Flying by

 How can summer be almost over already ?!? Ours has been one of the best ever which I guess explains why I haven't had much time for blogging . The past few months have been filled with pool days, cupcake dates, weeks at the beach, painting marathons, picnics, polo matches and so much more . 


We also had another birthday around here . Sweet Hayes turned 2 at the end of July . We celebrated with a little pool party . While she didn't seem to enjoy her cake quite as much as last year, I think she still had a pretty good time .

Along with all of the fun I have been working like crazy . I have never taken on so many clients at once and this summer has been incredibly busy for me . Mostly I love it but there have been a few overwhelming days . The past week Riley has been out of school so she has been my design assistant . She loves seeing sites under demolition and taking photos during my meetings with clients . Despite falling asleep on the job the other day,

she makes for a great assistant and I will miss her so much when she starts kindergarten next week . I think several of my projects will wrap up in the fall and I can't wait to share them with you !


Home Grown

I believe I mentioned that we (and by "we" I mean Paul) planted a garden this year . 

It has gone surprisingly well considering neither of us really knew what the heck we were doing . We have yellow squash, English cucumbers, several varieties of tomatoes and lots of zuchinni . 


We've had sauteed squash and zucchini, fried green tomatoes, BLTs and lots of this zucchini bread . The kids love to help make it and it is so, so good for breakfast . 

Somehow the deer have not found our garden yet but I am sure it is only a matter of time . Until then, we are loving having all of these home grown vegetables to eat ! 


Checking In

Now that Google Reader is gone are any of you still here ? ? ? I made the switch over to Feedly and it was so, so easy . 

I'm delivering fabric to my seamstress today . Have you seen the Nate Berkus line of fabrics at Calico ? What do you think ? I really like a lot of the colorways and I am actually using some of them in my own home as well as in my clients' homes . 

Yesterday was spent looking at tile . It is so hard for me to focus when sourcing tile - there are so many options and combinations ! Both of these caught my eye . 

Summer is still plugging along around here . When we aren't at the pool it seems like we are always at Target .

(I felt like I was escorting the Queen into the store since Riley insists on wearing a tiara almost everywhere we go .) 

This disaster was the reason behind yesterday's trip to Target .

I will spare you the details of what we woke up to yesterday morning . She looks innocent but she is nothing but trouble these days .

Does anyone out there want an 8 month old yellow Lab ? ? ? This time yesterday morning I think my husband and I would have willingly given her up to any takers . 

In other news, I am very, very slowly getting back into a running routine . I have two different trails that I have been running and they are both so beautiful that it helps motivate me to get out there .

I am hoping the rain will stay away long enough to fit in a good run this afternoon because after last night's dinner I definitely need one .

Cheese, bread, fig spread and wine . . . so good .  I'll check back in again soon ! 


Photo storage and display . . . again

I've talked before about struggling to find a way to store and display family photos . Some are in albums, some are in Blurb books, some are on the walls . But I still have a LOT of photos that I love that were just packed away in a box and no one ever looked at them . About a year ago I picked up a round glass vase from an antique mall . It is probably about a foot and a half in diameter . It makes a really beautiful vase but I recently decided it would be a great place to keep our family photos . 

I love how you can shuffle the photos around to get a different view every so often . But what I really like is walking by and grabbing a handful at a time for a quick trip down memory lane . You never know what you are going to get from one handful to the next - baby pics of the girls, childhood pics of me or my husband, holiday pics, 

photos from friends' weddings, high school pics, college pics, etc. 

Whenever I grab a bunch out I try to take a minute to write down any info I can remember on the back - who it is, when it was taken, what we were doing .

The vase sits on a piece of furniture in our living room so guests can also reach in and check out a few photos if something catches their eye . Riley loves pulling up a chair and looking through the photos . It is fun to show her pictures of me when I was her age and to tell her about family members that she never got the chance to meet . 

I really love having access to the photos again . The pictures almost always bring a smile to my face . 



We had a birthday around here recently . Riley turned 5 this week and we had a great time celebrating . 

She chose to have a fairy garden birthday party and it could not have been a more fitting theme . Her friends wore their fairy wings and had fun running around the yard, playing on the swing, decorationg fairy wands and making their very own fairy gardens .


Just when I can't get over how big she is we go to the doctor for her 5 yr appt where he informs me that she is in the 12th percentile for weight . 12th percentile ?!?!?! She only weighs 34 lbs - we are NEVER going to get into that booster seat for the car . Oh, well. She still seems like a big girl to me ! Happy 5th birthday, Riley ! 



Obviously I haven't been blogging lately . Life has just been so full . Full of good stuff and, unfortunately, some not so good stuff. But since I am sure y'all don't come here to hear me complain about things such as a stomach bug that has hit each and every member of our household in the last 2 weeks, let's focus on the good stuff because there is lots of it . Here's what our last few weeks have looked like :

The kids are LOVING the pool this year .

They also love going for rides in the Wagoneer .

I can't get enough of these cheeks or these curls . I think I have had enough of the temper tantrums though. Lately when she is mad her favorite move is to whack my sunglasses off of my face while simultaneously pulling my hair . . . So it's a good thing that I am such a sucker for those cheeks and curls .

Riley graduated from preschool yesterday . Her class sang a bunch of really cute songs and then received their "diplomas" . She is starting to seem so grown up . She turns 5 in a few weeks, starts kindergarten in the Fall . . . it is all just happening way too fast . I am soaking up as much time with them as I can but I promise I'll be back soon ! 


Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago I had some photos taken of our house . Since everything is a work in progress I asked the photographer to just focus on a couple of spaces - the barn/studio, kitchen and powder bath . 

It's nice to have photos by a "real" photographer . If you are local and in need of photography work give Andrea Hubbell a call. She was great to work with & made the whole process really easy . 



A Nursery for my Niece

We spent last week in Connecticut getting to know our newest family member , my neice Sadie Grace . 

She is perfect in every way and we miss her so much already . Her mommy and daddy kindly asked for my help with her nursery . It was fun to see our plans come together in person . 

She was 8 days early so there are still a few details missing (artwork, accessories, etc.) but I think the room is so pretty and perfect for sweet little Sadie . I don't think I will ever get tired of designing nurseries !


Dinner Inspiration

I was at the bookstore a few weeks ago and made an impulse purchase -  the new Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook, It's All Good .

I never buy cookbooks since so many recipes are available online these days but when I flipped through the book everything sounded really good to me . Over the past week or so I have made several of her dishes and I have loved every single one of them .

And even more surprising, my family has loved them too ! A couple that we have tried :

Chicken Francese

Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas with Mustard & Parsley

Quinoa with Mushrooms and Arugula

Black Bean & Guacamole Tacos

Sweet Potato and Five Spice Muffins

I've got several more picked out to try next week . This book could not have come at a more perfect time . I have been in such a food rut lately - feeling like I am just making the same thing week after week . It feels good to have some new healthy recipes to try .

 Have any of you tried any of Gwyneth's recipes ? What do you think ? 

In a totally unrelated topic, Riley has her first ballet recital this weekend . It's going to be so adorable seeing her up on stage . Hope she doesn't get stage-fright !



this hook from Anthropologie

It is so versatile . It works horizontally or vertically and it comes in several different finishes . They also make minature versions to use as drawer pulls . I have already bought several and may go back for more . I have a thing for good hardware and tend to hoard it when I come across a good find . Any other hardware hoarders out there ?