Monday, September 29, 2014

Five Years


I've been writing this blog for five years as of yesterday. That's 1/3 of the time I've known Carter Shuffler and I've known him basically forever.

It's funny and telling that when I reflected on five years, my first thought was to think in Carter terms. I think it's an indicator of how I rank this blog. Carter, Ana Claire (& baby lumpkin), my blog. My family. What I love. What I enjoy. My life.

This blog is not a job. I'm not sure I would even call it a hobby. It's just my blog. It's where I document my thoughts. It's where I share bits and pieces of what I like with my friends. I think most blogs evolve and turn into other things but I'm pretty happy with my status quo. When I started this blog, it was an outlet for chit chat and to document goings-on at my house...and I think it's still just that. Which is probably why I still love writing it.

I'm very thankful that I write this blog. I'm proud of it. I'm proud of my commitment. I'm proud that it's a happy place. Nothing heavy. No sirreee. Just pretty things in pretty places with pretty ideas for us to make things more pretty. Because I think your atmosphere influences your person...but that is starting to sound heavy.

Thank YOU. Every time September 28 rolls around, I get very warm and fuzzy when I reflect on the fact that you read my words. You might be new. You might remember my first post. Either way, you spend time with me and for that I am grateful. Because blogging is an exercise in sharing so connecting with you on the other end closes the circle for me. So, thank you.

Though I'm not throwing down with a party as I alluded to last year, I'm still throwing down in my heart. It's full with so many things inclusive of this blog.

Year six will see me as a mother of two (yikes!) and we'll see what else...I can't wait to find out.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Crush

Always curious when magazines post images on social media (or slideshows on their websites) but don't cite photog or designer? That's a tangent....but fill me in if you know this info.

Oh hello paneled living room awash with hues of blue. I love you. Can we talk about the yellow tape trim on those chairs in conjunction with the yellow pillows? I often don't think of yellow as a good color with the brown of wood, but it is certainly working here. Love the touches of black as well...great grounding effect. And the symmetry of those twiggy floor lamps. There's a lot to take in. And I want all of it.

FALL. IS. HERE. Hallelujah. Like for real, it's here. Like, I wore boots to work this week and was not hot in them (can we also get a round of applause for the fact that said boots even fit me in my current "blossoming" state?) This all makes me very happy and makes me want to delight in every single weekend from now until January. Hope you have a good one...see you next week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Caspari + Scalamandre Zebras

Scalamandre's iconic zebras for your table via Caspari.

Just take a minute to let that sink in.

Scalamandre's zebras literally know no bounds...they might run for President one day. And for good reason...we can't get their prancing out of our heads. And this collaboration with Caspari is just SUCH a good idea. 

That last one is a placemat. Yes, that's correct. Just ready to be layered with your everyday white china on a daily basis.

The line has napkins and such in the obvious red, gorgeous gold, and snappy orange. And the plates are an actual zebra print, leaving our whimsical Scalamandre pattern for the accents. I will not judge you if you buy the napkins and frame them. 

I know we realize how good this is, so just go buy some - click here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Christine Bush Roman

One of my favorite, favorite places to look for art online is the Charleston Artist Collective - a group of Charleston artists who paint around a theme each month producing works that are then sold, in part, to benefit local charities. Win, win.

A recent favorite artist that I've seen via the Collective is Christine Bush Roman. Love the brightness one of these works would bring to a space:

Her "Tides" series - the 3 paintings that are clearly tied above - would be absolutely bananas hung together on a large wall.

God Bless the Internet...and the ability to have access to this kind of work with just a couple of clicks.

See more of Christine's work here...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Crush

I couldn't choose between these two beauties for my Friday Crush...they served as THE MOST inspiring items of my week. Brought to me and you by Jane Scott Hodges' Instagram feed. I'm completely obsessed and enamored with these detailed monograms in such beautiful color combinations. Extraordinary. WANT.

I have been real sick...yuck. I'm so over it. Really hoping this weekend gets me back on my feet. Have a great, restful weekend...see you next week!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sweet Vintage Girly Shared Bedroom

I went down the Pinterest rabbit hold the other day (which, let's be honest, happens every day) and during this particular jaunt, I came across THE MOST adorable bedroom makeover to be shared by two little sisters...all thanks to their mama Cami of blog Tidbits.

Cami and her husband had the dilemma of a small, shared space that lacked sweetness and charm for their little ones. So they took matters into their hands and created what I think is a space straight from vintage fairyland and I would like to move in immediately.

That closet!!!

Let me repeat, this room was lovingly created by two parents with their own down to the beds and bedding. That is just a priceless gift for these little girls and what I think makes the room so incredibly lovely.

Here are some of the pictures during the makeover (that only took a month and half...what?) so you can see the kind of work that went into this:

And, of course, Cami did it all on a budget with thrift store finds and re-purposed items. And doesn't the 10x12 space now look large? This kind of creativity just really inspires me.

Y'all know I like my kid spaces with lots of pagodas and bright colors but this, THIS, is just beautiful as inspiration for Ana Claire's bedroom in that pretend mountain house that we don't own...where I vow that all walls will be white.

Do yourself a solid and visit Cami's blog post about this room with many more pictures of this heartwarming space.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Black Doors

Done and done.


And After!

Photos by Crystal Downs


Not only did we paint the doors black, but we also replaced what were puny, hollow doors with sturdy, solid paneled situations. This simple change made a huge impact in our little hallway. Carter and I were both patting ourselves on the back after this one. The plan is to do this to ALL doors in our house, except maybe the french doors leading into the dining room.

Yay for small, easy changes with big impact.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday Crush

There is so much I love about this door which is sporting Aranami, a wallpaper from Farrow & Ball's new collection. I seriously can't get enough of a good jade green (the paint color is Arsenic No. 214) and I LOVE how the wallpaper is used on the door - a great idea for using wallpaper in small doses. I'm also pretty smitten with that duck.

Speaking of Farrow & Ball, the purveyor of high-end paints and wallpapers is opening a new DC showroom right near my office in Friendship Heights. They are having an opening soiree on September 18th to celebrate - details below. I believe its open to anyone, just RSVP.  I'm hoping to attend so maybe see you there?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Schumacher Citrus Garden

Schumacher has released their 125th Anniversary Collection - a vibrant re-imagining of some of their most iconic patterns - and let me tell you, the collection does not disappoint.

But one fabric in particular left me essentially breathless. Hello, Citrus Garden in Primary:

I just love a fabric with a zillion colors and the hues of this particular one are so fresh. That jade green! And the fruit tree (yellow oranges?) makes for such a lively motif - fun and whimsical without being too floral. It's simply divine.

Imagine it paired with this other showstopper from the collection, Zanzibar Trellis in Jade:

It's the stuff dreams are made of.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Connecticut Cottage

Summer is over. Hallelujah.

My brain is officially in its favorite autumnal mode and all I can think about is cooler temperatures, changing leaves and boots. For instance, at the moment, all I want to do is be here...Joan Osofsky's cottage in Connecticut.

All photos by John Gruen for Country Living

Serene views, white walls, warm wood...simple, gorgeous living. I'll take it!

I might be stalking Zillow these days looking for our dream Virginia mountain house. Because buying a ramshackle house in the country months before having a new baby is a fantastic idea.

But even if we don't have our own mountain house this fall, I'm certain we will spend as much time in the mountains as we possibly can. Are you as excited for this new season as I am??

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Crush

Not sure if I'm more excited about my own announcement this week or Schumacher's - Miles Redd will be debuting a fabric line with them this fall!

I'm always thrilled to hear about designer collaborations with my favorite fabric lines - though occasionally I'm left a bit underwhelmed, I know the Redd-Schumacher combo is a winner. Miles Redd is just pure decorating genius...this line will be sensational and I will be anxiously awaiting its arrival. Read more about it here...

Thank you for the warm wishes about Baby Boy Shuffler this week! I'm so happy that you are in the know. I'm also thrilled Fall has unofficially arrived, though you wouldn't know it with the 90+ degree temps we've been having here. But I'm sure the end is in sight and I can go back to my uniform of (maternity) leggings and boots all day, every day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It's a...

Break out the baby bow ties and mini seersucker blazers, we're having a boy!

Now, let me tell you I'm good at knowing these things. Or maybe I've just been on the right side of my 50% odds each time...but with Ana Claire I knew it was a girl. I didn't need any ultrasounds to confirm it - pink lamps were bought a couple weeks after I found out I was pregnant.

This little guy did have me guessing for a week or two but almost immediately, my radar flipped to boy. Carter's did too. And I'm a big believer in the universe giving you signs and, boy (no pun intended), were there signs. Like this little balloon left over from a baby shower at work that KEPT FOLLOWING ME. It would bounce around the office and always end up under my desk.

So finding out was fun for the confirmation factor...and we are just tickled that our family will now have a little boy. I'm so curious to know how Baby Boy Shuffler will be different from his sister. And how they will be alike.

This is such a lovely adventure...

Monday, September 1, 2014


I thought it would be appropriate to tell you on LABOR day that I will be going into LABOR on or about December 26, 2014.

Bring on baby #2! We are quite thrilled to be welcoming another nugget just two (swift, short, where did they go?) years after Ana Claire.

I'm going to gloss over the fact that having two December babies will be quite challenging when my obsession with Christmas already takes over my life every I'm just resigned to the fact that there will be a WHOLE LOT OF JOY in our house at the end of every year. And so many presents.

I'm happy to report that I'm feeling good and haven't lost any mojo yet. Hoping it continues through what is shaping up to be a busy fall.

Do we know the sex? Yes! Am I going to tell you? Obvi. Later this week - stay tuned!

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