celebrate good times!

i’ve got parties on my mind.

i know…rough life. but with some of my favorite people getting married this summer, there is no shortage of parties to both attend and throw. and who does not love a good excuse to pop a bottle of champagne?! that being said, hosting an event can be a lot to manage if you spend too much time on pinterest  go overboard with food and decor. i, for one, have a bad habit of finding inspiration and completely running with it to the point where i have overwhelmed myself…not a good practice at all. and because of experiencing this feeling in the past, i have come to the conclusion that for parties i throw from now on, simple and thoughtful details will always be a better way to go. after all, the true secret to a successful party is not about the food and decor as much as it is about the people: being a hostess that is kind and considerate to her guests, while ensuring the guest of honor feels loved and appreciated.

for me, accomplishing a beautifully decorated and delicious party comes down to three simple steps:

1. always consider the menu first. food is not only the focal point of many celebrations, but it can also be a centerpiece all it’s own. for this reason, i consider food that will not only be easy to manage if people are walking around, but that is nice to look at on display. i have numerous beautiful serving platters and dishes given as gifts from my own wedding, and i love pulling them out and putting them (as well as some delicious bites) on display.

2. when is comes to florals, less is more. i am a flower girl, it’s true. but to me, there is nothing more beautiful than loosely arranged blooms that are singularly beautiful, and not over-stuffed in a vase. this same principal, in my opinion, applies to the number of arrangements. fewer arrangements allow for each one to stand out more.

3. it’s all in the details. for me, elaborate dinners and decor are not nearly as meaningful as well thought out details. hosting a bridal shower for a bride who wishes her mom could be in attendance? get the recipe for her favorite homemade cookies and make them for the shower as a nod to both her mom and her favorite things; she is guaranteed to appreciate it more than the fanciest cookies from a local bakery. similarly, incorporate small details (striped straws, food labels, cupcake frosting) that echo the wedding’s color scheme, and be sure to take a lot of pictures to add in to a memory book for the bride.

hosting is about making your guests feel welcomed and at ease. and with a hostess that is at ease herself, her guests are bound to feel the same, and the laughter and good times will undoubtedly follow. now, time to pop the bubbly!

 

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cupcakes and cashmere + club monaco

do you ever have that momentary thrill when two of your favorites are combined?  this happened recently for brian (hello, nutella dessert pizza at cane rosso), and now, it has happened to me.

today, emily of cupcakes and cashmere launched her capsule collection with club monaco. i for one could not be more thrilled to see my hands-down-favorite fashion blogger combine forces with one of my all-time favorite retailers. and, in my opinion, they are the perfect match! emily’s classically chic and effortless style is in line with what i love + shop for at club monaco every time i walk through the door. simple lines? check. flattering colors and cuts? check and check. on trend while still maintaining a classic feel? you know it!

and this collection is no different. the dress above would make the perfect summer dress (already sold out!), and for dancing the night away, this one could not be better. this skirt is ideal for a day to night transition, and these heels would definitely add some pep to my step. be sure to check out the whole collection and, if you’re in love with it like me, enter to win all six pieces on cupcakes and cashmere!

congratulations on a beautiful collection, emily; i can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

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lunch break

ask anyone who knows me decently well and they will tell you cereal + coffee are my daily ritual. i love starting my day with this combo. and to end it? a glass of wine and a burger…or a delicious pasta dish…or enchiladas…or anything heavy + delicious. such a healthy girl, i know, i know.

but the mid-day meal has never been my thing. i find lunch generally uninspiring, and a rather annoying disruption to a productive day. but obviously i can’t live without it, so i have been attempting to find solutions (for both at home and on the go) to get me out of my lunch rut. for at home, i can’t beat trader joe’s fresh salads to go (oh my ever-lovin goodness are these things good), but sometimes i don’t have time to get home (my job is mainly on the go) for a bite to eat.

enter: number one in highland park village.

this cafe + shop is everything i could want in a lunch break: the decor (hello, gray malin), curated clothing + accessories (think simple and chic meets luxe and unique), + healthy options to munch on (the tomato bisque + hummus dip are so good) make this a refreshing (and can’t miss) choice for a mid-day break.

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at the heart of it

 

this week i….

>>reintroduced myself to my favorite pastime (missed you blog!)

>>laughed out loud at these hilarious graphs

>>got super excited about this store opening in dallas (i mean…so cute, right?)

>>decided that cabo is the place to be (that water!)

>>made a whimsical purchase that i will be sporting all summer long

>>read up on some pretty awesome sounding face masks from my go-to friend / blogger for reviews

>>loved everything about this simple + chic look and want to recreate it as soon as possible

this week was a good/busy one and i am excited for a weekend to soak up the sun + hang out with friends. happy friday and cheers to the weekend!

 

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making a statement

for the most part, i am the girl you will find wearing the same accessories every day, with every outfit. and this is just fine by me because the pieces i wear carry significant meaning in my life (i.e. my engagement + wedding rings, the cross necklace brian bought me on our honeymoon {similar}, and brian’s initials in gold studs for my second piercings in each ear). simple, simple.

but, every now and again, it is good to mix things up. and lately a trend i am loving is statement necklaces to do just that. i have seen them paired with bold prints and flowing dresses, as well as tees and boyfriend jeans–and both looks are chic and surprisingly simple to replicate. and the best part? you do not have to break the bank with the purchase of a statement necklace! my go to shops for these are furbish studio, ily couture, accessory concierge + bauble bar. i love the way they can brighten up any outfit, but am not willing to commit to a large purchase for such a specialized piece, so the price point of these shops is just about right (not to mention they all frequently have sales). cheers to that, and to such a fun trend!

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life lately

once again i have taken an unintended blog hiatus. i do not know what it is about you, 2014, but you sure have knocked me off my creative feet. i miss my little blog, truly, and still devote too much time to reading other people’s blogs…but getting the inspiration to create new material for my own has left me feeling overwhelmed.

and yet, the original intention of this blog was to create a digital scrapbook of sorts for my life so someday i can look back fondly on adventures brian and i have had; so back to blogging i go! #hooray

while my spring has not been nearly as idyllic as the picture above would suggest, i have had some great experiences and would love to catch you up a bit. some highlights include:

big news! my brother and sister in law had their fourth a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e baby, max, and get this: they are moving to dallas! we could not be more excited to welcome this awesome family to town! there have been lots of changes in our family this year, and i really could not be prouder of all my siblings between killing it at their current jobs, getting promotions, and getting new, exciting roles (plus just being awesome people in general). they are all hard-working inspirations to me. and with everyone moving closer i just know there are a lot of laughs and good times ahead of us.

starting a new job! i am now working for square as a community manager for the dallas market. i had training at their hq in san francisco and have been working in dallas ever since. it’s challenging, dynamic, fast-paced, and (mostly) fun.

travels! brian and i are truly blessed to be able to take advantage of the perks of his job by traveling and this spring’s adventures have included a trip to london (where we were able to visit dear friends), a cousin’s trip to boston, a hunting trip in kansas, a whirlwind weekend around texas for the ms150 (so proud of you, bri!), easter in hilton head, and a bachelorette party for a sweet friend in napa. weekend trips are where it’s at, and we love sharing these experiences together + with family and friends.

friends! we have some of the best of friends here in dallas + far away (hello, kansas, michigan, colorado + more) and through some of the events of the last year or so, man have these people stepped up in our lives. i know, i know, i am being super ambiguous, but let me just say i love each and every one of you. truly and always.

weddings! we are about to enter wedding season and i can’t wait to celebrate some really amazing couples as they say “i do” this summer. we have some awesome friends + family weddings to attend and the hopeless romantic in me can’t wait to be apart of these celebrations while reflecting on our own (almost) three years ago.

i think this about does it for updates. the one thing i have always struggled with on the blogging front is keeping everything from seeming too one-dimensional (i.e. the “life is perfect and everyday is sunshine and butterflies” vibe) because, in reality, my life is far from perfect. but i also believe in focusing on the positive, and this scrapbook of mine is a way for me to look back and be able to count my blessings. so, there ya go.

i’ve missed you blog + readers. i’ve missed being creative + writing. and i am excited to renew my dedication to both.

hope you are having an awesome week, and a very happy wednesday. xo

 

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internet inspiration

do you ever have those “blah” moments? i certainly have been experiencing one for a while now. sort of just…uninspired, for a lack of a better explanation. and when i feel this way i reach for inspiration wherever i can find it, because let’s be honest, it’s what adds a little extra “umph” to an otherwise ordinary day. so let me share with you some inspiration i have found this week broken in to three of my favorite categories: fashion, food, and decor. wishing you a lovely weekend full of laughter, love, and inspiring moments!

i love how soft and feminine rachel makes this outfit look despite the darker hues (fresh flowers never hurt!).

the combination of a bright-patterened blazer + a vintage inspired tee, makes julia’s look one of my favorites of the week.

anything neon just makes me happy, and i love the way bradley has styled it in an everyday look.

i was definitely surprised (and delighted) to find out that wendy’s dress was a peter pilotto for target number. in love.

i typically not big on flats, but grace’s new collaboration with matt bernson has me singing a different tune.

i mean….these pop-tarts. anyone who knows me at all, knows this just made my week.

i’ve recently begun to embrace avocado (it only took me eight years of living in texas…), but pair it with goat cheese and i am jumping in with both feet.

salted caramel anything just makes me happy.

three words: cream cheese wontons. enough said, enjoy.

brian has really been wanting to eat healthier lately, but thanks to gina, that does not mean sacrificing taste…helllllooo deliciousness.

not surprisingly, every time emily reveals a new part of her home renovation i fall in love with her taste + style all over again. the bold patterned powder room is no exception (see also: kitchen remodel).

loved this introduction to hunters alley courtesy of victoria. a little brass touch here and there adds so much to any space.

nicole’s fresh + bright bathroom remodel has me pinning monochromatic rooms on pinterest like crazy.

one of my favorite sites for home accessories is having a 20% off sale this weekend (also, happy anniversary, mackenzie!)

i simply can’t choose a favorite among the bedside decorating styles ashlina shared this week. i’ll take one of each…?

happy weekend!

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poppin pink

happy valentine’s day! i know it is cheesy, but i do love this day and all the red, pink, hearts, roses, candy and kisses it entails. call me romantic (i am), but i just can’t help but smile when this day rolls around on the calendar. tonight, brian and i will be celebrating with a home-cooked meal (wish me luck!), some prosecco + some chocolate covered strawberries. i am looking forward to a low-key night with my love.

and tomorrow we will be seeing some dear friends, so i thought it was the perfect excuse to try out a recipe that jacquelyn posted for pink popcorn (so festive, right?!). looking forward to passing out these popped treats tomorrow and in the meantime, wishing all of you a day full of love + happiness!

p.s. the bags and paper are from swoozies–it’s an awesome one stop shop for gifts and accessories; you should definitely check it out!

color crush // mint

i love all things mint. from mint chocolate chip ice cream (my favorite ice cream flavor!) to a cozy mint sweater paired with winter white in the colder months, and everything in between. i have been seeing more mint popping up as a neutral lately and am loving how it adds a fresh, light and cheerful flavor to all aspects of design: from home decor (it pairs so well with whites and light tans, as well as dark woods), to fashion (i love it in combination with navy, maroon, yellow, or white). i have been adding mint items to my “favorites” on all my go-to shopping sites, and look forward to adding more mint to my closet and home soon. can you tell i have a major color crush?!

tell me, what colors are you loving right now?

my mint wish list: heels (on sale!), cross body bag, dress, jeans, desk chair, vase, print

 

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on being productive

 

you know those days where life is a blur and the minutes tick by more quickly than the endless items on your to-do list? i love those days (i know…i am crazy). on those days i feel efficient, energized and ready to take on any challenge that comes my way.

it’s the days where the minutes feel like hours, and items to accomplish dwindle that i struggle to remain productive and focused. and to be honest, these days have been more common than the hectic ones in the past few weeks. so, i have tasked myself with determining how I am best motivated to remain productive. and i have come up with a few helpful tips that work for me:

 

  • find a place that inspires you, and make it your own. for me, this has been our spare bedroom. i have repurposed my childhood desk (similar here) as my workspace, decorated with whimsical art (my go-to shop), fun candles, and a desk lamp for when the natural light begins to fade (windows are my favorite and my desk is nestled between two).
  • make a list, and check it twice. ohh the list. i am such a list girl: i put “make a list” on my list (ha!). for me, seeing goals listed out helps in prioritizing tasks and managing my time well. plus, there is nothing quite like the feeling of checking things off (or scratching them out like i do), when a task is completed. also, i have this notepad (thanks, mom!), and can’t help but look at it all day–perfect for my list!
  • reward yourself, but sparingly and only for a job well done. i am definitely not above bribing myself to get things done. but two things about bribes: make sure the goal and the reward are attainable. for instance, don’t set a goal that you have no control over (ex: i will go on six interviews this week); this will end up discouraging you, when really, the goal was out of your hands from the beginning. similarly, don’t set unrealistic rewards (ex: i will apply for six jobs than buy a purse). um, no. you have to make your time/task worthy of a reward; and one that matches the task completed. the point is motivation, and for me, all it takes is a bargain (ex: for every hour i spend job-hunting, i get fifteen minutes to peruse bloglovin). done and done.
  • give yourself a break, literally and figuratively. so maybe there are times where i will watch just one more show on netflix as opposed to vacuuming the house. and that is ok. i don’t know about you, but i tend to be so hard on myself that every time i mess up, i get discouraged about how bad i failed. um, no again. there are days where you feel productive, efficient, on top of the world…and there are days that are, simply put, blah. let yourself be ok with both days. and also, let yourself have a lazy couch day once in a blue moon; life goes on.

in the end, what i have found, is that like much of life, busyness ebbs and flows. it’s not so much about “getting things done” as it is about managing your time, resources, and stress well. learning to motivate yourself when times are slow; learning to lean on others when the weight of what bears down on you is just too much. productivity comes when you hit your stride–figure out what works for you–during both of these seasons of life.

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