Archive for April, 2010

21

Free Closet Makeover

Apr

I came across this closet transformation by Freckles Chick via Nicole at Making It Lovely a few weeks ago, and it inspired me to look at my own closet.  Even though the space itself is large enough, I really hadn’t set it up too well when we moved in a year ago.  I’ve been known to suffer from Wardrobe Amnesia- if I can’t see it, I forget I own it, and I never wear it.  My focus was to have my purses and accessories in view, and easy to reach.  I’m doing my annual “Don’t buy anything in April.” experiment, so all of the changes I made were simply rearranging things and using some unused organizational items.

Before:

Okay, all of the focus is on storage bins that store stuff I rarely use.  Meanwhile, my purses, scarves, and belts are hiding.

After:

Oh, it’s so nice to feel more organized!  I can see all of my purses and bags, and there is a place for everything.  I tucked the smaller storage bins under the little table, and the larger bin (quilt we haven’t used in a year) and garment bags (flight attendant uniform) are going to our storage unit.

I may buy some things later on to improve upon this, but in the meantime, I’m quite happy with the new look.

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20

Dress Wish

Apr
737 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion

The next time someone blows an eyelash off my cheek, I’m wishing for this:

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19

Mate Picnic

Apr
No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor, Inspiration

One of my favorite memories of Argentina is wandering through the park watching people picnic.  It seems everyone in Argentina heads outside on the weekends to enjoy the weather and drink mate (ma-tey).  The picnics go on for hours, with everyone enjoying a sip of mate.

Now that the weather is getting better, I’d love to have my own mate picnic in the park.

This Cath Kidston picnic basket comes with all the accessories, just add the snacks.

Pendleton provides the perfect picnic blanket.

You don’t even want to know how long I’ve been wanting this radio!  Perfect for a picnic.

Mate cup and slotted straw for drinking the loose tea.

Hoorah for a cute Thermos!

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16

Large Prints

Apr
704 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Inspiration, Travel

After the Spoon show in Vancouver got out, we were trying to find our way back to the highway.  I’m so glad we got a bit turned around, because we drove by the Vancouver Art Gallery, where there is an outdoor installation by Michael Lin.  I was reminded of when Liberty of London covered their store in one of their prints.  Wouldn’t you love it if more buildings were covered in prints for special events?

Michael Lin installation at Vancouver Art Gallery.  Image: Vancouver Art Gallery.

Carnaby Street entrance of Liberty.  Image: Liberty of London.

Nuit Blanche event in Toronto, 2007.  Image: I Heart Sensible Shoes.

Series of printed shacks by Samuel Francois.  Image via Aesthetics of Joy via Oh Joy!

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15

Fun With The Dressform: Warming Up

Apr
No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, Photos, Styling

We’re in the season of turning on the defroster in the morning, but rolling down the windows when you get off work.  Layering season!  I went with a jacket that isn’t too heavy, so you won’t look too silly carrying it around with you at the end of the day.  You can wear the scarf with the dress after ditching the jacket- some lady on t.v. said it’s okay to wear a print and a stripe as long as they’re in the same color family.  Holding a bunch of tulips optional.

Jacket: Gap

Scarf: Liberty of London for Target

Dress: Old Navy

Sandals: Gap

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14

Pack It Up

Apr
No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Inspiration, Travel

I’ve been daydreaming about taking a long weekend away.  In my dreams, the car has just been detailed, the weather is sunny, and all of my things fit into a cute weekend bag.  I could see one of these popping up in real life:

Ooh, all of my prep fantasies coming true! Image: DNTX.

These look like they could handle more than their share of road trips.  Image: Overstock.com.

Sequins add just the right touch of glam when you check in.  Image: Net-A-Porter.

Love the print, and super-roomy to boot!  Image: Baby Me Bags.

At more than two feet long, this has more than enough room to bring home souvenirs.  Image: American Apparel.

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12

Road Trip: Vancouver

Apr
1,092 Comments »   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Food, Music, Travel

Brian and I went up to Vancouver to see Spoon in concert yesterday.
We were only in town for dinner and the show, but we had such a great
time, we’re already looking for the time to go up for a long weekend.
Even though we live less than three hours away, it had been years for
both of us since we’d been up for a vacation (I used to go there for
work when I was a flight attendant, but it isn’t the same thing).



After crossing the border and going through the countryside, we
stopped for dinner at the Cucumber Cafe, a restaurant at Sandman
Signature Hotel
(where I’d stayed for work in the past).  There is a
reason I remembered this place so specifically after more than two
years- the decor and the food are amazing!  The details like dark tile
and silver textured wallpaper really make you feel special as soon as
you enter.  Also, the light filled windows boxes feature a variety of
succulents, and the retro globe lighting fixtures complete the modern
vibe.  Now, you probably wouldn’t expect a restaurant that looks like
this to serve diner-style food; well, they do!  And quite well, I must
say.  They serve breakfast all day; Brian ordered bacon and eggs,
which came with a side of multi-grain toast.  I ordered a tossed salad
with grilled chicken.  Both of our meals had a fresh taste, and were
made with quality ingredients.  I wish I’d taken the time to
photograph our food, but we both just dug in!


Spoon put on a great show.  I’d never seen them in concert (and I call
myself a fan!) but my years of expectations were met.  Even from our
seats in the balcony of the Orpheum Theatre, they looked great and
sounded even better.  Britt Daniel’s voice sounds exactly the same as
it does on CD.  While we were waiting for Spoon to take the stage, we
wandered around the historic theatre.  The three story lobby is very
formal, featuring several chandeliers, but we felt comfortable and
welcomed.  I noticed a drink at the lobby bar I’d never heard of: Rye
& Ginger.  We asked the bar tender about it, and he said that Canadian
whiskey is made with rye, and they mix it with ginger ale.  Brian and
I each ordered one, and as soon as it hit my lips, I knew I’d
discovered my new signature drink!  Why hadn’t I thought of using
ginger ale as a mixer?

The concert got out at 11:00, and I was expecting the streets to be a
ghost town.  Monday mornings must not mean the same thing up in
Vancouver, because people were still out having a good time!  There
was a line in front of the club across the street, a limo full of
young women were being dropped off to party, and lots of people were
just out and about!  Vancouver may be the coolest city I’ve visited.

Photos: Gretchen Lilly

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02

Bed Makeover

Apr
No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Home Decor

I once read in an old Girl Scout manual that it’s important to keep your bed looking nice because it’s the largest piece of furniture in your room.  Looking back, this was probably just bed-making propaganda, but that little piece of advice has always stuck with me, because it’s true: your room does look a lot nicer when your bed is made.

Lately, it didn’t seem to matter how neat and tidy the bed was, it was just looking blah.  I think the trouble started with the area rug we got in December; that rug is quite the attention-getter, so the bed just looked lame in comparison.  The time had come for a new bedspread.

Before:

After:

The new bedspread is a quilt from Liberty of London for Target (no longer available).  The shams are also from Target.  I love how well the quilt and rug go together.  Hmm, the space above the headboard is looking pretty weak now…

(Image: Gretchen Lilly)

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01

Fun With the Dress Form: Mid 70s

Apr
No Comments   Posted by gretchen |  Category:Fashion, Photos, Styling

When it comes to fashion history, I think the 70s take the prize for everyday glamour.  Hair was shiny and full of volume.  Gold jewelry everywhere.  Jeans that made your legs go on for miles.  This outfit captures that 70s glamour, but doesn’t look too dated.

Scarf: Banana Republic

Purse: Coach

Dress: Vintage (available here)

Belt: Gap

Shoes: Seychelles

(Image: Gretchen Lilly)

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