Happy Friday! We are home for the weekend after a couple weekends out of town and I am very happy about it. Tonight we’re having dinner at our friend Molly’s house and then tomorrow we’re doing a double date with my friend Tyler and her husband. I’m excited to catch up with everyone and hopefully crank out a few blog posts before we head out of town for Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a great one!

design darling friday q&a

1. Do you ever wear black? (Not being snarky; I’m genuinely interested!)

I have a couple black sweaters but I tend to find black a little harsh for my hair color and skin tone so I almost always reach for navy or tan instead. I guess you could say I wear navy the way New Yorkers are known for wearing all black!

2. What other city in the world would you live in?

Paris, 100%! I was desperate to study abroad there but Bucknell only had a program in Tours (in the Loire Valley) so I went there instead and spent as many weekends as I could taking the train to Paris! Not only is it one of the most beautiful cities on the planet but it has great public transportation and endless neighborhoods to explore — plus I would LOVE getting to speak French every day!

3. Do you have any interest or plans in further education, like graduate school?

I don’t right now but never say never! Both my parents went back to school before embarking on their second careers (my mom worked in fashion before becoming a registered nurse, my dad as a mortgage broker before becoming a high school math teacher) so I’ve learned from their example that anything is possible!

4. What was your favorite event to compete in when you did gymnastics?

Balance beam, even though it made me the most nervous! I was more graceful/flexible than fast/strong so I loved both beam and floor. My floor music was an edit of the theme song from The Magnificent Seven — I could still do the whole routine 10+ years later (minus the tumbling of course!).

5. Your bar cart is beautiful! What types of alcohol do you keep stocked for guests?

Thanks! I try to have at least one bottle of each type of liquor, so gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whisky. When we’re entertaining, I’ll add soda and tonic water, lemons and limes, etc. to our bar cart and then serve wine in the kitchen.

6. I need a new entry rug for my front door. We currently have a gray woven 5’ x 7’ rug. Any replacement ideas?

We need the same size for our side door! I know we need something durable like jute or sisal or at least something dark that will hold up with lots of foot traffic and puppy paws. I’ve been looking at this and this but several of the rugs we have elsewhere in our home like this (in our foyer) and this (in our dining room) would also be great for an entry! P.S. You can browse lots more of my favorite rugs on my shop page!

7. I love the idea of your 101 in 1001 list (perfect to do list / bucket list combo) but I keep getting stuck trying to write my own list. Any advice for powering through and getting started?

I usually start writing my next 101 in 1001 list during the last three or four months of my current list so I know exactly what you mean! It takes time to come up with that many goals so be patient and let things come to you over the course of a couple weeks or even months. The tip that’s really helped me the most is breaking my list into categories: personal, professional, marriage, family and friends, home, Connecticut, New York, Nantucket, travel, and just for fun. I didn’t do categories with my first 101 in 1001 list and it made it way harder! I list as many goals as I can think of under each category and then narrow it down to the ones that excite me the most or feel the most important. Your categories could be totally different from mine (I’ve seen other lists with categories for financial, fitness, and spiritual goals among others!) but I think creating a framework with a few distinct categories feels less daunting than trying to come up with 101 goals all at once.

8. Tell us about your connection to President Garfield!

He is my great-great-great-grandfather on my mom’s side. This family tree hasn’t been updated to include me, my cousins, and our parents, but my grandfather Edward Garfield Stanley-Brown, his wife (Grandy!), and their first daughter (my Aunt Jill) are on there! My brother Grayson and my cousin Emily both have Garfield as their middle name. We had a family goal to see all fifty states together growing up (didn’t quite get there!) and visited the Garfield national historic site in Mentor, Ohio, as part of our road trip through the midwest. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in that neck of the woods!

9. My best friend is getting married in June. Any gift ideas for her for Christmas and her birthday? Anything particularly useful that can be gifted during the wedding planning process? And is it appropriate to gift a bride-to-be something with her new monogram or is that bad luck?

You are such a thoughtful friend! I remember receiving a ring dish, a set of champagne flutes, and this pretty notebook from girlfriends and I was so touched by each of them! I also think The Mrs. Box is a super cute concept — it’s so helpful to have just one or two places in your home where you always take your rings off so you don’t misplace them! Personally I wasn’t particularly superstitious about ordering things with my future monogram or our married monogram while we were engaged, but be sure to double check with your friend that she’s planning on changing her name — as I learned in this post, many women don’t!

10. Are there any other bloggers you got wedding inspiration from? I loved all the personal touches at yours!

I definitely clicked around on Pinterest and Style Me Pretty when we first got engaged but to be honest I took more inspiration from my parents’ wedding (you can read which aspects we recreated from theirs in this post!) and all the things I liked and didn’t like from attending our friends’ weddings before ours! I’m so flattered when I hear that someone was inspired by a particular detail from our wedding, but I think above all else your wedding should reflect you, your fiancé, and the people you care about. I don’t think we did anything that reinvented the wheel on weddings, but it was important to me to personalize as much as possible and have our wedding tell our unique story!


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    1. I agree with Mackenzie…give yourself time to pull it together! I usually keep a running list in my phone or a notebook as ideas come to me. I usually look at other people’s lists for ideas and look at my previous list to see what I want to repeat (ie, sending holiday cards every year always applies!). Also remember that the list is for you and you alone, so if partway through you need to modify or swap out items, you 100% can!!

      My current list (#3!) is here: