Thursday, March 16, 2017

Monogrammed Spring Tablescape

Something I have always wanted, but have never gotten around to adding to my collection is a beautiful set of monogrammed napkins. They have been on my wish list forever and I only wish they had made the cut a long time ago. I met one of my readers, a sweet southern gal- Christine, in Charleston on vacation last summer. After the fact, I found out that she actually owned a monogramming shop with the prettiest linens. We have kept in touch over the last several months because our style definitely coincides! She is a lover of southern hospitality, monograms {of course!}, vintage charm, family, friends, entertaining, chinoiserie...the list goes on. Fast forward to now and here I am styling some of her beautiful dinner napkins. Here you will see me styling them for a Spring occasion to get me ready for Easter- but y'all- I can't wait to pull them out for more occasions throughout the year! 

Christine's sweet little shop is called "South of Libbie" which comes from her love of two historic, southern cities- Charleston and Richmond. "Libbie" is from a favorite area of her hometown, Richmond, called Libbie and Grove, with adorable boutiques and historic brick homes. Now that Christine is in Charleston, she is drawn to the South of Broad area that she loves for the gracious homes, cobblestone streets, and sweeping sea breezes. I can't think of a better name for her shop than to combine these two adored, southern cities!

 I chose a beautiful navy monogram that reminds me of something I would see in a fine linen shop. Good monograms are hard to find- am I right? I have to say I was so impressed when my box of napkins was delivered. It was so much heavier than I expected, which only meant that the napkins were a wonderful, heavy quality. 

Before I delve into the rest of the tablescape I wanted to explain my plan of action! When I started out thinking about the tablescape I wanted to design, I envisioned something really elaborate that I had never done before. It would require some shopping and hunting around for some unique finds...and time! Even though that sounded like fun, the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize I didn't need all of that. And you don't either! I decided something simply elegant with my monogrammed napkins was so much better than a table full of knick knacks that would likely be stored in a cabinet 364 days out of the year. 

Here is what I needed...that mostly can be found in my own cabinets:
-fresh linens {tablecloth and monogrammed napkins}
-fresh flowers 
-sparkling china and crystal 
-napkin rings and silverware

That's it! 

I was more than thrilled with how this tablescape turned out and I know you all can create it at home too. Since Easter is right around the corner, this is a great time to think about how your table will look. I love the elegance and simplicity of it. Enough room for food to be set on the table, yet your guests will be able to appreciate the beautiful table you set for them. 

This tablecloth is nothing new. It is actually extremely old- given to us the day after our wedding from my Grandparents. My Grandma explained that she had been given this tablecloth from a family member when she was young, even though she had never had a "C" in her name. It was a passed down tablecloth for generations and she was excited to give it to me...finally a "C" in the family!

Usually I keep my Tobacco Leaf salad plates in the china cabinet, but since I used them on the table I switched in my assortment of Blue Willow dishes.

Our crystal pattern is Waterford Lismore Tall, but I found these Tiffany + Co vintage glasses a week ago for $8. I nearly fell over. They are simply gorgeous with that fluted edge. They remind me of something you would see in an old Hollywood movie...

The monogram napkins totally set off this table. They were the finishing touch that I needed to make it special, and the perfect investment piece to really make your table pop. 

One other fun detail is these inexpensive lucite napkin rings. They have a slot where you can put a flower, as I did. I think they would be really cute with a ribbon or sprig of holly at Christmas!

I wanted to share this note from Christine, so you all understand why she loves what she does! "I love to create linen dinner napkins that are high quality, with vintage style monograms that can be passed down for future generations! While I love the vintage and antique, I also love pops of bright colors and you'll find that incorporated through many of my pieces!"

The good news for y'all is that Christine is offering you all 10% off in her shop with code MISSDIXIE10. This expires March 26th, so it gives you just enough time to get your napkins ordered before Easter! And, if you aren't in the market for napkins- you HAVE to check her tea towels. I love these and these ginger jars! They make beautiful gifts for a shower, birthday, Mother's Day, or a treat for yourself!!

find South of Libbie on instagram here

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring Garden Wishlist

With a new house comes a new opportunity to create our dream landscape! I'm really, really thankful that our yard has the perfect amount of "base" landscaping. Everything is very well maintained, nothing messy, quality evergreens...with plenty of space to make it our own. I don't know how much will get planted this year with our pending garage addition, but I cannot wait to really make the yard ours! Here are some of my favorites for the garden that we either currently have that are worth a mention, or on my wishlist!

1. Boxwood
My evergreen hedge, foundation bush of choice. I will never quit you boxwood!

2. Endless Summer Hydrangeas
These are the ones that if cared for well, will give you blooms over and over throughout the summer. Thats a big plus since most just bloom once a season.

3. Blushing Bride Hydrangeas
My parents gave me one when we got engaged in a pretty stone planter. A beautiful shade of white with hints of pink!

4. Irises
I love seeing these bloom early Spring. They come in a ton of colors and are so, so easy to grow. Great bulb.

5. Japanese Snowball Viburnum
I love these for the gigantic mounds and mounds of blooms they produce, twice a year. They look similar to hydrangea blooms, so of course I love them!

6. Holly Ferns
 Great for adding to beds. Come back year after year.

7. Trees- Magnolia, Crepe Myrtle, Holly
Southern staples! I love the natchez crepe myrtle variety.

8. Caladiums
Easy for your pots!

9. Limelight Hydrangeas
These are a great shade of white and light green, they bloom a little later in the season which is a nice change when everything else seems spent!

10. Hostas
I'm obsessed with hostas. They are also a favorite to clip leaves for arrangements.

11. Rhododendrons
These are in the azalea family. I love the bright pink blooms!

12. Creeping Jenny
Easy for your pots- one of my favorite "spillers"...

13.Sweet Potato Vine
Another easy "spiller"....

14. Kimberly Queen Fern
I get two every year for my big black pots and they last all season. I am on the lookout for them now. I usually buy mine pretty early and they still do fine all summer and through the fall.

15. Peonies
Oh how I wish I could grow peonies. They do not do well in our salty, humid climate...but a girl can dream.

You can find all of these on my Floral Love + Outdoor Inspiration Board. What are your garden staples?!

PS- Stay tuned for a really fun post tomorrow to get ya in the mood for Spring + Easter!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Birthday + A Christening

We celebrated both of my babies two weekends ago and I wanted to do a mini recap on those! I know I don't share a ton of personal updates but this was a special weekend for everyone. Maybe I will get better about sharing more weekend recaps etc - but let me tell you, its a lot of work for doing that. Major props to those bloggers that keep up with it all! 

First up, my sweet Weeks' Fourth Birthday. He wanted a jeep and golf themed cake :) Our baker did a perfect job executing it! I also set up a black chalkboard runner on the table that I wrote little messages on. The food went on the table- I know it looks sparse in the pic and I didn't get one when lunch was served. We had hamburgers, hotdogs, hashbrown casserole, and at the last minute I got some frozen Nathan's Onion Rings {which were SO good! Such a good side thats easy and who doesn't like onion rings?}

Weeks was so excited when it was time to sing Happy Birthday to him with his cake presented! It was so sweet.

Weeks got a fun new swingset for his birthday from both sets of Grandparents. I know the kids are going to have a blast this summer on it! This was right after going down the slide the first time!

The next day we were up early for Frances Ann's Christening! Thankfully both kids did great on the front row of the church and Weeks nodded off during the sermon, ha! I was worried how Frances Ann would react during the actual baptism but she did great. 

You can find my dress and shoes here. This dress line is one of my favorites. A designer style but priced fairly, and such a classic look! This would be perfect for Easter in a few weeks. The shoes are not only so pretty, but so comfy- I wore them all morning up until after lunch with no problems. The heel is the perfect height. I fell in love with them last fall and they are on sale now!

We had brunch at my parent's beach house afterwards and my Mom set up fresh potted flowers, pictures of my sweet girl, and of course, another cake! It was perfectly simple and sweet for the occasion. Our menu was fabulous too: roast beef tenderloin sliders, ham biscuits, broccoli salad, fruit salad and twice baked potato casserole. 

We even got a decent family photo, minus FA being her curious self! I will take it them to pieces!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Easy Beach Coverups

beach coverups

We are on vacation next week {YAY} and coverups have been on the brain. Even though it's still a little early to be needing them, I have learned the good ones sell out fast and early in the season. So go ahead and find your favorites and don't wait! I regret it every time I do! Also, a requirement for me is it has to be EASY. No mess, and fuss. Something I can be getting up and down in out of my beach chair and be totally comfortable when it is 100 degrees. Most of these are well under $50, one under $80 full price {but on sale makes it much less!}. Happy Saturday y'all! 

PS- This coverup is a little more, but I can justify that for one really cute coverup a year. Stephen asked if I wanted anything new for our trip {husband of the year!!} and I quickly responded with this baby. Let's see if he pulled the trigger ;)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Hello Fresh Review

I mentioned a few weeks ago we were trying out Hello Fresh and since I was very curious about how it would all go, I wanted to share my honest opinions about the food and service! As I mentioned before, my Mom forwarded me her code to make my box $20 for three meals. This is discounted $40, the regular box is $60. So, right off the bat I felt like I was getting a great deal. By the way, everyone receives their personal code that they can pass along, and in turn you get rewards for each person that signs up. The good thing about Hello Fresh, and I am guessing other meal delivery services, is that you can stop them at any time. I would never sign up for one that didn't allow that! You also get to pick your meals out of a handful of options. So now that we know the basics lets go over the food, meal by meal!

Our first meal was made on Sunday night and I thought the most involved recipe was best for this night, the Tater Topped Pot Pie. I did get excited knowing I just had to pull out that one box that had everything right there in hunting, and back and forth to the fridge 40 times. In my honest opinion, a few of the potatoes were not the freshest and some of them were smaller than what I was expecting {i.e tiny potatoes!} which I think makes them harder to peel. Were they bad potatoes? No. But, I probably would have picked a few others in lieu of them at the grocery store. The mushrooms were really fresh. The finished meal was good, and I am not a huge pot pie fan! Potatoes and pot pie are right up Stephen's alley though and he loved this meal. Right away, Stephen commented that we should be doing this delivery service every week because he was impressed with the result and the price! By the way, we spend way too much money at the grocery store. It also made enough for leftovers, which was nice for Weeks the following day for lunch.

The next meal was Sassy Soy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice. I absolutely loved this meal in terms of flavor! The broccoli had a few yellow spots, so again, probably would have picked something a teeny bit fresher, but it did not affect the end result of the meal. I just trimmed that part off. They provided chicken thighs- one was pretty large and the other was significantly smaller. All this means is that one was done a little before the other, and Stephen had a lot more chicken than me! 😉  The peanut sauce that I made with it was really good too, similar to something I would have found in a restaurant and never thought to make at home! Overall, I was really impressed with how this meal turned out. It was delicious.

The last meal was the Sirloin, Parsnip Wedges and Creamed Spinach. Another really, really great meal. My parents happened to be in town and they had coincidentally chosen the same meals for the week. We opted to pool our meals together this night so we could eat together. I think this meal ended up taking the most time to prepare, but we were also catching up and entertaining kids at the same time. My Mom had some fresh green beans that she brought along that we added to the meal. Again, this meal really impressed me. I saved the recipe card and will definitely recreate it again, probably for a special occasion. By the way- I don't think I had ever eaten parsnips before?! Their take on the wedges made them seem like fries, but are much healthier. This was a fun discovery.

So, the big question is...will I do this again? Absolutely! I really enjoy cooking and planning our meals so I will not be doing this weekly, but Stephen and I decided we will do it about once a month or so, depending on the menus offered and our schedules for the week. I have to say, I wished on Sunday night I could have grabbed a box out of the fridge and started cooking. I also think you are getting really great meals at a fraction of what you would pay at the grocery store. The good definitely outweighed the bad, which was minimal. I think I learned a bit too! Our recipes also called for roasting vegetables several times, and they turned out fabulous. Roasting veggies is not in my usual routine and I will be incorporating that into future cooking!

If you guys are still reading, thank you! I know you probably didn't need to hear every detail about my dinners but I wanted to give an honest opinion! If you want to try it out, my link is here {code is KRHILLM}. Any questions? I am happy to answer! Have you tried a meal delivery service yet?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Some Shopbop Faves!

As you might know, Shopbop is having their buy more, save more event which is really nice ahead of the Spring season! I wanted to mention a few items I own and a few I have my eye on that are a part of the sale. One of my most asked about items- these sunglasses!

I wanted these forever and they were so worth the wait! Snagging them on sale makes them all the better, right? Also, since y'all have asked me about this before, this is the Curling Iron Used!

I got these for Christmas and have loved them. They are super comfortable and go with so many things as we are transitioning towards Spring!

A Valentines present. They don't have a ton of sizes left in this one but you can see the rest of the Soludos collection here. They are super, super cute. I'm obsessed!!

 We are headed to Florida in a few weeks so I have resort wear on the brain...

A pretty coverup that is easy to throw on...comes in several colors. This brand makes a long coverup as well but it is way too hot in the summer here for a long coverup! #nothanks

I am so obsessed with this one! It also comes in a pink/white colorway.