Five on Friday

Happy Friday readers!

Just one week from today it will be May! I am SO ready!

It's been a while since I've done the Five on Friday so today I'm linking up with the sweet ladies, AprilChristinaNatasha & Darci.

Last night, Bryce and I got to meet Little Miss Sullivan Louise. If you remember, I am great friends with Erin (of the blog Attention to Darling) and threw a baby shower for the little lady at the end of February (see here). We have all been anxiously awaiting her arrival and she made her debut Sunday night! She is absolutely beautiful and holding her in my arms definitely gave me a case of baby fever!

Being a kindergarten teacher, it's probably no surprise to you that I love children's books. In fact, Bryce and I already have a growing collection and take turns picking and buying books on trips to Barnes & Noble. That being said, I wanted to find the perfect book for Sullivan's arrival. I spent a good hour searching for just the right book, and also ended up finding 3 books for our collection. They were all so wonderful that I couldn't resist sharing here today! The first is the one I got for baby girl.

Always by Emma Dodd

Fetch by Jorey Hurley
(also be sure to check out Nest  by this same author!)

You! by Sandra Magsamen

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
(I got this one for Bryce as he loves the similar I Want My Hat Back)

Tory Burch announced her big Spring Event yesterday, you can get up to 30% off with code SPRING. I was super bummed because I have been waiting patiently to order the Lexington wedge and by the time I had a chance to look at the sale, it was already sold out in my size. I am eyeing some other things you can see below, though...

I am planning on doing a full review post on this next week, but couldn't wait to mention Rocksbox to y'all! I am an RB It Girl and started my subscription at the beginning of the month. For $19 a month, you get 3 piece jewelry rental sets. Anything you like from the set can be purchased at a reduced price and you can switch out your jewelry as often as you like with free shipping both ways! It was a great mail day yesterday, as my second set was delivered! I am so excited to play dress up with the new pieces. You can sign up for your first month FREE with code alexandrabeexoxo.

Tonight is Ronald McDonald House of Richmond's First Annual Red Shoe BBQ! Since partnering with RMH on this post, I have gotten more involved and joined their Red Shoe Crew! We have spent the last several months planning this fun event, and I can't wait to pull out my cowboy boots, listen to some good country music, and chow down on some BBQ...all for a good cause! If you're from Richmond, online sales are now over, but they will be selling tickets at the door (while they last). All details can be found here!

So there you have it, my Friday Five! 

What's been going on for you lately?

Have a great weekend!


Meal Planning...with the Sprializer!

Happy Monday, readers!

Did y'all have a good weekend?

Did you shop Lilly for Target?

My weekend was wonderful and quite relaxing! I did not get up to brave the crowds and madness at Target on Sunday...the bed just felt too good! I am hoping to pop in some over the next few days and maybe score some returned items.

If you remember from this post, I mentioned that we got this spiralizer (still on sale!) a few weeks ago.

Since purchasing it, I have made zoodles twice and also sweet potato curly fries! I can say that I am 100% satisfied with the purchase and have been amazed by how easy the spiralizer is to use. In just minutes, you can prep a delicious and nutritious meal. Now that I've had a little practice, I am looking forward to using it in some more recipes and thought I would share some of my finds with you today!

Molly, mentioned I should check out Inspiralized and it is an amazing resource. You can search recipes by vegetable, category, protein, or diet and she even has recipes for using the spiralizer when making desserts and cocktails! The next 3 recipes are all from a quick skim of her site! I am going to have to spend some serious time looking through each and every recipe!

And here are some other recipes I've found...

And finally, I wanted to be sure to share this chart (also from Inspiralized!) that I have found to be really helpful!

Do you have a spiralizer?

How do you incorporate more veggies (and less carbs) into your diet?

Have a great day!


Dana Gibson

Happy Thursday readers!

Whether you've had a good week or bad, at least Friday is almost here!

Today I am excited to be posting about one of the highlights of my Spring Break last week: Meeting the Dana Gibson!

For those of you who aren't familiar with Dana Gibson and her work, you are in for a treat today! Dana, a local Richmond artist, is known for her punchy, bright home accessories which can be found in more than 700 stores both near and far, and even internationally.

Her studio is right around the corner from my house, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit and tour the studio, chat with her, and of course, do a little shopping!

I immediately felt giddy when walking into the studio
and seeing all these pretties!

After introductions and initial scan of the space, I sat down on a couch next to Dana surrounded by these two fun pillows (here and here) and immediately felt at ease. She has a calm, down to earth demeanor and is someone I can imagine laughing with over drinks.

My first question of her was about the early days of her art career. She shared that she enjoyed art as a young girl and grew up taking classes and traveling. I was surprised to learn, however, that she was not initially on an art path. About 20 years ago while she was in graduate school and teaching writing at the University of Virginia, she took a ceramics class for a bit of an escape. While in that class she discovered a love of ceramics, particularly using her hands to create something new and beautiful. Ceramics were her focus for about 10 years and it was these ceramics that first caught my eye several years ago. 

While she still makes an array of ceramics (see the full collection here), she soon felt a desire for more color. With ceramics, you are limited to pastels, and Dana yearned for more rich, vibrant colors in her work. Working with a friend and shop owner in Atlanta, she began creating painted wastebaskets and pictures frames. Available in just about any color palette imaginable, these remain as some of her best sellers today. I had an especially hard time not coming home with the wastebasket pictured below:

She discussed that in people's busy lives today, they have a dream of organization and that she thinks her pieces do well because they can assist in creating an organized, yet beautiful life. Her collection of trays, cups, and cachepots can all be used for storage and we laughed about throwing your junk or mess into a pretty cachepot to declutter and create an organized life (or maybe at least, the illusion of one).  I loved absolutely everything in this corner of the shop and you can see a variety of her cachepots below.

My next big question, and the one I was most interested in, was about her inspirations. I learned that she finds inspiration everywhere, however the first inspiration she shared was fashion. She also went on to say that she was inspired both those that aren't afraid to break rules and combine styles that have never been combined before. We discussed how fashion and decor styles go hand in hand: While young, fashion is a person's first step into creating a personal style and that style can later extend into the decorating of a home. In both fashion and decor, she is grounded in the traditional, but loves to mix it up with strategic color and modern pieces. 

The traditional, yet rule breaking style is evident in all her work!

I dared her to share a favorite color and piece with me...not a small question, as she has so many wonderful colors and pieces to choose from. A color: Pink. A favorite piece: Her Leopard. He can be found in many different pieces and is "a fun guy" and also a customer favorite. She also feels a fondness to her graphic pieces as well as her narrative pieces that tell a story.

Finally, I asked where she'd like to go next and about her vision of Dana Gibson for the future. She shared how fun her venture into fabrics and wallpapers with Stroheim (see here) has been and that in the future she would really love to expand into bedding, rugs, and dinnerware. I say, bring it on!

I was in heaven flipping through this book of her fabrics.

While discussing the future, Dana also mentioned a little bit about marketing and the customer aspect of her work. She shared that as an artist, it is important to listen to the customer and focus on what they want in addition to your own wants as an artist. She loves seeing the direction her customers take with her work, and we talked about this fabulous potting shed that she shared on her Instagram, which incorporated both her Stroheim fabric and wallpaper.

Last, but not least, I got to tour the studio and learn a bit more about Dana's process. In studio, she designs and paints her initial pieces. She then works with several different companies in India to produce them on a larger scale. With her guidance, each piece is created and painted by hand and then shipped here to Richmond, where Dana herself and just 2 other employees check each and every piece for perfection, sort it, and ship out to buyers and retailers. 

When I first arrived Dana was working on one of her 
latest creations, this fabulous pink gingham print!

While retail is not is sole purpose, the Richmond space serves as a bit of an outlet for those pieces that do not meet Dana's exacting standards. While "imperfect" the pieces still felt pretty perfect to me and I was awestruck by all the goodness surrounding me.

And I'm sure you readers can guess that I couldn't visit Dana Gibson's studio without bringing something home! Her favorite leopard lumbar, in pink, of course, is now mine, and I am absolutely smitten with him! He hasn't found a permanent home but is currently resting in this little corner nook of our bedroom that is usually my last stop when finalizing an outfit by topping it off with a necklace!

Are you a fan of Dana Gibson?

What are some of your favorite sources for design accessories?

Where do you find inspiration for your home?

Have a great day!


Rancho T

Happy Tuesday....and Happy April friends!

I can't believe this is my first post in the month of April.

I had big plans for blogging over my Spring Break last week, but it just didn't happen. That being said, I am feeling recharged and have some great posts lined up for the rest of the month!

This post is an exciting one for my Richmond readers: Today is the grand opening of Rancho T!

Rancho T is the collaboration between Tuffy Stone (of Q Barbecue) and Ed Vasaio (of Edo's Squid/Mamma Zu/8.5); Billy Fallen of Billy Bread and chef Aaron Cross (trained at Richmond's Lemaire) are also on board, so the team is pretty stacked. You can read more about the restaurant's birth here.

On the corner of Morris and Main Street, the cuisine can be described as Southwestern comfort food
...or just plain good.

Friday night, Bryce and I had the opportunity to go for a special tasting at the new restaurant with his stepbrother and girlfriend. We ordered a little bit of everything and shared all around the table which made for an amazing night!

The restaurant has a great laid-back Southwestern atmosphere!

Now for a look at our night: Prepare to drool.

Here's a preview of the semi-final menu!

We started with the kolaches, which were stuffed with sausage and relish. The mustard on the side was bold and tasty!

For our next course, we had chips and salsa, empanadas, and escabache. I'll share that I'm not even typically a fan of salsa, but loved theirs. It was light and sweet! The emapanads came with an amazing green chile sauce, that we encouraged them to bottle and sell to us (haha). And finally, my favorite of this course was the escabache, a delicious medley of chilled roasted veggies.

For entrees we each ordered something different so that we could sample most of the menu. We even were able to sample each of the six sides. Clockwise from the top: Angus Flatiron with Stewed Beans w/Escarole and Swiss Chard & Pigeon Peas; Sweet Corn Tamales with House Salad and Fried Potatoes; Clams and Pork Campanelle with (ah-mazing!) Billy Bread; and Pork Chop with Roasted Yams w/Pumpkin Seeds and Criolla Rice.

My choice was the campanelle, it was delicious and when it came
time to share those clams, I may have been a bit greedy...

Everything was out of this world good. My favorites on the table were the angus flatiron, my camapenelle (so unique), the yams and the chard. Bryce's favorite were the corn tamales and he even said they were as good as any he's had out west. 

Next up, you guessed it, we sampled the desserts! Clockwise from the top: Flan, Profiteroles, Danish Churros, and Orange Caramel Pie.

Yet again, everything was absolutely scrumptious! My favorite dessert was the churros. They had the most amazing citrus flavor. The rest of the table, hands down, agreed that the flan was the best dessert!

After speaking with the chef, Aaron Cross (read more about his journey here) and giving him our kudos, we decided to end the night with drinks at Lemaire, where he trained for 18 months! 

I sipped on the Corpse Reviver #77

Rancho T is officially open for business today and will serve lunch and dinner (until 2 am!!). Yep, you read that right, their full menu will be available late night until 2 in the morning! Be sure to check it out!

Have you been to any great new restaurants lately?

Are you a fan of Southwestern food?

What is your favorite Richmond restaurant?

Have a great day!