Eye Candy Friday

A quick post to kick-off the weekend with a few images that make me smile-

in a dream world, I'd wake up here...
(pic: MaryBling blog)

....keep my Manolo's here

(Mariah's closet) (pic: InStyle)

....enjoy a glass of wine here

(pic: Maria Ferlo on RMS)

...take a walk here

...no comment here:)
(pic of Paul Walker: CelebSpin.com)


Tickled Pink

Since Valentine's Day is a mere 2 weeks away and you can't enter any store without being inundated with obnoxious pink and red candy, stuffed animals and plastic hearts, I thought now would be a perfect time for a PINK post. I want to show some examples of pink accents that are modern, not over-the-top girly and even rather neutral. (Yes, hot pink can be a neutral.)

(Left image from Ideal Home. Right pic from Elle Decor)

(Left image from BHG, right pic from PointClickHome)

(Left pic from OnceUponAHouse on RMS, right side Flickr)

Love the pink accents in both rooms. Subtle, neutral, classic.
(Left image from BHG, right pic from BridgetBeariDesigns.com)

(Both pics from BHG)

Random tidbit of the day:

Tickled pink
Meaning: To be delighted.
Origin: The tickling here isn't the light stroking of the skin - it's the figurative sense of the word that means 'to give pleasure or gratify'. The tickling pink concept is of enjoyment great enough to make the recipient
glow with pleasure (Thanks to www.phrases.org for the definition)


You had me at Merlot...

After the record number of layoffs announced nation-wide yesterday and the general state of the economy/housing market/job market/etc, I thought I'd do my part to contribute to the welfare of my friends. Here comes GoodCheapWine, a list of the best wines under $20.

My personal fave cheap wine is not on the list, so here is my own recommendation: Macaroni Grill's Chianti. The oversized bottle will only set you back $5. I'm known to stock up on this before any event. It may not be the *best* Chianti I've ever had but it's still pretty good and for $5, how could anyone complain. (photo:flickr)

Because I'm feeling extra generous today, I'll share the website of a friend of mine who knows his wine http://www.happywineguy.com/. He's always on the quest to find the best, inexpensive wine and so far, his recommendations have not disappointed.

In case you plan to stock up, I suggest this wine storage unit from Custom Closet Company-

how great is this? I'm thinking my pantry *needs* this.

I'm off to have a much needed glass of vino-S


Get It Together-Declutter

Now that the house is clean, clutter-free and organized, I'm moving my attention to the mounds of paperwork and just stuff that somehow always end up on the kitchen counter.

For starters, I ordered a charger station from Amazon which has helped immensely. It keeps all of the chargers hidden and together and provides a place for us to keep our keys and a few daily essentials.

Seen here-

For those like me, who feel naked if you leave the house without your crackberry, it's a fantastic solution. This particular station holds 3 devices at a time (my cell, J's cell, and our digital camera). As soon as we come home, we set our phones and keys here.

Next on the list- paperwork/bills/mail/magazines.

1. Bills
a. Get rid of them (well at least the actual paper bill). Once I signed up for paperless billing, our daily amount of mail dropped drastically. Not only is it better for the environment, it's better for our house and piece of mind. Now, every month I receive an email stating the amount of the bill and the due date.
b. While you're setting up paperless billing, set up auto-bill pay too. Your bills are automatically drafted from your checking account on the due date. No more writing checks or scavenging to find a stamp.

2. Check out Mint NOW!!! It's a phenomenal website. Enter all of your financial info: checking accounts, mortgage, car loan etc. Once your info is uploaded, you have clear, up to the minute status on all your accounts. It will also offer suggestions on how to save money (finding a savings account that offers a higher interest rate or a credit card that offers a lower rate etc). Mint provides a break down of how much $ you spend on eating out, bills or even how much money you really do spend at Target every month. For those starting a budget, it's a great way to see where your money has been going.

3. Magazine/Catalogs
I've been holding on to all of my magazine subscriptions and fave catalogs now for awhile and they were beginning to take over our family room, our office, my nightstand and recently our kitchen counter. So, I sat down and went through all the catalogs, threw 90% of those away and pulled pics from a few of my favorite rooms to keep for inspiration. I did the same with the magazines. I couldn't bear to throw away all my BH&G, Real Simple or Home magazines, all of which serve as a home design bible for me. So, I kept a few of my faves.

Random assortment of magazines/catalogs, which became:

...this pile of inspiration pics...

...which became this 'design' notebook. I started this before we moved into our new house. I have a paint chip of our home's wall colors and even a carpet sample as well. I take it with me whenever I shop for decor/furniture etc.

Good luck to all of you in your quest for a simplified life. Hope this helps some. -S


Snow Day=Clean House

Due to the frigid temperatures and snowfall, I stayed in yesterday and cleaned house. I only wish I could enjoy the winter days as much as the 'boys' (Charlie, the cockapoo and absolute love of my life and Zorro, the German Sheppard/husky mix we recently inherited from my grandmother) do.

While the boys played outside, I focused on organizing our pantry.

This mess:

became this:

Top shelf holds china, serving pieces and table linens.

2nd shelf-cleaning supplies, paper goods.

3rd shelf-canned goods, snacks, box items(rice, pasta etc)

4th shelf-breakfast items, baking supplies

Bottom shelf-dog food/treats/medicine, bar-b-que utensils

I then tackled our linen closet and laundry room. (Sorry no before pics, but I can assure you they weren't pretty)

Hope everyone had a productive weekend as well.



Happy Friday

My blogging has been lame this week, due to a chaotic work/home/life schedule. Looking forward to some much needed R&R and wine this weekend. More updates soon of recent house projects and some fresh decor ideas.
In the spirit of simplifying and organizing (my main resolution for 2009), I leave you with this...

“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.” - Edwin Way Teale



20 questions...

to get to know me better:) Was tagged with this through an email and thought I'd share my answers here.
1. What is your favorite color? turquoise
2. Who is your best friend? Meghan, friends since kindergarten 21+years now3. If you could have any super power, what would it be? I wish I could go back in time4. What is your biggest regret? not telling my mom just how amazing she really was
5. What's your dream job? interior designer
6. If you had one word to describe yourself , what would you choose? Indescribable (just kidding) kind-hearted7. What is your middle name? Clara (I hate it)8. When is your birthday? June 25th
9. What is your favorite dessert? White cake, with butter cream icing (I'm a simple girl)
10. What is your dream car? Mercedes SLr McLaren (my dad's been with Mercedes for 35+ years, I know my cars;)11. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be? Rome12. What is the worst relationship you have ever been in? Honestly, never really had a 'bad' relationship…just ones where we outgrew each other13. What is your biggest pet peeve? When someone chews gum and makes that awful smacking sound14. What is your favorite movie? Legends of the Fall
15. What is your favorite song right now? Better Than Love16. If you HAD to choose would you pick Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp? Hmmm…. Brad Pitt17. If you had one day left in this world, how would you spend it? At the beach with friends, family and wine on hand18. What is the worst thing someone has ever done to you? Said things behind my back that were not true to someone I loved19. What's your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon? Go to the dog park or take a scenic drive
20. What's your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night? Dinner and drinks with friends


Proud to be an American

The New First Family (photo BarackObama.net)
On this historic day, we welcome the 44th President of the United States. His eloquent but honest inauguration speech has left me more in awe than ever before. This is truly a moment in history to cherish and celebrate and the beginning of many wonderful changes to come for our country. Here's a small highlight of his speech this morning:
"Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath." -Barack Obama, Inauguration Speech


HGTV's 2009 Dream Home

Introducing HGTV's 2009 Dream Home.
It's gorgeous, but my favorite part of the house is it's location... Sonoma, CA (a.k.a wine country). For a girl who loves design and wine, I couldn't think of a more perfect place for a dream home. I'll admit that there are a few rooms that I think fall a little short of being 'dream home' worthy, but overall, the house is amazing.

Here are a few standout rooms-

The family room is my favorite room of the house, it also happens to be the most modern. I love the clean lines and the muted blue-grey color scheme.

The formal living room, although very traditional, boasts a lovely fresh blue color. The built-in cabinet is also gorgeous.

How can a girl who loves wine so much, not like a room with a perfectly designed wine cellar? Well, this room is called the 'Gentleman's Study', but I don't think the mix of the office space, plus wine storage works here. The salmon paint color is also a little too feminine for this space. It would work much better in a half-bath or sitting room.

For me, there is nothing more fresh and serene in a bedroom, then all white bedding. I also love the canopy look, just seems like a perfect place to escape from the world. However, the green color is a little bright for a master bedroom, in my humble opinion. The green would've been a great color to use in the master closet that seemed so lifeless, I didn't bother posting a picture of it.

The master bath is just lovely! I love all the built-in storage and the wonderful curve of the bathtub. Simple, clean, warm and inviting!

There you go! Make sure to visit http://www.hgtv.com/ for a full tour of the house and to enter the drawing to win it! Good Luck:)


Mission:Organization Status:Completed

80 new hangers, 5 bags of donation clothes and 3 hours later, our closet is organized.

My side of the closet:

-clothes are placed according to color and by season

-sweaters are also color coordinated and folded

Built-in shelves hold bags, jeans and storage baskets (which hold camis, socks etc)

J's side of the closet:

I stacked 3 shoe shelves on top of one another (shelves from BB&B)
Extra workout gear is kept in storage bins under the bed. An over the door hanger holds extra handbags.

I also decided to organize our master bathroom.
(I'll go ahead and admit it now- I'm a beauty product junkie:)

My cabinets/makeup bag was over-flowing with products. This mess became:

...this organized space.

The 2 over-the-door storage baskets were purchased from BB&B.


Out with the old...

The soon-to-be First Lady, Michelle Obama, has announced that designer Michael Smith will work with her to revamp the White House. Smith is known for using antiques and otherwise traditional pieces in new, modern ways and will no doubt give the famous structure some fresh style. Together, they will work to create a family-friendly design, using affordable lines and products. (I think it sends a fantastic message that the future First Lady has picked a designer known for incorporating 'budget' items into his designs. He has often commented on his love for Target.)

Here are a few examples of his designs:

With her fantastic sense of style and his eye for classic design, the White House is in for a fabulous and financially-conscious upgrade.