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Friday Five | Over & Out

July 22, 2016

Lyndsey and I are both up, up and away this weekend: she to the California coast while I head East to D.C. So, today’s edition of the Friday Five is a travel guide in disguise.

staycation in Houston last weekend involved brunch at the beautifully decorated, delicious and nutritious Dunlavy

staycation in Houston last weekend involved brunch at the beautifully decorated, delicious and nutritious Dunlavy

what to wear :: Lyndsey rounded up the cream of the crop for this year’s Nordstrom Anniversanory Sale. I can vouch for these slip-ons  as the best stylish sneaker to pack for any pedestrian city. In dire need of some more work out gear but aiming to avoid paying Lulu prices, I scored these leggings and this lightweight jacket.

what to eat :: I’m prepping my parents for their upcoming trip to Paris and can’t help but be nostalgic about my summer abroad. I’ll get a taste of it this weekend at Le Diplomate for a late déjeuner. Pass the pommes frites, please!

what to do while getting there :: My plan is to sit back, relax (read!) and enjoy the plane ride, but knowing me (and Lyndsey), I’ll likely not be able to resist getting a little personal productivity done during my PTO. Here’s ways you can give back, educate yourself and even exercise when you find yourself playing the waiting game.

what to plan next :: Visiting the city hosting the summer Olympics is high on my bucket list. I’m not Brazil bound, but I’ll be glued to the TV to watch gymnast Simone Biles. If you don’t know her inspirational story, you should.

current colorful palette of my posts make it obvious summer's in full swing

current colorful palette of my posts make it obvious summer’s in full swing

what to capture :: Seventeen Instastars show you the secrets to their success. Achieve celebrity status with these tips. I’ve made a mental note to create a cohesive feed and know my signature color palettes. Round of applause to LZ for mastering these two.

Have wonderful weekends where you are!

-Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

Around {H} Town + Travel, Eats, Fashion, Featured

the new happy hour

July 12, 2016

J. Crew Dress Fat Cat Creamery - 1

In case you haven’t noticed over the past 23 weeks there have been a lot more food related posts here on L. Avenue {most recently here and here}. Let’s just say this pregnancy has food on my mind more so than the others. Especially ice cream. My ice cream consumption goes up every summer and this summer there have been very few days without a scoop of the good stuff. The girls aren’t complaining about daily ice cream runs either. I opt for Jeni’s from OHIO that Whole Foods now carries when we’re at home. And my new favorite Houston spot is Fat Cat Creamery in the Heights. I’m on a mission to learn to make my own ice cream and am starting with this recipe.

Today’s summer outfit looks like it could be it’s own flavor of ice cream. J. Crew’s summer prints make me so happy and this is one of my favorites. I really wanted the off the shoulder top and this matching skirt, but neither were going to fit my growing baby bump for very long. I’d rock the off-the-shoulder with flare jeans or a pair of bermuda shorts all day, every day.

Here are some other fun prints I love this summer

J. Crew Dress Fat Cat Creamery - 8 Valentino Rockstud bag Fat Cat Creamery - 9 J. Crew Dress Fat Cat Creamery - 13 Aquazurra wedges Fat Cat Creamery - 18

outfit details | dress, on sale! | Aquazurra wedge sandals, similar style here, similar look for less here | crossbody bag | sunglassesalso love this aviator version

photos by Mari Rice

Around {H} Town + Travel, Coffee Talk, Eats, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Motherhood

Friday Five | Let Freedom Ring

July 8, 2016
Neat

The Rhubarb Fizz at Neat packs the perfect punch to beat the summer heat with Prosecco and lemon.

I’m still recovering from my back-to-back vacations, first beachside with my family then lakeside with my boyfriend’s. Ready for the weekend, I won’t let summer slip by without enjoying all the fun and freedom it affords.

Rosé in hand isn’t a bad place to start (here’s 9 of the best), or a cocktail with rhubarb, which my sisters and I sipped at the perfectly curated bottle shop in quaint Alys Beach, NEAT.

As someone who can often dodge being direct, I liked hearing–from a guy’s perspective–that commitment can be viewed as just as much of a fulfilling adventure as traversing the globe or climbing the corporate ladder. Confidence and clarity will cause you to express this and convict the people you love to believe it.

Growing up with six older siblings, I get a peek of what’s ahead and right now, that’s parenthood. I basked in the freedom to go to and from the beach at my leisure and lounge poolside, good book in hand, with little interruption. I can’t wait to have kids, but witnessing what a labor of love it is reiterates what this blog reveals: it ain’t easy.

On that note, we’ve got another baby on the way to round the grandkid count to a neat dozen. With Lyndsey announcing her third, I thought this was a fun series of old-wives-tales of how to tell if a little brother or sister is soon to come. Poll: do you like to find out (and plan the nursery!) or wait until the birth for the ultimate surprise?

This was my billion dollar idea, now sitting amidst prime real estate in Times Square. With create-your-own bowls being a culinary craze, I’m sure tourists, foodies and cereal enthusiasts alike will flock to Kellogg’s to concoct their specialty bowls. I’ll have Life with dark chocolate chips, blueberries and cinnamon, please!

Happy weekend! Soak up the summer. And the sun!

-Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

 

Eats, Fashion, Featured

3 appetizers for July 4th

June 29, 2016

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Hey guys! What’s on tap for America’s birthday party this weekend? We’re heading to Colorado and I’m pumped for some festive food, family and fireworks. I’ve spent the first half of my pregnancy being pretty turned off by the thought of food. And then all of a sudden I finally started feeling better and the cravings have kicked in full force. I can’t get enough spicy salsa, ice cream and  pimento cheese, olives and avocados. And this week, I’m beyond excited to share three recipes that fall into a few of these food categories and are proven crowd pleasers.

JULY 4th APPETIZERS

Pimento Cheese Fritters w/ Red Pepper Jelly | Bourbon Maple Bacon | Truffled Deviled Eggs

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Pimento Cheese Fritters

Pimento cheese, recipe below

1 cup of flour, seasoned

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. onion powder

1 cup of milk

1 cup of panko bread crumbs

Red Pepper Jelly, recipe below

In a small bowl, combine the flour with the next four ingredients. Use 2 other small bowls for the milk and panko crumbs. Form the pimento cheese mixture into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll each ball into the seasoned flour, then the milk and then roll in the panko crumbs. Place the balls on a baking sheet and freeze for at least an hour or up to a day. When ready to fry, heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry 4 fritters at a time for 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain. Serve with red pepper jelly on the side for dipping

*Fritters may be frozen fried for up to a month. The best way to freeze is to place fritters on parchment lined baking sheet and once frozen store in freezer-safe bags. To reheat for party, let thaw in fridge overnight and then reheat on baking sheet at 350 for 10 minutes, turning half way through.

Pimento Cheese

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

¼ tsp. onion powder

1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained

Place all of the ingredients into a mixer and beat until well combined with the paddle attachment. Please note it is very important to grate the cheese and not buy packaged shredded cheese.

Red Pepper Jelly

3 red bell peppers

1 shallot

5 cups sugar

1 cup champagne vinegar

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 pouch of liquid pectin

Pulse bell peppers and shallot in food processor until they are finely ground. Combine with sugar and vinegar and let come to a rapid boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Reheat to boiling and add lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Once it comes to a boil, add the pectin. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Bottle and give extras to a friend with a block of cream cheese and crackers.

IMG_2392

 

Bourbon Maple Bacon

1 lb. black pepper bacon

½ cups light brown sugar

3 ounces of bourbon

1/3 cup of maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire cooling rack on top of baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat until it is slightly reduced and syrupy. Place the bacon on top of the rack and spoon the mixture on top of the bacon. Place in the oven and cook for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the bacon and spoon the remaining mixture on top of the bacon. Cook for an additional 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly transfer to a parchment paper to cool.

*Can be made and frozen up to a month ahead. The best way to freeze is to place bacon on parchment lined baking sheet and once frozen store in freezer-safe bags.

*We love to use this for many different dishes. It is delicious on its own, but also great on sandwiches and crumbled on top of a wedge salad.

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Truffled Deviled Eggs

 Filling

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs

3 tbsp. mayonnaise

3 tbsp. greek yogurt

2 tbsp. truffle oil

¼ tsp. salt

Topping

Fresh shaved truffles

Chopped chives

Halve the eggs and place yolks in mixing bowl. Use a potato masher to mash the yolks, mayonnaise, greek yogurt, truffle oil and salt to a smooth consistency. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag with a star tip. Pipe the mixture into the egg white halves. Place on a platter and top with shaved truffles and chives.

*Can be made up to 4 hours ahead

p.s. For more recipe ideas, don’t forget this post with complete recipes for fried chicken, two delicious summer sides and a yummy fried green tomato BLT and blueberry beingnets. 

**all recipes courtesy of Margaret Bravo**

 

Coffee Talk, Eats, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Travel

Friday Five | Hello Yellow

June 17, 2016

What’s your favorite color? Mine’s evolved over the years, but yellow always maintains a high spot on the list for the happy energy it inspires. Book designers are taking note and publishing their latest covers in this color.

Palm Beach book

a yellow hardback rests underneath the bright green paper cover on romantic novel, Modern Lovers

I fell for it when I found this book that’s coming to the beach with me, but I’m currently loving what’s inside the pages of this one. In other color news, Australians think this one’s the ugliest. Agree?

I couldn’t resist getting this skort–yes, a skort!–in both prints. It’s so comfortable, and I plan to pull out the navy blue on the Fourth to match the colors of our flag.

Are you getting your tryptophan fix before Thanksgiving? Apparently, you should be in addition to these five nutrients nobody gets enough of. 

I’m a total sucker for a good greeting card; there’s something so glorious about finding the perfect one for that particular person you’re celebrating. I nailed it for my dad and was proud to find it at the drug store. If you’re still without, I’m a fan of these Father’s Day cards and know my dad would be a fan of the fourth.

I’m spending the weekend at a friend’s farm in Brenham and look forward to my family’s beach vacation next weekend. I’ve always weighed the pros and cons of all second home options — a beach, lake, mountain or farm house. See if these popular vacation homes help you determine which is best. 

Happy Father’s Day to all you dedicated dads. You definitely deserve it.

-Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

 

Coffee Talk, Eats, Entertain, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Interiors, Lifestyle, Travel

Friday Five | Summer Link Lovin’

June 10, 2016
elle decor_camp

photo c/o Elle Decor

It really feels like summer now, quite literally. Being cold natured, I welcome the hot Houston temperatures that come with this time of year. So, today I bring you five things from around the web that I identify with the season and have inspired me to make the most of it:

frozen treats :: Elevate the ultimate poolside treat, popsicles, with your cocktail of choice. Moscow Mule for me!

camping :: Or glamping, rather.

travel :: I love the airport for the people watching, wondering where where people are going and why. This breaks those you pass by into nine categories plus has really pretty watercolors.

leisure time :: Make time for things that you don’t have to do, but maybe just want to.

short shorts :: So long as I am still in my early twenties, I will seize the days that I can wear shorts to beat the sweltering heat. Here’s a dozen that would do my wardrobe right.

Savor the season; do what makes you feel good! See y’all next week.

-Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

Eats, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle

Friday Five | Sense Appeal

June 3, 2016

Alice and Olivia FullSizeRender
When Lyndsey asked me to commit to the Friday Five, I found myself thinking through these posts much like I did my first blog series — Sense Appeal. The series spawned simply from how most of my blog posts came to fruition — being in tune with my senses, the world around me and wanting to write about it.

I had one of those moments last night: the sky’s coloring was so mesmerizing after a week’s worth of storms. This brought my best friend to mind, someone who continually finds the beauty God puts above, right underneath and all around us. So, without further ado, for today’s Friday Five, I present to you, Sense Appeal for L. Avenue:

for the eyes :: 100 pictures that will change the way you see the earth.

for the mind :: Lyndsey’s parenting epiphany prompted me to share this. Parent or not, it’s important to think about your endgame–the bigger picture, if you will.

for the ears :: I’m music festival bound this weekend, and it made me think how I’ve slacked in researching new songs lately and let Spotify do the work for me.  There, I found this song from the help of a friend who put together a great summer playlist (that’s grown to be quite popular). Search: ‘upbeat indie summer jams’.

Plus, these podcasts. Blogger bestie Ann Fran says I inspired her to tune into these on our meet-halfway getaway, so now she’s inspired me to tackle her list, too.

fashion for feel :: My sister-in-law Kirby rocked a chic, black one-piece at our Memorial Day pool outing, and I’m set on having my own for our family trip to Seaside later this month.

I like this patterned guy and this simple, strapless striped guy.

for taste ::
A goal for the summer is to try restaurants at their non-peak hour. Common Bond for lunch in lieu of breakfast. Or like here, when William and I met for a Local Foods dinner. Their plated chicken dinner is to-die-for, but be sure to swing back by in the morning for the cold brew honey iced coffee ’cause it’s to-live-for.

Here’s to awakening your senses this weekend to explore and appreciate all this is around you.

-Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

Around {H} Town + Travel, Coffee Talk, Eats, Entertain, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle

Friday Five | Live and Learn

May 27, 2016

 

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Lyndsey graciously extended an invitation to me for the Alice + Olivia opening earlier this week. I made sure to stop by to support her and see the stunning space that would make for perfect grounds to practice my photography skills. Having spent three sessions learning the ins and outs, I’ve learned a lot about lighting, aperture, shutter speed and the like. I’ve also learned about learning in that No amount of practice will produce the perfect picture, per se. Practicing will produce more passion, though. So keep on keepin’ on and join me in celebrating learning a thing or two this weekend and all summer long…

MOVE :: Next on my list is tennis. I’ve come across so many people in my life who have played the sport well into their adulthood and would love to be able to do the same. There are public courts down the road from my boyfriend’s house, and we plan to hit them up this summer and leisurely learn the sport since apparently…Learning a new sport is really good for our brains. 

SHOP :: Lyndsey lured me into the best Memorial Day sales (check them out!), and I learned I need this for UT football season. 

EAT :: I switched my subject matter from fashion to food and got more photo practice in at this exhibition downtown I was completely struck by the young talent. For those of you that only have an iPhone in hand and a plate to present, Here’s how to make your food a feast for your Instagram (or Snapchat!) audience eyes. 

CELEBRATE :: My brother got engaged last month to someone I’m so thrilled to soon call sister. In other wedding news, my best friend got engaged–and completely surprised!–last weekend. Pure bliss for my bro and bestie, but, Weddings are a full-time job. When I feel like life is a whirlwind, I’m quickly reminded that planning a wedding is a full-time job that while plenty of fun can be trying at times, too. Besides cutting down the list and choosing a church, here’s one hard part about planning a wedding I never thought about until now.

FLOW :: Speaking of whirlwinds, work makes all weeks feel like one. That whirlwind can feel like one that’s spinning out of control or in your control, depending on how you look at it. The pleasure of work “lies partly in the flow, in the process of losing oneself in a puzzle with a solution on which other people depend.” 

This quote is courtesy of Coco + Kelley – blogger of the week.

I lost myself in writing this piece, and it’s you people who I hope depend on it for a fresh perspective. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or tucked in your bed, here’s to living and luring during a leisurely long weekend ahead!

-Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

 

Eats, Entertain, Featured, Lifestyle

Memorial Day party | planning ideas + recipes

May 19, 2016

View More: http://traciling.pass.us/lifestylezorichbravo

What’s on tap for Memorial Day weekend, y’all? Memorial Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the simplicity of this long weekend. At least in our family, it’s a no frills affair, typically spent in the backyard barbecuing with friends. And today on L. Avenue I’m thrilled to collaborate with my dear friend Margaret to bring you a fun, festive backyard shindig. Margaret, a successful catering and cooking extraordinaire, is sharing some of her favorite recipes for a southern backyard dinner that friends and family will get excited about year after year. On the menu: classic fried chicken, fried green tomato, two healthy seasonal salads and blueberry beignets for dessert. So let’s be honest, this menu is slightly more involved than hot dogs on the grill with a side of potato chips. Not to worry, we’ll map out how to prep in advance so you’ll be able to kick back and enjoy your party, margarita in hand.

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Eats, Featured

green recipes I can’t live without in 2015

January 27, 2015

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It’s the get healthy month and whether I want to face the music or not my body is singing,”won’t you please, please help me!” (name that band!) Eeek. But seriously, I think the bod finally decided it couldn’t run on gingerbread and egg nog any longer. So I’m going green in 2015. This year I’m craving spinach and kale and everything green more than ever. I’m NOT preggers, but the cravings are that intense. I want green juice as much as I want coffee. Wait, did I write that? Liar liar pants on fire. But close. Annnyway, I want to share a few new green recipes I’ve tried this year; a very green smoothie and a kale and a potato soup with bacon. Notice I still snuck some pork onto the plate. Hey, I never promised to go fat-free or vegetarian (although the smoothie is vegan!). Just incorporating more of the green good stuff.

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