OTI on the road

Birthday Diaries
I’m finally getting my act together to post a few photos from my birthday trip to AZ with my two sisters and our sister in law. We had the best time! My older sister is queen of planning the weekend getaway (she’s already emailing house options for Thanksgiving), I am so thankful to her for putting together an amazing weekend of soaking up sun and frozen daiquiris poolside.

STAY  | The Sagauro Hotel |
An Old Town Scottsdale gem, this hotel has a midcentury modern meets skittles vibe. The restaurant– District–  is great for cocktails on the patio, but I’d skip dinner and head into town. It is super easy to get around from here, there are tons of options within walking distance, and if it’s too far (or too hot) to walk, you can either use one of the adorable bikes from the hotel or there is a whole golf cart cab system that zips you around Old Town with ease.  You have your pick of pool options at the hotel, the main pool area has cabana service which is lovely, but it got pretty spring break-ish so when we needed respite from the bros and the bachelor/bachelorette party madness we headed to the calm pool, because… bros.

EAT | FnB | Sugar Bowl | Petite Maison |

We Ate!

FnB: great patio, delicious cocktails, and the owners are beyond accomodating
Sugar Bowl: an old timey ice cream parlor serving up giant bowls, scoops, shakes in any flavor you can imagine
Petite Maison: hail a golf cart and zip over to this beautiful little french spot. The patio is full of fresh flowers and candles and the food is exquisite–the foie is life, seriously. It was such a sweet perfect birthday meal (that’s us on the patio!)
The Orange Table: breakfast done right is only a 2 minute walk from the hotel. Pancakes, get the pancakes. Don’t miss the fresh squeezed juice options for mimosas and make a morning of it on the patio.
The Mission: oh my…wow. This is where you want to go for some tasty Mexican bites. Also walkable from The Saguaro. The table side guacamole is worth the schtick, you will be scraping the bowl. I would have just jumped in if I could. Literally everything we ordered was the best, from drinks to tacos and enchiladas to tortilla soup.

Shop | Old Town |

Shop Old Town

Bischoffs at the Park: Gallery meets shop with gorgeous southwest goods, this whole wall of Pendleton blankets was crazy gorgeous to look at. I want them all.
Tons of  Souvenir shops on the strip: I mean, I couldn’t walk by this guy in the window without snapping a pic. I think it would have given me some trouble getting through airport security but I know exactly the friend that would relish this. And how gorgeous is all this turquoise?!

Disclaimer: I’d bookmark this little guide until the temperature in Arizona drops back below 100 degrees. We went May 1st and it was high 90’s already.

3 random thoughts + designs from the first day of June

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1. Have you tried the photo-editing, design app Studio? Kind of obsessed. I don’t use all the “remix” and sharing features – I mainly create and then run away to Instagram – but I still think it’s one of the best editing apps out there. Great choice of fonts and it has a layer feature similar to Photoshop.

yellow and pink pattern2. I discovered Neon Sharpies the other day at Paper Source, and since then I’ve been doodling away. Today I took my scribbles to the big screen, AKA Photoshop, and created this slightly less neon but still super bright pattern. Not quite sure where I’ll use it – for now, I just printed it out as a notecard. (Print from the 5×7 PDF here.)

Nelly quote: good gracious ass is bodacious3. So sometimes I listen to old-school Nelly when I run. And by sometimes, I mean always. Especially when it starts getting hot … in … here. (You’re welcome for getting that song stuck in your head now.) Anyways, this lyrics seems to be permanently embedded in my brain and I’m convinced it would be the perfect quote to put on a beach tote. Now I just need to find the right customizable beach tote …

SO that concludes this episode of random thoughts and designs. Hope you had an excellent + inspiring June 1. Bring it on, summer!

- Bianca

Project Basement

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Earlier this week, a dear friend of mine sent me an email that started with, “Yo, I need your style guru-ness to help me with a new project.”

Before I continue, it’s important to note my friend is hilarious. She sips tea in the morning, goes foraging in the woods for ferns to transplant to her garden in the afternoon, and teaches the finer points of classic American literature to college students. Her emails always begin with pleasantries ranging from “Yo” to “my dearest dearest love” to “Hey G”.

In a nutshell – she’s the best.

So this project she’s working on: refinishing her farmhouse’s basement.

The house itself – located atop a perfect perch outside of Portsmouth, N.H. – overlooks rolling hills with barns and horses speckling the distant landscape. It’s perfect New England charm, and I’m excited to help her with her latest home endeavor.

The challenge with most basement projects is, of course, lighting. But luckily we’ve got a window to work with, crisp bright white walls, and light pinewood floors. A nice clean palette.

My initial thoughts are to capitalize on the light, bring color and pattern in while keeping the palette feeling natural, and honor the farmhouse history while bringing in some more modern elements.

I immediately thought of the gorgeous persian rugs I’ve been seeing lately that incorporate more modern/punchy colors, a neutral grey sofa with clean lines (personal bias confession: my eyes love a good grey+white+natural wood combination), and lighting from a recently discovered design team, onefortythree their work is simply stunning, I’ve been lusting after that rocker for months (see item 4).

Above, I’m sharing a very early stage, quickly assembled lookboard as part of this post. Personally, it’s a little nerve wracking because yes, I know spacing isn’t perfect, image resolution isn’t the best – it’s the definition of a work in progress. It is a sneak peek into the creative process she and I are currently working through, and it serves as a quick easy-to-respond-to  guide so that we can keep refining and designing the space around those key items.

What do you think of the concept so far?

Get Down to Business: Last Minute Download

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Have you waited until the last minute and now find yourself dreading the trip (and walk of shame) down the picked over CVS card aisle? We feel you, it’s not a happy place to be, it’s not where Cupid would want you to be right now.

Great news! We’ve given a basic business card template a twist, adding in a few sweet nothings for you to share with your Valentine.

Just download, print, and cut out your favorites. Or if you are near a Paper Source, this is the paper we used, already perforated.

Boom. Valentine success.

A Fine Pair(ing)

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A good pairing doesn’t go unappreciated in Our Town.

I love (oh, hi it’s Lisa) seeing two fonts fall in love with each other, finding the perfect cozy chair with the exact right amount of character to complete that reading nook, or when those new booties just happen to go with everything, it’s really the best to discover a new pairing, isn’t it?

So, when I came across this delicious cocktail recipe bringing together some of my favorite ingredients, and in honor of an endearing pair of best mates, I had to share it. The earl grey syrup sounds so incredible I think I’d put it on my pancakes! That step is not to be skipped, I recommend Bee Raw honey, and my Earl Grey  tea of choice from Harney & Sons. Not only are these delicious options, they do a nice job prettying up a pantry.

Thank you to Molly and Brandon for posting the recipe over at food52.com, and tip of the hat to the creator, Kenaniah Bystrom, bar manager of Essex in Seattle- you had me at Sherlock & Watson.