Dining Outside

I love to eat outside.

My childhood memories are filled with images of my mom fixing my sister and I picnic lunches to eat in our backyard, watching from our outdoor dinner table as my dad shucked fresh grilled corn, and then of course all of us eating grilled chicken wings at my best friend A's house after a long day of swimming.

Even today, that love for eating outside remains. J and I love to sit on our porch (when it starts to get cooler) and eat dinner together. (We even have a chandelier hanging above our table so we can eat by candlelight!) With all that said, today I thought I would share a board inspired by outdoor dinner parties. I love everything about them- from the homemade desserts made from fresh berries, to the bright jersey dresses all the girls dress up in and of course eating at a picnic table with citronella candles burning all around. Nothing is too fussy- centerpieces are made up of collections of wild flowers or herbs found in your garden or backyard, and the napkins can just be simple cotton tea towels. The best part is that this is the exact type of party that doesn't need a special occasion or cost a lot of money- just fire up the grill, invite some friends over and remember the bug spray!

row 1:flowers via design sponge, table scape via hip hostess
row 2: escort cards via, dress via martha stewart weddings, dessert via santa barbara wedding chic
row 3: photo via i am a greedy girl, ice cream with love spoons via grey likes weddings

A Garden Party

Created by Chelsea Fuss (and found on Once Wed) I immediately fell in love with this simple table scape from the moment I first saw it. With the weather here flip flopping between the beautiful 70's one day and snow the next, I would love to kick off the warm weather (whenever it decides to come back) with a simple dinner party decorated like this. Doesn't it remind you of the board I created a few days ago (with that awesome yellow and white party dress)?

Not only is the table beautiful, I absolutely love how Chelsea tied in family style dining by including bottles of lemonade and laid back wild flower arrangements. Nothing stuffy about this party :) Oh, and did I mention it is all very easy to DIY and relatively inexpensive? For more info, read here. Here's to hoping for warm weather! Enjoy!

Aqua and Emerald

I started this board yesterday but just couldn't make it match my vision so I put it off for a night. Then tried again this morning, accomplished a little, but still wasn't 100% happy so I decided to take a mental break and head over to my hair appointment. (I still hadn't gotten around to the post wedding hair cut. And yes, I know the wedding was in December.)

Apparently, a break wasn't in store for me though :) It was my first time at this salon (Todd G) and I was just meeting Tiffani (my new stylist) for the first time when I heard the news she'd just gotten engaged a few weeks before. After talking for a minute, the other woman there asked what her colors were. She said they weren't sure, but she liked blue and green so possibly that. Talk about a coincidence! After talking with her about the venue she hopes to get etc, I was 100% sure where I wanted this board to go and couldn't wait to get back to finish it! With this one, I wanted to evoke a very fresh, bright, and cheerful feeling, but most of all, a very comfortable and laid back attitude. An outdoor wedding that is very family and friend oriented with great food, good music and a bar framed with cute specialty drinks (sangria or lemonade, anyone?) in beautiful aqua colored glass containers. Hope you enjoy!

And a big thanks to Tiffani! Not just for my hair (though you were awesome) but also for getting me out of my rut!

row 1: books via the paris apartment, dress via anthropologie, mason jar candle holders via martha stewart
Row 2: shoes via the flirty guide, flowers via martha stewart, lemonade pitcher via big sur bride, jcrew ties via martha stewart
row 3: zempel photography photograph via once wed

St. Patty's Picnic

Just in case you can't tell, I absolutely love St. Patrick's Day. Maybe it's just because I'm Irish (well, part Irish...) but there is just something so simple and beautiful about this holiday. Maybe it's just the festivity associated with the day, but to me it always marks the beginning of spring.

This morning, my dad called me to tell me he was thinking about the first St. Patty's day parade I was in with him. My sister was holding on to the stroller and my dad (who was pushing the stroller) walked through downtown Augusta with both of his little girls as my mom took pictures. I think that's where my love for this all started. It always seemed like my dad's and my special holiday. Every year my family went to the parade together (even if it meant leaving school early) and I would watch my dad put on his Irish American Heritage Society sash while he looked around for the small ones my mom had made for my sister and me. Then we'd as a family we'd be in the parade (sometimes on a float, other times not) and then go meet my mom (who usually always had camera duty :) ) and my parents friends at this pub/restaurant to celebrate before dinner.

It was always just a relaxed and happy day- full of celebration, corned beef and cabbage (with potatoes of course!), and sunshine. That's the feeling I wanted to bring with this board. Keeping it simple, sharing good times with friends and family, and actually getting to experience the day. Everyone just having a good time and actually remembering the true reason for a wedding- to celebrate the love between two people. And what's more beautiful than that?

Jones soda via theknot, cupcake via martha, dress via jcrew
earrings via saylor sage, green candy buffet via brides, shamrock boutonniere via martha
tablescape via martha, groomsmen via snippet&ink, assorted ties via jcrew

Oatmeal and Hydrangeas

I've always wished I liked oatmeal. There's something so comforting about it, and once it's topped with dried fruit and brown sugar it always smells so good! Not to mention, J loves it so it's always in the house. So even though I don't like how it tastes, I thought a wedding centered around the colors of oatmeal would be just as comforting. Here it's all about vintage lace, hand crafted detail, and the beauty of nature. If you're thinking of having a wedding like this, don't over think it! Just focus on simple details (like ribbons in trees, clusters of white hydrangeas, fresh lemonade) and having a good time!

row 1: maggie sottera lace dress and hydrangea wreath tree altar via snippet and ink
row 2: wedding sign and photo via once wed, escort card "welcome sign" via the brides cafe
row3: cake display via country living, khaki suit via macys, vintage linens via a paris apartment