You Are My Sunshine

Today, in honor of all things love and Valentine’s Day week, I’m featuring the anniversary gift I purchased for Andrew this past October.

On October 22, 2012 we celebrated our one year anniversary. HOW did that happen so fast?! It’s been an amazing year and we celebrated by visiting Grand Cayman for a few days and exchanging the traditional one year anniversary gift of paper. Paper was actually a pretty versatile medium and it was easy to get creative. Andrew constructed an album through Shutterfly featuring some of our favorite photos taken in all corners of the world. It was super special and I love looking at it. Most of our photos are simply uploaded to our hard drive or posted to Facebook so it’s nice to have an album to curl up with and look through.

I decided that a small hallway that connects our bedroom to the master bath needed a little love and I figured what better way to remind Andrew how much he lights up my life but with a little artwork we can appreciate frequently as it’s a “high traffic” area.

So, you know that children’s lullaby, “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, when skies are gray”…that’s sorta our song. Whenever I’m having a bad day, Andrew will just randomly belt that out and sing me out of my funk. It’s just one of those things that melts your heart and gives you the warm fuzzies…I live for hearing that song. Ok, you can stop rolling your eyes now. Mushy bit over.

I found this shop on Etsy, Heartsees, and absolutely fell in love with this print. What better gift of art than a Glicee print featuring this statement that is so meaningful to us.

il_570xN.375524793_tp8pYou Are My Sunshine Print

Here it is hanging in our Master wing hallway.

you-are-my-sunshine-print-heartsees-etsy

The seller was a pleasure to work with. Shipping was prompt and since the print was sold fully framed, I was extremely pleased with out carefully it was packaged for protection during shipment. I was so pleased with this purchase and Andrew loves it. We get a lot of joy walking by it every day.

I am not compensated for featuring this seller. This post expresses my own independent purchase and opinions.

JE T’AIME

26770677_066_b

Je T’aime Cards by Anthropologie

A little fun find for your Tuesday morning. Aren’t these the most adorable notecards you ever did see?! My heart pitter patters for these…fitting since it’s almost V-Day. I inherited my Mother’s obsession with all things paper and stationary. These are just too perfect and great for sending a little love note to that someone special.

 

Valentine’s Day Gifts

Love is in the air. Speaking of love…I j’adore online window shopping. I especially j’adore putting together compilations of some of my favorite things. While the husband and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day or give one another gifts (well, we exchange cards, go out for dinner, and give each other a little extra squeeze) I still think there are some great festive gift ideas and I love constructing little visual wish lists. Here are a few of my favorite things that looked especially presh in all shades, pink, red, and lovey.

For the Love of Fashion

valentines-day-apparel-gifts

Pintucked Ponte Dress(Anthropologie), Cashmere Cardigan in Windowpane Check(J.Crew), Darby Leather Loafers(J.Crew), Fanned Seashell Bralet(Anthropologie), Heart Intarsia Sweater(Anthropologie)

For the Love of Home

valentines-day-home-decor-gifts

Aviary Coverlet(Anthropologie), Live Love Pillow(Anthropologie), Ceramic Melon Knobs(Anthropologie), You Are My Sunshine Pillow(Anthropologie)

For the Love of Travel

valentines-day-gifts-for-the-traveller

Leather Colorblock Passport Case(J.Crew), BAGGU for J.Crew Printed Bag(J.Crew), Printed Case for iPhone 5(J.Crew), Spiral Notebook(J.Crew), Printed Backup Battery for iPhone(J.Crew)

For the Love of Beauty

valentines-day-beauty-gifts

Happy Heart Fragrance(Clinique), FACE Stockholm Nail Polish(J.Crew), Fresh Bloom All Over Colour(Clinique)

For the Love of Baubles

valentines-day-jewelry-guide

Beaded Rose Necklace(J.Crew), Blooming Fondant Bib Necklace(Anthropologie), Dipped Rope Necklace(Anthropologie), Pink Stone Teardrop Earrings(LOFT), Beaded Rose Bracelet(J.Crew), Polished Planes Earrings(Anthropologie), Lily Mineral Necklace(Anthropologie), True Love Ring(Anthropologie), Daisy Chain Necklace(Anthropologie)

I have not partnered with, nor was I compensated by, any of the brands featured in this post. You should understand my general obsession with all things Anthropologie and J.Crew by now (wink).

What are you getting your special someone for Valentine’s Day? Do you have any super special gifts planned? Any special traditions?

Much love, xoxo

Fab Finds Friday: Ballard Designs Travel Art

My favorite pastime is internet shopping. Dangerous on the credit card to just point and click I suppose but I will say, often I’m just “window shopping” and getting inspiration and ideas. One of my favorite sources of home inspiration is Ballard Designs. A friend turned me on to them a few years ago and I’ve never looked back. I only wish I could afford to design an entire room with their product but that’s just not feasible at this time. In fact, I don’t think I technically own anything from Ballard and the bargain shopper in me enjoys the challenge of finding the look for less, as you know. But I would love to invest in a few pieces that will go the distance decor wise and I’m gravitating to their accessories and art prints. Unlike a big piece of expensive furniture, lighting fixtures, decor, and art, allows you to achieve the Ballard styling without breaking the bank. Now, if only I could make a decision on what absolutely needs to be in our home!

On to the art. I’ve been smitten recently with their travel and map inspired art prints. Primarily because travel has been such a huge part of our lives and we’ve both been very fortunate to have some wonderful experiences abroad. I’ve been scheming how and where to execute some travel art in our home. I have a few DIY ideas up my sleeve that I’m still working out the details but Ballard has some awesome options as well. Here are a few of my favorites:

ballard-map-print-1

ballard-city-signs

ballard-paris-map

ballard-florida-map

ballard-jersey-map

I’d love to know. How have you incorporated your love for travel (if you have a love for travel) into the design or decor of your home? I’m always looking for ideas!

PS: I was not paid or otherwise provided incentive to feature Ballard Designs in this post. As always, products or companies that I feature and discuss are because I’m just obsessed. 

Fab Finds Friday: Best CC Cream

And you thought I wasn’t going to post today…yikes, it’s been a week! Anyhow…

Gather round ladies…this one’s for you. Sorry gents…but feel free to grab your fav lady because she’ll probably want this info!

So, show of hands…who gets a Birchbox? If you haven’t even heard of Birchbox…well, I’m sorry.

birchbox-woman-home-600x358-01

If you’re anything like me, I love experimenting with beauty products but wince a little to think I may purchase a full size moisturizer or gasp, expensive fragrance only to HATE it or find out it gives me hives. Cue Birchbox. This company curates a bunch of premium beauty samples (you typically get one full size product as well such as Stila lip glosses and Urban Decay eye liners) so you can test to your little hearts desire and then purchase the full size if you la-la-love it. It’s a subscription service and you receive one box per month.

birchbox 2

birchbox 1

Anyway, it was what was in one of my most recent Birchbox’s that changed my life, ‘er face. Before the holiday’s, my Birchbox included this interesting little packet called Wei To-Go Sleep Over.

product-sleep-over

It included a sample of their gelled oil cleanser and the ideal skin perfect finish “cc” cream. By the way, Birchbox is great because not only are their sample sizes perfect for, well, sampling…but they have served me well on the many, many, trips we take. This little ditty was no exception and I promptly threw it in my cosmetics case for holiday traveling. It was the Ideal Skin Perfect Finish “CC” Cream that completely floored me.

My skin is pretty clear but I definitely like the even tone some foundation provides and for a long time my go to has been L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Compact Makeup. Until this.

Now, I’ve heard of “BB” creams, never tried them, but this “CC” cream was something different…I think. Read here for the difference because I’m still not sure I completely get it.

Either way, I wasn’t expecting much but this product went on smooth and my skin felt and looked completely transformed. I applied it while getting ready in the morning and then spent the rest of the day traveling. I got off the plane looking just as fresh as when I put it on that morning. I was super impressed. It provided this almost airbrushed finish. My complexion remained dewy but not greasy looking, and the color was perfect. I just realized I should probably post a picture of my face proving this claim but I hate having my picture taken and the thought of close up pictures of my face was freaking me out. So. Just trust me.

product-first-impression

While I still very much appreciate my True Match compact and it has served me well, I’ve graduated to this magic potion. I promptly signed on to Birchbox and ordered myself a full size version. You can also find it here, at the Wei To Go Beauty website. However, ordering products from Birchbox earns you points and for every 100 points you earn, you get $10 to spend through Birchbox…so it made the $30 price tag on this product a little easier to take. Let me be honest and say, if I did not think this product was absolutely amazing, I would have never in a million years thought to spend $30 on foundation…but seriously, this stuff rocks. So fabulous that you should be able to easily get over the unusual packaging. See the video on this page.

And we’re in just under the wire! It’s not even 11:30pm yet so we can still consider this a Fab Friday Find right?!

I was not compensated to feature products featured in this post and all opinions are a product of my own experiences and obsessions. 

Schoolhouse Rock

I’m putting “Break It or Take It” to bed. See original post here if you’re new around here and you care at all about what that means. It seemed clever at the time but now…well, it sounds stupid. So, goodbye. It’s ok though because the thing I like most about this whole blogging thing is that it unfolds organically. There’s room to grow, find your voice, feel awfully clever, and then realize you may sound like a complete moron. It’s a place to try quirky titles, talk too much, or not enough…like, when you’re typing away only to look down at the bottom of your page and realize the word count is quickly approaching 500+ and then ask yourself who in the H would want to read all this crap and hit publish anyway. Speaking of I better move on to my point…

I still want to share mid to high end finds with it’s bargain basement match made in heaven but we’ll do so without painful titles. Unless “schoolhouse rock” is a painful title…but anything has to be better than the nonsense that was “break it or take it”…buh-bye. It may come back but for now, we’ll retire it.

I recently discovered Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. through a project that was completed on the Bravo show Million Dollar Decorator. Guilty, guilty pleasure that network. Anyhow, Jeffery Alan Marks completed a project in Nantucket where the requirement was to furnish virtually all of the home through “catalog” resources. I was enamored with the lighting fixtures used throughout the house and quickly learned through some participation in the live tweets of that episode that many of the fixtures came from Schoolhouse Electric.

Schoolhouse-Building-and-Tower-700

Ok, so let’s all get over the collective groan that I’m late to the party on this one. They aren’t new, they’ve been blogged to death, but they’re new to me…and fueling my lamp fetish fast. Seriously though, there are some amazing fixtures available and pictures of their showroom have justified a trip to Portland, Oregon. Seriously, I asked Andrew if we could go to Portland…to see a lamp store. My poor husband.

Anyway, remember the lamp I featured in this shopping post?…yes, the one the evil wallet gremlins at Target made me purchase? Well, I found it’s long lost relative on Schoolhouse Electric. Observe.

255.0111.OP_2

Schoolhouse Electric Lafayette Lamp…gorgeous at $339.00

14244326_121110063000Target Buff Beige Table Lamp Base…tolerable at $54.99

My wanna-be at home:

ceramic-wood-base-lamp

The navy ikat print shade is also from Target and was $22.99.

14246323_121025003000In closing, I wanted to share a blurb on why Schoolhouse Electric is so awesome…this is from their LinkedIn company overview.

Schoolhouse Electric Co. is a homegrown company started in Portland, Oregon in 2003.
The showroom and factory are located here with a showroom also in New York City.

American made vintage lighting fixtures and shades. Our shades are hand blown from original molds found in an old warehouse in upstate New York.

Too bad most of their selection doesn’t quite fit into the budget. While I can’t afford larger pieces such as table and floor lamps at the moment, I plan on giving them my business through smaller fixtures and finishes on offer.

So, how about you…any “look for less” finds this week?

PS: official word count is 545…new years resolution…shorter posts.

Fab Finds Friday: Tar-jay

I love to shop. I’m also sure it’s no secret at this point that my intimate relationship with the aisles of Target are borderline obsessive. I frickin’ love that place. It’s pretty much the running pop-culture joke that you can’t pass the shiny red balls and emerge once more without being at least $100 poorer, so, in that spirit, I’m kicking off a new feature called Fab Finds Friday with non-other than a trip to Target, Tar-jay, Tar-whydoyoumakemespendsomuchmoney-get.

So anyway, not only do I love to shop, but I LOVE a good bargain. I really do love to mix high end items with more affordable, heck, even used (read vintage, goodwill, consignment, hand-me-down) pieces. This is true not only of home design but also fashion (or my lack-there-of). In the coming weeks and months, I’ll plan a little virtual shopping spree…we’ll pop into shops big and small and ooh-and-ahh over some of my favorite home decor items, accessories, and fashion. As I said, I pride myself on finding bargains so I’ll be sure to clue you into some deals as well.

Without further ado, entrez-vous…(oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m not in cahoots with the big red bullseye {target} for this post…I just like to spend my money there…much to my husbands dismay).

Before we ogle the goods, let me share with you that this was my first time blatantly taking pictures in a store. I felt like a crazy person. I was getting sort of nervous and sweaty and was awkwardly holding my phone up in front of me with the camera app open while pushing a cart. I kept spastically looking around me as I quickly snapped photos…more nervous that some employee would walk up to me and demand to know what I was doing. I used to work at Anthropologie, and on more than one occasion I remember having to tell a customer to please stop snapping pictures of the merchandise. For the life of me, I don’t know who came up with that rule. Honestly, people would probably spend more money if they were able to take some snaps of items that speak to them…I know this is so helpful to me when I’m considering a purchase but need to be reminded of the visual once home and debating/designing my space. Anyway, in case you were worried, I was not tackled to the ground by anyone in a red shirt and my phone was not wrestled from my sweaty palms as I imagined it may be. But there are probably a few more Gainesville-ians who think I’m a little bit weird. Also, Andy-cakes deserves a big shout out for being willing to walk around the store with his nut-job of a wife taking photos of things we aren’t really buying. Especially when I kept hissing his name to block me while I took pictures…oh, you want to see some stuff…let’s get to that shall we.

fab-finds-friday-target-1-1-4 I ABSOLUTLELY, POSITIVELY, FLIPPING LOVE THESE MUGS. Sorry for the shout-y caps but they are the bomb dot com. They really stood out to me because of all of our travels, obviously, but I just love the retro vibe. Honestly, I should have picked some up come to think of it…I may go back this weekend and see if there are any in stock.

fab-finds-friday-target-30-1-4 More fun kitchen finds. I loved these olive oil and vinegar bottles (1) and was also smitten with the jars (3). They came in several sizes and had a chalkboard label on the front. This display also had some coordinating serve-ware and kitchen towels, etc. These would make a fabulous shower or wedding gift for those upcoming spring/summer nuptials. Finally, there were some monogram mugs on the display (2) below the destination mugs…these would also make a great gift.

fab-finds-friday-target-31-1-4I’ve really grown to love the seasonal collections of home decor Target has been doing. I was especially smitten with this round and actually snapped up a few pieces for myself. I need to post a mood board soon to give you an idea of the direction I’m taking our kitchen/den space in but needless to say, some of these pieces worked so I snatched them. I immediately fell in love with the ceramic lamp base and blue ikat print shade (1 & 2). It works perfectly in the den and the print and pop of color on the shade is just what I was looking for. Let’s be honest though, I have a major lamp fetish and am beginning to realize I’m accumulating quite the collection. For now, I’m sticking to more bargain finds as I often like to swap things seasonally or change the look altogether…the money I save can be applied towards the POD I’ll need in my backyard to store all my room styling items…sigh. Anyway, they had another great wooden lamp base (3) and ikat shades in beige and yellow (4). I almost splurged on the wooden lamp base but I don’t have anywhere to put it. It did, however, inspire a potential DIY project….
fab-finds-friday-target-32-1-4 Some great decorative items…wooden starburst mirror (swoon) and mirrored wooden trays (double swoon) (1). I purchase a large and medium hurricane (2) for my fireplace mantel and got two golden beeswax candles to put inside, they look great! I really love these finials (3) they make quite the statement on a shelf, mantel, or console as does this darling cloche (4).

fab-finds-friday-target-33-1-4 If you need to add to your menagerie, there were some adorable bookends (1) and yarn wrapped animal figurines (2). These items would look really great as accessories in a baby or child’s bedroom or playroom.

fab-finds-friday-target-34-1-4

These little lamps (1 & 2) were just darling and I’ve nicknamed the first one lemon-drop. I honestly just wanted to sit back with a glass of lemonade in the patio section and stare at one of these. Andy managed to convince me that we didn’t need either of them but I won’t lie, I really wish I was planning a nursery right now because either of these would have been in the cart and ready for display on a dresser or night stand at home. So, if you’re having a baby, please buy one of these. Honestly, this may just be a go buy it anyway and have it on hand sort of thing…hmmm.

fab-finds-friday-target-35-1-4

More bright, fun decor for some easy swaps and updates. Funky pillows (1) and throws (2 & 6). In fact, we purchased the throw in number 2 as they are machine washable and I felt the fabric would stand up to our pet hair sitch. I LOVED the saturated color of the throw rug (4). The frames (5) were these neat, wooden frames wrapped in this fabric style cord and the metal hurricanes (3) would be great on a covered patio or sun-room.
fab-finds-friday-target-36-1-4 The fretwork patten of this throw rug (1) was super cool and would look great in a bathroom or as an area rug in a kitchen. Some cute toss pillows (2) great for a teen room. Rustic storage side-table (3)…it didn’t seem sturdy enough to use as an ottoman but it would work perfectly as a little side-table with a tray on top for beverages and storage inside. I LOVE this outdoor pouf (4). Found this bad boy in the patio section and it was made with an outdoor fabric that was durable. Already dreaming of pool parties.

fab-finds-friday-target-37-1-4And finally, because I’m a big sucker for gift wrap I found some bright, graphic bags that I’m sure anyone would love to receive a gift in. I’m especially enamored with the little french bulldog on the bag in the picture top right.

So what about you? Any favorites, gotta-have-em items at Target right now?

Break It or Take It: Mercury Glass

Here’s one that’s short and sweet. Let’s talk mercury glass. A cursory internet search reveals that “mercury glass” was produced from the mid-1800’s through the early 20th century. True mercury glass was created through a special procedure involving blown glass that was then treated with a silvering solution. I would LOVE to track down some authentic mercury glass to add to my decor. Luckily, we have several pretty stellar regional antique shops so I may need to make a field trip soon for a look around. Anyway, I love the look of this glass and I’ve mentioned before that for me, it has this modern, yet vintage, rustic, yet sleek quality about it. The soft shimmer and shine is perfect for the holiday season as it translates to a “frosted” appearance and looks especially fabulous when reflecting the light and color of your holiday decor.

Mercury glass is certainly on trend and is splashed all over the pages of our favorites like Ballard Designs, West Elm, Z Gallery, and Pottery Barn. Luckily, other favorites such as Target (obvi) are interpreting the trend at affordable prices. Of course, I’ll take it.

(Gosh, I really need to do some bargain recon at other retail locations…in my defense, the extent of our bargain variety shopping here in Gainesville is pretty much…Target.)

A few lovely items from the old P. Barn

pottery barn mercury glass

 

The pillar holders (above left) will set you back $39.50 to $49.50. The hurricane (shown here in red) is $69 and the taper holders bottom right are $19.50 apiece.

mercuryglass

 

Here are a few of my Target finds. Only problem is, it appears that the pillar holders and taper holders, above left and right respectively, are no longer available online paired with the fact that I can’t find my receipt, equals I do not recall what I paid. Sorry! What I can say is that each item, with the exception of the hurricane pictured center, was under $20. The hurricane is still available online. There are two sizes: mine is a medium which was $24.99 and there is also a large hurricane for $39.99. I love saving!

Christmas Gifts for the Globetrotter

“Not all who wander are lost”

As I’ve hinted at around here, Andrew and I travel quite a bit for leisure. In fact, I’ve been tossing around the idea of recapping past travel and featuring future travel as I get a lot of design inspiration from locales we’ve visited and there are just some pictures and stories that are too good not to share. A little diversion never hurt. Anyway, Andy does some travel for business, but most of our excursions are for fun, adventure, and a little relaxation. We were both bitten by the travel bug pretty early on…my first trip across the pond was to Paris sophomore year of high school with a few friends. Since then we’ve ventured pretty far afield…travels have taken us as far away as Vietnam and a little less off the beaten path to London and the Caribbean as well…to name just a few.

In that spirit, as I sit here with Christmas on the brain and the need to get the remainder of my Christmas shopping accomplished, I find myself daydreaming of far off places. My internet surfing has returned me to my three favorite places to shop of all time, hands down…J.Crew, Target, and Anthropologie (oh what I would give to still work for that store…). As I perused the gift ideas featured on each site, I noticed some rather adorable travel accessories and then began conjuring up “giftspiration” boards to share some of the very best gifts for the globetrotter in your life.

Here’s what I’m loving

For the Gals

womenstravelgifts

1. Sprout Lip Balm $18 Anthropologie – perfect for parched airplane rides and sun exposure.

2. BAGGU for J.Crew Printed Bag $10 – Great for your local market finds, and souvenir shopping.

3. Proenza Schouler iPad Sleeve $39.99 Target – Carry and protect your tablet in style.

4. Printed Makeup Pouch $25 J.Crew – Cute carry on to stash all your essentials.

5. Face Stockholm Nail Polish in Pine $10 J.Crew – Pre-trip mani/pedi is a must.

6. Glitter Case for iPhone 4 $22.50 J.Crew – Something sparkly (something reflective helps when you’re searching for your phone deep in a travel bag).

7. Leather Colorblock Passport Case $45 J.Crew – Stamp those visas in style.

For the Guys

menstravelgifts

1. Field Notes for J.Crew Three Pack $14.50 – Travel journal, blog notes…

2. Back-up Battery for iPhone $39.50 J.Crew – Keep it juiced…after all, you need to check-in on Facebook.

3. Leather Magic Wallet $29.50 J.Crew – Downsize…trust me…you only need some cash, maybe a card, and your ID…don’t carry your life in your wallet and then get it stolen in a Vietnamese night market…true story.

4. Donegal Hosiery Socks $19 J.Crew – Keep his tootsies warm on the airplane…or in colder climates.

5. Leather Case for iPhone $38 J.Crew – Smart looks for your most prized possession.

6. Timex Weekender Watch $34.99 Target – Don’t miss that plane or train…luxe styling on a dime.

The best part…all of these goodies are under $50! Now that you’re outfitted, you’ll have plenty of cash left over for your airfare!

Happy trails and Merry Christmas to you!

So tell me, what’s the best gift you’ve given or received in the spirit of wanderlust?

Break It or Take It: Ballard Designs Portofino Mirror

I have a small large obsession with circular, sunburst, style mirrors. I am especially in love with this 360 degree beauty from Ballard Designs.

It is called the Portofino Mirror and it retails for $299. Ouch.

However, I’ve been coming back to this mirror time and again as I think it’s perfect for the look I’m going for on some wall space in the living/dining area. We have this little expanse of wall that, for the time being, I’ve decided to park a console table near. There needs to be a little eye candy hanging above the table and based on the layout of the room, I felt a mirror would be perfect. Not only does it add some visual interest but I feel like a mirror can help your space look larger by adding some depth and reflection.

The only problem was the price. I feel especially strong about not spending a fortune on wall decor. For starters, I tend to get sick of things and room accessories are a great opportunity to save. Why would I drop $300 when I may be sick of this mirror in a year? So, before giving in I went on the hunt. Lo and behold, HomeGoods for the win!

I found this near exact replica of the Portofino mirror at my local HomeGoods for $49.

Now I have loads of cash leftover to continue styling my console table and possibly the space surrounding the mirror. Honestly, the savings was practically enough to purchase one of the two rugs I still need for this space. Either way, as you can see, this little nook is still a work in progress. I’m going back on forth on whether or not I’m going to update the console with some paint, and I’m still working on the accessorizing…lamp, wall art, etc., but it’s a start.

Ok, so what deals are you finding out there? I want to hear about them!