Friday, May 28, 2010

TGIF, 5/28/10 Edition

(image via Martha Stewart)

Happy Friday, everyone. It's almost three o'clock here and I'm itching to start my Memorial Day weekend. How about you?

While enjoying the barbecues and the start of summer, let's just remember those currently engaged in combat (like my sister-in-law, Jamie). Whatever your politics may be, Memorial Day is a time to enjoy our country, remember its history, and honor those men and women who served it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Daydreaming of the Islands

With Memorial Day just around the corner, I am finding it hard to concentrate on work. I'm thinking that this weekend is the beginning of corn-on-the-cob, barbecues, beach weekends, and summer weddings. Naturally, with imagery like this floating around my brain, it's nearly impossible to keep my mind in reality. I'm dreaming of an island paradise instead.

(image of Fiji via Google)

No, no, silly...not those islands. These islands:

(images of Casco Bay via Google)

Off of Portland, Maine is a series of islands in the Casco Bay. My mom is from Maine, so as a child I spent countless summers in "vacationland" with my extended family. Occasionally, we would take the long way via Route 1 and experience the scenic New England drive to my grandmother's farm in Farmington.

The temperatures today in Philadelphia are approaching the 90's, and I'm imagining myself biking along a gravel path on Great Diamond Island, one of the islands in the Casco Bay. I am biking to my island cottage that is surrounded by New England nature at its finest. My bike's basket is brimming with flowers and my hair is messy from the ride.

Here are two potential contenders for my dream Maine island cottage, currently for sale on Great Diamond Island in the Casco Bay:

Both need work and are still over my imaginary-Maine-dream-cottage budget (currently set at a whopping $0), but it's fun to dream, isn't it?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Impressing the Fam

I don't know about you, readers, but when my parents or extended family come to visit us in Philadelphia, I feel compelled to impress them, to show them that I'm not only an adult, but I'm a pretty great adult. I'm an adult who lays out towels in the guest bedroom, spreads blooming peonies in vases around the apartment, and plans wonderfully delectable meals for all to enjoy.

This is, after all, not an every day occurrence. Family visits are special.

On Thursday, my mom, dad, and grandmother will be traveling from Connecticut for a visit. Considering my parents haven't seen our apartment since a week after we moved in, I have been buzzing around after work making sure everything is just "so."

So far I have the following meal ideas, all via Martha. For Thursday, I'm thinking:

(image via Martha Stewart)

(image via Martha Stewart)

Readers, do you have any special things you do to prepare for special visitors? Any great summery recipes you want to share?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Prints, please

After a long day at work, I was thrilled to check my email and find a delightful email from Roberta Roller Rabbit. What did I receive? A discount code for the summer picnic-ready hand blocked printed napkins, place mats, and tablecloths!

From now until May 31, receive 15% tabletop items via the online store using the promo code ALFRESCO10. If you're looking for more than just great dining decor, here are just some of my fave (non-tabletop) items:

The "Fantasia" pillow in blue, $40

The "Elephant" quilt in pink, $125 for full

The "Amanda" lounge set in blue, $85
(all item images via Roberta Roller Rabbit)

The image in the heading of my blog is of our bedroom, in which I've paired cobalt Roberta Roller Rabbit curtains and an Rubie Green-upholstered chair. Everyday I wake up and honestly think, "I love my bedroom. More prints, please."

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Recap: Wedding Venue, Take 2

Happy Monday, blog-readers. Adam and I were very busy this past weekend. As promised on Friday, I will share a bit about our second trip to wedding venues.

Saturday was spent buzzing around to two potential wedding sites: Bartram's Garden and the Belmont Mansion, both historic sites that are a part of Philadelphia's expansive Fairmount Park. Don't get me wrong, both are beautiful and a drastic change of pace from the normal urban hustle-and-bustle of Philadelphia, but something was just not right in both of these location. Just not...well, perfect.

The grounds weren't maintained well enough, there weren't enough flowers in bloom, the parking lot wasn't big enough...I could go on (and really, these are both beautiful places, don't get me wrong).

Soon-to-be brides or marrieds out there, do you know what I'm talking about? Will I need to forgo perfection for reality, or can you actually find "the one"?

On a side note, my parents and grandmother will be visiting us over the next weekend so we weren't just scouting wedding venues...we also did a bit of purging. Clearing out the junk made me feel like this weekend wasn't a total bust.

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 21, 2010

TGIF, 5/21/10 Edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

Like most of you, Adam and I have a busy weekend ahead of us. We are visiting our second and third potential wedding venue tomorrow and I think we're both pretty excited about it. Here's a sneak peek of one (more details to follow on Monday):

Can't you sort of see what I'm trying to go for with the wedding? A historic location with a wonderful outdoor space appropriate for a relaxed, but beautiful outdoor celebration. I can't wait to share photos next week.

Also, if you have any remaining ideas on what I should do about this sad looking ottoman, share them! Comments always welcome at Meet Me in Philadelphia!

Until then, readers...Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What Wha-what Would You Do?

If only a Nickelodeon studio audience and Marc Summers were on hand to help me with this decision. I am at a loss on what to do with this very tired-looking ottoman that Adam unearthed from his grandparents' home a few weeks ago.

I've placed it at the foot of my thrift store chair (the one that I recovered in Alan Campbell "Deauville" fabric), but I can't get moving forward on reinvigorating this piece.

You'll see I've sanded and restained the legs to match the chair, but I'm not sure what fabric to use for the reupholstery. Remember, it was free and I have a wedding to plan, readers, I turn to you:

What wha-what would you do?

Monday, May 17, 2010

House Tour, Part 1: The Living Room

For your consideration, readers, please peruse photos of our living room, which I've finally gotten around to snapping. While I am the type of person to hold off on sharing such pictures until everything is just perfect and all projects are done, that just isn't the way to live so, please, be gentle.

I love our living room. It feels comfortable and cozy, and combines a variety of prints (which I love!).

Our couch, an NYC Craigslist find, is by Mitchell-Gold and sits atop a rusty wool rug from It is flanked by a $30 Ebay end table and a $65 coffee table (a bit tall, but we love it) that we bought at Philly's own Hello Home. The lamp on our end table is from Home Goods.

The framed piece above the couch was purchased on Ebay for about $100. When I picked it up from the seller on the Upper West Side, I was told it once hung in the Kate Spade store in Soho. The zig-zag piece to the right of the couch is a remnant from Madeline Weinrib.

The matching directors chairs are another NYC Craigslist find. We purchased them from a couple on the Upper West Side who definitely had a bit of a hoarding problem. Adam and I walked out of their building, folded chairs in hand, and said to each other, "Let's never get that way." Agreed.

The last picture, below, is the view from our entry way, which I've partitioned off with help from the old stand-by, the Ikea Expedit. It works well to create a sense of a foyer; plus, it also helps me hold on to all those books I accumulated during college and a decade-long obsession with thrift store book selections.

You'll also see Adam's baby, his HDTV, which sits atop a CB2 slim profile coffee table that works as our media center. I wanted something unobtrusive; Adam just wanted storage to hide all of his X-box games. Despite our differing priorities, this piece serves both our needs.

More rooms to come!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Weekend Recap: Wedding Venue, Take 1

I hope that, wherever you were this weekend, it was as beautiful and temperate as it was in Philadelphia over the past two days. Adam and I decided to take advantage of the wonderful weather and start scouting locations for our wedding. The first place on our growing list is one of the many historic homes that are part of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, Lemon Hill.

Lemon Hill sits atop a hill along the Schuykill River and provides a spectacular view of the Philadelphia Art Museum and, just behind the museum, Center City. It was a pleasure to tour the house, built in 1800, by Robert Morris, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and its grounds on Saturday afternoon.

I managed to snap a few pictures during our tour...what do you think?

The view towards Philadelphia from the rear veranda (how gracious sounding, no?):

The rear of the house, from the lawn:

Lemon Hill is definitely a contender. We have more places to see during the coming weekends, and I think we're both really excited about the planning process.

Readers, if you know Philadelphia well, are there any places Adam and I should consider if we're looking for a historic, outdoor venue?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm Not Dead

Just a quick post to let everyone know I'm not dead, just swamped by the comings-and-goings of life. I wanted to share, though, the beautiful pink tulips that Adam's parents gave us on Mother's Day, when we first briefly celebrated out recent engagement.

Don't they look lovely in our living room? Don't you want to see more of our living room? (Pardon the crappy Blackberry photo...I promise to step up my photography game this week!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gone to Texas

(image via Google)

Readers, I have been absent this week (after my engagement post) and will be away the rest of the week because I will traveling to the National Head Start Association annual conference in DALLAS, Texas.

This will be my first, albeit quick, trip to Texas. Do you think what little I experience of the state will be anything like "Friday Night Lights"? I hope so...

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Weekend to End All Weekends

(image via Martha Stewart)

I am usually remiss about my weekend recaps, but this weekend in New York warranted a post. On Friday, I alluded to all the fun I was planning on having during our trip. Little did I realize that there was more in store...

While strolling around the 85 degree heat in Central Park on late Saturday morning, Adam lead us to a quiet corner on a hill and...PROPOSED!

Dear readers, I am thrilled beyond belief. This man is unbelievable. He is patient, outgoing, generous, giving, brilliant, and forever supportive. I am luckier than I ever thought possible. Let the wedding plans commence.

There are a few details that I have planned since I was a child, namely that I would use my favorite flowers, peonies, in my wedding. I can't wait to plan this exciting celebration together. I hope you all enjoy the wedding prep I'll be sharing in the coming year.
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