Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Belle: Painting the Living Room

so the living room is coming along...

we tested out a few colors, some new, some old. of course we both loved dolphin fin the best, but considering the entirety of my last apartment was painted in that color, we agreed we should try something new.

our many test swatches including our winning choice: classic silver. it's amazing how many "greys" are actually shades of blue or green. all of the colors shown here are by behr at home depot.

i had to work saturday morning (everygirl photoshoot, no surprise). when i came home at 1pm with lunch, mike surprised me by having painted almost the entire living room. he's pretty amazing like that.

very nice. but didn't feel like home.

ahh there it is. i think we can agree mike did a top-notch job. clearly that summer spent as a painter in high school did wonders. lucky me.

of course with the dark grey english roll arm sofa that is arriving in a month, i think the brown rug will have to be changed out. Considering a few West Elm options...

yep. that'll do, pig.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Belle: Black and White Bathroom Progress

So my weekend went a little something like this...

- trip to Home Depot to get new paint
- organize the entire mess of apartment // feeling good

- 7am wake-up call for an Everygirl styling shoot
- 1pm returned home with lunch to find sweet boyfriend had painted almost the entire living room while I was gone, but he was running out of paint... (living room photos will post tomorrow!)
- I take to the wood pannelled bathroom (aka the giant sponge that took over a gallon of primer to cover) while he finishes the living room...
- queue second trip to Home Depot to get more paint and then stopped to pick up take-out for dinner
- 10pm we finally finish up, but the bathroom still isn't complete

- finally finish moving stuff out of my old apartment (three years, you'll collect a lot of crap)
- grab lunch
- come home, reorganize and clean up the apartment again since everything was moved for painting
- try and finish bathroom painting // made great progress, but there are still some tiny grooves and corners that need to be touched up

So fun, right?

Fortunately, the bathroom is going to be so super kick-butt. Without further ado... I present to you: Bathroom Progress.

Inspiration struck when I met my dear friends Bailey and Pete for lunch at GT Fish and Oyster, a fabulous restaurant downtown. I immediately took note of the paneled walls and decided that black, white, and gold would be perfect for my wood paneled bathroom.

So I began gathering more inspiration on Pinterest and adding it to my "Living with a Boy" board:
we might not have a claw-foot tub, but you get the idea...

Painting wood paneling is a real pain in the patoot. Not only is the wood like a sponge - like I said, it took a GALLON of primer and paint to cover this little room.

One full coat of primer - we used Kilz primer from Home Depot.

So. Much. Primer. So tedious...

That took way too long. One more coat to go...

BEFORE and almost-AFTER:
Our sweet, sweet not-so-little bathroom. I'm not going to lie, in the few weeks since we've been here, every time I brushed my teeth, I kind of felt like i was in a little cabin on a quick weekend getaway... but that... charm, shall we call it?, was quickly wearing off and it was time to make a change. At first I dreaded this space, but after everyone's comments and excitement to see what i would do with it, I began to love the challenge of making this room over.

paint colors: Powdered Snow by Behr and leftover Black Jack by Benjamin Moore (from my previous home office)
Here it is after two long days and the painting STILL is not finished... we still need new shower curtains (white with black lining), a rug (this striped Dash and Albert number from Layla Grayce), polished brass towel racks, and some styling (I'm thinking a plant!)... and as you can see in the ceiling, we'll have to get a piece of plywood to cover up the hole where there was once an overhead light. but overall, I'd say MUCH better!

there isn't much bathroom storage, so my expedit shelves that were previously in my dining room found a new home in the bathroom! love how versatile this piece is. speaking of which, did you see my updated dining room in The Everygirl feature on 10 Favorite Ikea Finds?

and we are filling the cubbies with white and black storage containers - the white bins are from ikea, the black wire baskets are from tjmaxx

cabin fever.

it looks gloooorious.

cabin fever take 2.

Helloooo black support beams!

Mike and I are loving it (victory!). I secretly hope you are too!

Thoughts? Accolades? Suggestions and ideas? Any great sources for CHEAP polished brash fixtures?

...and don't forget to come back tomorrow to see the updates in the living room!

View the full before tour of Belle here!

Happy Monday!

For more great bathroom ideas check out Bathrooms 365!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Thanks to Mezzmer, I can see!

There is nothing more scary or depressing than experiencing your eyesight slowly but surely start to deteriorate... I don't know if it's aging or the fact that I stare at a computer screen 10+ hours most days. But over the past two years, the world has slowly started getting more and more blurry for me... I first noticed it while driving at night in the rain. Then just at night, regardless of weather. Now it's any time I'm behind the wheel; I can't read a street sign until I drive right up next to it. And just last week, I was straining to read the subtitles while watching John Adams (I often watch movies in subtitles so that I don't miss anything). Well, I finally went to the eye doctor and according to my prescription, my eyes aren't so bad. But I am nearsighted, and I am VERY excited to get my first pair of glasses and see clearly again.

Thanks to Mezzmer eyewear, I'll be getting them shortly! For just $99 - you get the lenses and the frames. I saw how much frames and prescription lenses go for at the store I was at and holy cow - the Mezzmer offer is a teensy fraction of the cost. But with Mezzmer, there is no storefront you can walk into and try them on.

Here's how Mezzmer eyewear system works:
Step 1. Visit
Step 2. Choose five frames you'd like to "Try on."
Step 3. Pay $1, and they ship you the five frames to try on at home.
Step 4. Choose the style that works best for you then ship all the frames back (shipping label comes with so there's no cost for this).
Step 5. If you decide to get a Mezzmer style, fill out your prescription online and your choice of frames, pay $99, and you'll get your new glasses sent to you!
Step 6. Enjoy seeing the world more clearly again!

Sounds fun, right? Naturally, I wanted to try it out! Here are the styles I went with...
The Monterey
(too wide and boxy for me)

The Rosie
(also too boxy/somewhat masculine, I thought)

The Astaire
(loved the shape but the frames were too small for my face)

The Town Hall
(loved but possibly too trendy. i don't think i could pull these off.) 

(juuuuust right as voted on by the bf, friends, mom, Everygirl staff, and myself...)

So if you follow me and The Everygirl on Instagram and Twitter, you'll be seeing me sport The Shelby's more regularly. 

Thank you, Mezzmer!

And because I love me some budget fashion...
Necklace: Oia Jewels $25
Striped sweater: J.Crew $30 (on sale)
Watch: Timex on Piperlime $70 (as blogged about here)

And for the record, please don't judge my lame-o poses. I know I'm not good at this as made even more evident by the ridiculous outtakes... clearly fashion blogging is not in my future. I get nervous, feel silly, and then just end up laughing. Thanks for bearing with me, sweet sweet Caitlin (my photographer for the day).

Anywho. Which style do you think you would have gone with?

Friday, August 17, 2012

words worth reading, illustrated by photographs of Jay and BK

poignant thoughts on love and marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert as portrayed by the almost ridiculous sweetness that is Sean (Jay-Z) Carter's and his wife Beyonce Knowles Carter's relationship

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.”

“People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws? Can you look at your partner’s faults honestly and say, ‘I can work around that. I can make something out of it.’? Because the good stuff is always going to be there, and it’s always going to pretty and sparkly, but the crap underneath can ruin you.”

“Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable conversations, chatted over two thousand indistuinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to somebody—so utterly well known and so thoroughly ever-present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?”

"This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark. The act of quiet nighttime talking, illustrates for me more than anything else the curious alchemy of companionship."

all words by Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
photos via I Am Beyonce

Thursday, August 16, 2012

it's baaaaack.

i'm talking about fall. affectionately referred to as sweater/blazer/leather boot season. and have i mentioned i love it?

j.crew always does it up right. the tippi sweater (my favorite) in an array of new styles.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

and in bedroom-related news...

I've slowly been accumulating credit on Joss and Main for having invited so many people to join the flash sale site. For every person I invite who makes a purchase, I earn $15 in credit. Well, slowly my dollars have been adding up, and I've been hoarding my earnings waiting for one ticket item: a grey upholstered headboard. Last week, a sale arrived with far more beautiful headboards and beds than I've seen on there before!

I started texting my boyfriend rapid fire telling him to log online so we could discuss - after all, it's his bed too. (I'm such a good girlfriend. No need to tell me.) The color was an easy choice. We both love grey. Check, done, moving on...

Where the bigger debate came in was deciding on a style. There were two I loved, and I knew immediately which one Mike would prefer (the boxier, less feminine option).

While my initial inclination was to go for the runner-up style, the longer I looked at the two, the more I began to prefer the bottom style (the Limoges). I think I would sooner tire of look of the runner-up. The straight lines and nailhead trim of the Limoges are classic and sophisticated. They remind me of some of Jonathan Adler's styles.

Anyway, I am so so sooooo excited. This was the one furniture item I never invested in, either budget or not. And we got such a good deal. The bed was originally $600ish and with all of my credit, we got it for less than $400! Not too shabby.

So we're pretty much done furnishing the place... it's all going to come down to accents, rugs, window treatments, painting... the small details that really make a house a home.

Like the headboard? Both styles are available again today in The Hunt Club sale! The grey isn't available, and they're under different names, but you'll see them. You can also just buy the headboard at really reasonable prices. Check it out!

Or if you're looking for a great looking bed for your home you need to check out Luxury Revival Beds.


In other bed-related news... did you hear that my friend Bailey of Peppermint Bliss just announced that she is starting a bedding line? Her new brand Biscuit (love the name! love the logo!) will be filling the void for affordable yet chic bedding. She's also opening a store in Houston that will carry home goods and other delights. If you're familiar with her decorating and taste, you know the world is in for a treat (no pun intended). I personally can't wait to top my new bed off with some Biscuit bedding. Stay tune as more details are revealed, but in the mean time, stay on the up and up by joining their list serve here or liking Biscuit on Twitter! Congrats, Bailey and team!

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's Our One Year Anniversary!

Today is the one year anniversary since Danielle's and my first meeting to discuss The Everygirl.

Wow. Cannot believe a year has flown by.

Funny all the hazy memories I have of times passed... yet, that meeting, I recall like it was yesterday.

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when I headed downtown, laptop in hand, and met Danielle in her apartment building lobby. She was running a little late. (I have since learned it takes her about five times longer than me to get out the door. Anytime. Regardless of where we're going. She checks her bag about a dozen times, only to leave and realize she left something behind. It's crazy all the little things we now know about one another.) But we barely knew each other then and had only hung out in person two or three times. Still, we knew we had a common goal. In fact, I have it written at the top of a google doc that was last edited 335 days ago: "Help real girls figure it all out." That was all we needed to know to get us working on a weekend afternoon while so many others were at the beach, having lunch, and enjoying summer. We left her place and walked around the block to the Caribou Coffee on Kingsbury, found a small table near the window, and settled in for what would be a three-hour conversation. (The first of many.)

We began discussing... I had at least half a dozen questions for any idea she proposed (a regular habit of mine, as well, that she has likely grown all too familiar with). She mentioned her favorite quote from 13 Going on 30 and wanting to see real, relatable girls as inspiration. I mentioned wanting to see in-depth career profiles on accomplished women with dream jobs. The topic of Will this be a magazine or a website was greatly debated, and that debate continued for at least a month afterward, along with what the name should be...

Names we actually considered:
The Southport (this domain, believe it not, was available for $17,000!)
The Southport Stop
Twenty 2
She Creates
a few French words - things like "to create" "to grow" "to be" "to inspire" - that we realized no one would know how to pronounce or spell

Seriously - aren't we all glad it's The Everygirl?
behind the scenes with Ashlina Kaposta, New York City, November 2011
behind the scenes of Three Looks with Liz Schneider, February 2012
behind the scenes of Cooking with Blood Oranges, March 2012
behind the scenes of How to Style an Entryway, January 2012

Six months. It took us six months of discussion, planning, designing the site (which we did ourselves), figuring out how to build the website, registering as an LLC, planning features, reaching out to features, a trip to NYC, recruiting writers and photographers, and helping spread the word leading up to our February launch.

launch night // February 21, 2012

The rest you could say is history... The Everygirl has allowed us to meet, interview, and feature so many extremely talented women and personal role models. Bloggers, entrepreneurs, designers, stylists, PR execs, authors. We've launched a book club with Random House. We hosted our first event at BHLDN with partnerships from some of our favorite brands (Sprinkles Cupcakes! Smilebooth!). We flew to Boston and are headed to New York again next month. And tonight, exactly one year later, we are heading to the suburbs to work on a project with Banana Republic. A brand I've been wearing since I was in sixth grade! Crazy.

behind the scenes of How to Style a Coffee Table
with Caitlin and Danielle at The Everygirl event at BHLDN, hair by Salon Buzz // May 2012

And while it's been one crazy and rewarding ride, by far the most important outcome is that we've done what we set out to do: inspire women. There are readers who have taken the time to send us emails, and handwritten notes, and comments, and Facebook and LinkedIn messages, and Tweets saying The Everygirl is the first site they check in the morning and our feature archives serve as constant reinforcement to follow their dreams. The Everygirl has inspired them to go back to school. To change careers. To start cooking or budgeting or investing or picking up a new hobby or starting a blog. So to all of you who took the time to write us, and everyone who logs on every day and heads over to, thank you so much.

We are so honored and humbled our content inspires and empowers women. And we promise to strive to continue in our mission.

Friday, August 10, 2012

a response

dear readers,
yesterday's post on emma stone caused quite the stir. and while conversation and debate are always a good thing, based on the comments that came in, i unfortunately feel as though my original message and intent wasn't clearly conveyed and therefore misinterpreted by many. so i removed it. this site stands as a true representation of myself, but obviously, tone and words that may seem clear in mind don't always translate well via the written word. i in no way meant to convey the popular actress is on a downward spiral of drugs, DUIs, plastic surgery, and a breakdown. i obviously don't know her and don't follow celebrity news often, but as far as i can tell, that's not the case. it was merely a commentary on her looks evolving quite drastically in the past couple of years, particularly with her weight loss, much like those of starlets who have gone before her, when in my opinion, the change is unnecessary as they are all naturally lovely to begin with. and that is all. a war on women, it was was not.

i regularly seek out and promote great female role models for women and myself via the everygirl, and have tried to do it when possible on this site (here, here, and here). and i will, of course, continue to try and do that. thanks for understanding.

- alaina

Monday, August 6, 2012

$40 loafers? well shucks, i'll take three.

considering how much use i got out of my leopard print loafers, i will likely be investing in a pair (or three) of these by gap. which is your favorite?


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