'B' for Books

On My Nightstand

This is not a clever new title for a post about which books are metaphorically on my bedside table. No, it is literally the stack of books and other things that I have been making my way through lately. Like a “what’s in your bag?” post, but heavier! Unstyled for authenticity (though I did take the picture this morning, as opposed to last night when I actually wrote this).

So many books to read! So little sleep!

Let’s dive in, shall we? Very brief summaries ahead.

The Humorous Memoirs

Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling
Her first book was a collection of things that had happened to her, but this is more of a peek into why she thinks the way she does. A brilliant, funny, and inspiring read.

Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson
We’re all a little weird and wonderful, Jenny perhaps more so than most (and that’s why we all love her).

The Magazines

One Kings Lane: Style Your Season
Impulse buy at the checkout. “One Kings Lane made a magazine? Is this a regular thing? Buying that.” A pricey impulse buy ($14 for a magazine), but I was curious. It is the new Domino model (create a magazine to drive sales to the shop) in reverse. With a holiday twist!

House Beautiful
I subscribe, and this is the magazine I most look forward to every month.

Martha Stewart Living
Another subscription, another I always look forward to. Martha, my love.

The Decorating Books

Pink, Lisa Cregan for House Beautiful
Well of course I bought this. (The author, Lisa Cregan, wrote a piece on me ages ago for Chicago Tribune Magazine! To this day, I think it’s the only bit of press I’ve received that my dad is aware of.)

Styled, Emily Henderson
There is decorating info to be gleaned from the book and the photos are beautiful, but the core of the book truly is about how to style (especially for photos) vs. how to decorate or design a space.
I suppose it should be noted that I did not use Emily’s tips to style the photo for this post. If I had, you would have noticed smaller, neater stacks, a color story, and perhaps a throw placed just so. Also real flowers. And a plant. And some ceramic bells on the wall.

Habitat, Lauren Liess
Whereas Styled is about the finishing touches, this is about the substance and planning that goes into a successful room. The field guide approach is smart, and this has been the best read of the decorating bunch.

Beekman 1802 Style, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Photos are pulled from the Country Living archives, making this a sort of highly edited Pinterest board (albeit from a single source) come to life. That said, the photos and point of view are fantastic and I love their take on historical homes and new country style.

Modern Mix, Eddie Ross
Inventive layouts and photo spreads (pulled straight from the Martha Stewart Living handbook it would seem), with useful and inventive ideas for rescuing and repurposing finds you may have otherwise overlooked.

Absolutely Beautiful Things, Anna Spiro
A riot of color and fun, and of course, absolutely beautiful things.

The Board Books

Daddy Loves Me, DK
This would be creepy if it were there for me.

Pajama Time, Sandra Boynton
Some are pink and some are green. Some are the ugliest you’ve ever seen.

The Extras

Fake flowers that are so fake it makes me smile (those peonies are the size of my baby’s head!) and a brass lamp. An alarm clock, an iPhone, a toy iPhone, a dimmer switch, and Nintendo 3DS with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. Glass water bottle with a small motivational quote below the heart (“it’d be really nice if you had your shit together a little more.”), Rosebud Salve, two pairs of glasses, and my daughter’s hair tie. Missing: the usual assortment of Star Wars guys that somehow make their way over here.

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  • Laura (LK Art)
    November 5, 2015 at 9:50 am

    I have a similarly odd assortment on my nightstand – books, magazines, a few books from my daughter’s collection that she wanted to “share” with me, one of her hair bows, and a stuffed owl that she gave me to sleep with. I’m sure our cleaning woman wonders why an adult sleeps with stuffed animals!

  • Stephanie
    November 5, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Pretty much looks like mine, except add a quarter inch of dust and more “how to survive your three year old” books.

  • Laura
    November 5, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve been looking for a dimmer. Thanks! And my side table is similar, without the flowers. Ha.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 6, 2015 at 7:48 pm

      We have dimmer switches for all of our bedside lights. Essential.

  • BethSR
    November 5, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    MUST see the Quincy bed in a full post!

  • katie f
    November 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    I am seriously tempted to do a still life series of my nightstand, so this is wonderful! the collection of things that are deposited there are confounding and wonderful at the same time. Always some little figurine toy, sometimes a phonetically spelled out note from my 5 year old “yoo r the best”, 34 hair ties, a felt crepe, books for all, a fine layer of dust (of course).

    • Making it Lovely
      November 6, 2015 at 7:54 pm

      Don’t you love kids’ phonetically spelled notes? Oh, and the dust is usually abundant in my house.

  • Beth @ Pages and Margins
    November 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Nice! There are a few Star Wars and Lego guys on mine as well. As well as a pretty fun microhistory about desk/stationary stuff called “Perfection of the Paperclip.”

  • Linda D.
    November 5, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Awww. We read Pajama Time over and over when our littles were little. Enjoy!

  • Brittany
    November 5, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I love this post! Except how snarky you were towards Emily Henderson!

    • Jennyg
      November 6, 2015 at 6:31 pm

      Was thinking the same thing!!!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 6, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Didn’t mean to come across as so snarky! Was going more for self-deprecation (and failed, it would seem).

  • Sarah Pick
    November 6, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Finally! A blog post featuring a bedside table that is actually realistic!
    I was starting to feel bad for having a clutter of hair grips and assorted technology as a permanent feature…

  • Kate Holt
    November 6, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    HA! I’ve had fake Pottery Barn yellow peonies in my cart FOREVER and they are on sale now AND hooray for yours. Well shit, Mrs. Balch. If you can have fake flowers that are so fake they make you smile, so can I! Seriously seeing those (my computer was slooooow to load the rest) was like an omen. Sounds so stupid but sometimes we need forgiveness for stupid things. I can haz fake flowerz? ERMAGERD. (My coffee just kicked in so you’re welcome for the punchy! And thanks for the inspiration/indirect forgiveness!)

    • Making it Lovely
      November 6, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      Ha, I’m the same way when the coffee kicks in. I hope you got yourself those flowers! :)

  • carrie
    November 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    You have just inspired me to write “huge pink peonies” on my Joann Fabrics list! Fake or not, they are gorgeous and look like a watercolor painting!

  • Jody
    November 6, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Ha! I’ve had one PB pink peony in my house for years. One. And its become a bit of a joke, as we have moved from home to home, just where that ‘darn peony’ (as per my sweet mom) might just end up. Right now it sits on my bathroom vanity. I’m sure my husband would love it to move elsewhere, but I LOVE IT. (The other joke, as per my mom, are our Sharon Montrose pictures. I remind her that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! And then we laugh…

    • Making it Lovely
      November 6, 2015 at 7:59 pm

      Hey, no shame in fake flowers here! I know I’m *supposed* to hate them as per the OFFICIAL DECORATING RULES* but I don’t. :) And I love Sharon Montrose’s photography too.