With Style and a Little Grace: April 2014

Derby Days { Cottonelle Great Finish Sweepstakes}

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most fabulous Southern events of the season in my opinion. Have a mint julep, watch a little horse racing, and wear a fun dress....sounds like the perfect day to me.   It is very high on my bucket list to attend and see all of the fabulous hats and fashions. This year Cottonelle is making it even more fabulous with a giveaway - a year supply of Cottonelle products depending on the outcome of the derby!! 15,000 could win!

I don't know about y'all, but we use a lot of toilet paper at our house so a year FREE sounds AMAZING! I especially love the Cottonelle clean care toilet paper for wiping away makeup when I am getting ready. To learn more about the Cottonelle Great Finish giveaway click here!

How to enter:

2. Click on the Cottonelle Great Finish Giveaway
3. Click on "Sign up now"
4. Register for the Cottonelle Updates website

Now If I were fabulous enough to be going to the Kentucky Derby this year, here is what I would be wearing!

Lilly Pulitzer Gabby Shift Dress - You can't beat Lilly! 

 The perfect hat -  Monogrammed perfection! 

Jack Rogers Georgica sandals - flats to finish! :) 

A mint julep!! 


Many thanks to Cottonelle for sponsoring today's post!! 


* This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Trending Now : Guest Post { Mary Catherine of Cotton & Quill } + a giveaway

Today I am so excited to have my bestie Mary Catherine of the fabulous Cotton & Quill over on my blog! We have been friends since middle school and I am so excited to see her fabulous brand expanding everyday! She is such a gifted designer and her textiles and stationery are absolutely fabulous! She is most definitely up and coming!

While Gracie, one of the most fashionable and entertaining person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, gives us all a daily dose of what's trending in fashion, beauty and Southern living, I am here to offer a little dose of what's trending for the home.

For those of you who don't know me, I am the founder and principal designer for Cotton + Quill, a custom textile and stationery company out of Birmingham, Alabama, so I have become quite familiar with how to make current trends work in your home.

Trending Now...

Tommy Mitchell | Gilded Botanicals
 Tommy Mitchell has some absolutely GORGEOUS painted and gilded botanicals.  Try hanging them in a set or just sitting them on a side table.

See the entire collection here

Taylor Burke Home | Saturn Table
I made sure to snag one of these lovelies by Taylor Burke Home while at High Point Market.   While these goods are offered to the trade, I will be happy to work with anyone interested in purchasing their gorgeous goods!

See more of Taylor Burke Home here


Chinoiserie | American Bungalow Revitalization
Asian influences are hot, hot, hot! This is a sneak peek of the revitalization of a historic American Bungalow project I am currently working on which I have been featuring on my blog, Quill Notes.

The client already had this gorgeous black lacquered chest with oyster and gold details, and then we found a pair of foo dogs, which is a MUST in every home, and draped the windows with custom drapes in Cotton + Quill's Cuckoo pattern from the Terrace Collection in a custom turquoise hue.

Get the Look ::

Foo Dogs here
Cotton + Quill Cuckoo Yardage here
Asian Lacquered Chest here

American Bungalow Revitalization
Shown here is another view of how I incorporated Asian influences through the use of Cotton + Quill's Cuckoo drapes with a pair of the client's pillows made from her grandmother's tapestry.  Also, you will notice a hint of brass in the peacock fireplace screen, candlesticks and embossed plates on the fireplace.  Many of these items we found from estate sales, thrifting and antique malls.  If you don't have the time to get out try eBay or etsy.

Traditional Home Show House
This is an excellent example of mixing brass and Asian influences.


Traditional Home Show House
Always classic is blue + white....You simply cannot beat mixing varying sizes of blue + white urns on top of the mantle....also try hanging a few blue + white plates and platters.

My Home
Here I used by letter pressed wedding invitation as the centerpiece surrounded by blue + white plates and chinoiserie urns atop a pair of decorative wall brackets.  Custom drapes in Cotton + Quill's Capri pattern soften the space.

My Home
I had to be extra creative when deciding my decor around this bold red leather couch....and lucky for me, hues of blue were the perfect fit!  This is another view of the custom drapes using Cotton + Quill's Capri pattern with a throw pillow in Cotton + Quill's newest Shishi pattern - a whimsical take on the traditional foo dogs.

And I must say that Cotton + Quill's Shishi pattern has been HOT!!! this season.

Get the Shishi Pillow here

Cotton + Quill Shishi Cotton-Voile Scarves

Lucky for you....if you don't need a pillow or drapes, Cotton + Quill also offers lovely Cotton + Voile scarves in their newest Shishi + Cuckoo patterns!

Available to Purchase soon here
Until then....email sales@cottonandquill.com


Lacquered Bamboo Table
Lastly, another chic look to include in your home is a lacquered piece.  You saw earlier how my client for the American Bungalow had her own Asian black lacquered piece, but you can also create your own lacquered piece with Amy Howard's spray paint lacquer.....I used La Grange for this fun piece....full DIY on the Quill Notes blog.

I hope you have gotten a little inspiration for how to spruce up your home and now you know where to visit for more tips on the Quill Notes blog!!

I am so excited that we are going to be giving away her fabulous Betty Bag. Just follow the rules on the rafflecopter. Giveaway ends 5/6 at 12 AM . 

So cute!!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekend Update

Happy Monday y'all! Hope everyone's weekend was fantastic and relaxing. We packed so much into our long weekend and I was finally able to lay out in the sun!! This gal got a little sun on my pale legs!

Friday night we went out with our friends for dinner at Briquettes in West Mobile. We had their onion rings and rotisserie chicken nachos for our appetizers and they were spot on. Their steaks don't disappoint either. If you haven't been definitely check them out.

Holy nacho goodness! 

Saturday I spent at The Colony in Fairhope laying out by the pool with my girlfriend Mary who was in town for the weekend. The perfect Saturday!

Tasty Mahi Mahi tacos and the best sweet potato fries! 

My new panama hat that I found at Target. I can't find it online but I love this one. Thought it was very similar to the JCrew one I loved but 1/2 the price. 

Spent Sunday celebrating our favorite 4 year old.

Major baby fever happened and I got lots of good cuddles in! 

Tomorrow I am so excited that my girlfriend Mary Catherine of Cotton and Quill is going to be guest posting and I am going to be doing a fantastic giveaway!! Check in to find out how you could win!! 

Confessional Friday { Link up }

I love confessional Friday and now that we are back in blogging business lets get to it pretties! Linking up with the adorable Leslie at A Blonde Ambition

I confess:

1.) The past two weeks without my computer have been really really hard. I am obsessed with our new ipad but blogging from it is no Bueno friends. I realize that this makes me very dependent on technology but I love connecting on my little piece of the interweb.

2.) I confess the Easter candy consumption has been ridiculous. I can't stop myself. It is totally counteracting my working out.

3.) I confess that I cracked my iphone ( because I took the bulky otterbox off ) and my husband thinks it's a great lesson for me to use the cracked phone for a little while...... boooooo!

4.) I confess that I was sucked into True Tori this week and it is just sad y'all! I am super disturbed that she is filming this terrible breakdown of her relationship. They must really need some money.

5.) I confess that the upcoming summer has me wanting to buy lots of fun summer outfits.... MUST RESTRAIN

Happy weekend Loves! 


Skirt season

The weather is perfection y'all! My computer is back up and running and I have today off! Happy Friday Indeed! This J.Crew skirt is one of my favorite purchases I made last season. Love the white with the lace/eyelet detail. Perfect for spring and summer. Sorry about the lovely fence in the background guys! :) 

What am I wearing:

Chambray shirt - Forever 21 loving this J.Crew version on sale
Skirt - J.Crew (last season) love this
Sandals - Target (OLD) check these out 
Sunglasses - Rayban Aviators

Have an amazing weekend y'all!

Trend Alert - Birkenstocks

Let's chat :

Birkenstocks .... seriously my favorite shoes in the 90's.  I rocked them hard y'all with my umbros , socks,  and t-shirts.  Not the greatest look. They have emerged this year all shiny, trendy, and new again. How do y'all feel about this? I can't decide. On one hand they are super comfy and can be cute if done right, see photos above. Plus remember how comfy they are when broken in? It can go horrible wrong as well... see photos below.  Thoughts? I totally wish I still had mine. 


If I was going to experiment with this trend I would totally repurchase this classic pair. Together with a navy and white striped shirt and white pants. Perfect beachy casual summer look. 

Computer is back up and running with new software. We are back in business people.  

Also tomorrow is my Friday! Yayy! 


I want to be Khalessi ( Game of Thrones)

If you have been around my blog for a little while you know that I am a bit of a TV junkie. I love a good show but I love even more a good show that is made from a great book! I am usually avid about reading the books before the shows/movies. They are always far superior in my opinion and you know that things are going to generally be a lot different on the shows. I know some people hate this but I can appreciate both art forms. I like it all! For Game of Thrones, I had not read the books but was instantly hooked on the show. So now I am reading the books even though I am ahead with the show. My girlfriend Darcy told me the books were a must read and they definitely are so far. It is one of the series that actually stayed pretty true to the books.

Game of Thrones is so so good y'all! If you have not watched do it! I will not do any spoilers for you but this season has been amazing so far! And If you watch you know why I want to be the Khalessi! Honestly Tyrion is pretty great too! He is super entertaining!

Check out the books here

Happy Tuesday!


Weekend Update

I hope everyone had an amazing and fun filled Easter weekend! Ours was seriously jam packed and I had the most wonderful weekend with my husband and family! One of my favorite Easters to date. I definitely ate way too much candy since I haven't had it in 40+ days. A slight tummy ache today but totally worth it :) ! Lots of pics to show y'all our weekend! Happy Monday!

Attended my first Bay Bears game on Thursday night. It was a lot of fun! 

We hit up Judy's on Good Friday for a delicious fried catfish feast! I know this was seriously totally healthy y'all! 

Henry and I planted our first tomato plant and re potted our rosemary. This is the first gardening attempt for both of us (very adult of us... gardening) . I will let you know how it goes! 

Excuse our sad yard around our new little plants. That is a project for yet another day! 

Bought the cutest pair of black Lauren Conrad flip flops on sale here for $12.99. Thinking I should have snagged this color too. Great for the beach.

Finally found a cute shower caddy on sale at Marshall's.

Pecan pancakes Saturday morning. Yummy!

Sushi date with my hubs on Saturday night! OOTN! 

My delicious pecan pie I made for Easter Sunday. First one ever. Recipe from the Pioneer woman. So good! 

Sushi date night! Holy moly at the sushi y'all!! 

Easter goodies for my boys! The bunny went a little crazy this year! It is going to be outta control when we have kiddos! 

A perfect Easter at my in-laws on the river!