And just like that – my little baby is almost a little girl. It happened so fast! As Eve gets older I gravitate toward clothes for her that aren’t overly precious or delicate. I want her to be able to dig and get dirty with the best of them. Let’s be honest though, I love fashion so I try my best to go a step beyond the leggings and a t-shirt toddler uniform [find us getting coffee on Saturday mornings though: pajamas and a Patagonia definitely qualify as an outfit]. Recently I stumbled upon the little girls’ clothing line Little Cotton Clothes and it is perfect. From the UK – of course! – their cotton dresses and tops are girly but not fussy. There’s a timelessness to their clothes. They are quaint and charming. In a dream world I wash Eve’s Little Cotton Clothes dresses by hand, in lavender soap homemade by moi, then hang them to dry in the sun. That kind of relaxed refinement is what I am going for these days!
We’ve been doing the Stay Home thing long enough to have a few regulars in the recipe rotation. Among them are a no-fail roasted chicken to make Friday nights feel special, Sweet Laurel Bakery’s gooey almond butter brownies (recipe to come!) and a garlic and herb salad dressing that we can’t get enough of.
The Zippy Herb Vinaigrette below is a mash up of a few recipes I found online. It’s sorta like a kitchen sink cookie where you can add just about anything with delicious effect. Capers? Yep. Shallots? Yum. Fresh herbs wilting in the back of the fridge? Toss ’em in. As long as you have the oil/vinegar/mustard proportions covered you can really let loose. I make a batch of Zippy Herb weekly and, just like that, I’m excited about homemade lunch salads again.
Zippy Herb Vinaigrette
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley, dill, basil, etc.), chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
In a bowl or mason jar combine the above ingredients. Dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for one week.
Feature image via Edible Gardens LA
I was aimlessly scrolling through my Pinterest boards the other day (note: spending ENTIRELY too much time scrolling) and rediscovered one of my favorite homes of late. It is the Brooklyn townhouse of interior designer Michelle R. Smith and, as you can see below, every detail is exquisite. Simon Upton photographed Michelle’s home for World of Interiors in 2018 and I drool over every photo. I love the eclectic furnishings, soothing color palate and the light that trickles in to every room. I don’t think I would mind social-distancing much from this lovely landscape.
It has been another long while since I’ve posted and there have been LOTS of changes in our neck of the woods. For starters, BABY GIRL Eve Greer Redella joined our party in January and we’ve been floating on sleep-deprived Cloud 9 since. I have spent the past few months, mostly at night when it’s just me and Eve dancing in the moonlight, contemplating what to ‘do’ with my life. I don’t have an answer yet so for now I am going to soak up every moment of new motherhood while writing here when it suits me. I am not sure where it will take me but I vow to follow my curiosity.
Besides the addition of Eve to our family I have been struggling, along with the rest of the world, to accept what has become our new reality due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These past few weeks at home have made me realize how much of a big city, consumer-driven life I lead. Most of the things that bring me joy – an iced latte from our favorite coffee shop on a Saturday morning, dressing up to try a new restaurant, pilates class – are centered around spending money. Guidelines to protect us have stripped away most of these activities and, to be honest, I’m slightly embarrassed how few of my hobbies and interests remain. So I also vow to use my time in the near future to find joy in the simple life.
What does all of this mean for Bloomsbury & Battle? Well, I am still going to write about fashion and interiors because life is short and it’s what brings me joy but I want to do so with more depth and intent. I want to write about and wear fashion that aligns with my values and spend my money to ensure that brands and stores make it through this time. I want to research inspiring interiors that expand my horizons and provide an escape.
As always I hope you’ll continue to join me!
It’s with overwhelming happiness that I share with you, dear readers, a bit of news that I’ve been keeping quiet on recently. Jordan and I are expecting! That’s right – Baby Redella is making his or her debut in late January! The news has finally sunk in and we are pinching ourselves excited.
Full disclosure: It was QUITE the long and windy road to get here. Jordan and I went through the ringer over the past 2.5 years trying to make a baby… miscarriages, surgeries, and fertility treatments leading up to, finally, multiple rounds of IVF. It wasn’t easy. On a lot of days, it emotionally and physically SUCKED. There were days, especially during the (heavily medicated) IVF egg retrieval process, that I honestly didn’t know what the point of it all was – not just the point of having a baby but of life in general. Seriously Jordan deserves the Medal of Honor for dealing with my mood swings, irritability, anger and sadness over the past couple years.
I could go on about the hard times but this is a happy story – not just because of the pot of gold babe Redella at the end of the rainbow but because the journey to have a baby is teaching me so much about myself. It’s pushing me to look beyond the ‘perfect plan’ I have in my head for what my life should look like and when (married at 30, first baby at 31, etc.) and trust God’s timing instead. The time we’ve spent waiting for a baby’s allowed me to grow professionally and creatively… I never would have started Bloomsbury & Battle were it not for the extra time on my hands and the escape from reality it provides. I’ve met or grown closer to some of the most important people in my life during this season. Friends have turned into family and family has turned into an even stronger rock to lean on by opening up and sharing the hard stuff, the less-than-perfect side of myself. It sounds cliché but I know this journey has a purpose and is for good; I am exactly where I need to be and at just the right time.
I am going to write about some of the fun stuff in the next few posts – pregnancy fashion (or, honestly, the lack thereof!), baby and nursery gear I’m eyeing, that kinda thing. I hope you’ll follow along as Jordan and I get ready to meet our long-awaited addition! In the meantime, here are a few photos to have a peek at from my baby shower on a cozy, rainy morning in Atlanta a few weeks ago.
Lots of BIG Love
A few months back I went to a book signing for Martina Mondadori Sartogo’s Cabana Anthology. The book (and the magazine from which it is based) is TO DIE FOR but that is a story for another day. The book signing took place at a classic, Georgian house in Highland Park that, while pretty, was not all that remarkable from the outside. One step inside the front door, however, and – WHOOSH – a feeling of familiarity came over me.
I turned to my friend Leah and whispered “I know this house!”
Her casual reply: “Oh right, I think that designer you really like did it…”
Friends, I was standing in the foyer of this Tom Scheerer decorated dreamboat. I remembered it from House Beautiful and Tom’s book and it has always been a favorite. Seriously, click HERE and enjoy! The ivory lacquered living room radiated warmth, I ooo’d and ahhh’d over the Lyford Trellis wallpaper in the sunroom, and the whole place had Tom Scheerer’s famous JE NE SAIS QUOI. One element I was particularly taken with was a pair of Ingo Maurer Uchiwa pendant lights over the kitchen island.
Ingo Maurer is a German lighting designer who released his Uchiwa series, inspired by Japanese fans, in the 1970s. They are super delicate, made of bamboo and lacquered rice paper, and as we know super delicate = super expensive. Sigh. Over the past few months I’ve seen vintage Uchiwa lighting in photos of other Tom Scheerer projects and, going full circle here, in Martina Mondadori Sartogo’s apartment. They are the epitome of laid-back, bohemian elegance and I can’t get enough. Maybe one day I will pull the trigger on a Uchiwa sconce or two but for now I will keep my fingers crossed that a 70s stoner has an estate sale and I can get lucky.
To acknowledge my five month hiatus in posting? That is the question.
I’ll get to an answer soon but for now – denim.
I am seeing a new denim silhouette pop up this summer and am majorly digging it. These jeans are high-waisted and, most notably, wide legged. They have kind of a retro, 1960s vibe with no stretch and a frayed hem or not. I say these guys are the perfect complement to strappy kitten heels and summer tops.
Here are a few of my faves:
I’d say whe have 3-4 more weeks of major winter weather here in Dallas. Part of me wants another sweater or two to get through the rut that is February (save me from the d*mn repetition!) but I’m going to stand strong and hold out for warmer weather / spring shopping.
One of the first things on my spring shopping list is a pair of barely there strappy sandals. The kind I’m seeing are minimalist and oh-so-1990s. These strappy sandals will look just as good with jeans as they will with a midi dress for a spring wedding. The first redo of the 1990s strappy sandal came to us via The Row and, while they’re pretty much perfect, I can’t get past the price tag. Ouch. Luckily I found some less pricey options that I love just as much. Now all I need is a fresh pedi and some sun on my winter self and I’ll be baring all (of my feet that is!) come spring.
A few of my fave strappy sandals and inspiration pics are below.
happy n’ strappy!
…I’m back. Did you miss me? Life got in the way for a few weeks – I blinked and BAM, two weeks went by without posting. To be honest I wasn’t feeling like myself and needed R&R after work instead of B&B. Side note: If you’re looking to binge watch a yummy historical series, look no further than Vanity Fair on Netflix. Two words – Tom. Bateman. Look him up.
Speaking of rest and relaxation, though, John Derian’s East Village apartment would be the chicest place to Netflix and chill on a snowy winter night. Featured in the February issue of AD, it’s everything a downtown New York apartment should be. Guys, if this was what my apt in New York looked like back in the day – with every inch decked out in wares from John Derian’s E. Vill shop – I would 1,000% still be living there. Jordan and Ina would be city folk too and the three of us would meander over to Abraço on E 7th for Saturday morning lattes.
I’ve been a fan of John Derian’s shop for years and adore his aesthetic – eclectic, relaxed, and collected not decorated. It’s just what I want my house to feel like.
Enjoy the pics below [all via Architectural Digest].
Meet me in the E.V., won’t you?
Did anyone else get a pair of pearl earrings when they were growing up? The pearl earring gift seems like a rite of passage, at least when you grow up in the south. I misplaced my circa 2000 pearl studs somewhere along the way [sorry mom!] but all isn’t lost – pearl earrings, and all pearl jewelry for that matter, are back and BETTER THAN EVER. These aren’t the stuffy solitaires of yore either. The pearl earrings I’m seeing are unusual and fresh, literally fresh using more organic looking freshwater pearls. I love that these earrings look vintage, like you swiped them from your mom’s high school jewelry drawer, but with a modern twist.
Below are a few of my favorite pearl doo-dads. I can’t wait to wear a pair with a striped tee and jeans or, even better, a bikini come summer.