Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I have always appreciated the beauty of orchids, there is just something about their exotic nature.  When I was planning my wedding, my floral designer suggested that we add orchids to my bridal bouquet and I was apprehensive...(I was thinking more "english rose garden" than "beachy tropical".) I trusted her, and she was right...they added the perfect amount of length and flow to a fairly structured bouquet.  Ever since, I have loved the white orchid.

Recently, I went on an excursion with friends to several local Thai markets. There were so many wonderful and amazing products....including stand after stand of beautiful orchids. There were planted orchids, hanging orchids and boxes of orchids in every color.

I could not resist purchasing a box of white orchids.  I brought them home and was deliberating where in the house to put them, when some one suggested outside.  So, I set the orchids in pots on our front patio, and they have not only survived...but thrived.

Check them out:
There are probably close to 12 individual potted orchids in this pot.

Some of the buds "softened", and I took a tiny bit off the tip and they opened.

We are planning to grow our own pineapple too!
What do you think?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Made It To Thailand

We made it to Thailand!  The past few months have been a flurry of packing, leaving what we know in the states and acclimating to our new life in Southeast Asia.  So far so good.

We have had some amazing (and not so amazing) culinary experiences since our arrival, and slowly but surely we are getting use to the weather.  Here are a few quick shots of our new neighborhood.  Glad to be back to posting, and more to come!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Wine Barrel Is Home!

Over 4 years ago my husband planned a fun weekend getaway.  He wouldn't tell me where we were going, just that he planned it all out and I would have a great time.  I had so much fun trying to guess. NYC? OBX? Vegas? No, no, no...he told me I would never guess where it was, and he was right!

When he was ready to tell me, he presented me with a binder.  He made it himself (picture of us on the cover and all.)  It was so sweet, and when I began to read about the trip I learned we were going to the Yadkin Valley in NC.  It is North Carolina’s first federally-recognized American Viticultural Area, and we loved it!

One of our favorite vineyards is Shelton Vineyards.  The property is amazing, the wine is great and the restaurant on site is FANTASTIC.  While we were tasting wine and touring the property we learned that you can "Adopt A Barrel".  To learn more about the program you can click HERE.  One of the perks of the program is that you receive a case of wine each year for 4 years, and each year we have gone back to "visit" our barrel and pick up our case of wine.  Here is a picture of our barrel in the cellar:

This year we got to pick up our barrel and bring it home!  I was a little nervous about where we would put it, but it fits quite nicely in our dining room.

We have agreed that it was so much fun the first time, we would like to do it again. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Anniversaries and Celebrations

May is one of my favorite months!  Flowers are in bloom and it is a promise that summer is right around the corner.

Right now we are planning for birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries.  This year my grandparents are celebrating 60 years together, and my parents are celebrating 40 years together.  Their commitment to each other, and watching them weather the good times and the bad all these years has taught me so much...and I am so grateful.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Clean Water For All

I am so grateful for all of the blessings in my life. As a mother, one of my goals is to help my children grow into socially responsible adults. It is my personal belief, that those of us who can give back, should.

There are so many worthwhile causes that it is staggering. As a family we are asking that all our gifts for the next 6 months (all of our birthdays) go to our water project. Our campaign is at:

Please check out the video below, and if you can give even $1 it will help.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Our trip to Blackberry Farm

I have been so obsessed with getting ready for our move, that I have neglected to post!  I am so sorry, and promise to catch you up on some of the amazing things we have done this Spring!

To begin, we just returned from an AMAZING spring break.  We traveled to the beach with family in South Carolina, then to Blackberry Farm and on to Nashville.

In a previous post, I had mentioned booking the trip to Blackberry and promised pictures with details.  I am feeling a little guilty about the fact that I did not take a single picture of our food!  Not sure what I was thinking there?  Perhaps there were just too many beautiful things to capture.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of Blackberry Farm through our lens.

Our room - the Nest Egg.  It was absolutely a beautiful space.

Heading to dinner at the barn.  The staff, the food and the service at dinner were the best I have ever experienced.
Perfect pansies in a windox box by the garden.

Checking out the seeds at the garden shed.

Playing with the "Truffle Puppies.

The horse stables.

The farm.

So beautiful.

Fresh honey with our tea.

The view from our lunch spot.


We absolutely loved being together as a family.  We were able to eat amazing meals, roast marshmallows under a star filled sky, play billiards, hike, fish, and just enjoy each others company. Would I go back? Yes, definitely yes. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hello March!

Things have been moving so quickly around here!  We listed our house on the market this week, and boy was that a whirlwind.  I thought it would be fun to share a few of the images from around the house.

Below is the finished music room, remember it was kind of empty in my Dropcloth Curtains post. We refinished the piano and added framed sheets of music to the back wall.  The music sheets are selections that include: the first songs our children learned to play, favorite songs and tough songs with the kids hand written notes on them. 

My own quick snap ;- )

My better half hung the chalkboard that the kids and I made for the Chalkboard Paint! post. We decided it would make a fun "menu" in the dining room. I am still working on the tablescape for the dining table and the "wine corkboard" which you see in the image below:

Finally, as a testament to what a big difference a small investment can make, here are some before and after photos of our bedroom:

AFTER: Photo Courtesy of Keller Williams

The bench and chair were in different rooms of the house, and fit much better in the bedroom.   The pillows were my biggest expense, but make such a huge difference. Let me know what you think!!

All the best,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Subway Signs

I love the custom subway signs on Etsy, Restoration Hardware, Pinterest, etc. They are everywhere and so cool.

This past Christmas, I decided to create my own version as a gift to my hubby. Ours included places that are special to us. There are many different ways to format and create these signs. I decided to go with having a third party print my work. I went to Gallery Direct. You are able to print your "art" on several different mediums and I really wanted something other than I went with wood. Here is a picture of the finished product. (Sorry for the angle and blur on the picture)

If  you are interested in the template leave a comment, and I will email you the photoshop template.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pinterest Interest - February

I've got to give a shout out to Pinterest.  I am seriously addicted to that site.  Here are some of my favorite images collected during February.  Enjoy.

Pinned via Yukako Obo from

Courtesy of Amy Osaba at

Jackie O., The Colors, JFK in the background.  Perfect, courtesy of

Forward. Together. Timeless.  Courtesy of Crushculdesac.tumblr
School Valentine, Idea Courtesy Of

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Decadent. Courtesy of

Perfection.  Thank you Laduree, I hope to visit you someday.  Courtesy of The Moving Beast

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chalkboard Paint!

Well, I'm in love with chalkboards.  The idea of getting to write whatever you want, in the moment...I don't know why...I just love it.   In an effort to chalkboard anything I believe is deserving, I purchased my first can of chalkboard paint.

The kids and I decided to make painting a weekend project.  We painted a vintage mirror (circa 1980 passed down from me to BG) and a big piece of pressed wood from home depot.  I am really excited about how they both turned out.

Still smudges, but you get the idea : -)

UPDATE: I finally figured out what to do with the big chalkboard, see it in the post: Hello March!

The process was super simple: 

For the mirror we sanded first:

Then applied a primer to both the mirror and the wood piece.  Let them dry. Applied two coats of  chalkboard paint.  Let dry for 4 days.  Cured the chalkboard (you know rubbing chalk all over and then off.) They work beautifully!!!!

I just need to figure out where to hang the big chalkboard.  For those of you less interested in making your own, you can always buy a framed chalkboard at:  Stuart & Grace

All the best to you!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pasta, Butter and Cheese

Growing up, one of my favorite dishes on the planet was a dish my Granny introduced me to.  I think the first time she made it for me she was trying to cheer me up....and it worked.  She "whipped up" the most amazing pasta.  Just noodles with a ton of butter, seasoned breadcrumbs and parmesean cheese.  Voila.  I was in love.  I think I ate my pasta like that...and only like that for YEARS.  As a mom, I introduced the delicacy to my kids...and they adore it.

This year we are trying to eat better, and I'm even trying to eat a Gluten free diet.  (Greg and Jessica - that's for you.)  So, I've been experimenting with pastas.  Corn and Quinoa are my favorite so far.  Last night I decided to make pasta, and was out of pasta sauce.  So,  I gave my old favorite a shot.  Instead of breadcrumbs....I added a little extra salt and pepper. It was AMAZING.  Seriously, I was standing over the stove just picking pieces out of the pot. (Surely not the best etiquette)

Here is the super simple and yummy recipe:
  • One package of Trader Joe's corn penne pasta
  • 1.5 TBSP of butter (decadent, I know)
  • Fresh shaved parmesean cheese (as much or as little as you like), I happen to like a lot
  • Generous salt and pepper

A little pinot grigio to go with it and I was very happy.

Let me know if you give it a try!
All the best to you

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Stuart & Grace Store!

So I just opened my Stuart & Grace store on Amazon! I am dipping my toe into bringing products I love to my customers. The product selection is limited for NOW, as I am being very picky about who and what I can check out the store here: Here are a few of my product pictures:

I have purchased a new domain, Which is very exciting, and will be even more exciting once I figure out how to hook everything up (the blog, the store, etc.) I plan to focus on that between now and this summer.

UPDATE:  I think I figured it out...Stuart & Grace ( is up!

Thank you for following!