The day after Thanksgiving, we went on vacation, first going to Los Angeles and then to Palm Springs. Now that we have a kid, it is A LOT easier to stay with friends when we travel instead of hotels. For one thing, having separate rooms to sleep in (and not having to go to bed at 8pm) is a huge plus and if they have kids (i.e. kid stuff) it is a saving grace.
In Los Angeles, we were lucky enough to stay with our friends Nick and Nicole (and their adorable 1-year-old) and their place nothing short of amazing. Nick and Nicole have not even owned their home for a year and have completely transformed their place into a house worthy of HGTV or a chic boutique hotel. Not surprisingly, of course, as she is a Director of Special Events & PR in the fashion industry and he is a man of excellent taste.
With a little help from their friends (including talented designer Christian Vincent) and a few contractors, they were able to create their dream home within months of moving in. I was in complete awe and I’m sure you will be too, so without further ado, here is the house tour:
Their space has a wonderful open layout and you walk into this ultra hip sitting area. They completely modernized the fireplace and added a punch of pizazz with a printed black and white wallpaper. I love how they accented with bits of burnt orange.
From this angle, you can see how the sitting area leads into the main hallway, where they created a custom bookshelf to the right of the doorway. More burnt orange accents are housed on the couch and the custom shelves.
To the left of the sitting area is their dining area. I love their mismatched (and multi colored) seating. Again, they focus on neutrals with pops of bold color to tie one area into the next. The custom barn door was made by their friend Christian Vincent and leads to their home office.
They completely renovated their guest bathroom, which they also use for their 1-year-old son. You wouldn’t guess that this was a kid bathroom, unless you pulled back the curtain and saw all the adorable bath toys!
Their family room is casual and super comfy, with a leather ottoman that kept our little ones safe from bumps and bruises. They custom ordered the couch from The Sofa Company to perfectly fit the space they had to fill. I love the color it brings to the room, while still being dark enough to keep it kid-friendly.Their master bath was already complete when they bought the house, but man is it gorgeous. I love the pendant lighting, which I would have never thought to use in a bathroom, but feel it adds a much needed sense of glamour.
The real star of the bathroom though, is this walk-in shower. I have always liked the idea of a walk-in shower, but never found them very practical. This walk-in shower did not disappoint. I was worried that the lack of a door would let all the steam out, but due to the depth of this walk-in (about as deep as a bathtub) I feel like it stayed incredibly warm (perhaps also due to the fact that you have walls on both sides, instead of a curtain on one).Finally, their nursery for their son melted my heart. The perfect boy’s room, with gray and yellow and pops of royal blue, I feel like this is a nursery their son will be able to grown into. When we had our son, we were living in a one bedroom apartment, so I never had the chance to decorate a nursery. Now that we are pregnant again, I can’t wait to get started!
I unfortunately forgot to photograph their kitchen, which is also newly renovated, but that just leaves me with an excuse to go back! The room’s I showed here are inspiration enough for now anyway. I need to get back to work on painting more rooms, I just can’t decide where to start!
Do you have friend’s whose homes inspire you to do more with your own space?
One of the things I miss most about LA is the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Sure, Portland has some serious estate sales and vintage furniture shops, but there is nothing here like the glory that is the Rose Bowl Flea.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market is a vintage junkie’s holy grail. It uses the majority of the Rose Bowl (football stadium) parking lot with some of the best vintage and antique vendors from all over Southern California. It occurs the 2nd Sunday of every month and it is a don’t miss event for interior designers and set decorators alike. It is also not unusual to find some of your favorite celebrities here. Taylor Swift, Jessica Alba, Lauren Conrad and Heidi Klum are all fans of the Rose Bowl Flea.
So when our trip to LA happened to fall on the 2nd Sunday in December, I HAD to make the trip out to Pasadena to my favorite flea market. When I lived in LA, I was one of those crazies that would be at the flea market for the early open (5am) but on this trip I kept it casual and got there around 10am.
Here are some of the favorite things I found:
One of the best things about the Rose Bowl being a monthly event, is that the merchandise definitely changes to fit the season. These vintage jingle bells are sure to add a rustic touch to anyone’s holiday decor.
It doesn’t get more rustic Christmas than these vintage burlap stockings. This might be something I need to DIY.I am a big fan of vintage holiday lawn ornaments and these light up choir children take me right back to my childhood.If I had any way to get this vintage fire truck back to Portland, it would have had a happy home under my Christmas tree waiting to surprise my lil man on Christmas morning.A BIG trend I noticed at the Rose Bowl Flea were industrial letters. Whether old or new, these light up box letters were EVERYWHERE.
Here is another vendor with some great light up letters and signs.
I loved these metal numbers and letters and I am currently kicking myself for not buying some for our house numbers.When a DIY trend hits, you can always count on the Rose Bowl Flea Market vendors to act fast. I couldn’t turn around without seeing a vintage frame with a painted chalkboard center.Mid-century modern pieces are a Rose Bowl Flea staple. If this is your style, this is a great place to find some.I definitely saw more “farm rustic” and less “shabby chic” than I have in years past. I loved these burlap upholstered pieces I saw at the market this year.This vintage European linen vendor has been coming to the flea for years, but I have never seen them with such a wide of selection. Business must be doing well!
I fell in love with this vintage mail box unit and the vendor even had ALL the keys! My lil man would stay busy for hours playing with this!The trend I was most excited to see present was all of the industrial items. I don’t remember seeing nearly this many in years past and it was definitely all over the place.
I love these vintage diner barstools!
These industrial drawers would make great bathroom/craft room storage. I love the yellow color of this vintage hardware store storage that once held screws and nails. The small size would be great for an office.This salvaged industrial table would be so cool in a foyer or behind a couch.I love everything metal mesh, including this metal mesh shelving unit. It’s short and would be perfect for holding towels in a bathroom.I love our dining room table, but if I had seen this industrial table first, I probably would have passed on ours.
Where do you go for great vintage finds? Share your best secrets! I gave you mine
To say I take Christmas wrapping seriously would be an understatement. When I was a kid, I loved waiting in the Macy’s gift wrap room and looking at the numbered displays while my mom was using the adjacent ladies’ room. One year, I helped my mom hand-stamp and emboss ALL of the Christmas wrapping paper (I was probably 8 or 9 years old).
I’ve been plotting and planning Christmas gifts and how to wrap them for as long as I can remember, so I was really excited to get to share some of my ideas with you this year. The only problem is that the day after Thanksgiving, we took off for Palm Springs. Blogging away from home is one thing, but crafting away from home is quite the other.
In Palm Springs, I didn’t have ANY of my crafting supplies. No craft punches, no embossing tools, no hot glue gun… I didn’t even have SCISSORS! But I tried to look at it as a positive; without any of my crafting tools, I could create holiday gift wrap ideas that anyone could create, no matter where they were or what tools they had.
I like to create some variety underneath my Christmas tree, so I took five different wrapping supplies and created five different looks to share with you today. Yesterday I shared with you some of my inspiration and here is what I came up with:
First, I went to the local Target and looked for supplies. There is no Joann’s here and there IS a Michael’s, but I wanted to keep with the concept that anyone could recreate these looks and it seems like Target’s are more common than Michael’s.I picked up these 5 things: wrapping paper, mini plastic red ornaments, metallic Sharpies, felt Christmas tree table scatter and red velvet ribbon. I did borrow scissors and some Scotch tape from the friendly people at the hotel front desk.
I created the first look with a traditional ribbon tying and bow and then I tied on matte plastic ornament that I personalized with the metallic Sharpie. This wrapping concept also takes care of the gift tag!
For this next look, I made a simple “belt” for the gift, by simply cutting two slits in the center of the “table scatter” felt tree. Then I slid the ribbon in and out of the slits from both sides and trimmed the ends.
This way of tying ribbon uses a lot less ribbon than the first method. You start on the front of the bottom right corner and then move both sides around the back and to the front of the opposite corner. Tie with a simple bow and then affix with two of the ornament “charms.”
This method used the traditional tying of the first example, but instead of a bow, I cut a criss-cross into the tips of the trees and pulled the ribbon through all three trees. Then, I arranged the trees to look like holly leaves and used the ribbon that I pulled through the top to make little holly berries.
On this last version, I thread three ornaments through the ribbon and then wrapped the ribbon around the gift four times. I fastened the ribbon in the back of the gift with a knot and some Scotch tape.
In order to create even MORE variance between your packages, I traditionally purchase two or three coordinating wrapping papers to use. Any more that that will make your tree look cluttered.
In the past week, I have shared four holiday gift guides filled with thoughtful ideas to get the loved ones in your life. Now that we’ve gotten all our holiday shopping done, let’s get to gift wrapping!
Today, I’m going to share with you ten creative gift wrap ideas from around the web. Tomorrow, I will reveal how I am wrapping my personal gifts. For now, here are some inspiring concepts for holiday wrapping:This idea of handwriting on kraft paper by Annabelle Mintz is simple and elegant. Stumped on what to write? How about writing the lyrics to your favorite Christmas carols? Or lines from The Night Before Christmas?Chalkboard everything is a huge trend right now, so why not take advantage of it with chalkboard-inspired wrapping paper? This is a simple DIY. All you need is matte black wrapping paper and a white GEL pen.Tap into your innner Jackson Pollock with this DIY splatter paint wrapping by Go Forth Creative.I love the simplicity of this pennant banner from Kitiya Palaskas and it could be easily recreated to fit any holiday or gift giving occasion. I love the chic quality this leather gift tag from Whimsey Box adds to a gift. This gift tag is so gorgeous, I would even reuse it as a luggage tag!I’m not sure how this would manage underneath my tree, but this 3D tree and stamped falling snow wrapped gift by Ladies Home Journal would be the talk of any gift exchange, no matter what’s wrapped inside.It doesn’t get any more quaint than this hand-stamped ribbon from Paloma’s Nest. Sure, this would take a decent amount of time to recreate for all your gifts, but it would certainly be memorable and if you have school-aged children, you might even be able to get them to help out with this one!I love the idea of adding a little fresh greenery to a gift. I usually trim the bottom branches of my Christmas tree off to make room for more presents, so there would be plenty left over to dress up a few gifts.Purchase a gift from Anthropologie and you can add in this DIY wrap kit for only $2 or have them wrap it up and send the gift straight to the recipient for only $4.For small gifts, I love all six of these ideas from the Stampin’ Up Holiday catalog.
Do you have gift wrap plans for this Christmas? Share some of your favorite ways to wrap!
I hope you had a successful Cyber Monday! I am happy to say, that I have completed over half of my holiday shopping. When I worked in the retail industry, I always finished my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving because the last place I wanted to be after Thanksgiving was in a mall. I can’t say I have the same preparedness as I did in years past, but I try to get my shopping done as early as possible so there will be more time for wrapping.
I consider myself a pretty good gift giver. After working as a buyer, I feel like I should be. After all, what a buyer truly is, is someone who predicts what people will want. I always bought for women’s categories, but I always wanted to be a men’s buyer. And if I had a store for men, this is what I would stock it with:one: If there was ever a perfect tool belt, it’s this Heritage leather tool bag. He’ll get the joy of having his tools handy and you won’t have tools laying all around your house.
two: This Edwin Jagger shaving set is perfect for the not-too-fancy guy because it has the look of an old school shaving set without the hassle/inconvenience. It has a nice brush, but the “fancy” razor is actually a safety razor that takes Gilette Mach 3 and Mach 3 Turbo cartridges. Bonus if you share a bathroom: it will look great on the counter.
three: He will be ready for his next camping/fishing trip with this vintage-styled Stanley thermos food jar and flask.
four: I love this whiskey lover set that comes with two glasses and non-melting ice cubes. The best part is, the 2nd glass also functions as a lid for the 1st glass. Such great design details!
five: You can’t go wrong with this classic Timex Easy Reader watch. It is simple and stylish and will go with the bulk of his wardrobe.
six: My husband and I are absolutely obsessed with this Tivoli speaker. It plays iPods/iPhones and more through an auxiliary cord and has the most amazing sound quality for such a tiny little (and wonderful looking) thing.
seven: Help your man stay organized while he travels with the Bookbook travel journal. Disguised as a leather-bound classic, this “book” actually contains small pockets to hold all of his travel needs, including (but not limited to) headphones, business cards and iPads.
eight: If your guy is into fashion and function, you can’t go wrong with these Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarers. He will marvel at the fact that these glasses fold up small enough to go in any space and appreciate this timeless frame.
nine: My husband commutes to work on his bike, so I know he would appreciate this bicycle phone holder. It would be great for rides on new routes too, so you can glance at Google maps as you go. Bonus for Portlanders: it was designed by a local and is made in our town.
ten: Perhaps as a gift set with #4 of my list, these leather whisky tags are perfect for a guy who knows his bourbon from his scotch.
eleven: Give the gift that keeps on giving with the Olympic Provisions salami of the month club. He will remember your kindness all year as delicious cured meats arrive at his doorstep. It is also the perfect excuse for a wine & cheese night!
What do the men in your life want this Christmas?
Happy Cyber Monday! Have you started on your holiday shopping yet?
I thought I’d continue my holiday gift guides this week with a list of gifts for cooks. A lot of our friends are into food and cooking, so over the years I have bought my share of gifts for kitchen enthusiasts.
If someone in your life loves to cook, you can’t go wrong with this list of gifts:one: Whether they cook with an iPad or cookbook, the chef in your life will enjoy this West Elm wooden cookbook stand.
two: One of the most used and well-loved tools in my kitchen, is the Shun Santoku knife which was gifted to us by my sister-in-law.
three: It’s such a simple thing and not one that most kitchens have, but any home cook will benefit from having a microplane zester.
four: For the chef that has everything, give them a new cooking style to try! A Himalayan salt block with the Salt Block Cooking cookbook by Mark Bitterman will give them something to be excited about.
five: If you want to go big with your holiday gift, you can’t go wrong with a Kitchen Aid pro mixer. It does a dozen things and you can buy inexpensive attachments to make it do even more.
six: Give them something to serve with, like this adorable Made with Love cheese board.
seven: One of my favorite gifts to give fellow foodie friends is this Jacobsen Salt Co. pinot noir flake salt by local Portland salt company.
eight: A tool I feel not enough people own is a Cuisinart immersion blender. I can’t get through soup season without it.
nine: For a female cook, you can’t go wrong with an adorable apron.
ten: On the top of my husband’s list this year is the Little Chief smoker. Local Portland Chef John Gorham recommends it in his new cookbook for Toro Bravo.
eleven: If you are at all uncertain, you can’t go wrong with a cookbook from their favorite restaurant.
What is your go-to gift for a home cook?
Thanksgiving is TOMORROW! Can you believe it? With all that is going on, it feels like time is FLYING by, but I’d like to take a minute and remember all that I am thankful for.
- The health and well being of my family
- The new baby that we are expecting in April, that has been drama free (so far)
- My wonderful husband that wakes up in the morning with my son and lets me sleep in a little longer
- My wonderful son, who, despite waking up at 6am every morning is a pretty easy kid and an extremely good listener
- My mother-in-law, who is living with us short term during her transition to Portland and makes EVERY day easier by helping me out around the house and giving me mommy breaks
- My parents, who are always here for me and who gave me the BEST Christmas present ever (early) by fixing/replacing our garage door opener
- Our house, which feels more and more like a home everyday
- All the wonderful friends we have here in Portland, after only living here such a short period of time
- All my friends in California, who understand why we moved and still come hang out with us during our visits home
- Our best friends in Seattle, who BOTH came down to attend our Thankful for Friends party
Maybe it’s the holiday spirit or maybe it’s because this pregnancy has turned me into a big ball full of love, but I am feeling EXTRA thankful this year for all that we have.
And maybe that’s why I was a big pile of (happy) tears after watching this video:
Pretty much anything with kids and love gets me going these days. After watching this, I really wanted to do something special to get my little guy in the holiday spirit. When I was a kid, I remember Thanksgiving crafts being my favorite (maybe an early affection for feathers?) and he finally seems old enough of holiday crafts.
I had a play date on Monday with my friend Erin from Clementine and Olive and figured it would be the perfect time to do a Thanksgiving craft. Her boys are about a year older than mine, so if my little man was totally lost, he could follow the lead of his “big boy” friends. I watched this video from Crayola for inspiration:
My son is obsessed with Daniel Tiger and a recent episode called “Neighborhood Thank You Day” revolved around a tree that the neighbors decorated with thank you cards for people they appreciated. My son is a few weeks shy of two years old, but I figured it might be a concept he could grasp, since he had already seen the show.
To put a fall/Thanksgiving twist on the idea, I made a “tree” centerpiece out of rose hip branches (other types of branches from the yard would work fine too). Then I cut out “leaves” from brown butcher paper by tracing this printable clip art. I covered the table with brown paper wrapping paper and set out Crayola finger paints for the boys.
I squeezed out the paint onto a plastic plate for the boys and I also mixed a small amount of red with a large amount of yellow to make a little orange paint. The boys got right to work decorating the leaves.
There may have been more paint on the table than the leaves themselves, but no need to worry, with my easy-clean-up “table cloth.”
I even got to take a break and paint some leaves myself, while Erin snapped some pics.
Once her boys discovered the fun of color mixing, we ended up with a nice swirl of fall colors, including a really pretty brown!
They lasted a lot longer than I thought they would and painted all but three of the 18 leaves!
By the way, when Crayola says “washable” they mean it. I didn’t have paper plates, so I used a plastic one and it washed up like new. I also wiped paint off the sides of the table and chairs with just dish soap and water!
We let the leaves dry overnight and on Tuesday my son and I talked about the Daniel Tiger episode and I asked him what he was thankful for. He started off with an enthusiastic “Abu!” which is what he calls my mother-in-law (short for Abuela, because she is from Spain).
I was surprised that he actually got the concept and even more surprised that he had the patience to come up with 18 things he was thankful for. Some things were just things he was currently looking at (i.e. “brown” and “cat”) but others were very specific (i.e. pizza with peppers, red ones AND green ones).
While he was napping, I strung the leaves with sewing thread and hung them from our rose hip “tree.” When he woke up and I brought him down for his snack. It took him a minute to notice (he always wakes up a little groggy), but in no time he said “Hey!” and reached out to touch one of the leaves.
I told him it was our “Thank You Tree” and he said that he liked it. It was fun to see him so proud of something he helped create and it will be even more fun for him to see it as part of our Thanksgiving table!My favorite leaf that he made was the one where he said he was thankful for people. I’m not sure he understands what that means, but I am very very thankful for people.
This post was sponsored by Crayola. All opinions, as well as the craft concept, were 100% my own.
When you move into a new home, there seems to be an endless amount of projects to do and things you need. If there is a new homeowner on your list (even if they moved in a year or two ago) this list of gifts are a perfect fit for them. These gifts also make great housewarming presents!one: When you first move into a place, organization is lacking. This mail/key catch all will keep homeowners organized and spare them the time it takes to locate their keys.
two: There are a lot of decorating decisions to make in a new home and a subscription to their favorite decor magazine could really help them out in the months to come. They’ll think of you each month when a new issue arrives!
three: When purchasing a new home, there is nothing better than the day you get your keys. Make those keys extra special with a shiny new initial keychain from C. Wonder.
four: A great gift for any new homeowner is a gift card to a local paint/hardware store. There seems to be an unlimited number of “needs” that come up when you move into a new house and those gift cards really come in handy.
Make it more than a gift card, by adding in a handy gadget they might not think of buying, like these roller touch-up painters by Shur-line. Whenever they paint a room, they can store the remaining paint in one of these and keep it handy in a utility closet for touch-ups of scratches or scuff marks!
five: I am a sucker for adorable office supplies and I can’t imagine anything that would make opening boring bills more fun than this fox letter opener.
six: The best part about buying a home is being settled for a while and not having to worry about changing your address all the time. Solidify that concept with a personalized rubber return address stamp. You’ll smile when you see it on their Christmas cards.
seven: Most gifts for the home are female oriented. Give the guy something to smile about with this (tasteful) cork dartboard from CB2.
eight: Chances are the new homeowners are short a doormat. Give them something to smile about when coming home with this witty, yet durable doormat from Uncommon Goods.
nine: There is a lot to learn when owning your first home and How Your House Works is a great visual guide to all the things going on within the walls of your home. Even if you hire a handy man for the job, this book will help you understand what they are fixing and be able to better determine the severity of the problem.
ten: One thing new homeowners are sure to feel strapped for is a little cash. Surprise them with this adorable pouch labelled “seed money” that contains paper coins that actually contain seeds. They can plant them in their yard and await flowers, herbs, root vegetables and salad greens. Tuck a little cash in the bag too!
eleven: Help new homeowners keep their precious new pad clean with this adorable hedgehog boot scrubber.
twelve: Add life to their new home with the AquaFarm which creates a perfectly balanced ecosystem, where the plants clean the fish water and the water feeds the plant. Throw in some herb seeds to grown on top and this makes a perfect addition to a new kitchen.
If you are a new homeowner, what would you LOVE to see under your tree?
With the holiday season in full swing, I thought I’d put together a list of great gifts to bring the host of a party. Sure, a bottle of wine does the trick, but pick a gift from this list and it’s sure to be a gift they won’t forget!one: What better way to join a party, then bringing along some fun? Cards Against Humanity is a great group game and is sure to keep the party going past dessert.
two: I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love these “Mr & Mrs” cocktail glasses and as a bonus, the company also makes “Mr & Mr” and “Mrs & Mrs” versions, so this gift is friendly, no matter what pair of hosts you are gifting.
three: Bringing a bottle of wine is a no-brainer host gift, but bringing a growler full of your favorite craft beer is a special twist on a classic. Pick up a printed growler at West Elm to make it extra special.
four: Everyone has a bottle of balsamic vinegar in their pantry, but most people don’t stock white balsamic. This version by Gourmet Blends is sweet and tangy and perfect for dipping bread with olive oil.
five: I am a huge fan of local tea company Smith Tea, but this limited Silent Night holiday blend makes it an extra special gift to give for the holidays.
six: Any host would love this set of six cheese markers to use on their next cheese plate. It comes with labels for some of my favorite cheeses (not pictured: bleu, gouda and goat).
seven: For a feminine host gift, this cherry blossom solid perfume would make any girl happy.
eight: After a long night of dish washing, your host is sure to appreciate this almond hand cream.
nine: If your hosts are planning on holiday travel, this plant nanny will allow them to recycle wine bottles to water their house plants gradually while they are away.
ten: This cabernet cracked pepper jam would be a welcome addition to any holiday cheese plate.
eleven: You can’t fail by bringing some fresh greenery to a holiday party. Pick up a wreath at a local Christmas tree lot on your way to the party.
*This post was NOT sponsored and all items were selected without compensation from the brands or stores.
What is your favorite go-to host gift?
Wow! Thanksgiving is LESS than a week away! Where did the time go? I was so busy preparing for our Thankful for Friends party, that I put the REAL Thanksgiving on the back burner.
Luckily, we still have the weekend to prepare. I put together this handy Thanksgiving Checklist to help me (and procrastinators like me) to get ready for the holiday with the time we have left.
I hope this helps make your holiday planning a little easier! Now, I’ve got to get started on my planning!
What are you making?