Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for More Room

I am making more room-- It's the "glass half full" approach to this........I have decided to close the shop. It IS officially Thanksgiving day.  I am thankful that sometimes in the course of conversations things become very clear. I have been avoiding the studio for the last few weeks..... many weeks, actually. Almost dreading it.
We had company of Sunday and when a girlfriend asked "How's Gardenhouse?" My knee jeck reaction was "I'm taking a break."  And things suddenly became very clear. I've closed the shop.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE designing, creating, making.....the shop churn has just lost it's luster. I have lost that drive to be up until 2am in the studio. Mostly due to the fact that when I am, so many things fall to the wayside.  I don't particularly feel like sharing the rest of the thoughts behind this at this time. So I'll focus on the positive...There is a plan for me. I just need to take a step back to figure out what it is and I'm so fortunate to be able to do this without a second thought.

I will still be making things...more of them!!   I have such a long list of projects and ideas and you will still be seeing lots of blog posts.
I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving. I'm planning a wonderful dinner and tablescape that I will be sure to share with you. Oh and I also have a china cabinet to "wallpaper" and a love seat to slip cover....but tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I'm going to relax and give thanks for my new found clarity. And to be happy.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

High waist. Wide leg.

What do you think about a higher waist jean?? Not crazy high, but definitely not the low waist we are used to. I bought a pair today, higher waist, SUPER flair. I love them. Iconic.

The girls think I am insane and I am sure Mr. H will have an opinion about them- it will either be "Gosh my wife can rock just about anything" Or "Why does Simone look like she is going to a 70's party?!?" I'm just going to surprise him with them for our next date night-- or even better, while we are in NY for his brothers wedding. Who knows, maybe we'll bust out a little "I got you Babe" for the entertainment! 

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Little did he know......

A few weeks ago I was out shopping for Halloween Party items for the girls classrooms and I got a call....from Mr. H...he was at Best Buy with the girls. He wanted to just run a few "quick purchases" by me, you know, before he single-handedly stimulated the economy!  Now, before I get into this, I will say I sort of knew this was coming. We have a Wii.Which we have had for years and it has totally been on the fritz, so I knew a new game console was on the horizon. I also knew he had been sort of looking around for a new TV. Back to the phone call, he tells me he and then kids were playing the new Kinect in the shop and loved it so they were going to get one of those, he also said he was going to buy a 3-D tv. Mr. H is not one to make extravagant purchase so I just said fine with me and that was that. I went on my way with errands. Returned home to the kids playing  their new games...on our old TV. "Where's the new TV?" I ask. The response....."it's being delivered on Tuesday." Uhhhhh....what? Why?? Oh of course, it's too large for us to get home!!  Yes, sure it is. Oh and it won't fit in our armoire??  Ohhhhh....looks like were going to need some new furniture (big secret smile here!!) Well that certainly opened up a whole can of worms! 
this week
One new daybed/chaise is already in place. It's a grey tweed-- TDF! Rustic chic nesting tables. Done.

After searching high and low for the perfect TV stand, I ended up re-working a vintage dresser that I had in the garage.  I turned it into a tv stand by simply removing the two middle drawers and converting those spaces to shelves. I really love the way it turned out. {excuse the messy wires in there. The DirectTV guy came yesterday and I have not had a chance to tuck everything in nicely}

The new sofa will be ordered this weekend.. Slipcovers, are a must with light colored sofas in this place. I'm also stalking that Anthro rug (the floral one my moodboard up there).....I swear I remember Anthro having a 20% off black Friday sale...does anyone else remember that?? I'd love to score a sale on that! My to-do list has grown significantly because I cannot simply replace everything. So slipcovers for the rest of the furniture is on the list. And if Mr. H does not take those 3-d glasses off and get up from his vista, he just might get slip covered too!!

Happy Stylish Friday. Oh and a note on the stylish Friday side-- check out that hat up there!! The animal print one-- You neeeed to run to Target and pick it up! It's TDF!!  $20 for an Albertus Swanepoel hat is insanity!! You can also find the same hat that he designed for J Crew... for $128...without the feather or the band. Your!!

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ps-- Mr. H has turned into a complete dork and even has those 3-D glasses on a glasses holder looped around his neck! Love that man!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inspiration Workshop No. 21 - Thanksgiving

This weeks Inspiration Workshop prompt is {Thanksgiving} We are BIG Thanksgiving fans around here. It is Brian's favorite holiday - what man doesn't love a day of football and feasting?? I think he loves it more so because of the day itself-- a day to stop and take it all in, to take stock of our world, ourselves and our lives -- a day to really think about what we are grateful for.

I'm really looking forward to hanging out with my family, amazing food, great wine and setting the Thanksgiving table. I love any excuse to dress up a table top!! I'm hunting for new dishes this year and want to mix things up a bit, rustic and chic, vintage and modern. I found these amazing Colin Cowie gold croc print chargers that I am obsessed with but I think they must be from a past season and am having a really hard time finding them!!  I'll keep hunting! I have a hidden talent of being able to find just about anything online.

So far, I'm planning on metallic Tahari Home candles and deep coral colored Cynthia Rowley napkins as well as vintage brass candle holders. I also to work in vintage plates, something gold, a modern print (maybe a chevron) and also a little burlap. I'll be sure to post photos of the table when it's all set and ready to go. What are you looking most forward to? Be sure to stop by Gussy Sews for more Thanksgiving inspiration.
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nothing beats a good jumpsuit.

I mean it, nothing. I could LIVE in jumpsuits. It's a no brainer choice, no top and pants to coordinate. So easy!! Shopping for Miss O's Birthday last week, I was perusing around the juniors department at Macy's, specifically the Material Girl line and stumbled across this jumpsuit-- on serious sale! It was love at first sight.

Jumpsuit  -- Material Girl
Cardi  --Patterson Kincaid
Shoes  -- San Edelman
Necklace -- Vintage Givenchy 
I'm sort of freaked out that I bought something for myself and something for Olivia in the same place...where is the time going?? These girls are growing up too fast! Anyway, I love the print of the jumpsuit-- tiny prints always work well and I feel like they almost as the same thing as a solid. I paired it with a cream and gold sweater, and my favorite shoes right now. Women seriously chase me down to find out where I got them when I'm out and about in these shoes-- love them! The only thing missing from this outfit-- a serious stack of bracelets-- I really want a big old stack of Stella and Dot bracelets. A few Devis ,Serpent, Harlow and Renegade Cluster are all on my list. Santa, are you listening?? ps-- I also found a FAB black jumpsuit from Jessica Simpsons line that I am thinking might have to come to NY with me.....Who knew Macy's juniors department had such hidden gems?? 

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I wore Wednesday and also with Nina from Momma Go Round for Real momma Real Style
pleated poppy

Momma Go Round

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pretty and Witty.

The gal is funny and smart. Shannon Stewart of Madison Ave photography had posted on her facebook wall that she was looking for a size 8 girl to help with a shoot on Sunday. Miss A is a ham for the camera and I am obsessed with Shannon's photographs so I jumped on the opportunity.  I did ask Avery if she wanted to do it as I knew it would be a time commitment and it was a bit of a drive. Funny that when I asked her, her response was "Do I get to keep the clothes?" How funny is that?? She so smart!

She is changing so much and growing a mile a minute. Last week she wanted to borrow a skirt from Olivia, which I am not sure she would have fit into. Her request was not met with enthusiasm (to say the least) I sat the girls down and told them that it is their choice right now, but at some point when they they can fit into the same size clothes, they will be expected to share some things as I will not buy two of everything. Avery replied "Soooooooo, when we are your size....." She was met with the enthusiasm as when she was asking to borrow her sisters skirt. How funny though, that she is starting to think like that. She is sharp and so witty!!

And cute to boot! And I'm sure if she was able to take anything home from the shoot, it would have been the feather skirt. She absolutely did NOT want to take that off. I don't blame her! Might have to figure out how make one of those...I was the only person at the shoot looking at the construction of the clothes :)
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Monday, November 14, 2011


Last week was for me, one of the most personally challenging weeks I can remember. I won't get into the details because I am choosing to move on and put it behind me...dwelling can bring the wrong energy into this world! The good from last week?? My Olivia turned 11. On 11-11.

Her party was great, she probably had one of the best weekends she can remember...and I did too! Since she is a Veterans Day baby, she has no school on her birthday-- every year! How cool is that? So we had her party on Friday. It was one of the easiest parties I have ever done. I'm not sure if it was because the girls are getting older or what!/! but we had a great time. We did a scavenger hunt at the mall. Brian and I split the girls into two teams and I made up riddles that they had to figure out. All the riddles applied to store windows in the mall. For instance, Express had Christmas Trees in their window (Can you believe holiday stuff is all up already?? I think it's too early!!) So the riddle was 'The Express train to Christmas tree lane" They had to figure out the store and what was in the window and then take a picture of it. I went to the mall the day before the party and took notes on the windows and stores. It was so super simple! Brian's team won-- only because they cheated :) lol. We all had a blast not running around the mall. I would highly recommend this sort of a party. We came home did presents, ate cake and played a few rounds of wink murderer until parents arrived. So great!!! Loved it!

One of the best parts of the celebration was making Liv's tie-dye cake. We have never made a birthday cake before-- is that sad?? The girls actually made the cakes together the night before, which I thought was so sweet, the two of them in the kitchen together-- Avery turned to me and said "It doesn't matter that we forgot to add the eggs does it??" Funny now. Not so funny then - four cake mixes, three trips to the grocery store, one two layer tie-dye cake. Lots of fun and memories for the girls. All in all, a great weekend!

So that is what took up the end of the week last week. I'm sorry I missed What I Wore (I actually had photos this time!lol), Inspiration Workshop and Friday's style file. I will do better this week.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Going Somewhere?

I have been wanting to do travel bags for quite some time - bags inspired place I have been or would like to go.Currently on the top of my list is the Viceroy Hotel in Palm Springs. Perfect for a much needed girls weekend!

Decorated by Kelly Wearstler I don't think I would leave the place once there. What would be the point?? Nothing could be better.Chic, sleek and hip...... I'd fit right in!!

Source: via Simone on Pinterest

Do you have any plans to travel? Carpet Bags will be added to the store through out the week. They are all one of a kind as I have limited amounts of fabric. This one is made using cut velvet-- silk velvet. It's lush!! Perfect for your next getaway!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

I Heart Monday.

I woke up to this in my inbox--  THIS is what I have been missing my whole life!!  Professional photos of Gardenhouse bags.

Oh gosh-- best thing ever to wake up to on a Monday morning!!  Kamieo is AMAZE! So talented I just can't get over it! Carpet Bags will be hitting the shop through out the week. They are all one of a kind and all have some sort of cut velvet-- high end-- you know, the kind I like!! Silk cut velvet-- so delish you'll want to wrap yourself up in it! And of course the colorful floral is by Jennifer Paganelli....everything she touches turns to gold! Love that gal!!

And to top it all off, I'm finally feeling well rested!! yay!! Went to bed at 8:40 last night!! With the girls! All in one bed-- Mr. H had to do some people moving before he had space to get in! Woke up before my alarm clock (NEVER happens-- EVER) ready to conquer the world!  Happy Monday to all!! 

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Sunday, November 6, 2011


Fall has officially arrived! We woke up to rain - pouring rain-- and basically went from bed  to couch with coffee and a fire. It's a nice Sunday morning around here! Avery is making pancakes (love a kid who can cook!) And Mr. H is watching football by the fire.

Rain and cold weather always makes me want to cook. Today I"m going to be making one of the girls favorite soups, Polpette with Orzo.

It's a staple for us in the fall and winter-- It's really easy to make and super delish. I omit the onions as my girls can sniff them out for miles. Dinner will be quick and delish tonight - hopefully eaten with the fire burning close by. I just have to get through watching Avery run the final mile of the Santa Clarita marathon... in. the. rain. She thinks it'll be fun! I'll need soup when that's finished!

Hope you are all have a relaxing Sunday!
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Friday, November 4, 2011

Dog People

Do you love dogs? We adore our dogs. Three of them, two newfies Cooper and Higgins and a shi-tzu poodle mix maned The Bean, or Beanzie... we collectively call the three of them CootieBiggaBean - one word.  The bean who is 9 pounds rules the roost, I think she is convinced that she is actually a newfie. All three of them bring such joy to our house and our family. I will say that big dogs are a LOT of work. They have minimal energy but lots of hair and they drool. A lot. And they wake you up in the night loud.  But we are "dog people" and we feel like the work is worth it.

Do you think that being a "dog person" or not says something about a person? Do you consider yourself a dog person? I have two friends who are "not dog people" and I'm always baffled by that. How can anyone not love dogs??  A girlfriend of mine is taking family holiday card photos and asked me to do a custom collar with a removable flower for her little dog-- two boys and one little girl dog! She buys Gardenhouse for herself and now she has a little dog to buy for as well ;) Her boys will be wearing red and grey - Maycee too! With a dash of pink thrown in there!
Dogs in Vogue

She of course opted for the coordinating leash...because that's how dog people roll! And I'm sure Maycee also drinks out of a Kate Spade bowl and snuggles under an hermes blanket- yes she does!

Happy Stylish Friday!

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Inspiration Workshop No. 20 - Flowers

This weeks Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop prompt is {Flowers} Could there be anything more perfect to write about and inspire? I always have fresh cut flowers in the house because their looks and fragrance can lift moods instantly.  Nothing makes me happier that fresh cut flowers from the garden-- My roses are going through their fall bloom right now and it is so lovely to have bunches of roses in the entry and on our kitchen table. Have you ever noticed that roses smell stronger in the morning? I don't know if it is because the house is void of other smells in the morning of if roes really are more fragrant in the morning... hmmm,either way, walking past a fresh cut bunch of roses makes me smile.

I'm pretty much a floral fragrance gal, too. I wear only floral perfumes and any candles in our house have a distinct floral smell - Brian calls it old lady smell....whatevs'!! I should also share with you another one of my little floral scented obsessions..... Lilly of the Valley potpourri sachets from Joann's Fabrics. Seriously...these things are the bomb. Not only do I put them in my closets and drawers, I also pin a little loop of ribbon to the top of them and hang the from doors in the house.

This one is hanging on the door to our downstairs bathroom- a room where our Newfies love to sleep so clearly a room that needs some floral fragrance!

Florals overall just make me happy- we won't touch much on my love a good floral fabric-- I think that is pretty evident! What are your favorite flowers? Your favorite fragrances? I'd love to hear about them! Check in over at Gussy Sews for more floral inspiration.
Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Out From the Fog

I feel like I have been gone FOREVER!  Sorry about that! I was in charge of organizing hundreds of volunteers for the girls school BooFest last week and was surprised at how much time that took. Along with having family in town over the weekend and then organizing Halloween parties in each of the girls classes I literally had zero time for anything else-- and I was actually quite bummed about it to tell you the truth!  For the past few years I have organized the Father Daughter dance at the girls school - and in the end, after all the hard work and tireless hours, I can sit back and say it was all worth it. I have to say that this time, I don't feel that way. It was honestly like living an episode of Desperate Housewives!!

I was so stressed before during and after the event that I actually had nightmares!! How crazy is that?? In one night, I dreamt that a woman and man were living in Avery's room with 16 feral cats who had managed to get under the carpet upstairs so I could hardly walk up there without getting atttacked by cats, in the same night, I dreamt that I was stuck in my bathroom with Black Widow spiders and webs everywhere and then (can you goes on!!??)  I dreamt that the man who was living in Averys room with the cats was in my car with me as I was driving down the street blow drying my hair (yeah, strange) and he electrocuted me with my blowdryer!!  I actually woke myself up shouting "ouch" in that one!!  Whaaaattttt is all that about?? I won't indulge you with a synopsis of the other night. Isn't that crazy?? 

I was excited to have the weekend to recover-- we went to the beach on Saturday...can you believe that? It was about 75 and sunny-- no wind, it was gorgeous! So relaxing! But Sunday it was back to running around and then Monday in both kids classes all day for Halloween parties. Trick-or-treating and a sleep over on Monday as the girls had the day off yesterday. Life is crazy. I am demanding it slow down. I have a work the word "No" into my vocabulary. Starting now!

Looking forward to a relaxing end of the week-- full of trips to the gym and lots of time spent in the studio.

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ps-- that's a little collage of my Halloween Decor-- we did it!! Yay! The girls and I spider-webbed the house and set up a cute little table outside full of Simone-ified Halloween decor.