Tag Archives: Kitchen

Up for the challenge…

Hi everyone. Happy Friday. I come to you today excited about possibility, learning and expanding! Even though I am exhausted from a night up with my poor teething, Claire – I am thrilled at some of the new things I’ve been trying lately!

First of all, I am super excited to let you know that I just signed up for Blog Boss – a new e-course with Holly Becker from decor8! I took her first course – Blogging your way – a couple of years ago and it taught me so much! This next one looks to be amazing and I can’t wait for class to begin. There is still time to enroll – check it out here.

8488219001_66bd99db2d_oLately, I am trying to expand my photography knowledge so I’ve been dabbling in portrait photography. I know you have all seen my attempts with my children but recently I’ve been taking pics for friends and it has been quite the learning experience. I have such respect for those professional photographers out there that do portrait work. It is a true art! My latest subject was my neighbor, Taryn Emerson. She is such a fantastic friend and an incredible interior designer too! She asked me to take her portrait for her website (in production) and online social profiles. I agreed. So, last Sunday, I handed over Clarie to my hubby and off I went down the street with my trusty camera, in the hopes of capturing my friend and doing her beauty justice! The overcast sky provided the perfect, softly filtered light. We jumped around from her place to mine, outside, inside, front yard, back yard…but ended up with this as our winning shot!

Taryn b & w touched up2

Some of our other attempts…

PicMonkey Collage taryn 2

Taryn was a great sport and put up with all my amateur-ish mistakes. In between giggles, she was poised and patient.

It is so wonderful to have another creative buddy right in the neighborhood and she is always encouraging. She likes to challenge me too…which is a rare gift in a friend. Since I have been avidly taking pictures, she suggested I shoot her gorgeous designer kitchen for her portfolio too. I balked at the request, insisting I knew nothing about interior photography and how we would probably have to rent lights and wide angle lens. She rolled her eyes and said, “Oh come on, let’s just try it!” So over a bottle of wine that night, we styled the entire kitchen and shot it the next morning…

kitchen 4 touch up

It was so much fun dusting off my interior design skills to style this lovely space and collaborating with another designer is something I have missed! When we started the shoot it was dark and gray outside and I was doubtful that the light was sufficient but like a sweet gift, the sunshine broke through the clouds, spilling light into the room. We scrambled to move Taryn’s heavy kitchen table so we could let the shadow of the window unfurl onto the warm wood floor.

kitchen2 touch up

kitchen 3

All in all, we were both pretty pleased with ourselves and I learned a lot! There is nothing better than the feeling of meeting a challenge, especially a creative one. So don’t limit yourself, expand your creative gifts – sure it can be a little scary and you might even mess up but one thing is for sure – you will learn and you will grow – and that is worth it every time!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo,

***Check out more of Taryn’s beautiful interior design projects here and like her new Facebook page here.***

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Book club night & farmhouse style

Last night, I hosted my book club – a fabulous group of some the most interesting and intelligent woman I have ever met! (Lucky me!) When I attend a book club night, I am guaranteed a wonderful night of fascinating conversation, good doses of laughter, delicious food and wine and a lovely ambiance. Each lady is a talented host and cook. So, when it comes time for me to host, I want to give them that same decadent experience. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it right and last night, I am proud (and relieved) to say was a hit!

The concept for my table design began the night before. I knew I wanted to use my latest treasure as the centerpiece – a beautifully rustic French wine bottle carrier.

(this beauty will be on sale in my shop very soon!)

The wine carrier makes me think – Farmhouse style – so that’s what I went with…

It made the perfect caddy to display the utensils…

A variety of textures – burlap, linen, lace, silver, glass, ceramics – creates that farmhouse feel. Rustic but elegant. Can you tell I had fun?

I knew we would be dining outside so I kept it in the same theme. I am so grateful to my beautiful purple hydrangea bush! She supplied all the florals!

Hydrangeas are so fabulous because they are like a hundred flowers on one stem! Popped these freshly cut blooms into crystal cut glasses and my simple table arrangements were done!

Had to put out my newly acquired antique French pitcher too! This one was sent to me from a woman in Normandy! So pretty with a vintage lace apron tucked inside…

The trailing wisteria over head completed the purple, white and green color palette…

I did spend a lot of time on decorating but I didn’t forget the FOOD! I whipped up a huge batch of Martha Stewart‘s Macaroni and Cheese! So very naughty, with a whole stick of butter and an obsene amount of cheese! However, I was so caught up in my decor that I didn’t take a picture of it…oops…so here’s one via Smitten Kitchen

I must say…it was delectable and everyone went back for seconds! Yah! A fresh garden salad and chocolate cake for dessert completed the simple but comforting meal.

All in all it was another fantastic night with my book club gals! Love you girls!

xo,

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