My Gallery Wall - It's Almost There....

Here's some updated photos of my gallery wall. (You may remember it last looking something like this). It's not quite finished - I have a large Ansel Adams print to go at the top and some of my travel photos and other mementos (I'd like to also include my Panama hat I bought in Panama) that I'd like to add.

The black and white photo on the left I won from Mrs. Limestone of the blog Adventures in Decorating a Brooklyn Limestone (she takes the most amazing travel photos which you can buy here). It's was taken during her trip to paris. The necklace in the middle I bought at...Macy's. But I like that it has an ethnic tribal feel. It reminds me of something a Masai Mara tribe member might wear.

These framed butterflies I purchased at a market place while in Panama. I loved the colours - so vibrant.

An ex co-worker brought me back this necklace from Kenya (where she went on assignment). It's made of dried beans.

These photos I took from a travel calendar (see here for my original DIY). They used to hang in the bathroom but when I wallpapered it I decided to move them. Now that they are hanging on this wall I'll be switching them out for black and white photographs.

Originally I only had photographs hanging on the wall. But I was inspired by Maryam of the blog My Marrakesh to add actual pieces (jewelry & other things to come) to the mix. It makes it much more interesting I think. Here's two photos of Maryam's wall.

Now THAT'S a gallery wall! Don't you love it? It just looks interesting...like it tells a story, no? I want to ask about every single piece on her wall. "Who's that?" "Where'd you get that?" "What's that?" "Ooooh, what does that do?" That's exactly the response I want others to have when they look at my wall too. To see more of Maryam's gallery wall click here.

Gallery style walls are quite popular now - do you have one? or planning on doing one?


Little Feet...

Yesterday's shoot with my friend, her hubby & their newborn baby girl is definitely one of my favourites to date. I haven't yet gotten her permission to blog any of them so in the meantime I'll leave you with just these two...my heart seriously melts...please click each photo to see large.


I Take Pictures of People...

...did I ever mention that here to you guys? I don't think I have. You see, I'm a bit...protective of it. 'It' being my picture taking. I started really taking pictures for people during my self-imposed blogging break. And I really enjoy doing it...

I promise to share more about my picture taking later. Yes, I have a name and website for it and everything! (though I have yet to register the name).

This afternoon I'm taking pictures of one of my college buddies (I really only had two - both of who I still keep in touch with) new born baby. I haven't photographed babies yet so I'm really excited. My friend said people are starting to think that the baby doesn't exist (a la Suri Cruise in the beginning) since it's been 2 weeks and she has yet to reveal any pics! I'm super flattered she has that much faith in me to allow me to be the first to document this precious time in her life. Perhaps I can share some here? We'll see.

Have a fantastic weekend!


I'm Thankful for Maxwell...

...for a number of reasons including:
  1. He's outright gorgeous in a mature man-ly kinda way.
  2. His sexy deep (who woulda guessed it?) speaking voice.
  3. His incredibly soulful singing voice which gives me goosebumps.
  4. His soprano vocals...beautiful.
  5. How modest and humble he seems to be. I love a modest man.
  6. The way he looks in a suit (mmmmm). I love a guy that can wear the hell out of a suit.
  7. His sense of humour. I love a funny man.
  8. The fact that he sounds INCREDIBLE live.

*Obviously I'm thankful for other things too...but I wanted to talk about Maxwell. Happy Thanksgiving to my readers in the U.S.!


The Yellow Wallpaper Stays

Thank you all for all of your input on my yellow wallpaper dilemma. I read each and every comment that's left on my blog and appreciate all of your suggestions/comments. I really thought the majority vote would be to get rid of it so I was very surprised when the overall consensus was to keep it and implement some of my original inspiration board ideas into the space.

Because everyone said to keep it I really thought hard about what it was that wasn't working for me. I stood in my bathroom and forced myself to put my finger on it. And whaddaya know? I figured it out. I love the wallpaper and I love the shower curtain. I did NOT love them together. It was like a competition between the lacey print of the curtain vs. the print on the wallpaper. The each could work but not together (at least not for me). Luckily, I had a brand new solid white curtain with a simple border that my sister gave to me just sitting in my linen closet. So I hung it and that did the trick.

(I realize in the last post I didn't have a pic showing the curtain with the wall so here's an overall room pic). Before:

And with the new curtain:

It's really hard to photograph the yellow and white accurately so my bad these aren't the greatest photos. But believe me when I say it's much, much, better! But I didn't stop there. I was on a role. I always liked the faux plant that I had on top of the toilet but I didn't like that the green seemed to make the wallpaper look more green. So I did some changes...


almost there...

I agreed with the comments that said to bring in some of my original idea and I remembered that I had bought some picture frames on sale for $5.99 from West Elm (originally $34.99) and thought that would do the trick. I also thought to take the matches out of the box (seen right in front of the orchid in the above pic) and to put them in a glass bowl. The tips of the matches are a vibrant pink which I thought would be fun.

So here's how my bathroom looks now. All I need are some gray hand towels and proper black & white photos in the frame and it'll be 'done.'

So again, here's the before:


And the after:

I really, really love it now and am so glad you all helped me to see that it had great potential. The Ikea rug I want for the living room will have a bit of yellow in it and I think the two spaces will hint at each other really nicely. Oh - and I just wanted to let you all know that the wallpaper is easily removable. It peels right off - which is how it was also marketed on the packaging. When I was putting it up I did a quick test and it peels off leaving no trace at all. So I didn't even ask my landlord if I could put it up because it comes down easily. If you're in a rental and want to inject some pattern with wallpaper - look into the kind that peels off ;)

Oh! Speaking of yellow you wouldn't BELIEVE the yellow find I found at the thrift store this week...


Ruffled Scarf Found! Kinda...

Do you remember this ruffled scarf I fell in love with and blogged about here?

Well look what Maegan (a fashion blogger of the blog ...Love Maegan) made!

Tutorial here. As soon as I find the foot pedal thingy for my sewing machine I'm going to try and make this. She has dozens of other amazing DIYs so be sure to check them out.

Oh, she also recently posted this next outfit. And while I'm not normally a person who likes cutouts or embellishments on stockings I saw these and was immediately in lust.

So. Freakin'. Hot.

Maegan notes that the leggings are Givenchy & that she bought them back in 2003 and JUST wore them for the first time.

Juju Hats & Kuba Cloth

My vision, in decorating my apartment, is to accent it with treasures from around the world. For it to have a definite 'traveled' feel with ethnic pieces here and there. Hopefully ones I bring back from travels abroad- but since those have been few and far between lately, I'm just as happy to keep my eyes open for ethnic pieces that I like in decor mags/blogs and to then track them down online. One item that has been on my list for ever is an authentic juju hat that I first saw on the blog Aphro Chic ages ago.

They kinda look like a big flower but in actuality they are feathers. The hats are from Cameroon and according to many sites they are traditional hats worn buy prominent members of society as well as Juju dancers. They come in so many different colours and hung on the wall like art - they add interest, texture, and colour. Plus, they are so beautiful to look at. You may have noticed them in design mags since they are not too uncommon, but they're not yet as common as say...decorating with the Ikat print.

Lovely, eh? The other ethnic item on my list I just discovered last week.

click here for house tour

Do you see what I see? That awesome pillow on the sofa? Ya, I know. You can barely see it but I LOVE it. This home was featured on Design*Sponge and the homeowner noted that the fabric was an African cloth called Kuba cloth.  A quick ebay search brings up tons of cloth for sale - it's not cheap but I still adore and want it. You could maybe even frame a piece...a nice long rectangular piece...yeah that would be sweet. A google search leads you to online retailers selling pillows.

Ah, the list of things I covet for my apartment is never-ending. But before I can get either of these I MUST. BUY. PROPER. CURTAINS. or SOMETHING for my windows.

What about you? What's something you have your eyes on for your space?


Bathroom Progress

During my blogging break I went ahead and wallpapered my small bathroom. It was basically a white (actually more like builders beige) box and I decided that since it was small I wanted to do something fun with it. My debate was fun (with colour) vs. simple/hotel like...I went for fun. And since it was a small space I only needed one roll of wall paper which cost $36 (which isn't expensive but isn't the cheapest out there).


After (I literally had to stand in my tub to take these!):

Fun right? I know. But as much as I like it I'm now thinking of painting it. It's just not quite working for me and I don't know what exactly it is that's not working. I don't think it's the wallpaper per say - but more or less the whole thing together (oh, this is the curtain I have up-a see throughish white one-...not the colourful one). It just kinda feels not quite finished...which is funny because it's really not finished and I know that. I need a new bath mat, and some kinda art/photograph on the wall....and I have to buy proper hand towels. I find myself reconsidering my original inspiration board for the bathroom:

So, now I'm thinking of painting it either a light gray, white white, or black.

What do you think? Leave it, get the finishing touches, and make it work. Or go with my original inspiration board?


Statistics Lie.

(click photo to enlarge)


What Makes You Happy?

(This post is inspired by this post)
Spinach omelettes. Singing both Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" at the top of my lungs...especially when my youngest brother joins in AND singing Michael Buble's "Haven't Met You Yet". The feeling I have after I finish 30-45 minutes of cardio at the gym. Right now these are 3 things that make me happy. What about you - what makes you happy?


Me? Over the Top?

Last week Jeannie of the blog Small and Chic in Cville gave me the "Over the Top" blog award (along with 4 other bloggers). To participate I must answer the questions below...and then pass them on to 5 other bloggers. I like reading these when other bloggers do them so I hope I don't bore you!

Come back later to see who I'm passing it on to. (p.s. I answered these questions last week and just didn't post it until today).

Thanks for the blog love Jeannie!

1. Where is your cell phone: On it's charger right beside my laptop.

2. Your hair: Is freshly styled :) I saw my hairstylist on Saturday. She's going to Miami until March and that makes me very very sad.

3. Your mother: Is in the process of booking a quick visit to the Caribbean. Lucky her!

4. Your father: *blank stare* I haven't spoken to him, by choice, in well over 10 years.

5. Your favourite food: Ugh I could never narrow it down to just one item. I love my mom's curry chicken (Jamaican style), oxtails, and cornmeal porridge. I love mashed potatoes. Noodles. Lobster and shrimp = delicious-ness. Perfectly cooked broccoli. If the above is all I could eat for the rest of my life I'd be a very happy girl :)

6. Your dream last night: I normally remember my dreams really well but am having a hard time remembering last nights' (go figure). I'm pretty certain it was of my sister's suprise birthday dinner her boyfriend and I threw for her.

7. Your favourite drink: Hmmm...Right now I'm really loving Lipton's Lemon Iced Tea. Which is weird cause I've always HATED iced tea until I tried this one a few weeks ago.

8. Your dream/goal: To be happy & satisfied with my life. (Which broken down equals = To inspire my family, friends and those around me. To have a career that is fulfilling that I'm passionate about. To live passionately. To travel off the beaten path and experience different cultures regularly. To not have to worry about money. To live a life I'm proud of. To leave a legacy.)

9. What room are you in: My little brothers.

10. What are your hobbies: I love to read. I enjoy photography. I love decorating my apartment. I love traveling but don't know if I can call it a hobby since I don't get to do it nearly as much as I'd like.

11. What are your fears: To not realize my dream/goals. To be old & single.

12. Where were you last night: My sisters' surprise birthday dinner party.

13. Something you are not: Arrogant, ignorant/closed-minded, high-maintenance. Those are the 3 most unlikely and untrue descriptions someone could ever call me.

14. Muffins: Are good but I'm more of a cupcake gal lately.

15. Wish list items: A job that is fulfilling that I love. Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon fabric. The Ikea Alvine Ruta rug.

16. Where did you grow up: Toronto.

17. Last thing you did: Helped get my younger brothers off to school. Quickly edited a few photos from my sisters party and sent them to her so she could get 'em up on fb.

18. What are you wearing: PJs...and a sweater. I was cold.

19. Your pets: Howard - an adorable two year old bichon frise/ toy poodle who is the love of my life.

20. Your friends: Are few. But I'd rather a few I can confide in and count on than lots that I can't.

21. Your life: Is like a book that's still being written. There's been a few cliche moments, some unexpected happenings, a few twists and turns...but there's lots of adventures to come.

22. Your mood: Kinda hungry.

23. Missing someone: Not really.

24. Vehicle: I've been driving my mom's SUV for a few weeks now...

25. Something you're not wearing: Makeup

26. Your favourite store: I don't have a favourite. I know I know - how ungirly of me ;)

27. Your favourite colour: I can't pick just one. I love black, various shades of pink, gray, gold, mustardy yellow.

28. When's the last time you laughed: A few minutes ago when I hid behind the door from Howard and he found me...he makes me laugh ALL the time.

29. When's the last time you cried: ALMOST cried last night when my sister almost cried at her surprise birthday dinner party. Last time I actually cried...hmm...probably during a recent episode of Cold Case. That show always gets me.

30. Your best friend: Lives in New Jersey.

31. One place you go over and over: The pet store to buy Howard's food.

32. One person who emails me regularly: My god-daughter is constantly forwarding me stuff...

33. Favourite place to eat: My mom's house.

Whew! Fun :)