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Home Inspiration from an Antique Dairy Farm

ajf designs 2

I love looking at houses. I know that’s a pretty obvious statement coming from a home & decor blogger, but it’s not always the inside that I love peeking into.

Last week while in Nashville, we spent a little bit of time just driving around the countryside, looking at homes.  I always start to dream about if I had all of the power (and money) to build exactly what I loved, what would that home look like? It’s easy to look at a photo or drive by a house and simply ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ certain aspects of a design. But I always think about how hard it must be to just start from scratch.

Many of you know that Matt and my long-term plan is to build a new home on our property.  For years, I’ve envisioned what the house might look like and what design style I might adopt. It’s houses like this one by AJF design and Tendenze Design that start filling up my idea bank. I was enamored by this gorgeous home. It’s the property of Andrea Filippone who is a landscape designer in New Jersey.  The property actually started out as 4 different barns and outbuildings, then Filippone worked to string them together into a gorgeous home. I was struck by how many beautiful details just one residence can have.  It seems that around every corner, there is something to take note of or to jot down in my memory.

ajf designs

ajf design

I love how sprawling and continuous this home is, all while using pretty clean lines and classic farmhouse design.  The landscape plays such a huge part in the whimsey of the property, but strip that away and there is clapboard, cedar, and stone. Loads of gridded windows in every shape and size are really the wow factor for me.  Is there anything that stands out to you?

 

 

Have a happy happy Thursday, guys!

 

Photos: AJF Design

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DIY Fringed Kimono

diy fringe kimono

You know how I said that I don’t wear scarves? Well, I suppose I do now! We spoke last week about the things in life that we want to like, but just can’t and I confessed that although I continue buying scarves, I just never ever wear them.  This particular scarf is one of my favorites.  I wanted to look all ‘Bohemian Erin’ in it, but instead it just looked forced.  That is clearly until I had the idea to turn it into this fringed sleeve kimono.

I actually have had this idea wandering around in the back of my brain for at least 10 months.  I saw a gorgeous silk fringed kimono at an art show last September and after seeing the $300 price tag, I thought there had to be a better solution for me.  And now, I’m happy as pie that I waited to create this.

diy fringed cardigan
make a scarf into a kimono
diy fringed kaftan

You know I hate sewing, right?  Like, I despise sewing. I still have a tiny little sewing machine from high school and have banned anyone from getting me a new machine just so that I have a better reason to avoid it completely. Only once in a blue moon is there something I want to make badly enough to break out the machine and this was one of those moments.

You don’t have to have a machine, however, to make this kimono.  In total, there are two very straight stitches and a bit of seam tape (like stitch witchery) which fuses seams together with just an iron. If you want to go the extra mile and add fringe, you can do so by hand, and it wouldn’t take you that long at all!

But, if you do have a machine, and do want to speed things along, this project will take you all of 30 minutes, so I know you can make one! Here is how I did it!  Continue Reading…

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Summer Movie Nights!

movie night

I am home in Ohio and am going to hit the ground running after spending a relaxing weekend in Nashville.  This week we are starting something which I hope will be very fun and grow to be a friend favorite.

We are beginning a ‘Summer Movie Series’ which we’ll have every week at exactly the same time, outside in our yard.  We were throwing around the idea loosely at first, and then we just kept going further and further with elaborate treats to eat, high tech (or low tech) ways to put together the outdoor sound, and of course, what movies we’ll watch and how they’ll be picked.

Since I’ve been out of town for the last five weekends, I haven’t started the planning phase, but I’m jumping in this week.  Of course, I’ll keep you on the up and up with the decorations and how I’ll organize the lounging.

The men, however, have been feverishly putting together desired titles and genres. Everything from horror to comedy to chickflicks is involved, but the one commonality is that every movie we’re choosing is somewhat of a cult classic (to our generation, at least). Everything we were throwing out fell under a few categories:

chick flicks from the 80s horror nostalgia

My biggest stipulation is that the movie must be appealing and attention grabbing for both the girls and the guys to avoid one of the groups peeling off one by one and congregating at the bar, turning the night into just a plain old party and the movie falling off the radar.

Although ‘Nostalgia’ is a pretty big category, it’s mostly the male version of chickflicks and some general all around goodness. We didn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg here, but it’s not as easy as it seems!

Take a try!  Which movie would you love to see during an outdoor movie night?

 

 

p.s. we start this Friday!  If you’re local, email me and I can give you details!

 

photo: The Urban List

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Done in Nashville

 

nashville

I’m kind of to the point where I just skim the top of all of the wonderful things there are to do in Nashville.  I lived there for four years through college and still today (10 years later!) half of my family and a good seventy five percent of my friends still live there. I’ve done and seen a lot of the action, so when I go now, I lay pretty low.

There are so many fabulous things to do, but this holiday weekend was spent mostly with family – floating around in our Aunt and Uncle’s amazing pool, sipping on cool drinks, and eating about once every two hours. We left the house three times.  Once to go to the Loveless Cafe (where I can’t help but get fried chicken and sandwich it in their famous biscuits with some strawberry jam); another outing to go downtown to Tootsies, Roberts, and the Stage where we listen to young musicians all trying to make it big; then another time to get brunch with my college girlfriends and catch up on life.

It’s totally an indulgent weekend, and after over a month of being on the road, it was nice to relax a bit.  I even found a pair of pretty amazing cowboy boots which are bound to be my new favorites (now just to break them in!)

I hope you all had an amazing holiday weekend as well!  Did you travel?  OR stay right at home?

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Grand Old Flag

flag

She sure is a grand old, high flying flag, huh?  All around the world there is political unrest, there are varying opinions on politics, and there is unease that might accompany the decisions of our country and other countries.

Still, however, I am proud to be an American.  I’m proud of the strides we take each day to become more progressive and more tolerant.  If watching a lot of the buzz surround the World Cup has taught me anything it’s that no country is perfect, just as no person is perfect.

I’ve learned that we are really all in this together, this quest to make the world and the country we call home a better place.  That doesn’t happen by one person believing, but by a country believing.  Just over 300 years ago our founders believed that something wonderful could be created in this place and today we’re here to continue a legacy that was started for us.  So today, on our anniversary, here’s to our Country, and our united effort to make it as good as we want it to be.

Have a happy 4th of July guys!

 

 

Photo: Rachel Halvorson

 

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Something I want to love

scarf - atlantic pacific

Do you ever just have those things that you want to like?  Those things you buy thinking that you’ll love it – even if it kills you? For me it started with coffee (odd considering yesterday’s post).  I wanted to like coffee so bad.  I wanted to be a woman who drank coffee. I attacked this goal like I would any assignment.  I started small with the Dunkaccino’s from Dunkin Donuts and worked my way further and further toward real coffee right up until I was drinking espresso black. I just wanted to be a coffee drinker.  A cool black coffee drinker.

There are different things in life that I’ve tried to force myself to like - one big one being scarves.  I love to buy scarves. I think they’re gorgeous, and I when I see beautiful scarves on other women, I’m jealous.  “I could be a scarf wearing woman” I usually think to myself. This leads me to buy all sorts of artistically wonderful scarves, but I can’t wear them. I don’t like the way they feel on my neck with my hair all bunchy and un-chic. I think I can wear them, and I want to wear them, but I never ever do.  Similar to how I want to be an espresso drinking woman, but I’ve regressed and now I must have my coffee with milk and sugar.

All of this to say there are people we want to be, and there are things we try to force ourselves into because we just want to like that thing…. we think we should like that thing.  It is interesting to think about the absolute difference between liking something and wanting to like something, isn’t it? Isn’t it strange to think we can want something so badly, but it just doesn’t suit us?  There are so many iterations of this phenomenon, and there are many more that apply to me, but these two come top of mind for me. Two things that would make me so much chicer in my mind, but we all have our limits.

 

So tell me, what are your limits?  What is something you’ve tried tried tried to like but just can’t?

 

p.s. I will make use of my endless drawer of unworn scarves in one of next week’s DIYs!!  Stay tuned…

Photo: Atlantic-Pacific

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Salty Caramel Iced Latte

 

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I’m usually somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to my coffee.  I don’t like all sorts of jazzed up frappacinos with everything and the kitchen sink on top, but stick with a very very predictable skinny vanilla latte or plain iced coffee.  I recently, however, got my hands on a Nespresso VertuoLine and have loved experimenting with new drinks since I’ve had the ability to make espresso right at my fingertips.

Matt and I have been coffee making nuts ever since getting this machine.  I’ve tried all sorts of recipes, and thought I’d share with you my absolute favorite so far – The Salty Carmel Iced Latte! It’s actually fairly low-calorie and makes a really tasty afternoon treat.

salty caramel iced coffee recipe

Read on for the recipe and one brilliant iced coffee trick!

Continue Reading…

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Firework Fringe Party Garland

watercolor party garland

We’re almost in full party mode over here!  Just one more day of work then it’s off to Nashville for some quality summer vacation time.  We’re heading to Matt’s aunts house for the holiday and I plan to bring with me a little decor for the festivities.

This red, white, and blue party garland turned out even better than I had imagined in my head.  It’s full and fluffy fringe makes it look impressive and although it takes a few steps, they’re all super easy.  You’ve got a few days to prepare, so let’s get to it!

fringe party garland 4th of july party garland

The dye effect on the tissue is easily achieved with a common household item, so after a quick $2 trip to get some tissue, you’ll be well on your way to creating this awesome Forth of July party garland!

Continue Reading…

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Three Things: Summatime

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Regardless of how warm it is outside, it’s hard for me to really believe that it’s summer until after the official solstice.  This week, however, summer sure did show up. The weather has been awesome, the hydrangeas are in full bloom (as evidenced above) and our garden is out of control.  I decided to really kick off summer by finally hanging our hammock and spending a little bit of Erin time in it.

photo 2 DSC_5602

ONE fresh cut hydrangeas and a nautical rope vase adorning my coffee table. TWO the first ‘harvest’ from our garden which is growing scarily fast. We were able to make a big salad with peppers and tomatoes. THREE a moment in the hammock on a warm friday.

It was a wonderful, fun summer weekend and although we ran around a bit to a few parties, we also got have a few moments at home. I thought I’d share a few glimpses of how we spent it with you guys today!

This week I have some really fabulous ideas lined up to share with you – tomorrow it’s a sweet summer treat that you’ll love me for (I swear), then Wednesday I have a really darling decor DIY for your 4th of July holiday.  Later in the week I’m sharing a shopping confession with you guys, then we’ll be taking a break on Friday to celebrate the 4th with our family in Nashville. I can’t wait to share all of the fun this week!  I hope you’re ready!

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Friday Faves 6.27

Friday Faves 6.27

ONE we’re offering FREE SHIPPING all day on goodies from Grandiflora and we’re running low on lots of styles!  Snatch something up before the next season launches (like the Marit Mirror – this is our last one! $228). TWO what a cheerful little bunch of juice glasses!  They’re just $22 from Papersource. THREE nothing says summer like a pink bistro table.  It’s just $88, folds up flat, and has available matching chairs! Think Pink at Terrain! FOUR cantaloupe and sun tea sorbet is new at Jeni’s and doesn’t it sound delish? I’m planning a little trip today to try it out.  You can order online if you don’t have a Jeni’s near you! FIVE one of the super classic things I love in life is the mixture of natural vegetable tanned leather with brass.  This dog lead is about as classic as it gets and looks like it could stand up to lots! $68 from Yield. SIX a summery and nautical espadrille print is new in the Note to Self print shop!  $18 for the mini size.

 

It sure feels summery around here this Friday!  I had an alfresco cocktail hour last night with two friends, then went to a local pub to hear my cousin’s band play.  Tonight we’re heading out for happy hour with friends (a bit of a Friday tradition around here lately) then we’re waking up bright and early tomorrow to drive to Michigan for a big party.  Sunday we’ll be heading back to celebrate my mother’s birthday, so it’s a weekend full of partying!

In the meantime, I’m hoping to get my tomatoes re-staked because they’re outgrowing their current situation and maybe read a little of my book.  Have you read it?  It’s certainly not new, but I am working my way down the list!

What is on your weekend agenda?

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