Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gallery Pictures Project

It will be one year this Friday that I have lived in our new house. While we made great strides in decorating in Year One, we have a long way to go. Over the course of Year Two, I plan to post pictures of home improvement projects as we tackle them.

First on the list: Create a gallery wall in the upstairs hallway.

{Note: I wish that I had taken "before" pictures of this project. Next time.}

We wanted a place for all of our personal pictures. We have a long hallway upstairs that felt empty as we passed through every day. We raided the local Hobby Lobby and bought about a dozen frames at 50 percent off. By framing family pictures, wedding pictures, and memorobilia from our life, we were able to able to add a warm, personal touch to our home. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kristen Moves to Chapel Hill

Maggie and I pose with the setup.
My dear friend Kristen officially left Atlanta after Thanksgiving to be close to her boyfriend, Joe. Joe is completing a pediatric medical residency at UNC-Chapel Hill. As sad as I am to see Kristen go, I am so excited for this new adventure in her life. My friend Maggie and I (with help from the hubbies) threw a going away party for Kristen in December featuring all of "Krissy's Favorite Things"! We had a great time planning the party and trying to surprise Kristen. Take a look at a few of the night's features...

First, every great party should feature a personalized koozie! Kristen's favorite color is purple. These giveaways were a huge hit!
Kristen ends each day with a cup of "hot chock-ie and mallows". Of course, this version had a hint of peppermint schnapps for a bit of seasonal flair.
The table is almost complete in anticipation. I added some purple ornaments to my existing holiday decor to pull in the guest of honor's favorite color.
Shot glasses filled with Souper Jenny soups added a fun touch. We purchased these inexpensive shot glasses at Ikea for another shower. (For that event, the glasses were filled with mini key lime pie and brownie desserts. They are so versatile!)
We ordered plenty of sushi from Ru San's to commemorate the many girl's dinners at various sushi restaurants in Atlanta.
Kristen loves grilled cheese "sammies". These unassuming sandwiches were a hit. My secret ingredient? Apple butter. So simple. So delicious.
Purple mini "cup-i-cakes" added a sweet ending to the party.

We miss Kristen dearly-- but we're so glad that we could send her off in style!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Exciting New Venture!

I am excited to announce that I will be joining my mother as a partner at Chapin Group Interiors. Chapin Group is a design firm offering full service design consultation, one day redesign, personal shopping, home staging services and more. We also operate an antique booth at Scotland Yard Antique Market in historic downtown Lawrenceville. (Take a peek at some of our latest additions to the booth below!) We would love to assist you with any of your design needs. I am excited about this new venture in my life!

These vintage seltzer bottles start at just $24.99 and make a great accessory for any home.

This F.B. Rogers silver punch bowl ($199.99) makes not only a great serving piece, but creates beautiful seasonal displays.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas At Our House

My effort to catch up on my Christmas blogs continues. The holiday is over, but why not enjoy that warm feeling of comfort and joy one last time? Here is a glimpse of the holiday decor at our house for our first Christmas as a married couple. I cannot wait to add to our collection of holiday heirlooms in the coming years.

The tree is the focal point of the house. We trimmed our tree with our childhood ornaments, but wanted to give the tree a uniform look as well. We achieved this by starting the decorating with an even distribution of beaded fruit ornaments (including pears, pomegranates, and apples) and gold tassels. Next year, I want to place poinsettias throughout the tree for a fun pop of color. Take a look:

For the dining room, I wanted to really make a statement on the table. I started with a red runner to provide a base for the centerpieces. Next, I used many of my glass vases and apothecary jars along with silver platters that I received as wedding presents to line the length of the table. The jars and platters were filled with festive red Christmas items including ornaments and candy canes. My two favorite elements?

1. I was able to incorporate many of the (70!) crystal candlesticks I collected for our wedding into the tablescape. What a fun reminder of our big day!

2. I filled a silver bowl with antique Christmas ornaments purchased at thrift stores and antique markets. The ornaments have so much character, and I love how they add an interesting element to the table.

Check it out:

Here is a little peek at the dome on my kitchen counter. I have a recent obsession with bird decor. My husband is not on board, but he tolerates them for me!

With the kitchen table, I wanted to take a less formal approach. I filled apothecary jars with pine cones from the yard, gum drops, and candy canes. I added a poinsettia and cut glass balls to add variation. I originally had all of the items just sitting on the table, but I wanted the arrangement to feel more cohesive. I found this gold mirror in the closet that was perfect! I love the way it reflects the light of the candle!

Last but not least, my front entryway welcomes guests with just a hint of winter.

I hope that everyone had a great holiday! I plan to start my 2o1o posts soon!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Surprise Engagement Party

In late November, my husband, my friend's boyfriend, and I plotted a surprise engagement party for my best friend. The party was a surprise to all in attendance-- so we had to contrive a plan to get a group of her closest friends to our house the Tuesday before Thanksgiving despite hectic travel schedules. Our ingenious plan? A Thanksgiving Cocktail & Dessert Party-- "to properly celebrate the holiday with our nearest and dearest". Thankfully, our friends all enjoy each other's company so much that while they all thought it was an original idea-- no one questioned the gathering. Her boyfriend, now fiance (she said yes!), planned to pass through Atlanta just in time for them to stop by. I did not take as many pictures of the decor, desserts, or celebration as planned -- but I was able to spend priceless time with the happy couple, Ryan and Leigh! Here's to December 11, 2010!

Our dining room festooned with pumpkins, squash, and wheat grass for the Thanksgiving holiday.

A close up of the dining room table decor.

My best picture of the dessert table. Unfortunately, I did not get a great shot.

Close up of the dessert table centerpiece. I don't have many fall accessories, so I paired brown, white, and gold items rich in texture to create rugged, rich tablescape.The look of date ball cookies on a leaf platter felt very fall to me.

A cheese plate is a necessity at all parties, at least according to my friends!

The bride-to-be and her mother check out the new family heirloom.

The groom-to-be cannot stop smiling.

Bride-to-be and lovely bridesmaid, Jenn Culbertson.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Blogging: A New Year's Resolution

New Year. New Blogger. The 2009 holidays got away from me, and it's been an appalling 33 days since I last posted. The worst part? I actually took an excessive amount of pictures of my holiday decor, entertaining events, and home projects. Well, it's 2010, and I am back in full force. I plan to blog twice a week going forward. Over the next few days, I plan to revisit the holidays and the exciting events of the last month. I look forward to a fabulous 2010!