Wordsmith Wednesday: Jaunt

August 31, 2016

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

7 Gorgeous Fall Fragrances for Your Home

August 30, 2016

I love hosting family and friends, so having a home that smells good when they walk through the front door has always been important to me. And now that we're finally in our new home, I'm especially determined to make our space smell wonderful at all times. As the season changes and we welcome cooler temperatures, I'll be switching out all of my summery candles and replacing them with fall fragrances that are warm and inviting. These were my favorites last year, but here are several new picks I look forward to trying. 

"The essence of autumn. The sensuous freshness of just-ripe pears is wrapped in a bouquet of white freesias, and mellowed by amber, patchouli and woods. Luscious and golden."

"This candle recalls a warm, dry, spicy, and aromatic bark from the East."

"This rich fragrance combines the warm, nutty aroma of Mediterranean almond with fruity accents of peach and apple infused with white orchid, the creaminess of coconut milk, and oriental base notes of vanilla, amber, musk and patchouli."

"...a warm, spicy blend of woods, leather, and musk that will fill your home with the scents of a cozy fireside."

"An intense fragrance of fresh cream and espresso with hints of nutmeg, clove and sweet vanilla. Top notes of cream, middle notes of nutmeg, rounded out with base notes of maple and coffee bean."

"Citrus blossoms and crisp apple are blended with ethereal oak moss, oriental clove and a touch of patchouli."

"Rich apple cider and spices blended with crisp fall leaves and nuances of vanilla sugar."

Friday Favorites

August 26, 2016

This is our last weekend before school starts, and I am freaking out. I can hardly believe I am the mother of a second grader! Wasn't it just the other day that she took her first wobbly little steps? Wasn't it? And now we've got school uniforms purchased and a cool "big girl" backpack with no Disney character faces featured on the outside. To commemorate the last Friday before second grade, we've got a breakfast date planned for this morning, and as a special treat, we'll get to have dessert too! She is beyond excited about that, as is my three-year old. Neither one of them will ever suspect that their mommy is quietly dying inside as she watches her two little love bugs grow up right before her eyes. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, and God bless!

A confidence boosting bath mat.

Positano on Italy's Amalfi coast.

An adorable mermaid party that makes my inner seven-year old squeal.

Sriracha-honey grilled shrimp to replace the usual burgers or ribs we throw on the grill for Labor Day.

This letter of support to Leslie Joneswho has suffered such undeserved and unconscionable cruelty, racism, and misogyny in the last few months. 

8 Fun Ideas for a Fabulous Labor Day Party

August 25, 2016

Next weekend, the sun will set on the sweet, lazy days of summer and we will usher in fall and all its busyness with a holiday we call Labor Day. Since it's the last hurrah before we have to buckle down and get back to school, why not make it as fun as possible? Here are some super fun ways to bid farewell to summer.

Set up an outdoor movie theater in the backyard and entertain guests with a fun summer-themed flick. If you don't have a TV that you can easily move around, hang a solid white sheet up and use a projector to show the film. 

Scoop ice cream into mason jars and tie little wooden spoons to them with colorful ribbon. You can keep them in the freezer until it's time to serve, or put them in a galvanized bucket with some ice and salt (to keep the ice from melting too quickly) and your friends can grab them as they please.

Let guests get creative with a build-your-own brats or burger bar. Put out traditional condiments like ketchup, mustard, relish, and barbecue sauce, and add more fun and unconventional ingredients like a variety of salsas, sliced red jalapeños, kimchi, guacamole, blue cheese, grilled pineapple, spicy queso, maple bacon, fried onions, you name it.

Even though the idea of not wearing white after Labor Day is completely tired and dated, invite guests to wear all white to commemorate the occasion.

Pick up or make a summery piñata--think watermelon slices, pineapples, or even a colorful cocktail--fill it up with anything from candy to mini plastic bottles of booze, and let your friends go crazy on it. 

Instead of a photo booth, which limits friends to one area, fill a basket with summertime props (think oversized sun hats, those cheesy shutter shade sunglasses, beach balls, leis, and cut-outs of tropical cocktails) and let people take pics wherever they want. 

Fill up your pool with as many cute floaties as possible. No pool? Blow up a bunch of floaties and create a lounge area where your friends can relax and eat. 

Of course, create a summer-themed playlist that includes songs like Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Summer by Calvin Harris, Cruel Summer by Bananarama, and Summertime Blues by Eddie Cochran.

images via 12, 3, 4, 5

Wordsmith Wednesday: Lugubrious

August 24, 2016

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

Free $150 Gift from Julep

August 20, 2016

8 Piece Gift with Purchase
The Julep subscription box is beauty at your doorstep (you get on trend, full-size beauty or skincare products each month, curated just for you), and now when you sign up you get the 8 piece Beauty Set pictured above--the adorable metallic wristlet filled with $150 worth of bestselling beauty and polish--FREE. Just sign up for Julep Beauty Box, add the FREE 8 piece Beauty Set to your cart and use code COLOR8 at checkout.

After you join Julep, you'll get a box of gorgeous and good-for-you beauty, nail, or skincare products delivered to your door every month. And since Julep offers the only full-size and fully-customizable beauty box out there, you'll get exactly what you want every month--beautiful!

Friday Favorites

August 19, 2016

Summer vacation is winding down, and I've got just a week and a half left with both of my babies before I have to release my big girl back into the elementary school fray. She's super excited about going into the second grade (in fact, she asked if she could go to school today), which is good news because she's starting at a new school and will have to make friends on her own. Admittedly, I'm slightly less excited--I don't want my babies to grow up! Since I can't keep her home, we'll spend the next week or so continuing to explore our new neighborhood (we've already discovered a favorite new burger joint, and a local mall with a Disney store) and, hopefully, squeezing in some extra hugs and kisses throughout the day. This weekend I've promised her a trip to an ice cream shop that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze their cream and has, not only waffle bowls, but brownie and chocolate bowls as well. Have a fantastic weekend, and God bless!

A swimming pool filled with sprinkles at the Museum of Ice Cream. Sadly, it's in NYC and even more sadly, tickets are sold out.

This gorgeous art deco marble tile. I'd love to have this print on a wrap dress. 

A grilled white pizza with bacon and basil that I'm going to convince my hubby to make soon. 

Super cute DIY sandals

Master bathroom goals. 

Wordsmith Wednesday: Vivacity

August 17, 2016

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

5 Ways to Maximize Closet Space

August 16, 2016

Now that I have a walk-in closet all to myself and no longer share one with my hubby (he has to gets to store his clothes in the guest room closet, which is plenty big enough for him), I really want to maximize the space to accommodate my clothes and shoes, as well as my jewelry and hats, which have never really had a proper home. I'm an absolute sucker for a well-organized closet so I've been gathering ideas, including the five below, that I think will work for my space. 

1. An extra rod placed halfway down the wall below the top rod is perfect for hanging shorter skirts.

2. A low dresser or side table with drawers can serve as bonus storage, and when painted a pretty color with fancy pulls, it's also a decorative statement.

3. Securing pretty hooks or knobs to the walls or on the back of the door is great way to keep things like scarves, necklaces and bracelets, or handbags from taking up much-needed real estate on the shelves.

4. It's a well-known design staging trick to place mirrors in small rooms to make them appear bigger, and a strategically-placed mirror in a closet can do the same. Mirrors adhered to the wall behind shelves, or a floor-length mirror leaned against a wall give the space depth.

5. Utilizing as much of the wall as possible is fantastic for saving space. I love the idea of placing shelves high up and hooking high heels over them.

image via

Friday Favorites

August 12, 2016

We moved! It all happened just this week, and I am both exhausted and thrilled as I type this. Between all the set-ups that had to be done (cable, internet, alarm, etc), as well as all the unpacking, washing and disinfecting, and arranging then rearranging furniture, I've hardly had a chance to catch my breath and, regretfully, I've had no time to post this week (I promise to be back on track next week). This weekend is our first in our new home, and since we've been promising the girls, the hubby and I are taking our little family to the beach for a much needed break from unpacking and cleaning. Enjoy your weekend!

A print I'd like to own. Kisses!

Melon caprese skewers that look like the perfect summer time meal--refreshing and light.

DIY marble hexagon coasters that I've got to make asap, as I want to start entertaining immediately (even though we've still so much unpacking to do).

This super cute work nook.

A pink train. I would totally freak out if I was standing on a platform and this baby pulled in.

Friday Favorites

August 5, 2016

I can hardly believe that it's August already! It feels like we were just at my daughter's school, bidding our farewells to her friends and teacher, and now we'll be starting back to school at the end of the month. We didn't take a vacation, something I look forward to every year (we were in escrow all summer), so I'm spending these last few weeks of the season sleeping late (well, as late as a six-year old and three-year old will allow), consuming copious amounts of frozen yogurt, and enjoying this precious time with my little ones. This weekend we'll be tying up loose ends and, finally, finally, getting ready to move into our new place. I'm looking forward to cooking our first meal in my new kitchen and, of course, decorating. Have a fabulous, sun-filled weekend, and God bless!

Chocolate coconut avocado ice cream.

A seriously fierce red pantsuit. (I wonder if I could even pull off that much red...)

This blush-toned image of Paris--so dreamy!

An adorable little homework/coloring nook that I'd love for my little girls. 

Cocktails to end summer on a sweet note. 

Brigadeiros (Brazilian Chocolate Bonbons)

August 4, 2016

The 2016 Summer Olympics kick off tomorrow in Brazil, and in honor of the hosting country I made brigadeiros (pronounced breeg-a-DAY-roes)--Brazilian chocolate bon bons that are insanely good. Unlike other truffles that I've made with heavy whipping cream and bittersweet chocolate, these are made with cocoa powder and sweetened condensed milk, which resulted in a softer consistency and the most incredible, melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate bon bons. Making them is a little messy, but well worth the effort.


1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon butter (add a pinch of salt if using unsalted butter)
chocolate jimmies

In a medium saucepan, heat condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat to cool. When the chocolate mixture has cooled enough to handle, use a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon to scoop out. The mixture will still be extremely soft and gooey, so to make it easier to roll into balls, drop the mixture directly into a shallow bowl filled with the chocolate jimmies; use one hand to roll around in the chocolate jimmies, shaping into a ball as you go.  Once the chocolate is covered in the jimmies, roll between your palms to form perfectly round bon bons. Refrigerate to set, and enjoy! 

Wordsmith Wednesday: Mutinous

August 3, 2016

Here's where I share my favorite words with you. Because savvy girls have impressive vocabularies.

Ice Cream Sandwiches That Are Total Eye Candy

August 2, 2016

Summer is basically ice cream season, and one of my favorites is a good old-fashioned ice cream sandwich. Making them at home is even more fun because there are so many possibilities--use brownies, cookies, graham crackers, even soft, brioche buns to sandwich the ice cream, gelato, or fro-yo and you've got yourself the perfect summer treat. In honor of National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, here are thirteen 'wiches that are total eye candy. (And if you like to actually eat your eye candy, click on the pictures for the recipes. You're welcome.)

image via
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