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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.

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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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Classic and Cool LA Home Tour

gorgeous LA homes classic cool 1

I’m not gonna lie, I’m not an L.A. kind of person. I’ve tried several times and each time I leave with a ‘this isn’t real life’ kind of feeling. I know plenty of ‘real’ and wonderful people who live there, so it’s making me think that maybe I’m just not in the right places when I go.

Regardless, it’s not often that I find a house that really hits me on all levels.  If you’ve noticed in my own home decor, I really love classic and clean design with a touch of rustic and global influences.  Usually homes are strikingly classic or strikingly rustic, but getting a really wonderfully classy mix is the unicorn I chase. This house, totally does it for me.

It’s so classic on one hand, but really cool and relevant on the other.  A woman who lives here would wear the most basic oxford shirt in the most minimal designer chic way… you know?

gorgeous LA homes classic cool 2 gorgeous LA homes classic cool 3 gorgeous LA homes classic cool 6

To some, this might just look straight up formal or classic, but I urge you to look a bit further.  Look at the casual, natural fabrics mixed with textured cane, kilim rugs, found objects, and interesting light fixtures.  These are the elements that add personality and depth to a home. Do you love it?  It’s totally clear that I’m obsessed.

gorgeous los angeles home tour 1

The thing that really got me was the vibrant rugs mixed with the dark flora and white woodwork.  I am in love with this mixture.

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The bathroom is very glam, but isn’t that wonderful quality in a bathroom?  If it were my house, I might throw some penny tile or pieced marble hex tile in there instead of all the solid marble, but I wouldn’t ever want to come across as not loving all of this carrera!

Give me your thoughts?  What is your favorite part?

 

Photos from Burnham Design

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Summer Styling Series: The Basics

View More: http://allisonlehman.pass.us/grandiflora

I am so excited today to bring you guys a series that has been a long time in the works.  In the years that I’ve been blogging, one consistent request I get is to do some styling tutorials.  Styling comes so easy to some, but if you’re not one of those people there is good news.  I believe that good styling habits can be learned.  I’ve been styling rooms and vignettes as long as I can remember.  It started with the multitudes of times I would rearrange my room as a child, once even tricking my sister into switching rooms with me while my parents were gone (I wound up with the much better deal). I would stay up so late until every desktop, dresser surface, and bedside table were just perfectly styled – displaying everything from vintage clocks and jewelry boxes to my assortment of porcelain ‘growing up girls’ (did you have those??) My love for styling obviously transcended into adulthood and has been the driving force for my creative career. I am so eager to teach you all the few tricks I employ and easy ways to boost your styling skills.

We’re starting out today with some basic things that I think about when I’m working with a blank slate.  These tips are things that will recur through all of the various styling scenarios I have planned – Bedside Tables, Mantles, Coffee Tables, Bookshelves, and Bars.  First, there are several types of items I like to look for when I’m beginning a styling project.  Usually, I’ll wander around my house finding things that don’t have a good home or that I’m not thrilled with in their current placement.  Or, if you’re anything like me, you might have a ‘junk’ closet or room filled with random things that you don’t know what to do with (hoarder, much?).

I always looks for cool, artsy objects, books, candles, trays, and boxes or jars.  Additional items could be clocks, vases, photo frames, calendars, mini bowls, or baskets.

objects d art

When I’m gathering all of these things, I try to grab things of varying heights, colors, finishes (shine vs matte vs metallic), and textures.  Starting with a nice mixture will help your styling go much smoother.  For instance, don’t grab a cube glass vase with a square mirror photo frame with a mercury glass box.  All of those things are about the same size, square, and glass – not the variation we’re looking for!  Think also about using items that aren’t too different in size.  For instance, I wouldn’t grab a mini bowl and tall lamp unless I had a few other items to bridge the size gap.

 

sets of three

The ‘rule of three’ is just a good starting point for people who struggle with styling and not necessarily a rule.  It’s actually just easier to style in odd numbers because items automatically look less contrived and ‘placed’.  If you have just two of something, be sure they’re different sizes and place them in different planes (at an angle) then place a little something else between them, creating a triangle.  If you have four of something you’d like to display, consider splitting the items between two sides of your surface with three objects on one end and a singular object opposite.

texture mixing

Similar to the idea of grabbing various sizes and shapes, always try to introduce various textures and finishes.  Since my style is mostly neutral, jazzing up a styled space with a mixture of metallics, natural textures, glossy finishes, and textiles is how I add visual interest.

Now that we’re aware of how to best choose items, how to start out in groupings of three, and how to mix texture, we’re off to a great start.  Why don’t you give just these few tips a try and see how they work out for you! Then come back here, let me know how you do!  If you have an area of your house that you struggle with styling, let me know what it is and I’ll add it into the series!

I look forward to hearing from you and working your problem areas into stylish masterpieces!

 

objects: horn sculpture  |  wishbone  |  calcite geode  |  The Spirit of Capri  |  Victoria Hagan: Interior Portraits  |  voluspa blanc  |  mercury glass candle holder  |  raffia trays  |  glass canister  |  gold trinket box  | initial jewelry box

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Acrylic Gem Cuff DIY

clear acrylic gem cuff diy

Let’s get a little crafty today!  I’ve been excited to do this jeweled cuff tutorial and have been looking forward to getting back from my trip just so that I could do it.  I know that sounds silly, but I was literally sitting on the plane thinking about the colors, shapes, and gems I’d use in this project.

I have a few jeweled up cuffs, but I have a really hard time with cuffs in general because they always just fall off my wrist. This issue is especially true for the acrylic ones on the market since they’re not usually too bendable.

acrylic gem bracelet tutorial

While at my local art store, I was searching for foam core board, but stumbled upon this PVC sheet and thought, “BINGO”!  I wanted to do a cool, totally unique bracelet with a snap closure to fit my petite wrists and I got exactly that.  You know when a project is finished and it’s better than you thought it would be?  That’s happened to be with this cuff.  Here is how I did it! Continue Reading…

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