In Bloom | Swoon-worthy Vases

Happy almost weekend, lovelies!

Although the weather in the Carolinas has felt more like Seattle lately than the sweet south, it definitely makes me look forward to the beautiful weather to come! And as the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers — no truer words could have ever been spoken. With that being said and keeping this theme in mind, what better way to showcase your May blooms than with a beautiful vase? Vases are both functional and make great statement pieces in your home. Below are a few of my favorites that I’ve been eying (and I may or may not own #6). So instead of letting this dreary weather bring me down, I’m going to daydream about sunshine and fluffy, soft peonies in a gorgeous vase. Enjoy the selection of pretties below!

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1. Pineapple Mercury Glass Vase, $31.43 {from Horchow}  2. Pearl Place Rosebowl, $75 {from Kate Spade}  3. Paisley Park Coral Bud Vase, $22 {from Fitz and Floyd}  4. Indigo Aishe Vase, $24 {from Pure Home}  5. Neon Pink Wire Floral Vase, $27.15 {from Oliver Bonas}  6. Adra Vase, $39.95 {from Crate & Barrel}  7. Clear Heirloom Vase, $14.99 {from Target}  8. Aqua Frosted Bottles, $39.95 {from Pier 1}  9. Maine Tall Vase, $76 {from Neiman Marcus Last Call}  10. Olivia Vase, $49.95 {from Joss & Main}

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Bar Cart Basics | The Anatomy of Styling

Good evening lovelies and happy weekend!

It was such a wonderful past week for me because I just started a new career in my coveted marketing field and am absolutely loving it! I am working for a company with a special mission with a very friendly, fun and supportive marketing staff. In the midst of getting acclimated, I wanted to do a post this week but was far too pooped to get crackin’ on the blog until now.

This week, I wanted to highlight the art of bar cart styling. Why? Aside from the fact that I am obsessed with them, they truly add a unique component to your home. However, some people fear tackling the bar cart for a few reasons:

a. They cannot figure out what direction to go in (from an aesthetic and functionality stand point).
b. They may not know how to style one appropriately.

I am here to solve that problem! Alas, I am providing you with some Bar Cart Basics! Enjoy!

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First thing’s first: choose the style direction you wish to go in. I’ve decided to go with gilded neutrals and pops of color (in this case, a deep, rich blue). Overall, I personally like classic elegance – it’s chic, simple, and will never go out of style. Even if you purchase a few trendy pieces, you can always change them out as your taste changes.

1. Essential Element: Cocktail Glasses. What bar cart would be complete without some beautiful glasses? First and foremost, you need them. But more importantly, you can have a little fun and be as eclectic as you want to be. I like the idea of using touches of gold, particularly because it correlates with my overall look. Instead of choosing one type of glass, why not try several? Personally, I love rocks glasses and instead of using just one style, I’ve decided to mix and match with keeping my gilded theme in mind. Check out the Mingle Bar GlassLex Bar Glass (I own these bad boys) and the Greet Bar Glass – all $9.95 a piece from Crate & Barrel.

2. Design Element: Small Figurine. Of course the functionality of your bar cart is key, but you can add little touches to personalize it and make it fun! I have an affinity for pineapples (not to mention they symbolize warmth, welcome and wealth in a home). Add a small figurine to your bar cart such as this 9″ Brass Pineapple Candle Holder I discovered at Chairish.com for $185.

3. Design Element: Books. Much like coffee table books, they can be used for functionality and/or a way to accessorize. Have some drink recipe books that are relevant your bar cart? Throw them on there and use them to style it. Looking at it from more of an aesthetic stand point? Add some vintage books to tie in your pop of color or to provide it with some timeless elegance. Since blue is my pop of color, I found this eclectic Set of Five Vintage Books for $30 from Etsy.

4. Design Element: Flower Vase. If you’re a sucker for flowers like I am, try adding a vase of them on the top of your bar cart. It creates a soft, feminine feel while giving it a more polished look. If you enjoy grabbing some fresh flowers at the Farmers Market and like to change them out weekly, you can certainly go in that direction. However, if you are looking for something that requires a little less maintenance, purchase a vase of faux flowers that stay fresh forever. I really fell for this mercury glass vase full of Faux Peonies for $99 from One Kings Lane.

5. Design Element: Apothecary Jar. Another great design element to incorporate is the use of apothecary jars. Glass is a popular material used but I have grown a wild infatuation with chinoiserie inspired ceramics – particularly anything blue and white. It also happens to tie into my pop of color. Even if you want to go in the direction of a small bowl or ginger jar rather than apothecary, you can go to any antique shop and pick one up for a very reasonable price. I’ve found several for around $20-$30 a piece. However, I do love this Ming Lidded Apothecary Jar from Frontgate for $79.

6. Essential Element: Whiskey Decanter. This is another fundamental piece of a bar cart, especially if you are featuring rocks glasses like I am. You can find them just about anywhere but this Flamant Home Interiors Leona Decanter from Amara is a beauty and priced at $113.

7. Design Element: Straws. This may not be necessary, but it does add a fresh look to your bar cart. It’s an inexpensive way to add a touch of whimsy to the overall feel and ends up tying everything together quite nicely. These striped straws come in an array of different colors but I personally enjoy the classic black and white. You can pick up a 25 Count from Party Source for just $3.49!

 8. The Bar Cart Itself. Speaking of bar carts, this post would not make much sense without the bar cart itself! Here’s the deal: there are numerous bar carts out there at different price points, styles, colors, materials…essentially, the world is your oyster here. Going for a more rustic look? Anthropologie has some beautiful wooden and metal ones, for example. However, I adore this one to tie into my gilded/classic theme. I also really love this bar cart because it is reasonably priced. There are bar carts out there in the thousands, but this Meredith Bar Cart from One Kings Lane is just $210!

9. Design Element: Monogram Letter. If you scour Pinterest like I do, I’m sure you’ve noticed the increased popularity in implementing the letter of your first name or last name in design. Being a newlywed and my last name starting with an “A”, I’ve been collecting “A’s” at every chance I get. Adding a monogram letter to your bar cart adds a little personality to it while also personalizing it. You can find them practically everywhere, particularly Etsy, which has some that even light up for a more retro feel. However, this Acid Etched Letter from Urban Outfitters priced at $14 is pretty inexpensive, vintage-inspired and well, gorgeous!

 10. Essential Element: Cocktail Shaker. For those of you who enjoy a good cocktail, a shaker is absolutely mandatory for your bar cart. I’ve seen some made of sleek brass or hammered metal and also some that are more simplistic. This Madison Collection Cocktail Shaker from Sur La Table is $50 and can be used for many years to come. I love that it is both European-inspired and timeless.

 11. Essential Element: Coasters. Trying to protect your wooden table? No one likes the dreaded ring left from a drink! Coasters are absolutely essential in regard to a bar cart. These beautiful coasters are made from natural agate and play into my neutral color palette. This Set of 4 Coasters by Shiraleah can be purchased from Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th for $57.70 (originally $71).

 12. Design Element: Prints. I’m a art enthusiast and lover of good prints. Adding a piece of art to your bar cart whether it be physically on the cart or hanging on the wall above it pulls everything together. The print you pick truly depends on your style – it’s a very personal thing. You could add your favorite artist’s work, something illustrated and funky, or a letterpress print that relates to the bar you are essentially creating. The Blue Pineapple Print I fell in love with ties into both my pop of color and pineapple trinket and is an instant download priced at just $5. The Gold Foil “Pop Fizz Clink” Print ties into the gold and metallics I’ve been using, directly relates to the bar cart and is priced at $25. Both were found on Etsy (one of my favorite places to shop of all time).

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Gift Guide | Stocking Stuffers for Everyone

It’s glorious December and the time has finally come — the holidays! Bring on the hot cocoa, the perpetual (and shameless) display of Christmas music on my Pandora station, the hunt for the “perfect tree”, the warm glow of twinkling Christmas lights, flannel shirts, holiday cheer, snuggling up with a good book by a cozy fire, Christmas movie marathons on ABC Family, and of course, the chaotic mayhem of gift purchasing that we all secretly adore. But whether you enjoy the pandemonium of Black Friday sales (or just being in a 1 mile radius of the mall during the month of December) or not, picking out the “right” present for someone can be difficult in itself. So why stress over the smaller things, like Secret Santa gifts or stocking stuffers?

Below is something I cultivated with some fantastic stocking stuffer/gift ideas that will please just about everyone – depending on their area of interest. Hopefully it can at least help you get inspired – it’s definitely made my wheels turn! Everything in the gift guide below is priced under $100. Enjoy!

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1. For the Work Out Queen. For those who enjoy hitting the gym or going for runs, a water bottle is very much a necessity. The ones I’m seeing right now from Victoria Secret are seriously AMAZE because they all have clever phrases and sayings, like the one pictured (“I Just Can’t”) which I actually say on a fairly regular basis. { Water Bottles, $14.95 from Victoria’s Secret }

2. For the Business Gal. I cannot think of too many girls who do not love Kate Spade – and these monogrammed business card holders are so lovely. This gift would be perfect for the busy business chick who is always on the go and attending networking events. { One in a Million Business Card Holders, $30 from Nordstrom }

3. For Host with the Most. Okay, if you have not already invested in Cards Against Humanity, it is about time you do. They are hilarious, fun and…okay, yeah they’re definitely inappropriate, but they make for a great time! This gift would be perfect for the friend who has a sense of humor and enjoys hosting parties and events. { Cards Against Humanity, $25 from Amazon }

4. For the Outdoorsman. So there are actually people out there who absolutely love camping and didn’t just go for their very first time in 29 years like I did. But all joking aside – there are so many outdoor enthusiasts or just people who enjoy gadgets (like my husband, who is a little bit of both). This LED Pen Light is one of the hottest on the market right now and has received rave reviews. It’s compact, lightweight and conveniently clips anywhere. { Streamlight MicroStream LED Pen Light, $24.99 from Cabela’s }

5. For the Style Savvy Guy. If there is one thing I love on a man, it’s plaid and flannel. It also happens to be a very trendy/fashion-forward look this season. This knit scarf from The Rail is extremely well priced for the excellent quality you are receiving and would pair perfectly with a structured military jacket or peacoat this Winter. { Red Check Knit Scarf, $20 from Nordstrom }

6. For the Tween or Teen. Do you have someone a little younger in the family and have no idea what to get them? I run into this problem time and time again. This Essie nail polish collection is seriously adorable and perfect for a small gift or stocking stuffer! { Essie Winter 2014 Mini Four-Pack, $17 from Nordstrom }

7. For the Man Who Enjoys the Finer Things. Do you have a father, brother, friend or significant other than enjoys grooming products? There is no shame in the game because any man that takes care of himself gets an A in my book! The Art of Shaving is a prestigious mens grooming retailer and they have some of the best products out there. This starter kit contains pre-shave oil, shaving cream, after-shave balm and a shaving brush. Aside from unscented, it also comes in an array of different smells such as Sandalwood, Lemon, Lavender, Ocean and more. This would make the perfect stocking stuffer for him. { Starter Kit, $25 from The Art Of Shaving }

8. For the Whiskey Drinker. To me, this seems like the best gift ever for those who enjoy a glass of whiskey. These whiskey stones bring a new meaning to “serving your drink on the rocks” because instead of using ice which will ultimately water down your beverage, the stones will stay cold and allow you to enjoy the flavor of your whiskey without diluting it. { Whiskey Stones & Gift Set, $20-$58 from Uncommon Goods }

9. For the Beauty Aficionado. One of my best friends has gotten super into makeup and has been learning various application techniques via YouTube Channels and bloggers – apparently it’s this whole subculture that I was completely unaware of. At any rate, I credit her to getting me into things I never even knew I needed or wanted! I just got my first eyeshadow palette and it was pretty much the best decision ever. Eyeshadow palettes are a great gift or stocking stuffer because you get a lot of bang for your buck. These Urban Decay Naked Palettes have been getting a lot of positive attention – they’re so pigmented and pretty!  { Urban Decay Naked Palette, Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette, Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette – $54/each from Sephora }

10. For the Fashionista. Hellooo – I am obsessed with this (first and foremost). How adorable is this Kate Spade iPad folio? Great for the fashionista – just pair with some killer heels and bright red lips – you’ll be a force to be reckoned with. { Kate Spade New York Speak of the Devil iPad Case, $85 from Nordstrom }

11. For the Newlywed. Who doesn’t love a sweet, little trinket dish? Particularly if you are a newlywed (or soon-to-be Mrs.) so you have a safe place to put your ring and other jewelry when you are not wearing them. There are so many trinket/ring dishes out there but I just love this one – which one of my bests just so happened to purchase for me when I got married.  And may I add, it looks fantastic on a vanity! { Mr. & Mrs. Ring Dish, $12.95 from Crate & Barrel }

12. For the Pups. Come on, we could not possibly forget our beloved fur babies, right? If your pups are practically your children and have stockings like mine do, they deserve a little something special as well. If you’ve grown tired of just giving them treats and toys, how about a swanky new collar? I am so in love with these bow tie and flower ones from the SillyBuddy Etsy shop! There are literally over 200 choices available and they seriously the sweetest things I’ve ever seen! { Bow Tie and Floral Dog Collars, $45-$57 from SillyBuddy Etsy Shop }

13.  For the Vintage Lover. If you are looking for something special and unique for someone with a kindred spirit, how about a special, vintage item? You can hit any antique store, but I do also enjoy scouring Etsy for my handmade and vintage gifts. I’m not sure where my random brass pineapple trinket obsession recently came from, but goodness – they are pretty! { Vintage Brass Pineapple, $76 from OrchidandUrchin Etsy Shop }

14.  For the Sports Fanatic. Purchasing a gift for someone that eats, sleeps and breathes sports? Getting them something related to their favorite team is always a safe bet. I mean after all, one cannot have too much sports memorabilia! This knit hat is very suiting for the Winter – ’tis the season, right? { Mens Dallas Cowboy New Era Black Sport Cuffed Knit Hat, $24.95 from NFL Shop }

15.  For the Sugar Junkie. Wanting to stuff someone’s stocking with candy? Maybe you want to purchase something a little different or more sophisticated than what you would typically find at a store? One of my girlfriends recently shared this site with me and everything looks AMAZING – particularly the champagne gummy bears. YES, you heard me. Champagne. Gummy. Bears. No further explanation needed. { Champagne Gummy Bears, $20 for a 12.05 oz box from Sugarfina }

16.  For the Chef. If you know someone that really loves to cook, a custom meat or cheese cutting board would make an excellent gift choice! You can find custom cutting boards on Etsy but I just happen to know a guy named Andy (owner and operator of Handy Andy of Charlotte) that does the most beautiful and intricate work. He makes each of his one-of-a-kind cutting boards by hand and with lots of love.  He’s based out of Charlotte, NC but is able to ship all over and can be reached at alehman39@gmail.com. { Handy Andy Custom Cutting Boards, 9x12x2 board, $79.99} *Contact Andy for other size and price options as he can build made-to-order pieces but also has several that are complete and ready to ship.

Fall Favorites | Home Edition

Happy Fall Y’all!

It’s hard to believe my favorite month is coming to an end relatively soon. Less than two weeks left of October and then we are on to November (which also happens to be my birth month). This was a great weekend because Shahin and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary on Sunday. It was magical and filled with brunch and bloody marys, pumpkin picking, and DIY projects around the house. We plan on taking a belated anniversary trip to Asheville in November and combine it with my birthday – excited to brewery hop and re-explore one of our favorite cities! Oh, and my parents gifted us the Pistachio KitchenAid Mixer I’ve been swooning over – I guess they know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Can’t wait to pick out what I’m going to bake first (meanwhile, it looks super adorable on my kitchen counter). Happy Anniversary to us!

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Speaking of things for the home, it just so happens that my Fall Favorites list directly correlates with this theme. I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite fall items and decor pieces (including some delicious smelling candles) that completely encompass Autumn. As always, everything is very reasonably priced…so no need to break the bank. Enjoy!

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Fall Favorites Home

1. You & Me Doormat, $45 {from Lulu & Georgia}  2. Branch & Twig Pie Server, $18 {from Anthropologie}  3. Pumpkin Buttered Rum Candle, $14.95 {from Crate & Barrel}  4. Threshold Set of 3 Decorative Fall Figurines – White, $22.99 {from Target}  5. Go Where Love Grows Wooden Sign, $50.00 {from Etsy}  6. Hello Love Teacup & Saucer, $19.00 {from Etsy}  7. Hand Embroidered Fall Hoop, $22 {from Etsy}  8. Rust Plaid Throw, $99 {from Crate & Barrel}  9. Boulangerie Jar Candle, Pumpkin Souffle, $26 {from Anthropologie}  10. NEST Moroccan Amber Boxed Candle, $34 {from Bloomingdales}  11. Plum & Bow Golden Fox Pillow, $39 {from Urban Outfitters}  12. Farmhouse Pottery Pie Dish, $24 {from West Elm}  13. Happy Pumpkin Spice Season Print, $19 {from Etsy}

 

Treat Yourself Tuesday | Summer Swag { Home Edition }

Hello, lovelies!

This warm weather has got me feeling very inspired – especially with July quickly approaching (goodness, time flies). Therefore, over the next few weeks I’m going to share some of my favorite items for the Summer season with you in a special blog mini series I like to call “Treat Yourself Tuesday”. (I apologize to your wallets in advance). The theme is “Summer Swag” and this week we will be focusing our attention on items that will complete your humble abode this Summer. Check out my Top 10 Must-Have Items For The Home This Season below. Enjoy!

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1. Okay, seriously, is this real life? Everyone loves a drink dispenser…especially for those Summer soirees! But a beverage dispenser that holds three different varieties of bevs together? Now, that’s magic. { Trio Beverage Dispenser from ZGallerie, $69.95 }

2. If you troll Pinterest like I do, I’m sure you’ve seen some pretty mouth-watering popsicle recipes. Simplify your life with this amazing pop maker that will make them in seven minutes or less. How about that for instant gratification on a hot Summer day? Oh, and this fun contraption comes in six different color choices. { Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams-Sonoma, $49.95 }

3. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been deeply fascinated with croquet for at least a solid year. I couldn’t tell you why, but it just seems like the perfect activity to go along with a cute Lilly Pulitzer dress and some lemonade – am I right? Lawn games are always fun with a group of friends. Play after a cook out, followed by a bonfire in the evening…sounds like the perfect day to me! { Verus Sports Expert Croquet Set from Target, $54.99 }

4. I can’t even take credit for this one because I was inspired to search for these bad boys after I saw them at my mother-in-law’s house. I’ve heard them called both “food domes” and “food tents” but their purpose is to shield your plates of food from insects and pests when you are hosting a dinner outside. GENIUS! And this food dome from World Market is just as darling as can be! { Willow Food Dome from World Market, $14.99 }

5. I’ve been eying different string lights for our house that we are moving into in a few short weeks. I am a sucker for lighting and I think a front porch or back deck lit up with these retro string lights would be simply divine. {Globe String Lights (25 ft)  from Amazon, $25.35}

6. Y’all…I wish I could even begin to explain my obsession with bar carts. In fact, it’s what I plan on adding to my wish list this holiday season (it’s never too early to start!). You can always find various styles of bar carts out there and they all range in price…but this one from CB2, Crate and Barrel’s contemporary counterpart, is perfect for the season (and trust, it’s one of the less expensive ones). { Porter Bar Cart from CB2, $399 }

7. I know that I am behind on the times but I just discovered my love for Moscow Mules – what a perfect Summer beverage! I had my very first one only a few months ago and fell head over heels in love. Ever since, I’ve been on the lookout for a set of adorable copper Moscow Mule mugs and just happened to stumble upon these lovelies from Birch Lane. I love that they are hammered copper rather than a smooth finish – it makes them a little more unique! How wonderful would it be to whip up your own Moscow Mules for a backyard gathering and serve them up in these? *Le Sigh* { Hammered Mule Mug Set of 4 from Birch Lane, $89 }

8. Who doesn’t love a picnic? This adorable picnic basket from Pottery Barn is precious beyond words and already comes lined with linen and a set of plates, wine glasses, flatware and bottle opener! { Rattan Picnic Basket for 2 from Pottery Barn, $99 }

9. So after tasting homemade ice cream, I immediately got on Crate & Barrel’s site and registered for this very one last year when the hubs and I were tying the knot. Turns out, it’s a pretty popular registry item…and rightfully so! It’s super easy to use and makes any flavor of ice cream OR frozen yogurt imaginable! What could possibly be more refreshing on a scorching Summer day? { Cuisinart Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Maker from Crate & Barrel, $59.95 }

10. Needing a little inspiration for meals this season? I am always kind of stumped during the Summer but it should be less fuss than any other season and a reason to cook light. This recipe book from Anthropologie may be the answer! { Summer Food from Anthropologie, $32.50 }