Thursday, November 29

a little christmas spirit: DIY silk floral wreath


I'm gradually decorating for Christmas, and the first completed piece of decor is this wreath, made with a stem of silk florals from A.C. Moore that inspired my whole decorating vision for this year.  I used the same technique I described last year to make this wreath, but this years' is packed a little fuller with red poinsettias and holly from last year, new white poinsettias, burgundy hydrangeas, and pinecones, and silver berries from Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I want things to be a little less "country" this year and a little more sophisticated.


This is such a simple, affordable craft than can be completed while watching television, and the possibilities for customization are really endless with the wide range of floral picks that fill the aisles of craft stores at Christmas time!

Linking Up:

 A Diamond in the Stuff 
Beyond The Picket Fence DIY Show Off DIY Holiday Highlights 


inspiration: cabin and woodland style home decor

Winter always makes me crave cozy, warm style inspired by a cabin in the woods...
1. World Market antelope print throw pillow  2. Patch NYC woodgrain throw pillow from Target  
3. "Animals of North America" print from Keiko Brodeur on Etsy
4. Pendleton blanket from Cabela's  5. Terrain faux birch straws  
6. Patch NYC ceramic cake stand from Target

I love mixing rustic items like a Pendleton blanket with more sophisticated, modern pieces.
Keep reading for more inspiration for creating an outdoorsy indoors...

Wednesday, November 28

inspiration: a fairytale woodland wedding

With outdoorsy style trending and autumn magic in the air, I felt inspired to gather some ideas for a fairytale and vintage influenced woodland wedding.  My eyes were open for natural hairstyles and makeup, jewel tones, and art deco touches.

Alea Lovely via Ruffled

Jose Picayo via Martha Stewart

How amazing is this gold lace gown?  Metallic accents take a look from bride to woodland goddess.

Simply Jessie Photography via Bridal Musings | My Inspired Wedding

Tuesday, November 27

do you have a "no thank you" list?

I recently discovered the blog Your Super Awesome Life (hello, best title ever).  The author, Ashley, is a life coach whose clients are mostly 20-something women. Not only do I now want to be her friend in real life, I loved her post on having a "no thanks" list, which was inspired by one of my other favorite bloggers, Sarah.

Inspired by Ashely, here's are 5 things I say "no thank you" to on a daily basis:

1. High Heels
I am right there with Ashley on this one.  I teach middle school, and I'm on my feet all day, so cute Target or Payless ballet flats get a lot more mileage- every time I've tried wearing heels or even wedges to work I've changed into the flats I keep in my desk by my planning period.  And flats don't make clicky noises on the linoleum floors.  Heels in my world are reserved for weddings and date nights only.

2. Button-down blouses
I want to wear button-down blouses because I think they look super professional, but I have yet to find one that I can wear that fits me correctly- short enough arms that I don't looks like a kid playing dress-up, and a wide enough torso that there aren't gaps between the buttonholes flashing everyone around me.

I used to wear blazers, and eat a lot more frozen yogurt.

3.  Blazers
In college, when my life consisted of lots of sitting and listening to lectures, I wore a lot of blazers in order to look put-together at 8 a.m. without a lot of effort.  Apparently, I'm a lot more animated as a teacher, because when I try to wear a blazer to work I end up burning up.  Cardigans are more comfortable and colorful, anyway.

4.  Tattoos
I have a low tolerance for pain, so I'm not going to subject myself to voluntary torture, even if I would love to have a T.S. Eliot inspired coffee spoon somewhere on my person.  BM Philly has two, because she is fearless.

5.  Complaining About My Spouse
Not that there's much to complain about in the first place, but I try to avoid complaining about my husband to co-workers or friends.  I don't want them to be thinking about some bad habit he has or accidentally-insulting thing he said next time we're all at dinner together.

What's on your "no thank you" list?

Monday, November 26

clicks of note: it's all in the [beautiful] details.

get your week off to a colorful start...

LISTEN.
  • Glee last week was a fun superhero episode that featured "Some Nights" by fun.  
  • It's now officially acceptable to start listening to your Christmas CDs.  And by that I mean I've been listening to Hanson for about a week already. 
  • Rashida Jones and Jimmy Fallon sing the most amazing and original holiday medley ever.
SWOON.
SMILE.

Sunday, November 25

sunday social 9.

I don't usually post this late, but I really liked the questions for A Complete Waste of Makeup's Sunday Social this week!

1. Name 4 jobs you’ve had in your life:
- Dance teacher (ballet, lyrical and clogging)
- Summer Camp Computer Science Instructor
- Summer Camp Programs Assistant
- English teacher

2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over:
- The Empire Strikes Back
- School of Rock
- Breakfast at Tiffany's
- The Holiday

3. Name 4 places you have lived:
- Bedford

- Charlottesville

- Smith Mountain Lake
- the Country Townhouse ;)

4. Name 4 of your favorite foods:
- Shrimp
- Any kind of pasta
- Anything chocolate
- Chicken and dumplings

5. Name 4 things you always carry with you:
- Cell phone
- Lip balm
- Driver's License
- Hair tie

6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation:
- Savannah, Georgia
- Seattle, Washington

- Disney World
- St. Lucia

sunday simplicity #96 - unforgettable

Jill Devries via Spring Mountain Gallery

That's why, darling, it's incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too.
- Coral Gordon and Phil Ramacon for Nat King Cole

Saturday, November 24

A Top-Sider Tailgate

Today is the Commonwealth Cup!  My Cavs are not bowl eligible,
but we've still got a shot at coming out on top of our in-state rivalry.
A Top-Sider Tailgate

A Top-Sider Tailgate by heatherbird

1. UVa pennant banner  2. Tory Burch stud earrings  
3. Russel Athletics UVa zip-up hoodie from Kohl's  4. Coach "Casey" sunglasses  
5. Old Navy cowl neck sweater dress  6. Fornash XO bangle bracelet  
7. 7 for All Mankind jeans  8. GAP colorblock tote (similar leather tote)
 9. Sperry Top-Sider Essex Boot  10. Maya Brenner Virginia state necklace 
 11. Sperry Top-Sider Cortland Boot

This board started out as an entry for a contest Sperry was hosting on Polyvore.  The challenge was to create a tailgating outfit using Sperry shoes or boots.  I decided to represent the two ends of the UVa fashion spectrum: classy but cozy gameday style, and a casual fall outfit with team spirit.


Friday, November 23

blog loves i'm thankful for.

Here are a few blogs I have been absolutely addicted to this November...



  • The Fresh Exchange - Megan is another of those cool creative people I'd love to spend a day with - she's a designer who found her true love in blogging.  Currently she is making her way through Europe and her photos from France and Italy are a great way to travel vicariously.


  • Little Tin Soldier - Linda's blog has to be one of the cutest out there.  She's a kindergarten teacher and artist who illustrates each of her outfit posts.  Little Tin Soldier is currently transitioning from fashion blog to lifestyle blog and I can't wait to see what else Linda has up her (polka dot) sleeve.  I appreciate her eat it or wear it approach to creating a wardrobe.

Thursday, November 22

happy thanksgiving from the country townhouse!

Mr. Q and I are hosting Thanksgiving for our families this year and my goal was to make our house look cute and seasonal without spending a lot of money.

A little shop-the-house artwork made with burlap, a bee pin from our bulletin board, and Debbie's letterpressed note.

Some shop-the-house artwork made with a Goodwill frame I painted for our wedding, leftover burlap, and Debbie's letterpress card secured with a bee pin from our bulletin board, paired with one of my fake milk glass vases (also from the wedding) with a little wine cork collection and a faux mercury glass candleholder I bought last Christmas.

I may have stolen this Oswald Chambers book.

The green book was wedding decor, My Utmost for His Highest was a gift from one of my college campus ministers that I thought was appropriate for Thanksgiving.  Another mercury glass candleholder and milk glass vase add some symmetry.

Thanksgiving table.

And here's our table!  I made the burlap tablecloth by following the tutorial for preparing burlap at Ella Claire.

Tuesday, November 20

trend watch: cabin style

One of the most popular styles this fall is a blend of Americana... tribal prints, flannel, coziness and utility are all welcome when you're going for what I call "cabin style."  Can I dress like this all winter?  Are there work versions of these trends?
1. Pendleton scarf from ModCloth  2. La Posh Style hoodie  3. watch
4. J. Crew cable knit cashmere sweater  5. messenger bag  6. Muk Luks boots at Target
7. Topshop boyfriend jeans  8. Old Navy buffalo plaid blanket

Keep reading to discover the formula for relaxed, I-just-came-back-from-my-log-cabin style...

Monday, November 19

clicks of note: gratitude

get your week off to a colorful start...


Vintage Bride and Groom from Vintage Junky's Etsy shoppe...
There's a coupon code on Michelle's blog!

LISTEN.
  • Nichole Nordeman's "Gratitude" is absolutely beautiful.  I found out about this song when a Christian a capella group at my college performed it for the fellowship I belonged to.  It is so perfect for Thanksgiving week.
SWOON.
  • Bridal Musings features a DIY California wedding with sweet, thoughtful touches- I liked their lace embroidery hoop backdrop, the lockets the bride gave her bridesmaids, and especially the family photos and antique-style silver on the tables.
  • I love the romantic makeup and flowers in this love poetry inspired shoot featured on One Lovely Day.
  • Southern Weddings features a lush fall inspiration shoot by Dogwood Events - great colors!
CELEBRATE.
SMILE.
  • Chelsea at Two Twenty-One has designed the cutest holiday gift wrapping station, and she's giving away a $100 Staples Gift Card so that you can, too!

FLASHBACK.

Thursday, November 15

PINspirational entertaining: 8 easy thanksgiving guest room updates

Our office/guest room in the Country Townhouse goes through phases:  sometimes, when we know people are coming to stay, it is nice and neat.  Other times, when we aren't planning on having company, it is a hot mess.  Then there's the third situation: when people are coming over on short notice.  Then, you probably shouldn't open the closets.  We rarely use it as our office because I prefer to spread my books and papers out on the kitchen table and Mr. Q prefers working on the couch with his laptop.  In our future dream house, I think our workspace should have a sofa and some of my favorite industrial chairs around a big table instead of two desks and task chairs!

Fall and winter feel like hostessing seasons to me.  I love practicing hospitality and opening my home to friends and family.  It wasn't going to happen with the upstairs room in hot mess mode, so I took a few steps to make the room both more comfortable to guests and more useful to Mr. Q and I as an office- if not a space to work, at least a space where we can quickly and easily locate our work materials.  

Here are the steps we'll take to help make our guest room more ready for visitors.  I posted something similar last year, so consider this "what I've learned in a year" about hosting guests...


If you'd like to add any of the images in this post to your Pinterest boards, please click the link below the image and pin from the source so the creator gets the credit they deserve.  Thank you.

1.  New sheets and a warm throw.
I love the fall bedding that we use in our guest room - I snagged it from my mom's house where it was rarely used.  For fall and winter, I like to put flannel sheets on the guest bed because they are so warm and comfy.  Even if a room rarely gets chilly, a throw blanket says COZY and inviting.


2.  An alarm clock.
There is something so cute about an old-school bell alarm clock.  Even though most people take their cell phones everywhere nowadays and use their alarm functions, a clock by the bed gives a guest room  a hospitable, bed and breakfast feel.

Wednesday, November 14

fall color: vintage-inspired purple rhapsody and honey gold wedding

Purple rhapsody looks smashing when it's used in vintage-inspired design...


Honey gold looks great in accessories with a vintage twist...


And rich purple rhapsody + warm honey gold + fun southern vintage style = unexpected perfection.

Lauren Larsen Photographs via Ruffled

Tuesday, November 13

fall color: oxblood burgundy

The next color trending this fall has a sort of gross name, but makes a major statement...
1. LOFT skinny cords  2. J. Crew striped peplum top  
3. DSquared leather python print bracelet  4. J. Crew leopard print bracelet  
5. RGB nail polish in Oxblood from Otte  6. Mossimo ponte pencil skirt at Target  
7. GAP leather tote bag  8. Merona riding boots at Target  
9. J. Crew patent leather skinny belt

I've paired oxblood burgundy with camel, but it also works well with navy, olive, gray, black, and nude accessories.  Keep reading for styling inspiration!

Monday, November 12

clicks of note: must be dreaming.

get your week off to a colorful start...

LISTEN.
  • Bruno Mars' new song "Locked Out of Heaven" is super catchy.
  • I've loved Frou Frou's "Must Be Dreaming" since I heard the band for the first time on the Garden State soundtrack in college and had to hear everything they'd ever done.  Imogen Heap's voice is magical and the song is so upbeat.

SWOON.

SMILE.

FLASHBACK.

Saturday, November 10

breakfast recipe: pumpkin pie oatmeal


In fall, I love everything pumpkin.  One of my favorite breakfast recipes is pumpkin pie oatmeal.  It takes only a few minutes to put together and heat up, and if you make a big batch on the weekend you can have oatmeal for breakfast all week (reheat in the microwave or by adding a little boiling hot water).  This is a healthy recipe designed to boost your metabolism for the rest of the day.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
- 1 cup rolled steel cut oats
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp unpasteurized local honey
- 2 tbsp cold pressed flaxseed oil
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
- 6-8 tbsp ground flax meal
- 2 cups filtered water, boiling hot
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:
1. Combine oats, pumpkin, flax meal, honey, and oil in a medium saucepan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and give it a good stir.  
2. Pour boiling water on top and cook quickly on the stove until it starts to bubble.  Do not allow the oatmeal to simmer on the stove if you are health conscious; the longer you cook it the more the sugars in the oats are activated.  Serve with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice on top.

Switch it up!
- Try using 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and 1/2 cup apple sauce or apple butter
- For a less healthy version that is more like a real pumpkin pie, substitute 6-8 tbsp graham cracker crumbs for the flax meal

Adapted from Metabolic Bootcamp Protocol Recipes by Thomas Baader, D.C. (2006)

Linking up to Creative Thursday at Michelle's Tasty Creations, Friday Flair at Whipper Berry, Super Sweet Saturday at Sweet Boutique, Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook, and Food on Friday at Carole's Chatter


Monday, November 5

clicks of note: made for you.

get your week off to a colorful start...

LISTEN.

  • This month, as we celebrate gratitude, I want to share some of my favorite feel-good music.  "Made for You" by OneRepublic is the most played song on my iTunes- it's the first song on their Waking Up album, right before "All the Right Moves" on the album.  I think the piano is my favorite part of this one.

SWOON.

SMILE

FLASHBACK.

Friday, November 2

inspiration for a black and white anemone wedding

Anemones are a flower in the ranunculus family that are recognizable for their black centers.  Black and white anemones are a fun and beautiful way to add graphic impact to a classic black and white wedding color scheme.