Thursday, July 29, 2010

before&after: bathroom

It's been almost a month since The Big Move, and I finally have some progress to share. In case you have forgotten from this post, here is what the bathroom looked like when I went to see the apartment, before I moved in:

I took down the existing metal rack and the extra towel rod, which was hung way too high for any normal person's use, and replaced the weird spiral bulbs with proper vanity bulbs. (I still kept it eco-friendly, and splurged on these babies at Home Depot.) Maintenance came to fix the broken bathroom mirror (finally, two days ago) and gave the whole bathroom a fresh coat of white. As I have previously mentioned, I hate white walls. However, I've decided that bathrooms may be the exception. First of all, I'm too lazy to try to paint behind a toilet. Second of all, if any room should feel almost sterile, it should be the bathroom.

So, without further ado, here is what my bathroom looks like now:

TA-DA! I don't think I've ever had such a tidy looking bathroom in my life. Believe it or not, I didn't remove anything from the room before taking these photos. I love that everything has it's place, tucked away, out of sight. I'm sure it won't always look like this, but at least I know it can. It's a much more subdued color scheme than I originally had in mind (click here to see my inspiration board for the space), but I am loving the green and neutral (grey, brown, white) combo. It feels much less busy and much more calming. The only things I may change in here are the plastic handles on the doors below the sink. I'd like to get stainless to match the handle on the étagère. But that's a quick fix I can do anytime.

Stay tuned for more reveals as I get the rest of the apartment under control!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

style stunted.

You wouldn't know it from my pseudo-preppy, J. Crew heavy wardrobe - but I have long coveted the fashion stylings of the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. Anything worn between WWII and the Civil Rights Movement. I used to search AOL (is that how we found things before Google?) for "swing dresses", "rockabilly" and "pencil skirts", long before they were hip for my generation. Definitely long before they were age-appropriate. Imagine my twiggy 12-year old body trying to fill out something made for a 36-24-36! (Note: I would still struggle with that first 36, but that's why they make padded bras.)

Somehow, as I got older, I never executed the styles I had been dreaming of ever since I watched White Christmas for the first time and saw my first Shirley Temple movie. I'm not sure why not. There are girls out there who seem to execute is so well. From the hair to the glasses to the shoes. They've got it right. (Like my b-fri Lindsay - I've never seen blunt bangs and high waist shorts look so cute.) What about me? Well, it all just seems like so much work! Do you know how long it must have taken women to get ready back then? I barely give myself time to brush my hair, let alone style it into something attractive. And make-up? It's hard to find time for more than a little powder and some mascara. Skirts and dresses mean you have to shave your legs, right?

I've been secretly perusing the dresses, skirts and accessories on a site called Daddy-O's since I was about 14. I've never ordered anything, but I think my next wardrobe splurge is going to be one of these:

Sydney dress by Stop Staring

Temptress dress by Stop Staring

After watching the Mad Men premiere, and checking in with Lindsay again on her new blog, I'm again itching for a nostalgic fashion fusion in my wardrobe. I even wore a cutie-pie dress, pearls and heels to work today. Maybe I'll even update this post with a picture later... (after I brush my hair and put on a little make-up, of course!) Baby steps.

So what do you think? Could I pull off the Sydney? What about the Temptress?

Monday, July 26, 2010

bridal showering.

Another bullet point crossed off my summer to-do list!

Kate's Christmas in July bridal shower was two weekends ago in our hometown, and I kept forgetting to post about it. Friday was spent at a few wedding appointments, including a dress fitting where Kate's sister, aunt and I got to see her in THE dress for the first time! (Sorry folks, no photos. Not before The Big Day!) We also had cake for breakfast, which is one of my favorite pastimes. David (the groom) met with the cake guy afterward about a groom's cake that apparently made Kate's mom and aunt cry because it was such a sweet idea. We'll have to wait and see!

Bridesmaids 5 and 6 (Mallory - Kate's college friend - and Cynthia - David's college friend) couldn't make it to the shower, since they live further away. But the other four of us held down the fort at the Christmas-y extravaganza!

Eileen (David's sister), Emily (Kate's sister and Maid of Honor), Kate (The Bride), Me (Kate's BVF and bow tie-er), and Peggy (David's sister)

And I love this one of me and Kate, after she had been showered and just before her adoring public had to hit the road.

Notable background items (from left to right): Billy (the youngest Tull, wandering through the flowers), Kate's sweet ride, my sweet ride, and The Tull Van (They have seven kids!)

I also crossed off another bbq bullet point, because Todd, Dan, Dom and I had an awesome one during their "bro" weekend (their girlfriends were out of town) a few weeks ago. Apparently, I am a "bro". I have a most excellent picture of the three of us visiting Todd at work and taking a boat cruise to watch some Saturday fireworks, but Dom hasn't scanned it in yet. Trust me. It's great.

I'm a little disappointed about the rate at which these bullet points are being crossed off. The Big Move really put a damper on my summer festivities in June and July. But August is right around the corner. Bring it on!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

public service request.

Please, as a public service, stop referring to jean shorts and denim leggings as jorts and jeggings.

You know how some words just make you want to start smacking people in their faces and shoving dictionaries down their throats? Yeah, these do that for me. Fashion companies are actually using these words for advertising! They're not real words! I love jean shorts as much as the next girl, but I will NEVER refer to them as... that word. Blech. Stop combining words. I don't call my silk blouse a slouse, or my cotton comforter a... cotomforter? What about a jean jacket? Is that a j-jacket? It's bad enough that bling and unfriend have made their way into Webster's "Big Book of Words". I beg you. Do not pass these down to our children and our children's children. They're already bound to be embarrassed by our generation as it is.

(While we're on the subject, perhaps the jegging should go the way of the skort. Clothes nobody should ever wear or have to see people wearing, and words nobody should ever have to hear or say.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

color counseled.

I just took a quiz on called Color Career Counselor, where you choose colors in order of preference to determine which career you are best suited for. I must say, I wasn't expecting much. Just another online personality quiz to kill some time with. Although, they do make the following claim:

The Dewey Color System® is now the world's most accurate career testing instrument.
This report based on your personality traits indicates your two most enjoyable day-day-day occupation skills. It’s a summary of the full report, the Color Leadership Evaluation 5.0.

Well, I have to admit, I laughed out loud when I got my results.

Best Occupational Category

Thursday, July 15, 2010

home state advantage.

Heading back to The Buckeye State.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

white out.

They're painting my apartment today. Except the bedroom (which will be painted on another day), because last night I panicked when I envisioned little white kitten paw prints all over the floors. Batman and Lester are holed up in the (still navy/baby blue) bedroom today while the rest of the place is being spackled, primed and painted. I'm going to return home tonight to a blank canvas. Great because the red/baby blue/water damage situation will be taken care of. But now I'm feeling anxious because I HATE WHITE WALLS. And now all of my walls (except my yellow kitchen) will be white. My sister thinks I'm crazy. She loves white walls. But white walls look unfinished to me. Temporary. Like no one actually lives in the space - they're just keeping their stuff there.

image via here

Here's hoping I feel inspired and motivated when I get home tonight - and not hopeless and uncomfortable in my own apartment.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

christmas in july.

As I have mentioned several times before, my beary vest friend Kate is getting married in December! The bridal shower is this weekend, and the theme is "Christmas in July" - in honor of their holiday nuptials. So I have pulled together a few Christmas-inspired gift ideas for anyone else with a holiday bride, holiday-themed party, or maybe you know someone who just needs a little Christmas cheer.

Clockwise from Top-Left:
3-Piece Cooper Vase Set - Crate and Barrel - $24.95 - The brushed stainless steel adds a frosty element to the gift. These would look lovely with small sprigs of holly berries and pine.
Lacoste Crocod'il Solid Towel Set in Chili Pepper - - $43.00 - Maybe I'm partial to these towels (I have them in green)... But they're very fluffy, and with the little croc emblem on the corner, there's just a touch of green popping off those bright red towels. Package them in a reusable green storage bin, like one of these from The Container Store.
A La Mode Pie Dishes - Crate and Barrel - $4.95/$14.95 - Who doesn't love red in the kitchen? Grab a couple of the individual dishes and print out a few of your favorite pie and/or casserole recipes for a personal touch.
Wood Boxes with Lacquered Lids in Poinsettia - West Elm - $14.00/$29.00 - The color is called "Poinsettia"; it was obviously meant to be. These functional boxes could also serve as wrapping for smaller, more personal gifts. In the larger one, include a photo frame or a personalized journal to document memories from their honeymoon or their first year of marriage. In one of the smaller ones, maybe a gift certificate for their favorite restaurant. Stack them on top of each other and tie with an ivory ribbon.
Classic Century Salt and Pepper Set - Crate and Barrel - $38.95 - A personal favorite. I envision these sitting on a Whoville dinner table, right next to the roast beast.
Stewart Apron/Potholder and Mitt Set - Crate and Barrel - $12.95/$16.95 - Pair these olive green treats with some red kitchen utensils, much like the ones listed next.
Giada De Laurentiis Nylon Tool Set - Target - $19.99 - See above. Giada has some great cookware at Target right now. A lot of red and ivory items - perfect for our holiday theme!
Beaded Jewelry Box - Pottery Barn - $59.00/$99.00 - I love engraved gifts. (I've been known to go overboard with them.) But there's something so special for a bride about seeing her new initials, and a lovely silver jewelry box is a beautiful gift for any season.
Faux-Sheepskin Throw - Pottery Barn - $99.00 - Every newlywed couple needs something cuddly to curl up under while roasting chestnuts on an open fire. And if, hypothetically, your bride happens to have a stuffed sheep who has seen better days and may not have a place on the marriage bed, this would be a wonderful way to honor said sheep and give your bride a good snuggle substitute. Hypothetically.

Kate, I know you read this. Don't be surprised if one of these gifts is actually yours by Sunday. But also, don't be disappointed if none of them are. xoxo, BVF.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

work with what you got.

I'm in.

Finally, I am in my new apartment. Not unpacked, but in nonetheless. Now the real work begins. For a rental, I think this one would qualify as a "fixer-upper." There is definitely some maintenance that needs to take place. Some water damage around the windows, a broken bathroom mirror... but thankfully, the property management company will take care of those things. They will also be taking care of getting the apartment painted back to "rental white".

I hesitate to even post the pictures I am about to show you. Whoever it was that painted this apartment previously... lets just say... they were no Picasso. As a disclaimer, I would also like to say (a) that these are not my belongings, and (b) please do not judge my photographic skills based on these shots.

Here is the bedroom. I have only three words: navy blue ceiling.

A nice size, but awfully dark even with the... ehem... baby blue accent walls and trim. (In case you were wondering, yes, the inside of the closet is also baby blue. How did you know?)

Second bedroom/guest room, which for me will serve as a dining room/office. It's just off the kitchen and has two pocket "french" doors.

Yes, these are photos of the same room. (Notice the futon.) And, you guessed it... baby blue inside this closet too. The same baby blue as the bedroom? Of course not. Because one needs a variety of baby blues in their home.

Now, I've never been much of a clean freak or germaphobe, but for some reason... yikes. I'd like to douse this place in bleach. Maybe it's because I plan on staying here for a while and putting a lot of effort into making this a nice place to live. I just want a clean start, and don't want to look at a window frame or a corner and say to myself, "That is definitely not my dirt." And there is no better motivation to clean than photos of somebody else's filth in your new bathroom.

If you look pass the mess (which is now gone, obviously), you will notice a missing mirror panel, terrible bulb choices, a boarded up window, along with the terrible red paint job on the wainscoting. (Again, not the same red as in Bedroom No. 2, of course.) At this juncture I should also mention that my towels are bright green. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Shower. (The red has got to go.)

The kitchen and entryway are fine. (Again, kitchen just needed a thorough scrub-down.) And the living room is a lovely shade of grey, but will have to be painted white again after the water damage is fixed.

So this is my new home project. Wish me luck - I'm diving in.