Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Barn Sale Find

Last week, my little sister Morna and I went to a "barn sale" in nearby Stillwater. I was seriously kicking myself for not bringing a camera, because the whole barn was decked out with beautiful handmade, vintage, and antique items for the home. I wanted to just move in (but it was a little drafty, you know, being a barn). So instead, we just wandered around and gazed at all the lovely items. I did find one thing to take home with me, a pretty amber colored candle holder. At first glance, I thought it was a lamp, but it just has a holder for a candle. 

I like the ambiance that the candlelight brings more than I would like a lamp there, anyway. I think it adds the perfect touch to the rest of our fall-ish decorations.

Speaking of Fall, it's really here! Unlike Summer and Spring, it seems like Fall and Winter really get down to business. When they arrive, you know it. Colors are bursting out on the trees, cool breezes make us grab for sweaters, and, perhaps most noticeably, it gets dark a whole lot faster in the evenings.

I love Fall. I can't wait to get to our local Apple Orchard, to buy pumpkins for carving, and fit in as many bonfires at my parent's house as possible! How about you- what's your favorite way to celebrate the season?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feeling Pinspired

As you know from my post on Monday, the wall above our living room couch is now barren because the shelf that was there started "leaning," and was threatening to topple over at any minute on top of some unsuspecting house guest.

I've been living with the wall like this for a couple of weeks, just to get a feel for what I might like to put up there instead. Just for fun, I thought I would pull some of my Pinterest "inspiration" photos and show you what I'm thinking of (click on each photo for credit). 

First, a collection of prints. I love the botanical prints that are everywhere these days. Yes, they are a little overdone, but they are so classic and lovely that I would be so tempted to jump on the bandwagon!

I also found this photo, and promptly fell in love. 

But what has really been sticking in my brain as of late, is something like this:
I really love the look of mirrors in larger spaces, how they fill up a large wall yet still bounce light around. Here's a couple more that caught my eye: 

I especially love the silvery frame above. It adds just the right touch of elegance and sophistication. 

Gilded/antiqued mirrors are also really in style lately, and I've been thinking about the possibility of DIY-ing one.

So, that's what I'm feeling inspired by. Now, I just have to decide on an idea, scrounge up the money, and make it happen! Any votes on your favorite?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wee Tidbits

Life has been pretty wonderful lately. Every time Fall comes around, I just get giddy with excitement because Fall is my fav. And also, Christmas is right after Fall. Win-win. Best time of the year! 

In addition to the cooler weather, here's a few things that are making me smile:

Aggie. Seriously, she is simultaneously the most obnoxious and cutest furry creature ever. My parents, family, and friends all hate her because she is so unfriendly to them. However, she loves Josh and I. She's a 2-person cat I guess. Lately she's taken to napping in the strangest places (laundry hamper, sink, bathtub), and in the strangest positions. Josh snapped this picture below when she fell asleep in my lap like this. Crazy, huh? Note- I told Josh to crop my head out of the picture because I looked horrific, and he did. Isn't he sweet?

Books. I am all about reading, but for some reason, my appetite for reading dwindles during the Summer months. Once Fall hits though, I love to run to the library, grab a bunch of great books, and sit and read on the couch for hours on end. With a cup of tea. It is absolute perfection. I stumbled upon this book at the library and I am totally in love. It combines some of my favorite topics: mystery, house restoration, and murder. Seriously, can it get better than that? I think not. You should check it out if you are in the market for a good read.

Finally, I "splurged" at Pier One the other day and bought this fantastic cocktail ring. I have been wanting one for a while, but just waiting to find the perfect one. This is it! I love the sparkly center and the yellow leaves, and it makes me happy every time I glance at it on my hand. Even when it snags on my hair and clothing. 

So those are a few things that are making me smile this week. How about you? Are you a Fall-lover too? What are some things that are making you smile lately?

P.S. Sorry about the strange spacing, I have no idea what blogger is up to, but it keeps messing up the spacing I put between paragraphs. So annoying!

Monday, September 19, 2011


With the cooler weather we've been having, I decided it was about time to change some of the decor in our house to keep up with the Fall-ish feeling in the air. I had fun shopping with my mom at a few craft stores to find some items that would lend an Autumnal feeling to our decor. I found the bouquet at Michaels and thought it would look perfect with my little owl collection.

Normally, I'm not a huge fan of "fake" anything, but let's face it, I don't have a backyard to scrounge around for twigs and leaves and such, so fake is all I got. I look for decorations that have some natural elements in them, like the "flowers" below that are partially dried, with faux-stems.

I couldn't resist a couple bags of leaves as well, they are so fun and colorful and fit this vase perfectly. 

My little owl from Anthropologie (below) got to come out of hiding and be the star of this vignette atop our pie cupboard. I love the fanciful colors and the fact that her head comes off so you can store stuff inside! Hehe.

I also added some branches to the arrangement on the table to fill it out and add more of a natural element.

In the living room, I brought out some candles (because nothing says "Fall" like candles, right? Unless, that is, you are lucky enough to have a fireplace...) and some sprigs of fall-ish things. 

I really love the orangey-red colors and the miniature pumpkins. So cute! 

The orange really works in our living room since we already have some orange in there as an accent color. Perfect!

Also, you may have noticed that the wall above our couch is sadly barren. The shelf we had up there was starting to tilt forward too much, and I worried that someone was going to get smacked on the head by falling objects. So, the shelf had to go. We are living with the clean, wide-open expanse of wall for a while until we fund something that will work well there. Any suggestions? 

So there is our home, Fall-ified. As you can see, I really like to keep it simple. What's your favorite way to decorate for the season?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Versatile Wardrobe

One of the biggest things I look for when buying new items of clothing is whether the piece is versatile enough. I used to have problems pulling outfits together, and frankly, sometimes I still do! I think one of the main reasons is because I buy pieces that I like separately but forget to think about them in the context of my entire wardrobe.

In order to solve this dilemma, I started thinking through every piece I purchased. I decided that if I couldn't come up with at least 3 different ways to wear a piece, then it wasn't worth purchasing. 
That's why I love this skirt SO very much. In fact, I have loved it ever since I was with my sister in Anthropologie when she bought it. Yup. You guys, I have waited faithfully for her to get sick of it and pass it on to me, and that day finally came about 3 weeks ago. I have no shame.

I love the pencil shape with the kick pleats and the stretchy, denim fabric. It's like jean-skirt meets Mad Men. It's perfect to pair with a cardigan, skinny belt, and heels for teaching during the day, and then easy to change it up for the evening. Because when I'm cooking spaghetti for dinner I really like to look my best. 

So here it is dressed for success at my day job as a voice teacher:

 Skirt: Level 99 (Anthropologie)
Cardigan + Skinny Belt: Target
Top: Old Navy
Shoes: Franco Sarto

 And here it is (with the same top) for a warm September evening out: 

I paired it with some heels I scored on super-sale from Payless. I haven't bought shoes from Payless in years, but I went in there on a whim last week and was so glad I did! These shoes are fun and extremely comfortable. I'm just sad that they will have to be put away for the winter. 

So, that's my secret for building a versatile wardrobe. Now that a new season is underway, it's definitely coming in handy as I change out my Summer clothes and look for a few new things for Fall. How about you? Any style secrets you care to spill?

Monday, September 12, 2011


I keep moving things around/tweaking the decor in the 2nd bedroom/office/music room. The most recent addition is one of my favorites, and one that has a special meaning as well.
As part of a wedding gift, my talented Grandma Polly let us pick out one of her original watercolor paintings. After looking through tons of beautiful, incredibly colored paintings I settled on this one. It is smaller than almost all of her other works, but I just fell in love with it at first sight!

Well, I finally got around to framing the picture this past week! Sadly, it has been sitting in a drawer wrapped in cellophane for way too long because I couldn't find the right size frame. It turns out, I just wasn't looking in the right place!

I visited JoAnne fabrics last week and found this frame there. I love it. The detail around the edges is just perfect, and I love how it displays my Grandma's painting beautifully while not detracting from it! Plus, it was 40% off and less than $20 bucks. Score!

One of the reasons I love this painting so much is because I can remember walks down tree-lined pathways just like this. My family loves to go out and enjoy nature (especially this time of year!), and my parents have some wooded paths by their house that are just like this. 

Ah. Now, every time I go in the 2nd bedroom I smile when I see this! It's finally starting to feel like a space that is comfortable and inspiring.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beauty in Strange Places

On Labor Day, we were at my Grandparent's house for a family gathering. Sadly, some of our family recently moved to the beautiful state of Virginia, so each gathering feels a little strange without them here. But nevertheless, we had a beautiful day and the perfect temperature for outside exploration. Some of my cousins came back with the crazy, fiery orange organism you see above there. Know what it is? It's a mushroom. No, we didn't eat it (that would be stupid), but it sat on the table as a kind of living cornucopia and everyone admired it throughout the day.

Seriously, have you ever seen a fungi that is so beautiful? 

It just struck me that with all our human endeavors, we never can make anything that matches even the slightest profound beauty of our Creator. It was a good reminder to me that as I struggle to make myself and my surroundings "beautiful," God creates beauty in something as seemingly mundane as fungus. And perhaps all my strivings for beauty, perfection, and order are simply masking the true beauties of life. So this Fall I'm determined to take note of every detail of creation that surrounds me, to the best of my abilities. And instead of feeling ashamed that I can't produce the kind of beauty I want, I will rest assured that I don't have to. He's got it covered already.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Featured House #3

 It's been a long time since I've done a "Featured House" post. Over 1 year, to be exact! Since it was high time to do another feature, I decided to choose a house that has a special meaning to me: my Grandparent's home.

Even though their house was built more recently (within the past decade, if I remember correctly!), it has the feel of a much older home. Little details like the gorgeous pergola entryway and the vines on the front of the house really lend an older charm. 

My Grandma has always been an avid gardener, and there are beautifully kept gardens sprawling across the whole property. One of my favorites is in the courtyard between the house and garage, which is surrounded on 4 sides with flowers. 

They have lots of beautiful copper detailing around the exterior as well, which is starting to get that beautiful aged look. 

Their "backyard" is really acres upon acres of beautiful woods, but part of it is home to a big vegetable garden and a pond teeming with wildlife of many kinds. 

Of course, I had to include some inside pictures too! I have always loved my Grandma's taste for decorating. It feels so homey and inviting, with a mix of rustic pieces, floral tones, and unique touches.

This vignette in the entryway highlights one of my Grandma's watercolor paintings. She is an amazing artist, and their home features many of her pieces.

One of my favorite places in the house is the front entryway/hallway. It has these huge, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. It's such a great touch!

This couch is where everyone gravitates when they enter the house- it's so soft and comfortable! We sit here every Christmas and for many other holidays and enjoy warm cups of tea and each others company. Oh, and everyone fights for that corner spot! 

The view from the living room is spectacular, with the pond and trees and vegetable garden in the background.

I also love how my grandparents had slate tiles installed in a couple of places in the living room so they could bring plants indoors without worrying about getting dirt/water on the carpet. Brilliant!

Here's another view of the living room, the staircase leads up to the master suite. I love the fireplace and the (real!) stuffed bear on top. His name is Sydney. 

Another view of the entryway/bookshelves. That dog isn't real, it's actually a stuffed toy that the younger cousins love to play with. 

At this point, the lighting was starting to get worse, but I just had to snap some photos of their kitchen. I LOVE the white beadboard cabinets and the french-country feel of this kitchen. 

It even has a lovely little breakfast nook off to the side. 

Yup, really bad lighting, but at least you can see the stove with the amazing copper vent hood and the glass-front cabinets they installed. 

So, you can see why I have always been inspired whenever I step foot into my grandparent's home. I love how my Grandma always has bouquets of fresh flowers from her garden scattered around. It seems like the place is ready for a photo shoot, and I definitely think it's worthy of being featured!


Related Posts with Thumbnails