Wednesday, November 30, 2016

thanksgiving tablescape 2016

thanksgiving is easily one of my favorite holidays and this was the first thanksgiving that I've had my legit camera so I'm not going to lie, taking photographs of the foods that we love was high on my priority list! as always, I come prepared with the table decor and my sweet potatoes while my mom typically does the rest. I actually don't know how she does it. sometimes I also do a holiday cocktail, last year I did fall apple sangria and this year I kept it simple with cranberry mimosas. 

this year, I got my flowers from costco which was a relief since I used to buy them at kroger and it was always hit or miss with inventory. costco always has a consistent level of inventory with lots of choices. I added a few of my colorful gourds that I've used in other tablescapes this season, some faux foliage, and candles and voila! I hope you all had a delightful and rejuvenating holiday with loved ones.

Monday, November 28, 2016

holiday baking with infinity jars

every year when it gets to be october (heck, sometimes september if I'm feeling extra impatient), I make a batch of my favorite pumpkin bread. this year was no different, except I decided to combine the ingredients in one bowl instead of using two for the solids and liquids. sometimes, I am lazy and usually it's no problem. well this time, it ended up being a major problem. I will spare you the details, but it turns out that my flour had been "contaminated"... so since I only used one bowl, all my ingredients were ruined. if you've ever had an issue with flour before, you know that it sort of scars you for a while. I couldn't even think about baking for a few weeks.

then I got an email from infinity jars. it was too coincidental! I was excited to try their jars because they are airtight, lightproof, ultraviolet jars that preserve freshness and they look much more chic than your typical storage jars. I knew I needed a couple for flour and sugar, but I was also happy to dump my baking powder in a smaller jar. trying to stick a teaspoon through the little slit on the side of the arm and hammer container is so annoying, and now that problem is solved too! I ended up using my jars for flour, sugar, brown sugar, and baking powder but there are so many storage uses for these jars such as coffee and tea, bath products, or nuts and herbs.

Friday, November 25, 2016

terranea resort at palos verdes

it's hard to believe that our much anticipated california coast wine trip has come and gone and that we are almost to the month of december! we had such a great long weekend in palos verdes and paso robles and I'm happy to share our photos and recommendations with you guys. get ready for a wine country overload coming soon. 

stephen went to LA at the beginning of the week for a work trip and I met him late that wednesday night for a long weekend. I picked up the car rental around midnight and wasn't able to see the gorgeous view driving to the resort but was pleasantly surprised the next morning to see the beautiful coast line, catalina island in the distance, and the stately terranea architecture.

Monday, November 21, 2016

sand is the new snow

as a family, we have been traveling to the beach multiple times a year for basically my whole life. my mom is super creative and talented; she's made custom drapes for a countless number of homes (mine included), mosaic shell mirrors, and jewelry. her newest collections are inspired by the beach, but are totally versatile. with the holidays quickly approaching, I thought it would be the perfect time to share my mom's new venture just in case I can help you with your christmas shopping. I personally love the pearl bracelets.

Friday, November 18, 2016

easy oatmeal raisin whoopie pies

if you read often, you've probably realized that my office has an unusual amount of potlucks. for our last potluck, I made the most amazing cookies and cream cookies, which received rave reviews and a marriage proposal. I don't know about you - but hitting it out of the park with a new recipe really boosts my ego and makes me want to try more new recipes. so the next time we had a work potluck, to celebrate halloween, I had the confidence to try another new recipe. 

we had big halloween plans to watch the sleepy hollow performance in serenbe, which meant that I didn't want to overcommit myself in the kitchen before our roadtrip. these easy oatmeal raisin whoopie pies were just the thing because I used pre-made cookie dough and sandwiched them with piped homemade cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I ended up having some leftover frosting, which I saved and used to frost my next batch of cookies for gameday saturday.

Monday, November 14, 2016

pure barre kennesaw holiday shots

I love sharing photos that I've taken on the blog, especially engagement photos and holiday photos! recently I popped into pure barre kennesaw to take some holiday shots for the studio and individual shots of the teachers. what a sweet and talented group of ladies!

Friday, November 11, 2016

beach house master suite reveal

hello, friends. I'm back with another beach house reveal for you today! it's been a while since I've posted about the beach house since I've been so consumed with our new atlanta home. 

by now,  you've seen the kitchen and bar, bathrooms, living room, and fun design details such as the sliding barn doors and gorgeous outdoor spaces - let's take a peek at the master suite. and if this is your first time visiting, start here for the full tour.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

what I read in october

I managed to read two books in october: black eyed susans by julia heaberlin and second life by s.j. watson. black eyed susans was recommended to me by a coworker, and the plot sounded so good. I bought it on amazon and started reading it a couple months ago. unfortunately, I wasn't loving it and read a couple other books instead, while putting it on the backburner. I had a bit of guilt for buying a book and not reading it, so I decided to power through it. conversely, I finished second life in one day... and it's just short of 400 pages. I traveled to chicago last month, which always means I read more but I was honestly impressed with how quickly these pages turned! of course, linking up with steph and jana for show us your books.

second life by s.j. watson
how well can you really know another person? how far would you go to find the truth about someone you love? when julia learns that her sister has been violently murdered, she must uncover why. but julia's quest quickly evolves into an alluring exploration of own darkest sensual desires. becoming involved with a dangerous stranger online, she's losing herself . . . losing control . . . perhaps losing everything. her search for answers will jeopardize her marriage, her family, and her life. { review}

my take: A
something about this book just kept me coming back for more. maybe because it ended up detailing an illicit affair that was full of dangerous moments and questionable morals, which I wasn't expecting. I kept thinking "no, don't do this" and of course, julia kept doing it. there's something weird about reading a book that chronicles a bunch of terrible, immoral decisions that will completely rip a family apart. I think I assumed more guilt just reading than the main character in this book ever felt. the plot becomes pretty obvious toward the end and everything is intertwined with high stakes in terms of the future of her family. this author also wrote before I go to sleep, and I definitely preferred this book if that helps.

black eyed susans by julia heaberlin
tessa cartwright was found in a texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving “black-eyed susan,” the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. tessa’s testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row. almost two decades later, tessa is an artist and single mother. she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed susans—just outside her bedroom window. terrified at the implications—that she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at large—tessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. as the clock ticks toward the execution, tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting tessa with a trail of clues? she has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night. { review}

my take: B-
I really wanted to love this book. the plot sounded fantastic and I was partial to all the references to texas throughout the book (texas-born here). unfortunately, I just couldn't deal with all the back and forth between teenage tessa and current day tessa. even after I finished the book, I had to ask my coworker what I was missing. some things did not connect even after I figured them out, which I found to be frustrating. anyway, not the worst book ever but definitely not my favorite.

I am now reading goldfinch, which many people have told me is their absolute favorite book. it happens to be something like 800 pages, so I am reaallly hoping I can finish it in time for next month's linkup. what are you reading this month? looking forward to reading all of your recommendations and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 4, 2016

a spooky trip to serenbe

 and just like that, halloween is over and november is here! a couple weeks ago, my friend asked if we wanted to go see the sleepy hollow play in serenbe on halloween night. immediately, I was interested because I have been wanting to go to serenbe for years now. even though it meant missing our first trick-or-treaters in our new house, I persuaded stephen to agree to a play on halloween night in serenbe.

we had heard that serenbe playhouse plays are amazing and other than that, we didn't have much of an idea of what to expect. we left atlanta with several hours to spare and set out to explore the town of serenbe before dinner and spooky hollow.