August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites

Hey Hey It's FriYay! Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?  The weather has been a little bit cooler here the past few days so we've been staying home more and playing outside.  The kids are both over the pool.  The days passes by so quickly and they sleep so soundly when we swim but they're just already ready for the next thing.  We still have a few weeks before school starts so I hope we all keep our patience until then.

Tomorrow I'm taking the day off!  Well, not really.  I have to work in the afternoon but Matthew has something fun planned for the kids for the morning too.  I have hours to myself with no plans.  I'm not going to waste it going to target and trader joes solo.  Although that does sound nice too.  It's been awhile and I'm not even sure what I want to do with just myself.  How do you unwind when you find yourself with some "me time"?

beige and navy trim structured trench coat || HELLO pillow || black and white knitted bandage dress || gold tassel necklace || Tory Burch wallet (on sale) || An American Heiress || ankle fringe sandals || MUDROOM rolling wooden storage box || blue and white tulip dress || elephant tassel charm || gold New Balance sneakers || Scarf

Shop the look here

August 27, 2015

A few good dresses to get you through late summer

I have been LOVING watching all the back to school pictures flood through my feeds!  I never quite understand the people who don't like to see the personal mixed in.  There a million pretty pictures, I want to see who lives in that pretty house.  Which kids sit on the counters and sneak cookies in that gorgeous kitchen.  But that being said, I'm not quite ready to give up on summer yet!

I've rounded up a few pretty dresses from the sale racks that could easily take you through September when paired with tan shoes and then be ready to go again come Spring!

Blue and White Gingham Dress || Embroidered Shirt Dress (extra 50% off sale price no code needed)  || Chevron Striped  Dress || Floral Side-Pleated Dress || Tie Back Fit & Flare Dress (you should see the back!).  Comes in a few different colors but the green could be really fun to pull out for the holidays!) || Thea Silk Dress || Rehoboth Stripe Mini Dress || Ivory Fit & Flare

August 26, 2015

Dining Room Shelf Styling

I'm starting to get ancy in the dining room.  Y'all know the navy is going to stay awhile until an eventual kitchen renovation and I'm loving this room being used as our dining room again.  But the shelves... 

The bookshelves are still exactly the way we filled them up when this room was going to be a man den.  My husband finished building and added two coats of paint and filled 'em up just to get a taste of progress.  We're similar like that :)

But now I'm dying to mess around with the shelves. I never liked styling these when they were in the family room.  Everything felt too cluttered to me when I was in there trying to relax.  But in this setting?  It's a game changer.  I want to play!  Matthew has taken over the guest room again and a lot of these books and some of his favorite things will move up there too.  I'm thinking about taking out all of my old paper backs as well and donating them.  How many Jodi Picoult books do I need to hoard in my dining room? 

I always start messing around with things and forget to take before pictures and then I don't blog because I don't have a before or an after and I feel like maybe instagram is for the in-between that I catch with my iPhone.  But from the very start of this blog I've been adamant about showing the steps along the way.  I'm not a designer so there is no dramatic before and afters.  I love the process.  And I know so many of you do as well.  I'm going to be better about that.

You might also remember that the small wall you see below to the left will be open to the kitchen soon.  Well, hopefully soon.  We're waiting on some bids to come back.  Something about structure, load bearing, blah blah blah.  We originally thought this could be a quick weekend project like the opening from the family room to the living room but that's not the case.  And as much as I want this opened up like yesterday, I don't want our house caving in.

Also, because it's fun to visualize.  Let's take a look at what I have planned for in here!  I want to back the  bookshelves with grass cloth!  I think it would look amazing to do something light against the navy.  And if and when we need to repaint the navy to match the kitchen cabinets, the contrast will be more subtle but still be there!  Maybe a light gray or even a pale blue.

 And styled with a lot more breathing room like these two rooms below from Studio McGee.  I also use this room as my office and I anticipate this being the homework room in a few years so I'm not committed to just having dishes on the shelves.

 both via

Have you backed your shelves before?  I'm thinking this has to be a fairly easy project right? 

August 20, 2015

Living Room Design Plan

I just ordered this print from minted yesterday and I can't wait for it to arrive.  I'm such a sucker for pictures of water.  And after spending eleven-thousand hours at the pool this summer my swimming lady seemed fitting.  Of course it's got me scheming for a whole new room to decorate around.  I just can't quit blues lately.  I love that they can be sophisticated but still casual.  That's like my most favorite combination ever!

Going For A Swim art print || primrose sofa || Noah End Table || Fullness art print || blue ombre pillow || Parish Floor Lamp  || Pinstripe Fouta Pillow || glass urchin vases || ivory rug || Batik Ice Bucket || cotton throw (only $39!)

shop the look here:


*affiliate links used

August 19, 2015

Back to School Style for Moms!

I've always been one to alternate between yoga pants and actual outfits in the mornings.  It's pretty easy to throw either on, the time suck is trying to throw an outfit together in the morning, not the putting it on part.  But even when I do step it up I tend to grab the same two or three outfits on repeat.

I'm going to try to start putting together some virtual outfits to get me more inspired in the mornings and I thought you might like to play along too!  I'm starting out with baby steps here with some grab and go basics on major sale!

Colored Denim + so many colors! ($54.90) || 5" shorts ($19.90) || High-low tank ($12) ||  Shirred V-neck Tee ($9.90) || Long Cardigan + more colors ($29.90) || Sleeveless Tank ($20) ||

Blue Maxi Dress ($23.40) || Blue Printed Maxi Dress ($23.40) || Racerback Tank Dress ($28) || Shirt Dress ($32.90) || Short Sleeve Drawstring Dress


* affiliate links used 

August 18, 2015

Living Room Change Up | Styling My Leather Sofa

Y'all know that a few weeks ago we turned our dining room back into a dining room.  The navy room, for those of you besides my husband who get confused.  That created yet another round of furniture shuffle.  So currently the leather sofa that came from my in-laws is the main attraction in the living room.  I love the casual feel it creates in this room and paired with lots of cream and blues it also maintains the coastal vibe we've got going on everywhere else.

I know a lot of people with older homes struggle with the two living rooms debacle and I'm still figuring ours out too.  But it's nice to have keep both rooms pretty relaxed instead of one formal living room and one informal family room.  For us, every room is a family room right now.

We recently set up the Lego table in the back of this room right in front of the opening to the family room.  That's working really well so far to keep legos off the playroom floor.  Not because I'm a neat freak but mostly because there is no floor left after the other toys come out.  Yikes. 

You can see here where the family room connects!  That teepee is the best and is made from indoor/outdoor fabric!  I think I love it as much as the kids do!


The Lilly Sale is still going strong ladies!  Did anyone score big yesterday?  I was impressed with the new set up and got in within 45 minutes.  Lots of good stuff left and no wait this morning!

August 17, 2015

Photography Sessions Available

I've had a few people emailing me about fall photography.  This year I'm offering a few mini sessions in addition to full sessions.  I know our weekends tend to get filled up really quickly so I'm hoping this will help everyone get organized early!

**These sessions are in Richmond, VA**

I also had a few people asking me about South Carolina sessions.  I will be in Pawleys Island & Charleston the week of September 4-11 so contact me if you're interested in a session during that time!

These are for morning and early afternoon sessions.  Only one of these dates will be open for late afternoon and that's on a first come first serve basis.  Sunset sessions will be reserved for full sessions (1 hour, 100-150 images, $300) and can be scheduled any time!

How to Make a Back to School Chalkboard Sign

Several people have asked me to help them make a fun personalized back to school chalkboard like the one I did for Wells last year.  We go back a little bit later here in Richmond so I haven't made one for the kids yet but I'm excited to see their answers!

Step one:  Take a picture of your child holding or standing by a blank chalkboard.  The magic all happens on your computer so put your fancy chalkboard pens away!

Step two:  using a photo editing software just start typing away!  There are many free chalkboard fonts (try you can download and use.  I created this one in photoshop but I'm pretty sure all programs allow you to change and add fonts.  The key is to use multiple fonts!

Step Three:  The key is to create a new layer for each word so you can easily move it around or adjust it's size.  Some programs let you adjust the opacity which is great too.  Then you can let some of the chalkboard through and it looks more realistic.

Hope that helps!  I'm more than happy to walk you through it more if you want to send me an email.  I know each editing program is really different.

Now it's time for the AFTER PARTY SALE!!!  Although I just checked my que and  there are 47, 344 users ahead of me in line.  whomp whomp.

August 16, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale starts Tomorrow!!!

So exciting! Tomorrow is the big Lilly Pulitzer After Party and pretty much the one time of year I stock up on my favorite Lilly items for Wells and myself.  Okay, mostly Wells.  Why does my five year old always have better clothes than me?

Anyway this year they're doing check-out a little bit differently in hopes of avoiding an "oh, shift" moment. Although I tend to think those things are somewhat planned to create some hysteria.  Whatever, it works.  We Lilly Ladies like our pink.

So the big change is that you should grab everything you want as quickly as possible and then check out ONE TIME.  So different from the technique of the past few years to grab an item, checkout, then go back for the next item.

From the experts:

1. When you arrive at the site you will be placed in a virtual line.
2. Items held in your cart are NOT ‘reserved.’ They are only yours once you complete check-out.
3. One you check-out, you will be placed at the end of the virtual line.

I'll be sure to update this post in the morning with all my favorites! I have my eye on some shifts for Wells.  She's already outgrown her size six's from this past year.  And I'm going after a dress, plus a pair of shorts and a top for me.  Wish me luck!

August 13, 2015

House Updates with Benjamin Moore Classic Gray (because I just can't quit this color)

Man, I feel like I've been a traveling fool lately.  Quick trips to Pawleys Island, Nashville, and Birmingham.  All I did was eat the whole time I was gone!  I want to to a foodie recap post for you with a few of my favorite places I went to in those cities. I also plan on including the best places to eat here in Richmond.  Email me if you have any faves you want to add!

One thing I have managed to do is work on a few things around the house.  I actually painted the entire powder room blue (not pictured below). I used the leftover Sea Salt at 50% that we used in our master bedroom.  I only painted the upper half of the room, as the bottom half with wood paneling is already primed and painted in Sherwin Williams Decorators White.  Annoyingly, that color is no longer listed on their site but it's in their computer system if you want to buy it at the store.  You might have a harder time color matching at Lowes or Home Depot though.  I can't even believe it but I have no picture of it painted blue.  I think I must have accidentally taken the picture in the Instagram app so it didn't save.  That annoys me so much.  It wasn't until after I'd started painting over it that I realized my mistake.

What you see above is Benjamin Moore Classic Gray.  I just can't quit this color.  It is my favorite shade of warm grey.  A true neutral gray without blue or purple undertones.  The intensity of the color changes a lot depending on the light.  It looks much darker in this little powder room than it does in our light filled living room or front hall.  I also made another quick faux roman shade to match the ones I made in the laundry room. 

You can see where I also painted over the Edgecomb Gray in the kitchen.  It's hard to photograph this wall without it become washed out.  It does get lots of natural light but it's not quite this flooded in real life.  The contrast between the way the colors read is pretty accurate though.  It's much paler and lighter in the kitchen.  I didn't dislike the Edgecomb Gray and most everyone probably can't even tell the difference now that it's Classic Gray.  But it is just the slightest big lighter and airer feeling which I love.  And it didn't make sense to have one random different color that looked just the same as the downstairs.  I originally though the EG would be a big obvious contrast but it just wasn't.  The CG just works better now.

Do you have a paint color that you just can't quit?  Do you use the same color in multiple rooms in your home?  Would love to hear your favorites!

August 1, 2015

Serena and Lily Private Sale

Have you ordered anything fun from the Serena and Lily private sale?  So many pretty things!  Loving all the tassels and bright colors!  I can't believe it's already August. We've got one more month before school starts back up and I'm determined to get our house better organized and simplified.  I'm all about getting rid of anything I don't love and bringing in lots of fun colors.  I want our home to feel happy!  I'm not getting rid of my neutral base, just thinking about mixing in some more.

Check out all my favorites below!


*affiliate links used

July 31, 2015

Final Days of the Nordrstom Sale || Let's see what's left!

We're here on the last days of the Nordstrom Sale before prices go back up.  I've rounded up many of my favorite staple pieces that are super wearable easy to mix in with your closet and can pretty much get you dressed and looking pulled together in five minute.  Bam.  They're all super inexpensive too which is key.  Get your basics out of the way now and still have some wiggle room for that one splurge piece you spot come fall!

Tee Shirt ($15.90) || Leggings ($33) || Black Ankle Strap Sandals || Sneakers || White Tunic Blouse || Grey Jeans || Pink Leather Jacket || Black D'Orsay Pumps || Black Clutch || Striped Tunic ($12.90) || Lazy Morning Pants-Polka Dots (also love the stripes) || Scallop Dress (restocked but only size 2 & 4 left) || Long Open Cardigan ($31 and stock added in my favorite blush color!) || Open Zip Sweater || Nude D'Orsay Pumps (also obsessed with the grey suede and PINK!) || PONCHO || Kendra Scott Pendant Necklace || Cowl Neck Long Sweater ($27.90) || Suede Booties || Black Faux Python Bag ($35.90) || Tory Burch Smart Phone Wristlet ($109)

Get the look here:


*affiliate links used

July 30, 2015

Ice Cream Birthday Party

Wells turned five recently and we threw her a little party in the backyard.  It was perfect.  Stress-free, simple, low key, full of fun and laughter.  Lots of cake and ice-cream and happy children!

 She requested:
1. A pool (a blow up would have to do and she was good with that)
2. Ice Cream with Chocolate sauce, cherries, and sprinkles in a cone
3. Party Hats
4. A Pinata filled with Halloween candy

We made a simple ice-cream sundae bar with neopolitan ice-cream scoops served in clear plastic cups (the wine kind).  The kids got to add their own toppings.  Chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and cherries.  Most of the kids topped it off with a waffle cone!  I will say the one thing that I underestimated was how much the adults would want to make ice-cream cones!

I made vegan chocolate cupcakes so I wouldn't have to worry about Tagg eating the wrong kind.  That always gives me so much anxiety.  I used my icing in a bag trick to make them look a little more professional and added on some pink sprinkles. We also had a special tub of his coconut milk chocolate ice-cream and let him go first through the toppings bar to avoid cross-contamination. 

 I also filled a few little pink galvanized tubs with ice and squeezable applesauce and filled my silver punch bowl with chips so the kids could have something besides desert.  The party was mostly outside (or in the playroom) and not during a meal time so I didn't feel like we needed to make a bunch of food the kids weren't going to eat anyway.  I made that mistake last year.

I borrowed some pretty confetti milk jars from a friend and filled those with pink lemonade and pretty paper straws.  That's always such a hit because it looks so good but is virtually effortless.  As usual I just decorated one area and that was the main table.  I used a black and white polka dot sheet as the background and hung some tassel and pink paper lanterns.

I found both the pink polka dot and the gold and white confetti hats at Target.  Decoration and useful.  I forget how much kids love a party hat!  I made the little sign out of a sticker letters and white foam board.

We also had a cooler full of beer and a cooler full of water bottles and laCroix.  A giant bowl of strawberries and blueberries and hummus and carrots were on the table up on the deck.  I originally wanted to do a cheese tray and pretty drink for the moms but I ran out of time.  I think it's so awesome when people go the extra mile but usually just something to drink or nibble on is enough.  No one is looking for perfection.

We bought two blow-up pools from Target and had the sprinkler ready to roll.  I don't think it even got turned on because the kids had a water fight with Matthew instead.  He lost :)  The pinata was also a big hit with the kids.  I tried to convince Wells we didn't need it but she insisted.  And it is a nice way to end the party with a bang.  I gave the kids little paper treat bags to put their candy in in lieu of a traditional goody bag.

As usual I was too busy having a good time to take more pictures.  I hate that.  That's one thing I always wish there were more of after a fun time like this!

And remember we're in the last final days of the big NORDSTROM SALE.  Prices to GO BACK UP after THIS SATURDAY!  You know you'll be kicking yourself for paying full price for some of these favorites this fall!

July 29, 2015

Chicken Teriyaki Recipe | You'll want to try this one right away!

Is everyone having a good week so far?  I meant to post this yesterday but got caught up in the day!  My nephew is in town and we're tying to pack in as much cousin time as possible.  I'm determined for him to know us even though we live so far apart.  It's such a special relationship and it warms my heart to see my kids and my sister's kids love each other. 

This is one of my favorite dinners!  It's easy enough for me to make because the sauce comes from a jar.  Love a good semi-homemade meal to cut down on the time and prep at dinner time  In full disclosure, Matthew typically does most of the real cooking around here including this dinner.  He's the chef and I'm the self-appointed taste-tester and vegan baker :)

Chicken Teriyaki with Jasmine Rice
Cook Jasmine Rice according to the directions
In a skillet, saute half of a diced yellow onion in olive oil until browned
Add in diced boneless skinless chicken and begin to cook over medium heat
Add in a tablespoon of diced garlic (more or less depending on taste)
Add in Teriyaki marinade (we used kikkoman teriyaki marinade)
Allow chicken to fully cook
Add in 1/2 bag of Angel Hair Cabbage
Garnish with diced green onions and serve over jasmine rice

July 27, 2015

Gorgeous LA Home with East Coast Style

I fell in love with this home and wanted to share it because I knew you'd like it too!  The interiors were designed by BirchHill Interior Design and are so soft yet sophisticated.  So lovely!