Journaling

April 16, 2014

I use to journal all the time.  Pre-husbnad, pre-baby, pre-Boston, I have volumes of mole skin notebooks chronicling my 20-somthing life stacked in boxes in my studio.  The journals were mostly self indulgent rants about boyfriends, work, friends, school, etc. but I journaling helped me work out many a problems and the seemingly daily crises, especially when my sister, mom and friends were sick of hearing the same issues over and over again.  That said, they were meant for me and me only.  I should probably burn them before my daughter is old enough to find the collection and cringe and her self-indigent mother, but something keeps me from pitching them.  Perhaps it is honoring that young woman who felt the need to write and vent or perhaps I think there is some wisdom hidden among my spelling errors and bad grammar. Who knows, but as my life got busier with a business, marriage, home and family my writing waned.  I still keep a steady stream of mole skin notebooks, but they mostly consists of lists, projects and reminders than writing and sketching.

As I am expecting my second child, having old journals to flip back through might help me remember all those newborn peculiarities.  How to swaddle, when does “sleep regression” happen, first tooth, and how I “really” felt in those beginning months; joy, fear, exhaustion, or simply just something to look back on those early days of my daughters life  So the buck stops here.  The ladies over at The Everygirl have issued a 30 day challenge to journal for the month of April and I accept  Granted I am jumping in at the half way mark, but I figure better late than never and hopefully I will keep going, even as baby #2 arrives and life gets thrown upside down in that wonderful way all over again.

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I promised myself I would blog more.  I love the exercise of creating a post, whether it be a series I shot over the weekend, updates on my home, or sharing a recent project, but here I am struggling to get at least one post a week.  Lately I have been working away on projects I can’t quite share yet, getting my house complete or just chasing after my (very) energetic two year old, which at 32 weeks pregnant is no easy task.  I am feeling that third trimester fatigue where I feel at any given moment I could just close my eyes and instantly be asleep.  Of course not at night though, because as I lay down, that is when the baby in my belly decides it is time to practice some intricate Jazzercise routine.  And this is my house this morning, post toddler drop off, as I wait for a workman, before I go into the studio.  Oh the glamorous life.

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Ok, rant over.  Back to work.  Where it that workman…

Yesterday marked the 1 year date from the closing of our “new” home.  Which built in the 1880′s, required some extensive work.  There was an illegal 3 bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor, the former owner made cosmetic teeth in the basement.  Not to mention the old knob and tube wiring we found hidden in every wall, and failed floor joists in half of the 1st floor.

The architectural planning and renovation process began quickly after the purchase and 5 months into the process we moved in (no kitchen sink at that point, but we had walls and some running water on the second floor.)  A year later we finally find ourselves at the “punch list” point for this phase.  Buying and renovating an old home is a labor of love to say the least and we went through many love/hate phases during the year, but they truly do not make homes like this anymore.  Each 5 panel ladder door was milled specifically for my house, for that specific doorway.  And let me tell you, after removing, sanding, and repainting every single interior door ourselves, those suckers are solid old growth wood, built stronger than any recent manufactured door I have ever seen.  They must weigh at least 50 lb each.  Not to mention the old hardware which we stripped layers and layers of paint to revile a beautiful rose brass.

I feel an intimate connection with our home.  I feel like I know every inch, every detail and really appreciate the craftsmanship and detail found in our 130 year old home.  Which makes this recent article in the NY Times, alerted to me via Elements of Style all the more upsetting.  Apparently, famous New York designer Mario Buatta purchased a beautiful 1840′s Gothic revival home 20 years ago, with the plans of renovating and restoring it.  Flash forward to to today, he has done nothing.  In fact the home stands in worse shape and is rotting away. I think it was his poor health initially stalled the project, but comments like “This is not a communist country, you can do anything you want with your property,” but makes me think his ego and spite are more involved.  Renovating and restoring an old home is not for the faint of heart.  I know, but so should this seasoned designer.  I find it baffling he would let such a work of art and craftsmanship rot away.  Ugh.  So gross.  There is a petition pleading with Mr. Buatta to come to his senses and just sell the place to someone who will save it.

Christopher Capozziello for The New York TimesChristopher Capozziello for The New York Times

On the home front update

We are working away to get all the little details finished before baby #2 arrives in early June. Which by the looks of my calendar is rapidly approaching.  Eek.

The other weekend I styled and organized our library book shelves. All photos via iPhone…will do real photos someday, I promise.  Anyway, a work in progress as we watch basketball.

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Coming along.  Just need to figure out what to do with that upper gallery. I want to continue to add to our book collection, but I am determined to do so slowly and deliberately to ensure our library reflects us and the books we actually read.  So figuring out some place holders as our library grows.

SWStudios-Library

The living room is coming along.  I got these chairs from Jordan’s Furniture of all places, for a great price and they are super comfy.  I think they look like RH chairs, but were a fraction of the price. (Need to steam the skirts.)

 SWStudiosPlaying with pillows.  Have no idea where I am going with these.  Will just let things evolve.

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Kitchen is complete!  Could use some rugs and picture on the walls, but that is to come.

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The 3rd floor. So we gutted, foam insulated, added a new HVAC system and put up blue board to that 3 bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor I was talking about and reconnected it to the main house.  Future dream plans, include making it a media room/game room with a joinng guest suite and full bathroom.  The plumbing is all up there, we just need to give our bank account a rest.  Right now it looks like this…but I are working hard to get complete organization before baby.  I have already had about 3 car loads of stuff hauled off to Good Will.

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Spring Indoors

March 18, 2014

The calendar may show spring’s arrival this week, but our temperatures here in New England show it is on the slow train this year, so I have decided to bring it inside!  The days are getting longer and our new home seems to be perfectly situated to get gorgeous sunlight throughout the day.  I am so glad I went with a warm light gray (Benjamin Moore Athena) throughout most of the house (save my black library).  It really seems to catch the light, keeping things bright, but also warm.  To add some spring in doors I bought some of those cheep grocery store bouquets, (ya know, the ones with a lot of “filler flowers” in them) and separated them out into these lovely barnacle shaped containers I got at TJ MAXX.  I really love the sprawling wild flower look.

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The house is coming along but, clearly I have lots of decorating, drapery and picture hanging to do but things are coming along. Living Room looking into Dinning Room. SpringFlowers-4

Stopping by the woods

March 17, 2014

It seems like everyone is just dying for spring this year.  The sound of a few hardy birds in the morning and bunny tracks in the snow in our back yard have me believing it can’t be too far off.  Temperatures “soared” into the 50′s on Saturday and we just had to spend some time outside.  I don’t think I have every watched the weather so acutely as I do, now that I have a toddler.  It is not just in regards of how to dress, but can we go outside?!?!  Being outside seems essential to my 2 year old’s mental state and hence…my mental state…  So we did some research about nearby hiking trails and found there is a huge and lovely nature area, the Newton Conservation Land Trust, not even a mile from our new home.  Bliss!  City access with nature out our back door.  What could be better?  The trails were still fairly icy but it made of a great morning out.  Folowed by a Shake Shack burger and Pinkberry yogurt.  I love the “burbs.”  Now if these New England temperatures would quite falling again.

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I am actually taking a quick little work break to blog right now because I am kind of overwhelmed at my to do list right now.  Actually the list feels so scattered over so many different area I almost need a whole day just to really figure out the list.  Ugh.  And with the clock ticking down on when baby #2 is set to arrive in early June I am on a major deadline.  First and foremost is to get this blog and my website redesign complete.  Ahhhhh.  Please bear with me as I try to get my poop together.

Photograph take by my 2 year old when she stole my phone this weekend.  I actually really like it and think it looks like a cool abstract photograph.

Abstract pink and white

 

We are on our way back from 5 days in Atlanta.  While not totally springtime there it was a welcomed relief from the Arctic winter we have been experiencing in New England this year.  If you have been following me on Instagram you will have seen our trip began with the gorgeous, big, family wedding of my darling cousin.  Her gown and bridal look rivaled Kate Middleton and for the reception…lets just say, chandeliers capped with giant Spanish moss domes and 80′s cover band!  I must have danced until almost midnight, heels, 6 1/2 months pregnant and all.  It was a blast.  Plus my date was crazy handsome and an amazing dancer.  Makes me realize we need to go to more black-tie events, he looked so good.

(All photos via my iPhone)

Parties galore   WeddingInvitations

Me and my gorgeous date.BlackTiePregnant

Atlanta is also home store mecca with a plethora of amazing home goods and decor shops.  While I didn’t get to go into all of the ones I love, I did pop into two of my favorites.  The first being the chain World Market.  For some reason, World Market has not made its way up to Boston, but you can order online, so I popped into test drive some patio furniture I have been eying online.  I love this store!  Their price point is a little like Ikea and Target, but as the name suggest they designs pull more from around the world.  India, Africa, Asia, with the staples here and there.

It is an amazing go to for cheep summer jewelry and scarves.  Love love love it.

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And they have the best food and wine section.  I love these mini champagne bottles.  Makes me want to drink one with a straw like a model backstage at a Parisian fashion show.

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Oh and can’t forget the selection of gummies.  :)

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Probably my most favorite home store in Atlanta is BD Jeffries.  They carry some of the most luxe gifts, decor and furniture perfectly displayed and curated.  The store is practically a 3D version of a magazine editorial and always offers amazing inspiration.  Rich and layered, the iPhone photos do not do it justice.  One walk through there and I am psyched to move onto the fun decorating part of my home renovation.  I want EVERYTHING…although I only got some stationary and two throw pillows.

Coffee table and book (hi my hand)

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Crazy amazing stool.BDJeffriesAtlanta-13

Fabulous throw pillows.

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This vignette was soooooo great.  The photo does not do it justice.  Mirror, table, stools.BDJeffriesAtlanta-9

I was worried my living room was getting too gray and boring.  This vignette had me not as afraid of all grey or natural wood.  As long as it is layered with texture.BDJeffriesAtlanta-8

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I LOVE the feet on this little stool.

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And this side table/stool was like a piece of sculpture.BDJeffriesAtlanta-5 BDJeffriesAtlanta-4

I liked how they turned this little sofa table credenza into a desk space.  Gives me some ideas.BDJeffriesAtlanta-3

And this tie-dye pillow was so lovely.  Wish it came in grey/black.BDJeffriesAtlanta-2

Dinner Party

February 17, 2014

The universe had seem hell bent on trying to inhibit any party I have been trying to have in our new home.  We had to cancel our big Christmas Party due to sickness and then this weekend the dinner party we had planned on Saturday was derailed by yet another snow storm.  Fortunately people we able to reschedule for Sunday night and we were finally able to entertain some friends in our new home!

I love being the hostess.  I love being around my friends in my own house, not to mention I get to decorate and use all my lovely things.  I maxed out on the Valentine’s Day theme for this dinner with flowers and candies, but I also tried to use all my own plates, vases, napkins, etc. without buying more things just for this party.  We finally have the space to have all our wedding china and silver, so I broke it out.  Makes me realize I need to do it more often.  Like every weekend.  I love love love me some formal place settings.  Perhaps it is too much Downton Abbey (I now regularly break out my china tea cups for evening herbal tea thanks to Downton) or perhaps it is that southern influence (my mother always said, why do we have all these things if we don’t use them?) but I love it.  Yeah hear that hubby…Friday night dinners on china!  Yay!

I hope you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day.

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NYFW here I come!

February 8, 2014

I am sneaking off for a super quick trip to New York for Fashion Week and I couldn’t be more excited.  A little inspiration, some fashion frenzy, time to myself in a hotel room and a dinner with my cousin has me psyched.  Except for my own fashion dilemma…what to wear?!?!  I know one will be looking at me with the models, designers, fashionistas and street style starts, but I still want to looks chic or at the very least not look completely out of place.  Although at almost 6 months pregnant (I am in that…not quite looking crazy prego…just looking fat phase) and freezing temperatures my “cute” wardrobe choices are very limited.  So I have decided to just go all black, and thankfully I discovered Storq which is a new line of maternity staples.  The fabric is a super soft, comfortable cotton.  Perfect for the train and getting around.  They even use an actual pregnant model, not someone with a fake belly.  I ordered the size up they suggested and the tops seem a little big but I guess I will get bigger and the cotton may shrink upon washing.  I’ll let you know.

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Me giving my best “don’t sit next to me on the train” look…it didn’t work.  Crowded train.photo 2My Storq package.

photo 1The essentials for comfort.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 11.38.12 AMI don’t normally do these types of mood/inspiration boards on the blog, but I was putting this together for myself (yes, I can be a planning/design nerd) and decided to share it with you all.  Getting dresses each day can be such a chore, but getting dressed while pregnant can be a nightmare.  So here it is: What I am going to wear:NYFW20141. Mason coat I got on the Net-a-Porter end of season sale. 2. Ella Moss for A Pea in the Pod pleather top. 3. Statements earrings. I got a similar pair last year from this company. (With a big belly, I feel a statement necklace is too much, so I am going to opt for earrings) 4. Etro scarf my aunt handed down to me a few years ago. (one of my most favorite accessories.) 5. Delicate rings. (again, a big belly has me scaling down on the jewelry) 6. Leather leggings. I had some Christmas returns to Neiman Marcus and got myself these!  Yeeeeee!!!! 7. Booties (the were on sale in the store awhile ago, but the website shows them full price.  Don’t know why.) 8. Camera bag (Stylish and functional.  I have had this bag for a while.  Love it.)

P.S. Three of these items, and like half of wardrobe, has basically been sourced from my friend and fabulous blogger Elements of Style.  She will do her Fashion Friday posts, I’ll usually lust after some items for a few months (years in the case of the leather leggings) and then wait for them to go on sale.

P.P.S. I may or may not share a selfie of the final look.  It depends if I feel like a whale or not. :)

Birthday Party Time!

February 7, 2014

Sweet little bébé turned 2 yesterday. (I guess I need to come up with another blog nick name for her as she is not so “bébé” any more.)  We decided to just do a little family dinner at home, but I of course couldn’t help myself with the decorations.  My mother practically burst out laughing when she saw the whole set up of my “low key” dinner, but birthdays are special and I wanted her 2nd birthday to be magical.  Plus as a photographer I am always playing “photo shoot.”

The day before her birthday we got about a foot of snow. School was canceled so we got to bake her birthday cake together.  With a February date, these snow day birthdays may become a tradition and I welcome it.  We stayed in our PJ’s until noon, baking, decorating and playing.  It was so special.

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