Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!

How are there only 4 more days until Christmas?!

It is hard to believe that at this time last year I was 6 months pregnant and now (fast-forwarding to this year) I have a 9 month old baby! Bryan and I are so excited for Lucy’s first Christmas! We are looking forward to spending time with our family, all of the delicious holiday meals, and even though Lucy doesn’t understand much this year – she is just the perfect age to be showing interest in toys. It also doesn’t hurt that we will be off work through the new year, which will mean so much more time with our sweet girl.

I must admit, the past two years I have been a slacker on decorating for Christmas. Last year we set up only the tree (no decorations), and two years ago we didn’t even put up the tree. It’s not even that I was a Grinch about it all, per se, I just ran out of the time and energy. I know, I know, no excuses! This year and hopefully every year going forward, I knew the slacking had to stop and I finally decorated the house for Christmas again. It’s a Wonderful Life is not JUST my favorite Christmas movie, but my favorite movie movie, and it played as inspiration for part of my Christmas decorating this year. I also had the cutest little photo subjects to snap some photos of in front of our tree, enjoy!

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Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

 

 

Our Little Pumpkin

‘Tis the season, fa la la la, FALL!

Bring on the perfect weather, pumpkin spice everything, and autumnal decor. As you can see below, the house is slowly but surely making its way to the orange spectrum. Even Rooney is getting into the spirit with his pumpkin sweater!

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It’s hard to believe that this time last year, I was sporting a little pumpkin growing in my belly, and this year that little pumpkin is sitting up all on her own and calling me Mama! Another perk of fall is the constant reminder to stop and think about what you are thankful for, and this year my thankful meter is going off through the roof! Lucy is our absolute JOY and I hope these sweet little pumpkin pictures below bring you some joy as well! Happy fall, ya’ll!

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love & lots of whit – jen xo

Sweetest Dreams Little One

We have FINALLY completed Lucy’s nursery! Please take a scroll through Lucy’s hippity hoppity nursery!

We have FINALLY completed Lucy’s nursery! What started as a very blue bedroom has now been transformed into Lucy’s gray, white, and pink bunny themed bedroom. Bryan made his striped accent wall vision come to life and we had brand new carpet installed throughout the house to give the room a much needed update. Please take a scroll through Lucy’s hippity hoppity nursery <3.

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Lucy’s Library
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Bunny prints from Sweet Melody Designs

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We restored this diaper cabinet which has been passed down through my family.

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Now, all that is missing is our sweet baby!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Crib & Dresser: DaVinci Jayden(buybuyBaby)

Glider: KACY Collection Madison Glider – Ash (BabysRUs)

Bookcase: Dollhouse Kids Bookcase (Target)

Prints: Sweet Melody Designs (Etsy)

Bedding: Hop to It Crib Bedding (Land of Nod)

Paint: Cathedral Gray and Ultra Pure White (Behr)

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Oh yea, Rooney wanted to let you know that HE helped too!

Artist Spotlight: Eric Bach “Fish and Chips”

One of the greatest aspects of college was being able to work alongside talented classmates and learn from each other through group projects and critiques.

I went to college with some REALLY talented designers.

Studying Visual Communication Design at Stevenson University provided a wonderful academic experience. I not only learned the techniques and fundamentals of graphic design, but also took a broad range of communication and multimedia classes (photography, videography, film, web design, and fine art) which expanded on the design program. One of the greatest aspects of college was being able to work alongside talented classmates and learn from each other through group projects and critiques. One classmate’s art in particular has stood out to me not only while in college, but since graduating.

Eric Bach and I have kept in contact through social media over the years. His cute wedding photos, adorable puppy, and music (he sings and plays guitar too!) have popped up in my feed along with several pieces of artwork that he has done since our Stevenson days. One fine art series in particular, has stood out to me most. The series consists of very intricate circular fish drawings that use negative space to create what I will call a puzzle of fish. Check out Eric’s behance portfolio which feautres his fish series and other projects by clicking here: Eric’s Portfolio.

If you don’t know the back story, Bryan and I have had nicknames for each other of “fish” & “feesh” since we met (I’m not 100% sure where it came from, but I’m guessing the movie Big Fish played a role). When I saw Eric’s fish art I was instantly drawn to it. I reached out to him on a whim to ask about buying a print of a piece that I had seen on his page. To my surprise, he was not only willing to sell the print, but he offered to do a custom piece especially for us. I was extremely excited about this and I told him that I would LOVE that! I didn’t give him much direction to go off of, but I did mention that Bryan and I are a wee bit obsessed with the British culture and that our wedding had an overall British theme so maybe there could be a fish with a crown or something thrown in there. Eric let me know he had finished the piece but it was going to be a surprise, so I eagerly awaited it to come in the mail and didn’t see it until the day it arrived to my front door.

And then it came…

"Fish and Chips" (Photo cred and Artwork by: Eric Bach)
“Fish and Chips” (Photo cred and Artwork by: Eric Bach)

The piece COMPLETELY EXCEEDED any thought/idea I had at what it might look like! I gave this piece to Bryan for our upcoming 2 year anniversary. It is truly something that we will cherish forever and display proudly in our home. Honestly, it’s the coolest piece of art I have ever owned. Last weekend, I hung it in our newly painted bathroom which was in desperate need of some artwork. The reds and the blues of the Union Jack design really complemented our new navy paint. I framed the print with a custom handmade frame that was made for me by Jim at Bardwood4U. Please check out these photos below and marvel at the hand drawn perfection and intricacy of Eric’s piece, “Fish and Chips”.

Side by Side Eric Bach

Gift

Details

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Sunday Birthday Brunch

If there is one guilty pleasure that I have and obsess over, it is place-setting and small scale entertaining/planning. Kitchen Decor stores are tortuous for me because in my dream world I would have a different pattern/color dish set for each and every time I entertained. Lucky for Bryan and I’s wallet, I have settled on two sets of dishes (for now). A plain white set is a must (we have the Martha Stewart Kensington Collection), as it is versatile and can be made to fit any theme when added with table linens and decor. My other set (which I will highlight the next time I use it) is the Maribeth collection from Pier One. One day I dream of a big kitchen with a big dining table to host dinner parties (don’t we all?), but for now I make use of what we have!

Last weekend I played hostess as we celebrated my mom’s birthday! My mom, my step-dad, and my brother were in attendance for Sunday brunch. If you know my mom, you know how much effort and love she puts into her family and holiday meals. So much so that she hardly even sits at the table because she always puts everyone else first making sure we all have what we need. This time, it was my turn to pamper her! I wanted her to be able to relax while Bryan and I did all of the cooking and cleaning. Brunch is big in our family, so that is how we chose to center the meal around the daytime theme. First and foremost I thought of my color scheme for the brunch. I know, I know, most people probably plan the actual meal first…I just can’t help but think backwards when there are dishes and linens involved! I knew I wanted to incorporate tulips so that was where I started. I found the perfect yellow tulips that were bright/sunny and knew they would be perfect with the mimosas we would be serving! I used a water pitcher to display the tulips. I already had green placemats that would work perfectly with the yellow so that was an easy decision. I ordered some last minute yellow napkins (thank you Amazon Prime!) and used this video tutorial to fold them into a fun pinwheel shape. Here is the final table setting for Mom’s birthday brunch:

Yellow Tulip Centerpiece
Yellow Tulip Centerpiece
Sunny Pinwheel Fold Napkins on Green Placemats
Sunny Pinwheel Fold Napkins on Green Placemats
Bring on the Mimosas!
Bring on the Mimosas!

After figuring out how to stylize the brunch I had to come up with the perfect menu that would accommodate everyone’s meal restrictions! My brother is a vegetarian, and my step-dad is gluten free. After much food blog perusing, I came up with the perfect list! The main entree was this amazing gluten and dairy free Blueberry Lemon Overnight French Toast that I found on Whipperberry. This french toast was the perfect combination of sweet and sour and unlike the usual heavy french toast recipes I’ve tried, this felt more healthy. The lemon blueberry sauce drizzled over it was just divine! The variations I made to that recipe were instead of normal gluten free bread I used cinnamon raisin, and instead of vanilla soy milk I used vanilla almond milk.

Overnight Blueberry Lemon French Toast
Overnight Blueberry Lemon French Toast

To accompany the french toast, we also made Buns In My Oven‘s Baked Scrambled Eggs. I usually find every way to ruin scrambled eggs when cooking them stove top, but surprisingly this baking method was fool proof! In my family, everything is better with cheese, so after the first 8 minutes of baking I stirred in about a cup of shredded Velveeta Cheese before baking for the final 8 minutes.

Baked Scrambled Eggs
Baked Scrambled Eggs

We also made Homemade Home Fries by following No Ordinary Homestead‘s recipe. This was our second time using this recipe because it is just that good. This time however; we omitted the bacon so that my brother could eat it and substituted the bacon grease for canola oil as recommended by the recipe. Finally, we made some maple sausage on the side, used the french press to make coffee, and served up delicious mimosas!

Homemade Home Fries
Homemade Home Fries

Food and family go hand in and, and we had a wonderful morning spending quality time together. I want to wish my Mom a wonderful year ahead and I am so glad that we were able to spend time with her on birthday weekend! To finish the post a few family photos from the morning:

Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mom!
Happy Birthday to my beautiful Mom!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Powder Room Paint Refresh

After fully making over the morning room, our powder room which on the same level needed a little freshening up! Something about a bright yellow bathroom just doesn’t do it for me!

After fully making over the morning room, our powder room which on the same level needed a little freshening up! When we moved into our home, most of the paint choices from the previous owners were actually not too bad and we found we didn’t really need to do much painting! However; one of the rooms in the house, the powder room (which also happens to be our tiniest room), has always bothered me. Something about a bright yellow bathroom just doesn’t do it for me! Another pet peeve with the bathroom was the gold light fixture above the mirror. We are slowly trying to replace any gold hardware with brushed nickel pieces throughout the whole house. Here is our before pictures of the powder room in all of its yellow glory…warning may induce a headache from icky yellow brightness:

They call me mellow yellow...
They call me mellow yellow…
This gold light fixture had to go!
This gold light fixture had to go.

I went to the hardware store paint counter and I brought home many shades of blues and grays and taped them all over the wall. Bryan walked in and must have thought our bathroom had morphed into the paint color swatch wall at Home Depot. After many trips to and from the store, we finally decided on the perfect color blue. The color that we went with in the end is called English Channel by BEHR. We were able to prep the space and get the painting finished last Saturday and on Sunday, my dad came over to help us install a new light fixture, toilet paper rack, and hand towel rack. Afterwards, I accessorized the space a bit with new hand towels, bathroom accessories, and a rug to save our feet on that cold winter tile. I also found hand soap/lotion, Pecksniff’s in Ginger Flower & Patchouli, which I highly recommend.

Powder Room refresh = success! English Channel by BEHR.
Powder Room refresh = success! English Channel by BEHR.
Brushed Nickel lighting fixture.
Brushed nickel lighting fixture.
This Ginger Flower & Patchouli scent is absolutely amazing.
This Ginger Flower & Patchouli scent is absolutely amazing.
Side-by-side comparison. Goodbye yellow, hello navy!
Side-by-side comparison. Goodbye yellow, hello navy!

I am still trying to determine if a piece of art on the wall or some shelving adjacent to the toilet might someday be incorporated, but for now we are happy with our little weekend project, we even had a certain puppy help us with our painting!

Just call him Rooney Picasso!
Just call him Picasso!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Our first decorating project, designing our Morning Room.

After MONTHS and MONTHS of not posting, I am going to make an attempt to begin sharing some of our home updates since we moved into our house! When we moved into our townhouse, my first project was what I call our “Morning Room”. When you walk in our house you enter the living room, walk through the kitchen, and then there is another area that leads out to the deck that I had no idea what to do with! This room became mine for decorating and I decided it would be a great space for reading, drinking our morning tea, and a space to enjoy a glass of wine (here you can find my Pinterest board where I gathered all of my thoughts and pulled ideas from)! We had absolutely no furniture when we moved in that would fit the space so deciding on the furniture was the first priority. My parents and Bryan’s parents each generously bought a piece of furniture as our housewarming gift, an amazing matching coffee table and server from World Market (part of their Clayton collection which has been since retired). From there, we bought a custom sofa and two chairs for seating from Wolf Furniture. The next step after the furniture had arrived was to decorate and bring the room to life with accessories. Bryan and I are VERY keen on British accents and the focal point of the room is a custom Union Jack painting (pallet art) that we received as a wedding gift. We incorporated more British elements that we used as decor from our wedding on the coffee table (England books from a local secondhand book store, a French Bulldog statue to represent Rooney, and our gold royal wedding crown cake topper found here: Etsy)

Morning Room

Coffee Table

On the adjacent wall, where our server is located, we knew we needed something on the walls. After seeing so many amazing examples of gallery walls, I decided to do my own using the amazing frames I found at Pottery Barn. In order to get all of the frames bottoms straight I made my own template using Adobe Illustrator and printed it to scale via a large format plotter printer. We adhered that template to the wall and measured where the hooks on the back of the frame were to know where to drill the screw into the wall. See our process below:

The template in place.
The template in place.
Measuring the distance from the base of the frame to the hook.
Measuring the distance from the base of the frame to the hook.
Drilling directly into the paper template.
Drilling directly into the paper template.
The screws in place once removing the paper.
The screws in place once removing the paper.
Hanging each frame.
Hanging each frame.
The end result before we chose all of the pictures to fill the frames.
The end result before we chose all of the pictures to fill the frames.

Now it was on to the fun part, choosing which pictures/artwork to place in each frame. We chose pieces that best represented us as a couple. The pieces as seen below are from: our wedding day by our amazing photographer Rebekah J. Murray, a Maryland Wine print from the talented artist Matt Long, song lyrics by Mumford & Sons done in hand calligraphy by PoppyPressDesigns, a quote from Peter Pan in gold foil calligraphy by Maison Everett, gold foil scrapbook paper found at a craft store, a hand made number 11 to represent a number that is very significant to Bryan and I, and a fish cut out from my favorite yearly calendar at Paper Source which represents Bryan and I’s nickname of “fish”.   Here is a look at our final gallery wall:

Gallery Wall Final
Wrought iron wine rack made by my Grandfather.

Gallery Wall FinalGallery Wall

Maison Everett Calligraphy
Maison Everett Gold Foil Calligraphy https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaisonEverett?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Gallery Wall

Matt Long Maryland Wine Print, Rebekah J. Murray Photography
Matt Long Maryland Wine Print, Rebekah J. Murray Photography http://www.mlongdesign.com/ http://rebekahjmurray.com/
PoppyPressDesigns Calligraphy
PoppyPressDesigns Calligraphy https://www.etsy.com/shop/PoppyPressDesigns?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Next post – powder room refresh…stay tuned!

love & lots of whit – jen xo