Monday, September 30

clicks of note: got a full moon rising...

get your week off to a colorful start...





Sunday, September 29

sunday simplicity: the essence of autumn

“Let whoever wants to, relax in the south,
And bask in the garden of paradise.
Here is the essence of north— - and it's autumn
I've chosen as this year's friend.” 
― Anna Akhmatova

Saturday, September 28

style for a laid-back game day

A laid-back game day

View this set on Polyvore

1. Stud earrings from Accessorize (sold in a set of 2)  2. Kate Spade bow earrings from ShopBop
3. UVa Tervis Tumbler from the Bookstore 4. Nike jersey tee from Football Fanatics
5. UVa polka dot hoodie from the Bookstore  6. Toy football from the Bookstore
7. Pull and Bear skinny jeans  8. TOMS Campus Classics
9. Essie nail polish in "Fear or Desire" from

Wednesday, September 25

Recap: A Rustic Burlap and Mason Jars Fall Wedding at Douthat State Park

A few weekends ago, I had the pleasure of helping my best friend Breeze pull off her dream wedding at Douthat State Park.  It was the rustic, country wedding she'd hoped for, with lots of burlap, mason jars, and vintage goodness.

Breeze's grandmother crafted a special gift for her using one of her wedding programs, doilies, twine, and naturally distressed wood from the family farm - it made for a great photo op alongside the engagement photos displayed on the guestbook table.

Having the ceremony and reception in the same place added to the wedding's rustic country atmosphere.  The picnic shelter at Douthat State Park was the perfect venue and I love the way Breeze's vision came to life.

Breeze collected an assortment of vintage and antique blue Mason jars and new ones that she dressed up with burlap and ribbons.  She filled each vase with mini pinecones and an arrangement of daisies.  Silk flowers won out in the end for easy transport to the state park, and the clear vase arrangements doubled as favors for guests' families to take home from the wedding.

The dress code for the wedding was "come as you are."  The bridesmaids' dresses were inspired by the navy blue sash on Breeze's David's Bridal dress - we found them at Rue 21 of all places and spent a Saturday on a wild goose chase driving around Southwest Virginia and calling all of the stores in the state (and some in North Carolina and West Virginia).  While I wouldn't recommend sourcing bridesmaids' dresses at a Juniors store, in this case they were too perfect to pass up and the bride was in love at first sight.  Each bridesmaid wore her own cowgirl boots.  We walked down the aisle to "I Hope You're The End of My Story" by the Pistol Annies, a song that perfectly describes this couple's relationship and love for one another.

Groomsmen wore jeans, cowboy boots, and navy blue polo shirts to match the groom's blue and white plaid shirt.

The guy in the awesome cowboy hat is the groom's godfather, in case you're wondering.

The setup area for food and music - guests were served chips and salsa before the wedding, which was replaced by a cupcake buffet.  The wedding was catered by a local barbecue restaurant and the menu featured the bride and groom's favorite comfort foods - pulled pork, barbecue chicken, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and baked beans, with sweet tea and lemonade.

The DJ was none other than my husband, Mr. Q.

Breeze and I have been best friends since sixth grade. I am so incredibly blessed to have her in my life. She is my rock, she's my sounding board, she can always make me laugh, and she always tells it like it is. She reminds me to be myself and not worry about what other people think. She is such a strong woman and I am so happy that I got to help her plan her special day and be one of her bridesmaids.

Tuesday, September 24

Fall 2013: Dijon and Seafoam

As soon as I saw this Tracy Reese runway photo from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City I became obsessed with the color pairing.  The spring outfit pairs a light teal sweater embellished with black and white flowers with a dijon-yellow top and black shorts.  Tracy Reese always uses yellow in really creative ways in her collection, and I got to thinking about how to pair these colors in a way more appropriate for fall.  This fall's popular dijon mustard yellow looks great with pops of seafoam teal, and together they pair well with cognac brown, gray, or black!  It's an unusual combination, but I think it works!

Fall 2013: Dijon and Seafoam

View this set on Polyvore

Disclaimer:  ModCloth items contain affiliate links.

1. 3.1 Phillip Lim mini satchel from Target  2. Old Navy sueded ballet flats
3. Old Navy coated teal jeans  4. TopShop poem circle scarf
5. Melie Bianco Ibis colorblock bag from DSW 
6. Knit circle scarf from ModCloth  7. Bird sweater from Old Navy
8. Essie nail polish in "Vested Interest" from Target  9. Madewell "Hepcat" sunglasses
10. Mossimo juniors pants from Target  11. Old Navy crossbody tassel purse

Would you wear these colors together?

Style Elixir

Monday, September 23

clicks of note: dance with me

get your week off to a colorful start...


  • A sorta-oldie but a goodie: "In the Colors" is one of my favorite Ben Harper tunes and after the whirlwind that was the past two weeks, I need to slow down.  I'm linking up to Musical Mondays at My So-Called Chaos today.



Saturday, September 21

Virginia vs. VMI Gameday Fashion - Rainy Last Day of Summer

Virginia vs. VMI Gameday Fashion - Rainy Last Day of Summer

View this set at Polyvore

The alum:  1. UVa Columbia rain jacket from Cavalier Team Shop  2. KJL pearl earrings from Tuckernuck  3. Lemon & Line rope bracelet  4. GAP striped ponte dress  5. Old Navy boat shoes
6. Vineyard Vines tote bag from Mincer's

The undergrad:  1. Mossimo boyfriend cardigan from Target  2. Topshop striped tee
3. Baublebar flower necklace  4. OPI nail polish from Discount Beauty Center  5. Fossil flap clutch
6. GAP destructed jeans  7. Hunter rain boots

Monday, September 16

clicks of note: changing of the leaves...

get your week off to a colorful start...


  • The Harwell Grice Band are from the small town where I live and I could listen to their modern take on bluegrass all day long.  Fans of Nickel Creek should enjoy this track, "Changing of the Leaves."  This is what home sounds like to me.




Saturday, September 14

coming soon to our television screens.

the fall shows i'm looking forward to...


How I Met Your Mother
8:00 on CBS
  • It's the final season which means Barney and Robin's wedding, and more importantly, THE MOTHER.

Sleepy Hollow
9:00 on FOX
  • I'm getting more and more intrigued by the teasers for this show from the creative team of LOST.


8:00 on CBS
DVR-ing: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
8:00 on ABC
  • This show is made for geeks like me.  I'm looking forward to Joss Whedon's snappy one-liners gracing my television screen, and to finding out how Agent Coulson lived.

New Girl and The Mindy Project
9:00 and 9:30 on FOX
  • Now that Nick and Jess are together, things should get way more interesting on New Girl - but I have to say, I'm more interested in whether Schmidt chooses Cece or Elizabeth.
  • It's pretty obvious that Mindy does not go on a mission trip to Haiti with her pastor boyfriend Casey (who I don't like at all, so yay!).  James Franco's coming on board as "the new Dr. L" who Mindy becomes jealous of, which should be fun.  Is it too early in the show to hope for a Mindy/Danny relationship?


The Middle and Modern Family
8:00 and 9:00 on ABC
  • Wednesday is a good night for family comedies and these two are the best around.  I'm usually making dinner and grading papers while these are on, and it works.


Parks and Recreation
8:00 on NBC
  • Pawnee is my happy place.
9:00 on FOX

  • I'll admit, I'm interested to see how Ryan Murphy and the show's creative team handle the loss of Cory Monteith.  I will definitely watch the memorial episode, but beyond that, I didn't enjoy the show very much last season and I'm not sure I'll be a regular viewer.
10:00 on NBC

  • If y'all haven't been watching the drama-filled addictiveness that is Parenthood, you've been missing out.  NBC has finally moved the show into what has historically been their most successful time slot, and I'll be watching because the Braverman family members are like real people to me.


The Carrie Diaries
8:00 on the CW
  • I think I've talked about this show being my guilty pleasure before.  Since the Carrie Bradshaw of the show doesn't really line up with SJP's character on the original series, I like to think of it as an alternate universe.  And I have three words for you: teenage Samantha Jones.

Friday, September 13

my summer in entertainment

my life in entertainment - summer 2013

movies i saw

We Bought a Zoo - This movie (from 2011) was adorable and just the pick-me-up I needed when we watched it.  Matt Damon's character (based on a real person) Benjamin Mee is a journalist who writes about adventures around the world, until his wife passes away after a long illness and he can't seem to get back on track as a single dad.  He decides that his family needs to start again, and while house-hunting, discovers the perfect property - which is also a zoo.  He takes the plunge, to the delight of his young daughter Rosie and the chagrin of his teenage son Dylan.  Benjamin throws himself into working alongside the zoo's staff to get the animal park back into business and to help his kids find happiness again.

The Way Way Way Back - I finally got a chance to see this movie at Roanoke's Grandin Theater.  Duncan, played by newcomer Liam James, is an awkward 14-year-old who's been forced to join his protective mom (Toni Collette) and her overbearing new boyfriend (Steve Carell) at the beach for summer vacation.  Townie Owen (Sam Rockwell) befriends Owen and gives him a job at a small water park where he starts to gain a confidence he lacks back at the beach house.  Allison Janney, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet and AnnaSophia Robb play the beach's summer residents; Jim Rash and Nat Faxon wrote and directed the movie and play Duncan's supportive, quirky co-workers along with Maya Rudolph.  I really felt for Duncan and it was cathartic to watch his transformation over one crucial summer.

books i read

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (MG/YA Graphic Novel) - This cute, colorful graphic novel is about a seventh-grade girl, Callie, who loves working on her school's drama club stage crew and is starting to be interested in boys.  Like most middle school girls, she's not quite sure how to tell if they like her back, which causes problems when she befriends guys who are twins.

A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi (YA Historical Fiction) - Last year I taught a student who hated to read - unless the book was about the Salem Witch Trials.  I've read some of Ann Rinaldi's historical fiction before, and I think what sets her apart as an author is that it's clear she does intense research.  She can really bring the past to life.

Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow (MG Historical Fiction) - This book was recommended to me by a student two years ago, and when I purchased a copy last year with money donated by a school board member, my students actually fought over who got to read it first.  I had to set up a waiting list!  Set in post-World War II Russia, Saving Zasha is about a young boy, Mikhail, who discovers a dying man and a German Shepherd dog in the woods near his farm one day.  It was basically illegal to own German dogs in Russia after the war, but Mikhail's family decides to keep the dog, Zasha, in secret.  Several people in their village, including the newspaper editor's daughter, a local kennel owner, and dog thieves, start to suspect that Mikhail is hiding a dog, and it's up to him to keep Zasha safe.  This was an easy read; World War II and dogs are high-interest topics for middle-grade students, and a dog book with a happy ending is definitely a diamond in the rough.

Maximum Ride by James Patterson (YA Science Fiction) - Another student recommendation.  I just don't love James Patterson's work, but I can see why teens love this series - it's definitely action-packed, and while it's a long book, the chapters are very short.  The main character, Max, and her "siblings" are lab experiments - kids with wings like birds - and the organization that created them wants them back to conduct further tests.  Max is determined not to let that happen and will protect her family at all costs.

What have you been loving lately?

Thursday, September 12

ideas for a jane austen inspired garden wedding

One of my inspirations while planning my wedding was the Regency era and Jane Austen - the mantel at the War Memorial seemed like something out of the Bennet's parlor to me.  I tried to incorporate the era's sensibilities in simple ways - classic garden-inspired florals, flowing bridesmaids dresses, and a favorite page from Emma as one of my table numbers.  Lately I've been noticing romantic touches and loving the idea of a garden wedding inspired by Jane, the Regency period, and classic elegance.

Ribbon sashes: invitation from Stone Crandall Photography via Snippet and Ink

Black and white:  groom's attire from Wedding Chicks, guest book from Crafty Pie Press

Elegant bridesmaids from Mi Belle Photography via Style Me Pretty

Garden bouquets from EPLove via Green Wedding Shoes and Caroline Tran via Santa Barbara Chic

“She was one of those, who, having 
once begun, would be always in love.” 
― Jane Austen, Emma

Chalkboard program from Angela Cox via Southern Weddings

Outdoor ceremony from Grise Photography via Elizabeth Anne Designs

Programs from Harrison Studio via Ruffled

“Let us never underestimate the power 
of a well-written letter.” 
― Jane Austen, Persuasion

Tented garden reception from Paper Antler via Style Me Pretty

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. 
My feelings will not be repressed. You 
must allow me to tell you how ardently 
I admire and love you.” 
― Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice

Tuesday, September 10

Fall 2013: Graphic Black and White

I'm excited about Target's fall designer collaboration with 3.1 Phillip Lim.  The pieces hit stores this Sunday, and the collection focuses on versatile, modern items with clean lines and fun prints.  My favorite pieces also fall in step with one of this fall's biggest trends: graphic black and white.  White after Labor Day?  Now totally acceptable- especially paired with bold black pieces like moto jackets, structured handbags, and statement jewelry.

Fall 2013: Graphic Black and White

View this set on Polyvore

Disclaimer:  ModCloth items contain affiliate links.

1. Mossimo moto jacket from Target  2. LOFT necklace tee  3. 3.1 Phillip Lim booties from Target
4. Tribal print dress from ModCloth  5. House of Harlow 1960 earrings from Piperlime
6. Pam Breeze-ly tunic  from ModCloth  7. 3.1 Phillip Lim purse from Target
8. BCBGMAXAZRIA lace blouse from Piperlime  9. Bow-print dress from ModCloth
10. 3.1 Phillip Lim graphic dress from Target 11. 3.1 Phillip Lim embellished dress from Target

Here are some of our favorite celebrities rocking black and white.  Please note:  If you'd like to add any of these celebrity images to your Pinterest boards, please click on the link below the picture and pin from the source so the photographers get credit for their work!

Monday, September 9

clicks of note: i will love who i am.

get your week off to a colorful start...




Saturday, September 7

Southern Traditions: UVa Game Day Style

Virginia fans were so excited to see Oregon on this year's schedule.  Today we face the Ducks in Scott Stadium, and win or lose, you can bet that Wahoo girls will be showing folks from the Pacific Northwest how to dress for football games.

Southern Traditions: UVa Game Day Style
View this set on Polyvore

1. Kenneth Jay Lane pearl stud earrings from Tuckernuck
2. Kate Spade bow bracelet from ShopBop  3. Essie nail polish in "Geranium" from Target
4. Judith March sundress from Sideline Sweetie (similar style in strapless)
5. Vera Bradley wristlet  6. Jack Russell tote bag (similar)  7. Jack Rogers Navajo sandals from Jildor

Friday, September 6

team spirit: house united rag wreath [football season!]

I've seen several great ideas for "House Divided" wreaths on Pinterest: they're perfect for couples that attended rival colleges - like us!  Mr. Q is a Virginia Tech alumni and I graduated from the University of Virginia.  I'd been thinking about putting my own spin on a House Divided wreath, but when I really thought about it, I decided to go in a different direction.

I made a House United rag wreath.   Honestly, Mr. Q and I are not the rabid football fans that many Virginia natives are.  We love a good game, but neither of us gets throwing-things angry when our team loses.  When we were talking the night we met and learned that we attended rival schools, both of us kind of shrugged and kept asking questions.  Mr. Q has attended several UVa games with me, I've been to a few Tech games, and we root for both the big Virginia teams every weekend - except for that one weekend in November when the Commonwealth Cup is on the line. 

To make my House United wreath, I used the same method used to make my Fourth of July Rag Wreath - I just love the random, rustic look it creates!  My raw materials were a coat hanger, scissors, four spools of ribbon, and four fabric quarters (from the quilting section at JoAnn Fabrics).  I used navy, maroon, burnt orange, and bright orange fabric, and burgundy grosgrain, orange dot, orange stripe, and blue gingham ribbon.

Once I had my coat hanger circle made, I cut my ribbons, cut and ripped the fabric into strips, and went to work tying knots around the circle.  I tried to mix up the colors as much as possible.  This is what the side that was face-up while I was working looks like when it's finished:

I flipped the wreath over to hang it on the door - the side that was facing the table while I was working.  For whatever reason, that side always looks a little more rustic and fun!  Making the wreath took about an hour.  I'd love to try this again with a little burlap ribbon in there with the school colors!


See that crazy goodness?  I love ripped edges.

Here's what the wreath looks like on our front door.  Do you like my antique 
key print welcome mat?  It's a Target find.

And here's a shot of our townhouse in her between-seasons glory!

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