Right after college I worked for one of my best friends Katie, the designer and owner behind Sylvia Benson Jewelry. She was the first to introduce me to Iris Apfel and we joked that Iris was Katie’s future self. Katie in 60 years. At the time, we barely knew how to pronounce her last name. Was it “app-fell”? Or maybe “app-full”? I think at one point we thought it was pronounced “apple”. The style icon, now 94 years old, is best known for her thick, round glasses and use of accessories – an always perfectly curated collection with one toe over the line to excessive. She served as a constant source of inspiration for us and I’ve been a huge fan of hers since. Netflix recently added the documentary Iris and I couldn’t wait to settle in and watch. It was so good. Iris is a nut for sure, but so inspiring and offers up so many pieces of advice that we could all use today. Most importantly, a lesson about being true to yourself. If you have a chance, go watch!
Whoo hooo for Friday! Who am I kidding? With our break between moves, everyday is Friday. I’ll definitely drink to you working folks though. Don’t tell my husband, or do, but I could certainly get used to the whole not-working deal. We spent last week at the beach mourning the end of summer and the weather was pretty heavenly. Even with a few days of rain (thanks, Joaquin) we managed a few sunny, beautiful days. We ventured across the bridge to Beaufort one day and spent our last day soaking up grease the sun at the NC Seafood Festival. Apparently it’s the largest festival in North Carolina. Who knew. That being said, the people watching did not disappoint. It’s like a whole different breed of people. Maybe my favorite kind of people. I used this as an opportunity to prepare my eyes and stomach for the State Fair coming to Raleigh next week – the best ten days of the year. Seriously. Any place where I can watch piglets race, eat a burger sandwiched between Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and ride a swinging pirate ship (all at the same time) is something special.
And for 34 dollars last weekend, you could’ve had an extra large hooker. Sorry you missed it. Happy Weekend!
We’re at the beach this week riding it out to see if Hurricane Joaquin makes a move towards the coast. If so, we’re hightailing it outta here before we get trapped by flood waters. We knew when we came that the weather would be iffy, if not totally rainy all week, so we planned ahead and brought plenty of movies, books, and even a sewing machine that I’m teaching myself how to use!
Much to our surprise, we lucked out with two beautiful days and let me tell you: the dogs love it here! There’s something about seeing your pups romp around, tongue out, tail wagging in the water that really warms the heart. They are just so happy. Miller, I think, is convinced she was born to herd fish, not sheep. Fearless, that one. She’d swim for days if you let her. Decker, however, is unsure enough for both of them. The ocean must be a pretty peculiar thing for a dog that’s never seen open water or waves. On the first day, she’d run up to a wave, bark, and then JUMP BACK! the second before the waves touched her feet. After a few days, she now cautiously ventures to her shoulders, still unaware that she can swim. #progress.
It’s POURING rain today. Any good book recommendations for the rest of the trip? I just finished Harry Potter #2 (I’m reading all the HPs for the first time) and am about to start All the Light We Cannot See.
We, the Gaddys, are on the move again! Peace out DC. While I loved DC, I’m happy to be out of the matchbox that we called an apartment. It was a small space for two humans and two dogs to say the least. Our lease ended early September and we knew there would be some overlap before we moved on to the next adventure (more coming soon). So, we’re back in the land of the pines for a few weeks. Hallelujah for some real barbeque and a fenced in backyard. Did you know that in DC we went on SIX to EIGHT dog walks a day?! [cue gasp here]. Add “fenced in yard” to my list of next-house-priorities.
Although the transition to our next home is taking a little longer than anticipated, we’re lucky to be able to spend some extra time with our friends and family in Raleigh. We’ve also been able to pack in a few trips – we’re in Morehead City (the beach!) this week thanks to some very generous family friends (thank you, Meg & Ken!). And a week at the beach plus a hefty supply of Coastal Living magazine has me dreaming and scheming all kinds of coastal, laid back design for our new place.
Which reminded me (!) of a little hotel tucked away on the Australian coast. Sisters Elisha and Siobhan Bickle bought a rundown motel and hired one of my favorite designers, Anna Spiro, to completely transform it. Halcyon House has certainly been added to my list of places to visit. I’ve done some math and my thirtieth birthday is in 797 days. That means if Ben saves $1 a day, we can afford to stay for approximately one night. Maybe two if we stay in the cheap room.
it’s been a hot minute, huh? not even sure if my mom is still reading this thing. there’s lots of things happening around the GaddyHaus these days and well, i just don’t always have time to dump pretty pictures and random thoughts onto the internet. You know what I do have time for, though? Bachelor in Paradise. (I love Ashley S. and i’m pretty sure we’d be great friends in real life. I do not, however, think i’d be great friends with Ashley I. Who’s with me?)
In other news, the GaddyFour (kinda like the Jackson Five) will be on the move shortly and I’ve been perusing the web a lot recently in search of some good house life inspiration. Enter Elin Lannsjö. She’s a ceramicist from Sweden and happens to have a killer instagram feed. I’m married to a Swede, which makes me Swedish, naturally. I’m even learning Swedish and have my bags already packed for the day Ben decides to move us there. What I’m trying to say is, she and I have a whole lot in common and I’m anxiously awaiting an invitation to her allotment cottage for Midsommar. (<— click that link! do it! you’ll thank me).
I mean, if that doesn’t get your creative juices flowing, I can’t help you. Just gimme a cactus, some white walls, a pastry and let’s call it a day. Alla bilder är från hennes instagram: @elinlannsjo (boom. swedish. go follow her.)
For the two years that we were living in Raleigh before moving to DC, I volunteered weekly at the Wake County SPCA. I worked every Monday as a dog and puppy matchmaker. Seriously, that was my title. Does it get any cuter? I may not be great at matching humans with humans but I’m an expert at matching humans with dogs and I’ve got a title to prove it. Those few hours were always the highlight of my week despite leaving filthy and covered in drool. Originally, I was most excited about being around puppies (duh, puppy breath), but almost immediately I knew I wanted to focus my time on the adult dogs. Luckily for the dogs (and for me), the Wake County SPCA is a no-kill shelter meaning that the animals are there to stay until they’re adopted. For some dogs, that means months and even years. Those were the dogs I loved the most – the ones that, for whatever reason, were always overlooked. In most cases, they were pit bulls. The most loving, kissable, loyal, happy, non-threatening pit bulls I ever did meet. Did you know that upwards of one million pit bulls are euthanized each year in the US? If I blogged all my love for pit bulls, we’d be here til next week and I’d have carpal tunnel. In the deep depths of Pinterest a few weeks ago, I stumbled across Sophie Gamand, a French photographer based in NYC, and knew I wanted to share her work. In one of her most recent series, Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution, Sophie partnered with several shelters to photograph adoptable pit bulls wearing flower crowns. The goal was to challenge her own perspective on pit bulls and to highlight a softer side to the breed against their harsh stereotypes. The result? See for yourself. (all photos via Sophie Gamand)
^^ Casper is my favorite. I think those colors really work on him.
To view more pit bulls in flower crowns or to purchase prints if your heart so desires, visit Sophie’s site here. You can also join the #pitbullflowerpower campaign on social media.
As promised, pictures from our airbnb in Alvaton, Kentucky. For 150 dollas a night, I’d say this was a pretty swell deal. I mean, we had a swinging bridge connected to our deck. When was the last time you saw one of those at a Motel 6? Answer: never. I dream nearly all day everyday about owning and living on a farm and this sweet place is basically what all those dreams are made of. A red roof, a stubborn donkey, rolling hills, free range chickens, a gravel driveway, a few dogs, a farm table big enough for 12. But really, a gravel driveway. I’m not asking for much here. You mark my words. One day, you guys, one day I will live on a farm just like this one. (in my 3am packing frenzy, i forgot appropriate farm shoes so i flopped around in ben’s running shoes. obviously in my farm dreams I’m dressed in cutoff overalls and llbean boots. we clearly need to go back so i can fully dress the part)
And, for anyone headed to Alvaton, KY in the near future, here’s the actual link for renting. a++ for my very first airbnb experience.
In case you missed it on Instagram (you know, while hurriedly scrolling past all the cookout, beer, lake, and pool pictures of Memorial Day), Ben and I jet-setted off to Alvaton, Kentucky for a beautiful wedding. We rolled out of bed at 3:45am on Saturday to catch a 6:15am flight to Nashville – the closest airport to Alvaton. We intentionally planned an early flight so we’d have at least a few hours to spend in Nashville. And while I certainly don’t plan to regularly set my alarm clock for 3:45, being awake when the sun came up was pretty refreshing and awfully beautiful. By 8am, we were sitting at Barista Parlor, the coolest coffee shop in Nashville, drinking coffee and eating strawberry waffles. If you live in the Nashville area and have never been, you should most certainly make a trip. We killed a few more hours beeboppin’ around Hillsboro Village, a 4 block stretch of restaurants and shops, before heading to Husk for lunch. We ate at the original Husk in Charleston on our honeymoon and I couldn’t wait to try the Nashville version. It did not disappoint. shrimp and grits for the win. One more stop for caffeine and we were back on the road to Kentucky. More on our Kentucky AirBnB next time because holy bananas it was ahmazing.
(don’t mind my t-rex hands. i think they were making their way into some pockets)
I decided recently that I need to start collecting something. As far as I remember, I wasn’t a kid that was always collecting things. No rocks, no trolls with gem belly buttons, no baseball cards, and only a handful of pogs (do ya’ll remember those things?!). I did, however, have an embarrassing amount of Beanie Babies. I’m convinced that if I sold each one for a dollar, I could pay our rent in DC….for a week, which is actually saying quite a lot. As I get older, though, I’m starting to appreciate the idea of collecting something. It’s pretty exciting to always be on the hunt for that one thing to add to your collection. You’re never quite finished and you’ll find it when you least expect it. And maybe it’s okay to splurge a little when you find another thing to add. I’ve decided for me it’s going to be vintage copper pots and pans. They’re timeless, a little difficult to find (but not impossible), and they’ll be something that I can pass down to my children and to their children. And, maybe if I’m lucky they’ll continue to increase in value. One day I’ll have a kitchen full, oh yes I will. Do ya’ll collect anything? I’d love to know!
A few weeks ago the girls of Gordy’s Pickle Jar hosted the Salt & Sundry team at their new space in Petworth (here in DC). The space is newly renovated with a full kitchen for stuffing pickles into jars as well as a multipurpose space in the front that boasts the biggest, most beautiful farm table you’ve ever seen. Not to mention the vintage dining chairs. We’re already cooking up ideas for dinner parties (pun intended). The space is minimal in the most stunning way and is exactly what my pickle factory dreams would be made of. If i had any.
In case you’re wondering, the cherry pepper spread is my favorite. Mix it with cream cheese, spread generously on crackers, eat for dinner, and thank me later. For tonight only, Gordy’s has teamed up with 2 Birds 1 Stone (one of my favorite bars!) to serve a few pickle-inspired cocktails. If you need me tonight, this is where I’ll be. Face first into a Wangy Tangy Margarita. Here’s the menu: