Monday, March 30, 2015

cajun boiled peanuts

these boiled peanuts are the perfect march madness snack, we noshed on them while watching the elite eight this weekend and will probably make them again for the final four games next weekend. before I met stephen, I had never had a boiled peanut. in fact, I said that I would never eat one. they seemed complicated to eat and honestly, kind of gross. boy was I wrong.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

roswell beer festival benefitting STAR house

this weekend we celebrated a friend's birthday at the roswell beer festival. beer festivals can be hit or miss and this one happened to be a hit! we rarely had to wait in line to get more beer and there was ample amount of space to congregate even though the event sold out. the best news - all proceeds benefit the STAR house foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the academic success of at-risk youth in the community.

happy birthday kyle!

Friday, March 27, 2015

shiny spring sandals

confession: I am addicted to gold sandals. last year, I bought a pair from c. wonder (RIP) and this year, I bought the jack rogers shown below. why do I love them so? they go with everything. everything! here are my top chic, shimmering sandal picks that punch up your spring wardrobe while still being easy enough to grab and go - to the beach, concerts on the lawn, spring festivals.... 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

bartaco happy hour

everyone's been talking about bartaco. the chastain location just opened near my office so I finally had a chance to try it for happy hour! it was hopping, like crazy busy for a wednesday. the first thing I noticed was the amazing patio and the funky, coastal-themed interior decor. the next thing was obviously, my margarita.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

shrimp scampi with linguine

fresh florida gulf seafood is one of my favorite foods. I cannot get enough grouper, mahi mahi, shrimp, or crab cakes. for me, a trip to florida is not complete until I've had at least one seafood meal. we made this super light dish for dinner in florida last weekend - all six of us loved it.

shrimp scampi with linguine makes the perfect al fresco spring meal. it's also an easy meal to serve for large groups since you can easily prepare more shrimp and vary the amount of pasta based on how many guests you have. we served with white wine and salad, there were no leftovers - but this dish is so light, we still had room to enjoy cake to celebrate my little sister's acceptance into the university of georgia!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

beachin' it on the first day of spring

we spent the first weekend of spring at the beach! we stayed busy helping my parents finish moving into and styling their new home, I managed to get away for a walk on the beach with my mom and a dip in the pool. the guys took a break from working with march madness games and dinner at shades bar and grill. we also made shrimp scampi and linguine at home, nothing beats fresh gulf seafood. can't wait to be back in a few weeks. happy spring!

shelf style

this weekend, my mom and I styled over 40 shelves in their new home! I love the challenge of starting with empty shelves and a huge pile of books and other decorative items... putting each item in its place slowly and thoughtfully until all items have a home and come together for a unified, beautiful way to display a collection.

Friday, March 20, 2015

margarita gift basket

how perfect is this basket! whether it's a housewarming present or pet-sitting thank you, try this option instead of the usual bottle of wine. I love the simplicity of it... tequila + mix, with limes and straws. also, you must try this tequila, it's the bomb. I won't drink anything else [ok ok, I'm lying, but I definitely prefer ultimo]. cheers to spring, I'm going to make a marg! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

straw hat obsession

the first beach weekend of the year is almost here! being fair skinned and light eyed, I am way past the point of only using sunscreen to protect my face. these days, I'm all about shielding sun with straw hats... do yourself [and your skin] a favor - grab a hat or two this season!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

custom bridal gifts

with the start of spring comes the start of wedding season!

with that being said, there's something about gifting from a registry that depresses me. if I'm not super close to the bride, I will always gift from the registry because it's too assuming to veer from what she's requested, in my opinion.... but for a bride that I know well - I almost always go off the beaten path [read, registry] for a shower or wedding gift. 

below i've rounded up my favorite swoon-worthy monogrammed and custom bridal gifts!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

repurposing travel freebies

it's all about the bath and body sets! you can find crazy cool brands in hotels all around the world since many hotels source their products locally or from other countries. over the years, I've been bringing some of the best ones home and I now have a considerable stash. one thing's for sure, I haven't had to buy soap or body wash in quite a while since I have so many amazing [and free] options from my travels.

photo c/o
...and if you're wondering my favorite brand I've found across my travels, it's appelles apothecary from hotel lindrum in melbourne, australia. how sweet is their bathroom arrangement above?! read on for other ways I repurpose travel freebies...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

succulent garden transformation

i'm all about reusing, recycling, and refreshing at home. last month, I transformed an outdoor plant shelf into an indoor bar cart. this month, I'm showing you how to transform indoor wall decor into an outdoor succulent garden!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

ladies who lunch: buckhead

best cobb salad in atlanta.... drumroll please...

joy cafe!

while I typically brown bag my lunch and eat at my desk, I do frequent joy cafe at least once a week for the cobb salad... in fact I ate there today. their grilled cheese menu is not to be missed either! the piece of bread that comes as a side to the cobb salad is to.die.for.

so what are you waiting for?! grab a coworker and try all these notable lunch options in buckhead...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

girl's night in!

as I mentioned last week, one of my sorority sisters just recently moved to town and I thought a girl's night in would be a great way to introduce her to some of my girlfriends. not to mention, it's been quite some time since we've had a girls only evening! since we've all been longing for springtime and it happened to be a nice day - we left the windows open for fresh air and I infused the evening with spring-y details.

brie en crute + blueberry lavender jam

I'm convinced that everyone loves brie. really, what's not to love about this super soft, delicious cheese... especially on a croissant with jam or wrapped in luscious puff pastry for brie en crute. I recently made this for my girl's night in and it was delicious as always!

Monday, March 9, 2015

coveted cover-ups

it's almost spring and we're heading to the beach next week! with several beach/lake trips coming up this year - easter in florida, cuba for a week, and my best friend's austin bachelorette party - it's time to spruce up the cover-up wardrobe. here's what i'm coveting.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ALTA city finals

it was a beautiful saturday for city finals at dekalb tennis center! tons of teams set up their tables with themes including tiki bar and around the world. we opted for a non-themed table focusing on food + booze with sandwiches, cookies, fruit, chips, and fireball (!!). after our team lost in a super close third set at line 4, we popped prosecco and celebrated the season with great company and our 2nd place ALTA silver plates. 'til next season!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

cocktails at the southern gentleman

a college friend of mine has just moved to the ATL from the great state of texas and where better to take a newcomer than a super-southern watering hole on peachtree street? I asked around my office and was intrigued by a recommendation to the southern gentleman as I hadn't heard of it before. located in the new buckhead atlanta development, southern gentleman is slightly difficult to find but well worth the journey.

Monday, March 2, 2015

petite fruit pizzas

fruit pizza reminds me of being a kid. I remember baking an entire pizza-sized round slab of sugar cookie dough then carefully icing and topping with a ton of fruit. my childhood version was messy and not exactly visually stunning - but it was delicious!

fast forward to grown-up days: now I make the same fruit pizza (equally tasty) with less mess, more visual appeal, and an easier serving size. out with the awkward pizza slice, in with the easy-to-eat cookie! top with whatever fruit you like - I also love to make these for fourth of july with only red and blue fruit.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

ALTA city finals, here we come!

after winning the mixed doubles semi-finals on this cold and rainy day, we'll head to the city finals next weekend. go team!