Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A little Parisian flair in Munich

Hello again!

I just realized that tomorrow is March, and Nicole is almost back from her trip, and although I promised to guest post while she was gone, I have only posted once! Well, that's life with a newborn, but I did want to check in again before Nicole regales you with more amazing tales of Filipino adventures.

And lest you think that people with newborns don't do anything but sit around the house and cuddle (which we do a lot of) I wanted to share with you this AMAZING café in Munich that I visited with my mom and my 6 week old son yesterday.

Ladencafé Marais in Munich is actually a former 20s era textile shop converted into a Paris-style café and vintage/handmade shop. It's one of those places that just oozes charm and ambiance and makes me want to spend every day sipping a foamy cappuccino by candlelight and gazing longingly at the extensive collection of (for sale!) vintage china and kitchenwares.

view of the original interior merchandise shelving 

vintage wares
The entire original 20s store interior was preserved by the café owners and now houses an eclectic collection of vintage wares - for sale!

Marais hosts regular "Marais Soir" evenings with romantic four course menus - and the counters are brimming with french candies and mints. 

The original exterior and display cases hint at the roots of the café.

Even the original cash register is charming!

Rotating exhibits by local artists line the back wall

And my absolute favorite feature of the café - there are sets of tables and chairs in the former display windows, so you can sit and watch passersby... or just pretend to be a mannequin.

And in case you were wondering - they are very child friendly! They even have a vintage high chairs and a basket of French and German children's books. If you ever find yourself in Munich, make sure to visit this lovely locale.

All photos by Ladencafé Marais 

Inspired By...

...a super colorful office space that turns even trash bins into works of art. I want to move in. Like, now.

 Photo by Sean Fennessy and John Deer

...a pretty awesome knitted pouf that doesn't fit at all in my Miami home, but that I'm dying for all the same. I'm mildly obsessed with poufs at the moment, partly because they're adorable, partly because they'd fit way better in my small living room than a full-on chair would, and this one has my heart.

Available at Story North

...probably the best looking nursery I've ever seen (although it's no surprise, considering this little lady's mom is the uber-stylish Joy Cho). I wish my bedroom were anywhere near this fashionably fabulous.

Photo by Bonnie Tsang, styling by Jen Gotch

...a fun (and easy!) DIY straw idea that I'm so using for my next party! (With, possibly, more adult-themed libations to sip from. Possibly.) supplies so organized and colorful, they make me want to establish a home office myself. And then organize it by color.

Design by Kontor Kontur

Image credits: Colorful office by The Design Files via Decor8 | Kebnekaise mountain pouf by Story North via Design*Sponge | Ruby's nursery for Oh Joy! | Mustache straws by Sweet Paul | Colorful office supplies by Kontor Kontur via Whorange

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Few Things That Made Me Smile This Weekend

My new kitchen timer. His big eyes and little toes bring a smile to my face when I see him perched on the stove every morning. And baking all those cookies will be even more fun now!

Having some silly fun (and food, and wine...oh, so much wine...) at the South Beach Food & Wine Festival.

Learning that, had I so desired, I could've met Antonio Banderas local liquor store.

My scooter riding outfit for our mini-trip to Key Biscayne. Cause a helmet is always a hot look.

Enjoying 80-degree weather on the beach in February. Along with some beautiful views, really loud seagulls, and a pretty cool lighthouse. 

Hope your weekend was lovely as well!

All photos by Natalie's trusty iphone

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Inspired By...

{First of all, sorry for my absence this week, but I've been having one of those weeks where I seem to have a million things to do and no time to do any of it! Does that ever happen to you? But I'll try to get back to regularly posting next week. Thanks for staying tuned!}

...a sweet little message in a bottle DIY that I would absolutely love to give or receive. This is just too adorable for words!

 Photos & DIY by Danni Hong of the all-time best shows (with some of the all-time best one liners) made into art! The exhibition, called Seinfood: An Art Show About Nothing (how perfect!), is being shown here until March 10. Now if only I were in San Francisco to go see it!

...the super colorful Chicago home offices of FLOR. I've admired FLOR tiles for a while and finally, after agonizing over a new rug for our kitchen because I've tripped over our current one approximately 5.1 trillion times, I bought my first FLOR tiles this week. They're colorful, comfortable, totally moppable (bonus!) and stay 100% in place, meaning no more tripping. Love them.

 Photo by Jason Loper

...cozy pillows of furry creatures to cuddle up with at night! So if you're like Nicole and want that weiner dog but know your boyfriend will never agree to getting one, at least you can cuddle a replica of the little guy whenever you want!

  Available by Areaware

...this stunning and whimsical dresser. It's okay to say OMG still, right? Because O.M.G. I want this. Now.

Available by John Lewis

Image credits: Message in a bottle by Oh Hello, Friend | Seinfood illustrations by Rinee Shah via Pot + Pantry pinned by SF Girl by Bay | FLOR home office photographed by Jason Loper via Apartment Therapy | Fauna pillows by Areaware via | Whimsical dresser by John Lewis via Bright.Bazaar

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hi from the Philippines!

Hey there! It's been a while. It feels like it's been forever, really, and yet I'm still so happy (and lucky!) to be able to say that we still have a full week of vacation adventuring ahead of us!

Today is a traveling-along-in-between day, which is nice to have every now and then, because it makes us feel much less guilty about staying in a hotel room with free wi-fi in the room (a huge luxury here) and using our time between lunch and dinner to catch up on the rest of the world online. So I thought I may as well say hi and give you a quick update about how things are going (fantastic, as if vacation could be anything less!) and share a few fun pictures (here's hoping it doesn't take hours for them to upload). Here goes!

The very first thing that happened to us is that our luggage did not make it out of China (our second layover) with us. Which, thankfully, turned out not to be a huge deal, but is still not the most enjoyable way to start a vacation. Plenty of lessons learned though, which I shall share upon return. But we did get our luggage and did move on and have spent the last however many days it's been on two different islands - Bohol and then Siquijor - enjoying our own little slice of paradise.

Chaos in Manila's streets, where jeepneys abound

Plastic gloves necessary (apparently) at the barbecue stalls in Cebu

Bangkas at Alona beach, Bohol

Foggy view of the Chocolate Hills (not so chocolately this time of year though...)

This little fellow was smaller than my hand!

A rough and tumbling bangka ride to Siquijor with our newfound German girl friends

Not quite the giant waterfall the guidebook make it out to be, but fun to jump nonetheless (Siquijor)

The sunsets at our resort, however, did live up to their reputation

New friends (German girlies and a Swissie) and gooood food

I'd love to stick around and say more, but dinner calls at long last. Tomorrow we're off to Moalboal for some long-awaited scuba diving and more beach-lounging. If you could cross your fingers for me that this nasty sun rash I have on my neck and chest goes away soon (why do I get that? I'm Californian for gosh sake!), I would much appreciate it!

'Til then, I hope your February is going swimmingly (literally or not) as well!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Inspired By...

...a bright pink kitchen. I repeat: a bright pink kitchen. Enough said.

 Via Bolaget

...hands-down the coolest stool/knitted piece of furniture I've seen yet. And it's bright blue. Swoon.

Available by Claire-Anne O'Brien

...a recipe (and beautiful tablescape) for red beet and poppyseed muffins that sounds to die for. I've bought fresh beets in the past and never really known what to do besides boil and slice them, so this opens up a whole new world of beet amazingness for me. And naturally-red-colored-baked-goods amazingness, too.

Recipe and photo by Aran

...a rug that's 1) DIY, 2) friendship bracelet-inspired (did your 80s-self love those as much as mine did?!), and 3) chevron. I need to get way more crafty and make this right now.

 Photo by Liv Colliander, DIY by Brittany Watson

...gorgeous geometric gift wrap that appeals to the gift wrapping lover in me.

Photo by Leslie Shewring

Image credits: Bright pink kitchen from Bolaget via SF Girl by Bay | Knit stool by Claire-Anne O'Brien via Apartment Therapy | Red beet and poppyseed muffins by Cannelle et Vanille | Graphic gift wrap by A Creative Mint | Chevron rug by The House that Lars Built 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Made with love...

While Nicole is sunning away in the Philippines (jealous!) she asked me - Emily - to do some guest posts in her absence. You may remember me from my fantastic baby shower, planned by Nicole - and clearly the baby shower was only a precursor to the next big event - I had a baby!

So here is a quick post from babyland for Valentines day - our one month old son Charlie in his festive onesie (German translation: made with love)

Have a love(ly) day!


Happy Valentine's Day

If you haven't already gotten your cuteness overload for the day, here's a video of my friend's weiner dog Valentino (his birthday is Valentine's Day!) "singing" along to the most classic of all lovey-dovey makeout songs..."Let's Get It On." Be prepared to smile.

Happy loooooove day!

Video by Natalie

Valentine's Day Craftiness

So I got all sorts of crafty this weekend for Valentine's Day. It's not like I'm not a huge Valentine's Day person or anything (although I did have fun making heart-shaped meatballs with Nicole last V-Day). It's more that an excuse to deck out the apartment in hearts and bake til my own heart is content is reason enough to celebrate in my book. (Also, I was feeling a little bummed out the week before and making pretty and sugary things seemed the perfect way to pull myself out of that funk. While blasting cheerfully ridiculous music, which I usually don't do--I'm more of a TV-in-the-background-person--but which did wonders for bringing up my spirits. Who knew.)

I started with cupcakes. I haven't made cupcakes in I-don't-know-how-long (I may have mentioned that I'm more of a cookie girl, right?), but I felt like they'd be perfectly festive and cheesy (which is what V-Day is, really, all about). Also I became completely smitten with this Lemon, Peach & Blueberry recipe from Patisserie Natalie (not only because her name is awesome) and just had to make it.

And then top them off with candy hearts because, come on, how could I not. (My favorite is the one that says "Tweet Me." You know, for the real romantic.)

I also, obviously, wanted to deck out the apartment in hearts, so, taking a cue from this tutorial, made my own little paint chip heart garlands. (If I had had a heart-shaped hole punch, this would have been much easier. But I'm not fancy like that. Yet.) Here's my pretty self-explanatory how-to in pictures. I reused the awesome glitter string and clothespins from Nicole's advent calendar because it's just too pretty (and sparkly) not to keep up, then drew my hearts, cut them out, and pinned away.

And what's V-Day without candy, stuffed creatures, a fabulous card (but of course), and goofy gifts? I'm a big fan of sprucing up wrapping paper or making it personal in some way, so for these I took the leftover stuffing paper from our new coffee tables (it seems a shame to just throw that much paper out), doodled little shapes and love notes all over, and wrapped each gift individually. Then I stuffed them all into a box, doodled some more hearts on that, and it was ready to go.

Happy V-Day, everyone!

All photos by Natalie

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Great Coffee Table Dilemma

Okay: I'm not a fan of coffee tables. I know, I know, it's a weird piece of furniture not to like--it's functional, it often centers the room, etc. etc.. But in my experience, most coffee tables have either been too bulky, too cluttered, or, most annoyingly, too low, to be anything close to functional for me. I'll admit, it's partly my fault--I like to use a coffee table as a pseudo-desk (I haven't had a proper desk since my college days) and I know they're not designed for that purpose. But I don't think that's too much to ask from a piece of furniture that is, quite often, the center of the most-used room in the house. Which is why I find myself in the Great Coffee Table Dilemma.

See, there was no coffee table in the apartment when I moved down to Miami. (There was also no room for one, but needless to say, I rearranged and fixed that problem quite quickly). At first I was okay with that because, obviously, I don't like coffee tables. But then I started missing my pseudo-desk and craving something to set my coffee on while I was sitting on the couch in the morning, and soon enough I knew I'd have to get something to fill the role of the dreaded coffee table.

In the apartment in Brooklyn I subletted for a year, two wooden stools took the place of a coffee table.

That was great because I could move them around easily (and in a tiny New York apartment, that's important) and they could double as stools for company (or for reaching my upper kitchen cabinets). In my last apartment in New York, we had one of those super low (although mirrored and quite cute) coffee tables that I absolutely despise and ended up only using as, essentially, a footrest. (Honestly, what good is a coffee table that's two inches off the ground?!)

So I was not looking forward to finding a new coffee table. Then two things happened. I posted about my inspiration for my apartment redecorating ideas, and in doing so found this image:

Which made me go, Aha! That's it! The multiple and mismatched end tables working together as a coffee table! Genius! (Yes, all those exclamation points were necessary, why do you ask?) Wildly functional in a small space, where you could separate them or move them aside, and a super cute way to bring in different design styles and colors. And best yet, they could be end table height(read: pseudo desk height) instead of oddly low coffee table height. The second thing was my man pointing out a side table at West Elm that I'd never even considered, but that was perfect. After that, all I had to do was pick out my second table (I decided two would be the most our small space could accommodate for now), which was easy. I'd been in love with the West Elm silver martini table for a while and when it went on sale last week, you can bet I rushed over and snatched it up.

The result: my pseudo-coffee tables/desks that, and I would have never thought this of a coffee table, make me so friggin happy. (That cable hanging from the TV, however, does not make me happy. Just had to throw that out there.) The Great Coffee Table Dilemma resolved. I'll just go pat myself on the back and sign off now.

2nd photo: Bernd's living room via Apartment Therapy | All other photos by Natalie

See You in March!

By the time you read this, I will already be in the Philippines and hopefully even have a wee bit of a tan... (if my poor pale now-German skin will allow it, that is). But I just wanted to say: I miss you! And thanks for reading! And don't worry, Nat will hold down the fort while I'm gone, and do a great job of it, as she always does. PLUS, I've got an exciting guest poster lined up for you. One of my very favorite people in the whole wide world.

So make sure to check back in regularly still and I'll even try to pop by every now and then, if possible (internet access permitting), to give you a glimpse of our Mission: Escape-the-Siberian-Winter Vacation. But if not, then I'll see you in March!

Image pinned by Hannah (source?)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Weekend!

It's been threatening rain all week down here, and yesterday the skies finally opened up and let it pour all day long. Needless to say when I was outside and in the completely wrong (and new!) shoes. But so it often goes. This weekend I'm hoping to avoid the rain to get a track workout in (I signed up for the South Beach triathlon and it's in just 2 short months, eek!) and to do some much needed home and craft shopping. (But really, when is home and craft shopping not much needed?)

Happy weekend, everyone!

I came across this image on Pinterest (via FFFFound) and fell in love with it. Wouldn't it be so cool as a giant piece of statement art on a stark white wall?

P.S. The coolest print for your home bar. It'll really tie the room together. (via ManMade DIY)

Love these.

Not everyone got to go to Alt Summit, but you can still keep up with all its happenings here. (via You Are My Fave)