Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a nice beginning

so i realized yesterday that i haven't filled you in on our new years weekend trip to washington! of course, everyone is over new years by now, but there were a few finds and tips i wanted to share. we were visiting barack and michelle...okay, just kidding, we were visiting kelly and cory. even better!

it was the first time we had seen their new place, so that was exciting. the apartment is beautiful and has kelly's touches all around, including beautiful displays of their china, crystal and silver, some of which they received as wedding gifts and others which she's collected over the years at tag sales and from family.

kelly's abundant and everyday use of silver trays under candles, flowers, champagne flutes and more lent a simple but elegant touch to everything, and inspired me to move deeper into my dabbling in a silver collection. so versatile and lovely looking, and a great mix with the crystal and china i already collect. what's nice is that along with the proper silver collection mainly from her grandmother and tag sales, kelly also uses new silver-tone pieces like the astor collection from crate and barrel and some of pottery barn's barona collection.

i also love love love the color scheme in their bathroom which is blues, greens and dark wood. so beautiful and oasis-like...sort of tropical feeling, but not in a gimmicky or out of place way. isn't their shower curtain, shown below, so pretty? helping the look along was kelly's wonderful collection of blue and green glass, and the oceans room spray from pier 1.

and silver wasn't all that was in abundance...the new year's eve spread kelly put out was the best kind - lots of small bites, with varied, delicious taste profiles, and definitely the type of spread that would be welcome at any casual, festive gathering. she did her famous dates, which i've sung the praises of before, and several different cheeses, shrimp cocktail, a charcuterie platter which i thought she very artfully laid out, and assorted dips.

the cocktail sauce with the shrimp was nicely hot - surprisingly, it was the regular jarred kind from trader joe's, but enhanced by lots of fresh-squeezed lemon juice right before serving.

we drank mostly champagne, and some prosecco and cava for good measure. i'd never tried cava before, which is spanish sparkling wine (as champagne is french and prosecco is italian). it was great - nice and dry, which is how i prefer my champagne. also, we tried one of kelly's staples which was on the sweeter side but very delicious also. it's an italian sparkling red wine, so a little weightier than a sparkling white, and said to have flavors of rose petals and raspberries. it's definitely worth trying if it sounds appealing to you. it's called rosa regale, and is available here.

as a fun accessory to our bubbly, we tried out the spanish tradition i wrote about on new year's eve, where you place skewers with twelve grapes in each glass for the revelers to eat at midnight, each grape predicting a sweet (or sour) month of the coming year. we froze the skewers of grapes for about 2 hours, which made them a nice, refreshing treat at midnight.

my personal directive was to keep it to yourself if you ate a sour one...we all need to believe that the year to come will be a sweet one, right?

also on our trip, i had total fragrance envy the whole time. kelly has started wearing michael kors perfume that smells postively dreamy and is now totally on my wish list. i found myself following the scent down each aisle everywhere we shopped, and it was positively delightful.

also on the fragrance front, i was reminded at their apartment of the amazing smell of most fig products, including the fresh fig spray from pier 1, which is what they use. the smell quickly became an obsession, so for a little fix, i bought essence of beauty's creamy fig handcream from cvs and am loving it (and so are the people around me when i put it on). until last week, i'd been regretting not getting the body mist and the body butter too, available here, so you can imagine how thrilled i was when i found some leftover holiday-packaged fig products at bath and body works for just over $1. SCORE.

also, we hit world market, which is a fabulous store if you have the opportunity to go to one. unfortunately, we don't have any nearby which is a real shame - they seem to start in the washington area and go south and west from there, but i did discover they have a shoppable website, which i didn't know. i love them because they have very reasonably priced items in all the fun categories - home decor, bath and body, accessories, more home decor, and then they have an extensive international food section, and a wine section. love that place and kelly and i always plan a trip there when i'm visting.

this time, i fell madly in love with the pattern above which they had in a tablecloth (only rectangular and i have a round table) and curtains (couldn't figure out where they'd go) called "tree of life." as i'm sharing this with you, i see they have them for sale online, which i'm seeing as a second chance at love...and i'm going to get to thinking about how i could use it as fabric...throw pillows? apron? placemats? i don't know...i think i need to do something with it though. isn't it gorg? oooh...maybe curtain tie-backs for our bedroom which i'm doing in many layered patterns...YES.

my main purchase there was six really pretty glasses with a trellis-like print which i really love and were a great bargain, on heavy sale for just over $2 a glass.
take a look through their website, i think you'll see some stuff you like...some really interesting items at very fair prices.

kelly and i topped off our galavanting with a drive through a few of washington and chevy chases's prettiest neighborhoods, and a stroll through the women's coop market in bethesda where we got some fresh pastries, some produce and where i scored these antique mirrors for $1. for the set. yeah. we also made a stop at the gap where much of the inventory was on heavy sale, including my choice of some comfy lightweight scarves (this and this), for $7 a piece.

all in all, my kind of long weekend - food and drink with friends, lots of shopping and talking, and afternoon naps each day. throw in some antique mirrors and small bouquets of orange roses in each room - perfection.

shower curtain and tablecloth photos from, handcream photo from

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