Gray Malin's California Home

Did everyone see Gray Malin's home featured on One King's Lane?  I'm sure many of you have seen his work floating around the internet and blog world.  He's really blown up and I'm loving seeing how his brand keeps evolving.  He just shared some really beautiful before and after pictures of the living room and backyard renovation of his amazing California bungalow.  He teamed up with One King's Lane to offer all of the products seen in his design.  You can see more and shop the products here...

Also, just because it's fun to think about, if you were to pick any of his photographs, which would you pick?  I think I'd go with either Bondi Swimmers or maybe Miami Pink Umbrellas.  If budget's didn't exist, I would love a huge photograph like this in Virginia's room.

And, just because it's really fun to think about, if you got to visit any of these locations, which would you pick?  I'm going with Positano!  It's hard to believe places this beautiful exist.  Every one of these photographs are like a dream.

~Mary Keller

Images by Nicole LaMotte/One Kings Lane via Gray Malin

Ready for Spring

I could not be more ready for Spring!  I thought we were there but now the weather is annoyingly chilly again.  This winter was good to us.  We did lots of things on our list - we skied, mastered lasagna, watched a million episodes of Downton Abbey, celebrated our anniversary in Charleston, took Virginia to meet her cousins, and actually did make plans for our backyard.  Not everything got done (never got around to homemade smores!), but that's okay. 

I don't have much on my list for Spring.  I want to enjoy Virginia's Christening this weekend with family, have a little spring party sometime, and then I'm going to Chicago for work (and a little play) in a few weeks.  Other than that, I just want to spend time outside with J.D. and Virginia, drink wine and eat yummy food.  Heath has some fun things in mind.  Enjoying a new restaurant, going to the new Knights Stadium for a game, and making a point to picnic in the park.  We have 4 parks within a mile of our houses and never seem to take full advantage.

What's everyone else up to this Spring?  Anything fun?  We'd love to hear!
~Mary Keller

Spring Spreads

Last weekend Andy and I tried a few new recipes we had flagged. Some worked and some didn't but I wanted to share those that did work because they were super easy and perfect for an impromptu porch party as we proceeded to do…

Arugula and Edamame Spread 
adapted from Gourmet Magazine
1 cup of shelled fresh or frozen edamame
1 1/4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula
3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon grates lemon zest

Cook edamame according to instructions. 
Pulse ingredients in a food processor until desired consistency. 
Add salt and pepper to taste.

White Bean Spread
1 can white/cannellini/northern beans
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Start with 1 tablespoon of olive and pulse ingredients in a food processor. 
Depending on the moisture in your beans you may need up to 2 tablespoons. 
Add oil and/or water to achieve desired consistency. 
Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Drizzle top with olive oil when serving. 
I know this one seems absurdly easy but it really is just that simple. 

We cut and grilled a baguette to serve with these dips but any form of bread or crackers will work. We ate a similar white bean dip with bread all over Italy last year on our honeymoon. After realizing how easy this one it's a new staple! 

It was the first nice day in a while in Charlotte so after Andy and I whipped these up we knew we needed to get outside and take advantage. Bonus points for getting to squeeze Virginia's sweet cheeks while snacking with her parents! 

We also attempted to make homemade ricotta cheese after reading how easy it was in the latest Bon Appetit. Ours didn't set quite like we would have liked but the flavor was great so we're going to try again. Stay tuned… 

- Heath

Around Here

Happy Monday everyone!  It was a relaxing, quick weekend!  Heath and Andy snuck away to the beach (Litchfield beach) to celebrate Andy's birthday.  They grabbed oysters, had dinner at the Pit, and enjoyed a birthday dinner at Frank's Outback.  Their pictures of the beach have me really craving a beach weekend.  Looks so peaceful. 

J.D., Virginia and I just hung around the house and enjoyed the Masters.  We pretty much lived on John Dalys, Palmetto Cheese and burgers all weekend.  Other than that, we didn't do much other than a few long walks to offset the burgers.  We did a lot of Virginia entertaining this weekend too.  Apparently she doesn't find the Masters as entertaining as we do.  She was highly amused by giving Heath open mouth wet kisses over and over again when she and Andy stopped by on their way back into town!

Hope everyone has a good week!  It's going to be a busy one.  I'm traveling for work and preparing for Virginia's Christening this weekend.  We have lots of family coming in town!  .

~Mary Keller

Happy Friday

Happy Friday guys! Hope everyone had a nice week. Ours was short, Andy and I are the beach this weekend celebrating his 30th birthday. He's not much for big celebrations but we're pretty excited to relax and enjoy a weekend away together! Do you guys have any big plans?

Here a few things that caught my eye this week…

I LOVE champagne so when I came across this little Champagne Basics guide I bookmarked it immediately and added this champagne stopper to my Amazon wish list!

I've been reading A Blog About Love for years now but I've been especially hooked on their latest adventure, they picked up everything and moved to Ecuador. Isn't that awesome?! I've always wanted to live abroad so these posts have been really pulling me in.

I love brownies as much as the next person but honestly I would prefer a blondie any day. These Gingerbread blondies sound amazing with the perfect balance of white chocolate, spicy and sweetness. Can't wait to try them.

I came across Geoflora's easy shop this week and was instantly smitten with so many of their beautiful pieces. The best part, it's all handmade here in Charlotte, North Carolina!

Also we're planning to relax and watch the masters all weekend, who are you pulling for?

- Heath

images top to bottoms; Cupcakes and Cashmere, A Blog About Love, Aspiring Kennedy

Masters Ingredients

Is everyone else as obsessed with the Masters as we are?  I seriously think it's one of my favorite weekends of the year.  What's not to love?  I love watching golf, I love the food I associate with the Masters (pimento cheese!!), I love that warm weather and Spring are in the air, and I love an excuse to chill out an watch tv pretty much all day.

Some years we've had Masters parties, other year's we've attended Master's parties, but this year we're just going to hang out and enjoy it here at home.  I picked up a handful of ingredients at the grocery store to make up the perfect easy Master's weekend at home.  So here's my list:  Pimento Cheese is a MUST!  My favorite store bought is Palmetto Cheese, originally from Pawley's Island.  We love the version with jalapenos and it's available at just about any grocery store.  For drinks, I grabbed lemonade and sweet tea vodka of course.  Mix the two together for the perfect spiked Arnold Palmer (or John Daly as some call it.)  JD will go along with a sweet tea vodka for a drink or two, but really bourbon is a Masters staples for him.  I grabbed cheese straws, a nutty trail mix, crackers to go along with the pimento cheese, and a few cookies for us to graze on all day.  Add a few fresh flower blooms from the yard, and we're set!  We can't wait.  Who are you guys pulling for?  and did you hear Tiger's not playing this year?

p.s. If you are having a Masters party, here's the menu we came up with last year.

~Mary Keller

Dirty Hair

Do you guys wash your hair everyday? I'm sure you can tell by the title of this post I don't. It kind of grosses Andy out but my hair is so much healthier as a result. Over the years I've developed a little routine that I thought I'd share in hopes you guys will share yours too. I'm always looking for new tips and tricks!

Day one - I let me hair air dry 99% of the time so it doesn't look as pretty as the straight hair above but it dries fairly straight and with the help of a little argan oil to ease the freeze it does the trick. If you're a daily blow dryer this is a good tutorial. 

Day two - I usually introduce a hot tool to add a little wave or curl. If my hair has been in a pony tail for a workout it's easier to add wave and hide it than re-straighten it also holds a curl better a little dirty. I usually don't require dry shampoo on day two but if you do, this and this are my favorites.

Day three - At this point dry shampoo is a must, spray/shake into your roots and use your fingers to work it in. The key here is to only dust the roots, the rest of your hair will get too dry if you spread throughout. If you're having a good day by all means keep it down but I usually opt for a braid or a bun. 

So there you have it, my little routine. Any good tips I should try? 

- Heath

PS tons of good braid, bun and ponytail tutorials for day 3 here!

straight via A Piece of Toast; wavy via Gal meets Glam; side braid via A Cup of Jo; ponytail via 9 to 5 Chic; top knot via Cup of Jo; braid wrap via Cupcakes and Cashmere; banded chignon via Camille Styles