Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gallery Walls

As I'm hard at work finishing our wedding scrapbook, I've realized that we're going to have a ton of prints left over from this little project. Our wedding photographer took well over 1,000 photos on our wedding day, and I ordered, I think, about 400 prints of those photos. So what to do with the remaining images? Elizabeth Anne Designs Living featured a blog post on gallery walls a couple of days ago which has started me thinking about creating our own gallery wall (once I'm done with the scrapbook, of course!) I realize the gallery wall is sort of ubiquitous for newlyweds, but a mass of pictures fills up a wall really nicely and they are eye-catching conversation-starters. Visitors can't resist the lure of the gallery wall! And they also provide a place to display some of those 400+ prints that one ordered of one's wedding :)

I have some questions, though. Should all of the frames be the same color and style or should they be a mixed bag?

Love this statircase BTW! 
(image from Domino via You're So Martha)
 (image from Domino via JPM Design)
 (image from Elle Decor via JPM Design)

(image from Domino via The Beautiful Shelter)

Should the gallery incorporate a random assortment of time periods and family, friends, etc. or should it have a theme (i.e. our wedding day)? Artwork?

(image from Coastal Living)

(image from Blue-Eyed Bride)

(image from Pottery Barn via To Crave)

Or maybe incorporating shelves?

(images from Pottery Barn via Elizabeth Anne Designs Living)

I'm leaning toward something more like Blue-Eyed Bride's arrangement or the wall featured in Coastal Living. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Southern Frock

I just received the April issue of Southern Living in the mail a couple of days ago, and they were featuring the new company, Southern Frock, in one of their articles. Southern Frock was founded by North Carolinian, Emily Newnam. Her first collection of knit sundresses debuted in April 2010. The collection is small right now, but this definitely might be a company to keep your eye on in the coming years :)

 This is the dress (Ruffled Scoop Neck) that was featured in Southern Living. I think the ruffles down the back are so pretty!

 You can't go wrong with seersucker in the summer :) And the shell as a button is too cute!

 Comfy caftan!

(images from

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

One month until ...

Wills and Kate's wedding!!! On April 29, 2011, at 11:00am, Prince William and Catherine Middleton will be married at Westminster Abbey. I love all things British so I'm very excited, to say the least, about the royal wedding! I tried to convince Peter that we "needed" to go to London at the end of April to give Wills and Kate our congrats in person, but he pointed out that we had not received an invitation in the mail and it would be rather impolite to crash their wedding :) So I guess I'll just have to DVR the ceremony and read People for the inside scoop on the reception.

If you're looking for other ways to remember Wills and Kate's nuptials, though, you definitely have some options. There's the commemorative refrigerator released by GDHA, a distributor for GE appliances in the U.K. Who wouldn't want to stare at the prince and princess while grabbing milk for cereal in the morning?

 (image from

Or if you love a good cuppa tea, how about enjoying tea bags distributed by Pylones with pop-up Wills and Kate?

(image from

Or show your Anglophile spirit with a very British cell phone from manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent. The initials 'W' and 'C' are embossed on the back in gold along with the wedding date, the home screens are loaded with wallpaper of William and Kate, and the ringtone is Mendelssohn's Wedding March.

(image from

The next two offerings are a little less over-the-top. Castle Rock Brewery has created a special wedding beer called "Kiss Me Kate" (kind of cute, huh?):

(image from

And butter London is now selling a new sparkly lavender (limited edition) nail polish called "No More Waity, Katie" (I actually think that's a really pretty color) :

(image from

I can't wait to celebrate the royal wedding! How about you?

(Thanks to Radar Online for the inspiration for this post! Check out their list of more royal wedding collectibles.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekend Recap

Can't believe it's Monday already! The weekend just flew by! I also can't believe it was 31 degrees when I got into my car this morning! Spring has officially been here for a week so why isn't it warmer? Ugh!

Friday was a day off of work for me. I lounged around for awhile in the morning, watching the Today Show (which I love!), and then I accomplished some much-needed chores around the house. Laundry, ironing, and organizing my bureau drawers (thanks to some handy-dandy new organizers from Ikea) took longer than I thought, but I still had time to do some scrapbooking. I'm not sure if I'll finish my wedding scrapbook by our 2nd anniversary, but at least I've made some significant progress!

I attended a women's conference at my church on Fri. night and Sat. morning. We had a great turnout which was a huge blessing :) On Saturday afternoon, Peter and I decided to explore Annapolis, MD, a bit. We've been to Annapolis quite a few times and really like it, but we had never been to the Maryland State House (the oldest continuously-operating state house in the U.S. BTW)  or toured any of the historic houses in the downtown area so that's what we did (and I managed to sneak in a little shopping too - not Peter's favorite thing but he's a good sport!).

 Harbor Area of Annapolis

It looked like there was some kind of sailboat race going on in the distance, but we couldn't check it out for long because it was freezing near the water!

More boats :)

Maryland State House

William Paca House (Paca was a signer of the Declaration of Independence)

Star Monograms (one of my new favorite shops in Annapolis)

The Pink Crab (an old favorite in Annapolis - how perfect is it that a Lilly Pulitzer store is in the harbor area of town!)

We were really hungry for burgers for some reason after our time in Annapolis so we stopped by Five Guys on the way home which was an excellent decision :) I had not been to Five Guys for over a year and that bacon cheeseburger was way overdue. Saturday night I made Paula Deen's "Symphony Brownies" (the recipe has been making the rounds of various blogs - so easy and 12 kinds of delicious!), and P and I watched The Other Guys which was totally silly and funny and which we really enjoyed. 

(image from

 After church on Sunday, we went to lunch at Jason's Deli with a bunch of friends from our Young Adult Fellowship. It was our friend, JC's, last Sunday with us since she's moving to the Richmond, VA-area this week so it was a little farewell party for her. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures, but we had a great time. We'll miss you, JC!!! Lunch lasted a long time so when we got home, it was already time to make dinner! I made Bean and Corn-Topped Potatoes from Cooking Light which were really simple and filling. 

 (image from Oxmoor House, Cooking Light)

And then it was time to start another work week! Happy Monday :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Elizabeth McKay Giveaway!

The Company She Keeps is hosting a giveaway for an Elizabeth McKay Scotland Dress from their new Spring 2011 line! Isn't it too cute!? I love Elizabeth McKay :)

If you win, you pick the color and size. To enter to win, head on over to The Company She Keeps and leave a comment. The winner will be picked via on March 31st, 2011. Good luck!

Pink Swap!

In February, Hopsy at Monograms and Manicures hosted her annual Pink Swap. This was my first year to participate, and I was paired with the sweetest lady named Gretchen. Through some kind of mix-up with the postal service, I just received my package from Gretchen - even though she sent it February 12?! I was so excited to open it yesterday, and this is what I found:

She wrapped each gift individually and used the cutest pink and green polka-dot ribbon to add the finishing touch :)

And these are the goodies that were inside the wrapping!

I was just so touched by her kindness and generosity! I've been wanting a monogrammed apron for some time now, and this one is perfect :) I can't wait to bake some oh-so-yummy cupcakes in that lovely pink apron and use the polka-dot wrappers, treat bags, and ribbon to give them away as little gifts! And I will also love flipping pancakes in my apron with my new pink spatula :) The book (The Icing on the Cupcake) looks really interesting too; it's about a lady who opens a cupcake bakery and it includes recipes!

Many thanks to Gretchen for being a wonderful Pink Swap partner, and many thanks to Hopsy for hosting a great swap!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stationery Stalemate

With my second wedding anniversary coming up in less than a month, I think the time has come for me to finally decide on stationery with my new sort-of-new monogram. Right after Peter and I were married, I was very excited to order personalized stationery with my married-lady initials, and I started my search with much joy. But the choices soon overwhelmed me - as did the overwhelming amount of business that has to be done after marriage - new social security card, new drivers license, new bank account, new apartment, etc. It was easy to let monogrammed stationery take the back burner with so much else to do and with so much indecision on my part. I did manage to buy very simple embossed stationery with our joint monogram before our first anniversary, but nothing just for me. So my goal before our second anniversary is to order new monogrammed stationery for myself (and to finish our wedding scrapbook!)

The choices (after much deliberation) are:

Pink and Green Toile from Boatman Geller
(image from

 Bamboo Green from Lilly Pulitzer
(image from

Chippendale Pattern in Navy and Pink from Iomoi
(image from

Lattice in Navy from Whitney English
(image from

I think I have a top contender, but I might need another week to decide :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weekend Recap

I'm a little late this week for my weekend recap, but I have a good excuse. My camera wasn't uploading pictures yesterday for some reason :( Everything seems to be A-OK this morning, though, so here goes!

Friday night Peter and I had dinner at Jason's Deli in College Park and then watched the University of Maryland men's lacrosse team win against UMD - Baltimore County. Friday was such a lovely day, and it was the perfect night to be outside watching a game! Peter played lacrosse in high school so he was able to explain the rules of the game to me, and I really enjoyed it. More lacrosse games might be in our future :)

There were other fans at the game. All of the spectators were sitting on one side of the stadium :)

Saturday was a lazy, restful day. We made Martha Stewart's Yogurt Waffles for breakfast (Yum!), and then Peter headed to work and I headed to the outlet mall for a little shopping. And then I headed to the grocery store for a little more shopping :) I tried a new recipe for English Cottage Pie from Cooking Light for dinner on Sat. night, and it's definitely a keeper. Peter said it goes especially well with a Guinness (I didn't try this combo, but I trust his judgment) :)

(image from Cooking Light)

Saturday night we watched The Social Network and were pleasantly surprised. The previews did not seem that appealing to me, but I really liked the movie. Very good acting and very interesting discussion of exclusivity and belonging.  I ended up feeling slightly sorry for Mark Zuckerberg, but I was also angered at the way he treated people.

(image from

Sunday was church and then Peter and I went back home for some lounging around and talking with our families on the phone. This week and weekend will be very busy so I'm really glad that this past weekend was nice and relaxing!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!

 (image from

It is such a lovely day today in the DC-area (74 degrees and sunny) and the first day of spring is on Sunday so of course my thoughts are turning to ice cream :) I love ice cream, and my husband super loves ice cream so on spring/summer weekends, we are always up for trying new ice cream places around town or returning to old favorites. Here are a few places that we have visited and liked in the past:

1. The Dairy at the University of Maryland: This shop has horrible hours if you're not a student/faculty member on campus (it's only open 11am to 4pm Mon-Fri), but the ice cream is worth a little maneuvering in your schedule to make time for a visit. They have 26 flavors that are made in-house with the university's herd of Holsteins. One of our favorite flavors is Fridge Fever (vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge, chocolate brownie, chocolate covered cashews and Myers rum).

2. York Castle Tropical Ice Cream (Silver Spring, MD): Run by a Jamaican family, this shop specializes in tropical flavors that most Americans have never heard of (Soursop, Lychee, Mamey Sapote). There are also flavors like Mint Chocolate Chip and Swiss Chocolate if you're not feeling adventurous :)

3. Thomas Sweet (Georgetown, DC): This is a really cute ice cream cafe with outdoor seating which is a definite plus! Cinnamon ice cream is one of my fave flavors and difficult to find, but they serve it here :)

4. Justine's Ice Cream (St. Michaels, MD): Justine's is on Maryland's Eastern Shore so we're only able to visit if we're traveling through the area, but the milkshakes here are worth a special detour!

Two ice cream shops that I'm looking forward to trying for the first time this spring/summer are the Ice Cream Factory & Cafe in Brandywine, MD, and Cherry Hill Farm & Orchards in Clinton, MD. Has anyone been to these places before? I would also like to try my first snowball this season in Baltimore. I've heard from friends who are from Baltimore that this is quite the summer tradition there, and that there is fierce customer loyalty to specific snowball stands in the area. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In Honor of St. Patrick's Day

(image from

I thought that some pics from my trip to Ireland would be appropriate for today's post since it's St. Patrick's Day :) I went with my then-boyfriend, now husband, Peter, and three other friends in May 2008. We kind of traveled a loop around the country - staying in Dublin, Killarney, and Galway and making day trips from those towns. We had such a fun time! Ireland really is as beautiful as the photos show, and the people are extremely friendly and welcoming. I would go back again in a heartbeat! Many thanks to my friend JW for the photos; his camera is much better than mine and he is a much better photographer :)

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin

 Anne Street in Dublin (JFA and KJB with their backs turned to the camera)

Glendalough Abbey

Peter, KJB, and I at Muckross Gardens

Cliffs of Moher

Skellig Islands

Ross Castle


JW at Pub in Galway (Guinness!)

Peter and I at the top of Trim Castle

Peter "falling" from the top of Trim Castle :)

!!!Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!