Time and Tide by Christian Chaize

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This Sunday, March 8, is daylight savings time in which we will be springing forward. And, in a few weeks, spring will be here, which only means that summer can’t be too far behind. This gets me so excited even though my city is known for 2 seasons: winter and construction (or August). LolSob.

I don’t have any travel plans at least until end of May/ beginnning of June, but I do have the beach on my brain (probably because it is freezing cold here once again). I’ve always been a huge fan of Christian Chaize’s art. His beach photographs are simply stunning. His book, Time and Tide, documents 6 years that he spent photographing a beach in Portual. You should get a copy if you don’t have one already. I love mine! The pictures are absolutely stunning! I plan to tear some out (gasp!) and hang them in frames.

Here’s a sneak peek if you’d like to see what’s in the contents of the book. Are you a beach-goer? What kind of travel plans do you have coming up? I’d love to hear!

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{All photos from christianchaize.com}

8 Awesome Alternative Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

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I’ve had my fair share of Valentine’s Day dates. From the sweet and simple (dinner) to the sublime (Paris). These days, my preferred way to celebrate is to not celebrate…with the masses. One year we went with my parents to a teeny, tiny family restaurant (with absolutely delicious food). No, it wasn’t romantic, but a memory I will cherish.

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday, the holy grail of date nights. So, prepare to fight the crowds and find yourselves in not-so-romantic situations if you plan to venture out. Or, how about instead of eating an over-priced meal and being herded in and rushed out like a pack of animals, why not do something different? And, why not do it on a different day? Here are some alternative date ideas in celebration of love.

8 Awesome Alternative Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

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{Noma in Copenhagen was voted the world’s #1 restaurant}

1. Book dinner at a nice restaurant on a different day. I hate being rushed during my meals, especially when I am dining at a nice restaurant. If you book at an off-hour during an off-day, you will get better service and better food.

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{A couple that paints together, stays together.}

2. Find a project to work on together. Are you into art? Wood-working? You can use this time to connect and create something together.

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{And…a couple that cooks together, stays together.}

3. Sign up for a cooking class for a cuisine neither of you has tried before (or, at least, has not tried cooking before). You will learn something new, prepare a meal for each other and lots of laughs are sure to ensue when venturing into new territory.

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{Take a trip down memory lane.}

4. Go down memory lane. Whether you have a long history or have been together for only a short period of time, why not make a list of things you used to do and go out and do them? Maybe you had your first date at a coffee shop or you used to bowl together or just sit in the car and listen to music together. Whatever it is, bring nostalgia back. Bonus: Take lots of pictures and do it again in the future to see how you’ve changed (maybe every year or every 5 years or so).

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{A romantic dinner for two at home.}

5. Make a list of your favorite foods and make a date of it. Go grocery shopping together and cook at home. Light some candles, put on some music and relish in the comfort of your home and away from the crowds. (If neither of you cooks, you can always hire someone to cook at home for you.)

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{The best spas according to Conde Nast Traveller.)

6. Take a day off work during the week (if permissible) and do a spa day together. Get massages, take a dip in the spas, sit in the sauna and relax.

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{Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago.}

7. Venture into a new neighborhood and plan a day out of it. Check out an art gallery, visit a monument, walk around, go to a local coffee shop, eat at some small business restaurants and see a show or musician. And, take lots of pictures.

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{River North neighborhood of Chicago.}

8. Or, why not tour your own neighborhood? Make a list of things you have not seen, heard or done and go see, hear and do them! You’ll be surprised at the gems you’ll find hiding in your own backyard!

Bonus: If you want to keep it really simple, why not stay home, order pizza and watch a movie? And, write love letters to each other. On paper. With a pen!

15 Decor Ideas to Inspire Your Living Room Makeover

Well, you didn’t expect me to re-decorate my bedroom, bathroom, home office and kitchen and dining area without including my living room, did you? After all, it’s probably where we spend most of our time. So, here are some ideas I’ve pinned so I can have some visuals to inspire me.

1. This. This photo inspires not just my living space, but my entire life. The artist behind that beautiful painting is Michelle Armas, someone whose work I have admired for a long while now. This visual reference is EVERYTHING.

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2. These bookshelves tho. I love books and I love bookshelves. While my ceilings are not quite as high, I love how this encompasses the entire wall with just enough room for the window.

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3. More bookshelf porn. Still not quite my reality, but I do have the “bookshelves behind the sofa” thing going on.

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3. This is inspiration for a blank wall space I’d like to fill.

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4. Yes, even more bookshelves! Well, it’s because I have an entertainment center similar to this set-up, but the space is not quite as exciting as this one.

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5. Besides bookshelves, I also have a thing for gallery walls. Who doesn’t? Have you checked out Pinterest? Confession: I have some photos and artwork that need to meet my blank frames so they can come together and get married already!

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6. This striped rug! Am I the last person on earth without a striped rug?!?

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7. That background. Wow.

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8. I’m on the fence with sectionals. I like the one below because of its clean lines (and, obvi, the color is gorgeous), but I may have to stick with the traditional sofa and extra chairs. If I change my mind, I would look into getting something similar to this.

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9. I love these framed note cards of Joy Cho’s (of Oh Joy!) family done by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. Probably because I love everything Oh Joy and Rifle Paper Co. do. This is something to consider for my own family.

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10. I love the explosion of colors on this Colin Pennock oil on linen, Just As We Imagined It.

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11. Currently, we have blinds to cover our floor-to-ceiling windows. I want to get curtains to soften it out. With all the colors I’d be bringing in from artwork and decor, I thought something as simple and subtle as white curtains would help balance everything out.

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12. I need that chair in my life! I would love to find a vintage chair and redo it like this.

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13. These mismatched colorful pillows are beautiful. I think this would be an easy update and something to DIY.

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14. I need to find a way to cure my black thumb so I can get and keep plants. I love Bri Emery’s living room makeover done by Emily Henderson. That white plant pot with the face is a must!

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15. This is not necessarily my style, but I love this space because of the colors, textures and vignettes.

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