Melinda

I’m making my wedding dress.

I’m making my wedding dress.  I made my prom dress, too.

I’ve searched and searched (without actually going to bridal boutiques, much to my mom’s dismay).  I saw dresses I liked, and aspects I liked.. but nothing that just felt totally me.  So I have decided to do me the best way I know — make it myself.  My mom and my grandma are going to help with the hand work, so it will be that much more special.

I’ve gathered some inspiration for my design –

 

Elie Saab Couture Spring 2014

Elie Saab Couture Spring 2014

Elie Saab Spring 2014

Elie Saab Spring 2014

Elie Saab Spring 2013

Elie Saab Spring 2013

Surprise!  They’re all Elie Saab.  No, really.  Even my Pinterest board consists of mostly Elie — with a bit of Marchesa mixed in.  I’m crazy about the intricacy of the couturier hand work.

Ivory // Black



Currently obsessed with black and ivory spaces.

When I was growing up, my mom gave me total creative freedom to take my room in any direction I wanted. I remember being crazy for blue. (Oh, and Scooby Doo!) So my room was all blue, with a big fuzzy blue blanket, blue paper lanterns, blue carpeting… you get the picture. From there, I decided I wanted a graffiti wall. I designed the image, and my mom hired an artist to paint it. It was a big paint splash on ‘a brick wall’, with this cool-girl character I created wearing big bell-bottom jeans and a T-shirt.

Then when I reached 8th grade, I painted over my graffiti wall and blue — exchanging it for a sunset beach themed room. I enlisted my grandma to help me paint the walls ombre: peach on top, blending into a pink bottom half. I still remember the day we spent hours trying to get the perfect blend. In the corner of the room I used cans of spray paint and acrylic and painted two big palm trees. I changed my bunk bed out for a simple daybed with lots of pillows — and lots of pink.

My mom graduated me to a bigger room, with a bigger closet!, when I started high school. I was decidedly more sophisticated, and scrapped all of my bold color choices for neutrals. I got a fresh white carpet, all white bedding for the sleigh-bed that I had to have, and even insisted on a faux textured wall. We painted the walls with a neutral ivory and then added a lime wash in crisp white on top. It had a look of venetian plaster, and I was crazy about it. And the ultimate in sophistication? A faux fireplace. I kid you not. I somehow managed to talk my grandpa into cutting out the pieces to build a wooden box that was my fireplace. I painted stones around the opening, then closed it in with chicken wire and filled the inside with candles. I wish I had photos.

We moved a year or so later and I continued the white, and my beloved lime wash textured walls, into my new room. I attached towel bars to my ceiling and draped panels of fabric through to make a dreamy canopy over my bed. Swapping out the fireplace for a massive faux marble armoire, naturally. My sister remembers my ‘white room’ well, as she should, since she nabbed it as soon as I left for college.

And from there, I was all about color and chaos, and utterly messy. That’s how I remember my dorm rooms. Clothing and books and trinkets, everywhere. Though, I still managed to use ticky tack (you know, that blue goopy stuff?) to adhere my fabric panels to the dorm ceiling to keep the canopy effect.

For almost a decade now I have been all for the color. My first apartment after college, I somehow managed to talk Bear into being ok with me painting the hallways high-gloss hot pink! No, really. And it was a challenge to cover up when we moved out.

So, here I am, crazy for ivory and black combos. Go figure. The past several months we have slowly painted over all of the colored walls in the house (for the millionth time)… to a fresh ivory. And now I’m working on the black doors and railings. The only walls left with color are the bath in a crisp pale blue, and the master in a radiant lavender with a grey haze to it.

Mint Grapefruit Morning WakeUp

I drink a lot of coffee.  Some days I can’t even tell you how many cups I’ve had.   I’m trying to move away from relying on caffeine for my morning pick-me-up — so I came up with this Mint Grapefruit Sparkler.  It’s so simple, with the perfect amount of kick and boost of nutrients to jumpstart my day.

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Recipe // Blend 1 grapefruit with a few fresh mint leaves and a handful of ice.  Then add flavored sparkling mineral water to fill glass. 

I use Whole Foods brand strawberry sparkling mineral water to sweeten up the citrus flavors of the grapefruit.  The fresh mint sprig doesn’t just make the drink look pretty — eating fresh mint has health benefits and freshens that morning breath ;)  Enjoy!

Currently: work space.

Currently in my workspace: Vintage!
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Marble and brass vintage reminder to ‘Do it NOW’ // vintage mod water tumbler // floral incense // wall art inspiration // vintage bud vase that reminds me of a graduated cylinder — making the nerdy scientist in me giddy :)

And the most essential of all things in my workspace — Lucy! She loves to hide out under my desk to get some rest away from Ro.
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Home.

So excited to be back in PHILLY!  And better yet – we bought our FIRST home together in our favorite neighborhood by the Art Museum. ♥

When we began our search we looked at quite the array of homes..  settling on an estate that’s over one hundred years old!  We knew immediately, or shall I say, I knew immediately.  It may have taken a little convincing on my part to win my guy over.  I adore the exquisite detail and charm of an old home – that simply cannot be replicated.

And so here we are, in the messy middle of renovations.  We are doing the work ourselves, with the help of dear family and friends, so it’ll take some time, creativity, learning, and patience — Can’t wait to share my home with you!

With love,

M

Beachy Keen

Some days I get easily caught up in the stressors of life (namely performance in Grad school!) and a short trip to the beach brings it all back into focus.

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To keep things simple, I wore a playful silk romper from JCrew. It allowed for a momentous deviation from my day that easily transitioned back to reality an hour later — Adding a light pullover sweater and a winter coat, sans sand, to get on a plane to a much cooler climate.

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With a recent monumental birthday, I’ve vowed to make this year an incredible one — filled with spontaneous adventures, lasting memories, and undeniable happiness!

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Hola Ombre!

With summer in full swing, I’ve been craving a sun-drenched kissed look, without the UV damage. While I go through more bronzer then I care to admit, my hair demanded the same attention.  Enter ‘ombre’. I love the natural effect and even more so, the low maintenance! My personal makeup guru agreed to take on the challenge.

Beachy waves, a sparkly bohemian headband, or just tossed up in a top-knot, the color gradient adds instant glamour to even the most unsophisticated style…   especially loving the ease of styling on mornings when I hit the snooze one too many times!

Ombre hair is a perfect way to top off a summer look and carry you into next season with little to no touch-ups required!

The video tutorial on how we achieved this look can be found here.