Friday, July 31, 2015

my best friend's bachelorette: part two

after getting a great night's sleep on friday, we woke up ready to conquer the day and start the day two bachelorette party celebrations! we woke the guests up with sausage egg casserole, cinnamon rolls, fruit, and a mimosa bar to get the group energized for the day's festivities.

after breakfast, we filled up our monogrammed tumblers with spiked lemonade and made the short drive over to barton springs in our matching bachelorette tanks, of course.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

my best friend's bachelorette: part one

I'm almost too tired to write this post! what a weekend... we hosted an awesome bachelorette party for our girl in austin, texas and of course, we spared no detail. the matron of honor, sister-in-law, and I make a great team - I'm eternally grateful for these ladies and happy this wedding has brought us closer. 

our theme was boots and bling because it's austin-casual with a touch of sparkle for festivity since the bride loves bling! we started by renting the most fabulous party pad and finding the most perfect invitations...

Monday, July 27, 2015

world affairs council of atlanta young leaders' streetcar social

last week, the world affairs council of atlanta's young leaders hosted a streetcar social to explore the new downtown atlanta streetcar. the goal of the world affairs council of atlanta is to bring global issues and discussion to atlanta as well as promote the globalization of our city. the streetcar represents exciting new investment downtown and we were excited to check it out and a take our first ride!

Friday, July 24, 2015

weeknight wind down at gypsy kitchen

last week, I caught up with a good friend for happy hour and dinner. she suggested gypsy kitchen and I was on board with little to no expectations since I haven't heard much since its recent opening.

oh my gosh, I really liked gypsy kitchen. the ambiance is so on point, it really feels as if you stepped into spain - luxurious and low key. ok, I haven't been to spain, but I'm confident this is what it would feel like. the cocktail list is heavily influenced by spices and is highly unique, I ordered a seville rose which consists of vodka, apricot, an egg white and other special ingredients. it was too pretty to not instagram. the experience kept getting better as we ordered our food.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

happy birthday to me!

just like that, another year has come and gone. luckily, I've had a string of great years lately so I'm happy to be another year wiser. I'll attribute that to being with the most amazing man, spending as much time as I can with family and friends, focusing on my career and philanthropic causes that I care about, and generally attempting a positive attitude through it all [oh and trying to stay healthy and eat right, which may need a little more attention this year!].

I had a fantastic birthday this year, from two family birthdays to my actual birth day with stephen, and finally my friend birthday dinner. cheers to another year!

Monday, July 20, 2015

the cuban tablescape

a few months ago, my mom and I traveled to cuba for a week. it was an amazing trip, one to remember for a lifetime. to read all about our adventures, day by day, click here to start with day one.

if you've already read all about our trip to cuba, you know how obsessed I was with the cuban tablescape. almost every paladar (restaurant) we ate in featured tables dressed with white or beige embroidered runners and tablecloths. on top of the gorgeous, dainty tablecloths sat mismatched, eclectic china. some paladars also had brightly colored glassware mixed in. the overall result was so classically cool... like here's a bunch of nice stuff, but I'm not trying too hard because it doesn't match, it just goes. 

I vowed to make the cuban tablescape happen back at home. I bought a hand embroidered blue runner from the sweetest lady at a market in trinidad. sadly, I hadn't made much progress past the runner. for my birthday last week, my mom completely surprised me with beautiful complementary china she hand picked with my sister and aunt. I couldn't be more obsessed.

Friday, July 17, 2015

mercedes-benz visitor center museum

german engineering. southern hospitality.

if you are a mercedes-benz enthusiast or you happen to find yourself near vance, alabama - definitely check out the beautiful, newly redesigned visitor center AKA mercedes museum and plant. I had the unique opportunity to visit last week and learned a lot about mercedes-benz, AMG, and automobiles in general.

from a model of the world's first automobile (benz patent motor car, 1886) to the mercedes-benz factory plant tour, you will not be disappointed. along with the visitor center, I also recommend visiting the factory plant for a tour of where five mercedes-benz models are produced. there are no photos allowed in the factory, but do yourself a favor - google kuka robots and let your mind run wild... the marvel of manufacturing is real.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

uptown birmingham, alabama

for the third week straight, I headed out of town for work last week. this time, my destination was alabama for a training experience which was out of this world. our group stayed and played in the newly developed uptown birmingham area. 

uptown is home to multiple bars and restaurants including cantina laredo (margaritas on point), texas de brazil, and southern kitchen. the westin hotel anchors the area and also features both a pub and an octane coffee shop.

Monday, July 13, 2015

summertime scents

summer is here! as the weather warms up, our weekends are spent outdoors brunching on patios, playing tennis, seeing concerts on the lawn, and soaking up beach time a few hours away from home. with all this time outside and vacationing, we do spend less time at home. but when we are home, I love lighting fresh, fruity, tropical, summery candles to bring that summer feeling inside.

I first became obsessed with watermelon candles from the lyrics in the blake shelton song doin' what she likes. he talks about lighting watermelon candles upstairs, and I knew I needed to pick up a watermelon candle pronto. it just sounded so refreshing and summery, I found one at bath and body works and fell in love. 

you can't go wrong with scents including peach, mimosa, cherry, coconut, watermelon. here are my picks for bringing the smells of summer inside your home.

Friday, July 10, 2015

long beach [california] recap quickie

last week I headed out to long beach, california for work. we stayed near the long beach airport, I ran up and down the palm tree lined streets and observed lots of airplane related history in the community. although it was a quick trip, we made it out to shoreline village for a view of the queen mary ship and a waterside dinner on our last night.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

summertime staple: sangria

historically, I've made this yummy sangria for special occasions such as holidays and baby showers. probably because there is the element of planning ahead in order to refrigerate overnight. I actually can't remember the last time I made it, which means I don't make it enough! I'm vowing to make this a summer weekend staple in my world. every time I taste it, I'm reminded of just how good this recipe is compared to your typical sangria... I'll chalk that up to the brandy and triple sec.

I whipped up a batch of this sangria over fourth of july weekend and we brought it to the beach. it was the perfect beach drink! I don't know about you, but sometimes I get stuck trying to think of one drink that I want to consume all day long. liquor can be too strong, beer makes me too full, I usually settle with a variation of champagne and mixers. sangria was a perfect alternative especially since it's made for groups! whip up a batch and bring it to your next summer gathering, guests will love you.

Monday, July 6, 2015

ponte vedra [florida] for the fourth

this fourth of july, we drove down to jacksonville and spent some time with family at the river and on the beach. I landed in atlanta at 5:30am on a red eye flight from LAX and we hit the road, really embodying those beloved america, the beautiful lyrics from sea to shining sea

this was my first trip to jacksonville and ponte vedra inn and club. the streets of ponte vedra were lined with both palm trees and american flags, a regal and festive touch. there's lots to see from the surf club to the racquet club, to the golf course to the inn, to the spa and the tavern, you could easily waste your days away at the ponte vedra club.

Friday, July 3, 2015

easy breezy key lime pie

nothing celebrates sweet summertime like key lime pie! this key lime pie is the best of the best, there is absolutely no comparison. the crazy thing is that it only takes about 10 minutes to get this pie baking in the oven and it's not even a family recipe, it comes straight off the nellie and joe's key lime juice bottle. although, we do jazz it up a bit with a homemade graham cracker crust which makes all the difference.

next time you are looking for a sweet treat to make this summer or if you're still in search of a fourth of july dessert to add to your spread, I highly recommend this easy breezy key lime pie served with a dollop of whipped cream on top. light + refreshingly sweet + tart at the same time, it melts in your mouth.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

the well stocked wine bar

back when I was in college, I used to dream about the days when I would finally have my own apartment. I spent all four years of college living in the freshman dorm and the sorority house. of course, sorority living has its perks [ahem, homemade desserts at every meal and a million of your closest friends] but I often longed for a place to call my own to host friends and be able to have a pet. long before pinterest existed, I would research and daydream about new furniture and hosting dinner parties. as you can tell, I was great at creating mental distractions while studying at the library.

I was picking up some wine a few days ago and remembered a book I read ages ago about how to stock a wine bar to ensure you're always ready for impromptu occasions and visitors. I can't remember what varietals the book suggested, but the concept definitely stuck with me over the years. I make sure to always have a wide variety of wine on hand so that we're ready for any occasion on the fly - pick up a few of these bottles and you'll always be ready to welcome visitors and toast whatever occasions may pop up. cheers!