Monthly Archives: April 2011

Royal Wedding

There are many reasons my posting around here has hit a stalemate the last two weeks, and I’d love to have a big post for you now, but truthfully: I’m going to need another day or two to wipe the enormous smile off of my face. No, I didn’t wake up at 4am to watch all the live coverage, but you had better believe I caught up once I got to work.

Say what you want about outdated traditions, or that we have better things to worry about, or that Americans shouldn’t care anyway because the British monarchy is exactly what we fled from, but as someone with family on both sides of the pond who is sick of all of the bipartisan fighting in my government, I can say without reservation that I’d much rather indulge in this lovely, fairytale wedding than be forced to hear about the absolute trash of the Jersey Shore or which soul-less Republican still doesn’t believe our president was born in this country.

I’m even willing to put aside my own broken heart for a bit. Prince William, don’t pretend like you didn’t get my love letters all those years.

April 29, 2011 / fashion / vanity / Comments Off on Royal Wedding

IKEA Spring Collection

This week I got an email from IKEA (uh, hello, obviously I am on their mailing list, half of my gross income funnels right into the company, and my apartment looks like the catalog threw up all over it) alerting me that their new Spring collection had been released. As if I need one more reason to visit the store this weekend, I started browsing the new items, and had to stop several times because I was at work, and I don’t think the amount of excited gasps and moans that were coming from my cubicle are, you know, appropriate for the workplace (you could argue that looking at IKEA’s website at work might not be too work-appropriate either, but I have an addiction, okay? It can’t be stopped). I looked through 24 pages of new items, let me brain try to learn all the new Swedish names (seriously, you’re looking at a girl who can give you not only the name but more than likely the 9-digit item number of every item IKEA sells), wiped the drool from my chin 11 times, and honestly I don’t even have words other than: YES. PLEASE.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Lantstalle Vases – $5.99 ea. That light blue one in the middle is simultaneously filling my need to have yet another vase and that fleeting urge I had to buy a clear glass vase and some glass paint that exact shade of blue. I spent a lot of time researching the techniques behind painting glass, and had to silently tell myself that just because I was going to attempt a project most frequently carried out by women 50 years older with several cats, that I was still cool. I lie to myself a lot.

Bladet Vases – $6.99 ea. Again, the turquoise vase in the middle has stolen my heart. IKEA released a series of this exact vase about a year and a half ago, in a mustard yellow, a bright green, and that turquoise. At the time, the only color I cared about was yellow, and I have spent the last 18 months kicking myself over my stupidity. Currently, these vases don’t appear to be available anywhere other than the opposite coast of the country from my house, but that doesn’t matter. I am not letting that turquoise vase escape my clutches again! And maybe I’ll buy all 3 colors, because you never know.

 

 

Sockerart Pitcher Vase – $7.99. I’ve been in love with this pitcher since it came out, in white, probably a year ago. I’ve flirted with buying it, but it never felt right in person. It was missing something, something that was keeping it from being 100% perfect. And, I don’t know if you’ve picked up on the theme of this entry, but it’s BLUE! That’s what it was missing. Can’t you see a fresh bunch of pink hydrangeas sticking out this beauty? Cause that’s what I see.

 

Skurar Plant Pot – $3.99. Technically, IKEA calls this a plant pot. I call this, “future shabby-chic mini trashcan.” (Immediately after reading this, my mother is undoubtedly going to go out and buy 5 and use them to finish decorating the Room Formally Known As My Childhood Bedroom, currently going by the name Rachel Ashwell Would Be Proud). I imagine the little decorative scrolling at the top of these pots is not the softest thing in the world, and given my penchant for errant clumsiness (see: that one time I fell down a flight of stairs carrying a laundry basket), I’m inviting many a cut finger into my life by buying this, but I’m going to do it anyway.

 

 

Molnfri Tins – $4.99 ea. Ever since I got a big girl job (I have business cards!) I have had to start practicing fiscal restraint totally unbecoming of my personality for the last 24 years of my life. I know that seems counter-intuitive, but this is the first job I’ve had where I’m making more money than I know what to do with, and for that reason alone I have had to watch myself, because I am drunk off the ability of being able to buy whatever I want. Before I let the giddiness overwhelm me, I stop and ask myself: Do I have a real and present need for these tins? No, but who does. Do they match anything I own? No, but neither does that raincoat with all the random pieces of fruit on it that I bought at Ann Taylor 5 years ago, and I don’t see that as being a problem, either. Imagine the possibilities with these! Flour, cookies, q-tips, pencils, the options are limitless. Or, you could just keep them inside the big one and tell everyone that came over that it was a modernist Russian Nesting Doll. Bonus points for being able to pronounce matryoshka.

 

Ljusas Uvas Lamp – $39.99. Shut the front door. This lamp, this wonderful, glass bulb, chocolate-y gray lamp is making me want to throw my own Franken-lamp out the window along with every other, far inferior lamp that I own. Check out that sexy, textured shade and its perfect proportion to the base. This would look great in a room painted a dark, muted plum or a deep, smokey gray. I don’t just like this lamp, and I don’t just want this lamp.  I want 10 of these lamps. 15.  Like. Want. Need. Again, IKEA is telling me it isn’t available at my home store, but we’ll see. I have a feeling I can will it into stock with the sheer power of my longing.

 

 

 

Torva Soft Toys – $7.99 ea. I can’t even. Are these not the cutest things you’ve ever seen? I mean, I know I’m an adult, with a real adult job, and real adult responsibilities, but the fact remains that my heart will always melt a little bit for stuffed animals. I think it is programmed into my DNA, and I am completely fine with it. Especially when there are such cah-yooote little guys as these. Do you see that broccoli? Has broccoli ever been that cool? I kind of want these. Even though my brother has made me sign an oath in my blood that I’ll stop inundating his household with stuffed animals, I might buy these for my nieces. Fittingly enough, there are three of these stuffed animals, and three of my nieces. Fate, you guys. Though I can definitely foresee fights ensuing over who gets to play with the strawberry, and the carrot being left untouched much like its real life vegetable counterpart. Poor carrot.

 

I feel like an premature apology letter to my credit card is in order. Which of these (or any of the other new items!) are up your alley, kiddos? I’d love to know!

April 14, 2011 / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 3

West Elm Coffee Mugs

I am totally in love with these wonderful mugs:

I picked up a couple on sale at a whopping $4 each and couldn’t be happier with them. You know that episode of Friends where Phoebe dates the harshly judgemental psychiatrist who tells her all of her friends have issues because they sit around drinking coffee in cups that are so big that “I’m sorry, might as well have nipples on them”? Someone besides me has to remember that. Well, these aren’t quite as big as the latte mugs used at Central Perk, but they are pretty mighty in their own right. I don’t even drink coffee, just copious amounts of tea (and I’m carrying on the depression era mentality instilled in me by various members of my family and using the teabag twice). And the mugs have letters on them. Because I don’t know if you know by now, but my initial, I’m pretty obsessed with it. I think in some way I am setting myself up for some memory loss later in life, so that if I ever forget my own name I will be at least left with enough clues around my house to get me on the right track.

April 12, 2011 / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 4

Sniff sniff, horray

(How much trouble do you think I will be in for stealing the ad slogan from Gain? What’s the worst they could do, soften my fabrics to death? Zing.)

I like candles. But liking candles is a slippery slope. You can go from “liking” candles, to being one of those people whose house is overrun with competing scents eminating from the 14 different jar candles they have on every free surface, creating a veritable nose-molesting smorgasbord of aromas. I think the worst thing stores like AC Moore and Michael’s have done to the precious, scent-free breathing air has been to offer giant jar candles at 3 for $10, thus enabling crazy craft ladies who have wicker decorations above their doorways to smell simultaneously like “blueberry pie” and “fresh pine,” two scents that should never, ever mix.

However, there are redemptive candles. Candles that do not smell like concentrated  car freshners . Here are my three favorite:

Capri Blue Volcano, by Aspen Bay

This has to be the best smelling thing of all time (aside from wet puppies, freshly baked box-mix cake, and whatever that stuff my boyfriend uses after he shaves). The problem with it smelling so good is that at nearly $20 a candle, you get caught between wanting to indulge in the scent and burn it every free second so your house is filled with this delicious, sweet, crisp scent; and the realization that, holy crap, this thing is expensive, maybe we conserve it and only burn it at select times.

Leaves, by Slatkin & Co. (from Bath & Body Works)

The reason I can’t link this candle to a retail site, is because I’m pretty sure its been discontinued or is (hopefully!) seasonal and just not available right now. I picked up this bad boy on a whim in the middle of last fall, and it was almost a life-changing experience. Seriously. The name doesn’t do it justice, and is completely unfitting. This candle smells like hot apple cider, cinammon, and that bright crispness that comes with fall weather. I quickly bought a second one, and then bought more and gave them away at Christmas as presents. Looking back, I should’ve just been a grinch and kept those candles for myself so I can burn them and enjoy the scent myself, but I’m nice like that. At Christmas.

Isabella, by Tocca

Upon googling this deliciously decadent candle, I discovered that it was often listed as being “watermelon scented.” Well, there you go. I would never, ever have described this candle as smelling like watermelon, but that just goes to show you that my nose does not, apparently, know. That aside, I think you need to trust me when I say this (heinously priced) candle is sublimely scented and lovely. I don’t  burn it often because of its small size, but I keep it on my night table and even when it isn’t lit, I can smell it. And guys, it smells amazing. Totally worth the insane price tag for something roughly the size of a bag of fruit snacks (what? is that not an appropriate unit of measurement? too bad, it’s all I had nearby).

 

What are some of your favorite candle scents? Minus 10 points if any of them come from a craft store.

April 4, 2011 / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 4

Friday Five

You guys! I am clearly on to something with this whole blogging thing. Remember this Friday Five, specifically this set of mirrors I was coveting? Well look what we have here: a post at Apartment Therapy about the same exact mirrors! I want credit for loving it first, AT. Clearly my design skills are so honed that I am way ahead of the curve. I want full acknowledgment of my incredible talents and tasteful aesthetic. I may even want a statue in my honor, with the inscription to read, “Erin: The FIRST, true lover of overpriced distressed mirror collections.” Somebody get on this.

I was going to just jump right into this week’s Friday Five, but now I’m afraid that one of these will end up on another website as if it was their idea all along. Harumph! However, not even the threat of being outdone can prevent me from giving you, dear readership of 3, the 5 things that are tickling my fancy this week:

Oui Ring in White Gold, from Dior

I feel about this ring the way Miranda Hobbes feels about Sean Connery: “Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” As in: there is nothing more perfect to me in the entire universe than this ring. I’ve raved about it for years, yearned for it, dreamt about it. Wouldn’t it make a charming, unique engagement ring? Assuming the girl said “Oui” and not “Non.” Of course, like any wonderful fashion accessory, its utility and purpose are woefully incongruous to the price tag. Last I checked, it was around $700. Cheap by Dior standards, expensive by Erin standards. And I would undoubtedly lose it like I have lost almost every other ring I’ve ever owned in my life: by leaving it by the sink in some public bathroom.

Ricotta cookies from Isgro’s Bakery

If there is such a thing as heaven, it exists in these cookies. You have not lived until you’ve eaten one (or a half pound in one sitting, if you’re me). I could go on that show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and spend the entire segment making incoherent moaning sounds while simultaneously wiping drool from my chin (I’m attractive). They are so sinfully delicious and perfectly soft and melty, they shouldn’t even be legal. The store is small, the line is always long, and sometimes you think you might shank someone if they take the last of the cookies on the tray, even if that someone is a heinously overbearing Italian man with biceps the diameter of my torso. But it is so, so worth it, mere words cannot even describe it. Thank goodness I don’t live too close to this place, or I’d seriously weigh a million pounds (potential plus-side: I could then go on Biggest Loser since my boyfriend and I watch that show with fervent dedication). I love these cookies so much that I created a brand new category called “food” just to tag this post.

Fruity & Bright Supersoft Body Lotion, Victoria’s Secret

My skin, as I’ve lamented before, is finicky, sensitive, prone to serious dryness, and borderline translucent. This lotion solves all of those problems (with the exception of that last one, because this lotion is a lot of things, but it isn’t a self-tanner). I was reticent to spend $12 on a body lotion, but got roped into it by a really convincing salesperson at Bath and Body Works one day, and I’ve never looked back. While it is not perhaps the most grown-up body lotion I could be using, it smells amazing without being overwhelming, isn’t too thick, and makes my skin “supersoft” just like it promises. The only downside is that B&BW stopped carrying this particular scent, so to buy it I have to go to the actual Victoria’s Secret store, or as I like to call it, the “Self Esteem Crushers, Inc.” (thank you, Adriana Lima, for being god’s most perfect creation and making me feel unworthy of even standing in line beneath a picture of your scantily clad, flawless body. Ugh).

The upside in all of this is that on my most recent hobbling voyage to pick up some more of this stuff, I discovered they were having a we-might-be-discontinuing-this-scent-so-it’s-all-half-off sale. Faced with the debilating panic of not being able to keep using this lotion forever and ever, I did what any good consumer trained to be easily sold on things in hot pink containers that smell like strawberries and vanilla frosting sold by women much, much hotter than me, would do: I. Stocked. UP. I shuffled my pathetically velcro-shoe’d foot home, lugging a giant, heavy bag of lotion, looking like I was going to recreate the Malibu Barbie version of the Buffalo Bill scene from “Silence of the Lambs” (not that I have even a 15th of the stomach required to watch that movie, as someone who routinely sleeps with a nightlight and can’t watch Law and Order by herself).

Brocante Wallpaper, from PiP Studio

(photos from Helena Söderberg)

PiP Studio, the Netherlands based homegoods and textiles store, has the absolutely adorable slogan, “Happy products for happy people.” And if you spend any time browsing their website, you will understand just how appropriate of a slogan it is. PiP is a little bit like Cath Kidston (another fave), but with way more whimsy, and they have perhaps the cutest, girliest, most fabulous stuff. Shabby chic floral quilts? Check. Vintage circus poster notebooks? Check. The world’s most amaaaazing wallpaper? Double check. Seriously, I don’t think I can live another day without having that wallpaper somewhere in my house. I don’t even own a house, and I don’t think my landlord with appreciate me wallpapering my apartment, but I don’t care. On a scale of 1 to 10, how crazy would it be if I bought a roll now and kept it for the future? I can see a wonderful little powder room being jazzed up with this wallpaper. Or an entryway. Or a dressing room. Or a breakfast nook. Or a reading nook. Or any nook or any other wall, anywhere. Do you not see the quaint old postcards? The vintage faux-tographs (see what I did there?!)? The yellowed strips of “tape” or the delicate little “push pins” holding each darling picture? Be still my heart!

Stockholm Loft, from Desire to Inspire

I struggled for a while finding the perfect 5th thing for this week’s Friday Five, and contemplated whether or not I could get away with a switcharoo and just make it a Friday Four, but I’m glad I was saved at the 11th hour, because to have 4 things instead of 5 would have just been heinous with a capital H. Then I found this.

I may have said I loved rooms before. I may have claimed there wasn’t a photograph of a room I liked more than that it in the whole world, from every aspect of the design, decor, and aesthetic. You guys, I lied. The picture above (from a Stockholm apartment for sale here) makes me want to explode with delight. Check out that wall of built-in bookshelves, with that gorgeous ladder and the roaring fireplace next to it. And those skylights! Everyone knows skylights are pretty much the best thing you can have in a houes. And this place is rife with skylights. I’m generally a sucker for the all-white-theme houses in Sweden are famous for, but this just take it to a whole different level, with the muted gray sectional sofa (to die for), and the distressed wood floors. And, I’m sorry, do you not see that pug, perched adorably and ridiculously wrinkly on the back of the sofa? I can’t even. You guys, I’m pretty sure I figured out where God lives. Quick, someone give me $5.2 million so I can have this place. Do you think the owners will throw in the pug if I promise to love and snorgle it for the rest of its wonderfully congested life? Sigh.

What are your weekend plans, kiddos? Me, I’ll be tyring to hitch-hike my way to Sweden and perform some serious voodoo on the owners of that apartment to get them to hand the keys over to me for nothing more than my winning smile. And maybe eating another half pound of cookies, who knows.

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April 1, 2011 / eat / drink / fashion / vanity / Friday Five / home design / LEAVE A COMMENT / 1