House Tour Page

Happy Friday chickadees!

I am posting this morning from NYC!

Unfortunately there wasn't WiFi on the train as I had anticipated, so the recipe post I had planned for today will have to wait.  

I do, however, still have something exciting for you today.

After more than a year, I finally got around to adding pictures to my House Tour page. I had hoped to convince a friend with a fancy camera to come over and take pictures, but found myself constantly, saying "after this project..." and came to the realization that if I kept waiting for every "project" to get finished it would never happen. So, instead, I decided to just give you a tour with iPhone snapshots taken around the house. You can see it here! Feel free to comment and let me know what you think!

And finally, thanks again for all your New York City recommendations. The plan for my solo day today is to visit The Natural History Museum and The Met, explore Central Park, have some lunch & macarons, and finally, do a little shopping on 5th Avenue. You can stay tuned on Instagram and I will also definitely be posting a recap of my trip in the coming weeks!

Have a great weekend!


Summer Bucket List

Happy Hump Day friends!

I hope you are having a great week! I am super excited because tomorrow is the day I head to NYC! Thanks for all the great recommendations! I don't get into the city until kind of late tomorrow night, so our plan is to just have an easy takeout dinner, catch up, and plan my solo day on Friday! I will definitely be using your comments when making the plan!

Now that I've had some time to decompress from the school year, I decided it would be good to make a summer bucket list. The Cuties are all grown up and don't need me this summer, so I am just a tad heartbroken and nervous that I may go a little stir crazy. I am hoping having a list of goals for the summer will help.

Buy & Wear Hot Pink Lipstick
This bucket list item has actually already been checked off the list. On a trip to Nordstrom last week, I couldn't resist stopping at the Chanel counter to look at lipsticks. I really like Chanel's Rouge Allure lipstick and it's a fun way to experience luxury at a small price point. I ended up with Shade 94 "Extatique" and am ecstatic (pun intended) about the purchase! I also have Shade 49: La Petillante, which is a fabulous red I bought at Christmastime. 

Makeover the Guest Room
I've mentioned a few times (see here) that our guest room has been more a storage space/black hole than a relaxing place to host guests. If a friend called me today and said she needed a place to stay tonight, I honestly don't know what I would do. That being said, I really want to get the room in working order this summer. Bryce spent A LOT of time working in there last week, and I've hinted that it would be a great surprise if he finished cleaning out this weekend while I'm in NYC. The plan for the room is to use much of the furniture and decor from my last bedroom. I may shake it up a little bit, though. I have absconded the down comforter and added it as an extra layer in our bedroom, and certain other pieces from the space have found new homes, so a slightly new look may be in the cards. We'll see...

And I can't wait to hang my gallery wall again...

Use Our Cookbooks
We have tons of amazing cookbooks that get used as decor more than for recipes. With Pinterest and blogs it is so easy to just go online when looking for mealtime inspiration. I want to take a day to go through all (...or most) of our cookbooks and sticky recipes I want to try, and then actually try them. Maybe make a goal to cook at least one cookbook recipe a week?

These are just a few of the many we have: I think I'll start with these!

Practice Flower Arranging
Many of you probably saw the picture below on Instagram. Isn't that arrangement ah-mazing! Bryce's mom put it together with flowers and plants from her own yard. I love having fresh flowers in the house and want to read up on and practice my flower arranging some this summer.

Go Canoeing
Those of you that have been reading for a really long time will remember this post and the checklist below that Bryce and I made on one of our very first dates. 4 years later we have checked everything off the list, except canoeing....and Bryce owns a canoe! That being said, we are going to have to make it happen this year! It is so fun to look back on this list and reminisce. For example, neither of us had been to Edo's Squid when we first met and so we added it to the list. It is now our very favorite Richmond restaurant and has kind of become "our" place for romantic date nights. Charlottesville was also on the list, and in our 4 years of dating we have visited C'ville at least 5 or 6 times together. Cook dinner together makes me laugh because what at the time seemed so exciting and new is now a normal occurrence and sometimes even chore!

Find a New Job
I debated whether or not to add this to the list I shared on the blog, because it makes me vulnerable. If I share that I'm job searching and then don't get a new job, I am admitting failure on my blog. But then, as I thought about it more, I realized that the blog community has always been a supportive one and I also believe that what's meant to be will happen. If a new job doesn't come along this summer, that might be a sign that I need to teach another year. I am in the application process for a few jobs right now and will keep you posted. In the meantime, the thought of a new work wardrobe makes me excited and I've decided if I do find a new job I am rewarding myself with a smart pair of work heels...preferably the pair below!

Being that they're Kate Middleton's signature shoes and that I share their name (Alexandra BENNETT) I think it's meant to be...

What's on your summer bucket list?

Have a great day!


NYC Recs?

Happy Monday readers!

After a two week blogging hiatus, I am glad to be back in the saddle!

I have some great posts lined up for you this week, but today, I am here to ask for your help!

I am headed to NYC this Thursday night to visit my best friend, Anna. Believe it or not, this will be my first time visiting The Big Apple.

She is always the hostess with the mostess, so I don't need too much help, however, I am going to have to entertain myself for a bit while she goes to work on Friday.

Her apartment is right near Central Park so I plan to spend a good chunk of the morning exploring the park and hopefully checking out Good Morning America's free Dierks Bentley concert in the park (thanks to a great mom of one of my students for that recommendation!).

What should I do beyond that? Where would be the best spots for me to grab a solo lunch?

Any museums or more "touristy" attractions that may be boring for Anna, but great for a NYC rookie like me?

What is in semi-close proximity to the park that I must see?

All help and recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Have a great day!


Mantel Inspiration

Happy Thursday friends!

This time next week I will have just 1 day left before summer break!

Those of you that have been reading a while know that interior design is one of my passions and, that our house, is therefore, always evolving.

Our living room is a place where I always find myself trying to leave my mark. While it is well decorated, the color scheme and feel is a bit masculine and traditional for me. Recently I've found myself wondering how I could mix the mantel up a bit...add a bit of spunk to the space!

Here are some mantel inspiration photos I am loving...

First up might be my favorite. I love that it is grounded with traditional pieces, but modernized a bit with the layered look and pops of color.

A close second favorite is this minimal look. LOVE the row of gold pineapples, am a sucker for topiaries, and think the round mirror provides cohesion with other round elements in the space.

You may remember from this post, that I love blues and greens in decor....with a pop of orange, too? SOLD!

I like that the next mantel has elements of symmetry but also isn't completely balanced, and, I also think the fresh flowers and greenery add a great natural touch.

Finally, how funky fabulous is this last mantel?

The other night, I found myself doing a little tinkering (because you know that's what I do when Bryce is out of town...). Here is how the mantel has been styled for the past year and a half or so:

I would love to swap out the large piece of art for a mirror, but that's not an option at this point. The two pieces that MUST stay, in my opinion, are: the cow painting, which was the first nice piece of art I ever bought myself; and Bryce's VMI sword. I also am a huge fan of the striped candles, but wouldn't be opposed to swapping out for a more colorful pair (like these) down the road. 

After shopping around the house a few minutes, here is what I came up with for the time being:

You'll notice, I didn't take anything away, rather just added a few things, to provide a little color and visual interest. 


I'm not entirely sure that I'm done tinkering with this spot...

What parts of your home do you find yourself frequently adjusting?

How is your mantel styled?

Have a great day!


Summer in Lilly

Happy Tuesday readers!

Hip Hip Hooray! Summer break is in sight! Just 10 more days to go!

That being said, I've been in the summer spirit for quite some time already and couldn't resist indulging in a little Lilly this past weekend...because, let's be honest: It's not really summer until you've bought some new Lilly, right?

You may have seen my Instagram post wearing the Dusk Romper on Saturday night. When shopping that day I also couldn't resist the Dusk Strappy Silk Slip Dress in Blue Heaven. I love this print...it is oh so feminine and pretty and combines all my favorite colors.

Bryce was out of town most of the weekend for his grandmother's birthday, so we decided to have a date night when he returned on Sunday night. I couldn't resist wearing my new dress and even convinced him to take some blog pics before heading to dinner. Y'all know I love to play fashion blogger every now and then!

You can shop my look here:

And to see the other Lilly summer pieces I've got my eye on, see below:

What summer purchases have you made so far?

Are you as much a fan of Lilly as I am?

Have a great day!