Monday, December 31, 2012

A dress for the evening

New Year's Eve, ah a night meant for a GREAT dress. Sparkles and fun, champagne and maybe even a kiss at midnight. The way I'm talking about it, you'd think I actually like New Year's Eve.

When, in fact, it's my least favorite night of the year. The build up nearly guarantees disappointment. This year, I swore to myself I would treat myself to a delicious dinner and movies at home. But, I caved.

So, I just had to go out and get a dress. But I decided to stick somewhat with my original plan and go for something casual. But that doesn't mean I didn't do my due diligence.

and...I had to get these, too!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Sur la table

I'm learning how to define my aesthetic and this series is certainly helping. I'd like to call it traditional with a bit of the unexpected. Classic with touches of girly. Whites, Blacks, Golds, Greys, Navys and maybe a pop of pink. 

So, my kitchen table, you can imagine, is no different. I love white plates and white plates with pretty gold embellishments. Then, I like the unexpected: brights. Bright chargers, brighter bowls, and bright fun. 

What do you like?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Dining Room

There are two things I'd like to start this post with...

a. I've always known I was a Charlotte, okay Charlotte, mixed with a little bit of Carrie, maybe a lotta bit. I think I've known this since I first laid eyes on her Park Avenue apartment. I loved her traditionalist ways with the perfect amount of class. And, I especially loved her dining room: The dark dining room table and classy white chairs. The wainscoting, the mixed woods and colors, fresh flowers and always perfect tablescapes. What is there not to love?

b. Secondly, I'll admit, I hated our dining room growing up. See below. I realized the other day, it was exactly what I'd love now: wallpaper and wainscoting only in an interesting color choice. [Love ya mom]

So there you have it. The things I love in a dining room: wallpaper and wainscoting, dark and rustic tables, light and surprising chairs, beautiful chandeliers. My first choice: Osbourne & Little's Asuka Leaves in Gold with either black, navy or emerald green wainscoting. 

[Osbourne & Little Imperia, Asuka Leaves & Cypres]

[Osbourne & Little Orient Tray, Zecca, Radnor]

[Cole & Son Cranley & Poppy]

Check back tomorrow for my thoughts on what goes on top of the tables.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

...and a Happy New Year!

Incase you aren't aware of this already, I, Carly Sarah Holstein, am Jewish. So Christmas typically consists of being lazy with the family, who also seem to get this holiday we don't celebrate off, enjoying Chinese food and seeing a movie. Color us stereotypes. But that doesn't mean I don't want to dress the part i.e. having cute pjs to run down the stairs in, festive sweaters, home decor and more.

Thus, below, is what I would potentially wear, if I wasn't currently in crappy pj pants, a comfy high school tee and matching sweatshirt. Oh yah, and my hair, NOT presentable. Picture messy bun, top of head. And my contacts have yet to go in and if my family celebrated the holiday. And, I even left options for shoes, cause you know I'm a shoe lover.

FOREWARNING: There is a lot of J.Crew in this post. But I'm sure no one is surprised there. And family occasions in my family rarely occur for dresses, we're more of a football outside, jumping in the lake, general playing kind of family.

[J.Crew Fair Isle Sweater (previously mentioned here and now on sale, but still too much, unless of course, I can live in it) / Toothpick Pant in Garment Dyed Twill / J.Crew Janey Patent Flats / Jessica Simpson Nude Patent Pump]  

Now, I'm off to enjoy family and the greatness that is New England. I'll be back on Thursday. But till then, tel me this, what are you wearing this Christmas?

P.S. You'd think this would have helped me packed for my trip home this week...but it didn't and I've overpacked yet again.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The shortest day of the year

it's here. Today. The shortest day of the year. This morning, the sun rose at approximately 7:15 am and will set at approximately 4:30 pm. Making today 9 hours, 7 mins and 43 secs of light long. That's 1 less second than yesterday and 3 less than tomorrow's predictions. It also means that today is the official start of winter. And with that, I've decided not to bring you 101 reasons, as honestly, I think I've ran out of ideas (see here), but instead bring you beautiful images (via pinterest and of dunkerdoo) of the season. However, now, you are not allowed to judge me when I reuse these photos again.

Now, I leave you with this. What you make your list of 101 reasons you love winter?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The counter

White we're on the topic of kitchens, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite kitchen tools, as well as the essentials.
  1. A Kitchenaid stand mixer (I currently own one in candy apple red and LOVE IT) but I think the copper would be match perfectly in all those grown up kitchens
  2. The Kitchen Aid Mini Food Processor. It's PERFECT. Small, easy to pull in and out and gets the job done
  3. A blender. Necessary for my protein drinks...and margaritas
  4. A stand mixer, this one, I'd consider an essential BUT I have to be honest, if I'm not using my stand mixer, it's because I'm using my arms and getting a work out in. I never take out my handheld.
  5. Immersion Blnder. My aunt bought me this and it's perfect for making soups.
  6. A French Press, I've always wanted one of these, they're just so fancy. Ina uses hers all the time.
Others items, that you may or may not always think of:
- A good set of sharp knives, I just got a new pair on Gilt
- Creuset Dutch Oven 
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Microplane Grater
- Food mill, I like vintage looking ones

What kitchen items do you require?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kitchen Envy

When I scour pinterest, I get a severe case of kitchen envy. Ok, I get a severe case of kitchen envy often. I love a beautiful kitchen. I think it's because growing up, the kitchen is where we gathered. It was where we had family meals, where we did our homework, When I came home from college, it was where we sat and talked...and it still is. There's something comforting about the kitchen. It's where I spent the most amount of my time, and probably still do, although less so around the kitchen table these days [i'm not a fan of mine right now]. To be utterly cheesy, it's where meals and memories are made.

Ok now, I do have to admit I'm not sure I know EXACTLY what I prefer in a kitchen. I LOVE LOVE LOVE White Kitchens. I know you aren't surprised there. BUT - I also love love love...
+ white, pale yellow or blue walls
+ dark accents
+ grey cabinetry
+ or often, mixed tones in cabinetry: grey & white, white & dark wood, etc.
+ surprising light fixtures
+ big island
+ different kinds of surfaces
+ fancy backsplashes
+ Viking appliances
+ hardwood floors
+ a touch of greenery
+ natural light
+ country style
+ bookshelves for cookbooks
+ farmhouse sinks
+ a nice bar area
+ the smell of freshly baked cookies

Also, I've added my pinterest board, aptly titled, "Kitchen Envy," for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, December 17, 2012

This week...and the pretty big shadow cast over from last week

I don't think I could write my weekly "This Week" post without addressing some, rather one horrible event from last week, and I'm sure you're aware of which one I'm talking about.

In April of 1999, I was a 4th grade student at Sanborn Elementary School on April vacation visiting my grandparents in Florida. I remember hearing about Columbine from my parents and subsequently watching the coverage on the television. I was terrified. Not only did I fear something that horrible could happen, I feared that something that horrible might happen to me. I couldn't watch the news, it scared me too much.

This not watching the news trend was one that continued for awhile. I remember I told my father that I didn't want to watch the news because it was scary. A nightly summary of everything horrible that happened near me. Considering it that way, I'm not sure why anyone watches the news.

While I'd like to think I've grown up quite a bit since 4th grade, the news of Friday's shooting hit me in a way I was not quite expecting. As I spent Friday at the office, my co-workers and I attempted to focus on work, while actually listening to the news. I felt this anxious-ness that I could not explain. Each new bit of information sending chills through me. Only this time, unlike last time, I couldn't tear myself away. I had to keep watching and soon, couldn't stop thinking about it.

I think, as our President suggested at, this one struck pretty close to home. The school reminded me of Sanborn and the town, just like my own hometown. And these kids even younger than I was when Columbine happened. I could only imagine the fear that they were going and had gone through. As I continued on throughout the weekend, this anxious-ness still was washed over me. It just felt odd for me to go on about my life when something so horrible had happened. But I realized why I had to: because many of them couldn't.

So, I'm going into this week, with that attitude, to live my life in a way of honoring those who are no longer with us and making their lives matter even more so....and maybe to quit watching the news quite as much, because right now, I kind of agree with my 4th grade self, reality these days is pretty scary.

UPDATED: This morning, I donated to United Way of Western Connecticut and you should too.

This week...

+ I am going to burst out of bed at 8:15 when my alarm goes off ready to take on the day

+ I will enjoy breakfast

+ I am hoping to set up an ING Orange Savings Account

+ I will experience the shortest day of the year

+ I may go skiing Saturday & Sunday

+ I will watch: Love Actually, Bridget Jone's Diary, Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, The Holiday, Elf, and other holiday time favorites on replay

+ I head home to New England to spend Christmas with my amazing family

+ I plan to give my puppy a big giant hug

+ I am going to ENJOY life


listening: My new favorite song, Hey Ho by the Lumineers
eating: cottage cheese & tomatoes
drinking: water with mint, lemon, cucumber & ginger
wearing: on the right, thinking about removing this one
feeling: still a little anxious
wanting: it to be Friday
needing: family time
thinking: about how long my to do list is...
enjoying: LIFE
wondering: if it's 6pm yet

Friday, December 14, 2012

Desperate Chic

Last week, I went to an event.

It was a Jewish Event.

It was a BIG event.

In fact it was The Jewish United Fund's Annual Big Event.

There was a comedian.

Aziz Ansari to be exactly.

He was funny.

There was also 2,400 jews.

Ok, enough with the single sentence, hit return deal.

Anyway, as I was saying, this event I would say is the Jewish event of the season. As my co-worker, dubbed it, it's J.M.S. a.k.a. Jewish Mating Season. And then she dubbed something else. You see, we were talking about what we were going to wear, and she said, well I heard the attire is "Desperate Chic."

What was funny was that I not only knew exactly what she was referring to but how perfect it was for the event. So what is desperate chic? Well picture this: desperate, skin showin and high heels mixed with class. Pretty yet not too revealing, Picture lots of short dresses, high heels but by designer brands. Nothing too slutty.

Do you know what I'm talking about?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A room to live in

A Living Room is a room in a residential house for relaxing and socializing. When I think of living rooms, I think of putting my feet up, relaxing, watching tv, reading a book, hanging out with friends. No matter what I'm doing in the room, the living rooms got to be cozy.

Requirements: cozy couch, warm blankets, pretty yet comfy pillows, a crackling fire, and yes, a TV. How crass? What your requirements?

I'm into calm colors, grey or beige, sometimes even dark, couches and chairs, upholstery, Kelly Wearstler pillows, refurbished coffee tables, industrial embellishments, and fancy ceilings. i.e. tray or grid (do those have a name?). See below!

Next Up: the Kitchen

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another baby announcement

And no, it's still not mine.

What if PotteryBarn and WestElm WilliamSonoma had a baby? Apparently, it would be called Mark & Graham and apparently, it's a girl. Thanks to my best friend, I've discovered Mark and Graham.

...yes, I created a family tree

Mark and Graham is the newest edition to William Sonoma Inc. {Williams Sonoma Inc is the grandparent high-end American consumer retail company that sells kitchenwares, furniture and linens as well as housewares and home furnishings, specialty foods, soaps, lotions, etc. It's brands/subsidiaries aka children and now grand children include: William Sonoma Home, Pottery Barn, Pottery  PB Teen, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, Rejuvenation, Cultivate and the latest child, Mark and Graham.

"Mark and Graham focuses on gifting. It sells personalized gifts from refined to bold and monogrammed gifts featuring beyond basic font. They are passionate about the artful mingling of typography, design and personalized gifts. Love modern monograms and quality designs to make your mark."

I gotta say, I'm into it. Din't be shocked when I start buying monogrammed gifts for everyone. First up: buying myself a Carrie necklace, only it will be a carly necklace. Duh.
...and those placements.

Monday, December 10, 2012



First of all, today is my roommate's 24th birthday so I want to begin by wishing her the very best of birthdays. It's been a weekend of festivities.

This week,

+ I am working out 3x...and next week...and hoping to eat healthy enough to make up for the past two days...let's just say its not been healthy: Pequod's pizza, Kraft Mac 'n Cheese, Alcohol and more. Oops.

+ I enjoyed one of my favorite kind of rainy days...the kind of rainy day that commits to being rainy and you can just sit in bed or on the couch. The roommates and I spent yesterday watching Elf, Home Alone 2, What's Your Number and Cruel Intentions. I'll call it a success.

+ It's snowing!

+ We finally have a cleaning lady, who is not me, coming to clean the apartment. Color me excited.

+ It's going to be another busy week at work, although not as busy as the past few! I have a few upcoming projects, all of which are VERY exciting.

+ I'm hoping to make a trip to Nordstrom Rack to check out the shampoo, tights and Vince departments....ok I'll be checking out all the departments, let's be serious.

+ It's Chanukah! Have you been lighting the menorah? Because we sure have!


listening: James Taylor Radio on Pandora, that soothing voice is makes mondays bearable
eating: Vanilla Flavored Protein "Shake"
drinking: Chai Latte with Skim's number 26...hello, gold status!
wearing: you know where to look
feeling: like this winter's going to be a good one, just a feeling I have.
wanting: a long weekend, it's rough in winter when they are so frequent yet far between
needing: a good cuddle with Dunkerdoo
thinking: about what I'm going to order for dinner at Carnivale
enjoying: life
wondering: how I'm still a little full from the weekend

Friday, December 7, 2012


Lah-lah-lah-lah. It's Friday.

If you follow me on instagram, which you should, cause I promise, it's fantastic, you may have seen this post coming by my pictures earlier this week. Yes, I'm finally sharing some of my holiday decorations. I'm hoping to add some tinsel soon...and maybe a cute little merry sign above my television. Hello, searching on etsy.

I'm also secretly hoping to miraculously come home to Santa setting up a tree. Apparently, I'm also secretly wishing I celebrate Christmas.

No matter what you celebrate, you celebrate the weekend...happy weekend to all and to all a good night!


pinecones, snowflakes and lights

and winter scents

and of course, for my own holiday, menorahs

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


A foyer is usually a small entry or room located by the front door. It's the very first place people walk into when they first come into a home. It's the place they are welcomed. It's the place where they get their very first impression of the home. I think it might set the tone for their entire experience in the house. 

I'm partial to grey entries, with either white or black baseboards and white paneling. What kind of room do you want to be welcomed in?

Next up: the family room...