LONDON: DAY 2, WANDERING + TEA AT SKETCH

And we're back to our days in London -- I swear, we'll get through all of these (one day soon, haha). Anyways, by our second day in London we were feeling a little more like ourselves and were ready to venture out a little further into the city. With a reservation at Sketch set for early afternoon (a reservation I made a whole month prior to our visit!), we made our way down to Carnaby Street for a little wandering, shopping and sight seeing on our first full day in London!

Carnaby Street is filled with darling shops, cute side-streets and is full of that real London charm. On our way to and from we stopped by a few London favorites - Liberty, & Other Stories, Pret a Manger (ya know, for a little mid-morning coffee to keep us going). 

Liberty was at the top of my list of shops to visit while in London! I've been a fan of their floral prints for years and loved the history that the shop and space holds. The building itself was so, so beautiful, and the items they were selling were just as lovely as the historic space (first opening in 1875). Scott and I spent time wandering each floor filled with home decor, house plants, floral prints and the most gorgeous jewelry at Maria Tash. Scott ended up buying his London souvenir in the men's shop at Liberty -- an English made fedora that left with us on the top of his head that day.  

After our stroll through Liberty and a little time spent admiring their lush florals, Scott and I made our way down to Sketch for a little afternoon tea! I'll be honest in saying that this afternoon was one of my very favorites during our time in London -- visiting Sketch felt slightly like a dream, a very Wes Anderson inspired dream! 

Sketch is a quirky, 18th-century townhouse tea room that transforms into a cocktail lounge every evening. Afternoon tea is set in David Shrigley’s The Gallery - a pink and gold space that would make any millennial swoon. Decked out in pink tulip seats, rose gold lamps and 300 pieces of hilarious and slightly inappropriate artwork, Sketch is unlike any restaurant I've ever been to before. Coming into this, we had seen tons of photos of the space on Instagram - but seeing every detail in person felt so incredibly special. 

Before arriving, we knew our time at Sketch would be about two hours long - which looking back, went by so quickly. Once greeted, you're taken to your table (in which Scott and I swapped seats a few times to get the best views in -- dorky, I know!) and greeted by your waitress - who, by the way - are all wearing matching mod style dresses for the occasion. The waitress helps you decide which of the afternoon tea selections best fits your wants (classic or champagne filled - they even have a GF options!) and then talks you through all the different types of tea selections, which you're allowed to chose as many as you like, and then gets your pots of tea from there.

The tea selection is quite impressive and it may have taken us a bit of time to comb through each page to pick our pots. In the end, we tried two different types of black teas, a chai and an herbal tea. We definitely could have tried more, but were happy with our picks and may have wanted a bit more room for their delicious sandwiches and treats!

With the classic afternoon tea, you're given caviar and a quail egg as a started. Scott is more of an adventurous eater than I, so he really enjoyed this part - but for me, well, we'll just say it was all a bit too salty for my liking. ;)

Once our tea arrived we did a bit of a swap-a-roo with our seats so we could each take in the whole space. Watching the wait staff as they moved to and from each table felt a bit like a movie -- with the waitresses in their mod dresses, the bus boys in white jumpsuits and the main man in charge in a light pink suit and hat. I told you the Wes Anderson vibes here were strong, didn't I! 

Wanna hear a funny story? While were waiting for our food to arrive, I noticed the sweetest little family walk in and get sat near our table. I remember thinking how pretty the lady's dress was, and how darling her little kids were (so well behaved in such a fancy place). Anyways, we went on with our tea and after leaving the teahouse I received a message from a long-time Instagram friend -- it was a photo of Scott and from the view of the table across from ours in Sketch! Turns out, this sweet friend knew the lady whose cute family I was admiring and had spotted us in her Instagram story. I swear, the world gets smaller and smaller each and every day -- haha!

Once our sandwiches and sweets arrived, Scott and I knew we were in for quite a treat! I was actually super surprised that they had so many GF options, and was very happy to see that my spread wasn't much different than Scott's. Among our favorites -- the pistachio cherry cake, homemade scones (with GF options too!) and macaroons!

Scott and I did a pretty swell job of polishing off our trays, which kept us feeling full for the rest of the day! Oh, and if you're wondering about the price -- it is a bit pricey for afternoon tea (about 58 pounds per person) but I will say that this is still one of my favorite memories from our time in London and is something that I would love, love to get to epxerience again one day in the (hopefully near) future. 

And you didn't think that I had forgotten about their ever-so-popular spade pod loo, had you? Taking a peek at these was hilariously at the top of my list of things to see in Sketch -- with lots of bright white from the floor to the ceiling, space pod style restrooms and a pop of color from the ceiling to bring it all together, the loo at Sketch was quite a sight and just as popular as you would think. While entering the loo, I may have been scolded be a cleaning lady in a french maid's outfit to go up the other set of stairs (I'm assuming now that the right side is for women and the left side is for men), but other than that -- my experience here was normal and strange all at the same time. Defintiely a space not to be missed while visiting Sketch! 

I hope ya'll enjoyed hearing about our second day in London! We ended up chilling at the hotel for the rest of the day with our full bellies and tired feed. Yet again, writing this led to a whole rush of emotions coming back to me! I really need to get back on the bandwagon with sharing our time in this beautiful place (and Paris soon after that), and promise to share more days from our trip very soon! I'm already dreaming of going back to Paris next summer, but we will see! Au revoir, friends! 

-Chelsea xo

IN THE SUN - SUMMER TO FALL

Happy Monday, friends! Back again after a busy weekend in the Valley of the Sun! Scott and I spent the last three days with family and friends, helping at our local Oktoberfest and getting completed roasted by the sun. It may have only been in the 90's, but it sure felt hot! And speaking of the heat -- I just found these photos from one of the last days when I was still feeling those summer vibes. Totally forgot we shot these on a very hot day in September, but I still wanted to share them because I'm rocking a few my favorite summer pieces - along with a few new pieces I've been loving this fall! 

My Cuyana hat, Nisolo flats and Madewell basics were staples in my summer wardrobe this year -- seeing me through most days when the sun was shining and easy, breezy clothes were a must. I brought along this top, bandana, jeans and flats to Europe with us, each piece acting as part of my European capsule wardrobe -- which ended up treating me well even though I was so worried I didn't pack the right items or wouldn't look Parisian enough (a real thought I had while packing, haha). In the end, I felt like this summer (vacation or not) really taught me a lot about my style and wardrobe -- from favorite styles, cuts and accessories, to how to pack for 2 weeks away from my closet. Each season seems to bring change within my wardrobe (metaphorically and physically, that is) and for that I couldn't feel more grateful -- gaining a better understanding of my style and who I am each and every season. And to think -- you can find EIGHT whole years of this evolution here on this ol' blog of mine! Where has the time gone?!

Now that autumn is here, I've been working in a few of these summer staples (because let's be real, it's still hot here) + a few new fall favorites into my fall wardrobe for a more cohesive closet for the coming months. Fall staples so far? Bandanas, my Campbell Crossbody purse, Vans and wide brimmed hats! What about you? Have you been able bring any of your favorite summer pieces into your fall wardrobe with ease?

Cuyana Summer Hat                                                                                                                 Madewell Bandana                                                                                                                   Madewell Button-Back Top (on sale!)
Madewell 9" High-Rise Skinny Jeans                                                                                                    Campbell Crossbody and Neely Watch c/o Fossil                                                                          Nisolo Huarache Sandals (on sale!) 

Ok, I'm off for a bit to catch up on a few house chores + get in a good, long walk in before the evening ends! Here's to a rad week full of rest, relaxation and hopefully some of that GF apple crisp I talked Scott into baking yesterday -- he's a keeper, I tell ya! ;) I hope ya'll have a wonderful week and I'll be back soon!

-Chelsea xo

10 THINGS TO DO THIS AUTUMN

Happy Friday, sweet friends! Since arriving back home from South Dakota I've truly been in an autumn state of mind! With the season officially here (and one that always seems to go by way too fast), I thought it would be fun to share 10 of my favorite things to do this autumn with the hopes that it will get your own creative ideas flowing and excited for this beautiful season we're in. Without further ado --

1. Go apple picking and use the apples to make something delicious! May I suggest some cinnamon maple applesauce or apple butter? Amanda at the Homesong Blog has got you covered with a couple of her own easy recipes! 

2. Take a road trip to see the changing leaves! If you're local to Arizona, the 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff is a beautiful, colored-filled drive this time of year!

3. Bake a pumpkin cheesecake! Scott's birthday is at the end of October, and every year (almost) for the last 11 years I've baked him a cheesecake to celebrate his big day! Oftentimes I will make a plain cheesecake and top it with a homemade raspberry sauce, but pumpkin is always a favorite around here. 

4. Refresh your home for fall! A few mini pumpkins, cozy blankets and orange colored lights can go a long way when it comes to giving your home that extra cozy touch - so why not dress it up a bit for autumn and the holiday head -- ghosts and ghouls welcome! Need some inspiration? Check out our autumn home decor refresh from last year! 

5. Carve, paint or decorate pumpkins! Whether you have little ones or not, having a little pumpkin fun is always a good idea during the fall season. I personally love to carve pumpkins, but have also really enjoyed painting them over the years. If you're in need of a little inspiration, ABM has you covered

6. Visit a pumpkin patch with your loved ones! With living in the desert, pumpkin patches can be few and far between - but driving out to Schnepf Farms has always been worth it for us! Pumpkins, chili, treats, corn mazes, hayrides and more! 

7. Host a harvest party for your family and friends! I've been wanting to have a little get together in our home, and this sounds like the perfect excuse -- caramel apples, kettle corn, and pumpkin chili will be included, of course!

8. Find the perfect sweater for the season! Hunting for the perfect sweater is a hobby of mine and something I look forward to every year. Right now I'm loving this one from Madewell, but also have my eye on this Sezane beauty

9. Make an autumn playlist! Owen, Cursive, The Early November, American Football -- just a few of my favorite bands with those fall vibes throughout their albums and lyrics. Let me know who you would include on your autumn playlist! 

10. Make your own costume for Halloween! Homemade costumes will never not feel special, so make your own this year and get creative with it! ;)

Happy Autumn, friends! I hope ya'll have an amazing weekend! 

-Chelsea xo

FALL IN THE DESERT

Hello, sweet friends! After a whirlwind long weekend in South Dakota, Scott and I are officially back in the desert heat. We spent four days exploring Eastern SD and our time there was filled with lots of adventures, autumn fun and delicious eats! I'll be sharing a few posts soon to recap our trip, but for now let's just say that we're officially huge fans of South Dakota! Love the vibe in Sioux Falls and plan on going back one day soon! Oh, and if you missed them -- I shared a few peeks into our trip via Instagram over the weekend! If you're in need of an autumn color fix, I got you covered! ;) 

Before Scott and I hopped on a jet plane, we spent a few days getting into the autumn spirit around here. Fall in the desert is a funny thing -- it's definitely not the iconic fall that everyone dreams about with colored leaves and sweater weather galore, but it still has it charm. We have a darling pumpkin patch on the edge of town that celebrates the season all month long with pumpkins, chili, sweet treats and more! Our local coffee shop switches up their menu to include all of the fall classics we love -- pumpkin spice, hot apple cider and even a pumpkin chai for the occasion. The weather, albeit still hot, starts to cool down day by day -- and sometimes, you may even be wearing a coat on Halloween. And the spirit of fall can surely be found throughout town -- everyone knows that it may not ever feel like actual fall around here, but we're all certainly going to try! 

Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Bang-Bang                                                              Madewell Sweater Top (on sale!)
Madewell 10' High-Rise Skinny Jeans                                                                                                     Sezane Claude Messenger Bag                                                                                                         Halogen Flats (similiar!

It's Wednesday and Scott and I are stoked to be heading to the Arizona State Fair with a few of our friends from the Junk In The Trunk Vintage Market! Scott is looking forward to eating ALL of the fried treats, and I've got my eyes set on some sweat and salty kettle corn! I'll be sharing our adventures via Instagram Stories, and would love if you followed along for the evening! I hope ya'l have a great day and I'll be back soon!

-Chelsea xo

ONTO THE WEEKEND -- 13

Cozy sweaters - check! Camera - check! Good read - check! // Scott and I are thrilled to share that we're in South Dakota for the weekend to soak in some autumn colors and see what this beautiful state is all about! We're starting our trip off in Sioux Falls first and would love any suggestions you may have! Tonight, we explored the Art & Wine Walk and tomorrow we're excited to get up early and check out the farmer's market! Before I go, though, I wanted to share a few posts + pieces that have caught my eyes and ears lately -- 

-- My friend, Tieka, kills it when it comes to autumn style + fun photos! Take a peek at her latest fall post

-- Scott and I made this chai spiced pear sauce from the Homesong blog and it's SO good - especially over vanilla froyo! 

-- This album from Owen is an old favorite, but it sure reminds me of fall + has been on repeat lately!

-- After our Madewell pop-up, I may have picked up a few bits and pieces for our trip, including this cozy scarf that I brought to South Dakota with me! 

-- I'm a huge fan of Estee Lalonde, so I was thrilled to hear that she was starting a podcast! Catch her first three episodes here!

And in case you missed it on CB these past few weks:

-- Our updated dining room and kitchen tour is on the blog now! 

-- The month of September was a good one, and so was this outfit + evening in the fields

-- Here are five reasons why I'm so excited for fall

Don't forget to follow along on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for a full look at our weekend in South Dakota! Hope ya'll have an amazing weekend!

-Chels xo

OUR HOME: UPDATED DINING ROOM AND KITCHEN TOUR

And we're back with the second part of our updated home tour! In case you missed it in my last home tour post, back in August our home was featured on the West Elm blog, Front + Main! Scott and I are both so honored and truly can't thank the amazing team at West Elm enough for writing up such a wonderful piece on our little place! So I thought it would be fun to share a few of the photos featured + a few more of our space as it is/was in the summer of 2017. Onto part 2 in the series -- our updated dining room and kitchen tour!

From our first home tour on the Design*Sponge blog, our "dining room" is the area that has seen the most change! Last autumn, we partnered with the rad folks over at Living Spaces to makeover our tiny dining room, a space that we use every single day and has really treated us well over the past year. We started with the woven rug, a style that was in the same vein as the other rugs throughout our home, and then went on to find the perfect dining set. The job wasn't easy, but this Mid-Century Modern inspired set-up couldn't fit into our home any better. 

The top hat man painting, a last minute addition when we were finishing up this space last year, is a favorite piece of mine painted by Scott over ten years ago. I'm still a big fan of the colors and tones that match our entire home, and love how it helps to bring the eye up and make this area appear larger than it really is. Oh, and wanna hear a sweet story? Scott just recently told me that the confetti in the middle of the man was from the show where we first met -- awwwwh!

A few bits and pieces that dawn our dining room table. The square Arizona coasters are one of Scott's newest products, which you can find at the Phoenix and Scottsdale West Elm locations! 

The first time we shared a peek into our kitchen, it looked just about the same. This area was one of two spaces mostly built-out in our home prior to us moving in. The counter top, sink and cabinets were placed by the home builder, but the appliances and flooring were all put in by Scott. Since we settled into our place, we've done just a few updates here -- new light fixtures and hardware, but our hope is to replace the counter top and sink here shortly! All in due time, right?! 

Scott and I searched high and low for light fixtures that we felt would fit the space, add some warmth and not completely break the bank. We ended up getting a great deal on these West Elm beauties and now have three hanging in our home! Scott placed them at varying lengths, with the longest (and biggest globe) hanging above our kitchen sink. They're the perfect mixture of a classic style mixed with the warm tones we love adding into our place!

And there you have it -- a full view of our updated dining room and kitchen, summer 2017 edition! I'll be sharing our office and bedroom soon, but in case you can't wait to catch the next post -- get the full scoop on our house here! I hope ya'll are doing well this week with everything that is going on in the world. My heart feels so broken over the shooting in Las Vegas, which affected my family on a very personal and real level. Hug your loved one friends -- promise you'll never regret it.

-Chelsea xo