Grazie! Merci! Thanks!

Hello lovelies! Yes, can you believe it? It’s that time of the year again. It’s Thanksgiving! I’m sure you’re already prepping for that beautiful and scrumptious table. For some last minute tips and ideas, you can check some out, here and here.So, they say, it’s really just not on Thanksgiving that you should give thanks. But, what the heck, this day is extra special so without further ado, I’d like to thank….

Clockwise from Top Left: 1. Logan, my super adorable nephew: he’s got amazing parents & grandparents…the most wonderful in-laws ever! 2. Old friends and new friends, there’s so many, some I’ve only met virtually but all are enriching my life everyday 3. Noelle, my unica hija, how blessed am I? 4. My Mom {isn’t she chic?} & my sister whom I spending the holidays with in the Philippines 5. Jason, who makes me laugh every day.
Work and career doesn’t define us but it’s so much a part of us, I’m so grateful for what I do, what I learned & experienced and what’s still out there for me.
Clockwise from Top Left: 1. Triangle Therapeutics: yes, I know this blog is about design, but I was first & foremost a Physical Therapist. Our practice continues to thrive & grow and essentially because of our wonderful staff. 2. Interior Styling Projects challenges me every time 3. The shop is well & good, all because of this amazing gal {she has absolutely no idea how much she’s helping me!} 4. More Design & Styling Projects are coming … {those are infusion balls from Sugaplump..yum!}, events, photo shoots, etc that continually sparks my creativity. xo Maureen
Wait wait! I want to say thanks too! 🙂
As cliche as I know this sounds, I really have to say I am thankful for everything in my life that has gotten me to where I’m at in my life now.  I am most definitely thankful for my outrageous and awesome family (would have included a picture of them but they are somewhat paranoid about putting photos on the internet lol).  I would not have made it through some rough patches without the support of my wonderful boyfriend Stephen. I might be biased, but I think my friends are probably the best people ever ;).  I am super thankful for the opportunity to work with someone so awesome and fun as Maureen 🙂 seriously, I could not love my job more. Although he likes to destroy my potted plants, I am still thank for my furry friend Nugget.  And I am thankful that I majored in a creative field where I get to meet so many amazing talented people!  🙂 Rachel
And you, thank you for reading! From the words of Facebook friends, life is indeed really good! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ch-changes at The Shop

Ok folks, thought I’d let you all know of the few {but absolutely amazing} changes at the shop. I’ve never been afraid of changes, well except when my metabolism changed from being super fast to kinda slow. Oooopps, over share! Anyways, we’re talking about being innovative, making your online perusing experience better. The online shop is finally equipped to do the following:1. Comparison Shopping

Now, you can compare 2 to 3 items just by checking the square boxes below product item|s. Hmmm, can’t decide what color of throw pillow to get? Or maybe, you wanna see if the wall art matches the rug? Or like below, what kind of tablescaping will you go with this holiday? Will it be whimsical with A Walk in the Woods? Glam & Metallic with Four Calling Birds? Or pair your vintage candelabras with something more Bohemian?

2. Be Social & Share

We did have share buttons before, but now it’s more streamlined. You can Tweet your find, send an e-mail, Facebook like it, or Google Plus it. Of course, you can always “Pin It” at Pinterest.

3. Facebook Social Store

Yes, there is such a thing! Shopping are usually done with friends & family. Now, you can do it on FB too!

Thanks all for the support! We’re still learning from you, so drop us a line anytime!

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A Blast from the Past Fundraiser for SafePlace Austin

Favorite era? That probably would be the 20’s. Images of glamour and sophistication comes to mind and the emergence of art deco. I’m thinking of ultra red lips, tons of bling and a flowy dress a la the women of Boardwalk Empire.

Mark your calendars Austin and join the Texas chapter of the Interior Design Society for a Blast from the Past Fundraiser Event for Safe Place Austin , an organization that aims to provide an environment of healing and safety to those affected by sexual and domestic violence.

Here are the details:

Wednesday, October 26 · 6:00pm9:00pm

Home Builders Association Event Center

8140 Exchange Dr
Austin, TX
Have fun and help the community!
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Meet Rachel

Once in a while we all have to say, enough is enough! That we can’t do it all [even though we all secretly think we’re superwoman!]. Sadly, I’ve needed help for a while now and have had a few interns come and go. But now, how can I be so lucky? I think I found the one! She is smart, she’s pretty, she’s sociable and man, she totally gets me. She’s an Architectural Interior Design student at UT, maybe we love the same things, that’s why. So, meet Rachel…

favorite interior designer…

Without a doubt, Marcel Wanders is my absolute favorite interior designer. His designs are irreverent and humorous, and are a perfect blend of stark modernism with nods to the beautiful opulence of 16th century French interiors.

favorite home shop in Austin…I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t visited many of the fantastic looking home shops in Austin! I love modern sleek style with vintage touches mixed in to give some personalization and a bit of the unexpected. We actually did a design project with Design Within Reach, which is a store filled with what designers’ dreams are made of. Although out of a broke college student’s price range, too many of their pieces are on my future house wishlist! favorite apparel shop in Austin….

With Halloween coming up, all I’ve been thinking about lately is going to Lucy in Disguise! This costume store is one of my all-time favorite places to go, in Austin or anywhere else! They literally have every costume you can think of, and the variety of accessories, masks, hats, and shoes is staggering. Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year (I’m one of those weird “Halloween on Christmas” people, complete with Nightmare Before Christmas decorations!) and this store caters to everything lovable about Halloween. Go check it out!

myself and my roommate Alyssa (with our friend Mike) in our costumes from Lucy In Disguise!

favorite outfit…

Anything Emma Stone, Alexa Chung, or Emma Watson wears. I think they are going to be some of this generation’s biggest style icons.favorite food…

Dim Sum is my favorite food type ever. It’s so hard to find a good place in Austin, but I recently tried Get Sum Dim Sum (on Lamar across from Central Market) and it was pretty delish, especially for the price.

favorite past time…

I will openly admit I am a nerd in so many ways! I love staying in and watching fantasy, sci-fi and horror movies (Lord of the Rings was on repeat for most of my teenage years). I also have what might be considered an addiction to video games. I currently have 6 different game systems, the result of having two older brothers as my main role models for most of my life! Other than nerding out, I love anything outdoors. Take me to the beach and I’m happy.

dream vacation…

My boyfriend and I are actually planning a trip to New Zealand in May as a sort of graduation present to myself, so that would definitely be one of my dream vacations. My other is to travel South America, a la The Motorcycle Diaries, and just experience the people and culture there. My aunt, who is a huge art buff, takes trips to Mexico and Panama frequently, so I think she’s been a major inspiration as far as dream vacations go.

what your wedding day would most likely resemble…

A fairy paradise! Haha but really, I think I just want a large outdoor gathering with friends and family in a relaxed atmosphere. Not sure what I want my dress to look like just yet, but I love the idea of bridesmaid’s dresses in a variety of neutral tones that complement the girl’s complexions, with sashes of bright colors. Also, lots and lots and lots of little lights of every kind – candles, tea lights, even Christmas lights! I think sparkling light creates a magical feeling in a space, which is exactly how I want to feel on my wedding day.  ……………. Aaahhh, an outdoor wedding, my kind of gal definitely! Please check out the blog often for Rachel’s posts. She’s also helping me at the shop and with styling projects and more. Welcome Rachel!

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Our Stay at The Zaza

I must admit, I’m a bit of a cheapskate when it comes to hotels. My top three choices have always been Best Value Place, La Quinta or a Super 8. Listen people, it’s called being frugal. You’re just going to sleep there and pretty much gallivant the whole day anyway. Hmmm, very few people agrees with me, especially the ones that values comfort and safety. 🙂

My recent trip to Dallas with my mother & sister-in-law was a tad different, after all they booked it and I was in for a real treat…stayed at The Zaza! How can I be sooo lucky! A boutique hotel? For us? Yippee! The hotel is known for both exquisite service and design. When my sister-in-law ask the bellhop to show us their “suites,” he showed us not one, not two but four of their Magnificent Seven Suites.

Rock Star: with it’s leather and animal print
The Last Czar: all the Brocade & Baroque you could imagine
Raven: A salute to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic
Red Shoes: with original Blahnik sketches, yes please!
Even the sign to our room is fancy! Our humble room with a not-so-humble grand lamp.
We nibbled right away on cheeses and nuts complements of the hotel!
I can get so used to this! I’m living and loving always and can’t wait to stay at the Zaza again!

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Design & Decor, Life
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It’s My Unica Hija’s Birthday

This cake is lovingly dedicated to my daugther, Noelle who is turning 14 today.  She is entering the second year of her teen years which means I’m officially stressed about college. No, really…I am truly blessed to have a wonderful daughter, she is loving and thoughtful and yes, she still adores her parents. I can go on and on about how amazing she is but that’s just a proud Momma for you…and yes, we all have the best son or daughter ever! If you don’t believe me just look at the Facebook posts of your friends with kids.

We celebrated it this weekend with two of her closest friends with a shopping day and a slumber party at a hotel. Yes, no more Chuck E Cheese celebrations {darn, I miss those days!}. That’s her in the middle with friends Brooklyn & Maddie. Happy birthday my little one!

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Austin Farmer’s Market

When in Austin, do as the Austinites do. And that is supporting local, sustainability and anything {and everything} organic. After all, this town boasts of the birth place of Whole Foods Market. But before this behemoth of a store came to being, there are the always present and innovative local farmers and food artisans. They conglomerate every Saturday  at the corner of Guadalupe & San Antonio}, this is the Austin Farmer’s Market  downtown.So, on a hot Saturday morning, like a sizzling 107 degrees 2 weeks ago, me & the hubs trekked the grueling one block to got to the market {indeed one of the perks of living downtown}. Here are some pictures I took with my new Nikon DSLR D80 {yes folks, I’m going pro…not!}.

Barney-inspired veggies!
Flowers from the yard!
Pasta! And I’m pretty sure the gray-brown looking ones are not worms.
We got a lemongrass ginger one!
This is sooo good & refreshing by the way…hibiscus mint tea!
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Life |
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Wednesday Soiree | AFW

So, I’m definitely not a big fashionista {although I oooh and aaah at the sight of a lucite chair with tufted seating} but once a year here in Austin, there’s Austin Fashion Week. There are fashion events North & South, East & West. I’m a little lame with event hopping, it seems I can only do one a night but last Wednesday, I went to a whopping not two, not three but four events. I definitely up my game that night. Here’s a recap:

With dear friend Jeannie of ByJeannie jewelry {she won Texas Next Top Designer…woot!}, personalized cookies and mmm cake pops by Sweet Pop {believe me they were delish!}, the team at Shop Underwear & a necklace from ByJeannie’s Dentelle collection.
Photo Booth by Peter Tung
Next stop Touch of Sass & Bella Bridesmaid: jewelry at the shop, the always stylish Joanna of Keep Austin Stylish, 50’s inspired outfits by Tess Dress  worn by Andrea {with dashing husband}, models for bridal designer, Ciarla Bride & hat designer, Lana Chu.
Last stop, Moss: amazing handcrafted pieces from Margot Wolf {even these two guys were completely flabbergasted}, gorgeous gals, Jenna, Jane & Elisa.
Next year, I’ll have more stamina with event shopping…and maybe have a little more ooommph in my fashion choices, nah, I think I’ll always keep it simple.
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Life |
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Pretty {Busy}

Hello folks! I’m back in awesome Austin which is awesome of course! August has been an extremely busy month for me. But I thrive on being busy and productive, having new experiences & learning along the way. The busy…ness {?} continues…
… I was in Southeast Texas for 2 weeks being a Physical Therapist. As some of you know {the regular 5 or so that reads my blog :)}, I’m part-therapist, part-online shop retailer, part space stylist. Well, the three may be combined very soon. The clinic is looking at a new property that will need work, lots of work! We’re hard at work making decisions but if it pushes through, it will be amazing!
…. I antiqued shop pretty much the weekends when I was gone, those little shops in the back roads of Texas are full of goodies, I’ll share them with y’all soon!
… Me & Ansa with the creative input of Kaleigh is getting together a new blogazine that revolves around antiquing. We hope to make it hip, cool and fresh. Hope it will blow you away!
… It’s Austin Fashion Week! Events everyday especially with my good friends Jeannie & Deborah.
Well, so while I’m taking a bit of a breather, please allow me to look at these peach flowers in gold goblets. The sheer beauty is making me energized already! Ok, I guess, I’ll share, you can look at them as well!

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In My Kitchen Series for A Diary of Lovely

Thought I’ll share my kitchen from a post for the In My Kitchen Series for A Diary of Lovely.
———————–I’m always excited when Helena of A Diary of Lovely asks me to participate in one of her fabulous series but I was a little panicky as my kitchen is not my dream kitchen. I want it to be brighter, refreshing, have white cabinets, more cottage-like. But alas, I think most of us dream of the dream kitchen. I also rarely cook and when I do, it’s not the best…but I can mix up things together. Does that count? So, here you go…

Our tableware and glassware is mostly white & clear. I’m starting my own white hobnail collection that I hope Eddie Ross will be proud of.

Eat in or Out: Out…most definitely!

Take Away or Restaurant: Restaurant
I cook for: my daughter & husband, if ever or whenever it happens 🙂
Healthy food: tomatoes, egg whites, onion omellette
Indulgence: Anything sweet that’s moussey or have whip cream on top! I have a hopelessly sweet tooth!
Weekend meal: Tex-Mex at a restaurant overlooking Lake Austin
Date dinner: Bacon Shrimp & Grits with Pommes Frites + a French 75 at Bess Bistro
Quick fix: A protein shake
Mild: Cholula Sauce
 Spicy: Thai Green Curry, Ghost Pepper
My kitchen is: totally needs to be used more!
Favourite gadget: our Cutco knife! it cuts sooo good!
In the kitchen, I couldn’t live without: the milk frother, my morning cafe au lait just has to be perfect, thanks to my husband!
My cooking bible: Google
My must have ingredients: coriander/cilantro, chili sauce
Spicy or mild: most definitely S.P.I.C.Y.
My Recipe: Ack, I may be the most undomesticated woman when it comes to the kitchen…I tried cooking before but it never did like me. Once in a while, I would attempt it. So here it goes, it is the quintessential summer cake and I just love strawberries!So today, I’d like to share a recipe for strawberry shortcake.
No, not this one…
But this one:
Here’s the easy way: Buy a pound cake or Angel Food cake + fresh strawberries + whip cream. Get it all together however you want it and Voila!
Or the right way from the Food Librarian:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 – 2 cups heavy cream
Whole strawberries, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
3. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Add dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the buttermilk in 3 additions. Divide among the prepared pans.

1. In a large chilled bowl, whip the cream with the remaining 2 tbsp of sugar until stiff.
2. Assemble the cake with cake, strawberries, whipped cream and repeat. Finish with your best strawberries on top.

Enjoy the Summer! Enjoy the sweetness!



Life, Styling |
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