Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gift Guide: For the Kids

It's only been in the last few years that I have become interested in anything relating to children, thanks to my adorable niece and nephew!  Nowadays, I'm preoccupied with wanting to be a "cool aunt"-  someone who reads them their books with the best voice inflections, who imparts bits of wisdom on them when they least expect it, and who lets them eat as many sugar cookies as their little hearts desire.  I also want to bring them home the coolest gifts for Christmas.  Whether you're shopping for a newborn, a toddler, or a child, here are a few gift ideas to get you going:


Shop this Post (top to bottom, left to right):

Freshly Picked Moccasins in Newborn Sky $45 or Cardigan Pink $60/Flavia Flamingo $24/Mermaid Paper Doll Set $20/Hatchimals Interactive Creatures $210/Hasbro Little Golden Companion Pup $120/The Doodle Backpack $19.95/J. Crew Glow-in-the-Dark Animal Teeth Shirt $32.50/Maya Sparkly Gold Dress $115/Little Patient Balloon Dog Nightlight $25/

Creating this post made me realize 2 things- #1:  Toys have gotten so much cooler than when I was a kid.  The Hatchimals Interactive Creatures actually hatch.  The Hasbro Golden Companion Pup behaves like a real dog

#2:  Some activities that appeal to children are timeless.  Coloring is still in. Glow-in-the-dark is still cool.  Paper dolls are still endlessly entertaining.  

It's good to know some things never change.

Shop My Other 2016 Gift Guides:






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Monday, December 5, 2016

My 8 Favorite Residential Stairways

I love when a normal staircase is customized in a way that makes it it's own piece of statement artwork.  Whether it be designing a custom stair rail, using an interesting tile or stone on the steps, or adding a beautiful runner- the options are endless.  In no particular order, the following are my 8 favorite residential staircases.

# 1- Alessandra Branca's entry staircase- Harbour Island, Bahamas

The railing design takes the cake here.  Not only is the haphazard x pattern cool; the red paint color is unexpected and feels modern against the softer materials.  I think I love this one so much because the modernity of it feels completely out of place at a beach house.


#2: Interior Staircase at a home in Captiva Island, Florida 

The spiral staircase of this 16.5 million dollar home originally spotted on Zillow is to die for. The color of the carpet is my favorite color in existence - the perfect lush turquoise.  The white undulating border feels decidedly 60s Palm Beach.  


#3: Hoban Road Project by Erica Burns Interiors

A simple sisal runner is enhanced with a nailhead trim- because, how genius is that?!


#4: The Cheetah Runner, Made Famous by Elements of Style

My FAVORITE animal print (and the only one I'd put down on my floors, besides maybe Stark's Antelope) is Glen Eden's Cheetah.  This image was originally published in Real Simple magazine, and later made famous among internet circles when Erin Gates replicated it in her own home. 


#5: A Subtle Staircase by Michael Dawkins

I love this black and white striped stair carpeting for two reasons:  1- it runs perpendicular to the stair which creates a sense of motion and 2- the seams were cut at an angle to give it a sense of continuation as you round the corner.  These two details make a world of difference:


#6:  A Custom-Built Staircase in Dallas, Texas

The intricate railing on this staircase is one of my all-time favorite iron designs.  The rounded bands separated by simple circular dividers create a pretty pattern that feels understated and chic:


#7:  Little Rock, Arkansas Entryway by Bear Hill Interiors

This staircase has a similar rounded iron railing as above, but is paired with an elegant brass banister.  YUM.


#8:  A Polished Brass Staircase by Kelly Wearstler

The queen of drama did not disappoint in this LA pad.  I'm a fiend for polished brass, and I love that the railing design combines both straight lines and a curve:


And speaking of Kelly Wearstler, if you love the LA-based designer as much as me, you'll find this Clever Podcast interview she did last Tuesday incredibly inspiring.  Kelly talks about how she got her start in the interiors industry, where she searches for inspiration, and how she's trained her unique eye over the years.  

Happy Monday! 

XOXO,

Sam


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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

29!

Today I turn 29!  28 was a great year- honestly one of the best years for me yet.  I have so many great memories from the past 12 months:

Two of my besties Jessica and Katy came to visit me last year for my 28th.  We celebrated at Bergdorf's Restaurant:


I also made them do Sleep No More with me, which was an odd experience.  There's really no way to describe it, but we all left thoroughly confused by the whole thing.  The holidays were spent at home in OKC, where my mom made us all wear matching PJs.  My niece Lily even got a pair:


In January, my nephew Hudson was born!  This was the first time I got to hold him:


In February, I experienced my first real NY blizzard.  Even the subway was shut down for a bit, but even so it was one of my favorite days ever in the city.  My friend and I trudged over to Central Park and went sledding like little kids.  The city was so peaceful!


In March, my parents visited and we got to see Hamilton. Luckily we somehow scored tickets before the show got too big and didn't have to shell out a fortune for them.  It's by far the best Broadway show I've seen (but I didn't need to tell you that).


In April, Katy came back and visited me!  I made her ride the subway and tried to explain you can't wear heels on the train (you bring them with you in your bag) but she doesn't listen.  Doesn't she look thrilled to be on the 4-5-6 train with me?!


We spent Sunday lying in the sun in Central Park:


In fact, the last 12 months were spent taking lots of walks through Central Park-


And lots of nights out in the city with Lauren & Vicky (typically downstairs at Acme, The Jane, or The Ludlow):


My good friend Gabby finally moved to NY from Montreal this past March, and I couldn't be happier. She got a cute studio apt near Union Square- here's a corner of her space after she got it set up:


Celebrating Gabby's move with Lauren at The Ludlow:


In May, my friend Grace and I went to Montego Bay, Jamaica:







 In the summer, we spent 80% of the weekends in East Hampton or Montauk:

{my friend Melissa and I at the Wolffer Wine Stand}

{pretty hydrangeas in Sag Harbor}

Fall has flown by.  I went home quickly for an OU game in October and just returned from OKC for a nice Thanksgiving with my fam. My mom and I posed for a pic before going to an OKC Thunder game last Saturday:



Celebrities spotted this year:

BJ Novak going in to The Bowery
Ice Cube sitting down the bar from me at Irvington 
Amy Poehler pushing her son in a stroller in Clinton Hill
Jesse Tyler Ferguson eating across the restaurant from me at Javelina
Zosia Marmet (Shoshanna from Girls) walking her dog in the Upper West Side
Kelly Ripa in my East 83rd Soul Cycle class (girl can ride a bike)
Dorinda Medley getting a coffee at my neighborhood Starbucks, Romana Singer all over the Hamptons, Luann de Lesseps at the bookstore in Sag Harbor, Bethanny Frankel at Crows Nest in Montauk

Not pictured: The millions of cocktails and dinners out I consumed this past year.  It was fun to look back through all my photos and remember those moments, but I wanted to spare you from looking at too many plates of food and cheers-ing drinks.  Many thanks to the people who made my year so wonderful and special- you know who you are!

Here's to hoping 29 is as memorable as 28 certainly was.

XOXO,

Sam

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Gift Guide: For the Dads

This week's Christmas gift guide is for the dads.  I find my own dad is the hardest person to shop for.  I always end up getting him some sort of lame gift card because of my own indecisiveness and failure to plan ahead (or failure to do something creative).  That's why I love Uncommon Goods, Mark & Graham, and Urban Outfitters for gifts that really go outside the box.  Whether your dad is a sports-lover, a fashionisto, or just lazy- I've got you covered:

Shop Dad Gifts:


Yeti Sidekick $35/Portable Charcoal Grill $50/Scotch-Infused Toothpicks Gift Set $35.95/MVMT 45MM Leather-Strap Watch $95/Harry Benson: The Beatles Coffee Table book $70/Personalized Titelist Pro V1 Golf Balls $40/Chuck Taylor Navy Leather Sneakers $89.95/Crosley Harper Bluetooth Speaker $79/Men's Warming Slippers $48/Mini Poker Set $79/

For the outdoorsy dad:  The waterproof Yeti Sidekick attaches to your Yeti Cooler and is perfect for holding your phone, keys, and wallet while keeping them dry.

For the die-hard tailgating dad: The Gibson Portable Charcoal Grill will make your dad the most popular guy at his next BBQ or tailgate.

For the scotch-loving dad:  Scotch-Infused Toothpicks Gift Set

For the fashionable dad: 45MM Leather-Banded Watch & Chuck Taylor Navy Leather Sneakers

For the music-loving dad:  If your dad is anything like my dad, he LOVES the Beatles (my dad still hasn't forgiven Yoko).  Harry Benson's hardcover coffee table book features a collection of iconic as well as rarely-seen photos of the Beatles. 

There's a million bluetooth speakers on the market, but none as nostagic or stylish as the Crosley Harper speaker, available in mint or cream.  

For the golfing dad:  Personalize a set of Titelist Pro V1 Golf Balls to make them extra special.  Here's to hoping he doesn't lose them all after 1 round.

For the homebody dad:  Men's Aromatic Warming Slippers- Heat these babies up in the microwave to warm your feet at the end of the day.  The insoles are filled with aromatic lavender buds and thermally conductive flax seeds.

For the gambling dad: The Mini Travel Poker Set is perfect for traveling and entertaining at parties, and the leather case can be monogrammed/inscribed!



See other 2016 Gift Guides:





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Monday, November 28, 2016

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Mushroom Lamps

As I've mentioned a few times before, I'm currently in the midst of watching all 7 Mad Men seasons.    While I love the show's various story lines and character development, I'm fascinated by the set design.  It's mid-century mod at it's finest, and I love spotting design classics like the Knoll Saarinen Executive Chair, the Saarinen Tulip Table (Roger's desk shown below, after his second wife Jane redecorates his office), and the Artemide Nesso Table Lamp:

{Buy the original design here}

This lamp is also often referred to as a "mushroom lamp" for it's shape, and there have been several iterations of this design since it was first released in 1964 by Italian designer Giancarlo Mattioli.   In 1971, Louis Poulsen released the Panthella Table Lamp, which certainly took inspiration from the Nesso:


Louis elongated the shape, streamlined the top, and gave it a tapered base, similar to the Saarinen tulip table base:







I love the bold feminine hues in this bedroom, designed by Kelly Wearstler.  The brass mushroom lamp is fab, too:

{A similar table lamp can be purchased here}

Kelly Wearstler designed her own version of the mushroom table lamp last year for Visual Comfort & Co. The Melange Table Lamp has a straight cylindrical base with an alabaster top, and comes in two finishes.  It is worth noting that her design also clearly took inspiration from the Bauhaus Table Lamp, which is similar in form to the mushroom lamp but features a straight base and perfectly domed top.   Here is the Melange in bronze:




Mattioli's original Nesso "mushroom" lamp is part of Moma's "Design Classics" collection, and can be purchased from their store here.





Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday's Worthy Links



Friday's Worthy Links:

-40 Gorgeous Powder Rooms.  My favorite one features ikat silk walls. - House Beautiful

-I think this will be my new favorite holiday drink. And I'm dying to make this dish-Gray Malin

-There are only three types of friendships - which are yours?

-Who else is feeling like a back home baller this weekend?  (love ya, mom & dad) - SNL

-Obama Reckons with a Trump Presidency. I LOVED this article- very well-written and provides some great insight.   - The New Yorker

-17 Famous Movie Moments that were actually improvised. - BuzzFeed

And, a few CRAZY good Black Friday sales...

-J Crew: 40% off site-wide with code HOLIDAY at checkout (YES- 40%!!!!).  I'll take this (in electric red), these, and this, please.

-Nordstrom: 20% off select sale items- I'm loving this Marc Jacobs handbag.


-West Elm: Up to 30% off with code SAVENOW at checkout.

{Thanksgiving tablescape via Apartment 34}

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving turkey heads!!  What's there to be thankful for?  Lots of people seem to feel that 2016 is a year we are better off forgetting- but I'm not so sure of that. If anything, the world continues to spin in New York and I have a collection of iPhone snapshots to prove it...  

{the view from the east side of Jackie O reservoir in Central Park}

{Washington Square Park}

{Central Park boat pond}

{an Upper East townhouse with a particularly festive stoop}

{the view from lying down one Sunday afternoon in Central Park}

{Saint Jean Baptiste Catholic Cathedral}

{"Subway Therapy" wall at Union Square Station}


{Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, seconds after spotting Amy Poehler with her adorable son}

{Another view from Central Park}

{my brother and me, at Thanksgiving circa 1989- this one was taken by my mom, of course}



And the world spins madly on...

Hug your loved ones tight, and it wouldn't be a Thanksgiving if I didn't post this movie scene (I think I mainly just love the Neil Young song mixed in)...


XOXO,

Sam


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