holiday nails

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We are having a blast here in Portland (even though I've been sick the whole time - boo).  Last years Christmas nails were impossible to beat so this year I decided to use rhinestones for the first time . . .
They don't stay on very well, but they sure do sparkle!!
Merry Happy Christmas and I'll see you in the New Year!!

holiday cheer!

I'm so excited for the holidays.
The tree is trimmed,
Our house is decked,
The stockings are sewn,
(I took another class at The Needle Shop and made The Man a Christmas Stocking I bought the material to make one for myself as well...
but I didn't get very far)
the cookies are made,
and in a few short hours we'll be eating delicious quiche for Christmas Brunch with my fam in Portland, Oregon.

On Thursday night I got one early and unexpected present.  One of the gals I work with got sick and could no longer use her ticket too . . .
Book Of Mormon!!!!!!!

I haven't been to a play in so long I honestly can't remember when it was.  It was so incredible and hilarious and amazing and so so so so so so so good! great! fantastically fabulous! Now I want so badly to get more tickets so I can take The Man (who not-so-secretly loves musicals) to go see it too.

So Merry Christmas Everyone, I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday and spend some over-due time with your families and people who love you.

snow is falling on the ground

My dad sent me this pic of my parents' front yard on Wednesday:
It's already snowing in Portland!

They say there's a storm a comin' to Chicago . . . well it best not be interferin' with my holiday plans!!!

wishful wednesdays {rugs}

Oh Lordy, I've been searching for an area rug for almost 2 years now.  And the search is finally over . . maybe.

When I first moved to Chicago my mom and I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to procure a few staples to make the all white rectangle of a dorm I was moving into as cozy as possible.  In that large haul we bought a rug.  It was low-pile, it was 50 bucks, and it was deep purple, for all intents and purposes it was perfect.  And through 4 years and 5 moves it served me very well, no matter how many slush covered boots stepped on it and PBR cans spilled on it, it never showed a single stain and it always seemed to go with the hodgepodge interior design of multiple art students.

After I graduated there were a few months of floating.  I lived in my friend's foyer and had every intention of moving back to Portland that December, leaving this cold snowy city behind me.  So everything that couldn't fit into 7' x 8' space had to go.  Everything I couldn't sell I put out in the magic alleyways of Chicago (magic because anything you leave out gets snatched up with in hours, if not minutes, of you putting it there). And so went my purple rug (and dresser and desk and couch and chairs and etc.).

As you can probably tell, I did not move back to Portland.  That October I met the love of my life and slowly but surely we've been making our house (i.e. various apartments) a home.  Since he was a bachelor living in a warehouse all we had when we moved into an apartment together was a mattress and a couch (neither of which he knew the origin of . . ew).  Unfortunately we still have the couch, but there have been many beautiful handcrafted editions made to our space by The Man, and what better to tie them together and cozy up a living room than an area rug. Right?  There are so many options that are fun and beautiful and comfy, but none of them ever seemed to be in our too-low-for-any-rug-ever price range.
There are so many patterns and styles that have been coming in and out of popularity in these two years it's hard to catch up, and even harder to sift through them all and find something you truly love and that won't feel outdated in a year or so.
There are linear patterns like stripes and chevrons.  I always liked the color of this chevron rug from Urban Outfitters, although considering it almost looks dirty before it's even left the store I don't think it would hold up very well in our high-traffic living room.
The Rand rug from Ikea is just about everywhere.  It's a nice off-set black and white striped rug and I definitely thought about it, but because it's a flatwoven rug I'm pretty sure the edges would start to curl after a while.
Trellis patterns were all the rage for a while, and there are tons of colors and pattern sizes to choose from.  I like these because they are classy but they're not stuffy, you can use them to go a more traditional route or you can use them to design a more fun and contemporary room.
I like this "Kite Kilim" rug from West Elm , although this pattern doesn't look like the traditional kilim rugs, which are still geometric but have a wider range of colors and patterns within one rug or tapestry.  This pattern works if you're going for a more global style . . . which we are not.

High-pile rugs feel so good on your feet, and there are so many kinds to snuggle into. From fluffy shag
To the newly popular Beni Ourain Moroccan rugs
To furry Flokati rugs
But considering how much we love to eat on those tv trays, and the fact that I don't like to vacuum, maybe furry isn't a good idea.

Another trend that I find beautiful but way to expensive, and perhaps too trendy, is over-dyed vintage rugs
They are so vibrant and uniqueThe process takes something that was once so traditional and breathes new life into it, making it more contemporary yet still filled with history. It's like a mature way of owning a hot pink rug, and I love it!
About a year ago I almost bought this Denim Jute Rug
 It looked nice, with muted blues and browns, subtle but not too boring.  Then I went to the store, and no offense to West Elm, but up close it looked awful!! First of all, I have now learned that jute feels terrible. I can only imagine it in a mud room or as a doormat unless you feel like torchering your feetAnd denim should stick to being jeans, that's what it's good at, and that's what this rug looked like.  As if I had ripped up my jeans and bound it with some itchy thick twine.  I'm sorry for the sudden rant but after all that looking I thought I had finally found my rug.  So I was back to the drawing board . . .

Until I found Flor
      and Flor deserves it's own post.

How about you? Do you need something cozy under your feet?  Are you already set in the rug/carpet department? Do you agree that whoever decided jute rugs belong under bare feet should be seriously punished? Or do you have them all over your house?
Tell me, I want to know!


checkin' out the neighborhood {amy's candy bar}

Outside it's getting colder and darker.  Gone are the days of leisurely strolling, now is the time for brisk walks to determined destinations.  What with snow on the horizon and a pocket book ravaged by holiday sales, The Man and I haven't been checking out the neighborhood as much as we'd like, but we still, on occasion, find ourselves somewhere new.  And a few months back, when my parents were in town, we made a sweets stop at Amy's Candy Bar.

This place is candy heaven.  The decor is beautiful and the treats are plentiful.
They have every candy imaginable.  From old fashioned to fun and new, and even a little section of nostalgia candies for the young at heart.
 (A gumball table!)
We bought a bunch to try and I ended up discovering a new favorite.  Sponge candy! It's super delicious, and I don't even have to share because The Man hates it! Double Delicious!

renegade dream loot

I went to the Renegade Craft fair Holiday Market last Saturday, just as I said I would.  It was loads of fun and way too crowded and I spent a tad too much money.

I'm not going to show you what I bought because I'm pretty sure the only few people who still read this blog are the same few people I bought the gifts for (hi mom & dad!), but I will show you the many many things I almost bought . . .

I could not stop laughing about these prints from Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters:
They are so funny and too true. I couldn't decide if I should get the neighborhoods I've lived in or get the ones I thought were the funniest . . .so instead I didn't get anything at all.

I'm a little tired of crafty stuffed creatures but these hamburgers from Steff Bomb are just too good:

I was two seconds away from getting this adorable print from Yellow Brick Home's The Pet Shop:

These cards and prints from Nourishing Notes are so sweet:

This one came in a tea towel I almost bought . . . I love donuts

I loved these earrings from Mikinora:

Kate Funk and her cat AC are amazing-ly heeee-larious:
"AC is the Loch Ness Monster"
She takes photos of her cat dressed up in the most ridiculous costumes and this years she's made a calendar for 2013 of AC dressed as different monsters.
The Abominable Snowman is the Best!! I'm still a little upset at myself for not buying at least a card of this print.
There were a lot of great booths this time around and if you live in Los Angeles or San Francisco there's still time to go, so GO!!

wishful wednesday {office supplies}

Soooo, is it weird that I have a "dream cubicle" ?

There's only so much "sprucing-up" you can do in a beige box.  I have my coloful little picture corner, but everything else only exists in the rainbow of black and brown from the alternate universe that is the office supply warehouse. So here are some fun desk accessories I've come across that would be wonderful and welcome additions to my whimsy-less work existence. . .

Tape Dispensers are always black or gray and come from swingline, but these cuties would be a fun replacment:
 17.99 at ruche.
24.00 at anthropologie

Sticky notes are my favorite part of our office decor, they come in so many colors and since I order the supplies I can pick any color I want (was that a sad thing to brag about?) but these "Leaf-it" notes from Appree are even better:
Aren't they beautiful? So far they come in Original (the slender green leaf at the top), Ginkgo, Maple, Oak, Ivy, and Cherry Blossom.  I just want to cover my walls with them and, from the looks of it, so does everyone else:

Need to keep it together?
I've been pretty bummed that these Poopy Tasks Binder Clips aren't available any more, they have other sets over at knock knock, but none of them are as funny as these.
 4.00 at Omoi Zakka Shop
If you're too classy for poop clips than maybe these Mondial Lus Italian push Pins are more your style. So pretty, and who doesn't love something from Italy?!

My all time favorite office supply are these animal D-clips from Japan, I got some last year for everybody at work as a party favor at our holiday dinner, but I want the whole set:
6.99 each at Tokyo Pen Shop
They are so cute and awesome, and so much better than regular paper clips. Why keep your papers together with some boring loop when you can do it with a Hippo!!!!!

Have you seen enough?     No?

Great! There's more! . . .
Awesome wood "USB Sticks" - get it?! sticks!!
 29-39 euros at oooms

Beautiful labels and number clips from the Brass Collection (for you classy people who didn't get that awesome stick joke)
 20.00 at baum-kuchen
 18.00 at baum-kutchen

and an Adorable Wood Whale to hold your random necessities

There are so many awesome, hilarious and beautiful desk accessories out there so why do we all use the same dull black generic junk?

So how about you? Do you dream of piggy paper clips and a hot pink stapler? Have you never ever thought this much about a post-it note? Or are you now under the impression that I'm a crazy person?

Tell me, I want to know!!!
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