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Friday, August 30, 2013

TGIF:Thank Goodness I Found...

We would like to introduce a new column for Fridays called TGIF. While, yes, we usually do feel the "Thank God It's Friday" meaning, we also want to end our week of posts with things that have caught our eye. We took the acronym to mean "Thank Goodness I Found ___." This week that blank is filled in with: the space between summer and fall. We pin to our new TGIF board so if you want to repin that original image we found on Pinterest, it is yours for the taking (as always, we will do our very best to credit these sources since it is not original content to Paper Pearl). 
This week, I think Alison and I were both feeling the anticipation of fall and those deeper colors that give you a crisp yet cozy feeling. Alison selected the three art pieces that you see-the beautifully moody street scene, and the two melancholy ocean images. She started our curation for this week's TGIF and I'm so glad she did…my anticipation of fall and all its glory mixed with my grip on what is left of the juicy splendor of summer seemed to be perfectly captured by the artists she selected. I want that feel of fall coziness but I still crave the crash of the waves in the ocean. Maybe I am always a little lost between summer and fall? With that, those artfully labeled lemonade bottles make me smile at the last days of summer bliss. The hanging plant lights remind me that seasons always change and that organic imagery is always so beautiful. Lastly, I love the romance of those hanging platters in various metals-proving that many things do get better with time (I secretly am not polishing a silver tea pot because I love the colors of the tarnish). 
Have the happiest of weekends, enjoy your Labor Day and bask in the last light of summer. -Laurie

{we don't know, sorry...but we love dearly}

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Labor Day in Knoxville

I would like to share a Labor Day event you may or may have heard about. Boomsday. I have never really been before and may find myself near it this year...along with 400,000 other people I hear. Boomsday is a afternoon/evening event in downtown Knoxville peppered with a host of food vendors and a fireworks show to write home about. If crowds aren't your thing venture out near the river and find a good parking space at around 7:00 or 8:00pm for the 9:30pm show. The images I have found of the show look amazing! Might be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all your hard work so far this year and continue to work on your firework-photography skills.

Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone! I hope you find a celebration, BBQ, lake or something equally fun and celebratory.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy Anniversary...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: 48 Hours in Nashville, Must Eat!

Ok peeps. Planning a trip to Nashville anytime soon? Live there and can't decide where you want to eat on your upcoming three day weekend? I've got a few ideas for ya. This past weekend we made a quick trip to our beloved Nashville, just before celebrating our nuptials that took place there, to meet a very special little boy and hang with his big sister, momma and poppa. A weekend trip to Nashville is one of my favorite but also dreaded things. There are so many people and places I love and not enough time to visit all of them. Breaks my heart a little. But, leaves me wanting more too which is never a bad thing.

Ok, now that I have shared my heart...I know you just want to know about the food. I would if I were you. Spare me the gushy details you know?

Our first foodie stop: Mitchell's Deli. Three years ago we distributed the cutest little "Must See" booklets (thanks to the best maid-of-honor) of our favorite spots to our out-of-town wedding guests...Mitchell's was included. We introduced the best maid-of-honor and her husband to Mitchell's this past weekend when they joined us for lunch. I feel confident in saying they are believers. We love this little East Nashville gem. The hubs has tried every delectable sandwich on their menu and even ate there on the day of our wedding. I am faithful to my favorites and cannot go astray from their amazing combination. My top two sandwiches: turkey, apple, brie and the turkey avocado. Oh. My. Gosh. I need one right now. The turkey, apple, brie has the most amazing cranberry and jalapeno relish that is not too spicy, tangy or sweet. It balances the gooey brie so nicely. The turkey avocado is topped with the most perfectly cooked, crispy bacon; and of course, don't forget the small mound of sprouts and melted cheddar. No matter what the sandwich, be prepared for awesome bread. Go have a sandwich, grab a seat on the back terrace and maybe save room for ice cream from Sip Cafe next door. Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me.

Next stop: Marche. Also in our "Must See" booklets. This dream of a french-inspired restaurant is a perfect choice for lunch or dinner. Even more perfect, their brunch. We met Laurie and her main squeeze for a bite. Their french toast will blow your mind. Blow. Your. Mind. It is not made with sliced bread either...croissant. The most perfectly cooked croissant french toast with warm syrup and maybe a side of bacon. I never regret it one bit. Laurie had, what we named, the bruchetta omelet. It was filled with tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and a bit of garlic. We both looked at each other, dumfounded, wondering why we had never thought of this perfect combination before. They also had a steak and eggs on the menu that sounded decidant. Oh, let me not forget. The most perfect "appitizer." A piece of wheat toast, covered in house-made ricotta and topped with a fresh peach and drizzled with honey. Absolute perfection. I know I am using perfect a lot...cut me some slack. Just remember I am writing this DAYS later and still feeling this strongly....

Final stop: Holland House. Nashville Originals Restaurant Week was ending the weekend we were in town and I am so glad we caught it. We were able to enjoy three courses at Holland House for a great price! The live-in best uncle/sitter ever(!) was put to work and Paper Pearl guest blogger, Frazier, his wife, my hubs and I went out for a night on the town! Well, at least to Holland House anyway...we are getting old and retire early these days. Maybe I am speaking for myself as I am always the first to fall asleep during late-nite chats with these guys. Ok, the food. Incredible. This place is not only known for their creative and well-made cocktails but also for their bites. There were two appatizers, three entrees and three desserts to choose from for one flat price thanks to Resturant Week. As there were four of us we got to taste them all. While every single dish we had was amazing, I have to say I got the best dish. Their risotto with fresh mushrooms, heirloom squash and a hoecake was SO GOOD! The risotto was perfectly cooked and seasoned. The mushrooms were in abundance and the squash was a yummy, yet a sad reminder that summer is coming to an end. I forgot to mention the corn chowder to start! It was topped with crispy bacon and roasted peppers that gave it a little zing! I am going to need to figure out how to recreate it at home.

Sorry I do not have more images to share. Often times the resturants are so dimly lit or, more likely, I get too excited about my food and forget to document it before savoring every last bite.

I hope you are able to try one or all of these fine establishments. You will not regret it! Let us know if you do and what you have! I would love to hear about your experience as well.

Tasty travels to ya!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Paper or Pearl?

Happy Friday! We here at Paper Pearl decided to do a fun little post for you. We love those rapid fire questions where you have to pick one or the other, first thing that comes to mind! So we decided it would be fun to get in front of the camera, do a little something silly and let you get to know us a little better. Let us know your answers to our questions in the comments below! Paper or Pearl? We really like both! It's a hard decision -Alison & Laurie


1.Silver or Gold?
Silver on my body. Gold in my life (aka my house).
2.Flats or Heels?
3.Pushups or Crunches?
Crunches. I have always been self-conscious about my upper body strength. I am getting better though.
4.Spring or Fall?
Fall. Duh. 
5.Watercolor or Oil?
Oil. I need a lot of paint on a canvas. 
6.Land or Sea?
West Coast...mountains falling into the that cheating? 
7.Strawberry or Blueberry?
8.Book or Movie?
Movie. I wish I said book. I want to read more.
9.Snow White or Cinderella?
Snow White
10.Paper or Pearl?
Oh no! I! Uh! I...paper!


Tulip or Peony?     
Peony. White please.
Garden or Farmers Market?     
Farmer's market…our garden is a baby right now. 
Dress or Pants?     
Dress in the summer hands down….really, dress any time. 
Juice or Smoothie?     
Fresh-pressed juice!
Gilmore girls or The New Girl?     
Oy with the poodles! Gilmore Girls. Always. 
Italy or Morocco?     
AHHH! Uhhh. Italy, really. Morocco is my love too, especially in my home.
Theater or the Ballet?     
East or West coast?     
East. Fall foliage and lots of history. 
Gym or Barre?      
BARRE! Shake to change. Better than any gym. 
Paper or Pearl?      
Pearl of course. Although I do work in paper. But imagine what I could do working with pearl!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fresh & Funky

I don’t know about you guys but in the last couple of years I have been more open to listening to top 40 radio...mainly because I can't tune my car radio to Lightning 100 anymore….So in listening to top 40 I have noticed some funky/groovy beats returning. I’m mainly thinking JT, Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars and Daft Punk. Noticed and LOVING it! I mean...if you see me in my car and any of these artists come on the radio, I’m dancing. Like wishing I was out of the car kind of dancing. How can you not people?! Also fun is Icona Pop. Even the hubs likes to sing along to that one! It helps that there aren't many lyrics (he doesn't do well memorizing lyrics...I love to show him up).

I am no musician by any means, however, I do tend to find a trend in the types of music I enjoy. “Why do I like these songs so much?” I questioned myself and really thought about the heart of these certainly isn't for some of the risque lyrics. There has to be something. Oh yeah the new Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines,” may just sounds a little similar to Marvin Gaye’s, “Got To Give It Up.” I have always loved Mr. Gaye and he has set the tone for a ton of pop music. A couple of attorney’s might say he set the tone quite well for Mr. Thicke’s new tune. And Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky song is a bit like Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September(also adore). Check out a little DeBarge “Rhythm of the Night;” might sounds a little similar to Mr. Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” (DeBarge is a new find for me thanks to the biggest fans of funky music in our family--the in-laws) While I am not a history buff either I find it fascinating how history repeats itself. It happens with everything. You see it in fashion all the time so of course it would happen in pop music too.

Just because everyone should hear this song...

Then there is always Mr. Stevie Wonder. He has influenced more current musicians than I'm sure he ever thought he would. Remember Will Smith's "Wild Wild West"? Sound familiar?  

Just in case you are not familiar with some of these amazing musicians of our past (that will always influence the present), click some of the links above. Those videos will get you hooked. This is a short list of influential musicians. Dig around, find more and share them with us! 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Escape to Sullivan's Island

A couple of weeks ago the hubs and I got to enjoy a lovely family vacation at Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. A.K.A., just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. I had never been to a South Carolina beach before...I quite enjoyed it. The beaches are flat and compact, unlike the Gulf I'm used to, and the sand isn't as invasive (only because it isn't soft and fluffy). I road bikes on the beach for the first time and it was so so awesome! That is a must if you take a trip to Charleston. Everyone knows the food is good so I won't tell you that.

I will say, I think I was a bit in culture shock after our NYC summer. I have never encountered such friendly/chatty people in my life! At least that is how I felt. I'm not sure that other southerners would feel that way. I really think the feeling of keeping to yourself and being around thousands of people all summer shaped my social skills or interactions a bit. Needless to say, the people are so friendly and hospitable.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Blogshop Weekend Recap

This past weekend was a check mark off of my dream to-do list. I finally attended Blogshop, put on by photographer Angela Kohler and my favorite blogger/designer Bri Emery of DesignLoveFest. She is one of my initial inspirations to create a blog.
In short, I was refreshed on a lot of Photoshop skills I have not used since I was the art director of a magazine, as well as many awesome new things! I'm sure you will see some more polished posts soon, and hopefully some awesome collaborations with many of the wonderful bloggers I met! -Laurie

Friday, August 16, 2013

TGIF: Weekend tunes, refreshing sips

So if any of you are like me, sometimes a need for a new musical addiction arises causing a frantic search of your favorite local music store or the world wide web. My soon-to-be sister-in-law just asked for some recommendations and I shared Lorde with her; but I have thought of some more gems that need to be shared. This is in no way an exhaustive list. I have more musical loves than I want to share in one post. Know that this will not be the last. And please please share some of yours with us! Good things should not go unnoticed.

In no particular order:

  1.  Mikky Ekko: I have always enjoyed this guy on small stages in Nashville but I have enjoyed seeing him in the spotlight a little more may have seen him on the Grammy stage with Rihanna this year performing their current hit "Stay." 
  2.  Lorde: This girl has got something fantastic, catchy, wicked awesome. Just listen and try to keep her songs from sticking in your head. Let me know how that goes for ya. 
  3. Milktooth: My love for this band is about nine years strong...they haven't always been Milktooth but they have always been good.   
  4. Brooke Waggoner: Also about nine years strong is my love for Mrs. Brooke. Dave, of Milktooth, was nice enough to introduce me to her years ago and it has been a fantastic joy to watch her career over the years but more importantly her art-form develop. Laurie and I both adore the work of this lovely lady. If you have heard any of Jack White's recent releases you have heard Brooke. 
  5. Shovels and Rope: I love the raw country/rock that these guys and other friends of mine are perfecting these days. Thanks to my equally talented friend The Kernal, you have to listen to him, I now know about this duo that seems to be growing in popularity lately.   

As much as I want to keep going and tell you to listen to more people like my ever-talented friends of The Young International or Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes (Dan introduced me to Lorde via that online book of faces) or my sweet friend Alice Calvery; I know I must stop. I don't want to overwhelm you for fear that you will not listen to any of these. And you must listen to all of these. Just once at least. Then let me know if there are bands you know that I must know. This is how this whole world wide web works. Share the wealth of knowledge people!

A little Shovels and Rope - I love this. So fun. 

Mrs. Brooke. Love this tune.

This is a fantastic Milktooth project. You may also notice a certain Daniel Ellsworth among some other fantastic musicians. 


Those last moments of summer are upon us. It makes me somewhat sad that I didn't spend nearly enough time next to a body of water, but these few cool Nashville mornings have me craving the crunch of leaves, apples and the smell of firewood. I don't want to wish away these last summer moments so I am embracing the freshness of everything and the glow of the sunshine. As of late, my husband and I have been obsessively drinking La Croix sparkling water. We each bought some on Wednesday without the other knowing and right now, four flavors are in our house (lime, orange, cran-raspberry, coconut). I even explored their website. A website for water. Yes I did. However, I am glad because I ran across their summer drink ideas! Check out for more. I picked my favorite ideas. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Accessories with Compassion - Red Earth Trading Company

Great Continent Charm Bracelet - Designed by Raymond, an African artisan, and charms by Evan Barbee, Red Earth Designer

There was a time in my life when I was quite possibly labeled as a vagabond. I graduated from college and knew Nashville needed to be my next home. I had no job, no place to live and anything I owned was in my ‘98 Camry. A dear friend of mine opened her bedroom to me within an apartment she shared with four other girls she had just met and began living with. To these wonderful women I was some strange girl who didn’t go away...for quite some time. Before long I too began paying utilities and built friendships with these girls I wouldn’t trade for anything. One of these lovely ladies was Katy McDonald. In the time I got to know Katy I also became aware of an organization that was very dear to her and her brother who created it. Having always been a believer of this organization I try to create opportunities to share it with others. Today it is your turn to learn!

Red Earth Trading Company is an online store with some of the coolest accessories you will ever see. On top of that is one of the coolest stories you have ever heard. A man saw a need in visiting with artisans in developing countries. He also saw a need for job growth in impoverished communities. After seeing the needs of others Travis Gravette decided there was something he could do that, he hoped, would aid the wonderful people of these poverty-stricken communities. He created Red Earth Trading Company. Red Earth partners with artisans in Uganda and Kenya to create goods and 100% of the goods’ profits are returned to local nonprofits in East Africa to fuel commerce and development.

Red Earth's Mission:
We use direct trade to create hope and opportunity for artisans in developing countries.

Travis Gravette (right) with artisans Tom and Matua

Here is a First Friday-style piece from Travis.

AM: Tell us a little about KnowThinkAct and how that ties into Red Earth. How does buying a pair of earrings affect others?

TG: Know Think Act empowers local leaders who are working to end extreme poverty in their own communities.  The profits from Red Earth go towards sustaining this work.  When you buy a product from Red Earth you are making a difference in two ways.  First, you are benefiting the artisan and supporting their business by choosing to buy a Red Earth piece.  Secondly, we're using the profit to sustain the life changing work of other local leaders in the region who are bringing hope to those living in extreme poverty.  It's a double dose of good.

AM: Running a non-profit is hard work. What keeps you all going when things get tight?

TG: There are many aspects of this job that we love; designing, the challenge of international logistics, creating unique experiences here it the US and so on, but it's the difference that we are able to make in peoples lives that keeps us going.  Most of us take our job for granted, but in East Africa the opportunity to make a living is not always readily available.  Expanding our artisans market and giving them the chance to have their products sold in the US is a life changing opportunity for them and if we continue to grow it, will create jobs for others.  The difference our profits make makes it that much more worthwhile.  

AM: How would you describe the relationship you all have with the artisans?

TG: Working directly with our artisans is one of the best parts of what we do.  They are like family to us.  It is so fulfilling to collaborate and push their creative boundaries... and they always wow us with their resourcefulness and creativity.  It's mutually inspiring.

AM: Do you all work with the artisans to create your designs? Or do the artists come up with the designs themselves?

TG: We do a little of both.  Some of the designs originate from inspiration here in the US.  Other times our artisans have a piece that they designed that's perfect and ready to go.  And then some times it's a blend.  Our artisans may have a piece and then we tweak it, or something in their shop inspires a completely new process.  We approach our design in a very loose manner, so far it's worked pretty well.

AM: Where does the design inspiration come from?

TG: Inspiration comes from a lot if different places.  We have had a lot of different people involved in the process.  Evan Barbee and Katy McDonald have designed a majority of our pieces over the last two years, but our artisans and other designers have brought ideas to the table as well.  A big part of the inspiration process is just being in the moment when we're in Kenya producing a new line.  We do a good amount of last minute creating.

AM: How are you able to stay fashion-forward with the rustic materials you use? Is this something that provided inspiration before Red Earth was created?

TG: Well fortunately repurposed and recycled materials are cool right now... and hopefully stay cool for a long time.  We pay attention to what's going on, but to be honest none of us are fashion experts.  We just create pieces that we love and would wear ourselves.  If we're not excited about it, it doesn't get released.

AM: Where do your materials come from?

TG: Almost all the materials that go into making our products are sourced locally from recycled materials.  We do source some of our small chain from here in the US.  The materials and process of making each piece is so unique.  Every product has a story.

AM: Do you find that your southern roots provided a specific artistic viewpoint?

TG: I believe so.  It's hard to put a finger on it, but the majority of our team was born and raised in the south.  It's just part of who we are.

Leather Travelers

Here is a little background on one of my favorite items they have for sale right now. The Leather Travelers. I asked Travis to give me a little insight into the design and creation process.

We have a very relaxed approach to our product development... we like to leave room for inspiration in the moment.  We know that no matter how much we design here in the US there's no better muse than working one on one with our artisans in their workshops.  This is especially true for our leather goods.

We actually hand pick each hide at the tannery and then bring them over to our leather artisans Tom and Matua.  Since we do small batches of leather we have to work with the hides that are on hand.  We pick our leather with different designs in mind, but always buy a few extra to be creative with.

We love creating unique pieces that have a life of their own and will never be replicated.  We thought it would fun and different to take the dimensions of a typical duffle bag, but give it some hard edges.  What emerged from that idea was our Leather Travelers.  Two unique one of a kind pieces designed and created at the same time.   

Red Earth has been releasing new products about every two weeks this summer and just released a new product yesterday. Be sure to visit their site and share your email for product/organization updates. You will not be sorry your shared your address. Don’t expect emails every day...they make their emails very worthwhile. Follow their blog as well for more behind-the-scenes information.

Here is the piece Red Earth released yesterday. The Webal Necklace. According to the Red Earth blog it means, "Thank You" in Ugandan.


Rainy Days...

...don't you just sometimes long for them so you can curl up with a good book, a squishy pillow and a cup of tea? I know I do.

Rainy Day Relaxing

I always have a romantic image in my head from when I was on my trip to Morocco, we had an overnight stop in Amsterdam and were walking around on a gloomy day. For me, it was beautiful, because I saw into a brownstone that looked so cozy with a huge bookcase, whitewashed walls and a simple glow of candles and morning light. The drizzly cold just made me want to be inside that pretty little Amsterdam brownstone. The image was similar to the London image above, minus the snow. Rain can be annoying a lot of the time, but sometimes it's ok to just want that rainy day for doing nothing. -Laurie
PS-I highly recommend that book, that candle and those leggings. Bliss.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Back to Fashion

It seems like that first day of school (or insert work, conference, etc.) just cries out for a new outfit to debut your personality. Who will you be this year? What will you make of yourself? I am a huge fan of Pretty Little Liars on ABCFamily and am not ashamed to admit it. So I took a cue from the four ladies' personalities and combined it with those coveted yearbook "Who's Who" statuses. Did you have a Who's Who award in high school? Or can you guess what Alison and I were? Let us know in the comments below! Hint: we each had one of these below. Which is which? The answer will be below the right collection if you highlight the space with your mouse. -Laurie

Most School Spirit

Most Likely To Suceed

Most Likely to Succeed: ALISON!

Most Artistic

Best Dressed

Best Dressed-LAURIE!

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