31 August 2012

Sparkly Thoughts

Instead of Friday Favorites, I'm hoping I can ask you all to send some sparkly thoughts {or just a pair of the above shoes} my way today.  We are facing some incredibly difficult decisions over the next couple of days and need all of the positive karma we can get.  So prayers, rain dances, chants, or Nordstrom shopping sprees...whatever your method, send it my way.  It is much appreciated.

Bon weekend!

30 August 2012


This Solange for Madewell sweater {available September 4} reminds me of Princess Diana's iconic Warm and Wonderful sheep sweater.  I love how whimsical it is.  Don't you think it would be perfect paired with some cream-colored wool trousers?

29 August 2012

Entry Table Makeover

Remember this post?  About the Craigslist table?

Yeah, I never actually got around to giving it a makeover, even after the fabulous Tobi Fairley offered her advice!

In our new house, it makes more sense for this to be in our entryway/foyer than it does behind our sofa.  And mark my words, this baby is going to be all gussied up within the next few weeks.  Here's what I have in mind for it:
HQ Entryway
HQ Entryway by gesshoo on Polyvore

*Please disregard my bush-league Polyvore skillz.  This is why purchasing Photoshop is on The List.

I'm planning to paint the table 'Nocturnal Green' from Valspar.  The best way to describe is that it's an off-black, a.ka. green so dark that it's basically black.  It reminds me of a color you see a lot on shutter and front doors in historic areas of Charleston, Annapolis, Georgetown, etc.  Here's a bigger picture of the paint chip so you get a better idea:

I've wanted a place to put the darling dutch door press birds and blooms collection prints from our home states for ages and I think this is going to be perfect.  Especially if I can snag a vintage Federal mirror to go in between.

What do you think?

28 August 2012

My List

At the risk of being blogger-cliche, I've come up with my own 101 in 1,001 list.  I first was inspired to do this when I read Design Darling's list.  I started working on a list, but just couldn't seem to find the motivation to finish it.  Then I read The Dirty Martini Diary's list and how Lulu was starting it on her 30th birthday, but thought maybe she should've have started the list to culminate on her 30th birthday,  and that lit a fire underneath me.  Because November 11, 2012 is 1,001 days until my 30th birthday.  Time to get cracking!

1. Find a fitness routine that works for me and stick with it.

2. Purchase personalized stationery. 

3. Buy a house.

4. Cook at least one recipe out of every cookbook I own. {Salmon with Lentils, Barefoot in Paris. White Lightning Texas Chili, Southern Living: Our Best Christmas Recipes. Potato Sourdough Starter, Southern Living 1995 Annual Recipes. Chocolate Chunk Blondies, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof. Lemon Chicken Breasts, Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?. Fried Zucchini Spaghetti, My Father's Daughter. Orange-Raspberry Trifle, Barefoot Contessa Family Style.}

5. Take a flower arranging class.

8. Develop a filing system for important documents, mail, magazines, etc.

9. Visit at least 3 new states.

10. Be able to better define my aesthetic, in both fashion and interior design.

11. Scrutinize the contents of my closet and donate, store, or toss all the things I never wear.

12. Throw my first Sunday brunch party.

13. Adopt another rescue dog. {Ozzie, August 2012}

14. Buy an Hermes scarf.

15. Grow vegetables and herbs at home.

16. Take a ballroom dance class.

17. Learn to make homemade bread. {Potato Sourdough Bread, March 2013}

18. Buy an Apple desktop computer.

19. Drink eight glasses of water every day for one week.

20.  Learn to speak French.

21. Ask Grandmother for her coconut cake recipe.

22. Take up yoga.

23. Send fifty handwritten notes, not including thank-you notes.

25. Sing karaoke. {VA's Bachelorette Weekend, March 2013}

26. Get some backyard chickens.

27.  Host a major holiday.

28. Get a massage.

29. Make M breakfast in bed.

30.  Go camping with M.

31.  Learn the art of canning food.

32.  Follow the 100 Days to Christmas eBook.

33. Make Julia Child’s Boef Bourguignon

34. Make an address book with contact information for family and friends.

35. Join the S***burg public library. {March 2013}

36. Visit all the D.C. monuments.

37. See the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas show.

39. Floss every day for one month.

40. Do a cleanse.

41. Purchase and learn photo editing software.

42. Take a self-defense class.

43. Buy a piece of original art.

44. Cook a meal for my mother.

45.  Visit Montpelier.

46. Put together a home management binder.

47. Find my best beauty routine.

48. Learn how to play Gin Rummy.

49.  See an opera performed live.

50. Invest in ten coffee table books. {1. Vogue Weddings, March 2013 2. Vogue Living, March 2013 3. The World in Vogue, March 2013}

51.  See a Broadway show.

52. Throw my parents a 30th anniversary party.

53. Buy a Goyard tote.

54.  Learn to make my mother-in-law’s marinara sauce.

55.  Learn to make Grandmama’s rolls.

56. Go on a trip with my sister.

57. Visit all of the S***V*** vineyards. {Three Fox Vineyard, October 2012. Glen Manor Vineyard, March 2013. Boxwood Winery, March 2013.}

58. Find a way to volunteer locally {soup kitchen, homeless shelter, SPCA, etc.}

59. Purchase a set of quality luggage.

60. Read every Jane Austen novel. 

61. Learn needlepoint.

62. Get a facial.

63.  Take a sewing class.

64. Try one totally-out-of-my-comfort-zone exercise class.

65.  Buy a pair of Ferragamo Varinas.

66.  Go to a music festival.

67. Order a wedding album.

68. Research and put together a family tree of M and me.

69. Read twenty new books.   {1. Unbroken, May 2012 2. Divergent, May 2012 3. Insurgent, June 2012 4. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, June 2012 5. The Royals, July 2012 6. Sarah’s Key, May 2012 7. Gone Girl, October 2012 8. The Emperor of All Maladies, January 2013 9. South of Broad, February 2013 10. Game Change, February 2013 11. The Space Between Us, February 2013 12. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, March 2013 13. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, March 2013 14. The Night Circus, March 2013}

70.  Make homemade marshmallows. {February 2013}

71.  Lose these last pesky 10-15 pounds.

72. Get in the habit of monthly self breast exams.

73. Turn off my iPhone/iPad/computer for an entire weekend.

74. Buy a nice camera and learn how to use it.

75. Throw a surprise party for a friend. {Happy Birthday, Kristi! September 2012}

76.  Spend a weekend at the Greenbrier.

77. Go tubing or kayaking on the river.

78. Find a skincare regimen that works for me.

79. Take a trip to France.

80.  Create a will.

81. Go on a spontaneous day trip.

82. See ten so-called classic films.

83. Visit Harper’s Ferry, WV.

84. Invest in a classic handbag.

85. Have a picnic. {Sky Meadows State Park, April 2013}

86. Learn how to do a perfect smokey eye.

87. Start a collection. {Spode 'Woodland' China collection started on Christmas 2012.}

88.  Put $10 in savings for every goal accomplished.

89. Visit my sister at college before she graduates.

90.  Take a food styling or cooking lesson of some sort.

91. Try five new foods.

92.  Learn to French braid.

93. Go vegetarian for a month.

94.  Buy myself a beautiful piece of jewelry.

95.  Run a marathon.

96. Pay off all debt.

97. Have a father-daughter date.

98. Go apple picking.

99. Visit 3 new cities.

100.  Attend the Preakness or the Kentucky Derby.

101. Throw a party for completing my list! {Happy 30th birthday to me!}

I started developing this list back in the spring, so one of these I can already check off the list and several others are in the works to be completed before November 11. Plus I've already started making headway on my 20 new books goal.

Are any of you following your own lists?

*You'll notice there are a couple of numbers missing; I left those off because I felt they were too personal or private to share on here. I promise I can count.

27 August 2012

Menu Monday

Now that we're starting to settle into our new routine with the new house and new job and new dog, I think I've finally gotten my groove back with meal planning and Menu Monday.  Except last week I only took one picture.  Forgive me.

Simply Grilled Chicken with Four-Cheese Roasted Vegetables {Melissa d'Arabian and Sargento}
Repeat meal.  See this post for the deets.

Spicy Black Bean Burgers {Eat, Live, Run}
And another repeat meal.  See this post for the deets.

Pretend there is a much less attractive picture of my results here.

Like most normal people, we are crazy for caprese.  I only made the chicken for 2, instead of 4, but I made the full amount of balsamic reduction.  I served this with grilled corn-on-the-cob, so I drizzled the extra reduction on those babies.  Yum, yum, yum!!

Spicy Pecan Crusted Catfish  {Eat, Live, Run}

This meal is such a keeper!  I served with mashed sweet potatoes and a tossed salad, per Jenna's suggestion.  We spoke maybe 3 words during dinner because we were inhaling this.  So, so good.

Bon app├ętit!

24 August 2012

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I've been home sick this week, so sorry this is a little late going up.  Let's give a big round of applause to my AWESOMESAUCE guest bloggers this week, shall we?  Tina, LEB, and Jennifer, take a bow!  You ladies are the jam!

Just won this loverly on Ebay for only a hundo-bones.  It's going to be our new bar.  All of our pretty glassware will go in the top half on the shelves behind the pretty glass doors.  We'll keep the desk part folded down and all of our delicious beverages and mixers will be displayed on lovely gold/brass bamboo trays.  And the drawers will be where I store my ever-growing collection of tablecloths and cloth napkins and seasonal serving ware.  I'm in love.

So I first saw this on Pinterest from True Traditional.  And after no success tracking its origins via Tumblr, I did a Google image search and discovered that it was part of the Fall 2011 Deyrolle Pour Opening Ceremony line.  It is now my mission in life to source this fabric for use in my home.  It is too fabulous.  Sleepy little foxies!!!!

Dog-shaming, you make me feel better.  You see, our sweet Ozzie has decided to show his gratitude at being rescued from death row by attempting to destroy my Hanky Pankys and M's dress socks.  No bueno.  This website makes me feel like we're not alone.  And it makes me laugh. A lot.

Bon weekend, my sweets!

23 August 2012

Guest Post: Belclaire House Blue & White

Hi y'all! I'm Jennifer from Belclaire House, and I'm so thrilled to be guest posting here on one of my favorite blogs! Every morning I wake up excited to drink my 2 (4) cups of coffee and read Sarah's awesome bit of genius for the day.  She's introduced me to great recipes, amazing Target finds (yes, I bought those shoes) and indulged my Duchess of Cambridge obsession.  So when Sarah asked if I would come up with a guest post on blue and white bedrooms to perhaps inspire her in her own new digs, I was delighted to help!

If you've ever visited Belclaire House, you know I love my blue and white.  You also may know that as the mother of a toddler I have been sleep-deprived for 1 year, 10 months and 30 days, so I love bedrooms and beds.  I love to look at pictures of them and dream about myself sleeping in between luxurious sheets only to be awoken mid-afternoon by a bluebird singing me sweet lullabies and a butler with a pot of coffee and an iPad for blog browsing.  I'm sorry, what just happened?  I'll let these blue and white bedrooms speak for themselves. They're some of my faves:

Aerin Lauder

James and Whitney Fairchild


Carolyne Roehm

via thefoodogatemyhomework

via Chinoiserie Chic

Clearly, there are a million different ways to incorporate blue and white into your bedroom, whether it's two simple blue and white chinoiserie lamps in an otherwise neutral room or a toile explosion all over the walls, bed, chairs and curtains (a look I love).  Of course, I couldn't write a guest post and not do a moodboard so this one is for you Miss Sarah:

22 August 2012

Guest Post: EverythingLEB

Hi everyone- Lindsay here from EverythingLEB.  I'm so excited to be a guest on Sarah's blog today!  While she is busy unpacking at her new place I thought I would share some ideas on how to hide the lovely TV and cable equipment.


Apartment living does have its perks.  But more often than not (or at least I find this to be true) there are those little things that could possibly end up sending me to the nut house one day. 

One of those things being the whole TV and cable situation.  In my dream world my apartment would be fitted with those fancy wall hanging TVs and my cable box hidden away somewhere so I didn’t have to see it EVER.  Clearly that is not the situation going on in my family room right now, and I know this is the case for many other renters out there.

One option is this remote box thing- no CLUE how it works, but the idea of it is really cool.  Check it out HERE

My other recommendation, move.  Just kidding, I know that’s not possible.  So my real recommendation is furniture with doors, drawers or shelves to hide everything in.  Well, that one cable box needs to be out so the clicker works, but hide everything else!  Pieces like armoires, dressers with doors / drawers, liquor cabinets, etc.  You get the idea.  Here are a few of my favorite cable box hiding family rooms:

Bassett Furniture


Little Green Notebook

Jessica Helgerson


Keep an eye out for a piece with dovetail drawers, classic lines and in good shape.  If you move and don't need it for the TV anymore, it is something that can be used in just about any room in the house.

Thanks for having me Sarah- I can't wait to see how you store your TV equipment!!

21 August 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway!: Tina @ The Enchanted Home

While we're busy unpacking and settling into our new home, I have some fabulous guest posts lined up for you this week.  Today's blogger is Tina from The Enchanted Home talking about all things kitchen. Be sure to check out her super-generous giveaway below!

Hi there, first let me say I am super happy to be here. I love Sarah, what a sweetheart! I am so happy for them to be moving into their new house......congrats! Thrilled to be helping her out and pitching in while she is away unpacking, organizing and making her house a home. Sarah, make sure you take plenty of coffee breaks (wine breaks after 5pm, OK I will be a sport....3pm)! When you think of a bistro what comes to mind? Something like the picture above? This look and its influence has become popular in kitchens all around the globe. No wonder, the iconic Parisian bistro is a timeless classic and if I were ever lucky enough to have my own little cafe/bookstore/bakery, I would want it modeled after this look. 
Its no surprise this look has also made its way into many a kitchen. When I think of a kitchen with a bistro edge, I think of rich warm woods, maybe black and white floors, white marble somewhere, anywhere! Fun and whimsical but not corny accessories, just a few not to be an overkill. Maybe something like a fun chef chalkboard or statue holding a wipeable menu, fun bistro towels, that kind of thing. Above all, a bistro kitchen is warm, inviting, open and ready for action. So lets take a look at what a bistro influenced kitchen might look like...............
And to celebrate a bistro influenced kitchen, I am offering a small Bavarian bread board giveaway to get you started in creating your own little bistro. I own these in a few sizes and they make amazing platters  for crudites, cheese displays, crostinis....the sky is the limit! To be eligible, all you have to do is leave a comment here. The winner will be announced on my blog on Friday!
And here's how I display mine on a daily basis.....

Now moving onto the world of bistro kitchens.......
Love the lighting, the fun bistro bar stools, the pop of black on the island...the warm rich floors pull it together beautifully, Trad Home
The fun globe lighting and beautiful two toned bistro chairs make an elegant statement
Loving this idea of an actual chalk board panel in place of a cabinet, how fun! Pinterest
The black and white checkerboard floor and black and red accents lend a bistro vibe to this inviting kitchen
Steven Schubel nailed it with this very chic and sophisticated bistro influenced kitchen, this feel so old world and timeless
This gorgeous kitchen has a very sophisticated bistro feel....Beverly Ellsey
The lighter cabinets are another pretty option, and get the definite bistro vibe with the black and white checkerboard floors and open shelving, Traditional Home
Great energy in this cheerful bistro influenced kitchen, love the color and of course a touch of black does the trick every time! Squidoo
I would consider this "glam bistro", once again the black gives great impact, the brass accents add richness, the open shelving lend itself to the bistro feel, fabulous! Mick De Guilio

Now lets talk about the elements that might make up a bistro kitchen for the home. ......
Fun towels...with a touch of black make a perfect accessory (Etsy)
These pretty towels have a definite bistro theme but don't feel "themey"

I could see this sign above a doorway or above a range.....anything in French automatically sets the tone!
A fun sign can be a great way to pull together the look, keep it simple

A fun little guy like this is a whimsical conversation piece to have at the ready announcing that days fare!
Bread boards are not only beautiful looking but super functional for serving and cutting!
Bistro chairs....YES!

Gotta have an authentic bistro chair.....available in a rainbow of colors, these are just classics all the way! (HK designs)
If opting for bistro influenced china, make it something simple and elegant, like this one found at Sur La Table, this could easily be found at a chic Parisian brasserie

Yes, black and white checkerboard floors are the poster child for a bistro feel but aren't a must do, its a great look in both tile and marble...but warm wood floors or a warm colored ceramic/stone can give the same effect
There are so many lighting choices that could work effectively, a few that come to mind are this one, the Circa Yoke pendant
If you want to go bold....these stunning copper lights would make quite a statement!
As in Tommy Smythes gorgeous kitchen, an oversized lantern, the beautiful Belgian bluestone herringbone floors and black cabinets give this a beautiful bistro vibe.
I do love the idea of converting a cabinet or door to a chalkboard wall, brings in a little fun and whimsy and makes for a really inviting space

So....what do you think? Love it? Like it? I think it can be a great idea for a classic kitchen  as long as the "themey" things are kept to a minimum, I think one or two fun accents is just about right. Best part, there are no rules, you make them as you go along, these are merely ideas and guidelines. Think its a look that's here to stay and the next best thing to hopping on a plane and going to a real Parisian bistro....is making one of your very own to be enjoyed every day! Thank you Sarah for allowing me to be your guest today and to everyone for stopping in. Enjoy your day!