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Weekend Musings

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. The weather was quite crummy here in New York which actually worked quite well for me considering I was feeling motivated to clean and organize my apartment in preparation for my Mom and sister to visit on Wednesday!  I have also been so busy and really craving a day to just lounge around and catch up on reading blogs, pinning recipes, etc., and today was great for doing just that!

Alyssah Ali & Ocean - Vogue India October 2010 - 5

I came across this 2009 Vogue image today via captivated by image

This modern take on a Victorian inspired look is so romantic and chic.  I would love to put this on for stroll through Central Park!

 

Peonies

 

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Peonies are absolutely gorgeous and I try to have them in my apartment as much as possible during their short blooming season.  I bought peonies that had not started to blossom and they are already in full bloom.  Such a nice and simple arrangement, my Mom and sister are going to love them!

Croissant and Coffee

Patrick was in Austin this weekend so I treated myself to an almond chocolate croissant from Couleur Cafe 

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Even there are so many great resources online to find, save and share inspiration, I still really enjoy the act of going through magazines the old fashion way!  I still write notes on my tears and have an extensive file system of inspiration and recipes that I reference quite often.  Of course Sadie loves this spot, she keeps her eye out for squirrels and I think she feels quite cozy as she watches the passersby on the street!

I discovered a new tumblr account that I am kind of obsessed with.  The images on Moods of the Moon bring back so many memories of spending weekends at my great grandparent’s house.  Days spent hiking around in the countryside and wading in rivers and nights catching fireflies and eating ice cream on the front porch.  Such great memories to be reminded of.

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Make your start to the new week great and remember that we have a nice long holiday weekend to look forward to!

 

Designer Spotlight – Summer Thornton

Chicago based interior designer, Summer Thornton, is one of the best as well as one of my personal favorites!  She has the natural gift to create an eclectically curated, sophisticated space that feels fresh, chic and really fun.  She has a great eye for color, effortlessly pairing combinations that most of us may be a little unsure of.  The homes and interiors she decorates all have her special touch while managing to truly make the space reflect her clients’ lives and travels.  Summer is able to design a space that will be enjoyed for years to come and leave us drooling for more!

 

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I love this jade velvet couch

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Totally want this closet.  I think this is bigger than my bedroom!

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The lavender chairs look so chic juxtaposed with the royal blue couch and other blue and grey tones.

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Fun take on a seemingly traditional dining room.  The wall color is gorgeous!

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I love the black and white elements mixed with the minty hues.  That plaid chair is so cool!

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Super chic seating area with a great built in.  Wouldn’t you just love to entertain here?

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More great colors!

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So many great uses for this seating area.  Drinks with girlfriends or curling up with a book and coffee!

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Great smaller space kitchen!  Love the use of the glass shelves.

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Fun floral and geometrics.  These arched French doors are amazing.

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Great wall pattern mixed with vintage chairs!

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Marie Rae Man – Mother’s Day Made Easy

If you’re anything like me, you don’t always put enough time or thought into getting your mom (or wife) something special for Mother’s Day. I owe so much to my mom that the least I can do for her is try my best to make sure she has a great Mother’s Day each year. Whether you go with a traditional gift like flowers, or  something more personalized like making her favorite meal, it’s safe to say that it indeed is “the thought that counts.” That said, just a little extra thought and effort can help your mom or wife feel truly loved and appreciated.

Mother’s Day is just a few short days away, but don’t worry just yet – there’s still plenty of time to get something great. Here are a few quick and easy ideas I’ve come across that may just help you give her the best Mother’s Day yet. And the best part? They’re all gift options you can order online, so you can order them all without having to turn off SportsCenter:

If you are inclined to go the traditional flowers or sweets route, there are plenty of great options from online deal providers such as Living Social or Groupon that can help make a nice bouquet, box of chocolates, or massage gift certificate even easier on the wallet:

Groupon Flowers

Funnily enough, Groupon’s Mother’s Day guide is entitled “Yo’ Momma’s So Great”

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Living Social also gets in on the holiday with deals for the quickest way to a woman’s heart – through her sweet tooth

Not to be outdone, online retailers like MYHABIT (an Amazon subsidiary) and Gilt Group offer plenty of gift ideas that are sure to prove to your mom or wife that their inherently good taste has clearly worn off on you. These ideas run the gamut from the extravagant to the simple and affordable. MYHABIT bills its “Elizabeth Street” collection as “as an insider’s guide of sorts for stylish moms the world over, featuring everything from new fashion designers to family travel tips.” A few examples of what they suggest for this Mother’s Day are:

Chloe handbagSeveral handbags at quite a few price points

Sunglasses

If your wife or mother is anything like my wife, she can never have enough pairs of sunglasses

Body Cream

You really can’t go wrong pampering her with beauty products , and not to mention at some great prices

Probably my favorite place to search for something truly special for my wife is a site called Etsy. Guys, if you aren’t familiar with Etsy, you really should check it out. It’s an easy-to-navigate online marketplace for all things handcrafted and customizable, and offers a ton of special options that you can work with the creators to make your (or her) own. Etsy has done a lot of the work for you by aggregating a lot of the Mother’s Day-themed items in one place:

Profile necklace

This customizable profile necklace that utilizes a picture you provide is a great idea for any young mother

Mother poem

Etsy also offers some downloadable art for great last minute gift ideas

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No successful Mother’s Day would be complete without a personalized card. Etsy offers seemingly endless options

Regardless of what you do or gift just be sure to let your Mom and/or wife know just how much she means to you and how grateful you are of everything she does! Make this Mother’s Day a good one!

Spring Booties

The completely unpredictable spring weather here in New York is making it quite easy to keep wearing those super chic booties.  As much as I am so ready to pack up my bulky winter clothes, my booties will stay put in my closet!  There are so many fun ways to transition your boots into spring looks and if you don’t have a pair there are plenty of great styles to choose from.  I have shown four different looks below all with booties that are currently available online!

White and Chambray

J.Crew top / Anthropologie Skirt / Bauble Bar Necklace / Tory Burch Bootie

Boho Prep

 Printed Cropped Pants / Haute Hippie Anorak / Splendid Tank / Dolce Vita Booties

Military Chic

Michael Kors Jemma AviatorsMarc by Marc Jacobs ToteShirtdressElizabeth and James Bootie

Floral and Leopard

Floral TopBlack Skirt / Gold CuffLeopard Print Booties

All of the booties shown above are incredibly versatile and can really be interchanged with any of the looks.  One of my favorite looks has to be the peep toe, it is such a fun update for spring and we have to start showing off  our pedicures now that it is getting warmer!  If you are trying to find the perfect pair for you choose something you love that fits your style and you really cannot go wrong!

Marie Rae Man – Summer Suiting

Hi everybody, it’s Jessica’s lesser half Patrick here. She’s been kind enough to let me contribute to the blog this week, which I am really excited about doing for the first time as part of a series we’re calling Marie Rae Man.

The weather over the past week in New York has been all over the map, what with one day winter hanging on for dear life and the next spring truly trying to, well, spring. The warming weather reminded me that it’s about time to dust off my lighter weight suits to prepare for two of my favorite seasons – spring and wedding season. For you guys out there, you know full well that a wool suit, as well made and tailored as it may be, just doesn’t cut it as the temperature and humidity begin to rise. Not to mention your lady will love that your colorful cotton, seersucker, or linen suit will pair well with the inevitable onslaught of ladies’ sundresses. Regardless of the style you choose – formal vs. casual, two piece vs. three, etc., here are a few of my favorites to help ensure you stay looking dapper all spring and summer long:

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Cotton or linen khaki is the quintessential summer suit. It won’t suffocate you during the hot summer months, can be dressed up or down easily, and is easy to pare with a wide color variety.

Bonobos cotton linen two-piece

I’ve been a fan of the J Crew ‘Ludlow Shop’ suit series for awhile now. Good quality, nicely cut, and definitely affordable. Because of the series’ consistency, it’s easier to get multiple suits once you find the sizing that works for you:

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Ludlow Japanese seersucker

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Ludlow Irish linen

Buying suits that you can pair the jacket or slacks with multiple options is a great idea to add variety to your summer suit collection. Bonobos has a bunch of great chambray (another light, summer-friendly fabric) jackets and slacks.

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Bonobos Blue Chambray Blazer

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Bonobos Red Chambray Blazer

Michelle Winick Color Collection

The easiest way to update your home this spring is a fresh coat of paint.  You can make a huge impact without spending a lot of money, and your space will feel totally new. I recently discovered the Michelle Winick Color Collection by Muralo Paints. Michelle is an interior designer in northern New Jersey with a great eye for color, and she provides color consultations for her clients. She has created a hand selected collection of colors that are as timeless and sophisticated as they are easy to work with to create your dream room.  She has even created coordinating trim and ceiling combinations to keep the process seamless so we can all have a perfectly balanced space.  You won’t find tiny, printed paint chips here: Michelle’s 8 1/2 x 11 swatches are all handcrafted using the actual paint to show a true color representation!

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Take a look at her palettes and see what speaks to you! I am loving the serenity colors.

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Patrick and I  painted our apartment just 9 months ago, but every time I see paint I get inspired to do something new!  There is of course work involved in any amount of painting, but it is  always fun to think about future projects and palettes!

Happy Wednesday! Make it a great one!

Designer Spotlight – M. Frederick

There are so many incredibly talented interior designers today.  I have always loved to look at beautiful interior spaces, but lately I have really started following designers and their work rather than just re-pinning pretty images…not that there is anything wrong that!

I recently discovered Matthew Frederick of M. Frederick in Far Hills, New Jersey.  His interiors are absolutely stunning and completely what I love in a home: light, fresh, eclectic and fun, all while still feeling very sophisticated.

Here are some of my favorite spaces.

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Couldn’t you see yourself getting ready everyday in this closet?  I know I could!

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I love the marble in this bathroom, not to mention ALL of the natural light!

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Cozy yet super chic kitchen

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I love this entryway

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View of the door, great light!

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I love the bright artwork in this kitchen.  Such an amazing space.

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This staircase makes me want to wear lots of gowns and host endless, fabulous dinner parties!

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Loving the contrast of the black door with the white moulding detail.

Have a happy Wednesday!  Hope these spaces make your day as much as they did mine!

Spring is Finally Here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

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The weather is absolutely gorgeous here in New York, finally!  I came across this gorgeous image by James Maher  Photography  and it completely captured my mood.  Plants and trees are not quite in bloom yet but we are getting there!  This image is in Central Park and I am so excited to get to see this in person.

I hope you all have a fabulous, inspired and productive day!

Much Love,

Jessica

Best Tote Forward

I have some fabric that I have been wanting to turn into a tote bag for quite some time.  I am hoping this is the weekend I actually get around to doing it!  Everyone needs a good tote now that the weather is getting nice.  Totes are great for trips to the farmers market or to the beach and pretty much any day in between.  In looking for some inspiration to make my own tote bag I was delighted to see all of the amazing shapes, sizes and prints that are out there right now.  So many fun options and definitely something for everyone!  Here are some of my personal favorites.

Totes

 

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I always love a classic tote but the printed options shown above are such a great pick for summer!  When picking a tote just think about what you will be using it for most often, so that you can have the right amount of room, and make sure it will actually be comfy to tote around!  Match functionality with your taste and style and you can’t go wrong!

PS- One King’s Lane has some really great totes for sale right now as well (ending 4/5) so be sure to check them out now!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

xo

Spring Update, Linens!

Slowly but surely Spring is starting to come out of hiding here in NYC.  We all have so many things to love about this time of year, from just being able to leave the winter coat behind to seeing fresh blooms in the yard, but one of my favorite things is spring cleaning!  I know that may sounds a little nerdy but I love being able to open the windows, let in the fresh air, and have a super clean home to enjoy.  I also love switching out my wintry, warm bed sheets for cool fresh linens in the spring.  There are so many great options out there at a variety of price points but today I am sharing one of my new favorite loves, Julia B. 

The Julia B. bedding collection allows customers to create a custom linen look inspired by vintage linens and monograms. All linens are created by hand by skilled embroiderers in Madagascar and Vietnam.

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So many gorgeous styles to choose from.  Customize your monogram, colors and choose a delicately crafted hem stitch or embroidery detail to make bedding suited to your own personal style!

 

Julia B curtain

Love this monogrammed shower curtain to update a guest bathroom!

Julia B baby gift

How darling to give this pillow as a baby shower gift!

Bridal Hanky

So many great personalized gift ideas!  This is such a wonderful and personalized idea for the bride to be!

 

I am sure you will find something you like, now I just need to pick out what I want most for my home!

 

xoxo

Jessica

 

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