28 April 2011

Subletting is Oujas

Here's what's on the NYC craigs for apartments.  If any of you speak Russian and can bear my horrible gringo spelling, Oujas means frigging terrible.
Yeah, that's gonna sell me on moving in with you.
I don't think they're going to want to trade these babies in for my beloved Zgallerie couch.
This one clearly has tons of closet space!!

Do people put ANY thought into how they live or are we just plain crazy to be decor freaks?

The apartment I saw Tues (random studio in the upper 90s) was miraculously unavailable BUT there was a "similar apartment in the building for $1450 (aka more expensive)." Of course. But whatever, I'm seeing it tomorrow/Thurs.

25 April 2011

We're HERE!!!

There's nothing like waking up on your 30th bday with a new beginning unfurling ahead of you. I looked back in my journaling for and saw that for the past year I explicitly wrote, "I want to be in NYC by my 30th birthday." Now, I don't want to get all Oprah pushes "The Gift," but this shit works. You dream it, you can do it.

Many people commented that they'd never be able to pick up and move to NYC. Maybe so, I know that people have family, jobs, obligations, etc, however I'm here to tell you that if you want something enough you CAN have it. This is coming from the most pragmatic person (so pragmatic it's sometimes paralyzing) so if I can pull something like this off in as little as five days, you can too.
Higgins and I have returned from a day of apartment hunting on the Upper West Side. Here he is checking out Central Park, probably scanning for squirrels.

One apartment was shared with three other girls, so four people total. It was nice; soaring ceilings, very bright, very clean. It even had a roof deck. The roommates were very nice and Higgins did a great job charming them (of course). It's definitely in my price range and a great possibility.

Then we did a walk-by of this one apartment that I found on Craigslist which keeps popping up online and in my email (the realtor is very persistent). It's a 5 floor walk-up studio (can you say buns of steel??) right next to the police station, a parking garage (very good for my car), and a block north of the Museum. I'm in love with it. I think I'm going to schedule an appointment to see it tomorrow night.
What do you think? It's $250 more than sharing the apartment with the girls. Then again, $250 may be the cost of privacy....thoughts?

23 April 2011

Last Day in Fort Lauderdale.

Just woke up in an empty Big, Beige Box.

Everything's been cleaned out and shipped off to my unknown destination in NYC.

Higgs and I slept on the air mattress just like we did when we first moved in here.
Haha. Remember this?

Moving is so emotional, especially when you're so attached to your home like I am. I remember moving into this place car load by car load, after work for three days two Decembers ago. I had dismantled a home and a relationship and plunged into this odd, naked space. It was lonely and scary.

Then, bit by bit, I built up Apartment #12. In the end, it helped me grow into a much better Courtney and became a true reflection of my personal style.
I'm happy with how it all turned out.

Now, tomorrow starts a new adventure and a new live in NYC. Hard to even believe as I type, but it's HAPPENING and I MADE it happen. Crazy.

So Happy Easter, I'm jumping on a plane tomorrow AM with Big Higgs and we land in Newark to be greeted by love and opportunity.

Stay tuned and thank you ALL for your support and design advice in crafting Apartment #12!

xoxo C&H

21 April 2011

Packing: Lamps, Frames, and Clothes

While I packed for 12 hours yesterday (Really??? I only live in 600 squ ft!), Mr. Higgins did this:

Soak it up, kiddo, we're not getting a 20 foot patio in NYC!

Seriously. I spent 12 hours packing picture frames, magazines, and lamps. My clothes took 20 mins. You know you're a Decor Whore when.....

600 ish squ ft affords you:

9 lamps
7 mirrors
3 sunburst mirrors
3 large art works
and about 20+ picture frames of various sizes.

Wrapping it up today...making a HUGE donation to Out of the Closet later.
(PS- Out of the Closet, the world's most fabulous thrift store, is a chain of thrift stores in Northern and Southern California owned and operated by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest specialized provider of cutting-edge medicine and advocacy regardless of ability to pay.)

19 April 2011

Saying Goodbye to Apartment #12

Tonight is probably the last night I'm spending in Apartment #12 while it's fully intact. The movers come at 9am on Friday and I have to be packed up and ready to go. Higgs and I fly out Sunday am. 

Wow, that's it. 

Nights like this spent alone with the apartment dimly aglow were my favorites. 

Living in a studio requires you to be ok with silence. At first, it's deafening. I struggled a lot in the beginning...being lonely...feeling isolated. Now I look to my home as my quiet refuge to get away from the day. I can stay here all day long without emerging and joining the world. 

Each apartment I've lived in has taught me a lesson on decorating and myself. Apartment #12 taught me to be good to myself and be ok with being alone. Now I love it. It's going to be hard to leave. 

NYC Apartment Hunting

NYC apartment hunting= your worse case scenario + a shoebox - tons of money

Came up empty-handed this weekend but that's ok. AND no pics. Sorry, it was exhausting.

What I was able to do was get a feel for where I'm going to be working (mostly Downtown-ish) and mentally connect different neighborhoods together.

The Upper East Side (UES) is quite affordable ($1025/mo), cute and neighborhood-y, but can be difficult to get to public transportation in some parts. I saw a great apartment with two really cool girls but it was up in the E 80s and York....which is a good 10 min walk to the nearest subway. The quality and the price was great; but the amount of money and time I'll spend going cross-town to see my bf an all my friends is not. I'm not ruling it out, especially if I decide to go the studio route. The UES is where I'll most likely find the most 'affordable' studio for myself.

I fell in love with a sublet on the Upper West Side (UWS) ($1200/mo) which is haunting me because the girl decided to go with a friend of a friend instead of me. It was like I walked into the Holy Grail of apartments. UWS, 80s and Amsterdam, in the cutest neighborhood EVER. It was a 2 bed, 2 bath DUPLEX with a full kitchen and dishwasher. The girl renting the apartment had it immaculately decorated (she works in the industry) and she had a friggin terrace. I was DROOLING. But alas, it wasn't meant to be for me which I still can't get over.

I was offered to share a place with a really nice girl in Murray Hill (E 35ish/3rd Ave). I need your help with this one. It's big. One bed with two shared common areas, railroad-style kinda, with a distinct dining area off the kitchenette and a living room. BUT my room would be this tiny closet-like appendage at the other end of the apartment. It had this rinky-dink accordion door and was as wide as a Queen bed. No closet. (Have you seen my walk-in?) BUT it was only $1075 a month and the roommate would let me have free reign over decor. I turned it down and am regretting it but the bedroom was haunting me. Could I sleep in a dark coffin? Vampires do it.....

SO. I'm moving next weekend with no apartment. Higgins and I are getting on a plane and we're couch surfing until I find the right place. Posting may be infrequent but please send good vibes and know that I'm thinking of all of you while I hunt for Apartment #13.

Wish us luck. xoxo C&H

13 April 2011

Apartment Hunting

In NYC for the next few days to apartment hunt. Thank you all for the lovely comments yesterday. I am EXTREMELY excited to meet my new apartment...and possibly new roommates.

That's right, Higgins and I are looking to share a place with someone because we're still "ballin on a budget" and can't afford the sky-high studio prices in NYC. No bother, we make great roommates and I sure as hell know how to decorate a crappy little apartment.

My biggest concern is how can I convey to a potential roommate that Higgins is really a great dog. He's the un-dog...he mostly sleeps like a cat all day and has the demeanor of...well...someone who doesn't give a shit.
See? Not even phased.
Now, he's just annoyed.

Wish me luck. I'll be updating you on the process all weekend via Twitter.


12 April 2011

The jig is up: I'm moving!

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."- Larry Elder

I've been sitting on this way too long...I'm moving to NYC at the end of the month. 
I didn't want to jinx it until it was official with work, but since I'm flying up there tomorrow to get acquainted with my new territory I'd say this one is in the bag. 

My start date is April 25th. This is HUGE because that day is also my 30th birthday and it was my goal to be in NYC by that day or bust!

So much hard work, patience, waiting, wishing, and do-ing have gone into this for almost 8 months. It's crazy to even think that in two weeks I'm leaving Apartment #12 for....

Lucky Apartment #13!!!!!!!

Please send me good real estate juju as I trudge through the NYC real estate market this weekend. 
(And that I find a good roommate that will love Higgins) Anyone looking?

xoxo C&H

11 April 2011

Life is good

matchbook mag

Lots of things are moving and shaking over here in FL for us in the BBB.

Work's moving at a break-neck pace.

The weather has been FAN. TASTIC in FL and Higgins and I are finding ourselves on long walks on the beach and romps in the park. 

I'm doing yoga like a fanatic.

But my apartment is not getting a lot of love (more on why later). 

A few things I'm working on:

-prof photoshoot of Apartment #12
-styling my best friend's new sexy blue bedroom (pics later)
-interviewing a local new vintage shop that you will die over

So please be patient. I appreciate all the love and comments and I know that my material has been stale.

But I PROMISE there are HUGE things coming up ahead. 

xoxo C&H

07 April 2011


Raina, how's this for "Undecorated."

Design genius.

Thrifting in all 50 States

Americans. We're an insatiable bunch of consumers. Often setting trends, then exploiting them in mass production, which is fueled by our culture of consumption. Deep, I know. 

Think about our world of home decor and interiors. Trends change EVERY WEEK. This week's ikat now gives way to the chevron and now you're stuck with an off-trend ottoman. 

Where does this furniture go? We bloggers know the answer! Thrift stores! The fact that we don't have million dollar decorating budgets calls upon us to get creative and reinvent pieces all the time.  

I look at Mr. Goodwill Hunting and weekend DIY warriors and furniture pimp-stresses like Bri and Jenny. They thrift because they refuse to act the fool and pay full price for shitty out-of-the-box furniture. Plus, they have the skill and the vision to reinvent the wheel. 

Enter Jenna of All Thrifty States

Jenna is a photojournalist who has had a lifetime love of thrifting. Her goal is to thrift in all 50 states this year and document her journey and its finds. Jenna wants this project to show Americans the crazy things we buy then cast away, and also show the treasures you can find at thrift stores. In these times where we're buying more than we can use, thrifting helps reduce waste and recycles treasures from the past. 

Here's where I am calling you to help: Jenna needs to raise $1700 more to fund her project. Her fund raising is through Kickstart, which I just researched and found out to be a really cool way for artists to get their projects funded. You may pledge as low as $10 to help fund Jenna's project, but you will only be charged if she reaches her goal of $7000. Here's some of the details here:


I really hope you'll join me in supporting Jenna's project. I cannot wait to see what crazy and beautiful stuff she finds along the way. Please follow Jenna here on her site: 


06 April 2011

BBB: Features-Blogs I Love

Not sure if anyone picked up on this but I often update on my side bar blogs that are "new to me." 

I do this to differentiate who I've recently started following from the growing list of blogs on my normal blog roll. 

Definitely wanted to point that out and share the love because I often use other people's blog rolls to discover new sites.

xoxo court

05 April 2011

Artists: Nolan Haan Reveals Painting Secrets

As you all know, I'm a big fan of art and an even bigger lover of the creative process. I have many friends who are dancers, painters, and photographers and it's a gift to get a glimpse of what makes them tick. It's often the intent of the work and its influence that's most intriguing. I always want to know what the artist was thinking when he created a piece....and also his stunning technique.

My friend and local Fort Lauderdale artist, Nolan Haan, has started a blog dedicated to giving the reader an inside look into how he creates his art. Nolan is a contemporary artist who does paintings of cinderblock walls in acrylic on silk. I'll say it again, ON SILK. The detail and texture he creates on this medium will blow your mind.

Check out his latest post on how a photo of the painting, "The Wrath of Medusa," prompted him to paint his own version in his signature cinderblock style.

Nolan posts every Sunday with updates on his exhibits, inside info on his technique, and to share his favorite websites.

04 April 2011

BBB Loves! Pulp Design Studios

I stumbled upon Pulp Design Studios during my Sunday AM blog trolling and couldn't get enough. The aesthetics of their website, as well as their blog  (super cute, do read), had me going for a good 20 minutes browsing and woo-ing.

I am particularly obsessed with their Mid Century Modern project as seen below.

Source: pulpdesignstudios.com via Courtney on Pinterest

Pulp Design Studios is comprised of Beth Dolto, and author of lifestyle blog Hello, Splendor, Carolina Gentry, and Design Assistant, Matthew Henrich.

What struck me was the range of this design firm. They cover everything from glamma glamma to traditional, and it is evident that they are designing with the client in mind. The results are thoughtful, polished, and true to the character of the space and family in it.

03 April 2011

Hair Help: Products

A few of you asked about what products I put in my hair. I've got a lot of hair, ask my stylist. She said she could have thinned and thinned it all day and it would have looked the same yesterday. Meanwhile, you look at the salon floor and it looks like she sheared a sheep. That's a lot of hair.

Here's what I use to tame the beast. First, I work some argan oil into my wet hair. I've used expensive "straightening" balms etc but at the end of the day, you want something moisturizing to put into your hair before you strip the shit out of it with your hot tools.

Moroccan Oil has worked for me in the past and I love it. You can use this stuff EVERYWHERE and trust me, I have. BUT it's super expensive, about $9.00 per ounce. That's crazy. I'm obsessed with the strong smell of Moroccan oil. It's musky and warm. But this diva is ballin on a budget and I need to save my pennies for my upcoming move. (PS my brother and sister in-almost-law use this on their pit bull, who has massive dandruff. He's so spoiled but it works. )

With that said, I've replaced my belowed Moroccan Oil with this. I got this at CVS this week and it's much cheaper. I'm even using it in lieu of my body lotion and like it much more.

After I'm all lubed up, I blow dry, flat iron, and style with another smidge of argan oil mixed with this styling paste. I only need about a nickel size dollop of this paste at a time. Like all of the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree line, it smells AMAZING (see a trend here?) and you could probably eat it if you were stranded on a desert island.
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shaping Cream

This stuff will literally last you a year plus. I use this to piece up sections, make them more punk rock, and for hold. Often when straightening, my hair gets silky and limp. This allows my hair to stick to itself and get some body and hold. 

That's it, ladies. Pretty cut and dry. Two products.  If all else fails, wear a headband.

02 April 2011

The Haircut: Ta-dah!

 Surprise!! Thanks for all of your comments yesterday, I was able to combine ALL the styles I put up yesterday.

This is totally un-styled but there's potential for this to get messy and punk rock. Even wet, it looks good with a bit of a curl too. I'm excited.

A little shocked.

I need some makeup or I'll look like a small Asian schoolgirl.
Or this:

PS-this outfit was inspired by my new girl crush at Atlantic-Pacific. I love this look.

01 April 2011

Hair Help

I've been patiently growing out my hair...simply because I haven't had hair in a while. But now, I look like a soccer mom (no offense to my MILFy hot soccer mom readers) and this bitch is turning 30 in a few days (as in 24). I need your help.

 (oh yes, I did)

Disclaimer: I discouraged Jenny from MFAMB a few weeks ago that bangs would suck in the summer weather. Now I can't get enough of them. Eating crow.

Here's what we're wroking with.
Higgins is not amused. 

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