Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Maria Killiam - "What's in Your Bag"

I'm so excited to have my dear friend and color expert, Maria Killam from Canadia here today to participate in my "What's In Your Bag" series.  I adore Maria and her brilliant "color" wisdom!  I read her blog daily and must say, I often learn something even though I have been in the business for almost 20 years and consider myself pretty color savvy.  Maria is true colour expert.  If you want to learn more about color, make sure to sign up for her blog "Colour Me Happy" or check out some of her e-commerce products and courses.   Let's go find out what's in her bag!

Maria Killiam "What's in Your Bag"?

1. Do you go to the beach or the pool? If beach, 
what's your favorite beach?

I prefer a pool, you're on a chaise lounge instead of a towel on the sand. And a private pool is a luxury like my client's beach house in Kauai where I've vacationed the last two years. You can see my sister Elizabeth through the garden.

2. What's your favorite beach /pool bag?
Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 3.51.48 PM
Well, I have an old one that is hot pink with black and white checks but if I were to buy a new one, I'm loving this one with the fringe! So fun.

3. What are necessities in your bag?
Salt & Vinegar Chips (my fav) iphone, my Kate Spade
 turquoise and white beach towel along with a good book.

4. What's Your Favorite Sunscreen?
I bought Aloe Up SPF30  while in Arizona last year and I
 like it,  it isn't greasy and all natural.

5. Favorite bathing suit?

I have about four or five bathing suits, but my favorite is this
 turquoise DKNY Maillot that I bought a few years ago. 
I would love to find another one.

Maria on vacation in Cabo

6. Do You Have a Favorite Coverup?
I like this one I recently saw at Joe Fresh. I also have a
 black and white striped cover up that goes with
 all my colorful suits.

7 . What is Your Favorite hat?
I just bought this hat from a tourist trap store on 
Granville Island in downtown Vancouver and paid over $100!! 
Snap it up here for only $40!

8. Sunglasses for Summer 2015
Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 12.18.52 PM
My new glasses for summer are these Aviators from Maui Jim
The style works on my face best because of the shape.
 Some of their styles are curved down and look slightly droopy 
on my face but these are perfect.

9. What book is in your bag?

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 4.03.04 PM

This is one of my favorite books by Jude Devereux. I've had it
 for years and when I just can't find anything else I want to read on the beach,
 I'll re-read this one. A classic sweet love story that's reminds
 me of Outlander because she goes back in time.

10. Favorite beach/pool shoes?
Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 12.29.33 PM
I love black flip flops and wear them all the time.  But I'm into these slides right now because they are so comfortable. And I would have to say the sexiest pair of Crocs in the collection.

11. Favorite drink on the beach or by the pool?


Well if someone would bring me a Watermelon Wiggle from Jugo Juice, 
I would be very excited to sip it by the beach or the pool.

12. What is Your Favorite summer activity?

Photo was taken at dusk.

I've turned my covered back patio into a sanctuary that I love to spend time in during the summer. In the daytime when I'm working from home, you'll find me sitting on this sectional. On Sundays, you'll find me napping on it. It's like having another huge room attached to your house for six months of the year. When we moved in I wanted to rip out the deck because it was NOT pretty but we had a bigger project to work on the outside and that was completely transforming our front and back yard with landscaping. Now that I've decorated the patio, I hardly notice that it's not the deck of my dreams. 

Thanks Lisa for featuring me on your blog! Find me blogging about How to get Colour to Do What you Want™ at     

Thank you, Maria, for participating!  Cannot wait to see you at High Point Market!  Readers make sure to check out Maria's website and blog.  She is the colormaster!  Traci Zeller and I love using Maria's large paint boards when working on projects.  Oversized paint boards make seeing color so easy!  

My husband and I are still on vacation in Nevis.  Today we move to other side of the island to Nisbet Plantation, which was an old sugar plantation.  We wanted to experience both sides of this magical island while here.  
Watch my instagram for "real time" photos here.  
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Monday, July 27, 2015

Arrival in St Kitts and Nevis!

We arrived in St Kitts at the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport and  breezed through customs.  We hopped aboard a taxi to the waterfront to board our water ferry to the Four Seasons resort.  The forty-minute ride over from St Kitts to Nevis was very pleasant.  We were served rum punch and Caribe beer and enjoyed laughter with other guests aboard.  

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Nevis Here We Come!

Our trip to Nevis is finally here!  This week has been one of the most stressful weeks I have had in a long time.  I want to put all the stress behind and enjoy my time in Nevis, West Indies with my husband on our 20th anniversary trip.  We are staying at the Four Seasons Nevis and Nisbet Plantation.  I will have to wait to see how the wifi is at the hotel but I plan to blog daily about our adventures.  I am excited to explore this beautiful island in the Caribbean Sea that forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies.  Nevis is located near the northern end of Antillesarchipelago and near Puerto Rico and Antigua.  The capital is Charlestown. 

We will venture over to St Kitts which is separated from Nevis by a shallow two-mile channel called "The Narrows".  
There are only 12,000 citizens on Nevis and from what I hear they are gracious and happy to have visitors.  I look forward to meeting my hosts!

Stay tuned for more adventures!

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Letter to My Son on His 29th Birthday

Happy 29th Birthday Walker so much has changed since this 1st birthday picture of you was taken.  I remember thinking how hard I thought life was then, and I didn't have a clue how easy I had it.  All I knew is that I had waited my entire life to be a mom, and I was thrilled you were here.

You were my first born.   I learned how to be a mother from being your mom, and I'm sure you had battle scars to prove it.  Those first few years were a balance between learning what you needed and how to comfort you, but I enjoyed every minute.  
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Dishing My Own Favorites Today - "What's In My Bag"

My husband surprised me with a trip to Nevis, West Indies for our 20th anniversary this month, so we are off to experience Nevis and St Kitts on Saturday. We were slated to go to Nevis 10 years ago, and we disappointed when the trip fell through, so you might say this trip has long been anticipated.

Nevis is a small island located in the West Indies, with beautiful beaches, so we plan to enjoy a private cabana on the beach during the morning and transition to the pool in the afternoon.  I love the beach and the pool equally so to be able to split my day between both is paradise.  

I decided to share what's in my bag today.  I'm in need of a getaway.  I have had an extremely stressful week for me.  We lost a dear friend this week and at first we thought of canceling our trip but the more we thought about it, travel seemed like the perfect way to honor his memory.  So with that being said, let me share what I'm packing for my trip.  Here's "What's In My Bag" and other summer favorites!

1.  Do you go to the beach or the pool? 

I love the beach, but I also love the pool, so it is a toss up, but the beach probably wins by a slim margin.   What's your favorite beach? My favorite beach is Topsail Beach.  My grandfather built a family house there in 1968, so I have been going to this beach since I was a little girl.  We began summering at Topsail 15 years ago.  It is a community of lovely people.  My parents and brother's families have houses here, and my sister, and I share a house.  It is the only time of the year my kids get to spend any time with my family, so that is why it is a special place to me and why I love it.

2. What's your favorite beach /pool bag?
Mar Y Sol Beach Bag

I love this Mar y Sol beach bag!   It is on sale right now 40%off at Nordstroms here.  I also love Maine Seabags and have been dropping hints right and left that I want one!  I want a custom design with "Happy" on it since that is the nickname given to my by my niece, Anna.  Now all my nieces and nephews call me Aunt Happy.  

3.  What are necessities in your bag?  

Turkish Cotton Towel with Initial

I typically have a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, a book to read,  Corinne McCormick reading glasses, bottled water, a Turkish towel (on sale now at Nordstrom )and my iphone 6plus in my bag.  If I take a snack, it is typically a piece of fruit or bag of nuts.

4. What's your favorite sunscreen?

La Roche-Posay Anthelio 60 is hands down my favorite sunscreen. The formula is so velvety.  It is Fragrance-free, paraben-free and works great on sensitive skin.  

5.  Favorite bathing suit?

SeaFolly Tankini

I like to wear tankinis.  I love this one from Sea Folly the cut of the top is very flattering. Another favorite brand is  La Blanca.

6. Favorite Coverup?

Pitusa Caftan
I especially love a long coverup because I can coverup on the beach if I start to feel that I have gotten too much sun and am not really to go inside.  This Pitusa caftan is perfect.  It is lightweight and so soft.  I also love my new sundress/coverups from Sundressofficial

7 .Favorite hat?

Eric Javits makes the best fedora of all.  It is called the Squishee Fedora and packs so well in a beach bag.
Elizabina Hat
Love this wide brim hat by Club Monaco. I also like to wear a baseball cap  

8. Sunglasses for Summer 2015
Tom Ford "Cole."
Tom Ford "Cole" in palladium are my newest glasses. I like aviators because they seem to keep the sun out of my eyes so well.

9. What book is in your bag?
Uncommon Threads by Mary Ella Gabler

This summer I haven't been doing much reading.   I have been working so much; I haven't been sitting on the beach, but I did read "Dear Carolina" by Kristy Harvey and loved it.  I have also been reading "Uncommon Thread" by Mary Ella Gabler, which I highly recommend.  I hope to finish it over the weekend.  I bought "The House in Good Taste" by Elsie De Wolfe but haven't started that yet.  

10. Favorite beach/pool shoes?
Love and Liberty Serpent Sandals
I love these "serpent" sandals for a dressed up day at the pool but on an average beach day I typically wear Havianas with a slim strap and patterned bottom

11. Favorite drink on the beach or by the pool?

Pink Grapefruit Perrier

I love slim can pink grapefruit Perrier.  I order this by the cases from Amazon because I hate dragging heavy things into the beach house.  The UPS guy puts it at my front door.  So easy!  I also love Sophia Coppola Champagne in six pack when I can find it.  The cute little cans come with a sippy straw and are perfect for cocktails on the beach at sunset.  Look for those at your local grocer.

12. Favorite summer activity

My family summer activity is gathering with my family for dinner at my parent's house.  Everyone brings a dish, so the food is bountiful.  My nephews and nieces say grace and entertain us by dancing after dinner.  There are as many as 25 and sometimes up to 45 who gather to share the meal.  It reminds me of my childhood.  

Thanks for checking in today!  I have a treat for you next week on "What's In My Bag" so make sure to check in next Wednesday to find out who is sharing their secrets!

We leave Saturday morning for Nevis.  If you are interested in following along to see "real time" photos of the island, make sure to follow me on instagram.  I am getting my work and my blogging in order, so hopefully I will be unconnected for the most part, but I will be posting on instagram here.  We have lots of fun activities planned.  I can't wait!
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Additions to Wilsonart Decorative Metals Collection

Wilsonart Introduces 14 Bold New Additions 
to Decorative Metals Collection

Expanded Collection Now Offers 33 Metals and Easier Fabrication

 Explore the new designs here:

 While precious metals, like gold and silver, are still the epitome of high sophistication, today, more industrial and utilitarian metals such as copper, aluminum, steel and brass have grabbed the spotlight.    
Channeling the trend of mixing and layering warm metal tones such as copper, gold and rose gold with cooler metal tones of silver and aluminum, Wilsonart, a leading manufacturer of decorative engineered surfaces for more than 50 years, is pleased to announce new additions to the Wilsonart® Decorative Metals Collection.

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HomeArama Opens In Charlotte

 HomeArama is Now Open!

The Home Builders Association of Charlotte HomeArama returns with the latest innovations in home design and décor.  Located in the exquisite Cheval community in historic Mint Hill.  Don't miss this exciting tour of homes which runs through August 2, 2015.

HomeArama homes encompass the latest styles and materials for living areas, kitchen and bath design using cutting-edge, energy-efficient products.

Expect the HomeArama 2015 to be more impressive than ever before.  Visit the four innovative homes build by Arcadia Homes, The Ullman Group and New Old Custom Homes.

 My studio partner, Traci Zeller is a participating as a designer of the house built by Arcadia Homes.  I went to see the house last week, and I fell in love with the house and obviously I wasn't the only one.  The Arcadia home, designed by Traci Zeller won for "Best Overall Home".  Congrats to Traci and Arcadia for a job well done!  If you live in the Charlotte area, I urge you to go visit HomeArama to see the latest and greatest in home design.

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Throw Yourself a "Foot Party" with these Favorite Sandals for Summer 2015

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Throw yourself a foot party with these cute sandals from etsy!

 I live and work at the beach during the summer
 months so more often than not I'm wearing flip flops
 or sandals. My clients are often coming off the beach
 or their boats to meet with me, so it perfectly fine if I show
 up in Havaianas however I do like to have a couple pairs
 of cute sandals for days when I want to dress. I had
not found any sandals I liked until I saw these
 "Penny Lane" sandals by

Elina Linardaki on etsy.  

 handmade in Greece of the finest leather.
 The only con is it take several
 weeks to get them but aren't they fun?

Click here to visit the shop and buy
 a pair for yourself or as a gift. 

Visit the shop to see more of these fabulous sandals. 
Warning these are not for the shy demure types!
You are promised to get noticed and heard when you 
wear these sandals.  Let's just say, you jingle, jangle
when you walk!  So fab!!!

Here are a few more styles that I love:

Castaway Sandals
I almost bought this pair instead of the others.  If you don't like a sandal that laces up the leg, this one would be a good style to choose.

Spartan "Saltwater" Sandals

I also love this pair.  The designer uses the cutest little trinkets
 and braids to make the sandals unique.  It is almost like having
 jewelry on your feet!
Avalon Sandals

Love the tie dyed look of these sandals!
Wildling Sandals

More fringe, who doesn't love fringe? 

There are so many fabulous styles!
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Friday, July 17, 2015

Kenian Home- Favorite Furniture on Friday!

In the summers, I transition to my beach house at Topsail Beach on the North Carolina Coast.  I grew up coming to this beach with my family from age six when my grandfather built a big family house.  Visits to the summer house meant several family sharing the beach house which meant many cousins to play with from dawn til dusk.  I have such fond memories of those summers shared with family.  When we had our children, I wanted them to experience the same lovely summers I had spent on the coast with family.  We have had a house here for 17 years now.  My children think of this beach as their second home.  It is important for me to spend time here with them.  We know our neighbors and have family all around us.  As a result, I work here just as I do when in Charlotte.  I love my work here because I get to use different products and colors than I use in Charlotte projects.  I enjoy creating relaxing retreats for families.  One of the companies I always look to for great rattan and bamboo furniture is Kenian Home.  Kenian Home is based out of Virginia Beach, Va but ship their products from Lexington, NC so it is very convenient to North Carolina Coastal properties.  The owner, Clell Smith, is such a nice guy.  When I visit him at market he always offers everyone who visits an espresso.  

"Kenian’s mission continues to be to provide uniquely styled, trend forward quality merchandise at a great value. "  They strive to provide exceptional customer service that will exceed your expectations, to listen to the needs of their customers and to give back to their community."

Kenian Home was chosen as a "Beach House" Must have by Costal Living Magazine in their May 2015 issue, but this company offers furniture for many other applications, not just beach houses.  If you are furnishing a lake house, children's room, office, sunroom, rooms with a coastal vibe both contemporary or traditional, Kenian Home has many options.  
Their timeless designs can mix and match into any home décor!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Sale We Have All Been Waiting For!!!!

It's one of my favorite times of the year!  Nordstrom's 
Anniversary which means sales galore at one of my favorite stores!
Only four more days til the big sale but you can pre-shop now if you have a Nordstrom card.  Here's a couple of things I'm eyeing...

Gucci 57MM Retro Sunglasses
Michele Watch

It's here!  It's a great time to pick up some of those items we have been coveting!  I always get excited about buying items I have been wanting during Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale!  Talk about great savings!  
right now....

Not a card holder?  Want to take advantage of the pre-sell? Get a Nordstrom card now and take advantage of the great sales now!

Nordstrom card-holders will have Early Access to the sale starting  Thursday, July 9th – July 16th

On another note.....
Don't forget to sign up for "LiketoKnowIt" so when you visit me on instagram and want to know where I got something you can find out instantly.  Click here to sign up for "LiketoKnowIt" and shop from your email inbox.
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Design Chic...."What's In Your Bag"

1PicMonkey Collage

Thank you so very much, lovely Lisa, for having us today! We are just thrilled to be a part of one our favorite blogs and are even more excited to focus on everything we love about summer. Pool, beach, boat, sun, sand, surf... What's not to love? 

1. Do you go to the beach or the pool? If beach, 
what's your favorite beach? 
We have a place in Beaufort and spend pretty much every day in Atlantic Beach between the pool and the beach since they're right together where we go. We love both, but little Will pretty much calls the shots these days. It's a little less relaxing but more entertaining for sure! 

2. What's your favorite beach/pool bag?
We love a huge monogrammed Goyard tote for something super chic and think this Mar Y Sol Crocheted Tote with pom poms is just adorable! (Bonus points for the fact that it matches Dear Carolina!) 

3. What are necessities in your bag? 
We're obsessed with Turkish towels because they are so lightweight and fold up to nothing, snacks, Boogie Wipes, (or Boogie Wipies as Will calls them... He's obsessed and uses one every thirteen seconds.) book, sunscreen, cell phone, water, Annie's Bunnies, extra sunglasses, chapstick, granola bars, Superman underwear, goggles. That's just the beginning, so if you need something and see us on the beach, you're in luck! 

4. What's your favorite sunscreen? 
Kiss My Face spray! It's the best. It's lightweight and rubs in clear and smells yummy! It's good for the whole family and doesn't make our faces break out. 

5. Favorite bathing suit? 
Anything by Marysia. This one piece is gorgeous, but I'm loving their bikinis too! 

6. Favorite Coverup? 
This Miguelina crocheted tunic is so chic and goes with everything. 

7. Favorite hat? 
Eric Javits cutout wide brim hat. We tend to choose hats that are simple so they will pair with any color bathing suit! 

8. Sunglasses for Summer 2015? Tom Ford's
 Ivanna Wrap Sunglasses. 
There are really so many good choices this summer, but we think this frame is so flattering!

 9. What book is in your bag? 
Well, as you may have suspected, Dear Carolina, of course! People have been sending me shots of Dear Carolina in places all over the country this summer, and it is so thrilling to see it by pools and on beaches everywhere! 

10. Favorite beach/pool shoes? 
Ferragamo's jelly thong! It's the perfect color nude that goes with everything. And I love these because you can get them all sandy and they're a breeze to rinse off. 

11. Favorite drink on the beach or by the pool? 
Voss sparkling water. Hydrating, bubbly, so yummy! 

12. Favorite summer activity. 
We have a beach trip with Mom's family every year that is a favorite tradition. There are twenty-two of us in all and we keep expanding! We all stay in one house and have the best time. We look forward to it every single year and have done it since Mom and her sisters were born.

Thank you Design Chic for participating today!  I love your picks for beach or pool.  I'm online now checking everything out and ordering a few for myself!  

Readers, if you haven't picked up a copy of Kristy's new book "Dear Carolina" do so today!  It's a great summer read!  Click here to order and get your copy shipped today in time for reading this weekend!
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Don't Miss Out!...Sign Up for "LiketoKnowIt" Today!

Do you ever see products or outfits on instagram and wonder who makes them or where to get them?  Ever ask an instagrammer where they got something and heard crickets?  

 Well, wonder no more!  There is a new app that allows you to find out instantly the answers to the who,what,where  of items in an instagram post.  All you have to do to get in on this groundbreaking feature is follow the steps above.  

1) Sign up for "LiketoKnowIt" by clicking here.  
2) Like a photo on instagram -The next time you see something you like on an instagram post simply click the "Like" button and if you have signed up with "LiketoKnow" the answers will be emailed directly to you!
3) Receive Ready-to-shop product Links directly in your email inbox.

I cannot tell you how many times I see a cute outfit and buy it from fashionistas on instagram through "LiketoKnow"   This feature saves me time and money by showing me where the latest fashions are at the best prices.  Of course both you and the person posting the instagram photo must both be members of LiketoKnow it but if you see the LiketoKnow it info in the posting instagrammers copy, that's a green flag to "Like" the pic and find out where to get the goodies!  

Sign up today!  I plan to utilize "LiketoKnowit" in all my upcoming instagram posts when possible.  It saves so much time by eliminating the need to answer individual questions and let's me know that your questions aren't going unanswered!  Once you sign up you have the opportunity to chose whether to get the email immediately, or whenever you want.  Don't miss out!  sign up today!  

Follow Me on instagram here. I must admit that's where everything is happening in real time.  I love instagram.  I don't know if it is because I'm so visual but to be able to follow people when they are at events or getting an insider view into someone's private life, is so fun for me. 
If you aren't on instagram, sign up for that then sign up for LiketoKnowit to be on top of the latest and greatest on the web!
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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Favorite Products Spotted From AmericasMart July Market 2015

My workload wouldn't allow me to attend AmericasMart this weekend which was really disappointing for me.  It looks like all my designer friends who attended had a ball!  To ease my saddness over not being there, I have scowered instagram for pictures of what everyone found interesting and exciting!  Here are some of my favorite showrooms and designers to follow on instagram to get inspired by the great products they discovered the past few days.  If you are still at market please go by and visit these showrooms.  If you are there and found amazing products, make sure you hash tag #americasmart so the rest of us can find your posts!
Hope you enjoy what I found!  Click on the links to visit the instagram pages of these tastemakers to see more from AmericasMart!

InteriorIcon showing @Modern History


perchneworleans - vintage rug 

Home Decor is not the only reason to attend AmericasMart.  I love to find gifts, accessories, jewelry, scarves, shoes and are a few things I found on instagram I will be checking out for future reference!

lifeguardpress - Kate Spade new York Items

erikalynnhandmade  - Calla sandal

sparklemaven  - Lisa George Designs bracelets

cornshowroom   The new greymist by @LisaAugustinc

Julia Buckingham's new collection for Global Views is amazing!  

Go to my instagram to see what my favorite pieces are from her new collection!  If you agree please like the photos of Julia's new products!  Would love it if would pick which of the two products I have posted and "Like it" so I can see which will win in popularity with my followers!  Go Vote!  The chair or the or the mirror?  If you would like to puruse the entire collection please visit the Global Views website here.  So many good products here, I can hardly decide!  Which is your favorite?
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