November 26, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide | Wit + Wonder Unique Gifts

I can't believe tomorrow is already Thanksgiving!  We have been having an amazing week in Nashville so far.  It's always extra special when you're family lives somewhere awesome!  I'm most thankful for the sweet relationship my two little ones have with their two cousins.  They only see each other a few times a year but they always pick back up like the best of friends.  Melts my heart.

I'm excited to highlight the wit & wonder department at Nordstrom for y'all today.  I had the chance to browse in person the other morning and found so many cute gift ideas for the last few people on my Christmas list.  If you don't have the luxury of stopping by in person you can check out the whole line here there is surely something for everyone.


You can see more of my favorite finds below:



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This post was sponsored by Nordstrom.  As always, all selections and opinions are all my own.  Please see the sidebar for more information.

November 25, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide | The Men

There is absolutely nothing harder than gift shopping for men.  Mostly because they tend to be just as picky as women but with a much shorter guide list.  I've rounded a few things for y'all today that I think the men in your life with love.  I'm going to call this one the Gift Guide For Every Man because I'm pretty sure any guy you know would love to see any of this under the tree.


Of course the fact that all of it comes from Nordstrom helps to disguise it on your monthly statement as well.  Pretty clever right? Nordstrom always have the best selection of things for any guy.  Y'all know Matthew is outdoorsy prep which isn't an exact category.  Although it should be as most all of the men in our life fit that category right?  If only they sold Whiskey and duck blinds we'd be all set!

Click on the images below to shop my top gift picks for men!



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This post was sponsored by Nordstrom.  As always, all opinions and selections are all my own.  Please see the sidebar for more information.

November 24, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide | Toys + Gifts for Small Children

One of my yearly goals is to wrap up Christmas shopping by the first week of December.  I tend to over think gifts and stress about my growing to-do list so it's really helpful for me to get it knocked out early so I can sit back and enjoy the true spirit of Christmas.  There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you've got all your bases covered early.

 So in case you're like me and like to get a head start (read: not wait until the week before) simply for the satisfaction of enjoying the process of picking out the gifts for your loved one I've got a line up of great holiday gift guides for you in the coming weeks!


I'm starting with gifts for small children organized by girl toys and gifts for boys.  These are all four and almost three year old approved!  All guaranteed to to be a big hit with both the grownups and kids alike.  I got my two resident toy experts to help me highlight their favorite things!



Of course there are so many more options in the Nordstrom toy shop.  I'm pretty impressed that they've even included an entire Frozen section so your children's brightly colored plastic themed Christmas dreams can still come true.  Of course I looked at the Melissa and Doug section first because those toys are so cute and always a bit hit.  But I know some Frozen paraphanalia will be stuffed into my sugarplums' stockings as well.

Shop the post below:



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This post was sponsored by Nordstrom, all opinions and gift selections are all my own.  Please see the sidebar for more information.

November 21, 2014

Christmas Card Sessions

I honestly can't believe it's already Friday again. This week has really flown by.  I haven't even finished unpacking from Charleston and it's time to get the car re-loaded for Nashville.  Let's not discuss that yet.  It's going to be a loooooong car ride with a potty training two year old.  The end result will be worth it to spend a whole week with my sister and her family.  I love every opportunity to get the babes together with their only cousins. That's so important and worth any travel hassle.

On another note, a few people have emailed about last minute Christmas Card Sessions and I've decided to block some time out tomorrow for one more session as well as two on Sunday November 30th.    I will also be allowing time for one or two sessions in Nashville on November 24th, 25th, or 26th.  Email me at juliakyleryan@gmail.com if you're interested.


This was another session taken on a freezing cold morning in downtown Middleburg, Virginia.  You can see that if you just embrace the weather you can still get beautiful pictures of  your family!  I love the pops of color!


November 20, 2014

Blue and Pink Guest Room

I've decided to finally get our guest room in order.  It has been such a dumping ground/tool/paint room since the day we moved in and I'm tired of looking at that every time I walk to my bedroom.  We brought the bed up from Pawleys this past June but that did little to improve the space.  The room is much smaller than the other bedrooms and I have been having a hard time with furniture placement.  I tried to avoid placing the bed under the window although I'm not really sure why.  It's really the best spot and I love walking into a made bed. 


So far the plan for this room is to look polished and cheerful using all things I already own.   Yes, no real plans to purchase anything new when we already have so many nice things around the house.  Plus I hate to spend money on a guest room when we have a never ending list of things in rooms we use daily.  There is an upholstered headboard but it's sitting low to the floor and hidden by the Euro Shams.  I plan on recovering the fabric and having Matthew add longer legs to raise it just above the sham height.

I'm also thinking about selling that white chair.  I absolutely love it but honestly I've been hoarding it for going on 10 years and it's just never really found a good home.  It's too big to fit at the desk and that's silly to keep it when it seems to always be in the way. I know a ghost chair would look amazing in here so that might be the only place I splurge on something new.

Currently the wall color is one coat of Classic Gray by Benjamin Moore.  At this point we either need to finish painting the gray or switch to something else.  I'm leaning towards a color but I really have no idea what to do.  I'm really only good with neutrals. 

On the other hand, I plan on hanging the curtain panels (not the cornices) from Wells' nursery in Pawleys to frame the window.  They are white matelasse with a chartreuse trim.  Pink, blue, and chartreuse is quite the bold color scheme for me.  All that color might need a nice bright white background.




November 19, 2014

Holiday Outifts | How to look good when it's cold outside

I get a lot of emails this time of year asking if it's too late to sneak in a last minute Christmas Card picture session.  Mostly people are worried that it's just too dang cold.  My answer is that it's absolutely not too late and if you embrace the weather you will get lovely results.

The camera doesn't care that it's crazy cold outside and if you plan accordingly you can get a really pretty family picture!  Just plan your outfit accordingly and you will love the results!  Wear your fun patterned scarf and prettiest wool coat.  Put on something sparkly and some bright lipstick and embrace that pretty winter skin like J.Crew does!  A little sneak of this shimmer brick will really help any time of year but especially when you are more pale.  I seriously never leave home without it.  Grab a hot chocolate afterwards or maybe even bring some with you!  I absolutely love dressing for colder weather as long as I don't have to be out in it for too long!


Get the look here:



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November 18, 2014

Charleston | The Navy Cocktail Dress

We just had the most incredible time in Charleston this past weekend!  My husband's cousin got married and I adore his whole side of the family so we were pretty busy hanging out with everyone! We went to MacIntosh and Basil with some friends Friday night before the official welcome party started and even sneak in a quick coffee with a few other friends at Bananas and Caviar.  There were so many people and places I just couldn't see on this trip which is always sad but a great excuse to go back again soon.  We brought my mom with us to help with the kids which was so incredible.  The only real snag was driving across two states with a very newly potty trained 2.5 year old.  It was a looooooooong trip home.

Of course I wore the navy dress (it also comes in black) and I have to say it was as awesome I thought it was going to be when I first tried it on.  I have never received so many compliments on a dress before! The fit it very true to size although I would not recommend sizing down if you sometimes can.  I know a few other brands that I can squeeze into a smaller size and this fit and flare Eliza J dress is not one of them.  The lace is so delicate and pretty in person and inconspicuously covered up my arms which are my least favorite body part.  I also feel much prettier and more confident when my arms are covered.  And the silhouette of the skirt is both immensely flattering and forgiving.  And did I mention it has deep pockets?  Done. 

And I can't even begin to tell you how sweet my two littles looked and behaved.  Y'all know I love little mini-me outfits for them but I can never resist going super southern traditional with their dresse clothes.  And I love my man in a tux!  Even the beard (duck season) looks better with a nice suit.  My only regret was not using my good camera while all four of us were dressed up and looking so nice!


My shoes are Sam Edelman from this summer.  This is the style and this is the color.  These are also very similar in a great price point.  I can not say enough good things about owning a good pair of nude d'orsay pumps.  They go with everything!

Below are a few more of my favorite holiday dresses from Nordstrom.  They always have such a good price point and online has so many more selections than our store does.  I got lucky and popped into the Tyson's Corner a few weeks ago and got to see and try on almost all of these in person.  I had such a hard time narrowing it down.  So many of these dresses are so much prettier in person, especially the ones in navy or with lace detail.  I highly recommend looking for the silhouette that suits you best and giving it a try if you're on the fence.  Free shipping and free returns make it so easy.


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This post was sponsored by Nordstrom and affiliate links were used.  As always, all outfit selections and opionions are all my own.  Please see the sidebar for more information.

November 17, 2014

Christmas Cuteness with Mud Pie + $200 Giveaway

I just got the absolute cutest little Owl outfit for Wells.  She picked it out herself and has worn it at least four times since it arrived last week.  I think it was the striped tights that won us both over!  I received many adorable MudPie items for her when she was a bitty baby but I had no idea they had things for older little girls too.  I also picked out the chick pajamas and the Christmas tutu for her below.  She loves them!  We're gifting the holiday bow wreath to my girlfriend with a toddler just sprouting some hair. 

I know that you'll love MudPie as much as I do so I'm giving away a $200 credit to one lucky winner just in time for the Holidays!  With over 16,000 retailers worldwide there is sure to be one near you!  If not, you can check out the other awesome things for your home and the little ones in your life.


Owl skirt Set || Reindeer Stocking || Red jumbow striped hat || Reindeer Pom Pom  Tutu Set || Holiday Hair Bow Wreath || Christmas tutu || Letter to Santa Ornament || Little Chick Pajamas || Pom Pom Hairband || Smocked Bib || Hammered Pig Piggy Bank a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A big thank you to MudPie for letting me pick out some fun things for my girl  to share with you!

November 13, 2014

Ferns in the Fireplace | Love It or Leave It

There are flurries on the forecast for this weekend.  Among many other things that come to mind, it's about time to bring my ferns inside.  I have never successfully kept a plant alive so I'm a little terrified that bringing them in our house will be almost as slow a demise as leaving them out in the cold.  Matthew gets full credit for keeping them not only alive but thriving over the past nine months.  He's the boss of the outside.

Of course my next question, where the heck to I put these things.  They are way too big to set up on a bookshelf or table.  I searched on pinterest to see where other people display extra large sized ferns. The number one clear answer is in the fireplace.  Obviously we aren't the only ones who can't use our fireplaces right now.  We haven't had them inspected so for now it's display only.  I can't say I'm fully 100% in LOVE with this look, but for practicality purposes I'm going to give it a try.


Now that  you've seen lots of examples, what are your thoughts?  These rooms all make it look so good right?  I would obviously love to have a fire in our fireplace but that will have to wait until after we get it inspected.  We are fortunate to have two fireplaces but I really see this more in a living room or den situation.  One of which is in our dining room where I don't really see us lighting a fire.  Although sitting around the dining room table with lots of good food, wine, and friends with a rumbling fire in the background sounds incredible, its not really our life right no and I have to be realistic.  A fern would get more use.

Love it or leave it?

November 12, 2014

Old Navy Sale

 I've always been a big fan of Old Navy for kids but never really impressed with the women's line.  It usually looked a little off to me.  I'd see maybe one or two cute things that fit me every few years but that didn't really warrant me giving them much thought.  I'm not sure if the fit (for me) has improved but I can tell you their fresh marketing and stylish clothes have really made me take a double take.  I'm especially loving the cues they are taking from J.Crew.  Well done. 


Their pants don't fit me well but I've got my eye on this striped top ($9), this cableknit sweater ($24), this vest ($14), and this $7 hat.  

Disclosure about their outerwear, particularly their vests, they are crazy super duper lightweight.  I don't mind that because for me it's more about a fashun look than real true warmth.  In fact I prefer that for this time of year when it's not really cold yet but I want to start layering!  I really swear by Patagonia if I'm trying to stay warm when the temperatures really drop.  But it's fun to have some lightweight layers to rock out with in the fall.  What about you?

Today only Old Navy is offering 30% off through today with code: FESTIVE. 

November 11, 2014

Cute Kids Clothes | Old Navy Sale

Update, just saw that today only Old Navy is offering 30% off through today with code: FESTIVE

It's no secret that I love kids clothes probably even more than I love buying clothes for myself.  Probably because they're always "needing" something and it's so fun and easy to pull together new outfits all the time.  Boys outfits aren't quite as much fun to put together as girls but you can still have them looking adorable with classic preppy style.



And the girl round up is more bold and fun!  That's just the way it goes I guess.  I'm especially loving all of the black & white with pink!  Wells is obsessed with bows and Mary Janes so I'm really embracing that Eloise style with her! 



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Family Pictures

I am so incredibly excited about the family pictures we had made this past weekend.  I am blown away by the beautiful images my girl Elizabeth captured of us and forever grateful to have recorded this time in our life.  I love how our children's personalities are shining through as well. And nothing like taking advantage of a new dress and a good hair day!

I am so thankful we endured the cheesy feeling to take some of just me and Matthew as well as the four of us.  We never did engagement photos and I don't really have any of our wedding day either.  He wasn't on board at all.  He doesn't like getting his picture taken and posing felt so lame to him.  But I did my research ahead of time and showed him several examples of couples from engagement shoots.  I let him veto a few of them and narrow down at least one he was willing to do.  Plus, I had to promise not to make him shave his beard.  Sometimes it's not just the kids who need to be bribed into cooperating!  So worth the effort.  These are perfect framed on our bedside tables.


I wore this gorgeous pink dress I picked up at Nordstrom over the weekend.  I was driving from Middleburg to Bethesda and literally passed right by Tysons Corner.  What's a girl to do when she finds herself alone with an extra hour to kill?  Go holiday dress shopping, of course!

They always have the best selection of stylish dresses in my price point.  This one was on sale for $70 and so worth the price!  I've obviously already worn it once and plan to wear it again to a welcome party on our upcoming trip to Charleston.  I paired it here with boots and plan to wear with leopard pumps to the party.  This will obviously be perfect dressed down with a scarf for Thanksgiving (again with boots) and dressed up for our neighborhood holiday party with a sparkly necklace and heels.   Count that, four holiday occasions I can wear this dress.  The cost per wear is amazing.


Matthew is wearing these jeans (sold out but these are similar) and this sweater.  I love how our outfits are all coordinated but not too over the top.  Wells was so excited that we were all a perfect match with the girls in pink dresses and the boys in jeans. She really is the sweetest.  And you'll notice in the last picture that Tagg let his sillies out.  I love these so much!

Shop more of my favorite pink holiday dresses below:



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*this post was sponsored in collaboration with Nordstrom, all outfit selections and commentary are all my own.  Please see the sidebar for more information.

November 10, 2014

Babiators Discount Code

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!  Such amazing weather.  I was busy almost the entire weekend with family photography sessions while the kids stayed home with Matthew.  Sometimes it's nice for everyone to get a refresher course on what it's like for me to be gone all day.  Taking care of these two is not for the weak!  I also enjoyed quite a bit of quiet alone time in the car jamming along to my favorites playlist.  So good for the soul.

2.5 and 4 is turning out to be quite the hilarious age!  These two are playing (and bickering) all the time now and listening to their little conversations is such a treat.  There conversations are mostly about whether or not trains can play with princesses.  He says yes, she says no.
 

They're also super into bringing all of their little things with them wherever we go.  Especially Tagg.  He's like a traveling train store.  Special thanks to Babiators for sending the perfect size back pack for him to carry around his things.   Tagg is obsessed with filling up his rocket pack.  Did you know they make more than just unbreakable sunnies for littles? And FYI, mine are both in the classic size babiators. 


And as a treat for all of you they are offering 20% off your order now through November 16th wide code: PAWLEYSISLANDPOSH.  Shop all Babiators products here!


I've also decided I don't want to wait until December 1st to start decorating for the holidays so I'm going to start transitioning things in early so we can enjoy them longer.  It all goes by so fast.

And this pretty wreath with black & white striped ribbon will be my inspiration for it all!  I can't wait!

Happy Monday everyone!

November 9, 2014

A Perfect Navy Cocktail Dress


Based on the response on instagram yesterday I think it's safe to say this navy dress was a good buy!  I literally popped into the store just to try it on in person after eyeing it for weeks online and fell in love!  And then I walked away.  Down two flights of stairs to be exact.  Because that's what I do.  Even when I fall in love with something and I have a specific occasion to wear that something too, like a fancy cocktail party + a wedding, I can't always justify the cost.  I really don't take big purchases like this lightly.  But I couldn't get it out of my head so I walked back up and tried it on again and knew it was a too good to walk away from a second time.

I can't wait to wear it to an upcoming wedding in Charleston!  It's so lady-like and the silhouette is incredibly flattering.  I'll be able to eat and dance and bend over to tend to my littles and still look incredibly polished.  Plus it has pockets that can hold a cell phone and lip gloss without interrupting the lines of the skirt. That's genius.  I'm not usually one to post instgram photos on my blog but it might be a while before I can photograph this beautiful dress properly and I didn't want to wait on sharing this goodness!

November 7, 2014

Little Boy Room Design

There is nothing more fun for me than room scheming!  I'm so excited to help my sister transition her baby boy's nursery into a big boy room soon! I shared some progress of the nursery with you here and I'm going to take some final reveal shots of his room when I visit again for Thanksgiving.  So be on the lookout for some real cuteness in a few weeks with the final reveal.

I'm loving everything she's got planned for this next step. You'll recognize much of my own style in this room.  Tagg and I are going to have serious bunk bed envy!



She's pairing the wildwood duvet with the celadon scale sheets and the cabin quilt.  So much cuteness!  She's beginning to order everything now while my brother in law is on board but the room won't be put together until early next year.  Her sweet baby boy won't be two until next winter so he'll be in a crib for awhile longer.  She's smart to take advantage of some of the great sales on now!

I love this sweet take on a little adventurer theme!  So many of these elements help transition his nursery but will work as he grows into a little boy as well.  Smart move to think long term with kids' rooms.

-----------------------------------SOME GREAT SALES-----------------------------------

NORDSTROM Clearance event Save up to 40% off + earn double points
SERENA & LILY: Enjoy 15% off your purchase with code CHARMED15 until 11/25
BANANA REPUBLIC: 30% off with code BREXCITED
WILLIAMS-SONOMA: 20% off tabletop & Thanksgiving
TORY BURCH: new items added to sale
SHOPBOP: up to 70% off including my all time favorite jeans on sale for $118
JCREW: 25% off fall styles + 30% sale items for men, women, and kids with code GETWARM

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November 6, 2014

Holiday Decorating | Thanksgiving

 Thanksgiving is so close y'all!  I'm pretty excited about my holiday plans this year.  We're headed to Nashville for a week and we will be having Thanksgiving dinner at my sister house!  First Charleston next week and then Nashville right after!  I'm so excited about all the celebrating and good eating that's about to happen!

I love the idea of earthy neutrals, go figure!  What are your Thanksgiving plans?  Do you host or help cook?  Any signature dishes you request each year?  I'm more of the show up with wine an appetizer type but I might need to step up my game a bit this year.  My sister always goes all out!



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November 5, 2014

Fall Outfit + My favorite Jeans (40% off)

If you follow my instagram that you know we had a new HVAC system installed this week.  We converted from one oil tank and system to dual heat pumps with one system upstairs and another downstairs.  This is probably the biggest investment we've ever made to any house we've ever owned.  Dang.  It was pretty depressed watching that money fly out of the window.  But it was necessary and we knew that when we bought this house last year.  We added two industrial strength filters but waited to replace the duct work.  We had to make this project work in two parts and the engineer leading the project was really helpful with that.  I guess we weren't the only ones looking to replace their oil tank who were sticker shocked with the almost 30k estimate.

Anyway, needless to say I will probably be on a forced spending slowdown for a while.  But that just means my wishlists will have to fill the void.  Sometimes the thrill is only in the hunt and curating fun finds works like a charm!

This is a typical go-to look for me in the fall.  Sweater, boots, scarf, and vest.  I also store a pair of flats in my bag so that if we go inside someone's home I don't track in mud and nasty. Do y'all do that too?



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November 4, 2014

Gorgeous Home Tour | Design Stiles

Y'all.  I know you've seen this home but I just couldn't resist sharing!  I'm just crazy in love with the casual elegance of this updated traditional home designed by Irene Lovett of designstiles, a Los Angelos interior design firm.  You can see more in the style me pretty living feature.