you can quote me - a post by lacey

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only what you are expecting to give - which is everything. What you will receive in return varies, but it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving."
-Katherine Hepburn

I've been reading this quote over and over this week. That's really what love is all about, isn't it? Have a great rest of your week. Go love on someone.

image via weheartit.com


inaugural wrap-up

i know i'm a little behind on this post, but now that our new president and his family have moved into the white house, it's time to talk about the important things: like michelle obama's clothes. i wasn't able to watch too much coverage of the inauguration, but i definitely did my homework on who was wearing what:in general, i liked michelle obama's outfits. i didn't love them. i love the color/idea of isabel toledo's suit but i thought it was a little dowdy on michelle's figure. i did, however, love love the green jcrew shoes. nicely done!her jason wu gown was pretty, but i don't think she looked as stunning as she could have. the white just seemed a little bridal to me. i do think she did a nice job with the jewelry and wearing her hair down. i hate updos.i also think this gown may have been more stunning in person. the details look like they were exquisite.
jill biden's reem acra dress was pretty, but i'm not sure it was entirely appropriate for a woman of her age, or for an event this regal. i do love the color, though. she dresses well, but sometimes she doesn't look like the professional, polished politician's wife that she is.
my favorite, favorite looks of the day were the obama girls' jcrew coats, velvet sashes and colored scarves. they looked so youthful in their bright colors and i just thought it was perfect. these coats won't be available until the fall, and they are in the crewcuts line, but i totally want to steal them both!
and the obama girls score again in more jcrew coats at the lincoln center concert. they're so beautiful!

and then there's the celebrities:
loved aretha's hat. absolutely loved it.
dear jay-z, you look stupid. go home.
dear sean, you look like you're wearing a bathrobe. go home.dear don, ...... go home.

what were your most/least favorite inaugural looks?

images: getty images, womensweardaily.com, huffingtonpost.com


parlez-vous français?

dragée - prounounced drah-shay, refers to "sugar coated almond or hazelnut first mentioned in 1220. in france, dragées are traditionally given at baptisms, first communions and weddings." in america, the most commonly known type are called jordan almonds and are also associated with special occasions. the tradition of distributing them at a celebration dates back for centuries and is meant to ensure prosperity, fertility, happiness and good luck.
another type of dragée is the small, silver and gold decorative balls that are often used on christmas cookies and other baked goods.

usage examples:
1. i still have to pick up the cake and the dragées before i am ready for the shower tonight.
2. to decorate the cookies, she used a combination of fondant, homemade icing, and dragées.
3. excuse me sir, i am looking for dragées; do you carry them?

images: 1.martha stewart weddings 2.bhg.com quoted text via "french for le snob: adding panache to your everyday converstaions" by yvette reche, fall river press


happy weekend!!

relax and enjoy some time off this weekend...
sorry for the lack of posting this week - work has been requiring all of my thoughts and energy. see you on monday! 
image via ashleylaurencheney.blogspot.com


snow day! - a post by lacey

Twenty days into the new year, and we get snow! So it didn't come on time for Christmas, but I am NOT complaining! Here is what our yard looked like after a full night and day of snowing. (These few inches got me a half a day off of work the first day and a two hour delay the next!)
I hope you guys had fun playing in the snow! Hopefully we won't have to wait so long before we see it again!



snowy tuesday

i've had a positively glorious day.
first, it snowed and i got to sleep in and go to work two hours late.
then, i went to my first day of work at my fantastic new job.
then, i was treated to a delicious free lunch at the local tea room with some co-workers.
then, i got to organize my new desk/office. (organizing is my favorite!)
and then, i got to come home and eat steak with my mom and dad.

how lucky am i!? happy tuesday! hope yours was wonderful as well...
image via geckokid on deviantART

parlez-vous français?

vélo - pronounced vay-low, refers to a bike/bicycle.
(note: a word that you should definitely be familiar with if you plan on watching the tour de france this summer, as i do!)

usage examples:
1. i read about lance armstrong's return to competitive cycling in vélonews.
2. i'm going to the bike shop to pick up some gear for my vélo.
3. compared to many competitive road bikes, cervélo bikes have an excellent track record for performance and durability.

image by gemma booth via black eiffel


happy weekend!!

"most principles of good design are truly universal, not size-or income-dependent... i was reminded that comfort doesn't have to mean paper plates and sweatpants. it can be elegant, and something we can achieve no matter where we make our home, be it a 35-room mansion or a small one-bedroom"
-deborah needleman
editor in chief, domino magazine

image via designspongeonline

win me over

who doesn't like to win things? i have entertained the idea of winning big since i was a little girl watching the price is right every morning during the summer. i enter lots and lots of contests (lucky magazine's website has fantastic ones every month) and assume someday my patient persistence will pay off. no contest is as great, however, as hgtv's annual dream home giveaway. this year, it's a gorgeous farmhouse located in sonoma california; and if that weren't enough, a brand new gmc 2009 arcadia. the house is gorgeous and the decorating is stunning. you can enter daily through february 19, and although your entering lowers my own chances of winning, i wanted to share this with you because i am just that nice. (and if you win, you'll have me over for dinner/an extended vacation, right?) enter to win here! good luck! the idea of cooking in a kitchen like this makes me want to jump up and down. and buy lots of things at williams-sonoma.in the words of carrie bradshaw: "hello!...i live here!"i'll take this bedroom......and this bathroom......and i'll even do my own laundry if it means i get to hang out in this room. and if you're really cool, i might invite you to my fabulous california parties, thrown here.

images: hgtv.com


girl, put your records on - a post by lacey

Dear Readers,
Does this ever happen to you? You're having a great day. The sun is shining, your hair looks HOT, you just got a fresh cup of fro-yo and you want some tunes to match your mood. You put your iPod on shuffle, and the first song that comes up is a terribly slow song that could be played at a funeral. OR? You've just had the worst day ever. Your morning shower was freezing, you spilled coffee all over yourself on the way to work, and you had to use your lunch break to help alphabetize invoices. When you finally do escape to the quiet of your car, you again put the iPod on shuffle, and the ONLY Jessica Simpson song that you have in your ENTIRE music library comes on as if to mock you.
Calling all music fiends! I'm in a music rut, and I need your help!
There's a reason behind my urgency. I recently bought my first new car....YAY! It's a black 2009 Mazda3, and it's probably the sexiest thing I own. I feel good in it, I look good in it. The only problem (aside from the fact that my mom ran into it a week after I got it) is that I have no new music to match it. Does that make sense? My old iPod playlists don't match the happy, bouncy, giddy feelings that I have towards my new love. Does anyone have any music suggestions? Perhaps a fun CD you just bought or a great playlist you found online? How do you guys find new music? Do you buy from iTunes or do you have other music sites that you frequent? I take advantage of Free Music Tuesdays on iTunes. (I really don't think it has an official name, but that what I refer to it as). I also go to insound.com for their free music downloads. It's really hit or miss with these songs. They're very indie which can be good, but they can also be very, very weird (think techno meets screamo meets lounge). I have to listen to about 10 until I find one that doesn't drive me crazy. So help a sister out and let me know what are you guys listening to these days. In fact, just to prove that I'm not in it for entirely selfish reasons, here's a list of my new favorite songs to play on repeat. New car or not, new music makes people happy!

*For Grooving In 2009 Playlist*
Gettin' Up by Q-Tip
Untouched by The Veronicas (O.M.G. I love this song)
Signs by Bloc Party
I'm Good, I'm Gone by Lykke Li
Heartless by Kanye West
Pennies From Heaven by Louis Prima (thank ELF for this one)
Pony (It's OK) by Erin McCarley (thank Free Music Tuesday for this one)
Lovers In Japan by Coldplay
I'm So Paid by Akon

Oh yeah, and in case you were wondering (and I know you were) here is what my new car looks like! Do we not make such a good looking couple??
image via epicself.com


dear target, i love you

i went to target today to return something and ended up wandering around for like an hour and a half, which is pretty much the norm when i go there. it's probably one of my favorite places to buy everything from lingerie to home goods to food (their archer farms brand is so yum).
anyways, in the back right part of the store (the seasonal area) i was surprised to find target's "home design event". perhaps they've had this in the past...i've never noticed it; but i was so excited to find so many awesome pieces at fantastic prices. i was wishing i'd had a camera to photograph all the deliciousness (the one above was the best i could find online) but instead you should just go check it out yourself. there's something for every taste and budget from large furniture to throw pillows, bud vases, bedding, lamps, and wall art. and it all looks like it's from somewhere way more expensive than target. what's even more exciting - all the merchandise is 30% off this week! yippee! get in your car and GO NOW. you won't be sorry.
image: elementsofstyle


paris, je t'aime!

i have been fortunate over the past few years of my life to visit paris twice. i started falling in love with the country and its culture during my freshman year of high school, in my first french class. i not only loved the language but the fact that it was my heritage - my ancestors were french and so my studies weren't just those of another culture but one from which my own family has descended. after my first trip to paris (my senior year of high school), i was completely smitten and after the second i was ready to pick up and move. it's an amazing city! since that last trip, i have collected many tchotchkes to remind me of my travels and the magic of paris. none are more special, however, than the few pieces of artwork i have acquired. very few things evoke emotion the way beautiful artwork can and so these pieces are very special. and it's your lucky day because i thought i would share them with you...enjoy!

i bought this pair at a tiny thrift store in upstate new york last fall. they are signed prints and i wish the camera did them justice - the colors are amazing.
this little painting is only about 51/2"x 7" but it is an original painting of sacre coeur/the monmartre arrondissement (that means neighborhood) in paris. it was painted with a palette knife so the details are vague (which i love) and the paint is all knobby and goopy. it's gorgeous and the best part was that it was only $7 in an antique store in cornelius, nc!
this pair is my favorite and no, they're not black and white photographs, but pen and ink drawings done by my brother. he's an incredible artist and i am just stunned by how amazing these two drawings are. the bottom one was drawn from a photograph i took the last time i was in paris, which makes it even more fun. aaron has created many many stunning pieces over the years but this pair is by far my favorite!


parlez-vous français?

trousseau: pronounced true-so. in the past, this word has been used to describe the clothes and lingerie a bride brought on her honeymoon, but the word actually describes "a bride's personal possessions: household items, clothes, linen, etc." that she brings with her into marriage.

usage examples:
1. sarah's honeymoon trousseau was packed neatly in matching suitcases, and had been planned as carefully as her wedding.
2. when mr. smith saw his new wife's trousseau filling their apartment, he worried whether his current salary would be enough to satisfy her extravagant taste.
3. mr. davis and miss pike regsistered as many places as they could in preparation for their upcoming nuptials, as the bride's trousseau left the couple lacking many necessary items.
image via apracticalwedding.com, quoted text via "french for le snob: adding panache to your everyday converstaions" by yvette reche, fall river press


the simple things make the best things - a post by lacey

One of the Web sites that I frequent daily is decor8blog.com. Holly, the lady who runs the show, always has beautiful photos and inspiring blog links on her posts (She sometimes posts more than once a day! Lucky us!) I found Jennifer Causey as a result of reading/stalking decor8. Jennifer is a photographer with a knack for photographing simple objects and making them look delicious. And when I say delicious, I mean it literally. She takes a lot of pictures of food items. I thought I should warn you about this before you head to her site in case one of your New Year's Resolutions was to eat healthier. For those of us (me) who didn't make that resolution (me), we (me again) don't need to worry. We'll (I'll) just look at her photograph of stacked chocolate bars and go make ourselves (myself) a triple brownie sundae.

Table for one please, but I'd like two of everything in the bakery case.Beware of crazy chocoholics.I want my apartment full of these.Speaking of apartments, I'll take this one. It looks fun.Let's end on a good note - more chocolate!

all images via jennifer causey


be a bookworm

doesn't it just seem like a good idea? after the holidays, the weather is still cold (and in our case here in nc, rainy) but the schedule has slowed down...and it seems like such a great time of year to curl up and be cozy with a good book.
i recently removed all rules from reading for myself. i used to read because a book would enhance my knowledge of a subject or because a book was popular, publicized, or on oprah's reading list. (how dumb do i sound?) needless to say, the number of books i actually ended up finishing was astoundingly small. "the world is flat", by thomas l. friedman literally sat on my shelf for like two years and i never got past the first fifty pages. sure, i was a business major and the topic was relevant, but frankly, it was boring and i just didn't care. now, if i want to read a book, i read it, and if i don't, i don't. there are enough rules and "have to's" in life, and reading shouldn't be included in that list. since i've changed my approach to reading, i have read an astoundingly large amount of books (which, embarrassingly enough, outnumber those that i've read in probably the last five years).
that said, this past weekend, aside from a workout and a trip to starbucks, i did very little besides read. this wasn't really the plan, actually, but after cracking open "angels and demons" by dan brown, i literally couldn't put it down. i don't think i've ever been so addicted to a book before! i read through all hours of the night, heart pounding, turning pages as fast as i could read them, and was so thrilled that mr. brown managed to make such a surprising twist ending. sure, the main character (who is a harvard scholar) had some unbelievable james-bondish moments in which he survived several highly unlikely situations, but what's an adventure book without some unrealistic moments? it was such a fun read and i highly recommend it!
while we're at it, here are a couple more i've recently really enjoyed:
(kind of a downer of a story but still really interesting and enjoyable. i love mccorkle's writing style and interestingly, she teaches writing at unc-chapel hill!)
(a classic, but much more exciting than wuthering heights ever was - and beautifully written! loved it.)
(hilarious and much better than the movie.)
(yes, technically this is a book for twelve year olds, but the story is brilliant and so entertaining. a quick read that is extremely satisfying.)
5. "a walk in the woods" by bill bryson
(bryson is so funny and remarkably interesting.)
i encourage you to pick up a book you actually want to read, find someplace comfy and dig in! (and despite what the picture above says, when you need a break, you should still read my blog!)
images: 1.weheartit.com 2.hagebutton.livejournal.com


parlez-vous français?

it's a fact. french people are cool. they sound cool when they talk. they understand the art of simplicity better than any american i know. they don't fall prey to the abercrombie/hollister/american eagle nonsense that americans seem to think is fashionable. they walk everywhere. they don't wear crocs. they cook better. they don't go to wal-mart. and they understand moderation when it comes to portion sizes. i'll admit i'm a little jealous.
i studied french for seven years in high school and college but unfortunately, aside from my ability to communicate with shopkeepers and restaurateurs in paris ("je voudrais le poulet", or "i'll have the chicken", isn't too hard to remember), my memories of important vocabulary and conjugation rules are slowly slipping away. for christmas, i received un petit livre (or a little book) called "french for le snob: adding panache to your everyday conversations" by yvette reche (don't their names even sound cooler than ours?). it's a really fun little book (in tiffany blue) that focuses on american uses of french words, what they mean, and how to incorporate them into our conversations to sound smarter and more sophisticated. interested? i thought so. thanks to madame reche, i am introducing "parlez-vous français?" mondays, where you, readers (and myself), can learn an applicable new vocabulary word each week and work it into our most chic of conversations.

so introducing today's word...
atelier - pronounced a-tel-yay, refers to "a place where seamstresses, carpenters, painters, and artists could create their products. it was a place where they shared their ideas and found inspiration and answers to their questions. ateliers promoted research, support, and self expression."

usage examples:
1. after watching the chanel spring 09 runway show, i was impressed with the breathtaking work that came out of karl lagerfeld's atelier this year.
2. this year, i vow to spend more time in my atelier, working on my paintings/cards/pillows/collages,etc.
3. oh, to have an atelier that is even half this beautiful...i could be so much more creative!

try it in a sentence this week!
images: 1.photograph by juergen teller 2.la-story.com; definition via "french for le snob: adding panache to your everyday converstaions" by yvette reche, fall river press


...hello, 2009!

happy new year! i can not believe how quickly the past week has flown by and i have thouroughly enjoyed the holidays this year. in fact, i am very sad to see them go and i moped as i disassembled my christmas tree yesterday.

however, taking down christmas and the new year always puts me in a cleaning frenzy...i generally find myself rearranging and wanting to clean out drawers, cupboards, and closets so that my lovely, new christmas presents have nice organized homes. there is something about a fresh start, a clean palette, that inspires me to put great hope in what the new year has to bring and i always want to meet the new year with a clean space free of clutter and dust.

so what better way to ring in the new year with these beautifully white rooms? i am usually a little more into color but each of these spaces are so simple and chic in their own way - there is something so polished and clean about them.
love the fireplace/bookshelf idea here.
images: 1.wordsforsnow.deviantart.com 2.james michael howard via absolutely beautiful things 3.decor8blog.com 4.tinypic.com 5.-7.flickr.com