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My Two Babies

Posted by | design, personal | 3 Comments

The past few months have been a whirlwind and went by so quickly! I can hardly believe that Cole will be 12 weeks old this Thursday. When I was pregnant I originally told clients that I’d only need 4-6 weeks for my maternity leave and the clients who had children laughed at me. I can now see why! It really does take three months to get into a groove and develop some sort of a schedule. We’re still working on that schedule part, but it has gotten so much easier! Cole is an awesome sleeper and only wakes up once, maybe twice, each night and when he does he goes right back to sleep. He’s even had a few nights where he slept eight straight hours! He’s been in his crib from the first night home from the hospital and I like to think that helps with his sleeping. Once we swaddle him and put on his sound machine, he usually goes right to sleep. He is amazing, that little boy.

He is developing such a fun personality now that he’s almost three months old. He has been smiling a ton and is just now starting to giggle and coo which melts my heart. When Ryan sings to him in a silly voice he kicks his legs like crazy and smiles a big toothless smile. Here’s a few of those adorable smiles. :)

 

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cole

I have some more big news! Ryan and I bought a house! :) I know, we’re crazy. Two of the most stressful things in your life and we did them both within 10 weeks of each other. It doesn’t feel real and we’re both on cloud nine.

We weren’t planning on moving for at least two years but Ryan was looking at real estate every day “just for fun”. That’s like going to target “just for fun”. You always end up with a cart full of random items that you probably didn’t need. But, that’s besides the point.

Ryan found a different house last February and we ended up placing an offer but it didn’t get accepted. Looking back, I am so relieved! Our realtor casually mentioned that she had another house coming on the market¬† on March 28 (my birthday), so I saw it as a sign. She described this house and my eyes glazed over: center hall colonial, fixer upper, north side of Cranford, 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a wood burning fireplace and a finishable basement (for a future office). Ahhhh! It reminds me of the Father of the Bride house (my absolute dream house) but obviously on a much smaller scale. I knew this was “the one”.

We closed on the house last Monday and it couldn’t have gone any better. We met the previous owner who lived there for 40 years and raised her family there. She was emotional to say goodbye to the house but she was so happy that a young family was moving in. She was sassy and full of life and exactly who I was hoping she’d be. Her positive energy was infectious and it made me feel so good because I know the house is full of good energy too. I asked her what her favorite thing about living there was and her answer would have been my own. She said her kitchen was always filled with people and love. I promised that we would continue to love the house, cook delicious meals in that kitchen, and have parties to create new memories. After we signed our life away to the mortgage company, the previous owner and I hugged and we both cried. While I jokingly teased that it was from my nursing hormones, I know it’s just because I’m just so happy. SO happy. I am so excited for this next chapter in a house I am so proud to call my own.

Since the previous owner was a bit older, it does need a lot of work. This past weekend Cole spent time with his Grandmas while Ryan and I were able to paint almost every room. It’s amazing how productive you can be when you don’t have an infant attached to you! Before we move in we are going to refinish the wood floors, install wood flooring in one of the rooms that is currently carpeted, and install central air. Go big or go home, right? We’re also removing a few HUGE trees that are way too close to the house. See that big daddy below on the left? He’ll be gone soon so we don’t have to worry about him falling on the house.

house before

My line of work is dangerous for my own house because I have big plans. For the exterior I want to built an overhang over the porch so the house doesn’t look so flat. We’re going to paint the shutters black and eventually get a new front door. We’re going to replace the lighting, windows, add landscaping and remove that funky walkway to the street. We have another walkway that goes to the driveway which is what we would use anyway. Ryan photoshopped a picture here to get an idea. Swoon!

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I’m sure I’ll be posting progress pictures once we have time and money (ha!) to do more work. I don’t want to rush anything because this could be our “forever home” and I also don’t want to miss out on Cole’s infancy. Spending time with him is way more important than stressing over which windows to buy or how quickly we can add molding to the dining room. :) Baby steps.

 

Paper Dresses

Posted by | design, fashion | No Comments

By now you’ve probably seen this Huffington Post article where an adorable 4-year-old makes dresses out of paper. If not, check out this little peanut’s skills! Her mom helps her, but claims to be the least crafty woman ever. She takes inspiration from award show photos, photos from past seasons of Project Runway and TV shows she watches. I personally love the Minnie Mouse ensemble!

As kids, my sister and I had a bag of scrap fabric from our Grandmother. Sometimes we would drape the fabric and pretend they were dresses but they never looked as beautiful as these paper dresses! My sister would often pretend she was Madonna (she even had one lace glove) and she would pretend she was late for an award show. She claims this never happened, but it’s funny the little things you remember from your childhood. For some odd reason, this always sticks out to me!

Anywho, check out these beautiful dresses…

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Mid-Century Modern

Posted by | architecture, design, interior design | No Comments

If I ever had a summer home in a warmer climate, this home in Cape Town is what it would look like. Ever since I visited the Stahl house last month, I’ve had mid-century modern design on the brain! This is the perfect way to mix new and vintage furniture, and to incorporate feminine and masculine pieces. I absolutely love white kitchens (they always look so clean!) and Ryan is obsessed with warm woods, and vintage grasshopper chairs. (He is always talking about these vintage inspired chairs I used for an office project!)

What is your perfect fantasy home? Mine almost always include a comfy sectional to take a cat nap with my crazy kittens.

modern cape town mid century

modern cape town mid century
modern cape town mid century
modern cape town mid century
modern cape town mid century

All photos by Warren Heath via escapade.

p.s. My future cabin will look like this, this or this. :)

p.s.s This is my dream home… with update interiors, of course!

San Francisco

Posted by | design, food, travel | No Comments

The last four days were spent in a city we fell in love with instantly… San Francisco. Unfortunately Ryan and I both caught a nasty cold the entire time we were here, but we made the best out of it. We stayed at this swanky hotel called The Clift designed by Philippe Stark. It was really minimal, but probably the most homey hotel I’ve ever stayed in. The ceilings were probably 12′ in the rooms, and the window treatments made it feel less like a hotel but more like your master bedroom.

We checked out each neighborhood and we were surprised how much like Manhattan the city felt like. Although it was more beautiful, clean, and friendly. ;) And all the food was so fresh! We loved walking on Pier 39, which felt like home because we always love going to boardwalks at the Jersey Shore. I also really loved Sausolito, a quaint little city right across from the Golden Gate Bridge. Ryan’s number one thing he wanted to do was see the Redwood trees. (There’s a reason why his friend calls him “Ry Dry the nature guy”..) It was unbelievable to see how BIG they are!
The last night we were there, we went to an outdoor food festival called Off the Grid. There were about 30 food trucks, a few wine trucks, and a few local brewery trucks. We ate the best tacos ever (seriously) listening to live music and drinking cocktails. The entire trip was huge inspiration for my cooking, and I can’t wait to try their pulled pork tacos. I had chipotle shrimp tacos with pico de gaillo but scarfed it down before I could take a picture. It was that good!

All in all, our trip to California was really fun. It was the perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, and romance. :)

 

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Stahl House

Posted by | design, interior design, travel | One Comment

Ryan and I took a trip to California for our anniversary a few weeks ago and I’d love to share some photos!¬† We originally started planning this trip because we won a few nights at an amazing 5 star resort in Santa Barbara (more on that later!) so we decided to extend the trip. We flew into LA, stayed for a few nights, drove up the coast to Santa Barbara, stayed a few nights, drove up the coast a little more to San Francisco where we ended our trip. Our first stop (quite literally) was going to the Stahl House, and to say I was excited was an understatement! I’m sure you’ve seen the infamous photographs by Julius Shuhlmann. I mean… they are so beautiful. During our tour, they told us that the photo of the two women chatting were actually assistants to the photographer and it was an organic shot in the moment. Isn’t that interesting? I always imagined it being a formal cocktail party and they were women chatting about their husbands.

The home is very simply laid out in the Hollywood hills and has the most breathtaking view of the city. It is a “L” shape with the kitchen, living room, and dining room one one side, and the master bedroom, bathroom, and children’s bedroom on the other. While beautiful, it wasn’t the most practical for family life today. They had one TV, in the master bedroom, and the family all watched together in their room. Also, three children shared one bedroom and in order to get to their bedroom you had to walk through the parents bedroom. The house is still owned by the children, and even one of the sons was there to chat with us.

We arrived for the tour around 6:30pm and stayed for about two hours to watch the sunset. We took photos, experienced the space during different lighting, and chatted with some fun people from all across the country. You see those glass panels in the living room? They are actually sliding doors. We sat there chatting about our trip while the most perfect breeze swept through the house and it made me giddy. Giddy to be in California, giddy to be celebrating another year with Ryan, and giddy that I feel fortunate to be designer who gets this excited by design.

Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles

Stahl House, Los Angeles

Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles
Stahl House, Los Angeles

Wood Tiles?

Posted by | design | No Comments

Typically I’m not a fan of materials pretending to be something that they’re not, but this tile may have change my mind. I was shopping for a kitchen back splash and some bathroom tiles this week and spotted this porcelain tile in the showroom. It is the most beautiful greyish brown color and actually looks like wood. Weird. I’m just waiting to use this in a basement or bathroom renovation!

Artistic Tile Wood Grain

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