A Weekend in Belmar

As I mentioned, last weekend we went down to the Jersey Shore, if you followed along on Instagram (#SurprisePTurns30) you likely saw a lot of our adventures. If not, get ready for photo overload, because we had a blast!

As you can see, we explored all around town, enjoyed fun and games in the sand and on the boardwalk, took full advantage of all the local seafood and the ability to grill. We walked around a TON, relaxed a ton and explored the town.

In general we just had a much needed getaway that was chock full of goodness. I hope your MDW was as good as ours or better!

This weekend, we are heading up to Connecticut to witness the marriage of two beautiful people whom we love very much. I can’t wait to celebrate their love! What are you all up to this weekend?

In Remembrance of Heroes

Memorial Day is the day that we honor those that not only fought for our freedoms, but lost their lives to help us gain that freedom. It is a day we stop and take a minute to think about those who did something so incredible for our country without thinking about what it would mean for them. We think about the families who had soldiers that were lost and never came home.

MM Memorial Day Heros

These soldiers are the true definition of what it means to be a hero. So while we are enjoying this extra day off on our weekends, out barbecuing and enjoying the sunshine, let’s all take a minute to remember who made it possible for us to have the awesome quality of life we all enjoy every day, but especially on this day.

Happy Memorial Day! Enjoy your BBQs and get-togethers! We are enjoying our last full day at the Jersey Shore. It has been an awesome trip, and I can’t wait to share more on it after we get home!

MDW2015

It’s official! We made it through all the snow and the indecisive weather of the spring to the unofficial start of summer-and I for one couldn’t be happier! This early summer period is better than the peak of summer if you ask me. The temperatures are perfect Goldilocks temps and people are excited for the season.

Beach Cottage

What are your holiday weekend plans? We are hitting the beach! P is turning the big 3-0 next weekend so I rented us a little beach cottage on the Jersey Shore for this weekend as a little surprise for him, I already told him we are going, but I don’t think it has hit him that we are going to be 1 blocks from sand between our toes and wading in the waves.

Our plans are that simple… drive to the shore, unload the car and commence relaxing.

Seafood Inspo from Bon Appetit!

For our meals, I have worked out a simple menu and packed only fruits, veggies, burgers, dogs and snacks. We will be hitting up the local seafood market to pick up the fresh catch for our daily dinners and I’m salivating just thinking about it. There is a grill at the cottage that will be heavily utilized.

Boardwalk

For our fun, there will be walks on the boardwalk, lounging in the sand, possible lawn games and potentially even some bike riding if I can convince P.

MDW2015 Wardrobe

Our bags are packed, the car is loaded and I just have to make it through 5 more hours of work before we hit the road! I’m not excited for the traffic, but I am excited for what awaits us on the end!

IMG_0951

What plans do you have this weekend? Follow DBK on social media to see all the fun details of our adventures!

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ICFF [International Contemporary Furniture Fair]

ICFF is an annual design trade show in NYC and I was so excited to be able to attend this year. I only went on one day but I covered as much land as I could while there, met a lot of people, found a lot of great pieces and felt very inspired by the time I left. So I wanted to share a few of the things I found with you! I didn’t take my good camera, only the cell phone, so please excuse the poor quality of the photos.

Since I specifically work in kitchen and bath design, I stopped by the booths that I know to see what new pieces will be hitting the markets soon. Here is a look at some of my favorites:

ICFF Gessi Fascino

Fascino collection by Gessi is a stunning new collection that is complete from faucets to shower heads, sinks, tubs and even side tables. I loved seeing the different metal finishes in person!

ICFF faucetry

Faucetry: Top row, Watermark Designs based in Brooklyn, the faucet on the right is there new Elan Vital which you can create in countless forms and varriations; Bottom row, Rubinet which was displaying a whole range of unique colored finishes (not pictured) along with this beatiful copper and aged brass. I love that they include parts for the valves and exposed plumbing, an area that is often left to unattractive and standard finishes, when it’s exposed in a bathroom, it’s important to not leave this detail out!

ICFF vanities

ICFF meeting Dana

Vanities: Top row, Lacava– an Italian brand based in Chicago with beautiful modern pieces a full range of finishes and the ability to customize almost anything, though with this new collection we might not need to seek as many custom vanities. Bottom row, The Furniture Guild, featuring primarily their Nuvo collection. Based in Georgia, they are a great US made brand with amazing new technologies in there finishes ranging from textured laminate to acrylics and automotive finishes in addition to your standard wood and painted options, The Furniture Guild is also very customizable and Dana is my go-to gal for help in any customizing needed–I was thrilled to meet her in person!

ICFF tile

Tile: Walker Zanger, though I saw plenty of other incredible examples, I didn’t take photos of many other options and I also just love WZ and all of the stunning tiles they bring to the market.

ICFF lighting

Lighting! If you have been around the blog for any length of time here you know I have a soft spot for lighting. I LOVED those two pieces on the top row, but unfortunately can’t find the name… I will add it later when I can access my literature from the show. On the bottom row, those lovelies are by Tom Dixon, and he has a ton of other beautiful pieces, so if you are a lighting fan, check them out!

As much as I saw and I liked, I only remembered to take pictures occasionally, so there is a lot not pictured! Next year I will try to remember to take more photos, but no promises!! Sometimes you can be so lost in the beauty of what you’re seeing that you can forget to stop and document it. I hope you feel inspired by some of what you I’ve shared, I know I’m feeling especially motivated to add little special touches to all of my current projects.

Illuminating Decisions

One of the biggest issues in our bedroom is the lighting. Since my work space is here as well, I need good lighting all the time. A few weeks back I discussed adding a specific task light for the work space, but the overhead lighting needs to be addressed as well.

Yesterday I finally purchased the lamp for the work space, so I thought today I would try to make a decision on the overhead fixture. I also wanted to share with you guys, one of my favorite online retailers for house wares. I’m always surprised when people haven’t heard of One Kings Lane (OKL) because it is often a go-to for me when I’m looking for something unique or beautiful. They have great options available all the time and always at a reduced price. When I started trying to decide what I wanted for our overhead fixture, I was looking all over the place with nothing striking me as even an option for the space. Then I thought I’d check OKL to see if they did lighting too, and of course they do, I should’ve just started there.

For the bedroom, I love the idea of adding a chandelier. Chandeliers can be sexy and/or romantic, they can be sculptural and interesting. They illuminate the space while offering a focal point, so first, I checked them out as an option.

Lighting Options-Chandeliers

The four choices I found I really do love! Option 1 feels more appropriate for a dining space as it is a long and narrow piece, but I love the art deco feeling of it, the lines feel very flapper-esque to me. (Burlesque Oval Chandelier, also available in silver.) Option 2 is definitely more functional and I love the industrial quality of the black and exposed bulbs, this light is super functional and makes a good option for a bedroom, entryway or dining space. (Socket-To-Me.) Option 3 is very sculptural and has great curves, it is perfect for that retro chic space, but again, this fixture feels a bit more appropriate for the dining room. (Vintage French Chandelier.) Lastly, I love option 4! The soft drape of the chains paired with the sheer volume of them creates a stunning focal point, this piece would be perfect for our bedroom, if our bedroom was just a bit larger; it would also be well suited for an entry hall. (Chantilly Chandelier available in 6-light, 10-light or 12-light options.)

So, now that I’ve accepted the fact that our small space really wouldn’t be best suited for a chandelier option, Let’s look at the flush-mount and semi-flush-mount options.

Lighting Options-Flush Mount

Option 1 is a nice simple choice, the metal trim is simple and clean without feeling too style-specific, and it is available in a few different metal finishes to go with your space. (Harbour Flush Mount, alternate finishes.) Option 2 is probably the most spectacular semi-flush mount I’ve ever seen. It’s intricate glass shade is a textural work of art that I can only imagine does beautiful things to the light it filters. (Bella Semi-Flush Mount.) Option 3 offers a soft and simple sculptural shade, with lovely brass details. The organic shape of the shade is sure to please, and would be well suited for a bedroom space. (Soho Semi-Flush Mount.) Option 4 is another more industrial or farm-chic option with it’s cage-like shade. The details are simple and clean and would look fresh in any space and could work for several styles from rustic to city loft. (Downtown Flush-Mount.)

So there you have it! So many options for our new light fixture, I can’t wait to install our selection and have more light in our bedroom! Is there one that you think would be perfect for us? Or even better, one that is calling your name to come and live with you?? One Kings Lane has so many other options as well for lighting, so if you need something new for your space and you don’t like the ones I’ve narrowed it down to for my space, check out their chandelier lighting section or their ceiling-mount section and let me know what you think!

This is not a sponsored post, it is based solely on my own experience with and love of One Kings Lane. I’ve had great success ordering through OKL in the past, the only tip I have for you is to check the details on the order to make sure you love anything that is a final sale piece before you pull the trigger, especially noting the size specifications. Everything we’ve purchased through them has worked out great, so if you are new to them, I hope you love what you see!!

Elevating the Bed

If you follow DBK on social media, you know that my parents were in town visiting this past week. They were here for the whole week, and we had a great visit with them. We had good food, played tourist, spent some time with P’s parents and my parents all together and made some great memories.

Liberty House Dinner May 2015

While they were here, I made a little “daddy-do” list as my mom started calling it, for my stepdad. As I mentioned in the last post, I have all these plans for our bedroom space, but it’s more about making the time and getting things done. I think the biggest thing he helped with was elevating the bed.

P & I still worked our normal schedules while they were here, which made for some good chunks of time for P and Mr. Jay to work on a few things together. Good quality bonding time, and I LOVED coming home to finished projects, or even just progress made in some areas.

My in-laws are moving from their 35-plus-year family home into a beautiful new home in a senior community at the shore, that to be honest, has the kind of amenities that makes you wish you were 50-plus so you could live there too. However, in the process of their move, we are gaining a lot of old crap amazing childhood memories, as well as the things that we keep in their basement for lack of storage here at the tiniest condo ever.

So, where will all of this go in our tiny condo? But of course, we need to raise the bed up. We have a platform bed, with 2″ legs and an upholstered box-spring base, and while chatting with a friend we brainstormed that under the bed was the only good solution and that we needed to swap out the legs of the bed for taller ones. So before my parents arrived, we started planning, purchased some 8″ legs and some stain, and some under bed bins.

Once the legs were stained, we attempted to attach the legs. I say attempted, because after multiple tries and no success, we were sleeping on a bed propped up by books. #DIYFail! The problem was, I had assumed any furniture legs would likely be attached the same way, and that we could simply lift up the bed, un-screw the old legs, re-screw in the new legs and voila, new taller bed! But unfortunately for us, our old bed legs were attached with two screws and the legs drilled into place, and the new legs, as you can see in the images, have the one larger bolt coming from the end to just screw into place.

But worry not, because my parents were flying in the next day and Mr. Jay was sure to have a solution! Sure enough when I came home from work that night, my bed was taller and stable enough to hold the weight of at least two humans and a dog. But most importantly when my in-laws arrived that night, we were able to very easily transfer things to the under-bed bins and slide them into storage. Nice and neat and out of sight, it ended up working out perfectly!

The next project is to get the lighting ordered so we can get it installed before my personal deadline for this room (June 1). More on that tomorrow!

Addressing the Bedroom

bedroom before 1

I have decided that I need to change what I’m doing in order to really get my home in order. That said I decided I needed to stop working on little pieces of all the rooms in my home and work to complete one room. I discussed it a little bit last week, waffled around about which room would be best to work on and finally landed on the bedroom. I feel like this is a good place to start as it is where each day begins and ends for us. There are definitely areas of our home that need some attention too, but as P always says, one thing at a time, that way I won’t get overwhelmed with everything.

First things first, I want to give you a little peek at where things are now, and then we can go through the lists of what I would like to get accomplished throughout the course of the month. I’ll share a weekly or as-needed progress report, as well as some social media posts about what we are working on as we work through it.

Things that need our attention:

  • Window Treatments
  • Closet Area-Refold/Reorganize and hem-white curtains.
  • Work Space Completion-Address task lighting, project organization system, and chair.
  • Lighting-change overhead fixture and add desk lighting.
  • Storage-increase and reconfigure to work better.
  • Art & Details-styling the surfaces horizontal and vertical.

So it isn’t too bad. Things like the window treatments, we have (they are in the West Elm box on the floor) and they just need to be installed. Everything else I have a major plan for, I just need to lay it out, finalize and take action to implement. More on that through the course of the week, and hopefully these scary before pictures will just lead to a much better after with all the wow factor a transition can have!

Oh and for those who have been looking for the final office-space area.. these pictures show a sneak peek at where it is now…and although it isn’t fully finished, it is functional and working well for now.

I’m excited to be moving along with this space (and hopefully more in the future), this refocusing is just the push I need to get my ducks in a row and get this room finished!

Motivation for Mondays

I was chatting with a friend this morning about how Mondays get such a bad rap. And why is that? It’s not their fault that they fall where they do, they didn’t choose to be the most hated day of the week! I wanted to come up with some ways to turn those Monday blues into positive notes for the beginning of the week, after all that is what the Motivation Monday posts are all about!

Maximizing Mondays

Your Mondays are about to get a whole lot better.

Mondays are the first day of the new week. Let that on it’s own be a blessing. You get another week to start fresh, tackle a new list and get it done. Don’t stress out, you have the whole week in front of you for that!

Treat yourself. Stop on your way into the office for your favorite coffee and breakfast treat. I used to do this on Fridays, stop and get a latte or macchiato on my way to work, but why wait until Friday? They already get all the glory so they can afford to share their sweets with the Monday crew.

Prepare everything the night before. I think a large part of why Mondays are hard is because we have just had a nice relaxing weekend break from the work week. We got a chance to spend time with our loved ones and use all of our energy for adventure and fun. Then all of a sudden, beep-beep-beep, your alarm is ringing again and it’s time to haul your butt to work. Do yourself a favor and plan for this rushed and hectic Monday morning routine to be a bit more calm. Get out your clothes laid out the night before, shower and dry your hair at night so all you have to do is style it in the am. Pack your bag and prep your lunch and breakfast the night before. If everything is all set, you can feel free to hit snooze just one more time, knowing that you will be just fine. Heck, now that you’ve mastered the night before prep after the weekend, do it every night and you’ll rarely ever be frazzled and rushing!

Make your to-do list a mile long. Add monotonous every day tasks to your list. Things like “get coffee,” “brush teeth,” “refill water bottle,” mixed in with the things that are more serious and need to get done will help you balance out your list with things that you are doing anyway. When you get to cross off more things on your list, you will feel a better sense of accomplishment through your day.

Turn that frazzled feeling into motivation. If you are still feeling crazy despite getting ready for Monday morning, turn that frazzled feeling into motivation and get things done. If you can work through the crazy to encourage that hectic energy into momentum, you will be rolling through your day getting more done than you have before.

What do you guys do to trick encourage yourself through those tough Monday blues? I want to know what I’m missing out on so I can feel better too! Help a woman out!

Whatever it is that you are doing today, have an awesome Monday!