new year's comfy style: no hype, all pyjamas

Ever noticed how if you're coupled up and you say you're staying in on New Year's everyone is all "oh how nice!", but if you're single and you say it you get pitty face? Like, super duper pitty face? "Oh poor dear" those eyes are saying, "I hope she doesn't choke to death on bonbons and tears."  

Well, this girl has always stayed in before (it's all just too much hype/disappointment), and she's not about to change it up now for lack of a couch buddy. Cuz you know what's better than stilettos in the snow? Not stilettos in the snow.  

So here, in short, is exactly what you'll find me doing tonight. I promise you, if I choke on anything, it will be macarons and coziness. Exactly how I plan to go anyway.

Happy New Year beautifuls! Whatever you may be doing - be it at home in a sweater or out in skin tight sequins - I hope you love every minute of it. xoxoxo

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peace and out!

Just wanted to pop by to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays - no matter what you might celebrate - from both me and this mashugana...

...who's a little less than pleased with life right now.

A scratched cornea - probably from play with the puppy or a branch outside - means my little man will be spending the holidays as a cone-head. We plan to decorate it with bows. Or maybe reindeer horns. He's gonna love us sooooo much.

You know what's weird though? This whole thing has managed to increase my Christmas spirit tenfold. Yesterday when I accepted that a trip to the vet was necessary to figure out what was wrong, I started worrying about cost. Christmas eve almost always means emergency vet hours, which means hundreds of dollars just to step in the door. Well, a couple of hours after I voiced that worry, my family gathered around and presented me with this:

My amazing little sister had suggested everyone pool a bit of money and help me out. It is very, very hard to be bah-humbuggy in the face of that. The gift wasn't the money (they know I can afford it, it's just rough given the time of year), the gift was the care. Truly. I'm feeling the definition of loved.

Speaking of love, did you see Sara Ruffin Costello's home featured in the Wall Street Journal? No? Well you should definitely check it out. Maybe it's just because I wasn't feelin Christmas until now, but this is the first holiday decor feature that I've been really inspired by this year:


It's so understated, and somehow she's managed to elevate writing on a mirror in lipstick from the tacky tag of a drunk teenager to ridiculously chic and pretty. I'll definitely be taking some cues from this for next year!

And with that, I'll be off. Enjoy every moment of this time with your loved ones, and eat as much chocolate and gravy as you can possibly stand. It's good for you. Promise. 

See you in the new year beauties!

{via: 1 // 2}

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shared office love: cuz i like people more than i like doors

Poop. That's how I feel about today. I'm grumpy and sulky and my lower lip could be a bird perch. 


My team at work has grown from a duo to a quartet, and today we're moving because of it - from a floor of about twenty peeps (the larger group we work with) to a small space housing just 5. I personally am going from a small open air "nook" that I shared with two interns to a private office. Which I should be pleased as punch about, but again, I say poop.

I know most people would consider the office an upgrade, but the new desk config - they have me facing a wall with my back to the door - means I'll need to shut my door to avoid feeling as though the world is peering over my shoulder. And that, plus the reduction in faces, just sounds like one big stinking pile of lonely to me. I'm already yearning for my nook back. 

So in the spirit of my internal tantrum, here are some gorgeous shared offices that just scream collaboration! If I ever start my own teeny tiny business, you best believe I'd be throwing sarcastic jabs at coworkers over computer screens in a space like this:








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palm pendant light: d.i.y'd and done!

At long last, the palm print pendant light is all gussied up and ready for the spotlight! Here's hoping you love the results as much as I do:

Cute, no?! I definitely think it's the best incarnation of this nine-lives lady yet. 

She started out all ivory and bland, then got an Amanda Nisbet Positano inspired makeover (which I liked, but which really didn't work with the living area attached), followed quickly by a bleaching and Indian stamp treatment. Unfortunately, all this left her kinda blotchy and, quite frankly, lacking a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. We both knew she could do better. 

So I immediately started planning her newest look: the palmification!

The first step? Removing the old fabric, and hopefully tracing it to make a template. Unfortunately, like I mentioned before, what I thought would be the easiest part of this project turned into an absolute nightmare! The old fabric clung to that light like it's life depended on it, and only came off in tiny little chunks. Here's a little reminder of what I had to deal with:

In the end I had to wet it, wait, and scrape with a serrated blade. For four hours. Whatever they used to adhere this stuff, sign me up, because I have some things I'd like to forever-stick. And this right here? This is the stuff to make it happen.

Yet while it drove me crazy, it also helped me, because I knew I wanted an extremely smooth surface and that painting on the adhesive would be the best way to get it. I didn't want to use spray, because I'd had issues with it in the past. Trying to figure out what they had used, I figured out what I would use: wallpaper paste.

Magic. I seriously will never go back to using spray adhesive to recover lamp shades. No bleed through, easier application, a seriously smooth finish and no residue all over your floor. A win in every way.

After the paste was good and dry, the original trim - the only element that came off the old light well - went back on with a glue gun, cleaning up all the edges and ensuring the fabric was stuck for good.

Here is the final look again!

And what she looks like all lit up:

I couldn't be happier.

Now all I need is the perfect new black and white seat fabric to finish off the space. The ultimate goal is something like Les Touches, but until I find a yard of that at a bargain basement price, I think some white linen may be getting a d.i.y splatter effect. Or maybe a modified zebra paint job? Whatever it is, I don't want it to be too flashy, because I think my girl palm should be the star of the show!

She deserves it, wouldn't you agree? ;)

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brass obsessed: a hardware round-up of the prettiest kind

As promised, a little selection of some of the best brass hardware options going, in some of the most popular styles around - to bling your kitchen to the nines or just set your heart a-flutter:

Want to see how each style translates into real-life chic spaces? Check out Wednesday's post for a roundup of serious lookers that use each one! Honestly, I don't know how a person could possibly choose. I break out into a cold sweat just thinking about it . . . Do you have a fave or would you be just as torn?

(P.S. New here? So glad you stopped by! Be sure to click that Follow button for more inspiration, retail roundups and OCD inspired d.i.y!)

{Recessed: 1 // 2 // 3 | T-Bar: 1 // 2 | Knobs: 1 // 2 // 3 | Bin: 1 // 2 | Footed & Trad: 1 // 2 | Flat fronted: 1 // 2}

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guest posting: wishing away

Today you'll find me over on Let it be Beautiful - Ashlyn's amazing diary of all things pretty - sharing my wishes for the days leading up to the big ho ho ho. Some are frivolous (pretty parties blinged out to the nines), some not so much (time to take pics of loved ones), but all are exactly what I'm craving to make this holiday season extra special. Hope you'll pop over to see what made the list! xoxoxo

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brass obsessed: hardware styles for the kitchen

Those of you who read p&b regularly know that I recently switched out my kitchen hardware. Sadly, I'm working with a renters reality/budget (read: it should probably be free), so I didn't end up going with my beloved brass. I'm not going to lie, that decision was a tough one. The name of the blog should be a pretty good indication of what I'd pick if cost and convenience weren't an issue. If it's brass, I'm going to want it. Pure and simple.

At the end of the day, though, practicality won out over pretty, and I went with what was uber-cheap and fit the existing holes. So this week, when Christine of Bijou and Boheme and Erin of Elements of Style posted about their incredible kitchen realities/plans, it was like salt in my shiny-loving wound, leading to hours upon hours of obsessing about what I can't have. Or, in other words, a regular Tuesday night.

Seriously though, the more time I spent looking at pics of kitchens blinged out with brass, the more I realized that this is probably the only metal in which I like all styles of handles and pulls, from the contemporary to the downright country. I certainly could never have said that about nickel! So I thought I would pull together a few of the most popular styles being used right now for your viewing pleasure, showing just how versatile this heavenly finish really is. Get ready to swoon . . .

Recessed pulls:

Knobs, both modern and classic:

Bin pulls:

Flat front handles:

Traditional footed:


Vintage-style exposed screw:

See what I mean? I love each and every one of these, even those I would never have expected to - like the bin pulls and the traditional exposed-screw handles (which are now some of my faves). 

So what's your take? Do you have a first love, or would you have just as hard a time choosing? I'll be back later this week to make it a little easier (or maybe harder) with a round-up of the best brass goodies that match the categories above, ranging from the super affordable to the how-do-I-justify-this-to-my-husband. It's gonna be good, so make sure to mosey on back, ya' hear?

{images: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14}

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because sometimes the snowbanks get higher than my head . . .

Hey there lovelies! Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. We got 15cm of snow last night - straight outta the blue - and freezing rain this morning to top it all off. I would actually be overjoyed about this (the first snows just mean Christmas is coming to me!) but when I stepped out of the house my feet were soaking wet within seconds. Apparently the soles of the winter boots I dropped almost 300$ on last winter have cracked over the summer, and the things are now borderline useless.

No. Fun.

So the only thing I have on my mind today is boots that can stand up to anything. Not all-leather boots topped with cute buckles that say they're waterproof - no, I made that mistake last year. Right now all I'm craving is straight-up, Michelin Man, I-live-in-f-ing-Canada heavyweights.

Truth be told, I want these to come back in stock so badly it kills me:

But since I doubt that's going to be happening anytime soon, I'll settle for one of these ladies:

Sperry seems to have the lockdown on utilitarian winter boots that are still cute. Anyone know if looks are deceiving or if these ladies can actually tough out a serious winter? Cuz really, at this point the quality matters more than the look. As long as I don't have to wring the water out of my socks or blow on my toes until they stop being purple, I figure I'm coming out on top.

Stay warm pretty ladies!
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happenings around here: it's diy o'clock!

A couple of my very bestest - Dal and her husband Brian - are moving away in a few weeks, and I won't be here for their blow-out send-off weekend, so I'm having them over for dinner next week to say goodbye (sniff). This means my "get this place into shape" projects have been kicked into high gear, and I'm d.i.y'ing my little butt off!

It's not like they would care about it's current state - Dallas is probably the most encouraging person I've ever met, and would say it looked amazing no matter what - but I do. In fact, Brian has never been allowed past my front door I care so much. Ri-di-cu-lous.

Anyway, it's not really all for the get-together - these projects were all already planned or on the go - but knowing it was coming up has been exactly the kick in the ass I needed to get shit done! In the last week I've a) finally found an awesome purple velvet (discounted by 80%!) and dropped it off with the seamstress to sew up some sofa cushions, b) ordered a pink velvet ikat pillow off etsy, c) bought a new rug for my bedroom (as you know), and d) picked out a pretty linen to cover the lampshades in my livingroom.

I've also been spray painting up a storm, tackling a pair of ikea frames and these puppies...

...which are going to go glossy black.

While paint coats were drying I've been working away at the palm leaf pendant light, and am almost at the finish line! Which is so f-ing amazing, because what I thought was going to be a simple d.i.y. has turned out to be anything but: the fabric that looked like it was going to peel straight off ended up ripping into tiny little shards every time I pulled. Like, shards the size of a fly.

Let's just say I wasn't able to trace the old fabric as a template :P

Last but not least, my lovely parents came up for the weekend and built custom shelves for my bedroom closet! This was actually the most transformational of all, because it means that all my crap is tidied away and easily accessible. No more cans of spray paint and spools of ribbon on the floor for me!

There was so much stuff piled half-hazardly in there before that when my mom emptied it all onto the bed it looked like a bomb had gone off:

But then all of that - plus a whole bunch more - made it's way back in looking like this (apologies for the crap photos):

Ahhhh, order in my home means order in my brain.

You'd think that after all of this I'd be just about done, but I'm actually considering reupholstering my kitchen chairs too. Oh, and painting the fabric by hand. Because apparently I've lost my f-ing mind.

At least it's the fun kind of crazy ;)

Any of you have projects on the go? Are you as anal about people seeing your place as I am? Do tell!

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p & b featured on ruffled! (plus a rug decision)

Hey there luvlies! Hope you had amazing weekends filled with hot chocolate, knit throws and fuzzy mittens! The temperatures around here went from unbearably cold to unseasonably warm overnight on Saturday, and we lost all our snow. I have to admit I'm a bit bummed about that. I don't miss freezing my ass off, but I do feel like this year's winter wonderland is being a bit of a cock tease. Hopefully it'll put out soon.

In other snow-related news, the Winter Wedding styled shoot that my amazing photographer friend Dallas Curow and I put together last year was featured on Ruffled today! So humbled that the Ruffled team chose our work for their wonderful choc-full'o-inspiration blog. I loved putting this shoot together, and learned so much in the process. Like the subtle tricks of food porn, and that it truly is an art, and one I hope to someday master:

I'll get there. One glass of Bailey's and block of shaved chocolate at a time.

Thinking about this shoot reminds me that I should not be complaining about weather, because our trooper of a model twirled her gorgeous butt off for hours in -32 degree (that's -26F) weather, and looked damn fine doing it.

Now that's balls.

Me, when I tried that dress on and flitted around like a giddy schoolgirl it was in the comfort of my own bedroom. And purely for preparatory reasons, of course.

P.S. for those of you who read p&b on the regular, and especially for you sweet things who weighed in on the debate, my lowball bid on the oriental rug was accepted, so it looks like I'm going that way! I sort of can't believe it, since I bid 180$, and it's an 8'8" by 5' rug. Kind of unheard of for a rug, no? I'm crossing all fingers and toes that that doesn't mean it's a hot mess!

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