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Summer block party with Pier 1 Imports

June 1, 2017

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Summertime is finally here and with that comes fun summer parties! I love hosting during the summer months because we can utilize our outdoor areas for larger crowds. Over the past few years I’ve thrown parties for Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day and 4th of July holidays as well as impromptu get togethers that are as simple as pizza and ice cream. Last week, I decided to invite some friends and neighbors over for a little block party action thanks to a fun collaboration with Pier 1 Imports.

Pier 1 Imports has so many great colorful outdoor entertaining pieces that are colorful, affordable and most importantly kid-friendly. I love all of the acrylic and melamine pieces in bold primary colors. I decided to keep things simple with pizza and ice cream sundaes for the kids and found these multi-colored acrylic glasses to serve sundaes from. They will also make great wine glasses this summer!

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Speaking of adult beverages, margaritas felt perfect for this casual summer block party. I made a few pitchers in advance and left on the table for friends to refill as needed. Not to mention the unused margarita glasses were great for serving up sprinkles for ice cream sundaes. The kiddos enjoyed dinner and ice cream, picnic style on easy gingham washable blankets and the parents dined on a summery tablescape with a mix of bright colored napkins and placemats. Bring on summer!

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product details | acrylic pitcher (under $20) | acrylic drink ware set | acrylic margarita glasses | napkins; stripe and solid | placemats | chargers (sold out) similar here

This post was sponsored in collaboration with PIER 1 IMPORTS. Thank  you so much for supporting the brands and businesses that make L. AVENUE possible. 

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

Friday Five | Summer Starts Now

May 26, 2017

I still envy students with real summers, but I do love the built-in long weekends that come with this season. It all starts with Memorial Day, which is arguably the best of them all, as you have all that fun in the sun to look forward to. Here are five links to read wherever you may be today through Monday:

Happy Memorial Day!

-Molly

Eats, Entertain, Featured, Interiors, Lifestyle

simple Cinco de Mayo party recipes

May 5, 2017

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In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we teamed up with the fabulous Marcia from Smart in the Kitchen to bring y’all some festive recipes for your party weekend! Today’s collaboration started when I offered to host my daughter’s class at our house for dinner a few weeks back. I love throwing parties and host often but have never hosted anything for a group this size (20 or so people) that requires dinner. For bigger groups, I typically outsource the food aka order pizzas (ha!) or do easy appetizers. But dinner for 20, I was in over my head.

I immediately called Marcia and asked for ideas. Clueless in the Kitchen meet Smart in the Kitchen! She had me at kale guacamole! Marcia was also working on a post for fajitas for a crowd and promised it was SUPER easy. If you’ve got a grill (check!) and have a Trader Joe’s nearby (check!), you too, can rock some delicious fajitas for a big group. I did cheat and pick up some rice and beans from my favorite Mexican restaurant. That’ll be our little secret though. Another secret I’ll share, the bagged salads at Whole Foods. That’s right, salad in a bag folks. The Taylor Farms organic Sirancha ranch chopped salad is delish. It comes with tortilla strips that aren’t soggy, sunflower seeds and shredded parmesan cheese. Yum. And add in some avocado and it screams made from scratch. For an appetizer I threw out some crudités with Marcia’s homemade ranch dressing. And served her margaritas for a crowd, another super simple recipe (3 ingredients!) that can be made ahead! After a few refreshing margs, the entire crowd will think the meal was fantastic no matter how it turned out anyway. Ha! Happy Cinco de Mayo, y’all!

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Kale Guacamole

If you use a food processor to make this, there’s no need to chop the kale fine. If you aren’t using a food processor, be sure to chop the kale and onions very well.
Ingredients
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 small Lacinato kale leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup white or yellow onion, chopped (or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 small Serrano or jalapeno, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 large ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your food processor, combine the lime juice, kale, onion, cilantro, Serrano and salt. Pulse until combined.
  2. Add the avocado and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
  3. Taste for seasoning and add salt or lime juice if necessary.
Notes
If you do not have a food processor, make sure the kale and cilantro is well chopped and combine ingredients with a potato masher or mash well with a fork.

Tomatillo Salsa

This easy salsa verde will save for a week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use it on scrambled eggs, tacos, chicken and grilled flank steak. Tomatillos contain natural pectin, so don’t be surprised if the consistency of the salsa thickens after it’s refrigerated.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped (this amount can be halved or quartered to taste)
  • ½ white or yellow onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove husks and place tomatillos on a half-sheet pan lightly coated in oil. Roast in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until soft and browned.
  3. Place the roasted tomatillos and the remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the salsa comes together. Be careful when lifting the lid because of the steam.

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Quick Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onions take only 10 minutes to put together, but they are better after sitting for 3-4 hours. In her book, Tacolicious, Sara Deseran makes these with the addition of Mexican oregano which adds a nice flavor.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, cut in half and sliced very thin into half moons
Instructions
  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, sugar and kosher salt.
  2. Place the sliced red onion in a glass or ceramic bowl and pour the warm rice vinegar mixture over the onions. Cover and soak for 3-4 hours.

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outfit details | Parker dress similar here and here | J. Crew sandals  other festive sandals here and here and embroidered espadrilles here | Rebecca de Ravenel earrings, similar here for less

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Smart in the Kitchen.

photography by Kate Robinson

Coffee Talk, Eats, Entertain, Featured, Friday Five, Holiday, Interiors, Lifestyle

Friday Five | Happy Easter

April 14, 2017

My mom’s favorite holiday is Easter, and it’s hard to blame her. With winter behind us and the sunshiney seasons ahead, it seems like the best of 2017 is still to come. Here are some good reads while you unwind with your family over the long holiday weekend:

What’s Gaby Cooking x Williams Sonoma is a collaboration to end all collaborations. Needless to say, I can’t wait to try this line of salsas and the guac stater.

Really feelin’ the plant vibes in Alex Thomsens eclectic crib.

Snagged these DVF cocktail heels with both silver and gold to get me through the next round of cocktail parties.

For last minute Sunday brunch recipe ideas, Smart in the Kitchen has you covered.

I just started following House of Hackney and have fallen head over heels for their tropical wallpapers.

Happy Easter!

Coffee Talk, Entertain, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Giveaway, Interiors, Lifestyle

Friday Five | Spring Forward

March 17, 2017

Springing forward took me by total surprise this year. My sleep cycle is finally up to speed, though, and I’m very much looking forward to dinners during the last hours of daylight. Here’s five links for your weekend reading pleasure:

I always want to know What’s Gaby Cooking, so I was dying to see how she does a dinner party.

I’ve had my eyes on mules and found my match with this dusty blue pair. Get them for free (plus a lot more) if you win the L Ave. gift card giveaway!

I’ve been cooking more as of late, so I can’t help but fantasize about how easy having a produce butcher would make meal prep.

I live in a small space and am looking for ways to use bold color to brighten the space for spring and summer. Hello, yellow tub. I see you!

William and I are hooked on Planet Earth II (prepare to be amazed), but so often when we just want a good laugh, we come up short.

Enjoy the weekend!

PS – Spoil yourself this spring break with the sales at J. Crew and Equipment. 25% off to stock your closet.

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

gold standard | girls night out

February 22, 2017

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I wore today’s getup for a GNO with Lauren, L. Avenue’s fab contributor on all things fashion. Lauren is my sale maven, always finding the best sales on the web, like yesterday’s holiday sales that I hope y’all took advantage of. Lauren and I met for drinks here the other night. I love today’s gold top for so many reasons but most of all because it’s just so easy and chic. A metallic jacquered print is so chic and the cut is just right for hiding a mommy middle. I’ve been rocking these slimming black skinnies and love the gold zipper detail and a gold and black pump is sure to put a little extra pep in my step.

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Outfit details

on Lyndsey |  Elizabeth & James top *ON SALE! | Frame denim | Baublebar earrings | Manolo Shoes (sold out) similar here and here and steal here  | Illesteva sunglasses

on Lauren | Caroline Constas top (sold out) similar here *ON SALE and here *ON SALE | AG jeans | Aquazzura heels *ON SALE, here in blue and steal here and here | Rebecca De Ravenel earrings, steal here

Photos by Mari Rice

Coffee Talk, Entertain, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Perfect Pair of Jeans & Performance

January 22, 2017

Hello, friends! To shake things up from my weekly Friday Five, I’m posting today instead. I often find I have more mindspace to fully digest good reads from around the web on the weekend, so I hope you can set aside some time today for these:

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image via fashiononerouge

A trip is absolutely the way to beat any and all cases of the January blues. My boyfriend and I have been planning a trip to San Fran and Napa for my birthday in February since October, and I’m so excited it’s almost here.

I’ve never owned a pair of truly high-waisted jeans, until now. This round-up encouraged me to order this pair (from none other than Abercrombie & Fitch) without trying them on, and for under $40, I have new favorites.

I’ll never quit loving New York, but I don’t know if I’ll ever live there like I always dreamed. This post instilled that sentiment all the more.

About time that the kingdom of fast fashion is more forgiving on their return policy.

In light of this week’s headlining news, I found it timely to see Natalie Portman in Jackie this week with girlfriends. Her performance is stunning, and I loved the way the story was told, through her careful conversations with a journalist and priest.

Looking forward to joining Lyndsey and all the most stylish ladies about town at A Couture Cause this Thursday. I hope to see you there!

Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

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

Friday Five | Freaky Friday

January 13, 2017

It’s Friday the 13th! Piggybacking off my post on resolutions last week, I want to talk fear today. I think there’s two camps of people when we start a new year: those fearful of what the future might bring and those excited to take it on. Funny enough, the same nerves that manifest fear and anxiety within you also create excitement. So, the next time fear comes knocking, channel that energy into excitement. I’ve rounded up five articles that touch on something a lot of us fear in hopes that they inspire you to embrace these things rather than shy away in 2017.

new places :: I’m heading to San Francisco for the first time next month, but I’m all intrigued by places much unlike my own like Africa, Australia and India.

hosting a dinner party :: Cara of Caramelized gives you no excuse to not host the next dinner party. Her Supper Club subscription gives you all the tools you need; all you need’s the guest list.

resting :: My dear friend Jessi opens up about her dire need for rest, despite this generation continually competing for busier schedules.

the future :: If you haven’t made any resolutions for this year, look ahead to 2018. Apparently, that’s what we all should have done.

a blank slate :: Creative director of Houston’s Biscuit Home, Bailey McCarthy, makes ‘slexy’ the new chic in her House Beautiful feature for the annual ‘Before and After’ issue.

Here’s to no fear this year!

Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

Coffee Talk, Entertain, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Motherhood

Friday Five | Fall Bucket List

November 4, 2016
hoping my calligraphy class will set me up for success for setting the table on Thanksgiving

hoping my calligraphy class will set me up for success when setting the Thanksgiving table

It’s November, and there are new people in this world, notably Lyndsey’s baby. Her hands will be very literally full, so I’m savoring this admittedly selfish time in my life where I can go out and about with WD, friends, family and just me. So, today’s Friday Five features my Fall bucket list.

TO FIND :: a colored heel (like this jade pump or oxblood mary jane) to go with a simple holiday party dress

TO WRITE :: thank you notes (pretty paper please!) to the people I’m grateful for but won’t be with on November 24th to tell them so 

TO WATCH :: a showing of Lost in Translation at Market Square’s at their monthly outdoor movie feature 

TO MAKE :: the perfect mac & cheese, starting here — get your spoons ready

TO LEARN :: calligraphy, courtesy of A Fine Flourish for the fanciest Thanksgiving placeholders

Here’s fifteen classic fall recipes for all my foodies to make. Enjoy this fall Friday!

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