Friday Five, New York edition

Sup, homies! Before we jump into this week’s Five, I’ve got a surprise for you. But I can’t tell you what it is right now, for a multitude of reasons, chief amongst them my desire to torture you. You’ll have to come back on Monday for the news, but trust me, I think it will be worth the wait!

Anyway, for this week’s Friday Five, I’ve decided to change things up a bit. I spent a long Memorial Day weekend in New York City, and even though I’ve been to there a million times (and even lived there for about a month in my senior year of high school with my way cool cousin (hi Ilene!) for an internship at MTV), and even though I know it’s so uncool to act like a tourist, I let myself take pictures around the city like a tourist, because I was. And because for a large portion of my life, photography was my main focus, but I became swiftly disenamored with it after I graduated college. I’ve been trying to get back into it recently, thanks to this here ole blog, and I’m planning on posting more original photography.

Starting with this week’s Friday Five: five photographs of New York City.

Warehouse, 25th & 10th Ave

I attempted to see this Jeff Mermelstein exhibit at the Rick Wester Fine Art gallery on Saturday afternoon, but found it closed at 4pm, despite the website saying the gallery was open til 6. Major bummer. I huffed and puffed and let out an expletive or two (don’t take a photography exhibit away from me!) and was about to declare the entire day a waste, when I turned around and saw this across the street. I’m still grumpy about not being able to see the exhibit, but there’s always a silver-lining, right?

Lillie’s Victorian Bar, 17th & 4th

This is my favorite bar in the entire city, possibly even the entire world, for one very, very obvious reason: the decor (okay, two very obvious reasons: they serve 4 flavors of Lindeman’s lambic!). I hold a special place in my heart for Victorian pieces, and Lillie’s is decorated from floor (old parquet) to ceiling (painted tin tiles) with delightful, classic charm. Plus, all  of the bartenders seem to be from England/Ireland/Australia, which means a never-ending assortment of amazing accents.

The High Line

I know a lot of New Yorkers hate the High Line, and again, it might make me super uncool to think it was pretty neat, but it was. An elevated half-park-half-walkway with impressive views of the city? What’s not to love? The weather the entire weekend was gloriously sunny and warm, and after stopping for drinks at both the roof bar and Biergarten of the Standard Hotel and feeling tragically un-hip the entire time, it only made sense to take a stroll along the High Line from 14th street up to 20th. This photograph isn’t an accurate representation of the glass panes, though; they were really green and blue. Next time, white balance!

Museum of Natural History

I spent a good 2.5 hours at this museum on Saturday morning, totally nerding out over all the dinosaur fossils and taxidermied animals and, of course, the giant blue whale. All I talked about for days leading up to the visitwas the whale, and while it certainly didn’t disappoint, the entire museum won me over. And I didn’t need any more reasons to love it, but I stumbled across this man in the African Mammals hall. This sweet old man, sitting on his little folding stool, drawing. My father was an artist, and so I think I’ve reserved a special place in my heart for things like this.

brook-vin, 7th Ave, Brooklyn

I stumbled into this amazing little place in Park Slope on Sunday afternoon after having brunch and getting lost in acquainted with the neighborhood. What a wonderful treat, too. They were having afternoon Happy Hour, so wines were $5. It was a particularly sunny and hot day, so a crisp glass of white was in order. There might have been some stinky Camembert in the mix, too, along with some marinated olives. And everyone was just so nice. The decor was beautiful with an exposed brick wall and little hints of Industrial Chic (and you know how I feel about that).

Enjoy your weekend, kiddos! And make sure to check back on Monday for my extra-exciting announcement!

Travelcard Cushions, pt 2

Remember the Friday Five I did way back when? (Also, HA, remember when I thought I would do one of those a week?) In it, I proclaimed my love for these wonderful pillows designed by UK based Ashley Allen, made to look like travelcards from the London tube and rail system:

Again, I’m pretty sure there is nothing cuter as far as pillows go. The folks over at Bonjour Mon Coussin have a pretty strong hold on the Cute Pillow Market (exhibit A), but Ashley’s designs hit a little bit closer to my heart.

Like most things that tickle my fancy, I tend to be a “hit it and quit it” kind of girl. I fall in love with something, write about it, focus all of my attention on it for an ample amount of time, obsess over it, and then poof! I expire the need to own it. It’s pretty magical, and my bank account thanks me for it every day (not that I don’t buy a fair amount of stuff that I post about on here, though).

The same was half-true with this pillow. I thought I was over the crazy need to have it in my life, but the universe had other plans. A few weeks ago the designer, Ashley, emailed me, saying she had seen my blog (!!) and asked if I would still be interested in purchasing one of the cushions (!!!). It was a win-win situation for both of us; I would get the pillow of my dreams, and Ashley would officially become an international artist. So, of course I said yes. I mean, come on, have you been paying attention at all?

Cut to yesterday, when my present from overseas arrived:

MEGA SQUEAL! The crafts(wo)manship is superb, and the screen-printing is flawless. It is absolutely darling, just like I thought it would be, and HELLO, someone give me an award because look how cute it looks on my sofa. I couldn’t be any happier with it.

Ashley, thank you so much for stumbling across my blog and reaching out to me (you’ve upped my readership to 7!), and for giving me a reason to clean the piles of clothes off of my sofa. Guys, I can’t recommend her work enough. If you’re looking for a sweet housewarming gift for someone, look no further! Also, she has amazing handwriting, which you just know I’m a sucker for.

Mellow Yellow

It’s no secret that I love yellow. Wait, that isn’t entirely accurate. Let’s start over: It’s no secret that I am obsessed with yellow. After gray, yellow is my favorite color. If you combine the two, well, it’s pretty much perfection. Unfortunately, there is no cutesy rhyming adjective with gray, so yellow is taking center stage for this post. It’s such a happy color, and perfect for warm weather, or, even those un-sunny days when you want to interject a little cheer. Without further ado, here are a few yellow things that tickle my fancy (two of them might look familiar to those of you who remember header image #2):

1. Colorblock Shirt Dress, Topshop. How mod & retro! This would be perfect for walking around the city on a nice Spring day, or even wearing it to work.

2. Pierre Hardy Heels, Barney’s. I’d never in a million years break down and buy these, or any shoes that cost this much money, but they are pretty perfect, don’t you think? Of course, like every other high heel I’ve put on in my life, these would inevitably give me blisters the size of quarters within seconds.

3. Crane Desk Lamp, CB2. Oh, hey, this lamp looks familiar! I’ve been having a love affair with this lamp, and in fact all task lamps in general. I think it has something to do with the angles. Oh, it’s on sale! Yellow and cheap, what more could you ask for?

4. Trollsta Side Table, IKEA. Sadly, this isn’t available online anymore, which means IKEA (<3<3<3) is probably discontinuing it, but they might have a few left in stores. Fingers crossed, even though I have no idea where I would put something so bright. Maybe we’re just supposed to admire it from afar.

5. Yves Saint Laurent Nail Lacquer, Surreal Yellow, Barney’s. If anyone can make neon nail polish look classy instead of prostitute-ish, it’s Yves. I’m sure I’ve offended someone with that statement.

6. Canary Candleholder, CB2. This is like the baby that would occur if this and this got together in a bucket of yellow paint and things got a little frisky, am I right? Though I am worried that given this thing’s tiny little spindle legs, a lit tea candle could topple over with the slightest provocation.

7. Sunnyside Pillow, CB2. Not quite a love child, but doesn’t this pillow look like the little sister of the shirt dress from Topshop?

8. Beam Mug, CB2. This is the most fabulously priced coffee mug in the history of yellow coffee mugs. In real life, it’s a little less acid-yellow and a little more mustard, and the square handle just kills me it’s so perfect.

 

So there you have it. My love of yellow continues. What color(s) are you guys most into? I’d love to know!

Friday Five

Aw, shucks! Yes, you read that correctly: The Friday Five is back! But, continuing the atmosphere of change we’ve got going around here, not all 5 things on this week’s list are material objects (shocking, I know. I surprise even myself sometimes).

My dear readers, what are you up to this long holiday weekend? I’m taking a much needed mini-vacation and heading to New York City this morning. I took today off of work, making this a seriously indulgent 4-day weekend. I’m staying at Le Parker Meridian in Central Park South, so if you live in the city, be sure to say hi to me! (hint: I’ll be the one licking the Dior storefront window with Pinkberry stains on my shirt). I’ll be back Monday with lots of pictures and hopefully an intact bank account.

In the meantime, here are 5 things I’m enjoying this week:

Parks and Recreation, gif from here

It wasn’t until recently that I started paying attention to this show, and admittedly, I only did so because it follows The Office on Thursday nights. I am embarrassed to admit I’d only seen a few episodes before this season, but now I am hooked. The characters are hilarious, the writing is smart and quirky. Unfortunately, the laugh-out-loud (I would’ve used “lol” but my mother reads this and I try to write this blog in language the elderly can understand, too. Pretty sure I just got written out of her will for saying that) days of  The Office are behind us (although how funny, and frustrating!, was the finale?), but Parks & Rec gets me every week. I’m talking full body hysterics. Hyena cackling, tears-in-my-eyes laughter. The gif above is from the funniest scene I’ve seen on tv, possibly ever. I’m itching to buy the past seasons on dvd, if only so I can replay the scene where Ron Swanson throws a burger at his own face over and over again.

“Broken Wild” and “Fog Teal” by Leigh Viner

I don’t remember how I found her, but Leigh Viner’s work is simply incredible. Beautiful, moody, exquisitely hand-drawn with pencil, pen, and filled in with watercolor. After lusting after it for long enough, I bought a 5×7 print of “Broken Wild” for my night-table, and now I’m also eying this photograph of Paris (duh). Etsy is inundated with so many talented artists (and, er, not so talented ones), but Leigh’s shop is a standout. I love to support independent artists, so if you’re in the market for something new, give Leigh’s etsy shop a look. How fabulous would “Fog Teal” look in a sleek silver frame in a dressing room or on a makeup table? I feel like Carrie Bradshaw would have had these in her apartment if she knew about them.

Vintage Chalkboard, Urban Outfitters

I know it’s too small to tell, but the months in the top right-hand corner of the chalkboard? Yeah, they’re in French. If you haven’t been paying attention, being remotely French is an automatic qualifier in the like/want/need categories. I just love this chalkboard. My lovely friend Aly has a chalkboard hanging above the sink in her kitchen, and on it she writes the week’s meals. I’m thinking this is what I need to do to ensure that my dinner routine isn’t a rotation of yogurt, matzo, and ramen noodles. Anyway, I love the vintage-y look of this, and those adorable little hooks at the bottom are just begging to hold my reusable shopping bag and dishtowels. And it’s only $50! Also, THE MONTHS ARE IN FRENCH.

Nyvoll Dresser, IKEA (shocking!)

I meant “shocking!” in two ways: 1. Duh, it’s from IKEA. Did you think I would be able to post something here and not pay hommage to the most wonderful store on earth?, and 2. Seriously? That is from IKEA? That, the most sexy of all dressers? The most sleek, modern, lacquer-drawered beauty of a dresser is from a place that sells $8 floor lamps? If you had told me that was from West Elm, or CB2, I’d would have believed you faster. It comes in under $300, but once you add in the rage-factor associated with assembling anything from IKEA, this dresser will cost you precisely 3 hours of your life, your relationship, and your sanity. Still, a small price to pay to have a gorgeous dresser in your life, right? Right.

Jenny the Pug, from Puglandia, Oregon’s annual Pug Crawl

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hahahahahahahahahahhhahahahaaahahahahaaa. I can’t even. She’s just there going, “Oh, don’t mind me, just pushing my kids to the store!”  This is my favorite thing in the entire world. Look at the neck fat! And the incongruously skinny little legs! That might be my favorite thing about pugs (in addition to the snorting and the cuteness and the insanely sweet dispositions and their need to be cuddled ALL THE TIME). No matter how obese they get, their legs are still twigs. Hahahahah seriously, look at the little stuffed animals in the stroller meant to be her “puppies.” This is my favorite Friday Five moment, and quite possibly my favorite internet moment. Check out the pug in the tutu in the background. And look! There’s supplemental video footage of Jenny! If this doesn’t just make your week, well, we have nothing in common and I’d thank you to never visit this site again.

That’s all I got this week, kiddos. What are your exciting weekend plans? I’d love to know!

Enjoy!

The votes are in (and other stories)

All of those times I incorrectly assumed I had 5 readers, shame on me…all along, I’ve had 6!

6 votes! This is exciting for me, because it means I’m really not writing for just myself, even if I’m not really writing for a group larger than the playable characters in Clue. Still, I’m grateful for every vote and comment and page view, so thank you thank you thank you.

That said, the biggest vote getter was the current image header, with 3 votes (50%!) and each of the other choices got 1 vote a piece. I’m not sold on it yet even though the masses have spoken, so don’t be surprised if a previous incarnation appears back at the top, or something altogether new and exciting shows up. Ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges!

And now for something a little less fun. Do you want to hear the most obnoxious thing in the entire world? Lady Gaga. Oh, and this:

Last Thursday I received a summons for Federal jury duty. Awful, soul-crushing, schedule-interrupting, I’ll-likely-get-murdered-by-a-friend-of-the-defendant jury duty. You guys, I can’t even watch episodes of Law and Order by myself without then checking every closet and potential-murderer-hiding-spot in my apartment. I damn near faint at the sight of blood. And my luck, I’ll probably get called for a case that involves a string of gruesome homicides and have to study forensic evidence for 18 months (because, you know, Federal court cases can drag on forever) and then once we convict the defendant, I’ll mysteriously end up dead out front of my building. And there are so many things left I haven’t bought yet! 

I’d made my peace with that heinous injustice of having to perform my civic duty (not really) when, on Friday (aka THE NEXT DAY) I received a summons in the mail for city jury duty. MAJOR DOUBLE-U-TEE-EFF. I’m clearly being taken advantage of by the court system. When I suggested to my mother that my only clear plan of action was obviously to move abroad, marry a foreigner, and renounce my American citizenship, she accused me of making a bigger deal out of this than was warranted. Excuse me, mother. I have a very comfortable routine of working and internet shopping that I do not like to deviate from. And hello, all of that Easter candy I bought on clearance at CVS isn’t going to eat itself.

I should be playing the lottery or something, right? Or, at the very least, I’ve been more cautious about walking outside in the rain lest a freak thunderstorm roll through and it’s the one day I’m wearing my tin-foil hat.

So, of course, to make myself feel better, I’ve reached deep down and found the greedy consumer I know I can be. Viola! An outfit for you lucky bastards in warmer climates:

My wallet hates me for this outfit. But oh! This is more color than I normally wear, as my favorite color is gray. How perfect for strolling along piers and flea markets and sipping fresh made lemonade. Hey, East Coast, STOP RAINING.

Blog changes

By now, I think we have established that I am fickle. One second, I’m completely smitten with clean, all-white, Scandinavian interiors, the next, I’m buying a vintage rotary phone on ebay to start my own Industrial chic collection. I have redecorated my desk and office area 11 times since purchasing it a year ago. Which, if you’re keeping track, is about once a month. You’ll remember its previous iterations here and here. Here’s what it looks like now:


DUDE, turning my computer monitor on an angle has completely changed my life, like the time I set the font on my blackberry to serif. It totally opened the space up and shows off both the glossiness of the desk and the bottom of my Stendig calendar. I wish I had turned it sooner. And yes, I have a framed picture of Jessica Stam on my desk. I think she is the most gorgeous being in the entire world as it is (I would totally cross the street for her, if you know what I mean), but this shot Peter Lindbergh (mega swoon) took of her in Morocco for Harper’s Bazaar in 2004 is as close to perfection as it gets as far as I’m concerned. Also, notice the pitcher from IKEA from this post.

So to think that this here blog would be exempt from my fleeting fancy would be just silly. WordPress, while vastly superior in other ways, is not nearly as customizable as Blogger, and until I get my own domain and can install custom CSS, I’m limited to the changes I can make. Which is a GOOD THING, I swear, because if I possessed the ability to alter the CSS everyday, I TOTALLY WOULD.

Since launching like want need in February, I’ve been through 3 image headers:

Were it not for the fact that they all say “like want need” on them, there would be no way to tell they were in any way related. This version was made using these Photoshop brushes, and my favorite tool: horizontal type mask. Photoshop nerds represent.

But I don’t know. Do I think it’s pretty? Yes. Do I think it speaks to what this blog is about in any way shape or form? No. At least the second one (which in retrospect wouldn’t have been so bad if it didn’t have that stupid handwriting font at the bottom) gave you an idea, right? The first one looked like a packet of funfetti cake mix. This one looks reminds me of the Risto Bimbiloski Galaxy scarf mixed with a dose of the Anthropologie catalog. Not a bad thing! But maybe I need it to scream “Consumer Whore”?

I’m the kind of girl who agonizes over floor lamps because they don’t say anything about me. If I’m that specific over a lamp (and oh! I think I’ve adequately demonstrated that so far) just imagine the amount of strife I’m faced with over my blog header.

SO. A vote. Exercise your civic duty, ya’ll!

[polldaddy poll=5056858]

BHLDN

Because I watched ‘Friends’ religiously as a kid/teen, even when I was too young to pick up on the majority of the jokes, I’m always able to make a reference to most real world situations (See? I did it here). Here’s another: You know when Joey has to accept an award at a Soap Opera awards show on behalf of the winner? And someone, I think Rachel, asks him, “Do you even know what ‘behalf’ means?” And his response, a classic Joey-ism, is, “It’s a verb. As in, ‘I behalfin’ it.'”

And here’s where I make it all make sense.

Anthropologie recently launched a new wedding line, called BHLDN, pronounced “Beholden.” Sweet, isn’t it? Romantic and lovely, as you would except the wedding line from possibly the world’s most stylish brand. Except, immediately, my mind went to, “It’s a verb. As in, ‘I beholdin’ it.'” And then I laughed and laughed and congratulated myself on being simultaneously super clever, and also for having the ability to make anything and everything come back to ‘Friends.’

And I wonder why everyone considers me dorky.

Anyway, I remember seeing a preview for it over on Joanna’s blog a while ago, and, having no need to look at wedding related things, I sort of forgot about it until earlier this week, when I had some down time (totally during my lunch break, not during my work, come on, I’m really efficient, I swear) and stumbled upon it from one of the many other blogs I read. And what an ab-so-lute-ly darling site. If I didn’t know it was the new little baby of Anthro before I checked it out, one quick look at the site would and I would have known immediately. The aesthetic is the same, in that distressed, antiqued, creamy dreaminess. I only looked at the decor, not at the gowns or matching bride & groom stemware or anything, and the things I fell in love with are versatile enough that, on their own, can be used for decorating around the house without any connotations of wedding bells. Observe:

Papered Poms, $32

The colors on this are making my heart race. I love gray. It’s my favorite color. I’ve never seen it paired with more beautiful and complimentary colors as it is with this paper pom garland. Coral and pale, dusty pink? You had me at ‘hello.’ And at $32, a string of this would look perfect above a bed or desk, and it won’t break the bank. And it’s gorgeous, did I mention that yet?

Cashier’s Key Stakes, $40-$60

In trying to write a little review of these, I realized that in no way can I find a use for them. Maybe for birthday decorations? For your anniversary? In the garden? I don’t know. They are clearly meant to be used as table numbers for a wedding reception, but I want to buy them and maybe do nothing more than scatter them around my house as decoration. They’re just so dear, and I love the weight of the font used on the numbers. The typography nerd in me is salivating over the serif on that 2.

In Writing Planter, $28

Okay, I bought this. I had to. I made an audible gasp when I first saw it, probably because it fits in with the whole “Industrial chic” thing from this post, in that it’s distressed and rustic and would pair wonderfully with some other vintage pieces that I have. It’s about 8″ x 8″, and currently I don’t have any plans for it other than to sit there and look pretty and maybe hold my mail. I know I have a  bad habit of buying things because I feel like I have to have them, but if it makes you feel any better, I could be addicted to plastic surgery or something more expensive than decorative home-goods under $30.

Proprietor’s Keys, $18

The pale blue ribbon just does it for me. The contrast of the oil-rubbed bronze antique keys next to the brushed silver, all tied off with a darling little bow just kills me. Again, this would be a purely decorative piece, and I’m not altogether sure how this would even work in a wedding, really. I’m right now kicking myself for not buying it along with the planter.

Pendant Backdrop, $2500 (that isn’t a typo)

Anthro, I love you, but seriously, sometimes I think you are on drugs. Like when you charge $700 for a mirror set, or TWO AND  A HALF GRAND for an acrylic and chalk linen canvas backdrop. Yes, yes I know it’s hand-painted and imported from France. You don’t have to sell me on it, it is perfection, and if I owned it I would do nothing else but since in front of it and stare at it all day (being careful never to touch it, because, you know, it’s expensive, and my dirty finger oils are unworthy of being anywhere near it). But, seriously? $2500? I know weddings are a big deal, but this is ridiculous. I feel the same rage well up inside of me that happens whenever I watch those idiots on “Say Yes to the Dress” spend $11K ON A DRESS THEY WILL WEAR ONCE FOR 4 HOURS.

Ahem.

I also want to point out that BHLDN has amazing customer service. When I placed my order for the planter, I got a confirmation email that showed the wrong item, but with the same item number. I called customer service and got the sweetest little southern girl, and found that a glitch in their system was to blame. She apologized profusely and promised to take care of the whole thing. She cancelled the order, re-placed it on her end, and then someone called me back later to tell me the order had been made correctly this time, and that they had upgraded me to free overnight shipping for my trouble. I have to say, it gave me the warm & fuzzies, being treated so nicely over something as trivial as a wooden crate planter.

And here is the planter all set up in this little nook of my place:

Planter, BHLDN; rotary phone, ebay; vintage Ball jar, flea market; votive holder, Anthro

So yes. BHLDN. I definitely beholdin’ it.

Industrial Chic

That sound you hear? That high-pitched squeal with the distinct sound of hand flapping? That would be me. Because of these:

via Desire to Inspire, credit to Marie-Jose Jarry

SCHA. WING.

I am overwhelmed by the perfection of each of these rooms that I don’t even know where to start. I want to eloquently state what I love about each of these rooms, the feelings they inspire inside of me, how ab-so-lute-ly incredible I find everything, but it’s a little difficult to form complete, coherent sentences with my jaw on the floor, so pardon me while I ramble out a string of words:

distressed wood! giant clock! metal lockers! wooden lockers! old suitcase! work lamp! vintage breadbox! antique drawer cabinets! metal chairs! burlap tablecloth! sawhorse desk! I. CAN’T. EVEN.

Did you hear that sound? That thud? That was me dying. Really. I’m dead now. My brain short-circuited trying to process all of my feelings about this aesthetic.

But in all seriousness. Industrial chic, ya’ll. Vintage items, distressed items, neutral colors. On the 7th day, God rested. But on the 8th day, God gave us Industrial chic.

Print these pictures out and come visit me in 10 years when I (hopefully) own my own home, and look in amazement how precisely I will have replicated every single aspect of these rooms. (And YES, I NEED TWO DINING ROOMS.)

Reader Recommendations

I did a little dance typing that title, because it means I have readers! Or, well, I had readers. I’m sure my absence has alienated what few I started with. Boo hoo. I was reading the Sunday Times this weekend and was marveling at how exhausting it must be to be a print journalist these days (even though my degree is in Journalism, having never made an attempt at a career in it I don’t think I’m qualified to speak on the subject), what with the never ending deadlines and the responsibility to churn out article after article, coupled with the meager pay, and the constant fear that you’ll lose your job to internet media. I want to write a letter to every journalist at every major newspaper (and maybe even the not so major ones) and basically give them a pat on the back like, “Dude, I can’t even make myself post a blog a week.” However, that would involve some dedication on my part, and as was evidenced by my random disappearing act on this here blog, I clearly cannot commit to that sort of literary pressure.

Anyway. Reader recommendations!

A while back, my dear friend Vanessa who knew me back when I had no style at all (hi Vanessa!) suggested I check out a site calledThink Of The. The site is a bit like modern art, in that I don’t think I understand it fully. It’s like Fred Flare has an older, more mature brother who went to art school and now lives with his hipster Asian girlfriend in a converted warehouse in L.A. (think about it!). Sandwich bags with fake mold spots on them? A t-shirt with a giant pocket on it? (I can’t be the only one who wants to go all kangaroo on it and stick a baby in there, right?) A lamp that is now sold out but was once priced in yen? Uhh. I get the same reaction (slash general lack of comprehension) as I do when someone tries to explain the merits of pop art (JUST NO). However, Vanessa said she liked these speakers (cute!) and these frames, which, when I saw them, totally stole a piece of my heart made me an official fan of the site:

I just, come on! I die. How pretty and amazing are they? Of course, I wouldn’t be doing the name of this blog any favors if I could pick just one frame that I liked, so naturally I’ve started rationalizing ways to buy all three of them. You cannot break up the set and get just one. It’s like adopting only one puppy from a litter of three who were abandoned at birth and have separation issues now, and the ad in the paper says they’d prefer to be adopted together. Of course, you could go ahead and get just one, but then you’d be a total a-hole.

Also, any site that features such artfully done photography certainly gets my vote.

And waaaay back when after reading this post, the lovely and always stylish Michelle, who comprises my L.A.-friends contingent (hi Michelle!), sent me a hot tip about New York based jewelry designer, Vera Meat. Vera is a Ukranian (swoon) ex-model (double-swoon) who makes and sells ecologically sound and funky pieces in silver and 14k gold. I’m a sucker for two-finger rings, but have never possessed the requisite coolness to pull one off successfully, unlike my girl Michelle (also, you’re looking at the girl who is deathly uncomfortable touching sand, yes I said sand, so perhaps the tactile reaction produced by not being able to separate two of my fingers all day would send me into the same neurosis-death-spiral that sand does). I’m totally in love with these pieces:

A ring full of puppies, a camera necklace, and a 3-finger nautical-inspired ring? YES. PLEASE. It isn’t super affordable, if we were to compare it to the place I usually buy jewelry: H&M. But Vera is completely adorable, as is her jewelry, and it is worth it to invest in some great staple pieces that are both well made and have a bit of whimsy, which these totally do.

Thank you so much for your suggestions, ladies! What great taste you guys have.

What about you? Do you have any sites you’d like to recommend? I’d love to know!

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!