i’ve been keeping a secret…

If your first thought was that I’ve been hiding a pregnancy, you’ll be disappointed (or thrilled. right, mom?). First let me say that I’m deeply sorry for the lack of posts recently. I’d venture to guess that a lot of couples get to spend a few weeks relaxing after their weddings and enjoying newlywed bliss.  We’ve got the bliss part covered, but there has certainly been no time for relaxing. Why, you ask? Because we’ve been sorting, trashing, boxing, and packing for our MOVE TO WASHINGTON, DC. <<probably feels like a let down if you thought I was pregnant, huh?

My job announced my departure yesterday, so I can officially shout it from the rooftops. We have to be out of our Raleigh house on August 15th, so as of the 16th I’ll be a DC resident. We’ve (fingers crossed) found an apartment – a beautiful one in a lovely neighborhood that is even okay with our two large dogs. Needle in a haystack doesn’t even begin to describe it. For those familiar with DC, it’s right on the border of Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights. The one downfall: it’s a whopping 650 square feet.  Our current house is 1400 plus an attic and basement. We really only have space to take the basics (Yard Sale on Saturday for the Raleigh peeps – more details tomorrow).

We couldn’t be more excited about this move! It’s a brand new adventure for us and is already making our first year of marriage so exciting! If you watch Scandal you should know that’s basically how I’m picturing our time in DC. No presidential affairs (I’ll stick with Ben), but definitely expensive clothes, important meetings to attend, and a coffee in hand always. I’ll keep dreaming, and in the meantime, if you have any DC suggestions, send them my way!


a few things.

1. take a quick glance to the right of your screen and scroll up or down if you need to.  See that?! You can officially follow this here blog. All it really means is that you’ll get an email everytime I post. really great if you don’t want to remember to go and check the site everyday. (which I know you’re all doing since you’re desperate for my posts).

2. the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale started today! (It actually started a couple of days ago for cardholders). If you’re not a cardholder, get excited because they’ve got some really great things. I’ve got my eye on this North Face jacket. Ben jokes that I have about a 3 degree comfort window. Anything outside of 82-85 degrees is either way too hot or way too cold. So, laugh all you want, but I will wear this coat proudly and warmly in Raleigh, NC. Even if I look like the Michelin man.

michelin man

things i like about you: room edition #1

I doubt I’m alone when I say I could spend hours upon hours on Pinterest. It’s like a black hole that sucks my time away. Just.one.more.scroll.  A short break in my day and the next thing I know two hours have passed and I’ve all but planned by my future child’s first through fifth birthday parties. I’m often quick to pin for no other reason than because a picture is pretty or because there’s something about it that I’d like to remember later. What makes a picture pin-worthy? Or why do I only rip out certain pictures from magazines? I’ve never taken an interior design class (although I’d love to), so in an effort to hone my skills for spotting and creating great interiors, I’m going to try and really break down exactly what it is that I like. I mean, people get college degrees in this stuff, so there has to be some sort of science to it.

1.  White frame + white furniture on a white wall gives your eyes a chance to rest and allows you to focus more on details – the books, the owls, the terrarium, the flamingo all pop a little more because they’re backed by white.

2.  A large plant gives the space some warmth and makes it feel a little more lived in. It’s softer against the hard lines of the furniture and art. Not to mention the green that gives the space a some extra color.

3. Every room needs an animal. Did you know that? It’s what I’ve been told forever, so I’m sticking to it. She hit the mark three times – two owls and a flamingo. That’s got to be some good feng shui I think.

4. A bold rug softens the hardwoods and really pulls out the colors of the flamingo. Bold enough to be a statement on its own, but neutral enough not to distract.

5. Metallic reflects light and has more visual impact than a non-metallic.

6. The color is unexpected, but the shape and the leather keep it neutral and sophisticated.

What do you think? Do you agree or did I miss something? If you’re an interior designer and have an opinion, I’d love to hear it!

Photo: Sarah Sherman Samuel‘s Living Room

in honor of National Sunglasses Day…

a good old fashioned round up.

//MIRRORED//  Ray Ban / Retro Revo ($9.99!)

//CLASSIC// Ray Ban Clubmaster / Ray Ban Aviator

//CAT EYE// Elizabeth & James / Elizabeth & James 2

//ROUND// 3.1 Phillip Lim / Wildfox

//FUNKY// Thierry Lasry / Karen Walker
Any favorites?  We are in the single digit countdown to our wedding.  I’ve been eyeing (pun intended) the blue mirrored Ray Bans for a while now. I even had a $150 Piperlime gift card, but just couldn’t commit because even with a gift card (free money) it seemed like a lot.  I decided this morning that I couldn’t live without the sunglasses any longer and that if I ordered them today, they’d be here in time for the honeymoon! I whipped out my gift card, ready to place my order and saw that (as of today) they are backordered until August. womp womp.

Happy National Sunglasses Day and a happy happy weekend!

slight improvements

can we catch up for second and talk about how someone goes from this….
to this…?
Let’s rewind. In case you missed it, the King of Spain abdicated, leaving his son to take over. That son’s wife is this girl, Princess Letizia of Asturias. She’s been Queen for 6 days. Apparently the nobility pool is running dry, because she has no noble blood and was previously a CNN reporter. Let’s all take a minute to remember that Kate Middleton also had no noble blood. Kate and Leti, could you please share with us (i mean, all the single ladies) your secret? Because obviously you’re doing something right.

isn’t she lovely? good hair, good bone structure, good wardrobe. damn those Europeans.

queen7 queen2 queen images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Team Kate or Team Leti? I’m undecided. Also, that’s not her official nickname, but someone should pay me big bucks for making it up. I’ll also settle for an invitation to tea with the Queen. Both are acceptable.

Unfortunately, I think I’m with Lorde on this one. We’ll never be royals.

a diy wedding project wednesday

BREAKING NEWS: weddings are expensive, you guys. And while my pinterest wedding consists of $10,000 wedding gowns, chiavari chairs that rent for like $15 a piece, and peonies falling from the sky, none of that was very realistic. In an effort to keep some of my costs down, I’ve attempted several DIY projects. I’m not much of a do-it-yourself-er, but I’ll toot my own horn here and say that I’ve been pretty impressed with myself. Toot Toot. Instead of doing wedding programs, we decided to do a big chalkboard with all the important details. This thing is basically impossible to mess up and it’s cheap cheap cheap! Here’s what you need:

paint1 chalkboard paint, painter’s tape, and a cheap piece of art with a pretty frame from Goodwill.


1. Buy a piece of art from Goodwill. Preferably one with a pretty frame and a glass front.
2. Cover frame in painter’s tape.
3. Spray paint the glass with chalkboard paint.
4. Let dry and remove tape.
5. Write something pretty.

Note: most larger pieces of art will have paper covering the back. Otherwise, just take out the glass, spray paint, and put back in the frame. You can skip the taping part.

This isn’t mine. Because I’m not Virginia and Ben’s not Henry, but you get the idea. I’ll be sure to get some photos of ours to share with you later. In the meantime, I’ve been working on my calligraphy so I can make ours extra beautiful.

Emily, over at Cupcakes & Cashmere, had a great post on faux calligraphy! It’s so so easy! Read about it here. I still have lots of practicing to do.


Wedding Programs = $352.80
DIY Chalkboard = about $15

Bonus: after the wedding, we can hang it in our house and every morning Ben can list out all the reasons he loves me.

Now go forth and chalkboard something!


You see that lion head towel ring down there? I happen to have 6 of them.  I’ve kept one for myself and my mom is keeping one, which means I have 4 left for anyone interested. For $25, you could have a lion head in your bathroom or kitchen too. I love it so much that I designed a whole bathroom so you can see it in action.


Here are a few other lions in bathrooms…

lion1 lion2

If you’d like one, email me at matney.murad@gmail.com. The early birds get the worm lion.  I’d be happy to ship one to you too! Details: 10″ tall, 6″ wide; cast iron.

Images:  Shower Curtain / Mirror / Hand Towel / Toilet Paper Holder / Bath Rug / Light Fixture / Sink / Bath Towels / Lion in Bathroom 1 / Lion in Bathroom 2