Tuesday, October 28, 2014

House-Hunting Update: We Found It!!


I've been holding out on you guys. For the past few weeks, we've been embroiled in the particulars of actually buying a house...I wanted to update so bad, but I also wanted to wait until it seemed really real.

Here's what happened:

On our way to an event one night, we decided to stop into an open house. The house itself didn't seem that exciting from the MLS pictures, but we thought it was worth a shot. We walked through the house, which is in one of my favorite neighborhoods we visited, and because it was an open house, we were both super quiet.

I was thinking the space seemed nice, the layout was good, and the yard...

The yard is FANTASTIC. For the first time since we started looking, I felt like we'd found a house that checked more boxes on our wish list than any other. We got in the car, and I turned to Sean and said, "Soooooooo???"

And he said, "Meh. The rooms were kinda small." Ppppphhhhhhewwwwwwwwwwww (the sound of my balloon deflating). Back to the drawing board.

We went back out a couple weeks later and looked at several more houses...old houses, flipped houses, newer houses, split levels, Dutch colonials and so on. And much to my shock and amazement, Sean said, "You know what? I think that open house we saw was the best we've seen. I think I'd like to see it again." We went back and lo and behold, Sean declared it "the one." This man will be the death of me.

That put the wheels in motion and for our fourth wedding anniversary, we scrapped plans to attend an art opening and spent the evening filling out our official offer. If all goes according to plan, we'll be closing the weekend of my 30th birthday. 

So, as you can imagine, the blog will be heading straight into the next frontier of my domestication process: home improvement! Don't worry; many follies are sure to follow.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Home-a-Rama 2014!

 Wine Club ventured out to North Suffolk yesterday for one of our favorite activities of the year: picking apart gorgeous show homes to make ourselves feel better about never being able to afford them! This year's Home-a-Rama included seven homes. Overall, the lots felt a little too small and almost all of the houses had the same coastal/neutral color palette, but we still found plenty of inspiration. Here's some of our favorite little details we spotted:

This super on-trend dining room had oyster shell pendant lamps, driftwood mirrors and great textiles. The house was themed around coastal life in Suffolk, so it was pitch-perfect.

 I think our favorite thing was actually this Lego-themed kids room. In general, I think themed kids' rooms are a huge mistake since kids' change their tastes on a whim, but this was seriously cute. They even created a little Lego switchplate!

 Everything was awesome! (hahahaha...hopefully you've seen the Lego Movie.)

We were dying over this seriously spacious master bath that was big enough for a dinner party. The nickel-plated hardware looked great with the distressed wood cabinets and marble counters. It had 14 too many oyster shell accessories, however.

I'm a sucker for a subway tile backsplash, but once you throw marble and a herringbone pattern into the mix, I'm dying.

We also loved how the doors were framed out...an elegant detail that gives it that extra something special. Also, note the great wet bar flowing between the kitchen and dining room!

 The railings also had a lovely design...a little Craftsman touch that would work in any home.

I loved this creative headboard idea...old oars, tennis rackets and fishing rods make awesome decor pieces, especially to add a masculine touch.

 These glittery stones in the fire pit pulled us right in...that might actually be a bad thing if you find them truly hypnotic!

 In a military-themed house, these model planes dangling from the ceiling added a nice touch of whimsy and fun.

 This little sliver of a window in the shower was a nice way to bring in natural light without worrying about exposure to your neighbors who are seriously right there when you look next door.

 I loved the two different fabrics on this armchair (although I don't know if I'd actually go for a fish-themed fabric...)

 A little window on the second floor of one home had us totally perplexed, until we looked through it and saw it overlooked this gorgeous set of curved beams over the living room. I'm not one for HUGE ceilings, but this was very elegant.

 A couple houses had barn doors — very trendy! — but this one made the best use of them. This set was made from a black walnut tree felled on the property and divided the master bath from the master bedroom. Lovely!

I also loved the mix of colors and textures in this master, especially the gorgeous framed photographs and the inspiring use of pendant lights. I don't know exactly how convenient that would be if you, like me, read much longer at night than your spouse but who cares about that? These are totally dream world houses!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Best v. 223

Me and friends at an art opening this past weekend...another busy one! 

If you haven't noticed, life has been busy 'round here. We opened a new exhibition at work, I've either attended or worked several festivals and I feel like the blog posts are piling up but not actually getting written! We have some big stuff going on that I can't WAIT to share, but I'm going to wait a little longer until it's all set in stone. But for your clicking distraction, here are some of the best links I've seen over the past week and a half:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Fun: Wine Fest & Howl-o-Scream

 We just had the perfect fall weekend in Hampton Roads! The weather was gorgeous — a little hot on Saturday, but brisk on Sunday — and on top of all that, Holly came to visit! We spent Saturday reveling at the fall Wine Fest, sharing bottles with our pals and also with strangers we just met. That's how you roll at Wine Fest. Holly brought a pumpkin bundt cake that was so popular with the group beside us, they literally chanted her name.

It was just about as picturesque as could be (this is outside Nauticus, a naval history museum that owns a WWII battleship).

 On Sunday, we trekked out to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for Howl-o-Scream, BG's amazing Halloween transformation from family-friendly park to a celebration of all things spooky. I love that BG goes all out for its seasonal attractions, and the decorations are half the fun.

 At night, these pumpkins are lit to become creepy jack o'lanterns dangling in the sky. So good! They also pump fog through the entire park and have costumed actors wander around jumping out at people. They have several haunted houses throughout the park and the set design is truly incredible. Us jittery girls are hoarse from screaming!

Posing with my new main man, Frankenstein. All in all, it was the perfect fall weekend, but it just got me more psyched for Christmas Town!

Friday, October 17, 2014

I'm Alive!

I have been an inexcusably bad blogger! I promise I'm alive, but I've been BUSY busy. I can't wait to tell you all about it when things calm down a bit, but in the meantime, here's some of what I've been up to:

I chopped off 8 inches of my hair and Sean & I celebrated our 4th anniversary at Supper, a new restaurant in Norfolk! Everything was delicious; I had the Coca-Cola braised pot roast and it was so good.

 I scoped out cool art at the Port Warwick Art & Sculpture Festival and picked up a couple pieces...can't wait to frame them and pop them into my gallery wall.

A bunch of us went to see the Long Island Medium Experience and it was amazing! Even if it was totally B.S., it was very moving to see how she was able to bring some closure and peace to people. We cried the WHOLE time.

And this week, I experimented with a slow cooker pork ragu with casarecce....still need to master the ratio of pork to sauce, but it was very good. Once I feel better about the recipe, I'll share it here!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sunday Best v.222

"The Killing Jar" by Michael Mendez

Fall is BUSY. It was already looking pretty busy, but now it's starting to look crazy busy. Last night, some girlfriends and I went to see the Long Island Medium "Experience" in a big arena. I've barely watched the show, and I'm not someone who finds it easy to believe in spirits contacting from the other side, but let me tell you it's QUITE a show. Whether it's all real or she's just a great reader of body language doesn't really matter; it was very moving and it was obvious she provided comfort to people who needed it. Interesting, for sure. 

Speaking of interesting, here are some links I found entertaining this week:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

4 Years

10 years ago, I met my best friend...

 And four years ago, we sealed the deal and became husband and wife, with fantasies of the life we would make together.

And this year, our fourth year of marriage, we've started tackling some of those fantasies. We bought a car and now, we are house hunting! It only makes me more excited for year 5, to see what it will bring. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ballerina Bride

It's the week of my fourth wedding anniversary and as per tradition, I like to get my wedding jollies out by posting fantasy wedding theme ideas during my wedding week nostalgia! Forgive my light posting as of late...the house hunt is heating up! 

As the daughter of a ballet teacher, I couldn't help but soak in some ballet history despite my inability to soak in some flexibility. One of my favorite ballets as a child was "Giselle," and I was always enraptured by the costumes, which feature a longer "romantic"-length tutu. I mean, don't these ladies look like the most ethereal ballet corps you've ever seen?

I love the idea of bringing some of that elegance and poise to a wedding. Perhaps an evening affair in a beautiful old hotel, or even the lobby of a gorgeous old theater. 

Ballerina Bride

In my bridal fantasy, I would look every bit the part in dusty ballet rose, with a skirt that moves beautifully, an elegant bun and simple accessories. May I suggest:

  • Gown: This cream pouf of a dress by Justin Alexander, sure to leave everyone swooning after seeing it in action on the dance floor.
  • Earrings: Rose gold crystal studs, $48 at Henri Bendel. The perfect accessories for a long neck!
  • Headband: An elegant bow harkens back to the ribbons found on pointe shoes. $23 at Asos.
  • Cheeks: Skip the pirouettes and get a rosy flush from this Maybelline Master Glaze cheek stick, $7 at drugstores.
  • Eyes: Brighten those eyes and highlight that elegant bone structure with Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Apricot, $48 at Neiman Marcus.
  • Shoes: Bring the look together with strappy rose gold sandals; trade them for ballet flats as the night wears on!

ballet bridesmaids

I would put my own corps of bridesmaids in shades of ballet pink, sweet and pretty...perfect for a spring affair.

  • Dresses by Modcloth and J. Crew.
  • Gift matching Anne Taylor studs that go with everything.
  • An elegant bow carries the theme through the wedding.
  • Make sure they have the perfect pink pouts with this hot-selling (seriously, it's sold out at the moment) Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Coachella Coral.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Best v.221

Perfect picture of Debbie Harry by bandmate Chris Stein

Whew! I had a BUSY weekend. Now I'm looking forward to just sitting and devouring Gone Girl so I can see the movie! Here are some great links for your clickety clicking pleasure:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Jams of the Week: Fall Makeup Edition

Do you change up your makeup for the seasons? I always do, and I'm almost boring about it. If summer is all bronzes and pinks, fall is berries, cherries and smoke. Here are a few make-up jams I've been rocking now that it's officially October:

I love this inexpensive palette mix of gold-flecked neutrals, bright pinks and smoky browns. I've been doing a smokey daytime eye for the past few days, using the middle brown color as an eyeliner. It's a fun switch from my summer routine of peaches and bronzes.

Lip Gloss Jam: Burt's Bees in Ruby Moon

This Burt's Bees lip gloss is a great deep shade of ruby, with more of a berry tone than red. The gloss is surprisingly thick and opaque, which is a little dramatic for daytime but in a fun way! Wearing the gloss with the smoky eye makes me feel like a silent film star.

Nude Lipstick Jam: Jennifer's Nude (bwahahaha)

I used to LOVE a nude lipstick in the late 90s and early-aughts. But in the past few years, it's been all about a bright lip and I definitely pushed nude lipsticks out of my consciousness. I'm feeling it's due for a comeback, though, especially when paired with a smoky eye. Loreal came out with a line of nudes for every skin tone, matching their various celebrity spokeswomen. I picked up the lipstick made for J.Lo (we're both bringing that Puerto Rican spice) and it's just about a perfect fit.

Fall Nail Jam: Essie Cashmere Bathrobe

I picked this color up last year and I find myself gazing at it in different types of lighting because it's such a fascinating shade. In some light, it looks like gunmetal; in others, it looks like a deep navy sky. It's very sophisticated, in my opinion.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wine Club: Mimosa Edition

After all these years of Wine Club, enjoying themed nights from New Zealand to Argentina, we realized we'd missed a truly crucial theme: breakfast for dinner with mimosas! Ashleigh killed it with her breakfast for dinner spread, which included: hash brown casserole topped with corn flakes, two types of quiche and all the fixins' for delicious yogurt parfaits.

And most crucial: candied bacon. I mean, really, how can we even eat it any other way?

Our mimosa combos included: Peach Mango...

Cranberry juice (a "Poinsetta" perfect for holiday brunches)...

And champagne spiked with a berry liquor similar to Chambord and real, live berries!

I love mimosas in any shape and form, but my personal fave was the Peach Mango. Any flavor combos you recommend that we missed?