July 28, 2011

Stuff I Wore: Bon Iver Concert/Double Date.

Turns out these boots are not made for walkin'. That's just how they do. But once a year when I wear them I feel nine feet tall and invincible. 

Last night I was off mommy duty and on beer-drinkin'-cheeseburger-eating-Bon-Iver-concert-hearin'-double datin' duty. It was a fine night. Bon Iver at the Ryman: It doesn't get much better than that. He closed the show with a stomping-and-clapping a cappella version of "Skinny Love" and played my all-time favorite, "Blood Bank." Major goosebumps. And we did it all with new friends Faith and Chris! They moved here from L.A. not long ago, and we heart them. 

Tulip Cardigan - Anthropologie
Chambray Romper - Ever
Boots - Gianni Binni 
Purse - Louis Vuitton Speedy (strap added by moi)
Necklaces - Vintage
Bracelets - Amrita Singh 

July 27, 2011

The Upside to Summertime.

Coney Island Beach, Society 6
Everyone's whining about the heat in the South, and I get it. It is balls-hot outside. But whenever I feel even the least bit grim about it, I consider the alternative, which is the bitter, icy, gray, endless sonofabitch that is winter.

Here I am in the middle of another love affair with summer and I'm sticking my tongue out at Old Man Winter. As with most love affairs, absence makes the heart grow fonder, so as I pined for summer throughout the winter it grew more luscious in my mind. Turns out, it's not technically especially luscious these days in Nashville, where the thermostat in my car reads 103 just like everyone else's.

But hear me out because what I'm trying to say is ... summer really is great; you might just not know it right this second.

Here are some quick notes on the joys of summer:

- the days are longer and more crammed with backyard BBQs, outdoor concerts, happy hour cocktails on patios, festivals and block parties.
- tans really are pretty if you don't think about the cancer part.
- idealism comes easier. For instance, I like to think that if I lived in California, I'd surf. And I like to think I'd have a body as warm and brown and Banana Boat-smelling as a coconut cake fresh out of the oven.
- romance comes easier, too: picnics and initials-carved-in-trees and bare legs all help with that.
- the trees and grass are greener and thicker and, on a personal note, offer more privacy so I can pretend that I don't live in such close proximity to crackheads and thieves.
- ice cream tastes even better.
- loud music in the car sounds somehow better when the windows are rolled down.
- ceiling fans are awesome.
- people take more vacations 'just for fun' instead of the obligatory treks lots of peeps have to take for winter holidays.
- swimming pools, oceans, and lakes are pretty and swimming underwater is magical.
- pedicures don't go to waste.
- sunshine is an all-natural mood booster.
- the produce is fresh and colorful and the food is lighter and healthier.
- fireflies.

OK, that's all I got at the moment, but I know I'm leaving tons out. You guys have anything add to this love letter to summertime?

July 26, 2011

How to Make Your Home Your Playground.

When did home decor get so stuffy? Who really wants to make small talk in a formal living room or belly up to a dining table with fine china? I mean, I don't. I've spent the last week scratching my head about which room in my house would be most optimal for hanging a mirrorball--living room? Kitchen? Here are some other things I've been thinking about, too:

Put the writing on the wall. Chalkboard paint is all the rage now. Fun for kids and also for adults, it's great for jotting down favorite quotes, love notes, to-do lists and reminders, or house rules (Supernanny-style). Or just doodle french bulldogs if that's your thing. We have one in our kitchen and it keeps inspiring me.
Built a fort. Even if you don't have kids. Especially if you don't have kids.
Hang a swing. I've been lusting after this swing that hangs inside Nashville's Tweed Baby Outfitters. It was handmade by super-craft-genius owner Maggie Tweedie and can hold up to 220 lbs. Maggie gets the swings from Ikea and then covers them with her imagination, which was also in full effect on that incredible tree bookshelf she designed.

.... or rig a hammock wherever you'd like. An indoor hammock? Dude, count me in.
Get creative in your kid's room. Childrens' rooms have always been the post popular palate for parents to get creative, but these days it's gone beyond hand-painted Pooh Bear murals. Like, uh, below. These parents obviously had an epic budget, but I love that they totally went for it with this pirate ship bed.
Or, you know, just skip the stairs. Need a drink of water before bed? Just swoosh on down to the kitchen.
 Make a messy bed fort. Who cares if it looks like a place where a teenager would blare Zeppelin and blow pot smoke out her bedroom window? That's the point.
Smile and Wave

July 25, 2011

Stuff I Made: Cafe Light Canopy.

Dreamy strings of cafe lights have been draped across so many dinner tables and wedding celebrations lately. Check out these gorgeous settings. Wouldn't you just want to linger forever? Someone would have to call a cab for me and physically force me to go home. 

Nekos says I start one of out of every three sentences with the words, "So I've been thinking ..." 

So, anyway, I HAVE been thinking for years now that we need a dang pergola on our deck--mostly because I want to hang lights up there and grow wild vines and give the space more height and drama and privacy. I was at a cafe with some girlfriends last week and noticed how simple and romantic the patio looked with strings of lights stretched across the night sky. So Nekos and I came up with the idea to rig a faux pergola, and Nekos made it a reality while I kept Tessa from climbing the ladder, manning the drill, or engaging in any other emergency-room-worthy mishaps. 

We installed five flag brackets on the rail of our deck--evenly spaced out--and put broom sticks in each one. On the end of each broom stick was a hook, which connected a string of lights to our house, where we also put hooks spaced evenly apart. 

4 strings of cafe lights (Target): $51.96
5 broom handles (Home Depot): $24.90
5 flag brackets (Home Depot): $34.85
hardware (Home Depot): $11.96
= $123.47 Total Cost 

You guys? I love it. 

July 21, 2011

A Garden Terrace + A Clawfoot Tub.

Have you guys heard about these travel websites that let you rent out private apartments?

- Airbnb
- Homeaway
- Cross-pollinate

A Cup of Joe first clued me in to them, and I started to browse them recently for our Barcelona trip. I know we won't be spending a whole lot of time indoors, but I wanted our landing pad to have more character and privacy than a hotel room. And I am just such an environment person; if things look pretty and smell pretty and if the space is bright and tidy then I feel more relaxed and invigorated at the same time. Specifically, I was looking for a claw-foot tub where I could take long soaks and a little balcony where Nekos and I could have our coffee in the morning.

And look what I found, bitches!!! It's so affordable, too. Swear.

We'll have this ah-mazing one-bedroom apartment to ourselves. And that balcony I was dreaming of? I guess I'll just have to work with this PRIVATE GARDEN TERRACE instead.

The only teensy downside? Nekos and I are gonna have to rock this double bed, even though we're so used to our king-size-don't-even-touch-me-with-your-foot current sleeping arrangement. Ah, well!

July 20, 2011

Vintage Bathing Beauties.

Actress Elsa Martinelli, 1955
Remember bathing suits before they got so porn-y? Nope, me neither. I mean I have nothing against a pretty girl in a tiny bikini, but I sort of love how sweet and demure 'suits were in the '50s before they gave way to the strings and the thongs and all the people who are ill-suited to wear them.

I found this Catalina brand swimsuit at The Hip Zipper last week (along with the perfectly worn-in Kurt Cobain flannel shirt and a midi-length tulip print skirt that I've worn three times already). Um, can I say I love this bathing suit? I know it's not for everyone but it is surprisingly so cute on--fitting more like a modern-day romper than a bathing suit. 

I've been on a vintage swim-themed online scavenger hunt tonight. I was going to post a bunch of pretty bathing beauty pictures, but I edited myself to just the one above and some links to click if you wanna: 

Vintage Swim Girls ('50s, '60s, '70s)
Really Vintage Swim Girls ('10s, '20s, '30, '40s)
Shop vintage suits herehere and here 

July 19, 2011

An Easy Outdoor Lantern DIY

I've been wanting some glass candle lanterns to hang under our outdoor umbrella ever since I saw the West Elm store display below. I've also been wanting to try decoupaging some votive holders like these from BHLDN. So I combined the two inspirations and picked up some lanterns in the wedding section at Michael's ($2.99 each before coupon), got out my Mod Podge and some fabric scraps and made some sweet decoupaged lanterns.  

Also on my outdoor DIY list is this BHLDN flower vase. Chug some wine, then tie wine bottle onto stick with twine? My kinda DIY. Plus, they sell for $68 for a set of four on BHLDN. 

July 17, 2011

Stuff I Wore: A Night Out.

Last night Nekos and I hired a sitter and went to dinner at City House, took a stroll, and then headed to the birthday party of a sweet couple who were born just a week apart. I only thought about it later, but this outfit sort of seemed to pay tribute to how happy I am to have Nekos back in town after he was gone for nine days. 

I wore this white dress five years ago to our rehearsal dinner, and I wore the long pearl necklace with my wedding dress. I love how clothes bring back memories--especially since I don't have a great memory. These boots will always remind me of a quick weekend trip Nekos and I took to Chicago. It was supposed to be a romantic getaway, but my all-day morning sickness was so bad that we ended up mostly lying in the hotel bed with the curtains drawn. I, of course, managed to find some time to go shopping and got these boots while we were in the Windy City. 

I loved wearing this outfit last night. The dress on its own feels too precious, but the corduroy vest and boots roughed it up just enough. Such a fun night out! 

Dress - BCBG
Vest - Thrifted
Boots - Aldo
Belt - Free People
Necklaces & bracelet - gifts from mama and friends 
Hair 'do idea: Hair Romance