May 30, 2008

frankie says...

Bring on the weekend. Bring on the fun!

(photo from un4gtableann via Flickr)

classic reading

My friend, Betsy, and I were talking about "The Wind in the Willows," which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary. We chatted about how much we both loved that book and its enchanting riverbank world. Reading it as a kid would transport me to a make-believe place that was so real in my imagination. We would play Wind in the Willows in the backyard, and I cherish those memories.

This got me to thinking about other books that I would read and reread as a kid, getting lost in the worlds on the pages. We’d spend weeks pretending we were Laura Ingalls Wilder exploring the Western frontier or Anne of Green Gables working on the farm. And I laugh just thinking about the time we dragged an old wash tub down from the attic in the garage, filled it up water, jumped in clothes and all, and then hopped out and spun as fast as we could to dry off just like Pippi Longstocking did. I wished I had a Secret Garden hidden away and liked to pretend Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy had a fifth sister, so I could be one of the Little Women too.

Just writing about all of these makes me want to read them again now. I wonder if they would be as magical to an adult as they were to me back then? I sure hope so.

(Image above from LarkingAbout's Ladybird Books Collection via Flickr)

how does your garden grow?

So, I took my first stab at container gardening last weekend, and even though I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing and am now just crossing my fingers and toes that everything I planted stays alive, I've gotta say that I found myself really enjoying the process. From picking each little bloom at the nursery {and translating those care cards} to watering our newly planted creations, I was just so content spending the afternoon digging in the dirt. I didn't even mind the several trips to Target for more soil (I really underestimated the sizes of our planters!)

Now all I've gotta do is keep Lulu away since she loves nothing more than to eat plants and bite the blooms off flowers. Oh yeah - and my mom bought us the Topsy Turvy, which we have been chomping at the bit since December to use. We should pick up some tomato plants this weekend to give this wacky thing a try.

For gardening in style, try these: Sun hat and garden gloves from Hable Construction, Recycled watering can from Patina, and Galvanized planters from CB2. (I have three and love them! They're super lightweight and very modern. The only thing we had to do was drill some drain holes in the bottom of each.)

easy, breezy summer

Probably most of us think of Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start to summer. It's a weekend for bbq'ing, hitting the Chicago beaches, and busting out our white purses and capri pants. I kicked off last weekend with a long run early Saturday morning. It was perfect - the sky was blue, the breeze was cool, the sun was shining and the city was just waking up. I got to thinking about how thankful I am to be living in such a great city and how much I look forward to this time of year. Here are a few more things about summer that make me just so happy to be here:

movies in the park * farmer's markets * long walks at dusk * fireflies * freckles * iced tea * cubs games * rooftop barbecues * blooming lilacs * warm breezes through open windows * corn on the cob * street fests * butterflies * blueberry pie * scooter's frozen custard * thunderstorms * the lakefront * napping in a hammock * margaritas * dinners al fresco & sidewalk cafes * chilled champagne with peaches * lazy afternoons reading gossip mags under the sun

May 23, 2008

jump for joy!

The weekend is almost here!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day... I hope you relish in relaxation under sunny skies with those you love most.

(Photo: Fly Away by mygigi. Check out more of her amazing pics here.)

May 21, 2008

t(ea) is for terrific!

I love my new White Darjeeling Tea Handsoap from Beautea Organic. Every time I wash my hands in our downstairs bathroom, I find myself stopping to take in the lovely tea and jasmine scent. It also leaves my hands feeling incredibly soft, which is always a good thing.

May 16, 2008

MORE friday favorites

Here are a few more things that I fancy...

{You know, I wasn't going for a theme with these either, but looking at them all together, I sure think this would be a cute outfit for dinner and cocktails al fresco.}

A pair of Caylynn Espadrilles by Steven (via Zappos). With a {4-3/4"!} platform wedge heel, black leather open toe and silver buckle, I'd wear these shoes ALL THE TIME.

Ooh la la! My heart pitter-pattered when I spied this brilliant Moonstone Ring by New York designers Conroy & Wilcox (via Erie Basin). The stone set in 18K gold has a beautiful pearly white color and would look perfect with so many outfits. You can dress it up or dress it down, and it'll look gorgeous no matter what.

This Halter Dress from Anthropologie is pretty, pretty, pretty. The contrast of dark indigo and crisp white is perfect for the season, and I love the black band that ties in the back. (Click the "On Model" view... it really shows how darling this dress is.)

Who doesn't love a great Tano bag? The Art Attack in pearly white is my new favorite.

Gotta love these RayBan shades. Cool tortoise shell frame with a light brown lens. Two words: summer chic. {Thank you, Juju for finding them... and letting me copy!}

friday favorites

A few things from my favorites folder that I wanted to share with you today. No theme... just things I've been loving and am especially drawn to on this sunny day.

Ripple Lamp (Modern Dose) Add a pop of color and a modern look with this bright yellow ripple-textured glass lamp. The tapered transparent base is topped with a simple ivory shade. Hello yellow! $225.00

Ditte Slipcover Sofa (Anthropologie) I love the union of the sleek modern lines with a busy pattern of feathery fronds. And I've always been a fan of round bolsters. $3498

Indelible Nature Trays (Violet) Three maple trays ideal for cocktail party hors d'ouvres or to hold a hot dish at dinner. I think each botanical design is beautiful and the different shapes and sizes of the trays make a stunning trio. $38
Slipper Chairs (Assemblage) If only I had $4100 to spare {and a place to put them!}, I'd snap up this pair of vintage 1950's cane backed and walnut slipper chairs in a heartbeat. With ecru upholstered seats, the chairs are sleek and modern. I'm imagining a square kidney pillow made from vintage textiles - like kuba cloth - to top each seat.

May 14, 2008

rian rae giveaway

After waiting for what seemed like forever for my ruffle bag, I’m thrilled to say that it’s finally here! Well, not here exactly, but I just got an email from Jeni at Rian Rae that it's on its way. Woo hoo!

That's not all Jeni told me... oh no, my shopping friends. She also announced that she's doing a Rian Rae giveaway promotion where you can get one of these ruffly beauties for FREE with purchase!

Anyone who makes a purchase of $200 or more, gets to choose one of these gorgeous bags (worth $51.00) in the color of your choice* for FREE! The promo will run for one week starting tomorrow (starting 5/15 through 5/22), and she has a ton of bags in stock so you’ll get yours right away.

The machine-washable, cotton bag comes in three colors: grasshopper green, neapolitan stripe and crisp white. Great as laundry bags or totes for carrying towels, beach supplies or yoga gear, these beautiful bags with cascading ruffles shouldn’t be passed up.

Time to start shopping, people!

*At the time of purchase, shoot Jeni a quick email ( with your color preference.

RIANRAE Interiors
3108 N 10th St.
Wausau, WI 54403
866-372-1615 (fax)

May 13, 2008


It seems that most people don't think much of Tuesdays. Mondays are manic {as pointed out by my 80's faves, The Bangles}, Wednesdays are hump days, Fridays are all about par-taying, and the weekend days are what we all look forward to. But Tuesdays... nada. Nothing significant. It's just that day that separates Monday from Wednesday. On the totem pole, it's at the bottom.

Except for me because on Tuesdays I get to go to my fabulous yoga class with Niccola. She's an amazing instructor who has taken me further in my yoga practice than I would have ever thought possible. She pushes hard but also encourages trying new, tricky poses like arm balances and headstands. Every class is exhilirating and no matter how tired I may be going into it, I feel nothing but refreshed afterward. Know what else is fun about practicing yoga? All the cute clothes... like these lovelies from LuluLemon Athletica {which Niccola happens to be an ambassador for!}:

bad blogger

Sorry that I've been such a neglectful blogger the last few days. {Shame on me!} A lot of "stuff" has been keeping me busy, and I haven't had a chance to sit down much less come up with something clever to talk about. I'll be back with some new posts soon... Promise!

May 7, 2008

design inspiration

When I spied this photo at Marie Claire Maison, I was riveted to it, absorbing each and every detail. It’s simple, I know, but there is something so wonderfully handsome about this setting.

Cool, muted tones – a worn chest of drawers in cloudy blue, walls in muddy gray – are soothing and tranquil. And the collection of unique objects – a gleaming Venetian mirror, a shabby wooden bird cage, an oil painting leaning on a chair – are so very interesting and full of character. The vase of fresh flowers adds a dollop of color.

You wouldn’t think that these objects would make sense together if you separated them, but actually the opposite is true. They are working quite beautifully together, each quirky piece fitting in with the next.

File this under 'Dreamy Vignette'!

(photo from Marie Claire Maison)

May 6, 2008

kinda makes you stop and think

A woman on the train today looked up at me with a sincere look of concern on her face and asked me if I wanted to take her place and sit. I'm pretty sure she thought I was pregnant. Which I'm not. Hmm... time to start that diet.

May 2, 2008

nautical inspired nook

With just a few handsome pieces from Jayson Home & Garden, I'm imagining a pretty sitting area just for me. A quiet space that is casually modern and simple with thoughtfully designed furnishings.

A modern wing chair gives off a cozy vibe with its crisp white slipcover and generous size. I’m pairing it with a turned leg ottoman that’s more traditional in design, but in a muted striped fabric to keep it contemporary. A brass vintage-inspired floor lamp looks like something taken right from an architect’s office, and the twiggy gold table adds a bit of whimsy to the mix. I’m topping it all off with a dark cotton pillow for another layer of pattern and to balance all that white on the chair.

May 1, 2008

can i keep her?

I spy a pretty little elephant from Red Envelope who I want to take home with me. She's shiny and tiny and perfectly pleasing in every way.