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A Chic Idea for Breakfast Entertaining

Having overnight guests can leave you wondering what to serve the next morning that is easy, quick, and allows for time to linger over a cup of coffee and chat rather than cleaning the kitchen.

Fall is usually the time of year we get house guests, and although I do love making breakfast from scratch, sometimes I cheat by using premade cinnamon rolls, presented in a homemade way.  Using parchment squares tucked into individual ramekins comes off like I spent the morning carefully making dough from scratch, but it’s really all in the presentation. Plus, everyone loves an individual treat.

The best part of the whole thing? There’s no cleaning a pan with sticky icing.  Just pop out the parchment and run them through the dishwasher.

I hope you’ll use my little trick, either with something you’ve made or something store-bought!  Enjoy!





A Tradition to Visit

I love everything related to entertaining, parties, and among them, hospitality.  When it comes to hospitality, however, for so many of us it stops at our own doorstep.  I got to thinking this weekend, while walking to a nearby couple’s home for a football game, about how our grandparents’ generation used to go on ‘visits’ or in-person social calls to catch up for a few minutes with friends.  With the introduction of unlimited telephone plans and the internet, this act has all but stopped, but why not bring it back?

It’s not hard to pop in on someone, bring them a bit of coffee, and have a quick chat… so why don’t we do it more? The fear that we’re being rude and interrupting them? The worry that they wouldn’t feel ready?

We are fortunate enough to live in a central area of our town where friends frequently drive by and honk or, if we’re lucky, they stop.  I just love when people drop by.  It feels so traditional and enriching to know that we can have an impromptu interaction without a phone or computer.  I’m going to challenge myself to do this more, and this is how I’ll go about it:

  • make a preemptive phone call – “I’m in your neighborhood and I was thinking about you!  Can I stop and bring you a coffee?”
  • make it quick – stay 10 – 15 minutes tops
  • make it regular – when I say regular I mean more that once a year.  Dropping by someone’s house just once is creepy, dropping by seasonally is sweet.

Did anyone you know ever go for ‘visits’? Will you give it a try?

Photo Credit


Black & White and Stitched All Over

A few weeks ago, I featured this bathroom on my Friday faves.  I loved the simplicity of the design, the contrast between black and white, and the Scandinavian flair it possessed.  I let you all know that I was going to use it as inspiration for an upcoming project and here it is!

Cross stitched designs are all over this fall, so I decided to create my own take on the trend using the inspiration from that beautiful bathroom wall.  Burlap has a very visible weave, which made it really easy to measure and stitch these mini cross-hatches all over a length of the material.

There could be so many iterations of this same project using different patterns or colors – the possibilities are literally endless.

If you think it’s a project you’re interested in giving a shot, keep reading for the full tutorial!

Continue Reading…


Friday Faves 8.31

ONE A thermos for hot chocolate – $15 from Bewildered Amusement, TWO football tailgating just isn’t the same without hot grilled anything.  This small charcoal grill is perfect for a party on the go – $79 by Bodum; THREE perching perfect doesn’t have to be a style compromise on game day – $25 from Bluejays Workshop; FOUR throw out all of your old beer koozies and buy this cute, and simply stylish knit version… plus, drinking from a mason jar is much cooler than a red solo cup! $8 from Knotty Monkey; FIVE show your school spirit in vintage fashion.  B’more Unique sells vintage pennants starting at $30; SIX  don’t forget a blanket.  Even if it’s too hot to cover up, folding it beneath your tush on hard stadium seating is a wonderful use.  $30 from jacklom3.


Living in the midwest, the end of summer has always signified the beginning of football season, and I really cannot wait.  I love spending saturday mornings getting geared up, drinking bloody mary’s and meeting up with friends for the big game.  Tomorrow we’re heading to a friend’s house for a big bash to kick off the college football season in our town and I’ll be there with bells on (and maybe some of the above fare).

Aside from the impending game, I’ve been struggling this week without any internet.  Blog posts have been going up at a coffee shop or the office, and I hope you guys haven’t been too thrown off!  I hope to get it back today (yay), and will resume regular early morning posting.

Around here this week:

Have a great long weekend out there, guys!



Leather Belt Curtain Ties

I have to admit, the curtains in my office have been tied back with rubber bands for the last year… rubber bands.  I love the way worn leather looks, and thought that an old belt would make a beautiful and resourceful tieback for my office drapes. Using tools most people have at home, it isn’t hard to transform an old piece of your wardrobe into a simple, but pretty detail for inside your home.

I love the way that a simple gold turnback pin looks, but wanted to use supplies that would be easy to find at home.  A simple flat screw with a dollop of glue and paint works just perfect.

Keep reading for the full instructions!

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Safari Style Mixes Decor and Adventure

As you may know, Matt and I are planning to go to Africa for our 5 year wedding anniversary, which isn’t for another 2.5 years, but I’ve taken to exploring some pretty digs just for research purposes.

Stanley’s camp in Okavango looks right up my alley.  Not only does it boast the amazing opportunity to interact quite closely with elephants (something on my bucket list), but it’s accommodations and furnishings are downright stunning, and they’re inspiring me (especially this time of year) to add more outdoor elements into my home.

Can you imagine staying out in the open air of such beautiful landscape?

It looks dangerous in the way that I’d go and never want to leave!  The lush, natural surroundings aren’t overwhelmed by the luxury decor, but otherwise emphasized.  In each tent, the view is paramount, but grass furniture, natural colors, and subtle lighting add such a luxurious touch without being over-the-top.

I think there are a ton of elements I’d like to add to my own home, from chandeliers in unexpected places to natural fibers.

Do you like the mix of outdoors and in? How do you bring the outside in at your home?


Summer’s Last Days: I Scream, You Scream

One of the quintessential pieces of summer is ice cream, so why not send summer off with some of the fresh home-made treat this Labor Day weekend?  You don’t need an ice cream maker, or hours of time.  This home-made ice cream took me five minutes last night and was every bit as delicious as the stuff your grandma makes. It’s no-cook, no machine, and deceiving delicious.

Keep reading for full instructions!

Continue Reading…


Evernote for Design Organization

As you guys know, I was in San Francisco this weekend for the Evernote Trunk Conference where I spoke on the uses of Evernote in the daily life of a design/lifestyle blogger.   It was mostly to an audience of people who had a background in development (either for this app or others) and were interested to hear of the regular users take on the application.  I also got to hear a bunch of other inspiring people (like the founder of Uppercase magazine) talk about their uses for it as well!

If you don’t know about Evernote, it is a free app (for iphone, ipad, and computer download) which allows you to save ‘notes’ that can be organized, tagged and saved on any of your devices, and then retrieved from any of your other devices.  I use it a ton because I have a terrible memory and literally have to write everything down.  The random post-it notes and emails to myself were getting a little disorganized, so I started using evernote. I wanted to give you guys some details because it’s so so helpful to collect design inspiration and sources all in one place.

Above is a screenshot of my ‘homepage’ which shows my last several saved notes.  Its laid out kind of like an email inbox, but each note shows a snippet of a photo, which is so helpful for finding something visual.  If I’m looking for GOLD things in a product round up, I can scan the thumbnails and pick out from all of the notes I’ve saved.

More than that, however, you can tag your notes (in my case they’re mostly photos) with any keywords you want.  Later, I can search by keyword to find exactly what I’m looking for.  One photo might get ten keywords, but it helps me to recover the idea later on.  Some of these things are clipped from a website (using their web clipper) and some are photos I took with my iphone in a store and saved to evernote.

Another amazing detail? The webclipper saves all of the URLs for me.  One of the hardest things for me (in life and in blogging) is remembering where I saw something.  I started clipping from the web and Evernote it stores the webpage for me.  That’s how I can recall some of the more obscure finds that I may feature.

I don’t want this to sound like a big advertisement.  I don’t work for evernote, and they don’t pay me anything, I just love it.  It’s a free app and helps me by working as an ‘external brain’.  It could definitely be helpful to anyone who is looking for a place to capture inspiration (and the sources) that can be accessed from anywhere.  If you want to know more about it, give me a shout and we can chat!

Have a wonderful Monday!


Friday Faves 8.24

ONE The Ralph Lauren Prairie Rug is $4800, which is crazy expensive, but I wanted to show it to you guys because I love how neutral it is and how the pattern has so much character.  This could really make a room. TWO Made Tripod Table £89 and has three surfaces for all of your awesome stuff. THREE the only thing better than the Staples and Sundries packaging is the soap $8. FOUR I’ve died and gone to dinnerware heaven.  These blue patterned ceramic beauties want to live in my house.  $185 for a set of four from Horchow. FIVE I’d be glad to be sickly if this were my companion.  Fine Little Day hot water bottle cover, €34.  SIX kraft paper placemats for late summer crab dinners.  Now who wants to invite me to their beach house? Nordstrom, $24 for a whole stack.


As I mentioned yesterday, I’m in San Francisco for the Evernote Trunk conference and I’m just a wee bit nervous to get up on that big stage and talk to 800 people.  That might be why I’m a little fiestier this morning than usual, but I’m going to assume this will work in my favor.

After the conference today, Matt and I are headed to Napa tomorrow for a little relaxation and a lot of wine.  I hope you all have a great weekend lined up!


East Coast, West Coast

I’m taking off this morning for San Francisco to speak on a design and lifestyle panel for the Evernote Trunk Conference.  I had a rough time packing, trying to decide which style to exude, and it got me thinking about the differences between east coast and west coast style.  Matt told me that I shouldn’t start a war (haha) and bring up the age-old conundrum, so I won’t go into much detail, but won’t you share?

What is your stylistic preference?


*east coast design photo from New England Home and west coast design photo by Emily Henderson.