September 30, 2011

Writer's Block

I told you I ran into a few celebrities while in NYC

My carry-on NYC weekend packed a lot into a little: a few celebu-sightings, a play called Avenue Q, ABC Carpet and Home, an Art Fair, FAO Schwartz (where we ran into Gwenyth Paltrow and Apple), Art Galleries, plus a multi-cultural array of cuisine -- South African, Indian, Afghan, American, street vendor, Asian, and the old standbys: wine, peanuts and bagels. 

Some of the great views from the windows of our incredible host's incredible apartment:
Overlooking Central Park
Mandarin Oriental Hotel deck next door
Rooftop Deck
I would be remiss if I failed to admit that some karaoke was crammed into the weekend as well.  (cheers.)

Now that my brain is mush on overload, I've barely been able to form a coherent thought or sentence all week.  But I wanted to thank everyone to who emailed me with all the great suggestions, etc.   My head is spinning with ideas from some of the incredible furniture/designs I saw, and I'm excited to get back to some of my projects armed with fresh perspective.  Oddly, the trip left me feeling so creative that it drained me of all creativity to write anything interesting about it? Strage, but true.  

'Writer's Block' by Amy Spiridellis
A piece on my friend/art-collector/host's coffee table
How I'm feeling at the moment
Meanwhile for all you locals:  don’t forget 'Art for Art Sake' is this weekend!  See you around the galleries…

September 22, 2011

Going to take a bite of the Apple

Thank you to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys for articulating my current state of mind -- an Empire one.  NYC, I'm on my way.   While my wallet attempts to elude it all, my eyes will be surrendering to the many inspirations the city has to offer.  I'll be the one waving the White Flag on Fifth Avenue.

So start spreadin the news and give me your suggestions on decor & furniture stores, flea markets, art galleries, or just funky places to go, email me (  Eye candy here I come...

September 18, 2011

Out with the old, in with the old...

 Hello? 1980 is calling your cell phone.  It wants its receiver back.

With the exception of planking*, trends often take their cue from the past.  (*I know of no precedent for it, or the atrocity of coning). 
Unless you’re Nicholas Cage -- who has apparently lived forever and quite possibly invented cave painting, we mortals tend to draw inspiration from history, particularly in areas of design and style.  
Strange, but true: this is actually for sale on ebay for $1,000,0000.00.  Read abt this craziness here.
I know its a bit off topic, but I couldn't resist.
Every so often when a trend resurfaces, pack rats everywhere prove their mastermind as they can finally say, “See, I’m so happy I didn’t throw away my___.”  (Circle one: bellbottoms/platforms/hotpants/jelly shoes/ Madonna-style rubber bracelets/ wig-wam socks…I wonder if these will make a come back?/insert your own) 
My newest favorite trend to usher in the old is brought to you by the classic telephone headset we all know and love, and for good reason: it fits our rounded head.
Available in a rainbow of colors, the Moshi Retro POP Handset works with the iPad 2, iPad, iPhone 4 4G 3GS 3G (AT&T and Verizon), iPod touch (2G 3G 4G), HTC Android EVO, Blackberry, Samsung Galaxy S, Droid.  I bought mine at Steinmart, but they are available at also. 
If you are Spongebob, a miniature flat apparatus the size of a playing card is perfect for the flat side of your head.  However, if you are not, the retro headset is ergonomically better cupped to suit the human ear.  
Because I love my iPhone so dearly, I tend to get upset with my face for getting in the way of my phone calls on the occasions when my ill-mannered cheek hits the facetime/speaker option, or tries to dial someone three-way.  Moshi’s classic two-holed receiver has mended at least one relationship in that way.
Other reasons this trend is worth the $29.99 investment:
1. Cuts down on radiation to your head. (a big bonus I’d say).
2. Conversation starter. (I brought this out last weekend and made lots of new friends.)
3. Easy to locate in your purse/bag/man satchel/murse.  (True to original form in size.)
4. Make a statement: (Thank you to my models for the following three examples, in order of appearance: Gerald, Jennifer and Megan).
Impress your colleagues:  look like the true executive that you are when you yank
this out of your pocket.  The bigger the phone, the bigger the___(paycheck)?
5. Relax your neck:
While everyone else strains their neck, you can cut down on your chiropractic visits.

6. If you value shock-value, this is the item for you.
Caution: May cause accidents when used in a moving vehicle due to gawking by other motorists.
As always, please use your blue tooth while driving.
7. You will find new excuses to use your phone and will probably spend some time photo bombing your friends with pictures of you and your new purchase. Case in point: the 3 photos above.
Unfortunately for those of you who did hold onto your classic phone headset, you still need to purchase this version if you want it to be adaptable to your iPhone, blackberry or iPad.
 P.S. Look what I found by the same manufacturers:
Perfect for the office!

September 15, 2011

Mission: Missoni, Target: Targét

Sexy Italian dudes: get off your vintage Missoni couch and get to Tar-jaay for more Missoni!

Joke's over folks.  Referring to Target as Targét (Tar-jaay) has become a self-fulfilling prophecy apparently.  The budget-friendly retailer is living up to its sarcastic, yet frenchified urban slang name (or at least trying to).  
Ignore the fluorescent headache from bad department store lighting and pretend the geriatric greeters are tall exotic models, and suddenly shopping in Target is as chic as strolling down Via della Spiga.  (Okay, it might take a little more imagination than that.)  Ambience can be overrated anyway when you're mind is set on a budget.  
There was nothing cheap about Missoni before -- clothing and home accesories
that can cost in the thousands.  Now Missoni belongs to the masses at Target.
The retailer's fashion forward collaborations (Zac Posen for one) have given the most frugal the gift of haute style.  Now it's Missoni's turn.  Famous for it's knitwear and its colorful zig-zag, Missoni is an Italian based fashion brand that has been around since the '50s.   When I think of Missoni I think mod-squad/Bond girl:
If Kate Moss can look this good in Missoni, so can we all.  (ha ha)
Although I failed to camp outside Targét at 3 am yesterday morning in order to be first to hit the much-anticipated Missoni collection, plenty of people did.  So many, in fact, that the majority of Target’s nationwide were left bare of all things zig-zag.  
Cashmere throw blanket by Missoni for the home
Unfortunately my favorite throw blanket above is NOT part of the Missoni/Target collection, and also retails for about $500.  However, here are some home items that are:

Cool ziggy zaggy black and white lumbar pillow

Sorry but I still want the $500 blanket above

Really fun pillows...I like! 
A zig to the zag rug -- not crazy about these colors, but maybe it will come in others?
The collection is huge and covers clothing, accesories, home goods and even bikes(?)!

Now I know all you smarty-pants are thinking, "I'll just go online and do my Target- Missoni shopping...all those crazy people who wait in line at the store, ha!"  Well, your brilliance is only superseded by all the other brilliants out there who had the same thought.  Everything on the Target website is sold out, and apparently the site crashed several times yesterday from overload.  So, it looks like with the exception of the early-birds, we'll all be awaiting the Missoni-Target line yet again. Meanwhile, I'll be dreaming about dreaming under my cashmere non-Target Missoni throw (sorry, Target).

September 13, 2011

A Star is Born

Stage fright is not an option when you look this good.
She can't dance, she can't sing, and she definitely doesn't smoke.  In fact, she just sits there. But she's really good looking and full of personality.   
The chair reprises the role made famous by Ms. Garland.
It's the classic story as retold by me and a chair.  (Hold on, that's Hollywood calling on the other line.)  Unknown talent discovered and born again under the spotlight.  Alright, so maybe the chair's no Judy, but I'm still its Norman Maine -- with the exception that I'm not fatally jealous of its success.  You get the idea.   Remember this chair?
Grandma mint-green disaster in poly-blend floral rash 
It was a $40 Craigslist chair.  Apparently its only redeeming quality, besides its cute frenchy curves, is that it's really photogenic considering how ugly the finish and material were in person.  You can read more about me, the chair, and its transformation here.
Here is our star now:

So what if it just sits there?  It received a standing ovation from its most important fan -- its new owner, my niece.  A little paint, new material and it sparkles under the spotlight (a.k.a. the track lighting in its new attic bedroom).  The wise Judy Garland once said, "Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else."  Mission accomplished, star. (Applause track...)

September 08, 2011

Are you Pinterested?

Instead of stapling Lionel’s illustrious message to a phone pole, I pinned it to one of my virtual pin boards (under Gets and Giggles).

How many times have you been surfing the great WWW and found an image, recipe, idea, or inspiration that you wish you had saved?  Well, now you can…if you’re on Pinterest!  Pinterest is a virtual pin board where you can save, share and organize anything you find on the web. 

The genius of Pinterest is that:
A. It's super easy ---  all you have to do is add the “pin it” button to your browser, click it when you see something you like, and Pinterest not only grabs the image, but also files it onto one of your pinboards. Pinterest automatically grabs the source link so you can credit the original creator.
see the "pin it" button on my browser -- it gets clicked a lot!

B. It lets you organize and name your own pinboards -- some people organize by colors, some people pin fashion, some people pin fonts, recipes, wedding ideas -- the list is endless.  My pinboards, so far, are: Inspiration Station: for the many interiors that inspire me; Dream Home: for my one day, happily ever after house; Home Girl: for all the things I want for my home now; Amazing Pieces: for incredible pieces of furniture I see; Art I Heart: for the art I heart; and Gets and Giggles: for all the wild and crazy stuff that merits a laugh, a "wow" or an "um, weird?!."  

C.  It's just genius.  Period, the end.

Here are some of my Pinterest images:
One of my favorite Slim Aarons photographs, filed under Art I Heart.

Madeline Weinrib rug filed under Home Girl.

Lovely colors and console styled with National Geographics, filed under Inspiration Station.

DIY PennyTiles....(can you imagine?), filed under Inspiration Station.

Gorgeous bathroom filed under Dream Home.
Ooohh la la Lamps, filed under Home Girl. 
One of my favorite bedrooms done by Miles Redd, filed under Inspiration Station.

Check out my Pinterest and sign up to start pinning your own virtual inpirations!

Follow Me on Pinterest

September 06, 2011


New Project Alert!  I have a couple of fun things I'm working on right now, but here is one of them...

A friend just got this wonderful pair of chairs from one of my favorite consignment stores.  I'm loving the nail head trim on the seat.  Long story short is she does not like the green antiqued look, and wants me to paint them gold or silver.  Now, I'm all for funky, but I really like these chairs as they are.  Give me a piece of furniture I hate, people.  Hand me something that looks like it belongs in your renovating neighbor's dumpster and I'm inspired.  

There's no talking her out of it, she absolutely wants to break up with the green. Being the good friend I am, I'm here for her.  So, now I'm looking for some 'chairspiration' to get me going on this hot number.  

What do you think about these?  

September 05, 2011

I was wrong. Lee can't keep a good party down... least not in this city.  Lee came and poured rain.

Meanwhile, in the French Quarter....

Photo credits: Keith Charlet via
Do I need to explain why I love this city?  A little Tropical Storm won't stop people from parading in New Orleans. Southern Decadence went on as scheduled.  So Lee, I hope you learned your lesson: no one messes with a good party here in NOLA.  
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