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)

On being human

Birthday post balloons

Today is the day I turn 37 years old. It's funny, getting older, duh, because you essentially always feel like the same person you always were. What's this 18 year old doing with two children? Weird.

But I don't sit down to write about the weirdness of aging, I just trust we're all in the same boat. I sit down in the hopes that I can write this morning, as a birthday gift to myself, with bravery and honesty and, in the greatest hopes, to ease someone else's burden.

Last year, and I suspect in different ways, in many years to come, was a tough year. I'm sure I've alluded to it here before, and I know that piques your curiosity, and we all die to know each other's nitty gritty, but it'll have to suffice that it just was and that I have a family and that I cannot share all my details here. Anyway, if you can move past that bit, I'll get to the part that really matters, I think.

For the first few months of feeling really, really shitty, I walked through my life mechanically. I smiled for my kids, I waved at friends in the carpool line and I bought groceries. I made dinner. I did laundry. Those things required little thought. And then, when no one was around, I hid in my room and cried. I sat on my couch and stared. I felt justifiably sorry for myself, and then I also indulged in feeling sorry for myself because OF COURSE people have it far, far worse than I do.

Then - and I think this is the important bit - I began a Rocky sequence. I got off the couch. I began running - slowly and with lots of walking at first. I weaned off of my SSRI (slowly, slowly). I lost 30 pounds. I bought a small, run down house. I worked hard, hard, hard to fix it up (we're under contract!). I prayed, I meditated (poorly), I went to therapy. 

Then - and this part is even more important - I also failed. I cried on the phone to my sisters and my best friends. I indulged in a lot of anger and self-pity. I looked healthy habits in the eye and gave them the finger. I snapped at my kids. I was, and am, and probably always will be, full of mental writhing. In short I failed a lot.

Also, I keep failing. Also, I keep running. Some mornings I don't run. Some mornings I slog through two miles, miserable the entire time. Some mornings, like this one, I am King Kong running through the neighborhood, conquering all that is in front of me. Sometimes I succeed out of spite and a sense of life doing me wrong. Other times I am able to harness gratitude and compassion and peace. Those are the best times and they are rare and hard won.

My point is, and I'm not even sure I have a point, but my point is I am failing and succeeding at the same time and I have a feeling you are too. A Rocky sequence is sexy and movie-worthy, but it doesn't actually feel that way when you are inside it. 

I am in a boat with the rest of you, I imagine, and yet most of us feel like our friends and neighbors are in the better, well-balanced, shiny boat. The one where no one argues, no one makes poor decisions, no one grapples with the weightiness of being human (ever wish you were just, like, a fish or something?). 

We all know social media picks and chooses what it shows us (everyone on instagram can make the most swoony pies, while mine look like a jumble of assorted fruits smashed inside a lumpy crust). We also all know by now that those portray the highlight reel, the things our friends choose to show us. We also all know some of the gritty behind-the-scenes. But, still. Why is it so hard?  Why does Facebook tire me out and leave me feeling crappy? Is everyone going about their instagram-worthy lives while I press my face into the wind? I know they're not. 

The other day I saw a quote - one of those ubiquitous wall-quotes hipsters love to hang up in their gallery walls - and it said, simply, "Patience and discipline," I love that. I can do that. I can't do it perfectly, but I can keep trying. I can wake up some mornings in despair (looking at you, my best friend in the world) and put my shoulder into the hill. I can experience the tough and the shitty and the beauty and the transcendence. I can acknowledge the truth in opposing opinions. I can try my best to live in the exquisite slivers of a nuanced life. 

I hope this helps. I hope you feel less alone. I hope you know that while a few people must be living insufferably balanced hipster lives, the rest of us are right there with you just trying our best. xoxo 

2017 Grape Did It Holiday Gift Guide

For this year's gift guide, I tried to include ideas for a wide range of tastes + budgets. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season & not going bananas from over-drive. xoxo

Sezane Joseph jumper

First up, this Sezane Joseph Jumper. Slouchy, cozy & pretty. 

Embroidered towels

An embroidered towel from etsy. For the Fancy Nancy in your life. Ahem.

Stacked year calendar from Minted

Stacked year hanging calendar, from Minted. An understated & beautiful thing to look at all next year. 

Burdick's chocolate mice

These sweet chocolate mice (that come in a wooden box!) from Burdick's Handmade chocolates. I love everything about this gift.

Everlane weekender

The twill weekender bag from Everlane. I got one of these as a birthday gift years ago and I still enjoy pulling it down to travel.

Harry Potter mug

A Harry Potter mug that changes color when you add hot liquid. Because, duh, of course.

Bike bookends

Bicycle bookends

Mini zip Nana by Sally

A mini-zip made by my favorite local designer, Nana by Sally. I usually lean towards her leather designs, but this is the sweetest little bag. Sidenote: this is the bag June really loves ;)

Trtl neckscarf diving picture

Have you heard of the Trtl neck scarf/pillow? Looks like a perfect gift for a traveler. I wonder if it would work equally well for the carpool line?

Marble stunt set

A marble stunt-set for a kid...or grownup. 

Happy holidays everybody ❄️

SPONSOR

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.

More

ADS

ADS