Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh, California!

Hello friends!  Here we are in the middle of a cold, cloudy summer in Germany and I am thinking of California.  One thing that I have noticed since I moved abroad is my growing feeling of patriotism...not patriotism in the traditional sense of the word--love and pride for your country--but a form of patriotism nonetheless, I guess. 

Since moving here I have found an overwhelming sense of pride and love for my STATE, CALIFORNIA.  Nothing is as good as in California.  When people ask where I am from, I say excitedly: California!  I dream of California.  And, as cheesy as it may be, when I hear the Katy Perry song "California Gurls,"  I turn the radio up to blasting, sign at the top of  my lungs and believe deep in my heart that the song was written about me and all my California friends.

I love California.  I am proud of California.  I miss it with all my heart.  That's why, when I saw these necklaces I fell in love.  How fun would it be to have California right near my heart everyday?  The Maya Brenner necklace is adorable and so perfect.  I love how delicate and simple it is.  The only thing not so excellent is the price tag: between $150-300 dollars!  Yikes!  The diamond is adorable, though, and perfectly placed if you ask me.

Maya Brenner California Pendant Necklace
But there are some cute cheaper versions out there.  They're adorable, too.  And, of course, more Nifty Thrifty.  This Dogeared design necklace is adorable, and while still a little pricy, not horrible.  Plus, it is certainly something you could wear everyday (I know I would). 
I Love California necklace by Dogeared

This Kris Nations necklace is cute, too.  I like the simplicity of the other two, but this is also quite sweet.  And I love the name: "State Pride Necklace."  He also has a lot of other really cute jewelry!

Kris Nations State Pride Necklace

  This Accentuality necklace is really cute too.  The bead adds a little something to it and you can choose the color yourself.  It adds a touch of color and fancy. 

California Mini State Necklace

Of course, these necklaces all come any any state of your choosing.  So, whichever state you have love for, show it proudly.  For those of you with your heart in two places, you could get two and layer them.  Also, Maya Brenner makes a super cute "Bi-coastal" necklace with an apple (for New York) and the California charm on it.  It would eventually love to have California, Michigan (my hearts second home) and Germany.  Heck, I'd love to be able to juggle them all in my real life, too. 

In the end, where you are from is in who you are.

Love to all my family and friends back home. 


Thursday, July 14, 2011


I love this super cute, sloppy, relaxed but cozy room!
I got this from A Cup of Joe.

Beautiful bar carts

I don't know if you keep up on design blogs like I do, but if you do, you may have noticed that bar carts are THE thing right now...kind of like succulents.  (Ooh, imagine succulents ON bar carts!)  Bar carts are great because they don't have to be expensive or fancy but they are a modern, classic and fun statement in a room.  Modern AND classic?  Yes, if you can believe it. 

There is something very elegant and "old money" about them, while also being hip and new.  The best bar cart should be simple and somewhat modern looking.  Dark wood, ornamentation and anything too fancy looks too stuffy and a little like grandma's house.  Something deco or streamlined is perfect.  It is still glamorous (like you should be wearing an evening gown and drinking vermouth something-or-other) but also at home in a modern environment.

For our purposes here at Nifty Thrify, the best bar cart is a free bar cart.  Anything you have on hand can be used: a simple old cabinet, around waist height (or breast height if you are tiny like me); an old bookshelf; a side table.  Alternatively, the perfect place to look would be the Goodwill or the Salvation Army...something gold/brass and 1960s would be super sexy.  And, if you can raid your parents' attic or basement or find one at a flea market, more power to you. 

Now, also for the purposes of Nifty Thrifty, I have to say that as long as the bottles look nice (NO PLASTIC, you do not live in a frat house) I think it is totally okay to stock your bar with cheap alcohol.  Alternatively, you could get some cheap glass decanters, always buy cheap alcohol and disguise it while making your bar look super classy.   Makers Mark seems to be THE drink of the moment for stocking your cart.  It's expensive but, luckily for me, my boyfriend loves it and has a bottle (his choice, not mine...I much prefer 2 Euro wine) complete with a cool red wax seal.  

Some wine glasses and a few decorations are the only other things you need to complete your bar.  A lamp would be great, too.  Hang some artwork over it, too, please. 

Here are some cool pictures for inspiration.  

Beautiful 60s-looking gold bar cart from Joanna Goddard's house in New York.  She writes an awesome blog, A Cup of Jo.  I think I have a girl crush on her.   

A great little bar cart from My Little Apartment .
Bar cart from Cupcakes and Cashmere.
Sideboard/bar taken from My Little Apartment.
Also from My Little Apartment.      

An alternative to a bar cart, when you don't have the money or the space would be a cute tray stocked with your favorites, like the cart above.  Of course, if you have children, do not put alcohol within their reach.  Here is another example.
Cute table with a bar tray. 

I hope to get a bar cart soon.  And I hope you get one, too!  Have a nice evening.  XOXO

Sardinian textiles

Hello friends!  I told you I would tell you a little bit about my trip to Sardinia.  I know that it's been a while, but better late than never, huh?

Sardinia was BEAUTIFUL, FANTASTIC.  It was the best vacation I have ever been on, really.   Well, I don't count the summers I spent in Michigan or the Camino de Santiago (which I did in 2008) as vacations.   Every summer I spent in Michigan and the Camino were fantastic but this real "vacation" with hotel, relaxation and pampering was absolutely perfect.

From a design and aesthetic standpoint, the coolest thing about Sardinia was the traditional interiors.  Traditional Sardinian interiors are simple and rustic.  They are big on ironwork, woodwork and these beautiful embroidered textiles.  The simplicity was really beautiful and, on vacation, really relaxing.  Our hotel, luckily, was LUXURIOUS and filled with beautiful wood pieces, ironwork and Sardinian textiles.

Secondly, from a design standpoint, the aesthetics in Italy are just DIFFERENT from those in Germany.  They are colorful, loud and exciting.  Sometimes, they can be a bit extreme (tacky) but mostly they are fun, happy and perfectly suited to me.

Here are some pictures to give you some ideas.   Enjoy.

Grotta Nettuna.

A colorful morning.

Look at that sea!  And the colors!

Boat ride.

Before dinner one evening.

Beautiful Sardinian textiles.

Our beautiful Sardinian hotel.

Here you can see the embroidered pattern on the lampshade.

Wood and ironwork. 

Pool and lake at hotel.  Bright blue!!

Hotel from afar.

Blue sea.

Look at the colors.  The flowers in Italy are beautiful!!

Town of Algehro.

Colorful, old fisherman.

Beautiful gate.

Cute tropical town.


Green and pink!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

~ Happy Independence Day! ~

Hello all and happy 4th of July.  In honor of this wonderful American holiday (which was difficult for me to appreciate until after I left the country) and the beginning of summer, I have collected a few nice images for you in celebration of this time of the year.  It is about 52 degrees F here today and very overcast and disgusting and I am pretty down/home sick.  So I threw on some Dixie Chicks and looked at cute vintage people being all vintage-y. 

So sit back, cool off with a nice glass of lemonade or ice tea and be thankful for your friends, your family, your community and summer!

And last but not least, my grandmother and grandfather enjoying the lake that we all still go to as a family every year.  :-)