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Monday
Dec122016

books for everyone on your christmas list

Well, that was a hot blogging minute, wasn't it?  If the next two weeks fly as fast as the last month did for me, I'm in trouble, as I've still got quite a few gifts to cross off my list!  I had high hopes for sharing my Christmas decor today but the weather has been so crappy lately, making it impossible to get decent pictures, so instead, I thought I'd kick off the week with some gift ideas - books!!    Whenever I'm in a jam for gift ideas for someone, I try to think of things I would love to receive and, nine times out of ten, I end up going with a beautiful book.  Who doesn't love a gorgeous coffee table book or a delectable new cookbook?  I don't think you can go wrong.  There are a ton of new ones out lately that would make for a gorgeous gift (Mark D. Sikes' Beautiful and Ina Garten's Cooking for Jeffrey are among my latest favorites), so I rounded up a bunch here that I'm loving lately; you're sure to find something for that special someone on your list who is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for:

Beautiful - Mark D. Sikes / Beaches - Gray Malin / Domino

Cooking for Jeffrey - Ina Garten / Shake / The Southerner's Cookbook

Monograms for the Home / Meat.  Everything You Need to Know / A House in the Country

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities / A House by the Sea - Bunny Williams / The History of Surfing - Matt Warshaw

Monday
Nov142016

embracing the chaos

I've sat down to write this post about a hundred times the last few days but part of embracing the chaos that is life with a toddler and a newborn means that there is zero free time to go to the bathroom, let alone update the blog! And we are STILL in the midst of the longest lasting construction project going on upstairs, which is giving me a fair share of gray hairs.  I'm wearing lots of hats, applying under eye concealer with a shovel and I honestly don't remember the last time I shaved my legs, but I've never been happier (or more exhausted)!

Luca is ten weeks old now and is an absolute angel baby; I don't knowif it's because I'm so much more relaxed than I was when I had Lydia, but he's just the sweetest baby.  He loves to watch his sister and is a champion snuggler, which is partly why I don't get anything done because I'm so reluctant to put him down!  I'm still finding my footing, in terms of a routine, but he sleeps well and nurses even better and is growing at a record pace!  The only frustration is that he's a champion at spitting up.  We go through three outfits, on average, before lunch time and I have to time going anywhere around when I'm going to feed him because I have to hold him upright for 30 minutes after.  The doctor says he will outgrow it and that it's just a "laundry problem" since he's so big and is not in any discomfort, but it's still so heartbreaking to watch him do it and even more difficult for me to watch all that breast milk come back up!  

Lydia took to her baby brother immediately and honestly, has been so much better than we ever could have expected.  She's definitely testing me more than she ever did before but I made it a point from the very beginning to make her a part of everything - changing diapers, giving baths, reading stories and singing lullabies - she's so eager to help and we make a huge deal and fuss over her anytime she does something for her brother and to watch her beam with pride makes me so happy!  She's got her moments, though, like any other toddler with a new sibling, and it's usually between the hours of 4 and 8 pm when the house is more like a zoo/circus/mental ward while I attempt to make dinner, clean up, give baths...  I know I'll get into a routine soon enough and that these days won't last forever, and honestly, I feel more sadness than relief at that thought because it's all going so fast. All I want for Christmas is for my babies to stay little!

I've been on Instagram a lot lately, it's so much easier to snap and post a pic, so follow along there for more updates @bungalowblue!  Happy Monday!

Tuesday
Oct252016

fall pretties for the home and table

This weekend we finally saw a little relief from 90 degree temps and, I must say, it was so nice to be able to play outside without the bugs eating us alive and then snuggle under cozy throw blankets and watch movies as a family.  Time to officially say goodbye to summer as we close our pool and I try really, really hard not to grab my Christmas lights out of storage!  Here are a few pretties I'm loving lately - lots of texture, brass, bamboo, tortoise and a little animal print for good measure to cozy up the house for the change in the season:

I've been OBSESSED with these antelope pillows for the chairs in my living room, but their price tag makes me choke.  I found some much more affordable options on Etsy and over at Plantation

I love the simplicity and size of this round mirror from Target

These Wilton trays from Serena and Lily are a great way to add some texture to a coffee or dining table.

These crystal low ball glasses are heavy and substantial enough for the hubby's whiskey but chic enough for my cocktail tray.

I love a myrtle topiary, even if I have a bad habit of murdering them shortly after spending a small fortune on them. Still on the hunt for the perfect fake.

This brown sugar and bourbon candle is HEAVEN.

Dial up the cozy factor with this fabulous pom pom throw.

I love the entire Dauville line, but this sleek, gold rimmed pitcher is on my radar for Thanksgiving lately.

I'm thinking my kitchen counter needs this adorable framed fox print from High Street Market.

The only thing I love more than blue and white everything is tortoise everything.  This umbrella holder from Ballard Designs is killing me softly.

Thinking of updating some of my favorite family photos with these chic bamboo picture frames.

Love the shape and petite size of this gold hexagon platter - it would look amazing for serving drinks or displaying my favorite bottles of perfume.

Still obsessed with this brass fox door knocker.

Looking forward to this read, as much for the fact that I love everything at Food 52 as for my need to simplify my weekly meal plan.

What are you loving lately?

Wednesday
Oct192016

get the look: meg ryan's new york kitchen

Did anyone else gasp when they saw Meg Ryan's kitchen in her New York City loft in the latest Architectural Digest?  I love me an all-white kitchen, but a black and white kitchen with warm wood accents is right up my alley, as it's what I tried to create in my own home!  There are so many great elements to this space that make it feel clean, classic and super chic, like the to-the-ceiling subway tile and built-in shelving in the eating area, the vintage lighting and the antique dining table and Windsor chairs, but there's also a few unexpected touches that keep it light and modern, like the marble backsplash and matching open shelves.  I can't tell you how many times I've flipped back through it just to see it all again and again.   I also love how she added photographs to personalize an otherwise utilitarian space.  The stainless steel double doors add a fun touch and a pop of interest.  I only wish they would have shown the kitchen in its entirety because you can see a corner of what appears to be a fabulous range hood peeking out! 

Here are a few picks that I think can help create a similar look without resorting to replacing cabinetry with open shelving or installing floor-to-ceiling built-ins:

Pendant light / Bread board / Number art / French wine glass / Taper candle holders / Glass cloche

Pitcher / Marble and brass serving tray / Candle / Blackburn vase / Windsor Chair

Dining table / Basket

Happy Hump Day!

Monday
Oct172016

diy: mini pumpkin taper candle holders

Despite being more of a spring and summer girl, fall in the south is my favorite time of year to entertain.  There's no pollen or mosquitos so you can actually enjoy the cooler temps and beautiful evenings dining alfresco or even just sipping a cocktail or a cup of coffee on the porch under a cozy throw blanket (my fave).  Fall is also the one time of the year where I give myself carte blanche to go crazy with the slightly over-the-top tablescapes - pumpkins, bittersweet, wicker demijohns, lanterns, even foliage from my yard are some of my favorite ways to add a touch of the change in season (especially since I don't really decorate for it anywhere else in my house). 

A few years ago, I made some taper candle holders out of mini pumpkins and they're one of my favorite DIY's to date!  I originally posted the step-by-step tutorial here but I thought since the weather was finally feeling fall-ish right now in the south, it was the perfect time to re-post it for anyone who missed it the first time around!  This is one of the quickest and easiest DIY's - the most time consuming part is waiting for the paint to dry, so if do-it-yourself projects tend to intimidate you, this is definitely an easy one to try!

What you'll need:

mini pumpkins

cordless drill

3/4 inch spade drill bit (I used this one)

spray paint

Step 1: if there are any stems on the pumpkins, remove them with wire cutters.  Place your drill bit in the middle of the top of the pumpkin and, applying light pressure, drill slowly until about a half inch down into the pumpkin.  DO NOT PRESS HARD ON THE DRILL - it will crack your pumpkin!  Also, make sure the pumpkin is on the floor, not in your hand, when drilling:

Step 2:  Using a butter knife, scrape out the insides of the pumpkin and then spray them with your spray paint. 

Once dry, insert your taper candles and enjoy!  SO easy!

Hope everyone is off to a great start this Monday!