Happy Friday and Happy Weekend! The mornings and evenings are starting to bring the slightest chill, and I just know that Fall is on it’s way. I have been spending quite a bit of time with this Pinterest board dreaming about Fall baking and wearing layers… LAYERS! Bring on the red, plaid, and hunter green I am so ready.

Travel Channel's The Weekender: Asheville

Speaking of Fall, check out the trees in this Biltmore pic that just arrived in my inbox! We’ve, of course, had Asheville road trips on the brain thanks to the Urban Oasis posts I’ve been working on. Well, my friend Jess emailed me this week to let me know that she and Sara were featuring Asheville on The Weekender, which is a column they write for Travel Channel. For each destination, they pair fab hot spots with cool things to bring. Click here to check out their Asheville post! 



And, per our usual Friday fare, here are some fun links to kick off the weekend!

John T. Edge wrote a beautiful piece for Oxford American called “Debts of Pleasure” after wondering who the black waitress was in a 1949 Bissinger photo from the Café Nicholson.

I want this tshirt. (The Bitter Southerner)

Stephen Colbert Shares Why He Thinks Women Should Be in Charge of Everything (Glamour)

We just binge-watched Veep, and now I love Tony Hale even more than before.



Random, Happy Things

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.

Random, Happy Things | Hannah & Husband

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.

Hannah and Husband for HGTV Urban Oasis 2015 | Hannah & Husband

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.

Our Favorite Places in Chicago

Our Favorite Places in Chicago | Hannah & Husband

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!

Cocktails at the Rhapsody, Our Favorite Places in Chicago | Hannah & Husband

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 Berghoff, Our Favorite Places in Chicago | Hannah & Husband

Note: I have more than a couple pictures of this sign, but this one is my favorite because: *SNOW*

The Berghoff

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.

Millenium Park, Our Favorite Places in Chicago | Hannah & Husband

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.

selfie at Cloud Gate, Our Favorite Places in Chicago | Hannah & Husband

That right there? That is a circa 2010 #tbt #selfie! We were taking awkward travel photos to share on Facebook before it was cool, guys. #winning

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.

Palmer House, Our Favorite Places in Chicago | Hannah & Husband

Do you love Chicago? What’s on your must see list?



Detroit airport | Hannah & Husband

The Detroit airport is epic. EPIC. Detroit is actually on my list of places to visit soon. But next time I want to see the city not just the airport.

*/cue Willie Nelson/* “On the road again…” This time, after a quick layover in Detroit that included rad views of planes like the one above, we are in Chicago. I love market season! I’ll be sharing some to the trends we’ve seen a bit later in the week, but today I just thought I’d share some snapshots from the last few days.

in-flight selfie | Hannah & Husband

In flight selfie–I am very easily entertained!

"Look Into My Dreams" by Jaume Plensa | Hannah & Husband

This Jaume Plensa sculpture brings a beautiful presence to Millennium Park. It’s called “Look Into My Dreams, Awilda” and stands 39 feet tall.

The Art Institute of Chicago | Hannah & Husband

I love visiting the Art Institute of Chicago! Their collection is pretty amazing. Favorites include: the Impressionist collection, American folk art, and the sculptures in the Modern Art wing

Hair Goals | Hannah & Husband

Portraits & busts of men from the early 1800s always make me think of Husband. #hairgoals

Sketching in the Plitzker Garden | Hannah & Husband

This time I spent some time doodling in the Pritzker Garden.

in The Art Institute of Chicago | Hannah & Husband


rosé at Roof | Hannah & Husband

I’ve also been indulging in very sparkly cocktail hours. Prosecco at the Palmer House, Rosé at Roof. (*Please note the quote on the menu.)

view from Roof | Hannah & Husband

The views from Roof were pretty unbelievable. If you look closely, you can see “Cloud Gate” and Millennium Park.

I’m off to do some more exploring! It’s going to be a very busy week so stay tuned.

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Hello, NYC!

Friday morning, we flew to NYC for the menswear show. Remember when we came to Mrket in January? This trip has been a lot of fun and oh-so busy! James will be working Mrket for the next few days, and I’ll be visiting it as well as a couple other shows while we’re in the city. I’ll blog a full report but here are a couple of shots I took yesterday before things were up & running.

This trip, I’m trying to pay more attention to the details. One way I’m doing that is: less pictures, more doodles. I’ve been thinking a lot about memory since I read this article in the NY Times about some performance art Oliver Jeffers has been doing. 

What we see as individuals is so interesting because it’s often different from what others see. What our brains remember is a totally different story that’s even more exclusive. Fascinating, right?

 But there’s one place k haven’t been able to resist the urge to take more than a few photos. We’ve gotten to take a couple of boat rides, including one that went all the way around Manhattan and right by Lady Liberty. Thus, the rad views in the photos below…


As i said on Instagram, we did pose for some photos, but somehow this felt more realistic 😉


 I love this city!

The Summer of Yes

For us, this summer has been the season of saying, “Yes!” In the past week we closed on our new house, took a trip to the beach with my in-laws, moved into the new house, and spent an afternoon in Virginia partying with the prettiest bride I ever did see. When asked last week about our crazy schedule, I just had to reply, “Life’s short! Who wants to miss out on anything?” So, if you’ll humor me, I must share a few pictures.

Teal on Closing Day | Hannah & Husband

This is a selfie in our new living room a few hours after closing. We can’t brag enough on our real estate agent, who I’ll talk about more later this week. At closing, she brought us a bottle of champagne with a teal bow to match our new living room.

Teal Mantle | Hannah & Husband

Aqua Hat  | Hannah & Husband

The next day, we drove to the beach, and I bought a new hat. It was at that moment, that I started to sense I may have a teal/aqua addiction. Are there groups for this sort of thing?

Eastern Lake, Santa Rosa, FL  | Hannah & Husband

Seaside Cocktails  | Hannah & Husband

Beach Beard + Turban  | Hannah & Husband

While at the beach, James grew a beach beard and I wore a lot of turbans (please see The Platinum Blonde Commandments for reference). I’m posting this picture to remind you that you’re not the only one who looks a little wacky on vacation.

rainy moving day  | Hannah & Husband

Back in Tennessee on Thursday: moving day. And the rain came. At points, it came down Noah style.

clothing on the moving truck | Hannah & Husband

Wedding Selfie  | Hannah & Husband

Friday, we cleaned up and drove to Virginia for a wedding. I have to tell you, it was the most stylish wedding we’ve ever been to! I sense a summer wedding style post in the near future.

Hannah & Julie  | Hannah & Husband

Here is the beautiful MRS! Julie and I were best friends in elementary school and had summer camps every year til we graduated. It was such a special treat to be able to share her big day!

Jon & James  | Hannah & Husband

Naturally, the MRs needed a picture too!

Unpacking  | Hannah & Husband

And then we came home to unpacking. We are officially moved out of ye olde house on Nobel Street where we spent the last 9 years. But I must tell you, the family that bought it was so wonderful that saying goodbye wasn’t really that hard.

On to the next adventure!

High Point Market 2015

Hannah B. at High Point Market in the Mr. Brown showroom | Hannah & Husband

This amazing mirror was in the Mr. Brown showroom.

This week, I was lucky enough to go over to North Carolina for a couple days of High Point Market 2015. Each Fall and Spring, the market takes over the town of High Point, North Carolina nearly doubling the population and setting up 11.5 million sq ft of showspace–they literally take over the town. How crazy is that?

North Carolina has long been known for it’s furniture manufacturing so it’s only appropriate that the biggest furniture show would take place there. Much like “Mrket” in NYC, High Point Market is where furniture buyers and interior designers gather to view the collections for the next season.

It was a frenzy of inspiration that will be showing up in posts and future projects, but today I thought I would bring you the highlights. These are some of the trends I think may inspire you as much as they did me.

Whimsical Statement Pieces

When I was in college, it became a running joke that the word “whimsical” always popped up when people were talking about my work. So you can imagine how happy I was to see how playful so many of the pieces were. You can, of course, add as many or as few of these touches as you’d like because often one piece makes a huge impact.

Animal Farm as Comedy

On that same whimsical note, I am pleased to report that designers are finding ways to incorporate animals into designs without real-life taxidermy. Of course, real taxidermy was there because this place had everything. 2 notes from my notebook worth sharing:

1. When given the option to walk past a taxidermy giraffe to use the restroom and just holding it, I will always just hold it. (Husband may find this noteworthy for future road trips.)

2. On booth that shall remain nameless:  If Gaston lived in a Toby Keith song, it would look like this showroom.

But, with a couple of real-life exceptions, play animals were used as fanciful accessories that came in every sort of style, shape, and size. A few of my fav examples…

Animals at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Left Clockwise: POLaRT / Sunpan / BOBO / Jaipur / Sunpan

I, of course, also adored the hive pattern that kept showing up. I chose to include the picture below because I heart the bees too!

Furniture can make you feel feelings.

One thing I really love about interior design is it’s ability to make you feel a certain way without you really thinking about it. For instance, I’m pretty sure the Palm Springs-inspired collection by Celerie Kemble on a patio would make me feel like Myrna Loy. Likewise, the soft, touchy-feely items like ticking fabric and rag rugs reminded me of the home I grew up in.

Home-y Items at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Right Clockwise: Celerie Kemble for Lane Venture / Loloi / Chandra / Loloi / Bunakara

Wood + Concrete

Aside from the natural wood like is shown above, there were so many ways that I saw wood and concrete used to make very modern pieces.

Concrete + Wood at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Left Clockwise: Seasonal Living / Sunpan / Mr. Brown

Let there be lights!

At the end of my first night I went to an event at Visual Comfort and discovered that Heaven, for me, is probably some version of a lighting gallery. Some of my lighting picks are below, and we’ll be talking to some of these makers in the coming weeks!

Another trend often showed with lights inside were old-school, grandma-style cloches.

Lesson Learned: Anything under glass looks way more expensive and important.

Cloches at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Clockwise: Mercana / Chandra / Schwung / BOBO

Mid-Century Modern

Mid-century modern is a trend that is not going away. We all secretly want to live a Mad Men bar-in-the-office lifestyle and be Charles & Ray Eames. What’s wrong with that? Not a thing. The organic lines (check out the pattern on the front of that Dwell Studio sideboard) and the natural woods are beautiful and, in my opinion, can stick around for as long as they like.

Mid-Century Modern at High Point Market, Spring 2015 | Hannah & Husband

Top Left Clockwise: Chandra / Dwell Studio / Nuevo / Joyride

We’ll talk more about some of these makers and how to incorporate these trends into your own home in the coming weeks. For now, I’m off to enjoy the weekend!

Happy Saturday!

Road Trip to High Point

Road to High Point | Hannah & Husband

Hello! I’ve spent the last few days on a road trip to High Point, North Carolina. Expect a full report soon but, in the meantime, here’s one of the gorgeous views from the trip home today.


Booze Traveler


On Friday night, Husband and I were invited to Knoxville’s favorite speakeasy to meet Travel Channel’s Booze Traveler Jack Maxwell who was in town for several Friends of the Smokies events.

I must tell you that Jack was fascinating to meet in person! I had said hello in a long line of Scripps employees at the office earlier in the day when we had chatted about my name being a palindrome. So when James & I walked into the speakeasy, not only did he remember me, he said, “Hannah, I want to meet Husband!” I kid you not.

photo courtesy of Scripps Networks Interactive

photo courtesy of Scripps Networks Interactive

photo courtesy of Scripps Networks Interactive

photo courtesy of Scripps Networks Interactive

Jack is full of stories from his world travels that he tells in the sweetest Boston accent. (Sweet? Boston? It’s totally a thing, but I was as surprised you are.) When he spoke, he was so respectful of the places that he’s been and the people that he’s met. Apparently, when he was auditioning for the job, the most important criteria was that he be unflappable–willing to jump into anything head on. If you’ve ever seen the show, he fits that to a T.

There were two signature cocktails for the evening: the High Note (right) and the Aunt Adelaide (left). I will spare you a review and instead just tell you that Root Beer Bitters is now on my shopping list.

There were two signature cocktails for the evening: the High Note (right) and the Aunt Adelaide (left). I will spare you a review and instead just tell you that Root Beer Bitters is now on my shopping list.

We also asked him about how he approaches all these different cultures. He’s done some absolutely crazy things. (For example: Exhibit A) Has he ever offended anyone? Jack said he tries to be genuine and let people know he’s honored to be there. And that’s probably my favorite thing about watching Booze Traveler: he tries outlandish things I never would and then serves up a cocktail I can make at home.


As the party slowed a bit, I found myself sitting on the couch with Jack and my friend Hannah sipping whiskey and making toasts. Here’s one his Irish grandmother taught him…

If you want to be happy for a day: get drunk.
If you want to be happy for a while: get married. 
If you want to be happy for a lifetime: have good friends. 

Thanks so much to Travel Channel for having us!


Look at everyone holding up those phones… cracked me up! (as I did the same)

Also, a note about Friends of the Smokies: 
Husband and I talk often about how honored we are to live in this sacred place. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited of all the parks for one reason: it is breathtaking. Friends of the Smokies is an organization that works to preserve the park and its inhabitants. You can click here to learn more.

Booze Traveler‘s Tennessee episode will air March 2nd at 10pm on the Travel Channel.

In Which We Meet Our Goddaughter

You may have noticed a bit of radio silence around here of late. That would be because we have made not one but two trips to the east coast over the last couple of weeks in the trusty Volkswagen for a couple of big family milestones. The first one is really big (but physically very tiny) so she gets her own post.


We’ve made the choice not to post pictures of Goddaughter’s face here on our blog. But who doesn’t love baby hands and Brooks Brothers, right?

Weekend number one was spent near Washington D.C. meeting our goddaughter. I had no idea I’d ever have so much love in my heart for a little one. Her three-week-old self was tiny, floppy, and oh-so-snuggly. We were both completely smitten at first site!

Goddaughter’s parents, Tim and Jan, have been some of our very best friends for almost as long as we’ve been together (11 years!). So when we found out they were expecting, we were ecstatic! But you must understand that we are totally at that age when it seems everyone we know is either pregnant or trying to be at the moment. (Big note here: EXCEPT US!) Something must be in the water at work, there are numerous pregnant gals we pass in the park, and if one more person has the nerve to ask me about our timeline… Well…

Maude Season one

But to have two friends that we love and respect so much decide to bring life into the world? Well now honey, that changes everything! It was as if no one had ever done such a thing before–and even if they did, what are the odds they did it as well as my girl, Jan?

It is completely mind-blowing to see friends that you already respect so much as two morph into a family of three. And, not just that, but producing a tiny human that will change the world just by the fact that she lives in it. (I swear, I’ll love her just as much if she’s a concert pianist, an ambassador, or the next poet laureate.) Well, needless to say we are quite humbled that we get to support this beautiful little girl on her journey through life.

It is probably worth noting here that if you’d like an honest and hilarious look at Tim and Jan’s pregnancy, they’ve been documenting it here. It’s totally worth the read.