MM: Thankful for Ty


My walking buddy when the weather was 'wondey.'

A week ago this morning, my littlest guy Ty, left our family to live happily ever after in dog heaven. As the day went on and I shared the news, everyone's reactions only reminded me how loved he was, like all dogs are.

He was the only blonde in his big litter of black cockapoo puppies.
I rummaged through old photos and remembered how happy I was to bring him home,

how handsome he was,

So much for my mom's "no couch" rule.
and how often he and Coco cuddled, like in this classic scene from Christmas morning circa 2007.

luckily, my many nieces and nephews loved their "grandog"
Over the years, my attention shifted from doting on Ty to tending to my schoolwork, cheerleading and my social life.

Caro & I took her dogs along with Ty and William's Gus to the dog park they built along the bayou.
I don't regret that, but I'm so grateful for the time I got to reconnect with him when I moved home after college graduation.

More recently, I got to dogsit and take him to work and William's. And dress him up for one last Halloween!

With that, I hope to continue to have a thankful heart and mind this month for all my many blessings.


Sense Appeal XXXIV: Wedding Edition


I spent last weekend with Laura, my brother Jimmy's fiancée, for her bachelorette weekend in Austin. Getting to know her sister, cousin and best friends with my sisters by my side was the best, so today's sense appeal is a celebration of them and their big day coming up in December.

In true soon-to-be sister fashion, I copied Laura's cappuccino order at Houndstooth, a haven for an espresso lover.

for the eyes: All smiles for the future Mrs. McConn.

for the mindCome learn calligraphy with me, so we can be as cool and talented as my sister Erin, who kills it every time someone in the family says 'I do.'

for the ears:

Coffee or Tea from Molly McConn on Vimeo.
A sneak peek at Jimmy's Q&A sesh we watched with wine and Thai take-out on Saturday night.

fashion for feel: Subtly matching black and white prints, I still love this snakeskin jumpsuit I bought off the streets in Sevilla, Spain.

William and I went here this past winter for a tasting; he loves their Vermentino for a light white vino.

for taste: We spent Saturday at Duchman Family Winery in south Austin. We snagged a picnic table to sip reds and rosés and eat antipasto.

Looking forward to a weekend spent at home as we head toward holiday season! Have a wonderful one.

Happy Holidays


I like to think the single thing I don't have in common with my favorite blogger is a full-blown Halloween fetish. Growing up, I enjoyed dressing up as Esmerelda and Dorothy then stuffing my pillow case with Skittles bags and Snickers bars, but as I've gotten older, I look forward to Fourth of July, Easter and Thanksgiving much more.

clothed in Halloween colors at Jimmy & Laura's couples' shower
I suppose that may fluctuate when I have kids of my own, but I can also foresee October becoming stressful as it seems like a social media competition these days as the kids swarm the streets to say "trick or treat."

WD's with me as far as his holiday favorites list goes, but we decided to give Halloween more of a chance this year. Here's how:

Okay, not my porch. Montrose Shop, you make fall fireplace dreams come true.
I set pumpkins on my porch after spotting the patch in the Trader Joe's parking lot.

I discovered a costume shop full of treasures thanks to my boss who sent me on a hat mission for her epic family costume inspired by Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.

I'm ready for my masquerade moment thanks to Southern Importers, located in Midtown.
I went back days later to get an accessory for me and William to wear in Austin.

And there, we enjoyed people watching mermaids sipping martinis and finding Waldo at Lucille's on Rainey Street.

Driving home, we listened to this This American Life, only Scooby Doo scary on the spook scale.

Craving more and something sweet, we put on Alfred Hitchcok's Rear Window while eating gummy candy and kettle corn.

Okay, Boston, you win. But, Buffalo Bayou's lookin' pretty good.
On actual Halloween, the weather wound up being gorgeous, so I decided to get my steps in like all the trick-or-treaters do. Lo and behold, leaves were turning in the beautified Buffalo Bayou.

WD and I then channeled our childhood by watching an old Disney Channel Original "scary" movie: Mom's Got a Date with a Vampire. So bad it was good.

It was a very happy holiday, and I look forward to a thankful, merry ending to this year.

Sense Appeal XXXIII


for the eyes: If you're going to subject yourself to staring at screens all day, may as well make 'em as pretty as possible. My desktop at work is adorned with deers for fall's hunting season:

And my iPhone has Halloween hues of orange, emerald green and periwinkle c/o Penelope Dullaghan for Design*Sponge:

for the mind:
After a homily on humility a few Sundays ago, someone told me they saw that quality in me. I was both flattered and struck as I sometimes find myself being self-absorbed in this stage of life when I feel like I'm only looking out for me, myself and I. But, when my sister sent this article, defining the descriptor as "thinking of yourself less" rather than "thinking less of yourself," I understood it in a new light. Read it to see how social media often isn't helping us on that front.

for the ears: I discovered Phoebe Ryan from my favorite Define instructor, Iva, who played her song "We Won't" for the finale of our barre workout.  Now, she's teamed up with the Chainsmoker's for what I think will be their next hit: "All We Know." The acoustic version might be even better.

fashion for feel:
image c/o sequinsandthings

I love both of my flat booties: my brown pair are perfectly worn in and the black bring me back to Paris, where I bought them on a whim while studying in the summer in their winter-like temperatures.

imago c/o somewherelately

In Texas, I much prefer a bootie to a tall boot or a flat, so I'm constantly switching back and forth between the black an brown. So, this season, I'm going for grey, and with the rave reviews on these guys, I think I'll have to go for it.

for taste:

My brother and his fiancée are having their couples shower tonight. WD is giving them a whiskey to add to my brother's collection; I'll bring along this book to get their creative cocktail juices (and drinks) flowing.

the green guy is the Missionary's Downfall: white rum, peach brandy, honey, pineapple and mint
I'm studying it before handing it over as I'm eager to learn about spirits and mixology methods. Watching the experts at work helps, which I did at Lei Low, a tiki bar hiding in the Heights. One tip: blending pineapple into any drink makes for a frothy consistency. See back for evidence caught on camera.

Off to Austin on Saturday the game, and I've already scheduled a pit stop at the new Fresa's on First on our way out Sunday.

Have a spooky Halloween!

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.