Friday, January 29, 2010

I wish....

I wish my weekend looked like this. Breakfast in bed before long boat rides.Pretty summer dresses and dinner parties on the beach. Unfortunatley, it's a working weekend and about 30 degrees outside!Yikes!


Oh, how I love J. Crew. Why is everything so stinkin cute? Spring's new arrivals do not disappoint with their ruffles, florals, and chunky to die for jewlery. I could literally scoop up all of their new jackets, skirts, tops, and jewels, except that I am saving for fabric and paint and furniture for my empty house. Why must I choose!?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Drop Dead Kitchens

One day, I would love to have a kitchen with white marble countertops, at least two Viking stoves, a white plank ceiling, ice maker, mini fridge for drinks, and a big bar where people can hang out and chat while I mill around cooking. Until then I can continue to be inspired by these gorgeous kitchens. If I had one of these, I would want to cook and bake and entertain all day long. Hopefully by then my cooking skills will be up to par.

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to "work" with Victoria Hagan. I say "work" because I didn't actually say anything but "yes m'am." I was assisting my friend and event planner, Grace Beason, with a bar mitzvah for Mrs. Hagan's nephew. She is just as beautiful and talented as you think she is and was extremely nice. It was stunning and you can check out some of the details on Grace's website here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mrs. Howards and her Ah-mazingness

I had the chance to sneak away from the island this past weekend and go to the Queen City. I love love love Charlotte. It has the charm of South with fantastic shopping and eateries and also happens to be where a few of my few favorite friends live. I went there for a bridal show, but made time to pop into Mrs. Howards, an amazing home store located in the heart of the city. It was drop dead and my girlfriend and I were literally drooling in every room. 

Incredible details in every aspect of this gorgeous room. Look at the herringbone ceiling and the placement of the hydrangea prints. So pretty!

This photo does not give the entry way to the Charlotte store justice! The walls are seagrass that has been painted a powder blue and then glazed over. Smart and so chic. The floor is unlike anything I have ever seen before; iridescent tiles make up this graphic wave pattern.

This is the entrance to the upstairs of Mrs. Howards. Those prints are almost five feet long and  make such a statement. I love charcoal art work. These are especially beautiful against the classic architecture and herringbone wooden floors.

This was one of my favorite rooms at Mrs. Howards. Oh the drama of the velvet walls and brass tufting. Again, this photo does not do it justice. I would love to do this in a room one day but I'm not sure this is conducive to the beach lifestyle. What do you think?

Out of all of the details that I noticed at Mrs. Howards, I admired the draperies and crown moldings the most. The ceilings were huge, which of course helps, but the dressmaking details in the window treatments were truly special. This is one of my favorite rooms.

I LOVE this bed and so admire that they positioned it directly in the middle of the room. Of course, no one lives here, so it doesn't have to logistically make sense, but I would love to do this one day if given the right space. Wouldn't this be the most refreshing room to wake up in? I'm sure if I were able to wake up in the room, I would also be served pancakes and mimosas in bed. What a dream...

all photos via Mrs. Howards

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Hostest with the Mostest

Growing up in the South as a preacher's kid, we had a lot of house guests. Being that my dad was a baptist minister, these guests were mostly vagabonds. My mom always kept the house spotless and had a gourmet dinner on the table no matter who showed up on our doorstep. She has taught me a lot through the years, but my favorite memories are helping my mom prepare to entertain. Here are a few tips on how to set a guests room from one of my favorite celebrity entertainers, Carolyne Roehm. She is super old school and has tons of charm. I think that if you are able to do just a few of these things, it will make your guests visit extra special.

Dressing tables and desks add comfort when space permits. At the very least, I like the room to have a comfortable chair and ottoman.
Keep good reading lights next to the bed. If the lamps that match your décor are not adequate, stow personal lights (like the Itty Bitty Book Light) in the night table.
An alarm clock is essential.

Personalized stationery is a lovely touch and can be bought cheaply at off-set printers. I have mine printed with Weatherstone’s house logo.

Along with notepads next to the phone, keep nice pencils on hand rather than a hodgepodge of strays from the catch-all drawer.
Everyone enjoys music, so I keep small CD players in my guest rooms.

I leave out a basket of washed fruit and a plate of pretty cookies (covered) in each guestroom.
Bottled water or a carafe with the cup on top is a must. I I have a closet down the hall from my guestrooms that serves as a mini bar, complete with a small fridge, glasses and a corkscrew. I stock it with red and white wines, Coke and Diet Coke, bottles of fizzy and flat water as well as cookies and other little nibbles.

The Closet
Toss your wire hangers in the trash–nobody wants those annoying leftovers from the drycleaner. Use matching hangers-–white plastic ones are OK if you don’t want to invest in the pricier wooden versions. Be sure to include a few soft hangers for knits as well as pant and skirt hangers.

I use leftover fabric from the room to cover shelves in the closet. This creates a nice place to stack sweaters and I like the way it matches the décor.

Use neutral room fragrances like cedar or lavender to keep the closet smelling fresh.

Have a luggage rack available. Bags are dirty from airlines and what not and definitely don’t belong on the bed.

The Bed
Start with a good quality mattress, better to be on the firm side than too mushy.

Use only 100 percent cotton sheets. Frette and Pratesi are luxurious, to be sure, but you need not break the budget. William Sonoma and Wamsutta are great sources for good old-fashioned, pure cotton bedding.

Take the time to do a little ironing. At the very least, press pillow cases and the fold-over hem. A good trick is to pull sheets out of the dryer when they are still a bit damp. Put them on the bed and press them right on the mattress.

A variety of good pillows is essential. Keep on hand soft, regular and hard, as well as non-allergenic for anyone who can’t use feathers or down. There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning all night because the pillow is the opposite of what you prefer

The Bathroom
Fresh soap is a must. If you hate to waste a full-sized bar, buy small guest soaps and toss them after each visit.
Keep toiletries stocked for anyone who may have forgotten some thing essential, including: toothbrush, toothpaste, Advil, aspirin, band aids, emery board, disposable razors, lotion, small scissors and sewing kit, shampoo and conditioner, and a mini hairdryer.
Check shower curtain liners for mold and change as necessary.Place a pretty glass next to the sink.

All photos via Absolutely Beautiful Things, All the Best, & Coco Kelley

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Spring Fever

We had 60 degree weather in Wilmington this weekend AND yes, I did get a spray tan. I couldn't resist. Guilty. The point is, I am longing for Spring and I can't wait to get back in feminine dresses and peep toes shoes. Here are a few lovelies that I will have on my wish list. And aren't those bridesmaids the cutest thing ever!?

louboutins via neiman marcus, peachy-keen dress by ali-ro, creamy wedding shoes shot by christianohstudio

Monday, January 18, 2010

Trying my luck at pastry

In an ideal world, I would love to work from home, bake, clean, take pilates classes everyday and have an edible dinner on the table when the husband comes home. No such luck considering my daily three hour commute. (Remember, car, ferry, golf cart, repeat.) It's the Kings birthday, and husband and I both have the day off. I'm trying my hand at a recipe from here  that looks as pretty as I'm sure it tastes. I'm trying it out today and have already hit a snafoo. I'm no good at pastry and I don't have all of the right equipment so I'm improvising.

Doesn't it make you just want to squeal? Isn't that the perfect entree for a lunch with a side salad and a glass of Prosecco? Sigh. I'm not sure I will add a photo of what mine looks like because I can promise you it won't look like the one above. But practice makes perfect, right?

Photo via Design Sponge

The process was a lot of fun and I was worried because the pastry was really, really sticky. I was nervous, but everything turned out really tasty. I did not have a large enough food processor, so I used my mixer instead. I also didn't have a legit pastry tin, so I used a glass pie dish. This changed the timing of things, but it was still delish.

The dry ingredients

Prepping the pastry

Gray took this photo while standing on our counter. Cooper is hoping for pastry droppings.

The final product. Not nearly as pretty as I had hoped, but it was really good!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm a little obsessed....

I'm a little obsessed with Kelly Wearstler. I bought her $164.00 per roll (times 6 rolls) kelly green trellis wallpaper before I had a bedframe or side tables, but that is what makes a house, right? Well, Mrs. Wearstler and all of her gorgeousness is on the cover of this month's Town & Country looking smokin' hot from her all organic diet and Barry's Bootcamp workouts. And I love her even more because she grew up in the arm pit of the south, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
wallpaper: 'so much more depth than paint'

giraffes: 'they're so graceful, and I love the pattern on their fur'

art: 'i still go to thrift stores when I'm shopping for art'

fashion: 'it's all about breaking your habits"

travel must-haves: 'my sketchbook and my UV-blocking parasols'

musuems: 'centre pompidou in paris...there's 

nothing else like it anywhere'

diet: '80% of what you look like is what you put in your mouth'

life philosophy: 'take risks. you can't get anywhere

 in life unless you do'

I need to get it together...

So, obviously, I'm a procrastinator. I start some things and don't like to finish them, such as my New York post. Being that only my mom and husband and a few select other friends read this new hobby of mine, I'm going to spare you the details of days 2 and 3 of our trip we took more than a month ago. Thanks for letting this one slide, I really appreciate it!

In the meantime, I want to share some new lovelies that I have found in the past few weeks. I'm not having the greatest day, so if I found these in a UPS box when I got home, that might make this day a lot better. (hint hint husband) This would be the perfect outfit for a fancy lunch or Spring date. Oh, how I love these labels.
Christian, Chloe, Stella, Kate, and Camilla and Marc