Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Year Three of Home Ownership

Sometime in November, we entered our fourth year of home ownership (!!!). It's easy to feel like nothing is getting accomplished and the house is falling apart for a living, so sometimes I like to step back and really take stock of how far we've come. There are some BIG items I really would love to tackle (ahem, the kitchen) that will just take a little longer than I would have hoped. But we crossed some biggies off the list this past year, including: new front fencing, painted shutters and front door and finally replaced the dining room light fixture. 

Let's climb in the wayback machine and remember the journey:

Curb Appeal


From Day One, I was not feeling the red shutters. For exteriors, I like a classic look and I'm usually pretty partial to black shutters with brick. 


When it came time to paint ours, however, I decided to match the color to the darkest shade of the brick and ended up with a dark, dark charcoal-brown that looks like sealskin. I considered many, many shades for the front door and ended up wimping out and going with my favorite color: Wythe Blue by Benjamin Moore. I can't quit it! I think/hope the exterior is slightly more stately.


I tried and failed — TWICE — to keep boxwoods alive in those planters. I'll start a new hunt soon for a better option. Maybe an evergreen shrub?


Our motion-sensor porch light finally crapped out and I jumped at the chance to replace it. We ended up going with this Capistrano model, which I purchased off Amazon.


It's classic and modern at the same time. 


The biggest item on our agenda was to replace the crumbling front portion of our fence, which our fence guys estimated was original to the house (making it nearly 40 years old).


The new fence is a beaut, and I couldn't resist topping it off with fence jewelry (a.k.a copper post caps). 

Front Room


I can never get over this before picture because the room just looks so, so different. Since buying the house, we've:
  • Removed the railing
  • Put in hardwood floors
  • Removed the wallpaper
  • Painted
  • Added bookshelves
  • Finally hung drapes
  • Finally replaced the dining room light


We had a very hard time agreeing on a light fixture. I wanted something modern and frankly, would have gone a little funkier, but Sean talked me down a bit. We went with the Bautista light fixture from All Modern. 


The dining area before...


And today! We just hung the drapes on Sunday. 


 These are very simple, but very elegant IKEA Ritva drapes that, when hung, can almost have the tailored look of a pinch pleat at the top. They are very long and cost less than you'd spend on four panels at Target that would look half as good. I got the rods at Target. They look like a cross between nickel and muted brass and I love the faceted ends. Modern, but not overly trendy.

Master Bedroom


Wow, this picture reminds me how much I did not like that color. 


In 2017, we added a headboard and just this past weekend, we finally hung some art. The prints are two quotes from our favorite authors that I picked up at a boutique in Provo, Utah:

  • "You have bewitched me body and soul," Jane Austen
  • "We were together, I forget the rest," Walt Whitman
The middle print is by Ashley Goldberg and I think I gave it to Sean wayyyyy back in maybe 2007 or 2008? It reminded me of us. 

So that's year three of the Kennedy Casa! I'm not sure what year four will bring, but I know my to-do list includes:
  • Purging!
  • Framing and hanging more art and getting rid of what doesn't have a place
  • Saving for the kitchen reno and maybe seeing what we can do to make it more enjoyable in the meantime
  • Finally giving some shape and character to Sean's man room
  • Possibly doing some small upgrades to the hall bathroom
  • Updating 1-2 ceiling fans
  • Painting trim that's way overdue for painting
  • Painting the trim on the sheds*
*I really, really don't feel like doing that. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

Golden Globes Fashion 2018

Wow, what an exceptional Golden Globes. In case you were living under a rock, this Golden Globes was historic. To promote the new organization Times Up, actresses opted to wear black in solidarity and to shift the conversation on the red carpet to issues facing women, including sexual harassment, pay disparity and more. I'm obviously 100% on board with this, and in some ways, I recognize it's fairly ridiculous to then critique their fashion. But there is an art to expression through fashion, and I still think that's worth celebrating, and let's be real: red carpet fashion is an industry unto itself, so these designers/stylists/accessories companies deserve credit. 

Best Dressed


For me, Margot Robbie takes the cake in this lovely gown by Gucci. It has everything I'm looking for: drama, inventiveness, retro callbacks and perfect styling. See that confident strut? She knows she's rocking it. 


Allison Janney managed to walk the tightrope of wearing black in solidarity and still reminding us she is one hot mama not to be trifled with. This hot fire Mario Dice gown is hitting all the right notes, especially to remind Oscar voters she is not the bespectacled and bewigged mother of Tonya Harding she plays on screen.


Diane Kruger is here to remind us mere mortals how couture is meant to be worn. Few could pull off this Prada with its busy neckline of a cross-halter AND a cape of beaded Swiss dot fabric, but Diane Kruger is no newbie.


Speaking of newbies, Issa Rae is a relative newcomer to the red carpet and has been slaying it! This is sexy and perfectly styled with an emerald right down to there. She managed to stick to the script of black for solidarity while making a statement in Prabal Gurung.


Hell hath frozen over, because I am ready to sing the praises of a gown that's actually pants. This Vassilis Zoulias look on Alison Brie is like a lost costume for Sabrina by Givenchy, and her make-up and accessorizing only further the vision of Audrey-level elegance. I'm intrigued to see more from her on the red carpet. Also, kudos for telling E! she chose this outfit because, "tonight is all about women wearing the pants."


Nicole wore a Givenchy ensemble that was elegant and had just enough interest. A lot of people wore outfits that looked like bows and flounces and ruffles were added haphazardly, but the detail of hers was deftly done. Also her speech was so great! If you haven't watched Big Little Lies, get on it.


Laura Dern has perfected her awards show lewk: slim silhouettes with futuristic details. This Armani Prive works perfectly for her, shows off her banging bod and helps her avoid looking overly frou frou or overly mumsy.


Quite a few ladies stepped out in very modern combos of sparkles and black, but this custom Alberta Ferretti on Mary J. Blige is one of my favorites. Look how she works it! Sorry, Mary J. I know you said no more drama, but you look like you're courtin it in this little number.


I also loved Saoirse Ronan's futuristic sparkles-and-black Atelier Versace gown. It looks a little Star Trek couture, but I'm all about that. It's been so fun to see her figure out her fashion profile on the red carpet over the past couple years.


Many, many, many folks donned black sequins, but Sarah Paulson's Calvin Klein gown had the most inventive details, from the mock turtleneck mod collar to the flowy pleats on her satin skirt. The contrast with her casual blunt bob sings.


Tracee Ellis Ross looked so glamorous in this Marc Jacobs number and worked the look like no one else could. The apple didn't fall far from the tree with this lady.


Cutest dates award goes to America Ferrara and Natalie Portman, who are founding members of Times Up. This is truly the happiest I've seen Natalie look on a red carpet in a long time, and I loved her spicy reminder that only men (white men, at that) were nominated for Best Director. I wish America's blazer had been more tailored; it just looked very rumpled in all the pictures. I LOVE Natalie's Dior velvet gown. It looks like the very best of Maid Marion cosplay, and I'm here for it.


Dakota Johnson's Gucci is the best surprise! From the front, I was not 100% on board with the size of that buckle, but then I saw the celestial back and was completely in love.

Good, Y'all


I honestly couldn't decide what to make of Allison Williams' orange target Armani Prive black gown, but it was definitely interesting and I think I liked it? Is there a greater symbolism here...like the target is cut in half? Or does it have some reference to "Get Out?" Or maybe there's nothing to it? Whatever, I found it intriguing.


So I had to look up who Laura Marano is, but god bless her for delivering on my pretty-princess-frou-frou needs. I love chic and sleek, but it was also nice to see somebody find a black gown that was unabashedly princessy. And, it helps advance her name because now I had to look her up and find out she is a Disney Channel star. In other words, we're probably only five years away from her being a household name on par with Selena and Demi.


Catherine Zeta Jones is here to remind you to not count her out. She's hot, ready to trot, and has the decolletage to prove it. Nearly everyone paired their black gown with emerald earrings (I guess a memo went out?) but her pair of earrings was one of the best of the bunch. Her lacy Zuhair Murad gown isn't reinventing the wheel here, but it is reminding us who the F she is, and I'm sure that's a mission: accomplished.


I have yet to see "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and I've only seen the pilot of "SMILF," so I was unfamiliar with Samara Weaving, but out of a sea of sequined and beaded black dresses, her simple blouson Laura Basci gown with a diamond cuff was one of my favorites. It looks sporty, yet elegant. A great first showing on the red carpet for an ingenue.


It was really cool to see Ashley Judd getting so much respect for coming forward with sexual harassment claims and she deserves a lot of credit for being in the trenches of women's issues for a LONG time. I always think Gal Gadot bears a passing resemblance to Ashley, who was reminding everyone how timelessly gorgeous she is in this beautiful Elie Saab gown. The details of the pattern and overlay on the skirt are definitely worth a closer look.


This might be one of my favorite gowns I've ever seen on Octavia Spencer, but it does have the dreaded stumpifying effect tea length hems can give sometimes. Cut two inches from the hem, and I'm 100% on board.


You can barely see them in this picture, but Maggie Gyllenhaal's extra-long pearl earrings were delightful and a welcome departure from the sea of emeralds. Her sequin outfit by Monse was a solid entry in the black sequin category, too.


I do not know how to feel about this, reader. Ostensibly, I am completely in love with Kerry Washington's Prabal Gurung look until I get to the Roger Vivier booties. I'm not opposed to booties, but with that hem, it just feels awkward to me. But I'm sure, for her, they made the look. Sigh.


Zoe Kravitz kept it very simple, but those emeralds were by far the biggest and baddest of the night, and that bone structure ain't too shabby, either.


Helen Mirren is a bonafide red carpet delight. Never boring, but always elegant, tasteful and redefining age-appropriate. I liked the sexy peekaboo of her gown, which has a lot of interesting detail — including the rhinestone-studded neckline.


Alexis Bledel didn't get any big screen time on the show, but I really liked her graphic Oscar de la Renta black-and-white jumpsuit. It's a little bit "I could make that" but it's at least interesting and dynamic.


This picture is frankly weird, but I really loved Mandy Moore's ruby earrings and red pop of color on her Rosie Assoulin dress. The pocket posing seems overly forced, though. I get it, there's pockets.

 YASSSSS Viola. Slaying us with that gorgeous natural hair and blinging necklace-and-bright white smile. Her simple gown is by Brandon Maxwell.


Angelina Jolie is angling for an Auntie Mame reboot these days, and I don't even mind. This Atelier Versace is very Liz Taylor, which is very on brand for the dramatic and yet captivating Angelina.

Meh


I see what she's doing here, but I wish Claire Foy's Stella McCartney outfit had even just a little more pizzazz. More fun with the buttons? More fun with the hair? More fun with the earrings? Just more fun somewhere. 


At first I felt like Sarah Jessica Parker's Dolce and Gabbana dress reminded me of something her Hocus Pocus character would wear, but that almost made me like it. It just feels a little like a cocktail-length Versailles court dress — too many ideas going on here.


I had mixed feelings about this Dior gown on Jessica Biel. It's beautiful! But...the ruching over the nude fabric on the bust line was feeling kinda meh to me. I LOVE the delicate pleating of the skirt. I just couldn't get really excited about this, but I feel like that has to be my lingering "meh" about Jessica Biel as a person.


In recent years, Reese has really narrowed in on her preferred look: tailored, simple, sleek. And I've been incredibly bored by it. I miss the Reese of the early aughts who would show up with a pin curled bob and gorgeous vintage gown. I mean, you do you. This Zac Posen gown is not bad. It's just very simply "meh."


For a press junket or appearance on Colbert, I'm all about this bejeweled collar Dior Haute Couture gown. But for the Golden Globes, this felt extra somber and again, the tea length is so challenging to pull off. Still, Elisabeth has come a long way sartorially from those first appearances in the early Mad Men days.


I think I'm supposed to find this Valentino gown on Kate Hudson very sexy. I don't really. I like the pleating of the skirt portion, but otherwise, I'm just not feeling the look on the whole. It feels half-baked.


I like Debra Messing's Christian Siriano pantsuit in theory but not as much in execution. I kind of wish the top portion extended into a skirt, ending up with something more similar to Alison Brie's outfit, or that the entire pantsuit was sparkly. Help me readers...what would make this a slam dunk?


I LOVE Connie Britton, I love what she's trying to achieve here, but her "Poverty is sexist" sweater by Lingua Franca retails for almost $400. True, a chunk of that change goes to charity, so I'm a little torn here — I have dropped serious money on sweatshirts because they donated a portion of proceeds to charity. But stillllll...it felt an eensy bit tone deaf to wear a really expensive sweater decrying poverty. Let's give Connie the benefit of the doubt that she also puts her money where her cashmere is.

Worst Dressed


Alison Sudol's gown felt like a goth girl Gunne Sax dress Carrie would have rejected for the prom...it's a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. I have a lifelong hatred of baby bangs, so this whole look was basically my worst nightmare. Otherwise known for her musical performances as A Fine Frenzy, Alison appears in "Fantastic Beasts" and is beautiful, so this look is a bit of a disappointment. I don't think it will make her a household name by any means.


Chanel couture is notoriously challenging to pull off outside the context of the runway, and poor Catriona Balfe is no exception. I described this look as "S&M Furbie" to my husband. It looks a little bit like the result of a Project Runway unconventional materials challenge, and not in the good way.


In every red carpet picture, Millie Bobby Brown looks like a deer in headlights, and it might possibly be because she was trying to put on a "sexy and fierce" face that, frankly, feels premature. Do not try to grow up too fast, little ones! Her Calvin Klein looks a little like a sexy judge Halloween costume and it had a very open back, which I wholeheartedly disapprove of on 13-year-olds.


Alicia Vikander's Louis Vuitton gown is full-on Queen Victoria mourning Prince Albert, and that's not even so bad, but it just felt especially dark and macabre for an already sober Golden Globes.


Amanda Peet's gown looks like a 1980s bridesmaid's gown that was dyed to wear to a funeral. I think it's the neckline that needs some work here, but the whole ensemble is just generally really lackluster and looks like it needs some boosting from a pair of scissors and some different accessories.


Jamie Chung's Ermanno Scervino gown isn't all that bad, except that it looks less like a design than a last-minute pinning together of assorted elements from a fabric bin.


Sharon Stone is delightfully bonkers, so I appreciate her decision to wear a truly questionable (like, defying gravity questionable) cutout gown by Vitor Zerbinato that was serving us a strange glimpse of underboob. Even better is her decision to wear this as accompanied by her pre-teen son. Even better than that is her hilarious red carpet appearance with Mariah Carey, a soul-sister if ever she found one. She's a treasure.