Monday, March 31, 2014

Springtime Grunge

This weekend it was warm, but also very windy and cloudy.  I think the time for wearing boots in the Spring here in Georgia is going to be very limited, so I took advantage and wore my tall black boots this weekend.  I bought these boots a while back and never really wore them much for whatever reason, but lately I have grown a new appreciation for them.  I paired them with some black leggings, a white knit swing dress and a gauzy plaid button down.  I love how comfortable this outfit is and yet it still packs a good amount of edge.  

Shirt: Free People (similar) (similar)
Dress: Free People
Tank Top: Free People (similar) (similar) 
Boots: Steve Madden (similar) (similar) (similar)

When I think about how I would describe my personal style, I really draw blanks.  I love and appreciate so many different styles of dressing and I think my wardrobe really represents that.  If someone had to describe me based on what they found in  my closet, they probably wouldn't know what to think!  I've explored and experimented with so many different styles through my life so far and I carry a little bit of all of them with me as I grow, I hope that never changes.

Do you find it easy to describe your personal style?

xo Bridget

Friday, March 28, 2014

Joie De Vivre

Another adventurous and fun filled week has come to an end.  It has also been bittersweet as at the beginning of the week we said goodbye to my brother in law and today we say goodbye to a dear friend.  It's sad, but we feel so fortunate to have family and friends who will come and visit us all the way from the United Kingdom.  In addition to that, Monday was my husband and I's Second wedding anniversary and on Tuesday, I hosted my very first book club.  I don't have any real plans for this weekend, which is nice in a way.  I would like to start a new book, do some scrapbooking, and perhaps try a new dinner recipe. Anyhow, without further adieu, here is my joie de vivre this week.

A day trip to Savannah. 

Homemade Lavender and Honey Cupcakes for Book club.

An interesting mural in Decatur.

A lovely handmade ditty bag from my mother in law.

Picturesque Stone Mountain.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

DIY Pickle Jar Lanterns

The day we moved into our house here in Georgia was a hectic one, moving house always is I suppose.  We were trying to unpack boxes as quickly as the movers rolled them in.  Amidst the chaos, I noticed that my husband had taken charge of setting up the kitchen.  Now, I am not a very particular person when it comes to where things go in the house, except in the kitchen.  I quickly took over so I could get it just the way I wanted.  As I was setting away some dishtowels under the sink, I noticed quite the collection of empty pickle jars left behind by the previous tenants.  I didn't think much of them at the time and kept on unpacking.

As Spring approached this year and we began to sit outside more in the evenings, I decided I wanted some tea light lanterns to set out and remembered all those pickle jars. One lazy Saturday, I took to Pinterest for inspiration and came up with these two different styles.  I  used things that I already had around the house, with the exception of fabric puffy paint which I bought for a couple bucks at the craft store.

For the doily lanterns,  I just wrapped the jars in leftover Valentines Day doilies and secured them with colored twine that I purchased from from the dollar bins in Target.  I dropped tea lights into the bottom of these and lit them with a long lighter stick. 

 I set them on my dining room table runner and they have made a nice addition to my Spring decorations.

For the lanterns below, I cleaned the outside of the jars with alcohol and drew some whimsical designs on with fabric puffy paint.  I wanted these to have a moroccan lantern type feel. 

 I used some wire locking tools from my husbands garage to make a little handle and tea light holder in the center of the below lanterns, which I am using outside.

p.s. I'm not upset in the above picture, that's just the face I make when I concentrate - ha!

These lanterns were just the ticket to add some Springy warmth to my home and they were practically free.  I still have three jars left to play with, so any thoughts or ideas are welcome!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hold Your Ponies

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I love hair accessories.  They are an easy way to add a pop of surprise and fun into your days outfit.  With Spring here and Summer on its way, I thought it would be good to share some of my favorite hair ties and some that I could definitely add to my collection.

How do you like to "hold your pony"?

xo Bridget

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cream Cheese Mints

A couple of years ago my mom brought me back a fancy box of Cream Cheese Mints from a confectionary shop in Philadelphia, where she was traveling for a business trip.  They were so beautiful, pepperminty, and delightful.  

I have never come across those mints for sale anywhere close to me, so I put it in my head that I would make them myself.  I first searched for them on Pinterest and found THIS recipe.  I got so excited that I went out and purchased some pretty flower candy molds from my local craft store.  I wanted to make them very fancy like the ones my mother had given to me.  Well, years passed and I never made those mints, but they did remain in the back of my mind as a rainy day experiment. 

 It just so happens that my husband and I have been invited to a dinner and a housewarming party next week and I figured that these would make quite a nice little hostess gift.  Turns out there is a nasty cold going around and all of the planned get togethers have been postponed.  But, you know what?  I made them anyway, because I was craving something sweet, and all the reviews said they would freeze quite nicely.

Here's what you need: 
1 pound confectioners sugar, 4oz cream cheese, 1/8 tsp peppermint extract, food coloring, candy molds, granulated sugar for rolling 

Here's what you do:
Mix Ingredients: I used a handheld mixer to soften the cream cheese, then I added the peppermint extract.   Next, I added the confectioners sugar just a little bit at a time (it gets messy!)  If you want to make your mints all the same color, you can go ahead and blend that in as well (perhaps before you add the confectioners sugar).

Add the Food Coloring:  I wanted three colors of flowers, so I separated the mixture onto three balls.  I used one drop of yellow and one drop of red for the pink and yellow mixtures.  For the purple mixture, I used 2 drops of red and 1 drop of blue and this changed the consistency of the mixture,  so I had to add some extra confectioners sugar to it.

Mold Your Mints:  I tore off small bits of mixture, rolled them into balls, coated them in granulated sugar and then placed them in my candy molds.  I ended up just using the one round mold, because I couldn't get the details to turn out well enough with the other flower shapes.

I placed all of the mints on a cooling rack covered with wax paper.  When I was finished rolling and molding the mints, I stuck them in the fridge for about 30 minutes.  After the 30 minutes, I transferred them into an airtight container and stuck them in the freezer.

I can't wait to package these up in cute little boxes and take them as hostess gifts.  These were super easy to make and I am very interested to try some different things with them.  Some people say that they like to play around with the extracts they use.  I am thinking that anise might be a fun and delicious extract to try.  Also, next time I would like to use gel food color to perhaps get a more pigmented color.

xo Bridget

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mixed Metals

I really don't like to follow rules when it comes to fashion.  Trying different things has always been a big part of my personal style and mixing metals just seems natural to me.  I don't like to wear just gold or just silver jewelry, I like to mix it all together.  Maybe thats why these pants stood out to me when I first saw them. They are silver, gold, bronze and copper - they are everything.  

I love my skinny jeans, I really do, but there is just something so awesome about a big flared out bell.   Maybe it's the 70's child wannabe in me, but I think I'll always be drawn to them and I am so happy to see them coming back into fashion this Spring.

Pants: Free People (love these) and (these)
Bag: Betsey Johnson
Sunglasses: Beeline for Old Navy (Only sold in stores)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Joie De Vivre

This has been a very happy week.  My husbands best friend and my brother in law are here visiting from the UK.  In a place where we feel so far away from family and friends, it's so comforting to have people we love here to visit.  We have planned a few things here and there, but the best thing is just getting to hang around and catch up.  This weekend, I am looking forward to my first ever proper golfing experience with them and hopefully attending this Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon.  Here are my little bits of joie de vivre from the week. 

Planning some weekend trips.

Peach Blossoms from the Peach Blossom Festival last weekend.

A Quick and Easy Pinterest Inspired Lantern DIY.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies.

First signs of this weekends Cherry Blossom Festival in Downtown Macon.

Have a happy weekend!
xo Bridget

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Napkin Holder Makeover

I have been intrigued by the Smiley's flea market ever since we passed it on the highway during our first trip down to Georgia.  Last weekend, we were looking for something different to do and I was in search of some milk glass so we decided to go to Smiley's and check it out.  There wasn't much there that sparked my interest and I didn't find any milk glass, however, I did spot this butterfly napkin holder.  It was super worn down in the corners and the varnish was coming off in a few places, but for only a dollar, I couldn't complain.  My husband gave me the idea to sand it down and stain it to give it some new life, so I did just that.

Sanding by hand takes some strength and patience.  I just sanded it enough to remove the gloss of the varnish and smooth down some areas that were cracking.  Each time I sanded an area, I would brush away the dust with a paintbrush.

I picked up a rust-oleum stain in driftwood and some semi-gloss varnish at lowe's.  I think the two of them together cost me about $10.  Arguably not worth it for this $1 napkin holder, but I know I will find a way to use them on projects in the future.

I brushed on about two or three coats of stain with an old rag.  I let the stain dry for an hour and then applied the varnish with a paintbrush and let it dry overnight.

I love the result and I learned to do something new, which is always fun.

What's your best ever flea market find?

xo Bridget

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Radiant Orchid

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As you may or may not already know, the Pantone color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid.  When I first heard this, I wasn't too impressed as I've never really been a big fan of purple.  I decided to go onto the Pantone website and check out just what kind of purple this was.  Turns out, I really love the shade of purple that it is, so I decided to go on some of my favorite shopping websites and see how they might be representing Radiant Orchid this year.  Here are my radiant picks.

Do you pay any mind to the color of the year?
xo Bridget

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pomegranate Pimm's Cup

A couple of birthdays ago, my best friend sent me the most lovely package and tucked inside was  this wonderful little Porch Parties book.  It's full of recipes for lovely cocktails, "mock"tails and some little nibbles.  It was beautiful weather this weekend, perfect for an impromptu porch party.   I scanned through to see what ticked my fancy and I came across a wonderful Pimm's Cup recipe.  

If you are unfamiliar with Pimm's, you can learn about it here.  Pimm's cup will always be close to my heart, because it not only reminds me of my summer internship in London, but also a lovely afternoon of Pimm's cups with my  mom and sister in law in her beautiful back garden in South Wales.  I have had Pimm's a few different ways, mostly mixed with lemonade or iced tea (my mom mixes it with apple cider, which is quite nice).  This recipe spiked my interest, (1) because I wanted Pimm's and (2) because I love Pomegranate and Ginger Ale.  

I was able to get my hands on this most exotic liquor at a small liquor shop here in Middle Georgia, so this makes me think you should be able to get it most anywhere.  If you've never had a Pimm's cup, you are missing out.  Give it a try!

Here's what you need:
Pimm's No.1, Pomegranate Cherry Juice (or any flavor you like), Ginger Ale, Cucumber for Garnish 

Now That You Are Ready:
Fill a glass with ice, add 1/4 cup Pimm's and 1/4 cup Pomegranate Juice, fill to top with Ginger Ale, mix well with Straw, garnish with cucumber. 

The cucumber garnish is optional, but I will say it really adds a fresh flavor to the drink.  You could experiment with some other fruits if you like.  I think sliced apples and oranges would be a nice addition.

The Final and Most Important Step: 
Get out on your porch/balcony/stoop or wherever and enjoy!


xo Bridget

Monday, March 17, 2014

Exploring Grey

Over the next couple months, my husband and I will have some family and friends coming to stay with us.  We have been trying to get out to at least one new place each weekend in search of fun and interesting things to do with our visitors.  Last weekend, we went HERE, it was a nice day and it made a nice walk with some history education as well.  It was a Saturday, so I wanted to wear something that was comfy for a bit of a walk, but would also look chic enough for a bite out at a local restaurant and a trip to the farmers market afterwards.

I am a big fan of turquoise and over the years I have received a few pieces as gifts from my parents.  These earrings were a gift that my mom brought back from a trip to San Antonio.  The necklace was handmade by my mother in law.  She is very talented at making jewelry, she even made the large blue beads in this necklace.  It goes perfectly with my other turquoise pieces.

I love Minnetonka moccasins.  They are unbelievable comfortable and I like the way they look.

Jeans: Free People (similar) and (similar)
Shoes: Minnetonka
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar)
Sunglasses: Beeline for Old Navy (only sold in stores)

I wasn't really interested in venturing into this ceremonial temple.  Our little puppy was a braver soul than I and pranced right in.  Here he is coming back out, looking quite pleased with himself!

Hope you had a great weekend.
xo Bridget

Friday, March 14, 2014

Joie De Vivre

This week has really flown by.  The weather was so beautiful and Summer like during the first part of the week, so I took advantage and did almost anything I could outside.  Now that the  weather is a little more chilly and a lot more windy,  I've managed to be a lot more productive.  I spent the day doing some Spring cleaning and not the organzing type of Spring cleaning, the actual scrubbing and vacuuming kind of cleaning.  Anyhow, as I was cleaning, I came across all of these little pieces from my week that made me happy.  I thought I'd snap some shots and put them in a post and call it joie de vivre or "joy of life", because I just love that expression and that's how life should be: full of joy.  Here are some things that made me smile this week.

Cocktail napkins with words to live by.

Vanilla & Orange: This combo makes the most perfect Spring scent.

Favorite turquoise pieces from the people I love most.

Finishing a great book (and preparing to host my very first book club).

Creative inspiration with some steals from tj maxx and the target dollar bins.

good company.

This weekend, I've got my eye on a Peach Blossom Festival and a St. Patrick's Day Parade.  I am hoping to make it to at least one, if not both!

Hope you all enjoy a great weekend with lots of joie de vivre.
xo Bridget

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