Dramatic design you can do for free

Driftwood_Folly_Beach

Something I like to do while I'm at the gym, is to go through design magazines & snap pictures of my favorite elements. It's free (thank you, gym!) and I can go back and look things up later. 

A few weeks ago I stumbled on to a little blurby article that suggested adding a...

Michael taylor visual vamp

...boulder to your house! I know. Logistics could get tricky, but I love this idea. It reminds me of our trip to the Folly Beach Lighthouse this summer (first picture). The driftwood was gorgeous and I tried prying a bit off to hang on a wall in our house, but Bud said it was illegal and, even then, I might've tried a few pieces to see if anything was loose, but no, everything was stuck in the sand as if in cement.

The idea originates (well, perhaps is ancient, really) but from a modern perspective, originates with the late, great designer Michael Taylor

Michael taylor outdoor boulders visual vamp

Driftwood_cheapveganchick

Driftwood_wall_art_digsdigs

Driftwood_shelf_digsdigs

What else can you think of as a dramatic design freebie?

(images two and three are via visualvamp, image four is via cheapveganchick, & the last two are from digsdigs (links to a post with lots of driftwood-as-decor pictures)

Fall Wardrobe Refresh

I love clothes & wardrobe posts because they give me the fun of dreaming, without the price tag. Sometimes I buy the things I put here, other times I just visit them once in a while :) 

Here are a few of my newest favorite fall pieces although, let's be honest, down here in South Carolina, I won't get to use anything like this for quite a while. In fact, our Halloween's tend to be quite hot so you have to plan accordingly. Tights = sweat. (In a related, mini-heartbreak, Truett said he wasn't sure if he was going to dress up this year because he's nine. He's since changed his mind, but this pre-teen age is so bittersweet).

EmersonFry_Magic_Pant_Indigo

I love these Magic Pants from Emerson Fry for two reasons: they look like they'd hit that delicious mark between comfortable & flattering and, two, they are named Magic Pants. When Georgia and I were in high school/college we referred to certain items of clothes as magic. Like that slouchy tee shirt that made everyone look like an effortless goddess, the pair of jeans that actually fit in exactly the right way and could never be found or bought again. The foolproof clothes, if you will.

These are pricey, but look worth it. Shoot, they're sold out. But! There is a pair in Ivory still available.

Everlane_cashmere_crew

The Cashmere Crew from Everlane, in a soft, baby blue. It just looks so cozy. I have this sweater in black and would recommend sizing down. Mine is HUGE, which is comfy/slouchy, but annoying on days when I want something more fitted. 

I fall into the camp that $100 for any article of clothing is a lot (don't you love it when websites tell you a $98 shirt is a steal?), but for a cashmere sweater that should last you a lifetime, it is probably worth it.

JCrew_pink_leather_belt

This gorgeous, simple pale pink belt at JCrew (on sale!). 

Nana_by_Sally_waxed_tote

Ok, ok. Hear me out. This purse is pretty expensive. But I've had my Nana By Sally leather purse going on - four years now? And it's as beautiful as ever, more so in fact. Plus, I waited until she had a sale & scooped mine up. I gush about these hand crafted purses to everyone I know.

Another aside: June had to get surgical glue on a gash in her forehead Friday - I can perhaps share that whole story here, although she's getting to the age when she's a bit shy about what I share with whom, so we'll see - and one of the intake staff members at the hospital complimented my purse. I was sort of in a shock/daze, but was quick to tell her about Sally's designs. A few minutes later she pushed a piece of white paper towards me so I could write down the information and I just sat there staring at her for a while, until she reminded me, "The purse designer? Her info?" It was such a surreal moment. 

So. This bag. I love it's utility look, but I would also use it as my everyday purse, computer holder etc. If you're looking for something a big more sleek, this would fit the bill nicely. 

(Lastly, and I promise I am not getting paid or kickbacks or anything for all of this obnoxious slobbering, if you follow her on instagram, you'll see her latest creations in real time).

Nana_by_Sally_Convertible_Bag

I am so, so predictable when it comes to shoes. I wear running shoes for my slow jogging, no shoes for yoga, I have (MAYBE) one pair of fancy black heels, summertimes sandals (light brown), one pair of beat up Hunter rain boots, one pair of tall black leather boots, and of course, all the time, ballet flats. The pair my sister Summer gave me several birthdays ago actually have a hole in the toe. June has recently designated herself my stylist, and I think she's pretty disappointed in my shoe collection. 

Hush_Puppies_Ballet_Flats

Believe it or not, according to the Almighty Internets, one of the best, most comfortable brands for soft ballet flats (I don't like the pointy, hard kind) are...get ready for it...made by Hush Puppies! I don't think I've owned a pair of Hush Puppies since I was six years old, but the prices are pretty good, and so are the reviews. I like these in Vintage Indigo.

And how hilarious is it that they're called "Chaste"? No, I prefer mine in the Risque option.

Wynn_Designs_Heifer please

And then top it off with a funny, Sunday-morning, slouch-tastic tee shirt by my sister Summer's design company, Wynn Designs. I love this cheeky shirt.

Also her etsy shop.

Friday links

Photo manger

Happiest of Fridays! What will you do this long weekend? We have zero plans, but I've been eyeing this store in Greenville forever, and thought we might make a field trip of it :)

Let's do some long overdue Friday links & hope to see you back here next week. Have a great weekend.

I've found myself becoming very picky about fabrics recently, and so was very happy to find this all-cotton, super-cute, button down at Target yesterday. Not so much these acid washed jeans (WHY?)

A smoothie recipe I've been enjoying lately (I can't find it online so I'll just give you the quick and dirty, here: coconut milk, frozen cherries, pumpkin seeds, ground flax seed, vanilla (to taste), cocoa powder (unsweetened), half of an avocado, maple syrup (to taste). You can play around with ratios and/or add or subtract something, but I found this is a nice way to start my day.

A beautiful, old orangery (a greenhouse for growing oranges, I had to look it up, too).

Could I pull off Miss Havisham for my Halloween costume this year? (YES I am already thinking about fall, sorry it's just so damn hot here all the time) (Gillian Anderson is killing it here)

Cool exhibit at USC.

That's it - have weekend!

(photo credit Manger)

An instagram picture

I wrote a long instagram post yesterday, so would like to share it here, too :) xoxo

Hope wicker mirror

When I was in my early teens, I saved up all my money & bought a white wicker vanity. I had no way of knowing at the time how much I would grow to love aesthetics, design & old homes. In fact, I always felt a bit of a tomboy in comparison to my lovely sisters Georgia & Summer. In an odd twist of fate, I now find myself living in my parent’s condo, with the very same wicker vanity. And it occurs to me how our deep selves sometimes know things we don’t figure out until much, much later.

Kiddos, first day

4th grade 1st grade

Oh my dosh

Emerson-Fry-Bardot-Top-20180725210316

We have a cute two year old neighbor friend who, instead of exclaiming oh my gosh, says, OH MY DOSH OH MY DOSH.

Which is my way of saying wow I have been away from this blog for so long & am looking forward to getting back into this creative outlet. 

Since posting last we have: sold our house, moved into an apartment, started (this morning!) 4th & 1st grade, and generally tried to keep up with life, as it hurtles along.

Why did we sell our house? Well, for one thing, the neighborhood we lived in got very popular. We always had a sale in the back of our minds, but hated to pull the trigger because we love, love, love the neighbors/hood, house, lot, my babies were raised there waaaaaah. We'd also sort of "finished" what we planned to do with the house. Of course you can always continue to add/subtract, but the biggies we set out to do were done: kitchen, added bath, new roof, lots of out door hard & soft scaping and so forth.

Still, it was challenging. A few days after the sale June told me she wished "you hadn't signed those papers," referring to closing. Ouch. But we keep emphasizing the positive - a new house to fix up as we wish, living in an apartment is sort of vacation-fun (June keeps calling this our hotel) & in general, moving forward is nearly always preferable to feeling stale.

My dearest, biggest, hopeful wish is to find another beautiful-bones house & chronicle the fixing up here on GDI. I'm so grateful I've got this space to refer back to on both Fairview (kitchen & moving-in pictures) & Marling

With that, I will leave you with something totally unrelated, but fun. How cute is this Emerson Fry Bardot Top? It looks perfect for summer-to-fall weather. 

Happy first week of school for all of my Columbia friends :)

PS - whoops! Mother of year award! I'll post kiddos first day pictures tomorrow. 

Three fun things for your Monday

Small building  skies  grass

First of all, how have I missed this Alexa ad? It's hilarious and b. we love our Alexa ap - the kids use it to play music, ask questions & inquire about the weather most mornings.

Secondly, this is an interesting, kind of funny, story about a broken ski pole, that my friend Miriam sent me. It bears noting, I have not been watching the Olympics, but I love how the games bring out these fascinating stories from all over the world. 

Last of all, guide to dog breeds is especially funny. My favorite line, "exercise me 6 hours every day or I'll eat this couch!!"

Hope you had a good weekend. xo

Ouch, parenting

Mother and child Frederic Leighton

I was talking to a friend yesterday about a moment's realization I had the other day. My sister and I were chatting on the phone, and, as often happens, we began wringing our hands over what kind of education is best for each of our children. Should I home-school? If I do, when (or if) do we put child(ren) back in school? Which school then? etc etc.

Of course I was consumed, at least momentarily, with anxiety over my choices. When it suddenly hit me, I cannot, as a parent, control my children's experience with the world. Of course you know this somewhere deep down all along, but like so much wisdom, it comes and goes. 

It's particularly tough for today's parent, who faces a constant barrage of parenting information. It lulls us into thinking we are in control, we are in charge. And it's tough, too, because to some extent we are! Especially when they are newborns and dependent on us for nearly everything. And statistics and outcome-based research is everywhere. So our choices DO matter. 

So, I get it. But ultimately. Ultimately, we have to let go some. There will be positives and negatives attached to each choice we make and so, after making as-best-a-decision-as-I-can, I think it is wise to let go of what happens after that choice. Or perhaps, deal with the outcomes as they come. I think this will take daily practice.

My friend, after hearing me relate my conversation with my sister, and my subsequent feeling about it all, found this poem by Kahlil Gibran, called, aptly enough, "Your Children Are Not Your Children".

I'll warn you to have the tissues ready if you are as prone to tears as I am, but also, there is a deep wisdom and comfort in these words, I think. Remember, you are somebody's baby too. xo

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Link here. Image here.

Friday links

Greenhouse

Good morning! 

I hope you had a good week &, if not, are looking forward to a fun and/or relaxing weekend :)

Here are a few links to start your weekend off.

I've made a semi-resolution to do one kind (outside of the ordinary) thing every day. Technically, it's supposed to be anonymous, but so far that hasn't worked at all. Oh well, I'll keep doing it & hope I find more ways to do it anonymously. On that note, I'd love ideas or stories of how you've performed random acts of kindness (or not so random). This website gives ideas & this quote from this website, really spoke to me, "When people are kind-hearted, generosity spreads and people are happy. Scientists say so. Ancient wisdom has always known it."

This polygonal sculpture of a woman passing her hand through a fence, gave me chills.

Oh my gosh, Ostrich planters.

June's really into hair styles right now, so I've bookmarked this article on super easy ones to try.

I went old school with this easy Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe this week and it turned out tasty. Of course, easy is a relative word when it comes to cooking, so while I wouldn't call this recipe difficult, it's definitely NOT akin to slapping together pancakes & fried eggs for dinner. 

Did you happen to see this viral & hilarious (poor dad!) video of a man sliding down his driveway?

This top from Emerson Fry is restocked! 

And, lastly, we are going on a mini-vacation to Asheville (staying at The Grove Park Inn) & I am SO excited. While there we'll tour the Biltmore & have lunch at The Stable. I have a feeling June will geek out on all of the FAWNCY & Truett will love the explanations of how Vanderbilt was one of the pioneers of indoor plumbing etc.

Hope you have a great weekend. xo

(top image via cocondedecoration)

On a greenish day

Fiddle leaf figs have long been the most popular plant on the internet, especially when a blogger or designer showcases a room or home redo. 

Ex. 1

Manhatten-nest.com fig

Ex. 2

Style me pretty fig

Ex. 3

Topista fig

A good way to test your hipster aptitude is to ask yourself these two questions: 1. have I ever owned a Fiddle Leaf Fig? and 2. did I put it in a basket? 

Anyway, mine began to look awfully sad this summer. So I gave it to my friend Elizabeth, aka Dr. Fiddle Leaf, and she nursed it back to health. This fall I took it back and have had it in our sunroom ever since, where it remains healthy, though pretty much dormant.

I went by the plant store yesterday and picked up this kelp fertilizer called Bushdoctor, in order to give it a little boost through the winter. 

In the meantime, I also took four curly willow cuttings I'd put in water - they did root - and planted them in pots of soil with plenty of water (you'll note willows almost always grow near streams etc). I have tried to plant a curly willow ever since my wedding, where we had cuttings in our arrangements (with no success, I might add). 

I kind of find plants & landscaping overwhelming. Like, I'll look at a Peace Lilly (they are famously dramatic when they get dry), and be all, "do you REALLY need water AGAIN?" So I've also committed to outfitting all of our pots with bottoms - nothing like racing around the house grabbing old towels to sop up the water under a newly watered plant. 

Our outside is trickier. The chickens tend to scratch and nibble almost anything - lettuces, kale, grass, mint, most tender shoots - and then there's also the overall plan. Do I have architectural drawings made up? Or do I just willy-nilly plant things I like? What do you do? Do you have a garden master plan? Do you have a favorite indoor plant that's easy-ish to grow? I'd love to know.

Hope you're having a good Thursday & a great start to your new year. xo

PS - a great instagram to follow if you love indoor plants. 

(first image via, second image via, third image via)

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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.

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