One of my favorite things to do is explore new places – whether it’s a new city or just a new restaurant down the road. When we heard that our favorite restaurant – Wild Olive – was going to have a sister restaurant much closer to our side of town, we were so excited to try it out.

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The Obstinate Daughter opened on Sullivan’s Island only a couple weeks ago and we were so happy to be “done” renovating (ha! like that ever ends) and moving enough that we got to try it out. I completely fell for the beautiful interior decor they created – nautical but not too literal, with a modern coastal vibe that was perfect for the delicious but not too fussy cuisine.

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Of course, even a gorgeously designed restaurant has to back it up with the food, and The Obstinate Daughter definitely did. Pictured below – the “Old Danger” pizza – was out of this world delicious, as were the Geechie Frites and pasta dish I had. Dessert was phenomenal. We were stuffed & happy!

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Have you tried any new restaurants lately? Happy Monday!

photo source

It’s official – wedding season is upon us and all of the amazing brides we’ve worked with for months are tying the knot! Krissy and Eric, an awesome Yoj Events couple, said “I do” in mid March and their modern green and gray invitations are some of my favorites we’ve recently done..

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Bridgit McBee was sweet enough to take these fun photos for us, and I saw a quick sneak peek of the beautiful day over on the Yoj Events Facebook page…

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I can’t wait to see more of the decor! The greenery looks incredible and I love succulents in a wedding. Happy Monday!

Happy Monday friends!

Hello blogland! We are just back from a lovely and much needed little getaway to Athens, GA over the weekend and I’m feeling refreshed and recharged.

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Although Charleston has been home for most of my life, my four years in Athens were so important to forming who I am today that it’s hard not to feel like going there is going home. Not to wax nostalgic, but it’s just good for my soul to walk by the art school, the orientation hall, the dining halls, and think about where I started and where I am now.

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Went grocery shopping when I got home…I have an inability to resist mini pumpkins. I wanted to bring a little fall into the house (which is currently in disarray due to the office move) and these little gourds stole my heart. $2.30 for all of them, throw in some pieces from potpourri I had, the watering can I had, and a cloth napkin over a cake stand, et voila! Easy, quick and cheerful.

Side note: loving my Iphone 5! The pictures are so much clearer.

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A few pics from our busy studio lately. I am loving having a place to spread out, meet clients, and be more productive. With 5 weddings this weekends to prep for, I’m doubly thankful!

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What have you been up to lately? . Happy Monday!

So I mentioned on Tuesday that I’d been on a real DIY kick lately.  Poor R had no idea those two chairs at the Celadon outlet were going to send me into such a frenzy of inspiration + craftiness.  Admittedly, neither did I, these things come in waves when you least expect it.

It all started when the new chairs came home and I started messing with our furniture and decor, which I haven’t done in, honestly, years.  When I got out of college and moved back to Charleston, I wanted to do fun interiors stuff, but I was so darn broke and jobless that it went on the back burner and stayed there until pretty recently.  Plus beige apartments are not so inspiring.

Which brings me to the coffee table.  This coffee table, to be exact.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally fine, and has functioned perfectly well as a coffee table for the last five years.  But I was over it.  And it’s not worthy of these incredible Wishbone chairs, which will get their own well deserved post later.

So I promptly Craigslisted it to its new home.  R says I have no mercy for furniture.  He’s probably right.

The only trouble is I did not realize how much R likes having a coffee table. In fairness, it does do double duty as a dinner table most nights (are we the only ones?), so that’s been a little weird, but it’s all in pursuit of a prettier living room in my world. I’m pretty sure that’s rather far down any boy’s priority list.

So then I suggested I bring this table (an Ikea LACK table, also from 5 years ago) that was in the office out to the living room for awhile.

Five years of wear and tear + its recent paper cutting duties meant it was in a pretty rough state too. I started Googling away at ways to spruce up Ikea furniture and inspiration struck: I could recover it in wallpaper or contact paper! It would hide the nicks and avoid the mess of painting. Easy. Done.

Good to know: Lowe’s does not carry wallpaper in stores anymore. I decided that I actually liked a clean look anyway, and white contact paper is water resistant and perfect for the job.

I’ll go through the process another day, but the end result was that it turned out pretty well, although the top was very hard to do and turned out kind of wrinkly. I didn’t care because I had plans to do something cool on the top…

…like maybe a design with wood. Chevron? Diagonal? But then you’d have to top it with glass. Tempered glass. Lowe’s doesn’t stock that either.

And then I realized it was kind of silly to spend $75 saving a $20 table. I think sometimes DIY does get overboard like that and luckily I realized it before I went too far. $12 roll of contact paper, not so bad.

So now it’s a cute little bench in the office.

And we still don’t have a coffee table.

Sometimes being a perfectionist designer can bite you. And occasionally your family members. I am actually really happy that I redid it and now have something cute and cheerful in the office, because I don’t take time to do it for my workspace much. But a normal person probably would have just lived with the coffee table, and in some ways that probably would have been better.

The hunt continues. I know the perfect coffee table is out there waiting for me!

As I’m buried in paper (albeit, pretty paper), disobedient printers, lines and lines of website code, and shipping shrink wrap today, I thought we’d wander back to Rome for a Monday daydream. That prompted me to start looking through my posts and realize I did a terrible job sharing the places we’d seen and the 3000 photos we took on our trip-of-a-lifetime. So look forward to more travel posts to come!

Today I wanted to talk more about Campo de Fiori in Rome. It’s quite close to Piazza Navona, another famous square where Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers can be found.

Campo de Fiori, though, is a little more about food and shopping. In the mornings Monday through Saturday, there is a market there full of fresh produce, flowers, and trinkets. I thought it was kind of fun to look at in comparison to the Charleston Farmer’s Market post I did last week.

It’s also a big nighttime destination though, full of bars and restaurants and sidewalk cafes. For me, I’m more of a people-watching kind of girl, and it was definitely great for that.

But, if you ask me, the most important thing about Campo de Fiori is this place. Pizza. Oh. my. goodness.

Forno Campo de Fiori was the best pizza we had while we were there. It was inexpensive (which is hard to do in Rome), simple, and full of Italians, which has to be a good sign :-)

There were no tables, so they literally wrapped up your square pizza slice in brown paper and sent you on your way. We ate there more than once leaning on the fountain in Campo, watching the market and the people. It was fantastic.

Other than that, we didn’t eat too many places in Campo de Fiori. We always make good use of Trip Advisor and try to find the hidden gems. I will have to pull out my travel journal so I can remember the names — the funny thing about Italy that’s so different than the States was that all the restaurants were named what they are + where they are.

So “Forno Campo de Fiori” is “Oven Campo de Fiori.” They were almost all like that, whereas here in America we’re like, “ooh let’s get fancy and name it ‘Opal.'” Their way made it easy to figure out where the restaurant was and what kind of food in general, but that also makes it less of a memorable name. Does that make any sense? ;-)

How was your weekend friends?

Hello Dodeline Design readers! Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed your weekends. If you happened to stop by Sarah’s blog a little while back, you may remember me from this post about adventuring to Philadelphia, and today I’m back again for my second guest post. If we haven’t met yet, my name is Carly Totten, and I love writing and the wedding industry. What else do I love you ask? If it were possible, I would dip my life in chocolate and set up a tent on the beach on Kiawah Island and live there forever. Combining both would be wonderful. : )

Because Sarah happens to be on a beach getaway, I thought it only fitting to talk about Kiawah Island, which should just be renamed My Favorite Place in the World…Ever. Even though it’s only about 14 miles long, it sets my heart on fire and makes me feel alive in only the ways that time spent on Kiawah can. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Kiawah many times each year for my entire life (23 years), and sometimes I wonder why I am so lucky. Let’s just note the fact that it’s a 13-hour car trek from Philly to Kiawah. Willingly traveling in a car for that long to visit an island is true love, y’all!

Kiawah’s formal name is actually Kiawah Island Golf Resort (not My Favorite Place in the World…Ever…yet    ; ). As you can obviously tell from its name, Kiawah is an athlete’s paradise with five public golf courses and two tennis centers. The golf and tennis are beyond awesome, which my dad will tell you on a long tangent; however, I love Kiawah for other reasons – reasons that don’t really have anything to do with either sport.

Like I mentioned earlier, I love Kiawah because it makes me feel alive, reinvigorated, and in.love.with.life. Below is a peek at my most recent trip to Kiawah (and what every summertime visit includes)…

Beach Days: Walking on the beach is usually how I begin every morning. Toes in the ocean = happiness. With that said, I did a lot of running during this trip (a whole other story entirely), but the beach still created an awesome atmosphere. The rest of my day is filled with boogie boarding – I’m very young at heart – and sometimes jumping twirling ballerina style in the waves. A good book and a lounge chair also add to a perfect afternoon.

Scenic Bike Rides: One of the first things my parents and I do when we arrive on Kiawah is rent bikes. I bike everywhere, no joke. I’m the one riding to the beach while balancing my bag, boogie board, and chair in a basket. It’s an art form. ; ) Not only does a bike make a great mode for beach transportation, it’s also the best way to explore the island. I love wandering, and I am happiest when I happen upon a long bridge or a road I have yet to explore while viewing some of the island’s wildlife (read: alligators). If you rent bikes, make sure to ride up to Freshfields Village (gorgeous marsh views) and, once there, hop over to Vincent’s Soda Fountain for a milkshake. Other favorites include Rhett’s Bluff (stop by the boat launch where you will be greeted by a gazebo that I am obsessed with on the dock and possibly a dolphin); Flyaway Drive; and Captain Sam’s Inlet, which is where Kiawah meets neighboring island, Seabrook, on the beach at the western most end of the island. Be sure to pick up an island map before you start your ride or become fast friends with Google Maps just in case!

Yummy Dinners: My favorite place to eat on the island happens to be where a pro golfer will earn the title of 2012 PGA Champion in August: Ryder Cup Bar, located in the Ocean Course Clubhouse. The food is delicious (try the Grilled Salmon Caesar Salad, Ryder Sliders, or Crispy Fried Shrimp), the views of the sunsets are unreal (time your visit!), and some of the staff have become like members of our family. Another one of our new favorite haunts is La Tella Pizzeria, a family owned and operated Italian restaurant located in nearby Freshfields Village. The portions, by the way, are in the dictionary under “massive,” so my parents and I decided to share the Chicken Parmesan and Ricotta Pizza (ah, so good!). I thought of Sarah’s paper loving heart while I was there because La Tella had a stamp designed which they use to brand all of their pizza boxes – creative packaging for the win!

Sunrises & Sunsets: I love mornings because I love beginnings more than endings. With that in mind, my goal while I was on Kiawah was to watch the sunrise one morning. I set my phone’s alarm, and I willingly got up and ready at 5:45 (insanity). I biked over to the beach, and the view of the sun rising over Turtle Point golf course was worth the ride alone. Then I got to the beach. Holy, sunrise! It was beautiful! Everyone stood still for a solid 20 minutes and stared at the sky…

…which is exactly what happens when the sun sets. Even though the sunset marks an ending, I am one of the people staring at the sky every night. The sunsets are mesmerizing and possible thanks to the fact that Kiawah runs west to east.

If you live in Charleston, take a day and visit Kiawah – go on a bike ride; walk on the beach; jump in the waves; and watch the sunset to complete your day. If you don’t happen to live close by, book a flight (Southwest offers many inexpensive options) or take a road trip and plan to do the same thing. I’ll meet you on the beach, and I hope you will have a serious love for My Favorite Place in the World…Ever even after only a day.

have you ever been to kiawah? where is your favorite vacation spot?

Enjoy your day! I will see you again soon.

Don’t you love my corny humor? After a fun-filled birthday weekend, it’s time to get down to business today. Believe it or not, it is getting close to time for Fall brides to finalize designs and send things to press. My how the time flies!

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A few quick snapshots of samples and orders getting prepared around here.

What was your weekend like? We got to enjoy an impromptu lunch at Husk – my favorite – some great family time, a little bit of house hunting, and some relaxation time too.

Happy Monday! I’m off and running!

@RMackles tweeted to me the other day that she was planning a baby shower for men + woman and wanted to know if I had any ideas to share with her. Well, I thought the easiest place to do that would be here instead of trying to do it 140 characters at a time ;-)

This could just be me, but I’m not really wild about baby themed games (i.e. the candy bars in the diaper thing).

Especially for a couple’s shower that has men + women there. Instead, I think it would be a great opportunity to play some of the more old fashioned games that both men and women would enjoy — checkers, chess, card games, maybe even set up a little “bowling alley” or croquet on the lawn. Giving people stuff to do at get-togethers like these is important, I just don’t think your traditional diaper oriented games are the best way to go with both men and women there.

Vintage wooden checkers on Etsy

use what you have

If you’ve picked a color theme — and in this case, it’s blue and white — scavenge your whole house for items that fit. You’re sure to have some blue books or plates or paper or vases or knick-knacks. First of all, it saves you money and lessens waste. Second of all, driving a home a stylistic theme takes more than just a blue tablecloth + streamers — bringing in other elements will make it much more visually interesting.

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This method also allows you to purchase yourself some nice, white or ivory tablecloths. If you use other elements to support your design theme, you won’t need to buy the cheap plastic pink one when the next shower is a girl.

start the decor at the door

This idea I borrowed from Tiffany Lane Handmade, who made this adorable hooray sign for an event she hosted. I think doing a little something special outside – whether it’s a bow or bunting or balloons is a great way to set a festive tone.

speaking of balloons..

I am weirdly obsessed with those awesome perfectly round balloons.

And luckily, you can get those and all the other party supplies you need at Shop Sweet Lulu. Adorable stripey straws, balloons, favor boxes, and more, all from one place!

that’s what I’ve got at the moment, @Rmackles! I hope it helps! :-)

Lastly, I thought it was a good opportunity to share this recent shower invite design I did for Fraiche Design too – a vintage farmhouse baby shower. I can’t wait to see pictures of this little event!

have a very lovely monday, friends!

Hello, Dodeline Design readers! It’s so nice to meet you. My name is Carly Totten, and I met Sarah a couple of months ago at Hope + Union (aka: the cutest coffee shop I have ever visited) in downtown Charleston while I was on vacation. I left our meeting feeling pumped about life, so I could not have been more excited when Sarah asked me to guest blog while she is off on her adventure!

Here are some fun facts about me: I’m from outside of Philadelphia, and Kiawah Island stole my heart a long time ago. As a result, sometimes I say “y’all” – I feel like a rebel, and I love it. I graduated from college a year ago with a degree in journalism, and I love the wedding industry, which I blog about here. I wear TOMS or sandals whenever possible. If I could dip my life in chocolate, I totally would.

While brainstorming ideas for this post, I kept coming back to writing about my hometown. Because Philadelphia is a quick plane ride (or a 13 hour drive…) from Charleston, I thought I would talk about the top five things that you should do if you decide to visit with your beau, family, or a couple of close friends.

See the sites on a Segway: Y’all, riding a Segway is fun and worth the slightly steeper price tag (that’s me in the photo!). Because you are moving at a quicker pace, you will be able to see so many of the city’s sites on your three hour tour. DeTours and I Glide offer tours, and both seem like great options. I would recommend going on this tour first because it will allow you to become acclimated with Philly and help you to determine which places you want to revisit and spend more time. If you’re not feeling super adventurous, a Trolley Works tour or the Ride the Ducks tour are both options to consider.

Museum hop: Both the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are must-sees for first time visitors. The Constitution Center is also a favorite among visitors and locals alike. The same can be said about the Philadelphia Museum of Art (pull a Rocky and run up the stairs!) and the Franklin Institute.

Eat(!!): Philly is famous for many things; however, we may be the most well known for our food. Be warned: the following foods are all are delicious, but I never said they are particularly healthy. : )  While you’re visiting, you really have to have a Philly cheesesteak from the town where it gets its name. Be sure to specify the type of cheese you would like on your steak because some places will want to top it with Cheese Wiz. I don’t highly recommend this option. You also have to be sure to try Herr’s potato chips, a Philly soft pretzel, and TastyKake’s Chocolate Cupcakes (or any of the brand’s other sweet treats). Pat’s and Geno’s are two of the most popular haunts for cheesesteaks, but Reading Terminal Market is my favorite landmark to go to for any of these must try Philly foods.

Shop: Walnut Street is home to many stores, such as the Gap, Apple, and H&M. With that said, Free People, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters are also on this street and call Philly their hometown. It’s a little pricey, but you have to at least go inside of Anthropologie. The flagship store is four stories, complete with a stone façade, fireplace, wrought iron staircase, and one awesome ceiling (pictured above). I die! After, hop across the street and take a stroll through my favorite park: Rittenhouse Square. You may even catch a glimpse of a wedding party if you visit on a weekend.

Go for a walk: My favorite aspect of Philadelphia is that it’s smaller than its neighbor, N.Y.C. Walnut Street, City Hall and LOVE Park, the Comcast Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and many more famous sites form a loop, which you can easily walk. This allows you to truly experience the city’s architecture and unique feel. (Side note: It can get pretty chilly in the winter, so I would strongly suggest visiting when it’s warmer outside. The spring and summer are perfect because the city looks beautiful when the flowers are in bloom.)

Have you ever been to Philly, or are you planning a visit?

Guest blogging has been so much fun, and I hope to return again in the future. Until then, happy Monday, readers – enjoy your day!

Here in Charleston the weather has already been warm for probably a month and a half, so it seems like cookout season should be well under the way. To me there is nothing that says summer more than hotdogs + hamburgers on the grill and hanging out on the deck with friends and family. Do you like to cookout?

Here are a few fun little accessories I found if you’re planning on hosting a cookout soon. I don’t think we will be as we’re in an apartment still, but I just can’t wait to have a place where we can!

These screenprinted tea towels are just the beginning of the cute awesome linens in PonyAndPoppy’s shop on Etsy. I want them all! And they would be so fun to add pops of color to the kitchen + patio.

Grill Charms happens to be a Charleston original. The founder was even on Shark Tank! It’s such a clever and simple idea – no wonder they loved it. You’re grilling steaks for a bunch of people, and how do you remember who wants it cooked how? Stick a grill charm in each one to identify them. Simple and cool!

I adore Garnish. From the bamboo flatware to the adorable berry baskets, they are an equally perfect resource for hosting an event + wrapping a gift + packaging a product alike.

Although my green thumb is MIA, I thought these upcycled planters were completely awesome. They are made by NottyPooch on Etsy and I think they would be so cute to add some pops of color indoors or out.

Bicycles are about as summertime as cookouts are in my opinion. These cheerful glasses would be so much fun to liven up the table! And maybe if you paired them with the bamboo disposables, it wouldn’t be so bad to have to wash them ;-) Check them out in vital on Etsy.

We had a mini cookout on Saturday before the rain set in and it was wonderful. What did you do?