Week & End

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHappy Friday! These past couple of weeks have absolutely flown by; life has been moving at such a fast pace, per usual. I had to share this inspiring photo of our Callie girl running around our backyard – isn’t she the most darling tripod you’ve ever seen?! We are so grateful for her good health and for the way she’s adjusted to life without her fourth limb, and we are equally encouraged by her bravery and resilience. God really knew what He was doing when He gave us dogs, didn’t He?

The past few weeks have been full of lots of goodness. We’ve been meeting friends for dinner (at new-to-us spots, like Pints & Quarts and Wild About Harry’s, plus some favorites like El Bolero and Taqueria La Ventana) and delivering meals to friends with new babies. We attended a gorgeous wedding at The Brooks at Weatherford, and I’m heading home to Chicago tonight to attend my cousin’s wedding tomorrow (I’m wearing this dress and I’m really excited about it). We’re planning parties and adventures and schedules and trips (more on the latter to come!) and enjoying the hustle and bustle of it all.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy some fun links!

I’m not 30 yet but I totally identified with this list created by the Huffington Post, 30 Things We Do In Our 30s That We Didn’t Do in Our 20s. I really resonated with #2, #14, and #18.

This article – Why The Overhead Myth Stunts Nonprofit Growth – was so encouraging to read. Non-profit employees and donors alike should definitely check this out and join the conversation.

Speaking of reading, what titles have you been digging into lately? I’m currently flying through The Hypnotist’s Love Story and I recently finished In the Unlikely Event and The Status of All Things, both of which were really enjoyable. I’ve got The Royal We, Modern Romance, and Circling the Sun on the docket. What else should I add to my list?

I know it’s still blazing hot in Dallas but I’ve already busted out the dutch oven to make white bean soup and it’s just as magical as always, even if it’s not yet soup weather. It’s so easy to make and leftovers freeze really well.

Artifact Uprising is giving you 25 free prints – this is a MAJOR score, peoples. Sign up, sign up!

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Week & End

tumblr_n3n73wHzYe1s79rl8o1_1280Happy Friday from the best coast! A full recap of my time in California will come soon, but for now, enjoy some fun links! Have a great weekend.

I loved this wine & food pairings post. My favorite combination is one that James and I enjoy frequently – macaroni & cheese + Chardonnay!

I adore all things Clare Vivier, so I really enjoyed this tour of her Los Angeles studio. Isn’t it gorgeous? It also makes me want to add several more bags to my ever-growing collection, stat.

I’ve recently been learning more about Paul Quinn College, a school based in Dallas, and it was neat to see Michael Sorrell featured in this list of America’s ten most innovative college presidents. The school’s vision, as summed up in the piece, is so fascinating:

“[Sorrell] disbanded the football team, no easy task in Dallas, and literally turned the field into a farm. The team had been costing $600,000 a year, according to Yahoo Sports, and Sorrell said it would have cost $2 million to save. The farm is operated by students (who are paid for their work), and the resulting produce is sold to local grocers and restaurants, used at the college, or donated to local charities. Students aren’t just picking vegetables—they’re working on the business end, too, getting paid professional experience with a service twist. It’s all part of Sorrell’s vision for what he calls the “New Urban College Model”—a work school that emphasizes local businesses rather than manual labor (like at rural counterparts).”

This post totally affirmed my belief in never washing my jeans. Hurray!

This book keeps popping up everywhere and I’m totally drawn in by the premise: the author cooks her way through recipes featured in wonderful books (think everything from The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill A Mockingbird to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Gone Girl). It’s a combination of two of my favorite things – reading & cooking – and while I super love using my library card to check out books, this title might just be one that I have to purchase.

Image via Topo Designs

Week & End

IMG_0013Happy weekend! Are you up to anything exciting? It will be a low-key weekend around here, as it usually takes me a whole week to really get back into the swing of things after returning from Ghana (in fact, my jet lag typically hits me most acutely about six days after I’ve been home – what’s up with that?!). Yoga and City Surf will definitely be in the mix, as will some recipe-testing (likely this salad chock full of summer produce and this fun twist on pasta salad) and maybe some tacos and margaritas for good measure. Lots of reading, too! I’m finally the next in line to pick up Go Set A Watchman at the library. I devoured J. Courtney Sullivan’s novels, Commencement and Maine, while traveling to West Africa – highly recommend!

Enjoy some links from around the web, and have a great weekend!

Is it just me or does this double-chocolate layer cake look in.sane? Now, to find a good excuse to bake it…

There are several new spots around town that I’ve been wanting to pop into – Local Press + Brew, Read Between the Lines, Rapscallion, and especially Set & Co., a gorgeous home goods store in Oak Cliff. Korena snapped the photo of the interior of the store shown above – isn’t it heavenly? I want one of every item, please.

Allison sent me this article about wellness and I found it really, really interesting and accurate in so many ways. Check it out; I’d love to know what you think.

This home tour gave me some serious decor inspiration. The plants, the styling, the guest bedding, the gallery walls, the subway tiles in the kitchen – I love it all.

For the past couple of years I’ve been watching as Nicaragua grows as a tourist destination, and this post pushed me over the edge: I’m ready to plan a trip.

Photo by Korena Bolding Sinnett

Week & End

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHappy Friday! This has been a wonky week; due to Callie’s surgery, I stayed home to play nurse for a few days so it feels like time was simultaneously dragging on and flying by. Tonight we’re meeting our dear friends Allison & Taylor for dinner at True Food Kitchen. Allison is due any day now, and we can’t wait to meet her sweet girl, Ruby! The photo above is of the gorgeous (and beyond delicious) cake we feasted on at a celebration for Ruby last Saturday – isn’t it perfect? Tomorrow we’re meeting another set of beloved friends, Korena & Ian, at one of our favorite sushi spots in town. Other than that we’ll be snuggling with our pups, reading books in the backyard (I am totally loving Picnic in Provence), and whipping up a treat or two in the kitchen.

Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy some links from around the world wide web!

I trend toward minimalism as it is, possibly even obnoxiously so – I tend to get rid of nearly everything, sometimes even before someone is finished using it. Still, this 30-day minimalism challenge piques my interest. What do you think, would you try it?

Madewell + Sézane: the 2015 collaboration is HERE! I want everything, especially this, this, and this.

I loved this post that my friend Briton wrote about moving to Dallas. She just arrived from Boulder last month and she’s adjusting to life in Texas. We were introduced by one of my closest friends, Erin, and it’s been so much fun spending time together. I loved reading her sentiments on her blog; they reminded me so much of my emotional process when I moved here nearly six years ago. Her wisdom is inspiring!

While at the ranch last weekend, my sister-in-law and I went to Childress Farm to pick fresh peaches (more on that adventure soon!). I watched Ina Garten make fresh peach cake on her show and knew that was exactly how I needed to use my delicious produce.

Does anyone else follow Marnie The Dog on Instagram? She is a 12-year-old Shih Tzu and I’m basically obsessed with every photo (and hilarious caption!) that her owner posts.

Weekend Trip

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetHappy Friday! What are you up to this weekend? I am heading to Louisville to visit Erin and I am so, so excited. It’s been a great week full of puppy snuggles (Coach came home on Easter!), fun lunch dates, baking this cake from scratch (and eating leftovers every single day since), and celebrating our anniversary, of course! Even though the week was full of so much goodness, I am totally ready for the weekend, and I can’t wait to gallivant around Lou with my best girl.

P.S. Here are some fun photos from my last trip to Louisville to visit Erin + some favorite picture from our adventures at the Kentucky Derby. We’ve made the best memories together – cheers to millions more!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Valentine’s Day! I have always loved this sweet day, thanks largely in part to my mom, who always celebrates this holiday with gusto. She hosted heart-themed parties for me and my girlfriends when we were in elementary school, helped my brother and I craft the perfect valentines to distribute in our classes, and, to this day, creates thoughtful care packages filled with gift cards and chocolates from our favorite hometown shop to send to us. She instilled within us a desire to celebrate Valentine’s Day with all the loves of our lives, whether that be family or significant others or friends. This day has always been special to me and my family, and I hope you feel special all day long, too!

Now break out the bubbly and some sweet treats and enjoy some fun Valentine-themed posts from around the web!

This chocolate and wine-tasting outing looks like the most festive way to spend a day devoted to love. I want in next time!

I hereby vow to host a Valentine’s Day brunch to remember for my girlfriends someday, reminiscent of the fun parties my mom threw for me when I was young. I’m bookmarking this girly get-together to serve as my inspiration (those waffles!).

I love this post on three ways to style grocery store flowers. Trader Joe’s always has lovely, affordable blooms but I’m never quite sure how to arrange them. I need to put some of these tips to good use.

Here’s another promise: I will treat myself to a Valleybrink Road gift box someday, mark my words. They are so gorgeous and filled with all of the best goodies!

Even though James and I love to go out for dinner, especially when we’re trying new restaurants, we’ll be staying in tonight, enjoying take-out Thai and an ice-cold bottle of Champagne. I love that staying in on Valentine’s Day seems to be more of a trend these days – friends and family alike have been mentioning that they have the same plan, and the blogosphere seems full of people who have the same idea, too (this reference was my favorite – it sounds like I could have written it, even down to the fact that this is our first married Valentine’s Day!). Sometimes date night in is better than date night out, right?

Image via A Cup of Jo

Week & End

325348c2dc8ccaf7872e680798ef5960Happy Friday! We’ve had dreary weather here in Dallas lately but the forecast has taken a turn – the high is supposed to be in the 70s for the next week! So that means tomorrow Callie is going on a long walk at White Rock Lake with her furry friend, Franklin (Kyla’s sweet pup). Tonight I’m meeting my girlfriends at Mi Cocina for our favorite Mambo Taxis, which I think is just the most perfect way to cap off the work week.

Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy some links from around the world wide web!

Last week, the daughter of Touch A Life’s co-founders, Tatum Cope, wrote an incredibly moving blog post about meeting her birth mom in Vietnam this past summer. You’ll have to keep reminding yourself that she is only 16 years old – her wisdom definitely transcends her age.

I enjoy maintaining a healthy lifestyle, one that focuses on consuming wholesome, quality, unprocessed foods and exercising daily, but I always like to treat myself (see: Mambo Taxis). In this day and age, it sometimes feels like a crime to enjoy an occasional dessert, a beautifully-garnished cocktail, or, my favorite, a glorious pizza binge. So on that note, Sarah Yates’s hilarious definitive guide to healthy eating cracked me up. The blogger is actually a very clean eater (her healthy diet is a tool she uses to fight against Crohn’s disease, a condition from which she suffers) so to see that even she is annoyed by the contradictions present in everyday media was a relief. I think she sums it up best here: “There is no one right answer, no one right way, no one size fits all approach to health.” Amen!

Kyla was the first person to tell me that, in spite of my (mostly) outgoing personality, I am actually an introvert because I gain energy from being alone (vs. being with others). I found this to be quite the revelation, so I’ve shared the insight with others, including Korena, who realized that she is an outgoing introvert, too. She sent me this hilarious link and I confess that it. is. so. me. Especially #3, #4 (sorry, Mom!), #6, and #7.

I have been slowly but surely making the transition to using more natural beauty products, and based on this recommendation, I snagged Thayers Witch Hazel Toner with Rose Petal. I love it already!

Last night we made these black bean burritos and they were delicious (we also learned how to make quick-pickled onions – who knew it was so easy?!). The bean filling would be good with just about everything. In fact, I used the mixture to make a quick breakfast taco this morning – so tasty!

Image via lark & linen

Week & End

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Happy, happy weekend! We survived the first full workweek of 2015 – go, us! What do you have going on this weekend? There is hardly anything on my calendar, which feels really refreshing. Everyone seems to be laying low after all of the holiday indulgence and sparkle and cheer has subsided, and I think that’s kind of nice, a good way to ease into a new year.

Enjoy your weekend as well as some fun links from around the web!

I am on the fifth day of a 10-day AdvoCare cleanse and, without a doubt, this has been my easiest cleanse yet (knock on wood). It helps that I’m actually looking forward to cooking and eating fresh, lean meals after consuming so many Christmas treats, and it makes it easier that my calendar isn’t jam-packed with plans that are coupled with lots of opportunities to give into temptation. I haven’t even been craving sweets as much as I usually do, but I thought it might be fun to try my hand at this raw meyer lemon & vanilla bean cheesecake nonetheless. The crust is made from dates and almonds, and the “cheesecake” filling is made with a mixture of cashews, coconut oil, and other goodies. In other words, it’s totally cleanse-approved! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Speaking of cleansing, doesn’t this detox green smoothie look delicious? I am adding these ingredients to my grocery list. I love the fun addition of topping the smoothie with pomegranate seeds!

The only downside of the timing of this cleanse is that it coincides with the Golden Globes, my favorite award show of the season. I’d rather be enjoying some take-out Thai food and champagne while I watch, but maybe I can scrounge up a couple of healthy snacks to enjoy (it would be perfect if my NatureBox treats show up!). There are so many movies nominated for awards that I haven’t seen yet (and want to!) but the one that’s been intriguing me the most lately is Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston. It looks like such an amazing breakout role for her, something so different from her rom-com past. I like that the actress’s profile on the Golden Globes site paints a picture of how deeply contrasting her role in Cake was to her role as Rachel Green in “Friends” (which she won a GG for over 10 years ago).

I am this close to finishing Unbroken – I have absolutely LOVED the book. I can’t believe all that Louie Zamperini overcame in his amazing lifetime, and Laura Hillenbrand does an amazing job of capturing each and every scene so vividly. I especially loved learning about his conversion to faith after being filled with the Spirit at a Billy Graham revival. I can’t wait to see the movie! I like this interesting article about 5 Key Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn from ‘Unbroken’ – I think it presents an interesting modern-day spin on how we can apply what Louie experienced to our own lives, even in very small ways.

It’s not even that cold here in Dallas compared to the rest of the country but it’s certainly chilly by Texans’s standards, so I liked this article about reasons to get outside even when it’s frigid. I know that Callie always appreciates it when I bundle up and take her for a walk during the winter months – this seems to be her favorite time of year.

Image via Riches for Rags

Happy New Year!

f6d85d67f44e260d209ff6ebddb82854While 2014 is definitely going to be a tough year to beat, there is so much goodness to look forward to in 2015! (An aside – I absolutely cannot believe that it is the year 2015 already.) I always love the fresh start that comes hand-in-hand with a new year, and I’m excited for all that’s in store – lots of great travel plans, fun memories to be made with family and friends, new classes to take and restaurants to try, exciting places to see and things to do. I can’t wait for all of it!

Are you looking forward to the weekend? You’ve likely already started your weekend rituals thanks to the holiday season but, if not, the work-week break is here! Some of my dear friends from college, Christyn & Mark, are coming through Dallas tonight on their way from Atlanta to Denver so a group of us is getting together for Mexican food (at a new restaurant that I haven’t tried yet – exciting!). We’ll likely all rendezvous for lunch tomorrow to send them off to Colorado, and then I’m heading straight to Kyla’s parents’ house in Fort Worth for a daylong loungefest-turned-slumber party – I’m SO excited! I absolutely adore the Kiser family, so it will be such a blast to spend an entire day and night enjoying good food, pajamas, fun movies, and lots of conversation.

Since you’re hopefully at home enjoying some rest and relaxation, take a gander at these fun thinks from around the world wide web. Happy Friday, and happy 2015!

My most recent post on Darling Magazine’s blog is about being intentional when we’re short on time. Check it out, and let me know if you have any other ideas to add – I’d love to hear!

Last week Lauren and I signed up to attend The Yellow Conference in Los Angeles in August – I am SO excited! I wrote about the conference last year, so I’m thrilled that I’ll have the chance to check it out in person in 2015. Yay!

Spurred on by a random promotion through our bank (so random, I know), I signed up to try NatureBox! I have always loved the idea behind this healthy snacks subscription service but I’ve never taken the plunge. The promo was just what I needed to jump right in. I have already spent way too much time curating my pantry and selecting snacks for my first full-sized box (I’m craving these, these, and these).

I make a fun list of resolutions to keep each year, and one that cropped up for 2015 was my desire to take a floral arranging class. Doesn’t this one look fun?

After stumbling down a blogger rabbit hole, I found myself going nuts on Keep, a Pinterest-like site that lets you corral items that you’d like to purchase, say, for your home, your office, or, perhaps, yourself. Somehow it’s more visually appealing, clean, and organized than Pinterest to me (though of course I still love to pin fun, pretty things!) so I’m enjoying playing around on it, pretending like I have many more rooms in our home to decorate…

Image via Coco Lapine Design

Week & End

IMG_8696Happy weekend! What are you up to over the next couple of days? Becca and Mark get in from Nashville late tonight, so James and I are going to eat the yummy pot roast we put into the crock pot this morning and snuggle with Callie until they arrive – I can’t wait to see them! Becca and I are taking a City Surf class in the morning, then the boys will join us as we meet some friends from college for lunch at Good 2 Go Taco. In the afternoon, when Becca and Mark head to a wedding, Laura and I are going to meet up to attend the Camille Styles Entertaining book party! I’m so excited – all of Camille’s other parties have looked so beautiful, and I’m sure the Dallas event will be no exception. On Sunday, we’re going to eat more tacos and Tex-Mex, and in the evening, Laura and Kyla will come over for our annual besties Christmas dinner. We’re going to whip up some of this festive punch to drink alongside a harvest salad, tortilla soup, and pie. There’s so much goodness to look forward to!

Have a great weekend and enjoy some links from around the interwebs!

I saw this carry on cocktail kit on Instagram the other day and thought that the idea was brilliant. The packaging is so dang cute, too.

It might be time to face the facts: I am addicted to Serial. Like, want-to-cancel-all-of-my-plans-so-I-can-listen-to-more-podcasts addicted. Becca sent me this great link that helps listeners associate photos with the characters in the real life story, and while I love the way the podcasts force you to really hone in and listen actively, it’s nice to have a visual of the people mentioned throughout the episodes. I also love that friends and even local businesses have been hosting listening parties – it conjures up images of fireside chats and evenings spent listening to programs on the radio. So good.

My friends Natalie & Andrea posted a gift guide on their blog and I love everything they selected! I especially adore the shout-out they gave to me and the Clare Vivier coin purses that I gifted to our bridesmaids at our wedding. Their sweet words about our special day were so touching – thanks, gals!

Per our birthday tradition, Erin sent me our favorite Momofuku Milk Bar B-Day Truffles and they are unbelievably delicious. I actually can’t believe that I still have a few left – it would be so easy to devour them in minutes – but I’m glad that I saved some so that I can enjoy one (or two) for dessert after tonight’s pot roast.

As is typical this time of year, there are so many amazing movies coming out. I want to see The Imitation Game, Exodus: God and Kings, Wild (I read the book last year), and Unbroken (I’m reading the book now), to name a few. P.S. We saw The Hunger Games: Mockingjay before Thanksgiving and loved it – definitely a must-see!

Photo by Briana Wollman for James’s 30th birthday party