Thursday, December 20, 2012

Traveling for the Holidays

Grayson, Tilley-Gray, and I are traveling over 22 hours this Christmas season in a car. I'm exhausted already.  With a one year old and two dogs, this is a challenge, but we have developed a few travel traditions that make the trip more enjoyable.  

I feel terrible keeping Tilley-Gray in a car seat for that long, but with a few of her favorite toys and a DVD player to play movies, she stays fairly happy for the long ride.

We have found that if we break the trip up by stopping for a nice lunch or dinner and walking around tiny towns we discover along the way, all three of us are happier. "Next year we are going to the Bahamas" is what we always say, but Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without all of our family. 

Do you have tricks to making a road trip more fun? I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

a great opportunity for a young hustler

My first job out of college was managing a women's clothing and shoe boutique called Monkee's. Monkee's started in Wilmington, NC, where I live, and has grown to over two dozen stores in the southeast. Right out of college, I managed the store and was able to go on buying trips and run the store like it was my own. It was the first job where my boss made an investment in me, knowing that I would eventually move on, but taking the patience and the time to teach me things not only about what I was responsible for at the store, but things that I would encounter in future opportunities. I worked hard not only because I wanted to do well at my job, but I didn't want to disappoint my boss. Six years later, I still think about our conversations daily and am so grateful that I had such a wonderful mentor.
Monkee's is a franchise ran by incredibly successful, determined women who are also kind and generous. These women were my door "in" and I wouldn't be where I am now without them. 
That's why I want to share this opportunity with you. Monkee's of Wilmington, the flagship store, is looking for a social media and public relations intern. It's a rare opportunity, especially in North Carolina, and something that if I were in college, I would jump at. I've volunteered to mentor this intern as much as I can, and introduce them to all the things I've learned along the way. 
So, if you, or someone you know is interested in a career of social media, pubic relations, or fashion, please tell them to send their resume to To learn more details, click here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Eating this mushroom lemon thyme goodness on crusty bread 
And the most delightful lunches from Flying Pi Cafe when we have to squeeze them in between meetings
Designing a condo in Ocean Isle Beach. We are recovering the sofas with a bold pattern, adding striped rugs, and great art work. Just what every beach house needs (along with a gorgeous dog). 
Loving Tilley-Gray to little pieces. She started walking last week and every day, she learns something new. The dogs are finally learning that she isn't going anywhere. Polly, especially, has had a hard time adjusting and is coming around now that Tilley-Gray has figured out how to share food with her.
 Instant best friend status.
After her birthday party, my tiny house seemed even smaller with all of the toys. We don't have a play room, so I asked Gray to build a shelf in her room that would organize her toys. It's been great and sometimes she likes putting things away as much as she does pulling them down!
And possibly the best news I've heard in a long time? My favorite bakery, that is typically special order only, just opened a pop-up shop in Wilmington. They are open Monday - Friday from 4pm - 9pm and Saturdays 1pm - 9pm. Out of town? Don't worry, the ship! Call Flower & Flour to place your order! ( 910-262-5838) 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Favorites

It's been a tough week with family sickness, Grayson working really long hours, and on top of everything, Tilley-Gray had to have five shots at her 12 month check up. She was pitiful and giving us a dramatic show, but as soon as we got home and put her in her new favorite bear slippers she was happy.
 She looks like a little drunk penguin walking around the house in them.
 It could be the cutest thing I've ever seen.

On Wednesday when I posted photos of my new favorite shirt, I got an overwhelming number of emails asking me to share a few more of my favorites. Other than Annie Griffin, Anthropologie has so many great tops right now, and this weekend their sweaters are 30% off!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Favorite Shirt, a New Haircut, and Poplin & Queen in WB Magazine

I promised myself I wouldn't cut my hair like a lot of new moms do, but a few weeks ago, I just did it. I've never had my hair this short, but I've really enjoyed it so far! 
It seems like it has been forever since I've bought myself new clothes. Buying things for Tilley-Gray is way more fun, so my clothing budget has gone down since she was born. I told you here how much I adore Annie Griffin's clothes, so I was thrilled when this arrived in the mail. I've been wearing it with everything, tucking it in, belting it, and wearing it loose. You can never have too many silk blouses, and Annie Griffin's are my new favorite.
Poplin & Queen was featured in Wrightsville Beach Magazine this month. We decorated a home for Christmas and this was their front door, including the adorable dog, Laney. 

You can see the online version here if you don't live in Wilmington!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tilley-Gray's First Birthday

Tilley-Gray turned one on Saturday. Everyone says this, but I can't believe a year has passed. We celebrated her birthday with lots of friends and family. I think at one point I counted a total of 50 people in my tiny (tiny!) little house. 

Tilley-Gray woke up on Saturday morning and opened a gift from her Aunt Shannon and Uncle Will. Her first nutcracker. She wasn't sure what it was at first.

By the end of the day, she loved it! 

The party started at 10am because our good friend was getting married at 5pm. I don't recommend having a party that early in the morning, but it was great, and Tilley-Gray partied right through her usual morning nap.
Grayson said "Oh no, you've gone Pinterest on me" in regards to the balloon fringe and door number
I made little hats for the guests. The party favors included mini toys, bubbles, and a nutcracker ornament. 
I struggled with the menu at first, because after all, it was a party for a one year old, so we had more adults than kids. I ended up buying Chik-fil-a mini biscuits, and then making Chex mix, banana and peanut butter sushi, ham biscuits, tomato and mozzarella sticks, mini muffins, and fruit. 

Flower & Flour, my favorite bakery, made macaroons, chocolate cake, and a triple cupcake for Tilley-Gray's smash cake. 
We took down our Hermes scarf and put paper fans up from Shop Sweet Lulu to coordinate with her party. I'm in the process right now of converting our guest room into a playroom for Tilley-Gray and will use these as artwork. 

We have a tiny little bungalow house, which is perfect for the three of us, but not so much for a party with 15 crawling babies. Everyone was a good sport, including the babies!

Happy Birthday my darling Tilley-Gray!

She LOVED her cupcakes!

I've shared this with you before, but I really am so blessed with such great girlfriends here in Wilmington. With my family so far away, my friends here have become my family. Whenever I'm homesick,  I have all of these great girls to lean on. I'm so glad that Tilley-Gray is surrounded and loved by so many wonderful people!

Tilley-Gray, you have brought so much joy and happiness to our lives. You are our little nugget, you have such a sassy personality, love animals, and will go to anyone. You don't cry when we leave because you know we will always come back. You love your giraffe blankets and bunnies, love crawling under furniture, getting into mommy's make-up drawer, eating blueberries, but most of all, you love snuggling with your mommy and daddy. You have been the most incredible blessing and have made your parents slow down and really enjoy each day. Thank you for being our sweet little baby.

And because y'all are so sweet and always ask me:
Invitations, Stickers, and Cards: Scratch Paper Studio
Paper Fans, Balloons, Paper Garland, and Plates Shop Sweet Lulu
Tilley-Gray's Party Hat: Prop Shop Boutique
Tilley-Gray's Outfit: Baby Gap
All furniture, wallpaper, fabric, and lighting available through my company, Poplin & Queen Interiors