New for Spring!

Although it snowed in Boston yesterday, it finally feels like Spring is in the air!  I wanted to do a spring round up new products from some of my favorite online shops.  With the weather getting warmer and events like bridal showers, weddings, mother’s day, and summer get-togethers on the horizon it is always good to have some go to gift ideas ready!

First up is the new collection by one of my favorite brands Plum Pretty Sugar!  Their Pompon collection features classic geometrics in chic and femenine silhouettes topped with a flirtatious touch of French.  Need I say more?? Their robes and pajamas are perfect bridal shower gifts and I would totally wear one of those new skirts to mothers day brunch!

PomPon by Plum Pretty Sugar

You all know how much I love Hattan Home, and Lindsay has picked out lots of new treats for spring!  Any of these would be perfect gifts for all the special occasions coming up :)

New Hattan Home

I love when awesome online shops are full or pretty pieces like these – it makes shopping that much easier!

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Wedding Wednesday ~ Vol. IX

I have 6 bridesmaids and two junior bridesmaids in bridal party and I am super excited to have them by my side when I get married!  My two older sisters are my co-maid-of-honors and then my 4 other bridesmaids are my besties from UCLA.   Then I have Eric’s two younger step-sisters as jr. bridesmiads rounding out the group.  I’ve been brainstorming what to get them as bridesmaid gifts and I really want to make them something or find cute gifts from etsy.

I love these cute monogrammed shorts that would be perfect to wear the morning of the wedding while we get ready!

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I also really like the idea of giving them a super pretty yet simple necklace that they can wear as an everyday item like these pearl necklaces.

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Of course the super cute Pinch Provisions kits are great to have the day of the wedding and are then perfect for your bridesmaids to have in the future.

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And one of my favorites has to be the LL Bean totes with each bridesmaid’s name on it.  Super practical and always great to have on hand :)

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What bridesmaid gift ideas have you give or received? I would love the input!

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Favorite Finds:

This weekend I was down in CT for a little family time and it was the nicest weather we have had since forever!  I was able to find an estate sale just 5 minutes from my house so I checked it out with my parents and scored some goodies :)  And today, I am so happy to have Ashley from Candle’s & Confetti sharing her Favorite Finds.  I ‘met’ Ashley via Instagram and she makes the most fun bangles!  I seriously want one in every color so I can mix & match a different combo every day of the week.  And her Favorite Finds are some of my faves as well so I know you will love them too :)

Candles and Confetti

I am by far, OBSESSED, with this amazing fashion illustrator.  Holly, the creator behind these amazing illustrations, has quickly become a friend of mine.  Holly creates custom illustrations for fashion, business logos, custom stationary, and life events.  I have found myself creating a never ending gallery wall featuring her prints including tulle skirt fashion inspiration, leopard handbag, delicious macaroons, and breathtaking illustration of chic perfume.  Love Love Love!!! The sky is the limit with her opportunity for custom illustrations of any kind.  Her ability to take an idea and draw it to a lifelike feature makes it a top 3 for my IG favorites and a definite item I seem buy each month ;)

 I have been drooling over these custom made woodwork creations.  This artist and her husband create custom nail polish racks, cabinetry, makeup storage, jewelry display, art stations, etc.  I love that her items are so unique, include fabric, and the woodwork is simply divine. They took such a simply idea and made it so unique and functional and because of that it is a MUST have item in any home…My problem is…picking WHICH design I want (as I want them all).

 For months I have been lusting over her custom initial bangles.  I think about all the functions and simplicity in each design.  Such a great idea for love symbolized between initials and hearts, inspirational words and messages, names, dates, etc.  Easily paired with other amazing jewelry (i.e. our bangles) these bracelets are the functional and unique addition to any arm candy party.

A must have staple item in my apartment are the 3-wick bath and body works candles.  My all time favorite scent is: Eucalyptus mint which is a stress relieving scent transforming my apartment into a spa oasis.  This candle, when lit, radiates so well through the apartment filling every room with a blissful aroma.  I love when they have their sales (currently in place) which make them 2 for $22 (can’t beat that). Some new scents include French Lavender, Lemon Verbena, and Springtime in Provence.

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And if you need some new jewels, here are some of my favorites from Ashley’s shop!

Candles and Confetti Candles and Confetti Candles and Confetti

Posted in Favorite Finds | 2 Comments

Today’s Estate Sale (and some tips)

I’m off to an estate sale today to hopefully find some goodies for Posh and Hunter’s Alley. Before I decide if an estate sale is worth going to I like to preview images online and keep an eye out for items I might be interested in.  If the sale looks like it has potential then I like to take note of a items I want to check out and start thinking of prices I’m will to pay.

Today’s estate sale looks a little more high end so I’m not sure what to expect with prices, but there are definitely pieces that I am interested in so I’m hoping for the best!

First of all, when I saw the first picture with this wallpaper and light pink tile I had a feeling there were probably going to be some great pieces!

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Love this vintage chandelier with crystals!

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These look like syroco wall art and there were a bunch hanging on this wall so I hope to snag a few.

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I can’t tell the quality of this chair but it looks like the hot pink velvet might be pretty well maintained.  And if that is matching pink carpet I’m pretty sure whoever lived in this house was awesome :)

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These cheeky flamingos are so fun and if I get them I might have issues parting with them.

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Oh vintage glassware, how I love thee!

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That silver service looks so beautiful!  Pretty sure I need one when I start married life ;)

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And last but not least, I always make sure to check out the vintage jewelry tables

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Hopefully I will have some luck!  And make sure to check out Hunter’s Alley for new Belquist listings being put up frequently!

Posted in Belquist, Daily Life, Design | 2 Comments

Future Living Room

Yup, you read that right, I have designed a living room for a house we don’t even own yet!  I know our first home is still at least a year away but I can’t help but dream about how I will decorate.  I’ve already picked out our sofa, the Lounge from Crate & Barrel in navy micro velvet, because the West Elm one we have now is way too small.  I also really want to do grasscloth in a metallic (obviously) on the walls and an over dyed rug :)  Of course this might will probably change by the time we own a house but it is so fun designing for myself because I can do whatever my heart desires :)

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After I finished this room I thought it looked really Jonathan Adler esque with the mix of furniture and the color palette.  And since there is practically no pink (except a tad in the art and some flowers) I am pretty sure I could get Eric on board with this one :)

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Wedding Wednesday: Vol VIII

Today is April 9th which means my wedding is just 4 months away (August 9) and I can’t even believe how fast it is approaching!!   I have my first dress fitting in a couple weeks and I am a little nervous but also super excited.  I want to look and feel my best on the big day so I have been working consciously to eat healthy and get to the gym on a consistent basis (about 6 times a week).  With that being said, I will admit that I spend about 80% of my waking hours in workout gear.  Since I usually work from home or am running around to estate sales/thrift stores/errands during the day I like to be comfortable yet still put together.

One of  my favorite places to buy workout gear might surprise you….Walmart.  I know lots of  people aren’t fans, but when I first started buying their workout gear years ago and it held up really well I was hooked.   They have great Danskin products at awesome prices and the quality is actually pretty decent.  Plus if I get paint on them during a DIY project or a piece gets snagged white rummaging around at an estate sale it isn’t a big deal.

All of these pieces are under $15 and come in a variety of fun colors!

Workout Gear

I also really like TJMaxx & Marshalls for workout gear and I can always find fun pieces (often name brands) for really great prices.  And I recently tried out Fabletics which is basically a monthly subscription for workout gear, but you can get your first month for only $25 plus free shipping for a top & bottom.  I love mine and they definitely have great products!

(PS none of this was sponsored, I just wanted to share my fave sources for workout gear!)

Posted in Daily Life, Wedding | 2 Comments

Posh Design Center Update

As you may know, I am part of an awesome business in Norwood called the Posh Design Center.  One day I hope to open up my own home decor store but that won’t be for a while, so right now Posh is such a fantastic place for me.  I usually work there every other Friday with the owner Caroline (who is awesome) and a few of the other talented designers who are part of Posh.  I was there last Friday and snapped a few pictures to share with you, and if you are local I highly suggest you check it out!

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Sorry for the iphone pictures, I will remember my real camera next time :)  And if you are local, make sure to stop by Posh Design Center Friday-Sunday!

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Chateau Anyone?

I love looking at real estate online and I am definitely guilty of perusing listing in the city we hope to move to soon.  I’m always checking to see what good deals might have popped up and if there are any gems in our budget.  We are still a couple years out from buying a home but I just can’t help myself ;)  Everyone once in a while I like to check out random listings that are way out of my budget and out of the country…a girl can dream right?

How about this chateau just 1.5 hours outside Paris for $28,980,000

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If you are looking for something a but more quaint and budget friendly, this French classical stunner is on the market for a mere $5,934,000 (I say that semi-sarcastically because we’ve all seen ugly houses around our parts sell for that price and they aren’t chateaus in France).

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And lastly, this beauty with an amazing inner courtyard!  At $4,692,000 it would make an amazing B&B.  My dream home (that I am mentally building in my mind and on Pintrest) has a big inner courtyard so I instantly fell in love.

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I’m pretty sure that when I win the lottery I will be needing a real estate agent in Europe ;)

 

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Hunter’s Alley

This morning I am off to an estate sale to hopefully score some goodies for Posh and Hunters Alley.   In case you haven’t heard about Hunter’s Alley, let me give a PSA about this fabulous new site.  Hunter’s Alley is brought to us by One King’s lane and is chock full of fabulous home decor & accessories.  It consists of sellers (like myself) who all have individual ‘shops’ full of goddies.   What I really love about HA is that before an item is allowed to be listed it is reviewed by the Hunter’s Alley team to determine if it is a good fit for the site.  This really helps with quality control and you  aren’t getting lots of random or irrelevant items like you do on sites like etsy.

Here is just a little taste of what you can find on Hunter’s Alley.  New items are added daily and each listing lasts for 30 days :)

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I am so excited to be part of such a great site and can’t wait to share my new treasures!

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Posted in Design, Inspiration | 2 Comments

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

I’ve never shared a recipe heres on the blog but I thought I might start to share a few of my favorites since I know that I always love finding great new recipes.   We eat pretty healthy at our house but I am trying to focus a bit more by ‘clean eating’.   For me, this means that pretty much most of the food I buy is in its natural state and then I turn it into our meals at home knowing that we aren’t eating extra preservatives and elements that aren’t great for us.  I would say my goal is to eat clean 80% of the time but we do like to eat out on occasion and I always make my fiance a homemade ‘Monday treat’ that is a dessert from scratch :)

Anyways…here is one of my favorite recipes and you can make it vegan/paleo if you want and it doesn’t really change the flavors!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

 

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailINGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 8 fresh sage leaves (if I don’t have any, I don’t worry about it!)
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed (optional- to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (eliminate if vegan – can use coconut milk if you want)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  4. When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.
  5. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
  6. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if using.

It is so easy and I don’t even look at the recipe anymore when I make it!  Don’t worry about being exact with measurements either :)

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