Deep red ballet flat

GDI - deep red ballet flat

Are these not the most gorgeous shoes you've ever seen? 

They look beautiful + comfortable. They're handmade, all leather and look comfy enough for travel walking. 

I've added them to my Christmas wish list :) Just thought I'd share, if you're in the market, too!

Truett's 6th birthday party

GDI - T birthday balloons

I'd love to share a few photos and ideas from Truett's 6th birthday party that we hosted two weeks ago. I had intended to post them a bit earlier but then we took our trip to DC & last week was True's first week of first grade (I can't even).

Truett decided he wanted his birthday party to have the theme, "everything that fights bad guys,". Originally, we were supposed to make the outside of our house look like the outside of a body (windows as eyes, door as mouth) and the inside, the inside of the body (T wanted to use a drum as the heart) buuuut I decided that was just too complicated. 

So instead we pulled out a few simple tricks and the kids had a wonderful time.

I LOVE the look of a huge bunch of helium balloons but they're difficult to transport from the store & are expensive when compared to the bag of rubber balloons you can buy at a store. But! while browsing Pinterest a few weeks before the party, I spotted a genius idea: blow up regular balloons, tie a string around the bottom and hang them upside down from the ceiling! Same look, so much easier.

GDI - spider man pinata

I found a spiderman piƱata that the kids loved stuffing with candy and then, instead of a cake, Truett requested these mini ice cream cones from Trader Joes. I had a moments hesitation, sad he wouldn't have a cake, but I'd already made his traditional ice-cream cake for the day-of his actual birthday, so I decided the hell with guilt and bought the cones! 

GDI - mini ice cream cones

They're perfect. Small, indulgent and simple.

My sweet friend Liz printed off super hero labels and we taped them to cans of silly string as a take-home gift.

GDI - silly string super hero labels

GDI - super hero silly string

I put out a bunch of markers, scissors and construction paper so the kids could make their own shields, and then we played pin-the-shield on the superhero (Captain America, courtesy of Liz's husband Brian, who's an artist :)

GDI - Captain America pin-the-shield

I made green Koolaid as Hulk Punch, served popcorn, pretzels and potato chips, and had several bottles of wine for the grown ups.

It was simple, homemade, and fun for everyone. 

And, since I was feeling terribly sad last week over the passage of time, the beginning of school, and the kids' growing up, I thought I'd share a quote that's been helpful to me:

"The trick is learning to take things as they come and fully, too, with no resistance or fear, not trying to grip them too tightly or make them bend."

It's from Circling the Sun by Paula McLain and I found it both comforting and inspiring.

Friday tidbits


GDI - Fri 8.21.15
What are you doing this weekend? We'll be headed over to our friend's house for dinner & drinks tonight (what a great way to cap off the first week of school!) and plenty of relaxing (Truett & I are finishing up Harry Potter III and I'm re-smitten every time).

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Here are some links for coffee drinking and reading :)

This is a pretty and cozy sweater for fall.

Mexican chicken and pumpkin. I'm beginning to geek-out on fall.

Another brilliant video by Sean Hayes & Scott Icenogle. I LOVE Scott in these. 

Coveting a stay in this beautiful take on The Drake Hotel, in Prince Edward County.

Small Pleasure by Abigail Marguerite looks enchanting.

10 solved mysteries.

Movies to watch.

I thought this was a very sweet commercial.

A fire rainbow caught on camera! We went to Isle of Palms twice last summer and loved it.

A magical dollhouse. I'd love to make something like this for June.

That's it! See you next week!

A picnic basket for a new mama

GDI - sandwich picnic

I've talked about new mama survival kits before & the 3 things a new dad should always do, but we haven't talked about what to pack up for a meal to drop on the doorstep during those early & hazy days.

My sweet girlfriend Cara just had baby number two and so I have the pleasure of cooking her dinner yesterday. 

First, I brainstormed the base of the meal - the main dish, so I can build the rest around it. I decided on this pork ragu from Dinner: A Love Story. It's a meal that is now part of our usual rotation. I love the flavor, simplicity & heartiness. You basically sear the meat, throw the rest of the ingredients together, & pop in the oven for hours. (This would also make a wonderful Friday night hygge dish).

GDI - peonies

After I got the meat in the oven, I began to put together the rest of the picnic basket.

Wide noodles - fettuccine would work, or the Pappardelle's for a bit more authenticity.

French bread.

A bottle of red wine. 

June picked out a bunch of pretty flowers from the market - ones that were plentiful and cheap = in season.

After that we grabbed a container of chocolate whoopee pies. I cannot think of anything better than chocolate while nursing.

Another small box of chocolate. Duh.

A bag of dark, fresh greens for salad + homemade ranch dressing in a glass jar.

And then my good friend Liz lent me an old fashioned picnic basket to package everything up in!

What are your tips for a meals during the newborn days? 

PS - theme care packages.

top photo via

It never gets any easier

GDI - Truett first day, 1st grade

Yes, I am looking forward to some child-free mornings, but does the day have to be so long? I'd be content to pick my kid up around noon - that seems like a reasonable day, doesn't it?

Anyway - Truett's off to his first day of first grade this morning. June will join him - for mornings only - at the same school beginning two Mondays from today. 

If you're in the mood for heartbreak, here are his pictures from preschool first day, kindergarten first day and then the end-of-the year picture from kindergarten. What amazes me is how much he's grown even in three months.

GDI - Truett 1st day preschool (4K)

I had no concept at the beginning of this wild ride that parenthood would be so hard. Not because of the sleepless nights, or the financial worries, or all of that other dumb stuff we all complain so much about, but because you bring someone into this world you love so hard. It's a painful love full of triumph and revelation. It's not an easy, breezy love. It's scary and magical and exquisite. Like you're dying and being reborn each day. 

GDI - Truett 1st day kindergarten

Not simple, and terrifying, and I wouldn't change it, not a minute of it.

GDI - Truett last day kindergarten

I love you so much, Robert Truett Sypert. 

Friday tidbits

GDI - DC monument

What are you up to this weekend? We'll be heading back to SC tomorrow early and in the meantime are soaking up our last day here in DC. AND next week Truett begins first grade! (June will start 3K on the 31st).

Have a great weekend and see you back here next week.

Puppet tea bags, so cute.

Book deserts. We love our public library.

Georgia swears by trueandco for good underwear. I am, sadly, still wearing underwear I bought when Truett was a newborn. 

I'm envious of this restaurant in Brooklyn that has a sand box and other playthings for kids to do while parents hang out and eat (seriously, why don't all shops/restaurants do this? Brilliant.)

How to be less controlling.

A pretty place to visit in the fall.

Kimchi Pork rolls. These look heavenly. 

A Harper Tunic, beautiful for the fall.

I love, love, love this home redo. Ach. 

Travel laundry kit. What a great idea.

20 back to school finds under $20

That's it - have a great weekend!

Pictures from our trip, so far

GDI - June beach DC

We've been having a lovely time visiting Georgia in DC. The cousins are thick as thieves and I've been soaking up the good food - Cava Mezze is absolutely addictive (like a Mediterranean version of Chipotle).

This morning we went to The Beach installation at The National Building Museum. The kids jumped in the clear balls and afterwards we went out for Japanese food next to a beautiful old church. The bells kept bonging and it made me miss the city. 

Here are some pictures from our trip so far, if you'd like to see :)

GDI - June Aurelia counter

GDI - Aurelia pool Hope

GDI - Truett holds Aurelia

GDI - June Aurelia bikes

GDI - DC monument


GDI - museum Georgia A

Hope you're having a great week! xoxo

New bathroom - cost breakdown

GDI - myparadissi

Last week I shared our brand new half-bath & I added a few notes about our remodel costs.

My cousin Michelle - who's into home rehab - asked for more details in one of the comments. 

Although I'm not that great at details (an understatement, really) I thought I'd add a few more notes about our costs.

(the nook pre-bathroom)

GDI - art nook

While I began to brainstorm on the remodel project, I realized my original estimate of $7,000 was a little bit low. But since we also had recessed lighting & some painting done in our kitchen, all of our costs weren't bathroom related.

GDI - bathroom 1

Here's my best estimate:

Total labor + construction materials: $4,200 (this includes materials for the new wall, chair rail, built-in cabinet, installation of sink & toilet).

    Toilet: $209, Kohler

    Sink + faucet: $35 (sink), $140 (faucet)

Electrician: $700 (this included recessed lighting in kitchen, new bathroom & new hallway. Our electrician also fixed a wiring problem in our existing bathroom. In other words, the electrical for the bathroom alone was probably about $200, tops).

Plumber: $1,800. This was a big job since he had to plumb the basement for an entirely new bathroom.

Wallpaper: just under $500, (installation, free - our dear friend did an amazing job hanging our wallpaper).

Mirror: $300 with shipping.

I think that brings the total to about $7,400 for the bathroom alone.

GDI - bathroom 3

What have I missed? Michelle? 

PS - I'd love to see any pictures you all love of renovation projects :)

Top image via myparadissi

Friday tidbits

GDI - June paint 8.7.15

What will you do this weekend? We've got a birthday party to go to & then Truett's birthday party here at the house, Sunday :) Monday I'm taking the kids up to DC to see Georgia + family (can't WAIT to smooch little Aurelia!). 

See you back here Monday!

A mystery flight to paradise. Yes, please!

Do you follow the Novogratz family? They are renovating a castle in LA and I am so excited to follow their story! You can also follow the renovation on Pinterest.

Bud and I watched this documentary last Friday and it is so, so good.  

I'm hoping to take the kids to this art installation in DC next week.

Have you seen this short by Pixar called Lava? It's at the beginning of the movie Inside Out. This is only a clip but I'm hoping it will be downloadable soon. It is very wonderful.

Still dreaming about a backyard studio...

15 charming towns in SC.

A dog's purpose, according to a 6 year old. Oof.

Fried macaroni and cheese bites. Kid minds = blown.

Gorgeous old world chair from West Elm

Up next week: pictures from our DC trip + a more detailed breakdown of the new half bathroom

The magic of a Turkish towel

GDI - Talya towels

Sometime last year I went to one of my regular Sunday morning yoga classes. Our teacher - and the owner of the studio - was hosting a trunk sale of Talya Towels

At the time I hesitated because I thought the towels were expensive - and they are, in a relative kind of way - but I couldn't get over how soft and beautiful they were.

So the other day I stopped by a local store - called Bohemian - that carries them and bought two. In a happy twist of fate they were also on sale for 20% off (hello locals!). 

These towels. Oh my goodness. They are gorgeous and functional and so soft. I'm excited to use them for beach blankets, sarongs on vacation, and even a blanket for chilly nights. They've got this old-world vibe of understated glamour.

They're also huge so when you wrap up in one you aren't constantly tugging at the sides :)

If you live nearby, you can find them at Bohemian on Devine and, if not, here is a list of stores that carry them. (Or I can just mail you one if you don't live in SC).

Cannot recommend enough. 


About Me

My Photo Hi! I'm Hope. Welcome to my website all about: style, food, travel & parenting. I live in Columbia, SC with my husband and two bebes.