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Tuesday
Jun282016

a red, white and blue table for the 4th

July 4th is right around the corner (can you believe it?!) but I've had red, white and blue on the brain for a while now.  While I typically don't ever gravitate toward red in my decor or design, I love it in a muted shade to accompany classic blue and white for summer and, especially, the fourth of July!  I found a gorgeous red cotton throw at TJMaxx the other day and it got me thinking how amazing it would look as a makeshift tablecloth, paired with navy and white striped napkins, my bamboo flatware, water hyacinth chargers and my favorite French wine glasses - something so easy and inexpensive can take your everyday entertaining essentials to the next level and provide a cool pop of color and lots of interest!  Here are a few things I'm loving lately for a subdued red, white and blue table setting:

Natural basket weave placemat / Roulette blue band dinner plate / Cambridge Silversmiths Bamboo-style

flatware / Monogrammed outdoor pillow / Beverage dispenser / Hayden beverage tub /

Giant clam bowl / Buffalo check tablecloth / Myrtle topiary / Casserole dish + holder / Acrylic glasses

Happy Tuesday!

 

 

 

Monday
Jun272016

how to make your hydrangeas last for weeks

Like every other decor-obsessed blogger, I've got a major softspot for fresh cut hydrangeas.  Those big, billowy blooms get me every time I walk into the grocery store but I've had such a hard time getting them to last longer than two or three days lately that I stopped buying them altogether the last couple of months.  I reached out on Instagram a while ago to see if there were any surefire tricks I was missing and when one reader shared her tried and true secret and how it extends her hydrangea bouquets by sometimes THREE WEEKS (!?) I just had to try it!  It worked SO well that I had to share it with you guys, too!  It's so simple you just won't believe it!

These blue and white hydrangeas from my baby shower were looking a little sad, so I decided to give it a try over the weekend and see if I couldn't bring them back to life again:

All you need is a large bucket; fill it with cold water and a bunch of ice:

Next, submerge your blooms, heads first, completely under water, keep them in a cool place (I left mine in the sink in my laundry room) and forget about them.  That's it!  I usually do this at the end of the day and let them sit in the ice water overnight:

Look how much they've plumped up by the next morning!

I hope you're all off to a great start this week!

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Jun232016

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!

 

Thursday
Jun232016

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??? 

Tuesday
Jun212016

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!

Panzanella

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!