Oops… I Forgot _______ (Insert Celebration/Holiday/Get Together Here)

Listen – I’m busy.  Not busy enough to ignore things on my daily checklist for weeks (akhem… blogging), but c’mon – I really have been busy.  Summer has ended and even though I probably enjoy Fall the most as far as weather and really like dressing the part, some part of me subconsciously reverts back to pre-teendom, moping around the house (or I should say – around my small, 1 bedroom apartment), cursing the world that Summer is over.

I remember one particular night before School started – when I’d be making the leap from Middle to Upper School (Junior High to High School for you cooler kids).  I was positive things would finally change for me…  I’d go to parties, I’d be skinnier, I’d wear amazing outfits.  Two months into 9th Grade, I began to fear for this dream as I sat alone in my room, eating ice cream… in my uniform.  That’s when I realized I’d never be a freshman, I was a ninth grader and for those of you who don’t understand the difference, consider yourself lucky to have had a better experience than I did.

This would lead to lots of tears, total confusion while watching Dawson’s Creek (I spent hours plotting how I could be more like Michelle Williams as Jen Lindley, when my life looked much more like the Grandmother she lived with), and a little later in life – a full out rebellious attempt (I literally couldn’t even pull off the real thing).  I moved to California and tried to convince everyone that I was a bad, out of control, nonconformist.  The only problem was – I cried all the time, totally misjudged how black and purple hair would suit my fair skin (yes I use fair – pale is just harsh), and had struggled with severe anxiety my whole life.  I call my parents every day, I have personal relationships with every doctor, specialist and vet (all which have received panicked voicemails at all hours of the night graphically explaining what normally ends up being a mosquito bite), AND I fold at even the chance at confrontation (I once got into a small, verbal fight at a bar with a girl and then after telling my friends I was going to the bathroom, chased after her down the street and apologized – true and very ridiculous story I’ll save for another time).

SO, in the spirit of embracing the person you so desperately try not to be, but know you always will, I thought it would be useful to come up with a list of things that you should probably just buy now, because if you’re anything like me, you’re losing your mind and forget birthdays/cards/etc all the time.  End scene.  (P.S.  After re-reading this entry, I realize I will probably lose viewers.)

Purchases That Will Save You In A Pinch:

Oops… I Forgot A Birthday

Olive & Cocoa Birthday Cake Tapers $28

Olive & Cocoa Chapeau de Fete $44-64

Save On Crafts Sinamay Jute Wine Bags $18/12

The Twinery {I Dream In Twine} Sampler Pack $32

World Market Sock Monkey Kraft Wrap $4.99

Gift Couture Cheeseburger Wrapping Paper $25

Oops… I Forgot I Need To Bring A Gift To Something I Didn’t Want To Go To In The First Place

Pigeon Toe Optimist Tumbler $48

Amazon S’More To Love STL-600 S’More Maker $19.99

Jonathan Adler Enamel Cake Server $58

Etsy’s Primele Custom Return Address Stamp $35

Oops… I Forgot A Card

Crane & Co Letterpress All Occasion Gift Set $35

Etsy’s Pounouheartsyou Greeting Card Set of Five $20

Target Mara-Mi Flat Panel Diecut Note Card Set $12.99

Russell + Hazel Quips + Queries Cards $12

Oops… I Forgot To Be Prepared

Safety Girl Kit Original $21.99

Urban Outfitters Festival Essentials Kit $9.99

Neiman Marcus “Kelly Stripe” Travel Accessories $58

Autobarn 100 Piece Roadside Emergency Safety Kit $32.95

Quake Kare Emergency Survival Kit $49.95

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A+R

Although most kitschy items usually cause me to roll my eyes, I am oddly attracted to fun, unique household items that scream personality, but also offer a useful function. While strolling Abbot Kinney the other day, I visted A+R and was overwhelmed by the whimsical accessories I am now lusting for. They have a great website and offer lots of gifty (for others or for you!) brilliance for pretty much any age group or occasion.

My A+R Favorites:

Hay + Scholten & Baijings’ Tea Towels $32

Menu & Christian Bjorn’s Steam Tower $100

FusionBrand’s Food Pod $15

Gaia & Gino & Aruliden’s Fishscape Fish Bowl $170

MYdrap’s Perforated Roll of Cotton Placemats & Napkins $25-36

Thea & Mehl & Teroforma’s Avva Tumblers & Carafe Set $46

Normann Copenhagen & Aurelien Barbry’s Cork Wine + Bar Set $29

Karim Rashid & Move Collective’s Bobble Filtering Water Bottle $7-15

Domestic & Ich & Kar’s I Love Me Heart Wall Stickers $96

Hector & Serrano’s Air Heads Animal Balloon Set $14

RS Barcelona’s Indoor/Outdoor RS#3 Foosball Table $3450

Harry Allen’s C’mere Hand Gold Edition $85

Yuen’to Design & Idea International’s Hand-Cranked Paper Shredder $44

Yuen’to Design’s Balloon USB Speaker $35

ByWhiteDesign’s Le Petit Dej’ Breakfast Tray $92

Harry Allen’s Rollerstop Bookend/Doorstop $95-185

Rablab’s Agate Candle Holders $110

LEIF LOVE

I love shopping for little things that bring joy into my home.  I’ve forever had a knack for gifty items and enjoy finding a quirky or colorful detail to add to an open space.  Leif is a website I frequent for their fun and unique small home accessories.  I’m embracing the “no rules” decor idea by incorporating dinner bowls into my jewelry storage system, pencil jars for hair accessories and pretty magnets for keeping bobby pins in one place.  Thinking outside the box only makes your home more you.

Some Of My Favorite Items from Leif:

Square Color Chip Box $56

Striped Taper Candles $24

Small Jar in Sugar Sunset $85

Gemstone Magnet Set $36

Spear Print Tray $80

Tree Bark Wine Stopper $8

Batik Tray and Spreader Set $48

Oblong Color Chip Box $84

Confetti Tumbler $35

Atomic Salt & Pepper Shakers $50

Pastel Sorbet Cup Set $78

Madelaine Necklace in Lavender $228

Small Knit Color Cozy Mug $26

Stacking Dots Rings $26

A D.I.Y. I Can Handle: Candle Centerpieces

We’ve discussed here how my D.I.Y. skills are not up to par, but I try… which most of the time ends in embarrassment.  One of my goals for this year was to be a little more thrifty and to work on taking projects into my own hands.  After a few failed attempts, I’ve decided to start small.

When I found this image on Martha Stewart’s website, I instantly knew it would be the inspiration for the next outdoor Summer BBQ.  It’s inexpensive and easy!

Make Your Own:

streamers ($.79/80′ roll) – buy 4 colors in similar hues

candles ($3.99/12)

double-stick tape ($1.66)

candle holders ($3.99-$13.99 each)

**I think it could look even better with these birch tea candle holders! Love these!! ($12/set of 3 assorted)

Personalizing Your Home

I’m always trying to find ways to improve my home.  I’ve found it easiest to do this in small ways, since like most people in Los Angeles, I rent an apartment.  Painting walls and hanging chandeliers are things I’ve tried and hugely regretted upon moving out and having to get the space back to its original condition.  Even so, I was determined to find a way to make these temporary homes feel like home all while accepting that my “DIY” skills are just not up to par.  (See photo below of an at-home bookend project I tried to undertake recently and next to it, a photo of what I was trying to do… pinterest is both a blessing and a curse for me.)

   

Photo on the right taken from quitecamile/tumblr.com

See the upper corner of the right brick?  That was as far as I got to making them look deconstructed.  What I have found, however, is that just because you may not be incredibly crafty (whether that’s because you don’t have the time/patience/talent or in my case all three) doesn’t mean you can’t create a nice environment for yourself.

My favorite ways to cheer up a tired nest are simple, but take finding things that are personal and make you feel good.  I have compiled some pictures below of some of my favorite accents to my own home that brighten up the place and make it a little more unique.

Top pics: Candy jars bought at Home Goods (one of my favorite home accessories stores), were supposed to only be for decoration, but its’ contents are mysteriously diminishing.  Find similar style online at Crate & Barrel.  Shown with one of my favorite scents Voluspa Fleurs De Fete.

Bottom pics: Green flower pot and artificial white hydrangeas bought at Bed Bath & Beyond and small votive holders.  Next to them, a small translucent vase with artificial yellow roses bought at www.gandgwarehouse.com (my favorite online artificial flower outlet – great prices!), shown with two glass bottles I normally fill with sparkling and flat water for dinner parties bought at Surfas, but you can buy similar bottles online at The Container Store.

Top pics: A patterned black and translucent candle I’ve had forever with a turquoise flower pot bought at World Market holding artificial pink snapdragons, pink peonies and white hydrangeas.

Bottom pics: A mini candle by Voluspa called Gardenia Colonia, which I love with a clear vase from Home Goods holding artificial white peonies. (*note: all flowers from G and G Webstore needed to be cut to fit in vases, which isn’t easy – although you are probably stronger than I am… see above picture of brick project – but they last forever!)

I keep my eye out for things like this because they can often times be inexpensive and really change the entire atmosphere in your home.  Below, find my list of things I’ve been lusting for in these categories.

Vases

Large Lime Helene Vale from Gretel Home (photo taken from website) $79

Recycled Glass Footed Vase from Pottery Barn (photo taken from website) $39.99

Recycled Glass Jugs from West Elm (photo taken from website) $19/small jug, $29/large jug

Mint Julep Cups from saveoncrafts (photo taken from website) $8/cup, $30/4 cups

Artificial Flowers

Faux White Cherry Blossom Branch from Pottery Barn (photo taken from website) $49.99

Faux Acacia Branch from Pottery Barn (photo taken from website) $9.99

*Yes, these are a little more expensive than the ones I have from G and G, but they look great in person

Candle Holders

Numi Candleholders from CB2 (photo taken from website) $4.95 each

Votive Holders

Vintage Green Votive Holder (flower motif) from Luna Bazaar (photo taken from website) $6.50

Vintage Pink Tealight Candle Holder (diamond motif) from Luna Bazaar (photo taken from website) $4.50

Opal White Embossed Glass Candle Holder (Fleur de Lis) from Luna Bazaar (photo taken from website) $6

Silver-Plated Travel Tealight Holder from Pottery Barn (photo taken from website) $14.99

*I love the idea of traveling with this monogrammed tealight holder as a way to make a hotel a little more peaceful

Tealight Candles

Home Scents Jasmine Bouquet Hand Poured Wax Votive Candles from Target (photo taken from website) $5.19

Beanpod Tealight Candles in Fresh Linen from Amazon (photo taken from website) $6.63

*pair these with the Travel Tealight Holder from Pottery Barn for trips

Candles

Diptyque Paris candle in Figuier (photo taken from website) $60/full size, $28/mini

Tocca candle in Grace from CandleDelirium (photo taken from website) $38

Sir Elton John Woodside Garden Candle from Neiman Marcus (photo taken from website)$38

*Once all the wax is gone, use these candle holders to hold your makeup brushes, freshly picked flowers or cotton balls

Other Scented Things

Diptyque Paris Scented Oval in Baies (photo taken from website) $45

*hang this over your bathroom or closet door handle

Jo Malone Lime & Basil Mandarin Scent Surround Drawer Liners (photo taken from website)$45/5 sheets

*line your drawers with these lightly scented liners