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Wednesday
Feb072018

a few things on my radar for spring

I'm walking around like a zombie the last few days, partly because Luca is still not sleeping well but also because the hubby and I have not been able to get the littles to bed fast enough so we can make a cocktail and binge watch as many episodes as possible of Breaking Bad.  I have no idea how we went this long without watching the show, but we are hooked!  So, besides whether Walter is going to get busted or not, I've also got some pretties on my mind lately - in the form of rattan, tortoise and, of course, blue and white goodness.  Perfect for spring(or any other time of the year, really).  Here are a few things giving me heart palpitations lately:

Bamboo serveware / South Seas Coffee Table / Lumbar pillow / Ginger jar / Print / Double old fashioneds

These bamboo serving pieces would be a beautiful addition to my new flatware.

Serena and Lily just made my dreams come true with this rattan coffee table - proof that style and kid-friendly can go hand in hand!

Still on the hunt for a topiary that I can't kill.

Would love a pair of these blue and white lumbar pillows for my living room.

You can never have too many blue and white ginger jars; love the print on this one!

Love this ship print for a powder room or child's room!

My husband gave me a set of these gold-rimmed tortoise double old fashioneds for our anniversary and I'm completely obsessed! 

What are you loving lately?

 

Monday
Jan292018

where to find my water hyacinth baskets + a lookalike that's on sale!

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend; the highlight of mine was finally getting to see the Greatest Showman and it was absolutely AMAZING!  I couldn't download the soundtrack fast enough; if you haven't seen it already, I highly, HIGHLY recommend!  

If you follow me over on Instagram, you've probably seen a pic or two (or three or four, actually) of oversize round water hyacinth baskets in practically every corner of my home.  I promise, I'm not moving one basket all over my house, I really have hoarded that many! I've gotten so many questions as to where I found them the answer is HomeGoods!  I found two a few years ago (I believe the smaller one was $29 and the larger one was $40 back then) and immediately snatched them up because they were dead ringers for much pricier versions at Pottery Barn and One Kings Lane.  I always kept an eye out for more whenever I was in the store but never found any until a few weeks before Christmas when I landed on three of the larger ones and they were on clearance for $30 a piece!  Of course, I took all three because, let's face it, they are an important necessity when you have littles; you should have seen me trying to get all three of them, plus Lydia and Luca, to the front to checkout!

If you have a HomeGoods near you, you've got to check it out!  I've seen so many since I bought mine but they were $49 (not sure why the ones I found were on clearance) but that is still such a steal for a great quality, oversize basket.  And if you don't score at HomeGoods, then I've got another dupe for you...the Cameron Water Hyacinth Baskets from World Market are just as beautiful, come in two different sizes and are currently on sale! 

Happy Monday!  (And Happy Shopping!)

Friday
Jan262018

my 5 favorite basics for a beautifully set table

Thank you all for entering Tuesday's giveaway!  And thank you once again to Lauren Marttila for offering up one of her gorgeous prints for us!  Marcie Newman is the lucky winner of "Lineup"!  Are giveaways something you guys would like to see more of?  If so, leave a comment below! 

Switching gears here for a minute to share some of my favorite basics for setting a beautiful table. My house is completely upended on a daily basis with toys, books, sippy cups, princess dresses and now matchbox cars and various construction vehicles all over the place, so the one thing I try to do as often as possible to offset all the disorganization is to set a beautiful table for dinner.  If you guys follow me on Instagram (@BungalowBlue) you've seen me post pictures of a fully dressed table for sushi and leftovers.  It's just something so simple that makes me so happy and at the end of the day, that's all that matters, right?

Over the years, I've accumulated quite a few entertaining pieces that that make it super easy to not only set a beautiful table for company but to also elevate your every day place setting to something extra special.  When you have beautiful basics to start with, it makes it so much easier to mix it up and swap out beautiful linens and fresh flowers.  Here are five of my must-have basics that I use every day and that can be easily dressed up for special occasions:

1.  Simple white dinner plates.  I think white looks so fresh against rattan or seagrass and the OCD side of me loves how food looks against a blank canvas.  It's also super easy to swap out patterened salad plates when you want to add a little pop of color, too!

2.  Woven placemats and chargers.  Wicker, rattan, water hyacinth....give me all the texture!  I used to think my table didn't look complete without fresh flowers but now I think it just looks like it's missing something without the warmth and interest that texture brings.  I rotate between my Soare placemats from Ikea ($4 a pop!) and my Artesia Honey Rattan Chargers from Crate and Barrel

3.  Statement flatware.  I ordered some stunning bamboo handled flatware from Australian retailer Harold's Finishing Touches right before Christmas and I'm completely OBSESSED with them.  With the conversion rate, it ended up costing a little more for eight place settings that ONE from Juliska, and that included shipping to get them here in a week! It takes a little more effort at cleanup to hand wash them because you obviously can't stick them in the dishwasher but it makes me so, SO happy to use them so often and they are a killer conversation piece (everyone always comments!)

 4.  Versatile glassware.  These French wine glasses are one of my favorite purchases for entertaining.  I use them for wine, water or holding small arrangements of flowers.  I love their shape and they look amazing paired with my woven tumblers for a little more of a casual feel.

5.  Fresh flowers.  You don't need to spend a fortune on arrangements; two hydrangea stems in a woven vessel (I got the one above at HomeGoods!) is so simple and adds a beautiful breath of fresh air, plus they will last for weeks on your table!

What are some of your favorite essentials for setting a beautiful table?

Tuesday
Jan232018

GIVEAWAY with lauren marttila photgraphy!

If you guys have been following along here for a while, you know I could probably designate an entire page on the blog to just oversize photographic prints of the sea, I love them that much.  I'm also a huge fan of surf prints, which also hold special meaning for me and my husband (he spent his first four years in the Marine Corps in Hawaii, where he learned how to surf).  I'm always on the lookout for a new piece of art or photographic print of a lineup or silhouette of a surfer because, not to sound like a broken record, but art that holds personal meaning is my very favorite kind!  So, it's only fitting that I would fall in love with the work of Nantucket-based photographer, Lauren Marttila and her stunning seascapes, beachscapes and, especially, black and white surf prints!

Lauren is an absolute sweetheart; I've been following her work on Instagram and obsessing over her "Wait" and "Lineup" for a while now.  Lucky for us, she has graciously agreed to give away one of her framed "shelfie" prints to a lucky reader today - a 5" by 5" print, that includes a white mat and frame!  Below are the three prints to choose from:

"Lineup"

"Flock"

"Emoji in the Wild"

TO ENTER, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS:

1.  Leave a comment with the name of the shelfie you like.

2.  Make sure you leave your name and email so I can get in touch with you!

3.  Make sure you are following @Bungalowblue and @Laurenmarttila on Instagram, too!

We will select a winner at random this Friday, 26 January, and Lauren will then ship the framed print at no charge to the winner, (within the Continental U.S. only)  Best of luck trying to decide which one you love the most!  So excited for you guys!

Monday
Jan152018

2018 goals

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are off to a great start in 2018!  The holidays seemed to fly by so fast, despite finishing my Christmas shopping early in the hopes of enjoying a small bit of the season before the big day, but it was worth all the hustle and bustle to see Lydia and Luca's little faces on Christmas morning!  As for the New Year, I can't believe we are already well into January! I've never been one to make resolutions because I don't think I've ever stuck to them for longer than the first week of the year, but there's nothing like the start of a fresh set of twelve new months to make you set some small, attainable goals that I can stick to throughout the year - the kind that, when I look back on them at year's end, I can actually say I was able to achieve them 

Ever since becoming a mom my main goal has been to be as present as possible and that's my first and foremost priority this year, too.  I really, really need to organize every square inch of this house, too.  Here are a few goals I'll be working on this year; what are some of yours? 

Get organized, once and for all.  My motto these days is to shove everything and anything in any cabinet, basket or room and close the door - out of sight, out of mind...until I need it and then can't find it.  My former OCD/anal retentive self would be shocked and appalled.  I'm slowly, but surely, making my way through every room and closet and tossing and donating as much as possible.  It feels so good to pare down!

Blog more.  There isn't much I do these days that's all for me, so blogging is my escape at the end of the day or during nap time to do something for myself and make me feel a part of something "grown up".  I've got a ton of projects, diy's and even a few giveaways to share this year and I couldn't be more excited!

Worry less.  This is something I've been working on my whole life, but seems to have gotten worse since becoming a mother. 

Keep working on my photography skills.  I got a new lens for my DSLR recently and have been trying to capture more candid moments with my kids but I've also wanted to hone my skills a little more with interiors and projects.  My biggest challenge now is editing.  I've read so much about lightroom and how amazing and user friendly it is.  Has anyone else tried it? 

Happy Monday!