Friday, August 31, 2012

As Summer Ends...





...enjoy every last warm morsel of it. 
Bask in the sunlight for hours outside, laze by the pool, jump in the lake, go for a drive down a dirt road, take a picnic filled with the best fruits and veggies of summer, sip lemonade, play games in the yard...
the list can go on and on. As Labor Day nears and the grills get fired up for the last summer party, enjoy it. There is something sweet and peaceful about the ending of a hot summer. It's a little moment to relax with friends and indulge in summer laziness, which is perfectly ok in my book. I'm hoping to be able to have some of these little bits of summer:





A picnic with the simplest of summer foods-fruit, bread, cheese and a sweet lemonade.





Fresh everything, especially tomatoes are the best in the summer. These mini caprese salads would be summer perfection.






I want to break out those sundresses I have yet to wear during the warm months. I like this natural combination of navy, sage green and caramel brown. It's fresh enough for now with a little nod to fall.





I would love to be able to gather all my friends and family together for a farm to table picnic with a huge long table filled with food and messy fresh picked flowers. We could snack and chat by lantern light and fireflies.



































Thursday, August 30, 2012

Late Summer Pasta




Nashville was blessed with beautiful weather this weekend. I could get used to this! While schools are getting back into the swing of things, I am starting to feel fall creep into the air a little bit. With fall comes a lot of things to do-my September is totally booked up-so I am relishing the few weekends of August where I can just chill out and get ready for the busyness that will ensue very soon!
After picking out some tuxedo options on Saturday with the fiancee, we ventured to Whole Foods, where I lost him at the cheese counter like I usually do. I gathered ingredients for pasta without a real plan. I spied Pink Vodka sauce at Whole Foods, checked the ingredients (always make sure you can pronounce everything, that's how you know it is good for you) and hoped it was good. Luckily, it was! It was simple to make and super yummy. I also found some crab lags that were $5.99 per pound to add to our meal.
Here is the recipe:

Tri-colored vegetable penne (found at Whole Foods)
10-12 Peppedew peppers (Whole Foods)
Artichoke hearts (half a bottle)
3 Cheese blend of Asiago, Fontina and Parmesan cheese (Whole Foods)
Pink Vodka Sauce (Whole Foods)
Bay scallops

Cook penne al dente. Meanwhile, cook thawed scallops unit they are opaque. Season with salt and pepper. Mix all ingredients together along with salt, pepper and garlic salt while it's hot and serve in a big bowl!

Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Attention petite ladies...

Anthropologie has a bigger smaller section now. Those of us who are petite aren't usually able to find something the perfect length...so here's your chance to shop on over!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Covered In Darkness



As a former art major, I can't help but love color. I certainly don't shy away from it but I've realized my aesthetic has changed somewhat to still loving color but embracing stark whites and neutrals as well. After all, my wedding colors are shades of whites and ivories and that's it. A slight touch of gold to warm it up for fall, but only slightly. I love the monochromatic cleanliness and freshness that white offers. It also is so elegant when mostly everything is white.
There is a dark side, however. I felt myself being pulled toward it more and more as I got older, but usually tried to reject it...no no don't go to the dark side, it's too much for a wall, the space would be way too small...and yet I'm considering painting my guest bath black. Black can be mysterious, scary or tainted even. Or it can very easily be the most elegant, sleek and the epitome of class. It's counterparts of navy, gray, chocolate and even a deep jade or eggplant can be just as classy as Mr. Black. I am so drawn to these rooms:



 I love that the door and the wall blend as one even though you know that it's there. If your door is a standard boring door, blend that baby in. Your walls are already dark as night, why not make it a little harder to get out of it? I also really like the design juxtaposition of feminine and masculine in this photo with the floral chair and massive antlers.






You get the best of both worlds in this room: dramatic dark walls but airy inviting bedding and accents ALL in white. Love.






Mmmmm, black bathroom. I really like you a lot a lot.






Whiteblackchandeliertealandamaaazingseating? Sigh. I just died a little.







I like a little masculinity sometimes. This is so clean and sexy even.






I really like chalk boards in kitchens. This is such a bold way to do it, making your entire kitchen blackest of black. The industrial accents work really well to make this not overwhelming. I would most definitely want a nice window to lighten the kitchen up.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Becoming the Bride: Trust





Trust.
It's obviously a good basis for a relationship on any level, but especially if you are a bride and you place the details of your big day in the hands of another. This could be a florist, a caterer, planner, whatever. Having someone who gets you and shares your aesthetic or understands yours is a huge deal. 
I think my best decision so far in this wedding planning process was to turn this all over to a wedding planner, or in my case, two. Anita Hogin and Hugh Howser at Hthree Events are amazing and I'm sure can work with any bride. However, they understand me. That is so important because I come from a mother and grandmother who have planned and executed weddings for as long as I can remember. I have been right there in the middle of it all many times and I know firsthand how stressful it is to get everything planned out perfectly, each detail tied seamlessly in and every flower carefully selected. It is tons of fun when we do weddings together but also quite a bit of stress getting things done perfectly in a small amount of time. The end result is always amazing. 
I just really wanted my mother and grandmother (and myself) to enjoy the moments leading up to the wedding, and relax and primp all day on November 3 so that they can relish in the moments of being the mother of the bride and the grandmother of the bride rather than being the florist and the director. This is my mom's only chance of being mother of the bride and my grandmother's first to be a hot grandma (I mean, duh, she is anyway) walking down the aisle. 
That is why I knew I had to hand it over to someone I trusted and who I knew could match the ridiculously high standards of wedding execution that the two ladies in my life have set for me. I already knew Anita and Hugh, having worked with them at a magazine before, and I knew their attention to detail and every last inch and second of my wedding would be taken care of. That has put me at ease and I've really not had a lot of stress (knock on wood!) during this process. That all leads back to trust…so how do you trust someone you don't know to execute the most important day of your life? Research. Ask people you know who they have used, what awesome weddings they went to that they loved, and find what draws you to them. In Nashville, there are tons of great planners out there. It is just a matter of really perusing their sites and meeting with them and talking to them in depth about what you want. 
I'm not talking about just a wedding planner here. If you're planning your wedding yourself, odds are that you will have someone on the outside doing something for you. For example, your photographer. They know how to take a good shot and most likely how to take unique shots of special moments. If there are specific things you want captured, let them know. Definitely do not mess with their art though. Do your research first and make sure you like everything you see in their portfolio before you hire them. I love the work of Lily Glass despite the fact that I went to school with her. Even if I didn't know her, I would love her work. (PS-Lily just had a precious baby girl!) That is where your meticulous research comes in…I didn't have to hire her because I knew her but I had to hire her because I loved her work. I also got to know what it is like to be her photo subject as a bridesmaid in my friend Holly's wedding. If you have had a friend get married recently or were in their wedding and felt comfortable with the photographer, then your best bet is to go with that photographer. 
I can say the same for florists. Flowers are a huge deal to me because I'm used to my grandmother being surrounded by buckets of flowers, sweating her butt off and doing a crazed Tazmanian-devil type of whirlwind, then having a gigantic display of fluffy flowers. Just like that. So someone is going to have to live up to that. I don't know my florist first hand. I've met him, I like him, I have no doubt he does great work…but I don't know him like I do my planner and my photographer. Again, that is where trust comes in. I trust my wedding planners immensely. They use this guy all the time, so that means he's good. I have to have faith that it will be spectacular. 
I'm doing my own invitations. I trust myself. That one was a no-brainer…but I have LOTS to say about trusting your stationer. Too much for this post, so we are saving that for another day! I will leave you with this thought-don't attempt to make your own invitations-trust a pro to do it!

By the way, I'm starting this "Becoming the Bride" series to give advice along my journey leading up to the November nuptials!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

School Style

Schools are starting back now that August has rolled around. I remember wanting an awesome outfit for the first day of school, especially in high school. With all the creative outlets like Pinterest, Tumblr and blogs full of fashion ideas, high school girls can find great ensembles out there pretty easily. It's fun to be in high school and begin playing with your own personal style. It evolves so much as you grow but I feel like your teens are really the jumping off point. If I had gone to a high school like Rosewood in Pretty Little Liars I would have had so much fun getting dressed in the morning...they are the ultimate in fashion-forward young ladies. I don't know which of these looks are my favorite, but I made them my own. I hope that you make your ensembles very you.



School Pride


Classy back to school


Bohemian back to school


Girly Prep back to school


Edgy Back to school


 

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