This year feels a bit different, I felt a sense of completeness as I hung up stocking #4 for the first time. Lucy & Conor truly make this holiday (and every holiday) feel magical. It’s like I relive my own childhood as I see the wonderment in their eyes.
Reflecting on the past year, I still can’t believe we have TWO kids. Conor has been such a blessing to our family this year, and I was so excited to show him his very first Christmas tree. I am a bit obsessed with the teal and red bulbs we have on our tree this Christmas. While the kids are small, hanging anything too fragile seems a bit risky, so instead we used mostly stuffed ornaments and I just love how whimsical it is!
As much as I love the idea of making our own memories and traditions, there is nothing like bringing back the best ones from your childhood. When we were young, my dad always put a huge model train under the tree. This was no ordinary train, it had real sounds, lights, smoke puffs, you name it! We even would set up a little village with homes and tiny people in fake snow. I haven’t quite made it to that level yet, but in the meantime we have a beautiful little train set by FAO Schwarz that simply mesmerizes the kids as they watch as it passes by.
And although it’s been said many times, many ways…
I feel like i’ve hit the jackpot with these sweet & silly kids.
This past weekend I had the honor of attending my beautiful cousin Daneda’s baby shower for her TWIN BOYS! The thought of her being a mother brings happy tears to my eyes, and I know that she will not only have her hands full, but her heart will be even more full. Daneda’s mother (my Aunt) planned the most beautiful baby shower *side note: the nicest I have ever attended* for her daughter and her soon-to-be arriving grandsons, and I had to share some of the exquisite details with you. The venue was a log cabin out in the woods which she completely transformed with such care for every detail. In addition to the decorating, she cooked a delicious five course meal for the guests. Being surrounded by Daneda’s guests (much of it my own family) brought such joy to my heart. These two babies are going to be surrounded by LOVE!
During the dinner, a very pregnant Daneda and I ventured off into the woods for a quick mini session. Even though I was a bit nervous that I might put her into labor with all of the walking, I wanted to make sure I captured my stunning cousin in all of her soon-to-be motherhood beauty.
She is absolutely glowing ❤
I cannot wait to meet those two very lucky baby boys!
GUYS…Lucy is TWO – how is that even possible?! These past two years have been nothing short of amazing with our little girl in our lives. She is silly, loving, and so very smart! She sure does keep us on our toes. I am lucky that her birthday fell while on my maternity leave because it has given me actual time to plan a fun party for her!
It was a no brainer this year when deciding on a theme for Lucy’s 2nd birthday party. This girl can practically recite the movie Trolls word for word, not to mention her love for belting out all of the songs. We used Trolls as the main inspiration for the party and that went hand-in-hand with incorporating a whole lot of pink and rainbows as well!
We had such a great time celebrating and I wanted to share some of the pink-rainbow-Troll-tastic party details with all of you!
Can we all drool over those cake images for a second? Keri at The Farmers Daughter Bake Shop baked up the a cake that was MADE for this theme! It was overflowing with rainbow-y goodness inside and out and tasted absolutely delicious! For the rest of the food for the party, I tried to think of as many rainbow treats as possible, hence the fruit skewers, Rainbow Goldfish, Rainbow Chips Deluxe, and the pretty (but not that great tasting) rainbow popcorn. Though the Million Dollar Dip I made had nothing to do with rainbows, it was a huge hit and I highly recommend it for your next party or get together. We used Wegman’s catering for the sandwich platters and they did not disappoint! Their menu options were much better than the traditional go-to Costco sandwich trays and the same price point!
A shout out to a few other vendors we used: I found the perfect customized banner and cake topper at ShopSwayDesigns. The favor baskets I put together included awesome sound and light bubble guns (a must for bubble obsessed toddlers like Lucy) and wouldn’t have been complete without the adorable Trolls headbands made by BlackBoneBows. For Lucy’s outfit, I found a sweet and affordable rainbow tutu.
One of the (only) highlights of having a long commute, is passing through the quaint Natural Historic Landmark town of Waterford, Virginia on my way home. After paying tolls and battling traffic, the last stretch of the commute is actually SO beautiful. As I am driving through, its hard not to admire the craftsmanship of the beautiful old homes from the 18th and 19th century that have been so carefully preserved over the years. It almost feels like you are venturing back in time while traveling through.
It is obvious that the owners of these homes put so much love and care into them. As the holiday season approached, I started to notice all of the beautiful doors being decorated with stunning wreaths and it sparked an idea! One day after work, I decided to take a stroll through the town and capture as many of the festively decorated doors as possible. For a very pregnant me, this was only about 30 minutes of walking before I had to call it a quits, so I apologize to the houses further down the road that I didn’t capture! I hope you enjoy looking at these “12 Doors of Christmas” as much as I do!
Door.love. ❤ Swooooon.
Of course, since I had to narrow it down to 12 for this post, I had to omit a few but I can’t bear to not include those ones too so please see the rest in this collage.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
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!
Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!
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…
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”.
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)
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:
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: