Thursday, February 28, 2013

A little retail therapy without the guilt -I-

We all spend money on things we probably shouldn’t, and these days sticking to the budget is even more important.  Next time you need a little retail therapy, consider getting your fix by doing shopping that gives back!  Shopping fair trade is one such way, but until recently when I thought “fair trade” images of scarves and pottery and lots of beaded jewelry come to mind.  Luckily, shopping fair trade can be chic!  Check out some goodies I found on

Can’t afford Robshaw?  This duvet set is the cost of just one John Robshaw sham and support an artist!

Colorful bangles are all the rage, but when you buy these you are also helping to fight poverty!

You can also find lots of yummy goods- coffee, chocolate, and wine!

this post brought to you by Traidcraft

Only the real thing? Or reproductions okay? Where do you stand -I-

It's a hotly contested subject in most industries, especially fashion and design.  Is it okay to buy reproductions or "inspired by" pieces?  Or is it a no-no?

There are so many fabulous furniture designers that I love, Jacobsen, Saarinen, Knoll, and Gray.  The problem. Budget.  I'm don't yet have the savings that allow me to invest in an authentic piece.  Does this mean that my home should go without a piece that I love?

It is undeniable that designer furnishings, like a classic Chesterfield can make a HUGE impact on your space, even if it's just one piece.

via From The Right Bank

via Houzz

via HGTV

via One Kings Lane

I actually have one of these rocking chairs in white....
but I bought it a long time ago before I knew that it was an imitation of one of the most famous lounge chairs!  I still have it and still like it, but I know a lot of designers would cringe.

So, what are your thoughts?  

If you love a design that isn't accessible to with your budget, are you fine with having a reproduction?  

Do you buy authentic only or go without?

I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I think that until I decide I will try to find beautiful, well designed pieces in consignment and antique shops.  

this post in partnership with Vita Interiors


For summer 2013 Komono introduce eight new prints. Pick your favorite pattern from KOMONO’s easy-on-the-eye fabrics and these modern timepieces will transport you back to an era of carefree cool. Available now at CROSSOVER Flagship Store!
Wizard Print Burgertime

The BURGERTIME! A seriously scrumptious pattern for all you fun- and burger-loving people out there. Yum!

Wizard Print Red Leopard
A Bloody beautiful pattern, to be draped over the pulse of a true hunter.
Wizard Print Dockside 
Dockside a sophisticated pattern that drags the preppy look into the current age. 
Wizard Print Bora Bora
Soft sand, blue skies and waving palm trees, waving at you! Time to sit back and relax, island style. 
Wizard Print Roseberry
A richly blooming floral pattern with plenty of petals for all you romantic time-tellers out there.
Wizard Print Black Pamerica
Another free-spirited pattern of pancontinental cool, this time with a touch of black.
Wizard Print 80's Leopard
A pattern with roaring colors, taking you back to a time when hairspray and power chords ruled the world.
Wizard Print Stripy Jeans
A classic yet ultra-contemporary that can be worn as much as you favorite pair of jeans: all day every day!

Now available at Crossover CS & Tebrau City

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A stunning barn for our wedding! My wedding date and venue revealed! -I-

I am so excited to announce that Chris and I have selected a date and venue for our ceremony and reception!

We were originally shooting for a Fall 2013 wedding, but as everything we were interested in was already booked, we are now having our wedding on May 24, 2014 at the Mathwig Estate Event Barn in Thurmont, MD!

Here is the front of the barn:

via One17 Photography and Brittany Thomas Photography

The back:
via Michelle Zahn Photography

Pictures from past weddings:

via C&1 Photographers: Justin Mein

via One17 Photography and Brittany Thomas Photography

via C&1 Photographers: Justin Mein

The scenery is one of the reasons I fell in love with the barn!
via C&1 Photographers: Justin Mein

via C&1 Photographers: Justin Mein

via C&1 Photographers: Justin Mein

via One17 Photography and Brittany Thomas Photography

So beautiful!
via One17 Photography and Brittany Thomas Photography

Here are photos of the barn undecorated:

I have so many ideas for decorating the space!  I'll be blogging about them as I move through the planning process.  I already have a lot of pinterest boards set up to catalog my ideas.

Here are a couple of photos I took when I view the property in the fall

I am so excited to hear what you guys think - please comment! :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The complete kitchen -I-

What Exactly Is It That Your Kitchen Lacks?  For me, it's ventilation, natural light, and counter space.  Since I rent however, there isn't too much I can to to fix these issues.  When your kitchen has everything it needs, it just works.  Cooking is a more streamlined process, and entertaining is more pleasurable than stressful.

A Table/Island If your kitchen is big enough to fit it in an island/breakfast bar is a great idea. By doing this you immediately turn it into a dining room and gathering place. Even if it is a relatively small surface you can still use the kitchen as a cosy place to have meals. I think it would be especially useful in the mornings when you are sitting the family down to breakfast and going over everyone's plans for the day. If you have enough room for something bigger then full scale parties and dinner parties become a very real possibility.

 via Pinterest via BHG


via BHG

More LightA common problem in many kitchens is a lack of light. This can lead to a horribly dark and old fashioned look, even if the rest of the room is perfectly acceptable. Luckily options abound when it comes to options for extra kitchen lighting, my favorite being pendants and under cabinet lights.
Not only functional, these pendants over the counter are STUNNING.
via Clerkship Scramble


FlowA danger is any kitchen is that it can feel cut off from the rest of the house. If you are still in the process of designing the place then arches, breakfast bars, French doors and conservatories are all clever ways to maintain the contact with other parts of the house. If the house is already finished then it might be more difficult to do this, but keeping the door open and encouraging more use of the kitchen can help it feel more a part of the home.  It sounds small, but I rent and have a galley kitchen, so to "open" it up, I keep the door open, and have a framed picture and open shelves in the kitchen that you can see from living room, thus visually inviting you into the kitchen.

The floor graphic in the kitchen is also in the dining room, creating a visual continuity which helps combine the otherwise separate areas.

Excellent lighting, a runner, and an intriguing graphic keep this kitchen from looking like an after thought and more like a well considered, frequently used space.

2 above via

Smart AppliancesA well equipped kitchen is a joy to work in or to eat in. It can be pricey to start from scratch, but if you already have great bones in the kitchen, a few finishing touches might be all you need. Thankfully, there are plenty of smart, inexpensive appliances and gadgets around from websites such as the popular Lakeland one. If you have all of the basic kitchen appliances already then maybe something exciting like a food processor, a juicer (I've been wanting one for a while!) or one from the modern range of coffee machines could give you the little extra something that you are looking for.

What is your kitchen missing?

This article is written in association with Lakeland home shopping pioneers.

Monday, February 25, 2013

How to live greener in the city or suburbs -I-

I was born and raised a country girl, growing up on a 200-acre farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  I thought that eating veggies from the garden every summer, apples from our trees in the fall, and composting all of our organic matter was how everyone lived.  After living in NYC for a few years though, I realized how difficult it was to feel like one is living a green, sustainable lifestyle. 

City living definitely has aspects that are greener than country living, like being able to walk everywhere.  There are also more and more products coming out everyday to help you live a green city life.  There are bigger things you can do, like adding a beautiful and useful conservatory, where you can grow plants – veggies, herbs, and flowers.  Also keep in mind, many houseplants serve as great air purifiers, which is something you definitely need in the city. 

If your budget allows, a conservatory like the one above is like a little slice of heaven!  Warm and sunny, it a beautiful way to have an indoor garden.

...or you can start out small with a tabletop conservatory or terrarium.
via Gardenista

Terrariums are very popular now and there are tons of DIY instructions and pre-made options available.
via Urban Comfort

via Real Simple

Or, you can container garden, which is what Chris and I do in our condo when it's too cold to keep our plants on the balcony.  They serve as air purifies and decor!

If you have even a few extra square feet, you can keep a small compost container, and drop off your scraps somewhere that accepts them.  Some Whole Foods accept compost, or ask at your local farmers market if any of the farmers would be willing to take it off your hands.  You can also check out to search for composters in your area.

via Apartment Therapy

If you have a little extra space, google indoor worm composting, and you'll find a lot of great resources!

via Hooked on Houses

via Urban Eco Chic

Another big way to green your home is the windows.  My parents switched to energy efficient windows a few years ago and the difference is enormous.  There are certain parts of any house – in the city or in the country – that need to be looked after in order to avoid wasting a lot of energy. If you don’t have double-glazing windows at home then this is definitely one step in the right direction you could take.  This is best done by checking out the website of a big name company such as Anglian Home Improvements. If you take some time to look into it then you will see that there are a number of other jobs you can do about the place in order to make it more environmentally friendly. The good news is that by doing it right and choosing a style that suits the property then it can work equally well in the city or in a country home.  

What do you do to make your carbon footprint a little bit smaller?

The article is written in association with Anglian Home Improvements.

Friday, February 22, 2013


NEW BALANCE 1500 AGO MADE IN ENGLAND - this made in England classic features a combination of black and grey spread across the upper, with bright accents of orange throughout the upper, inner, and midsole. As with all of the made in England ranges from New Balance each pair is constructed by the skilled artisans of Flimby using only the highest quality materials. 

NEW BALANCE 1500 AGO "MADE IN ENGLAND" in Black/Orange available Today (23 FEB 2013) at CROSSOVER Sunway Pyramid!

NEW BALANCE M577 "Farmer's Market" -I-

The "Farmer's Market Pack" M577 celebrates 30 years of manufacturing in Flimby, UK, with special inspiration coming from the local Cumbrian farmer's markets. In addition to the previously mentioned materials, this Dark Olive colorway features a commemorative woven label at the tongue.

The NEW BALANCE M577 "Farmer's Market" in Dark Olive available today (23 FEB 2013) at CROSSOVER Sunway Pyramid!

Photo by Kith NYC

size? x Staple Design x New Balance "Black Pigeon" 577 -I-

size?, Staple Design and New Balance present the "Black Pigeon"577. Celebrating 30 years of manufacturing at New Balance's UK factory in Flimby, the collaboration features a heavy-duty construction with a honeycombed Ripstop Nylon toe box, robust leather paneled upper, and soft pink felt on the interior for added warmth. The size? x Staple Design x New Balance 577 "Black Pigeon" will be available today (23 FEB 2013) 11 a.m. at CROSSOVER Sunway Pyramid.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


THE MAGNUS 'Hawaiian Nights'
A carefree pattern that brings a whiff of the enchanting to the most mundane of nights.
THE MAGNUS 'Acid Denim'
A powerful pattern that drips apart the conventional denim design to create new dimensions in blue.
A sunny pattern for lazy days on a white beach, the wind gently blowing your sense of time out to sea. 
THE MAGNUS 'Ship Ahoy'
This simple and elegant, yet freedom-flavored pattern has its lovers on every shore. 
THE MAGNUS 'Woodland Camo'
A bold pattern of magnificent army-style splotches, forming a vast galaxy of greens on your wrist.

Now available at Flagship Store & Crossover Tebrau City