Friday Findings

Happy Friday guys, and Happy Halloween!  Does everyone have fun plans tonight - Halloween parties or trick or treating?!  We're taking Virginia to a fun block party and then she'll be off to bed.  J.D. and I plan to hang out on the porch with wine and chili and hand out candy to the rest of the neighborhood kids.  Should be a lot of fun because we always have a big group come through!  Saturday we're headed to Columbia for the Tennessee vs. Carolina game, and then Sunday we're planning a trip to the zoo before heading home.  Should be a really fun fall weekend.

Heath and Andy are headed to Nashville for the weekend.  They're throwing a baby shower for a friend, plus meeting the sweet new baby girl of another friend so it should be a fun weekend for them too!

A few links to share before I we head into the weekend...

ONE - the architecture geek in me LOVES these photos that JCrew took at the Philip Johnson Glass House.  We studied this home when I was in college and if you've never seen it, it's a beauty.

TWO - Pretty in love with this home tour (and this shade of green!) over on Domaine.   (Can you imagine being so young and $$??)  (J.D.'s going to tell me tonight that this home has wayyyy too much stuff in it!)

THREE - Bookmarking these homemade cheese straws from A Cup of Jo.  They seem super simple and they seem like such a tasty little snack to serve friends with wine.

FOUR - Julia Ryan was nice enough to share Virginia's nursery on the blog this week.  Her kiddos have pretty amazing rooms so I appreciate the kind words!  If you've never seen them, go take a peek!!  Her daughter's room and son's room are both really charming, and I'm absolutely in love (and jealous!) of their playroom.

Enjoy Halloween guys!!  See you Monday!

~Mary Keller

Holiday schedule

Guys this schedule may be a lame but I have to do this kind of stuff to keep me sane around the holidays.  I'm hoping by posting this it will keep me accountable, and if it helps anyone else out too that's a bonus.  Every. Single. Year. I say that I'm going to get ahead and be prepared and have everything "done" by Thanksgiving so that I can actually enjoy the month of December and all of the holiday festivities that go along with it.  Every single year I fail at that.  I imagine fun nights of me sipping wine and hot cocoa addressing holiday notes to my friends.  Instead, it's midnight and I want to sleep and I'm cramming to get my cards out as I've had to pay extra shipping to get them to me on time.  (that's an exaggeration but you get the point.) 

So, this year, with Virginia around the plan is to really get ahead, to really follow through.  I've put together the above holiday schedule starting with a big pot of chili to enjoy over the Halloween weekend.  The plan is to get most stuff ready and gifts ordered in November so that I can enjoy December.  The plan is also to get most stuff done and ordered online, so that the local holiday shopping part can be fun and stress free.  You'll notice some random things on here like "plan Thanksgiving outfits."  This is to avoid those 3 last minute errands to find Virginia cream tights to wear with her dress.  Plan ahead Mary Keller, go ahead and order tights now!  What am I leaving off?  What random things end up throwing you for a loop and costing you time?  Do I need to add anything?

~Mary Keller

Artists at Home | Amanda Stone Talley

Today we're back with another Artists at Home series with a sneak peek into the New Orleans home of artist Amanda Stone Talley.  We were so excited when Amanda shared the images below with us.  Her home is so gorgeous guys, and it shows how creativity really does create the most beautiful spaces.

We asked Amanda to share her thoughts on decorating and incorporating art into a home.
From Amanda, "Growing up in Baton Rouge, my Mother was assigned to Junior League Saturday duty at the Nearly New Thrift Shop. I spent a lot of time combing through items there and honed in on an ability to see beauty in overlooked and discarded things. I still use those skills today when I'm pulled over on  the side of the road putting some piece of something into my SUV. Also having a big warehouse has enabled me to store and rehabilitate pieces before they make it into the gallery or my home. I just love the hunt!"

How gorgeous are those rugs and brick walls, so so pretty!  I'm also really loving her mix of art.  Each piece comes together perfectly and yet they're all very different.

If you aren't familiar with Amanda's work pop over here now and check it out.  Everything she does is gorgeous!  Be on the lookout for more of Amanda's home in an upcoming publication.

- Heath

all images from Amanda Talley

FIVE (doable) Fall Parties

With Halloween coming up, I feel like we're entering the time of year when the social calendar starts filling up and people love to host and attend parties.  There are so many fun fall party ideas, but a few of my favorite "doable" parties are below...

No1 - SOUP EXCHANGE - I saw this idea years ago in a magazine (can't remember, maybe my mom's Better Homes and Gardens?) but the idea is basically you invite your girl friends over and ask them each to bring a soup that they've made in advance and packaged into Ziploc containers.  So you arrive at the party with say 8 containers of your favorite soup, and you leave with 8 different soup options from everyone else after you've exchanged with everyone.  Perfect to stock your freezer for meals to enjoy all holiday season when you're super busy.  At the party, keep things simple and have soup on the stove, wine, a simple salad and crusty bread.

No2 - PUMPKIN CARVING & PIE PARTY - I've never seen this party (I think I came up with it!) but I love this idea especially because it can be kid friendly.  Ask everyone to bring a pumpkin and a pie and all you have to do is have a big surface ready for everyone to make a mess carving their pumpkin and a table ready to host a spread of different pies.  Serve seasonal fall beers, hot apple cider, pie and whip cream/ice cream to serve alongside everyone's pie contributions.  Easy, kid friendly, and requires just about no cooking.

No3 - FRIENDSGIVING - I've seen this idea floating around lots of blogs these days, but I like to think that my high school friends and I came up with this idea.  Seriously!  Way before blogs were around (13+ years ago) my high school friends and I gathered around my parents dining room table and had our first "friendsgiving" feast.  Basically a thanksgiving dress rehearsal with friends.  Thanksgiving is such a perfect meal so it's nice to have it more than once this holiday season.  You cook turkey + dessert and ask your friends to bring a side dish + wine.  You get to test everyone's favorite family recipes, plus you don't get stuck with all of the work.  (I'm working on talking J.D. into this one this year!  Problem is we only have one free weekend and it's his bday.)

No4 - TAILGATE BAGEL BRUNCH - I love the idea of hosting a big bagel brunch for a football tailgate party.  If the Panthers or your favorite college team have an early game, pick up bagels with lots of toppings, set up a bloody mary bar and you're set.  This idea seems kid friendly too.  Kids seem much happier and less fussy during daytime functions, plus if you pick up bagels and toppings there is little cooking involved.  Bagel brunch ideas here and here.

No5 - GRILLED CHEESE PARTY - Heath, Andy, J.D. and I had a little grilled cheese party last fall and I went into labor with Virginia that night!!  This party is super easy if you have a Panini press or grill pan.  (I don't have a panini press so we actually baked multiple at a time in the oven.)  Set up a big buffet of toppings, (ideas here and here) put a pot of tomato soup on the stove and let guests help themselves.  Perfect for a football game when things are casual and people want to grab a fall beer and assemble their sandwich whenever they're hungry.  Pretty much no cooking for the host (other than tomato soup in advance) and inexpensive ingredients.

So is anyone hosting any parties this fall?  We'd love to here any ideas you have too!

~Mary Keller

images: carrot soup | apple rhubarb pie | rooftop dinner party | bagel brunch | grilled cheese spread

Around Here

book club chicken pot pies | fireplace s'mores | Saturday at the Biergarten | Virginia relaxing in her swing | Saturday evening margaritas | brats for the Panther's game | Virginia getting ready for a bike ride (before her helmet and tears) | Sunday morning cappuccino

Happy Monday guys!  Did you all have a good weekend?  We had a really good one.  One of the last weekends of the year without plans so we took advantage.  We managed a nice combo of being productive and relaxing.  We kicked the weekend off early hosting book club on Thursday night, and it was a good time.  Friday we stayed home and recuperated from Thursday's fun.  Saturday morning J.D. and I threw a small brunch for the couple who lived in our house for 30 years before us.  We've made so many changes to the home since they've lived here and we wanted to show them everything.  It was really a lot of fun hearing their old stories about our home and neighborhood, and they were gracious in complimenting all of our changes.  Later that afternoon we biked to Heath and Andy's, and eventually made it to Bakersfield (again!) for margaritas.  Sunday Heath and Andy enjoyed a morning at Sunflour Bakery (my favorite, so jealous) and later came to grill out brats for the Panther's game.  We lost, again.  Same story there!

Charlotte folks - Heath and Andy stopped by the newish Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Biergarten on Saturday to meet some friends.  They said the food wasn't anything special, but a really great, fun atmosphere.  Cornhole, good beer, kids and dogs running around.  Sounds like a good time!

It's going to be a busy week but I'm looking forward to Halloween on Friday!  Have a good week guys!

~Mary Keller

Friday Findings

Happy Friday guys! Man the weeks are flying by these days aren’t they?! I did a quick count yesterday and realized Thanksgiving is only 5 weeks away, crazy! We don’t have much on our agenda this weekend other than testing some new recipes which actually is a version of Andy and my perfect weekend so I’m pretty excited. I’m sure we’ll mix in a long run and a lot of kisses from Virginia but otherwise keep it pretty low key. What are you guys up to this weekend?

A few findings before we start the weekend… 

ONE: I’ve talked about Sezane before but today I have great news! They collaborated with Madewell to create a capsule collection sold stateside at Madewell right now. I have a feeling things are going to go fast so if you have your eye on anything(maybe these booties like me?!) I probably wouldn’t hesitate.

TWO: I loved this quick read on stocking a fall bar. To me cocktails seem tricky this time of year because fall flavors go beyond a little citrus and fresh fruit like summer but this list has be inspired to make a few new cocktails and bring a few new bottles into our growing bar. Hello apply brandy and toasted pecan bitters!

THREE: When MK posted this recently, it got me thinking about our Thanksgiving table. I’m usually more into the menu but we keep it pretty traditional there so isn’t much to even think about so I switched gears. I love the look of this earthy dinner party I found on Lonny. We do a Thanksgiving lunch so you wouldn’t get the same vibe, but I think we could use a similar concept with lots of greenery for a simple Thanksgiving lunch and then maybe add candles that evening for our turkey soup tradition!

FOUR: I know I always talk about my love for Clare V but today it’s not even really handbag related. One Kings Lane has Clare Vivier studio tour up right now and I I’m loving getting a glimpse into her workspace. It’s so cool to me to get a sneak peek into such a creative workplace. My day to day work is a little more bland(that’s a nice way of saying cube filled) so it’s hard for me to picture this pretty place being someone’s actual place of work, how cool!

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

- Heath

the PERFECT STACK | Christina Jervey

Today we have another addition of The Perfect Stack with Christina Jervey. We've featured her work on the blog multiple times so I'm sure you already know we're big fans! Today she shared a few thoughts on stacking in general and a few of her favorites, take a look...

We asked Christina what's "the perfect stack" to you?

Christina: In general stacking is all about finding a balance, and mixing and matching.  You want the rings to complement one another and not compete.  Often times, it's the negative space that is created that adds the most interest.  I like to mix metals, textures, and add pops of color when stacking rings.

I love her comment on negative space, I've never really thought of that but it's so true! The perfect stack (of any jewels) definitely requires perfect spacing. A lightbulb went off in my head when she explained that. Also I have an antique ruby ring from my mom's mother I love wearing it and thinking of her but it's not really a setting I love.  I'm thinking the stones may be just the size to set in an organic gold band similar to those above. It would just be so pretty with the tiny gold band I wear on my right hand daily!

Thanks for sharing with us Christina.

- Heath

all images from Christina Jervey