Friday Infatuation: Black Tankinis

I recently came back from a cruise and now have swimsuits on the brain. Chort Face has requested that I do a 30×30 remix again (hidden intention: he wants me to go on another shopping ban), so no new swimsuits for me this year.

If I were to get a new swimsuit this summer, my choice would be the ever classic black swimsuit. I love tankinis for both coverage and easy restroom access. My previous tankinis have been from Speedo, but my less sporty choices below.

Black Tankinis


Moderate: Assets by Sara Blakely Women’s Push Up Tankini (on sale, $30), Clean Water Swim Bottoms (on sale, $18)

Splurge: La Blanca Ruched Tankini Top ($99, 20% off with code EASTER), La Blanca Ruched Hipster Bikini Bottom ($39, 20% off with code EASTER)

Super Splurge: Magicsuit Tankini ($134.50-$138.50), Magcisuit Mid-Rise Bottom ($63.50)

I’ll be wearing my two 2-pieces from 2007 again this summer: 1) a cornflower blue bandeau, and 2) a coral/red halter, both 2-pieces picked up from the 15 dollar store, and both always worn with signature neon yellow surf shorts and a tank top.

What are you looking forward to getting for the summer?


Great Garage Sale Score: Mid Century Modern Chairs

I have a home office, which I’ve dubbed Wendigo, and I had been looking for office chairs for quite some time. I basically keep a google doc called “Things to Do and Buy” where I collect an assortment of tasks to do around the Stronghold and home goods items to purchase.

Ikea Vilmar Chair

Ikea Terje Folding Chair

I had been considering getting the Vilmar Chair or the Terje Folding Chair from Ikea, and had those chairs on my list for the last six months, but as I was driving home one Saturday afternoon, I spied these Mid Century Modern chairs at the end of a neighbor’s driveway.

MCM Chairs

They were incredibly quirky. The shape was wonderful, but the upholstery was a bit out there–it looked a bit like a 60s mod print.

Nevertheless, I was struck with that tingly feeling as soon as I saw them. I parked my car, walked across the street to check on the chairs, and brought the chairs home for $10 each, $20 total.

I’ve named them Ozzie and Harriet.

The Great Hall

The Stronghold when we first moved in:

Great Hall

Once we moved in, we took out the carpet and installed laminate flooring from Ikea. It was an idea we had gotten from Steph.

photo (17)

photo (18)

The process was a bit intense: we had to uproot the carpet and scrape out the underlying adhesive, lay out plastic and insulation, and we also learned how to use a circular saw and a few other tools. Many trips were taken to Home Depot. The entire process took about a month and a half to put in the laminate flooring for both the Great Hall (living room) and Jacquasse (kitchen).

We affectionately call our floor Larry for light and airy.

My husband and I were able to delay furnishing the Stronghold for a bit because our roommates had furniture that they moved in with them.

After the Rs (our roommates) moved in, the Great Hall looked like this:

photo (8)

The Rs bought a house and moved out last year, so for a couple of months the Great Hall ended up looking like its namesake–a generally large dance hall or a much smaller Great Hall from Harry Potter. I did some floor-skating by sliding around in my socks while the Great Hall was empty.

We slowly filled in the Great Hall with some found pieces:

  • A mid-century modern chair that I had been using as my office chair and that I had taken from my parents (free)
  • A coffee table that I found at a garage sale ($40)
  • A blue couch that I found at a garage sale ($20)

blue couch

  • A beige and brown couch that our friends gave us (free)
  • A tree branch centerpiece (free)
  • A welded steel crab (gift from R2 because I’m a Cancer)
  • A welded Stronghold sign (gift from R2 who is a welder)
  • Teapot and teacups (gift from my brother’s fiancee)
  • Cups given to us for our engagement from dear college friend Chalups
  • Large prints of photos that we had taken from our honeymoon in Vietnam and from around the area we live with photo frames purchased from Ikea (approx $50 total)
  • A jar that was originally filled with paper stars from my high school years that we refilled with shells collected from the beach (free)
  • A red lantern and magazine holder I had taken from the Homestead (free)
  • Candles placed in baby food jars–wedding favors from Newman’s Wedding (free)
  • We placed a sake set that was a gift from a friend in high school on top of a tray from a garage sale (free and $2 for the tray)
  • We placed a couple of pottery pieces made by a friend on top of small rectangular mirrors (free and $2 for the rectangular mirrors from the Dollar Tree)
  • Glass coasters from a garage sale (6 coasters for $1.50)

We also purchased a few items from stores:

  • Fish from World Market (we got these to represent my husband who is a Pisces–both fish were purchased for $10 total)
  • Shaggy pillows from KMart ($30 total)
  • Gold pillows from Tuesday Morning ($20 total)
  • Storage trunk from TJ Maxx Home Goods ($40)
  • Our first piece of real art from Tuesday Morning ($40)

Great Hall

[You may notice a little green speck to the left of the doorway. That would be a post it note. My husband had no idea what I was referring to when I would tell him to put things in the Great Hall (our living room) or in Jacquasse (our kitchen) or in the Passageway (our hallway). I ended up putting post it notes everywhere with the names of our rooms on them. They've been up for over three years. The adhesive on Post-it notes is definitely strong! I want to create some word art and frame it for all of our rooms, but my husband has been steadfastly refusing my wishes. I continue to wear him down. I know that in a moment of weakness, he will eventually give in. ***Evil laughter ensues.***]

A true Pisces, my husband will occasionally rearrange furniture when I’m gone. Thus:

photo (12)

The table has changed its orientation.

photo (11)

photo (15)

photo (14) One time I came home and all the sofas had been changed around. I immediately moved them back to their original position.

My husband and I have incredibly different ideas for decorating. He is very much into the design element and clean lines and has a minimalist mindset. Thus, the coffee table is more of his style, and the shelves are arranged in a way that works for him.

I tend to be much more cluttered. If left up to me, I would have stacked photos, books, and knick knacks galore on the built-in shelves. He has a more curated approach.

I am sentimental, a hoarder, and somewhat of an eccentric traditionalist. Thus, the crab and two fish (because I am a Cancer and he is a Pisces), pictures of friends and family (obscured by the chair), and all the “found items” are from me.

We were able to compromise to make the common areas work. Our offices, on the other hand, clearly show how different our natural styles are.

I like to call the style in the Great Hall “eccentric minimalism.” When the Rs visited us, R2 dubbed it “modern vintage.”

We are still in the process of fixing up the Great Hall–we have to hang up a few larger pictures, install a curtain rod and curtains, and set up a transition area near the front door.

I sometimes try to persuade my husband that a rug is necessary–it’ll tie the room together, just like the Dude says!–but even unfinished, we always feel happy coming into the Stronghold and seeing the Great Hall.

Have you had to compromise in decorating a room? How did you go about it?