One Room Challenge: Week Five

We're in the final stretch of the ORC! ( remember weeks one, two, three and four?)  As you can see from the image above, the new counters, back splash and faucet have all been installed. I'm loving the fresh, clean look! Now that everything else is done, the laundry room is ready for the final and biggest step, the wallpaper.

And it's going up right now... So far, we've only hit one minor glitch, which consisted of me not realizing we'd have to move the washer and dryer out of the installer's way-which is thankfully now being taken care of. You can get a sense of how the paper is going to look below...I'm pretty sure the final outcome is going to be good! #fingerscrossed

While the work has been going on in the laundry room, I've been busy finding accessories and storage baskets to help bring the room together. Almost everything has arrived (including our new rolling hamper, which fits the space perfectly). By the end of the week, I'll be picking up some plants and flowers in order to give the room a little pop of color - getting it all ready for the final reveal...


Make sure you check in on everyone's week five progress as well!

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Book Review: Designing Life's Celebrations

As soon as I opened Designing Life's Celebrations by DeJuan Stroud, and read the thoughtful forward by Dororthea and Jon Bon Jovi, I knew this book was going to be good. DeJuan Stroud, a celebrity event planner known for his elegant parties, offers great tips, advice and ideas in his lovely book. All of the beautiful photos within Designing Life's Celebrations provide creative inspiration for setting a magnificent table, creating fabulous centerpieces and throwing intimate and memorable parties.

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**I received a free copy of Designing Life's Celebrations from the publisher, but this did not influence my opinion here.


Style Stalking: Rachel Halvorson Designs

Kicking off one of my favorite months with one of my newest favorite designers, Rachel Halvorson.
Her company motto is "a fresh approach to affordable interiors" and I think Rachel's spaces really deliver on this idea. Clean and modern, yet strongly rooted in traditional style, Rachel Halvorson Design's are right up my ally.


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Weekend Wrap Up

This week kicked my but - like only the week after a vacation can -womp, womp. Speaking of my trip...where I stayed in Paris and what I did, saw, ate and shopped.

A few more things from around the web:

-Week Four of the One Room Challenge. (I'll be catching up on everyone this weekend.)

-An interesting read about Snapchat (add me @thezhush if you're on it too!)

 -Caring for and washing your bras...(my instincts were right, were yours?)

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Girls Weekend: Paris Travel Guide

Luxembourg Gardens

So thankful for all the great Paris recommendations I received a few weeks ago.  Now that I'm back, I thought I'd add my own travel highlights to the list as well. I had the luxury of traveling with a good friend, who not only visits Paris quite often due to her fashion industry job but also has connections to the most fashionable Parisians, which I realize is almost redundant...

Keep in mind, this was my second trip to Paris. I'd already seen (albeit years ago) the Louvre, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Musee d'Orsay, the Pompidou, the Arc de Triomphe, Versailles, climbed the Eiffel tower and took a boat ride on the Seine. So I was looking forward to seeing some new things...

What we saw:

Luxembourg Gardens: Our hotel was in walking distance of this beautiful park. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and it started to rain before I could see all of it, but we did enjoy about 45 minutes of this breathtaking destination.

Foundation Louis Vuitton: I knew next to nothing about this amazing museum. Having already been, my friend thought I would love it-and she was right! In a nutshell, Frank Gehry was hired by Bernard Arnault "to create an extraordinary space for art and culture" The architecture alone blew me away!

Marmottan Monet Museum: This museum was recommended by many. I really enjoyed this museum. The space was an old mansion in a beautiful residential neighborhood in Paris. Not too big or overwhelming, if you love the Impressionists you will love the Marmottan.

St. Sulpice: Directly across from our Hotel (more on that here) the breathtaking fountain and monumental cathedral (one of the largest in all of Paris) were a daily site for us. So beautiful!

Where we ate:
This is where traveling with someone that knows the city really came in helpful.

Pizza Chic: 13 Rue de Mézières, 75006 Paris, France
Really fresh pizza with a French twist-great neighborhood for people watching and shopping too!

Ralph's: 173 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006 Paris, France Another great location, the atmosphere, although very American, was very beautiful. Also recommend for the people watching, and the fried green olives!

Le Crepe Rit Du Clown: 6 Rue des Canettes, 75006 Paris, France Truthfully, I could've eaten crepes every day (and chocolate croissants too!) I recommend going for the crepe complete (eggs, ham, cheese and salad in a buckwheat crepe) along with a traditional small bowl of cider, followed by a dessert crepe of brown sugar and butter-YUM!

Hotel Costes: 239-241 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, France A super chic destination for the "Fashion Week" crowd, great cocktails, fun people watching and yummy desserts!

Semilla: 54 Rue de Seine, 75006 Paris, France This was my favorite restaurant. Each and every dish we ordered at this low key but elegant restaurant was superb! Small and casual but extra delicious, my favorite type of place. Also, extra points for the open kitchen - which is even better than people watching...sometimes.

Ze Kitchen Gallerie: 4 Rue des Grands Augustins, 75006 Paris, France A French restaurant with Asian influences. We did the tasting menu, which was amazing...until the "sweet breads" came out. I'm not that adventurous...

We also dined at local cafes and grabbed croissants at local bakeries. Needless to say not a bad meal was eaten the whole trip!

Where we shopped:

Claudie Pierlot:
A French clothing label and chain store, sort of like if Ann Taylor had a chicer Parisian cousin. I couldn't get enough of these shops. Great for not so basic, basics and for looking like a true Parisian.

Astier de Villate:
A favorite of mine. Even though you can buy this beautiful white pottery in the States (at Bergdorf's and John Derrian) there's something to be said about seeing it all together in the shop in Paris.

Le Bon Marche: 24 Rue de Sèvres, 75007 Paris, France It's like a museum of commerce:) Beautiful building, beautiful fashion, beautiful people, beautiful service...

Hartford: 23 Rue des Canettes You can find this brand in the states, but in France there's a whole store devoted to this chic Parisian meets California preppy French clothing line.

My Blend Spa by Clarins: 37 Avenue Hoche, 75008 Paris, France Recommended by my friend's Parisian co workers, I indulged in a facial while in Paris. It was relaxing and decadent and my skin's never been so well hydrated. On the technician's advice I purchased Clarin's Double Serum Concentrate and use it every day. The lovely smell momentarily transports me back to Paris - an amazing reminder of a great time!

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