The Tree

Sucked it up this afternoon and drove to my favorite tree-seller (I checked out 4 operations last year, before deciding Kellner's on Humboldt had the best prices and selection). 'Pretty' is resting on the porch in a bucket of water as tiny flurries come down and waits only for Una to arrive home and dress it in lights. And though it is certainly not green-friendly, having a Christmas tree is one of the few things I am resolved to do every year. It makes me feel like a kid again.  

As for the artificial kind? Love 'em, and on the hunt for a good one. You can never have enough trees. Woo hoo! Break out the bubbly and let the holiday season begin!


I try to stay away from the Brangelina gossip - they're weird, I feel bad for their poor kids (dragged all over the world and stalked by photographers), and while Angelina is one of the most beautiful and charitable women on the planet, something about her just irritates me (perhaps it's the world's worst British accent, Tomb Raider)

Anywho, then I saw Shiloh's shoes. Girlfriend does not mess around - zebra suede boots. Love it!

Via Popsugar.com

Supposed to Snow Today

It's been near 50 degrees the past few days. I was keeping my fingers crossed it would continue right on to April. 


Last day of November, Christmas decor has covered Milwaukee ground (yet to see anything Hanukkah related) and I still don't have a tree. Ahem. But my holiday gift lists are almost done! Favorite time of year, when I'm supposed to shop. Back to my homework - have to present on my final paper's thesis tomorrow. Nope, have no idea what it is. Super.

P.S. Gossip Girl rocked last night. 


Luggage Snob

Oh man, do I hate rolling suitcases. They are so ugly. Practical, yes (beyond belief), but pretty? Hideous. Even those Louis Vuitton rollers - not doing it for me. Instead, I long for the days when people traveled with trunks. A Goyard set with my monogram - why yes, I'd love that! And a butler to tote it all, thank you very much.

Well, Jon finally broke me down this past weekend and bought a small black rolling suitcase as a carry-on. This, of course, is his bag (as I will not claim ownership . . . though I am considering tracking down the chicest luggage tag I can find to dial down the hein factor). 

Reading the airline mags on our way home, I found Steamline Luggage. (What? SkyMall is hilarious and also genius at the same time.) These roller bags call to mind the steamer luggage bags of old, with a few modern conveniences. 

The Ambassador

The Aviator

The Editor
Photos via SteamlineLuggage.com

Those makeup/vanity cases are adorable. And certain styles are on sale for up to 40% off. Know anyone that needs a suitcase makeover? Head on over to steamlineluggage.com. 


Gobble, Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Did I need to eat crescent rolls after a full dinner, appetizers, several desserts and a few deviled eggs (what? I love them)? No. But I did. Thank the good Lord for stretch pants. Now that's what I'm thankful for.



This is what my friend Sunny calls Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. She rereads the full succession of books before each movie opening and has already seen HP7 twice since it's opening on Thursday (including the midnight showing). She is a true fan and made me so excited to see it, Jon and I sucked it up and bought general admission tickets to a Friday showing at 9:30 PM. We were anticipating the worst: screaming tweens, costumes and at least one lightning scar.

Nada. College kids and older folks, in fact. After waiting for 35 minutes to get good seats (we were 3rd in line), we settled in for the two and half hour movie. Which was awesome. So well done. Even Una said he couldn't wait to see Part 2 in July. 

Plans to see it? Read the books? I haven't read any of them since they each first came out and as such couldn't remember 95% of the plot. Which only added to the suspense, in my opinion. 


Black & Spiro Christmas Tree

Anna Spiro, owner of the interior decor inspiration blog absolutely beautiful things and an Australian interior designer, posted photos of her store's holiday display. This Christmas tree is adorable, fun and whimsical! 

Photo via absolutely beautiful things

And easy to replicate (though I'd go for a much smaller version, perhaps that could sit on a table) - perfect for a kid's room, a workspace or an apartment, especially in a blend of chic holiday colors (black, silver and gold maybe?). 

My guess for the materials - wrapping paper or paper towel cardboard 'dowels,' fabric, wrapping paper, ribbon and construction paper animals. 


First-Ever Elle Decor Showhouse

Elle Decor debuted their first ever Showhouse earlier this month in San Francisco's chic St. Francis Wood neighborhood. 

Photo via CasaSugar

The featured interior designers include Erin Martin (family room and lower level); Palmer Weiss (kitchen and breakfast room); Steven Volpe (dining room); Gary Spain (living room); Will Wick (den and bathroom); Kendall Wilkinson (entry foyer, office and upper hall); Suzanne Tucker (bedroom suite and deck); Jay Jeffers (master bedroom suite); Elizabeth Martin (bedroom); Grant Gibson (youth bedroom) and Surfacedesign, Inc. (exterior landscape and greenhouse).

Click here to see tons of photos from the house courtesy of CasaSugar!

And I Agree

People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" (dude, what a totally cheesy title). Y-e-s. 

This is, of course, totally fine for me to post as Una has a well-known crush on Ryan's wife, Scarlett Johansson. She's a twerp. 


How the Blooms Do Things

Been working on finally getting our bedroom and the dining room painted (the living room is all done). After both of these we'll just have the guest bedroom left to do. I don't know why this gets dragged out over several months instead of making ourselves miserable for 7 straight days when we first move in (ahem, July). But, alas, such is how the Blooms do things.

Once we finish I'll post pictures. I'm tempted to include the before shots of the guest bedroom, which is currently painted a glorious 50/50 mixture of lavender and mint, but I'm unsure if the after will live up to this current scenario. 

So excited for the holiday season. Just found out that Una's work requires all new hires to sing a Christmas song at their December party . . . for the entire office. Lucky for Una, he's got one other newby to perform with, who just happens to have been awarded a voice scholarship to college. I am still gunning for an elf costume to accompany his back-up vocals. 

This. Is. Awesome.


A Royal Commoner

Prince William and Kate Middleton are engaged! He proposed with his mother's engagement ring, an 18-carat sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds, in Kenya last month. They will marry next year.

Bring on the spectacle! I cannot wait for the fashion!


Soft and Pretty

Loving this dress on sale at J Crew for $139.99 . . .

With a blazer, contrast belt, dark tights and suede wedge boots, oxfords, or strappy brown leather sandals . . . perfect to mix with something on the edgy side. Or just wear with a sparkly belt and a pair of delicate heels.


Happy Friday!

You know I'm seriously contemplating driving to the Restoration Hardware outlet store to take advantage of their 20% off sale. There's a mirror (times two) I've had my eye on now for 3 months. The sale extends to all stores, online and even the catalogue. 

Happy shopping and hello weekend!


Veterans Day

World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
Via here

Thank you to all our veterans. And happy birthday, Dones. We miss you.


Pretty Dang Clever

Not sure if you saw yesterday's post from High-Heeled Foot in the Door on Katie Ridder's "Leaf" wallpaper? (Side note: the same wallpaper seen on Sara Gilbane's front closet wall in the November issue of House Beautiful!). A very clever DIY-er copied the beautiful pattern onto transparency paper and projected it onto her bathroom wall. Taking a sharpie, she traced the entire look onto plain wallpaper!

Photo from A Penny Saved

I most definitely do not have the A) patience, B) focus (fairly sure I exhibit several tendencies of adult ADD) nor C) ability to do this to my satisfaction, but it's impressive nonetheless. 

Check it out here!


Knight Moves & Home Decorators Collection

Kyle of Knight Moves picked out a bunch of great items from Home Depot's sister furniture and decor store, Home Decorators Collection. I've written about a few of their pieces before (herehere and here), but check out what she likes in their newest catalogue (loving the 3-Light Pendant and Clara Table Lamp me-self):

Safavieh at One Kings Lane

Are you a member of the home decor online sample sale site One Kings Lane? Seriously, if you're not, it's time to join (write a comment and I can send one of their member "invitations"). It's officially my favorite shopping site. All that stuff that's in the interior design magazines and is totally out of the normal person's price range? They sell it here. On clearance. 

Today's feature sale is for Safavieh rugs, and features some beauties at more than 50% off:

Soho Rug: 5 x 8 is $429

Peshawar: 5 x 8 is $2499 

Thom Filicia Stone: 5 x 8 is $499

Oushak: 5 x 8 is $1999

Check them out! Drapes and rugs are the basic staples of a room and make any space feel finished and (when chosen in complementary colors and schemes) pulled together.


Lanvin Does H&M: Part 2

Ready to see what Lanvin has created for H&M? Prepare to swoon. Here are some beauties I would love to try on and take home. 

All photos via HM.com

Sadly, Lanvin will not be coming to Wisconsin. Apparently not much of a high fashion market. Shocker. Instead, I'll have to drive an hour and a half to Chicago to try and score some of these. Which I am considering . . . though not at 7 in the morning, to join the line of people no doubt queued up before the store opens (this is what happens in New York). I'm hoping there will be some clothes left in my size by the time I get there (say 5 PM) and then I can scour eBay for the exact pieces I'm looking for. 

Pray for me. Oh yes, my closet happily accepts prayers. And donations.


Babe Paley

Famed New York socialite Babe Paley. 

Classic from head to toe. Great photo.

Flea Markets

Sigh, I miss New York. 

Una and I used to visit flea markets almost every weekend in the warm months - the Antiques Garage on 26th street and 6th avenue, the open air market further east on 26th, the Hell's Kitchen Fair at 40th street and 10th avenue, a small gathering on 17th and 6th, and even occasionally headed to Brooklyn. It was one of our favorite things to do and oddly (sadly), not a popular thing out here. Though we have Elkhorn - which is tremendous - it's only open four times a year. 

For those of you who do live near a weekly flea market, check out this article on Eddie Ross (of Top Design runner-up fame), who is a flea market expert. Great advice on what to look for and how to buy.  

Article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/28/garden/28qna.html?_r=1 

Winter's Around the Corner

At least it feels that way, and the weeks are flying by. Yesterday the weatherpeople forecasted flurries, but in their usual fashion, were wrong (rain and hail). Heading to Chicago to see our newlywed friends tonight (and eat a steak dinner, hell yes!) and Saturday we have a local party to celebrate another couple! (Clearly I will need a manicure and pedicure beforehand to be party-ready.) I love having fun plans. This all goes along with a to-do list that includes . . . paint the master bedroom and dining room, search for a seamstress for our curtain project, vacuum, hang artwork . . . I'll stop now.

Happy weekend!


Halloween 2010

We had a busy Halloween o'er here in Mili-waukay. First up was a party hosted by Jon's boss. Originally we thought it was a work-related party, and then found out it was actually a shindig for all of his old friends, with a few work people thrown in. To the tune of 200 people. In serious costume. Here's what we went as (idea courtesy of my sister, Emily):

That would be sushi with a side of chopsticks and wasabi. Let's just say this crowd was not our target audience. Common responses: Why do you have a pillow on your back? Oh! So you're Chinese food! Sushi, eh? Weird. I don't get it.

The second party we headed to had been going on for 4 hours by the time we arrived. Fairly sure one of the hosts has no idea we even attended, though I spent a good deal of time chatting with her. We were out and about until 1 AM - heck yes! 

The best costumes we saw were Hulk Hogan, dressed in the signature shiny, yellow bikini bottom, knee-high plastic boots, white blond wig and mustache, and oiled up to the bejesus on his tanned, bare chest. An unrecognizable colleague of Jon's dressed as Teen Wolf (the boss even tried to introduce him to his wife, having no idea who he was) and a stunning Bret Michaels were my personal favorites. Though a dear friend of Jon's boss, who owns several KFC's out here, did dress as the Colonel . . . and his wife showed up in a chicken costume. Now that's commitment. 

What did you go as?

P.S. I constructed those chopstick Saturday afternoon after a trip to Home Depot. Quite clever, if I do say so myself.

P.P.S. Jon's pants are women's. Try finding white pants for men. Not happening. Had one of our friends in hysterics the entire night due to the flare of the leg, lack of pockets and drawstring. He kept them.


State Representative: Real Worlder Sean Duffy

The 7th district elected Republican Sean Duffy to the Wisconsin House of Representatives yesterday, (he of 1997 Real World: Boston "fame"). Duffy later married Real World: San Francisco alum Rachel Campos and the two have SIX KIDS. He's also an attorney now. Welcome to the midwest, land of good work ethic and lots of babies. 

This definitely doesn't trump Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jesse Ventura, but it's pretty special nonetheless. 


Battlefield District 5

Jon and I are heading to vote after I pick him up from work today. I'm actually slightly stressed, as the local politics have gotten pretty heated and it's difficult to narrow each down on the real differences between the issues. I am assuming Jon will be voting in a similar fashion to me, but if not, as my mom always says, at least my vote will automatically eliminate his opposing one. Ha ha!

The battlefield extends to the voting booths.  

Did you vote? 


Schweitzer Linen

This was a present from the home stork! The Schweitzer Linen catalog arrived in my mailbox on Saturday. I've been scheming on how to acquire luxury bed linens, seeing as D. Porthault is a long time off (tear, tear). Check out some of the Schweitzer options, currently on sale:


Cherry Blossom

Belle Jardin







Since I'm particular about everything I put in the house, I would most likely mix and match different shams and sheet patterns in coordinating colors - such as the Luna bedsheets and Bombay sham in white. I also love the Prato and Amorosa. Made in Italy of Egyptian cotton sateen ranging from 300 - 600 thread counts, prices begin at $95 for a sham and $480 for a sheet set. 

I know, a lot - but this will blow your Williams Sonoma sheets out of the water (and if you're still on your Bed Bath & Beyond college set, Lord, help you). The kind of gift you buy yourself, take special care of, and watch it last years upon years. Plus, you could buy a set of shams for the holidays, a sheet set for a birthday and a duvet cover for an anniversary - just takes a little forethought and saving.