Pillow Talk

I never really think about William Sonoma for anything other than kitchen stuff, but I got an email the other day with pillows form William Sonoma Home and it caught my attention.  I'm loving their pillow selection right now.  All of these seem to be really up to date (greek key, trellis patterns, ikat, geometrics, etc.) but they aren't so on trend that they'll date themselves quickly.  They all seem to be really well detailed with beautiful materials too.  That Greek Key pillow is needlepoint!  And I'm really loving that embroidered pillow!

~Mary Keller

p.s. why are all pillows so pricey?!  They're so small for such a big price!

All images via William Sonoma Home

Spring's IT Item: Sneakers

Have you guys noticed how popular sneakers have gotten? They’re everywhere, I love it! As much as I love to dress up I’ve always appreciated comfortable clothing. I love to walk, so most of my favorite shoes are conducive for a few miles at a minimum. There is nothing better to me than getting lost on a long walk in a new city. The best part about all of these sneakers - they can easily be worn with both casual jeans and a t-shirt or a spring dress or skirt. I already own a few pairs but also have my eye on these. I think sneakers are definitely Spring’s IT item.
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So espadrilles aren’t technically sneakers but they’re so close I’m throwing them in. I got these last fall and have been wearing them like crazy. They seem to go with everything and the darker color never appears worn. It’s a miracle/secret that I love because I tend to wear my shoes until they’re falling apart. The light weight fabrics keeps your tootsies cool too during warmer months, key in the South when temperatures get high pretty early.

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Lace up sneakers are the standard but the standard isn’t boring anymore, there are lots of options. I have a friend who wears these and I love them, I think she always looks so cool. But sometimes I have to face the fact that I’m just not cool enough to pull some things off(true story Andy told me this recently), and I think these are one of those things. So I may try these instead.

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Don’t you feel like slip on sneakers used to be reserved for skaters wearing Vans? That’s the first thing I thought when I started seeing these everywhere but they’re not just for skaters anymore… there are playful, feminine and old school options too.  Slip ons for everyone!

Are you guys wearing sneakers for Spring?

- Heath

PS do you ever associate certain colors or articles of clothing with certain people? I do! I always think of my mom when I wear red and I will forever think of my best friend Dinah when I see these little slip on Sperrys. We’ve been friends forever and I cannot think of a time that she didn’t own at least one pair. Love those little associations!

top image via A Piece of Toast

Around Here

Sorry guys, our scenes from this weekend are pretty much all Virginia!  The weekend really did center around her though, which we of course never mind.  We celebrated her Baptism on Saturday (we'll share better pics later) and of course celebrated Easter on Sunday.  It was a really nice weekend.  The weather didn't cooperate on Saturday, but Sunday it was the absolute perfect lazy holiday.  Virginia dug right into her Easter basket and loved every minute of it.  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and holiday as well.  Other than Easter/Baptism festivities, I did manage to squeeze in some book club reading during an extra long nap.  I'm loving Fault In Our Stars.  Highly recommend, especially before the movie comes out!  Hope you all have a wonderful week!

~Mary Keller

Happy Good Friday

Happy Good Friday everyone!  I'm so excited the weekend is here!  Before we get into weekend plans, here are a few things that caught our attention this week...

Charlotte folks, we recently discovered a new to us florist in town Nectar.  Their work is beautiful but what I'm really excited about is that they offer floral classes at a somewhat reasonable price point.  One of my resolutions was to take a floral class.  Anyone local want to join me?!

Okay, who wants to find a pot of money and go to Istanbul with me?!!  I've seen so many gorgeous pictures of this city and I'm obsessed.  I'm bookmarking Perpetually Chic's Istanbul City guide for the lucky day in my life that I make it there.  (Positive thinking!)

Anyone who may be trying to decorate or spruce up rooms in their home may want to check out the new website d├ęcorBase.  Their concept is really cool.  They've created an easy tool to help you create boards and design rooms visually, and then they offer quite a few resources to shop from as well.

Loving the sound of this new book The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits that we saw on Claire's Instagram feed.  Seems so old fashioned and I love that kind of stuff.

Okay, I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!  Virginia's getting baptized on Saturday so it will be a special weekend.  Virginia's grandparents and great grandparents are coming in town.  (Although we're really sad because we may have a few people sick and unable to join us.)  We're having everyone for a lunch reception on Saturday and the Christening is Saturday evening.  We'll be sure to take lots of pictures of our sweet girl!  Hope you all have a wonderful Easter and enjoy your weekend too!

~Mary Keller

Images: NectarPerpetually ChicdecorBase .  Amazon

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