Pre-party planning

I tend to throw my heart and soul into projects. I invest a lot and I dream big. And even if the final product doesn’t match my lofty aspirations, I would rather go all out than put up a wimpy front.

Case in point, my aforementioned impending party. (Fancy way for saying that party I told y’all about that’s coming up soon-ish.)

The first party we ever had in our apartment was a taco night. You may recall the decor:

Is it necessary to have an actual pinata named Paco at a low-key taco night? Maybe not. Is it fun? Absolutely.

For the Second Annual Classy Cocktail Party, I want to go a little fancier. A little more grown-up. People will be dressed to impress, after all.

I’m majorly in love with all the silver and gold decor ideas I’m seeing on Pinterest lately:

Super fun, right? Plus I love this sparkly garland my blog buddy Paloma featured on her blog here.

So for those of you lucky enough to live in the right zipcode to be invited (or who happen to be visiting!), that’s what you have to look forward to. I always want to get a set of sweet vintage decanters. Something like these (or…you know, ALL of these):

Click images for source info.

And for those of you who won’t be there, never fear. I’m an over-sharer, remember? There will be plenty of photos.

(And if you love my party style, feel free to check out my It’s a Party pin board on Pinterest!)

A public thank-you

Wowie-zowie* you guys. You’re all really nice.

Or you just really like knowing someone in Glamour magazine. But I prefer to think you’re all just really nice.

The blog was five views shy of 600 total uniques yesterday, and it had nothing to do with narwhals! (Well, okay, 32 of those views had to to with narwhals. Can’t win ’em all.)

Would you believe I still haven’t seen the actual magazine myself? I’m gonna make a run over lunch, so hopefully by this afternoon I will have seen myself in all my CMYK glory.

Anyway, I don’t have any decor updates yet, but I just wanted to say thanks for all the kind comments, Facebook likes, texts, and random contact people made yesterday. Seriously, I heard from people I haven’t seen or spoken to in over six years yesterday. Madness.

The point is, you’re all swell in my book. And if you’re new to the blog, welcome! I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting. Because I like hearing from you all.

*I am not saying this randomly. There is a story about “wowie-zowie” that only my husband and my friend Sarah Hall know. But just trust me it’s funny to say.

Check me out!

So remember my promise that I’m going to be in Glamour? It’s on newsstands!

My buddy Jess just sent me a pic of the article. Check it:

Gahhhhh kind of crazy. But it’s me! If you can read the little snippet there, it’s a pretty edited version of the full story I submitted. Which I actually have the complete version of (go figure). Read on for my True Life: I’m Happy With My Weight story:

Up until about a year ago, the last time I could remember being completely happy with my weight I was in the eighth grade. Ah, the blissful life of a perpetually skinny 13-year-old.

I would eat roast beef sandwiches the size of my head and shovel mountains of ice cream into my bowl each night, confident in my genetics and the fact that the scale never budged even a centimeter. Until the day it, well, did.

It wasn’t until the summer before I started college that I first really noticed my body changing in a way that I couldn’t blame on a growth spurt. My cushy job as a nanny left my body, ahem, cushier. And my spotty attendance at the gym didn’t do anything to slow my expanding skin.

No matter what I did (hours on the elliptical, nights of feeling my stomach ache with hunger after a day of starvation, hours of berating myself for not sticking to the extreme diets I continually put myself on), the scale continued to climb. I was averaging ten pounds a year by the time I graduated college, and a last-minute doctor visit before I moved to New York to pursue my dream job left me biting back tears when the scale registered squarely on the highest weight I had ever been.

If I was honest about it (which I never was), I knew why my weight continued to climb. I loved food. And I had convinced myself it loved me back, something I couldn’t say I even did anymore. So when I was sad I didn’t have a boyfriend, I ate. When I was lonely because all my friends went to school hours away from me, I ate. When I was stressed about grades and internships and jobs, I ate. I ate even when I wasn’t hungry, even when it felt gross to shove more food into my mouth. As long as I could point to my weight and say, “There. That is why you’re unhappy,” then at least I didn’t have to look any deeper into my problems.

Whether I ate because I was unhappy or I was unhappy because I ate didn’t really matter. What mattered was, I wasn’t happy. And one day, I decided I wanted to be.

I started on the inside. I created and repeated a series of mantras I would repeat to myself when I was feeling down. (Yup, I’m the crazy girl talking to herself in her car.) “You are a good person. You are a kind person. You are better than this.” And I guess I started to believe it.

Next I moved on to making myself feel physically good. I started taking yoga classes at a gym near my apartment in Brooklyn. I’d picked that gym because I literally couldn’t get home without passing it, so I figured I would be more likely to actually go. Turns out, I was right.

Then I bought a nice pair of running shoes and told myself it would be a waste (especially on my paltry salary) not to use them. The next thing I knew, I was running six to eight miles a week.

And then, miracle of miracles, I even found a boyfriend (now my husband) who without even knowing it, fell for me at my biggest and has continued to love me no matter what size jeans I wear. And then, perhaps even crazier, I learned to stop arguing with him when he told me I was beautiful.

The thing is, after almost six years of being on some kind of diet, I stopped dieting. I trusted myself, listened to my body, and ate whatever I wanted—and then I stopped when I was full. Crazy, right?

One day, one of my new friends in New York told me how thin I was getting. Was I? I felt the same. A few months later, a friend’s mom told me I was her inspiration. Then, a friend who had started incorporating more fitness into her life said she wanted to be “Justine skinny.” She wanted to look like me? When I last went to the doctor, I was 30 pounds lighter than that fateful visit before I moved. Thirty. On accident!

For my wedding last spring, I continued my “plan” of not trying to lose weight. I bought a dress that fit perfectly and kept living a healthy life. Now I’m training for my first half marathon, yet another thing I never imagined I would be capable of. I actually like how I look. I love how I feel. I’m happy.

I think my 13-year-old self would be proud.

Changing it up

Ok, so unless you just started reading my blog (in which case, welcome! Have a look around!), you are aware that I am in the throws of redecorating.

You should know things are going well. (I know, you’ll sleep sounder tonight knowing that.)

Here are the projects on the docket:

1. Acquire the credenza. You already know the story of this one. (And if you don’t, click that link!)

2. Sew (or possibly iron seam) the dining room curtains. The fabric arrived yesterday (yay!), so now I just need a few hours to sit down and get it all figured out. I’m using some curtain ring clips (leftover from when we first moved in and didn’t realize our curtains already had a loop to slide the curtain rod through), so I won’t need to sew a loop, but I do need to get a new rod and have the hubster install all of this hardware. Team work!

3. Making the dining room light pretty. It involves this:

I know, you’re on tenterhooks.

4. Slightly adjusting the wall art in the dining room, and finding a large seaglass/vintage green vase for the credenza.

5. Adjusting the color scheme of the living room. I’m really inspired by these photos:

Which leads me to the new color scheme. I’m thinking something like this:

It looks a little too neutral at the moment, but I’m going to pump it up with lots of textures and some glitzy metallics like you see in the above pictures. I’m obsessed with yellow gold and copper, so there will be plenty of that.

At the moment things are very springy in the living room. Green and blue are the main accent colors, and I find more and more that I just don’t like blue. I like navy. But not necessarily living in it.

I want to get these pillow covers to cover over the green pillows for now:

And I bought a pillow like this one last night that is already at home on the couch (Joey may or may not have spent a portion of last night cuddling with it):

I may also need to change out the curtains in here, but I’m holding off on that for now.

Fortunately, I have a motivating force to get all of this stuff done. First, my cousins are coming to visit near the end of December. And to top it all off, we’re having a little party for all our friends the same weekend.

So once again, I’m relying on mild panic to make myself do something. Probably not very healthy. But effective!

All the decorating activities start tomorrow night. Let’s DO this.

We got busted pipes, yo

Not going to lie, our apartment got all kinds of clean this weekend.

The living room is spotless. Even the “corner office” is looking pretty snazzy.

The bathroom? Let’s just say the husband gave the bathroom what-for on Saturday, and it’s one lit candle on the toilet tank away from being guest ready at the drop of a hat.

The bedroom? Well, guess who has two thumbs and has made it her new goal to make the bed at least five out of the seven days of the week? THIS GIRL. Plus, we got our laundry done. So…clean clothes!

Which leaves us with the dining room and kitchen.

Let me start off by saying that it’s not the dining room’s fault. He’s missing his largest component of storage, which will be remedied soon. But right now every wine, martini, shot, trifle, and hot toddy glass is sitting on the dining table, along with every liquor bottle we own, so it’s simply not going to look clean for at least a week. But I’ve got BIG PLANS, you guys. BIG.

As for the kitchen. Well. This is a bit of a sad story.

Usually my kitchen is very clean. I think it’s one of the easiest rooms to keep clean actually. Everything is hidden in cabinets and such, and once you’ve done the dishes, wiped down the stove and counters, and swiffed the floor, you’re golden.

So three days, ago I was doing dishes when I noticed that the water was not draining as fast as it should be. I don’t have a disposal, and it’s nearly impossible not to get any food bits down the drain, so it’s not all THAT bizarre that the drain should get clogged.

By the next day, things were not budging. I tried pouring boiling hot water down the drain. No go. Joey tried Drain-O. Nothing. We tried an unbent coat hanger. Nada.

So we called our landlord. It’s his job to fix these things, right? Well, turns out he just didn’t have time for us and could we just use paper plates for the next two days?


It’s a good thing Joey was on the phone because I get all KINDS of agitated when people don’t do their jobs.

So he was going to come on Monday. Not being able to stand the mess, on Sunday we tried plunging the drain.

At first it seemed like it was working. And then…well, then everything changed.

This reddish brown business started flooding up the drain, and then the pipe under the sink started leaking. ALL OVER THE FLOOR.

Joey tried calling the landlord again. About .04 seconds after he said, “There’s water all over the floor,” the landlord suddenly had time and was on his way. Magic.

Basically, the diagnosis was that we have crazy old pipes. Which we knew. So once the dripping water thing was solved (because I just love using my pots and pans to catch rusty water!), the landlord promised to come fix it today. It should be repaired by the time I get home. I should say, it better be. (I’m much more threatening in print, right?)

But anyway. Then I will be able to clean the kitchen, and we will be left with only ONE messy room.

And things shall be glorious again.

Nothing wrong with a neutral

Sometimes I think the best environment for me to get something done is one that is slightly motivated by panic.

Case in point: Remember my little credenza-themed freak-out yesterday? (Also, gawd could I be any more domestic? “Credenza-themed” freak-outs? There are bigger things out there, self.)(To be fair, “freak-out” may be a bit extreme. I was mostly bummed.)

Well, I think the disappointment of the whole thing kicked my super sleuthing skills into overdrive. I was going to find the perfect sideboard/credenza/buffet, and nothing was going to stop me.

Ah the trials of the pseudo housewife.

So I took to the internets. And after only a few Craigslist searches, I actually found something promising. Behold!

I’m going to start with what is not perfect about this credenza and then follow it up with why it’s okay.

First, it’s not 118 inches. But it is 80 inches, making it about two feet longer than your standard buffet.

Second, it isn’t new. But it is mid-century modern, one of my favorite styles. And who doesn’t love a little bit of vintage in their life.

Third, it isn’t from a company that I can write a sharply worded letter to if anything is broken or dinged. But it is much cheaper than any newly purchased option. Plus, let’s not forget the vintage charm.

Fourth, I’m not sure if I can paint it grey. But it is possible that I won’t need to. And I wouldn’t mind leaving the natural wood as long as the condition isn’t too bad.

We’re going to check it out on Wednesday night, so as long as it’s not too dinged up, it will be mine.

So now that I’m switching up my grey, black, white with green accents color scheme with grey, black, white, and brown with green accents, I naturally had to hop over to Pinterest to make sure I wasn’t walking into a big ol’ mess of ugly.

I’ve always liked brown and black and brown and grey in fashion…

…so why couldn’t it work in decor? Fortunately, I found plenty of evidence that it can.

And all with white walls! Perfection.

I’ve also purchased this fabric to make into some curtains (and possible a table runner):

And I’m planning to buy a white rug from IKEA to ground the whole look (as recommended by my design-savvy blogger friend, Emily).

I might move around the wall art a bit too, but that’s all still in the works.

Stay tuned for more updates and pics (if you’re interested in that kind of thing). Big things on the way!

The Sideboard Situation

Sooo I’m having a major case of mixed emotions right now.

First, we actually sold the server! As in, they just picked it up and carted it away! For realz! For cash monies!

So that’s great. Now for the bad news.

All along I’ve been planning to purchase two of these servers to replace the old one (which I planned to paint grey and finish with gold drawer pulls):

When I first measured the dining room wall, it measured at 122 inches. Each server is 61 inches. Guess what that means. IT MEANS PERFECTION.

So tonight, we were just coming down from our “we actually sold the server” high (what, you don’t get those? YOU’RE weird.) and were about to make our merry way on to IKEA, when I happened to glance at the now-naked wall one more time and realized that the radiator runs along the baseboard on one side.

Hmm, I thought, I wonder if that will influence the width of available wall?

Just to be safe, we measured again, this time from floor height.

Guess what. The wall is only 118 inches once you factor in the radiator.


In case you don’t understand why this is devastating, you should know that I have been searching for MONTHS for the right server/credenza/sideboard/cabinet. (I use all those terms because those are the terms I regularly search on Craigslist trying to find a suitable piece.)(Often.)

MONTHS. And I finally found this IKEA piece, and it just so happened to be the PERFECT measurement. Except it’s not. I’m just a moron.

Anyway. It’s a major bummer. I mean, I’m still glad we sold the old one because I simply did not love it (and we made about a $100 on the sale!). But now all my wine glasses and such are on my table, and I’m still out extra storage. Which is beyond lame, amiright?

So I guess what I’m hoping is that by putting my plea out to the universe, someone will read this and be like, “DUDE. You should just buy this.”

“This” being the perfect piece of furniture that I just have not found yet. Or the piece of furniture you’re trying to sell (if you’re in the greater New York City area).

So…any help?