Monday, September 17, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude - Week 14

This weekend we celebrated my roommate's birthday with a night out on the town.  We've met some really great people since moving to the area and I look forward to many more fun nights with them!

Yesterday afternoon after recovering from the birthday fesitivities, we ventured to Ray's Hell Burger, a famous burger joint in Arlington.  It was nothing short of amazing.  I got mine with bacon and guacamole and it may have been the best guac I've ever tasted (besides mine of course). Great way to cure a long night.

I also met up with a few coworkers from my new job last night for some dinner and drinks to wrap up the weekend.  I am so thankful that I am going to be working with such nice people, and doing something I love!  Next Saturday is my first day and I'm very excited!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday Thoughts - Anything but not Everything

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All I want to do is sleep!  Look at Audrey, doesn't she look so comfy?  I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off the past few weeks and I need a breather!  My posts will continue to be sporadic for the next little while, but I promise I'm not leaving Just Squeaks behind!  I'm just realizing that while I can do anything, I can't do everything.  So with the new job starting soon (before I'm even done at my current one, helloooo 7 day work weeks...)  and all the other pressures going on, I'm taking a small hiatus for myself to relax before I go bonkers.  (Though that might make for better reading, huh?)

Be sure to subscribe on the right of the homepage so you'll get notices when something new is posted! :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude - Week 13

Are you ready for the biggest gratitude yet on Just Squeaks??  Wait for it....

I got an interior design job!

Can you believe it?  I still can't!  Someone is actually going to let me follow my passion and then pay me for it!  I've had the idea to move up and out from where I am now for awhile, but hadn't really done much about it.  I felt silly leaving where I was if it wasn't in pursuit of what I really wanted to do: interior design.  But I also thought that without previous experience and only a couple classes under my belt that was pretty much out of the question.

It just goes to show, you never know until you try!

When I came across a Design Assistant position at a well-known, well-respected company, I decided to submit my resume because they worst they could say to me was no.  Within a few hours I got a call, that weekend I interviewed, and the next day I was offered the job!

I am so incredibly excited to start working there and learning from all the amazing staff they have.  To be able to work for such a great brand and be doing what I love is beyond amazing, I can't even fully imagine it yet.  I know that this is going to be a life-changing experience, I can just feel it. 

If you've been following Just Squeaks (which you can do by subscribing on the right side of the home page) then you may have been wondering what the heck big life decision I was talking about in this post.  Well, now you know!  I wanted to wait and spread the word until after I had signed the offer letter and notified my current employer.  As insanely excited as I was when I got the offer (my cheeks hurt from smiling so much and calling everyone I knew to tell them the great news), I was also very nervous because of my lack of experience (I hate feeling unprepared) and because it is a little bit of a  big financial gamble to quit my full-time, salaried, benefitted job for a part-time position that offers neither and is further from my house.  I've always been very financially stable thanks to lots of hard work and saving the majority of my income.  I was worried that taking my dream job and continuing classes was going to send me to financial ruin.  Enter fortune cookie here:

I know it's silly.  But this was the message I needed...  I know myself.  I'm an extremely hard worker, even when it's something I hate.  So to be able to work on something I love?  There will be no bounds for me and I'm going to learn as much as I can and work my behind off to make sure my dreams aren't just dreams, but realities.  So thank you to Golden China for letting the universe contact me through your fortune cookies, and thank you to my soon-to-be employer for helping me check another item off my bucket list by hiring me and paying me to do what I would do for free!

What did you feel like when you got the job of your dreams?
Were you excited? Nervous? Both?
Comment to share your story, I would love to hear it!

If anyone knows of any opportunities of what else I can do part time that wouldn't conflict with a job like this please forward them along, as I will be looking for another way to make up for the cut in income.  Thanks, I appreciate all of you!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lamp or Jewelry Holder? Try Both!


This lamp really struck my fancy this week when I was patrolling my Google Reader and came across Kate's apartment design for her daughter.  The entire room is amazing - a beautiful mix of coral and navy with lots of beautiful furniture and accents.  But man oh man, this lamp!

I don't know how this double duty combo has never occurred to me before... But that's the beauty of blogs, you get inspired by other people and their ideas.  When I finally get to make my desk-vanity dreams come true, you can bet your tush a lamp like this will be present.  Front and center!  So go check out Centsational Girl and get inspired.

What accessories would you use on a double-duty desk/vanity?
What bloggers inspire you with fresh ideas?
Please comment and share!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Thoughts - Haters Gonna Hate

This is a story of a very drunk man and a young woman.  These happenings may or may not be true (they are) and are certain to provide at least a little chuckle to start your day.  So let's set the stage, shall we.

While working this past weekend I was introduced to a man who works in the architecture/design industry.  I couldn't seem to get the real details, as he could only ramble on about eggshell finish chairs.  When told I was working towards joining the interior design industry, the lecture began...

He proceeded to tell me that I could go into residential design and make pennies per project or commercial design and make decent money but be bored to tears because there was basically no creative freedom in hotel lobbies.  He then asked me to "pick my poison" and when I said that I loved all design in general, though I was thinking of focusing more so on residences he laughed in my face and told me it was inevitable I'd become destitute.  I told him that being happy was more important to me than having tons of money and I would find ways to get by (I'm already working two jobs and going to school, afterall).  Cue laughter.  I thought this was one - extremely rude, but two - pretty comical how much of a hipocritical turn this conversation was taking.
country modern living room A Real Accent {Wall}
 The conversation (I use this term loosely as I wasn't really allowed to speak, only to nod) continued as he rambled on about how you can only make money if you are asked to completely build a house from scratch and pick out all custom furniture, otherwise you'd be painting a wall pink.  Those are the only two options - full scale remodel or a solitary pink wall.  On and on about how in New York City you can be paid extra to ignore laws like OSHA and EPA, but in DC politics is so prevalent that all rules must be followed exactly, including union wages.  According to him, this turns a $9 million project into a $16 million project, but going to painters not designers.

His next point was that the design industry was fascinated by gay males.  Because I was not a homosexual man myself, no one would be interested in me or my ideas.  And if I were to get into home design I would have to become part of a large firm (otherwise I'd be out on the streets, remember?), which would inevitably be run by a gay man.  He also so kindly pointed out that he couldn't believe that I was able to succeed in the event industry.  He implied that it was near impossible and he thought I was lying to myself and others that this was how I made my living.

At this point I would like to remind you this is a real conversation I had with someone.  I can't make this shit up...

Finally after about 15 minutes of my life that I'll never get back, my roommate came over to save me from the constant lecturing and ridicule.  She told me later that after I left he told her she needed to "watch out for me because I wanted to do some pretty adventurous things" and I needed help.

It's so insane I can't even be mad.  I can only take away two things from this exchange:

One - Bitches be crazy.  People can't seem to grasp the concept of common courtesy and I've come to the conclusion that if my career in design never happens, there's always an opening in the world hosting etiquette classes to teach people what is and is not appropriate to say to people they've just met.  (Hint:  Insulting their career and life choices probably not the best option.)

Two - Haters gonna hate.  Coworkers, family, and random drunken strangers all seem to have their opinion on my life choices.  But I'm smart enough to realize I can't change their minds, nor do I need to.  I can guarantee that nothing these people have said to me are things I haven't already thought about on my own.  The difference is I believe in myself and if nothing else, have been smart enough to gain an array of skills that I can fall back on if I am forced to choose a different career path. 

Sometimes you just have to laugh and tell the haters to step back and watch you shine.

Have you ever had someone try to squash your dreams?
Comment below and share your story!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

You're Making Me Blush!

Things have been extremely hectic lately.  I know I'm not the only one feeling overwhelmed so I'll spare you the details, but Saturday I really reached the max I could handle and I felt like I was losing my mind.  As much as I would love to, I can't seem to organize my thoughts enough to pull together a few well-written posts this week.  So rather than giving you crappy half-written posts, I will rely on the magic of imagery.

Lately I've been mesmerized by blush.  The color, that is.  Something about it just seems so regal and feminine, but not overly cheesy.  So here are a few blushing highlights from around the cloud.

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 via, via, via, via

I promise tomorrow I'll be back in full force and you will get an earful for Thursday Thoughts.

Are you hopping on the Blush Wagon?
What color has you feeling good lately?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude - Week 12

As summer comes to an end, here are the things I'm grateful for this season:

Happy Labor Day Squeaksters!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bubble Blur

This week has been such a blur.  Tonight and tomorrow will be full of wedding coordinator responsibilities so the blur will be continuing a tad bit longer.  I sort of feel like a bubble just floating through the motions, hoping I can land somewhere before I pop.  Despite being hella busy, it has been a good week though. 

So since it's Friday and I'm sure many of you are probably feeling the same way, I'll keep it short and sweet and leave you with this nice photo.

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Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Thoughts - Building Wings

Yet another quote I can't find who to credit to, but I love it all the same...

Typography Painting / Word Art on Wood Sign - She Took The Leap and Built Her Wings On The Way Down

This feeling of making that leap and then finding the strength you need once you've done so is all too familiar to me.  I feel like often I do things that I know are the right thing to do but I'm still scared as hell, even when I'm doing them.  Making life decisions for what's better in the long run, but may not seem so fabulous at the time.  But isn't that what life is about?  Pushing yourself to the limit and seeing what you can achieve?  All you need is a little bit of faith, in something higher than you or in yourself, whatever it is that gets you through.  But know that in the end when you need to, you'll build your wings and fly.

P.S.  You can buy this wooden depiction of this Thursday Thought from this Etsy shop.

When have you lept, only to build your wings after?
Please comment, I'd love to hear your story!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Curtain Heaven

Watch out people!  The first part of this post is about to get totally psychedelic on your behinds.  I just wanted to share real quick with you that the universe just seems to know everything.  And I mean everything.

Why do I think this?  It's quite simple actually.  First, my roommate and I have a few fortune cookies left over from a couple weeks ago when we got Chinese food.  Totally normal.  I have seen them every day since and never had the urge for one, until yesterday.  Again, totally normal.  I didn't want the cookie, I didn't even really seek out the fortune... It was like something took me over and before I knew it I had eaten a cookie and held a tiny paper fortune in my hand.  Not totally normal, but not too crazy either... except the fortune was literally exactly what I needed to hear.  I'm a logical person, and as much as I'd like to, I haven't ever been a huge believer in horoscopes or fortunes and things like that (though my sister is).  But sometimes it's just so dead obvious.  Unfortunately I can't get into the details of the fortune quite yet (next week, I promise so stay tuned!), but I have had to make a very big life decision this week which caused insane amounts of stress and several sleepless nights, but this fortune cookie just seemed to know what I needed to see. 

The second reason I believe in an omniscient universe is again, a weird coincidence.  I usually try to write my blog posts ahead of time and then have them scheduled throughout the week.  This helps me during times when I have a hectic schedule, plus I've noticed I seem to get into patterns of really good, inspired writing spells and then very sad, dry writing spells.  I've had two posts this week ready to go only to scroll through my Google Reader and see a post with the same topic or photo.  And this has actually happened a few times before.  Bizarre.  Bloggers don't share a gigantic universal office; there's no way we could have known each other was planning on covering those topics.  I reiterate, the universe knows everything!  It's like the Santa Clause for grown-ups, except it doesn't come in fancy wrapping paper and bows you can cover yourself with at the end of the day.

And now that I've sufficiently convinced you of my craziness (and given you two paragraphs of proof), we can continue on to our regularly scheduled programming... 

NINNI RUND Pair of curtains IKEA
{full frontal in all their glory}

Look at these beauties.  They go by the name of Ninni Rund and I am smitten.  As if I didn't love Ikea enough, they had to go ahead and make these lovely curtains that I just had to have in my apartment.   They were actually one of the few things my roommate and I both agreed on which meant that they were obviously meant to be.

Nice and lengthy (98") they would fit almost any window and allow you to place the rod above the window or make a nice shimmering pool at the bottom (we did both).  Another thing I love about them is that the panels provide the perfect balance of blocking the sun's rays but still allow light into the living room.  Not to mention polka dots seem to be in their height of glory lately.  And do I even need to mention the feminine, chic goodness that is the cream mixed with shiny silver?  I didn't think so...

NINNI RUND Pair of curtains IKEA

Do you love these curtains as much as I do?
Where have you gotten window panels that you love?

After all my rambling I bet you're wondering who else posted about curtains this week, huh?  Yesterday, Tiffany Leigh mentioned seeking out some striped curtains for her new apartment, which you can read about here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Photo Inspiration - Blue, Green, & Happy All Over

This room immediately caught my eye when I came across it on Pinterest.  (The source was a dead end so if anyone knows please tell me and I can credit appropriately.)  I figured the best way to keep track of it would be to write a post about it, since this is a blog of what inspires me, afterall.

What I like:
  • The two small tables next to each other to creating a coffee table.  This is a great idea for a small space because you can separate and place them elsewhere if you need the middle of the room to be more spacious for a party, etc.
  • The unique ceiling.  I can't tell exactly what it is from this photo, but it has the look of very light, paneled wood, which I wouldn't usually go for, but in this space I think it goes very nicely, especially with the abstract shape of the room.
  • The color scheme.  The mix of blues and greens is very relaxing, yet cheerful.  This room also has the perfect balance of the neutrals and both colors that makes the whole thing flow together nicely.
  • The layout.  I think that whoever designed this room hit the nail on the head for the best way to utilize such a small and narrow space.  Everything is open and free, yet there are obvious zones.  I would live here any day.

What I would change:
  • The rug.  It dulls out the room a little too much for me with its' faded face and outdated pattern.  I would much rather see something like this beneath my feet if this room were mine.  It would definitely add a little punch to the room and create a focal point.
  •  The armless couch.  I actually love how it looks in this space, especially because there is such a narrow walkway at one end, but I personally could never survive with an armless couch.  Where would I sit (cause you know, that's what they're actually for...), or lean on, or whatever else I love those little buggers for?!
  • The popcorn machine.  I love that there's something unique in the space, but you can have your popcorn, momma loves her ice cream!  If I can have an at-home machine it's definitely going to be an ice cream maker.  With tons of cookie dough, caramel, chocolate, and other delicious add-ins at my fingertips.  Please excuse me while I daydream about all that deliciousness...

What do you think of the room?  Comment to share what you like and what you would change. 
And if you like what you see please subscribe to Just Squeaks, I'd love to have you!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude - Week 11

Last week was such a crazy whirlwind!  Luckily the majority of that whirlwind was positive, so let's get to some gratitude up in this hizzy...

  1. Classes started back again!  I know this makes me sound like an uber nerd to be so excited about it, but I'm totally alright with that.  I'd say it just goes to show that I'm learning the right things.  I am taking drafting for the first time, which sounds really scary but also really exhilarating at the same time.  This semester is 2D and next semester will be 3D.  Both are absolutely crucial in interior design so I've always felt like these would be my most important classes.  So here's to a good year with lots of learning!  
  3. I mentioned last week that I crossed a few items off on my bucket list, and I guess I was having a really productive week because on Saturday I completed another item!  (It turns out putting pad to paper, or finger to key in this instance, really has helped me get motivated to make moves on completing the things that are important to me.  I absolutely recommend it to everyone!)  I went to see Dralion by Cirque du Soleil with my family in Baltimore.  The show was absolutely beautiful and so incredibly amazing!  I just wish it had been longer than 2 hours, I could have watched it all day!  Very entertaining and squeak-worthy to say the least!
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  5. Last but certainly not least, I can't get over how adorable my baby neice is!  I'm not usually big on babies (cue disgusted gasp here), so those that know me are probably thinking they stumbled upon someone else's blog today, but I am gushing with auntly love.  I love all my nephews just as much, of course, but I was much younger when they were born so I don't think I could fully appreciate them as newborns.  I find it so interesting that you can love someone so much before you even really know them.  Ella and I have never spoke, I don't know her personality yet, or what her beliefs and thoughts are... but I know that she is amazing and that I will always be there for her whenever she needs anything.  I can't wait to watch this beautiful baby girl grow up every step of the way.

What are you grateful for this week?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beauty Review - 10 Body Products

One of my favorite things to read online is beauty product reviews.  My first Beauty Review, covering 10 face products, seemed to go over pretty well so I'm back for another!  This week's follow-on is a spotlight on 10 body care products.  There are so many options for beauty products now so I'm hoping this will help you spend your money a little wiser next time you need something.  In addition to online reviews, I have recently started checking the Good Guide before I make any purchases.  It's a consumer product research company that checks out the "health, environmental, and social performance of products and companies"  and rank them.  It helps me make informed decisions about the level of hazardous ingredients in the products I buy, and the type of company I'm buying from.  Now onto the products!

1.    Yes to Carrots Daily Body Lotion  $13
After checking the Good Guide for a low hazard body lotion that was in my price range and easily accessible it led me to the Yes To brand.  I wanted something to use on my whole body and that was unscented (or very lightly so) for the days I decided to wear perfume.  For me, this lotion wasn't rich enough so I didn't feel like I had enough on until I applied it a few times, which led me to going through the bottle pretty quickly (2 months if that).  However, I would definitely recommend as a hand lotion or for those that don't have dry skin and just want a little extra moisture. 

2.    Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant for Sensitive Skin  $7
As much as I hate to admit it, I sweat.  I know, so gross, right?  I have used this deoderant for probably two years now and overall I'm pretty happy with it.  I switched around brands and products for years, even going the all-natural route, but I just couldn't find one that really worked for me.  This one keeps my sweating at bay and doesn't irritate my skin.  Sometimes it pilfers into little balls after I apply (which is super annoying when it happens) but since it isn't every time it leads me to believe it might be something weird about when I apply it or something.  If anyone knows how to avoid this please let me know!

3.    Bath & Body Works Shower Gel  $11
If you're looking for a body wash that lasts for eternity than this is your product!  I have gone through three bottles of the lotion and I still am on my first bottle of shower gel.  It has a nice consistency, lathers well, oh, and did I mention the smell?  Whenever I shower with this it makes my entire house smell completely glorious.  If you don't want your whole home freshened without any effort on your part (aside from your daily shower) than avoid this, but I say run and grab as much as you can the bottle that will last forever!

4.    Trader Joe's Moisturizing Shave Cream  $6
Since I basically worship Trader Joe's and all of their store brand items I thought for sure I would love this little pup, but I'm sad to say I was a little underwhelmed.  It has great reviews online and my sister loves it, but it just wasn't for me.  It smells good (honey mango) and is moisturizing, but for me it was a little thicker than I like my shave aids to be.  I felt like I didn't get as close of a shave as I do with the foaming gels or other ones I've tried.  Unfortunately, this one's a pass for me.

5.    Venus Spa Breeze 2-in-1 Razor  $20.50
I was actually surprised how much I liked these razor heads.  They are perfect for a quick leg shave in the morning and I like not having to get my hand all lathered up in cream.  On the con side, once they get wet the water starts to eat away at the gel around the edges so they don't last as long as a regular head (of course you can always still use it with separate cream once it runs out).  I also didn't like it for my underarms, so with those two things factored with the price I won't get again, but it was a nice little treat to try them out.

6.    Yes to Cucumbers Body Butter  $13
This was next in line for a daily all-over body moisturizer once the Carrots one fell a little short.  It has a nice but very faint smell which was exactly what I was looking for, and as a body butter it has the extra moisture I was looking for.  It went onto my skin nicely, making my skin feel soft but not greasy.  Luckily I didn't run into the problems like I did with the B&BW body butter (#7).  I would be interested in trying other products from this line.

7.    Bath & Body Works Body Butter  $15
I was sadly disappointed with this body butter since I love the scents of this company so much.  (My current favorites are Dark Kiss, which is a little like cotton candy, and Midnight Pomegranate).  I found that the butter didn't apply that great to my skin, even right after showering.  It did feel slightly greasy, and sometimes it felt like it just sat on top of my skin.  When applying it would often either become sort of white and filmy or roll up into little ball-like things of lotion.  I thought maybe it was just a defective tin but it happened with a couple of them so I switched to the lotion (#10) instead and have never looked back.

8.    Alcon Opti-Free Pure Moist Contact Solution  $9
Being that I'm practically blind and not a huge fan of glasses I wear my contacts pretty much every minute I'm awake.  As you can imagine, this leads to some irritation for my eyes.  I never thought that which solution I used would matter much (silly, I know) so I just went for the cheap store brand.  After my recent visit to the optometrist he gave me this kind of solution and I could noticeable tell the difference!  My eyes are definitely getting more relief now that I've switched brands.  I'll admit, I haven't tried other brands so I don't know if this is the best out there, but I would still recommend.

9.    Jason Satin Body Wash  $15
This is a nice wash that comes in a gigantic bottle so it is great for everyday use.  Mine has lasted me for several months and there is still plenty left so it is definitely a good bang for your buck, especially because they go on sale for $9 so often.  So far I've tried the Citrus and the Aloe Vera and liked them both, though the scents never really stick around long after you get out the shower.  I will say, it isn't super moisturizing so if that's what you're looking for this may not be it, but it does feel smooth and lathers nicely.  I'll probably branch out to other washes but I may come back to this one.

10.  Bath & Body Works Triple Moisture Body Cream  $12.50
This lotion was surprisingly good at keeping my dry skin at bay; I'd venture to say it even rivals the body butter.  I put it on once in the morning and I don't feel greasy after, or get itchy skin throughout the day at all.  I love layering this with the body wash and the fragrance mist to lock the smell in all day.  At the end of the day I still get compliments about how good I smell and even after washing my hands several times throughout the day I can still smell it faintly on my fingers.  For me, these are good things, but I know some people don't want such a strong fragrance so this company may not be right for you.

What products have you tried?  How do you decide when making a body care purchase?
Happy Friday everyone, enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday Thoughts - Chasing Dreams

Chasing the dreams that we want
is a PRESENT MOMENT activity.
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Gary Riggs Home
This little bite of wisdom came from Mastin Kipp, the creator and contributor of The Daily Love, one of the non-fashion/design blogs I frequent.  This thought resonated with me because of where I'm at in my career path.  I am incredibly passionate about interior design, and so badly want to be doing it as full-time.  Unfortunately, there are a few things standing in my way at the moment by the names of experience and education.
I'm making the small steps I need to make my dream a reality - night classes, blogging, working to build a portfolio.  But sometimes those small steps don't feel like enough.  Mastin did a great job of reminding me that I have to always keep the end goal and mind and if I really want it, I will workworkwork until I get there.  It may not take up all my moments, but it has to be present.  So here's to it!
What dreams are you chasing right now?
Do you have other quotes that help you make it through the "getting there"?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Reblog: I'm Glad I Exist's Guide to Smarter Shopping

Your regular blogging program will be put on hold today to shout out to Meghan at I'm Glad I Exist, one of my new favorite blogs.  Last night she posted her Guide to Smarter Shopping and it is genius I tell you.  While it may not be totally radical information, it was just what I needed since I've had an absolutely awful case of the shopping bug lately.  So go check out her post and the rest of her blog while you're at it for some funny practicality.

One thing I will add is a comment on shipping charges.  I absolutely refuse to pay shipping charges.  If I have to order something online I will either order enough to get free shipping or I won't order.  Personally, I just can't justify paying shipping charges.  I'd rather put that money towards something I love than waste it on shipping.  That's why sites like Piperlime and Zappos are so awesome.  So wait for free shipping sales or order from merchants that cover the cost themselves, because you deserve to spend your money on yourself, not a cardboard box.

And because I'm a glutton for punishment, please join me in drooling over this amazing style image that only furthers my wish to shop.  I have a serious problem...
What are your personal shopping rules?  Share in the comment section!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Style Twins: Oscar de le Renta & Tobi Fairley

Remember a few weeks ago when I came across a chevron dress and duvet that were style twins?  Well, it's time for another set!  This time the similarities come from fashion designer Oscar de la Renta and interior designer Tobi Fairley.
via, via

De la Renta's dress is from the Spring 2012 line and the room is Fairley's guest bedroom in her house.  The connection between the two is quite obvious - a heavily patterned look in black, yellow, and white.  The dress' yellow is slightly lime-ier than the bedroom, which has a more sunshiney hue.  Both the room and the dress are grounded in traditional design - a conservatively cut suit and historic-style furniture - but are made modern with bright punches of color.  This design technique is actually very common for Fairley, and one of my personal favorite ways to decorate.

I actually am generally a fan of the bumblebee color scheme, and have used it often myself.  I also really enjoy a good Oscar dress (Oscar at the Oscar's anyone?) and many of Tobi's designs, but unfortunately these both fall short for me.  So much pattern crammed together with such a loud color scheme makes my brain feel like mush.  But because I don't like being a total Negative Nancy, here are some looks these two have done that I think are beyond squeakalicious!

Oscar de la Renta

This one was actually found on Tobi's blog!

Oscar de la Renta Resort 2013
Oscar de la Renta Resort 2013


Tobi Fairley


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What are your thoughts on the similar style pictures?  Are you a fan of Oscar and Tobi?
Comment and share your thoughts please!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude - Week 10

We've made it to the double digits Squeaksters!  Week 10 is looking good, and here's why:

Oh Mucinex DM, how I love thee, let me count the ways. coughing, sneezing, stuffy nose...  You take care of it all!  Let me preface this gratitude bullet by saying that I am not a medicine person.  I will go days with a horrible cold and migraine before doing anything about it.  No I'm not a glutton for punishment, I just try to shy away from unnatural medicine as much as possible.  But sometimes you've gotta do what you gotta do, and working 10+ hour days when you can't breathe and feel like you've been run over with a bus just doesn't really work for me.  Last week I was hit with an awful bug and try as I did to avoid it, I had to take something.  After having this in my system for jsut a day I felt soooo much better and I kicked myself for not taking it sooner (which I do everytime).  So here is my official appreciation for modern medicine, even though we have a love-hate relationship, right now I am certainly more on the love side.

My sick week was brightened by this emerald beauty.  A few months ago while suit shopping I found it and have been dreaming about it ever since.  Even though I loved it, I just couldn't stomach the $80 price tag despite its' good quality.  But my level-headedness paid off because when I went to the mall for the cooking class with Kelly last week I scored this little baby for half off!  Naturally I wound up taking two home so I still spent the $80, but I now got two tops for the price of one so I don't feel guilty at all.  Woohoo, shopping success!

I was also reminded how much I love weddings this past Saturday.  I work for a wedding planner part time and this past weekend I helped out at a wedding that was so different than others I've done before.  It was actually my first church ceremony (it seems to be a lot more rare these days) and the reception was one of the most beautiful I've ever seen.  It had a very rustic yet elegant vibe that was so amazing I can barely do it justice with words.  Unfortunately we haven't gotten the pictures yet but I'm hoping to see them once the photographer shares them and once I get my hands on them I will definitely be doing a wedding feature on it because it was squeaklicious!

What are you thankful for this week?  Share in the comment section!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bucket List Check-In - 3x the Fun + 2x the Challenge

I'm happy to announce I can now mark three items off my bucket list this week!

1)   This past Monday, my friend Kelly generously invited me to a cooking class with her at Cookology in the local mall.  I had an absolute blast making three courses, all of which were amazingly easy and delicious!  We made vinaigrette from scratch, arroz con pollo, and then chocolate mousse from scratch topped with macerated berries.  My presentation skills were lacking so this photo doesn't do it justice, but I had a great time!  Not to mention we ended up with some leftovers so I had round 2 of deliciousness last night.

Take a cooking class.  CHECK!
2)   In addition to the 70+ fashion and design blogs I've subscribed to through my Google Reader, I wanted to "broaden my horizons" if you will with a few blogs on varying topics.  The goal I set out for was 5, which I've reached, though I hope to keep adding more on topics like psychology, etc.  So far the ones I follow include:
  • Life After College - A coaching type blog set forth to cover topics about tons of life aspects like finance, career, goals
  • From Shopping to Saving - A personal finance blog with an author who's voice I really enjoy reading
  • The Daily Love - Posts about all things from motivation to love to losing weight along with daily quotes (which you know I'm a sucker for!)
  • Get Rich Slowly - Tips on how to stay out of debt and build wealth (putting me closer to another bucket list item of finding out more about investments)
  • Zen Habits - Articles on things such as simplicity, minimalism, and living in the moment
Find at least 5 blogs to follow that aren't style or design related. CHECK!

3)   Because I still am early on with my interior design schooling I've been sort of nervous to take the plunge and actually e-design rooms.  I'm not sure why it seems more daunting than designing one in real life since I do that all the time, but I finally decided to get over it and push myself.  So far, I've put together boards for two rooms: a nursery for my recently born niece Gabriella and a photo-inspired European dining room.

Design and post a room from scratch.  CHECK!

I also attempted to knock another one off the list, which was find good Chinese take-out in Leesburg, but so far no luck.  Sadly my Mongolian Beef was not as delicious as that of P.F. Chang's.  Maybe that's too high a standard...?

I've also added two new items to the list:
  • Learning how to tie a man's tie (A skill everyone should know before becoming a wife.)
  • Go ziplining (If the OC Housewives can handle it then I certainly can.)
  • Participate in the 30 for 30 challenge

What are some things you would suggest to add to my list?
What's on your bucket list?  Comment below and share!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuft it Out

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There's something about tufts that just makes any piece of furniture look divinely comfortable.   Maybe it's because tufts are usually used when there's lots of cushion or maybe my brain is just playing silly tricks on me to make me believe tuft = comfort...  Either way, I dig it and I look forward to owning a giant, ultra comfy, tufted couch one day.  Preferably in a crazy color or print.

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Nick Olsen's infamous couch screams comfort.  His DIY tufts make this blue beauty a winner!

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May I just say, this is quite possibly the coolest chair I've ever seen. The
suitcase for the traveler in me and the tufted seat for the designer in me; it's all perfection.

bedrooms - Benjamin Moore - Edgecomb Gray - Cisco Brothers Morgan Bed F Schumacher Gainsborough Velvet in Platinum Julia B. Shams Manuel Canovas Brasilia in Petunia Oly Studio Priscilla Side Table Sandy Chapman Classic Swing Arm Wall Lamp gray walls small sunburst mirror pink bolster pillow pink monogram shams linen sheers layered bamboo roman shades
Headboard (and footboard) heaven is awaiting you in this bedroom.  The minimalist
decor lets the tufts take center stage, a fully deserved spot in my opinion.

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Take about luxurious!  That jewel-toned tufted ottoman makes me want to take my
shoes on and off several times a day just for an excuse to park my rump on that baby.

When Amy Morris used this zebra tufted R. Hughes' Porter chair she
created the ultimate dramatics.  Have you ever seen such a showstopper?

If you're as taken by tufted furniture as I am, then you should check out I <3 Tufted Furniture, which I found while writing this post.  An entire blog dedicated to this Rococo design detail, can you believe it?!  Or if you're looking to purchase, I've heard good things about Horchow, a Neiman Marcus furniture affiliate.

What's your take on tufts?  Share some of the beauties you've come across.
Got another design detail you're obssessed with?  Please comment & share!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Photo Inspiration - The Best Things in Life are Free

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This photo came to me via what I can only conclude is fate.  Of course, it didn't present itself like a little gift-wrapped package To: Katharine  From: Fate. It used Katie from Running on Happiness as the mortal transmission.  She, without a doubt, has some of the most beautiful photography I've seen from a blog, present photo included.

I could ramble on forever about how beautiful and amazing this picture is, but I'll spare you and just cover the highlights.
  • A great quote (gets me every time!) that stands proud in focus.
  • Rusted wrought iron goodness.
  • Hello beautiful sunshine with lightly visible rays!

The print on the card immediately reminded me of Santorini - the ultimate depiction of blue and white, while the rest of the photo brings a very Italian vibe (it was taken there after all...).  This picture inspired me to create a classic, yet interesting, dining room that looks a little something like this...

  1. Currey & Company Primo Brass Chandelier is the perfect way to shed a little light in this European-inspired room.
  2. These Williams-Sonoma Dinner Plates are a touch of simple elegance that can work in any dining space, but coordinate perfectly with the Santorini colors.
  3. The Le Souk Stella Wrought Iron Table serves as the stage for intimate dinners and family breakfasts alike.  Tell me you don't love the shape of those legs; I know I do!
  4. To bring a little cheer into the room, Valspar's Sunset Boulevard would look amazing.  I picture it popping nicely against a clean white chair-rail molding with wainscot beneath.
  5. A nice medium-toned hardwood floor like the one pictured brings warmth to the space.
  6. Jill Sorensen has so many great products, including this Katherine Chair, which I would love even if it didn't have such a fabulous name!  As soon as I saw it I knew it would be the perfect addition to this space.
  7. Last but not least, a simple DIY from Chelsea at Two Twenty One adds a touch of fun to the table.

Have you been inspired by a gorgeous photo like this one?
What do you think of the dining room I've created?
Leave a comment to share, I'd love to hear!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Attitude of Gratitude - Week 9

Man oh man, another week of Just Squeaks and I couldn't be happier with my little labor of love.  I'd definitely say this is a match made in heaven, and I'm looking forward to watching those week numbers growing.

This week, I'm especially thankful for:

1.  My decreased stress level!  If you've been following my posts you can probably gather that things in my life have been a whirlwind of crazy and pretty tense at times.  Last week I felt a release of pressure and I finally felt like I could breathe a little easier.  I'm not really sure why the switch, as things haven't honestly changed all that much from weeks prior, but I feel much more calm and at peace, which is always something to be thankful for.  Not only does it make life happier, but healthier too!

2.  Pinkberry  Is there really anything as glorious as this delicious treat?  I'm pretty sure the response you're looking for is not a chance!  I'm not ashamed to admit that this amazingness has been added to my Tuesday ritual.  Every week after skeeball the roomie and I make a pit stop for some delicious fro-yo (Original with fresh strawberries & brownie bites, in case you were wondering) and a little recap of the night.
3.  Dancing  When I was 14 my sister started teaching me how to salsa dance and even though we didn't do it often, I loved it.  I continued doing it throughout college, learning lots of other latin dances such as bachata, merengue, even a little tango.  Although I've only been twice in the past year or so, it still is a hobby of mine that I really enjoy.  It is so much fun, not to mention a great workout, so I'm hoping to get back into dancing very soon, especially once wedding season calms down.  Maybe one day I'll look like this...
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What are you thankful for this week?