I Guess I Needed a Break

After the whirlwind that is the one room challenge, I guess I was a little burnt out and I had a lot to catch up on with my clients as well, not to mention the adjustments we’ve been making with P’s new schedule.

Weekend Snuggles 1

Speaking of, he is on day shifts now, which is great because we get our evenings together which we haven’t had in years… like years. so it’s nice to actually have some face time with the hubs. But he is now working only in the office (never at home, which I actually really love… just that he’s not in the living room with a constant stream of sports and his laptop and papers, etc., it’s kinda nice) and he is working Thursdays through Mondays. So while my days out of the office are Sundays and Tuesdays, and Tuesdays I’m often juggling client details, materials sourcing, drawings and blogging. So to say the least it has been an adjustment.

I’m still not willing to give up Sunday to a day of really working even though sometimes I do a lot of the behind the scenes legwork, I don’t want to do it all the time… you need down time too people, and it is important to block that out. But we are trying to balance out my schedule on Tuesdays to be able to enjoy more time together as well. So we will see how it all works out.

For now, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my Sundays home alone with just me and Brantley Bub! I’ve been catching up on my DVR’d shows, reading, cleaning and even knitting! Yup, I just cast on for one of my dear friends baby blankets (she is due June 22nd, so wish me luck!). Of course, I’ve been working on floor plans and brainstorming blog stuff too, but it’s nice to just be in the house, or around the neighborhood soaking it all in.

Weekend Walk

My favorite new tradition that we have started is walking from home to the train station to go meet P after work on Sunday evenings… it’s so nice to then walk home together. As the weather gets better, I’m planning on definitely keeping this tradition up! It’s a nice long walk too so we all sleep well, and B is good to go for his day at home Monday!

What have you been up to lately? Doing anything fun with your down time?

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest andBloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

From Napa, With Love | A Travel Guide

It’s Monday again, but don’t fret! Instead of getting your typical gloomy case of the Mondays, start dreaming about the perfect weekend getaway in Napa.

Napa, Wine Country, Napa Valley, Weekend Getaway, Girls Weekend, Travel Guide, Napa Valley Travel Guide, Napa Travel, Travel Napa, Visit Napa, Napa California, Vacation, Wine Vacation, Wine Weekend, Wine Lovers Weekend

About a month ago, I was sitting in a tasting room learning how to properly drink wine. (Because apparently just pouring way more than the standard amount into your glass a couple times/week or more, is wrong.) I met one of my best friends from Seattle in the Napa Valley where we wined, wined, wined and dined, for 4 days… in short, we had a blast and I found my new happy place.

Here’s a little breakdown of how we spent our time while we were there and how we balanced out our days to round out an excellent trip to wine country. A travel guide for Napa if you will.

Day 1:

Food:

Breakfast at Pacific Blues in Yountville (a must) and dinner at Tarla Mediterranean in Napa for yummy risotto and a great gluten free selection.

Tastings:

We decided that before we went around acting like we knew what’s up with wine tasting we should take a class, so our first stop was a wine tasting course for beginners at Robert Mondavi, and it was a great first stop. Their grounds were beautiful, their wine was good and the class was just right to get us started.

Our second tasting was to Odette which had stunning architecture, beautiful landscapes and great service, with good wine to boot! We enjoyed the tasting and stayed just the right amount of time. I’m not typically a fan of white wines, but they had a delicious crisp and light Chardonnay that I will have to find locally or try to have shipped for any summer gatherings this year.

The last tasting for the day was at Chandon for some bubbles! Who doesn’t love a good glass of champagne to toast to the greatest weekend getaway ever?? Talk about a pretty landscape! We were fortunate enough to have gorgeous weather to sit outside and enjoy our cheese plate and bubbly while soaking up the sun!

Other:

After our first tasting, we went back to Yountville for mani’s and pedi’s and to soak up some much need girl time sans booze at Lavender Nail Salon, where the place was clean and the service was good. Yountville is a great little town either to stay in or to just stop into and walk the main street… it’s very charming and sure to please.

 

Day 2:

Food:

We started our morning with coffee and juice from the Oxbow Public Market before making the trek up to Calistoga for some spa-time. Post spa, we enjoyed brunch in Calistoga at Sam’s Social Club which was so good, very fresh food and fun interiors! For dinner we opted for Mexican and ended up at Don Perico’s in Napa which hit the spot as standard Mexican fare.

Tastings:

First we headed to Sterling where they have a gondola car that takes you up to the winery for the tastings. The wine was nothing special, but the views were incredible and the architecture was like a little slice of Santorini right in Napa.

Second we headed to Mumm for more champs. Again the bubbles, you can’t go wrong. Next to the parking lot there were rows of the mustard flowers that were so pretty! The service wasn’t great at Mumm, but supposedly they are known for that, and the bubbles were delicious (we took a bottle home with us) so I would recommend going anyway.

Third we headed to Artesa, which became one of our favorites of the trip. We started our tasting late and they closed, but let us finish our tasting and my new favorite wine is their Tempranillo… the stuff that dreams are made of. They had so many delicious red wines to taste that we really enjoyed, in addition to their prime location, which on a clear day you can see all the way to the San Francisco Bay from, and their beautiful architecture… it was a win all around.

Other:

We kicked off Saturday with a mud bath in Calistoga… it was something that sounded so luxurious and it was on my bucket list, so we fit it in the schedule. What I will say about that… it was interesting, I’ve not laughed so hard in such a long time and my skin has also never been so soft. Now it’s checked off the bucket list… if it’s on yours, try it, you might like it, but try for an early bird special (which we did) or a groupon or something, rather than splurging for the full priced package right off the bat… it’s expensive and it is a different experience, so be open minded.

 

Day 3:

Food:

We kicked off the day with coffee from the Napa Valley Coffee Roasters, which was delicious and then we made our way to the wine train.

The Napa Valley Wine Train had a lot of mixed reviews on the web, but it included lunch and we opted to add a wine tasting to it as well and just give it a try. I’m glad we did. The train itself was charmingly restored, and the ride was a good way to view a chunk of the valley to see if there were any additional wineries we should put on our list. It’s also a good way to orient yourself with the layout of Napa, so it would be fun to do in your first day or so there. The food was pretty good and the wine was okay (nothing special compared to what’s available in napa), but the experience overall was worth it.

For dinner, we booked the Farmstead tasting menu with wine pairings at Long Meadow Ranch. It was one of the best meals I’ve had ever, like seriously, the food was so simple, so pretty (the appetizer in the top right got asparagus soup poured over it which made the flowers float… talk about presentation) and beyond delicious… looking at the pictures is making my mouth water. If you like food as much or more than you like wine and you are in Napa, this is a must!

Tastings:

We had a red sampler on the wine train, as noted above, nothing to write home about and in hindsight, given the day we had planned it might have been worth just having one glass on the train and then skipping the tasting here.

We booked a tasting and tour at Jarvis the day before while we were waiting for the mud baths to start and if you are visiting Napa especially in their peak, book this one in advance. Their Willy Wonka-esque wine caves were very cool and the details they put into the design are worth seeing in person. We sampled 6 delicious wines and both brought home a few bottles… we had a good group on this tour and the tasting was fun in addition to being good wine.

The wines from our pairing dinner at Long Meadow Ranch were perfect. I’m really not kidding when I say this meal was in the top 5 of my life… it’s not your every day kind of thing but it was such a great treat. The wine was so good. The service, amazing. Everything about this last stop was perfect. I found out about LMR by purchasing a bottle at my local wine store in preparation for Napa (I was buying a lot of Napa wines leading up to the trip) so I didn’t buy any wine here, only because I knew I could get it back home.

Other:

A note about our Day 3 agenda… we tried to split up some of these bigger things and do one a day (the tasting course day one, mud baths day two, etc.) but we accidentally booked both the train and the tasting at LMR on the same day. Were we to do it over again, we would split the two up… that said, we still thoroughly enjoyed this day, so do what makes you happy if/when you go!

 

Day 4:

Food:

Jax White Mule Diner in Napa for breakfast and we literally had the place to ourselves. It was good enough but don’t drink the water. For dinner we went to Bounty Hunter BBQ and again, good enough but nothing to write home about, though the portions were huge, we shared a sampler plate and still took home leftovers.

Tastings:

First stop, Inglenook. Talk about good wine and a great experience. This place is like a chateau it is so pretty, down to the details. I loved the chandeliers and rugs especially… well and especially the wine! They were so slow (on that particular Monday morning) that we ended up getting a private tour of the wine caves and to see the back vineyards. Seriously worth the stop.

Second, we had a tasting scheduled for Brown, which was great. What a cool story of their estate and how they became wine makers after previously just selling their fruit. They make a lot of Zinfendale and for someone who isn’t a big zin fan, I have to say, their wines changed my tune. Their property is also stunning and great design details here as well… but I won’t give away their secrets, you will have to go do the tasting yourself! We got to meet David the wine-maker… this guy definitely has a lot of fun, and it was a fun experience for us!

Lastly, we went to Nichelini (right next to Brown, and we stopped just for that reason). Although we hadn’t heard of them or their wines, we both ended up joining their wine club. The wines were delicious and we tasted them all! We were pleasantly surprised by many of them here, hence the new wine club memberships, it was definitely a worthy stop.

 

Day 5:

Gluten Free, Vacation Eats, Brunch, Corned Beef Benedict, Eggs Benedict, Boon Fly Cafe, Napa Eats, Brunch in Napa, Breakfast in Napa

We loaded up the car, stopped for a delicious brunch (maybe the best we had all weekend) at Boon Fly Cafe in Napa, complete with fresh squeezed orange juice which we may or may not have added to a water bottle filled with Mumm champs… Just sayin. We walked around downtown Napa, went to a yarn shop and some art galleries and then headed back to SFO to fly to our respective homes.

 

Overall:

I can’t say enough positive things about this weekend. The trip was so needed and so wonderful. We made it happen and we soaked it up! Napa is definitely in my list of happy places. Especially Napa in Spring (so what if that is my only point of reference), there is enough going on but nothing is jam-packed and you can typically get into tastings without reservations (but do your research to see where reservations will make sense), the flowers are in bloom and everything just smells delicious. I can’t wait to plan another girls weekend with L, hopefully this time it won’t take us 8 years!

Where’s the last trip you took with your bestie? Your happy place? I need to start adding to my list of destinations! Where have you gone or are you planning to go that I need to make sure to get to? I hope you are taking some fun adventures, we will be continuing down the rabbit hole that is our living room for the One Room Challenge this week and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel… check back Thursday for the big reveal! (Or find me on Snapchat (@designbykrystle), I’ve been sharing lots of ORC living room progress in real time over there.)

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Weekend Design Love

This week I have spent a fair amount of time catching up on some of my favorite blogs. I love reading along with the blogosphere, but I find it one of the things that is so quickly removed from my list that it doesn’t happen as often as it should… I would love to work on changing that, and I think this week I made a good effort in starting.

Here are some things I’ve seen over the last few days that are worth sharing from the design blogs I follow:

Area Rugs and crafting are two of my favorite things. If they are on your list too, this post, on Apartment 34, is a must read and if you don’t want to read it, the pictures are pretty gorgeous to scroll through too.

amber-interiors-living-room-inspo-610x855

Earnest Home Co, Living Room Refresh Plans

I love Erin’s plan to revamp her farmhouse living room over on Earnest Home Co, she shares why she chose to work with a designer friend and gives the low down on all the details they are planning to incorporate. Can’t wait to see the after, hop over to the post to read more!

Bungalow Reclaimed-French-Doors4

The Bungalow, New Old French Doors

First of all, if you don’t follow Justina Blakeney and her blog The Jungalow, what are you waiting for. She is full of awesome projects and so much creativity, I always love seeing what she comes up with. Her hunt for the perfect reclaimed french doors in this post was no different. It’s such a good look at the hunt for reclaiming things and how the process works. The final result is beautiful!

apt therapy outdoor spaces roundup

Apartment Therapy’s Spring Exteriors

The weather has been warming up over here and giving us a real taste of the Spring weather to come, so Apartment Therapy’s roundup of sunny outdoor spaces has me dreaming of sun-soaked weekends. (If only we had outdoor space in our condo…)

What have you seen on the web lately that is worth sharing? I love reading blogs and finding good home and lifestyle blogs. I also read a lot of random other blog genres…so feel free to leave me a link to your favorites (or your own) in the comments and I’ll go check them out!

This weekend, we are busy all day Saturday, capping the night off with dinner with a friend and then Sunday, my goal is to not get in the car. I would be happy just checking off the to-do list, taking a long walk with B and spending some time relaxing on the couch with P. What do your weekend plans look like?

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

5 Years | The Butternut Farms B&B

Sunday marked 5 years with P, and that is something worth celebrating! A lot of people have speculated that you can’t or shouldn’t celebrate your dating anniversary once you are married, but I say the more time you dedicate to your partner and the more reasons you have to celebrate you should!! Of course quality time is key, so we decided to plan a little overnight away for just the two of us.

Butternut Farms, Butternut Farms Bed and Breakfast, Bed and Breakfast, Bed and Breakfast CT, B&B CT, B and B CT, Butternut Farms CT, Butternut Farms B and B, Butternut Farms Inn, Connecticut Travel, CT Travel, Connecticut Lodging, CT Lodging, Charming Inn, Charming B and B, Converted Barn, Converted Connecticut Barn, Old Home, 1720 House,

It was so necessary to have time one on one together. We had a wonderful dinner at the Chelsea in Fairfield, CT., and then made our way up to the Butternut Farms Bed & Breakfast in Glastonbury. Oh my was it just the most charming place we have ever stayed!

Because life is so hectic we only got to stay for one night, but we are now determined to go back again when we can! We stayed in part of the barn which has been converted to a guest suite complete with a kitchen and loft bedroom. There is enough room in this space to even bring kids someday–who would get a kick out of the farm animals on the other side of the wall. Not to worry, when you are in the suite, you can’t hear a peep and the gardens surrounding the barn are filled with mature trees for privacy and seasonal blooms (which we hope to experience next time around), it really is a private space. I really love all of the original barn wood that has been incorporated throughout the home too–on the stairs, the moldings and trims, beams, and even left exposed in the corners of the main room. It made for a special touch.

The inn-keeper, Don, was as charming as ever, and so accommodating! He went out of his way to find a gluten free English muffin to accompany my breakfast for Sunday morning. The food was delicious on top of the whole charm of the space and it’s host, I don’t know that I’ve tasted eggs better than the ones we had that morning.

After breakfast we took a little tour of the main house, being built in 1720, still with much of the existing charm, it was quite the treat to see all of the fireplaces and wood work throughout the home. I didn’t get any images of the interior of the main house, but I tried to take a decent few of the guest suite in the barn… as you can tell I was quite taken with the space.

The farm animals were a fabulous extra benefit if you ask me. I’m sort of like a 5 year old when it comes to things like this, but I must’ve run back to the goats three times after we loaded up the car to pet them just one more time before actually heading out.

We slowly made our way home, first driving out to the ocean in Old Saybrook to soak up the scenery and have a seafood lunch. Also, as part of our wedding cake arrangement, Dee’s One Smart Cookie makes you a fresh cake on your anniversary, we hadn’t had time to get back up around the fall, so we ordered our cake for this special getaway and Dee delivered it to the B&B for us. We took it with us and got extra forks with our lunch, then parked up at the leaf dump and had some cake by the ocean to celebrate.

All in all, my heart is so full of love for P and our little life together. I cherish these special weekends that we get to spend in each others company, they are the perfect way to not just celebrate the time we have spent together, but really reconnect and dream about our future.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend too and would highly recommend the Butternut Farms B&B if you are ever in need of a place to stay in Connecticut. We really did love it and we really do plan to go back! What places have you been to that you were just enamored with? Any good b&b’s or vacation spots we need to add to our list? We are always looking for a good recommendation for a getaway!!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

The Life Changing Magic

So this year one of my goals was to spend more time reading and to make my own home a priority in getting it to the same level of comfort as I work so hard to help my clients get to in their homes.

"The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up", Marie Kondo, KonMari Method, KonMari, LIfechanging Magic, Life Changing, Tidying UP, Organization, Spring Cleaning, Sorting, Home, Japanese art of decluttering, declutter

Well I’m busy, so time to read ends up falling pretty low on the totem pole, but I had heard so much about The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo that I thought maybe that would be a good way to get two birds. Read something that helps me get my own home more in order.

So again, with no time to read, I posted on Facebook about audio book apps and what people thought of them. Most of my friends left comments raving about both Audibles and Overdrive, and I would be willing to try either, however Overdrive is a free service that works in connection with library systems so it is only as good as the library you are linked to and Audibles is a monthly fee for one book per month or a higher fee for multiple books. You can look into more on that here, but I ultimately decided to download Overdrive and connected using my Mom’s library card to start and see about the service.

Her library is amazing and so far has had every title I have searched for and I’m on my third book with more on hold… I might be addicted to audio books. 

That said, the first book we listened to was the life changing magic, to learn the KonMari method. I say we because I wanted to make sure that P and I listened together so that we could work on the process together, sense after all we share the 525SF space equally with equal amounts of possessions that add to our chaos and do not bring us joy.

We started listening to the book on Monday the 18th I want to say. On Friday the 22nd there was a blizzard brewin’ so I stopped at Home Goods on my way home to buy some organizational baskets and things. Friday night we listened to more of the book and Saturday morning we listened throughout brunch until we got to a point where we felt we had heard enough to get the concept and start working on it. (This was about 2/3 through the book where she had completed discussing the order of the process and how the process works, so we were in a good place really to start.)

"The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up", Marie Kondo, KonMari Method, KonMari, LIfechanging Magic, Life Changing, Tidying UP, Organization, Spring Cleaning, Sorting, Home, Japanese art of decluttering, declutter

Everything all laid out, ready to sort. No judgement!

I have to say, at first it was hard and I did end up with a lump in my throat sorting through some items. P and I discussed it and he said that he learned after a few ‘tough’ items to figure out, he realized that he really knew which way he should go on them and some things were just harder to detach from, but if they don’t look good, feel good, etc., then do they really bring you joy just taking up space?

We moved past the hump, finishing our clothes and by Sunday morning our closet was put back together in such a stunning way, and we had rearranged our bedroom minimally but gained so much space in the process! (Can’t wait to share more on this down the road!)

The order that Marie Kondo discusses in her book is first clothing, then books, papers, komono and mementos. Komono is a Japanese term that basically covers all of the miscellaneous items you may have, such as linens, cleaning products, medicines, accessories around the home, kitchen goods (from dishes to the items in your pantry), etc., so this is a vast category to get through.

Sunday we worked through all of our books, then started on the komono (there is a specific list/order to follow mentioned in the book).

Monday after work, we went through our papers, realizing we had skipped this necessary and evil step.

Tuesday we sorted through a few more areas of komono in the morning, and then started taking a few things to the car to donate.

Tuesday night we took out our narrow dresser that had been in our closet along with our old filing cabinet, both now empty, down to the street (in JC if you put any furniture on the curb, people will come pick it up in under 24 hours) and someone else had picked them up by the time I got home from work the next evening. The last few nights and mornings upon coming and going to work, we have taken a few more items and loaded them into the car.

This morning, I took the first car load to the Goodwill Donation Center. In this car-load alone, we donated 10 garbage bags of clothing/shoes/accessories, 2 boxes of ‘komono,’ 2 folding chairs. At home we still have 3 bags of closthing/komono, one box of books and one more folding chair to donate that wouldn’t fit in the car this time around. That and we still have about half of the komono category to go through. Not to mention, we have also taken something like 6 bags down to the garbage and recycling (mostly recycling when we can!) since we started sifting through everything, and we have one stuffed bag to take to the shredder.

Here is what I am feeling throughout this process. First of all, holy shit. How is it possible that we even had so many things just sitting around, stuffed in corners and hidden away in the back of our closet that we truly don’t love?! That in and of itself is crazy. Second of all, I feel amazing. I am starting to feel lighter in my space.

When I would come home from work before, it was always hard for me to feel calm. I always felt like there was something that had to be taken care of because there is always stuff everywhere and surfaces covered. Especially doing what I do I have always felt a bit of guilt that my home doesn’t look and feel as beautiful as my clients do.

Homes should be lived in, and that means they should have stuff. You should have things that are meaningful to you laying out on your surfaces. Things that when you see them bring you joy. But you shouldn’t have a seemingly bottomless pile of junk mail covering a section of your kitchen counter no matter how many times you clear away that section. You shouldn’t have your electronics (laptops, iPads, etc.) just laying around on the coffee table. And you shouldn’t have a pile of miscellaneous crap just sitting on the table for no good reason. For these reasons, I am completely absorbed and invested in the KonMari method. The life changing magic is no joke.

I can feel our life changing. I can feel the weight of the things that don’t matter to us that have been filling our lives being lifted away.

For now, things are still in a state of chaos as we are still sifting through things one day at a time and around the time when we are at work or my client appointments, etc., because this takes time. The more you have, the longer it can take. In the book Marie Kondo says that it can take up to 6 months for some people… I’m aiming to be done in less than one just because I don’t do well with things up in the air-I need some sense of finality, but I also want it to be done right, so we will get it done when we can.

We have still been listening to the book and are just about finished with it. I have started to get really excited about what this ‘life change’ means for us moving forward. I think we will be so much more comfortable and relaxed in our home.

I will report back once we are truly finished with the process and the book as a whole, but I had to share what we have been up to and how amazing it has been so far. It is certainly not easy, and I wouldn’t recommend starting the process without considering what it means and if you are really mentally/emotionally/physically ready for the grueling process. I also have to say that having your spouse (or house-mates) on board is HUGE. For me, knowing that P is in this with me has been so wonderful. I feel supported and that it is a joint effort to move forward with a tidier lifestyle, and thus I feel my efforts are not wasted but matched.

Have you heard all the rage on the KonMari method and this book? Do you buy it? Do you want to try it? If you have questions, chime in in the comments section, I’m happy to help if I can!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

What’s a Party Without Cake?

I found this quote from Julia Child a while back and thought it was the most appropriate to hold onto it for my birthdya week. “A party without cake is just a meeting,” just about sums it up if you ask me. Not only does a party require cake, but wouldn’t it be so fun if all the meetings could be turned into parties just by adding cake?? So at your next staff meeting, maybe you should find out who’s on cake duty.

A party without cake is just a meeting, Julia Childs, Benjamin Moore Fancy Pants, Benjamin Moore Blue, Perriwinkle, Birthday , quote, birthday quotes, Happy Birthday

But really, I think more to the point, is that the sweetest part of the party is what people look forward to and expect when they are attending a party. In life, if we make things a little sweeter, we can make everything feel a lot more fun. One of my professional mentors told me once that you have to always leave [clients] with a sweet taste in their mouth. Meaning that at the end of the day, at the end of your transactions with them, they need to feel that things ended on a high note. Go the extra mile to do something sweet in your day to day interactions so that when you leave, not only do you feel good, but so do those you’ve come across in your travels.

So with that, I’m officially another year older, but still seeking out the wisdom of those who’ve gone before me. Today’s quote graphic is on a background of Benjamin Moore’s Fancy Pants because fancy pants make everything in life just a little bit sweeter.

Gelato, Pistachio, Pistachio Gelato, Spanish Steps, Italian Ice Cream, Birthday Cake,  Happy Birthday, Chocolate, Chocolate Lettering, Desserts,
What ‘cake’ are you bringing with you to make life a party? Metaphorical or actual, however you want to spin it, cake is a good thing. (Or in the case of a Gluten Free birthday girl, pistachio gelato that rivals that of the flavors at the base of the spanish steps in Rome.) Hope your life is feeling a little sweeter and that your year is off to a fabulous start! Can’t wait to hear all about what adventures you’ve got planned for the year–I know we are excited to be planning some for ourselves!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Words for the New Year

Hey Friends, I know it has been a month since I last blogged, December was crazy and I needed a little reset and to take one thing off my plate for a little while. But, I’m back!

Jersey Shore, Beach, January at the Beach, Coast, East Coast, Serene, Open Beach, Empty Beach,Jersey Shore, Beach, January at the Beach, Coast, East Coast, Serene, Open Beach, Empty Beach,

I’m so excited to see what this new year has to offer for our life, family and for our design ventures. DBK is busy with clients in such a good way. I am learning a better work life balance and not to be busy with projects all the time, I am starting to be more selective with the projects and clients I do take on and I am learning to ask for help when I need it. To say the least, things are already starting to feel amazing in the New Year! I thought these were particulary wise words, “Beware the barrenness of a busy life,” well said Socrates (on a background of Majestic Violet by Benjamin Moore).

quote, words, dbkwords, beware the barrenness of a busy life, socrates,

We spent the holidays with my family on vacation and it was so great to have Christmas with my mama (and of course my step dad, sister and hubby)! We didn’t work at all while we were away and for that I am so grateful, even P took a complete break and really soaked up the downtime!  I finished a book, worked on some knitting, did a puzzle, played games with the fam, lounged by the pool and in the best hammock ever and soaked up the time with my family.

Hammock, Christmas, Florida, Holiday, Relax, Relaxation, Rest, Restful, Bare Feet,

New Years we spent the weekend at the new jersey shore. Had an amazing morning at the beach, had some delicious meals and more great time to just reset and think about what we want from 2016.

Golden Retriever, Sully Boy, Brantley Bub, Wheaten Terrier, Beach Dogs, Beach Puppy, Puppies at the Beach, Dogs at the beach, Playful puppies, ocean, January at the beach, Winter Beach.

We have decided that we want to take this year and really build some amazing memories. P had said that compared to the year we had in 2014 (we bought our condo, brought home #BrantleyBub, got married and had the most incredibly honeymoon), 2015 really didn’t live up. I think it was sort of a year of balance last year. With 2014 being as awesome as it was, we needed a year that had a little less going on.

For DBK it was still an incredible year last year with so many amazing projects. I spent some of the last month taking inventory of our year in design projects and last year was something special to say the least. So from a business/design side of things, I’m so thrilled to see the beautiful spaces we put together this year.

New Year, New Mantra, Less Stuff, More Moments, Make Memories, DBK Words, Less is More, quote

And personally, we are putting a big push on making some incredible memories. We are planning some great trips, some updates to the condo and a whole lot of elimination of stuff. I shared our new mantra on Instagram over the weekend, “less stuff, more moments,” and I think even just the idea of that makes me feel light and happy. Commence excitement for all of the above!!

What are you most looking forward to in the new year? Do you have any big plans, or any plans to keep it simple? Any New Years Resolutions or like us maybe a new mantra?

Either way, we wish you all the best for 2016 and can’t wait to share in more projects and adventures with our blogging community!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Craving A Little Fall Decor

I know, I know, I heavily pushed back the fall season when it was new and people were celebrating it the day after Labor Day. I was all #SummerForever! But let’s be real, we would all die if there was really summer forever (die or move to a desert state). Fall is a very welcome season of fresh air, but because I so heavily pushed back on the season, and because life has been a little hectic on the to-do list side of things, my house doesn’t seem ready for fall at all!

I am really wanting to spice up our space! So here are some fall spaces I’m inspired by right now… maybe this weekend I can find some ways to implement some fall flavor into our home.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from the Liz Marie Blog.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from A Diamond In The Stuff.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Opulent Cottage.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Sarah Hearts.

Fall Decor Inspo Neutral

Inspo from Dear Lillie.

I think I see a pattern in the fall decor I’m liking… lots of neutrals and whites and words of thanks. All of the inspiration pictures are linked with where I found them and they are all worth a visit if you have time to check them out, the spaces they are shared with are all quite lovely and you might just find some fall decor ideas of your own to run with!

What are you up to this weekend? Are you all decked out for fall yet?

Anniversary Love | i carry your heart

If you follow the blog, then you saw this post, and if you follow DBK on Instagram or Facebook, then you know as well. Yesterday was our first anniversary! In keeping with a typical Monday post for the blog, I wanted to share a quote, this one, not so motivational or inspirational, but sentimental.

I Carry Your Heart by ee cummings Wedding Reading

These words are from an E. E. Cummings poem that P’s sister read as part of our ceremony, and I love every single line of the poem, though this is just an excerpt. (The graphic background color is Benjamin Moore’s Summer Plum–our wedding colors were plum and sunflower yellow!)

We had planned on going camping this weekend and taking Brantley with us to go hiking and soak up the foliage and scenic views, but Joaquin was supposedly coming and we decided that we better not take the chance of having a muddy camping experience. Instead, we stayed home!

I think it was a great decision, we got a few things done around the house that have been on the list for far too long, had brunch with some good friends, and went out for an amazing dinner last night in downtown Jersey City at VU with amazing service that celebrated our anniversary and really made it a special night, soaking up stunning skyline views of Manhattan. Then today, I made a delicious breakfast and then we found a great park with a hiking loop and still got to take Brantley for a good long hike–I think he will sleep for days.

All in all, it was so much fun reminiscing about our wedding day and all of the amazing memories that we have made in the year since. I can’t wait to see what this next year holds for us!

And, for those of you who are wondering what we ended up exchanging for the traditional first anniversary gifts? P got me the Kate Spade, Little Gold Book notebook, and I got him a personalized leather bound writers journal with a little note inscribed for motivation every time he opens it.

How was everyone’s weekend? Did you all stay dry from whatever storm was passing and get to enjoy this crisp fall air? I think later this week I’m going to make a fall bucket list, there’s a tag for this that has been floating around Instagram, and I think I’ve gotta join in on the fun! What things should I be sure to add to the list for this season?

My Fall Reading List

I can’t even tell you what the last book I read cover to cover was, and that, my friends, is a bit embarrassing. When I was a kid, I hated reading. These days, I love diving into a good book. In fact, I have a few good books I’ve started in the last year that I just haven’t had time (or made time) to pick up again. Hopefully that will all change this fall as I will make time to put reading back into my rotation of activities.

Jersey City Public Library

I’m thinking we need to go check out our local Jersey City Library and get some library cards. I love libraries. They smell like old books, they are calm and quiet — the perfect place to go to find some peace and take a break from it all while you get lost in a good book.

I wish I could say my fall reading list was a bit more exciting, but I think I really just want to read some women empowerment books, the ones that fall into the “self-help” for business entrepreneurs category.

Here is the list:

  1. #GIRLBOSS. I know I know, I am probably the last of the blogger people with an entrepreneurial mindset to not have read this yet… so I’m going, I’m going.
  2. You Are a Badass. I have followed a few gals that have read this and it seems like a good one to dive into, and let’s face it, I really am a badass, right?? (I think if I have to ask, the answer is probably not.)
  3. Big Magic. I am an Elizabeth Gilbert fan, one of my all time favorite books was Eat, Pray, Love, so how could I pass up her insight on “creative living beyond fear?”

What books are on your list this fall? Anything falling into the more fun fictional category? Maybe I will get to some of those too, but let’s be honest, I really would be happy if I could get to pick up and read through even one of the books on my list!

(Image Credit: NJ.com)