May 25, 2017

Bar Cart Inspiration from a Designer Showhouse

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Alnwick Hall Mansion in May Designer Showhouse presented by the Women's Association of Morristown Medical Center. The mansion is open for tours until the end of May.  Rather than spoil it for those of you who still want to attend the event, I decided to just show you a few highlights for now.  Don't worry, once May is over, I will be back with more photos.

In the meantime, I have chosen a theme for my highlights - Bar Carts/Tables.

After all, today is National Wine Day!

Enjoy the inspiration:

I loved this classic glass and gold cart...
From the kitchen designed by Cabri Inc.

And this console table with a simple tray to contain the liquor...
 Elizabeth Guest Interiors, LLC

Another console with a sophisticated mirrored tray...
Ethan Allen

An industrial wood and metal bar cart with great martini glasses...
Curren Design Associates, Inc.

And a luxurious display of champagne and chocolate strawberries offered in the bridal suite...
Diane Durocher Interiors

This colorful one was probably my favorite!  Lemons always make such a great accessory!
Kristin Ashley Interiors

Sure, all the bar carts and tables were styled so beautifully but this fun appliance had to be the most practical!...

Who wouldn't love one of those in their home?!!

I hope you enjoyed the bar cart portion of the Mansion in May tour!
More to come soon!

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May 16, 2017

Island Living - Beautiful Homes of Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard

What kind of blogger goes to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts and forgets to look up the 2015 HGTV Dream Home?  Umm...that would be me!  I know they don't give tours any more but you would think I would have remembered to swing by one of my favorite HGTV Dream Homes of all time!

I guess I got a little distracted...

White Classic Home in Edgartown, MA - Martha's Vineyard
This is just one of the many houses I fell in love with in Edgartown.

Classic New England Home - Martha's Vineyard
Soooo New England coastal style...what's not to love?

Classic White House in Martha's Vineyard, MA
Isn't this just perfection with the vines on the white picket fence?  I could see myself sipping a glass of wine in one of those Adirondack chairs back there!

Waterfront Home - Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
Or, how fabulous to live right down by the water.  They probably have the most incredible view!

New England Home in Martha's Vineyard
What a dream to be able to live in one of these quintessential New England coastal homes.

Classic Garage - Homes of Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
I think I would even be happy to live in this garage!

White House with White Fence
I couldn't decide if the white ones were my favorites...

Beautiful archway and fence in Martha's Vineyard
With all their beautiful fences and archways... 

Yellow Cottage Home in Martha's Vineyard, MA
Or, if I would go for a vibrant yellow with flowering window boxes!

Street in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, MA
 As if I even have a choice!  One can dream though...

Martha's Vineyard Home
Either way, I fell in love with each and every home in this charming coastal town!

We had the best time on our girl's weekend!  I already told you about the Kentucky Derby Party at our hotel and I will be back to share more of this beautiful place with you!

Have you ever been to the lovely island
of Martha's Vineyard?

I would love for you follow along so you don't miss a post!

DIY By Design - Swing into Spring
Essence of Home - Share Your Style
A Delightsome Life - Home and Garden Thursday
Seeking Lavender Lane - Creative Circle
Marilyn's Treats - Thursday Favorite Things

Craftberry Bush - Inspiration Gallery
Rattlebridge Farm - Foodie Friday and Everything Else
Pieced Pastimes - Saturday Sparks
Sweet Pea - Best of the Weekend
The Everyday Home - Share it One More Time
The SITS Girls - Saturday Sharefest
Finding Silver Pennies Sundays Link Party
Love of Home - Sundays at Home Link Party
Life and Linda - Dishing it and Digging It
Marilyn's Treats - Over the Moon Party
Dwellings - Amaze Me Monday
A Stroll Thru Life - Inspire Me Tuesday
Cedar Hill - The Scoop
Domestically Speaking - Inspire Me Monday
The Dedicated House - Make It Pretty Monday
Sweet Parish Place - Totally Terrific Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesdays
My Life Abundant - Wonderful Wednesday
Talk of the Town Link Party
Imparting Grace - Grace at Home
April Harris - Heart and Soul Link Party

May 11, 2017

My New Favorite Place to Watch the Kentucky Derby

In the past, we have attended Derby parties in the neighborhood or watched the race from local restaurants...but usually we just watch at home with the kids.  Basically, the four of us pick a few horses and cheer them on while our dog, Rosie jumps up and down, trying to get in on the action...yeah, exciting stuff.

This year, Derby Day fell on the same weekend as my girl's getaway.  It was exciting to make a bigger deal out of the event - especially since our hotel was hosting a Kentucky Derby Party!
Derby Outfits at the Harbor View Hotel

This girl's getaway was spent on the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.  I will write a full trip report as soon as I consolidate all of our photos but for now, I will fill you in on the Derby festivities!...

Apparently, this was only the 2nd annual Kentucky Derby Party held at the beautiful Harbor View Hotel where we were staying.  We bought our tickets in advance so we had some time to plan our outfits and hats.

Earlier in the day, we stumbled upon a new liquor store, Rosewater Wine and Spirits in Edgartown.  They were offering a Julep tasting, so needless to say, we had to give them a try...
Mint Julep Tasting
None of us are huge bourbon fans but the tasting was fun and the store owners were just darling!  They also had two sweet black labs in the store so my dog loving friend and I were all over them.

Anyway, the party at the hotel began at 5:00 and took place at the Lighthouse Grill...
Lighthouse Grill

I was having too much fun to take a lot of pictures of the restaurant, but I took this photo the next day to show the bar area.  Such a pretty room!

Lighthouse Grill Bar
They had a buffet of appetizers set up along with servers offering cute Derby inspired sandwiches and other treats.

Kentucky Derby Banner
The room was filled with colorful rose themed tables and other Derby decorations.

Derby Party
As you can see, I opted for wine over a mint julep but there were plenty of them going around!

Derby Party Decor

Kentucky Derby Stats
We had the chance to bet on some horses by donating to the Vineyard Montessori School fundraiser.  Each $10 donation allowed us to choose a square.

Sea Bags (made from recycled sails)

And my friend came in second and won some wine and this pretty bag from Sea Bags!  These bags are made from recycled sails and ironically, we were admiring them in their Oak Bluffs store just the day before!

Derby Party Table
Here we are enjoying the party.  I know I don't normally post many people-photos on my blog but I don't think my friends will mind.  (At least I hope not...)

I happened to text this photo to my husband and this is the response I received back from him...

Silly Text from my husband

I know some of you have commented how you like his sense of humor so I thought you might enjoy that!  True, I did look like I was wearing the table cloth - kind of.  What can I say...I love navy and white!  

Please note that this post contains affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Yes, I had to put that disclaimer in there because I would love to share my outfit details with you!  I am wearing my new favorite dress with Jack Rogers gold wedge sandals.  The white hat was from Macy's and I just threw a bow on from Michael's.  Next year I might go for something like this dress and I will definitely get more creative with my hat...for example...

Kentucky Derby Hats

We had the opportunity to try on some beautiful hats displayed by the lovely ladies of Dreamboat Hats of Edgartown.  I think next year I will choose my outfit and then go to them to buy a matching hat!

My friend wanted us to pose for this picture with our hats after seeing a similar photo online...
Kentucky Derby Hats
Cute idea, but by the time we had take the photo, it was after dinner and a couple of us were already in some casual attire.  And for some reason, my friend on the right looked extra short!  I think she was leaning over laughing during the photo!

Speaking of laughing...
Sombrero for Cinco de Mayo
Before we left for our trip, I joked with my friend that I was going to combine Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby for my hat!  Don't worry, the sombrero stayed home...

Derby party swag
We made some great memories and came home with some fun giveaways from Vineyard Vines!  And as you can see, Vineyard Selfies was also at the event with a photo booth.  

And did I mention that my friend WON the prize for the best Derby ensemble?!!  She won a Vineyard Vines gift card AND a one night's stay at the Harbor View Hotel!  It had to be fate because one of our dear friends who was supposed to join us came down with pneumonia and couldn't make it.  Looks like we know where we are going next year! Time to plan another Derby outfit!  

Cheers - Kentucky Derby Party Girl's Weekend
See you next year, Harbor View!

Did you watch the Kentucky Derby this year?

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My New Favorite Place to Watch the Kentucky Derby

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May 4, 2017

Take Me Away Link Party - May 2017

Hello friends!  It's time for another Take Me Away Travel Link Party!  We can't wait to see where you've been!

Take Me Away Travel Link Party

Let's get started with the May Party!
  • Please link up to 3 travel posts you have written (new or old as long as you haven't shared them at the Take Me Away Party before).
  • Please include a link back to my blog.
  • Please don't link ads or giveaways (affiliate links are fine though!)
  • By joining the party, you give me permission to feature your photo/post on any of my social media networks and this blog.
  • Please Pin from the original source of the photo.
  • Please visit and comment on as many links as you can...after all, it's a party!

Once again, we are off!  Take Me Away!

May 3, 2017

Take Me Away - April Recap

It's May, my favorite month!  Well, it would be my favorite if my son didn't have to deal with seasonal allergies.  I hope the trees bloom quickly!

We just returned from an amazing trip to Grand Cayman and I am heading off to Martha's Vineyard this month!  Sure, it sounds like I am quite the jet-setter (lol) but after that I probably won't go anywhere for like, a year...

Anyway, last month you linked up some beautiful places!  If you missed reading any of them, here is a recap...

Bonnie from Living With Thanksgiving took us away for a beautiful afternoon in the state of Alabama...

Wow, what a gorgeous stroll through the arboretum!  I think I would be enlarging some of these photos to hang on my walls! 

Tanya from The Other Side of the Road shared some exciting stories from her family trip to Orlando!
Travel Tuesday - Disney Tips
Orlando 2017 Grand Marshall
Orlando - Universal

All of her trip reports were filled with tips and valuable information so be ready to take some notes.  Also, be sure to read her "Grand Marshall" post - what a memorable experience that must have been!

Pam from Everyday Living took us "far away" on a castle tour...
The Ruins of a Castle Far, Far Away

It's truly amazing that these structures are still standing.  What beautiful countryside and charming villages to go along with the tour!

Carole from the blog, From My Carolina Home took us to the lovely Lake Lure...
Lake Lure and Tryon Drive

A perfect day out in a beautiful area!  

Carole from From My Carolina Home also gave us a taste of life in the mountains...
Mountain Living - Removing a Tree

What a project to remove a massive tree!  I don't know how anyone can get anything done with those views.  I would be stopping to stare all day!

Susan from Our French Oasis took us to follow along on a renovation...

If you are like me, you can never get enough "before and afters"!  You wouldn't believe how this beauty started out!

Thank you to everyone who stops by each month!  Whether you are here to link up your own posts or to read others, we always enjoy having you!

Please remember to stop by 
this Friday, May 5th 
for the next Take Me Away Link Party!
(The party officially opens Thursday at 7:00 p.m. EST 
so get your travel posts ready!)

Looking forward to seeing you then!
I'd love for you to follow along so you don't miss a post!

May 1, 2017

Book Review - Slightly South of Simple

If you aren't already a fan of southern fiction, this will be the book to get you hooked!

Kristy Woodson Harvey has done it again with her beautifully written latest novel, Slightly South of Simple.

As you might know from reading my blog, I am a huge fan of Kristy's blog, Design Chic, as well as her first two novels, Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love.  I was thrilled when she offered to send me a copy of Slightly South of Simple to review.  *All opinions expressed are my own.

Slightly South of Simple Review

My original plan for this review was to include photos from Kristy Woodson Harvey's book launch party in New York!  I had been looking forward to an evening of sipping cocktails and celebrating one of my favorite authors.  Wouldn't that have been great?!!

Unfortunately, we had a health scare in our family that day and I had to cancel my trip into the city.  Luckily, everything is fine now but it has been a stressful week and a reminder that life can change in an instant.

Ironically, Slightly South of Simple had several life changing instances that helped shape the characters and change their courses in life.  I love a novel that can touch on some serious subjects without being too heart-wrenching.

In fact, heart-warming is actually the best word to describe this book.  Kristy has a way of making you fall in love with her characters.  If you have sisters, you will appreciate the interactions between the sisters in the book.  Seriously, some of the comments between them were just priceless.  I love that they are all strong women yet with quirks like all of us.  I see nothing wrong with a little germ-phobia and aversion to GMO foods, but hey that's just me!

I also enjoyed how the author's love of interior design is woven into the story.  With the main character being an interior designer herself, you are able to experience the surroundings through her eyes.  Who doesn't love hearing about the details of a table setting?...

Slightly South of Simple

To give you a full recap of the story, I have included an excerpt from

Please note that this post contains affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she'd spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley's life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

Slightly South of Simple quote

Such a charming story...and isn't that above quote just adorable?  The whole time I was reading the book, I was imagining myself living in the fictional town of Peachtree Bluff.  Kristy has a way of making a place seem so familiar and characters so real.   I could see myself drinking wine on the porch every night at 9:00 p.m with them all...Isn't that a cute tradition?  Maybe I need to start that at my house!

Great Summer Reading - Slightly South of Simple

I laughed out loud, I shed some tears and I came away from the book looking forward to the next installment.  It's a good thing this is the first in a series because I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters yet.  I really couldn't have picked a better book to finish on our recent vacation!

If you are looking for the perfect summer beach book, look no further!  Although, I doubt you will be able to wait until summer to dive in...  Slightly South of Simple would make a great Mother's Day gift as well!  I adored this novel!  Once you read it, I would love for you to stop back and tell me what you loved most about the book.  There's so much to love!

*Thanks again to Kristy Woodson Harvey for providing me with a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Have you read any of 
Kristy Woodson Harvey's novels yet?

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