MM: Beautiful Things


image c/o Cupcakes & Cashmere

I'm delivering full-on beauty coverage for today's Monday musing. Before I begin, though, I'll leave an editor's note that I am by no means an expert in this field. In fact, I'd say I'm quite an amateur and am merely using the Internet to learn a thing or two. Now, I'm sharing those things with all of you...

A product I love :: I got this fancy, French water for Christmas last year in a mail gift exchange. Its pretty packaging had me swooning, but then I sprayed it and found the magic was all inside. I use it in the morning to make my face slightly dewy before applying make-up and in the evening after a work-out.

A product I'd like to love :: One of my recurring woes is not buying the products--that's the easy part. It's the actual application. So, I was pleased to find these are a thing: skin care sticks. Like spray-on sunscreen, it's simpler and more likely to supply even coverage. I really like this rosy guy

A switch-up in your routine :: Save yourself yet another CVS trip to replenish your shampoo supply. Cue conditioner-only power showers post-gym. 

A product I'm over :: I've pretty much given up on Venus razors. They cost and cut way too much. So, I'll be taking a tip from the boys and Camille Styles team and grabbing a guy's razor my next go-around. It'll be the signature boys' blade, the Gillette Mach3, which supposedly is much sturdier, sharper and leaves your legs as silky as ever. 

What I'm still learning :: A lot! Emily of Cupcake & Cashmere opened my eyes to this magic elixir, so I was enlightened when reading the beauty mistakes she made in her 20s. I'm figuring out the brow thing, need to let lipsticks into my life (thanks, mom!), and properly blend foundation into my neck. 

The amount of product out there is overwhelming, but the overall mantra when it comes to make-up really is less is more (and most guys would agree). So, enjoy the process and learn as you go.

a birthday blondie who radiates beauty inside & out: happy 24th Joey!

Baby steps on the beauty front, mes cheries!

*This was originally published as a contribution post for L. Avenue blog. 

Show Them Something They Don't Know


For my second (albeit a bit delayed) edition of cheap thrills, I am sharing something all of us do to some degree on a daily basis: share our lives with others.

to infinity & beyond with WD

I felt that post-grad seemed so starkly different from school years because, for the first time ever, we were all on different tracks. Up until this point, you ride the same train as your peers, taking the same stops and winding up at the same destinations.

same sky // different cities

Our final stop was our first jobs, and since then, our paths have gone in all different directions. This is true professionally, of course, but personally too as we navigate major decisions like where to live, how to live, and who to live with. Upon realizing this, I freaked out and paused for a minor panic attack until I found it was all part of the fun.

Merl studio hops with ClassPass, so I tried my first SoulCycle class during my visit. 

Even though my friends are scattered all over the country instead of all over West Campus, for instance, I get to see them in their cities. Like I did with Merl this summer when she showed me how she does DC.

Annie booked two nights at my AirbMB and saw what life was like inside her blogger bestie's studio space.

Meeting Olivia's childhood and high school besties at her bachelorette gave me insight into the people who made her into the wonderful person I grew to love in college. Just like her fiancé Matt!

William and I made a bucket list a long time ago, and one thing that made the very top was a tour down memory lane. Having both grown up in Houston, it was important that we saw the houses we called home and those spots around town that defined our middle and high school experiences.

We continue to do this in both big ways and small. He's shown me how to hunt in South Texas, ski down the Aspen Highlands and the Austin waters. I've shown him my favorite restaurants and how I paraded around Paris that one summer.

Our weekends at home are just as exploratory as I show him buildings I'm decorating and he points out properties he's selling.  It costs nothing but is so valuable (and thrilling!) to see how your people spend their time behind-the-scenes.

Here are three ways I plan to show my people things they haven't seen about me:
  1. Take William and a friend to my gym using one of my free guest passes.
  2. Bring print-outs of these blog posts to Marmie, my grandmother, for her birthday next month.
  3. Show Merl my Houston life when she visits for Julianne's wedding October 15th. 
And three I plan to see!
  1. My sister Amy's new house with Biscuit bedding and powder room wallpaper installed.
  2. My soon-to-be sister-in-law's best friends at her bachelorette in early November. 
  3. The life of a freelance photographer as I meet and greet this one back to Houston. 
So, make it your intention to show those you love some things they don't know. And learn a thing or two from the people who love you, too.

Cheap Thrill No. 1: Find a Theme


I'm laughing on the inside because what inspired this post was thrilling but by no means cheap. There's really no excuse for that because William and I went to Whole Foods to grab the ingredients for our dinner only hours after watching a comedian rag on the most scamming supermarket of them all.

Receipts aside, the real point is, we didn't go to a restaurant. So, what I'd like to share with you, is the first of three cheap thrills I suggest to those of you looking to put a new spin on things.

cheap thrill no. one :: Have a theme inspire your day, evening or weekend. 

read the recipe in BB's Insta link // main ingredients include sausage, corn, Pecorino cheese and plenty of white wine

How I did it: Pasta is pretty much a mandatory meal during the week for us, so this Saturday, we made our own inspired by this Instagram post. First things first, we went to Fabio's Fresh Pasta and fell in love with the Sicilian shop owner's charm as he encouraged us to indulge in good music and better wine with the linguini he sold us. "Gratsi," I told him as we headed to the grocery store to stock up for the sauce.

As we made our way through the aisles, we enjoyed continuing our "night in Italy." We grabbed Italian greens, a spicy Italian sausage, Pinot Grigio and gelato. I'm set on eating caprese salad in Capri and having spaghetti in Sicily, but this was a much more cost-effective route for us to make a mental trip in the meantime.

a year ago since we toured Chicago and the holy Notre Dame grounds in Indiana
How you can too: Our next weekend will be back-to-college themed with barges and bar tabs for the UT ND Labor Day game in Austin.

  • time-travel :: Watch a marathon of a beloved teen sitcom while flipping through your yearbook and breaking for an afternoon spent playing your high school sport. 
a cured salmon galette with mozzarella & an over-easy egg
My girlfriends and I started a Saturday with brunch at Bistro Menil and then explored the small museum. 

I wish we'd seen this at Rice University too. 
  • cultural immersion :: Immerse yourself in the cultural offerings of your city through its art, food or a combination of the two. 
Nico convinced me to sign up for a Greek cooking class at Sur la Table late last summer.
My mom is the ultimate handywoman, be it a sewing kit, a tool kit, a garden or a grill. 

Hibiscus Linens came to Biscuit to teach us how to hand embroider beautiful linens

I loved learning to embroider and recalled how therapeutic it is to put our hands to use on something other than our phones. 
  • get handy :: Book a cooking class or buy Blue Apron meals--first two are free! Rearrange the furniture, a bookshelf or the bar. Frame a photograph. Write a note and seal it an envelope. 
Cheap thrills two and three coming to you shortly--ciao for now!

Friday Five | Bridget's Own Photo Diary


My Friday Five on L. Avenue features all the latest and greatest sale links for summer and fall styles, so hop on over there to shop! But here at BOD, we're complementing my purely wordy post from Wednesday with a photo diary:

relax yo'self
William's best friend (slash my second cousin) celebrated his 25th at El Patio last night. My best friend (and former roomie, Nico) celebrates her 23rd at Armando's.

It  should be no surprise, then, that we wound up at Tacombi for tacos when in the Hamptons last weekend catching up with college friends. Cocktails were tasty, but no bueno!

i spy a spike!
Here was the lovely home tucked in the woods of Amagansett Beach we stayed in. Drive down the windy road and you'll find yourself at the...

i'm on my tippie toes
Montauk beach, beach, where we got away.

I returned to take care of Ty, who loved doing his business at Biscuit

while my parents toured Paris, roamed through Monet's Garden and cruised through Normandy. Literally. 

They return from their bon voyage this weekend, and I think we're all happy to be home in Houston for a weekend. Have a good one!

WW: On Livin' Solo


I failed to go three for three on my Monday musings series, so I'm going with Wednesday words instead this week. It happens to be fitting, as I had decided to discuss living without roommates and haven't a single photo of the space.

Studio B, I call her, situated right on the border of Upper Kirby and the Museum District. It's tucked behind a two-bedroom house with a yard and sits above a garage (and a pool and hot tub!). What I initially thought was something temporary had evolved into something more permanent. And something really pretty perfect.

I wrote about the major changes I made last spring; it was admittedly--and understandably-- overwhelming at the time. As for the move, I made the decision on a Thursday, called movers on a Monday, packed my stuff on a Tuesday and was there by Wednesday. I quit my job that Friday.

New spaces, new workplaces. Part of the draw of the new job was a shift in lifestyle--a four instead of 45 minute commute, for example. Plus, I could walk to favorite restaurants like Local Foods, my Trader Joe's and Whole Foods and my church, Saint Anne's.

Still, I pressed pause on decorating the space, in fear I'd find an alternative with friends sooner or later and the effort would be all for nought. It's nearly fall, and I'm still sitting pretty in Studio B, so I think the time has come to make my little abode look like my very own.

Here's three ways I'm making it happen:

I'm taking a hint from Camille Styles contributor Cristina Cleveland and hanging art on the walls, starting with my hat headboard from my parent's Houston home. It's an ode to my childhood and my love for fashion and France.

Across from that, a gallery wall will hang with my European mount, Polaroids and other prints.

Next is some low-key window treatments, nothing fancy but I can't help myself when I spend my days pulling Pierre Frey fabrics samples.

Finally, I'll invest in something. These stools? An ottoman? Open to suggestions! Let's make Studio B a real beaut, shall we?!

...of Studio B

Friday Five | Fashion Bug


wishing I could have brought this Gray Malin to the check-out
My 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?
yellow bikini dreams come true
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.

This was originally posted as a contribution post for L. Avenue blog. 

MM: Relax, Take it Easy


I take a work break at Biscuit to help Amy & her daughter, Ana, design her digs in their new home.
The school year is right around the corner, taking my mind on trips down memory lane. Way back when, in pre-school, I was adamant that I not participate in nap time; I had zero interest in feigning sleep on a felt carpet inches away from my friends in a dimly lit classroom. As I got into middle and high school, however, part of my homework habits was none other than nap time.

our Wimberley coral bedding, part of the newest season of Biscuit bedding
Working at Biscuit, born as a bedding company (but has matured into so much more!), we remind our online shoppers that, "A third of your life is spent in bed." Or at least it should be; sacrificing any of that time only hinders the other two-thirds.

breakfast snack of Biscuit champions - RX bars (blueberry's the best), Swell filled with chilled H20 & High Brew coffee cans
I make sure to stop consuming caffeine at 1 p.m. or else I'll still feel it at 11 p.m. When I feel like I need a fix, my new ideology is to give my body and mind what it's really craving: rest.

When Casper called to say "let's celebrate Relaxation Day next Monday," I found out the nap is a (free!) resource we don't utilize nearly enough. And our mattress matters. Here's several reasons why:

Last week, I put a 20-minute cat nap on my calendar the same way I do with a meeting, dinner date or workout class. It's just as important and makes me alert for the meeting, alive for the date and energized for the class.

Add a nap to your cal this week, and let the habit forming begin. Happy National Relaxation Day!