Friday, July 29, 2011

I'm Mad About...

  • Must catch up on my reading—Rue and Matchbook both have new editions!
  • Are you taking the Pinterest Challenge?
  • I'm up to my neck in kittens this week, but this made me laugh. 
  • And I'll leave you with a thoughtful tribute to Amy Winehouse.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Remembering Jackie: An Icon Was Born

Today would be Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' 82nd birthday, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite images of this enduring icon.

Here she is getting ready to throw the bouquet at her 1963 wedding to John F. Kennedy:
By Toni Frissell, via Wikimedia Commons
The former first lady was known for her style, grace and poise, even during the most tragic of events.

Here's a pensive Jackie donning her signature pearls:
Source: None via Beth on Pinterest

She never seemed happier than when she was with her children. Here she is with John-John (and more pearls):

Want to get her look? You don't need a trust fund to afford these Jackiesque items:
1. Kenneth Jay Lane three-strand pearls,; 2. Malerie jacket, Kate Spade;
3. Jackie O sunglasses, Amazon; 4. Jacqueline dress, Lilly Pulitzer
Do you have a favorite image of Jackie O?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Be Fruitful and Multiply

In addition to the vegetable garden, we have several fruit trees on our property. In the back yard are lemon, orange and grapefruit trees, and in the front is a cherry plum.

The cherry plum produces delicious little fruits—just way too many of them! The tree is pretty tall, so we can't reach most of the fruit. It ends up falling on the ground—or on my car, which I have to park in the driveway under that tree.

It's been a particularly fruitful year, so my poor car has been bombarded with sticky purple plums. Over the weekend, we cleaned up the driveway and picked or knocked down as many as we could, but the next day my car was covered again.

Sigh. The previous owners didn't think that through when they planted the darn thing!

Sadly, I'm afraid the tree is going to have to go. Erik said he saw it leaning a few times in the wind, and I don't want it falling down on my car!

For the time being, though, I have some yummy little plums to enjoy:

Monday, July 25, 2011


The Blue Room is awash in kittens. Three of them showed up on our front porch Saturday. We fed them but left them outside. Then on Sunday they returned, one by one, plus a fourth one showed up!

So for now they're in our back bedroom, where they're safe from curious dogs and not annoying our cat. We're hoping to find them homes or a rescue that can take them, because as cute as they are, eight (animals) is more than enough!

Stripes and Denim: An American Classic

I bought a versatile striped T-shirt at Gap recently. It's navy and white, fitted, with a V-neck—very flattering and comfy! Of course it will look good year round; it's light enough to wear in summer and can easily be layered for cooler months. Right now I want to wear it with denim shorts, but I'm having trouble finding pair I like.

This makes a nice polished, casual outfit for a summer date:

An American Classic

Change out the wedges for white Keds or silver flip-flops and it would be perfect to wear to a baseball game, amusement park or carnival. I love the gold locket—it adds just the right feminine touch.

Are you wearing stripes this summer? What are you paring them with? I'd love to know!

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm Mad About...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sarah 101: Sign Me Up!

I finally caught an episode of "Sarah 101" on HGTV. In her latest show, Canadian designer Sarah Richardson shares her decorating tips in a how-to format, with practical info on such matters as how to pick a floral fabric and how to choose the right size area rug ("At least the front two feet of each piece of furniture should land on the rug," she advises).

Sarah's designs have gotten bolder over the years. Back in the days of "Design Inc.," her signature style was sophisticated and classic, with muted wall and furniture colors and bold splashes in accent pieces. Even the rooms in "Sarah's House" tended to be somewhat low-key color-wise. Here's a soft pink living room she did for "Sarah's House":

                                          Source: via Beth on Pinterest

But in this episode of the new show she takes pink up a notch or three, covering a sofa in a bright rose tone and chairs in bold floral:

                                                    Source: None via Mindy on Pinterest

Sarah's one of my favorite designers (they sure grow them stylish up north!), and sidekick Tommy is a hoot, so I'm looking forward to seeing more of this show!

P.S. For a look at the "Sarah's House" living room above after Sarah and her crew moved out, check out this post—but be warned, it might make you cry!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Color Me: In the Pink

While blue firmly remains my favorite color (hence the name of this blog), I can't help but smile with girly glee when I see something pretty in pink. A ripe strawberry. A teacup. A dress. A little car. The more unexpected, the better.

So, with that in mind, here's some soft rosy eye candy:
Clockwise from upper left: glass, Anthropologie; peonies, Tumblr; coat, ModCloth; bike, 79ideas
 And for something a bit bolder:

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Relaxing Weekend

I have trouble relaxing. I can rarely relax at home—there's always something that needs to be done, and because I work from home, I'm here most of the time, so I like to get away when I can.

Last weekend was spent doing things around the house. We got a lot accomplished, but it was exhausting. This weekend I promised Erik we could take it easy, and that we did.

The weekend started with a fishing trip. Friday after work we took the boat to the lake and spent several hours out on the water, Erik fishing, me reading a magazine. The weather was wonderful, and the atmosphere was so peaceful. Even the traffic on the bridge overhead was kind of zen.

And this was our view heading back to the dock:

It doesn't get more relaxing than that!

On Saturday I went back to the farmers market where I picked up some fruit and honey. Then I spent a good part of the afternoon in the yard with dogs, enjoying the perfect weather we've been lucky enough to have lately. Later we went out to dinner, capped off by piece of fresh peach pie. Nothing says summer like fresh peach pie! We also took a bike ride after dark, over to the university, to look for kit foxes. We saw quite a few (they are so cute!), as well as several cats and one skunk.

Sunday was spent paying bills, pinning on Pinterest and catching up on some work. I can't help it. But it was nice to have a couple of days to unwind and recharge after a busy and stressful week. How do you relax?

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm Mad About...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thanks for Stopping By

As of Wednesday, The Blue Room surpassed 500 page views, and I just wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation to everyone who has stopped by.
Modern Paper Goods
I hope you enjoy your time here and will return. And I promise to respond to any comments or suggestions you leave.

Thanks again!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Farm Fresh

One of the best things about living in California's Central Valley is the abundance of locally grown produce. And with that comes an abundance of farmers markets.

Despite the heat, I ventured out to a nearby farmers market this past weekend, and it was well worth the trip. Because I got there about a half hour before closing and the sellers were anxious to get rid of what they had left, I got good deals on peaches, squash and honey candy.

Surprisingly, there was still a good selection of produce at that late hour. The honey candy is delicious, but I'm sorry I didn't buy some of the orange honey—they're about out for the season. Maybe I'll get lucky next week and there will be some left.

Of course, the dogs got a little something, too:

Who doesn't like bacon? Plus, they're all natural and homemade. There are other flavors that I'll have to pick up next time. And maybe when the weather cools down I'll bring Bitsy along so she can try some samples and report back to the rest of the pack!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lonny Takes Us On Vacation

I can't wait to have a little time to sit down with the July/August issue of Lonny!

Lonny's traveling the world in this issue, visiting Vienna (which, along with Prague, is my latest dream destination) and offering up tips on what to bring to Florence, Sydney and Quebec City—all places I long to visit.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pet Profiles: Bitsy

What can I say about Bitsy? She's the best. Really. Smart, funny, fearless, tireless and, of course, beautiful. Everything anyone could want in a dog.

A co-worker of my husband found her in a park. Actually, his dog found her and wouldn't leave her side. He put a lost-dog ad in the paper, but no one responded. Since he already had three dogs, he decided to find her a new home. We all fell in love with her right away (Smooch included), so we decided to keep her.

While it was love at first sight for us, Bitsy wasn't so sure. It took several months for her come around, and she really didn't fully bond with us until the following spring when I took her to obedience training. But now she's a full-fledged member of the family.

Bitsy is definitely part Chihuahua; we've considered getting her DNA tested to find out if there's some papillon or Pom in her, but that would take the fun out of guessing her origin.

She likes attention, chasing her ball (pink, of course—her favorite color!) and food (especially Trader Joe's Cheese Crunchies).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Celebrate Blondie

July is International Blondie and Deborah Harry Month, and I can't possibly let that go unnoticed.

The influential punk band, fronted by the stylish and beautiful Debbie Harry, formed in the mid-'70s and is still going strong today. Its latest album, "Panic of Girls," was released in May in the U.K., and the band is touring Europe.

Blondie's self-titled album was released in 1976:
Photo by kevindooley
And here's Debbie Harry performing with the band in Toronto in 1977:
By Jean-Luc, via Wikimedia Commons

Here's the video for "Rapture," the only rap song I know all the words to (well, most of the words anyway).

Do you have a favorite Blondie song? Share it here!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Fashionable Time-Suck

I've found yet another way to waste time (I really need more work to keep me busy!). It's Polyvore, a site that lets you shop for clothes and create sets—basically outfit mood boards. I haven't spent too much time there yet, but here's my first set, based on a similar outfit that I have (but have yet to wear):

Pretty cute, if I do say so myself (the outfit, not the board—that could use some dressing up).

This is a pretty basic set. Polyvore has templates to make your layout look like a magazine spread. I know I'm going to have fun playing around with it—and I promise to share the results.

What are you wearing this summer?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Design Between Friends

I've enjoyed doing this blog so much in the last couple months. It's great to have a place where I can share all the big and little things that make me smile (even if no one is reading it!).

It's been so much fun, in fact, that I've teamed up with my friend Jana to start a new blog, Design Between Friends. This blog will be more design-focused (but expect some pet posts and maybe a few bits on travel, food and fashion). Jana lives in the Bay Area, so we'll touch on regional topics in Northern and Southern California, too.
Jana loves purses. Here she checks out the selection at Anthropologie.
We start off with a shopping trip. I went up to Oakland recently to check out Jana's new place, and we hit Ikea and Anthropologie. We had so much fun (we always do) that we wanted to share our adventures.

Jana's a terrific, engaging writer who never fails to make me laugh, and I'm sure you'll enjoy reading her take on design and decor. Our styles are very different, but we often find ourselves swooning over the same things.

I plan to keep posting here, but I hope you'll stop by DBF and tell us what you think. And come back often!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Diana Remembered

It's hard to believe but Princess Diana would be 50 today.

I was in high school when she married Prince Charles. Ever an Anglophile, I got up at 4 a.m. to watch the nuptials on TV. (My dad, not a big fan of the British royals, made me go back to bed. Party pooper.)

Shy Di became quite the glamorous beauty. Here she is dancing with John Travolta in the entrance hall at the White House in 1985:
By U.S. Federal Government, via Wikimedia Commons
I remember where I was when I heard the news of her death on Aug. 31, 1997. I had just returned from vacation when I flipped on the TV to CNN and saw her picture beside the dates 1961-1997. I broke down and cried.

Soon after we pulled an all-nighter at the newspaper where I worked to publish a special issue in her honor. Diana died just before Mother Teresa did, and my friend and co-worker questioned why the princess was overshadowing the nun whom many considered a saint.

While I understood her frustration, the difference was that Diana's death at 36 was unexpected, while Mother Teresa, at 87, had led a long, full life. Diana's sudden passing was made all the more tragic because it appeared that she had finally found some measure of freedom and happiness.

One of my favorite photos of Diana is also one of the last taken of her:
Source: Mario Testino via ozz on Pinterest

What do you remember most about Princess Diana?