Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Sanctuary: Delightfully Chic Home Office

Scott and I both have our own offices in our home and somehow I ended up with the smaller of the two!  Say What?  In all honesty there was something about the coziness of my office that really appealed to me.  It just felt right.  As I've said before I have been working room by room to redesign each space in our home.  My office has been so low on the list, but after Fi was born all of her wonderful distractions started to pull me away from blogging and my visions for Delightfully Chic.  I immediately knew I had to move the office up on the priority list to help keep me focused and inspired.

In order to de-clutter my thoughts, recharge my batteries and get this project underway I removed every single item from the office and started with a fresh coat of paint.  I went with one of my favorite colors, Decorators White by Benjamin Moore.  Then I pulled back in the items I knew I still wanted in the office.  My desk, chair, and stool from the original DC collection. That was it! Everything else will be finding a new landing place.  Now what?  Well, I plan to change the curtain rod, light fixture, purchase a new computer, add in wall art, plant life, and anything else that inspires me. 

Here a few spaces that inspire me and follow my vision for the new Delightfully Chic office.

(inspiration images via pinterest

As more progress is made I'll make sure to keep you all posted and of course share the finished product once completed!

Happy Sunday!

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Sanctuary: The Redesign of The Gaither Dining Room

Happy Sunday!
In years past, Sunday Sanctuary was part of our weekly series, but with the hustle and bustle of life I have unfortunately gotten away from weekend posts.  I have found myself missing this series and decided to bring it back as I still continue to work and learn my new rhythm of life as a full time working mom, wife, and blogger.

So, let's not waste anymore time and kick things off.

Scott and I moved into our new home two years ago this November.  Our dining room is one of my favorite spaces and we started to pull this space together, but knew that it was only a temporary design.  The table and chairs have been passed down from Scott's family and are true antiques.  The table was passed down to Scott's sister Caroline and we were more than happy to "store" until she was ready to move into a home of her own.  This past month Caroline tied the knot and her husband Zack and her now live in Charlotte.  So, we said goodbye to the table (the chairs were passed down to Scott) and now we are officially ready to start the design of our dining room.

This was a pic I snapped last spring and gives you at least an idea of what we are working with.

Things I love about this space:

The China Cabinet...This piece was actually my parents that they purchased when they were first married.  Scott, my bff Rebecca, and I refinished this to white when we first moved in.
The Wainscoting...I am huge fan and it was one of many things I love about our home. 

Things that make my skin crawl:

Carpet! YUCK...I am so not a fan of carpet and I'm even less a fan of carpet in a dining room!  However, as long as we have a shedding four legged furry friend in the house...the carpet in all spaces that we still have it in will stay.  I made the agreement with Scott that as long as our big boy Lucian is in the house we will wait to replace any carpet or flooring.  Why I agree to such things is beyond me!  Lucian is limited to 3 rooms in our home (laundry room, kitchen, and family room) but somehow those tiny little hairs travel. 
The Lighting Fixture... Somebody please tell me why anyone would chose this fixture for their dining room?  One thing I loved about our established home was all the updates the previous homeowners had completed prior to our purchasing.  As we agreed on many of their decisions and updates the lighting fixtures in several rooms I would have NEVER selected.  I see an elegant chandelier of some sort in this space and not this super out of place fixture.

Here are a few looks that inspire me and point me in the direction I want to go...

(above images via pinterest)

As I start the search for the perfect dining room table and chairs (our current chairs will be relocated throughout our home) our first plan of action is the lighting fixture.  Stay tuned for updates and follow along on the Delightfully Chic Instagram page to see the progress.
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Hotspot: Press Coffee + Crepes

European Inspired.
Carolina Made.

Four simple words to describe the latest coffee shop to hit Alamance County.  Press Coffee + Crepes opened its doors on Monday and is quickly becoming the talk of the town.  On Tuesday "Sweet Mama", Fiona, and I had the chance to try out some delicious coffee and amazing crepes!

From the moment we walked in we were greeted with a bubbly smile by Sabrina who is a total ray of sunshine.  She gave us a full rundown of the offerings to help us make our decisions. 

I originally asked for a hazelnut latte, but after a quick chat with Forrest, the barista, I went with a latte having equal parts of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla...OH MY DELICIOUS!  Forrest has officially introduced me to my new morning coffee of choice. 

While studying in Paris I indulged far too often in wine and crepes! I actually had never had a crepe until I visited France, but it quickly became one of my favorite guilty pleasures.  Press offers a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and sweet crepes.  We tried the "Down Home" crepe filled with ham or bacon (you make the call), egg, and local hoop cheese and of course the always classic banana and Nutella filled crepe.  Both were delicious. 

 The decor offers an urban feel with exposed bricks and pipes.  I love when a business goes into an older building and brings it back to life while leaving the "history" in tact.  I think I will always be a fan of this look.

While I was having my little moment with my yummy latte and crepe I noticed Jason, the owner walking around the shop chatting with and getting to know his customers.  THIS solidified what I already had quickly discovered...I will be a regular and I will spread the word of Press.
You just can't beat a big city feel with a small town heart!  

Make sure to visit Press in downtown Graham and stay connected with this new found treasure via facebook and instagram.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Gaither Kitchen: Avocado Basil Pesto

Every summer we grow basil in our garden.  Not only do I love the fresh taste of the plant, but also how amazing the leaves smell!  Picking fresh basil is actually something I really enjoy simply because of the aroma.  On Monday I decided it was time to make use of the leaves and have a little garden to table in the Gaither Kitchen.

I am trying really hard to keep my "cheat meals" to a minimum as I work to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. So when I had a craving for cheese ravioli with pesto I knew I had to cut somewhere.  I found this healthy avocado basil pesto recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Ambitious Kitchen and knew this was what I wanted to try.  So what makes it healthy?  Most pesto recipes call for a fairly good amount of oil, so in this recipe we are going to replace the oil with avocado.  I'm a huge fan of avocado.  Whether you are having it in a salad or on a sandwich or by itself with a splash of fresh lime juice, this fruit provides you with healthy fats and we should all be a fan of that.   

Avocado Basil Pesto

Here is what you will need...
{Note: I made minor modifications to the original recipe}

1 Cup of fresh basil leaves
1/2 of a large avocado 
2 tablespoons of pine nuts
1 1/2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons of water
1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheeses

In your food processor, add your basil, avocado, pine nuts, garlic, and lemon and lime juice.  Pulse for about 20-30 seconds.  Next add in your water and pulse again until consistency is smooth.  Pour your pesto into a dish and mix in 1/4 cup cheese.  I personally prefer the three cheese mixture instead of only using Parmesan.  The cheese blend and avocado is actually what I think makes this pesto really stand out from the others.

Once you have mixed in your cheese you can pour over your pasta or store your pesto in an air tight container for up to 2 days.  

And, there you have it!  I would love to know if you try this recipe- comment below and let me know what you think!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hotspot: Redefinery & Co.

Last night I met up with Invitation Designer Julie Poole of Juliepatoolies, Blogger Suzanne Smith of Crazy Blonde Life, and a few other close girlfriends to check out Redefinery & Co., a new Tapas Bar and Restaurant located in downtown Burlington, North Carolina.

From the moment I walked through the door I felt as if I had stepped into another city.  I love the small town feel of Burlington, however, I think we all love seeing chic and urban hotspots land in our town. 

The drink menu had me going total heart eyes emoji!
Starting from the left going clockwise you have the Front Street Lemonade, a glass of Delaporte Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc, the Paloma, and last and my drink of choice, the Brown Derby!
All were super tasty and hand crafted, but here is my fair warning, they are strong!!!
Did we all just find our new favorite place for cocktails after a long day of work? I think so! 

The decor was absolute perfection.  How can anyone go wrong with an exposed brick bar and books as centerpieces that hold a candle and succulent? 
Contemporary furniture and chairs mixed with church pew style seating gives the perfect mix of modern and tradition.

The walls showcase artwork by local artists.

Ok, this I loved! Old movies being projected onto the walls! 

So let's talk tapas!  Redefinery is not "officially open" as they are currently working with a limited menu and offering different variations daily while they listen to feedback and adjust to give the customers what they desire. I love this approach!  

Last night we ordered several items to all share.

Artisanal Cheese and Charcutereie 
As you know I am a vegetarian so I skipped the meat, but the cheese was amazing! The red dragon was delish! 

Summer Salad
Kale and arugula mixed with feta, strawberries, roasted pecans and topped with a drizzle of balsamic reduction vinaigrette. Super refreshing and light.  

Ricotta and Rosemary
The most simplest of them all however, quite possibly my favorite!
Ricotta infused with local honey and rosemary.  Listen when I say, "order this"!!!

Such a fun time and I always love catching up with these ladies!

To my local readers, I hope to cheers a cocktail with you soon!  To my out of state readers, please make sure to stop in on your next trip to NC!

Follow Redefinery on Instagram and Facebook

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Gaither Kitchen: Spicy Avocado Greek Yogurt Dressing

Since welcoming our baby girl Fiona into the world and adjusting to the most amazing job of being her Mom my time to blog has been way more limited than I ever thought it would be.  I guess I should have listened when my girlfriends warned, "you no longer have time for yourself"!  I wouldn't change one single thing, but I have missed blogging and keeping in touch with all of the DC readers.  So I am trying really hard to work blogging into my schedule again.  As I type, in this very moment I am holding the most precious little sleeping Baby Fi who is just snoring away! 

So what have I been up to?  So much!  I have a running list of upcoming blogs and can't wait to share.  Up first, a dressing I made a couple weeks back that is super tasty and perfect for summer.  

Spicy Avocado Greek Yogurt Dressing

This recipe is super simple and takes a quick 10 minutes to prepare.

Here is what you will need...

1 avocado
1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp fresh lemon
2 tsp fresh lime (the lime will help keep the avocado from browning so quickly) 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients together and pour over your favorite summer salad.

My go to quick and easy salad that is perfect for this dressing is a simple mixed green, strawberry, feta, and sunflower seed salad. 

Give this dressing a try and let me know what you think!
I hope you will enjoy as much as I do!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

What's In a Name...

When deciding on a name for our baby girl, one thing was a given, her middle name!

A couple weeks back when our Fiona Grace was just 3 weeks old she had a very special play date!
My two very best friends since childhood Rebecca and Katie came over with their beautiful little ones, Carley Grace (5), Raylee (3), Bailey Grace (3), and Judson (6 months).

Do you spy a trend yet?

The three of us girls have a bond and friendship that is undeniable.  We have experienced elementary, middle, and high school together and when college came, we managed to find a way to live together.  When walking down the aisle to marry our amazing husbands we each stood next to each other as Matron and Maids of Honor.  We have experienced so much in life together that it only felt right when our first born daughters entered the world that they be connected to each other in some way.
Katie for as long as I can remember wanted to name her daughter Bailey Grace.  Bailey is her mom's maiden name.  Rebecca clenched to her faith more than ever when conceiving her first child so a middle name of Grace was more than appropriate. As for me, there was no way I would let my best friends or the  "Grace Trilogy" down.  Fiona Grace it was.  I find it so very special that not only do these three girls share the same middle name, but we all had our baby girls first.

Here are a few pictures from this very special day when all the kiddos met Fiona Grace!  

This was a surreal moment and one I will never forget.
(left to right) Carley Grace, Fiona Grace, Raylee, Judson, and Bailey Grace.

The "Grace Trilogy" is complete! 

4 best friends just hanging out!

Everyone got a little special time with little Fi...

Raylee is so sweet!  Every time I hear her say "I wanna see Fiona" my heart melts!

I think it's safe to say that Fiona's first play date was a total success!

I could not be more proud to be Aunt Tiff to these 4 angels! 

Oh my dear are going to have your hands full protecting all these girls!

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