Wednesday, December 31, 2014

southern hello dolly bars

tomorrow my sister is hosting a dirty 30 themed shindig for her boyfriend's birthday, I'm going to bring my hello dolly bars. the food she has planned sounds amazing, and she's agreed to share it with me so be sure to stay tuned!

I was introduced to these southern hello dolly bars over ten years ago by a dear old friend. they are easy to make and delicious - don't be scared if you don't like nuts or coconut, all the flavors merge together to create pure yumminess. I make these bars all the time, sometimes I will leave out the nuts or coconut on half the pan if someone is very particular (my dad, mostly). this is the first time I've used parchment paper - life changing. not only does it cut down on the messy cleanup of the pan, but it also made cutting them into squares infinitely easier. enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

chili cheese baked potatoes with extra crispy skins

a baked potato for dinner on a cold night feels like a luxury since there's no way I could normally spend over an hour (cook time) making dinner during the week. I love eating the whole potato, skin and all so I coated the skins to make them extra yummy and crispy. we topped the potatoes with turkey chili and cheese (and butter of course). add red wine and voila! easy, delicious, and healthy dinner.

Monday, December 29, 2014

homemade pizza + game night

sundays usually mean homemade pizza and watching homeland for us [finale last week!]. this sunday, my sister and her boyfriend came over to make pizza and watch football with us. after watching the falcons lose to the panthers, we played some new games I got for christmas including jenga and hedbanz.

lately I've been wanting to have games on hand to play when we have friends over, so I asked for some for christmas. I also received battle of the sexes and uncorked under the tree. jenga is a family favorite - hedbanz was new for me, although I've played the app version... this game was super fun and a bit challenging too.

I can't wait to play the other games soon! there are still a few more games on my wish list: battleship and hungry hungry hippos for now. what games do you love to play? I'd love to add them to my list. all in all, it was a relaxing and fun night in with yummy food and great company. xo, lam

Saturday, December 27, 2014

moscow mule

after spending most of the day running errands and exchanging sizes on christmas gifts, etc... one can really work up an appetite for a cocktail. my sweet boyfriend gifted me moscow mule copper mugs for christmas and it's prime time to break them in! moscow mules were all the rage this year, with almost every restaurant adding this cocktail to their menu... I mean, they're everywhere. oh and those napkins... we scooped them up at target today for only $1.

Friday, December 26, 2014

repurposing holiday centerpieces

christmas came and went, and it was a beautiful day for our family! we exchanged lots of presents and ate too much food... I definitely overdosed on brisket and macaroni and cheese. the good news is that we did get some cardio in as a family ;)

I enjoy bringing fresh flowers to our family get-togethers and usually leave them behind for my parents. this time, I got to take the arrangements home and did a little floral refresh to mix it up. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

home for christmas eve

we always kick off christmas eve [and every other family get together for that matter] with lots of champagne, followed by tons of cooking, present wrapping, and catching up. we like to have casual little plates for christmas eve before our big christmas feast the next day, our traditional favorites are chili cheese dip, pigs in blankets, veggies and dip, sausage balls, shrimp cocktail, iced sugar cookies, and more. this year, we also tried some new recipes including s'mores cookies and a tomato pesto jam jar. afterwards, us 'kiddos' get to open our annual new pair of pjs and unwind the rest of the evening. sharing the sausage ball recipe below - every time I make these, people ask for the recipe... enjoy and merry christmas! xo, lam

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

a key west christmas

aside from amazingly warm weather in december, key west also boasts lots of sights to see and things to do in a small area - most places are in walking/biking distance depending on where you stay. my favorites this trip included the key west butterfly conservatory and fort zachary beach. if you have the option to rent bikes, I highly recommend it.

best beach: pick up cuban sandwiches from courthouse and deli and head to fort zachary, the undisputed best beach in the keys (bring money for the small entry fee)

must see/do: the key west butterfly conservatory, the southernmost point for an obligatory photo, hemingway house if you're interested, key west artisan market, try a beach yoga class

eat/drink recommendations: casa marina for a key lime 'casa colada' by the beach at sunset, la te da for a yummy fish sandwich and an abundant mimosa menu, green parrot casual dive bar, grab fresh fish from fausto's or the fish market and whip up a batch of gumby slumbers (1 cup each: coconut rum, spiced rum, orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice) for a fun night in.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

pomegranate martini

this cocktail is to die for and easy to make, which is really all you can ask for in a martini especially if it's been a long day. try to have just one... it's nearly impossible. i've been known to shake up a half serving for just a wee bit more.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

small surprises - coworker gifts 2015

something about the holidays makes me want to spread cheer to those I'm thankful for in the office. every year, the gift list gets longer and finding a cost effective, semi-easy, and unique gift gets slightly more difficult. some sweet treats circulating my office this year:

mini-bags of red lindt truffles
treat bags of peppermint cookies
homemade peppermint bark

all fun and delicious ideas! last year, I gifted mini pretzels dipped in chocolate and sprinkles in mason jars. while they were adorable, they definitely were a labor of love in the kitchen. this year, I bought small red apple pie scented candles - removed the labels and replaced them with custom holiday labels from tinyprints. they were a hit!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

giving back to the community: always in style

this year, I've been fortunate and thrilled to serve on a rotating annual philanthropy board at work through the sara blakely foundation. our team is finally reaching the end of the journey, meaning we have the chance to award the beneficiary organizations and start to make a difference in the community! one of the organizations we chose is the YMCA eastlake youth and teen center in atlanta, it was a tough and rigorous process over the past year and we are all really looking forward to the hands-on volunteering to come in the future - these young ladies are so incredibly talented, confident, and bright! they are truly an inspiration.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

holiday happenings in the city

for me, the holiday season is about two things: giving and celebrating! i love doing both of these things and love to see the excitement and the rush of the season with everyone around you giving and celebrating in their own ways. highlights this month have included the annual adopting of an angel from the salvation army christmas tree, donating to the atlanta youth tennis education foundation through a pay-it-forward initiative at work, attending a large philanthropic company meeting based on giving, and of course, more holiday parties than I can count. we've had neighborhood parties, company parties, friend parties... and I've finally tried both drybar and heat lounge for blowouts ;) we'll head to key west next week to enjoy some r&r in the sun before returning to atlanta for christmas day with my fam. 'tis the season! xo, lam

Thursday, December 11, 2014

square one

with a background in business and marketing, I have worked in retail and automotive with an international scope and a passion for people and product focused brands. my interest in design was sparked from years traveling all over the world, observing cultural interpretations and nuances represented through design on the streets, world class hotels, and even in shopping malls. design and inspiration is everywhere.

I now live in atlanta, georgia with my husband and our cat. I love design and entertaining, all things beautiful and comfortable, southern hospitality, and whipping up a few things in the kitchen. I believe that every day is reason enough to break out the fancy china. I'm so glad you're here and thank you for following along.

are you a like-minded blogger or brand with a collaboration opportunity? let's chat!


map key
gold: been there, done that!
brown: on the bucket list
star: lived there once upon a time