Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Weather Wonders

I wanted to take a minute to share something truly amazing with everyone today. I had to make last minute run out to Target for some final touches for Dablet's Halloween experience earlier this morning, and on my way home I was stunned by what I saw in the sky. I immediately called Kyle, who was off working somewhere about 30-40 minutes away from me, but he could see it too. I had never seen anything quite like it, and I can only assume that this weather phenomenon must have something to do with Hurricane Sandy...

There was a rainbow circling the looked as if it was keeping the haze away from the crystal clear bright light we finally had again today. The picture truly does not do this justice, but I promise it's real and I snapped this from my car. The rainbow went almost all the way around the sun! I had never seen an "upside down rainbow" before, and I had never seen one that acted as a weather barrier. Shortly after I got home, the clouds had moved in again and the rainbow was gone. This bright moment had been replaced by the cold dreary haze that most of the East Coast is still feeling. We were lucky with Sandy, but I know so many who were not. I thought this might bring a little joy into everyone's day. I'm hunting an explanation for this marvel, and when I find it I'll be sure to share!

Here is a second photo that Kyle took while he was out at the same time! It does a much better job of showing the full circle! 

Also, Lee Ringer, from News 14 Carolina, was nice enough to respond to my request for an explanation! So what is it?! It's a "sun halo" created by sunlight shining through tiny ice crystals very high in the atmosphere. Sounds like a giant prism effect I remember learning about in elementary school! You might see one of these photos as a weather shot of the day on the news one day soon!

Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dablet's Playroom - Phase One

The design, and redesign, of Dablet's playroom has been the center of attention around here for quite a while! When we sold our printing company early this year, we moved a large chunk of equipment and paper back to the house that quickly took up our formal dining room. I always knew that we would never use our formal dining room because we have a large open concept eat-in kitchen...but I did not expect it to turn into a storage room! It was especially disturbing to have it become storage because its one of our two front rooms when you first walk into the house...bad impression?! I think so!
This is what we had for a while as an eye sore while we tried to shift things around, purge, and clear out the room:
This is what can happen to your life quickly!

Clearly, that's not what anyone wants to live with! Once Dablet was interacting with everything around her in a much more hands on and mobile way (crawling too!), it because obvious that this room needed to be a playroom! We cleared it out and painted the "builders beige" walls with Benjamin Moore's Gray Owl (one of my FAVORITE grays!) and immediately the room looked better! 

We found a fabulous chair from IKEA that was supposed to have legs on it, but we never screwed them in!
Find this chair online here

It was the perfect height off the ground for Dablet to be able to safely climb in and out on her own. I'm contemplating getting a second one of these chairs for her in our family room and making a fun bright slipcover for this one! She clearly loves it!

Kids and tags!!!

This Solsta Olarp Chair was the perfect reading chair for her reading nook! I brought down a bookcase I was originally going to use in my new office because the teal popped so well against the gray! Once (some of) her books were on the shelves it brought SO much color into the room! That's one of the things I love about the gray backdrop; it's a perfect canvas for all kinds of colors. It's essential to have lots of color in a child's space:
I found this piece at HomeGoods!

Because the opposite corner in the room is going to be her crafty area, we decided to put her main toy storage on the same wall as her reading nook. Of course the most important part to any playroom (aside from the color!) is the functionality. Toy storage has to be more than just easy for me to quickly return order to the room, Dablet needs to be able to use it herself! Safely too!

Again we went to IKEA for this one! The Trofast Toy Storage series is PERFECT for allowing you to get what you need based on what you have to store! Different colors, and bucket depths (all mounted on easy sliding brackets) make a custom look possible!

Added bouns, Dablet has NO problem emptying everything out herself, and I have no problem quickly putting things back together!

Her foam ABC, 123 mat will soon be replaced by a rug, but the pop of color has been welcome!

So far I have this wall done, with the opposite wall "under construction"! The artwork that Nicole ap! created for us is being framed and I cannot wait to finish off the look! Dablet is accepting appointments to come check out her playroom, as long as you don't mind getting on the ground and enjoying it with her! This project has allowed me to think like a kid again, and lay to rest thee stigma against having playrooms as soon as you walk into someone's house. Maybe you'll disagree with me, but when this look is done I am confident it will be a nice sight to walk in the door to!

Friday, October 19, 2012

PBteen Comes to Durham!

What a whirlwind of a week! Back and forth to Arizona from North Carolina twice, two days at market, and at the end of it all I was honored to be invited for a sneak peek at the new Pottery Barn Teen store opening this Saturday October 20th at 10am at The Streets of Southpoint in Durham, NC! This store will feature a fabulous Design Lab allowing the tech-savvy generation to have complete creative control over their own spaces! PBteen will complete the triad of Pottery Barn brands (including Kids) at Southpoint and accessing the "in between" generation with fabulous pieces that provide versatility customization, space saving ideas, and quality to carry on to the first apartment! I have two nephews, 12 and almost 17, so the idea of a PB Teen hits close to home!
Just in time for holiday shopping, PBteen will offer the new holiday line and some fabulous gift and stocking stuffer ideas for the teens you are never quite sure what to buy for! In a age where everything parents say seems to be "so not cool!", PBteen hits home with teams, sports, colors, and personal details teens will love (with bundle discount incentives parents will love too!)
The fabulous animal print (in MANY different prints) collection featuring boots, hats, throws, beanbags and more! Headphones for your tech savvy teen with fun patterns. The perfect desk accessory - a mini fridge for late night studying...or talking on the phone! All of the fabulous colorful prints in travel bags, makeup cases, and more!

My favorite gift idea - given that I'm always writing something somewhere - was the journals!

The highlights for the boys include a fabulous new collaboration with Burton. With extreme sports in full swing, partnering with a snowboard company and including details like patterns that mimic the snowboarding jackets, and even a snowboard chandelier (yes please!), teens can enjoy this line in a way that allows them something a bit more than posters in $20 frames!
Bedding made from Burton T-Shirt Designs!

Of course, if you want to speak to teen boys you have to have something for baseball, hockey, and football! When I saw the featured multi-team line separated by American/National, Eastern/Western, and AFC/NFC divide my inner Boston Sports Fan flared just a bit! Would I want my someday son to have to sport the Yankees on his sheets just to have the Red Sox?! Don't worry! They have individual team patches for pillow cases and duvet covers to showcase your favorite team! Want to make it even more personal? Add a monogram!

I had an instant flashback when I stepped past the Burton, NFL, and MLB budding testosterone space into a world of patterns, bold colors, and none other than sleepovers! The Sleepover Shop from PBteen must have had a teenage girl (at least one at heart) spearheading the design. I saw interpretation of the pattern play and color selection I saw all over High Point Market this week, but with the feel of gabbing girls doing pedicures and talking about what accessories they would wear on their dream date. Don't worry, PBteen had that covered! Of course in the spirit of equal opportunity there is a Sleepover Shop for the dudes too!

When I was pregnant I was overwhelmed by the amount of "stuff" I was going to have along with my newborn. It seems that teens have just as much "stuff", and if you want to have a shot in the dark at getting them to keep it clean and organized you will have to have plenty of STORAGE!!

Outside of their bedrooms, teens spend the majority of their time just hanging out! If you are able to have a separate teen hideaway, or even a room for a "hangout section" you will love the Cushy Lounge Collection

Pick the number you want and their orientation! Have a love seat, or a full sectional.

Need even more storage? Check out this awesome base!

What I loved about how they show the Cushy in-store is the "coffee table" trunk they show with it! Have you noticed the trunk trend?! I am a big fan of trunks, and this one come in 13 colors...yes 13!!!!!! This piece comes from the PBdorm collection, yet another fabulous addition to a brand! Check out the OlioHop Dorm Decor post for more ideas!

Southpoint is turning into a prime place to shop for home and decor with the recent additions of Crate & Barrel and West Elm (preview post here) to the existing Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Restoration Hardware, Urban Outfitters, Anthropoligie, and now Pottery Barn Teen! If you have a chance to swing by tomorrow there's an extra incentive! PBteen will be giving away bags to the first 250 guests, along with 5 golden tickets worth a $250 gift card! Go ahead and drag your teenagers out of bed, tame the pre-teens, and put them in charge of their own spaces! They'll thank you for it!
**In case you missed the "clicky" links in the post go ahead and click on through here to PBteen online to get some of your holiday shopping out of the way!**

Monday, October 15, 2012

OlioLove at High Point Market

Today was quite the day! I explored the IHFC (International Home Furnishing Center, home to hundreds of brands during High Point Market! Overwhelming is the easiest one word summary; it is very easy to understand why Market is a week long! Aside from the seminars, panels, and parties, there are so many different styles to see. After spending most of my time at the IHFC drooling over lighting, rugs, and pillows I headed off to one of the events in the Design Viewpoints Series - Presented by Houzz this shared with us information surveyed from over 30,000 respondents what projects are most important to them, why they take on home improvement projects, and showcased Houzz as another community tool for design professionals and homeowners to use for inspiration and connecting. (More on Houzz later!)
What I really want to share with you is my trip to the CR Laine showroom and the party they hosted to celebrate the finalists for the 9th Style Spotter contest High Point Market paired with Olioboard on. It was the perfect opportunity for me to finally meet in real life so many of the wonderful women I have come to know though Olioboard, twitter, and the OlioHops. In this group, you are greeted with hugs versus handshakes even when you don't quite recognize someone from photos... (sorry Sheilah!) The collaborative effort to show design and style in an accessible medium through Olioboard is a growing trend in the design community. Our local news station even had a segment about the Style Spotters and the importance and influence of social media on TV tonight! I may be the "new kid on the block" but the Olioboard community continues to provide enthusiastic support for a budding designer. I should note that what I really wanted to write instead of designer was woman. It is incredibly inspiring to see to many independent and talented women in the same room celebrating their shared passions versus clawing over each other to get to the top! I  love collaborating with each and every one of them!
CR Laine promotes themselves as "Style Comfort Color" and they absolutely delivered! Holly was a fabulous host, and if you are local you should make the trip to Hickory to visit their permanent showroom! The theme for this Market was "50 Shades of Green", and they showed green in many fabulous ways:
Something else that is showcased perfectly by CR Laine is the ability to use the same fabric many different ways, even in the same room:

These chairs were one of my favorites! I loved the fabric backs, but the best part is that Benjamin Moore partners with CR Laine to create custom colors to match the fabrics! That's why that coral/orange looks SO perfect against it! I'm telling you....collaboration is key!

This piece I wanted to carry home with me! I'm deeming it a hybrid of a chair and a half and a chaise...It's as wide as a chair and a half, but longer (even without the ottoman)...just not as long as a chaise. No matter what you (or they) want to call it, it's the ideal snuggle chair and it's something even Kyle could get excited about having in the house!
You'll notice the rug and the "rug pillows" on the right side of the picture. I was told that the rugs are purchased from Turkey where they are handmade (each and every one is unique) by girls for their dowry  CR Laine sends buyers over and they bring the rugs back and turn them into one of a kind pieces of furniture so you can find the perfect one for your home!

When I first saw them, they reminded me of Western saddle blankets! It was perfect actually because the first one I saw was in an equestrian themed room within their showroom! You can use them as an accent, splash of color, and a very cool functional conversation piece! 
My first trip to High Point Market was a resounding success! It was hands down worth the excessive flying back and forth from Arizona (even though I live locally to the market!) so I could get everything done in one week. I am honored to have made such fabulous connections through social media! 

**Please Note that all photos were taken by Dabble in Chic, but all styling and designs were done by CR Laine, thus the "Dabble in Chic - CR Laine High Point Market Showroom" watermark!
 Fabulous job Holly and your team!**

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There's an App for Life

It's funny how much technology has changed even in the last few years, and how productive (and distracted) it can make us. For example, as I'm writing this I'm sitting on a plane flying from NC to AZ connected to the airplane's wifi! I feel like it wasn't too long ago when I would get yelled at to get off of the phone line hooked up to my AOL 2.0 dial up....
Technology is fabulous for working on the go. You can blog, tweet, Facebook (the fact that "Facebook" is a verb is proof of this concept in itself), email (people still do that?!), or I suppose you could even FaceTime. Maybe I should do that now with Dablet too!!! On a different side, most vendors, swatch books, paint tools, room sketchers, and all of the other facets of this type of business can be housed within my handy dandy iPad. While I could take this time to read a book, gossip magazine, or do something just for seems that now is the time where I'm actually inspired to write about something! It figures because this is the only time I've had where there wasn't something else pulling me away!
This is a new type of venture for me though. You've read about "have baby will travel" previously, but this is the first time I have traveled anywhere without Dablet since she's been born. Kyle is back in NC holding down the fort, or rather Dablet is holding him hostage! It's a change for me as a working and stay at home mom....I'm not entirely sure what to do with the freedom, but I'm sure I'll be productive (even through inevitable "I miss you" tears). I'll be busy focusing on two other babies and another mommy as I get crafty for my cousin's baby shower (in AZ). It will be twice the extravaganza because she is expecting twins! I cannot wait to share pictures!
I am also incredibly excited for High Point Market coming up in just a few days! While my time in attendance will be shorter than I had first predicted, that's how life goes! Thanks to technology, I'll be able to make the most of it! In hoping to meet several of my "friends" from Twitter and Olioboard while there as well! This season is proving to be a chaotic time for Dabble as a brand (and me as a person) but it is also full of growth and now possibilities! Lucky for me, I can multitask! And yes, there is an app for that!!
Leave me a message if you'll be at High Point Market; I'd love to at least say "hi!" in person!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Quick Fix: Seasonal Bedding

On days like today I find myself inspired to make the small changes around the house that bring the Fall and Winter season indoors. It's somewhere in the high 40s outside and drizzling, so I have lit all of my Fall Yankee Candles, made some coffee, have a loaf of homemade bread in the maker, and want to share with you my latest "quick switch, big impact" project!
The biggest statement piece in your bedroom is most likely your bed; more specifically, the linens on your bed. I doubt that anyone uses all of the pillows they have there, or even all of the layers, but when you pull it all together you want it to not only reflect your style, but also the season you're living in! Here's what I did for my master bedroom to pull Fall indoors:
Step One shows the bedding we had for the Summer. Everything except for the throw pillow in step one is from Restoration Hardware, the throw pillow is from West Elm.

I was lucky this season because we had a new West Elm open near us! I bought the standard and euro shams there (the euros were on sale!) and I was able to use an additional Friends & Family discount of 20% off! The idea behind this type of change out is that you don't NEED to change your sheets, or duvet cover (the things you use to actually sleep with), but you can add a lot of punch with just a few changes!
This was the result:

Big difference! didn't quite "do it" for me! When I think of Fall and Winter, I think cozy & soft. The geometric pillow, while dark, almost made it too dark and not cozy enough for me, so I did just one more change!

The knit sweater look of this throw from West Elm is PERFECT to bring my sense of Fall style indoors, and not just into my closet with clothes, but our living space! It also serves the purpose of lightening the look just a bit! All I need to make this look complete is one of these two blankets!

This one is very trendy with metallic strands woven through the blankets! So much mixing of metallic colors this season!

Here's a sneak peek at the home makeover I'm doing at my mom's new townhouse!
Just a paint change right now from a soft yellow to a fabulous purple gray! It's by Benjamin Moore, and it's called "Amorous"...pretty lovely if you ask me!

In case you haven't seen the buzz on Twitter or Facebook today from Olioboard, they are kicking off some early High Point Market inspiration with an OlioHop about the fusion of Fashion and Furniture! It's an amazing topic discussed by FABULOUS bloggers! Lynda from Focal Point is in the mix this time so here's a link to her post! Be sure to hop through all of the other talent as well!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dablet Turns One!

Dablet celebrated her first birthday several times, and each one of her celebrations brought a little something different! On her actual birthday we started the day with a trip to Dunkin Donuts and a celebratory munchkin, and then took her to the Rose Garden in Raleigh; fitting because her middle name is Rose. We showed her all of the different colors, shapes, sizes, and smells of the roses; all in all determining that the pale purple ones smelled the sweetest!

I am constantly amazed by the colors and patterns in flowers! I am working on photo editing for a line of prints from the Rose Garden in my Etsy shop!

She followed up her adventures with an impromptu spaghetti dinner and cupcake mashing extravaganza with our close family (mommy, daddy, Grandy, Mimi, Nana, and the godfathers...yes she has two!)

Let's just say that the cupcake was a hit!

Her actual party (not that this one didn't count, but we did have another one planned!) was a week later, and the tone for the event was made possible with a fabulous illustration by Ashley Brooke Designs that I incorporated into the invitation that I made for her. 
The invite itself was square printed on matte card stock and mailed in "brown paper bag" envelopes finished off with this fabulous stamp creation:
Rather than going with a character theme, we used "Cubbie" the teddy bear Kyle made for her at Build-a-Bear the day she was born. I thought it was fitting because they have the same "birthday"! We (OK, I) also used a lot of purple! I may have gone a bit overboard on the tulle, balloons, and other things, but soon enough Dablet will be telling me what I "can and can't do", so I wanted to take advantage of this first party!
6" Round cake was made of red velvet!

We decided to top her cake with her Strawberry "smash cupcake" and a look-a-like "Cubbie"

We had her cake and cupcakes made by The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh, NC. They made phenomenal cupcakes for my baby shower, my mother-in-law brought me one of their "You Mocha Me Crazy" cupcakes the day Dablet was born, and I thought it fitting that we keep them as part of tradition!

I also need to extend a BIG thank you to Whimsy Pie for creating this fabulous tutu! I was so happy with the quality, fit, and the fact that she kept it on her entire party until we tossed her in the bounce house! 

I have more photos of the "details", but I'll save those for another post about party details in general! We had a fabulous series of birthday celebrations, and I can't believe our little girl is already one! Cherish each and every moment with your family!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wishful Wednesday

Receiving the Lovely Blog Award spurred me to think about what I wanted to share about myself that you might not have known, and I realized that much of what defines me are the things I dream about doing! I have always been a fan of fairy tales, happy endings, dreaming big, and bringing a bit of magic to everyday life. As I enter into yet another new phase of life, and planning for the next one, I would like to extend the touch of magic to other people's lives! What do you wish for? What do you dream of? If you could change one thing, element, or detail about your home what would it be? Do you have a favorite cause you want to bring attention to? I want to hear about it!
Two years ago I lost one of my horses to a severe irreversible back injury. Her name was Mary, and her show name was "Wishful Thinking" (yes, that one I picked myself). The story behind her show names comes from a conversation I had with my mom prior to her purchase. I was having issues with my main show horse at the time, Cowboy, and my trainer was letting me ride Mary while she rode Cowboy for me. We each loved both horses, wanted the best for both of them, and created an idea....a switch. When I told my mom about the idea she said that was "wishful thinking" and the name stuck!
Unless you look into what you really want to make out of your own life, you will be unable to pick your wishes! I think the perfect metaphor for this philosophy are hidden rooms and secret passageways. Here are some fun ones!

Photo sourced from Houzz

Photo sourced from CarrieCan

Photo sourced from Park Place Real Estate

Tell me your hidden wishes!! I am going to do my best to make someone's wish come true once a month, and if it goes well, I'll grant more wishes!