Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello, 2013

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a fantastic 2013. It's my anniversary (12 years!), so I'll be out eating, drinking and dancing.

See you in the new year.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November Is Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Just a quick note to encourage you to consider adopting an older pet this month, so it will have a home for the holidays!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I promise I'll share some snaps of Paris soon.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Autumn in Paris

I've been knee deep in last-minute planning for our upcoming trip to Paris. We finally worked out an itinerary and bought train tickets for a day in Brussels (!), so that's a load off my shoulders. I've been pinning and shopping like crazy (I can't very well go the most stylish city in the world without new clothes, can I?).

My French is very rusty (I studied the language for five years, but that was quite a while ago, and it's not as if I get to use it much in California), so I've been brushing up on that. I just know that no matter how prepared I am, I'm going to freeze the first time someone speaks to me in French. Hopefully I'll get comfortable with it after a day or two.

With all that, doing some work for the election, extra freelance work, and my usual life, it's been pretty crazy around here. Oh, and we're having some work done to the house (mostly outside, but we've done a little inside and plan to do more in the coming months).

Once things slow down a bit I hope to share some pictures here. But for now, a bientot!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Just Checking In

Hi everyone. I really thought I'd be back after Labor Day, rested and recharged and ready to post. But I'm still not feeling it. It isn't writer's block exactly. I know what I want to say and have several posts pretty much written in my head, but I just can't quite bring myself to sit down and type them out.

I started this blog as place to express myself and share things I enjoy, and at first it was fun. I hadn't really written much in years, so it was freeing to finally have a place where I could write what I wanted without having to conform to someone else's standards and expectations. But it started to feel like more of a chore than a joy, and I have so many other things vying for my time and attention.

So my hiatus continues.

Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

I'm a bit slammed right now (so much for the lazy days of summer), so I think I'll take a little blog break. And when I come back I'll share a few projects I've been working on.

But I leave you with these fun finds:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Remembering Marilyn

Sunday is the 50th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe, and I'm marking the occasion with some memorable pictures of the icon who's probably more popular now than when she was alive.

The young Norma Jean Dougherty in 1945:
Marilyn Monroe as Norma Jean Dougherty
By U.S. army photographer David Conover's shot (Yank, the Army Weekly,
via [1] and [2]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Studio publicity portrait for The Asphalt Jungle, 1950:
Marilyn Monroe in The Asphalt Jungle
By Studio publicity still [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

With Jane Russell, putting signatures in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater in 1953:
Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell at Chinese Theater 2
By Los Angeles Times [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Marilyn Monroe receives an escort while in Korea for her 1954 USO tour:
Marilyn Monroe, Korea, 1954 (2)
By USMC Archives (Flickr: Marilyn Monroe, Korea, 1954) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Prince and the Showgirl trailer, 1957:
Marilyn Monroe in The Prince and the Showgirl trailer cropped
By Trailer screenshot (The Prince and the Showgirl trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

With the Kennedy brothers celebrating President Kennedy birthday at Madison Square Garden, 1962:
JFK and Marilyn Monroe 1962 larger
By w:Cecil W. Stoughton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
What is your favorite Marilyn Monroe film?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Overload

Are you devouring the Olympics? I certainly am. What could be better than swimming (and swimmers ;-) and gymnastics in my favorite international city? Add a lot of strength, bit of grace,  some elation and heartbreak, and it equals some dramatic television.

Oh, and did you catch the nail polish on the American female swimmers? Totes adorbs!

So today I'm sharing some glimpses of the festivities. Enjoy!

Olympic Stadium:
By Matt Deegan (London 2012 Olympic Stadium  Uploaded by Kafuffle) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
London's Tower Bridge with 2012 Olympic rings:
By DAVID HOLT from London, England (London 048) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Qiang Shen passes the torch to William Williams on the outskirts of Aberystwyth:
By Shigang Yang (Shigang Yang and Qiang Shen, via email) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Opening ceremony:
By Matt Lancashire (Flickr: P7252755) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Nick Webb from London, United Kingdom (DSC_3212) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Men's road race:
By Paul Wilkinson from London, United Kingdom (Olympics Mens Road Race 2012) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, July 27, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

By Юкатан (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

OK, I admit it, I have been phoning it in this week (with a nod to the London Olympics). I'm just not feeling it. Must be the lazy days of summer getting to me.

I did manage to find a few things to share, however:
  • Nicole's bedroom update has me thinking about re-repainting my room.
  • This one's for you, Jana.
  • I'm all for clinging to every last bit of summer.
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dining Room Drama

My dining room update is moving along, slowly but surely. I found the perfect curtains. Well, almost perfect. They're a bit short, so I need to either move the rod down or add some trim to bottom of the panels—probably the ladder.

So with that in mind, here are some of my favorite dramatic dining spaces.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Blue Room on Tumblr

I've started a Tumblr. It's very new for me and I'm still learning the ropes, but if I like it I might move The Blue Room over there entirely. The blog just takes too much time and doesn't seem to be gaining much traction, and I think the way Tumblr works might be a better fit.

I hope you'll check it out and follow if you like it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I'm Mad About...

TGIF! It turned out to be such a crazy, busy week. I'm so looking forward to letting loose this weekend.

I did manage to find the time to scope a few things worth sharing:

Miller House, Palm Springs, California
By Ilpo's Sojourn (Miller House in Palm Springs) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • My birthday is seven months away, but I'm already thinking this would be a fun place to spend it.
  • Such a cute idea (and who knew there was such a thing as a cupcake corer?).
  • Lonny has a new owner, and it promises exciting new technology for readers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One of Those Weeks

I'll take this:

                                                                 Source: via Beth on Pinterest

And this:
                                                               Source: via Beth on Pinterest

Is it Friday yet?

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Blissful Getaway

I promised more on girls' weekend at the spa, so here you go. We wanted a place that was all inclusive, so we wouldn't have to worry about driving around town to eat or be entertained (and yes, so we could have a few drinks). My friend's husband actually stumbled on the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and suggested it us It's a bit pricey, but if you want some serious pampering, this is place!

Ojai is a picturesque arts community between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and the resort began in the 1920s as a private country club.

No detail is overlooked, from the architectural features (archways, pedestal sinks, hand-painted tile baseboards in the bathrooms) to the impeccable service. When we needed a corkscrew, it was a just a room service call away. More coffee in the morning? Ditto. Don't want to walk from one end of the complex to the other? An employee will undoubtedly offer you a ride on a golf cart.

The resort has a beautiful golf course, tennis court, at least four eateries, at least three pools (including one family pool), a coffee and snack shop, and bike/walking trail. It offers fitness and yoga classes and hikes as well.

But the star (in my book, anyway) is the spa. We each got a relaxation massage, and it was heavenly. The spa offers a range of massages, facials and other treatments. After the massage, we spent a few minutes in the steam room. We didn't think to bring our swimsuits to the spa, but there's a beautiful pool. (Next year we'll know better!) We had a delicious and (relatively ;-) healthy lunch near the pool at Cafe Verde.

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

Bon jour!
Eiffel tower fireworks on July 14th Bastille Day
Beivushtang at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Have a fantastic weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weekend Retreat

I spent last weekend being pampered at the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. I went with a dear old friend, and we got massages, relaxed in the steam room and hung out in the beautiful (but hard to find!) pool. And we ate. A lot.

Here's a little taste to whet your appetite:

I'll have more pictures and details next week.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Animal Skin Rugs: Tired or Trendy?

I subscribed to Metropolitan Home for years (until it went away with other beloved magazines, victims of the Internet and a bad economy). I loved the warm modern style the magazine showcased. But one thing I found maddening was the ubiquity of Saarinen tulip tables. Evey issue had at least one—dining tables, side tables, marble-topped tables. Toward the end there were tulip tables in just about every home tour, three or four per issue.

Now, don't get me wrong: I love the simplicity of a Saarinen table and the fact it looks just as good in a modern space as in a more traditional setting. It just started to become a cliché, and I found myself cringing every time I saw yet. another. one.

Which brings me to the subject at hand: hide rugs.
Decor Pad via The Simply Luxurious Life
I can hardly open a design magazine or read a blog post lately without seeing yet another hide run. Cowhide, zebra—you name it. While I like the organic shape of a hide, I'll admit I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of decorating with dead animals (my leather Eames-style lounger notwithstanding!). But that's not what I'm objecting to (faux animal hides are all over the place, too). I guess it's just starting to seem rote and unimaginative.

So what do you think: Are animal skin rugs passé or here to stay? Am I just being a crank? And did the person who designed this room want to drive me over the edge?

Friday, July 6, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July. Even though the husband had to work, I did a little barbecuing and festive decorating:

Here are a few things that caught my eye this week:
I'm off for a spa weekend with a friend! More on that next week. Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Have a blast!

Fireworks cholmes75
Cholmes75 at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

(And remember to bring your pets inside.)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Festivities for the Fourth

This week is America's birthday, and here are a few thing to help you celebrate:

Red Picnic Cooler, Crate & Barrel; Schooner Melamine Plate, West Elm; Striped Metal Water Tank Dispenser, Cost Plus World Market; Red, White and Blue Napkin; Cost Plus World Market; Oliver Stripe Outdoor Lumbar Pillow; Pottery Barn; I Tank You're Swell Dress, ModCloth.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

                           Source: via People on Pinterest

                         Source: via People on Pinterest

  • Well, it looks like I'm going to have to see People Like Us, since it features "LA as the fifth character in the movie." Knowing how I am, though, I'll catch it on Netflix in five years, after the DVD has been sitting on my kitchen counter for six months. Ha! Still, I love movies about the "real" LA (A Single Man comes to mind). Oh, and Chris Pine. Yes.
  • Have you jumped on the colored jeans trend yet? I want to (mint green skinny jeans, please!) but haven't been able to find the right pair. Picky much?
  • Tips on decorating for and with dogs (but I can do without the pooping pooch lamp!).
  • For those times when a thumbs-up or thumbs-down just isn't enough, there's ReadrBoard. WTF? ;-)
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Cabin in the Woods

There's nothing like a little mountain getaway to help you recharge your batteries. I was invited recently for a girls' weekend at a friend's cabin in the Giant Sequoia National Monument area.

We didn't do much—a little hiking, some bird/squirrel watching, and lots of eating was about it.

Folks were fishing, but I don't think they were getting many bites:

The stone-clad lodge has an ice cream parlor:

And, of course, the neighbors came to visit:

Makes me wish we had a cabin of our own.

This would do quite nicely:
                                                                        Source: via sunglasshut on Pinterest

Actually, I'd prefer something a bit more manageable.  Who wants to spend all that time taking care of a big house when you're on vacay?

Something simple, like these tent cabins, would suit me just me just fine:
Metropolitan Home
 And look how lovely it is inside:
Metropolitan Home
So what do you prefer—a cozy little mountain retreat or a luxurious lakeside getaway?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dream House in the Hills

I know it's been around for a while, but I just ran across this gorgeous Hollywood Hills home via coco+kelley, and I'm officially obsessed.

                                                                            Source: via Beth on Pinterest

From the neutral color palette punctuated with shots of bold color to the big windows that let in all the glorious LA sunshine, this home has me written all over it. And then there's the location. It's no secret that I covet a house in the hills.

                                                                      Source: via Jacquie on Pinterest

Every detail is perfect.
                                                                                Source: via Beth on Pinterest

The place is owned by Hollywood insider Jacqui Getty. See more pictures at C magazine—but have a tissue ready, because it's drool-worthy!

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm Mad About ...

Happy Friday!

Last week I went I went a little overboard at the farmers market. It was so hot (108!) hardly anyone was there, so the stands were offering fill a bag for $5. How could I resist?
Since Erik doesn't care for fresh fruit and I couldn't eat it all myself before it went it bad, I used some to make a fruit crumble (using this recipe, more or less) for my book group:

It was quite a hit, so I'm making another one to take up to my friend's cabin for a girls' weekend. Can't wait!

To get you in the mood for a fun weekend, here are some things that caught my eye this week:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shopping for Summer

Since I shared my summer to-do list the other day, I thought it might be fun to round up a few items I'll need to get things done.
Clockwise from upper left: Dolly gingham maillot, Anthropologie; wicker picnic basket, Williams-Sonoma; Weber Smoky Joe, Target; O'Brien women's neoprene life vest, Dick's; The Waffle, Hollywood; Cuisinart 1.5-quart automatic ice cream maker, Amazon.
In the interest of full disclosure, I already own all of these items, or reasonable facsimiles. But I have to say, my swimsuit isn't nearly that cute!

What are you planning to buy for summer fun?