Friday Findings

Happy Friday guys! What is everyone doing this weekend? I'm excited we have a friend coming into town from Tennessee and are catching a baseball game this evening. Otherwise we're not doing much but it should be really nice to relax and enjoy a weekend at home in Charlotte.

A few findings to get your weekend started...

ONE | Victoria shared this article from the Wall Street Journal and it really resonated with me. I don't know about you guys but I've been having less and less luck at J.Crew lately. It's frustrating because what used to be a go to spot is now just striking out with high prices and strange fits. I'm curious your thoughts...

TWO | Joanna shared this article from the Boston Globe about slow parenting. While I'm not a parent I can still appreciate the concept and actually thought about it last night while babysitting Virginia. Andy and I took her for a ride on her tricycle and she was perfectly content at one point watching the squirels, cats, and birds running around everywhere. She was in heaven and instead of saying OK V let's keep moving I just let her watch them play. She would blow them kisses and stick her tongue out at them like they were her little friends, so sweet!

THREE | Can someone please find a reasonable version of these flats?! I first noticed these flats here and have since found this slightly less expensive Michael Kors version but I'm dying to find a reasonable pair. Help I LOVE 'em!

FOUR | This article on Domaine, 16 gorgeous vacation rentals around the world, caught my attention. How gorgeous are these rentals? A lot of them are reasonable too. I have a dream for my 40th birthday all my favorite people will join me in renting a villa in Italy. I bookmarked both Italian villas and I'm crossing my fingers it happens one day!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

- Heath

Brand Love | M. Gemi

I've been seeing this new-to-me shoe brand, M Gemi, everywhere lately so I wanted to share with you guys. M. Gemi was created after seeing a hole in the industry for luxury Italian shoes. Each pair is handcrafted in a family owned factory in Italy. Shoes are then distributed directly to consumers without the middleman, lowering prices compared to other luxury shoes. They aren't cheap but for a quality Italian leather shoe they aren't crazy either.

My favorite part - the attention to detail involved in the fitting process. You can read about it here, but overall it seems like they recognize the details necessary to create a superior fitting shoe. I love that! All my favorite shoes are are not my prettiest but my most comfortable, those are the ones I reach for most often. I picked out a few of my favorites below.

It's obvious I'm into chunky heels and flats right now but they have lots of options with a classic stiletto heel too. I love these classic pumps, and these nude heels would go with everything. I haven't purchased any but I'm dreaming about these so I'll let you know about the fit if I make a purchase. 

Any favorite brands we should know about?

- Heath 

Around Here | Memorial Day

Happy Wednesday guys!  One of the best things about a long weekend is the short week that follows!  We're back from the beach and getting caught up.  It was a really good, little vacation guys!  Seriously so much fun!  Truthfully a vacation with 20+ adults, plus kids, can be all chaos and short on fun, but the weekend just perfectly worked out and I think everyone had the best time.  Heath, Andy, J.D., Virginia and I stayed with my cousins from Australia and their families.  We had the BEST time visiting with them and thinking about past memories with our grandparents.  We almost never get to see them, and it was the perfect reunion/farewell party as one of them moves to England in just a few weeks.

We spent our days riding bikes (hello 6am bike rides with Virginia to try to let the rest of the house sleep in!), jumping waves, and playing in the tide pools.  We ate picnic style lunches on the beach, and of course my mom, Andy, dad and my aunt's all fixed delicious family style dinners.  On the last night, Andy and my dad smoked four pork butts for a birthday party feast.  Once we got the kids to bed in the evenings, us cousins stayed up talking and enjoying too many adult beverages.  Just a really relaxing, fun time.

Virginia also became fast friends with two of her second cousins, Ella and Owen!  She was obsessed and would light up at their attention.  (We got some cute pics of them fortunately, but I'm trying to limit how much I show of them since this is a public blog!)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day!  I'm think I'm now officially ready to welcome summer.

~Mary Keller

p.s. how cute are children in rash guard swim suits!  My aunt was rocking one on the beach too, and I'm now obsessed!  I'm lame and get cold on the beach, plus I like to cover up, so I'm thinking these may be perfect for me.

Friday Findings

TGIF!  So excited the long weekend is here!  Anyone up to something fun?!  We're headed to the beach for a family reunion with my mom's side of the family.  We'll be seeing cousins and aunts and uncles who we haven't seen in years, and meeting kiddos we've never gotten to meet.  It should be so much fun in a crazy, chaotic way - lots of people, lots of food, and my mom's even planned a birthday luau for my aunt.  Should be a good time, and I can't wait to see my little Virginia running on the beach.

A few things before we hit the beach....

ONE | I loved this little post on what Jamie "knows" after celebrating a recent birthday.  I was nodding my head along with so many things - I always feel better when I do my hair and get dressed, exercise, every once in a while have one too many drinks, etc.  What would you add?  I'd add that I know I need time with my family when things get crazy busy. 

TWO | Do you guys follow 9to5 Chic?  Heath said she thinks she can do no wrong lately, and I have to agree.  She's at the tippy top of my list of style icons, and even though I can't afford anything she wears, it's still fun to dream. 

THREE | Have you guys heard of House Account?  The Love List did a great piece on this new app.  (Fun fact Charlotte friends- this app was created by owner of Capitol, Laura Vinroot!  I had no idea!)  I haven't ever used House Account but it seems like a clever way to support small, local business with the ease of online shopping.  I have to say, I shop online far too often now with Virginia around, but I hate how mainstream clothes are online.  This may be the solution!

FOUR | Would you ever have a Stranger Dinner PartyJordan (dinner party guru) hosted a dinner party where everyone she invited was asked to bring along a different guest who Jordan didn't know.  Doesn't that sound like such a fun idea?  It would be a great way to meet more people.  (Image included here is from a past Blue Apron dinner party she threw with friends - another good idea for quickly throwing a weeknight dinner party.)

Hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend!  A million thank yous to everyone who has served or is serving in our armed forces - Happy Memorial Day to you all!!

~Mary Keller

The Easiest Appetizer Ever!

All credit for this perfect idea goes to Jenny at Dinner a Love Story, a favorite source of realistic inspiration!  She shared this a while back, and I've wanted to file it away as the perfect appetizer ever since.  It a simple, no-cook, elegant appetizer to have around for guests all summer.  A few slices of prosciutto from the deli counter, creamy burrata cheese (surprisingly Trader Joes carries!) and a fresh baguette.  Doesn't that sound perfect with a crisp glass of white wine right now....perfect Hump Day treat!

~Mary Keller

inspiration via Dinner a Love Story, photo cred @vickimorton

Lamp Love | Blue Marble

Guys if I had a spare spot in my house that needed a pair of lamps, I would snatch these lamps up in one second!  Seriously, these are so good - and the price is really pretty reasonable for a pair!  I think beautiful lamps are so expensive.  (Lamps and pillows - always so pricey!)  I've long loved the look of these marbled lamps, but of course could never spring for the real thing.  When I came across this option from Home Decorators Collection, I couldn't believe it!
These Lillian Table lamps are also available in a few other colors - I think the orange and brown are also beautiful.   If you love blue (like me!) here are a few other similar blue options: The Lillian from Home Decorators Collection (the budget option), Zinc's Color Swirl, Bunny Williams (beautiful but super pricey) Brushtroke lamp, Design Darling's Brushstroke lamp, and of course the mac daddy, most beautiful Christoper Spitzmiller Delft Blue Marble Lamps for any millionaire readers out there. :)
~Mary Keller
Lamps above via Home Decorators Collection | Image via Chinoiserie Chic

Around Here

Heath flying in over Central Park | Friday night margaritas! | beautiful Quail Hollow golf tournament | Virginia waiving "bye bye" to everyone quickly on her way out of the tournament | New York bagel | Saturday afternoon relaxing in NYC | Oysters at Mary's Fish Camp | Antipasto in the West Village at Morandi
Happy Monday guys!  We had such a relaxing weekend and hope you guys did too.  J.D., Virginia and I started our weekend with tacos and margaritas, and were up Saturday morning to head to the golf tournament together.  Virginia didn't last long - she had a tough time understanding that we needed to be quiet when close to the golfers!  We quickly decided we better get home before the tournament made that decision for us.  We spent the rest of the sunny weekend going for walks, playing in the sprinkler and watching the tourney at home with friends.
I've only seen a few snippets of Heath & Andy's weekend in New York, but it looks like they're having an amazing time.  They met up with friends for a drink on Saturday, made it to what I know will be Heath's favorite shop in the world and have been doing lots and lots of eating.  I can't wait to hear more when they get home today.
Have a good week guys!  Memorial Day weekend is almost here!
~Mary Keller