Things have been crazy busy around here lately, and we are looking forward SO much to our upcoming trip to New York for the Mockingbird conference and a visit with Jacob and Mel! This morning I was thankful to have a little time in front of the fire (that's right, because it's still winter here!), reading the paper in my favorite chair.
Remember this project? This is the chair that made me respect anyone who reupholsters furniture for a living!! :)
We are just ONE week away from The Mockingbird Conference and we cannot wait!!! I love a party, especially one that involves pop culture, art, and God. So, when it came time to think up our decor for the conference, I wanted to work outside the box. So, instead of running towards Mason jars, I found vintage inspired Amber glass jars. When I opened my packages I was so pleased with the shape of the jars, but found them just a little too plain.
Naturally I took out my metallic gold paint and took it to the jars, and I was hoping for a perfectly imperfect look.
My kids and I have been cooking up meals together practically since they were born. Preparing meals together is our afternoon activity, and I can honestly say is well worth the effort. I love a family meal that involves all of US, and the ninos do too.
Like any good meal, we begin the experience at the table. Last night our family shared a meal with our dearest friends here in NYC, our neighbors. S was more then excited to host our friends and happily set the table on her own.
We just drove home after spending several fun days with friends in Birmingham, AL and had the best time together on our little road trip. I'm not a huge fan of long drives-- it doesn't take long before I'm getting restless and bored-- but these days we're so busy that six hours in the car just the two of us actually feels almost like a luxury. Now that Jady has been called to be the next Rector of our church we have lots to talk about, and it's pretty wonderful to get to think and dream long term about the church and our lives here.
Before we hit the road last week, I squeezed about a million errands into my last day at home (it's always like that when I'm getting ready to go out of town!), including a stop by my new favorite discount store, Tuesday Morning. Now I know TM is totally old news and has been around for ages, and I remember shopping there once or twice years ago myself, so I'm not saying it's truly new. But after more than five years in Europe without places like Tuesday Morning, Home Goods and Marshall's, I'm especially appreciative of these discount stores and the awesome deals you can find there, if you have the time to look.
Lately I have rediscovered Tuesday Morning as my new favorite source for high quality sheets and bed linens, and this week I stopped back in to hunt for an area rug for Lindsay's bedroom. She has nearly finished settling into her cute apartment, and the final major purchase we've been planning is a new rug to soften the space and cut down on noise for the tenant below her. TM had a decent selection of styles available up to as large as about 8'x9' and at great prices. I think the most expensive one I saw was $299!
Here's the one we picked out for Lindsay-- a 7'x9' for $99:
And a couple of other steals for $70-99:
The checkout ladies at my local Tuesday Morning told me that every store carries different inventory, so I'm off to check out the others to see what other steals I can find.
Now, that SPRING has finally arrived, I thought it was time to throw out my Magnolia leaves and replace them with Quince and Spyria. They are just the right combo for a household longing for the winter months to end. When I told Nia I was headed to the market, she tagged along and took these snap shots.
MY FAVORITE BRANCH SHOP: PERSAUDS
I love a sprinkle of spring in the home. Even if it remains cold outside having blooming branches in your home will seem like Spring has arrived.
Simply trim and arrange in any vase. I decided to use a large ceramic container. I filled a bowl inside with water so that I did not need to fill the entire container. I then trimmed and arrange my flowers until they made sense.
I have been flipping through my Paris photos (don't you just love the sound of that phrase?), and I found that I wanted to share just a few more fabulous images with you all. When I said play tourist I really did mean it, so I was sure to visit the Louvre and take in the city. I wondered the streets snapping photos of locals, buildings, windows, anything that caught my eye. I was not in any way embarrassed to be seen with a large camera around my neck.
While at the Louvre you can not help but feel inspired by the interiors of the space. I found the tapestries, chairs, and flooring to be awe inspiring. Here are a few shots that got me going.
Here is what I call YES PLEASE, I will take one of each! The flooring, chairs, and DOORS could not be more perfecto.
Last weekend we celebrated my awesome sister in law, Lindsay's birthday with a little dinner party at our house. She and I both love to have people over for a home cooked meal, and I was thrilled to pull out all the stops to make it a special dinner for her. On a normal day--let's just be honest here-- we use our basic plates, eat in front of the TV, and half the time use paper towels for napkins. But when we have friends over for dinner Jady and I love to pull out a tablecloth, light the candles and use our fancier table settings. Why only use things like china and crystal once or twice a year? While I don't reinvent the wheel or do anything particularly creative, I like expressing through a pretty table that we're happy that you're here, and you coming to dinner makes this a special occasion. Another element of dinner party prep that I love is choosing and arranging the flowers. Because I'm always busy grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning up the house before everyone arrives, I like to go with pretty simple, easy arrangements that aren't going to stress me out.
I happened to know that Lindsay loves the combination of pale pink and bright green, so while at Trader Joe's I picked up a bunch of stargazer lilies, some pink roses and a few hydrangeas in a fresh chartreuse. At home I soaked a foam oasis in water for a few minutes before positioning it in a silver bowl and cutting and sticking in each stem.
The flowers looked lovely all night, but on day two I noticed that two of the three hydrangeas had already begun drooping, and before long they had totally given out. Ugh, what is the deal? I'm clearly doing something wrong, since I have only a 50/50 record with keeping hydrangeas alive for very long. I clearly need a tutorial from Mel, the flower whisperer, 'cause this is just sad:
Desserts are usually something that I personally like to delegate or buy for dinner parties, since I prefer to spend my time on other areas, and birthday cakes I definitely leave to the professionals. While I *can* bake, I like to keep events like this fun for myself (so that I'll be excited to do them again), and that involves learning what I want to tackle and what to outsource. How fun is this polka dotted birthday cake? I definitely made the right decision with this one, and I was able to enjoy the night along with everyone else.
Hello Monday! Today we find ourselves trying to stay warm and cozy here in NYC. When will the winter end?! I am hoping and looking forward to warmer weather in April and we are also very much looking forward to The Mockingbird Conference, which takes place April 3rd-5th here in New York City. Nia K and I have been busy bees dreaming up the MBIRD conference within the walls of the very historic St. George's Church.
QUE? You may ask yourself what is Mockingbird? In a nutshell a blog that highlights the presence of grace through literature, culture, and the arts, what is not to love. The blog content is smart, funny, and thought provoking.
AND If you're like me and have been home bound and reflective this winter season, you may find MBIRD particularly interesting. I love the opening quote for the conference.
“I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.” –Franny Glass in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey
I know Nia and I found ourselves hooked, inspired, and wanting more. So, when Dave asked us to help plan the conference we said YES (no hesitation), and here is how we have approached MBIRD's event……
Good meals during a conference are essential, a non-negotiable really. So,when it came to food we looked no further then Pixie and Scout. We love their aesthetic, and food philosophy. If you love farm to table, then you know your coming to the right place. I have to admit we were sold on their design too, so clean, modern, and fresh.
LITTLE MISS. NIA
Nia has been dedicated to pulling the conference together. Throughout the process Nia and I have LOVED reading the various writings of our speakers, going through BIOs, and doing a little cyber stalking all over brunch in the Gramercy Hotel. I even joined a book club to stay focused on getting through all the content.
MOST IMPORTANTE I say whatever type of event you are hosting, my advice is to know your audience. When you know who your guests are, you are able to set the kind of scene that engages all senses (in the best possible way), and I say don't forget to throw in a few unexpected details. Now that we have booked the most fabulous speakers, and caterer I am fully focused on the aesthetics. I cannot wait to share the after photos. I have enlisted my most creative friends (Ginger, Jackie, & Nia) to assist with the table scape. All I can say is the written word will be the centerpiece along with a few rare breeds of ranunculus to brighten up the space.
I hope you are inspired wherever you are and if your looking for a little something that will get you going, check out MBIRD.COM. Mil Besos, M
After Henry's birthday party, we decided to let the balloons fly away with a wish. There is nothing more mesmerizing then floating balloons. You imagine the places they float off to. I remember as a child each year in school we would release balloons with our contact info in hopes of making a new friend somewhere out there…… Releasing balloons has become a new birthday tradition--it is the perfect way to end a party, plus it chases the post-party blues away.
Make a Wish…..
Don't you just love the wonder in these little one's eyes? If I am honest, The Rev. and I love watching the balloons float away, too.