A Day and Night in San Francisco

The Summer Saga continues with our short little teeny tiny San Francisco trip: I fell in love with this city last year on my honeymoon.  This being our third excursion to San Francisco, we had a pretty good idea of … Continue reading

Chicago Part III: Architecture

To catch up on Part I, click here.  For Part II, click here. ARCHITECTURE & DETAILS I’m a huge fan of old buildings, and I can even appreciate the clean lines of simpler contemporary architecture.  After my visit, I find … Continue reading

Labor Day Weekend Savings

Labor Day is the official end of summer for most people.  Time to retire your white fashions and beachwear.  I don’t really share the same sentiment knowing that it will be 100 degrees until November.  In a way, my summer … Continue reading

Jewelry Rack, That Was Once A Chair

I love transforming things into something they weren’t originally intended to be.  Necessity is the mother of invention.   So when my need for a jewelry organizer could wait no longer, a great idea came to my mind.

I had this nice vintage chair I picked up a while ago.  My plans to  fix, paint, and reupholster it, never ended up happening.  My husband had recently been using the chair at his desk.   Once I decided I didn’t want to makeover the chair, I thought to re-purpose it instead.  I have a lot of “fashion” jewelry that I forget I have, because I don’t see it.  One day, I looked at the caning on the chair and thought it would be the perfect way to display my earrings.  I picked up the chair, turned it upside-down and held it against the wall.

And the plan for my new jewelry rack was born!

My plans included the following:

Detaching the back and arms of the chair, from the bottom.

Choosing a new fun Annie Sloan color, to add some femininity to the bedroom.

Go to Anthropologie and find some interesting hardware (i.e. hooks, knobs etc.)

And GO!

With the proper tools and precautions, I got to work separating the chair in two.

After I sanded down the rough area at the severing point, she was ready for painting.

I ended up selecting two shades of purple:  Henrietta and Antoinette.  I also used some Old White I already had, for some detailing.  Adding clear then dark wax on top of these beautiful shades, would create the look of a patina and tone down a little bit of the brightness.

These two ceramic hooks, add interest and a nice contrast because they are a  stark white color.  Both can be purchased at Anthropologie.  In addition to making the perfect loop to my earring hooks, the caning made it very easy to attach my animal hooks.

HERE’S THE FINISHED PRODUCT… MY NEW JEWELRY RACK

THE EASIEST WAY TO BEAUTIFULLY DISPLAY AND EFFICIENTLY ACCESSORIZE YOUR OUTFIT AT THE SAME TIME.

FAB.

THOSE ARMS ARE A GREAT SOLUTION FOR TANGLED NECKLACES.

I’M IN LOVE WITH MY NEW CREATION.

THESE GUYS MAKE ME SMILE.

HERE’S ONE MORE LOOK AT THE TRANSFORMATION

IF YOU CAN THINK IT, YOU CAN DO IT.  I HOPE I’VE INSPIRED YOU TO DO A FUN PROJECT THAT’S BEEN ON YOUR MIND.

HAPPY DIY-ING, TO ALL!

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS POST!

Until really soon,

Renee

The Beach Boys

Phoenix, AZ July 7, 2012

I washed down my Zin Burger with a Malibu bay breeze, in an attempt to calm my nerves.  I think I had less nerves on my wedding day.  A moment that I dreamed of for a decade was about to come true.  I never imagined it would, but when I found out the Beach Boys were touring for their 50th anniversary AND that Brian Wilson would be a part of this, my dream was in reach.  This dream I speak of… is to see Brian Wilson perform live – the extension of this dream was to meet the surviving members of one of my favorite bands.

Like many people from many different generations, I was raised on the music my parents listened to, namely The Beach Boys.  It’s fun, fun, fun music that has been completely recognizable and loved for 50 years.  Sorry about the pun, but I had to, hehehe.

As a child, I can remember my aunt playing it in the car for us, and  joyfully singing along.  The boys also made quite the impression on me when they appeared on the popular 90’s TGIF show, Full House.  My love and appreciation for the group grew tremendously when I was in high school.  I was so into them.  I even had a crush on drummer, Dennis Wilson, just four decades too late.  I got teased a little bit, but I didn’t care.  I downloaded every song, Bandstand and Sullivan performance, and any other video footage I could find.

You could imagine my excitement when I found out that they were coming to my New Jersey high school’s arena to put on a concert.  It was destiny!  This was December of 2003.  I saw Mike Love and Bruce Johnston perform, and purchased that license plate you see at the top of the page.  It was so amazing to me, but I told myself I needed to, one day, see Brian Wilson perform with them.  I think each of the members brings and have brought so much to the group to make it the magic that it is, but I have a special respect for Brian Wilson’s musical talent.

So, just 8.5 years later the stars aligned and the universe said that I am supposed to sit front row at the Beach Boys concert and meet:  Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks.  I was much obliged.

BTW, that guy behind me kept shouting out his love for Brian the entire concert.

As expected, when the crowd got seating, it looked like Tommy Bahama threw up in there; t’was a sea of Hawaiian shirts and flip flops.  It was great to see people of all ages having a blast.  Let me tell you, these guys who are all at or around 70 years old performed the shit out of 50 songs.   They really gave it their all (trust me, I was right there I could see it!), and the harmonies and energy were on point.  It was one of the most incredible times of my life, and I’m so happy I got to share it with my husband.

They even included the participation of the members who passed – brothers, Carl and Dennis Wilson – by playing original recordings, on which each sang lead.

Mike made the ladies swoon with his winks and smirks.  He really knows how to work a crowd.  All the guys did a great job getting everyone involved; on their feet and clapping along… even Wayne was clapping and swaying, as long as I was doing it – he needed a guide so he didn’t mess up.  He really cracks me up.

That’s the best shot I could get of Brian.  His hair is still the same.

David Marks did a wonderful job, and so did the rest of the band.

We didn’t learn John Cowsill(of the Cowsills) was drumming, until he was introduced at the show.  Very exciting stuff.  The rain, the park, and other things, was the song we played at the beginning of our wedding reception, so it was very special treat to have him there, too.  We actually saw him in the parking lot before the show, but didn’t know it was him.  He had a broken iPhone in his hand.  That’s all.

There’s Brian again, couldn’t you tell?

I tried to get a good shot of Mike Love’s  hand, full of “pimp” rings.  No, Mike Love is not a pimp – to my knowledge.  I just don’t know a better way to describe them.  He was such a flirt with all the girls and a very funny “host”, if you will.  He made a joke about loving his first car so much, but loving his new Bentley even more.  You could tell, they were such sweet guys, and so humble even after a lifetime of such success.

 This one makes me laugh.

My Beach Boys swag.

Some nostalgia.

This is pretty cool too…

Bruce Johnston, Alan Jardine, Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and David Marks

I LOVE THE BEACH BOYS! THIS WILL BE SOMETHING I’LL REMEMBER FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.  I FEEL SO FORTUNATE AND HONORED TO HAVE HAD THIS EXPERIENCE.

HAVE YOU FULFILLED ANY OF YOUR DREAMS LATELY?

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS POST!

AND

I HOPE YOU ENJOY THE BEACH BOYS’ MUSIC!

Until really soon,

Renee

The Art of Packing: Chicago Bound

So I’m going to Chicago for the first time and I’m only allowed one bag, so says my husband.  We’re only going to be there for four days but he’s gotta know a girl needs options!  I’m never good at packing, and by good I mean – I wait until the last minute and I bring everything I own.

Some people “pack in outfits.”  That doesn’t work for me; I just bring stuff without a thought of what I’ll pair it with.  I don’t know what I’m gonna want for lunch tomorrow, so how am I supposed to know what I’ll want to wear.  I usually end up throwing a fit and changing anyway, not in regular life, but when I’m away somewhere special.  In order to rule out packing sweaters, I’ve looked up the local weather of my midwest destination, and it seems to be in the 80’s.  I’m well aware that it’s Summer, but it can be easy to forget this – living in a year-round sauna.

Since I can’t decide what I’m NOT bringing yet, here are some things that will definitely make the cut…

I love Alice + Olivia and I love things that stretch, especially when traveling.  That’s why I’ll be wearing these wonderful jeggings, and flats so my feet don’t freeze on the plane.  Since I’m a wannabe fashionista, I may even wear the hat 🙂

Here are some fun/flirty tops, that are nice and light for the heat.  I can barely stand how cute the collar is on the cream-colored top.  I’m thinking I might wear that to our anniversary dinner on Saturday.  We’ll be celebrating five years together.  It’s especially cool because the 13th falls on Friday this year, just like the day we met.  See, it can be a lucky day.

Here are my age-appropriate shorts.  I snagged both of them from the JCrew factory store, for $20 each.  They fit great and are super-comfortable.

It’s neon if you couldn’t tell.  Another reason why JCrew is awesome.  A great fit and a great style.  I think I’ll add a few more dresses to the suitcase, it’s a good way to cut down on extras because it’s pretty much a two-in-one deal.

To sass up these outfits, shoes and accessories are a must.  These wedges are comfortable and give my stubs for legs some length.

These shoes are currently my favorite.  Jessica Simpson knows how to do a shoe.  They might be my favorite ever.  I’m not a heals girl, but these are easy to walk in and the leather and sparkle combo stole my heart.

I always bring a small bag for a night out and a cross-body bag for shopping and sightseeing.

Rose gold bangles are a staple for me, a watch and these “oh so summery” earrings will go great with my colorful attire.

Kate Spade bow and bead bracelet is so darling, I think it’ll be great for the anniversary dinner too!  Another great Nordstrom Rack find.

 

Now, last but not least, I never go anywhere without my retro-blue necklace from Forever21.  These complementary earrings can come along too.

HERE’S ONE MORE THING, THAT I WISH I COULD BRING, BUT SADLY CANNOT.

This is my Sea Shell(Sheldon).  He’ll be staying in Arizona and I already can’t wait for Monday to pick him up.  He’s my air.  I hope he’s not too upset with us.  It’s possible I’m getting misty-eyed as I type this…

I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO SHARING WITH YOU, MY EXCITING TRIP TO THE “WINDY CITY.”  I WONDER WHAT I’LL FIND.  I HAVE A COUPLE OF MAKEOVER POSTS COMING THIS WEEKEND AND A REALLY KEWL DIY PROJECT FOR NEXT WEEK.  STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES AND FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER IF YOU WANT TO JOIN IN ON MY CHICAGO FUN!

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS POST!

Until really soon,

Renee