Monday, Monday...

September 29, 2014
After a long drive up the east coast yesterday, I'm officially back in Maryland (and a little sleep deprived because we arrived home after 1 AM last night).  Now I'm working to get my life in order, figure out the final guest count for our wedding, unpack wedding shower gifts, fight ants that somehow came in the roots of my Trader Joe's orchid that has been sitting here unsupervised for over 2 weeks, combat fraudulent charges on a credit card...and I still haven't even checked anything off my actual Monday "to do" list. 

It feels great to be home, although it really was nice to get away for a bit.  Life is just one big whirlwind right now, and finding the calm in the eye of the storm is often more difficult than anticipated.

I have about 18 draft blog posts written at the moment, but I've recently realized (especially after painting a bedroom, a kitchen and working on lots of little projects at my family's beach cottage) that I have a rather short attention span and am easily distracted because I want to do so many different things all at the same time.  I'll wrap up all these posts eventually, and will hopefully have some great content to share with you all soon, but today is a recovery day (plus I need to go buy groceries because for some reason eating expired food is frowned upon...who knew!).

I hope you all have a lovely and productive Monday!  Thanks for hanging with me!  

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Pink and Blue Nook

September 24, 2014

Quite a few months ago I shared some of my favorite affordable pieces of art from Artfully Walls (see the post here).  I ended up buying 3 of the 6 pieces I featured because I loved the colors and the price, but held off on getting them framed until I actually had a place to put them.  Once I moved to the new apartment though, I finally had some extra wall space, as well as the perfect spot for my favorite piece: a pink abstract by Emily Rickard.  

My motivation for the placement of this piece, as well as the frame choice, came from this piece below by Kerri Shipp of Driftwood Interiors.  Thanks to one of you amazing readers who told me about this piece!  The sofa really does look very similar to mine!

I apologize for the glare, the lighting in this room is crazy due to all the windows!
Don't these look so great paired together and hung over my big blue ikat couch?  I just love how it turned out and think it looks nice and cheerful.

The top left piece is actual a card that I bought at the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki, and the top right piece is something my parents bought in Puerto Rico when we went when I was 2 years old.  The little mirror was bought at a craft fair in DC.

This peacock used to be next to my bed in my old apartment, but now it has a new home.  I purchased this on Etsy years ago, but now it's offered here.

Continuing the pink theme, I split up my pink wingback chairs and now I have one on either side of the couch.  See the lobster crawling up the wall?  That's an antique brass piece I found at a Lucketts.

While the blue and white pillows don't quite mimic the pops of pink in the Driftwood Interiors painting, I do think they look pretty dang good.  Bottom blue pillow is from Belquist, and the white pompom pillow is from H&M.  I like how the blue pillow doesn't quite "match" the cobalt blue in the sofa, but it totally "goes."

This lamp is from Homegoods, acrylic frame is from Crate & Barrel, and the print on the wall of the bowls is another piece from Artfully Walls.

I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into my little pink and blue nook!  I'll share more of the apartment as the clutter gets organized and things are more picture-worthy :)

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Whimsical and Sassy Wall Art

September 22, 2014

If I had to choose one shop that summed up my personality I would absolutely choose Kate Spade.  Everything is bright and colorful, yet sophisticated, with a little bit of sass.  It's the perfect combination if you ask me.  

One of my Christmas presents from Tom last year was an adorable hot pink Kate Spade planner, and I use it every single day.  Each month showcases a fun watercolor, and I was pleasantly surprised a few months ago when I realized that Kate Spade gives out free postcards each month with the corresponding water color on it.  These bright postcards are too pretty just to be used as a card, so I immediately realized that they would look perfect on a sassy and girly gallery wall.  Thank goodness Tom is a good sport and lets me decorate how I please!

I bought the white frames at Ikea (called the Ribba), because that was a simple and affordable framing solution for these 4x6 inch beauties.  I had to trim the sides a tiny amount, but it was almost a perfect fit after I removed the matting.

So far, I've framed 3 of these cards for myself, and I have a second set for a certain special friend who introduced me to Kate Spade a few years ago.  I hope she likes them!

I hung these pieces over my desk, which I'll share on the blog soon!  If you're interested in making these fun (and budget friendly) pieces of wall art, you have 4 months left to gather 4 cards.  Just make sure you visit Kate Spade each month because they often run out and don't have any extras from the previous month.

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DIY Gold Turtle Shell

September 17, 2014
So I warned you guys: now that I have some outdoor space I'm hooked on spray painting anything and everything that I can get my hands on.  My favorite color at the moment is gold metallic spray paint, and my latest project was the turtle shell I bought at Lucketts Store a few weeks back.  

I did have a little inspiration from this fabulous shell paperweight from Furbish:

and this turtle shell box by Nate Berkus for Target (unfortunately not available anymore):

My first step was to prime the turtle shell because I wasn't entirely sure how it would soak up the paint.  My second and final step was to simply covered it with two coats of gold metallic paint!  

The only difficult thing about this project was figuring out how exactly I want to use the shell.  I can either use it on a table, or drill a hole in it so that I can hang it on a wall.  (I seem to be running out of wall space though, so I think it'll stay here on my coffee table for now!)

Tom just brought me this blue and white vase back from Korea.  Isn't it adorable?  It has a funky dragon on it and I just love it!

Coffee tables truly are the perfect spot to display all of your interesting treasures.

I have a few more spray paint projects coming up, so stay tuned for more!

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So Long Summer

September 15, 2014
We recently got our first hint of fall weather here in Maryland, so I decided it was time to rotate my wardrobe and get my closet in order.  While I really do love getting to wear sweaters, jeans and boots, I can't help but feel like I'm betraying summer by welcoming this shift in the weather.  I've always been such a warm weather kinda girl, and living in Hawaii definitely solidified that.  At this time of year I'm always so torn, because I truly am ready for a little break from the 95 degree and humid weather, but I also know that winter and snow is just around the corner, and soon enough I'll be wishing it was summer again.

I guess the only answer is to embrace the change, and pull on a cozy sweater.  So with that, here are some of my favorite fall wardrobe essentials!

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On my Mind...Lately

September 12, 2014
Happy Friday!  This past week I continued to work on setting up the new apartment, specifically the desk area and the closet.  I'd say this place is about 90% complete now, and the rest will come together once I clear out some stuff that simply won't fit.  

Today we are heading down to South Carolina to do some wedding planning and work on the family beach cottage.  I'm taking a lot of my beachy decor that I collected while living in Hawaii, as well as the big brown recliner (since we moved here it has been an elephant in the room sitting right in front of the tv), so thankfully that'll free up some much needed space.

Lately I've had fall clothes on the brain, as well as simple DIYs and decorating (of course).  Here are a few of the specific things that have caught my eye this past week.

Aren't these faux leather leggings from Ann Taylor fabulous?

1.  Leather Pants.  Last year I purchased a pair of skinny black pants that have leather down the sides.  I LOVE them, and whenever I wear them I always want to strut around like Olivia Newton John and sing "You're the One that I Want."  Ok so maybe I actually DO do that...and Tom laughs and rolls his eyes every time because he's not a fan of musicals.  Anyway...this year I'm really considering going all the way and buying a pair of (faux) leather pants.  I think they look so chic, especially with a killer pair of heels.

2.  Tropical Banana Palm Leaves Print.  The banana leaf palm motif has been creeping up everywhere lately.  I've seen it on chairs, walls, and pillows, and because this pattern is so chic it can work anywhere and not just at a beach house.  I love this print from The Aestate on Etsy, and wish I had some extra wall space so that I could add it to my collection!
Image via The Winthrop Chronicles.

3.  Gold Color Blocked Mug DIY.  How great and easy does this DIY featured on The Winthrop Chronicles look?  I have some turquoise mugs just like this, and I think they definitely need a gold spray paint upgrade!

Image via The Design Files.

4.  Black and White Striped Chairs.  One of the best ways to save a dated looking piece of furniture is to reupholster it with a fresh new fabric.  I'm planning on breathing new life into a dated wicker chair with tired looking cushions, and black and white stripes definitely seems like the way to go!

Image via The Little Kitchen.

5.  BBQ Portobello Grilled Cheese.  I love a good grilled cheese any time of year, but in the fall I like them to be nice and hearty.  This BBQ portobello grilled cheese with caramelized onions from the Little Kitchen looks super yummy and I can't wait to try it out.

Life with a Dash of Whimsy is over on Pinterest, Instagram, Bloglovin' and Twitter, and I'd love for you to join me there!

Have a nice weekend everyone!

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A Whimsical Bunch: 15 Under $75 at Hattan Home

September 10, 2014
As you all know, I truly love a store with a little sass and personality.  I first learned about Hattan Home when I featured these fun embroidered bee cocktail napkins on the blog (checkout the post here), and was absolutely smitten once I checked out the rest of the online boutique.  The owner, Lindsay, has an amazing eye for style, and sells so many great things. 

Today I've gathered my 15 favorite Hattan Home items, all for under $75.  They are the perfect addition to any home!

1.  Floral Pillow / 2.  Buzzed Bee Cocktail Napkins / 3.   Pop, Fizz, Clink Print / 4.  Cocktails Matches / 5. Acrylic Tape Dispenser / 6.  Blue Finial / 7.  Striped Taper Candles / 8.  Pink Pompom Throw / 9.  Blue and White Paper Placemats / 10.  Adore Home Magazine Book / 11.  Desk Calendar / 12.  Gold Striped Notebook / 13.  Blue Flower Tea Towel / 14.  Turquoise Turkish Towel / 15.  Blue Chinoiserie Pillow

Which item is your favorite?  I love them all, but I did just order the acrylic tape dispenser and the Adore Home Magazine coffee table book.  I can't wait to get them in the mail!

Note:  This post was NOT sponsored by Hattan Home.  I just really love all of these fun items!

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