Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Checking in... Dining Tables & Black Boots

I'm not sure how many of you are still out there, occasionally stopping by to see if I've returned, but I thought I would pop in for a visit.

Believe me, I think often about blogging and of how much I miss it. It would be wonderful if I could return. To be honest, the only reason I'm writing this today is because I am home sick (blech); however, I have every intention of eventually returning to the blogosphere. Unfortunately, for the time being, I can only provide you with occasional tidbits like this one (but hopefully they won't all be just because I have a cold!).

I absolutely cannot believe it's October.

Since I last checked in, the Boyfriend and I have decided to put our house-hunting on hold. After five different offers (and obviously not getting any of them because, in our budget, it's a seller's market in Seattle), we figured it just wasn't the right time.

To tide ourselves over, we recently purchased a new dining room table (thank you, World Market!), one that can actually fit place settings and food platters (amazing!). We loved our old table (and are still holding on to it), but when you have to use a console table as a buffet line at every meal, it's time for a change. After all, we have a separate formal dining room in our apartment, so we thought we should fulfill its true role as much-more-than-a-breakfast-nook.

Next up: Hanging artwork and window treatments!

We also started renting a storage unit in the basement of our apartment building. I'm usually against such an idea, but when we found out it would only be $10 per month, I quickly changed my mind. I have to admit, it's nice not having to keep our camping gear in our much-more-than-a-breakfast-nook anymore. If you're looking for more storage space in a rental, ask your landlord about options. You might be pleasantly surprised!

Other exciting things: We've since celebrated the Boyfriend's quarter-of-a-century birthday (yep, 25!), as well as yet another clean CT scan for me (yep, still cancer-free!). And my hair is coming in quite nicely now (almost chin-length in front!).

This wouldn't be a proper post without some sort of style element, so I thought I would share with you my latest fashion dilemma. Well, not so much of a dilemma, but something I've been struggling with a little bit...

I'm looking for the perfect black boot. Sure, I have my favorite vintage Frye boots, but I need something that can be dressed up a bit more, and I'm looking for black this time around. What do you think of these?

I have been pleasantly surprised by my past Jessica Simpson shoe purchases, but they have been flats. Has anyone had any JS boot experience? I trust you, readers!

Until our next check-in,


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I think we need a break...

Dear Readers,

You may or may not have noticed, but I have been struggling with Swoonworthy lately.

A little over a month ago, I started a new, much more demanding job (which I love), and have been overwhelming myself with freelance projects during my "spare" time. Essentially, I'm back to my normal, pre-cancer self: Way too busy, and loving every minute of it.

This blog kept me creative during a very dark point in my life; but now that I have climbed entirely out of that hole, it's time for me to take a little blog hiatus.

Sadly, blogging has become a chore; just another line on my checklist, one more obligation that, unfortunately, has started to stress me out.

It is with great reluctance that I step away from Swoonworthy for an unknown period of time. I just can't keep providing you with posts I'm not proud of.

I hope you will understand my decision, and that you'll return to Swoonworthy when I eventually do.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Call Me Cleopatra

It's been so hot in Seattle lately, we might as well be in Egypt:

I hope you're all managing to stay cool while looking fab like this jet-setter!


Photography by Sebastien Richard

Monday, July 27, 2009

My three new best friends: Betsey, Oscar and Adam

I have a few current obsessions that I will definitely (and sadly) not be purchasing anytime soon:

Oscar de la Renta, Oversized Silk Floral Coat $2,490 via Net-A-Porter

Adam, Belted Linen-Blend Blazer $425 via Net-A-Porter

Just thought I'd share!


Friday, July 24, 2009

A Perfect Outdoor Summer Evening (courtesy of Toast)

Toast is having a huge sale right now, and even though the British pound makes items appear less expensive than they are for us Americans, you're still saving a ton.

Combine the following for a fantastic summer evening:

Everything just looks so comfy! I'm really excited for their upcoming fall collection because they never disappoint in that department (although, don't worry, that's the only thing I'm looking forward to for fall, though - this Seattle summer weather has been absolute perfection and I don't want it to leave!).

Happy weekend! We're going camping!


All items from Toast:
1. Karien Wrap Blanket
2. Gaia Sandal
3. Fine Voile Tunic
4. Bamboo Handle Basket
5. Fire Bowl
6. Handblown Glasses

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thrifted Thursday - Sectional Sofa

I know the photo below has shown up in a past post or two, but I've never featured it in a Thrifted Thursday, which is really where it belongs!

When The Boyfriend and I moved into our apartment last summer, my itty bitty couch moved in with us. It was the only seating in our living room for quite some time.

As New Year's approached, however, we wanted to have a big party to ring in 2009 (especially because we have a Space Needle view, and the Seattle New Year's fireworks shoot off of it!); but we knew that our itty bitty loveseat (which was in very good shape for being nearly seven years old) just wasn't gonna cut it.

But really, people, sofas are expensive! Well, at least the nice, really well-made ones I was leaning towards. Even Ikea sofas can be pricey (for what they are), but even still they were the only option in our price range.

So one day in early December, we took the trek down to Ikea to scope out the maze of a store. I usually despise sectionals, but we actually found one that we liked quite a bit... but it was still pretty pricey, so we left empty-handed.

A few days later, while perusing Craig's List, I found the exact same sectional for sale for less than half of what we would have paid at Ikea. Now, I normally wouldn't purchase a mysterious, used sofa, especially from a complete stranger; but they didn't smoke nor did they have pets; plus, the sofa was only two months old. The couple had to sell it because the husband was being re-located to Wyoming, and his wife had to therefore move into her parents' house with their two year-old. Crushing. We figured we were helping them out, too. It was win-win all around.

Kramfors by Ikea
(I need to change things up soon. The matchy-matchy pillows are starting to drive me a little crazy... with boredom.)

The move was surprisingly easy (two trips, but we live only ten minutes away from their place), and the next weekend we took a return trip to Ikea to purchase new slipcovers (the black checkered look just wasn't working in our space!). The new couch was perfect for our party, and everyone was able to fit quite comfortably.

So we have a bigger couch. Our next goal? A bigger living space! More house-hunting, here we come!


P.S. What happened to the old couch? you ask? Well, it was purchased by some good friends of mine so it landed in a very loving, appreciative home and not in a landfill!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Looks from Life - Paintbrushes

Today's Looks from Life inspiration comes from one of my favorite up-and-coming photographers, honey.huckabee:

Focus on the little bit of shine and the little bit of matte, and you get this dress! A perfect rendering, I must say:

And the black patent leather pump gives the right amount of glossiness, reminiscent of the black ferrule of the paintbrush.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shopping for Good

My good friend, Celeste, recently introduced me to the Global Fund for Women's "Shop Your Values" site, which links to great sites on the web that donate part of their earnings to the organization.

Next time you need flowers delivered, instead of FTD, why not choose OrganicBouquet.com? You even get a free vase with your order!

Need new make-up? How about the all-natural mineral-based cosmetics by Alima Pure? Their products are never tested on animals, and neither are their suppliers'.

If you're like me, you need the occasional shoe fix. Check out Palo Alto-based In Her Shoes, which now also sells clothing and accessories. All proceeds above operating costs (yes, 100%!) go towards the Global Fund for Women.

Visit the site for more great shopping options!


Slick Cellulars

I know I don't talk about electronics much on here, but these phone prototypes by VelocityMobile (based in Seattle!) are just too beautiful not to share. Talk about swoonworthy!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Trials & Tribulations of Home Searching

I'm sorry, readers, but I'm just not in a posting mood today. The Boyfriend and I spent a good portion of the weekend home-searching, and even put an offer in on a house, but sadly did not get it. This was our third try (on two different homes, if that makes sense); and I know the average home-buyer makes five offers before they land one, but it's so frustrating! Especially in Seattle where, even in the recession, houses are ridiculously expensive.

Feel free to post a comment if you'd like to vent about your home-search process! I'd love to hear about similar situations!

*swoon* (or *sigh*)

P.S. On a good note, I went to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale yesterday and found a pair of Joe jeans, black trousers, and some black flats, all of which had been on my checklist! At least I had a good day in terms of shopping!
Another good thing is that The Boyfriend and I consolidated our workspaces into one room so we now share an office and are slowly cleaning up the living room to just be a living room and not my office!

Friday, July 17, 2009


I had been so excited for August 27th this year, the day when Mars was supposedly going to be the closest its been to Earth in thousands of years. I wanted to throw an outer space-themed party complete with spiked Tang, and silver space balloons.

I recently found out, unfortunately, that this event already happened in 2003.

*sigh* So much for our imaginary trip to the Red Planet!


Photography by Patrick Muller

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thrifted Thursday - Books

Most people purchase thrift store books to read. I, on the other hand, purchase thrift store books for decor purposes. They have fantastic content, and I do read them, but often I will (literally) judge a book by its cover, and purchase it initially because I find it to be beautiful.

Do any of your know Chinese? What does the blue book on the right say?

Texture, color, size; they're all taken into consideration when I'm choosing books -- and when I combine them on a shelf with other objects.


DwellStudio Tabletop

I have always loved DwellStudio (and the less expensive DwellStudio for Target), but unfortunately I'm just not at a point in my life where I can go out and splurge on beautiful bed linens (I wish!).

Luckily, DwellStudio is coming out with a new line of tabletop & kitchen items to brighten your space for a little less cash (although they're still pretty pricey for placemats!).

Gorgeous pieces, aren't they?


Photographs via DwellStudio

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

McQueen's Geometry

Today I wanted to feature this dress from Alexander McQueen's 2010 Resort collection:

It's just so different from other dresses I've seen. Parts of it remind me of an insect's exoskeleton, and other parts remind me of art deco-era detailing. I love the transparent/cut-out sections! Negative space is always key in any art piece, including fashion. McQueen conveys this fact perfectly with this dress.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Ooh, shiny!

I have always loved Venetian mirrors, especially extremely intricate ones paired with ultra-clean interiors. Unfortunately, Venetian mirrors are generally thousands of dollars, so I may just have to settle for this pair of shoes:

Shoes? you ask? Well, the moment I saw the pair above, it reminded me of an unusual Venetian mirror I had seen in a photograph on Flickr. The "etching" (stitches, really), and their reflectivity are obvious similarities; but the unexpected red accent on the underside of the high heel echoes the red coloring on the mirror below perfectly:

I love when fashion and interiors collide!


Shoes via My Theresa; Venetian mirror photograph via Vitor P.'s photostream

Friday, July 10, 2009

Emma Watson

First of all, I'd like to thank those of you who warned me about my cool ceramic funnel yesterday. It's really too bad I have to get rid of it. Wow, I must have sounded like a ditz... "Hmm, let's see... I'll use this [possibly-chemical-ridden] funnel as a juice strainer!"

Thank you for looking out for me, readers!

For the weekend, I'll be leaving you with Emma Watson (aka Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series), who recently said she doesn't use a stylist because "there's nothing interesting about looking perfect." Well, she must have pretty high standards of perfection, because I wish I could have looked as put-together as she does when I was 19, that's for sure! (Although I'm sure having an unlimited clothing budget doesn't hurt!)

She's really grown up!

Hermione GrangerFrom this...

Emma Watson...to this!

I always appreciate celebrities, like Emma, who seem so down-to-earth, because really, they're just like everyone else!

Have a happy weekend!


Photos via Style.com

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thrifted Thursday - Ceramic Funnel Strainer (?)

Today's Thrifted Thursday is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps you can help me out...

I purchased this item simply because I had no idea what it was. I was definitely intrigued. It's sort of a combination of a funnel and a strainer, but it looks like a shower head, or a ceramic end to a watering can.

If you look closely, however, you'll notice the words "COORS USA 2A 7-14" printed in tiny letters on the outside edge... Could it have been used for brewing? (Click the image below to enlarge it, and check out the bottom photo.)

ceramic funnel strainer
The Boyfriend and I used it to juice pomegranates! It worked perfectly: We mashed up the pomegranate bits in the top, and because the holes are so small, the pulp didn't fall into the juice. If I never find out its original purpose, I'm happy using it as a container/strainer for juicing (and it looks interesting sitting up on the display shelf above our stove!).

Do you have any idea what it could be?


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Looks from Life - Grande Cafe Latte

Even though I'm from Seattle, I'm not a huge coffee drinker; but I can still see the beauty in the beverage. This late foam art absolutely stunning!

It's truly an impressive talent, and I felt I should honor it with an outfit! Simple, yet sweet:

latteBallet School Flats via Mod Cloth, $28;
French Connection UK wrap playsuit, $40;
Furla Printed Tote, $545 (or $85/month as a member at Bag, Borrow, or Steal)


Photo by baristahands.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

We're taking a turn away from fashion today and on to art. Last weekend, I broke out my acrylics and painted a little bit. I hadn't painted in about two years, and realized I had really missed it.

The pug painting (above) was a little birthday present for my friend, Stephanie, and the barn owls (below) were just for fun. Both were painted on small pieces of plywood/driftwood I found at the beach, and they both only took about 30 minutes to paint; like speed-dating, but with art!

barn owl
It's also helping nature because I scavenged my "canvases"; they're both technically painted on trash picked up from the beach (see the nail in the lower right-hand corner of the owl piece?).

What do you think? Should I start it up again and practice, or should I pack up the paints?


Monday, July 6, 2009

A Blustery Summer Day

This weekend was absolutely perfect, especially weather-wise! But now the clouds have blown in and the air is much cooler, much like this:

Today I plan on doing a lot of relaxing, making up for the lack of rest I got this weekend after all the barbeques and late nights with friends!

What did your weekend look like?


Photography by Takay.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Stripes

With the Fourth of July coming up tomorrow, I thought it was appropriate to showcase some cute stripey pieces that channel Old Glory, and liven up any outfit (not to mention they're all rather reasonably priced!).

First there's the navy/gray & white combo:

1. Stripe Puffball Dress, $74; 2. Wooden Handle Clutch, $30; 3. Zebra Scarf, 15GBP;
4. Stripe Bow Tied Flats, $40; 5. Low-Rise Seersucker Shorts, $13; Bandeau Cover-Up via TopShop, $33

And of course, the red & white:

1. Labor of Love Striped Dress, $294; 2. Slouch Bag via TopShop, $50; 3. Striped Origami Dress via TopShop, $58;
4. Stripe Shirred Waist Tunic via TopShop, $33; 5. Stripey Bandeau Bikini via TopShop, $41; 6. Red Stripe Dress, $41

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend, and that you spend as much time outside as possible! (Oh, and remember to be safe with those fireworks!)


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thrifted Thursday - Side Table

In college, I worked as a mechanic in a bicycle shop located in the creepy basement of one of the dormitories. One day, I looked out from the shop, down the long hallway dimly lit by flickering fluorescent, and noticed the custodians pulling items out of a side room. One item that stood out to me was a little white half-moon table with perfectly timeless lathed legs and a little shelf. I made a note to myself to ask them about it later (to see if it might need a new home, of course) and went back into the shop to finish up my shift.

Once my shift ended, I quickly walked back into the hallway to ask the custodians about the table... but they were gone! And the table was gone! In fact, everything they had emptied out into the hallway had disappeared (and there had been a lot of stuff). I tried to accept that it was gone forever, but I just couldn't get it out of my head.

A few days later I was walking around campus and saw the dormitory's hall director off in the distance. It immediately dawned on me to ask him if he knew anything about it. I sprinted over to him, explained the situation, and he happily took me down to the basement to track it down. Once we reached the grimy basement, he unlocked the door to the storage room and revealed to me an enormous room filled with mounds of things long forgotten. Most of it appeared up for grabs, but most of it was also covered in a lot of dead spiders and cobwebs, things I wasn't in the mood to dig through at the time (hey, bike shop work may be dirty, but it never involves dead things).

I turned a corner, past a massive heap, and there it was: my little white table. I had nearly given up, but now it was mine! I was still quite surprised that the hall director was so happy to let me take it; but I think he realized that no one else would probably use it again, so why not give it to someone who actually appreciated it? This little table epitomizes the phrase "shabby chic," but really, it's mostly just shabby. It's still one of my favorite pieces of furniture, though!

Sure, it needs some new paint, and it's a little wobbly, but it has served me very well and, I'm sure, will continue to do so for a very long time.


Chic for Cheap - Pillows

Have you wanted to keep your sofa or bed updated with cute pillows, but know that your wallet just wouldn't be able to handle another shopping spree? Take a look at these affordable look-alikes!

Thomas Paul via Anthropologie, $88 (left);
or the alternative, JMCCreations via Etsy, $45 (right)

Thomas Paul via Burke Decor, $100 (left);
or the alternative, milkandcookiesCanada via Etsy, $20 (right)

Jonathan Adler, $98 (left);
or the alternative, Dwell Studio for Target, $19.99 (right)

Sure, they're all a bit different, but if you're looking for a bargain, I'd say they definitely work. I'll be doing the same with blankets and duvet sets later this week, so make sure to come back!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Totin' the Bubbly

This has got to be one of the greatest summer inventions I've ever encountered. Cute tote combined with a cooler?! Pure genius.

Do you have fun BBQ plans for this upcoming weekend? Make sure to break out your red, white, and blue! And stay tuned later this week for some 4th of July fashions you can copy this weekend (and some light 'n breezy bedding ideas for those hot summer nights that are just around the corner)!


Photograph via Style.com

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fish Scales

You may remember my post awhile back on my obsession with scaly scalloped detailing on just about anything. I came across this photograph and wanted to post it as a little reminder:

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend in the sunshine. Now it's back to work!


Photograph by Alexei Hay via Jed Root, Inc.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rest in Peace

Dear Farrah,

You were so beautiful. You fought so hard. You deserve the ultimate swoon.

I hate cancer.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thrifted Thursday - Bell Jar

I've always enjoyed thrift shopping, but when I started to get really into it (circa 2006), I kept noticing bell jars on thrift store shelves... but I didn't realize what they actually were for awhile. (Yes, silly, oblivious me.)

"That's the stupidest candle holder I've ever seen! The flame won't burn because it won't have any oxygen!"

"How is this cup supposed to work? It doesn't have a flat bottom!"

I promise I don't usually have such stereotypical blonde moments. (I still can't believe I'm actually admitting this happened... *smacks forehead*) It wasn't actually until 2007 when I returned from studying abroad in India that I realized these strange glass cups' true purpose.

Near the end of my trip, I had purchased a perfectly sized little Buddha. It was a typical tourist gift, but it really is beautiful; and because I had perfected my bargaining skills after five months of speaking Nepali, it was really inexpensive! *proud grin*

A few weeks after I got home, I found myself in a thrift store (of course), and came across an odd-looking jar that would fit my little Buddha perfectly. It was then that I finally realized what it was for. (It's still so embarrassing to admit how stupid I was...)

So I bought it, and voila! He is now quite happy and dust-free.