Month: May 2014

Currently

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(Hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn – but more importantly, tater tots for dinner)

Today is my last day at J.Crew, and while there are parts of my time there I will surely miss, I can’t be more ready for what’s about to come. I am making the switch over to work as a manager at Madewell (where my passions truly lie), and can’t remember the last time something in my career had me this excited. I am so thankful for my time at J.Crew and the wonderful people I met along the way (a.k.a. where I first met Ryan). I know I was there for a reason, and now I am ready for my next adventure. My new life starts on Monday, but I have this weekend off to enjoy a cookout with my family tonight, relaxing, and seeing friends. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

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(Signs of summer approaching: fresh flowers and cut-offs)

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(A quick bite to eat with my family after my sister’s bridal portraits – can’t wait to share!)

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(Sweet little things Ryan brought me back from his beach trip)

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(Taking a time out for a long overdue trip to La Farm Bakery for a pastry)

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Mint Iced Coffee

minticed1I’ll admit – I’m a Starbucks addict. Or really, a coffee addict. In the winter, I have to have at least a warm cup in the morning, and in the summer, a small iced coffee is usually my perfect mid-day pick me up/cool me down. I’ve been much better as of late at making my hot coffee from home in the morning, but have never messed around with iced varieties. When I saw this pin on Pinterest, it looked too good to resist. I substituted store bought coffee concentrate for the made from scratch version listed here, but incase you have more time on your hands – this recipe is great for making your own.

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 mug of coffee to pour into ice cube trays

16 oz bottle of store bought coffee concentrate (or 1/2 c freshly ground coffee and 2 c cold water if you are making your own)

1 c water

1 c sugar

1 big bunch of mint leaves (about 3/4 c), plus some for garnish

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

4 tbsp half + half

Recipe

Prepare coffee concentrate by hand night before if you are choosing to do so.

Night before serving, heat water, sugar, leaves, and vanilla beans (and pod) in a sauce pan over medium heat. Allow to bubble slightly, whisking constantly until all sugar has dissolved.

Allow to cool, pour into a jar, and refrigerate overnight. Strain out leaves and vanilla beans and keep refrigerated until ready for use (will stay good for up to a week).

Fill glass with ice cubes – some regular and some coffee is a good mix. Pour 8 oz coffee concentrate and 2 1/2 tbsp mint syrup into cup and add cream as desired (4 tbsp was perfect for me). Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

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Fringe Balloon DIY

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As part of my gift to my sister last week, I wanted to give her some fun photos to put in her wedding preparation scrapbook. I’d seen these balloons all over blogs and Etsy – but along with the adorable balloon came a $50 price tag, as well as a couple week’s wait. I was determined that I could make it on my own, so after a little research and some trial and error, I was able to make a very special, one of a kind fringe ballon. The whole thing was fairly inexpensive too – the ballon ran about $6, the table covers a dollar each, and the gold shimmer tinsel was just a few dollars. The project only took a couple of hours, and was definitely a more personal alternative to ordering one I had seen online. Here’s how you can make your own at home.

DSC_1682What you’ll need:

36″ balloon with string (pink, blue, and white available at Party City)

2-3 colors of rectangular plastic table covers

tinsel banner (optional)

tape

scissors

stapler

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Unfold the table cloth so it is only left folded in half one time. (It would be long – or ‘hot dog style’).

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Fold ‘hot dog style’ again (Luna decided to help out with this step). It should now be a very long strip, about a foot wide. From here, fold in half ‘hamburger style’ so that it becomes a shorter rectangle.

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Once folded, cut into three equal sections. This should make six different pieces of double layered table cloth.

DSC_1711Turn the rectangle so the folded part is furthest away from you. Cut into 1″ fringes, leaving about an inch of uncut material at top by fold.

fringeballon1One rectangle creates two fringes. Separate from each other (you will have to snip the bottoms of about half that are stuck together still from the folding).

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Roll fringe along the fold and staple at the stop to hold together.

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Completed fringe will look like this. Complete same steps with each of the different colors until all your fringe is made. (You get 12 pieces from each table cloth).

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Starting from the top, attach fringe to string by wrapping clear tape around both. Don’t worry if the stop looks ugly right now, you can go back and wrap some tinsel around it at the end to cover up the tape.

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Continue to add fringe, alternating colors, until you have as much covered as you would like. Go back at the end and add in any tinsel or smaller accent pieces to fill in gaps and give more character.

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Dessert Bar Bridal Shower

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Last week I hosted a bridal shower for my sister. The whole evening was fun and enjoyable and full of celebrating the bride-to-be. Because it was held a little bit later on a weeknight, we decided upon an ice cream sundae and dessert bar theme. The ladies filled up on ice cream with all the dressings, mini brownies, lemon squares, cupcakes, pineapple upside down cake, and sipped on cherry-limeade punch, before settling down to play a couple of cute bridal shower games. The first of three – you couldn’t say “Patrick” (my sister’s fiance’s name), or “wedding” all night. If you did, you had to give your toy necklace to the woman who caught you. The second game was to write what you think is the secret ingredient to a marraige on a spoon for the bride – we got some pretty comical and sweet pieces of advice. The final game though was probably what produced the most laughs of the evening. During the reading of a very funny story, every time “left” or “right” was said, you had to pass a gift to your left or right. You can find a copy of the story here. All in all, the night was perfect, and I’m so glad we all got to come together for a night of treats, fun, and games. It’s only making me that much more excited for the big day in just over a month! Here are a few glimpses from our evening. DSC_1859

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White Out

MATIMES52214-4Madewell Dress, Target Belt, BCBG Pumps, West Elm Clutch, Moon & Lola Necklace, Vintage Bracelet, Essie’s ‘Blanc’ Nail Polish


I’m pretty sure no one still strictly abides by the ‘no white until after Memorial Day’ rule – ever since ‘winter white’ became a thing, it’s become trendy to wear white year round. Although I admittedly didn’t wait for today to wear my first pair of white denim, I did still want to celebrate old traditions today by wearing all white. As soon as I saw this dress, all of the subtle detailing and it’s oversized frame instantly reminded me of something a little girl would frolic around in on a holiday like today – so naturally it came home with me.

A very special thank you to all those who served our country. Remembering you today and every other day. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

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Currently

DSC_1952(A peek at my sister’s bow bouquet from her shower)

I couldn’t have asked for a better week. Between my vacation the first half of the week with Ryan, celebrating Luna’s one-year-old birthday, and my sister’s bridal shower last night, it really was one of the best weeks. That said, I am clean wiped out and exhausted (probably, mostly, from our vigorous hike up the mountain), and plan on doing nothing this holiday weekend except lazing around on the couch, sleeping in, and watching a few good movies. Next week is my last week at my current job, and while I couldn’t be more excited for the things to come, the next few days seem like the perfect opportunity to unwind and be thankful for all the wonderful things in my life currently.

DSC_1968(My freezer’s current condition – I have no shame)

DSC_1962(One of the best parts of hosting: these lovely flowers from my sister)

DSC_1747(A happy one-year-old little girl)

DSC_1964Enjoying a glass of good old southern sweet tea after a long day)

 

Painted Flower Bottles DIY

paintedflowersdiyI’d seen painted bottles all over Pinterest and it had always been something I wanted to try. With my sister’s bridal shower this evening, I was naturally planning on covering my house in flowers, but wanted to mix it up from my typical clear vases and mason jars. It was the perfect opportunity to give this project a try, and it turned out to be even easier than I thought. They are a nice, fresh change from glass jars, and add just the right pops of color to my decor for the party tonight.

bottles1Select bottles you have around the house or from the recycling bin. The more shapes and sizes, the better.

bottles2Soak bottles in hot, soapy water. Let soak until labels are soft and scrub off. Let bottles dry completely. If you have more time, running through dishwasher also helps remove labels.

paintedbottles3Paint a thin first coat onto the bottles. It will look streaky at first – it gets less transparent after the second and third coats. Let dry completely between coats, repeat two more times.

paintedbottles4Allow bottles to completely dry, then fill with fresh flowers and place around the house.