With Memorial Day just a few short, yet-oh-so-far days away I thought now would be a perfect time to share our beach bag essentials with you all. This weekend will mark the “real” start of summer and hopefully most of you will be venturing out to a beach somewhere at some point and this list will help you know what to pack! My husband and I live just up the road from Lake Erie and a gorgeous beach where we try to spend as much free time as possible. We have packing our beach bag down to a science and it sits, ready to go, right next to our front door in case some unplanned free time springs on us! We’ve discovered some pretty good finds over the years and all of these are our “must-haves”!
As promised, I wanted to do a separate post on how we styled the herringbone table we made for our backyard patio. If you missed the post on the table and how it was designed and made, you can find it HERE. We wanted to stick with the laid back beach theme and I knew I wanted to incorporate flameless LED candles with a remote but other than that I was stumped. I found bits and pieces that I saw in different stores and loved but just couldn’t figure out how to tie it all together in an organic way. My husband came out with me after work one night and (I think because he was just stepping into it and I had too many ideas floating in my head) came up with this idea in a matter of moments. People always assume that if you have a creative mind that decorating is easy but 99% of the time it makes it that much more difficult because you have too many ideas and it’s hard to pick one. I LOVE how this turned out… I love the colors and how we incorporated the candles and I think it works so well with the table. This table looks fantastic all day long but at sunset, the color of the candles matched up with the bright orange of the sun and I still can’t believe how perfect it is! Click here to get all the details and see where we got everything!
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1. We have a queen bed in my office, as it serves as our guest room as well (you can see the room HERE, though it’s changed quite a bit since then). While I’m working all day, Weezy tucks herself in the bed and watches me the whole time. If I get up to grab something, she’s hot on my heels then right back to the bed when I sit back down… it’s too cute.
2. After seeing Gatsby last week, I couldn’t wait to start adding some 1920′s flair to my office decor. I went to our library and spent the whole afternoon checking out all the Cecil Beaton books I could get my hands on and some Art Deco books as well. The library itself is downtown (where there’s a lot of art deco buildings) so I love just wandering around. I also check out the Mark Twain room which is really cool too.
3. We made a nice dinner Friday night and of course I had to drink my champagne out of our vintage French coups!
4. Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, the fairgrounds right near our house holds “The World’s Largest Yard Sale” and there are hundred of different sellers with all kinds of different items. It seemed like a much larger turnout this weekend than we’d seen in the past and after seeing this sign when we entered we figured it much be drawing a larger audience!
1. I was hoping to score some really cool pieces at the yard sale to display in my office along with the portraits from the Cecil Beaton books I’m going to get printed. I still can’t believe the amazing things we got (and how ridiculously little we paid for them). We got a 1960′s glass champagne bucket in a silver frame, which I polished up (see how to HERE) and it looks great! My husband finally found a shop that sells Nat Sherman cigars (find them HERE, the Rockafellar is his favorite) so he was looking for a vintage lighter and found this one. I was so excited about this silver tea set… I drink tea almost every night and have been looking for a modern teapot but actually love this one. The next picture in the set was by far the best find of the day… it’s a hand purse made in France from the 1920s and it is SPECTACULAR! Last but not least we found these art deco earrings and pin that came from a woman’s grandmother’s jewelry collection from the 30s.
2. Kristen Wiig was one of my favorites on SNL so I was so excited that she was back to host last weekend!! I can’t believe Bill Hader is leaving (no more Keith Morrison spoofs!!) and it appears Seth Meyers is set to take Jimmy Fallon’s spot when he moves to the Late Show which means SNL instantly just got way less funny
3. Words can’t even express how happy I am to have our farmer’s market back open for the year! Earlier this week we went and got all of our potted herbs. Since we don’t have a good spot to grow them outdoors, I keep them in pots on the window sill in our kitchen which not only gets the best sun, it’s handy for when we need to use them!
4. My mom got her and I tickets to see Jersey Boys a couple months ago and we hadn’t really made a plan other than that. Her ladies golf league got cancelled in the morning on Tuesday so she was able to come up for the whole day. We went shopping for my niece (and us too, lol) at the Niagara Falls outlets (find them HERE) then went to dinner at a new restaurant called Cabaret (find it HERE) that was so good! The show was really great, I had gone with my grandmother a few years ago to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in concert but knew nothing about the back story so I really enjoyed it. It’s rare that my mom and I get a whole day just the two of us so I really enjoyed it!
1. Our old microwave randomly started sparking when we used it so we had a new one put in earlier in the week. It’s so funny when you get older the things that excite you, like a new microwave lol.
2. I kid you not, this was how Sebastian napped for hours on Wednesday. He was so afraid that he’d fall asleep and Weezy would steal his bone that he held it in his paw the entire time!
3. I have been so busy lately and doing my best to keep up with the posting schedule but on Wednesday I had just enough time to either get a run in or post a DIY and I choose the run. I felt like such a rebel (lol) because I never do that but I’ve been trying really hard to stick to my workouts and plus it was too nice a day not too. I seriously never tire of the view from our beach, it’s truly breathtaking!
4. I’ve been slowly and steadily adding items to my Summer Inspirations board on Pinterest (find it HERE) and in the next few weeks I’ll be loading it up. Summer’s always the time when we cook the most and craft the most so it’s great to have a board to pull inspiration from!
My whole family is coming up this weekend for my cousins fourth birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese. They were gracious to all make the trip here so my husband and I could join in on the fun which was really nice. His brother is two and my niece is turning 5 in a few weeks so it’s fun to watch them play with each other. My husband and I usually get the a big gift for whichever kid is having their birthday and then get a few small things for the other two so that they have a package to open as well. I’m always trying to find cute and unique ways to wrap gifts and I saw this in Martha Stewart Living a couple months ago and added it to my list to try. It’s incredibly easy and if you have kids then you probably have all the supplies necessary (bubbles, paint, paper and straws) so you could knock this project out in an afternoon! I think it’s a really playful way to wrap kids gifts and I added my recycled bag bows (find the DIY HERE) to complete the whole thing. You can use this technique for other things too… I think it would look cool on a card or even on fabric for some pillows! Click here to get the tutorial and see how to do it!
It’s been a while since I’ve done a risotto post and this is such a great one for spring! I love how versatile this dish is, we’re always adapting it depending on what season it is and what ingredients we have around the kitchen. This version combines the earthy flavors of carrot juice with the bright and bold kick of fresh lemon juice added in at the end of the cooking process! This is a wonderful vegetarian side dish, or you can add your favorite protein (see what we use at the end of the post… ham and bacon would also be perfect) to make this a full meal! Continue reading
Find me on Instagram HERE to see these pictures in real time and, as always, click on a set of photos to enlarge them!
1. Last Friday while I was cleaning I figured out a crazy easy way to polish the vintage silver trays we have all over the house (get the how-to HERE)… this is the one on our bedroom beside table
2. It finally was warm enough (and sunny enough) last weekend to resume beach weekends… we loaded up the cooler with fresh fruits which is perfect for snacks!
3. This was seriously how we spend every single hour of daylight both days last weekend…. on the beach, armed with stacks of magazines (me months worth of fashion mags, my husband with GQ, Esquire and Golf digest), coronas and the unbelievably gorgeous views. We swam, walked around the shoreline, read, listened to music (we got THIS tiny speaker that’s amazing!) and soaked up the sun. It totally recharged the both of us!
4. Have any of you tried Panera’s new iced Green Tea infusion? I am LOVING it! I also get THESE and drink over ice… love them too!
1. I felt like a bad “mom” after leaving the dogs home all day last weekend while we were beaching it so when we went grocery shopping Sunday night I brought them home THESE. They love them and I was Seb’s best friend after that.
2. I mentioned in a previous Instalife post (find it HERE) that I was bringing back macrame bracelets and I wasn’t kidding. I finished a bunch and I stack them with spikes and different things, I love it!
3. I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a Designer DIY… truth is I had been so busy that I had stacks of fashion magazines from all the back to January that I hadn’t had a chance to go through! I got through a big chunk of them at the beach last weekend and found SO MUCH inspiration… I started working on a Jimmy Choo DIY that I will post on soon!
4. You guys loved my Pop Up Mother’s Day card from last year (get the DIY HERE), so I wanted to make sure I shared the cards I made this year too. I think this is the cutest card ever (get the DIY HERE)!
1. I think I’ve mentioned a million times how obsessed I am with neons lately, I was so excited to see it popping up all over at Joann fabrics earlier this week. Speaking of Neons, I was approached to send in some picks of me wearing the “neon trend” for a UK site called Tag A Trend, check them out and see my photos HERE.
2. I took a break from working the other night to hang with Weezy for a little bit, with a face like that how could you ignore here? Lol
3. Okay, are you guys sick of hearing how in love I am with The Great Gatsby and how much I couldn’t wait to see the movie?! I finally got to see it at the premiere last night so I’ll stop talking about it (okay, we all know that’s a lie… we’re going to need some DIYs right?). I listened to the soundtrack earlier in the week before the movie and have to admit I didn’t love it but it is SO perfect in the movie!!
4. Last night we went to the premiere of the Great Gatsby and before I get in to my thoughts of the movie I need to just talk about these GoPicnic boxes because they’re life changing! They have them at the theaters now but I pick them up at our grocery store and keep one with me in case I’m out longer than planned and still want to eat healthy. This box is my fave but they have lots of different ones… I love that they’re packed with protein, all under 400 calories and don’t need to be refrigerated!
Okay, about the movie. I might be bias because I have loved this book for as long as I can remember. I love the whole 1920′s era and anything Art Deco, I loved the movie with Mia Farrow & Robert Redford and I was pretty sure there was nothing this new movie could do that would make me not like it. It was absolutely breathtaking… seriously, I found myself gaping at the screen several times over the parties, the food, the jewelry and 3D look in general. I literally squealed over the dresses and I giggled over how perfectly the music fit the scenes. The movie was extraordinary… it was stunning, funny, heartbreaking, over-the-top in the best kind of way and can I just say that Leonardo DiCaprio is seriously genius as Gatsby. I dreamt about the movie last night and woke up this morning thinking I cannot wait to see this movie MANY more times.
I see that a lot of you are making my Pop-Up Mother’s Day card from last year (find it HERE) so I wanted to make sure that I shared my card from this year with you too! I apologize to my mom and my mother-in-law for ruining the surprise as these cards are currently in the mail on their way to you but, hey, it’s the thought that counts right? I saw a version of this card HERE and changed the measurements and flowers, plus I don’t have whatever machine they used to cut all the flowers and shapes so I did the whole thing by hand. I love the idea that you can send a bouquet of flowers without actually sending a bouquet of flowers! The “flower pot” is actually a little pocket and the “bouquet” is the actual card that pulls out, and the message is hidden in the bottom part that sits in the pot. These will be amazing for mother’s day, but also a cool idea for any time you want to “send someone flowers”! Click here to get the tutorial and see how they’re made!