Friday, December 31, 2010

Here I Stand, Resolute

Here are five of my 2011 resolutions...may God help me in these endeavors (or at least help me make it past the month of January!)...

1. Update our bedroom. You can't see it in the black and white picture (on purpose), but our walls are a shade of green that I'm becoming more and more uncomfortable with each day.  I'd like to paint the walls and bring in some decor that channels relaxation, comfort, and natural airiness.  


Inspiration...

Young House Love, Master Bedroom

 2. Take more walks.  


3. Tame the pile-o-dishes before I hit the sack each night.


4. Make our bed each morning.  


5. Finish a book! I'm excellent at starting them (really, a pro), but horrible at finishing them.  I'm resolving to not pick up a second book until I've finished the first one.


Need help deciding what your resolutions should be? Click here for a New Year's Resolution Generator.  

May God bless you in 2011!  



TGIFriday Feature: Cupcakes and Cashmere


Hi, guys! Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas...I sure did.  We drove 15 long hours to Missouri and spent the holiday with our wonderful families.  Now we're back in Pennsylvania and ready to kick off the New Year with lots of resolutions  a vacation!  This is where we're going in January. So excited!

For the second TGIFriday Feature, I am thrilled to introduce you to one of the coolest chicks in the blog world...

Emily @


This is one of my favorite blogs to read.  She has amazing pictures and keeps her posts short, simple, and full of great material.  I have yet to find a tutorial, recipe, fashion recommendation, or decorating idea on this site that isn't magazine quality...I mean, seriously...this girl is good!

Check out some of her skillz...

1. Picking out great outfits that I really wish I had the guts to wear and being adorable enough to model them HERSELF...


 



2. Giving step-by-step instructions on things I always wished I knew how to do...like getting those really cool waves in your hair with a curling iron or making bruschetta look fancy and taste amazing...


3. Locating vintage furniture pieces that work in her modern, yet cozy L.A. (jealous of her yet?) apartment...and making a bookshelf look awesome (a skill that seems to be lost on me)...




4. Mixing colors and patterns in decorating (again, another skill that is lost on me)...



5. And last, but not least, making incredibly beautiful and scrumptious-looking recipes...



{Homemade Twix Bars}

Visit Cupcakes and Cashmere for some great ideas...or maybe just for your daily dose of envy.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Longwood Garden Christmas



Are you tired of hearing me rave about Longwood Gardens?

Well, sit tight, because I have to do it again. :)

Last weekend, I made my 4th trip to Longwood Gardens and completed my goal of visiting during each of the 4 seasons.  Each time I visit there is something new and exciting to see.  I've heard people talk about how wonderful their Christmas display is, but I must say, the reviews did not do it justice.

It was absolutely GORGEOUS and if you weren't filled with Christmas spirit before, you would be after a tour of the Conservatory and grounds.

While the photos aren't the best (I was having a hard time working with the lighting), I tried to capture some of the beauty... 


Fresh Flower Christmas Trees GALORE!


The incredible Living Wall.


Winter Wonderland


Vibrant Colors


One of many incredible trees


Maybe just a little crowded. :)





Hallways upon hallways of beautiful blooms.


And strategically-placed lilies to create the best smell.


Orchid wreath in the orchid room (one of my favorites!)


Many, many trees wrapped tirelessly in lights


Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: The Sequel

This has absolutely NOTHING to do with weekends, but I can't stop thinking about it because I'm so excited!  I do hope you'll bear with me. :)

In exactly 20 days from today, Brandon and I will be on a plane to Excellence Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic....one of our most favorite places in the WORLD.  We spent 7 glorious days there for our honeymoon back in 2007, and loved it so much that we are making a return trip in January (booked it during an incredible sale!).  Seriously, guys...this place is amazing.  Here's a few shots from the 2007 trip...










Best week of our lives...so far. :)




 

TGIFriday Feature: Modern Country Style

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. Two posts within 24 hours! This is a record, for sure. If you missed the last one, check it out here.

Well, each Friday (disclaimer: or as often as I can), I'd like to feature some of my favorite blogs out there...and maybe....just maybe, you might like them too. :)

I'm not getting paid to do this or anything...it's just me sharing with you some of the wonderfulness I've discovered in "blog-land".

And the inaugural feature goes to....

Sarah @

Enter the site here.

I love her decorating style...her home seems like a place where you would be instantly comfortable.  Here are a few of her projects that I've been admiring (okay...envying). :)


Bathroom Redo - I love that tile! It looks like something you'd find at a spa.



Kitchen Redo - How adorable is that jar display?!?



Bedroom Redo - Beautiful!...and she totally made that pillow.



Don't you just LOVE that nightstand?!?



She's also pretty crafty, too.  These scrabble magnets are a great idea.  When I saw this, I knew I was going to have to try this project.  I don't have any vintage scrabble pieces, but I do have some lying around that I've used for scrapbooking. (Project coming soon!)

Well, now that you've seen a few of my faves from Modern Country Style, I do hope you'll venture on over to the site and see for yourselves. ;)  I'm sure she would love to have you! 



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Photo-Shopping

Well, he did it again! It's just like him!

...being awesome, that is! :)

My amazing hubby went out and purchased this great software called Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 for editing photos, and I'm absolutely loving what it can do.  It can really take a photo from ordinary to extraordinary with one click of the mouse! 

While I've only scratched the surface in learning what the program can do, I've been amazed at some of the transformations using only the presets.  Check out some of these before and afters...

Here's a picture from my Longwood Gardens trip in the spring...

Before
After

Cool, huh?  Here's a photo from the Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival...

Before

After

Family photo...notice we're ALL smiling. :)

Before

After

 More Longwood Gardens...it is seriously a gold mine for people who enjoy taking pictures...

Before


After
I love that "antique" look.  And next is a photo from our big bike ride across the state of Iowa.

The bolder color makes a huge difference...


Before


After

And there's a subtle difference in the next set of photos...because, let's get real, this little boy could not be any more adorable.... 


Before

After
So much fun!  I'm thinking Lightroom will take my photos to a whole new level...can't wait to see what else it can do!

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