Finally Fall

Well October was supposed to be our “slow” month, but we don’t do slow very well, so I am way way behind on posts. I was, however, finally able to decorate for fall. Just in time for Turkey Day…

Also, the ever-amazing Kathryn recycled her wedding centerpieces and made these amazing wreaths (one of which now proudly hangs on my door).

In Texas, our seasons are like a roller coaster – it went from 80 to 30 degrees here in one week. But, that is not stopping me from appreciating all of the autumn goodness out there. Checkout all of this fall love:

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Interior Inspiration: Ginger Jars

Kathryn, my own personal style maven, has me completely lusting after a vignette of ginger jars. She has a perfectly curated guestroom with a dresser full of these beauties. I feel like these classic blue and white urns are a staple for a traditional home. I even love the use of them in prints or pillows. This is definitely my next flea market/estate sale/antique store target.

Kathryn’s Ginger Jar Perfection

From a cute shop in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District

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P.S. Check out Kathryn’s teal living room here.

Go Vote!

Civic Duty – Check! (notice I used the word DUTY)

Election Day is my third favorite day of the year (closely behind my birthday and Christmas) and I just got back from casting my ballot for this super important election. This isn’t just a big year because of the Presidential election. There are tons of important U.S. Senate and local races too, so get out there and vote!

Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite electable goods and some articles and links for your political perusal:

  1. Romney’s hilarious speech at Al Smith’s Dinner. (Obama’s was pretty funny too).
  2. Jimmy Kimmel’s inquiry into the First Lady debate is hilarious and embarrassing all at the same time
  3. A good primer on the biggest foreign policy issues of the day.
  4. This is a little dated in news terms, but its a great piece on the top 50 politicos to watch.
  5. A political Tweet poet. She has got some serious rhyming skills.
  6. I have to take Ezra Klein with a grain of salt, but he makes some great points. I think what Romney brings to the table is exciting.
  7. Dear Powers at Be, I want to be an election attorney. Have JD, will travel. Sincerely, Katy

Daily Candy hunted down some of the cutest RW&B wares around – check out their list:

West Elm is even getting in the spirit – Check out the Dallas store [Photo from @nikkirap]:

Which Wich Sandwiches taking a poll:

Traveling Tuesdays: New England

Everyone says Fall is the best time to go to New England because of the changing colors of the trees and I don’t think they were exaggerating. It is absolutely beautiful. The trees are amazing, there are mums on every porch and the air is crisp. We were in Boston for Chris and Hope’s wedding, but we squeezed in a lot of other things between the festivities.

Our very first stop was the Sam Adams Brewery (priorities, people!). One of the best tours ever. The tour guide was hilarious and very informative, we got to sample 3 different beers and a trolley took us to one of the famous Hollywood-Boston bars, Doyle’s who has some of the best clam chowda (my attempt at the Boston accent) in town.

Our next destination was the Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston close to Fenway Park. If you are in Boston, this should be a mandatory trip. We tried six different types of oysters (from a selection of about 20), the lobster roll and a few of their craft cocktails. All of it was out of this world. The design of the restaurant is amazing with an industrial coastal feel – there was clustered pendant lighting, lots of light woods and stainless steel. Oh and the graphics of the menus and business cards and signage is amazing – so much so that I bookmarked Oak’s handiwork back in September without even realizing it.

We (mostly the Husband and his uncle) spent several hours filling in some holes in the family tree, which involves a little Marble Orchard hunting. It sounds morbid, but these New England cemeteries are beautiful.

Chris (the Husband’s cousin and groom of the weekend) raves about this Tony’s Clams on the North Shore and we’ve never had time to go, so this time we made a point to fit it in. It did not disappoint. So much fried goodness! They also do it steamed, which I might try next time, but oh my – the clam strips were AH-MAZING (I hate when Penny says that on Happy Endings, but sometimes it just needs to be used).

My favorite stop of the trip was the United First Parish Church in Quincy. I’m a total nerd for American History and there is not only one former president buried there, there are two! The tour of the church is really good with tons of interesting facts and history, plus you get to tour the crypt. The Husband and I immediately went home and bought his and her John Adams and Abigail Adams biographies.

One of the Husband’s favorite stops was Fort Independence, the oldest Fort in America. It is located in South Boston and is massive. My favorite was the state flag display. The fort has gone through 5 revisions to get what you see today. Its pretty crazy to think about what went down there.

One of South Boston’s staples is the famous Amrheins Restaurant that has been around for a really long time. We went for the Brunch buffet that was most excellent. This is also where we discovered Ciderhouse Whiskey (keep an eye out for this in an upcoming Law School Thursday).

We almost missed our flight because of it, but we made one last stop at JFK’s childhood home. Rose Kennedy bought this house after her son’s death and restored it to close to its original state from when they live there. The Kennedy history is just so interesting and this is a really neat glimpse into more of their beginnings.

There is so much to see and do in this city, but we definitely crossed off a few things on this trip. Can’t wait for the next one. And, check out our last trip to Boston, here!

Matrimonial Monday: New England Nuptials

As you may recall, the Husband’s family is from Boston so we try to get up there for a visit as often as possible. Well this month we had the perfect excuse – Chris and Hope’s wedding! They got married at a sweet little church in Weymouth and celebrated in Quincy in a great ball room with beautiful tall centerpieces. We drank many cocktails, danced, caught up with lots of family members and made some new friends.

Wedding Favorites: (1) The church – It was my favorite kind of church: small with a huge steeple; (2) the bag piper they hired to honor those Bruce Scottish roots; (3) the cocktail hour – open bar, a table devoted to cheese and great hor d’oeuvres; and (4) the late night supplemental snacks.

Traveling Tuesdays: New Orleans

The Husband just got back from a weekend in NOLA for a bachelor party, which he simply stated was “crazy.” This reminded me that I never posted about my amazing bachelorette party in the land of ragin’ Cajuns. My sister was the best MOH ever and arranged a weekend in New Orleans with 10 of my closest friends. It is super flattering to have 11 people agree to drive or fly 5+ hours to spend the weekend with you and it is even more fun to have your 11 favorite people together in one of the “craziest” cities ever. We were there for less than 48 hours, but we made a dent. I will say though, this will not be my best travel post – due to a mixture of adult beverages and a whirlwind weekend its a little blurry.

My NOLA favorites: THE FOOD, the street music, the libations and some quality time with the entire crew.

The cute invites Kayla ordered:

The Food and Drink:
Does anyone remember where we ate Friday night? We changed it at the last minute and I cannot think of the name of it. But, if I do, I will share because it was delicious. My friends are some classy ladies, but they know how to get messy. We all got down with crawfish, shrimp, andouille sausage and other creole delicacies. Plus, they poured us high-ball sized shots. It was a great place for a big group and a late dinner (which isn’t useful information if I can’t think of the name!!).

Some of us were suffering more than others on Saturday, so our group split up for brunch, lunch and shopping. One group checked out the renowned brunch at Court of Two Sisters and said it was everything they expected and more. The atmosphere sounded amazing with a big open courtyard and perfect 70 degree weather. The rest of us headed to the Royal House Oyster House where we had some bloody marys, mimosas, oysters and and peel ‘n eat shrimp to get us back on track.

That afternoon we stopped at Cafe du Monde for their famous beignets. The line was atrocious, but my ever loyal and cunning friends (Martha) some how skipped the line and had the sugary, fluffy pastries in-hand in 5 minutes flat. They were amazing and I still crave them.
Saturday night we had one of the best meals ever at Broussard’s. We put on the cocktail dresses and stilettos and wined and dined the right way. I think we sampled almost everything on the menu and the wine was SO good. Plus, a great meal gave us the stamina to take on Bourbon Street.

The Bars: These are a little fuzzy, but we of course hit the highlights: (1) Hurricanes and Sing-a-longs at Pat O’Briens; (2) Syringe shots and hand grenades at Tropical Isle; (3) Dancing at Gold Mine; and much much more.

The Fun: We stayed at the Royal St. Charles Hotel, which was super affordable and a great location (at the corner of Canal and Bourbon Streets). The rooms were alright – nothing fancy and pretty small, but were clean and accommodating (they happily and successfully split the rooms on 11 different credit cards). When we were not eating or drinking (which was like never), we explored the beautiful French Quarter. We had our tarot cards read in Jackson Square (my fortune teller was so good she predicted that something very good was about to happen in my love life – I’m sure the diamond ring and group of 10 girls had nothing to do with it); ducked into a ton of cute boutiques and art stores (I really miss shopping with Michelle); explored the beautiful Cathedral; listened to the street bands and stopped off at Big Easy Daiquiris for a daytime daiquiri.

Thanks to all these wonderful friends for making that weekend so memorable. Who wants to go back?!

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Traveling Tuesdays: Napa Valley

Round Two with Rusty: You can’t hardly go all the way to San Francisco and not spend a little time in wine country. Here is part two of my parent’s trip to San Francisco (as told by my dad).

Lodging: We stayed at the Silverado Resort because they offered an amazing golf and spa package. The course is excellent and feels like it sits in the clouds. The ladies vowed that the spa was first-class and loved the day of pampering. We also took full advantage of the private verandas in each room, enjoying cigars and cocktails while overlooking the No. 10 tee box on the North Course.

Wineries: We spent two of the greatest days of our trip in Napa Valley. We drove straight through the gorgeous valley on Highway 29 to St. Helena where we took a tour of and did a tasting at Beringer Vineyards, the oldest continuous winery in the valley with a superb mix of white and reds and the best gift shop we found. After that, we headed to the Del Dotto Caves to visit one of Napa’s newest wineries. Del Dotto had a venetian elegance about it. We drank straight from the barrels, bought wine futures, and sampled some prosciutto and cheeses (and drank a lot of wine). The next day we hit Robert Mondavi’s Vineyard, which had a very classy and artsy atmosphere. Then we headed to Francis Coppola’s Inglenook; a beautiful stop with a great tasting room that is full of story telling and history.

Dining:

We had a late lunch after our first tour winery tours at Tra Vigne where we tried everything from BBQ spare ribs to the fig pizza and grilled mozzarella, which was the perfect compliment to our day of wine. Then, we continued our drive through the Valley on the scenic Silverado Trail that is an absolute must for a trip to Napa. That evening we dined at the Rutherford Grill located in the Silverado Resort. The menu was extensive and the drinks and wine were all excellent. We finished the evening outside in rocking chairs by the fireplace to remove the mid-July evening chill.

The next day we traveled to Yountville where we found the gustorry highlight of our trip at the Mustards Grill. The ingredients are as fresh as the come with a huge vegetable garden on the property. Everything we tried from the burger to the pork loin to the salads were top notch. After a few more wine tastings we explored Downtown Napa and visited the Oxbox Public Market at the big curl in the Napa River. There are dozens of eateries and wine-tasting bars in this area. It was a great finale to our trip and encouragement to revisit. We will be back!

Coveted Style of the Week: Vintage Pajamas

The weatherman signaled that we might finally get a cold front the next couple of days and I can’t wait! Our A/C went out on Sunday, which shouldn’t be a big deal in October, but since it is still 88 degrees here in the Lone Star State, its not ideal. Plus, I’m ready to be able to wear fall boots without having a heat stroke. On that note, I want to spend at least part of the weekend (between a Circus-themed party for the cutest one-year-old ever and a Halloween party) snuggled up with the Husband and some Irish coffees. My favorite lounge gear is vintage pajamas (I have no idea why they are called “vintage” since they aren’t used, but I’ll go with it). The preppy, menswear tops allow you to feel stylish while being comfortable. My mom gave me the J.Crew version for Christmas last year, and for the first time ever I didn’t mind the dreaded Christmas morning photo ops.

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September Recap

What the what? How is it already the middle of October. September was crazy, and since so many neat things went on and this is the first time I’ve had to sit down and write out a post, I wanted to do a little September Recap (even though October is more halfway over).

(1) First, I had a birthday. It was strongly suggested to the Husband that he get me these for my birthday:

But instead, he got me this robotic vacuum, which has seriously changed my life. Neato is pricey, but worth every penny. I can watch him work for hours.

(2) Then we took a girls’ trip to Charleston, SC to celebrate Michelle’s impending nuptials – check out our travels here and here.

(3) I spent a week with my brother and the rest of the family. Update on Luke: he is responding wonderfully to treatment and has been able to go back to school- lots of answered prayers. We are doing Light the Night at the end of October to remember and honor all those who fight this horrible disease – check it out in your area.

(4) Kathryn threw a stellar housewarming fiesta. Her house was decked out in beautiful bright colors, the margaritas were flowing and the food was fabulous. It was the perfect wind down after the bad week before. Oh! I also found these adorable serving spoons adorned with the ever-hospitable pineapple when I was in South Carolina. They were too cute of a housewarming gift to pass up.

(5) The next weekend we went to see a wonderful performance of Grease at Casa Manana on Friday night. Fort Worth is lucky to have such a neat little theater (or I’m just easily impressed). Then we threw a couple’s shower for Juan and Joanna. The theme was Monograms and Margaritas and we had entirely too much fun.

(6) Then, Mom, Kayla and I hiked it up to Oklahoma City and found Sister a wedding date, wedding venue and a wedding dress in 24 hours. Kayla’s dress is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and we had a wonderful girls’ day out with Colby’s mom and sister.

October is off to a similar start with a trip to Boston already under our belts, a weekend shooting guns in the big N and a NOLA trip and tailgating this past weekend so stay tuned.

Also, here is a little round-up of some of my favorite sitings around the World Wide Web:

  1. Love this homage to September’s sapphire.
  2. I want to be Tory’s best friend.
  3. I feel bad because of #2, but Tory’s ex-husband has a kind of fabulous line of clothing, accessories and housewares that I have somehow never heard of.
  4. The packaging of Cisthene’s Rain Cleanser even looks refreshing.
  5. This wisteria makes me want to move to Japan.
  6. Love this list and the idea of a family book club.
  7. I love this blog post about getting out of a rut.

Matrimonial Monday: Bridesmaids Asks

A couple of weeks ago I received this cuteness in the mail from my little sister asking me to be her MOH:

And these sparkling beauties are the ones Michelle sent:

I love, love, love formal bridesmaids asks. I didn’t do these for my wedding (because I got too excited and just blurted it out to everyone on the phone or in person) and I so regret it. It’s such a great opportunity to tell the special friends in your life why they are special and just how much they mean to you. There is some beautiful stationery out there for this particular purpose and I’m obsessed:

If you really want to go all out, these are great to pair with a little gift. Who doesn’t love wine, chocolate or a good koozie. Or if you really want to ensure happy bridesmaids – a monogrammed Longchamp. My friend Martha found vintage clutches that she put a note in to give to her bridesmaids. If that doesn’t make your friends feel special, I don’t know what will.

7.5-ounce Belgian chocolate postcards adorned with completely edible images.

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