Monday, October 24, 2011

Weldon Loft: The Entryway

Yesterday, I wrote about our relaxing weekend spent in Rome visiting dear friends.  However, I would be doing you a disservice if I did not give you a tour of the Weldon's stunning loft in the downtown district.  They are on the top floor (read: high ceilings and great views!) of a historic building overlooking the beautiful sites of the city -- charming main street, the old clocktower, the river, and more.  
Leigh wanted their new place to be a welcoming and comfortable home.  But, knowing that this was not their "forever home" -- she wanted to work with the furniture they already owned and update the look with accessories, lighting, pillows, and artwork.  To do so, she worked with a local Rome designer.

First up?  The entryway.  This dramatic entryway sets the tone for the entire loft.  Leigh's husband, an avid hunter, had one request for their first home together: his first buck had to hang on the wall.  He agreed to store the other bucks, gators, ducks, etc -- but this buck was a must.  (See the priority he placed on the buck when they moved to Rome!) 

Leigh was not excited about bringing the outdoors into her decor-- but she conceded to his only request.  We had many conversations about ways to incorporate/hide the looming deerhead.  Like this pin I showed her on Pinterest.  (Technically, animal is in!) Leigh was even less excited when she discovered that the only place the buck really fit was in the entryway.  The first thing guests would see.  Great.

Fast forward a few months and enter her decorator.  He accessorized around the deer and her existing console table to create a stunning entry.  He created a symmetrical look with a two-toned mirror flanked by lamps with enough height to balance the tall ceilings. 

 The driftwood accessory, the only other natural element in the arrangement, ties the deer into the look nicely.
The upholstered bench adds weight to the entry display -- and also gives Leigh additional storage (for such important items as wrapping supplies).

 To personalize the space, Leigh put together a gallery wall on the left side of the entry that includes an engagement photo, portraits from their wedding day, their wedding invitation, and a rendering of the church where they were married.  (Conveniently, they can now see the church steeple out their window!)

This weekend, Leigh claimed that of all the decorating she has done in her new home -- the entryway (with the buck!) was her favorite.  Isn't it funny how that happens?  Sometimes you just need an outsider's perspective.

Stay tuned for posts on the living room, kitchen & dining room, master bedroom & bath, and guest bedroom & bath.

What's your favorite part of this room?


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekend in Rome....Georgia

 Ryan and I spent a wonderful weekend in Rome, Georgia visiting our dear friends, Leigh and Ryan (aka, Ryan Two).  These two served as amazing hosts from the moment we arrived for brunch on Saturday morning.  Not only did we get to spend time with these two...

...and these two....

...but these two!

After brunch, the boys headed off to challenge each other on the golf course while the girls took a tour of the Weldon's newly decorated, GORGEOUS loft (detailed decor post coming later this week) and set off for a relaxing day in Rome. 

First up on our agenda?  The Chiaha Harvest Fair ("a toe-tappin', cider sippin', fun-for-everyone Arts Festival") to enjoy the beautiful weather and local art.

After the art festival, we poked around several great shops in downtown Rome and enjoyed gelato from Honeymoon Bakery.  Most exciting, though, was visiting Leigh's dental office, the Rome Center for Pediatric Dentistry.  We are so proud of our Leigh-Leigh!

That evening, we enjoyed delicious venison chili made by our wonderful hosts, drinks on the rooftop terrace of their building, and some dancing at a nearby watering hole. 

We wrapped up the weekend in my favorite fashion -- girl talk over coffee in the rooftop sunroom and walking to Sunday brunch at Harvest Moon Cafe

Farewell, friends!  Thank you for a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Healthy Slice of Life: Autumn Spiced Almonds

My friend Brittany has an incredible healthy living blog, A Healthy Slice of Life.  I look forward to reading her posts each night as they are delivered to my inbox.  She has a great outlook on eating and exercising right, helpful tips, and tasty recipes (including great freezer ready meals for my expectant mom friends out there).  Best of all, she is funny, honest, balanced, and completely transparent about her own life.  Please check it out!

 In addition to her blog, she also has a one month-old precious baby girl.  With the new addition on the way, Brittany incorporated a lot of information on her blog about pregnancy, specifically about eating right and preparing for a little bundle of joy, that was both insightful and entertaining.  Isn't Hailey precious?

Anyway, the reason I bring up Brittany and her blog....

Yesterday, she made my day...TWICE.  First, she gave me a call out in her blog.  Being the avid reader that I am, this alone made me smile.  You see, on Friday I posted a status update to Facebook touting the amazingness of the new Planter's Pumpkin Spice Almonds my mother bought me as a treat.  I am a sucker for all things pumpkin...pumpkin cranberry bread, pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin pie, toasted pumpkin seeds...  Nothing says fall like a little pumpkin! 

Anyway, Brittany saw the post.  She "liked" it.  (Duh.)   And then in true Brittany-style, she showed  her readers how to MAKE them at home.  Here is a sneak peak at the making of Autumn Spiced Almonds from a Healthy Slice of Life.  For the full recipe, visit Brittany's site.  I can't wait to try these for myself this weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Giraffe Baby Shower: Welcome Everett!

This little guy (my precious nephew) surprised everyone by showing up 5 weeks early on December 2, 2010. Apparently, he is not one to miss a party--- his baby shower (or rather, my sister-in-law Paige's baby shower) was scheduled for that weekend on December 6. Since Everett needed to spend a couple of weeks in the NICU developing stronger lungs, the hostesses went ahead with the shower to give mom a nice distraction.
Everett's shower was inspired by his soon-to-be black, white, and yellow giraffe nursery. Paige picked out some killer fabrics for my mom to sew into bedding, curtains, and cushion covers for the rocker.
Guests were welcomed to the shower at Josie's gorgeous home with this door sign created by my mom. She was inspired by a picture she had seen on Etsy and my brother's love of books. She picked up some inexpensive books from the thrift store, a canvas, and a jar of decopage. I love how it turned out.
For the tablecloth, we used some of the fabric that was destined to be used for curtains. (We were able to capitalize on EV's early arrival!) Patty, Kim, Josie, and myself were able to put together a delicious menu of lunch foods...if I do say so myself.

I am normally against silly baby shower games, but I loved this idea from Josie. She wrapped a box and filled it with 20 small "diaper bag items". I created submission sheets on card stock to distribute to guests upon their arrival. Guests filled out the sheet with their guesses throughout the party. Prior to opening gifts, Josie pulled out the items one-by-one from the box. The guest with the highest number right won a $10 Starbucks card. Who doesn't love a good prize?
For decor, we simply hung a clothesline with onesies and giraffe print outs. Patty and Kim made tissue paper puffs in yellow, black, and white to hang from the light fixtures.
The hostesses and Paige -- celebrating a successful shower just days after Everett's surprise arrival!
For a party favor, I made giraffe-shaped sugar cookies using a cookie cutter I found for $1 at Sur la Table. (Love that store.) My mom and grandma helped me ice and package them the night before!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cheesecake Filled Strawberries

You asked, and you shall receive! Many of you saw a photo of these delectables that I posted to Facebook and requested the recipe. I am embarrassed to share how easy they were-- but here you go:

During our family vacation at the beach in August, my Aunt Lynne introduced us to the refreshingly sweet wonder of the Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberry. She found the recipe on Pinterest and added it to her 1,803 pins. (That's a fact. She's a Master Pinner. Unlike most of us, however, she actually tries many of her pins. Remember this?)

The original source for the recipe is the lovely blog Sugar Derby. I adapted some of her directions (ever so slightly) and made these tasty treats for the Georgia v. Coastal Carolina tailgate.


  • Strawberry Stem Remover: This thing makes life so easy. (Again, thank you, Aunt Lynne!) However, you can use a knife if you want. I like my Chef'n Strawberry Huller. (Available at Williams-Sonoma for $7.95)

  • Sandwich Size Ziploc Bag

  • Electric Mixer


Two cartons of fresh strawberries

8 oz. pkg of light cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 sleeve of graham crackers (optional)

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips (optional)

  1. Wash strawberries and remove stem and core with either the corer or a knife.

  2. With the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

  3. Scoop cream cheese mixture into the ziploc bag and seal-- making sure that all air is removed.

  4. Use scissors to cut the bottom corner of the ziploc bag to create a piping bag. You will only need to cut a tiny opening.

  5. Squeeze the cream cheese filling through the opening to fill each strawberry.

I stopped there, because I was transporting the strawberries on an hour car ride and wanted them to look their best upon arrival-- no smears, uneven distribution, etc. However, you can go on to the next steps if you wish:

  1. Crush graham crackers in another ziploc bag. Dip the filled end of the each strawberry in the crushed graham crackers.

  2. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth upon stirring. Use the spoon to drizzle chocolate over the finished strawberries.

  3. Place in refridgerator until chocolate is hardened.

The final step is always the same-- serve and enjoy!

What's your favorite easy tailgate recipe?