Thursday, October 8, 2015

Moving Inspiration: Bathrooms I Love

Bathrooms from top: 1. French By Design  //  2. Design Dots  //  3. Daniella Witte  //  4. Blood and Champagne  //  5. The Classy Issue  //  6. Style by Emily Henderson (I shared this bathroom in my Bohemian Spaces post as well)  //  7. A Merry Mishap  //  8. Katrina Chambers  //  9. Sarah Sarna  //  10. Planete Deco

Here we are with post #3 in our Moving Inspiration mini-series, and still no new house on the horizon. While the possibility of us finding a place before baby is born is becoming slimmer by the day, that isn't stopping me from daily searches for both homes in our area and inspiration for when we finally find one. And that brings us to today's post, where I'm sharing my favorite bathroom finds with you. (If you want to read more about the full story of our moving plans, including unnecessary whining from my end, check out this post.)

It's funny that my last post in this sort-of-series was about kitchens I loved and now I'm focusing on bathrooms, since (at least according to HGTV) those are the things that are most important to home buyers. And while I am usually able to see past the often less-than-desirable kitchen and bathroom spaces in the homes for sale that tend to fit into our budget, it takes these types of visual gatherings of inspiration to remind me of the possibilities when initially looking at them. Or maybe that's just my excuse for obsessively staring at bathrooms on Pinterest in bed at 2 AM - but I'm sticking with it.

Just like with the kitchens I shared with you, these bathrooms tend to lean toward a minimalist, modern design element - with a hint of bohemian. I prefer light, neutral colors (mainly white and grey), and although I tend to gravitate toward those shades pretty much everyone in a home, I think the reason I like them so much (especially white) in bathrooms is because they make the spaces appear larger and less dark. (None of the bathrooms in my current place have windows, and keeping the paint and decor mostly white allows for them to feel much less claustrophobic.) I also like some sort of tiny rustic touch to break up the cold feeling of bathrooms that are super modern - whether that is some sort of raw wood, some interesting tiles, or a piece of antique looking hardware. And when all the hard stuff is done and it comes to finishing decor details, having a couple of plants in the bathroom is key in my mind. (This can be tough in terms of their survival if there isn't a lot of light, but I'm always willing to take that risk.) My favorites from above are definitely numbers 1 and 2, but I also love the boho vibe and all of the layers of 6. Now just to keep these ingrained in my brain the next time we're looking at houses and all I see is a bathroom that hasn't been updated since the '70s.

What type of bathroom design do you prefer? Have any of you redone a bathroom recently?


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Essley, the Little Ballerina Mouse

I know that posts about Essley are few and far between around here, but today I'm going to gush about her for a couple of minutes because (1) I think she's the coolest (I really do) and (2) we were recently introduced to the the cutest collection of baby clothing and toys ever that just happen to perfectly align with her current two very favorite things (mice and ballet; more on that in a minute). She has had so much fun playing with her new goodies that I had to snap some pictures and share. I've also become such a fan of the company who makes these items that there was just no way I couldn't say anything about them. So here we go.

Robbie's parents live in Arizona but we FaceTime with them often, and a few weeks ago his mom started regularly reading Essley a story about a mouse from Robbie's childhood. Essley absolutely adores this story - to the point that within seconds of connecting, she starts saying "Mouse! Mouse!" in anticipation of hearing it. And ever since, she instantly gravitates to anything with a mouse. She now has a mouse toothbrush. Her favorite shirt has a mouse on it. To her, mice are the the bee's knees.

Essley has also taken a recent fondness to anything having to do with ballet or dance. I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that she starts dance class soon (two weeks from today, actually), and you can't even say the words "dance class" without her instantly busting into her personal collection of killer dance moves. My friend Molly, a dance teacher, sent Essley a pair of tap shoes when I was pregnant with her and they just now fit perfectly, and the kid is obsessed. And if she sees anything with a tutu or ballet slippers, it's like she just spotted a freaking unicorn, man. Needless to say, ballerina is at the very top of our Halloween costume idea list.

Now that you know these things, it probably makes sense why Essley is so thrilled with the Princess Mousie Collection from Elegant Baby. First of all, the story behind it is absolutely adorable (you can read it, in "chapters," right here on their blog). Secondly, it is basically making all of Essley's toddler dreams come true by combining a mouse with ballet. Her favorite toy right now is this super sweet knit ballerina mouse (which she calls "Mousie"). She carries it everywhere and when she hears music, she makes it dance. It's ridiculously cute. She also has to have her knit ruffle ballerina mouse blanket on her during story time, and she gets so excited to use her special mousie bathwrap after bath time.

As a parent, I'm pretty stoked about these goodies too. The products themselves are incredibly well made with so much attention to detail (which is actually pretty rare these days when it comes to kids' toys and accessories). They truly live up to the word 'elegant' in the company's name (I mean, how sweetly beautiful is this head band? Even her fairy bath toys are elegant!). I'm confident that Essley will treasure them for years, even after she outgrows them. I also love that Elegant Baby, which was founded back in 1967, continues to be family owned. (Can I also quickly mention that Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's son Silas is a fan? I mean, just saying.)

For those of you with little ones, babies on the way, or with friends or family members who have babies or toddlers, I highly recommend checking out this very special brand. They're currently running a promotion for 10% off your entire purchase on their website with code FALL10 (good through October 16th), so now is the perfect time to pick up a few of their adorable products.

For those of you with little ones (or nieces/nephews, or grandkids, or friends with little ones), what are their favorite things right now? Any one else have a kid obsessed with mice and ballet?

This post is in collaboration with Elegant Baby.  


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Color Love // Oak Buff

Pantone Oak Bluff for Fall (via Bubby and Bean)
1. Upstate Swank Shawl, ModCloth  //  2. The Zip Transport Tote with Pockets, Madewell  //  3. Karma Wrap Bracelet, House of Harlowe 1960  //  4. Women's Metro Grand Saddle Leather Strap Watch, Kate Spade  //  5. Double Fringe Side-Zip Boot, Minnetonka  //  6. Marlow Sunglasses, Moorea Seal  //  7. Sliced Cuff, Flourish Leather  //  8. Leggy Legend Nail Color, Essie  //  9. Ribknit Camel Sweater, H&M  //  10. Pashmina Shawl, Wedding Store  //  11. Tassel Fringe Deco Shoulder Bag, Oasap  

It's been quite a while since my last Color Love post. They admittedly take a really long time to put together, and I also just haven't found myself stepping too far beyond my usual neutral palette of grey and black lately. But yesterday, for whatever reason, I seemed to notice every color around me on a really intense level (kind of like eating psychedelic mushrooms in the middle of a forest in college when all of the trees are filled with vibrant fall tones, not that I would know what was like or anything). I suddenly felt all sorts of inspired to show a little love to autumn colors, and here I am. Rather than focus on all the fall colors, of course, (because no one wants to be subjected to a collage of clothing and accessories that look like they were vomited on by a pile of October leaves), I chose just one: oak buff. I'd normally call this color something like pale pumpkin pie or maybe muted copper or something, but Pantone calls it 'Oak Buff,' and since they're the experts and it's listed on their fall 2015 color trend report, I'm sticking with that. The thing I love about this color is that it's sort of a mix between a deep mustard (one of my year-round favorites) and a beige-y neutral, with a hint of rust. So although it has a certain zing (< first time I've ever used that word on the blog, or ever I think) to it, it's not overly loud or glaring. It genuinely reminds me of the perfect shade of fall leaves, or those crazy butterscotch sunsets we get to see this time of year. I honestly don't think I own anything in this color in my entire wardrobe, but now I want to. It feels really warm and soft and sort of nurturing. And I like that.

What are your thoughts on good ol' oak buff? What is your go-to color this fall?


Monday, October 5, 2015

Taking Some Fall Me Time

It's the first Monday of October, the official starting month of fall. And as I glance out my office window at the trees lining the streets, their leaves delicately shifting from summertime lush to autumn-kissed shades of vibrant red and gold, slightly rustling in the early fall breeze, I can almost (almost) block out the sound of my toddler downstairs repeatedly screaming "noooo dadaaaaa" (because she's being told she can't have ice cream for breakfast), the overwhelming number of emails that quickly engulfed my inbox during a long weekend, the baby in my belly who apparently takes pleasure in repeatedly kicking my bladder, and the general disarray that surrounds me in what is admittedly a very disorganized workspace. Often in these moments of chaos I end up feeling overpowered and have to legitimately work to calm myself down. But thanks to what I will from now on affectionately refer to as "Autumn Me Time," a daily break that I am allowing myself to take throughout the season, all I need a tiny reminder (like those sweet fall trees) that relief will be coming this afternoon, and I'm good. Truly good.

I've written a couple of posts here in the past about taking time for myself, but I swear I need a reminder with every change of the seasons. Around here, fall means a busier work schedule (holiday madness seriously seems to start earlier every year, doesn't it?), more indoor play time for my energetic daughter (those easy 'let's go to the park for a couple of hours and let off some steam' days disappear once the cool weather hits), and general transitions into a new season and routine. Last week during a particularly stressful day, I had to physically stop myself for a minute, sit down, and really think about how I could back into the habit of slowing down for at least a few minutes each day to focus on things I enjoy, just for me. My summer me time routine (which involved sitting on my deck in shorts and a tank top, taking delight in the flowers, a summertime beverage, and the other simple pleasures of my favorite time of year) was no longer going to cut it. I just needed to adjust things a bit, to focus on the things about fall that I most enjoy, and to establish a new approach to me time for this season.

That evening I headed over to Jewel-Osco, grabbed a shopping basket, and went on a mission. I grabbed a gallon of apple cider, some cinnamon sticks, and the October issues of Real Simple and InStyle magazines. I was prepared. The next day when Essley went down for her nap, I heated up some cider on the stove and poured it into my favorite mug, added a cinnamon stick, lit an autumn spiced candle, and climbed into bed (yep, bed) with my magazines, ready to get inspired by fall fashion, decorating, and other goodness. It only took about twenty (blissful) minutes, and I felt really, really great. I was reminded of the comforts of cooler weather coziness, and instead of feeling overwhelmed by fall's craziness, I felt refreshed and excited about it. (Thank you Real Simple for your relaxation breathing exercise and fun Halloween decor and DIY costume ideas, and InStyle for your fall accessories guide, fall recipes, and 28 Days of Outfits article!) I told myself that I would continue to take this time for myself - even if just for five minutes - everyday throughout the season.

We're all busy. The change of seasons affects all of our schedules. And this is why I wanted to share my little "Me Time" story here, and show how I was able to get back on track with taking time for myself in a way that allows me to appreciate the change of the season instead of letting it get to me. I highly recommend doing the same, you guys. Even if you're not normally a fall person and the end-of-summer transition is rough (this summer girl is waving her hands right now), a few minutes with your favorite hot beverage and a couple of great fall-themed magazines will have you feeling relaxed and all sorts of autumn inspired. Trust me. And when you're out grabbing your supplies, take advantage of $1.00 off participating magazine titles (PEOPLE®, InStyle®, People StyleWatch®, Real Simple®, and Sunset®) with this digital offer until 10/18/15 while supplies last. I'll admit it, saving that buck brightened my spirits as well.

Does the transition of seasons (especially into busier ones like fall) ever stress you out too? What kind of things to you do to make time for yourself and to enjoy your favorite things about autumn?

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and InStyle® and Real Simple® Magazines, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BacktoMeTime Thank you for supporting Bubby and Bean by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. 


Friday, October 2, 2015

10 Great Apple Recipes

10 Great Apple Recipes (via Bubby and Bean)
1. Ultimate Caramel Apples, Cooking Classy  //  2. Amish Apple Fry Pies, Neighborfood  //  3. Apple and Vanilla Tartes Fines, A Dutchie Baking  //  4. Blackberry and Apple Crumble, the Life Harvest  // 5. Easy Apple Cake, Skimbaco  // 6. Baked Apples, Glorious Treats  //  7. Apple, Almond, and Smoked Mozzarella Farro Salad, Serious Eats //  8. Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazelnuts, Bon Appetit  //  9. Quinoa Oatmeal with Apple and Toasted Walnuts, Bon Appetit  //  10. Lentil Salad with Apples, Fennel, and Herbs, Serious Eats

It's apple season guys. Despite my whining about summer's end, I will happily admit that there is little I enjoy more than taking a bite out of a just picked fall Honeycrisp, chased with a big glass o' fresh cider, and finished with a piece of warm, cinnamon-filled apple pie. Did I mention caramel apples dipped in crushed peanuts? Yep. Give me all the apples. Thankfully Essley and Robbie love consuming their weights in apples as much as I do this time of year, so I've been on the hunt for some new recipes to try using the fantastic fruit of fall. And of course, I had to share my favorite finds with you for this edition of 10 Great. So far I've got #4 and #8 on my 'need to try immediately' list. And despite the fact that it's ultimately the least healthy in this roundup, #2 looks ridiculously good. Which recipe looks the most delicious to you?