Kelly Christakos Stivers


a surprise baby shower luncheon for bear cub

Last weekend, one of my closest and dearest friends threw a surprise baby shower luncheon to celebrate bear cub's upcoming arrival and, as usual, she knocked everyone's socks off with the decor!  The venue was on the patio of one of our favorite restaurants but she turned the table setting into the dreamiest blue, white and green display where not one single detail was overlooked!  From the handmade garland of greenery and blue and white hydrangeas, to the woven chargers, galvanized steel napkin holders, palm leaf place mats and antique blue bottles, it was absolutely breathtaking!  Another friend just recently started her own cookie decorating business and she made monogrammed surf board cookies as favors!  It was the perfect day - I'm so lucky to have such fabulous friends and, even more, my momma flew in from the west coast especially for it!  As soon as I got there I snapped a few shots of the setup just to share with you all, I hope you love it as much as I did!

Me and my beautiful bestie!

I hope you all have an amazing weekend!



inspiration for bear cub's nursery

Well, hello 29 weeks!  This pregnancy is flying by with lightening speed and I'm trying my best not to panic as there is still an entire guest room set in what is to be Bear Cub's nursery (we are in the process of finishing a guest suite upstairs and it's taking FOREVER).  We are installing crown molding this week and getting the ceiling painted just so that I don't completely freak out at the amount of stuff we have yet to do before the little guy gets here, while I still vacillate on exactly what we're going to do in there.  There is no shortage of modern and more contemporary nurseries filling my Instagram and Pinterest feeds but I really want something a little more traditional, along the same lines as what I did for Lydia's, with some subtle nautical touches and a soothing color palette.  I'm all over the place when it comes to inspiration, but here are a few spaces that make my pulse leap:

I love the idea of vinyl grass cloth (with a painted, pale blue ceiling) and every single detail in this little boy's room sings to me...from the grass cloth walls and bright white trim to the fabulous striped curtain panels and rug and the ship chandelier! 

Another great example by the great Steven Gambrel, this time with blue painted trim.  Again, love the striped rug and the underlying nautical vibe:

On the complete other end of the spectrum, I do love the all-white nursery with lots of texture and again, a striped rug, to bring interest and keep it from looking too sterile.  This kid's space in Victoria Hagan's Nantucket hideaway is so light and airy it takes my breath away:

I love the pale gray and soft blues, not to mention all the adorable nautical details, in this nursery Caitlin did for her littles over at Picket Fence Projects:

Another gorgeous little man's room by Steven Gambrel that is so stunning in its simplicity.  I love the aqua chairs and bed and the washed out colors of the nautical charts paired with bold navy stripes on the windows:

I adore this sea captain-inspired gallery wall:

I'm finding a ton of inspiration in grown up spaces, too - like the tone-on-tone gray/blue paint in Scott Currie's Hampton's living room.  The only thing tripping me up is that I'm so obsessed with Lydia's painted ceiling that I'm pretty sure I want it in little man's room, too.  But how amazing - and unique - is this?

The nursery graphic designer Ashley Putman did for her youngest son has always been a favorite and, in fact, the reason I've pined for pale blue curtain panels for the last few years, haha!  It's so light and airy and the glossy black closet doors anchor the space perfectly:

The space Monika Hibbs created for her little boy, Liam, is another favorite, as much for the light, bright airiess as all the texture and the navy and aqua accents.  The Serena and Lily wallpaper is so fun and fresh, too:

And last, but not least...even though this office by Steven Gambrel is not a kid's space, I love the bold Kelly green trim paired with the textured bamboo Roman blinds, gauzy linen curtain panels and fun striped chairs:

 Which is your favorite??? 


3 amazing summer salads

It's been HOT in our neck of the woods lately and I've been craving cold, crunchy fruits and veggies something fierce, so to kick off the first official day of summer (a day late, of course, because that's how I roll these days!) I thought I'd share three of my favorite, go-to salads that have been gracing my table the last couple weeks for dinner (and sometimes lunch, too!)  Each one is not only delicious, but so easy to make and would make the perfect side for a barbeque! 

Romaine with artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper + pine nuts 

This delectable salad from Ali over at Gimme Some Oven has been in heavy rotation the last couple weeks - we had it with chicken or fish every night for an entire week, that's how amazing it is!  It takes a little more prep time because I roast my own red peppers and have to toast the pine nuts, but it's SO worth it!  The homemade vinaigrette is super quick - I just pour everything into my smoothie cups and blend it with my Ninja and if I have any left over, I use it to marinade chicken the next day!

Iceberg with radish, bacon, tomato and homemade blue cheese 

There isn't a recipe of Ina Garten's that I haven't tried and absolutely loved and this homemade blue cheese dressing is no exception.  I substituted Greek yogurt for mayo and didn't use any heavy cream at all and it turned out delicious!  This is a great salad to serve guests and you can make it even prettier by cutting wedges of iceberg and drizzling dressing over top for an elegant first course!


This has been another staple in our house for years.  I ate this all the time growing up and am so happy to watch Lydia dig into it now, too!  This particular recipe is another by the fabulous Ina and while I love the recipe as it is, lately, I've been leaving out the homemade croutons and feta cheese in an effort to be a little more healthy and it's still amazing!  Every time I serve this when we have guests, I always get asked for the recipe! 

What are some of your favorite summer salads?  I'm always looking for new recipes!








5 favorite (and easy!) summer-inspired diy's

My idea of the perfect DIY is one that is easy, inexpensive, relatively quick to execute and doesn't look like something you actually made yourself.  (Had to add that last part because it's so true!!)  If you're in the mood for some easy, summer-inspired DIY's to try over the weekend, I've got a few for you that fit my aforementioned prerequisites and will have your friends and guests wanting to know your secrets!  In place of my unregularly scheduled Friday Five post (despite my best efforts!), I thought it would be fun to re-post five of my favorites for summer! 

This rope-wrapped vase is one of my favorite diy's, as much for the fact that it's INCREDIBLY easy as it is because it looks so beautiful with simple summer blooms! I'm making a bunch of these for the centerpieces at my cousin's wedding this Fall in Newport, Rhode Island - how amazing will they look filled to the brim with blue and white hydrangea?!

Turn 12 feet of rope from Lowe's or Home Depot into a nautical addition to a bookshelf or coffee table in minutes, or, impress your friends with mini versions of these monkey's fist knots to take home as favors from your next barbeque or get together!  I made a few of these to give away as prizes for the games at my baby shower a few years ago and I'm still getting compliments and comments on them!

Give your walls a little refresh and add softness and texture to your favorite photos and artwork by gluing linen fabric to plain white mats.  For even more drama, spray paint your frames a glossy white for a light and airy feel.  These were the perfect addition to a few favorite pieces of art on the gallery wall in Lydia's nursery:

 Whitewashing inexpensive terra cotta pots is a quick and easy alternative to waiting years for them to age naturally on their own.  A cheap bag of powdered lime, some sandpaper and spray sealer and you've got chalky perfection!

And if you're feeling especially adventurous, grab some white paint and breathe some new life into that old piece of furniture you've been wanting to get rid of forever.  Whitewashing and dry brushing some  white paint is a great way to transform an old piece and it's a lot easier than you think!  I've listed each step to make it even easier!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and happy DIY-ing!








father's day gift guide 2016

(the day after daddy got home from his last deployment; baby girl wouldn't let go of his finger for 3 days!)

Father's Day is next week and it's one of my favorite holidays to shop for the hubby and my dad - birthdays and Christmas are one thing, but it's so much fun to have a whole day dedicated to celebrating some of the most important men in my life!  If you're anything like me, though, you have all these fabulous and grandiose gift ideas months ahead of time and then you find yourself a week out from the big day, still pondering over the perfect gift for the guy(s) who already has/have everything.  Luckily, there are a few picks I'm loving lately that would make amazing gifts for the men in your life (including my own) - from the most amazing cologne and chunky crystal whiskey tumblers to a chic cooler and cookbook all about meat, you can't go wrong with any of these picks:

Meat: Everything You Need to Know - the quintessential cookbook for your carnivore.

Bleu de Chanel - hands down, the most intoxicating scent!!

Anchor Bottle Opener - A nautical-inspired must-have for your summer bar setup.

Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker - the sound quality on this mini speaker is amazing and it comes in a bunch of punchy colors!

Yeti Tundra Cooler - OBSESSED with this powder blue beauty but am pretty sure the hubby would love its unmatched quality and durability a little more than its pretty hue!

Leather koozie with gold shotgun shell - Need I say more? 

Men's Marble Shave Set - Turn an every day necessity into a few minutes of luxury with this little beauty.  I see shave sets all over but they can be ridiculously pricey; this one is super affordable and I love that it's monogrammable!

Martin Crystal Lowball Cocktail Glasses - perfect weight for sipping a couple fingers of whiskey at the end of a long week!

Whiskey sticks - these bad boys add a smokey essence to a stiff drink by heightening your senses with the scent of charcoal without altering the taste of your favorite cocktail.

Iron Anchor Paperweight - this is clearly a "just because it was cute" gift idea; it looks equally adorable as a decoation on your favorite wrapped gift as it does on a bookshelf, end table or stack of books. 

Whiskey - a special bottle for a special guy to drink on a special occasion.  Any one of these libations from Caskers would make a great gift!

Chuck Taylor Classic All Stars - These never go out of style!

What are some of your gift ideas for Father's Day this year?  I'm always on the hunt for new gift ideas and would love to know!