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Too Far

stylish fly swatter

I received the preview for West Elm’s fall collection yesterday and, as usual, there are far too many items to add to my want list. Including, somehow, a fly swatter. WTH West Elm? And perhaps, WTH my silly aesthetic impulses? This, I think, may be too far. Do I really need to covet a leather and steel fly swatter? I have to wonder how the copy writer felt writing the description, “Plus with its leather top, this swatter wipes clean easily.”. So does plastic, my friend, so does plastic.

And yet …

(and yes, I know. And I have about 10 million more things to post about. You can find some of them on Pinterest. And others on Instagram. I hope you’re out enjoying summer too.)

Summer Style




I walked past this dress at Target for a few weeks before finally trying it on. At $30 it seemed “expensive” for Target, although I would have snapped it up at any other store. It is, like most maxis, super comfortable. It is also very flattering, particularly if you have, well, hips.  When my social calendar fills up with summer parties I’ll have the perfect outfit, paired with a hat (I must protect my skin, of course) and that fun necklace. And since the dress makes me look taller, I can stick with flats and add a giant bag for all the sun screen, water bottles, bug catchers and other summer ephemera. Bonus, this dress isn’t hemmed with the assumption that all women are seven feet tall.

I have to admit, I first thought maxis would be a fleeting trend. I’m glad to see them sticking around. There aren’t many trends that allow me to look put together and feminine while feeling like a comfortable nightgown.

My Spring to Summer Uniform

spring uniform  

I used to think I needed a huge wardrobe with something different to wear every day of the week. Now, I tend to look for a few flattering items and figure out as many ways to wear them as possible. Not sure what that says really, but I think I’ve found my spring, and summer, uniform.

I picked up the green pants a few weeks ago on sale. I’ve never really been much for bright colors in my wardrobe’s main pieces, but after adding the green skirt this fall I think I might be changing things up (or consistently adding green, depending on how you look at it. I might also, gasp, buy a pair in pink). I still tend to stick with a pattern – green goes with navy and grey in my head, perhaps with a pink necklace, but I’m slowly expanding.

I tried on the tee-shirt at Anthropologie this weekend and it is so very very flattering to the “mom” body. I rarely buy anything full price there and I bought two of these tops (although one is backordered till June, I must not be the only one who loves it).  Combined with sneakers plus a cardigan and scarf, I think I know what I’ll be wearing every weekend till it warms up. And once summer hits I’ll switch the tennies for sandals and change out the scarf for a necklace or larger earrings (but not both, I can’t go that far). Finish it off with a large bag for toting all the water bottles, snacks and sun screen, probably the oil cloth one, although I do like a good stripe.

Do you have a go to outfit?

Fancy Monday

set a quick dining table

Despite being officially spring, it’s pretty gray here still, like much of the country. In fact, I think it may be snowing right now. I needed a little color and greenery to deal with this today, so I stopped by the store to pick up a simple bouquet. Once home, Emm and I decided we’d use them to make dinner “fancy”, so I pulled out a variety of items to add to our usual monochromatic selection of plates, placemats and napkins. I prefer to have most of my table linens and place settings in neutrals so I know everything can go together in layers.

fancy water

I love these little vases, they’re perfect down the center of a table and they make cheap grocery store mums and wax blossom look modern. I trimmed the top off some fennel to add a little greenery to the place setting, tied the napkins in a knot and placed the flatware on the plates instead of next to them. We added our larger size plates under the ones we use everyday for a little variety and sliced some oranges for our water just for fun. Quick, simple changes to make a gray Monday evening feel a little more special.

Thursday’s Things

thursday collage

A perfect print in a pretty white kitchen, navy everything (seriously, I had three more navy things marked. Navy – the new black. Also,  the old navy), pretty jewels, new books (the english to english Emily Dickinson evokes fond memories of a favorite teacher) and a serious need for some peace and quiet. Happy Valentine’s Day!


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.



Thursday’s Things

thursdays things

I’m down this week with neck and shoulder pain, a good reminder that I really need to move more and take care of my aging self. That knowledge didn’t stop me from poking around on the internet too much though and finding bunches of things to covet.

This week I’m loving not so valentine-y Valentine’s cards, funky prints (I like the owls for Emm’s room), reminders of spring (especially remembering when I could pick roses from my garden for centerpieces), sweet treats as always and a wish that our next election could have some smart and funny women working the discussion.



In addition to these great finds, I saw this site for unbelievably cheap statement necklaces the other day. $2.99?I think I can find that in the budget. Which one would you choose?


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Things I Need

bike I, like many people, love Anthropologie. A lot. A shirt from there can dress up the blandest outfit and their home items are often just the right mix of modern and quirky. So when I saw this amazing copper bicycle posted by Design Mom from Anthropologie I gasped. And then I gasped again when I saw the price tag. $6000. Now don’t get me wrong, that is one seriously gorgeous bike. But yowsers. That is another lifestyle (Finn’s first comment was that they had combined the area thieves two favorite items in one). It had been a while since I’d taken a look at Anthropologie’s notorious Hobbies and Leisure section, so I wandered over to see what else was new. As usual it did not disappoint with the eye candy. Here are five of my favorites for the next time I have a few thousand discretionary dollars. Altair Tent, Anthropologie, $10,000 The Altair Tent “Does not include wood flooring or flags.” Obviously, the wood floor would warp in all that water. Seriously though, I’d camp in this. Or Glamp rather. $10,000. Yes $10,000. Rickshaw by Gordan Hull Anthropoloie $10000
RickshawI live in a bike friendly community and I need this rickshaw. How else will I get my children to school and run errands? Also, read the review. I really want it to be a real review. $10,000. garden games basket anthropologie $6500
Garden Games BasketI need this. So do you. My children will be excellent at cricket and rounders. And Quiots. I don’t know how I’ve never played that before, I must become expert immediately. $6500.

bamboo keyboard anthropologie
Bamboo Keyboard and MouseThis one is both attractive and affordable. I still like it. $98. At that price though, everyone will have one.

paddleboard anthro $6500
Paddleboard. A gorgeous, limited edition paddleboard inlaid with suzani fabric. They only made 12, so you can be sure you’ll stand out as you fall off. $6,500. They must think these will be a big seller, as they are offered in a dozen different patterns.


Which one of these will you run out and grab before they sell out?  Limited editions people.


Happy New Year!

nabokov quote obvious state

I’ve been looking for inspiration in words this past year, reading a lot more (and staying up waaay to late doing so) and writing here and other places. In this search for literary inspiration, I think there’s something extra with the start of a new year that calls for the perfect quote. One that sums up potentials, regrets, promises, hopes – beginnings. While I don’t think that any one of these prints by Evan Robertson of Obvious State is The One, together they create a sense of what the new year could bring.

obvious state literary quotes

Curiosity, ideas, truth, creation – all things I hope to nurture in the new year. And while the following don’t have a pretty print to go with, they are two of my favorite Emerson quotes.

“Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Here’s to continued inspiration in the new year. What speaks to you as we move into 2013?

ps – you can find lots more of my favorite quotes on Pinterest.

West Elm’s Market Collection

Oh dear, I think I might want just about everything in the new West Elm Market collection. Billed as full of “clever, hard-working, time-saving, clutter busting solutions for everyday living” the collection is an aesthetically pleasing set of useful tools and appliances for kitchen, garden and personal care. While somewhat overpriced, as these things tend to be, there’s plenty of items I wouldn’t mind adding to our home, either as things I’ve been looking for (what, an attractive toilet brush holder?) or replacements for items we use everyday that I had to compromise on the looks or design (that tea pot is gorgeous. And white. And $150. Bother.).

In addition to the expected kitchen and garden tools, and some lovely candles and soaps, West Elm is also breaking into appliance sales. They’re offering a range, smeg refrigerators and a collection of small appliances from Krups. It’s an interesting concept for the store. I’ll be looking for lots of these things when they go on sale, although I may pick up a couple of items at full price.

What do you think of this concept and collection? Anything you want to run out and grab?

White and Glass

I’ve always preferred white for dishes and serveware, but with our dark gray walls and open shelves I now have a new appreciation for using it as utilitarian decor. My dishes are our wedding set, a classic line from Crate and Barrel pictured bottom left, but after almost 13 years they’re getting a bit banged up with everyday use. I still love how the white mixes with everything so easily, but I’d love to replace them with something a bit more organic in form. I love the Eva Zeisal Classic Century dishes (top left), as well as Heath’s Chez Panisse line (top right). The simple lines of The New General Store’s classic white dishes (bottom right) are similar to the Maison dishes we have now, but different enough it would still feel like a new set.

These simple glass carafes are another item I find myself wanting in multiples. I recently purchased a couple of the Crate and Barrel version (top right) for the bar tray in the new dining room set up, but I prefer the shape of the Heath carafe (bottom right). The New General Store carafe is similar to the one I have, but has a cork stopper.

Here’s how I’m styling my white and glass on the new shelves. I do have to dust the less frequently used items when I pull them out for gatherings, but they look so nice out everyday. And in keeping with my less clutter rule, I’m working to make sure that all the items are things I actually use (aside from the owl, he’s just cute).

What about you, do you prefer plain or patterned dishes?

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