Clever Girl

How clever is this? Copy Cat Chic, which I've written about before, is featured in July's Better Homes & Gardens issue recreating their design bedroom for less than $1000! Here is the luxe room:

Visit Copy Cat Chic to see her style board for the chic-for-less version!

I seriously might start doing this for myself. Copying high-end rooms I love, for cheap. 

P.S. The florist shop I was working for had a subscription to Better Homes & Gardens. I totally thought this was a granny magazine, but it's not! It has interior design, fashion, gardening, and cooking tips. Check it out yourself!

P.P.S. "Clever girl" is my favorite quote from one of my all-time favorite movies. Know which one it is?


High-Heeled Foot in the Door

High-Heeled Foot in the Door is the blog brainchild of a hardworking, young interior designer who has helpful, inexpensive and often DIY (do-it-yourself) tips for those who aren't in the custom-made design category yet. Someday! 

Here's a clever tip for no-sew roman shades that look very chic. Caveat: they are stapled in place, so cannot move. HHFITD installed cheap rolling white shades behind them that are functional but hidden. 

Photo via

Have a room with windows that you don't feel like buying drapes for? Try this quick and good-looking alternative!

Full directions HERE!

As Uszh

Our plans this past weekend were to maybe go to a fundraiser at an acquaintance's house for part of Saturday afternoon and then hit the big time flea market, Elkhorn, Sunday morning. 

As uszh, somehow we managed to take up every second of our time. Friday Jon decided last minute to meet friends at Summerfest "'til about 9 - I'm just so tired." That translated to 11:30 PM. I went with a friend to a different fundraiser she was committed to - a 24-hour walk for cancer where she was pencilled in for the 9 - 10 PM slot. Instead, we had to peel ourselves away at 10:45 PM after realizing the team leader (who neither of us knew) expected us the full 24 hours. Saturday included errands, the World Cup game, dragging a furious Jon into the car to get to the afternoon wine tasting fundraiser (as he was missing the last 20 minutes of overtime) for yet another cancer organization, and driving 35 minutes to Greenfield. As the first ones to arrive - this happens all the freaking time here! - we slipped out at 7, came home, ate dinner and passed out.

Only to arise at 5:45 AM on Sunday, make breakfast and jump in the car for the 50 minute drive to get to Elkhorn as its doors opened at 7. Oh, but it was worth it. 5 hours later we crawled back into the car for the drive home and a nap before hitting up Summerfest for the B.B. King concert with Jon's boss. Monday = exhaustion. Check out some of the goodies bought and found at Elkhorn:

Colored glass. My obsession continues. Difficult to find blue!
Such a chic mirror,  but overpriced.
Bombs en route to becoming lamps.
Wanted this blue carafe - it has two "spouts" on either side of the mouth, and a depressed center. It was a beautiful, recycled teal color and would work wonderfully as a carafe or a vase.
Victorian coat hooks
Dried coral. I just couldn't bring myself to buy them - clearly this many were gotten by ill means (leave the coral in the water!). I did consider the tiny rowboat, but Jon vetoed.
A bear toy from the 1920s for $800. It was really neat. Maybe if we had won the lottery. 
And the one purchase I did make - a footed Haeger ceramic vase painted with 22 karat "spun" gold and standing 14" high. The turquoise and gold look beautiful together. I'm imagining a massive cloud of hydrangeas at the top. 

Obviously we were expecting to get much more (Jon bought a 1950s reproduction of a New York sea view and a pork sandwich), so we will definitely be returning for August's market. It downpoured for 2 hours on Sunday, forcing the outdoor dealers - many of whom are the furniture dealers - to pack up and leave. Sad, sad news for me. I'll just have to get double next time!


B.B. King

Jon had free tickets to see blues legend B.B. King at Summerfest last night and who am I to turn anything free down? (Seriously.) Especially as B.B. is 84 years old, the poster child for diabetes and not walking too spritely. His voice and guitar, however, were ageless.

Here is a horrendous Blackberry photo from our camera with B.B. not 50 feet away and us perfectly situated next to the water, in the breeze, and being served wine and food by a waitstaff and away from the ridiculous crowds. [Locals description of Summerfest? You haven't really been until you've seen a fight. Check.]  

That would be Jon's boss sitting in the shaded section on the stage to the left of B.B. and his band. We also spied Brewers player Rickie Weeks in our midst. And everyone in shorts, Tevas and the occasional fanny pack. A crowd better fitting Great America, chilling in the VIP section of the world's biggest music festival. Got to love the Midwest. 


Meet Summerfest

Milwaukee hosts the largest music festival in the world each year, and Summerfest kicked off last night with a ton of bands (Tim McGraw, Sheryl Crow and the Wailers, among others) and the "big bang" fireworks. Since Jon's company is a sponsor for one of the smaller stages, we are in current possession of 12 admission tickets, 2 VIP passes to the Captain's Deck lounge (free drinks and breathing room from the complete overload of the sweaty, underdressed masses) and a parking pass for a lot directly next door to the entrance. With thousands upon thousands of people (and cars) in attendance, guess which excites us the most? Heck yes, it's the parking!

I may have asked Jon if we could see Justin Bieber next week. What? That's better than seeing the Idol tour in my book. I want to dance and see his shaggy hair-bangs swing back and forth! But Jon said no. Sigh. Maybe next year. 

It's official - summer's here! And so is the 'fest!

[Fantastic update! We're seeing BB King on Sunday . . . an hour after Justin Bieber goes on the main stage. Standing as close to the Marcus Theater entrance without actually purchasing a headliner ticket and entering? Happening!]


Summer School

So, after my French (bad) and Sewing (great) classes ended in May, I signed up for two more Milwaukee Recreation summer offerings: Flower Design and Cake Decorating. 'Why not?' is my personal motto at this point. Move to Milwaukee where you know no one? Why not? Take part-time job as a bucket cleaner at a florist shop? Why not? Subject self to intense 4 hour interview for associate-level job? Why not?

Cake Decorating doesn't start for a few weeks, but I had Flower Design last night. The reason behind this particular class was A) I can't have worked in a florist shop and still make arrangements similar in look to kindergarteners free-forming it while high on pixie sticks, B) I still make arrangements similar to said kindergarteners high on pixie sticks, C) I will never mention this class to my former boss and instead pretend I picked this talent up osmosis-style while de-thorning 200 Sunset roses a day. 

Looks like this will be a good class (though taste level of classmates is most definitely questionable, particularly noted after they heartily agreed to a lesson devoted to making a flower birthday cake and POODLE). I am sure the frozen smile on my face looked sincere. Here is my first arrangement - garden-style - as my instructor called it:

Sisters and friends take note: one lesson is planned for bouquet-making!

Classic with A Vintage Flourish on BBT!

Check out Providence Classic's wedding design board on Boutonnieres & Bow Ties!



Scalloped Mirror on sale at PB Teen for $129.00


We had a full-fledged tornado watch on Monday night. As in, wailing city-wide emergency alarm and Una, Veloc and I chilling in the basement until 10:15 PM while the craziest lightning storm raged outside. The tornado destroyed six houses in a city south of us and damaged 100. Here's a visual of what the landscape looks like:

This is something altogether new for us and apparently a common warning in the summers of Wisconsin. Also interesting? When it rains, as it did tsunami-style, it is difficult to see the actual tornado (near impossible, apparently). So you have no idea the dang thing's coming 'til your roof lifts off or a car flies by the basement window. 

A Bloom family first. 

And It Keeps On Coming

It's not like we schedule this stuff, it just happens. Last night Jon and I were invited to a suite at the Brewers - Twins baseball game. Which was ah-mazing! 

Food, wine, air conditioning (dang, it was hot yesterday) and the stadium's secret hot dog sauce. We were almost rocked in the face by two fly balls (one bounced off the speaker hanging directly above our heads!) and a guy sitting right next to the neon beer seller in the pic above actually caught another one. PLUS, a souvenir from my favorite part of every game, the sausage race. AKA, I don't think I can return to any other seats at Miller Stadium at this point.

This is Italian Sausage chilling, and looking fairly alarmed, in his new home slash our house. He is quite flamboyant with fluttering hands, a bow tie and Luigi mustache. He never wins - until last night! I swear, our host made me take this doll home. 

And lastly, here's a picture of the new rental place in Bay View, two blocks west of Lake Michigan. We have the whole house and move in mid-July. Can't wait! The day we show up with our furniture will also be the first time Jon lays eyes on the joint. Good thing he trusts me!

For rent no more!


Time for a Cookie

Today I had a 4 hour interview for an associate position at a non-profit in Milwaukee.

Repeat: 4 hours.

Three one-on-ones and one panel interview. At this point, I could probably take Obama down in an impromptu debate on, oh, anything. Bring it on, questions!

I've never spoken so much about myself in my life. On that note, I think it's time for a cookie.



I mean, really

We packed it in this weekend like a Griswold wagon heading to Wally World. Saturday: 5:45 AM wakeup call and yard sale poster hanging across East Side. 7:00 AM layout of items for sale in our pebble driveway, as we do not have a front yard. 8 - 12:30 PM extremely chic yard sale comprised of awkward conversations with nosy and too talkative neighbors who purchase our castoffs. (Most popular item? Music CDs, such as Enya. I mean, who even has a CD player anymore?) 12:30 PM packup of leftover items to donate to Salvation Army. 1:30 - 6:30 PM feverish cleaning, maintenance and de-Houstonizing of yard, table setup and cooking for evening cocktail party for 20+ people. Necessary solo early wine drinking due to stress and exhaustion. 7:00 PM house finally ready and first guest arrives (yay, late guests!). Wisconsin drinking commences, along with a guest's personal vow to assist finishing the massive 1.5 liter bottle of vodka we have purchased (its twin sister is waiting in the kitchen cupboard in preparation for this exact scenario). We find ourselves at a bar down the street at 1:00 AM drinking pinot noir champagne and eating mussels as a friend toasts our move to Milwaukee and new friendships. After another friend falls over into the restaurant's mulch garden, we announce it is our bedtime. Superb night.

Sunday. (I need a nap just writing this!) Wakeup at 6:00 AM. Most likely still inebriated; begin feverish cleaning as we head to Chicago at 8:00 AM and our landlord has advised us at the last minute that she will be showing the place while we are gone. Nothing rents a house like the stench of warm beer and enough empty wine bottles to build a recycled bridge across Lake Michigan! Throw our bathing suits on and some leftover wine (hah, gifts from our guests - our supply was long gone) and "puppy chow" (Midwestern snack - a necessary later post) in the car at ten past 8 and hit the road for Chicago. 10:15 step boatside and spend the next 7 hours on a gorgeous motor boat in perfect weather with one of my college best friends and her fiance, tasty sangria and the city skyline. Swim in the questionably clean lake and return home at 7:30 with a sunburn and summer smiles. Una's asleep by 8:30 PM while Houston and I watch the Next Food Network Star and chillax in silence. 

Monday: Wakeup at 4:45 AM and back to the regular routine. A stellar weekend all around.



Jazz in the Park 2010

We caught the last Jazz in the Park in September right after I arrived, and finally got around to this summer's series last night! Wow, is it so much bigger than I remembered. Milwaukee is pretty great for music and family outings - free live music, plenty of food, beer and booze, and perfect weather with the lake in the distance. Check out the number of people in this small park where JITP is held, right in the heart of downtown:

As usual, 'Sconsinites don't just plop down to drink their beer. Hell no. This requires seats for each person attending, a side table for your drink, preferably a coffee table for your food and wine bottles, and candles for atmosphere. 

Socializing outdoors is an art form here.

Sale at WS Home

Williams Sonoma Home - that place I'd love to buy from, and might be able to when I'm 65 and receiving social security checks from the government. If they still have social security, which they probably won't. 

Anywho, I am always ready to peruse their sales in case something comes within my range. Their quality is great (vouched for by my interior designer friend, Sara) and their styles timeless. 

Wing Chair for $950.00 - head seats at a dining table? Seriously cool.

Colonial Accent Chair for $950. Okay, if I had a grand to burn, I'd buy this and possibly paint the wood and caning a fun, bright color (like coral or Hermes orange). Or you can keep it as is, and it would meld seamlessly with any color combination you have in your home. I would tame the tropical vibe by keeping it as the only 'island' reference in a room.

Cosmopolitan Coffee Table for $750.00 - a little Upper East Side, a lot classic. Funk it up with a cool tray and modern art books.

Cashmere Throw for $198.00 - I have been wanting one of these forever! (I even had it on my wedding registry!) Sigh, one of these days. The colors are great. Yes Lemon Drop, yes Deep Coral, yes Dark Taupe, yes Ivory. I don't think you could ever have too many.

Warwick Garden Seat for $148.00. This puppy is in my range - but careful, not for actual seating. A side table with great texture. A beach-inspired guest bedroom? So cute!

Outdoor Geometric Rug at $225.00 for 5' x 7' size. Who said you can't use it indoors? Take it inside and cleaning will be a cinch!

(I also love this Outdoor Maze Rug, not on sale, but still between $125 - $395.00. Enough shopping for me today!)

Happy Friday everyone!


Doody-Ball Teeth Part 3: Meet the Halfling

On Tuesday I had my root canal, or one half of it since I still have to schedule the crown fitting. The exact root canal the last dentist (yup, this is a new one - I could part-time as a human Yellow Book on Milwaukee dentistry at this point) said was a low priority, and that instead another tooth would likely up and die before this one needed help (along with the information that my left front tooth would eventually go silver, courtesy of the ancient filling behind it). 

Well, that other tooth is clinging on admirably, and since the front tooth has yet to go pirate on me, I focused on the fact that I had serious pain shooting into my left eyeball. Did that stop me from eating? Of course not. Did that require medicinal help? Oh yes. Wink.

Now that the pain has finally stopped and my credit card is maxed to the brim with the root canal (no dental insurance for us, which would probably be fine for those normal people who require one trip to the dentist a year -  overachievers!), I am temporarily swanning around with 1/3 of an upper molar. 

My "halfling" tooth, if you will. Jon, obviously, thinks this is terrific news and has taken to interrupting our conversations with requests to see if Frodo is all right.

Providence Classic on Boutonnieres & Bow Ties!

Check it out!

P.S. Have no idea what's going on with the format problems!


West Elm Sale Steals!

The classic table and desk - the Parsons - in mini form, starting at $129.99. Perfect for a small apartment!
Organic frayed edge sheets - love that detail! Is it weird if I say they look so soft?
Dip-dye pillow covers for $19.00. A nice play on the ikat trend that has been everywhere.
Recycled glass carafe for $9.99 - yes, please! Pretty and so inexpensive - put right next to the guest bed (or yours).

Bon shopping!


Beer Run Part 2

Photos of this illustrious marathon of drinking and running, which Una did take part in! Second jog of the year! Though he was sweating profusely and out of his element, he powered through with a big cup of beer and made it to the end. True determination. 

First pit stop. Luckily two out of the four stops had quality dark beer. Miller Lite substitutes as water for the Milwaukee populace, but I just cannot seem to grow on the taste. Have I said those words outside of the house? Never! Public shaming and brat stoning would follow.

Band and dancing to keep our tired spirits up. I was almost ready throw in the bar towel at this point, but the tuba saved me. Phew!

Hydration stop. Note the big cup.

Lucha Libre fighters hard at it.

Sweet success! The festival awaited our exhausted bodies at the race's end, ready to replenish us with more beer, margaritas and free beef jerky.

Sunday Funday indeed. Obviously we'll be doing this again next year, ideally in costume.

P.S. In the second to last photo, the man in the background appears to be doing the slowest jog in the history of Nike. I am fairly sure a two year old takes bigger walking steps in a bunchy diaper than he does. To be fair, he was probably exhausted from the effort of drinking and moving his legs at the same time while wearing black sneakers and white ankle socks. I would be.


Beer Run


1.8 miles of jogging in the warm heat of mid-day Milwaukee with fellow Locust Street Festival enthusiasts.

Runners in Lucha Libre masks, a frog outfit, tutus, a banana costume, wigs, mustaches, and capes galore.

Mid-street sprinklers, corner bands and cheering neighbors.

4 pit stops of beer chugging mania.

Not a water in sight.

AKA, the best workout of my life.


Modern, Elegant Groom by Providence Classic

on Boutonnieres & Bow Ties:

Get Your Lonny Fix Today!

The newest issue of Lonny is out

One of my very best friends, Charlotte, is a designer at Kate Spade - check out some of her fantastic jewelry creations on page 222. Woo hoo!


Pouf! I love these knitted poufs, available through ferm LIVING in small, medium and large for $105.95 - $163.95. Like fluffy gumdrops. Great colors - perfect for a kid's room!
cb2 also has an inexpensive pouf for $79.95 in grey or blood orange.


On Sale

Great finds on sale at Ballard Designs:

Nailhead Mirror for $99.99
Chase Sconce (so sleek in a modern or masculine bedroom) for $79.99

 Rope Mirror for $79.99 (the nautical obsession continues)

Green Medallion Drapes starting at $44.99 - adorable pattern!

Happy shopping!


Paperless Post

I've mentioned my love of stationery before. I try to be as eco-conscious as I can in our daily life, but by no means am I perfect. And stationery, by nature, is a waste of trees. That is, if you haven't met my friend, Paperless Post!

Paperless Post is an online custom stationery company that lets you create personalized e-cards. Savvy eco-minders, they email your missives to your recipients. Thank yous, moving notices, party invites - they've got them all. The cost? Free sign-up and a fee of one 'stamp' per email address (bought in bundles and 13 cents at most for each), and if you want to include a decorative liner in the envelope, which of course you do, a fee of 1 'coin' per liner (20 cents). I've used this service for a bachelorette, a bridal shower invite and our upcoming 'summer cocktails.' Apparently so has Houston.

She is so grounded.


I Will Take One of These

Chanel Resort 2011
Love the shoes, the rings and the drop-waist ruffles. Nightgown meets beach wear in Cannes. 
Um, yes.

Two Strangers

 Happy Birthday, Ashley!
They don't look alike at all. I mean, strangers? Mailman's children? Stork delivery?
Una's gorgeous younger sister, the aspiring and talented actress, whose birthday it is today. Rip it up in NYC!

Snapshot of a Weekend

Oh, the thrills of our Milwaukee life.

Friday: Jon is home prepping for Saturday's test and while I am out for a run manages to eat a bowl of Rice Krispies cereal, two rolls of spicy tuna sushi and a chocolate ice cream bar. For breakfast.

That night I meet up with Erika, otherwise known as "Superior" (my fellow florist who - at 23 - whipped my derriere at everything but bucket cleaning), and we head to Verge Music Festival, a concert of up-and-coming and alternative bands. Saw The Championship (local band - will now be stalking them), Crash Kings (lead singer = Jack White meets Billy Joel), Reni Lane (um . . . special) and She & Him. Everyone was there for She & Him, which led the promoters to shadow the rest of the band in creepy red lighting, including "Him," the incredibly talented M. Ward, and to turn the spotlight and volume up on just Zooey Deschanel to the point that all you could hear was gurgle. Yes, gurgle. We went as far back from the stage as we could in order to make sense of the mash of words. Girlfriend needs to step up the performance or stick to her day job (even though her voice rocks and is super unique). On the plus side, her hair also rocks. Sweet bangs.

Saturday: Jon had created a detailed schedule (6:00 AM wakeup; 7:15 double espresso with a drop of milk and 1/2 of a Splenda; 12:05 arrival with bag lunch and second espresso - you get the idea) that I diligently adhered to until 5:05 PM when he collapsed into the car from exhaustion. With no test results for 3 months he's off the hook from studying and also finally off the wagon. It's about dang time. I need a drinking partner and Houston and her water bowl just aren't cutting it.

Since it poured buckets Saturday night we decided to see a movie, which Jon, as Special Man of the Day, picked. AKA "Splice" with Adrien Brody-where-have-you-been-since-The-Pianist and Sarah Polley-that-indie-chick-with-the-big-eyes, about genetic scientists creating a human-animal hybrid. AKA horrendous. AKA never seeing it again in my life. AKA if the words "you just had sex with a reptile" and "then that reptile has now switched sexes and is attacking your girlfriend" sound appealing, I suggest you sprint to the theater. Scarred. Horrific. Furious. Thank God for buttered popcorn. I had a bag to myself.

Sunday: After awaking at 4:30 for the past month, we slept in to a lazy 6:30 AM. For the first time in the history of our relationship - I typed that lefty style with my right hand on a Bible, friends - Jon went on a run with me. And when asked if this could become a routine announced to me: Yes. Once a year. 

I capped this day off with breaking my phone for the second time this year and officially re-catching whatever Jon has been sick with all week. I can barely swallow. You know what feels best for a sore throat? Ice cream. 

I hear Dairy Queen opens at 10.


June 4

Today is both a wonderful and sad day. It is my father's birthday (don't worry, Dad - I won't say the number, though you certainly don't look your age) and it is also the date of our dear friend Landon's passing, one year ago. 

Happy birthday, Dad - I wouldn't be here without you! (Literally.) Celebrate with a Narragansett beer! Or three.

And Landon, we miss you. So much. It's just not the same without you.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe weekend. Give your loved ones a hug. Life is short.


Check Me Out!

Providence Classic Groom's Board #1:
Providence Classic Groom's Board 1Providence Classic Groom's Board 1 by Providence Classic

What do an Indian Summer and Italian designers have to do with each other? 

See the full post here!