Kitchens with Chalkboard Paint

In the new year I am finally going to be working on my kitchen and one of the things I've toyed with doing is creating a chalkboard wall or some sort of chalkboard accent.  Doing a little research, I found these great examples of what others have done in their own kitchens.  Some are a little more involved than others, and I'm not sure if I am willing to paint an entire wall, but it is a good way to visualize what it would look like without actually doing it.  What about your experiences with chalkboard paint?  I would love to hear about your own work with this type of paint or send me a picture of your finished projects.

images: country livingdesign sponge, design spongeapartment therapyHigh Street MarketHigh Street Marketgourmet magazine via brown turtleneck sweater, cottage living via sally lee by the sea,  High Street Market, living etc. via style filesdesign sponge


Top 5 Decorating Books

If you have someone who is interested in interior design, decorating, or in making their space a little better, think about giving them a design book for the holidays.  They are not only fun to look through, but can be a great way to stimulate ideas.  I know that it can be a little intimidating to look over all of the decor books out there so I've made a list of the top 5 design books that have inspired me. Whether it was their selection of featured interiors, design tips and tricks, or some of their inventive DIY projects, each of these books have opened my eyes to the possibilities in my own space and created a greater appreciation for all of the unique and creative interiors out there.

1. Domino: The Book of Decorating by Deborah Needleman, Sara Ruffin Costello, Dara Caponigro
2. Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
3. Decorate by Holly Becker & Joanna Copestick
4. The Nest Home Design Handbook by Carley Roney
5. Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers

Any suggestions of other books to check out? 


Online Holiday Gift Guides

One of the best things about the holidays are the awesome gift guides that all of the blogs and online magazines cover.  They find the most creative and unique presents and inspire me to look a little deeper than the usual places for what I am looking for.  Also, a lot of the magazines have direct links to where you can purchase an item which makes things much easier and more interactive than a typical magazine.  Here are a few of my favorite online gift guides this season.  Take a little time and check them out. I dare you not to find something you love.  Happy shopping!


iPhone Case from Paper Shaving Studio

A long time in coming, I finally bought my first iPhone a few months back when the new 4s's were released and I have to say that I am completely in love with it!  It has made my life so much more convenient.  Here are a few of my favorite things so far...

Favorite Features:
-Face Time (I can see my family and friends back east so easily now.  I don't have to make a scheduled Skype appointment because they can just call me.)
-Siri (I love being able to read texts or message while I'm driving with the voice recognition.  It also makes alarms and notes to myself completely effortless.)
-Maps (I've used this so much already)

Favorite Apps:
-Starbucks (I can run inside now without having to bring in my purse because it allows you to pay with your phone.)
-Twitter and Facebook (no brainer here...this helps me stay updated more easily throughout my day.)
-Agenda Calendar (I have been slowly transferring over from my planner and it makes everything so much easier, not to mention my bag a lot lighter.)

In addition to picking up this SWEET phone, I also bought a case that I am completely in love with.  It took me awhile to find something I really wanted because a lot of the cases out there were just not "me".  However, there is an Etsy shop called Paper Shaving Studio run by graphic designer Rachel Singleton where she customizes cases for you.  They immediately grabbed my attention with their bright colors, stripes, and fun designs.  Through her awesome shop I found just what I was looking for.  She even gave me a discount on a future purchase if I decide to buy another case in the future.  How great is that?!   Here is a peek at some of the other cool items in her shop.


Amy Martin Illustrations

 came across these lovely illustrations by artist Amy Martin the other day and completely fell in love with them.  The color, graphic style and fresh perspective are really something I am drawn to.  She recently came out with her first children's book called Symphony City that might be the perfect gift for your little one.  Not only will your child hopefully get something out of it, but the colorful and creative illustrations will keep your interest as well.  

images: Amy Martin


Missing My Computer

Oh, Boy!  I took my computer in the other day because I was having a pixel issue with my screen and they ended up having to replace the entire monitor.  I've never had any issues with my Apple products before (knock on wood) so it was sort of a shock when they said they had to TAKE MY COMPUTER for THREE to FIVE DAYS!  Handing it over was like handing over a child, or what I would imagine that to be like.  I've been "unplugged" from the world for three days and although it was sort of nice to not have the distraction, I've felt like I've missed so much.  This may be a lesson telling me to disconnect more often.  If I am going through withdrawal from my computer when it was only gone for a few days, then I may have a problem.  How about you guys?  Have you ever been without your computer/lifeline for an extended period of time and freaked out?

image: apartment 34


Unique LA Breakdown

I can't imagine anyone not being inspired by all of the wonderfully creative work that everyone made for the Unique LA show over the weekend.  The event was a little packed with people, but I not only found some great looking handmade gifts for my family and friends, but I also got to taste some AMAZING food.  Who would have thought that one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I've ever had would be at a design show?  They made it with Burrata cheese and cherry tomatoes....um, yummmmm!!!  Definitely going to try that one on my own sometime.  Below are some favorite things I saw on Saturday.  All of the artists were very nice and happy to be able to share information about their work/products with me.  I had a great time chatting with them about their process and where their inspiration came from too.  Definitely check them out as well as some of the other artists listed below that aren't pictured.  I'll see you next year Unique LA! 

Lizbeth Navarro
Stacey Winters
Kiki Designs
Asher Market
We Love Citrus
Loom Lab
Urban Octopus

Other Notable Shops:
White Fly
Woot Factory
Paper Pastries


Los Angeles Wind Storm

On Wednesday night we had the strongest wind storm I've ever seen in LA, or anywhere else for that matter.  It started off as just a strong wind that we sometimes get as part of the Santa Ana winds. However, as the night progressed you could tell that this was not normal.  The wind was absolutely howling, and the trees were shaking around my home like I've never seen before.  I'm glad that no one was hurt during the storm, but the damage, especially to the Arcadia area where I was working the next day, looked more like a disaster area.  You would swear that if it were not Los Angeles, that it was a tornado that had passed through.  Check out some of the damage yourself.  Crazy huh?