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Friday, July 29, 2011

{An Unconventional Bedside Table}

Starting out as newlyweds, my husband and I weren't about to drop thousands of dollars to furnish every corner of our home. Besides, I wanted time to develop my own sense of decorating and wait for those pieces that I really liked. 

We got a wonderful dining set second hand (thank you Craigslist!) and refinished it, we got a gorgeous bed on a furniture store weekend sale, and we opted for a store model of a high quality mattress in order to snag a half price deal. But once the basics were set, we decided to take our time with everything else. And we still are. In lei of purchasing brand new bedside tables we decided to use a couple of extra island chairs that came with our dining set (we don't have an island anyways!). And after a year, I've actually really grown fond of the creative look of this unconventional bedside table...

An Ikea lamp ($15). I am crazy about the glow this lamp gives off. So crazy about it that I'm willing to drive two and a half hours to an Ikea just to buy more...

An unconventional bedside table. Yet, it's actually the perfect height and size (keep in mind that these are island chairs, not bar stools).

A worthwhile read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. What reads are on your bedside table?

My favorite candle...Frosted Cupcake Candle from Bath & Body Works. Even if I just go into Bath & Body Works to browse, I'm bound to come out with several of these.

An every now and then gift from my sweet hubby. I love how pure and bright these white daisies look on my night stand in contrast to the peaceful gray of our freshly painted walls (Annapolis Gray Benjamin Moore)

Do you have any creative ways you've improvised with home decor?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

{Birch Box}

I used to love getting mail as a kid- cards from grandma, American Girl Magazine,  Christmas cards with pictures of family. However, since graduating college, getting married, and getting a job I've learned that mail isn't quite as exciting as it once was. Between bills and junk mail, checking the mailbox isn't what it once was. 

Birchbox has changed all that...

This is no ordinary box. This box has super powers...

Okay, so maybe it doesn't have super hero like powers, but it does hold all this...

You see, Birchbox is this snazzy little website that, for $10 a month, allows you to sign up for a 3, 6, or 12 month subscription. Each month you receive a Birchbox in the mail filled with all kinds of beauty samples you get to try out without having to drop the money for a full size bottle/container. This month's Birchbox was filled with goodies picked by designer Cynthia Rowley. Alright, now that I've spent about a whole paragraph sounding like an advertisement, let me get down to business and share with you a few of the goodies in this month's Birchbox...

I've seen these Kind Bars in Whole Foods before, but they never really looked...umm...appetizing. Oh. Was. I. Wrong. Yum! This apricot and almond Kind bar tasted like a coconut macaroon. After eating this one I promptly went out and bought four more. 

Philosophy face wash...I never tried this until now but it is oh-so-refreshing and cleansing. Perfect for this summer heat. 

I got pedicures with my beautiful, fun sister-in-law this weekend. But when the pedicure wears off in several weeks I'll be using this Zoya nail polish in Shay. Have I ever mentioned I am crazy for cute pink nail polish colors? It all started when I was barely 3 years old and my mum started painting my nails every weekend. Mother-daughter bonding time, naturally. 

Reason 567,823 why I married my husband? He knows how to give the best gifts and a Birchbox filled with fun samples is definitely one of them!

What do you think of Birchbox? Do you know of any other websites or companies that offer similar programs and deals?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

{Sandbridge Beach, Virginia}

We've been traveling lots throughout the month of July. Three little mini-trips. And the second of our mini-trips was joining my family at our traditional summer getaway: Sandbridge Beach in Virginia. Here are a few photos from our extended weekend at this quiet beach just south of the hustle and bustle of Virginia Beach.

{This was the view Mike I enjoyed from our bedroom window. Isn't that house and white fence just enchanting?}

{Mum & Pops the wonderful vacation organizers and hosts}

{My Aunt Maggie. She has had so many adventures in her life, including living on a house boat in the Caribbean and teaching President Jimmy Carter how to kayak.}

{This one is my favorite, and I don't just mean the photo, the fella too}

{Every morning M and I would set our alarms for an early morning beach walk.}

Do you ever go on vacations with your extended family? 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

{If You Had Your Own Chic Little Business}

List of possible careers:

magazine editor
wedding planner
interior designer
news anchor
freelance writer
cookbook author 
pastry chef

Lately I've been contemplating the thought of starting my own little business. Nothing big that would take over my life (I know, they all say that right?), but something to bring in a little money and have fun with. Think along the lines of a mommy business, only I'm not a mommy. 20 hours a week or less. Fun. Doesn't interfere with family time. You get my gist? 

 I worked for two separate small business during college and I loved the sense of ownership that comes with working with a small business or start-up, rather than just being a number in a big company (employee number 3,587 please report to the HR department).

I snapped this photos on my phone one day when I was writing for a wedding planner in college. I'm pretty sure every girl I know has gone through the "I want to be a wedding planner" phase. J Lo you did us no justice by idealizing that job with Matthew Mcconaughey.

 If you could start any small business what would it be? (Etsy shop? Photography? Organic bakery?....) What would you call it and what would make your business unique? 

I really enjoy photography. Maybe I should make that into a business? I know I'm a newbs and would have a way to go, but I'm growing fonder of the idea of photographing babies, families, children and couples.

Leave a comment with your little imaginary (or real!) small business or write a post about it on your blog and leave a working link in the comment box and let's swap some women owned business ideas. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

{Bald Head Island: Golf Cart Parade}

During our recent Bald Head Island vacation we got to experience Bald Head Island's 4th of July golf cart parade. I knew Bald Head Island vacationers took this tradition seriously, but I had no idea just how creative they would get...

The Beverly Hillbillies 

The whole gang is here!

Dog Island. And might I point out that that skate boarding "dog" in pink shorts was attached to the float by a leash. 

Paying homage to the troops that defend our free country. 

And yes, the helicopter rotors actually spun. 

Even the "Amish" turned out for the parade. 

Sea turtles are a big deal on BHI because it's a sea turtle conservatory. There were several turtle themed golf cart brigades but I thought this 1970s hippie theme was the most creative. 

Would you believe those were actually all golf carts underneath that impressive decor? If you could design your own golf cart float would your theme be? I think I would do a Vineyard Vines themed float since it's such perfect coastal style. Maybe I could even toss Vineyard Vines accessories off the float, maybe something like this Vineyard Vines Koozie that Coastal Urge tossed out to me from their golf cart float (lucky catch. Very lucky catch)...

What golf cart theme would I see you driving down the island?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

{Lunch at The Shoal's Club}

During our recent Bald Head Island vacation, we visited what is now my favorite place to eat on this relaxing North Carolina island. After a morning spent on the beach we headed in for a late lunch. I was content to simply cook at the beach house, but my sweet hubby was set on taking me out for a date. And after arriving at The Shoal's Club at Bald Head Island I'm so glad he encouraged the late lunch date idea. 

Is this place beautiful or what? And it's literally RIGHT off East Beach. The Shoal's Club Grille is a poolside dining area where you can enjoy a perfectly serene view of the ocean.

Whenever we go out to eat we always pick two things we'd both like and split our meals. It's the best of both worlds! Do you ever do the same with your fellow? This time we opted for a cheeseburger and fries as well as a grilled chicken sandwich with fresh fruit. This was no everyday cheeseburger or grilled chicken sandwich was the best burger and the best chicken sandwich we've ever tasted- not at all greasy, perfectly fresh served on possibly the most yummy brioche bun. Maybe the gorgeous view made our meal even tastier. It certainly made it more romantic. 

We took a few moments after lunch to enjoy the gracious southern porch. And I took the opportunity to snap a few photos of my hubby in his new BHI sunglasses. We've been looking for so long for good sunglasses for him, and we loved these and at $15 at the Bald Head Island Maritime Market...well it was too good to pass up. 

I'm still crushing on this guy. 

The Shoal's Club porch extends to this peaceful view of Bald Head Island's East Beach. 

I loved watching these American flags dance in the sea breeze. 

I could spend forever after here just the two of us. 

You can read more about our recent Bald Head Island vacation here

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{Island Dreams}

Up until just a week before 4th of July weekend, my husband and I had no set plans for the long weekend off. We had thought we'd maybe fly to go see his brother's family, but a double in flight rates kept our plans home bound. That is until we were offered the chance to once again visit Bald Head Island, the place we honeymooned a year ago. You don't have to ask me twice to jump on that offer. I'd go there anytime without a second thought. And so my island dream for the 4th of July weekend began to take form...

...Bald Head Island is always a place where everyday life fades and a glass of chardonnay on the beach becomes a habit that takes the place of checking e-mails...'s a place where we always feel like we can stand tall. No skyscrapers, ringtones or traffic to bring us down to size. Well, except for the golf carts that always seem to pass us because we prefer to barely chug along the road so as to get a good sight of all the gorgeous houses...

...This North Carolina island is where good views are a plenty and the beaches are bare of people and noise... 

...but full of shimmering sand... 

...and steady rolling waves... 

...This east coast beach boasts unforgettable sunsets and beach walks. The sort of sunset beach walks that leave us longing for more every evening, whether we're on island time or back home amidst the hustle and bustle of life...'s a North Carolina beach that gives us time, space and inspiration to think... 

...or simply time to stare at this island's untouched, natural beauty... 

...There is a smile that creeps across my face and grows wider the longer we bask in the rest and fun of the island... 

...a smile that lingers just a little in the dimples of our cheeks, a reminder that leaves us wondering when we can come back for more.

What are your vacation dreams? 

Friday, July 1, 2011

{Show Us Your Life: Breakfast Recipes}

It's been a while since I've had the fun of linking up for Show Us Your Life Fridays with Kelly's Korner. But when I found out that this week's topic was going to be breakfast recipes I knew I had to link up. I love recipes, I love eating and I love breakfast!  

One of my favorite breakfasts is just oatmeal, especially the Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packets because they are so easy! Not only is oatmeal budget friendly and super healthy, but there is so much variety when it comes to this powerful little oat. Here are my favorite ways to enjoy a bowl in the morning:

  • Make oatmeal with vanilla flavored almond milk or vanilla flavored soy milk, it adds a little more sweetness, some extra nutrients, and a great flavor!
  • Bananas...classic!
  • Blueberries...perfect this time of year.
  • Cinnamon...a great addition when it's cold outside
  • Peanut butter...just a tablespoon or two, stir well and it's super yummy
  • Agave nectar for sweetener
  • Baked apples for a yummy apple crisp taste...almost like dessert for breakfast, but it's healthy!
  • Dark chocolate chips or butterscotch chips
  • Raisins, cinnamon, and brown sugar for "oatmeal raisin cookie oatmeal"
What are your favorite ways to enjoy oatmeal?