Thursday, March 31, 2011

Our Current Kitchen Table

When I need a break from law school, sometimes I like to change around the stuff on our kitchen table and play with various tablescapes. Sometimes I coordinate with upcoming holidays (you can kinda see my Valentine's table in this post, or the fall one here), and sometimes I just play. I try to make the prettiest tables I can without buying anything new!

I'm absolutely in love with my current table layout (so much that I'm leaving it be rather than switching it out for some Easter/Spring cuteness!), so I thought I'd share it with y'all.

The whole thing - pashminas as table runners are my favorite! This pashmina happens to be from London. :o)

Bird's eye view

Our everyday dishes, napkin & ring from Pier 1 (over a year ago)

Love these napkin rings! So cute!

In the center of the table...

Bowl (a gift from my parents, who brought it back from Hawaii) w/ wine corks (I knew I was keeping them all for something!)

Carved elephant (a souvenir from a trip to Malaysia when Jeff was little) - you can't see it from the photo, but it has a baby elephant inside! It's like a pregnant elephant, and it's AMAZING how they carved it through those holes! One of the great things about getting married is that you become a part-owner of cool stuff like this! Haha.

A couple of green vases from CSN Stores, filled with "dried natural" branches from Hobby Lobby

Love it!

I especially like how the green vases bring out the green in the paintings over the piano!

I love how the dark brown goes with our dishes, and I love the pop of green. I also love how well-travelled it feels with the Hawaiian bowl and the Malaysian elephant (and the pashmina from London and corks from Argentina and France and other places!). The best part - I did it totally with stuff I already had, with the exception of the dried branches & flowery things, which I paid a grand total of $3.50 for at Hobby Lobby. 

Anyone else like to play around with the kitchen table? What's your best creative tablescape solution (mine is totally the pashmina-as-a-runner)?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Break in Maryland

On the last day of our trip, we got up early and drove back to Maryland to drop Kristen and Dan off at the airport. They had an early flight, and we had another half a day to kill before ours. Sooo, we went to College Park, Maryland! Jeff just started an online Master's degree through the University of Maryland, so he wanted to see his school in real life. Here he is with the Maryland mascot, "Testudo."

It was a really pretty university, and people were so nice! We went to Church in College Park that day, and it was the nicest, cutest little Church ever!

Apparently, Jim Henson is an alum... so Kermit the Frog is just hanging out on campus!

We finally got to see the famous cherry blossom trees in bloom!

We drove back to Baltimore, and still had some time to kill. Being an English major, I knew the Edgar Allan Poe's house was in Baltimore, so we plugged it into the GPS and went on a search for it. It turns out the historic house is right in the middle of a giant public housing project, and it's closed for renovations. A little disappointing, but at least we saw it!

And then, it was time to come home. We were exhausted and ready to sleep in our own bed again, but it was a GREAT trip. :o)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Break in Williamsburg: Day Two

Are y'all sick of hearing about our Spring Break trip yet? It's almost done... I promise! On our last day in Williamsburg we went to see a few different attractions... the first was Berkley Plantation, a lovely estate on the James River that is just FULL of history!

The traditional bugle "taps" was composed here in 1862 when the Union Army was camped out on the banks of the James River...

Berkley was also the home of the Harrison family (Benjamin Harrison - signer of the Declaration of Independence, William Henry Harrison - 9th President, Benjamin Harrison - 23rd President).

The first Benjamin Harrison is buried on the property

This is the cemetery... a beautiful place to be buried, right?

Berkley also claims to be the site of the "first official Thanksgiving"... really, it was just that the first time the King of England ordered travelers to "give thanks" upon landing was when they came here. Kinda cool though, right?

The grounds and garden and river were just so beautiful. We went down by the river and found a gigantic tree stump to take pictures on. Jeff taught us all how to skip rocks. It was fun. :o)

I'm not sure what's happening here. I think we were making fun of Kristen and Dan?

More pretty daffodils!

Then we toured the house itself. It was beautiful and full of old furniture and such, but they didn't allow photos. :(

We loved Berkley Plantation. It was beautiful, and the tour guide was wonderful as well. So much history in one piece of land!! Next, we got back in the car and drove out to one of Virginia's newest wineries - New Kent Winery.

We did a tour and tasting... we weren't super-impressed by the wines (their merlot tasted nothing like a merlot... it was really weird), but we had a great time and enjoyed hearing about the building itself (almost completely built from reclaimed wood and materials).

All the wood you can see in this photo was reclaimed from old buildings!

The wood beams on the ceiling are actually old railroad tresses!

We stopped at Panera for lunch, and then headed on to another winery! This one was Williamsburg Winery, which has been around for a long time and was considerably bigger (and better!) than New Kent.

Isn't this amazing? Can someone figure out how they made this for me?

They had an old collection of wine bottles. It was so interesting to see how bottles have changed over the years! Did you know that each bottle used to be hand-made, so they had to specially cut corks to fit perfectly in the tops? Crazy, right?

The wines at Williamsburg Winery were quite good, and we enjoyed the tour as well! Jeff and I both learned a lot about how wine is made and how you can alter the preparation process to bring out certain flavors. Interesting stuff! With a collective eight souvenir wine glasses, we got back in the car and drove to a place we had discovered via a brochure at the condo - the Yankee Candle flagship store! 

You guys... this store is crazy. It's like a bunch of stores within a store. There was a giant store of Vera Bradley stuff, a giant store of candy, a giant store of cooking stuff (I bought a yummy tiramisu cheesecake mix!), and of course - the candles! They have an entire area decorated like a Christmas village - complete with Santa year-round, and snow every 4 minutes! Being from Texas and all, the "snow" was quite exciting!

We walked around for a while and looked in all the cute little shops. I think I loved this place way more than everyone else. Haha. Look at all the candles!! You can even mix their fragrances to make your own candle!

The best part was the clearance section - I got some giant Yankee Candles for just $12! But there was one thing there that made me go "seriously?!?!" They have a candle fragrance for Prince William and Kate Middleton. A candle fragrance. It's called "A Royal Wedding." Seriously?!?! I mean, I know it's exciting to have a member of the British royal family get married, but a candle fragrance

They actually had an entire display, complete with photo and pretty flowery things. Crazy. To tell you the truth, it didn't even smell that good. It was kinda like baby powder.

After we were there for a while Jeff and Dan started to complain that the smells were giving them headaches, so we checked out and left... Goodbye Yankee Candle flagship store! I wish we had you in Texas!

Plantations, wine, and candles - it was a wonderful way to spend the last full day of our trip. It was so nice to have at least one day when we didn't have a list of 100 things we were trying to run around and see! 

Does anyone else think the "royal wedding" candle is completely ridiculous?