Haute Mama.

Summer is coming in hot! With temps about to hit 100 degrees this weekend it’s got me thinking about how uncomfortable I am with showing some skin after a long, pale winter! Also, now that I’m a middle-aged mom I still want to dress hip but in an age-appropriate, flattering way. Here are some suggestions for taking a bit more modest approach to on-trend swimwear for a look that says I’m not like a regular mom, I’m a cool mom!swim post

a. Watercolor Striped Cut Out 

b. Criss Cross High Waisted Bikini

c. Anne Marie Striped One-Piece

d. Brushed Stripe Keyhole Bandeau

e. ‘Algiers’ High Neck One piece

f. Scarlet High Waisted Cobalt Bikini Set

g. Shoulder-tie one piece

h. Slimming High Waist Bikini

 

 

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It’s Getting Hot in Here.

With the official start of summer only weeks away, I am jumping at the chance to move on from the rainiest year in history! I can’t wait for the return of bright colors, cutoffs, sandals and glowing skin. Here are some hot topics to help us get settled in for a rad summer.

its getting hot in here

A. Oliver Graphic Tee

B. Good Vibes Aviator Sunglasses

C. Colorblock Crochet Bikini Top  & Crochet Bikini Bottom

D. Embroidered Denim Skirt

E. Birkenstock Madrid Sandal

F. Montauk Woven Tote with Pom Pom Charms

G. Brazilliance PLUS + Self-Tanner with Mitt

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Happily Ever After.

With all this talk of us getting settled into our “forever” home, it’s got me thinking about the fun we had updating our last “starter” home. If you love a good Cinderella (dressed in yellow, literally) makeover story as much as I do, let’s take a trip down memory lane together and take a closer look at this sweet ranch-style home that we were lucky to call our own.

front of houseWe replaced the glass and gold doors with a craftsman wood door and took out the overgrown, old bushes in favor of a more symmetrical assortment of greenery to brighten up the front of the house. I placed colorful potted plants around the entryway to make it look more alive and inviting. The exterior had been freshly painted, but had we stayed longer we’d have painted it a more modern color and added some more character around the windows.

kitchenWe ditched the bold yellow paint in favor of a neutral ivory and switched to all stainless steel appliances for an instant upgrade. After painting the cabinets a charcoal grey and adding new hardware, a new faucet, and granite countertops it felt like a brand new kitchen.

family roomThis red accent wall was too aggressive, so we painted it a warm taupe and it made the room feel huge! We instantly modernized the fireplace by painting it from brass to black and by adding floor to ceiling curtains to polish up the room. Mounting a flatscreen to the wall and bringing in a sectional that was proportional to the space made the family room more functional and comfortable.

bedroomOnce again, switching to a neutral paint on all 4 walls immediately brightened, updated and visually enlarged the master bedroom. Adding neutral curtains and changing the placement of the wall art made the room look more pulled together. I styled the room in a more chic, calming palette that made a once dull, mismatched space look much more appealing.

bathroomThe outdated blue countertop and vanity were the first to go! A new vanity, better storage solutions, a brighter light fixture and a cool backsplash added character and style to this small space.

backyardWe really lucked out with our backyard because it had a covered patio, a great lawn and lots of privacy. I staged the patio furniture in a way that was better for entertaining and created a separate seating area with 2 adirondack chairs and several freshly potted plants. Every house needs a perfect spot to enjoy ‘Happy Hour!’

extra roomsI desperately wish I had more ‘before’ photos to show you the journey that we took reinventing the 4 rooms shown above. I love the way that each room has a transitional feel and a similar gray color palette. I’m outnumbered at home, so the styling is more masculine than it was way back when it was just me living alone in a dinky fashionista apartment in the city. The one thing I miss more than anything about this home is the gorgeous Carrara marble countertop that we had installed in my bathroom. It was almost like the second my marble dreams became a reality we put the house up for sale! Now with a toddler around I’m more likely to have quartz than marble in my near future. Either way it was a beautiful home, and I know that the new owner is just as happy as we were!

Hope you enjoyed the tour! All “After” photos by Travis Stanley.

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Name it to claim it.

Since we moved into our new home I’ve struggled to intermix what’s really trending right now– that whole eclectic, mid-century, funky gallery wall, hip, Instagram-worthy style– with my current decor, my own sense of style and my traditional house. I keep buying cool decor and bringing it home only to realize it just doesn’t “go.” So I decided to give myself a crash course from the masters on the secrets to successful decorating. Step 1 has been one of those things that sounds like simple common sense, but it has actually rocked my world.

First, you must define the look you want in combination with the style of home you actually have. For example: I live in a late-90’s 2-story Tudor with a grand staircase, lots of space and great natural light. We do not have an open floor plan or vaulted ceilings or many of the things that I keep pinning onto my “Dream Home” Pinterest board; hence, why I’ve hit some interior decorating snags. However, we do enjoy a nice separation of space between our family room, dining room and living room, and I hope to create a seamless flow between the look of each room. Taking this into account,  I’ve narrowed down my design preferences and have conjured up a definitive style that marries what I like with the true style of my home and the “good bones” I have to work with. I’m calling it: Classic transitional with a California-cool feel and Southwestern undertones. My color palette is neutral and earthy with calming whites and some coastal vibes. I’m into traditional symmetry, a splash of geometric, textured textiles and impactful, but minimalistic wall art. I want each room to have a cohesive, transitional feel that makes sense with not only the framework of the house but also caters to the needs of my family (including our growing toddler and energetic yellow lab).

I’ve composed some inspirational imagery to create a visual guide with which I can refer to when I’m shopping, styling and rearranging. Now I can easily tell what would and wouldn’t work in my dream space without the hassle of buying and returning. This formula I’ve created might not be perfect or foolproof, but so far it’s been tremendously helpful. I’ve been able to redesign each space with such ease, and I’m loving the immediate results. So here’s the road map for my real dream home, and now it’s time to create yours. I’d love to help you name it, claim it and reap the benefits of an inspired, beautiful home as well.

dream home

All of my amazing sources can be found on my Pinterest page under “Dream Home.” Please check them out!

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Hair Do.

As someone who is perpetually discontent with their current hairstyle (see exhibit A), I am always on the lookout for the latest hair trends. Current mood: the modern shag! It’s a little bit of everything: bangs, layers, but still a longer length in back. It’s like a super chic mullet, if you will. To style you could probably just spritz on some texturizing spray and head out the door. While I sit and ponder why the grass is always greener, check out these shagadellic do’s from my favorite stylists.

shaggy layers

a. Anh Cotran is the hairstylist of my dreams. Follow him on Insta immediately!

b. & f. Sal Salcedo is the master of the modern shag (and much more)!

c. Thomas Taft says life is too short to have boring hair. Can I get an Amen?

d. Stephanie Lieblich works magic on curls!

e. Tim Duenas has that ‘cool girl from L.A.’ look on lock.

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Fresh Air.

There is too much fashion goodness happening right now to wait any longer for a weekly fashion recap! To see the 6 best-dressed collaged together makes me realize that right now we need to embrace volume. My eyes, and frankly my soul, just can’t take looking at one more cut-out dress. To see designers adding to the silhouette, instead of literally taking away, is breathing life back into fashion. Trends are cyclical, and I hope that embracing bold shapes (instead of just showing off skinny bodies) is here to stay for awhile. Let’s all breathe in a collective sigh of relief and enjoy the following style success stories.

 

*PREMIUM-EXCLUSIVE* Michelle Obama goes sightseeing in MontalcinoMichelle Obama’s Tuscan tourist style is so fashion-forward. There are many more chic outfits you must see from her trip because this pink top by Teija is just an appetizer.  celine dion dress 1Celine Dion killed it in this Stephane Rolland dress at the Billboard Music Awards. I love how edgy her style has become over the past year. Her stylist Law Roach pushes the boundaries and this time it paid off.

giovanna battagliaGiovanna Engelbert is still holding it down as the darling of the high fashion scene. I will always bow down to bat_gio.

beyonceThe Queen B continues to showcase her flawless, cool style on Instagram. ‘Nuff said.

kendall jenner cannesKendall Jenner super-modeled this Giambattista Valli mini-gown to perfection at the Cannes Film Festival. Granted she is a model, but she still deserves all the credit for wearing this dress (and not letting it wear her). Indulge in more Cannes-do’s here.

stacy londonMan Repeller flipped the script and gave style-guru Stacy London a makeover. The results are incredible. She looks fresh, young and cool. Sign me up for one too!

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the remainder of this week!

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Pinterested.

So I have 99 problems, and here are 2 of them: not enough dollar bills and a bare naked wall that greets me every time I walk in the front door. It’s a terrible combination for a woman who’s obsessed with interior design; however, thanks to Pinterest, a walk in the woods and $17 worth of yarn my worries are no longer! I don’t often DIY anything, but this was so easy and fun. Follow along for a peak at my process!wall hanging post 4 yarnswall hanging post cut each piecewall hanging post hanging branchwoven wall hanging knotswall hanging good startadd in 2 colorsmasking tapeso many knotsmade it to the other sidevoilafinal photo wall hanging

Mission accomplished. Now it’s your turn!

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Tangled Up In Blue.

One thing I love about my husband is that he has great, unfussy, consistent style in everything; however, his classic sensibilities are a huge buzzkill for my trendy, hipster compulsions. If it was all up to me our house would currently be covered in shiplap, wallpaper & barn doors (all of which repulse him). In our new home we have the exciting opportunity to give our kitchen a face lift. We agree on most everything thus far, but again he won’t budge on any trendy design choices. So file the following under one more amazing trend that will never be in my home: navy blue cabinetry (especially with gold hardware)! I feel it is my duty to pass on this inspiration so that I can live vicariously through someone else who’s willing to take this risk! Enjoy a slice of my blue heaven and onto the next trend I shall go…

navy cabinetry

A. Kitchen by deVol Kitchens

B. Bathroom by Kirsten Marie

C. Laundry Room by Brepurposed

D. Kitchen by Wendy Word Design

E. Office by Studio McGee

F. Kitchen Cabinetry by Charlie Kingham

G. Kitchen by Stone Textile

H. Laundry Room by Studio McGee

I. Kitchen by Nicole Franzen

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Heavily Armed.

With warmer weather around the corner, it’s time to think about what we’ll be wearing once puffy coats are no longer required. Celebrate the changing seasons by embracing your inner Carmen Miranda in a power sleeve blouse! Here are my favorites with a modern take on this frilly silhouette. Take your pick and let’s go Chica Chica Boom Chic!

a. Wide Open Neck with Puffy Sleeves Top, ZARA

b. Crop Gingham Jacket, Topshop

c. Ruffle One-Shoulder Blouse, Vince Camuto

d. Pink Top with Pearl Buttons, ZARA

e. Embroidered Flounce Shirt, ZARA

f. Top with Tiered Sleeves, H&M

g. Blue Blouse with Frills, ZARA

h. ‘So Obvious’ Solid Top, Free People

i. Gingham Top With Sleeve Detail, Free People

j. Floral Mess Yoke Blouse, Vince Camuto

k. Eyelet Layer Sleeve Tshirt, Topshop

l. Blue Off the Shoulder Top, ZARA

 

 

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Black Magic.

black is the new black

During a recent episode of OMG I need to demo my house and buy all-new-everything Fixer Upper, it dawned on me that what’s really missing from my home is some more industrial touches of black iron. Whether it be in a light fixture, a picture frame, a railing or kitchen hardware, it’s time to mix in some matte black elements in with my bright whites. Here is some inspo conjured up from my lightbulb moment to help you also get back to black. The bottom line: In small doses, matte black is the new black. Time to bust out the spray paint. Thanks as always, Joanna Gaines!

a: Amber Interiors

b, c, e & i: Magnolia Market Blog (Fixer Upper)

f: Becki Owens

g: Liz Marie Blog

h: Lexi Grace

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