Weekend Recap

Happy Hump Day, readers!

I don't consistently post weekend recaps (or consistently post anything, haha) on the blog these days, but every now and then a really great weekend comes along that's worth documenting here. This past weekend was one of those weekends and I'm excited to share it with you...and that we're halfway to this coming weekend!

Our weekend started with the absolutely perfect Valentine's Day dinner party hosted by our friends Blair and Davis. Our friends, Emily and Frank were also in attendance and whenever the six of us get together it is a guaranteed amazing time!

Blair's tablescape was equal parts formal and whimsy and absolute perfection! I loved how she had cute details like the sparkly pom poms on the table and those marble and gold foil candlesticks were stunners!


We even each got our own bag of Lindt truffles at our place setting as favors! No detail was spared!

Just as important as the tablescape is the menu! I took sweet potato ham biscuits, shrimp and grits cakes, and cheese crackers, compliments of The Orderves Company (more on that in a post coming soon!).

Blair and Davis outdid themselves with our dinner menu. We feasted on salad, beef tenderloin, and lobster pot pie! Blair even made extra puff pastry in the shape of lobsters for dipping! No...detail...spared!

For dessert, we had Shyndigz Oreo Cake. So grateful for these wonderful friends and can't wait for our next get together!

Saturday morning, I taught barre and then my girlfriend Amanda and I hit the road to Raleigh. In snow and rain, no less! Right before Christmas, I had ordered a chair from Beau Dandy Goods in Raleigh. Bryce had just been to Raleigh for work and was planning to head back in a few weeks, so Ashleigh was sweet enough to offer to hold the chair so I wouldn't have to pay high shipping costs. Well...Bryce never made it back to Raleigh and doesn't anticipate a trip there soon, so Amanda and I decided to road trip to get the chair...and it was so fun, y'all!

The weather had cleared by the time we crossed the border into North Carolina. After picking up the chair, and meeting the sweet golden retriever, the "Beau" of Beau Dandy Goods, we headed to brunch at Hummingbird at the recommendation of Ashleigh, Beau's mom.

Hummingbird had a cool vintage meets industrial meets girlie vibe and we loved it! The food was also deeelicious! Amanda and I both chose the Shakshuka, which was burnt tomato, eggs, herbs, and feta baked in a Le Creuset gratin dish. We were very hungry from barre and our time in the car and it did the trick! It was a definite comfort food and it was as if an Italian dinner entree had merged with brunch! I also ordered grits on the side that were cheesy perfection, and Amanda ordered hash brown that were also tasty.


Our next stop was Cameron Village for shopping! Charlotte's Inc was at the top of both our lists as we've followed them on Instagram for quite some time. I didn't save any pictures at Charlotte's, but I did get this dress for 70% off and these earrings in the turquoise! We also popped into Uniquities and The Impeccable Pig and then discovered Steven Shell Living on our way out and decided to pop in! It did not disappoint!


I fell in love with these gorgeous oversized fern prints that were a steal for just $69! Ferns are a personal favorite and were a big theme in our wedding floral scheme, so I knew I had to indulge. I thought a pair could make a fabulous statement and chose the two on the right below. The maidenhair was a must, because it was one of my favorite details in my wedding bouquet and last summer Bryce planted a maidenhair with black stems like the print in our garden. I picked the second, more traditional fern, because I thought it paired best with the maidenhair in terms of color and scale.


Our last stop was Vita Vite at the suggestion of a sorority sister who lives in Raleigh for a quick bite before hitting the road. It had a great energy and vibe and art was displayed for sale all around the restaurant.

Amanda and I were both still somewhat satisfied from brunch so opted for cheese and charcuterie for dinner. We also split a baby chocolate eclair, because as it turns out, Amanda had never had an eclair before...she liked it!


We hit the road and made it home in time for each of us to snuggle our pups and head to bed. We both agreed that getting out of town was good for the soul and invigorating! It made me think I really need to do impromptu day trips, or even just a night away more often! One of my favorite things about Richmond is that we have so many cool destinations within just a few hours of us and I want to take better advantage of that moving forward!

Sunday Bryce and I had brunch at a Richmond favorite, Lulu's (three words: red velvet waffles) with some friends who are expecting their first baby next month. I couldn't make it to the mama-to-be's shower, so this was our chance to celebrate with them. I wore my new earrings!

After that, we headed home, got my chair styled and had a lazy Sunday! We watched As Good As It Gets on Netflix that night with Chinese takeout and thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was a weekend that was one for the books, and one where I truly savored every moment...living out my word for 2019!

Did you have a good weekend?

Any fun plans for the weekend ahead?

Do you take advantage of day trips to places near your hometown?

Have a great day!


Arugula & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Ours was super low key this year, as Bryce was traveling all day yesterday. We usually cook a fancy meal together, but instead opted for fancy takeout.

Today I'm excited to be sharing a recipe for my all time favorite salad: Arugula & Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. Whenever I ask about content y'all want on the blog, the #1 answer is recipes, so I hope you're excited, too!

This recipe originally came from a website called A Nutritionist Eats, which no longer is online.

It is light, healthy and delicious and also is great leftover (a true feat for salad). It is my go to when entertaining. In fact, I probably make it about 90% of the time when entertaining, so much so that my friends will expect it.

For the Salad
1 cup cooked quinoa (I usually measure 1/4 to 1/3 cup uncooked)
6-8 cups arugula (at least one container of arugula, sometimes a little more if for a crowd)
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped (almonds are best, but pecans are tasty, too!)
For the Vinaigrette
1 tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon - I zest and then squeeze for juice below)
2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
3 tbs minced shallots (about 1 shallot)
salt & pepper (I always prefer kosher salt on my salads)

1. Prepare quinoa as directed and let cool.

2. Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients.

3. Toss quinoa, arugula, and dressing until combined.

4. Top with almonds (you can toss with the almonds, but I find for entertaining, pouring on top last makes for a prettier presentation).

5. Voila, easy peasy! Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite salad recipe?

What are your go-tos when entertaining or feeding a crowd?

Have a great weekend!


2019 Valentine Making Party

Happy Valentine's Day Eve, my friends!

I've always been a big fan of Valentine's Day, even when I was single. A day devoted to pink, red, hearts, and flowers is a win in my book single or taken!

Given my love of the holiday, I decided getting the chance to spread love with some of my best girls could be quite fun and hosted my first ever Valentine Making Party in 2014 (see here). It was an instant hit with my friends and since has become a bit of a tradition. I hosted a second in 2016 (here), third in 2018, and this year managed to host two years in a row for the first time with a 2019 edition. I gathered about 10 girlfriends last Thursday night and am excited to share with you today.

First things first: Supplies! After hosting this party so many times, I didn't even have to purchase supplies this year, though I did notice my stock is getting low on a few items. Here you can go as simple or complex as you'd like. Key elements are construction paper and/or card stock, markers, scissors, and glue. From there you can add to the mix with stickers, paper doilies, pom poms, scrapbook paper, feathers, balloons, and my personal favorite, googly eyes! Really just about any craft supplies can get added to the table, and I try to keep them all in a red, pink, and purple color theme for aesthetic purposes. I also am always sure to put the tablecloth (similar here) shown above on the table. It is vinyl which wipes clean easily and padded with flannel on the backside. This means people can craft away with no worries about damaging our dining room table! The "love" runner on top was a TJ Maxx find years ago. Finally, another crafting tip is to have trash cans at the ready. I put two on opposite corners for easy access, that you can see in a photo toward the bottom of the post.

To encourage creativity I also display an inspiration poster. It has a mix of sample valentines that are both cute and cheeky!

Next up, and equally important, is food and drink!

Every year I make champagne punch for the occasion! It is so perfectly pink and festive and a big hit. You top a container of raspberry sherbet with a bottle of champagne, a bottle of ginger ale, and a bag of frozen strawberries. Easy peasy! You can top it off with more champagne to refill as needed throughout the night.


I also had lemon water, La Croix, and red and white wine available for guests.

For menu, I replicated the menu from last year's party to a tee. It was easy, crowd pleasing, and quick to pull together on a weeknight. It also has options to satisfy both vegetarians and guests who are gluten free.

Pimiento cheese is a Southern staple and if you're in Richmond, Yellow Umbrella's is hands down the best. I always will make an extra trip there for it when entertaining. I serve it with Pecan Nut Thins which are gluten free, and complement the cheese well. A pre-made veggie tray is easy to kick up a notch with hummus for dipping and pretty presentation.

I also like to serve a few items that are a bit more hearty so people don't leave hungry. These chicken salad bites have become an entertaining staple since getting the idea from a friend. Just scoop chicken salad on top of granny smith apple slices and top with a pecan. Poppyseed ham biscuits are classic Virginia, and while they're very easy to make, they're even easier to buy premade for weeknight entertaining. These came from Yellow Umbrella, as well. Finally, this arugula salad is my go to for entertaining and a favorite amongst my family and friends (recipe coming Friday!).

I'm going to try and link up as much of my serveware as I can find online below, but will note that these rectangular platters the chicken salad and ham biscuits are displayed on are a favorite! I received one as a shower gift and have found myself wishing for a second again and again when entertaining. I decided it was time to bite the bullet and literally stopped at Fraiche on my way home from work the day of the party to purchase a second. I tried to keep all serveware to a Beatriz Ball/silver and clear glass theme.

Last, but certainly not least, no Valentine's Day celebration would be complete without sweet treats! These cookie dough rice krispies (recipe here) are a favorite and probably the dessert my friends request most! The rose heart wreath was a CVS find in college and I added the ribbon a couple years ago.

I upped the ante a little this year by using a cookie cutter to make them into hearts. It took a long time, but I think the cuteness factor was worth it! I make these the night ahead.

I can't resist showing you a couple snapshots of some additional decor. I didn't go all out this year, but the little Valentine's Day touches sure do bring a smile to my face.

The felt garland was a Michael's or Target find years ago and is so sweet.

There's nothing quite like pink tulips in the dead of winter! The pink and red blocks were a Target dollar section find in college and spell "XOXO," "KISS," "HUGS," and "LOVE."

Once the party started, I only managed to snap two pictures, which was a sign of a good party in my book!

What I love about this photo is that each of these 4 ladies is a friend from a different facet of my life - I really enjoy bringing different groups together!

And here's a sampling of our masterpieces! Those googly eyes! Mine is the love bug!

How do you celebrate Valentine's Day?

Do you like making handmade cards or prefer store bought?

Are there any parties you throw year after year?

Have a great Valentine's Day, love bugs!