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Friday
Jun152018

how i tripled the size of the ferns on my front porch

Ferns on the front porch are an unspoken rule here in the south.  There's just something about having them flank my front door in the planters my husband made me that makes me so happy to pull into my driveway every day!  I've been fortunate enough to have great luck with them in the past; I even managed to keep two alive three years in a row by keeping them in my garage during the winter.  This year, I found four at the grocery store for $10 a pop; I loved the broad leaves and emerald color so much more than traditional Boston ferns, but when I put them in my planters (I put two in each because my planters are so ginormous!), they just barely hung over the top.  Fast forward about a month and a half and they have all tripled in size!

My secret is this: water them every other day and twice a month, I add a scoop of Jack's Classic 20-20-20 plant food to a gallon of water and drench them.  In no time, they are filling out my planters and adding such a gorgeous pop of color to the front porch! 

I finally got around to planting some flowers in pots, too, and while you can technically use the 20-20-20 for flowers, as well, I like to use the Blossom Booster Fertilizer - I've tried others before but nothing has worked as well as this for me!  Here is purple angelonia and lime green sweet potato vine about a week after the first application:

Happy weekend! (And happy planting!)

Tuesday
Jun122018

summer entertaining must-haves

Summer is in full force around here and there is nothing I love more than having friends over for a swim, a bite to eat and a few cocktails.  While most times it's impromptu and usually eaten off paper plates while chasing kiddos, there are still times I like to put a little more effort into a chic table setting, even if dinner is going to be buffet-style.  I always pull out my favorite pieces that I use year-round, like simple white serving platters, my budget-friendly water hyacinth chargers, bamboo servers and woven tumblers and add even more natural textures for the warmer weather with wicker wrapped serving dishes, a rattan ice bucket and a chic chip and dip tray.  To keep everything simple and easy, my oversize clam shell adds interest and a coastal, summery vibe and is a great alternative to flowers as a centerpiece.  With all the natural textures, I like to keep plates and serveware white; it's such a laid back but beautiful feel for a summer get together! 

Ada woven carafe / Simple white platters / Woven tumblers / Wicker wrapped serving dishes /

Soare chargers / Atlantis large clam shell / Bamboo servers / Rattan ice bucket / Votives

Rope bottle opener / Water hyacinth chip and dip tray

What are some of your favorite summer entertaining essentials?

Thursday
May032018

a stunning, nautical-inspired wedding in new england

   

After one of the longest, coldest winters in history, we are finally basking in the heat and humidity again, so to celebrate, I thought I'd share one of the most stunning nautical-inspired weddings I've ever seen in person, since warm weather makes me want to break out ALLLLLLL the nautical everything!  You guys might remember that three weeks after having Luca, the hubby and I packed up the littles and drove north - way north - to Newport, Rhode Island, for my cousin's wedding.  Lydia was the flower girl, Daddy walked her down the aisle and I squeezed my post-partum body into a gown as matron of honor (thank the Lord it was navy blue and forgiving!)  My aunt and uncle have a beautiful home in Newport, which served as a gorgeous spot for pictures before heading to the always enchanting Castle Hill Inn for the wedding ceremony and reception, where the sea provided the most amazing backdrop.  My cousin wanted a nautical-inspired reception that reflected her and her now-husband's love of the sea as well as the town they now call home and they got it in spades with a navy and white color palette, gold accents and pale pink, white and peach flowers.  I kid my aunt all the time that she should go into even design because she didn't miss a single detail when planning this wedding; it was seriously magazine-worthy.  From my cousin's incredible, vintage-inspired gown and the crystal chandeliers and twinkle lights that lit the tent for the reception to the hand-engraved dessert forks and antique cake topper, it was truly one of the most magical evenings that we are all still talking about, a year and a half later!  I couldn't be more proud - of my beautiful cousin for finding such an amazing guy and for my aunt for an unforgettable, truly magical night!

The flower girl and the bride-to-be:

The detailing on her dress was breathtaking:

The flowers were absolutely INCREDIBLE!  These pictures just don't do them justice; cabbage roses, hydrangea, dahlia, anemones as far as the eye could see:

A peek at the bridesmaid's bouquets (and the cutest little flower girl I ever did see!):

The beautiful couple and another shot of the gorgeous lace and beading on the back of her gown:

Crystal chandeliers, twinkle lights and candlelight in the tent:

Baby's breath garland and simple navy and white striped grosgrain ribbon on the bride and groom's chairs:

Hand engraved dessert forks for the bride and groom:

Tuesday
May012018

mother's day table + gift ideas

Mother's Day is right around the corner and this year, I'm ahead of the game for the first time in forever with gifts for my own momma and some of my closest friends already wrapped and ready to be given!  I'll be spending the day this year with my mom and my aunt, which is enough of a gift for me in itself, but if I could imagine the perfect present for them, I'd love to host a brunch with a beautiful table setting, lots of yummy food and a bloody Mary or mimosa (or two)!  There's such a bevy of beautiful accessories for the table out right now (I'm especially loving the entire new entertaining collection by Aerin at Williams Sonoma!) and the best part is that almost every one of the items I picked would make for a great gift idea, as well!  Here are some of my current favorites:

These blue and white floral napkins would be an amazing pop of color, paired with bamboo flatware and rattan chargers!

I need another white pitcher like I need a hole in the head, but this basketweave beauty is speaking right to my texture loving heart!

This blue and white swirl taper vase is so simple but so stunning.  Would be a show stopping centerpiece with white hydrangea.

Myrtle topiary are my obsession but they are next to impossible to find anywhere in North or South Carolina (Believe me, I've tried).  Here are a few sizes to choose from, if you want to try having one shipped; I think there's nothing more chic than a staggering of a few different sizes in the middle of the table!

I love my $4 water hyacinth chargers from Ikea, but I've got to say, I think the texture and design of these rattan chargers from Serena and Lily are definitely worth the splurge!

Mixing up drinkware is one of my favorite tricks when setting a table; these French wine glasses and woven tumblers (mine are from Home Goods) are a staple in my house and would make a great gift idea for the friend or momma who loves to entertain (or just set a beautiful table).

My oversize clam shell is one of my most favorite home decorative accessories ever; it would be a simple but beautiful centerpiece, filled with citrus.

It's no secret I love all things bamboo and this serving set just adds that little something extra special to the table (and would make for a fantastic gift!

Friday
Mar302018

easter table 

One of my favorite parts of any holiday is going all out with my table setting; it's one of the things my family has grown used to anticipating whenever it's my turn to host and I love it!  I always loved helping my mother set out dining table growing up and now I am thrilled to do the same with Lydia - she loves to put the flatware out and pick which kind of flowers and napkins we will use!  With Easter only two days away, I'm still finalizing what I'm actually going to be serving but, after a little run through a few days ago, I know exactly what my table will look like. I'm sticking with my favorite basics that I use all year round - water hyacinth chargers, my beloved bamboo flatware and woven tumblers and dress them up a bit with a gorgeous linen runner, a handful of hydrangeas in my favorite woven vase and a navy and white color scheme in honor of this glorious weather we've been having lately!  Blue and white and green is so fresh for spring and my favorite color combination; and, let's face it, stripes are always a good idea! When you have beautiful basics as your foundation, you can elevate your every day table setting so easily with some flowers and table linens!

Water hyacinth chargers / Bamboo flatware / French wine glasses / Navy linen runner

Plates, napkins, woven tumblers, vase all from TJMaxx and HomeGoods.

Happy Easter!