Independence Day 2013

Today is the perfect holiday to relax, spend time with family and friends and to dine on the finest of BBQ delights. I wish all of you a very Happy 4th of July — have fun and be safe!

Image taken by Alexis Young

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The “House Happy” series

My dining room area, featuring a Crate & Barrel buffet

My dining room area, featuring a Crate & Barrel buffet

If you are familiar with the famed interior decorator/designer Nate Berkus and his tv show, he had a segment featuring viewers showcasing their “proud design moments” in their homes. This was so interesting to see how other people around the country like to decorate their homes. A lot of times, this also served as inspiration! Well, I wanted to have my own spin on Mr. Berkus’ concept. The Lex of Hearts version will be named “House Happy”.

With this new series, I ask you, my lovely readers to show off your space! It doesn’t have to be your entire home, but perhaps your favorite reading nook, or your man cave or even an amazing, superbly-organized and well put together closet.

I will start things off with my ‘dining area’ that houses one of the best purchases I’ve made, a Crate & Barrel buffet. Although my house is still work-in-progress (even though it’s been almost 3 years), my buffet/console area is very much me. I actually try to switch out the decorative items occasionally, to spice it up a bit. I also love this piece for the ample storage behind the cabinet doors. I have a place for wine glasses, entertaining servingware, flower vases, extra decorative napkins (cloth & paper), candles, etc.

From my experience, HomeGoods/Marshalls/TJ Maxx are usually the best places to pick up quality, but affordable items for the home. Oh! And we can’t forget Ikea! (One of the best places on earth, next to Disney World, of course)

Here is a list of key items shown in my space:

  • Crate & Barrel Buffet – Craigslist find
  • Sunburst mirror – HomeGoods
  • Lamp – TJ Maxx
  • Black Greek Key box – HomeGoods
  • Silver Candlesticks – Ikea
  • Silver Bottle (on top of Greek Key box) – Marshalls
  • “Fashion Box” book – Urban Outfitters
  • Blue Box (underneath the candlesticks) – Tiffany & Co

What are your favorite go-to stores and/or online shops that you frequent to decorate your living space?

Would you like to be featured for the “House Happy” series? Email me. This will be fun!

Wedding planning, Sangria & Caprese!

First things first, the wedding planning was not for me (insert smirk here), but it was for one of my very good friends. It was a blistering hot Saturday afternoon outside, but inside my cozy domain, it made for a very chill day. The bride-to-be, and a fabulous mutual friend of ours, my wonderful Mother and myself, recently gathered around my dining room table to hash out some important wedding details. I threw together an assortment of light snacks — fruit, salami, select cheeses and pita crisps along with chocolate-covered pretzels for something sweet. We also had salsa and guacamole with tortilla chips and…fresh caprese salad (deliciously prepared by the fiance of the bride-to-be). The cocktail du jour was a homemade red sangria, which turns out to be one of the most easily prepared, crowd-pleasing beverages. (In addition to my homemade version, there are also many bottled sangria versions sold in stores, which we also tried!)

Many magazines were strewn about, items from the to-do list were crossed off and more importantly, many laughs took place. Truth be told, wedding planning appears to be a bit daunting, no matter the size of the guest list.  However, with a few good friends, great food, a little music and a refreshing summer beverage, it was actually a stress-free, hilarious afternoon.

Have you ever been a part of a wedding and/or wedding planning?

(The collage above was created from some pictures I took from that afternoon)

*Images taken by Alexis Young

Life’s a Beach…at least with decor

During my lunch break yesterday, one of my good friends and I took an impromptu trip to the mall (not really that far-fetch if you really know me). While quickly perusing through our favorite stores, we made a bee-line into Pottery Barn. Although this store can be pretty pricey, they do have some select items that actually won’t break your pockets.

Since my friend is getting married this fall (on the beach), she pointed out the beautiful nautical tablescapes that were set up in the store. They definitely leaned more towards a rustic aesthetic, but I fell in love. So much so, I snapped a few pictures for inspiration. My favorite pieces were the large starfish and individual bottles of sparkling water at each seat. Gorg! Wouldn’t you love to be a guest at a festive beach-themed party like this? I sure would!

When entertaining at home, what are your favorite ways to decorate your table? What are your key items to make your tablescapes shine?

*All images by Alexis Young