Monday, November 24, 2014

Apartment Before & After: Living Room

I've been holding off on doing this before and after post because I still have a couple things to do in this room.  However, I'd say it's about 99% finished so I figured I should just do the post because I may never add the last few touches.  

This was the space I was most looking forward to.  The kitchen and bathroom were super exciting because of the severity of their changes, but I knew I would be spending a majority of my time in this room.  My last apartment (here and here) had a tiny living room, all I could fit was a love seat.  There, I had a table and chairs but never used them, so I figured I would forget about sit down eating and focus on comfort.  Plus, this new kitchen has the little breakfast bar so I didn't feel the need for a big dining set.  

I must say, I thought I would enjoy living alone, but this room made me realize just how much I LOVE having my own space.  It's always the way I want it - clean, organized and there's always a space on the couch.  I know exactly what I am entering into each time I come home, and it is a great room for Reagan since he has enough space to do his loops when he gets crazy!  

There was so much natural light and the room had such a great layout that it was an obvious choice when we were looking at places.  


The majority of the work in this room was adding details and character.  MB is a molding freak, so that was added everywhere and we did a great built in wall...I love a good built in.  The biggest change was the interior wall, it had a huge closet and storage space, but the door was a bit of a hindrance if you wanted to use the corner, which I did, so I was pretty impressed when I thought of adding a pocket door!  It made all the difference!!  We also closed up the storage space above the closet.  This may seem like a cardinal sin in Beacon Hill, but trust me when I say you didn't need the space!  Plus the look of it severely bothered Bill and it was the one thing he really wanted gone.  He was right too, the wall looks much better without it, and it no longer seems like the place is so small that you need that extra space.  The closet itself had a hanging bar and an upper shelf, but we added shelving on both sides in the dead space since the closet is the length of the wall but the doors are only half of it!  I have so much storage I almost don't know what to do with it!


The closet is deceivingly huge!

Built in drawing that I designed


We added an overhead light, so that lighting was a bit more even.  The shades that we got are so nice, they can open from any way so that I can have privacy, or let them up so Reagan can sit and people watch.  I love when they are like this so I can still get a lot of light while not feeling as though I'm on display for the whole corner to watch!

We went with a new gray.  The old color was a purple/pink gray and well, it was terrible.  I put my grandmother's bar cart here to act as a transition between the living space and the kitchen.  

My other Grandmother suggested putting a nice mirror in-between the two windows behind the couch, this is one of those details that I'm not sure when I get it done!

This is the corner I was worried about given the old closet door.  Now I have more space there then I thought I would.  It is such a perfect cozy little work space.

Ta-da!! The new closet wall is a favorite of mine.  The pocket door looks perfect and I think without the old storage the wall looks much larger and the ceilings show off their height.  (I still need to get new photos for the frames as you can see!)  

The built in wall!!  Again, so much storage and adds so much to the room!

The entryway!  We moved the heat and intercom over to this wall to make room for the built in, plus it makes way more sense to have it by the door!  Standley (my umbrella stand from Hong Kong who we lovely named as we carried it throughout Asia in June) made it safely to it's new home.

I love my entrance space, there is just enough room for all the nic-nacs without losing valuable space in the room!

Up next is the bedroom!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Reagan Update!

Oh my sweet little Reagan is growing so quickly!!  He was 5 months old this weekend and is good as ever!  I am so, so glad that I followed my gut and got him.  Everyone, literally everyone, thought I was crazy and that I was biting off way more than I could chew.  However, he has been the easiest, most perfect puppy ever.  I'm sure I am pissing a lot of people off as I sit here preaching about how simple it was train him, he basically came crate trained, and how quickly he adjusted to everything.  Even the two times he had his tummy issues, he was the best - I would beg him to just go in the apartment rather than back downstairs and outside, and he refused to go in the house!  I can count the number of 'accidents' he's had on my two hands and he gets along with everyone and everything!  


Don't get me wrong, my schedule and dog walker have made a huge difference.  It worked out so well that I could be home when I am and that the days I work he doesn't have to be alone for longer than 4 hours at a time.  It was the perfect schedule while he was so young.  Next semester I'm planning on letting him out in the living room while I'm gone and pushing his alone time to about 5-6 hours, but he will get longer, big boy walks!!  By the time next year comes, he'll be good to go on just about any schedule I think.  This had been my plan all along, but actually having it work, has been amazing!

Just taking a quick breather!

It was a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but I think that had to do with everything else that I had going on.  Plus realizing that you have this little, living thing to take care of for 10+ years can seem daunting when viewed in the big picture!  However, taking it day by day was easy and now I can't imagine what it would be like to come home and not have him in the apartment.  

He LOVES to go home to Westwood on the weekends.  MB and Bill are two of his most favorite people and he adores playing with Bogey.  It's so nice to see the younger, playful side of Bogey again!  When Wills was home in October, Reagan clicked with him right away and was pretty devastated when went back to school!  It's also really nice that some of the weekends that I am home, MB or Bill will be up early and will let Reagan out so I can sleep in!  They have been super supportive, but I think it's because Reagan and I proved we could do it in the beginning. 

Reagan and Bogey <3

Helping Bill read the paper!

There are a ton of doodles in Beacon Hill, and in the afternoons we sometimes run into all of them and have a mini doodle party.  He is increasingly loving being outside.  He always liked being out in Westwood and Marion with the lawns, but was usually pretty quick about his business in the city.  However, he know will go back and forth, all around the block, everywhere before he goes does his business.  I think it is his way being outside longer, smarty pants!!

Enjoying the leaves in Westwood!

When he isn't outside, he 90% of the time is laying in the window watching everyone below.  He is the most curious little pup!  He has started to cuddle in bed with me more and more.  In the mornings rather than getting back in his crate after he goes out or eats, he'll curl himself up in the pillows on my bed and go back to sleep with me!  If I happen to sleep longer, he just hops over me, heads down the bed stairs, and I wake up to a couch covered in toys! He's just the best!

Living the life

Learning how to use the stairs, seriously the best thing I bought for him!!

'But I want to be tucked in, under the puff!'

When it's drafty we get all snuggly

If it's a nice day, we crack the window and enjoy!

If I am running a quick errand, I'll leave him in the apartment, not in his crate, but we are still at the age that this confuses him, because I'll come back 20 minutes later and he'll be sitting at the door!!  Now, I'm not sure if that is because he heard the keys or not, but slowly and surely I'm sure he'll get the hang of it - he's so easy going!

Like I said, easy going...
Here he is celebrating my Aunt's dog's birthday with my grandmother!  It also happened to be a Pats game, so he is doubly festive!!  Narny loves the little guy!

For Halloween, he was a little pumpkin!!

As you can tell from the photos, he needed a hair cut so we got groomed the other day.  I decided to go short so it would last through the Holidays and while I am away!  Plus he is getting neutered next week, ek, so this way he wouldn't look extra funny if they had to shave him at all, it will now match the cut! I had a bit of a shock when I picked him up.  He looked like a different dog without his long hair!!

Look at how skinny and athletic I look! #leanmachine

It's been a busy week this week, but at least for the mean time, he can still fit on my lap and help me get my work done!

'You read, I'll just lay here and sleep!'

"Help, I can't reach the keys!'

Each Monday, his dog walker mentions that he looks bigger, and recently he lost all his baby teeth and his big ones are quickly growing in!  I just hope that regardless of his size, his perfect little personality stays the same!

Now that all these photos have made this my longest post yet, I'll stop!  

Any other doodle owners?  Did you find yours to be crazy easy, I hear it's the bread!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blank Space

I swear that I have other, non Taylor Swift, posts in the pipelines, I have just been insanely busy with school and a sick little Reagan :(  Anyway, the video for Blank Space came out this week, and well, it's pretty awesome.  If nothing else, just watch it for her outfits...can you spy the Oscar de la Renta bow dress that I freaked over a couple years ago??



Monday, November 3, 2014

T. S 1989

It's official, I have now had Taylor Swift's new album on repeat for a week. 

 I was so nervous and not excited for this album.  I have always been a die hard fan, I always wish she had been around two years earlier so I would have had her songs to soundtrack my High School life.  However, I really didn't care for Shake it Off, and when I heard Out of the Woods and Welcome to New York, I wasn't impressed.  I thought Shake it Off left me feeling dizzy and I just wasn't that into the typical, terrible, repeated sound that she had in all these new songs.  I thought to myself, 'oh my gosh, I am no longer going to like T Swift'!!  Yet, when I played the samples of the rest of the album last Monday, I instantly needed it!  I am so obsessed with the entire album!!  I have no idea why she chose the singles she did, but the album is really nothing like Shake it Off!!

I even like Out of the Woods and Welcome to New York when they are thrown into the rest of the mix.  I did delete Shake it Off from the playlist, I just couldn't commit to it anymore, not when there were so many better ones to listen to!

My favorites: 
 Blank Space
Wildest Dreams
I Wish You Would

Side note from Blank Space, does anyone else feel as though 'I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream' is an extremely relevant and comical saying that encompasses so many aspects of life?  You're a crazy mess, but you have to put on that foundation and fix it until you make it.  You're in a really bitchy mode, but you just keep on smiling.  I think it's pretty brilliant!

Who else has listened to nothing else all week?


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Apartment Before & After: Bathroom

It's been awhile since I have shared a peak of the apartment.  My second favorite room in the new place in the bathroom.  I was just as excited for this project as the kitchen.  I kid you not, the bathroom when we bought the place was gross.  It was all shades of brown, and dated beyond belief.  Not to mention the mirror and lighting, yikes!!

I knew right away it needed to be brightened up. Yet, MB and I wanted a dark navy blue wall.  It came out even better than I had planned in my head!!

We gutted basically everything, expect the tub and tiles.  You may not believe that given the photos, but we kept all the original cast iron and tiles.  We considered getting one of those 'bathroom in a day' covers, but they are kind of cheap looking yet really expensive.  

Luckily, we found a company that refinishes old tubs and tiles with patching and spray.  It is so reasonable, cheap actually, and it made all the difference in the world!

I adore how it looks and am enjoying being able to use a bathtub again!  It's so nice to know that it is new, clean, and just me using it!

Yes, the tub/tile is pinkish vanilla.  The floor is brownish red.  The toilet is like 6 inches off the ground, and the vanity is roughly twice as old as I am. 

Could the mirror be any larger, or the shower curtain rod be any lower??  Also, notice the ceiling falling down in the corner? Ek!

We needed a new ceiling, lights and fan, touch ups to the wall and floors and then used it as a storage room for a week.  That photo I no longer have, but when they redid the wood floors, everythingg was thrown into the bathroom.  It was mildly overwhelming. 

I'm sorry, but isn't it amazing!?!?  I designed the room around shower curtain.  I knew from day one that I wanted a clean, classic look, yet have it be feminine and modern. 

As weird as this sounds, I loved this toilet right away.  It had the perfect lines and I knew it would be perfect for pretty nic-nacs!  

The vanity set we got at Ikea, yes Ikea!!! It is the perfect size, yet holds more than you could ever imagine!! I love how it has one exposed larger shelf, I think it looks so much better than when it's all closed off.  The sink has the cutest little corners, isn't it perfect how it goes up in the back?

We use these pulls throughout the apartment, and I think they are prefect in here.  Not to mention, how much better is the floor!?!  We went with the gray tones so it would tie into the kitchen colors!

It may be one of the smallest bathrooms in the world, but I love it!

PS. I got the greatest shower caddy!  It looks as if it is built in to the shower, and adjusted perfectly to fit all my stuff.  Not to mention, it doesn't swing around or anything because it's secured!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Catherine's Handbags 101

Rue La La recently reached out to tell me about their new Handbag Guide!  I obviously knew of Rue La La and love their sales, but had no idea they had a blog, The Style Guide!  

I am a lover of handbags, I have far too many and often fall into the habit of using the same couple over and over again.  I definitely have rough outlines for the type of days I use which bags.

Coat rack = bag rack (old apartment had zero closet space, so I used my coat rack.  Now I have wonderful shelves in my closet for all my accessories!!)

I use my larger, easy going totes for work and school.  I prefer a smaller, nicer tote, cross body, or forearm bag (as I call them!)  for a day out in the city, a fun brunch, etc.  At night, or when I go to an event, I usually just use the same small evening bag.  I've never been a huge fan of clutches, just because for whatever reason, I like to have my hands free!  If I were Princess Kate and didn't really have to do anything or worry about leaving it somewhere, then I would likely have a small collection, because they are so beautiful!  I have one that I adore, it was a graduation gift from my brother.  I usually use it every night on vacation when I don't really need anything and am just walking around and going to dinner.

 Work & School:

This is what I use and carry 80% of the time!  I need a good durable bag for school and work since I do carry so much.  For work I usually don't need my laptop, I got a new one at work last week, yay!  However, if I'm going to school or the library afterward then I'll pack one bag for the day.  I swear by Longchamps.  I have a 15 inch MacBook, so it doesn't fit in much, and is too heavy for most straps to handle.  As much as I love the large screen, I will 100% be downsizing to an air when I can!  My first Longchamp was a gift for my 16th birthday, I am now turning 25, OMG, but even though the liner is a mess, it still works great!  You can seriously put these things through anything!
I also use my Vineyard Vines tote a lot.  It holds a ton of stuff and is very durable as well.  I am particularly proud of this one, seeing as I designed it as part of a collection for my alma mater, Dexter Southfield, packs self on back ;).
As you can see, I carry my laptop, planner, kindle, wallet, glasses, snack, water, keys and my bag's bag, remember that post?

Off to class, with yet another of my monster sized bags!

Everything in Between:

When I go out during the weekend or after work, what I toss in my bag varies.  These are two of my go to's.  They can hold a ton, or very little and still look great!  I received my Celine bag for my birthday two years ago and it felt like my first really 'grown up' bag.  MB knew I was struggling with 23 and rather than give me the bag for Law School Graduation, she and Bill surprised me.  I love that I can literally go from an apple orchid into a work interview and the bag transitions.  My Tory Burch bag I purchased for myself last Spring.  I loved that it has the long strap, so it is more flexible and easy to use than my Celine, and well, we all know I love navy!  
I carry any of the following: iPad, camera, planner, kindle, sunglasses, small wallet, keys and of course, my bag's bag!

Rainy day errands


When I go out with friends, or am volunteering at a Junior League event, I like to have as little as possible.  I use my Chanel every time.  It is small, hands free, and holds more than you'd think.  Not to mention it goes with everything -have to love that classic factor!  I've had it for years and love it more and more as I get older.  I actually learned while reading Rue La La's Handbag Guide that it is rumored that Coco put a zippered pocket under the front flap to have a place to store love letters!  I always wondered what that little spot was for!!!  There are so many cute tips on their guide.
My Hermes clutch is the clutch I mentioned before, it's fun, yet beautiful.  I use it when I can, but I do get afraid of something happening to it! It holds hardly anything, but I can be a minimalist, sometimes.
With these bags I carry my small wallet, sometimes just a card holder, my small keys (that elephant can get in the way sometimes), a lipstick, nail file, sample mascara, tic tacs, and Motrin.

Used my clutch in Vegas when I saw Britney this Summer!

Are you a Rue La La blog reader? What are your favorite handbags and what do you need to have with you at all times?!


Monday, October 20, 2014

I Love Lists

Nothing makes me more flustered than not being organized.  As you know from a few of my last posts, I struggled to keep my head above the water a few weeks ago.  One of the things I did to get back on track was go a bit overboard buy a few Knock Knock Stuff pads.  These make it so much easier to stay on track.  With juggling multiple work schedules, appointments, Reagan, and school, it just wasn't easy enough to use my one planner.  

The Knock Knocks, as I call them, allow me to separate everything I need to do, while having it all together (I know that sounds weird, but you'll see).  I think there is a fine line with everyone and their own tolerance, so to speak, when it comes to balancing your organization tools.  For some people, having 4 sets of lists plus a planner and iCal, may be too much.  You need to do what works for you.  

For me, my iCal and planner have all the same stuff in it, if those aren't synched, then you're screwed.  This way if I'm out and run into someone, I can make plans without needing my huge planner which doesn't fit in my little Chanel.

Also in my planner, I have the 'This Week' list.  I have one paper clipped to each week for a month at a time.  This I use for my school assignments.  Rather than have my readings take over my planner, or having a separate book for those assignments, this is the perfect compromise.


I use a few other pads around the house, I use a packing checklist if I am going away for the weekend, I use a food list on the fridge to check track of what I run out of, and lastly I use a to do list to keep track of miscellaneous chores.

I usually will keep this list in my planner so as I think of things I'll need I can easily check it off!

These two make my kitchen very organized!  I got this pad with a magnet on it so I could keep it on the fridge.  The other I place on my bulletin board weekly!

Any other Knock Knock addicts out there?!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Reagan's Picks For Fall

Normally this time of year, I would be writing about my favorites for the new season.  While I will do a post on my picks soon, I figured I would also share Reagan's recent favorites and things on his wish list!  

I will be honest, he has more toys and goodies than most puppies probably need, but thanks to Our Good Dog Spot, and the trusty Amazon, he has been spoiled.  He loves rope and plush toys.  I think the rope is good when he's having a hard teething day, and the plush ones are great to have in the crate at night, and he loves when he bites on the squeaker!!

I have been hesitant to buy him any sort of 'outerwear' since he is growing so quickly, but as it gets colder I notice him being a bit more swift with his business outside.  Yet, since he is growing, I want him to be able to start going on longer walks!  He luckily loves the rain, it took a few tries, but he got used to it, however, I hate the rain since he gets wet and then hates getting dried off.  I keep his hair long and when it gets wet and I'm not able to brush him, I get really worried that he'll get matted, which is a huge fear of mine since I NEVER want to shave him!!! I think a raincoat of sorts and possibly a sweater will be in his future!  I love the selection that Our Good Dog Spot has!

The biggest change for him has been a blanket in his crate with him!  This has made a big difference since we have had some chillier nights! I put it on top of his crate pad, and he'll get it all nestled in it! 

The easiest way to get ready for a new season is with a change of collar and lead!  Reagan received the BEST plaid set from Our Good Dog Spot.  I have had my eyes on it forever!  Bogey has a collar from the same collection, just a different plaid.  They look that the perfect New England dogs!

He loves it as much as I do!

I mean so cute and perfect for the colder days!!

These are the greatest things ever created!  They stand up to SO much chewing and you can wet them and freeze them to help numb puppy's gums so they aren't in as much pain!  Genius. 

Reagan loves these, they are the perfect size since I give him one each time he goes the bathroom, acts well, and goes in and out of his crate!  I also love that I don't need to worry about the ingredients because I know they are organic and not bad for him!

This is Reagan's blanket and his favorite plush toy - seen many times on his Instagram @reaganrurode

I'm obsessed with this coat.  Not only will it keep him dry and warm, but it has the reflective safety stripe with is key for little Reagan because he will only go the bathroom in the street!  I kid you not, it's a common characteristic of Beacon Hill pups!! If I only get one this for him this season, it will be this coat.

The perfect festive toy!

What are your dog's favorite things?


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Only Puffer Coat I'd Ever Wear

Don't get me wrong, I love cozy coats in the Winter, but I've never been able to commit to one of the really puffy ones.  Everyone from my Grandmother to my closest friends have invested in a long, big, black puffer coat.  I invested in something similar last year, I chose the Patagonia down jacket.  It's a great length, it is SO warm, and it is extremely thin!  

I went with a short coat, because so many of the larger puffers are all really long.  I am not someone who has the body type for a knee length puffy coat.  I would look like multiple inner tubes got stuck all the way down my body.

Until recently, I feel as though The North Face, Patagonia and LL Bean have dominated the Black Puffer, but I am thrilled to see designers added twists to the popular staple!  I am also excited at the trend to shorten these coats!  I think it makes it much more wearable!

I recently saw this Kate Spade version of the common puffer coat, and well, I'm obsessed with it!  I think this post will also be a good way to start my dream item of the month posts again!  I am on a MAJOR budget, so sadly this coat will never make it into my closet, but it will still win the title of the only big puffer coat you'd ever seen Catherine in!

Are you a puffy coat person?


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