etsy store soon!

February 12, 2008

march of the elephants and giraffes

These adorable stuffed elephants and giraffes from Wren Handmade have marched straight to my heart. Laura Normandin makes each of these charming little beasties by hand using fabulous printed fabrics in clever color and pattern combinations. The result? Must-have stuffed animals for any child's toy collection.

easy living

I wish I was walking into this living room upon opening my front door tonight.

So peaceful. So serene. The time-worn wide-plank floor invites you to take your shoes off and stay a while, and that bright red lamp across the room shouts hello! A comfy sofa flanked by simple, wooden tables and a chair beckons you to come in and take a load off. Napping is encouraged!

I could be very comfortable here.

February 11, 2008

soda crate catch-all

This would be the perfect bin for Lulu's ever-growing collection of puppy toys! The vintage wood soda crate from Three Potato Four is softly worn with faded lettering and a few dents and dings. It's fun to imagine the places it's traveled and the many hands it's passed between. I'm sure it would still look great even if Lulu decided to do some decorating of her own and added some teeth marks to it! {The pooch is chewing on EVERYTHING... I cannot wait for her to be done teething!}

I love using vintage objects as accessories in my home. Pieces that in their time were meant to be used as purely functional take on a whole new identity when used in fresh, unexpected ways. I think this old soda crate cum puppy toy holder would be a lovely addition to ours and have just the place for it!

February 7, 2008

yummy goodness on a stick

I dare you to come up with a dessert cuter than these precious Lollipop Cakes. Not only are they adorable, but they look delicious! I have to try these and think I can use my tried-and-true recipe for chocolate balls as the base for the cake. Not sure how to go about shaping the cupcake, but I guess it'll just take practice - and patience! My mouth is watering... Kudos to Bakerella for having the imagination to come up with such a delightful treat!

love is in the air

{Super corny title, I know, but I just couldn't resist!}

Valentine's Day is a week away, and since I just got back from picking up the supplies for my homemade Valentine's from Paper Source (a project I must start tonight if they're going to get delivered on time!), I figured it would be a good day to feature some of the adorable V-Day gift goodies out there. Enjoy!

Clockwide from top left:
Connected Couple pillow from Uncommon Goods.
Love Vase from Uncommon Goods.
Watch with Silk Straps from Pedlars.
Forget Me Knot Ring from Delight.com.
Made with Love onesie set from Uncommon Goods.
Olive Me soap set from Violet.
A-Z of Romance Destinations from Violet.
French Flower Vase from The Macbeth Collection.
Be My Love Bug tower of chocolates from John & Kira.

February 6, 2008

london calling

I {heart} this rolling pin for sale online at Kathleen Hills. The bone china rolling pin has raised lettering stating "Made in England" that prints right onto your dough. How clever! And what a perfect gift for the baker in your life! I only wish there was a Made in America version - that I could buy right here in America because the conversion rate is awful right now.

kathleen hills

Here are a few items from Kathleen Hills that I am loving today. Something about the crisp white china with bits of vintage-inspired patterns really strikes a chord with me, and the unique designs are to die for. What a great resource for extraordinary tableware and lighting.

(from top: Creamer & Sugar set; Disc Lights; Milk ii Jugs; Star Light)

February 5, 2008

sheila bridges - design(er) inspiration

I've gotten a little behind on my blog reading, and was so relieved this morning when I could finally catch up on the latest posts from a few of my favorite bloggers. {I hate it when I get behind!} When I popped in at Design*Sponge I was thrilled to read an interview by Pam who is guest-blogging this week. Pam talked with Sheila Bridges, who just happens to be one of my favorite interior designers. I have been a long time fan of Sheila's ever since I first saw her on Oprah when she talked about her book Furnishing Forward - A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a Lifetime. I turn to it again and again for design inspiration, and my copy has been paged through so many times over the years that it's full of dogears and bookmarks. I found her decorating advice on transitioning from hand-me-downs to furniture that's meant to last and reflect who we are especially indespensible. That's probably because I was at exactly that point in my life when I first picked up her book. I was a recent college grad, moving into a new apartment and just starting design school. I knew that I didn't want an apartment full of second-hand furniture, but also didn't have the money to go out and buy all new stuff either. Sheila taught the importance of incorporating the old with the new and thinking through purchases so they're things we'll actually still want to see in our homes years from now. It was without a doubt great advice for me - and still is!

Check out Pam's interview here!

Also exciting news is that Sheila has a new blog, The Nestmaker, which I will most definitely check out for loads of decorating tips!

February 4, 2008


How adorable is this Elephants print from Ink & Wit? The limited edition letterpress print - included in their 2008 calendar - would be just perfect in a child's bedroom. The colors are refreshing , and I love how the pair of elephants seem to be meandering along a path. The design is super sweet, yet hip at the same time. It's perfect for the baby's room that doesn't want to be too frilly or over-the-top cutesy.

February 1, 2008


What a long week it was! I am really {really!} looking forward to the weekend. It's going to be a snowy one, so I'm going to pretend just for a minute that I'm here. Ah... smell that salty sea air.

(photo from BeachDwelling.com)

ruffly goodness

I'm not sure why I've been so drawn to ruffles lately, but for some reason every time I see them I swoon. You can imagine my glee when I spotted this dreamy Ruffle Bedding Set over at Beach Dwelling.com. I think I actually squealed when I saw it. I love how the delicate layers of cotton cascade gently over the edge of the bed. So calming. So feminine. I want it! Now I just have to convince Wade that we "need" new bedding. Hmmm.... this isn't going to be easy.