Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 was a heck of year

Last night Mr. S and I sat down with a glass of wine and decided to document 2012 in a journal we keep for each other. I still can't believe all that has happened this year in our lives.

2012 was a heck of a year...


We went to Colorado skiing in February.
I broke my foot in March and had surgery.
We bought a new house in April and moved in June.
September we traveled to Rome, Ga to celebrate my Grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary.
Mr. S and I celebrated 2 years of wedded bliss in October.
Our family grew to 4 when Charlie joined us in early December.
For Christmas we surprised Hannah with her puppy, Mac.

...and phew...tomorrow, we're heading into 2013!

On the blog in 2012...


You all read, clicked and shared and pinned more than I could have dreamed this year. These are five of your favorite posts according to my handy stat tracker. Thank you for being a dedicated reader, for helping keep me motivated when times were tough, for keeping my creative juices flowing and giving me inspiration at every turn. I can't wait to see what 2013 has to bring!

1. ombre hair color - yes or no?

2. sparkle and shine




Friday, December 21, 2012

merry christmas

From our home to your's this holiday season...I wish you happiness, laughter, and love! See you on December 26th - it's time for some R & R with the family.

card by Polkadotdesign.com
(And Charlie too...I had the cards made before we got him & decided on a name!)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

wise words for wednesday

I think we all struggle at one point or another with learning to like ourselves. I for one have not always liked myself until the last few years as I've done some soul searching at various points, but Dr. Angelou has some wise words for all of us this Wednesday. I hope you like yourself, what you do and how you do it!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

is email dead?

Is email dead? In this world where text messages, G-chat, Tweets and statuses are the fastest form of communication, it begs the question as to whether a lengthy email is really the best way to communicate with someone?

Last night, I nearly cried when I realized that a very important email had been sitting in my Spam box for the last three weeks without my reply. I normally check it regularly, and am mortified that I've not replied to the person. I get probably 50+ emails per day between my personal and corporate accounts, and some days it's just too much. If I had only an instant message client in place of email, I wonder if life would be easier? I certainly wouldn't lose messages in my Spam box!

The question has been asked time and time again, and now I pose it to you - Is email a dying form of communication for you personally or professionally?

Monday, December 17, 2012

real-life friends

In this crazy world of blogging, it's all about cultivating community. But to be quite honest, my absolute favorite part of all of this is that I have real-life friends who are bloggers too! Blogging is a place for yourself and finding that place, and your voice in it. Here are some of my friends, who are bloggers too, who've created a perfect space for themselves and their readers!

Love Ya Bean It

I've known Bean since...oh...I think 7th grade. We went to camp together through high school, and she's quite honestly one of the most fantastic people I've had the pleasure to know. She married one of our camp buddies (SOO cute!), and now has an awesome lifestyle blog. Bean covers everything from redecorating their home in South Carolina to gift-giving ideas, and she even has a feature on 20 Something Women and life from their point of view! Her blog and honest point of view is not to be missed...plus, learn how she got her awesome nickname!!




Pineapples and Pearls

Heather and I met through mutual friends right after college in my hometown, and when I moved to DC I asked her to join a monthly blogger book club with me, which was a really great experience. She brings her traditional and classic style to her blog through really beautiful DIY projects, outfit ideas, and recipes. Heather's even been featured in The Zesty Digest and here on my blog too!!! For every J. Crew die-hard, pastel loving, 20-something city dwelling lady out there - this blog's got it all!



Fiery and Opinionated

There are bosses, and then there's Heather. I worked for Heather in my last job, and it broke my heart to leave her, my team and my job. We had an awesome connection from the get go, and now she's a blogger too! Heather just kicked off her blog this past weekend, and knowing how hilarious and honest she is, I have no doubt that you will be instantly smitten with her blog. Be sure to check out her site as she jumps in head first this week!



Sunday, December 16, 2012

newtown

I don't have words for what happened in Newtown last week, but I think this says it all. Newtown you're in our thoughts, prayers and in our hearts forever.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

a christmas surprise

This year Mr. S and I planned quite a Christmas surprise for Hannah, and we decided to give it to her a bit early when she came to visit us last night on her way home from school for winter break. Please forgive the poor editing. Hannah's shock at her gift led to a bit of profanity in the heat of the moment and I tried to dub over. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

wise words for wednesday

Every now and then, I feel like I spend more time worrying than doing, but I have to remind myself that...

Source: isksw.com via Jessica on Pinterest

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

house beautiful features matthew bees

The November issue of House Beautiful's Next Wave features my college friend, Matthew Bees and his 350 square foot condo in Georgetown.

Matt has always had an amazing sense of southern style and grace. He's an elegant old soul in my mind. In college, Matt threw beautiful dinner parties in his perfectly placed apartment in a historic house in Tuscaloosa, complete with a well planned menu and lovely understated floral arrangements. Oh, and who else in college could rock a Burberry tie & pocket square quite like this dapper gentleman?


Matthew has continued his pursuit of beautiful interiors by bringing them to others with his business, Niche Interiors. Check out his meticulously designed Southern transitional home below - the green makes me positively green with envy.







 I'm so proud of all you have worked so hard to build with your business and your tireless pursuit to transform blank canvases into wonderfully warm and stunning homes, Matt!! Roll Tide!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

here's charlie

We're back from a successful trip to the beach house and even more thrilled with our new addition, here's Charlie!


He loves treats...


He hates baths...


He is still trying to figure out toys...


He doesn't like the vet...



He's an awesome sleeper/car rider...


BUT he's also very active...


Jack's still a little unsure of him, so pictures of the two of them together were tough to snap without someone moving or jumping around. All-in-all we're adjusting well to being home, and to our new family dynamic! There will be much more to come as we explore, grow and play!

Friday, December 7, 2012

puppy supplies

Our car is loaded with few new puppy supplies and our overnight bags, we're off this weekend to Wilmington, NC to bring home our newest addition to the family. These are just a few things I've got packed for the little guy.

Do you have any favorite doggie treats, toys or the like? Or how about tips for bringing a new puppy home, acclimating them to a new home or training them? With Jack, we totally winged it, so I'm feeling a bit more cautious this time around.

Eeekkk...it feels like Christmas already. Be sure to check-out my Instagram this weekend for the lastest snapshots of our little pup. I can't wait to share more with you on Monday!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

polka dot gift guide

I recently bought myself a polka dot phone cover and sweater, and just having them around makes me happy. I'm not quite sure why, but I can't get enough, and I want to share the love with everyone on my list this year.


polka dot gift guide

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

10 pieces of advice for brides

One of my best friends on this earth, Ms. Cashman asked me to be her bridesmaid, and I couldn't feel more honored and blessed to be by her side as she marries her best friend and a wonderful guy. As I've talked with her and other friends about planning their weddings, there are 10 pieces of advice come to my mind that I wish someone had told me when we were wedding planning...and here they are for you.

10 pieces of advice brides

1.  Don't try to be too accommodating - I was so worried about everyone else's feelings to say "no" to some things that were not important and timeframes that were unrealistic. Be honest, be reasonable and don't try to please everyone at every turn. Set the tone early-on while you're planning that you are directing the show in a gentle and firm manner, and that this is your and your fiance's day.

2. Video record your ceremony - We had been to a number of weddings just before we got married, and the few that had videographers were memorable because the videographer was in the way and ruined the ambiance of the wedding. That said, our family priest was off the cuff and in the midst of our ceremony Mr. S surprised me with a very memorable gift, and I'd give anything to have that part of our wedding day on tape today.

3. Invest in your photography - This is where I refused to compromise, and I am happy everyday that did, because every single image is unbelievably beautiful. These photos capture the best day of your life, don't skimp in the slightest - get the best and longest package available from the best photographer in your area.

4. Bring out the good booze first - After a few hours people often find themselves having so much fun they don't even realize what they're sipping on. Splurge on good adult beverages early on, and choose budget booze to bring out late night. Your wallet will thank you and your guests will have just as much fun.

5. DJ's are a big, fat no-no - DJ's more often than not are self-promoting at some point during the night, and quite frankly it's uncomfortable for everyone there. Nothing can supplement a good band keeping the energy of the party and crowd going late into the night. Pick a band that fits the tone you want to set with your wedding whether it's mo-town or 80's - the music can make or break any party.

6. Take someone to the bathroom with you - I ended up going to bathroom alone twice during the night, and it sounds funny but holding a huge dress (mine had a train) and balancing in heels is unnecessary gymnastics on your wedding day. Bring a friend to the bathroom with you, your quads will thank you.

7. Don't leave the party -  It's always a bummer to see the bride and groom leave the reception. It's like the energy has been sucked from the room. Your friends and family have come to share in this special and exciting time with you - stick around as long as possible! We did an after-party at a bar nearby our reception location that everyone walked to and the party kept going until 3 AM - tons more memories were made that I love to hear about!

8. Don't leave the party - part II - Schedule your honeymoon flight to leave late the day after your wedding or even two days later. Again, your family and friends have come to share in this special time with you, stick around for a few hours the next day to say goodbyes, not to mention to get a little bit of rest before you hop a plane to relax together.

9. Turn off your cell phone and email - The day of your wedding and during your honeymoon are full of too many special details and moments to be taken away by your mobile device, social sites, work emails, etc. This is the one excuse that everyone will respect if you don't post a status once an hour or reply to someone's work request - be present in every single moment, they fly by.

10. Pack an emergency kit - Bra straps will fall, dresses magically won't fit, a seam will rip, someone's hair will fall as soon as it's been put up - avoid meltdowns or the "does anyone have a...?" questions. A few weeks before the big day, stock a box full of essentials and put them in a prominent place where everyone can get to them while getting ready:

  • double sided fashion tape
  • safety pins
  • bobby pins
  • tissues
  • Advil
  • hairspray
  • heel protectors for shoes
  • lip balm
  • tampons
  • eye drops
  • sewing kit
  • Q-tips
Are there any other pieces of advice that you found helpful when planning your wedding or that friends have shared with you as your planning your wedding? I'd love to hear them and pass them along to my friends getting married.

Monday, December 3, 2012

holiday traditions

On Saturday Mom, Hannah and I went to the annual mother-daughter wreath making class at Thomas Jefferson's, Monticello Learning Center. Ahh...and icing on the cake...We met legendary interior designer, Charlotte Moss, who was signing copies of her latest book, A Visual Life: Scrapbooks, Collages and Inspiration! It was by far the best weekend with my parents celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary, and spending a wonderful time together celebrating with an always unforgettable holiday tradition. How have you kicked off the holiday season?


               
            
             


Hannah meeting Ms. Moss & getting her signed copy of her newest book, A Visual Life

Sunday, December 2, 2012

35 years together

She wore white, he arrived a few minutes late, but in front of their friends and family they vowed to love, honor and cherish each other forever, and today they celebrate 35 years by each other's side. Happy 35th Anniversary to my fantastic parents!



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