Thursday, July 31, 2014

{thursdays take two | making the most of your small apartment}

Today's repost comes from Chapter Friday. Enjoy!

4Pin It!
You’ve finally moved into your first very own studio/apartment. Yay! The question is, how to furnish that teeny, tiny space called ‘home’. Living in a studio or small apartment is not exactly ideal, but luckily, with the right interior pieces and a good eye for furnishing, you can definitely make it work. Here are a few keys to success:
Use every corner of the roomThere are always hidden spaces, no matter where you live. Try to find those spaces and use them to your advantage. There might just be enough space for a small closet, perfect to stack tiny boxes with all your stuff.
Make your apartment look bigger by using mirrorsMirrors are perfect for making your apartment look bigger than it actually is. They create space and make your apartment brighter too. A typical win-win situation!
Hang your clothes on a rack instead of in a closetA closet is nice and all, but it also takes up a lot of space. If you hang your clothing on a rack instead (beauties like these ones), you’ll have some room left for other items. Plus, it’s a great way to display your new cut out boots or Kenzo sweater.
Create different rooms by placing a closet in the middleIf you live in a studio, you might want to create different rooms. A great way to do so is by placing a closet – extra storage space – in between the two spaces. It’s still one room, but it feels like they’re separated. Divide the living part from the sleeping part or create a cozy corner to relax in.
Put shelves on the wallShelves are a great replacer of small closets or side tables, without taking up too much space. If you own a lot of books, here’s some inspiration.
Make little cornersBy making little corners where you stack your favorite things, like magazines and picture frames, you can personalize your room without making it overcrowded.
Do you live in a small studio or apartment? How do you make it work?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

{within works | behind the scenes of fix it and finish it}

Happy Wednesday Lovelies! We've made it halfway! Within Studio is still on cloud 9 for working with Fix It and Finish It so for today's post we wanted to share some photos from our adventures! Enjoy!

 While Antonio wasn't looking... Florencia kinda played with his

He's been a blast to work with. Really =)

All joking aside, this crew is truly amazing. Everyone is pouring their hearts and souls into this show and we are just so thrilled to be part of it! It will air on September 8th! See you then FIFI!
Within Studio

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

{to sigh for | odette alabama}

Today's To Sigh For is brought to you by Odette, a neighborhood eatery and shop in historic downtown Florence, Alabama. Although I did not get a chance to dine here, I did in fact drink here...and can I tell you... wow... *sigh*

My mixologist took very good care of me. Sorry I cannot remember your name sir! It really was like having dinner and a show! 

What I do know is that Brian Lovejoy is Odette's certified specialist of spirits and his menu is definitely *to sigh for!

I cannot wait to go back! Oh and an insider tip, they have trivia night! Call them for times...super fun!

For full cocktail menu click Here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

{simply sweet | mountain life}

We've made it to the last Friday in July! Can you believe it?! If you are living in Tucson then you are probably ready for some cool is HOTTTTT right now. A little bit of advice? Take next Thursday off and head up the mountain to cool off. We actually needed hats and scarves the other day when we went!
I love living in the desert.. especially this one where we are surrounded by mountains and can escape summer in a heartbeat.
My husband and I took my nephews and was just perfect...and simply sweet. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

{thursdays take two | summer bucket list}

For today's take two we share a post from Shop Ruche Blog. Enjoy!

Summer Bucket List
Summer just started a couple weeks ago and we've decided to compose a summer checklist before the season is over! Whether you're on summer break or just enjoying the longer days, the warmer temperatures and extra daylight provide us with the opportunity to engage in some of our favorite activities. We've listed some essential activities for the warm days ahead like crafting homemade popsicles, attending a summer fair, and tackling some of the books on our summer reading list

We can't decide which to check off our list first! Which of these are you planning on doing, Ruchettes? 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{within works | top 20 tips for working in Puerto Rico}

Hello Friends!
I've been travelling all over this summer and am now finally getting to catch up on my lovely blog. I've missed you! One of my favorite trips this summer was to the gorgeous Puerto Rico. I learned a lot about myself as a business owner and traveller on this trip and picked up a lot of helpful tips along the way. So today I want to make a list for you the young business owner, to help you on your next trip to Puerto Rico. 

During this trip I had to do FaceTime meeting with clients, professional meetings with architects and of course tour the lovely island all the while attempting to look professional amidst the humidity, heat, rain, and beach hair. =) So below is a nice long 20 point list of my thoughts and in BOLD you will see the must have items to either bring with or buy there. Enjoy!

So, here's my list of MUST HAVES and TIPS when travelling in Puerto Rico.

  1. If you want to have good hair, head over to the local Walgreens upon arrival and get yourself some HAIRSPRAY. Hair product is KEY here. The great thing about this island is that Walgreens stores are everywhere so there is no need for you to travel with a giant can of AquaNet..I actually purchased mine at the hotel.
  2. I love to wear jewelry on the beach but cannot stand how heavy it feels nor do I like it when my favorite pieces are covered in sand and grit. I found the next best thing: Flash Tattoos. Oh my goodness.. I love these things! I will be blogging about them again on my Tuesday To Sigh For in the future. But seriously get yourself some of these! Gorgeous! *helpful hint - do not mix them with other metal jewelry because your metal jewelry/watch will rub off the flash tat. Instead mix it with leather or other soft items*
  3. Bring your Ipad. It's not worth bringing a giant laptop..did I mention that it's hot here? the Ipad is enough for you to FaceTime with clients, check email and bonus you don't have to pull it out of your bag while going through security. And don't forget your ear buds for those last minute conferences.
  4. Rent a car. There is no way that you can truly explore this island without one. Bit the bullet and do it. You'll be so happy you did.
  5. Invest in BUG SPRAY. Again the very handy Walgreens will be full of options. THe minute you land go get yourself some. As you tour the island in the great car (see #4) with your great hair (see #1) and not too flashy jewelry (see #2) you will want to pull over and check out the beaches. Well some parts of the island have standing water and trust me, you do not want to go there without protection.
  6. Buy or bring an umbrella. Not just for the occasional rain shower but for the sun! I loved that we could pull over whenever we wanted and lay out on the beach with our lunch. But that sun was blazing (I went in June) so having an umbrella can really save you in a pinch. If you don't want to travel with one, you can easily find their version of the Dollar store and get you a big one for about $8.
  7. Try the Mavi/Mauby at least once
  8. Don't expect food to be fresh fish, fresh veggies like your last trip to Mexico. You are not in Mexico and we will not be eating fresh fish tacos. Expect rice, beans, and fried things. Just sayin' This is where Yelp can come in very handy. Learn to hunt for great restaurants with great reviews and you will be so glad that you did! You will want to have Mofongo mmmm.... good stuff
  9. If you're going to be touring the island via car (see #4) make sure you bring some toilet paper. I stopped in many gas stations that were empty empty empty. Again, your best bet is to find a Walgreens for this too (for the bathroom I mean).
  10. Buy yourself a bottle of rum to take with you. I know I sound like an alcoholic but there's nothing like a great bottle of rum that you can sip from the privacy of your hotel room, or beach picnic. It will save you money and you'll feel like a king..or queen. I recommend swinging by Casa Melaza in the heart of Old San Juan. It is a Rum Boutique that you don't want to miss.
  11. Do not bring your good sunglasses to the beach or in the water. It's not worth it. The ocean will eat them alive. Take a drive to your local Walgreens or Target back home and pick yourself up a few pairs of cheap sunglasses. I lost my Target pair on my first dip in the water. Just like that! A bonus to our cheap sunglasses is getting a pair with mirrored lenses so you can take great shots like this:
  12. Go local and drink Medalla Light. I tried the other beers and they were terrible. This one is refreshing and cheap and very much worth it. May I recommend a great bottle of rum, Medalla light, and lots of fresh fruits for an island lunch treat. I happened to really like that the gold label matched my manicure.
  13. Speaking of manicures, pay extra and get yourself a shellac mani/pedi before travelling. The ocean water and sand can kill your regular mani/pedi so if you want to tour the island and have your nails looking fabulous for your meeting the next day, go the shellac/gel route.
  14. Another very important thing to bring is a HAT!!! I am so so so so grateful to have found one..yes Walgreens for $16. It saved my life! This photo was taken on an impromptu hike in the wilderness and it was soooooo hot!
  15. Bring a towel/blanket something that you can use on the beach to sit on. Travelling by car is great and you want to be able to pull over whenever you want and set up shop so be prepared for that. This is something that I would bring from home.
  16. Now onto beach life. The beaches are super accessible so now that you have a car and an umbrella, and your blanket get to a local grocery store and stock up on a cooler, beer, ice, lunch fixins and these super tasty mini bananas. It's a super healthy alternative to the fried food nearby and better on the pocketbook.
  17. One of your stops should be El Pozo de Jacinto in Playa de Jobos. It won't take you long to get there but it's a must see. And then you can take this cool photo and send it to your parents.
  18. Tour Old San Juan, just do it. At least once and really get in's beautiful. All you need is one afternoon and then get out... there is SO much more to see on this gorgeous island and time is ticking...
  19. Bring lotion. I thought I wouldn't need any because it's so humid here but I was wrong. Bring it!!! Stay hydrated with water too. It's deceiving for sure. 
  20. Don't come here if you are scared of bugs, frogs, lizards, reptiles of any kind, bats, cats, etc... they are here and you are bound to run into them. If you are afraid of  cats (and I recently met someone who is) do not go to Old San Juan AT ALL!!! I'm not kidding. Be ready to see some fun animal life. 
    And please be kind to these animals. Don't go messing with them, leave them be. I saw a little girl pick up a baby chick and hang onto it forever..while the mother hen and the other chicks scrambled away...the little girl, after taking photos etc was about to just leave the baby chick on the grass..near a very hungry iguana. I ran over to her and made her follow me to where the mother hen was hiding and had her place the baby chick in the bush with its family. I was furious. Do NOT mess with nature people. Leave them be. Had I not interfered, that little chick would have been lunch. What blew my mind even more was that mom, dad, and grandma were with this little girl and didn't say a word. I should have known when I saw the father poking at the nearby iguana with a stick. *getting off soap box now*
OK so there are 20 tips for you! Please continue reading my blog for more Puerto Rico adventure posts!!!
Happy Travels!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{to sigh for | yumm thai sushi and beyond}

Happy Tuesday! Time to *sigh all over again...
Today I wanted to share with you my experience of YUMM Sushi. A lovely Thai-Sushi fusion restaurant in Florence, Alabama.

As usual, I started with a cocktail and I chose the Lotus Blossom (Absolut Citron, Light Sake, Peach Schnapps, and Citrus Juice). about a flavor saver! 

We ordered their signature sushi rolls and were in tears... so delicious...
 Definitely a must see next time you are in Florence, Alabama.

Monday, July 21, 2014

{within-spiration | the rosenbaum house}

Happy Monday designistas!
I had the pleasure of touring The Rosenbaum House while in Alabama..and wanted to share a few photos and information...perhaps it inspires you just a little bit for your Monday. Although I will admit that Frank Lloyd Wright isn't my style, I have to hand it to the guy, he definitely made a name for himself.
What did I take away from this trip? People were really small back then and concrete floors are always in vogue. 

An American architectural treasure, this house was built for newlyweds Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum of Florence, Alabama, in 1939. The house is the only structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the state of Alabama, and the only such house in the southeast that is open to the public.
Wright’s Usonian style (named for the United State of America) was offered as a low-cost home for middle income families. With Wright’s plans, a young family could build their own home, fulfilling the American dream of home ownership. This house sits on a two-acre lot, very near downtown Florence and facing the Tennessee River.

The Usonian style house originally contained 1,540 square feet, but when the Rosenbaum household grew to include four sons, the family called upon Wright to design an addition. In 1948, 1,084 square feet was added, containing a larger work space (kitchen), a guest bedroom, storage space and a dormitory for the boys. This seamless addition clearly shows Wright’s concept of a Usonian house that could grow with the family as it grew. The Rosenbaums were the sole owners and occupants of the house until 1999, when it was purchased by the City of Florence. The house had reached a critical stage, due to delayed maintenance, and years of leaking roofs had damaged the joists, ceilings, walls and exterior trim. Termites had also taken their toll and cored many of the walls.

The City developed a plan to save the house, using a capital improvements account funded by a one-cent sales tax. Dozens of volunteers and professionals contributed to the restoration and without this major effort the house might have been lost. This treasure, meticulously preserved, is now a museum, open to the public for this City and the world

Friday, July 18, 2014

{simply sweet | happy summer}

We've made it to another lovely Friday... a long week behind us and a sweet weekend ahead of us. What are your plans? 
I am hoping to sit back and pretend I am back in Puerto Rico for a while. I miss the calming ocean waves, the sand beneath my feet, and the taste of my island drink full of rum-my goodness. I will try to recreate that this weekend with all the love in my heart. 

Happy Weekend to you my friends! I hope it's simply sweet.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

{thursdays take two | la maison angelina}

Time to share something fabulous from a beloved blogger: Hither and Thither...enjoy


travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

True story: there are no highchairs in Paris. Or, at least, we couldn’t find them.
Hudson is a very good toddler in restaurants and, if we’re lucky, will even sit still through some pretty long meals! But that’s with a high chair. Without, it’s more “up-down, up-down.” (Literally. He narrates.) So after a few days of doing without, I was thrilled when I remembered that once I saw a post on Momfilter about a very elegant high chair in this belle-epoque tea salon, Angelina. Or so I thought. Turns out that the chair in question was at Laudurée and that my memory had deceived me. Aron and I had been to Angelina years ago and perhaps I subconsciously wanted to return.
In any case, I was more than a little disappointed when I asked the maitre’d for a high chair and was met with the same response as elsewhere: “Non,” with a wee bit of “but of course we don’t” expression. In fact, we never saw any French children of Hudson’s age in restaurants. None. Ever.  So of course there are no high chairs.
travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

Angelina is a beautiful tea salon that opened near the Louvre at the turn of the last century, and that serves delicious albeit pricey pastries and the most decadent, rightfully renowned, sipping chocolate. It’s popular with tourists, which always increases the chances of other small children, but no luck this morning. Just the sounds of clinking china and muffled conversation. But despite the slightly hushed atmosphere that had me a little nervous at first, I have to admit that taking hopping, bouncing, wiggling Hudson to this slightly fussy tea salon was a highlight of the trip. It was one of those moments when I really appreciated his ability to just not care.
First off, he ran straight to the pastry case in front and started pointing: “balls, balls, balls!” He had spotted the religeuse, a sort of eclair-like pastry with two stacked balls. ”Balls, mommy!”
travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

What can you do, but order the balls?
When they arrived, he didn’t know what to do. He poked at the top, licked the raspberry off of his finger, and then just dove in! We quickly ushered a fork into his hands, laughing at the surprise of his reaction.
travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

Aron ordered the Saint-Honoré, a combination of puff and caramelized choux pastry with vanilla pastry cream and chantilly whipped cream. Hudson got one bite of that whipped cream and immediately turned to my (nearer) Mont Blanc—where chestnut vermicelli conceals a filling of meringue and that same chantilly.
travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

The whipped cream was clearly a big hit.
travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

We couldn’t help ourselves. We ordered some of the hot chocolate, too. Maybe I just wanted to give him more whipped cream so that he’d stop stealing mine. But I also thought it would be fun to see how much he’d love the hot chocolate.
I wish I had a photo of his face. You’d think we’d given him a bowl of sour lemon. I didn’t think it was so bitter, but his expression told another story.
travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

Finally, to cap off a truly entertaining visit, Aron took Hudson with him to the restrooms upstairs. When they returned, Hudson ran toward me shouting “Daddy pee-pee! Daddy pee-pee!”
It was a wonderful, memorable morning! It’s such a beautiful space and I definitely wouldn’t let the lack of high chairs or the formality scare you off from visiting with a toddler. If anything should have scared us off, it should have been the cost. Mon dieu!
travel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris

P.S. We did use our Totseattravel family  La Maison Angelina and the truth about high chairs in Paris  travel chair with Hudson where possible. You can see it in mypacking-list post. Also, where we stayed.
"Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." Willy Wonka