Monday, January 12, 2015

This year, I resolve to...

Happy New Year!  I can't believe it is 2015.  I really can't.  I was just thinking where did the fall go?  And, is spring and summer really coming up??  I'm in disbelief.   Needless to say, over the Christmas season, I had some quiet time to reflect a bit about my home and where I'd like to take it.

Resolution #1:  Add Color

I think over the past couple of years, I've strayed away from color because I didn't want my home to become too trendy.

But lately, I slowly want to add bits of colors;  especially, colors blue, green, and do I even dare to say a tiny bit of red??  I want my interiors to be bright and fresh, but, all the while…..remaining true to my traditional and classical sensibilities.

Resolution #2:  Add more slips.

Slipcovers are a fantastic way not only to add a dose of color, but to inject some pattern and softness to a room.  And, if you find a great seamstress, many times they can be affordable.  When my home is all said and done, I won't be surprised if I have slips in every room!! 

Resolution #3: Grow my blue and white collection.

I love blue and white porcelain and I really love it when it is displayed as a collection.  I'd really like to add a couple of more pieces to my collection this year so I can group them like below.  But, first, I also need to find a secretary/hutch.  :)

Hi Dad….if you ever tire of the Delft vase, you know where to reach me! Ha!  We also plan on getting a contractor out to price out some bigger renovations we'd like to start planning.  It's something we won't start this year, but perhaps in the next year or two.  Well, there you have it……let's hope 2015 is a fulfilling one!  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Christmas

It undoubtedly still feels like Christmas here.  The kids (albeit E having a virus and feeling under the weather) are still waking up earlier than normal to run downstairs and play with their new toys they received from Santa.  The toys sill lay scattered on our family room floor, decorations and our tree are still up and stockings are still hung.  We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our home.  That is our tradition - we like to kids to wake up and experience Christmas in their own home.

Christmas Eve mass was beautiful as expected.  It always makes me tear up and bring the true meaning of Christmas hit home.  We are so blessed.

This Christmas season seemed to go particularly fast, even though I felt more prepared this year than any other year.  You can see our house decorated for Christmas here.  The weeks leading up to Christmas, we baked cookies, roasted marshmallows in an outdoor fireplace, made a gingerbread house, attended Christmas concerts, sang carols at a nursing home, etc.  All the things that are so fun and magical for children and parents alike.  

We visited Joseph Hillenmeyer's annual Christmas store in Lexington and it was so beautiful!  There are more pictures on my instagram account, but the kids loved it here and I am thinking this will become an annual family tradition.  

Back at home decorating cookies and making gingerbread houses were the big hits of the season!  E is finally at an age where she can enjoy it and actively participate.  

My little helper below doing what she does best - licking the paddle and eventually the bowl!  

The day after Christmas we traveled to Michigan to visit Kevin's side of the family and spent Christmas again with 20 family members all gathered together under the same the roof - playing charades, opening up gifts, laughing and staying up late!  

I hope all of you had a wonderful, safe and happy Christmas.  Are you ready for 2015?  Let's go…..I'm excited to see where this little blog goes…..  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Inspired: Alice Ryan Miller

Last night was the first night for what seems like a long time that I didn't have any 'must-dos' on my list - no gifts to wrap, cards to write, cookies to bake, teacher gifts to organize, Christmas shingdings to attend, etc.

I just had a lovely, quiet evening with my husband.  I had a chance to peruse IG for a bit and that is when I spotted Alice Ryan Miller's sitting room on the Domino feed and became completely inspired.

So simple and not fussy, but yet so cozy!  I love how she avoids overloading her home with Christmas decorations, yet keeps it natural making a timeless statement.

Once I saw her sitting room, I had to look her up on IG and fell in love with her style!

Her family is completely adorable and her children are precious!

Alice Ryan Miller owns her own event and PR company and is known for her fabulously designed events.  The one below is for Bonpoint, the children's clothing company from France.  

I hope you enjoyed this small bit of inspiration this Saturday morning and are having a lovely weekend! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Perfect Secretary Desk with Hutch

Did you see this picture on IG from Ballard Designs?  It stopped me in my tracks the other day when I was viewing my IG feed.  It's simple and refreshing.  It's effortless.  I love the subtle holiday touches - undecorated table top tree, red pillows, acorns in lanterns, berry wreath and berry branches in copper pot.

But, even more, I love the secretary desk with hutch in the background and immediately looked on BD for that particular piece.  It's called the San Marino Secretary Desk with Hutch and comes in many colors.

I have the absolute perfect spot for this piece.  This is the piece I NEED that would sit in our family room and would serve as my command central (I don't have a place/desk in our kitchen).  It could store my calendar, computer, incoming mail, to-do lists as well as the kid's paper, crayons, study aids and coloring books.

I love the clean lines and the fact that it has a hutch with glass doors to store my pretty things and keep things open and airy, but the desk has closed storage cabinets and drawers on the bottom which is a necessity.  It's perfect…..until……

I saw the $2K plus price tag!!  What?  I am just shocked that a retail box store really makes a furniture piece worth this price tag.  Am I wrong?  I am assuming it isn't hardwood.  The description says veneer so is it veneers on top of mdf??  Who knows.  I can't imagine people pay this price when it isn't hard wood.  But, it sure is beautiful to look at……

I know I can find an antique secretary for a quarter of this price, but a lot of them aren't big enough or don't have the clean lines that I am looking for.  This piece meets both those needs.

Who knows maybe one day I'll score this piece at the outlet store, but until then I can just dream…..

Monday, December 8, 2014

It's here….

Christmas season….Advent season….celebrating St. Nicholas….making ornaments with the kids that will get hung on the tree, a little (lot) of hot chocolate, hearing Luke play 'It's Christmas Time' on the piano, watching Charlie Brown's Christmas and reading our favorite Christmas books.

I started decorating our home this weekend.  Still have more to go.  I was lucky because my oldest was at an Advent retreat at our church Saturday afternoon (so it bought me 3 hours) and I was able to get a lot accomplished.  This year I used real Cedar in our home.  I used it on our banister, FP mantel and entry into the kitchen.  In the past,  I've either used artificial or a mix of pine and fir, but I am officially switching to Cedar.  I love the smell - heavenly!!

This is our kitchen and I kept it simple.  Trader Joe's mini wreaths on the windows ($5 each) with a simple ribbon on the bottom of the wreath.  I can't tie bows for the life of me.  A white poinsettia I picked up at Home Depot while picking up anchors to hang up our super heavy mirror in the entry.  You can also see bits of the cedar popping in the picture which I (I mean my husband) hung around our kitchen doorway (I plan on hanging our cards here).

This was the first year I attempted to put together planters for our front entry.  Ideally, I would love to have mini fir trees with lights, but they were pricey.  This was free!  I clipped branches off our Christmas tree as well as our magnolia tree out back and some berries I picked up at TJs (well, they cost  about $5).

We finally got our tree into the house, but no lights or ornaments just yet.  We focused on celebrating St. Nick and prepping for friends coming over this week to help make ornaments and cookies.

And, yesterday, I made Jenny Steffens Hobick's roasted pork tenderloin which is the easiest recipe in the world to make and tastes delicious (I always make it when we have guests).  ANd, the kids love it too which means its a keeper.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!!  And, if you are on IG, I am sorry for the repeat of pictures and I loved seeing all of your Holiday pictures!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Snapshots from my Readers

A couple of weeks ago I had a successful blog sale.  Items are still for sale, so check it out if you haven't.  Readers who purchased items sent me photos of their new items in their home.  I love that!  Check it out.

First up, everyone knows Jill from Forever Cottage.  Originally, I wasn't planning on shipping the antique Persian rug I was selling, but after a couple of email exchanges with Jill, I sold and shipped the rug to her.

I am so happy I did.  It works perfect in her LR against all the light neutrals adding some color and warmth.  I am so happy the rug went to a beautiful home and is being used!

Next up is Marley.  She bought the white ceramic Rosanna Candlesticks that I had never used.  I remember first spotting them in Domino.  Here is a picture of the white candlesticks she used at Thanksgiving.

Isn't her table setting so pretty?  So festive.  Marley has started a new blog, 21 Sunshine Avenue, and an IG account.  Go follow her!!

And, last but not least, my favorite blogger Rene from Cottage and Vine.  She is so sweet and is one of the reasons why my sale was successful.  She posted about the sale on her blog and I had almost 600 hits that day!  Here is the python tray she purchased!

She kills me with her not only her interior decorating skills but her gardening skills too!!

I hope to get a couple of more pictures that were promised from readers so there is more to come.  Staye tuned and so fun!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Inspiration: A House Tour in Georgetown

I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!  We did and I am a bit overwhelmed at how soon Christmas will be here!  I love the Advent Season and so I am trying not to let all the crazy holiday stuff get to me too much.

Over the Thanksgiving break, I came across this Georgetown home tour on Apartment Therapy.

An aesthetic that is relaxed, comfortable, layered, neutral with touches of blue and green is perfect in my book!  All those elements I want to achieve in my own home.  Hope you enjoyed!