Second Anniversary Gift Guide | Cotton

We made it back from our #PickensinSEAsia adventure earlier this week and we have slowly but surely been getting back into our routine. The trip was beyond anything we could’ve imagined, but more on that later.

Our second anniversary is right around the corner and has practically snuck up on us with all that we’ve had on our plate’s lately! Last year I mentioned that we wanted to keep our anniversaries simple with a nice date and a traditional gift. In keeping with that, and being just over a week away, I thought it was only appropriate to brainstorm some good 2 year gifts.

The traditional gift for the second anniversary is Cotton. And the primary warning I’ve been given (along with many funny stories) is to make sure that whatever you buy actually has some cotton in the make-up. A lot of fabrics you might think are cotton are a whole blend of other stuff, so pay attention!

  1. PJ’s: Perfect for a lazy Sunday morning of snuggles or breakfast in bed, I love the idea of a new PJ set for each other. His, a classic cotton set from Brooks Brothers; Hers, sweet little polka dot set from Kate Spade NY with an adorable bow at the nape of the neck.
  2. Robes: I love a good robe and this is the perfect excuse to add a new robe to the rotation. If you’ve ever felt pima cotton, you know why I’ve selected the first two options, that said I’m also loving the little lace detail on the alternate option for her. His, classic pima cotton robe by Daniel Buchler; Hers, classic pima cotton robe by Skin OR a lace trimmed cotton robe by Daniel Buchler.
  3. Sheets: You really can’t beat sleeping in a set of good cotton sheets. Most people won’t splurge for good sheets for themselves but from my time working in the linen shop as well as working with my clients on their own linens, it is something that I insist on for us, and you should too! Use this cotton anniversary to get a good set in your life, you really won’t regret it! Pictured: Dashiel by Matouk in Chambray, I think we need these; We have a set by Matouk that we love, and we also have these by Ralph Lauren and I love this percale set by Ralph too… percale is the stuff dream sheets are made of.
  4. Pillows: As an alternate to just buying ‘stuff,’ I love the idea of getting something that offers a little bit more sentiment. Though it was easier to find something for year one which is paper, I love these customizable pillows that you can put anything from your wedding venue coordinates to the coordinates of your first home together or where you met. You could also do a meaningful phrase or song lyric… the possibilities are endless. Here’s a link to the Etsy shop (Love You More Boutique) where I found the pillow pictured.
  5. Blanket: A blanket is the perfect snuggly gift. You can get something for the living room or bedroom, something cozy and stylish. If you are handy at all (many of you know I knit), you could get cotton fabric or yarn and attempt a little DIY for your gift. Nothing says I love you quite like something handmade. These chunky cable-knit cotton-blend blankets from Pottery Barn are cozy and chic for any space.

These are all ideas perfect for either spouse, or something you may opt to buy together for you both to enjoy. What do you guys think? I have my heart set on something specific for P, so I will share that on Instagram come our actual anniversary (if I can swing it), but I’m curious to see what he is thinking for me…Time will tell 🙂

Have you guys kept with traditional gifts in your marriages or do anything special to honor your time together that is your own tradition? I love classic traditions but there is something really special about setting your own tradition with your loved ones that makes it so much better.

Anyway, I’m hoping to get through some of our travel pictures over the weekend and see if I can start to get some posts together to share our adventures next week.

What have you all been up to since we were gone? Anything fun this weekend?? I’m going to be busily working on my gift for P as well as sifting through all the pictures! Have a great weekend!!

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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!

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Perfection is the Enemy

Last year at this time, I was swamped. I was doing so many things and feeling awful about it all. The fact that my house had little to no holiday decor really had me feeling down in the dumps.

Perfection Quote by Rebecca Stone

The thing is, I love the holidays and I love home decor (duh). So when I was seeing all the perfect spaces people were sharing all over social media, I felt like I was failing because my life wasn’t perfect.

But I learned such a huge lesson! This perfect image that we all put forth is a front. Nobody is perfect, and to idealize them that way is just setting yourself up for self hate. Really you should be lifting yourself up with others that you admire. Learn to appreciate what you see but know your own strengths and weaknesses. Don’t compare yourself to that ‘perfect’ image that someone else is putting out there.

Especially at this time of year, things are busy. Work is hectic with end of year stuff, life is busy with holiday season commitments, tis the season for all things sparkly and magical and chances are, you want to be included in that magic. So do yourself a favor and give yourself a set day to work through your holiday magic. Set up a few fun vignettes and change out the wreath on your door.

Don’t over-commit yourself this season. This year, we are going to be out of town for Christmas meeting my parents and sister for a little vacation and it will be the first time we have had Christmas with them since P and I started dating. I am so looking forward to it! But I also know that it means, less holiday parties, a little added work stress making sure things are all settled before we leave, and not as much time at home to soak up my holiday decor. And ya know what? I’m okay with that… I’m looking forward to it actually because this year, my holiday season is going to be amazing inspiration, and so much fun!!

I hope this quote hits home for you as much as it does for me! Rebecca Stone really says it well, “Perfection is not only the enemy of good; it’s also the enemy of the realistic, the possible and the fun.” The other good quote that comes to mind is “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Because if everything in life was the same picture perfect scene all the time, everything would be so boring anyway.

I hope you all get to enjoy this holiday season, I can’t wait to share more decor and inspiration with you!! The abridged version of this Rebecca Stone quote in the graphic is shared on a background of Benjamin Moore’s Forest Green, which made me think of Christmas Trees and Holiday Wreaths! I can’t wait to deck the halls at our condo!

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10 Tips for Hosting & Attending Thanksgiving

This holiday is one of my favorite holidays of the year. As you can probably tell from the last few DBKwords posts I’ve shared, there is just something about this holiday and all of the appreciation that goes with it that just brings out all the good feels.

"give Thanks" Chalkboard decor DIY Chalk Tray give Thanks, Hand drawn pumpkins, wall hanging, thanksgiving decor

That said, if you are the host of the Thanksgiving Soiree, you are likely in panic mode right about now… it is less than 24 hours before your guests will be arriving (and maybe some are coming tonight), and you still have little things to get ready!

Well, let me ease your woes. If you still have to set the table, and add some festive decor around your abode, here are 5 things that are so easy, you can be ready in an hour.

  • Add some festivity to your front door. You likely don’t have time to hang a wreath on the door, but you can easily take some card stock, construction paper, etc., and cut out some leafy shapes, write out “Happy” “Thanks” “Giving” or “Give” “Thanks” on the leaves, (one word per leaf) , attach a string to each leaf, and hang them on the front door. Greeting your guests with something cheerful will get them in the spirit right away. Here is my front door wreath for the season and an idea from That’s My Letter of wooden door tags.
  • Add some festive pumpkins around the house. If you really have zero time to do anything, just grab a handful of mini pumpkins (you can find them everywhere at this time of year). Group them together in a few different areas around the house, and voila. If you have time to do something, check out this doily covered pumpkin from Allyson Baker Design, or this paper pumpkin from Shelterness.
  • Use those mini pumpkins for place-cards  on your Thanksgiving table as well. You can add names, or festive tags, or just put them on top of the salad plates to add a pop of color to your table. Taryn Williford made glitter dipped pumpkins to make for a more glam tablescape, while Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life tied ribbons on pumpkins and then wrote on the ribbons.
  • Light Candles. The glow of candlelight adds a nice warmth and ambiance to any space, but make sure on this food filled holiday, you are using basic unscented candles so they don’t interfere with all the smells coming from the kitchen! Get out all your candlesticks and tapers to make this glowing candlestick grouping from Snippet and Ink, if you don’t have a stash of similar candlesticks, then group the pillars you’ve got to create a good focal point like West Elm is showing all together on a tray or cutting board.
  • Don’t forget the food! Take a clear container and fill it up with apples, cranberries or mini pumpkins, as shown on Good Housekeeping. If you are cooking all the food you have on hand for the main event, look outside and use things like leaves or acorns to create layered centerpieces like these ones from Being Better 2Gether. If there were ever a perfect night of hosting to use food as a centerpiece, Thanksgiving is your night!

If you are a guest, there are some things you should remember on Thanksgiving (and well, every event you attend).

  • Manners are key, that turkey make look so good you can’t wait to get your hands on it, but wait your turn and remember to say please and thank you, it goes a long way.
  • Bring a little something for the host. Something as simple as a bottle of wine that can be enjoyed with the meal, or saved for after all the guests leave, is a great gesture that any host will appreciate.
  • Compliments are key. Be sure to offer your host at least one compliment (which should be easy on Thanksgiving). Compliment the decor, the food, his/her ability to be so stylish while cooking up a storm… you name it, a compliment or two will make them feel so appreciated for bringing this all together.
  • Offer to help. There are so many things your host has to stay on top of with cooking alone, be sure to check in to see if you can help with anything from opening more wine to clearing the table, and for the love of all things, please don’t make your host do the dishes by themselves.
  • Respect the hosts Thanksgiving style. Many people will say a special prayer on the holidays when everyone is gathered. Be respectful even if it isn’t your thing, bow your head and go along. Some hosts will want to go around the table and say what you are thankful for. This can feel like a cheesy gesture, but give it some consideration and truly offer up some gratitude before you dive in.

Whatever you are doing this holiday and whomever you are spending it with, I hope you have many blessings to be thankful for, and that you have no trouble finding ways to share your gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Clothes vs Costumes

I can’t believe Halloween is upon us already! But that is the way with time. It just keeps going whether we like it or not.

Mason Cooley Clothes make a statement costumes tell a story quote motivation monday halloween

I found this fun quote and thought it would be perfect for Halloween week! When you get ready in the mornings are you putting on a costume or are you putting on clothes? Do you wish you were dressing differently for a job or purpose that you currently aren’t in?

Sometimes it’s fun to change the hat that you are wearing (or in this context the whole ensemble) and dress up for the job that you want, or just dress up for the fun you want to be having.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? I can’t wait to hear what costumes everyone will be wearing!!

Graphic on a background of Pitch Black by Farrow & Ball.

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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?

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!

Inspiration D’La Féte Nationale

In case you missed it, yesterday was Bastille Day! Or La Féte Nationale as the French would say. So I thought it would be fun to share some fun French spaces for some inspiration!

Bastille Day Paris 2015

There are a lot of incredible things that we have gotten from the French: incredible artists, great fashions, delightful furnishings and interior styles and some really mouth-watering treats.

When I think of France, like a lot of people I’m sure, I think of the romantic imagery associated with Paris, along with the French countryside dotted with vineyards and seas of lavender. So in turn when I think of French decor, I think of cozy spaces, incredible chic traditional details and an overall dreamy quality. How does that equate to an actual interior scheme? Take a look:

Are you a fan of a French-inspired decor?

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Red | White | Blue | Waffles

As promised (and sorry it is so late), here is our fun patriotic breakfast in honor of this past weekend!

Strawberry Blueberry Waffles 1For the 4th of July, I thought it would be fun to do a little red, white & blue breakfast, and I happened to find fresh strawberries and blueberries at the farmer’s market, so it was meant to be. I broke out the waffle maker and got to mixing!

I love blueberries mixed into waffles and pancakes, but I prefer the strawberries as a topping. If you haven’t tried roasting fruit, it’s a must-try, especially if you are entertaining. The flavor becomes very full bodied. For these strawberries, I simply cut them, sprayed them with coconut oil, mixed in some vanilla and popped them into the oven at 325 degrees. You will be able to smell when they are finished, but expect it to be around 20 minutes.

Once the waffles came out of the waffle maker, I just placed a few on plates, topped them with the roasted strawberries and voila, breakfast of champions. Such a great way to start the day. Not only is it a beautiful breakfast with all the colors, it is healthy and easy to make too!

Red | White | Blue | Backsplash

As we are officially leading into the Independence Day weekend, I thought it would be fun on this Tile Tuesday to talk about some fun kitchen backsplashes using our patriotic colors. (All of these images are saved on my Houzz Ideabook “Kitchen Tile” where you can find greater detail on each project and the materials.)

RWB bs1

“Upper Main Line Kitchen” by STUDIO Robert Jamieson

Using red for your backsplash can have two effects. First, when you have more traditional details and you add a deeper red shade, it can lean into that traditional feeling a bit more. The same goes for an all-white kitchen with a true red backsplash creating a country-chic feel. Lastly, depending on the tone and pattern of your tile, adding red can create a vibrant and bold focal point to your new space. Here are some red backsplash inspiration photos:

White is sort of the go-to when it comes to tile these days, and let’s face it, you can slap a basic white subway on any wall in any pattern, and you are sure to get a classic and timeless look, but isn’t that a little bit boring? I wanted to call out some other ways to play with white in a backsplash that are a bit more exciting (if you consider white tiles exciting..). Here are the white inspiration photos:

Lastly, let’s take a look at the blues. The varying hues of blue can provide a vast array of different looks in a space. From a classic cobalt to a bold tropical turquoise to a clean, crisp beachy blue or a soft spa-like feeling, blues can create so many different looks and feelings. Here are a few of the blues I found for inspiration:

So, what do you think? Would you be inclined to use more color in your tile choices for your next renovations? I have to say, I do love a clean white kitchen, but after looking at all of the stunning shades of blue and the varying options, I think I might need to find some clients who would love a more colorful selection in their kitchen tiles. I’m feeling inspired!!

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