Weekend Edition No. 3

blueberry muffins in basket

So this week was highly productive… just not on the blog. I knocked out about 3 different doctors appointments, made three victims of domestic violence satisfied with the criminal justice system, and got out home in order for company this weekend. The blog unfortunately had to go on the back burner. Although I hope to share some of what I’ve been up to lately with our backyard update, some new recipes (like the amazing blueberry muffins seen above!), and design inspiration.

Links I Love

Loving this pantsuit seen on Sarah Sherman Samuel here. I love how structural the ruffle looks.

This Philadelphia home tour is so charming considering the space was once a mechanic’s garage. I love that almost everything is homemade by the couple. I wish I had some sort (any) of carpentry talent.

This post from the Man Repeller made me smile. Glad I’m not the only one who dirties white jeans in a nanosecond.

Surviving Suburbia

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Last week in my Weekend Edition, I shared my struggle with adjusting from city life to full on suburbia. Hell, my town pretty much invented the mall. I’ve been feeling pretty sorry for myself to say the least. Living in the city made excitement accessible. All I had to walk out my door and I’d find myself in a street festival, market, next to my favorite cafes and restaurants or I’d simply run into a friend. The suburbs require a little more effort. I sat down today and thought about what I liked about the city or my life while in the city and found ways to do them here. I swear there has to be more to this town than the mall!

Meet the neighbors

Aside from one neighbor, I honestly don’t know any of my neighbors. I am a little disappointed that our neighbors didn’t try to get to know us when we moved in. However, I’ve decided to swallow my pride and make the first move. I have a bunch of blueberries which are just asking to be made into muffins. Who doesn’t love the neighbor that brings muffins?

Take Beau to a dog park

When we lived in the city, we used to love taking Beau to dog parks. Although Beau prefers going from human to human asking for belly rubs over romping around with other dogs, he still manages to get tired at the end of it all (which is the ultimate goal.) I’ve also found that dog parks are a great way to meet other locals and find out about what’s going on in the neighborhood. Whether that applies to suburban dog parks is yet to be seen. I just found one not too far from our home which looks promising and this one a little further away looks worth the trip.

Give the running club a try

My neighborhood has a running club which meets several times a week for various length runs. I pretty much despise running but desperate times call for desperate measures. It is organized by the one neighbors I do know so that’s working in its favor. I think after a few days on the treadmill I’ll give them a shot.

Take a class

I love learning. That’s not to say that I can’t or won’t learn outside the classroom. I do it every single day at my job and I always try to have a non-fiction book in progress. However, there is something fun and social about going somewhere to take a class #nerd. I am eyeing the Shibori Dyeing and Street Photography course at Fleisher Art Memorial.

Start a book club

One of my favorite things I did in the city was participate in a book club. It was a bunch of 20 something women who were a friend of one or two of the original founders. We picked a book each month and met to discuss it at a bar which related to the story in someway. I really loved the routine of a girls night once a month and of course getting new book recommendations. I think I’m going to initiate a book club with a mix of work girl friends and other friends who live close by but I don’t really have a routine of seeing. Anyone in? Ha!

Attend local events

Despite my unending love for all things Philadelphia, it’s ok to admit that there are somethings worth attending in South Jersey. This weekend my eye is on a local flea market and weekly farmer’s market. I also have to be willing to put my big girl pants on and go into the Philly more often, even on work nights… gasp!

Volunteer

I should be volunteering more already. I’m on the hunt for a charity that I can volunteer with a few times a month. I have a pending Board application with a charity that means a lot to me so hopefully this one will be resolved soon!

Weekend Edition No. 2

ceramic tile fireplace

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This week was felt like an emotional rollercoaster. There were some pretty high highs (like winning my first bench trial) and some pretty low lows. I had a really rough time this week thinking about how much I miss living in Philly. Since moving to the ‘burbs I feel like I’ve abandoned this fun, interesting, social life I once had for the easy of having a driveway and square footage. Don’t get me wrong, I love our home and will love it more as we make it feel more like ourselves. However, I have an insatiable itch to be able to walk out my door and head to a friends house, or grab gelato, or just meander to a park and people watch. I’m trying to brain storm ways to fit that lifestyle back in. I bought a bike which I intend to use to ride to the Saturday farmer’s market in a nearby town. I also am consciously trying to expand my friend base closer to home. I can’t go on thinking that my entire social group exists in a place where I no longer am.

I know that my urge to redefine my style and home comes as a reaction to the vanilla lifestyle that I’ve found in suburbia. At a risk of sounding pretentious, I don’t feel like everyone around me. I don’t have kids. I’m in my mid-twenties. I like going to cultural and artistic events, which seem to only be attended and offered locally for octogenarians. What I’m missing for the first time in perhaps my entire life is a community.

I know part of this is an adjustment to “adulthood.” The “ease” of living during schooling has definitely waned off. For me and for my friends. It isn’t as easy to meet for an impromptu happy hour or impromptu just about anything. Is this how adulthood is?

Has anyone had to adjust from the hustle and bustle of city life to suburbia? This girl could use any advice.

Links I Love

  • I love this Garden Planner. 2016 has definitely been the year of landscaping. Keeping track of all the requirements for our new plants requires too much brain space. That’s where this useful (and pretty) planner comes in! Ready, Set, Brain Dump.
  • I love white cararra marble and I own exact ZERO items that are made of it. Fail. I really love these DIY chargers from Bird’s Party. They are super inexpensive to make and look pretty pricey. Double win.
  • This sounds like the most delicious smelling candle.
  • This post from Wit & Delight was just what I needed to get me through a mid-week funk.
  • I fell in love with Carly‘s lip color. (P.S. It’s Lancome #195.)

On the Blog

 

Design Trend: Leather Pulls

leather pulls

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While researching our planned kitchen update, I came across a trend I’ve never seen before: leather pulls. These bad boys are in pretty much every trendy kitchen on Pinterest these days.

I have to admit I have some mixed emotions when it comes to these pulls. Stylistically, they are beautiful. They are a minimalist’s dream and a hipster’s fantasy. They add another layer of texture and material to a kitchens which are often more function than form. Leather pulls also just scream “America!” to me. It’s like a little bit of cowboy on each cabinet.

As seen below, I really like how they are styled in ultramodern kitchens. The organic texture of the leather is a striking juxtaposition against glossy cabinets and sleek lines.

Could leather pulls be the new butchers block?

black kitchen with leather cabinet pulls

sourcenavy kitchen with cararra marble and leather pulls

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grey kitchen with leather pulls and white subway tile

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The jury is still out on this one for me. I love the look but I have some serious concerns about all that leather in proximity to water, oil splatter, and puppies who might mistake it for a treat. I think this trend just might be best for all the Carrie Bradshaws out there who use their kitchen as an extension of their closet. However, this DIY using leather pulls outside the kitchen has me seriously swooning.

Target Patio Sale Wish List

One of the areas of our home that needs the most work is our back yard. We recently expanded our fence and found ourselves with a boatload of landscaping work to do. Aside from the yard work which lies ahead, we really need new patio furniture. Namely a new dining set.

When we purchased our home, the previous owner was oh so kind as to leave his very old, very broken patio furniture behind. Needless to say, we need something a little less dangerous to eat at during the summer.

Right now Target is running an incredible sale on its patio furniture. My shopping cart is quickly filling up with products to upgrade our pretty pathetic patio. I should preface that I am a strong believer in all things blue for outside.

 

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Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 4.10.33 PM Blue Geometric RugBlue Whale Pillow

Target striped placemat

boho ceramic dinnerware

Dining Set // Umbrella // Rug // Whale Pillow // Place mat // Dinnerware

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Last week lightening struck.

I went from uninspired to absolutely exhilarated.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love our house, but it doesn’t feel like home yet to me. Since we bought the house I’ve been pinning lots of pictures of clean, crisp home. You know… soft grey walls, stark white kitchens, and creamy couches. I’m sure you can picture exactly what I’m talking about. Hell, I’ve even posted about it here. My issue? These homes feel like a dime a dozen. That aesthetic is gorgeous, classic, and timeless. However, I’m a bit more eclectic.

I trash pick china cabinets from my neighbors and buy couches (albeit Restoration Hardware) from Craigslist. You’d sooner find me loading up my cart at Homegoods or Target than Pottery Barn or Horchow. I work in the public sector for Pete’s sake. I take after my mother and love a good flea market find and I’d take vintage midcentury over a big box store any day.

I’m so excited to share my new design aesthetic and implement it into our home. I don’t really know how to define it. Modern Boho? East coast meets west coast? Maybe undefinable is a good thing.

Here’s a bit of what’s inspiring me right now:
midcentury modern fiddle leaf fig tree

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wishbone chair

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black kitchen brass handles

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Weekend Edition No. 1

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Links I Love:

  • Philly Mag lays out the best spring and summer flea markets in the Philadelphia area.
  • Gold sandals are a spring/summer staple for me. Lilly Pulitzer made the most adorable pineapple sandals this year. Sandals aren’t on my splurge list because I ruin them every summer so unfortunately those will remain eye candy for me. This year, I picked up similar gold sandals from Target for a whopping $22.99. I also love this pair for $19.99.
  • 10 Things Not to Give a Shit About. I love everything written by Kate. I’d read her shopping lists.
  • My secretary got me good on April Fools Day by turning in her notice. I nearly had a heart attack! As anyone knows, a great secretary makes the job infinitely easier and makes me look good day after day. This collab between Mark Zuckerberg and H&M and this toilet paper commercial were my favorite pranks of the day.
  • If you visit Philly, you must go to Zahav for the best hummus of your life. If you can’t visit (you should!!) then you can make it at home with the recipe! I have the Zahav cookbook and it is staple in our kitchen. #israelilife

On the Blog:

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Why I Quit my Whole 30

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Today would have been the 30th day of my Whole 30, but I only made it 18 days. Not bad, but not 30. Part of me really wanted to finish it for the sake of finishing it, however, I honestly felt unhealthy.

I hinted at this possibility after my Week 2 update. Although I had great energy throughout the day, I was doing really intense boxing and kickboxing workouts at night which burn hundreds of calories. After doing these workouts, I was always at a ridiculous calorie deficit and felt that I wasn’t nourishing myself properly even though I “wasn’t hungry.” I actually stopped losing weight once I added work outs to my whole 30 and started gaining the weight back. Mind boggling.

I also lost my regularity with going to the bathroom to the point where I was concerning. I made sure I ate plenty of fiber with lots of apples, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes, but no luck. I have no doubt that one of the completely absent food groups contributed to that change.

I also found myself eating A LOT more meat. As someone who was vegan and then vegetarian until very recently, that was a substantial change. I always had some sort of vegetable with my meal and usually one salad per day, but without meat, I knew I was eating only a few hundred calories a day and the plan doesn’t leave much wiggle room.

Most importantly, however, I realized that I was eating pretty good beforehand. The Whole30 felt like punishment after awhile and I didn’t deserve to be punished. I deserved to eat wholesome, healthy foods, from all food groups, in moderation.

I’m not going to say that those 18 days were a waste, because they weren’t. I learned more about self control, healthy substitutions, and eating more mindfully. But would I do it again? Nope.

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Beaded Chandeliers

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As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, one thing I cannot stand about our home is the rustic Italian accents a previous owner added. One of the changes I hope to tackle this spring are the light fixtures. Our current light fixtures match the the Italian theme perfectly with vines, branches, and leaves. No thank you.

I’ve been searching high and low for several light fixtures that would go together due to the open concept between our kitchen, dining area, and breakfast nook.

We selected these pendants for the peninsula in our kitchen.

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I like them because they are neutral and won’t add any weight to the room. I want the eye to pass easily from the dining area into the kitchen… which is the opposite of what it does right now with the amber brown clunker lights.

I think I’ve decided on a beaded chandelier for the dining nook. I like the idea of adding some texture and whimsy to the area since it’s a bit secluded from the rest of the main living are. I envision the area to be bistro-like with a mix of chairs and a banquette. Below are some pictures inspiring my vision for that space.

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Here are some of the contenders:Read More

What I’ve Read So Far in 2016

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I’ve been reading and audiobooking up a storm so far this year. So far I’m 10 books in this year which puts me well ahead of schedule for the 35 book I’m challenging myself to read in 2016 on Goodreads. I try to have 1 audiobook and 1 reading book going at all times. However, the way my holds have been going at the library, it feels like the books are coming fast than I can read them!

So far in 2016, I’ve read a lot of books I’ve LOVED but also a few that didn’t live up the hype. In consecutive order from date of completion here’s the books I’ve read so far this year:

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