Three Margarita Mixes For May 5th!

Hibiscus Margarita | Spicy Margarita | Blackberry Margarita 

Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner, so Mexican food has certainly been on my mind. It is, quite frankly, my favorite type of food. I love the salty chips, fresh chunky guacamole, seasoned grilled chicken and vegetables wrapped in soft, warm tortillas with cheese, jalepeƱos, sour cream and salsa on the side - oh so good. I also love margaritas on the rocks, different margaritas that is. Classic margaritas are good, but they are so easy and quick to make that it's easy to experiment a little with different flavors and ingredients. These are a just a few delicious-looking options I think... Do you have a favorite tasty, yet non-traditional margarita??

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Inspired By...

A little gray today... So, so pretty and sophisticated right??

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I spent the weekend spending WAY too much time and money in Target and Home Depot, making THE most delicious recipe for an upcoming guest post, watching It's Complicated for the 100th time (I'll never tire of seeing that house) and Scandal (oh 752...), getting over two migraines, indulging in this gelato, and napping during a long rain shower on Sunday. Needless to say I didn't make it to see this movie, but other than the migraines, I can't really complain about the last two days...

I hope you had a wonderful weekend, too... :)

Images 1/2/3/4
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An Airy Entry + Links

Hello there! How was your week? I have to admit that I found it incredibly hard to get motivated to do anything super serious this week. Spring is in full swing here in Atlanta and the weather was really beautiful most of the week. All I wanted to do was relax and enjoy it! What are your plans for the weekend? I'm going to have dinner with some friends and work on decorating my powder room. This mirror (in antique bronze) was just delivered, so I think I'm off to a good start! More details on that later... I also hope to catch this movie this weekend. Robert de Niro, Kathryn Heigl, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon - the movie HAS to be good! 

I hope you have a great weekend! Here are some good links for ya...

I love her blog. I adore her cozy home, too.

Two stunning kitchens designed by one of my favorite designers...

I have never used an editorial calendar for my blog, but I need to! This free calendar might be a good start...

The perfect cards for Mother's Day...

What success really looks like. Gosh this is so true...

In case you were looking for a few good sales, here are a few!

Tory Burch: 25% off using code TBSPRING
SAKS: 25% off using code FRNFAM2
J.Crew: 25% off using code SPRINGBEST
Loeffler Randall: 20% off using code FRIENDSNFAM

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A Quaint Cabin Kitchen

I was browsing blogs last night when I ran across this beautiful, quaint little cabin kitchen. You know I love white kitchens, so I was excited when I saw this one! Sarah Samuel of Smitten Studio is in the process of renovating her Lake Michigan cabin and it is so lovely. All of the rooms she has worked on so far are warm, yet really light and bright. Her most recent project involved installing the open shelves in the kitchen. They give the space so much character. They are perfectly styled, too right?? The mix of the subway tile, butcher block countertops and dark floors make the space warm, yet modern. I just adore it.

I probably spent an hour on her blog last night admiring her work and her style. You just might do the same thing!

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Cinnamon-Pancetta Carbonara

I might know what you are thinking... Are you thinking something like, "CINNAMON in pasta???" The answer is yes. And yes, it is good! Last Tuesday, I spent the entire day relaxing in bed, which means it was a darn good day.  I spent a lot of the day watching Food Network and The Cooking Channel. I saw Giada making this pasta dish on one of her older shows and thought that adding cinnamon to a pasta sauce was the craziest thing I'd ever heard. At the same time, I was intrigued. So I got online and saw that the recipe was a 5-star rated recipe. So I knew I had to try it...

I've always been fascinated by carbonara - and scared to make it. I always felt like I would get it all wrong and scramble the eggs. But the truth is that as long as you follow the recipe and slowly heat the sauce, it will turn out right. By right I mean the cream and the eggs will marry to create this really creamy and delectable sauce. This particular sauce is extra special because of that hint of warmth that the cinnamon provides in the background of the sauce. And of course I love the marriage of the salty pancetta and bacon - and the way my house smelled as it was cooking.

So back to the cinnamon. I know it sounds super strange. But trust me. Try it. The recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, but I sprinkled it slowly into the sizzling bacon and pancetta mixture and I was satisfied with slightly less than 1/4 teaspoon. I also added a good grind of pepper at the end. It's an odd combination, but it's perfection.

Images by me
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Weekend In Five Pics

Hi!!!!! How are ya?? It feels super good to be back here! I really needed that week off. I spent most of it catching up around the house, running errands, catching up with friends and regaining some creativity. I also spent a lot of it glued to the TV praying that those insanely heartless individuals in Boston would be caught. I feel much better now, but admittedly have this heightened sense of awareness. So sad...

A few more details about my time off...

+ I had a photo shoot for the blog's upcoming new design with Savannah and Jenny of Maiedae. I LOVED working with those two talented ladies!! I wore two different outfits, one which included that necklace in the first pic. Rhianna's song, "Diamond"comes to mind every time I look at it...

+ I wore makeup other than lipstick for the third time in my life for the photo shoot. It's so fun getting made up! I am still not fully rested from my busy season, so I want to kiss the person who invented concealer. 

+ Bought those GORGEOUS hyacinths right before my photo shoot. That was my first time buying them. I came home from the shoot and sneezed for almost an hour straight. Apparently I am allergic to hyacinths, which is sad because they smell heavenly.

+  I had to get my upper lip threaded for the first time. The only thing that HAS to be more painful than that is child birth! I recently started putting two cups of spinach in my daily smoothie and apparently the spinach does wonders for hair growth. Lovely. That may have been TMI, but consider yourself warned if you love spinach like I do.

+ I made this salad to snack on over the next few days. It's so, so, so good. 

+ I also made Sunday dinner for my neighbors. I made a pasta dish that has an incredibly rich sauce with a surprise ingredient. They loved it along with my hyacinths... :) I'll share the pasta dish with you tomorrow!

Happy Monday!

Images 1, 2, 4, 5 by me
Image 3 by Jenny of Maiedae
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Weekend In Three Pics + Be Right Back...

Hi there! I hope you had a great weekend!! I'm only a bit excited today. As an accountant, today is one of my FAVORITE days of the year. It's the first of many days that I will have a normal schedule. I am quite happy. I only had to work four hours or so this weekend, so that means I got to the remaining 44 hours enjoying myself and resting. Heaven. I got in bed early on Friday and Saturday night, took a LONG stroll through Whole Foods, which is where I got those gorgeous parrot tulips and the ingredients for that peach, kale and coconut smoothie. It's got a little kick from the ginger and lots of sweetness from the peaches. So, so good. I also looked through tons of catalogs I've been collecting over the last few months and that stitched peplum top from the Anthropolgie catalog made me gasp when I saw it. How pretty is that??

Even though I had 44 hours of blissful downtime, I feel like I need 100 hours to catch up on life outside of work. I did a load of laundry on Saturday and realized after it was done that I forgot to use laundry detergent. Uggh. So I obviously need more rest! I need to clean and re-organize my house, spend more than five minutes talking to my parents and friends and read my current read and watch a movie without falling asleep. I also need to put the finishing touches on my new blog design that will be launching in a few weeks. I CAN'T WAIT for you to see it!

So I'm taking a few days off from blogging so I can get all of that done + some. I might pop in later this week, but if not, I will definitely see you here next week! In the meantime, you can catch me on Instagram and Twitter

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Serenity + Links...

Hello and happy Friday! It's been another whirlwind week for me. I know I have said that every week for the past few weeks, but Monday is my deadline at work, so you won't hear that much after today! Next week should be MUCH better and I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to some consistent downtime. I hope you have the most wonderful weekend and I will see you back here next week! Enjoy the links!

I was so honored to be featured on one of my favorite blogs this week!

I went to college with her and I swear she is one of the most stylish moms I know!

The ingredients for this smoothie will be going into my Vitamix this weekend...

I heart Mexican food, so this is on my list of things to make as well. So different and delicious looking!

Wouldn't you love to get ready for your day in this space?

LOVE this before & after...

Weekend reading...

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Ellen's Santa Monica Escape...

When I was younger, we would travel to my grandparent's farm for long weekends in the summer and for Thanksgiving. It was in the middle of nowhere, there were only two working channels on the TV, there was no service on my cell phone and it was STIFLING in the summers. I loved seeing my grandparents and loved eating my grandmother's good country cooking, but I wasn't a fan of the still life. But now that I am older with a crazy busy job, bills, and never-ending to do lists, I appreciate still life oh so much more. 

When I saw these photos of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's California ranch, I thought, "Now that is the perfect still life." The 26-acre ranch is complete with eight different cabins, an art barn and a gorgeous stable. They are all decorated with antique and industrial furnishings (including the stables), which brings so much warmth and character to the crisp, white spaces. They worked with L.A. decorator Jay Holman and designer Cliff Fong to give these old spaces a new life. I'd say they did a darn good job.

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Just four little things I'm loving at the moment. I need want it all, but those sandals are definitely calling my name! So pretty...

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A Simple Gift: Ginger Mint Simple Syrup

A few months ago, I stumbled across Natalie's lovely blog, The SoHo. She is southern girl living in New York City who has a passion for food, photography and writing. Those are three of my favorite things as well, so I was captivated by her blog when I found it! I invited her here today to share one of her recipes that I think would be make the perfect gift and the perfect drink...

Simple syrups are one of my favorite homemade gifts. They are so easy to stir up but manage to seem thoughtful and impressive once a pretty bottle is involved. Start with equal parts sugar and water and then get creative with other ingredients to infuse flavor into your syrup. Ginger and mint are two of my favorites. It's a great combination for elevating cocktails, dressing up a fruit salad, and it's a welcome addition to a glass of iced tea.

Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 tablespoon of ginger, roughly chopped

Whisk the ingredients together in a small pot over medium-high heat. Stir periodically to ensure the sugar dissolves as you bring it to a boil. Once the syrup reaches a boil, turn down heat to low and simmer for three minutes. Remove pot from heat and cover for 30 minutes. Pour through a sieve and keep refrigerated in a bottle. 

Images by Natalie
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Weekend In Four Pics...

Hello!! I hope you had a great weekend. Even though I spent most of my weekend working, I made it a point to have a few moments of fun. This weekend I...

 + Didn't buy any flowers for my nightstand. The weather here was perfection this weekend, so I took a break from work and walked around my neighborhood shooting photos of cherry blossoms to get my flower fix. They are quite lovely...

+ Had brunch with a friend at this new hidden gem of a place called Buttermilk Kitchen.The name alone sounds enticing, doesn't it? It was hands down the BEST brunch I have had in all the years I have lived here in Atlanta. Before I even ate, they had me when my water was served to me in a mason jar. Winner... I devoured that crispy fried chicken biscuit. They marinated the chicken in sweet tea, which gave it the most amazing flavor. It won't be long before I visit that place again...

+ Watched last week's episode of Scandal. Do you watch Scandal?  I watched it for the first time two weeks ago and I'm hooked. Like, really hooked. Starting next weekend, I will be parked on my couch catching up on the seasons I've missed. Can't.Wait.

+ Treated myself to the first burger I have had in a really long time (doesn't this look good??). I don't eat red meat often, so I went all out and ordered one complete with bacon, cheese, mushrooms, onions, ketchup, mustard - everything. I was in burger heaven. 

+  Flipped through my new cookbook, "It's All Good," by the lovely Gwyneth. My quick review: LOVE IT! The photos of the food are stunning and the photos of her in her natural state would make one think she is absolutely nowhere near her age. Most importantly, the things she shares on healthy eating are really informative. After eating that burger and brunch, I felt the need to make her recipe for perfect quinoa, grilled tilapia and sauteed spinach for my Sunday dinner. It was the perfect get-back-on-track meal.

If you did anything fun this weekend, do share!

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