Sunday, November 30, 2008

1st birthday

I am finally breathing a sigh of relief. For some, the party season is just beginning. For me, it feels just about over. November was a whirlwind of festivities, ending with my son's first birthday party. I had so much fun planning and throwing his party, but I must admit I am happy to be done for now! 

Above are some snapshots from the big day. The photo garland was my favorite thing...a compilation of pictures from the year past-chronological from top to bottom. The color palette was inspired by the invitation, which also dictated my choice for his birthday party outfit (sweater by Gap). The favors were large balloons, with a rainbow drumstick attached...chosen because it is my son's favorite instrument from music class. I made my first ever cake from scratch (and my last ever cake from scratch), which was fine, but definitely not worth the effort. My mother-in-law helped with the non-sweet food, and my husband helped set up.

We spent quality time with good friends and good food, and were able to reflect on the year with our wonderful, exhausting, too-amazing-for-words son. We felt especially grateful this Thanksgiving season for the little +1 at our table!

molly fitzsimmons

I love the work of stylist Molly Fitzsimmons. I think the shrimp skewer suspended above the cocktail sauce cup (in this case, it is actually soup) is particularly genius (bottom photo). The orange centerpiece (6th photo) is a lovely, simple idea as well.

the miami scene

Our South Beach trip went so quickly, it already seems a distant memory. Some favorite lounging and hot spots around the town, above. From top: The Standard, opening weekend at FontaineBleau (2), The Standard again (2), the Delano, Townhouse.

nashville spotlight: sale, sale, sale!

Oh! I have such a hard time shopping for others when there are so many great sales going on this time of year. The latest and greatest for Nashvillians is the Pears + Bears / Kayce Hughes warehouse sale. Details here.

Not only will there be great savings on P+B items, but Gen will also be selling the remaining inventory from her closed store, Favorite. There are so many items she will be offering (at amazing prices)- including cashmere sweaters & sweats, American Apparel items, Favorite brand skirts and much more (and if you're a smaller size, there seems to be greater quantities of those)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

happy thanksgiving! (+ contest!)

I couldn't have picked a better time for my self-proclaimed 'fall photo day' with my son. Unfortunately, he has just started walking, was tired and didn't cooperate. Still, I managed to get a couple of good shots. The above photos give you a sense of the idyllic setting... even a couple of little deer joined us at one point (top photo)!

I was hoping to get 'the shot' for my holiday photo card. Unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to pick from some older photographs. Which reminds me...don't forget to enter Whitney English's contest. She's looking for great photos of YOU and your family to use on next year's photo card samples. The winners (and there will be many), will get FREE photo cards- 50 for every photo used! Send your entries to

I will be back with lots of great inspiration to share next week. Thanks for sticking with has been an unusually busy time around here. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

thanksgiving pretties

For my Party reader interested in Thanksgiving ideas, I direct you to two sources:

1) Eddie Ross' blog for flea-market inspired table setting.
2) Domino has a festive centerpiece gallery filled with awesome ideas (above are some excerpts).

I am off for a long weekend! Have a great one.

etsy love

I have two new favorite etsy sellers, thanks to the latest issue of Small

heart garland from gentlearts; paper tree silhouette from jennyleefowler

rad red inspiration board

I'm not usually big on blog inspiration boards (only because they sometimes seem a bit overdone), but this one from Snippet & Ink is an all-time fave. Using clips from one of my favorite MS Weddings as a jumping point, all the other red and white elements coexist beautifully.

victorian setting

I love the varying garlands on this table, especially the vintage postcards. Some of the elements are a little too 'Victorian' for my taste, but overall, I think this was done beautifully. If you lost some of the lace elements, the setting would have a more contemporary bent. For more pictures, look here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ode to will smith

I'm having a hard time focusing on anything right now, since my husband surprised me with a trip to South Beach this weekend! I can't stop humming Will Smith's "Going to Miami..." We've talked about taking this vacation for YEARS, and I suppose he decided we needed a celebrate our son's almost 1, late 5-year anniversary, early christmas present. 

I'm a born and bred Florida girl, so winters growing up were WARM. The current 38 degree weather in Nashville is helping get me oh-so-excited for the vaca! Back in the day I used to don a heavy wool overcoat with a hood when it hit the low 60's (seemed pretty chilly at the time)...I think I was jealous of the Northeastern preppy look. But these days I can't wait to put on short-sleeves again and sit outside for meals! Yay! 

Above is a picture by Paul Costello...this captures how I'm envisioning myself this weekend. Anyone with great recs for restaurants, please let me know! I'm having a hankering for some good Cuban food.

Monday, November 17, 2008

pamela duncan silver

Beautiful images styled by Pamela Duncan Silver

easing into the holidays...

While yes, I am thinking about holiday cards, I have not fully accepted that the season is upon us. It seems to sneak up on me every year! 

I loved this image from the cover of the latest Garnet Hill catalog. What a great, simple idea for a coastal Christmas. It appears as though there are three large branches leaning together, tied with twine on top, decorated with christmas lights and topped with a starfish. I love it! I especially love the fact that it doesn't scream's helping to slowly ease me into the holiday season.

hb's tablescapes

I love the new 'tablescape' feature of House Beautiful. Every month they feature a tabletop designed by one person with certain guests in mind. This particular table is a favorite, designed by Cameron Silver. He envisions the setup within his shop, for a wealthy client. Can you imagine the lucky person who might get entertained like this? I wonder how much you'd have to spend to get treated this way!

And on a totally unrelated note- I am on my second scanner that only sporadically works. I just want an easy one that is Mac compatible, doesn't mess with any of my other programs, and scans when I press the scan button! Any ideas? I've been through an Epson one and am now on a Canon MX700...I hate, hate, hate technology sometimes!

decisions, decisions

I'm trying to decide what holiday card to use this year, and am having a tough time making a decision. Above are my current contenders... bird wreath, brown chevron, and deer antlers-red(I think the white one would be really cute, too!). I'm going to have to take a look back at my photos and see which will match up best.

And speaking of photo cards...I just saw that Whitney is running an amazing promotion! Submit your holiday photos with a chance to win 50 free photo cards if they use one of yours for a sample card. I love freebies...

Friday, November 14, 2008

1 party down, 2 to go...

Last night was fun. A dinner for 10 women, all of whom I enjoy being around. I tried to time things so that I actually got to spend some time with my guests. Everything I fixed required different timing (basil and goat cheese chicken, haricots verts, roasted potatoes, rice), however, so while I did get to chat some- I spent more time in the kitchen then I would have liked. The potatoes took wayyyy longer then they were supposed to, but it all turned out fine in the end. We ate like Europeans and dined at 9, but no one seemed to have a problem with it. The top two photos are the only ones I managed...of the drinks set-up, and some of the apps (ricotta and goat cheese spread with sun-dried tomato salsa).

Right now I'm in the midst of setting up for our playgroup. We'll be celebrating November birthdays. My friend is bringing the cupcakes, and I'm in charge of drinks and snacks. I've included a couple of snapshots I've taken while trying to figure out the setup. This is good practice for my son's birthday at the end of the month. I got some big red balloons blown up at Party City this morning, and filled little party cups with baby snacks (mini vanilla wafers, goldfish, cheerios). I also saw my chance to use a favorite vintage dish of mine-- the children's silhouette bowl, above. I've filled it with graham crackers. 

Tonight I've got another dinner with some great ladies- my 'book' club, though we seemed to have dropped the book-reading part, and simply focus on drinking wine. Our carbon monoxide detector is currently going off and won't stop (though there's definitely no carbon monoxide in the house), so I'm off to deal with that!