I need your help people! I am seriously struggling (I know, life is so hard for me…) about whether or not to follow through with a certain paint color for our front living room. I saw this paint color in my favorite home store of all time, Paysage in Wilmington. They have it on their walls, and I absolutely loved the color against all of the white linen/wood/gold they had on their show floor. Here are a few photos:
Pretty right? It’s called Beachcomber by Benjamin Moore. I had the painters scheduled to come today to paint our front room the same color but woke up in a panic last night thinking it may be too dark. I don’t have any photos of our room, but suffice it to say there are a lot of white linen pieces, a seagrass rug, gold/white linen shade lamps, gold mirror and cream bookcase. Lots of morning light, but then it gets pretty dim in there as the sun moves to the back of the house. I’m just scared of the color commitment. Should I test other colors or just go with it? Help…
With the East coast buried in snow again, it is hard to think of a time when short sleeves and sunshine will be the norm (oh wait, that was Sunday in NC.) We have a great little brick patio at our new house and I want to take full advantage of an outdoor space when the weather improves. But I’m not about to drop $800 for an outdoor sofa. Where have you all found good outdoor furniture? I want comfy seating, a table and umbrella. Ikea has some good options but I’d love to hear where you’ve been lucky!
Message me here or at email@example.com. Thanks in advance for your help!
"make sure you clean that, it’s the only way to get the….
My girl Jeni (zumba instructor) has been incorporating a slow jam to Drunk in Love at the end of classes that includes gyrating on the floor, body rolls, and hair whipping. With this choreo down, I’m one step, a pair of stilettos, and a bodysuit away from starting my true life as a Bey-ckground dancer.
Items I have bought and liked: Trader Joe's edition
Yep, I’m talking about frozen food today. Don’t judge.
Holy hell these are good. Super flavorful, a little bit spicy, and very satisfying. I actually put mine over some sauteed veggies with some avocado last night for dinner. Total time to cook was about four minutes.
Included in the veggies was about a half of a cup of Trader Joe’s roasted corn:
I would put this in everything- salsa, guac, fajitas, you name it.
If you see a UHaul at your local Raleigh Trader Joe’s this spring- it’s mine. Loading up as many cases of this rose as possible. I found it last year, fell in love and then promptly saw it disappear for the rest of the summer. I make regular trips to TJ’s just to find this wine, and I am on a mission to buy as much as possible to hoard as soon as I find it. Literally definition of patio wine- delicious, very drinkable and a little bit citrusy.
Clearly I need to get out more to get some creative content on this here blog….
My parents are treating us to a lovely four-day vacation to London in late April, and John and I have decided to tack on an additional two and a half days to explore Paris. Please email me your recommendations for things to do, places to eat, where to shop, and other things we need to know about to plan a fun trip! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be bringing back lots of corgi/Kate memorabilia and practicing my British accent in the meantime.
I can’t bring myself to pay full price on anything (I mean, seriously have these stores heard of the Internet discount codes?) but I also have a serious weakness for luxe materials (cashmere, suede, you get it..) So, when those two worlds collide….
Here are a few of my recent purchases that I got on winter clearance (some not online…sahhreee) that I’m really feeling right now:
This JCREW collection cashmere sweater. 40% off with free shipping…get on it people. I typically wear XS-S in JCREW but I ordered up (M) because I wanted it to be oversized/slouchy. It is even better looking in person.
Typically, I throw a lot of side eye at people who buy $100-$50 cotton t-shirts…but that isn’t to say I would love to wear a t-shirt made out of expensive cotton. So, when I found a T by Alexander Wang t-shirt on sale at a local boutique for $25, I went for it.
Looks like you can get one from the Outnet for $45 right now. I promise I won’t judge you. It feels like heaven and I like to tell myself that I look like I could be part of Whitney Port’s posse when I wear it. Yep, I just referenced Whitney Port.
I found these Joie Ogden flat suede boots for 50% off at Monkees in Raleigh. I like to squish down the top to make them look slouchier. They look killer with jeans but I think they could look cute with a skirt and tights, too. Still a splurge at $150, but I have another pair of Joie boots that have held up really well for the past two years so I think their quality is worth it.
Share the sale love people. What have you found lately?
With all of this cold weather and dry air, I have been slathering on cremes, scrubs and oils like nobody’s business. Here are a few products I’ve been loving lately:
Jo Malone orange blossom creme. Real talk- I got Christmas money from John’s grandmas which is the only way I could justify buying $75 lotion. But sweet Lord does this stuff smell and feel amazing. I feel like a genteel Southern lady slathering this stuff on (but I only do so about twice a week because I’m trying to save it as long as possible.)
This face wash is amazing. I’ve only been using it for a week and have already started to notice a difference in cleaner, brighter skin.
This is hanging out on my bedside table and I put on a thick glob right before I go to bed and when I wake up. Never thought I’d be the person who bought $15 hand cream, but alas I now have a shallow and growing fear of “old lady hands” and this is helping me calm those demons.
A few drops of this mixed in with my daily face moisturizer and a few drops at night is making my skin feel silky smooth and hydrated in this harsh weather. Just get the $14 bottle- it is small but a little goes a very long way.
'Tis the season for chapped lips. I keep a jar of Lush's “Mint Julips” on my bedside table. It tastes great and freshens your breath! After applying the scrub, I put on a thin coat of Vaseline before I go to bed. Adios gross skin flakes.
What are some of your fave beauty products that are helping you survive this winter?
Okay I tried the play on words, but let’s get real it’s been a long-ass Tuesday and this just ain’t workin. What I’m trying to say here is that I’m excited about the fact I will be adding a small little splash of chintz into our kitchen.
The Schumacher Pyne Hollyhock chintz to be exact:
As any blogger will attest, 2014 is the year for granny chic and I’m no exception. This fabric is absolutely gorgeous in person with slight hints of lavender mixed in with the ivory and charcoal. I got a great deal on a yard from an amazing Etsy seller, Aurelia6311. She’s the bomb y’all. I’m getting the roman shade made locally and will be sure to post pics when it is up!
To coordinate with that fabric, I’m playing around with the idea of covering four of these Overstock chairs:
With a black ticking stripe and I think I found the perfect fabric:
It’s Schumacher’s Wesley Ticking Stripe in “Ebony.”
The final touches for the kitchen include some rugs, a china cabinet or sideboard of some sort and a new light fixture for above the table. Given our “charming” low ceilings, we have to find something with pretty petite scale without a huge drop/canopy. Some of my current favorites include:
Aerin Lauder can do no wrong. Except sell her stuff at outrageous prices.
Seriously. Killing. It.
I kind of love this pagoda lantern to sass things up with a bit of red.
Love, love love this piece I found on Horchow.
If you want to keep up with me on a more regular basis and see how the house is shaping up, feel free to follow me on Instagram.
Sorry for lack of posting guys…between moving, obsessing over ginger jar placements, and have anxiety attacks over furniture I have been a little out of my blog habit. I promise I’ll be back. In the meantime, have a chuckle at this AHMAZING new Tumblr, Awful People on House Hunters (thanks Hans.)
I recently discovered Carolina Irving Textiles after Jessie showed me some of her fabulous fabric samples. It is safe to say I’m obsessed. I love the patterns and colorways—particularly for our master bedroom. I’ve got an idea to do an upholstered headboard in one of these fabrics (kinda loving the first one below) for our master with some coordinating pelmet boxes over the windows with plain white drapes.
Have you made any discoveries lately that you want to share?
Holiday Gift Guide: For the special men in your life
Here is the first installment of our joint holiday gift guide. This one is dedicated to the lovely men in your life and was written by my witty husband with superb taste. Please enjoy!
(1) A really, really nice pair of loafers
I have (had) a blog entitled loafersansocks.tumblr.com. I like loafers. I don’t wear shoes that have laces to work. Or usually ever. I always remember my dad wearing loafers as a kid. They are versatile. In my mind, there are two pairs at the top of the list. First, are cordovan loafers made by Brooks Brothers. Reckner got these for me as a wedding gift. And they are perfect. They look better every day – and will last for years to come.
The other option is the iconic Gucci bit loafer. The junior varsity version of this shoe is the Cole Haan bit loafer, which every frat guy in the southeast has. But these are an upgrade. They will last longer, look better with age. And folks will know you stepped up your swagger.
A former boss of mine was married to someone who loved buying him really nice neckties. At the time, I was recent college graduate – grew up in Fayetteville – I didn’t know that there were $195 neckties. Until my boss’ wife bought me a few while I was working for him. Since then, I’ve noticed these ties on more and more folks. They are typically really well dressed, put together guys. And I like that. Ferragammo has a similar line, but I like Hermes’ designs better. It’s a good investment. And they are a whole lot cooler than Vineyard Vines. Don’t get them confused.
Ask anyone who knows me, from mid-November to March, I practically always wear a navy sweater. Despite what you might think, I’m a pretty vanilla dude. I like wearing the same types of stuff. It’s just easier that way. This is a staple. I like J. Crew’s, but you don’t have to go here. As a matter of fact, go to Belks or J.C.Penny. Department stores have absurd sales around the holidays and I’m telling you – folks won’t know the difference.
I’m not a big cologne guy. I think I was in middle school. Drakkar Noir, to be exact. But since then, I’ve backed off. I like this stuff. It’s really subtle, which is good. I specifically like No. 3 – called Spiced Citrus.
This is more of a stocking stuffer, but a damn fine gift. I’m a firm believer in having a pen and something to write on with you at all times. I practically always have a Field Notes memo book in my back left pocket. I write down funny stuff. For instance, while in Las Vegas recently a friend was explaining a traumatic experience he had late one night at a casino. He concluded, “I will forget 9/11 before I forget that night.” That’s a great quote. And I wrote it down. I also write down great quotes from articles or even words I’m not sure I know the meaning. It’s a good thing to have. Always.
One of the top things folks will put on their 2014 resolution list is to read more. This is the best way to get started. It comes every week. It covers incredible and fascinating topics. It’s rich and storied history is unparalleled. You can read this and nothing else each week. Well, this and maybe scan your local newspaper. But that’s it.
We close on our house next week (pray for us) and before we move in, we’re getting the majority of the interior of the house painted. The current owners have little kids so the walls are either marred beyond comprehension or painted pepto pink/frog green or a mixture of both.
I’ve spent the past several weeks legitimately freaking out over paint choices for the house.
Who KNEW there were about 85 different types of white, blue, green, etc. etc. to choose from? I immediately went to Pinterest for inspiration, knowing that I would immediately gravitate towards the whites, whiter whites and soft whites for basically everything in our house. I have a fear of color that is well documented.
The problem was, once I started finding what I liked and asking for feedback and actually GETTING SOME feedback, I could.not.handle.it.
I needed to chill out, start to back off (a little) and listen. And I’m not good at that. But I got some great advice and I think we’re going with some pretty colors.
For the den/sunroom, hall, and master bedroom, we’re doing Swiss Coffee. Here’s my inspiration from Hanna Seabrook’s home on Glitter Guide:
Soft, warm white. Ahhh. We’re doing 50/50 swiss coffee and white on the ceilings to give it a gradual change while we wait to get moulding in the bedrooms.
For the kitchen and for all of the house interior trim, we went with Decorator’s White. A sure winner used time and time again.
So for our “man room” I thought we’d go dark dark blue or dark dark green. John was not having that so I went back to the drawing board and found BM “Salisbury Green” and fell in love. Here it is again in Charlotte Moss’ office:
I can’t wait to see how it comes out.
Now for the guest room, I knew we would be doing a bright white Chinese Chippendale headboard, some palm frond pillows and some white nightstands so I wanted to go with a preppy faded pastel—like those cushions you see in the ladies lounge of a country club that have been in the window for a little too long and are starting to get bleached out. I ultimately went with BM “Palest Pistachio” which I haven’t really been able to find a picture of other than a sample:
(Number 2 on the board above.)
Nothing too dramatic here, but I prefer drama in small doses (pillows, blankets) rather than large statements. I’ll be sure to share pictures in the coming weeks!
Things I Never Thought I'd Care About: Flushmounts
Well this whole house buying process is revealing all sorts of weird obsessions and things I never thought I’d care about. Like flushmount lighting. We are moving into a 1960s ranch house with LOW ceilings. Which means a) it tends to be dark and b) big chandeliers aren’t an option.
We have a long hallway to the bedrooms and bathrooms that currently has a pretty awful semi-flush light fixture that has GOT TO GO. Seriously, if the contractor can’t get in there early enough, I may risk electric shock just to rip it out of the ceiling.
I’ve been on the hunt for good looking flushmounts and to my dismay, most of the ones I found that were halfway decent were $300++. Nope. Not happening. After some feverous Pinterest searching, leading me down one rabbit hole after another, I found a new-to-me site: Ellen Lighting & Hardware based in Texas. It’s a minority/woman-owned business (woop woop) and they have some dealz and stealz.
Here are some pretty light fixtures I’m considering for our hall from Ellen Lighting:
I’ve signed up for their mailing list for a coupon code post-Thanksgiving and Christmas so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a discount. Again, not sure why I care so much…just don’t judge me. Too much.
Retailers are already offering great discounts in preparation for the biggest shopping weekend of the holiday season. I’ll continue to update the list for Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals but for now, here’s what I’ve compiled—most of them, you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home:
Get those mouse cursors ready to shop until you drop this week.
Kitchen ideas- aka champagne dreams on a 2-buck chuck budget
We lucked out with a pretty great kitchen in our new place. Windows, lots of natural light, and an open floor plan. While the granite color isn’t really something I would pick out myself, it is still granite and already paid for…so it is staying.
Here’s what we’re working with:
Basically once we put in an offer, I started thinking about updates for the kitchen first. Why? Because I think of the kitchen as the core of the home-it’s the natural spot where your guests linger, where you spend most of your time, etc. Plus, in our case, it is one of the first rooms you see when you get inside.
So, I started gathering inspiration pics like these:
Erin Gates’ classic kitchen
This last picture just GETS ME. Dream. Kitchen. Unfortunately, after some Googling I figured out that just the pendants cost $1200…each.
Not. Going. To. Happen.
But, clearly there is a pattern here- round pendants with hints of brass + French bistro-inspired bar stools.
I found these cute barstools at Serena & Lily in black and white and promptly stole/found a 15% off coupon code. I plan on holding out until the Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals to attempt to order a pair when I can get the best deal possible and combine it with my 15% off coupon.
I’ve loved these small Hicks pendants for a long time. Horchow was offering 30% off, but I wanted to contact Circa Lighting and see if they would honor the discount + free shipping so I contacted them and sure enough- discount honored! We’ll be hanging 2 of these in place of the current pendants.
In addition to repainting the kitchen, we are getting a contractor to put in a herringbone backsplash throughout the lower parts of the kitchen. Typically, this costs about $9 per square foot, so when you’re dealing with a small kitchen it really isn’t a huge expense. Of course, I know one can lay these themselves but let’s not even go there- I can’t even sew a button on a shirt, let alone LAY TILE.
Eventually, I’d also like to replace the current hardware on the cabinets with some brushed brass knobs and pulls like those pictured above to pull in the brass touch of the pendants. These are the lower-end pulls that cost around $3-$6 per piece.
Cabinets will stay white and in the coming years, I’m sure we’ll update appliances to stainless. For now, they are staying put. They function and work just fine and I need to prioritize. Ugh.
What am I missing? What did you think made the biggest impact on any kitchen updates that you’ve done?
Your front door is the first impression people have of your home. It sets the tone for what they can expect when they walk in and see the rest of your house. Traditional? Eclectic? Farmhouse modern (because that’s a thing now)?
In a move that will surprise no one, I’m definitely leaning towards the more traditional for our home. Given that we’re working with a white brick ranch with black shutters, I kind of think the tone has been set for us—and definitely fits our style.
So, what goes into an entrance? You have:
Your door (color, any “jewelry” for the door, etc.)
Here’s some inspiration to get you started:
Not going to lie, those lanterns alone cost more than the light fixtures I’m looking at for our ENTIRE HOME so we can just ignore that. But the overall look here is crisp, tailored, and welcoming. Here are some of my thoughts for our entry:
Francie has gotten a lot of frantic phone calls amidst this house buying period. Heavy sighs, more than a few tears, and a handful of panic attacks. She’s going to get a really good Christmas present in like…March after we finish paying closing costs, etc. for this damn place.
It’s time to get ready for the move-out and sell some stuff! Jessie and I will be hosting a yard sale with some of our items mixed in with a few other ladies from around town. Pieces will be priced to SELL! Art, furniture, fabric, etc. you name it! Cash or check only. See below for more deets!
Sunday, November 17
Starting at 10 a.m.
Address: 4513 Wilkes St. Raleigh, NC
We’ll post pics to get you pumped throughout next week. Hope to see you there!!
Can you and loafers do a holiday gift guide again and maybe include a list of thing you want to receive and a list of things you want to give? This'll be my first xmas with a new guy and he's very much like loafers (I've even gotten him to start following).
Thank you for the note! We will get working on this right away. I love gift guides!
Well technically we put the offer on the house about three weeks ago, but since then it has been one hell of a rollercoaster in these parts. I’ve waffled between pinning like a madwoman out of excitement to dry heaving over the thought of our savings essentially evaporating on closing day. Basically, I’ve learned that I’m not exactly “good” with change.
Flash back a few weeks ago, Oct. 19 to be exact. John and I agreed to go take a look at a place with our realtor, but only after we talked at length about how we were going to wait until after the holidays to get serious about putting an offer on a house, we wanted more time, loved the flexibility of being renters, etc.
Driving through the neighborhood on a pretty fall Saturday, my main thought was when I could eat lunch because I was starving. Then we pulled up to a cute white brick ranch with black shutters and I got excited. John blurted out “We want this house” two seconds into the home. Well, at least one of us is good with change.
I didn’t sleep that weekend after we put in the offer. We were on LITERAL PINS AND NEEDLES PEOPLE. Lots of phone calls, lots of sweating (me), lots of swearing (John), lots of drinking to cope (both) and then we finally got the good news late Sunday evening—a little over 24 hours after we put in the initial offer. Little did I know that was just the beginning. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say it has been a stressful few weeks in our household. And I won’t even get into picking out paint colors.
So…now it is real. We are closing in December and probably moving in after Christmas after we get some work done to the house. I still feel a little bit like throwing up, but like the kind of throwing up you do when you’re really excited…? Is that a thing? Here’s a pic:
A cute little spot to call home for a bit.
And you know what a house means?
A CORGI PUPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can’t freaking wait. Please forgive me if this blog turns into a crappy PowerPoint layout of rooms/paint colors/light fixtures….but I promise I’ll still put in some fun gifs every once in awhile.
Okay so slow news week around these parts..I’m going to be talking to you about cleaning supplies today. But I feel the need to share because this stuff is SO good. What am I talking about? Mrs. Meyers Lavender. I discovered this stuff after spending the weekend at a mutual friend’s home—I walked in and immediately thought she must have a candle burning because the house smelled so good. Not so! She had just wiped down her counters using the Mrs. Meyers Lavender spray. It isn’t perfume-y and definitely not too sweet. Clearly, I had to order every piece of the product line on Amazon Prime. Below are some of the pieces en route to my house. Very reasonably priced, too!