Not Going Out Like That


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How to Style a Mantle

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We have a “formal living room” in my house. Formal in the sense that it is it’s own room, and not part of an open floor plan, like many newer and renovated homes are. This is one of the few rooms in the house, where the kids don’t play and there are NO toys. It’s the most traditional room in my house in terms of decor, although there is a mix of styles in the room. The great thing is that my husband & I get to enjoy this room all the time, because the main TV in the house is in here. As much as I like the idea of no TV in the living room, I am also willing to admit that 30-60 minutes of TV is part of my regular daily routine and I am not willing to watch TV in some small dark room while a beautiful, bright living room goes unused. So why am I ranting about TVs in living rooms ? I don’t know. My mantle is in the same room and that is what today’s post is about. It took me a long time to figure out what to do with my mantle in terms of decorating it. I started a Pinterest board just for mantles. And after a few different attempts, I finally settled on something I like, which you can see in these pics below.

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There are certain design accessories that are very popular right now such as antlers or urns, and mercury vases, but I felt no personal connection with any of these.  I liked the way many of these things look but they had no connection with my life so I wanted to find objects with significance. I settled on seashells, coral and other sea insipired pieces because I grew up at the beach in Miami. My husband and I are both certified divers and we love the ocean. The piece of coral on top of the stacked books was actually given to my husband by his Grandmother.

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As you can see, we have lucite nesting tables and modern architecture books in our home, coupled with regency style tufted chairs, and Chippendale inspired chairs. The rug is a hand woven oriental rug that is pretty traditional but feels updated because of the modern pale palate. I love mixing styles in one room, and there is no formula for this other than trying out different combinations until you find one that works.

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Seashells on mantle – Etsy. Stands for shells – Etsy. Purple vases on mantle – Z Gallerie. Nesting tables – CB2. Mirro above mantle – Mortise & Tenon on La Brea in Los Angeles. Purple chairs – vintage and re-upholstered. Bamboo chairs – Ballard Designs but with my own cushions.


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Eliminate the Negative

Recently I became obsessed with anything high-waisted and went on a hunt for high-waisted skirts and pants (can’t really rock the high-waisted shorts). I found this skirt both in black and white at Express – a store I never shop in. Maybe it was those dang Dove sketches or just being mature enough to focus on the positive, but one of the things I love about my body is my small waist. After two kids, I am very lucky to have a flat stomach and a small waistline. So what better way to accentuate that than with some high-waisted skirts ? Although the sweater I am wearing is covering up the very top of this skirt, the waist on it goes over the belly button and would be perfect with a slighty cropped top. I also love the unexpected pairing of black and brown together. What about you ? What part of your body do you love ?

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PS – the title of this post is a song lyric that starts with “you’ve got to, accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative” … great advice for life on the whole.

Skirt – Express. Top – Zara, old sim here. Boots -old, love this option. Bag & Sunglasses – F21. Watch – Rotary. Bracelets – Hermes & Cartier.

Linking up with My Greatest HitsPlane PrettyWatch ,What I’m WearingMonday Mingling , Yolo Mondays,  and GFC CollectiveNorthern Belle DiariesMonday Morning GossipSami’s ShenanigansStyle SessionsRolled Up Pretty, any My Thrifty Chic


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Moments

These brogues are one of my favorite pair of shoes lately. They look great with skinny jeans, or a short sundress or skirt. This particular pair has a bright blue sole for an extra fun kick.

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Beautiful flowers that my husband surprised me with … just because. Our 6 year anniversary is coming up, and I am proud to have a husband that will still surprise me with flowers, despite our very busy lives.

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Hmmm… now that I am thinking about it, maybe he got me the flowers because I got him a nice bottle of tequila while grocery shopping. We live walking distance from a great, old school, tequila bar called El Carmen. We walk to dinner and stop in there for a drink sometimes, always sampling new tequilas. The bartenders in there are super knowledgable AND friendly. We tasted some Tres Generaciones Anejo this past time. I love good tequila !

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Watch’ya doin ?

Last week, on a warm day, I had a day of visting clients all over the city. As I was driving to my first appointment, I pulled over behind a bright orange building that I thought would be great for photos. Then I saw this graffiti garage gate and decided to use that as a backdrop. As I was taking photos on this quiet street, a woman walks by with her dog and does one of those “watchya doing ? ” things. I was so embarrassed, and she did not want to leave. Definitely my most direct run-in with a passerby while engaged in taking photos for this blog.

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I previously blogged about my love of green & gray but I also realized how great green looks with tan – especially for a warm Spring day.

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Pencil skirt – Club Monaco (old), sim here. Shoes – Via Spiga. Blouse – Gap, sim here. Jacket – Merona, sim here. Belt – JCrew, sim here.

Bag – Tory  Burch, similar.

Linking up with Fashion & Beauty Finds, Transatlantic Blonde, Wardrobe Wednesday, Diaries of a Bargainista, Because Shanna Said So , The Pleated Poppy, Rolled Up Pretty, I Feel Pretty , the Mrs & The Momma, Mix & Match Fashion, Toby’s Tails,and Penniless Socialite


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Entryway

One of my favorite parts of my house is my entryway. It’s a space that is often neglected, but it’s the first part of the house that you see, so I want it to be a cheerful welcome to my home. This was one of the first parts of the house that I decorated when we moved in 3 1/2 years ago. It called for a very specific piece of furniture as I needed something slim enough to fit the small recessed space and wanted something with small drawers that can be used for keys, sunglasses and such.

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I fell in love with the idea of a painted, distressed piece when I came across some Asian furniture for another part of the house. We painted the walls a French blue and I thought the red would look great against a pale blue. The lines of this piece are very modern but the distressed finish and Asian styling make it a perfect cross-over between modern and antique. To accessorize the area,  I used a brass owl (thrifted), and some metal fruit sculptures that I already owned. Then I found this great blue bird canister at Room Service LA. It pairs perfectly with the walls and the limited edition print above. I don’t really like birds (the live kind) but I love decorating with images and sculptures of them. Strange, huh ?

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To save money on framing this print, I asked the local frame store to make me a custom mat that would fit into an  off-the-shelf frame that I bought for $30. Wish I could remember where the print was from. I had found a great list for on-line art dealers from Design Sponge but since then, DS has removed all these lists from their site.

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These drawers are perfect for keys, sunglasses and anything else you don’t want out in the open. We live in a permit parking area so we keep all of our visitor parking passes in the center of this table.

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Entry table – Legend of Asia. Blue bird canister – Room Service LA. Frame – Aaron Bros. Brass owl and fruit sculptures – old.


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Grunge

IF you have seen the movie Singles (1992), then you might know what I mean when I say this outfit takes me right back to the 90’s.  The baby-doll shape of my dress, the masculine (grungey) boots, and general simplicity of this outfit brought me back to the early-to-mid 90’s. I once had a moment with Bridget Fonda when I was at a party for the the movie Inglorious Bastards. Wish I could say I was on the guest list but I worked at the hotel that hosted the event. I was REALLY pregnant at the time and she (Bridget), asked how far along I was and commented about her own kids, but I didn’t realize it was her as I was too focused on seeing Brangelina in person. Too bad because I loved her in that movie. And we could have talked about how important it is for a guy to say “bless you” when you sneeze …

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By the way, how beautiful is that bougainvillea that is now in full bloom. It matches my scarf.

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By the way, one of my favorite lines from that movie : ” I could not be kidding you less”

Dress – Press (old), sim here . Jacket – Calvin Klein, sim here. Boots –Eric Michael. Scarf – F21. Brooch – MTP Fleamarket, sim here. Sunglasses – Ray Ban Aviators.

Linking up with My Greatest Hits, Plane PrettyWatch ,What I’m Wearing, Monday Mingling , Yolo Mondays,  and GFC Collective, Northern Belle Diaries, Monday Morning Gossip, Sami’s Shenanigans, Style Sessions, Rolled Up Pretty, any My Thrifty Chic


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Music Break

I follow a band called CHRVCHES on Facebook. They seem to be selling out every show as soon as it goes on sale, so they may be one of the next big bands. Anyway – they recommend a band from their home town on their FB page and I really liked the song so I thought I would share. Here is PRIDE with Out of the Blue.