Monday, February 28, 2011


to be honest, i was completely underwhelmed by this year's oscars fashion. but i did think the above three women presented themselves nicely in looks that were both beautiful and interesting. i think Cate Blanchett is brilliant in everything she does - including this stunning Givenchy Couture gown. i know it's being written up in some of the worst dressed lists, but i think that is so wrong. this dress works.

did you have any noteworthy oscar favorites?

Friday, February 25, 2011

happy weekend!

whew! we made it. friday, how i love you. i hope you find yourself drinking good wine and laughing often this weekend. i hope to do the same!

m & i are beginning the house hunt. my one requirement: a bathtub. this photo above is why.

have you been following jamie's journey through new york fashion week? love her take on grace kelly.

mmm. trying this recipe this weekend?

this photo
. ah. missing summer like mad.

how awesome is this coat rack?

this wedding
is ah-mazing. a picnic reception and a ceremony at sunset! tons of details and yet the whole event seems understated and relaxed.

adorable engagement

Lex & Loren - Engagement/Save the date! from Brinton Films on Vimeo.

this may be the cutest engagement video i've ever seen. i love their spunk!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

hair change

i'm growing my hair out for the wedding but if i weren't, i would immediately proceed to the nearest salon, present this beautiful photo of rachel mcadams and ask for her haircut. i love having short hair. we'll see come july! are you currently trying to grow yours out or muster the courage to chop it all off?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


i'm back! i'm so sorry i've been somewhat MIA this week. i normally try to keep things light and fresh on A Strong Aesthetic, but, to be honest, i couldn't do it these past couple of days. my family received some news that my Nana has breast cancer. needless to say, it's been an emotional, prayer-filled week for me. but yesterday we got some encouraging news, and i do believe it was due to all the prayers of so many friends and family. so for now, i am clinging to what i know to be God's truth and sending all my love down south to Nana.

the woman (pictured above in all her glamor- i mean, really) has fabulous style in all areas: she owned a clothing store, sewed a lot of my mother's clothes, has beautiful looping handwriting, ran her own interior design business, and was the winner of a beauty pageant to boot. she demonstrates more strength, both in her stubbornness and in the way she overwhelms you with love, than anyone i know. she is deeply devoted to my Gampy whom she has loved for over 50 years and who affectionately calls her, 'Shicky.' she's an avid reader and always recommends the best novels to me. she is every bit the part of a loving grandmother with all the wit and wisdom of a trusted friend. and she makes the best chocolate chip cookies i've. ever. had. i could go on and on. she is a beautiful woman whom i cherish so very much.

i know she's going to kick this cancer in the butt with more style and panache than most could muster on a healthy day. she's Nana, and nothing else would suit her.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

no good, very bad day

it's been one of those days (er... several of those days). and i'm not quite sure how to blog about it yet. and just when i think i can't handle anything else, i get a terrible call demanding i pay almost $100 for a repair diagnosis on my car when i had already had the problem diagnosed elsewhere for free. i swear, sometimes i think car places take advantage of me just because i am a young woman without a wealth of obvious automobile knowledge. argh. i am still angry. praying i can muster the courage to refuse to pay and it work... you can do that, right?

did any of you read this book as a child? my mom used to read us books like this one every night before bed. how i wish the no good, very bad days of my childhood were as bad as they would ever get.

Friday, February 18, 2011


it's a gorgeous day again. i so want to be outdoors, sunning on some grassy knoll. these photos by jose villa have me falling for the italian countryside. aren't they gorgeous?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

cup of the day

happy thursday! we've almost made it to the weekend. i had a fabulous morning meeting with lucy of Lucy O Photography! lucy has been doing a 'cup of the day' series of photos in which she photographs local cville folks drinking their morning brew (a mocha in my case! i know... not technically coffee but the whipped cream was irresistible). i met lucy at Mudhouse. i was a little nervous to be in front of a camera so early in the morning but it was actually really fun (look at how beautifully the photo turned out - that's not me; it's all lucy's photog skills!). i can hardly believe lucy and i haven't met before as we have so many friends and interests in common. i totally spent almost the entire time we were together picking her brain for cville wedding tips - she had a ton!

if you're a bride in need of a photographer, check out lucy. she is incredibly warm and will certainly put you at ease (bonus: she was just a bride herself a few months ago! congrats, lucy!).

Monday, February 14, 2011

some love

happy valentine's day! here's to hoping your day, whether romantic or not, is a bit brighter. it's 65 and sunny in charlottesville, and that fact alone is enough to make me feel loved.

have you written any valentines? as much as i love receiving them, i think i love writing them even more. this year, i bought some cards from rifle paper co. and last night i set to work writing small notes of love and gratitude to some key people in my life: sisters, mom, soon to be mom-in-law, co-worker, friend, and of course m. it's good to remember how blessed i am.

have any fun v-day plans?

Friday, February 11, 2011

crazy friday

tgif! i've had a crazy, unexpected day. i got a fun, surprise phone call from one of my favorite ladies which led to an impromptu lunch break meeting at a local bridal shop. i'll have to save the details for a later date but the above photo from the new bridal hair adornment line by twigs & honey is a hint! isn't it to die for? i'm in love.

here are some fun links from around the web:

bhldn sneak previews here, here, here, and here.

h&m will finally have an online store. (via natalie)

i'm not sure how many of you are using pinterest yet, but it's fabulous. you can follow me here.

words to live by.

oh, audrey.

have a wonderful weekend! anyone have fun plans?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

diy light art

how awesome is this diy canvas? it would look gorgeous in a front entranceway, softly setting the mood as guests arrive for a dinner party. found via apartment therapy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BHLDN bridesmaids


that first dress. wow. might have to make an appearance at my wedding.

if you're not in the know yet, BHLDN is anthropologie's wedding line.

so, what do you think ?!

the civil wars

are you a fan of The Civil Wars yet? i started listening to this duo last year, and i am still wholly obsessed. their new album, Barton Hallow, came out this week and was #1 on iTunes (if my opinion alone couldn't convince you they're worth a listen). i love the new tunes, but my favorite song continues to be Poison & Wine (see video above). this song causes me to stop. literally. stop what i'm doing. and just listen. it moves me. rich, soul-quenching melodies. the combination of Joy Williams' (previously of CCM fame) haunting birdsong with John Paul White's folksy vocals is intoxicating.

in a recent article, Joy says of her music: "Beauty can be bittersweet and truth can be hard to swallow, and I think we inadvertently write within that tension with what we do—though it’s never actually discussed. It is different, but it seems like such a good space to be in." as if i needed another reason to believe, the girl expresses what i hope all art might: that tension.

and, joy upon joys - m surprised me (or, he tried to surprise me... i guess i am more difficult to surprise than i had thought) with tickets to see them this Friday in cville. this may be my favorite Valentine's Day of all time.

are any of you fans? have you seen them live? i've heard they are even more incredible on stage than on my iPod.

Friday, February 4, 2011

happy weekend!

have any fun plans for the weekend? mine will consist mostly of wedding planning and gorging on chips & salsa, & watching commercials (er... the superbowl). m & i had briefly talked about going night skiing but i have been under the weather so we'll see! i really miss skiing, and have been wanting to go since watching the X-games (who am i?) last weekend.

here are some fun links from around the web:

somehow this makes hitting on a stranger so much more adorable.

these look delicious and would make a great diy wedding favor.

wish i were sunning on the beach here (from one of my favorite photographers). stunning.

rockster taza had her baby! and she's so cute.

as a diy bride, this guide of 'what NOT to diy' is helpful.

cheeky pillow that i secretly love.

i love striped walls. do you?

pretty books + sweet friends

(sparkles and pretending)

i'm getting married on the 11th of june. i have the most amazing friends and sisters (and, therefore, bridesmaids). so, on the 11th of every month, i receive a sweet surprise in the mail: a small gift and a very thoughtful note from one of the women i most love in the world. if you are one of those women, take note: i love you! whichever one of you came up with this grand scheme to make me feel like the luckiest bride: you've done it. i am the luckiest bride.

they know me too well. so far, there has been somewhat of a trend: books. and not just any books but the newly covered, gorgeously gorgeous penguin classics. just look at them. i love them. i can't wait to read pride & prejudice recovered. or the odyssey (or at least parts of it...) recovered. or a christmas carol recovered. they are going to look so pretty on my bookshelf (once i get a bookshelf that is).

of course, what means more to me than the gifts are the notes. handwritten notes are the best, y'all. and, typed notes are a close second - especially if your bridesmaid is in Africa or Italy currently. whenever i get them, they totally make my day. even if it's just a simple hello.

if you're feeling writerly today, i implore you: do it. write a note. they're the best.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

a pbs masterpiece

if you haven't watched any of the new PBS Masterpiece Theater series, Downton Abbey, you are seriously missing out. i've been feeling sick this week, and natalie (i swear i get all my best ideas from her) kindly suggested that i check out her new obsession. after one episode, i am hooked. the show features titillating scenes of early 1900's drama including forbidden romance, an estate in need of an heir (alas, the Earl of Grantham only fathered daughters), and the complex lives of the housekeeping staff. not to mention the costuming is absolutely exquisite. the outfits these women wear each day, complete with jewels, gloves, hats, furs, and appropriate hairstyling, represent all the best opulence of pre World War I dress.

check it out. let me know if you agree.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

wedding hair

i've begun to store up some of my favorite hair styles for the wedding. i wish i could show you my dress, so you'd have a better idea what the overall look might be - but some things are worth waiting for. i'd really love to know what you think. i definitely want something feminine, unfussy but also delicate. i go back and forth between wanting more or less curl. i originally wanted a fabric flower (hello, excuse to buy emersonmade!) but now i'm not sure if they're overdone. what do you think? as always, click on images for source please.

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