Friday, December 31, 2010

happy new year

Well my friends the time is near.....in about 5 hours we will be greeted by 2011! It's hard to believe the year has come and gone so fast. This past year was filled with closing doors, new beginnings, exciting opportunities, love, growth, courage, and so much more. As always, I have so very much that I want to improve on - so many goals for myself. But as we all know, as life moves on those goals change. So like my dear friend Haley, I look forward to seeing where God leaves me come July.

Here are a couple new years resolutions for myself:
1 - join a woman's bible study
2 - work out 3x a week
3 - read 10 books within the year ( that's a lot for me)
4 - surf.......a lot
5 - become a more patient and trusting person by handing over control to God

Since I'm in Tahoe and writing this on my iPad I am going to have to cut this short. Nonetheless, I am so excited about next year and cannot wait to see what is in store. So for now......we continue on this crazy road called life!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a balboa christmas

So, just like I stated in my previous post.......I'm a total slacker. But I am a woman of my word - thus you will be getting the few pictures I have of my Christmas decorations. I had every intention of taking some quality photographs last weekend.....and then again last night but I have once again failed. Therefore these pictures are yet again from my phone. I REALLY hope to take some pictures before I head out of town tomorrow......but not promises!

Below is the mantel which is the first thing you see when you come through the front door! To the left you can barely see the french doors which lead into the den - this is where the Christmas tree is set up!
This is a very random shot of above the entertainment center in the living room. Typically there are just jars up there but for the holidays I added an assortment of white and silver candles.
A TERRIBLE shot of the tree since you can't see any decorations. I REALLY hope to take a good one before I head out of town. It is decorated with blues, silvers, and birds. I absolutely love my tree (even though Pieter says it looks like a Hanukah tree)!
And what would Christmas be without my sweet Lilly! I'm obsessed with this picture and love how she sits and watches the fire for hours. On a side note - she will be making the trip home with me so no doubt I will have 'adventures with Lilly' stories. I just hope she doesn't cry the whole plane ride!

long overdue

I am in desperate need of updating my blog with photos of my own house. However, every day when I get to work and find time to blog I realize that once again I need to take some pictures.....and since today is my last day at work before the holidays I am kind of stuck with crummy (and outdated) pictures from my phone. These of course are all pictures that I have texted my mom at one point in time, but hey it's better than nothing!
It is because of my two best friends who live in Dallas and DC that I am posting these not so good and random pictures of my house. So......Nikki and Debbee.......this is for you!

This is the bar that sits between the dining and living room!

I have open shelves that run across the entire length of my kitchen (I will have to post a better picture so you can understand the layout of my kitchen - but it's very open). The shelves below have all white items on the top and have all candy jars on the bottom. I love the candy jars because it adds such a whimsical feeling to a modern kitchen and great contrast against the stainless steel counter tops!
Below you see the white continue on the top (from the picture above) and then continued by all clear glasses. The bottom shelf reflects my recent obsession with antique glasses (courtesy of my mother)!

These last two photographs are pictures from my room. The pictures above my bed are vintage calendar prints which I adore and use throughout my home. However, the best part of my room is the closet which I course I don't have any pictures of. It is my favorite part of the house as the closet doors are from the original Ralph Lauren store at Fashion Island. When the store closed they had an auction and the previous owner purchased the doors for the closet. Stay tuned as I will surely post more about them one of these days!

As many of you know I have a total mirror obsession. There are mirrors in every room of my house! Mirrors not only make spaces look larger but they also add a hint of glamour to something as simple as a wall or hallway. This huge mirror in my room helps add character and contrasts against the chic closet mirrors which extend the length of an entire wall (j'adore)!
That's all for now folks! I know this is has been very random, but hopefully I have made two friends of mine very happy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

all you need is love

For months now I have been admiring this sign/wall art in the window of a local boutique. However, due to it's large price tag I continued to pass by never making it my own....


I am now thrilled to say that this lovely piece of art is now mine! Luck would have it that Pieter had secretly been watching me eye the piece, so this year for Christmas this is what he gave me. I love it! I didn't happen to take my own photograph but found this kinda janky one online, so for now it will do!


Stay tuned for pictures of this in my home! I will officially consider this my 2nd post holiday update (the wreath was 1st)!

year round wreaths

As Christmas draws near I can't help but think how sad I am going to be when taking down my decorations. Is it pathetic that I might like my home better with holiday decorations?!? All the garland, wreaths, lights, candles, and ornaments make my house seem so very cozy!

Therefore, I have officially decided that I need to make a few modifications around my home (post-holidays) to keep things fresh and warm. For starters I am going to order a new year-round wreath for the front door. Since I live on the water I am tempted to go beachy-chic to match the interior of my home but am slightly on the fence about this.
Normally there is a copper shell that hangs on the front door but to me it is too static and cold. I hope this wreath change will be the first of many fab changes to come!

Friday, December 17, 2010

o holy night

I was recently inspired by an email I received from my sweet friend Debbee. It was a gentle reminder of what Christmas is really about along with the lyrics of O Holy Night. As I meditated on those lyrics I was so touched and left in such awe.

I am one of those people who lyrics really speak to. Overwhelmed by the words of others that so often describe something I am or once went through. But the lryics below are something we can only try to fathom and struggle to grap. Yet the divine night leaves us speechless and our earthly bodies left with an out of body experience.

It is these lyrics that leave me refreshed and inspired. I feel a new burst of excitement to take on the rest of my Friday as well as an overall happiness and thankfulness. How thankful I am for a heavenly father who gave us sweet baby Jesus on this holy and divine night!

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things

While St. Patrick's Day and 4th of July are my favorite holidays there is just something about Christmas. It is the contagious energy in the air, the way people smile at you at just the moment you need it, and the spirit of giving. There is truly nothing like Christmas time.

If I were to have Julie Andrews sing a song of my favorite things they would definitely include: peppermint hot chocolate, cozy homes with fires, walks on brisk nights, twinkling holiday lights, decorating sugar cookies, canned food drives, crisp wrapping paper, silver candles that glisten, letters to Santa, Christmas tree lots, generous spirits, sending cards to loved ones, Mariah Carey music, making beef stew, attending festive parties, endless surprises, and of course snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes!

This is the time of year where spirits are high, hearts are generous, and if you watch closely enough people just may surprise you! It is all of these things that have led to a fabulous week and what will be a perfect Saturday. After a very competitive food drive at work (winner has yet to be determined) I am looking forward to a Saturday full of photographing my house for this blog, making beef stew, making and decorating sugar cookie, making and packing granola for my dear friends, wrapping gifts, making peppermint hot chocolate, watching Love Actually, and attending the annual Christmas Boat Parade. Since the weather will be cold, dreary, and rainy…..I think this is just what the season has ordered.

With pictures in the works of my decorated home, I figured I would leave you with a few of my inspirations…..
But above the cookies and decorations, presents and lights......the most important thing to remember is that Jesus is the reason for the season. The season of laughter, cheer, grace, and glee! Happy Birthday Jesus.......thank you for your birth, love, and sacrifice!

Monday, December 13, 2010

creative bunking

For the last week I have been a terrible blogger – and for that I apologize. In an attempt to recover from my illness I have lost all motivation to be inspired and therefore inspiring. All I can seem to think about is going home and falling asleep…..geez you would think I have mono or something. So since catching some 'zzzzz' is on my mind I thought I would share these adorable multi sleeper rooms.

While I hated sharing a room with my sister for about….1 month (yes, there is a story behind that), I can say that I never would have complained had I been pampered with a super cool sleeping arrangement like the photos below. Now that's what I call creative bunking!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

inspired by santa

We all know how opinionated I am when it comes to holiday d├ęcor. However, it doesn't have to cost a fortune to achieve simple looks with classy style. In this case, there's nothing a little sugar, ornaments, and clothes pins can't solve! There are so many crafty tricks that add a touch of holiday spice without going overboard. Most of the time I pick up these "do it yourself" tips from Martha Stewart or Real Simple, but this time I've managed to gather a few of my own ideas as well as some inspiration from other bloggers.

Clever and reusable! These adorable cookie cutters are designed for the edge of a glass! Now why didn't I think of that!
This cookie cutter sets creates an entire nativity scene. Not only are you saving money but also storage as you can recreate the cookies each year! Plus you can decorate them differently each year to create an updated look!
A yummy way to give a gift! Use gingerbread men as gift tags. Bake or buy the cookies and then pipe individual names and attach to presents!
Let it snow! Attach vanilla waffers to a styrofoam cone using a hot glue gun. Start layering the cookies from the bottom up to create these festives trees and top with powered sugar!
Attach ornaments or decals to clothes pins and hang festive greetings. This is a perfect activity for kids especially if they are learning to spell (consider changing up the messaging on a weekly basis). Ideal for windows, play rooms, and mantels!
Let your friends and family do the decorating for you! Spice up your stairway by attaching string to either end of garland. Then hang your christmas cards with clothes pins as you receive them in the mail!
If you're like me then you change the look of your tree on an annual basis. This of course means that there are ample ornaments hanging around begging to be used (if you're not like me visit the dollor section in Target). Attach ornament to stryofoam shapes and place in pots, vases, or use as center pieces!

belief

Without belief we have nothing.

Belief in an unfathomable heavenly father. Belief in each breath we take – and is not promised to us. Belief in a child-like understanding of Santa. Belief in the power of painting. Belief in love. Belief in fate. Belief in the understanding that everything happens for a reason. Belief that nothing goes un-noticed. Belief that God is good and people are nutty. Belief that laughter can heal. Belief that the snow will fall. Belief in a cure. Belief in world peace. Belief in the gift of imagination. Belief in the circle of life. Belief in the miracle of birth. Belief in our inability to understand everything. Belief in the faithfulness of family and friends. Belief in ancient ruins. Belief that people can change. Belief in getting lost in a book. Belief that if it's not okay then it's not the end. Belief that the people who love you the most will hurt you the most. Belief in the purpose of each life. Belief in the passion of our leaders. Belief in the ocean tide. Belief in our ability to let things go. Belief in butterflies. Belief in the motivation of a toddler. Belief that one tear can change everything. Belief in becoming a better person with each passing day. Belief in the people who make you smile. Belief in truth.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the thankful list

I am thankful for my Lilly bug and the joy she brings me each day and the sleep she deprives me of. I am thankful for my daddy's love for our family (he is our glue), his patience, and infinite support in me in all that I do. I am thankful for my mom's love of balboa, family pride, protective heart, and for loving Lilly almost as much as I do (she is a wonderful Nanna). I am thankful I get to see my sissy every day and her passion for the Bank girls, Lilly, and anything medically related. I am thankful for my bubba, that God gave me a brother who brings more joy, passion, and godliness to my life than anyone I know. I am thankful for the safety and health of my family. I am thankful that I have amazing friends to pray with (Kalee), double date with (Kristina), drink with (Cher), talk real with (Haley), love with (Debbee), giggle with (Nikki), gchat with (Courtney), trust my secrets with (Jen), celebrate with (Amanda), party with (Jackie), dance with (Sara), catch up with (Corey). I am thankful for getting to see Debbee and Nikki this year. I am thankful for a job that I love and learn from. I am thankful the republicans have taken over the house. I am thankful for Rose's coffee. I am thankful for Sunday bike rides. I am thankful for afternoons at the tide pools. I am thankful for walks on the beach. I am thankful for sweet Samantha Grace. I am thankful for Jordan's protection and brotherly-like love. I am thankful for Chipotle. I am thankful for my beautiful home where I can relax and be at peace with life. I am thankful for beautiful little Audrey who I sponsor and the heart wrenching letters her mom sends me. I am thankful for falling in love again. I am thankful for Pieter and the man he was for me and the Godly woman he encouraged me to be. I am thankful for the constant work God is doing in my heart – growing me, shaping me, challenging me, breaking me. I am thankful for my faith and that it never weavers. I am thankful for an incredible year of laughs, memories, change, and smiles!

tantalizing stripes

My fall wardrobe has recently begun to reflect a lot of stripes. Therefore it is only appropriate that I would be attracted to stripes in some unique and savvy spaces!

Stripes can be both masculine and feminine. I for one definitely prefer masculine stripes in a feminine space. Okay….let me back up a little. Feminine stripes are skinny, narrow, delicate, and dainty. Perfect for a shabby chic space, baby nursery, or more ornate space. Masculine stripes are thick, bold, abrasive, and often times horizontal.

Now, stripes work the same way in rooms and they do on your body. I love how the rules of fashion carry over into design! So….if you want emphasize the height of a room (or make it seem taller than it is) then be sure to use vertical stripes. If you want your room to feel more robust then horizontal is definitely the way to go – this treatment makes a smaller space seem larger than it actually is since the stripes carry your eyes infinitely. Below are some successful examples of these tantalizing stripes!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

dates on a calendar

Sometimes the things that inspire me most are not tangible things at all but instead dates on a calendar. At this particular moment in my life that date for me is tomorrow – the day the original gossip girls reunite!

Tomorrow afternoon I will land in Dallas where I will be greeted by my BFF Nikki! I know this may not seem like a big deal to most people (that's fine I get it), but when you are used to working with a person, drinking margaritas with them every Wednesday, and buying the same clothes as them the 1,300 mile distance becomes unbearable. Therefore we intend to do the very things together that we used to….back in our gossip girl days (of course I am Blair and Nikki is Serena). Although I must add that when we took our gossip girl quizzes I actually ended up with Serena and Nikki with Blair – who would have thought!

So back to dates that make us happy! They seem like simple markings on a paper or perhaps a computer but they are in fact driving forces in our lives. Sometimes they are the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes they are the drive to finish decorating your home, or in my current case…..the drive to clean your home! My wonderful family is coming in town for the holiday week and I cannot wait!

And then there is my sister! Today is the date that has been on her calendar for what seems like forever. The date that drove her to pass her Pharma exam (she will be mad that I don't know the exact name) so that she could go to the Harry Potter premiere tonight!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

audrey inspiration


"I believe in pink, I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles." Audrey Hepburn

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

kids corner

There are two types of women in this world: women who dream of one day becoming a mom and woman who eventually embrace having children as a means of creating a family. I however am the first woman (by default only). The one who has dreamed about how I would decorate my daughter's room or how I only want boys because I want them to love me forever. Aside from constantly changing my 'reserved baby name list,' I am always looking at clever way to decorate for children.

As a creative child myself I would have loved an art room or play station like the one below. A place to draw, paint, create, and live within my own imagination. Although most families have bonus rooms I feel they are rarely capitalized on to create a full kid zone. I get it though….kids grow up so fast and what was once impressive to a 6 yr old is no longer impressive to a 9 yr old. Still, how can you not look at these creative spaces and fall in love?!?

This is by far my favorite craft corner! Can you say obsessed?!?!

I adore tents in playrooms and especially love this one!

Simply deliighted by the cubbies, chalkboards, play island, and use of storage bins!

This bright latern light cluster is simply luminous! How colorfully clever!

This space is simply sweet and relaxing. Oversized animals are always a plus!

Monday, November 15, 2010

kitchen krazed

I've always had a love for cooking....even as a young child. I believe I was 11 years old when I asked for a crepe pan for Christmas – I mean really?!?! So of course to this day I naturally gravitate towards any kitchen I can get my hands on.

I have a fabulous modern-vintage kitchen at home, so that combined with the amazing fall weather has given me an itch to cook more than ever. I constantly find myself on the Food Network website searching for the latest beef stew, chicken chili, or pumpkin bread recipe. This need to cook has thus spiraled into a continuous daydream about what my ideal kitchen would look like and function as.

This however brings me to realize something about myself. For the first time in my life I don't really know what I want. I'm in this limbo stage in just about every aspect of my life which is both exciting and eye-opening all at once. It's almost like I have no expectations for anything so I am therefore open to everything. I've always been so stubborn in my ways that I haven't left much room for interpretation or opinions, and for the first time I am realizing that I truly do find happiness in just about everything.

Of course this was all brought about on my quest for the perfect kitchen. Turns out when you are in limbo (as I'm choosing to call it) there is no perfect kitchen. This of course makes my search that much more interesting as I am drawn to so many different materials, looks, moods, and everything else that a kitchen encompasses. Therefore, I have selected a few (okay maybe a few more than a few) kitchens that make my heart smile!


love: lighting. banquet. chic bar stools. curtains. antiqued cabinets. beige subway tile.
love: robins egg cabinets. secret door to office space. butcher block island.

love: stone arch. accented back splash. dark floors. ceiling beams.

love: exposed brick, blue tile, lustrous cabinets. round table. contemorary lighting.
love: white subway tile (duh). sleek lines. stainless hardware. contrasting counters.

love: contemporary red stools. traditional chandelier. stainless appliances. rustic farmhouse table.

love: mustard/white tiling. marble countertop. teal cabinet interior.
 

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