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4.17.2019

DIY: TALL SMALL GOLD VINTAGE TOP CORNER END TABLE


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In a world of fast-paced days with ever-changing trends, demands and stress, it’s nice to know there’s a place you can go for constancy and respite – your home. I'm of the strong belief that in your residence, you should be surrounded only by furnishings and things that have special meaning to you. When your space is only filled with what you love, it helps to enrich your life and your inner state of well-being.

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That's why I love a good DIY project, such as this one. It affords the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind piece that tells a story, something that can't be bought. For the longest time, I was looking for a small round top table for the corner next to our entryway bench, but couldn't find anything that perfectly fit in that little area. Then one day, I went into my garage and saw this old, neglected hurricane candle holder stand that had been sitting there in a corner collecting dust. It hadn't been shown any kind of love in a while. Then it dawned on me that the base is perfect to turn it into a small accent table. All I needed were two more things to realize my vision - a small gold vintage dish that I picked up at my local thrift store and epoxy glue.


Here’s how this quick transformation took place in just minutes. After a good dusting, I simply unscrewed the glass off the top of its base. Next, I screwed the round part where the candle sits back on, filled that with epoxy, centered the newfound round gold plate atop, and let it dry according to the glue's package direction. Within minutes I had a unique, one-of-a-kind addition that added just the right touch. 



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What could be more fetching than this DIY two-tone tall small gold vintage top corner end table filled with my rotating weekly blooms to catch the eye? That's what I call romancing your home! 


4.12.2019

FIVE THINGS FRIDAY


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{Flower Friday pick of the week}

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{Learning to take each day one step at a time}

Happy Friday! It’s been a hay fever sneezy week around here, which makes me look haggard, but on the positive side, the outdoor sofa we ordered for the front courtyard finally came! I’ve been working on this space in between other projects a little bit at a time. Everything these days seems to take an eternity to get done, don’t you think? Although we have been enjoying the space with what we’ve done so far, it still needed a few more things to bring it all together. And that’s part of what I’ll be working on this weekend. Can’t wait to debut this little corner of our home with all the before and after photos. It sure has become our favorite lounging spot for now before the dreadful heat of summer runs us out of there. Hahaha…

In the interim, here are my favorite random five things Friday links for this week:

1. On the topic of decorating the courtyard, I've been on the search of the perfect rug for out there. I haven’t found too many that speak to me, except for this one so far. I may or may not go for it.

2. The rattan bag trend seems like it's here to stay for a while. I was holding out from getting one since I felt that Instagram had enough "influencers" sporting the trend. That said, it's also one of those style bags to me that's synonymous with spring/summer and used to be my go-to style bag I'd sport in my late teens and early twenties - flooding my mind with so many memories. I can't think of a better bag that fits the bill than this sweet looking one. It's giving me heart eyes right now. 

3. Being a perfectionist is one of those attributes I feel many take pride in, including myself. I think because I don't view it in a negative light as some might do. I'm one who always aims for excellence. But, this Ted Talks podcast on the dangerous obsession with perfectionism in this day and age is one to listen to. It gave me a different viewpoint about that expression. 

4. Have you ever thought to check for travel information advisory, especially a country's political climate before traveling abroad? It's something that never crossed my mind until my hubby mentioned it to me recently. You get information down to the level of caution for each country. Something to think about.

5. I'm currently working on this mindset lately. How about yourself? What are you currently working on?


4.10.2019

THIS TOO SHALL PASS


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Looking beyond present unpleasant situations/circumstances sure is a developed skill that I wish I had. Ever since relocating over two years ago, more and more situations have been contributing to an overall feeling on the inside of suffocation, misplacement, loneliness; kind of this numb, aching pain in my heart that comes particularly when I’m in the presence of certain people that I have no choice but to be around multiple times a week. When faced with any type of recurring problem and thinking that are not positive, I’m one of those individuals who would rather dig deep to find the root cause of said issues in order to fix them, instead of relying on shallow “encouraging clich├ęs” that just offer an unsatisfactory band-aid.

Unfortunately, I’m a person who’s affected by my environment, so having the ability to shift perspective in difficult circumstances and not dwell on what’s currently happening in front of me is a challenge and has been an ongoing goal of mine lately. Because every time I think I’m doing better or ‘growing out of it,’ I’m reminded how little progress I’ve made in this area. Which is something that my hubby can’t comprehend as he’s completely the opposite. No matter how many times I tell myself ‘don’t dwell on those negative situations or people”, some subtle attack will happen and make me slip right back into that dark corner of my mind.

I’ve never been so open about this on here. As much as I’d like to think that my realness and genuineness of character come through in my posts on Instagram, sometimes it may not be as clear to some as I thought. For instance, in a recent post, I received this super flattering comment, “You look powerful, like you have a good handle on things. Inspired.” I mean, how sweet is that?!  This is a huge compliment because it helps me realize that I turned out OK, having had to depend on myself since childhood to figure out life and survive without any parental/family support or encouragement. Not having had any safety net to fall back on, I never had a choice to be sloppy in decisions I’ve had to make, but had to pull up my sleeves, work hard, and get a handle on whatever life threw at me (of course not without God’s help). But at the same time, for one thing, I don’t want to come across unrelatable and second, lacking the ability to overcome silly negative thoughts makes me feel like a fluttering mess – that I don’t fully have a handle on things.

I decided to share this struggle with ‘viewing present tribulations as momentary’. While it’s a battle to post these vulnerable moments given this judgmental world we live in, I know I can’t be the only one feeling this way and decided to share for the following two reasons:

1. To remind others that you’re not alone. Everyone deals with negative feelings no matter how strong or put-together they might appear. Trust. So never keep those yucky feelings bottled up inside just for the sake of saving face. In fact, talking about them helps you rid yourself of them and heal. Character building is a slow process. Whenever we try to avoid or escape the difficulties in life, we short-circuit the process, delay our growth, and actually end up with a worse kind of pain – the worthless type that accompanies denial and avoidance.

2. Remember this too shall pass. I’m currently working on constantly reminding myself that the secret to endurance is to remember that the difficult things gnawing at me and causing my suffering at the moment are all temporary and that they too will eventually fade away and be forgotten about, just like difficult experiences have passed for others before me. I need to be patient. Grow up – not give up!

Are you struggling with negative mental anguish? If so, how do you deal with it?



4.03.2019

ESSENTIALS FOR CREATING AN INTIMATE AND STYLISH ENTRYWAY


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A proper entryway is one of the most important must-have items high on my list whenever I’m house or apartment hunting.  I’m big on having that separation for it not only gives a visual clue of what’s to come before you see the style of the rest of the house but also serves to create a good first impression. It’s like a well-plated tasty appetizer that creates this savory anticipation before the main course. In our current house, the front door opens wide into our living room. However, since there’s an alcove landing about eight to nine and a half feet deep that leads down into a sunken living room, I felt this area still offered me the opportunity to create an inviting stylish space upon entering the home.

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One of the first things we couldn't wait to do was to install a new front door that would let light in, but we sure didn't want to settle on just any door... we were definitely set on getting one with a mid-century modern flair. So, we had one made and painted the interior side grey to match the rest of our interior doors. And what a big difference that simple change made! The amount of light that came flooding through the glass panels highlighting the chain link design in between the panes; brought such life to the whole room. We couldn't be any more pleased with how it turned out. For us, the entryway isn’t necessarily a place to throw down our coats, mail, and keys per se. Since we mainly come into our house through the garage entryway, that's where we conveniently hang our keys and then we bring our mail directly to our home offices, so this eliminated the need for a spot to place those items at our main front door. As for our coats, there is a tiny coat closet immediately steps away from either entry point, therefore, only a few essentials were needed to bring our front foyer together and create an intimate and stylish entryway.



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I started out by donning the floor with a cowhide rug, then placed a long console table (shown here in our old NYC apartment) anchored by a large round mirror with its gleaming brass finish adding light and depth to one side of the wall. Of course, an entryway isn’t complete without proper seating. Finding the right stylish as well as functional bench was critical in providing a place to sit and slip on and off shoes. To brighten up that area, I filled the wall above it with a cheery art memento we found at a favorite vintage art shop in L.A. One of our dreams is to one day buy one of these legendary VW buses for our road trip adventures but for now, this dream lives on our wall as picturesque art until it eventually someday manifests itself.


No matter how many centerpieces you have in place, the fact is that a well-pulled-together design is only as good as its finishing pieces. Plush, blush-colored faux fur pillows sit atop the grey west elm velvet covered bench seat, alongside a small corner tray table which I made (and will share the diy in another post) makes for a perfect spot to liven up that corner with my flowers and/or branches of the week. A retro lamp is strategically placed with a low-temperature bulb to create the perfect soothing pool of light at night. I alternate between fresh flowers and a candle on the console depending on the season and now that we’ve entered Spring, most times, I place a small vase with fresh flowers in lieu of the candle. Finally, a selection of curated books, a dainty Turkish box, a framed New York city map to remind us of home, a bottle of matches, a brass candle wick trimmer, and a piece of desert driftwood gifted from a friend over five years ago tie everything harmoniously together.




Ultimately, you want to create a warm inviting space that welcomes you to leave behind whatever stress you may have faced that day before fully entering into your home – making you feel that you’re right where you want to be.


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4.01.2019

OLD SCHOOL GLAMOUR



I have always felt I was born in the wrong era. The older I get, and the less mannerly society is getting, I find myself craving more and more the old school glamour. Annually, the hubby and I escape to one of our beloved cities – Palm Springs for that dose of old school enchantment and bask in the Tinseltown allure the city still exudes. From the Old Hollywood history, mid-century modern architecture, the design elements, arts, and cultural scene, to the well-curated vintage shops just oozing with charm - this town never fails to whisk us back to the elegance of the bygone era that we so love. When you're there, you can’t help but smile, fondly thinking of the days of legends like Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, and so many other stylish starlets, including dapper fellers like, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Liberace. Be it the grainy sound of music playing on a record player echoing from nearby neighbor’s courtyards, the black and white movies, the wardrobe aesthetics of its residents, it’s the notion that life was at its best in that era and for some reason, that vibe is still as strong as it was in its golden days.






Making our rounds to our favorite vintage shops, visiting with the same owners yearly and enjoying fun conversations with them is one of the many things we look forward to yearly. But for us New Yorkers, one of the best highlights is reserving a cozy table for two for an intimate dinner at one of their jazz supper clubs while listening to acclaimed entertainers on the same stage where Sammy, Frank, Dean and their pals caroused celebrities in the 60s. It really is a town that never fails to reignite our soul and get us inspired by the beauty of life, time and again. We always return home with some great finds for our house and a vintage piece of clothing or two for my wardrobe, such as dresses that I imagine one of the ladies mentioned above would have donned on for a night out on the town. Wearing them can be truly transportive to that wonderful time.