Back from the Beach

We're back from the beach and have been playing major catch up!  We got home a little over a week ago, and I swear I think this may have been my all time favorite vacation.  Virginia was just such a doll, and I had so much fun with my family.  Pretty much all we did was relax.  (We snuck in a little work when needed, but for the most part we tried to really just relax.)  Virginia fed the ducks, went for bike rides, fished with my dad (or pretended), and fed seagulls on the beach.  She played hard and loved the sand, waves and water.  My parents spoiled us fixing yummy dinners and watching Virginia whenever she needed a little extra entertainment.  We have tons of photos to still go through, but I wanted to share these of my happy girl. 
Heath and Andy came home to work a few days, and then headed back down to the beach with their best couple friends and their babies.  Their beach company included two babies under 12 months, so I'm sure they're ready for a little peace and quite after two baby filled vacations!  Hope everyone has enjoyed their summer.  After checking our beach vacation off the list, it really feels like we're creeping into fall!  I'm excited but miss summer already! 

~Mary Keller

TGIF - Beach Bound!

Happy Friday guys!  So excited the weekend is here - we're actually beach bound for the next week!  For most people it feels like summer is wrapping up, but we take our vacation so late and it makes summer feel like it lasts a little longer.  I'm looking forward to walking on the beach, lazy mornings and slow evenings, and spending lots of quality time with Virginia.  I also can't wait to see Virginia's excitement to spend lots of time with family - I have a feeling she'll be begging her Grumpy for lots of walks to the dock and lots of trips to feed the ducks. :)

Before I make it down to Litchfield, I'm stopping in Charleston for a little reunion with my best girls from high school.  We're way overdue for a visit, so I'm super excited.  Our agenda includes a long, leisurely lunch (no kids!), a little shopping in downtown Charleston, and then we'll park it the rest of the afternoon and evening at my friend's amazing house and pool on Daniel Island.  It should be perfectly relaxing.

Last thing before we head out - I know things have been quiet around here!  Same excuses - too many things on the to do list, too few hours in the day!  Good news is I've never felt more caught up, productive and super busy at work, Heath's house is coming together amazingly quickly (it looks so good!), and we've had lots of fun nights with friends lately.  Life's good!!

Have a good weekend guys!
~Mary Keller

Interior Details: Painted Trim

Today's Heath and Andy's technical move in day!  Eeek!!  I'm SO excited for them!  My sweet dad has offered to paint most of the interior of their house for them to save money.   (They need those pennies for other more expensive projects that the house needs - their kitchen currently has four different countertop materials!  Their pennies need to go towards fixing a few things like that!)

We've been brain storming different paint options all week and we've landed on a palette I think they'll love.  They're going with a primarily all white, fresh, clean look, but in the back guest bedroom they're going to paint the trim a different color.  I'm loving the look of painted trim and I'm wanting to incorporate it somewhere in my house.  (I'm out of rooms though so it isn't getting incorporated!)  I've long loved the look of painted walls and trim in the exact same color - it's such a statement - but there's something fun about a white room with painted trim, don't you think? 

Would you paint your trim something other than white?

~Mary Keller

images here

Entertaining Tricks No9 & No10

It's been a little while since we've highlighted an entertaining trick, and we need to fix that!  We've covered the most important (and super obvious!) in the past but a few other things have jumped out to me lately. 

Around Here

perfect steak club set up | beef tenderloin & grilled asparagus | bbq cookout - including boiled peanuts! | beautiful Lake Murray sunset | Virginia playing on the "beach" | trunk show provisions | Fall LaRoque Mini line up | Virginia modeling clothes and sampling cupcakes

Happy Monday guys!  I swear it was just Friday.  We had such a good weekend - it was full and we saw so many good friends!  Friday night we attended our bi-monthly steak club!  We really had so much fun.  It seems like all of our friends are the best chefs and the best hostesses.  Our friends spoiled the group with beef tenderloin, grilled asparagus and the best summery cucumber salad.  We all had way too much wine and homemade birthday cake for dessert!  Our friends came up with the most clever new game that we'll share.  We all sat around the table for over an hour after we finished up dinner playing.

Saturday, we hit the road to Columbia to celebrate the engagement of one of our best family friends.  His parents live on Lake Murray on what has to be the most beautiful lot on the lake - huge yard perfect for a bbq cookout, music, volleyball and games.  If Virginia sees water there's no chance she's not trying to get in it.  She stripped her clothes and took a little dip mid party.

Sunday, the LaRoque team came to town with their adorable LaRoque Mini Fall Show!  We had the best time.  Virginia picked out a few (adorable!!!) dresses and we made a few new friends over the course of the afternoon.  It's hard not to enjoy an afternoon of dessert, champagne and shopping for cute kiddo clothes. 

We finished the weekend with pimento cheese burgers and called it an early night.  We're trying to savor these last few weeks of summer, and this weekend really felt like the perfect hot, summery weekend.  Have a good week guys!  Heath moves into her new house this week! eeekk!

~Mary Keller

A New Caprese

We’ve gotten so many tomatoes this summer in our CSA and our basil plants are growing faster than we can eat it so we’ve being looking for ways to use them both. Andy recently saw a “recipe” for an easy way to change up a caprese salad. I use the word recipe lightly because it’s so easy it’s not even a recipe. We’ve made it a few times over the past few weeks so I decided to share.

Fresh Tomatoes - whole cut into quarters or cherry tomatoes 
Fresh Basil - slightly torn or cut into a chiffonade 
Ricotta Cheese - Charlotte folks we bought some locally made from Pasta and Provisions – so good!
Top with olive oil, salt and pepper

That’s it. It’s a caprese with ricotta instead of mozzarella and it’s amazing!

This past weekend we switched it up a bit with a warm snack instead of our new go-to salad. We roasted the cherry tomatoes then topped the ricotta and put it back in for about 10 minutes. Topped it with basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and ate it with toasted French bread. So warm and delicious! 

Two super simple but different ways to use basil and tomatoes. We've been using our leftover ricotta for these Portuguese baked eggs which are amazing too. 

I'd love to hear your go to easy summer recipes!

- Heath 

PS MK talked about adding peaches to her caprese salad for another twist! 

Pottery Barn Kids Lighting

When I was in Nashville over the weekend, I commented on how much I loved my friend's light fixture in her daughter's room.  She replied that it was from Pottery Barn Kids!  I don't know why, but I've never really given Pottery Barn Kids much thought!  I certainly love their seasonal stuff for kids (Virginia's Easter basket for example!) but most of the time their bedding has seemed so girly and their stuff generally is kind of expensive.  I was browsing their lighting when I got home and I was pretty impressed! 

ONE | Courtland Sconce - it's hard to beat a $64 sconce that's hardwired to the wall!  We used Pottery Barn sconces in Heath's bedroom a while back and they look really nice.  I think if you changed the shade to a pretty pleated option in color, they would look really high end.

TWO | Pagoda Pendant - the most expensive at $299, but my favorite!  this would look perfect just about anywhere - a kitchen, bathroom with high ceilings, kids room, etc.  I have a fixture on order for my bedroom, but if it doesn't work out I'm going to try this out.  I love the finish on this, but it would also look really cool painted a bright color.

THREE | Dahlia Chandelier - this is the fixture that caught my eye at my friend's house!  In person it's more natural and less white.  I've seen a few versions of this fixture a handful of places, but the quality on this seems really nice.  (Nothing like the original, but there's about a $3,000 price difference!)

FOUR | Liam Glass Pendant - I love a little bit of black in almost every room - I always think it helps!  I like this pendant with it's black accent, and I also like how it has a less feminine feel than the rest. 

My go to sources for lighting are typically West Elm, Shades of Light, local boutiques and most recently One Forty Three.  Where else am I missing that has a good selection?

~Mary Keller