Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where I've Been and What I've Been Up To

Hey! Remember me? 
I'm Ashley, in case you forgot. I wouldn't blame you if you did because I've been a less-than-consistent blogger this summer, and I can't promise a marked improvement on my posting just yet.

Work has certainly gotten the better of me and each time I sat down to begin a post, something like laundry or groceries or watching "West Side Story" on TCM snagged my attention. You must understand.
Oh, to be young and free and a terrific dance-fighter.

Okay, so it's not all Jets and Sharks this summer.
I've been occupied with all things education. No, not my own, but the younger generation.
In case you didn't know, I started working with a non-profit start up that aims to solve the troubling problem of summer learning loss that plagues children in under-resourced communities.
I'm responsible for data and operations, but in a start up everyone does everything. 
I feel like I'm really doing important work, and that feels great despite the frenetic pace of it all.

When not working, I've had some time to shop. Retail therapy always cures whatever ails. 
Here's what I've purchased lately:

a new phone (the Samsung Galaxy S III) after my phone fell down a storm drain (!)
Seriously, my phone dropped out of my hands while waiting for the bus, and promptly slid down into a storm drain. I figured that was the impossible-to-ignore sign that it was time to get a new phone.

My new phone now enables me to tweet and post to Instagram so easily. Why not take this opportunity to follow me in case I don't post here enough for your liking!
On Twitter: @MeetMeinPhilly
on Instagram: meetmeinphilly

Finally, I have some very, very exciting news to announce in early September. 
I hope you'll all be as excited as I will be for the revelation.
I'm one big tease, I know, but I can't help it...

I'm really looking forward to being a better blogger and blog reader very soon.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ask & You Shall Receive: Making Changes to My Apartment

In a few short weeks, Adam and I will have lived in our current rental for three full years. 
During that time this place has served us well, but three years has also been enough time to determine which elements of the apartment don't work for us in the long term.

Being a renter, especially when you have the itch for design and renovation, can be tough.
But just this past weekend, we approached our landlord with three renovations that we'd like to make on the apartment and...wait for it...he agreed and offered to pay for the materials!

Here's what we'll be changing:
Change #1:
Closing off this void under the stairs for some much-needed storage space.
I'll probably also paint the side of the staircase white like the other trim.
We'll turn this empty space into something like this:
(via Pinterest)
(via Pinterest)

Change #2:
 Adding a permanent door to our storage closet (where there currently hangs a curtain).
No need for an inspiration photo here--just a simple door will make such a difference!

Change #3:
 Replacing the off-center, non-symmetrical built-in shelves in our guest bedroom with shelves. 
The new shelves that we rebuild will extend the entire length of the wall and will be symmetrical!
We'll turn this tragic set of shelves into something pleasing to the eye, like this:

This place will feel fresh and new again, not the same place we've lived for nearly three years.
I'm so glad we asked to make these changes, and I'm looking forward to chronicling the process here on the blog. Be sure to check back for all of the future developments!

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Brand New Lamps!

As I alluded at the end of my post, I had my eye on a few items that I couldn't help but purchase.

What did I buy, you ask?
A pair of Between a Rock Lamps in white that I simply adore!

 I love their unique multifaceted look, and the way that they add a not-so-serious touch to my bedroom. 

...New lamps. I can't think of many better ways to end the week.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Degrees on Display

(via Life)

Imagine yourself walking across the stage at commencement with your hard-earned undergraduate, graduate or professional degree in hand. In full regalia and feeling all the pride in the world, you probably don't remember thinking, "I'm comfortable with this thing going in a drawer forever."
But most likely, that's exactly where our diplomas end up.
The alternative, proudly displaying our credentials at home, somehow feels pretentious.

If you're a doctor or part of an industry where diplomas are a regular element of office decor, then you don't have to worry about finding an appropriate spot at home for your degree. That's not me, though. 
Does that mean my degrees are bound for permanent storage?

Maybe, maybe not. I haven't quite decided yet.

A home office or library is a logical place to hang diplomas, and they can be inconspicuously integrated into a gallery wall or bookshelf like these examples below.
(via Pinterest)
(via Houzz)

So, I ask: is there a way to display a diploma in your home without it looking tacky or out of place?
Do you display your credentials anywhere at home?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Refining My Guest Bedroom

Is there a room in your home, friends, that never feels quite done?
That space for me would have to undoubtedly be my guest bedroom. I've tossed and turned over it before because of it's inherent problems: the room is subterranean and has only 2 tiny windows. It's narrow. It has built-in shelves that aren't centered on the wall....I could go on, but I'll spare you my complaints.

This time last year, I made strides towards improving the space. To refresh your memory...
I started by creating a moodboard.

I made curtains inspired by the expensive Anthropologie "Toorie" drapes.

I constructed a custom bedskirt.

I created a bright and bold textile headboard from Lulu DK fabric.

I even made a skirted table to class up the joint.
But that was then and this is now.

It turns out I'm incredibly fickle or indecisive because I want to change several elements of the room.
Here's what I'm thinking:
1: I just purchased this Ikea flatweave Tarnby rug in a large size--can you believe I had no rug in the room?
2: I want to use a classic black/ivory ticking stripe ($7/yard) for a bolster and new skirted table cover
3: I'll keep the "Medallion" shirting fabric that I used for pillow cases and a bedskirt for the room
4: I'll still center the design around this Lulu DK's "Moondance" fabric, which serves as a textile headboard
5: I'm contemplating a pair of the Linden Street wall lamps ($70/each) from JC Penney
6: I'm thinking a pair of these Directoire Design metal tables ($85/each) would work beside the bed

These changes may keep me occupied from the summer through the fall, so stay tuned!
What do you think of the evolving design?
Got any sources I should take a look at?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

If The Heat Has Zapped Your Creativity...

The summer can be a funny time of year, can't it? I have to admit that my design inspiration is scant these days because my brain is occupied with thoughts of vacation, heatwaves, popsicles and the like. 

But just when I thought I'd have to wait for a change in season to get my project inspiration back, I present to you a roundup of some of the best ideas I've found lately. All of these projects can be done from the comfort of your air conditioning. Enjoy!

You can...
add a candy coating to your ho-hum hangers!

pep up some napkins with bleached polka dots!

concoct your own camp-inspired lanyard necklace!

set yourself a summery picnic lunch!

brighten up boring envelopes with unexpected liners!

gild yourself some angel wings!
(via Honey+Fitz)

create celestial wrapping paper!
(via frolic!)

Have I restored some of your inspiration, friends?
For more creative ideas that I stumble upon, be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Friday, July 13, 2012

We Should All Be Shopping at Land of Nod

Land of Nod, the youthful branch of Crate and Barrel, is aimed at children and preteens; but after reviewing their stock last night, I found more than a few items that would blend easily into a sophisticated, adult setting. Plus, because Land of Nod is marketed as children's decor, the prices feel like a steal.

Check out what I'm liking from Land of Nod:

What do you think? 
Are there any items from Land of Nod that you're eyeing for your sophisticated spaces?
I may be ordering an item or two before the day is through.

Have a happy weekend, all!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Needing a New Chair for the Living Room

Ever get fixated on replacing or revamping something in your home? 
Me? I'm currently obsessed with replacing this chair in my living room for a more cozier, comfy option.
Waaaaaaaay back when I began this blog, I wrote about finding this chair for $15 at the thrift store and recovering the seat with a scrap of Alan Campbell fabric. Time has marched on though, and I'd really like to have a soft upholstered chair for this space.

I'm zeroing in on some kind of rolled arm chair, preferably in a solid.
The "London" chair from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams would look fabulous in cream in my space:
(via MGBW)

Or, what about a Lee Industries option?

I thought I'd never consider a skirted arm chair in a vibrant print but never say never. 
I love this beauty from Kathryn M. Ireland's shop:

Clearly I haven't exactly honed in on what I want. 
Perhaps the perfect solid-colored chair will pop up in an antique shop in the near future...right?
Have you seen any other roll arm chair options that I should consider?

Friday, July 6, 2012

TGIF, 7/6/12 Edition

It seems that after another long (though shorter) week, Adam and I just can't sit still. 
We're heading to the shore after work tonight and it will feel nice to escape what promises to be another muggy Philadelphia weekend.

Wherever you may be today, I hope you're feeling rested, relaxed and cool.
'Til Monday, friends.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shopping in Portland, ME: Anniebells

(via Anniebells)

The "Old Port" area of Portland, Maine is offers a decidedly hip selection of stores and restaurants that one might not initially expect from the state. During previous outings in the city, I've stopped into Blanche and Mimi and Folly 101, two local shops that offer a truly beautiful selection of home goods. Last Friday, I wandered into a new store, Anniebells, which opened in late May and promises to put Portland on the map as a place filled with design-minded shopping.

Mom and I walked in, and I instantly knew I couldn't leave without pictures for you all. 
How beautiful (and patriotic) is this collection of red, white and blue pillows and wool blankets?
 Anniebells had an extensive stock of Fog Linen textiles--everything from coasters, napkins, table runners and tablecloths--in a bevy of patterns. Which do you prefer: the gingham or stripe option?
 This spool chair greeted all who entered the boutique. 
I was pretty crazy about the mix of blue patterns happening on this armchair.
 The color blue was a recurrent theme in the shop because just a few steps from the spool chair sat this suspended daybed that proudly displayed azure textiles from Roberta Roller Rabbit (like my bedroom!)
 Need more textiles? How about a whole bed filled with John Robshaw and Matouk bedding?
 Textiles weren't the only treasures available at Anniebells. 
A wide selection of Astier de Villatte porcelain incited many 'oohs and ahhs' from me. 
 Last but not least: a small adjacent room that served as a 'garden room' of sorts where pre-potted topiaries and terrariums could be purchased. While the plants were particularly pretty, I couldn't tear my eyes from the potting sink that was both utilitarian and visually captivating.

Have I sold you yet on this shop?
I want to be clear that I receive no compensation to highlight this store; I just believe it's a beautiful boutique that deserves to be shared and shopped!
For more details on the boutique, be sure to check out the Anniebells Facebook page.

100 Commercial Street
Portland, Maine 04101
T: (207) 775-9099

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Honoring Freedom and Sacrifice on July 4th

(Maira Kalman's illustration of Abraham Lincoln via Amazon)

"Four score and seven years ago our father's brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate--we can not hallow--this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
May we never forget that democracy is meant to be exercised and refined continually.
Wishing you a July 4th that is filled with all of the pleasures of our guaranteed freedom.
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