Tuesday, May 17, 2011

There's Something About Orange

While just about any technicolor shade is right on trend this summer, there's something about orange that I'm loving right now. Perhaps it's because orange seems just right for the increasingly warm weather. Or maybe it's just the punch of bold, bright, cheerfulness that my wardrobe needs right now. Or maybe it's got something to do with how well it pairs with other colors I love like navy blue, turquoise and white. Regardless, orange is a "must have" for me this summer.

The key to pulling off head-to-toe orange? Keep the silhouette simple and streamlined; the color is the standout here, so keep the details unfussy and accessories (try just some simple gold jewelry) to a minimum. Also, stay monochromatic if you want to keep the look feeling sophisticated and edgy as too many bold colors easily read as too young. Nude shoes are a great (and leg-lengthening) choice.

Despite my love of statement-making color, I'll confess I don't always have the hutzpah to wear head-to-toe brights myself. I all too often tend to retreat behind black, navy or gray. If you're anything like me (and I expect many of you are), then the easiest way to play with the bolds and brights found on the Spring 2011 runways is to incorporate these shades into your existing wardrobe in smaller doses, via shoes, jewelry, and handbags.

Source List:

St John Double Face Crepe Jacket and Pencil Skirt (Nordstrom; $795 and $395)
Diane Von Furstenberg Bateau Neck Dress (Nordstrom; $285)
Verbena Dress (Tory Burch; $350)

Kate Spade New York "Daycation" pouch (Nordstrom; $50)
Lanvin Grosgrain espadrilles (Net-a-porter; $595)
Elephant Belt (Kate Spade; $95)
Cara Accessories Bead & Metal Bangles (Nordstrom; $48)
Dylan Large Shoulder Bag (Linea Pelle; $415)
Tory Burch Synthetic Straw Shoulder Bag (Nordstrom; $350)
Horton Sandal (Tory Burch; $295)
Shabby-Chic Linen Ballet Flat (Banana Republic; $79)
Juicy Couture Endless Summer Stackable Rings (Nordstrom; $88/set of 3)


Monday, May 16, 2011

Car Query

Locked, loaded and ready to roll!

Yes, I know I've been a very bad blogger, but y'all may be unsurprised to hear that being a new mom and blogging regularly aren't exactly simpatico. In any case, while I promise better, design-oriented posts later this week, I wanted to pop in this morning and get folks' thoughts on cars.

2011 Acura RDX

While this isn't exactly a car blog, I thought you, my lovely and smart readers, might have some valuable opinions and insights on purchasing a "mom" car. After swearing up and down I wasn't going to succumb and trade in one of our small sedans for a SUV just because I happened to have a 15-lb. bundle of joy...well, just 10 weeks in, and I'm succumbing and we're going to start looking for a smaller, crossover SUV later this year.

2011 Volvo XC60

So here are my criteria: (1) comfortably fits rear-facing car seat while allowing ample room in the front for 6'-plus parents (something our current cars do not allow); (2) reasonable amount of cargo space for carting gear, groceries and the occasional flea-market score; (3) not so big that I'll detest driving it (I had a 4-runner for exactly a year in law school before trading down to a Matrix -- it was way too big for me then, and still is now); and (4) under $35k. Oh and yeah, I'd like leather seats, too.

2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

Tall order? I certainly hope not! Right now, I'm thinking about the Acura RDX, the Volvo XC60 and the Volkswagen Tiguan. I currently own an Acura TSX (and love it; we'll be trading in Dave's older Pontiac Grand Prix), but I have very little experience with Volvos or Volkswagens personally. There are things that I like and dislike about each of these models, but I'd prefer to hear your opinions uncolored by my own so I won't go into details here. 

Have you owned any of these cars or know of someone who does? If so, would you recommend one (or all of them)? Do you have any other suggestions? Regardless, would very much appreciate your thoughts!

Update (7/4/11): We bought the Tiguan and couldn't be happier! (Though we did test drive the Volvo xc60 and it is a very, very nice car; we just found a deal on the VW we couldn't refuse!)


Friday, May 6, 2011

Wave on Wave

Tobi Fairley's Arkansas home is featured in this month's Traditional Home. While I'd seen many of the rooms before via her online portfolio, I was still excited to see one of my favorite designers featured -- and to see a few "new to me" rooms. Her entryway, with its bold black and white wallpaper is certainly a stunner, but it's actually the Vitruvian scroll molding on the stairs that really caught my attention. What's more, I knew I'd seen it recently in House Beautiful....

With its softer, cooler color palette, this dining room by John Howard (Phoebe Howard's husband) is just about a complete 180 from Fairley's bold entryway, and yet the pattern works just as beautifully here as a subtle nod to the North Carolina home's beach locale.

While the motif has traditionally appeared on architectural friezes, there's no need to restrict the pattern to hard surfaces. In this living room, Katie Ridder creates architecture and movement with draperies edged in Vitruvian srcoll trim.

Want to know more? The pattern is a classic -- literally -- and you'll find it featured prominently on Greco-Roman buildings and mosaics dating back thousands of years. The name Vitruvian Scroll is for Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, a first century B.C.E. Roman architect whose book De Architectura was immensely popular during the Renaissance. And yet, despite its antiquity, the pattern (like greek key, the angular variant of the same scroll motif, which I waxed poetic about HERE) still feels modern and fresh to me. The soft curves of the Vitruvian scroll, however, reads as more feminine, more sensuous. And, since it's not experiencing quite the same level of popularity right now as greek key, it also reads as a bit more unusual.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baby G. Update: Two Months

Tomorrow Baby G. will be two months old -- man, does time fly! In many ways it feels like he's only been with us for a few days and, yet, I can't really imagine my life without him now. With each passing week he's getting bigger, more alert, more expressive and definitely more fun. This weekend we discovered how much he liked sitting up against one of us, looking out at the world (surveying his domain, as we like to joke). His serious demeanor continues, and he still spends much of his awake time quietly watching everything and everyone.

This week Baby G. managed to find his hand...and he's currently obsessed! In fact, I've been having trouble getting it out of his mouth so I can feed him.

Another change over the past few weeks is how interested he is now in mobiles, toys, etc. He's getting pretty good at batting them and even grabbing the ring on that bird hanging in the foreground. Today I set up a mobile over his crib that plays Bach and Chopin and he was absolutely mesmerized...well, for 15 minutes or so until he got tired of it. But, hey, I figure 15 minutes is about the max attention span you could possible expect at his age!

Of course, the big milestone at two months is the first round of immunizations. I'm actually excited at the prospect of Baby G. getting his first round of shots tomorrow, as it means I'll be taking him out more without worrying so much over every passing sneeze or sniffle. At the end of the month, we're headed to Florida to visit Dave's family and while I don't relish the thought of loading all of Baby G.'s gear onto a plane, I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone (and getting out of the house!).

Tilda has adjusted well to having Baby G. around. Indeed, she's incredibly protective of him and treats him like a member of our pack.

Of course, she's still a puppy herself, which means she can sometimes be a bit overly enthusiastic. I figure once Baby G. is mobile, he'll more than get her back though.

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