Thursday, August 30, 2012

Let's go 'Picking'

If you ask me what I've done on any given weekend, you can pretty much bet it involved at least one consignment shop, Goodwill visit, antique store or fair. What can I say? I love looking at old stuff! I think perhaps because it's a good combination of my love for interiors, history and a good deal! 

Almost had to buy this "Gone Picking" sign at an antique barn in Fremont, IN last weekend! Ha!

Here are some snaps of finds from my recent "picking" adventures!

Set of 6 chairs, $80 (Fremont, IN)

Old library card catalog! (Fremont, IN)

Funky, vintage, tufted. turquoise chair. Say that 3x fast. Burlington in May.

A spread of delicious pieces @ Burlington in May.

Nailhead/spindle chairs from Burlington in May. Reupholstered these could be so-oh good!

This guy was $120 at Burlington in May. Didn't buy him, but sure wish I had!

I was super impressed by the set-up in this stall at Burlington (Aug.). The chairs didn't go with the table, but I loved how they painted the inside of the hutch blue (hard to see) to match the chairs. The table was beautiful!

Secretary Desk (swoon) @ Burlington (Aug.), but at $600 was too pricey for a piece that has lots of knicks and scratches!

Ombre barware, $22 for set (Burlington, Aug.)

Ah-dorable vintage trophy wine toppers! SO bummed I didn't get these! (Milford, OH)

 Greek key barware, Burlington in August!

Brass bar cart from the Florence Antique Mall. Another regret!

As promised, here are few of the extra items I picked up at Burlington when I went with my mom last weekend. 

An adorable "Home Sweet Home" needlepoint for $2! Fun colors! Iron & frame! This was buried in a pile of "lovely" linens that I didn't bother to look through, but my Mom found a treasure!

A $4 horseshoe and $12 apple + pear salt 'n pepper shakers were other fun finds!

The "vintage" basket is actually from One Kings Lane. It was a set of 3, and I gave my mom the medium sized one in exchange for finding and gifting me with the beautiful set of books I scored!

P.S. Sorry for the blog hiatus! Busy week + beautiful weather are not good blog motivators! I'll be back with more regular post next week, and of course, Casual Friday tomorrow! (Almost a 3 day weekend reader-friends! You can do it!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Casual Friday

TGIF! Welcome to Casual Friday: Dorothy Perkins edition! I recently discovered Dorothy Perkins through A Girl with Curves. I am so impressed by the quantity of stylish and affordable wears, not to mention the flattering silhouettes. Have any of my MM readers out there ordered from here before? What was your experience and the quality of the piece? Also, have I been living under a rock? How did I know know about this!?

Here's a quick glance at some of my DP faves!

Happy weekend dumplings! I hope you all have something great planned. I'll be a "plus one" at a lake wedding in northern Indiana this weekend. For the record, I'm a great date at weddings because I excel at sipping champagne, eating cake and dancing like a fool. What can I say? I'm talented. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lofty Aspirations

I saw this b-e-a-utiful loft apartment featured on Inspired by This, I was just that! Inspired! This is the lovely loft apartment of Alaina at Live Creating Yourself. It's subtle, but not lacking color or texture and it just feels warm and welcoming. Gorgeous! 

You can get the look of Alaina's apartment too! 

Barrington Sofa, Crate & Barrel
Ikat Pillows,
Ceramic Garden Stool,

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rustic Chic

When I saw the Montecito, CA home of Kendall Conrad on Habitually Chic (the photos originally appeared in C magazine), the office space reminded me of the "Racy Rustic" office space I posted about last week. I love how simple, yet beautiful and rich this space is. The use of texture is amazing and it looks so live-able, which I love to see. Enjoy!

So what do you think? Are you loving this rustic, simple space?

Photos for C magazine by David Cameron

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I like big books

...and I cannot lie. Ha. So on Sunday I was at Burlington with my mom (thinking about turning into a professional picker, btw. Looking at old junk for hours on end is my thing) when she spotted this box of vintage children's biographies. I wasn't too gung-ho about picking up an old copy of Hellen Keller and Winston Churchill's biographies. But then, savvy shopper that she is, she removed the covers to unveil a beautiful set of pastel colored books. We snatched them up for $20 (yep, we got a deal!) and I couldn't get them home and my bookshelf fast enough!

Happy with my purchase!!!

Everything you ever wanted to know about Robert Louis Stevenson and John Audubon, eh?

so pretty all in a row!

styled on my bookshelf!

What do you guys think? Do you love them as much as I do? Who went to Burlington this weekend? Stay tuned for a few other fun purchases from Burlington this week!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Casual Friday

TGIF! Welcome to Casual Friday: Copy Cat edition! As soon as I saw this look on one of my favorite bloggers, Jessica Quirk of What I Wore, I wanted to recreate the look in my own wardrobe! Since skinny jeans, black flats and a blazer are staples in every girl's closet, this shouldn't be a hard look for many of you to pull together! I love how effortless, yet stylish and polished this look is. (This is exactly the kind of outfit I want to sport on my trip!)
Jessica is a big advocate of the "look good, feel good" motto. She really embraces this attitude and you can tell she just FEELS GOOD in her ensembles. Confidence is always tres chic ladies!

Here's how you can get the look for yourself!

Zara Messenger Clutch, $79 (I added the cobalt clutch because I thought the vibrant pop of color was a fun addition!)

Enjoy your weekends reader-friends!

I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend, much of which will be spent celebrating this lady! Isn't she the cutest!? Happy birthday to MM's most loyal reader, my beautiful mom!!! I am so lucky to call such a generous, funny, loving person my mother! 
See you tonight mamacita! I hope your day and year are full of love, laughter, wine and sales at Talbots! xx

Thursday, August 16, 2012

State Pride

Have you noticed that state pride is becoming quite the trend? I would say that state prints  and jewelry are the most popular, but the fun doesn't end there.  I love to see everyone take pride in and show love for their home state! Luckily there are so many cute ways to subtly incorporate a little love for your motherland into your home, your wardrobe and even your cocktails! Here's a fun little round-up of some great state must-haves!

State Cookie Cutters - My friend (Hey MB!) purchased these for a bridal shower. Bride and Groom home state cookies? Love it!

Cat Studio Pillows & glassware - My grandmother has this Kentucky pillow on her couch. It is gorgeous and of such high quality. I absolutely want want of these! They have cities and countries. (My inner anglophile really wants this one.) The glasses are a super fun addition to any collection and would look great in your bar cart display!

Maya Brenner Necklaces - There are lots of options for state silhouettes out there. I think these are lovely, but check Etsy for other options!

One Canoe Two State Prints - There are more cute state prints around than I could ever begin to round up (but maybe I'll do a state print round up in the near future?). One Canoe Two are my hand-down favorites. These are so fun and beautiful!

Dig this Chick Applique Attire - Comfy, customizable. Countries also available. This Mama and her nuggets are one of my favorite blogs to follow too.

How do you feel about state pride? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Budget Guide to Winning Workplaces

To state the obvious, the latest issue of LonnyMag is out. Assuming you've poured over this issue as I have, I really loved this "Winning Workplace" feature (page 23-24). I like how they give you the foundation for four well-styled and unique spaces. Of course, my first thought was to recreate the looks with more budget-friendly pieces. So, allow me to present you with: Winning Workplaces: Budget Guide. 

Swank Sophisticate 
Lonny Total: $5,158
Middle Maintenance Total: $532 (!!!)
Black Campaign Desk, World Market, $199
Campaign Hardware, $7
Spare Folding Chair, Crate & Barrel, $49
Faux Sheepskin, IKEA $29
Robert Abbey Pharmacy Lamp, Lamps Plus $168
Trellis Waste Basket, Haymarket Designs $80

Vintage Vixen
Lonny Total: $2,399.95
Middle Maintenance Total: $633 (!!!)
Ava Desk, Pottery Barn $399
Orbit Arm Chair, CB2 $129
Pink Pillow, Etsy $28
Black Acrylic Wastebasket, CB2 $49 (same as Lonny)

Racy Rustic
Lonny Total: $3,871
Middle Maintenance Total: $473 (!!!)
Natural Charles Sawhorse Desk, World Market $114
Becca Gray Dining Chair, Overstock $201
Savannah Wastebasket, Pottery Barn $29
Wyatt Table Lamp, Pottery Barn $129
Midtown Mogul
Lonny Total: $1,729
Middle Maintenance Total: $1,065 (hey, still cheaper!)
Sonore Mid Century Dining Chair, Rugs USA (set of 2) $338
Wire Chaos Basket, Overstock $29
Cleo Table Lamp, $319 (I know it's not even remotely the same as Lonny's lamp, but I love the way it vibes with the other pieces.)

Not bad, eh? Just goes to show, great style doesn't have to break the bank!
Which office space is your fave? I'm torn!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Get the Skinny

Welcome to Casual Friday: Get the Skinny edition. 

This casual Friday is born out of my personal quest for black skinny jeans that fit perfectly. A simple request, no? Everyone and their mother has colored denim this fall (that is "in" this season, in case you missed that). But not everyone has black jeans. I mean you're making plum colored jeans, mustard colored jeans and rust colored jeans before you're making BLACK jeans!? Honestly. These people should hire me as a consultant. Secondly, and a very important detail, is that twill with a little stretch and some rivets does not a pair of jeans make. Take for example the colored "denim" currently available at LOFT. That is not denim. Go to the store and feel it in your hands. Now go feel their regular jeans. Is that the same material? Let me save you some time, it's not. 

All this to say, here is a round of up some black skinny jean options for you for fall. These choices range from super skinny denim legging to cigarette style black denim. The perfect pair for you depends on what you're looking for and what you can afford. I'll tell you this much - no human being has so throughly over-analyzed black denim before. Here we go:

1. Citizens Avedon Denim Legging: Literally the most comfy "jean" you have every tried on. However, this is definitely more legging than jean. It flatters a curvier figure, but I don't know that I want to invest in this much money in designer "jeggings."

2. J.Crew Matchstick Jean: These are more of a cigarette style pant than skinny jean shape, and are not ideal for tucking in boots. They will definitely bunch/gape. That said, I own these in a dark wash and they look amazing with flats, heels, etc. Comfort level is moderate. I like the mid-rise, but they stretch a fair amount. For me the 27 was just too small and the 28 fits great for one to two wears, but after than needs to be put through the wash (let's be honest, I normally like to wear jeans a lot more than 2 times before I wash them.) 

3. Paige Verdugo Ultra Skinny Jean: These are super comfy. I love the mid-rise, which keeps everything in. These perfectly hug my curvier figure and fit very nicely through the hips without being too large in the waist, which most pants do for me. They are not quite as tight at the bottom as they appear in this image, but definitely still skinny.

4. Banana Republic Black Skinny Jean:  I have not tried these on, as I have with the other pairs. But knowing quality/price/fit of BR denim, they are a good choice for me. My previous BR jeans have held up well, but the waist to hips ratio irritates me (to fit through the hips, it's too large at the waist). I want to order these, but they will not ship until September 24th. Fail. Banana always has coupons/sales (for example, I can get 25% off right now) and makes good quality clothing, so this seems like a great option. I will continue checking in stores. 

...that is as far as this denim round up will go because those are all the pairs of black skinny jeans that I would consider, so that should be enough for you. Just kidding. If you have additional recommendations, I am definitely open to suggestions, so let me know!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


With my trip to Europe rapidly approaching, (!!!) (seriously, I can barely contain my delight while typing that) I have begun to imagine my packing list and am visualizing my outfits for exploring London, Paris, Bordeaux and more! (!!!)

Obviously, when I imagine myself strolling the streets of London or Paris, buying cafe au lait and macaroons, I picture myself looking something like this:

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

In reality, I'll probs be one step above a tourist wearing shape-ups and sporting a fanny pack. Maybe two steps above (hopefully). Anyways, as travel attires goes, the goal is to look stylish and be comfortable. The weather in London/France/Spain in early October generally averages high temps around 70 degrees and low temps around 50. Most days it should be in the mid to low 60's during the day. 

Obviously, these temps call for layering, layering, layering. And obviously all this layering has me over analyzing my outerwear options. I currently have a short, light, tan trench which I am definitely taking.  The problem is that this trench doesn't do well in the rain, and if the forecast calls for rain I will be out of luck!  Thus I am on the hunt for a coat that is water resistant, travels well (not too bulky) and most importantly, that will serve me well outside the trip! I'm not into buying anything JUST for a two week period of my life. Here are few of the options I'm looking into:

I ordered 1 & 2 as part of Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale, and they should be arriving shortly. I love the look of the Ellen Tracey coat, but I also love that the Laundry coat just zips up (no tie involved) and the detail on the back is really cute too. I held off on ordering the Miss Sixty because reviews said it was bulkier than expected. Hopefully I don't come to regret that choice, because the Anniversary Sale prices are gone. The Michael Kors Anorak is still marked down on Nordstrom's site, so if my first two options don't work, I will probably order that one. 

I also plan to check Nordstrom Rack and TJ Maxx regularly, to see what kind of inventory they get in. Nordstrom Rack especially can be an amazing place to buy coats. Unfortunately, the in-store inventory is still summer focused. 

I will keep you updated on my travel style and packing plans, but I would LOVE to hear from anyone who has traveled to England/France/Spain in the fall months for packing advice! Any tips? Anything you packed that you regretted or vice versa? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Open Bar

...that post title got your attention didn't it? I don't know about you, but it's only Tuesday, and I wouldn't say no to a glass of wine...or two. I would looove to come home to any one of these beautifully styled - and fully stocked - bar carts! Easily tucked in the corner without taking up too much space, all these pieces pack major style and ensure you're ready to entertain at a moments notice!

Here are a few of my favorite bar carts from across the design interwebs!

1. Bungalow 5 Tray Table, Zinc Door
2. Regent Bar Cart, My Two Designers
3. Worlds Away Cart, Zinc Door
4. The Madison Mixer, Society Social
5. Libations Bar Cart, Crate & Barrel
6. Tall Butler Tray Stand, West Elm
8. The Jill Bar Cart, Ballard Designs