Monthly Archives: May 2014




can we talk about



wallpaper has experienced a serious renaissance in the design world over the past few years, and honestly, thank goodness, because there is a WHOLE lot of unfortunate (read: fugly) wallpaper in the world (70s and 80s homes, i’m looking at you), and that shit needs to be replaced.

in the past, wallpaper was reserved for 70s era kitchens, bad bathrooms, and even worse bedrooms with wall to wall carpet. but it seems those days are behind us, and we’re all moving in the right direction, towards wallpaper that is beautiful, intricately designed, and best of all, uber chic. who has two thumbs and loves uber chic wallpaper?


as a renter, wallpaper is in my dreams, not my reality, but that doesn’t mean i can’t do some imaginary shopping, or real shopping for the folks that DO own their homes. so, where does one look for cool wallpaper? there are a lot of options, but one of my favorite places to shop is hygge & west. you may recall that a few years ago, h&w did an awesome collab with joy cho of oh joy! it was this collaboration that put hygge & west on my radar (the collection is still on sale today, and trust me when i say, it is to DIE for. cho’s “petal pusher” print kills it. i’ve seen it used in dozens of rooms, and never has it looked too busy or out of place. GLAM to the max).

i didn’t think anyone could match cho’s designs. that is, until i heard that anna bond of rifle paper co. would be doing a line for the brand. i am a HUGE rifle paper fan, and, thanks to anna bond, have become a bit of a stationary snob over the years. bond, who is rifle paper’s creative director, hand sketches/paints* all of her whimsical, beautiful pieces, so it’s no surprise that her wallpaper line (which is screenprinted in chicago) is TO DIE FOR.

*if you’re not following her on instagram, you’re missing out.

i picked out a few of my favorites above, and, just for fun, i had a little think sesh about where i’d use each of them in my dream home. laundry room, powder room, kid’s room, library. check, check, check and check. miss bond, you’ve done it again.

shop the entire rifle paper co. for hygge & west collection here.

jpegthis past weekend, i went home to see my family, and as jewish families do (see: trailer for the film below), we got into it at dinner one night. you know, guilt tripping, a little bit of crying, a little bit of yelling. we love each other dearly, but sometimes (again, see: trailer for the film below), we work through our issues by shouting at each other, or taking little digs at one another, or just plain crying at the dinner table. what can i say? it’s how i grew up, and it’s all i know. during our little session of somewhat-shouting-somewhat-crying-everyone-annoyed-and-a-little-bit-sad, my mother offered up this little gem of wisdom about my somewhat miserable childhood: sarah never had a lot of friends growing up! so she got lost in books instead.

and rather than defend myself, i just nodded, and agreed. because, well, it was true. i was an overly sensitive child prone to calling up my friends in first grade and telling them that they’d hurt my feelings by not sitting with me at the lunch table. and you know what? first graders don’t give two shits about hurting anyone’s feelings. they barely know what feelings are. and you know what else? if they wouldn’t sit with me at the lunch table, then they weren’t really my friends – but it took me a long time to figure that one out.

but i digress. the main point here is that as a child (and really, up until now, or, okay, still now, even as a grown woman), books were my escape. they gave me the friends i couldn’t find in the real world. they gave me the courage i didn’t have as a shy child who might as well have had doormat stamped across her forehead. they gave me the vocabulary that won me the third grade spelling bee, much to my male opponent’s chagrin. they gave me adventures i couldn’t very well take on my own in my bedroom. they gave me an imagination bigger than the one i was given, and most importantly, they taught me how to write.

they taught me that i wanted to write. it took me a long time to figure out who i was in the world (and if we’re being honest, i’m still figuring it out), but i have always, always, known that i wanted to write. one might think that as i grew more confident, and figured out how to pick up on social cues, and how not to get my heart stomped on, and how to go out and have fun, i would have left my books and my voracious reading habit behind. but one would be wrong. if anything, i read more now than i did as a kid. even in college, while everyone else complained that they had so much required reading they couldn’t bear to pick up a novel, i read. and now that i live in new york, and commute each and every day, i read even more. i read on my way to bar method in the mornings. i read while i walk down the street (annoying, i know). i read in the elevator, on the subway, on the bus. i read while i wait for the dentist to call me into the exam room. i read everywhere. generally, depending on what i’m reading, i go through about a book a week.

right now, though, i’m reading donna tartt’s the goldfinch and man, is it slow going.

one of my absolute favorite books i’ve read in the past few years is jonathan tropper’s this is where i leave youit’s the story of a group of adult siblings, each one with their own baggage and bullshit, who come home to sit shiva for 7 days following their father’s death. i won’t give away more than that, partially because the trailer below will do the story justice (as the best book to movie transformations do), and partially because i am telling you, you should read this book. this book made me laugh. it made me cry. it made me feel like my family wasn’t so crazy after all. after finishing it, i went on to read each and every one of tropper’s books (plan b is another favorite). when i heard they were turning this is where i leave you into a movie, i immediately called my friend sara (also known as my literary bff) and reported that we would be getting our asses to the theater on opening night. then the movie was delayed for a year or two, and i heard no word of it.

and all of a sudden, the film is made, and there’s a trailer to watch. and it’s as wonderfully funny and heartwarming and smart as i remember the novel being. see for yourself.



wowee, it’s been a while since i’ve shared all roundup of my fave things on the internets. sad times, my friends, sad times. just kidding, i know no one really cares about the the list of things i enjoyed in the past week. but just in case one or two of you does, here they are. the things i watched/loved/laughed at/cried at this week.

this clip of jennifer lawrence telling seth myers about the time she puked at guy oseary’s oscar party is priceless. also, her hair is looking GOOD right now. if i didn’t have the roundest of round faces, i’d be all chop chop chop at the hair salon, asap.

this piece from the guardian about how everyone (and i mean everyone) is just winging it, all the time. even, you know, the president and his disciples, and the people you look up to.

this post from writer anne lamott made me feel all of the feelings. so many feelings in fact, that i wrote a piece about it.

i made this risotto this week in honor of asparagus officially being EVERYWHERE. man i love spring. and this recipe. martha, you are my GIRL.

i’m dying over the everygirl cofounder alaina kaczmarski’s lincoln park apartment. everything alaina touches turns to interior design gold, and this place is no different. some serious late-20-something life inspiration, that girl is.

it seems a bit silly to spend $7.99 on a kindle book that can, in its entirety, be found online – and  yet i’m so tempted to buy george saunders’ congratulations, by the way, which is a printed version of the commencement speech the author gave at syracuse last year. the topic? kindness. and how we need to employ it more.

i’m obsessed with the fig house, an emily henderson-designed event space in los angeles that is so stupidly beautiful and cool i can’t take it. seriously, take a look.

my roommate walked in on me watching the end of the latest nashville episode, pretty much sobbing to this scene. i’ve had this song on repeat ever since. i can’t get enough. i wish they’d record the duet version. i also wish sam palladio was my best friend/boyfriend/lover/husband/all of the above.

i’m home at my parents’ house for the weekend, eating ice cream from my favorite place and sleeping a lot and generally doing a whole lot of nothing. which is at once lame and glorious. here’s hoping you’re having a wonderful memorial day weekend, whatever you’re doing!



this week in things on my wishlist: a flowy, asymmetrical dress that’s perfect for summer nights, the cutest little iphone case i ever did see, and a leopard print desktop organizer. i’m also super coveting those loeffler randall espadrilles, which are on sale for under $150 (a good deal for LR). i keep seeing them on other people’s feet and feeling this insane jealous urge to make them MINE. not weird at all, i swear. but then i tell myself i could get soludos for 1/4 of the price, and i hold off on ordering. thoughts?  if only a magical fairy would just deposit them on my feet like glass slippers. hey, a girl can dream!



i came across this post by writer anne lamott this weekend, and couldn’t help but feel the need to share. i’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how we aim for perfection, and feel we’ve failed when we achieve anything less. in the age of “pinterest perfect” – a phrase coined recently by one of my favorite bloggers, erin gates of elements of style – it’s really easy to feel like you’re not measuring up. like your home isn’t pretty enough, your thigh gap isn’t big enough, your outfits aren’t cool enough, your meals aren’t instagram-worthy.

the list goes on and on.

one of the things i love about reading blogs are that they are an escape. a pretty, cotton-candy colored, rose-tinted portrayal of life. one that’s lived in designer dresses and fancy shoes, one that involves perfect beachy waves and monthly getaways to mexico and kitchens that sparkle with marble and brass.

and one of the things i hate about reading blogs is the fact that all of the above, all that i love about blogs…it’s not attainable. it’s not even really real. blogs these days aren’t reality, they’re someone’s carefully curated feed of shiny happy things, shiny happy moments. and let’s be honest for a second: life is not full of shiny happy moments. i mean, sometimes it is. sometimes it’s glorious and wonderful and magical. but sometimes, it’s not. and most bloggers don’t chose to share those moments. they’re purveyors of pretty, not purveyors of angry rants about the ways in which life gets them down.

and i respect them for that, really, i do. they’ve made a conscious choice to show the good, not the bad. but my favorite bloggers are the ones that let a little bit of darkness in now and then (like erin gates, mentioned above, who inspired this post). erin recently participated in an episode of the lively show, and talked a lot about her perfectionism, and how it’s both worked against her and made her who she is today. the entire episode is worth a listen, but i found her examination of the “pinterest perfect” world we live in to be, by far, the most interesting portion of the show. because it’s true, isn’t it? we’re all on that seemingly endless quest for pinterest perfect, and none of us, and i mean none of us, will ever really achieve it. because it’s not real. life isn’t pinterest perfect. it’s messy and chaotic and full of all of the feelings. but that’s what makes it great. 

and if we keep holding out for pinterest perfect, and holding ourselves back from the doing the things we want to do – like lamott says above, if we keep holding ourselves back from going to the beach because we’ve got a big tummy and jiggly thighs – we’re limiting our lives, greatly. i don’t want to wake up when i’m 65 and realize i didn’t get to dig my toes into hot sand and feel the cool breeze of the ocean because i was embarrassed of how i looked in a bathing suit. i mean, i am embarrassed of how i feel in a bathing suit, but does that mean i should stop living? absolutely not. lamott is right.  i don’t want to be so strung out on perfectionism that i forget to have a big, juicy, exciting, interesting, creative life. that would be the saddest of fates, wouldn’t it? to get to a ripe old age and realize i hadn’t done so many of the things i’d wanted to do because i thought i wasn’t good enough to do them. i refuse. i refuse. do you hear that, inner monologue? i. refuse. 

now, if you’ll excuse me, me and my jiggly thighs have a beach trip to plan. 



i have a confession to make: i started this WIWTW board while i was on vacation in california two weeks ago. and just finished it last night. whoopsies. i’ve been feeling a tiny bit uninspired. thankfully, only like 5 of you actually read this thing, so it’s not like anyone missed me. inspiration, if you’re reading this, please come back now okay? i miss you.

this week’s wishlist includes a chic striped tote perfect for long summer beach days, an adorable blanket that could also be used as a beach blanket (and rolled up into that striped tote), the perfect lilac nail color, coffee grind body scrub that promises to rid you of cellulite (SAY WHAT?!), and THE sweatshirt for cat ladies. there are a few other fun items thrown in as well. happy shopping!


tonight is the first night in far too long that i can remember having absolutely nothing to do. no plans after work, no elaborate meals to cook, no spin classes to take, no freelance work to do. just me, myself and i and a stretch of four or so hours with which to do whatever i please. i’ve gotten in such a rhythm of busy busy go go go that i almost forget what to do with myself when i’ve got all the time in the world. it was an odd sensation, taking the train home at 6pm just like everyone else, crowding onto the L train and smushing myself into someone’s slightly sweaty armpit. it was weird to put my key in the lock and realize that for once, i’d beat my roommate home. i made myself dinner, and watched two episodes of my new favorite obsession, orphan black, before realizing that it was miraculously only 9pm, and i still had two delicious hours to kill, blogging or reading, or just plain laying in bed my hanging with my cat (as crazy cat ladies are wont to do).

it’s amazing what a night in will do for the soul, isn’t it? it’s funny. earlier today, i had a bit of an anxiety attack when i looked at my planner and realized i had no real plans for the week. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL THOSE EMPTY HOURS?! my brain screamed. and then i promptly made plans for the next 3 nights. and for what? don’t get me wrong, i’m excited to do all the things i plan to do this week, but really, did i need plans? what’s the worst thing that could have happened if i’d been plan-less? i would have sat at home all week watching tv, reading the goldfinch (this month’s book club pick) and baking chocolate chip cookies? those are all things i like, actually, love, to do. and yet, it’s like i have fomo for things that haven’t even happened yet. like i’m terrified that if i stay home for too many nights in a row, the world’s most exciting events will go on in my absence and i will miss them.

it’s rather pathetic, when i think about it. and also, sort of strange. see, if there’s one thing living in new york has taught me, it’s how to be alone. like, really alone. as in, perpetually single alone. okay, hopefully not perpetually single alone, at least not forever, but you get my jist.

before i moved here, i always rolled with a posse of friends. we went to the bathroom together. we went to the grocery store together. we ate dinner together, made cookies together, watched silly girly movies together. it was rare that i’d spend a few hours in solitude, let alone a whole day.

and yet, here i am, six years into my time in new york, and it’s not uncommon for me to spend a whole weekend by myself. i mean, i go out and interact with society, but i do the things i want to do on my own. i’ll go to bar method and walk around soho, try on shoes i don’t need at j.crew and peruse the wares at the farmer’s market all by my lonesome. often, it’s just me and my headphones, my crazy thoughts and my sometimes sane ones. and for the most part, i’ve grown to enjoy it. crave it, even. when you work in a career that requires you to be “on” and witty at all times, it’s nice to disconnect sometimes. stet that. it’s more than nice. it’s necessary.

so why did i get in a tizzy about the possibility of three straight nights with no plans? i mean, really, who am i? what are these miraculous events and opportunities i think i’m missing out on? and why do i need to compete with those whose lives are a bit more exciting than mine?

i don’t. that’s the reality. i don’t need to compete, not even a little bit. not even with my imaginary cooler, more exciting self. because it’s a ridiculous, petty, silly thing to do, and a losing game. and more importantly, because, as tonight reminded me, i like my alone time. and i need not apologize, not to anyone else, and most of all, not to myself, for taking it every once and a while.

so, here’s to all of us brave enough to tell fomo to fuck off. here’s to staying in and watching TV and eating stale twizzlers and listening to nick drake (what? that’s just me? no stale twizzlers for you? okay then). revel in your staying-in-ness, in your decision to skip the bars and the restaurants and the socializing for some good ol’ one on one time with your brain. it’s a good thing, i promise.


it’s been established that i’ve been suffering from a serious case of wanderlust, specifically, wanderlust that involves beach destinations. it’s funny, really. as a child, i HATED the beach. i’m an ocd neat freak, and i hated that sand got into everywhere i couldn’t get it out: my discman, the pages of my books, in between my toes. i’m also not a person who generally looks good in a bathing suit, so you’d think i’d avoid the beach like the plague. for a while, i did. but a few years ago (coincidentally, around the time i moved to new york), i began to appreciate the sense of peace and calm that comes over a person when they dig their toes into the hot sand and test them out in chilly, rough waters. since then, i’ve been trying to escape to the beach whenever i can, and that need to escape culminated with my trip to nicaragua this past december – the best week of my life in quite some time. i’ve written quite a bit on here about how my time in nica made me really understand how important it is for me to get away from new york, and to do so in places where i can truly disconnect (ie, cell phones don’t work, no email unless i want to get to an internet cafe). if you’ve been reading for a while, you know that i really, really want to go to tulum, but flights aren’t cheap, and i want to go at a time when i can go with my girlfriends. so it looks like tulum is out of the question for a little – at the very least, we won’t be going this summer. more likely, we’ll head somewhere we can drive; right now, we’ve got our eye on the cape, which will certainly do for now.Image

in the meantime, though, i’m perusing beach house listings like it’s my job, and i came across this one, on the bahamas’ harbour island (also known as where designer india hicks, one of my favorite interior goddesses, makes her home). how adorable is this little cottage? how perfect would it be for a family getaway, a girl’s weekend, or even a honeymoon? i can’t get enough. light, bright, airy, filled with sunshine and crisp white linens, this home has everything you need to really do vacation right. ImageImageImage

adorable, right? you can see the full listing here. calgon, take me away.