2nd Annual St. Patty’s Day Party

Another year and another successful St. Patty’s Day Party. This crazy Texas weather decided to be absolutely perfect the day of the party, making us thirsty and giving us the perfect reason to be outside playing cornhole, ladder golf, Polish horseshoes and more. Somehow we didn’t take one picture outside, but I think that’s because my amazing friend Kathryn, made the cutest chevron photo booth in my living room. I don’t think it was every empty and the pictures are hilarious.

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We carried on the tradition of the Whiskey Bar, which now has a permanent place at our annual soiree due to its success. We went simple on food and I had A LOT of help from my ridiculously generous friends and family. These Shamrock pretzels and Kathryn’s buffalo chicken dip were the hits! I ordered a banner from Vistaprint to match our invitations, Candace created a hallway of Shamrocks in my entryway that was just out of this world and she and I attempted to replicate these until the wee hours of the morning.

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We continued the St. Baldrick’s tradition as well, and our amazing nephew Derick volunteered to shave his head, which for us this year meant even more. We had more than 70 of our friends and family come by throughout the day and just had a great time. Thanks to all who helped make it such a success! Counting the days until next year!

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Check out our First Annual St. Patty’s Day for more Irish fun.

Matrimonial Monday: Coastal Maryland Wedding

My best friend, Michelle, married Rob (who my Husband and I love!) this past November in an absolutely beautiful wedding and reception in Annapolis, Maryland. This was not only the first wedding where I’ve had the unbelievable honor of being the matron of honor, but it was also the most elegant wedding I’ve ever been too. Michelle has had a huge impact on my adult style, which is probably one reason I loved it so much. She is unbelievably detail-oriented and was probably the least-stressed bride I’ve ever seen. She planned a super elaborate wedding while studying for the bar and didn’t forget a thing – every piece of paper was designed by the same graphic designer; she had rain boots that matched pashminas and throws on the patio just in case it rained; she had swizzle sticks and cocktail napkins and adorned every place setting with rosemary – the Polish symbol for love; beautiful signs told you where to go to drink, sit and party; and personalized matchbooks (which Michelle collects) were tied to sparklers for the send off …it was an unbelievably beautiful and fun wedding. (P.S. I intend on devoting a whole post to Michelle’s dress.) I loved Michelle’s photographer and she did a great summary of the event accompanied by her awesome work:

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Chesapeake Bay Beach Club:: Michelle+Robert

Courtesy of tPoz Photography

Rosemary. It is the polish symbol for love, but you didn’t need a symbol, to know that love was abundant at Michelle+Rob’s Chesapeake Bay Beach Club wedding!

While everyone prepped for the wedding at the Westin Annapolis Hotel, Julie Flurry from Jewel Hair Design, and Ryan Krasney of Blend helped to glam up the girls. Michelle excitedly slipped into her Anna Maier (custom by Charles Bunstine) gown, with the help from her mother and maid of honor. She made time to call her grandmother who couldn’t be with them, and a big smile spread across her face as she shared her excitement.

After a beautiful wedding ceremony at St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis, I got to spend time with the bridal party and the stunning bride and groom at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club. Between the beach, the cornhole games, and the toasty warm (thanks to some heaters!) rooftop cocktail hour, this brisk November day was just brimming with sunshine and laughter. Some of my favorite details of their wedding included the chalkboard seating chart, the three different cakes provided by Sugarbakers, and the Hot Cocoa and Cider bar. Plus – the rooftop space was just so cozy, despite the temperature! And you know I always love when the dance floor is packed, courtesy of Devin from MyDeejay!

I could tell that Michelle and Rob put so much thought and effort into every little detail, to make this wedding truly about them as a couple. From the table settings with photo frames, to the crab cake toppers, to the photos of their parents on their wedding days – you really got a sense of how special the relationship that they shared is.

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::Vendors::
Hotel :: Westin Annapolis
Ceremony Venue :: St. Mary’s Church Annapolis
Reception Venue :: Chesapeake Bay Beach Club Chesapeake Bay Beach Club – Tavern by the Bay
Wedding Gown :: Anna Maier (custom by Charles Bunstine)
Bridal Store :: Hitched
Florist :: Crimson & Clover Floral Design, Inc.
Deejay :: Devin from MyDeejay
Bakery :: SugarBakers Cakes
Transportation :: Bayside Limos
Linens :: Party Rentals LTD
Chalkboard Seating Chart :: Sara Metzger
Invitations+Paper Goods :: Laura Nehls of Letter Box Inc
Hair Stylist :: Julie Flurry of Jewel Hair Design
Makeup Artist :: Ryan Krasney of Blend
2nd Photographer :: Natalie Franke Photography

Matrimonial Monday: Laid-back Austin Affair

One of our nearest and dearest couple friends tied the knot this past fall and this wedding was hands down one of the most fun weddings I’ve ever attended. This group of friends is huge, loves to dance and knows how to celebrate in style. The ceremony and reception were held at Casa Blanca in Round Rock, TX. This venue was perfect for Juan and JoAnna’s style. The beautiful open space overlooking the river made a breathtaking alter and big, open porches with globe lights set just the right ambiance for the reception. Being in the heart of Hill Country, I love that the attire was cowboy boots, Wranglers and bright beautiful dresses. It was laid back and elegant all at the same time.

Wedding Favorites:

The Photography: Twinty Photography – The Rankin Twins not only take great photos, but they can also sing.

The Bridesmaids Attire: Super flattering purple dresses adorned with brown cowboy boots and their accessories of choice.

The Desserts: Juan and JoAnna aren’t big on sweets so they went with cake balls and the famous Round Rock donuts – a nice change from the traditional.

The Friends: We got in some serious QT with a ton of great friends.

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Images: Twinty Photography

Book Share and Farewell

I’m forgoing the usual cocktail submission to formally say goodbye to one of my favorite shows. Tonight is the series finale of 30 Rock. I started watching this hilarity in law school when I very badly needed to laugh and it has been a weekly companion since then. I heart Liz Lemon, liberal and all (and sometimes I fantasize that Jack is my real boss). It’s been a good run, TGS. You will be missed!

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If you are not ready to say goodbye:

  1. Relive some of the greatness
  2. Give the gift of Liz Lemon
  3. Love the politics of it all
  4. Talk the talk of the Rock

Because of 30 Rock, I also just read Tina Fey’s autobiography, Bossypants, which was EXCELLENT. I read it on a trip and was doubled over laughing on the plane. I laughed out loud at least every other page. She is just so absurd. Break up the monotony and read it!

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P.S. I love Pinterest and I love 30 Rock, but this is weird

 

Traveling Tuesdays: Chief World Explorer

A really good friend of mine is working for the up and coming travel site Jauntaroo, which is pretty awesome and getting better everyday. My favorite feature is their “Been There/Want to Go” buttons. Its a great way to keep track of your adventures and make a plan for that lengthy bucket list.  That’s not all – this spring they are selecting someone to be their Chief World Explorer for the next year making a whopping $100,000. I mean I like being an attorney, but getting paid to travel the world sounds WAY better. Check out the site and keep an eye on the Chief World Explorer offering set to roll out this Spring. Life’s too short. Get to exploring.

Thirsty Thursday: Colorado Bulldog

Until about 9pm yesterday I thought it was Thursday. I finally realized that I was a day ahead of myself, which means (a) it has been a seriously long week and (b) I’m ready for some weekend cocktails. Over the Christmas break my brother-in-law-to-be got me seriously hooked on the good ole’ Colorado Bulldog. Its a cold drink that warms you up – the perfect winter cocktail.

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The Colorado Bulldog: Fill a tall 16 ounce glass 1/3 full of crushed ice. Pour in 1 jigger vodka and 1 jigger Kahlua. Fill to within 1 inch of the rim with Coke. Fill to within 1/2 inch with light cream. Stir to blend. (I use Diet Coke to cut down on the calories and I double the recipe so it fits in my Red Raider Tervis.)

Enjoy! Here’s to Friday!

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I’m Baaack

Well hello. I felt like Cousin Eddie should get a little post-holiday love. Its been a rough couple of months, but there have been several diamonds in the rough that have kept me moving. We were witness to some of our best friends tying the knot, attended some birthday bashes and Christmas soirees, did a little fine dining, spent lots of good quality time with our families for the holidays and recharged a bit. 2013 is not promising to be an easy year, but the blog is sporting a new look thanks to my favorite graphic designer and I’m feeling energized and positive about what is in the pipeline. The house needs some sprucing, the friends need some attention and I’m needing a little creative outlet, so stay tuned for some of these posts and many more the next couple of months:

(1) The Frias Wedding Bash; (2) Michelle and Rob’s Beautiful Day; (3) A Little Dallas Dining Love; (4) Grey’s Very Own Circus; (5) Steamboat Music Fest 2013 and much much more.

P.S. Today is the one year anniversary of the blog. Thanks for reading!

Thanksgiving Prep

I’m not much help in the kitchen (besides my mad dish washing skills), but I always eagerly volunteer to set and design the table. In honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I’d thought I’d share some pretty tablescapes to get you inspired as well as a few reminders on the ins and outs of holiday meals:

My favorite place setting of all time from Mrs. Lillien because it provides for three types of wine.

But, for those who may want to focus more on the meal and less on the wine pairings, this graphic prepares you for all scenarios:

Also, check out Cup of Jo’s wonderfully illustrated guide to table manners.

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Thirsty Thursday: Irish Coffee

For a brief moment we had 30°F weather here and it gave us a chance to finally break out the Jameson’s for a little cold-weather cocktail. The Husband has spent the better part of the last two years perfecting his Irish Coffee recipe and he has it down to an art. It (and a little Redbox action) makes for a great little date night in.


The Real Irish’s Irish Coffee

  1. First, preheat your proper Irish coffee mug, with hot water and then dump the water after a few seconds. (We picked this method up in Doolin!)
  2. Fill the glass with freshly brewed coffee until it is about three quarters of the way filled.
  3. Stir in a heaping spoonful of light brown sugar, depending on how sweet you like it.
  4. Add a shot of Jameson’s or any other favorite Irish whiskey. Stir again.
  5. Whip up some heavy whipping cream until you have a thick consistency that you can dollop on top. You can refrigerate the left over whipped cream for a couple of days.
  6. Drizzle Creme de Menthe on top and enjoy!

Thankful for Good Neighbors

Since the Hubs and I moved into our house two years ago, we have become really great friends with some of our neighbors. They would all do just about anything to help out one another and it is such a peace of mind to live in such a tight knit community. So with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I wanted to be sure they knew how thankful we are, so I made them a little pumpkin bread as a little pre-Turkey thank you. If you have someone that could use a little past-due THANKS, check out the recipe below.


Sabrina’s Pumpkin Bread (makes two 9×5″ loaves or 3 smaller loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup salad oil
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2/3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Cream sugar and oil together.
  2. Add eggs and pumpkin. Mix well.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients.
  4. Add dry ingredients to mixture alternating with the water.
  5. Pour into well-greased and floured loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour 30 minutes if using large loaf pans. If using smaller loaf pans start checking after one hour. Knife should come out clean when done.
  7. Cool completely before removing from pans.
  8. Wrap in your favorite paper, adorn with ribbon and spread the neighborly cheer.