Tag Archives: Tour

Ashley & Nathan’s DIY wedding

Today, I am beyond honored to share the lovely DIY wedding of our good friends Nathan and Ashley. Now, if ever there was a soulmate couple to our own little twosome, this is “the one.” Made up of one part manly musician and outdoor enthusiast, and another part girly crafting extraordinaire, the newlywed Hilbish’s are the yin to our yang. I could sit and chat for hours with Ashley about this and that for the home. Her exceptional taste (no surprise, she works as an interior decorator for Curtains, Blinds and Bath locally) is one that I have come to rely on for bouncing ideas off of. And nothing showcases that taste better than her and her hubby’s wedding day.

Shot by the talented Colling Photography, this oh-so-special May event is just saturated in style and elegance. What I thought a lot of you would appreciate is that, while the wedding ceremony and reception look filled to the brim with exuberance, a large portion of it was created at the hands of Ashley and her family and friends.

Throughout the photos shown below, you’ll find thoughts and memories spoken straight from the bride herself. If you’re planning your own wedding this season, Ashley shares tons of valuable (and practical) advice for tackling the sometimes stressful planning stages. A full list of local event vendors is also included along with links at the end of the post. I hope you enjoy!

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I never thought it would be so daunting to recollect a day that was literally just a month ago! Trying to remember your wedding day is like trying to remember your 5th birthday – You know it happened and lots of amazing people were there to share the experience with you, (and yes you have way better pictures from your wedding than your 5th birthday, unless your parents are photographers) but that’s about it! I’ve never been a “focus on me” type of girl, or so I think, so I was all about the details. I had so much fun planning my wedding with my maid-of-honor/sister and mother, it was like I wasn’t even doing it. Also, props to Pinterest because without it I would have been lost.

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I really started planning everything like um … a month or two before! I’m a low to no stress type of person so I didn’t worry about stuff (but seriously, take Pilates it will help). I knew the wedding would happen no matter what and that it would be awesome because everyone I surrounded myself with was awesome. So what if I verified flowers a week before, or my caterer had something terribly tragic happen and we had to switch to someone brand new four weeks before. Just wait until you see the food. Yeah, it was awesome. You can be “that girl” who stresses over everything, but what’s the point? You make your vendors miserable AND yourself, along with everyone around you who wishes you were just eloping.

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Nathan and I didn’t have any type of ideas to plan; well, frankly he didn’t care. We started out one way but as events fall into place, you can get a sense of direction on your true style. Don’t force it if it’s not meant to be, otherwise you’ll look back and you won’t even be reflected in it. Ours I think was relaxed, vintage-y, fun and personal. We had little details, from Nathan’s squirrel tie (yes, he loves squirrels and I thought why the heck not) and a group dance to break the ice prior to going down the aisle, to really cute things about us on the program to keep people entertained while they waited! It was fun to have fun doing everything, and I think it made it that much more special to the people involved because it made them know you really appreciated them as individuals. If you know your wedding party isn’t filled with “tux-loving” guys, don’t try to put them in one – They will just look super awkward in the pictures. Yes, my girls are girly in 3” designer heels and dresses from who knows where, and the guys were “the guys” with rolled up sleeves and Vans – It just worked together because we were all comfortable.

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The best advice I received that every bride should remember is that it’s your wedding! People are going to ooh and ahh over things they find, and  they will bring you magazine clippings from 1999 that make no sense to your scheme, and email you 1,000 photos of dresses you hate with hints on what they “wish” you’d do (but that you actually want to gag over), or tell you how they did it at their wedding; but what you actually decide to do is a different story. I learned to breathe deep, smile, tell them how great their ideas were, and thank them for thinking of me. I only had one huge meltdown before truly embracing that advice, and then it was all groovy! Have fun with it, it’s your day and your adventure, so surround yourself with people you love and who like to have fun, because in the end it’s so great to stand back and still have all of those people around you laughing at how ridiculous you look in a group jumping picture. 

Photography: Colling Photography
Venue: Afton Mountain Vineyards
Flowers: Doyle’s Forist (Bloom)
Dress: Celebration Bridal
Hair: Bliss Salon
Catering: Cater This!
Cake: Willie Payne (former owner of Magnolia Foods)
Coordination: R.S. Exclusive
Entertainment: DJ Mendez of Mendez Music Academy

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Studio reveal (one more time with feeling)

Studio

I’ve never encountered a space like this room. It’s gone through 4 coats of paint (in the last 2 years alone), countless arrangements, unTOLD hours spent on styling – But it just never felt “complete.” Now, I know I can’t possibly be the only one with a confusing space like this…Right?

Well thankfully, I think that I was finally able to hit the bullseye over the weekend, and all it took was removing one piece of extraneous furniture, repainting a small section of the room and updating my art and desk area.

First up, the “Before” shots.

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It was a pretty room – VERY functional for an artist, with my oversized drafting table and custom built paper supply cabinet. But the room also functioned as a guest room, so the bed  had to be included somehow. That “somehow” solution? Sticking it out into the center of the space. Sure, it blocked flow, but it worked. And I lived with it. The other big feature in the room was the black feature wall. I was so afraid for the longest time that an entirely mint room (the paint color is “Icy Mint” by Valspar, btw) would read “nursery,” so I hadn’t even considered the thought of painting over it.

That is, until I reached my breaking point and decided it was time for something drastic. The first thing to go in my big editing-down-the-studio-slash-guest-room was to purge half (yes, I said HALF) of what was stored in my studio closet. I moved a 4 feet high, 4 shelf industrial unit into the upstairs hallway and proceeded to fill it with soon-to-be yard saled items. With half of the closet now empty, I was able to tuck the giant custom wood cabinet seen 2 photos up behind closed doors. This was absolutely the biggest improvement. I think the room threw me off for so long because it just had TOO MUCH FURNITURE. If you are also struggling with a difficult room, this would be my first piece of advice: Edit things down, especially furniture.

The next thing to go was my black feature wall.

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Isn’t Valspar paint amazing? Those last 2 photos above show the FIRST coat! I was amazed by how well the almost white color covered the saturated black in just a few rolls. Ultimately it did take two coats, but it was nothing I couldn’t take care of in under 2 hours. Once the paint dried and I put my new desk back into place, things really started to come together. The black was definitely a fun, unexpected element of the room before, but with the mint now running continuously across all four walls, it immediately felt so much more cohesive and calming.

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The next and final phase was to update the art. With a new blank wall to play with, I finally had room for a large scale art project that I’d been putting off for over a year. You see, at our wedding last year, my friends, family and I made tons of paper pinwheels as decorations. After the event was over though, they sat forlornly in plastic bags at my parents’ house, just waiting for me to come up with a fun place to utilize them. Well that time is now and that place is my studio…

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The space over my desk needed a big “wow!” factor, and nothing suited it better than these pinwheels. The color! The shape! The pattern! And, of course, the memories of our special day…To hang them, I simply used a handful of clear pushpins and arranged them in a random pattern similar to our plate wall in the kitchen (as seen in our home tour). In case you want to make your own set of paper pinwheels, I will be posting a detailed DIY tutorial next week.

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Now, I chatted about my desk yesterday, but you may have noticed a second new piece of furniture. My original desk chair was yet another hand me down – a little too traditional for my tastes. Plus, the thrift store find was in desperate need of some grease. Every time I moved a muscle, the entire piece would creak and groan – not good when your husband is trying to get some sleep in the next room for a 4am wake up call (and yes, it was really THAT loud). An original way of adding a different touch to your desk is by choosing one of the electronic massage chairs, that way you can get relax while doing your work. So I decided it was time to pick up a treat for myself in the form of a brand new acrylic ghost chair. I love the mod vibe, and the clear finish is just perfect for blending into the room, making it feel less cramped. It’s surprisingly comfortable too!

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As for the art in the rest of the room, I rehung some of my existing framed prints to the side of my pinwheel collection, but I also threw in a couple of new pieces too. The first was a newly framed print of a Grace Kelly costume design that my sister gave me for Christmas, and the other was a thrifted find via Etsy. I recently discovered that Victoria of sfgirlbybay, one of my favorite bloggers, has an Etsy shop – I just HAD to snatch up something from her beautiful treasures, namely the vintage “W” seen a couple of photos down. It was exactly what I needed to offset the colorful pinwheels.

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My inexpensive IKEA bookshelf also returned to the side of my desk, where it continues to display favorite books and thrift store accessories. (and, of course, I couldn’t help but snap a shot of Ginny enjoying the sun beam reflected from my camera…That girl loves her some dancing light)

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As for the drafting table, that got shimmied to the side a bit and now sits unobtrusively just inside the door to the space. This piece of furniture has always been essential to the room thanks to its functionality as both a crafting table and a drawing/painting surface, so it had to stay. Thankfully, my dad did a beautiful job making it slim-lined, but attractive all at the same time.

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The final issue was making the bed work. Having it stick out into the middle of the room just wasn’t cutting it for me, so I eventually decided to push it against the wall, day bed style. To make it feel less like a bed and more like a lounge area, I removed the covers and opted for a single gray fitted sheet. Then I topped it with a folded quilt (think table runner) and piles of pillows to add softness and pattern. If you can ignore the wrinkly brand new, out-of-the-box fitted sheet (which will obviously soften over time), I think it was the perfect solution – one the cats are THOROUGHLY enjoying.

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So there you have it! 2 years, 4 coats of paint, 6 different art arrangements, 30+ photos and 1,136 words later, I got the studio I’ve always dreamt of. Not to sound too cheesy, but the journey to get to this point has been enormously educational. Despite alllllll of the challenges, I think it has helped me to realize that trial and error will eventually reward me with the room I know I can have – it just takes a little perseverance. Although I’m sure there are changes to come just because, I couldn’t be happier now and it finally feels like home.

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What sort of challenges have you faced while designing (and REdesigning) a favorite room?

Our next HHI house?

While typically today would be reserved for “The Options” feature, I’m suspending my normal schedule in lieu of catching up. In the past few months I’ve often struggled with coming up with projects to fill my weeks here but, as predicted, after coming back from vacation a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been on project overdrive – Now I have too MANY projects to share! I’ll take this problem over the former any day though. So instead of “The Options” this morning, I’m sharing yet another little sneak peek into that aforementioned vacation we just recently returned from.

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One of our family’s (namely, my mom’s) favorite pastimes while vacationing in Hilton Head is planning which house we’ll stay in next. There are so many beautiful options across the island, I can certainly see why it would be a bit of a treat to imagine what our next rental property will be like. Thankfully though, mom’s tastes are pretty superb and we just sort of follow along, no questions asked. This year though she let us in on the decision making for future visits, taking us on a quick tour of a new home we’d never been to before. While wandering the hallways, I was able to snag some shots with my iPhone that I thought were worth sharing.

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Frankly, it was love at first sight for me. I adored the streamlined modern-meets-traditional look of this house, with its stone floors, high ceilings and monochromatic color scheme. As you can see from the tour I posted last week of the home we actually stayed in, we typically go with warm, traditionally beachy homes with lots of color and styling. This house though felt almost like an Elle Decor spread (which I know is hard to picture through these grainy, dark iPhone photos, but maybe you can get a sense…).

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This home was actually on the end of a cul-de-sac, with a lagoon in front and a golf course behind. It was incredibly private with neighbors on only one side, the pool nestled behind high walls and trees curtaining off the rest of the neighborhood.

To know more about the equipment, go to a closer look at the Makita

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The best part if you asked my sister and me was the guest house – attached to the main house just by an extension of wall (no shared walls – more like a fence) was an extra room, complete with its own bathroom and bed. No matter how old we get, we will always love to watch movies together in bed after our parents fall asleep, so the idea of having our own private little room to giggle in is very tempting (speaking of this little tradition, I saw “When Harry Met Sally” for the first time this past trip – SO good).

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After our quick tour of the home itself, it was on to the back yard to investigate the golf course and water views. They clearly did not disappoint, and neither did the pool and patio. It’s hard to be critical of your own private pool, outdoor dining and upholstered lounge chairs.

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As is typical of these post-beach posts, I’m entirely depressed that we aren’t still there…But as a comfort, there are only 347 days until we go back. I can handle that. Oh, and although I was 100% on board with this house, I think the rest of the family was a little unsure about the modern look and feel. We’ll see if I can convince them for 2015’s adventure…

Where do you guys vacation?

P.S. Don’t forget! I’m giving away one of SIGG’s brand new Active Top bottles just in time for summer – Click here to enter.

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An HHI Home Goods Trip (or Two)

So, as promised, I’m back for a second installment of what all went down during our family get away last week to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Although I mentioned yesterday that an HHI Home Goods recap was “coming soon” and had planned to do my normal “All in the details…” feature today, I just couldn’t wait. So without further adieu, I welcome you into the always energizing, ALWAYS inspiring Home Goods off of William Hilton Parkway (which, yes, we visited not once but twice during our week-long vacation – who could blame us!).

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This first picture was snapped (oh, please forgive all of the iPhone photos in this post…) because I thought the smooth glass bowl would be super fun as a succulent terrarium. That side opening is really unique and would look fabulous perched on a bookshelf or coffee table. Plus, at only $9.99, it’s a STEAL.

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How cute would those patterned mugs above be hung from petite hooks on either a kitchen hutch or coffee station shelf. I was particularly taken with the mod bird motif – obviously.

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This aisle of vinyl tablecloths chalk FULL of color and pattern was like a magnet for me. I made a bee line over and was astounded to find that the pieces started at only $4.99 apiece. What would I do with one? I’m currently loathing our back deck glass table, with its dingy looking surface, and would love to add some Velcro to the edges of one of these fun tablecloths, wrapping it around our existing table top (think slip cover).

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This little multi compartment dish was on clearance for only $7! I see it (obviously) as a chip and dip or veggie dish, but also as a fun place to corral paperclips and push pins in an office, or crayons and little plastic figurines in a kid’s room. Luckily, my mom decided to swoop it up for herself, so we’ll have to see what she ends up doing with it.

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At only $19.99, the teaky type ladder pictured above would be so fun as a towel or magazine holder. No joke, if we hadn’t driven a small sedan to the beach, this baby would be sitting pretty in our living room right now.

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Pretty storage is always an enticing buy for me, so these collapsible burlap baskets were calling my name with enthusiasm. I actually was more drawn to the plain ones believe it not, but only because they provide me with a blank canvas to add all of my OWN color and pattern. Plus, the $14.99 price tag for the large and only $9.99 for the small was a big sway factor.

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Speaking of pretty storage, it was love at first sight with these hot pink and mustard boxes (at only $9.99 apiece). This was definitely the trip that I realized my immediate affinity for all things Cynthia Rowley. I already have a few of her pieces throughout our house, but I was drawn over and over and OVER again to her prints and shapes this trip. Love her.

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No, I don’t NEED a designer white porcelain dog (especially since it was on clearance for $130), but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream. That said, someone needs to give Fido a bone – or 10! Those ribs…

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We can’t take a virtual tour of Home Goods without talking seating – And again, I do apologize for the cruddy photography…I blame my shaky excitement over all the deals ::har har:: But anyway, while those adorable upholstered side chairs were major temptations, that little clearance Eiffel chair knock off above was “the one.” I loved it. Like REALLY loved it, but I had already ordered a brand new acrylic ghost chair for the only spot where I could have used an accent chair like this one, so I had to gloomily walk away…

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Hello, odd conversation piece! This massive bust sculpture so reminds me of something Emily Henderson would use in a room. Undeniably quirky and totally WRONG proportionally, it would look so avant-garde in an airy loft space. Oh, and when I say “massive,” I mean it. It’s sort of hard to tell how big it is in that photo, but it was probably almost as tall as I am (use the side chair next to it as a point of reference if you haven’t already). Wow.

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Notice more Cynthia Rowley? Aside from those pretty striped beauties, I was all but drooling over the gold frames they had on hand. Wouldn’t that cluster look so great filled with black and white photos on an entry console?

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The pillow section at Home Goods is always a pretty big draw for me. Great prices and they tend to outweigh places like Target by leaps and bounds when it comes to variety in texture and pattern. Is it just me or does that last one, the peacock, look like it could possibly be DIY-ed with a little felt and fabric paint?

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Sure, this plain natural fiber door mat is a little boring, but grab a stencil and some paint and you can have an entirely unique rug all your own – For under $20!

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Those gold and glass side tables above take the cake for SOOOOOOO-wish-I-could-have-bought-them. Alas, I didn’t have the space to cart even one of them home with me, plus the $80 price tag (for the smaller one) would have swallowed my measly little $100 budget. Still a great deal though.

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The art section was yet another department that didn’t disappoint this go around. As I mentioned earlier this week though, I don’t have any business buying more art. So I had to again, walk away. Even from that SUPER cute moroccan pattern clearance mirror shown above – One $5 people!!

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What to leave you with? Well let’s just say that I’ve got big plans for the one large piece I bought – Namely that majorly fun orange metal side table above. P.S. It involves a collaboration with an equally major brand. Details to come in June!

Now let’s play the guessing game – What do you think I actually bought? Or what do you think I SHOULD have bought?? I’ll be sharing all the details plus where they ended up next week.

All in the details…

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That headboard! Seriously, need I say more? I’ve always loved brass bed frames – The curvy details, the antique cottage feel and that tell tale gold sheen. But this redo of the same look in a shiny red finish is too tempting to ignore.

Let’s talk details…

1…Okay, there’s ONE other thing that made me develop a little crush on this room – The nightstand. You knew I’d be drawn to the mid-century silhouette, but I’m also loving the sky blue paint job! It all comes back to that big debate, huh?

2…The third piece that makes this room a slam dunk for me is the painting above the bed. It’s huge! And that wide expanse of green color really adds a nice layer to the room. Don’t you just love how the whole bedroom looks like it was curated from a thrift store or flea market? We could all easily throw together a similar room with a couple hundred bucks and a Saturday morning bouncing from one second hand store (or booth) to the next. Is that a challenge? Take it as you will.

3…Here’s another great example of mixing patterns successfully. Although I’ve heard so many times that mixing small patterns with other small patterns is a “no no,” this collection of linens kicks that rule to the curb. It’s eclectic, colorful and oh so cozy…

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

All in the details…

Red Coffee Table

Source: Design*Sponge

Almost as soon as I pinned that image above, I got an email saying that someone had commented on it – After clicking through, I found that my mom had left an enthusiastic “This is SOO you” reply. And I have to say that she couldn’t be more right! I know I say this about practically every room I feature as an “All in the details” space, but I truly wouldn’t change a thing about this living room. Not a THING.

Let’s talk details…

1…You know I’m all about pointing out the DIY-able projects in these professionally shot rooms, and we’re in luck today. If you wanted to recreate that fun graphic pillow, all you’d need is a removable pillow cover in a basic solid, some fabric paint and number stencils. Use it to commemorate a favorite number, special date or your house numbers.

2…The styling on this side table is ace and, again, oh so easy to do in our own homes. Take a tour of your house and grab a stack of books, a lamp, framed poster, candle and a jar of flowers. Done and done!

3…One of the things that really makes this room successful is the coffee table. Without that POP of red, the room would be a little neutral for my tastes, but with it the room has personality and a focal point really worth admiring. And this is yet another simple project we can tackle at home – Pick up a clean lined coffee table from your nearest thrift store, spray paint it a glossy red all over and you’ll be wowing your guests in no time.

What are your favorite details?

For past “All in the details” features, click here

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.

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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