I have this go-to playlist. Do you have one of those? Something you put on anytime you need a little smile? Well, today I thought I’d share mine with you. It’s called “Put on a Happy Face,” and it’s sure to brighten your midweek slump!
We get a lot of questions about our closets because we’re always looking to wear things that are just a little different. Our secret: thrifting. We love vintage stores, and the price point is almost always preferable to buying “the latest thing.” So today, I’m starting the “Thrift This Look” series where I’ll share elements you can find used to really dress up your duds. To kick things off, here are 5 trends for F/W 2015 that you can find at your local thrift store.
The School Uniform
This trend is basically the cousin of the sexy Catholic School girl–the prudish cousin that may have resting bitch face. The skirts this season are just a bit longer but the patterns are bigger and bolder than ever!
Look for: Plaid skirts.
Note: Be sure to check any wools and tweeds for moth holes. Finding these in mint condition at thrift are rare, but you may be able to use any wear to talk down the price!
The Dancing Queen
If you listen to a lot of Abba and can drop into “Superstar” stance (Mary Catherine Gallagher fans out there?) at a moment’s notice, this look is for you. I mean, let’s just say it: there are not enough opportunities to wear sequins as an adult. Shine on like the star you are, baby!
Look for: Sequins that are at least the size of nickels.
My mother’s closet in the 70s was basically this look. (Luckily she saved at least one dress that is now in my closet!) Lay in the grass, put on a little post-Beatles John Lennon (peace, love, etc.), and wear something long and flowy. The best part? You don’t have to worry about fixing your hair.
Look for: Crimson florals on silky fabrics.
Put a Bow on It
This feels like a Portlandia sketch, but I promise it isn’t. Feminine collars that tie into neat little bows are something I remember from my earliest childhood. I feel like you’d need to have a tendency toward granny and perhaps a little amish to really pull this off, but why not?
Look for: Blouses that are feminine and collars that tie.
A big shout-out to Lenny Kravitz for this timeless mental image. This look may be as easy as an extra phone call to your grandmother. But, if you aren’t so lucky, it’s time for a trip to the wool section.
Look for: Chunky knits
Note: Thrifted sweaters often carry the eau de antique. To get rid of the vintage stench for good, check out this post.
There you go: 5 trends to thrift for Fall! Which one is your favorite?
If you care to pop over the HGTV’s Dreams Happen blog, today I’ll be sharing my best tips for thrifting.
We had such a great weekend. We spent some time with friends and also got some quality whittling done on that Rivermont to do list. We started on the yard when we got home on Friday, and Husband actually ended up laying grass seed ’til 10 that night! We discovered some new things in the yard including this beauty which shot up over the summer.
One thing I love about the internet? The free knowledge base for plants and flowers! I have so many friends that know more about these things than I do so anytime I learn something new, I just make a note so hopefully I’ll remember next time. The lovely lady is called an angel’s trumpet and the flower is 11″ long from stem to stern. I’ve never seen such a big flower!
While Husband was laying grass seed, I spent some time preserving tomatoes. You can read about how I peel tomatoes in this post. These frozen fruits will be like treasure come late fall!
Finally, I whipped up some cinnamon almonds, and I thought I’d share the recipe. I always need a little crunch with fruit and yogurt, and these are perfect! Plus, they’re so easy to make.
1/2 cup sliced almond
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp honey
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Toss until all almond slices are covered evenly. Set over to broil and watch like a hawk! These can burn quickly and truly don’t take more than 3-4 minutes.
Try them! They also make a great snack.
Hello & Happy Friday! I hope you have a fabulous weekend planned. Ours should be a good balance between working on the house and time with friends doing summer-y things.
It will also involve a lot of listening to a new album that came out today: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. They remind me of the Blues Brothers in all the best possible ways. Perfect weekend listening.
Take note: My friend was dancing at her desk when I heard the song S.O.B. the first time. It’s basically the perfect Friday, office dance-party tune. If you have a child and are reading this, you’ll probably want to wait until nap time. If not, check out this video…
I hope this gets your weekend is off to a fabulous start!
When I was little, sick days meant red Gatorade, VapoRub, and television—more specifically videos of the Mary Tyler Moore show. This week, I found myself on the couch again turning to Mary Richards for support. She really can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. And you know what stood out this time? The Mary Tyler Moore Show apartment! The working girl’s ultimate abode and every little girl’s first 1970s house crush. So today, I thought we should talk about the six things that made her pad so dreamy.
1. She lived in a storybook house. Turrets + stained glass would normally denote an over-the-top Disney movie (Pollyanna, anyone?). Instead, The Mary Tyler Moore show made it the ultimate single girl pad.
2. Long before the days of Carrie Bradshaw, Mary Richards had a walk-in closet. To be clear, she slept on a sofa bed in the middle of the living room, but her mini skirts and go-go boots had a place all their own.
3. Before the Spice Girls chanted #GirlPower and Destiny’s Child invited all the “honeys who makin’ money” to throw their hands up, their was Mary Richards who hung an ‘M’ on her wall. This independent woman did not need a man to monogram the hand towels. She knew she was important enough all by herself.
4. She rearranged her furniture all the time just because she could. Growing up, my mother was a serial rearranger. The fact that my father and I have any toes left from tripping over the couch is beyond me! But Mary Richards could change the layout of her studio sitting area every week if she wanted… and sometimes she did.
5. Confession: The only shag carpet I have ever loved was in this apartment. I think my affection has something to do with the knee-level library.
6. Forget shattering the glass ceiling, Mary Richards had 10 foot beauties with windows and draperies to match that she leased all by herself. #winning #girlpower
I’m just going to leave this list here and assume I’m not the only one that ponders 1970s tv set design when I’m sick.
Other Style Files You May Like:
Fact: I have been down for the count with a summer cold for the past few days. But while doing some work on my computer, I ran across this picture and decided it was as good a time as any to share some random, happy things with you.
I took the picture above when we went to an event for Southern Living at Boone Hall Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina. The post that covered said event not only includes a picture of me with my natural hair color (WHAT?!) but also a recipe for bourbon-and-cola bundt cakes that I’d completely forgotten about. You’re welcome.
Speaking of travel, I’m back on the HGTV Dreams Happen Blog today talking about the location of the HGTV 2015 Urban Oasis: Asheville, NC. Today’s post highlights 3 restaurant interiors (including the Early Girl Eatery pictured above) and how to bring their look into your own home. I found some great Etsy shops while working on this post so go show them some love! (Yay, small business!)
Random Thing #3: My family is from a small town in Virginia called Appalachia (population: 1727). It is one of the most gorgeous places on God’s green earth and right next door is Big Stone Gap. Well, we’ve been stoked around here since the rumor started that Adriana Trigiani had decided to turn her Big Stone Gap novels into a movie. When the stars were announced, I got really excited and now, after much anticipation, there’s a trailer!
Big Stone Gap will come to theaters on October 9th. Until then, here’s a link to pick up the books. (Fun Fact: My grandparents are mentioned in book #2.)
Alright, I’m going back to the couch and episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. See you tomorrow.
Hello and Happy Friday from the old house on the hill! (She looks pretty up there, doesn’t she?) Before we kick this weekend off, I thought I’d show you a little bit of what went down last Saturday. Ladies and Gentlemen, project #1 is officially underway.
What is that weird pattern-y thing, you ask?
That’s the ceiling!
If you recall, there are several little sheds out behind our house. This one, the one on the far left, was the *perfect* 1950s clubhouse–or so I’ve been told. In my head, the Kerr boys were basically the Little Rascals. (I wonder if there was a Darla?)
Years before that, it was the home of Lewdy, the groundskeeper. I was told you could smell him coming a mile away. (Perhaps he’d been in to the jello shots? See yesterday’s post.) I also heard he had a thing going on with the maid.
Well, for its next incarnation, it will be… */drumroll please/* my studio! Last Saturday, as I was working upstairs in the house, Husband and our faithful apprentice, who is currently occupying the guest room, were deconstructing parts of the shed.
We are not tearing the building down, but parts are beyond repair. So we are going to save the parts we can and rebuild the others to suit our purposes. Windows were taken out (carefully) and saved for future use. While we are tearing out the ceiling, the roof was replaced recently so we shouldn’t have to touch it. I’m thrilled with how much they got done last weekend, and I’m excited to get my hands dirty tomorrow. Stay tuned!
My old studio space was one of several crafty spaces featured on DIYNetwork.com. Click here to see it!
Click here to get my tips for dressing up your cubicle!
The big news of the week is that we’re on HGTV.com! Today the first of 5 posts I’ve been working on for HGTV’s Urban Oasis blog went live! The rest will appear over the course of the entry period.
This year’s HGTV Urban Oasis is located just over the mountain in Asheville, North Carolina. Since they’re in our neck of the woods, I was asked to put together a little lifestyle content to introduce readers to the area. This first post has 3 cocktail recipes using honey courtesy of the Asheville Bee Charmer.
As I was mixing drinks and taking pictures, I had a bit of a revelation. You see one of the recipes is for “Block Party Jello Shots,” which is not in my usual catalog of cocktails. As I was styling the photos, I realized it’s probably for the best that I was never a party girl…
If you too want to make jello shots prettier, or non-boozy jello more alluring to your kids, it’s super easy! Simply take a sharp paring knife and cut you citrus of choice in half. Next, run that same knife around the rim to loosen up the insides. Finally, with a sharp-edged spoon (old silver works great), scoop out the insides.
I also cut off just a slice of the bottom (where the stem would have been) so that the little cups would sit flat.
Throw the leftover insides on top of salmon for dinner to impress your significant other. Then, file this under: “Killing it as a grown-up!”
Meet Nancy Kerr, the previous matriarch of Rivermont. There are so many things about this house that I love, but, without a doubt, its good spirit is the thing for which I am most thankful. And, from what I gather, we have this lady to thank for that.
A plucky war bride from England, Nancy and her husband Jim raised four boys within these walls. Nancy was an impressive being; she was a nurse during WWII and was the first hospice nurse in the state of Tennessee. I’m sure I’ll share more about the Kerrs’ tenure in this house at some point as we have so enjoyed getting to know their family. But for today, I just couldn’t resist sharing this portrait.
It was painted by Nancy’s sister-in-law Elizabeth Kerr-Rike who was the preeminent portrait painter in Knoxville in the forties and fifties. In fact, James saw some of her work hanging in a local country club recently! In the words of Nancy’s third, Christopher, “She could catch the essence of a person in her drawings.” This portrait carries such a presence that the first night she was here, Dexter walked right up to her and growled. (I’m happy to report that relations have warmed since.)
There is just something about her expression and that gleam in her eye that I can’t seem to get over–powerful, confident, and perhaps a little mischievous. Anyway, she’s staying at Rivermont until her granddaughter (who shares her striking features) has a place of her own. For now, we couldn’t be happier that she’s here for a bit longer.
Our first trip to Chicago was a year or two after we got married for a conference in mid-December. Windows were filled with colorful displays, there were brass bands playing outside the department stores, and–my favorite feature–when it snowed, the flakes would get caught up in the wind between tall buildings and make you feel like you were in a snow globe. It was heaven for my small-town, Southern self. We’ve come for the annual Chicago Brass concert, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade (when they turn the river green), and we’ve seen more than our fair share of Sinatra-worthy destinations (cue the music). So today, I wanted to share a few of our favorite places in Chicago with you!
The Chicago Symphony
The CSO is amazing, but, more specifically, their brass section is world-reknown. If you ever have a chance to go to a performance, grab drinks at the Rhapsody downstairs (pictured above) and then arrive early enough to bask in the ornate details of symphony hall.
The food in Chicago cannot be emphasized enough. The Berghoff is close to our favorite place hotel and offers the best German comfort food around. I’ve started recreating their apple + onion soup at home and am a big fan of the house root beer.
Other places we love to dine:
Yoshi’s: Yoshi’s is a staple in Boystown offering French-Japanese fusion. The staff has all been there for decades, and we love our annual visit. We actually went last Sunday night and missed seeing Yoshi’s wife who would say, “Bye, Tennessee! See you next year!” As it turns out, Yoshi actually passed that same night. There’s a tribute to the chef here.
Hugo’s Frog Bar: This one is connected to Gibsons’ steakhouse (They share a kitchen.), but we actually prefer their fare. You can get a slice of key lime 6 inches high with meringue, and we’ve seen a celebrity or two while sipping our bouillabaisse.
Sepia: This is chef Andrew Zimmerman’s place–a bit more modern than the others. It offers fare that is often experimental and rich. The interior is gorgeous, and the wine list expansive.
Art in Chicago
At some point, I would love to take a trip and just show you all of the amazing art in Chicago. Seriously, while the Art Institute of Chicago boasts an amazing collection, the whole city is full of opportunities to see art. There’s a Picasso Sculpture in Daley Plaza that dates back to the mid-1960s while Millennium Park is covered in beautiful pieces that are a bit more recent. There is a bandshell designed by Frank Gehry that is a bit too epic for words, and one of my favorite pieces is “Cloud Gate,” a giant, stainless steel, reflective bean designed by Anish Kapoor.
Also, if you ever get a chance to see any live comedy in the city, do it! One of the funniest people I know in real life taught at Second City and took us to an improv show on one of our trips. The smaller theaters are interesting too because you feel more like you’re in on the jokes.
The Palmer House
We have tried other hotels, but we still go back to the Palmer House each trip–even if it’s just for a cocktail or two. The lobby is breathtaking! If you’re there during the holidays, try to catch carolers as they stop for a song or two in the lobby.
Do you love Chicago? What’s on your must see list?