Monday, September 26, 2016

a {gourd}geous fall tablescape // two ways

this weekend, we had some friends over for dinner and I got to set the table for fall. I bought these napkins from homegoods a couple weeks ago and had been eagerly waiting to use them. I love the soft, muted browns and grays in the plaid. 

does anyone else have a thing for ugly gourds? the bumpier the better, in my opinion. I picked up a few yellow toned gourds at the grocery store and worked them into my table using muted peachy roses and green hydrangeas.





eventually, I'll put these pretty gourds in our outdoor lanterns at the front door. the lanterns I ordered came in damaged and I am not-so-patiently waiting on the replacements to be delivered.








I always make a little mini arrangement of one or two blooms for the guest bathroom.


on saturday, we had friends over to watch SEC football. I reworked the gourds into a large glass terrarium to simplify the table but still keep it pretty, that way people could come and go and use the table easily. I am head over heels for this terrarium, which I bought at my local plant store - pike's nursery. I use it often on my entry way table.




people have been so creative with their fall decor this year, I am loving all different color options including blue and orange, white and greens, rose gold and more. typically, I wouldn't have picked such delicate colors like peach and green, but it works well with the soft napkins and coloring of the gourds. enjoy your week and thanks for stopping by, friends!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

fall home tour

today marks the first day of fall and I've slowly been turning over a new fall-ish leaf (pun intended!) in our home over the past couple of days. I don't decorate in a drastic way for fall, especially since the color orange doesn't particularly fit with our color scheme of neutrals, but I couldn't resist adding some pumpkins here and there. being that this is the first fall season in our new home, I've really had to pace myself and remind myself that I can't have everything immediately. especially since creating a look that you love can take quite some time and money to get it just right.


Monday, September 19, 2016

spicy cheesy veggie sausage quesadillas

sometimes you just need a super simple dinner and luckily, I have one for you today. stephen and I rely on simple dinners during the week that are a combination of foods we likely already have around the house. red onions, vegan sausage, potatoes, broccoli, rice, cheese, green onions, pasta sauce, tortillas... we are pretty much guaranteed to have these items in stock at all times. that, and boxed macaroni and cheese, but that is a story for another time.

I happened to have some peppers that needed to be used and we wanted to celebrate the fact that stephen's deadline to pass the CPA came and went, since he passed over 6 months ago. margaritas and quesadillas, it was! I love getting creative with this field roast vegan sausage. toss it in the food processor, and your options are endless. these spicy cheesy veggie quesadillas were a hit!

Friday, September 16, 2016

mini cheesecakes

cheesecake is one of the yummiest desserts, but can sometimes be a pain to make with a springform pan. much like making a cake in a bundt pan, I'm always crossing my fingers that it comes out of the pan perfectly. the beauty of these little babies is that no springform pan is required!

not to mention, you can change it up with toppings. caramel syrup goes really well, and chocolate chips too. you could basically make any kind of mini cheesecake that you feel like! I made these cherry cheesecakes for our housewarming party a few weeks ago, I love that the cherries bring out the most beautiful pop of red. these cheesecakes are great for parties because they're much easier to eat versus a whole pie. bonus, as a host, there's no slicing involved!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

what I read in august

another month has come and gone and it's time for another "what I read" linkup with Steph and Jana. I have lots of fun reading related news this month! first, I finally joined Goodreads... I know, I know, about time. I realized that I'm totally on track to read 12 books this year. for so many of you, that is like how many you read in one month but for me, this proves that I've seriously made time for reading unlike I have in the past. with the holidays, I can probably get to 15 books this year. yay! thanks, honestly, to steph and jana because joining their linkup motivates me to get shit done... er finish books. 

ok, ok.... for real, the best news is that the book I read this month was awesome. my coworker has a book club and she told me to buy this book so I could come to the next meeting. I'll be honest, when she told me the plot, I was not sold. it sounded different and like something I probably wouldn't buy myself. so very glad I took her advice!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

change is in the air

good morning and happy sunday! you may have noticed some pretty large changes around here if you read often... such as a completely new site name and design. don't worry - you're at the right place and it's still me!

as I approach two years of writing at laurensparkle.com, I was reflecting with some family members and we just got to talking about the blog - my strengths, weaknesses, and interests. lauren alford design was born out of this conversation. much of the content will be the same, with an increased focus on design and entertaining. of course, I'm still cooking and traveling and I'll continue to share on those topics.

as always, thank you for reading and if you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it. wishing you a joyful sunday and a wonderful week! xx lauren


9.11.2001 never forget

the monogrammed resort towel

with fall slowly approaching, I was happy to relax on the last official weekend of summer with my stripe-y marleylilly monogrammed beach towel over labor day weekend. I have a couple of trips this fall including dallas (um, so hot), california, and key west - so luckily for me, it's not quite time to put the beach towels away! lazy beach or pool days are seriously the best.

 
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