Grand People


2016 didn't get off to the best start. WD's family spends the week between Christmas and New Years hunting at their ranch. They enjoy spending time together in the wide open spaces South Texas offers. En route to join them, I got a call that my mom's mom passed. Weeks later, my uncle joined her in Heaven after a long battle with cancer.

Since that wave of tragedy, the tides have turned. Jimmy proposed! I got a new job I love! Andy and Kirby are having another baby...a girl baby! And yesterday, we all gathered to celebrate our Marmie turning 88 years young.

Now in an assisted living home, she's handed down various heirlooms to us. I inherited this Herend owl which rests on my coffee table, but he was the perfect styling piece in my boss's One King's Lane shoot at her farmhouse.

More recently, I snagged a crystal decanter to decorate this gold bar cart I dug up at the Catholic Charity Guild.

Mayor Jim McConn to most // Bobo to all of us
She and her husband, Jim, entertained often when he was in office. After mass at Saint Theresa in Memorial Park, William and I walked to the ball field dedicated in his name. And speaking of politics...

vote MB for 2016

My mom's dad is in Dallas, so over Texas OU weekend, William and I toured the George W. Bush Presidential Library with him. I asked him who was president while he was growing up; he listed FDR, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. Dubya was ours, and we were reminded of how trying his terms were.

So, as we get together with family and friends this fall for all the holiday festivities, let's remember that this is the season to be jolly.

MM: Let Me Entertain You


William was in Dallas for a work conference last week, which meant I unwound with a rom-com, an indulgence I usually* spare him when we spend time together. My selection was seasonally inspired--Autumn in New York starring Winona Ryder and Richard Gere. 

Having just seen Winona's more recent work in Stranger Things, I was impressed by her talent in such different roles. It reminded me of watching Little Women when I was, well, little. At the time, I didn't realize what an all-star cast it had with the likes of Christian Bale, Kirsten Dunst (*more on her below) and Homeland's Claire Danes. This was one of the few movies I had on a heavy rotation. 

My point is, I think I overdoes on screen time and by the time I hit the teenage stage, I sat in front of a TV sparingly. Now, with a boyfriend and a full-time job, I've found my time in front of a TV screen to be a sweet escape. So, allow me to entertain you with what's entertaining me...

What I'm reading :: My book club met Wednesday night to discuss You'll Grow Out of It, a comedic memoir by Jessi Klein, who covers the gamut of girly guilty pleasures like Anthropologie and The Bachelor. Next up is The Thousandth Floor, authored by Katharine McGee (now Field!), my good friend's sister who got married this weekend. So, I'd read it regardless of the fact that it made the New York Times bestseller list. And even more noteworthy...theSkimm

TV I'm tuning into :: WD and I just finished HBO's The Night Of. We were wary of the ending as more than a few friends said it was unsatisfying. Turns out, I love it start to finish and highly recommend it.

Who I'm following :: This past weekend started our wedding storm which won't calm until mid-February. I'm excited to see how my friends and family style their festivities, taking mental notes and plenty of picture reconnaissance for my own. Like the floor-to-ceiling florals at #KatiesFieldDay and rosé fountain at former co-worker, Chanel's, fabulous French soirée. Follow @chaneldror or #jetaimetarlo to sneak a peek inside their chateau celebration for aaaall the amour feels. 

What I'm listening to :: I've had Tove Lo's Say It on repeat ever since it was the anthem of The Hamptons. Loving this too.

HBD, KT! And thanks for hosting us, JE!

Movies I'm watching :: The oldies -- crossed Casablanca off my list (inspired by this Insta), then fast-forwarded to Say Anything, an 80s coming-of-age flick. 

Have a great week. 

*Sweet boy offered to watch Wimbeldon with me on Friday when we returned. Having never seen it and eager for my fall tennis lessons (starting this Wednesday), I said "sure! press play." I was sorely disappointed to find it was a D- film despite the fact it came from the same makers of Bridget Jones's Diary and Notting Hill. Things starting looking up the rest of the weekend when we tuned into The Choice 2016 on PBS which divulges all the details on our two presidential candidates. And then Zootopia, worthy of the five-star rating its received on Netflix. 

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