Friday, September 30, 2016

atlanta home tour: our newest addition


a couple of weeks ago, we had a pretty intense home appointment with an electrical contractor. in the short time that we've lived in our home, we'd managed to screw up our living room light by attempting to install a dimmer that rendered the light useless. ooops. we also wanted to install fans in two of our guest rooms and it just so happened that I strongly disliked our dining room fixture.

the dining room fixture that came with the house was fine, but it was really just that... fine. if you know me, I am not a fan of "fine." if you use that word near me about something that I'm asking for your opinion on, it's like sudden death. hatred is a better emotion than "fine." the chandelier had to go. we ended up falling in love with a chandelier on a weekend trip to home depot. with the traditional aspects of our home including the farmhouse-esque table and ginger jar accent wall, I wanted something to break it up and add a bit of an edge. this gilded, industrial piece did just the trick.

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.


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.

Friday, September 9, 2016

atlanta home tour: guest room

in many ways, this massive guest room (it's even larger than our master) was contingent upon our headboard. when we moved from our one bedroom to a three bedroom, we obviously had a lengthy list of items to buy. one item that I did not think we needed to buy was a guest room headboard. I was really excited to use a traditional wooden one that stephen had as a child. unfortunately, let's just say that due to some missing parts, the final look was definitely better in my head than it was in reality. about two months after we moved in, we stumbled upon this gorgeous gray upholstered headboard and were sold.

I love this west elm duvet and before our move, I had tied it together with gray euro shams, accents of yellow, and a black upholstered headboard. with our new gray headboard, I no longer liked our gray on gray look... and so went the search for a pillow refresh. I've become increasingly efficient during work lunch breaks lately, making it to up three different places in the span of an hour. in fact, our summer intern made fun of me because every time he asked what I was doing for lunch - my answer was "running errands." #homeownership, am I right?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

floral arranging classes

I'm so excited to share my floral arranging classes on the blog! my love and interest for flowers has been a slow burn for quite some time. I took horticulture as an elective in college because I could never get into the floral arranging class (it filled up in seconds online). at least I did get into the wine making class. seriously awesome electives, right? woot woot texas a&m! anyway, I have always wanted to take floral arranging classes and was never able to find one that fit my schedule or was the right level of instruction. why, yes I'd like to take a week long full-day course, but I am busy with my real job. luckily, the classes at atlanta school of floral design fit the bill since they offer evening classes!

we made three arrangements over the course of two days, using some of the most beautiful flowers. my favorite is the hand tie bouquet below. we used boxwood in all of the arrangements, which I love as well. if you are interested in floral arranging classes and live in the atlanta area, I highly suggest you seek out atlanta school of floral design. no previous experience required :) you will learn lots of tips and tricks from the owner, don, and you'll go home with some gorgeous arrangements.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

engagement photo favorites

I honestly don't know how I've made it through the three weeks it took from taking these photos and receiving them as a sane person. I guess because life is so busy that there's rarely a moment to sit around and think. I will say that I had been refreshing my inbox every three minutes the week the photos were supposed to come in. finally, one night I woke up at 4am for a bathroom break in my charleston, south carolina hotel room and compulsively checked my email... and there... they were. my alarm was set for 5:30am and I told myself to wait and get that last hour of sleep. I tried, I really did. so there I was, in a holiday inn express, looking at our engagement photos on my phone at 4am. these photos were worth the wait and I'm really excited to share them you with you! dear wesleyann is one obviously fantastic and amazing photographer and I have a serious photography skills girl crush on her. ok... without further ado...


Friday, September 2, 2016

atlanta home tour: living room

happy friday and happy september! this year is really flying by like no other year has ever flown by, for me at least. it's like time is fast forwarding while I'm trying to hit the pause button. another friday means another home tour post today, I love these days! today I'm sharing our living room which is easily one of my favorite spots.

we built the living room around our couch which is a large sectional, perfect for football weekends. our next important find was the rug, this was a long and arduous hunt. we ended up finding the perfect rug at one of those random persian rug stores that usually has a sale sign up to drive traffic. it took weeks of searching and artful negotiation, so worth it!

 
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