photo-a-day 31


I had a great time participating in Trendy Treehouse's August photo-a-day challenge. My iphone and instagram (@11shakes) made it a breeze to post photos on-the-go. 

quiet hour

Sometimes when I pick up Alice in the afternoons she falls fast asleep in the car and stays as such until Byron gets home and Rosy barks in excitement at his arrival. This hour gives me some nice, quiet time to myself. Today, I made myself a lovely snack, put my tired feet up, and browsed the latest Entertainment Weekly

My dear friend Lyndsey gifted us this Belvoir Elderflower Cordial. It is a non-alcoholic drink enhancer that makes water taste like flowers and lemons. It is really something special. A biscuit with fig jam was the perfect after school (er, work) snack. My favorite new mug (and the jam) were birthday gifts from my BFF. 

I am kind of obsessed with this tray. I found it at a thrift store for a song. I bought it to use for our Mad Men party and it now has a permanent place in our living room. I must remember to look for more like it the next time I go shopping. 

nails of the week: Eastside

I received this lush gold polish for my birthday (thanks Mom!). The glitter is really thick even in just one coat. I thought about doing a black and gold combo, but those were the colors of a rival high school, so I went with green instead. Funny thing, my high school colors were orange and green, so these are my Eastside nails. Go Rams!

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fresh. veggies at the co-op.

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in the corner. blue hutch. father's day bar.

burger date

Since becoming a meat eater again I have been on a search for the best burger in the area. This one is a pretty strong contender. Bull City Burger and Brewery is a really cool place. They source their food from local farms and offer many versions of a classic burger. I had mine with a fried agg, bacon and BBQ sauce. So. Good. They also have a Boylan Soda Fountain machine. Cream Soda is my favorite! 

Somehow, we were all color-coordinated on our outing, right down to the giraffes. 

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thrift. the jurisprudence game.

the scrap exchange

Here it is, The Scrap Exchange. The anything and everything store that will inspire you to create. It's like a garage sale/ yard sale/ antique store/ craft store/ bulk warehouse store full of everything that you never knew you needed. It gets better, everything is recycled! You know that saying One man's trash is another man's treasure, The Scrap Exchange is the X on the map!

You see how much stuff! It's incredible. Row after row of discarded supplies that can be bought for a song and given new life! There is also beautiful artwork throughout the exchange, created with the "scraps."

This is my haul of stuff, minus a piece of tile that I put on our kitchen counter. Yes, they have a whole wall of tile and marble pieces and samples. I will probably go back often since it is cheap and fun and oh so inspiring. 

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favorite 5 things. 
TV show- The X Files. movie- Jaws. book- Jurassic Park. food- toast. person- Byron (he dropped the toast).

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dinner. sushi boat.


For my birthday dinner Byron took me to Mateo, a new tapas restaurant in Durham. Everything about this place was incredible. The decor is beautiful, and while the atmosphere is relaxed the food is exquisitely presented. Every dish was so flavorful. The servings were perfect, light yet satisfying.  

We enjoyed chicken skewers, marinated clams, mussels, scallops and shrimp, a chicken-pot-pie empanada with creamed corn, and a fried egg with white asparagus. The fried egg was probably my favorite. I have no idea how they breaded and fried an egg while keeping the yolk soft. 

There were large antique mirrors high in the dining area. It was such a beautiful and friendly spot. We finished our meal with a bibb lettuce salad and smoked trout with potato chips and a quail egg. My birthday "cake" was dulce de leche and chocolate mousse. Such a beautiful meal at such a beautiful place. What a great way to finish off my birthday week. 

night at the roxy

For my birthday night out, we got all gussied up and spent a night on the town. Well, really we were home by ten. We still had quite the evening for a pair of new parents. We had an incredible dinner (more on that later) then headed over the The Roxy for drinks. We had the place to ourselves since it was early in the evening. We sipped sazerac and satan's whiskers from their prohibition era cocktail menu. The drinks are made with great care and skill as old movies played on the screens above the bar. We felt very classy while we watched Cary Grant in The Awful Truth and enjoyed some uninterrupted conversation with each other. 

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bedside. table and necessities.

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technology. satellite radio.

mad men (and women)

We recently had quite the gathering at our little home celebrating the 60's Mad Men era. We needed an excuse for Byron to use his vintage cocktail sets and new bar tending skills (he specializes in classic cocktails). Luckily, we have fabulous friends that always dress for the occasion. Everyone came in their  vintage best. It was quite a classy affair. 

We really had a laugh browsing through the old magazines. I always thought the 40's was my favorite styled decade, but the 60's were really unique. I love the way that people were obsessed with modernizing, like with home decor. Everything just had such style. 

My parents were very helpful in planning the menu of canap├ęs. Did you know Easy Cheese was invented in the 60's? I fixed an assortment of olives, pickles and cheese that were skewered to a grapefruit for style. This was something my Grandmother did every holiday. I used The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook for the stuffed celery, onion dip, pineapple upside-down cake, and deviled egg recipes. The most surprisingly tasty food was the pickled okra rolled in ham with cream cheese. They were amazing. 

We had such a fun time gathered with friends. Alice was a angel and went right to sleep at 8pm so we could revel with our guests into the late hours. Even Rosy took part. 

Thanks to all of our wonderful friends who never think twice about dressing up for a themed party! You all looked fabulous and you made the night! 

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bokeh love. dog and hearts.

Here is a tutorial on how to create shaped bokeh in photographs. I had a lot of fun playing with this and Rosy was an excellent foreground subject. 

birthday date

I had a lovely 31st birthday. My kind friends baked me all kinds of goodies and I even received a few presents in the mail. We went on a low-key date with Alice to a local BBQ joint. Another year older and I have a lot to show for it. I am very happy with my life at 31. It can only get better from here, right?

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silhouette. 31. 

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back to school. supplies, monster tissues.

nails of the week: my birthday

This week (yes, the whole week) I celebrate my birthday! In honor of the occasion I wanted to decorate my nails with festive and happy colors. I used Revlon's Buttercup and Milani's Gems. I love the sparkly, confetti look that the glitter has against the light background. 

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something I read. The Walking Dead comics.

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heart. afternoon nap.

diy: rose headband

I found this really great tutorial on how to make felt flowers so I decided to try my hand at crafting some headbands for Alice. I spent a few weeks trying to find the right stretch lace for the project (thank you Scrap Exchange). Once I had all of my supplies gathered (I really appreciate it, Scrap Exchange), I got down to crafting. Here is my finished headband. It suits Alice so well, she was looking through my vintage lace trying to pick the right color for her next headband.

*The Scrap Exchange is my most favorite place. Ever.

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in my pocket. lip gloss.

nails of the week: shark week

I love sharks! Ever since my parents showed me Jaws when I was 4 years old, I have been fascinated with the creatures. They are deadly yet graceful, prehistoric yet ever present in the ocean waters. I was even bitten by one once. True story. A baby shark clamped down on my heel and scared the daylights out of me. One minute I was in the water, next minute I was on the shore inspecting my foot. The little sucker left tiny, red tooth marks on both sides of my heel. Anyways, it is once again Shark Week on the Discovery channel so here are my ocean predator themed nails.