Friday, October 9, 2009

apologies and arrangements

The last four months have hectic, to say the least. June saw the first house move and the start of my first job in New Zealand. The end of August was the second move, into our own little flat in a suburb closer to things more suited to our age group. It has been a whirlwind and, unfortunately, this site fell by the way side. However, things have since calmed down. We've settled into a new routine and schedule, and I have decided to make this site a top priority again. The updates will be erratic, more on the weekends and very few (if any) during the week, but after looking over it I remembered how much I enjoyed doing it. Time to start again...

It is springtime in New Zealand, and the end of winter brought with it rain and even colder weather. This week we had about two hours of warm weather before it turned cold and wet yet again. I've been soaking up what little rays of sun we have and enjoying the fresh burst of colour from the blooming plants, especially the wonderful orange azalea bush of the neighbours. In Alabama I never saw an orange azalea, most pinks, magentas, and various shades of whites...but never orange. I have to watch myself as I have an overwhelming urge to go over in the middle of the night and dig it up for my own yard.

I have flower envy like nobody's business. I did make a trip to the local farmer's market where I got a lovely armful of vibrant red gerbera daisies and tulips, two flowers that scream SPRINGTIME to me. It added much needed colour to the house and helped brighten my day when we had more rain (and even tsunami warnings!) and grey, overcast skies.

I've been dreaming of big, beautiful arrangments of peonies, irises, more tulips, and any other flower that is vibrant and spring-like.

photos from danske, only a paper moon, sheen factory, ffffound!

Friday, May 15, 2009

fantastic formal dining

I have never had a proper, formal dining room. At my mom's house it was just a section of the living room, outside the doorway to the kitchen. It was nothing spectacular, but it got the job done. At the first house my husband and I lived in it had a dining room, but we needed somewhere for his ever growing collection of books and our computer, so we used it as an office/library. We stuck the dining table in the kitchen and used it as extra counter space. I've always wanted one though...formal, but comfortable. I don't want to use it just for special occasions or holidays, but as a gathering place for every meal. What's the point in having a room that you only use sporadically?

I have a lovely Louis XVI Extending Dining Table and Helena Rubenstein lucite chairs picked out for my future dining room. I love the mix of old and modern, and think these pieces would look fabulous with a pale aqua wall colour and silver accents.

photos from xJavierx

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

outside spaces

Growing up I lived directly behind my grandparents house. I spent most of my summers playing hide and seek in my Papaw's garden with my sister and cousin, dashing in and out of rows of corn. Other times I was inside with my Mamaw watching her cook lunch, and taking in every thing she did. During the middle of the day, when it was too hot to play, we would sit out on the front porch swing and watch cars pass by. Back then my Papaw knew everyone that drove by. We would shell peas, tie sock ends together for the tomato plants, or eat slices of warm watermelon straight from the garden. I probably spent 90% of my summers on that porch, and it is hands down one of my favourite memories of my childhood. As I grew older I always dreamed of a large house with a wrap around porch, and could spend hours upon hours imagining how I would position the furniture. I never got my dream porch, but I'm still holding out hope for one. For now I'm collecting pictures of my favourite porches, and when the time is right I will have a porch that will be the center of entertaining...after the kitchen of course.

photos from shabby chic blog, decor8, la vita moderna, blissme!, strawberryprincess1

Sunday, May 3, 2009

two for tea

Coming from a small town in Alabama I've never experienced tea time. If one wanted to sit around over drinks and treats it was usually coffee and pecan pie in winter, or some other sweet you had on hand. Or sweet tea in summer. It wasn't until I married an English Kiwi that I was introduced to hot tea. Although I am not a fan of hot tea, iced sweet tea is a birth right in the South, I am fascinated by all things tea time. From the colourful and sometimes over-the-top tea sets.

To the plates of scones, tea cakes, and finger sandwiches.

It is one thing I would like to introduce into my life, as a lovely way to bring together friends and family. Something intimate, but not too stuffy. It would have to be Southern-ized, using iced tea instead of hot tea, or perhaps sun tea. And possibly some Southern sweets as well, bite-sized pecan pie and, more than likely, pimento cheese in some of the finger sandwiches.

photos from: tatielle, couragemylove, and only a paper moon

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I am Ashley, a transplanted Alabamian living in Christchurch, New Zealand with my English Kiwi husband. This site is intended to be a showcase of everything I find beautiful or inspiring, whether that be a simple place setting for dinner or scans from various magazines. I hope you enjoy it.