Friday, July 31, 2009

Gimme Gimme…

I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off the weekend than with the chance of getting something for FREE!

So when contacted me with the opportunity of a give-away I jumped at the chance.

My only requirement for them was that I needed to be able to give away a pair of shoes. Ask and you shall receive. They said yes!

Of course before hitting the shoes section I made sure I checked out everything they offered. I fell in love with their floral options by Yumi Kim and oh-ed and ah-ed over all of their vintage finds. I even toyed with the idea of giving away a pair of Mystique shoes, but eventually I found the perfect thing for my readers.

Here is the profile shot:


What totally sold me on the shoes was the back shot:


You all know how I love a little touch of animal and these Sam Edelman flats fit the bill!

So here are the details!

First make sure you are either a follower or subscriber to this blog.

To enter once simply leave me a comment and tell me where you would take these bad boys out to if they went home to you!

To enter twice spread the world on your blog about this giveaway and come back and make an additional comment.

To enter three times make sure you spread the world on your blog, facebook and twitter!

Remember you don’t need to have a blog in order to enter. Just make sure you leave your email address in your comment.

* Due to shipping restrictions this give-away is only open to US residents. Sorry about that!

If you want to be made aware of more giveaways from Chickdowntown then make sure you check out their  facebook and twitter pages.

Wishing you all lots of luck! You have until Tuesday (8/4) at midnight (EST) to vote. I’ll pick a winner Wednesday (8/5) morning!

Have a good weekend!



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IN HER SHOES: Alyssa DiLoreto

Ok so I know what you are probably thinking….. Who is Alyssa DiLoreto? Should I know her name? Well she isn’t my typical IN HER SHOES feature. She’s not in the interior design world and she’s not a blogger.

But her work is somewhat related to blogs. Lately it seems like all of my favorite blogs have been offering give-aways on their blogs. I’ve done one or 2 and recently was contacted to do another (more details on that later) Well it’s Alyssa’s job to promote her companies clients by contacting blogs, etc and working with give-aways and promotions.

I was interested and wanted to know more about what I typical day was like for her, because not only does she work for Branding Brand, but she also goes to school at the University of Pittsburg where she is majoring in Marketing and Italian.

So if you want to get to know the person from those give-away emails sit back, relax and enjoy!


7:30 am: hit the snooze button 3 times

8:00 am: actually wake up, made some eggs & toast, put on some music to get ready. Current choice is Robin Thicke (loveee him!)

8:30: hop on the bus and go to work in the Cathedral of Learning

forbes Forbes Avenue (you can see the Cathedral of Learning in the background). It was a rainy day in Pittsburgh, but the Cathedral is still so beautiful!

9:00-11:30: work in the Italian Department at the University of Pittsburgh

11:30 am: Walk along Forbes Avenue to work at Branding Brand

branding_brand_office Inside the Branding Brand office

12:30 pm: Grab lunch at Sushi Boat ( I had an avocado roll and spicy scallop roll...soo good!)

sushiboat Sushi Boat, this was the 3rd time this week that I had been there

3:00: Coffee break at Crazy Mocha, spoke some Italian with the barista and got a peach Italian soda (yum!)

4:00 pm: Left work a bit early to study for my final & picked up keys to my new apartment

study_guide Notes to study for my final (you can see the soy sauce from my lunch in the background)

6:00 pm: Went to to night class at University of Pittsburgh and took a final! (Managing Information Systems, not too exciting)

7:00 pm: Met up with my current and future roommate to check out our new apartment. We actually forgot what it looked like but were pleasantly surprised, it's so cute!

8:00 pm: Made a farewell dinner with my roommate by using anything that we had left. On the menu: pasta bolognese, fried zucchini, tilapia sauteed with onion, tomato and lime. For dessert, panna cotta gelato. Then, I packed up our apartment to move on Thursday and listen to more music (Timbaland, Aerosmith, Matt Nathanson, whatever came up on party shuffle), hang out with my roommate

moving Inside my apartment, packing up!

12:00 am: Hung out with another one of my friends who lived downstairs in my building. She was moving out too, it was sad to see us all leave, but exciting to start fresh in a new place

12:30 am: Went to bed!! I was so tired

Even though I had a long day, and Thursday was even longer, I was still in a pretty good mood because I was wearing my favorite pair of Sam Edelman shoes from Chick Downtown.

in_my_shoesMy shoes :)


A big thank you to Alyssa!

I hope you all enjoyed learning about her day. I’m nosey so I love getting to know more about people’s day especially people who get to take part in the blogging world.

Now stay tuned, because I’m just finalizing some details for a give-away from Chick Downtown and will have it posted later on today!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brief Pause

I was working until 10:30 last night so this morning I’m feeling a little drained and my brain feels like this:

clutteredroom Image via Dot Loose

Because I have many, many, many more things to get done today and I would really love to be done earlier than 10:30pm tonight. I’m leaving with some new to me blogs that you can check out.

1. Remember how I mentioned the Evening Hours section of Sunday Style this week. It’s the section in which photographer Bill Cunningham captures all the different high-society events going on around town. Well this blogger is actually featured in them!


Melissa spents her time between NY, CT and the seat of airplane. Constantly going on fab trips she takes her readers along for the ride. You’ll also see appearances of her hubby Chappy (who apparently was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in,“Something's Gotta Give” and Monty her pup.

2. You know how everyone says they want to drop everything and travel the world. Ok so maybe it’s not everyone, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and these almost newly weds are doing just that!


Follow Alex and Mina as the take the final steps in planning their trip around the world. They are taking some final trips in their home town before they live along with asking readers advice on what they should keep or toss!

3. Is a blog that I actually just found yesterday even though blogger Molly has been writing it since 2004!


Molly found herself at a crossroads in 2004 when she dropped out of her Ph.D. program, because she knew her heart wasn’t in it. What she dreamed of doing was becoming a food writer. So a friend suggested a blog. A blog turned into a book deal, a monthly column in Bon Appetit magazine and a reader that became her husband! Plus they are just about to open a restaurant.

So I’m pretty much now hoping that Jon is part of some high-society NY family and just hasn’t told me yet. Which would mean we could drop everything and travel the world and then come home and open our own little restaurant.

Just kidding! I’m just hoping I get through today and actually get to leave my desk from time to time.

Any new blogs you are addicted to that I need to know about?


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Make it work…

I’ve had offices on the brain for the last couple of weeks. I’ve loved getting everything together for my little space, but what’s even more exciting is getting to see what others have done in their spaces.

Just this morning I logged on to Haskell Harris's blog for Garden & Gun to see what she was up to and felt like I hit the jack pot. Her most recent post is a preview of Tara Guerard’s ( Charleston Wedding designer) new satellite office in NY!

It’s a perfect mix of traditional and modern. A style that I am very much a fan of and was done with the help of Callie Jenschke and Nicki Clendening of SCOUT design.

Take a look for yourself and tell me what you think?

ggoffice1   ggoffice2




The kelly green mixed with the orange and touches of red and brown. Ah where do I sign up. I would be happy to simply fetch coffee in that office.

The cherry on the sundae is that the entire office got down on a tiny budget with finds coming from flea markets, ebay and ikea.


Images via Garden & Gun blog

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Twist of Lime

One of my favorite parts of Sunday is getting my hands on the style section of the NY Times. I love reading up on all the wedding announcements, but my absolute favorite section has to be the On the Street and Evening Hours by Bill Cunningham.

In, “On the Street” Mr. Cunningham photographs everyday New Yorkers and what you get to see is a montage/college of sorts with a certain theme every week.

Evening Hours is more photographs from Mr. Cunningham, but in these he photographs high-society events that this high-heeled gal would never get invited to and is way too chicken to crash.

This weeks theme in Evening Hours was a twist of lime.  I thought it would be fun to do an interiors version so here is my rendition of a twist of lime!

limemyhomeideas limebetterhg limebetterhomesandgarden




limedecorpad limesweetpeaandwillow



So, how do you like your dose of lime?

Would you pair it with chocolate brown or teal?

Or is lime way too fruity for you (yes, I am that cheesy)? 


Images via 1. My Home Ideas, 2. & 3. Better Home and Gardens, 4. Jonathan Adler, 5.James Radin, 6. Domino, 7.Decor Pad, 8. Sweetpea & Willow, 9. Hatch: Design Public


Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend Recap: Thrifty Treasures

Wow I woke up this morning and felt like I had gotten zero sleep and wondering where my weekend went?

My weekend recap is pretty boring this week.

Here are some highlights:

-Found a bed (for the guest room…hint hint Marianne come to NY for market!) on craigslist so I went into Manhattan on Friday night to pick it up. Exciting I know…

- Got really mad at my weigh in at weight watchers on Saturday, because for some reason I gained a pound even though I was really good. Proceeded to eat brownies and cookies the rest of the day because I figured I might as well have fun if I’m going to gain a stupid pound!

-Since I was cranky went to my favorite thrift store and spent a couple of hours there finding treasures! I’m going to post pictures below.

- Went to a BBQ with my hubby. House we went to had 6 boys living in it, no furniture, garbage everywhere and things one should never speak of. Still had a good time, but felt like an old lady, because I was oldest one there!

- Sunday slept in and then made my sissy come over and help me finish painting the kitchen, had friends stop by to look at a house for sale across the street. I hope they place a bid on it! Then went to a friend/clients home to finalize paint colors for their living room/dining room and then home for my HBO line-up and totally forgot about Design Star…again.

-Enter Monday have loads of laundry (ha ha) to do, totally cranky, because I woke up tired, couldn’t find my camera stuff to take pictures of thrift store finds, big complications with my web designer and need to find someone new to do my wordpress blog or just stick blogger( ah too many decisions).

Highlight: Mom just called and my sister that lives in Manhattan came home last night and has today off so we are going to go do something FUN!

Well if you got through all that you are quite the loyal reader and I’m going to reward you pics of my finds from Saturday!

Here goes:

Found these adorable vintage canisters from Italy for $8 bucks. I know the manager and got them for FREE! I love them and even though they are meant for kitchen usage I’m going to use them in my office to hold supplies.

thriftstorejuly 003

I never met an elephant I didn’t love and this one was to amazing to pass up. He is small so he can live on my desk and will fit right in with everything else I have planned for the office.

thriftstorejuly 004 

I have no idea what I’m going to do with this item below, but it was calling my name. I’m sure I’ll find a place for it.

thriftstorejuly 005

I’ve been looking for artwork to use in my home. Already went to Mom and Dad’s and took stuff off the walls that I wanted. Thanks Mom! I saw this sketch and thought it was perfect. It was only $6 bucks! I just need a new frame and we are in business.

thriftstorejuly 011

These two lovely ladies caught my attention right away. They were only $15 each and in great condition. I was already imagining them painted white, but once I got home I realized they would go perfectly in my office in that same shade of green.

thriftstorejuly 006

Enter vintage fabric from same thrift store that I got months ago, but wasn’t sure what to do with.

thriftstorejuly 009 

I have just enough to do both chairs! Plus they will go nicely with the fabric I picked for the loveseat that is getting slipcovered.

thriftstorejuly 010

Can’t wait to see it all finished. It should be there soon!

Since my home got a lot of love I figured I should get a couple of me items as well and came home with this:

thriftstorejuly 012

Some of the items still had original price tags on them! Ah heaven. I also found a couple or 10 books that I wanted to read and at 50 cents each I couldn’t pass them up.

All in all it was a good weekend it just went by too fast.

Did anyone else have any luck thrifting this weekend?

Please share.




Friday, July 24, 2009

Design Crush: Kristen Buckingham

Ok, so I’ve been a totally horrible blogger this week. I was so overwhelmed with my to-do lists and high-gloss trim paint that I wasn’t able to coordinate an IN HER SHOES feature for this week.

I blame the paint fumes even though I just started painting yesterday. Ah!  Well this morning I was completely stressed over what to write about today. Normally I have things planned in advance, but today I was on empty.


A quick trip to one of my favorite blogs and I was back in business. Jennifer posted an image that I had posted earlier in the week and due to her comments I was able to find out who’s work it was!


Enter Kristen Buckingham my new design crush and someone I would love to feature in the IN HER SHOES series.



She’s married to a rocker. Hubby is Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac.  So she already cool in my eyes and not only does interior design work, but creates custom furniture as well.


I’m so sold. Where do I sign up to be her new BFF.


I love the way she is able to mesh boho chic elements with traditional and modern elements. The match is perfection. 


All of her work comes off seamless with the mixing of pattern, textures and styles that some might be scared to try.


Her work is the exact definition of what eclectic means in my mind and she does it just right.


I’m off to order some fabric samples and work on 3 room designs! Yay for friday it couldn’t get here early enough this week.


I hope you all have a lovely weekend!





Images via Kristen Buckingham


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shop Girl: Interiéurs

Ok so I must fess up I haven’t had the time yet to start touring Manhattan shops and reporting back to you all. I’m really excited about starting this new feature, but things have been crazy here and will probably continue to be until the end of summer. So my start on it will have to wait a bit, but there is nothing stopping us from going on a virtual tour of a shop I now am dying to set foot in.


Right away the name drew me in. How could it not be perfection with that accent above the e! 


The shop was founded by interior designer and taste maker  Francine Gardner. Francine is a world traveler that sees no problem in mixing design periods, textures and scale.  She believes that interiors should not only be calming, but have the ability to reflex the home owner that will work, live and play there.


I love her use of mostly white and cream furniture with the dark accents, exposed brick and french antiques. It touches on a more masculine style of design that I don’t have in my own home (poor Jon), but truly appreciate.


The shop has a store front both in NY and California and a design studio as well where Francine is very much still involved.


Here are some examples of their work:





Since they are no actual prices listed on the site I can only assume this shop is way out of my price range, but a girl can still look. 


As if Francine didn’t seem perfect enough I then found out she has a blog! Ah she is perfect!


Are there any shops you are dying to get a sneak peek into come this fall?


Let me know!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How to: Gallery Wall Artwork

I’ve never met a gallery wall I didn’t like.


I love what it adds to home. It makes it feel more lived in and comfy along with giving you a glimpse into the people that live in that home.


Right now my home would be screaming BORING! There is a huge blank space above my fireplace and an even bigger blank space in my bedroom. I already have an idea for the bedroom. Should be working on it this week and will have more on it later, but my fireplace still remains solo. I finally ordered a new mirror and it should be here this week. What I want to do above the fireplace only requires about 5 pieces of art, but I’ve been drawing blanks.


What I love the most about gallery walls is the mix of traditional and modern pieces. I love the oil paintings, mixed with the photographs and a sketch thrown in for good measure, but I don’t know about you, but I don’t just have an attic full of these things.


And while I love IKEA for their amazing chic and cheap frames I don’t want to buy my artwork there. I want things that look like I’ve been collecting them for years and years, but I’m coming up empty handed at home, which has lead to loads of stress this week for me.


Family photos are always an option, but I wouldn’t want it to end up looking too much like a page out of the Pottery Barn catalog. Also I know it’s our home, but I’m not sure if people want to be welcomed with massive pictures of me in my wedding dress.


I decided to do a little searching and found a couple of sites that offer unique artwork for a variety of budgets, but mostly importantly the chic and cheap category.

1. Etsy & Ebay: know everyone knows about these, but they must be part of the list.

2. Lumas: A huge variety of photographs, but it’s a little on the high side.

3. 20 x 200: Amazing resource. Lots to choose from and they all start at $20. Also they are limited editions so you know not everyone is going to have the same piece in their home.

4. View Ville: Filled with fine art photo prints. Plus Martha Stewart recommends them so it must be good.

5. Aesthetic Apparatus: Stylish posters with a price point of around $25.

6. Image Kind: Great price points and my favorite thing is that you can browse by color!

7. Bare Walls: Has your traditional pop art posters, but also has Time and Life covers. It could be interesting to be a poster and then decoupage it on canvas for a unique look.

8.SCAD: Savannah College of Art & Design is a mecca of talent and in their store you can purchase student’s works.

9. You work for them: Has stock images and fonts that you can download at a reasonable price and then do what you like with them.

10. Vintage Printable: If the love the look of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, but don’t have a copy of the book that you can rip into then this is the site for you and it’s FREE!

Now that you have the artwork you need to know how to hang it.

Check out here and here for instructions on how to hang your artwork in gallery style.

Ok dear readers I now need your help! You must spill and let me know where you find your artwork that doesn’t come from a big box stores.

Especially if you work in the field let me know who are your go to vendors when a client wants a gallery wall that encompasses them, but they have no artwork to start with.

Please add your resources in the comment section and then I’ll go in and add them to the master list so that we can have a massive resource list.

Images via 1. I Suwannee, 2. Domino, 3. Sunset, 4. Kate Spade store, 5. Domino, 6. Living Etc

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