A New Week

working-in-style-arianna-belle-blogGood morning! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and are having a great start to the new week.  As usual, lots of things to tackle on the to-do list.  A priority item for me this week is migrating my website over to a different (better!) hosting company. Hopefully the move will go smoothly however some downtime will be inevitable, so if you see that the blog or shop is down later this week, that’s the reason.  I’ll try to post a heads up and progress updates on Facebook and Twitter. Excited to make the move as it’s the first step towards making the planned improvements to the site a reality.  Also working hard behind the scenes to make, photograph, and do all the data entry work to add lots of new pillows to the shop.  Follow me on Instagram for peeks!

image sources: 1-emerson fry, 2-original source unknown, 3-olive manna
Posted in office spaces | 2 Comments

Cozy (Faux) Fur in the Home

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Today I’m over on La Dolce Vita talking about faux fur throws and blankets. Head on over for lots of inspiration and a round up of sources for getting the look!

image credits: 1-interior design by ryan korban , 2- original source unknown, 3- photography by Emily Anderson, interior design by Anthony George
Posted in bedrooms, interior decor, living room | 2 Comments

A Glamorous Dressing Room

Absolutely loving this beautifully organized dressing room from the home of Rita Hazan:

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 Shoes are neatly arranged on white open shelves (from Ikea!) and beauty essentials are on a glamorous mirrored vanity

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A stylish modern black platter helps keep things organized.

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 Such much goodness here – the big window with floor to ceiling drapes, the tufted daybead, the unique gold wall studs, the brass glass pendant…

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patterned tray corrals jewelry and pretty objects.

See more of Rita’s home here

photography by Brittany Ambridge and design by Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent
Posted in accessories organization, beautifully organized spaces, closet organization, clothes closet, dressing rooms, interior decor, jewelry organization, makeup organization, organization, shoe organization, vanity organization | 6 Comments

Erika’s Fabulous Home Tour

Have you flipped through the latest issue of Adore Magazine yet? I was so honored to be featured alongside friends Irene and Erika in the Blog Loving section and also excited to see the spread featuring Erika’s gorgeous home.  It perfectly reflects her style and was beautifully captured by talented photographer Sabra Lattos.  Below are a few of my favorite shots:

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Gold accents incorporated all throughout the home

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Love how the crystal chandelier and gold knobs glam up the kitchen.

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Erika included our Jungalow Jet pillows in her dining room!

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Chic little corner

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Fabulous inspiration board

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See more in the magazine as well as on Erika’s blog!

Posted in dining rooms, glamorous spaces, home tours, interior decor, kitchens, my shop, office spaces, pillows | 2 Comments

Two Ideas for Organizing Clutches

Hold them in a lucite tray, like Kelly….

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organizingclutches-2 or file them in an acrylic letter sorter, like Mackenzie

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Both great ways to keep clutches beautifully organized!

Posted in accessories, accessories organization, closet organization | 4 Comments

Arianna Belle Pillows in Rue Magazine

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If you check out the latest issue of Rue Magazine (issue 22) you’ll find my Leopard Velvet and La Fiorentina Black pillows in the spread featuring Ashlina’s New York apartment.

ariannabelle-leopardpillows-ruemag-decoristaThis (above) is probably my favorite photo from the shoot.  Love the whole setup with the matching tufted chairs and big round mirror.   Such a cozy and glamorous space. Flip to page 132 of the magazine to see more!

Posted in glamorous spaces, interior decor, living room, my shop, pillows | 2 Comments

Stress Free Weekly Dinner Planning

I previously wrote a post on how I plan dinners for the week.   Since writing that post, I’ve added an extra element to my little system, that has made dinner planning even easier. I was finding that on busy weeks when my husband and I had limited time to actually sit down to think through what we wanted to eat that week, browse through cookbooks, online recipes, etc., we would end up just rushing to come up with ideas last minute on Monday mornings right before heading off to the grocery store. This would often result in us just deciding on the same few go-to meals over and over since those were what we could think of off the top of our heads.

dinner-planning-howto-arianna-belle-blogTo add variety and help make things as stress free and easy as possible, I decided to take the time one day to list out as many dinners as I could think of that we know how to make and love, as well as a few new ones we’ve been wanting to try out.  I then typed them all into a business card template (one dinner per box) and printed them on business card paper (I used this because it had a nice decorative border).  Once I had everything printed out, I grouped the dinner cards by category (photo above left) and used little post-it tabs to create category dividers.  I put all the cards in a business card holder (photo above middle), which I adhered strong magnets to the back of (photo above right), so I could stick it up on our fridge – a convenient accessible spot that’s right next to the pantry where we keep our dinner planner sheets.

dinner-planning-arianna-belle-blogSo now, when it comes to deciding what we want to make for dinner on any given week, we can grab the cards, quickly look through them and choose one (or two) card(s) for each day. Once we’ve picked our cards, I fill in a dinner planner sheet with all the ingredients I need to shop for, and then stick up the cards up on our magnetic weekly board. If we change our minds in regards to which dinner we’ll make on what day (which often happens), we can easily move the cards around without having to erase and re-write things on the board like we used to.

There are several things I like about this routine. It makes deciding what to make quick and easy so it doesn’t feel like a chore.  It eliminates the dreaded “what should we do for dinner?” question. It helps us eat more healthfully since when we have our dinners planned out and all the ingredients on hand, we’re less likely to order take out.  It prevents multiple last minute trips to the market, so it saves us time. It helps us avoid getting into a dinner rut by putting into rotation all the dinners we know how to make and love – not just the ones that seem to come to mind most easily.

It does take some effort to set things up, but once you have a system in place, and you use it a couple of times, it’ll become habit and you’ll find that it makes life a bit easier. For anyone thinking of setting up something similar, here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Magnetic board with the days of the week – the one I have in my home is this one by Three By Three Seattle
  • Magnets
  • Several copies of the Dinner Planner (free printable!)
  • Something to hold and store the planning sheets in a convenient spot – I have a transparent pocket adhered to the inside of my pantry door.
  • Business card paper to make the dinner cards – index cards folded and cut in half would also work well
  • Filing tabs to label and separate your categories
  • A business card holder to hold your dinner cards – if you’ll be adding magnets to it like I did to stick it up on the fridge, be sure to get one that has a flat (non-slanted) back

Tips:

  • For recipes you don’t know off the top of your head how to make, include a note of where you found the recipe on the card (for example, the name of the cookbook and the page). That way, you can easily find it the day-of.  You can also write on the back of the card the key ingredients for that recipe that you don’t usually keep on hand so that you can easily and quickly fill in your dinner planner/shopping list.
  • Keep a few blank cards on hand for adding new recipes
  • If you usually go to more than one grocery store each week like I do, when writing out your shopping list, use different colored pens for each store.  In the dinner planner shown in the photo above for example, I used an orange pen to write ingredients I wanted to get at Trader Joes and a purple pen to write the ingredients I wanted to get at Ralphs.  So when I was at Trader Joes, I just had to focus on the items in orange, and when I was at Ralphs, I just had to focus on the items in purple. I was able to go in and out of each store quickly.
  • Choose a convenient day of the week that you can integrate dinner planning into your routine.  For me it’s Sunday so I have my list ready for when I go grocery shopping Monday morning.

@Arianna_Belle(instagram)To follow the system:

1.  Browse through your dinner cards and pick out a card (or two) for each day of the week that you plan to cook at home

2.  Fill in the dinner planner sheet.  Dinners go in the furthest left hand column then ingredients you need to shop for go in the appropriate columns to the right (Produce, Dairy & Refrigerated, etc).

3.  Stick your dinner cards for the week up on your magnetic board.  Assign a card to each day keeping in mind you can always easily move them around later if you want.

4. Grab your dinner planner sheet and go shopping.  Note that the columns on the sheet correspond to the aisles of most grocery stores, making it easy to shop down each column.

5.  Feel good knowing you’re prepared for the week!

Let me know if you give this a try. Hopefully I explained things well enough. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

This post was brought to you by Office Depot.  All thoughts, ideas, and opinions expressed here are my own. Thank you for supporting Arianna Belle sponsors!

Posted in organization, planning tools | 2 Comments

Fall

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Although we’re bound to continue to have days of summer-like weather over here in California, I’m happy that it’s officially fall and soon enough the air will get crisper and the leaves will turn. Looking forward to cozying up with warm drinks, indulging in everything pumpkin and apple, and pulling out the scarves, sweaters and boots. What do you love best about fall?

image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4
Posted in breakfast nook, entryway, fall, interior decor, lifestyle | Leave a comment

2 Year Anniversary

Tomorrow it will be 2 years since I opened my little pillow shop.  The day I opened it, I was a bit nervous yet excited and hopeful.  I was jumping into new unfamiliar territory and I wasn’t sure what to expect exactly, but my intuition told me I was headed in the right direction and I felt optimistic of what lied ahead.

Having gone through, and working our way out of, a very rough economic period, my husband and I had very little money at the time. Somehow though, I found a way to come up with some money (less than $1,000) to invest in starting up the business.  Upon opening the shop I offered only 6 pillows, all in one size.  The idea was to start small with what I could, and re-invest any profits to grow the business over time. I figured if it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t be too huge of a financial loss, so I felt okay about taking the risk.  I think that had I waited to come up with enough money to open the shop with as many pillows as I have available now, I possibly would have never done it.

With a little luck and a lot of hard work I’m so grateful that the business has steadily grown over the past two years. I was able to quit the part-time job I had when I opened the shop, and I’ve been a full time shop owner for over a year now.  It’s been a dream come true to be my own boss, work in an industry I am passionate about, and have the freedom and control to mold, create, and grow my business however I want to.

Arianna Belle the Shop Pillows

While there’s no way of foreseeing what the future holds, I do have some things planned for my third year in business that I’m very excited about and hope will lead to other positive things.  I’ll be taking a business training program led by a woman I greatly admire and respect, I’ll be launching a re-vamped version of the shop website (currently in the works!), adding several new pillows, and I’ll most likely be hiring an assistant.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who have been so supportive and spread the word about the shop via your blogs, social media, and word of mouth, and of course those of you who have been customers and chosen to make Arianna Belle pillows a part of your beautiful homes.  My shop would not be a success without you all!

In celebration of my 2 year anniversary and the start of my 3rd year in business, I will be offering 15% off everything in my shop starting midnight tonight, September 22nd, through end of Monday September 23rd. To get the discount, just enter this code at checkout: AB2YEAR

Thank you again for all your support!! xx

Posted in interior decor, my shop, pillows | 4 Comments

My Pillows on the TODAY Show!

My leopard velvet pillows appeared on the TODAY show yesterday morning during their Fall Fashion & Home Decor Trends segment! Here’s the video clip (they show up towards the end):

Although they didn’t include an on-screen credit, it was still very exciting to see my pillows make their debut on national television! Hopefully this will be the first of more to come!

Posted in interior decor, my shop, pillows | 3 Comments