Tag Archives: Holiday

Peek-a-Boo {The rest of March 2013}

This past weekend was one of thoooooose weekends…The week before was crazy town in terms of deadlines, and despite repeated late night efforts, many projects got pushed back and ended up on Saturday’s “Things To Do” list. With the first day of the weekend a total wash, I gave myself Sunday off to enjoy the GORGEOUS warm weather at the lake with John and a cookout at my parent’s house in the evening. Long story short (or long?) I didn’t have much time for blog projects, so I thought this morning would be the perfect time to share a little “Peek-a-Boo” into my life lately in Instagrams.

Mar 2013

1…My talented woodworking father built us this gorgeous custom oak counter top for our kitchen island. It has pushed past pretty much ALL of our other furniture to win the coveted title of “things I’d grab in the event of an evacuation” (after my hubby and pets, of course). I don’t think we’ve had a single guest come through the house who hasn’t made a point to mention how much they love it, while running a hand across its glossy surface. Nice job, dad!!

2…My friend Ashley’s bridal shower last month was such a treat! I wish I had more photos from the beautifully executed lady’s get together, but the one thing I DID manage to document was probably my favorite part anyway – the floral arrangements, which were hand crafted by Ashley’s mom. While we might not all have her gifted touch with blooms, we can at least attempt to recreate this look with store-bought flowers and vintage tea cups.

3…I made a pie!!! My friend Jessalyn, of It Started With Yum, taught me pie making basics in our latest blogging exchange and I managed to recreate her steps by myself at home. The flavors of fresh strawberries, brown sugar, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar (seriously!) were so tasty, I even had a slice for breakfast.

4…It seems that March wasn’t quite done with the snow yet after all. We (and the cats) were surprised to wake up to a freak snow storm at the end of the month – Surprised and excited. There’s just something so wonderful about snow, no matter HOW old you are.

5…John and I have a weekend tradition of making homemade pizzas for dinner. One particular week in March left us with an odd assortment of toppings – pancetta, sliced ham and shaved parmesan for paninis – which made for one a-m-a-z-i-n-g pizza. We mixed it all together, tossed it onto naan bread and, after that first bite, made sure to document the dish for future evenings.

So what have you been up to?

If you missed February’s (and the beginning of March), check out my first “Peek-a-Boo” feature here

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A very Etsy Valentine’s card roundup

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays…I think every girl goes through a phase in her life in which she loathes the day, usually when she doesn’t have a particular beau to celebrate it with. But I think a lot of women, myself included, have come to appreciate the holiday as a more generalized celebration of the special people in our lives – sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, friends and even…dare I say it…ourselves. So no matter WHICH happy relationship you are smiling about this Valentine’s Day, I’ve rounded up a group of funny, funky and fabulous cards to exchange – All from my favorite online crafting mecca, Etsy.

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You’re kinda cute and I kinda like you a little. (Ok, maybe a lot.) // The ubber casual vibe of V-Day cards as of late has me sighing with relief. As sweet and sentimental as those long-winded serious cards are, there’s something so refreshing about a card that says it all in just a few short lines. (the exception is the thoughtful ones from you, mom!)

Bison love // I’ll buy into just about ANYTHING with a quirky animal on the front, bison included. Nothing says “cute” and “cuddly” like that shaggy head body of hair – And the conversation bubble + heart doesn’t hurt the “lovable” factor one bit.

3D hearts // I get a little up-edy about all this 3D hype in theaters, but I can easily wrap my enthusiasm around a CARD that comes with multicolored glasses.

There are plenty of fish in the sea, but you truly are the only fish for me // Now THAT’S a good poem. And one that I actually get.

You make my lemon drizzle // If the visual of lemon drizzle doesn’t scream “sweet” to you, nothing will. This is the perfect card for the confectionary lover in your life.

You’re my jam // Three little words! Okay, maybe they’re not the “three little words” you were HOPING to hear this Valentine’s Day, but it’s the thought that counts. And I’d say being someone’s “jam” is worth an awful lot.

Boston terrier love // Although John would likely rather see little pug mugs on this card, I’m sure the pair of lovey dovey terriers would bring a smile to his face.

When the zombie apocalypse comes, I’ll eat you last // If I had to choose one card out of the bunch to get for John, this would be it. What can I say? The kid loves him some zombies, and chances are your guy does too.

You + Me = Chemistry // I love the graphic design on this one. Great colors, nice letterpress detailing and the perfect one liner. What more could you ask for?

I’m a big fan // This perky, light hearted card is the light bulb solution for an aloof girlfriend or big brother. It says it all without getting too mushy gushy.

Bike love pair // If I had to choose one card for John to get ME, this would definitely be it. I love the color combo, plus the neat bike silhouette is perfection.

Hedgehog love // Hedgehogs in winter gear. Need I say more?

Feel free to share which cards YOU’RE handing out this year below in the comments section!

All in the details…

Brunch

Source | The Glitter Guide

Almost as soon as I laid eyes on this space (featured on the Glitter Guide yesterday) I knew it had to be mentioned over here. Is it not to die for? The colors are so special and I love the styling on the bookcase. There’s hardly a surface that I’m not infatuated with. Let’s talk DIY-able details…

1…I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself lately to really “get” bookshelf styling. I think there’s definitely a fine art to it, and in my opinion it’s a lot harder than it looks to get right. Luckily, I think we can all take a cue from these built-ins. If you look closely, not all of the shelves are filled to the brim with books and accessories. Some cubbies only hold one or two objects, but it looks intentional rather than sparse. It’s time we kicked the old legend to the curb that says “the more the better” when it comes to shelf styling.

2…Aside from the gorgeous reclaimed wood table, I adore the mismatched chairs. The metal seating reads very industrial, but that’s softened both by the faux fur cushions in the seat and by the pop of yellow in the plastic shell end chairs. Mixing and matching dining room seating is very on trend at the moment, and is a simple concept for us to recreate in our own homes.

3…Oh how I wish I could arrange flowers. These seem effortless, but I’m sure they took some thought. The variety of glass vessels makes for one beautiful setting and wouldn’t cost us much to mimic – All it would take is a trip or two to a local thrift store. Even the burlap place mats could be recreated on a dime with a yard or two from the fabric store. This space and event has totally inspired me to host a brunch for my girlfriends one weekend soon…Who else can’t wait until Spring??

What are your favorite details?

For all of my top inspirational spaces, click here

Girl’s weekend getaway to Winston-Salem

I think I owe you guys an apology for all the Instagram photos that I posted over the weekend. Hate to be “that girl,” but I just couldn’t help but overshare our mini getaway to Winston-Salem, NC. The reason for our trip? My sister is a grad student at Wake Forest University and, alas, her winter break has finally come to a close…Time for her to pack up and head back to school – But mom and I weren’t ready to say goodbye yet and decided to invite ourselves along for the ride, turning it into a mini girl’s weekend.

First stop after the two and a half hour ride? Simply Yummy – A simply yummy place to grab some lunch. Mom and I split a delicious panini – We’re talking procuitto, sliced apple, cheese, YUM. Oh and pasta salad too. And coffee…

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Feeling officially revived (I’m not a big fan of long car rides), we set out on foot to tour the local shops in the area. We randomly decided to check out an inconspicuous record store, where I unearthed a clearance Christmas compelation that can only be described as “perfection.” The Carpenters, Judy Garland, Bing, Frank, Barabara – It was worth my $1 and THEN some. But beyond that, the store was jam packed with limited edition records and original movie and band posters. I felt like I was in the ultimate man cave.

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After departing from there, we strolled over to a specialty olive oil and vinegar shop – Quite a departure from the records store, that’s for sure. We were able to sample all sorts of delicious oils and vinegars, from butter and tangerine to mushroom and even chocolate! I ended up buying a bottle of lemon olive oil because I absolutely adore any meal with a citrus flavor. My stomach is grumbling just imagining what it will be like to dump fresh chicken and penne pasta over a sizzling pan of my new olive oil…

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When my parents moved my sister in at the beginning of the semester, they were able to squeeze in a little exploring. While on said maiden voyage, mom couldn’t help but notice the white building below. It’s no surprise that, with a name like “Nekkid Dave,” she was intrigued, but the windows are hardly inviting or even offered any inkling as to what the store contained. She did a little researching when she got home and was a little taken aback at what she found. Knowing that I would flip head over heels for what turned out to be a super unique home goods store, we made a bee line from the olive oil shop and, as predicted, I fell hard.

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So hard, that I barely took any photos I was so distracted. You would have found  me running from that big beautiful gallery wall shown above, to a luxurious seating area complete with vintage-inspired couch and animal fur rug. There was a giant, life size horse sculpture made from discarded wood and tables and tables of mirrored trays, dainty bird cages and round pieces of carved wood the size of bowling balls. And then there was the ceiling…

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Yeah, those are architectural drawings. On the ceiling. It was incredible and I can’t wait to go back. Although I wanted EVERYTHING and the prices were surprisingly reasonable, my practical sister shooed me away from the register and I left empty-handed. I don’t really need anything at the moment, but I sure wanted something…Maybe next time.

Speaking of those architectural drawings, did I mention that the homes and historic buildings in Winston-Salem are captivating? Check out the hotel/conference center below. My mom is thinking about booking a room NOW for Kat’s graduation in a year and a half. I’m certainly not going to complain if I can come as a guest. I would feel like royalty driving up to this place for the night.

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But that wasn’t our only stop to admire building perfection. We also made a point to save room in our day for a tour of the Reynalda house. This sprawling estate was the home of the town’s most influential family back in the day. You’ll have to forgive my lack of explanation as to this particular family because my mind was wrapped so closely around the incredible art collection, that I hardly had time to think about the people who owned it.

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Once inside, we toured opulent room after opulent room, pausing to admire the original woodwork, furniture and decor (and, as big fans, imagine for a moment how similar the lifestyle was to an American version of Downton Abbey). They even still had Christmas decor up for us!

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Please forgive my iPhone photography…But I had to make a point about this one painting. As you can clearly see, it’s the portrait of a woman, but look closely and you’ll see a second hazy portrait of a young boy beside her. Apparently the boy died and his face was painted out, but how eery that he is still visible through the pigment.

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The art history buff in me was doing back flips when we discovered this painting by Martin Johnson Heade. I don’t think it will ever get old to come across paintings in the flesh that we studied back in school so many years ago. It’s like stumbling upon an old friend, as cheesy as that may sound. I know all its secrets…

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My sister was more than affronted by the modern art displayed in the house, but I was like a kid in a candy store. I love this stuff. Love it SO much that I was taking photos of it with my phone when I got yelled at by the guard because there was no photography allowed. So sad…But at least I had already snapped a good bit of the home to share here today.

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Despite breaking the rules, I couldn’t help but grab a secret shot of the indoor pool and the basement hallway of framed original Vogue covers, circa 1920. Probably my favorite parts of the tour.

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Exhausted and hungry from the tour, we eventually made our way dinner (at the Village Tavern) and later to bed. But the next morning we were up and at em again, this time for breakfast at some place I can’t remember downtown, and then a tour of Old Salem and Wake Forest campus.

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We had an absolute blast visiting my sister and I’m super jealous of all the history surrounding her. Can’t wait to visit again soon – I miss her like crazy already.

Have you guys ever been to Winston-Salem before? Live nearby? I’d love some recommendations on where to go on our next visit.

All in the details…Review and Resolutions

2012

Curve ball time. Instead of focusing my typical Thursday “All in the details…” feature on a special room today, I’ve decided to focus attention on a handful of special thoughts, reflections and resolutions. It is the first week of 2013 after all. (Speaking of, who else has written “2012” on autopilot the last few days??)

In terms of this blog, 2012 was a whirlwind. Readership doubled, I decided to go back to daily posts instead of just 3 days a week and I FINALLY began to learn how to use a DSLR camera. There was also that moment when one totally random, frankly quite shotty project went viral on Pinterest, catapulting the blog into uncharted stats territory (for reasons I’m still scratching my head over). Said project also landed me an Apartment Therapy feature. And lastly, our home was featured on The Everygirl (as was a festive little DIY project), and I also began writing for Glitter Guide. I STILL have to pinch myself when thinking about those last two accomplishments.

All in all, I couldn’t be more excited with the current lifestyle of DG-DIY. You guys have seriously made this little corner of the Internet one of the coziest and most humbling retreats for me.

But gooshy stuff aside…Let’s talk goals. This post is already far wordier (and photo-scarce) then I had planned, so I’ll be concise. I only have 2 resolutions for the year ahead because I don’t like to be unrealistic, but I think the ones I’ve chosen are both good and valuable things to focus on – One for the emotional benefits, and the other for the financial:

  1. Be kinder: Here’s a confession…When it comes to my relationship with John, I kind of resort to the flirtation tactics of a 5th grader. In other words, I have this major crush on my hubby, like MAJOR, but I show it by teasing and taunting him. I know, I know…Not cool. Especially when he’s the gentlest, most thoughtful creature on earth. But I’d seriously do anything for the guy, so this year, I’m resolving to show my love in a kinder way. No more figuratively pushing him in the dirt and calling him a “poopy face,” all while doodling hearts and his last name in my trapper keeper…
  2. No new clothes for a year: So this one is actually super last minute. Joy Cho (of Oh Joy!) made a shout out on Twitter yesterday to someone who did just that in 2012, and it intrigued me. I immediately asked myself mentally if I too could achieve such a bragging right, and the thought wasn’t all that crazy! So I’m going to try my DAMNEDEST not to buy clothes for an entire year, that’s 365 whole days. I AM allowing myself 2 exceptions though. Gifted clothes are a-okay (hint hint family members) and I’m also going to give myself 3 “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards to go shopping for EMERGENCIES ONLY. Wish me luck…I think I’ll need it.

Thanks for a FABULOUS 2012, and I’d love to know – What resolutions are you guys coming up with for the new year?

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve…A night for reflection AND anticipation, an evening to celebrate both the past and the future – Not to mention one hell of an excuse to party. This year, John and I decided to host a handful of friends and spent the evening clinking glasses, nibbling on finger foods and chuckling over the sometimes wince-worthy NYE coverage on ABC and NBC.

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(me and my lovely bestie, Alyssa!)

To make sure our guests were occupied into the wee hours of 2013’s first morning, I put out a little spread of goodies complete with cookies, mini ham biscuits and lemon and feta dip. But tasty nibbles weren’t the only things I was concerned with. A good presentation was also pretty high on my list. Luckily, I was able to throw something together using things we already had around the house.

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Simple white dishware acted as a foundation, all of which we were gifted for our wedding, and the small pastry stand was a thrift store find that we picked up while collecting china for the reception. The chevron runner is another reuse from the wedding – This may be obvious, but it is SO gratifying to be able to use pieces from our special day long after the event. The memories won’t be waning anytime soon.

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And of course no NYE party is complete without champagne! Although I was desperate to find an excuse to pick up a sparkly new brass ice bucket, I was eventually convinced to use the plastic blue one we already had. I’m so glad that I didn’t shell out extra money on a new one though, because the blue color was picked up by the washi wrapped candles, making it feel like it belonged all along.

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Speaking of the candles, you probably recognize those from Monday – They burned all through the evening no trouble and brought just a little more pattern and color to the spread. At the last minute, I also brought in one of my DIY Cheers coasters, the ones featured last month on The Everygirl. I was maybe a little TOO giddy to use them on their inspired holiday.

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We also set up the bar cart in the living room to spread the cocktail possibilities beyond the kitchen and dining room. My new set of gold-rimmed glassware was the star of the show – At least in my opinion!

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Working off a budget of, well…nothing…I was excited to see that a party isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s not even that HARD. A little resourcefulness and using what you have (one of my own New Year’s resolutions), is all you need to make it happen.

Happy New Year!

One Word: Sparkle

Sparkle

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Happy New Year!!!! Even though the official festivities and our own little holiday fête last night are over (more on that tomorrow), I just can’t stand to let the sparkle of NYE dim. So today we celebrate all things glittery, shimmery and sparkly and give them just one more day to shine on.

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For more NYE party ideas, click over to my Pinterest board here.