Friday, September 12, 2014

breakfast to go ... or stay

This week has been a LONG one. Lots of late nights finishing projects for work and trying to get my fall calendar in order. It's amazing how many things kick back into gear come September - and so far there is no sign of anything slowing down soon. I think I am 'booked' nearly every weekend through the end of October. Phew. I am worn out already!
It hasn't helped that my phone is on the permanent fritz and has been shutting off for 18-24 hour intervals over the past month. It has gotten progressively worse and is such a hassle. Granted, I don't dislike being on a "tech sabbatical" (ask any of my friends from college), but this is a getting to be ridiculous. 
In the midst of all of this craziness, something as simple as spending a couple of hours in the morning morning sipping a hot beverage and eating a croissant sounds more than ideal - just the perfect relaxation. Granted I am not the best at 'relaxing,' I usually try to do a gazillion things at once (you should see me 'watch' TV). BUT -  if Paris was thrown into the equation, ultimate relaxation might be doable :)
Here's to the weekend, long morning coffee breaks, necessary sweet treats, and dreams of Parisian cafes - or whatever relaxation suits your fancy! 

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Caitlin McGauley wallpaper

One of my favorite illustrators, Caitlin McGauley, launched a wallpaper collection this summer. I love her punch-y prints and have been musing my dream house decor ever since. 
Caitlin said most of her designs started from "giant, free form watercolors" and she worked closely with a graphic designer to get the patterns in perfect repeat. She added that the printer was fabulous, resulting in wallpaper that looks like the patterns were printed right on the wall! 
The wallpaper is available for purchase at The Market: Studio Four NYC.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Amanda Brooks at Home in Oxfordshire, England

What have you enjoyed most about living on the farm?
"How much being outside has contributed to my general well being." - Amanda Brooks

Amanda Brooks is the the author of I Love Your Style: How to Create and Redefine Your Personal Style, published in 2009. She had become a fixture at fashion circuits and her network of equally stylish acquaintances is incomparable. Her fashion icon status earned her an exclusive position at Barney's New York. Despite any retail experience, she acted as fashion director and helped the department store with merchandising, trend lists, and filling front row seats for the biannual fashion show festivities. She was living the dream life of any fashionista, but put that all aside to carry out a different dream, one that might be as polar opposite as you can get to a city socialite! 
Two summers ago, Amanda packed up and moved her family from New York City to an old farm in the English countryside. The farm had been in her husband's (Christopher Brooks) family for generations. There was much speculation as to why the style icon decided to leave New York, disappearing from the fashion world entirely. Brooks did not deny that her time at Barney's was stressful, but she was quick to cite an inspiration for the move - Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman. She admired the idea of "having a career on your terms, anywhere." 
I follow Amanda on Instagram and her account is the best way to start the morning. Usually as I am wiping sleepies from my eyes, I'll pull open Instagram and see what the more 'exotic' accounts (aka the ones across the pond) have been up to while I've been in dream world. Amanda posts numerous pictures of dewy mornings in the English countryside with hounds, sheep, wild flowers, equestrian boots, and berry cobblers. You can almost hear the rooster cock-a-doodle-do and envision the sun slowly rise over the endless land, lighting the world with a soft glow - fields of gold. So beautiful and so serene. After seeing her pictures, nothing seems more perfect in life than pushing aside an old quilt, rolling out of bed, slipping on wellies and a Barbour to greet the horses. **A cup of warm tea optional**
 I didn't know Amanda's back story before following along her "farm table" adventures - but am even more intrigued. She has been able to keep up with her passion in fashion, recently collaborating with Zara this summer. And, she makes countryside chic look so good!

Below are a series of images taken in 2012 of the family in their countryside home.

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