Entries in books (9)


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


my favorite entertaining books

We're back from our whirlwind road trip to Newport for the wedding of the centurey and I've been so excited to get back to blogging!  Amidst the bags to be unpacked and the mountain of laundry to be tackled, I've also got to plan a menu and table setting for a small get together this weekend for some good friends, but, of course, the latter is all I can think about right now!

I think the only thing I love more than playing hostess is searching for great entertaining ideas and inspiration!  Pinterest and, of course, Instagram, are neverending sources of gorgeous images and tutorials but my favorite way to brainstorm new entertaining ideas, whether it be for a small and intimate dinner or an over-the-top birthday bash, is through books.  For me, nothing can compare to flipping through page after page of beautiful images, dog earing my favorites and then pouring over how I could put my own spin on something particularly inspiring and timeless.  There are so many beautiful entertaining books out there, but there is particular handful I turn to time and time again.  Here are a few of my favorites:

1.  Barefoot Contessa Parties - I love everything about Ina Garten - her recipes, her show, her barn, her gardens...the woman is the epitome of rustic, earthy and chic table settings and meal plans that are so easy to execute and that never fail to impress!

2.  A Boat, A Whale and A Walrus - While this is more of a cookbook that is split up into seasons, it's also chock full of personal stories, menus and favorite recipes of author, chef and restauranteur Renee Erickson.  The images are beautifully simple and the settings are always casual, which I love.  This is one of my favorite books to gift, as well as reference!

3.  Camille Styles Entertaining - Organized by seasons with inspiring ideas and tips for everything from flower arrangements, favors, parties, desserts and signature cocktail recipes, this has become one of my go-to's when I'm really trying to get creative or when I really want to impress guests (I especially loved her mini bottles of tequila, paired with a key lime in a tiny burlap bag as favors for a Mexican fiesta!)

4.  Hamptons Entertaining - I'm obsessed with all things Hamptons, so it was only natural that I would love this tome, as well.  Author Annie Falk features 18 parties with recipes, tips for table settings, alcohol pairings and menu ideas but you also get little peeks of the gorgeous Hamptons estates and gardens as well!

5.  Great Parties: Recipes, menus and ideas for perfect gatherings: the best of Martha Stewart Living - My aunt gave me a copy of this for my birthday years ago and practically every page is dog eared!  Not only are the images gorgeous, but there are step-by-step instructions for hosting the perfect party, from small and intimate to grand and elegant. 

6.  Pret-a-Party: Great Ieas for Good Times and Creative Entertaining - If you're looking for some fun, fresh and modern entertaining ideas, this is definitely for you.  While a pig roast on a rooftop garden may not be practical for many of us, author and fashion designer Lela Rose's tips on decorating, table settings and menu plans are spot on and, with a couple trips to Hobby Lobby or Michael's, easy to replicate!

What are some of your favorite entertaining books?  I'm always looking to add to my collection!


book storage solutions for the kiddos

Surface space is something we've always been short on in Lydia's nursery and with her ever-growing collection of books, I've been trying to find a way to store them all where they're easily accessible and not ripping the covers.  Lately, we've been using baskets to corral them because we don't have room for a bookshelf until we move some of her furniture to bear cub's nursery.  I'm chomping at the bit to get her proper storage for her books and all the pretty, girly things to display that I've been hoarding since I was pregnant with her, so until we can get a bookshelf in here, I've been on the hunt for great ways to store children's books.  Here are a few I'm loving; most of these are great space savers for those of us that don't have space for extra furniture or a playroom!

GALLERY LEDGE I love the simple, clean look of ledges and how positioning the books facing out adds a pop of color to a room and especially how it makes it much easier to choose books to read! Target, Ikea, even Walmart all offer inexpensive picture ledges that can double for children's books:

Monika Hibbs

Amber Interiors


PLASTIC GREETING CARD CASES These blend right into the wall and let the books really take center stage.  Plus, they're super inexpensive (you can find them for next to nothing at the Container Store and Staples!)

Ibie Falcusan via Design Sponge

READING NOOK If only we had room in our house for a little book nook - I'd cozy it up with curtains, a daybed and the fluffiest pillows I could find and Lydia and I would hole up all day long!  Even if you don't have space for a built-in, you can carve out a little corner of the nursery or living room - hang some art, throw down a cozy rug and add a basket for books!

Ann Wolf via House Beautiful



BOOKSHELVES  We may not have room for book cases right now, but they definitely are my favorite option for kid spaces - I love to mix books with keepsakes, framed family photos and even small toys.  It's a great way to add interest, color and personality while at the same time keeping everything contained in one space and not scattered all over the room:

Amy Meier Design

designstiles via SMP

Erin Gates

FUN AND UNIQUE OBJECTS.  The sky's the limit when you don't have room for any additional furniture or book nooks - baskets, a wagon, a vintage baby bassinet, a wooden boat are not only adorable, but super handy for grabbing a treasured book and curling up with your little:

The Little Umbrella



at home in the garden with carolyn roehm

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  Mine passed so quickly, I feel like the last three days were a complete blur. A highlight was reading this article by One King's Lane on the release of Carolyn Roehm's latest book, At Home in the Garden, complete with some of the prettiest images of her Connecticut home.  Just a little loveliness of what's to come in her book (which, might I add, is seriously one of the most gorgeous EVER).  Gleaming white, beautiful green topiary and a garden office that makes me want to build a greenhouse of my own and blog full-time from there!  Here are a few images from the article that had me swooning:

Floor-to-ceiling, glassfront cabinets in glaming white, classic glass pendant lights and myrtle topiary for a pop of green is just about as close to perfection as it gets, don't you think?

A vast collection of china in perfectly styled cabinets, gorgeous, monogrammed linen chairs and a marble top table are killing me softly in the breakfast area:

I love this glass house with its mix of metals, a generously sized farmhouse table, pots of white geraniums and lanterns.  Add some candlelight and it would be a stunning setting for dinner:

Framed botanicals and butterflies and more topiary against crisp white bead board in the office:

Design books, baskets and garden utensils may be utilitarian but look so chic in the outdoor office:

Love the stone facade and boxwoods out front:

A green and white parterre that looks striking all year long:

Perfection.  All of it.

Here are my picks for getting a similar look:

Topiary / Monogrammed pillow / Planter / Basket / Carolyn Roehm At Home in the Garden

Lanterns / Farmhouse table

Hope you're off to a great start this week!


6 books to add to your bookshelves right now

There are a bunch of beautiful new design, garden and entertaining books hitting bookshelves this spring, which excites me to no end because there just is nothing I love more at the end of the day than sitting with a glass of wine and getting to flip through the pages of a beautiful new tome.  Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home, the latest from blogger Emily Schuman, found its way to my mailbox yesterday and I devoured the entire thing last night!  It's really good, guys and I couldn't believe how affordable the price, either! Here are five other picks that I'm loving lately; there is so much inspiration in each and every one and they are great gift ideas, too!

Windsor Smith Homefront; Design for Modern Living - I've been a huge fan of designer Windsor Smith since I first laid eyes on her navy blue kitchen and this book is a beautiful collection of some of her most famous client projects as well as her own home.  If you love timeless style with a touch of glamour, this book is right up your alley!

Camille Styles Entertaining:  I've followed Camille's blog for a while now, anxiously awaiting her first book and it's definitely been worth the wait!  It's chock full of gorgeous photos, tips for effortless entertaining, stress free recipes and creative party planning.  A must-have for the perpetual hostess or entertainer!

Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home:  Emily's second book is so relatable and a very quick and easy read!  She includes lots of easy decorating and entertaining tips for both homeowners and renters, with DIY suggestions and multiple suggestions for common decorating dilemmas.  LOVE!

Tracery: The Art of Southern Design: Designer Paige Schnell's relaxing, welcoming yet elegant decorating style is showcased in her first book through 19 client projects throughout the country, with lots of inspiration on the art of living well.

Charlotte Moss: Garden Inspirations:  If you love to garden, take pride in your own landscaping skills or love creating flower arrangements, this is a must have!  This is truly one of the most beautiful books I've ever read and Charlotte is the queen of chic, inspiring garden design, including tips for elegant flower arrangements, entertaining in the garden and gardening lessons she has learned over the years.  If you only purchase one book this summer, this should definitely be it!

India Hicks: Island Style:  I blogged about India's new book a few weeks ago here but love it so much I thought it was definitely worth a second mention.  A story about her life, what it's like to live in paradise and how her home has evolved into what it is today, her book includes beautiful and inspiring images of the home itself, the island and her family and lots of design, decorating and entertaining inspiration.  A must have if you love beach living!

What books are you guys loving lately?