Design
> DIY HOME PROJECT: OLIVE OIL VASE / April 11, 2014
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IMG_3277I was out wine tasting and noticed that each table had these great Olive Oil tins full of hydrangeas.  I instantly feel in love with this DIY project.  It is so simple and unique.  This DIY project will brighten up every afternoon picnic or rustic BBQ dinner.

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Looking for Olive Oil Tins: /Molinari Delicatessen/Lucca Delicatessen /A.G. Ferrari Foods

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stationary_final_1I recently went to Asia for a work trip and the first stop on this retail tour was Tokyo, Japan. We had less than two days in one of my favorite cities and it was a world-wind retail tour that included Tokyo’s shopping districts Ginza, Shabu, Narita and Omotesando. Tokyo is one of the most creative cities in the world and with the cherry blossoms just starting to bloom; it was a truly inspirational two days.

I was able to sneak away for an hour to the oldest paper store in Ginza called KYUKYODO. Ginza is known as one of the most expensive shopping areas in the world, so the most elite Japanese and Western fashion houses line the streets. The gem I found was a store named Kyumkyodo. This paper store opened first in Kyoto in 1663 and in Tokyo in 1880 and it’s still run by the Kumagai family to this day. They have the finest stock, postcards, writing instruments, calligraphy supplies and the most difficult part of this store is making a selection on what to purchase. I was inspired by spring and my creative pull resulted in postcards, note cards and envelopes with traditional cherry blossom art. I can’t wait to put a stamp on this gorgeous paper and send out letters to my closets friends. (Kyukyodo is located at 5-7-4 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo, not far from the Matzuzakaya department store in Ginza).

coolage_japan_1After meeting up with the group again we were off to Shabu another shopping district in Tokyo and still suffering from jet lag we went straight to Starbucks where I continued my cherry blossom theme and ordered a Sakura Latte. Sakura’s at Starbucks is an annual event similar to the Pumpkin Spice Latte here in the U.S., Sakura (meaning “cherry blossom”) is a short seasonal event and a must have drink in Japan.

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The following morning – due to jet lag, we decided to get up early (4:30 AM) and head to the Tokyo fish market. We missed the special Tuna auction because it sold out early. As we wondered around the market we saw a long line and knew we were in for a special treat. We ended up waiting for two hours for some of the best sushi in the world at Sushidia (pictured above!).

There are only about 15 seats at the counter in this restaurant and the meals last 45-50 minutes. They serve one piece at the time with fresh ginger, tea and miso soup. We were eating a sushi feast at 8 AM and it was well worth the two-hour wait. Sushidia is a ‘hot spot’ between tourist and locals and even with a long line, I highly recommend the overall experience and the sushi. (Sushidai 5-2-1 Tsukiji | Tsukiji Fish Market, #6 Bldg., Chuo, Tokyo Prefecture 104-0045, Japan).

We had many more stops on the retail tour and I only captured my favorite merchandise moments. The bottom line is that 40 hours is not even close to enough time in this inspirational city and I can’t wait to go back.

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It is a very exciting day today for us and blondedbystyle. We consider this the official launch of our site and our first special collaboration!

We teamed up with The Mom’s Project and Style Me Pretty, Living and are being featured on both sites today!  We have been anxiously awaiting the February 5th date as our official ‘go live’ date and were so excited it has finally arrived!

We opened our doors (literally into my home) and have been working closely with creator of The Moms Project, the very talented Lauri Levenfeld. I wanted to share a DIY home project that was authentic and a true representation of blondedbystyle.

The Mom’s Project, is a project that connects photographically beautiful, unique, creative and inspiring women. As stated on their site… fab stories about fab women sharing and doing fab things, which I think is amazing.  Our story on TMP will be about brining creativity into your home for Valentine’s Day.  We wanted the shoot to combine Valentine’s Day fashion, with whimsical home display ideas, as well as create a home activity for the kids. I spent the morning with Lauri arranging flowers, installing our Valentine’s Day LOVE mantle and making some unique homemade Valentines Day cards.

Check out the full post, more pictures from the shoot and read about my life, inspiration and ideas on TMP or on Style Me Pretty, Living.

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A huge thank-you to Lauri Levenfeld and TMP, this has been a very inspirational project and we were so honored to be asked to be part of the TMP and Style Me Pretty, Living.

All Photo credit: Lauri Levenfeld

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It is a milestone day, when your child moves out of their crib and into a bed. The New Year, brings so many changes and as Gjelina turns three in April outgrowing her crib is a right of passage. She could not be more excited about a big girl bed and I look at this transformation with a bit of sadness and nostalgia.

Although, this change brings a bit of sadness, I can’t help getting excited about the room re-fresh and I am checking all my options before I make any big decisions. Living in a apartment keeps us close and space is a premium, it is a bit like solving a giant puzzle every time we update a room. Gjelina has never been a traditional girl and so going the pink route was not an option. I decided that I wanted to play in arena of navy, white and pop yellow. Clean, crisp and fun loving just like her bright spirit .

Bed: Jenny Lind Bed, Land of Nod

Sheets: New School Yellow Dot Sheet Set, Land of Nod

Pillowcase: Not a Peep Bedding, Land of Nod

You Are Beautiful: Gus and Lula

Paint swatches: Navy and White, Serna and Lily

Toy Chest: 3 Sprouts Zebra

Throw Pillow: Zig, Zag Pop, Jonathan Adler

Chair: Hogsten, Ikea

I am open to suggestions, if you have any great ideas – please pass them my way! I will keep you posted on the progress of the room. We are shooting to have it finished by April as an early Birthday present.

 

 

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Holidays are all about gifting giving! I love giving homemade gifts to friends who invite me over for holiday parties or drop off these treats on family’s doorstep, spreading Christmas joy all over town.

I am obsessed with packaging and when I saw these cylinders I instantly was drawn in by the clean lines and the sleek fit of the lid. They come in multiple sizes and can be filled with just about anything. Dress them up with a little bit of twine and cute colored tag and you have a great gift. Add a creative stamp and your creation will be completed.

The Sables recipe is bellow and the candy corn is from my favorite shop in Chicago – it does not get better than Garette. I find sometimes when I run out of time, I can just feel these lovely containers with my favorite treats.sables

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> A TWIST ON HOLIDAY WRAPPING / December 6, 2013
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Final_wrappingI will keep this post really short; because I know it is the Holiday season and there are only so many hours in the day. I wanted to share my twist on Holiday wrapping this season. I strongly believe that the presentation of a gift can be just as important as the gift itself.

Each year, I pick a wrapping color theme and this year I decided to go a bit non-traditional. I saw this green and pink foliage paper and was instantly drawn to it, so making the decision on ribbon color was an easy one. I stock up on all my wrapping paper at the Flower Mart (which is open to the public). The selection is great and so are the prices.

When I need to get inspired the Packaging Store, is the best place to start. This is a shop provided endless possibilities for all of your packaging needs. I recommended the clear plastic bags with the sticker closure – they are simple and premium.

I am also a huge fan of going that extra step and finishing up a package with unique toppers. Toppers can be found just about anywhere. I actually collect toppers year round to keep in the supply closet. They can be picked up at antique stores, flea markets and the flower mart. This year, I picked a small red ladybug and moss-covered mushroom. For me it adds a bit of personality to the presentation and the unique touch will not be forgotten when it comes to gift giving.

Happy Wrapping!

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> Mantle of the Month: DECEMBER / December 5, 2013
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I love to ‘showroom’ my apartment especially for the Holidays. So when Christmas time comes along, I love to find special pause moments in my apartment to decorate and tell seasonal stories. I have to say that I even like decorating the mantle more than the Christmas tree. It becomes a blank canvas to re-create season after season.

This year I wanted a winter white theme with a dash of whimsical (Spotted Owl), a pop of something fresh (white berries) and mixture of sparkle (holiday Christmas trees).

The letters JOY where purchased on Gilt from Vintage Marquee lights and added the extra glow every night as we enjoyed the festive holiday season. I also wanted to take advantage of our historical fireplace and I decided that birch provided the perfect a backdrop to finish off the look. The birch was purchased at the local flower mart and I thought that stacking it horizontal instead of vertical added a bit more interest and a dash of the unexpected.

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What mantle is fully finished without stockings and the magical ELF On A Shelf. The final touches for me are my vintage trolls – Mr. and Mrs. Claus. I picked these up at an antique store a few years back and every year right when I pull them out, I am filled with all the joy of being a child on Christmas Day again. They have become a fan favorite among my friends and family and I am always sad to put them away at the end of the holiday season.

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I want to wish everybody a Happy Holiday and let your creativity run wild though-out your home this Holiday Season.

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