Monday, June 30, 2014

Denim & Stars

I am so happy to be home.  It was almost a 12 hour drive from Georgia, but we broke it up by stopping for the night in Cary, NC - a lovely surprise!  It feels great to be here and I had my first Summer swim in the lake down the street yesterday.  We have a lot of fun things planned for the week and I really can't wait.  I didn't want to bring too much home with me, but I did want to have a couple festive things to wear throughout the week.  I picked this little bubble dress up years ago for $25 and I have definitely gotten my wear out of it!  Paired with my star printed denim Vans, I think it makes a festive (and cool) outfit for the holiday week. 

Dress: Dollhouse (in a darker color)
Shoes: Vans (lace up version) 
Bag: Cath Kidston (larger dots)

Happy Monday. Hope you have a fabulous start to this week!
xo Bridget

Thursday, June 26, 2014

4th of July Wreath

There is something really welcoming and lovely about a wreath on the front door. I have made wreaths for most of the major holidays/seasons of the year. It's a fun and inexpensive way to be festive and they don't take up too much room to store year round (I think they look great stored on a wall in the garage).  Since we are going to stay with my parents for the 4th and won't be here, I decided to make a 4th of July wreath for them.  The great thing about this wreath is it can go up for any patriotic occasion. 

My favorite place to go shopping for wreath supplies is Hobby Lobby.  They undoubtedly have the best selection of all things crafty.  I usually scan Pinterest and Etsy to get inspiration before I head to the store, but it's also really fun to go in with a open mind and get inspired by what's in the store.  I picked up all of my materials at Hobby Lobby and all together they cost me about $20.

Step One: Lay out all your materials on a covered surface (grapevine wreaths can be messy when you are arranging).  Play around with wreath balance; how your wreath will hang and where you want to arrange your flowers. 

Step Two: Once you have your flowers arranged, make sure you tuck in the stems so they don't stick out of the back.

Step Three: Take some time to fluff out the flower petals and arrange any other aesthetics.

Check it out!

Step Four: Add your final touches, in this case, a patriotic star.

(Note: Keep checking out your wreath as you go to make sure that you are happy with the balance.)

Final Step: Create a bow (if you wish).

A little more fluffing ...

Ta Da!

xo Bridget

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

All American

one . two . three . four . five . six . seven . eight . nine . ten

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  It symbolizes everything I love about Summer; lake days, late nights, cooking out, parties, fireworks, family,  and relaxation.  My husband and I are packing up the car and the dog this Saturday and driving to Virginia.  I really cannot wait.  

How do you celebrate the 4th?

xo Bridget

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Buffalo Shrimp Salad

There are so many things that I miss about Virginia, one of those things being the wide variety of grocery stores.  When we moved to Ohio, the options were slim, but ok, and  in moving to Georgia they got even slimmer.  Fortunately, the south is home to a great grocery store chain called Publix, which we have really come to love.   Every week they send an ad through the local paper with a featured recipe.  In stores, they have a section by the entrance of the store with all the ingredients that you need to make that  featured recipe - awesome idea!  This week, the recipe was a Buffalo Shrimp Salad and something about it just looked and sounded so good to me.  This past week was a long one for me and  my weekend didn't really start until late Saturday afternoon.  I ran up to Publix and got in and out with everything I needed for that meal in about 10 minutes.  It was awesome - even if you don't have a Publix near you - the ingredients are things you can find anywhere.  I just need to share this recipe, because it was that good. Oh, and it barely took any time at all to put together - which is a big plus in my book!

Step One: Mix the dressing.  It is a combination of 1/2 cup Cesar salad dressing and a 1/4 cup each of wing sauce and orange blossom honey (not pictured).

Step Two: Chop up your mango and avocado.

Step Three: Preheat your oven to broil and cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Take the tails off of the shrimp, lay them out on the covered baking sheet, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the buffalo seasoning over them.  Place the shrimp in the oven.  I broiled them on low at first and then finished off on high - they cook fast so watch them carefully! It took about 5 minutes for them to cook.

Step Four: Fill bowls with romaine and drizzle with dressing, then add the chopped mango and avocado.  Toss the cooked shrimp around in the seasoning to evenly coat, and place them on top of the salad. Drizzle with a bit more dressing, and serve. (The side item is a little dish of buffalo rice - last minute touch to make it a more filling meal.)

xo Bridget

Monday, June 23, 2014

Seeing Stripes

This week, I got a very exciting email - Anthropologie sale! Anthropologie is one of my favorite places to shop, no doubt I find some thing I love everytime I pop in.  I was browsing the sale and noticed that this dress was reduced.  I thought I'd better do a post quickly and let people know just how great this dress is.  Well, it turns out that the dress sold out pretty quickly, because I can't find it today.  I did, however, find some similar styles by the same brand - see my links below.  

When I picked up this dress, I had a lot of other items to try on.  My mom and I were taking turns trying on all of our picks and debating on what to keep and what to put back.  This dress was in lingo, just because I had found two other things that I wanted to buy and I didn't want to overspend.  My mom convinced me to purchase this dress, she said I'd be so happy to have it to throw on for work during the hot Georgia Summer and as usual, she was right!  I have worn this dress more than the other two tops that I bought.  The brand is Puella and all the dresses and tops seem to be made out of the same incredibly soft, knit material.  If you ever stop by an Anthropologie, try on a piece from this brand, you won't regret it!

Dress: Puella via Anthropologie (similar) (similar)
Sandals: Luchiny
Headband: Henri Bendel
Bag: Cath Kidston (same bag, just smaller)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

So At Home

During my last few trips to Nordstroms, I have been super impressed by their home department; they really have unique mix of home essentials, decor, and gifts. The bright splashes of color are right up my alley and the price points are reasonable - whats not to love?  These are some of my favorite picks from their website.

xo Bridget

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Savory Sliders

This Saturday as we finalized our plans to travel home to VA for the 4th of July, I started to daydream about all my favorite Summer things that remind me of home.  One of them was grilling out, which is something my mom always does on the 4th - magically I began craving a barbecue.  I knew I couldn't wait until the 4th, so I flipped through my cookbooks to look for something unique that I could whip up for dinner.  I lucked out with my "How Easy is That?" Barefoot Contessa cookbook and found this recipe for Sliders and this recipe for Tarragon Potato Salad.  They both turned out great and definitely hit the spot!

 A simple and savory combination of olive oil, dijon mustard, minced garlic, and chopped thyme are used in this mix.  Add the ingredients to the ground beef and  lightly mix using a fork.

Form the meat into small round patties to fit the buns that you have purchased.  I was able to make 14 sliders with a pound of ground beef. The sliders will shrink up a bit when cooked.

About two minutes before the sliders are done, sprinkle some grated gruyere cheese over the tops and close the lid on the grill. After about two minutes, move the sliders on a platter and tightly cover with aluminum foil, while you toast the slider buns on the grill.

 So delicious!  These sliders were so fresh tasting and not greasy at all.  I used a very lean ground beef so that may have helped too!

Are you making any plans for the 4th?
xo Bridget

Monday, June 16, 2014

Make It Work

A few weeks ago during my trip home, my mom and I had a couple of days to hang out and  hit all of our favorite shops.  My main priority while shopping was to get cool, comfy, yet professional clothes for work.  I came across this romper while we were shopping at free people and really loved it.  Even though it's strapless, I knew I could find a way to make it work for work.  It fit the bill for being cool and comfy and I was able to find lots of things to layer with it to make it more professional looking.  My top two favorite things to wear with it are this breezy tank and the knit military style jacket in the bottom two pictures.

Romper: Free People
Tank: label lab (similar) (love this)
Jacket: Free People (similar) (similar)
Shoes: Dolce Vita (similar)
xo Bridget 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Joie De Vivre

Happy Friday!  I don't have too many plans this weekend.  I am hoping to get out to a local Peach Festival that I've been hearing a lot about and do some work on my blog (it's been a little neglected with my new job). Other than that, I am just going to chill - we are looking at a rainy and hot weekend - so maybe going out to the movies is in the cards.  I would love to go see Maleficent on the big screen. I haven't done a Joie de Vivre post in a couple weeks, so these pictures are ones I've snapped over the past month or so - enjoy!

Fun beers al fresco at The Rookery.

New nude sandals = Summer wardrobe complete.

This little frog that hangs out on our front door in the evenings.

Fake wildflowers sitting on my dining room table, waiting to be made into something.

A face that I never get tired of photographing.

Hope you have a great weekend!
xo Bridget

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Get Shorty

It's quite possible that I will mention how hot it is here in Georgia in the majority of my posts this Summer.  I'm going to try to be positive and look at it as an opportunity to try some new things with my wardrobe.  I'm not really that into shorts - I have a few pairs for hanging around/going to the gym and maybe one or two dressy pair. I'm much more of a dress girl, but being down here in the Summer has made me realize just how much more practical shorts are.  I bought this pair at Forever 21 last summer and have only worm them with tights and boots in the winter, ironically.  Today, I decided to try them out with my new nude sandals, a crop lace bralette, and a sheer top - the results were SO cool and SO comfy.  I'm loving it!

Top: Velvet (similar)
Bralette: Free People (similar)
Shorts: Forever 21 (love these) and (these)
Sandals: Sam Edelman

xo Bridget
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