House Beautiful

Tag Archive for 'aerin'

iPhone Stream (of Consciousness)

I was just flipping back through my iPhoto; ye know how when you hook your phone up to your computer, it dumps everything in there, and then you forget about it?  I just took a trip back through mine and found a few gems to share with you guys…

Did y’all know Ali Larter has a blog?  She’s a domestic goddess of sorts.  I screen shot the above from her site because (le sigh) it reminds me of Fall – which I am currently yearning for.  And it gave me some Thanksgiving dinner table inspiration for this year, and made me wanna haul off to a few antique stores + Anthro and pull something all deep jewel-and-earth-toned-with-tarnished-silver together.

Can I be weird for a sec?  I’ve hosted Thanksgiving the past 2 years in my – er, what was our – sweet little house in Columbus.  There are a slew of reasons I miss that house, and hosting a gaggle of family and friends for holidays was one of em.  But having a blank canvas of my own place to decorate as I please was another.  Moving along…

At least the things I love most made it out here with me, into this itty bitty 10 x 10 joint (?) #silverlining

One thing I love about Cali?  The Corepower Yoga down the street, and the Hot Power Fusion class every weekday at 7:30am.  It’s 105+ degrees, 1 hour long, and I sweat my ever-living BALLS off.  But it’s been incredible for my beat-to-h*ll-from-college-volleyball joints.  It’s the only class I take.

Any calories I burn in yoga, I replace with Twizzlers.  This is what my desk looks like. Every day.  Oosie.

Rapid subject change: never have I ever seen a floral wedding dress, and I wish I remember where I saw this…  and I might love the bouquet more than anything else in this picture, but I give her props for branching out from the white strapless uniform.

How fun is this malachite screen I saw at an antique shop in San Francisco over Labor Day?

I posted up at a little French restaurant when I first got there – and it was a chilly, breezy Fall-ish day, and I had this.  Salmon-à-la-something-something, but it was heaven.

Cafe de la Presse was good for Sunday brunch – all bustly and charming, with a wall of newspapers and magazines to grab from.

Stumbled on some new John Robshaw bedding at a little boutique in San Fran…  I’ll be checking the local John Robshaw Mothership – Bixby & Ball (Solana Beach) for that soon.  So pretty.

We made wine tasting rezzies at this place – Del Dotto… which I was super pumped about, because I thought I was going to be transported to the French countryside for 2 hours whilst I sipped Pinot Noirs.  But careful if you’re in Sonoma/Napa – this shot is of the Del Dotto location in ST. HELENA, not in Napa.  So, we ended up wine tasting in a cave.  Which was also lovely.  But not as lovely as the pretend France I was hoping for.

They did have some gorgeous Fortuny light fixtures though, so I’ll forgive them for the bait & switch.

Roses I bought at the market while fiddle-faddling a few Sundays back.

Had to add this to my “Nostalgia” playlist on Spotify.  Because the late 80’s / early 90’s are the soundtrack to my adolescence.  That playlist also has Moon River from Breakfast at Tiffany’s on it, which makes me think of my Grandparents, which makes my heart ache – and smile – so much I can hardly stand it.

Went sailing with this big hooker in San Diego a few weeks back.  I’m REAL lucky I have her as a friend.  She is one of the sweetest, most hilarious, most real people you will ever meet.  If anybody needs a good b*tch slap in the face, or for someone to show up when you need them, Karrie’s your girl.

She sent me this care package last week.  Sniff sniff.

This is what she looked like as a kid.  Just kidding.  But not really.

My new Ted Baker cami I can’t stop wearing…  It goes with EVERYTHING – I wore it with jeans and heels to dinner the other night.  With that ballet pink pencil skirt to work last week.  It’s a gem.  I strolled into the Ted Baker store at Fashion Valley after seeing this chick’s get-up.

That pic before shows how amazing my black roots look with my blonde hair.  The jig is up.  I’m wondering if it’s not time to just go au naturel…  à la Julia Hengel.  But, my face doesn’t quite look like that, so I dunno… it might be about as smart as the time I wanted cut my hair into a Meg Ryan-esque pixie cut after I saw You’ve Got Mail, and forgot for a second that I have an afro.

Kristin and I saw this a few weeks ago at Bedrosians.  If you’ve spent a sniff of time on Pinterest, or ever wanted to renovate a kitchen or bathroom, then you’ve either seen or heard about Carrara Marble.  It’s the pretty white marble with grey veining popular the world over, and it’s in every French bistro and all-white kitchen from here to Kingdom Come.  It’s classic and it’s stunning – but it’s also supes expensive. The pic above is a gigantic porcelain panel engineered to look like Carrara… porcelain = much more forgiving/resilient than marble, and also much less expensive.  This isn’t the right application for a countertop because the edge profile would be jacked, but if you wanted to – say – panel your shower walls in Carrara marble, this would save you some serious moo.

Kristin – aka my boss lady – aka the Tile Yoda – just put this Skyline Polished 1-1/4″x6″ mosaic from Marble Systems in one of our clients’ kitchens as the backsplash, and it’s stunning.

I also helped her install a few things in a client’s home the other day and snapped this ditty.  Isn’t it pretty?

Beach shacks in Malibu I passed on a 7-mile trek down the beach (where I also passed Courtney Cox and Gabby Reece – neither are ugly in person).

Michael Kors score from TJ Maxx.

Helmut Lang mini sweater-skirt I tried on at Bloomies, which I would totally wear the Michael Kors kicks with.

Look at my sweet, jolly Poppa, Stevie B, playing with Gus (his favorite thing) while he was in town to help me pack up my C-bus house earlier this year.  This pic makes me so happy.  I miss home…  can you tell?

Hilarious texts – 2 of many – that I got almost immediately after the news broke that Ryan Gosling had knocked up Eva Mendes.

Subtle stunner of a rug on the right – or rugs, I should say – at the Kravet Showroom in San Diego.

Some REAL wise words…

The best white shirt I’ve ever owned (Vince from Nordstrom Rack) – I love it best paired with an itty bitty mini.  PS.  Again with the roots.  Fer *$#&’s sake.

I made Karrie’s BBQ meatballs last week, but instead of the cheesy-corn-quinoa, just made cauliflower rice (you grate a head of cauliflower with the grater, then sauté it in a pan…  I baked mine, though, with some butter, cilantro and cumin.  It was heaven.)

The prettiest little lace jumpsuit, ever, as seen on A Cup of Jo.  Joanna knows a good thing when she sees one.

Calligraphy I die over.  Why can’t this be a font on my computer?

Sunset in Del Mar last Friday.

Gus at that same beach during the day… (look at that majestical creature!)

Gus after.  Spent.  Don’t you just wanna spoon him?


Well hello, California.

Hey kids!!  It’s been a minute, huh?  #whoops.  Wait, before we start, go ahead and hit play on this sucker so we can getcher mind right:

K.  I kinda don’t know where to start!  I think the last time I blogged was back in 1847 when I was shoving out of the deep dark hole that became my life in Columbus – behind the wheel of a 27 ft. U-Haul.  Since then, I spent some QT with my parents in the homeland, hammered a lifetime supply of Pizza King, then threw Gus in the car and drove across the country…  which was surprisingly not awful.  If I hadn’t had books on tape, I might’ve thrown myself through a plate-glass window, but other than that, the trek that took 4 days and 38 hours was peppered with old friends, tumbleweeds and cacti, a peaceful sort of solitude and a million things I’d never seen before.  It went something like this:

All packed up, thanks to my Dad, who packed 900 pounds of my $#*t into a 2 pound bag – or UHaul trailer – with scientific precision.  Stevie B is a wizard.

My navigator is ready to roll!

Illinois and Missouri were dismal, so I couldn’t show you any pictures that wouldn’t make you want to punch yourself in the face.  Then came Kansas…  THIS is everything you ever needed to know about Kansas.  The end.

Gus thought it was a snore too.

Never have I ever been more excited to get the flip out of Kansas and cross the border into Colorado.  I remember driving on the flat, yawn-tastic road that I thought would NE-VER end, and then the hills started getting rolly, and I literally went over one and (GASP!) – there were massive, majestic Rocky mountains in my face.  I stayed in Denver that night, where an old family friend put me up and fed me homemade lasagna and sang me Happy Birthday.  It was divine.

I had glorious plans of driving west from Denver through the mountains to Salt Lake to see another old friend – and that drive allegedly boasts some of the most beautiful scenery on this side of the Mississippi, but I wasn’t sure that hauling a U-Haul trailer through steep, winding mountains packed with ice was wise.  So, we audibled south through New Mexico…

…which *literally* made me feel like I was on the set of No Country for Old Men, and Havier Bardem was about to come out from behind a prickly bush and waste me with an oozie.  It was real creepy there for awhile.  And by awhile I mean like, 600 miles.

And then it got REALLY pretty after Albequerque.

Arizona was stunning…  especially at sunrise while I was sipping hot coffee and listening to John Denver.  It was like a little slice of desert road tripping heaven.

There were about 9 million Hopi Indian roadside markets that I would’ve given my left nut to have stopped at, if not for the fact that I was pulling what felt like the Titanic behind my car and on my 9 millionth hour of driving.

Plus, by Day 4, my favorite co-pilot was losing steam.

Day 4 was also my birthday…  heeeeeey.  I’m still not totally on board with selfies, but we took one that day to commemorate – somewhere along Route 66.

Rolling into Cali was REAL fun, and it was around then that I started to get a little tickle in my shorts.

FINALLY, we made it to San Diego.

When I turned the key and walked into our new (dark, empty) place, I could not possibly have anticipated the overwhelming wave of sadness and “oh $#*%, what just happened to my life?” feeling that hit.  Like a ton of bricks.  I don’t know if I’ve ever felt quite that alone before. But then, one of my new roommates came home, helped me unload the entire U-Haul at 8:00 at night, and took me to In & Out Burger.  That 900 calorie burger + the kindness of a relative stranger was soothing to my crippled little soul…

Also soothing were the next several days, which were filled with trips to the Del Mar dog beach to let my little nugget play in the ocean…

…A trip to LA for my birthday weekend to see Karrie…  who greeted me at the door with a glass of champagne, had Velveeta on the stove, and also had this birthday basket on my bed.  I mean…  she’s a total slampig, but she’s also the most gracious, generous friend, and never expects anything in return.  I mean, look at that.  An Hervé Leger dress from RTR, a hydrangea plant for my new yard, the new Domino, an extra box of Velveeta, and a new book??  I can’t take it.

We did my birthday dinner at Gjelina with a fab group of girls.  And if you haven’t had the Butterscotch Pot de Crack Crème there, then you haven’t lived.

Karrie and I made our Uber driver on the way home super sorry he ever picked us up.  #whoops

We also did a long canyon hike one day, and I almost had 17 heart attacks every time GusGus got too close to the edge.

What else…  after a few days in Santa Monica, my right hand man & I came back to SD to get settled before I started my new job.  Did I tell you I moved in with two boys?  Yeah.  We’ll just call my new digs “The Frat House.”  And at the frat house, I did a little tjuz-ing:

…And planted a mini-potted garden outside with the essentials:  basil, a lemon tree, a jalapeño plant, and Karrie’s hydrangea bush.  It’s not the luscious jungle that we planted last year in our Ferngully of a backyard, but hey.  Shit happens and this works just fine.

On that note, there were a lot of heavy sighs while I unpacked the contents of the beautiful house (and life) that I loved so much…  followed by yanking up my big girl pants and pressing on.  The past few months have been surreal, to say the least… and what happened has been the biggest and most unwelcome lesson I never wanted to learn and the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  But moving here was 100% the right thing, and I know that now…  I knew it before, but it’s finally starting to feel like the right thing, too.  We’re finally settling in and it’s starting to feel like home.  Sorta.

PS:  Check out that stunning, embroidered John Robshaw Jammu bolster pillow that Karrie and Melissa bought me for my birthday.  I cried.  Partly because it was so overwhelmingly kind, and partly because it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen… in all its pink grapefruit and pea green glory.  Gus also thinks it doesn’t suck.

San Diego is a gorgeous place.  People told me before I moved here that the weather is perfect, and it is indeed PERFECTION.  Cool mornings and nights which means you always sleep with the windows open, and warm, sunny days, EVERY SINGLE DAY… and nice people!  I’m talking in rush hour traffic, they let you in and smile and wave. Never have I ever.

You know what else is REAL fun??  My new JOB.  Ehhhh mah GAH why did I wait so long to bust into the design field?  I went to work as Kristin’s assistant at Anne Rae Design.  Here’s my new boss lady:

You can call her Kristin…  or Anne Rae…  or Nado (tornado), which is what I call her. She keeps introducing me as her “Co-Pilot,” which is insanely gracious and also insanely inaccurate, seeing as how she’s a bonafide, super bad ass designer, and I’m a babbling design enthusiast with a blog just trying to learn the ropes.  But that should tell you something about the kind of person she is.  I met Kristin through Karrie years ago – she’s a fellow Midwesterner and an MSU Design School grad who had an overflowing plate fulla business and needed a hand (or five).  She could’ve hired 1000 people more qualified than I am, but she took a chance on me, and I will be forever grateful to her for that.  In other news, look how cute our office is (!)  Or, a sliver of it.

We just moved into it last week, but we’re getting ready to hang this chandy and window treatments in that fabric.  I die.

And here are snippets of a few projects we’re working on…  one is for a lovely lady who loves all things Tuscan, so we’re giving her Tuscany with a modern, sophisticated twist:

Another is a handsome man cave that we’re calling the “Out of Africa” room.  This shot of fabrics scarcely does it justice…  picture grasscloth on the walls, tufted leather chairs, and a sliding barn door to the bar (all Kristin’s genius work).  And among other things, an oversized ottoman in that Grey Poupon Mustard-colored mohair velvet from Schumacher, which makes me let out a little pee every time I touch it.  It’s luscious.

And on that note, this is the longest post EVER and I’m sure everyone needs a bathroom break.  Hope you guys are having a great weekend (!) and now that I’m settled in and Karrie’s wet her whistle and blogged for the 1st time this year, we should be posting a lot more fun stuff a lot more often.  Holler.