Desert Dreaming & Breakfast Nooks

It’s almost a little comical that whenever I put together little design mock ups, they’re not what my house is styled like (at all!), but I spend my free time looking at homes on Redfin and Zillow just for fun and I envision how I’d decorate and/or renovate them. Sometimes I venture so far out I end up finding a house on the market in Yucca Valley that gives me all the heart eyes imagining a desert, bohemian, casual cozy abode. For this desert darling I’d paint the house a deep navy, create a large lounge area around the fire pit with some concrete stools and butterfly chairs and play up the indoor-outdoor living you can get away with in the desert! For the eating area, since the house under 1000 sq. feet, I’d do a fun simple little set. A moroccan print round rug in a gray and ivory, leather swoop chairs, tulip table, and some refurbished wooden shelves. You could argue it’s a little more on the masculine side with the leather chairs and metal base, but the light wood gives it a simple, natural look. A simple half dome lamp in either a black or a hammered brass would the perfect size overhead light for a small tulip table while still making a statement. And these chairs. Go ahead and order 4 because a) they’re under $100 for a set of 2 and b) they’re so cute that if you don’t want to keep all four at the table, you could use them in the living room or in the corners of the bedroom.

 

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P.S. 2.5 acres under $200k. This house is a little gem!!

 

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The L Train

March is one of those funny months where your mind is telling you that it’s time to pack away your sweaters and Mother Nature is saying “pack away your sweaters?! Oh hunny, check the forecast again.” I have had such a Spring itch since about mid-February so a snowy day in late March is just plain mean! So mean that I decided what the heck, if the weather isn’t going to give me Spring Vibes, I’m going to make a cocktail that does! Insert: The L Train.

This recipe is pulled from the W&P Mason Shaker Cocktail book, Shake. (It’s my go-to cocktail recipe book if you’re in the market.) It’s light, floral, and definitely a refreshing little reminder to stay patient, Spring is just around the corner!

The L Train | Makes two drinks

  • 2 shots gin
  • 1 shot St-Germain
  • 1/2 shot fresh lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs lavender (plus 2 to garnish)
  • Seltzer, plain
  1. Add the gin, St-Germain, lemon juice and lavender to a shaker.
  2. Add ice to just above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 5 seconds.
  3. Strain the mixture into chilled coupe glasses and top with seltzer. Garnish with remaining lavender sprigs.

 

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Living Room Reveal

Going into staged homes can either be a blessing or a curse. Blessing because you can see what size furniture works (or doesn’t work) and curse because then that set up is stuck in your mind. I kept picturing the staged set up- which I thought worked really well- but I wanted to nail down pieces that were a good mix of feminine and masculine, traditional yet modern, and make a bit more of a punch since it was the first room you see as you walk into our home and sets the stage.

The brick wall was like an obstacle that I had to get past. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I was having the hardest time figuring out what type and shade sofa that I wanted that would look good against the brick. J & I both liked the idea of a leather couch with a fun profile since this space is our more formal, conversational room (read no TV) but finding the leather sofa was difficult. I didn’t consider black leather until we came across this West Elm Modern Chesterfield sofa and we immediately knew the buttery soft, tufted leather in Licorice was exactly the punch that we were looking for! To brighten up the room, I opted for a pair of mid-century modern wingback chairs in a neutral twill, a black and gray overdyed rug, and brass accents throughout the room.

I had everything in place for a couple weeks, minus a coffee table. I debated a few different coffee tables but ultimately decided on this CB2 one. A simple marble slab. At our old place our coffee table was always covered in things, trays, books, mail, etc. so I’m trying to keep the accessories to a minimum and let the white marble show off itself!

Staged Living Room while on the market:

My Living Room Design:

 

Living Room Reveal:

I was overjoyed when I walked in during our house search to see so much of the original character maintained. The French doors and crystal door knobs make me smile every day!

 

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Pamplemousse & Herbe de Sauge

Are you confused? Don’t worry the title isn’t in english, pamplemousse is just a fancy shmancy name for a Grapefruit, and sage (yes sage) is declicious in cocktails. And by the way, grapefruits are in season from November to May so it’s the most perfect time of the year to whip up a cocktail with pink or red fresh grapefruit juice! There’s something about the Rye Whiskey and the tartness of the grapefruit that makes this cocktail so winter-esq and great for dinner parties, cocktail exchanges or just curling up by your perfectly decorated tree! (But don’t worry, if you’ve found this recipe outside of those months, it’ll still be delicious and you can swap out the Rye for Gin!)

Pamplemousse & Herbe de Sauge | Yields 2 cocktails

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey
  • 1 oz. fresh red or pink grapefruit juice
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz. agave or simple syrup (you can also make a brown sugar syrup)
  • 2 dashes bitters
  • 1 fresh sage leaf

 

Cocktail Garnish Tip: When using herbs, smack or roll in your palm to release the oils and flavor more vividly from the herb.

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Rouge

You’re never going to believe how much I practically s t o l e this look for. Top, pants, AND shipping came out to $30.03. Seriously! I can’t make this up! I saw the top featured in an instagram post and watched for my LikedtoKnow.it email to arrive in my inbox like a hawk. I knew the silky satin material of the cold shoulder top would be so romantic for date nights and perfect to throw on for holiday dinners this winter. I followed the link and to my surprise  the top was on sale for $12! I was even more surprised when I saw on the side of the screen these pants for a whopping 80 cents more! You better believe I was doing a happy dance, almost frantically clicking to check-out in case the pieces were priced in error! Both the top & pants for under $13 a piece… talk about a deal!!

I don’t visit Kohls often, but after this purchase I am definitely going to keep my eye on the LC Lauren Conrad collection. I mean how cute is this dress?! And these oxblood velvet leggings would be so sassy for Christmas dinner – not to mention the elastic waist would be oh so perfect for going back for seconds! A lot of the pieces out there right now are in blush, burgundy and navy shades which all are on my love list. I’ve linked a few of my favorites below, most of which are under $50, and my outfit details! Happy savings!..I mean shopping!!

 

LC Lauren Conrad Picks:

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Autumn Date Night in the City

You know all of the places that you pass every day and about every third day you say to yourself “I really should go there.” Yeah, that’s me. Every day to and from work I pass Gallaudet, Union Market, NoMA and tons of other little streets that I cannot wait to explore. But so often either I’m too tired, need to laundry, or something else “prevents” me from just going there!

One random night the other week it was like everything was working in my favor. I left work at a reasonable time with sunlight still shining, I wasn’t sitting in hours of traffic, the weather was just about perfect, and we had nothing to do. (Well, at least no chores that we wanted to do.) Insert: We had no excuse not to try out a new place for a spur of the moment date night! We strolled through Gallaudet University, which is beautiful – the campus is so much bigger than I assumed, and the grounds are really well kept- and made our way to Union Market. We did a round and decided to pick out a few cheese, order a glass of wine, and found a little table outside to enjoy our spread from Righteous Cheese. We sat, talked, and tried to keep our phones away for a couple of hours to enjoy the beautiful fall evening together!

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One.

This Sunday marks our first anniversary. In one year we threw the biggest, best party of our lives with all (most) of our favorite people in attendance. We began our days with cappuccinos and ate endless plates of pasta in Rome. We watched grapes dry before being turned into wine and tasted fresh olive oil in Frascati. We got lost while strolling the narrow streets of Ortigia, explored a castle, and attended Mass in an ancient Greek temple dating back to the 5th century BC. We stood in the ear of Dionysus in Siracusa, and saw Mt Etna from Catania. We did a pub crawl in London, tea in the Cotswolds, and walked through the halls of Oxford. We soaked up the sun in Cozumel and Mahogany Bay, and spotted a cobra in Belize City. We sipped Sazeracs and stopped to admire a “second line” in New Orleans, road tripped to the Virginia wine country, and a few months ago, embarked on our biggest adventure to date, becoming homeowners.

J, I thank my lucky stars every night for you. Can’t wait for all the adventures ahead!

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Belle

Back during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, my mom, sister, and I had a girls day shopping and celebrating  her birthday. It almost felt like years ago when we went out together back to school shopping and since my mom now lives far away from us, she wanted to buy us each a new top keep the back to school shopping feel going. This beauty immediately caught my eye and I have been counting down the days until the temperatures cool a tad to be able to wear it.

The color reminds me so much of the final dress Belle wore in Beauty and the Beast… which I finally watched! I was this close to booking a trip to the French countryside after that movie. So good! But back to this top-  I don’t have that much yellow in my wardrobe but after buying this golden yellow top and this sunshine yellow dress (now on major sale!) for a wedding this past summer, I know I need a lot more of it!

  

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Millennial Pink Living Room

Although I don’t have a pink living space (yet) I love the way you can really freshen up a space with the all-the-rage shade in a very adult like way. The soft shades of pink have been on the interior decorating market for some time so it’s definitely a trend that’s going to stick around for awhile. When done right, it can act as a neutral or even the pop of color your neutral space needs!

Millennial pink works so well with a cozy, bohemian style. In this mock up I’ve paired a pink slipper chair (super affordable) with a neutral couch and different patterns and materials to give the small space concept some depth and interest while not crowding. If you’re afraid to add in pink via your furniture, try adding in some decorative pieces like the globe, vases, or throw pillows.

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Chair | Sofa | Rug |Coffee Table | Accent Table |

Floor Lamp | Mirror | Globe | Fig Tree | Mongolian Pillow | Rectangle Pillow

 

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Mature Mimosa

Last fall J & I were gearing up for our “I do’s” so it seemed like we took a season off from the college-football-watching-snack-filled-lots-of-drinking weekends that we grew accustomed too in our early dating. Since this fall we’re brand spanking new homeowners we can’t put a hard-stop on the weekend honey-do list, but we can definitely press pause for at least a game or two.  “Pausing” is something that I’m consciously trying to do a little more often. I tend to get caught up in the constant rushing to and from and worrying about what to do next instead of giving giving myself a break. So trust me when I say, this twist on a mimosa was exactly what the doctor ordered to helped me pause & enjoy the weekend with J so much so I foresee whipping these up again this weekend!

Mature Mimosa Champagne Cocktail  | makes 4 cocktails 

  • 4 quarter to half-inch rounds of orange (I used Navel Oranges)
  • 10 dashes of orange bitters
  • 1 shot of orange liqueur (I used Patron)
  • Champagne
  • Orange zest strips (to garnish)

Place the orange rounds on foil and broil under high heat until browning with a little bit of charred. Let orange rounds cool. Add orange liqueur, orange rounds, and dash bitters. Muddle together. Add ice above the level of the liquid and give it a quick stir or shake. Pour mixture about 1/3 of the way of your coupe  and top with 2/3 champagne. Make it even fancier with a twisted orange peel! Cheers!

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