Favorite Coffee Table Books

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One of my favorite parts of a project is accessorizing. It marks the bittersweet end of a project, but it brings so much life and personality into a home. Coffee table books are an excellent way to display your interests and always act as a conversation starter. Here are a few of my favorites…

 

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Favorite Buys: For The Home

I am a sucker for gift guides and round ups of “best product” type lists in magazines and blogs. Ryan always says I am the ultimate consumer, and our cardboard recycling pile waiting to be picked up at the end of our driveway would agree. I primarily shop online because either I’m working, or I convince myself that taking a hungry toddler to a store after daycare is the worst idea ever. I am addicted to amazon prime. It makes daily mail deliveries feel like Christmas – even if the only item being delivered that day are a months supply of Ziploc bags. :)

Rather than share a gift guide for a holiday, I thought I’d share what my favorite purchases were over the past 3ish years are. I chose that time frame because that’s when we bought our first house, finally got the hang of entertaining, and our lives changed when we became new parents. We didn’t have a traditional registry when we got married, so some of these are items that I would have registered for when we got married almost six (!!!) years ago. I can’t believe we’ve been married for that long! Below is a list of my favorites, in no particular order…

 

 

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5-piece Colander Set.
  When I first brought this home from the store, Ryan thought I was ridiculous because “how many strainers does one person need?!”. I soon showed him how convenient they were, especially when making dishes like chili – straining beans, pasta/rice, straining the fat from the meat… all at the same time. They’re durable and stack together beautifully in the cabinet. I immediately tossed our three old strainers that were breaking and bulky in our already full cabinets.

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Glass Nesting Bowls. I bought these when we bought our first condo in 2007 and we’ve had them since. I use them for everything: from preparing meals to putting chips in them for parties. I like that they are glass, rather than metal, because they can easily be used when entertaining. Another space saver in our full cabinets!

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Landscape Lighting. As silly as it sounds, a childhood dream of mine was to have a house one day with landscape lighting. I was a nerd destined to be a designer, I suppose. I always thought it was expensive and difficult to install, but I saw this blog post, showed it Ryan, and we both were excited to try it ourselves. To be fair, Ryan did most of the work himself but he said it was easy to install. I’d say the most difficult part of the project was knowing how many lights we’d actually need/want. We were weirdos standing outside at night shining flashlights at our bushes to see how a light would look… If our neighbors saw us, I’m sure they thought we were nuts! We did this project this past summer and I love driving into the driveway at night because it makes our house feel so elegant and inviting – for only about $300!

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Shower Curtain Rings. These rings have a hook on each side so the liner and shower curtain are separate so when you have to take the liner or curtain off to wash it, you only need to take one off at a time. Genius! 
71832945499050pGrill pan. Especially when we’re trying to eat healthy, I love using a grill pan. They don’t sell the version we have, but this one is similar and nicer. :)

 

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King Size Bed. We bought this bed when I found out I was pregnant and it was a total game changer. At that point, we needed a new bed and mattress anyway. I knew I was about to become a huge, cranky pregnant woman, and Ryan and I are both tall. I love having a king size bed to sprawl out… especially since both cats choose to sleep on me. We bought it in a chenille-like fabric which has withstood two scratch happy cats. This is one of my all-time favorite buys.

 

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Baking Dish. I have this baking dish in two sizes and love it! It’s another item that can go from oven-to-table because of it’s simple design and neutral color. I also love that it doesn’t stain like other baking dishes I’ve owned.

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Meyer Lemon Candle. This is my new go-to candle. I love the crisp citrus scent – it’s so delicious I want to drink it! I have one on my nightstand in my bedroom and it’s so fragrant and fresh even when it’s not lit.

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Large modern weave baskets. I have two of these simple baskets tucked into corners of our living room for additional toy storage, and for blankets to snuggle up with.

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Bench. The stock photo for this bench doesn’t do it justice. We have this in our living room which was originally used for blanket storage, but has now turned into a “lego bench” where Cole stores all of his legos. I’m happy to have pretty storage for toys since they seem to have taken over my house. The fabric is a durable and beautiful velvet, and looks way more elegant in person than it does online!

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Outdoor candles. I am obsessed with these candles. They really do flicker like real candles! They’re a bit of a splurge for an outdoor item, but the quality is so great that I convinced myself they were worth it for hanging out outside. I also got a few for our screen porch, since the cats and Cole are often in there during the warmer months. Now I have the cozy feel of lit candles without the worry of burned tails or baby hands.

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Sponges. A random thing to write about, right? An even more random thing to love… but it’s true! I love these sponges. The size and texture is different from any store bought which makes clean up way easier. Plus, it’s made of natural fibers and is anti-microbial. We never have that nasty sponge smell! Insert dancing-lady-emoji here!

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Stainless teapot. When our last tea pot fell apart (literally), I knew it was time to upgrade to something heavier and more substantial, even though that means more money. I like to keep a tea pot out on the stove all the time, so I wanted something functional (obviously) but that was also pretty and classic since you’ll always be seeing it. This one fit the bill! They used to sell it at Williams Sonoma, but I bought mine on Amazon because I’m addicted to Prime.
Side note: Because I keep mine out on the back burner all the time, it gets dirty from cooking. I did some research and bought this cleaner and it keeps it looking new and shiny.

 

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Wine Out. If you drink red wine, or have friends who drink red wine – BUY THIS! It’s like magic, seriously! I have the bigger bottle in my cabinet for larger spills and I’ve never had a stain. Ryan teases me that I have the “wino-sized” bottled. :)

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Takeout menu organizer. We are lucky and have a lot of different takeout options where we live. We used to have menus stuffed into a binder until I came across this organizer. My brother-in-law always makes fun of me, but I know he secretly loves how easy it is to find the menu for our favorite pizza place when he’s at our house.

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Modern litter box. Creepy cat in the photo aside, this litter box is beautiful. A sentence I never thought I’d type. We have the box open in our newly finished basement, so it’s pretty visable. I wanted something small and discreet and this one is perfect! When we were showing family the basement once it was done, someone complimented the box but didn’t even realize it was a litter box! I love that the opening is on the top, too, so they track less litter through the house.

 

How is that for the most random list of “favorite” items?! :) Thanks for reading.

NY Now

Two weeks ago I went to the NY Now show with a friend to scope out some new vendors for projects. (Time flies! I can’t believe this was two weeks ago already!) This was the first time I visited the show so I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was more for designers, but it was geared more towards store owners who need to stock shelves with merchandise. They had a handful of items that I can use for projects so it was fun to get out of the office for a bit to see what’s new. Here are some items that I loved!

Love these modern prints from Zoe Bios Creative! They had so many beautiful, inspiring pieces.

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Of everything I saw that day, I think these diorama art boxes by Christine Originals were my absolute favorite. As a kid, I loved making dioramas, with help from my creative father, for school projects. These made me feel so nostalgic and I just love the “little red” and “peter” nursery rhyme inspired pieces. I wish I got better photos of them because these iPhone shots don’t do them justice!

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Adorable animal ABC print from Screech Owl Designs: Perfect for a nursery!

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I love this shagreen table and sideboard from Mr. Brown. The sideboard has an antique brass front that is so beautiful with the texture of the shagreen.

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I also LOVE this modern desk from Mr. Brown. So perfect and simple.

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I also love this mid-century inspired side table. Would this be perfect next to an upholstered bed in a guest room!?

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four eyes

Are you ready for a whole lotta nerdiness and few selfies? (Hey! At least I’m not doing the duck face!) I wear contacts every day, but lately I’ve been needing to give my eyes a break. I’m guessing it’s because of my seasonal allergies, or maybe because I’m stretching out the use of my last pair of contacts. Either way, I need a new pair of glasses. I have a pair that I got in target last year (target has all that is good in the world) but the actual lenses are so tiny, it bothers me especially when I’m drafting on the computer.

I’ve been reading a lot about Warby Parker glasses so I figured I’d give them a shot. Their glasses are $95 (!!!) including glare free lenses and shipping. Plus they ship five pairs to you FREE so you can try them on at home. For the first time ever I actually have several pairs that I like and I can’t make a decision. What do you think?! Help a girl pick out a pair of frames!

Warby Parker Nedwin

Nedwin: Amber (I’m kind of leaning towards these because I like the shape and the color isn’t too harsh on my face)

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Langston: Striped Evergreen (These look more green in person, but I think the color may be too dark for my skin color.)

Warby Parker Reece

Reece: Sandalwood Matte (Love this color!)

Warby Parker Wilkie

Wilkie: Sugar Maple  (I also really like this style and color, but I can’t decide it the frames are too trendy wendy/wannabe hipster. Although the bigger lenses make it so comfortable to work on my laptop.)

HELP!

Stella & Dot - waverly three way bag

Crossbody Purse

My body has been fighting a nasty head cold for weeks(!) and the only cure is retail therapy. I’ve been eyeing this crossbody bag for a while now,  and decided to bite the bullet and buy it. (I actually hosted a Stella and Dot party last year and had some 50% off credits leftover. If you like their jewels, I highly recommend hosting a party!) I’m all for pieces having multiple functions, whether it be a side table or purse. I’m pretty excited to use this baby on our trip to California this Spring. April, are you here yet?!

Stella & Dot - waverly three way bag

 

Stella Dot Three way Crossbody Bag

simple modern flatware

When Ryan and I first moved in together we bought a beautiful, simple flatware set from Linens N’ Things. It’s perfect for dinner parties or for just eating chinese food, but we have slowly been losing pieces from the set. How does that even happen?! We only have four forks left, and they’ve discontinued the pattern so we can’t even order replacements. (We’ve emailed the manufacturer, looked on Craigslist and eBay with no luck. So disappointing!)

We love entertaining and need more than four forks, so I’ve been on the hunt for a simple and modern flatware set. I want something that isn’t ornate so that it can coordinate with any table top design for events. We love the simplicity of this CB2 set and the price sold us since we need enough for 16 people! There are so many great options available at all price points. Which one is your favorite?

Pattern 714 CB2 Affordable Modern Flatware

Pattern 714 flatware from CB2 – $59.95 for four 5-piece sets

Gold West Elm modern flatwareWest Elm Gold Flatware – $29 each 5-piece set (I wish this came in silver too!)

Oneia Aero Modern Flatware

Oneida Aero flatware from Bed Bath and Beyond – $129.99 for a 20-piece set

Oona Flatware from Crate and Barrel – $149.95 for a 20-piece set

Samboney Linea Q Barneys NY Modern FlatwareSambonet Linea Q Flatware from Barneys NY – $85 for a 5-piece set

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