Good Ol’-Fashioned Party Meets Old Wood Soul

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I’ve said it before and I will say it again, my business with Good Ol’-Fashioned Party has introduced my mother and me to some of the coolest people in the world. Case in point: the moment Keith and Lauren walked in, I knew my life would be forever enhanced knowing this couple. It may sound like an exaggeration (which I am known to do sometimes), but these two each radiate love from their entire being. Not only do they look at each other with pure, incandescent love, but they some how transfer that light into every person they come across.

Being able to work with them to create their dream wedding made our dreams come true as well. Each meeting we had, each brainstorm, each hour with them was inspired.

So when we found out these two incredible people were going to open up their own business together building farm tables from recycled wood, I thanked my lucky stars. That meant more meetings, more brainstorms, more chances to tell everybody about how amazing these two are personally, not to mention their wood working and craftsmanship skills.

I learned about their talent firsthand at the wedding, for which they had built two huge farm tables to host their wedding party. These tables were absolutely magnificent, and with knowing that I can have one in my home (and share these beauties with anyone who wants the most affordable farm table in all of the land), life again was brightened by them.

It may be too late to get one in time for Thanksgiving, but if you want a farm table to grace your home for the upcoming holidays I encourage you to check out Old Wood Soul. From custom tables to their six- and eight-foot farm tables, these one-of-a-kind beauts will bring any family together for dinner.

And to anybody planning on getting married—they rent these too!!!

Check out their special day featuring their farm tables in action from the amazing Lauren Fair Photography.

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An Early Morning Sunday Story

This past Sunday I woke up before 10 am, a rare occasion for me if I have nothing to do in the morning. The sun was shining, Jed was sunk into the couch glued to football, and I could only think of one amazing thing to do to take advantage of my early waking morning—shopping!!

I rushed back up the stairs and put on my Sunday best, complete with my oh-so-chic beret from Paris, and headed out to the 16th Street Mall to have my hand at some pre-BlackFriday sales. I found an amazing parking spot, pushed the elevator buttons like a small child, and strolled out onto the mall with an anxious grin on my face. I walked up to the revolving door, already eyeing the manikins sporting some to-die-for items, and pushed on the door …

Nothing. It didn’t budge. I looked at my phone—the time read 10:30. I worriedly looked in the store. Where was everybody? And then I saw them: the store hours posted on the window alerting me that it didn’t open until 11. The horror. Hopes and dreams have never been shattered like this. Well, maybe only that time they canceledSmash.

Needless to say, I am never waking up early ever again.

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Manly Monday: Shoes to Get Things Done

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Some Sundays you lie on the couch all day.

Some Sundays you watch some football, go for a jog, ride a bike, watch some guys open up champagne bottles with swords then pour the bubbly into a tower of 6,500 glasses, eat some brunch, buy a bottle of wine for Thanksgiving that’s three feet tall, and then sit on the couch.

For Sundays like that, these Bangs high top sneaker things are my go-to. They’re comfortable and functional, and Kelly approves of how they look.

The company’s story is pretty cool too—an entrepreneur who gives proceeds back to other small business across the world.

Also, on Sundays you should always wear a Patriots shirt, because Tom Brady likes it that way. Isn’t that right, goat?

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Girly Girl Gifts

My second annual Girly Girls Holiday Party is right around the corner, which means two things: 1. I have to find a gown to wear because yes, for this party, us ladies wear a fancy-pantsy dress to drink champagne and exchange gifts and stories as we giggle into the night. And, of course, 2. A perfect gift for one of my loves.

So on this all-girls night in, here are some top finds for the perfect girly gift:

Girls Gift Guide

PS I forgot to mention, please make sure when doing any of your holiday online shopping to use ShopAtHome.com to make sure you are getting Cash Back and coupons to save you the big bucks.

If I were to buy all of these products I would receive $5 Cash Back. Hello, that’s free money!

Work With What You Have

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This morning I delayed getting out of bed for as long as I could because, one, I was soooo sleepy, and, more importantly, two, I didn’t know what I was going to wear. I usually try and lay out my clothes the evening before, but Jed and I watched like four episodes of House, and I couldn’t bear to leave the TV.

But the great thing about this morning and my disposition is that I have a fail-safe for when this occurs. A couple of months ago I started a Pinterest board entitled “Outfits to Wear.” The board consist of images of outfits I’ve seen online that I absolutely adore and can totally put together from my closet. Not only does this board make it impossible for me to grab something I would usually throw on when I’m tired (something uninspired and drab), but it makes me think completely different about the clothes I own. It makes me wear things I usually wouldn’t . Case in point, I am wearing pumps today, and I can’t remember the last time I put these puppies on (I knew I kept them for a reason).

I was talking to my coworker Marissa about this strategy and she was overcome with inspiration. We spent our lunch break browsing images and talking through how she could mimic the outfits with the clothes she already owns,  whether that means wearing a summer romper as shorts with tights, or dressing down a leather legging that she usually only wears for nights on the town.

So when in doubt or in a sleepy, uninspired mind frame, reference your Pinterest board. Or copy mine if you want!

Here is the image that I copied today, and I dare I say totally killed it!

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Gift Guide for the Extraordinaire

Giving gifts is something that I absolutely delight in. Like my idol Lesley Knope, I believe that finding the best, most personal, sentimental, beautiful, awe-inspiring gifts is one of the most wonderful things about the holidays. And because I have some extraordinary people in my life, I had to put together a list that would stand up to their worth.

When I say extraordinary, you know who I’m talking about? Those people who walk by the beat of their own drum (but probably made the drum out of recycled trash); the creative, adventurous souls who value the inventive and hunt for the bold and unconventional. This is a gift guide for those people.

Anyone on your list who fits this bill?

Gift Guide

  1. Clock
  2. Hercules Tablet Stand
  3. Living in The Moment Book
  4. The Whale Framed Print
  5. Cocktail R-Evolution
  6. Falling Whistle Necklace (charity I volunteered for back in LA–amazingly cool–check them out)

The Meredith Vieira Show Starring The O’Connell Family Reunion Shirt

Once upon a time, a little nine-year-old girl received the best shirt in the world. It was a cool, comfy, classy, green shirt with room to grow and play in for many, many years. And the best part about the shirt? It had the little girl’s family name on it: O’Connell. (Apparently the shirt was from a reunion that neither she nor any of her other family members attended, but that’s a story for another day…) She was determined to wear this shirt with pride every day of her life.OconnellFR 001

Twenty years later, the now grown-up girl received an email from a television show. The show had learned about this now infamous shirt on the girl’s silly blog, and they were as much as love with the shirt as she had been for all those years. They asked the girl to come on their television show with her husband and talk about the shirt.

I am that girl, and Tuesday I taped The Meredith Vieira Show with my dearest Jed. We had some laughs about the shirt and ultimately said goodbye.

That shirt has seen it all—my teens, the college years, the LA days, the New York minute, and now married life.

Now, for the next chapter.

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Thanksgiving Roles

Turkey sizzles in the oven, with a smell good enough for the gods. The bronze turkey matches the gold aura of the home. Our loft glows with soft light. Bistro string lights hang from our 20 ft ceiling, showing off itsepic height, while candles flicker and soft lamps bring us back to a cozy reality.

Our black chalkboard walls are playful arted up with holiday love and, of course, space so the kids can add their own masterpiece to the wall.

The long, twelve-person table is set with warm undertones that match the cranberry sauce. Gold accents keep my guests on their toes so they don’t dip into their Thanksgiving nap too early. Mismatched china keeps the table fun, not stuffy (only stuffing allowed). And the eclectic chairs make each person feel special as they sit down to dive into a welcomed food coma.

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Two weeks from today Jed and I will be hosting our first ever Thanksgiving. Jed loves to cook, I love to host, and our new home is the perfect place for family to gather and grub their faces off in style and comfort.

We are dividing the cooking tasks up among family members and I am left with only putting together a delicious salad. Because my salad will only take about ten minutes to assemble, I can devote all my time and energy into setting a perfect scene.