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5 Things You Could Put Above Your Fireplace Other Than Pictures, TV’s, or Mirrors.

September 30, 2014

Fireplaces are wonderful things. They provide heat. They provide a nifty alternative to shredding all those files you shouldn’t just throw away. The produce ambience. And maybe most importantly, they make it much easier to identify the focal point in the room (thus leading to a better furniture layout and generally more aesthetically pleasing interior design).

Rarely do you walk in a house and see a bare mantel. It’s as if, we as people, are drawn to put something above the fireplace. The most common things to earn the coveted space above the mantel? Paintings, TV’s, and mirrors as shown below in exhibit A.

Exhibit A:

Traditional Living Room by Los Altos Interior Designers & Decorators Brownhouse Design, Los Altos, CA


Traditional Living Room by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Brian Watford ID

Now, while these are all lovely homes and all…it doesn’t hurt to talk alternatives. Here are five other things that can look just as awesome perched on your mantel:

1) The Clock

2) The Art Statement

3) Animals (once living or not)

4) Words (new and old)

5) And, of course, the somewhat random but well placed artifact

Fall Mantle

Did they mean to write hearth? This, folks, is why you spell check before you offer things up to the Pinterest gods.

12 {more!} Fabulous Fall Mantles - love the draping of the banners

Autumn Bunting

Side Note: If you don’t naturally have that creative je ne sais quoi (or the pocketbook to afford someone who does) I would steer clear of the random artifact approach. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, your mantel may turn into a misplaced garage sale. This approach is also more conducive to those people who feel the need to change the decor in their house more often than not (cue: the bank manager who breaks down once a  month…”Must. Do. Something. Creative. or will die.”) If you are one of those people…spoiler alert: THE season has already started. It’s time to get to work and pick your priorities (Thanksgiving theme or just a fall theme? Halloween theme? SO MANY CHOICES and only one mantel).

Happy Decorating!



ps. All pictures except the last three are from Last three are from Pinterest (connecting links are under pics).

We’re Going White…Post-Labor Day

September 23, 2014

As someone from the South, the whole ‘no white after Labor Day’ rule was always kind of pointless. It’s 80 degrees and sunny and you tell me my white skinny jeans have to be stored in the back of my closet?? I don’t think so. In fact, I’m taking my protests against post-Labor Day white dressing discrimination a step further. I’m devoting a whole area of my website to white clothes. It’s called The White Room and it’s perfectly out of season with mainstream rules, but perfectly in season with Sorority Initiations, Graduation Dress Shopping, and Early Bridal Shower Shopping for the Spring.

I’m starting off with four simple pieces (two dresses and two skirts) and will be adding more every week. Each item will be stylish, comfortable, modest, and affordable…four things you don’t often hear combined. I focused on elegant and tastefully simple designs that would have a life longer than just one event (because, let’s be real…the term ‘one and done’ should only apply to things like paper towels). Over the course of the next few months, The White Room will slowly fill up with more dresses and skirts along with blouses and jackets, so if you’re on the hunt for something white, check back often. Or follow my Facebook page to see when new White pieces debut:

Here’s one of my favorites: The Grecian Knit Gown

greecianknitF greecianknitB

Grecian Knit Gown $99

Here are some great rule breaking whites that I’m loving this Fall (sources listed under pictures):

Just Smile With Style Blog

The Entertaining House Blog

The Entertaining House Blog

Qwear Blog

Happy (White) Shopping!!



And We’re Back…

September 18, 2014

..Or more correctly put, I’m back. And now I remember why exactly I took a month off in the first place. Fall is going to be crazy. Crazy in a good way, of course, but also in a ‘I may need a month off before in order to deal with this’ sort of way. Since I’ve returned to the States I have successfully done the following: commit to orchestrating a local fashion show (a week after my personal Fall collection show), make an entire Fall collection, design a dog shirt (harder than it sounds), design a whole line of dresses for a trunk show (which will take place between aforementioned fashion shows), seek out and accept a leadership position at my church, bought a new computer, design a print for a charity silk scarf, catch up on all the fashion shows going on now, and FREAK OUT. I think it’s time for a hot bubble bath and maybe another week or two in Italy.

Although having a lot on my plate freaks me out at times, it is all 100% what I want to be doing. There’s nothing worse than having to a do a lot of stuff you don’t actually want to do at all. I’m always up for something new and different and this Fall, I’m excited to announce two new components of the Buchanan label in the next month (so stay tuned in). There’s lot of fun stuff heading your way including more blog posts (specifically fashion related ones), so cheers to that! Until then, have an excellent Thursday and enjoy these awesome pictures of the Umbrian countryside.

Olive Groves

Franco’s Farm

Our house

Narni…aka: Narnia (yes, it really does exist)

vineyards outside of Amelia

Your legs will love (and by love I mean hate) you for this.

Champagne in Rome overlooking the Vatican City.

**All pictures are property of my little sista, so respect a sister (literally) and ask before you use***



Let’s Make Like Congress (or the Europeans) and Take a Break

July 31, 2014

Happy August 1st! Instead of working this month, my company and I are following Congress and taking the month off. (Although unlike Congress, we’ve actually been doing something the other 7 months of this year except argue professionally). I’ll be bopping around from Coastal Georgia, to the Outer Banks, and then Italy over the course of the next 31 days.

Travel Lesson - sounds so easy but difficult for so many. Get out there. Even if it's just a little at a time #travel #quote

I’ll try my best to keep posting (you know, in between margaritas) here. I’ll probably be doing a lot of Pinterest (one and two) and Instagram action too. So…won’t you follow along?

For real! It just doesn't work like that! For those battling with this conundrum.... Be brave, Be bold, Take steps everyday - even if they seem tiny! & you will set yourself Free! I promise!!!!

Wait, so what will happen if someone orders something off the Buchanan website? So glad you asked. Nothing will happen until about August 16th or 17th and that person’s order will ship then. Please note that: Phones will not be answered. Emails have a 50/50 chance of response. Order away…just realize that you will have a delay in shipping time. I will, of course, answer all customer service issues to the best of my ability when I return.


Welcome to our new travel board! We'll be featuring travelers here who will be updating their travels in real time. So if you have a question or comment be sure to let them know. :)



The White Girl Tries to Shake It

July 22, 2014

Remember way back to the beginning of the summer, back before May was even over yet, when I listed off some goals for the summer? Yeah well, I finally completed the first goal on my list: go to a zumba class. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, this was the ‘cool’ thing to do, like a million years ago, before things like pitch back cycling classes and barre workouts took front stage. Somehow, I never seemed to get around to zumba when it was popular and yet there I was about two hours ago…at my local Y with the strangest mix of people: middle aged moms, beefy soccer player-esque girls, workout fanatic grandmothers, and even a decently obese lady (you go girl).

I lifted weights before, but this was my cardio of the day, so I was determined to make it worth it. When leader lady did a deep squat, I did a deeper squat. When leader lady bounced, I bounced higher. Granted, I was always a sure 3 seconds behind her as I struggled to find my footing and coordinate my feet (when you’re hopping around a lot, it’s actually really easy to forget that you need to have at least one foot holding your body up). I was not gifted with this wonderful thing called coordination that allows your arms, feet, and head to move in different directions at once. As far as I could tell though, the point was to keep moving and get your heart rate up while doing jumping squats, etc. If you had a rough day today, you should have showed up with a cocktail and just watched me…I’m sure it was hilarious.

I’m not going to lie…I was kind of expecting it to be hokey and a so-so workout. Maybe it was just because I pushed myself rather hard, but after the 45 minutes of non stop movement were over, I was sweating more than I do on most runs. The class ended with a round of applause (something I’ve learned that is common after dance classes) and I jogged home, tired but feeling more energetic than when I arrived. 

I’m not sure I can fit it into my schedule twice a week (when it’s offered) but I’m definitely going to randomly go to the classes to switch up my cardio routine a bit.

Happy Dancing,


ps. Next up…my new sweet tooth addiction: healthy chocolate pudding

Couture…what it’s really all about

July 8, 2014

Everyone has buzzwords in their field that make them want to gag and die. I’m pretty sure that registered dietetics are about to kill the next person that says ‘clean eating’ and that investors hate hearing about ‘the next big thing’ pitch after pitch.

Schiaparelli Fall 2014 Couture

Schiaparelli Couture Fall 2014

Couture is one of those words for me. And…in honor of the (actual, real, only) couture shows going on right now in Paris…we’re going to have a little informational chat about what exactly couture means.

Cue: our friends Merriam and Webster

(Side note- Couture is short for haute couture. Here are definitions for both words –>)

haute cou·ture

noun \ˌōt-ku̇-ˈtu̇r\

: the people and companies that create clothes that are very expensive and fashionable; also : the clothes they create

:the houses or designers that create exclusive and often trend-setting fashions for women; also :  the fashions created


noun \kü-ˈtu̇r, -ˈtuer\

:the business of designing, making, or selling women’s clothes; also : women’s clothes in general

:the business of designing, making, and selling fashionable custom-made women’s clothing

:the designers and establishments engaged in couture

:the clothes created by couture

Technically, haute couture clothing is custom made for a client and is only made by specific houses (see below). We aren’t big on exclusivity here in America, so we decided (culturally, over a long period of time) to drop the ‘haute’ part (it is harder to say if you are actually trying to pronounce the H- a very American mistake) and start calling anything couture. Enter one of my biggest pet peeves.

There is actually a society that all real couture designers are a part of. It’s called the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and there only a couple dozen members including: Adeline Andre, Gustavo Lins, Chanel, Christian Dior, Christophe Josse, Franck Sorbier, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maurizio Galante, Stephane Rolland, Eli Saab, Giorgio Armani, Giambattista Valli, Valentino, and Versace, etc. Please note how Juicy did not make the cut.

So, how do you know if an item is really couture or not? Great question! Just look at this nifty diagram I made:


Now that you’re all informed…you can start talking like an intelligent human being. Try it out! Substitute this sentence: ‘My tailor brought this jacket in and now it’s my couture go to’ for this sentence: ‘I had so and so tailor this jacket. They always give a good fit’.

Starting a business in the fashion industry? I recommend avoiding the words haute and couture entirely. Naming your Etsy shop ‘Bucky’s Haute Couture Designs’ will only leave you sounding haughty (yes, full pun intended there) at worst and misinformed at best.

Now go check out the couture shows at!!



Choosing a (house) phone has never been so hard.

July 3, 2014

I grew up in the 90’s, which means that I learned to talk on a phone. Like, the real kind. You know, the kind that plugs into the wall. This is back when you knew all your friends telephone numbers by heart and bag phones were considered to be the newest, coolest technology. Now, landlines are a thing of the past and are often reserved for businesses. And my apartment.

The last time I actually had a landline was for a year in college when I lived in a sketchy area of town and cell phone service was unreliable at best. Fast forward a decade or so, and the safety factor of my current neighborhood (not to mention the apartment in general) is vastly better than the poor college student days. I live in a historic building that was beautifully remodeled to make modern apartments. There’s even an intercom down to the main entrance where you can buzz people in (I’m in a small town. Things like that are cool, okay?) But here’s the catch. When someone calls up through the intercom, it directly connects to your telephone line…which is only accessible through one particular jack in the wall. I’ve always had these sorts of things linked up to my cellphone, so you could imagine my (very millennial) looking face when the apartment coordinator told me this.

“So, I have to get a real phone?” was my half shocked reply. I am very picky about everything I buy (ie: I won’t buy something unless I absolutely love it) so going out and just picking up a phone wasn’t an option. If I’m spending money on something, I’m going to think it’s the bee knees. Not buying a phone is also not an option. I get too many packages. Blame it on my online shopping habits or the fact that I run a small business out of the home, but it is what it is. After missing the UPS man 3 times and having to drive 30 minutes across town to pick up a package, I decided it was time to start shopping.

If I was going to have a phone on display in my kitchen it was going to be a conversation piece. None of that boring business. I decided that it had to be fabulously antique or highly entertaining.

Starting with the first: fabulously antique- I hit up the antique store across the street.

The phones I found could be classified two different ways:

1) Old, but not cool.


I could have taken a lot of pictures of this category. It essetially looked like someone bought a cheap phone from walmart, used it for 10 years and then tried to sell it. The ‘LA phone’ shown above was probably the most interesting. (Who decided to call it the L.A. phone anyhow?)

2) A little too old (I told you I was picky, right?)


The phone on the left has a legit crank on it. The one of the right is slightly newer (but is still an old school rotary phone, which is cool). Both weigh about as much as a small vehicle. As cool as a rotary phone would be…I discovered today that most are not ready to plug in the wall. Like, someone has actually take the cords out. And I don’t mean- just pulled the jack out- I mean these things have to be wired into the wall…red and black receptors and all. Call me lazy (I prefer busy), but I do not have time for that.

So…fabulously antique was scratched out. I was hoping to see something in my ‘highly entertaining’ category,  but the antique store I was in was a little too ‘nice’ for weird novelty stuff (like the Nickelodeon phone I had as a kid). And that’s when I turned to my old friend, the internet. I went straight over to Ebay and searched for the one novelty item I would ever want in my house: a Garfield phone.

Yes, that may be a little weird. But, I’m a little weird. And I have a slight obsession with Garfield the Cat circa 1980whenever. If I collected anything besides shoes, I would collect Garfield shit. Luckily, other people do the same thing too. When you search for Garfield Phone in Ebay you will see 160 results. The look like this:

and this:

and even this:

Garfield Cat Fold-Up Headphones For IPod Android Phone Audio Jack Free Shipping

They are headphones that plug into your iphone…in case you’re wondering.

I think I may have to get one (or all).

Here are some other very entertaining phones I found on Ebay:

VTG 1980's Clear Acrylic Transparent Lucite Trimline Telephone Radio Shack

The clear phone. I totes had one of these.


The famous aforementioned Nickelodeon phone.

Novelty Sexy Tongue Stretching  Lips Mouth Home Phone Corded Telephone

Who wouldn’t want this???

Novelty Juno Hamburger Cheeseburger Burger Home Desktop Corded Phone Telephone

Or this?

There’s tons out there. This may be a tough decision. I guess I am just going to be doomed to waiting outside the building after the first missed package notice (but for reals, this is what I did today) until I can make a decision.




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