A lifestyle blog for those that love fashion and style, cooking and baking, event planning and entertaining, interior design and decor, and every little thing in between...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

it's a fabric thing

Lately I'm loving fabric covered bracelets. Yes, really. I think it's an unexpected twist on your average set of bangles. It's a casual, yet chic, way to accessorize your summer ensemble. Since this may not be something you would wear year-round, don't spend a lot on them. There are plenty of options at very great prices. I love the idea of wearing a stack of these fabric covered little numbers on a weekend getaway to the beach or on a relaxed Saturday afternoon out with friends or whenever your heart desires.





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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

how to dress for...a summer wedding

Wedding season is in full swing right now. You want to enjoy getting ready for the celebration of your friends tying the knot; not be stressed about what to wear to the event. Summer weddings are mostly about color, in my mind. This is the time I steer away from black. I still think navy is perfectly fine (I know I know - the 2 colors aren't THAT far away from each other on the color wheel, but I'm still ok with it). Bright colors are totally acceptable and actually a great choice. Pastels, bold colors, stick to navy - whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. In terms of shoes, opt for open toe and strappy. If you would rather wear a pump or a closed-toe style of some sort, stay away from black. This is the most carefree season of the year, so while you still want to look appropriate for a summer wedding (always check the attire on the invitation), you don't need to dress as you would for the middle of winter. Below are some fabulous dress options for this very occasion.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

a glimpse

Such a perfect long weekend. How amazing it would be if every weekend consisted of 3 full days off. Mine was full of relaxation, catching up on TV and movies on the couch, reading, delicious meals, lots of wine, sunshine, and friends. I've been asked a lot to see pictures of the new apartment, which I haven't gotten around to taking. Now that my boyfriend and I have purchased a new camera (for my blogging purposes and his work purposes), all I want to do is play with it. I still have a lot to learn, but in time I hope you'll notice my pictures to be that much better (I hope)! Below you'll find a glimpse into the new apartment. More pictures to come soon. 

a portion of our wine cork collection, in a lucite piece in the living room

part of my book collection in my desk nook

colorful artwork leading into my boyfriend's study/man cave

decor in the second bathroom

our bedroom

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Friday, May 25, 2012

cheers to the (long) weekend

The long weekend is here and I know I couldn't be more excited. Whether you are going to be sitting on the beach, having a BBQ in your backyard, boating on the lake, swimming in a pool, or really anything else, your holiday weekend won't be complete without some fabulous summer cocktails. Below you will find some incredible recipes, perfect for the weekend that kicks off summer. All recipes come from Cointreau and MARTINI. Of course, if you can't or don't drink alcohol - most of these drinks will be just as delicious and refreshing without it (see notes below each recipe). Have a great weekend!

Memorial Margarita
1 ½ ounces Blanco Tequila
1 ounce Cointreau
½ ounce Lemon Juice
½ ounce Lime Juice
3 basil Leaves
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and add ice. Shake and strain over ice in a rocks glass. 
(If not using alcohol, replace with lemonade and club soda).

Summer Sunrise Punch
1 bottle of Grey Goose Vodka
1 bottle MARTINI Bianco
1 bottle Cointreau
1/2 liter chilled chamomile tea
1/2 liter club soda or sparkling mineral water
1/2 pound sugar
Peel of 10 lemons and 10 oranges
Garnish: slices of orange, lemon, and apple
In a large punch bowl, place the citrus peel and cover with cane sugar. Pour in the vodka and cover with a cloth, leaving for 3 hours (or as little as you need). Add tea, MARTINI Bianco, Cointreau and chill until ready to serve. Just before serving, add chilled club soda and fresh fruit. Stir well, and serve over ice in smaller tumblers or chilled wine glasses. Makes 20 servings.
(If not using alcohol, replace with club soda and orange juice).

Berry Belle Margarita
2 parts Blanco tequila
1 part Cointreau
1 part Lime juice
2 slices red bell pepper
2 raspberries
1 bar spoon raspberry preserves
Muddle raspberries with bell peppers in a mixing glass.  Add the remaining ingredients with ice.  Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Garnish: Raspberries
(If not using alcohol, replace with club soda and Fresca or Sprite).

Red Summer Sangria
1 (750 ml) bottle of MARTINI Bianco vermouth
8 ounces apple juice
4 ounces cranberry juice
4 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar & water)
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
8 ounces MARTINI Prosecco
1 apple, cubed
1 lemon, thinly sliced into wheels
1 orange, thinly sliced into wheels
Combine first five ingredients in a large pitcher, and stir in fruit. Chill until ready to serve (24 hours, if possible). Just prior to serving, stir in Prosecco. Pour over ice in tall glasses. Makes 8-10 servings. 
(If not using alcohol, replace with sparkling white grape juice).

Raspberry Asti Float
1 scoop raspberry sorbet
2 or 3 raspberries
Add sorbet to chilled champagne flute and fill with MARTINI Asti. 
Garnish with raspberries.
(If not using alcohol, replace with some orange juice, a touch of lime juice, a touch of club soda).

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

dry in style

Summer is on my mind. I think summer is on all our minds (previously mentioned summer essentials herehere, and here). With Memorial Day weekend upon us, I can't help but think about everything I want to do this summer. This weekend officially kicks off the most carefree season of the year. People want to get out of the office and onto the beach as fast as humanly possible. Everyone wants to escape on weekend getaways. I want to wake up and head straight to the lake and spend my days sitting on a boat in the middle of the water with a good book (and some wine, tunes, and good company, of course). No summer is complete without an endless supply of beach towels for all your beach, lake, and pool adventures. Don't grab a boring old towel. Opt for the one that'll stand out amongst the crowd around you. It'll make everything that much more fun...really.

colorful stripes



animal print

bold brushstrokes

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

shoes of the summer

When I think summer shoes, I immediately think espadrilles. When I was living in New York, it was hard for me to put mine away when the colder months started rolling in. However, wearing espadrilles down 3rd Avenue didn't quite fly with snow on the ground. With that being said, warm months are back in the Northeast (and they didn't seem to leave down here in the South), so it is the perfect time to break out your espadrilles, if you haven't done so already.

my favorite pair (previously mentioned here and here) 

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

adding a little rose to your gold

I feel that rose gold sometimes gets overlooked. I think it's due to people thinking it may not work with your typical silver or gold jewelry. However, this is not the case. Rose gold works perfectly in so many different cases. I think many of us run to our standard silver or gold jewels when getting ready (I know I do), as opposed to branching out to the world of rose gold. I, personally, wish I had some more rose gold pieces and below you will find a pick of what I'd like to add into my jewelry collection.

Michael Kors oversized watch

Ippolita hammered bracelet

Jules Smith twist hoops

Gorjana twisted vine necklace

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Jul's Gems

This past weekend consisted of birthday celebrations, hanging artwork that's been sitting on our floor for a month, brunches, home cooked meals, dinner with friends, lounging on the couch, catching up on TV, and sleeping in. It was the perfect last weekend before I start the new job (today). The apartment is almost fully completed (pictures to come soon), and I couldn't be happier! Hope your weekends were just as productive, relaxing, and fun as mine was. Here's to Monday.

mirror for above our bed

wall art for our entry way

my favorite pumps

royal blue shorts

fabulous clutch

still my favorite perfume (may always be my favorite perfume)

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Friday, May 18, 2012

weekend review

A month later and I finally feel like I really live in Houston. The first few weeks were so hectic, and then I was out of town over two different weekends and now I'm back. Fun weekend ahead with some plans, some relaxing, and some productivity (one of our linen closets was holding part of my wardrobe until our dresser arrived last week and now I need to transfer and organize). Looking forward to staying in one place this weekend before I start my job Monday, and below are a few of my weekend essentials.

my boyfriend's new pair of sunglasses, which I will be borrowing from him this weekend

similar cake for my friend's birthday dinner tonight

new comfy flip flops for casual running around

workout top for DEFINE

dresser that I will be filling this weekend

bold and beautiful nail polish colors - perfect for summer

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

the best way to eat bananas

I love banana everything and anything. Plain bananas, banana sorbet, banana bread, and so on and forth. As I mentioned here, chocolate and candy covered bananas has been on my 'to make' list. Well, this past weekend I jumped right in and made them for a Mother's Day BBQ I went to back in New York. While they didn't turn out exactly how I imagined them to, they still turned out delicious. I pretty much made up a recipe as I went along, but there really wasn't much to it. It was extremely easy to make and fun at the same time.


  • 6 bananas (cut in half)
  • 2 bags of semi sweet chocolate chip morsels
  • 4 different types of candy (you choose what kind and how much)
    • I chose plain M&M's, peanut M&M's, Kit-Kat, and Snickers

  • Crush up all the candy. I put each type of candy into a plastic bag and mashed them up with my hands, and a spoon for the tougher ones.
  • Put each type of crushed up candy into its own bowl.
  • Melt chocolate (in the microwave is easy enough).
  • Cut bananas in half.
  • Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • One at a time, dip the banana halves into the chocolate and then into the candy of your choice.
  • Lay them on parchment paper.
  • Make sure all are covered sufficiently enough with candy, and if not, go back and sprinkle more on top.
  • Put in the freezer overnight (or until chocolate is hard and attached to the bananas).
  • Enjoy.

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