Friday, May 29, 2015

graduation x2

may marks graduation month and we were happy to celebrate the graduation of my sister and stephen's sister just a few weeks apart. we drove out to auburn, alabama several weeks ago to celebrate katie's graduation and then drove up to kennesaw, georgia for jenna's ceremony this past week. we had a great time in both cities, enjoyed toasting to the grads, and are excited for what's in store for both of them in the future! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

memorial weekend in watersound // recap quickie

welcome back to work week reality, people! I hope that everyone had a nice, relaxing, and grateful weekend. we spent lots of time with family, complete with beach and pool days, pool beer pong + volleyball, plus a quick bike ride to the lake with a boozy picnic on the dock. and I can't forget about the food.... cuban mojitos, copious amounts of champagne, gulf seafood, burgers, homemade fries, corn on the cob, and my mom's key lime pie.

Monday, May 25, 2015

cuban cocktails: mojito + cuba libre

this memorial day weekend, the family is all spending the long weekend at the beach together. my mom and I brought a few items back from our trip to cuba for the beach house, including a cocktail tray, mojito glasses, and cuban rum from el floridita bar in havana. hemingway is said to have consumed 16 daiquiris in one sitting at this bar, with double shots. for us, it's time to put the rum to good use and it's the first time we've made cuban drinks stateside with our havana club.

in cuba, we were always greeted with either a mojito or a cuba libre at every cocktail hour or meal. mom and I are recreating them for everyone today and recapping a little bit of our trip with the family. both of these cocktails are pretty easy to make, especially the cuba libre, and are super refreshing. cheers!

Friday, May 22, 2015

fashion friday: memorial weekend round up

and just like that, we're already to the last week of may! slightly mind blowing. memorial weekend means beachin' it for us + my sister's high school graduation celebration.

last weekend, stephen and I bought new bikes! so we'll be riding to the beach and playing in the pool all day. I love the casual vibe of beach weekends, all I need to pack is a swimsuit and some activewear and I'm good to go. this weekend, for the graduation party, I'll step it up by wearing real clothes. luckily, it won't be too painful since I've been buying up comfortable pieces that are light and airy and perfect for warm temperatures.

last weekend, I picked up an anthropologie striped romper that I'm in love with and I've been wearing this swingy black t-shirt dress non-stop already. I debuted this easy dress at puppy pawty with a statement necklace and have worn it on repeat since, with scarves, necklaces, etc. it's the perfect canvas, and will look great with boots in the fall. BONUS... you will not believe the irresistibly low price and where I happened to find it... click read more below to learn more about this must-have summer lbd staple.

thank you to all the veterans and service people this weekend and always for your sacrifices!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

an evening at atlanta botanical garden

one of my favorite places in atlanta is the botanical garden and I happen to be lucky enough to live about two miles away. my mom and I like going to the garden together for member nights or special events during the week, this time we decided to check out bruce munro's light in the garden exhibit which just opened earlier this month.

often times the garden has a bar set up immediately next to the entrance so of course, we stop there first before embarking on the garden adventure. I tried the featured cocktail, the luminescent, made with basil lemonade, vodka, and garnished with a glow stick. the featured cocktails at the garden are always impressive, all year round.

Monday, May 18, 2015

zucchini noodle obsession

a few months ago, one of my coworker friends was heating up something delish in the micro for lunch... they were zucchini noodles. at first, it sounded interesting, then my next thought was seriously how do you even make zucchini noodles?? it seemed daunting to me, for a second I even wondered if each noodle was sliced by hand... HA I was totally clueless.

turns out, all it takes is one seriously amazing vegetable spiralizer for $30 and the rest is history. now I'm a complete addict, with zoodles at least once a week. huge thanks to nicole to the nines for inspiring me to buy a spiralizer, make zoodles, and for teaching me how to cook them. did I mention that you can have zoodles for dinner on the table in less than 5 minutes? life changing! and if you're worried the guy in your life might not be ready to take the veggie vs pasta plunge - it's definitely man approved. pasta-loving stephen actually told me he prefers the zucchini.

Friday, May 15, 2015

fashion friday: perforated

last week, most of my coworkers and I headed up to new york for spring market week. on our first day together in the showroom - we all happened to be wearing perforated pieces, from tops to skirts to dresses - we were all about the perforation. performance activewear continues to inspire ready to wear apparel, creating super functional athleisure pieces that have the ability to take you from lunges to lunch dates.

while I'm yet to mix actual athletic pieces into my work wardrobe, I'm loving these spring-y perforated pieces with a slight nod to active wear in fabrication.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

everybody wins! atlanta end of year reading party

today marks another elementary school year of reading in the books! this is my fourth year reading with everybody wins atlanta and the third school that I've read with - highpoint elementary. the everybody wins program was just launched this year at highpoint and we had a strong turnout, but as always, a waiting list of children who need and want volunteer reading mentors. if you're local to atlanta, read more about becoming a volunteer.

one of my favorite things about the everybody wins program is the end of year party with professional storyteller, mama koku. she brings books to life using props and the children get to act out the story live. it is always a roaring good time! this time was no exception, the story was about rabbits who wanted to wear jewelry and the message was to be grateful and not greedy. how cute are these kiddos!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

the ultimate graduation gift guide

this year, we have the pleasure of attending two graduations - both a high school graduation for my sister and a college graduation for stephen's sister [war eagle!]. my sister is venturing off to college this fall  [go dawgs!] and stephen's sister will stay one more year to complete her master's. I really can't believe my youngest sister is going off to college, in fact, I even had a little meltdown over it. some days, most days, I really feel that life is going by way too quickly and it freaks me out... but before I get too ahead of myself...

whether your graduate is finishing high school, undergrad, or beyond, there's sure to be a perfect present on this list - from $10 to $400! be sure to click 'read more' for a few more splurge-worthy gifts not pictured below.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

new york minute: gramercy tavern + obica mozzarella bar

after long [and successful] work days in the city this past week, we managed to make it out for some notable dinners before crashing at the hotel - an old favorite, gramercy tavern, and a new place for me, obica mozzarella bar.

gramercy tavern is seasonal fine dining and one of my all time favorite restaurants, spurring from the first visit during a girl's trip several years ago. the three course meal is essentially a six course meal with lots of small treats along the way, including a muffin to-go for breakfast the next morning. obica is an italian cucina with mozzarella flown in straight from italy twice a week. so you can't go wrong there. 

gramercy tavern dining room

Saturday, May 9, 2015

new york minute: chelsea market

this past week, I made a quick jaunt up to new york for work for market week! the weather was surprisingly warm and the streets were bustling as always. in between doing retail store visits and before heading home, I found an extra hour to hit chelsea market for the first time. my highlights include sarabeth's bakery, posman book shop, and the independent designer pop up shop.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

outdoor urban oasis

there are few things I love more than enjoying en evening after work on my patio in the spring or fall, watching the sun go down with a cocktail amidst fresh flowers and calm breezes. we have been so busy lately that I haven't had a chance to plant my spring blooms yet. last year's plants have been staring at me every day... wilted, dead, and depressing. I finally got a chance to hit up pike's nursery and went a little wild!

after coming home and planting them immediately, I'm now all cheery with the windows open - listening to the birds chirp and enjoying the bright colors of my new patio plants. some sunshine and pretty colored blooms can work wonders for your outlook on life. oh and a fresh cocktail al fresco doesn't hurt either.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

top 10 cuban souvenirs + travel tips!

by now you know I take souvenir shopping pretttttty seriously. I always want to buy something cool for everyone [not exactly possible] and of course, plenty for myself as well. I like to think of it as investing in the local economy...

so what's a gal to bring back from cuba? 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

waterfront wedding weekend

we made a quick trip down to florida this weekend for the wedding of stephen's aunt. it was a full on family affair and a great weekend. the weather could not have been better for the intimate ceremony and reception at 331 south. the food and wedding cake were delicious, we had such a nice time celebrating the marriage of brad and denise with family and friends.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

havana, cuba day 7

we had another wonderfully planned day of meetings and excursions for our last full day in cuba, starting with a ferry ride to regla to meet with cuban hip hop artists of the group obsesion in their home.

obsesion was founded in 1996 as one of cuba's first hip hop bands and is focused on using hip hop as an expression of life in cuba. the members of the band are very involved in multidisciplinary art projects, mentor up and coming artists, and promote equality for blacks and women.

the band played some of their music videos for us - here's my favorite si esta es mi mama!

havana, cuba day 6

we embarked on our journey from trinidad back to havana bright and early as we had a jam packed schedule waiting for us. in route back to the hotel, we stopped to explore the ernest hemingway house in la finca vigia.

the house is set on a sprawling plot of land in comparison to the uber crowded neighboring streets. all the doors and windows of the home were open but roped off as the original items are still in their places. hemingway wrote seven books at this home, including the old man and the sea.