Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Color Study

"How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun." — Vincent Van Gogh

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Lurve Loave Luff

Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

I must be honest, I've been a bad blog friend this past week. I'm so behind on reading other blogs, but I look forward to getting caught up this week. Oh, and I'll be counting down the hours until Flyboy returns... 

Have a wonderful weekend, and from the bottom of my heart, thanks for stopping by!
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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gone with the Pin Fabulous!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 //
I've never been an overly confident gal. In fact, during those rotten teenage years, my mom insisted I stand in front of the mirror and give myself one compliment before I left for school each day. It felt brutally embarrassing at the time, but I understand now why she created this practice. I still scrunch my nose and shake my head when I think about it, but I'll probably make my kids do the same thing one day. If you asked me this morning to stand in front of a vanity and commend myself for one thing, I'd most likely tell you that I'm pintastic! That's right, I said it. I'm owning it. Some might look at my Pinterest page and notice that I'ved pinned over 9,000 pins. Pitiful? No way. Pintervention needed? Um, are you crazy? And while I'm being boastful about my cyber steez, I figured I'd share some of my latest color-coordinated pins. Some nights, when I'm tuning into Bravo and mindlessly hitting the Pin button, I like to scroll to the top of the page and bask in the glory of the night's achievements. Please tell me I'm not crazy for getting satisfaction out of something so silly. There's beauty in that grid of colorful images and clever words.

Now twirl, twirl, twirl, twirl...
P.S. If you missed the Bravo reference in today's post title, watch this clip. It'll get you up to speed!
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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Sweet Escape

Why don't you play hooky or cut out of work early and have a picnic? If I was a rebel and did that sort of thing, I'm certain it would look something like this. Thankfully, I get to live vicariously through m' blog, where there's NO budget and I can be as imaginative and colorful as I'd like. Naturally, you're all invited! Three words: Best. Day. Ever.

One Fine Day's Picnic Essentials:

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Artfully Inspired

I love Kari Herer's etsy shop; her photographs are swoon worthy! She manages to capture the perfect juxtaposition of feminine and masculine elements in each image. The pops of color and sprinkle of whimsy are intoxicating. I've yet to commit to one of her prints, but I was immediately drawn the the vivid blue background in the photograph, Antlers No. 4184. Naturally, it was bound to become the inspiration behind a blog post. It got me thinking about my love for the crisp combination of blue and white. It's a clean and simple pairing that makes a statement — forever a classic, in my book! Take a look at some fabulous finds that complement the artwork quite nicely.

  • Ugmonk Aluminum Ampersand // Make a decor statement without saying a word. Although this is neither blue nor white, it brings a masculine and rustic touch this collage.
  • Jeweled Sweatshirt // This is one of my favorite purchases. I love the tomboy meets girly comfort.
  • You Are So Freaking Amazing // I'm obsessed with Meg Gleason and her letterpress perfection! 
  • Embroidered Wave Pillow Cover // A bargain throw pillow that makes a splash.
  • Marguerite de Glace Earrings // A simple and chic way to bling it.
  • Learn the Ropes Bracelet // Because my arm party could use a nautical addition...
  • Vintage Love Letter // Decades from now, I can't wait to look at my collection of snail mail from family and friends. I hope they're as charming at this vintage envelope!
  • Barnstable Bag by Kiel James Patrick // This has Cape Cod written all over it.
  • Tauba Short // Have you heard about Andy Spade's sleepwear collection, Sleepy Jones? It's his latest venture that believes in "tinkering and pondering." Lounging is a luxury and it's the motive behind the company. Check out the website. The design is GORGEOUS! The About Section is my favorite.
  • Kate Spade Keds // Speaking of Spades, my Keds are so comfy. I'm jonesing for another pair. Perhaps something versatile like these navy stripes?
  • Siena Large Blue Tray // How fabulous is this tray? I can practically see it in our living room or kitchen.
  • Striped Fabric Plimsoll // Miniature anything is cute, especially shoes. Someone, anyone, have a baby so I can gift you with these, please!
  • Dog Print Melamine Pet Bowl // I have a feeling this is the sort of thing that Beesly would appreciate. Tripp isn't concerned about anything stylish or cute; he just likes feeding time in general.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Life's Little Details

"The details are not the details. They make the design." — Charles Eames
I typically pen Monday's post on Sunday night. There's that rare occasion where I bring my blogging A-game, and I've finished the post in advance. I love when that happens! Unfortunately, that's not the case today. In fact, as I type this, I'm sipping on a Gin and Tonic to calm my nerves. It's the exact cocktail in the image above, which kind of makes it feel as though we're taking a guzzlet together. Isn't that special? Since we're sipping on Gimlets, do you mind if I use today's post to decompress? You're such a doll!

As I mentioned on Friday, Flyboy is currently away. I stayed preoccupied with work on Saturday, and on Sunday I set out for the beach. Yippee! I'm glad I didn't listen to the local weatherman and the weather apps on my phone because it ended up being a pretty sunny day. I took it as a sign that I deserved a little R&R. I grabbed my beach gear and stopped by the local Starbucks for an Iced (Layered) Caramel Macchiato. To my knowledge, the day couldn't get much better... 

After a few hours of putting the sun back into Sunday, I made a pitstop at Whole Foods. I strolled outta the joint with a Baggu brimming with my favorite candy and some fresh blooms. Treat yo self! Whenever Flyboy is away, trips to Target and Whole Foods make me incredibly happy. On Sunday, I set out to find joy in the little things — sitting seaside with a good read, fresh flowers, my favorite coffee treat! After a successful afternoon out and about, I got into the car and I was ready to head home. I swapped my flip-flops for my TOMS and started the Jetta. I heard a terrible noise and felt a minor bump. I looked in the rear view mirror, and I saw a car butt up against the VW. This has never happened to me before. I started to panic when I saw the car drive off. I got out of the car and started to wave my hands. Thankfully, she pulled around and parked behind me. I was so annoyed. The woman got out of the car with her flip phone and proceeded to tell me how this has never happened to her either. I found that awfully hard to believe when I looked at the bumper of her vehicle; there were scratches and dents everywhere. She then told me how she was getting her bangs trimmed and wasn't sure if she needed to tip since the service was complimentary. Are we really discussing this right now? When I'm not impressed, you'll read it instantly on my face. I have the hardest time hiding my feelings. I started taking down her information and captured a few images from my phone. I saw her playing with her phone, and I realized she didn't know how to use it. Next thing I know, I'm standing in the hot sun, teaching this woman how to turn on her phone, and a bunch of people are staring at us. I was beyond fussy. Long story long, the damage looked minor and we parted ways. Unfortunately, when I get spun up, it's hard for me to come back down and take a deep breath. I think I was mostly shook up by the lady's lack of remorse. She was just so nonchalant about the whole thing, but I guess that's how one might act if they opt to not tip their hair stylist.

I called my parents and we discussed my next course of action. I think I really just wanted someone to talk to and ensure I did the right thing. I'm so glad they were still awake; the 6-hour time difference can make getting in touch with family rather tricky. I'd never done this before, and I wasn't sure if I did enough. Whenever Flyboy's gone and something happens, I miss having the ability to just pick up the phone and call him whenever I need him. It just stinks when you feel lonely, and you try to focus on the good, and the day doesn't work out as you'd envisioned.

This blog is my creative canvas. It's where I come to focus on all that's great in life. As I gathered the images for today's post, I was reminded of all the good things that have happened over the past two weeks. There have been moments where I wanted to push pause and I found myself thinking, "pinch me." A not-so-swell instance like Sunday's parking lot ordeal is bound to happen and reminds me to appreciate the good. You might see my sunny Instagram images or read about all that's rosy in the life of Ashley on m' blog, but I assure you I have my frazzled moments too. In fact, it happens more often than I'd probably like to admit. It's a matter of perspective and I'll strive to look for the positive. It's not always easy, but life's a lot more enjoyable when you focus on what's good.

I hope you had a swell weekend. 
What did you do that made you grin from ear to ear? Give it up. I'm dying to know!

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Friday, April 19, 2013

Lurve Loave Luff

Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.
  • Love is in the details. // It's no surprise that I love every thing about the boutique Sugar Paper. I enjoyed this Q&A with the owners Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker. Can we just take a moment to discuss how GORGEOUS their office is? I would die to work somewhere like this. Heaven.
  • A Little Note // Flyboy is headed out on a trip, so you know I'll be catching up on correspondence. This is one of those fun tasks that's even sweeter with cute notecards and snazzy writing utensils like this mint green pen! In need of new supplies? Check out Urbanic Paper Boutique. Their selection is marvy!
  • Traveler Sun Hat // After two consecutive weekends filled with rain, I'm ready to put the sun back in Sunday. Of course, a great beach hat is necessary. This one is pretty adorable!
  • Good Libations // I have every intention to throw back a cocktail or two — I like to call it, Ashley's Aperitif. There's nothing like a few fresh lemons, a bottle of Hendrick's (it will ruin you for all other Gins), and cute cocktail glasses to welcome to weekend. TGIF! 
  • Find Beauty Quote // I read this March Jacobs quote at just the right moment. I was reminded that life doesn't have to be perfect, and I don't have to be perfect either.
  • Lulie Wallace // I've discussed Lulie's work ad nauseum, but visiting her website to creatively recharge was the best ten minutes I spent this week. Her work brings me so much joy! I still pinch myself that I have an original hanging in our bedroom.
  • Burnt Ends T-Shirt // I was scrolling through the latest issue of To & From Magazine and I stumbled upon this amazing t-shirt. Seeing it brought on one of those double-barrel grins I so dearly love. If you haven't checked out the latest issue, you must! It's chock-full of great gift ideas and brimming with fabulous finds. You'll want to stop what you're doing and read it NOW.
  • Simplicity Print // How darling is this print by Roxy Marj?
  • Sunnies // Did I mention yet how badly I want a reason to wear my sunglasses, preferably while seaside this weekend? I didn't think so. Come on weather, don't let me down!
  • DIY Paper Bows via How About Orange // These are so stinking cute, and appear doable.
  • Jenna Lyons and Fast Company // Just when I think I couldn't love her any more. This article made my week! It's a must read, my friends. The cherry on top? You get to take a virtual tour of her office. Be still my heart. If only I could just meet her...
  • Punky Floral Scarf // Speaking of Jenna, I'm obsessed with this J.Crew pattern. I can't wait to see what else it comes in with their upcoming summer collection. Ever since Jenna wore these printed pants during Fashion Week, I was instantly smitten.
  • In addition to all of the above, inspiration this week came from this simple spotted image and lovely letterpress.
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Art I Heart: Virginia Johnson

Virginia Johnson is a Canadian textile designer and illustrator. You may be familiar with some of her colorful collaborations with companies like Kate Spade, J.Crew, and Anthropologie. Is it any wonder I'm smitten with her work? Funny enough, I never really put pieces of the puzzle together until a year ago. I own all three books that she's illustrated for Kate Spade, and Deborah Needleman's book, The Perfectly Imperfect Home, has been on my wish list since its release. From time to time, I've pinned a few of Johnson's gorgeous scarves and bags — a girl can dream! And I continue to imagine what it will be like once I add one of her prints to our ever-changing gallery wall. 

Here are some of my favorite Virginia Johnson creations:

Can't get enough of the oh-so talented artist? Then you'll want to follow her blog!
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Need Read Greed

Per your request, I was able to coax Tripp into sharing his Need Read Greed
It only took a half a box of Milk-Bones, but here's what he came up with...
  • Need: I'm a big fan of tennis balls. Are you familiar with these fluorescent bouncy spheres? They're just a hoot to play with and chase around the house. I wasn't introduced to them until I was five years old (oh, the horror!) and my life hasn't been the same since. While it's fun to play fetch in the back yard, I prefer to hide them throughout the house. Mom says I'm a hoarder, but I like to keep a close eye on my growing collection. Don't tell Beesly that my favorite place to store them is underneath the sink in the guest bathroom. She'll never find them under there!
  • Read: The Old Man and the Sea is a literary classic. Some days, I like to sit outside and take in Lil' Puna's seaside view while reading my favorite Hemingway novella. I hope that makes me sound sophisticated because my parents joke around like I'm some sort of honky from the backwoods of Missouri with missing teeth — actually, I am missing most of my teeth. I think my Mom dresses me in a seersucker bow tie to compensate for my unfortunate dental situation. Anywho, I like to imagine myself catching a 16-foot fish and brawling with hungry sharks. Of course, my adventure wouldn't take 85 days!
  • Greed: We have this glorious Kukui Nut Tree in the back yard and it drops loads of Kukui Nuts. I try to sneak them into the house on a daily basis. Mom thinks I look cute when I have a nut hidden in my mouth. Because my jowls are so big, they usually don't see that I have a nut until they hear it drop on the floor. I used to get away with bringing them in the house, but then I started chewing on them. What's so wrong with that? They said it makes a mess or something. Is it too much to ask to chew on these natural Hawaiian dog toys? I don't get it, but I'll keep trying. 

Interested in sharing your Need Read GreedEmail me.
Image Credit: Golden Retriever
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Lurve Loave Luff

Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.
  • Striped Heart via Jorey Hurley // In yesterday's post, I went on ad nauseum about this lovely Etsy shop. When I stumbled upon the heart, I knew it had to be included in this week's Love List. Duh!
  • Seaside Sundays // I know I say this every weekend, but I'm really looking forward to some quality time with Flyboy, a sweet read, and feeling the sun on my shoulders. It's been almost two weeks since we've gone to the beach. That's unacceptable, Fines!
  • Feeling Good // I read this quote on the Alice + Olivia blog; I knew I had to share it with you.
  • Happy // Just a reminder... This weekend, do more of what makes you happy.
  • Raffia Pom Sweater Tote // Call me crazy, but my giddy meter went bonkers when I saw this violet bag on Anthropologie's website. I kinda want (no, need) it!
  • Polka Dot Tin Recipe Box // When Rifle Paper Co. announced the arrival of their iPhone cases this week, I had to jump on it. And while I was browsing the website, I fell in love with this little guy.
  • Polka-Dot Ruffle Top // This is one of those go-to easy blouses that J.Crew sells every year. I was especially ecstatic to see it offered in lime. It's been awhile since they've used this shade of green, and it's my favorite color! On the downside, the shirt has these silly drawcords. Naturally, I cut them off already. It's a huge improvement and this luxe layering piece has reached another level of perfection.
  • May 2013 Vanity Fair // I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on this issue. And can we just take a moment to stop and talk about the gorgeous image of Audrey? She's the ultimate cover girl.
  • Jump Around Necklace // I've been itching to make my inaugural Kate Spade Saturday purchase and this pale mint tube necklace had Ashley written all over it. I'll admit that when it arrived, I was probably more excited about the actually packaging. It's just as amazing as I hoped it would be.
  • Hello Hello iPhone Case // I wish they made this one for the iPhone 4. It's just so stinking adorable!
  • Cucumber Mint French Gimlet via Oh So Beautiful Paper // It's Friday, my friends! Bottoms up! In need of a few cocktail ideas? Oh So Beautiful Paper has got you covered with their Cocktail Friday posts.
  • Lipstick // Visit Lan Truong's Tumblr for a little pick-me-up.
  • Kate and Andy Spade's Southampton Home // I was SO excited when I read Mackenzie's post about their digs. Isn't it spectacular?! After scrolling through all 35 images, my cheeks hurt terribly — my smile was ginormous! How about the fabulous art collection? I would just die to be surrounded by some of those pieces. I love that their home oozes with personality; it's quirky, sophisticated, and fun. I should also note that there's no shortage of stripes or color! What else would you expect?
  • Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler // I would have NEVER dreamt about this collaboration with JC Penney! Some of the pieces are FABULOUS and the price point is spot on. Has anyone seen it in person?
  • Quinoa Breakfast Cups // Ever since Kelly posted this recipe, I've been dying to try it. I plan on getting the ingredients this weekend. They look delish! And while I"m on the topic of quinoa, I should also mention Laura's Parmesan Garlic Quinoa. It looks like it's out of this world!
  • Healthy Cookies // That sounds like an oxymoron, but I'm wiling to give it a shot. These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from The Skinny Fork get rave reviews. Stay tuned!
  • It's All Good // Ever since she played the role of Emma, I've been a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow. I also like to refer to her as Gwynnie and GP. Because of our close bond, I feel this dire need to run out and add her latest cookbook to my kitchen library.
  • The Abstract Print // Go behind the scenes with Kate Spade Saturday and learn more about their abstract print created by Martha Porter
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Color Study

An ode to orange — the happiest color!
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Need Read Greed

Today's Need Read Greed courtesy of Beesly, Puna's resident Bernese Mountain Dog:
  • Need: We all know my mom loves a good embellishment. Ever since I was a puppy, she ensured that I had some sort of snazzy collar. Of course, it has to include some kind of flower or bow and it must be bright and colorful — stripes or polka dots are preferred. I never really got the point, but I put up with it, as most good dogs do. As I've gotten older and bigger, I see why it's so important. I can't tell you how many times strangers mistake me for a male. I'm not sure if it's because of my name or my size, but whenever this happens mom adjusts my collar to nonchalantly point out the giant pink pom-pom attached to my collar. I really hope people start to get the hint!  
  • Read: This book is just so relatable. Norbert is a fellow Bernese Mountain Dog and a novice when it comes to cart pulling — a skill that most Berners excel at. Much to my chagrin, I've never even seen a cart! Norbert's journey to find his hidden talent is illustrated in twelve charming oil paintings. This is a must read!  
  • Greed: A few years ago, my parents bought my brother and me our very own dog beds. Unfortunately, this new sleeping arrangement was short lived. It was a major bummer! My brother, Tripp, didn't like that I had a bed of my own and he got a little territorial. Actually, he got VERY territorial — he ended up lifting his leg and marking his territory not once, but FOUR times. My mom cried and she yelled, but Tripp is a real honey badger. After my dad convinced her to give it one more try, we found Tripp alone in the bedroom chewing the corner of my bed. There was filling everywhere and shredded canvas scattered throughout the room. At that point, I knew it was over for good. Part of me believes he did it because he loves when I snuggle with him! Occasionally, I still dream about what it would be like to sleep on something comfortable and cute. If I had my pick, it would definitely be something like this dog bed!

Blogging Note: This is exactly why it's important to plan blog content in advance. You're forced to get creative and you expose yourself as being a crazy dog lady twice in one week. Sweet readers, we've hit an all-time low. I wrote a post from the perspective of my dog. I promise I'll have my ducks in a row for next week's NRG post. In the mean time, do I have any volunteers? If you're interested in sharing your picks, email me!

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