I had the best pair of moto boots in college — just the right balance of height and “toughness,” without being overly embellished. And I haven’t found a good pair since. I just bought some for my daughter and decided it was time to start looking for a pair myself. And I love this Rag + Bone pair — I want them now!
I had the good fortune of stumbling across Off the Beaten Track Warehouse while reading about the office makeover of another DC local business (Cherry Blossom Creative), who incorporated a vintage farm table into their otherwise very modern design office. And it was that move that caught my eye. I’m much more of a mid-century modern gal than a lover of rustic vintage, but I like the idea of incorporating vintage decor and furniture in a modern space to help add some balance, depth, and personalization. Then I read more about the concept behind Off the Beaten Track and I knew we had to go visit.
The 36,000 square foot warehouse not only houses a huge showroom full of vintage pieces placed in cleverly helpful vignettes, but also offers a large amount of affordable workspace to DC artists. Supporting the arts and small businesses? Well, that was our whole idea behind starting the Fete Local series in the first place! And Greg Kimball and Wendy Hauenstein, the husband-and-wife owners, clearly spent some time selecting a variety of artisans who could help support them in turn. Off the Beaten Track includes the workspaces of an iron worker, a wooden furniture designer, and a coffee roaster, just to name a few.
Wendy graciously showed us around the entire warehouse a few weeks ago, introducing us to the various artists as we poked around. On top of all the love for local artists, Off the Beaten Track has an amazing selection of reasonably-priced vintage decor and furniture. Every few steps I discovered something that I would love to use in my home or workspace. And I love how they use vintage photos as price tags — it’s always the little details that standout. I highly recommend hightailing it over to the warehouse to check it our yourself. It is open to the public Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am – 4 pm and the first and last Saturday of the month from 12 – 6 pm.
Oktoberfest is in full swing and in honor of this beer-loving time of year I’m rounding up some of my favorite ideas of how to throw an awesome beer tasting party. Who wouldn’t love to celebrate with good food and good beer? It’s a sure winner so get planning and start drinking!
1. I am OBSESSED with this invitation set from Mint Love Social Club. The fonts, the paper, the design. I love it all!
2. Soft pretzels are one of my all time favorite foods – plus they pair perfectly with beer.
3. Beer is clearly a necessity. I suggest picking a local brewery (like these from DC area Flying Dog Brewery) and sampling their different varieties OR sampling a variety of your local breweries.
4. A chalkboard runner (like this DIY one we did last year) would be a perfect way to set up the tasting.
5. Keep notes on the beers you taste with these awesome coasters.
6. Since the aim is to taste several beers, keep the glasses small. These half pint glasses from Crate & Barrel are perfect.
7. German apple cake is delicious for any occasion but especially after a few beers.
Fall is in the air and that means jackets and backpacks are becoming a part of our daily routine again. We don’t have a coat closet near our front door so all of those things tend to wind up cluttering our banister. But, I’m hoping that this year will be different because I’m getting a coat rack! I’ve been shopping around for them for a while and I think this simple birch one from Ikea is perfection! I want it now!
So we’ve had an unofficial “Ask AFL” request. A friend of mine in need of a new fall bag asked when we were going to put up our favorite fall everyday bags (like we did for summer). And even though it didn’t come through official “Ask AFL” channels, I happened to be in the mood for virtual shopping and love my friend C’s sense of style, so I pulled together my favorites (shocking I’m so willing to flaunt the rules, I know). I’m in love with rich colors and jewel tones, and a few black + white bags as well (particularly the animal-inspired polka dots — I really, really want to figure out a way to work that print into Cam’s big girl room — jungle spot wallpaper perhaps?). Have a favorite?!
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I’m finding my barware lacking in one certain category: the champagne coupe. Honestly, how can I possibly make a champagne fountain without them? I can’t. I’d prefer gold rimmed ones, but these are probably more practical. Cheers!
Before having kids, I was obsessed with sushi and we ate it at least once a week. Then I got pregnant with our first child and I was totally repulsed by the thought of it, which was fine because I couldn’t really eat it anyway. But, the feel lasted, and lasted, and lasted. It has only be in the last year (almost 6 years later) that I’ve gotten the sushi bug back. Phew. So, now that I’m back on the sushi wagon, I’ve been wanting to start making some at home and I think it would be a perfect date night in. Jim’s not one to help out in the kitchen but I can totally imagine him getting his precise engineer self on while rolling up some yummy new rolls. Here’s what I’m thinking…
1. I’m not a huge fan of sake but I do love me some Japanese beer.
2. Sushi – duh, you need sushi for a sushi date night. Salmon rolls are my faves.
3. Since I’ve never made sushi before, this beautifully photographed and basic sushi cookbook will be perfect to help guide us through the process.
4. Aren’t these chopsticks and stands awesome? I love the little fish and the colors. Perfection.
5. I love this marble serving tray from CB2. Our sushi rolls will look beautiful on it!
6. A bamboo rolling mat is so inexpensive and easy to find at your grocery store or kitchen supply store. It doesn’t need to be fancy.
I have a dream, a dream that I will someday have an organized refrigerator. I feel like I’m a fairly organized person with most of my life but my fridge always seems to get the best of me. But, then this week I got the new Crate & Barrel catalog and I saw a picture of this beautifully organized fridge. I love it and I want it now!
As I happily reported yesterday, my loves are back to school and we are all better for it. I love this particular change of seasons and have usually been ready for cooler weather for a while now. It’s not here quite yet, but that doesn’t stop me for shopping for it. I definitely do not buy a whole new wardrobe every fall, but over the years, I’ve honed down my weekday clothes to three basic categories. My back to school uniforms. I wear some (OK, one) more (OK, much more) than the others and one hardly at all anymore, but they’re all still there. And I like to change a few pieces in each every fall.
My “I’m Going to Workout Sometime Today” Uniform — realistically this is my “I worked out this morning, but will remain in this all day” Uniform. You might have noticed that I like to eat and drink. Thus, I also like to run and strength train and try to get it in as much as I can. For me, workout clothes are far more function than fashion. And I have a good idea of what works best for me for actually working out. (Yes, I still pull the yoga pants sans yogaing move. Who doesn’t?!)
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My “I Took a Shower Today” Uniform — This is my most everyday look outside of the first uniform. I might occasionally dress this look up with a nicer top and put some makeup on, but for the most part I keep it simple.
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My “I Have a Meeting Today” Uniform— and will be out of this outfit promptly after. No surprise that I rock this look the least. Most of my “meetings” are now with DIY creative types and a nicer version of the uniform above works just fine. But I occasionally have something that requires me to dip back into the law firm wardrobe pieces I kept, which I pared down to the classics. My feet generally hurt after an hour of this, which amazes me that I used to wear it all day long.
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I’m desperate to make a change in my living room color scheme. Luckily, I always buy neutral furniture so its easy for me to change out the accent pieces when I need a change. And, a change is a comin’. First step… throw pillows. I’m currently obsessed with this color combination and I think it would go beautifully with the grey and black furniture I already have in the room.