Holiday Home Tour: Our Living Room

House 13

Well hello there! Remember me? Probably not, I’ve been terribly neglectful of this blog. I’ll try to do better…

At any rate, I thought it would be fun to share some of the rooms in our new house, as well as our Christmas and Hanukkah decorations with you. We closed on the house in May and although it had “good bones” and the previous owners kept it in immaculate condition, it certainly qualified as a fixer upper. As soon as we took possession, we ripped up all the carpet (in every room) and replaced it with hardwood, removed a wall, painted, installed all new lighting, and installed a railing. And by “we” I mean mostly Carter, with help from contractors. So not really me. But I fancy myself as the brains behind the operation… (And the decorator, obviously.)

And that was phase one: the stuff that needed to get done in order for the house to be presentable / safe to live in. Now we’re working on saving up to do phase two which will include gutting and replacing everything in our master bathroom (WHHHHHHHYYYY did people put carpet in bathrooms in the 80s?!?), the guest bathroom (luckily no carpet in there), and sprucing up the kitchen and our fireplace. In the mean time, I’ve been busy scouring the stores and the interwebs for the best home decor deals and Carter has been busy doing smaller-scale, less expensive projects like replacing the rotting boards in our deck, and completely re-doing our closets (the latter of which he is literally working on right now on as I type this).

I’ve been waiting to share our house until it was “done” but then I kind of came to the realization that it’s never going to feel truly done, so I might as well share our progress. And what better time to take some photos than when it’s decorated for the holidays?

Okay, now that was my long-winded introduction to… Our Living Room!! Yay! Dining room and family room tours will be up later this week.

House 28

The high ceilings in the living room are what drew us to this house in the first place, but with high ceilings come massive walls that demand large-scale art, which can be be expensive. When we first moved in, the idea of decorating these walls was really daunting, but we were ultimately able to find some really budget-friendly ways do to it. You may recognize the cactus collage above our living room chairs from our old apartment. It’s a tad small for the space, but it will do, for now.


And for the art above our sofa I decided to embark on a DIY project with a giant canvas I got on sale at Michael’s Craft Store for $30. The whole piece, including paint, cost me less than $50 so I’m pretty proud of it, all things considered!

House 2

House 1

I get a lot of questions on social media about our sofa so I figured I’d talk about it here. We took a huge gamble and bought it online from Wayfair, without ever getting the chance to see it in person or sit on it. But we got lucky and it ended up working out perfectly. The leather is so incredibly soft (I think you can actually order a fabric sample so you can see the color and texture before you commit to the couch) and it the whole piece is incredibly comfortable. We’ve had it for about three years now and it still looks brand new even though we sit on it every day and our cat and dog both love to sleep on it. I really can’t say enough good things about it! So if you’re in the market for a new sofa and want something with the chesterfield shape, I highly recommend ours because it’s seriously the best you can do for the price. Here is the link to the exact sofa we have, in the color “Steamboat Chestnut”.

House 5

House 3

A note about our holiday decorations… I mentioned Hanukkah up above but obviously what you’ve seen here is our Christmas tree and snow village. Carter was raised catholic and I was raised partially jewish (with one christian parent and one jewish parent.) I do love Hanukkah and the message behind it, but I think we can all unanimously agree that Christmas is more fun to decorate for. So Christmas dominates our decor, which a few menorahs and dreidels sprinkled here and there (which you’ll see in this Wednesday’s post), and you better believe Carter has Hanukkah Gelt in his stocking!

House 6

I’m slightly neurotic and like our gift wrap to have a theme that matches our holiday decor. This year I went pretty traditional “Christmas” themed with red, green and neutrals. I actually snagged all this gift wrap at the end of last season on major sale. I’m already plotting next year’s color scheme, as the end-of-season sales have already started! I think I’m going to go with an all black and white theme next year.

And there you have it – our living room during the month of December! Check back in a few days for our dining room reveal and in the mean time, you can shop our living room by clicking on the products below…



Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Online Sales for 2012!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re all having an amazing day with your loved ones, watching the parade (or football – whatever!) and eating way too much pie. At least, that’s my plan! Although Carter and I have been dating for almost five years (OMGee has it been that long?!) this is the first Thanksgiving we’ve done with both our families together! My mom, her boyfriend Bill and I are all headed over to Carter’s parents’ house for a delicious feast with his whole family. It’s going to be a big group of amazing people and I seriously can’t wait!

But I am sad I won’t be able to see my dad and his girlfriend Heather this year – they’re spending the holiday in Hawaii :(

As always, there is so much to be thankful for! I’m so thankful for the health of my family (Carter’s, Heather’s & Bill’s families included!), my friends, my puppy :). I’m thankful for you – my incredible blog readers! I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come my way thanks to this blog. I’m thankful to be employed. I’m thankful that Carter and I have a wonderful place to live. I’m thankful Obama was re-elected (sorry! I just had to throw that in…) The list goes on and on…

Okay – I’ll stop being sappy and get to the good stuff… Shopping!

In case you love sales but don’t want to brave Black Friday madness in person (and I don’t blame you!), I’ve got some online deals for you to take advantage of today and over the next few days. Obviously, there are sales all over the place. But these are the ones I’m most excited about. Happy shopping!

Online deals for Black Friday & Cyber Monday:

    J Crew (now until midnight Nov 25): 25% off all orders + free shipping on orders over $150, when you use code COLOR25.

    Steve Madden (now until midnight Nov 26): Take 25% off your purchase plus free shipping. Enter the promotional code GIVE25 at checkout.

    ASOS (now until midnight Nov 26): Get 20% all ASOS branded items (like my favorite pumps AND favorite leather jacket, for example) by entering the code HAPPYBLACKFRIDAY at checkout anytime between now and midnight November 26th.

    Alice & Olivia (now until midnight Nov 26): 20% off site wide – no code needed!

    Shopbop (now until Nov 26): Spend $250 save 20%, spend $500 save 25%, spend $1000 save 30%, spend $1500 save 35% when you enter code BIGEVENT12.

    BaubleBar (Nov 23): My favorite jewelry site is offering some spend more, save more deals this year! Buy 2 baubles, get 15% off use code FRIDAY15. Buy 3 baubles, get 25% off use code FRIDAY25. Buy 4 baubles, get 35% off use code FRIDAY35.

    Solestruck (Nov 23-25): Yay for shoes! Friday 30% off. Saturday 40% off. Sunday & Monday 50% off all sale goods (there are over 900 styles of them!)

    Anthropologie (Nov 23-25): 25% off sale with new markdowns added – no code required!

    Revolve Clothing (Nov 23-28): 20% off everything.

    Piperlime (Nov 26): Clothes, shoes, handbags – you name it they got it! Take 20% off your entire purchase from Piperlime on November 26th when you enter discount code HUGECYBER at checkout.

    BaubleBar (Nov 26): The jewelry site’s gifting suite is back! Get a gift for every $40 you spend. The gift suite will not go live until the morning of Nov 26, but it will be on this page.

    Gorjana (Nov 26-27): All jewelry 40% off + free shipping when you enter code CYBER40 at checkout.

Now what are you doing still reading this? Get out there into the cyber world and do some shopping damage!


New Years on the Mountain & 2012 Resolutions


There were no sparkly dresses for me this NYE.

Instead, my attire consisted of sweat pants and a color coordinated ski jacket, hat, scarf, and sunglasses (above). Boyfriend and I opted out of braving the crowds of downtown Portland this year (unlike last year) and decided instead to spend New Years at our friends’ cabin on the mountain with their family (all three generations!).

The evening consisted of Dominos, champagne, tacos and babies galore (okay – there were only two babies there). Although non-traditional for NYE, it was just what the doctor ordered and we returned home the next day feeling refreshed and ready to take on the new year!

Before I leave you all with these photos, I’d like to put my resolutions for the year into writing so that there will be proof when I do (or don’t) follow them.

2012 Resolutions:

I don’t believe in general resolutions (“lose weight” “be happy” “spend less” etc.) so I’m going to try to be as specific as possible here.


  • Do yoga after work on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Get up the first time my alarm goes off in the morning (no more “snooze!”)
  • Cook something that I have never cooked before every week (recipes here!)
  • Do something nice for someone else, every day.
  • Financial:

  • Save $25 more each month than I did last year (with the mindset that I need a down payment for a house one of these days)
  • Blogging:

  • No matter the weather, post at least one outfit photo (Instagram photos don’t count!) each week
  • Memorize more basic HTML so that I don’t have to look it up every time I need to format a post
  • Work:

  • Get at least 3 content-related features into Webspiration that require little to no Development funds

I know that’s a lot – but what can I say? I’m an optimist ;) and after all, I did follow through with most of my resolutions from last year

{In the end, I managed to have a little sparkle this NYE – on the grow out from my Shellac nails (I got the idea for this from Glitter and Grace)}

{My favorite little man – Jack Parker Edlen!}

Before I say goodbye, I’d like to extend a special thank you to the Edlens for having us up at your place last weekend. I know I speak for both myself and Carter when I say we had a great time!

Also, if you like home decor (and who doesn’t?) check out Adi Edlen’s blog!


8 Gifts Under $300 for the Designer-Clad Fashionista


Okay – maybe you’re not in the position to shell out the cash to buy her these stunning Christian Louboutins (hey – if you are, more power to ya!)… But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots other gifts that your designer-clad fashionista friend will love!

Welcome to the third installment in my series of holiday gift guides! Today’s topic is gifts for the women who appreciate the finer things in life.

Women with expensive taste are always a challenge to shop for, no matter your budget. (I’d know – I’m one of them.) Whether you’re looking to spend less than $50, or you’re willing to go up to $300, I have some ideas for you here.

Have you seen last week’s gift guide “7 Gifts Under $35 for your BFF?”

Under $50

Skinny Glitter Belt, $29.50 (or on sale for $19.99 depending on the color) at Nothing adds a little holiday cheer like a touch of glitter. Help your friend accessorize her cardigans and little black dresses in style with this Skinny J Crew belt.

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Candle, $35 at Jo Malone makes wonderful scented candles. Sure, they’re a little pricier than your average candle, but these babies last. And who doesn’t love a little Jo Malone?

Under $100

Elegant pendant necklace. It’s hard to go wrong with a beautiful, statement pendant. The classic elegance of this versatile Gold Lace and Fringe Pendant from Ann Taylor ($88) allows it to be dressed up with a long evening gown, dressed down with a silk button down, OR dressed down even more with a t-shirt and jeans. She’ll love it. And the beauty of this piece really is in the details.

Kate Spade New York ‘Juliana’ Jelly Flat, $75 at Although this gift won’t appeal to every designer-clad fashionista, this is an especially good gift for the younger, just-starting-out fashionista. I think the whimsical style of these flats makes them truly special.

Under $200

Dior ‘Miss Dior Cherie’ Jewel Box Set. One of the things I love about the holidays is how well designers package perfume sets. This set has Dior perfume, body lotion, and purse spray in one precious little box for $108 at I can personally attest to how lovely this scent it too, because as I showed you a few months ago, I have this one out on my bathroom counter.

Under $300

Alexander McQueen ‘Skull’ Chiffon Scarf, $295, If the lady you’re shopping for is an Alexander McQueen fan, this edgy scarf with his signature scull emblem is the way to go.

Alexis Bittar Jewlery. Alexis Bittar is a favorite designer of mine. His pieces are truly breath taking. Take this ‘Miss Havisham’ Crystal Encrusted Doublet Ring, $275 at, for example. Also check out any of his stackable bracelets

Burberry scarf. Burberry’s classic check print has become the ultimate design for a scarf. How about mixing it up a little by straying from the classic camel-color and gifting something more original, like this beautiful violet-colored Check Print Silk Burberry scarf, $295 at

Happy Shopping! And If you’re one of my local Oregon or Washington readers, don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win $375 worth of salon services at Estilo Salon!

On an unrelated topic, I’d like to extend a special shout out to my beautiful mother Mona, as it is her birthday today! I love you mom! I’m so sorry I couldn’t be with you to celebrate this year… Can’t wait to celebrate next week when I’m back home! <3