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Inspiration Board

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Morning Coffee #15: spring green + white



We recently repainted our living room from the teal sponge paint and lavender trim (no joke-slowly undoing the special touches from the previous owner) and all of a sudden the outside is coming in again. We chose Benjamin Moore's sailcloth with cloud white trim and now we can actually see past the walls to the blossoming Hydrangea tree just beyond the porch. It is amazing what simple neutrals can do. The colors in that tree are the inspiration for this post- the celedon green and the white buds are so simple and fresh. Today's inspiration board, courtesy of Snippet and Ink, perfectly captured the summer freshness-road trip ready. It is, after all, our 100th post birthday- we decided to go easy on ourselves and borrow (not make) this pretty inspiration board.

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Morning Coffee #12: peach + slate gray




This posting of Morning Coffee takes the gentle slate gray and contrasts with the very feminine pale pink or peach tone. If Grey is the new black or chocolate brown- it makes for the perfect, soft neutral to contrast against most any Spring color!

Photo Credits: Room |coco +kelly|, Inspiration Board Left to Right (top down) Peach Plant Jane Heller via Etsy, Wedding Party with umbrellas from Green Wedding Shoes, bouquet Real Simple

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Morning Coffee #10: bubble gum pink




By May, the shades of Spring pink will be in full bloom- from tulips to cherry blossoms to peonies, the flowers explode in color from the palest dusty rose to the brightest pop of fushia. Early Spring treats us to a million lovely shades of fresh greens and deep earth brown. In contrast, this posting of Morning Coffee celebrates the how this room, this uber frilly bride (how wonderful to pull that off!) and my corresponding inspiration board contrast the soft and ruffled shades of pink against the simplicity of black or cream. Think Spring. Think Pink.

Photo credits: Left to right |ring: source unknown, shoes: simply bloom, floral arrangements: House Beautiful, Woman with hat: Max Wanger, Tablescape: Martha Stewart, Cake: It's Mary Ruffle, Bubble Gum Couple: Simply Bloom

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Morning Coffee #8 : beach tans + whites








These rooms- breezy & beachy with distressed wood and multiple shades of white and cream are the perfect inspiration for a true beach wedding. How lovely is this wedding celebration? Skip the tent. Bring in the cigar rollers. Burlap, linens and wood beams with flowing feminine touches play beautifully off one another. To me, it is the perfect balance of masculine and feminine influences. Another lovely wedding photographed by Elizabeth Messina ( clean & classic with perfect lighting, beautiful composition, and an eye for lovely details) with room images courtesy of Skona.

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Morning Coffee #6 : wasabi green + gray




This posting of Morning Coffee is inspiration for how a masculine metallic slate grey with wasabi green can look sleek, modern, even feminine with a pop of color and fresh plantings. This is the vision for our bathroom with black frames, brushed chrome fixtures and accent colors of bright green or yellow. I absolutely adore this tablescape from Friday's Green Wedding Shoes- Poppies are my favorites. I had heard the Antelope Valley, California Poppy Reserve in the Western Mojave Desert comes alive with color in the Spring. Poppies bloom late March to early May and comes to full blossom in warm sunshine and curls up in wind and cold---hmmm- sound familiar? Poppies are the perfect Spring bloom. Happy Spring.

Room Photo: desire to inspire, Inspiration board from Green Wedding Shoes

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it's not easy being green.





We'll admit it. We don't use soy ink cartridges or have solar panels and probably never will. But we do buy in bulk (reduce packaging), have a compost pile (okay so we haven't used it since we tossed our Halloween pumpkins there- so it could very well be a pumpkin patch next year), will plant a raised veggie garden, recycle, have Lucy use both sides of the paper for artwork and try to carpool whenever we can (phew, seems like a lot when crafted into a run-on sentence.) Yes, we believe in it and it certainly is hip to be eco-chic but sometimes, as Kermit sang years ago, it is just not easy being green. Today- we can all be green in our own little way. Happy St. Patrick's Day. Pass the green beer and check out these beautiful green wedding images... baby steps.

photos: Top Inspiration Board courtesy of Ruby Press Bottom two images courtesy of Corbin Images and Potted Shamrocks from Red Envelope.

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in like a lion, out like a lamb.



March seems to be baby month. I have gotten two birth announcements this month and two more colleagues and friends are expecting their firstborn any day now. On a recent trip to IKEA with my sister, I was reminded how the Swedes do it right when it comes to kids. Vibrant decor, cotton clothing and wooden toys.

Years ago, when work took me overseas for six months to Scandanavia, one of my biggest impressions was how the new moms seem to have a good thing going. Active and connected to community they would stroll down the city streets and parks of Stockholm with the other moms (on 18 month maternity leave!) with these little cherubs wrapped up. The baby snuggled into little duvet pockets in off roading strollers and older sibling playing with a wooden toy. Seriously. Little excess, no plastic.... just a few hand selected quality items. And the kids did not seem deprived and longing for their Hannah Montana plastic microphone.

This is my collection of European inspired kid wares that just seem to make sense. I love the animal onesies with big elephant ears to mop up drool via Spoon Sisters.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to be a household full of these items, reduce waste and even support some local artisans? Some of the little March lambs will surely receive an item or two from this Swedish inspired board.

|Top down | Left to Right|
Baby and pillow Dwellshop, Monkey Sock Kit via Posh Chicago, Kid Prints Mahar Dry Goods, Toy Chest Owyn, Kid socks papastour, Italian Marbles Posh Chicago, Bib via Spoon Sisters, Little Girls Dress Tallulah Jones

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three lil' birds beside my doorstep.




Yep, it is official. Here in New England we are so over winter but we still have a blanket of white snow from our recent N'oreaster. Sure, enchanting and pretty the first day with the all-day-PJs/snow day with Lucy, photos of icicles shining in the sunlight, hot cocoa and marshmellows...you get the picture. Truthfully, the shelf life on that charm is about 30 hours. Now we just need Spring.

Although we may have a blanket of snow the Robin and two black capped Chickadees were singing their hearts out this morning in our Hydrangea Tree (yep, a tree not a bush. We have to figure out how to prune this pre-season. Otherwise it morphs into this abundant, pink flowering tree weighted down from the blossoms near our doorstep.) This Post is for all the lil' birdies who remind us Spring is coming. To me, they are little beacons of hope. Maybe it is that symbolism of hope that makes them a perfect theme for wedding decor these days.

The birds are ready, we are ready. Bring it.

Photo credits Left to Right| Top down
Yellow bird cake and yellow and black bird purse Orchard Cove Photography and Etsy, White Vase Three Potato Four, Table Sign Poser via Green Wedding Shoes, White and Blue Nest and bird plates Three Potato Four, Yellow Print Sparkle Horse via Etsy

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Morning Coffee #1: pear green + sage




I am a frustrated interior designer. Frustrated because there are so many cool ways to go. Clean lines, modern, white on white with black accents in an urban townhouse. Beach house shabby chic, buttery walls and fresh flowers. London brownstone feel with a gallery of diverse sizes and styles of artwork on coral walls, graphic printed pillows on refurbished flea market finds. Or a Mountain lodge with open floor plans, monochromatic earth tones, cracked leather couches and a big floor to ceiling fireplace. Apparently, I could go on and on.

Not unlike weddings- there are just so many ways to design your event and reflect your aesthetic. A great approach to that planning is to begin with interior design magazines. See what resonates for you and build from there. I had this room photo in my "house refurbish" folder but when I saw the gorgeous inspiration board via 100 layer cake.it seemed to illustrate the idea perfectly.

This series will be called Morning Coffee. From room design to event design and the way one can jump-start your imagination for the other. Have that first cup of coffee in a new virtual room and think about the possibilities...

Room Photo Rachel Whitting. Inspiration Board 100 Layer Cake.

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strike a pose.






This may be the perfect crossroads of my two recent blog obsessions. A place where fantastic fabrics and hip designs meet playful outdoor wedding. Stage the area with a choice of a few fabric backgrounds draped, (so guests can choose and your photos are colorful!), place a poloroid camera and encouraging sign on a nearby table, a chalkboard for messages and your're done. Once the party starts rolling- the snapshots capture the spirit of your day and your guest in a whole new way. Great to drop into thank you notes to keep the fun memories alive.

Boy with Chalkboard , Little Girl and Couple Jen Fariello via Style Me Pretty, Backdrop in the Tropics Liss Tyler via 100 Layer Cake

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Post and beam dream.





I love barns. I adore rustic simplicity. If I got one dream wedding "do-over" it would be the Vermont barn in high summer feel (vs. our barrier island beach wedding down south- wonderful as well, just as opposite as you can get!) Casual game of Horseshoe, string lights, bluegrass, post and beam and a fantastic indoors-flows-gracefully-to-the-outdoors type party. These photos capture a bit of that "do-over" dream. Inspiration boards keep the endless 'look and feel' options wide open long after the wedding day is over.

|Top to bottom| |Left to right|
Top Board
1. Dancing couple, beaux arts photography 2. Escort Cards Kirsten Ellis, 3. Swing beaux arts photography 4. Interior, via Darling Dexter
Bottom Board
1.Centerpiece, beaux arts photography 2. Cake Kirsten Ellis 3. barn interior, Kirsten Ellis

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simplicity.





It's Monday morning. The mental checklists and pace of daily life is pulling in all directions once again. A decor that stays simple is an inspiration and breath of fresh air. White on white on white. Maybe a touch of tan or sky blue. A fresh, bright garden clipping for good measure. True classic simplicity at its finest.


|Top to bottom| |Left to Right|
Branches In Vase source unknownGreener Grass Design small vases , Shabby Chic bedroom source unknownAbby Goes Design Scouting white tulips, Koo de Kir white nesting bowls, Jmendicino white bowls with blue interior

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unveiled.




Aren't these lovely? I admire the brides out there who channel their inner Audrey Hepburn to select one of these for their wedding day.

We always enjoy (and sometimes giggle) at the old photos of Mike's grandma who most certainly would've been one of these brides. Quite the Chicago socialite, she had an elegant and elaborate head piece for every occasion- including a casual Sunday walk along Lake Michigan with the family. (photo above) I love these because they bring back that sophisticated bygone era.

Photos Left to Right | Top to bottom
Unveiled Bridal Designs
and Rodney Smith photography
|Bottom Left|Jessica Clair via Peonies and Poloroids

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eat, drink and be married.








There are few settings quite as romantic and inspiring as a vineyard wedding. Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington has one of the most unique settings in New England. Perched on a breezy hilltop with distant views of the Long Island Sound, the twenty acres of vineyards and restored barn (with English gardens and stone patio) is the perfect backdrop for your celebration. The winery limits the bookings to one wedding a weekend and attracts couples who love nature, good wine, artful food all in a setting of classic & elegant simplicity.
Eat, drink and be married!

|erica| (admittedly a bit biased as the event and marketing manager at the winery!)

Top Inspiration board. Created by photographer Maggie Conley
Bottom Black and white photo (Couple Kissing) Jen Fariello via Weddings Unveiled

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Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown




Valentines Day has a real magic in Kindergarten. The biggest task of the week is to make an envelope to hang on the edge of your desk to catch all of the love of your classmates. Doilies, pink cupcakes and the cut out heart signed by your first crush. Pure joy. We relived that magic looking through all of the sweet surprises in Lucy's carefully decorated bag. Her smirk gave her away. Yep, Luke is her definitely her first crush. So today-maybe get back to pure basics. Fold a piece of red paper in half, cut that familiar curve, decorate with all your heart and give away. It has a funny way of keeping that magic alive. Happy Valentines Day.

|mike and erica|



Left to Right
Martha Stewart Kids via Black Eiffel (Kids Valentines)
Beautiful Couple Max Wanger

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Tropical Seaside Celebration




When my husband and I got engaged in June we knew we did not want to wait for a warm New England summer to roll around again before we got married. We love nature and we loved the ideas of making the outdoors part of our day. The immediate thought was a late Autumn wedding in Block Island. While considering the idea- the stories of Late Fall weddings where stormy seas cancelled ferries and and the fact that many our favorite places were already booked or out of our price range- caused the Block Island dream to fizzle. We crossed that destination off our list.

In late June, on a road trip after our friends wedding in Colorado a new idea was sparked. Somewhere on a steep switchback road through Berthoud Pass or on a long open stretch beyond Winter Park we fell in love with the idea of a Colorado Ranch wedding in Spring Time. Devils Thumb Ranch made us lose our breath (perhaps the altitude?) We envisioned a weekend getaway made for movies-an intimate group of friends and family- horsebackriding and hikes, bonding conversations by the fire pit, bluegrass barbeque for our rehearsal dinner. One look at the enormous central fireplace, vaulted ceilings and panoramic view of the Continental Divide and we were smitten. Post and beam barn meets rough hewn Ralph Lauren decor. We were definitely on a Rocky Mountain High and I think Mike channeled a bit of Robert Redford for a few days. He had a swagger to his step until we got home. But the reality sunk in at sea level - a Colorado wedding at such a high altitude (9000 ft) would mean some very important older relatives would not be able to join in our wildflower and evergreen dream.

We kept looking. What evolved could not have been more perfect. My parents beach club (Very bermuda-esque...think Georgian style Mansion in coral!) on a Barrier Island near Vero Beach. We warmed up to the idea slowly but once we got the full picture of a wedding in the tropics- I became a little obsessed. This very New England duo (okay -so it was mainly me) all of a sudden embraced everything tropical. Visions of Mango Margheritas and Vodka Basil Lemonade and steel drums danced in my head. The inspiration board above gives you a flavor. In this quiet community surrounded by the mangroves of the Intercoastal to the west and the ocean to the east-we let the blues and tans of sand and sky dominate. Two colors gave it a pop-mango and coral to be specific. (I could never get Mike to use the "right" names for the colors- orange and pink- no matter how often I described the nuances!) The day was perfect- breezy, 70s and big puffy cumulus clouds on cue in early November. Beach ceremony at sunset and our celebration just up the dune steps to the Club and pool. A slice of tropical paradise at last.

|erica|

Photo credits left to right/Top down

www.brookemayo.com
www.whatistimco.com
www.marybasnight.com
www.amydeyoung.com
www.pauljohnsonphotography.com
www.tullebride.com
www.simplesong.typepad.com

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My wife insists that all her favorite blogs (ie: www.trueandwesson.blogspot.com) have inspiration blogs. She wanted to make one of her own and is encouraging me to come up with my favorites. We'll see. This is her January short list...."my favorites that warm the mind, body and soul." Baby, what are doin'? "I'm blogging about Obama... and my boots"-I love her
|mike|



1. Cottage Living Magazine- Inspiration as we update our 1925 Bungalow in Mystic www.cottageliving.com
2. Nars Blush- Half Bronzer/Half Blush to chase away the pale January Blues
www.sephora.com
3. Our go-to recession buster Red.
4. Sitting at Kevin's bar at Bravo Bravo in Mystic having appetizers with my husband. www.whalersinnmystic.com/bravo
5. The Obama's First Inaugural Dance. 'At Last' sung by Beyonce. The collective national hope and joy in this moment... tears.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RRBYxZ7uxA
6. Ess-A Bagels in NYC. They ship hot, chewy, fresh bagels via Fed Ex. No cream cheese needed. www.ess-a-bagel.com
7. La Canadienne Boots. Developed in Montreal to survive to cold winters with some semblance of style
http://www.zappos.com/La-Canadienne
8. Dan Zanes. The best family dances happen to this multi-cultural, whimsical, folk musician who entertains small & big kids
http://www.danzanes.com/pages/news.php
9. Homemade Risotto- Hot pepper, Shrimp and Asparagus. Creamy comfort food

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