Pretty Presents A Plenty

Last Thursday was my 27th birthday and of course my family and friends didn’t fail to deliver. My sweet hubby whisked me out to a yummy Mediterranean restaurant (Cous Cous!) and the next morning we headed up to his parents’ beach house in Delaware for a birthday weekend with my mom and stepdad along with the in-laws. Before I knew it we were loading present after present into the car and heading home on Sunday. Time flies when you’re having fun (and ripping open some house-related birthday gifts). Here are the goods…

John’s a big proponent of a birthday list, which is always a lot of fun to create. I only need to drop in on a few of my favorite online stores and before I know it I have a slew of links that he can send out to his family (and mine!). I actually spotted these faux topiaries a while back, and was super excited that they were still around to add to my little b-day list. Don’t they look happy in the sunroom?


These fake rosemary and mint topiaries (or as I love to call them: fauxpiaries) add some green to our sunroom, which can’t really sustain actual greenery year round since it gets freezing cold in the winter (it’s not temperature controlled in there, and we’ve tried everything from boxwoods to evergreens with limited luck). I’m not really opposed to fake plants, as long as they look real and aren’t super ostentatious (and there are real plants around too). Thankfully, these guys look just as good in person as they do online… which isn’t always the case. Whew.



My mom also gave me the always-appreciated birthday check along with a little basket of goodies for the kitchen (organic parsley that you can grow right in the bag, gourmet popcorn and Barefoot Contessa brownies, mmmm).


John’s mom and dad also got me this awesome Pottery Barn wreath which I’ve had my eye on since December. And now that it has been marked down from $99 to $29, it’s definitely a steal. I was so excited about it I even took it for a test run when we got home (and actually considered keeping it up year-round, but John managed to convince me that the pinecones made it a bit less all-season than I originally thought). Oh well, bringing it out every Christmas will make it feel like a super special occasion. Only nine more months and counting…


Here’s a detail shot of those gorgeous bleached paper-thin leaves and the festive flowers, pinecones and pom poms (the pics on the PB website don’t even do it justice- and it’s huge!).


From John and his sister I got two of these amazing ZGallerie candle sconces that I’ve been sweating since the moment they were added to the site a few weeks ago. The graphic shape works with so many things that already reside in Casa Petersik- the outline mimics our yellow living room rug, and they even look fabulous with the patterned quilt in our guest bedroom:


Ultimately we decided to hang them in the master suite so we could enjoy them a bit more regularly- and as luck would have it, they also look lovely with our blue and white duvet- who knew those babies would be so versatile?!


Here’s the blank wall that was just crying out for attention (we believe in waiting to hang something that we really love instead of rushing into anything that we may regret- and a blank wall in a bedroom is actually surprisingly soothing):


And here’s the hubs hanging my birthday sconces while I stepped back and perfected the placement (it’s definitely IMPERATIVE to stand back and take a good look at everything you’re hanging while someone else holds it up to avoid about a million “oops holes” as we call ’em). We also used anchors to ensure that they’re nice and secure (don’t wanna mess around when there’s an open flame involved).


Here they are all purrrty on the wall. I love the staggered placement (John’s idea- he’s quite the decorator) and the way the mirrors bounce around the candlelight so liberally. Aren’t birthdays the best?


Here’s the gratuitous detail shot. I think I’m in love…


So that’s the birthday present play by play. Thanks so much to my lovely friends and family (and especially my sweet hubby- who already made us those Barefoot Contessa brownies). Best birthday ever! And speaking of birthdays, what do you guys do when yours rolls around? Do you ever go for house-related items? Always ask for cold hard cash? Make a b-day list to send around? Do tell.


  1. Katy Wilson says

    Happy birthday, girly! You made out like a BANDIT! Deservedly so. I love everything you got. The sconces are fabulous! They look PERFECT in the master bedroom. Love ’em w/ juxtaposed w/ the capiz shell chandelier!!!

    I really love the birthday (and Chrismas) list idea because I’m, well, kinda picky….and I like what I like…and I KNOW what I like. Makes it easy, right?

    Well, my darling hubster is more of a SPONTANEOUS gift buyer, and he prefers to search and search for the perfect gift. And he knows it when he sees it. Hmmmmm.

    Before we were married, I had a “Wish List” at the Tiffany store across from Tysons Corner mall, near where we both worked. For birthdays, anniversaries, and whenever an occasion called for it…he would wander into Tiffany and buy something from my wish list. Wow. What girl could ask for more?

    After almost 10 years of marriage, I think it’s time to gently, lovingly broach the subject and resurrect the WISH LIST. :-) (there’s a fine line between being ungrateful for the thoughtfulness of a gift, and just PRACTICAL that I don’t want to cross…right?)

    Now it wouldn’t be at Tiffany. [Hey, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE the little blue box as much as the next girl…and if $$ were no object…]

    But now, with much less discretionary income and a beautiful home to decorate…I’m more likely to have a wish list at Home Goods, West Elm, PB, CB2, Z Gallerie, Target home section…Crate and Barrel…

    Any ideas on how to lovingly discuss this? Please, fire away!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Katy,

      I think you made a fine case for a wish list right here! Perhaps you can gently encourage your hubby to visit this post and check out the comments…

      Here’s hoping!


  2. Brandi H. says

    Happy belated birthday Sherry. It looks like you made out pretty well. I really like the sconces as well. They look great where you placed them. The wreath will look great this Christmas. Have fun spending your birthday $$$!

  3. says

    Happy birthday, Sherry!

    I usually make a short list (5ish items), but my husband likes to be a renegade and go “off list” whenever possible. This year (my birthday was at the beginning of March), I got a pair of silver earrings I’ve been coveting forever, and an awesome baking cookbook, among other things. I hardly ever ask for home items because I am so indecisive, so I hate to ask for something and then decide that I don’t like it.

    However, I did ask to go to Ikea for my birthday, which I think you’d appreciate. I stocked up on white vases, per your influence, and had meatballs for lunch, of course.

  4. says

    Happy Birthday to you! Your family did a wonderful job with the present picks!

    As far as I go, the only thing that I don’t really want to receive for presents is clothing–this 5’10” girl has to pretty much exclusively shop in the “tall” sections online, and things just often fit oddly. I can’t really just tell someone what size I wear and know that it will fit.

    I’m okay with receiving fun decorating stuff, but I’ve gotta admit…I don’t LOVE receiving house necessities for my birthday–stuff we would have HAD to purchase anyway, like dish soap.

    Other than that, I’m pretty much open to everything!

  5. says

    happy birthday. LOVE your goodies! Might even go treat myself to one of those wreaths. LOVE IT! Although, I would want ot keep it up year round as well. Tough Call. :)

  6. jnh213 says

    Mine and my husband’s birthdays are only 12 days apart, sandwiched by 3 of our children’s birthdays and right around Valentine’s Day…needless to say, there is not alot of fan fair paid to them. One tradition that my husband and I have is that we do not ‘buy’ each other a gift for our birthdays. That means we have to get creative! Of course there is the stand by of making each other’s favorite meal and a nice cake (yes my hubby cooks and bakes too!) but we always try to find/make things that commemerate the day better. This year, I took a small pocket sized dictionary (from our college years) and highlighted all of the words that applied to my wonderful man, wrote in some additional notes, drew some pictures, and (though it took about 10 hours to complete) created an instant keepsake that really showed my appreciation! From him I got a small memo pad w/ a calculator (great for the grocery store), a Hershey’s Bar from the vending machine, one of his business cards that he ‘autographed’ with love to me, and a book that he put together with pictures of our boys! I honestly have far more anticipation for his ‘homemade’ gifts than the store bought ones!

  7. Jamie says

    I keep an ongoing wish list – which is great because now they have the “universal” wish list function – so you can add things from any web site to your list and it will link right to them. You can update it anytime you see something you want if you put the little “add to wish list” button in your browser’s toolbar.

    As for my girlfriend – she’s amazing at pointing out things she wants, especially in the month leading up to her bday or xmas. We’ll be in Target and she’ll pick up some vase or something and swoon over it for a while and then put it back. Makes it easy for me to know what she wants.

  8. says

    Happy Birthday! I LOVE the PB wreath! How were the brownies? I’ve always been curious to try the Barefoot Contessa, but haven’t yet.

    I am like you with the birthday (and Christmas)list. Actually, links to things I like is about all my hubbs can handle! In the past, I’ve picked TONS of stuff from Sephora (I’m a make up junkie), but being a new homeowner this year (we’ve owned for 1 month in Midlo, VA!!) I’m anticipating lots of home goods to put on the list. I’ve actually been thinking about working on a Mother’s Day list (as this will be my first mother’s day, too!), and I’ve been thinking about some stuff from PB and C&B for bathroom and kitchen stuff!

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Tiffany,

      The Barefoot Contessa brownies are rich and delish (super duper chocolatey- which is sort of nice because you can’t have ten like I normally do). Definitely worth a try!


  9. says

    Happy Birthday, Sherry! And those ZGallerie sconces are outstanding — love them!

    Meredith: I’m 6′ and completely feel your pain re clothing. I get so tired of wearing J.Crew, Banana Republic or Gap all the time (which are some of the few retailers that sell tall lengths). A few other brands that I’ve found work for tall gals: BCBG, MICHAEL Michael Kors (he also runs big, so I always go a size down) and Tory Burch (yes, she runs pricier, but she also always has stuff on super-sale, so I check in regularly just to see).

  10. East End says

    I think I’m just going to ask for everything that was on your birthday list! Those sconces! I never would have picked them out till I saw them on your wall……

  11. says

    since it’s your birthday, now seems like a good time to tell you that I love how you guys blog. You do such a great job of keeping up with the comments section and addressing questions- even ones that are tricky. So because of that, I’m not even jealous of all the birthday loot you scored. :)

    I just did my 27th in January and treated myself to a trip to IKEA. It was just what I wanted.

  12. says

    Happy Birthday! What a blessing to have such a wonderful and careing hubby and family and what wonderful gifts. I love house hold items for my B-day!! We did the list thing at Christmas and I loved all my goodies I was blessed with. By the way…love the candle sconces, they fit right in with the design of your room.

  13. says

    Happy Birthday Sherry and I hope you had a nice time in my “soon to be neck of the woods”. Since you two visit my area, maybe once we get moved in I can hire y’all for a home visit consult and you can get paid to have a long weekend “at the beach.” I’ve put alot of thought into how I want our home to feel and what types of furniture we want to help convey that feeling and done alot of online searching for ideas but I have a few roadblocks. (they may be in my mind) I’m really enjoying your site since your very own house is similar in architectural style to the one we’ll be living in. (a ranch)

    • YoungHouseLove says

      Hey Ami,

      It doesn’t get much better than a beach trip/decorating consultation! We’re in!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *