The Last One

By now, I am sure you know that we just returned from a week away (wanna see a recap, click here). With family visiting this weekend and school starting next week, I'm running around with my head cut off. 

I'm dreaming of the relaxed, carefree days of our holiday. Where a morning stroll through the vineyards led to a hike in a local state park. 

While I'm filling my time with the always exciting joys of back to school errands, enjoy these shots taken during a series of walks, literally right out the door of our rental home. 

Ah, California dreamin'.

But seriously, I promise, this is my last post about our trip. I won't drone on and on about how amazing our time there was...anymore. I'll be back next week with some real material. It always amazes me how even a short break from your own home opens your eyes to new possibilities within it. 

Have a great labor day weekend. 

until next time, 
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We're Back

We're back from a wonderful week away in Kenwood, California. 

A wedding originally brought our group of old friends together. But we made sure to spend the week enjoying all that the area had to offer. 

Beautiful weather for a morning hike followed by al fresco breakfast, curtesy of a local chef. Thanks, Nika. 

Wine tasting throughout the region. Mazzocco was one of our favorites. 

Driving the country roads with the top down. One of life's simplest pleasures. {Although in this picture, I'm not looking too happy!}

And, of course, there was eating, lots of eating. 
Notable highlights: this plate of 1000 fries at Bistro Ralph in Healdsburg, as well as everything else we ate on the menu. Also, the Fig Cafe in Glen Ellen should not be missed. Their in-house charcuterie was simply exceptional. And, I just couldn't get enough of the homemade gnocchi at Cafe Citti in Kenwood. 

We even managed to whip up a meal or two at home. This meal of many grilled meats was orchestrated by the men in the household. {special guest appearance by the bride just before the big day}

To cap off a great week, we celebrated the marriage of Pete and Nancy, with a beautiful night under the stars at a close friends vineyard and winery. Congrats to a great couple. 

Yup, it was a tough week. But now, it's back to reality - school starts next week and we've got a lot to accomplish between now and then.

until next time, 
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We're here and I'm off

By now you probably know that we've embarked on our first solo vacation in over 2 years. (I've only been talking endlessly about it on (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.) Saturday we tackled the 5 hour flight plus 2 hour drive and arrived at our new home for the week. Welcome to the Brambleberry in Kenwood, California.

These pictures were all taken yesterday morning, before the morning fog had lifted. All I can say is, it's simply stunning here. We feel so very luck to be here for the week. 

Friends are filtering in throughout the week and we can't wait for all the festivities to begin! 

Speaking of festivities, I've decided to take the rest of the week off so I can properly enjoy our time here. I'll be back next week with loads of pictures and hopefully a recommendation or two. 

until next time,
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High/Low Looks: Travel

We're starting our new series off with a look that is near and dear to my heart right now: travel. A casually chic look perfect for getting there or touring around while you're there. Wherever 'there' may be.
My SIL, Ashlee's look is centered around a couple of great staples, with fun accessories to add a bit of interest. Flat sandals and a cross body bag offer functionality as well. 

Paige cropped denim, $179
Madewell chambray shirt,  $69.50
Max & Chloe Monogram Necklace, $160
Sam Edelman Giordana Sandal, $79.95
Tory Burch Maisey Hobo Bag, $495

Now you know I can't let her have all the fun. I have to add my two cents, after all. Here is my look, inspired by hers, of course, but with my own twist. And because I am always a girl after a good bargain, some lower price points.
Gap cropped denim, $19.99
Old Navy polka dot shirt, $24.94
Top Shop Floral Snood, $32
Dabby Reid Ltd earring, $24
DV Dannah Sandal, $49.99
Fossil Vintage Revival Bag, $128

My look, just like Ash's, is based on two standards - white jeans and a chambray shirt. But, because the price point on the Old Navy shirt is lower you can afford to step out of the box a bit with a trendy polka dot version. I also couldn't pass up the functionality of a good flat sandal and cross-body bag. So good. 

Most importantly each piece, from both looks, can be mixed and matched to create other outfits; essential for good travel packing.

Whether you are traveling or not, I hope you find this helpful and maybe even a bit inspirational.  I certainly did. Thanks, Ash for all your help! Looking forward to our next installment already.

until next time, 

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Summer Sips and Other Ramblings

I've just realized that it's mid-August and I've only been home 4 days this whole month. AND, I'm about to leave on another trip. I've been so lucky to enjoy a lot of family time this summer, but this trip is just for us - me and Mr. DD, that is. No kids. 

We're traveling with friends to the Sonoma area of California for a wedding. It's a reunion of sorts, with friends from all over. We've taken the opportunity to rent a home for a whole week- plans are to explore the area, do some wine tasting, and just generally relax. This is my first trip away from the kids in 2 years, so needless to say, I am excited. 

Speaking of wine, I had to share this lovely French Rose that I was introduced to this summer. I think Rose is so under-appreciated in the US. So when you find a good one, that is reasonably priced ($12.99), it's a great time to stock up. Thanks, Sara, for introducing us. 

Even though I am super excited about this trip, the packing already has me stressing. California is beautiful this time of year, but with daytime temps reaching the 90's and evening temps in the 50's packing is shaping up to be a serious challenge. Throw two wedding events into the mix and you can probably begin to understand my concerns. 

Semi clueless when it comes to fashion, I've enlisted the advice of my SIL, A, to help me get started. This girl seriously knows her stuff. So much so, that I thought it might be fun to start a little fashion-oriented segment with her, here on DD. The plan is to highlight effortlessly chic and affordable looks at least once a month. 

Our first look is coming up later in the week, so stay tuned.

until next time, 
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Not Empty Handed

We're back from our week in Wisconsin (check out the week in photos here) and I didn't come home empty handed. 

"What?", you're thinking. 

That's right. I made a little purchase. 
I shared images (check it out here) from our first day out thrifting, when unfortunately, I came home empty handed. 
But, later in the week, we stopped by a rummage sale and I just couldn't resist picking up a little souvenir from our trip.

Believe it or not, I actually walked away from these chairs at first. Then I came back. At $20 for the pair, I just couldn't resist. The problem was, I didn't have a perfect spot in mind. 

Fortunately for me, my quick thinking SIL suggested our front porch. So here they are, testing out their new home. Not sure yet if they will stay here, find a new home, or even if they'll get a little makeover.

But for now, they're the perfect resting spot to watch Miss T ride her new wheels up and down the driveway. Again, and again, and again.

linking in with:

until next time, 
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Scenes from our week up North

Our family reunion in the North woods is almost over.

We've certainly enjoyed ourselves. Next week it's back to reality. 

until next time, 
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Window Shopping in Waupaca

Yesterday, mid-way through our family reunion, the boys spent the morning golfing and the ladies spent the afternoon enjoying a bit of local window shopping. 

Today, I thought I'd share some of the highlight from around town.

This amazing vertical card catalog would definitely have come home with me, if only I had a place to put it.

Cast iron skillet anyone? Nothing cooks quite like it. Any good kitchen has one in their arsenal.

I've been looking for one of these type of canisters for our kitchen, as of late. Unfortunately, these were all too big.

Summer cocktails are so much easier to make with a good muddler. Mojito, anyone?

You know I'm a sucker for green. I just couldn't pass up getting a shot of this little collection. 

A fun afternoon out, that also included a stop at a couple of local boutiques. A well deserved break, while the 6 kids were having quiet time. 

until next time, 
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Got Celery?

I know you'll never believe it, but I am away again. This time enjoying Mr. DD's family reunion in the Wisconsin North woods.

As is customary with these reunions, each 'family' is responsible for cooking one dinner. Fortunately for me, my mom shared a great recipe with me last week that works perfectly as a side to our skirt steak main. 

{Don't you love my SIL tablecloth - HomeGoods, of course.}

1/2 pound cremini or white button mushrooms, very thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, from the heart of the celery, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, or 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces shaved Parmesan
1. Toss together the mushrooms, celery, parsley, and chives, and season with salt and pepper. Mix together the lemon juice (or lemon juice and vinegar) and olive oil, and toss with the vegetables. Just before serving, toss again with the Parmesan.

Serves 4.

We'll be serving 16 people tonight. Wish us luck!

Be back later in the week with more updates. 

until next time, 
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Oh, the Wonders of Spray Paint

After completing my PB inspired, DIY, glass lamps, I had to find new homes for the old lamps. Who doesn't love a good game of lamp swithcher-oo! 

The more masculine of the two lamps {that's normal, right? to think of your lamps as female or male?} made its way to the antique dresser in the corner.

I really like the shape of this lamp and the white shade certainly goes a long way to lightening this corner of the room, but it still didn't feel quite right. 

Oh, the wonders of spray paint. A couple of quick, light coats of grey spray paint transformed the lamp. 

I choose grey because white seemed too predictable and I already have a lot of green in the room. Plus, it pulls some of the grey tones out of the bedding. Bonus. 

After the final coat, I sanded it lightly with 220 grit paper. I love how the details in the lamp really shine now - when it was dark on dark the details weren't quite as noticeable. 

So, much better. And all for the cost of a simple can of spray paint. 

I'm still working on the styling, but at least I got the picture hung. And on the first time, no less. I still need to go back and patch, sand and paint all my other nail holes. Boo. But, that does mean that the reveal is right around the corner.

Have a great weekend! 

until next time, 

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