One of my new year’s resolutions hits close to home at L. Avenue–keeping an organized closet! Ashley, the founder of Calm Living, and I met up for coffee talk about some of my organization challenges, let’s just say I’m pretty challenged in the “staying organized” department across all aspects of my life. After seeing my closet in person she had lots of great ideas and a detailed plan for how to implement changes to the overall setup in my closet in order to see clothing better and keep things tidy and in their proper place. I love that Ashley also takes it a step further with a detailed game plan for how to stay on track going forward. That’s truly the biggest challenge. Anybody can come in and make your closet look tidy. It’s ditching bad habits (aka clothes pile-ups on chairs, dressers etc) and effectively managing ongoing closet organization. Ashley is passionate about her work because she truly believes that an organized life is a happy life. I couldn’t agree more!
During the nesting period when I was pregnant with Jack I not only went through a major organization overhaul in my house but also found a million things around the house that needed my attention. What is it about being pregnant and finding never-ending to do list items? It’s definitely not because I feel better when I’m pregnant. Maybe it’s because I’m sober when I’m pregnant. When you’ve had a glass (or 2!) of pinot everything seems to look better, right?! I joke. Kind of.
I tasked my friend and interior decorator guru, Alison Meyer for some book case inspiration. The last time I paid any attention to my book cases I was also very pregnant and moving into our new house. So my time and energy to making the book shelves awesome was very limited. Fast forward 4 years, it’s time for a few changes/updates.
The current shelves are decent, but given the fact that these built in book cases take up the majority of wall space in the living room means they are worth focusing on improving. The first step….drumroll please….WALLPAPER! I’m kind of obsessed with wallpaper and this Miles Redd for Schumacher wallpaper is the perfect backdrop to add an element of depth to what was once a pretty one-note backdrop. I love this playful geometric pattern, which was actually hand drawn with a pen and magic marker. So rad!
Here’s what I learned from the process. Less can be more. When I originally styled my book cases I found myself over crowding the space which looks cluttered. I like a layered look but not cluttered. Like Coco Chanel suggests, put on all of your jewelry and then take two pieces off before leaving the house.
The rain storms that hit Houston were impeccably timed if you ask me. After several whirlwind weekends in June and more to come in July, I’m so excited for every excuse to stay indoors with little to nothing to do. I hope you find some time to yourself to do the same, and if so, that these five reads entertain you.
Hi, everyone! I do my best to incorporate a well rounded list of links for those of you interested in all the things from interiors, food, wellness and whatever else. I hope you find something suited for you in today’s round-up.
A tear-jerking tale of a bride who received the best wedding gift of all is also a testament to how we should live our lives during the most important moments.
Your interior color story could say a lot about you. Mine’s yellow! What’s yours?
I’ve been on Noble 31‘s email list to be the first to know when their first collection launches, so I wanted y’all to be filled in too. Their timeless tops are dreamt up by a team of sisters from Texas. Get one today!
Clichés are cliché for a reason, and sometimes, the same holds true for tourist traps. These restaurant ones are actually worth it.
I’m currently bike riding along Venice Beach with two college besties en route to the adorable Rose Café. I can’t wait for this getaway to start my summer refreshed for all the fun that’s in store. Here are some weekend reads to help you get into R&R mode, especially all you moms who deserve it most.
If you can’t get to California any time soon, here are five spots to taste wine that aren’t Napa.
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!
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.
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)
In the bowl of your food processor, combine the lime juice, kale, onion, cilantro, Serrano and salt. Pulse until combined.
Add the avocado and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
Taste for seasoning and add salt or lime juice if necessary.
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.
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.
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
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
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.
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.
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.
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
In a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil the vinegar, water, sugar and kosher salt.
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.
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:
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: