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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

LET THERE BE LIGHT... A NEW LIGHT. PLEASE.

For this post we are going back to the eat-in area of the kitchen, which you may remember was recently transformed by a coat of paint and some tidying up. The one thing that remained, though, was the lamp that hangs over the table:


The lamp was there when we moved in, and I actually like it a lot. It's copper (copper-colored, at least; I have no idea what it's actually made of) and looks old in a charming, expensive, antique sort of way as opposed to a dirty, falling apart, electrically unsafe sort of way. And I will definitely keep it and see if  the perfect place presents itself, and I have a feeling it will. But the eating area of the kitchen is not it.

For one, it doesn't really fit my vision for the room, if you know what I mean. And let me tell you, if something doesn't fit my vision for a room, that shit is gone! And second, it's not actually that great a light, in that it doesn't provide much. I mean, light shines down, so the table and chairs are relatively well-illuminated:


But that's kind of it. The rest of the alcove is dim at best, and "dark" is probably more accurate:





See what I mean? It's not the well-lit, airy, open-feeling are that I see in my "vision." But I have a solution, albeit one that costs money (sorry, Ted). But not that much money! I can solve this problem for less than $200, which is practically nothing compared to the cost of most of my "solutions."

Here's what I want to do. Take down the copper lamp and put it in the attic. Hang a new lamp in its place. I even have the perfect lamp. Or rather, three of the perfect lamps. I am going to present you with the options (all three are from Shades of Light) and you can tell me which one I should try and convince Ted to pony up for:

Option #1:

$129

I know what you're thinking! Zebra??? But it's subtle, in a grey/taupe-y color, and animal prints are cool, and the whole kitchen is pretty traditional and this might be a nice kick. But it also might be stupid and ridiculous. I'm not sure.

Option #2:

$129
This is a grey ikat print that's more of a true grey, which might go better with the walls, and ikat is almost as on trend as animal prints right now...

Option #3:

$179

A trellis pattern in the same grey/taupe-y color as the first one, and I love love love the pattern. It's also a little more expensive than the other two but maybe it's worth it?

All three will give off more light than the current lamp, as they are not solid metal so light will be diffused in all directions. I don't really know which one I like best; I am wavering between the ikat and the trellis patterns. Help! Tell me what to do!

XOXOXO
ABC
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NOT CREEPY AT ALL! WELL, MAYBE A LITTLE...

I'll admit it's possible that I have lost all perspective when it comes to the china Staffordshire dogs I purchased at Brimfield with Laura. I may indeed be blinded by love. Love for the two best dogs in the world! I mean, they never pee on the floor, try to mate with your leg, eat the couch cushions, need to be walked, chase the cats, bark in the middle of the night, roll in anything that smells disgusting, the list goes on. As dogs go, they are perfect!

However.

It has been brought to my attention, by none other than my BF T-Dawg, that they are a tad "creepy." When I pressed her for further explanation of why, exactly, they bother her, she clammed up. But she did threaten to steal and "hide" them. I was like, hide them where? Like in my house? So I have to look for them? Like a scavenger hunt? Or do you mean "hide" them as in "put them in a sack with some rocks and drop the sack in the Hudson River"? She refused to elaborate, just repeating over and over that she was going to "take them away and hide them."

But so far she hasn't carried out her threats, and the dogs reign in peace over the living room from the mantelpiece:


And what is she talking about, creepy??? These dogs are adorable! Look at their expressions!

The one on the left is named Brimfield, and he's a little more friendly:


You can see that he looks a bit hopeful, like there might be a treat in the offing, but he's definitely not begging. These dogs have good manners (I'm telling you, they're perfect pets).

The one on the right is named Master von Woofington III, and he's a little more reserved:


I mean, you might want to hold out your hand and let him get used to you before you go right in for a pat or an ear rub, you know? It's not like he'd bite you or anything, but better safe than sorry.

Anyway, I love them both and Theresa better keep her hands off if she knows what's good for her. I think dognapping is a felony, and I WILL press charges, her BF status notwithstanding. God forbid they end up at the pound! They wouldn't last five minutes among the tough strays from the street. I shudder to even think of it. At least they have collars with tags, so they won't get put to sleep...

You know, I think I've put my finger on what's a little creepy. And it's not the dogs.

XOXOXO
ABC
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

STACK THAT SHIT UP

Whoever said "too much is just enough" was speaking my language when it comes to wrist wear. There's nothing I like better than a huge chunky watch and a a bunch of bracelets all stacked up on my arm. Just one arm. I leave the other one bare except for a tiny friendship chain, cause TWO stacked up wrists might actually be too much.

I have trouble, though, because I have freakishly small wrists. Seriously, I can circle my wrist with my thumb and pinky finger. So most bangles don't really work for me, because they're practically falling off, and bigger than the watch, and well, it's just not a happening thing. I have to use stretchy beaded bracelets, and even then i'm better off buying the kids' size. (I'd like to point out that, sadly, I am not freakishly skinny anywhere else. Just my wrists.)

This is my current favorite stack:

Bracelets: Banana Republic, Bauble Bar, the street. Watch: Michele
But you don't have to stay all monochromatic. Mix it up! Go crazy. Really, anything goes, the point is to have it look all jumbled, if that makes sense. Here's another example:

Bracelets: Forever 21, Kenneth Jay Lane, my dad. Watch: Michael Kors
And when I feel the evil forces out there gunning for me (hey, it happens!) I go with this combo:

Bracelets: Amazon, the Philippines (gift from Mercy), Some Store in East Hampton. Watch: Swatch
But enough about me. Here are some much nice examples of bracelet/watch stacks for you to use as inspiration:







I clearly need to add some studded leather bracelets to my collection (SHUT UP, TED!) because they look amaaaazing, huh? Well, there you have it. Go forth and stack, and let everyone know you are coming from 50 feet away just from the jingle-jangle on your wrist :)

XOXOXO
ABC
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

RETAIL RECOMMENDATION: ZARA

I know, I know. You guys have already heard of Zara. So what am I bringing to the party? Well, there's a chance that, like me, when you think of this establishment what comes to mind is clothes that were relatively inexpensive, sure, but were also cheaply-made, ill-fitting, oddly-hued, and generally unappealing, low(ish) prices notwithstanding.

Well, times have changed, my friends. And Zara now rocks my world, and will rock yours too. (If you are already aware of this, then feel free to skip this post. But know that you are dead to me from here on out. Just sayin')

Here are some examples of the awesomeness that Zara is now peddling, and believe me when I say that this is but a mere sampling and there is much, much more awesomeness where it came from. But as I am a tad on the lazy side (newsflash!) I decided to choose one item from a few different categories, and in this manner provide you with a carefully curated selection. See? I was thinking of you, dear reader(s?).

Let's start with this darling top:

$19.90
It is a t-shirt in that it's made of t-shirt material, but I think you'll agree that it's much more. While I am on the fence about the whole "peplum" craze that is currently sweeping the fashion world, there's something undeniably appealing about the look. So here's a chance to get involved with very little commitment. I mean, it's a t-shirt for fuck's sake! FYI: it also comes in navy, which looks like it might be even cuter, but I chose this photo because it was easier to see the shirt.

Next up - a fresh take on the striped shirt that has everyone is such a frenzy:

$16.90
Now I love a white and navy striped 3/4 sleeve shirt as much as the rest of the world, but I don't particularly like looking like I drank the nautical Kool-Aid, and am choosing my clothes based solely on what I see on Pinterest. So here is a version in olive green and black - which adds a little edge but still looks totally cute. I must have it. Feel free to purchase it for me, size small.

What's that? You want something for your bottom half?:

$59.90
This skirt is heaven. It has a semi-sheer patterned overlay and a white lining. It's called the fantasy skirt, and in my fantasy I a) own it, and b) would wear it to a cocktail party with a tight black t-shirt, a sheer black scarf wrapped around and around my neck, and high-heeled mary janes.

If you like to get a little more ooh-la-la for a cocktail party, never fear. I've got you covered:


$59.90
So cute! So on-trend, what with the animal print! And the keyhole detail at the neckline is a nice touch. Another reason I love this is that you can wear it now with bare legs and black or dark brown platform booties. But you can also pair it with opaque black tights and either pumps or high boots once it gets cooler. See? Practical! That's me all over. Just ask Ted. Or on second thought, don't.

Speaking of cooler weather:


$49.90
I love this sweater. I want to marry it. Or at least take it away for a long weekend. The color, the sheerness, the open back... Love. Of course, I'd probably wear it with something underneath, even if that something was just a brassiere. I mean, WTF? Would anyone really wear it like this? I mean, I am hardly known for my modesty, but I think even I would want to add another layer before leaving the house in this item. But that's just me. Wear it however you want! I don't judge!

And for the feet?:
$35.90
These velvet loafers are everywhere, I know, but these are lovely, have a slight heel, and I'd wear them with almost everything: skinny jeans, black tights and a mini skirt, cropped cigarette pants, leggings and a long sweater, denim cut-off shorts... So versatile. So perfect.

And the grand finale? This bag:
$149.00


I would kill for this bag. OK, not really. Well, not anyone I liked. I mean, look at it! Cool shape. Cool buckles on the handles. And the inside! It's big enough to hold all the crap I lug around, and believe me, I lug around a lot of fucking crap. And it has what is my favorite feature in a bag: the central zippered section, where you can stack all the important shit you don't want to lose, like your wallet, or work files, or your prescription medications... whatever. 

This post has made me slightly sad on the inside as I will likely never own these beautiful goods, so I am now going to read up on minimalism, and how one only really needs, like, four shirts and two pairs of pants.

But if you too have been staying away from Zara because you had a bad experience back in 1998 with a pair of pants that did you no favors in the ass area, and then fell apart two weeks after you got them home, it's time to get yourself back there. I swear that this is but the tip of the iceberg. I could have posted almost the entire collection (though you are probably eternally grateful that I limited myself), it's all that good. So go forth and spend! And then send me pictures of you out on the town in your new finery, so I can live vicariously through people with discretionary income!

XOXOXO
ABC
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

MERCURY IS IN FUCKING RETROGRADE!

I was catching up on my design blogs, the reading of which clearly counts as "work" since I am also a design blogger, when I learned from Jenny over at MFAMB that Mercury is in retrograde. Which basically means that shit is fucked.

I am a so-so, sort-of, kind-of, when-I-feel-like-it believer in astrology and the zodiac and all that business. I mean, I love my sign enough to get it tattooed on my arm. And the awesome tumblr Zodiac Chic has the following wisdom:






which is so clearly on the money in every way that it would make an astrologist out of your mom. Although for all I know your mom is totally gullible and believes everything you tell her anyway, like that you were holding those cigarettes for a friend, or you were going to call but there was no pay phone, or other lines of crazy bullshit we all used as teenagers, and which my kids better never ever use on me.


I seem to have gotten a bit off track here, but I guess the point is I totally buy all that astrology zodiac crap, and if you disagree, well:


which basically means "fuck off" as far as I can tell.

Anyway, there is no denying that shit has been fucked, at least in my neck of the woods. And if I can blame that on a planet being "in retrograde," which is apparently some sort of optical illusion but whatever, then I am going to do just that. Cause otherwise I'd have to take some responsibility myself and that is unappealing to me, although seems to make perfect sense to Ted. Thank God he's in Boston for work and not around to nag me about shit every single second.

The good news is that Mercury moves (goes? rotates? spins?) out of retrograde on August 8th. Which is tomorrow. So I have high hopes that this means I will be getting my act together. You know, actually working with my clients. Writing that thank-you note. Cleaning the house (and I mean this literally. Ted decided we were too poor to have a housekeeper, especially one that spoke zero English and didn't know how to to clean a house, like, at all). Updating the Christmas card list. Registering Andrew for kindergarten.

But I am going to start small. With the dining room. And to prove my good intentions, I am going to now show you what my dining room looks like now:

I Mean, What the Fuck?
It's Just Sad, Really. Very, Very Sad.
At Least I Bought Boxes?
As you can see, I have my work cut out for me. Hopefully my love of a good "Before and After" will motivate me, because clearly looking at this sad mess everyday hasn't done the job. Oh, but I forgot! Mercury is coming out of retrograde! Oh yeah, this dining room'll be shipshape before Ted gets back from Boston. On Friday.

XOXOXO
ABC


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