Friday, October 30, 2009

A Creepy Read for Mischief Night!

If you are really in the Halloween spirit and ready to be creeped out by a book, I highly recommend Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. It's a compelling read, suspenseful without causing nightmares, with a great ending.

To boot, Scorcese made a movie based on the novel starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, and Ben Kingsley. It's coming out February 19th. You can watch the trailer here.

Lehane also wrote the novels Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone. Both were great movies, but I'm bummed I didn't read the books first, now that I know what Lehane has to offer.

On a side note, don't forget to park your cars in your driveway tonight to lessen the chance that they'll get creamed!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Priced Out of ABC

Last night a friend and I ventured up to ABC Carpet & Home to check out the Madeline Weinrib Atelier sample sale. I covet almost everything she does and always thought I'd give my pinky toes for her amazing patterned woven rugs and bright print pillows. Like everything in ABC, Weinrib's stuff is expensive, and I had been warned by a friend that the stuff at the sale was still pretty pricey, but it might be worth it if I found something I really loved. So we journeyed up to the sixth floor hoping that I would find something that spoke to me.

Lo and behold, right away I spotted two yellow ikat print throw pillows that would be perfect on my white couch, but there was no sign or tag to indicate the price. My friend mosied off to locate a sales person, and when one finally materialized from a secret back room she told me that the pillows were "four fifty." 

My brain couldn't really register which "four fifty" she was referring to -- $4.50 or $450? Neither made sense. I would have thought maybe $45, or even $145... but $450!?! Mary Mother of God that is expensive!

The tall blond sales woman in the sophisticated dress and heels must have been able to tell from the look on my face that it was taking me a while to process this information. She smiled and slowly backed away. I put the pillow down, made a show of circling the rest of the room, touching textiles here and there. When I finally reached my friend who was casually browsing another display of pillows, I sidled close enough for her to hear me say "we need to get out of here immediately" without moving my lips.

Once we were safely in the elevator, we ranted and raved about the incomprehensibly preposterous world we had just glimpsed. We left ABC and walked across the street to Fishs Eddy, a store packed to the gills with adorable kitchenware in our price range, and soon everything was better.

Looks like I will be ordering my ikat items direct from Uzbekistan, for the nice price of $19.00. Ah, the wonders of the internet.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Alexander Girard at Urban Outfitters

This is not exactly breaking news, just something I realized I forgot to share. Check these home goods licensed by the Girard estate for sale at Urban Outfitters. Girard is part of the pantheon of iconic mid-century modern designers, having designed textiles, objects, and motifs for Herman Miller and others.

I picked up his love pillow a few months ago and it's aiding me in the quest marry my two biggest aesthetic cravings, the first being historical ephemera and all my antique store buys, the second being  graphic, happy moderism with a sense of humor (see yellow Trina Turk chairs).

In this vein I recently acquired two clear acrylic chairs from Ikea to take the look into my dining area, a contrast to my lovely built-in hutches and excessive amounts of molding. I know I'm taking my house in a different direction when my mom, who very generously volunteered to go to Ikea for me, left me a voice mail of disbelief that I could possibly want these pieces of furniture for my home. The chairs look fabulous, though, mixed in with my more traditional dining chairs. They're an excellent alternative to very expensive molded Eames chairs and Knoll Saarinen tulip chairs, and the clear acrylic helps my very small house seem a little bigger.

Back to Girard. The collection debuted this summer, and I have a feeling it's all going to go on sale soon. I'm trying to hold out for my next purchase, a duvet cover in colors I have never, ever been attracted to: creams and oranges, with a little purple and green thrown in for good measure. But I think it will be a welcomed change in our tiny bedroom whose walls were supposed to alabaster but are much closer to butter. (I really wanted to paint the entire house white but was shamed out of it by our lawyer at closing. As new home owners on our way to the paint store, we lacked confidence.) It's a color that plagues me daily, but I hate painting so much that I refuse to do anything about it. I do think this pastel duvet is just the thing I need to change the context of the room (which really only fits a bed and is filled with butter colored built in shelves and drawers.) I'll let you know when the sale starts!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spooky Activities

I don't know about you, but I long for the Halloween of yore, the kid version of Halloween. Maybe I've been hanging around New York City for too long, but I just don't find the get-drunk-and-wear-a-revealing-costume version of the holiday all that inspiring. I want rustling leaves, hayrides, jack-o-lantern contests, and really amazing hand crafted costumes. But if you don't have kids, and you're not friends with Martha Stewart, it can be hard to find a way to celebrate this version of Halloween as an adult. 

That is why I am so excited about this development, just a few miles down the road from me on Route 34.

Mr. SevPrez finally agreed to accompany me on the Haunted Hayride, after much pleading. Apparently once you're married, dangling the old "I'll cling to you when I get scared" line doesn't really hold much water. Anyway, weather permitting, we'll be screaming for mercy this weekend in the woods of Holmdel. To be followed by eating of apple cider donuts and stealing from the supply of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups we got for the neighborhood kids. 

What are you doing to celebrate Halloween this year?

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Couple Of Things

I know, I know, it's been silent around here. I've been busy with a lot of different things, which doesn't always stop me, but then my camera broke. Then a couple other things broke too. I threw a pity party, which I'm only now leaving -- and no goody bag.

But there have been a few things I've been meaning to tell you, especially referring to this lovely time of year.

1. Katy Elliot's coverage of pumpkin-adorned homes in New England was particularly inspiring to me.

 I don't have any amazing doorways or cornices, though, so i just bought 4 petite pumpkins and placed them on the railing of my white wood front stoop. They've been making me quite happy.

2. Butternut squash soup is still amazing. Check out this very healthy, cream-free recipe from the Times, but add curry.

3. is a cool home design resource. Check out their coverage of kitchen sinks, for instance.

4. Martha Stewart Living's November Issue included a piece on purple toned table tops and floral arrangements. I knew I was onto something.

5. I have fallen in love with a man who's not my husband. For more of an explanation, look up Paul Chek and the C.H.E.K. Institute. This Christmas, everyone in my family is getting How To Eat, Move, and Be Healthy whether they want one or not!

6. On the spur of the moment, I did a sprint duathlon (run-bike-run) and was the second place female to cross the tape. It was more fun than any running race I've ever done. I'm in this photo. If you can spot me, you win a prize!