Saturday, March 31, 2012


I'm having a crisis...(a throw pillow crisis, that is.)

{old pillows + my gorgeous new Chiang Mai pillow}

I am SO tired of the pillows in our living room...I would seriously be happy to toss them all in the trash. I bought them all before we got married and moved to New York, and they just aren't me anymore. I need want luxurious looking, down filled pillows that will last us a while. These just ain't cuttin' it anymore! 

I have one Chiang Mai dragon pillow in the Mocha colorway, and one on the I have 2 good pillows to work with, and need a few more! Of course, being the terrible decision maker that I am, I can't figure out what I want! I know I want lots of different patterns, and I want to pull out the orange, pear green, navy, and aqua blue colors from the Chiang Mai pillows to match what I already have in the rest of the room. Here is a picture of the other side of our huge living room that is opposite of the couch - Still loving the orange drapes!

I've been scouring Etsy for the past few days looking for the perfect pillows, and of course I have found like 50 that I really love. Here are a few examples I put together to try and help me decide...and of course, I love them all and can't pick a favorite. So, I need HELP!
Choice 1 {Navy Quatrefoil, Orange Greek Key, Chiang Mai Mocha, Orange Velvet, Chiang Mai Mocha, and Navy Trellis}

Choice 2 {Orange Velvet, Chiang Mai Mocha, Green Trellis}

Choice 3 {Aqua Greek Key, Chiang Mai Mocha, Green Trellis, Chiang Mai Mocha, and Navy Quatrefoil}

Choice 4 {Blue Medallion, Orange Velvet, Chiang Mai Mocha, Green Trellis, Chiang Mai Mocha, Aqua Velvet, and Navy Quatrefoil}


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Pink Peony: Paintings for Africa!

{Photo by Lynden Nugteren}
My sweet, sweet younger brother, Ben, is seriously such an amazing guy. Any of you that know him will absolutely agree with me! A few years ago, he felt his calling to do mission work in Africa, and he is following it with full force! He has no idea what an inspiration he is to me, and I am SO proud of everything he has and will accomplish! Here is his "about me" from his Facebook that I stole to show you just how awesome he is: 
"Bringing Jesus into poverty, bad water, sanitation, rebel forces, trafficking, and any other darkness that presents itself in Africa. I am more powerful than I can possibly imagine, Jesus tells me I can do even greater things than Him. I am a part of something MUCH bigger than myself."

{Photo by Victoria Bolduc}

He attends North Greenville College in Tigerville, SC and is majoring in Missions and Intercultural Studies. Africa is so incredibly special to him, and he was able to spend all of last summer there in Kenya on an amazing mission trip with Adventures in Missions. This past Fall, he was chosen to be a leader for another trip to Africa this summer, and he is so excited! 

{Photo by Victoria Bolduc}
{Photo by Jenna Sasso}
As we all know, mission trips cost money, and Ben needs our help! I want to be a huge help to him, and came up with a great plan to try and raise some funds to help send him on his trip and to help lift some burdens from some of the sweet people he will be serving in Africa. I have been painting canvases for nurseries and children's rooms for years, and have been giving them as gifts or selling them to friends to give as gifts. I have wanted to start a little business selling them for forever, but the timing was never right. I've decided that now is a great time to start selling paintings...and all of my profits will be going towards Ben's trip to Africa until he leaves in June! I can't do much to help him, but I sure can paint!

Introducing my new venture!!!
My new little shop...The Pink Peony!

Here are a few pictures of some paintings I have done in the past: 

I can do any size canvas 24" x 26" and under, and prices will depend on the size and detail of the painting. Want me to match the painting to your particular room (bedding, paint colors, etc.)? I can do that! If you can dream it up, I can paint it! All proceeds will go directly from my PayPal account into Ben's travel account with Adventures in Missions. As of right now, the turn around time from ordering until shipment will be about one week; so hurry up and get those orders in! :)

E-mail me at for more information, or to place an order! Thank you in advance...from the bottom of my heart!

How stinking cute is he?!? PS...He's SINGLE! ;)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Baby Shower For Mary Mathews: The Food!

I had so much fun searching for fun shower food on Pinterest and planning what we were going to serve. The shower was at 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon, so we decided to serve light hors d'oeuvres and refreshments. 

Our menu for the day was:

Mini Caprese Salad On a Stick
Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dip
Cracked Pepper Ranch Cheese Ball* with Assorted Crackers
My Mema's Famous Cheese Straws
Assorted Mini Quiches
Strawberry Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pink Lemonade
Iced Water with Lemon

Cracked Pepper Ranch Cheese Ball 

2 packages of cream cheese (8 0z)
1 large packet of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
Course ground black pepper

Let both packs of cream cheese soften in a large bowl. When soft, mix in packet of ranch seasoning with a fork. Scoop the mixture onto a sheet of saran wrap. After all wrapped up, shape the mixture into a flat ball. Chill in the fridge for a few hours, then cover the ball in the black pepper before plating. Delicious with Wheat Thins, Triscuits, or any other sturdy crackers. 

This is my mom's "famous" cheese ball that is requested every time she attends a party! SO easy and delicious!

We used Barefoot Moscato Spumante because it seriously makes the BEST mimosas! It is just the right amount of sweet and tart and is so delicious in a mimosa. Here is what it looks like:

We served orange juice and cranberry juice with the champagne, and also fresh strawberries for a yummy garnish. I like my mimosas with a little mix of everything, and they were so delicious...especially when served in a mason jar with a fun straw!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Baby Shower For Mary Mathews: Invitations

A few weeks ago, I posted some of the inspiration for the baby shower I was throwing for my best friend Elizabeth and her sweet baby on the way, Mary Mathews. I had the most fun working on this shower, but I would have to say that my most favorite aspect of it all was the invitations! I have always loved pretty paper, and I was thrilled that I got to pick out something gorgeous for my favorite girls! In keeping with the theme, I found a gorgeous invitation on Etsy that was designed by Allison of Allison Kizer Designs. The invitation was originally hot pink, but I had her change it to more of a peachy light pink. I also had her make the little insert that instructed guests to bring a book instead of a card, and round monogram stickers. She was so sweet to deal with all of my crazy requests and everything turned out perfect! If you need any invitations or party supplies, she's your girl!

I ordered the kraft paper envelopes from my favorite place, Paper Source, and used an opaque white marker to write all of the addresses. I seriously cannot get enough of kraft paper; I love how it turned out! I wrapped the invitation and the little insert in a doilie from Michael's, then used pink and white baker's twine (another Etsy purchase) to tie a bow around it to hold it together.

 Stationery I made for Mary Mathews using pink blank folded cards and envelopes from Michael's with the monogram stickers Allison designed! Easy peasy, and oh so cute!

*Sorry for the terrible blurring job I did on the envelopes!

Next up: The Food!