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! 

/ / /

*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

Lemon Blossoms

When life gives you (a bowl of) lemons (that are nearing expiration)…

…make Lemon Blossoms!

Last week, I realized I needed to use up my lemons before they went bad. Surprisingly, I opted for a sweet treat over lemonade (or a cocktail – gasp) and remembered a delicious recipe my sister had shared with me years ago. These little bites of pure lemony bliss are best when baked in mini muffin tins – making them bite size and extremely dangerous. 😉 Scroll down for the recipe!   

Lemon Blossoms
Yields 2
bites of lemony bliss
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 18½ oz. package yellow cake mix
  2. 3½ oz. package instant lemon pudding mix
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. ¾ cup vegetable oil
Glaze
  1. 4 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 lemon, zested
  4. 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  5. 3 Tbsp. water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease your mini muffin tins with cooking spray or butter.
  3. Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs and oil and blend well with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour a small amount of batter, filling each muffin tin half way.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Once the cupcakes are baked, turn out onto a tea towel.
  6. To make the glaze, sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, zest, oil, and 3 tablespoons water.
  7. Mix with a spoon until smooth.
  8. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the glaze while they are still warm.
  9. Place on wire racks with waxed paper underneath to catch any drips.
  10. Let the glaze set thoroughly, about 1 hour, before storing in an air tight container.
Adapted from Paula Deen
Adapted from Paula Deen
Gin & Jewels http://www.ginandjewels.com/

 

Links, Lately

It’s Friday…it’s Cince de Mayo…it’s Friday.

| A snapshot from my Tuesday night dinner at 8arm – this bar is a dream! | 

Welcome to weekend, friends! Hope you’re able to enjoy some bebidas this weekend (I’ve been sharing some inspiration on G&J Facebook page if you need some ideas). 😉

To pass the minutes until we reach happy hour, here are the links for the week…

A round up of the summer’s must-see movies. Pass the popcorn, please.

I could spend an entire day watching 73 Questions on Vogue’s YouTube channel – current fave: Aziz Ansari’s interview.  

My favorite part of the Met Gala are HONY’s photographs and beautiful captions.

Buzzfeed lists 16 times Whole Foods had absolutely no chill – I always find WF coverage so ridiculously funny.

Lastly, if margs aren’t your thing, here are three mint julep recipes for Derby weekend!

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Piña Paloma

Feliz miércoles!

Special thanks to Google Translate for helping me with the intro of this blog post. 😉

I’m kicking off the Cinco de Mayo celebrations a little early this week with a Mexican-themed cocktail you never knew you needed. A classic Paloma elevated with a little pineapple makes for the most refreshing combination. It’s truly a fiesta in a glass – salud!  

| recipe |

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Sometimes I open my mouth and my mother comes out.

She’s a firecracker, that mother of mine, and I love her to pieces! Even when we have our differences (which is more often than not) she’s always been my cheerleader, confidant and number one adviser. I think that’s what makes mothers so wonderful – their unconditional love (& ability to provide unsolicited advice on how to live your life). 😉

In honor of our beloved matriarchs day, I’ve rounded up 7 gifts for any kind of mama – the traveler, the chef, the homemaker and the firecracker…      

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

For more inspo, check out my previous Mother’s Day gift guides here and here.

Links, Lately

Happy weekend, you guys! 

| freshly fluffed living room for my first house guest in my new place | 

All of our besties are reuniting in Atlanta this weekend for our sweet friends’ wedding reception. Even though we’ve been fortunate enough to see each other pretty often these past few months, we never take for granted our time spent together. I’m looking forward to a few days of relaxation and lots of celebratory champs! Hope you’re weekend is wonderful! 

Here are some (entertaining) stories from the past few weeks…

TIME Magazine shared their 100 Most Influential People list  – always a fascinating read.

Talk about #housegoals – this Sausalito home tour is a dream.

Steve Madden is bringing back these shoes and I’m excited!

Anna Faris live tweeting her pre-red carpet routine looks pretty similar to my getting ready to go out routine (minus the kids, glam squad and hot husband).

A great example of an ad campaign done right.