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8.30.2013

Grateful Moments

{A few of my favorite things on my dresser}

Happy Friday! Hope your weekend is scheduled with an itinerary that entails enjoying life's simple pleasures. This week ended with a series of conversations with an old time best friend who I have not heard from in years that certainly brought joy to my heart and got my weekend off to a good start. In the meantime, these are some of the few things that have put a smile on my face.

{I cleaned some jewelry and came across this gift I received from my adoptive mom in 1992}
 
{I stumbled upon this mural while window shopping around town...what amazing talent!}
 
{Tres leches: a panna cotta flavor I never thought to make out of all the ones I've made before}
 
{Our daily companion as viewed from our office window - must come up with a name for him. Any ideas?}
 
 
 

8.28.2013

Favorite Links: 3 Photography Tips + Travel Wall Art and Snapshots of Hollywood's Golden Years


1. This cosmopolitan wall art would make such a nice impact on a bright colored wall.

2. A great step-by-step guide on how to upload photos on Instagram, which I welcome with open arms since I'm still technologically/Instagram impaired.

3. An amazing 350,000 snapshots of the personalities that made up the golden years of Hollywood chronicled by Sid Avery. This would make a great gift as a coffee table book. Who's getting me this one?

4. A beginner's guide to great composition. I just wish I knew what all of that means!?

5. I still have yet to explore Photoshop, but this seems to be such a great cheat sheet for those who do use it and hopefully will come in handy for when I get time to learn it someday.


 

8.27.2013

Before And After: Roman Busts Makeover

{The stoic bronze Roman busts before the makeover}

About ten years ago, while visiting my girlfriend, she had bags and bags of clothes to donate and laying on top of all these black garbage bags was this pair of Roman busts that she was getting ready to chuck in the trash. I immediately snatched them up and have had them ever since, which I've been using on my office bookshelves as book ends. Seeing them always remind me of her and her husband. As I've been trying to brighten up our office, I felt it was time to give these little guys a new lease on life as it were by making them look happier with a couple of coats of neon yellow paint. And I couldn't be any more pleased with how they turned out. Every time I see them in the office now they brighten my day.

This project turned out to be fairly simple with a little bit of elbow grease. First, I wiped down the busts. Then I used the supplies I had on hand: neon yellow spray paint and charcoal grey primer. As it turns out, I should have gone to the store and purchased white primer because it would have resulted in a much brighter finish. The dark primer made the neon yellow paint look dull after drying, so I ended buying a glossy sun yellow can to finish the job. Overall, this project only cost me $7.00 for the can of paint and a few hours (only because I gave them many coats and had to allow for drying time in between coats) of my time.

{I taped the felt bottom so as to keep them paint free}

{Sprayed on a good coat of a fast drying dark gray primer and let dry}

{I then sprayed on my already existing can of neon yellow paint from a previous project, but wasn't too pleased with the dull finish here}
 
{So I went and bought the sun yellow color in a gloss finish for high impact shine and brightness}

{After a few consistent slow strokes (almost the whole can;) I ended up with this finished product, which I LOVE!}
 
 
 

8.26.2013

Flower Power

Floral dress (ancient), Sunnies (similar here), Colorblock heels (on sale now at Piperlime), London Fog blue crocodile bag (similar one here at a great price), Joan Rivers bracelets, Gifted necklage (old), NY+Co. watch

In the midst of a sea of black, grey, navy, brown, beige, plum and dark greens there'll be the occasional spotting of a dress such as this one in my closet. I really can't explain it, but every time I'm determined to revamp my wardrobe to get out of the dreary dark place that it's been in pretty much since my adolescent years, I tend to always gravitate to bold colorful statement pieces, but really never enough to get me out of the conservative uninteresting colors. This dress is an oldie, but goodie that I feel gives me the right amount of punch of color when I need it. It's not only super comfy, but its flower power makes me feel happy when I put it on, especially when accented with what I like to call "my funny/comical" pair of sunnies scored on 3rd street in Santa Monica at Aldo.

 

 
 
 
 

8.23.2013

Grateful Moments

{Made a pilgrimage to Long Beach - it's been a good three years since we went and was a nice break}

How has everyone's week been? Has anyone been struck with that head cold/flu that's going around early this season? This week threw me for a loop when a sudden head cold turned into a full on flu for the hubby resulting in me having to put my nursing cap on. It has been like taking care of a newborn...I'm exhausted. I've been downing every vitamin in the medicine cabinet so as not to catch it myself. Thank goodness, he's almost back to a 100%, cause I'm looking to getting some rest this weekend. It's going to be "me time!"  How about you? What are your weekend plans?

{Our new office addition: this reminds me of the movie 'the Aviator' with Leonardo DiCaprio}
 
{Surprise gift: a mouse pad from the hubby that brightens my desk}
 
{Seeing these mugs made me so happy, I had to buy them. My jolly morning companions}
 
{A sneak peak into my latest project - more details will be posted on here soon. Stay tuned!}
 
Wishing everyone a happy healthy weekend!
 
 
 

8.22.2013

Currently Into: Bright Yellow



In our first home, we had a small kitchen I painted like a papaya yellow to brighten the space. Then when we moved on to our second home, I used more like a mustard yellow as a base for a mottled glazed Venetian effect throughout the downstairs living areas. When we left that house, I thought I was all yellowed out forever.

8.21.2013

Bookshelves Makeover


Personally, no home office/library is complete without a wall of bookshelves. No matter how big or small our rooms we've designated for our home office, I always start with the bookshelves first. Shelves are not only great for storage, but they add character all their own in a room, setting the tone for the space. A couple of weeks ago, I ran into the dilemma of wanting to change my four dark mahogany bookshelves that we've possessed more than nine years now. As with anything else, as you grow your taste grows with you, so I found myself itching to get newer bookshelves for the office, preferably in white so that all our items and books could stand out much better than the brown where I feel like everything just gets lost and blends in too much.

Then the frugal side of me kicked in thinking that I can use my money for something that is more necessary for the office, like proper office chairs. After all, aside from knicks and dings from moving, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the shelves - but what can be done to give them a little facelift? I thought of painting them, but quickly dismissed the notion as I'm already inundated with so many half-done/unfinished projects (not to mention the wood or I should say, the non-wood material of the bookshelves would make painting them an arduous undertaking). At first,  I was going to wallpaper the backs of them. However, knowing that I might eventually want to change the color down the line, I opted for contact paper in a light green paisley pattern with white and blue piping instead, which is obviously a lot more cost efficient than wallpaper would be and can be peeled off very easily when ready to try out a different pattern in a different style and color.

Here's how I did it (with the help of my kind hubby;):

Step 1:

 
Take out all removable shelves. Measure the width and height of the bookcase. If there are permanent shelves, make sure to measure each section of the back individually. At first I started using my first cut piece as a template thinking it'd make the process quicker, but quickly realized that each section was invariably different. So make sure to measure twice so you can cut once.

Step 2:

Cut wallpaper and/or contact paper (whichever one you choose) to the exact size you'll need to cover the back of the bookshelf. And before peeling the back of the contact paper make sure to lay the wallpaper and/or contact paper pieces against the back to ensure they fit perfectly. It's better to have a little extra trim to play with than not enough, cause you can always use an xacto or blade to trim any excess if necessary.

Step 3:
Take the wallpaper and/or contact paper match the two upper corners to the upper corners of the bookshelf back pressing lightly and slowly so as to avoid bubbles.

Step 4:


Using a squeegee or a straight flat edge, smooth the wallpaper and/or contact paper down starting in the center working your way out toward the edges to eliminate any creases and pesky air bubbles. If there's stubborn bubbles - use a small pin to pop it, then smooth down.

Step 5:


Once completed,  return the shelves in their places. Then give the shelves personality by decorating them. I'm in that process now - will share the after when it's all done.

 

8.20.2013

The Process of Settling In


One of the worst parts of moving (to a whole new state no less) besides the expense, disorientation and isolation is the getting things in order and life back on track part. But the flip side of that is the fun of redecorating a whole new place and trying new styles (that might have been on the wish list for the longest time), which is fun.  It helps to keep the mind busy from getting too homesick and at the same time maddening because the perfectionist side of me often kicks up in a higher gear not allowing me to sleep thinking about all the rooms that I could be organizing/decorating. Having things strewn all over the place just puts me in such a frenzied state that sometimes all I find myself doing is spinning in circles like a gerbil on a wheel.


This week marks our fifth week since we've moved into our new place. The dining room is ninety percent done - it still needs a few finishing details to complete. But as most of us know - decorating a room is never completely done. It can always look much better or be brought to a greater level and layer of perfection. But now really my focus is to finish the office which is of utmost importance since it's where we bring home the 'bacon'. But instead of waiting for when things are completely perfect (which is going to take a while), I figured I'd share some of what I've been working on thus far...even though  it's very far from what I envision for the space.  But at last, things are slowly finding its place giving me the hope that this space could be home after all - something that I was afraid that I'd never feel for a very very long time.



Frames and pictures are still occupying floor space...





8.19.2013

Pink Chiffon and Polka Dots

Polka dot top (last seen here), Chiffon skirt (old from Express - similar here, here and here), Gold glitter belt (featured here), Gold pumps (similar here), Vintage aviators with purple rim, Gifted necklace c/o of Moe, Bracelet and earrings from Banana Republic, Vintage metallic gold clutch with rosette (seen here)

On hot summer days there's nothing more comfortable than pairing a tissue thin polka dot blouse with a light feminine bright pink chiffon skirt with an elastic waist that flows beautifully when you walk. Incidentally, the wind always seems to pick up after I'm out and about in this skirt, so it's always a tricky thing making sure not to pull a Marilyn Monroe! I'm sure no one would want to see 'lil'mama's' jiggly bits. :0

 
 

 
 
 

8.16.2013

Grateful Moment

"It's delightful to have grand plans. It makes life so interesting." ~ unknown
 
{Fresh cut roses from the backyard}
 
So many plans, projects, commitments, but so little time. I plan to resist and desist at least one day this weekend to catch my breath. I've already cancelled an invite to a picnic at the Getty Museum. I wish you all a calm, and restful weekend. 
 
{I'm really enjoying this new tray...debating if I should use it in the office for beverages or for beauty essentials on my bedroom dresser}
 
{Paella with black rice that brought me back to our trip to Barcelona, Spain}
 
{Took a stroll on Santa Monica Pier + Boba drink: another guilty pleasure that I could drink every day}
  
{Fun clips that take the dreariness out of office tasks}
 
 
 

8.15.2013

End Of Summer Wish List


Well folks, summer is on its last stretch. How has yours been so far? Mine has been like being on Magic Mountain at full speed without an end in sight (insert here: cartoon lips blowing in the wind with my tongue hanging out). That means, I never had the chance to acquire some of this summer's trends that I admire. On the flip side, I think subconsciously I knew that I would feel much better spending my cash on the end of season sales which is prime time to load up on some of these pieces that were overpriced for what they are.  So although, I have my own personal style that ranges from conservative to sometimes edgy/sassy depending on my mood, this summer I was really inspired by these outfits - I think because they look cool, relaxed, yet chic, which is always a bonus.

How about you? What trend did you admire this season or outright hated?

...more items on that list:





 

8.14.2013

Favorite Links

 
1. I'm so appreciative for this tip on prolonging the life of berries since they never seem to last long. Did I hear you say "thermotherapy?".
 
2. Oh-my-goodness! Is this even true?! Do you know what your facial features say about you? I'm afraid to find out what mine say about my personality. Eek!
 
3. Have you met this gooey goodness appetizer yet? Can't wait to try it.

4. I'm in love with the French way of life - keeping this pictorial tour of Paris book on my coffee table would provide constant inspiration.

5. Are you wondering what to do with your bedside table? Here are 30 Easy Ideas For A Stylish Bedside Table. So simple, but yet makes such a big impact.


 

8.12.2013

Shorts Story

H+M Asymmetrical top, Denim shorts (similar here and here), Mirrored Aviators (similar here and here), Gifted necklace (old - similar here, and here), Jessica Simpson sandals (old - similar here), Henri Bendel bracelet 

True story: I never wore shorts during all of my teenage years. Not because I didn't like them. In fact, I always longed to wear and feel comfortable in shorts like all my girlfriends did during hot humid days spent around the pool, at the beach or at parties out on Long Island, NY. I was always the odd ball, wearing my loose fitting jeans - not even the stylish kind that you'd call the "boyfriend jeans", more like the kind that looked like I swiped them from my big brother's closet. When everyone would strip off their shorts into bathing suits, getting ready to jump in the pool - they'd shout "Rebecca, go put on your bathing suit...jump in..." I'd stand there mortified sheepishly replying 'I didn't bring one...' praying I would disappear from their eyesight. So yes, I had never worn a two-piece bathing suit either. I Grew up with a mother who was an extremely modest person and viewed two-piece bathing suits for only (I don't even want to repeat).... Suffice to say, she never allowed nor purchased anything less than an almost full sumo suit for me to wear to the beach. Of the few pictures of me at our beach house on the weekends, I was always in a full one piece bathing suit which has conditioned my mind that our bodies are made to be covered at all times - leaving me  feeling uncomfortable at exposing any skin whatsoever. It's not until in recent years (with the help of my hubby who's one of my biggest fans) that I've ventured out my comfort zone a tad trying to learn how to be comfortable in my skin to the point that I even braved the streets a couple of weeks ago in these shorts (to me they are like daisy dukes but the hubby says they are just regular shorts) - granted, they weren't the ideal looking shorts, but it's what I possess right now and I was in one of those 'I don't care today' days. These puppies I'm wearing probably are close to raising my mother up out of the grave right now.

 
With maturity and growth, I now realize we should never let others few thoughtless remarks, opinions make us develop an unbalanced view about our appearance or our bodies. It is both abnormal and untrue to think that modesty and beauty are only achieved by dressing frumpy or throwing aside your sense of personality. Always remember that regardless of how we feel about our clothes, they reveal much about us and about our feelings toward others. Before we even say a word, our clothes have said something about us. People judge and categorize us based on what we wear and how we wear it. For instance, a beggar in his rags and a man in a tuxedo both have clothes on, but there is a vast difference in the impression they make and in the way they are treated. Without a doubt, clothes do tell a lot about us. So maintaining balance in our choice of clothes is essential.