parlez-vous français?

vignette - pronounced "vin-yet", refers to "a small, decorative design or illustration on a blank space in a book, especially at the beginning or end of a chapter or on the title page." the word is diminutive of the word "vigne", or a grapevine. this explains the flowery, floral-y designs to which this word refers (see above.)

also, in english, this word refers to "any small pleasing picture or view" and is most commonly used to describe small, decorative arrangements on tables or dressers that include small tchotchkes, such as picture frames, books, and other special possessions. (see below.) natural elements such as branches and flowers are also often included.

usage examples:
1. samantha, i just love your new vignette in your foyer - you're so creative!
2. paul's vignette displayed many of his most treasured possessions, including an signed first-edition of his favorite book, and a picture of his parents on their wedding day.
3. my brother's sketched vignette was so lovely, i asked him if i could have it to frame.

images: 1.flickr 2.michelle adams via absolutely beautiful things

quoted text: 1. french for le snob: adding panache to your every day conversations by yvette reche, fall river press. 2.dictionary.com


thank goodness it's friday!!!

seriously. thank goodness it's friday. i've been a ridiculous work-a-holic this week - i've worked nearly 12 hours every day except wednesday (including tonight). a co-worker and i are heading up a benefit fashion show coming up in two weeks and it is so much work. i am so excited to spend the weekend cleaning up my house, yard sale-ing, and shopping at the farmers market. it's going to be fabulous!!
i hope your weekend is just as lovely! see you monday!

image via tumblr.com


$0.59 to fabulous

so if you know me at all you've probably caught on to the fact that i'm not a big fan of the summer. it's humid, hot, and icky. i sweat when i'm just walking to my car and my hair never looks good for more than ten minutes. to top it off this year, my little house only has window units and it never gets too cool. i do not enjoy keeping my window blinds closed all day to keep the sun out. it makes me feel like an invalid. come to think of it, so does the summer. every time i go outside lately i just want to lie down. 

so basically i've been looking forward to fall since may. and now that it's on the horizon, i am so excited for all the fantastic-ness that it brings. including christmas preparations. 

(yes, i'm one of those irritating people that starts getting excited/listening to christmas music/watching christmas movies months in advance.)

so i'm sure you can imagine my excitement this weekend when while wandering the aisles at michael's craft store i happened upon a few in the back decked out with christmas goodness. best buy of the day? my 0.59 mini glitter branches that look just like the ones above. they look so gorgeous in a silver vase in my bedroom. and maybe it's just me, but they don't look the least bit christmas-y. i'm really overly excited about them and i keep thinking about where i can put more of them in my house. i should probably keep the glitter in moderation, but i'm planning on buying more soon and i think that just maybe you need some as well. 

1st image via thecherryblossomgirl.com


the flight of the reader

"you'd think we would have had enough of one another
after all the rain streaming down these windows,
the walks out to the garden when it clears, 
the same yellow and white flowers,
all the sleepless nights - 
the toy car going in circles on the bed table.

but still, you stay perched on my shoulder,
cricket or bluebird, 
wild parrot digging your claws in to my loud shirt.

is it because i do not pester you with the invisible gnats of meaning,
never release the whippets of anxiety from their crates,
or hold up my monstrous mirror,
a thing the size of a playing field?

whatever makes you stay,
i hate to think of that morning
when i will wake up and find you gone,
heading toward the open sea,
dragging the cables that bound us together,
leaving me with nothing more to say.

but don't get me wrong.
it's not that i cannot live without you,
cannot sit under an ordinary green tree
with no desire to reach for the pen in my pocket,
or lie contented on a couch all day,
one hand over my mouth.

it's not like i have a crush on you
and instead of writing my five-paragraph essay
i am sailing paper airplanes across the room at you - 
it's not that i can't wait for the lunch bell
to see your face again.

it's not like that. not exactly."

- billy collins

image via dirtywhite.tumblr.com


parlez-vous français?

repertoire - pronounced "rep - ert - war", refers to 1."the complete list or supply of skills, devices, or ingredients used in a particular field, occupation, or practice"; 2. "a supply of skills, devices, or expedients"

usage examples:

1. everyone was jealous of sarah's repertoire of gorgeous summer clothes.

2. i couldn't find what i was looking for on the internet, so i ventured to the library for the complete repertoire of literary criticism.

3. jim's new boss was confident jim could do the job - his repertoire was extensive and his confidence was enviable. 

NOTE: the proper french spelling of this word includes an accent aigu, or a right upward slanting accent over the first e: répertoire. The english spelling omits this. 

image via caseyboudoin.blogspot.com, quoted text via www.merriamwebster.com


happy weekend!

it's friday and i couldn't be more excited! i finally have a full weekend off work and will be celebrating with a little weekend getaway to southern pines! (i'm sure it will be great - but maybe not as great as this little place? i want to be there!)

until monday...

image via flickr


happy birthday, mom!

tonight was my sweet mom's 49th birthday, so we celebrated with a little family party. i had a work obligation after hours, so i put my dad in charge of the main course (he made this fantastic shrimp in a garlic cream sauce over pasta that was seriously fantastic) and i worked on the appetizer and dessert. since i had to work late, both of these dishes were super great because i prepared them ahead of time. i'm rather proud of my successes:

we started the celebration with bruschetta, which i love. i still reek of garlic and fresh basil from all the chopping but it was totally worth it. easiest thing to make ever (seriously. you don't really even need a recipe) and it's so yum. this was my first attempt, but i'll be making this much more often. i could make a meal out of this stuff!

after dinner, we celebrated with warm chocolate melting cake. i am obsessed with this dessert. while cruising in the caribbean this spring, i ordered it for dessert every night. thankfully, most of the other passengers shared my obsession, and on the last night of the trip we were given the recipe by the  maître d'. it, too, is easy to make, and i prepared the batter ahead of time. after dinner, i stuck the ramekins in the oven for about 12 minutes and i had perfectly gooey little soufflés that i spruced up with a strawberry and some ice cream. they were THIS good, if i'm allowed to say so.

so, happy birthday to my stylish, fabulous, beautiful mom! you are so special and i love you!

image via weheartit. i'd love to know who actually photographed marilyn here?


timeless style

tonight my mom reminded me i should watch oprah since my favorite design crush/eye candy nate berkus was on. he discussed ways to keep your home's decor up to date and said that he thought traditional american decor would never go out of style. so i started thinking about what i thought was timeless - what decorative elements have never (and hopefully will never) change with our constantly changing styles, tastes, and inspirations?

so here's my little list, starting with the photo above:

1. lamps - cheap-o lights that hang from the ceiling, florescent lighting, even the cooler-toned energy saving bulbs all change the appearance of a space. they take out the warmth and make the room less inviting. lamps make a space comfortable and are flexible in where they can be placed. they're also beautiful and stylish and are inexpensive ways to change/spruce up a room.

2. natural light - while we're on the topic of light, any space with lots of natural light is better than a darker one. studies show that natural light affects everything from our health to our mood and i don't think this will change any time soon. 

3. bookshelves - last i checked, despite amazon's lame attempt at this ridiculous kindle thing, books haven't gone out of style. in fact, they've been in demand for centuries. and our ways to display/store them has, in turn, been part of our homes as well. regardless of your taste or decorating style, there is a bookshelf for you. there are endless options. and the best part is you get to fill the empty spaces with whatever your heart desires.

4. all white palettes - timeless and beautiful. there's not much else to say. 

5. mirrors - they reflect light, make a space seem larger, and make sure we look as pulled-together as our homes. i'm pretty sure louis XIV made the transition from vanity accessory to decorative piece with his hall of mirrors in the versailles palace, and i'm pretty sure we still like them for both reasons today. 

6. fresh flowers - they're naturally beautiful. and there's nothing more timeless than that.

7. art that inspires you - i know too many people who buy trendy art. these are not the type of wall-hangings i'm talking about. art that is special to you, that inspires you, that reminds you of a special place/feeling/thought/idea/thing will be timeless in your home and, in turn special to your loved ones as well. these pieces may not be timeless by others' standards, but if they're special to you, they'll remain so no matter where they hang in your home. 

so what about you? what elements of design do you think are timeless?

1. flickr 2.decorology 3.purplearea.blogspot.com 4.desiretoinspire.blogspot.com 5.catherinegratwicke via desiretoinspire 6.desiretoinspire 7.anna spiro of absolutelybeautifulthings.blogspot.com



i have a confession to make. i bought a watermelon at trader joe's on sunday. i finished it tonight. that's two days. i ate an entire watermelon (it was a small one, by the way) by myself. the good news is it's probably the most guilt-free snack out there next to celery and sugar-free popsicles. the bad news is i ate an entire watermelon by myself. doesn't really sound like something i should be sharing with people.
but why are watermelons so, so good? i seriously love them. and i'm going to be sad when i can't buy them anymore when summer is over. actually it's going to be just about the only thing i'll miss about the summer.

1.flickr 2.weheartit.com

want to hear some gossip?

fabulous news! anna sui is coming to target! i've loved her designs for a long, long time and now i have the option of actually purchasing some of her pieces! and here's the even cooler news: each of the line's 19 looks are inspired by the four main characters in gossip girl. i can't say that i've ever watched the show faithfully, but when i have tuned in, i've very much enjoyed all the gorgeous fashion-forward looks (especially the dresses!).

i'm personally a fan of blair's style, but some of serena's looks are really cute, too. here are a few of my favorites, all available beginning september 13: 

usually i'd save the best for last, but this shiny little blair-inspired minidress is my favorite.
from blair's collection - cute as a dress, over pants, or tucked into a pencil skirt. 
cargo dress from serena's collecion. i'm not sure if i'd ever wear this, but it's still cute.
love love this serena dress. i would wear this to death at the office.
note: i hate ankle boots and knitted toboggans. without those, this dress is really cute. (from jenny's collection).
i love this whole look. a lot. usually, jenny's style isn't really something i would copy, but i could wear this entire outfit. 

NOTE: some of the looks, not pictured here, are hideously ugly. not anna sui-like at all. vanessa's whole collection is orange and brown and looks like some sort of bad fall decoration from the dollar store. shoppers beware. 

images: 1. community.livejournal.com 2.-7. target lookbook


parlez-vous français?

parlez-vous français? mondays are back! i have a long list of french words for the upcoming weeks. i was recently amused by a friend's misuse of a particular french word with another similar one. the two words below have only the placement of an i to differentiate them, but their definitions are not nearly so close.

brasserie: pronounced bras-air-ee, refers to a large café or restaurant. can also refer to a brewery.

usage example:

1. let's run to the brasserie around the corner and get lunch.

brassiére: pronounced bras-ear, refers to a woman's bra/corset undergarmet.

 usage example:

1. i loved that brassiére at la perla the other day.


clearly these are not words that should be confused but it can easily happen!

until next monday, au revoir

images: 1.ambrosia3 at deviantart.com 2.blackeiffel.blogspot.com 3.flickr


happy wedding weekend!

how gorgeous was the weather today? it was a picture perfect day for my dear friend ann's wedding to her new husband britton. she was such a beautiful bride and i had so much fun celebrating with her, my family, and lots of our friends. my favorite part of the evening was when they did the famous exit, got in the car, drove around the block, and came back to the party! 

have a lovely lazy sunday and i'll see you on monday!

image via oncewed.com


happy birthday to me!

it's been a long couple of months with only a work computer to get me through (which does not allow me the opportunity to read my favorite blogs or download new music)...and i'm so excited that as of today (and thanks to a wonderful birthday present from my parents/grandma), i am the proud new owner of a powerbook g4. it' gorgeous and compact and it doesn't overheat, or randomly shut off and i don't have to restart it every time i lose an internet connection. i can also hold it on my lap without it burning me and i can now actually listen to my music library on itunes without it getting all choppy and stuck. yay!
that also means, that as soon as i get internet installed at the house in the next few days (i may see if i can "borrow" one of my neighbor's until that time) i can begin regular blogging again! i've missed it so much and have lots of fun ideas that have been waiting in the wings.

so here's to the best birthday present i've received in a while! how excited am i?

image via flickr



can we just stop and laugh for a moment that lauren conrad (formerly known as l.c. from mtv's ridiculous reality drama laguna beach, and then lauren on mtv's even more drama-filled spinoff the hills) actually wrote a book?
i guess i can't be too judgemental, i do own the first season of laguna on dvd (i feel i should mention this was a gift, not a purchase), and ocasionally tune in to weekend marathons of the hills. but seriously? a book? and i thought my jennifer weiner novels were guilty pleasures. i can't imagine how much this book must suck. i might be judging lauren a little bit, but i don't really find her too intelligent or intellectual at all. she's cute and dresses better than i could ever dream of dressing (i would enjoy having even 1/4 of her closet), but i basically see her as the rich girl who hasn't really earned much of anything in life.
in case you're curious, you can purchase the book here. and please take a moment to enjoy the "i'm a serious author now" photo of lauren on the back cover:

and i might have just gone on and on about how crappy this book is, but truth be told, i'm probably going to at least read some of it. i could use a good laugh. my books have been far too serious lately.
p.s. regular blog posts starting again next week. finally! i've missed this!