Sunday, September 30

sunday simplicity #88:

I just had to share these photos from my friend Jessica's wedding.  Jessica is a total Southern belle who loves antiques and primitive art, and that was reflected in her wedding, which had a lot of DIY elements.  Her photos are by Tiffany Maxfield Photography.

Friday, September 28

september blog loves.

September's almost here, which means it's blog crush time.  Here are the blogs I'm absolutely loving this month. As a schoolteacher, if I'm reading a blog at all right now it means I really can't stay away from it.  I mean, it's book fair week, people.  I probably have three e-mails waiting for me about The Hunger Games right now.

  • I've been reading Perfectly Imperfect for a while now, and I've decided that, imperfect as she claims to be, Shaunna is a wonder woman.  She restores furniture, creates fun tutorials, and shares inspiration, all while homeschooling her kids and opening a new brick and mortar store!  My favorite project of hers is her writing room.

  • I recently started reading Dandee and I'm inspired.  Danyelle's joie de vivre really comes through her posts, which are a perfect blend of family life, adorable DIYs, and design inspiration.  Her posts are so well-styled and her family is beautiful- with a new little one on the way!
  • A Cup of Jo really makes me wish I knew Joanna Goddard in real life.  Her blog's topics span everything from fashion and home decor to travel, marriage and relationships and I always want to add my two cents in the comments when she asks a question - I don't always feel comfortable doing that on strangers' blogs.  She has even lived my dream of being a magazine editor.  I want her to be the big sister I never had, but I'll settle for virtual advice.
  • Brenda's food blog A Farmgirl's Dabbles hits that perfect sweet spot of beautiful food photography, clear directions, and consistently tasty final products.  These apple peanut butter cookies are definitely happening in my kitchen soon.

What blogs are you addicted to right now?  Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, September 27

fall color: tomato & tangerine in home decor

As a lover of neutrals, I can be intimidated by bright colors - and tangerine and tomato are the brightest colors in this season's Pantone palette!  However, I love the idea of adding orange and red accents to a neutral room for fall!  I especially love these colors when they're used to create an eclectic, bohemian style.

Tangerine and tomato throw pillows and studded ottoman from Better Homes and Gardens

Switching in an orange or red rug could be a quick way to update for fall and completely change the energy of a room.  I like the quirky, collected style of this room from Five Days Five Ways.

Wednesday, September 26

wedding style trends: lace bodices

Nikki Meyer photography via The Pretty Blog

I consider it the Kate Middleton effect:  lace-trimmed dresses are everywhere right now.  The traditional lace overlay has given way to dresses with bits of sheer lace over the chest, shoulders and sleeves.

Marchesa via Glamour || Claire Pettibone via Trends of Wedding Dress

Lace bodices work with a variety of silhouettes and styles, from sophisticated to bohemian.

Tuesday, September 25

fall color: tangerine and tomato

1. Mossimo Carmen red cardigan, Target  2. Beaded neck tank, LOFT 3. Red wrap watch, LOFT  4. Orange vintage glass oval earrings, Silver Lining Decor on Etsy 5. Enamel chevron earrings, Lori's Shoes
5. Mossimo painted desert scoopneck sweater, Target  6. Lava orange khakis, Gap  7. Orange handled slouchy tote, Jack Rogers  8. Orange PU tote, SheInside  9. Light and shadow printed dress, Modcloth  10. Nail polish in "Spinning Again," Essie

Keep reading for some ways to wear these colors!

Monday, September 24

clicks of note: fallin'

get your week off to a colorful start...

Patrick Moyer via Santa Barbara Chic

Sunday, September 23

sunday simplicity #87: sunflower to the sun

Thus this I ask of you my brightest star
Forsake that daily period of night
And let us close this distance which seems so far
For being together just seems so right. 
- David Miao

Chris Moncus Photography via Style Me Pretty

Saturday, September 22

autumn is here.

"Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird 
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." 
-   George Eliot

Friday, September 21

a manifesto.

As we celebrate our first full year as real live married grown-ups, I'm realizing that our lifestyle pretty much matches up with our wedding planning style.  There are a few things we believe that are equally applicable to meal planning, getting dressed, decorating a room, or planning an event.

The fewer ingredients, the better.  This was a major principle of the metabolic boot camp program I enrolled in to become healthier prior to the wedding and I apply it to just about everything now, whether I'm purchasing food, soap, makeup, or putting an outfit together.  For our wedding, dinner and dancing provided plenty of activity - we didn't feel like we needed a mashed potato bar and a cupcake station and a photo booth.  Conversation is the best entertainment.

Simple is beautiful.  My eyeballs nearly fell out of my head when the florist I'd shared my wedding inspiration with e-mailed me an estimate of what the arrangements I liked in magazines would cost.  I remember thinking, "I like it when my mama throws flowers into a Mason jar or an old vase and puts them on the table."  Our wedding centerpieces were wholesale flowers hand-arranged by my bridesmaids and I in Mason jars and white vases from Goodwill, and we don't get much fancier than that in our home decor, either.

Thursday, September 20

fall hair trend: ballet bun wedding hairstyles

Few hairstyles can add both sophistication and whimsy to a woman's style - a ballerina bun is the one that can.  Add a ballerina bun, and you're Audrey Hepburn meets the Sugar Plum Fairy. via Ashley Nicole Catherine

Christian Siriano's Spring 2013 ready to wear show at Fashion Week paired ballerina buns with floaty, pastel frocks with floral appliques inspired by dancers and Degas' paintings.  I'm already having visions of bridesmaids wearing similar dresses in spring weddings, paired with simple white, cream or blush pink bouquets.

Kate Bosworth and Jamie Chung via My Inspired Wedding

Celebrities are definitely getting in on this trend.  A ballerina bun is such a versatile hairstyle - it works for a wide range of events.

Wednesday, September 19

inspiration for a neutral pastel wedding

I love the color palette I've been seeing all over the wedding blog world: a taupe, pink, and gray palette.  I think of these colors as neutral pastels - so easy to work with that they can be layered together with ease.  I think this palette lends itself especially well to a vintage-style wedding and works equally well for spring or fall.  I think pastels make any event feel a little bit more like a fairy tale.

"Love Story" Save the Date in blush by Cadence Paige Design from Minted

Bunting banners add whimsy and vintage style to a simple pastel save-the-date.  For an intimate wedding, the bride and groom could send each guest a DIY banner with the information on the last triangle in lieu of a card.

Maria Lucia Hohan Atelier via The Cherry Blossom Girl || Karlisch and Wrubel via Style Me Pretty

Dresses in a range of neutral pastels look so beautiful together - this color scheme really lends itself to a mismatched-bridesmaids look.

JL Designs and Stephanie Williams Photography for Southern Weddings

Do-it-yourself and do-it-together projects look so gorgeous in a feminine color scheme.

Tuesday, September 18

fall color: lilac and rose for a ballerina with edge

Next stop on our tour of colors you'll be seeing everywhere this season:  lilac and rose, or, if you want to get technical and use their Pantone names, "Dusty Lilac" and "Rose Smoke."  Even though they look like traditional spring colors, they're making their fall debut paired with metallics and neutrals.  I've thrown in a little rose gold, starfish and mushroom for good measure to keep the pink from being too precious.  These colors are great because they look good on just about every woman regardless of her complexion and hair color!  
1. LOFT pleated neck tee in pink lilac  2. American Eagle wishbone trio earrings  3.  Essie nail polishes in Don't Sweater It and Lady Like  4. Makeup inspiration from Peter Som runway via Harper's Bazaar  5.  LOFT strappy metallic sandals  6. Old Navy dark red ikat scarf  7. ZOYA nail polish in Shay  8. LOFT python skinny belt  9. LOFT rose watch  10. American Eagle rose beaded hoops

Keep reading for inspiration on how to work lilac and rose into your outfits!

Monday, September 17

clicks of note: never let me go.

get your week off to a colorful start...

  • I heard this Norah Jones cover of Elvis' "Love Me Tender" on the So You Think You Can Dance performance finale and was swept away.  What a perfect wedding song this could be - apparently it was recorded for the soundtrack of a Princess Diaries movie, but don't let that stop you!
  • I'm so happy that Glee is back!  My favorite performance last week was Blaine's version of Imagine Dragons' "It's Time."

Saturday, September 15

#septemberstories - a book lovers' instagram challenge!

I love finding creative phone-photographers to follow on Instagram and one of my favorites is Julienne (knoxmomi).  At the beginning of the month, I saw her post about the #septemberstories challenge hosted by librarians Val (sunlightstringer) and Wikk (wkr1990).  I was instantly hooked and #septemberstories has become my favorite Instagram challenge so far- reading and teaching kids about reading are my greatest passions in life, so I love spreading the word about books that have enriched my life.

Here are my choices so far!

favorite book: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte || currently reading: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Friday, September 14

trend roundup: geometric accessories, part 2

I found so many inspirational geometric items I had to make two posts!  Several of these pieces would make great bridesmaids' gifts or could even serve as statement pieces for a quirky modern bride.

DIY shrink film necklace from Ambrosia Creative... wouldn't this be an adorable reception necklace for an indie bride?  Pretty sure you could use neon shrink film for even more pop.

Stained glass diamond necklace from ABJ Glassworks on Etsy
I love the concept of a stained glass necklace.  What a special piece!

DIY faceted earrings inspired by Marc Jacobs from Dismount Creative
Cute budget-friendly bridesmaid gift idea?  I think so!  They're made with Sculpey clay!

Thursday, September 13

home decor trends: terrariums

You may have noticed in my feature on geometric-inspired items for the home that I'm a little obsessed with terrariums right now.  I hadn't caught on to this trend because more of the terrariums I'd seen in real life had weird fake mushrooms or gnomes in them, and I thought a terrarium had to be a little mini-landscape.  Having done some research and seen a few stunning examples online, I now know that a terrarium is a way to grow a plant in a contained mini-ecosystem, no gnomes required.  Unless gnomes are your thing.

Terrariums can be traditional, giving a room a conservatory look, or modern, adding a whimsical shape and pop of green to your space.

You can use terrariums to introduce a trend like geometric shapes into your home decor...

or create a terrarium by repurposing items you already have around your home.

Wednesday, September 12

our wedding: i heart thrifting.

Note:  I was doing some blog cleanup and realized this post never got published with our other wedding recaps... so here it is in all its glory!

Our wedding incorporated a lot of DIY and thrifted elements.  Since we did not hire a wedding planner, we were able to have total control over the design of our wedding- but had to get creative about how to get the vintage-inspired, elegant look we wanted on a tight budget.  That's where thrifting and DIY came in, and it was a nice coincidence that our wedding date was I Heart Thrifting day in Roanoke!


Venue Photo

I had fallen in love with the idea of menu chalkboards after seeing them on lots of bridal blogs and in magazines, but ready-to-use chalkboards can be expensive.  Like many brides and craft bloggers before me, I discovered chalkboard paint.  To create each chalkboard, I bought picture frames from Goodwill, spray painted the frames with ivory Krylon spray paint, distressed them with sandpaper, and then painted the glass with chalkboard paint.  I used a chalk marker for the lettering.

Venue Photo

Monday, September 10

clicks of note: we need more fairytales

get your week off to a colorful start...


  • Paul McCartney is quite simply one of my favorite people on the planet.  I was skeptical of his album of standards, Kisses on the Bottom, but when I caught these live versions on Great Performances I was sold - what great lazy-day music!  So sorry for sharing the perfect lazy-day music on a Monday, y'all.  But here you go.  Did you know the Beatles recorded their first single 50 years ago this week?
  • Wedding Chicks features a pink and gray garden wedding that is just my style: a Starbucks-loving bride, bridesmaids in unique shoes, bunting, Anthropologie "LOVE" mugs, mason jars, chalkboards... perfect shabby-vintage style, and doesn't that flower girl grab your heart?
  • If you enjoyed my series on citrus-themed wedding, you will adore the rustic orange inspiration shoot featured on Glamour and Grace.
  • What Junebug Loves features a stunning traditional meets modern wedding in China.
  • Boston hairstylist Lindsay Griffin's blog features a traditional estate wedding that I am going to describe as Jane Austen meets Anthropologie.
  • There's a delightfully offbeat Texas wedding featured on Southern Weddings - the bride wore a blush pink ruffled gown, the bridesmaids wore their own cocktail dresses and the guys wore jeans.  And it all looks great together.

Sunday, September 9

sunday simplicity #85: make a statement.

"I'll be loving you always 
With a love that's true always. 
When the things you've planned 
Need a helping hand, 
I will understand always." 
- "Always," Irving Berlin

Saturday, September 8

this is not a diy post.

My mental plan for yesterday was to leave work early, go to the arts and crafts store, and have myself a little crafternoon.  Four-day school weeks are actually pretty miserable for teachers - the kids are too tired on Tuesday from their long weekends to be productive and always seem to have forgotten all of the routines and procedures they knew the week before, Wednesday and Thursday are spent trying to cover three days' worth of material while fielding questions like "why do we have to do homework?" and "Why can't we watch Jaws in class since we're reading about sharks?" and Friday the kids are rowdy and there's always some interruption on top of the shorter week, like a fire drill or a fundraiser assembly.  Anyway, when I am stressed out I want to make things.  Making things is my medicine.

Instead, one of my friends texted me after work that she was at a friend's house and they needed some help.  Specifically, she needed some dudes to help lift heavy objects.  I only had one dude on call and I am married to him.  It's the why help lifting heavy things was needed that made things unusual:  her friend was leaving her husband, moving out of the house *she* owns, and wanted to be out before her husband returned from an out of town trip.

I love marriage.  I post about weddings on this here blog about three times a week, you know?  I considered being a wedding planner.  But I also understand that sometimes people change, or aren't who you thought they were, and if a woman is so done that she's moving all of her stuff out instead of throwing his crap on the yard and changing the locks, I am going to be there to help her.  This woman who I don't even know, a friend of a friend.

And I volunteered my husband to help move her freaking huge entertainment center.  And he did, like a champ, coming home from his workday workout early and still in his gym clothes- and hey, moving a big ol' hunk of wood down steps, across a yard, and into a U-Haul is going to burn quite a few calories.  My husband, you see, is awesome.  No "Who is this girl?  We don't even know her."  Once we had verified that we weren't going to get shot or convicted of aiding and abetting theft or anything -- the husband was way, way out of town and, moreover, KNEW homegirl was packing up and rolling out.  The ASAP nature of the move was necessitated mainly by the need to return the U-Haul on time, and probably a little bit by her need to not see his face as she packed up her life.  She's a friend of my friend, and that's good enough for me.  She needed help.  

This is probably what my doctor was referring to when he said that my family and I have servant hearts.  You need help?  Here I am.  Here we are.

I felt so terrible for this woman.  Her hurt was tangible.  She had such a flat affect, watching her things go into boxes and telling the men to watch out for the ceiling fan and be careful not to break the sconces and moving the couch back into place.  She took so little with her to start again.  She handled her situation with what I can only call grace- no vengeful moves like putting his favorite things into one of her boxes accidentally-on-purpose or taking the toilet paper off the roll.  She took what had been hers in the first place, things her mother had bought them, and left a home where she thought she was going to spend the rest of her life with a man she loved and believed she could trust.

And there was my husband.  Being reliable.  Being awesome.  Being amazing.  Being really, really sweaty.

I am blessed.

Friday, September 7

trend alert: geometric accessories

Geometric design is making its way from home decor into fashion this season.  Geometric accessories are an easy way to add quirky modern style to your fall wardrobe.  Here, some inspiration for fall shopping as well as some DIY ways to add some angles to your jewelry box.

Geometric decoupage necklace from Accessory8 on Etsy

No. 5 in White from Wearable Planter on Etsy
How cool is that?

Thursday, September 6

home decor trends: know your geometry

Even though my home decorating style shies away from anything too modern, I am digging the trend toward geometric shapes and prints right now - pentagons, hexagons, triangles, and other shapes are all making their way into home decor via lamps, vases, terrariums, textiles and art.  I think it's an extension of the chevron trend that popped up in spring and summer.  In this post, I'll share some inspiration, shopping suggestions, and DIY ideas for incorporating a little geometry into your space this fall.

DIY Geometric painted roller curtain via 2Modern