February, 2011

oscar night

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i believe i was placed on netflix probation in our household for a short period of time…we had a one-two punch of some really despondent flicks.  first up was ‘everybody’s fine’ – robert de niro, drew barrymore…seemed like a cute “coming of age” movie.  not so much, more like a super depressing tearjerker.  recently widowed dad, learning how to do things around the house for the first time, trying to connect with his kids now that his wife is not present to plan family functions, and all of his children lie to him and scoot him out of town when he comes to visit.  it’s bad.  next was ‘extraordinary measures,’ the courageous story of a dad trying to find a cure for two of his children’s incurable disease.  OMG.  do not proceed pass go for this movie if you have children and you aren’t in the mood to plow through a whole box of kleenex.  wonderful storyline and i love that it’s true, but just absolutely heartbreaking.

i think i climbed out of my hole with ‘the social network’ arrival this past weekend.  we watched it on saturday night and wow – now i see what all of the hype was about.  and i LOVE watching movies that are nominated for oscars, before the oscars…i usually only get around to a couple of them, but i undoubtedly root for them during the awards ceremony.  did y’all watch last night?  i did, and what fun.  i went to a friend’s house where she was hosting a far-flung friend from college, and also made a new friend – famous blogger my favorite and my best!  holla.  we all filled out ballots and i can’t wait to see who won…it was certainly not i.

anne hathaway – what a vision she was, and what life she breathed into the show!  she was vibrant and funny, and most of all had great hair (with the exception of that tightly braided – ? – bun…).  this was my favorite of her dresses (so many!), but the sparkly last one was pretty fab too…i mean, the tux was even adorable on her, complete with sequined 6-inch heels.

best dressed of the night, according to moi – far and away, cate blanchett.  she looked divine in an age-appropriate dress but still so very stylish…cate knows what’s up.  this dress slayed me all night.  plus i’m digging the hair in a major way.

and check out the back.  i’m dying…
and speaking of good hair, did you see gwyneth’s?!  goodness gracious, she must have just left the salon chair and bottle of peroxide.  it was flawless.  dress was just ok i thought; it could have been a tad more feminine for my taste…but oh the hair.
i really hate to hurt your eyes like this, but what in the heck was nicole kidman thinking.  and more importantly, john galliano, what were YOU thinking?  the necklace was perfection, but oy….red shoes, severe hair, and that monstrosity.

i usually wait with baited breath (waaaay past my bedtime) for the best actor and the best actress winners’ speeches…hopefully they have a few tears involved, some really heartfelt spouse thank yous (think tom hanks, julia roberts, reese witherspoon)…and i guess i enjoy tearing up along with them, or something.  although last night my tear ducts were dry as the sahara, but i did laugh at colin firth’s.  he is so darn cute with his british humor.  of course it’s always fun seeing a pregnant girl win, but natalie was so with it – i mean, doesn’t she have pregnant brain and/or raging hormones?  i expected more, or maybe less actually!
but i did tear up at the kids singing ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ at the end.  what a sap.
hope y’all had good weekends!!  can you believe tomorrow is MARCH…wild.

scoutmob, pieces and lonny.

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scoutmob, pieces and lonny?  what the heck do these three things have in common?!  i’ll take you down my rabbit trail…

scoutmob is AWESOME.  and i’m not just saying that because one of the co-founders, michael tavani, is the calliespondence web designer.  you guys know what scoutmob is, right?  50% off deals – that are free to the user – at new and fun, sometimes old and fun, local restaurants and stores.  two friends and i used a scoutmob at d.b.a. barbeque in the highlands last weekend and looked at the final bill in shock and awe…it’s great.  you should definitely sign up! 

today’s scoutmob is at pieces – the atlanta outpost for current-to-the-minute home design trends, fabulous pillows (some of which will be gracing the new calliespondence office – i have been waiting years to use them!), furniture and other home accessories.  the owner, lee kleinhelter, is a sort of local celeb, with her home gracing the pages of the (now defunct) cottage living, atlanta homes and lifestyles and other rags worth reading.  people – up to a $500 discount on the wares at pieces!  that is huge, and could not be better timed for my decorating needs.  thanks michael!

her garden hills house in cottage living, featured in 2006:

her family’s more recent abode, a condo in the soverign building:
34 weeks pregnant….yeah.  hate her.

the store, located in buckhead:

you must go.
also, lonny (online magazine created by domino ex-employees – hurrah!) is on to the pieces craze and featured an atlanta tour guide led by lee, which you can read here

everything’s coming up pieces.  see you there!
happy friday!!

collier hills (atlanta) condo for rent

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it’s no surprise that we are vacating one home and will soon be inhabiting another…so after four wonderful years at the collier house, we will be searching for a tenant to look after our condo.  if you know anyone looking for a charming and historic place to live sometime in april, please send them our way!  we’ve loved living here in collier hills and are glad to not be going very far.  the only bummer about our new pad is that i don’t think we’ll be able to walk to jalisco’s for dinner from there.  but from the collier house – you can walk to peachtree battle shopping center (home to the wondeful jalisco’s, starbucks, cheyenne grille, cafe lapin, publix), the brookwood place shopping center (spa sydell, tuk tuk thai cuisine, baroni italian, kroger) and the almighty chick-fil-a is just across the street.  also within walking distance – the new beltline trail!  great for jogging, walking or biking…and there’s a dog park, too.

features of the condo:
– 1 bedroom
– bonus room with original casement windows: can act as office, sunroom or nursery
– 1 bathroom, updated
– living room
– separate dining room
– kitchen with stainless steel appliances and large pantry
– washer/dryer in unit
– crown moulding and hardwoods throughout
– TONS of natural light
– 1-car garage located directly underneath unit (you don’t even get wet when it’s raining!)
– custom draperies in bonus room and dining room stay
– plantation shutters throughout
– huge clothes closet with Elfa shelving system, plus two other closets
– 1920’s historic building with only 15 units – not usually open to renters
– brick patio courtyard located directly outside the unit
– first floor unit (no flights of stairs to get home!  but still above ground level)
– extra storage located in basement
– cool landlords that are a mile away :)

and the best part…
– rent includes cable tv, heat and gas, water, trash, pest control and landscape maintenance.  the only bill you will have is power!

ok, enough boring stats….let’s get to the good stuff.  pictures!

living room
dining room…i will miss you, farm table and benches!  rbb has made it clear that he needs a REAL chair, with a back, to sit in while dining.
kitchen with view of back door leading to garage to the left
recently updated bathroom
bonus room (currently a nursery but would make a great office or sunroom).  floor-length custom curtains will stay.
courtyard – perfect for an afternoon cocktail hour (seating is on the left).
if you know anyone who is interested or if you are – please feel free to email me or call me at 404.290.8491 for a viewing or to answer any questions!
thank you for allowing me this shameless plug :)

little boy baptism invitations

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i just ADORE a sunday church service with a baptism.  i always get a little misty, something about seeing those sweet innocent babes in their pristine white gown, the preacher talking about how they truly are a gift from God, ahhhh.  sends me searching my purse for a hanky!  yesterday we had twin girls get baptized at our church service – and our preacher set them in their double stroller (he usually carries babies he’s baptizing) when he showed them off to the congregation – thought he had too much of a handful to hold them.  it was hilarious watching them being strolled down the aisle.

our friend michelle reached out to me a couple of months ago for baptism invitations for her newest little boy, henry.  it was so fun working with her – we did a departure from the classic script fonts she told me she usually chooses, and instead used a looser, more non-traditional script.  i think the mixture of that script font, the gorgeous blue & grey damask print she chose for a liner, and the grey grosgrain ribbon wrapped around the invitation ended up being the perfect combination for a fresh keepsake for her little one’s baptism!

michelle, i hope the day was beautiful and special!!

the new wallpaper

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i am sure that like any good generation x-er, or y-er…or what have you, you too grew up with wallpapered rooms in your family home.  i know i did!  i still remember my bathroom’s wallpaper, it was a teeny-tiny scale pink and green floral pattern, that sort of looked like stripes…i loved it.  and i really loved the pink carpet in my bedroom…a six-year-old’s dream come true.  our kitchen had a hunter green (remember hunter green??  when was the last time you heard someone talk about hunter green?  was it in reference to a land’s end barn jacket?) floral wallpaper, almost vine looking. 

well, the days of staid floral wallpaper in muted colors are over – there are so very many fresh and fun wallpapers out there, i don’t know HOW i’m going to pick just one for our dining room!  i know several of you did not find any objection to the current toile walls, and at one time in my life i could not get enough toile…but it’s just not really indicative of my current tastes.  so it must go.  and in its place – something just fabulous.

at the moment, i’ve been squealing with delight at katie ridder’s options…and what more assurance do you need that a particular option is in fact fabulous, when it’s good enough for carrie bradshaw?!

it’s her “oiseau” paper in chocolate. mmm.  it comes in several other equally delicious colorways, as well.

she has several other fun patterns as well…
here’s a powder room that erin over at elements of style designed, using katie’s “leaf” pattern.
and a butler’s pantry that katie ridder herself designed utilizing another one of her patterns…  don’t you just love a butler’s pantry?  i sure do.
oh – and she does fabric too.  (swoon)

jen also just sent over SO MANY amazing wallpaper options – i just know any of them would be perfect…

…but how to pick just one?  oy.
have great weekends!!

brooke and jay: a glam coastal affair

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i am so excited to showcase this wedding for you guys!  i sifted through every last one of the wedding pictures yesterday and there are just so many good ones to show y’all.  i love featuring weddings i attended, because it brings back all of the good memories…and this one had a lot.

i’ll start at the beginning – the very beginning.  when i was in high school, i couldn’t wait to turn 16 and get a “real job” other than babysitting.  i know, i know – if i only knew then what i know now, right?  in perfect timing, a new french restaurant called la madeleine was opening up around the corner from our house in east cobb (a suburb of atlanta if you’re not from these parts) right before i turned 16…so i drove down there (i guess with my mom in the passenger seat with my big learner’s permit) and applied for a job, got hired, and ended up working there until i went to college a couple of years later.  brooke, who attended the rival high school to mine, worked there as well and knew a lot of folks i went to school with, so we became friends.  i’ll have you know that we both had to wear a white chef’s apron….and a white chef’s hat.  yes, like the one chef boyardee wears.  that kind.

fast forward to athens, circa may 2002 – brooke and i both went on to attend the university of georgia, but lost touch a little bit just because of running with different crowds, and uga is a big place.  our class was graduating, and everyone was abuzz with their post-college plans…some more concrete than others.  i had already planned to move to san diego with three girlfriends, and we all were headed out there mid-may to 1) actually GO THERE, as none of us had ever been… and 2) find a place to live when we moved at the end of the summer.  all assuming we liked it, but who wouldn’t like san diego?  so those were the plans.

the last oh, year and 1/2 or so of college, i worked at city salon & spa at the front desk.  let me tell you, if that job paid anywhere near something i could live off of, i would still be doing it today.  best gig ever…it was a job requirement to dress well (um, justified shopping?  heck yeah!) and you could get essentially free services – highlights, facials, manicures, massages….i got my highlights touched up every 4 to 5 weeks, which if you have highlights, you know how ridiculous that is.  in the summertime, the bikini wax appointments are a hot ticket – everyone is, well, wearing a bathing suit and taking the appropriate measures to look their best.  the salon always had a cancellation list going so that we could accomodate as many of our clients before their beach trips as possible…and one day, we had a cancellation.  i took a gander at the cancellation list and saw a name i recognized – brooke migdall?  i’ll give the appointment to her!  i called her, and she rushed right in.  we got to chatting as she was checking out, and she asked what my plans were, i told her about the move to san diego and who i was going with…and through some avenue or another, she knew all of the girls that i was moving with. then told me that her aunt in san diego had offered to have her come and live with her family, but she just didn’t know a soul out there…but now she knew a few.  so we added another one to our flock, and all five of us moved out west in september 2002.

dating was tough in san diego.  at 22 years old and all having 9-5 office jobs, we found ourselves seemingly in the minority of our age group…plus the west coast attitude of guys was much more casual than us southerners were used to.  for instance – no, paying for our beers on quarter night at bub’s dive bar doesn’t really qualify as a date.  there was one bar in PB (what everyone called the neighborhood of pacific beach; the 20-something area of town) called the silver fox that we frequented a lot because of their awesome jukebox, cold and cheap drinks, spotted leopard carpet and abundance of guys wearing button-down collared shirts – a sure sign the male in question was from the east coast.  oh, and there was a great hot dog man in the front of the bar – you didn’t even have to leave to get street food!  it was awesome.  after i moved back to atlanta, brooke was at the silver fox one night with some of our friends, and asked a guy who looked like a trustworthy east coaster to watch her drink while she went to the little girl’s room.  well, he did…and they ended up talking….and dating….and getting engaged and married!  his name was (is…) jay.

a few words about jay – he is, in fact, from the east coast as brooke suspected.  he is a die hard syracuse fan.  i love when i asked him how syracuse was doing in their football season at their engagement party (this was around thanksgiving…so seasons were virtually over) and he said, “oh – we’re having a really good season, you know – we’ve won like six games.  NO wait, five – but that’s really good.”  he was seriously proud of his team.

i was thrilled to work with the two of them on their wedding invitations – it was such fun realizing their vision and helping it come to life on paper.  we also did programs, thank you cards, place cards, table cards and (phew!) favor bag stickers.  their wedding had a very chic feel to it – black and white, with punches of turquoise and purple.  it was held at a gorgeous bayfront resort in san diego, and the ceremony was outside…i think san diego is one of the only places where a bride can plan a stress-free outdoor wedding, seeing as how it only rains 4 days a year!  i’ll let the pictures do the talking, but brooke did an amazing job with the details and literally thought of everything!

first up, the invitation.  two color thermography mounted on black cardstock.  the invitation, rsvp postcard and rehearsal dinner/day after brunch cards were all placed into a black envelope lined with turquoise paper and affixed with custom wrap-around address labels.

i don’t have pictures of the thank you notes or the programs, but everything followed suit with the damask print and the fun script font…
now for the wedding photos!  get a load of these.  amazing.
some of my favorite san diego peeps…can you tell i’m smiling so hard it hurts?  love these folks.  pete & autumn and heidi!
more of my people…anne & 1/2 of mike, heidi, me, kristy, giovanna & 1/2 of jesse…
like i said…she thought of everything!
giovanna is my twin, and we used to get asked if we were all the time.  i always do a double take when i see her in a picture and don’t remember “my” outfit – like in this picture (beige dress in the middle of frame)
“and for god’s sake, just keep your legs together.” – anthony marantino
it was such a fun and beautiful day.  brooke and jay, congratulations!!  and please, please make your way back to this side of the country before too long…

decisions, decisions…

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so things are rolling with the house; inspection being done soon, we’ve settled on (and agree – ?!) on the floor covering in the master bedroom (green carpet…and green walls?  ick to both.  we’re putting down sisal instead and obviously painting.), we’re narrowing down the fridge search (v. important) and best of all – my girl jen dipasquale of revival design in austin, texas is on the job.  i started to get a little nutty last week because i realized that we close mid-march…we need to paint almost immediately after that so that we can move in in early april…OMG we need our color palettes and vision boards for every room completed!!!  i panicked and started sending jen furniture ideas, foaming at the mouth on the other side of the computer. being the professional that she is, she told me we need to focus and slow down.  send her images of other rooms we like so that we can get a framework going.  luckily, every time i see an image of a room i like, i right-click it and save it in a ‘decorating’ folder on my computer.  unfortunately i just did a rough count and over the years i’ve liked over 700 rooms.  oy.  how do you pick just one style, one color combination?

take living rooms for example.
do i do glam white and gold?  white slipcovers can be washed, right?

ok, i do have a toddler.  this would never work. but i do love the mix of classic lines with new.

love the light and fresh look of this room.
i adore the infusion of color here.  that ikat settee and chaise?  i die.
i require more color than this, but i love the way this room is set up…perfect for entertaining or lounging.
oooo.  ahhh.
one room down, and i’m already exhausted.  how do people do this!?
happy valentine’s day!!

buncolator notecards!

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what – have you not heard of a buncolator?!   well, you probably have heard of (or regularly play) the game favored by groups of women wielding trays of tiny quiches and pomegranate martinis all across the country, bunco?  it’s like poker – but for gals.  and involves aforementioned hor d’oeurves and cocktails.  sounds fun, right?!  i think so too.

my friend and sorority sister from college, lindsay winzeler forlines, and her very good friend catherine, are avid bunco players…and developed an app for iphones / ipads that is a score-keeping device for bunco!  how cool is that?!  it is currently on sale in the apple app store for a bargain price of $0.99, and you can find it here.   they also have a blog, which can be found at, so check in to see what they are up to.

lindsay asked me to design some notecards that they could use in promoting the buncolator, and what a neat project.  we found pink dice patterned paper to line pink envelopes with, and then printed the logo and catherine and lindsay’s names on white cardstock.  the result is fun, fresh, and makes you want to grab a group of girls and some dice (and of course the buncolator app!).

rush was dying to physically endorse the buncolator cards by being in the frame.

and there you have it – a game that women and toddlers can all appreciate!

under contract.

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yesterday evening, we found out that the bank accepted our counter offer on the house.  woo hoo!!!  want to meet her?

ok, now this picture needs a disclaimer.  you’re probably thinking, damn, that’s a foreclosure?!  no.  this is a picture taken when the house was for sale in 2007, when the owners that (sadly) foreclosed on it purchased the home.  compared to right about now, this picture is equivalent to you or me having fresh highlights, an amazing blowout, a full face makeover at the trish mcevoy counter, and maybe a little botox to top things off.  we will need to do a little work to restore her to her intended splendor.

starting with…this red toile wallpaper in the dining room.  (i am sure rbb is shaking his head right now, as there are many more tasks in the house that need immediate attention…but this happens to be at the top of my list!)

do you guys ever think about a room you saw in a magazine…a lot?  i cannot get this dining room in the first issue of lonny out of my head.  i love everything about it.
ahhh…isn’t it fabulous? 
off to pack. did i mention we are closing in a mere 5 weeks?  eep!
thank you for all of your good thoughts and crossed fingers!!  they absolutely paid off.

tuesday thoughts

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random thoughts floating through my head today…

1. yesterday’s post makes so much more sense now that all of my text decided to show up.  blogger, don’t know what your issue is, but would appreciate a heads up in the future when you’d like to omit a couple paragraphs.  mmmkay?  so, if you’d like more background on our giveaway winner and a little story about my mom (who rocks), it’s there now.

2. garnet hill, what have you done now?!  i love it!!  i got a catalog of theirs in the mail yesterday and wow…i was flipping through mentally bookmarking items left and right.  i only got a few minutes in before rush demanded my attention, so i just got through the bath items.  but they are the cutest, i dare to say, i have ever seen!

one of these will need to live in one of my bathrooms.

and i LOVE this entire bathroom.  orange and turquoise is a fave color combo of mine.

even lilly pulitzer bath mats?!  clearly i need a little girl’s bathroom to lay of these babies in, but one can dream… 

3.  we are thismuch closer to getting the house…hurrah!!  we finally received our counter offer last night.  at 8:15 p.m…i mean i want the house and all, but please respect the bachelor viewing time?

4.  i love this wedding cake.  isn’t it so pretty?  the undone look of the frosting, a ranunculus (ranunculi?) here and there…gorgeous.

that’s all i got.  ciao!