Illume Instagram Takeover Recap (Plus Coupon!)

Yesterday, I got to do a fun thing where I commandeered the Illume Candles Instagram feed. If you missed it, here's what happened (and don't miss the coupon code at the end of this post!):

I took a bubble bath surrounded by all of my favorite Illume body products, plus iced coffee. Their Anemone bath salts and triple-milled bar soap (in Cactus Verde) are a powerful, delicious combo. I still smell amazing RIGHT THIS SECOND.

Cactus Verde bar soap close-up. My soap dish is a vintage flower frog, and you cannot have it.

One of my new favorite products are the Gallery Glass candles. Y'all these are seriously beautiful. They look like some sort of a tropical ombre cocktail. (Please do not attempt to drink candle wax.) Also, their oversized matches are extremely cute.

 The new Boho Jar design is so good, and is perfect for staging a vignette with one's favorite Pyrex science vase, and yes, another vintage flower frog. I may have a tiny problem.

I think I grossed some people out when I suggested that these Color Block Tins could be used to store old fingernail clippings after the candle had burned down. Just be glad I didn't go with my original choice, in which I advised using the tins to store the teeth of spurned lovers. What?

And, of course, the day ended with Anemone and Blue Coral candles (mixing fragrances is fun!), and the new episode of Scandal. Giant bowl of popcorn not pictured, because I ate it all.

Also, also, also! If any of these delightful items strike your fancy, you can get them over at Illume's website, AND take 20% off any order over $40 with code AB2014 through March 7. Yay! And thanks to the fine folks at Illume for all the fun and for this generous offer. Go be lovely, y'all!


Design Camp: SF and NYC Are A Go!

BREAKING: The last two design camps have been scheduled! See below:


1. San Francisco Design Camp Mini, located at Oh Happy Day Studio, will take place on Saturday, March 15. Sign up here!

2. New York Design Camp Mini, location TBA, will take place on Saturday, April 12. Sign up here!

Spaces are limited for both camps, so hurry hurry hurry up!

I've missed y'all. Be back soon. xo


Guest Post | Al Lowe Advises: Let It Burn

What is up, people of the vast and illustrious world-wide web? I mean, you’re world-wide. There’s probably a lot going on. AB Chao, for example, has various things happening and can’t be blogging for a minute. She’s out DOING. Let’s face it, she’s dewing. You’re at your house like, “I think I’m going to get up and go do that thing that I have been thinking of doing,” and you go to do it and it’s done. Because AB did it while you weren’t looking. You’ve been planning to put scented drawer liners in your linen closet for three years. Go check it right now – she’s already done it, and you owe her time-and-a-half, because she did it on a Sunday while you were supposed to be at church but were actually sleeping off a slangover. (A slangover is when you go out on Halloween dressed as, let’s say, a Sexy Supreme Court Justice, and you’re having a beer that’s actually 13 beers and you think “I am going to be really hungover, tomorrow” but you’re old now so it’s so much worse than that – you’re SLUNGover.) You can’t even get up to let AB in your house to do everything that needs doing, so she has to come creepin’ down your stovepipe. Do people even have stovepipes anymore? I don’t know, but she’s coming down it, and she’s wearing a stovepipe hat and stovepipe jeans, and now you have to go out and buy those things to wear because she makes them look so good. Here is your new wardrobe:



I’m silly, but a lot of people I know, AB included, really are busy with just… DIFFICULTY, man. I guess that’s true every day, everywhere. Maybe with you, too. Hard times. They appear to be upon those near and dear to me on a serious level right now. Upheaval everywhere. Friends facing illness; loved ones experiencing heavy losses; compatriots in crises all around. And, while I try to inject some levity with my $2k Chimney Chic stylings (and, be aware that I almost made you go out and buy stovepipe trousers that included a peplum, but instead showed mercy), 2013 has been, if you can stand a major understatement, NOT GREAT for my crew. It’s a rough time and all I can do is rally, long distance. So, as we move through this month of gratitude prior to the annual time of renewal (I sound like a Wiccan, but y’all know what I mean), I want so badly for the good times to roll again. I want my people on solid ground. Yes, I pray for the, I don’t know, serenity to look back and be thankful for whatever but, Lord, help us get on the road to whatever’s next. And let it be good. Because we all need good.

I once wrote a song, in AB’s dining room, about a house on fire. I needed to write it, literally and metaphorically, because I had been through hard times and was coming out the other side. I struggled with feeling and showing gratitude. I struggled with believing that newness would come, but it did, because it does. We’ve got two months left in this dumbass year. If we’re using them to prep for 2014, how best to get started? Do we all need to go on a master cleanse of some kind? Do those work? I used to be so good at drawing the Hard Times Recovery Roadmap. I’m obviously not, anymore. So, in lieu of knowing The Right Thing to say; instead of providing The Perfect Solution; and forgoing the urge to leap in and fix everything with some kind of Take Care of Yourself List, let me offer this, just in case you are going through some BS.

Your house is on fire. Let it burn. You will be reduced. You will have less. You will suffer pain. But, fires consume and then they burn out. Every day, keep running, until you get out of the house. You will rise up. You’ll be covered with ashes. And you’ll stylishly sweep them away.

Roundup | A Night In With O.P.

Sometimes you just need to sit around in your $600 satin PJ pants and ultra-luxe cashmere sweater and eat popcorn. Sometimes you would like to do this during the day, as is my desire right this second. Can I get a little more satin-bepantsed Olivia Pope style in my life, please? THANKS, UNIVERSE.

1. Carine Gilson Silk-Satin Pajama Pants

2. See by Chloe Picture Frame Keychain

3. Gorjana Aria Ring Set

4. Mother of Pearl iPhone 5 Case

5. Cristinaeffe Collection Cardigan

6. Herbivore Botanicals Lip Butter

7. Popcorn!


IKEA | Fall and Holiday 2013

Nothing like some pretty things to take your mind off sadness, right? IKEA is kind of killing it this year with their new lines. And I love the dark/moody + shiny art direction. 

I'm not a big fan of talking about the holidays this early in the year -- in fact, it kind of enrages me. But I would like to paint a thing black and then throw a bunch of shiny stuff all around it, right this second. 

Hey, sexy lights. Come over to my house and we'll have a dimmer party. Hee. "Dimmer party."

I always find myself getting way into plaid in the fall/winter months. It's just so cozy. And that wallpaper! GIVE IT TO ME.

I will have this chair, and I will sit in it, and I will feel like some sort of Scandinavian style celebrity. The end.

PS. Thank you all so much for your sweet comments, emails, and carrier pigeons. They all made me cry, in the good way. xoxo.