FLORALS AND GARDENS

This past weekend Rob and I explored a hidden gem in our cute little town.  The 577 Foundation is a historic site that works to preserve and maintain the integrity of the land.  They offer numerous classes for adults and children that range from pottery, to painting, to herb walks, to making soap, and all sorts of holiday inspired crafts.

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The 12 acre property dates back to the 1880s and the deed to the property was actually signed by President John Quincy Adams.   The estate was owned by Mr. and Mrs. George F. Greenhalgh (Mrs. Greenhalgh was a niece of Edward Drummond Libbey, major benefactor of The Toledo Museum of Art), and then later by Duane and Virginia Stranahan.  The Stranahans had six children, none of whom wanted the property, so Virginia gave the property back to the community.  Her hope was that the land would be a fun place where people could learn about the environment and enjoy the beauty of Perrysburg and the Maumee River.

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The 577 Foundation is known for their beautiful gardens.  Guests are encouraged to plant their gardens on the property, with the purpose being to learn, discover organic practices, and share their knowledge with others.

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We had a lovely morning walking around and exploring the grounds.  The flowers and gardens are in full bloom right now and created the most picturesque backdrop for some photos.  Both Rob and I have always been huge history buffs so we naturally fell in love with the beautiful historic buildings on site.  This would be the cutest location for a bridal shower, senior pictures, or even a small wedding!

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We are trying to soak up every minute before sweet Baby Lilly arrives!  It’s hard to believe we are already 28 weeks along.   She will be here before we know it!

Slàinte,

Shannon

p.s. I’ve linked my outfit details below! This floral maxi was perfect for a stroll around the beautiful gardens.

MATERNITY MAXI | TASSEL EARRINGS | RAYBAN SUNGLASSES | RATTAN BAG | KATE SPADE WATCH (SIMILAR) | BOURBON AND BOWTIES BRACELET PEARL (SIMILAR) | BOURBON AND BOWTIES BRACELET (PINK)

TRAVELING SOLTS – SAUGATUCK, MI

Last week Rob and I jetted out of town for a quick “babymoon.”  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a babymoon is a fancy way of describing your last vacation as a couple before your baby arrives (basically a second mini honeymoon).

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When we were planning our babymoon, we knew we wanted something coastal, but not too far.  Rob did tons of research on cute coastal towns and we ended up choosing Saugatuck, MI! We found the most charming B&B to stay in called the Wickwood Inn (Pictures below are of their beautiful gardens).  They are known for their impeccable interior decorating and gourmet food – neither of which disappointed!  Our favorite food of the whole trip was blueberry, pecan sticky buns that the inn served one morning.  They were incredible!

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Although the weather was less than ideal (monsoon rains for two days straight), we still had the best time and found plenty of things to do.  Saugatuck is known for it’s art galleries (we found some awesome original art for the house!), shopping, harbor, and stellar food.  They even have a cute local distillery where Rob was able to sample some yummy bourbon.[I got Shannon’s free samples which made for interesting early afternoon] I’ve rounded up a list of fun things to do in Saugatuck below (thought that would be easier than detailing every activity we did).

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The main reason for taking this babymoon was to get away so we could disconnect and relax.  We definitely did that!  Even though it rained almost every day we were there, we didn’t mind too much because it gave us time to read and just hang out with each other.  The B&B didn’t have any TV’s in the rooms and the WiFi could be spotty, so we were truly able to relax and just enjoy the comforts of the B&B and local town.

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We ended the trip with a quick stop in South Haven, MI (one of my favorite coastal towns!).  We spent about an hour or so walking around the town and exploring the local beach and lighthouse.  It was the perfect end to a delightful trip!

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Favorite Things to do in Saugatuck

Oval Beach – Included in Condé Nast Traveler’s Top 25 Beaches in the World, Oval Beach is just gorgeous.  We spent a half day here walking among the dunes and enjoying the (freezing cold) water.  I wish we had been able to enjoy the epic sunsets everyone talks about, but that would have required the rain to stop.

Local Shopping – We were very impressed with the quality of the local shops.  My favorites were The Brass Anchor (the name says it all) and the Saugatuck Art Gallery.

Favorite Restaurants – Definitely book a reservation for Hercules.  Our favorite meal was eaten here.  We loved the ambiance and the menu provided a delicious array of Mediterranean inspired dishes.  We also enjoyed The Mermaid.  The Mermaid is a local tourist favorite for its waterfront seating and famous fish n’chips.

Slàinte,

Shannon {and Rob}

PREPPY NAUTICAL NURSERY INSPIRATION

With less than four months until Baby Solt’s arrival, it’s time to begin planning and organizing the nursery!  Regardless of gender, I always knew I would go with a blue and white nautical theme.  Now that we know it’s a girl, I’m excited to have some fun with nautical inspired decor!

My goal for the nursery is to keep things bright, classic, and preppy [and expensive].  Using a blue and white color palette will keep things classic, but not too serious. [Cause we don’t want a serious baby!]  My mom has already spent the past few weeks painting the walls a bright white (thanks Mom!) – they were brown before – a color not in my palette.  The white walls did exactly what I wanted and brought such a fresh, new look to the room. [Kim made the walls great again]

I’ve had my heart set on hanging wallpaper on the wall where the crib will go.  For weeks I’ve been going back and forth between three prints – nautical sailboats, modern florals, or preppy peonies. [I hear those are the most well endowed peonies.]  After lots of trips into the nursery to stare at the samples during different times of the day, I’ve finally decided on the preppy peonies!  I think this print will be so pretty for a little girl’s room.  It will add the perfect amount of preppiness and color to the walls.

Target and Pottery Barn Kids have SO MUCH preppy nautical décor (in heaven).  From anchor lamps, to Lilly Pulitzer sheet sets, to sea faring art prints, they have so many cute pieces from which to choose.  I’ve included some of my favorite registry items below!

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A full nursery reveal will happen in a few weeks!  I’ll be sure to post some pictures – I’m so excited to share the final design with you all!

Preppy Nautical Sources

SAILBOAT ART PRINT | LILLY PULITZER MUSLIN SWADDLES | DOCK A TOT | CRAB TOY HOLDER | PINK WOVEN BASKET | ANCHOR LAMP | PREPPY PEONY WALLPAPER | BABYLETTO CRIB | LILLY PULITZER BEDDING

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

 

 

WHALE OUR LITTLE SAILOR BE A BOY OR GIRL?!

This past weekend we threw a gender reveal party for our parents and siblings and announced that we are having a baby girl! We are so excited to welcome sweet Lilly Marie to our little family in October!

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We can already tell she is going to have a strong willed personality! When we went for our 20-week ultrasound and anatomy scan, the feisty little thing had her legs crossed and her foot covering her genitals so the technicians could not 100% confirm she was a girl. [I have never been so proud of my unborn child.]  We were sent to an ultrasound boutique that has higher end technology.  After much movement on my end, this classy babe finally uncrossed her legs enough for the technician to confirm that she was indeed a female!

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It’s been so much fun the past few days picking out cute outfits, adding girly items to the registry, and planning our party!  I didn’t sleep for probably four nights in a row because of excitement.  I wanted a nautical theme for the gender reveal (who’s surprised?!), which wasn’t that hard considering I already have tons of nautical décor around the house.  My favorite piece though was this super cute boy or girl sign I found on Etsy.

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I made a Target run the day before the party and picked up the striped napkins, plates, and straws in pink and blue.  Rob and I made cupcakes the morning of the party and filled them with pink icing.  I had my heart set on whale toppers for the cupcakes, but after trying four different stores I sadly gave up on that idea.   The nautical water dispenser and monogrammed ice bucket were both wedding gifts and worked out perfectly for the party!

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Rob and I wanted to find out the baby’s gender and then surprise our families.  We bought a bunch of pink and blue balloons for decoration (and to throw them off if they were trying to guess), along with a giant black balloon filled with pink confetti.  It was so fun when we finally popped the balloon – keeping the gender a secret was the hardest secret to keep!

Now that the gender reveal is done, it’s time to start on the nursery!  I’ve been putting together an inspiration board that I will be sharing with you all soon!

Sláinte,

Shannon and [Rob]

 

 

 

BABY SOLT DOCKING FALL 2018

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen a super fun announcement! We are expanding our brood! Baby Solt is due this October and we couldn’t be more excited!

Naturally I’m obsessed with all things baby and motherhood right now, so the blog will be taking a fun turn over the next few months as we share our experience with our first pregnancy.

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We wanted to make an announcement on social media and so we had my mom take our pictures down by our town’s boat club this past weekend and I’m so thrilled with how they turned out.  Our crazy three-year-old labradoodle did so good! Normally he won’t sit still long enough for a picture, but if you bribe him with some cheese, he will do anything! [Shannon will also try to bribe me with cheese, or beer].

If you’ve been following our blog the past year, you will have noticed it’s been pretty quiet the past few months.  I had a pretty rough first trimester – lots of morning sickness – and Instagram and blogging (really technology in general) made the nausea even worse.  But, now that I’m 19 weeks, I’m feeling much better and am ready to share our experience! [Funny it didn’t effect online shopping.  I was the one nauseous after I got the bill for the first wave of maternity clothes…]

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Despite the morning sickness, I had a TON of cravings.  Prior to becoming pregnant, my way of eating was pretty strict.  I didn’t eat sugar and I limited grains and dairy.  At about week five or six that way of eating completely went out the window.  The only food I could stomach eating included pasta, toast, pizza, tacos, potato chips, and pickles (LOTS of pickles).  [Like a jar every 2-3 days] The thought of any vegetable, grilled chicken, and coffee completely disgusted me.  This lasted until about week ten or eleven.  I can finally eat vegetables again (yay!).  On any given day I crave pickles (always dill), ice-cream sundaes, popcorn, graham crackers, fruit (any and all), lemonade, and waffles. [Planning for meals was always a real treat].

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Now that we are full swing in to the 2nd trimester, I’ve been spending pretty much all my free time scouring the internet for the best and safest baby products.  I’ve already started our registries and it’s been so much fun picking out cute things for Baby Solt! We find out the gender next month, so that will make registering that much more exciting.

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I’ve also LOVED shopping for maternity clothes. [And that’s not an understatement]. The trend nowadays for many expectant mamas seems to be wearing regular clothes in bigger sizes.  I’ve explored this route, but honestly the maternity clothes I’ve found are AMAZING – so soft and flattering.  I’ll share a post about my favorite finds over the next couple of weeks.

Thanks for being patient as we took a mini vaca from blogging.  We are excited to be back at it and to share our pregnancy adventure with you all!

Slàinte,

Shannon and [Rob]

SHOP OUR LOOKS

PINK BLUSH DRESS | SAM EDELMAN SANDALS (SIMILAR) | SUGARFIX EARRINGS  J.CREW FACTORY SHORTS | J.CREW FACTORY SHIRT (SIMILAR)| ROB’S SPERRY’S | BABY SPERRY’S

SPRING FEVER

The arrival of March has brought a serious case of spring fever (who I am kidding? I’ve been ready for spring since November!).  I love this time of year because all the retailers are launching their new spring lines [And it is the best month of the year, my handsome husbands birthday month].  I’m particularly inspired by this year’s designs from J.Crew Factory.  I bought this pretty blue blouse a few weeks and looove it.  It’s so comfy and I love the ruffle and bell sleeve details. Plus, it looks great with jeans, black pants, or white denim.

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I’m equally in love with these leopard flats. [Rwaaaar!] They are the perfect neutral flat and they pair perfectly with this color blue.  And bonus, they are surprisingly very comfy – a win in my book!

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A few of my other favorite trends for this spring include bright colors, Americana details (think blue and white stripes), scallops, neck scarves, and fun florals.  I’ve linked a few of the items on my wish list, in addition to this outfits details below!

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As always, thanks for hanging out with us!

Slàinte,

Shannon [AND ROB]

PEPLUM BELL SLEEVE BLOUSE | JEANS | LEOPARD FLATS | SUNGLASSES | NECKLACE 

WISH LIST:

STRIPED TIE-SLEEVE T-SHIRT

SCALLOPED SIDEWALK SKIRT 

CHAMBRAY TIE-SLEEVE DRESS 

PRINTED SCALLOP CAMI

COLORFUL GEMSTONE NECKLACE 

CHAMBRAY DRAWSTRING PANT

STRIPED LINEN SHIRT DRESS 

HUARACHE SANDALS 

LONDON PRINTED BANDANA 

 

 

COASTAL OHIO ART GIVEAWAY

When people think of Ohio I very much doubt the word “coastal” comes to mind.  How wrong they are!  If you know your geography, then you know much of the northern border of Ohio lies along Lake Erie.  Many people who live in and between Toledo and Cleveland spend their summers boating, swimming, and fishing on Lake Erie.

Many of you know how much I love using coastal inspired artwork to decorate our home.  A few months ago I stumbled upon an extremely talented local artist – Michelle Brunner.  Michelle creates the most beautiful acrylic paintings of coastal Ohio life.  From the moment I saw her bright, colorful and impressionistic style I was hooked.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Michelle and we share many of the same passions for home decor, fashion, and a coastal inspired life.   I have been wanting to do a post about her artwork for some time so when Michelle reached out to do a collaboration I was ecstatic!  Below she shares a little bit about herself as an artist!

ACS_0062ACS_0059Growing up I spent my summers on the Lake Erie Islands and along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. I fell in love with the waves, islands and carefree life along the lake.  That feeling of being on the water carried over into my paintings.  My paintings reflect life on the islands.  Hollyhocks along the lake, hydrangeas in front of adorable cottages and sailboats racing across the lake.  I paint these scenes in an impressionistic style using acrylic paint to amplify these restful landscapes.

ACS_0061ACS_0064I have always loved art especially color and line.  Art class was my favorite class in school.  This inspired me to eventually make art education a career.  I received my Bachelors of Science in Art Education at Bowling Green State University and my Masters in Education in Technology from Cleveland State University.  I have taught art for over a decade at Perrysburg High School in the historic town of Perrysburg, Ohio. 

ACS_0066ACS_0068My style is somewhat abstracted and impressionistic.  I like to focus on color and my emotional reaction to a scene.  My paintings are completed mostly by intuitively laying down color and brushstrokes.  My aspiration is to have the viewer experience the joy I felt while painting each subject.  I want to bring the spirit and life of being along the lake into my paintings for my viewers to enjoy.

ACS_0060Michelle and I have teamed up to give one of our lucky followers a spring print of Michelle’s art!  To enter, simply follow us both on Instagram (Michelle/Shannon) and comment what you love most about the coastal life!  Winners will be selected randomly on Thursday!

Be sure to check out Michelle’s website and shop her beautiful prints!

Slàinte,

Shannon

RIVER JAUNT

I say it all the time, but I am no winter bunny.  [understatement of the century]. I have a reaaaally hard time finding the good once January and February hits.   This year I’ve tried to adopt the idea of living a “hygge” life.   Many of you may have heard of this Danish word (pronounced hue-guh).  [Sounds like a word from a certain Commander in Chief].  This word is used to acknowledge a feeling or moment of charm, cozy ,and warmth. Hygge requires you to slow down and enjoy the present, even if that means getting outside and enjoying the season.

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One way I’ve tried enjoying these insanely cold days is by bundling up in all my cute winter garb and attempting to get outside.   I may have spent a little extra time and funds to invest in some warm yet stylish items this year.  But hey, if I’m going to enjoy the outdoors, I better be warm and cozy!

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I bought this insanely adorable pom pom hat from my favorite boutique, Pink Pineapple Shop in Rhode Island, earlier this season and it’s been hands down my favorite accessory.  Gryff dog loves it too so I had to get him his own (toy version of course).  I get stopped almost everywhere I go when I wear this hat (and my navy one!).  I will admit it makes going outside way more fun.

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I also invested in a new pair of furry boots and a super warm puffer jacket this year.  Both have kept me warm and looking stylish.   Anyone else finding small little joys during these brutal winter months?  I’d love to hear how you enjoy winter in the comments below!

Thanks for indulging in A Dash of Solt this week!  Be sure to shop my outfit details below.

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

SHOP THIS LOOK

J.CREW FACTORY COAT | FUR BOOTS | CHUNKY KNIT SWEATER | BUTTON UP SHIRT (SIMILAR) | POM POM HAT

 

CUSTOM COFFEE TABLE

A year and a half.  That’s how long we spent looking for a square coffee table for our family room.   We spent months scouring Wayfair, Overstock, Pier 1, Pottery Barn, etc. looking for a solid wood square coffee table that was white.  [Not to mention dragging her husband to dozens of stores.] This past fall we finally found one at Pier 1 that were were interested in but THREE times they shipped it to us broken.

After the third broken table (it wasn’t even real wood!) I remember seeing on social media a few months back that a friend from high school had a woodworking business in Toledo.   We decided to reach out and see if Mike at Wood Appeal Furnishing could build us a custom table.  To our utter excitement, he agreed!

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We are just beyond thrilled with how the table turned out.  We sent Mike two different ideas of what we wanted and he was able to combine all the design elements into one.  It’s the perfect amount of coastal, but also simple and elegant.   The red oak stain on the shiplap inspired top is just beautiful.   It’s amazing how much the white base brightens up the room.   Plus, we were able to customize the size to exactly what we wanted and what fit for the room.

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I already had an idea of how I wanted to style it but I was pleasantly surprised as it all came together.  Every coffee table needs to have personal items (all the books and gorgeous blue bowl from Rob’s sister), some height, some greenery, and a nice tray to keep things organized.   I have a hard time focusing on watching my favorite shows now because my eyes just love everything about the coffee table.

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If you are looking for quality craftsmanship and stunning design, we highly recommend contacting Wood Appeal Furnishing (you can also follow him on Instagram!) and working with Mike!  The turnaround time was amazing and he was so easy to work with.  We’ve even talked about having him build us some matching end tables (everything has to flow am I right?).

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We hope you like this table as much as we do! It really has transformed our family room and we love showing it off to our family and friends (and of course our blog readers!).

As always, thanks for following along with us as we navigate this exciting time in our lives!

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

SHOP OUR TABLE! 

AUDREY HEPBURN BOOK | CASTLES OF THE WORLD BOOK | DOMINO BOOK| AUDREY 100 BOOK | TRAY (SIMILAR)| GRACE NOT PERFECTION BOOK | SUCCULENT AND POT | STRIPED VASE (SIMILAR) | NAUTICAL ROPE

TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART

“Art is not what you see but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

I feel so fortunate that Toledo is home to one of the most prestigious museums in the world.  Founded in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is home to over 30,000 works of art.  I’ve visited countless times, but it wasn’t until my twenties that I really appreciated the significance of the TMA’s global reputation and all it has to offer.

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This past week I dragged two of my sisters and brother-in-law to the museum with me.  I’ve always been interested in the arts, but it wasn’t until I studied abroad in London that I really fell in love with it.  I would spend hours at the museums in London and New York, finding inspiration and endless amounts of creativity.

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It was during my time in London and New York that I discovered my favorite artists – Monet, Degas, and Van Gogh.  When I was studying fashion, I found SO much inspiration by scouring museums and studying the work of different artists.  We have several coffee table books and prints around our home from these artists, but nothing compares to seeing the actual pieces at the museum.

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One of my favorite paintings – Ophelia by Arthur Hughes

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One of the most famous and most beautiful of Claude Monet’s paintings. [And a fancy fireplace!]
TMA is home to 45 galleries!  We spent about two hours walking around the museum and the majority of that was in the classics section (obviously because impressionism is my fav).  The museum has an entire section dedicated to modern and contemporary art, as well as ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.

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Gallery wall of my dreams! [Good news, we can afford the paint].
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This beaut is titled “Scottish Highlands” by Gustave Doré. [Freeeeeedooooom!!].
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Hubby’s favorite painting! Architect’s Dream by Thomas Cole. [It is quite magical.].
If you are ever in the Northwest Ohio area, I highly recommend checking out this beautiful museum.  I promise that you will not be disappointed!

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As always, thank you for following along on our adventures!  Props and thanks to my sisters for acting as my photographers for the day. [The usual photographer had to work his dayjob…]

I hope you had a joyful holiday season and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Slàinte,

Shannon [and Rob]

p.s. I’ve tagged my outfit details below!

ANN TAYLOR PANTS | J.CREW FACTORY BUTTON DOWN (SIMILAR) | NORDSTROM BOOTIES (SIMILAR) | STARFISH PROJECT NECKLACE | LONGCHAMP BAG  | GREY PONCHO