Friday, December 30, 2011

I Dream(t) of... a Magical Bedroom

As a young girl and teenager I "hated" my parents for the built-in bed in my bedroom. 
This prevented much furniture arranging so my custom (as in my Dad made it) Barbie house took the brunt of that hobby. 



My Barbie house matched our house decor, which matched my Laura Ashley drapery, bedding and carpet. I would carefully cut and sew window treatments and bedding to suit the season in my five foot high mansion. 
Oh and when I say hate, I only mean for thirty seconds. 
Mom, if you’re reading this, you know I’m only kidding, since you would always say, “hate is a strong word”... and I agree:)



I honestly think that letting children express themselves through art is necessary.
 What not a better way to let them then in their bedrooms? 
There are so many great ideas out there and we can’t be afraid of colour! 
My first recommendation would be: Upholstered headboard! 
Okay, well at least that's what I look back at and wish I had.
 Maybe I wouldn't be as wonky as I am today if I wouldn't have hit my noggin on that hardwood every night after reading? 
Or maybe not... 
Secondly: A theme. 
And no, not Star Wars or Princess-whatever. 
Some type of subtle reoccurring theme like dogs (see above), or Morrocan nights, a treehouse, circus or travel theme. 
And if Star Wars is a MUST, then how about the sweet Star Wars themed bedroom below?! 
Not all themes have to be over the top, like I said subtle!
Oh and... Have you seen the the I'm A Giant Challenge?
Check it out HERE... SO fabulous!
Any girl (or boy's) dream come true!
When I have a daughter I am so taking this on with her!
Cool Mom? - YES!
Only one day left in 2011 - chat tomorrow! 
xo,
VRB
(Photo Credit: HERE)
(Photo Credit: HERE)
(Photo Credit: House Beautiful)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sh*t Girls Say

I love this. It’s hysterical. Enjoy. And yes, it’s okay that 9 out of 10 of these are you.
Twinsies!

Until tomorrow!
xo,
VRB

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Well Dressed Table



Working on our wedding registry I have become completely obsessed with tablescapes. 
Not only that, I have become so fearful of commitment, and no not the getting married part! 
Commitment to a pattern for life! 
Hence my final decision to register for the plain ole Wedgewood White
This way, I can interchange colours, chargers, and placemats throughout my life. P
ink peonies certainly do not match everything!
How gorgeous are these tablescapes? 
There is nothing better to me than a perfectly set table, delicious food and good company. 
In fact, maybe the gorg tablescape will be so stunning that no one will notice the salty mishap in the kitchen leaving a less pleasant result to your countless hours of work… right?
 I'm so excited to host my first dinner party as VRS!
xo,
VRB

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas, Take Two





Good Morning,


Boy was it tough to get up this morning! Snuggly warm in our new matching pajamas in a warm slumber… why on Earth would I want to leave it? Oh that’s right, I have a j-o-b, for goodness sakes people need their pillows, candles and ottomans for New Years! Overrated…
I will say that this was such a wonderful Christmas, I have so much to be thankful for! I do think next year should be even better since BRS will most likely be off work. Unfortunately this shift steals him away from me for most of this Holiday season: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day this year… Isn’t he cute with his new scarf from my Aunt? I know he won’t see this so I’m not too worried about his reaction to day one of his days off. Poor guy got to open Christmas presents on the morning of the 26th after his fourth twelve hour shift.
Last night his very sweet Aunt had us over for Christmas again (#5 for me) and there is still one more to go, but who’s counting? Oh, that’s right, I’m counting the number of inches added on my waistband! Turkey, ham, prime rib, and the list could go on. I’m missing Christmas already! Tonight… bootcamp starts up again for me. Time to start brainstorming your New Years resolutions, better get on that!
Day one of not having biscotti for breakfast has commenced...
xo,
VRB
 BRS with his crown from his Olde English Popper
My stocking my Grammie made me when I was born 
 Mine and Shelby’s “me miss you this Christmas” photo to Daddy on patrol
 Shelby girl and her wet kisses
Maddie girl and her sweetness self at Mom and Dads
My mother’s gorgeous navy and white wrapping!

Genius Idea!

How awesome is this? Rain gutters as a wall garden!
Too early to start Spring planning? I think not.
VRB


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas, Take One



I am quite lucky to be part of such a large family. With so much of a large family means a number of Christmas celebrations. As a child I recall dreading the car rides from Nana and Tata's to Mimi and Grandpa's to Grammie and Poppy's then back home... All while trying to set up that years must have Polly Pocket, American Girl, Brio train, Lego mansion or Play Mobil hospital set via the back seat of the '85 red Volvo station wagon.
As I get older I cherish these moments spent with my ever growing families. That thirty minute drive does seem longer with out Samantha and Molly belted next to me, but now consists of that major catch up with the folks. With marriage announcements, new babies and other great news every year, it almost seems impossible to top the year prior. Even when all news isn't great, it helps being around the loved ones in your family to help find happiness in the light of it all.
I wish everyone peace and happiness this Christmas, Hanukkah, or which ever spiritual based holiday ones celebrates. Keep believing in what you cherish and take another moment to soak in what is around you. 
xo,
VRB

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pause: Christmas Blessings

This year our family was blessed with baby Cameron. My cousin Cassie is a lucky lady to have this handsome boy!

Merry Christmas!
xo,
VRB
What I'm listening to?
Billie Holiday Christmas station on Pandora

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pause: Beauty


In this holiday rush, it felt so nice to pause a moment and soak up the beauty around me. This is for sure one of the main reasons I love where I live:
Happy Holidays to everyone!
xo,
VRB

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Dream of… A Beautiful Entry

Table are from Burton-Ching in San Francisco
Foo Dogs were on One Kings Lane
Acrylic Tray from CB2
Orchid Arrangement Image from Laura Ashley, however I would opt for real orchids
Porcelain jar from 1st Dibs
Leather woven basket from Dovevote 
Blue and white porcelain planter from Elite Auction
Lemon Cypress Plants from Coastal Nursery
Blake Pendant Light by Robert Abbey
Mirror from 1st Dibs


I admire any entry and its potential to be beautiful. 
Unfortunately my front door opens into my living room, such a major design flaw if you ask me.

I’ve been drawing floor plans since I was about ten years old, and in every entry way I designed it large enough to have a large center table right in the middle. 
On the center table I would draw a squiggly cloud looking image of what I would intend for a huge bouquet of flowers that my imaginary husband would have delivered fresh every week for me… dream on sister.
The new me would create this same floor plan in my imaginary dream home but with a large Chinese or Japanese altar table along the lines of this below…. I’m not done… and this would be in addition to this beauty as my center table. 
And yes, we’re talking one damn big entry hall!
On THIS gorg of a center table would be a huge living arrangement that I would change out every few weeks or so. There. That’s my dream for now…

xo,
VRB

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: VRB + BRS


Neck Tie     Peonies     Brooch     Cake     Tablecloth     Fabric     Lantern|Candle     Rosemary     Ribbon     Dress     Nail Polish     Pashmina 
 Good Morning!
I’m getting married! 
Okay, old news, I know but I am starting to get excited knowing that we’re tying the knot in five months! Holy.moly.me. 
So, it being Wednesday and my attempt at being witty, we shall commence ‘Wedding Wednesday’. 
You can check out my pinterest board of my wedding inspirations here.
The nuptials will take place at an adorable winery just forty-five minutes from our home town. 
We’re still in the process of picking out invitations and what not, but have settled on the other big things like our cake, my dress, etc. 
Our cake is being made by one of the most talented gals I know, CGK. 
She’s fabulous and you can find out more about here, HERE!
I’m not going to lie, I’m probably most excited about my dress! 
I am the luckiest girl alive, my Aunts are making my dress! 
I can’t wait to share with you come May! Ha! See now you have to keep reading! 
I’m good…
Til tomorrow…
xo,
VRB soon to be VRS (insert giddiness!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tortoise Chic


Heels     Glass     Headband     Bracelet     Watch     Flatware     Comb     Sunglasses     Chair
To me, tortoise shell is the epitome of chic. My mother gave me her tortoise shell bracelet off of her wrist a couple years ago while sipping lattes in Sausalito a couple years ago. She knew I had been envying it for years. This is such a beautiful characteristic of her. She will literally give you the clothes off her back and loves sharing her good finds.
For years she has been buying me headbands from Goody and J.Crew like this one. As explained here, I love tortoise shell headbands. Outfit just doesn’t seem complete?: throw in a good tortoise shell headband and you’re good to go, trust me! It doesn’t matter what time of year it is either!
For my birthday in April 2010 mom mother got me this lovely tortoise shell watch. I can’t tell you how many times I have been stopped and asked where this was from. It’s another staple in my wardrobe.
I don’t think J.Crew makes these wedges in flats anymore, but I’m wearing mine today! How fabulous are the rest of these tortoise items? They are quite affordable and perfect for a hostess or co-worker gift. Enjoy!
xo,
VRB

Monday, December 19, 2011

Over Indulgences

Happy Monday everyone!
This past weekend was over-the-top for me food-wise. I pride myself on eating healthy and nutritious food all the time and even know when to realize I am full. Well… all bets are off when it’s a girl’s weekend. 
Friday night MNS made chicken pot pies from scratch. It being 35 degrees out and we couldn’t figure out how to work the heater in the living areas, this was a perfect meal. Sounds healthy, right? Well, jalapeno artichoke dip, double Gloucester cheese, garlic cheese spread and three bottles of champagne beforehand… not so much. 
Saturday morning we dug into my banana pancakes and mimosas… and for dinner, a generous spread of more cheese followed by some fabulous pizza. MNS is the same friend who approved my choice in a Syrah with our salads. She also lived in Italy, so needless to say this girl knows how to make a darn good pizza (or three in our case) – oh and yes some wine to wash it all down. 
Sunday we rolled out of our warm down covered beds, out of the cabin to the closest Starbucks. Apparently my coffee making skills were not up to par with my dear friends taste buds. Mind you I was working with a coffee pot circa 1985. We hurried back to enjoy a delicious frittata made from the pizza leftovers – heaven! 
Let’s just say that today is a leggings kind of day. Hopping on my scale was a terrible idea this morning, and I do NOT recommend owning one to anyone. They are SO overrated! Do yourself a favor and skip the scale and go straight to the jogging shoes on a morning like today. 
I started today with my multi vitamin, fruit and veggie chewables, my teaspoon of cod liver oil, a probiotic, a pear and half a grapefruit. But then this baby comes this morning with yours truly on the “to” label. Courtesy of the great staff at the Witford showroom. Thanks guys! 
So much for my attempt at a healthy Monday!
xo,
VRB



Sunday, December 18, 2011

This Weekend in Pictures

Please excuse the absence this weekend, girls trip to Tahoe was too much fun!

VRB

Saturday, December 17, 2011

EMH’s Everyday Must Haves: Current Beauty Obsession

EMH’s Every Day Must Haves: Current Beauty Obsession





Hi All,

Per the request of Miss VRB, I have decided to blog a bit about my favorite beauty indulgences.  While I am always on the hunt for something new, my current obsession is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri™ Fast Dry Nail Color.  Not only does it come in a plethora of fantastic colors, but it also dries instantly (imagine that – ‘Insta-Dri’ dries instantly… novel) making it the perfect polish for the girl on the go.   Going to court or some sort of conservative venue?  Try Petal Pusher.  Looking for nails that demurely say you are feminine, but crave a little color?  Try Mauve It or Rose Run.  Hoping for a holiday hue?  Why not try Blue Streak, Rapid Red, or Snappy Sprinkles?  I will admit that I have bottles and bottles of Essie, MAC, OPI, Nars, and Chanel nail polish, but nothing comes close to the nail goody that is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri.  Honestly.  Do yourself a favor and buy yourself at least one bottle for a little Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Kwanza gift … you won’t be sorry!


EMH

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five - Wallets


Clockwise from top gold wallet:      Kate Spade     Tory Burch     Michael Kors     Burberry     Coach

I am just in love with these wallets!
 I almost wish they all had straps around the end to convert them to wristlets… 
Oooh, an invention! Quick, someone market that!
I just purchased the gold Kate Spade wallet and am SO happy with my purchase. 
This is my third gold wallet and I just hope they keep making this one. 
Kate Spade is by far my favorite go to shop for wallets, I still have my black wallet I used daily for 5 years. It still looks new!

Since we’re on the topic of Friday Fives, here is another list of five must haves for a girls weekend in Tahoe (no snow yet, so no skiing):
1. Lots of bubbly, specifically Roederer
4. Romantic Holiday movies like Love Actually
5. Ingredients to make face masques

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I’m off to Tahoe with the gals, stay tuned for random musings of five twenty-something’s with backgrounds as colourful as the rainbow… 

xo,
VRB

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Being Thankful All Year Long

‘Tis the season we all get bouts of those tingly feelings of thankfulness, joy and happiness. Last night I had the opportunity to join my Mother and her friends at a Red Hat’s Christmas tea. A lovely woman named Laurel hosts a number of teas throughout the holiday season. She decs her home from wall to wall and herself from head to toe in holiday décor. Long story short, Laurel experienced a number of medical hardships for most of her young adulthood and has since dedicated her life to serving others. Laurel adopts 150 children as part of the angel program here in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the proceeds of her teas, she makes certain that each and every one of these 150 children she takes under her wing receives three gifts off their lists.

Laurel has offered a spring and summer tea next year for the Red Hats. I’m not quite sure Laurel thinks of herself as an angel herself, but goodness she is in my book. I hope everyone has a second here or there in this holiday rush to slow down, take a deep breath and take in what is around them. We all have things to be thankful for, whether it be God, your family, health, or the roof over your head. Try this in all seasons, spread a little love when you can...

Thank you Laurel for slowing me down, reminding me to take a deep breath and realize how truly lucky I am to live the life I live. 
xo,
VRB

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
I have been a VERY good girl this year. If you would be so kind enough to slide down our chimney and place these items on my wish list under our tree, I promise to be an even better girl in 2012. Like I mean, knock-your-socks-off-good-girl.
xoxo,
VRB

Dear Santa












Has everyone made their Christmas Wish-Lists yet? For those of you still "allowed" to make one, here are some ideas off my hypothetical wish list!:
1.      Clarisonic Classic Sonic Skin Cleansing System
2.      J.Crew Printed iPad Case
3.      Burberry Trench Coat
4.      Violight UV Light Toothbrush Sanitizer
5.      J. Crew Matching Gingham Flannel PJ’s
6.      Zhi Tea Organic Tea of the Month Club
7.      New Patio Furniture (as an interior designer, one knows this is the best time to order it!)
8.      Eileen Fisher Eco Cashmere Robe
9.      Kate Spade Gold Clutch
10.   Cartier Tank Watch: This baby will be on every wish list of mine until it magically appears on my wrist

Hope you have a great Wednesday, unfortunately the Prius needed new tires which set us back a good $600.00 – Something tells me the Tank Watch will not be making its appearance, or even the pajamas for the matter. 'Tis the season!


Happy Holidays!

xo,

VRB

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yikes, Stripes!

Yikes, Stripes!


Shirt     Top Left Design Credit: Janie Molster Designs     Striped Skirt Credit: Prepfection Blog    Gondolier Photo Credit: Reggie Darling Blog      Fabrics (Trade Only): Available through me, Victoria Bray Interior Design    Dog Collar    Bowtie


Stripes have been a staple in my wardrobe my entire life, I love them! 
Everyone of my mother’s friends and her sisters kid about her being the sailor or the prisoner or the gondolier and subjecting her daughters to the same look our entire lives. 
And no, I did not enjoy being called Waldo. 
But hey, who did they all look to last year when stripes made their comeback? 
You got it, Miss Lolly dearest.

I love seeing stripes in Elle Decor or on all my treasured design blogs. 
We've been seeing stripes on walls and in drapery and shades, but where have all the gorgeous striped upholstery fabrics gone? 
Here in the office, we've been desperately searching for a chic upholstery-grade striped fabric for dining chair slip seats with no such luck.
 We have come to find out that most Trade Only manufacturers have discontinued their staples. 
Oh how we'll miss the lustrous silk-velvets Colony used to carry! Come back!

From cotton t-shirts and silk skirts to draperies and wall paint… how could you go wrong with this classic?

xo,
VRB
Kauai, May 2011



Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekend Recap!

Hello There!
I hope everyone had a great weekend? I know I sure did! I am a lucky girl for many reasons. One being that I have the most amazing fiancé, BRS. 
Two: I have my peanuts, Logan and Shelby. 
Three, my stupendous family. 
And four, my fabulous friends! 
Explanations below:

Saturday recap: 
BRS slept in (as did I) to a hour well past 11am like teenagers going through a growth spurt, I was going to compare that to an Edward and Bella moment, but will spare you my pathetic obsession. 
He worked late Friday night, the poor pea, and I... uh, hmmm... girlfriends + good wine + Twilight... you get the picture. 
The gals and I caught a late showing of Breaking Dawn, and as promised I did remember to snap a couple photos of the gorgeous theatre (see below). 
The movie left us all smiling, need I say more? 
So, the gals and I shared a terrific bottle of Rosenblum Cellars (2007 Yolo County Syrah) with a delicious, pat-myself-on-the-back ten-ingredient salad. 
Why such a rich wine with a salad you ask? 
Not a Chardonnay or Rose? 
Simply this: why waste our time with lack luster and light hearted wines when we can enjoy bull bodied heaven? 
Oh, and... through a text from MNS (my foodie friend that has a masters in food culture and communications for Peet's sake!) on the way over asking if it was ok we drink this with our salads, she gave me the a-ok! Sheesh, no judgments please!

My girlfriends and I share a love of REALLY good food. 
Like, when I say really, I really mean it... and not just food, healthy, delicious, mouth watering good food. EMH is finishing up law school and just finished finals, so let's just say her eating habits during and up to finals were, hmmm. unique. 
You know I love you if you're reading this! 
Then again, I can't be one to talk, not today anyway... don't tell BRS, but I had a healthy pour of my absolute favorite Rosenblum Cellars 2008 Maggie's Reserve Zinfandel and my half of a pint of Strauss Family Farms mint chocolate Chip ice-cream for dinner.





Anyway, back to Friday night, we shared a fabulous salad and good wine at my house then headed over to watch Bella and Edward become Mr. and Mrs. Cullen, it was a splendid evening.

Saturday CGK hosted a nice Stella and Dot party courtesy of our fabulous consultant, Toni Fullerton. Stella and Dot has SO many amazing things right now, perfect for Christmas gifts! 
I spent the rest of my evening with my glass of wine and ice cream in good company. 
MNS came over (with pint in hand) and we baked all evening while playing with my Williams-Sonoma wedding registry and attempting to make our own Lemon-Ginger infused vodka with the Madeline remnants... 
Random, I know, but stay tuned for results.

Sunday I attended a Holiday Cookie exchange party full of good company, lots of babies and enough sugar to put Hawaii’s sugar mills out of business. 
I opted to leave out as much sugar as possible and use honey instead but spent Sunday evening in a state of sugar delusion! 
I brought classic lemon Madelines and oatmeal/raisin/chocolate chip and they all seemed to be a hit! 
What was even better about this event, is that our amazing hostess, who has been generous to host this for the last 4 years provides a huge assortment of plain sugar cookies and the most fabulous decorations for us to play with.  
I went to town and even created a gingerbread lady sporting a Lilly Pulitzer dress and Bonannos.  It's Summer somewhere. 
Love it!

So, this weekend was one of those eventful Holiday filled weekends that only come but once a year!
 I hope December has been warm, merry and filled with love. 
Stay healthy out there!

Happy Holidays!

xo,
VRB