Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Home Tour: Entryway.

First, thanks so much for all your great recommendations in response to my post about our big travel plans.  I could literally spend all of my waking hours researching hotels and things to do on the internet, but the folks at work probably wouldn't appreciate that.

On to the next part of the home tour . . .  Last week I showed you the updates to the landscaping.  So next up is the entryway.  Here's the view when you first walk in:  

(This picture reminds me that I need to hide the lamp cord, and that Zoey is a ham and loves helping me take pictures of the house!)

Here's a close up of what's going on on the entryway table. 

I always like knowing where people get things so . . . the little teal dish is this one from West Elm.  The lamp is from Z Gallerie.  The framed "art" is a napkin from World Market.  I just loved the colors and they coordinated well with the rug.  I got the brass shell on sale from a near by thrift store.  And how cute is that little brass figurine of a dog that looks very similar to Riley and Zoey?  I smile every time I see it.  (Thanks, Mom!)  The tray is from tillymaison -- it also makes me happy.  Gold, lucite, and chevron -- I mean, what's not to love?  And, it's painted hot pink on the underside.  Yep.  Pure awesomeness.  Oh, and the glass jar is filled with antique keys.

You may have noticed the chair canvas.  You can get it here at Pottery Barn (and bonus: it's now on sale).  It's the perfect size for that space over there in front of the stairs, and I love the various chairs on it.  If it looks familiar, Kirsten over at Sixth Street Design School recently blogged about it too.

And as you turn to head up the stairs:

(Yep, should probably find something to display on that table, which is this one from West Elm in case you were curious.)

So that's the entryway.  Next up on the home tour, the office!

And on a totally unrelated note, I started reading Bossy Pants by Tina Fey late last week and just finished it.  It is definitely laugh out loud funny.  I am sure Justin got sick of me reading various portions of it to him over the last several days.  If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Exciting (Travel) News!

{I always feel like I have to clarify when I tell people that I have exciting news.  I guess being almost 30 and being married for 7 years causes people to jump to the conclusion that I'm pregnant.  Well, I'm not.  But I do have exciting travel-related news.}

We have planned a 2-week trip for later this year.  Can you guess where we are going based on these songs?

If you guessed France, Italy, and Greece, then you would be correct!  We could not be more excited.  Neither one of us have ever been to Europe before, so we are thrilled to see a part of the world we have wanted to see for a while now.  And one of the best parts of the trip is that for the second week, we are meeting up with my best friend, Lauren, and her husband (who live in California).  What could be better than hanging with your hubby on the beach in Greece? . . . Hanging with your husband AND you best friend and her awesome husband on the beach in Greece! 

We are still finalizing the details of the trip once we get there, but we know we are going to Paris, Rome, Cinque Terre, and two islands in Greece. If you've been and have any tips or recommendations on things we have to do while we're there, please let me know!!

Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kitchen Perfection.

I spied this kitchen today.  Um, yes please. 

The kitchen isn't overly large, but it's beauty more than makes up for it.

And my favorite shot . . .

(photos: decorpad)

What's not to love about the space?  I can't decide what I like more -- the chandelier, the pendant lighting, the tufted chairs, the nail head trim on the bar chairs, the bar chairs, the white carrara marble subway tiles, the glass hardware, or the simple (but chic) look of the gray and white.  It's all lovely. 

Monday, June 20, 2011


I realized we've made a few improvements around the house that I haven't shared with you yet! We recently did some landscaping in our front yard, side yard, and back yard. Keep in mind that we live in a townhome, so I use the term "yard" loosely!

After having a couple of great landscapers come over and give us estimates, we ultimately decided we could do the planning ourselves and hire someone to do the labor on the cheap. I am glad we went that route.  One of the quotes was over $10,000 and, while the design would have been amazing, we just didn't feel like it was worth it.  This isn't our forever home, so we didn't want to make a lot of structural changes to the yard (and it's so darn hot here, we don't spend a huge amount of time outside anyway). 

Anywho, we saved a bunch of money going the route we did, but I will say I that planning it out was one of the more stressful projects we've decided to undertake. I don't really know why, other than I guess it could have something to do with neither of us having any experience whatsoever with landscape design or knowing anything at all about plants. Thankfully my mom and Buchanan's were extremely helpful. 

With that intro, here's the backyard now . . .  

My favorite part has got to be the meyer lemon tree!  After a massive hunt around the city, we finally found one!  I can't wait for those babies to ripen!  You may have also spied the pink hydrangeas -- they are looking a little droopy above, but they are looking better now.  One of my least favorite parts of our backyard that you probably noticed is the awful siding on the house behind us.  Hopefully, the lemon tree will grow nice and big and help hide the ugliness.   

After we were well into the project, I realized that I never took proper before pictures. I found this picture below that gives you an idea of the sad state of our backyard before the facelift.  It's embarrassing, but look how cute Zoey is sitting in our chairs enjoying being outside (despite the ugly surroundings)! 

And a close up of the after.  Much better, if I do say so myself! 

While we were sprucing things up back there, I picked up some new cushions from HomeGoods to freshen up some old chairs.  As you could see above, Zoey likes them!  

Now for the side "yard," we have a walkway along the side of our house to get to our front door. It is actually one of my least favorite parts of the house because of the gas meter. Really, could it be any more in the way and obnoxious?

But hopefully now our guests will be distracted by the pretty flowers and not notice the gas meter (ok, wishful thinking, I know!). 

Before the new set up, we had jasmine on trellises that lined the fence.  While it smelled beautiful and looked lush, it was too bulky for the already narrow walkway.  Taking them out really made the space feel a lot bigger.  Now we have pencil plants, pentas, and watermelon coleus (my fave) lining the walkway.

We also added a container up by the front door to add some color.  This particular planter came from Crate and Barrel.   

As I was uploading the pictures, I realized I never took pictures of the front yard!  Fail!  But the good news is, it's the area that looks the least different.  We tore out the sad looking azalea bushes and added in pink salvia and lime coleus. Nothing too crazy, just enough to make it look polished and like people who care about their home and yard live here!

If all goes as planned (which is a big "if" since we are going to trial in 2 weeks out of state in a huge class action lawsuit), I hope to continue the home tour next Tuesday and show you the updates to our entryway!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

5 things . . .

5 things I'm currently digging . . .

1.  That Sarah 101 will air on HGTV in the US starting July 9th!

(photo: here)

2.  These J. Crew flats. 

3.  This song by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals.

4.  This shirt from Nordstrom.  (If you order it, get one size smaller than what you usually wear.)

5. These Stabilo 88 pens.  They are life-changing.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weekend Recap.

This weekend has gone by so incredibly fast.  I can't believe it's already over!  We had our 11 year high school reunion this weekend.  No, 11 is not a typo -- we didn't have a 10 year reunion, so we had an 11 year instead.  Yep, I guess that's how we roll.  Anyway, since a bunch of friends were in town, we had a pre-reunion reunion party at our house on Friday night, which was a blast.  Then we went to the reunion on Saturday night, which was not as much of a blast but still fun.  I'll be back with pictures from the weekend (and some awesome pictures back from high school as well).      

And today is our 7 year wedding anniversary.  Given all of the festivities this weekend, we plan to officially celebrate next weekend.  We did have a tasty brunch this morning and have enjoyed taking it easy today.  I can't believe it has already been 7 years.  But even more surprising is how much more I love Justin each day.  When we got married, I would have never thought that would even be possible.  I truly have the best husband in the entire world, and there is not a doubt in my mind that we were meant for each other.   

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Happy Monday! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

House & Home Eye Candy.

I was browsing around Canadian House and Home's website and came across some pretty amazing rooms.  I have to say, I'm a little jealous of our neighbors to the north -- they get Canadian House and Home, Samantha Pynn, Sarah Richardson, Tommy Smythe, and Candice Olson.  Lucky!  (said in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice).    

This last picture is the living room of Tommy Smythe (Sarah Richardson's sidekick).  Uh-maz-ing.     

(all photos: canadian house and home)

And last but not least, my friend Courtney over at a Thoughtful Place has a fabulous series going on right now -- 5 days of 5 minute projects.  How genius is that idea?  Anyway, I was thrilled when she asked me to contribute.  Stop by and check out all of the wonderful ideas she's featured this week.  

I sure am glad it's almost Friday! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Guest Posting X 2.

I was delighted to be over at Bright, Bold, and Beautiful yesterday sharing some images that represent what is bright, bold, and beautiful to me.  I could spend all day looking around Laura's fabulous blog (and her Etsy shop too)!  

And just in case one guest post wasn't enough  . . .

Today I'll be over at Aubrey's awesome blog All Things Bright and Beautiful. I am pumped to be participating in her great series "How to Make Your Home Your Own."  Aubrey's blog is always full of inspiration and humor! 

Go check them out!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Update: Cocoa & Hearts Painting.

Remember how I mentioned we got a fabulous painting from Cocoa & Hearts here?  We hung it in our living room behind the couch.  In case you're curious, click here to see what we had hanging on the wall before the painting.

Here's the new and improved living room wall . . .

(How sweet is Zoey posing for the picture?)

I love it against the darker wall color.  It really just shines in there.  I may have to turn the couch around so I can sit and stare at the painting instead of facing the TV!  

The colors and movement of the painting are simply stunning. I love the gold streaks in it that shimmer.  When I received it in the mail, that was the first thing I noticed.

It's definitely my favorite part of the room now.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I'm glad to be back home, although there aren't any cookies on my nightstand here!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kitchen Crush.

I was recently cruising around decorpad and came across a stunning kitchen that was just too good not to share.  It has such a classic sophisticated vintage vibe to it.       

(photos: decorpad)

After seeing those pictures, I really wanted a more straight on picture so I could get more of that awesome chandelier action I saw teasing me in the first couple of pictures.  I hunted around decorpad to no avail and then came across it via my mad googling skills at House of Turquoise.

Here she is in all of her glory.

Wow.  Simple, yet so beautiful.

A few of my favorite parts of the room are the windows, the cabinet color (of course), the hidden appliances, the gold on the stove, the farmhouse sink, the cararra marble, the green crown molding, the faucet, the chandelier (obviously), and the suzani rug.

What's your favorite part?

P.S.  I'm currently in Cincinnati for work.  How can it be 90 degrees here?  I thought I would head north and enjoy some cooler temps!  But on the bright side, at least the humidity is extremely low.  And when I got back to my hotel room tonight (after eating a tasty steak dinner), I had a chocolate chip cookie waiting for me on my nightstand!