Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday's just got interesting.

Monday's aren't my least favorite day of the week but they're usually nothing to get too excited about. Until tonight. One of my favorites, Bethenny Frankel, has season 2 premiering tonight(!). I won't lie- I didn't know much about her until Housewives, but I found myself, oddly enough, relating to her the most, not to mention that she was the most down to earth. And I love that she has a pretty impressive cooking background.

Bethenny Ever After is a continuation of Bethenny Getting Married?, a show that got me through those long work days last summer. Her show and cuddling with my amazingly patient boyfriend (who not only took care of me after my surgeries during this time but also watched and commented on the show with me) was pretty much what I looked forward to for the majority of the summer. I think, as sad as it may seem, that it's because, as my boyfriend has pointed out, much of me can be seen in her. She's brutally honest, but in a hilariously funny way. At times, she's completely inappropriate and has no problem laughing at herself. She takes her work very seriously but does an incredible job at balancing it with her family life. She's an inspiration, really.

And, she and her husband remind me so much of my boyfriend and I. We're insanely in love with each other, would do anything for each other and Jason takes amazing care of her even if she won't admit that she needs it. Seeing couples like that (in addition to my parents) gives us hope and inspires us.

Plus she's wildly entertaining. While I don't have any SkinnyGirl Martgaritas to sip during the premiere, you can bet that we'll be recreating numerous summer nights by cuddling and laughing at/with her and her hilarious and darling life.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

House Hunting

My boyfriend and I have been searching for a place closer to the lake resort where we both work. And it's been an experience. The market over that way isn't dominated by students so there's really no way of telling when places are going to open up, which can be pretty nerve-racking. We went by a couple of places yesterday and love, love the area and the look of the places. We're planning to go back over spring break and look at some more (I know, we're crazy college kids ha) and hopefully narrow some things down. While it's a stressful process, it also makes us realize some things; like how incredibly excited we are to have a place of our own, in a "grown-up" neighborhood, how lucky we are to be able to work at the same place, be able to commute together as well as live together. We're counting down the days and can't wait to get back to work and over to the area where we can really start our lives together.

While these may be a little nicer than what we're looking at, I've fallen in love with townhouses and thought these were darling inspirations.

These are so gorgeous- can't you imagine drinking coffee and people-watching from the little balconies?

I really like the alley-like walkway and the street lamps. So classic.

These are actually a little closer to what we're interested in- they look like their own little houses but connected to one another. So cute.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Last one.

This was a particularly trying week. I've decided this is (by far) the hardest, busiest, most exhausting semester of my college career. And I'm having to keep reminding myself that it's the last one (phew!), and it's a good thing because if this would have been my freshman year, I don't know that I would have lasted.
My boyfriend and parents were very supportive this week, as always, and helped me through everything and I cannot thank them enough. I honestly don't know what I would do without them. Though I don't have the vast knowledge and advice that they do, I thought I'd end the week by sharing a quote my mom sent me that has gotten me through some tough times, including this week.

Couldn't have said it better myself- Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Skinny jeans, and boots!

I wasn't planning on doing a post for today (I've gotten in the habit of making them the night before) because I'm up to my tired eyeballs in school work. But it snowed like crazy and my 8am class and morning lab were canceled so I have a little time today to take a break and write something I actually enjoy.
We went to Target a couple weekends ago to get some bowls for an event that I'm planning for one of the two cooking labs I'm taking this semester. They had some jeans on sale and forgetting that our gym membership expired and hasn't been renewed, I bought the wrong size and didn't realize it until we drove the 2 hours home. I didn't get to return them until this past weekend and thought for sure they wouldn't have any of my size left. Not only did they, but they were marked down to $5 a piece and I found the skinny jeans I've been saving for- they were on clearance for 9 bucks. My boots finally became borderline homeless looking so we went to the mall... on a weekend. Needless to say, we didn't find any shoes. On the way back into town, we stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up some things for a cake  I wanted to make for my parents visit the next day and stopped by the shoe section on the way out- I found the boots I wanted! And they were also on clearance for (drum roll) $10! I got the cake made, my parents came for a visit, and we got to see the boyfriend's family the day before. And! Turns out, I look pretty good in skinny jeans. It was a very successful weekend.
Here are some newfound style inspirations.

 I love this look with simple heels. I can't wait until the snow clears up so I can break mine out!
 I also already tried rolling them up- they're gonna look so cute with flip flops! Again- just waiting for this snow to get outta here!
I'm so glad these can be work with such varying things; heels, flips, tailored jackets, and t-shirts. It was definitely a good purchase. 

Ok, back to homework!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tree House

With so much going on in my life, you'd think I would have something more productive or perhaps more relevant to talk about besides tree houses. But I've been seeing a strangely large amount of pictures of them lately that I just had to share.
In looking at several photos, it's clear that people's interpretation of a "tree house" widely varies. Some take the artistic and more modern approach and put a wooden ball in a tree- kind of like a bird house, for humans. Others take it quite literally and stick a house that would be suited for the ground and stick it in a tree. Since visiting the Swiss Family Robinson Home at Disney World (as well as climbing trees and thinking how convenient it would have been to have a table and some chairs up there), I've been fascinated by those who choose to live in trees. I commend them for turning a childhood dream into a grown up reality (and for having the money and patience to do it). These inspirations give good reason.

I'm not even sure what or where this is, but I want to visit/own it.
This seems a little more affordable. But just as amazing- I'd love to see the inside.
Here's the same place at night- seems so much more magical. I think I imagined living somewhere like this when I was little.
This one looks like it's straight out of a fairytale.
While this smaller one looks almost normal, and definitely cozy on the inside, my question is, who gets to carry the groceries in?

Happy Monday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Comfy time.

I had my first two-labs-in-one-day day today and It. Was. Rough. I don't think I've ever stood for that long without a break. We cooked soooo much food and then had to serve (and smell) it for two hours before getting to eat it, while standing- apparently my professor thought this was the best way to get us to eat faster. Instead she just ended up with 30, sweaty, exhausted and angry students.
Needless to say when I got home, all I wanted to do was shower, get my homework out of the way, curl up under a blanket and watch mindless tv, while enjoying some ice cream of course. I'm half-way there but wanted to share some comfy inspirations before I finish out my evening.

 Although unmade beds usually drive me crazy, this one looks perfect to jump right on into after a day like today.
How chic is this loft? I love the lights- just right for reading and winding down.
This is probably one of the greatest inventions ever. And now I want wine with my ice cream.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Being in this less than luxurious student-oriented apartment makes one appreciate the small things, especially when we watch HGTV all the time and are reminded of what we don't have. However, there are some times when I want to jump into the tv and smack some people around (my boyfriend can attest to my yelling at the tv). Some people are just plain stupid. They have no idea what they have, whether it's in appliances, interior design features or original elements of the home.
The most recent incident to really make my blood boil was an episode of House Hunters on HGTV. A couple decided to make the jump and become homeowners- typical episode. Their demands were ridiculous; 3 bedrooms, for the future kiddos right? Nope. For separate offices and their cats. And no- they didn't work from home. But the real kicker was the house they chose, but almost didn't. The holdup? A gorgeous brick archway leading from the living room to the rest of the house. It was amazing, and original. When they chose the property, they talked about knocking it out, or painting it *shudder*. I almost cried. It's on of my biggest interior design pet peeves. I can only hope that we're lucky enough to find a place someday with some bricks in or on it. Here are some of my inspirations.

 This looks almost exactly what the couples arch looked like- why the heck mess with such a thing?!

I love the rustic look of the brick paired with the nail-head details of the booths. Simply gorgeous.

I love, love, love how they were able to not only find such amazing brick work, but managed to make it a focal point by using it for a headboard (ps- note the chandelier). So simple, yet so bold and beautiful.

Love the couch, love the walls (both brick and wood), the window, the rug. They nailed it here. I can imagine one of our future spaces looking similar to this.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Being that our 9 months anniversary is tomorrow and today is Valentine's Day, we spread out our celebration over a few days. The weekend was filled with family and food. Today, I was surprised with a delivery of a dozen roses in a beautiful red vase, chocolates (which are almost gone) and lavender bath salts that I cannot wait to use! A few days ago, I came home to this picture hanging on the wall that my boyfriend made (online).

We met while working at a lake resort and became an official couple with him saying the sweetest thing on the resorts beach (hence the beachy background) on the night of June 15, 2010. The quote at the bottom- he came up with (which caused some waterworks by yours truly).

Tonight we had an amazing dinner (chicken with butter and olive oil, bacon, diced tomatoes, black and green olives over angel hair pasta)- all made in my skillet, served in my new bowls that I got from Target over the weekend and paired with some amazing wine- we finally found some I like!

This is the gorgeous lake we are so blessed to get to "work" at together (if you can call getting to come to a place this beautiful every day for 7 months out of the year work).

It was the best Valentine's Day ever.
I love you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bathroom Break

So we had a little leakage in the bathroom the other day with the toilet handle sticking, which (I'll spare you the details) led to the poor cashier station in the cafe underneath the apartment getting an afternoon shower. A plumber came and after fixing the toilet tore up the bath mat that came with the apartment, which apparently was built in, because the rubber matting that used to be on the bottom of it is now our bathroom floor. In removing it with nail polish remover and having to throw away the majority of our bath towels used to soak up the overflow, the only design element left in the whole bathroom is the shower curtain.

dwell studio for target
I never got around to hanging anything on the walls, or getting any accessories for the counter. While our current bathroom is a little small, I can still get a head start on the new one. I love this shower curtain and because it's really the only thing I have to go off of, have decided to start building a bathroom around it. I'm going to stick with the black and white color scheme with neutral accents, to keep it calm and spa-like.
Below are some of my inspirations.


Friday, February 11, 2011


I haven't had much time to read for pleasure lately- I'm either reading textbooks or too tired to even pull a book out. And I'm not happy about it. (I blame part of this on my favorite bookstore ever staying in NM and not coming to PA with me. Rude. They had a buy and sell type set-up and about a million books, most of which cost a few cents. I miss it so much.)
via my best friend
Reading before bed is one of my favorite things; anytime really. I used to make fun of my mother for not being able to read more than two or three pages mid-afternoon before taking an unplanned nap. But I've become the same way, and it's the perfect way to wind down before bed. Which I plan to do right about now...

the color tori
the color tori
little madison
you go through life thinking

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I've always loved chandeliers but recently, as I mentioned the other day, I've really been getting into putting them in rooms other than the dining room. Here are a few inspirations.

This is a simpler light fixture, but I love it over the bed, especially the perfect placement with the vaulted ceilings.

loving living small
I like the white against the wood panels on the ceiling. It's not centered so much on the bed as it is on the room, which provides a further range of lighting the room.

golden night
In this instance, the chandeliers are smaller and hung from the ceiling on either side of the bed, much like lamps on a bedside table. This allows more table space and a chic glow that a lamp may not be able to offer.

oh elizabeth
If you don't have the resources to hang the chandeliers from the ceiling, you can still hang them, but use cord covers (or white cords, like I did when I made my paper lanterns) and simply plug them into the wall.

the color tori
Again, the chandelier is placed in the center, but notice the mirror over the bed, which can increase the lighting by bouncing it off the mirror. (Check out the adorable balcony too!)

we heart it
This is more of a traditional scene for a chandelier, but it's not over a larger than life dining room table. Instead, it's tastefully placed over what could be an eat-in kitchen, which is such a great way to glam-up a smaller space. (In addition to that amazing mirror.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Black and Yellow

In the spirit of the Super Bowl, and being a huge Steelers fan (as I've previously mentioned), I thought I'd share what has become the official song of the Steelers. The other day, a black SUV with Steelers flags, stickers, etc. went down main street honking with this song blaring. It's so nice to be this close during this super bowl and not in the dessert (although, there are a shocking and impressive amount of fans down there too). I am beyond excited to watch the game today and if when we win, I don't think I'll mind the extra noise outside due to the crazy celebrations I'm sure will be going on.

planet steelers

This video also features some amazing shots of Pittsburgh, especially the bridges, so it's not obnoxiously Steelers oriented- but that'd be okay with me too.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Living room

First off, I'd like to apologize for my way-too-infrequent posts lately. Turns out, starting this thing a couple weeks before school began may not have been the greatest idea. But I did, so I'm committed!
That being said, I originally intended for this blog to be about interior design, but it has turned into "life" design over time (the whole month I've been up and running). So to get back to my roots a bit, here's some inspirations for a living room.
We rearranged the kitchen yesterday (purely by accident after I got Swiffer-happy and took all the furniture out to really get the floors clean), which got me thinking about our living room. We're a little limited as our cable cord is about 3 ft long and in a very awkward part of the wall. But, perhaps I'll have room for a better layout in our next place. Here are some of my inspirations.

We've been sofa-searching for the new place and I'm really liking these sectionals. I doubt if we'll have room for one, but they're something to think about for down the road.

Here's a more realistic layout for the space we'll more than likely have (without the gorgeous fireplace, though). I like how the fireplace is the focal point and anchor of the room- this could easily be done with an armoir for the tv, or some other larger, but functional piece of furniture.

I love the neutrals of this space. And those curtains (!). The chandelier is amazing too- I'm really getting into putting them in other rooms besides the dining room.

walking around where the sidewalk begins
I love the couch (ya ya, another sectional), the antique coffee table and of course, the flowers. With such muted colors everywhere else, flowers in the center, or anywhere in the room are a great way to splash in some color.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


In my second PA winter, I've noticed my poor boots (that have been with me since seventh grade) have taken quite the beating. So I'm on the hunt for a replacement pair. I love these but this particular pair is $200. Apparently I have really good taste. I've seen these kinds of ridiculously comfy-looking boots all over campus worn with just about anything. This outfit I created at Polyvore (my newest evening hobby) would be my favorite, but it can definitely be worn simply with jeans and a sweatshirt.Once I save up some more mula, these and a skinnier pair of jeans to wear with them will be my first purchase! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow day

With a huge snow storm on the way, many of my teachers have already canceled class. While I'll probably use the day to catch up on homework and cleaning up the house, it makes me think of a few ton of projects I want to get done before we move into the new place. One of them is this adorable ottoman.

I love the rustic look the galvanized tub lends as well as the tufted top.
I like this fabric but the more I look at it, the more I want to go the extra mile to tuft.
My boyfriend's mom was sweet enough to pick us up the tub (a 28 gallon) so all we need is the plywood, foam and fabric. I'd like to make it a storage ottoman with a hinge for the plywood on top. I also am leaning more towards the tufted top. It just looks classier. Maybe one of these weekends when we visit the boyfriend's parents, we can knock this out.
 I love the neutrals and stripes- very classic and will go with any living room furniture we end up buying.
 This floral is rustic and chic- might be a little too girly for the boyfriend...

The stripes are probably my favorite, and yellow's my favorite color- this would make such a bright addition to the living room.