Friday, March 27, 2015

Shelter Loves....

Friday, oh how I love you! I was at a meeting for most of the day but I wanted to end my week with a Shelter Loves post! It just wouldn't feel complete without it. Here is what is on my radar!

1. These fabulous baskets by artist Eliza Gran. She sells them at a number of shops. I love Amber's colorful shop, she has them too!! They would make a fun Easter basket!!
2. So true!! Take risks and dream big!
3. I am adoring the v-back shirts and sweaters trend this spring. Find a similar one here.
4. Navy is a great alternative to black in the spring and summer months. This classic Tod bag would last you a life time.
5. I've created an "if I ever" board on Pinterest. Follow it here...It's filled with "if I ever" moments, such as: If I ever get married again, If I ever get a dog, etc. I think you get the picture. In any case, If I ever get married again (cause who knows, right?)  There are pros and cons to being single and being married!! It is surprising how quickly you (or I did) adjust to not being married any longer.  I do love this table setting and would envision a small, intimate, casual wedding. I would almost be tempted to purchase and ensemble my own flower vases for one big long family style table!
6.  Ahhh, my design office. It's in the works. I plan to share the design board with you next week. The before space is a bit scary and I will share those photos as well. I came across the image shown this week. It got me thinking about how fun it would be to have a remote office set up in a small detached building behind my house!! It is far enough away not to stress me out when I am trying to relax but close enough to walk to work in the am!! ;)
7. How great are these luggage tag neck charms?? There is one available for almost every city in the U.S. and a number of cities abroad. Available from Jet Set Candy.

Cheers, I'm going to pour myself a glass of wine and make tacos!!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cat Greenleaf for Ace Hardware

Happy Thursday!! I just wanted to take a moment to share my USA Network commercial for Valspar paint with you. It is such a pleasure to work for Ace Hardware! If you tune into USA at all maybe you'll catch my chat with Cat. Ace Hardware has a beautiful selection of Valspar paints!

Here is the link to the commercial.

Here is a peek of Cat and I on her stoop. Her show, Talk Stoop, is great, btw!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cottage Love #23

You know I have a love for smaller homes that are beautifully finished. They tend to pack a punch but don't take as much time to maintain! California Bungalows are up there as one of my favorites. In fact, I'd most likely move out west if I didn't worship my family here in Massachusetts. (I also can't leave now until my children are 18) Don't get me wrong there are so many things I love about the Boston area but after this winter a longer warm season would be much appreciated!!
This lovely home is that of comedic writer Erin Foster. Her new show, Barely Famous, airs on VH1. I'm loving the light, layered style. It feels fresh, updated and attainable.
I was actually working on a project today with a similar feel! Erin hired designers from the company Spruce. I also have to mention that DOMAINE is one of my favorite online design magazines! They never disappoint! I think I'll be tuning into her show tonight @9:30/8:30Central.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Curb Appeal

 It is an understatement to say that I am dying to get out and work on my yard! I always enjoy planting new flowers and re-freshening the front of my house. I think this year I am going to keep it simple and go with two planters and two boxwoods. I may even go so crazy as to plant a few flowers around the boxwoods! Here is some planter curb appeal inspo and a planter round-up. I like the idea of zinc, ceramic or wood versions. I steered away from the $600 + planters..Yikes! These are all pretty budget conscious. I am personally leaning towards #4 - without the wood stand or #6.

1/2/3/4 - sans the stand!!/5/6/7

Monday, March 23, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemons....

Lately, I awake every morning wishing for a warm day....It has yet to happen. So. I'm going with my second option =  create my own sunshine!!  I've decided to kick off the week with a bit of bright and sunny. Today's post is inspired by Furbish Studio's "When life gives you lemons" print. I love lemony yellow, especially when paired with neutrals such as grey, white and navy.

1. I keep reading about the benefits of drinking lemon water. I've decided to start each morning with a freshly squeezed glass. (I'm drinking one now)
2. I just ordered my daughter's Easter dress. Mini Boden has an adorable selection of girl's dresses.
3. Pale grey and lemon is a no brainer color combo. I loved the home tour of Susan Greenleaf's San Francisco home.
4. Layered cardigans will add a Springy note to your neutral clothing staples! These are both from J. Crew. Cardigan (top + bottom)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Shelter Loves...

Happy Friday and first day of Spring!! (Whaaaaa? Could have fooled me) I have a cold and this morning I was dealing a very unhappy little five year old. (She wanted to stay home) but the afternoon is looking up! I have plans for a quiet evening, which I am thrilled about. Matty is off to watch bball with all of his basketball buddies. I plan to sit in with my kiddos and some childhood friends!
Every week, I am continually looking for inspiration for my projects, designs, wardrobe.. Here are the moments that made me happy this week and cheered me up this a.m.! ( I needed it, grrr )

1. If I was independently wealthy I would do a slew of things but one would be to bake more "pretty" treats with my daughter. She loves to cook and bake. I just have a hard time trying to fit in much baking these days. This cake is so sweet, it's a little piece of sculpture. The recipe and design instructions are here. Creating something beautiful from scratch is one of my favorite things to do! (hence my job choice!)
2. I would love to jump into this image today. I am so over the cold!!!
Image by Slim Aarons.
3. I've been loving beaded bags lately. Star Mela has some cuties. Image: Sincerely Jules
Purchase: #4. here #5. here!
6. I dream of building a house. I've always been drawn to Capes. This home is so pretty, isn't it?
7. Yes, yes, yes. I am working on this....
8. I love art that perks up a room. Springy colors mix well in most settings. Purchase this original signed piece here
Peace out - Have a great weekend. xx

Thursday, March 19, 2015

What's cooking?

I guess there is one plus to all this cold weather, I find it more conducive to cooking. I usually pour myself a glass of wine, light a fire and whip up dinner. I don't have central AC so I tend to use the oven more when it's chilly out than in the summer.

I find the key to making the art of cooking less hectic is the planning.  For some reason among the chaos of my life, I find cooking therapeutic. The steps and preparation force me to focus and follow steps. I made homemade chicken soup last night, it's already gone!  I think the most important thing when cooking anything is to use the freshest ingredients you can. I also try to splurge on organic or at least hormone free meat. I swear, I notice a difference in the taste and sometimes consistency! I also add more spices and some not even mentioned in the recipes. (I often to combine two or more recipes into one creation) There is nothing worse than bland food or soup, for that matter. Although not the healthiest, I sauté my carrots, onions and celery for my chicken and turkey soup in olive oil and butter. Butter adds such a wonderful flavor.

My kitchen is coming along and I'm actually loving it. The drawers are in and the hardware is ordered. Here is my selection...I am so happy with the brass. I purchased my hardware here.
I went with carrara counter tops and white cabinetry. I am thrilled with both!

The one problem is space. I don't have a ton of storage and still have a number of items in the basement. My next home will have a pantry and a large island for sure!! I am trying to be as resourceful and efficient with the space I do have!

This morning I came across Ali Cayne's gorgeous NYC kitchen. She owns and operates Haven's kitchen. Read more about her venture and cooking school here. It looks very cool...Enjoy the images of her beautiful and perfectly organized kitchen at her home!! All images via Domino Magazine. 

I plan to grow a "salad" garden this summer! Stay tuned for my selections and photos of the before and after...And also hopefully some images of the harvested veggies!! :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

'Tis the season....

Yes, it may feel like December, but I'm not thinking Christmas! I pretty much despise March, no offense March but you are such a tease! However, for me, two great things have come out of this month. The first being: I met this guy! (yeah, down there in the photo of us) Matty and I started to message over FB two years ago this week..(we had mutual friends) It started with me asking if anyone had a college hoops basketball pool. He did and we ended up on our first day very soon after. The second, is college hoops March Madness!! The fact that Matty not only played basketball but he also had a love of the tournament ended up being something we had in common. And the rest as they say, is history.......
I filled out one bracket yesterday and hope to join one more! We all need something to get us through this month, why not hoops? My Dad always played, so I grew up watching the game.  Weekends watching the NCAA college hoops and my bracket is a great distraction from the chilly weather and often raw days... I picked Kentucky to win it all. (How could I not) but have long been a Duke fan. (My Dad played bball with coach K) Who are you betting on??

I always say that if Matty and I buy a house together, it will need some sort of man town..You know, a place for a "U" shaped sectional and a large (if I have my way) built in television.

Here's about all you need to watch a great bball game! Whether at a bar or home, we're pretty casual when we watch the games! Go Duke!

I'd love a large but streamlined "U" shaped sectional someday. I still think Restoration Hardware has the best quality and selection.

1. An ottoman to put your feet up on is a must.
2. A food and drink tray is another must!!
I'll be dressing and eating pretty casually for the games. Here's a peek at a typical Saturday afternoon look.

1. A simple comfy sweatshirt.
2. Sports watch
7. Frosty beer and glasses

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Emerald Isle...

I know it's pretty obvious to blog about green today, but I can't pass up the chance to mention one of my favorite colors - Emerald!! I've used quite a bit around my home and it is still a part of my logo design, which I will eventually revamp but I may have a hard time giving up the green. (I cannot tell I lie, I come from a very Irish town and recently moved back!) 

Happy St. Patty's Day!!

1. I've always wanted to visit Ireland. The lush green landscape is beautiful.
2. Here is a great green paint color: Green Globe - VR019B by Valspar for Ace Hardware. I used almost the exact shade in my kitchen.
3. I LOVE green velvet. (we're also going to mix a bit of cherry red into the room!) I recently designed a green velvet sofa for a client. I adore this one by designer Bailey McCarthy. Image via Style Me Pretty.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Shelter Loves.....

Is it me or was this week a whirlwind?? I'm not sure where the time went but I could use another ten hours or so!! I need to meet my son at the bus stop in about fifteen minutes..So, here is a quick run down of what caught my eye this week! I'm on the hunt for some fresh inspiration, are you?

1. + 2.  I don't know if it is because I am so excited for Spring but I am loving shades of pale lavender lately. It's such a fresh, pretty color. In fact, I have my paint deck open to about twenty beautiful shades. I've got to work some into a project or my life!
3. I'm sure you haven't missed Tory Burch's collaboration with Dodie Thayer, but in case you have, read more about and purchase these beautiful dishes here. I've always loved lettuceware pottery. I have a piece of my grandmother's some place, I need to find that! I would love a set of the salad dishes to either display, use or both! 
4. + 6. We are entering into that transitional time of year. It is too chilly for short sleeves but too warm for a heavy coat. I love breaking out my vests and fun sweatshirts during this time. Graphic sweatshirts with chunky jewels pair well. The jewels make a statement but the overall look is casual and comfy. C'est La Vie sweatshirt available here
5. Who else has gained at least 5lbs this winter??? Ugh, I have!! I've been trying to eat really healthy and work out when I can. On the weekends I tend to splurge a bit more. I thought this alternative Bruschetta recipe sounded yummy.  (below)
6. Ahhhh, yes! You deserve the best, never forget it!
7. As a tradition me, my children, my sister and her children dye Easter eggs together. I may have to try out the gold foil again. Colorful sharpies are also another option. I'll share our final results, I'm sure we will have an interesting mix! wink, wink

Have a great weekend my loves! xx

lemon, ricotta, basil and honey bruschetta
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • extra virgin olive oil, for brushing, plus extra to serve
  • ⅓ cup (65g) ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns, crushed
  • sea salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey, to serve


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