vacation | le beach

The Beach

hello, hello! well, it wouldn't be summer without a trip to the beach at least once and the jersey shore has some lovely ones. i grew up in new jersey and we always said we're going down the shore. in new york, we say we're going to the beach. i'm not sure of the difference, but they both share the same beautiful atlantic ocean. these pics were taken in new jersey from long branch to sandy hook where you can actually see the new york city skyline it's so close.

starting next week, i'm going to participate in line's silence on tourne series and susannah conway also has a series called august break. the objective of each is to post images that speak for themselves with very few words. i've always wanted to write shorter posts and now we'll see if i can, although there will be a few exceptions. enjoy your weekend, everyone!

xo, cindy

ps last week, the photo of our thread holder was featured on shutter sisters and it was thrilling!

 The Race
there was some sort of race going on here. they're on surf boards, but all i saw was a lot of paddling. so, we watched endless summer 2, which is a favorite surfing movie because of its whimsy. i can even just listen to it.

Italian Ices
i love italian ices and this booth looks so old-fashioned and sweet.

The Beach
fort hancock at sandy hook was operational as a military base from 1895-1974 providing coastal defense for new york harbor. the yellow houses were for the enlisted men and so charming, although a bit dilapidated. the tunnel was a former gun battery and full of mosquitoes (i'm still itchy) and that's the oldest continuously operated lighthouse in the us. i found the nesting shells as is on the beach and felt lucky because we don't find shells like we used to.

ahhh fishing, so calming and tranquil for somebody else that is. i would be bored to tears, but love all the gear in a tackle box.

summer would not be complete without a sunset, which i still don't have, but i do have some shadows!

vacation | le bungalow

Bungalow Hotel

hello, hello! last week we visited the jersey shore for a couple of days looking for snooki & the situation. just kidding about the last part as we're not fans of the jersey shore show, but we did go to long branch and it was very nice. almost antiseptic as they seem to have flattened a good part of the town and put up pristine condos and a shopping/dining mall, which kind of made me sad as i spent many summers growing up down the shore and missed the old-time shops. but, i suppose it is better to renew rather than let the town just fade away.

other than the nice beaches & boardwalk, one of the highlights was the bungalow hotel and if you've watched the show 9 by design you're familiar with this very cool (new) boutique hotel. first up, some pics of the hotel and then the beach later in the week. hope you all are well!

xo, cindy

ps staying in this hotel business is getting expensive. the last time with the reno we fell in love with the fiberfill pillows and scott was able to sleep on his back without snoring. this time, the bed was so comfortable i woke up without the aches and pains i often get from our own ultra-firm bed, so a new one is on the way. kind of gives the concept of 'souvenirs' a whole new meaning ;)!

Bungalow Hotel
love that upside down patio umbrella and the outdoor fireplace. they also used wallpaper in a unique way in the hallways by putting it on every other wall.

Bungalow Hotel
the beatiful ann carrington pearly queen of bow piece is made entirely from thousands of shell buttons.

Bungalow Hotel
the rooms are modern, but have a surf lodge feel. among other things, each one has its own ann carrington flag over the bed, a fireplace you can turn on with a switch and chalkboard & bulletin boards opposite the mirrors in an open bathroom, which takes some getting used to. in fact, we never got used to it.

Le Club
for an extra fee ($25 @ per day), we had access to le club located on the beach with a restaurant, cabanas and a saltwater pool on the third floor over-looking the ocean, but it was too glamorous for us to go to more than once.

collect | keep it spinning

Thread Holder

hello, hello! goodness knows i don't need this thread holder, but i just could not resist it at ugly luggage, which is not unusual for me when i go to that store - Trou-ble. the spools of thread spin around and although i made no promises to sew more if i brought it home, that little sewing project last week combined with this little treasure are inspiring me.

over the weekend, we did see inception (great if you liked the matrix) and  i am love (great if you like intense italian love stories) and they were both very good & very different. scott has vacation this week, again, so posting might be light. he is such a distraction, but very productive on his days off and spending extra time with charlie. i think a visit to a new beach is in store at some point. enjoy your week, all!

xo, cindy

ps big thanks to kirsten for featuring our bathroom reno on her gorgeous blog, simply grove!

collect | the shoes

Helen's Shoes

hello, hello! thank you all so much for the nice words about our new bathroom and i won't mention it, again ;). charlie has been feeling a little bit under the weather lately, so we've been spending more time at his place where he continues to find the most wonderful things, including helen's baby shoes from the 1920s. aren't they incredible?

it's still pretty hot around here and a couple of movies are on tap. last weekend, we saw despicable me and loved it. this weekend, we hope to see inception (so cool) and maybe i am love (oh italia!) after seeing abby's mention on twitter.

enjoy your weekend!

xo, cindy

home | shiny new bathroom

New Bathroom

hello, hello! well, i've finally finished our bathroom diy-projects and they seemed to take longer than the actual renovation. it hasn't been sunny here the last few days, but this room is a life-sized lightbox. it's very white with a little bit of very pale gray & green at this point. we wanted to keep it simple and stay in a style that suits the rest of our apartment, which is kind of like grandma's beach house. we went with beveled subway tiles & trim for the walls and marble penny round tiles for the floor, which is all of 25 square feet. we really wanted to maintain a vintage feel and although the tile guy laughed out loud, we stayed with ceramic bathroom accessories and our vintage hamper with matching waste basket.

New Bathroom
we had super-soft, lightweight dri soft towels from bed, bath & beyond and kept them. our garden isn't producing much this summer, but a bunch of mint in a karin eriksson vase on the windowsill is nice for its fragrance. everyday i use the shower squeegee from ikea because i don't want to spend a day cleaning this bathroom, especially since the tiles in the shower area extend up to the ceiling to bring your eye up. and, to break up some of the white, i added liberty of london fabric binding from purl to our waffle weave shower curtain. 

New Bathroom
the fixtures are from the devonshire collection by kohler and the sink is by woodcrafters from home depot. i added the shanna murray magnolia garland decal above the mirror as a nice reminder each day and the microdry bathmat from bed, bath & beyond is plush and soft. the baskets are from muji and will be stored under the sink when not in use and they were expensive - oy!

New Bathroom
the manila rope for the steam pipe is from home depot and started me thinking about some seaside touches, so i added the vintage buoys from brook farm general store. the fog linen work tray on the windowsill is from there, too. i lined the shelves with some extra vinyl wallpaper i had and turned it upside down so you can see the pattern from below. some pieces from our vintage english chintz china collection are displayed along with a mermaid we picked up years ago in cape cod, a sailboat ornament from my brother and a few starfish & shells. my transistor radio even got a makeover with new clear rubber bands to hold it together.

i just have to fix up the door a bit, but i think we're done with this room, although it might be nice to have the ceiling painted a soft blue and the rope pipe might be pretty with some white stripes. i'm happy we did this renovation, but i don't want to do it ever again. going down to the studs, ugh. but, our kitchen really could use a face lift and i'm sure i would cook a lot more if it was also shiny & new ;).

xo, cindy

ps i originally had a photo of our toilet, but replaced it. i thought maybe it was too much. i included it because since we only had a pipe with the other toilet, we were very excited to be able to drop something into the tank to keep it fresh and immediately did so with the blue tablet. but, maybe that wasn't such a good idea as the blue is quite intense. the jury is still out on this one.

home | rope that pole

hello, hello! i don't know who thought it would be a good idea to wrap the steam pipe in our bathroom with rope, but i think it was me. it's been painted so many times and pretty ugly. usually,  i cover it with wallpaper-covered insulation and that's pretty ugly, too. so, the rope looked good and who knew that 100' would turn into 200' and finally 300' of rope going around and around that 8' pipe. plus, it's been so hot here this week, i basically come home, turn on the air conditioner, watch the cooking channel for a few minutes, and then on to wrapping that darn pole. well, it's finally done and looks pretty good.

this weekend, i'd really like to see the movie despicable me in a cool movie theater and work on a little sewing project. hope yours is great. stay cool!

xo, cindy

ps for those of you who might like to live in nyc, taking the subway during 100° weather is brutal. this sweaty guy who smelled like a bar was falling a sleep and leaning my way the other day at 9 am! enjoy your air conditioned cars ;).

home | ugly bathroom be gone!

hello, hello! well, maybe our bathroom doesn't look so bad in that top photo, but if you look closer it does. ugly pipe for the toilet, peeling paint in the tub that was so worn it had to be painted, black tiles that would never stay clean, a battered, dented floor not to mention an ugly light. our building was constructed in the 1950s and the bathroom was showing its age.

we've wanted to do a total gut renovation on this room for many, many years, but we could not find a contractor to do the job, quickly. it's our only bathroom so we need a dedicated crew. a few weeks ago our superintendent showed us the renovation he did that took one week and we were thrilled. literally, almost over night we decided to go ahead and i chose all the materials in about two hours. not bad for someone who is decisionally-challenged, although i've been thinking about this change for ages.

i was nervous about the noise and disruption to our neighbors or something going wrong like a broken pipe or finding mold within the walls, so scott took vacation during the week and was home everyday. fortunately, there were no surprises during demolition and our neighbors were really understanding and offered us the use of their bathroom and shower - awesome! we didn't impose on them in that way and were lucky to be able to stay in a hotel nearby and included that cost in the budget.

after the first day, when we were down to the studs, i was speechless. i knew what it would be like, but couldn't believe the cacophony of pipes within our apartment walls. i just stood there doing that stare babies do and totally lost my imagination of what it would look like. i wondered who thought we should do this anyway (scott!) and felt so vulnerable because if our contractor didn't come back we would be screwed. all i could think about was the show holmes on homes and renovations gone bad.

once things started to go back in i felt a bit better, but honestly, i was nervous right up until the end. some of my design choices brought on new issues. originally, i wanted simple subway tiles, which make nice corners/edges. but, after looking at the other choices, i decided to go with tiles with a bevel and they don't make nice corners/edges, so special trim pieces ($$) were needed. plus, subway tiles are small and take a lot of work to install. our bathroom is only 5' x 7' including the tub area and the floor/tiles took 3 days to complete, and yes, that is a toilet in my living room.

i still have a few diy projects to complete like this one, so next week, the big reveal of our tiny bathroom and we should all be glad i don't have a laptop if you know what i mean ;).

xo, cindy

life | enjoy the weekend

Main Beach
main beach, east hampton

hello, hello! this photo was included in the america theme over on the pioneer woman site this week and i couldn't be happier. wow, i wish i was at the beach, now. we have a three-day weekend coming up and our plans are sketchy at best. they'll probably involve some family time, a movie (toy story 3 or the twilight saga : eclipse, although i swore we wouldn't see that one, but it received great reviews), a public garden, a nap or two, a little shopping and this bracelet from pascale and her daughter looks terrific. ok, that's enough, it's only three days ;)!

enjoy your weekend and happy fourth of july to those who celebrate!

xo, cindy