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Wednesday
Aug272014

Movie Houses Are The Best!

I have always wanted to live in a "movie house".  A movie house is that amazing & glorious home that only exists in TV or movies.  There are a few of my very top favorites that I thought would be fun to share.  I would love to know some of your very favorites sets or homes featured on the big or small screen. 

Up first.... The home from the film "It's Complicated". 

It's Complicated

I'm not sure that there has been a more beautiful home -- and certainly, not a better kitchen.  It's picture perfect and I am not the only one who thinks so.  There are entire blogs based on the gorgeousness of this house.  This film (starring Meryl Streep) was directed by the much respected Nancy Meyers.  Myers is known for creating beautiful films that feature amazing sets & designs.  This is not the only film by Myers on my list.  

Next Up... "Baby Boom".  Baby Boom came out when  I was 12 years old.  It was probably a little mature for me to understand that real issues in the film - but, what I did connect with was the idea of living in the country, driving a Jeep Wagoner (my mom always had one when I was little) and making baby applesauce.  It sounded like heaven!  Still does.  Who doesn't want to chuck it all - move to Vermont - live in a GORGEOUS & charming Cape Cod and fall in love with the town vet?  Sign me up!  (Let's just skip the part where she had to spend every single penny of her savings fixing the place up). 

Baby Boom

 Next on my list is probably my very favorite apartment from a movie.... "You've Got Mail". 

You've Got Mail

There is nothing about the apartment that Meg Ryan lives in that I don't love.  I mean, who doesn't want to live in a beautiful brownstone in NYC?  This stunning & spacious apartment has all the things I love - books, cozy furniture and white woodwork.  You can tell that Kathleen Kelly (Ryan's character) grew up in this apartment with her mother and it was passed down to her after her death.  Otherwise, how could ANYONE afford such a beautiful place?  Thank goodness for "Rent Control". This apartment just screams - a real person lives here! I adore it. 

You've Got Mail

Now, back to houses..... Up next is one of my very favorites, the home from "The Family Stone".  This is my DEFINITION of a movie house.  Not only is this home in the "country side" of New England - but, it's huge.  What's not to love? I think one of the reasons this home resonates so much is the film is set during the holidays.  Everyone's home always looks better all decorated up.  At the end of the day, this house got me from the first moment.  I mean - look at that huge wrap around porch.  Heaven! 

For the next home we have to cross the ocean and head to England.  The quaint & charming cottage in "The Holiday" is the stuff of English dreams. Without a doubt, I could spend the rest of my life living in this beautiful cottage.  The concept of being surrounded by books, cups of tea and countryside is my idea of Utopia. 

The HolidayDeep in my soul I have always wanted to chuck it all and move to the English countryside.  I mean, I speak the language - what's not to love? 

The Holiday

The final house I want to spotlight is another Nancy Meyers film, "Something's Gotta Give". 

Something's Gotta Give

This home is on lots of people's list of all time favorites and I completely agree.  This home in the Hampton's is pure perfection. 

Something's Gotta Give So, that's it.  That's my list of all time favorite homes featured in movies.  There is definitely a "style" that I am drawn too.  I'm not a modern / stark kind of girl.  Nope --- give me cozy and charming any day of the week.  I would love to hear some of your favorites.  If you could live in any movie house - which would you pick? 

Cheers! 

 

Tuesday
Aug192014

The Land Girls 

One of my greatest {passions / hobbies / interests} is World War II history, specifically the European front stories.  I am an avid watcher of the History Channel and anytime there is anything focused on Nazi history, English strategy or D Day stories of American bravery, I am hooked.  I can spend an entire day on the sofa absorbed in a marathon of Churchill or Hitler.  The entire era holds me in rapt attention.  

One of the lesser known areas of World War II history that I am a huge follower of is the Woman's Land Army. The amazing bravery & heart of women that went into the fields of England, ensuring the health & well being of their country men.  In effect the Land Army operated to place women with farms that needed workers, the farmers being their employers. 

The Women's Land Army was developed during "The Great War" (World War I) and during the lead up to England's declaration of war on German in 1939.  As the prospect of war became increasingly likely, the government wanted to increase the amount of food grown within Britain. In order to grow more food, more help was needed on the farms and so the government started the Women's Land Army in June 1939.  These "Land Girls" primarily already lived in the countryside - but, more than a third came from London and the industrial cities of the north of England.

It wasn't just England that utilized the amazing workforce of women, the Women's Land Army of America was formed in the United States as part of the Emergency Farm Labor Service, lasting from 1943 to 1947, and the Australian Women's Land Army was formed in Australia, lasting from 27 July 1942 until 1945. These amazing women single-handedly helped win the war for their countries - all the while feeding not only their fellow country men - but, their boys fighting overseas. 

Popular culture has also taken a keen interest in the fork lore of the "Land Girls".  Books, television series, movies and fashion have all shined a spotlight on these amazing ladies.  One of my favorite BBC television series, "Land Girls" ran from 2009 - 2011. (PS - the series is available for stream on Netflix).  Additionally, there is a darling movie called "Land Girls" staring the beautiful Rachel Weisz that is also available to stream.  Both spotlight the bravery of these women, but also their ability to look fashionable while doing it.  

The Land Girls (BBC Television Version) and Land Girls Motion Picture

Lastly, the Land Girls continue to make themselves known by popping up in cultural references and in fashion.  There isn't a fashion season that doesn't have a designer popping a little farm girl chic into their collection.  There is a vast part of culture that loves this nod to the past.  Personally, I think a Halloween costume is SCREAMING my name! 

LAND GIRLS ARE EVERYWHERE!

Sunday
Jul272014

Paint the Town: OPI and Clark+Kensington Partnership

Have you ever been sitting around, looking at your most recent manicure & thought that the color would look perfect on your bedroom walls?  Have you ever wanted to match your toenails to your kitchen wall?  Okay - well, maybe toes and kitchens aren't a natural fit - but, you get my point.  Well - now you can!  OPI Nail Polish & Clark+Kensington are teaming up for a new color of colors based on some of the nail company's most popular shades. 

There are three collections featuring six OPI shades. Each set offers five coordinating Clark+Kensington shades.

First Up: The Artist Collection

The Artist Collection

This collection features shades called: Keeping Suzi at Bay, Miami Beet, Don’t Touch My Tutu!,  Gargantuan Green Grape, Samoan Sand and I Eat Mainely Lobster.

The Artist Collection at Work

The second collection is called: The Wild Heart Collection 

The Wild Heart Collection

This collection features shades such as: Can’t Find My Czechbook, Black Onyx, My Pointe Exactly, Do You Lilac It?, Suzi Says Feng Shui, and Vant to Bite My Neck?

The Wild Heart Collection hits the bathroom

The final collection is called: The Romantic Collection

The Romantic Collection

This lovely collection includes:  OPI Red, Nein! Nein! Nein! OK Fine!, My Very First Knockwurst, Chick Flick Cherry, My Vampire is Buff and Over the Taupe.

The Romantic Collection Moves In

This brilliant concept is sure to be appealing to a consumer demographic that paint companies don't usually attract --- WOMEN!  The concept of bringing fashion into home decor isn't something new - but, this easy way to add some additional posh to your home is a great way to build a whole new customer base.  

These beautiful shades of paint are found exclusively at Ace Hardware Stores.  

Tuesday
Jul152014

Sunday Socials: The Red Barn Round-Up 

This weekend I was catching up on some reading and I came upon an article in the May (told you I was caching up) issue of Country Living Magazine.  The article featured an event that stopped me in my tracks and got me thinking about a bygone area of "socials".  

The article was called, "The Red Barn Roundup" and celebrates the work of two friends in Nashville, TN.  Once a month during the spring to fall months, these ladies host a Sunday Social.  Each "social" is based around the idea that it's hard to see your family / friends these days.  Everyone has a thousand commitments and little time.  After coming to the conclusion that Sunday afternoon's seemed to be the only time that worked for most people, a concept was born.  A potluck party from 3pm - 6pm one Sunday a month.  

The Ladies of the Socials // Food is Plentiful & Delicious

Brainchild of Kathryn Johnson (red dress) and Allison Marusic (seen in the blue dress) who hosts the event at her fun "ranch-style" home, everyone is welcome - as long as you are the friend of a friend.  Otherwise, it's pretty much fair game.  The entire concept of great food, lively country music and friendly bonding is a huge draw for approx. 100 people each event.  The ladies try to keep things simple on themselves by doing evites, setting up the tables / chairs and arranging for the entertainment.  Happily, Nashville provides an endless supply of amazing musicians who get in on the fun as well.  The rest is up to the guests.  

Cabbage & Cilantro Slaw // Blueberry Crumb Pie

Initially, attendees weren't really bringing entree worthy dishes (a few too many chips & salsa) but, after some kind nudging by their hosts, the event has become a way for foodie friends to share their talent & let the food shine.  Because the event is staged as more of an open house - new food is constantly arriving as people come & go.  There is always something new to add to the ever changing table.  They never fear about running out --- someone is always going to show up in the last hour. 

Jacob and Molly Jones's Brussels-Sprout-and-Apple Salad // Nicole and Nick Mattingly's Cheddar-and-Herb Buttermilk Biscuits // Grant "Big Smokey" Johnson's BBQ Chicken Thighs

Another element the ladies take care of is the live entertainment.  The local Nashville music scene provides an endless source of great musicians.  And, while they are not paid --- tips are GREATLY appreciated.  Not to mention the opportunity to nosh on some great food.  There never seems to be a problem finding unique talent.

 I love this idea so much.  The thought of putting out a call for all your friends & family is such a great way to establish a sense of community.  It's a great way to stop & enjoy your life --- while having some great food.  What's not to love.  All credit to these amazing ladies & their forethought.  Now, how many chairs do I have? 

Article Courtesy of Country Living Magazine / Images via Cedric Angeles 


Tuesday
Jul082014

Craft: Decoupage Isn't Just For Granny's 

I used to think that the fine art of decoupage was for old granny types with hat boxes & hope chests.  But - today, the beautiful form of paper & paste is showing itself to be a very fun & stylish form of self expression. One of the best things about a little decoupage is how affordable it is & a great way of adding something interesting to your home or style --- without breaking the budget. 

One of the best ways to incorpate decoupage into your life is via home decor.  

Ideas:

1. Bins / Baskets --- take a plain plastic bin & add so much style by mixing up prints or color pallets.  I love these British designer Cath Kidtson organization bins with great floral motifs. 

2. Bottles & Vases --- take trip to the dollar store & turn plain glass bottles into glorious decorate vases.  This is probably a great place to start if you are new to crafting.  Very easy!

3. Furniture --- do you have an old dresser or hutch that could use some style?  Think about a combination of paint & paper.  I love the botanical motif on this updated dresser. 

 

1. Furniture --- much like the dresser above, I love the idea of updating a yard sale find with a really bold graphic or floral print.  Adds a great pop to your home. 

2. Dishes --- Turn all those mismatched plates & glasses into a great wall collection.  I love the idea of using a wide range of art & bringing them all together.  {Tip -- utilize your local library & make copies from all their great art books} 

3. Table Decorations --- are you hosting a party or family gathering?  No need to spend a fortune on table decorating.  Save up cans & decoupage them in all types of prints or colors.  A few wild flowers in each one look great.  EASY!

Do you have friends or family that are really hard to buy gifts for?  Maybe you want to make something?  Decoupage is the PERFECT answer.  A custom gift that doesn't cost a lot of money.  What could be more perfect? 

1. Candles / Vases -- another trip to the dollar store can really provide a wealth of options.  Maybe your friend loves flowers or the color orange?  A small collection of decorate items put together is a lovely way of saying you love & appreciate them.  

2. Hangers -- I really love this idea.  Hit up the local big box store for some wooden hangers.  Kind of plain & boring right?  Not once you add a beautiful print or maybe color series?  What person wouldn't love a special set of hangers for their very best? I know I would. 

3. Coasters / Trays -- I love this idea for a travel series.  Maybe you have some great pictures from your last vacation or you really love Paris  --- this works really well on glass or molded plastic.  Another great gift idea. 

The final  set of ideas revolves around home & office supplies.  These great products can really add up --- and if you are someone who likes to personalize their workspace (I DO) you can really break the bank.  Some of these easy ideas are big bang for the buck. 

1. Clipboard / Art Installation -- are you a fan of personal inspiration boards?  Who isn't? This idea allows you to spotlight important notes or imagery in a cohesive way.  One of my favorite images ever. 

2. Lunchbox -- This one is so cool.  I would never have thought about jazzing up a common lunchbox -- but, what a beautiful notion.  Treat yourself to something lovely for lunch --- even if there is only PB&J inside. 

3. Magnets -- This image is a little hard to tell but, these amazing & creative magnets are really pain stirring sticks.  Love this idea --- but, becareful at the paint department.  They might not love you cleaning them out. 

4. Tins / Boxes --- Are your paperclips or staples dumped into your office drawer?  Is your desk just a hot mess of supplies?  Get yourself some cheap containers (I tend to find great sizes & shapes in the travel section of my drugstore) and make yourself a collection of holders.  Keep all your little bits & bobs tidy --- not to mention, CUTE!

So, these are just a couple ideas for incorporating decoupage into your life.  It's a great way to express your personality without having to be TOO crafty.  Perfect for everyone.  

{HOW-TO: There are tons of tutorials & supply kits online.  But, I have to say --- when I need help with something like this, I turn to the maven.  Martha Stewart.  Her site has tons of helpful tips.  Here's a great start. Depending on which project you decide to start with -- your supplies will differ.  So, I will leave that to your own selection.}

HAVE FUN!!