Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Books & Beignets

Several months ago my good friend, Sarah, and I decided to be adventurous and take a road trip to New Orleans. Neither of us had ever been before so we thought it would be a fun experience for us to have together. We both did some research but mainly asked friends and family who had visited the city before where and what they would recommend seeing, eating, and doing. Before embarking on our journey, we both came up with an itinerary of things to do. It's funny now looking back because we totally threw that out the window when we arrived. We joked that all we did that weekend was eat, gaze at buildings, shop, and eat some more. 

After arriving at our hotel, and no, that's not it. That is St. Louis Cathedral. Pretty magnificent, huh? Anyway, after arriving at our hotel, we grabbed some lunch at Huck Finn's Cafe. After lunch, we strolled down Magazine Street (a shopaholic's dream!) and stumbled upon Jackson Square. It was such a muggy day so Sarah and I entered the cathedral to cool off. It was such an amazing place! 
I loved all the architectural detail. 

Next stop: Faulkner House Books. This was my favorite shop in NOLA. I love books period. But books old and new nestled in a tiny space on floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are my favorite. Sarah and I took our time browsing the shelves. Such a charming place. The shop manager, a little elderly lady, was so kind and helpful and answered our many questions. 

I spotted a book I had heard of and it sparked my interest when the shopkeeper told me she had read it and loved it. Sarah told me she had seen the film version and that I needed to watch it. That evening at our hotel we rented it online and watched it together on my laptop and Sarah was right. It was a classic. Loved it! Of course, the next day I just had to return to the bookshop and snag that adorable copy with bees on the cover nonetheless! It was fate. The book? Far From the Madding Crowd

The outside of Faulkner House Books. 

Here are Sarah and I on the street car touring the city! 

Sunday morning we took the street car to City Park. They had such lovely walkways and
 the most beautiful Spanish moss trees. 

This place was such a treat! They had amazing beignets (which quickly became our favorite thing and a staple order at about every restaurant we visited) and wonderful frozen cafe au laits! 

This is a row of houses in the Garden District. Sarah and I tried to tour the Lafayette Cemetery but got caught in a downpour. I just happened to have left my umbrella at the hotel. Good times. 

One of our favorite things to do was to browse shops in the French Quarter. This little shop was so fascinating! Everything they sold was made of cork! Such an interesting place. 

I thought I loved plants until I spotted this home! 

Our last morning in the city, Sarah and I visited this bookstore called Crescent City Books. 
We then went next door to the sweetest little vintage shop called The Revival Outpost. 
I scored a lovely vintage dress with cross-stitched designed flowers on it. I can't wait 
to pair it with tall boots and a cardigan this fall. 

New Orleans was such an unforgettable adventure with a precious friend that I will treasure always. We had many laughs, like the time we wondered accidentally onto Bourbon Street and asked a bartender where the nearest coffee shop was located. I love that Sarah and I could joke about how we are old ladies at heart and instead of staying out late into the night we could be found curled up in bed watching movies on my laptop. I do believe we made a record of the most beignets a person can consume in three days and I also believe we hit every bookstore in the French Quarter. 

Here are a few little treasures I brought home with me from our visit to the Big Easy. I scooped up a lovely vintage-inspired scarf from Urban Outfitters and a couple hand-rolled cigars from The Cigar Factory. Sarah and I observed as two men who had rolled cigars for over 20 years, rolled tobacco leaves and molded them into one cigar after another. It was such a fascinating experience to watch them! I had to bring one home for Josh and myself. We occasionally enjoy one together on our patio at night while sharing our days with each other. 

  I hope you enjoyed looking at my photos from our trip and listening to me share a few of 
our experiences. Thank you, Sarah, for taking this journey with me!I hope you enjoyed it as
much as I did. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Colored Pages

It's fascinating to see a page come to life after a few brushes of color isn't it? I can't remember where I first saw these incredible coloring books, perhaps it was in an Anthropologie store or online somewhere, but I was immediately captivated. Coloring was one of my favorite pastimes 
as a child so when I discovered these adult coloring books I thought I had struck gold.
A few weeks ago I broke down and purchased my first one, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring BookI searched long and hard online to find what would be the best options
when it came to tools. Hands down, Prismacolor colored pencils won me over. 
Near the end of this post I will provide a list of tools I use to bring these pages to life.  

Apparently, after purchasing this book, I discovered that adult coloring books are a huge thing right now. Perhaps they're nostalgic for some and for many, they are great stress-relievers and a way for people to unwind after a long day at work. I came across an interesting article that was published in The New Yorker just last month and I have included a segment of it here: 

"In 2011, the British publishing house Laurence King asked Johanna Basford, a Scottish artist and commercial illustrator specializing in hand-drawn black-and-white patterns for wine labels and perfume vials, to draw a children’s coloring book. Basford suggested instead that she draw one for adults. For years, she told her publishers, her clients had loved to color in her black-and-white patterns. The publishers were convinced, and ultimately ordered an initial print run for “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” of thirteen thousand copies. Since the book’s release, in 2013, it has sold about two million copies worldwide; for a time earlier this year, “Secret Garden” and a follow-up, “Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book,” were the two best-selling books on Amazon. “If someone saw you coloring in one of my books, they wouldn’t give you a weird look, because it’s the same kind of artwork you would see on a champagne bottle,” Basford told me. “The artwork itself is sophisticated––not like a car or a 
bunny with a bow in its hair.”

After flipping through the pages of the Secret Garden, I quickly got online and swiped it's twin up too: Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book.

The reviews online were so good for these pencils I just knew I had to have my own set. I read serious art students and tattoo artists use Prismacolor for their sketches. I guarantee, you will 
never go back to Crayola again. I could color with these little guys all day. 

Each page is more enchanting than the last!

                 Of course, use the tools best suited for you. But if you like the look of my pages than 
I have provided a list of tools here: 
I have enjoyed filling these wonderful books with color! It has been so relaxing for me. It is a great way for me to escape and allow my mind to rest. I do enjoying listening to audio books, 
podcasts, or music while I leisurely color. Just the other day I was able to 
listen to 24 books of Genesis in one sitting! 

I hope you find yourself picking up your own copy of these magical books and discovering many hours of enjoyment in them as I have. Happy coloring! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

All Things Lovely // Millay Vintage

Awhile back I stumbled upon the sweetest vintage shop on Instagram. Millay Vintage is a lovely boutique filled with curated vintage wares for the wardrobe and home. I could spend hours pouring over each blog post, every vintage treasure, and every lovely photograph that Mary posts. 

I just adore this 1910 lace frock:

The Millay Vintage storefront is located in Philadelphia. I would be absolutely 
beside myself with giddiness if I ever get to visit! I do hope to someday when I am in the area. 

Check out this 1960's number: 

Mary Spears, the shop owner and stylist, decorates the studio space impeccably with every minutest detail. I adore all of the feminine pieces among gorgeous plants, lace, and mid-century furniture. 

The lace detail on these vintage pieces is divine! 

This art deco mirror takes my breath away. 

You can shop and browse this charming store here. If you wish to be daily inspired, follow Millay Vintage on Instagram here. Mary also shares tips on how to wear vintage clothing, on decorating your home, and everything in between. You can take a peek at her lovely blog here.

Have a fabulous evening! 

All photos are from Millay Vintage. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Master Bath Inspiration

I have almost completed renovating my bathroom. It has been a fun summer project and not too overwhelming because it is such a tiny space. I listened to countless episodes of Criminal (an interesting podcast of various true story crime cases) while I was painting so it made the time fly by! I am thrilled with the way it turned out. I thought I would share with you some online photos I collected for inspiration. My own photos from my bathroom project will be posted in a few weeks. 

I wanted to go with something ethereal, romantic, vintage, and a bit bohemian. The bathroom was originally a mustard yellow. I eventually painted it an earthy green, and then most recently, re-painted it white. It looks much more calming and a bit bigger 
(if that's possible).

I love the look of this all white bathroom. 

These Anthropologie brass key hooks were just irresistible! Fortunately, I snagged a few while they were on sale. Unfortunately, for everyone else, they are no longer available. 

I first saw this vase chandelier online and it was love at first sight. You can find it here.

I do love a fine antique mirror. My love for gold/brass is very evident through this project. 

I am searching for the perfect antique brass sink faucet. I adore the look of this bohemian bathroom. Soooo romantic. I will be sharing a post (with photos of course) of the
finished product in a few weeks. Stay tuned!

All photos were posted from Pinterest and their sources can be found on my profile here.