Meet our new friend, Benjamin Moore.

A few weeks ago after we signed the contract for our new home, I reached out to my dear friend Meredith for some inspiration and advice on color and wallpaper. Mere is one of my oldest friends- we’ve known each other since second grade! Here’s Mere and me in third grade doing a “talk show” for Mother’s Day dressed up as our moms (?!) Mere was so chic, even at age eight! (Note: Mere is the mini-Audrey Hepburn. I’m the one that looks like Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping Up Appearances. See reference photo below.)



We grew up together in Richmond, but Meredith quickly outgrew RVA and went on to study at SMU in Dallas before heading to New York City for design school. She now works for one of the top interior design firms in Manhattan, Gomez Associates, with a bevy of socialite and celebrity clients (don’t pump me for gossip, though. Mere is as tight-lipped as they come about her clients! Privacy first!)

Meredith has always had an impeccable eye for style and design, even before studying it professionally. She has an effortless way of mixing traditional with funky, neutrals with pops of color, and envisioning how to make a space come to life even from just a simple photo. Everything she touches looks like it magically came to life from the pages of a magazine. Which is why, as a clueless design neophyte, I absolutely needed her help in building the very basic-but essential-foundation to our home’s design: paint and wallpaper.

First up, our dining room. I sent her a safe, neutral grasscloth idea. Now? We’re doing this beautiful grasscloth from Phillip Jeffries to punctuate a statement dining room that will look similar to this:


This is our furniture that will fill the room:


Mere also advised us on our paint colors. I picked up my paint samples from Benjamin Moore this week, and tonight I did giant DIY paint swatches on white posters.


Here are some of the color examples for each room we’ll be using these paint colors, and some real-life examples of that room in others’ homes. ALL are Benjamin Moore, our new friend!

Kitchen: Wickham Gray

Living Room: Manchester Tan


Master Bath: Palladian Blue


Master Bedroom: Wythe Blue


Guest Bath: Oyster Shell

I want to find a room SOMEWHERE to do Edgecomb Gray and Gray Owl, but that is for another project, another day….

What paint colors do YOU love??


RECIPE // Spiced Apple Shrub

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A few months ago, my friend Laura gifted us two bottles of homemade shrubs at one of my bridal showers as part of her gift. If you’re not familiar with the trending-again mixer, the shrub is, simply put, a drinking vinegar.

Wait! Don’t go running for the hills just yet. These tangy, delicious syrups are one of the hottest new additions to any bar cart, though its origins are decidedly old-fashioned and classic. Back in the olden days, before refrigeration, people would make shrubs as a way to preserve fresh fruit in order to prevent them from rotting before usage. The shrub is making a comeback, and while it makes a perfect addition to any summer cocktail, I wanted to make mine with an autumn twist.

You can use your shrub with soda water for a cooler, or with liquor of your choice for a fancy cocktail.

Here’s my recipe for Spiced Apple Shrub. Mix with bourbon, caramel vodka, and a dash of cinnamon sugar for a refreshing pre-fall cocktail!

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A Very Virginia Wedding

View More: http://violetirisstudios.pass.us/caroline--paul

It’s hard to believe nearly three weeks have passed since our magical Memorial Day weekend wedding! Paul and I had the best time the entire wedding weekend, followed by a week in paradise — St. Barth — on our honeymoon.

Now that some of the dust has settled, my name has been changed, and the thank-you-note process is well underway, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share some photographs and memories from our special day!

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De-puffing Mocha Frappuccino Face Mask

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Happy Super Bowl Sunday, friends! We just finished watching the big game and I’m so happy the Seahawks won, because QB Russell Wilson went to my high school here in Richmond, VA. It’s a great day to be from RVA!

Super Bowl Sunday is always so much fun, but sometimes you can wake up on Monday morning tired and puffy. All of those Bud Lights, sodium-heavy snacks, and tears during the Clydesdale commercials can make for a not-so-festive face the next day.

If you need a little boost to look and feel perkier tomorrow morning, try this amazing face mask recipe from Crunchy Bettt. Not only will you look more refreshed, you’ll feel it too from this caffeinated beauty trick.

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 Tbsp freshly ground coffee (the finer the grind, the better)
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. milk (whole), heavy cream, or yogurt
1 Tbsp. honey
Mix all the ingredients together well. Apply to a sleepy morning face. Allow the mask to dry for 15-20 minutes. Wash off in the shower, scrubbing VERY lightly over the skin while rinsing.

I did this mask yesterday before a wedding and it worked wonders! I am swearing by this mask- it makes a puffy face and puffy eyes virtually disappear!

What are your favorite masks and beauty tips? Share in the comments below!

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Wedding Wednesdays | Favorite Wedding Fonts

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Happy Wednesday, ya’ll! It snowed here in Richmond yesterday, and it has been bitterly cold since then! I am currently curled up under three blankets on the couch with a glass of red wine while working on designing our wedding invitation suite and our wedding program (ah, the life of a bride who’s addicted to DIY!)

With only 122 days to go until the big day, there is a LOT to do! The wedding stationary and program have taken me a lot longer than I thought, but it’s been a lot of fun, too. One thing I’ve discovered in this process is that it’s all about the fonts – serif or sans serif? Script or block? I keep playing around with different font pairings, trying to figure out what will look best.

There are a TON of free font sites out there – I’ve probably downloaded about 50 fonts over the past few days. I did splurge and purchase one font, Bombshell ($54 by EmilyLimeDesigns) because I want to re-create and personalize this beautiful wedding program from WeddingPaperDivas.com to the left.

However, there are countless beautiful fonts out there for you to download and use when you’re designing your own invitation suites or wedding program. Here are my top ten favorite wedding fonts:

 

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What are some of your favorite wedding fonts? What fonts do you pair with your script fonts?

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CRAFTCorner | my confetti plates on Decorist

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As a newbie to Etsy and setting out on selling some of my crafts, it’s so exciting to have my creations getting attention. Even more exciting, though, is when people BUY my creations! I have been so honored and excited to have so many Etsy users “favorite” my items, include them in treasuries, and place orders to have something I made in their own homes.

Equally as exciting is getting some love from bloggers and design websites! Which is why I was tickled pink to have my kate spade-inspired confetti dinner plates featured on Decorist.com! The lovely ladies at Decorist recently featured my plates on their inspiration board post Black, White, and Gold All Over What an honor!

Big thanks to the Decorist gals. If you’d like to get your own confetti plates just click here.. These go for $10 a plate but $50 for a set of six. If you mention this post in your order, I will give another discount- $40 for six plates! That’s buy four, get two free! Just a small way to thank my readers for being so awesome.

be sure to check out my other items, too! And stay tuned… More items to be added soon!

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CRAFTCorner | Rustic Farm Centerpiece

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Last weekend, I ventured out to the beautiful Eastern Shore of Virginia with a group of journalists from the DC and Hampton Roads areas to learn about wine and oyster travel in Virginia, with the centerpiece event being a vertical tasting and oyster roast at the breathtaking Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo, VA. I will post a full recap of the trip this week, but tonight, I wanted to share a tutorial on making this gorgeous rustic fall centerpiece.

My writers and I were invited to tour Amy Brandt’s demo kitchen on the grounds of Eyre Hall Plantation, a gorgeous property dating back to the 1600s.

Amy is a celebrated local award-winning chef that has parlayed her 30 years of experience into a successful, creative catering business. Her kitchen is hands down one of the most amazing kitchens I’ve ever seen (and makes me hate the fact that I have ZERO space in my kitchen at home.)

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Amy made us each a bag of her homemade granola, and shared her story with us.

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Now, this woman is an exquisite chef, but apparently, she’s also a design guru. I immediately noticed this gorgeous centerpiece when I first walked in.

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Being on such a DIY kick recently, I decided to replicate it myself. Love this? Here’s what you’ll need.

-one bushel basket ($6.99 at Hobby Lobby)
-wood stain of your choice ($7.99 at Hobby Lobby)
-an old rag
-flower mousse
-About six green silk hydrangea stems
-two cream silk hydrangea stems
-faux twigs and berries
-optional: clam and oyster shells

Fist, head outside with your rag, stain and bushel basket. Dip the rag in the stain and gently brush all the way around to give it a vintage feel.

While you are waiting for the stain to dry (about an hour) , cut your flower stems with floral shears so that they are 1.5x taller than your basket. Add the flower mousse to the bottom of the basket.

Once the stain has dried, arrange the flowers, sticks, and berries and secure in the mousse. Place in the center of your table, arrange the shells around the base on the table, and there you have it!

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Did you try this? Tell me about your experience in the comments!

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DIY Pop Art/ Roy Lichtenstein makeup tutorial

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Tonight we went to a post-Halloween costume party and I really had been planning on doing something non-creative and semi-lame (like this 404 Error: Costume Not Foind)

But after an errand run to CVS and seeing Halloween face paint on sale for $2.99, I couldn’t resist doing something more creative.

I have always liked Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art. My good friend’s artsy little sister did an amazing self portrait of herself of her as a kid for her parents, red dots and all, and I thought it was so cute. Then I saw the makeup tutorials on Pinterest and I couldn’t resist!!

Here’s what you’ll need:
-Liquid black eyeliner
-A face paint kit with brushes
-a good photo of what you want it to look like (I used this one)

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1. First, wash your face of any makeup. Then apply concealer where needed and a BB cream to even out your skin tone.

2. Outline the dramatic and heavy brows with your liquid eyeliner and then fill it in. Draw two lines between them to give the effect of being worried.

3. Line your upper lids with liquid eyeliner, then draw “eyelashes” (think multiple cat eye lines). About half a centimeter below your lower lashes, draw a line and then add the outline for the “tears”

4. Outline your face, going from your hairline all the way around your jaw and back up. Trace your nostrils, then draw a straight line down the bridge of your nose.

5. Outline your lips and a little above to give yourself a more dramatic peak on your upper lips. Draw a small line on the Cupid peak (the little dent above your top lips)

6. Now the fun part! Use an eyeshadow sponge and dot your face in symmetric lines to create the pop art effect. Fill in your lips with red paint and a hint of white on the lower lips. Fill in your “tears” with blue paint.

7. Apply some false lashes and….

Voila!

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If you’re more visual and need a video tutorial, here is the one I based off of. click here

So! What did you guys dress up as for Halloween! Leave in the comments below!

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Five on Friday

Happy Friday, ya’ll! The past few days have been so, so busy – I really haven’t had much time to blog over my morning coffee or in the evenings this week! There just simply haven’t been enough hours in the day.

Even with so much going on and such a busy schedule, it’s good for the soul to take a few moments to daydream every now and then. And that’s what today’s Five on Friday is all about: dreamy, whimsical, lovely inspirations, treats, and ideas.

Without further ado, here’s this week’s Five on Friday!

Goat Cheese Sugar Cookies

Soft Goat Cheese Sugar Cookies. Click the photo for a link to the recipe from Love & Olive Oil.
Photo credit: Love & Olive Oil

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CRAFTCorner | DIY gold confetti canvas art

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As you’ve seen over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been so inspired by the kate spade Larabee Road dinner plates. I love how bright and happy they are, and even made some of my own (in fact, you can buy them here from my Etsy shop).

I had seen on Pinterest an idea to make some fun wall art based off of this idea, so I decided to tackle this project myself. It was SO easy!

Here is my how-to, but I’m also happy to make one for you!)

What you’ll need:

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-One 18″x24″ white stretches canvas (I got mine from AC Moore
-Elmer’s spray adhesive
-Gold metallic card stock
-Gold glitter metallic card stock
-A 1.5″ or 2″ circle punch

Cut out about 40 circles using your punch from the card stock paper, then attach in whatever confetti pattern you want using the spray adhesive.

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Allow to fully set before hanging, and voila! All done!

I’ve got mine hanging up now!

I’m thinking of making another one and painting the canvas black first for a cool contrast piece!

Did you try this craft? Leave me pictures or links below!!

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