Friday, April 30, 2010

A Blessing

{via flickr}

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is as delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

--James Wright

Pssst! Now you can check out all of your fave P&P poems in the "Previously" section.

Vintage beach engagement session + style board

This is one of my favorite portrait sessions to date (about as good as this one, I'd say). The light... man, it's incredible. As are the artists behind these images, the Luna Photo team (be sure to check out more from this session on their blog here!). Though I (sadly) don't have any upcoming portrait sessions to speak of (and even if I did, I'm not sure I would be as brave as Sarah and Nick), I will hopefully have some upcoming beach trips.

Since Sarah's getup is so fabulous, I thought it would be fun to put together a little style board based on her shoot. Here's what I came up with:

Sarah's suit is from Victoria's Secret ($125) and is also available in black. Alas, even if I wanted to spend $100+ on a swim suit, VS is out of my size. That's probably a good thing.

To get those crazy lashes, I suggest Lancome Definicils High Definition Mascara ($24.50). Maybelline Great Lash ($6.50) also works well.

A similar version of Nick's hat is available at Urban Outfitters ($28).

This next item is a poor stand-in for the shoot's gorgeous, oversize (what looks like) vintage quilt, but in a pinch, it'll do. From Robert Roller Rabbit, $60.

Now those heart sunglasses, I think I might need them. And trust: if I showed up to the beach in these, pretty sure not a single one of my friends would bat an eyelash. At $98 from Juicy Couture, however, they're a little steep for my budget. I did also find this version from Urban Outfitters, ringing in at the much more palatable price of $10.

Last but not least, we have this picnic basket from Amazon ($25). I would pack it with hard-boiled eggs, strawberries, and brownies. What about you?

P.S. While we're on the subject, does anyone have a favorite source for handmade quilts? That is, besides your grandmother's attic? Although, if you're willing to let me raid your grandmother's attic, I'm game for that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dream Home: Snuggly Beds

I really love sleeping. I really, really do. And I especially love sleeping in soft beds made up of layers of snuggly duvets, crisp, cool sheets, and plump pillows. Bonus points for a mix of slightly mismatched patterns.

{via This is Glamorous}

{Martha Stewart}

{Pottery Barn}

via {this is glamorous}

Deep window seats
Filled with light

Walls of books
Kitchen Island

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My new favorite...

...bracelet. Surprise! It's only FIVE DOLLARS and eighty cents at Forever 21! Check it out here.

Timeless glamour

Oh man I love this image so much. I love that it could be from the 20's or 50's just as easily as it could be from yesterday. Let's plan for my wedding reception to look just like this one day, mmmkay?

Image c/o A Bryan Photo

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I. Want. This. Dress. IwantthisdressIwantthisdressIwantthisdress. I have a lobster welcome dinner to attend this August, and, well, I hope you can see why this dress would come in handy. Two unfortunate points:

1. It is $138.
2. J laughed when we saw it in the store (apparently it is "funny looking"). Hmmph, what does he know. I was then unceremoniously ushered me out of Anthro so quickly I didn't even get to try it on.

Any other lobstah dress lovers out there?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Blackberries for Amelia

Fringing the woods, the stone walls, and the lanes,
Old thickets everywhere have come alive,
Their new leaves reaching out in fans of five
From tangles overarched by this year's canes.

They have their flowers, too, it being June,
And here or there in brambled dark-and-light
Are small, five-petalled blooms of chalky white,
As random-clustered and as loosely strewn

As the far stars, of which we are now told
That ever faster do they bolt away,
And that a night may come in which, some say,
We shall have only blackness to behold.

I have no time for any change so great,
But I shall see the August weather spur
Berries to ripen where the flowers were --
Dark berries, savage-sweet and worth the wait --

And there will come the moment to be quick
And save some from the birds,and I shall need
Two pails, old clothes in which to stain and bleed,
And a grandchild to talk with while we pick.

--Richard Wilbur

Indian Summer at Lands End

P.S. Do you guys like the Friday poems? I started posting them in April for National Poetry Month, but I can keep going if y'all are enjoying them...

Alphabet bridal shower invitations

Y'all know K and C are go-o-o-o-o-ing to the chapel this August, which means it's about time for a bridal shower! After some consideration, we decided to throw an alphabet shower, loosely inspired by Rebecca Thuss' celebration. The idea is that the details are inspired by the bride's name, and as Kate is the word-loving sort, we thought this would be appropriate. We have lots of fun deets up our sleeve (which I won't be showing you until afterwards -- sorry!), but I did want to share the invitations we just dropped in the mail.

I designed the labels in Microsoft Publisher, printed them, and then ran them through the Xyron, which turns them into stickers. The plan was to then punch the edges (as you can see above), but that step turned out to be excruciatingly painful... most of them have plain edges, but I like to think they look "clean" this way.

The front, sans stamp.

The invite itself.

And the card explaining the alphabet gift system. I struggled over the wording, because I didn't want it to seem like we were assuming people would bring gifts, but we also thought it would be fun to include the gift-giving portion of the shower in the theme. What do you think -- did I do okay? Would this card make sense to you if you were invited?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Striped paper straws

Gather in close, y'all, because I've got a secret to share today. Well, it won't be a secret much longer, but that's okay. You know those ridiculously cute and eco-friendly striped paper straws that are making the rounds of blog land?

{via flickr}

Yep, those ones. Like many of you, I'm sure, I'm a little bit in love with them. However, I was discouraged by the online ordering process, though there are a few options. The first is to order from Kikkerland, the company that manufactures them. You can go here to do that. One box of 50 straws is $3, but that balloons to $12.99 with shipping, or $4.33 per box! AND you don't get to pick the color! You'll get either blue + white, green + white, or red + white, whichever combo Kikkerland feels like sending you.

{via Oh Happy Day}

Green Party Goods sells the straws in packs of 3 for $8.50, but again, you can't choose the colors (you'll get either green + white, blue + white, or pink + white). They also require you to have a minimum order of $17 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which will bring your total to $26.29 with shipping at a minimum, or $4.38 per box. Right.

{via 100 Layer Cake}

There are also several vendors on Etsy that sell the straws, but the deals are even worse, if you can believe it. Here you can buy 1 red + white pack for $9 with shipping, here you can buy the same for $11.25 (!!), and here you can buy a pack of just 25 green + white, pink + white, or blue + white for $8.25 (that would be $16.50 for 50 straws!!!). The only benefit with Etsy is that you can be assured of the color combination.

{via Style Me Pretty}

HOWEVER (and here's where it gets good), I have a solution that blows the rest of these out of the water. It's a little store that goes by the name of Rock Paper Scissors, located in Wiscasset, Maine. I drive through Wiscasset every summer on the way to my family's summer house, and lately I've always tried to stop at RPS. It's a delightful store, but perhaps the best part is that they sell these straws... for $2 a box! If you happen to be in the area, I'd suggest stopping by to pick up a few. If you aren't, simply call the store (207-882-9930) and request the colors you'd like (selection varies). The owner will charge you the cost of shipping after she's weighed it at the post office.

The upshot? On Thursday I ordered 3 boxes of gray + white and 4 boxes of blue + white, and my total (with shipping) was $21.50, or $3.07 a box. Score! And you have the added bonus of supporting a small business.

I'd love to hear if you try my method!

UPDATE: Reader Chelsea let us know that Rock Paper Scissors is no longer shipping paper straws, but is still selling them in-store. RPS recommends getting the straws online from Kikkerland.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Board No. 69: Fruit and Flowers

{Click to enlarge!}

Inspired by the image in the top left corner, this board's focus is on fruit and flowers -- yellow tomatoes, fuchsia peonies, red raspberries, and purple green kale. Very summery, don't you think? I love the idea of raspberries and blackberries sprinkled around the base of votive candles, and of peaches as place cards. The pop of purple is unexpected with the warm reds and oranges and cool greens, but I'm liking it here.

The Details
First row, left to right: berry votive photo by Sarah Yates via Once Wed; boutonniere photo by Tec Petaja via Once Wed; orange shoe photo by Kate Headley

Second row: reception table by Matthew Robbins Design; fruit and flower centerpiece photo by Jill Thomas, styling by Amorology (see more here!)

Third row: peach placecard by Martha Stewart Weddings; purple bouquet photo by Amy Squires; ranunculus boutonnieres photo by Q Weddings

P.S. Just have to share a few more from the wedding behind the top left image. AMAZING. See more here!

Friday, April 16, 2010


{via flickr}

perhaps to love is to learn
to walk through this world.
to learn to be silent
like the oak and linden of the fable.
to learn to see.
your glance scattered seeds.
it planted a tree.
i talk
because you shake its leaves.

--Octavio Paz

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New bike

I just bought a bike! This one, to be exact:

I was looking for a bike with a "natural," or upright, riding position (hunching over the handlebars in the normal position was always really uncomfortable for me). I also wanted to have at least a chance of keeping up with J and his road bike, so thin tires were a must. Trek describes this little number as a "true hybrid," the "perfect marriage of toughness and efficiency." I love it! It even has a bell! And it certainly has helped out with no. 13.

We've already taken short jaunts to the library and our local farmer's market, as well as a longer, 12-mile ride on a nearby greenway. I bought a pair of these (the capri, not short, length, but the exact style doesn't seem to be on the site) with biking in mind this weekend and love them. Now I'm dreaming of the perfect basket. Which is your favorite? Do you have any great online cycling sources I should know about?

1. Here
2. Here
3. Here

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bunting invite + bunting cake

I'm pretty sure you're all thinking right about now that I should rename this blog Bunting & Bunting, and I have to say I don't really blame you. BUT I do have two more uber-cute ideas to share with you, and they just happen to involve my favorite strings of triangulated fabric.

First, a bunting invitation. Bunting may play a role in the invites I'm busy mocking up for K + C's ceremony and reception, so these, from Cakies, have found a soft spot in my heart. Let's just say they involve Happy Tape and that you should head over to her blog post to have a look at the finished product. Brilliant!

Next, as promised, the bunting cake, from this adorable wedding (image by Colleen Sherman). We've pretty much decided that we're going to be sprucing up simply-decorated cakes bought from a bakery, and though we've tossed out several decor ideas, right now I'm loving these mini strings of bunting. Dressing the cake couldn't be easier, and when it's time to eat, the (fabric? paper?) flags come right off. And affordable, to boot!

Dream Home: Kitchen Island

One of my favorite parts about our current apartment is the kitchen island, and the fact that the island faces and is completely open to the living and dining room areas. I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to anything less. Here are a few of my favorite island looks...

P.S. We're in the market for some stylish, not-terribly-expensive stools. Any great online sources you'd care to pass along?


{Alice Lane Home via Black*Eiffel}

{Style at Home}

{Martha Stewart}

{Better Homes & Gardens}


{Southern Living}

Deep window seats
Filled with light

Walls of books

Friday, April 9, 2010

Indian Summer at Lands End


The season stalls, unseasonably fair,
blue-fair, serene, a stack of golden discs,
each disc a day and the addition slow.
I wish you were here with me to walk the flats,
toward dusk especially when the tide is out
and the bay turns opal, filled with rolling fire
that washes on the mouldering wreck offshore,
our mussel-vineyard, strung with bearded grapes.
Last night I reached for you and shaped you there
lying beside me as we drifted past
the farthest seamarks and the watchdog bells,
and round Long Point throbbing its frosty light,
until we streamed into the open sea.
What did I know of voyaging till now?
Meanwhile I tend my flocks, small golden puffs
impertinent as wrens, with snipped-off tails,
who bounce down from the trees. High overhead,
on the trackless sky, skywriting V and yet
another V, the southbound Canada express
hoots of horizons and distances...

--Stanley Kunitz (from Passing Through, 1995)

Possibly my favorite poem of all time. What do you think?

DIY: Paper Dogwood Flowers

I love fresh flowers with the best of them, but live blooms aren't always in the budget. Which should explain why when I cracked open my copy of Martha's April issue, I didn't even finish the book before busting out the supplies to try my hand at her paper dogwood flowers. I also love the original version of this Good Thing, a paper cherry blossom display that first appeared in April 2006.

I must say, I'm pretty happy with how my version turned out! Here's Martha's:

And here's mine:

What do you think?

I pretty much followed Martha's directions (which you can find here), with just a few tweaks: I didn't see the need to buy a "starburst" stamp, so I used the eraser of a fresh pencil for all of the stamps instead of just for the middles. I also subbed in a thick green marker in place of a stamp pad. If I were to do this project over again, I think I would make the blooms a bit smaller than the 5 inches she suggests -- or at least have some larger and some smaller flowers.

{via Martha}

All in all, though, a very easy and satisfying project! I would highly recommend.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dream Home: Walls of Books

Yes, they are ridiculously heavy to pack. And yes, they might not be the most practical collection for a couple who's likely facing several moves over the next few years. But I can't help it -- books are one of my absolute favorite things to have lying around in massive quantities, and if they can be contained in built-in bookshelves, or even -- dare I say it? -- color-coordinated, well, there's really not much better than that.

{via Simply Seleta}

{Elle Decor}

{via Simply Seleta}

{Martha Stewart}



Deep window seats
Filled with light