#112 Spring Sparkle

Early springs make me happy!  I hardly had to wear a sweater this winter, so I will really not need to buy too many new ones next year. I keep telling myself this in hopes that I can save money and closet space but i'm not sure I'm fooling anyone but myself...

It's a little cooler today than it has been, so I figured I better wear my sequined sweatshirt while I still can.  Here's to wearing more sparkles & sequins to celebrate spring!

 green sparkle purse by amanda pearl

 sparkle nails via pinterest

 best kind of closet ever...the sparkly kind! 
via pinterest


#111 Furniture Painting Daydreams

In my rebellious phase, I decided I was not going to be like my mother...I was going to paint!   At that time, my mother thought paint was the devil.  She refused to have any painted furniture or woodwork or walls in her house.  Only cherry wood & wallpaper was allowed.  What a funny teenager I was that this was the way I chose to rebel and since then I've become the one obsessed with wallpaper.  In those days, I daydreamed about painting & obsessively collected paint chips at the hardware store.  Then came the day I decided to paint an entire secondhand bedroom set.  It was the middle of the summer of '04 and I was armed with an orbital sander.  Lots of learning happened in those 4 pieces of furniture. 

Recently I've been dreaming about painting again.  Somewhere out there a piece of furniture was calling out to me for a makeover.  I found it in the basement of a pre-war building covered in dust & locked shut.  An early 1900's china cabinet... oh Craigslist, I love you.  I brought it home, picked the lock & cleaned it like crazy.  

oh so lovely looking grainy photo disguising all the dust & damage

lock-picking tools

After cleaning it, I sanded down all the nicked and rough areas & patched the fretwork.  Then I primed the whole thing & painted the inside a light grey to match the apartment walls.

damage repaired and getting ready for primer

primed...lots of fumes

Let me just warn you that I had to use some crazy primer (B-I-N primer- it works on any surface oil-based paint, stain, or latex) on this because I'm lazy and didn't want to do any more sanding or stripping.  The stuff smelled like I was swimming in a vat of alcohol fumes.  While in this vat of fumes I decided I wanted the color to be dramatic & I had some peachy-coral paint left over from another project.  When it was dry I realized I must have been high on some paint fumes. The color was Barbie Dream House pink.  Not quite the kind of drama I was going for...

pepto pink = not quite right

The great thing about paint-- I decided to paint over the pink. I chose a dark navy with polished nickel knobs.  Way classier, but still dramatic.  Perfection.

navy & knobs- all done!


#110 Secrets & Shopping

What's the secret to the perfect Fall wardrobe? Perfect boots? Perfectly cozy cardigan sweater? Cute hat & gloves? A new fall bag? I'm pretty sure it's a combination of all these and more (forgot to mention jackets, scarves & a pile of crunchy leaves!).  Something doesn't feel quite right with my current wardrobe though.  So, I've decided to do a wardrobe "make-under" (check it out at MakeunderMyLife.com).  It started last week.  I took everything out of my closet & put it all on the bed in my guest room. "Nice job!" I told myself.  The next day I get an email from a friend who's coming to visit.  Yay!  Friends!  Pile of clothes returned promptly to closet.  This week I'm going to start afresh.  No trying to get out of making decisions by just throwing clothes in the guest room.  No trying to keep everything and just rearranging it.  I'm going to be serious about only keeping things that fit my perfect wardrobe.

unrealistic dream of a wardrobe via pinterest

My other remedy to the wardrobe blahs has been to go shopping.  How come there are so many good deals?!  Here are my newest wardrobe additions to shake up the massive piles of t-shirts & jeans that have taken over my closet.  A leopard print coat (I'm not normally a leopard print kinda girl, but I'll try anything once), grey practical (i.e. "flat") loafers & a deep forest green a-line wool skirt (totally chic & goes with all those t-shirts).  I'm still dying for a new bag...

What's your secret to the perfect fall wardrobe?  And if you have any wardrobe make-over/under secrets, I'd take those too.


#109 Girls + Boys

The combination of girls & boys can go awry in a matter of moments.  Just bring up Titanic or The Big Lebowski and you'll see what I mean.  How do we somehow gain so much knowledge in areas they have no idea about whatsoever? Take nail polish.  Try to explain the technique of matte finish nails, or even just a French manicure.  If his eyes haven't glazed over yet, I can see the wheels turning in his brain and just not understanding what the heck I'm talking about.  Well, this is what I'm talking about: 

simple & sassy
via  pinterest

Then go to the opposite spectrum.  Try to do a crossword puzzle without having a general knowledge of athletes that all dudes seem to be born with.

Somehow, we are the same species. Magically, we can bring out the best parts of each other.

lovey dovey butterfly
via wish!

lovey dovey human beings


#108 Minus 4 = Today's Temperature (104!)

Today's high is a record breaking 104 degrees.  The last time it was this hot in New York City was 1957.  It's just too darn hot to think about much of anything right now except for swimming pools & popsicles...

Marilyn Monroe's 50's version of fun in the sun

Dior's 2011 version of summer style
via R29



#107 Stars Invisible

Another gem of a poem from my sister...Enjoy!

photo via pinterest

by Brianna K.

Stars stay hidden
In fog of urban night,
Unused and unneeded
For city makes the light,

Lest they lose a moment
Hurrying people fret,
And yet, some are still,
Banking on lost bet,

The bustle continues
A sea that ebbs and flows,
No stars here either
Fluorescents hum and glow,

Mechanic voice informs
Before the muffled ding,
Screaming child
One more annoying thing,

Owl questions orbs
Staring from expanse,
This is where stars live
Thousands at a glance,

Old pick-up finds its way
Down a starlit path,
Traveler guided home
By light beyond his math.


#106 Oh My Shoes!

Anyone out there wear a size 8.5 or 9 and need some cute gently worn shoes?  Come to my place immediately!

This may not come as a surprise, but I have too many shoes.  Waaaaaay tooooo many.  There are so many that they've been mentioned in articles by my roommate in our college newspaper, been the test of boys I'm dating to see if they are freaked out by how many there are, the cause of injury when the door organizer has come crashing down, etc.  I have trouble getting rid of them because, heck, they are just too darn cute!  But currently I'm running in purge mode, and they must go.  I probably have at least 10 variations of black heels.  And let's be honest, with all the schlepping I do around the city, they've been in hibernation for a while and aren't likely to come out for a while.

If I had fewer pairs of shoes, I could organize them very cutely in a little ottoman with the extra cute ones having a special spot on a wall of honor!  And for my Southern friends--if we had known about this in college and sold them on campus we would have made a small fortune: the flip flop hanger.  

show off cute shoes!
via Martha

keep the pairs together!

...and a pair for the road


#105 Happy Weekend of Studying!

Most people's summer weekends do not involve studying for exams unless they are still in school.  But mine do!!  (I'm trying to sound positive and excited about this)  I'm going to become a licensed architect.  This requires seven exams.  Imagine taking your SATs 7 times, except all the information is about architecture.  The boring parts of architecture mostly.  Contracts, scheduling, programming, codes, utility easements, setbacks, and soil types--and that's only the first exam!  The most exciting part I think is the history portion.  It gives meaning to the way we have come to build today.  Ever wondered how surburbia started? Check out Howard's plan for the Garden City.   

Wish this is what my weekend involved:

photo via

But it will probably look like this except with a more hunched over back and coffee jitters:

And I will be doodling drawings only half this witty to cope with the boring study material:
(p.s. the decorative one will always win in my opinion)

Check out this guy's awesome drawings!
photo via all the buildings in new york


#104 Changes To Live By

I had a lovely design conference via iphone with my friend Heather.  We discussed something that we both struggle with every now and again when we are itching for a change but feel bad leaving our old loves behind...old design loves, that is.  We get attached to designs or things we think represent what we like.  But they represent what were are like at a certain moment.  A year or three later we all have changed and things that were once amazing are just kinda eh or not that important anymore.  Here's to living life in the present, and that "Present" for my friend Heather include an adorable robin's egg blue table with red chairs.  Because the more I think about it, why not just go ahead and paint the chairs red!  Too much?  Maybe I'm getting carried away...  Some color inspiration:

 bathing beauty, the red sunglasses top it off

monotone robin's egg blue kitchen 
 photo via martha

bright poppies
photo via citrus & orange

Even Degas knew a good color combo when he saw one


#103 Mellow Yellow

I seem to be on a color theme right now.  Oh hot pink, oh grey, oh red... I never get enough.  The official color of summer is yellow, though.  Summer as I know it from the South has not arrived in New York yet.  We've got rain and 70 degree weather... definitely not my idea of Summer, but it will come soon enough and be completely hot & miserable, I'm sure.  For now, Summer is still a quaint dreamland of yellow, seashells, sandals and barbeques...

photo via design*sponge

sigerson morrison wedge
photo via refinery29

 Joseph Albers "Homage to the Square" painting
photo via google


#102 Red & Light

Some funny things happen with light...

Preen resort 2012, photo via style.com

photo via design*sponge


#101 New Best Friends

Who knew hot pink paired so well with dark moody purples & grays.

jil sanders wedges via Mrs H


#100 Re-Booting

Getting worked up for SUMMER!!!  Lots of projects & plans in the works.  I'm studying to become a real architect and determined to build more furniture for my apartment with a few crafty projects and painting on the side.  With the weekend almost here, it's time to get all my to-do lists together and supplies organized to get started!

photo via design*sponge

And everyone knows you need "Project Shoes" when you start a new project!  ...these beauties would be very inspiring :)


#99 Here's To You, Laura!

Sometimes we all need a little encouragement and support.  
Today, Laura needs some...and here it is:

To the studious you:
photo via J. Crew
To the fun you:
photo via coco+kelley
To the beautiful you:
 photo via  pinterest

"Life is short. Live it the way that will make you happy." -Tina Su


#98 Spring Swirls

I can't help but love patterns that involve all the colors of the rainbow and can still be sophisticated. These all hit the mark.  A marbleized paper that's less than $5 and is practically a piece of art.  A lamp that is like those bottles of colored sand that you make at a fair but don't know what to do with when you get them home (get a big bottle and make a lamp?? hmm...).  And a dress with the simplest cut, but is by no means boring!

paper from Paper Mojo discovered here

 lamp via JPM design

  Kimberly Taylor dress via Refinery29
 This is sort of a precursor of what is to come...


#97 A New Thing

My sister will often call me up and say, "Rissy, I wrote a new poem!"  And most of them are too good not to share with the rest of the world.  She is a bit shy about them, though, so, I suggested doing a piece every now & then featuring one of her poems.  This is one she wrote after I told her about a revelation I had with a friend that everywhere makes people want to kiss-- crowded museums, funerals, public restrooms... just everywhere.  My sister's poem makes me think, maybe it's not the place, after all.  People just want to kiss all the time. 

photo via ohjoy!

It Doesn’t Matter Where
by Brianna K.

A gas station, old

paint chipping from pumps,

plastic covered food,

buzzing cooler for drinks

at a bar, on a block

of a New York street,

smoky air, loud drunks,

sad drunks, some not drunk at all

under neon sign

for a subway station,

rumble of approaching train,

bongos beat for change

from pockets of rushing people

catching the doors

revolving into a museum

of art lined walls,

sculptures magnificent and simple,

the gas station is framed on canvas

and they stare, seemingly mesmerized,

comfortable, in love as lip caresses lip

and they slip into each other

and they’re kissing in all these places.


#96 It Kind Of Feels Like Spring...Sort Of

I'm alive!!!  Kind of.  Spring is here technically (it still doesn't quite feel like spring in New York though) and I'm resolved to start blogging more often than once every 2 months.  I've got so many cool things stored up from blogging hibernation, so be prepared!

photo via pinterest
 Spring skies...LOVE!

Sky blue door moldings...LOVE!

 I LOVE CAKE.  Check out this cake shop & cake "accessories" shop...because, really, what is a cake without it's accessories, and what is spring without a lovely pastel iced cake? 

...Spring may not be everywhere yet, but love is and that's all that really matters.


#95 Winter Blues

Too little sunlight + too much snow + the necessity of slush proof shoes = Blah.  I have to remind myself that spring will eventually be here... and having hot chocolate every evening while snuggling under blankets won't be nearly as satisfying when temps get above freezing.  

On the plus side, winter light makes blues pop against snowy backdrops.  The sky looks pretty magical when the sun comes out after a heavy snow.  And jeans don't seem nearly as dreary when they are a medium blue and high-waisted and flared rather than black and skin tight after an extended holiday with a mother that bakes treats everyday.  And my blue sofa greets me in the evenings with the promise of a relaxing night of awesome old movies.  I can wait for spring a little longer...

via AT

via Shopbop


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