12 Days of Xmas : Days 6-9

Day 6 : Gift Ideas for Me 
I have a feeling most of my gifts are going to be home-related this year! And you better believe I'll be welcoming them with open arms!

Day 7: Holiday Craft/DIY
 I'd love to make some etched glass jars like the Young House Love'rs did! I haven't had time to do any small crafts lately though... I think these would be really cute as cookie jars for Santa too!
Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays
I miss having entire month off like when you were in college! Boo on the 'grown-up' world! I hate that the older we get, the busier we are... there's no more wandering to the mall and the movies with your friends every weekend just because you have nothing better to do.Or ice skating on a random Tuesday night (see photo above) because you don't work the next day.  I miss December being a month full of relaxation and sleeping in!
Day 9: Favorite Holiday recipe
 I love to make my Red Velvet cookies for the Holidays... they're the perfect color for the season and super easy so you can whip up a big batch for parties and to give as gifts!

Upper Eastside Inspiration

Last night I just happen to glance up from my computer screen in time to see something on Gossip Girl that made me stop what I was doing, pause it and rewind it, all so I could get my lazy butt off the couch and take a picture of the screen with my phone. 

 See that brick wall? All distressed with white & teal paint. That's a slab of mortar after my own heart!

After a little Googling I found some better shots of the loft set on the show courtesy of Design Evolution

 (Photo credits: Malchus Janocko)

I've learned from Michelle at Design Evolution that the sets on GG are decorated by Christina Tonkin who previously worked for production designer Jeremy Conway decorating sets for Sex and the City. Those are pretty fabulous jobs, huh?

Here's one more shot of the prettyness for you 

Let me refresh your brain on what my kitchen looks like...
Ta da! Brick paneling that is held up with more glue than a 1st graders macaroni art project and would surely destroy the walls and require new dry-walling if taken down. Hmmm my wheels are crankin up in that ol' noggin of mine!

An open letter to Sunglasses Hut

[I bought a pair of D&G sunglasses from Sunglasses Hut a few summers ago. I've mentioned these sunglasses on my blog before (surprise, they were broke there too!). After being completely fed up with the quality of service I received in their stores and in the product itself, I sent this email via their customer service link on their website. I received a message back asking for my phone number and the best time to call, and was told I would be contacted the next day. Of course, I never heard from anyone. Apparently their philosophy for customer service runs company wide!]

Here's my letter:

I purchased a pair of sunglasses from one of your stores about a year and a half ago and am pretty confident in saying I will never buy from your company again. These sunglasses (Dolce & Gabanna) have come apart on 3 different occasions. Not long after purchasing them, the sunglasses were bent by the hard case I was given upon purchase to store them in (which by the way, wasn’t even the same brand therefore my sunglasses didn’t fit properly in the case and were bent by the closing of the case causing them to fit improperly. The location I bought them from claimed they had no case to fit this style, and offered to give me a Ralph Lauren case instead. For $300+ a proper fitting case should be offered.) and the other two occasions the screw came out of the arm, leaving my shades in two pieces.

While I understand the craftsmanship of the sunglasses aren't necessarily "your problem" the willingness of your employees to help correct the issue has been nothing but a joke.

I was most recently in your store on Sunday with (again) a detached sunglasses arm and was basically told that there was nothing that could be done, and that "maybe I should try Lenscrafters or something".

In my opinion, a company should always stand behind their product, regardless of if they manufacture it or are just a third party vendor. I find it hard to believe that in a store full of sunglasses there was no way for said associate (or the associates in the other 2 instances) to fix my sunglasses.

What is even more ridiculous is that in all three instances, once I was told by a Sunglasses Hut employee that nothing could be done to fix the sunglasses I paid over $300 for, I went to another sunglasses store in the mail (Solstice), where they happily fixed them for me without any questions asked. This second store doesn’t even sell Dolce & Gabanna brand glasses, but they were willing to take time out of their day to help me out since your company wouldn’t.

In today’s economy, when someone spends that kind of money on a frivolous item such as sunglasses I highly suggest your company makes a little more effort to guarantee that the customer walks away happy and with a functioning pair of sunglasses instead of having a “sorry about your luck, not my problem” attitude and $300 down the drain.

Have you bought anything from SH? What would you do if you were in my position? Have you had a similar problem??I am just disgusted by the whole situation!
I highly recommend you steer clear when looking to purchase new sunglasses, buy from a store that actually appreciates your business!


What I'm envisioning : Living Room

I'm channeling a sort of Anthropologie-esque, cottage-y, antique-y meets Crate & Barrel theme for the decor throughout the house. While searching for the online color swatch of the living room color I started saving the swatches for each room and I LOVE seeing all the colors together... I'll have to share them all in another post (I have a few more room's worth of swatches to find/save first)!

The living room is the only room that has been painted so far. I went with Sherwin Williams "Universal Khaki" (SW6150) on it, because it was the perfect putty gray.
Yes, I promise this color is far less 'khaki' and much more 'gray'... I personally think the people who name Sherwin Williams colors a little wacko but regardless.

Here's a sample of what it looks like in real life via iPhone camera. I about died when I came to the house on Wednesday evening and saw a room all done and painted. (Chris had the day off and spent it prepping & painting the walls in there) I loveeee the color! It looks so good with the darker floors and the white trim!

Add in my "Spa" colored couch that I got on Friday...

Plus a big fuzzy, cushy, creamy white shag area rug

And my favorite - some bright, bold colorful pillows! I haven't completely decided, but Pier One has a TON of cute ones that I'm lusting over these are just a few of my favorites. I think I want to do one of the bright multi-colored ones, and pull a few colors out of it for more plain accent pillows/accessories throughout the room.

I was just telling someone that I love the color of the sofa because you can coordinate just about any color with it - red, orange, green, black, brown, tan, whatever!

What colors would you go with?

Sit and stay a while

Yes, I was one of those people on Black Friday... shopping my little heart out!

One of my favorite purchases of the day -
A couch for my living room! I lovvveeee the color (it's a tad more teal than ice blue in real life). Everything about this couch is so me!

12 Days of Xmas - Day 5

Day 5 : Favorite Holiday Movie / TV Special 

A little Uncle Eddy action is a pre-req for our holiday season around here!

 My season is brightened a little when this furry green monster steals Christmas

and December wouldn't be complete without watching Will Ferrel hop skip and jump across traffic atleast one time.
Anything else is just an added bonus!


12 Days of Xmas : Day 4

This one is near and dear to my heart... I love a good steal, and get excited about bargains!

Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly Holiday Season

1. If you're shopping online, always ALWAYS do a quick google search for coupons. I can't tell you the last time I bought something and didn't find a 'free shipping' code or a 15% off discount code or something. Every little bit helps! And a lot of times they can be combined!

2. If you have an iPhone, get a barcode scanner app - they're like $0.99 for a good one. All you have to do is scan the barcode of an item and it shows you comparable prices from all different sites/stores, so you can check to make sure you're actually getting a good deal!

3. I'm sure you've all heard of Groupon, but have you ever considered buying deals from cities that are on the other side of the country? A lot of cities offer discounts for websites, that can be used anywhere. I actually am getting my moms Christmas present (MOM don't start snooping!) using a Groupon deal from San Francisco or something! I highly suggest Groupon Girl, she points out "national, doesn't-matter-where-you-live bargains" every day.

4. I swear by the site restaurant.com, you can purchase gift certificates for tons of local restaurants for deep deep discounts. It's a great way to save some money if you like to eat out, and I think they make great gifts too! Once you buy one, they send you coupon codes every morning to get even cheaper gift certificates. And the bonus, you print them right off your computer so you can use them whenever you want (or reprint if you can't remember where you put it at in your house!)
*Bonus tip: if you're planning a vacation to another US city, check-out the gift certificates for restaurants in your destination!

That's all I've got for now, I'm pooped out after a full day of shopping! Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!



This is what I've diligently been working on -


12 Days of Xmas - Day 3

Day 3 - Meaningful/Memorable Gifts 

I don't remember how old I was, but it was relatively young... I awoke on Christmas morning, and after doing the 'sit-and-wait-on-the-steps-while-mom-sets-up-the-video-camera' routine my brother and I rounded the corner in the living room to find stockings on a chimney and a pile of gifts under the tree, but that's not what stood out most to me. What I noticed was the footprints. Santa's footprints. They started within the fireplace and led onto the carpet, over to the tree, circled a few times and then back to the chimney to return to his sleigh up top. They were just any footprints either... they were glittery. I was completely enamored by this!

Once we sat down and started opening our gifts, I whispered to my mom - "I know which presents are really from Santa, mom.... they have glitter on them!"

My mom had taken a pair of my dads shoes, and created each footprint individually - placing a shoe down and then sprinkling a glitter outline around it... one after the other, all along the path Santa would have taken! She didn't intentionally get glitter on the presents, but every year after that she had to put a few sprinkles of glitter on them just so I knew they were really from Santa!

I'm thankful that my parents went out of their way to give me and my brother such vivid and happy childhood memories for Christmas!


Tearing up the house

A majority of my weekend was spent tearing up the house! What a fantastic stress reliever, ha! Just pulling out carpet, and ripping up floors and tearing down wallpaper... loved it!

Let me start off with a little diagram of my 1st floor layout that I tediously created (sarcasm) it's not true to scale at all, but whatevs. I kid you not, every room on the first floor is in it's own stage of disarray... and I LOVE IT! I can already see everything coming together and am so excited.
(Click to enlarge)
The sitting room is acting as a dumpster of sorts, holding all the torn-up kitchen flooring.

Speaking of kitchen, big kitchen remodel plans are gone to the wayside... We've figured out that by taking out the built-in that was in one corner, all appliances can easily fit and makes quite a nice kitchen layout! Helloooo money saver!

One of the first things we did after I got the keys was take up the linoleum floor in the kitchen. It was pulling up on the sides and yellowed and all around yuck! We found hardwoods underneath the subflooring that was under the linoleum! Woohoo!

What was once a fancy formal dining room is now a storage room of sorts, and the chair rail (which was actually upside-down baseboards) has been removed

The living room and entryway/stairway had some spiffy white damask and striped wallpaper, which was removed (thankfully, it came down pretty easily)

The living room had a lovely shade of pale green hiding beneath!

The sun room is now a lace-curtain graveyard

Phew what a mess! I have amazing parents and boyfriend who have been over there every day helping me work on the place. Don't know what I'd do without them! Sorry this post was such a cluster of everything... I am trying to figure out a more organized way to catalog what's being done, but until then I'll just play catch-up of what we've been working on!