Friday, December 14, 2012

Before and After: Leanne's Fireplace

About a month or so ago, I was chatting with my sister-in-law on the phone about how she will be hosting Christmas dinner this year.   As we were talking, she mentioned that she wanted to fix up her fireplace before the holidays.  She was definitely tired of her old brass insert and wanted to update it on the cheap...and a success it was!

The first step was getting rid of the 70's style brass insert.  It didn't "pop out" like she had hoped, but my father-in-law and brother-in-law were there to assist with this process.  She then cleaned the inside with Simple Green, filled it with some candles, and bought a screen at Lowes.  Doing that alone made such a big difference!

However, she decided to take it a step further and paint the oak mantle white to really make it pop.  My father-in-law is a painter so, although she was ready to do the job herself, he took it over and did the first coat in about 15 min!  The next day they finished the 2nd coat and it looks amazing.  She used Ben Moore's Antique White with the primer mixed in.  All of this cost no more than $65.00! Talk about a great way to make an update with a small amount of time/money before Santa arrives. Let's hope he doesn't knock over those candles!

Check out the Before and After pics... I can't wait to see it in person. Awesome job!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Livingsocial/RugsUSA deal

It's been a while since I've posted...and a lot has been happening around the house that Ill definitely share soon!

...but for now, check out this Livingsocial deal I saw today!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Oh so Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

It's so easy to forget and take for granted all we are blessed with. I hope you all take a moment to really soak in all that you have, or don't have for that matter, and just give thanks. Although we should probably do this more often, I think holidays are the perfect reminder for us to "check in" once in a while.

Today, and every day, I'm so thankful for...

1. My main squeeze...and ALL that he puts up with.

2. Our incredible (large!) family. I feel so blessed to be at an age where I can sit down with so many generations all together. From grandparents the baby nephews, it's pretty great.

3. Our Friends...who pretty much are family and inspire us every day.

4. A job that I love and am lucky to have.

5. Our home & Miss Brooklyn

6. Those that we've lost... and to have at least had them in our lives, even if it felt too short.

Wishing you all good health, happiness, and many thankful moments!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Our Wedding on Newport Wedding Glam!

It's such an honor to have our wedding featured on Newport Wedding Glam!
Newport Wedding Glam: Newport Wedding | Newport RI Weddings
Click Here to see the feature!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Free Coffee Fridays!

Happy Friday Everyone...

I've been stopping at Cumberland Farms for my morning coffee every once in a while.  Today, we ran out of creamer, so I figured I'd just stop there on my way into work. The coffee there is pretty good and only $1 (sure beats spending a small fortune on Sbux).  I was so excited to see that they are having Free Coffee (any size) on Fridays for all of November... I just had to share the good news. ha!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

ducduc's Design a Nursery Competition!

Although I can't wait to be a mom one day, right now...I can. Ha! Baby steps people (cheesy pun intended).  Luckily, I have the most amazing niece and nephews so I'll just "borrow" them until we're ready for that time to come.

I got this e-mail the other day at work from ducduc, a children's furniture store that carries the most adorable, modern pieces.  Since so many of my friends are mom's, moms-to-be, or even for those aunties out there, check out this cute design competition.  There's a chance to win up to $4,000 for the winner! ....Or, at the very least, find some inspiration from the contestants. :)

Design Your Dream Nursery with ducduc, as part of our "Express Your Style" Contest with Olioboard and Layla Grayce.     Winners will be selected by stylemaker Molly Sims, for up to $4000!     Click to enter!
Click Here to Enter or View!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The rug came! (well...a few weeks ago!)

Remember the area rug I bought on Well it came a few weeks ago! Unfortunately, I haven't been posting lately because it seems that October has been one busy month between work and catching up with friends.

I took a quick pic of the rug to send to a friend today, but will post some better shots at a later date. I really love it! I think it's a perfect fit with the white wainscot and gray walls. It's so comfortable and thick compared to the last one. It's wool but luckily you can't really see any shedding... that is until you empty the vacuum! Also, it looks a little more gray in the picture than it is in person.  It's actually more beige but not as dark as the picture from their website which I was pleased about.  Nonetheless it was definitely a good purchase.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Boston Trip: Part 1

Although I've been feeling a little under the weather these past few days, I have to say this past weekend was such a great one for me and long overdue! My cousin, Katie, has lived in Boston for 6 years now and I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've visited her! We also have a lot of family members in the area too, so it's really pretty sad that I let life get so busy that I've barely been up that way. My closest friend of 20 + years (yikes!) Bobbi Jo, also moved there more recently. So this past weekend, I made sure to break the bad habit and take the trip up to the Bean to visit 2 very special people!
I arrived Friday night after work and met the girls. After, we dropped off my bag at my cousins (who lives 2 blocks from Fenway Park...even though I'm a Yanks fan, still pretty cool!) and then grabbed a late bite to eat at this place called Eastern Standard to say hello to her friends. Two of which happen to work at Arhaus, a home decor / furniture store with gorgeous finds.
The following morning we met BJ for breakfast at a great bookstore/diner on Newbury called Trident. I got an Apple and Brie omelet that was to die for! The atmosphere was really cool, they carried an assortment of books and cards that we looked through while we waited for our text. (Yes, they text you when your table is ready!)

Walking by the Fens on our way to breakfast.  Prudential Center in the back...

Like I need this in my life!

After breakfast, we walked around Newbury and went into a few stores.  Ironically, as we were on Newbury, I happened to bump into my husband's cousins who were visiting for the day!  After a quick chat with them, we took a stroll through the gardens to take a break from shopping.  Nothing beats sitting outside by the water on a sunny fall day, and catching up with good company.


BJ had to head back for a little after the park, but K and I headed off to Charles St. where I ended up falling in love...with a store.


If you're ever in this area of Boston, you MUST check out The Flat of the Hill . They had the greatest finds and carried such an eclectic inventory of all things fabulous with price points that range from super reasonable to higher end. Regardless, it was a fun way to get inspired. Here's some of the goodies they had: 


my $14 purchase!
Here's some more fun stuff we found around Charles St.:


Loved all these patterns
After an amazing day, we headed back to Fenway to regroup and get ready for dinner. We went to BJ's place first and then we were off to have a drink at The Top of the Hub before dinner at Marco in the North End. 

It was so pretty seeing the city from that view! We were able to see all of Boston and and Fenway park. A great way to start the night.

We headed off to the North End where we enjoy an incredible dinner at a gem called Marco. Definitely visit when you're in the area and ask for Gil (aka our new BFF) as your waiter!  We had bruschetta, the freshest mozzarella we've ever tasted wrapped in prosciutto , and prosciutto wrapped figs that were warm and heavenly! We also enjoyed risotto , salads, and a lemon wine sauce linguini that was incredible!  I can go on and on about all that we tried but it will never do this place justice.  A must try!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

60% off Rugs USA!

Last weekend, we decided that we have to, unfortunately, return our gray and white striped area rug to Crate and Barrel.  I'm so sad, I really, really love it!  The only problem is that the white part makes me nervous with what is going to be a high traffic area and we realized we needed something a little thicker.  I still think it's a great rug though, especially for a bedroom or sunroom.  Here's one of the wedding pictures that shows what we currently have (since I've already rolled it up!):

Last Saturday, I went on Rugs USA to check out some alternatives since they typically have pretty amazing deals.  I found this trellis one (you've probably seen it before) that I think will work with our gray walls (BM Rockport Gray) and white wainscot.  I usually love the look of bold patterns, but because I like to change things so often, I decided to do something with a pattern that's a little more neutral. I figured it would give me more flexibilty for the future!
Rugs USA Homespun Moroccan Trellis Charcoal Rug
When I looked last week, the rug was about $300 or so... which isn't bad.  Luckily, because I waited until this Columbus Day weekend (totally not on purpose, haha), they were marked down even more to 60% off! You just have to use the code COL60.  Hurry up though, it ends tomorrow I think!
Actually, to be honest, if there's something you like, keep an eye on it, they have promotions all the time.
Showing the original price ($509.38) before 60% off!
The absolute BEST part about this rug is that it's 100% wool and cost me a whopping $203.00 (and free shipping!!) for an 8'6" x 11'6" size.  That's almost unheard of.  We were also able to check out through Amazon (where we use the Prime free, two-day shipping) so we should get it pretty soon.  I've never ordered from here before, just "window shopped", but when my girlfriend said she had good luck with them, I figured why not?!
Here are some other cool ones:
Rugs USA Homespun Inspire Charcoal Rug
Homespun Inspire Charcoal Rug
Rugs USA Homespun Moroccan Trellis Blue Rug
My girlfriend El has this in her dining room
Rugs USA Radiante Hearts Beige Rug
Rugs USA Homespun Atlantic Grey Rug
 Let's just hope after all this hype, I end up liking it in person! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fashion Feature: Verano High Swimwear

Happy Wednesday Everyone!
On this rainy, fall day chances are you’re wearing a comfy sweater or boots…but today, I actually want to post about swimwear.  Nothing is better than being able to support a local talent, especially when you truly believe in their work.   With that, I’m so proud and excited to share with you my “cousin-in-law’s” very first swimsuit line called Verano High. 
My husband’s cousin, Maria, started off her career as an Interior Designer as well, but has followed her “passion for fashion” and, through hard work and natural talent, she is making her way onto the fashion scene.  She has been working on this swimwear line for a while now, and her website is now up! You can start to order through email now; however, you will be able to order directly online in only two weeks! 
I can’t say enough about this line.  I’ve seen the samples in person, and they are high quality suits that are designed so beautifully.  I say this as someone with a design background, not just as a family member!  Maria is someone who is so humble (too humble!) about her talent and has such a big heart.  She designed a lot of the fabrics herself and, of course, all of the swimwear.   Her first photo shoot was in Colombia, where she styled everything – even using some of her own pieces!  The final images are a beautiful marriage of architectural elements that frame her inspiring collection.  If you ask me, they are a perfect homage to her interiors background and bright future in fashion.  I hope you all enjoy her collections as much as I do, and please, spread the word! 
Of course, you will be able to see MUCH more on the website,!
To follow her journey and Verano High’s upcoming collections, check her out on:
Twitter Twitter (@veranohigh)
Facebook (Verano High Swimwear)
Pinterest under… yup, you guessed it… Verano High. J
Congratulations Maria on all your hard work and best wishes on well-deserved success!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Carpet and a Cause

A few weeks ago, my boss said that our local Interface carpet rep reached out to her to see if any designers would be interested in volunteering at a local woman's shelter called My Sisters' Place. The goal was to get volunteers to take a few hours to go to the shelter, rip up the old carpet, and help lay down new carpet tile in the apartments.  My Sisters' Place provides transitional housing for women and children who are either homeless or have suffered domestic violence.  They have a great support team that helps to rebuild their lives so they can move on to permanent housing.  We all jumped at the opportunity to help such a great cause.  Today, my girlfriend and co-worker, El and I took the trip to lend a hand. 

Exterior Shot of the Old Factory turned Apartment Complex
Here's a pile of the carpet tiles that we used. They are about 20" x 20" and super easy to install.

Below is a picture of the tiles being installed in a quarter-turn pattern.
The great thing about using carpet tiles in apartments, and in general, is that if something happens to one (a spill, rip, etc..) you literally just "pop" that one out and replace it.  No need to rip up wall to wall carpeting! We had a lot of extras, so they could keep them in the storage unit if needed.
Another reason why carpet tiles are a great solution is that they are actually a floating floor.  All we had do to was use the "Tac Tiles" (the white strips shown in the pic) developed by Interface on each of the four corners of the carpet and simply align the tiles together. It went really fast and no adhesives needed!

My partner-in-crime hard at work!
It was great to see the apartments transform so quickly, just by using the carpet tiles.  They are the easiest thing to install and I would highly recommend them as a solution for your home.  Check out Interface's Flor division as a great solution for residential living. Here's a quick video that explains more about the Flor system.

To my city-living friends, check out the Flor stores in both NYC and Boston!

My FLOR goes where others wouldn't dare. Shop now

More importantly, be sure to check out My Sisters' Place to learn more about how you can help a good cause!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Before and After: Entry

We've done so much to this home over the years, so I thought posting our "Before and Afters" would hopefully give you some inspiration.  I also thought it would be a nice "trip down memory lane" for us to see how much work we've done. I catch myself feeling like we "have so much more to do to this house", but when I look at old pictures and see how far it's come, I am so proud of what we (mostly, the hubby...) accomplished.  I'm so lucky to have such a talented, hard-working partner that puts up with all my ideas and is the main reason why any of this is executed!
(PS - To avoid boring you with text, I'll be sure to share how we did everything in a separate post!)

With that being said, let's take a look at the entry. 

Below is the before picture (I hope that would be obvious...hehe)
Doesn't really scream, "WELCOME HOME!" does it?

Entry / Before
The tile, carpeted stairs, and maroon paint with a "stucco inspired" texture really were, for lack of a better word, a HOT MESS.  There was hard wood underneath the carpet, so we ripped that up, cleaned up the stairs, and added some poly so the tone would stay the same as the banister. Below is a process pic, before we ripped up the carpet.

Walls primed, before we ripped up the carpet

Unfortunately, I don't have an "After: Part 1" pic to show the stairs. Although, I guess it really doesn't matter since they weren't that way for long! In Dec. 2011, I finally convinced Rick that we should stain our entry stairs a deep espresso brown and add wainscoting throughout the house, starting with the entry. The rest of the hard wood is light, but the contrast really works, and I still get my fix of the dark floors even if it's not throughout the house! A win - win! hehe..

Entry / After
This picture also shows Rick's first tile job that was done a few years before we stained the stairs and added the wainscot. The stain and the tile really work together, and I'm so glad he gave in! We still need to add the framing to the wainscot, but two little projects called "siding the house" and "planning a wedding" took precedence over this for now!

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