London Week :: Days Two & Three

Aaaaaannnnddd ... I'm finally getting around to sharing the rest of our London trip! Day two was a glorious day of Mom and daughter shopping heaven. We hit the King's Road, merrily shopping our way down to Chelsea. It was all very girly and one of those days when I was so ridiculously thankful that my only child is such an amazing young woman. Actually that is most days, but this was a really good one. We spent loads of time at Anthropologie:

We loved the windows at Osborne & Little and The Designers Guild:

Later that night we enjoyed the lights on Sloane Square and had delicious and super relaxing dinner at  Made In Italy:

My sweet, beautiful family and that's me on the walk home in my inclement weather hat (yes, there was inclement weather). It was a great day and I was excited to get to visit a lot of the shops I have heard about, including the Shop at Bluebird where my sneaky daughter bought me a Christmas present!

Day 3 was very mellow with a trip to the Victoria & Albert Museum. The best part, for me, was lunch in the music room:

After the museum, we took in the sights of gorgeous South Kensington:

It was nice enough to sit outside at a sidewalk cafe and have a coffee. We were all exhausted and still had a few days to go, so we decided to have sushi at home that night. I think we were all in bed by 10 pm! This is what happens when you deposit 3 people who are used to the pace of the English countryside into the hustle and bustle of London!

Wishing you joy, peace, and an abundance of blessings!!

x, Beth

Inspiration :: Joy

More about our fabulous week in London coming soon, but for now, some joyful inspiration:

Happy Christmas Eve!!!! x, Beth

London Week :: Day One

Today we were mellow because Will just got in from New York. We went to lunch at The Orange which is so perfectly decorated, I just want to move in and live there. All lime washed wood and campaign chairs. Lovely and I finally got to have an authentic Caesar salad. It was heavenly.

This was recommended by fellow blogger, Heather, who writes the blog Canal Notes (yes, I have cool friends!). She is also an expat American. It was perfect and really close to where we are staying. After lunch we enjoyed the window displays around Sloan Square.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the AMAZING Saatchi Gallery.

Is it wrong that amongst all this amazing art I was having trouble focusing on anything beyond how much I loved the floors? Those floors! And THIS:

This just blew our minds and we talked about it a lot throughout the rest of the day. That's what good art does. It makes you think and it brings you around to it again. It was fun to see my daughter come alive in the way she responded to the art. So much fun. Such a blessing this little adventure.

Do you know about what is in the picture above? I won't spoil it for you. Come to London and see it yourself. x, Beth

Inspiration :: Christmas Decor

I know you have all probably already decked the halls this year, but I came across some really great Christmas tree photos I wanted to share today. They are inspiring me for Christmases to come. I love the topper on this tree from Country Home.  It's all just so redonculously glam and coordinated. I do have a rug just like that in storage, so that's a start right? So this is my "someday I will live in my own home again and decorate the crap out of it and have a fabulous tree that matches everything, including my dog" tree.

THIS, amazeballs little tree from Martha Stewart (styled by Kevin Sharkey) is a faux bonsai all gold leafed and be-jazzled to the nines. This will be my "I'm too old and fabulous for all this tree decorating nonsense, pull out the bonsai, call it Christmas and get me another martini darling" tree for when I am an over the top old lady. Read more about that here.

And this sweet, simple little colorful tree from Susana at Citrus & Orange just makes me happy. That's all. Maybe when it's all said and done, I just want my Christmas tree to reflect the sweet, simple and colorful life that I lead. 

Susana also made this lovely centerpiece. Yup, she is super talented:

In case you were wondering, we did get our tree all trimmed in homemade goodness. Carolina spent three nights stringing popcorn and cranberries. She is a champ and the garland was just the finishing touch the tree needed. Here are some shots of the finished product:

It all turned out pretty well. The tree is really wonky and it messes with my love of symmetry, but it smells so good that a stray branch here or there is easily forgiven. I'm a little worried about this guy because we are down in London all week and he won't get any water (it's a He). Hopefully he will survive until Saturday. Otherwise, Merry Christmas kids, your presents are under the pile of brown needles! Hang in there Frasier! (his name is Frasier).

More about our family fun week in London coming tomorrow. x, Beth

Beautiful Spaces :: Alice Lane Kitchen

This kitchen makeover from Alice Lane Design is so well done:

I love, love, love the open shelving and the entire wall of tile.

This space is proof positive that a hard working kitchen can also be beautiful.

It almost makes me want to go back into kitchen design. There are days when I really miss creating something functional and beautiful and even the thrill of controlling such a high stakes project. I always got a bit of a kick out of knowing that my clients trusted me with this kind of investment and it was up to me to deliver on their expectations. As stressful as it could be sometimes, I really loved that challenge.

I hope whatever is next for me brings those elements together, because I know it is not design, but I also know all that has happened has prepared me for what is to come.

I look forward to what is to come.

all photos by Meikel Reece via Alice Lane

Be sure to check out the 'before' pictures of this kitchen over at Alice Lane. What kind of transformations are you experiencing these days - kitchens, life or otherwise? I would love to know!

Beginning to Look A Lot Like (a handmade) Christmas ...

I just made my stovetop potpourri following THIS recipe ...

our frasier fir tree was delivered (smells amazing!) and Carolina is busy stringing these for garland ...

We made paper snowflake ornaments with the gorgeous pages of the Gudrun Sjoden catalogue. We also found some adorable printable bird ornaments from Rebecca Kallem.

The story of our handmade Christmas continues ... stay tuned!