Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quick Patio Update

So due to all the rain and cold weather in Boston last weekend, we sadly didn't make much progress on our patio. Can I tell you how over the cold I am? I think I'm actually starting to forget what warm weather feels like. Despite the rain, we DID cross off the one thing on our to do list that didn't involve being outside, which was organizing some fun decor for that space. Here's a peek at some of the things that are ready to go out there once it gets a little nicer!
The plants (including our baby tomato and parsley sprouts) have been growing happily in our windows for the last month but are quickly outgrowing their pots and are so so ready to be replanted outside. We also have several new planters we made in pottery class that are ready to be filled!
The outdoor rug we ordered is from Wayfair

An in other exciting news, our outdoor lights are going up this week! We ended up going with these ones from Restoration Hardware. I love the look of the textured glass against the wrought iron and how they kind of match the street lamp posts on Marlborough. It will be so nice to finally have light out there, although josh has mastered grilling in the dark with a battery-powered lantern. For added lighting, we also ordered these pretty globe lights and hung these DIY mason jar sconces.
That's all for now! I'm heading to Atlanta for the rest of the week for the Mom 2.0 blogger conference, where Wayfair is sponsoring a lounge. I don't want to give too much away, but here is a peek at the theme we are going with for this particular space. It took a lot of planning (you can take a look at some of the design elements that are going into it here), but I think it's going to look amazing. I'll be sure to share photos when I get back, but in the meantime you can follow @Wayfair on Instagram if you want to see it all come together!

Friday, April 25, 2014

This week on Marlborough 4.25

^Freezing our bums off (but loving every minute) of our first Red Sox/Yankees game

I hope everyone had a wonderful week! I spent most of it trying to enjoy the (fairly) nice weather outdoors, including heading to last night's Red Sox game and also taking an extended lunch break on Monday to get some sun and watch the marathon. Marathon Monday was a picture perfect day here in Boston, and although it took me over an hour to navigate my way through the crowds back to Marlborough after work, I loved seeing so many smiles from runners, spectators, and the police alike. It was such a contrast from last year and just what we needed.

This weekend, I am actually really excited to have NO plans, other than some patio work and hopefully seeing this movie. We'll be staining our outdoor fence tomorrow (and josh also wants to build a cornhole set) so after a couple trips to Home Depot this weekend, I'm hoping to have a little patio update for everyone next week. It's coming along!
And here are some fun links from this week...
  • Skillet cookies. Yum.
  • The best Boston Marathon signs this year.
  • This Sorrento beach house. That mint/leather chair makes my jaw drop!
  • The purrfect way to spend Sunday night (if you live in NYC).
  • I've been loving modern plant pots lately. You may be spotting one or more of these in our outdoor space.
  • Josh and I watched "American Blogger" this week and while the trailer was rightfully met with a lot of controversy, I really enjoyed the resulting film, which featured some of my favorite bloggers. And while I've seen tons of differing opinions about the movie, the fact that these women's lives have been changed through blogging is undeniable.
  • A really cute idea for Mother's Day.
  • Are you one of those people that eat an entire avocado with a spoon? Then you'll think these salads are as genius as I do.

Happy Friday! I'll leave you with some of my fave iPhone photos taken in Vermont this past weekend, including one of my all-time favorite pictures of mac being "walked" by a puppy...
^One of my favorite views in the world (josh's parent's house on Lake Champlain)
^Mac has such a disdain for energetic puppies. Can you tell?!
^ "I will sit next to you but I refuse to look at you."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Refreshing a bedroom for summer

You guys! How much can you not WAIT for summer? It's coming..slowly. To welcome the season and all of our summer guests (and let's face it, as an excuse for me to redecorate), we decided to liven up our guest bedroom a bit this week. Here's how!

1. Changed up the bedding
I love the West Elm bedding that we've had in this bedroom ever since we moved in, but it felt very cozy and wintry to me and it was just time for something new. Updating your bedding is one of the easiest ways to give your bedroom a fresh look as the seasons change. We took this blanket out of our storage closet for the bed and added a couple fun pillows, including one of my all time favorites from DENY Designs.
2. Changed up the configuration 
This is probably the biggest change we made to the room and I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but it allows us to access the door and create a second entrance to the patio, which I love. The room is fairly narrow so we didn't even think that turning the bed horizontally would work, but were pleasantly surprised that the bed still fit with plenty of room on the end to get around. Doesn't it look like a completely new space?
3. Let some light in
As you can see in the first photo above, we've had the door covered by both the bed's headboard and a shade for the entire winter, and finally rolled the shade up this week once we moved the bed away from the door. I can't believe what a difference in made! The room looked so pretty this morning with all of the natural light flooding in. I could almost smell the warm summer breeze blowing in.
^Mac's favorite rug. He follows it wherever it goes.
4. Added a new piece of wall art
When I saw this macrame wall hanging, I knew it would look amazing on our guest bedroom's white exposed brick wall. The only issue was how we were going to hang the finished piece on the brick, so I swear I heard angels singing when josh found one white nail already drilled into the brick, just asking for something to be hung on it. It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the way the copper stands out against the white brick is amazing, I can't even handle it. Tying all of those knots is pretty rough on the fingers (I had to take a break halfway) but other than that, this DIY wall hanging was easy and inexpensive to recreate. All you need is cotton pipe filler and copper piping and then you can just follow the tutorial here.
Are you doing anything - big or small - to refresh your home for summer? I'd love to know!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Anatomy of a spring outfit

In my opinion, spring in New England is one of the hardest seasons to dress for. The weather is so unpredictable, and it's completely normal to have a 30 degree day and a 70 degree day in the same week. Especially now that I walk over a mile to work every day, I have be dressed in such a way that no matter what elements spring in Boston wants to throw at me - including heat, wind, rain, or snow - I will be fairly comfortable. It's the absolute worst when your are stuck outside waiting at a crosswalk and are too hot or too cold. Dressing for the weather can be really hard, but after a few rough walks so far this season, I've found a sure-fire outfit that I'm comfortable in no matter what the temperature and that you can dress up or down depending on the day.
1. Boyfriend or straight leg jeans
Jeans with a looser fit are great for spring because they keep your legs covered, but also leave a little room for air if you get an uncharacteristic 75 degree day. Skinny jeans are great when you need to tuck them into boots, but straighter leg jeans can be rolled up easily at the bottom so you can wear them with sandals on really warm days. I've been loving all the boyjean styles available at Madewell right now.

2. White silk shirt
I rarely wear any white in the winter, but once spring gets here I can't get enough. White looks great with denim and is neutral so you can accessorize with just about any color. I have a couple white silk (or faux-silk) shirts that have become my staples, but I'm in the market for a couple more.

3. Pumps
Spring is pretty much the only time of year in Boston that you can rock pumps. In fall/winter it's too cold to have your feet exposed and in the summer closed-toed pumps will make your feet too sweaty. If your not a heels person, this also applies to flats! I especially love suede pumps and flats in bright, statement colors.

4. Colorful Jewelry
When the rest of your outfit is fairly basic and neutral, you can really have fun with accessories. I could wear this outfit every day for a week with different jewelry & shoe choices and no one would probably even notice. OK so they probably would, but the point is that you can use accessories to make this outfit completely unique.

Blouses: Zara//Sunglasses: Urban//Jeans: Madewell// Pumps: J.Crew//Cuff: NastyGal//Horn Necklace: Vince Camuto//Tortoiseshell necklace: J.Crew

I've found that I've worn a version of this outfit pretty much every day since the beginning of April. It's perfect for work (if you have a casual work environment) but also perfectly transitions into something you can wear after work for drinks with friends or on a date night. It's also really easy to modify based on the unpredictable weather. If it's a little chilly, swap the heels out for cute booties and a leather jacket. If it's a little warmer, cuff the ends of the jeans and wear your favorite wedges. Whatever the case, you'll look good and be super comfortable. Trust me!

Friday, April 18, 2014

This week on Marlborough 4.18

^Love this shot of josh I took at Halibut Point last weekend (Rockport, MA)

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend and good luck to all those running in the Boston Marathon on Monday. My eyes welled up a little as I watched Copley Square transform once again into a finish line this week on my walks to and from work. To be honest, seeing the whole thing take shape again completely overwhelmed me and all of the memories and feelings from last year - confusion, anger, sadness - just flooded back in a way that I wasn't ready for. Walking by the week and seeing all of the smiling faces, bright banners, and countless tents, you'd never know that at this time last year, Back Bay was essentially a ghost town. All those runners crossing the finish line on Monday (and all those cheering those runners on) will prove that Boston is stronger and more fearless than ever. I've never felt such an overwhelming sense of pride for being a Bostonian than I have this week. I just love this city so much.

PS if you missed it, check out the marathon finish line photo-shoot that the Boston Globe did with survivors this week. So inspiring.
Here are some other fun links from this week...
  • The 24 people who applied to the #WorldsToughestJob. I loved this! 
  • Girl Meets World looks so bad that it may be good.
  • 30 reasons to love blue, green & purple. 
  • If you missed the biggest fail in social media history this week, get caught up here. And then read these 30 hilarious Twitter reactions
  • The smartest dog ever. 
  • Wayfair launched a new commercial this week! Introducing: Wayfair, the musical
  • This girl has my bet to win this season of the Voice. Her performance this week is definitely worth a listen. 
  • National Geographic concludes what Americans will look like in 2050, and it's beautiful
  • 8 million flower petals explode over a town in Costa Rica for a new Sony ad campaign. So pretty.
  • This daddy/daughter fashion duo are seriously stylish. 
  • This flatbread recipe has my mouth watering. 
  • Love the look of this quirky midcentury "urban tree house" in California. 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

5 DIYs to try before summer

There are so many little things you can do to get yourself (and your home) into summer mode. Here are a few that I've tried lately!

1. Make a piece of jewelry.
My turtlenecks and sweaters have been safely stored away, so I decided to try my hand at jewelry making this month for the first time since clay beading in elementary school camp. Working with wire is so much harder than it looks! I started with a seemingly easy DIY wire wrapping tutorial that was supposed to end up looking like this, but I only got about 1/20th through the necklace before my fingers started to fall off and it got too tedious for my DIY tastes. I left the supplies on our living room ottoman and I would catch josh trying to do one or two beads for me, but in the end it wasn't his forte either. All in all, I still love the delicate necklace that resulted and the simplicity of the chain with less beads. If you try this one, good luck! Tutorial (with video instructions) here.
2. Add color to something ugly.
Summer is all about color! Before summer gets here, take something that your tired of staring at every day and bring it to life. I added some colorful striped washi tape to my white Macbook cord and love it so much more now. I'm also thinking about adding some bold color to our wooden spoons like this.
3. Dress up a plant
Plants are synonymous with summer. If your adding a few to your home this season, consider spicing them up a bit with some fun planters! I used gold glitter decals to accent some pink cacti and josh made a pretty clay planter in wheel-throwing class for our growing infant tomato plants. Even without access to a wheel, there are tons of ways to dress up your favorite plants, including these 18 DIY planter crafts and this cute paper bag pot idea.
4. Hang some outdoor candles
I love the relaxed, romantic look of candlelight. So even if you only have a tiny bit of space outdoors, try to add some candles for summer to set the mood. After seeing tons of beautiful photos of hanging mason jar candles, we decided to recreate them for our outdoor space (for less than $10!). We picked up a few mason jars, wire, and string at Michael's and josh used the wire to create secure loops for hanging. Then I just added hemp string, burned the knots for extra strength, and hung them on one of my favorite decorative racks I found on sale last year at HomeGoods. Voila! Instant hanging sconces. ( P.S. you can see how dreamy they look at night here.  P.P.S. if you don't want to make them, you can score a few on sale here.)
5. Make moisturizer
After all, your skin will actually be showing soon. With a few all-natural (and inexpensive) ingredients, I made my own lemon honey hand lotion using this tutorial and it feels and smells amazing. You can see all the ingredients needed here, and even buy the entire kit for yourself or as a gift! I've already stored this handmade lotion in my purse and can't wait use it on my (hopefully tan) hands all through summer.
I love trying new projects like these and not only coming to conclusions about what I like to do, but discovering that more often than not, I can make all the things I see that I love and want to buy. Summer's (nearing) arrival is a great excuse to experiment! Have you tried any fun projects lately?

Friday, April 11, 2014

This week on Marlborough 4.11

^Awkward family photo! #Jcasdrunk #Jakessleeping #Joshisreallyexcited

Happy Friday! Did your week seem to fly by as quickly as mine? Tuesday night we went to the Red Sox game which was really just what I needed to break up a busy work week. I hadn't been to Fenway in forever, so it was so much fun heading into the stadium with both my entire team from work and my best buds on what felt like the first real "spring" night we've had yet. I'd missed you, Fenway pretzels!

Josh and I also brought our first glazed, finished creations home from pottery class (sneak peek here) which was exciting. We've improved so much since creating those first little pots, and are looking forward to the next few final weeks of class where we can take everything we've learned and create some really cool pieces.

Here's a few fun things from around the web this week...
  • I love this series of photographs, taken from a different pup perspective.
  • This is the song I've been playing on repeat this week.
  • If you haven't seen this classroom prank yet, you must.
  • Not a huge fan of beets, but think I might like beet cookies.
  • Perfect little appetizers for your next dinner party! These would look great on a marble tray.
  • Young House Love finally finished their Showhouse! I've you missed their posts throughout the process, be sure to check them out. 
  • These ice cubes are genius.
  • I'm currently obsessing over this airy lake house cabin and this modern Australian home.  
  • 7 great sources for outdoor budget furniture.

What's everyone doing this weekend? We are going to stay pretty low key and knock off some things on our patio to-do list. I really can't wait for that space to be ready for everyone to come hang out it. Counting down the days until summer! Happy Friday.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

12 DIYs to try before Easter

Easter is right around the corner! What's everyone doing for Easter weekend? Josh and I are heading up to Vermont and hoping for warm weather so we can spend some much needed time by Lake Champlain. Easter is always one of my favorite times of the year because the ground has finally thawed out and you often get those first tastes of summer. And there's usually a lot of chocolate involved too, let's not forget about that.

Due to all the pretty colors (and adorable bunnies) associated with Easter, it is also one of the best times of the year to get crafty and bring some spring cheer into your home. So many of the Easter DIYs I've been seeing pop up all over the web lately have made me smile -- here are a few of my favorites!

1. DIY party confetti egg game from Oh Happy Day
2. Gold leaf eggs from Pinterest
3. DIY bunny jars from Torie Jayne
4. Eggshell vases from Craftberry Bush
5. Corn husk carrots from Oh Happy Day
6. Wooden Easter eggs from My Poppet
7. DIY eggshell flower centerpiece from Little Inspiration
8. Mini basket place settings from The House That Lars Built
9. Origami Easter bunny baskets from Studio DIY
10. DIY paper rabbit from Chloe Fleury
11. DIY Easter terrarium from Please Note
12.  Cement Easter eggs from Camille Styles

Have a wonderful Easter!