Monday, January 30, 2017

the southern scents of bon vivant

if you're like me, you love most southern things including the sayings of the south - you know, for instance "bless your heart." so naturally, I fell in love with the new line of southern bon vivant candles with the most southern sayings and sweet southern scents to match such as gardenia, magnolia, peach, and pear. I tried bless your heart and love to all y'all, and loved them! 

I placed love to all y'all in my guest bathroom when we had company over and it definitely drew some attention. my friends loved that the candles are from macon, georgia. you can read more about the candles here, be sure to check out all the scents including some of my faves such as I do declare and do go on.

Friday, January 27, 2017

soup swap lineup 2017

the second annual soup swap went off without a hitch, with lots of new soups to taste and swap this year. this was the first year to host it in our new home, which was nice since we had more room to spread out. the weather has also been unseasonably warm in georgia so we also got to sit out on the deck and enjoy the weather after swapping soup!

Monday, January 23, 2017

guest bathroom update

confession: when I am not 100% happy with something decor-wise, I swear all hell breaks lose in my mind, creating a total fixation that must be dealt with immediately. anyone else out there? it's so silly because there are a lot of things that are not perfect or organized in my house (ahem, the office). some things just matter more at any given time, like say for instance, the guest bathroom off the kitchen the week before we're having guests over. of all the things I needed to plan for (like food and booze), the most important first thing to do was to redecorate my bathroom. I will admit that even I recognized it was slightly insane, but we all have our issues right?

you may remember the first time that I shared our guest bathroom on the blog, I love the curtains that my mom made for us, but somewhere between the watercolor picture of atlanta and the teal-ish guest towels, something was not working for me. of course, my OCD kicked in and I made upwards of four trips to target to find a new rug and guest towels, and finally, after a couple more trips to other stores, I am now happy with the bathroom. phew, that was exhausting.

Friday, January 20, 2017

wild rice and mushroom soup

last weekend, I hosted the second annual soup swap and this year, I decided to make wild rice and mushroom soup. how did I decide on wild rice and mushroom? wellllll, we moved to minneapolis, minnesota when I was in the fourth grade and let's just say things are different up there. not different bad, just different. for instance, casseroles are a big thing. namely, chicken and wild rice casseroles. my mom used to make that dish back in the day and it's a super comforting and tasty dinner, perfect for cold evenings.

I wanted to bring that same feeling to life in a soup, without chicken - so wild rice and mushroom soup was the perfect choice. I will say that I have never cooked with so many different types of mushrooms - I could only find the dried mushrooms at whole foods, so FYI on that ingredient. I love mushrooms, so I was happy to make the trip to find four different kinds. I will definitely be making this recipe more often!

Monday, January 16, 2017

30th birthday bucket list

2017 means a milestone birthday for me, the year I will turn 30. most of my friends have already hit this milestone and while I realize that maybe nothing completely changes overnight, it's still kind of crazy to think about.

so many people have published their bucket lists for turning 30, affectionately titled "30 before 30" or "pre-baby bucket list." I have never really written down these goals, but they have been in my head for sure and it turns out that I have more than 30 to-dos. while I've already accomplished a good amount of these items - with six months left until I turn 30, I still have time to make some of them happen! so many of these are travel related, and luckily we have plenty of time to see these places over my next 30 years (cue the tim mcgraw song). 

1. travel to asia
2. travel to australia
3. travel to europe
4. travel to south america
5. travel to south africa
6. buy a house
7. have the amount of my annual salary in liquid savings
7. travel to charleston, south carolina
8. travel to seattle
9. eat a veggie-based diet and cook tofu at least once
10. complete a home improvement project (hello, laundry room!)
11. earn my MBA
12. find my soulmate, marry him and relish every moment of the planning
13. attend a blogger conference
14. travel to greece
15. travel to iceland
16. travel to new zealand
17. ride a camel in dubai
18. start a blog
19. start a business
20. grow my own vegetables
21. go kayaking
22. travel to the amalfi coast
23. serve on a philanthropic board and find a new local charitable organization to volunteer with (haven't found one since moving in june)
24. publish a photography book
25. find a job I love
26. refinish our bedroom armoire
27. own a full set of china for entertaining and use it regularly
28. buy a king bed
29. learn to sew with my mom
30. travel to cuba with my mom
31. find a daily workout plan that I love
32. organize our home office and make a functional work space for myself
33. become a certified instructional designer
34. attend a conference about learning management systems and become more of an expert on the technical side
35. drive on a race track (I definitely won't accomplish this - but it would be badass)
36. go on a cruise
37. read this book

did you write a 30 before 30 list? if so, I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

caramelized onion and mushroom omelet

I'm traveling on a work trip this week and really thought I would be able to finish my december book, small great things by jodi picoult, in time for the monthly book club link up yesterday! go figure, I finished the book about 24 hours too late so my recap will have to wait until next month. luckily, I have something else for you up my sleeve and it just so happens to be a yummy and healthy breakfast which is the perfect balance of comfort food for cold january mornings and that "new year, new you" mentality!

over holiday break, we had a couples date with some friends over at the new tupelo honey cafe for brunch. stephen ordered the debutante omelet, tupelo honey's self-proclaimed "daintiest" omelet. the debutante came with basil, havarti and caramelized onions and was really good. stephen got a few laughs from the guys for ordering a dainty omelet, but I'm so glad he did - because the next weekend, we decided to recreate it at home! I've always liked eggs, but lately, I have been on a major egg kick. I've been routinely going to morning spin classes on the weekends, and afterward, I crave starbucks and eggs. eggs are so filling and are full of nutrients, like high quality protein, vitamin B2, selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper {source}. this caramelized onion and mushroom omelet is the best kind of healthy, yet indulgent-feeling, weekend breakfast.

Friday, January 6, 2017

at home with 2017 pantone color: greenery

is anyone else thrilled to hear the 2017 pantone color is greenery? I am so excited. even though the 2016 colors were sweet, I was not as inspired by rose quartz and serenity. greenery, I can work with! a couple days before the pantone color was announced, I just so happened to find a set of eight leafy salad plates made in italy... from my local goodwill. I can't wait to use them and create a greenery inspired table in the future. 

I love that pantone describes the color choice of the year as a snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. according to pantone, greenery is a refreshing and revitalizing shade, symbolic of new beginnings. greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate, and reinvigorate. coming off of 2016, I think a lot of us agree that this prescription is fitting.

Monday, January 2, 2017

brezza's kale salad

recently we went to ponce city market's brezza to celebrate a friend's dinner. I've had drinks there before, but hadn't had dinner. there are two salads on the menu: gem lettuces, pears, candied pecan, gorgonzola, bacon or JW kale salad, pecorino, breadcrumbs, anchovy dressing. the first salad sounded so yummy since it had so many ingredients, while honestly, the kale salad seemed kind of boring. we asked the server which salad was better and he said definitely the kale. I even asked if there were any other ingredients in it because the gem lettuce salad sounded better. apparently, that was a rookie mistake. the server retorted that it's the chef's, jonathan waxman's, absolute specialty. oops.

so we ordered the kale salad, in fact, our table somehow ended up with about five orders of the salad and they were all eaten by the end of the night. we looked up the recipe and luckily, it's super easy!