Friday, April 29, 2011

Obsessed: Pottery Barn's Outdoor Spaces

TGIF! When I was going through the mail the other day, a fabulous catalog appeared in the pile- the Pottery Barn Outdoor Spaces edition.  Needless to say, all other distractions were put on hold for a few minutes as I flipped through the dreamy pages of artfully arranged outdoor furniture.  Oh, to have a porch so sweetly decked out in fine looking furniture with cozy all-weather cushions, or to host a meal outside with one of the most naturally blissful table and chair sets a tablescape ever did decorate.  Pottery Barn, won't you please come create some outdoor rooms in my world?  Obsessed, I tell you... obsessed.  While all of the plants in my yard may swoon if such a gorgeous outdoor space as a Pottery Barn space ever did appear in our yard, I am sure I can work to bring some happiness to the plants by attempting to create the beauty that is seen in this catalog.  So, true to my style, I present you with the Pottery Barn version, a similar piece of furniture at a lower price point, and an outfit inspired by the PB stylistic touches.  Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

< Can you imagine a better seating arrangement for hosting outside? >
See Pottery Barn's 'Gather around the fire' version pictured above here

See a similar seating style from Pier 1 Imports here

For a warm summer night bbq transitioning to a comfy summer night by a fire pit, your best friend can be a jean jacket.  The jackets can be found in a variety of styles at any price point, and are versatile enough to be worn with sundresses, khakis, and your favorite LBD.

< I imagine serving barbecued salmon, corn on the cob, and freshly sliced watermelon at this dinner table >
See Pottery Barn's 'Dining Alfresco' version pictured above here

See a similar table set from World Market here

A casual vest added to a simple t-shirt can add style and elegance in one easy swoop these days.  Elongate your legs in cropped jeans with some height in your shoe- comfortable wedges are great for outdoor events.  

< Can you imagine lounging on these cushions and taking in a summer flick outdoors?  How fab! >
See Pottery Barn's design for 'Backyard Movie Night' here

See West Elm's take on the futon cushion here

While warm summer nights have the best kind of weather ever, you still might need to add a layer or two for warmth if you will be seated outside for a prolonged period of time.  Find a cozy knit vest with some style, and you will have another layer of clothing with some unique pizzaz.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yard Crashers

< This shade of purple is one of my favorite to see in an iris >

As many of you fabulous blog readers know, these past few weekends have been spent planting in our backyard ( as mentioned here and here).  Now that April is almost over, my husband and I have successfully accomplished planting everything we planned to get in the ground this month- whew!  Digging in the hard-as-rock clay soil around here is quite a chore, but well worth the effort when you see plants growing, trees sprouting leaves, and flowers blooming in the spring sunshine.  While planting will continue in our backyard in the months and years to come, we are happy with what is planted currently in our back yard, and are glad to be able to finally kick back on the patio and enjoy the young plants that are growing now as fruits of our labor.  When we get a garden area staked out and planted this fall, we will be happy to literally enjoy the fruits of our labor!  For now, I am hoping that everything that is planted in our yard continues to grow- and am very thankful for hardy perennials!  And when the warm summer nights arrive this year... bring on the backyard barbecues!

< Blue star creeper planted between the rocks of a stepping-stone pathway >

< My modified version of a perennial planting plan I read about and loved >

< A fabulous trellis- now the trumpet vine just needs to grow! >

< Little leaves appearing on the branches of the tulip tree >

< The same perennials from my favorite planting plan, repeated again in the yard >

< Tigger enjoying the backyard beautification efforts >

< A little orchard area- apricots, lemons, pluots, and oranges will one day grow here >

< Ta-da!  Baby steps, but everything is coming together! >

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Concurrently Craving

< Probably the best color KitchenAid has ever produced for their fabulous mixers - this is now available at Williams-Sonoma >

This week has been quite busy, and last evening I had a difficult time realizing it was truly only Tuesday night.  How is it that April days are so jam-packed and yet still flying by?  In the middle of this crazy week, I thought it might be nice to take a little time to enjoy some of the fabulous items I have recently noticed, and that I am currently thinking I would love to own as my own.  For example, how can you not fall in love with the KitchenAid mixer shown above?  This hot shade of pink would be the most fabulous pop of color in any kitchen, and the fact that sales from this mixer will go to benefit the Susan G. Komen Cook for the Cure efforts would make this purchase even that much more worthwhile.  Is pink not your cup of tea?  Find some color refuge in the neutrals, blues and metallics in the other items with I am currently coveting.  See something here that you like?  Let me know, or let me know what is currently on your wish list!

< This leather blazer from Banana Republic will go with everything, and will be great to dress up or dress down in any season of the year >

< This picture does not do this chair justice- this vintage seat caught my eye at an antiques market (mentioned here) and has been haunting me (in the best way possible) ever since >

< Not that these are "Hello, lover" heels, but how enticing is the sherbet orange of this ankle strap heel from Gap? >

< Target's designer collaborations are usually fairly fabulous, and there are several items from the upcoming release of the Calypso St. Barth for Target collections that I cannot wait to get my hands on, including the pouf in gold and cosmetics case with an island flair pictured above >

< And last but certainly not least... Heidi Klum's style.  Simply amazing.  I love how she can carry any look to her advantage, and her slight mixture of prints paired with light jeans is a marvelous laid-back spring outfit (picture is courtesy of InStyle).  I am going to have to try to copy this ensemble! >

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Wedding Wear

It's that time of the year again... Wedding season is commencing!  My husband and I have several friends who are getting hitched this year, and are headed to a wedding this coming weekend to celebrate with two friends who are tying the knot.  Needless to say, my mind has been drifting ever so often to wedding guest attire.   I love dressing up, and attending weddings is one of my favorite times to get gussied up without feeling like I will draw too much attention to what I am wearing.  At a loss for wedding attire ideas?  I have put together a few outfit concepts for two different wedding settings: afternoon and evening.  I hope you find some outfit inspiration in these Polyvore sets!  All items in the sets shown below are under $50- as wedding costs for a guest can sometimes add up quickly (bridal showers, gift giving, travel, etc.), it will be nice to know that you can secure a great deal on your outfit for the actual event.  Wedding and reception ceremonies that occur in the morning and afternoon hours usually require slightly less formal attire unless otherwise stated in the invitation.  Evening weddings are an appropriate time to wear more formal clothing, and is an opportune time to accent with a little shine in your accessories.  Remember, you never need to outdo yourself in getting ready to attend a wedding- after all, it is the the happy couple's day to sparkle!  Have a great day, and let me know what outfit you have planned to wear to an upcoming wedding!