Motivation for Adventure on Columbus Day

Whether or not Columbus was the first to discover America (what era did you go to school in?) we still celebrate his explorations on Columbus Day. I like to think that Columbus had an adventurous spirit, and I hope that is what people think about me when I’m gone.

Daring Adventure Quote by Helen Keller for Columbus Day

I hope I have time and the ability (mentally, physically, financially) to do all of the worldly exploring that I dream of, but in the meantime, in honor of Columbus Day, I thought I would share this Helen Keller quote on adventure (background color is Farrow & Ball Pitch Blue). She’s right ya know… you either take the chance and make the adventures happen, or you are really doing nothing.

What kinds of adventures are you doing lately? Do you find that yours are more of the Christopher Columbus world explorer variety? Or more of the staying local but getting out of your comfort zone and doing things a little differently variety?

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?

Labor Day Weekend Recap [And a Recipe]

We spent Labor Day weekend with my in-laws at their new place down by the Jersey Shore and what a glorious, relaxing and restful weekend it was.

I had a hectic install Friday morning that I dragged P along to help with, and then we hit the road, exhausted and ready for a long weekend. We ordered pizza for dinner from a local pizza place that had a gluten-free crust made from scratch that was so delicious!

Saturday we went crabbing (caught 3 blue claw crabs!) and made up a little appetizer on the fly–3 crabs isn’t really enough meat for more than an appetizer for 4 people to share. Then Saturday night, we went over to Seaside, played mini golf, rode the sky-lift ride with great views of the coast and the boardwalk, enjoyed my favorite summertime treat (Kohr’s Brothers frozen custard–the only flavor worth getting is the vanilla-orange swirl), we even rode some of the rides!

Sunday, we drove around Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, walked around shopping, took in a few views of the coast, explored a trail with Brantley and enjoyed the sunny weather. That evening we drove out through the marshlands to West Creek for a dinner at sunset that, between the views and the food, did not disappoint.

Monday we took it easy in the morning, stopped at the local fish market and picked up some fresh ingredients for dinner and had a quick lunch of grilled burgers and hot dogs before we went over to the pool. The pool was beautiful and so refreshing, I was so relaxed that I even fell asleep at the pool! We capped off the weekend with a Kitchen Clambake courtesy of Ina Garten’s recipe, that was probably among the top 10 best home cooked meals I’ve ever had in my life!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Recipe: Spicy Cheesy Crab Balls

-Meat from 3 crabs (Boil fresh caught crabs with Oid Bay for 10 minutes and refrigerated until cool enough to handle, before meat is removed.)

-1/3 cup cheddar cheese

-Jalapeños (seeds removed)

-2 Corn Tortillas

Rough chop the jalapenos, corn tortillas and cheese and combine ingredients into a food process. Chop until all elements are well blended and a dough is created.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture and roll into balls. Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet until it bubbles. Drop balls into oil and let them cook, rotate them so that all areas cook, keep them in for a good few minutes until they brown and then remove and place them onto a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Repeat until all of the crabby cheesy goodness has been cooked, insert toothpicks and serve. Make sure to eat one for yourself as you bring them out to the masses or else you might not get any of these tasty morsels!! Enjoy!

Glamping | The Perfect Girls Getaway!

Glamping 3

When life is hectic and you are running around nonstop, sometimes all you need is a little getaway with your girls, and I’m telling you, let your men go camping, while you all go glamping.

Glamping is camping in a typically picturesque setting with real beds, mattresses and linens, charming decor, full standard bathrooms and then some of the charm of camping: campfires, s’mores, reclining in campfire chairs, etc., It’s basically all the beauty Mother Nature has to offer without interfering with your personal beauty routine.

I set up this little glamping photo shoot in the most scenic setting I know: on the same lake where P & I got married. I also included all the key ingredients to guarantee a fun girls getaway.

A cozy place to kick back, the tent provides a great shade structure to beat the heat during the day and a good place to gab and gossip while doing manis and pedis. After all, what’s a girls weekend without nail polish?

It’s important to have delicious treats, like these s’mores cupcakes, in case you and your friends aren’t the fire-starting types. They pair well with boozy camping concoctions. I like to pair the liquor of choice with something bubbly and all inclusive that adds some fizzy refreshment to the drink without having to measure and pour a laundry list of ingredients… after all, your bar cart is not included in the getaway, so keeping it simple is best. The easy margs I shared yesterday would be perfect!

Make sure you pack protein-filled snacks to keep your energy up through the days, and drink plenty of water! Adding citrus slices to your water makes it taste so much better — you might actually be able to choke the recommended eight glasses down. Prep is key to a successful camping menu. Plan out what you will be eating, stock your cooler with plenty of ice and pre-cut and mix everything before hand. I have pinned some good camping foods here for reference.

The last key ingredient to a successful glamping getaway is entertainment. You want to make sure you have things to do that are not related to your wireless devices, just in case you don’t have the best service out in the woods. Our favorite game to bring along is Cards Against Humanity, it makes for long hilarious nights. Corn hole, or just a good old-fashioned Frisbee are fun for the daylight hours, and there are plenty more ideas on my Pinterest board here.

Sources: Tent by Canvas Camp (which we will re-use as a shelter or awning when we go camping next), Quilt (gifted by my Mama), Pillows from Target (Blue Square, Blue Oblong, Coral Square similar, Coral Oblong), Weighted Table Cloths from Target (similar), Flower from Trader Joes — styled by yours truly, Mani/Pedi supplies from Target (Babe Blue, Mint Sorbet, Coral Reef) , S’mores cupcakes recipe made on the fly and will be blogged soon, travel tumblers & water pitcher from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Photography is all my own, please cite sources if you re-use any of these images! This post is not sponsored.

I’m On A Boat

Boat Design-1

When P turned 30, one of his good friends from college gifted us a boating brunch experience. I love these kinds of gifts where you are building memories with people instead of giving things. This past weekend we cashed in the brunch gift and set sail out of Perth Amboy, N.J. to take a little trip around Staten Island, and we got some really great views of the city. I didn’t take my camera so there are only weird selfies that were taken and won’t be shared, but it was a really nice way to spend the day.

Boat Design-2

It made me think though… there are all types of spaces to design in the world. I practice residential designs with a focus on kitchens and bathrooms, but there are also people who design commercial spaces such as offices, retail shops or restaurants. There are people who design movie theaters, and set designers for theatrical stages as well as for sitcoms and other movies and TV shows. And then there are boat designers, people who design boats from house boats, to yachts to cruise ships.

Boat Design-3

How much fun would it be to design a boat?! Maybe I should see if I can get any clientele back home in Seattle where there are a lot of house boats, and cross over to watercraft through residential interiors on house boats…or maybe I will just stick with what I know and continue working with houses on solid ground.

Boat Design-4

The world of design is so vast and incredible, I just love looking at and exploring all the wonderful outlets that interior design creeps into. It sets off the dreamer in me! What are you dreaming of in your career path?

Boat Design-5

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Click over to see more images from each of these incredible boat designs!

5 on Friday|Ready for the Weekend!

Some weeks, the weekends are just more exciting than others.

JC Project Eats

1.This weekend, if you are in New Jersey, driving/train-ride distance to Jersey City, you should stop by! Right outside the town hall there will be LOADS of food, drinks and good times, for Project Eats Food Festival.

2. My Seattle Mariners are in town this weekend playing the Yankees, so P & I are headed out to the game on Sunday and will be clad in opposing teams’ gear. I love going to ballgames, it is always such a good time!

Also this weekend is the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. (I must’ve watched their Instagram post about it on repeat for 15 minutes yesterday.) Here are my picks:

3. Fashion Accessories: What woman doesn’t love a good handbag?! I was in a car accident back in early April, and ever since I’ve been looking for a small cross body-bag is stylish but that won’t weigh me down. These three are perfect. (Left to Right: Vince Camuto “Baily” in Roebuck, Kate Spade “Cedar Street-Monday” in Rose Jade, Rebecca Minkoff “Mini 5-Zip” in Latte.)

The second row is filled with over-sized scarves that look so cozy they’re making me itch for autumn. Classy enough to wear to work, cozy enough to nap in and perfect for jet-setting. What’s not to love? (L to R: Halogen Cashmere Travel Wrap, Halogen Brushed Floral Print Wrap, BP Geo Print Poncho.)

4. For the home, I’ve selected linens & entertaining pieces.

If you have been reading DBK for any length of time, you may already know that I am a bit of a linen snob. I love lush and decadent linens. Any of these would be great to update your master bedroom or refresh a guest bedroom. The bedding on the left is a reversible duvet set, solid either navy or grey on one side, patterned on the other, perfect to get you through the whole year! The sheet sets are simple, lux and cozy. The Creamsicle colored throw is the perfect way to add in a pop of color and texture to any bed or seating. Lastly, it’s always nice to have some decorative patterned towels to mix in with the solid ones, this option comes in a variety of colors to fit perfectly with any scheme.

In addition to my love for linens, I love to entertain. Hosting friends for anything from brunch to dinner, drinks to game night should be a treat, and with the right serving pieces, you can make prepping for any gathering less of a chore. I love these mason jar style serving pitchers, and they pair perfectly with monogrammed mason jars (with straws)! It doesn’t get much easier than topping off a pitcher and letting your guests help themselves! Copper Moscow Mule mugs make the perfect vessel for everything from it’s refreshing namesake to a hot buttered rum in the Fall, no bar cart should be without them!

5. When we aren’t busy shopping, eating, or rooting for the away team, I’m going to be perusing through our new travel books, purchased on Prime Day, they should be arriving today, and if there is one thing I love more than cozy linens and a scarf made for jet-setting, it’s layering on that scarf, crawling into that bed with a glass of wine and a travel book, dreaming about destinations afar.

What are your plans this weekend? Will you be shopping or heading out to any fairs or festivals? Or maybe just grabbing a book and heading to the beach? Whatever you are doing, I hope you get your fill and enjoy the weekend!

Weekend Finds

One of the things I love about warmer weather and the weekends are all of the yard sales (tag sales, moving sales, garage sales, etc.) and estate sales that happen. The signs start popping up Friday afternoon in neon colors with arrows leading you to find all the random piles of things people are getting rid of over the next day or so.

These sales, especially ones marked “moving sale” or “estate sale” can have great furniture finds, and they are worth exploring if you are looking for something more vintage, antique, or just at a better price point than what you might find at a retail shop. These sales are made for haggling! Nobody really has a price that is set in stone so they are often willing to negotiate a lower price to get rid of something that they no longer have space for.

When you go to these types of sales, look for pieces that can be used for what they are, or re-purposed into something new that would be more useful for you. Look for things that maybe aren’t in the best shape but can be easily cleaned up, sanded, painted, given new hardware, etc., to breathe new life into them and make a wonderful new piece for your home.

A few weeks back we scoured the sales for a few good finds with some friends and ended up walking away with the above vintage singer sewing table and machine that appears to be in decent condition. I haven’t had time to touch it yet, but I can’t wait to work some magic on this piece. I’m currently debating if I want to just clean up the wood and let the character and age show through or if I want to paint it to give it a cleaner more updated feel… what do you think? What would you do?

Our friends found this incredible old record player/radio unit that not only still works, but is a beautiful console table as well. I can’t wait to see how they use it in their home!

I promise to share more on how these pieces end up along with all of the fun finds of estate sales, tag sales and the like over the summer.

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A Weekend in Belmar

As I mentioned, last weekend we went down to the Jersey Shore, if you followed along on Instagram (#SurprisePTurns30) you likely saw a lot of our adventures. If not, get ready for photo overload, because we had a blast!

As you can see, we explored all around town, enjoyed fun and games in the sand and on the boardwalk, took full advantage of all the local seafood and the ability to grill. We walked around a TON, relaxed a ton and explored the town.

In general we just had a much needed getaway that was chock full of goodness. I hope your MDW was as good as ours or better!

This weekend, we are heading up to Connecticut to witness the marriage of two beautiful people whom we love very much. I can’t wait to celebrate their love! What are you all up to this weekend?

MDW2015

It’s official! We made it through all the snow and the indecisive weather of the spring to the unofficial start of summer-and I for one couldn’t be happier! This early summer period is better than the peak of summer if you ask me. The temperatures are perfect Goldilocks temps and people are excited for the season.

Beach Cottage

What are your holiday weekend plans? We are hitting the beach! P is turning the big 3-0 next weekend so I rented us a little beach cottage on the Jersey Shore for this weekend as a little surprise for him, I already told him we are going, but I don’t think it has hit him that we are going to be 1 blocks from sand between our toes and wading in the waves.

Our plans are that simple… drive to the shore, unload the car and commence relaxing.

Seafood Inspo from Bon Appetit!

For our meals, I have worked out a simple menu and packed only fruits, veggies, burgers, dogs and snacks. We will be hitting up the local seafood market to pick up the fresh catch for our daily dinners and I’m salivating just thinking about it. There is a grill at the cottage that will be heavily utilized.

Boardwalk

For our fun, there will be walks on the boardwalk, lounging in the sand, possible lawn games and potentially even some bike riding if I can convince P.

MDW2015 Wardrobe

Our bags are packed, the car is loaded and I just have to make it through 5 more hours of work before we hit the road! I’m not excited for the traffic, but I am excited for what awaits us on the end!

IMG_0951

What plans do you have this weekend? Follow DBK on social media to see all the fun details of our adventures!

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Making the Most of Winter

Hey, it’s wintertime! I have heard so many people saying things like, “it is so cold out,” or “I’m ready for summer,” or any number of other choice words for this season, so I wanted to shed a little light… Last week the groundhog said we only have 6 more weeks of winter, let’s make the most of it!

Winter Series Graphic

I think what bogs us down about winter is the weather, especially if you live in a climate where it has been snowing or freezing rain – or just plain freezing – for so long. It is gray and dreary out; it gets dark so early, and it is just so damned cold! But on the bright side, in six months, we will likely all be complaining about how hot it is.

I’ve put together a list of five fun activities to make it through these last six weeks of winter in a happier fashion – with less complaining and more fun. These activities are fun for everyone, so I hope you enjoy following along this week while we gear up for a fabulous winter!

Winter Series Graphic 2

This week, we are going to explore the joy of a wintery walk in your local downtown neighborhood, take a winter hike, make our own marshmallows for the inevitable hot cocoa that we will be in need of when we come in from playing in the snow, and finally we will discuss the major benefits of taking a snow day from work and staying cozied up inside, preferably not leaving your PJs all day.

I hope you are excited to follow along with our winter fun!