Sunday, October 5, 2014

home tweak!

song pair: Warm It Up Kris by Kris Kross

until recently, window treatments were not even on my radar. have you ever noticed that once you start paying attention to something, it's all you can see? when i got my Jeep, suddenly Jeeps were everywhere. so, naturally...window treatments galore these last few months. i knew it had to be my next project. my first line of business was to choose a fabric pattern. since i am not skilled in visualizing from a small swatch, i chose a fabric that was displayed in my favorite shop. the valance was beautiful, but we felt it was too traditional for our home. window hardware was more our style. 
we purchased the 15 yards of fabric and was educated on type of pleats, vertical/horizontal repeats and other specifics i had never considered in my life. 

next up was white window hardware. after narrowing down my 'pins', i took a closer look realizing the hardware was the same. i was on the hunt for the inspired hardware pictured below. southern gent's aunt found me the match (thank you Sally) and the order was placed. 

inspired hardware

the two 8-foot rods were delivered, along with 24 curtain rings and matching finials. they were installed and awaited the custom drapery. 

ta-dah! one of my very favorite home tweaks yet! we didn't make them functional (able to pull all the way across four windows), because it would have have been double the amount of fabric and maybe too bulky. another option would have been to put a third panel in the middle. we love the ample amount of natural light that filters into our home everyday. we felt strongly about preserving the brightness. the frame of the panels was all we were looking to provide and it sure made a wonderful difference in the warmth of our home. we added the bench and one of our faux sheepskin rugs. layers make me feel all cozy on the inside.

now i am eyeing our photo wall, wanting to create change. it is eleven frames situated in a perfect square. where once i thought symmetry was the answer, i am now appreciating the beauty of imperfection. accepting imperfection is one of the keys to living a very happy life. it helps maintain our outlook, perspective and resiliency. i think i need to shake up that photo wall, so it better reflects the beautiful world of imperfection. have an exceptional week, Friends! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

the home front

song pair: Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker

southern gent & i purchased our happy little abode when it was 3/4 complete. we have loved every decision the builder and design team crafted and truly believe we couldn't have done a better job. we have not changed a paint color, but have upgraded lighting in a few rooms. the open floor plan drew us in and we appreciated the clean lines and simple look we furnished. a couple years in, we have begun to desire a warmer look. we often move furniture around to forge subtle change. i am learning that layers are important in home design. layers add interest and appeal. i am not one for clutter, so i had to decipher the two. rugs and window treatments add layers. stacks, clusters and chatskis add clutter. i like ample counter space. we love a modern look, but also want it to be inviting and calming for ourselves and our guests.
our entrance way is unique in that it's a 20+ foot hallway. we kept it bare, unsure how exactly to dress it up. the tall wainscoting is sharp and decorative, but makes peripheral decor a challenge. after a little help from my design friend (thank u Julie), we stumbled upon a hand woven, natural fiber 22' runner. we were pleasantly surprised by it's quality and weight. it warmed up the entryway nicely. 

while traveling this summer, we shuffled into a boutique that housed Rifle Paper Co. art prints. that day, we sparked the idea to collect a few of the travel prints that hold significance to us. today they are lining the hall. we love the whimsical, colorful look they provide. it is nice to outfit our home with items that reflect the life we live. 

we have affection for the energy in Chicago. i grew up in a suburb of this great city. 
 our second date was in Los Angeles. we love the liveliness of California.

 we enjoyed an unforgettable weekend in NY City a few years ago. central park, broadway, times square.
San Francisco has a beautiful spirit. one of our favorites. 
   stay tuned for more home front the coming weeks. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014


song pair: Californication by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

the pacific coast highway was magnificent, much more than we ever could have imagined.
i reflected on life as we drove for hours on the same stretch of road.
here are some of my impressions on our drive down highway 1.

life is natural. most times it's easy and still, with a clear vision of the horizon.

peace resides and the colors are dazzling. uncomplicated.

grace is present. whimsical at times. beauty.

sometimes life is sharp and unpleasant. we plant flowers around us to soften the edges. work hard.

at times desolate and isolated, but still growing.

things begin to smooth over. it is always better on the other side. "no man is an island"

building bridges and accepting support is the most authentic form of connection.

color and energy return, the journey is overwhelmingly clear again.

always moving forward, rarely looking back.

remember to frolic and play. life is full of so much wonder. soak in the merriment.

honor your tribe and stay near them. identify your 'inner circle' and cultivate those relations.

find true love and never let go. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

the golden gate city

song pair: California Dreamin' by The Mamas & the Papas

it sure is restorative to relive experience. i am reminded of each detail of our summer as i review and gradually post about each. it feels more acceptable to be behind, when it evokes such elation.

as we cruised toward San Francisco, via Napa, we stumbled upon Muir Woods. what a spectacular place. we hiked in for awhile, stared at the ginormous trees and hiked back out. an equally awe inspired moment was the 'park & ride' bus to the entrance. steep ledges and no guard rails with a completely uncontrolled outcome. our knuckles were white as we anticipated the woods...thankfully followed by a peaceful hike.

speaking of greens, the first thing i noticed about the city was the abundance of succulents. they are growing out of cracks in the street and seem to find residence in every planter. i loved that. 

one of my very favorite aspects of San Francisco was the asian influence. this China Town is an active place of hustle and bustle. since it is the largest China Town outside of Asia, it truly felt like a different country. 

if you ask my southern gent, he will tell you i am forever craving asian fare. it was like my own personal foodie playground.

the streets were filled with bunches of fragrant blooms.  

and strangely convenient toilets in the middle of a pedestrian median.  

the slope of the streets are wild to see and even wilder to climb. and we climbed. with the exception of a cable car joy ride, we walked everywhere. it helped generate healthy appetites for our next bite to eat. i kinda boycott public transportation on vacation. these feet were made for walkin'. it really does enable seeing all the sites.

i always enjoy a good tourist trap. 

the second day started nice and early with a power breakfast. 

we strolled around Alamo Square and little boutiques in Ashbury Heights. 

the ferry building had the feeling of a high end farmer's market. 

that evening we cut our pizza with shears at A16, an intimate italian restaurant in Cow Hollow

the ferryboat under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz was a thrilling highlight.  

a whirlwind of interest, San Francisco was adored by these two journeyers. travel has evolved into a beloved form of escapism for us. and it works beautifully.

Monday, September 8, 2014

happy birthday to meeee

well hello, 36. it is nice to meet you. i plan to do good things with you. i haven't set my goals yet, but i will. 35 was a great age to be. i tried to be a better friend at 35. i am confident i was, and i am feeling rewarded with stronger friendship. that feels good. i became a better businesswoman too. here was my post last year, i sounded quite spry. i had already had my Christmas card photos taken? whoa. we celebrated my birthday weekend downtown again this year, thankfully some things never change. i will always be an urban girl. it was another first friday and i came together with some fun and wonderful friends. they were so generous and certainly made me feel celebrated. the happy husbands were snapping photos.

i felt inclined to picnic this weekend. i might do more picnicking during my stint at 36. this weekend was a start.

here we were at Lassiter Falls:

this was right before southern gent came home with take-out sushi. we picnicked in the bonus room.
it was my version of perfection.

every birthday evokes reflection. where am i? how am i doing? what can i improve? what is next? i hope to continue learning and growing as i reach my potential in this life.
i am happy and grateful for the good and the hardship that have crossed my path.
i have a few more breakfasts and a dinner before the celebrating is over. oh and quick little trip for another friends birthday coming soon.

cheers! xo

Thursday, September 4, 2014


song pair: Red Red Wine by UB40

Napa is like something out of a dream. it is simultaneously quaint and intimidating. in some ways it feels like it would be quick to discover...and in other ways, one could never master the range of knowledge encompassed in this land.

we stayed within walking distance to downtown, arriving on the most american holiday in July.

most everything is centered around wine, but in a classy subtle style.

we enjoyed a festival and street fair, pre fireworks.

it took several attempts to capture one behind our heads, hooray for the US of A.

the very next morning, we awoke and scurried out to meet our driver. we had planned a day of touring six wineries. there was no chance either of us would be suited behind the wheel. we handed our keys to a trusted professional.

here are a few images and explanations of what our day entailed:

you might remember, back in February, we attended a wine dinner hosted by the Reynolds Family Winery. we met Steve Reynolds and heard tales about his property in Napa. he was once a dentist but decided to sell everything and journey towards wine making. their vineyard was our first stop that early afternoon. it felt very special to be there.

our second stop was paraduxx. loved the wine and duck paraphernalia.

afterwards, we ducked into oakville grocery to grab gourmet sammies for a picnic lunch.

we toasted another tasting and munched on our lunch at sequoia grove.

the most intimate tasting came after lunch. continuum was unforgettable.

caymus vineyards were enchanting. 

fleury was our final tasting. it felt very alice-in-wonderland to me. whimsical and personal.

we finished our day, on the waterfront, sipping Moscow Mules and reminiscing about our afternoon.

the very next morning, before we began our adventure down the PCH, we strolled down to the Model Bakery for one of their famous english muffins. as i gazed across the table at my english studmuffin, i felt very grateful indeed. 

This site was made with love by Angie Makes