Thursday, April 24, 2014

Recent Finds | Re-Fresh Your Basics

I've been itching to update some of my basics now that spring is in full swing and found some recent finds to pass along to you.  I like to keep my outfits simple and add on a colorful accessory such as a necklace or scarf.  It makes getting dressed easy and I can switch things up as the day goes.  If temperatures warm, I can easily drop the scarf and add a pretty necklace.

I would have never in a million years thought that I would like jeans from Loft.  Not that there's anything wrong with jeans from Loft, but I just never thought of them as a jean source.  Before our trip I was desperate for white jeans and had tried several other stores.  I'm happy to say the modern skinny ankle jean did it for me!

I've been searching for the perfect blazer.  Each one I tried on was either too long or too short.  This one fits just right!  I love wearing it with my white or denim jeans.  It definitely adds a bit of sophistication to my every day attire.  The added bonus is the price!

I'm not sure what I did before I found this sweatshirt.  It is perfect for those in between days when it's neither hot nor cold.  I wear it with white denim and a scarf or statement necklace.  Sometimes I layer under a pretty blouse and pull the sleeves and collar out just so.  It is super soft and has become one of my favorite basics!

I'm smitten for these eyelet shorts!  They also come in navy which I may go back for.

Gap has a great selection of bright and cheerful espadrilles.  This is perfect for me since I keep my outfits simple.  A splash of color here or there goes a long way.

I hope you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Time in Venice, Italy (Part One)

I'm so happy to share a million few pictures with you from our trip to Italy.  I had never been to Europe before and Mr. had not been in years (never to Italy).  I had so many questions before the trip and looked around for any information I could find.  Cassie's posts on Italy helped and I found a few "what to pack" posts from other blogs.  But still I really didn't fully know what to expect.  That is part of the adventure though, right? For those of you who come here for decor inspiration, don't worry. I won't make this an entire week of Italy, but this will be part of a series to continue over the next couple of weeks.  Today is all about Venice and the other cities ( Burano/Murano, Florence, Rome, Chianti) will come later.  I'll also write a post with travel/packing tips that might be helpful.

Venice, without a doubt was one of my favorite cities!  It was truly unique, like nowhere I've ever been before.  The city is built on low mud banks in waters of the Adriatic.  Homes are often flooded and for that reason, most living quarters begin on the second floor.

Residents of all ages mostly walk, but often rely on boats and water taxis when traveling to other parts of the city that are further away.  Each morning, boats arrive bringing in goods to restock stores and restaurants.

The long corridors are marked as streets throughout the city.  They say the best way to see Venice is to get lost.  And that we did on several occasions.

There isn't much land in Venice, so the residents take great care in planting beautiful window boxes and many of the balconies are adorned in flowers.

Our apartment was booked through Trip Advisor.  I can't tell you how nice it was to spend three days in a "home" rather than a hotel room.  We were able to cook in the apartment and do laundry which made packing light doable.  The added bonus was that the apartment had two balconies with plenty of seating and breathtaking views.

entrance to our apartment

dining room

one of three bedrooms

 the view from atop the balcony

another view

Mr. and me enjoying the balcony

The Venice Farmer's Market is open five days a week.  One morning Mr. and I went to market to buy fresh food for dinner.  This market was like none I've ever seen!  We bought lots of fruit and veggies that we enjoyed during our stay.  

Outdoor cafes are everywhere making it very tempting to stop for a snack, cappuccino, or prosecco depending on the time of day.

We spent several hours with a private tour guide found through Italy Hotline.  Spending time with someone who lives there was priceless!  Nadia took us to places we never would have seen or known about.  She even kept the teenagers interested :).

One afternoon, Nadia surprised us when we stopped into Palazzetto Pisani.  The home was once inhabited by the Pisani family and is now a boutique resort.  Seeing an actual house was such a treat!  Marble and detail everywhere!

 Palazzetto Pisani

 the parlor of Palazzetto Pisani

 windows made from bottles

view from the balcony of Palazzetto Pisani

We could not leave Venice without the taking the gondola ride.  In the past, gondolas were the main source of transportation, but now they are only used for tourists and special occasions for locals.  

If you are still reading, thanks for sticking around.  If you've been to Venice, I'd love to hear from you in the comment section.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Green and White Window Box Inspiration

I've saved all my planting for after spring break.  It's probably a good thing because it hasn't been consistently warm here.  Last weekend I planted new plants in our urns on the front porch.  I used caladium like you see in the image above.  I surrounded the caladium with angel wire vine which I've always loved, but never planted.  Go figure.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.  My plan was to stick with green and white in the window boxes on the front of our house and for them to co-ordinate with the urns.  So when I saw this image, I knew that this would be my combo.  Love it when that happens!

 For those of you who are curious:

1 - Aaron Caladium

2 - Holly Fern

3 - Key Lime Pie Heuchera

4 - White Nancy Lamium 

5 - Light Pink Periwinkle (I'll use white)

6 - Ivy

Image: Southern Living
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