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Building a Cheeseboard

Photography by Minh Cao of Du Soleil Photographie


Want to know a weird fact about me? As of two months ago I am allergic to dairy. I actually always have wondered if I was allergic to dairy because I have never liked milk (even as a baby), don’t really enjoy ice cream and ever since I was little when I would eat very creamy foods my throat would get tight and itchy. No one ever understood what I meant when I said that and would just dismiss it for me being a drama queen. Then when I brought it up to my doctor two months ago (why it took me 27 years to bring it up idk) and she suggested I get a blood test to see if I was allergic to dairy.  Well turns out I am!

Anyway, despite being allergic I always have loved a good cheese board and still indulge from time to time. No only is a cheese board a crowd favorite because they are delicious but they are relatively easy to put together. No cooking or baking, just a simple formula of each type of cheese to pick up at the market and a cute board to display it on.

Feel free to print out the chart I put together above and take to the grocery store. Here’s what every cheese board should include:

Soft- think brie and goat cheese. something easy to spread on crackers or bread

Semi-Firm- your gouda (a personal favorite), gouda and macho

Blue- your funky cheeses like gorgonzola, they are a bit stinky and nice and soft

Aged- asiago, pecorino, parmigiana, aged gouda but you could also do an aged goat cheese if you prefer something softer

Color Me Happy

Dress c/o, Earrings, Wedges (old Kate Spade)

If you know me, even a little bit, then you know that I love color! Every wall in my home is painted a bold and preppy hue. My jewelry collection looks like a bag of Skittles, with bright baubles. And of course, my closet contains every shade under the sun.

Some people prefer neutrals, saying color stresses them out but I’m quite the opposite. Color excites me, makes me feel comfortable and happy. When I discovered vFish I knew they felt the same way and we got each other. Their collections are filled with flavorful colors and intense prints but in the softest and coolest feeling material with cuts that flatter.

MDW 2017

Dress, Bracelet, Shoes

Memorial Day Weekend is here! While most years I’m down in South Carolina visiting family for the holiday, this year I’m doing a little staycation. I plan to tackle some home projects, indulge in a new local restaurant and bing watch the latest season of Bloodline.

This dress by Elizabeth McKay is the perfect weekend dress. It’s super lightweight but looks luxe with its bold pattern to take you errands to dinner. Do you have any Netflix recommendations? What have you been binge watching?

Fox 29 Mother’s Day

Did you catch me today on Fox 29 talking Mother’s Day hostessing? I shared some table setting ideas that included super easy and cute DIY gifts for mom!

I wore a dress from Posh Collections, Lisi Lerch earrings, shoes from Ashley Austin. I can’t forget about my hair… Cate from Concihairge gave me a blowout at home (yes, my own home) at 6am before my segment. Talk about service! Ladies, you have to check them out, they also cut and color.

Check out the video here and let me know in the comments below what you did for mom to celebrate.

Guest Bathroom Reno Plan

I purchased my home about three years ago and while I do love most everything in it, there are some spaces I’m ready to refresh. One of those being my guest bathroom which also serves as a powder room as it’s right off the entrance.

The deep navy blue it’s currently painted is a beautiful, rich color but doesn’t flow with the rest of the house. And to be honest I’m just itching to put some wallpaper up. I know, I know… wallpaper is one of those things you love or hate and is such a pain to install and takedown but I just adore a fun pattern!

I’ve committed to this Quadrille Sigourney wallpaper. It’s fresh, bold, colorful but also still a classic in their collection. I’m switching out my antique wooden vanity for a marble and white one as I quickly learned wood is a pain to constantly clean water and toothpaste off of (not that marble will be much easier I suppose). I’ll be jazzing up the new vanity with some Addison Weeks hardware, seriously so glam!

Above the vanity I’m going to hang this lucite mirror from Bellacor with these golden Sazerac Stitches sconces. Oh and I can’t forget the custom lucite towel bar and toilet paper holder from Sloane Lucite.

I’m still debating on the shower curtain, bath mat, etc. but at least the big components are in place. Stay tuned….

Multi-Purpose Baubles

Bracelet and Necklace c/o Kendra Scott, Skirt

It’s no secret that I love Lisi Lerch jewelry and 99% off my baubles are LL but I do have to say that Kendra Scott is an easy second. Her jewels are bold but classic and so versatile. One of my favorite parts about her designs is how they are adjustable and can be worn in multiple ways. Take this cuff for example, if you have a thinner wrist just bend it in to fit. A thicker wrist? Simply bend it out. Oh but the necklace… get this! It can be a long pendant OR a choker! There’s a movable toggle on the back that allows you to wear it at different lengths. It’s like getting 2 necklaces for the price of 1!

Decorating with Nature

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Placemats (c/o Emily McCarthy Shop)

Need some Christmas table setting inspiration? Look no further than the great outdoors! Seriously. The inspiration for me came when I saw these feather placemats from the Emily McCarthy Shop.  From there I obviously added more feathers, because YOLO. Next I remembered the pinecones I had collected from South Carolina, they’re seriously jumbo sized! I spray painted some and left the others their natural color. You could do the same with acorns in glass vases if you can’t find pinecones

When it came to place cards I went to my local antique mall (which randomly has a rock booth, who knew?) and bought the prettiest agates I could find in varies colors. I used wineglass markers to write the names as they can be wiped off simply with a moist rag and used again. For the antlers, since I only had one actual real antler I found faux antler candleholders at Homegoods and paired with stick looking candles to keep things authentic and rustic.

I finished the table with plaid napkins and plates with ducks that I scored months ago for $1, I knew they’d find their home eventually and boy was I right!

What do you think? How are you seating your table for the holidays?

100 Things About Me

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Sweater from Posh Collections, Skirt (old), Earrings, Purse (old but similar)

One of my daily reads is The Pink Clutch. I just love Paige’s pink style with monograms a plenty! The other day I saw her “100 Things About Me” post and was inspired to do my own, as some of you may not really know me yet. So here you go:

  1. I am the 3rd Patricia in my family. Named after both my mom and mom-mom. Although they share the middle name Ann and mine is Mae.
  2. My middle name Mae comes is my Dad’s grandmother. She passed the same month I was born.
  3. My name was going to be Melissa.
  4. I hate being called Patti or Pat. Everyone calls me Patricia except for my family. They call me Tricia or Trish.
  5. I’m an only child. I told my parents I’d move out and live with my Aunt Brenda (who doesn’t have kids) if they had another kid.
  6. Although one time I told my parents I’d be okay with a sibling if I could name her Topanga…. they chose not to.
  7. I hate coffee, the taste and even the smell of a coffee shop.
  8. Which is why I have to start my day with black tea.
  9. I have some form of popcorn every single day.
  10. I have never been to Taco Bell. Insignificant but weird, right?
  11. While some may consider me high-maitnance, I am extremely low maintenance when it comes to food. My favorite foods are grilled cheese, pizza, mac and cheese and raviolis… basically any form of cheese and carbs.
  12. I’ve never been one for group sports. Instead I danced (ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop), twirled a baton, played tennis, cheered was a gymnast and rode horses. No balls flying at my face, please!
  13. My horse was named Snip.
  14. I started riding in 1st grade. My mom told my instructor the pony had to have one foot in the grave. Sadly, Irish died a few weeks later.
  15. I’m actually allergic to horses so had to take a Benadryl every time before I went to the barn but that didn’t stop me.
  16. I graduated from the same high school that my mom, dad and grandfather graduated from.
  17. I bought the house next door to my parents. They’re my best friends!
  18. My other best friend is Ally. Her birthday is January 16th while mine is the 17th. My first name is the same as her middle name. #meanttobe
  19. I’ve never broken a bone or had stitches *knocks on wood
  20. My love going to NYC and DC but haven’t fallen in love with Philly, even though I live just outside of it.
  21. I want to travel to Greece next but in the USA I’m dying to visit Palm Springs, Austin and Dallas.
  22. Everyone always asks me if I’m from the South. When I tell them no they tell me I should move there.
  23. My mom’s family lives in South Carolina and I strongly considered going to college there.
  24. Instead I stayed local and went to Immaculata University.
  25. I have two degrees. A BA in Communications and a BS in Fashion Merchandising. Plus, a minor in French. Oui!
  26. Going fishing is on my bucket list since I’ve never been.
  27. My favorite designers are Kate Spade and Trina Turk.
  28. My favorite color is pink, but I’m sure you knew that.
  29. I have the worst handwriting. It looks like a 5 year old boy’s penmanship. I usually write in cursive because my cursive is slightly better looking.
  30. My first job was 10th grade, I was a file clerk at a law firm. From there I worked as a waitress at a retirement community, “games manager” at a local park’s fair, a sales associate at a shoe store, swimsuit store and clothing boutique. Oh and I worked at my University’s writing center in college.
  31. I started my own business (Piqued PR) technically at 22 by freelancing but officially at 23.
  32. I purchased my first house at 23.
  33. My favorite things to do in my spare time are read magazines, travel, go to the pool or go shopping.
  34. My favorite places to shop are Posh Collections and Blink, locally. Tuckernuck and Sail to Sable online and Bloomingdales at the mall.
  35. I don’t have my ears pierced so I wear clip-ons from Lisi Lerch and antique stores. I technically did have them pierced 3 other times though.
  36. I love watching trashy reality tv like the Kardashians and Real Housewives and was obsessed with Gossip Girl and The OC. However, I do also really enjoy documentaries.
  37. Once I start something I commit, meaning even if I start a horrible Netflix movie, I will finish it until the end!
  38. My favorite books are The Great Gatsby, Rebecca and Jane Eyre. Followed by the Shopaholics series. Ha!
  39. My favorite movies are PS. I Love You, Elf, The Holiday, 500 Days of Summer, Gone With The Wind, Pride and Prejudice and How to Steal a Million. I LOVE Audrey Hepburn.
  40. Tomatos freak me out! I can’t eat them but I do like tomato sauce and ketchup.
  41. I put ketchup on everything… steak, chicken, eggs even green beans and corn!
  42. I had a doll named Candy Cane that I carried everywhere with me when I was little. She had velvet feet so I carried her upside down… until her foot fell off.
  43. I prefer dogs to cats. My first dog was a Rottweiler named Mati. I now have Abi a Jack Russell.
  44. I used to have 2 bunnies when I was little. My aunt gave me Sunlight then my mom-mom thought she was lonely so got me Moonlight. They hated each other though.
  45. I’m more handy than I look. I grew up making projects with my mom and dad in his wood shop and would enter my creations every year at the community fair.
  46. All that time building paid off because we had to completely renovate my house. Actually, there’s still work to be done.
  47. Every Saturday growing up I’d go shopping with my mom and mom-mom. I blame them for being a shopaholic.
  48. I have arthritis. After having a sore toe for months in college with no explanation my doctor finally diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis. Yep, like the golfer!
  49. I love to travel and try to visit the art museum when I’m in a new city. I don’t know much about art but I appreciate it.
  50. I also love going to the ballet, theater, orchestra, etc. Growing up my mom and I had season tickets to the ballet and theater.
  51. Wicked is my favorite broadway show then Young Frankenstein.
  52. I don’t like beer. I prefer champagne.
  53. My favorite drink is an Elizabethtini from Pizza by Elizabeths.
  54. My favorite kind of food is Italian.
  55. I love pajama sets. Rarely will I wear an old tee and athletic shorts to sleep.
  56. I wish Juicy Couture velour tracksuits were still socially acceptable.
  57. I’m not crazy about one musical artist or band. Instead I have favorite songs. But if I had to pick it would be Coldplay or Michael Buble.
  58. I love all kinds of music except I don’t care for classic rock.
  59. I prefer sorbet to ice cream but also vanilla to chocolate.
  60. I’m always responsible for making deviled eggs at family parties.
  61. I lived in a college dorm for literally one night. I moved out the next day. Commuted then got an apartment (with my own room and bathroom) with Julia and Heather.
  62. I’ve only owned Jeeps.
  63. I collect paper cocktail napkins.
  64. My mom ALWAYS made me write thank you notes for everything growing up. I still continue to write them and appreciate her instilling that in me.
  65. Speaking of which, I love a beautiful stationary set and wish I still had a pen pal.
  66. My first blog was when I started college, before blogs really took off. It was called Fashion Penn Pal (as in Pennsylvania) and was ran through The Daily Local News. I regret not keeping it up.
  67. I love fashion but really don’t know how to do my own makeup and only wear my hair the same way everyday.
  68. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Honestly, I can’t see myself working a 9-5 corporate desk job. When I was little I wanted to own a dance studio. I kinda fell into PR naturally.
  69. Some other things I’d enjoy doing would be writing a book, teaching a class or owning a store. Who knows what the future holds!
  70. My house is tidy and organized but my car looks like I live in it. There are clothes, old water bottles and sadly you can even find a Chick-fil-a fry under my seat.
  71. It’s really hard for me to take a nap. I’ve never been a napper. I bargained with my preschool teacher to not make me nap if I gave her a back massage.
  72. I prefer no ice in my drinks.
  73. I’m only 5’1″ but everyone thinks I’m taller because I usually wear heels and wedges.
  74. Getting lost in an antique store is a great way to spend an afternoon. It’s all in the hunt.
  75. I collect ginger jars, clip-on earrings and brass figurines from antique stores.
  76. I once found a vintage Dior skirt and suit jacket set for $25 at an estate sale.
  77. I don’t like reading or watching the news because it stresses me out.
  78. I’m not scared of ghosts or witches or anything like that but I’m constantly paranoid about murderers and robbers. I still text my parents before I go for a run just incase I get kidnapped. Ha!
  79. I have a serious sweet tooth. My favorite candies are Swedish Fish, Milky Ways and gummy worms.
  80. My most prized possession is my great grandmother’s engagement ring. I wear it everyday.
  81. I took interior design classes in both high school and college but didn’t really get into it until I bought my first home.
  82. I’m really bad at math. My mom would do math flashcards with me while I waited for the bus and practice worksheets during the summer.
  83. The first thing I splurged on when I bought my house was recovering a pair of matching chairs from my grandparents. They are now bright pink and so me but I love how they remind me of family.
  84. My mom and dad are high school sweethearts and I hope to have a marriage like theirs someday. They are best friends and my friends are always commenting about how they always still hold hands everywhere.
  85. Breakfast is my favorite meal and I love it for dinner too.
  86. Middle school was the worst, I had a retainer then braces and glasses. Plus, I hadn’t yet discovered how to properly use a straightener or curling iron. #frizzfordays
  87. Christmas is my favorite holiday. Christmas eve is my parent’s anniversary and we always have family over.
  88. I still like to learn and take cooking classes, floral arranging classes, chicken raising classes and attend as many business seminars as I can.
  89. I cry at EVERYTHING! Seriously, if I’m slightly sad or hurt I’ll just start crying. I can cry at a movie or even just by thinking about something sad.
  90. I’m an introvert and genuinely enjoy time by myself. I think this stems from me being an only child.
  91. I celebrate my birthday the whole month of January by spending the weekends doing stuff I love like ice skating, skiing, or even just organizing dinners with friends.
  92. I make multiple to-do lists throughout the day. I’ll even write something I’ve already done just to cross it off.
  93. I believe in old school agenda books and don’t use the calendar on my phone.
  94. Sometimes I wonder how I passed my drivers test as I didn’t (and still don’t know how to parallel park). I also didn’t have to drive on the actual road to pass. My mom thought I failed because I came back so quick.
  95. I wish I was a better cook or maybe just enjoyed it more but I find it sort of stressful. I’m slowly learning to enjoy it though.
  96. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas but honestly I’ll take a bouquet of any fresh flowers.
  97. Despite that I like having fresh flowers in the house, I kill most plants… even a cactus once. The only survivors are spider plants.
  98. The fictional character Blair Waldorf is my fashion icon. I met Eric Daman Gossip Girl’s costume designer once at Nordstrom.
  99. My go to outfit is a fit and flare style dress.
  100. I’ll know I’ve made it once I have a walk-in closet or closet room. As a teen I used to think the same about getting a sunroof in the car. I have one of those now, so maybe I’ve halfway made it?


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Jewelry c/o, Romper

My first RocksBox came in and it did not disappoint. Do you know of RocksBox? It’s a monthly subscription service where they send you three different jewelry styles each month, you wear them and when you’re done simply mail them back (with the prepaid box) and get a new set! Of course though, if you fall in love with a particular style you’re able to buy it at a super discounted price. The best part? It’s only $19 a month and has brands like Kendra Scott, Loren Hope and Gorjana coming to your door. Wait though, it gets better… use code pmaristchxo and get your first month FREE! You’re welcome.

When you sign up, you’re asked to fill out a style quiz so that their stylist can pick out looks you’ll absolutely love. My first box same with a Kendra Scott tassel necklace, Loren Hope cuff and House of Harlow long necklace. I can honestly say all the pieces were so me and I’ve been wearing them on repeat. So, what are you waiting for?

Weekend in NYC

DSC_0024DSC_0021DSC_0013DSC_0046DSC_0042DSC_0047 Earrings, Shirt, Shoes, Tote, Jeans, Turkish T

This past weekend Will and I took a quick 36 hour trip to NYC for a mini vacation. Actually, I shouldn’t say vacation, I’ve never done so much walking exercise in my life. Since we were only in the city for two days we tried to fit in as much fun and activities as possible. We stayed at the Dream Midtown hotel, which I picked mainly on its location, being only a few blocks from Columbus Circle, Times Square and Central Park. It was the perfect starting point for everywhere we wanted to go.

On Saturday morning we checked in then started our day with a walk to Laduree for some delicious macaroons. I’ve had my fair share of macaroons in the past but the experience at Laduree is like none other. Definitely worth the over priced treats. We took our macaroons and ate them in Central Park while doing some people watching (isn’t that basically what NYC is made for?!). Next up was The Met, certainly one of my favorite museums in the whole world. It’s huge, I think if you actually read all the plaques and looked at every piece it would take a month. A happy surprise was the Fashion in the Age of Technology exhibit with the most beautiful haute couture pieces I’ve ever seen. Second to art, the best part of The Met? Drinks on the rooftop. You can’t beat that view of the city! We spent the rest of the day exploring the city and ended it with a sushi dinner at Bar Masa followed by rooftop drinks at our hotel. The city views almost make a $25 drink okay. Almost.

What’s your favorite thing to do in NYC?