Happy Halloween!

As promised on Friday, in the un-spooky spirit of Halloween, I’d like to share some pictures of previous Halloween costumes. Not pictured is the Phantom of the Opera costume I wore in 4th grade or the scarecrow costume from 5th, when I walked around all day with a yardstick through the shoulders of an old plaid shirt with actual hay sticking out the sleeves. My mom dug these photos out for me at my request somewhere in the millions of albums she has from my childhood. I really wasn’t all that interesting, but okay.

Also, what you’re about to see should be completely embarrassing. Notice I said should be, meaning it isn’t. I’ve done my fair share of embarrassing things in my life, but none of it occurred when I was little and cute. Enjoy!

This is when I was 3, and I was a witch. I was very scary. In fact, I am giving my scariest face in this picture. Have you ever seen a more terrifying witch? I didn’t think so.

Here I am again. Scary witch! Someone should have told me that I was flying on the broom incorrectly, MOM. Parent fail. I’m pretty sure I was doing something awesome in this photo, like pretending I was flying. Also, please notice my bangs and turtleneck. Apparently nothing about me has changed in the intervening 22 years.

Good lord, I was cute. Here I am at 4, as Rainbow Brite. Rainbow Brite was like crack cocaine to me. I adored her. I worshipped her. And luckily, a classmate’s older sister had this costume laying around. This might be my favorite Halloween of all time.

Here I am at school in 1st grade as the tooth fairy. Do you see the styrofoam tooth hanging around my neck? My dad carved that himself. The cowgirl is my childhood best friend, Catie. Catie, if you are reading this, your costume rocked. Also, I have bangs in this picture and am wearing a turtleneck. Seriously. This is a reoccurring theme.

Here I am at 7 or 8, in probably the first photograph of me up to that point in my life where I am not wearing a turtleneck. I do, however, have bangs, but they are tucked under the wig my mother braided and stuck wire through to make curl up. In case you hadn’t guessed, I was Pippi Longstocking. My mom sewed those patches on. That woman isn’t my mom, that’s our neighbor, and for her sake I cropped her head out so she didn’t have to relive her amazing early 90s hair-do.

Shifting gears from the Halloween costumes, and continuing on with the bangs-and-turtlenecks theme…

Holy adorable. This is me at 2, with bangs and a mock turtleneck. It totally counts. I’m probably mid-sentence in this picture, so that explains the puckered expression on my face. It’s a safe bet to assume I was talking, since it’s all I did. All day, every day, and even in my sleep. If the internet had existed when I was a kid I would have had a blog.

This picture is from my About page. I’m 3 years old here, and I have bangs. I’m wearing a turtleneck, but no pants. I was, however, wearing sunglasses. Indoors. Interestingly, I could be found in this exact same get-up the last time I was super hungover.

This is me, age 6, wearing a Cosby sweater and a turtleneck and riding a bike indoors (?? great parenting skills). Check out my amazing feathered, side-swept bangs. This might have been right around the time I stole a piece of candy from the holiday candy bowl and hated it and spit it out directly into my hair, where it got stuck, so I cut it out with kitchen scissors and attempted to hide the evidence in the play kitchen pictured above. THIS IS WHY I NEEDED A SIBLING.

I would kill for that plaid suit jacket right now, you have no idea! And check out my little pose: hand on hip, foot arched up. Sassy since day 1. Please notice the bangs, all this talk leads nicely into…

Me with bangs, present day. Wearing a turtleneck. I might have put it on specifically for the purposes of this blog, but there was like, an 85% chance I would’ve worn one anyway. Also, I don’t know what happened to my blond hair, but if you’ve seen it, I’d like it back.

And here I am dressed as a lobster for a Halloween party I went to this weekend. Pardon the quality, this was taken on my phone to send to my mom. My claws are pot holders I strung through the back of my shirt like little kid mittens. And I hot-glued on big white pom-poms and googly eyes to an old red hat. Did you know they sell pipe-cleaners in individual color packs at the craft store? I didn’t either, but that pack of red came in handy for my antenna and feelers. I don’t even like lobsters, but I don’t really like Halloween either, so I think it all evens out somewhere. See that pumpkin hanging over the railing? That was Fitz’s costume, and he stayed in it all night. Even as he tried to furiously hump the other dog at the party. (Edit: hahaha oh my god, I just realized I’m wearing a turtleneck, too)

Happy Halloween everyone! I can’t believe tomorrow is November already. You can expect a new Tuesday Tunes tomorrow (crazy, right?).

Friday Five, Halloween edition

I’ll just put this out there, and I am obviously in the minority with what I’m about to admit, but here goes:

I don’t really like Halloween.

Why, you ask? Well, living on my own was an experiment in how many lights I could leave on at night and still sleep; I can’t watch Law & Order when I’m home alone because I just know the evil murdering rapists are hiding in my closet ; I have a paralyzing fear of spiders; I instinctively check on the other side of the shower curtain both when I get home and when I’m in the shower because I’m convinced there is a mass murder with a chain saw waiting for me; and I come from a long line of people who have night terrors. The scariest Halloween movie I can watch is “Hocus Pocus”, and I still have to cover my eyes during the parts where the zombie with the sewn-together lips gets his fingers cut off under a manhole (OMG now I won’t be able to sleep). And that movie was made for CHILDREN!

(You know what else was made for children? “Frankenweenie”, but I screamed uncontrollably for something like 3 days straight after watching the first 5 minutes and still cannot see one of those dogs on the street without losing my shit. All because the dog gets hit by a car, like, 20 seconds into the movie and then has his head sewn back on and then whenever it drinks water and it spurts out the holes in his neck. Classic Tim Burton, but maybe not an appropriate movie for a 4 year old. My father became apoplectic with laughter and I thought Satan had crawled out of the tv and into my eyeballs. And they’re making a remake! WHY. STOP. NO.)

So obviously, I am diametrically opposed to a holiday that fetishizes everything scary and spooky. This isn’t to say that I didn’t have some awesome costumes as a kid, because I did. (And I have pictures to show you on Monday, of my little kid self all decked out in Halloween costumes.)

No, it just means that, at 3, I made my dad put his jack-o-lantern outside because it scared me. And that when friends went to a haunted house for a birthday party in 2nd grade, I stayed outside with the adults, trying not to pee my pants. And that when my dad and I tried to visit a haunted house in BROAD DAYLIGHT when I was 15, I didn’t make it in the door, and the lady felt so bad for me she gave us a refund (this comes up again later). And that all my mom has to do is say “boo” when I can’t see her, with no more intonation that if she were saying “oh” and I will be so startled  I will shriek wildly and drop to the floor. And it means that I don’t care how fake that decorative spider looks, part of me still thinks it is going to spring to life and try to crawl up my nose and lay eggs in my brain, YOU NEVER KNOW.

Overcoming your fears is overrated, kids. That’s why this Friday Five is dedicated to the gentler, less spooky side of Halloween. Because honestly, I had enough trouble with this post as it is.

 

photos from Nightmares Fear Factory

Maybe I lied when I said “gentler,” but this photos are so hysterically funny I just couldn’t help myself, even if they are from a haunted house. This is just genius. Set up a camera at a particularly scary part of the tour, and capture the hilarious faces of the poor idiots who actually paid money to have the bejeezus scared out of them. Talk about capturing the exact right moment! I’ve never seen such unbridled fear and sheer terror in my life. There are 20-something pages of similarly awesome photos in their Flickr stream, and I almost gave myself an asthma attack laughing so hard. Of course, this just further proves my point about why Halloween is the worst holiday ever. This is what I would look like if I participated in any festivities, so I’ve taken great pains to avoid it. Teehee, look at their faces!

 

Monstercake!

I might have an objection to Halloween, but I launch no such objection to Halloween goodies. Treats not tricks, got it? This monstercake is 20 different kinds of adorable, and if I possessed even an ounce of patience, you can bet I’d be piping on orange frosting to look like fur and making cake-balls for googly eyes. The only problem I have with this cake is that it looks too good to actually cut into, and when I am deprived of cake (especially when the cake itself is depriving me) I become extremely fussy.

 

Pumpkin Candles, West Elm

Ah, see? Nothing spooky  or  gross about these. THIS is the kind of Halloween I wish we had, instead of one with blood and gore and mummies popping out of every corner covered in spiderwebs and death. I love these candles, and I think they celebrate everything nice about the season without being the least bit creepy. They’d make a beautiful centerpiece on a table if you had 4 or 5 of them. I even love that they styled them with a burlap tablecloth! So perfect.

 

Silly Dog Costumes

Does this require an explanation? Really? You’re not convinced simply based on the pictures? Fine. One of the best things Halloween has done for the world has been to provide pet owners with the adorably insane notion that they need to extend the dress-up to their 4-legged companions. And thank god for that, because nothing is cuter than the puppy version of anything. Oompa Loompa? Cuter if it’s a Daschund. Think your Dalmation has been giving you too much attitude recently? Affix an inflated pink balloon to its undercarriage and tell people he’s a cow. I love pet costumes. This is a Halloween tradition I can endorse.

 

Salem Witch Museum, Salem, Massachusetts

Okay, so despite my debilitating fear of anything scary (as well as some un-scary things like sand and elevators), I was hugely into the Salem Witch trials for about 6 or 7 years of my life. I read historical fiction, non-fiction, everything I could get my hands on regarding the trials. Nineteen men and women were hanged, and one man, Giles Cory, was crushed to death with heavy stones. My dad and I took a trip up the east coast to visit family friends in New York and Massachusetts every summer, and once my fascination with Salem started, we added it to the itinerary. We would make sure to hit all of the tourist attractions, including the graveyard where the alleged witches were buried, as well as Salem Willows, the most amazing and old-timey arcade and park with a bandstand right on the water. We also tried going to one of their famed haunted houses, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, and the “guide” jumped out of his dark creepy doorway to lead me to my death and I screamed bloody murder. I was 15.  Anyway, we also made sure to visit the Salem Witch Museum, which recounts the entire history of the trials through wax figures. It’s really pretty cool, and the museum is right across from the park at the center of the adorable and charming town. The first time we visited, though, and they got to the part about how Giles Cory was executed, his wax figure has a voice over of him begging for more weight in this really sad, horrible whisper. I mean, imagine people crushing your body with giant stones and you’re refusing to admit you’re a witch but hello, you’re being pressed to death. Sad, right? Apparently not to my father, who collapsed into full body hysterics and angered every other family in the room. Go dad.

Happy Friday! What are your feelings on Halloween? Are you dressing up as anything this year? I’d love to know, unless you’re going as that guy from the “Saw” movies in which case, keep it to yourself. I’d like to sleep tonight.

I’ll see you on Monday with some embarrassing pictures of me as a kid. Enjoy your weekend!

New Books

I take two forms of public transit every morning, a commute totaling half an hour, which provides me with plenty of time to read. I’ve gone through a bunch of books and magazines just by reading on the bus while commuting to work the past 8 months, so I’m always keeping my eye out for new reads. Reading, though, is an expensive habit. If I examined my budget, I’m sure buying books takes up a substantial portion of it (stuffing my face with candy comes in at number 2). Everyone I know has a Kindle or some other eReader and swears by it, but I stare at enough computer screens all day for my liking, and it’s nice to be able to disconnect and sit with a good book.  And besides,  nothing can ever compare to actually cracking a book open and physically turning each page. I don’t care if I’m the last person alive that prefers books, I’ll never convert to an eReader.

While I’m busy getting off my soapbox, let’s take a look at 2 new books that have piqued my interest recently:


“Dear Me: A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self” by Joseph Galliano

This book was just released this week, but have you seen these? Excerpts taken from letters written by celebrities to their younger selves, aptly titled, “Dear Me: A Letter to My 16 Year Old Self.” Full of advice, humor, love, and some sadness, with a foreword from one of my favorite authors. Warning themselves not to do drugs, telling themselves they matter, it will all be okay, and not to let that one person break their heart. It makes me wonder what I’ll have to tell my 16 year old self when I’m older. Of course, trying to write a letter to myself at 16 now when I’m barely 9 years older is pointless, because so often I still think of myself as being an awkward high-schooler. Every time I pay a bill or remind myself to pick up laundry detergent, I experience a brief moment of shock, like, “I’m a grown-up? Since when?” If I had to give 16 year old Erin some advice it would be to put school before boys, stop worrying about your boobs (FUTILE), and that, yes, everything will be okay. Pinky promise. Oh, and invest in Facebook.

 

“Van Gogh: The Life” by Steve Naifeh and Gregory White Smith

I saw a segment on 60 Minutes last week about this book and the art history nerd in me has been freaking out over getting my hands on it ever since. It’s an 800 page behemoth on the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh, arguably one of the most influential and famous painters in the world. It chronicles his history with depression as well as his relationships with his family and calls to light a new and interesting (and convincing) theory on how he died. Illuminating stuff, if you like that sort of thing. Which, I do. Unfortunately, its hefty size precludes it from being a “read it on the subway” kind of book, since I don’t think I’ll enjoy schlepping it back and forth all day. The thing is 3 pounds!

What about you? Reading anything good lately? I’m curious, what advice would you give your 16 year old self if you could? Would you, at all? And why is it that 16 is always the most talked about age? Anyway, I’ll see you guys tomorrow with a Halloween-themed Friday Five! I promise it’s a good one.

London Love

photo by Alan Klim

I’ve talked at exhaustive length about my love of Paris and Sweden, but it’s only fair to give some special attention to my other favorite city in the world: London. I have family right outside the city and along the southeast coast, and on all of my trips across the pond I fall more and more in love with the country. It boasts one of the most easily navigable public transit systems in the world, and some of the craziest, most bi-polar weather as well. The accents, the countryside, the history, the architecture, the food (yes, I said food. I’m part English, I can’t deny my love for Yorkshire pudding), and the television shows and movies that come out of that country (my dad and I broke our VHS tape of Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” from watching it so many times), are some of my favorite things in the world. So what better way to celebrate jolly old Grey Britain than by turning it into a retail experience? Love London? Here’s how to incorporate it into your every day life:

 

1. A to Z of London Tea Towel, Keep Calm Gallery / I love tea towels to begin with, and on my most recent trip across the pond, I bought back this one for like, 5 different people. I love tea towels more than standard American dish towels, and this one, which highlights 26 different London attractions (did you notice “I” is used for the London Eye?) is too adorable for words.

2. Underground Map Jute bag, London Transport Museum / I almost bought this from some vendor or souvenir shop on my last trip but didn’t, deciding I had enough things in my life emblazoned with the map of the Underground. But I’ve regretted it ever since. I can just picture carrying this tote around farmer’s markets, stuffed with fresh local veggies and a giant bouquet of wild flowers.

3. PG Tips Tea / This is the best tea in the entire universe. The end. No arguments. I’ve never ever been a coffee drinker, and since I can’t really handle caffeine at all, I don’t really have tea too often, but (I’m about to rip off the Dos Equis commercial) when I do, I prefer PG Tips. My mom and I used to smuggle it back in our suitcases by the hundreds to stock up on it, and this is the tea my family overseas drinks exclusively. And now we can finally get it in the states, but it just isn’t the same as when my cousin would make me a cuppa. It still comes pretty close though.

4. Aero Candy Bars / Something happens to me when I get around Aero bars, the delicious chocolate bar that is filled with air bubbles, and it is similar to the behavior exhibited in primates when they go into heat. I am crazy about these candy bars. I can’t ever eat just one, no no. I consume probably 10-15 bars A DAY when I’m in England, and then I take tons back with me. I bought 5 giant size bars in the Heathrow airport before my last flight out and only made it off the plane in New York with 1. A former co-worker had a lay-over in London last summer and picked me a few bars up…and then I promptly asked him for his hand in marriage.

5. Union Jack Dog Bed, Unleashed Life / This is just adorable. I’m pretty sure I just figured out what Fitz is getting for Christmas. Beagles are, after all, an English breed, so this Union Jack doggie bed is quite fitting (quite!) for him, don’t you think?

6. Waving Queen, Museum of London / And speaking of adorable, someone over at the Ministry of Adorability needs a raise for coming up with a little model of the Queen that is solar-powered (see the panel on her purse?) and waves, smiling cheerily all the while. I want one of these SO BAD. Can you imagine the non-stop giggling?

7. Melamine Tray, Transport for London / Can’t you just imagine serving afternoon tea and bickies on this, or even leaning it on the counter behind your sink for a gorgeous visual element in your kitchen? It’s so graphic and hip while still managing to incorporate all of the iconic London architecture (Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Eye) without being too clichéd. I absolutely adore it and think it could work as wall-art.

8. Red Telephone Box Cabinet, Amazon / Don’t be fooled, this is not just any ordinary red telephone box replica. This is a 4′ tall storage cabinet, inside which you can store DVDs (like your very own copy of “Midnight in Paris”, ahem ahem) or trinkets, or maybe other London souvenirs. I keep thinking this would make an adorable toy chest for a kid’s room. Or a liquor cabinet. OR, if you still own a landline phone, you could route out a hole in the back for the cord and put your phone inside and make it an actual phone booth. Assuming you put it on a table or dias or something, because it would be annoying to have to bend over to answer the phone. Um. I kind of want this. I’m seriously debating buying it.

Well, there you go. And of course, I can’t forget to mention my favorite piece of London transit memorabilia, my travelcard cushion!

And, because I’m feeling extra generous, some pictures of London by yours truly from my most recent trip:

Liverpool Station

The London Eye

taken from the top of the London Eye

This is me and my cousin, Nicky. He was born, raised, and still lives in England, and the poor sod agreed to take super tourist-y pictures with me around London one afternoon, including up in the London Eye. He was such a good sport about it, and we had a ton of fun and laughed the whole time. Although, he did apologize to that guard by saying, “I’m from here.” The rest of the trip the whole family kept giving each other thumbs up. Nicky also now calls Aero bars “Erin bars” because I ate so many of them. And, knowing how much I love Big Ben, he popped into a souvenir shop and bought me a small glass figurine with Big Ben etched inside. It has been sitting on my desk ever since.

See you tomorrow morning with another post! (I’m really on a roll here!) Oh, and happy hump day! I’ve always hated calling Wednesdays that. Can we think up a new name for it? Like Joey did on Friends? “Monday, one day. Tuesday, two days. Wednesday, huh? what, when? Thursday, the third day.”

Inspiration

Happy Monday! Yesterday my mom and I went to the theater to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), the completely hilarious play that takes 3 actors and attempts to condense all 37 plays into 2 hours. Lots of awesome accents, quick costume changes, and nerdy Shakespeare humor (read: right up my alley. Did I ever tell you about the time I read Macbeth in 3rd grade?). The 2nd act involves a lot of audience participation, and yours truly was pulled up onto stage by one of the actors during a scene that breaks down Ophelia’s character. I don’t want to spoil it for you, because it is truly worth seeing. My mom and I had actually seen it in London about 10 years ago, and we have been laughing about it ever since, so it was fun to see it again and see if it lived up to our memories of it (it did!). I think our new tradition will be to try and see it in a different country every 10 years (that’s cool, right Mom?).

Anyway, it was a great weekend, but as usual Monday came around too quickly. Here are some drool-worthy interiors to start your week off right:

from here

Wine cork Eiffel tower, oh. my. god. Do windows like that really exist anywhere in the world?


from here

Those dining chairs are the same as the one behind the desk in the photo above, I just noticed that.

from here

Is that pastel canvas not the most beautiful thing in the world? I love that floating white credenza, too.


from here

Amazing mirror. Like I needed to point that out.


from here

Can I buy a radiator for decoration?

from here

You had me at “striped rug,” “Eames chair,” and “sawhorse desk.”


from here

Süsk posted this from her old apartment in Paris, and my heart just exploded.

So, I’m trying something new this week, and posting something EVERY DAY. I might be over-extending myself and if the content isn’t up to par, just let me know. Maybe being a degenerate blogger works better for me, who knows. See you tomorrow!

Friday Five, Lake Vacation edition

Fall is officially officially here, and I am in love with this weather. Every year I forget how delicious the crisp air smells and how much I love living in boots and scarves and drinking hot apple cider. I’m indulging in some totally clichéd fall fun (more than pumpkin picking!) and taking a vacation in the Finger Lakes, in New York state at the beginning of November. I’m excited for scenic drives, orange and yellow leaves, bed & breakfasts, and enjoying the region’s plethora of wine trails (read: getting drunk in nature).

And as we know, I’ll take any excuse to turn something into a material experience. This week’s Friday Five is all about prepping for the ideal fall vacation.

 

Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Finger Lakes, New York

The problem with figuring out where to stay in the Finger Lakes is that there are so many options, and all of them boast the same gorgeous scenery and abundance of vineyards. How I settled on Seneca Lake in particular is a mystery, but you can bet I’m beyond excited to see that view up close and personal. I’m hoping that there are still some leaves left on the trees in a few weeks, and it isn’t too cold to enjoy a hot cup of spiked hot chocolate on the balcony of the bed & breakfast at night.

Flannel boots, Steve Madden

I can’t even take how adorable these boots are. Check out that flannel! These are such an awesome balance between masculine and feminine…or more like 90-10, but still. I can just see myself walking around the rows and rows of grapes, leaves crunching beneath my flannel-lined  faux work-boots. And, because I am a tycoon of internet shopping, I have a coupon code that brings these bad boys down an additional 20%. Now all I have to do is wait until they have my size back in stock. WPP.

 

Plaid throw blanket, Terrain

Now I know, technically, that bed & breakfasts provide their own blankets. But who doesn’t need a little more plaid in their life? And considering this blanket is made by a family-owned wool farm in Ireland, I’m kind of swooning over the idea of wrapping myself up in it. It doesn’t look the slightest bit scratchy, either. Oh, and have we talked about Terrain? That store is incredible.

 

Feu de Bois candle, Diptyque Paris

Sure, spending $90 on a candle may seem a bit excessive. But have you smelled this thing? It smells like crackling firewood and if there was ever a scent associated with this time of the year, it’s a roaring fire. Let’s be honest, the reason it is so perfect (and the reason I was so quick to include it on this week’s list) is because it’s French. So not only will you smell the yummy and smokey smell of “warm, familiar, sophisicated accord of rare woods throughout the long winter days” you’ll smell like a French elitist. Win-win.

 

Abingdon Tote, J Crew

The poor salespeople at J Crew have had to endure me walking in, making a beeline for this bag, and then looking at it and touching it for the next hour. I love this bag. Talk about masculine-feminine. Can’t you just imagine carrying bottles of Seneca-vineyard-made wine back to your room every day? The canvas is a perfect color in real life, and if I didn’t already own 2 bags that look like second cousins to this one, I would’ve snapped it up by now and saved the people at J Crew some exasperated sighs.

Have I inspired you to get rugged and go on a wine tour? Ha. Do you have any fall vacation plans? Or even spring vacation plans? Have a great weekend, kiddos!

(Also, special “hello” to the person who came to my blog after googling “Red Dwarf Porn.” I’m not sure I know how to feel about this.)

Weekend in Pictures

I’m so tired, but isn’t that the mark of a great weekend? Walking the puppy along the beach and laughing as he freaked out when the water came up to him, picking 20 apples from an orchard for $4.75, going to an Italian festival and playing lawn Bocce, having a wine tasting at 11am, stumbling upon a creepy abandoned motel on the outskirts of Atlantic City and being too scared to get out of the car, and wishing I’d never heard the noise Fitz makes when he comes face to face with goats. Oh my god, that screeching howl. Anyway, here are tons of photos, as promised:

 

Happy Monday, kiddos! How was your weekend?

Friday Five

You guys, something very exciting is happening to me today: I’m getting my hair cut! More specifically (and most exciting of all!) I’m getting bangs again. So that picture of me on my About page from when I was 3 years old (and refused to wear pants but would wear sunglasses indoors) is going to be an accurate representation of me again! I still even love turtlenecks, go figure. Though I may have to put a moratorium on wearing turtlenecks while I have bangs; there will be just too much encroaching on my face.

The haircut is just the the tip of the Exciting Iceberg that is this weekend. I’m heading down to Brigantine, New Jersey (and no, we are not allowed to make any references to the festering pile of degradation and spray tans that is The Jersey Shore) for the weekend. Fitz is very excited to run along the beach and has been bugging me all week about whether or not he has to wear his swimmies (yes) and if he’ll be allowed to pee in the ocean (no, but he probably will anyway). Then, on Sunday, we’re heading to our favorite orchard/winery for some apple and pumpkin picking, followed by a wine tasting and loading up the trunk with as many bottles of their delicious Peach wine (trust me on this one!) as we can carry. All this means for you is that I will have tons of photographs to share with you on Monday. Win-win.

Without further ado, here are 5 things that have piqued my interest this week:

 

BookBook laptop case, Twelve South

I had never heard of these before my friend Anna mentioned that she was going to buy one for her new Macbook Air. But now that I know about them, I have to have one. Are you kidding me with how cute that thing is? And practical, since it’s hard-backed, so it will protect the laptop in addition to making it look like a vintage book. Sure, it’s pricey. But you can stand it up on a bookshelf! And again, have we not established that I care more about form than function? BookBook, why you so cute?

 

New Zealand, photo by Simon Smith

Stay with me. I recently got Google Earth (I know, I know, I’m about 2 years late to the party) and I spent all day Sunday “traveling” around the world (I even went to the northernmost tip in Europe, in Finnmark, Norway and found some weird secret bunker/where Santa lives). Aside from the obvious perks of being able to “visit” the Eiffel Tower whenever I want (which has been every 5 minutes for the past week), it’s given me a renewed fascination with New Zealand. The culture (this is the country that has given us “Flight of the Concords” and “Summer Heights High”) and the landscape (see above) are just so appealing to me. I’d love to go someday, and hopefully double up the trip with a nice jaunt in Australia. Until then, I’ll be wandering around on Google Earth.

 

“The Most Beautiful Walk in the World” by John Baxter

I picked up this book only a few hours after I saw “Midnight In Paris” because the back cover promised something equally as enchanting as that movie: an account of the Paris of pedestrians, told through historic vignettes and present-day stories, the former of which included copious references to Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Stein, all the major players in Woody Allen’s movie. And it didn’t disappoint. I finally finished it this week and just wanted to give it a big hug afterwards. Baxter is just so likable, even though part of me hates him for being an accomplished writer living in Paris with his Parisian spouse and making a living spending his days helping friends buy Matisse prints or giving walking tours to clueless Americans. I just ordered “We’ll Always Have Paris” by him, which promises to be chock-full of stories of love and sex in the city of light. I can’t wait!

 

“West Forty Third Street” and “Central Park South” by Joseph O. Holmes

These photographs of New York are absolutely amazing. The detail captured in each of them is just ridiculous. I wish either of them were still available for purchase, though I think I’d have a hard time choosing between them. Joseph O. Holmes is a Pennsylvania native (yeah, PA!) and he is currently documenting the Occupy Wall Street protests over on his blog. I love photography, and these photos make me want to be better at it. That’s why I love them.

 

Sidecar High Dining Table, CB2

I’ve lusted after this table for awhile, and even tried to talk my friend Aisling into buying it for her new apartment just so I could visit it and cuddle it when she wasn’t looking. I don’t have a need or the space for an additional dining table, but if I did, this would be the table I’d choose. I’m aware it’s completely impractical for any household with more than 2 people (or even 2 people who don’t love all-white interiors or sleek, clean lines) but could you just check out those shelves on the end? So incredible.

What are you up to this weekend? Any seasonal activities like apple picking? Have a great one, kiddos!

Inspiration

If you were to visit my “Interiors” board over on Pinterest, the first thing you’d notice is that there is a lot of white. Like, an overwhelming amount of white, disproportionate, even. Like, might-not-have-been-born-with-the-ability-to-see-colors white. I could go on, but all you really to need know it (in case you have not gleaned this about me by now) is that I love all-white interiors. Preferably Scandinavian, though the French run a close second. (Random side story: over the past weekend, during a particularly competitive game of flip cup, a new recruit was placed on boyfriend’s team, and we racially-profiled decided he looked like he had wandered out of an IKEA catalog, so there were definite chants of “IKEA! IKEA! IKEA!” as he chugged his beer. Wait, where was I going with this? Some Scandinavian reference? Pretend this made sense, thanks!)

ANYWAY, here are some inspiring interiors that happen to be all white. Don’t say you didn’t see this coming.

from here

Is this not the most perfect dining room you’ve ever seen? Check out that door. And those windows! My goodness, do people actually live like this? Do they need a roommate?

from here

I don’t care if I kicked the wall every night, I’d gladly sleep here. Though I’d have to invest in a sleep mask because LOOK AT ALL THAT LIGHT.

from here

Distressed leather chair, French typography poster, single bulb pendant lamp, white floors and walls. Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you asked for a list of Things About This Photo That Make Me Hyperventilate.

from here

In all of my wildest interior design fantasies, this is the exact entry hallway I’ve pictured, right down to the painted white brick (!!) and a skylight.

both from here

You’d think these two would be in Sweden somewhere, wouldn’t you? It’s surprisingly New York. Interior Designer Magdalena Keck is a genius and someone should just give her Swedish citizenship for her ability to make me weep openly over how badly I want that kitchen.

 

from here

This hallway is ten kinds of perfect, and 9 of the reasons are that floor.

BRB, have to go clean up the puddle of my drool. In the meantime, which of these are your favorite? Or do you totally reject all-white interiors? I’m very nosy.

Muted tones

You know that scene in Sex and the City, from season 3, where Carrie and Big run into each other at that furniture show/auction and she asks where his wife is? He says, “She’s got her eye on a beige chair. Everything in my apartment is now beige. Beige is bullshit.” Big’s answer was sort of the inspiration for this post. Well, sort of, minus the profanity.

Beige has been on my mind recently. Perhaps because, like Big, everything in my apartment is now beige. See, when I moved in with boyfriend, I was moving into his fully-furnished house, the walls of which were painted paper-bag-brown by the builder in what I can only imagine was a decision he thought would be appreciated by the owner for not leaving everything stark white. Unfortunately for said builder, he didn’t know that one day I would live there. Boyfriend bought very bachelor-esque furniture after he moved in, including a dark brown leather sofa, chair, and ottoman, a dark brown coffee table, and dark brown bar table and chairs. Do you see where I’m going with this? The leather sofa is dark brown. The walls are beige. The custom built-in for the tv is black. The picture frames (which I have to take sole responsibility for, because I chose them all) are either dark brown or black. I have recently proposed a plan to change the living room from all-beige-all-the-time to something more colorful, while still being respectful of the fact that my name isn’t on the mortgage. But I’m pushy, and (bizarrely) boyfriend likes making me happy (hence why he agreed to paint the bedroom this shade of gray), so hopefully within the next few weeks I’ll have a paint and design project to share with you, with lots of before and after pictures.

Anyway, I was getting sort of tired of the brown and muted tones in my new digs (do I need to even say it? White People Problems), but then I stumbled upon this picture:

And I swear my heart skipped a beat. I don’t know who this woman is, but I’m sure she is gorgeous. I love everything about this photo, from her gold watch and bracelets to her delicate and long fingers to her pale pink manicure to her perfectly curled blond hair. This picture actually excited me about all the beige and brown and tan in my life. Not enough to change my mind about the new paint plan I have for our living room, but enough to take some time to appreciate beige and muted tones, and find some cool ways to incorporate it into any decor, with that incredible photo above as inspiration:

 

1. Drum Pendant, West Elm / 2. essie “Golden Nuggets” and “Case Study” / 3. Throw blanket, West Elm / 4. Faux-pony hair pillow, Barney’s / 5. Placemat, John Derian / 6. Parlour Chair, CB2 / 7. Bronze Flatware, Anthropologie / 8. Candles, Catbird

So I’ve had sort of a roller-coaster relationship with beige (to the extent that one can have a relationship with a color), but I have to say I’m changing my tune. Also, I need to qualify my previous crankiness by saying that sure, sometimes the lack of color on our first floor pokes at the design nerd inside of me, but really, how cranky can one possibly be when you live with something that looks like this: (OBLIGATORY PICTURE OF MY DOG!)