What’s on Your…Kitchen Counter

It’s a new month which means a new installment of the ‘What’s on Your’ series!  And this month it is….

Kitchen COunter

When it comes to the kitchen counter, I am a purist.  I absolutely hate having things on the kitchen counter and I feel so good when it is spotless.   In my dream home  I will have loads of cabinets and a big pantry so I can ensure that nothing is on my counter tops.   I know this might sound a little crazy, but to me the house isn’t clean until the counters are empty and spotless :)  And since I don’t have much on my counters, I thought I would share what I have been whipping up in the kitchen lately…French pastries!

Brittany French Brittany French Brittany French Brittany FrenchI’ve been trying to perfect my macaron recipe and it is quite a finicky cookie to make!  I recently make an orange zest shell with a milk chocolate ganache and it was pretty tasty!

I’ve also been working on my eclairs and cream puffs (which are my favorites!) and I am having so much fun testing recipes :)

Make sure to check out all of the fabulous participants!!

Design Chic – Kristy
Domestic Charm – Brenna
Southland Avenue – Mary Keller & Heath
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‘What’s on Your…’ {blog hop series}

One of the reasons I love reading blogs is because I really enjoy getting to glimpse into other people’s homes and how they live!  I am excited to be part of a fun blog-hop series where each month myself and 8 other bloggers will share how we style different parts of our home.  First up….

What's on Your Bathroom Vanity

I would show you my bathroom vanity, but there isn’t anything on it besides hand soap and an electric toothbrush.  We are in a rental and whoever designed the bathroom clearly forgot that people like to have some counter space in the bathroom!  As a solution, I decided to keep my makeup, hair supplies, and jewelry I wear most on one of the dressers in our bedroom.

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I keep makeup and hair items on a brass faux bamboo tray, and hair tools (like my blow dryer) fit in the top drawer of the dresser.  It actually works pretty well, although I can’t wait until we buy a house and I can have a normal bathroom vanity :)

Make sure to check out all of the fabulous participants!!

Design Chic – Kristy
Domestic Charm – Brenna
Little Black Door – Elizabeth
Southland Avenue – Mary Keller & Heath
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Letters From Rita

I am absolutely in love with hand lettering these days.  There is just something so pretty and whimsical about unique one of a kind fonts that are created by hand.  So when Stephanie of Letters from Rita offered to hand letter one of my favorite quotes, I was so excited!  Stephanie is a Boston gal like myself and has an etsy shop full of prints and she also does custom work.  How cute is this print she made for me?!


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I can’t wait to find a perfect spot for my new print :)  And make sure to go check out her shop asap!

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‘Go Bold’ with Chairish

When it comes to interiors, I am definitely a fan of bold design.  I don’t mind neutrals, but I think it is so safe to design a room that doesn’t include pops of colors and unique elements.  When it comes to finding bold and creative design pieces, I love perusing Chairish!   When designing a room, I usually like to start with a rug that will act as an anchor for the whole space.  These days I am really loving antique/vintage oriental style rugs, and I think they work really well with rich colors, golds, and lots of wood tones.

Bold with ChairishI think that the beautiful royal blue benches are perfection with the deep red oriental rug!  Paired with the amazing detail of burl wood nightstands as well as plenty of gold and black, I think that the rug pops so well.  By using bold and rich colors, this room is really luxurious but still cozy and inviting.

You can shop all these fabulous pieces plus thousands more on Chairish!

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Highlights from Ecuador

Back in September I traveled to Ecuador for my first Belquist buying trip!  I booked the trip with the sole intention of buying Fall/Winter products for the shop and it was such a great business experience.  I had been to Ecuador a few times before (several years ago to do volunteer work) and I always loved shopping for local textiles.  After launching Belquist and honing in on globally inspired/sourced products, I started to dream about actually traveling around the world to pick out products.   Since I was already familiar with Ecuador and the country’s amazing alpaca textiles, I knew it was a perfect first buying trip!

 Did you know that Panama hats originated in Ecuador? Well I certainly didn’t!   The reason they got their name was because they were exported through the Panana canal (from Ecuador) and canal workers started to wear them.   I was so excited to find these because I think they are such a fun fashion statement.  I’m not sell them in the shop this year but I think I will pick up a selection on my next trip.Belquist In EcuadorThe hand embroidery work was amazing!  Women spend hours intricately embroidering clothing & home decor pieces.

Belquist In EcuadorThe markets were full of such beautiful a bursts of color.  I loved getting lost among the hundreds of vendors while searching for treasures.

Belquist In Ecuador Belquist In EcuadorThe main items on my list were alpaca textiles!  Alpaca is amazing because it is a hypoallergenic wool that is super soft and crazy warm.  The blankets were the biggest hit this fall (only a few left in the shop!!) and I have big plans for next year’s collection.

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All in all it was a fabulous trip and I loved exploring one of favorite countries from a business standpoint.  I’m already planning my trip for next year!

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Our Living Room {on a budget!}

Our apartment here in Boston is definitely not a long term living situation (and I hope to be in a new place by the end of summer) but I have tried my best to make it work for us at this point in our lives.  While I would really love to invest in furniture that we will have for years to come, it just doesn’t make sense since we don’t know what will work in our future home.

Our living room (along with the rest of our place) was done on a a major budget, but I am happy with how it turned out for something that isn’t permanent.

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Since I’m always curious to see budget breakdowns, I thought I would share how I saved when decorating.  The sofa and the upholstered chair and both from West Elm that my hubby purchased those before I moved in, but everything else was pretty much thirfted, DIY’d, or bought on sale.  The one thing I want to change to make this space a bit more finished is a piece of real art.   I constantly have an eye out for an affordable piece at estate sales and thrift stores (obviously!)

Brittany French Living Room Prices

I actually really love decorating on a budget and even when we do move to a bigger place, I can’t wait to hunt for more treasures that will fill up a whole house ;)

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Our Living Room

Well I have certainly neglected this blog for a while!  But I am ready to get back into the swing of things and I wanted to start out with sharing our apartment :)  We have been living in our current apartment for almost 2 years (crazy!) and decorating has been a slow process.   We want to buy a house in the somewhat near future, so until then I don’t want to spend a lot of money decorating a rental because what pieces we buy now might not be right for our first house.  That being said, I’ve worked with what we already have and add pieces when I find good deals :)

First up is our bedroom!  I have shared a few pictures on Instagram, but here are some more :)

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The room was actually already navy blue when we moved in, and since we liked the color (and I didn’t want to paint yet another room) we decided to keep it.  Coincidentally, the curtains from my first apartment in LA matched/fit perfectly on the two walls flanking the inset window nook.

The bed &  3 dressers are IKEA, and I added lion head pulls from Home Depot to the black dressers to jazz them up.  The metal pouf was $50 from Marshalls, the rug & lamps were from Homegoods, and the side tables were from JC Penny (and I think they were less than $30 each).   Nothing fancy here, but I would say we pulled this whole room together for less than $1200 total.

I’m on the hunt for some oil paintings to go above the bed because my husband hates the metallic faux antlers from Marshalls (and they are the wrong scale), but besides that this room is as complete as it probably will ever be!


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Belquist Travels to Ecuador

I’m back from Belquist’s fall buying trip to Ecuador and it was fabulous!  Ecuador is one of my favorite countries to visit and I am beyond excited to share all of the wonderful products I brought back for Belquist.  I am working hard on getting product photos taken as well as some fun photo shoots to showcase everything I brought back.  My goal is to have the fall collection available online the beginning of October.

For now, here are a few snapshots from the trip :)


Shopping the market


Our cute hotel


Textiles for days!


Traditional hand embroidered clothing

Make sure to follow along on Instagram and Facebook for updates!

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Our Wedding Flowers + Some Tips

Nothing brightens up a home or a party like pretty fresh flowers.  I knew that for our wedding I definitely wanted pretty blooms, but I didn’t want to spend a crazy amount of money on them.  After all, they would only be used for one day and our venue was so lovely that it didn’t need too much to decor.

For our bouquets, I called several florists in the area whose work I liked and asked for quotes after we chatted about what I was looking for.  I knew that the word ‘wedding’ made everything expensive but I was a little taken back when I was sent quotes.  There was no way I was about to pay $200 for a bridal bouquet and $125-$150 for bridesmaids (especially since I had 8) so it was time to get resourceful.  Thats when I turned to Whole Foods and I am so glad that I did!  I called a few Whole Foods in my location (they all gave different prices which is so weird) and the 4th one I called had prices I almost couldn’t believe.  We ended up paying $35 for bridesmaids bouquets, $50 for mine, and $5 per boutonniere! #winning


We put the bouquets in vases after the ceremony and I love that they did double duty.  For the rest of the decor, we purchased flowers from a local wholesaler and then one of my mom’s best friends made all of the arrangements the day before the wedding.  We saved a ton of money by buying wholesale and arranging ourselves, so if you (or a friend) has a wholesale license I highly recommend going this way :)




{*All images property of Brittany French}

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Labor Day DIY Blog Hop

I can’t believe that this upcoming weekend is Labor Day!  Seriously, where did summer go?  It was a crazy one (in the best possible way) but I am actually looking forward to fall.  If we could just skip to April after New Years I would be much more happy about embracing the changing seasons ;)  Anyways, since fall is in the air (whether we like it or not) a few blogger friends and I decided to share some Labor Day/fall inspired DIYs!

Sarah from 702 Park Project, Mary from Lemon Grove Avenue, Amy from Eat, Sleep, Decorate and I are all sharing out projects next Monday the 1st :)  But in the meantime, I suggest you go check out their blogs for some awesome inspiration!

Laboring Away (1)

In honor of my new last name, I whipped up a fun little something to adorn our front door.  It took less than 45 minutes and cost less than $10 so it was a total win in my book :)  Make sure to check out these other ladies’ blogs and DIYs next Monday!

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