Mercury Glass and Type



I'm finally getting around to putting up some winter/post-holiday decor. I find this the hardest part of the year to seasonally decorate for - what about you guys? I started with the bookcase in the foyer because this was the only space I had somewhat of an idea for:)

I love mercury glass and even though I had it on the mantel for Christmas, I still want to enjoy it for a bit longer, so I used a couple of pieces on the top of the bookcase.

From there I just went for a color palette. I thought black, white/cream and gray might be pretty so I shopped around the house for things with these tones that might work. I love using books as decor, I mean, they need to be stored anyways (and they come in every color), so why not kill two birds with one stone?!

Then I began to notice a sort of theme emerging, a lot of the things I was pulling had text on them. So I went with it. I love the graphic quality that type adds to a vignette.

{this gray album was one of my wedding presents to Paul..its filled with black and white photos of us as well as memories I jotted down}

{these are my dad's stamps that certify he's a registered professional engineer in the state of New York and Commonwealth of Massachusetts amongst others...he was going to throw them out this summer while cleaning out the basement, but I saved them for myself}

PS. To see how this bookcase changes through the seasons, check out these posts: last year's winter look (also featuring mercury glass), fall 2009, fall 2010, Christmas, summer.

I've never considered myself stylish...



...but wow! Someone else does!!! I was extremely flattered when Casey of loft and cottage gave me the Stylish Blogger Award. A fellow Bostonian, Casey lives in a hundred year old home and owns her own design firm. So, she's basically my hero. Casey does a wonderful job of mixing old and new, city with country. Her blog is a great resource, full of awesome DIY projects, beautiful inspiration photos, home tours and tips from experience. It means a lot to me that she thinks I'm "stylish". Thanks so much, Casey!

The first part of accepting this award is to share 7 things about myself with you. I found this part actually rather hard (I'm not that interesting?!), but here's what I came up with:

-I love being a stay/work-on-my-own-business at home mom. Previously, I worked as a 3d animator for a litigation consulting company in Boston for 8 years. I commuted an hour and 40 minutes each way on public transportation. I worked long hours, often weekends and holidays. But in March 2010, when I was 4 months pregnant, I got laid off. They cut our production team of 8 in half and only kept 4 people. I'm really glad I was not one of them, as I planned on quitting on my own sometime later that summer when I was 7 or 8 months pregnant (so that I could be a stay at home mom). This way I ended up being able to help take care of my aging grandmother for 3 months, I enjoyed the last few months of pregnancy without stressing out and I really had time to prepare. Sometimes things just happen for a reason:)

-I grew up in Pennsylvania, in a suburb outside of Philadelphia. I went to college (Syracuse) in upstate New York. I got my first job here in Massachusetts, which is where I met my husband, Paul. And now I'm stuck here;) I spend the weekends in the summer on Cape Cod.

-I love pasta. and seafood. and lattes. and Twizzlers. and any kind of bread. and chocolate jimmies (or do you say sprinkles?) and root beer. and Smores. and Reubens. and blueberry pancakes. I don't like peas. or turkey. or potatoes all that much.

-I love to sleep late. Like until 10 or 11 am. I would do this every day if I could. Don't get me wrong, I can get up early with the best of them - I've never once hit snooze on my alarm. And I'm all about living life to the fullest. But there's something so nice about waking up on your own, whenever you want, and falling back asleep again if you feel like it.

-I'm kind of weirded out by other people's messes. Sometimes I get skeevy at restaurants or hotels. I will not go to the bathroom in a hotel in the middle of the night without socks or shoes on. But my messes? They don't bother me at all. In fact, I'm pretty much a terrible cleaner. I'm lucky to have a husband who doesn't mind half-started projects all over the place. I use our dining room table as a catch all for things I don't know what to do with. I walk around with Maura's spit up all over my shirt all day and it doesn't bother me.

-I really miss doing community service. I tutored and volunteered at an inner city after school program all four years of college. Sophomore and junior year I spent the weeks of spring break building houses for Habitat for Humanity. I am Events Coordinator now for my neighborhood association, but its not the same thing.

-I'm book smart but not that much common sense smart.

The second part of this award is to spread the love. I'm cheating a bit - some of these blogs I discovered recently, some I've known about for awhile. Either way, they all deserve recognition. They're creative, inspiring, talented, helpful, dedicated and well...stylish!

Cozy. Cottage. Cute.
With Two Cats
Reckless Glamour
Good Life of Design
Frugal with a Flourish
A Little Bird Told Me
Hirondelle Rustique
Room Rx
On My Agenda
Honey & Fitz

As part of accepting the award, they'll...
1. Thank and link back to the person that awarded them {me}. Sorry! I didn't make this part of the rules up, I swear!
2. Share seven things about themselves.
3. Pay it forward to 15 (or so) recently discovered bloggers.
4. Contact those bloggers about the award!

Congratulations, guys! And thanks again, Casey!!

Winter Whites...



...from the wedding world. Paired with warm wood or aged metallics, fresh greenery or soft neutral fabrics, there's something lovely about layers of white in the winter. All images from the Photo Gallery over at Style Me Pretty.

{photography by Jose Villa}

{photography by Rachel Barker}

{photography by Minnie Holloman}

{photography by Abby Ross}

{photography by Aaron Delesie}

{photography by Tracy Turpen}

{photography by Jennifer Leiper}

The Gift of Chevron



Hi! Hope everyone had a great weekend:)

I've been wanting new throw pillows for the two leather club chairs in our living room for awhile now. So I asked for them for Christmas!!

I knew I wanted something in green and white/cream to work with the new rug. And I wanted to bring in some pattern (one of my home goals for 2011), hopefully something geometric. I searched a ton on etsy and kept coming back to these olive and natural chevron pillow covers from etsy seller milk and cookies Canada. So I put two of them on my list and on Christmas morning, I was psyched to open up these beauties:

My heart glows...



...with love for this little, baby girl.

One of the best gifts I got at my baby shower was from my good friend Kia. She gave Maura, Paul and I a session with Connecticut-based professional wedding and portrait photographer Sarah Lehberger of Afterglow Photos! What a wonderful, unexpected surprise...the ability to capture this special time in our lives and forever preserve exactly how Maura was just at this moment. Thank you, Kia (and Jon and Brady)!

Sarah drove up from Connecticut in late November to hang out with us for the afternoon (Maura was 10 weeks). Now, to back track just for a bit...Sarah is one of Kia's best friends and so I have myself become friends with her over the years as we were both in Kia's wedding and even helped plan her baby shower together. But even if I didn't already know Sarah, she is so friendly and warm that she would immediately make you feel right at home. As a mother of two kids, she is completely amazing around children and knows exactly what to do or say to make them smile or feel safe. And well, she's just really talented at what she does. And you can tell she loves it.

Sarah came carting a suitcase full of props and blankets and cute hats! I had assembled a couple of accessories myself, and between us we had so much fun dressing Maura up (all the while stopping to take nursing breaks and clean up poop blowouts).
Here are some of my favorite shots:

{Maura's dress from Sears}

{the periwinkle hat was made by our friend's mom, the multi-colored blanket was knit by my aunt, both were gifts for Maura when she was born}

{cream diaper cover from etsy seller Oops I Knit It Again...highly recommended}

{red knit dress and ruffled onesie from baby Gap}

I can't thank you enough, Sarah, for such fantastic photos! Thanks for taking the time to come all this way, for your patience while my girl had some cranky moments, for actually making Paul like the way he looks in these (he hates every picture of himself), for documenting a special time that I will never get back but will always have a beautiful record of.

PS. Remember this photo from our Christmas cards? Sarah took it, and worked extra fast to get it processed in time for us to send out!

PPS. We made it into the Afterglow Photos blog...check out the post Sarah wrote on our time together here:)

Our Home Goals 2011



I wanted to put together a list of home stuff/projects I hope to accomplish in the coming year and then when I read that the Nester is going to have a Home Goal Linky party today, I actually did it:) Unlike most of the items on my To Do List for 2010. Oops. I just went back to investigate what was on my list for last year (downstairs and upstairs) and completely cracked up because barely any of the items got done, which means they are now on my '11 list. Perhaps one of my goals should just be "get something done and crossed off the goals list"!!!!

Anyways, here are some GENERAL, OVERALL GOALS for our home for 2011 and the future:
  • start to find a balance between a home that looks good/how I want and a home that is kid-friendly
  • add more pattern/print
  • add more whimsy
  • declutter and organize
  • incorporate more things in my style (hmmm...what is my style? constantly changing...some mix of coastal, cottage, farmhouse, country, estate, traditional, contemporary and
Here are some more SPECIFIC, CONCRETE TASKS categorized by room:

  • find new lighting (some sort of large lantern) and have installed
  • paint inside of front door black
  • hire Sean to paint walls
  • add wall art to either side of front door
  • pick up Grandma's bow front dresser from Aunt Peg and see how it looks here instead of the bookcase)

  • paint small black cabinet some fun color
  • redo wall art above black cabinet
  • replace these paper canvases with more meaningful/substantial art

  • do something with gigantic blank wall
  • get dry sink from Cape house and refinish/paint, use for storage
  • figure out window treatments (I'm not happy with the ones we have now, maybe plantation shutters to coordinate with family room?)
  • create and hang photo gallery wall of family pics

{huge blank wall...except now this room has hardwood floors and there's a Pack-N-Play sitting here!}

  • find area rug
  • figure out window treatments (maybe plantation shutters?)
  • line back of entertainment center with some sort of patterned wallpaper/paper
  • repaint oar and hang

  • steal drapery panels from living room and rehang here
  • buy and install bamboo shades
  • find hutch or sideboard on Craigs List, etc. and paint
  • maybe paint ceiling a cool color?
  • continue search for patterned, upholstered parsons chairs for ends of table

{after the new floors were installed but before furniture went least you can see the sad windows}

  • paint this old oak bookcase (white?)
  • hang ceramic birds from ceiling

{this bookshelf thing was hanging out at my parent's beach house...I took it home because they didn't want it anymore and put it here in the nursery to hold Maura's books, toys, etc. but I would rather it be another color}

  • finish painting trim!
  • figure out a work space
  • hang cork boards
  • hang some wall art
  • organize desk
  • paint bookcase?, organize bookcase

{holy embarrassing photo, Batman!}

  • clean out, declutter, organize
  • convert to area for working out?
So, not that much to do, right?! Anyone else have a goals/to do list for 2011? Yikes, I'd better get started. But first, I hear the baby crying....

Thanks for hosting, Nester! (I work better with deadlines!)

Our Christmas Card 2010



Hey there! Happy New Year!! Yeah, I know its a little late to be posting photos of our Christmas cards, but I just loooove these so much that I had to share them with you...even if its January 3rd.

As soon as my good friend Holly delivered Maura's birth announcements (read about that collaboration and see pics here), I signed her up to design and letterpress print our Christmas cards:)

I am beyond thrilled with the way they turned out!!! They are gorgeous!!! These were made using much the same process as Maura's birth announcements (printed on Holly's Kluge press with an attached photo printed by SmugMug), but without any additional cut paper shapes added on. However, she did go through another step to achieve the effect of these subtle snowflakes.

Blind embossing is when an image is pressed without using any ink. So first Holly ran the blank paper through the press using just the plate with the snowflakes on it and no ink. This created this really beautiful tone-on-tone white pattern, which is perfect for snow! Then she ran the paper through again, this time with the plate that had the text (and anything else you see in red) on it with a custom shade of red ink mixed to match the red in the background of our family photo.

This photo was taken by Sarah Lehberger of Afterglow Photos (a professional wedding and portrait photographer in Connecticut). She came up in November to shoot a portrait session of Maura. We had so much fun! More on that at a later date.

For a bit of a nontraditional spin on a holiday palette, I sent our cards in a lovely grey envelope (Gravel from Paper Source), that coordinates nicely with the clothes we are wearing in the pic:)

I was so excited to send out these beautiful cards for our first Christmas together as a "family"! Thank you so much, Holly and Sarah!!

Ps. Check out the holiday cards Holly designed and printed for her and her husband to send out this year
here. Totally different style than the ones she made for me but just as cool!

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