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I feel home.

April 29, 2017

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I get nostalgic coming home. This week Jack and I headed home to the house I grew up in, over the rolling hills miles outside of the small southern Ohio town that I’m from. There are so many memories here, happy ones and sad ones. This was the place I ran through the tiny maze-like hallways with my cousin and our baby buggies. The kitchen table where I had years of “cakes in the morning.” The gravel driveway that I ran across barefoot to and from the pool during the summertime. At the other end of the driveway, the school bus stopped for me from grade school until I got my first car.  The house where I spent every Christmas with my insanely large and AWESOME extended family. Christmas gifts covering the pool table in the basement, sheer chaos and squeals over getting Pound Puppies from Uncle John. The house where I hunted Easter eggs and I’m pretty sure there are some misfit eggs still hidden in the basement.

I got ready for all major high school dances in this house. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, I packed up my car and headed to Ohio State University, and this house was always the first stop I made when I got back into town. On September 11th, 2015 I woke up to see Today Show footage of the Twin Towers just moments after the first building was hit. I brought a few boyfriends to this house and finally “the one” who asked for my hand in marriage in the living room. 3 months after my wedding, I surprised my family with news that a baby was on the way in this very house. My Mom took her last breath here, surrounded by her family. And I’ve continued to return to this house with each of my children. And it will forever be a special part of their lives too. They’ve built snowmen in the front yard, run barefoot in the grass, caught lightning bugs on hot summer nights, and cuddled with so many family members here. My heart is happy when I’m home.

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

Friday Five | California Dreaming

April 28, 2017
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image c/o Now, Forager

I’m going to LA in two weekends to visit my friend Mimi who lives in Malibu. It was a last minute decision, but I’m so glad I made it. It will be a girl’s weekend through and through, and I can’t wait to kick off summer on the coast of California.

Rest assured, we’ll make our way to Malibu Farms along with these best brunch spots.

My sandal collection is slim pickens, so as summer nears, I’m stocking up, starting with this yellow slide.

This citrus parfait with coconut cashew granola looks like the ideal summer breakfast.

As an admitted text-addict but a lover of old fashioned handwritten notes, this experiment struck a chord with me.

Loving this moody coffee on-the-go cup design.

Around {H} Town + Travel, Fashion, Featured, Kids, Lifestyle, Travel

Pura Vida at Four Seasons Costa Rica

April 23, 2017

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Costa Rica, the “pura vida,” pure life, and that it is. Bret and I had the chance to sneak away to Four Seasons Costa Rica at  Peninsula Papagayo for some much needed R&R. I didn’t realize how easy it would be to get from Houston to Costa Rica, a 3 hour flight and a quick cab ride from the airport to the property. This trip is the perfect spot for a long weekend (US direct flights locations listed below), but if I had my kids in tow we would have stayed for a lot longer.

The resort sits atop the Papagayo Peninsula, one of the prettiest pieces of property I’ve seen, with a beach on both sides of the resort. The view from our canopy suite was an awesome mix of terrain, monkeys were actually hanging out in the trees just outside our window, and the ocean.  Four Seasons Papagayo is the place to be for eco-adventure–kayaking, repelling, hiking, paddle boarding, surfing, snorkeling, the list goes on. The excursions available through the resort kept the adventure seeker in Bret happy and the incredible spa and chill beach ambiance was perfection for me.

There’s truly something for everyone at Four Seasons Costa Rica, including our kids. The resort operates with kids in mind, from wagons full of beach toys, to stools in each of the restrooms (if you have a toddler you feel me on this perk!) to castle tents in the guest bedrooms, this place is kid heaven. I can’t wait to come back with my entire family later this year.

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Costa Rica Travel Guide | Four Seasons Costa Rica at Papagayo

When to go | The best time to visit Costa Rica is from mid-December to April (the dry season)

Direct flights from | Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, New York, Newark, Atlanta and Miami

What to pack | See this post for packing ideas

What to do | Right on the Four Seasons property you can golf, spa, paddle board, kayak and more. There so many activities right at your fingertips, you could stay for weeks and no day would look the same. Water sports, fishing, hiking, golf, day trips for surfing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica’s #1 surf camp, or the active volcano at Arenal, ATV rides, repelling, the list goes on.

Where to eat | The restaurants on the resort property were all so fabulous. We had a special chef’s table dinner at Cena Sociale with 7 course tasting including wine pairing. The food and wine were amazing, one of the best meals I’ve ever  had. Even cooler, was the experience. Our table was in the actual kitchen directly in front of the serving line, so we got to see the chef’s in action, very exciting!

Kid friendly | Yes! The resort is great for kids, including guest suites that will hold multiple families

Stroller friendly | The resort is very hilly, but there are concrete paths that are stroller friendly. The Four Seasons also provides a shuttle service to all guests, so it was easy to get around the resort via golf cart, as well.

Outfit details (photos above) | Mara Hoffman cover up | Mara hoffman bikini top | Target bikini bottom | beach hat | J. Crew sandal | Bauble bar earrings | Lizzie Fortunato clutch

Trina turk maxi dress with gold neckline detail | Prada sandals, similar here | clutch, similar (under $100) steal here and splurge here

*This post was brought to you in collaboration with Four Seasons Costa Rica. Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that make L. Avenue possible.

 

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

Friday Five | Scarves & Sweets

April 21, 2017
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image via Gal Meets Glam

I’m sort of obsessed with scarves. For someone who is cold natured but lives in a hot, humid city like Houston, it’s the perfect thing to keep on hand.

image via Gal Meets Glam

image via Gal Meets Glam

So, you can imagine my intrigue when the necktie trend took off. I got my first in San Francisco when I fell in love with a spin-off of the classic bandana pattern in a forest green, pale pink and marigold colorway.

Here’s even more reason to feel good about the neck-tie trend.

I wore a yellow denim jacket as a bright addition to my Easter ensemble. Apparently, it’s the it color of spring, so I can’t wait to stock up on more.

My best friend found herself in a similar spot I did last year where she felt her job was robbing her of a great deal of daily joy. I feel fortunate enough to have found my dream job, and she just did too! Fill out this questionnaire to guide you toward yours.

Some of my best writing stints have been spurred by traveling to new cities. As summer approaches, plan a trip and perhaps you’ll find that putting pen to paper never felt so natural.

The name Elisabeth Epperson, a blonde baking blogger, will be one to know sooner rather than later.

Have the best weekend. X

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, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle

Friday Five | The French Edition

March 31, 2017
image via Garance Doré

image via Garance Doré

I’ll never regret my decision to take French growing up instead of (the much more useful in Texas) Spanish. On my first overseas trip to visit my sister in Austria, my parents and I made a pit stop in Paris. I fell in love and have been a bona fide Francophile ever since. Today’s Friday Five features all things French. Enjoy!

My mom has been hooked on French 75s since my brother served them over the holidays. See how French cocktails of all kinds are making a comeback.

Long before his red soles, Christian Louboutin made his shoes from fish scales, and it was a total fail. Read other fantastic fashion stories in Kate Bett’s memoir, My Paris Dream.

This Swedish brand partnered with French American blogger Garance Doré to make this raincoat in the most sophisticated shade of pink.

What kind of bubbly are you? I got Classic Brut, and I’m very okay with that.

West Coast meets French flair at L’AGENCE, and I’m all over this tomato red dress from their spring collection.

Bon week-end!
Beauty, Coffee Talk, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Sale, Uncategorized

Friday Five | Wedding Bells

March 24, 2017

 

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image via weheartit

In my world, wedding season seems to be year-round. Still, with back-to-back weddings coming up, they’re more on my mind than ever. This Friday, I’ve rounded up five links on one of my favorite festivities:

These iconic dresses still influence those of today. Whose your favorite?

Laura Mercier’s caviar stick is perfect to tuck into your clutch for a reception make-up touch up. But it now; the best colors sell out fast.

Go through this gallery for the most fabulous floral decor.

What’s trending for 21st century nuptials: geotags and charging stations.

And en vogue for a departure from gowns for black tie: jumpsuits.

Spring has sprung!

PS – Elaine Turner is exclusively sharing her Friends & Family sale code with L. Avenue readers. Use ‘FAMILY’ at check-out for 25% off 😉

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.

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

Friday Five | Present & Future

March 10, 2017
http://theneotrad.com/2017/03/06/aquazzura-de-gournay-collaboration/

photo via The Neo Trad

Quotes considered cliché likely have grains of truth for all of us. “Be present” is one we hear often, but I find it difficult to apply as a future-focused 24-year-old. But then this morning, I read someone write about it as their mantra, explaining the importance of their present moments in paving their future.  This article teaches that lesson: what you do today will make for a better tomorrow. Below are four other fun links to read this weekend!

I live in a pair of cotton drawstring pants I got from a street vendor in Paris, so I’m eyeing this chambray version.

This Aquazzura meets de Gournay collaboration has me pining for spring.

Healthy eaters weigh in on their habits. My favorite: the Frenchies.

I put my blogging bestie‘s “perfect fudge” brownie recipe to the test, and it’s exactly that.

Have a great weekend!

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

Friday Five | Live from San Francisco

February 17, 2017

Hi friends! This week has been–and will continue to be–a whirlwind in the best way. My best friend got married last weekend, my birthday followed that Monday, and I’m celebrating in San Fran starting today. So I hope you’ll indulge me for my all things travel Friday Five today.

I'll be boozy brunching by the bay with my boyfriend in a few hours at the beautiful Leo's Oyster Bar.

I’ll be boozy brunching by the bay with my boyfriend in a few hours at the beautiful Leo’s Oyster Bar.

  • A foolproof guide to looking as good in photos as you feel on vacation. Follow along for mine.
  • Two things I love most, London and gin, join forces for one epic bus tour.
  • If you can’t wait behind 7,000 people for this tech savvy suitcase, here’s mine.
  • The motherload of all bucket lists: have you been to a top 100 hotel?
  • Did I mention we’re escaping to Napa for a day? Goop’s guide gave me the delicious details.

It’s not too late to make plans for a long President’s Day weekend!

Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary