Category Archives: Outdoor

hello again!

It’s been over 3 months since my last post and I have missed spark! and my readers so much.  My absence is due to a number of factors, including work and travel, but mostly because I am 15 weeks pregnant!  I have just recently emerged from the fog of fatigue and exhaustion that accompanies the first trimester.

We are thrilled, grateful and enjoying the journey.  I promise that this will not become a baby bump watch or nursery blog over the next five months, but I will share some of my thoughts and ideas on our house shuffle as we prepare to welcome the baby.

This week, I plan on sharing some of the updates that have happened around the house in the last 3 months.  First up, a quick refresh for the front porch.  I don’t think I have posted on the front porch since the front door was repainted.

I added Target outdoor pillows (in a great Imperial Trellis knock-off fabric) and inexpensive lanterns from HomeGoods ($12 each).

The final piece of the “front porch update” will be  this back-ordered doormat that I ordered on major sale (almost 50% off) from Garnet Hill:

{Another related tangent: Why is it so hard to find pretty doormats?  I usually have luck at Target, Pier 1, World Market or Homegoods, but theirs have been really fugly for the past year or so.  Any source suggestions?}

At some point, I would also like to replace the brass light fixtures with some that match the hardware on the door, like a pair of these Farmhouse Outdoor Lights from Shades of Light:


We use the front porch a lot in the summertime, so we have been enjoying its refreshed look.

It feels really great to “be back” and my new mantra (after reading Good Enough is the New Perfect) is GOOD ENOUGH.  I am going to post as much as my time and priorities will allow!

Next up will be a post on the status of my living room update.  It’s definitely in-progress.  I am not sure that I have ever posted on my living room, so stay tuned, peeps!

May Your Days Be Merry & Bright

{via It’s Mary Ruffle}

{via Dirty Pretty Things}

{via La Belle Vie}

{via House and Home}

{via Charlotta Ward}

{via Country Living}

{via House and Home}

{by Lauren Liess, Pure Style Home}

{Our house, Christmas 2009!}

And May All Your Christmases Be White!

P.S. We are forecasted to have a white Christmas again this year in Richmond.  Not gonna lie, I am kinda geeking out about it!

happy weekend

I happily spent all morning drinking pumpkin spice coffee and cozying up the house for Fall.  Little girl and I made some oatmeal craisin cookies and now a little DIY home improvement is calling my name.  Welcome Autumn!

{All images found via Suzie Beezie, original sources: 1) tinywhitedaisies, 2) Country Home , 3) simple tess, 4) Martha Stewart (with DIY instructions)}

Happy Weekend

I hope your weekend is full of Fall sunshine, cool air and lots of family and friends!

{Image Courtesy of Country Home via Suzie Beezie}

Summer’s Last Hurrah

With Labor Day just around the corner, summer is winding down.  And while I am SO READY for brisk mornings, crisp apples and pumpkin spice lattes, I can’t help but miss trips to the beach, refreshing glasses of iced tea,
and comfy summer living….

Enjoy summer’s last hurrah!

{All images courtesy of Coastal Living}

Letter from Sasha Obama to Sister Malia

Dear Malia:

Mom didn’t want me to write you about this killer vacay that we took without you because you are stuck at a summer camp in the middle of nowhere, America, while we are in posh Marbella, Spain with 58 of our closest friends.

She probably didn’t want me writing you because you are squeezed into a tee-ninesy cabin with a gazillion other girls, even more mosquitos, and no air conditioning, while Mom and I booked over half of the Hotel Villa Padierna Marbella for our sizeable entourage.

While you burn s’mores over a crappy, ash-laden homemade campfire, I am being served sumptuous churros on the veranda.

So what have you been up to?  Learning the side-stroke in an algae-infested, murky lake?  Oh, that reminds me, tomorrow, I am ditching Mom and checking out every single one of the 8 pools at this joint.

After a long day lounging by the poolS, I will retire to my gorgeous bedroom suite, complete with huge french doors, gauzey drapes, and sheets with a thread count higher than you will ever feel.

Anyway, I gotta run and catch up with my best friends and their moms for a five-star tapas dinner al fresco.

Oh, and in case you were wondering which one of us is Mom’s favorite?  You don’t have to wonder anymore, do you?  SUCKER!

Sending love and bug spray,
your rock star little sis,


{Images: 1. All Hotels, 2. Hotel Chatter, 3. Navitair, 4. Marbella Hotels Spain, 5., 6. Expedia, 7.}

Bargain Beauties

I saw this gorgeous eating nook a while back on Two Ellie and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

Then, I ran across this today.  On sale.  Made my heart go pitter-patter.  Just need to re-cover those cusions and voila!

{Cecelia Table and Chairs, Grandinroad;
Table was $399 and now $249; Chair was $249, now $129}

{First Photo Above Courtesy of Design*Sponge via Two Ellie}

Modern Richmond Penthouse

It’s not often in Richmond, Virginia, that I peruse the real estate offerings and see a truly modern aesthetic.  Usually the decor includes a combination of overblown bright blue toile, waaaay too many country accents and civil war muskets used by the resident’s great-grand-daddy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Richmond, but the home decor in this city could use an update!

So, imagine my surprise when I came across this gorgeously modern penthouse at Rocketts Landing overlooking the James River and Richmond’s skyline:

{I love this clean, all-white Master Bedroom, especially the white floor-to-ceiling curtains and the all-lucite table lamps.}

{I like the simplicity of this dining room, especially the lines of the table and chairs}

{The perfect modern kitchen — fabulous Bertoia bar stools and Elsa Peretti-esque light fixtures!}

{Now THAT’S a man cave!!  I love the Greek Key rug and the mod light fixture.}

{Two story view of the gorgeous James River and the scenic Richmond skyline.}

{Rooftop Deck.  Yes please!}

And this can all be yours for a cool $1.5M!  For more pictures, click here.

{All pictures courtesy of Lynn Pritchard, Joyner Fine Properties}

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness


This weekend, we will be enjoying a stay-cation with burgers and dogs on the grill, fireworks over the James River, a boat ride or two, a libation or three, and lots of relaxation.  Wherever you are, I hope you will be celebrating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Very Happy Independence Day!

P.S. For more July 4th inspiration, check out last year’s post!

P.P.S. I have got a great giveaway for you on Monday, so be sure to check back next week.  Yay for free stuff.

{Photo Credits: 1. The Sartorialist for Vogue, 2. Suzanne Kasler via Simplified Bee, 3. Thousand Island Park, copyright 2007 Christopher Bonney, check out his amazing Flickr photos, 4. Martha Stewart, 5. Martha Stewart, 6. Pottery Barn via The Material Girls, 7. Country Living, 8. JC Interior Sources, 9.  Martha Stewart, 10. Back of the Boat, Thousand Island Park, Ada-Marie Aman for spark!, 11.  Thousand Island Park, copyright 2007 Christopher Bonney, 12. Country Living}

Buy This, Not That

I am sorry for the radio silence last week.  I was traveling for work and trying to catch the runaway train that has become my life!  I have about 1092841740 blog posts drafted, and none of them are finished, so that will be my goal for this week. 

In the meantime, I found a great summery BTNT gem for you all:


{Flip Flop Buckets, RSH Boutique, $62}


{Flip Flop Pail, Jaye’s on One Kings Lane, $29!}

That’s almost 50% off!  Happy Monday, indeed.

P.S.  Need an invite to One Kings Lane?  Leave me a comment and I will email it to you.