Thursday, December 29, 2011

what we call "the formal living room".

I'm currently in the process of combining my house blog with frills so that I can keep everything in one place. I hope you don't mind an occasional decor style related post...
I wanted to document the progress on our formal living room. It's the living room off the kitchen with a fireplace, built-in shelves, and biiiiiiiiggggggg windows. This is definitely my favorite room in the house and it's perfect for entertaining (which is why it's the most "complete" room in the house).

I wanted to try stenciling the fireplace wall with a fun navy color, but I was in a rush to host holiday events so I decided on simple stripes that I could just tape off and roll over. 

We went through over two rolls of green frogtape just lining the wall floor-to-ceiling!
I didn't get a good picture of just the taped wall, but you can see it in the side of this picture:

We precisely measured where each piece of tape should land, but they somehow remained warped, strip-by-strip : ( Since it's just tape, we decided to risk it and go on with our plan.  

Instead of navy paint, we just used some leftover Greenblack (by Sherwin Williams) that we used on our exterior trim.

I spent two days painting three coats of white over the shelves and around the fireplace. I not only succeeded at painting all those corners with minimal bloopers on the black, but I also managed to memorize the whole Adele album.
[Pats self on back]. 

We decided (at least for now) to keep the exposed brick. We already painted over our brick outside, and we think the brick in this living room keeps it a little more casual.  

I found this ceramic cow skull at Value Village for $20. I never spend $20 on one item while thrifting (unless it's furniture) but I knew this was a here today, gone tomorrow type thing and I had to get it. 
Gunner liked it too:

Here he is sniffing the french horn I got for Christmas decor:

Here is the completed room once the Christmas decor was up:

As you can see, you have to look hard to see the warped-ness of the lines. It's really easy to see when you walk up close and look up the wall, but who does that?! 
If you're considering doing such narrow stripes, I'd suggest using more subtle colors. Black and white shows EVERYTHING.

Also, I realized that I don't have any pictures of that right side of the living room! This is a pic from the week we moved in, but it's the same furniture arrangement. Picture less sun and black walls--still a lot of beige.

Thanks for reading, even though it's not fashion-related!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

the pink overcoat.

Hat: Vera Wang, Necklace: Burlington Coat FActory, Blouse: Vintage, Skirt: f21, Tights: Target, Purse: Dooney & Bourke Vintage, Booties: Trouve from Nordstrom, Coat: Non-branded from a boutique in California (yearrrrrs ago).

I'm pretty sure I've had this coat for the last six years. 
I remember when my mom brought it home to me after a trip to california when I was fifteen.
She said it was "so me" and I kept it in the back of my closet forever.
I think this is like the third time I've ever worn it. 
But now I'm in love! 
It's such a cheerful color for a winter coat compared to all my black, tan, and olive green outerwear. 

I'll be wearing it more often now, I suppose.

In other Christmasy news: we are headed home today after a few days of visiting family in our tiny hometown. Christmas was great (as always) but once it's over, I must force myself to move on : ( 
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday as well.
I'll be catching up on all your blogs asap!

Friday, December 23, 2011

from ours, to yours.

(Hosting an early Nelson Christmas at our house).

Merry Christmas!

P.S. If you'd like to know my top ten tips for thrifting, check out my fashion column at Clutch Talk here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

one christmas tradition.

Scarf: Israel, Sweatshirt: thrifted, Jeans: f21, Boots: gift from mom (sorry, i have no idea where they are from).

Since we'll be with family for the next seven days, Ian and I decided to open our presents from each other last night. 
We've been married just over two years and don't have any kids yet so, it's been tough to form any traditions in our own family unit. We'll think of one that would be cool to start but then we forget the next year (this is our third Christmas married)! 
The one thing that we have managed to carry out each year is the stuffing of each other's stockings. I know it's not much, but when you share a bank account, it's not as fun to go overboard on each other. 
That's just us.
We have plenty of close friends that spoil each other with expensive items on Christmas, but we're just not like that. 
Anyway, back to us. And our stockings.
We tend to get one special item (more expensive than a regular stocking stuffer) among useful/edible/pretty knick-knacks.
This year he got me a cute cute cute statement necklace from Nordstrom and I got him a black watch from Nordstrom. I'll wear my new necklace in a post soon! 
He also got me a magazine subscription to Atomic Ranch

My question for YOU is: If you/when you have a significant other, do you splurge on each other for just this one holiday? Or do you just get each other little things?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

hana hair straightener review.

Today I'm writing a review for Misikko, an online beauty store known for having some of the best hair straighteners.  I was so excited when I was contacted as I've been on the hunt for a quality hair straightener. I was informed that they would be sending me one of their top sellers, the Hana Hair Straightener. 

Upon arrival, my new straightener was packaged beautifully. With a ton of extra items included:

Here is what my hair looked like to start: 

I was a little skeptical at first because the straightener slid right down my hair too fast to even do anything. I'm used to a straightener lightly gripping my hair so that I can work it slowly down a shaft of hair. Nevertheless, it got the job done and after about ten minutes my hair looked like this:

I do not actually love the way it straightened my hair. You can see it tweaking out in this picture: 

I'll give it extra points for the way it curls my hair. And the fact that it slides right through is actually a lot better for curling than the kind that grip. Since I curl my hair with a straightener almost every day, I give this a 4.5 star rating! 

If you decide to order anything off their website (they sell CHI hair products too) today before 5pm, you are guaranteed to receive it by Christmas! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

thrifted? vintage?

Leopard Blouse: Thrifted, Sweater: Thrifted, Belt Thrifted, Jeans: f21, Shoes: Urban Original

Today I'm taking my friend, Kate, thrifting with me. 
Apparently she only likes shopping at Anthropologie, so I think it's a safe guess that she'll be shocked by the price tags (and probs the smell too) at the thrift stores.

P.S. What is the difference between thrifted and vintage? Do you have to buy something at a vintage-specific boutique in order to call it vintage? Or is that just a fancy way of saying "I got this for $2 at a store that sells old used stuff?" 

Just wondering...

Monday, December 19, 2011

back to the lab.

Head scarf: Thrifted, Black Wrap: Scarf from Africa, Belt: Thrifted, Leggings: Target, Boots: Kohl's, Purse: Charlotte Russe.

Ian has been working on some school project in his "lab" aka office for the last few days.
He only comes out to eat and use the toilet. And he keeps saying "back to the lab!" whenever he goes back in there. 

Because of this, I've had a lot of time to myself. 
That's probably a good and a bad thing. I can't decide. 
But what I do know is that I'm starting to resent that little lab of his. 
It's taking up all his Christmas time and keeping him from meeeeeee!!!!!!

Supposedly, if he stays up reals late tonight, he'll finish his project for good and we'll get on with our Christmas cheer.

Merry Christmas everyone! It's sooooooooooooooooooooo soon!!!!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

copycat: i wish i hadn't donated my fur scarf...

Today I'm copying Molly's look. Isn't it adorable? And let me just tell you that once I was dressed I was just like daaaaanggggg! it's really hard to copy that level of cuteness...

Regardless, I made Ian take pictures of me and now I'm posting them on the internet. Yayz.

Now, for my disclaimers: I used to have a furry scarf. But somewhere along our four-moves-in-two-years journey, it must've been tossed in the giveaway box. So, I went with my orange scarf as a little pop of color. 

Oh, and since I look like a boy when I pull my hair back, I opted for the oversized dangly earrings. 

It's about feeling good, not looking good.

And for my last disclaimer: I promise I'm not as insecure as I sound.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

gettin' sick and still partyin'.

Blouse: Trouve from Nordstrom, Necklace & Jeans: f21, Purse: Urban Outfitters, Shoes: Gift from mom.

I think my lack of sleep and fatigue from working on house projects has finally caught up with me. I'm coming down with some sort of a head cold and it does not feel so good. Ian and I did a bit of Christmas shopping today. I lasted about one hour and then we came home and passed out on the couch. It felt sooooooo good. Until I woke up. Why do you feel like you were hit by a truck every time you wake up when you're sick?

I guess worse things can happen. Like actually getting hit by a truck, so enough of my complainin'.

We also had Ian's work Christmas party and it was so fun! We mingled and jingled over dinner and desserts and then we went across the street to The Living Room Theater (which they had rented out for us) and we had a special showing of Elf. The staff has grown significantly over the past year, but it's still just like family. I'm pretty much in love with every single person on staff and so thankful that God brought us to Portland!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

kitchen updates.

This is what the kitchen looked like when we moved in (and up til about two days ago):

Yes, that is fruity patterned wallpaper and dingy antique cabinet knobs, complete with creepy husband! 

Well, I changed the knobs on all the doors and drawers, we hung our pots over the sink, I added a little artwork and moved our little white table (it was just for the christmas party but who knows when we'll move it back).

The knobs we used are the 3" Gatehouse Polished Chrome cabinet pulls from Lowes. We found that they had better prices than Home Depot and they offered them in packages of ten for a discounted price per pull. Each package was $31.50 and the individual knobs were, I think, $3.64 a piece. 

We have big plans for this space. We will start by replacing that hideous fluorescent ceiling light with some softer pendants that will hang over some sort of island. We'll also figure out how to spray paint that yellow hood that hangs over the stove. Eventually we'll get around to replacing the floors and counters.