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Monday, May 31

Happy Memorial Day

Thank you to all who have and are currently serving in our military, and thank you to each soldier's family. Your sacrifice is great beyond words.

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Saturday, May 29

Southern Traditions: Brunswick Stew

One of my favorite Memorial Day traditions is the family cookout we have at my parents' house every year. Delicious food, wonderful conversation, and a flag football game in the backyard make the day absolutely perfect. This year, however, we are having to forgo the festivities due to our schedules, but I did find some time to make some smoky, southern Brunswick stew.

I used pulled pork from Trader Joe's and two boiled, shredded chicken breasts. Add in some chicken broth, frozen corn, frozen lima beans {optional}, and a little extra bar-b-que sauce {I used homemade. It tastes the best!}, and let it cook for about 20 minutes on med-low heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For homemade bar-b-que sauce:
Add together ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, dried mustard powder, onion powder, a splash of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar {optional}, and pepper to taste. Add in little bits of each ingredient until it tastes the way you like. I prefer a sweeter sauce, so I use more brown sugar in mine. You can also find a pretty simple recipe here.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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Thursday, May 27

Working 9 to 5

I have mentioned many times before how the balance between professional dress and personal style is difficult to find. Working in a relatively conservative field, there are standards to meet, and it's easy to fall into a way of not so stylish dressing. Among the ways I try to combat this seeming incompatibility is through neutrals, sassy black accents, and incredible, but sophisticated heels.

{clockwise from top left}
Judy or Madeline Dress
Well-Composed Blazer
Executive Decision Bag
Cricket Match Skirt
Lauren Heel
Free as a Bird Blouse
Cinnamon Toast Top
Burst of Energy Dress
Brown Butter Heel

all images via Modcloth
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Wednesday, May 26

share the road

it's pretty rare for me to get on my soap box and rant about anything, but.... i want to talk for a moment about cycling and cyclists.

the very first time i got on my road bike i experienced the most frustrating, disheartening, and dangerous road rage that i have ever encountered. husband and i were riding single file on a small country road when a jerk of a driver got up right behind us and laid on his horn. the driver was apparently angry because we were going too slow for his taste {oh, i am so sorry my legs can't compare to your engine-generated speed} and he couldn't pass us on a double yellow line....
i get it.

i mean we all hate being stuck behind the 18-wheeler or the old man going 20 miles an hour, and being behind a cyclist is no different. i get that. but here's the thing... when this guy laid on his horn, i almost face-planted off of my bike into the pavement. which would have put me directly in the path of his vehicle. and that, my friends, would not have ended well for yours truly. it's already a bit unsettling to hear a car come up behind you when you're on a road bike, so imagine how much more startling it is to have a horn blaring in your ear.

and aside from danger factor, it's just plain rude. i have just as much right to be on the road as you do mr. automobile. and as for all of you athens kids with your "get your lance-armstrong-wanna-be-ass off my road" stickers, well, you suck.

so, the moral of the story is this:
share the road.

yeah, it's inconvenient to have to pass a cyclist, but what is the difference in that and in passing a slow-moving car? besides, cyclists just want to enjoy the outdoors, the nice weather, and get a good workout, just like the rest of us.

*EDIT: Because you all have such great comments on this post....
I completely agree with those of you who are frustrated by the cyclists speeding through red lights and not obeying traffic laws. The responsibility swings both ways here! Also, I really disagree agree with those cyclists who decide that a ride through down during rush hour on the busiest street is a good idea....


image copyright he&her photography {athens twilight 2009}
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Monday, May 24

mapping out the future

there is something so wonderfully intriguing about maps i think. maybe it's the association with travel and adventures or because they make me think of my husband or perhaps its the nostalgia of trips past. regardless of the source, my love of maps is transcending into my tastes in home design.

this is my favorite use of old maps. unfortunately, we don't have any glass doors, so this project will be tucked away for our next home.

i love the simplicity of this print over a sofa. i think it would work quite well with my new-found love of clean lines and neutrals.
{available on etsy}

this would make a really unique focal point in an office. the challenge is finding such wonderfully colored globes. i imagine painting them would require more artistry than i am equipped with!

how about a map of your favorite city to greet you when you walk in the door?
{via apartment therapy}

or hanging above the bed in a guest bedroom?
{via apartment therapy}

these ideas have come a long way from a world map with "where i have been" pushpins, don't you think?

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Friday, May 21

Marie Antoinette

A collection of photos inspired by unabashed girliness, frou-frous, and frivolities.

Happy weekend.

images via we heart it
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Thursday, May 20

Bookstore Dates

I love getting all dolled up and spending a night on the town as much as the next girl, but sometimes all you need is a quiet little afternoon together... a scrumptious lunch in the sun and a couple hours perusing through a bookstore.

As much as I love the local bakeries & delis in our small town, they are all closed on Sundays, and ooh, Panera has some scrumptious salads!

We walked out of the store with a few selections, I purchased the next book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, Drums of Autumn. Husband walked away with Comrade J, the {true} story of an American spy in Russia at the end of the Cold War.

The quiet environment, the therapeutic sound of softly turning pages, the smell of freshly roasting coffee, a shared love of books and knowledge... all of these things make bookstore dates soothing to my soul.


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Wednesday, May 19

happiness is...

...brunch at the grit in athens.

scrambled eggs {real ones}, potato wedges, homemade whole wheat biscuits, apple butter, and coffee. yes, please. they even make some killer salsa.

the grit is hands down the best vegetarian restaurant i have ever been to. even the non-veggies like it! if you are ever in the athens area, i highly suggest you stop in.

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Saturday, May 15

DIY days

one of the things i love about summer is having a bit of free time to invest in all the DIY projects that have been collecting during the semester. here are a few that i have planned for the next month or so...

homemade citronella candles in a variety of interesting containers will keep the mosquitoes away while we enjoy dinner & mojitos on the back porch.

continuing to redesign our office... i am searching for some inexpensive file cabinets and plan on giving them a wallpaper face-lift!

this self-watering herb garden is the perfect way to add a few more herbs to my collection. i love the re-purposing of old bottles, and the ease of a window-sill garden. i think i may use wine bottles to allow the plants a bit more room to grow.

i am so in love with these filament lights! they would look great over the bookshelf that will soon inhabit our living room. this project, however, may be a bit more complicated, so i may have to call for backup. good thing my dad is an electrician.

do you have any projects planned for the summer? do share!

images via design*sponge
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Friday, May 14

fajita craze

ever since i made these fajitas a couple weeks ago, i have been craving them non-stop. there is really nothing special about the recipe; sometimes the simplicity of a few ingredients paired with the perfect seasoning is all you need.

i have decided that the marinade is what makes the dish. it's really simple, actually. just a couple tablespoons of canola or olive oil, the juice of a fresh lime, the juice of a fresh orange, and a hodgepodge of spices. i used black pepper, cumin, garlic, minced onions, oregano, and cilantro.

note: you can actually buy a pre-measured mix of these spices in a mccormick seasoning pack. {look for it in the spice aisle.} it's perfect if you don't want to buy the individual spices or don't think you will use them again.

we added sour cream and fresh avocado to ours as the perfect finishing touch. delish.

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Thursday, May 13

green thumb

when i was little i used to spend hours on end in the garden with my mother. she would show me the correct way to pot flowers and plant vegetables, always with steadfast patience and a smile. i never once saw her go back and redo something that i had more than likely messed up.
my favorite part of the day was picking the vegetables, especially the radishes and beets. it was so fun to pull the green, leafy tops and watch the red bulbs fly out of the dirt. there wasn't a radish within ten feet of me that was safe. and although i am certain that in my childlike eagerness i plucked most of them before they were ready, my mother never became irritated with me.

these are some of my favorite memories... the days we would spend gardening together.

living in the city it is often hard to connect with my inner outdoorsy girl. it's great to go to the park for a trail run and plan weekends in the mountains camping and hiking, but i often miss the small indulgences of growing up surrounded by nature.

one of the ways that i try to regain this is with my little back porch garden. there is something so soothing about being surrounded by living plants. i love the feeling of seeing something grow, of nurturing little seedlings into beautiful flowers or useful fruits and herbs.

{sweet basil is perfect for summer pizzas, caprese salads, and homemade pesto.}

i look forward to having a "real" backyard garden one day, full of vegetables and fruit. squash, zucchini, broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, strawberries, watermelon, and tomatoes galore.

do you have a garden? if so, what are you growing these days?

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Tuesday, May 11


i simply love the use of words and letters as decoration in a home. when done well, it can add a bit of eclectic flare to a room. recent design trends have shown that such art is no longer confined to spaces such as offices and libraries, but is incorporated throughout a home... in a living room, bedroom, even a kitchen.

here are some of my favorites:
i know this one has been around for a while, but i still love it.keep calm

aardvark manifesto

i love you

this one might just be my favorite....
it was a DIY project i found on sweethomestyle. i am absolutely in love with it! there will definitely be something similar hanging in our bedroom in our next residence.

what is your take on sayings and words in art? yea or nay?

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Sunday, May 9

happy mother's day

to the one person in this world who has always supported me, encouraged me, and pushed me to succeed. all of my gains and accomplishments are a result of your love and teaching.

i would always choose you to be mine.

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Saturday, May 8

rag & bone

loving these laid back summer looks from rag & bone...

see more here

images via shopbop
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Friday, May 7

le love

i love love.

wishing you a lovely weekend.

images via le love
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Thursday, May 6

dressed in black and white

as much as i love to fill these sunny summer days with florals and bright colors, there is something subtly charming about black and white. here are a few of my recent favorites that would be perfect for lunch on a patio or dressed up with killer heels for a night on the town.

click image to enlarge

{from left to right, top to bottom}

which {if any} are your favorites?

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