Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, folks. This is our annual stocking picture (Carter's fantastic idea) and I think I got Ana Claire to stand still with the promise of applesauce. Thought you might enjoy the cuteness.

I think this wraps me up for 2014! Baby boy has yet to make his debut but I'm ready to check out, enjoy Christmas, and wait for his arrival.

Not sure when I'll be back with full posts but I'll definitely post once he's here. From there, let's play it by ear, shall we? I didn't stay away too, too long with Ana Claire and I expect it will be the same with this baby.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones and that 2015 brings you nothing but the absolute best.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Crush

A perfect Greenbrier moment. This Chinoiserie cabinet was larger than life and set against the most beautiful green wall and carpet...it was a showstopper in person! And of course, I was completely smitten with the blue and white porcelain collection it displayed.

I even turned it into a fun watercolor via the Waterlogue app on my phone:


So, I'm just waiting for a baby. I've had daily conversations with him letting him know that, oh, i don't know, THIS WEEKEND would be a perfect time for his arrival. I'm getting a tad anxious...but, alas. Out of my hands, right? Best to relax and enjoy a final weekend before Christmas to cram in lots of Christmas movies and present-wrapping. Hope the hustle and bustle is keeping you happy and busy (in a good way). Have a great weekend...see you next week! (Actually, hope I don't!)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Greenbrier Christmas

The weekend we visited The Greenbrier was the first weekend they had their Christmas decorations out. Let's be clear that I planned our trip to coincide with this. And despite my terrible camera phone pictures, I did capture some of the Greenbrier Glee.

^ Terrible picture that I tried to make "vintage-y" via Instagram filters ^

Impossible to think that the already festive decor of The Greenbrier could get any more festive for a holiday, but they manage. And seeing all the traditional Christmas colors against the juicy tones of The Greenbrier's aesthetic was just a treat for the eyes. I think we visited at the perfect time of year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Catalog Pick: Labra Candle Holders

Looking for an inexpensive gift with a wow factor? Or maybe some last-minute zhush for your Christmas table? I am loving these incredible candelabras from CB2:

The 5-candle situation is $25 and the 3-candle is $20. I think that's a fantastic deal for the presence these guys have. Would look amazing with gold or red tapers for the holiday. I would personally LOVE a set at each flanking a big buffet table. The silhouette is definitely traditional but CB2 renders them in such a modern way. Win, win.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Happy Birthday, Ana Claire

I blinked and she's two.

This dazzling creature with more spunk than I know what to do with. Constantly keeping me and her daddy on our toes. Making our hearts burst out of our chests on a daily basis. The power this little one has. Not only to demand that she solely subsist on applesauce but to completely enchant and enthrall us every minute of every day for the past two years.

Her sparkle has overwhelmed me.

Here's to you, Ana Claire. As we celebrate your two years of life tomorrow, I will be thanking God that he brought you to us and will be looking to the future as you enter your new role as big sister any day now. May that little light of yours continue to shine bright.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Caspari Nutcracker Bar

I mentioned that my Caspari holiday inspiration wasn't quite done with my Thanksgiving coverage. The Christmas displays I saw at Caspari HQ when I visited in November were AMAZING. And none caught my attention more than this nutcracker bar!

Y'all know I'm devoted to nutcrackers and I couldn't stop staring at this gorgeous display accented with the most delicious tones of cobalt blue. I've really jumped on the blue train at Christmas as I love how it sets off the traditional red and green tones of the season and this bar captures the look exactly.

Not so great pictures but trust me that the look was ridiculously good in person. Caspari has the most incredible assortment of items with their nutcracker motif, as you can see. Like that big guy in the center? He's an advent calendar! Love, love, love.

Shop Caspari's Nutcracker Suite collection here...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Greenbrier Guest Room

I realize I've been holding out on you with my pictures from our trip to The Greenbrier...I just have so many! Thought I'd share pictures of our guest room today.

I wish I had camera skills because my photos always look pretty terrible, but let's just be clear these images don't do the room justice. The effect of walking into this room is wonderful. And we were not in a fancy room..."just" a standard situation.

Welcome to "standard" at The Greenbrier:

The wallpaper was unbelievable, obvi. Green carpet. Ruffled curtains. Chintz bedspread. I just couldn't get enough. Even Carter agreed that the exaggeration of it all just works. It's dazzling, fun and indulgent - just what a vacation spot should be!

And the bathroom, that you can see a peek of in the last picture, was a gorgeous classic black and white space with an equally pleasing wallpaper:

All eye candy, my friends. It was such a gorgeous spot to unwind for a night!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Crush

I'm really loving the sweet simplicity of this mini-tree. You know I am a nutcracker devotee so I adore seeing the little guys here...but I'm particularly enamored with the classic red and white palette - a pairing I'm really loving this Christmas (like the cover of Southern Living's December issue!). These little trees are pretty easy to put together and look great in pairs...especially if you are lacking space for a real-deal Christmas tree.

We are on baby countdown so every weekend now is part holiday cheer, part frantically trying to cross items off of my to-do list before D-Day. Hope you have a fantastic weekend - see you next week!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Catalog Pick: MacKenzie-Childs Ornaments at Horchow

Dearest Santa,

Please bring me one of each! MacKenzie-Childs (a favorite of mine) ornaments from Horchow - what Christmas tree dreams are made of:

If I was a loaded lady in the monetary sense of the word, I would for sure and for certain purchase every single one of these ornaments - actually, multiples of each - and deck out my tree in all sorts of black and white checkered ribbon, red poinsettias and otherwise festive accoutrements to bring the fun style of MacKenzie-Childs to my Christmas decorating!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Crush

Let's get this party started.

It's a struggle to keep my Christmas-loving heart in check the weeks leading up to this day - the day after Thanksgiving - when I finally allow myself to let loose. Bring on the Nog (that, let's be honest, I've been putting in my coffee for the last 3 weeks), music, decorating, old and new traditions.

This image perfectly ushers in my favorite holiday - snapped by my sister-in-law, Joanna, at King's Market on Edisto Island, SC. And with a little boy nugget coming in WEEKS (no longer months, y'all) it's going to be a Blue Christmas :)

Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving. See you next week!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends and delicious food. 
I'm so very thankful for many things this year, not the least of which is this blog and you.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Eddie Ross Insta Inspo

Can we talk about Eddie Ross' Instagram feed over the weekend? My eyeballs kept bugging out of their sockets as he chronicled preparations for Thanksgiving at his country house, Pine Hill Farm:

All images via Eddie Ross

Those are some magazine-worthy shots of what I'm positive will be one of the most aesthetically pleasing holidays in history. I, for one, would love to see it in person!

Hope your holiday prep is going well!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Crush

Let's wrap up this week of amazing ideas from Caspari with this blue and white specimen. No, that is not a fancy fine china dinner plate - it's an AMAZING placemat. As in, a set of four will set you back less than $40. I think one of my favorite tabletop items is my Imari placemat set so I think I need to add these classic blue and white ones to my collection and use them on my Christmas table.

I hope you got some good nuggets of table-setting inspiration this week...godspeed if you are planning out your table this weekend. See you next week!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Paper Plate Thanksgiving, Caspari Style

I had just about the best time putting together this Thanksgiving table.

After my visit with Caspari, I came away with so much inspiration that this table practically set itself. Welcome to Thanksgiving chez AO:


- Yay for hoarding tableware! Nothing I already owned was off-limits for this table and I mixed and matched my little heart out.

- Centerpiece vase is the iconic Tobacco Leaf that my mother-in-law was going to toss! It's really shining bright in the center of my Imari tray. And the silver service was my mom's. Crystal is our wedding crystal. The little black eggs are a collection that I've had for YEARS and never see the light of day. Love shopping my house when setting a table and pulling out items with history to use as accents.

- Black candles! I had squirreled away this idea for four years and I love it here.

- I beat Kate and team by using SIX layers on my head place settings. Note that the head place setting (last picture) and side settings (first picture) are slightly different. I only had enough Imari placemats to go around for four since I doubled them up to create more of a rectangular placemat. But I LOVE the result of having the two head settings slightly different - especially with that touch of silver peeking out from behind the plates!

- Yay for hoarding fabric! I have had that green stripe fabric since we moved into this house and have never found a place for it...using it on this table was my nod to my recent Greenbrier escapades. 

Now, if you do the math, you'll notice Thanksgiving is still a week away. Meaning that I will now need to dismantle this table only to recreate it next Thursday as little hands were eager to experience the Gilded Gobbler:

Oh, Ana Claire.

I want to give a huge thank you to the Charlottesville Caspari team for loading me up with tips and inspiration and the paper products I'm using here. Such a phenomenal brand that is my holiday go-to. I'll be posting some more Christmas inspiration from the store in the coming weeks. 

Get the Gilded Gobbler Look:

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