Monday, April 15, 2013

Craig's List Roundup: Round 4

It's been a while since I've shared my Craig's List finds with you so I figured we were due for another round up. This post is also timely since I acquired my fourth Craig's List find yesterday in Dripping Springs, TX. Gotta cast a wide search net to get the things you want! And also plan your Craig's List searches around your travel schedule. Just a few words of bargain hunting advice.

So what did I get? Some peach velvet club chairs that look like they were last upholstered in the 17th century.

Hopefully the state of the current fabric will encourage me to get them recovered ASAP. I'm thinking something navy, possibly a buffalo check like this one. I've ordered a sample of that fabric and will be sure to post before and afters as soon as I get them recovered.

Every successful Craig's List purchase inevitably leads me to think I need MORE. If everything I've gotten so far has been a success, why stop now?!? Tune in next week when I appear on Furniture Hoarders: Buried Alive.

In an attempt to control my Craig's List frenzy, I'm sharing my finds here so one of you can snatch them up before I can get my grubby hands on them.

Without further ado, Craig's List Roundup Round 4.

Mid Century Modern Dining Set - $599
This dining set reminds me a lot of the dining set of one of my favorite interior design bloggers, Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook. Here's a picture of how she incorporated a similar style into her amazing Brooklyn brownstone.

LOVE this room divider. I hesitated to even put this up because I love it so much and want it for myself! Reference hoarding concerns noted above.

I've said before that I love a good mirror. And this one is no exception. It's simple enough that it would work with a variety of furniture and decor styles and large enough to stand on its own over a sofa, bed, console, etc.

Cane & Barley Twist Corner Chairs - $500

These are so cute! Love the barley twist legs. And they would be a bargain to recover. You could go modern with a black & white stripe, funky with a black otomi, or traditional with a black & white buffalo check.

Hand-Carved Wood Mirror - $500
Like I said above, I love mirrors. And this one is INSANE. If I didn't live in a shoebox it would be mine today. This literally would not fit through my front door.

X-Base Stools - $120 Each
In addition to mirrors, I've also professed my love for upholstered stools. These remind me so much of the Jonthan Adler version that I absolutely love. As long as you don't go crazy fancy with the fabric, you could have custom upholstered stools for around $300 when all is said and done ($120 for the stool, about the same for labor, and 2 yards per stool at around $30/yard of fabric). The leopard I used on mine would work perfectly!

Wicker Peacock Chairs - $275
Peacock chairs like these are really making a comeback and make an excellent statement piece in a living space or patio. I don't know how comfortable they are, but they certainly look cool!

Faux Bamboo Armchairs - $350
LOVE these faux bamboo armchairs and the matching daybed below. I think these would work well paired together in an outdoor space (too matchy matchy for indoors) or on their own in an indoor living area. I would recover them in something light and breezy like this, this or this. Can you tell I like blue?

Faux Bamboo Daybed - $399
Chinese Chippendale Armchairs - $125 Each
And last but not least these Chinese Chippendale arm chairs that I would use to flank a console or buffet. These would also be super cheap to recover and you could probably even DIY it if you're brave. Same goes for repainting them (thank God for spray paint).

Which of the above do you want to come live with you? If I had a bigger abode, I'd grab that massive carved mirror in a second. LOVE.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week in Fitness and Lennon & Maisy Stella

It's no secret I'm obsessed. with. Nashville. Even more so after the two most magical highlights from last week's epi. Number one, when Luke from The O.C. appeared out of thin air as a Texas cowboy who has moved to Nashville to pursue his music. California, Texas, and Nashville?!? The boy can travel. Number two, when Connie Britton's two on-screen daughters took the stage for an amazing rendition of "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers. I may or may not have gotten teary eyed during their two minute performance...

Obviously I had to download the song and listen to it on repeat, as well as google-gate (google investigate) the 3-D humans behind such angelic voices. Turns out the TV sisters are actually real life sisters, Lennon and Maisy Stella. And their quick stint on the Nashville stage was not the first time behind a mic. They were discovered last summer when they posted their rendition of Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend" on You Tube. Fast forward a few months and they were not only starring in Nashville but recording with Oscar-winning producer T-Bone Burnett. And they are Canadian! Canadian You Tubers are taking over the world, ahem...

If you liked that first video as much as I did you can see lots more on their You Tube channel here. Really rooting for these girls' success!

And since it's a Wednesday that feels like a Thursday, which is a Thursday for me because I'm taking Friday off (you follow?), let's recap last week in fitness.

Last Week in Fitness

Monday - 30 minutes cycling, Define Body
Tuesday - 30 minutes HIIT elliptical
Wednesday - 35 minutes cycling
Thursday - 25 minutes HIIT elliptical
Friday - None
Saturday - 3 mile run (my Garmin died less than a mile in so I have no idea my pace)
Sunday - 30 minutes cardio split between the bike and the elliptical


Monday, April 8, 2013

Custom Furniture Drawer Pulls

Is that an enthralling title or what?! Didn't think I'd ever find myself spending hours on the internet searching for drawer pulls, but alas that is what has become of my life. Mind you, I am not complaining. There are worse (and less productive) things I could be doing on a Sunday afternoon. So why the drawer pulls, you ask? Well yesterday my boyfriend and I visited an awesome custom furniture shop in the Heights neighborhood of Houston (let me know if you want the info) that replicates wooden furniture from Restoration Hardware (and probably anywhere really) at a fraction of the cost. My boyfriend has chosen to have them build the Restoration Hardware St. James 11-Drawer Dresser in the Antique Coffee finish (see picture below).

While this isn't the exact piece of furniture I would have chosen, I still love it and am pumped for it's arrival! Since the guy who is building it already had an unstained "floor model" on hand, it should be ready within the month. And it will be delivered fo' FREE. Double like!

In case you were wondering, I was really pushing for the Maison dresser (pictured below). Love those skinny legs (feet?) and the overall "French" feel of this guy. No surprise, since my Wisteria French Directoire dresser is my most favoritest piece of furniture in my apartment. However, St. James won in the end by the simple rule of: not yer money, not yer choice! Also, I will reluctantly admit that the St. James is much more masculine. Grr. Can't win 'em all.

Well, I guess I can kinda win 'em all since one element of the Maison will be incorporated into the final product. Assuming you read the title of this post, you can probably guess what element that will be. Yup, the drawer pulls. We both liked the more antique-y look of the ring pulls on the Maison vs. the knobs on the St. James. And that actually worked out just fine since it turns out the knobs/pulls are not provided by the person making the dresser. Left to fend for ourselves in the "drawer opening device" department, we hit the interwebs for some drawer pull inspiration.

My BF's only requirements for the pulls were as follows:
  • Similar color to the original St. James pulls (a dark iron color)
  • Ring pulls (a full circle ring with the connector at the top of the circle)
  • Backplate behind the ring that the ring rests on
  • Not super expensive (less than $10 but preferably closer to $5 since the dresser requires 19 pulls/knobs in total)
Those are obviously not the technical design terms for his requirements, but the main point is that he didn't like bail pulls (a semi-circle pull with connectors on either side) with backplates like this:

For some reason it was very important that the ring make a complete circle. Fine by me (even though I really like the semi-circle bail-pull-with-backplate style) since that one requirement greatly narrowed down the pool of potential applicants. This made the search process way less overwhelming.

Now I'm obviously going to show you a few of the candidates (a final decision hasn't been made yet), including some that would only work if I had a less stubborn more flexible "client" ;)

For the 8 main drawers:

Bosetti Marella 100187 Classic Series 1.57" Diameter Zinc Ring Pull

Bosetti Marella 100190 Louis XVI Series 1.85" Diameter Ring Pull with Backplate

Bosetti Marella 100170 Louis XVI Series 1.38" Wide x 1.69" Tall Ring Pull

I'm currently a little torn on the size (1.5 inch vs. 2 inch give or take). Since he wants two pulls per drawer, I'm leaning towards the smaller. There is no way the knobs on the original St. James are more than 1.5 inches in diameter. But those drawers are large and could probably handle 2 full inches. But then that makes them more expensive. So many variables!

Also, for the top three drawers he wants something different. Originally we were thinking the keyhole/key combo of the original St. James, but I think this will be hard to find in a color that specifically matches/complements the main drawers' pulls. So I have decided to suggest knobs or some other sort of drop knob/pull from the same designer as the 16 other pulls, in the same finish. That way you know the two different pulls/knobs will match in color even though they may not exactly match in style.

Here is what I have suggested so far for the top 3 drawers:

Bosetti Marella 100429 Louis XVI Series 1" Diameter Mushroom Knob

Bosetti Marella 100990 Louis XVI Series 1.19" Diameter Brass Mushroom Knob

Bosetti Marella 100339 Louis XVI Series 0.79" Wide x 2.87" Tall Pendant Ring Knob

Bosetti Marella 100352 Louis XVI Series 0.87" Wide x 2.83" Tall Pendant Ring Knob

So, what say you? Which combo would you go with of the options above? I personally love the third ring pull with the second to last ring knob on the top three drawers. What Restoration Hardware dresser would you have copied?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

On Disconnecting

As an admitted iphone and general internet addict, I feel like this article on the importance of disconnecting was written just for me. I am including it below for anyone who feels like they could probably spend just a leeetle less time living inside their computer and/or phone. It's so important to remember that being healthy doesn't just mean exercising and eating vegetables. Definitely something I tend to forget!


Digital vs. Real Human Connection: The case for why disconnecting is so important for our relationships and health.

by DEFINE’s Emotional Wellness Expert Jessica Pass, LMFT

Let’s Get Real

Our phones are a necessary part of life and will only continue to become increasingly more important in our everyday functioning as time goes on. Just about 12 years ago I remember receiving my fist cell phone. You know, the first Nokia with interchangeable covers? I thought it was the coolest thing ever and texting, social media and the internet weren’t even options back then. Now, I probably text more than I talk and, thank goodness, I’m still grandfathered into the unlimited data plan with AT&T!
If I started a log tracking how much I text, talk, send emails, browse Facebook, read the news or listen to music on my phone in public, I would probably find that the majority of the time I’m disconnected from real human contact and fully connected with the digital world.

I’m that person.

Embarrassingly so, I am completely addicted to all things digital that  provide quick, instantaneous feedback on anything I want to know about. The sad part is, I don’t know where I’d be without it. My business thrives online; it’s my main form of communication with friends and family and helps me with my terrible sense of direction.

Technology has grown at a rapid pace and with it there are bound to be negative effects on our relational and physical health.

In fact, in a recent article posted in The New York Times by Barbara Fredrickson, Your Phone vs. Your Heart, the author draws a connection between our biological capacity to connect with people and the convenience of instant electronic access. She and a team of other researchers found that just as our muscles atrophy if we are not physically active, our brain, if not engaging in true human connection can lose its capacity to connect, ultimately resulting in reshaping the way our brain and cardiovascular system operate.
The researchers conducted lengthy studies on the effects of learning skills for cultivating warmer interpersonal connections in daily life and found that those participants and mediators that were involved in the six-week workshops aimed at developing “loving-kindness,” actually altered a key part of their cardiovascular system. This area, called the vagal tone, is associated with our ability to tune into the human voice and recognize facial expressions.

Believe it or not, when the vagal tone is operating at its optimal level, it helps to regulate and keep our different internal systems healthy AND when we increase our vagal tone, we increase our capacity for connection, friendship and empathy.
The findings are eye-opening.

For one, when we practice techniques to deepen our ability to attune to others and exercise compassion we increase our vagal tone which then results in our bodies running better and more smoothly. Likewise, by increasing our vagal tone we become more connected, friendly, caring, loving and aware of others around us.

Take Action!

Resisting the urge to walk around with your phone out at all times is challenging, period. However, making it a point to connect with your loved ones, acquaintances or strangers face-to-face is necessary for your continued health and happiness. Make eye contact, share a smile, laugh together and disagree (in constructive ways of course).
Remember to use technology in moderation and recognize when you can set the example for others around you and put your phone away, on silent or just turn it off. That email can wait, Google isn’t going anywhere and your friends on Facebook… well, they’ll still be there when you sign back on.

If you’re a parent, take the time to create technology free times in your house. Set boundaries with your young ones when it comes to iPad use and create a plan with your teenagers that can help them learn to regulate their usage as well. This doesn’t have to be dramatic and I’m not advocating for “zero-technology use with children by any means… I’m just challenging you to think about when it’s necessary and when it becomes excessive.

This balance is a difficult one for me, but understanding exactly what is happening, on a deeper, physiological level has inspired me to take an honest look and redefine how I use my phone or other electronic devices. I am learning to identify how it gets in the way on a daily basis and creating new habits that will support the health of my future children (or at least that’s the hope).

“When you share a smile or laugh with someone face to face, a discernible synchrony emerges between you, as your gestures and biochemistries, even your respective neural firings, come to mirror each other. It’s micro-moments like these, in which a wave of good feeling rolls through two brains and bodies at once, that build your capacity to empathize as well as to improve your health.” - Barbara Fredrickson

Although our phones provide positive feedback and allows us to stay connected at all times, it also acts as a huge barrier for authentic social connection. I’m committed to making a conscious effort to regulate my digital interaction. The question is…ARE YOU?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Three Weeks in Fitness & Felicity Love

So I just realized I haven't posted my workouts on here for almost a month. #whoops Not that anyone cares, but it helps keep me accountable so here we go.

Week of 3/11-3/17
Monday - 50 minutes cycling
Tuesday - 30 minutes HIIT elliptical; Define Body
Wednesday - Define Body
Thursday - Ran 3 miles, walked 1/2 mile
Friday - Define Body
Saturday - None - Bachelorette Party :)
Sunday - None - Bachelorette Party Recovery :)

Week of 3/18-3/24
Monday - Ran 6 miles at 10:00 min pace; Define Body
Tuesday - 30 minutes cycle
Wednesday - 25 minutes HIIT elliptical
Thursday - 30 minutes elliptical
Friday - Define Body
Saturday - Rest day
Sunday - 20 minutes cycle, 15 minutes elliptical, 5 minutes incline walk

Week of 3/25-3/31
Monday - 25 minutes HIIT elliptical; Define Body
Tuesday - 30 minutes cycle
Wednesday - Define Body
Thursday - Ran 4 miles at 8:15 pace
Friday - Define Body; Ran 3 miles at 8:30 pace
Saturday - Define Body
Sunday - Rest day

In other news, since Girls ended two weeks ago, naturally I needed to pick up a four-season, 84-episode saga to replace it.

At the urging of a co-worker who claims Felicity and Roswell as her two favorite shows, as well as a fellow blogger friend, I finally bit the bullet last week. And I am loving it. It makes me want to (a) go back to college, (b) move to NYC, (c) be even more of a nerd in college and (d) visit a Dean & Deluca. I am trying to progress through the episodes slowly since I know I'll be very, very sad when it's over. So far I'm doing pretty good at not flying through it like I did with Dexter, True Blood, Nip/Tuck, etc. Speaking of Dexter, 6/30 can't come soon enough! Gahhh I love that show.

What is your favorite TV show of all time? Once I'm done with Felicity I'll need something else to watch! Mine is Friends, and I've seen every episode more times than I care to admit. Friends trivia is one of my favorite pastimes.