Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coffee Talk: A Room Like Buttah

A a pied-à-terre in NYC via AD

Um...Talk Amongst Yourselves

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Proud as a Peacock: Christopher, That is...

I am finally going to bite the bullet and start renovating my kitchen.  I have seen so much beautiful inspiration out there, which as caused me to be all over the place on the design.  It is soooo much more challenging when it is your own kitchen.  As it is for many of you out there, my kitchen is the heart of my home.  I want it to be special.  And, speaking of special, I keep going back to the timeless kitchen designs of Christopher Peacock.  While I can't afford the price tag that comes with the Peacock pedigree, dreaming is complimentary!

A lovely mix of marble, stainless steel and wood.  I am totally digging the mirror back splash.


This is Christopher's own kitchen.  Love the touch of tangerine--color of the year!  I am guessing that beautiful dark gray paint is from his line of paint.

You can barely make out the tulip table and the wood grain Knoll chairs, but I love the combination. 

 Deep and moody, I likey.  Loving the Ann Sacks Eastern Star tile--Delish!!

The vintage hardware, mix of white and stained wood cabinets and the wood beam ceiling generate strong visual impact.   
Oh, the damage I could do in that kitchen.  Many mouths would be happily fed.
What kitchen designers influence you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dead of Winter: Skin Hydration 101

Even though we have fared pretty well here in the Midwest this winter, it still wreaks havoc on the skin.  The air is still dry and chilly.  In the past couple of years I have finally figured out what works for me to keep my skin totally hydrated.  Unless you live in a warm humid climate year round, you need to pamper your skin daily--sometimes twice!  I have had great luck with the products below.  Even if you have sensitive skin, which I do, these products are an A+ in my book. 
1. Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser - This will dry your skin out a bit the first week, but the results outweigh the week of dryness.  It exfoliates the skin without the gritty scrub.

2.  Molton Brown Eucalyptus Bath & Shower Tonic - May I say, divine!  Smells yummy and is very gentle on the skin. 

3.  Kinerase® Ultimate Night Moisturizer - Kinerase overall is a Godsend.  I use both the day and night moisturizer.  While it is not inexpensive, it is worth the splurge.  Your skin is priceless. 

4.  Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream - Non-greasy and does away with some of the puffiness.  For its price point, which is very affordable, the products overall are quite remarkable.

5.  Aveeno Baby Lotion - This is no flashy product, but my skin has never been in better shape after using it for a few years now.  The results have been nothing but super soft skin.  And, it's $4.00 at the drugstore for a tube! 

6.  Laura Mercier Moisture Suprême Foundation - I love all things Laura Mercier.  I use the foundation during the winter months for the extra moisturizing benefits, and the pressed powder only during the summer.  Wonderful products. 

7.  Kiehl's Lip Balm SPF 15- To me, this is the best lip product out there.  It comes in a clear balm or a sheer pink.  

8.  L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream - This is with me at all times.  The scent is light and the consistency is very creamy without being greasy. 

9.  Flexitol Heel Balm - Ok, Ladies, I know we don't like to discuss our feet, but at some point we all suffer from wearing heels, boots, sandals, etc.  This will keep your tooties soft, smooth and pretty. 

10.  L'Occitane Mini Pure Shea Butter

 And, water, water water and green tea!!
I will say that my cuticles have not had the best of luck and it is causing my nails to break all of the time. It is very frustrating! Has anyone tried number 10, the L'Occitain pure shea butter for their cuticles? Any other suggestions? 
What do you use for your beauty regimen?  Enquiring minds want to know!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Forecast: A Light Mix of Margaritas, Mexican and Movies

Winter finally hit here in the midwest.   Snowy, cold, dreary...that calls for a night of margaritas, Mexican food, a warm fire and some movies.  Time to relax and splurge a little on the food front.  I have had a hankerin' for some good Mexican food and my favorite blackberry margarita.  I have been buying some really good blackberries lately, even though they are not in season. 
So, the evening will start with this:

Blackberry Margarita Recipe:

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lime
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave blanco tequila
3/4 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau - I love both
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
12 ounces fresh blackberries
sprigs of mint

Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and kosher salt in a dish. Cut lime into 9 wedges; rub rims of 8 glasses with 1 lime wedge. Dip rims of glasses in salt mixture. Combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 2 1/2 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar; cool. Combine syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, and blackberries in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a pitcher; discard solids. Serve over ice. Garnish with remaining lime wedges and mint.

And will follow with:
Chimichurri Halibut Tacos
Grilled Pineapple-Avocado Salsa
Baked Black Beans

The movie selections for tonight:

What is the forecast where you live?
Have a fabulous weekend!

Images via Pinterest
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Accent Walls: Space Enhancer or Space Distraction?

I find myself a little schizo on this subject.  When I moved into my house, I was very unsure of what I really wanted to do with the living room (picture didn't turn out very well, so I did not include it in this post).  Thinking it would look soft and subtle, I ended up painting the room a pale neutral (Pointing) and the fireplace wall an accent color (Pale Powder).  Boy, was I wrong, it has ended up to be nothing but a space distraction!  I mean, it doesn't look horrible, but it doesn't make any kind of a statement either.  I love Pointing from Farrow & Ball, the photo below does not do it justice, it really is more of a lovely oyster color that goes nicely with just about everything.  I have used the Pale Powder on several ceilings and it is absolutely gorgeous; however, it looks completely different on matter what direction the room faces light-wise.   
So, after that debacle, my position became:  if you don't have the guts to do the entire room the color you would paint an accent wall, don't paint an accent wall.  And then I see the photos stacked below and think: I can get behind an accent wall--of any sort!

I love the contrast between the walls.  All of the eclectic details--wood beam, classic monogrammed shams, faux fur throw, tropical duvet, stark white contemporary lamps and side tables, sparkle from the mirror and sconces--compliment each other. 

This wall is so swoon-worthy!  Actually, the entire room is; warm and earthy. The rustic reclaimed wood plank walls blend beautifully with the polished dark herringbone floors.  This room doesn't look like your typical Manhattan apartment, does it?

This wallpaper draws the eye up with its vertical pattern without being too much for this small room. 

I really love the feel of this glossy gray tiled accent wall.  I provides the perfect amount of warmth to what otherwise would have been a very stark bathroom.  

As you can see, I have changed my tune. 
What do you think about accent walls?

Images via Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Houzz

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Appropriate or Not...Words to Live By

Saw this first thing this morning, true, true...

Image via here

Monday, January 16, 2012

Golden Globes: Red Carpet Goodness...and Badness

I don't have much time on my hands to post this morning, so I won't be able to go into as much detail as I would like to about the red carpet last night. For those of you who love fashion, like I do, there were a lot of beautiful specimens walking down the red carpet last night.  And, there were some misses. 
Of course, I also could not wait to see what this guy was going to say...

I love matter what comes out of that filthy little pie hole


Reese gets the smokin' hot award in this Zac Posen gown.  Appropriately tight dress, loose way to go wrong there.

Charlize Theron looked uber feminine in this Dior Couture dress with Cartier jewels.  J'adore!!

Wow!  What a one-eighty from The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo.  I thought Rooney Mara looked absolutely stunning in this black Nina Ricci gown.  She was flawless, and so were the New York Giants.  She was certainly dressed like football royalty and a great win for the family.  Go Giants! 

Sofia is always one of my favorites!  She never disapoints in Vera Wang.  How can you go wrong with any designer choice with that body.  And, loved the straight hair.

Kate Beckensale was my favorite, hands down, in this beautiful nude Roberto Cavalli -- the beading, the bodice, the hair, the Lorraine Schwartz jewels--PERFECTION!!

I also loved, Viola Davis, Clair Danes, Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer, Debra Messing, Elle Macpherson, Angelina Jolie, Sarah Hyland and Jessica Alba.  That is a lot of goodness.


Um...does she know we can see right through her dress?  Piper Perabo is more like Piper Peek-a-boo.

Love the Tilda, but seriously...can we talk?

A reminder to all you sweet Moms out there that love their kiddies...don't let your 2-yr old pick out your dress for an awards show.  To me, that dress is a hot mess!  Next time, let her pick the shoes.

This guy was dressed better than those gals...way show them up, Uggie!

Well, that is all I have time for this morning. 
Who was your favorite? 

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm a Gawker

Wouldn't you like to be one too?  Last night, while searching foodgawker, I noticed in the upper left corner...dwellinggawker!  Where have I been?  How did I not notice?  If you don't know about it, you are in a for a lovely treat.  Lots of dwelling goodness like this gorgeous modern flat in Kensington, London featured on the fresh home website:

Feels very cozy for such an open space.

Loving the subtle touch of pink in the dining room chairs. 

Check out the tile on the side wall of the fridge.  Interesting placement of it too!

Greige goodness!

What a beaut!

Digging the framed pic under the console.  I would never get out of bed with all of those layers of luxury.

High tea anyone?  Maybe a pint later...

Not only is dwellinggawker a great place to feast your eyes on some gorgeous photos, it is a great resource for new blogs! 
Have a beautiful weekend!

Images via fresh home

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thinking Outside the Box: Floating Furniture

The awkward shapes and limiting dimensions of a room can not only be a design challenge, they are down-right frustrating.  Furniture placement becomes more of a toil than a creative exercise.  Furniture ends up pushed against every wall possible and any remaining void space is usually filled with unnecessary pieces, leaving you feeling constricted.  And, to throw in another kink, some rooms do not provide walls--loft spaces and open layouts. The solution: floating furniture; it will provide definition while maintaining an open feel. 

I love how creative Jen Ramos--Made By Girl--was with these IKEA cabinets. She left the space open by floating the cabinets; however, she grounded the space with the topping the cabinets with an ebony stained piece of poplar. Beautiful!!! Check out her DIY project here. 

With the fireplace as the focal point, the arrangement of the chairs and "fainting" couch provide a cozy conversation area. 

There is a lot of symmetry and balance provided here.  Perfect placement of floating furniture.

A console with the lamps provide great lighting, and chairs behind the floating couch stage additional seating that can be utilized if needed. 

The key to floating couches is keeping the appropriate scale to within the size of the room, along with very clean, low back lines. 

This appears to just be a writing desk, but floating a desk can create problems with computer and lamp cords.  The easy fix is to throw a rug over it, not sure how safe, though. 

Even with quite a few pieces against the walls, running this couch parallel to hallway creates a definitive space

Adding a couple of stylish floating benches to a room not only renders additional seating, it gives off a cosmopolitan vibe.   

I hope this provides some inspiration to be creative!
Almost the weekend...

Images via Pinterest and Made by Girl

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dutch Doors: No Split Decision Here

Ever since I was a little girl, I had an affinity towards Dutch doors.  There was a house on our block that sat up off of the street with a beautiful half moon driveway and the front door was a Dutch door.  The top half was always open when it was warm out, there was something so warm and inviting about it. 
How can you not love these?

A little history on Dutch doors:  
The Dutch door originated in Holland. During the pre-screen doors era, the Dutch door was favored by farmers because the top could be opened to allow air in and the bottom closed to keep the animals out. 

Currently, they are actually a prefered door of the ASPCA, to safely keep animals inside while having the door open, instead of out.  They are also widely used in barns and stables, as you would expect.  Regardless of use, they are a unique detail to a home.  I plan on installing one as my back door that opens up to my screened in porch.  Perfect place for it so I can have the top opened up without the pesky bugs getting in!

Happy Tuesday!!

All images via Pinterest
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