Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kate Spade's New Wedding Belles Collection

Rise and shine, lovers! I just spent the better part of the morning chasing my kitten off the kitchen table, the kitchen counter and away from the house plant. I think someone slipped somethin' in her coffee this morning because she is literally scaling the walls. I did, however, have a quick second to click open an exciting e-mail from Kate Spade. Her new Wedding Belles collection is out and I am thrilled to see so many lovely white party frocks and darling accessories for brides and their maids. I wish I could go back and give my friends these stunning Idiom Bangles. The dress above is one of my favorites with its frilly, feminine skirt. It is perfect for a rehearsal dinner, but I can totally see a city hall bride rocking this look with a birdcage veil for her big day, too.

Have a look at the rest of the Wedding Belles collection. Which styles are your favorites?  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Home Inspiration: Fun & Inexpensive Finds from IKEA

Clockwise from top left: Vanlig ($3.99 for 6), Tobias chair ($79.99), pink and white color scheme, Lack side table ($7.99),  Skoja ($1.49), floating shelves in kitchen.

Yesterday Keith and I hopped over to IKEA in New Haven for a little inspiration. Keith is hard at work on his next home renovation project and we are thinking about re-doing our own kitchen. So we thought a trip to the Swedish mega-store would give us some good ideas. Now I am no stranger to our local HomeGoods and I had a feeling this trip could be dangerous. I was right. While I did not walk out with any shopping bags (this time), I found a few things IMUSTHAVERIGHTAWAY.

A while back I spotted a set of aqua wine glasses at Anthropologie and ever since then I have been dying for colored glassware. I loved the set I found in a modern little kitchen in IKEA. And for four dollars—BINGO! Since I don't have enough cabinets to just go around buying all the glassware I want, I'd like to add a set of floating shelves to our kitchen wall. Also, a ghost chair has been on my must-have list for some time now. I am dying to add one to my home office. Oh, and that green side's $7.99. They came in white and black, but I think the green one is so fun. 

Now I am itching for a home makeover. I want a new closet and a new kitchen and a new bathroom and a get the idea.

What are you lusting after right now?  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Bachelor on Living in Sin

Thanks to Twitter, I know I’m not the only one who watches The Bachelor. I had been a hold out for a long time, but I gave in last season and was hooked. Reality TV is like crack. If you’re watching this season you know that last night Ben the Bachelor made his rounds visiting the remaining four contestant’s hometowns. These visits, like the rest of the show, are very awkward. Everyone sits around the table not eating and saying things like, “I think I’m falling for this guy.”

Even though these visits would have gone much differently if there were no cameras, most of them went well—as well as meeting the parents can go when your older sister throws you under the bus for skinny-dipping in Puerto Rico. But Ben’s trip to Casey B’s hometown (in the Bible Belt) didn’t go so great. Mom made it pre-tty clear that she did not want her daughter living with Ben before they were married. And dear ‘ole Dad backed her up. When Casey said she would move to California once she received the final rose, Dad sternly asked where she intended to live and he was only accepting one answer—not in sin.

While this visit came across as particularly harsh, I thought Casey’s dad was the only person on this show who has his head set right. He’s skeptical his daughter can find real love on this “dating game show” and does not want her to rush into a marriage before she knows the other person. He was clear that if Casey won, he wanted them to continue their courtship to get to know each other better.

I think this brings up an interesting debate: When do you think if the right time to move in with a person? I have to agree with Casey’s dad. You should spend time to really know that person—and really know that they will be in your life for good before you move in. I personally didn’t want to make that move until we were engaged. I knew that I didn’t want to go through a breakup while living together. No thanks.

But I want to hear what you think: What’s your ‘move in’ policy? And what did you think of Casey B’s hometown visit last night?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekend Surprise!

Happy Friday Follow the Wifers. What are your plans this weekend?

Keith and I have a fun few days in store. We’re picking up our new kitten tomorrow and are so excited to bring her home. Last weekend we visited a local animal adoption center and were thrilled to meet a beautiful little black kitten with white paws and a little white tip on the end of her tail. When we picked her up she jumped right onto our shoulders like a little parrot. I remember our family’s cat Junior (she’s still alive and well, btw) doing the very same thing when she was a kitten.
We’re happy to give this animal a permanent home—she was rescued from a hoarder who had over twenty other cats in her house and was not taking proper care of them. Keith thinks she’s the perfect cat for us. “From one hoarder to another,” he jokingly said on our way home. (I have a hard time throwing things out, guys! I’m sentimental.)

Please share your weekend plans with me! I cant wait to hear what youre doing this long weekend.


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

DIY Home Decor: Framed Wallpaper

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not much of a DIYer. But that doesn’t stop me from busting out the glue sticks every so often and trying to make some crafting magic happen. Sometimes I see things on Pinterest or on other blogs and I get so inspired to add a similar handcrafted touch to my own home. I want to be crafty. I want my scissors to be like a magic wand upon yards of fabric. But I don’t have all the right tools, I don’t have neat handwriting and I’m terrible at drawing straight lines (even with a ruler). Usually half way through a seemingly easy project, I realize it’s going to require skills that I can’t muster. Then I get frustrated, like throw down the scissors and stomp my feet kind of frustrated.

 The inspiration {via}

So was the scene last weekend when I decided to tackle my latest DIY home d├ęcor project. I’ve been wanting wallpaper in my home for a long time. I love it. Keith hates it. And when I saw this pretty framed wallpaper on Pinterest I was certain it would be a great way to please us both. I found some extra wallpaper from my parent’s house and my dad gave me four old wood frames that were lying around in the basement. My foolproof plan was to mount the wallpaper on foam board, pop it into the frames and then hang them over our bed. Oh it sounded so painless.

I learned a valuable crafting lesson. Just because a project’s steps are few, does not mean they are easy.

Crafting on the guest bed? Perhaps a more serious workspace would help.

Cutting the foam board to the right size took some work, but I wiped my brow and trudged through it. I breezed through the measuring, cutting and adhering (I used spray adhesive) of the wallpaper. It was getting that foam-mounted wallpaper into the frame that was the hard part. I had to trim and trim and coax and beg that foam board into the frame. It’s not that I measured them wrong—all the foam board fit into the frames pre-wallpaper mounting. Ok. Fine. I probably did something wrong between the set up and step one. So I stomped my feet, pouted and called Keith in to help. It was an ugly scene.

In the end, I turned out two near perfect, framed pieces of wallpaper that I love. We hung them over our bed along with the two empty frames that I intended to wallpaper, too, but I am now just pretending the look was intentional. I love the results of my little room makeover. The lines created by the frames look cohesive with the pattern on our beddings, which I’m so glad about because I was just starting to grow tired of it. And I love that we have some original art (yes, art) in our home now.

Tell me, are you gifted in the craft department? What tips can you offer to an amateur crafter like me? Please share because I'd like to continue this habit but could do without the stress!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hunky Husband Turned Swimsuit Model

Last night, my husband was dismayed to see that I has posted a shirtless photo of another man on my blog. It was Valentine's Day after all.

We spent the afternoon in the kitchen slaving on a romantic meal for two that ended up being enough for four or five. (I am excited for leftovers tonight!) We made mushroom soup, braised short ribs, Yukon gold and sweet potato gratin and finished off with a delicious pots de creme. We washed it all down with a bottle of champagne. It was a great night, but I still feel terrible about betraying my husband on the blog yesterday. If I ever do publish a swimsuit magazine, I believe this shot must make it in.

Take that Ryan!  

How was your Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I woke up to news that Sports Illustrated had selected this year's swimsuit issue cover model. Her bikini pics are all over the internet. What a funny day to announce such news. If I were publishing a swimsuit magazine, I would put Ryan Gosling on the cover.

Happy Valentine's Day, Lovers. What are you doing tonight? 

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Design Idea: Dark Bathrooms

Raise your hand if you’re not tuned into the Whitney Houston station on Pandora right now. That’s what I thought. “The Greatest Love Of All” just came on and has successfully made me feel like a kid again. While nothing topped my childhood love for NKOTB, my parents did have the Whitney album (in record form) and I remember throwing mini dance parties in my living room to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Not much has changed besides having upgraded from record to MP3.

Other than attending all the spontaneous dance parties that erupted throughout the state upon news of Whitney’s death on Saturday night, we had a relatively quiet weekend. Keith’s and his brother are working on a new house and spent some time finalizing floor plans and layouts. I took this as an opportunity to scout design ideas for them (I mean me) on Pinterest. Naturally, I started with my favorite room—the bathroom. I really like airy light spaces, but I’ve recently been to a lot of restaurants that have painted or wallpapered their bathroom walls in dark shades like navy blue or black. I was especially smitten with one restroom that had dark wooden walls like the inside of a log cabin. There are usually no windows in restaurant bathrooms and you usually don’t spend that much time in them (usually) so I wasn’t sure how this look would translate to a home bathroom. This is where Pinterest comes in. When I searched ‘dark bathroom’ I was happy to see that it can in fact be very pleasing to the eyes. Most balanced the dark with windows and bright pops of color, like tangerine towels or a yellow chair. It’s a very masculine look, which I think is not a person’s first instinct when it comes to decorating a bathroom.

Maybe it’s not the best design decision for a home that Keith and his brother hope to sell in a few short months. I don’t think everyone is down with dark bathrooms. But right now, I totally am.

What do you think? Yay or Nay to dark bathrooms? 

Like what you see? Follow me on Pinterest for more! 
And pretty please follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, February 10, 2012

My Favorite Lingerie

Since Valentine's Day is right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to take a look at one of my all time favorite lingerie brands—Cosabella. It’s an Italian brand run by the most charming people you can imagine. They recently opened a flagship store in Soho and I was so excited to have the chance to visit and see some of their newest collections.

I’ve been a big fan of Cosabella lingerie since my very first job as an editorial assistant at an intimate apparel trade publication. One of their Soire bras landed on my desk for a photo shoot and I nearly died on the spot. I just had to get one for myself.

I’ve since stocked piled Cosabella’s mesh bras and thongs—they are comfortable enough to wear everyday, but are stylish and colorful enough to make you feel super sexy all day long. I also have a several Cosabella chemises and they are my favorites because they fit just right and feel so good on. Their pieces are so wearable that I just can’t find any excuses to stop buying their lingerie.

It’s starting to become a problem.

Tell me readers, where do you buy your lingerie? And what are your favorites? Will you be buying something new for February 14th?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Will You Be My Vintage Valentine?

We are quickly approaching our first Valentine's Day as a married couple and I want to do something special for Keith this year. Since I find drug store cards to be very uninspired and impersonal, I thought I would look for something a bit more unique. I found what I was looking for at the English Building Market, a charming antique store in downtown New Haven.

Behold my Vintage Valentines...

I fell in love with the quirky sayings on these post cards and thought that Keith would get a laugh out of them. I love the bored expressions on the faces of the couple in the card that boldly states, "There isn't anyone but you." And I laughed out lout when I saw the card that says, "What makes you think I like you?" There was another that I didn't bring home, but thought was wildly appropriate for some of the conversations we've had here. It said, "Won't you let me change your name?" and had a picture of a man climbing through a giant wedding band holding a bouquet of flowers. How'd you like to be proposed to with that beauty?

What are you giving your sweetie for Valentine's Day? Are you newly wed or engaged couples doing anything special this year?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Guest Posting Tuesday

Wow. Tuesday really seems to be the day I get out. Today I have a lot going on.

It is never too early for chocolate! Visit Wendy See Wendy Do for an easy and delicious Buckeye Ball recipe.

Then head on over to Creative Odds n' Ends for some practice wedding advice!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekend Rewind: A Tough Loss and Registry Essentials

Can I get a weekend do-over? I need one more day and I’d like to give the New England Patriots a do-over, too. I’d like to jump in a time machine and help Wes Welker catch that pass. Well maybe I wouldn’t personally be much help in the pass catching department, but let’s just go with this.

On the bright side: I won the pool and my Boston Cream Cupcakes were a hit!

 Boston Cream cupcakes and Sam Adams beer. I was so prepared for this game! 

It was a great game and we filled our table with too much pizza, wings, mini hot dogs and everything else you could imagine being served during the Super Bowl game. And all football loyalties aside, I was really excited to bust out some of our new entertaining equipment. Some of my favorites:

 I identified the cheese selection with chalk. 

The Mikasa Cheers ice bucket. (Yup. I’m honest to goodness excited about ice buckets!)

And these pretty tall pilsner glasses. They make beer drinking so sophisticated.

Earlier this week, I also bought this beverage tub at Target for serving beer and I love it! I think it’s going to play a major role in our future entertaining adventures. I like it because every time we’ve invited guests over they come with beer, which usually finds its way into our fridge. I really don’t like having company stick their head in my fridge—it’s kind of like letting people open my underwear drawer.

Now I can throw some ice in this pretty tub and no one has to see which condiments I’ve been hoarding since 2008.

Tell me about your Super Bowl experience. Did you attend a party, throw a party or not watch the game at all? And what are your favorite registry items for entertaining?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Super Bowl Weekend, Plus Picking Up Guys On Trains

Happy Friday morning folks! I’m starting my day with a delicious cup of French press coffee and I know that means it’s going to be a good day-slash-weekend. Let’s see, the Pats are in Indianapolis and I’ve got a major bag of tortilla chips on the counter. Super Bowl Sunday: You are officially on alert! On Saturday I’m meeting up with my friend Erin who moved to North Carolina before Christmas, but not before my mom and I whip up a delicious cooking project for my favorite food blogger Wendy See Wendy Do! (Stay tuned for that fun.)

I also want to tell you about a funny thing that happened to me yesterday. I was on the train home and had just pulled out my book, 11/22/63 by Stephen King. The woman behind me tapped me on the shoulder to ask about it. “Is that a new Stephen King book?” she said. “I love him.” I told her about the book, (it’s about an English teacher who goes back in time to stop JFK’s assassination,) but when I turned back around to continue reading the man in front of me asked about it, too. He had it on hold at the library and was looking forward to starting it, he said. I held up the almost 900 page copy and joked that he should consider buying it for his Kindle and then I turned back to the page I had open on my lap. Then the funny thing happened: He leaned over the seat and handed me his business card. “Use this as a bookmark and call me when you finish,” he said. What? Huh? Did I just get hit on because of this Stephen King novel?

 Stephen King is a dude magnet. Who knew? 

Naturally, I waved the card in my husband’s face as soon as I got home. “Watch out,” I warned. “Dudes can’t get enough of my sexy literary charm.” He paid me no mind, (confidence is so sexy) and we moved on to dinner. I never got hit on much before I was married, but it was kind of flattering to have a stranger take notice yesterday. My husband tells me everyday that he loves me and that he thinks I’m beautiful. “I like your makeup today,” he’ll say as we get ready, or, “That shirt looks pretty on you.” But isn’t it a nice little ego boost when a total stranger notices you?

Married and engaged ladies, have you been hit on by someone who didn’t realize you were taken? Tell me about it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wedding Fashion: Bridesmaid’s Shoe Edition

Ladies, I saw something on the red carpet the other day that surprised me—matchy-match shoes. Yes, that’s a correct fashion term. I read it Women’s Wear Daily. (No I didn’t.)

Michelle Williams and Julie Bowen both showed up to the SAG Awards in shoes the exact shade of their gowns.


I was a little surprised when I saw the shoes. I thought metallic and nude heels had taken over. Those neutral shades are always my first choice for bridesmaids. I wore gold heels with an eggplant gown and nude shoes with a blue dress. And when I scroll through blogs and magazine features I never see girls in shoes that match their dresses.

What do you think of this look? Do you think brides will have their girls running out to have their shoes dyed?