Home Building Update

Since my last post, our new house has come quite a long way! The lot has been cleared, framing is complete, and the groundwork for plumbing and electrical is almost finished. While the builders have been hard at work, there really hasn’t been much to see from the outside, but I think that’s about to change once they start putting up drywall in the coming weeks!

In the meantime, we’ve been having a great time working with St. Clair Kitchens to finalize the kitchen layout, cabinetry, and make sure it all works with our appliances. I never realized there were so many options when it comes to types of cabinets, drawers, organizers, and inserts. One of the first decisions that we had to make was whether to have one, two, or no windows on the stove wall. We decided to go with two so that the kitchen is airy and bright. Adding two windows also really makes the range and hood a focal point on that wall. Another major decision was the size and shape of the kitchen island. I dreamed of a wide island with large pendant lights and 3-4 barstools lined up facing the stove, but the space was really just too narrow so we ended up needing to turn the island longways. Now that it’s framed, it’s starting to feel real, and we’re so excited to have enough space to have our friends and family over for a proper meal, and to have adequate storage to keep our kitchen organized.

Another change that we decided to make was removing the wall between the “his and hers” master closets to create one large master closet. We also shortened the windows to allow for built-in drawers for accessories and such underneath like in Rachel Parcell’s amazing closet designed by Alice Lane Home. While our closet will be no where near as large, and I won’t be able to fit my desk inside, I hope we’ll be able to have separate storage areas for short and long dresses, skirts, blouses, and a shoe wall!

Alice Lane Home for Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies


Since the plans were already in place when we signed our contract on the house, we haven’t made too many structural modifications to the original plans, but will get to pick out almost all of the finishes from tile and countertops to paint colors and light fixtures…more on that coming soon!

Our Next Adventure

Hi there!

The blog’s been pretty quiet for awhile, but it’s honestly because with Tad being go, go, go these days and Ted and I both working full-time, I try to spend as much of my free time having family time as possible. When Ted and I do get dressed up and go out, we’re usually rushing out the door and trying to make the most of our time while we have a babysitter! Most weeks, our routine is pretty much the same, but we’re shaking things up a bit in the months ahead.

As much as we’ve absolutely loved our little home in North Old Town, Alexandria, townhouse living is not as desirable with a toddler…so we’re headed down the parkway to the ‘burbs! We’ll still have about a year to enjoy walkable city life and our lovely little neighborhood, but are extremely excited to be building a house in the 22308 zip code. We’ve been so blessed to meet so many wonderful people who have become dear friends over the past couple of years, that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to turn friends into neighbors. It really does take a village to raise little ones, and with most of our family still in North Carolina, we’re so excited to give Tad the opportunity to grow up in such an amazing community.

Currently, we’re waiting on all of the permits to be approved by the city so that demolition (then construction) can begin. The first big decision we needed to make is what color siding to use. The plans call for most of the house to be HardiePlank fiber cement siding which comes in pre-finished colors with the pigment integrated into the material. I had been eyeing “cobblestone” and “pearl gray” since I first saw the samples, but stay tuned to see what we decided. I hope to post updates throughout the process as I’d love to hear experiences and advice from you all who have been through this before. In the meantime…let the pinteresting begin!

Fringe on Fringe

Tad took an abnormally long nap today so I only had a few minutes to take a few snaps of this fringe on fringe look (without even stepping off my back porch!) before heading out to our afternoon plans, but I am loving the fringe and tassel trend this spring. These chandeliers are my absolute favorite new earrings because they combine three fringe tassels with gems and accents in tones of blush, grey, and cream. This means they go with just about everything in my wardrobe!

As excited as I was about sharing this look with you all, the more exciting news is that Tad decided that he wanted to be a walker today. He’s been taking steps here and there for weeks now, but has preferred to crawl for the most part. Today he saw some of his friends running around and wanted to be just like them. Thank goodness we are at the age when peer pressure can be a good thing!

How are you embracing the tassel/fringe trend this spring? …and for the new mommas…how are you encouraging your kiddos walk on their own?


Earrings, ring, and sunglasses by Stella & Dot






Finding My Perfect Fit

We all know that an errant bra strap, the wrong bra, or an unsightly v.p.l. can ruin the perfect outfit. In thinking about revamping my wardrobe, I needed to start with the foundation. I started branching out from Victoria’s Secret for lingerie basics a few years ago when I discovered Journelle, but had to admit that it was time to give my drawer a refresh. With being pregnant and then breastfeeding, investing in new bras hasn’t been at the top of my list in quite some time. Needless to say, it’s also been since pre-baby that I was properly sized. The thought of trekking out to get measured wasn’t appealing in the least, so I decided to give ThirdLove a try.


You download the app to your phone and the fit finder guides you through taking two simple photos. Based on markers that you set on the photos, and your answers to a few basic questions, the app magically generates your predicted perfect fit. The truly amazing thing is that it is precise even to the half-cup size (which ThirdLove has introduced)! After learning my new size, which included a half, I went back to browsing their beautiful collection. In the spirit of buying what I need and is practical for my life, I settled on their basic 24/7 t-shirt bra in naked 1 (really a soft pink), the 24/7 lace t-shirt bra in evening-blue, and the front closure lace racerback in soft-pink because it’s really too pretty not to. I also threw in a few matching seamless cheekies for good measure.


When my new bras arrived, I was pretty happy overall. The fit finder truly did it’s job, and the quality is just beautiful from the gold hardware detail and lace down to the ribbon trimmed straps on the 24/7 t-shirt bra. Ribbon straps…be still my heart. I may exchange the 24/7 t-shirt bra in naked 1 for the same thing in naked 2 since the color is a bit too light to be a true nude for me, and ThirdLove has recently introduced a range of nudes so not only can you find your perfect fit, but also your perfect match!

Have you tried ThirdLove yet? What is your favorite color/style?

If you’ve been wanting to try them out or your lingerie drawer needs a refresh, get $15 off your first purchase.




Another Year Older (Almost)

It’s exactly one month before my birthday, which always has me thinking about all of the to-dos, things I wanted to accomplish, and things I need to change before that next milestone. A few years ago, my biggest priorities were getting to a certain place in my career and seriously thinking about starting family.

The year, it’s the wrinkles, the workout, and the wardrobe…
I found out that I was pregnant shortly after my 30th birthday so I gave myself a pass on worrying about that whole post-30 wardrobe cleanse thing since I knew I’d be buying maternity clothes soon enough and had no idea what my post baby body would be like. In addition to asking myself, should I still be wearing this, I also need to consider how much my wardrobe needs have changed. I’ve always had a penchant for fancier clothes than my life really needed, but now going to the club means tee boxes and brunch rather than sequins and stilettos, and I need to be honest about what I really wear.
Further complicating matters, my office recently went from a minimum of business casual to a jeans everyday dress code. (Whether or not I actually want to wear jeans to the office everyday is a different matter…more on that later). For years, I invested in business professional or business casual pieces thinking they’d be wardrobe workhorses forever. While I’m pretty sure I’ll hang on to my favorite black pencil skirt and a few silk blouses, I just don’t need all of the filler pieces that basically stretched my wardrobe to avoid constant trips to the dry cleaner.
Getting my closet in check is sounding like a workout, and it’s a good thing since I haven’t been getting to the gym as regularly since going back to work. By the time we get Tad to bed, eat a bite of dinner, and I take care of any open items I may have left at the office, I feel like it’s too late to go to the gym (or so I tell myself). I’m hoping to start packing a gym bag and working out at the office before I come home on days that Ted has daycare pick-up, and challenging myself to go after dinner at least one day per week, even if for only 30 minutes.
Finally, I really don’t worry much about breakouts, but can no longer ignore those fine lines and wrinkles. I started using eye cream and night cream a few years ago, but have primarily relied on samples I received or whatever brand I happened to like the packaging on rather than really doing my research. I think I’m old enough now to invest in some solid products since an ounce of prevent is probably literally worth a pound of cure in this case. A fresh makeup routine probably wouldn’t hurt either!
Over the next few weeks, I’ll (hopefully) be tackling each of these areas and maybe feeling good enough about being another year older to celebrate gracefully.
In the meantime, I’d love suggestions on the best anti-aging products, especially for forehead lines and tired under eyes! What are your tried and true favorites?

Valentine’s Gift Ideas for the Mr.

It seems that whenever I write about post about gift ideas, Ted always asks what I’m going to get him. I like to think that me being his Valentine is enough, but nevertheless, he has a point. These are a few of my current favorite ideas, though I would like to add a disclaimer that these are ideas that are likely best suited once you’ve walked down the aisle. Trying to take over a man’s wardrobe before you’re married is risky business, let alone asking him to use a face mask. Ted and I passed that point a long time ago, and he agrees that his wardrobe and grooming is better for it. Before we were married, I stuck to things like electronics or tickets to something fun (whether a concert or sporting event).

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1. This commuter briefcase is a perfect blend of rugged man bag and enough polish to look professional showing up to an important meeting.

 2. Monogrammed cufflinks add a timeless personal touch to any professional wardrobe. I also love these as a gift idea for groomsmen.

 3. After a hard week at work, he can impress his friends when he offers them a drink sporting a giant ice ball just like the most popular craft cocktail bars.

4. The Tile makes missing keys, wallets, or even phones a thing of the past. It links to your phone so that you can “ring” your keys. A lifesaver for mornings in our house where the keys always seem to go missing.

 5. Born in Richmond, Ledbury shirts are some of the best fitting shirts around. The guys that founded the company are pretty great too. The start-up is still small enough that the founders often stop by pop-up shop events and customer appreciation parties.

6. I’ve been using Biore charcoal products for awhile, but splurged on this Beautycounter set for Ted for Christmas. The first time he used it, he left the mask on a little too long and his face turned red, but hasn’t had a problem since.

7. This slim wallet is perfect for today’s tailored suit and fitted jeans trend since it slips nicely in pockets without adding bulk.

8. It took me forever to convince Ted that throwing on gym shoes with jeans, even if just to run to the grocery store, isn’t the best look. Now I’m hoping he’ll abandon flip flops in the dead of winter to take out the dog, if there is a comfy casual alternative.

What are you planning to get your S.O. for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Our first few years of marriage, Valentine’s Day always caused tension between Ted and I because he felt pressured to get me a gift. Inevitably, he’d ask what I wanted and I would say nothing since we just had Christmas and my birthday is around the corner. I would say to just pick up some flowers from the grocery store if he felt he really needed to do something. Rather than believing me, he would assume that I was “setting a trap” when I said not to get me anything, but really expected him to go find something on his own. That really wasn’t the case, but he’d get so worried about it that we’d usually get in a fight about something silly.

One year, I just so happened to spot a pair of sparkly pink earrings at J. Crew. I ended up getting them myself, but told Ted about them first we agreed that they could be for Valentine’s Day. Problem solved…Until the next year when he told me that he knows I like to shop for myself, but that he wanted to get something for me. That’s about the year that I started putting together a “gift guide” that he’s been able to use for Valentine’s Day and birthday ideas since. Last year the theme tended towards a cozy night in, but it seems that this year I’m in the mood for travel!

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Do you usually exchange gifts for Valentine’s Day? If so, what’s topping your wish list?



Valentine’s Inspired

Despite the cold weather we typically have in Alexandria in February, I always think of feminine fabrics like lace and tulle when planning an outfit for Valentine’s Day. I also thinks it’s fun to incorporate pink and red hues, but favor blush and burgundy to typical bright reds and pinks. A flirty dress in a bold color would have been an outfit of choice in my younger days, but now that I’m in my thirties I look for more refined pieces that can be part of my everyday wardrobe and not just for special occasions. A well made neutral lace top can be a great investment and is easily styled with skirts or jeans.

What are some of your favorite finds for a Valentine’s Day date night?


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Christmas Card 2016


This time last year we were celebrating Christmas as new parents. Tad was barely two weeks old, and we weren’t able to manage getting Christmas cards out. I always enjoy receiving them from friends and family and like to display them on our mantle, so I wanted to make sure to send them out this year. Ted kept asking me what I wanted for Christmas so I told him I wanted pictures – a nice family photo, a one year old photo of Tad, and a picture with Santa. We were pretty ambitious in trying to knock them all out in one day, but we made it through and managed to get a few good shots, thanks to Amanda Donohue and her husband who is professional at getting little ones to laugh.

To our friends and family who were sweet enough to include us in their Christmas card list this year – thank you! We’ve enjoyed looking at the beautiful pictures and reading about your year for those that included letters and milestone events. Even though I planned ahead for photos, I didn’t actually get them in the mail until we left town for the holidays, but they are on their way so please don’t cross us off the list for next year!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!



Photography by Amanda Donohue

My outfit: J. Crew sweater, Rocksbox necklace, Ann Taylor skirt (old; similar style here), MAC Rebel lipstick

Ted’s outfit: Ledbury shirt, Nordstrom Rack sweater and scarf

Tad’s outfit: Ralph Lauren Baby, Freshly Picked


Brunch with Santa

Rather than taking Tad to the mall to see Santa, we attended a brunch with Santa. It was the perfect opportunity for him to see the jolly old fellow and watch other kids he knows sit on his lap first. He devoured all sorts of treats like Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream while we waited our turn. There were also plenty of Christmas trees with bright, shiny ornaments for him to explore. He’s not really talking yet so I’m pretty sure he asked for a dadada and a nuh-nuh (what he calls our dog, Nutmeg), but hopefully Santa speaks baby babble because Tad’s been an awfully good boy this year. He loves going to school, reading books, and crawling all over the place. He’s learned to wave bye-bye, give kisses and high fives, and is a little speedster with his walker.

Oh, and he even gave us the classic picture you were really hoping for…