Saturday, November 30

my november, according to instagram

I hope that you all survived Thanksgiving and Black Friday and are waking up with smiles on your faces this morning, friends.  Here's what I've been up to lately...

Halloween messages from my students and a cute gift from my 
best friend at work - there's still so much excitement for Halloween
in middle school land and I cherish my students' last year of trick-or-treat.

Gratuitous food pics - Halloween chili and corn bread and a low
country boil with crab legs at Brandon's house.

I couldn't resist picking up the mini set of Mariah Carey OPI nail
polishes at Ulta.  My favorite so far is "Warm Me Up," shown right.

Geekery - dressing up like Harry Potter for Character Day at school
and going to see Thor 2: the Dark World with the family.

I went to see Catching Fire on opening night with some coworkers
and students and loved it.  Mr. Q's birthday presents included
this book by Nick Offerman (a.k.a. Ron Swanson)... and bacon jerky.

Thanksgiving: getting started on gravy for our slow cooker turkey
breast, and a peek at my table setting (more pictures to come!)

Favorite Christmas CD's (Hanson and NSYNC, of course!) and a
new ornament from Breeze (I love teacher ornaments!).
Decorating our tree has become a Black Friday tradition for
us instead of shopping - we only made online purchases :)

Are you on Instagram?  Leave your username in the comments - 
I'd love to see your life in snaps.  You can follow me here.

Wednesday, November 27

inspiration for a pink flambe vineyard-style wedding

Vineyards have become a very popular venue, especially for fall and winter weddings.  I love the idea of using an unexpected color for the season - like bright pink - to surprise and enchant guests.


I love this bride's vintage-inspired look!

Tuesday, November 26

get colorful: pink for the holidays

I'm not sure what it is about the holiday season, but every year I seem to get sucked into loving the brightest pink pieces I can find.  The shade of flambĂ©‎ pink that would intimidate me in any other season seems just right during this time of year - so festive and colorful!  This year's colorblocked, striped, and dotted pieces set just the right tone for a holiday celebration.  Let's party!

Pink for the Holidays
View this set on Polyvore

1. Banana Republic colorblock sweater  2. Kate Spade earrings from Piperlime  
3. J. Crew Factoryscarf  4. J. Crew Factory Swiss dot blouse (on sale) 
5. Revlon "Fuchsia Fever" nail polish from Walmart
6. Old Navy striped crewneck sweater  7. Banana Republic lucite clutch  
8. Deborah Lippmann "Candy Shop" nail polish from Zappos

Style Elixir

Monday, November 25

clicks of note: that one recipe...

get your week off to a colorful start...


  • Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving song has nothing on Rashida Jones.




Friday, November 22

who to follow on instagram: fall edition

It's still a little strange to me how Instagram has gone from being an interesting new app to being as ubiquitous as Facebook and Twitter.  It's my favorite form of social media.  If you're looking to add some daily doses of flat-out lovely to your feed, here are a few accounts I recommend following:

Anna Rifle Bond is the artist behind Rifle Paper Company and its gorgeous painted designs.  Her Instagram offers peeks at her lovely home, her travels, and life behind the scenes at the Rifle Paper Co. office.  I enjoy seeing what the creative process looks like for an artist and business owner.

carmenmariez describes herself as "Wife Mother Friend Dreamer Thinker and Scattered" and I got hooked on her Instagram during the #Septemberstories challenge last year.  Her photography is simply beautiful whether she's taking pictures of her backyard or her daughter.

Anthony Danielle from the Mobile Media Lab shares shots of everyday street life, fashion, and scenery from New York City.

This Is Glamorous is the Instagram account from RosĂ©line, the editor of the popular design blog of the same name.  She has such a talent for spotting the glamorous touches in everyday life, and her styling is perfect.

justinslens features beautiful travel photographs of life on the west coast, from Disneyland to Yosemite. His shots are so absolutely breathtaking it's hard to believe they were taken with a phone camera!

Trenton Michael Davis is a photographer from Utah whose travel photography portfolio includes Cancun, Seattle, and of course his beautiful home state.

Are you on Instagram?  I'd love to follow you - 
leave your username in a comment to this post 
(you can follow me here). 

Wednesday, November 20

Thanksgiving Cocktail Party

I've shared some ideas for a modern family Thanksgiving dinner; our celebration this year is shaping up to be more of a "friendsgiving" with a light meal and drinks.  I love the idea of incorporating classy gold accents with a cheeky woodland animal theme.

How to Style:

Thanksgiving Cocktail Party

View this set on Polyvore

1. Anthropologie linen napkin  2. Anthropologie animal cocktail napkins
3. Pier1 acorn vase filler  4. C. Wonder ikat dessert plate  5. Rondo gold flatware from Horne
6. Threshold brass wine stopper from Target (part of a set)  7. West Elm stemless wineglass

Keep reading for my dream Friendsgiving menu!

Tuesday, November 19

Fall 2013: Acai and Plum

It's no secret around here that I absolutely love purple, so I was thrilled to see a true purple in this season's Pantone color report- Acai is a deep, rich violet that makes me happy.  It pairs well with plum, red, pink, gray - see what combinations you can come up with!

Fall 2013: Acai and Plum
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1. Victoria's Secret sweater  2. J. Crew long sleeved cashmere tee
3. Calypso St. Barth stretch bracelet  4. Walk in Love tee
5. OPI Euro Centrale polish from Beyond Polish  6. Rescue Beauty Lounge "Pause" polish
7. Zoya "Carter" polish  8. Sally Hansen "Trouble Maker" polish from Target
9. Ruche statement necklace  10. GAP cords

Style Elixir

Monday, November 18

clicks of note: those words won't ever get worn out

get your week off to a colorful start...


  • I heard JD Eicher and the Goodnights' "I'd Like to Get to Know You" on our local indie radio station the other day and loved the bouncy tune and fun lyrics.  I'm linking up with Musical Mondays at My So-Called Chaos.




Sunday, November 17

sunday simplicity: what you are making of me.

"I love you, not only for what you are, 
but for what I am when I am with you. 
I love you, not only for what you have made 
of yourself but for what you are making of me." 
-Roy Croft

sunday social: 4 x 6

Sunday Social

1. Name 4 jobs you've had in your life.

Luau night at camp
  • Dance studio receptionist and substitute dance teacher
  • Full-time camp staff and computer science instructor
  • Part-time camp receptionist a.k.a. "Program Assistant"
  • Middle school English teacher

2. Name 4 movies you would watch over and over.

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Empire Records
  • Clueless
  • Mean Girls

3. Name 4 places you have lived.

Yes, that's my (then future) husband wearing a Virginia Tech sweatshirt at the UVa Rotunda
  • My parents' house 
  • Charlottesville
  • Smith Mountain Lake 
  • Our country townhouse

4. Name 4 of your favorite foods.
  • Chicken and dumplings (preferrably from Cracker Barrel, but I love this crock pot recipe)
  • My mom's spaghetti with meat sauce
  • Beef lo mein
  • Sushi

5. Name 4 things you always carry with you.
  • My phone
  • A hairbrush
  • Lip gloss
  • Something to write with

6. Name 4 places you have been on vacation.

I would LOVE to go back to St. Lucia!

  • Oak Island, North Carolina
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Orlando, Florida
  • St. Lucia
Hope you're having a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 12

Fall 2013: Samba Red

As Thanksgiving and winter holidays approach, I wanted to focus my fashion posts on items that would be easy to incorporate into outfits for special occasions, holiday photos, or holiday gifts. Pantone calls this season's red "Samba" and it's the perfect spicy color for a festive celebration!

Fall 2013: Samba Red

View this set on Polyvore

1. Red Herring floral dress from Debenham's  2. Banana Republic satchel
3. Zoya "Livingston" nail polish  4. Kate Spade scarf from Piperlime
5.  Kate Spade tote from Piperlime  6. Kenzo "FlowerTag" perfume from Sephora
7. Essie "Twin Sweater Set" nail polish  8. Old Navy peacoat  9. Hunter rain boots

My favorite celebrity take on samba red is Michelle Dockery's Prada dress at this year's Emmy- I love the bright red colorblocked with oxblood burgundy - it's unusual and a lot of people would probably expect these two colors to clash, but the clean lines make it work.

Style Elixir

Monday, November 11

clicks of note: make a wish...

get your week off to a colorful start...


  • Jason Reeve's "Morning Air" came up on my Pandora the other day and I was blown away by how romantic the lyrics were.  This is the kind of music I love on a lazy fall day.



Saturday, November 9

watching summer fade to fall with instagram...

The last Salem Red Sox game of the season, on Labor Day weekend.

Small town scenes - you know that scene in Lawless where Shia Le Beouf's 
character takes Mia Wasikowska's character to a grove filled with 
kudzu vines?  I think I found it.  Also, isn't our town's courthouse pretty?

Pretty shots from Douthat State Park during Breeze's wedding wekeend.

Attending the Wine Festival and diving into the best book I have read
in a while (although I pretty much had to sleep with the lights on).

Makeup for my 10 year high school reunion.

My first entry for the #busygirlnails fall challenge.  The theme
was Antique Gold.  This is Sally Hansen XTreme Wear in Spark in the Dark.

A few shots from High Point Market - the copper fire kettle is from a 
showroom that we pass on the way to Mr. Q's company each year.
The "Hotel du Palais" sign was my favorite new intro.  The letters
are embossed into the canvass, and of course I love anything French.

I loved the emerald green finish on this console in Mr. Q's company's
showroom at High Point Market.  There's so much inspiration there!