Stephanie is, by far, one of the most stylish people I know in real-life. We were introduced by a mutual friend when she lived in Dallas a couple of years ago and were just getting to know each other when she (sadly) moved with her lovely family to Atlanta. Luckily, I can keep up with her through her equally stylish blog, Let it Be... The interwebs is good like that, isn't it? I'm so happy she's agreed to share some of her favorite things to take us into the weekend!
So without further ado, herewith Stephanie's list. Enjoy friends!
Dinner Parties -- I really love a great dinner party! Candles lit, flowers cut, table set, yummy food, and great friends. This is about as good as it gets in my opinion! I always enjoy hosting. I love to plan over-the-top parties, but let’s be honest- they are expensive and stressful! A dinner party is manageable, intimate, and special. After a week of the grind with all of the scheduling and running about, it is amazing to just sit down with friends to eat, drink, and be merry.
(image: apartment therapy, via Pinterest)
Tea -- Tea is the first thing I consume in the morning. I have a cup or two again in the afternoon, and then often a cup just before bed. My tea drinking might be slightly out of control? A favorite indulgence: Chai Lattes in giant mugs or Yerba Mates, available in delicious flavors served cold. I have never been able to tolerate Coffee, although I have tried many times. I think that there is something really chic about sipping an espresso or any of those fancy drinks that I cannot stomach. Luckily tea is almost as stylish and a lot better for you. (images: Armen Rotch, via Pinterest)
Fashion – I’ve loved fashion at an early age. True story: Mrs. Fivehouse, my second grade teacher, told my mother during conferences that my outfits where a regular topic of conversation in the faculty lounge. I was picking out color blocked silk blouses and long blazers at the age of seven. As long as I can remember I have obsessively ripped pages out of glossy magazines trying to replicate well styled looks. Now I spend nights flipping through slide shows of runway and endless shots of street style from all over the world. I love designer clothes in luxe fabrics, vintage pieces that feel like found treasure, and the occasional cheap thrill of finding something great for nothing.......and then I like to mix all of it together, because to me, that is real fashion. (image: Jill Stuart Fall 2011, via Vogue )
Live Music -- There are very few things that I enjoy more than live music. We rarely go out on dates these days, but when we do, it is almost always to go see a show. It may sound strange that we would rather be in a crowd of people in a really noisy place, then in a quiet corner of a fancy restaurant just the two of us- but it's true. Listening really great music live together is about as romantic as it gets! Music can provide a really amazing environment! It is something that is important to us, something that we can share with each other and with our children. We try hard to turn on the record player more than the TV, it is an influence we much prefer! This past summer we brought Carson to her first concert at this beautiful amphitheater around the corner. She is still talking about seeing Mr. James Taylor, it was pretty magical! (image: Book Club, Letitbe)
Camping -- Most people that know me are, I think, surprised to hear how I love to camp. I guess I come across as high maintenance at times? I have always been a big fan of escaping, and the woods seem like the natural place to go. When things start to run together and I begin to feel uninspired, I know I need to go sleep out under the stars. There is something really therapeutic and calming about leaving all the extras behind and packing up only what you need. I'm not gonna act like camping with a toddler and two dogs is always relaxing, because it is not. No matter the effort required, I personally find it to be infinitely worthwhile. This past spring we spent our vacation money on investing in all new equipment. We figured that a bunch of vacations is better than just one, right? (image: Tent House, via Dwell)
Collage/Photography -- I love photography and I love collage, and I post a lot of both on my blog. What I am enjoying the most, of late, is the combination of the two. There is something aesthetically pleasing to me when I see a photograph deconstructed and put back together. I love the combination of two completely different moments that, together, create a new artificial one. I especially like when you cut up the original images and create interesting patterns. I greatly admire people that can create such visually stimulating and inspiring pieces. I love a good mash-up of styles and periods and references. To me that is what collage can be, and since that is how I dress and decorate, I guess it is a style of art that I can relate to and enjoy. (image: Virginia Echeverria Whipple)
Books -- Old, new, borrowed... I LOVE books. I have been a voracious reader since I was small. I would lie awake until the wee hours reading by the light of my alarm clock. Judy Bloom, Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High. The bookstore is heaven for me, as long as I have money to spend. If I don't, then I head to the local library and max out my card, taking out more books then I can carry. I have loads of giant fashion books, photography books, art books, and tons of biographies and poetry. I love the musty smell of old books and the shiny slick pages of a new book. I have passed the obsession along to my little Carson, who sits up every night reading to her stuffed animals. She has a bookshelf that is overflowing in her room and the other day when I realized the book I was holding was not going to fit; I didn't even consider that I needed to stop buying her books. Instead, I thought, I really need to get her another bookshelf.
Portland -- About a year and a half ago my sweet husband took our little family on a trip to Portland to celebrate our 6th year wedding anniversary. The goal was to go someplace that we had never been before. We instantly fell in love with the city and considered leaving all of our worldly possessions behind, and staying there with only what was in our suitcase. It was that good! The city is incredible and the sense of community is overwhelming! It was a truly magical time for us! Something happened on that trip that changed us. We have hopes of one day moving to Portland, but until then it is an experience that motivates us to have less and live more.
My Carson -- Of all the things that I do in my life, my absolute favorite is being a momma! Carson is THE best thing to ever happen to me! It is strange how your life can be one way and then boom, out she comes and everything is different. I feel so lucky to get to be in her life and to get to be a part of her journey. She is just the most amazing little girl...smart, funny, kind, sweet, caring. She just blows me away, day after day. When I have those days when I am unsure of myself or unmotivated, I see the way that she looks at me and it pushes me to be more.