The Morning Back

What a whirlwind the past few months have been! Work + school + more work + more school puts the things we love on the back burner. Thankfully the Holidays bring us back and allow us to rest for a minute before the final countdown.  After a four day holiday weekend in the states, there is only one thing that can repair my puffy hands and aching mind: C O F F E E.  

This is all of us this morning:

Old Man Drinking Coffee, Vincent Van Gogh, November 1882

Old Man Drinking Coffee, Vincent Van Gogh,
November 1882

Madeline's House

"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines ..."

This weekend I stayed in Madeline's house, or rather-Rolling Ridge Retreat and Conference Center. The retreat center was once a former vacation house for a wealthy New Yorker, Ethan Allan (not the same one my chairs are from). Thankfully, this historic home has been preserved and she sits pretty in pink on the beautiful Lake Cochichewick in North Andover.  In the one year I have lived in Boston, Massachusetts, North Andover has certainly been the prettiest place I have visited in the state. 

Six in the morning never looked so good!

There is something about sitting alone by a lake, or really any body of water, that bring such peace, serenity, and clear headed-ness. I felt like the two hours I spent sitting by the water gave me the same feeling a two week vacation would. 

One, two, I spy canoes.

Spending time in the woods and by the lake brought me back to my childhood. All I was missing were my two siblings, our big dog rightfully named Sampson, and 24 chickens. Thinking back and remembering long summer days and my age of reading Madeline brought me so much happiness and joy. I hope only to one day return to this place or a place like it, so that I may reflect and again experience the calming waters. Until then, I must open my calendar and resume the responsibilities of life. 

"They left the house at half-past-nine, in two straight lines, in rain or shine. The smallest one was Madeline."

Four Reasons for Fall

My husband and I both have caught the Autumn fever. Yes we are still in the dog days of summer, but I spent my first summer out of the South, and Boston summers are shockingly mild. On Thursday we realized at the same time we are both already excited for Autumn and had to list the reasons why.

Here are four reasons I am excited about for Fall. 

1. Apple Picking
Last year we went apple picking and had a blast. The leaves were changing, the apples were sweet, and I got to climb an apple tree. I mean, come on. Also my husband ate 10 apples in one day. 

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This is the real orchard we went to! So beautiful! I will have to do a full post on it this year. I think I made apple cobbler every week for a month. 
Apple picking Info here.

2. Fall Clothing
I just bought my first pair of jeans in two years.  That's right, I haven't worn jeans in two years. You know, I really missed them. I can't wait for all the sweater/vest/scarf/jeans combos. You may be reading this saying- thats not a big deal, blah blah blah. Well guess what. No jeans in two years makes me more pumped for fall than a college girl for a pumpkin spiced latte.  

Blair Eadie is the queen of fall. 

3. Fall Scents
I used to be crazy into scented wax warmers and candles. I would go crazy over all the fall scents that the stores pushed staring in August and September, but now I am obsessed with 100% pure essential oils.  I don't even want to think about the damage I have done to my body with the scented candles. Carcinogens! Gross!  Now I only use Young Living oils. They are like the Chanel of oils. You literally can not buy anything better. 

I am super pumped to diffuse Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Oh. My. Lanta. Those two together make me want to eat my freshly picked apple cobbler and sit outside with a big warm fuzzy blanket. Order oils + diffuser here.

4. Home Decor (Of Course!)
Velvet is going to be huge in fashion this fall, and the home design market isn't missing out on the action. All across the home decor magazines, velvet couches are taking over.  Throw a large mural sized painting above it and you are on trend for Fall 2016. Not ready to commit to a new couch? Try adding few velvet pillows to rest your lovely head on...you will couch-nap like a king. 

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Old Post Update: Van Gogh and Valentines

Update:
Remember my Valentines and Van Gogh post? Well guess what? I went into the MFA and Joseph Roulin and Madame Roulin are side by side! Reunited. And it feels so good. I still would like to see them together for Valentine's Day.  I took a snapshot so you all could see what I was dreaming about in the previous post. 

Left: Postman Joseph Roulin, 1888, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch (worked in France), 1853–1890) Location: Boston MFA Right: Lullaby: Madame Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle (La Berceuse), 1889, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch (worked in France), 1853–1890), Location: Boston MFA

Left: Postman Joseph Roulin, 1888, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch (worked in France), 1853–1890) Location: Boston MFA
Right: Lullaby: Madame Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle (La Berceuse), 1889, Vincent van Gogh (Dutch (worked in France), 1853–1890), Location: Boston MFA

5 Tips to Creating a HIS + HERS Home

It has been a little over a year since my husband and I were married. A year has taught me a lot about compromise and taste. As couples are married and begin to create their home- their spouse often sits back and enjoys the fruits of her decorating labor. Collecting, curating, buying throw pillows, returning throw pillows... this is what we do.  I went into our new space planning to create rooms we could both feel comfortable in, but what I wasn't expecting was my husband to have an opinion on each and every thing that went into our home! After one year, much debate and many trips to stores across both Tampa, Florida and Boston, Massachusetts, our house finally reflects us. Budget or not, we really love just about everything in our small one bedroom apartment. Here are my tips on creating a HIS + HERS space.

1. Think of a "theme" for the room. 
Both of our tastes in home decor are very different- so merging the two had to be done in a way that allowed us to be transported somewhere we both can agree upon. We both are huge fans of music- so I decided to theme our room around what a lounge in a music studio would be like.  I thought of Third Man Records and I thought of Peaches. I thought of Alabama Shakes and Jack White. With these images, music, and feelings in my mind-I moved on to the next step.

2. Collect the Room.
I once read that a room should feel collected, not decorated. With my theme in tow I set out to collect. Yes, I bought and returned throw pillows so much it became a part time job. Yes, I cried over lamps. Yes, I lost a battle over a coffee table. But in the end we have a room that we are BOTH happy with. We bought only things we really loved, not things that filled a void in the moment.

3. Mix Grit with Glamour
You can guess what appeals to whom here. Think about what you buy and try to mix shine and sparkle with matte and muted.  If you have a big chesterfield couch, add some shine in your lamps and throw pillows. If you have bronze and glass coffee table, add some leather and wood trinkets on top. A lovely white ornamented wall with dark design accents (as you will see below) can merge the styles as well. Both people should be reflected in the home- which makes it more comfortable for everyone. 

4. Dont knock it till you try it.
This one is a shout out to my husband. Often he would be "anti" something I wanted to bring into the house, until he saw it in the space. Once you see it in the cohesive space it no longer looks like a weird orb candle holder in a bright red HomeGoods shopping cart.  Let your spouse bring it home. Look at it, live with it for a few days, and return it if it doesn't work. (Also, for this part you want to know the store or gallery's return policy, and keep track of your receipts). 

5. Eclectic Style
As a couple, we lean more towards classic pieces, but avoid "traditional" items and styles.  We enjoy rooms that are fun, rooms that take us places, and rooms that make you never want to leave. So ultimately, our personal home decor style would be classified as eclectic. I think eclectic rooms are the most fun and unique way to blend HIS + HERS styles. For the most part, you are working with a blank slate and the accessories around the room determine the overall image. Check out the graphic with my notes below to see what I am talking about. 
 

Photo: MYDOMAINE Design: Roman and Williams

Photo: MYDOMAINE Design: Roman and Williams

1. HERS: Whimsical crystal lighting.

2. HIS + HERS: Soft leopard fur throw on HIS overstuffed, dark leather, chesterfield couch.

3. HERS: Gold framed mirror reflecting shine and sparkle.

4. HIS: Gorgeous, rich, woven leather, nail-studded, Roman style chairs. (I LOVE THESE)

5. His: Oversized reclaimed wood coffee table.

 

Thank you for reading! I hope you found these tips helpful or inspiring in some way!