live: Winter vacation in Amsterdam

Last week I jetted off to Amsterdam with my best friend from high school and her mother, who grew up in Delph.  The mother daughter duo visit the Netherlands every December and I was thrilled to be part of the trip this year.


We stayed at a fabulous boutique hotel called The Dylan. Definitely recommend it if it fits within your budget. The staff were wonderful and the hotel itself was quiet, cozy and beautiful.


In regards to food, I made it my mission to eat fries at every meal (excluding breakfast). Needless to say, we walked all over the city, so I didn’t feel guilty with the daily indulgence. My favorite sampling of fries was at George W.P.A., paired with a glass of champagne. Cheers to lunch on vacation! Other restaurant favorites included Cafe Luden – perfect spot for tomato soup in the afternoon. As for dinner, we ended up visiting BHIP twice as it was conveniently located across the canal from our hotel. The owner was friendly, fun, and gave us plenty of suggestions of where to go next. If you’re a history buff who enjoys beer, be sure to grab a drink at Cafe Hoppe – technically the oldest bar in Amsterdam. We had a great time visiting with the locals while playing a few round of cards.


As for shopping, our hotel was located on the edge of  The Nine Streets. We had a great time perusing the boutiques and if you’re in the market for a new pair of boots, be sure to visit Fred la Bretoniere. Your check book may be sorry, but the store does not disappoint at all.  Cheers! xo Kristi

live: statement wall

When I feel a big change coming on, I have the tendency to create another one.  Some (my sister)  would argue that this is due to the fact that I can be a wee bit dramatic but I like to believe that probably has more to do with wanting to find something that I can control in the chaos.   So if change is going to happen, sometimes I’d like to the be one making the change happen.

The past few weeks have been filled with changes for me and sure enough in the thick of it all, on a whim, I painted a statement wall in my downstairs bathroom.   I should start by mentioning that this bathroom is about the size of one found on an airplane, it is a small windowless box and it has bugged me since I moved into my apartment.  Originally, I was thinking I would paint the wall behind the toilet Matte Black (for the drama), then I hesitated because it’s a rental and black paint is a pain to paint over.  And, I chickened out and did nothing.

Then, a few months later, with my need for change, I decided to paint it but was still scared of the black and feeling in love with the bursts of color that have been trending in home decorating and this  wall, decided to paint a salmon and white herringbone wall.   And well… guys, it’s blah.   I’ve lived with it for a few weeks now — I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either.  I decided to finish the room more, hanging the picture, shelf, etc. in the hope that it would help and I’ll live with it a few more weeks but I’m thinking no.  I also don’t love the shelf or the size of the frame… what do you guys think?  Keep it or should I just go for it and paint the whole thing black or navy?  Does anyone else take on huge projects in the middle of chaos?



the goods: 50 states design project

The past few months, I have been updating the artwork around my house.  I’ve made some of the art and purchased some pieces that I’ve found online.  In my searches, I time and time again find myself drawn to geography based art — maybe it comes from growing up in a house filled with maps.  When I came across the 50 States Design Project, I fell in love.   Graphic designer, Joshua Best, set out to design a poster for each of the 50 United States.  He has released 38 so far, each filled with a certain whimsy – to me, these feel more like concert posters than nod to a state.  Below are some of my favorites:

all images via

You can purchase the prints here.



travel: Weekend Trip to Chicago

As a former Chicagoan I try to visit every year to catch up with old friends and see the sites and so I decided to take a last minute trip this past weekend. The weather was about 60  – a little too cool for my Texas blood considering I packed all the wrong clothes. Regardless, walked to Cloud Gate (or what I like to refer as “the bean”) early Saturday a.m., then checked out a fantastic textile exhibit at the Art Institute Saturday midday, followed by lunch with friends the Gage. If you ever go, try the burger or fish and chips. Both are to die for. Cheers! xo Kristi


live: serial monogrammer

My name is Katie and I’m a serial monogrammer.  If it can sit still long enough for me to get my name on it, I’ll monogram it.  Styrofoam cups, jewelry, my license plate, you name it, I’ve done it.  Surprisingly, one thing I haven’t monogrammed are my sheets and I think it’s high time I did something about that.  I’m on the hunt for the perfect set and here are some of my favorites:

Images from: Top Left: Pinterest, Top Right: Ralph Lauren, Bottom Right: Elle Decor, Bottom Left: West Elm

live: location, location, location

Like Kristi, I’ve been on the hunt for reasonably priced artwork for my house and I’ve been swooning over the modern map collections by Jenna Sue Maps.  I’ve always loved the idea of subtly paying homage to the places where you have lived.  If framed properly (I would crop out the city names), these illustrations could pass for modern art not street maps of different towns.  Plus I love the variety of cities available, including some smaller towns, like my current home of Boulder, Colorado.

I’m planning to order the Boulder, Manhattan and Brooklyn maps in grey, white and black.  I am also going to contact her to see if she will create a custom map of Martha’s Vineyard for me.



all photos from jenna sue maps on etsy