5 Netflix Recommendations

The last set of Netflix recommendations was a huge hit, so it’s about time for a new one! I’ve been particularly digging the Netflix Originals like Orange is the New Black, Bloodline, and Magic City, but I like getting off-the-beaten-path recommendations and figured you do too. Here goes…

Death Comes to Pemberley (2013) Poster
Death Comes to Pemberley
Professed Pride and Prejudice fan, here! I don’t know why it took me so long to discover it, but this three-part mini series continues the story of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet after they are married and gives you more reasons to love Jane Austen’s characters.
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005) Poster
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio
The unwavering spirit, steadfastness, and ingenuity of Evelyn Ryan gave me a whole new perspective and respect for mothers. Despite difficult obstacles and in a difficult time for women, she raised twelve (yes, 12!) children like a champ. Makes me give thanks to all the women in my life.
The Identical (2014) Poster
The Identical
 I first heard about this movie when volunteering at the Sam Davis Home when they were filming it there. Including actors you’ll recognize, an award-winning Elvis impersonator, and a pretty decent music score, it’s worth a watch. Look out for the Davis cotton fields! I miss that place.
The Brothers Bloom (2008) Poster
The Brothers Bloom
 You are sure to love this quirky comedy. Chainsaw juggling, who does that?!? I was happy to see it on Netflix so I could watch it for the third and fourth time.
Finding Neverland (2004) Poster
Finding Neverland
Beautifully fantastical Peter Pan story starring Johnny Depp. A  classic that’s a must-watch while it’s available on Netflix.

Let me know what you think if you give any of them a watch. Got any recommendations to send my way?


One of My Favorite Things

One of my favorite things is when I get to be crafty with others, especially my mom. I have oodles of memories of crafting throughout my life, and the most vivid and impactful ones are with her and my grandmother. Most often, they took place with my mom around the sewing machine in the basement at our house growing up or in a fabric-filled wonderland with my Nana in her sewing room. There is no doubt I owe much of my love of making and creating to them.

Mom made tons of stuff for the house growing up–pillows, curtains, blankets and costumes. She made a Jasmine costume for me that topped any other Halloween costume I ever had. We colored my hair black with hair paint, or whatever you call the hair color that comes in an aerosol can, and I thought it was the coolest thing that even my family didn’t recognize me without my bright blonde locks. (I laughingly realize now that they were exaggerating of course.)

Nana made clothes for us and all kinds of things for our dolls and Barbies. She even made the dress I wore to my high school prom. I designed it, drawing it out with pencil combining elements, like the sleeves and skirt, from different patterns. Mom and I chose the fabrics, and Nana made it and fitted it for me. It ended up being a Cinderella dress, and I adored it. At what other point in your life is it appropriate to wear a dress like that?!


One of the last weekends my mom was in town, we decided to redo the ottoman. When Matt and I first got married, we found this upholstered ottoman, originally from Target, at an overstock place with a tear in the top and got it for a steal at $10. Matt’s parents were in town and helped us get it home, pick up a yard of fabric, and reupholster the top. Since then, it has made its way all over our house and regained new life with every fabric change. This is the first and second versions of it as an ottoman for our sectional. It moved on to be a blanket chest at the end of the day bed and then a window seat in the office. The latest in its series of lives is as a bench for the mud area we created by the back door.

Ottoman Winter 2009-2010 135


I bought ten yards of this yellow fabric years ago with the intention of recovering our antique chair. I decided I’m going to have that chair professionally reupholstered in a solid because I’m terrified of screwing it up and love it too much. When I started decorating the new house, I had the color of this fabric in mind, and I knew this was the right place to use it.


To begin, we unscrewed the lid, took the brackets off and removed the upholstery down to the inner form, laying the inner liner aside. Then we cut out a piece of fabric to fit. We folded the fabric smoothly over the edges and stapled it in place along the bottom using an upholstery stapler. Corners were the worst of course, but a bit of patience does the trick. Then we stapled the inner liner back on and reattached the lid.


The ottoman was too short to work as a bench for the mud area, so we went to the hardware store and picked up four screw-on wooden and metal furniture legs and screwed them in to the bottom of the (now) bench to elevate the height of the seat. Ta-da! It really was that easy, and we are able to store the dog food in it. Win.

The fiddle fig tree has a good home in this space, and I’m happy with the artwork above the dog bowls. They’re six-pack cases from a local brewery for beers named “Hell’s Belle” and “Bad Penny” for our pups Bella and Penny. I cut out the front of each and framed them in thrift store frames with scrapbook paper mats. I’d still like to paint the legs a fun color, find baskets for all the wire cubbies, and put the tree in a pot, but this cute little spot has almost come together and the little Ikea greenhouse is ready for some seedlings!


Thanks for reading. Hope you found a little inspiration along the way.



What I’ve Been Reading…


This winter has been rough and my energy and inspiration have been severely lacking. Spring is finally here, and even though I won’t get to see the Irises above blooming in April at the Sam Davis Home this year, the warm weather and sunshine have given me new life. And despite not having the motivation to truly commit to publishing these last few months, I’ve been logging ideas and doing DIY projects here and there that I’m excited to share with you!

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been curled up on the couch reading and loving this winter:


The Age of Miracles

A coming of age story of a California adolescent set during an eerily realistic apocalypse that questions the absolutes of the world as we know it, such as gravity, time and love.


The Signature of All Things

A beautifully written novel that reminds you to appreciate the natural world about an English (baron?) who grew his riches by cultivating exotic and medicinal botanical from around the world and his American daughter, Alma, who devotes her life to the study of mosses.


The Bees

Flora, a determined bee born low in the hierarchy of the hive, yearns to fully understand her world and bravely fights every thinkable obstacle along the way, for the sake of everyone’s future.

Right now I’m reading The Goldfinch that my bestie sent to me to borrow and which I can already tell I am going to love. What did you read this winter or what are you reading now?



DIY Wedding Headband

I know you’ve been waiting for a DIY tutorial, and here it is! My friend Christina, now a fellow North Carolinian over in Asheville, got married last year.  We worked together at the Home right before I took over as the Executive Director, through the transition as the board was deciding, and in my first few months as ED. Shortly after getting engaged in the Spring, she found this headband at David’s Bridal and adored it but couldn’t afford the price tag, so I told her I could make something similar. I love creating all things, especially wedding what-nots, but rarely do I get the opportunity since my own DIY wedding.

While we were at a conference last March, we looked at brooches in antique stores, trying to gain inspiration. It was a lot of fun getting to talk about and explore ideas for her wedding over lunch. After she moved, she sent me these beads and brooch that she found, and I started out on creating a similar look to her David’s Bridal favorite.

Continue reading

Super Bowl XLIX

You may remember our Super Bowl tradition of doing prop bets, some they bet on in Vegas and some we make up. We’re continuing the tradition this year and are looking forward to it even more because we’re playing with friends for the first time. We crafted our list of bets last night, so if you’d like to play along by yourself, with a friend or as a whole party, just print out the below and make your predictions!

Super Bowl XLIX

The second best part of watching the Super Bowl is the food. Our favorite thing to bring to parties as munchies are the Rush’s famous sausage balls that are ridiculously easy and always a favorite.

Cheesy Sausage Balls

  • 1 pound mild sausage
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1 1/2 cups Bisquick (we’ve tried knock-off brands, but Bisquick is the best)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix ingredients together in a bowl, adding more Bisquick as needed. Roll into balls and place evenly spaced on a lightly greased pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

For added flavor, do 1/2 pound mild sausage and 1/2 pound hot sausage, a different cheese or mix of cheeses and/or add a minced garlic clove.




Life Update


Where have you been AGAIN you might ask? Living life!..and being sick. I’ve been sick pretty much non-stop since starting this job at a museum, which is unsurprisingly a breeding ground for every germ, strain, and sickness known to the germiest little ones. But I believe I may have finally developed this immune system of steel that they keep telling me about. *fingers crossed*

I’ll give you the highlights of life since my last post, and then I’m going to move on, all the while pretending like I haven’t been absent for the last few months. 😀 Here’s to a New Year!

I bet you’ve been dying to see our Halloween costumes. (If this is true, I adore you.) I went as Dora for work and unfortunately didn’t get a picture. It didn’t turn out as well as I wanted, so before trick-or-treaters came and we went to meet friends in Raleigh, I threw together things around the house to go  as…*dun, dun, dun* MARY POPPINS! And Matt dressed as Al from Home Improvement. (I’ve got him being all crafty too. He made his apron!) I was delighted when pre-teen girls trick-or-treating knew that I was Mary Poppins and were super excited about it.

IMG_5459              20141101_011936_resized   

At a Halloween party the next night, we went as Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson as planned. I freaking loved it, and Matt was incredible! He brought a coffee mug to drink whiskey out of and a pound of freshly cooked bacon. While standing around at the party, he would rest with his hand inside the lip of his pants and his chin pulled back like in the picture below. On point! Love him. Love Ron Swanson.

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We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend in the mountains of Western North Carolina with family skipping rocks on the lake, hiking, and playing Settlers of Catan, of course.

IMG_5599                 IMG_5588


I really wanted to set a nice Thanksgiving table and enjoyed putting one together using nature and things laying around the rental cabin. (I didn’t think it would be hard to find pinecones, but all I could find were tiny ones!)


IMG_5532         IMG_5531

December was filled with a wonderful trip to D.C. and decorating and celebrating the holidays in our new home and with family in Asheville, but more on that later.

Feels good to be back!



Changing it up

You may notice that something’s a little different. 😉

I’ve been  working on updating the blog (about time right?) because it’s been two years! The problem is….decisions, decisions and daylight savings always does me in this time of year. My body does not appreciate the lack of sunlight. With it getting dark so early, I’m sleepy and unmotivated before I even leave from work. So I’m determined to do yoga more often this winter to stay active.  It’ll keep the dogs active too because they love that we’re down on their level, especially Bella who is content to lie in the floor beside us. To entertain you in the meantime, here’s an adorable video of people trying to do yoga with their interrupting pets. It delights me every time because it’s so true. Even better, check out this 3D animated x-ray of a body doing yoga. Too cool.

So bear with me for a few more days until I decide on a new theme and get everything into place. I’m really looking forward to the changes ahead. Stay tuned!



Rush Residence: Library Reveal

When I first eyed the listing for our now-home, the dining room made the first impression (see light fixture from the Eating Nook Reveal). However, who needs a dining room?! There was already an eating nook perfect for our table plus plenty of extra room in the living room, and there are only two of us! As soon as we were under contract, we came to the agreement that the dining room would become a multi-use room to house our books, TV, and games in a space inspired by our small, but growing, art collection. Matt, being the book and literature nerd that he is, insisted that this be called our “library.” Thus, I am proud to show you our library!
We talked about this room before moving so much that we began its creation from the very start. Before we moved, we sold our couch to buy this Pottery Barn suede loveseat on Craiglist. This was the first piece of furniture in the room, truly the first piece of furniture to find its place in our new home. Its neutral color balances the light blue walls nicely, and it is comfortable for watching TV or laying down for a nice read. 

Days after moving in, we made a two hour trip to Ikea just to buy decor for this room: book shelves for our wall of books, a cable to hang some pieces of art above the couch, and a rug. After purchasing this navy and white carpet from Ikea for a bargain, we realize we’ll eventually need a bigger rug to better fit the space, but I love that the darker color and interesting print ground the color in the room.
It took me forever to find 96″ curtains for the house, but I was ecstatic to finally find this khaki and white rugby stripe pair at HomeGoods. We placed an antique buffet table, our first Craigslist find after the move, between the two windows to house our media, and Matt decided to organize the bookshelf by color to bring more vibrancy of color to the room. The first thing on the walls was our dear friend Charles Clary’s colorful paper sculpture art that we put beside the shelves, and the room began to come alive.

We paired the couch with a refinished white magazine table, also a Craiglist find, and topped it with a simple lamp with a linen shade. Then, we suspended the art we’ve been slowly collecting in anticipation of our new home from the Ikea cable system above the couch. In addition to our three Charles Clary pieces, we have two pieces by Graham Franciose, “Your Story I” and “Your Story II,” given to us by Matt’s colleague and friend, a print of a girl with horses by Lexington-based Cricket Press I picked up in Louisville, Kentucky at the Forecastle Music Festival last year, a watercolor of the Sam Davis Home by Phyllis Razo (available in the gift shop!), and the poem “Home” by Debbie Gayle Rose Matt got from the print shop at Middle Tennessee University before they closed.

It is still a work in progress, will continually be evolving. We need to figure out an ottoman for the room, replace the light fixture we moved to the eating nook, and add finishing touches, but we love its coziness and think it perfectly reflects our style and personality!


4 Days Until Halloween: DIY Decor

We finally pulled the box of Halloween decorations down from the attic to decorate the front porch. Using just what we already had from years past, I think it will do nicely. There’s a black light in the porch light, glow-in-the-dark spider webs, skulls, a rat, an owl jack-o-lantern, and spooky picture frames in the windows. 

I’m so excited about all the little trick-or-treaters this Friday. (We still need to carve our pumpkin though, and it is a big one!) I’m really hoping given the size of our neighborhood and the neighborhoods attached, we’ll get a lot of trick-or-treaters. I miss seeing the adorable, steady stream of trick-or-treaters we used to get in our neighbor growing up. 
With that being said, I figured lots of us are decorating the week of or still adding finishing touches in the days before, so if you need some more inspiration, flashback to two years ago when I first started my blog and shared my DIY Halloween Decor.

Front Porch Boards and Bats

Foam Board Tombstones

Festive Buffet Table

Spooky Gallery Wall

I’m a bit bummed we won’t be hosting our annual Halloween bash, but we are going to a party with new friends! Matt and I have finally figured out what we’re going to be. For my work costume contest, I’m going as Dora the Explorer, and for the Halloween party, we considered Alfalfa and Darla from The Little Rascals but decided on Leslie Knope and Ron Swanson. Last year, we went as Lord and Lady Grantham, and the year before, we were Richard Gere and Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. Yes, I changed halfway through the party, and if you can’t tell, Matt likes to wear suits. 😀


P.S. Thanks to my friend, Amanda, who gave me the burlap pumpkin door hanger last year!

My Second Stitch Fix Experience

I got my second Stitch Fix! As you may already know, my first fix was a bust, but I happily gave it another try and was delighted. This time Matt was home, so I was able to get him to take some pictures (yay!). I ended up keeping three of the five pieces, spending $208 in all. That may seem a lot (believe me, that’s a lot to me too!), but as I mentioned before, these are quality pieces handpicked just for me and my style without having to drive from store to store and try on a hundred things to find the perfect piece, so I think it is absolutely worth it. Not to mention, I feel special with pieces that are unique, selected just for me, and I feel great leaving the house in pieces I’m proud of and reflect my style.
From this fix, I kept a necklace, shirt and pair of pants. This fix was styled by a different stylist (I haven’t figured out and still wonder if you get a different stylist every time or if you eventually will get hooked up with someone who is your personal stylist.) who I felt was a little less fashion forward (or thought I was), as a lot of the pieces weren’t nearly as trendy (loved that color block blouse…I still dream about it. If only it had fit! *shakes fist*), sticking to simple classics. However, I completely understand going a little safer when I didn’t keep anything from my first fix!
Here’s what was in my second fix…

1.     Kayle French Terry Striped Blazer $128

As much as I’ve loved the idea of having a striped blazer, I knew pretty quickly that this one wasn’t for me. Besides having a hole from a snag on one of the shoulders, the grey and black wasn’t my favorite combination, and the stripes weren’t the right width. I also felt the two-button and length combined didn’t work for me. Add in the price tag, and this one was a no-brainer.

2.      Hilda Crystal Flower Statement Necklace $42


When I read the note from my stylist, she mentioned a floral statement necklace, so when I opened the rest of the box, this was the first piece I reached for. So much anticipation! I couldn’t wait to see what it looked like. Jewelry is my thing. It’s the piece I choose most often as the statement of my outfit, I never go without it, and it’s the category in which I take the most risk. Over the past few months, I’ve been drawn to the vintage, Anthropology-type necklaces that have been all over stores, so of course this necklace and I were meant to be before we even met. It is in antique gold, my tone of choice at the moment, and is much flashier than any piece I already have. With the holidays just around the corner and our sixth (!!!) wedding anniversary and cousin’s wedding in January, it was just what I needed.

3.     Level 99 Patrick Chino Pant

Since I just sent my Stitch Fix pieces back yesterday, you better believe I am wearing these pants today. They were so soft, the right length, and oh my gosh, the perfect fit. Let me just tell you, coming from a woman who frequently leaves dressing rooms feeling bewildered and defeated, it has felt glorious having things fit just right, especially pants. 

4.     Skies are Blue Haldis Roll-Tab Henley Blouse $58

As soon as I pulled this out of the box, Matt was in love. This was the piece from my fix he liked best. I’ve tried several different henleys like this, but none of them have been the one. Not that there’s just one, but they have either been too big, too small, too short, too long, or ill fitting altogether. Not only was the blouse beautifully silky in a navy color with gold buttons and embellishments, it was also form fitting and long enough to be tunic-esque or tucked into a skirt. In one word, perfect.

5.    Margaret M Emer ‘X’ Print High Waisted Cropped Pant $98

I was unsure about these pants from the start, but I gave them a try anyways. They were made from a thick fabric, but they didn’t have pockets, beltloops or a zipper or button…essentially, they were leggings. They were black with a very small white micro dot. They fit well and were comfortable, but I’m an advocate of leggings aren’t pants. I never would have been comfortable wearing these as actual pants, and when I walked around in them, they were too fitted, like yoga pants and I felt it created somewhat of an optical illusion with the micro dots. Call me crazy, but it’s true!
So in my first fix, they got a lot right. The style spoke to me for sure, but the pants were too long, and the shirts were too tight in the bust. Otherwise, everything else felt right. This time around, they paid a lot of attention to my comments on fit from my last fit and sent me pieces with that in mind, even if that meant selecting different sizes from my style profile.
I’m already looking forward to my next fix. Given the price of the items that really requires some right then and there commitment, my next fix won’t be for a few months, but I can’t wait to try it out for some beautiful, colorful spring pieces. Yes, I’m already talking about Spring when Winter is creeping up. For now, here’s to Fall! Love me some Fall. 


P.S. Here’s my referral link if you want to give Stitch Fix a try!