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Friday Five | Get Well Soon

October 21, 2016
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rainbow brunch at Houston’s Pondicheri :: beet pancakes and fresh squeezed OJ all day

At work, we’ve started a wellness challenge to put our best foot forward before we press rewind as we fa-la-la-la-la through the holiday festivities. So, today, the Friday Five is broken down into the five categories we’re competing with each other (and mostly ourselves) on daily:

Step It Up :: Reach 10,000 steps.

Never have I ever had a FitBit, so I’m finding out the hard way how difficult it is to hit the recommended ten thousand steps a day. These 13 tips should help, starting with shopping a little more and parking farther from the store!

Heartbeat High :: Increase your heart rate for 20 minutes.

My personal goal is to go to a workout class three times a week. I’ve found my favorite instructor at my gym, which I’ve found to be a game-changer in motivating me to show up. If you don’t have a gym membership, here’s ways to shake up your exercise routine.

Waterlogged :: Drink a gallon of water.

What I’m finding even harder is to guzzle a gallon of water a day. Read this honest testament about how more water makes for more energy and fewer face blemishes.

0% Alcohol :: Consume zero alcohol. 

What helps increase my water intake is decreasing my alcohol consumption. But, when I need a change of pace, I reach for things like prickly pear Kombucha at Local Foods. Its fuchsia color few me to the fermented drink, so here’s why we should all indulge in the most colorful foods.

How Sweet Homecookin’ :: No eating out allowed. 

No UberEatsing or Favoring fast food for us; we’re prepping all our meals at home, people. Here’s how the girls at Cupcakes + Cashmere make their favorite restaurant meals at home. I can’t wait to try to copy the Sway Thai‘s Tom Kha Gai now that it’s cold outside.

Join us if you’re so inclined, but keep in mind, we push the pause button for Friday and Saturday. We’ll reset Sunday, so treat yourself. It’s the weekend!

-Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

Around {H} Town + Travel, Coffee Talk, Eats, Interiors, Lifestyle, Travel

Friday Five | The Little Things

August 12, 2016
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little things, like looking up, can change your perspective on your week

As I added a coffee date with Lyndsey this morning to my calendar, I noted the charming ‘event name’ example text Google provides: “Breakfast At Tiffany’s.” It’s the little things that can make a big difference during your week. So, here’s some little links and things that made mine. Hopefully, yours too.

on-point design :: I’m heading to The Hamptons next weekend to put the ultimate exclamation mark on my summer. And I’m. So. Excited! While I plan to spend most of my time outdoors, I hope to scope out the modern interior of this hotel in Montauk.

future fantasizing :: My brother and soon-to-be sis-in-law are going to New Zealand for their honeymoon; my bestie and her fiancé are also crossing the Pacific to Thailand. Here several bloggers dish it out on their chosen destinations.

but also being present :: I’m nearly done with Bread & Wine and can’t wait to start Present Over Perfect with a Bible study group. For all you moms about to enter the fall frenzy of back-to-school, packing lunches and pretending to be sane, this read might be for you too.

savoring the season :: I had aaaall of the summer things last night with almost aaall of my sisters: a watermelon cocktail, a peach burrata salad and an eggplant entrée. It was szechuan at State of Graceand and totally insane. Here’s some other delicious ways to serve eggplant.

planning ahead :: I’m also putting my white ensembles on heavy rotation before Labor Day hits, especially last weekend at White Linen Night in the Heights. But, my eyes are peeled for the winter ahead and having borrowed my mom’s black coat all last year, I figured it was time to invest in my own. Here she is, shipping to my doorstep soon! Maybe got these beauty booties too.

But since we’re clearly still in the midst of summer, get your hands on the bag of the season. Rest assured, it’ll carry you through next spring and summer, too. Or you’ll carry it, rather 🙂

Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

Beauty, Coffee Talk, Eats, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Sale, Uncategorized

Friday Five | Feel, Look & Be Good

August 5, 2016

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The buzz in the blog world seems to be all about balance. Work and play. Drink your coffee and cocktails, but drink plenty of water, too. Spend time with those you love; spend quality time with yourself. So, I approach this week’s edition of the Friday Five with an attempt to provide you equal measures of advice on everything from beauty to fashion, food and fitness.

Looking forward to a fall full of casual football games and formal weddings. And I want this sale LBD for the latter. Check out all of L. Avenue’s Shopbop summer sale picks here.

The Olympics draw attention from around the world, sports lovers and non alike. See a stunning list of statistics.

Speaking of sports, tennis is my current game and fly fishing is up next after flipping through William’s photos from Alaska. When I read this (and saw these photos) from the Fresh Exchange on Monday, I was sold:

 I’ve always thought fly fishing was both beautiful in form and peaceful in method. On a great day you can bring home a fresh trout, on the worst days you bring nothing home but got to spend the day on a peaceful river. Not bad right?

I just ran out of tinted moisturizer and was so bummed I restocked before Lyndsey posted about Juice Beauty Products. I would have gotten this, but I think I’ll spring for this instead.

I loved this article’s real definition of health; hint: it’s “so not a sphere of kale and sweat.”

May you have a well-balanced weekend!

Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary 

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

This & That, Here & There

July 29, 2016
Tryst Friday Five

Tryst coffee shop in D.C. – LZ’s old stomping grounds!

I am so thankful I took a full four-day weekend to visit my very best friend. Supposedly, it takes a minimum of that many days to truly unwind from work. She’s even better than how I remembered, and I feel rejuvenated until we meet again (here in Houston!) in October.

These strangers unwind and relax sans a vaca.

This year’s presidential election have your political compass out of whack? See where you really stand. 

These shrimp tacos are on the menu to cook with my mom tonight.  We’re savoring summer’s best ingredients while we still can; next up’s okra and fresh Fredericksburg peaches are soon to follow.

I tried SoulCycle for the first time in D.C. when I spotted a studio a stone’s throw away from Merl’s house on 14th. I dug it and experienced some of this, but I’m not an addict…yet.

As I continue to fine tune my photography skills, I’m struck by professionals who’ve found their signature style. Like Irene Suchocki who makes all cities look magical when peering through her lens.

‘Til next time,

Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

Coffee Talk, Eats, Featured, Friday Five, Give Back, Lifestyle, Travel, Uncategorized

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.

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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
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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