Sunday, November 16, 2014

minted.

would you think i was nuts if i told you my christmas cards are complete and ready to be sent? well, i'm nuts. normal is boring, i choose passion.

there are two pictures each year i obsess over. the corona commercial and our holiday photo. i think about both of them all year long and gather bits of inspiration for each. both photos appear simple, nothing elaborate. you would never know how much thought goes into them. i want the concept to look effortless, even though there is a bit of production that happens. here are some behind-the-scenes images of our card this year. five of us traipsed through the JC Raulston Arboretum. what a place. there are multiple types of gardens to meander through. we were in search of the winter garden for our shoot.

i'll tell ya, my southern gent is the best sport when it comes to all my quirky ideas.

these were taken at the beginning of october.
i promise to share the final product in early december.




those are some pretty good hints. 

speaking of ordering cards, you should get on that too. last year i chose minted. and was very pleasantly surprised. the quality was superb and the choices are endless. i have tried multiple companies over the years, but minted. truly surpassed their competitors. i have also ordered party invitations from them. they have art, home decor and fabrics too. minted. has asked me to be part of their affiliate program this year. so if you order from them, please click from my site and i will get a little kick back ;)

here is our post from last year
2012 christmas photo was in this post
throw back christmas card post

i love holiday card season, it's the best excuse to skip to the mailbox. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

caught up!

song pair: Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf

in an effort to get completely caught up to present day, i have decided to choose one image (feels impossible) from a few favorite end-of-summer events. so here is my attempt:

6th annual family beach week. my 12 year old niece and i concluded the week by waking before dawn to watch the sunrise.
life lesson: always follow through on something you promise. expose young people to amazing things. sacrifice self for the benefit of a child/tween/teen.


southern gent and i planned a quick trip to Key West to surprise one of my closest friends. she is my kindred spirit. i waited all my life to find a friend like her. i believe we have many soul mates in this life, she is certainly one of mine. i miss you V!
life lesson: we are never too old to plan a surprise. the best moments in life are while being generous. don't ever stop being playful. work diligently at staying in contact with those you love.


we traveled to visit southern gent's parents at their new home in the mountains. every time we travel there, we wonder why we don't do it more often. we are so happy they have found their happy home.
life lesson: the mountains restore a sense of zen within. an afternoon at the winery is sometimes all you need. it's never too late for a dream to come true. we should pursue several passions in this life.

 

southern gent and i traveled with three other couples to new orleans, at the tail end of summer. new orleans chewed me up and spit me out a few days later. i loved it.
life lesson: if you want to connect with friends, go on a trip together. go big or go home. seize the day. embrace new culture. choose experience over shopping.


our one wedding this season was truly sensational. a favorite couple tied the knot and we celebrated at the contemporary art museum, downtown. the best part was the speech the groom made to his bride. i had never seen anything like it.
life lesson: chivalry is key. heirloom tomatoes are always a good idea. sincerity trumps humor. weddings are one of my favorite gatherings. i love supporting a great couple.


i have said it before and i will say it again...we live in the greatest neighborhood. six of us (and there are several more that were unable to make it) crashed a beach town one weekend. we made our mark in two short nights.
life lesson: colored sunglasses can elevate any weekend. bad karaoke should happen often. it's never too late to make lifelong friends. dance like no one is watching. if you lose your voice, it was probably a great night.


it was not easy to breeze through incredible times with only one image, but it had to be done. i am now feeling closer to "up-to-date" and ready to move on from the summer, summer, summer tiiime! 

life lesson: take every opportunity to fill your life with joy.  


Sunday, October 5, 2014

home tweak!

song pair: Warm It Up Kris by Kris Kross

until recently, window treatments were not even on my radar. have you ever noticed that once you start paying attention to something, it's all you can see? when i got my Jeep, suddenly Jeeps were everywhere. so, naturally...window treatments galore these last few months. i knew it had to be my next project. my first line of business was to choose a fabric pattern. since i am not skilled in visualizing from a small swatch, i chose a fabric that was displayed in my favorite shop. the valance was beautiful, but we felt it was too traditional for our home. window hardware was more our style. 
we purchased the 15 yards of fabric and was educated on type of pleats, vertical/horizontal repeats and other specifics i had never considered in my life. 


next up was white window hardware. after narrowing down my 'pins', i took a closer look realizing the hardware was the same. i was on the hunt for the inspired hardware pictured below. southern gent's aunt found me the match (thank you Sally) and the order was placed. 

inspired hardware


the two 8-foot rods were delivered, along with 24 curtain rings and matching finials. they were installed and awaited the custom drapery. 


ta-dah! one of my very favorite home tweaks yet! we didn't make them functional (able to pull all the way across four windows), because it would have have been double the amount of fabric and maybe too bulky. another option would have been to put a third panel in the middle. we love the ample amount of natural light that filters into our home everyday. we felt strongly about preserving the brightness. the frame of the panels was all we were looking to provide and it sure made a wonderful difference in the warmth of our home. we added the bench and one of our faux sheepskin rugs. layers make me feel all cozy on the inside.


now i am eyeing our photo wall, wanting to create change. it is eleven frames situated in a perfect square. where once i thought symmetry was the answer, i am now appreciating the beauty of imperfection. accepting imperfection is one of the keys to living a very happy life. it helps maintain our outlook, perspective and resiliency. i think i need to shake up that photo wall, so it better reflects the beautiful world of imperfection. have an exceptional week, Friends! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

the home front

song pair: Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker

southern gent & i purchased our happy little abode when it was 3/4 complete. we have loved every decision the builder and design team crafted and truly believe we couldn't have done a better job. we have not changed a paint color, but have upgraded lighting in a few rooms. the open floor plan drew us in and we appreciated the clean lines and simple look we furnished. a couple years in, we have begun to desire a warmer look. we often move furniture around to forge subtle change. i am learning that layers are important in home design. layers add interest and appeal. i am not one for clutter, so i had to decipher the two. rugs and window treatments add layers. stacks, clusters and chatskis add clutter. i like ample counter space. we love a modern look, but also want it to be inviting and calming for ourselves and our guests.
our entrance way is unique in that it's a 20+ foot hallway. we kept it bare, unsure how exactly to dress it up. the tall wainscoting is sharp and decorative, but makes peripheral decor a challenge. after a little help from my design friend (thank u Julie), we stumbled upon a hand woven, natural fiber 22' runner. we were pleasantly surprised by it's quality and weight. it warmed up the entryway nicely. 


while traveling this summer, we shuffled into a boutique that housed Rifle Paper Co. art prints. that day, we sparked the idea to collect a few of the travel prints that hold significance to us. today they are lining the hall. we love the whimsical, colorful look they provide. it is nice to outfit our home with items that reflect the life we live. 

we have affection for the energy in Chicago. i grew up in a suburb of this great city. 
 our second date was in Los Angeles. we love the liveliness of California.

 we enjoyed an unforgettable weekend in NY City a few years ago. central park, broadway, times square.
San Francisco has a beautiful spirit. one of our favorites. 
   stay tuned for more home front tweaks...in the coming weeks. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

PCH

song pair: Californication by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

the pacific coast highway was magnificent, much more than we ever could have imagined.
i reflected on life as we drove for hours on the same stretch of road.
here are some of my impressions on our drive down highway 1.

life is natural. most times it's easy and still, with a clear vision of the horizon.


peace resides and the colors are dazzling. uncomplicated.


grace is present. whimsical at times. beauty.


sometimes life is sharp and unpleasant. we plant flowers around us to soften the edges. work hard.


at times desolate and isolated, but still growing.


things begin to smooth over. it is always better on the other side. "no man is an island"


building bridges and accepting support is the most authentic form of connection.


color and energy return, the journey is overwhelmingly clear again.


always moving forward, rarely looking back.


remember to frolic and play. life is full of so much wonder. soak in the merriment.


honor your tribe and stay near them. identify your 'inner circle' and cultivate those relations.


find true love and never let go. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

the golden gate city

song pair: California Dreamin' by The Mamas & the Papas

it sure is restorative to relive experience. i am reminded of each detail of our summer as i review and gradually post about each. it feels more acceptable to be behind, when it evokes such elation.


as we cruised toward San Francisco, via Napa, we stumbled upon Muir Woods. what a spectacular place. we hiked in for awhile, stared at the ginormous trees and hiked back out. an equally awe inspired moment was the 'park & ride' bus to the entrance. steep ledges and no guard rails with a completely uncontrolled outcome. our knuckles were white as we anticipated the woods...thankfully followed by a peaceful hike.


speaking of greens, the first thing i noticed about the city was the abundance of succulents. they are growing out of cracks in the street and seem to find residence in every planter. i loved that. 


one of my very favorite aspects of San Francisco was the asian influence. this China Town is an active place of hustle and bustle. since it is the largest China Town outside of Asia, it truly felt like a different country. 


if you ask my southern gent, he will tell you i am forever craving asian fare. it was like my own personal foodie playground.




the streets were filled with bunches of fragrant blooms.  


and strangely convenient toilets in the middle of a pedestrian median.  



the slope of the streets are wild to see and even wilder to climb. and we climbed. with the exception of a cable car joy ride, we walked everywhere. it helped generate healthy appetites for our next bite to eat. i kinda boycott public transportation on vacation. these feet were made for walkin'. it really does enable seeing all the sites.


i always enjoy a good tourist trap. 



the second day started nice and early with a power breakfast. 



we strolled around Alamo Square and little boutiques in Ashbury Heights. 



the ferry building had the feeling of a high end farmer's market. 


that evening we cut our pizza with shears at A16, an intimate italian restaurant in Cow Hollow


the ferryboat under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz was a thrilling highlight.  


a whirlwind of interest, San Francisco was adored by these two journeyers. travel has evolved into a beloved form of escapism for us. and it works beautifully.


This site was made with love by Angie Makes