Hello everyone! Here we are in December, just got our first snow fall over the weekend and I’m finally getting around to posting this Florida elopement! What a scenery change. Although in Destin, the sand is quite literally as white as snow. 

This sailboat (The Phantom of the Aqua, HAHA) got stuck on the beach about a month before my arrival. Marrea sent me a picture of it around the end of October and I knew if it hadn’t been moved by the time I got there for Thanksgiving, we were using it in their pictures. We got to Miramar beach right at sunrise, and were completely alone other than two labradors who ran to them. They said it was a good omen, I have to agree. Marrea incorporated some of her Middle Eastern heritage into her look with her choice of earrings and headband. And instead of a full size bouquet, she opted for a small air plant and herb bouquet. I am so happy to share these. I hope you all feel sunny looking at this Florida coast. 


This is by far my favorite Refurbished Friday post of the year. I LOVE holiday decorating. As a kid, I grew up on a lot of land and my mom would always use natural foliage to decorate her mantle and cut down a (usually giant and somewhat weird looking) tree. So you can say I’ve picked up this love of crafting from her. 

This was the second Christmas Joey and I have had in our house, so I wanted to do something different than last year decorating wise. In a lot of ways I went with a ‘less is more’ attitude this time around foliage wise and instead of chopping our own tree from the woods this time around we bought one, and it fits MUCH better. Every year Joey and I go on the candlelight tour in Fredericksburg and I’m always amazed at the themes the decorators do to the different houses, so I decided to pull some inspiration from a few different time periods and have a lot of fun with this. 

The first thing I want to note is the entry table. Instead of covering it in foliage like last year I opted for white and metals. The terrariums are filled with holly and tea light candles. The pictures I chose to display: the first one is a picture of my great grandmothers Christmas table setup that I remember growing up. And the kid that looks like Ralphie? That’s my dad. Seemed Christmassy enough. 

  • White trees - Target
  • Small frame - Target
  • Big frame - Goodwill
  • Terrariums - Michaels
  • Branches - outside and spray painted white! Super easy

Second up is the tree. See how much better it fits?? Amazing. For the tree this year I wanted to do a 1950s inspired tinsel tree. Growing up I never really put any tinsel on my tree so this was a totally new experience for me. Throwing those silvery shreds all over the tree was a definite highlight of 2017 for me. I may seriously want to do this every year. 

And last but not least (my known favorite thing to decorate) the mantle! Last year I DECKED the mantle out in foliage, this year I chose to only do a little bit of boxwood. So what is the significance of the oranges? Dried fruits was huge for decorating in the Civil War and Victorian eras, and normally I put it on the tree. This year I didn’t feel like it would go with the tinsel so I decided to make a garland out of the dried fruit instead. As for the whole oranges, there is a certain scene in the movie Little Women that inspired me to throw oranges on the mantle. (it’s the breakfast scene when Amy gives up her orange) I figure it’s also a nice pop of color, too. 

  • Mirror - Goodwill
  • Brass candlesticks - Goodwill
  • Lanterns - antique heirlooms
  • White candles - Hobby Lobby
  • Oranges - your local grocery store…
  • Dried garland - sliced and put into a fruit dehydrator and then sewn together into a garland

Above are just a few pictures of the living room overall, the fruit drying process and a wreath I was able to make with all the foliage I decided not to use.


It’s a funny thing being home again after being gone for a little while. Back in my favorite coffee shop blogging around 8am, nothing has changed except for me. I’ve been very blessed in my traveling opportunities this year. I’ve been all up and down the east coast, visiting

Destin, Florida (twice), New Orleans LA, Mobile AL, Savannah GA, Charleston SC, Nashville TN (twice), Mystic CT, Boston MA, Salem MA and Cape Cod MA 

with a few smaller places in between. In total, I’ve spent 127 hours in the car which equals out to about six days. Lots of road trips, and yeah, I’m kinda into it. This last trip was my longest and last trip of the year down to Florida to spend some time with a beloved friend. Marrea and I are practically related (in fact we were actually cousins by marriage for a decade, but I won’t get into the complicated family tree.) We have been nearly inseparable for the last twenty years or so, give or take. She just hit her two year mark of living in Florida last month and I won’t sugar coat it – it totally sucks living fifteen hours away from your best friend. When I caught a ride down to Florida I was originally only planning to stay a week but I ended up changing my mind and decided to stay for two, since I had the downtime with work. Yolo. We got to have a gluten free Thanksgiving and I got to witness her excellent macaron-making talents. For two weeks Marrea and I got to live together like teenagers again and do a whole lot of nothing but watch GIRLS and Hollywood Medium. Oh, and eat a lot of fried ice cream. In many ways this was the truest vacation kind of vacation because it was so low key without a million things on the itinerary. Not to mention I got to help her decorate for Christmas, therefore getting to decorate two trees this year. We got tattoos. Marrea and Danny got hitched at the courthouse and I was there to see. At the end of my two weeks I got myself a rental car and had a long (super relaxing and super amazing) drive by myself to Savannah, where Joey met up with me to bring me home.

 All and all it was a great note to end 2017 and everything is just as I left it.

If you liked this, you may also like to see other travel blog posts from 2017! 

 Harry Styles in Nashville 

 A Change in Plans 

 Sister Cities of the South 

 Ten Days Down South

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