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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.

 

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

spring break | beach getaway

February 21, 2017

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Spring break is just around the corner for school boys and gals, college kids and people like me, who will use any excuse even if it doesn’t technically apply to my life to book travel during the snoozefest that is winter. There’s something inside me that starts itching right around January 15th, after the craze of the holidays, and yearns for a trip to look forward to. This year it was a little harder than most to book travel given my new little bundle of joy. We were lucky enough to take a quick trip to Four Seasons Costa Rica last week though, for a quick 42 hours in heaven. I’ll be recapping our travel later this week, but for now here’s some beach travel outfit inspiration, in case you’re planning a spring break getaway. And if you’re not, book something right quick and thank me later.

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Beach getaway packing list

We only left for 42 hours (yes I counted!), which means packing should be pretty short, sweet and to the point right?! Truth be told, we both admitted that we overpacked because all you really only need is right here and nothing more.

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pool/beachside | Mara Hoffman swim top 20% off site-wide with code lavenue20| Target swim bottom | Mara Hoffman beach cover-up 20% off site-wide with code lavenue20| Mar Y Sol bag, also love this color | Eugenia Kim “currently offline” beach hat | sunglasses | Prada sandals, similar look here

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daytime | Piper top (in stores here), love this new line with beachy tops and dresses | cutoff jean shorts | J. Crew sandals | Bauble Bar earrings | Lizzie Fortunato bag {can be clutch or cross body | Ray Ban aviators

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after sunset |  Trina Turk maxi dress | clutch, similar here steal and splurge and here | Prada gold/white sandal, similar here | Lulu Frost earrings c/o Neiman Marcus  | Fendi sunglasses

 

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 

Around {H} Town + Travel, Coffee Talk, Eats, Fashion, Featured, LAvenue, Lifestyle, Travel

Houston Hot Spots City Guide

February 1, 2017

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Living in Houston has me waaaay excited for this year’s Super Bowl. I have to admit, most years I tune into the big game strictly for the nachos and commercials. But this year, we’re hosting in mine and Molly‘s (the face behind the Friday Five) hometown, so we actually know the teams playing. Even more, we’re pumped for the festivities leading up to this Sunday’s main event. In case you’re in town for the Super Bowl, here is a quick comprehensive BEST of Houston guide. Enjoy!

EAT & DRINK

BRUNCH/LUNCH

photo source

image source

Tiny Boxwoods :: Escape the Upper Kirby hustle and bustle here. Cookies are their claim to fame, but our favorite part is overlooking the pristine lawn from the patio with a latté.

image via

image source

Hopdoddy :: Be first in line for these gourmet burgers in River Oaks District. Pick your poison between cold craft beers or decadent milkshakes while watching the TVs for game day coverage.

image via Hurried Hostess

image via Hurried Hostess

The Dunlavy :: A family friendly brunch spot with the best views in town of our Buffalo Bayou. Bike it before or walk it afterwards: it starts on the border of historic River Oaks and extends all the way into downtown.

Brassiere 19 :: Veuve Clicquot is priced at market, and Beyonce is rumored to have a boozy brunch here Sunday morning. Say no more. We’ll see you there!

DINNER

photo via bb butchers

photo via bb butchers

B&B Butchers :: Of all of the dinner spots in town, my money is on this spot being the best celeb sighting scene. This upscale steak house is perched just outside of downtown and the dinner menu is to die for. If you’re lucky enough to snag a ressie, go big or go home and get the Chef Tommy’s Bacon. You’ll thank me for one of the most delicious dishes I’ve tasted. Ever. Post dinner, head to Social 51 next door, an upscale pop-up bar created just for SuperBowl.

Uchi :: More than dinner, this sushi spot originally of Austin is a dining experience. Dubbed one of the top eight sushi spots in the country, you’d be sad to miss it.

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photo via Yelp

Armando’s :: Mexican restaurants are on every corner, but this one stands apart from the rest. The amazing ahi tuna tartare tacos were served at A Couture Cause, and they were a hit.

image via Wallpaper

image via Wallpaper

State of Grace :: Pull up a seat in the pearly oyster bar for cocktails and coastal fare or dive into the dining room where beautiful leather booths lie beneath the impressive deer mounts for true Texas decor.

photo via Zagat

photo via Zagat

Underbelly :: At minimum, visit the wine bar at this Montrose establishment or find brews at Hay Merchant next door. Stay for supper served by star chef Chris Shepherd. The goat dumplings are his original creation and out of this world.

COFFEE

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image source

Common Bond :: The two of us first met here, discussing our mutual love for blogging and having breakfast here. Come in for a cup coffee, and don’t leave without a box of pastries.

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image via Coffee Compass

Catalina :: This spot is East on Washington on your way downtown, so grab a coffee on your way to Discovery Green.

image source

image source

Blacksmith :: A quaint hipster coffee shop, get the best biscuit this side of the Mississippi here. The Benton’s bacon, egg and cheese croissant is the bomb.com.

COCKTAILS

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image via cnn

Bayou & Bottle :: Killer cocktails, killer atmosphere in the newly renovated Four Seasons hotel, this chic bourbon concept is not to be missed.

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image source

Anvil :: The menu at this Montrose staple is Texas-sized, but every drink is as delicious as it is sophisticated. If you’re me, you order Pliny’s and a pretzel to share.

The Pastry War :: Texas is known for mean margaritas, but tequila drinks of all kinds can be found at this downtown bar.

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image via eater

Julep :: Their namesake is their signature drink, but they’ve got plenty more where that came from. A stone’s throw from downtown on Washington, my favorite to sip on is the Whispering Mathilda since gin is my spirit of choice.

SHOPPING & BEAUTY

SHOPPING

Tootsies :: A Houston establishment, the chicest Houstonians shop at Tootsies. Carrying a beautifully curated collection of both contemporary and designer styles, this boutique is a must-shop.

photo by Molly Bridget McConn

photo by Molly Bridget McConn at Alice + Olivia

River Oaks District :: Houston’s newest luxury shopping destination, favorite stores include Alice + Olivia, Intermix, Joie, Roberta Roller Rabbit, and Bonpoint and locally owned BAANOU carries everything you’ll need for a night out in H-town.

photo via Biscuit Home

photo via Biscuit Home

Biscuit :: I’m biased, but this shop is a hop, skip and a jump from several of our other hot spots and is home to a Houston designer’s original bedding line and great gifts for your Houston hostess for the weekend.

photo via cloudinary

photo via cloudinary

Whim :: Houston’s newest contemporary boutique located a block away from Tiny Boxwoods. Brunch and shopping sounds like the perfect Houston Saturday game plan.

BEAUTY

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Full Blown :: This boutique blow dry bar has a full cocktail bar and couture fashion show coverage on a big screen. They sell R & Co. products, and you’ll be in walking distance from Brasserie 19 when you’re done.

Dry Bar River Oaks

Dripped Nail Salon located in the heart of Montrose, just a few miles from Downtown

Paloma Nails Houston’s newest nail salon in the heart of Uptown

We hope you enjoyed the tour of our hometown, H-town!

LAVEhouston3v3

 

 

 

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

Around {H} Town + Travel, Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Travel

Friday 5 | NYFW 2016 outfits

September 9, 2016
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#FBF to last NYFW with my good friend and blogger pal Carrie C.

“Every year the women of New York will leave the past behind and look forward to the future…This is known as Fashion week” – Carrie Bradshaw

Does New York Fashion Week make any of you want to binge watch SATC on Netflix?  It does for me! Many stylish female leads have come and gone in TV land, but none of them have quite left their mark like Carrie Bradshaw. Not only did Carrie Bradshaw take fashion to the next level, but she single handily changed the face of high end brands like Manolo Blahnik, Dior, and of course Chanel. Her fur coat, tutu, heels, and bold accessories became a staple to her style and ultimately defined an era.

What risks will you take during New York Fashion Week?  I can tell you from experience the more you push the fashion limit, the better. Every year, women are trying to make their fashion debut at the hottest shows in town – Chanel, Yigal Azrouel, Dior Tibi, Tanya Taylor, DVF, Frame, Kate Spade, Rachel Zoe, Trina Turk, Fendi, Rachel Comey, A.L.C., Adam Lippes –  just to name a few of my faves.  We all eagerly put together stylish ensembles that even the Caries Bradshaw’s of the world would wear down the catwalk, or the Huffington Post might photograph. Ha.  Sadly, I’m unable to partake in this amazing whirlwind of a week, but be sure to catch Lauren and me {and most likely my new baby} at the next one.  Since I’m not feverishly packing for NYC right now, I put together a little outfit guide for what I would be wearing this NYFW.

2016 NYFW#OOTD

Outfit 1

Dressy/casual chic, mixing the of the moment fabric, velvet with the ever trendy army jacket and channeling the 90’s with slip dress and mary janes. The Mansur Gavriel circle bag is a fabulous statement piece.

Outfit 2

Metallics are all the rage, and a metallic printed maxi skirt is a great standout piece for NYFW. And this bag had to be designed with fashion week in mind. The loafer is trending and a pearl embellished one is fashion week appropriate.

Outfit 3

Black and white is always right in NYC. I rocked Self Portrait last NYFW and would do it again and feel right at home.

Outfit 4

Gucci, Gucci, Gucci. The fashion world is a buzz with a Gucci comeback. This bag is at the top of my wish list right now. Or another Gucci is making lately. And a 2016 NYFW wardrobe isn’t complete without a choker. I’m pretty sure every last fashion girl will rock a choker at some point this fall.

Outfit 5

Print mixing always approved during fashion week and stripes and florals are a no brainer. And Layers too. An off-the-shoulder tops layered underneath sleeveless vest is an unexpected layer that I’m loving right now.

Fashion, Featured, Friday Five, Lifestyle, Travel

Friday Five | Fashion Bug

August 19, 2016

 

IMG_5014My shopping habits ebb and flow, and this month, I swear I’ve been bitten by a fashion bug. I’m stocking up at the end-of-summer sales while making space for fall items. Like the suede shift I found for football season in NYC while shopping with my friend, MK, last September. We meet again this weekend in Montauk, this time with our guys by our side. I’m currently en route from island to island; here’s my links for the week!

Find out what kind of shopper you are; I closely identify with the “true creative” type.

Makes sense as I like to dress my desk as much as myself. This fig leaf mouse pad matches a fabric I just ordered for the designer I work for.

ZoeReport hit the nail on the head with 13 black sandals to replace your old ones. Apparently, I’m not the only one because my fringe favorites sold out fast. Any other finds?

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William found a pot of Peter Millar, Bonobos and Patagonia gold when we went to Saint Bernard on Saturday. I snagged a couple swimsuits on sale: one’s packed for this weekend and saving the other for a lakeside Labor Day.

I bought a waterproof disposable camera and brought it to several waterfronts this summer. The prints turned out less than super, so I’m going old school digital with this guy.

Follow my Instagram, @bridgetsowndiary, for Polaroid poolside shots from the East Coast.

Molly Bridget of Bridget’s Own Diary

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

What to WEAR | Charleston

August 18, 2016

Throughout our action-packed travel-filled summer, I put together lists upon lists of all of my favorite spots in Charleston, Santa Barbara, Hilton Head Island and Laguna Beach. I’m super excited to share the inside scoop on these cities with you and hope that you might find some inspiration for your own upcoming travel plans. One question that holds true for every trip prep is, “What do I wear here?” Every city has it’s own unique style and I like to blend in with the locals. Today, I’m sharing what I wore in Charleston earlier this summer.

Wardrobe wise, Charleston is relatively casual yet southernly sophisticated. Since we went during the heat of the summer I saw a lot of sun dresses, linen and bright florals on the ladies. Seersucker shorts and polos for the guys and khaki pants in all colors. Preppy southern gentlemen if you will. For daytime I put the girls in light linen dresses and more traditional smocked dresses for dinners out.

I was blown away by how much there is to see and do in Charleston, which will keep first timers like me coming back to this charming southern spot.  There is something for everyone ranging from the antebellum historic sites such as Patriot’s Point or Fort Sumter, to the Children’s Museum and the South Carolina Aquarium for the kiddos. The shopping is insane, Hampden Clothing and Beckett Boutique among my favorites. I’m still full from eating our way through Charleston. The food was some of the best I’ve ever had. The Macintosh being my favorite dinner spot and The Peninsula Grill at Planter’s Inn for brunch. No matter what, be sure to pack a comfortable shoe because you can pretty much walk the entire city.

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outfit details, clockwise from top left

outfit 1| off-the-shoulder printed dress | sandals | clutch | hat | sunglasses

outfit 2 | embroidered top and shorts | sandals | clutch

outfit 3 | boho top | linen pants | gladiator sandals | clutch

 

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