Lourdes Loves Lately

Happy Friday, Everyone! Hope you all had a great week! What is everyone up to this weekend? I have been trying to downplay the upcoming Hallmark Cards Holiday Valentine’s Day, but I wrote about it here, here, here, and here. HA! Well, even if you are not celebrating the holiday, it is always a good idea to celebrate love! So, this weekend, no matter your status, I wish you LOTS of love and hugs and kisses and chocolates (maybe even chocolate kisses!)! Here are some things I’m grateful for, but first, a song! Have a good one!

{Dreams by The Cranberries}

photo-36

{Fresh flowers at Trader Joe’s}

photo 2-17

{Living in the city always lends itself to all kinds of adventures}

photo 1-21

{I’ve documented several times my love for miniature things…like these mini watermelons}

photo-35

{Delicious mussels. Husband made. Wife approved.}

photo-39

{“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” ~ Rumi}

20 Valentine’s Day Inspired Home Decor Ideas for Everyday Living

Loeffler-Randall-Living

{The home that caused a buying frenzy over the For Like Ever poster – Jessie Randall’s (of Loeffler Randall) home in Domino’s September 2006 issue}

I had a serious fascination with red walls at one point. Let’s see, there was one apartment we had in which I decided it would be a GREAT idea to paint the guest bedroom/ home office a deep crimson. (The neighbors thought we were crazy when we primed it with pepto-bismal pink first as they could see everything through our window.) Then there was the blood-red hallway in another condo, which I’d decided on after the first three colors I chose did not turn out the way I’d imagined (I have a very, very wild imagination). Our realtor promptly told us to paint it white when we decided to sell.

After that, I haven’t done any red walls lately. In fact, I think all that painting (about 6-8 different colors for each of the first two places) left me with some sort of design savvy when it comes to choosing paint colors (Forever Rule #1: Get Samples. Oy.).

This is not to discourage anyone from going wild with abandon in their own abodes. Hey, we all have to learn sometime, and sometimes we need to experience it first-hand. One lesson I’ve learned over the years and many moves later is that paint is not the only way to express yourself. Because, after all, just like our fashion choices, our home decor choices are a reflection of us (or, at least, they should be).

In keeping with our Valentine’s Day theme this week (I swear, I did not intend for this to happen), I’ve rounded up some design ideas that are Valentine’s Day inspired, but could be incorporated throughout the year. Do you have any home/interior design lessons to share? Do tell.

final_uponwall

This would make a great entryway. Doesn’t it just scream “WELCOME TO MY HOME!”?

PS-0604

Such a sweet touch to add a tiny hot pink heart print and those love prints (by Jen Ramos of Made By Girl) to your gallery wall.

51bb3ae6d9127e11c100014b._w.540_s.fit_

How do you feel about color-coordinating your books? Seems daunting, but what a beauty!

main.original.980x550

I really could use that hot pink plexiglass coffee table. No, really, I need it.

benedicte_thomassen_livingroom_01-500x737

I adore this collection of pillows. Especially the ones with the animals on them!

tray1

I’ve admired this neon pink tray by Alexandra Von Furstenberg [and first seen in Emily’s home (of Cupcakes and Cashmere)] for far too long now.

kim-timmerman-swing-chair

This hanging egg chair would fit perfectly in place in a reading nook.

benedicte_thomassen_livingroom_06-500x748

That iridescent hot pink ceiling lamp is on point!

9h

The pink sconces and pink chairs add a feminine touch to this dining space and balances well with all of the wood.

design-sponge

So, instead of red walls, why not go for red chairs? I would love that shade of red in a nail polish!

DIYPlacemats011

I adore the sweet touches of pink in this tablescape from Domaine Home.

pink-kitchen

That pink Smeg fridge is just too adorable!

51b6cd9574c5b6229a00203e._w.1000_h.1000_s.fit_

The soft, pale pink walls in Emily’s old Cupcakes and Cashmere office add a fun element without being overly sugar-plums-and-fairies.

bri-bedroom02

A room that dreams are made of. Bri Emery’s bedroom makeover is light and refreshing.

clientawesomebyamberinteriors21-682x1024

Loving the pink vibes going on in this nursery by Amber Interiors, from the heart print to the baskets to the rug.

51bb3dc9dbd0cb7059000128._w.1000_h.1000_s.fit_

Check out that red heart-shaped lamp (by Ikea!) in this sweet nursery!

NEON-SIGN

Neon pink signs should be in every home. EVERY. HOME. Love this one created by Emily Henderson for Ban.do.

Ferney-Bathroom1

While Jordan (of Oh Happy Day) has said they will gut the pink bathroom when the time is right, I like the way she’s refreshed it by adding accessories. Why, yes, white towels are always a good idea.

51b71874fb04d60a6f0004e4._w.1000_h.1000_s.fit_

Okay, maybe this is not so subtle, but I am in love with this hot pink plexiglass bathroom sliding door!

Tuesday Treasures | 10 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas to Give and to Get

photo-38

{Balloon window at Bloomies}

Whether you are a fan of Valentine’s day or not, I’m sure we can all agree that being on the receiving or giving end of special tokens is always a good idea, yes? I’ve rounded up some special pieces below in case you feel like being generous (to someone special or yourself — everyone can always use a bit of lovin’). Hope you enjoy and let me know what’s the best/most unique/ordinary/sweetest gift you’ve ever received or given. I’d love to know!

DGCL02-jetaime_garance-dore_1024x1024

I love receiving handwritten mail. It’s such a nice break from the day-to-day business of regular mail (bills/renewals/junk). You could make your own, or check out Garance Dore’s collection. She makes beautiful and stylish stationary.

whimsy_hearts_scarf_pink_82494635-35a5-4588-ae54-9442afc59db8_1024x1024

I always say you can never have too many scarves. They are so versatile and useful. Isn’t this heart print one from Leif Shop just adorable? Such a great color and it’s not too saccharine sweet (if you know what I mean).

heartrecord-best-5-700_copy_grande

Who doesn’t love a vinyl record? Especially when it’s a 7-inch red heart-shaped one, which can be found at Poketo. Alas, this sweetly packaged record is not all roses, it’s actually about a heartbreak (A side) and the regret of it (B side), by Mayer Hawthorne. Well, at least it looks pretty.

Compartes-Chocolate-Valentine-Heart-Assortment-Gourmet-Web-2_grande

Chocolates are a given. Compartes chocolates? Absolute heaven in your mouth. Feel free to judge this “book” by it’s cover. The packaging is not only pretty, but the taste is delicious.

26561936_060_b

Candles may seem clichè, but I was given a Voluspa candle as a souvenir once and I’ve been hooked ever since. These candles are made from coconut wax and the smell is out of this world.

_9847910

I don’t need another bag said no woman EVER. How adorable is this heart clutch by Christian Louboutin?

bando-tumbler-w-straw-supercute-silo

How fun and flirty is this tumbler from ban.do? So fun, it’ll probably have you drinking the recommended daily ounces of water!

res_FKRG

This is the sweetest tiny heart ring you will come across. Catbird NYC always makes such great accessories for the minimalist at heart.

PS-0601

What a sweet print (by Jen Ramos of Made By Girl) to add to an art collection.

104516mpv4z

Flowers never go out of style. How about going for a different color, like pink or yellow or vintage lilac roses?

8 Awesome Alternative Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

photo-31

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

restaurant-noma

{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.

download

{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.

cooking-class-112

{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.

walk

{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).

Valentines-Day-Romantic-Dinner-for-Two-

{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.)

Mandarin_Toyko8_01feb11_pr

{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.

296702

{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.

river_north_450_01

{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!