Last weekend, Jaithan and I had so much fun down in Maryland with all the good shopping, eating and sightseeing we did that I still have lots more to share! We'd left the city early Saturday with our friends Austin and Casey, and after a little dollar store diversion on the way, we finally pulled into Chesapeake City, a charming little town right on the water. I really do love in-town living, even with a country house. That way, I can be close to all the shops while still feeling like I have neighbors. The Bohemia Cafe & Bakery was definitely one of those cute, little places I could see myself stopping in all the time for fresh baked bread and coffee.


The town itself was full of quaint, quiet streets with charming homes and storefronts.  


 Here I am with Jaithan at a very cute restaurant, right on the water, with stunning views of the bridge. 


What a great brick house! Love the double doors, the slate roof and the hunter green shutters.


As soon as we popped into one of the antique stores in town, Austin spotted this pretty purple transferware plate. If you want to start a china collection, especially for table settings, I suggest finding a piece you love, then going from there. Replacements and eBay are always good resources, but until you complete a set, don't hide them in a drawer! Do what I do and group them on a wall. It's sophisticated and unexpected.      


The stamping is almost as pretty as the plate itself! Such a beautiful header for stationary with either her name or monogram in the center, don't you think?


Love this French porcelain cream and sugar set with a gold band. Martha has a huge collection I adore.


This old enamel stove would be so perfect for serving a warm stew and cornbread during the winter months in my country house kitchen. Some day…


A lot of times you'll find old beds like this with missing rails and slats. But that shouldn't deter you from buying one! Just replace them as needed, then give the whole thing a fresh coat of paint. For a little girl's room, I'd do a pretty pale yellow, then add a white popcorn chenille bedspread and all white pillows with yellow trim. It's a feminine, pretty look but still sophisticated enough to grow into.


How great is this camelback sofa for a grown-up city apartment? And for $325? You could have it totally reupholstered, and you'd still come out ahead. For a little Dorothy Draper glamor at home, I'd do black silk velvet with white piping. Then I'd mix it up by putting it at the foot of a bed. What a chic perch for slipping on shoes!


These plates I loved for their luster sheen and transferware pattern. Loved the ribbon folding around the plate as well. To me, they just say party—Birthday Party!—with sterling silver forks and an elegant Coconut Layer Cake.  


The name of the pattern I loved too—Ribbon Wreath. And that marking on top with the "R" in a diamond is one I've been taught to look for in good china. 


After driving all morning and touring the town, we stopped off for a little lunch at a place the locals love!


What a quaint little crab shack! Love the paper towel rolls, salt, pepper and ketchup, all on kraft paper tables. Talk about easy clean-up! Such a great idea too for a simple outdoor picnic.


While Austin and our good friend (and host!) Ricky decide between the Crab Cakes and the Crab Claws… 


…her sister Casey and Jaithan fuss over fish and chips and fried clams. It was all of the above for this group, but when the food finally came, I was so hungry, I forgot to take a picture! It really was delicious, though. (Oh, and be sure to check out Casey in this month's Teen Vogue!)


Two rounds of crab cakes and about a dozen fried clams later, we were off for another round of shopping, but not without a stop to smell the wild rosemary along the way.


Here's Austin and Jaithan at a little yard sale right on someone's porch.


Austin found this pair of old chair prints in silhouette. They're going to look great in her apartment when they get framed. I bet my friend Steve McKenzie from Larson-Juhl would know just the right fit!   


A few houses down, check out this old historical plaque!


And how cute is the house? It's actually a Bed & Breakfast with an unusual combination of colors but fun nonetheless!


INNtiques—what a cute name for a store in the basement of a B & B!


Here's the group heading down…


…and through this door, who knows what we'll find?


The interior was so rustic and charming, full of lots of great stuff.


Jadite's a favorite of mine. I have a few pieces myself that I love and use all the time!


These silverplate spreaders I thought were great too. They're perfect for bread and butter at individual table settings.


Oil lamps are something I've had my eye on for quite a while. I think they'd be so great for lighting a long outdoor table for a fall dinner party.


I think shelves in front of windows are so pretty. Personally, I'd use glass shelves, but I still love what the light does to all that beautiful early American pressed glass.


Here I am with Austin checking out a couple of large ironstone platters. These I love year round but especially for holiday entertaining. Can't you just see the perfect roast turkey, surrounded by sage, cranberry and walnuts, just waiting to be carved?


And here's Jaithan, just before we left town to head back to Ricky's.  


How gorgeous is the street, all lined in trees, leading back to the house?


It's a quaint little lake cottage, right on the bay. You can even see the water through the front door!


Trixie…so happy to see us!


How pretty is this view of the Chesapeake Bay, right from Ricky's back porch? And the weather that day was incredible…


…perfect for all the sailing, fishing and crabbing we saw right from the house.


The nearby docks I thought were just so charming!


And while Jaithan and Casey paused for a picture in the sun,,, 


I found inspiration in a palette of grays, amazed (yet again!) at the beauty around us all.