holiday styling: outdoor

christmasy house

christmas entryway

outdoor decor, christmas

entry detail

our little cottage, decorated for the season. styling the entryway must be one of my most favorite things to do.

the details:
-mixed cedar garland hung around the doorway
-a simple pine wreath, dressed up with leaf & berry clippings from the yard, and a green sparkly bow
-a spindly siberian spruce, potted & glitzed with metallic ornaments
-thrift shop basket filled with cinnamon pinecones
-mason jar with long cinnamon sticks (picked up on post-christmas clearance last year @ west elm)
-thrift shop sled, with a homemade swag and shiny green ball
-potted cabbage & metal star ornament

click to compare with last year's decor.

i'm thankful.

hi friends! thanksgiving week is upon us, and amongst the roasting and mashing and baking, i find myself ever thankful.

for health and home and family and freedom. a loving pup to keep us company and make us laugh. food to cook and clothes to wear. fire to keep toasty, water to drink. sunshine streaming through the windows and a cloudless blue sky. for the seasons, and the distinct beauty of each. for optimism and smiles. a place to sleep each night, and cozy blankets for warmth. for upcoming holidays and a cheerful disposition. for the today show each morning and nightly news in the eve. for employment, and the steady income it brings. for a working washer and dryer, just a few steps away. a hot shower and good-smelling soap. for laughter. for morning coffee and a full fridge. pretty polish for my nails and comfy slippers for my feet. for a garden to tend and errands to run. i am thankful for it all.

on thursday, matt and i will head north on 95 to spend thanksgiving with my relatives in new jersey. there will be 35 people in attendance, and we will be toting a boatload of homemade rolls. there is much merriment ahead. we will wake early on friday morning and take the train into new york. we will stroll down the city sidewalks, give to the salvation army elves, and revel in holiday cheer before making our way home on saturday. safe travels & best wishes to you for this upcoming holiday.

sunny + warm, easter

this easter weekend was one of the best yet. nothing beats low 80's and real easter dress weather. a friday trip to the library yielded some good reads, filling the nightstand and coffee table for the next few weeks. we grilled cedar-plank salmon and dined al fresco, again.



on saturday, i attended a bridal shower for a dear friend. a tea party theme, we indulged in strawberry lemonade, mini pimento cheese sandwiches, and cream puffs. what fun to bask in ruffles and bows and girliness. i wrapped her gift in kraft and japanese masking tape.


sunday was church and family and food. i wore my pink shoes, made carrot cupcakes, and perused a new cookbook. we dined on egg casserole, blueberry coffee cake for brunch; ham, glazed pineapple, cheesy potatoes, beans and popovers for dinner. a good easter indeed.


pink easter shoes



greenish festivities

am a day late on this but i wanted to let you in on our mini-lucky affair on wednesday. since i am gearing up to be mrs. sullivan come july, i feel i should have plenty of practice in being irish. that is why, in honor of st. patrick, we celebrated. i baked irish soda bread during the day... easy peasy for the fantastic results it produces. the dense, buttery loaf is a wonderful accompaniment to coffee or tea, stands up to extra butter and jam, or can be eaten right alongside your corned beef and cabbage.

stpatricks day

i brought out the new cheese board, on which we began our evening with irish cheddar (the most wonderful cheese+cracker cheese, in my eyes). matt arrived home with guinness (for himself), and baileys (a stand-in for the one who cannot yet withstand the bitter taste of guinness, ahem).

lucky soda bread

i saved, printed and cut these cute little designs for the table and whipped up a shepherd's pie for dinner. amazingly, our new patio furniture was delivered earlier in the day and it was just warm enough to eat outside. our little feast was delightful, and i am excited to continue my work with irish recipes.

have a wonderful weekend- we are approaching 70 degree temperatures here- and get ready to welcome spring! be sure to stop back on monday for my first ever giveaway!

the shower : details

how is your week going so far? can you believe it's already thursday?! somehow, this week has flown for me. i will be welcoming friday with open arms!

today i must show you the perfect details of sunday's shower. as i mentioned, my mom and her sisters hosted the event and spent about a month planning. it was held in a lovely, cozy room of a country club outside of philadelphia, where several family events have been held in the past.

the shower was over lunch: we drank mimosas and dined on spinach salads with cranberries and hot bacon dressing, chicken crepes, carrot souffle, and green beans almondine. dessert was a fantastic custom cake, served with orange sherbet and raspberry coulis.

a scrapbook station was set up at a table along the side of the room. my aunts had put together a beautiful book of memories, each page for a different event, that i will cherish forever. i really enjoy that it is still "in progress"... allowing me to continue to add photos and souvenirs from showers and wedding preparations.

the details were perfection:
+ a long table adorned with beautiful spring flower arrangements, petals, ribbons, and succulent candles
+ a fancy chandelier
+ tons of natural light
+ elegant place settings, handmade favors
+ a decadent cake, complete with lemon frosting and white chocolate shavings

shower : placesetting + favor

shower : flowers, cake

shower : tablescape

i couldn't have asked for a better way to spend a spring-like sunday afternoon. a beautiful setting, wonderful family, plenty of food and thoughtful gifts. yesterday marked four months until the big day. i cannot believe how fast time is flying.


in honor of turning 24 today, i have taken inspiration from elise and jordan, and created a list of twenty four things to do while i'm 24. i tried to make them fairly attainable, not stress-inducing. they are not 'resolutions' as much as challenges and goals that i would like to meet over the next year, creating a sense of accomplishment and a sweet 365 days. some are simpler than others, some i've wanted to do for a long time, some i love to do but haven't in a long time. without further ado, my list:
01. take a roadtrip
02. purchase a new camera lens (christmas gift: 50mm f/1.4)
03. get a massage 
04. visit a letterpress studio
05. sell something (i've consigned some clothes...)
06. create a pretty, workable studio (in progress)
07. build a website (in progress)
08. go camping
09. paint
10. take a class/workshop (alma's illustrator class - jan '11)
11. do yoga (thank you, livingsocial, for affordably introducing me!)
12. interview someone i admire
13. find a good flea market/thrift shop (found a few decent ones. still in the works.)
14. plant a garden
15. see a show
16. watch the sunrise
17. host a party (kentucky derby plans are in the works)
18. read a classic
19. makeover a piece of furniture
20. send a surprise package
21. visit a gallery/museum
22. sew something
23. undertake a big project
24. volunteer

a warm welcome

new addition
isn't she pretty? i finally made this purchase after a few years of wishing and planning. this sleek new machine will make its home on my desk, a fresh nook for blogging and creating. what's more perfect for our new home? endless possibilities lie within. i will eventually get used to its snazzy multi-touch mouse, and ever-so-thin keyboard. oh, and the crystal clear graphics. but they won me over from the start.

goodbye, fifteen pound ibm laptop circa 2004.
hello, my new apple. i have officially entered mac-dom.

valentine's weekend


did not pass us by
but was not spent traditionally
was quite cold and icy
was spent at a pre-marriage retreat
had us learning, and contemplating
introduced us to other engaged couples
and married 'sponsor couples'
made us feel reconnected
was not trivial, or materialistic
did not present itself in the form of flowers
or chocolates
but love
as it should be.