Outdoor Living

outdoor living ATG FINAL HEADER

{Popcorn, candles, pillows, subtle lighting, makeshift movie screen, & the great outdoors. Insert me here…NOW.}


I’m pretty blessed to live in one of the most enviable places when it comes to amazing weather. Well, in all honestly, we don’t really get much “weather” – it’s typically sunny and warm most days, though maybe we’ll get a total of 2 weeks of rain a year (if that), and a solid month or so of our version of “winter.” This is a-okay for a born and bred California girl – it’s on record that I don’t do well when the temperature drops below 75°.

Unfortunately, I, like millions of other Angelenos, live in a small apartment and don’t have the luxury of an outdoor patio space. When I was on the prowl for my now current apartment, at the time it was much more important that I have my own place, alone, than have all the amenities of California living. So I chose what was feasible given my tight budget and didn’t blink or entertain the thought about having an outdoor space. That was 2 years ago.

There’s a saying that no matter what you attain in life, somehow you outgrow what you once wanted and want more. I find myself, now 2 years into living in my apartment, still very happy, but dreaming of those amenities I gave up when my priorities were different. Isn’t it funny how that works?

So I’m going to take over the blog today and use it as a bit of a wishing well, if I may. You often start small and work your way up in nearly every facet of life. I suppose my desire to write this post means that my sights are now looking to that next facet, ready for the next step when the time comes. Though my next apartment will, at the very least, have an outdoor patio (and realistically will look nothing like many of the photos pictured below) – I’m thinking ahead to the day that I have a big backyard to throw BBQ’s, entertain guests, watch movies under the stars, or simply sit in a hammock with a good book. And when that day comes, I hope to look back at this post for inspiration, thinking of those days when I was a youngin’ working hard to make ends meet, happy to have her own place, but looking forward to the day I could expand to include outdoor living. I can’t wait.

Cheers to summer and the great outdoors! x

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{A sophisticated and modern way to incorporate my favorite color. LOVE the lighting fixtures.}

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{My own private cabana… in the heart of my backyard. Yes, please.}

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{Wall-mounted, folding drink station. Perfect for freeing up space on your table during a party or when hanging in your back yard. Such a cool, easy, and affordable idea.}

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{Outdoor living room…because, naturally, we will all have plenty of space to actually build this.}

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{Stringed lighting ideas. I’m favoring those mini lanterns. An easy idea to use for my next place, no matter the patio size.}

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{Stone covered outdoor kitchen, steel appliances…(excuse the less than stellar photo quality. I just loved this, but couldn’t find a higher res image).}

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{The lighting scheme, the center fireplace, the pillar design and warm color palette, everything is perfection.}

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{Channeling all things rustic. If I were to have a covered deck with lakeside views – this would be the way to go. Classic!}

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{Bringing the inside, outside. Pitchers as flower vases. The perfect outdoor centerpiece.}

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{Outdoor BBQ’ing inspiration, times 3.}

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{A modern take on water fountains. A definite backyard staple and high on my list, despite the cost to run them.}

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{Outdoor sink/ bar area. The brick detailing is exquisite.}

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{Cool take on a hammock.}

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{DIY deck, with built-in side planters. I’d stain this to a darker finish though.}

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{It’s not at all practical in LA, but I think a huge center fire pit surrounded by big cozy chairs is a backyard must.}

7758f849e28b6acba448ccd6f155658d{My sentiments exactly. Signage for my dream patio.}


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*All images sourced from Pinterest. Nearly all links lead nowhere to state firm photo sources. If you happen to know, please share and I can update.

What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

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This time of year always brings about reflection, resolutions, and wanting to try something new. The first post of my WILRN series of 2014, centers around things that will make you and the everyday a little more glamorous. When curating this list, I thought about areas of my life personally that I wanted to add a touch of something new, beautiful, and different to – be it in my beauty or workout routines, how to improve my diet, what accessory I could add that would brighten my day every time I looked at it, or how to incorporate something into my home that would evoke a fresh new feel, for a fresh new year. Of course, when starting anew the goal should not always be about “things” but also our perspective and paying attention to our minds as much as we might those external aspects. I adored #8 below when thinking about new beginnings. Here’s to a glamorous 2014, full of trying new things. I found 11 ways to get us started. I’m happy to report that a few have been checked off my list, making 2014 already something special.

What I’m Lovin’ Right Now



WILRN 2014

      1. The best new beauty statement | My Private Jet by OPI.
      2. The best new way to start the day | Overnight Oatmeal.
      3. The best new signature scent | Hello by Harvey Prince.
      4. The best new hair inspiration | Jessica Alba’s blunt waves.
      5. The best new way to indulge your sweet tooth | Oreo Truffles.
      6. The best new way to keep sophisticatedly organized | Tilly Maison Lucite Tray (similar here).
      7. The best new fitness/health motivation |  7 Days to Skinny Jeans.
      8. The best new piece of advice you could ever need | Lessons of Life.
      9. The best new way to walk through life in style | Harvest Belted Booties.
      10. The best new way to keep track of time | 2014 Paper Source Foil Desk Calendar.
      11. The best new everyday accessory |  Gosia Meyer’s Gold Initial Necklace.

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What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

Six random things that made me smile, think, dream, or stand up and cheer. Life is good boys and girls. And if you need an affirmation, check out Ultrahome.org’s 20 Most Beautiful Living Spaces (#1 below). I dare you to not be completely mesmerized. Here’s what I’m lovin’ right now…

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  1. Insert me here: The Firefly ski chalet in Zermatt, Switzerland from the Top 20 World’s Most Beautiful Living Spaces by Ultrahome.org.
  2. A guiding motto for life.
  3. SOSK Design’s Fruit Slide.
  4. Looking ahead to fall with MAC’s vampy Dark Side lipstick.
  5. Sugar & Spice By Celeste’s Lemon Coconut Cake. YUM!
  6. Michael Kors’ Spring 2013 Collection camel colored leather jacket. To die for! Similar here.

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What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

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  1. Face mapping to determine what’s happening. How the location of a blemish tells you what may be going awry inside. Full article here.
  2. TESLA – Natural crystal quartz geometric hexagon pendant edged in gold from ArrowandEra.
  3. Oprah.com’s 11 Sunday Gloom Breakers.
  4. How To Winged Eye Liner Tutorial.
  5. Furbish Studio’s Penelope Lamp.
  6. Red velvet ice cream eye candy. Yum!
  7. Bear Traps Roma Booties.

What I’m Lovin’ Right Now

For us to be well into August, it hasn’t felt much like summer here in LA at all. The weather actually feels truer to spring, filled with gray mornings and rather temperate afternoons along with a spot of rain here and there over the last few weeks. In fact, this past spring felt more like an extended winter. Perhaps there really is something to this whole global warming stuff. We have perpetually been a season behind for the last year. This means, I can’t wait to until Christmas when it’ll finally start to warm up! Despite our “spring-y” weather patterns this summer, I know us Angelenos are lucky when it comes to the weather gods. While you can get away with a sundress right now, you might still need a light sweater to make it through the day – at least I do. I know I’ve mentioned the peculiar weather more than once in recent posts and though I dream of one day moving to another great city to live and explore at some point in my life, I’m really starting to authentically understand how much of a California girl I really am. It looks like I’m trapped here. Until the weather decides, yet again, to catch up with the calendar…


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


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1. Belted shirt dresses and gold aviators.

2. Essie nail polish in Fiesta.

3. Inspiration for how to rock stacked skinny bracelets perfectly.

4. Glitter Guide’s Style At Home Tour with Devon Dyer. LOVE the “Get it Girl” pillow from Society Social.

5. Two for one ice cream cones and Sincerely, Jules‘ travels in Paris.

6. Where I wouldn’t mind cooking up my next meal – A Wall of Windows in the Kitchen.

7. Fried Honey Bananas.

8.  Romantic cascading bridal bouquets and stunning wedding photography.

9. 23 Genius Ways to Use an Ice Cube Tray.

10. My motto.

|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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With the official start to summer only 2 short days away, I’ve been excited at all the fun to come. I can’t say that I have an absolute favorite time of year, because I’m usually ready for the change in season at the exact time the new season joins us (and this can’t ring more true right now). While fall and winter both have their unique traits and celebrations, I’m NOT a fan of being cold. At all. So if I had to pick, there’s something about summer that makes me happiest. Perhaps it’s because I’m a California girl through and through. I love sunshine, warm weather (if we can keep it around circa 80-85 degrees), the beach, long days, 4th of July, outdoor movies, the Hollywood Bowl, sundresses, sunnies, sandals, fruity cocktails and iced lattes. So the plan this particular summer season would be to channel as much of what you see in the picture above for the next 3 months.

love & light,

Candice


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| Kate Spade’s Alyx sunglasses featured on Keiko Lynn’s blog last week. WANT. ||

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|| These 14k Gold Peach Wire Wrapped Earrings from Diamblond’s Etsy Shop. ||

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|| Homemade Frozen Strawberry Lemonade // Recipe here. ||

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|| Ryan Gosling’s very wise and very true words. ||7b04ce5c55ab76db9a3211a4637a4614


|| Vintage inspired door knobs as curtain tie-backs // Details here. ||

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|| Revlon’s Plum Seduction Nail Polish (currently on my toes and perfect for summer!). ||

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|| What’s inspiring me to want to drop everything and take a summer adventure.||

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|| Mushroom, Asparagus + Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Glaze // Recipe here. ||

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*click photos for image sources.

|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

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This quote from Lao Tzu speaks to me because I am the first person to admit that I have a hard time being present. The good news is that I’m very aware of this complication in my personality, the bad news is that I still struggle with it…often. My mind frequently wanders throughout the day to the next thing. It’s always about what I have to do next, where I have to go next, and when I have to get it done by. The trouble is, this usually happens while I’m dead in the middle of doing something that should already require my full attention.

Essentially, I’m almost always in a state of forward thinking, forward planning; forgetting to just stop, breathe and just enjoy what is. The important part to note is that during all this forward thinking, day-dreaming, and yes, even backwards reflection (but that’s another post for another time) – is I’ve somehow trained myself not only to not be 100% in the moment a large chunk of the time, but that I can somehow continue this train of thought AND get whatever needs my immediate attention in the present done in a manner that still suits my perfectionism. I call this unique ability “multitasking.” You might call it, crazy.

Needless to say, I realize there are times that I am missing out on the simple joys in life because my thoughts are elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I’m much better at this than I used to be. Yoga has been a great outlet for me (but I admit that have been known to mentally make my Trader Joe’s grocery list while in downward dog). Getting older (and ideally wiser) has helped. Blogging is one of things that forces me to be present (though you’d still be amazed at what I can do at the same time I’m writing). And I think I’ve picked up some of my boyfriend’s completely relaxed energy (where he annoyingly has absolutely no problem being totally and completely present almost all of the time – while I’m still festering over something that happened 2 days ago :)). 

So this little gem of a quote I stumbled across this week was a concept that instantly hit home for me and I’m sure many of you. We live in a time where GO, GO, GO – DO, DO, DO – BE, BE, BE inundates us from the time we wake up forcing us to always be thinking ahead – because if you don’t, you’re not in the game, right? I’m not so sure about this anymore.

As with everything in life, there is a journey. Perhaps mastering this is part of mine.

What’s yours?

I hope you’re lovin’ this quote as much as I am and it gets you to think about your own journey… and making sure you’re present enough to enjoy every single step.

love & light,

Candice


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| Tbags Los Angeles’s Layers Mini Dress from Shopbop.||

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||Light and airy bathrooms with stand-alone tubs. Insert me with a book here like ASAP.|| b63139a7ea6ab584bf59c36f6d6c7957


34dc0394e2c18432185fc19379c3edcb || Alternating nail polish. The perfect solution when you can’t decide between two colors! ||


||Sweet Potato Veggies Burgers with Avocado. // Recipe here.||

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||The perfect office space.||aa593be3650d3a3d8878efa0b628d712


47791ad6e8f10cd9c7595097e4d2457c|| The NEW “happily ever after.” ||


||Spice racks as office supply storage. Genius.||304634fa079182c6ba308d5389322727


||The video causing an internet sensation. Ladies, it’s time to Lean In.||



*click photos for image sources.

|| What I’m Lovin’ Right Now ||

Collage

As a gal who had a birthday recently, I was bummed that I didn’t come up with the awesome idea myself to incorporate my love of donuts into the celebration! Now that I think about it, I haven’t even had a big birthday cake, donut-inspired or otherwise, on my actual birthday since I was a kid. But don’t feel sorry for me, I make it a point to enjoy frosted covered carbs more often than I probably should – and this is a year-round phenomenon. When stumbling across this super cool concept, I looked up other donut cakes (oh, the joys of being unproductive on Pinterest) and made a collage of ideas before instantly experiencing the worst donut craving of my life. (It was a rough half hour!) Suffice to say, I’ve decided what I want to see next year on my birthday (candles and all) and it fits somewhere in the range above to give you a visual reference. Who says birthday cakes are just for kids? I’m going with the argument that if they are, I’m one at heart…and that counts. So there!


here’s what i’m lovin’ right now


|| Everything about this room…even though I tend to lean more toward dark, dramatic spaces.||

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||Looking ahead to better things c/o C.S. Lewis.|| cbdc5f2d0bad0e9bfe514e19424c0917


500944ea09c7dbd8be01060f8b21741e|| Essentials for a relaxing Saturday afternoon.||


||An awesome DIY storage solution for small bathrooms. All you need is a “shadow box” from a craft store, some paint, and nails. Full details here.||

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9c909be3d0525fdc601759f9a721cb90||Coralia Leets’ White Drusy Stone Post Earrings. Details here.||


||Maple Bacon Pancakes from blogger, Laicie, over at A Thousand Threads. Yummy details here.||

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Making Arrangements // Part 2

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Where: Moe’s Flowers

Location: 8101 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood

Floral arrangements make me happy. I’ve been doing well with keeping a pretty consistent presence of fresh flowers around my home to keep the goal of my Spring Project festive and alive. Admission: 99% of the flowers in my home are from Trader Joe’s (you can read about my success with TJ’s flower arrangements here) and I usually don’t spend more than $6.00 or $7.00 ($8.00 max if I’m feeling frisky) for a bouquet at any given time. I’m more than okay with this, especially when I recently learned just how expensive making a hand-picked bouquet of flowers can be. After all, while they do make me happy, they do just die.

One of the cool things that I’ve always wanted to do and that I actually got to do for my birthday last week was custom-design my own bouquet. It was a very sweet surprise from my boyfriend so that I could have them to enjoy during my stay-cation.

We headed over to Moe’s Flowers in West Hollywood and I was in heaven the moment we walked into the shop. The scent drew me in immediately as I saw basket after basket of roses, lilies, peonies, and everything else you could image in many colors for the choosing.

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{Interior – Moe’s.}

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{My pickings.}

There really is an art to making arrangements that in retrospect, I would do differently in the future. While I did think about how the final product would look once I placed everything in a vase, next time I would pay more attention to the art of hand-picking flowers that compliment each other a bit better. Placing a dahlia among some roses wasn’t terrible, but because of how a dahlia sits facing forward, it took some fussing around before I could get it how I liked (which meant splitting my bouquet into 2 different vases). Further, grouping extremely long stemmed larkspur with a full and bushy hydrangea flower is probably something I might also pass on doing in the future as well.

Two interesting things I learned when asking advice of the florist as she assembled my bouquet that I thought I would share with floral lovers alike that I never knew:

1. Flower food doesn’t extend the life of flowers. In fact, she assured me that many professional florists don’t use it! It’s a gimmick.

2. What IS more important to extending the life of flowers is changing the water and re-clipping the stems (at a slanted angle) DAILY, if possible.

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{One of the 2 vases of fresh flowers that I got to look at all week!}

Highlights

1-IMG_20130421_195717_856{An early birthday present.}

It has definitely been a more lively week than usual on my end. I’m trying to wrap up some loose ends at work before I take a much needed vacay the first week in May. The good news is that while it’s been busy, I always sort of revel in the challenge in the end. Somehow getting the things you need to get done are all the sweeter when you realize that if you just do it and push through, you can do anything. You just have to take the first step, then the next.

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Outside the office, I had a happy week. I met a friend at one of my favorite places to splurge every blue moon, Rock Sugar in Century City for dinner to kick-off my weekend last Friday night. While it was a fantastic Pan Asian feast, I think in the future I’ll skip dinner and head there for their delicious Lychee Blossom cocktail and their AMAZING warm coconut donuts served with a passion fruit dipping sauce. Yes, it is as good as it sounds and looks. Go!

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When thinking about small pleasures this week, a trip to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market on a sunny Sunday morning, then sitting on the Manhattan Beach Pier with my boyfriend gazing out at the ocean with an ice cream cone on that same afternoon come to mind and make me smile. And every time I head home, I smile even bigger when I see my new artwork hanging on my wall (pictured above). A few months back, I was with my boyfriend admiring it (because, hey – it’s “me” in a ball-gown and chic haircut starting out my window at the Hollywood Sign :)) and as an early birthday present he surprised me with it. What a guy, huh?

I’m not sure where this weekend will take me, but I know that I’ll be at the ArcLight opening night for the highly anticipated new film, Mud. Since this gorgeous weather is expected to continue over the next few days, the plan is to find some time to be outdoors (rocking my new maxi dress). And the soundtrack of my life lately that will certainly continue into the weekend has been the soundtrack from Celeste & Jesse Forever. I can’t. stop. listening to it.

Have an amazing final April weekend, guys! Things only get better from here! xx