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Gus « Covet Living
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Tag Archive for 'Gus'

Bohemian Garden Party

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Last weekend, I hosted a birthday party (on the front lawn) for one of my beloved gal pals, Hope… she’s the kind of person who doesn’t know strangers, always makes everything fun, always includes everyone (aka the anti-mean-girl – and you can’t get enough of those), has an easy-breezy and ever-positive spirit, an infectious love of life and a larger-than-life love for Taylor Swift.  Which has infected ALL OF US, including yours truly:

Taylor Swift Concert | Covet Living

Anyhoo.  Besides kicking ass at life, Hopes (a fellow design guru) is also insanely creative and has mad ingenuity.  For her birthday this year, she wanted to do a “laid back dinner outside” with just a handful of her closest friends… and had a fun, boho vision of laying out blankets and lanterns around a low table.  As soon as she said that, I knew we were about to embark on something magical in a Woodstock / flower power sort of way. This was the vibe we were going for:

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

And – YOU GUYS – I gotta tell ya… this was SO EASY.  So I promise you can do it at home this weekend if you wanna.  We only had a few days to plan and for a second, Lilly (my co-conspirator, aka Princess Jasmine) and I panicked and thought we were going to have to rush order all sorts of hippie hoopla from Etsy, buy West Elm out of lanterns, etc… And theeeeennnn we decided to just chillax and try to use what we already had.  Here’s what we needed:

  • String Lights (and some way to hoist/rig ’em up over the table)
  • Low Table (at the height you can sit on the ground and eat)
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Lanterns
  • Flowers (for centerpieces)
  • Flowers (for flower crowns – more of Hope’s genius vision)
  • Tableware
  • Gold chargers
  • Temporary tattoos (duh)

We also thought about trying to make everything match and coordinate, and then (psssssht) threw caution to the wind and decided that – whateva – it’s boho, yo.  The curtains aren’t supposed to match the drapes… (this all goes back to my theory about how when you put a bunch of things in a room that you love, they somehow miraculously look great.)  Here’s how it all shook out:


Hope (with her Chicago besties in tow) brings over some stuff she had at home: blankets, pillows, votives, tea lights & gold chargers.  And flowers she picked up from the market… for centerpieces and (duh) for flower crowns.

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Boho Party Inspo | Covet Living


Some dude delivers a massive, 300lb parquet dining table that Hope just bought off of Craigslist for $20.  Girlfriend can scout a deal, I tell ya.

Craigslist Table | Covet Living

But since she wants us to sit on the ground, we know we have to hack off the legs. So we plop down around my coffee table to gage how high we want it, settle on 17″H, and measure/mark the legs on the new table… remove them (luckily, they screwed off) and Hope ran to Home Depot to have them cut down (there’s usually a small fee to do this, but the nice fella with the saw did it for free for her.  Aww.)


Temporary tattoos {from Pigment}, check.

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Pick up cupcakes from Pure Cupcakes down the street. #nomnomnom // {Meanwhile, Princess Jasmine is baking a homemade lasagna and scooping up a salted caramel cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory.  Otherwise, we pot lucked it.}

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living


Gus resting up for the festivities.  The excitement of party prep has already sidelined him.  Obviously.

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living


Hope comes over to help start setting up.  Neither of us have showered, and nothing’s set up yet.  Party starts at 6:30pm.  NBD.

First order of biz: rigging the string lights.  We only had one measly string of lights and no trees close enough to hang them from, so we stuck some old pieces of molding (pulled from a heap of &^$# in my landlord’s garage) in a pot and weighted it down with bricks.  It only fell about 18x before we finally stuck the landing:

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Then we heave-ho’d the table out and laid blankets/pillows around it.  I scored the vintage batik runner on Etsy a few months ago:

Boho Garden Party | Covet Living

We set the table with the votives and flowers Hopers brought + a bunch of mismatched antique glassware I’ve been collecting since before Baby Jesus was born.

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Extra blankets got draped over the backs of the Adirondack chairs to make them a bit cozier.  I bought the giant lily lanterns at Celadon Home in Charleston about 10 years ago.

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

{Hopes putting out the last few Moroccan poufs}

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living


{Chargers – $1 at Michael’s // ikat plates & plastic silverware – $1 at Wal-Mart // floral napkins & confetti – leftover from a wedding shower Karrie recently threw // antique glassware, Mexican bowl and runner – from the depths of my closet}

Bohemian Table | Covet Living


{to the tune of T-Swift – if you really wanna play along listen here}

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

boho yard party | covet living


{Easy tutorial here}

DIY Flower Crowns | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

…even Gus was in on it.

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

He loves his Aunt Hope.

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living


How cute is she?? Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living


Taylor gets louder & louder… Gus takes 400 laps around the table to show everyone his stuffed animal, then disembowels it on the lawn… neighbors try to complain about the noise but then decide coming over for birthday cake is a better plan, we may or may not have camped on the lawn, etc.  Good times.

boho garden party | covet living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living
Bohemian Yard Party | Covet Living

So the moral of the story is: Gowel… don’t stress!  Use as much of what you already have around the house as you can, don’t worry about everything matching, and have everybody bring a dish so you don’t have to do all the cooking.  Teamwork is a wonderful thing. #Girlsquad #easybutton

Howeva – if you don’t happen to have string lights & kanthas & colorful tableware just laying (is it laying or lying??) around, here are a few picks I love:

Boho Yard Party | Covet Living

edison bulb string lights, target, $24.99 :: vintage hmong batik runner, similar to shown, about $79 :: chatoyant tumbler, anthropologie, $10 :: geometric appliqué pillow, target, $24.99 :: tie dye lumbar pillow, target, $24.99 :: fleur & frond bowls, west elm, $8 each :: faceted lanterns, west elm, $49-$69 :: bohemian kantha quilt, etsy, $89 (UM – I *LOVE* THIS ONE – somebody better go buy it before I do.)

As for the morning after… have truer words ever been spoken?

the morning after | covet living


Steph's Scanned Signature

Malibu Weekend


I spent my Galentine’s Day weekend in my favorite place on earth: MALIBU.  I’m insanely lucky to have one of my dearest gal pals there with a place on the beach, which = a getaway whenever I need it.  I remember thinking before I had ever ventured to this magical, beachy, laid-back fairy wonderland that it would be pretentious and snooty (*cough* like a lot of LA), but to me it feels just the opposite. EVERYONE is cheerful and friendly; even chatty.  No one ever seems to be in a hurry. Pups splash around in the surf with no leashes in sight.  Sunlight dances on the water like diamonds.  EVERYTHING is beautiful.  Everyone’s feet are sandy.  The waves are louder than anywhere else I’ve ever been and lull you into a dazed state of relaxation during the day, then rock you to sleep at night.  Surfers are in silhouette at dawn and dusk.  It is heaven.  Here’s my weekend, in pics:

Gus, being a great house guest, waking up Aunt Katie.

Gus and Kate | Covet Living

High-larious #truth on Valentine’s Day morning.

Fat Jewish | Covet Living

Let’s go, woman!

Beach House | Malibu

Even Gus is in a zen place.

Gus | Covet Living

Sea glass hunting

Sea Glass | Covet Living

Trying to get a good pic with this monster before I went to meet another friend for lunch at Duke’s.

Gus and Me | Covet Living

Gus and Me 2 | Covet Living

It’s just not ugly here.

Private Beach, Malibu | Covet Living

He doesn’t think so either.  Slash that’s some amazing bed head.

Gus in Malibu | Covet Living

What my Saturday looked like… outside of lunch, a 6-mile beach walk, and my first time stand-up Paddle boarding – which scared the ever-living &#%$ out of me. Getting off shore past the monster crashing waves with that giant board was a real treat… I got beat the truck up and thrown down about 7 times, knocked in the head with the board, lost my suit a time or two, and scraped my whole self up – while Val Kilmer stood on his balcony and watched.  He’s DEFINITELY seen my boobs.  Finally, I got out there.  It was both peaceful and terrifying – being a hundred yards or so off the shore, not knowing what’s underneath you, and having a baby seal (aka shark snack) bobbing right next to your board… but hey.  I lived.

Malibu | Covet Living

A handfulla sea glass from our long walk, and a wee heart-shaped rock for good measure.

Sea Glass and Gus | Covet Living

The surf

Surf | Covet Living

Big pimpin in my big Golden Girls sunhat

Malibu Weekend | Covet Living

Kate and I did The Ranch at Solstice Canyon on Saturday night for dinner… we chanced it without rezzies, and just when I was ready to hover over some old people at the bar to pounce on their seats, Kate charmed the waiter into giving us the best seats in the house.  Flirting gets that girl the VIP treatment like no one I’ve ever seen.

Solstice Canyon | Covet Living

Solstice Canyon, Malibu | Covet Living

Posting up for sunset on Sunday.  I know, it’s Cat Lady status to the max with all the Gus pics, but he’s such a good soul and fulla personality I can’t help myself… plus lately, I’m keenly aware of his age and that my (years) with him are numbered. Anyhow – we parked it outside with a glass of vino to watch the sun go down.

Malibu | Covet Living


Malibu | Covet Living


Malibu | Covet Living


Malibu | Covet Living

And then it just got prettier & prettier from there.

Malibu | Covet Living

Malibu | Covet Living
Malibu | Covet Living

And then KP came out to join us!  She was inside working.  Poor kid.

Malibu | Covet Living

It wasn’t a conventional Valentine’s Day, but hey.  What are you gonna do?  It was awesome.  And if you would’ve told me a little over a year ago a) that I would ever be single again, or b) that I would’ve quit my job, packed up my house, thrown Gus in the car and moved to other side of the country, I wouldn’t even have been able to get my brain around it.  Who knows why sh*t happens.  I’ve been busting out 90’s country at work for the past few weeks, and a few days ago an old Trace Adkins song called “Time Marches On” came on – the one that says: “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes, everything changes.”  And it almost took my breath away…  in part because I hadn’t heard that jam since high school, and when I did hear it again, it felt like I’d heard it yesterday… except it wasn’t yesterday; it had been 16 years.  Just like that.  (Do you feel a tangent coming on?  Cuz I do.  Get ready.)

I’m extraordinarily aware lately that time moves SO, so quickly, and I’m even more aware that nothing is guaranteed… things I never thought would happen have happened: I still can’t believe that our best friend Mel’s little brother Ryan is really gone.  Or that friends with perfect lives and seemingly perfect relationships would walk in to find their significant others cheating and their lives changed forever.  I also keep thinking about a wedding M & I were gleefully seated at a few years ago, when we still had what we thought was a whole life together ahead of us… Fast forward 3 years, and no one ever could’ve conceived that one day, he would vanish in the most senseless of ways… or that the groom at that wedding would die tragically less than a year later.  Or that tragedy would befall any of the people around us.  My point isn’t to be a downer; it’s to put extra emphasis on: “HOLY SH*T, LIFE IS PRECIOUS.” And you never really know what’s around the next corner.  Another old friend told me about a year ago that life was always going to ebb and flow with joy and sorrow, and that the only thing you can really do to manage it all is to always be at peace, because all of it is going to come down the pike no matter what.  It’s maybe some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten, and I thought a lot about that this weekend… about being at peace, and about how change is the only constant in life, and about how things move so quickly that it’s all too short to spend doing anything but being fully present, wherever you are.  Even in the wake of things that tug (hard) at your heart. That’s what I’m working on doing a lot more these days… and this weekend was a good start.  Cuz if I had spent the weekend worrying about the life I thought I was going to have, then I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the life that I actually do… and all of the wonderful things that are here now: like having an amazing friend in Kate… or a deliriously happy dog – who one day won’t be here anymore – and who traipses up and down the beach to greet (everyone) like it’s the best day of his life… And maybe I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate all the beauty that was around me, or how Kate & I both almost peed our pants when we got into the backseat of an old woman’s car parked outside her door on Saturday night who we THOUGHT was the Uber driver, but who then said to us: “What are you girls doing in my car?  Who are you?  What the hell is Uber?”  Etc etc.  Anyway – try not to blink, yo, or you’ll miss so much of the good stuff.  Imma tryda do the same.

Never Let the Things You Don't Have | Covet Living

Fist bump long distance,

Steph's Scanned Signature

aka Jack Handy

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