Friday, October 31, 2014

A Bar Cart in Brooklyn Turns One

Since I'm basically allergic to letting any milestone go by uncelebrated, I thought I'd take a minute to say THANK YOU for being here! For reading, supporting, insta-following, commenting, facebook-liking, cheering, and otherwise letting me know that I'm not just talking to myself via the Internet. I really, really appreciate all the love. This past year has been so much fun. I've so enjoyed developing relationships with all sorts of creative people and I'm looking forward to future collaborations and improved events. While we're being sentimental, I'd like to share the story of how A Bar Cart in Brooklyn came to be...
A Bar Cart in Brooklyn | Bar Cart Design
My first ever bar cart design & most pinned image on Pinterest
NYC is now officially the city that I've lived in the longest, and it's where I feel the most at home. Childhood in Maine was spread out over several different towns, settling in only one for a handful of years, and I left that town 15 years ago. Then 8 years ago I moved to New York, and after a brief reluctancy to embrace it (the rent! the crowded trains!), I fell in love. This was my mid-20's, when my friends and I would talk (over bottomless mimosa brunch of course) about one day getting married and moving to Brooklyn, or "grown-up" New York, which was the furthest from my Upper East Side apartment I ever considered going. But then I did leave for 3 years, while my husband and I were in grad school at Northwestern and he was starting his career. We ended up in Dallas in a giant apartment with a huge amazing farm table and not enough of a friend base there to fill it for even one dinner party. It was during that year that I started seeing bar carts all over Pinterest and decided I needed one for myself. But I held off on the purchase because the big empty dining table was depressing enough. Then also during that year, my husband's company offered to relocate him to their New York office. He came home from work one evening and asked me how I'd like to move to Brooklyn and have a bar cart. "Are you kidding?! That's the dream!!" And so here we are. I'm so happy to be here and even happier that you're here with me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sugar Paper for Target

You guys. Sugar Paper's latest collection of planners and calendars for Target was released online Monday night. I'm not ashamed to admit I stayed awake until well after 2am hitting refresh on their website. There was major hype (as major as stationery hype can get?) surrounding the release. Some Target stores put their stock out early and have already sold out. Sugar Paper's website, however, is still fully stocked (meaning I was sleep deprived yesterday for no reason?!) and you should definitely order a few of these gems for yourself and for gifts. Like everything else Sugar Paper designs, these are perfection. This level of design at such an affordable price point is hard to come by.

Pink and gold. Navy and gold. Kraft and gold. Calligraphy. Stripes. Confetti dots. Basically everything I love design-wise. How was I supposed to choose?! (I didn't. I over-ordered.) I'm so excited about the desk calendar. Have you tried finding one that's even remotely stylish?! It's impossible. Trust me. And that navy notebook with gold dots and a monthly calendar built in - swoon. The timing couldn't be more perfect, as I've been working on designing my new office space - more to come on that very soon!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Autumn Elements || Pumpkin Candles

Scent really helps set the tone for an event or even just a simple evening at home. Here are 7 (non-drugstore-smelling) pumpkin candles that are perfect for Autumn entertaining, a Netflix marathon, or a hostess gift.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Let the Halloween Celebrations Begin!

Trick or Treat background for desktop or mobile (pictured above) via Front + Main
4 Tips for a Pumpkin Carving Party aka the perfect activity for this Sunday afternoon. Or skip the mess and paint your pumpkins instead. Or try glitter & lace

Speaking of grown-up Halloween parties, this Paperless Post invitation would be perfect for a last minute spooky soirĂ©e. Also see: my tips for a Halloween cocktail party and my recipes for sparkling blood orange punch & maple popcorn.

Great ideas for chic Halloween decor.

If I wouldn't just eat them all, this weekend I'd be baking these gingerbread skeleton cookies.

Need more ideas? I have tons: my Trick or Treat board on Pinterest.

Anti-Halloween? I won't judge. Try some fall shopping instead.

Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

3 Literary Inspired Halloween Costumes

Megan: What I love most about Halloween (aside from the peanut butter cups) is that it affords us opportunities as adults to play dress-up! I love the whimsy of donning a costume and embracing an entire persona. My favorite costumes are the ones made of items from my own closet; they feel more authentic (and less flammable) than the pre-packaged costumes from Halloween shops. This year I found inspiration right on my book shelf and created three costumes of some of my favorite women in literature: Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby. I pulled the main pieces from my wardrobe and picked up a few accessories from a costume shop to complete the looks. Happy Halloween!

Holly Golightly

Megan: The Givenchy outfit Audrey Hepburn is wearing in the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of the most iconic costumes of film, which made recreating the look fairly simple: all it requires is a classic little black dress, black elbow-length gloves, pearls, and sunnies. I tucked a tiara into my top knot to recreate her bejeweled updo, and you could certainly carry a danish in a little paper bag for authenticity and snacking purposes, darling.

Dress: Kate Spade, similar Erin Fetherston frocks here and here | Necklaces: J.Crew, pearls and similar crystals | Bracelet: Banana Republic, similar J.Crew version here and here | Shoes: C.Wonder, similar Ted Baker version here | Sunnies: Ray-Ban, but Audrey Hepburn really wore these Oliver Goldsmith's

Alice in Wonderland

Megan: Alice has always been my favorite heroine in the Disney oeuvre because she isn't a princess and her story didn't involve finding a prince. Plus, her outfit is three easy pieces, so she makes for a quick costume. I layered a short sleeve button up shirt under a simple blue dress, and I found a seller on eBay who makes custom pinafores, and - ta da! - we have Alice. I completed the look with a black satin ribbon headband, some ruffly white socks, black round toe pumps, and a teacup which makes for a convenient drinking vessel for any party you might find down a rabbit hole.
Dress: Forever21, though these ASOS styles here and here will do, too | Shirt: Loft, similar Gap version here | Pinafore: Custom ebay order | Shoes: Ann Taylor, similar J.Crew version here

Daisy Buchanan

Megan: Daisy Buchanan is an incredibly identifiable character in her own right, but she also represents the Roaring Twenties era, so there are lots of fun period elements you can pull from and incorporate into your own rendition of Daisy. I paired this gold beaded Sue Wong cocktail dress with art deco inspired jewelry and topped it off with a flapper-esque headband. And to really pull together the costume, I tucked this Great Gatsby clutch under my arm for a night of large parties (because they're so intimate, of course).
Dress: Sue Wong, similar style here | Necklace: J.Crew, similar here | Bracelet: J.Crew, similar here | Shoes: Ann Taylor, similar J.Crew version here | Bag: Kate Spade

All images on this post are by photographer Kristin Lance.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

5 DIY Projects for Grown-up Halloween Parties

As I've already mentioned, Halloween is my favorite holiday. But figuring out the proper way to celebrate during these past few years has been tricky. My friends and I are obviously too old for trick or treating, and the days of wearing tiny costumes in a crowded bar with an all-you-can-drink package are also (sadly) behind us. Yet we're not quite at the stage where we have kids to dress up and celebrate with. Why did no one warn me of this awkward in-between Halloween phase?! I'm determined not to ignore the holiday, so I've been searching around for more adult-appropriate Halloween party ideas. The projects below are perfect for that. (As is my Halloween bar cart!) And if you need more general Halloween inspiration, check out my Trick or Treat board on Pinterest.

Free Printable Calligraphy Invitations via A Fabulous Fete

Poison Bottle Flower Vases via Camille Styles

Pretzel Broomstick Appetizers via Sprinkle Bakes

"Cockroach" Martini Olives via Julep

Even grown-ups love treats!
Iron-on transfer for treat bags via Oscar & Emma

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halloween Bar Cart Design

This is my first Halloween bar cart! How exciting. I repurposed the Susty Party Black Collection from last month's masculine bar cart design, which worked beautifully in this black, white and orange Halloween design. More sources listed below. My favorite new element is the gold cube terrarium that I used as a candy holder. And the rat candleholder couldn't be cuter. Sources listed below:
Cube Terrarium | Black and White m&m's and Orange Gumballs via Dewey's Candy | Rock Candy via Chocolate WorksSusty Party Bowls | Rufflewood Cocktail Napkins | Susty Party Plates | Striped Favor Bags

Monday, October 6, 2014

4 Free, Pretty October Downloads for Desktop & Mobile

Emily Ley Lockscreen & Wallpaper
It really feels like I was just posting our monthly check-in for September - though, I suppose it's no big surprise that birthday month was a bit of a blur. This month I'm looking forward to Halloween (obviously). I'm repurposing Susty Party's black collection (seen in this masculine bar cart design last month) and featuring it in a black & white Halloween bar cart design. By the way, you have until tomorrow to enter to win the black collection! I'm also busy this month prepping for our second annual Friendsgiving celebration, which is happening early in November. I've been revisiting my notes from last year while trying to make sure this year's tablescape and details are fresh and unique. I'd like to say an early thank you to Lauren Chism Fine PapersRufflewood and Reed & Barton for being so wonderful to work with! Here are my favorite tech downloads for this month. It's hard to choose a favorite! As always, the captions link to the designers' sites. Happy Halloween month!!

Maya Bee Illustrations
Oana Befort
Sugar Paper