Links, Lately

Friday came quick this week!

| Back when my fiddle leaf was (sort of) thriving…note the first dead leaf in the planter. |

After a long weekend away, I look forward to staying put in Atlanta for a low-key weekend. Among my less exciting plans (ie: trying to revive my slow dying fiddle leaf fig), I’m pumped to catch up with some friends who just moved to my neighborhood (yay for new homeowners!).  Speaking of, Allison has been teasing some seriously beautiful works of art on her Insta stories – check her out!

Here are the links from this extra short week…

11 TV show fan theories that prove everything is just a dream.

A guide to all the lifestyle concepts you’ll be forced to know about soon.

Me and all my friends in 20 years. #ForeverABridesmaid

(Spoilers Ahead) Harper’s lists the 28 best movie plot twists.

An easy trick to keep in mind when entertaining.

Have a happy weekend!

An American Cocktail: Wazimalon

Happy Monday from Cape San Blas!

I’m at the beach for the Fourth with my favorite crew of people. (I lovingly refer to them as my “old people friends”, even though they’re not old and occasionally still get carded.) I used to tag along on these beach trips as the babysitter, now I just come for fun. So in honor of my favorite Gen X’ers, I’ve mixed up a beachside beverage highlighting a classic American throwback – Zima.

According to my sister, Zimas are best enjoyed ice cold with a jolly rancher floater – but it never hurts to add a little extra booze. We are on vacation after all. 😉 Scroll down for the recipe!

                                                                             

 | recipe |

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Cheers to you, America!

Links, Lately

Oh happy day!

| Nothing like a quick trip to Lucy’s Market to get you in patriotic party mode! |

Here’s to the holiday weekend ahead! I’m leaving tomorrow for the beach which means I’m spending my Friday afternoon packing up all my summer essentials (& running those last minute, not really necessary errands that I tend to do before going out of town). I’m sharing a delicious (& nostalgic) cocktail recipe on Monday – just in time for Tuesday’s firework show – so check back then. In the meantime, here are the links for the week…

Vanity Fair explores the transformation of Naz/Riz Ahmed in the The Night Of – which was one of the best HBO mini-series of all time. (IMO)

This new Gatorade commercial will give you chills but not just because it features our Matty Ice.

Ina Garten memes will never get old.

Movies to inspire your next adventure!

These peach white wine slushies are calling my name.

In need of some 4th of July party nibbles? These watermelon, feta, and mint wedges are crowd-pleasers.

Hope you and yours have a beautiful Independence Day!

 

A Southerner’s Hummus

Your friends called. They want you to bring this boiled peanut hummus to their 4th of July party.

Seriously though, can we please make boiled peanut hummus a thing?

Like when brussel sprouts started popping up on every menu and chicken & waffles became the go-to brunch meal. I’d like to see James Beard nominated chefs do more with boiled peanuts. It’s such a southern staple!   

The recipe includes your typical hummus ingredients but swapping out the chickpeas for boiled peanuts changes the flavor in the best way possible. Scroll down for the recipe!

 

Boiled Peanut Hummus
Yields 1
a southerner's spin on a middle-eastern dip
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup shelled, boiled peanuts
  2. 2 Tbsp. tahini
  3. 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  4. ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  5. ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  6. 1 small garlic clove
  7. 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  8. Kosher salt
  9. Chips or pita
Instructions
  1. Toss boiled peanuts, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne, and garlic in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  2. Slowly add the extra-virgin olive oil while the food processor is running.
  3. Continue to purée the mixture, adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time, until the hummus reaches a smooth consistency.
  4. Season with salt, to taste.
  5. Serve with chips or pita.
Adapted from Bon Appetite
Adapted from Bon Appetite
Gin & Jewels http://www.ginandjewels.com/

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P.S. Recipe is kid approved too! 😉

Quick Trip to Nashville

I was tempted to name this blog post, “28 hours in Nashville and 28,000 Calories Consumed…”

But it seemed a little long (& dramatic).

Over the weekend, Caroline and I took a quick trip to Nashville to visit some friends. The main reasons for our trip was to attend a housewarming party for our friend Lindsay and to visit Stacey who had moved up about 3 months ago. While we did go to Lindsay’s party and we did catch up with Stace, we also managed to eat some really, really delicious meals. So if you’re headed to Music City any time soon and want to avoid the crowds on Broadway – here are 4 can’t-miss spots for breakfast, brunch, dinner and donuts.    

Located a little outside of downtown Nashville, The Old School is a farm-to-table spot where the farm is like very close to the table. The restaurant is housed in an 80 year old restored schoolhouse with a beautiful outdoor space surrounded by flowers, gardens and strung lights. From the building itself to the parking lot with old, rusted basketball hoops still intact – the whole place brings a since of nostalgia that makes you feel like a carefree kid (who just consumed a pitcher of mimosas and some really good food). Their delightfully southern menu is full of options that make it really hard to choose only one. Which is always a good problem to have in my opinion.   

Don’t leave without ordering … THE POP TARTS.

For dinner, we chose a neighborhood restaurant in Germantown. Rolf & Daughters is industrial but cozy, small but not terribly loud. Their menu was full of sharable plates that you may not want to share because each dish is so good. We started with a shared salad and then ordered three dishes of pasta. Things escalated quickly but I didn’t regret a single bite. Their homemade pasta makes you never want to eat zucchini noodles again.

Don’t leave without ordering … Garganelli verde with heritage pork ragout and sarvecchio. (Their menu changes often but this dish is longstanding.)  

Our last meal was just as indulgent as the first two. We opted for a French brasserie in Midtown – Le Sel – where all your plush, pink booth and striped umbrella dreams come true. The menu consisted of traditional French fare with a few more modern dishes sprinkled in.  I chose a Croque Madame and Frites – fries and cheese are always a solid choice, albeit a heavy one.

Don’t leave without ordering … Crêpe with Bear Creek Farms sausage, sunnyside egg, tomato and fromage blanc.

 

 

And because we just weren’t ready to stop treating ourselves, Caroline and I swung by Five Daughters Bakery on the way out. I may regret that croissant/donut hybrid next week when I’m at the beach but at that very moment it was an excellent decision!           

Don’t leave without ordering … King Kong (a bacon topped donut, enough said.)

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Happy housewarming to Lindsay and shout out to Stacey for being the best host! You guided us to some really delicious eats. xx

Links, Lately

Peace out, work week!

| Loving everything about Upbeet’s (West Midtown’s newest eatery) décor |

It’s the first official weekend of summer so Caroline and I are taking a quick trip to Nashville to visit Stacey. I can’t wait to get out of the city for a little bit and escape this June Gloom we’re experiencing here in Atlanta. Here’s to hoping Tennessee can spoil us with a little sunshine!

A must-watch segment from Steve Hartman.

This gorilla showing off his dance moves is exactly what the world needs this week!

Here’s how to turn off your Snap Map on Snapchat, if you don’t want people creeping up on you.

Easy day trips to explore the real south. (Greenville and Birmingham are next on my list!)

Purewow shows the biggest entertaining trends this summer. #Swineapple

Have a wonderful weekend, y’all.

 

Bar Cart Basics

Today, we’re talking about one of my favorite pieces of furniture – ever.

[Hint: it rhymes with car fart.] 😉

Is a bar cart a necessity? Nope Depends on who you ask. Does it have potential to be the most stylish piece in your home that also serves the very important purpose of holding your most cherished libations? Absolutely.

When it comes to interior decorating, time and patience is a virtue. Some pieces you seek out and know exactly what you want, while others are just ideas waiting to be found and executed. Same goes with styling your bar cart. My best advice is to stock up on the essentials (quick buys) and the other knick knacks will come together over time. So, in hopes of inspiring you to add a new piece of functional furniture to your space or rearrange your current situation – I’m sharing my bar cart essentials.  

THE CART | Bar carts can follow under a wide price range but I’ve linked some more affordable options below. Choose a design that suits your personality but that will also be aesthetically pleasing and fit your space. Personally, I prefer a thinner design with not a lot of bulk. After all, I’m going to load it down with lots of stuff so the simpler the better.  

TOOLS | A shaker, bottle opener, and jigger are must-haves. Other tools like a strainer, muddler, bar spoon, and lemon peeler/zester are good additions if you’re wanting to whip up some slightly advanced craft-like cocktails.

LIBATIONS | Stocking up on booze is the fun part. While I’m always tempted to judge alcohol based on how pretty their bottles are (silly, I know), it’s best to go with what you know you like. If you like Burnett’s because it reminds you of college, then live your life and add that thing to your cart. (But really try Ketel One – it’s great). Keep a variety of liquors on hand, so that way your company has a small menu of options to choose from. (I’m not a huge fan of darker liquors but keep a stash for guests.) Vodka/gin (do both!), tequila and whiskey is a good place to start.

For mixers – I recommend on keeping ginger beer, flavored sparkling soda, juice, tonic and/or soda water on hand at all times. You never know when a long day might call for more than a glass of wine. 😉 I keep my mixers chilled in the fridge – must leave room for a few decorative pieces.

ADDITIONS | Bitters, a bowl of citrus, books, and fresh florals are not must-haves but really complete the look. Bitters (highly concentrated flavored alcohol) are kind of like spices for your cocktail. My favorite brands include 18·21 Bitters, Scrappys and Fee Brothers. I like to keep a couple fresh lemons and limes on hand at all times so even if I’m just making a gin & tonic, I can add fresh lemon wedge. A small, dainty bowl is the perfect home for citrus. I also love stacking small books to add height and serve as inspiration for recipes. Fresh florals don’t serve a real purpose besides just looking pretty – making your bar cart less about being an open shelf and more about being a styled design element in your living room.

Happy decorating (& drinking)!

My Favorite Podcasts

Have y’all heard of this new thing called podcasts?

Kidding, you guys. I’m late to the podcast party but boy have I made up for lost time. I have to credit Abbye on getting me started and must thank Karen and Georgia for keeping me hooked.

Admittingly, I used to wonder how my work buddy, Alina, could listen to her podcasts while working – but now it’s my favorite way to get focused. Earbuds in, a podcast playing, and I’m more productive than ever.

Here are my current favorites …     

1. If you binge watch Criminal Minds (& have a crush on Dr. Reid), you will probably enjoyMy Favorite Murder

I could listen to Karen and Georgia (& Stephen) for hours on end. I thoroughly enjoy the first couple minutes of “housekeeping,” live for their rehashing of their favorite murders and even find myself entertained by their self-read advertisements. They somehow manage to teeter the edge of TMI with just enough gory details to make you think, “what the hell?!?” Their commentary is hilarious without being offensive. They always tell you exactly what to google if you want to look up that gruesome photo they’re discussing – we’re all guilty of this, don’t lie to yourself. Basically, they are the two best friends you didn’t know you needed.  [Must-listen episode – ep 71 Put It In A Door*]

*but you should really listen to them all, in no particular order. 

2. If you consider yourself a part of #BachelorNation and still follow Shawn B on Snapchat, you will probably enjoyOff The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Kaitlyn Bristowe recently launched her new podcast and although she’s only 3 episodes in, I’ve subscribed and I’m hooked. It’s a delightful reprieve from the world’s more serious issues and the perfect podcast to listen to when you need to check out and un-wine (sorry, had to). [Must-listen episode – Her first episode is co-hosted by Shawn B. so start there.]

3. If you love watching Jimmy Fallon interview celebrities on YouTube, you will probably enjoyAnna Faris is Unqualified

Full disclosure – I’ve only listened to a handful of episodes, but I’ve loved every one. Anna Faris is charming and charismatic while she hosts a wide range of celebrities – from the likes of Allison Janney to Andy Cohen. She offers genuine advice to listeners and callers, usually with the help of one of her Hollywood friends and Sim (producer and co-host). It’s an easy listen and the perfect background noise to have playing when you’re trying to get through your inbox. [Must-listen episode – ep 17 with Chris Evans and Jenny Slate]

4. If you remember when that Georgia school teacher went missing in 2005, you will probably enjoyUp and Vanished

Thanks to MFM, my intrigue with murderous crimes has only increased. Up and Vanished is a natural fit based on my interests. Fellow Atlantan, Payne Lindsey, unravels a middle Georgia cold case that has a small town at the center of murder mystery. The Tara Grinstead case is over 10 years old, but new discoveries and arrests are happening in real time. Can we credit Payne Lindsay for the recent progress made with the case? Listen and judge for yourself. [Must-listen episode – Start with ep 1 so you can get the full story from the beginning!]

5. If you like to dissect every episode of the Bachelor/ette until your head hurts, you will probably enjoyHere to Make Friends

A HuffPost podcast, this broadcast is hosted by Emma Gray and Claire Fallon. The duo lovingly snarks on the Bachelor franchise, episode by episode. So now you can relive those eye-rolling moments with sentiments from 2 women who are most likely thinking the same thoughts as you. They occasionally will have a celebrity guest on who is equally as captivated by The Bachelor as you are. Stars are just like us!  [Favorite episode – S13e3, Allison Williams co-hosts!]

As you can see, I definitely have a type – murders and pop culture. I would love for you to share your favorites (even if they don’t follow under the aforementioned categories). 😉 I’m always looking for a good listen!

 

Links, Lately

Happy Friday!

| matching Millers + manis at Thursday night’s Brett Eldredge concert |

I kicked off the weekend a little early in the best way possible. Last night Abbye and I saw one of our favorite musicians ever and are happy to report he’s just as handsome on stage as he is in his snaps. So I’m riding cloud 9 on into the weekend and looking forward to a low-key few days with lots of good company (& drinks)!

[It’s been a while since my last Links, Lately post so I’ve added a few extra stories that I’ve found entertaining this week.]

Miley and Jimmy’s subway performance will for sure brighten your day.  

Here are a bunch of hilarious tweets about the Amazon’s recent Whole Foods purchase.

Surprising read – 19 unsettlingly nice Tom Cruise stories.  

Handmaid’s Tale finaled this week and I needed season 2 like yesterday – I have so many questions!

I’ve lived in Atlanta for 3 years and have an ever-growing list of things to do, try and see – this city guide has motivated me to start checking things off!

Purewow breaks down 9 bizarre city nicknames and their origins.  

I first learned about The Kindness Card Experiment on The Stripe and I’m really hoping something like this will launch in Atlanta!

Lastly, (in honor of Father’s Day) these celeb daddy/daughter duos will give you all the feels.

Have a great weekend! 

 

 

Father’s Day Gift Guide

As a true daddy’s girl, I like to think I honor my dad throughout the year but come June there’s a special section in the card aisle just for fathers!

I personally believe that dad’s appreciate experiences more than material objects. but sometimes you just can’t pull off a lunch date with Bruce Springsteen so an online purchase will have to do.  

We’re only a few days out so I’ve rounded up 7 gift ideas…all eligible for Amazon Prime. 😉 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

For more gift inspiration check out my previous gift guides here and here.

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To my financial advisor, 24 hour toll-free handy man hotline, and the biggest mush I know when it comes to our 4 legged family member – cheers to you, daddio!

Orange You Glad

Blood oranges may no longer* be in season… 

But that doesn’t deter me from making this citrus-centered cocktail!

It seems like every part of the country is experiencing a heat wave. So while it’s easy to sit in front of the fan to keep cool, I find it more fun to indulge in a cold (& boozy) beverage.  If I’m going to shvitz, I may as well do so while tipsy. Amiright?

Served in a highball glass and over lots of ice, this citrus and mezcal combination is a dream team for all cocktail lovers. Scroll down for the recipe!

| recipe

Stay cool, Atlanta! 

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*Don’t let the fact that blood oranges aren’t in season keep you from enjoying a citrusy libation. I live for this blood orange Italian soda found at Trader Joes. San Pellegrino is another great alternative! 

Tiramisu

The perfect dessert for a Monday?

Anything involving espresso … ie: tiramisu.  

A few weeks ago, my sweet friend (& work buddy) Eleonora, spent Sunday with me whipping up this delicious dessert for our office. Eleonora is from Italy so she is the perfect person to make tiramisu with, not to mention she’s just so much fun to be around. I could listen to her stories and wisdom all day! 

We aimed to be authentic as possible, even ordering a moka pot to brew the espresso with. Any chance I have to cook (or live) like an Italian, I’ll gladly take it!

Though we did encounter a minor mishap with the cream and mascarpone mixture (I accidently over whipped, making butter), the overall recipe was fairly simple.

PS – my advice for creating the smooth filling is to whip the mascarpone first (medium speed) and then slowly pour in the heavy cream. Scroll down for the full recipe!

Our tiramisu was a total hit with our office so if you’re in need of a crowd-pleasing dessert, I definitely recommend adding this to your menu!

Tiramisu
Serves 12
creamy and caffeinated - a dreamy dessert!
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 8 egg yolks
  2. ½ cup sugar
  3. ¼ cup Kahlua or other coffee liqueur (optional)
  4. pinch salt
  5. 16 oz. mascarpone cheese
  6. 2 cup heavy cream
  7. 6 pkgs lady fingers or savoiardi
  8. 5 cups hot brewed espresso (you may need more or less)
  9. ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or grated bittersweet chocolate
Instructions
  1. Place the egg yolks, sugar, Kahlua, and salt in the top of a double boiler or a large bowl set over a simmering water bath. Whisk the contents constantly for 6 minutes until it becomes thick and leaves a ribbon on the surface when you lift the whisk out of the bowl. For egg safety, the temperature should reach 160°F.
  2. Remove from the water bath and set the bowl on ice to cool. Stir it occasionally.
  3. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the mascarpone cheese on medium speed until fluffy.
  4. Slowly pour in the heavy cream and continue mixing on medium speed until you reach stiff peaks.
  5. When the egg mixture is completely cooled, fold the whipped mascarpone and cream mixture into the egg mixture.
Assembly
  1. Dip each lady finger one at a time into the espresso and arrange in a single layer on the bottom of your pan.
  2. Spread a third of the mascarpone filling over the lady fingers. Dust the top with cocoa powder.
  3. Repeat each step until you have 3 layers.
  4. For the top and final layer, you can spread the remainder of filling or if you’re feeling a little adventurous, pipe the filling decoratively until the dish is fully covered.
  5. Dust the top with cocoa powder and chill for 24 hours to let the flavors meld and for the dessert to firm up.
Notes
  1. We left the coffee liqueur out but used a little bourbon-infused vanilla extract and really good espresso – both offering a delicious flavor.
Gin & Jewels http://www.ginandjewels.com/

Peony Provisions

It’s the most wonderful time of year!

Patios are opening, temperatures are rising and peonies are blooming. There is no shortage of peony posts on my Instagram feed and I don’t hate it. Admittingly, I stalk Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s like a crazy lady for peonies and scoop up a bunch every time they’re available. But these lush flowers are popular for good reason – not only are they photogenic ( 😉 ) but they smell wonderful.

So after stumbling upon some peony-scented cleaning supplies (seriously, 2 of my favorite things combined) I was inspired to track down every other floral product so I could enjoy the scent long after my bouquet dies. From skincare to home fragrance – I’ve rounded up 7 of my favorites …

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

Lavender Lemon Collins

This cocktail is dedicated to all the men and women who got shit done working on the I-85 bridge.

Cheers – y’all rock.

If you’re a fellow Atlantan, you’ve probably been complaining about traffic more than usual with the bridge collapse. As of Saturday, the bridge has officially reopened, meaning we can dial back on the road rage while traffic returns to its normal level of being unbearable. 😉

Speaking of traffic… I once spent an entire Saturday driving from Lowes to L’Occitane to Whole Foods to Home Depot to another Whole Foods trying to track down lavender. #Priorities. I was making infused-sugars for a shower and was determined to have a lavender option. My efforts were to no avail…I guess lavender was out of season? But ever since I’ve always kept my eyes peeled when shopping.  

So you can only imagine my reaction when I saw potted lavender outside of Trader Joes a few weeks ago. I think I actually squealed (embarrassing, I know). I scooped up one without hesitation and have since been trying to keep it alive (it’s not too hard) with intentions to make a cocktail.   

This cocktail is super dainty and gin-lovers dream. The light floral flavor of the lavender syrup and tartness of the lemonade sing together beautifully! Scroll down for the recipe.  

| recipe |

Wall Decor Wishlist

I’ve been in my new apartment for just over a month and now that everything is in its place (but is it ever really?), I’m focusing my attention on wall decor.

| wall art dream board featuring Slim Aarons & Gray Malin

I have a bare spot in my bedroom that needs some love. With my room being very neutral – lots of whites and greys – I’m envisioning the wall décor to add a pop of color. I’m still deciding between a small, curated gallery wall or just a simple, framed piece of artwork but leaning towards the latter. While I would love nothing more than to splurge on a Slim Aaron or Gray Malin (examples featured above), I’m opting for a more cost-friendly option. In my search for the perfect piece, I rounded up 5 of my favorites that are all under $100…

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5