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!

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.

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.

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.

Reading Material

With a longer commute these days (I went from a 10 minute walk to a 35 minute, subway & bus trek; arguably not the worst commute in the world) I’ve found myself desperate to have a book to read in the mornings and afternoons. I get so absorbed in whatever I’m reading I have ever since I was a wee little thing.  The other morning on the bus, I had my nose buried so deep I almost missed my stop! However, I’ve been lacking the time or energy to go to Barnes & Noble to buy a huge stack of new books, because I get so overwhelmed by the selection and I have no idea where to even start (I’m one of those horrible people that totally judges books by their covers).

Knowing I’d need something more substantial to read every day than my facebook newsfeed on my phone (don’t hate), I scanned my massive (IKEA!) bookshelf for hidden treasures I hadn’t read yet. I came up with these three:

Dry, by Augusten Burroughs

I bought this years and years ago with my dad on a whim. I must’ve been in early high school, and I don’t think I fully understood the premise of the book (more than likely I didn’t even read the back cover). Soon after bringing it home, I discovered it was the author’s account of his battle with hardcore alcoholism. I must’ve wrinkled my nose with displeasure, and relegated it to the bottom of my bookshelf. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t read fluffy, beach-reads all the time, but at 16 “heavy” for me meant re-reading Catcher in the Rye for the 10th time. I’m glad I held onto this book though, because it was a really incredible read. Parts of it made me really uncomfortable because it was so painfully raw and honest, and it’s one of those books where you wish it wasn’t all true. It reads like fiction and is thoroughly engrossing. I finished it in a week only reading on the bus each day.

Loving Edith, by Mary Tannen

Apparently this book is harder to find than the lost city of Atlantis (dammit, way to ruin my analogy!). I picked this up in a used book shop so long ago I don’t even remember when it was, but the book shop is long gone if that is any indication. Again, one of those books that was decidely out of my age range when I picked it up, but my dad wasn’t going to ever say no to buying me a book (0r, well, anything, to be honest), so it came home with me and sat on my bookshelf for over 10 years, moving from apartment to apartment to apartment, making the cut every time I donated a box full of books to Goodwill or the library’s used book store. And just like “Dry,” I’m really glad I kept this one. It’s quirky, it’s touching, it was easy to read. The characters were all relatable and it was a sweet story.  Plus, it’s rare! You can’t even search for it at Barnes and Noble.

 No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July

Look, I’m going to be honest with you and admit that I bought this because it was bright yellow. I’ve been in my “yellow phase” for a while, and have accumulated a collection of things in varying shades and degrees of utility: a Pantone coffee mug for the design nerd in me, a cable knit scarf, an American Apparel hoodie, an umbrella, galoshes, a vase, a lamp, a lampshade, a tray, a clock, tights, two shirts, a cardigan, a clutch, and probably a dozen other yellow things. I love me some yellow. Having heard good things about Miranda July’s writing, I picked this little number up. It’s just okay. At certain parts it just tried too hard. But it’s yellow, and for that, it is wonderful (clearly, The New Yorker book review isn’t going to be pounding down my door anytime soon).

I’m running dangerously low on decent reading material! Any suggestions, kiddos? Come on, help a book-nerd out. Bonus points if it’s yellow.