Fair Isle

Isn't it funny how things that we used to think were lame and uncool are now trendy and stylish?  That's exactly what I think every time I see a Fair Isle sweater.  While they used to be what your scary Uncle Bob wore to Sunday dinner, they are now staples in numerous collections from J.Crew to Isabel Marant.  My girlfriend and I actually pondered last week, "What does Fair Isle really mean?  Is it a place?"  The answer to that, my little wiki-lovers is this: Fair Isle is not only a style of knitting with multiple colors of yarn, but it's also a tiny island in the north of Scotland.  They were made famous by Edward VIII who wore Fair Isle tank tops in the 1920's.  Sounds hot huh?  I bet he had some short-shorts on with that snazzy tank top.  I need to holla at him! 

How's that for a history lesson dolls?

So, this sweater isn't the traditional picture that comes to mind when I think Fair Isle, but it's as close as I feel comfortable getting.  It doesn't have knitted snowflakes or any of that crap on it, but I love that it has 3/4 sleeves and that it's gray.  Two of my favorite things in a cold weather top. The other super cool thing about it is that it looks like it's knitted inside out so it has a deconstructed feel.  Too bad my accessories get stuck in it every two seconds, but I can deal.  The real find of the century were these boots.  I have been looking for a perfectly simple and chic pair of cognac boots for years.  Not too brown and not too red. Cognac, y'all.  The leather is so soft and you don't feel like you are wearing ankle shackles.  They're like butta'.  Do yourself a solid and type in BRSALE40 for 40% off.  My little Christmas gift to you!

Sweater: J.Crew | Blouse: J.Crew | Vest: J.Crew | Skirt: Banana Republic | Bag: K. Sera | Boots: Banana Republic | Necklace: Factory | Bracelets: Stella & Dot, Cara's, Bauble Bar



Cable knit

Merry Christmas, y'all!  I wish you all a lovely day surrounded by friends, family, food, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!

Jacket: Burberry | Sweater: Banana Republic | Skirt: J. Crew | Boots: Dolce Vita | Bag: Louis Vuitton | Glasses: Rayban |Bracelets: Stella & Dot, J.Crew, Bauble Bar | Earrings : Benevolent Jewels (old)



Leopard and Lace

Hi dolls!  I hope your week has been as eventful as mine, but hopefully a little less stressful.  As you may notice, I got my hair did and it's a bit lighter, not to mention shorter.  What do you think?  My hair doesn't grow super fast, as I've mentioned before, and hasn't been cut in over a year!  I was feeling a little drab, so I had several inches taken off and had layers added.  I have to admit, I'm slightly ecstatic about wearing it straight.  All this curling and blowdrying has certainly taken its toll, so I hope it gets healthy as a result.

In other news, I have been hardcore wedding dress shopping like there is no tomorrow.  I've been informed that I'm well behind on the order dates, so a quick decision is in order.  I've got my heart set on a dress that is way out of my budget, so I've been trolling Preownedweddingdress.com for a possible solution.  I'm going to give it until next Friday, but I'm afraid I will need to pull the trigger on a back-up.  At least I have a plan right?  I had no idea that I would be this obsessive over a dress, but I should have known.  It's simply in my blood to look at all (and I mean all) options before making a decision.  Some may call that procrastination, but I call it over-analysis!

When I walked out the door in this sweet little number today, it was 73 and humid.  I left the office only the find that the temperatures had dropped into the 40's and I was freezing my little toosh off!  The great thing about this dress is that it transcends the seasons and easily goes from day to night.

Jacket: H&M | Dress: F21 | Tights: Victorias Secret | Booties: Vince Camuto (old) | Bag: Alexander Wang | Bracelets: J.Crew, Stella & Dot, Cara's Boutique  Necklace: Benevolent Jewels




Well, it seems that the Great Dallas Ice Storm of 2013 is coming to a close, thank the Lord.  I'm sure that it will be something most Dallasites won't soon forget, recounting the tales of fallen trees and the lack of electricity for nearly 24 hours.  It was armageddon, y'all. When you live in a climate that rarely sees cold temperatures or weather of any kind, the world stops and people lose their damn minds at the mention of "freezing rain". It's actually pretty entertaining.  We passed the time by drinking screwdrivers and playing Trivial Pursuit with friends up the street, so it wasn't half bad.  

I did take a few minutes to get out and take some pics before all the ice melted in my new duds from Old Navy.  I all but threatened the life of the store manager after he refused to take this Heart and Soul sweatshirt down off the mannequin.  After begging and pleading, I waited until he went outside for his smoke break and then scaled the window scene to pull it off the form.  I apologize to the poor "lady" I left shirtless in the window for all of Dallas to see.  I was so pleased with myself that I waived this puppy like a flag as I ran past the manager on the way to my car.  I may need to lay low and shop online for a few months...

Sweatshirt: Old Navy  |  Blouse: Mossimo via Target (old)  |  Leggings: Old Navy  |  Beanie: Xhilaration (old)
Gloves: Old Navy  |  Boots: Hunter On SUPER Sale  |  Jacket: J.Crew Factory (in store only)



The One Thing

Hi loves!  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and got some much needed R&R.  We traveled all day long yesterday to get back from USVI and today is definitely going to present a challenge, simply getting back into the swing of things.  I really feel like I've been on another planet for the past 7 days. The good news is that we have another holiday right around the corner!  

So, as you can see, I partook in Cyber Monday, but not in the usual sense.  Since I had an entire day in flight and laying over, I was able to work on the rebranding that I told you about in my last post.  What do you think of the new WorkdayWeekend??  I'm super stoked about the new, fresh look and really can't believe I waited this long to do it!  It's not 100% complete, but it's already worlds better than it was to begin with.  I researched several different options including several custom designs and ended up with this semi-custom design from 17th Avenue.  Kate makes everything so simple, from the design itself to easy-peasy installation, which is so important for a tech dummy like me.  It was extremely cost effective (custom designs can get into the thousands) and actually came in much less than I had originally budgeted for.  Y'all know how I like a bargain!

Back to Black Friday and Cyber Monday - did you guys find any great deals?  Since I was out of town I hit the J.Crew sale before I left and got some cute things, but other than that I generally don't partake in the madness.  I am a thoughtful shopper.  I like to take my time to look, touch, and try on.  I go to stores on Tuesday afternoon at 2:30pm just so I have some peace and quiet, so the sheer panic and bustle of Black Friday makes me want to take a handful of Xanax.  Not my cup of tea.  There is always The One Thing every year that people go absolutely bat shit crazy over and lose all sense of normalcy to obtain.  In the spirit of The One Thing, I got to thinking about a great gift that everyone would love, is still stylish, transcends genders and  ages, and is easily accessible to just about everyone.  Gorgeous plaid scarves have been popping up on every blog from here to Timbuktu and are all over Pinterest and I am just as smitten as the next girl.  Whether it's for your boo, your mom, or your co-worker, a plaid scarf is just the ticket.  Here are a few of my favorite looks:

Style Secret: Look in the men's section for a great size and rich tones!



Here are a few things that suck about being a blogger: coming up with new content, acting like a perfectly sane human being when your neighbors walk by as you are posing in front of your house, the fact that you would lose all your readers if you posted in the sweatshirt and yoga pants that you prefer to the cute mixed pattern/pop of color/trendy masterpiece you created. Yeah, most of the time it's great fun, but sometimes it sucks a big one. Today it was freezing, and I mean FREEZING! I rolled on down to the park and even left the car on so it would stay warm while I was taking photos. After five minutes of being out in the wind, I was so totally over the adorable outfit that I was excited about putting together earlier. The rings on my fingers were so cold that they hurt my hands and I was two seconds away from snot dripping down my face. I spilled my coffee all over my arm. Too bad it wasn't hot any longer, and then, it started sleeting. I got fed up with this so-called photo shoot, drove straight to the grocery, and got all the ingredients for a big ole lasagna. The second I got home, before I put the groceries in the fridge, I changed into my sweatshirt and yoga pants immediately.

With that being said, we are in the Virgin Islands for Thanksgiving, so this freezing cold weather couldn't have had better timing.  I have never been so ready for the beach in all my life!  It won't be all fun and play, though. One of the tasks at hand while we're there is to find a place to get married and I have no idea how that is going to turn out.  As much as I love style and design, planning is certainly not my strong suit.  I'll let you know how it goes!  In other news, and speaking of something that I'm super stoked about, WW is going to be getting a major facelift in the next couple weeks.  It's about time y'all have something prettier and more professional to look at, so I finally bit the bullet and can't wait to see the results.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  I hope you all enjoy friends, family, and football!

Button Down: J.Crew Factory (in store only)
Vest: Target (old) this season's version
Denim: J.Crew
Bag: (no brand) via K-Sera Boutique
Boots: Dolce Vita (old)
Necklaces: Max & Chloe (use link Black20MC for 20% off!), Brina Box, K-Sera Boutique
Bracelets: J.Crew, Stella & Dot, Cara's Boutique, Hermes, Banana Republic



Bedroom on a Budget

Hi lovlies!  I hope you all had a fabulous week and are ready for the holiday ahead!  We've been fussing around here preparing for our annual trip to St. Thomas for Thanksgiving, which means LOTS of laundry.  The man went to Baton Rouge for a quick guys trip to LSU and I stayed behind to manage some last minute choices for the renovation projects.  Hopefully we can stay on schedule while we're out of town.  God willing.

So, I got the thumbs up on devoting Sundays to a house and home post, so I will be getting domestic on y'all from here on out.  I wanted to share our bedroom with you because I really tightened up the purse strings on this little makeover.  After the renovation of our home, we didn't really have much left in the budget to decorate. After pulling as much as I could from what we already had, I finished up with some wonderful items from Target, Joss and Main, and even the neighbor's garage sale!  Yep, they were moving out right as we were moving in and I snagged those Restoration Hardware lamps for $30 for the pair.  Major score!

In terms of the renovation, this master bedroom had one of those double entry bathrooms, so we walled one side up to make room for a bigger closet and to open up the space altogether.  I can show you the bathroom in the coming weeks.  New hardwoods and my trusty paint color  (SW Amazing Grey) makes the space much more comfortable and fresh. We spend sooooooo much time in here when we are home and it's definitely my favorite space in the house.

Bed: Joss and Main
Pillows: West Elm (old), Target (old), Ikea Sanela
Art: World Market (in store)
Rug: Sam's Club
Drapes: Ikea Merete



Home Sweet Sunday

I've told you before that both my fiancĂ©' and I are mortgage bankers during the week, but on the weekend we enjoy renovating and remodeling homes.  Back in May, I posted this remodel and you guys went absolutely bonkers and have been begging for more ever since.  I'm thinking about reserving Sunday posts for stuff that has to do with home.  I have a ton of content (I haven't even shown you guys the house we live in!) and we have more projects in the works.  What do you think?  I'd love to hear your feedback in order to keep the integrity of the blog.  This is a huge and very enjoyable part of our life that we don't really get to share.

So, about the house: we bought this little junker a couple months ago that had been horribly neglected for several years.  Of course it smelled absolutely putrid, and someone had even left an old dog out back in the jungle of a yard, poor thing!  We always say "The uglier the better!" and we took this home to heart.  The neighborhood is very desirable and is a great place to buy for couples, small families, and even empty nesters who want the suburban feel without being too far from the city.  This particular home sits on a green belt and had a layout very similar to White Cliff, so it was a relatively easy project from a design perspective.  The challenge was the sheer amount of work.  The sweet couple who bought the home really is getting a brand new home, inside and out (minus the brick). We got a little squeamish on the budget and really bargain hunted for everything we could, without sacrificing quality.  We found some AWESOME buys and they ended up looking so great.  I was so excited for this house to be finished because it really is a great home for a couple starting a family.  Our buyers are 7 months pregnant with their first little one and it just seemed like it was meant to be.

I'm gonna take you on a little tour, friends.  Without further adieu, here is 11811 Cheswick!

We had a lot to clean up on the outside, as you can see from the before photo below.  The ivy had grown all the way up into the trees and completely taken over the front yard.  We had it cut down (it will eventually die and fall off the trees) and we pulled up all the ground cover and laid sod.  The junk trees in front were removed so you can see the house, and we left the nandinas to fill out after someone did a hack job on them before we purchased the property.  We replaced all the original metal windows with bright white vinyl ones and painted the brick a gorgeous grey.  We salvaged the original shutters and front door and painted them black for a little contrast.

This is where the biggest difference was made, in my opinion.  Not only did the kitchen have carpet,  (yes, you heard that right), but it was completely cut off from the huge family room and felt completely disjointed.  We opened that wall and replaced the dated cabinetry with a new shaker style.  New stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, Santa Cecilia Light granite, and shiny light fixtures finish out the kitchen perfectly. All the drywall was retextured and repainted so the home feels brand new inside.

In the original layout, there was no pantry, only a very small double oven and some cabinets.  Luckily, there was a random, but huge closet on the other side of the wall in the entry way, so we took half of it and designed a walk in pantry.  The other side is a cute little half bath.

I love making the most out of 'accessories' in a home, especially in the kitchen.  At this price point, little luxuries made a huge impact and shiny chrome does the trick.  I love using chrome fixtures whether the price point is $100,000 or $1,000,000.  And it's always the least expensive finish when fixtures have multiple options.

The house has a funky little angle to one side of it, so we decided to incorporate a peninsula rather than an island.  I would have had to place the island at an angle an well and it just felt a little uneven.  I'm big on symmetry, especially in the kitchen, and the peninsula provides plenty of bar stool space and room to gather.

Can you imagine not being able to see this gorgeous fireplace and get the natural light from the new french doors?  The old design blocked it all and the old peninsula made you feel trapped in the kitchen. What a difference it makes to simply turn it ninety degrees.

Typical with homes built in the 60's and 70's, there were big built in hutches on either side of the fireplace, that we simply popped out.  There were also decorative (if you can even call them that) circles on the ceiling throughout the home that just had to go.  We slapped some paint on the fireplace, replaced all the wall paneling with fresh drywall, and laid new hardwoods.
I messed up and didn't take before photos of the rest of the house, but you can imagine how dated and stale it was.  There are two bedrooms that are connected by a Jack and Jill bath.  The bedrooms got received new carpet and shelving (how cute will this be as a nursery?!!?).  I chose the pinwheel tile for the bathroom floor because it's playful and cute and I had the guys cut down some white and grey tiles to 12 x 24 for a more modern feel.  Simple ideas like changing the shape of your tile can make a world of difference.  This tile was .49 a square foot on special at a surplus store.  It has a rougher texture so soap won't show as easily as with a polished tile.  

Now, for crowned jewel #2: the master bath. This room was a hot, disjointed mess.  First off, it had a hallway entry, which took away the ensuite convenience.  We walled that up and completely redesigned the bathroom.  It had a tiny shower that felt like stepping into a cave and had another wall that made it tiny.  We basically started the whole space over from scratch and added two closets, a large walk in shower, and double vanity.  It's hard to see in the photos, but I have been dying to use ceramic planks in a wood pattern and I finally got the opportunity.  They are a gray white washed wood grain and are just stunning with the marble.  Speaking of the marble, this was a remnant that my contractor picked up at the stone yard.  To.die.for.  

In the back, we replaced a chain link fence with a gorgeous, stained one and replaced all the dirt with fresh sod. Once we cleared away all the junk, we discovered that the yard was tired for drainage by these pretty stones, so we kept that detail and I love the way it looks.  This house also had a white gate in back that, when we purchased the home, we didn't realize was electric.  It wasn't in working condition, but after a quick visit from the electrician, it works like a charm and is a rare amenity for the neighborhood.  We had it painted black to go with the color scheme.

This was a really fun little remodel and I was really proud of the way it turned out.  I think it will be a great home for the couple that bought it and I hope they have a million happy memories here!