happy new year!

I hope you all have a happy and healthy 2011! Thank you to all my readers who have made 2010 such a great blogging year. I hope you have enjoyed this little space as much as I have. If you are partying tonight, please be safe! The Hubs and I are having a pretty laid back New Year's Eve with friends, food, and a few cocktails (and an impromptu limo ride!) See you next year!

{image via here}

winner of vol25 giveaway!

I am happy to announce that the winner of the vol25 print giveaway is Shayla from Birds for Brains. Congratulations Shayla! I hope you enjoy your print.

Please email me with your all of your information at morgan.designblanc{at}gmail{dot}com. Thanks for reading!

{image from here}


pencil vs camera

How neat is this "Pencil vs Camera" collection by artist Ben Heine? It just blows my mind how well placed some of the drawings are. I wonder how long that took him? Or is is digitally altered?

{Today is the last day for the vol25 GIVEAWAY!}

{images from here}


help: red lip dilemna

I LOVE red lips. And lately, whenever I am adding a little color to mes lèvres, it really is always rouge. LBD and pearls - red lips. Jeans and riding boots - red lips. Sweatpants and a cozy sweater - red lips. (Ok, maybe the last one makes me a little crazy.)

A lot of times I put it on and then blot some of it off to get that matte, stained look. And quite honestly, this is perfect for when its a casual day. But what about those days when you want to keep it all on for the boom-she's-in-the-room factor?

Well, I am at a loss. Because I will leave the mirror feeling great. But then it starts to slip 'n slide. And it is NOT fun like that childhood summertime activity.

I guess the remedy for this would be lip liner. But lip liner is SO SCARY! I hate to have even that little bit of color difference. Its just not my thing. It looks painted on and not so je ne sais quoi.

So I was thinking, dear readers, that you could help me. I was thinking the other day, "Wonder if there is such thing as clear lip liner?" And, in fact, there is. I am just wondering if any of you have tried it before? Is there a brand in particular that is really fabulous?

{DON'T FORGET: Enter the vol25 giveaway here - it ends tomorrow.}
{image via here}


the day of the wedding: the ceremony

{You can find the first part of the wedding day here.}

The song "Falling Slowly" as covered by the Vitamin String Quartet started to play. One by one, my bridesmaids starting to walk down the "aisle" (which was really a long, long twisty sidewalk.) My maid-of-honor, Kathy, was the last to go. Right before she took a step, I called her name and waved goodbye. She turned around and blew me a kiss. I blew her one back. And then I lost it.

Side note: This was one of my favorite moments of my wedding day. I am actually crying while I write this. See, for awhile, we didn't know if Kathy was going to make it to Jamaica. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer in August and was terminal. I told Kathy, over and over again, that I understood if she couldn't make it since she was the main caregiver for her mom and they didn't know how much time she had. But her mom insisted that she go. And quite honestly, looking back, I don't know how I could have done it without her. Her mom left us in mid-November and every time I think back to that quick moment of blowing kisses, I thank her mom for insisting that Kathy go. She really gave me the best wedding gift I could have asked for.

My dad, in true fashion, started to joke around so I could get myself composed. We walked down the aisle to "Don't Stop Believin" covered by the Vitamin String Quartet. My dad talked to me while we walked down the aisle. And I giggled the whole way down.

I actually didn't meet the minister until the actually ceremony. Like literally, during the ceremony. I didn't even know we were supposed to have a minister - I thought he would be a justice of the piece. Unless they are one in the same in Jamaica. But he was really great! He spoke so well (in a lovely and soothing Jamaican accent). And his words of wisdom were really great.
The FH and I each had one aunt that was able to make it to Jamaica. We each had them to a reading. First, the FH's aunt Pam read an excerpt from "The Art of Marriage" by Wilferd A. Peterson.
Now, at the rehearsal the night before, we had rehearsal that my aunt would go right afterwards. But the minister kept going on with the ceremony after Aunt Pam. I kept nudging him and trying to tell him, as quietly as possible, that my aunt still had a reading. Finally, he had to stop me and tell me that he knew. Oops! Apparently, he had told Rich and not me. Someone should have warned the control freak! Anyways, my aunt finally did her reading, which was a lighthearted poem called "I'll Be There for You" by Louise Cuddon.
Then we exchanged vows. The FH went first. His hands were shaking and he looked nervous. I found this so incredibly endearing because, if you know my husband, he is a huge joker and is never really nervous. Then I went and seriously giggled the entire time. I suppose most people cry. But I giggled. I couldn't stop either! I was just so happy!
Then we exchanged the rings. And I didn't forget to put my engagement ring on my other hand ahead of time!

Then the minister pronounced husband and wife! And we kissed!

And then we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! We all waked back to "All You Need Is Love" covered, again, by the Vitamin String Quartet. After that, the wedding party gathered around a table, while we signed our marriage certificate.
We took a bunch of photos with our wedding guests, families, and wedding party after the ceremony. I will make sure to do a picture packed post of that soon!

Stay tuned for the reception post!

{Don't forget to enter the vol25 giveaway!}


monday giveaway: volume twenty five (NOW CLOSED)

Do you remember the gift guide I did for teachers? Well, I featured a print from the Etsy shop, Volume Twenty Five, and now they want to giveaway a print to my readers!

Jessica, the artist behind vol25, is self-taught. She says, "With each piece of art I create, it is my hope that it will give at least one person the warm fuzzies." Isn't that great?! You should go an visit her beautiful blog as well.

Volume Twenty Five will be giving away the "wherever we are together" print to one lucky reader. I think it would be so cute in an entryway or even a bedroom. I would love to hang it in my craft room!

To be eligible, you must be a follower of my blog so, if you aren't yet, make sure you sign up! To enter, please leave a comment below by telling us your favorite item in Volume Twenty Five's shop.

For another chance to win, write about this giveaway on your blog and leave a second comment below with a link to your post.

A winner will be chosen at random. This giveaway ends Thursday, December 30th at 11:59 pm.

Good luck!


white christmas

What did you do for Christmas? The Hubs and I spent the day at the Hub's parents' home with his sister, her husband, her brother-in-law, and their white kitty. I got a DSLR for Christmas from the Hubs so, of course, I took a bunch of pictures playing around with it.
The snow started on Christmas day and it shows no signs of stopping. I think we already have about seven inches. I am going to stay in and keep warm. Did you get anything good for Christmas? Eat anything really yummy?


merry christmas!

I hope you all are enjoying your Christmas holiday. I thought I would share a few photos of our Christmas tree with you.
Some of the presents under the tree (a few days ago). Many more were wrapped. I am so glad wrapping presents is over!
The FH and I got this ornament this year to celebrate our wedding year.
I gave this ornament to the FH for our first Christmas together when we first started dating.
I got this ornament for last Christmas when we didn't have a lot of ornaments and our tree was really bare. It cracked me up when I saw it in the store. It cracked me up when I put it on our tree . . . and when we took down the tree. And then it surprised me and made me laugh when I opened the ornament box this year. I don't understand why I think its so funny.
When I was studying in Bordeaux, the FH came to visit me for a little over a week. I showed him around Bordeaux for a few days and then we went to Paris. We got this ornament at the shop in the Eiffel Tower.
The FH and I got this while we were in Jamaica for our wedding. It is so much prettier than this picture gives it justice for.

I hope you enjoyed my tree "tour." Enjoy the rest of your holiday!


francophile friday: roasted chestnuts

One of the things I miss most about living in France is all of the marron (chestnut) vendors around the holidays. I actually saw a chestnut stand for the first time while I was in Barcelona and my friend had to explain to me what they were and how to eat them. Starting towards the end of November, they were all over the place in Bordeaux, especially around the Christmas markets. I was maybe thinking about trying to do it on the stove top at some point.
Maybe I should get a chestnut pan, Williams and Sonoma, $20

Or for now I can just get a chestnut scented candle, Etsy, $8

Do you have chestnut vendors where you live? Have you ever tried roasted chestnuts at home?

{Also, check out the winner of the Simply Swankee giveaway here.}

{top image from here}

winner of the simply swankee giveaway!

The winner of Simply Swankee's milk glass jar giveaway is beveridge3 from the blog, To Our Daughter. Congratulations Cerissa! Please email me with your information at morgan.designblanc{at}gmail{dot}com so you can receive your vintage jar. Thanks to all who entered!

{image from here}


i want one

I want an SLR. Really bad. Actually, I have wanted one since my junior year of high school which was about a third of my life ago.

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE my point and shoot I got last year for Christmas. It's wonderful. It just can't do as much as an SLR can.

Too bad they are just too darn expensive for my budget. I mean I really could justify it. I took a couple thousand pictures just this year. It may be nice for two cameras to split the time so I don't kill the one I have. All I really want is a beginners one to take pictures of food and my jewelry (and other pretty things) while learning a little. Ugh. One day...

{DON'T FORGET: Today is the last day for the Simply Swankee milk glass giveaway. Enter here.}

{first two images from here and here; third image of my friend, Ashley, by me}


loving all that glitter...

Ever since my rant a few months ago about the J Crew fall lookbook, I have felt kind of bad. It's like yelling at your best friend. I mean its rare that J Crew goes wrong and everyone is allowed to make a mistake every once in awhile.

But seriously, I am loving all the glittery items they have right now. I mean I should expect nothing less during the holiday season but I really, REALLY love it. (I suppose this is my apology for being so harsh, J Crack. Do you forgive me?)

My only issue with high sparkle pieces is that I feel like I can only wear them to a really fancy party. And I normally cannot justify the price tag for a one time thing. But I love how J Crew dresses down the pieces to make them seem a little more workable in real life. Although I think I would look very out of place doing my grocery shopping in any of these pieces (except for maybe the belt.)

Do you have this glitter problem?
{DON'T FORGET: Enter the Simply Swankee milk glass giveaway here.}
{images from here}


holiday mantel lust

During the holidays, I always wish I had a mantel to decorate. I also think that is the best place to hang stockings as well. So I was floored when I saw this:

When I get a house with a mantel, I AM GOING TO DO THIS! Although, I think I would probably go a little less quirky and colorful and use ornaments that are golds and silvers. But I love the idea - so fun!

{Also, don't forget to enter the Simply Swankee giveaway here. It ends Thursday.}

{image via here}


monday giveaway: simply swankee (NOW CLOSED)

Remember the gift guide I did for the vintage chick? Well, I featured some beautiful milk glass vases from the wonderful Etsy shop, Simply Swankee, and now they want to give away an item to my readers!

Simply Swankee was originally started to help pay for Monica's son's medical bills. The items listed in the shop are from her own personal collection. The quilt featured had been in their family since 1901. The green depression glass cookie jar was her grandmother's. Every item has a personal connection or story behind it. I guess that is one of the unique qualities of vintage items that you can't get that from buying something new. So go check out her shop here!

Simply Swankee will be giving away this cute vintage milk glass jar with lid. I think it would be great in a living room to hold some candy. Or maybe in the bedroom to hold some fancy rings.

To be eligible, you must be a follower of my blog. (So sign up!) To enter, please leave a comment below by telling us your favorite item in Simply Swankee's shop.

For another chance to win, write about this giveaway on your blog and leave a second comment below with a link to your post.

A winner will be chosen at random. This giveaway ends Thursday, December 23rd at 11:59 pm. (Unfortunately, this giveaway is not available to residents in Hawaii, Alaska, or any non-US residents due to high shipping costs for the glass.)

Good luck!


2011 holiday gift guide: the pup

In our house, Peyton has a stocking and she has a few wrapped presents under the tree. She keeps "snooping" in the bags with the unwrapped gifts. She can smell there are things in there for her. She gets really excited when we are opening our stockings because she really KNOWS there are treats in there for her. She is seriously spoiled!

dog biscuit mix so you can make homemade biscuits together, $7

polka dot dishes so she can eat in style, $36 for two large bowls

a chic doggie scarf that is SO french, $7.70

organic conditioning shampoo to make her smell good, $5.50

a chew toy that is guaranteed for life (bought the stick yesterday - awesome!), prices vary

Do you spoil your pet?