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Sunday Mishmash of Goodness

Sunday Morning | Covet Living

Gooooood MMMMORNING (!)  This post is not about The Bachelor, nor is it another Gone With The Wind-esque run-down of what’s popping over at Casa Covet Living.  Lately, I’ve been looking at an AutoCAD / Cabinet Vision screen and reading plumbing fixture & wood flooring reviews with a fervor that I think may’ve begun to make my eyes start crossing inward.  And sidebar – lemme tell you – I honest-to-goodness LOVE doing all of those things, and feel REALLY grateful to be doing them for a living (which is still such a funny and amazing concept to me), but it’s also been a minute since I free-balled it and did my absolute favorite thing… and that, my friends, is fiddling the morning away on Pinterest – while the coffee maker gurgles in the background and bacon cooks and Gus lays at my feet.  Which is what is happening right now (except the bacon is pappardelle), and it’s heaven I tell ya.  And it’s good for my soul – in the same way planting potted herbs and using my power sander and riding a beach cruiser and smelling saltwater and painting and spending the day at a flea market is.  So you can tee up my favorite Sunday morning mix if you wanna…

Sunday Morning Mix | Covet Living

…and then, hey.  Feel free to fiddle faddle with me – here are the things that make me REAL happy, and the things currently tickling my proverbial pickle these days:

Is it Spring yet?

peonies | covet living

This Easter-egg-amazing crochet ditty from Kiini

crochet boho bikini | covet living

Love me some Aloha.

aloha collection | covet living

PS: Get 20% off sitewide today with the code SPRINGDREAMIN.

This situation, which is a sultry version of my every-day wardrobe.

White and Denim | Covet LIving

This stunner, which – at this point if I ever wanna get married – I would probably wear.  On a warm saunty beach.  With a taco stand as a caterer.

Moda Operandi Alexis Dress | Covet Living

…or this:

simple sequin dress | covet living

Speaking of marriage and tacos, have you seen this?  Truer words have really never been spoken.

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 5.54.46 AM

I love this Gigi Stoll photograph so much it hurts.

Could I please get two claps for my big man GusGus for President?  I’ve never seen him not chase and/or have an absolute melt down when faced with a cat.  My friend Kristine graciously took (amazing) care of him while I was in Hawaii, and sent me this one day.  I was all kinds of jaw-on-floor for at least an hour.


This striped blue fabric makes me weak at the knees in an English country house / It’s Complicated sort of way…

fermoie stripe | covet living

And while we’re in a blue period, so does this custom ottoman from Brooke Wagner Design.  She’s a designer out of Newport Beach, and I lovelovelove her work.

Ottoman by Brooke Wagner Design | Covet Living

That goes for these perfect blue and white pots from Bixby & Ball I saw last week at the John Robshaw event (remember when I diddled in my drawers when he kissed me on the cheek?  Then patted him on the arm LIKE AN A$$ HOLE and said, “Good job buddy.  Keep it up!”  Cuz I do.)

Perfect Blue & White Pots | Bixby & Ball | Covet Living

Last blue and white thing: I need this.


Today, I’m delighted to be hibernating and working on my own business and I haven’t thought too much about it as of late… maybe I should, ‘fore my ovaries look like something from the Walking Dead… but someday, maybe this’ll be nice to have again.

love | covet living

The perfect weekend outfit..

sunday outfit | covet living

I wanna make luscious drapery panels out of this Zak + Fox “Sauvage in Raffia” situation REAL BAD.

zak and fox raffia | covet living

This goofy outtake is the only pic I have of it, but how gorgeous is the fresh jade lei Hope’s mama made??  PS have you guys ever smelled pua keni keni??  It’s this little flower that grows on a bush, and it is the most delicious thing these nostrils have ever encountered.  If somebody makes a pua keni keni candle, I’m buying stock.

jade lai

Um.  Schumacher took one of their most gorgeous wallpaper patterns (Feather Bloom) and came out with a buncha new color ways, including Fuschia.  Could you die?

feather bloom in fuschia | covet living | 5006076

My homegirl Priscilla Presley aka Adrienne showed me this last week and I basically did.

Schumacher wallcovering

I dig this bathroom – in all its rustic + unpolished brass glory.

rustic glam bath | covet living

I saw these at Country Floors last week.  They’re brand new and they SO PRETTY IN PERSON.

country floors | covet living

This tile is not new but it’s also not ugly, AT all.

country floors | covet living

This makes me so happy.


So does this oyster chandelier from Lowcountry Originals, which I fawn over every time I see it at market.  I’ll take one for my beach house.  Thanks.

lowcountry originals lighting | covet living

Where was this number when I was packing for Hawaii?  Remind me to blog about that untouched fairy wonderland soon.  Or you can just scroll my insta feed from 2 weeks ago and you’ll get the idea.

Mikoh Belize Bikini | Covet Living

Speaking of suits, this Samudra situation is the best one-piece I’ve ever seen, and the colors are beautiful in person.  I have Easter Egg fever – can you tell?



As things that aren’t ugly go, there’s also this:

white one piece | covet living

PS: I’m eating leftover Lupi for breakfast right now, and it is nothing short of amazing. #pms

pappardelle with lamb rage | covet living

Sigh.  Nostalgia.  This looks like the field behind my house as a kid.

nostalgia | covet living

Since I am currently on the custom cabinetry side of design, I notice gorgeous details – like the molding on these doors – more than I used to:

cabinet door molding | covet living

Love how these folks used a repurposed shop counter as a kitchen island:

reclaimed shop counter as island | covet living

Love an unexpected color-combo – like neon + beige.  Maybe I’d cut the sleeves off this guy though – or make it cap sleeved but backless.  Cuz, you know, I’m not a pilgrim.  As is evidenced by my affinity in recent years for crop tops, which I know my parents love.

neon and beige | covet living

I’d like to have that.  For breakfast. #pms

short ribs | covet living

Walker Zanger wonder.

walker zanger tile


pier | covet living

This Bolivian blanket is gorgeous.  These aren’t cheap, but man they’re stunnahs, and you can use them in oodles of noodles of ways… as a rug, thrown over a headboard… as upholstery for your dining chairs… or at the foot of the bed – à la Karrie’s guest room.

bolivian blanket | covet living

Um.  I saw this and then read it 7x, because it is as true a phenomenon as I’ve ever seen when it comes to SO MANY of my close friends’ relationships I know about, and my own relationship from a few years ago.  I don’t know if it’s a Peter Pan situation or what… but maybe not, because it applies in some of my 50-something friends’ relationships too.  And loving someone like that is so, so ****ing rare that it is truly the saddest thing in the world to let go of when the other person can’t get it together… but whoever wrote that is right – about the you must leave part & all.

walk away | peter pan quote | covet living

This chunky, nubby Boho coverlet.  Please get in my beach house.

boho coverlet | covet living

I am so about to paint my bathroom this dreamy, salmon-y dreamsicle color.  Don’t tell my landlord.

Coral Gables Benjamin Moore 2010-40 | Covet Living

My favorite print from Spoonflower.  Looks like Eskayel, but sans the price tag.  I just ordered this sample and it’s even more gorgeous in person.

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 6.28.10 AM

Love these antique pendants from Ann Morris, cuz seeing the SAAAAAAME usual suspects of lighting gets real snoozy real fast.

Antique Pendant Ann Morris Antiques | Covet Living

And this Scottish lantern.  It’s a cool $5k, but hey.  Great for inspo.  (*COUGH* – you can also have things like this custom-made, which is not inexpensive but not as $$ as you’d think)

Scottish Lantern | Ann Morris | Covet Living

Speaking of knocking things off… y’all know from this post that Sally King Benedict (former fellow Charleston-ite) is my favorite artist, ever.  And then she shared the Dream Beach House thing I put together on her Insta and I nearly shat myself.

Stephanie Ballard Covet Living | Sally King Benedict

ANYHOW, the ditty below which popped up in her Insta-feed recently is one of the most gorgeous paintings of hers I’ve ever seen… but she’s become SO POPULAR in recent years and her pieces are now so valuable that there’s no way in hockey sticks I’ll be able to afford one – at least not for the foreseeable future.  And so my right hand woman Karrie is painting me something similar.  I accidentally saw it hiding in the guest room when I was there last weekend and it was already so beautiful I almost died.  I cannot wait till it’s done.

sally king benedict | covet living

Love this dreamy exterior.  We’re using it as inspo on my Modern Farmhouse project in Ohio.

beatiful exterior | covet living

This is goofy and I love it.

ruffle off shoulder bikini | covet living

On a more covered up note, this I love so much it hurts.  It speaks to my I would’ve also loved being born in the 1940’s sensibilities.

off the shoulder | covet living

This pillow slays me.  I don’t know what’s so different about it than alllll the batik and mud cloth situations I’ve seen 9 trillion times, but something is.  I think I might buy it for myself for my birthday, like the slut that I am.  Nothing haunts you like the things you love and didn’t buy… or so they say.

chairish blue pillow | covet living

Preach sistah.

life is tough | covet living

Je love.  And je don’t know why je love things like that and then je wear sweatpants in real life, but c’est la vie.

black feather skirt | covet living

Anyway – it’s Sunday before 7am so imma go hike with Gus then take my pasta-from-last-night-filled buddha to the beach, then watch the Oscars.  Which makes me feel like this.

freedom | covet living

Sees yous latas!

Steph's Scanned Signature

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Steph’s Wishlist


WAHHH Happy Holly-days!  We’re kicking off Gift Guide Week with (ours) truly… My wishlist is – per the usge – part practical and part pipe dream, but these are the sugarplums & gumdrops I’m dreaming about finding under the tree this year. Hopefully you guys will get some good idears from mine (today) and Karrie’s (tomorrow) but we’re dropping these Gift Guides like it’s hot ALL. WEEK. LONG. so you gotsta stay tuned.  We may not blog every day but we do not – I repeat, NOT – mess around when it comes to these.  Here’s what we’ve got on deck:

Karrie – Tuesday 12/1

Fellas – Wednesday 12/2

For the Home – Thursday 12/3

Gals – Friday 12/4

Alright – let’s get this party started.  Santy… can you hear me?? #ijustpoopedmypants

baby steph

1 – FREEDOM BEACH CRUISER, Pacific Beach Bikes, $189.  Since I live 1 mile from the beach in a community where everything is within walking/biking distance, I need a set of wheels, right?  Right.  And I def need ’em in mint green + white with a tan leather seat.  Slap a wicker basket on the front of that bad boy and we’re in biz.

26in Ladies Mint and White Beach Cruiser | Covet Living

2 – SUNNIES, Warby Parker, about $100.  I can’t find these exact shades (top of stack) on Warby’s Parker’s site anymore, but this company takes the guesswork out of sunnies: you can “try ’em at home” – free shipping both ways and you can order up to 5 pairs and feel ’em out / keep ’em for 5 days.

warby parker glasses

3 – LINEN EDGED TOWELS, Anthropologie, $10 – $48.  Nice towels are one of those things I always need but for some reason, never buy.  These feel like buttah and look like understated elegance – à la a scene from a quaint but well-appointed beach shack in the J.Crew resort catalog.

Linen Edged Towels | Covet Living

4 – IN THE FLOW CROP II, Lululemon, $78 – $88.  I love the tie dye version of my favorite yoga pant, ever… (for inquiring minds aka Mom & Dad, color: cadet blue/sapphire blue, size 6… second color choice is the dark charcoal grey).  These are *THE* most comfortable and insanely flattering pants of all time.

Lulu Pants | Covet Living

5 – POM POM CHANDELIER EARRINGS, Annie Costello Brown, $219.  Steep, I know, but this is a pipe dream list – ‘member??  These are by an uber cool jewelry designer based in LA.  Can you say statement piece?

Pom Pom Chandelier Earrings | Covet Living

6 – UNKNOWN FACE, Sally King Benedict.  Sally is a brilliant artist out of Charleston (now Atlanta) whom you may have seen gracing the cover of Domino, circulating the Pinterest-phere or or in the Covet Living feature below (which Sally later reposted, which then prompted me to wet my pants).  Her works – the faces in particular – have become wildly popular and are now also wildly out of my price range.  But a girl can dream! And by “dream” I mean have Karrie try to recreate one of my favorite SKB paintings for me.  If Sally’s work happens to be in your price range (there was a face on exhibit at the George Gallery in Charleston a few months back for around $7,000) then I suggest you invest like, yesterday, before it takes all the gold coins in Scrooge McDuck’s coin vault to buy one.

Sally King Benedict Faces

SKB Covet Living

7 – BUSTIER YOGA BRA, Onzie, $56 $32.99.  This version in blush, spearmint and pearl is my FAVE.  And it’s on supa sale….  *COUGH* JAYNE.

Onzier Bra

8 – boomBOTTLE WEATHERPROOF WIRELESS PORTABLE SPEAKER, Scosche, $130. Essential for lingering Boho Yard Parties and long beach days when we need to listen to the 1989 album on repeat.  10 hours of battery life and a 33-ft wireless range. $130 is steep though – here’s a budget friendly version for $21… but that one isn’t waterproof and has a shorter battery life etc.

Weatherproof Speaker | Covet Living

9 – NEST GRAPEFRUIT CANDLE, Bixby & Ball, $38 – 20% OFF TODAY ONLY with code CYBERMON.  When I say this is hands-down THE best smelling candle of all time, I mean it.  It’s unreal.  Most Voluspa candles are about $28 and smell amazing, so I had a tough time justifying the extra $10, but it’s worth it.

Nest Grapefruit Candle | Covet Living

10 – ANSLEY MOCS, Ugg Australia, $100.  Like a fur coat for your feet.  I think I’ve purchased these for almost everyone I love – Bud, Mom, Dad, etc.  Nothing keeps your feet warmer & fuzzier in the winter than these bad boys, and the pair I’ve had for a million years just bit the dust.  Color: Chestnut.  Size land canoe 10.  Note: the ones pictured with the tie are the Dakota, but I’m gunning for the Ansley (which have no tie, because that blasted little tie ALWAYS comes un-did and flips around.  I ended up pulling mine out.)

Ugg Dakota

11 – ROYAL FEAST, Pizza King, $18 plus $108 minimum for overnight shipping.  Our little hometown is legendary for a few things – Muncie Burris volleyball, Ball jars, and Pizza King pizza.  This little dive-y chain of pizza joints (all complete with jukeboxes and waitresses who still proudly sport wings and mullets under their red hats) around Delaware County is where we all flock to when we come home.  It. is. heaven. Since I’ll be in North Carolina this year for the holidays, I’m hoping Santa overnights me a frozen one.

Pizza King | Covet Living

12 – MOLDED EYE MASK, Amazon, $36.  This is one of those things I always thought people were high-maintenance for wearing, until I slept in one and I had the deepest and most delightful sleep I’ve had in years.

Molded Eye Mask | Covet Living

13 – WISTERIA TIE-DYED PILLOW, Celadon Home, $69.  THIS IS NOT A DRILL – I REPEAT – THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Celadon Home now has a website you can BUY SH*T FROM AND THEY’LL SHIP IT TO YOU!  For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Celadon Home is an AMAZING home decor shop in Charleston (Mt. P) – it’s where I furnished almost my entire home from circa 2006, where Gregger and I used to go on Saturdays just to stroll the aisles with cups of coffee in hand to the tune of Norah Jones, and it’s also where I used to work and met one of my dearest friends, Caitlin. Think Matteo linens, one-of-a-kind textiles from India, luscious sofas and reclaimed casegoods.  And amazing jewelry and gifts. Their buyers know wassup and can curate a killer mix with the best of ’em.

Wisteria tie dye pillow, Celadon | Covet Living

14 – BUFFALO PLAID FLANNEL SCARF, Hound Collection, $38.  Because Gusses need new threads, too.  I discovered Hound Collection on Instagram and they’re now my go-to for all things Canine Affluenza.

Buffalo Plaid Flannel Dog Scarf | covet Living

15 – LEATHER MACBOOK CASE, Etsy, $199.  This is one of those things that I absolutely do not need but absolutely swoon over.  Buttery tan leathuh + understated elegance = (dingdingding!) winner.

Leather MacBook Pro Case | Covet Living

16 – HOT PINK WASHI TAPE, Etsy, $1.89.  Great stocking stuffer!  I use washi tape for all kindsa stuff: labeling wine glasses at parties, slapping pictures up on the mirror, sealing envelopes, etc.

washi tape

17 – IF IT REQUIRES PANTS THEN NAH SHIRT, Etsy, $27.95.  Motto in life… for me and every toddler the world over.

Pants Shirt | Covet Living

18 – VITAMIX S55 PERSONAL BLENDER, Williams-Sonoma, $449.95.  This is the one thing on this list that I would use every single day. Because I used to make this juice recipe every single day and it made me feel amazing (and also made my skin look amazing).  For a lower cost alternative, they have Certified Reconditioned Vitamixes for closer to $259 here – BOOM.

Vitamix | Covet Living

19 – BEACON STUD, Lulu Frost, $225 to buy | $30 to rent.  These are definitely a statement (and investment piece)… luckily you can take them for a test drive over at Rent the Runway, and then snag them from jewelry genius Lulu Frost if you wanna keep ’em for good.

Lulu Frost Earrings | Covet Living

20 – BELLADONNA STRAW HAT, Gottex via One Kings Lane, $49.  A little bit Golden Girls and a little bit Audrey Hepburn.  No, I’m not 87 years old… but my face might look like I am in a few years if I don’t war this bad boy when I’m out in the sun. This hat = the difference between looking like Christie Brinkley at 60 or looking like Magda at 40.

Belladonna Straw Hat, OKL | Covet Living

21 – YOUTH SERUM, Arcona, $90.  I got a sample of this the other day and it is like a magic potion for your skin.  My face has become super temperamental the past year or so – probably just because I’m now in my mid-30’s and it’s-a-changin’ – but Arcona is also the only product line that I can always count on to calm and nourish my skin.

youth serum

22 – CUTEST BRITCHES EVER, No Clue, $notthefoggiest.  These are long gone and I can’t tell if I think they look like a diaper or bloomers or short-shorts, but every time I look at them, I’m reminded that I absolutely positively need a pair.

cute shorts

23 – OYSTER PEARL RING, Vignettes, $395.  I tried this on MONTHS ago at an adorable antique store in OB, then put it back and have thought about it about every 3rd day since.  Hoping Santa Stevie Claus’ love of antiques prompts him to tie a little bow on it for me.

Oyster Ring | Covet Living

Oyster Ring, Steph's Wishlist | Covet Living

That’s all I got!  And after all that… I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that while all the things on this list are lovely, I really don’t need anything.  All I really ever want for Christmas is to be nestled in a glowing cinnamon-smelling house with smoke coming out of the chimney, huddled up with my family, in my sweatpants and fuzzy socks, watching the Hallmark channel and slamming pecan pie while my Dad and Gus roll around and play on the floor.  Etc etc.  I remember having this feeling after my Grandparents passed – this ‘oh sh*t,’ kind of quiet empty moment where I realized nothing would ever be the same again.  And so I don’t know – lately I think I’ve been thinking about how lucky I am that almost every single person in the world I love is still here, including my nutty parentals whom I love more than life itself and would be lost without.  And I was so lucky to spend Thanksgiving with friends who feel like family, but save for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday and a stacked schedule of daytime activities, I also came home to a quiet, empty house each night… which was kind of peaceful but mostly made me realize that it was almost a preview of what life – and holidays – might be like if I didn’t have a family… almost like George Bailey’s alternate reality from It’s a Wonderful Life or Kevin living alone in his house in Home Alone.  So long story long, my list is baller and my current Lulu yoga pants have a legit hole in the crotch, but all I really want for Christmas is to relish some QT with my fam.


Steph's Scanned Signature