Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goals + A Fav.

GOALS, RESOLUTIONS, AMBITIONS, whatever you'd like to call them, I have a few I really want to focus on in 2012. I find if the list is too lengthy, not enough is accomplished. I have a top three list and then the little ideas that I'll chip away at. (look for those on Monday/Tuesday)

1. Is to continue to grow my business and blog. I am putting the finishing touches on some amazing projects, and have two photo shoots and some other exciting events on the horizon. To continue to Grow and develop all facets of SHELTER is numero uno. (Actually being the best Mommy in the world is #1 but again that sort of goes without saying) 

2.  Settle my damn divorce - Who knew this process would take so long? I just need to wrap it up and move on. When that affair (no pun on words) is settled I can accomplish my next task.

3. BUY and RENOVATE a quaint fixer upper. I'll be moving my digs this year, scary but also very exciting. Please stay posted for the change. If I do move, I will of course document any renovation and re-hab I take on.

So you ask? Why the photos of Lee Kleinhelter's work? Well, she's an inspiration. Like Lee, I enjoy keeping my designs graphic, exciting and timeless. She always gets it right and I adore her style and her shop. Her designs always WOW! I'm a sucker for the "wow" factor. My aim is to do the same for my clients.  I usually have to push them out of their comfort zones a bit, but when they take risks, I'm the first to know that they are so glad they did!!

I've always been an admirer of Lee Kleinhelter's work. She and her husband have created a dynamic team. Lee is the designer and Kevin, the builder. Lee also owns an amazing shop in Atlanta (Buckhead), GA. aptly named Pieces. (to own a tiny store front will be a future goal in say: 2015, or so)  Here's a peek at their office space.  It's clear which is hers and his..
I actually just used this paper on a project!! I never tire of a David Hicks graphic.

Friday, December 30, 2011

What I learned in 2011.

hmm where to begin? This post is sort of a continuation to my 2010 "what I've learned" post, which was a moment for me to reflect on the life changing "craziness" going on at the time. 2011 was a year of adjustment and growth for me. So here are the major thoughts that currently come to mind and what I've learned:

- I've learned that life can change in an instant and you just have to hold on tight; when it sucks, embrace the good and let yourself grieve through the sad.

- I've learned you need to face adversity head on. It can be unpleasant as hell but in the end you'll be stronger, smarter and all the better because of it. Not everything, but some things, do happen for a reason.

- I've learned to remain positive, trust me it helps!!

- I've learned change is good! Always take risks even if they scare you to death.

- I've learned everything will be okay, in fact everything may be better if you hang in there!

- I've learned it's important to be independent in every way possible, have your own friends, hobbies and resources to earn your own income!

- I've learned that a run does help to clear your head. I'm not a marathoner trust me, but two miles can work wonders!

- I've learned that you truly don't need much in life to be happy. Surround your self with good people, great food, a stash of prosecco, a warm, comfortable home (the size doesn't matter!), an outfit that makes you feel fabulous, and great music.  (good health - goes without saying). Seriously, think back on the best times over the past year, I bet they don't involve much more then I've listed! 

This excerpt from Chicken Fried by Zac Brown pretty much sums it up for me:
"It's funny how it's the little things in life that mean the most, not where you live or what you drive or the price tag on your clothes, there's no dollar sign on a piece of mind, this I've come to know."

- I've learned that there is always room for improvement and growth on my outlook and attitude!



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

style me pretty - mantels

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I'm off on a mini-shopping spree today. I have a pretty large install tomorrow and my assistants and I are also going to style my client's home. I'm styling a home next week too. I've gathered some great objects but today I'm focusing on the mantel designs. Wish me luck, I'm not sure what I'm doing yet but I've gathered some inspirational images and wanted to share them with you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Your Style?

I love a number of Diana Vreeland's quotes but the one I posted yesterday got me thinking about personal style. I know everyone has their own, but trends do tend to influence our decisions. Real Simple has a fun article in the January 2012 issue about re-engergzing your look and wardrobe. I know I'd love to add a few fresh, key pieces to my closet. So here's a peek at the three categories they conjured up. Which do you "mostly" fall into? Or maybe you have your own defined sense of style. If so, please share it with us!  I'd say I'm a mix between the edgy-preppy and a little Bohemian. I do wear lots of black and large pieces of jewelry a la Diana Vreeland, so I guess that's minimal. (but that 3rd outfit is def. not me) It all really depends of my mood and destination. Today I can't lie, I'm wearing black yoga pants and a fitted zip front hoodie. The perfect attire for cleaning and cooking for the holidays, don't you think?

If Your Style Is Bohemian . . .

add a little structure.
You love long, flowy skirts, ethnic jewelry, fringy bags, and chunky sandals. But sometimes too much of that sort of thing goes too far…out. Slip on a tailored blazer and a straightforward tee and your beloved hippie style fast-forwards to the 21st century, looking completely fresh and smart. (text here via Real Simple Magazine)

If Your Style Is Preppy . . .

add edgy accessories.

Penny loafers and ribbon belts used to be par for the course. But replace them with accents that aren’t Preppy Handbook–approved, like a slick black bag, kittenish pumps, a studded belt, and spiky earrings, and your nautical peacoat and Cape Cod–bright cords take on a cool, citified feel. (Real Simple Text)

If Your Style Is Minimalist . . .

add some texture.

There are still plenty of clean lines and graphic shapes here to keep a less-is-more fanatic happy. Yet the tactile quality of these sleek and simple silhouettes gives the outfit new depth: Note the tweedy zigzag overlay on the bottom half of the dress, the blocky necklace, and the contrasting bangles (one matte, one shiny). (via Real Simple)
 for the article and sources of all product shown see: REAL SIMPLE Jan. 2012

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vreeland Chic

It's no surprise that Connor NY's newest stationery collection inspired by the fearless magazine fashion editor Diana Vreeland is fabulously chic, from the gold and ivory horn necklace, down to the red hot liner, it's perfection.
The Diana Vreeland book by Eleanor Dwight has definitely made my wish list. Diana's sense of style was elegant but edgy. She wasn't afraid to take risks and always pushed boundaries. Ideas we should all really live by! I'm still pretty fascinated with red right now. It's such a cheerful shade in small doses! Happy Holidays my friends......xx, Julie

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Very Merry Indeed

I may need to mix up this spirit on Christmas day (or better yet Christmas eve)! A good cocktail only adds to the merriment! Enjoy!

Cranberry Ginger Fizz Cocktail
4.8 from 9 reviews

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 6 mins
Total time: 11 mins
Serves: 4
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 orange, cut into slices
  • 1 1/2 cups dry gin – Bombay Sapphire, Beefeater or Tangueray suggested
  • 1 cup chilled Ginger Ale
  • 4 mint springs
  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; pour off all but one cup of syrup, reserving any extra for another use.
  2. Heat the syrup to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Add the cranberries and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they just begin to burst. Remove from heat and let cool in syrup.
  3. Place 2 Tablespoons drained cranberries and 6 Tablespoons cranberry syrup in a large pitcher; add the lemon wedges and orange slices.
  4. Using a muddler or wooden spoon, vigorously mash the fruit.
  5. Stir in gin and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Strain into a medium pitcher.
  7. Fill 4 glasses with crushed ice and 1/4 cup ginger ale.
  8. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and then pour half the cranberry mixture into the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds, strain liquid into two glasses. Repeat.
  9. Mound additional ice on top of each glass and garnish with 3 candied cranberries and a mint sprig.

i heart = pink.charcoal

images: kelly wearstler, Windsor Smith, joules, pinterest

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

on my radar this holiday season

1. My chunky pearls broke over Thanksgiving (at a bar, none the less, so the pearls scattered everywhere - garnered a bit of attention from the surrounding guys scrambling to help me pick them up, I actually thought that was very sweet. It's time for a new set. This particular one is from Lauren Elan

A bit predictable? Yes. but I've always wanted a white grey hound statue for my home! This cutie is available through Pieces!

- Bee from Atlantic-Pacific wears them well.
- I love boxwood - they don't fair so well in Boston during this time of year though!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Winter white might not be practical but it's certainly flattering!

Pendant Winner!

Lucky reader Marite is the winner of the pendant give away, the only issue is, Marite, the blogger page that you linked to in your comment did not list your email address! If you could email me that would be great! Thank you and Congratulations, this pendant will look perfect in the alcove above your bed. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shiny + Bright Give Away!

I know you all love shiny and bright finds as much as I do, so I think you'll be thrilled with today's give away from Del Mar Designs. It's for one chic but adorable mini crystal pendant. The xenon bulbs inside create a beautiful sparkle when illuminated. Simply leave a comment with an email link on my blog stating where you might use it and I'll enter your name to win this beauty. For a second chance, follow their Facebook or Twitter page and you'll be entered for an additional chance to win. *Just remember to leave a second comment for the second chance to win after you've "liked" their page! Good Luck! I'll draw the winner this coming Monday morning!!

Dims: 8"w x 6"h, Value: $322.20

ET Mini Crystal pendant by Del Mar Designs Pendant

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Shiny + Bright

 I'll be styling two jobs after the holidays, so lots of fabulous goodies are on the way to my client's home.  I just purchased these moss balls, they're going in an over sized bowl! Their texture and shade got me thinking about how mossy and emerald green add such a beautiful pop to neutral interiors. I love the crisp, clean, but colorful approach to this home. I'd add another layer of "stuff" myself, but none the less, this place is gorge.
These green drapes are fabulous! Green + Gray = perfection

 Images: Veranda, September 2011.
Moss Balls: The Garden Gates

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gift Guide - My thoughts!

For Her:

1. J.Crew Puffer vest: I'm loving red this holiday season and I tend to layer everything I wear, so I love vests. This one from J.Crew is on my wish list.

3. Emily Elizabeth Bangle: Stacking bracelets is all the rage, this gorgeous piece would look great solo or in multiples.

6. Iomoi tote: Navy and monogrammed? You can't go wrong with this versatile leather tote.

7. Ikat Mug from C Wonder: I'm looking forward to browsing the new C. Wonder shop when I'm in NYC. This ikat mug would brighten any one's morning!

8. Loren Hope Designs: A little bling, bling at a great price! These earrings are a classic staple!

11. Umbrella: I've been eyeing this Scalamandre designed fabric umbrella for a while now! It's gorgeous!

For Anyone:

2. NYC paper weights: These glass paper weights would make a fabulous gift for anyone with an affinity for the "big apple"!

4. Vintage Impala Bookends: I LOVE vintage pieces. These impala bookends from High Street Market would make a unique, one of a kind gift, as would a number
of the items in her shop. Estate Eclectic also has a great selection of vintage finds.

5. Herringbone blanket: tired of herringbone? No, surprisingly I'm not either. This beautiful, navy (yes I'm loving navy too) throw would add the perfect amount of zip to any space.

10. Loveless Cafe cookbook: A northern yes, but I love southern hospitality and cooking! The yummy desserts featured in this book look amazing. It would be the perfect gift for your favorite foodies.

For the Kiddies:

Racing Car: Both of my children ( a girl and boy) adore race cars. These little cuties are well designed and look good too, a bonus in my book!

Happy Holidays! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gift Guide - Natalie Bazin of Natalie Bazin Design

I hope you are having as much reading my posted gift guides this season as I have receiving them from all of my savvy friends. Today's gift guide comes from my very talented and (hilarious) friend Natalie Bazin. She's a graphic designer (hence her gift guide header) and will soon be launching an Etsy site with custom invites and cards! Her ideas are made up of lots of practical but amazing goodies. I believe her hubby pulled together the guy picks! (never easy to buy for guys). Enjoy! 

NATALIE BAZIN'S shares the scoop on her favorite gifts: (all items are linked)

1. For the Stocking... 

Women's: Butter London, Holiday - LOVE!

Men's: Kiehls Mens Alcohol-Free Herbal Toner - This has been a staple gift with both my brothers for years, great for sensitive skin! 

2. For Mom, Sister, Friend ... 

Anninas chunky-knit wool cardigan - As a mom my struggle is always to stay fashionable and comfy and still be able to chase my 2 boys. I know all my mommy friends would agree! 

Matt Bernson Booties - Jardin Ankle Booties - These booties are absolutely adorable! You can dress them up or down - LOVE!

Votivo Red Currant Glass Jar Candle - I've been a huge fan of these candles and this particular scent for you years! Once you try you'll never turn back! 

Camel Case Calypso - I'm a sucker for new makeup bags and who wouldn't love a hidden gloss inside! 

3. For the Foodie...

Vitamix Professional Series 500 Blender - Great gift for the ultimate foodie in your life, this machine can do everything but your laundry! 

Cocktails & Amuse-Bouches for Her & for Him by Daniel Boulud - beautiful book… great recipes and design!

4. For the Tech Junkie ... 
Nikon 1 J1 - Two-Lens Zoom Kit -Great gift for the mom in your life. You won't miss a shot or video with this camera! 

Bose Bluetooth SoundLink - A great gift for anyone that loves music and the independence of taking your speakers and tumes on the go! 

5. For Him... 

Sports Illustrated 100 Years of Fenway Park [Hardcover]  - Celebrate history this Christmas! Great for any baseball fan.

Bob Marley - DESTINY TTR  - Over the Ear Head Phones - for my man, if you haven't tried a pair on … don't hesitate - we be jammin! 

MARMOT Alpinist Jacket-  - For the outdoorsman in your life, a waterproof softshell! Great color selection!

6. For the kiddies

Swoop - Storage Bag & Play Mat-in-One - This toy-tote-and-play-mat-in-one is great for kids that are always on the go!

Grey Wool Tiny TOMS Botas - One for One… One pair for my little guy and one for a child in need… How can you go wrong?

Lego® 'Storm Trooper®' Alarm Clock - My oldest son is a HUGE Star Wars fan and even a bigger fan of the Stormtrooper-Perfect! 


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