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Tuesday, October 30

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

The storm may be over but there is much to be done. Thankfully my immediate family and our properties sustained little damage and we all have our power back on. Unfortunately millions are not so lucky. We just got our power back and we have been glued to the coverage of the devastation left in Sandy's wake. Millions continue to be without power and will be for weeks, tunnels and subway stations in NYC are completely flooded, homes washed away along the New Jersey coast. It is unbelievably grim. 

Please consider a donation to the American Red Cross or other national disaster relief program of your choice.  No matter what your can give, it matters. 

Stay Safe.

Monday, October 29

Hurricane Sandy Prep

This may be my last post for a couple of days given the impending doom known as Hurricane Sandy. I'm riding out the storm on the Cape and last year we lost power almost immediately during Irene so I'm anticipating a similar situation. No power equals no internet equals not blogging and pinning {gasp}. After an early morning of nothing but normal gusty wind we're starting to experience very forceful gusts. And I'm wishing I had a big bottle of Xanax. Maybe I'll just crack open a bottle of vino. Next time I take the dog outside I may venture a little further down the street and check out this astronomical high tide + storm surge combination I keep hearing about on the weather channel...

Buffalo Check Shirt | Barbour Jacket | JeansCashmere Wrap | Shearling Slippers | Wellies

Here's to hoping we don't lose power but just in case I've fully charged my kindle and loaded it with a bunch of new books and card games and dominos have been located from the dark recesses of the basement. I also have the new Nate Berkus book which I'm excited to read. I've heard that his text is very insightful so hopefully I'll learn a thing or two. And lastly, I've stocked up on non-perishable food items. Mainly Candy Corn. Candy Corn's a vegetable right?

Stay Safe!

Friday, October 26

Store Worthy Storage

This week's foray into Pinterest has yielding kitchen inspiration in a big way. It's really no wonder that I have kitchen storage on my mind after completing my yearly kitchen clean out and clear out (the mega-marathon of kitchen cleaning). A glance at my recent pins unearthed an interest in pantry storage styled to evoke a those trendy, epicurean and slightly hipster specialty markets. 

Don't have a beautifully crafted pantry? Yeah, me neither. And no worries because neither does the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. Girlfriend keeps it real with simple metro shelving for her storage needs. If it's good enough for the queen of simple yet elegant entertaining... it's good enough for me.  

{Images via Pinterest}

Thursday, October 25

Gold & White

Just a little bling to brighten up your morning. My eye kept returning to this little jewel of a butler's pantry while on Pinterest last night. Those gold pendant lights are phenomenal paired with white cabinets and rustic wood shelving. Gold accents bring just a touch of luxe to any room but are especially gorgeous paired with a white canvas. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Wednesday, October 24

Kitchen Lounge

My friends and I love to cook and most often hanging out means hanging out in the kitchen. This also means the guest, at least for us city dwellers, winds up standing in tiny cramped kitchens while the other cooks. Should I ever have a large kitchen it will definitely have a seating area where friends and family can relax while the chef works her magic. This could mean armchairs, a settee or a built in bench as long as it's comfortable. Would you add upholstery to your kitchen? 

{Images via Pinterest}

Tuesday, October 23

Outdoor Living into the Fall

It seems I have been overly ambitious about getting back to my normal routine by today. My poor brain is not firing on all cylinders yet. As much as one imagines being required to lounge around in bed as a treat, when you really cannot do anything else but lie down all day you start to go a little stir crazy. To help combat the cabin fever over the past couple days I've dragged my germ ridden body outside simple to sit in the fresh air. I highly recommend a does of fresh air at least once a day no matter how awful your cold symptoms, you'll feel so much better. This of course has me thinking about outdoor rooms.
 As long as you're dressed appropriately, fall is a wonderful to make use of outdoor living spaces. And not just during the day, if you have a fire-pit or a fireplace you can enjoy your deck, patio or yard in the evening (made even better with the addition of s'mores!) 

{Images via Pinterest}

Monday, October 22

Under the Weather

I don't know how I came down with a cold but it sure knocked me out for the entire weekend. My weekend was basically tea/soup, sleep, watch Pride and Prejudice and repeat. I found this image using the words "under the weather" on Pinterest and cannot help but find it both idyllic and hysterical. Where are the mounds of kleenex and army of half-empty tea mugs? If only we all looked this sweet while sick.

You wouldn't believe me if I told you how many spelling errors I made while writing this tiny post! I hope to be back to regular programming tomorrow. Okay, I think I may go back to sleep now. Don't hate me. 

{Image via Pinterest}

Friday, October 19

Winter Skin Essentials

As we head towards late fall and early winter my skin care routine gets amped up to take on the ravages of winter elements. Gone are the lazy days of summer when applying sunblock in the morning and using a good cleanser at night were the only real requirements. Now the cold, blustery air and harsh winter sunlight is beginning to wreak havoc on my skin. To combat these effects I turn to my three winter skin essentials. 

You may laugh at its somewhat silly name but you wont regret making this a winter skin staple. I keep this on my bedside table and apply liberally just before going to bed. Sometimes in the deep winter I'll use a tiny dollop in the morning for extra hydration. Presto! No more crocodile skin. 

This is actually a fairly recent addition. I've always used one of those medicated lip balms you find at drugstores just before bed but certain chemicals in them can actually make your chapped lips worse. This was recommended to me by my skin guru at my last facial with the promise that I would never use another brand lip balm ever again. It's a French company but I found it on Birchbox. Apply liberally at night and then again in the morning; your lips will thank you. 

Don't be fooled by the lack of beach going and bikinis, the sun's rays do just as much harm to your face (let's be honest, besides your hands, your face is the only other patch of skin visible this time of year) during winter. Since it may not be appealing to slather on sunscreen in the off season why not try an SPF moisturizer? This product is actually part of my morning routine year round. It's the opposite of sticky, white sunscreen, and provides an smooth base layer for makeup. Even though it appears to be tinted it goes on clear so it wont mess with your foundation.

{Images via brand websites, linked above}

Thursday, October 18

Managing the Chaos

Three months ago I purchased my first coffee table. Yes, you read that correctly. Since moving into my own place I have only ever had a small ottoman topped with an oversize tray for beverage stability.   Most nights I set up shop with my laptop essentially turning my coffee table into a desk. This means I need tray that can help corral candles, books, remotes and other odds and ends so I can easily shift it over or move it entirely quickly when this transformation takes place. My old oversize tray is much too big for the new table so I've been on the lookout for a new, slightly smaller option. 

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Woud you play it safe with a solid, more neutral tray or a bright, bold,  and colorful pattern?

{Images via Pinterest}

Wednesday, October 17

Kitchen Reflections

This little beauty of a kitchen caught my eye the other day with its vintage accessories. Most specifically the unexpected yet perfect placement of the crystal chandelier and mirror over the kitchen sink.   Why should the designated dishwasher have to stare at a wall? And so, of course, I found some other applications of decorative mirrors in kitchens. All wonderful additions to their respective spaces whether they provide a necessary function of reflecting much needed light into a darker space or simply allow the chef a pleasanter view while crafting his or her gourmet dinner. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Tuesday, October 16

American Country Home

Perhaps I should be more specific in my post title, I do not refer to dude ranches, twangy tunes or calico crafted stuffed animals when I think of "American Country." Absolutely fine if the aforementioned are your scene but I'm imagining, instead, the counterpart to the great English Country Home. Homes with distinctive history, furnishings perfectly group together to appear a haphazard collection over decades. This is perfectly embodied in Tom Filicia's Lakeside retreat in upstate New York, featured in November's issue of House Beautiful. While Filicia's furnishings trend to the updated, fresh and contemporary I think he masterfully weaves together this style with the emotion of a decades old summer retreat. 

The rope railing is a perfect compliment to the batten walls and lakeside property. {Is anyone else concerned about the possibility of people falling off the open side of the stair case. I'm a stair tripper and have been saved numerous occasions from complete disaster by dual railings...}

Check out November's copy of House Beautiful for more images and the complete interview. Can't get enough? Be sure to pick up a copy of Filicia's book "American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat" which details the entire renovation of this lakefront abode. 

{Photography by James Merrell for House Beautiful}

Monday, October 15

Weekend Updates

I spent most of the weekend making touch ups to my apartment. It's getting there, slowly but surely. I've painted, purchased new pillows from Caitlin Wilson Textiles (which should be here soon...hooray!) and my pictures are all back on the walls.

Now it's time for some updates in the lighting department. The torchiere from Ikea has done the job for the past four years but it's somewhat lacking in the style department. My intention was to hit up West Elm for a new floor lamp but I happened to hear the siren call of J.Crew and walked out with this gorgeous mint blazer instead. Oops.

Oh yes, and I spent several hours devoted to pesky paper work and revamping my filing system. I'll spare you the mind numbing details.

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 12

Apartment Crush: Mary Nelson Sinclair

Well, Lonny's done it again. They've given me a serious case of apartment envy. This time I fell in love with the home of the talented abstract artist Mary Nelson Sinclair. Furnished with a mix of vintage finds and family antiques her living room is a cozy bundle of perfection. That pink settee and the aqua/blue rug are to die for. And I haven't even mentioned her fabulous art collection featuring her own work and the talents of her contemporaries. 
I'd move right in. Would you? Read more about Mary and see more images from her apartment in Lonny's October issue

{Images via Lonny Magazine

Thursday, October 11

Zara Home

Be honest. Judging by the image above you are expecting me to launch into a topic relevant to a grand English country house. Sorry, this is actually a post about the launch of Zara Home in the United States. Yes, these are items are reasonably priced, talk about getting the look for less. Of course, these products aren't going to be handed down generation after generation as family heirlooms but they are a more luxurious and traditional alternative to Ikea. 

I've definitely been tempted and there are a few items in my shopping cart as I write this. To sweeten the deal, Zara Home is offering free shipping though the month of October. 

{Images via Zara Home}