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Friday Night Lights by Sarah

Friday was my 5th Wedding Anniversary to my wonderful husband and we did the most spectacular thing ever...took 24 hours for just us.  We (tried) to take a half day of work on Friday, logged off and packed up the car to make the long 5 mile trek from our home to the downtown Boston Ritz.  We had an afternoon massage, walked around the Boston Common and Garden, grabbed a drink at the beautiful Taj Hotel bar over looking the park and ate dinner at an old favorite (Beacon Hill Bistro) from our days in Beacon Hill.  Then we slept for a blessed, uninterrupted 10 hours.  It is amazing how much you don't realize you need a 24 hour get away, until you get it.  We returned back to our crazy little family Saturday afternoon, feeling refreshed, connected and ready to get thrown back into mommy and daddy land.  Now if we could just have this every month. (Don't worry Grammy and Grampy...we won't.) Beacon Hill Night

Here we are heading out for cocktails (or an assassination as one friend commented), in the exact post where he proposed.

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Design New England by Sarah

(Gasp...has it really been almost a month since my last post?!?!?!  For shame, for shame.  Never fear, with Fall always seems to come a renewed vigor and seriousness...that and more help on the childcare front for me.) What a fabulous way to start fall and my dive back into working after a summer of semi-maternity leave.  The September/October 2014 issue of Design New England features and article on an old barn artists Dora Atwater Millikin loving renovated and turned into her studio.  Below are some spreads but pop over to Design New England to read the full article or pick one up if you live in New England.

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You have not grown old by Sarah

I came across this quote and poem while reading an article about the, wise beyond her years Tavi Gevinson in New York Magazine.  It's funny that an 18 year old's quote would speak so closely to this 37 year old, photographer, wife and mother of two, but as I am vacationing and preparing to dive back into work upon my return, it speaks volumes to me.  It's the perfect little vacation meditation.  Summer is always such a great lazy time and I have especially indulged in lots of quiet family time this summer.  We are currently soaking up a week of sun and beach fun at Sea Island located on the coast of South Georgia.  We have been coming down here this time each year for a while now, and I find it to be a wonderful, special way to wrap up summer.  Some extra hot, lazy, humid days before the fresh start of Fall wakes you up.

“You see, I want a lot. Perhaps I want everything the darkness that comes with every infinite fall and the shivering blaze of every step up. So many live on and want nothing And are raised to the rank of prince By the slippery ease of their light judgments But what you love to see are faces that do work and feel thirst. You love most of all those who need you as they need a crowbar or a hoe. You have not grown old, and it is not too late To dive into your increasing depths where life calmly gives out its own secret.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

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Labor of Love - Renovating an old Home by Sarah

A few weeks ago a journalist from BBC.com contact me, asking to interview me for a piece she was writing about renovating a historic home.  I was less than a week away from giving birth and super nervous about being interviewed, but I took a risk.  I am only quoted briefly (thank goodness), but they included one of my photographs of our library!  The full article is here. They interviewed people from all over the globe, France, Argentina, Mexico, and then little old me.  There is a lot of focus on the "moneypit" side of renovating an old home, but then there is my Pollyanna perspective at the end.  While, it is true, there are mountains of headaches included in renovating an old home, we have found there to be lots of rewards.  Specifically, for a control freak like myself, the house gets to be exactly how I want it.  In light of the article I thought I would finally share some real before and afters of my favorite room in the house, our Library. This is what the room looked like the day of closing.  As you can see, good bones, hardwood floors, amazing light and that staircase, but...horrible paint colors, rotting wood window seats, terrible tile around fireplace and a dead end flow to the the room on the left.

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Enter our amazing contractor Dan Shanks and architect Kyle Sheffield from LDA Architect.  I had dreams and loads of Pinterest pins, but need their expertise, skill and vision to make it happen.  No joke, there was a staircase behind that one wall, leading up to the 3rd floor illegal apartment, so it wasn't as easy as just punching a hole in the wall to make a door.

Here I am testing out black paint colors.  I was determined to paint the room black.

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I also had dreams and sketches of a beautiful wall of builtin bookshelves.

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Dan and his team made them a reality.

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Here they are complete.  Obviously my styling and book collection is a work in progress, but I think they are my favorite thing in the house.  You can see the gorgeous crown molding and fascia Dan added to the room, and those two litter french doors were my sister's idea. It definitely took a lot of time, money, patience and the help of a village of people, but I am so in love with this room.

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P.S.  I am also lucky enough to call the amazing interior designer, Erin Gates, a friend and believe me...I was texting her all the time, throughout the process.

Garden of Veggie Delights by Sarah

When we purchased our new home last year the thought of having a yard again thrilled me.  My bungalow in Atlanta had a great yard, but since moving to Boston 5 years ago I have been with out a green space of my own.  The long winter had me plotting and planning what to do with our space beginning back in February, but I knew I needed keep things simple  I am by no means master gardener and didn't want to be spending hours upon house a week tending to a high maintenance garden.  But I love the idea of my 2 year learning all those blueberries she loves to eat don't just come from Whole Foods.  Enter the help of my extremely knowledgeable and talented sister-in-law, Melissa Winchester.  Melissa owns and runs, The Savvy Hen, an urban farm and feed store in Boulder, Colorado.  You may remember us going out there last summer for the grand opening.  Well, she not only has the worlds most darling stop (a must visit of you are in the Boulder area), she also consults and helps plan backyard gardens complete with sketched layouts and plant picks ideal for your growing zone and yard orientation.  (North, South, East, West, etc.) We started to process by me emailing her they types of fruits and vegetables we like to eat.  No sense on growing beats if you are never going to eat then.  I also attached photos of our yard in the noon day sun so she could help me orient our garden beds.  (I found these pre-cut, hardware included, super easy to put together flower beds...again I am a novice gardener with two young children.)  Then she drew up some plans, a "shopping list" and we were ready to go.

Note: We started off a little late in the growing season, due to the arrival of baby boy, but still have gotten wonderful results.

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These are the gorgeous plans Melissa designed for us.

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Here are the amazingly detailed plant recommendations and notes.  Girl knows her stuff!

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Feel free to call or email them with your own garden questions or concerns.  They are a wealth of knowledge.  Oh and they do e-garden planning for anyone...not just lucky sister-in-laws.

Email info@thesavvyhen.com 1908 Pearl Street Boulder, Colorado 80302 Phone : 720-502-6187 Open 11AM - 6PM Tuesday - Friday Open 10AM - 5PM Saturday & Sunday Closed Monday

New England Wedding - DUX style by Sarah

If you following me on Instagram you probably saw me post photo after photo of a wedding this weekend.  Well, sorry for the duplicate Instagram and blog photos, but the wedding was beyond gorgeous.  A dear family friend got married in true preppy New England style with the nautical setting at the bride's grandparents' home on Duxbury bay.  I have known this family since for many years and first visited Duxbury with my family the summer I was 12.  As a girl growing up in Georgia, Duxbury was my first exposure to New England and has always set the bar for what it means for something to be so "New England."  It holds a special place in my heart.  In fact I seem to have a whole category on my blog devoted to the place

The wedding festivities were complete with a bridal party arrival from the church via boat, a fresh oyster bar, lawn games and mention of not one but two trusted, family Labradors in the Father of the Bride speech.  Haha  No to mention but it was also our first night out since baby number two's arrival.  I was thrilled to get dressed up, kick up my heels with my husband, stuff my face with oysters, and have a glass of wine (or 3).  Here are some of my iPhone photos from the gorgeous event and cheers to Katie and Sander.  XOXO

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Derailment by Sarah

So this week flew by and my promise to myself to blog again post baby has been derailed by a few sleepless nights, doctors appointments and little free time, but I have not abandoned this blog.  Quite the contrary.  What little free time I have had, I have been working on my website to incorporate a new blog design, working on some prints and some studio updates and projects.  All in good time.  Hope everyone has a wonderful summer weekend.  Cheers.

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Summer Days by Sarah

We are smack dab in the middle of summer and life couldn't be better.  Last summer we were basically nomads, our home was undergoing renovations.  Living in my in-laws basement and driving up to Maine every weekend to see my sister.  This summer we are total home bodies.  Playing in the backyard. Nesting with our new baby boy, and just staying at home enjoying our house.  While I know, I cant sit still for long,  (I am working on a few work projects and ready to get back into regular blogging), I am also forcing myself to enjoy this quiet, home life of our summer.

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Kid Friendly Chic Living - Style Me Pretty Living by Sarah

The other week a editorial came out on Style Me Pretty Living, on a home I photographed for Jennifer Blecher, author of a new tween children's series, Star Sisters.  The series follows two sisters, Coco and Lucy, and their various adventures like, a royal wedding and summer camp.  They are great for reading together with your little one and as they learn to read chapter books on their own.  In addition to Jennifer's new series, her home reflects a perfect mix of adult sophistication and kid-friendly colors and fun.  She mixes Ikea lighting with designer fabrics, family heirlooms with paintings of her own.  It is fun, colorful and bright and is one of my favorite interior shoots to date.  Styling assistant Amy Hendren.

Go over to Style Me Pretty Living for the full spread and article.  Below are some (a lot) of my favorites.

Dinning room with Ikea PS Makros fixture , wood grain fabric on the chairs.  Love.

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Paintings by Jennifer.

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Living room/Family room.  All in one function.  Because who, with children, really ever uses a formal Living Room?Style Me Pretty Living - Jen Blecher homeStyle Me Pretty Living - Jen Blecher homeStyle Me Pretty Living - Jen Blecher home

Kids play room.  What is not to love here?!?!  Pagoda/bamboo lighting, Woods Brocatelle fabric, and loads of books.

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Style Me Pretty Living - Jen Blecher homeFabulously fun and sophisticated little girls room.

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Another one of her 3 daughter's rooms.

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Number 3 of the girls' rooms.

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Jennifer's study with book shelves filled with books that have actually been read.

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Entryway

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Fabulous zinc cabinet.

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Baby haze by Sarah

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Baby boy finally arrived 5 days past his due date in all 9 lb. of glory. (Hens quiet on the blogging front.) We are basking in the newborn, little sleep, phase and our little girl is figuring out this whole big sister thing. (Some good, some "challenging." Haha.). Thank you to so many for the well wishes, flowers, and gifts.  Back to blogging soon and a new website. "It's all happening." But for now I am just going to indulge in this baby haze.

Xoxo Sarah