Cinco de Mayo

Happy Friday babes!  2 more weeks for me and I am a free lady for the summer!

Today I thought I'd share our Cinco de Mayo dinner!

For Cinco de Mayo this year, we had our recently engaged friends, S & C over for dinner!

I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should, because we were honestly having too much fun catching up!  We hadn't all gotten together in a few months so we had little time to waste snapping photos!

I thought the lime ikat placemats we bought in Chapel Hill were perfect for Cinco Margaritas day!

These tulips from Trader Joe's were breathtakingly beautiful!

Can't get enough of them!

Margaritas were a must!

We did two types of kabobs: barbecue and mango chicken!
Mango Chicken recipe can be found in a very old guest post I did at Flip Flops & Pearls, here!

S also made homemade guacamole and a baked cinnamon apple dessert!

Did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Any fun weekend plans!

Have a great day!


New Idol: Olivia Pope


This is a wonderful Friday because it marks the start of summer, aka..Memorial Day weekend!  I am pumped for a weekend with my bestie, AMF!

I am also pumped to say 3 MORE WEEKS!!!  Summer has been calling my name for quite some time now so each day as it gets closer I've been doing a little happy dance inside!

Why have I been silent in the blogosphere this week you might be asking?

Well y'all, let me tell you-- I've got a crush.

A big giant girl crush on Scandal's leading lady Olivia Pope (by the way, isn't that a beautiful name...Olivia Pope!)!

Let me give you a little background.  Bryce has been in London since Saturday and won't be home until late Tuesday night.  While I've been holding down the fort I figured now was the perfect time to start watching Scandal.  I've been curious about it since the show first aired, but because I'm picky about not starting a show in the middle and missed the first episodes, I hadn't watched.

Well, we recently got Netflix...and one thing led to another!

It's bad guys!  I have stayed up past my bedtime every night this week watching Scandal!  Now I've finished Season 1 and am planning to sign up for a free trial of Hulu Plus immediately after finishing this post so I can get started on Season 2!

How perfect is she?
Gorgeous, Polished, Smart...

She also has a fabulous wardrobe and the love of a very charismatic president...
Can't decide if I love him or hate him yet; guess we'll see how Season 2 goes!

Simply stunning
Also, I'd kill for those teeny tiny, toned arms!

And I'd kill for that lamp!
Her apartment in the epitome of chic.

On top of it all, I'm also in love with her team...
So curious about Miss Quinn!

What have y'all been up to this week?

Do you watch Scandal?  What are your favorite TV shows?  

*No spoilers please...I'm just starting Season 2!*

Have a great holiday weekend!


Mother's Day Brunch

Happy Thursday!

Thursdays might be my favorite day of the work week...the stress of the week is winding down and the anticipation and excitement for Friday has built up!

I am glad to report that this is my first post from my new (to me) laptop...thanks to my sweet daddy for passing down his old one and allowing me to finally get pictures loaded onto the computer!

As I loaded pictures I realized they are so many events in the last few months I still need to share with you-
A Southern Season, Chihuly, Old Lucketts Store, Orlando, and Cinco de Mayo!  
I better get to work!

Today, I figured I'd share the most recent event I'm excited about:
Mother's Day Brunch!

We usually go out for brunch on Mother's Day, but this year I thought it would be extra special to put together a fancy brunch just for my mom.

Bryce was out of town spending time with his mom and grandmothers, but he was nice enough to let me use his house to host the brunch.

Prepare for a picture heavy post...I'm really proud for putting this all together by myself and am going to enjoy tooting my own horn a bit by sharing lots of pictures with you!

I was so excited to use my new Dondee Hicks pineapple for the brunch!
(funny tidbit, Bryce hates it and says it's only allowed on his door for "parties"...I'll take what I can get!)

I especially was excited to come up with a beautiful tablescape for the occasion!

Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself!

I thought this picture turned out really pretty!

I am in love with these napkins I found at one of my absolute fave places, World Market!

I was also very excited to use these candlesticks that my grandma recently passed down to me!

Aren't they fun?

Another touch I added was these mini flower arrangements in tea light holders at each person's place!

Now onto the whole point of brunch-- the food!

I started out with a Southern favorite, cheese straws and salted almonds in the living room.

I found those cute brown polka dotted cocktail napkins at World Market, also!

I had Mommy's present out in the living room as well:  a new striped pink robe!

I served drinks while everyone munched in the living room and I finished getting the buffet set up!

This drink was so easy- Simply Orange with a splash of Peach Nectar Sparkling Ice!
I also added strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries...splash of vodka optional!

Next the buffet was set up!

Mixed Berry Salad, Mini Frittatas, Bacon, Mini Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Hash Browns

I chose to go with the mini frittatas in an effort to please everyone's tastes.  There were a dozen total, four varieties:  six cheese, ham-cheddar-scallions, mushroom-swiss, and peppers-onions-cheddar.  I also wanted a little something sweet and I loved the idea of mini chocolate chip pancakes with a strawberry slice!  The mini pancakes were actually pretty easy.  I just used a small spoonful of batter for each!

Both the frittata and skewered pancake ideas came from Pinterest.
(see my Brunch Board)

Aren't the berries pretty?


After eating and visiting for a bit, we of course had to take some pictures!

We started inside but quickly realized we should take advantage of the beautiful day!


I am so lucky to have such a great mama!

My cute parents!

This picture is a framer for sure!

How did you celebrate Mother's Day?  What are your favorite brunch foods?

Have a great day!


Den Inspiration Boards

Happy Tuesday readers!

How are things going for y'all?

My week is off to a pretty good start!

I had planned to finally post Orlando pictures and share my Mother's Day brunch this week, BUT, I have exciting news!

This weekend my parents bought a new sofa, armchair, and ottoman for their new den/TV room.

Well, chickadees, I am so excited by this development that I couldn't wait to post about it.

My mom has named me the unofficial decorator and I couldn't be more thrilled!

Since leaving the furniture store Sunday afternoon, images of this room have been dancing in my head and I couldn't stop myself from playing around and making some inspiration boards.

Here is what they bought:

I am smitten with this sofa!  The stripes add a fun touch, but they are subtle enough that the sofa remains a neutral palette!

This isn't the exact chair my dad got-- he got one that is a little taller and more narrow that actually reclines (although you can't tell from looking at it)!  He did get the exact ottoman though and the chair is almost identical.  This will be his man chair for the room.

We still want to find a fun accent chair or two for the space, but, nothing caught our eye Sunday.

I have some ideas of accent chairs in mind, but I thought I'd focus on what we have first. 

That being said, when I first saw the couch, I immediately thought of adding navy ikat pillows.  

The more I thought about it, though, I liked the idea of adding a pop of coral to the room with pillows.  I showed my mom some examples of the ikat look I was going for (hoping she wouldn't find it too funky) and she and my dad both loved them!  Yesterday morning during my break I got on Etsy to search for the perfect pillows...and found them!  I sent my mom a picture to get her approval and ordered 2 as a housewarming present. 

Here they are:

Fabulous, right?

As soon as I hit "Complete Order" for the pillows, my creative juices got flowing even more!  I came up with this initial inspiration board:

First I had just the two coral pillows on each end, but thought it was a little boring.  I had already thought of finding an ikat dot pillow in navy for my dad's chair, so then I thought a matching lumbar for the sofa would be a great way to pull the room together.  
I love, love, love the goard lamps and aqua in a big way.
We're not really sure what we would want to put above the sofa, but I do like the look of this plain, gold mirror.

I was pleased with this first board, but didn't stop there!  Knowing that the lamps may be a bit trendy for my mom's liking, I decided to come up with an alternative look with different lamps.  My parents have ginger jar lamps in our TV room already, so I thought I would try to integrate them into this new room.

These lamps are not the exact same as the pair my parents have, but they are close!
I loved this change, what do you think!?
It makes the room a bit more traditional, but still all blends nicely.

From here I brainstormed what else could go above the sofa.  In our current living room, we have my mom's bridal portrait, a portrait of me as a little girl, and my senior portrait, as well as the senior portraits of my three cousins.  I thought maybe they could go above the sofa and played with that idea...

What do you think?
I'm not a fan.
I played with the layout of the frames a bit, but couldn't find an arrangement I liked.
I also thought maybe the portraits would better suit the formal living room.  
This did get me thinking that maybe a gallery wall above would work...

And finally, here it is with nothing above.
What could go on that blank wall?
Not sure if we have any art on a large enough scale to fit the space...

I'm also trying to figure out how I'd like to style my dad's chair area.  I know I want the lumbar pillow to match a square pillow for his chair, probably in a navy print, maybe a throw blanket, and I'd love a gold floor lamp to go next to it...

I'm thinking something like this...

The next project is finding accent chairs, although, we may wait until my parents have moved in and gotten some things arranged to think about what we really want for the space.

Thoughts?  Ideas?  Suggestions?

I would love your input!

And, if you want to shop...

Have a great day!


My Design Style

Hey chickadees!

Happy Friday!

How are things going?

I'm doing well and am happy to report that today will wrap up PALS, our formal reading testing!  Things at school will settle down a bit, for a week, before picking back up again!  5 weeks to go!

I received a bit of a nasty comment on my post yesterday, suggesting I take a break from blogging.  I erased it and debated whether or not to address it on the blog.  My pride has gotten the best of me, so I'm going to respond, in a quick way and move on.  Anonymous, if you are reading--this is MY blog and I will decide when and if I want to take a break from it.  I've had quite a bit going on in my personal life lately (none of which I have felt the need to share on the blog) and I'm sorry if my lack of original, creative posts two weeks in a row upset you.  I will never put this blog before my actual life, so if you want to read my blog, you will have to understand that sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.  I've had a lot of creativity going through my mind, but for multiple reasons, I just haven't had the time to sit down and share them.  If you don't find my blog interesting anymore, don't read it!  And if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it!  So there...that's that!  Moving on to today's post...one I'm very excited about!

One of the things that has been taking up a lot of space in my mind lately is the fact that my parents are moving next month.  Moving from the house they have lived in for 26 years and the place I have always called home.  It's quite emotional for me, however, I am also really excited for my parents.

They close on my last day of school, so my mom is excited that I will have the summer to help her get settled and decorate.

If you haven't figured it out yet, decorating is one of my very favorite things to do.  My Home Inspiration Board on Pinterest is my largest board and I adore looking at pictures of lovely interiors and daydreaming about design.  Sometimes at night, I won't even be able to sleep because I'm imagining how I would decorate or redesign a room.

My mom is really excited to have a place all her own (our previous home had been in the family for quite some time and I don't think she ever really made it her own).  That being said, I've given her an "assignment"--  Figure out your design style!

I've told her to spend some time on Pinterest, perusing pictures of interiors.  Once she's pinned many photos she likes, I told her to start looking for commonality amongst the pictures.  What trends do you see?  What is your style?  My guess is that her style will fall somewhere around French Country...but we'll see what happens!

Giving her that assignment, made me think a bit about my style.  What is it?  As I thought about my style, I noticed lots of opposing trends.  I like spaces that are...
traditional, yet modern and fresh
elegant, yet comfortable and liveable
neutral, but bright and bold
feminine, but not overly frou-frou

I'll give you a few examples now, by sharing some of my favorite pins as of late (all can be found and sourced via my Home Inspiration Board)!  This is my idea of eye candy!

This photo of a foyer really sums up my design style:  
A very traditional chair and dresser are paired with abstract art and modern lamps.
I love this space!

I adore this bedroom!
It is feminine, elegant, and beautiful while still looking relaxed!

I've posted this photo before-- I am smitten!
I love the idea of making a small space like this bar bright and bold!

In this room, traditional pieces are used in a modern way!  For example, the urn is a classic piece, but its orange color makes it pop on the brown wood!  I also love the mix of prints!

This picture is already a bit of an inspiration for Bryce's and my bedroom down the road.
He has a beautiful four poster bed that was a gift from his mother, and I have a very similar white cover and shams.  I love that this room has a fun touch with the throw pillow and bedskirt, but is still masculine and dark.

This room is just about perfect if you ask me.
It has a very traditional feel for a formal living room, but is still fun with printed pillows, a gold mirrored coffee table, and hot pink flowers!

I can't pick a favorite thing about this foyer...it all just works SO perfectly together!
I love that the black console grounds the otherwise bright space and that the ginger jars are juxtaposed with the aqua lamps!

Did I mention gold accents as a part of my design style?..because they are!
I want an exact replica of this nightstand bad! 

And now for the finale!
I don't know if I'd ever have the guts to design a room this bold, bright, and funky...BUT, isn't it simply fab?!?

Can you pick a favorite?

How would you describe your design style?

Don't forget to comment with questions and reader requests on my "Ask Allie, Part Deux" post from yesterday!

Have a great weekend!!!