eclectic design inspiration

Monday, May 28, 2012

Week 21: Don't Miss 'Ems!

 getting in the Memorial Day spirit via Free People

Happy Memorial Day! I hope most of you are enjoying a long weekend of good food, good friends and lots of time outside. Summer is sooo close!

But it hasn't exactly been barbecue weather in Portland this weekend (I'm not complaining though because we had thunderstorms two nights in a row, and we never get exciting weather like that), so I've had a bit of a non-traditional, but still eventful, Memorial Day weekend. Friday night I went with a bunch of girlfriends to Ox, a new Argentine restaurant in Northeast Portland, and the food - actually the entire dining experience - was incredible. I think bread and chimichurri will be my go-to snack all summer. On Saturday I hiked Angel's Rest in the Columbia River Gorge, which is my favorite "viewpoint hike," with a couple of friends and afterward we headed into Hood River to eat and drink at my favorite little brewery, Double Mountain. Of course, the weekend would not be complete without a trip to Mississippi St. in North Portland for some Por Qué No? tacos, so that was the big event yesterday. I also watched an awesome documentary called "Forks Over Knives" and it has propelled me to make healthy choices today, consisting of an early morning gym sesh and nutritious, plant-based food since. My new goal is to eat less dairy and seafood, and maintain a mostly vegan diet - which will be tough, but doable. I plan on posting more vegan recipes in the near future, and I promise they will be super tasty! :)

I've also caught up on my blog reading, and below you'll find my favorite inspiration of the past week...

the fabulous Lummus Beach in Miami via Free People

this thirst-quenching lemon-thyme soda by Sacramento Street 

 this rustic country kitchen via Haute Design (those floors!)

 this glowing text installation via Because I'm Addicted

these super cute DIY neon-toe flats by Funkytime

this glamorous white & gold living room via The Decorista

 this scrumptious squash blossom quiche with feta & basil by Tartlette

these earth-toned handmade ceramics via Haute Design

this vibrant ombré tablecloth via Camille Styles

 this eye-catching glassware collection via Coco + Kelley

this cool blue bookshelf in the home of Heidi Merrick, featured at The Glitter Guide

these juicy, oven-roasted tomatoes by David Lebovitz

this All-American look featured in Vogue Spain via Oracle Fox

And that's a wrap. Happy Memorial Day!!!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Favorite Things: In My Apartment

In an effort to incorporate more of my own home's decor and design into this blog, this post is all about some of my favorite things currently out and about in my apartment. Since I've been into decor for a long time, and am the type to feel at home when surrounded by lots of clutter unusual/beautiful things, it was difficult to narrow it down to this little group. So in an effort to keep it interesting (okay actually that was never a thought in my head, it just turned out this way), all things are pre-owned, living, or once living. Yup, it's about to get weird.

We'll start off with something pretty: this Scandinavian floral kilim is the first thing I step onto in the morning as I zombie-walk my way out of bed. It was a very lucky find at an estate sale in NW Portland, and since this purchase I've been convinced that when I go estate saleing I'm in fact a modern day treasure hunter. (Career counselors recommend you revisit the interests you had as a kid, in order to discover your "dream job" as an adult. I remember getting a metal detector for Christmas when I was about 9, and I was stoked. No sarcasm. So this whole thing makes sense.) I'm obsessed with the colors in this rug, and the man who sold it to me said all of the flowers are local to the region it was made. Who knows if that's true, but I'm choosing to believe it. 

 And... guess what that is. Just guess. No, not the sunglasses, the thing that they're sitting in. Yes... it's a bone. An ostrich chest bone. Cool huh!? I blame my mom for raising me to think this is normal. See, this is what happens when you spend your weekends as a kid at your grandparents' farm and one of the most looked-forward to and encouraged activities is "hunting for cow bones" in the brush. Bonus points if you find a skull and it still has all of its teeth. So when my girl scout troop went on a weekend retreat to "the farm," you bet that was one of the activities on the schedule. That's Texas, y'all. Sunglasses from Nordstrom BP and Forever 21, beaded wrap bracelet from Ten Thousand Villages, coins from the bottom of my purse.

This is my little piñata friend (omg I just realized he doesn't have a name! not okay) that I found at a vintage shop here in Portland. "How has he survived all these years?" is my question. I love how he's neon colored, and he's Mexican so, duh, I like him. Plus there's that whole 4th grade birthday party vibe he brings to my apartment - I don't like to take things too seriously with my decor. (See above) Peter Max print from ebay, maracas from the Round Top antique festival, and Design Sponge and Decorate decor books from anywhere you can buy a book.

This vintage set of mirrored fuschia roly-poly tumblers is something I was very happy to stumble upon at the Etsy shop Relevant Vintage. So far I've made all of my friends drink out of the blue Ikea glasses instead, but one day I might let them hold the pink ones. When they're pregnant and drinking mocktails. Silver beaded mat from Pier 1 Imports, the Vintage Cocktails book in the background was a Christmas gift from my sister. 

And this is a gastropod fossil that I bought from a man in Texas who was like, 127 years old, and he said he'd been collecting them from the Red River since he was a little boy. Of course, I got all sentimental on him and ended up buying a few. I love this kinda thing. Rocks, fossils, shells, crystals ... bones apparently. I could totally be a witch. I'm not into taxidermy though - I will make that clear! And... since I'm honest on this blog... I've never been able to get past like, page 10 of Catch-22. I've tried three times and I just can't do it. Way too many unpronounceable characters.

Finally, we end with something living (always best to leave on a good note). This is a staghorn fern that I call Staghorn (I swear I'm creative I just felt weird naming a plant anything that seemed like I actually thought about it), and although he doesn't get a cool name I still show him love by talking to him like he's my petYes, there is a special voice. I purchased him from Pistils Nursery after deciding I needed some kind of houseplant, and since my mom has always had staghorns (except they were in the backyard, massive, and hanging from giant oak trees) I thought I should get one after learning they do okay indoors. Hopefully he'll have a long and happy life. Ignore that ugly, brown area. I googled it and it's totally normal.

What are some of your favorite things in your home?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Mid-Century Cool 300

Because I'm currently living in a studio apartment that's less than 400 square feet, I always feel an instant sense of camaraderie when I learn of someone living in a similar-sized space and probably repeating the same warning I do to guests, "Okay, before you come in, just know it's really tiny and basically one giant bedroom." Enter interior designer Leslie Landis, whose home was recently featured in an Apartment Therapy house tour. She rents a 300 sq. ft. (you go girl!!) apartment in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles that is absolutely dripping with cool mid-century style. For those of you who "mid-century" means nada, zip, zero - think Mad Men. If you don't watch Mad Men, you really need to switch up what you're doing on Sunday nights, but for the time being just wait until you see Leslie's apartment below. While my style tends to be a little bit more eclectic (I think the only mid-century items I own are the roly-poly tumblers on my bar table), I would totally be down to set up a little cot in the hallway and move into her place tomorrow. While her attention to quirky, fun detail is incredible, I think what really pulls it all together is her choice of wallpaper. Check out the photos from the AT tour below and the full interview here.

Have you ever achieved a total room transformation in your home by painting the walls a new color or putting up interesting wallpaper?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Week 20: Don't Miss 'Ems!

As I'm writing this, I hope everyone is in the smack-dab middle of a memorable weekend!

The two boxes on my calendar representing this Saturday and Sunday are totally overflowing with things I've committed to, and now I'm really regretting the 60 lunges and 30 squats I did at the gym on Thursday (I blame it on all of the neon bikinis showing up in the blogosphere the past month). Quite simply I feel like my legs were run over with a garbage truck and it hurts to walk.

But I've been pushing through the pain and did a little estate saleing this morning (that awkward moment when you pay cash for someone who just died's used trash can), checked out the Portland Flea, and did a little vintage shopping this afternoon. My friend and I managed to stumble upon Megan Draper's entire closet at this one particularly awesome boutique on Burnside, but unfortunately for me, I don't think I've ever spent over $200 on a dress and I couldn't do it today.

I also took a decent amount of time this afternoon to catch up on all of the blog posts I didn't have time to read during the week, and I was overwhelmed by all of the cool things I saw.

Here is some of my favorite inspiration from Week 20/52:

this quirky vignette via Design*Sponge

model Elsa Hosk's adorable/pretty hair barrettes via Oracle Fox

this stunning wedding tabletop by Cassandra Lavalle of Coco + Kelley for The Everygirl

these particularly edgy handbags by Inés Figaredo via Honestly...WTF

this mid-century Palm Springs retreat featured in Architectural Digest

this funky camo and leopard pairing via Oracle Fox

this impeccable bar cabinet via Design*Sponge

this mouthwatering avocado and pistachio crostini via Keep It Simple Foods

this charming patio belonging to Leslie Landis featured at Apartment Therapy 
(I will do an entire post on her to-die-for home in the near future)

this hot tamale outfit on Aimee Song via Because I'm Addicted

this "is-that-real?" home featured in Casa Brasil via Design Elements

Are your eyes and heart happy now? Thought so.

How have you been spending your weekend?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Recipe: Strawberries & Whipped Cream Angel Food Cake

On Mother's Day I decided to make a strawberries and whipped cream angel food cake in honor of my mom. It's one of her favorite desserts, and mine too, and I have many sweet memories of her making it for me on my birthday over the years.

It's a cake that's sooo easy and sooo delicious, I'm not sure why I don't make it more often. It's an especially great dessert for those of us who aren't huge chocolate fans. Yes, we exist. This cake is light, fruity, and not crazy sugary. I mean... it is sugary but not like a white chocolate chip, dark chocolate swirl, Snickers double fudge frosted brownie is sugary. (Bleh!) The secret to its simplicity? We're going Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee style: you buy an angel food cake from the grocery store bakery. ;) And then you top it with strawberries and homemade whipped cream for the perfect summer dessert.


1 angel food cake (homemade or from the grocery store's bakery)
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 lb. strawberries, washed
5 heaping tsp. sugar (for the cream)
4 heaping tsp. sugar (for the strawberries)
a handful of each: whole strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, washed (for decoration)

1. Chop the strawberries and place in a small mixing bowl and stir in 4 tsp. of sugar. Smash with a fork or wooden spatula until liquid starts to form. Let sit for about 30 mins. at room temperature.

2. With an electric mixer, slowly combine whipping cream and 5 tsp. of sugar into a mixing bowl, beating on high. Continue beating until cream forms stiff waves.

3. Cut the cake in half so that you have two rings. Place the bottom ring on a cake stand and spoon a layer of smashed strawberries onto the cake. Carefully add a layer of whipped cream on top of the strawberries.

4. Place the top half of the cake on top of the layer of strawberries and whipped cream.

5. Cover entire cake with whipped cream (I just used a butter knife), being careful not to mix pieces of cake or strawberry into the cream - you want it to be totally white.

6. Decorate the cake with whole strawberries (leave on the green stems), blackberries, and raspberries.

7. Chill for an hour before serving.

Make sure to take the time to lick all of the whipped cream off of the beaters, the mixing bowl, and any spoon or spatula. It might be another 1,000 calories, but I'm pretty sure it's what heaven tastes like.