Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Perfect Party Dress

My mom knows that when I fall in love, really in love, with a dress I've been known to utter the words "I love it so much I want to be buried in it."  Morbid, I know -- but you've probably been that in love at one time or another too.

Maybe I'm behind, but how did I not know about the San Francisco-based design company Kirribilla?  I am absolutely in love with her dresses -- she manages to make them classic, yet bold at the same time.  And they are all oh-so-feminine.  They are a bit pricey, but with weddings in the double digits this year, I think I can justify one ...but which one is the question!

These are my faves:

And how perfect would this be for a bride-to-be at her rehearsal?  I love it.

Special shout out to Bailey who wants more about Olive -- well here she is -- such a little lady (on the day of my bridal portrait)!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring & Summer China

With the warmer weather (with the exception of Monday when we had sleet in Raleigh!), I can't help but thinking about dining outside on our porch with friends and family.  As Josh noted tonight, "we have never actually done that, Whit."  Well he's right...and maybe one reason is due to a lack of table and chairs and proper outdoor dinnerware (other reasons may be due to mosquitoes attraction to Josh and the fact that we live on a busy street).  Nonetheless, here are some little collections and themes I've put together after purusing the world wide web.

1. Melamine -- very practical and affordable

2. Personalized plates & glasses -- they run a little more expensive (and some are a bit obnoxious for me)

3. Flower power -- many cheerful bright flower designs.

4. Mix & match -- multi-colored sets

5.  Sea scapes -- beautiful designs inspired by the sea.

6. Aviary addiction -- I love the bird patterns!

7. Vintage Feminine -- new designs that feel old.

8. Whimsical Garden Party -- perfect for a ladies lunch
9.  Unique drinks -- lots of liquids on the porch (cocktail and virgin varieties)

I'm dying for lots of these items -- especially the knives from Anthropologie, the Victorian tumblers from Pottery Barn, the beast feet tureen from Anthropologie & the decorator's drink dispenser (you can change out the theme in the bottom where they currently have fruits).

Any other favorites or good ideas you've come across for outside dining?

In other news, my sweet co-worker, Laura, requested that I start adding some of Josh's commentary -- particularly on my outfits.

Yesterday after I got ready for work (in some hand-me-downs I took from Rachel on Saturday) he said, "You look like you are going to volunteer in South America."  Other people just commented on how the boots looked a few sizes too big (I wear a 6.5 or 7 and these are a 9).  This isn't the first and won't be the last time I wear shoes that don't fit!


PS- If you are reading this blog, please "follow" me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oakwood Inspired DIY

Josh and I love living in Oakwood.  It is such a charming historic neighborhood full of homes in a variety of architectural styles.  Many owners have restored them to their original beauty and stature and it seems people are constantly working on their homes -- partly because old homes require a lot of maintenance and partly because a lot of people drawn to this neighborhood take such pride in keeping these historic gems looking their best. Huge trees line the sidewalks and it really is an ideal place for an afternoon stroll.  Don't get me wrong, we have our share of rundown & creepy houses too (with our lead paint chipping off more and more by the day our neighbors may think we are one of them!!!).

My three very favorite homes on our "loop" -- if these ever went on the market I would try to find a way to scrape my pennies together to snatch it up!!  You will see they are 3 very different, but equally appealing, styles.

This home is currently split into 4 apts.  It would take a lot of $$$ to make it into one unit.  The owner (an attorney), who lives in one of the units, has owned it since the '70s.
An architect and an interior designer currently reside in this magnificent second empire style house.  The garden on the side is unbelievable.
The owners of this house co-founded Hyde Street Holdings, investor in real estate and real estate related entities.  They hand dug out an unbelievable wine cellar in the basement.  The grounds are always impecably manicured and there are cozy patios on either side of the home.
A few other homes on my walking tour:









12. (Gov. Aycock's house -- most recently a chef lived here, so the house is complete with a commercial kitchen! -- on the market currently for $1MM) 


This is making me want to paint our house green (very similar style to ours).  Thoughts?

My mother-in-law, Jean, lived here for a few years growing up.





One of the few brick homes in the neighborhood.




I'm not sure how these homes got their paint colors approved by the commission...



A few other unique characteristics include Sidestreet Cafe and the very old and beautiful Oakwood Cemetary

Another item you will see on lots of houses (and my weekend DIY project!) is gold and black painted house numbers on the window above the door -- here are a few examples:

And my two favorite styles that I decided to copy

So just like the wine glasses I printed out the letters and numbers and taped to the back of the glass so I could paint over them

Painting over with gold leaf paint (left over from another project)
Nice Mama Dip's t-shirt!

Then I began outlining in black paint (I used a paint pen)

The finished project!

Which home would you want to live in?