Some Bedroom Details

Happy Friday!

I wanted to share some of the bedroom details, as they have been changed around quite a bit, yet again.

The vanity area, now on top of the repainted cube bookshelf. Includes a vintage vase and an antique gold mirrored tray - both pieces were found while antiquing. A calligraphy print, as well as milk glass details, finish of the vignette. To keep things functional, jewelry pieces, perfume, and favorite nail polishes are stored here.

This jewelry storage pyramid from Bauble Bar has been everything I hoped it would be. Necklaces are on display and are easy to select. The storage design keeps pieces from getting too tangled or too dusty.

Bedroom Details - A Detailed Palette

The TV fits perfectly with the small gallery wall above it.

Bedroom Dresser - A Detailed Palette

The unicorn jewelry tray is now placed on the dresser, where it gathers earrings that I frequently wear, along with some other decorative items, like this gem found during my travels in Arizona.

Bedroom Details - A Detailed Palette

A new duvet was purchased due to the fact that the other one was leaking some feathers. It was well over ten years old, so I suppose it was a bit expected. The new duvet, covered by the west elm duvet cover, is super fluffy - a fact that Reggie definitely appreciates. :)

Sleepy Dog on Bedding - A Detailed Palette

Have a great weekend!
-xo, Rachel

My Time in NYC

I was in New York City for the fourth time ever last week. I was there for work, and while I did share some of the Kips Bay Show House (the real reason I was there), no trip to NYC is complete without a little bit of sightseeing.

Since I have done the whole tourist side of things (Times Square, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, etc.), I decided to stick to Central Park this time around. It is easily my favorite of the big touristy spots in NYC. There are so many people everywhere in the city, but in Central Park, it doesn't bother me one bit. I actually wish that more cities had something even mildly comparable to Central Park.

Central Park New York City - A Detailed Palette
Central Park - New York City - A Detailed Palette

I stayed at The Rodgers Hotel, a boutique hotel in the Upper East Side. I loved the vibe and the decor - just a really great modern and eclectic space. The rooms were small, as I suppose must be the case in NYC, but super nice and the location was exactly what I needed.

The Rodgers Hotel in New York City - A Detailed Palette

I did a lot of walking on Madison between my hotel and Central Park. I obviously had to stop and do a little bit of shopping. I picked up a shirt from J. Crew and a jacket from Michael Kors.

Michael Kors Jacket - A Detailed Palette

The best part of the trip was having some time to get dinner and catch up with my friend Stephanie, who now lives in NYC. We haven't seen each other for about a year or so, maybe even longer, so it was just so lovely. Ultimately it was a quick but productive trip.

A recap of my trip to Arizona will be on the blog next week.
Have a great Thursday!
-xo, Rachel

Rocksbox Review - May 2016

Rocksbox May Review - A Detailed Palette

My Rocksbox for May arrived last week. It looks like they may be doing some rebranding - and I LOVE the new color choices for the box.

For May, I received a necklace, a pair of earrings, and a ring. This is the first ring I have gotten in these boxes. The earrings are not my favorite, and I honestly have yet to wear them.

Rocksbox Review - May

The ring from my May Rocksbox, which you can see below, is one of my all-time favorite pieces of jewelry. I have a very difficult time with rings. Due to the fact that my hands are quite clammy (I know, super gross) any of the cheaper metals will turn my skin green after only an hour or two of wear. It's really disheartening and means that I have to spend a lot of money on the higher quality rings if I don't want it to happen. And sadly, sometimes even the rings that are advertised as being better quality still turn my skin green. This ring, though, has not done that at all and I am so happy about it. It is one of the few rings that haven't after some wear.

Favorite Ring - Rocksbox Review - A Detailed Palette

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

Gallery Wall Update

I am slowly, but surely updating the gallery wall. It's currently the only big project that still needs to be complete before I share my home tour. I found a few new pieces, but I am still looking for about three more photos/pieces of art to complete the entire thing. As you can see below, I found a large, horizontal piece (the colorful irises - artwork from TJ Maxx) for above the TV - although I am still look to fill in the space directly below it with two more small frames.

Gallery Wall Update - In Progress - A Detailed Palette

When it comes to the more blank side of the TV, I'd really like to find a large vertical painting to fill that space. I am currently thinking something black and white - preferably a zebra painting.

While I like both above, I am looking for something that has more of a painted feel to it so as to match the other artwork that makes up the gallery wall.

That's really all for today - hope you have an amazing Tuesday!
-xo, Rachel

The Rise of the Neutral Room - And Some Favorites

It seems to me that people used to be very wary of neutral rooms. Thinking back on my childhood home and on the homes of all of my childhood friends, color was the name of the game. One of my friend's homes boosted deep burgundy walls - and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. There seemed to be an aversion to neutral tones, especially that of beige, because it felt too safe, too boring, and perhaps most of all, too corporate. 

When it came to the the kids' bedrooms back then, everything had to have a "theme". One of my best friends had a garden painted on her wall. Another had suns and moons. Regardless of the theme, it was always heavy on the color.

Today, my tastes tend to lean more on the neutral side of things. I do like color, but I tend to tire of bright and vibrant shades really quickly and usually gravitate towards the more neutral tones when making large purchases. I don't think that I am alone in my preference for a more neutral space over that of one with bold color. Okay, correction, I know I am not alone, thanks to Pinterest and Instagram where these sort of rooms can be found easily by the thousands. This is partly because neutral rooms have been completely turned on their heads. Instead of boring spaces that feel straight out of the movie Office Space, we see chic, clean, and put-together spaces that prove neutral colors are anything but boring when done right. They offer an elegant simplicity and an opportunity to blend in little bits of color here and there.

Here are some of my favorite neutral palette rooms:

The exposed brick does so much for this space - and notice the smart placement of the mirror that allows for the look of the exposed brick to continue on further into this space. Simply genius.

IMAGE VIA DANIELLE MOSS

IMAGE VIA DANIELLE MOSS

When you have a space with a neutral palette, textures become that much more important and noticeable.

IMAGE VIA WEST ELM

IMAGE VIA WEST ELM

IMAGE VIA PINTEREST

IMAGE VIA PINTEREST

IMAGE VIA KATE LAVIE

IMAGE VIA KATE LAVIE

Have a great Monday!
-xo, Rachel

May 2016 Reads

May Reads - New Kindle - A Detailed Palette

Last week, I decided to purchase a Kindle, as you can see above. I have always loved real, actual books - the ones you can hold between your hands, the ones that you can collect and display proudly in your own little library. I think that it's powerful stuff, holding on to a book and staying still (except for turning the pages) while your mind and imagination transport you to somewhere else entirely. Anyone who is a fan of reading most likely feels the same. I do think that part of that magic is lost when it's all digital - hence my resistance to purchase a kindle at all, despite being an avid reader. All that said, books are heavy. Books are especially heavy when traveling... and this is the main reason why I decided to get a small Kindle. Another contributing factor was that they were also on sale.

Another benefit - Amazon offers free books each month for download, meaning that I have quite a few already at my disposal. Here are the books I am hoping to read throughout the month of May.

Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella - A different take on the Trojan legends. I am really excited to read this because I love any sort of fiction that takes legends you think that you know and turns them into totally new stories.

Guardians of the Night by Alan Russell - Mystery/crime solving story that focuses on a detective and his German Shepherd. I am a little nervous - the dog better not die!

Wreckage - This book is about what happens to two individuals after both being stranded on an island and eventually rescued. I have already started this one, and there is definitely an element of mystery - I hope that the end proves worthy of the build up. I also appreciate how realistic the author has made this novel so far.

Have a great Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

 

New Decor Additions

My Living Room and Home Office - A Detailed Palette

I've recently added a few new things to the apartment - a few items were given as gifts, while the others I found while traveling/perusing the aisles of Target and TJ Maxx. As you can see above, I actually swapped out one of the pictures with a new one in a gray frame. This new addition is actually a sketch of Reggie that Andy's mom created and gave to me for my birthday. You can see it fully below - it looks just like the Pomeranian sketch I had listed as one of my possible additions to the gallery wall I am working on for the living room. I decided that it looked great above the desk, and I absolutely love it. It is simple, but has so much sentimental value. Plus, even in sketch form, Reggie is just adorable.

Home Office Gallery Wall - A Detailed Palette

I've also added/rearranged the vanity tray that's in the bedroom on the cube shelves. This is one of the first places I go to in the morning as I am getting ready so as to select jewelry for my outfit, and I just love this set up. It includes most of my go-to accessories.

Vanity Mirror Tray - A Detailed Palette

I've also made a few changes to the living room. While I was in Arizona, we stopped by a shop in Sedona. It was there that I found a Himalayan Salt lamp - something I had seen at the yoga studio where I go to practice. While these lamps not only look really cool, they are also supposed to help make indoor air cleaner, as they are negative ion creators. I just think these lamps are incredibly neat, so I decided to get one. It's now on the TV stand.

Himalayan Salt Rock Lamp - A Detailed Palette
Living room - A Detailed Palette

As you can see above, the gallery wall is also still in the process of being built out. I have two more pieces to hang up and three more pieces to find/purchase before it will be complete.

What do you think of the new additions? 

Have a great Tuesday!
-xo, Rachel

2016's Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

While I was in NYC, I was able to tour the Kips Bay Showhouse before the doors opened - something that I do not take lightly and was made possible due to my job at Kohler Co., which includes social media coverage of various events like the Kips Bay Showhouse Opening. I wanted to share some of the photos of rooms and designs that I loved. Disclaimer: All the opinions in this post are my purely my own. I am not speaking on behalf of Kohler Co. or in any official capacity whatsoever.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Kips Bay Showhouse, here's what you need to know.
1) It's a showhouse in NYC - the location changes every year, as each year talented designers are invited to come to the home and work their interior design magic. After it's open for about a month, the home is then sold.
2) All proceeds go to the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club - a club that includes many famous alumni, including Jennifer Lopez and John Legend.
3) The home is always a large property in NYC.
4) The designers invited to take part are always changing so as to showcase both established and new emerging talent.
5) This is the 44th year of the showhouse.

I was able to meet quite a lot of the designers, including Suzanne Kasler, Alex Papachristidis, and Phillip Thomas, while touring the home, all of whom were lovely, gracious, and had such great stories and inspirations behind their rooms. 

I absolutely adored everything about the dining room and sitting area by Alex Papachristidis. I especially loved the stunning, swoon-worthy wallpaper and all of the gold.

Alex Papachristidis - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

He even had a dog bed + a cut-out of his dog, Teddy New Yorkie - I mean, how can you not love that? He said lovingly that the dog was "the only dog that could be in two places at once!" It was really such a formal and elegant space - a space where dogs and pets are usually forgotten by design, but I so appreciated this inclusion. 

Alex Papachristidis - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

Note: The designer let me know that what appears to be cushions on the floor are actually pieces of furniture. I sat on one and they are actually quite comfortable!

Alex Papachristidis - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

Suzanne Kasler's living room was beautiful, with a soft color palette and perfectly curated details. 

Suzanne Kasler - Kip Bay Showhouse - A Detailed Palette
Suzanne Kasler - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

An unintentional mirror selfie below shows one of my favorite vignettes in the entire home.

Suzanne Kasler - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

The "Lady Lair" by Phillip Thomas Inc. was incredibly bright, colorful, and cheerful. If you follow House Beautiful, you may recognize this room, as it has been featured quite a lot on their social channels. It's a really fun space - and just so perfect for the fun and colorful editorial that makes up House Beautiful.

Lady Lair - Kips Bay Showhouse - A Detailed Palette

I also really loved the Napolean Room - a sitting room by Garrow Kediglan Interior Design where the entire wallspace was actually all covered in chalkboard paint + chalk designs. Such a cool idea! Plus, I just know this would be the perfect place to sit and read.

Garrow Kediglan - Kips Bay Showhouse - A Detailed Palette

A few trends that I noticed:
1. Gold - it's still everywhere.... and doesn't look like it's going anywhere. It is, though, being mixed with other metallics, including Rose Gold and Copper.
2. Armless Sofas - these were everywhere in the showhouse and looked incredibly chic.
3. Walls Going Beyond Paint  - Whether the chalkboard wall, the graffiti wall in the "Lady Lair", or gorgeous wallpaper - the walls all had stories to tell that went behind color. The walls were unique, textured, and were indispensable to the overall design approach - something that isn't too common now, but becoming more and more of a trend.

Note: I didn't even get close to covering the full home. There are so many more beautiful rooms to see, including the bathrooms, bedrooms, and the kitchen - which you can see on instagram @kbshowhouse and @kohlerco or by visiting in person. 

Have a lovely Monday!
-xo, Rachel

My Time at Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

Antelope Canyon is located in Page, AZ, a city a few hours north of Phoenix, and is privately owned by the Navajo Tribe. Due to this, if you want to visit, you have to book a tour - you can't just drive up and explore, which is probably for the best. It is quite in the middle of nowhere and would probably be very difficult to find for those unfamiliar with the area. The story goes that a young Navajo girl actually happened upon the canyon quite by accident, finding it as she was herding cattle.

The canyon itself is beautiful and a great place to test out your photography skills. We also were lucky to have a wonderful guide named Leonard to take us through the canyon. He was so awesome and helpful, pointing out some really great shots for all of us - and even taking quite a few for us. He helped me with lighting on my own camera, and he really knew what he was talking about. Below are some signature sights of the canyon that he helped me capture.

The Heart of the Canyon

Heart of the Canyon - Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

The Eye of The Dragon

Eye of the Dragon - Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

The Flame

Flames - Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

A photo that Leonard (our guide) took of Andy and I.

Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

The Famous National Geographic photo

The Famous National Geographic photo

Our guide Leonard:

Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

The way that the canyon is formed makes it almost quite a trippy experience, and I think most of the photos did a great job capturing this. It was such a cool place, and it was my favorite part of the trip (other than spending time with my sister and brother-in-law). Be sure to check it out if you ever find yourself in Arizona.

Have a great Thursday!
-xo, Rachel

Wellness Wednesday: Toning It Up for Summer and Beyond

Instead of training for another half marathon in an attempt to get into tip top shape for the summer months and beyond, I’ve decided to fully embrace the Tone It Up program after seeing one of my good friends succeed with it. This means cutting back on the miles and indulging, while stepping up the weight training and waking up early to get workouts going right away. It’s going to be my number one priority this summer, but I am hoping that the results and the changes that I will make will last much longer than just the summer.

Wellness Wednesday - A Detailed Palette

I’m also going to be attending hot yoga classes 2-3 times a week. I absolutely love these classes and cannot recommend them highly enough to those of you looking for a good workout that also allows you to unwind. The great thing about hot yoga is that I am so focused on the moves and the practice that I forget to worry about anything else. For someone who worries a lot and whose mind is usually going 100 miles per minutes, it’s a refreshing change of pace.

I actually used to rather dislike yoga - I found it entirely too slow. That actually still may be true for regular yoga, but the hot vinyasa sessions add a mental challenge as well as you have to deal with to 95 degree heat and crazy humidity. I always feel so strong, both mentally and physically, after each class. 

Here's to a fitness-filled summer! Have a great Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

Eclectic Style - What It Is and Why I Love It

There are all sorts of different styles to choose from when it comes to decorating a home or even just buying furniture. While style mostly has to do with looks and aesthetics, I think that a style can also impact your mood. For example, a room decked out in the most traditional and glamorous trappings might create a sense of awe - it's certainly what many royals were going for when their palaces were decorated.

Even if you don't subscribe to a particular style, chances are your home conveys a message and a tone based on the styles that are present.

Eclectic style is one of my favorites. Eclectic is technically a bit of a mash up of styles - a collection, yet curated style that relies heavily on mixing and matching. It is not, however, just mixing a bunch of different elements, and hoping for the best. Instead, real thought and curation goes into every well-executed eclectically styled room.

Eclectic is also a bit easier, in my opinion, to manage. It can be tricky to narrow down your likes to just one style. I think eclectic allows for more experimenting and for more flexibility when it comes to what you like. Our likes are always changing a bit here and there - eclectic styling isn't too rigid, meaning that if you truly love something, you'll usually be able to find a place for it.

Here are some of my favorite examples of eclectic rooms.

I also consider my own apartment to be rather eclectic, due to the mix of different styles, including midcentury modern, modern, and even a few traditional styles.

Eclectic Dining Room - A Detailed Palette
Eclectic Living Room - A Detailed Palette
Eclectic Living Room - A Detailed Palette

Lately: May 2016 Edition

I’m back! I needed to take a bit of a break last week, hence the reason why only one post went up, although I hope you enjoyed it. Our 1920s-themed murder mystery party was just a really great way to kick our 27th year!

My big vacation for the year is officially wrapped up, and while I had a great time, I am left feeling totally exhausted. I think this is pretty common though, isn’t it? When we finally have free time to travel, we book our days so full until they are about to burst. And for whatever reason, we just never seem to get enough sleep – even when we can sleep in! I'll be sharing all of the places we visited throughout the weeks to come. It was an incredibly busy five days - you can see a peek into our time at Lake Powell below.

Lake Powell - A Detailed Palette

With all of that said, it’s good to be back home to see Reggie and to be getting back into a routine. I ate rather poorly (something that is SO easy to do while on vacation) and barely did any working out, except for a rather slow three mile run under the blazing Arizona sun. Getting back into a routine is long overdue, and I am sure my body will thank me for it.

I will be doing a quick trip to New York City for work – I am actually really looking forward to it, as it won’t be too disruptive of my routine and is just a really fun project. I’ll be visiting the Kips Bay Showhome and meeting with an incredibly talented interior designer PLUS I’ll be able to see my one of my best friends for a few hours.... so it’s going to be a great and quick trip.

There is officially only one more thing that needs to be completed before the home tour is finally up - a completed gallery wall! So I shall be posting both of those developments very soon!

I've also added a new plant and a few new decor items to the apartment. The plant below is one that we were all given at work for Earth Day.

Plant - A Detailed Palette

I also got a new pour-over coffee maker that I love - so if you're looking for a new one, I really recommend it. It just makes the BEST coffee I've had yet. It does take a bit more time, but I think it's worth it for the flavor. It also makes it easier to only make one or two cups without wasting a ton of coffee or having a lot of trash to deal with.

Pour Over Coffee - A Detailed Palette

My sister gave me these Kate Spade earrings for my birthday - a new favorite pair for sure! They go perfectly with just about every outfit that I own... and even fit in quite well with my apartment decor!

Kate Spade Gold Earrings - A Detailed Palette

And it has been SUCH nice weather since we got back to Wisconsin, I was sure to take Reggie out for some extra long walks to Atwater Park.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday! I am a bit nervous about taking on my work inbox. So many emails...
-xo, Rachel

Throwing a Murder Mystery Party

Murder Mystery Party - A Detailed Palette

I am happy to report back that our Murder Mystery/Birthday Party was a huge success. We had a great turnout and everyone seemed to have an amazing time with it - something that I was relieved to hear, mostly because you just never know how these things are going to go over. We had such a great group for it though - everyone was so into it and embraced their roles - especially when it came to the costume part of it.

Murder Mystery Party - A Detailed Palette
Murder Mystery Party - A Detailed Palette
Murder Mystery Party - A Detailed Palette

While you can create a murder mystery story on your own, I purchased a kit from the Night of Mystery. I highly recommend it if you're interested in throwing your own Murder Mystery Party. There are many, many different themes to go with. Since I really wanted us to all dress up and because I absolutely love Clue, I decided to go with the 1920s Mystery Manor-themed option - Murder of A Millionaire. The story was over-the-top and the characters were mostly hilariously named, but it made for fun night for all. A few tips for those looking to also do this:

1. Make sure to plan ahead! You'll need to know exactly how many people are attending so that each and every person can have a role.

2. Send out paper invites. After the number of guests is for sure, you can assign roles and send out the invitations. I was sure to use a wax seal on my own invitations for a bit more of an authentic feel. The fact that people actually got the invites in the mail seemed to just really make the whole thing more special and get people more excited about it.

Murder Mystery Party - A Detailed Palette

3. Create your own awards. While part of the kit came with certificates for Best Acting, Best Dressed, and Most Wealth, I thought it would be way more fun to make these awards more personalized and more tangible. I bought a few trophies and a few dog figurines and made my own awards for the three categories (that you can see below). These awards were called the "Reggies", after my dog Reggie, and they were on full display throughout the night. They were awarded at the end of the night, as everyone casted their votes. It was actually my favorite part of the night.

Murder Mystery Party - A Detailed Palette

Shout out to all of our guest who made this party amazing and so memorable. I highly recommend giving one of these parties a shot for your own shindig.

Have a great Wednesday!
-xo, RachelM

My Time in Rome, Italy - 2011 Edition

It's been a bit since I have shared a travel post. While I have a few adventures planned out that I'll be sharing in the future, I wanted to share a few photos from one of my favorite trips of all time - my time in Rome.

It has, sadly, been a few years since I was last in Rome. I've been itching to go back recently - hopefully these photos will fully convey just why that sentiment remains so strong.

I went to Rome with a large group of friends I met while studying abroad. We were an eager group - staying up late and waking up at dawn, all with the idea that we couldn't miss a thing and that it was all a once in a lifetime experience. I am so glad we had and shared that attitude. We saw so much of the city, especially when I consider that we were only really there for two days.

Of course, the Trevi Fountain was a must-see, and if I remember correctly, one of our very first stops after dropping off our bags at the our hostel.

The Trevi Fountain is quite monstrous and quite busy, brimming with tourist and vendors. Don't let this picture below fool you - I had to work very hard not to capture any of the masses surrounding this large fountain. I made two wishes at this fountain - one following with the legend, which states that if you make a wish to return to Rome at the Trevi Fountain, it will most certainly come true - and another.

The Trevi Fountain - A Detailed Palette

It's really just a very cool and detailed sight, with an energy that is invigorating regardless of the time of day. I was certainly sure to keep my belongings close though - I believe there may have been a few signs warning of the dangers of lurking pickpockets, and I certainly paid attention, trying to be observant and aware of my surroundings, even while enjoying the beauty of the fountain.

No trip to Rome would be complete or even thinkable without a stop at the Colosseum - a word that, despite having an English degree, I always end up misspelling the first go-round. Here's a quick shout-out to spell check! Anyway, this was where our group split - some to tour the Colosseum, the others to continue wandering. While I am glad I chose to wander, I do know that if my first Trevi Fountain wish to come back to Rome comes true, I will most certainly take a tour of the inside. For now, I have only the exterior photos and thoughts to share. I have to say that, despite the amount of suffering that history reports went on inside those walls, the building does have its own unique beauty, and it must have been quite the imposing sight in its prime.

The Colosseum - Rome, Italy - A Detailed Palette
The Colloseum - A Detailed Palette

By some lucky planning, we also happened to be in Rome on Palm Sunday. As this is day is pretty widely celebrated in Rome (a city with many Catholics) we headed over to the Vatican on Sunday morning only to see the Pope. It was an experience to be sure - and without getting too cheesy or too spiritual, it was a powerful feeling to be there with so many others. Even though I couldn't understand what the Pope was saying, I could feel the sentiment, and it was unlike anything else.

The Vatican  - Palm Sunday - A Detailed Palette

Although this is not a great photo of any of us (it was super early and we had been doing lots of traveling), I like that it gives a better idea of just how many people were there. Plus, you can see the Pope on the screen in the back. 

Palm Sunday - A Detailed Palette

After the mass, we explored St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel - both incredibly stunning visually, to the point to overwhelm and beyond.

St. Peter's - Rome, Italy Trip - A Detailed Palette
St. Peter's - The Vatican - A Detailed Palette

The pictures admittedly do not do this place justice at all. No one was allowed to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel - a rule that was vehemently enforced by many guards. They were not messing around! The photo below only shows the way to the Sistine Chapel, in fact, just before entering it. The whole way to the Sistine Chapel was decorated like this, to a level where it was almost too much to take in. Inside the Sistine Chapel, it was even more ornate, while paired with the famous ceiling paintings of Michelangelo that everyone knows and would recognize.

Sistine Chapel Entry - A Detailed Palette

It truly was a beautiful trip - a city that beautifully blended the old buildings and tradition with the modern necessities of life. There were gelato shops on nearly every corner and a ruin just down the street, no matter where you happened to be. It was a truly dignified and historical city that I loved and hope to visit again soon.

My Trip to Rome, Italy - A Detailed Palette

Guest Bedroom Update

Sad to say it, but with the new job and just the craziness of life in general, I just have not been getting much use out of my DIY craft table. With that fact in mind, I decided to take a different approach to styling the guest bedroom that I currently have in my apartment. Thankfully, because of how I put my craft desk together on my own, I was able to easily take it apart and still re-purpose those pieces in other ways. I took some quick photos of the newly organized space - warning: this quickly and accidentally became a Reggie photoshoot. He follows me when I take out the camera. I am debating having someone else film so that I can share it. He LOVES the camera.

I also added a new furniture piece to this room - a vintage-style yellow chair. My friend was actually getting some new furniture and therefore had to part with it. Knowing how much I loved it, since I always said so when visiting her, she offered to give it to me for free. I obviously took her up on it and now it's one of my favorite new spots to read or knit!

Guest Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

I placed one of the shelving units from my old craft desk near the chair to provide some storage for books, craft projects, and really anything else that I might need within arm's reach while seated in this comfy yellow chair.

Guest Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

The sewing table and sewing machine have stayed put. I am in dire need of more practice with the machine in general, but this area provides a perfect place for me to practice. I am hoping to get more sewing done this summer.

guestbed-3.jpg

The chair that my friend gave to me also came with a footstool/ottoman. Due to the room's size, it was a bit awkward to have it always placed in front of the chair, so instead, I placed it at the foot of the bed. It can still be easily moved, but this way no one has to worry about it being in the way in the meantime.

Guest Bedroom Update - A Detailed Palette

New bedding was found at Target. Really love the blue hue of this quilted blanket. 

Guest Bedroom Update - A Detailed Palette
Guest Bedroom Update - A Detailed Palette

And to wrap things up, here is one more adorable photo of Reggie!

Cutest Dog Ever - A Detailed Palette

Have an amazing Wednesday!

A Few of My Favorites: Birthday Edition

Yes, it's true that my birthday has not arrived. I have, however, been lucky enough to receive some early birthday gifts (both from myself and from others) that I can't help but rave about.

Jaybird Wireless Headphones

Wireless Headphones - A Detailed Palette

Wireless headphones that can withstand lots of movement - the dream of every runner. I'm still in the process of testing these out while I run, but the sound quality really is excellent. And the packaging was just beautiful. I feel like more and more brands are really stepping up their game when it comes to beautiful packaging, and it is certainly something I appreciate. These headphones also came with tons of different attachments so that you can play around and find the options/attachment combinations that best suit/fit your own unique ears. Finding earbuds that fit properly has always been a challenge for me due to the fact that I have abnormally small ears.... seriously, I can't even wear dangling earrings for a few hours without my tiny ear lobes killing me.

Kate Spade Wallet

Kate Spade Wallet - A Detailed Palette

A perfect color for spring! I've been meaning to invest in a nice wallet for a while now - glad I finally have one. These wallets last forever and are so roomy! I can easily fit all of my cards and necessities.

Tory Burch Handbag

Tory Burch Handbag - A Detailed Palette
Tory Burch Purse - A Detailed Palette

YUP - I did it. Prompted by an incredible sale, the fact that I have wanted a Tory Burch bag forever, AND that my birthday was coming up, I decided to majorly treat myself on this one. Again, these bags are durable and super high quality, hence the price, but I know it will last for an incredibly long time. My sister has had her Tory Burch bag for about four years, and it still looks brand new, despite her using it nearly every day. 

Loving Your Home

How to Make Your Home Your Happy Place - A Detailed Palette

While I know that I am more of a homebody than most, I think that we can all agree that on our list of things we don't want, a home that induces stress is quite high on the list. While no home or life is perfect, and every home is bound to have some issues from time to time, there is an expectation that home should be a sanctuary - or at the very least, a happy place to be.

As Americans, we spend a lot of time at work. Like loads of time, especially when compared to other nations of comparable wealth. We work a lot. While I am not going to get on soap box about that, I do think it's a given that work is not a sanctuary. No matter how much you like your job, I don't think it would be an accurate way to describe any work situation. I think this makes it all the more important for all of us to have homes that we simply love to come home to after a long hectic day at the office.

There's a quote from Jane Austen that I think is particularly perfect for this topic: "There is nothing like staying at home for true comfort." Preach, Jane, preach! While I feel this way about my apartment now, that wasn't always the case. Here are a few suggestions for making your home your refuge.

1. Make It Yours: I don't know about you guys, but when I was younger, I remember decking out all of my school supplies with stickers. It allowed me to put my own stamp on these belongings and that made them a bit more special to me. Even if you rent, it's possible to put your own stamp on wherever you may be living. I think it's important to go with styles you love even if it's not the most trendy or of-the-moment. You don't even have to spend any money with this one - get creative and make your own decor. 

2. Make It Comfy: Comfy furniture, plush pillows, good bedding, and ample throw pillows. While these items all vary in price, I think it's worth it to but comfort on the same level as aesthetics. A slim profiled desk chair may look beautiful, especially when paired with your desk, but if you're not able to comfortably sit in it at your desk, it's hardly worth it.

3. Live In It: I think this is one that comes naturally to us, but it's worth listing as a reminder of what really makes your home a more happy place - family, friends, pets, and, maybe if you're like me, plants!

Have a great Monday, you guys!
-xo, Rachel

 

Lately: April 2016 Edition

Lately: April 2016 Edition - A Detailed Palette

Happy Thursday, you guys! We're almost to the end of the week and the end of April - two facts that I find to be totally astounding right now! This month is always slightly crazy with family birthdays galore, including my own and that of my godson. Reggie also happens to be due for his yearly check up every April, and you always have tax day to worry about. This year, though, it just seem like there are even more things going on in an already always packed month.

I'm still attempting to train for the Madison Half Marathon, but if I am being totally honest, I am really nervous about it. I missed a few training days due first to a spring bout of flu and then a stage-five clinger cold that would just NOT go away. I'm hoping that I can at least get to the 10 mile mark some time soon - as long as my time/experience is better than last year's, I think I'll consider it a success.

I'm also currently taking a few side classes in photography and social media, one for the blog and one for work and both for personal development. I've been trying to carve out time every Sunday for these - while time is tough to carve out, it's kind of fun feeling like a student again.

And of course, the murder mystery party (you can see the invites below) and my vacation are quickly approaching - immensely looking forward to both, especially since vacation means warm weather, time to read, time to hike, and actually getting to see my sister! I'll be sharing blogs about both events in the future.

Lately - Birthday Murder Mystery Invites - A Detailed Palette

Shortly after getting back from vacation, I'll be heading to the Kips Bay Showhome for work - and I am so incredibly excited for it. I can't wait to see all of the different designs. For those of you who don't know what the Kips Bay Showhome is, it's actually a new home every year - something that I myself just learned this year. Each year, top interior designers are recruited to design the home - one designer per room. There's always some really cool coverage of it, and I am looking forward to being able to see the designs firsthand. Perks of the job! I hope I'll be able to share a few photos from the home on here later on.

We're going to be inheriting a new piece of furniture over the weekend, and I have totally reorganized the guest bedroom - I'll be sharing next week. On that same vein, I'm currently putting together my official home tour - a goal that I set for myself in 2016. 

And just because I don't have enough to do (hah!), I decided that now is a great time to knit a blanket. Here's the pattern I'm attempting in case you're interested.

That's all 

Here's to hoping you have a truly great Thursday!
xo, Rachel

Tips for Styling a TV Stand

As most of you know, I recently updated the apartment with a new TV stand - it has totally changed the feel of the place for the better. I am so happy with how it fits in the space. I also spent quite a bit of time styling the new piece of furniture so I thought I'd share some tips.

TV Stand Styling - A Detailed Palette

Tip 1: Less is More- you don't want anything so overwhelming or so stand-out that it takes your attention away from the actual TV. Stick to simple items, simple colors (oh heeeey neutrals!), and avoid having just a lot going on.

TV Stand Styling Tips - A Detailed Palette

Tip 2: Think in terms of Vignettes - Vignettes are considered to be little mini design stories within a space. Below is an example of such. They don't need to be incredible complicated or feature many decor pieces - in fact, the simpler, the better.

How to Style a TV Stand - A Detailed Palette

Tip 3: Keep It Useful - TVs aren't always considered the most stylish thing in a home - this is why adding decor to a TV stand is something that I highly recommend to give it a bit more style and life. Still, TVs serve a function - and you'll want to make sure that items on the TV stand reflect that function and help everything to run more smoothly.

Tip 4: Be Sure to Consider Wire Management - Whether you're buying a new TV stand or looking for ways to better style your own, wire management can make your life much easier. If your TV stand doesn't have grommet holes or any kind of wire management system, try styling decor pieces in such a way that wires are hidden. This can be a bit tricky, so it is often times easier to purchase a TV stand with built-in wire management systems that effectively allow you to not only keep unsightly cords hidden, but also helps to keep them organized.

Have a great Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

April Rocksbox Review

I guess it's pretty fitting that my favorite Rocksbox has arrived during my favorite month. I absolutely LOVE the bracelet that I got this time around, and I know that I will be purchasing it instead of returning it - even though it is a bit pricey.... but it's my birthday month so I guess that's how I am justifying it. I am also the pickiest when it comes to bracelets and rings, so when I find one that I love, I really don't like passing up on it.

Kendra Scott Jamie Bracelet in Platinum Drusy

I really love the gold and the exposed gem - which actually looks like bits of the mineral pyrite (or Fool's Gold) to me - although whether or not it actually is, I am unsure. The bracelet is also completely flexible/bend-able meaning that I don't have to squeeze it on and off over my ginormous hand.

Rocksbox April - A Detailed Palette

The necklace and the earrings are also incredibly fun. The House Of Harlow 1960 Triangle Studs and the Gorjana Nesa Lariat Necklace.

Rocksbox April Review - A Detailed Palette
Rocksbox April Review - A Detailed Palette