Weekend Reading

Hey there friends. I took a few hours off work yesterday. We’ve had a week of clear skies and temperatures in the 70s in Northern California, and I just had to go to the beach to hear the waves and feel the sun on my face, it’s so therapeutic. I posted a video on my Instagram stories of the view of the coastline from the top of Bodega Head, it’s absolutely stunning.

I’ve become one of those people who will strike up a conversation with any stranger standing next to me. It always leads to a human connection, and sometimes that only lasts a minute or two, but it’s real and one of the best parts about living in the moment. While I was standing there looking out over the cliffs, I spoke with a couple visiting from Chicago. Together we were just mesmerized, and felt so lucky to be there soaking up the sunshine and the amazing view. I loved that moment.

Favorite links below:

 

Every detail in this home. *sigh*

Excellent tips on how to furnish a long narrow space.

Wow, check out Ballard’s new cabinet hardware collection.

White cabinets & quartz countertops are still at the top of kitchen wish lists.

50 modern homes with floor to ceiling windows.

How cool are these modern cabin homes made in Finland!

The 32 “most friendly and affordable” cities in the world.

Love these: 25 foreign words to know.

Women shattering records at the Winter Olympics.

Wow, really? This is a new dating requirement?

Thanks John for sharing this.

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Weekend Reading

Hey there friends. I took a few hours off work yesterday. We’ve had a week of clear skies and temperatures in the 70s in Northern California, and I just had to go to the beach to hear the waves and feel the sun on my face, it’s so therapeutic. I posted a video on my Instagram stories of the view of the coastline from the top of Bodega Head, it’s absolutely stunning.

I’ve become one of those people who will strike up a conversation with any stranger standing next to me. It always leads to a human connection, and sometimes that only lasts a minute or two, but it’s real and one of the best parts about living in the moment. While I was standing there looking out over the cliffs, I spoke with a couple visiting from Chicago. Together we were just mesmerized, and felt so lucky to be there soaking up the sunshine and the amazing view. I loved that moment.

Favorite links below:

 

Every detail in this home. *sigh*

Excellent tips on how to furnish a long narrow space.

Wow, check out Ballard’s new cabinet hardware collection.

White cabinets & quartz countertops are still at the top of kitchen wish lists.

50 modern homes with floor to ceiling windows.

How cool are these modern cabin homes made in Finland!

The 32 “most friendly and affordable” cities in the world.

Love these: 25 foreign words to know.

Women shattering records at the Winter Olympics.

Wow, really? This is a new dating requirement?

Thanks John for sharing this.

.

Air Travel & Skincare

As you know, I love to travel and on average I take one plane trip a month either for business or vacation, sometimes near, sometimes far. Last year I wrote about my airplane travel essentials, today the focus is on skincare.

Most of us ladies take our skin seriously. Traveling adds an extra layer of difficulty because (at least for me) I want to maintain that glow but I can’t bring all my full size favorites. I’ve learned a few tricks in the past few years, and I’ve come up with a few tools for great skin even when I’m halfway around the world.

 

1. Airline Regulations. Sometimes I check my suitcase if there is no fee, but sometimes not. I’ve traveled for 3 weeks with just a carry-on suitcase and tote bag, so I memorized the TSA rules for carry-on liquids. They must be in a resealable container that is 3.4 ounces or less and all containers must fit in one clear, plastic, resealable 1-quart-sized bag.

Sometimes they will make you take this bag out of your carry-on luggage when passing through security, it’s happened to me a lot in European airports. Knowing this, I always have my liquid skincare or cosmetics inside plastic Ziplock bags and I carry extras for the ride home. Liquids can leak so this is just an extra precaution for you too, there’s nothing worse than your favorite skin serum leaking out all over your outfits, ick.

2. Mini Everything. My favorite tool are these little containers. I squeeze just enough of the moisturizers and lotions I need and tuck them inside my skincare bag. This saves a little money too because I don’t have to buy miniature versions of all my favorite skincare products that back home are more than 3 oz.

 

I do buy travel size dry shampoo, texture spray, etc. and keep them stored in my zip up skincare case. I also hoard mini skincare samples and store them up to use when I travel as well.

 

 

3. Sun Protection. I noticed some discoloration on my face about a decade ago due to too much unprotected sun exposure. I had to use a hydroquinone product to even it out and now I’m religious about sunscreen on my face (and usually wear a hat).

 

 

There are a ton of skincare products out there, the one I found works best for my face is Dermalogica Broad Spectrum SPF 50 skincare recovery. On my body I use Alba Botanica Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance Free for protection then follow it up with Alba Botanica SPF 15 skincare oil on top because it makes my skin glow and smells amazing.

 

 

4. Hydration. Airplanes are not kind to your skin, they are incredibly dehydrating so the one thing I always do before I fly is drink a ton of water. I’m a window seat girl and don’t like to bother my row neighbors unnecessarily so I won’t drink as much ON the plane but I’ll drink a ton before and when I land and that always helps.

I like to hit the ground running when I travel somewhere I’ve never been, and staying hydrated keeps my energy up and helps with jet lag too.

 

 

For my face, I have used these sheet masks (find them at Target) but I prefer to carry a mini hydrator for spraying on my skin just before landing. In the past, I’ve used the Mario Badescu facial spray and it’s really nice, but my newest favorite is Dermalogica AntiOxidant Hydramist, wow it smells and feels so good after a long flight, or a really long day 🙂

 

 

5. Storage. I have a GREAT cosmetic bag, this one is my favorite, not too big and not too small, it’s the perfect size for makeup. (Skincare products get their own separate case). Also I wanted to mention I recently discovered these fold up nylon tote bags on Amazon. I love them!  They are much less expensive than the popular Longchamp versions.The medium and large are great for taking with you on a trip, they fold up really small for transport and come in so many colors , I highly recommended them! When unfolded, they can be used as a beach tote, for an overnight, or to hold your souvenirs on the way home.

 

 

Happy travels friends! Stay safe out there and have fun!

Share any travel tips you may have too!

xo

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Sleek Single Handle Kitchen Faucets

This week at the flip house, my plumber is installing the kitchen faucet. For that space, I chose a champagne brass single handle faucet with built in pull out sprayer and it is a beauty.

I also just replaced the faucet in my kitchen in California, again a sleek single handle faucet with sprayer in a matte nickel finish. And I’ve got my eye on a few different options as an upgrade to my studio kitchen after I replace those countertops. So faucets are on my brain this month.

 

gramercy in matte black

 

delancey in stainless steel

As with everything, prices vary, but you can find affordable and stylish kitchen faucets for under $450 and often for half that price. When you think of how many times a day you use a kitchen faucet, good quality and function are key. Style is also important since you’re the one who has to look at it every day.

Things to pay attention to when deciding on a faucet are the clearance from the handle to backsplash and also the spout reach, make sure it fits your sink! Other details to check on with these single handle versions are 1) the docking strength of the pull down sprayer, 2) the flexibility of the hose, and 3) the strength of the water stream. Not all require an escutcheon (the wide plate that sits on top of the countertop), I like them better without but it’s a personal preference.

Keep in mind many of these come in several finishes from chrome to bronze to brass, so if you like the style, click over to see what other finishes the faucet is available in. I rounded up only those with high ratings and good reviews to give you greater confidence.

aberdeen / vigo edison / krauss 

moen align / delta trinsic / delta trask

phister vosa  / delancey  / phister raya

kohler simplice / kohler artifacts / delta mateo

delta essa / delta cassidymoen arbor 

If you’ve recently added a new faucet to your space, let me know which one you chose!

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Walking Around Bergen

Greetings friends! My apologies for the radio silence this week, I was enjoying my last few days in Norway and decided to take the time to recharge my batteries instead of spending time on my laptop.

I just returned last night from an 8 day adventure in Norway and loved every minute! I spent a few days hanging out in Oslo which I’ve been to before. The weather wasn’t great so I spent less time exploring outdoors and more time just relaxing indoors. I especially loved hanging out in the hip neighborhood Grünerløkka and its cafes, bars, and breweries, all different but equally cool. I highly recommend spending an evening or two in that district if you ever travel to Oslo.

The last few days I spent in Bergen, Norway’s second largest city. I arrived by train from Oslo, it’s a 6 hour ride but soooo scenic and relaxing, I chose it over hopping on a one hour flight simply because riding trains through Europe is one of my favorite things in life. I can sit in silence for hours just staring out the window watching the countryside pass by. Also, I find it’s easier hopping on a train then going through the hassle of security at an airport!

You’ll notice a lot of Danish influence in Bergen, simply because Norway was in union with Denmark from the 1500s until 1814. This picturesque postcard view of Bryggen (the dock) shows the commercial buildings that line the harbor of Bergen, it struck me as somewhat similar to Copenhagen’s Nyhaven district.

 

 

 

 

This is a port town so there are a lot of commercial boats coming in and out of the harbor at all times. They also offer fjiord and shoreline tours, I’m sure those are fantastic in warmer weather.

During my stay, the weather was dreary with lots rain (to be expected in winter), but I did get a pocket of clear weather one day and was able to capture a few snaps. I always look forward to exploring a new city by walking it, ducking down alleys and meandering the streets allowing the city to reveal itself slowly. When bicycling or riding public transportation, the details can slip by you which is why I prefer to walk around for hours with no real destination.

The cobblestone streets were wet from the constant drizzle of rain but weather never stops me from exploring on foot. I find that’s the best way to discover interesting shops or restaurants with a cool vibe, simply by walking around the neighborhoods.

 

 

You’ll see a lot of the brick red, white, and mustard yellow color combination on the shop and residential exteriors in Norway, I noticed it when I explored the countryside on my last visit.

 

 

 

 

One totally unexpected sighting were these crocheted trees I discovered in a park near the funicular. It’s often called “yarn bombing” and is a form of street art using yarn instead of paint.

 

 

 

 

 

It was the middle of winter so the trees are all dormant, but I can imagine how charming this city would be in summer. I ducked inside the Romanesque style St. Mary’s Church for a few minutes because its façade and graveyard looked like something out of a movie to me. Notice how the pedestrian crosswalks are created with light and dark cobblestones, these were all over the city. No painted crosswalks, just patiently created walkways made with contrasting colored stones, I loved that.

 

 

 

The city has a funicular (or Fløibanen) in the center of town which will take you to the top of Mount Floyen. Allow yourself a few hours for the experience because at the top is a cafe, playground, a biking/walking path, and goat petting zoo (in summer).

 

 

 

 

It was snowing up at the higher elevation but from up here you can see a panoramic view of the city below.

 

 

 

 

On a clear day in spring or summer the view looks more like this. (Motivation to return someday) 🙂

 

 

Bergen has a great shopping district but one stop I highly recommend is the fishmarket on the waterfront. Wow, this place has an amazing selection of seafood! You can either take it to go back to your Airbnb, or do what we did and have them prepare a selection to eat while you sit by the water and enjoy the view. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

 

Bergen is just as lovely to explore in the evening as it is during the day, perhaps more so. This particular neighborhood reminded me of Pacific Heights in San Francisco. Funny how travel does that to you, when you put yourself out there enough, new places can remind you of places you’ve been before. That night, we took a long walk all over town bundled in our parkas, peeking into windows along lantern lit streets and finally ending up at a cozy wine bar enjoying a bottle of Chianti by candlelight.

 

 

Bergen really showed me a good time and was one of the most quaint and enchanting cities I’ve ever been to. Their international airport is easy to fly in and out of, so put it on your list if you want to explore Norway someday!

It’s back to business next week, enjoy your weekend friends!

xo

Weekend Reading

Weekend greetings from Norway! I’ve been out and about spending time in Oslo and the neighboring suburbs, seeing things I didn’t see last time I was here. I’m traveling with a friend who lives here in Norway several months out of the year, so it’s nice to have a companion familiar with the area and the language. Although most Norwegians do speak English so there really is no language barrier here, and the people are all extremely kind.

It’s cold of course and yesterday it snowed, but I’ve been fine with my parka and boots. Just like in other snowy climates, people just go about their business and stay really cozy! I’ve been offline mostly, but popping in to share a few favorite links, here you go.

“Scandi meets mid century modern” living room makeover.

Suburban kitchen transformed.

This light and bright Hamptons home renovation feels very fresh.

Smart changes in this modern bathroom makeover.

This wallpaper looks just like tile.

Life lessons from Dolly Parton.

Travel “resolutions” to satisfy wanderlust.

Made me laugh: air travel in real life.

 

Stripes in the Shower

I still haven’t remodeled the master shower in my investment property yet, it’s one of the last remaining projects to do before selling. While looking for inspiration, I stumbled across showers that go beyond one color subway tile and incorporate stripes with tile installed in both basic and creative ways.

It’s a universal design truth: stripes are classic and never go out of style. I’ve seen my share of showers with a singular accent stripe of tile, however these examples show stripes symmetrically balanced throughout the space.

Horizontal stripes widen, while vertical stripes elongate. These showers take on a variety of personalities, from happy to dramatic depending on the color and size of tile used. Her are examples of basic stripes on the wall, but also some creative applications on the floors and walls beyond the shower.

 

Horizontal Installations

subway tile with dotted liner

style at home

creative pattern with hexagon mosaic

remodelista

gray marble and white subway tile

 

the leslie style

smaller scale navy and white mosaic penny tiles

 

eclipse design

glass subway tile in four colorways

 

reiko design

penny tile mosaic stripes

house beautiful

yellow and white subway tiles

 

alys design

large scale glass tile

 

butler armsden

stacked subway tiles

young house love

legacy cdm

black and white rectangular tiles

 

bradley e heppner

polished ceramic tile

izabella widomska

black and white subway tiles

calvis wyant

black and white porcelain tiles

Vertical Installations

stripes created with textured tiles.

 

hgtv

small scale hexagon mosaic

unknown source

planete deco

Poke Bowls

Poke Bowls

Move over sushi salad, poke bowls are in the house! The Hawaiian raw fish dish has become a popular food trend and poke’ bars are popping over all over the place! I recently had a delicious make-your-own-bowl at Bravo Kosher Pizza in New York City and I’ve been wanting to recreate it ever since. There’s […]
Article Source: Poke Bowls

Abstract Artists You Should Know About

I was in Paris during the summer of 2016, and I spent an afternoon strolling the streets of Montmartre, a district famous for its art shops. That day, one particular painting caught my eye, it was a small yet bright pastel abstract painting that I fell in love with at first sight. Art is something I always look for when I travel, it’s the best kind of souvenir. I bought that little painting that day and I look at it every day where it sits on the shelf in my home office.

I collect landscapes and charcoal illustrations, but abstract art I find most appealing and I’ve collected several of them as well. The medley of colors and brushstrokes convey a different feeling depending on the piece: moody, cheerful, ethereal, etc. If you also collect abstract works, you should know about these talented artists.

1. Patricia Vargas

 

 

portfolio / etsy shop / instagram

 

2. Yang Yang Pan

portfolio / etsy shop / instagram

 

3. Michelle Armas

 

portfolio / etsy shop  / instagram

 

4. Britt Bass

 

portfolio  / print shop / instagram

 

5. Lola Donogue

 

 

 portfolio / print shop / instagram

 

6. Megan Elizabeth

 

 

portfolio / shop / instagram

 

7.  Hilary Butler

 

 

portfolio / shop / instagram

 

8. Jennifer Gautheir

 

 

portfolio / shop / instagram

 

9. Julianne Strom Brill

 

 

portfolio / shop / instagram

 

10. Jessica Matier

 

 

portfolio / shop / instagram